Mother Chucker

If you were a fan of Cruel Intentions and you’ve not been watching Gossip Girl, you’ve been missing out big style. Series 2 is nearly over in the US, but while there’s been weeks without new episodes tv network, The CW, has been doing some really great promos for the show.

Here’s the latest – all about the love to hate star of the show, Chuck Bass

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw5wlvefmIo[/youtube]

Napoleon

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjQechwXd2w[/youtube]

Too often at the moment I’m hearing an amazing song, thinking ‘ooh I’ll blog about that’ and then remembering when it’s at #1. Unhelpful. The brilliantly named ‘I Love My Baby (but if anyone touches her I’ll kill them) is one such track. Not that it’ll ever go to #1 mind.

Perfectly positioned to break the UK in a post-Alphabeat land this burst of twee bliss is blasting straight out of Sweden thanks to 11 piece band Napoleon. I first heard it on Radio 2’s amazing Radcliffe & Maconie show a few weeks ago where it later went on to become their record of the week. It’s slightly oddly mixed and nothing else on their myspace comes close but the horns, the chirpy female backing vocals and the whole Motown vibe is a winner. This single came out last week and an album will be out later in the year courtesy of Ruffa Lane Records.

DOUBLE PSB

I was out tonight so disappointingly didn’t get to watch the Brit Awards live on TV. Instead I’m catching up via youtube and started at the end with the Pet Shop Boys outstanding achievement medley. Seriously – how amazing is this? I wish I’d been there, but was so overwhelmed just watching this, I’d have exploded into tears.

I was a little confused why they needed guest stars, but they did’t detract at all. Gaga pulled off Dusty’s bit perfectly and Brandon looked hilariously excited. Plus a shout out to my home town of Blackpool – I can’t imagine how mental Little Boots went during that bit.

Double woops must also go out to Elbow & Girls Aloud for scooping their first Brits. As for Katy Perry? Shame on you Brits voters!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OAlTWrNN6o[/youtube]

I have touched Neil Tennant’s arm.

Tonight the Pet Shop Boys will be given the Outstanding Contribution to British Music award at The Brits, and boy do they deserve it. Although I wasn’t exposed to most of their material during the time it was released and don’t know every song in their back catalogue, I would label them one of my two favourite bands. They look like such unlikely pop stars but their music and the telling lyrics always are spot on. Plus Chris Lowe is from Blackpool so double woop for him.

I adore It’s A Sin and always thought it was my favourite PSB song but recently I’ve been swayed towards West End Girls. It’s so bleak and the video captures London in the 80s so magnificiently. What London locations can you spot? Does it start on Roman Road? I am rubbish at playing spot the London location!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAHfoIfo_7A[/youtube]

On the other hand here’s a brilliant Pet Shop Boys production but a terrible video from the 80s. It’s Dusty’s ‘In Private’.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1z5DZEse3I[/youtube]

Knickers To The Rescue

Getting the Comic Relief single is a huge thing. It normally guarantees you a #1 and boosts your profile lots. This year, The Saturdays, have managed to score the prize spot and will be releasing a cover of Depeche Mode’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ on 2 March. Thanks to some comedy outfits, a bit of a Girls Aloud doing ‘The Show’ sheen, and generally having fun, it’s going to endear them to a whole new audience and if the song wasn’t enough to get them to the top of the charts, the video certainly is. Plus Frankie finally gets a solo line. Hurrah!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j29kIA4p84[/youtube]

Pussycat Fail

Pussycat Dolls

Pussycat Dolls: MEN Arena
29 January 2009
**

If there’s one thing you’d expect from a Pussycat Dolls concert it’s a performance to put most acts to shame.  With their burlesque background, these five women should be able to fill a stage and excite. So what went so wrong at their Manchester ‘Doll Domination’ date that meant solo support acts Lady Gaga and Ne-Yo utterly stole the show?

Arriving astride shimmering motorbikes, Nicole and her gang took to the stage suitably attired in barely-there tartan outfits gyrating their way through much loved singles ‘Beep’ and ‘Buttons’.  With furious routines, we can forgive them for lip synching but when it came to should-have-been #1 ‘I Hate This Part’ we expected a little more.  That is, of course, until it burst into a hilariously over the top hi-NRG remix – a strangely fascinating tactic later employed again on the similarly slushy ‘Stickwitu’. When the mics were on there were mixed results with only Nicole managed to sounded perfect on the powerful ‘Halo’. Plus whoever thought that a segment of each member performing solo tracks was a good idea needs to be removed immediately from the world of pop.

This wasn’t the only mistake. A dull video backdrop and ungainly stairs left the stage feeling empty and flat.  Despite regular disappearances, costume changes were far and few between, and save for a raunchy routine to a sultry cover of ‘I Will Survive’, the girls naughty spirit that gave them their edge seemed confined to a sequined top.

Only when the encore of ‘Dont’cha’ mixed gleefully into Robin S’s Show Me Love’ and recent single ‘When I Grow Up’ arrived, did the dolls finally seem to perform with the zest and charm we expected. Disappointing, but perhaps only because we know they can do so much better.

(Originally published at Orange, written in a nice fashion rather than my actual horrified beliefs – at one point I went to the toilet and walked back the long way just to kill some time)

It’s Amazing

[youtube]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8XDxhDbtDak[/youtube]

Against the beliefs of most people I know I’ve always loved Dido’s music, but I’ve just never got round to listening to her 3rd album because the lead single ‘Don’t Believe In Love’ was very nearly boring.

Often compared to Dido is Welsh songstress Jem thanks to her breathy vocals and trip hoppy sounds. She’s released her 2nd album ‘Down To Earth’ and if you’ve been listening to Radio 2 recently you might have heard them hammering new single ‘It’s Amazing’. If you loved her biggest hit ‘They’ then you’ll love this. It’s got that creepy minor chord element to it, as well as a gorgeous piano line and a soft haunting choir.

Marina & The Diamonds

Marina & The Diamonds

Landfill indie is dead (save those terrible Brit nominations) – 2009 is undoubtedly the year of the the leftfield pop girly and we’re already overwhelmed with possibilities for the success stories of the year.

Marina & The Diamonds somehow avoided being mentioned in the BBC Sound of 2009 list earlier this year. She has, however, just joined the winner of that poll, Little Boots on Atlantic Records subsidiary, 679, and looks set to be releasing her first big single before the summer is out. First though, comes Obsession a strictly limited release on the uber cool Neon Gold label, out on Valentines’ Day.

Despite the name, Marina is a solo artist, and to crudly compare her to someone else she sounds like Regina Spektor doing a dance of the seven veils with Kate Bush. Half Welsh, half Greek, I certainly think she’s going to crap all over Florence & her similarly mythical Machine’s expected party, never mind the concern it might cause Kate Nash’s forthcoming 2nd album.

Normally Marina’s banging on the piano, but her label have just sent out a gorgeously dreamy new remix of ‘Obsessions’ drenched in synths and creepy italo disco soaring which you can get for free right here

Download: Marina & The Diamonds – Obsessions (Pink Stallone Crush Remix) [Free MP3]