Up 4 at 35

It’s no secret that I’m quite a big chart geek. Like everyone else I used to tape the chart off the radio every so often trying really hard to capture the songs and cut it off before Mark Goodier started talking, but I’ve also had a rare pleasure of working on the Official Chart Show (with Wes as presenter) for 6 months back in 2004. This is when the real chart geekiness started and now I seem to pride myself on being the personfication of everyhit.co.uk whenever possible.

So, with the chart rule changes that came into force on 1 Jan, yesterday was the very first day of the new style chart. This is incredibly exciting, anything could happen and a re-entry for Snow Patrol in the top 10 means it all starts kicking off. Of course, I’m too late to write anything intelligent about it, the awesome Mr Discopop has already done it.

Top Class Emop

Goaudio
Josh, Zack and James are disgustingly young, and together they make up a band called Go:Audio. They used to be called The Vacancy (I have no idea why they aren’t now) but are signed to Sony and make top class emop. Emop is a word I have just made up which unsurprisingly means Emo Pop. The always hilarious Urban Dictionary instead claims emop means: basically an emo, but more dramatic. They are female and tend to have black hair, purple lipstick and navy eyeliner. They love Green Day and make harming use of razors. Emops love their Mommy’s. Ace.

 

Go:Audio have been mentioned on a couple of blogs which until tonight I’ve blissfully ignored. Now I’ve finally paid attention to I’m Always Right who mentioned the band in their Great Hopes for 07 post. It’s bouncy, it’s fun and given the current teenage music temprement of the UK I think they could do very well indeed. The very ace Made Up Stories totally channels the vibe of big scorers such as Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy and I’m pretty sure will at the very least get Seldo bouncing around his bedroom, if not the whole of Popstarz. Plus going by the over analytical karinski ruling that if your a boy and you don’t put a status on myspace, you are at least a bit gay if not completely, the band themselves might be dancing around Popstarz.  Hopefully I’ll have an interview with them soon, but until then, unless emo makes you want to vomit, check their myspace .

Lie on my futon

Futon

Futon are playing at Rockstarz tonight. Monday nights at Ghetto are brilliant, I DJ every other week (although am doing 3 consecutives: last week with the surprisingly ace Diskoboy and next with Fleeing From Finales) with the very lovely Laurence. It’s an ace night because the people are really open minded, they’ve come to see a band they probably don’t know and they’ll dance to anything. This is dreamy, so fantasy free me! Seriously, DANCE TO ANYTHING. I love being able to play stuff like Scissors for Lefty or Metric that would normally clear dancefloors at other nights. Swoon.

Anyway I don’t know a lot about Futon, but one of their members is Simon Gilbert, formerly the drummer with Suede . They are based in Bangkok, have had two #1 singles in Thailand and were recently named Thailand’s most stylish band. They’re over in the UK at for 4 shows promoting their single Strap It On which is taken from their 4th album. They’ve played at Ghetto before, at Nag Nag Nag, in 2004, but I’m quite excited about tomorrow as I quite like the sound of them on myspace. Suede have always had a strong connection to Popstarz being a core band for the club when it was originally set up in 1996. I think they may have done a PA there at some point (although I’m not sure) and Brett djed at our celebration of Simon Popstarz in 2005, so it’s cool to have a spin-off band keeping us in their clubs to visit list.

To make the people dance…

Tonight, like nearly every Thursday, Friday and Monday night (yes I never sleep), I was djing. And I played some ace music.

Thursday is Miss-Shapes where nearly anything goes but is mainly indie and pop. Our first set was brill, it went something like this (there are whopping gaps as I forgot to photo it and can’t remember):

Brad Walsh – Two of Hearts
Lo-Fn-Fnk – City
Linda Sundblad – Lose You
Annie – Anniemal
Bertine Zetlitz – Midnight
Jarvis – Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time
Air Traffic – Never Even Told Me Her Name
Just Jack – Starz in your eyes
Beck – Cellphone’s Dead
Mika – Love Today
Elton Montello – Jet Boy, Jet Girl
The Rakes – Work Work Work (Pub, Club, Sleep)
White Rose Movement – Love is A Number
The Gossip – Jealous Girls
Lady Sovereign – Pretty Vacant
Ashlee Simpson – Boyfriend
Amy Winehouse – You Know I’m No Good
Peaches – Boys Wanna Be Her
Le Tigre – TKO
The Pipettes – Your Kisses Are Wasted On Me

In the late set we played Sophie Ellis Bextor – Catch You and it went down a storm. HOORAY.

Blogging

This little blog has been going under various names since January 2001 I think after Relly started writing a blog and lots of us followed like sheep. I’ve used blogger, MT, and now typepad, but for 2007 I think it’s time for WordPress. I don’t really know why I’m paying for typepad when WP seems to do the same things for free. But now the mission is that I need to find a banner. I’m looking through license free photos on flickr but not having much inspiration. Any ideas?

Bummer

So Happy New Year one and all. We celebrated it with the busiest Popstarz in it’s 11 year history. I was a little bummed about having to work NYE as we did Popstarz last year, and this time round all our friends were going to the fantastic Unskinny Bop and we wanted to be there too. However, Popstarz absolutely surpassed itself and was amazing good fun, thanks in no small part to a special area Tommy had created for staff and friends filled with gallons of alcohol. Hooray! I also sang Jolene on the special karaoke in the glass bar with Sheila which was pretty ace, despite not really being able to hear the backing track. Kamikaze karaoke starts at Trash Palace on Sundays very soon, maybe even this week.

Anyway today I got the news that my shiny (although now a little dirty) iBook has gone KAPUTT with that old ‘oh your logic board has failed trick’. I came home the other night and instead of being asleep it was off and trying to boot it up resulted in beeps. This seems to mean a ram failure and the genius bar at Apple seemed a bit confused that I hadn’t added any extra ram. They did not seem confused when they told me that fixing it would cost £640. 🙁

So now the dilemma is what to do? I use a PC as my main computer in my room, and my laptop if travelling (so not regularly) and when not in my bedroom. It serves as a great little device for writing/web browsing while watching the TV in the lounge, and I really like being able to do other stuff while sitting in the lounge. I don’t particularly want to spend £700-odd on a new MacBook though. The options seem to be: exist without a laptop, look for a bargain on the refurbished store, just buy one, or go for a dirt cheap PC one that would be perfectly fine but not as pretty and lovely and everything apple-y. Plus if I was spending a lot of money with Apple I’d really want to get an iMac, but that wouldn’t at all help my portability issues. I don’t really understand why my iBook has broken though – should they really just break for no apparant reason after about 2 1/2 years? I am eyeing my housemates suspiciously.

To cheer me up I bought Pokemon rescue for my DS and tomorrow I think I’m going to buy a new digital camera as I handily threw my new very heavy phone at it and smashed my lcd while at Gaz’s flat over Xmas. BOOO HISS.

A highly obvious list

2006 was a pretty fun year. I got to meet some fun pop stars, I got to warmup for the Scissor Sisters for the 2nd time, I got to write about music and showbiz for people, and  I got to play lots of music to people and expect them to dance.

Every year I claim I’m going to keep a text document with my favourite music in it, so when I come to the end of the year, it’s not HELL ON EARTH trying to figure out my end of year list. Of course I haven’t done this, but 2007 will be the year.

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The Top 3

Amy Winehouse – Back To Blackan instant classic. I never liked/paid any attention to La Winehouse and her current image didn’t make me warm to her either. But the moment I heard Back to Black (the song) I was hooked. She was great live at Koko in November and also takes home the Karinski award for television moment of the year.
Must-hear tracks: I’m No Good, Back To Black, Me & Mr Jones, Love is A Losing Game

Metric – Live it Out – Jesus Christ this band are AMAZING. There seems to be some dispute as to whether it came out in 2005 or 2006, but it’s the 2nd album from the Canadian indie kids who also form part of Broken Social Scene and stars. Brilliant live in Hammersmith in October, they’ll be supporting Bloc Party at The Astoria on 31 Jan and I’ll be doing everything I can to get a ticket.


Must-hear tracks
: Monster Hospital (ignore the hipsters and their MSTRKRAFT remix, just do the original), Poster of A Girl and Handshakes. Then find their first album and wet your pants at Dead Disco and Combat Baby.

The Knife – Silent Shout:
The Knife are Scandavian sibling weirdos. They make bleepy, glitchy
dance music that both disturbs and makes me want to go dancing mental
all at the same time. Kat made me go and see them live at The Scala back in March and the show was spectacular. I took James and Rik to see them a couple of months ago at The Forum and two new fans were born.
Must-hear tracks: Marble House, Silent Shout, Like A Pen

Best of the rest (in no particular order)

Jarvis – Jarvis – He came back and he conquered on record and live. Fat Children should be on your must-hear list for life.

Robbie Williams – Rudebox – Critics and long time fans might have wrinkled their noses up at it, but Rudebox gave us the first really interesting Robbie album sing I’ve Been Expecting You. Ignore the slightly hit and miss title track and move straight to Lovelight, possibly the most underrated single of the year.  Giggle at Lily Allen on Bongo Bong, robodance to Never Touch That Switch, and squee continually at She’s Madonna and We’re The Pet Shop Boys.

CSS – Cansei De Ser Sexy: Music is my bitch-house. Yes it is. If you’ve not heard of this band then you need to know that they are frightningly hip, but in a spectacularly accessible way. They were on Subpop but have just been signed to Warners who are making them a major priority for 2007. It’s poppy, glitchy, disco-indie fun (oh how many words can I use!).  They’ll be playing at Popstarz on Feb 2nd. How excited am I?

Boy Kill Boy – Civilian – I went through a phase of having a major crush on the lead singer of this band after going to see The Organ with Kim and him. Now I am over that, but I feel like I must have some loyalty to this album (even though I’ve not really listened to it very much). As far as massive indie hooks BKB are professionals. They’ve not done as well as I expected they might though despite Suzie and Civil Sin making me race to the dancefloor whenever I hear them.

Nelly Furtado – Loose : Er, hello? Where did the floaty, boring hippie go? Whatever Timberland put in her drinks made the lovely Nelly the pop artist of the year. Yes, Maneater was insanely brilliant at the time, but it’s All Good Things that makes me float into a state of bliss every time.

Lily Allen – Alright Still : Slag her off all you want. What? Now she’s successful she’s no longer cool? Bite me. Lily rocked 2006. Alright Still is the perfect album to sing along to word-perfect in practically any occasion. Plus she was rather ace at Notting Hill and Bestival.

Long Blondes – Somebody to Drive You Home : I wouldn’t have heard of the Long Blondes as early as I did if Shazam didn’t exist. In November 2005 we had Le Tigre’s JD Samson playing at Miss-Shapes and she played the fabulous Giddy Stratospheres. I in turn played it to lots of people from a record label who told me they thought it was shit. Losers. Anyway taking forever to get signed, finally Sheffield’s current best band released their debut album on Rough Trade. It’s bitchy and very sing-a-longy. See them at Popstarz on 9 Feb.

Gallant runners up would be The Pipettes – We Are The Pipettes (which would probably be right up there if I hadn’t heard all the songs about a million times before the album came out) Pet Shop Boys – Fundamental, MorningwoodMorningwood (although god knows if that actually came out in 2006), Shiny Toy Guns – We Are Pilots (again 2006?), Teddybears – Cobrastyle, Frank – Devil’s Got Your Gold, Linda Sundblad – Oh My God and Beyonce – B’Day.

And I’m not saying that my list is better than albums from The Gossip, The Fratellis, Dangerous Muse, The Presets, Broken Social Scene, Bat For Lashes, Peter Bjorn and John, and  The Young Knives, as they are all CDs I’d like to hear but haven’t got round to yet. There is so much music to consume that I haven’t that just thinking about it makes me upset. Boo hoo.

REVIEW: Gwen Stefani – The Sweet Escape

GwenI really liked Love Angel Music Baby as soon as I heard it. What U Waitin’ For was a spectacular debut single, and the brilliant Bubble Pop Electric made me bounce round my room for weeks.

So, now, here comes The Sweet Escape, and I’m immediately put off it by her hair. Once again we see here the importance of proper popstar hair. I’m curious as to see how No Doubt fans will accept Gwen back. Hasn’t she just about lost all credibility?

The dreary ‘Orange County Girl’ send us reaching for the skip button as a whiny Gwen sings "I’m just an Orange County girl, living in an extraordinary world." Give us ‘Jenny from The Block’ anyday.

Read my review in full at Entertainment Wise .