Friday, May 30, 2008

The Campest Clips Ever

I love Central Station. When they're not flogging Melissa's latest flop or one of Dannii's seemingly endless batch of "fan releases", they're unveiling classy DVD compilations like "The Campest Clips Ever". The title really says it all. This stunning offering compiles 28 tragifabulous video clips from the likes of Sheena Easton, Grace Jones, Nicki French and Bananarama - as well as appearances by all the usual suspects. My beloved Melissa even has a section all to herself! If that's not enticing enough, "The Campest Clips Ever" is hosted by fabulous drag identities Candy Box and Maxi Shield. The latter should at least add some glamour and style to the proceedings! On a slightly different note, I believe this is the first time Dannii's "Touch Me Like That" has been available on DVD (UK CD Single aside) making this a must for Minogue fans. Here's the tracklisting:

Camp Women
Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Deborah Harry - I Want That Man
Sheena Easton - Giving Up, Giving In
Dannii Minogue - Touch Me Like That
Sophie Ellis Bextor - Murder On The Dancefloor

Camp Men
Culture Club - Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
Adam Rickett - I Breathe Again
Bearforce 1 - Bearforce 1
Wham - Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Camp History
Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
Hairspray - You Can't Stop The Beat
The Source Ft. Candi Staton - You Got The Love

Glamorous Life
Melissa Tkautz - Glamorous Life

Camp Entertainers
Alyson Moyet & Dawn French - Whispering Your Name
Grace Jones - Pull Up To The Bumper
Aqua - Barbie Girl
Vengaboys - We Like To Party
Cascada - Everytime We Touch

Camp Covers
Nicki French - Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Slinkee Minx - Summer Rain
Divided - Easy Lover
Groove Generation Ft. Leo Sayer - You Make Me Feel Like Dancing

Camp Groups
B-52's - Love Shack
Bronski Beat - Small Town Boy
Divinyls - I Touch Myself
Yazoo - Only You
Bananarama - Move In My Direction (Moto Blanco)

While there are some glaring omissions, it's hard to argue with any of the choices and I'm told this is only the first of several volumes. The DVD is released on the 5th of July and looks like an absolute must have. In the meantime, check out Central Station's stunning online promotion (below). It's basically a semi-naked guy dancing to Nicki French. Only Dannii's label could come up with a blockbuster like this!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Robyn Loau - Slide Showcase

Robyn Loau has been one of my favourite local divas since the glory days of Girlfriend, so I jumped at the chance to attend last night's intimate showcase at Slide. Accompanied by only a piano, Robyn performed a delicious selection of Girlfriend hits, solo material and cover versions - all interspersed with funny anecdotes and memories from her almost 20 year career in the music industry. The result was something closer to a one woman stage show than a concert in the traditional sense but the concept worked brilliantly and I loved every minute of it!

The show kicked off with a pitch perfect rendition of "Purple Rain", which perfectly highlighted Robyn's exquisite voice. She then told a cute story about her days at the Johnny Young talent school (I wonder if she ever ran into Dannii) and channelled her inner child to re-create her first ever professional performance, tutu and all! That was followed by a fun cover of "Dancing In The Street" before Robyn got around to my favourite topic - Girlfriend! I loved hearing about the formation of the group, particularly when Robyn described some of the girls as "hideous". Take that Siobhánn! Robyn announced a special "celebrity" guest would be joining her to perform Girlfriend's massive #1 hit "Take It From Me" but it only turned out to be Flop Stars Live runner-up Miranda Murphy (below). The performance was really cute. Miranda wore the famous Girlfriend flower hat and they sounded great together. It's nice to know that Miranda's not living in a cardboard box in the Cross.

The highlight of the entire evening for me was hearing "Without You", Girlfriend's sappy 1992 top 20 smash hit. I don't care about the embarrassing lyrics or the dreadful video, "Without You" was The Friend's classiest moment! It was always going to be tough to top the Girlfriend flashback but Robyn came very close by introducing her father (below) to the stage to sing a duet. It was lovely and inspired me to listen to "Siva Pacifica" on my Ipod on the way to work this morning. Speaking of former triumphs, Robyn announced that her unreleased 1997 opus "Malaria" will finally be hitting stores in June or July. If her stunning performance of "Sick With Love" is any indication, it will be worth the 11 year wait!

Next on the setlist were fabulous covers of Des'ree's "Why Should I Love You" and Incognito's "Still A Friend Of Mine". Robyn then asked one of her music students to perform a song before launching into her stunning 2007 comeback anthem "She Devil". Unfortunately, Robyn didn't re-create Toadie's lingerie parade but she did change the lyrics to "She Devil blew a fart"! The show closed with a fantastic cover of Margret Urlich's "Only My Heart Calling" (now there's another diva long overdue for a comeback) only to return with an eerily good version of Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights". The perfect end to a fantastic evening. Make sure to keep an eye on Robyn's Myspace for album and tour updates.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Queen Of Hi-NRG & My Heart

Words can not describe the depth of my love for stunning Hi-NRG diva Kelly Wilde. How can one woman have so much style, beauty and blazing vocal talent? I'm truly ashamed to admit that I only discovered the delicious Ms Wilde recently. Since my beloved Kelly Llorenna fell off the face of the earth (probably due to acute fake tan poisoning), I have been searching for another holy icon to quench my thirst for trashy dance music. My quest was long and hard but eventually I stumbled across Kelly Wilde and it was love at first listen. Younger than Hazell Dean, more charismatic than Nicki French and sexier than Jo Frances - Kelly ticked all my boxes. If I were 30 years older and not into cock, this delicate flower would be the woman of my dreams!

My first introduction to the manifold delights of Kelly Wilde was her magnificent cover of Laura Branigan's "Gloria". I simply could not believe that such a major talent had managed to escape my attention. Kelly's take on "Gloria" is mesmerising and the video clip (below) has to be seen to be believed. I can't believe all the hateful comments that people are leaving on youtube. Do these fools have no ears? Bolstered by my discovery, I decided to delve deeper into the intoxicating world of Kelly Wilde and unearthed her failed attempt to qualify for Eurovision with the exquisite ballad "You Better Be Good To Me". The competition was obviously rigged because girlfriend blew the other bitches out of the water with her breathtaking vocals and sky high hair. The voters must have discovered that my future wife actually hails from Sydney instead of the arsehole of Europe (ie. the UK) - yes readers, Kelly Wilde is one of our own!

Never one to rest on her laurels, Kelly has recorded another two stunning dance cover versions for Energise records. This time around the Queen of Hi-NRG has deigned to interpret Blondie's "Maria" and Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero". You can listen to these awe inspiring anthems and order your very own copy here. I love them both but "Maria" is utter perfection. The B-side, "New Emotion", is also positively orgasmic. I highly recommend you add these classics to your collection! In the meantime, check out this amazing clip of my boo performing "Maria" at the 2008 Gran Canaria pride event. Be warned - this will leave you hypnotised like a death adder. Kelly's stunning microphone acrobatics are only surpassed by the hilarious gay dancers. Fingers crossed that Kelly is touring the UK when I visit in July. It would be an honour just to share the same air as this heavenly creature.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Crayons - The Pop Trash Review

As far as I'm concerned, Donna Summer is pop royalty. Her partnership with Giorgio Moroder revolutionised dance music in the 1970s and her much maligned 1989 opus with Stock Aitken Waterman remains one of my all time favourite albums. Needless to say, I was more than a little excited when I learned that Donna was preparing to release her first studio recording in over 17 years. All the signs pointed towards a cracking return to form. Donna roped in all the big name producers, spoke of returning to her dance roots and lined up several huge promo appearances including the finale of American Idol. The undisputed Queen of disco forgot to do just one thing - record a decent album.

"Crayons" isn't awful. It's just awfully disappointing. Donna's much anticipated dance album turns out to be a disjointed collection of dated house tracks, unconvincing urban jams and dreary ballads. There are a couple of standout songs and even the filler is mildly entertaining but Donna could re-record "Hard Candy" and make it tolerable with her sheer charisma and stunning vocals. The album begins promisingly enough with the first single, "Stamp Your Feet". Produced by Greg Kurstin (the man behind Kylie's "Wow" and Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Catch You"), the opening track happily bounces along with amusingly bad sports metaphors and an addictive chorus. The downhill slide begins with the second track. "Mr Music" sounds like something the Backstreet Boys recorded in 1999. That's not necessarily a bad thing for fans of cheesy urban pop but it's pretty embarrassing for the rest of us.

The title track is an unexpectedly cute reggae duet with Ziggy Marley. I love the infectious beat and the catchy chorus but it's hardly vintage Donna Summer. At the very least, "Crayons" is one of the few songs on the album that sounds like it was recorded this decade. Something that can't be said about "The Queen Is Back". I wanted to like this because of the autobiographical lyrics but the production is almost unbearably lame. This could be a reject from La Toya's scrapped "Startin' Over" album. Poor Toy Toy probably found her producers on the notice board of her local gay sauna. What's Donna's excuse? "Fame (The Game)" is the first song helmed by Toby Gad, probably best known for his work with Fergie and The Veronicas. I like the combination of guitars and heavy beats and the song really showcases the versatility of Donna's voice. This is more like it.

"Sand On My Feet" is the album's first and best ballad. The subtle, stripped back production is really quite lovely and Donna injects a real sweetness into the delicate lyrics. It's a relief to discover that time hasn't robbed Donna of her exquisite range. Just her common sense, if "Drivin' Down Brazil" is any indication. This samba flavoured nightmare is the musical equivalent of Rohypnol. It will put you to sleep and give you a nasty headache the morning after. "I'm A Fire" comes as a welcome return to the dancefloor - if you like 90s house. I love the "I'm A Fire" remixes that were promoted to clubs but the 7 minute album version is a dated mess. Things go from bad to worse with the torturous "Slide Over Backwards". Out of respect to Donna, I'll refrain from saying what I really think about this mind numbing rhythm & blues catastrophe.

In comparison to the crap that comes before it, "Science Of Love" sounds like a veritable masterpiece. Toby Gad has produced the best dance song on "Crayons". I have never been so happy to hear synths in all my life! I love Donna's anthemic vocals and the hands in air chorus is just what this album needed. "Be Myself Again" is another ballad. The lyrics are obviously personal and Donna squeezes every ounce of emotion out of them with her beautiful voice but the end result is slightly dull. It seems fitting that the final song on "Crayons" is utter rubbish. "Bring Down The Reign" even has cringeworthy chanting and weird bird sounds to make it even more shit. At least the Australian version of the album has the trancetastic "It's Only Love" as a bonus track. This would have been great back in 2001. Sorry Donna, I still love you but these crayons suck.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Kerli - Walking On Air

It's a long journey from failed Eurovision contestant to the cusp of American stardom but that's the impressive path Estonia's Kerli Kõiv has navigated over the past four years. Despite bombing out in Sweden's 2003 Melodienfestivalen and missing Eurovision selection for her homeland in 2004, Kerli's distinctive style and unusual voice obviously caught the attention of the right people because she was snapped up by America's Island Def Jam records (the home of Mariah & Rihanna - no less) in 2006. Suck on that, Charlotte Perrelli! I have to admit, I didn't know what to expect when I first received a press release about Kerli. The pretentious 'gothic Barbie doll' styling made me slightly nauseous and the proud comparisons with Bjork instilled me with the fear of God. However, Kerli turned out to be a very pleasant surprise indeed.

"Walking On Air" is one of my favourite singles of 2008 but the first time I heard the song, I almost turned it off half way through. The gloomy first verse is not exactly a toe tapper but then something wonderful happens. Strings herald the magnificent chorus and all of a sudden "Walking On Air" turns into a beautifully twisted poptastic delight. It's a difficult song to describe but imagine a catchy yet depressive cross between Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like A Bird" (the structure is quite similar) and Bjork's only decent song, "All Is Full Of Love". The result is edgy and different, while still retaining a strong pop sensibility. The Def Jam execs obviously realise they have something special on their hands because a small fortune was spent on the terrifying video clip. No, I'm not referring to Kerli's disturbing prima ballerina prostitute get-up but the evil doll. That porcelain bitch is going to haunt my dreams for weeks! "Walking On Air" is available to download now from US iTunes. Fingers crossed that Kerli brings her hot freak show to Australia in the near future!

Check out the magnificent video clip!

Chucky has nothing on this bitch!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sirens Are Back!

Unfortunately I'm not referring to the legendary Australian girlband of the same name but the slightly less fabulous foursome of pommy slappers. While not possessing the charisma or stunning vocal ability of their antipodean counterparts, the English Sirens still managed to carve out a loyal cult following with their 2004 debut album. The girls flopped miserably in the UK but they found an appreciative audience in Japan, where their attitude filled dance anthems were lapped up by pop fans.

I loved Siren's first album and firmly believe it was ahead of its time. Hopefully, their reincarnation as an urban dance trio (one poor bitch got the boot) will bring them the success they deserve. The trashy tarts should be vying for chart dominance in no time if their stunning comeback single is any indication. "Club La La" is being released in two formats, an urban version and a dance radio remix. No prizes for guessing which I prefer! The dance version of "Club La La" (below) is a cracking electro feast. I love the trashy lyrics and the completely nonsensical chorus. This is the best 'la la la'-ing since "Can't Get You Out Of My Head"! The video is a zero budget extravaganza complete with unconvincing thugs and bad breakdancing. I love it! The Jody Den Broeder Club Mix was released on UK iTunes this week, so get downloading! There's no word yet on an Australian release but you can download their first album ("Control Freaks") from Aus iTunes.


Move aside Whores Aloud, you are now completely redundant!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The End Of An Era

The pop world has lost one of its brightest stars with the passing of Hannelore Jacob, best known to fans of trash culture as the youngest of the legendary poodle loving Jacob Sisters. I'm devastated by the news and I'd like to pass on my condolences to all of Hannelore's friends, fans and family. The Jacob Sisters are (I still can't bring myself to use the past tense) my favourite "girlband". Their stunning glamour is undeniable and their fabulous 50 year career has covered every musical genre in the book. Which other group of ravishing 70 year olds could possibly cover Kylie's "Your Disco Needs You" with the same passion and brilliant mastery of the English language?

I have my fingers crossed that Johanna, Rosi and Eva will continue to inspire fans around the globe with their wonderful music after they have mourned the loss of their sister. The group wont be the same as a threesome but I think Hannelore would want them to carry on doing what they do best. I just hope someone is looking after Hanni's poodles. Take a moment to grieve for Hannelore by watching the Jacob Sisters perform their smash hit "The Hampster Dance". The humourless trolls in Girls Aloud and Sugababes wish they had an ounce of this breathtaking talent! Hannelore, you will be sorely missed.


Rest In Peace

Sunday, May 18, 2008

CC Martini - All The Way

2008 has been pretty dire for Australian pop music. There has been the occasional catchy single but no local act has managed to release a consistently excellent album. That is until CC Martini's wicked debut hit stores last Saturday. I loved both of CC's singles but even the fabulousness of "Champagne Taste" and "Double Dutch" couldn't prepare me for this exhilarating rollercoaster ride. "All The Way" is a big, brash gulp of fresh air - exactly the shot in the arm the local scene needed. The album is a crazy blend of hip hop, rock and pop expertly held together by CC's amusing lyrics and fierce attitude. Think Princess Superstar or Betty Boo (if you're old and gay) crossed with Gwen Stefani and you get some idea of the sheer fun that's in store for you. I don't want to raise expectations to an unrealistic level because "All The Way" does have its flaws. The production is slightly repetitive and the whole affair is about as shallow as an empty swimming pool. CC does throw in the occasional personal song but the subject matter rarely strays from dancing, fucking and taking drugs - which doesn't bother me in the slightest. It just makes "All The Way" the perfect album to play while you're getting ready to hit the town on a Saturday night! Here's my track by track review of CC's stunning opus:

Juicy Fruit - Intro

An 8 second blurb about bubblegum. Not essential listening!

Double Dutch - 9.5/10

I've already written about my love for the album's second single but "Double Dutch" just gets better with each listen. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Toni Basil and Gwen Stefani, this gem sounds like the twisted sister of "Hollaback Girl" only with better lyrics and a crunchy guitar hook. In a perfect world this would have been a huge crossover hit for CC but radio ignored it and "Double Dutch" sank without a trace. Thankfully, the song is developing a strong cult following - mostly due to the classy video and CC's helpful hints about moisturising. An irresistible party anthem and the perfect album opener.

Dirty Thoughts - 10/10

This filthy ditty is the best song on the album and the obvious choice for the next single. CC has really outdone herself on this modern trash classic. "Dirty Thoughts" boasts a great chorus, a series of catchy hooks and the funniest lyrics in recent memory. In the year's least surprising revelation, CC begins the song by confessing that she has a dirty mind before going on to prove it with classy lines like "come on take off those shades so I can see your pretty face, now put them lips to my thighs so I can give you a taste" and my personal favourite "I've been to all girls boarding schools for six years or more, no matter what the nuns taught me I still act like a whore!" CC's partner in crime, Tiffany Kommedal, cameos on the chorus before "Dirty Thoughts" surprises again with an unexpected dance breakdown. This is a truly breathtaking hip hop/pop/dance concoction. If you're not sure about buying the whole album, download this from iTunes as a sneak peak. I guarantee you wont be disappointed. Fingers crossed this is eventually a single because I can only imagine how amazing the film clip would be. I'll even volunteer my services to guest star as one of CC's sleazy gay conquests!

Champagne Taste - 8.5/10

"Champagne Taste" was a very brave way of introducing the world to CC Martini. A white woman from Australia rapping about crashing parties and dealing pot? The whole thing should have been an embarrassing disaster but she somehow pulls it off. The witty lyrics are instantly quotable and CC's signature blend of musical genres is very much apparent. "Champagne Taste" still sounds fresh and CC's honesty remains hugely endearing but coming after "Double Dutch" and "Dirty Thoughts" on the tracklist does the song no favours. The production lacks the bite of those anthems and hearing exactly the same guitar riff on the album's first three songs is slightly jarring. However, in the grand scheme of things, that's a pretty minor qualm. After all, this is an anthem to live by. Who hasn't had "champagne taste on a minimum wage" at one point or another?


I See You - 8.5/10

Now this is an unexpected delight. CC puts her mad rapping skillz aside for a moment to sing a sweet tune about finding love on the dancefloor. "I See You" is one of the most traditional pop songs on the album and it provides a much needed respite from the electro craziness that comes before it. In the same way that "Big Girls Don't Cry" helped provide some musical balance to "The Dutchess", "I See You" reveals a completely different side to CC. For starters, I had no idea she could actually sing! Her voice really suits moody mid-tempo pop and I'd love for CC to explore this path in the future. A great change of pace.

Candy - 7/10

After an almost faultless beginning, "Candy" is the first track on "All The Way" that could possibly be described as filler - if you were an overly critical dickhead. "Candy" might be CC by the numbers but it's still a huge improvement on the vast majority of hits you'll hear on the radio. Another upbeat mash of hip hop and pop, this bouncy jam is great fun but suffers from completely nonsensical lyrics like "you know she knows the so with the so and so". I have no idea what the fuck CC is on about but it sure is catchy. A potential grower.

Rack It Up - 8/10

CC introduces "Rack It Up" with a completely unconvincing warning about drug use. Who does she think she's kidding? I bet CC sleeps with a crack pipe and a cheap Bic lighter under her pillow. Despite the initial lameness, "Rack It Up" turns out to be one the best drug anthems in recent memory despite its apparent anti-drug message. If the gays can develop a GBH drinking game around Dannii's "Coconut", the mind boggles what classy lyrics like "rack it up rack it up, stick it up your nose" will inspire! I really like the production on this despite the slightly overbearing guitar. I particularly love the second half of the song when CC stops rapping and starts to sing. An anthem best enjoyed with a credit card in one hand and a rolled $20 note in the other.

Recipe - 6/10

Despite a killer chorus and some wonderfully eccentric musical flourishes, "Recipe" never really seems to click. The lyrics are as amusing as ever (I love it when CC calls her friend in Costa Rica) but the song has no real direction and the production is all over the place. However my biggest gripe is the unwelcome emergence of CC's "rap voice". Despite her self-proclaimed title as the "Australian princess of hip hop", CC doesn't really rap in the traditional sense. She just kind of talks her way through songs in a completely normal Australian accent. I don't mean that as a criticism - it's part of what makes CC so unique and endearing. Hence my surprise when she unexpectedly starts to sound like Missy Elliot half way through "Recipe". Thankfully, it's only a momentary blip!


Everything - 10/10

I inferred earlier that "All The Way" isn't a particularly deep and meaningful album but it does have its fair share of personal moments. "Everything" charts CC's journey from a disillusioned bum aimlessly wading through her 20s to her re-birth as a budding pop superstar. You don't need to be on CC's path to identify with her lyrics. Anyone who hasn't achieved what they set out to but still keeps on trying will appreciate her message. "Everything" speaks to me on so many levels but it isn't one of those god awful empowerment anthems. CC's too real for that shit! In fact, if you don't obsess over lyrics, you'd probably think this was just another urban jam about bling. I love the production on "Everything". CC's vocal channels Gwen Stefani and the strings are a great touch. An unexpected triumph.

Brotha's Party - 7.5/10

A catchy, if unremarkable, jam about CC's adventures at her... erm, brotha's party! This is great fun but it doesn't introduce anything new into the mix, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. That familiar guitar riff re-appears but it works in the context of the song and CC's lyrics never disappointment. I particularly love the "I didn't mean to hurt nobody" refrain and the unexpectedly demure conclusion to the story! Tiffany Kommedal makes another welcome appearance. When is that fabulous bitch going to get her own record deal?

Little Black Book - 8/10

I've always thought that trust was highly overrated. By the second date, I've usually run a credit check and searched through every unlocked drawer! Needless to say, I completely approve of CC's anthem about checking up on your boyfriend. I'm surprised she stops at going through his phone, e-mails and palm pilot after finding all that damning evidence. I'd be hiring private investigators and calling in the CSI team for DNA analysis! "Little Black Book" boasts some of CC's best lyrics and a wicked beat. The moral of the story? Don't fuck with CC!

Sick Of It - 7/10

"Sick Of It" covers similar territory to Pink's "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)" - a loud plea for breathing space in a relationship. This is CC on auto-pilot but the subject matter is universal and the lyrics are typically amusing. My favourite rhyme is this classy gem: "I get in moods for no apparent reason too bad, get my skirt around my ankles I'd forget I was mad!" CC Martini - poet and philosopher.

Be The One - 10/10

Just I when I thought CC had ran out of surprises, she finishes "All The Way" with an unexpectedly tender mid-tempo ballad. "Be The One" is an exquisite slice of guitar pop that picks up where the brilliant "I See You" left off. However, this time around the dark intensity has been replaced with a sweetness and vulnerability that I didn't think CC was capable of. In you need any further proof that CC Martini is one of the most promising local acts in many a year, this is it. "All The Way" really is a breathtaking debut. It seems only appropriate that the album ends the way it began - on a high note.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Cyndi Lauper - Same Ol' Story

I had forgotten how much I love Cyndi Lauper until I saw her perform at this year's Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. There she was at the ripe old age of 54 belting out "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" with the same passion and flamboyance that made her an icon all those years ago. The performance not only stoked the embers of my Cyndi obsession but also stirred up some fabulous memories. My sister was a huge fan in the 80s and I vividly remember sitting on her bed, watching her mime songs from "She's So Unusual" and "True Colours" into a hairbrush. Somewhere along the way, the silly bitch dedicated herself exclusively to INXS and I inherited her Cyndi collection. To this very day, I can recite most songs from those great albums word for word. I stayed loyal for the rest of my childhood ("Vibes" is one of my favourite films - ever!) but I sadly lost interest when Cyndi became more experimental in the mid-90s.

One of these days I'll catch up on the missing years as I'm sure I would have more appreciation for those albums now. However, that will have to wait until I get my hands on Cyndi's soon to be released dance album "Bring Ya To The Brink". The first single from the album, "Same Ol' Story" has just hit Australian iTunes and it's Cyndi's best song in well over a decade. A collaboration with DJ Richard Morel (perhaps best known for his work with Deep Dish), "Same Ol' Story" is an infectious slice of old school dance with more than a dash of disco thrown in for good measure. I just love everything about this, from the catchy, expletive filled chorus to amusingly downtrodden cover art. With any luck, Ms Lauper is on the brink of a well deserved career revival. Madonna, pay attention - this is how a lady of a certain age updates her sound without coming across as a desperate, old floozy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Club Disco Winners!

The time has come to announce the winners of my "Club Disco" competition! Firstly, I'd like to thank Central Station Records for kindly sending me the CDs. I'd also like to acknowledge all the entrants for their witty, thoughtful and downright hilarious reasons as to why Dannii is the true Queen of pop! The quality was so high that I simply put all the names in a hat and picked 3 winners at random. Well, actually 4 winners, because I decided to throw in my own slightly banged up spare copy of "Club Disco"! Without any further ado, the lucky winners are:

Fitz

1- Her music. Everything from her voice to the amazing club beats just oozes with talent and fabulousness!

2- Her charisma. It can't be easy being the more talented sibling, yet getting less attention. But like La Toya Jackson, Dannii has persevered for the last twenty years!

3- Her looks. No man or woman... straight or gay could ever resist lusting over the Queen of Clubs!

Ro Ro

1 - She's an amazing vocalist. Her siren song captures every gay in a 50 mile radius and lures them in.

2 - She rules the dance charts with her resonating sex anthems. Touch her body? I shamefully would i must say.

3 - Her ability to pick hit material way ahead of it's time. Dannii's music is too powerful for most people to grasp until her next hits package is released.

Sarah

1 - Dannii's music has the power to unite people. Like the 50 plus Iowans who belong to "Fans of the Dan Dan".

2 - She has 13 #1 hits on the UK Club Charts.

3 - If it weren't for Dannii, we wouldn't have Droid speak.

kluB dizK0 numBaR w0n 4 sh0r3!!!1111

Christopher P

1. She's perfection, which is most visible in her brilliant lyrics - buoy, how can u b so damn purrr-fect, etc.

2. She has a homegurrl named Sheila whom she cruises with listening to brand new jammies in her Benz 180.

3. She did urban ghetto music 18 years before Madonna.


Congratulations! I hope you all enjoy "Club Disco" as much as I do. Please e-mail me your address and I'll have the CDs in the post as soon as I can. No offence to our glorious winners but I felt there was one entry that really summed up the essence of Dannii the best and really deserved to be rewarded! The following reader is about to be blessed with my copy of "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tenille! I know you must be pinching yourself right now:

Undisco_me

1. Her name appropriately rhymes with her favourite breakfast-lunch-and-dinner, Fannii.

2. Often hides unreleased gems, rarities and remixes (not to mention the wig she ripped off Joan Collins' frail scalp) up her own love blender and blames Nathan instead, leaving him flushed and unable to find his Touche Eclat.

3. Dannii is the reigning Olympic sunbathing champion, a contest she holds every other day, competing against little African girls she stole whilst "saving their lives" with her song Hakuna Matata.

Take good care of this much loved treasure!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Keeley Hazell - Voyeur

Bow down to Keeley Hazell, the UK's new queen of pop! Seriously, where has this tragic bitch been all my life? Keeley, currently the 3rd sexiest woman alive according to FHM magazine, is an English "glamour model" best known for her massive knockers. However, that's all about to change with the release of her stunning debut single "Voyeur". From now on this shy maiden will be known for her huge tits - and her appalling voice! Not that "Voyeur" is a bad song by any means. In fact, I think it's a trash classic in the making. Keeley "sings" naughty lyrics in a robotic voice against a backing track that desperately apes Bloodshy & Avant. The result is something akin to Britney Spears, only with a sense of humour and some charisma. Then there's the saucy video, which basically involves Keeley rolling around in bed in various states of undress. Classy! Unfortunately, there's only a one minute preview of the film clip (check it out below) doing the rounds in order to prevent perverts whacking it on their Ipods. Make sure you help fund Keeley's fabulous music career by downloading the song from 7digital. Sadly, there are no plans for a physical release as yet but I'll keep on praying for a 12" picture disc!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Isabel Guzman - Kill The Boy EP

Isabel Guzman first came to my attention last year when Robpop championed "Love Song" on the inimitable Don't Stop The Pop. I'm usually pretty immune to Swedish pop music but one listen to that magnificent tune was all I needed to jump aboard Isabel's already crowded bandwagon! "Love Song" was one of the true gems of 2007 and it's follow-up, "Wrapped Up In Plastic", was an even more delectable pop treat. I've been eagerly awaiting new material from Ms Guzman ever since, so it's a bit of an understatement to say that I jumped at the chance to review her new EP. "Kill The Boy" is a cracking 5 track introduction to Isabel's hugely original take on pop music. Pop Justice is calling it the "EP of the year" but don't let that put you off. Unlike most of the music they hype, Isabel is actually quite good and "Kill The Boy" more than cements her place as the Swedish diva to watch in 2008. Here's my track by track review:

Mysterious - 8.5/10

It's clear from the very first song that Isabel's sound has evolved considerably over the past year. The exquisite mid-tempo electro-pop of her breakthrough material has given way to a sleek dance sound. "Mysterious" is an expertly judged club anthem with enough crossover pop appeal for mainstream radio. I love the way the first verse is built around "My Sharona" and Isabel's knack for quirky lyrics is still very much apparent. Rhyming "heroin" with "Mickey Finn" is a particularly classy touch! This is dance-pop of the highest calibre.

Kill The Boy - 10/10

The title track is favourite cut on the EP by quite a margin. I've been playing "Kill The Boy" on repeat for the past couple of weeks and I still can't get enough of it. The song mines the same melancholy vein of pop gold as "Love Song" and "Wrapped Up In Plastic", which I firmly believe is Isabel's niche. I can imagine Robyn or September singing something like "Mysterious" but I think the bittersweet subtlety of "Kill The Boy" is beyond either of them. The wonderfully literate lyrics are imbued with a remarkable softness by Isabel's sweet voice, while the mid-tempo electro beats are calibrated with military precision. The verse beginning "when the world is cold as ice" could be my favourite pop moment of 2008 thus far. Fingers crossed this gem appears on Isabel's forthcoming debut album.

And The Beat Goes - 5/10

I'm all for Isabel displaying her versatility but the forced craziness of "And The Beat Goes" sounds very derivative to my ears. The use of trumpet and trombone is a quirky touch but "And The Beat Goes" wouldn't sound out of place on Britney's latest album and I don't mean that as a compliment. In fact, many a diva has wandered down this well worn path before - a fairly tired call to the dancefloor. Counting over the beat in Spanish doesn't make it inventive either, just slightly more embarrassing that it already was. Entirely forgettable.

Love Song (Acoustic Version) - 7/10

The original version of "Love Song" is a modern pop classic but this acoustic version is a bit too lifeless for my liking. Isabel's voice is sublime but did she record this in the subway? The background noise is louder than the guitar! Pleasant but the original version would have been vastly preferable.

Mysterious (Attie-Tude Remix) - 8/10

A fabulous dance remix that would set any club on fire. I can only imagine what kind of magic a cutting edge DJ could work on quality material like this.

"Kill The Boy" is released in Sweden on the 14th of May. European readers can order it through CDON. Unfortunately they don't ship to Australia. Hopefully, it wont be long until Isabel is snapped up by a major label and gets an international distribution deal. If she keeps on churning out gems like this, it can only be a matter of time. For more details check out Isabel's Myspace and website.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Club Dildo Competition!

Our friends over at Central Station Records have kindly sent me three copies of Dannii's stunning "Club Dildo" to give away! In case you've been living under rock for the past couple of months, "Club Dildo" is Minogue Jr's latest compilation of "hits", trashy remixes and unreleased tat. Basically, it's the best CD released in the history of the music industry! To be in the running to win a copy of Dannii's exquisite opus, all you have to do is leave a comment listing 3 reasons why Dannii is the true queen of pop. Seriously, could this competition be any easier? I could list 33 reasons off the top of my head! Once the entries are in I'll pick three winners based on comedic value and accuracy - or if all else fails by putting the names into a hat. It doesn't matter where you live, international entries are welcome. So what are you waiting for?! The competition will remain open for a week. In the meantime, check out this video we made to promote "Club Dildo" over at Dannii's Dirty Box.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

X2008 And Remix Heaven

Kylie's X2008 tour kicked off in Paris last night and if these pictures are anything to go by, this could be her most spectacular stage extravaganza yet! The costumes look magnificent, the setlist is positively breathtaking and from the accounts I've read thus far, the staging is nothing less than extraordinary. I'll be seeing the show on the 26th of July in London (I rather conveniently timed my holiday to coincide with Kylie's tour - yes, I am that tragic!) but I just couldn't resist taking a sneak peak. How fabulous does cheerleader Kylie look? What about Minogue Sr lounging on a giant metallic skull? Or the rather frightening but oh so fabulous Frankenkylie (below)? The prospect of seeing this camp spectacle with my own eyes is almost more than I can take! X2008 appears to be a two hour trip to Kylie heaven.

I'm just as excited about the setlist. Kylie is performing every song on "X" apart from "Stars" (boo!) as well as three new songs, a cover of Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" (!) and a selection of her greatest hits. I really couldn't hope for more. I'll just have to remember to go for a piss when she drags out "SenSHITized"! Here's the setlist from Paris:

Speakerphone
Can't Get You Out Of My Head (Greg Kurstin Remix)/Boombox
Ruffle My Feathers
In Your Eyes
Heart Beat Rock
Wow
Shocked
Like A Drug
Slow/Free
The One
2 Hearts
On A Night Like This
Kids
Step Back In Time
In My Arms
Love at First Sight
Sometime Samurai (Video Projection)
Come Into My World (Fischerspooner Mix)
Nu-di-ty
Sensitized
Flowers
I Believe in You (Ballad Version)
Cosmic
Loveboat
Copacabana
That's Why They Write Love Songs
Spinning Around
No More Rain
All I See (Acoustic Version)

If that isn't enough Kylie goodness for one day, a recently leaked remix of "Heart Beat Rock" is doing the rounds and it's absolutely brilliant. The Benny Blanco mix takes a decent album track and transforms it into something utterly fabulous. I love everything about it - even MC Spank Rock's craptastic rap! That might sound a bit out of character given my hatred of "All I See" featuring Mims but this time around the track has been entirely deconstructed to the point where the rap becomes an integral part of the song instead of an embarrassing afterthought. I also think MC Spank Rock is my kind of rapper. Not only does he amusingly mispronounce Kylie's name throughout the entire song (Cali!) but he also busts a rhyme about getting hard and I'm sure this is the first and only time you'll hear lyrics about 'tha hood' in a Kylie tune! The remix itself is blissful. I particularly love the sirens! Perez Hilton is streaming the remix and likens it to Fergie, which is surely the single greatest compliment Kylie has ever received. Check it out, this is my second favourite "X" remix after the sublime extended version of "All I See".

Monday, May 05, 2008

Deni's Duet

When she's not abusing cheerleaders or ruining celebrity weddings, the fabulous Deni Hines occasionally finds the time to record some new material. The latest dose of aural ecstasy from Australia's reigning R'n'B queen is a sensual duet with some Z grade soul sister from America called Angela Johnson who, like Deni, is apparently "big in Japan". The song is called "Good Love" and can be found as the Japan only bonus track on Angela's latest album "A Woman's Touch". I didn't really know what to expect from this unlikely coupling but "Good Love" is a sweet slice of soul music. In fact, the song would have slotted in nicely on Deni's mid-90s masterpiece "Imagination".

"Good Love" does sound dated but quality vocals never go out of style and the breezy production makes this first class chill out material. I find it slightly strange that Deni sings the entire lead vocal. Angela obviously realised that she couldn't compete and stepped aside for the greater talent - either that or Deni was up to her old tricks and locked Angela out of the studio when they were recording! Whatever the case may be, the finished product is rather lovely. I don't think it will be everyone's cup of tea but Deni's 10 devoted fans should enjoy it. If you're really keen, you can import Angela's album from HMV Japan. Learn more about Deni's stunning duet partner by visiting her Myspace.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Chloe Lattanzi - Pop Trash Queen 2008

I don't even have to wait until the end of the year to christen Chloe Lattanzi the new queen of pop trash. I've always liked Olivia's insane daughter but since the beginning of MTV's "Rock The Cradle", my admiration has reached an entirely new level. This amazing diva has really captured my heart with her charismatic performances and her general inability to keep a lid on the crazy. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Chloe's first two performances, well since then she's gone on the destroy her mother's classic "I Honestly Love You" in the most fabulous way imaginable and also managed to turn Korn's "Freak On A Leash" into a demented goth ballad while rolling around on the floor like a disabled hooker! Poor Chloe has been panned by the judges every week and ridiculed across the internet (despite his loud protestations, I'm convinced D Listed's Michael K is a HUGE fan!) but she keeps on scraping through the rounds. Chloe has now reached the final 5 contestants and her fate depends on the viewers' reaction to her mind blowing cover of Britney's "Toxic".

Car crash television seriously doesn't get any better than this. The clip begins with a visit to the teepee that Chloe's father lives in. No wonder Chloe is ten kinds of crazy - her father lives in a tent playing the didgeridoo! The excruciating look on Olivia's face says it all, you just know she's wishing the ground would swallow her up. (I highly recommend you watch the full hilarious clip of Chloe's teepee visit here - It explains a lot!) Chloe is then told she has to sing "Toxic" by Britney's ex-manager and bursts into tears and keeps on crying all through rehearsals. My favourite bit is when she breaks down and sobs "dude, I'm not Britney Spears"! They might share the same level of mental stability but Chloe goes on to prove her point by blowing Britney out of the water with a truly magnificent rendition of "Toxic". I love eveything about this - Chloe's demented posing on the staircase, her bizarre interaction with the hot guy tied to the chair, the gravelly quality of her voice and most of all, her bad dancing!

I really hope this stunning talent makes it through another elimination. I think people are connecting with Chloe in a big way. Her rawness is just so appealing. From the teepee footage it's painfully clear that Chloe is simply not equipped for the real world, let alone the entertainment business. Paradoxically, that's exactly what makes her so endearing. What you see is what you get and I think I'm in love!