Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Chief's Fisting Anthem

I guess I should be ashamed of liking Paul "The Chief" Harragon's craptastic cover of Spandau Ballet's "Gold" but I'm not. This kind of fabulous rubbish only comes along once every couple of years, so I'm savouring each glorious second of it. The song is pretty abysmal but it's better than I expected from an ex-footballer/host of Channel 9's Footy Show. The standard version is so bad it's good but I seriously love the fagtastic dance mixes on the CD single! Mike Felks, who recently remixed some tracks for Slinkee Minx, has transformed The Chief into a Hi-NRG dancefloor diva! The addition of the lyric "if you've got a hand and a fist, you're indestructible" ups the gay factor to an unprecedented level. The bizarre lyrics apparently relate to Paul's trademark hand gesture but all those fist references mean something else entirely in this part of town. Sit back and enjoy the year's first fisting anthem!

You can purchase this future darkroom classic from Chaos, Sanity and iTunes. Make sure to check out the glamorous video clip. Nothing gets me going like a butch footballer wearing mascara!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ricki-Lee's Brand New Day

Any doubts surrounding Ricki-Lee's decision to leave Young Divas disappeared when "Can't Touch It" debuted at #2 on the Australian singles chart. With the album's brilliant first single an undisputed smash hit, "Brand New Day" swiftly became one of the year's most highly anticipated pop releases. With good reason, as it turns out. Ricki-Lee's second album shrewdly pitches her as Australia's answer to Christina Aguilera. Like Christina, Ricki-Lee has a huge voice and explores musical genres traditionally dominated by black artists. Unlike Christina, Ricki-Lee never forgets her pop roots. "Brand New Day" has a shiny veneer of urban credibility but Ricki-Lee's pop sensibility is never too far from the surface.

From the very first song, it's immediately apparent that "Brand New Day" is massive step forward from Ricki-Lee's debut album. The production is sharper, the songs are better and Ricki-Lee's voice has developed a gravelly edge that it previously lacked. The album kicks out with "Can't Sing A Different Song", a rollicking anthem that sounds like a cross between Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani. While "Can't Sing A Different Song" sits on the cutting edge of urban pop, the album's title track is a gorgeous soul pastiche which owes more to Stevie Wonder than Pharrell. The funky instrumentation and perky backing vocals make "Brand New Day" a sunny treat. One of my concerns for the album was that it might get bogged down with dreary ballads and vocal acrobatics. For the first half of the album, Ricki-Lee keeps the overwrought balladry to a minimum. "Melody Of Life" is one of the disc's best ballads. It showcases Ricki-Lee's exquisite voice without any false sentiment. The production is breathtaking with a gorgeous blend of instruments and orchestration.

The album's best song and a smash hit in waiting is a cover version of a Swedish pop tune. "Love Is All Around" was first sung by the winner of Swedish Idol, Agnes Carlsson. Her version was the standout track on an otherwise dismal album but was ultimately hampered by Agnes' reed thin voice and the overly clinical production. Ricki-Lee has breathed life into "Love Is All Around", transforming the song into warm and uplifting pop anthem. Some critics have likened "Love Is All Around" to Janet Jackson and there is more than a hint of "Together Again" in Ricki-Lee's version. I hope that Janet hears "Love Is All Around", remembers her glory days and decides to stop singing about her cunt. The quality of the tracks on "Brand New Day" is consistently excellent but "Love Is All Around" is spectacular and positively screams to be released as a single. The same can not be said for Ricki-Lee's reggae jam, "Real Good Time". The song is perfectly enjoyable but I don't think Ricki-Lee's future lies in Jamaican dance halls.

"Can't Touch It" deserves all the praise that has been lavished upon it. Ricki-Lee's party anthem will be heating up nightclubs for years to come with its killer beats and fierce lyrics. The pounding drums, hand claps and brassy vocals make "Can't Touch It" an instant Australian pop classic. One of the album's most appealing qualities is the bold mix of musical genres. The very modern sounding "Can't Touch It" is followed by "Take Me To A Place", an appealing anthem that wouldn't sound out of place on a Motown compilation. While the first seven tracks on "Brand New Day" are uniformly outstanding, the second half of the album loses some momentum. There's not a bad song to be found but "Brand New Day" becomes slightly bogged down in one too many mid-tempo grooves. "Alone No More" is beautifully sung but ultimately a rather standard ballad. "Clouds" breezily documents a case of writer's block, while "World Go By" recalls the days when Mariah Carey still made good music. Ricki-Lee's voice really is a sublime instrument.

The pace briefly picks up with the funky "It's Just Life". The throbbing beats are a welcome change after a string of slow jams. The song shares the same zen message as "Clouds" and "World Go By" but it has more bite. However, the five minute plus running time feels slightly excessive. The album's final song, "I Appreciate You", stands out from the other ballads with its beautiful strings and intimate subject matter - the song is a touching account of Ricki-Lee's relationship with her mother. "I Appreciate You" is a fitting conclusion to a very personal album. Ricki-Lee has obviously grown immensely as an artist and as a human being.

Final Verdict: Highly Recommended

Standout Tracks: "Can't Sing A Different Song", "Love Is All Around" and "Can't Touch It".

My Gripe: The hideous "Ricki-Lee as Enya" album cover.

"Brand New Day" can be purchased from Chaos, Sanity and iTunes. To find out more about Ricki-Lee check out her Myspace. Ricki-Lee also has a website but it doesn't appear to have been updated for a very LONG time!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Dannii's Lesbian Love Toy Speaks Out!

England's fabulous News Of The World newspaper has scored an exclusive interview with the stripper at the centre of Dannii's Lezzigate scandal. Classy Janine reveals how Dannii groped her breasts and was invited home for a threesome! Check out the article in full here.

A STRIPPER has spoken for the first time about the night she turned Kylie's little sister into Dannii MinOH-OH-OH-gue with some very dirty dancing.

Janine Marshall has broken her silence about the encounter at the Puss In Boots nightspot in London and told us: "Dannii devoured me during that dance like a ravenous tiger."

Janine, 24, revealed how 35-year-old Dannii:

BEGGED for the stripper's attention
GROPED her breasts and bum.
GAWPED as naked Janine put her privates on parade.

Dannii, now rating fresh singing talent with Simon Cowell on X Factor, gave Janine's performance a perfect 10. When she arrived at the club in September 2005 with her boyfriend and another couple, the Aussie star immediately singled out the stripper. Janine said: "She picked me for a private dance so I led them to a quiet corner in the VIP area and they settled into the sofas. Then I began my routine."

First the lapdancer concentrated on the guys in the party, but soon turned her attention to Dannii. "She was calling out for me, so I sauntered over and squeezed my breasts as I danced seductively in front of her," said Janine. "I've got a three-foot rule — I never go closer than that with clients. But with Dannii it was different. I pushed the boundaries more than I would with other clients because she's a woman and I felt safe."

Dannii's Lesbian Lover - Janine

She then moved on to the star's female pal. "I gyrated between her legs and that sent Dannii even wilder — she kicked her leg out in sheer excitement." When Janine started work on Dannii's boyfriend—who she's since split from—the singer was transfixed. "I kept my eyes locked on Dannii's the whole time I was dancing for him and she loved it. She was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I don't know if it turned her on seeing her man with another woman but she was totally cool with it."

Then Janine pushed her performance up a notch. "I teased down my skirt and was dancing in my panties and halter-neck bikini top, which I unknotted. "My boobs fell out of my top and I peeled off my knickers before stepping out of them." By then, all Janine was wearing was a pair of four-inch, glass-heeled stilettos. "Dannii admired me. She said, ‘Wow, look at that body.' I knew I looked fantastic. At one point she grabbed a curl of my hair and twiddled it around her finger. And she said, ‘You've got such sexy hair'.

"Then she whispered, ‘You're stunning, you're turning me on so much'."

Janine knew just how to turn up the heat even more. She grinned: "Table dancing is all about the tease, so one minute I was five feet from her and the next just one millimetre separated us. I leaned towards her with my face pressed against hers. Then I moved away. It was a case of, ‘Look at me, I'm beautiful, but you can't have me'."

But Dannii didn't have to wait long to get closer. Janine explained: "I moved nearer again, this time on my knees. "Dannii adored my boobs and couldn't believe they were natural, so she reached out and her fingers played with them gently. I kneeled and my hands glided up the side of her waist. She kept leaning forward to nestle her face in my breasts. I turned around to face a mirrored wall and as I arched my back my bottom pushed out towards Dannii," she recalled. "And it felt so sexy when she put her palms flat against my butt cheeks. I could see her through the mirror grinning at her boyfriend, like a cat that had got the cream."

Then, as if that wasn't enough, Janine gave an x-rated on-the-floor show.

"I laid on my back and gyrated my body against the carpet. Then I kneeled on the floor and leaned back on my heels. My arms were above my head and I could see Dannii getting a good view of everything. I was totally naked. She was flicking her hair like an excitable teenager as she gawped at me."

So Janine gave Dannii, who was lying flat on the sofa by that point, a closer inspection. She said: "I lifted her leg up towards me and clasped my fingers around her ankle. Then I used my lips to trace a line from her ankle to the middle part of her calf. It tickled her into a frenzy because
Dannii couldn't stop moving— she was too turned on to sit still."

When the dance was over, Janine claims the star's boyfriend at the time then invited her to go home with them. "That's not the kind of girl that I am. I never went home with clients—men or women—and I wasn't about to start then." But Dannii booked the dancer to sit with them for a further hour and during that time the conversation centred on one thing — stripping.

"Dannii said she loved watching me dance naked and admitted she'd had pole dancing lessons herself," said Janine. "She said she enjoyed pole dancing and it made her feel sexy."

Janine, who has given up lapdancing and now runs a successful agency in west London, later gave her mobile number to the star after Dannii invited her to a fashion show that night.
But she never heard from her until February 2006, after the News of the World revealed the gob-smacking video footage. "She sent a message through a friend saying she hoped I was OK," said Janine, from south London. "It was nice of her to think of me." But Janine admits she was shocked and upset when the CCTV stills from her dalliance with Dannii became public.

"It hurt me that I was exploited but I'm running my own dance academy and teaching regular women the art of seduction and pole dancing. I've moved on with my life."

Check out Dannii's Dirty Box for more stunning Dannii news!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Brielle - SSO Interview, Album & Tour News

The local gay press is always a great read but this week's edition of the Sydney Star Observer is extra special. Cabaret legends, Kiki & Herb, appear on the front cover and there is a feature interview with one of my favourite divas, Brielle Davis. Brielle reveals details about her album, talks about her connection to the gay community and announces an upcoming gig at The Vanguard on September 9. I can't wait! Check out Sunny Burns' excellent article:

You can purchase tickets to Brielle's Vanguard gig here. The paper also mentions Holland's bear boyband, Bearforce 1. I was intrigued and slightly turned on by the prospect, so I decided to check them out.

I'm not sure what I expected but this tragifabulous pop gem exceeded all expections! Basically, their debut single is a megamix of 80s hits including Sabrina's "Boys" and Dead Or Alive's "You Spin Me Round". The video (below) is so fucking camp it makes The Village People seem butch in comparison! You can download Bearforce 1's materpiece from their website.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Roxane Is Sexy!

I thought I'd quickly post this before I run off to find some cut-off gloves for tonight's Samantha Fox concert! Roxane's debut solo single has been plagued with more drama than an entire season of "Bold & The Beautiful". "Sexy", a glorious slice of pop trash built around a throbbing sample of Salt 'N' Pepa's 80s classic "Push It", was almost scrapped when Sophie Monk performed the same song in a lingerie commercial. Sanity finally prevailed and Roxane's stunning anthem was released on Monday. All of the remixes are great but I've settled on the trashy Electro 7", although the House 7" is just as worthy. I know I've declared my love for "Sexy" several times already but I find it more fabulous with each listen.

You can purchase a copy of "Sexy" from Chaos, Sanity or iTunes. Don't forget to check out the amazing video clip.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stop Press - Melissa Tkautz News!

I almost fell off my chair when I saw this article in Wednesday's Daily Telegraph. Melissa Tkautz and flesh eating zombies? As far as I'm concerned, "Dead Country" is now the most highly anticipated film in cinema history! I've been wondering how they could possibly weave Mel's cameo into the movie and I think I've come up with a likely scenario.

After being dumped by her heartless record label, Melissa sets off on a tour of regional RSL clubs funded by her premature ejaculation advertisement earnings. Only the tour is cancelled due to poor ticket sales and Mel finds herself wandering around the Victorian countryside in vinyl hotpants, begging for diuretics and botox injections. On the brink of exhaustion, Melissa stumbles into the nearest town on broken stilettos and finds a job in the local gay bar collecting glasses. Several months later, Melissa finally scrapes together enough money to catch the bus back to Sydney and decides to put on a farewell show for the local queens, inadvertently raising the dead with an acapella version of "Read My Lips".


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

An Angel With An Attitude - Samantha Fox

Samantha Fox is the embodiment of everything I love about music and trash culture. I've worshipped Sam since first hearing "Touch Me" in the 80s, been amazed by her stunning urban makeover courtesy of Full Force in the 90s and joyfully observed her return to dance music. I've been meaning to write a post about the Fox since starting this Blog but how do you summarise the 20 year career of living legend in a couple of paragraphs? Sam's arrival in Australia to participate in the latest Countdown Spectacular tour has given me the push I needed. The very thought of being in the same venue as Samantha Fox and Sharon O'Neill has thrown me into a complete frenzy! I've spent the past few days watching Sam's clips on YouTube and listening to her 2005 album, "Angel With An Attitude", which has been given a belated Australian release to coincide with the tour.

Before I review the album, here are 6 reasons why I believe Samantha Fox deserves the same legendary status as Dannii, La Toya and Melissa Tkautz:

1. Sam's signature tune "Touch Me" is one of the best songs of the 1980s and contains the classic line "like a tramp in the night".
2. The Fox did the impossible and improved on Dusty Springfield's "I Only Wanna Be With You".
3. Stock/Aitken/Waterman were so impressed by Sam's stunning talent, they produced her brilliant 80s anthem "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now".
4. Samantha also hooked up with Full Force to record a string of fierce urban classics including the leather queen anthem "Hurt Me, Hurt Me (But The Pants Stay On)"!
5. Like any aging diva worth her weave, Samantha returned to dance music and had the good taste to cover Tatjana's "Santa Maria".
6. The Serbian town of Cacak recently erected a statue in Sam's honour!

Ok, now that I've got that out of my system, let's get back to "Angel With An Attitude"!

Samantha Fox made a brilliant return to the pop world in 2005 with her first new studio album in almost a decade. Unfortunately, "Angel With An Attitude" was only released in Canada and failed to generate much interest outside her loyal fanbase. After a two year wait, the album has finally been released in Australia and it holds up admirably as a bold and daring change of musical direction. The combination of rocky guitars and dance beats remains oddly seductive and the addition of "Touch Me 2007" is a trashy delight.

Lingerie in church!

"Angel With An Attitude" opens with the memorable title track, which is a microcosm of the entire album. A soft piano refrain gives way to moody electro beats before a raft of guitars kick in for the chorus. Samantha has thrown convention out the window. The eclectic mix of styles is occasionally clumsy but, for the majority of the album, very satisfying. "Angel With An Attitude" is also notable for its highly amusing video clip which finds Samantha strutting around a church in white lingerie! The title track is followed by a couple of more traditional pop songs. "To Be Heard" is a slickly produced electro anthem, while "Destined To Be" re-introduces the guitars for an epic slice of guitar pop with a sweet chorus. "I Give Myself To You" mixes both genres and throws in a bizarre array of computerised effects for good measure. The result feels slightly jumbled but is nothing less than intriguing.

If I had to select a favourite track from the album it would be "The Power". The song is an intricately constructed guitar-pop gem, which blends strings, piano and electro beats. I admire the originality of "The Power" and love Sam's hugely endearing inability to hit the high notes but its greatest appeal lies in its deeply personal nature. From the first line - "in the morning I put on my make-up, to hide the sadness deep inside" - it's clear that Samantha is singing from personal experience. "You And Me" continues the reflective mood by making reference to her homosexuality but ultimately lacks the charm of "The Power". "Threw Our Love Away" then introduces some Latin flavour into mix, while "Move On" is one of the album's best dance songs.

The tempo slows momentarily for "Breathe", a slightly disorientating trip-hop misadventure which meanders along for five bizarre minutes. Thankfully, Samantha returns to her fiery best for the awesomely trashy "Nice And Slow". It positively warmed my heart to hear Samantha sing about "nasty toys and dirty Polaroids"! This would have made a great single. The next song, "Cause An Effect", is the closest that Samantha has ever come to dabbling in metal. It's not particularly heavy but it does rock! "Cause An Effect" sounds like something Lita Ford recorded in the 1980s and I mean that as a compliment.

With Sam's outrageous image, it can be easy to overlook her amazing vocal talent. Samantha doesn't have a big voice but she does have a very sweet one and it is displayed to fine effect on the lush ballad "Dreams Unfold". "Time" was originally included as a bonus track on the Canadian release of "Angel With An Attitude" in 2005 and appears again on the Australian version. If you ignore the male vocalist, "Time" is a rather appealing electro jam with a distinct urban influence. The final track on "Angel With An Attitude" is yet another remix of "Touch Me". Santiago Cortes has crafted a brilliant update of Sam's enduring classic, which closes the album in great style.

"Angel With An Attitude" is highly recommended and can be purchased from Chaos, Sanity or iTunes. I've also noticed some very cheap copies on Australian Ebay.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More Sirens! Give A Little Love

I'm turning into something of a Sirens fanatic! In the past few weeks I've featured their sublime cover of "I'm So Excited" as well as the poptastic "Like Fire, Like Rain". Both singles are explosions of pure pop - the kind of music that Australia has produced far too little of in recent years. After hearing the girls' third and final single, I'll go as far as describing Sirens as pop revolutionaries! "Give A Little Love" sounds like something the Teen Queens recorded in 1992 - only with tacky dance beats. Yes, it's that good!

The spoken introduction (with an Australian accent, no less) announces the song's strong 1960s influence, while the adorable opening verse - "It's a teenage dream, to be 17 and all wrapped up in love" - continues the quirky retro style. As with their other songs, I'm hugely impressed by the band's brilliant harmonising and energy. The high quality of "Give A Little Love" makes the fact that Sirens never released an album all the more depressing. I've done some research and an album was indeed planned (and probably recorded) but, as far as I can tell, remains unreleased. On a somewhat brighter note, lead singer Angie Hilton did release a fabulous solo single, which you can hear on her website.

None of Sirens' singles are readily available, so your best bet is to keep an eye on Australian Ebay. Angie's fantastic solo single, "Day In The Sun", can be purchased from iTunes.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Three Aussie Divas - Past, Present & Future

I feel like it's Christmas! After a veritable drought, new Dannii projects are sprouting up everywhere. Could 2007 finally be Holidannii's year? With any luck the rest of the world will finally realise what we have always known - that Dannii is not only the greatest dancer but the world's greatest living entertainer! The next few months promise a smorgasbord of Dannii activity. Firstly, there is her highly publicised role on "X Factor" and confirmation that channel 7 executives are willing to postpone the second series of "Australia's Got Talent" for six months just to ensure they snare Dannii's services. It seems that Dannii's old record companies are already bracing for Dannii-mania with 2 Disc re-releases of "Girl" and "Neon Nights" announced yesterday. I'll believe it when I'm holding copies in my hand but the tracklists are enough to get me salivating:



01. All I Wanna Do
02. Heaven Can Wait (Album Version)
03. So In Love With Yourself
04. Am I Dreaming?
05. Everybody Changes Underwater
06. Everything I Wanted (Album Version)
07. It It Moves – Dub It
08. Disremembrance (Album Version)
09. It’s Amazing
10. Movin’ Up (Extended Mix) - UNRELEASED
11. Keep Up With The Good Times - UNRELEASED
12. Someone New (Radio Edit) - UNRELEASED
13. Coconut
14. All I Wanna Do (Trouser Enthusiasts Radio Edit) - UNRELEASED
15. Everything I Wanted (Xenomania Radio Edit)
16. Disremembrance (Trouser Enthusiasts Radio Edit) - UNRELEASED ON CD


01. All I Wanna Do (12” Extended Mix)
02. Everything I Wanted (Xenomania 12” Club Mix)
03. Heaven Can Wait (Trouser Enthusiasts Cloud Nine Mix) - UNRELEASED IN UK
04. Disremembrance (Full Orchestral 12” Mix) - UNRELEASED
05. All I Wanna Do (Qattara’s Club Mix)
06. Everything I Wanted (Jupiter 6 Soul Surround Mix)
07. Disremembrance (Twyce As Nyce 1:40AM Club Mix) - UNRELEASED
08. Movin’ Up (Getting Harder Mix) - UNRELEASED
09. Keep Up With The Good Times (Xenomania 12” Mix) - UNRELEASED
10. All I Wanna Do (Tiny Tim & The Mekon Dream Dub) - UNRELEASED ON CD

‘Neon Nights’


01. Put The Needle On It
02. Creep
03. I Begin To Wonder (Album Version)
04. Hey! (So What)
05. For The Record
06. Mighty Fine
07. On The Loop
08. Push
09. Mystified
10. Don’t Wanna Lose This Feeling (Album Version)
11. Vibe On
12. A Piece Of Time
13. Who Do You Love Now? (Radio Edit)
14. Come And Get It (Radio Version) - UNRELEASED
15. Nervous
16. Just Can’t Give You Up - UNRELEASED
17. Hide And Seek
18. Don’t Wanna Lose This Groove (Radio Edit)
19. Est-Ce Que Tu M’Aimes Encore? - UNRELEASED OUTSIDE FRANCE
20. Goodbye Song
21. It Won’t Work Out (Acoustic Version) - UNRELEASED


01. Don’t Wanna Lose This Groove – Extended Version (DANNII VS MADONNA)
02. Begin To Spin Me Round – Extended Version (DANNII VS DEAD OR ALIVE)
03. Who Do You Love Now? – Riva’s Bora Bora Club Mix - UNRELEASED OUTSIDE NETHERLANDS
04. Put The Needle On It – Jason Nevins Freak Club Creation Mix - UNRELEASED IN FULL
05. Hide And Seek – Thriller Jill Original Extended Mix - UNRELEASED
06. Come And Get It – Jerome Isma-Ae Remix - UNRELEASED
07. Put The Needle On It – Tiga’s Cookies Dub
08. Creep – Jon Dixon Club Mix - UNRELEASED
09. I Begin To Wonder – Almighty Transensual Club Mix - UNRELEASED
10. Put The Needle On It – Cicada Vocal Mix
11. Come And Get It – Sharam Jey Remix - UNRELEASED
12. Don’t Wanna Lose This Feeling – Jupiter Ace Speared Thru The Heart Mix - UNRELEASED

It just seems too good to be true. The idea of an Almighty Transensual Club Mix of "I Begin To Wonder" is almost too fabulous for me to stand! However, the Dannii explosion doesn't end there by any means. Warners are also rumoured to be on the verge of announcing the release of two Holidannii compilations. That makes four scheduled albums this year! I'd be more than satisfied if Warners just hurry up and release the much delayed "Platinum Collection". Never one to rest on her laurels, Dannii has also been up to her old tricks of wearing very little clothing by modelling for Next lingerie! As you can see, Dannii looks truly spectacular! Kylie must be so jealous by her younger sister's amazing figure. In this hilarious interview (which waxes lyrical about Dannii's "strong Australian teeth") Dannii confirms that she's packing 32DDs! Check out Dannii's sexy photo shoot on Next's website. All we need now is some new music and another lesbian scandal!

While I'm still riding my Dannii high, I thought it would be fun to shine a light on two other fabulous Australian divas - one from the past and one who promises great things in the future. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about Roxane Lebrasse, an ex-Australian Idol contestant who had the bad luck of recording a pseudo-cover of Salt 'N' Pepa's "Push It" at exactly the same time as Sophie Monk and appeared to have lost her record deal as a result. Well, common sense has prevailed and Roxane's fabulous anthem "Sexy" is scheduled for release tomorrow. I absolutely love the song but I'm even more enamoured by the film clip. This has to be the trashiest Australian video since Marcia & Deni took blue screen technology to a stunning new low in their amazing "Stomp" extravaganza. I live for this kind of shit - cheap effects, bad dancing and weirdos wearing pig masks! Take pity on this tragic fledgling diva by downloading "Sexy" from iTunes or purchasing a copy from Chaos or Sanity. If the remixes are any good, I'll post one next week. In the meantime, brace yourself for Roxane's stunning video:

Roxane should have many years of hitmaking in front of her but if "Sexy" bombs, she can take some solace in Carol Hitchcock's story. 20 years have passed since the release of Carol's one and only flop, "Get Ready", but that spectacular pop moment is still remembered and cherished by lesbians and PWL aficionados around the globe. Carol can lay claim to being the first Australian diva to work with Stock/Aitken/Waterman, recording "Get Ready" while Kylie was still living in Dannii's shadow. As a Hi-NRG cover of The Temptations' Motown classic, with a memorable video and spectacular production, "Get Ready" appeared to be Carol's launching pad to fame and fortune. Unfortunately, the song stalled at #56 in the UK and only just scraped into the Australian top 40. It's a shame because Carol possessed more charisma than most PWL artists. Who else in the history of the Hit Factory can boast working as a nightclub bouncer or appearing on "Prisoner" (Cell Block H)? If anyone knows what happened to Carol, please let me know.

A big thanks to Brian for sending me an MP3 of "Get Ready" - my vinyl copy had really taken a beating!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Anshelle - Rewind Please

One of the fun things about writing a music Blog is the weird and wonderful material that finds its way to you. I'd never heard of the Swiss pop group Anshelle before unexpectedly receiving their latest album for review, so I wasn't sure what to expect. When I think of Swiss pop music, the first thing that comes to mind is DJ Bobo. I reasoned that I was probably in for a trashy pop explosion, possibly with some really awful rapping thrown in for good measure but I couldn't have been more wrong. I quickly discovered that Anshelle's album is a treasure trove of whimsical guitar-pop gems, which owes far more to Sharleen Spiteri of the Scottish band, Texas, than Switzerland's own superstar DJ. Here's my review:

One of the central themes of Anshelle's evocative, new album "Rewind Please" is the drawing of strength and solace from past events. "Rewind Please" almost plays like a musical photo album with each track capturing a memory or defining moment - some of them happy, others less so. There is genuine sense of whimsy and melancholy that gently colours and connects each song to the next. That might sound slightly overbearing but there is enough sunshine peaking through the clouds to prevent "Rewind Please" from ever becoming too depressing. Anshelle walk the fine line between quiet reflection and upbeat pop music with impressive skill.

"Rewind Please" opens with a declaration of intent. To put "Little Mountain" in context it helps to have some knowledge of the band's history. Prior to this album, Anshelle were signed to a major label and from all reports made bright and shiny dance/pop music. It seems the band fell through the cracks during a record company reshuffle and spent the next few years revising their sound and recording "Rewind Please" independently. "Little Mountain" is a musical mantra about persistence and following your passion. Lead singer, Michele Bachmann, sings "I can hear the voices of the raging crowd, while drums and bass are getting loud and if it is the last thing that I'm going to do, I'll be there and smile at you". Michele's "Little Mountain" is the stage and this woman is going nowhere. Anshelle subtly convey their message in one of the album's most instant and catchy pop anthems. "Little Mountain" will have you humming for days.

After the upbeat, jangling guitars of "Little Mountain", the focus of the music shifts from the present to the album's prevalent theme of past events with the gentle title track. The first thing that strikes me about "Rewind Please" is the quality of Michele's voice, which has a soulful quality reminiscent of Texas frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri or Mexico's hugely underrated Elan. It's a voice well equipped to convey the disorientation of realising that your path has irrevocably branched away from old friends and loved ones. The sweet melancholy of "Rewind Please" gives way to the straightforward pop sensibility of "Stereophonic Girlfriends", which injects the proceedings with a pleasant dose of irreverence. The detour from the album's exploration of the past is brief. "Hayfield" is another introspective number, revealing a yearning for the simplicity of childhood. The instrumentation is a delight, making "Hayfield" a worthy first single.

"Soulmate" is a refreshingly optimistic love song, which benefits from some beautiful guitar work and endearing lyrics. It makes an interesting companion piece to the next song, "Unperfect Woman", which is rather more grounded in reality. It's about time someone wrote a love song for the flawed and fucked up! "Unperfect Woman" also increases the tempo after a string of gentle numbers, which is a reminder that Anshelle can rock out when they feel so inclined. They obviously just don't feel like it very often.

"Bye Bye" and "Faith" are two of the album's least inspiring moments. They are perfectly enjoyable album tracks but retrace the previously covered ground of old friendships and break-ups without the charm of "Rewind Please" or "Hayfield". The dip in quality is rectified with the gorgeous "She Might Be", which, if I'm not mistaken, throws a slight hint of ska into the mix. In fact, the song would slot quite nicely into No Doubt's "Tragic Kingdom" album with its staccato bass and percussion. I was sold with the first tambourine jangle! "She Might Be" is a cheeky little number which sees Michele meddling in her friend's lovelife. Any song which rhymes "wench" with "French" is surely some kind of masterpiece. The album closes with a duo of excellent songs, "I'm Alright" and "Taking Over Me". The former song is one of the album's most musically intricate and lyrically inspiring. "It's Alright" preaches the importance of keeping your chin up, while "Taking Over Me" is a haunting tune about giving in to your emotions. The evocative piano playing and unexpected organ cameo make "Taking Over Me" a fitting end to a memorable album.

"Rewind Please" expertly taps into the overwhelming sense of inertia that arises in your mid to late 20s. The topic has already been addressed by several acts (even Fergie took a short break from praising her humps to touch on the issue in "Big Girls Don't Cry") but Anshelle are the first to explore the dilemma of being stuck in the emotional wasteland between the end of your extended adolescence and dawning adulthood with such clarity and precision.

The band have kindly given their permission for me to share the album's excellent opening track, "Little Mountain".

"Rewind Please" is released in Switzerland on the 24th of August. Hopefully, an international release will follow shortly thereafter. The album can be pre-ordered here. Unfortunately, that website only appears to service Europe. Until the album receives a wider release you can listen to some of the tracks on Anshelle's website as well as their Myspace. A promotional video for "Hayfield" has also been uploaded to YouTube.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

EliZe's Japanese Makeover

EliZe is the Dutch Dannii and I mean that as a massive compliment! EliZe was a child star in Holland, who was best remembered for singing about growing breasts - "Het Tietenlied" - literally, "The Tit Song" (!) until she became an international pop sensation and one of my favourite trashy divas upon the release of her brilliant anthem "Automatic". That song is Euro-pop at its absolute finest - driving beats, catchy lyrics and a slutty "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" inspired video. EliZe proved that she was a diva to be reckoned with by following "Automatic" with a string of fabulous hits ("Into Your System", "Shake", "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and my favourite, the amusing J. Lo inspired "No Latino") and an exceptional debut album, "In Control". While desperate UK divas like Rachel Stevens and Lisa Scott-Lee tried and failed to launch careers as second rate Kylie impersonators, EliZe embraced the trashy goddess within and just stole blindly from everyone - with truly fabulous results!

I had high hopes for the international prospects of "In Control". The quality of the music is consistently excellent and EliZe is not exactly hard on the eyes. "Automatic" was released around the world (including Australia) but "In Control" is still difficult to find outside her home country. That is until the album's recent Japanese release. I've always been slightly jealous of Japanese music fans. Album covers are often changed (for the better) and bonus tracks are usually added to the tracklist. As you can see, the Japanese version of "In Control" boasts a far more appealing cover than the original version (below) and it has been enriched by a couple of wonderful remixes.

The first time I heard the Japanese remix of "Automatic" I was appalled. EliZe's Euro-pop classic has been transformed into a trashy trance anthem, which sounds like a cross between Cascada and Alex Gaudino's "Destination Unknown". However, by the second listen, I was too busy shaking my arse (with lots of class) to care about the song's lowbrow makeover. In fact, I kind of love it. Apparently, trance is still very much the leading dance genre in Japan and the remix is a shrewd move to appeal to the Japanese market. I wish lovely EliZe every success.

You can purchase the Japanese version of "In Control" from HMV Japan or order it from Chaos but expect to pay around $40. If you're a casual fan, the standard version of "In Control" is now available to download from iTunes and wont leave you bankrupt. "In Control" is highly recommended. Check out EliZe's website for more details.

A big THANK YOU to Nori for all his help with this post!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Hampdens - Generation Y

After a string of well received EPs, The Hampdens have finally released the first single from their upcoming debut album. "Generation Y" is another perfectly crafted pop song from the Perth trio. As far as I'm concerned, any track that begins with the line "sick and tired of apathy and (Kurt) Cobain tributes" is an automatic winner! Don't be put off by the band's quirky image. The Hampdens are often described as "literary" and "intellectual" but they are a pop act to the very core. "Generation Y" is a great example of a tune that manages to be witty and catchy at the same time. Impressively, the band make the combination seem effortless. Take the line - "Meet me on Myspace tonight, I'll be there waiting". It's a sharp commentary on our generation but it sounds positively romantic within the context of the song.

The Hampdens have very kindly provided a free download of Generation Y (Teenager Remix) on their website. The remix transforms the song into a slightly jarring electro number, which reminds me of early Depeche Mode. The original version in all it's ambient glory can be heard on The Hampden's Myspace. The band's album is scheduled for release in October. Until then, you can purchase "Generation Y" and their other EPs from Chaos or iTunes.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Melinda's Single Cover & Other Tid Bits

With any luck you are looking at the freshly designed single cover of Australia's next breakout pop diva. Melinda Jackson's record company was kind enough to send me a preview and I think it looks fantastic! The cover suits the song's fun, 80s sound and Melinda looks gorgeous. Make sure to check out the Moustache Remix of "Magic" posted below and the radically different radio version on Melinda's Myspace. There's still no word on the official release date but I will keep you posted.

Now for some housekeeping. I've finally updated my list of links - if I forgot anyone, please let me know! It's been a busy couple of weeks in Blogland. I need to give Robpop a big shout out for his spectacular Robyn interview. I have my fingers (and other bits) crossed that "With Every Heartbeat" tops the UK chart this week. Rob's endless promotion and enthusiasm have played an integral role in the song's UK success. Take a bow, sweetheart!

In other news, ex-Young Diva and Pop Trash favourite, Ricki-Lee, has debuted at #2 on the Australian Singles Chart this evening with her brilliant anthem, "Can't Touch It". What an amazing achievement for Ricki-Lee and her record company! Check out the fabulous video and make sure to buy the single. Ricki-Lee's album, "Brand New Day", is released tomorrow. The buzz surrounding the album suggests that it will be truly spectacular. Purchase your copy here.

Furthermore, can someone please explain how Beyonce has managed to release so many good singles from such a shit album? The original version of "B Day" is one of the crappiest things I've heard in years but each single has been transformed into a winner by the Freemasons. I'm positively salivating over the remixed version of "Green Light" and it truly pains me to say nice things about Beyonce! The video itself is something of a trash masterpiece. The Robert Palmer references appeal to 80s child in me and Beyonce's stunning array of stripper outfits would make a Vegas whore blush! Watch the clip here.

I know that I haven't updated Dannii's Dirty Box lately but the highly disputed queen of pop is never far from my heart and mind. According to an English newspaper, Dannii is currently without a recording contract in the UK. The great one has been dumped by every record label in the UK over the years and always manages to fall on her well-heeled feet. I'm sure Holidannii will once again take the music world by storm after her stint on the X Factor is done! My friend Tommie posted a clip on Togerland yesterday and it reinforces everything I love about Dannii. Watch in awe as Australia's brightest star sings her fabulous hits to a crowd of beer swilling, disinterested tourists in Ibiza. Dannii Minogue = LOVE!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My 200th Post - Joanne Vol. 3

Welcome to my 200th post. I really can't believe I've churned out that much crap! I started Pop Trash Addicts as a way of honouring my favourite aging divas, trashy has-beens and fabulous nobodies - and to a certain extent, I feel like I've succeeded in doing that. Over time I've changed my focus to the weird and wonderful Australian pop scene, which continues to churn out amazing new acts despite almost having become an underground movement. One of my favourite subjects has been the legendary Joanne, so I thought I would devote my 200th post to continuing my exploration of Joanne's amazing pop legacy.

I've already covered Joanne's astonishingly successful debut, "Jackie", and her less successful follow up singles. After the disappointing chart placings of "Pack Your Bags" and "Are You Ready?", Joanne took a two year break to work on her album and refine her sound. During that hiatus, Joanne released one further single - a duet with a local boyband, Ilanda, for "The Wog Boy" movie soundtrack. I really should write a post about Ilanda one of these days. They scored several hits as Past To Present before changing their name and hooking up with Joanne for "Breakin' There's No Stoppin' Us". Collaborating with an urban boyband might seem like an unholy alliance but Joanne had already worked with the boys in the past with fabulous results (they wrote her "Pack Your Bags" single). "Breakin' There's No Stoppin' Us" might have one of the worst titles in Australian pop history but the song is a lot of fun. Joanne's powerful voice combines well with Ilanda's sweet harmonies and the trashy backing track is a treat! The song reached #38 and became Joanne's second biggest hit until her official relaunch a year later.

The song is not available on iTunes but "The Wog Boy" soundtrack turns up regularly on Australian Ebay. Joanne fans will want to hunt down the CD single for the fabulous B-side "Move".

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Carol Jiani - Hit 'N' Run Lover

This week sucks harder than Anthony Callea in a dark room. I desperately need some cheering up and have found some solace in the music of my favourite (and quite possibly, the only) Nigerian disco diva. Uchenna Ikejiani moved to Canada in the late 1970s, changed her name to Carol Jiani and released one of the best loved tunes of the entire disco era in the form of "Hit 'N' Run Lover". In fact, the song is so well regarded that Carol has re-released it no less than a dozen times! "Hit 'N' Run Lover" has been one of my favourite songs for years but until very recently, I was completely ignorant about the extent of Carol's musical legacy. There is so much more to Carol than her monster disco anthem but even if she had spent the past 26 years living off "Hit 'N' Run Lover", that would still be more than enough to secure her place in the pop trash hall of fame.

"Hit 'N' Run Lover" is a slice of disco magic that still shines brightly after all these years. The song also has the uncanny ability to survive even the most tragic remix with its fabulous essence relatively intact. Speaking of questionable remixes, a friend recently sent me a craptastic trance remix (thanks Jamie!) and I have been pumping it ever since. Listening to this "gem" has perked me up no end and I'm sure some of you trashy bitches will find it just as appealing. This version of "Hit 'N' Run Lover" sounds like the bastard child of Stock/Aitken/Waterman and Cascada. Yes, it's that classy! I apologise for not knowing the exact title of the mix but I assume it's either the 2006 or 2007 re-release.

For a comprehensive and fascinating overview of Carol's career, read her fabulous "Disco Museum" profile. You can find more information on Carol, including details of her upcoming UK club tour on this glamorous fansite and Carol's Myspace.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Slinkee Minx - Electric Dreams

One of the most eagerly awaited pop trash album of 2007 has finally arrived! Slinkee Minx's "Electric Dreams" was four years in the making and the wait has well and truly been worth it. Before I get around to reviewing the album, I would like to thank Annemarie, Michelle and Belinda for sticking with the project through difficult circumstances and respecting their fans enough to deliver one hell of a package. "Electric Dreams" contains 25 songs over two discs - all for the bargain price of $17! The tracklist is also incredibly comprehensive, including all their singles, B-sides (with the exception of "Tell Me") and most of their remixes. A lot of time, effort and talent has been poured into "Electric Dreams". I just hope the album gets the recognition and respect it so richly deserves.

"Electric Dreams" kicks off with the band's signature tune, their smash hit cover of Belinda Carlisle's "Summer Rain". That song peaked at #5 in 2004 and still sounds as fresh and irresistible now as it did on release. Slinkee Minx switch gears for the floaty, trance sensation that is "Falling Free". I can't believe this beautiful anthem wasn't selected as a single over "Someday" or "Way Of Life", particularly when acts like Cascada are riding similar but far less impressive songs to the top of the charts. By the way, someone please tell me what they are sampling! It's driving me crazy. I think it might be Ian Van Dahl but I can't place it. Speaking of "Way Of Life", their recent single follows "Falling Free" but sounds a little uninspired in comparison. The next tune is one of two songs the girls released to clubs during their two year hiatus. "Every Little Thing" offers a throbbing bassline and an array of wonderful bleeps courtesy of mrTimothy, who spoils the listener with two awesome remixes on the second disc.

The girls have a knack for reinterpreting old hits and they work their magic on Real Life's 1980s classic, "Send Me An Angel". The Slinkee Minx version is instantly catchy and strikes me as another potential hit. "Send Me An Angel" is followed by their second single "Closer", which reached the top 40 in 2004. I wasn't particularly taken with "Closer" when it was released and time hasn't made the heart grow fonder. The album continues with "Hold Me", another fun dance number and the gorgeous "Nu Love". "Nu Love" has an unexpected sweetness about it, the piano breakdown is lovely and the girls' harmonies are really quite superb. It's nice to see that mrTimothy is just as comfortable producing straightforward pop as he is creating club anthems.

Another club maestro takes over the producing duties for "Think You're All That". Josh Abrahams has created a funky anthem, which positively drips with attitude. It's not quite as brilliant as his other contribution, "Falling Free", but it's still quality. The next song, "You Turn Me On", stands out from the other tracks due to its latin vibe, complete with Spanish guitar. I don't think it quite works but "You Turn Me On" is anything but unpleasant. I'd be interested to know if the song's author, listed as B. Caruana, is none other than the fabulous and sorely missed B.J. Caruana. The first disc of "Electric Dreams" concludes with the band's third single, "Someday", and their other club release, "Dance Everybody". I've loved "Dance Everybody" since it hit the clubs in 2006 and I'm ecstatic to finally have the song in my collection.

Disc two of "Electric Dreams" is mostly comprised of remixes. "Summer Rain" is represented with two mixes, as is "Every Little Thing". Fans should also be familiar with the Studio B Mix of "Way Of Life" and the majestic Moustache D-Day Mix of "Someday". The band's fabulous cover of "Careless Whisper" is a welcome addition, as is the Mike Felks Club Mix of "Closer". It's nice to have all of the band's best mixes collected in the one place but the real highlight of disc two is the new material. The first new track, "U Could Be", is a bright and shiny pop tune, which would sound perfect on a warm summer night. The brass instruments are a nice touch. "Feel The Vibe (Mike Felks Mix)" is a winning club anthem, while "Someday Part 2" completely transforms the band's third single into a superb dance anthem. If only this version had been released instead of the lacklustre original!

The lovely ladies from Slinkee Minx have crafted an irresistible dance-pop marathon, which has been burning up my stereo for the past week. There is nothing deep and meaningful about "Electric Dreams". Instead, it is happy to deliver a collection of fun songs that will drag your arse to the dancefloor and that is fine by me. "Electric Dreams" is undoubtedly one of the pop trash highlights of 2007.

"Electric Dreams" is a fantastic package and belongs in everyone's record collection! You can purchase the album from Chaos, Sanity and iTunes. Check out Slinkee Minx's website and Myspace for more details.

Monday, August 06, 2007

On The Verge Of Something Wonderful

I really want to like Darren Hayes. I enjoy the occasional song ("Crush" and "Popular" come to mind) but more often than not his music leaves me cold. I think it has something to do with the high-pitched wailing (otherwise known as Mariah Carey-itis) that pollutes every second song. However, Darren seems to have got his shit together the third time around and I'm genuinely looking forward to his latest album, "This Delicate Thing We've Made". The first single, "On The Verge Of Something Wonderful", is nice enough but hardly warrants the deafening buzz surrounding it. The video looks like something Daft Punk rejected in 2001 and even Fergie would draw the line at some of these lyrics ("you can walk in the devil's shoes, if you like walking in heels").

While I have my reservations about "On The Verge", the single is definitely worth purchasing for the awesome remixes of "Step Into The Light". That song was leaked on Darren's website and Myspace way back in April. "Step Into The Light" is a haunting slice of electro-pop, which has been transformed into a superb dance anthem by the remixes without losing the essence of the original song. "Step Into The Light" is climbing the US dance charts (#18 this week) and strikes me as a far better choice to launch the album than "On The Verge". Happily for Darren, I seem to be in the minority. "On The Verge" debuted at #29 this week and has a good chance to continue climbing.

"On The Verge Of Something Wonderful" is currently available from iTunes, Chaos and Sanity. Darren's album, "This Delicate Thing We've Made", is released on the 20th of August. I have my eyes set on the special edition which comes with a bonus "origami cranefly". How very gay!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

20 Years Of Kylie!

Has it really been 20 years since Kylie topped the charts with "Locomotion"? I was honestly startled to hear about Kylie's 20th anniversary party this week. I know she has been around since the dawn of time - but 20 years? I feel like a complete dinosaur. I still remember the first time I saw the "Locomotion" film clip and clearly recall wondering what the hell Charlene was doing singing on television. Despite the initial shock, I was instantly smitten and purchased the 7" single with my pocket money the very next day. It's only a slight exaggeration when I say that Kylie has been the soundtrack to my entire life!

My 20 year old copy of "Locomotion"!

I don't think Nostradamus could have predicted what lay ahead for Kylie. There was a genuine sense of shock when "Locomotion" reached #1 in Australia on 3 August 1987 and stayed there for 7 weeks, eventually becoming the highest selling single of the entire 1980s. "Locomotion" triggered Kylie-mania at home and resulted in her being sent to England to work with Stock/Aitken/Waterman. Kylie's output with the hit factory is rightly appreciated by pop fans around the globe but the Australian version of "Locomotion" and its fabulous B-side have been all but ignored. It's a shame because "Locomotion" is vastly superior to "The Loco-Motion" and "Glad To Be Alive" remains one of my favourite Kylie songs to this very day.

"Glad To Be Alive" was written and produced by two members of another act signed to Mushroom Records - the 80s new wave band, Kids In The Kitchen. I think the boys were probably taking the piss when they wrote a song about a buying "a brand new hat" for Kylie but there is something utterly joyful about "Glad To Be Alive". I often wonder what Kylie's debut album would have sounded like if she had recorded it in Australia. If "Glad To Be Alive" is any indication, it would have been pretty amazing.

If you haven't watched it in a while, take some time to re-discover the magic of the "Locomotion" video clip. Until researching this post, I had completely forgotten that it was originally sponsored by Impulse deodorant! Classy. The clip is also notable for the appearance of Countdown's Tania Lacey (does anyone else remember her?) and a cameo by her brother, Brendan, at the very end. 80s kitsch doesn't come any better!

Kylie looking glamorous at her 20th anniversary party

"Glad To Be Alive" appears on Kylie's Greatest Remix Hits 3. All 4 volumes of "Remix Hits" are essential for fans and turn up regularly on Australian Ebay.

Dannii arrives at Kylie's party

Congratulations to Kylie on surviving her first 20 years in the fickle music world! The anniversary party looked like a lot of fun and it was nice to see that Dannii dressed down to avoid stealing Kylie's spotlight as usual. Here's to the next 20!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Candice Alley - I Belong

Candice Alley scored an unexpected hit with her previous single, "Before You Go". That song slowly gathered momentum and eventually peaked inside the top 20 - quite an accomplishment for a pop act on a small label. I can take or leave the album version of "Before You Go" but the dance remix was one of 2007's best pop moments. The second single from Candice's forthcoming album was released a couple of weeks ago and follows the same formula as "Before You Go". "I Belong" is another radio friendly, mid-tempo number which markets Candice squarely to the pop-rock market. The song is pleasant enough in its original format but the dance remix is far superior. The remix of "I Belong" is not as immediate and trashy as its "Before You Go" counterpart but it is just as appealing. The mix manages to retain the essence of the song, while injecting it with an irresistible dance/pop sensibility. It takes a couple of listens to get into but the remix of "I Belong" is another winner.

Candice releases her second album on Monday, so make sure to pick up a copy from your local music retailer or purchase it online from iTunes, Chaos and Sanity. The "I Belong" single can be found at the same places. Check out Candice's Myspace and watch the "I Belong" video clip.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Brielle's War Journal & Canadian Hit!

Brielle Davis is, without a doubt, one of Australia's most fabulous pop divas. When she's not burning up dancefloors with her heavenly anthems, she's doing something completely random like modelling for Supre or entertaining our troops in war-torn Honiara. Speaking of which, I recently devoted a post to Brielle's humanitarian mission in the Solomon Islands and cheekily implied that Brielle's selection might have had more to do with her striking good looks than fierce musical talent. I had visions of Brielle performing "Take It Off" in a bikini for a room of sweaty soldiers but I couldn't have been more mistaken!

The details of Brielle's trip can be found in a lengthy and fascinating diary entry on her website. Reading the article has left me even more smitten with Brielle. Her writing is articulate, funny and insightful. Most endearingly, Brielle comes across as an ordinary girl in her 20s. There is no bullshit or grandstanding. She writes excitedly about travelling in a private jet, admits perving on the "sexy army boys", warns haters that she's learned to shoot a gun (!) and amusingly comments that her first thought on arriving in Honiara was "fuck it's hot"! I would loved to have witnessed Brielle's acoustic performances and I'm completely intrigued by the amazing photos. Brielle's new hair colour is fierce and she achieves the impossible by looking smoking hot in army greens!

Read the full account of Brielle's amazing adventure here.

In other Brielle news, her stunning anthem "Take It Off" is, well, taking off in Canada! The rocking Andy Caldwell Mix has climbed into the top 10 of the BPM:TV chart and my Canadian friends report that Brielle is picking up quite a bit of airplay. I'm ecstatic that Brielle's music is finally generating some international attention. Make sure you check out the fabulous clip if you haven't already and give Brielle a cheap thrill by becoming one of her Myspace friends. Brielle's highly anticipated album, "The Other Side", is scheduled for release later in the year.