Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kylie Does The Wiggles

Kylie is the queen of random duets. From Gerling to Towa Tei, Ms Minogue has hooked up with some seriously obscure acts over the past 20 years but her latest pairing takes the proverbial cake. It seems we can now add The Wiggles to Kylie's long list of collaborators. No, you're not high. News reports confirm the elder Minogue has indeed teamed up with those multi-coloured t-shirt wearing losers for a little ditty called "Monkey Man". I'm sorry but what the fuck? Even Dannii would draw the line at this shit. On second thoughts, Holidannii is probably trying to arrange studio time with Hi-5 as I type - but I digress. The Wiggles? Kylie says she jumped at the chance to work with the world famous children's group in a bid to impress her 2 year old nephew. Couldn't the cheap bitch just buy him a present instead? Whatever. It's all in good fun and provides further proof that Kylie doesn't take herself too seriously. If more was needed after "Nu-Di-Ty". Call me insane but I actually quite like the song. "Monkey Man" is strangely hypnotic! You can listen to a clip of it here. All this crap needs is a Death Metal Disco Scene remix and a cheap Willy Baker directed video clip (preferably with a cameo from Dannii dressed as Dorothy the Dinosaur) and I'm on board!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Return Of K Lo!

Bow down, bitches. According to industry whispers, the orange goddess is currently bathing in a vat of golden glow in preparation for her magnificent comeback! The pop world just isn't the same without Kelly Llorenna's stunning pipes and luminescent fake tan. She is British pop music and I, for one, can't wait for her return to the lower reaches of the UK top 75. Despite her absence, sultry K Lo has been a busy girl since her last flop single, "I Will Love Again", peaked at a lofty #105. She has recorded a HI-NRG cover of a James Bond theme song for Klone Records, been hired as the vocalist du jour for legendary dance outfit Love To Infinity and most excitingly, re-joined forces with N-Trance - the group that rocketed her to international superstardom all those years ago.

The new N-Trance record, "Nothing Lasts Forever", is a glorious return to form. The beats come hard and heavy, while Kelly's exquisite vocals waft above the track like a gift from sweet baby Jesus. Seriously, listening to this you would be forgiven for thinking it was 1997 all over again and I mean that as a huge compliment. I hope the song is a smash hit for Kelly and the boys but given AATW's (her record company) recent track record, I wouldn't be surprised if this brilliant anthem never sees the light of day. So make sure you listen to it here. It really is quite fabulous. While we wait with baited breath for K Lo's glorious return, why not check out her last opus - a trashtastic cover of Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff". I finally worked out how to stream music (thanks Jennifer!), so you can bask in Ms Llorenna's magnificence below. This stunning masterpiece appears on the classily titled "Gay Days 5" compilation and is available to download from Australian iTunes. Welcome back, Kelly. You have been sorely missed!

Hot Stuff

Monday, January 26, 2009

CC Martini - Blogs, Jizz and America

A lot has happened in the six months since I interviewed underground pop icon CC Martini. Australia's hottest fire crotch packed her bags and flew to America late last year in order to work on the follow-up to her completely fucking amazing debut "All The Way". CC even started a blog to document her journey and you can catch up on all her adventures here. As you can tell from her most recent post, CC is now on her way back home to tie up some loose ends - either that or they found her stash and she's been deported! I had a quick cyber chat with CC before she left and the Queen of Pip Pop kindly spilled the beans on America, the new album and her most recent "moisturiser dispenser". It was great to catch up and I can't wait to watch "The Plan" unfold. Enjoy!

Hey CC, how are things going for you in America? Has it been mostly business or pleasure?
Well you know me, Mike. I like to mix the pleasure and the business together, wink wink. I have had SO much fun here. I've met some really, really rad people and I have been all over. I've been away for 3 months. I have spent quite a bit of time in LA, 10 days in New York, 2 weeks in Portland, and the rest of the time in San Francisco and Oakland, with a trip to Las Vegas and Austin, Texas over the New Year. It has been an awesome, life changing, eye-opening experience. I have had SO MUCH FUN. I don't want it to ever end.

Have you worked on any new material? If so, who with?
Yes. I bought my first Mac Book in New York and I've been making demos in Garage Band, brainstorming new material for my sessions. I did a couple of new tracks with a producer - Andy Baldwin (an Australian friend of mine who now lives in New York, who did some work on "All The Way"). And I've also been working with Stephen Bradley (of No Doubt) and Dave Tweedie from Oakland. My favourite new song that we did is called "Dress Me Up". It's fucking cool, cute and popalicious! Kent (Morris) is also working on some new stuff which is gonna be totally rad, our fave new song is called "Glitz Glam".


When can we expect to hear this amazing new stuff?
I know! soooooon. I will leak my stuff to you internet peeps well before it's gonna come out officially to push the system and make it keep up! This industry moves soooo sloooowly and it's frustrating but I am tryna crack the whip and make 'em catch up!

Your fans are worried about your complexion. Last time you confided that you didn't have a man's potion to use as lotion. Have you bagged yourself an American hottie to remedy the situation?
Well usually I kiss and tell, as you know, but I think Imma keep this one to myself for now, you'll hear about my new adventures in the songs on the new album. I will say though, I have had some great times with my latest moisturiser dispenser, which have included riding on the back of a Harley Davidson across the Golden Gate Bridge and around the Napa Valley. San Francisco is so beautiful. I looked like a big nerd though because my hire leather jacket was way too big, I wasn't impressed that they didn't have mini sizes. Apart from my jacket it was a really cool day.

According to your blog, you've been hanging out in Portland. Is it as boring as it looks? (Apologies to any locals!)
Portland was my "quiet time" get down into nature, cut down a Christmas tree and take pictures of your friend's dogs in dress ups after you've had 5 tequila shots because it's too fucking freezing to go outside and you have to make your own fun time. I drank a lot of alcohol in Portland. They had a freaky winter blizzard that nearly had me stuck there! They got more snow than ever on record. People were snowboarding in the streets! Portland actually has quite a happening music scene actually. I fell in love with this girl from a band called
Y La Bamba. They were amazing on stage, absolutely captivating. It was like a musical orgasm when they played, look them up on myspace, they're great!

I noticed you've signed up to perform at the D&D ball in Melbourne. Does that mean you're coming home?
Yes it's true, I'm coming home... I'm coming back just to sort some shit out and fucking rock the socks off what is left of the summer and then head back to America to finish off the next album and continue with 'The Plan'. Thanks for your support Mike and all you pop trash addicts. Make sure you become
Myspace friends or fans on Facebook. Love yas!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Housekeeping

It's time for a little blog housekeeping. Basically, this post is a dumping ground for thoughts and little tidbits of information that I've been meaning to share for the past couple of weeks. I guess I should get the (really) boring stuff out of the way first. I finally pulled my finger out and made a Pop Trash Addicts Myspace. Add me as a friend if you can be bothered. I also need to overhaul my links. If you write or simply want to recommend a quality pop blog, send me an e-mail. You can find the address in my profile. Warning: I reserve the right to place a voodoo curse on anyone who directs me to a Girls Aloud fansite! Moving on to more exciting things, my Asian tour edition of "X" (pictured above) finally arrived. It's beautiful and actually worth owning - unlike the Australian version. I love the "making of" videos and it's nice to have Kylie's BRITS performance of "Wow" on DVD... even if the poor old thing looks like a bored housewife on Valium.

Speaking of fabulous Australian divas, how fantastic is it to see Jessica Mauboy at #1 on the singles chart? Written and produced by the Danish team behind Kylie's "Like A Drug" and "All I See", "Burn" really is a sparkling slice of urban dance-pop. I wasn't crazy about the song to begin with but it just gets better with each listen. Jess is now one of only three Indigenous performers (that I can think of) to reach the summit of the charts - along with Casey Donovan and Jimmy Little. If Sony manages to pick a decent follow-up single, I don't see why she can't do it all over again. Don't be put off by the hideous cover, "Been Waiting" is a really great pop album. Another quality local release that I've been playing all summer is Sneaky Sound System's "2". Unfortunately, this fabulous opus is suffering from serious BSC or bad single choices. After flopping miserably with "When We Were Young", the group have settled on "16" for single number 3. Great move. Another depressing piece of filler that you couldn't pay radio to play. It's frustrating because "2" contains so many hot jams with great hit potential. "I Want Everything" and "Lost In The Future" are two very obvious choices.

I'm on a roll, so I might as well continue with the local acts. Pop Trash readers will be very familiar with Melinda Jackson. I wrote about her regularly in 2007 ("Fall In Love" is still one of my favourite songs) but she sadly dropped off the pop radar last year. Happily, Mel has returned with a hot new sound and even a new name! She is starting over as Mindi and I wish her all the best. Mindi's edgy new tracks are streaming on her Myspace. They are definitely worth checking out. Another diva to feature regularly on Pop Trash Addicts is Zoe Badwi. I was completely obsessed with Sirens and raved about her first solo single way back in October. "Release Me" ended up being a #1 club hit for 7 weeks and three months later, it's still hovering in the top 5. A video has finally been released - sort of. Zoe's live performance at Sensation (a big NYE party) will serve as the clip unless "Release Me" crosses over to the pop charts. Check it out below. I really hope the song takes off. Zoe is amazing and "Release Me" deserves to be huge.

Now for the international divas. I'm not sold on Kelly Clarkson's new song. Pink did it first and Katy Perry did it better. There's no denying Max Martin's ability to knock out a catchy pop/rock tune but the man is turning into a boring production line of mediocrity. Pink and Katy get away with it because they have enough attitude to make his songs their own. I can't imagine anyone but Pink singing "So What" and who else but Katy Perry would blurt out "you PMS like a bitch, I should know". Kelly, on the other hand, gets completely lost in the mix. She's harmless enough but the woman is a personality free zone. For an example of Max Martin trying something different, I recommend Pink's new single "Please Don't Leave Me". It's one of the best songs on "Funhouse" and I love hearing it every 5 minutes (literally) on Australian radio.

While on the topic of American pop, I have to mention Christina Milian's amazing new single. "Us Against The World" sounds like the bastard child of Alicia Keys' "No One" and Whitney Houston's "My Love Is Your Love". In my mind, that's a very good thing. The sing was released digitally way back in October without making much of a splash but it finally seems to be taking off thanks to the recently filmed video clip. It's pretty classy - Christina basically rolls around some sand dunes wearing a series of increasingly skimpy outfits. I'm looking forward to her new album, "So Amazin'" was a real guilty pleasure. I guess I should also mention Beyoncé's new singles. Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous. "Halo" is my favourite song from "Sasha Fierce" and I'm thrilled, if a little surprised, that it's going to be the next Australian single. Unfortunately, Beyoncé is going with "Diva" in America, which more than likely means we'll get it next. Words can't adequately describe how much I hate that song. A diva is NOT "a female version of a hustler". May drag queens smite you down, bitch! Annoyingly, the "Diva" video is totally fierce. I love the 80s shoulder pads and wicked dance moves. The "Halo" film clip, on the other hand, is the most insipid piece of shit Beyoncé has ever put her name to. At least the song is brilliant.

Just a few more things to get off my chest. Firstly, Spain is fucked. Soraya came second in the initial Eurovision vote - to this revolting rubbish. Even the shirtless men can't make that shit bearable. On the bright side, Soraya got enough votes to progress through to the next round, which will be a televised gala. I'm convinced Spain will fall under Soraya's beautiful spell when she belts out "La Noche Es Para Mi" in front of a live audience. If not, I'm moving to Portugal. That is when I find my Spanish husband. If nothing else, Eurovision has breathed new life into Soraya's amazing album - it's climbed from #99 to #57 over the past 3 weeks. That's true Dannii-esque $ucce$$! Soraya isn't the only fabulous Euro-diva desperately trying to revive their career at the moment. Germany's Sarah Connor has recorded a duet with Enrique Iglesias for the German version of his Greatest Hits. Amusingly, it's a re-make of "Takin' Back My Love" - the current American single that Enrique recorded with Ciara. Poor Sarah might get Ciara's sloppy seconds but at least it's a good song. Last but not least, spare a thought for poor La Toya. I can't believe Toy Toy was evicted from the Celebrity Big Brother house. The United Kingdom clearly has no fucking taste!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Marta Sánchez & Carlos Baute - The Duet

What do you get when you combine the self-proclaimed "Spanish Madonna" with a South American himbo best known for taking off his shirt at every available opportunity? The answer, quite unexpectedly, is one of the sweetest duets I've heard in a long time. "Colgando En Tus Manos", roughly translated as "Hanging In Your Hands", is currently the most downloaded song in Spain (according to iTunes) and it's easy to see the appeal.

Carlos and Marta deliver an adorable mid-tempo ballad, which no doubt has Spanish housewives from Bilbao to Málaga in a lather. I'm usually immune to soppy love songs but there's just something about this gorgeous track that clicks with me. I guess it doesn't hurt that I'm slightly obsessed with one of the participants (I must have picked up 5 or 6 Marta CDs in Spain) but the thing I love most about "Colgando En Tus Manos" is its simplicity. There are no tiresome vocal acrobatics or overbearing production flourishes - just some beautifully played guitar, two lovely voices and fabulous lyrics about having dinner in Marbella. That's not to mention the catchy "cuidado, cuidado" hook or the cute video.

I love film clips with a storyline and this stunning tale of love and lust between a limo driver and his famous client deserves an Academy Award - if only for the trashy scene where Marta and Carlos do some weird interpretive dance in an empty stadium. I'm convinced this is all based on fact. Marta looks like the kind of desperate bitch that would let the hired help work over her musty growler. And who can blame her? I wish Carlos' cock was colgando in my manos too. Don't be put off by the new and improved Pop Trash Addicts cover (above), this really is a classy affair!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Warning: Toygasmic Video!

Dear friends,

As many of you may already know, the legendary La Toya Jackson is currently gracing the UK Celebrity Big Brother house - the highlights of which have been captured in the toygasmic video above. I've watched on with boundless pride as my beloved goddess has warmed even the hardest of hearts with her humility, sweet nature, stunning talent and exquisite beauty. In return for filling your empty lives with joy and laughter, I implore you to vote for Toy Toy. After 9 flop albums and no hits over a thirty year career, isn't it about time this poor bitch finally experienced some success?

Mike

X

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ami Suzuki Does Kylie - Twice!

My copy of Ami Suzuki's "Supreme Show" finally arrived from Japan - two months after its November release. I was concerned that the album might be a rush job, coming only 9 months after her last opus but my fears turned out to be completely unfounded. I loved "Dolce" (it made #15 in my year end album countdown) but "Supreme Show" is in a whole new league. Once I've had a chance to fully digest its brilliance, I'll write a detailed review. In the meantime, I just can't resist commenting on the album's first two singles - more specifically, on the video clips. In the past, I've jokingly referred to Ami as the Japanese Dannii but it seems the fabulous diva has loftier aspirations. This time around she's decided to pay homage to the more successful Minogue, chanelling Kylie in both of her new videos!

I first heard "Can't Stop The Disco" way back in September but like a lot of songs released last year, it kind of fell through the cracks during my trip. I would have paid the song considerably more attention if I had bothered to watch the video clip (above). This will be old news to J-Pop fans but I almost fell off my chair when I finally checked it out a couple of days ago. "Can't Stop The Disco" is a virtual scene by scene remake of Kylie's "In My Arms" video - only filmed on one tenth of the budget. The result is pure trash heaven. Instead of Gareth Pugh couture, Ami wears a hoodie from K-Mart and rolls around in a box that could well be made out of bin liner. It seems that my girl copped a lot of criticism for "copying" Kylie's video but I prefer to view it as a loving tribute to another fabulous diva. Happily, the controversy didn't prevent the song debuting in Japanese top 20. $ucce$$!

After the unprecedented fabulousness of "Can't Stop The Disco", I thought it would be prudent to check out the film clip for the album's first single. Unfortunately, "One" (below) completely passed me by last July. In my defence, I was probably getting pissed with ladyboys in Thailand at the time but I still can't believe I missed one of the year's best songs - from one of my favourite divas, no less! I could rave about "One" all night but I'll leave that for my "Supreme Show" review. Needless to say, the song is pure genius. I don't know what I was expecting from the video but I thought the chances of two Minogue knock offs were pretty slim. It seems I underestimated my beloved Japanese princess. "One" is clearly inspired by Kylie's "Wow" but it's not quite as shameless. In fact, if I hadn't just watched "Can't Stop The Disco", I would have given Ami the benefit of the doubt. A lot of videos share the same premise (Kelly Rowland's "Work" comes to mind) and the similarities are nowhere near as glaring. "One" does use the same neon light sticks and epilepsy inducing editing but there's no fatsuit or unflattering bob to be seen. If nothing else, the Japanese diva can take solace in the fact that she actually looks good in her video. "One" seems to have sparked the usual allegations of theft but Ami's resourceful approach to music videos makes me love her even more. I just hope this fabulous bitch rips off "All I See" for her next clip!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Grace Jones - Hurricane Live

Fierce is a chronically overused adjective but it is the only one that adequately describes Grace Jones. She is the epitome of the word, the embodiment of all things fabulous and ferocious. Which other 60 year old diva could prowl the stage in little more than a g-string and corset, talk incessantly about her tight pussy and still come across as sexy and relevant? Given her iconic image, I fully expected the Grace Jones experience to be dark, edgy and effortlessly stylish. It was. However, I wasn't prepared for the rawness of last night's concert, the pure emotion and the grittiness. There were no production values to speak of - just an incredibly tight band, several dozen hats and Grace in all her breathtakingly bold glory.

Upon arriving, my friend quipped that the Enmore Theatre resembled "an elephant graveyard for old gays". An unkind reference to the decidedly MAG-tastic crowd. A wide spectrum of fans turned up but I'm guessing the majority still own "Warm Leatherette" on vinyl. Respect! After knocking back a few too many drinks, we navigated our way through a sea of drag queens, baby faced hipsters and grey haired gays to find the best vantage point. It wasn't long before the show began with Grace hovering above the crowd, belting out her 80s classic "Nightclubbing". The effect was mesmerising. Grace looked like an Amazonian goddess as she was lowered to the stage in her skimpy outfit and outrageous headgear. More importantly, her voice was in fine form and the band was incredible. It was apparent from the beginning that we were in for something extraordinary.

As the opening number came to a close, Grace disappeared off stage to change into a different hat - a pattern that would continue for the entire concert. It should have been disconcerting or jarring but it worked for the simple fact that Grace left her microphone on and used the opportunity to talk to the crowd from the wings. Some early highlights include "I'm just swallowing something... and it's not what you think" and "this jacket is tighter than my pussy". She returned to sing a menacing rendition of "This Is Life" from her new album "Hurricane", before pleasing the faithful with 1982's still magnificent "My Jamaican Guy". The performance was amazing but her straw man hat and potato sack ensemble constituted the first and only time that Grace crossed the line between fabulous and slightly ridiculous.

The next few songs all came from "Hurricane". Grace mentioned that "Sunset Sunrise" was written by her son and pointed him out to the crowd (he was part of the band). She then introduced "Love You To Life" by revealing that it was the first song recorded for the album and was the reason "I'm here and not smoking a spliff in Jamaica". The latter performance was fantastic but still paled in comparison to her stunning rendition of "William's Blood", which was as raw as it was spectacular. Ms Jones described it as "church music" and the arrangement really beefed up the song's gospel overtones. That track more than any other showcased Grace's deep, rich voice - the quality of which often gets overlooked in favour of her startling image. While the new material was inspiring, my highlight from the first half of the concert was "La Vie En Rose", which Grace performed while rotating around a stripper pole! It speaks volumes for quality of Ivor Guest's updated arrangement that a 70s disco anthem fit seamlessly into the funk heavy cuts from "Hurricane".

Grace donned horns to belt out a dark and menacing version of "Devil In My Life" before bringing the crowd to their feet with "Pull Up To The Bumper". Appropriately, given the song's rumoured anal sex subtext, Grace spent most of the song shaking her bare arse at the crowd like a 20 year old Brazilian stripper before inviting the audience to dance with her on stage. I feared it might be the big finale but she swiftly returned for the gentle reggae jam "Well, Well, Well" after humorously bitching about Sydney's weather ("It's hotter than fucking Jamaica!") and shark infested beaches during yet another costume change. It was then time for another classic in the form of "Love Is The Drug", which was beautifully staged with green lights reflecting off the diva's sequined top hat. I thought that would be hard act to follow but Grace upped the ante again by singing "Slave To The Rhythm" while rotating a pink hula hoop around her waist for the entire song. Quite a sight to behold!

The concert concluded with a truly epic performance of her new album's title track. Grace squeezed every inch of emotion from her voice as she sung "Hurricane" while walking towards a giant fan, long black cape billowing behind her. It was clear from her facial expression that this is more than just a song to Grace - it sums up her whole life philosophy. "Hurricane" was the most theatrical moment of the evening and the perfect end to an exceptional concert. I left the Enmore with a whole new appreciation for Grace Jones and her entire body of work. I've been inspired to fill the holes in my collection and dig deeper into this amazing woman's life. She is one of a kind and still undeniably, sometimes almost unbearably fierce.

Note: The first photo is mine, the remainder come from D-Listed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Amanda Lear's Brief Encounters

Watch out, bitches - the Queen of China Town is back! Details of the divine Amanda Lear's first studio album in 3 years have finally emerged and if the amazing tracklist is any indication, we are in for a rare treat. The genderbending icon has revealed that the album will be called "Brief Encounters" and features two distinct themes spread over separate discs - kind of like a more fabulous version of Beyoncé's "Sasha Fierce"! The first disc is said to have a pared back, acoustic sound and features original tracks as well as several eyebrow raising covers, including the MASH theme song and Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black". The mind boggles! I'm particularly looking forward to Amanda's version of David Bowie's "Sorrow" - after all she did star in the original 1973 video. While I'm tantalised by the prospect of Miss Lear in acoustic mode, I'm positively beside myself about disc two.

CD1
Someone Else's Eyes
Cupidon
I Don't Wanna Lose You
Let's Love
Sorrow (David Bowie cover)
Back to Black (Amy Winehouse cover)
I Belong To You (Lenny Kravitz cover)
Comment te dire adieu (Françoise Hardy cover)
Perfect Day (Lou Reed cover)
Suicide Is Painless (MASH theme song)
Fallin' in Love Again
Je m'appelle Amanda
Secret Lover
Cupidon (Acoustic)

The second disc returns Amanda to her happiest hunting ground - the dancefloor. Not only that but my friend and Australian Hi-NRG legend Peter Wilson has contributed three tracks to the album and produced a fourth! Some of you might remember my interview with Peter from early last year, in which he revealed submitting a song to the legendary diva called "Brand New Love Affair". Peter described it then as sounding like a sequel to Amanda's 1978 disco classic "Follow Me", so it promises to be brilliant. Peter and his songwriting partner Chris Richards also contribute the song "C'est La Vie" and produce a lush cover of "Always On My Mind", which is definitely more Pet Shop Boys than Elvis. You can hear a clip of this dark and hypnotic delight here. Simply click on the link "The Album" and prepare to be blown away! Even more exciting - if that's possible - is the fact that Amanda covers one of Peter's own songs, the fabulous "Doin' Fine". There's no word on a release date for "Brief Encounters" as yet but it's slated for the European spring. It goes without saying that I can not fucking wait!

CD2
Doin' Fine (Peter Wilson cover)
This Is Not America (David Bowie cover)
Let the Music Play (Giorgio Moroder cover)
Always on My Mind (Elvis Presley cover)
Brand New Love Affair
C'est La Vie
Doin' Fine (12" Version)
Always on My Mind" (12" Version)
It's a Good Day
This Is Not America (12" Version)
It's Hard to Say Goodbye


To celebrate the imminent return of this timeless diva, check out Amanda's disco version of the alphabet (below). I can't stop watching it. The whole thing is just so breathtakingly fierce and original. My favourite line - "G, of course, stands for getting divorced!" Welcome back, Amanda!

Friday, January 09, 2009

The PTA Blog Awards!


Welcome to the first but most probably not annual, Pop Trash Addicts Blog Awards. This is my way of celebrating the best (and worst) of pop music blogging. I was inspired to honour Blogland's over- and underachievers after reading the list of nominees for Weblog's "Best Music Blog". With the exception of the brilliant Fizzy Pop (please vote for it here), I would prefer to go down on Dulta when she's on the rag than peruse any of these too cool for school wankfests ever again. The majority specialise in deathly boring indie rock and even the "pop friendly" blogs rave endlessly about Lykke Li. Sorry but that bitch is no Dannii! Where are the fun pop blogs? The nominees are all clearly great at what they do but I'll stick to bloggers who think Fleet Foxes are fast animals and abstain from holding their own poorly attended club nights. Here are my completely subjective highlights from the weird and wonderful world of blogging in 2008:

Best New Blogs:
Postcards From Puerto Rico
Jay actually admits to buying Uncle B and posts amazing Dannii porn. I'm obsessed!
AuspOp
An invaluable resource for lovers of locally produced pop.
The Prophet
A great urban pop blog that specialises in fabulous divas like Mariah, Jennifer Lopez and La Toya Jackson.
Fabtastic
The only blog that would review Enya's Christmas album and Kevin Rudolph back to back!

Most Misleading Blog Title:
Disco Belle
I was expecting Gloria Gaynor. I got Swizz Beats & Lil Wayne.
Trash Menagerie
Lord knows, there ain't no Kelly Wilde on this über-cool blog!

Most Sorely Missed Blog:
Mobius
How I miss this fabulous shrine to all things Stock Aitken Waterman. Blogland just isn't the same without him.

Blogger On The Best Drugs:
Diva Incarnate
I absolutely worship this blogger but girlfriend needs to put the crackpipe down before getting online. On second thoughts, the Diva probably needed a strong narcotic to get through Girls Alouds' new album but his review of "Out Of Control" is, well, completely out of control. This is probably my favourite post of the year - it has to be read to be believed! My favourite quote:

Distorted reality is diluted into glistening eyes, and who better to convey unruffled dignity than the queen of utter-ness Nicola. With such static horror and ambivalence, her only way of sounding more calm would be to be dead - she sings softly, but speaks volumes.

Best Blog Concept:
Cobrastyle
My Spanish pal David (above) posts a fabulous new song every day - accompanied by a raunchy pic of himself! Truly fergalicious!

Best Blogs That Are Rarely Updated:
Tat Parade
This lazy whore needs to pull his finger out! Jamie, your blog is a truly amazing shrine to 80s has-beens and floptastic divas but I feel like I age a decade between posts. Get it together, girl!
Diva Incarnate
Every now and again this trashtastic blog blows me away with a spectacular post. The rest of the time it's as empty as Kylie's uterus.
Revolutionary Pop Music
Well, it started with a bang but the wind seems to have well and truly gone out of this ship's sails.


Best Blogs Devoted To One Artist:
Trip The Switch
The best Kylie blog on the internet. It's beautifully designed, informative and most importantly - doesn't specialise in posting illegal downloads unlike most Kylie "fan" sites.
Madonna Revelations
The sexy sluts that run this superlative site are sweet angels sent from the heavens to reveal Madonna's true evil nature to the world. Keep up the good fight, ladies!
SeptemberWeb
I highly recommend this fun blog devoted to September. This is a great source of information about one of Sweden's finest exports.

Trashiest Bloggers:
1. Jamie from Poplicious
For fellating a married Lithuanian outside a Kelly Wilde concert. Bless.
2. Fernando from Bubu's Chart Blog
This drunken whore is a hot mess. Highlights include trying to rip down the curtains at Polana (a gay nightclub in Madrid), stealing a cape (!) and vomiting over himself and everyone else he knows. Doll, I miss you more every day!
3. Tony Tornado
Tony flashes his cock so frequently it should be listed in Lonely Planet as Madrid's leading tourist attraction.

Most Disturbing Post:
Olga Loves Yuяi
I'm not overly familiar with this place but it seems like a really cute blog. However, this post gave me cold sweats and a week of sleepness nights. Please stop the insanity! They beat up black toilet attendants and wouldn't know a microphone from a dildo. My arsehole has more talent!

Best Blog Rumour:
Apparently Poster Girl is a man named Kevin. This is about as likely as Dannii's next single rocketing to #1 in 25 countries.

Best Banners:
I'll let these speak for themselves. I know it's cheeky but I included one of my own. May Dannii's Dirty Box never be forgotten!

Dannii's Dirty Box


Milk Carton Pop Stars


Madonna Revelations



Blogs After My Own Heart:
This category is dedicated to niche blogs that paddle the same trashy waters as myself. I'm glad there are so many fine resting places for floptastic divas and failed pop stars. I pay tribute to all these brave crap connoisseurs in no particular order.
Milk Carton Pop Stars
The lost property box of Blogland. These fearless trash addicts never fail to inspire me.
The Ravings Of A Mad Woman
Drag icon Deirdre is currently preoccupied with her new shemale duo Talibananarama (!) but her amazing blog is usually a haven for pure pop trash. Check out her posts on Sinitta, Mandy Smith and Hazell Dean.
The Isle Of Deserted Pop Stars
Quite simply one of the best sites on the internet but more about this gem later.

Best End Of Year Countdowns:
Pop Poster Girl
It's only half way through but this magnificent end of year countdown has me completely hooked. I just hope the eventual winner doesn't make me want to throw myself over the edge of a cliff.
DuaneMoody
Duane wrote an amazing 31 album reviews for the 31 days of December in his mammoth 'best of' countdown. A truly great read.
Scarlett's Blog
Scarlett is new to blogging but if her end of year countdowns are any indication, she'll be an old pro in no time. Um, that came out a bit wrong! Check out Scarlett's 'best of' lists here, here and here.

Best Reviews:
Adem's 'Van She' Review
My idea of a good review is something that makes you want to listen to the music yourself. My idea of a great review is a piece of writing that convinces you to check out something you suspect you're going to hate and that's exactly the effect Adem's articulate and passionate Van She review had on me. I gave the album a go despite my better judgement and was very pleasantly surprised indeed.
Disco Delivery's 'Nocturna' Review
Any of Tommy's posts could have won this award but I was particularly swept away by brilliant review of this obscure horror disco musical soundtrack. I love the way he treats an album that most people would discard as a poor excuse for landfill with the utmost respect and admiration. As a result of reading his review, I spent weeks combing through second hand shops until I found a copy and am still searching the internet for the movie. I can't think of a better compliment.
Diva Incarnate's infamous 'Girls Aloud' Review
As mentioned earlier, this is quite possibly the most hilarious piece of writing I've come across all year. I'm not even sure if the review is positive or negative (I think it's the former) but it remains an unforgettable experience. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next!

Best Blog Interview:
Don't Stop The Pop
Robpop was in a league of his own this year. His interviews with Steve Anderson (read Part 1 here and Part 2 here) and Richard Stannard (Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here) were insightful, respectful and utterly fascinating. The little nuggets of Kylie information squeezed out of both songwriters were an absolute treat for a hardcore fan like myself. I just hope Rob gets Dannii's "hitmakers" under his microscope. The world needs an indepth Terry Ronald/Ian Masterson interview!

Best Blog Writers:
D'Luv of Chart Rigger. This fabulous media whore is in high demand across the internet, spreading his unique brand of D'Luv to readers of classy sites as varied as The Daily Beast and Towleroad. One glance at Chart Rigger explains his popularity. It's sharp, funny and he uses the word "stripper" a lot.
Robpop of Don't Stop The Pop. Rob is one of the smartest people I have ever met. He's kind of like Rain Man - only without the Aspergers! The combination of that intelligence and his burning passion for pop music makes every single thing he writes an absolute delight.
Tommy of Disco Delivery. Tommy's amazing eye for detail, academic approach to research and beautiful turn of phrase make each and every post of this gorgeous blog essential reading.

Best Spanish Blogs:
Peibols
I read this blog every day and I can't speak a word of Spanish! I guess all the pics of semi-naked hunks help to overcome the language barrier. Pablo has become the ultimate diva of the Spanish blogging scene since fleeing Nicaragua on the back of a donkey in the late 90s. I love his amazing artwork (check out this beautiful comic strip) and Minogue fixation. Shame about the hideous banner currently ruining his blog!
Cobrastyle
Sexy Spaniard + hot tracks = great blog.
SuperDiscoParty
You don't need to speak a word of Spanish to understand this fabulous blog because there are no words - just clip after clip of forgotten gems from fierce divas like Sandra and CC Catch, not to mention my holy icon, Fancy.

Best Aus Blogs:
Adem With An E
Sometimes I think Adem and I have diametrically opposed taste in pop (he's part of the Girls Aloud/Madonna axis of evil) but it's never stopped me enjoying his fantastic reviews, brilliant writing or amazingly gorgeous website.
eMackinations
This blog has it all - soft porn and wonderful music! It also boasts a super hot blogger who likes to post the occasional nude picture of himself. What more could you ask for? I particularly love Johnny's recent post about Starstruck - Australia's most fabulous movie musical. Ever!
Trashtastic Aussie
One of the most sorely underappreciated blogs on the net. Natty's never ending pursuit of local trash is more addictive than crack. Check out her Top 10 trashtastic Aussie singles of 2008. Now that's what I call taste!

Best US Blogs:
Chart Rigger
From his hot lesbian soccer mum hairstyle to his copious use of the word "hooker", D'Luv rocks my world. I can't imagine life without Robbie's bitchy chart updates, banterviews or nostalgic trips down memory lane. I just wish he would drag MoogaBoo out of his dungeon lair more often.
Pop Poster Girl
I think the whole world secretly wants to make out with the lovely Poster Girl. Her encyclopedic knowledge of pop is unprecedented. This hot bitch would have me at "let me just put on some Jonathon Fagerlund".
Pop Music Notes
I'm an extremely late convert to this blog but it really is essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in pop music.

Best UK Blogs:
Don't Stop The Pop
Rob continues to stun and amaze with his searching interviews, Myspace discoveries and exquisite taste in pop music. I just wish the blog was updated with more regularity.
My Fizzy Pop
Paul's endless enthusiasm for all things pop should be medically recognised as a contagious disease. Thanks to his lovely ramblings I now know more about Simon Curtis and Same Difference than their own families. Quality.
Poplicious
This has to be the most criminally underrated blog on the net. Jamie is ten kinds of fabulous and probably the only person on earth to get lucky at a Kelly Wilde concert. I think more sultry Sanna Nielsen ballads are needed to bring in the punters!

Worst Blogs:
Electroqueer
Chances are you'll have already read about it at Fizzy Pop or Don't Stop The Pop before it graces the pages of this beautifully designed but disturbingly derivative blog.
POPtastic
I have nothing against mp3 posting blogs. That would be hugely hypocritical of me because I started off as one. However, I always drew the line at posting commercially available releases that can be easily purchased from iTunes or a record store. This blog's persistence in posting new singles and whole albums is NOT cool.
Swedesplease
If nothing else this blog proves that Scandipop can be as boring - if not more so - than anything to come out of America or the UK.

THE GRAND PRIZE FOR BEST BLOG!


Disco Delivery
My favourite pop blog of 2008 is the absolutely exquisite Disco Delivery. Brilliantly written, lovingly researched (footnotes!) and presented with equal measures of passion and humour - this gem really stands out from the crowd with its originality. Disco blogs are not unheard of but they usually stick to the mainstream divas. Tommy, on the other hand, digs up obscure acts that even fans of the genre have forgotten about or didn't know existed in the first place. Every time I visit Disco Delivery, I feel that I've not only been entertained - but also educated. The posts can be somewhat erratic in frequency but I'd prefer to wait a month for pure quality than be served up a shit sandwich every day. An absolute must read.

Runner-Up:

The Isle Of Deserted Pop Stars
I've always loved combing through second hand record stores for rough diamonds. One man's trash really is a tragic gay's treasure! Well, The Isle Of Deserted Pop Stars is the cyber equivalent of the best stocked bargain bin in history. Nasty G serves up album after album of lost freestyle classics, floptastic divas and lesbian girlbands that shocked the masses well before TATU were hatched by music executives. This is also the perfect example of a responsibe mp3 posting blog. All the music posted is decades out of print and extremely hard to find. I can't help but think that the creators of these blissful tunes would be grateful that their music is being heard and appreciated.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

La Toya (88) - A Retrospective


Holy Toy Toy's recent entry into the UK Celebrity Big Brother house has re-ignited my passion for the thinking gay's Jackson. It's not that I ever fell out of love with La Toya but after years of slightly obsessive worship, the duchess of dance and I went our separate ways in 2008. In retrospect, I was suffering from major fan fatigue. The 6 year (and counting!) wait for "Startin' Over" became increasingly frustrating and ultimately overwhelmed my adoration for the woman. I've since come to terms with the fact that La Toya's brilliant pop comeback will probably never happen and that's ok. While our stunning goddess frees the world by bringing some much needed glamour to drab bedsits across the United Kingdom, I'd like to pay tribute to one of the most amazing albums in Toy Toy's back catalogue, 1988's remarkable "La Toya". Please note - to fully understand this post the uninitiated may need to consult my La Toya dictionary.

While not my favourite toytastic opus (that honour goes to 1984's jaw droppingly brilliant "Heart Don't Lie"), "La Toya" is arguably Toy Toy's most intriguing release. To put things in context, by 1988 Michael's most beautiful and talented sister had already spent the best part of a decade trying to make her mark on the music industry - with very little success. Her first four albums flopped abysmally (despite containing some of the best pop tunes of the early 80s) and to rub salt into her wounds, Janet had just struck chart gold with "Control". The great irony being that La Toya was initially considered the most likely female Jackson to succeed by both her family and music insiders alike. I can only imagine her frustration. "La Toya" must have felt like Toy's last throw of the dice and our girl pulled out all the stops by hiring the hottest producers and songwriters of the day. Full Force, Stock Aitken Waterman and Harold Faltermeyer all contribute to the album. The result is a wonderful time capsule of late 80s pop music. It doesn't always gel (half the songs are funky R'n'B, while the rest is best described as perky Eurohouse) but it's never, ever boring. Here is my review:


You're Gonna Get Rocked!

Alright!
For those of you who didn't believe, roll up ya sleeves
And if you're hangin' (cool) and if you're not (leave)
Cause La Toya is throwin' down with her new sound (in full effect)
So give me some respect (or we'll put you in check)
So kick it off boys, it's time to get correct!


So begins one of the most legendary and iconic song introductions in the history of modern music. "You're Gonna Get Rocked" not only contains the best intro of the 80s, it also put the world on notice that La Toya had undergone a radical makeover - music and image wise. The pleasant soul and bubblegum pop of her previous albums had been replaced with a funky new urban sound, while Toy's girl next door look was completely re-vamped into something resembling a transgender hooker. The sky high hair paired with her flattering bedazzled bra and leather jacket ensemble continues to inspire drag queens to this very day. Thankfully, the music matched the dizzying heights of Toy's new image.

"You're Gonna Get Rocked" is a sizzling production courtesy of Full Force - one of the most successful production teams of the past 25 years. These legends first came to prominence in the mid-80s due to their ground breaking work with Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam and have since gone on to work with everyone from Britney Spears to Rihanna. Unlike some of the other collaborators on the album (ie. Stock Aitken Waterman), Full Force really brought their A game. Like much of the music from that era, "You're Gonna Get Rocked" sounds frightfully dated now but at the time it was a positively revolutionary mix of rap and pop sounds that skillfully pays homage to Queen's "We Will Rock You" without ripping them off. The song actually performed quite well by our La Toya's low standards - becoming a stunning #42 chart smash in New Zealand and #90 mega-hit in the United Kingdom. Make sure you get correct by watching the breathtaking video (below) or I'll put you in check! La Toya shows fat Janet who's really nasty!

You Blew

Not the ode to flatulence that the title may suggest, "You Blew" is actually another attitude filled urban jam sensationally produced by Full Force. To be honest, this is perhaps the closest La Toya ever came to borrowing the Jam & Lewis sound on "Control". However, Toy Toy takes the song to an entirely new level with her gorgeous vocals, a pristine chorus and this hot rap:

What, did I stutter?
Check it out (butter)
Broken hearts can mend, friend
But don't depend on this 'Toy'
To give you what you want, boy!


Not to mention, this classic line:

Just like your brother used to say - I want you back!

"You Blew" contains everything Toy Soldiers have come to treasure. Dodgy plays on the word "Toy" (her nickname) and shameless references to her more famous family members! The song was released as a single in some parts of Europe but in typical Toy style, it failed to chart anywhere.


Such A Wicked Love

To my mind, there are two perfect pop tracks on "La Toya". One is the Stock Aitken Waterman produced "Just Say No", the other is this exquisite anthem. While the previous Full Force productions admirably tried to imbue Miss Toy with urban credibility, "Such A Wicked Love" stays true to her pop roots and is all the better for it. Everything about this track is perfection - the combination of crisp beats, wonderful 80s sound effects, a glorious chorus, catchy hooks ("scratch my back") and rich backing vocals all result in a 5 minute screaming Toygasm that will keep you coming back to this classic again and again. I've always maintained that La Toya has a deceptively beautiful voice and Full Force really knew how to showcase it. "Such A Wicked Love" was remixed and released as a 12" single in America but - you guessed it - it was a massive flop. Check out Toy Toy's amazing "live" version below. Note the amazing male dancers!

Not Giving Up On Love

"Not Giving Up On Love", the fourth and final Full Force contribution to "La Toya", is a charming - if unspectacular - 80s ballad saved from mediocrity by another amazing intro.

Male Voice: Hey baby, I know things haven't been going easy for us lately
but I want you to know that I love you and I think that you're a beautiful person. La Toya, we make beautiful love together!

Toy Toy: Yeah, I know
but more important than that, we've got to get ourselves together. Now I know you mean it but if we truly love each other we can't give up!

Seriously, Shakespeare couldn't come up with this shit! As for the rest of the song, it's pleasant enough and proves once and for all that La Toya can hold a tune. I'd describe this as very satisfying filler.

If I Could Get To You (Featuring John Pagano)

I really think Toy should release a compilation of her fabulous duets. The great woman has shared a recording booth with both the sublime (Michael Jackson, Musical Youth and Cerrone) and the ridiculous (Janet, Tom Beser, Lee Greenwood and Jed). Regardless of her partner, the final product is always memorable. I'd never heard of John Pagano before listening to "If I Could Get To You" and to be honest, I haven't heard from him since. Working with La Toya is usually the kiss of death for most musicians, so I was surprised to learn that John is still making music - touring with the legendary Burt Bacharach, no less. He's also still a total fox. As for "If I Can Get To You" - it's an 80s R'n'B ballad by the numbers. Nothing extraordinary but still well produced (by Bobby Hart) and impressively performed.

Turn On The Radio

I mentioned earlier that "La Toya" is the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of pop albums. The first five tracks are squarely aimed at the American market, while the remainder explore European pop trends. "Turn On The Radio" is the handy work of iconic German producer Harold Faltermeyer - best known for the 80s smash "Axel F" and for his work with the Pet Shop Boys (he co-produced their 1990 album "Behaviour"). "Turn On The Radio" is typical Flatermeyer, heavily synthesized and very catchy. I love the strange percussion effects and the cute chorus. This reminds me a little of the great pop songs that Sheena Easton was churning out in the mid-80s. I always thought "Turn On The Radio" would have made an interesting single in Europe but it was ignored in favour of the Stock Aitken Waterman produced tracks. Given Toy Toy's luck, it would have flopped like everything else she has ever released.

Just Say No

You know that a song is TRASH when it's looked down on by La Toya fans. Our high threshold for low brow entertainment is legendary! As much as it pains me to disagree with my fellow Toy Soldiers, I find the general disapproval of "Just Say No" bewildering. As far as I'm concerned, Toy Toy's relentlessly upbeat anti-drug anthem is not only the crowning jewel of "La Toya" but one of her career highlights. I would even go as far as declaring "Just Say No" one of my all time favourite Stock Aitken Waterman productions. While I generally get the feeling that La Toya was dished out the songs that Kylie & Co. had already rejected, "Just Say No" was custom made to be the theme song of Nancy Reagan's anti-drugs campaign. Instead of going for something appropriately hard hitting, the Hit Factory shat out a gloriously cheerful ditty with some of the campest lyrics of the 80s - my favourite line being "don't let them guide you, don't put that stuff inside you!" It seems only the most hardcore crap connoisseurs can truly appreciate this exquisite dish.

Does It Really Matter

While the Euro-pop songs on "La Toya" are mostly quite conventional, Steve Harvey's magnificent "Does It Really Matter" is the exception. This 6 minute opus is an early example of the house movement sweeping the UK in the late 80s. If this had been released a couple of years later, it would have been lapped up by dance fans. Unfortunately, Toy Toy was ahead of her time - as usual. I love this crazy mess. The tinny beats and quirky sound effects have dated badly but the chorus and careful production are still a lot of fun. This was the B-side to "You're Gonna Get Rocked" and just about every other floptastic single lifted from "La Toya".

(Tell Me) He Means Nothing To You At All

The album concludes with two Stock Aitken Waterman productions. The first, "(Tell Me) He Means Nothing To You At All", is fucking dreadful. That might sound harsh but in 1987 (when this was recorded) the Hit Factory were at the very peak of their game and this shit simply isn't up to scratch. Hell, Mandy Smith would have turned up her nose at "(Tell Me) He Means Nothing To You At All"! It's clear what SAW were trying to achieve with the song - instead of going with their usual carefree bubblegum pop, they tried to imitate a more American sound but failed miserably. There is no melody, the chorus is unbearably clunky and the production plods along like a drunken whore. "(Tell Me) He Means Nothing To You At All" was a single in France. And quelle surprise - nobody bought it.


(Ain't Nobody Loves You) Like I Do

Happily, "La Toya" ends on a high with a much more satisfying contribution from Stock Aitken Waterman. "(Ain't Nobody Loves You) Like I Do" is the forgotten gem of the Hit Factory's canon of great pop music. This really should have been the album's first single in the UK. The song is effortlessly catchy, upbeat and lovingly produced. Most importantly, this effort captures the essence of La Toya with its fun lyrics and general fabulousness. If you're a Stock Aitken Waterman devotee, you really need this in your collection. I slightly prefer "Just Say No" due to its unprecedented trashiness but this is much more mainstream and provides a perfect example of what La Toya is capable of when she works with decent producers. "(Ain't Nobody Loves You) Like I Do" was a released as a single everywhere in Europe except Britain. Poor Toy Toy finally experienced some $ucce$$ when this hit the top 20 - of the German dance chart. Oh well. I highly recommend watching the craptastic video (below), which only leaked in 2007. It's a brilliant reminder of everything great about the 80s. Much like this sadly underappreciated album.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Best & Worst Of 2008 - The Rest

So the sun has finally set on 2008. Good fucking riddance! With the exception of Mike2008 (my trashy world tour), last year was one long pain in the arse. As usual NYE turned out to be a complete disaster and I spent the last couple of days in hospital. It wasn't all bad. You really haven't lived until you've watched 'Xanadu' under the influence of an opiate! Anyway, I'm back home now and ready to cast an eye over the cunt of a year that was.

Best Celebrity Big Brother Contestant EVER!!

Before I look back on 2008, I have to quickly mention an early highlight of 2009. La Toya, the most talented and beautiful Jackson and quite possibly the re-incarnation of Jesus himself, is inhabiting the UK "Celebrity" Big Brother house as I type. Seriously, if I had the money I would jump on the next plane to London just to watch this trash! I'm convinced the UK is about to swept up in a tidal wave of Toy Toy mania. Watch Magical Froggy's amazing promo (above) and check out La Toya's entrance into the BB house here. I can't believe how stunning our goddess looks. With any luck this publicity whoring blitz will finally result in the release of "Startin' Over" - 7 years after it was recorded! GO TOY!


Best Comeback

While I vastly prefer "Bring Ya To The Brink" to "Hurricane", Grace managed to flawlessly pick up exactly where she left off - 19 years ago! Third place goes to Vanessa Amorosi, who staged the Australian comeback of the year.

1. Grace Jones
2. Cyndi Lauper
3. Vanessa Amorosi


Worst Comeback

I miss "Blackout" Britney. Sure, she was certifiable but that alone gave her music an edge that it didn't really deserve. The new sanitised Britney is a disturbing Frankenstein pieced together by music executives. Listening to "Circus" you can almost smell the Lithium in the air! I'm glad she's got her shit together but I could do without an album of mushy ballads and a bunch of empty dance tracks that sound like rejects from "In The Zone". Oh, apparently New Kids On The Block and Boyzone also made comebacks in 2008. I couldn't care less either.

1. Britney Spears
2. New Kids On The Block
3. Boyzone


Worst Single Of The Year

Girls Aloud jump on the retro pop bandwagon a year after everyone else and shat out "The Promise". I'm sure Diana Ross pulled out her weave in disgust. If that musical fart wasn't dire enough, "The Loving Kind" provides irrefutable proof of their mediocrity. I just hope it doesn't tarnish the Pet Shop Boys' reputation beyond repair because this is low even by their recent standards. Second on my list is Alexandra Burke's vile cover of "Hallelujah". Leonard Cohen's classic is really quite hard to get wrong. Jeff Buckley's version is sensual and haunting, while KD Lang's rendition (and my personal favourite) is delicate and beautiful. Horse faced Alexandra, on the other hand, turned the song into a Mariah Carey power ballad. I blame Cheryl Cole! Speaking of X Factor sluts, Leona's repugnant cover of "Run" comes in third. When is the sphinx going to realise that over-singing every note doesn't showcase her "talent"? Someone please teach this bonehead the power of restraint and subtlety. Britney's non-song comes in 4th (I'm sorry but repeating the one word 471 times is not my idea of a hook), while Rihanna's lame and incredibly boring "Rehab" takes out 5th spot. Seriously, Ri Ri. Do us all a favour and stop milking that shit album for singles!

1. The Promise/The Loving Kind - Girls Aloud
2. Hallelujah - Alexandra
3. Run - Leona Lewis
4. Womanizer - Britney Spears
5. Rehab - Rihanna


Best Paparazzi Snap Of The Year

A pissed Dannii cruising the Dancing With The Stars backlot with her pendulous baps swinging in the breeze = solid gold. The photographer deserves a Pulitzer for this fabulous shit!


Best Girlband

The Spanish vixens win this category in a landslide. Las Supremas are the definition of pop trash! It's a tight battle for second place between South Korea's fabulous Wonder Girls and fierce Jewelry. The former win due to their incredible consistency. The UK is represented by the Sugababes (I think I'm the only person who really enjoys their latest flop album) and the very promising Red Blooded Women. Carly, you still owe me a copy of the EP signed with your tits!

1. Las Supremas De Móstoles (Above)
2. The Wonder Girls
3. Jewelry
4. Amelle & her back-up vocalists (ie. Sugababes)
5. Red Blooded Women (check out their Myspace)


Worst Girlband

Everything Girls Aloud touched in 2008 turned to shit. Nuff said. The Electric Dolls sound like The Beatles in comparison to GA but "Baps R Bakin'" is beyond hideous. PCD takes out third place due to the utter garbage that was "Doll Domination".

1. Girls Aloud
2. Electric Dolls
3. Pussycat Dolls

Best Video

It's a tie between Heidi Montag's "Overdosin'" (above) and Kylie's "All I See"! Heidi's homage to Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" is an utter joy. It's trashtastic, hilarious and completely inappropriate for the song. I love every second of it! "All I See" is another video that manages to cheer me up every time I see it. Kylie notoriously financed the clip herself and got Will Baker to film it during tour rehearsals - and it shows. The DIY special effects, craptastic choreography and the amazing sequined sheet are already things of legend in Kylie lore. Honourable mentions go to Solange's "I Decided" for the brilliant journey through black musical history, Beyonce's "Single Ladies" for the year's best dance routine and Monica Naranjo's spectacular "Amor Y Lujo" for featuring a fat tranny sitting on a solid gold toilet. Classy!

1. Overdosin' - Heidi Montage
1. All I See - Kylie

Runners-Up:

I Decided - Solange (here)
Single Ladies - Beyonce (here)
Amor y Lujo - Monica Naranjo (here)


Worst Video

The clear winner for worst music video of 2008 is Dulta's hideous "You Will Only Break My Heart". The only thing less appealing that the woman herself is watching a bunch of her demented fans miming to her crap song. These poor children will need therapy for decades. Special mention goes to Girls Aloud for their continuing commitment to shit videos and Madonna for the non-event that was "Give It To Me". Seriously, this is way cheaper than "All I See" and profoundly less enjoyable.

1. You Will Only Break My Heart - Dulta
2. The Promise/The Loving Kind - Girls Aloud
3. Give It To Me - Madonna


Best Remixer

I'm turning into a Deadmau5 groupie. Everything the Canadian DJ touches turns to gold. His remix of Gianluca Motta's "Not Alone" was my favourite dance record of 2008. A close second is the Freemasons. Yes, they're becoming a cliche but the pop world needs them to fix up every single ever released by an ex-member of Destiny's Child! Sydney's sexy Sam La More (aka Sam Littlemore) takes third courtesy of his work with Pnau, Empire Of The Sun and Sneaky Sound System. Poland's amazing WAWA deserve their 4th placing for their brilliant remix of Sugababes' "No Can Do" alone, while Melbourne's Hong Kong Blondes earn 5th spot for remixing the fuck out of CC Martini's "Double Dutch" and Empire Of The Sun's "Walking On A Dream".

1. Deadmau5
2. The Freemasons
3. Sam La More
4. WAWA
5. Hong Kong Blondes


Best Celebrity Endorsement

Australia's stunning drag superstar Courtney Act is making waves as the new face of Sheer Cover (watch an infomercial above). Who better to flog make-up than someone who makes a living wearing it? Courtney is a joy to watch. I just hope she hasn't forgotten about her pop career.

1. Courtney Act - Sheer Cover


Worst Celebrity Endorsement

I have no issue with celebrities launching their own perfumes or clothing lines (or toilet paper - you know it's only a matter of time before Kylie tries it!) but Dulta being the face of soy milk is scraping the bottom of the barrel. On a serious note, I'm actually quite disturbed that she would put her name to a product that is potentially linked to cancer - particularly when some (deranged) people look up to her as a spokeswoman for survivors of this insidious illness. Shame on you, Delta! I certainly have no problem with Axle Whitehead modelling for Marcs' clothing. He's definitely hot enough but the flasher gets a nod for explaining his involvement with this answer: "My new album is the type of album that can be played in any situation and will bring a great vibe. Chilling, partying, driving, dinner etc. Funny enough it ties in really well with this campaign, due to its versatility". What a fucking wanker! Just say you're doing it for the cash like everyone else.

1. Dulta - So Good
2. Axle Whitehead - Marcs


Best Concert

Kylie was in a league of her own as far as big budget concert spectaculars were concerned in 2008. However, Kelly Wilde's tour of tragic gay bars was just as fabulous at less than one tenth of the price! Isabel Guzman also impressed the hell out of me at Pop Justice Live (read my review here) - as did Robyn Loau at her Sydney showcase (review here).

1. X2008
1. Kelly Wilde

Runners-Up:

Isabel Guzman - Pop Justice Live
Robyn Loau - Sydney Showcase


Worst Pop Performance

Listen, we all know that Britney can't sing but you think she would at least have the decency to learn how to mime. Her performance on X Factor was simply diabolical. In her defence, at least she isn't judging a talent show - unlike Cheryl Cole who managed to be completely out of tune when Girls Aloud appeared on the show. Same Difference collect third place for their horrible miming and bad dance routine. We know they can actually sing - miming on X Factor Live just made them look ridiculous.

1. Britney on X Factor
2. Girls Aloud on X Factor
3. Same Difference on X Factor


Best Breakthrough Diva

Isabel Guzman's "Kill The Boy" EP really put the pop world on notice. I can't wait to see what the Swedish diva comes up with in 2009. On the local front, Jessica Mauboy exceeded everyone's expectations with "Been Waiting". The first single was a smash hit and the follow up looks set for the top 5. Have we finally got our very own urban diva who can actually sell records - unlike the amazing Deni Hines and Jade Macrae? Third place goes to Solange. I can't praise her highly enough. Not only was her album breathtakingly original, she somehow managed to claw her way out of Beyonce's shadow. No small accomplishment.

1. Isabel Guzman
2. Jessica Mauboy
3. Solange


Most Disappointing album

I named "Songs Of Love & Loss" my second favourite album of 2007. In retrospect, I probably should have made it equal first with "X". Tina's beautiful album is yet to leave my side. I still listen to it all the time. It's just so perfectly executed and brilliantly performed. Cut to November 2008 and Tina releases the sequel. I spent a good month trying to get into it but I just can't. The original was a work of art. "Songs Of Love & Loss 2" sounds like any other covers album - only performed by one extraordinarily good voice. It's cheap, lazy and a massive disappointment. I know I'm being really harsh. The album would be a highpoint in any other diva's career but it's just not good enough for Tina. That said, I already have tickets for her concert and can't wait to see her interpret the songs live! Other misfires were the highly anticipated Same Difference album - I really wanted to like them but the world doesn't need a pair of inbred British siblings channelling High School Musical (sorry, Paul!) - and Infernal. The latter was particularly bitter for me because I'm a huge fan. "Paris To Berlin" is one of my favourite albums of the decade. "Electric Cabaret", on the other hand, boasts two semi-decent songs. No wonder it's a massive international flop. Paw and Lina need to get back to the drawing board now!

1. Songs Of Love & Loss 2 - Tina Arena
2. Pop - Same Difference
3. Electric Cabaret - Infernal

Best Cover

I'll let these images speak for themselves!

1. Lady Fantasy - Ryan Paris (above)


2. Musica e Parole - Spagna and Berte

3. Back To Now - LaBelle