Friday, November 5, 2010

The Models - Out of Mind Out of Sight

It was with great sadness that I heard about the death of former frontman for The Models James Freud.

James had struggled with alcohol addiction for most of his life and wrote 2 books about his journey. Yesterday he took his own life.

What a waste.

I wanted to find a solo track of his called "Hurricane" which came out in about 88/89 but alas I could not find a video. So I have linked to one of the Model's best tracks.."Out of Mind, Out of Sight".

R.I.P James

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Soul II Soul, Back to Life

Today's track is by British R&B band Soul II Soul.

Soul II Soul had a rotating roster of musicians who played in the band. The one I was most impressed with was Nellee Hooper. I am forever impressed by Nellee Hooper as he has produced for many artists but most notibly for Bjork on the Debut album (one of my all time favourite albums). For that alone he deserves props.

This particular track charted in the top 10 in the States. The lead singer on this track Caron Wheeler was a back up singer for both Elvis Costello and Howard Jones. She has toured recently in Australia with Soul II Soul Sound System.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Under the Milky Way - The Church

Are you old enough to remember mixed tapes? Specifically of the home made variety?
Just like my favourite book "High Fidelity" my mixed tapes were always a well-considered undertaking. One of my favourite mixed tapes was called "Night time" because it included the type of songs that I wanted to hear driving across the Harbour Bridge at night. The songs on it had to have an atmospheric quality about them.

The reason I mention all of this about my mixed tapes is that one of the songs on it was "Under the Milky Way" by The Church which is perfection itself.

One gripe I have with the Church is that they don't like to play this song live. I went to see them live at the Metro and they omitted their best song from their set list. I later found out (from a work colleague who was related by marriage to lead singer Steve Kilby) that they purposefully shun their popular music. This completely pisses me off because they owe the fans the chance to hear the songs they love. I don't care if they have played it until their ears bleed. To me this is a sign of an arrogant band who really need a kick up the arse.

This still doesn't detract from the greatness of this track and one of my all time personal favourites.

Friday, August 27, 2010

7 Days of Prince Songs, Day 7 When You Were Mine, Cyndi Lauper

I really love the cover version of this Prince song. Mainly because Cyndi decided to keep the lyrics as is rather than change genders. So it appears that her boyfriend has a penchant for other men.

Down the track I am going to do a post dedicated to Cyndi Lauper because I think that she is a talent that is often overlooked due to her "kookiness". She really is quite an amazing singer as illustrated in this track from her first album "She's so Unusual".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

7 Days of Prince Songs - Day 4, Nasty Girl - Vanity 6

Vanity 6 is another group formed by Prince. He specifically wanted the girls in the band to perform in lingerie and sing sexually charged songs. Of course Prince was boning the lead singer at the time. Vanity was supposed to appear in the movie Purple Rain but dropped out of the project and was replaced by Apollonia.

This song is known for being in the movie Beverly Hills Cop where Axel Foley gets tailed to a strip club.

Monday, August 23, 2010

7 Days of Prince Songs - Day 3 I Feel for You, Chaka Khan

Here is a track that is probably more known for the cover version than the original (which appeared on Prince's self titled first album). Stevie Wonder also makes an appearance on harmonica. This song is so well known for the repetition of "Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan.." but it was in fact a mistake the producer decided to keep.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

7 days of Prince songs - Day 1 Jungle Love the Time

After I did my piece on Prince I thought it would be good to feature 7 day's worth of songs written by Prince and performed by other artists.

Day One:
The Time - Jungle Love featured in Purple Rain.
Morris Day the lead singer from the Time is a childhood friend of Prince and the best thing in Purple Rain. Two other members of The Time - Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis really made their name in producing music most notably for Janet Jackson's "Control" and "Rythmn Nation" albums, amongst other high profiled artists.

The Time - Jungle Love (morris Day)

Prince gave Kevin Smith permission to use Jungle Love in the film "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." I had to link the clip where they mention the Time because it is hilarious.

Prince - Darling Nikki

I have been trying to get this video online for some time now.

The problem is that Prince is very controlling with his music and who he allows to use it. Mostly Prince videos are uploaded to You Tube only to be removed shortly after. An interesting story relating to this is that Prince performed Radiohead's "Creep" live and the clip was posted on You Tube. Prince quickly got wind of it and had it removed. Radiohead stepped in and said "it's our song, let people hear it".

So while I can, I am putting up my favourite Prince song from "Purple Rain" called "Darling Nikki".Something that I didn't know about this song is that near the end of the song, the music stops. There is singing, but played in reverse. The vocals, unreversed, are Prince singing:

"Hello, how are you?
I'm fine 'cause I know that the Lord is coming soon
Coming, coming soon."

Prince is obviously an amazing talent with an astonishing catalogue of music (with vaults full of unreleased material). A lot of interviewers tend to focus on the fact that he is "eccentric" and often overlook his contribution to music. There is no denying that Prince is eccentric but I think I like him even more knowing that he isn't just like Joe Bloggs down the road.

I admire Prince's chutzpah in sticking it to the record companies. Once again people thought he was a nutter because he changed his name to a Love Symbol (or the artist formally known as Prince). The reason he did this was because Warner Bros records trademarked the name Prince, even though it is his actual name (born Prince Rogers Nelson). Prince now owns the trademark to his name along with the Love Symbol.

If you ever want to get a bit of an insight into Prince and his world I suggest you go to You Tube and listen to cult director Kevin Smith talk about his experiences working for Prince.  it is in 4 parts but damn it is funny.

Here are some random bits of trivia you may not have known about Prince:

  • He dated Madonna early on in her career. He asked her to be his "girl" but she wasn't interested.
  • He was asked to participate in "We are the World" and never showed up. He later provided a song for the album release.
  • He is now a devout Jehovah's Witness and does not swear.
  • His entire Paisley Park estate is "wired for sound" meaning that there are recording devices everywhere so Prince can record music anywhere he wants.
  • He was in talks with Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson to appear on the album "Bad" in a duet with Michael Jackson. He declined. During this time he sent Michael Jackson a wooden box with feathers inside. Michael Jackson thought he was putting a voodoo spell on him.
  • Prince has been married twice. His son Boy Gregory died a week after birth from Pfeiffer Syndrome.
  • He is a vegan
  • He has been quoted as saying "All computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and they are not good for you"
Update 30/3/12- Prince has been up to his old tricks and had most videos removed. Bummer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Four Tops and the Mighty Temptations

I have just been watching this clip from the Motown 25 Celebration - Yesterday, Today & Forever.

It is a awesome piece of showmanship which battles the Four Tops and the Temptations on the same stage with a medley/mash up of their greatest hits. If anyone watches this clip and doesn't know a track I will be mightily disappointed and sentence them to hard time with both of their back catalogues.

This is pure brilliance. They killed it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I want you to try an experiment the next time you have a music video channel on. Press the mute button and just watch what is on the centre of the screen. What you will usually see for the majority of the time are half naked girls. Whether it is the latest rapper surrounded with them or the star herself parading around in next to nothing.

This isn’t a new thing. Madonna who pioneered the pop slut look has been doing it for quite a while now. Of course when Madonna started doing this she was pretty much the only one and copped a lot of flak for it. What the industry learnt from Madonna is that sex and controversy sells. Madonna however actually had catchy songs and talent to go along with her sexual image. It seems that today all that is required is a sexual image -don’t worry about talent.

A good example is Mariah Carey. Whether you like her or not, the gods definitely blessed her with golden vocal chords. She starts off her career fresh faced with a lot of talent. She is marketed in a sexy but not overtly sexual way as shown on her first album cover.

Fast forward a number of years and she has abandoned singing for some pop track that barely requires any singing (“Like that y’all”). Her new image is ultra-sexy with next to nothing clothing. It had me wondering why someone with that amount of vocal ability needed to resort to the tactics employed by girls like the Pussycat Dolls (who let’s face it are pretty and can dance but that’s about it).
Mariah after her reinvention
Take Christina Aguilera as another example. She irritates that crap out of me, but I can acknowledge that she has a phenomenal voice (when she stops all that vocal acrobatics crap that she carries on with). I just watched an interview where Christina talks about her latest video clip for “Not Myself Tonight” as “empowering to women”. For those who haven’t seen the clip here is a summary:

Christina is in PVC black bikini and rubs up against men and kisses women
Christina is tied up on a chair with a diamond ball gag in her mouth
Christina advertises a mobile phone
Christina rips off Madonna’s Express Yourself video

I don’t how the writhing around, scantily clad, sexually explicit video is “empowering to women”. It seems to me that this is just an excuse to get your kit off in a clip and get away with it.

Rhianna has a song called “Rude Boy” here is a sample of the lyrics:

“Come here rude boy boy can you get it up
Come here rude boy boy is you big enough
I like the way you touch me there
I like the way you pull my hair
Babe, if I don't feel it I ain't faking, no, no
I like when you tell me 'kiss you there'
I like when you tell me 'move it there'
So giddy-up; time to get it up: you say you a rude boy: show me what you got now
Come here right now
Take it, take it, baby, baby, take it, take it, love me, love me"

I have a feeling that when Rhianna sings "Get it up" that she isn't talking about his drooping spirit.
Rhianna has also joined the ranks of all the other celebrity faux lesbians with her latest track “Ti amo” and her simulated masturbation onstage.

Let’s not forget in all of this Lady Gaga and her perpetual lack of clothing. Beyonce who appears in the track “Video Phone” in a black and white bikini while the track has groans of orgasmic delight in the background.

The reason I mention this is not to make a list of sexually explicit female pop stars but rather to examine what has happened to exhibiting pure talent without the need to make it sexual.

I can’t imagine watching Fleetwood Mac on stage and then during the song “Rhiannon”, Stevie Nicks rips off her flowing dress to reveal a tiny bikini while she rubs herself up against a male dancer. The point is that Stevie Nicks didn’t have to make herself overtly sexual because she could write great songs and sing her lungs out.

So what has happened to the female pop star that is NOT sexual? I think that she is a rarity. The only one that I can think of currently is Taylor Swift. It’s interesting to note that Taylor Swift had the highest selling album for the last year. This is a very good example that the sexual component is not required, or maybe the public is just getting sick of female popstars using their sexuality to sell more albums.

I actually long for the day when female popstars do not need to resort to the Popsluts route for their career and just rely on song writing, star presence and innate talent. I imagine that I shall be waiting for a very long time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Whattya want from me?

I have to be honest and say that I don't like American Idol..nor Australian Idol or Armenian Idol. I think for the most part that they flame mediocrity and a quick ride up the success ladder.

Kelly Clarkson is still kicking around with her tuckshop lady arms and really ordinary drivel she sings.I only make an exception for Adam Lambert and mainly because this is a guy with one hell of a voice and quite a bit of stage presence.

I have watched a few interviews with him and he seems pretty grounded so I hope he doesn't disappear into the void of the usual Hollywood vacuum of drugs and alcohol.This song was co written by pop song writing powerhouse Max Martin, Pink and Shellback. Pink has actually sung this song during her tours so I thought I would link both Adam and Pink's version.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Transvision Vamp - Revolution Baby

Tonight Music Max have already played two Transvision Vamp songs..I want your love and Baby I don't care (a song which is basically a rip off of Wild Thing IMO). It takes me back to 1989 at the Horden Pavillion where I saw them live with the Hummingbirds as the support act.

Wendy James the lead singer is still kicking around but she looks like a washed up porn star now...oh well I can remember the good ol days.

My favourite Transvision Vamp song has always been Revolution Baby so here it is.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some words of wisdom from Adam Ant

There is a brilliant interview with Adam Ant on The Quietus site.

Here are some choice quotes from Mr Ant:
"I just don't like fucking Mr Bono. (Does an Irish accent) 'Every time I click my fingers, an African dies.' Well, stop clicking your fucking fingers, then!"

"Marc Bolan was lovely. Bryan Ferry was lovely. Michael Jackson was lovely. Liza Minelli was lovely. I'm dropping these names because I fucking met these people and they taught me something: Be nice. People that are really brilliant are really nice, people that ain't got a lot of mouth. So here you go Liam (Gallagher from Oasis), you cunt. I'd like to have a fight with him whichever way he wants: physically, mentally I'd beat him in anyway shape or form, I know that."

Is you want to read the whole article is it here

Friday, April 30, 2010

Beautiful World- Devo

Today is quite special for me because I cease being a corporate slave. I smell a certain sense of freedom and excitment which corporate life had slowly erroded out of me in previous years. In honour of this occasion I have chosen a perfect song for the day and my new found wonderment with the world. As Devo says "It's a beautiful world we live in. It's nice to be alive."

Devo-Beautiful World
Uploaded by adiis. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tears for Fears ~ Spandau Ballet

A few months ago I was away in Fiji for work when my partner sent me a text asking if I wanted to see Spandau Ballet and Tear for Fears live. I must say that I was a bit hesitant mainly because it is a bit depressing seeing bands 25 years on after they have eaten one too many burger kings and drunk too many pints of beer. Even though I love The Cure I felt that way seeing Robert Smith live a few years back. He looked like a big fat goth teddy bear and not in the "Why can't I be you?" type of teddy bear kinda way.

So on Friday night we trotted off to the entertainment centre. The audience was mainly 10 years older than me so for once I felt (relatively) young. Tears for Fears started with "Mad World" and ended with "Shout". The set was pretty bare. There were musicians and the music.. and the music was great. The same came be said for Spandau Ballet. Spandau kicked off with my favourite track, "To cut a long story short" and ended with "Gold".

After seeing a number of acts in the last few years I was starting to get a bit depressed about live shows. Sure they may dance alot, have 50 wardrobe changes, pyrotechnics and fireworks with a video montage but if a band can't play and their lead singer can't sing then I switch off...completely. As much as people rubbish the 80's and the bands of this era, this was a prime example that they CAN play live and sing the roof off the house. I was in complete and utter 80's geekness and I loved it.

The standout for me was the vocals of Roland Orzabal (Tears) and Tony Hadley (Spandau). Sure these guys have aged 25 years and put on a couple of pounds but they put on a great show.

Below are my favourite tracks from Tears and Spandau. "Head over Heel"s and "To cut a long story short".

Friday, March 26, 2010

Death to Autotune

Auotune has become a scourge for the music of this generation. It is everywhere...and I mean everywhere. As a bit of an experiment recently I listened to a top 30 countdown on the radio and I can safely say that 70% used autotune and that was only the very noticeable effects it is used for. Who knows what other rubbish singers are using it because they have no talent.

In case you don't know what autotune is this is from Wikipedia
"Auto-Tune uses a phase vocoder to correct pitch in vocal and instrumental performances. It is used to disguise off-key inaccuracies and mistakes, and has allowed singers to perform perfectly tuned vocal tracks without the need of singing in tune. While its main purpose is to slightly bend sung pitches to the nearest true semitone (to the exact pitch of the nearest tone in traditional equal temperament), Auto-Tune can be used as an effect to distort the human voice when pitch is raised or lowered significantly."

There is also this pretty cool video featuring Weird Al which explains autotune. I found it fascinating that it was actually designed to use sound waves to find oil reserves in the ocean.

If you can't imagine the sound of autotune think of Cher's song "Believe". You know the one.."Do you beli...iiiieve in life after love.." This was the first time autotune was used in commercial music that was a hit. The producers wanted to keep this sound tweaking effect a secret so for years they just claimed that it was a vocoder and talkbox that made the effect.

I am not totally against autotune. Used sparingly it can be quite effective however it seems that it is being used as a masking device for really crap singers. Think Ke$ha Tik Tok (btw anyone who makes me hold down the shift key in the middle of their name is just naff). I have heard Ke$ha sing "live". She is autotuned to within an inch of her life. When she wasn't being autotuned I just wished she would shut up or just turn the autotune back on.

From idio mag
Seattle- based indie rockers, Death Cab for Cutie took up a cause at the 51st annual Grammy awards this year, by sporting light blue ribbons on their jackets to protest the use of Auto-Tune. Auto-Tune is a software program that digitally corrects the pitch of a singer's voice, and according to Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard, it's been over used. "I think over the last 10 years, we've seen a lot of good musicians being affected by this newfound digital manipulation of the human voice, and we feel enough is enough."

Of course the title of my post was inspired by Jay Z who has the song "Death of Autotune". Jay Z has been quoted as saying "I just think in hip-hop, when a trend becomes a gimmick, it's time to move on. I saw a Wendy's commercial and they're using Auto-Tune. They're joking on it. It's like, OK, enough of that ... It was a trend, it was cool in the beginning. Some people made great music with it, now it's time to move on."

 So next time you have the radio on take notice of how many tracks are autotuned. Otherwise if you have an iphone you can download a T-pain app which allows you to autotune your own voice.
Below is a clip from South Park about Kayne West. Not only was this a piss take about Kanye as his douchey self but also the over use of autotune. I also just wanted to post it here because it is hella funny.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

God is a Bullet - Concrete Blonde

Todays track is from the 1989 Concrete Blonde album Free.

I remember this track from an episode of 21 Jump Street...ah those were the days. Pre pirate Johhny Depp goodness.

Enjoy God is a bullet

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have one thing in common with Rik from The Young Ones (for those of us young enough to remember the show The Young Ones) - I love Cliff Richard. No he is not incredibly trendy to admit to like but I never care much about that. What I do care about is a really well crafted pop song. Even though someone like Britney is rubbish I can acknowledge that she has a team of great writers and producers behind her which create some damn catchy pop tracks. Not that Sir Cliff is in any way like Britney - far from it. HE doesn't show his exposed crotch coming out of cars...hmmmm.

This track is a perfectly crafted pop track which I fondly recall from my sisters compilation album 1980 In The Summer. So take a listen to Dreamin. Also below I couldn't resist but put Rik's (The People's Poet) poem about Cliff Richard at the end.

Oh, Cliff

Sometimes it must be difficult not to feel as if
You really are a Cliff
When fascists keep trying to push you over it
Are they the lemmings?
Or are you Cliff?
Or are you, Cliff?


Monday, March 1, 2010

Letter to Beyonce

Dear Beyonce,

Please fuck off for at least 3-4 years. During this time you may be able to learn how to write your own songs.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Same song different artist - Everybody's gotta learn sometimes

I have a soft spot for the Korgis "Everybody's gotta learn sometimes." So it may seem surprsing that I like just as equally the newer version by Beck which appeared on the "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" soundtrack. I thought that Beck's version was perfect for the movie. Filled with despair and haunting which was quite fitting considering it is essentailly a movie about people who can't help but fall in love time and again - even if they are wrong for each other.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sneaker Pimps, 6 Underground

Remedy for a severe case of Mondayitis

  • Take 2 shiny headphones and insert into ears.
  • Select 6 Underground by British trip hop band Sneaker Pimps on your Mp3 player.
  • Press play and wait for the desired effect. You may need to repeat this over a period of approximately 3 hours.

Contraindications: if you are a lover of Garth Brooks, Bonnie Raitt or Celine Dion then you are predisposed to craptacular music taste. You will therefore be unable to appreciate the Sneaker Pimps.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Massive Attack - Teardrops

I really love this song but if one more TV show (or TV show promo) uses it for crappy commercial purposes I am going to go postal. It is times like these that I must relocate my point of reference back to the song itself before it was bastardised.

So I proudly present my reignited love for "Teardrops" by Massive Attack.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pink -Most Girls

The recent Grammy awards was probably the best awards show I have seen in quite some time. Showmanship is back in fashion and I am loving it. Notable mention (grudgingly) goes to Lady Gaga for hooking up with Sir Elton for a very fine performance/mash up of Speechless and Your Song. It was also good to see MJ's kids accept an award on his behalf. God love them, they are 12 and 11 respectively in front of millions of people worlwide. They have good reason to be a little nervous but I think Prince did an awesome job.

The lady that blew my mind was Pink who once again sung attached to a trapeze style contraption and proceeded to sing live upside down and spinning!!! Her body is absolutely ripped and she sure can belt out a tune. I think the little poppettes like Britney need to take a long look at someone like Pink and start to actually work for their performance money. Pink sure does.

Speaking of live performances I think I was only Australian that didn't see Pink live. She did like about 3 million shows across the country. Seriously... 3 million..she was very busy :)

So today I have linked my favourite Pink song 'Most Girls", which I think was one of her very first single releases.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Living Years

This song is one of my Mum's favourites so I am dedicating this to her today during a great time of trial.

To my Mum, I love you so much. You are the kindest most loving person I have ever known. You shouldn't have to deal with the evil people of this world but you do with such grace. Mum stay strong. I love you xxx

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rocklobster - B52's

I am well and truly back from holidays and now trying to fight the doldrums associated with the return to work. What I usually do to remedy this is get out the mp3 and crank it in the car on random and see what shiny pop treats I will be delighted with.

I recently inherited an Ipod that belonged to my nephew and trawled through his remaining playlists. I must say that on the whole I was mightily impressed with his selections especially for a 15 year old boy.

So this morning I cranked out some Rocklobster from the Ipod and went mental doing a car boogie driving along the M2. It totally restored my drooping spirit. I thoroughly recommend it.