dirty martini

old music for new people

2008: the comebacks January 3, 2009

cd

despite declining sales, labels continued to throw money and effort into album promotion instead of finding new and creative ways to make money from music. which is now basically free, let’s face it.

i enjoyed these the most of all the comebacks last year.

download the comebacks of 2008

anthony hamilton – the day we met

consistent and underrated, anthony hamilton’s new album ‘the point of it all’ is a little more punchy, i think, than his previous efforts. it’s worth seeking out his mostly unknown 1996 debut if you like this side of him.

ashanti – you’re gonna miss

ashanti is that girl who has more male friends than female. she gets a lot of hate, but, she delivers some good music. ‘the declaration’ was a solid effort that would have achieved more had it not been for her audience connection issue mentioned previously, and the state of the music industry.

beyonce – single ladies

well, if you thought ‘bday’ was a disappointment…i’m hoping some of the other tunes on ‘i am…sasha fierce’ will grow on me. there’s nothing groundbreaking there though. i did love the fact that she appeared on x factor to sing with alexandra though. who, by the way, i think outsings her on ‘listen’ when she sings solo.

common – sex 4 sugar

common is taking a more commercial route this time round with ‘universal mind control’. that’s ok, it works.

erykah badu – honey

..speaking of which, his formerly crazy former missus has also lightened up a bit. see, it didn’t hurt that much did it? but for a time there it looked as if she had a touch of the lauryn hills.

john legend – can’t be my lover

i tried but failed to get into ‘once again’ but i’m loving the return to form on ‘evolver’. the reggae tracks are totally his comfort zone and the euro-electro tinged tracks even work, much as i am hating this current trend, which should in my opinion have started and ended with britney’s ‘gimme more’.

keyshia cole – where this love could end up

keyshia was hailed as the new mary. to my mind, she has not evolved or developed even slightly past her 2004 debut. this is not to say that ‘just like you’ and ‘a different me’ are bad – they’re as good as ‘the way it is’. if prince were to unleash another few albums that took up where ‘1999’, ‘purple rain’ or ‘sign of the times’ left off then this would be eaten up. but keyshia’s not prince.

mariah carey – i’ll be loving you long time

‘e=mc2’ is nowhere near as good as ‘mimi’ let’s get that out of the way. and ‘touch my body’ is shit. but as r&b albums go it’s head and shoulders above most of the crap we get launched at us these days and everyone is so relieved to see her settled and wearing some clothes for once that this is good enough.

raheem devaughn  – woman

a consistent neo-soul artist who returned in 2008, like clockwork, with ‘love behind the melody’. despite the rubbish neo-soul genre tag, surely grown up soul is where the money’s at these days?

raphael saadiq – sure hope you mean it

like several others, mostly brit, artists, he went the retro route. to great effect and in a far more authentic and endearing way than gimmicky amy winehouse and duffy. raphael has, of course, been doing this since his tony toni tone days. i could have picked almost any of the tracks from ‘way i see it’ as my favourite.

snoop dogg – cool

not much promotion behind ‘ego trippin’ as it goes, which is a shame cos i heart the retro flow of this prince-inspired track and ‘sensual seduction’.

usher – before i met you

i wonder if poor old usher realised just how critical the salivating teen girls and his momager were to his success? not at all, apparently, until ‘here i stand’ bombed and he bricked it. marrying a ropey looking older woman when you have the pick of a population? bratz generation say what?

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i’m enjoying glastonbury?? June 29, 2008

i do have some friends with totally polarised music taste to my own. to be fair, they are more accommodating and will dance to my music when they’re pissed. bar a situation in which i have drunk a vat of absinthe and can only see colours and feel sounds, nothing can induce me to listen to anything guitar-based.

jay-z has never been a favourite of mine for that very reason – he embraces rock music and he’s the only hiphop act aforementioned friends own cds by. noel gallagher really is showing how irrelevant and archaic his perspective is. the same noel gallagher who was happy to be supported by prodigy, chemical brothers and other dance acts in knebworth 12 years ago.

now, the fact that i’ve managed to construct an entire post from the glasto lineup and actually watched some of it – that’s progression. fuck bush AND noel gallagher.

shakin’ stevens? i don’t think most of the glasto-goers are old enough to get the irony, but whatever. i had no idea so many genres were covered, albeit in a minor way compared to the dull faceless indie bands.

i’m not saying i would go…i still don’t do mud and tents…

download here

amy winehouse – you know i’m no good

crowded house – fall at your feet

dizzee rascal – stand up tall

duffy – warwick avenue

eddy grant – do you feel my love

estelle – come over

groove armada – superstylin’

jay-z – 30 something

jimmy cliff – i can see clearly now

mark ronson – ooh wee

massive attack – daydreaming

specials –  a message to you rudy

 

the purple hook-up April 20, 2008

apparently prince would like to duet with amy winehouse and she has rightly said she would be there with bells on if that rumour is true.

after beyonce’s shameless showboating at the grammys, it’s lucky he’ll consider sharing the stage with anyone.

regular readers will know i love me some prince:

as do the current r&b cognoscenti

my fantasy prince setlist, should he ever do another greatest hits tour

last summer, i saw him at the o2…sigh

prince’s protegees for even more purple magic

my first ever post included rare prince material

some artists needed a little princespiration

even more artists jacked his style

download here

prince and angie stone – sunshine

prince and george clinton – we can funk

prince and jill jones – my baby knows how 2 love me

prince and madonna – love song

prince and maxwell – no one

prince and nona gaye – love sign

prince and rosie gaines – nothing compares 2 u

prince and sheena easton – u got the look

prince and sheila e – erotic city

prince and vanity 6 – if a girl answers

 

britain’s got talent April 19, 2008

there is more to the uk than leona, joss and amy.

i’m not getting into estelle’s rant about whether white girls can claim soul. i’ve barley heard adele or duffy but from the snippets i haven’t managed to avoid, i would think we’re in danger of confusing soul, which they may well have a claim on, with r&b, which is the category estelle et al would fall into.

but her point about the under-represented existing soul/r&b artists in the uk is true. some – beverley knight, jamelia – are often persuaded to stray into pop territory to raise their profile. i would say there’s a huge talent chasm between those two however. somehow i don’t think anyone will be talking about jamelia in a few years, no matter who she’s slating. bitter 30 something brummie with cheating footballer husband – now that will not be a good look.

download here

corinne bailey rae – young and foolish

craig david and kano – this is the girl

estelle – 1980

keisha white – out of my hands

lemar – someone should tell you

lisa maffia – bad girl

nate james – universal

taio cruz – backseat love

terri walker – flirtin’

winta gordon – surveillance

 

the britszzzzzz….. February 21, 2008

brits.jpg

 so, despite some precarious moments thanks to the autocue dodging osborne family, last night’s brit awards went off without any major hitches. everyone in attendance was absolutely ratted but it was just as well as it provided mild entertainment against the musical banality.

the highlight was probably kanye west getting cut off again but the full clip will probably soon surface on youtube so we won’t miss out on the latest instalment of kanye’s soapbox.

is anyone really surprised we have an alcohol crisis in this country? i wasn’t averse to a malibu at the age 14 myself but its just everywhere now. we didn’t see pissed people on tv unless oliver reed was on.

fab macca thumbs aloft made an excruciatingly well timed appearance to receive an achievement award that, oh yes, the spice girls nabbed about ten years ago. then he sang some beatles tracks to remind us that he’s entitled to keep his cash. i was really late for work on the day of the gmtv heather mills interview…

but who did you really want to win? has allowing ‘urban’ nominations in the standard categories made much of a difference if nauseatingly quirky indie bands win everything anyway? hardly representative of britain’s current musical taste across all classes is it? students and estate agents, maybe.

anyway, these are my brit awards. stuff the arctic monkeys and their sub-liam gallagher, sub-brandon block, sub-jarvis cocker act right up….

british male solo artist
actual winner: james morrison
my winner: lemar

british female solo artist
actual winner: amy winehouse
my winner: yeah I’ll go with that

british album
actual winner: arctic monkeys – some shit indie music
my winner: probably amy again

british group
actual winners: arctic monkeys
my winners: sugababes

british breakthrough act
actual winners: the fratellis
my winner: leona lewis

international breakthrough act
actual winner: orson
my winner:  van hunt

british live act
actual winners: muse
my winner: beverley knight

british single
actual winner: take that – patience
my winner: leona should have got this, surely

international male solo artist
actual winner: justin timberlake
my winner: not disagreeing with that

international female solo artist
actual winner: nelly furtado
my winner: it’s been rihanna’s year

international group
actual winners: the killers
my winner: i don’t know…2007 wasn’t been a great year for groups

international album
actual winners: the killers – sam’s town
my winner: ryan leslie – used to be

outstanding contribution to music: prince

 

only when i laugh January 13, 2008

 nice orange leather catsuit.

every once in a while, a song comes along that actually injects some humour into the lyrics. its the artist’s stand up moment. it’s not that hard…why doesn’t it happen more often?

top five stand up:

  • eddie murphy and the ice cream you can’t afford
  • peter kay and the walking onto the dancefloor dance. and the ‘fine rain that soaks you right through’
  • al murray ‘was never confused’
  • chris rock and er, men who want credit for taking care of their kids…and not being in prison
  • ricky gervais when he isn’t being smug

an honorable mention* must go to lisa moorish. yes, lisa moorish, primrose hill bike, had a career in the 90s and had one vaguely amusing hit ‘mr friday night’, which poked fun at the white shirt brigade. apparently the sales of three cd singles is enough to finance a house in primrose hill and ensure you never have to work again. oh no wait, she actually made sure she got pregnant by someone with a bit of cash – liam gallagher – so she could keep up with kate moss. and fellow oxygen thieves meg and sadie.

*not so much of an honourable mention

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alexander o’neal – fake

even in the late 80s, weaves, fake nails and coloured contacts were in abundance. alex calls them out. cos…yeah, i bet he really goes for the au naturel look….not!

amy winehouse – addicted

starting to lose her spot as the most fucked up celeb on the planet thanks to britney’s latest antics. how long can it be before her PR steals her shoes, pours a bottle of gin down her throat and chucks her out of a cab in the middle of camden again?

cypress hill – insane in the brain

let’s face it they even sound funny. i once knew someone who could do a great b-real impression if you gave him a wig and a baseball cap.

jay-z – 30 something

jay lays it down for all his fellow 30 somethings who know better than these young whippersnappers…um….wait a minute, isn’t jay pushing 40? didn’t he need to make this track, like, ten years ago?

jean grae – how to break up with your girl

jean ingratiates herself with females everywhere by reminding our men how crap our behaviour is. don’t you just know jean is one of those annoying tomboyish women who hate every girl their male friends come into contact with?

john legend – used to love you

well, i think john’s sales have probably edged his finances closer to jay and puffy’s now, so what a difference four years make…i’m pretty sure whitney and bobby were broke aready by 2004 so i’m not sure where that idea came from.

kanye west and jamie foxx – gold digger

now a staple of chicago rock cafes up and down the uk. danced to by women who can’t really pull off the whole gold digger thing anyway…

positive k –  i got a man

box favourite from 1993. the girl who participates in the call and response has a really annoying voice. surely they could have got someone better? or maybe that was the point.

skeelo –  i wish

skee-lo was vertically challenged. and like all shortarse men he wanted to emphasise this with a tall girlfriend. what is that all about? at least carlton banks knew his place.

slick rick – mona lisa

like b-real, slick rick sounds funny even before you hear the lyrics.

streets – don’t mug yourself

tower block humour. ‘mugging yourself off’ has become a national pastime and helped to propel essex boy brian belo to bb8 victory.

tony toni tone – my exgirlfriend

supposed to be about an ex who turns out to be a hooker. but the first time i heard: ‘my exgirlfriend is a hoooooooooo…’ i laughed out loud, and still do.

 

meeting in the ladies room September 16, 2007

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surely the best part of most nights out is getting ready. as soon as you start drinking it all goes downhill, and once you’re in a sweaty club its all over. but the damage can be limited with the following:

  • waterproof mascara
  • hairspray on slippery soles to stop bambi-style entrances
  • proper underwear for graceful cab exits
  • copious amounts of lee stafford dehumidifier spray on straight hair before you go out
  • mark hill anti frizz serum
  • tesco makeup powder foundation – matt without being cakey
  • cotton buds to get the blobs of eyeliner out of the inner corners
  • nars orgasm / laguna – yes its £££ but it will last forever
  • clinique touch tint eye mousse – does not budge
  • marc jacobs splashes unless you want to asphyxiate everyone  i love rain, orange, amber and cucumber
  • wear your shoes with thick socks for an hour before you go out – trust me on this one!
  • liz earle skin tonic
  • fresh breath drops

you’re going to need to share or take a very large handbag…

download here

amy winehouse – fuck me pumps

that’s right, amy wants us to believe that she is sometimes coherent enough to make conscious fashion choices. she has, however, been spotted in camden without any footwear whatsoever. surely one of the worst places in the world to do that in…

beyonce – freakum dress

oh so that’s how she hooked er, super rich and fugly joe camel. i’m guessing she doesn’t really wear house of dereon – how ghetto is that name? it looks like the stuff you get in fenwick in brent cross… no i actually like jayonce. it would be really boring if she was with someone like usher.

india arie – i am not my hair

india may not be her hair but i bet it pisses her off when she gets caught in the rain. or in humidity. or too near central heating. god hair is a pain in the arse. but if it looks crap, you feel crap – fact.

jade – out with the girls

much as i like this track, it would be far more authentic if the girls sounded as if they had polished off a bottle or three of cherry lambrini in the cab.

jay-z – change clothes

proof that money can buy style, jay-z tries to get in on the act. i thought all most men did was shit, shower and shave?

klymaxx – meeting in the ladies room

a very 80s restroom hookup – i can just see the plastic earrings, smell the exclamation and picture the rimmel lipgloss.

lamont dozier – take off your makeup

a midtempo disco soul cut from a man better known as part of songwriting and producing trio holland-dozier-holland, who worked with most of the motown stable.

lil mama – lip gloss

has far too much makeup for someone her age. at that age i wore the same makeup to college, nights out, weekends, family gatherings, shopping….

missy elliott – let me fix my weave

what is the big deal with weaves anyway? it seems to be the ultimate insult to point out that someone has a weave. so what? most people have fake something these days.

patra and aaron hall – scent of attraction

i’m being won over by lighter scents these days. if other girls can identify you a mile off, that can’t be right…marc jacobs and gucci are getting it right. sjp’s covet isn’t bad either. if this track was a perfume though, it would probably be obsession by calvin klein.

sister sledge – il macquillage lady

makeup has come a long way since the 70s. even in the early 90s we were subjected to pink rimmel foundation, too much shimmer and way too much pearl. eyeshadow was brown or ivory. thank god for sephora, which they have now closed in the uk. thanks a lot!

vanity 6 – makeup

well, of course they did a song about makeup, prince wore a ton of the stuff. all of their songs were cute and this is no exception.