dirty martini

old music for new people

remix me baby November 7, 2008

bluestrawberry

there are very few tracks that I will have mutiple versions of on my ipod. seems like a waste of space.

these are all exceptions. they’re either very different form the original, resung or i just couldn’t choose between mixes…

download 90s r&b remixes

brownstone – if you love me – characters funk remix

destiny’s child – say my name – timbaland remix

groove theory – tell me – 6 karat hip hop mix

jade – don’t walk away – mack daddy walk

mariah carey – dreamlover – theo’s club joint

mary j blige – you remind me – daddy hip hop remix

mokenstef – he’s mine – big ham remix

monica – like this and like that – full crew remix

shola ama – who’s loving my baby – ignorants remix

swv – weak – bam jam’s jeep mix

tlc – creep – untouchables remix

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sex and the city: girls on film March 8, 2008

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just over 3 months. ok…well i’ve been so busy at work that this is my first post in three weeks so maybe three months will also fly?

i’m going to summarise all the rumours concerning what actually happens in the movie.

  • big – real name john james preston, apparently – leaves carrie at the altar
  • steve cheats on miranda
  • charlotte and harry have their own baby
  • samantha gets itchy feet
  • samantha and smith are now living in LA
  • big dies

no sign of aidan, berger or the russian. but, don’t steve and aidan still co-own that bar? it wouldn’t be insane if he turned up again. maybe jennifer hudson, as carrie’s assistant louise, plays a bigger part than we think?

download here

702 – where my girls at

aaliyah – ladies in the house

cool notes – girls night out

destiny’s child – girl

destiny’s child – hey ladies

j holiday – new york girl

jade – out with the girls

justin timberlake – sexy ladies

klymaxx – meeting in the ladies room

moments and whatnauts – girls

switch – calling all girls

willie walker jr – watching the ladies

 

90s r&b girl bands: no hit wonders November 17, 2007

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how many girl groups did en vogue inspire?

don’t even go there with that spice girls theory. watching them on tv tonight was slightly embarrassing. the spice girls emerged before reality tv laid the music industry bare. three of them would have been lucky to make it into girls aloud and the thought of any of them competing against leona lewis is cringeworthy.

however you feel about reality music tv, it does give you the opportunity to create careers for genuine talent. its just that some people distribute their vote using the same principles as they might donate their spare change to charity and vote for losers like michelle mcmanus and taylor hicks.

there should be a reality show for anonymous ex boy and girl band members…simon!

check the a list

b list

and c list

download here

1 of the girls – do da what

this cleveland group helped then-fledgling producer gerald levert jump on the new jill swing bandwagon driven by swv and jade – and then he fell off.

bitches with problems – two minute brother

not exactly the classiest group on this list, these girls tried to outdo the boys and its not much of a surprise that their two albums sunk. their short lived time in the spotlight did launch one career however – this track’s video was the first from uber director hype williams.

cleopatra – come and get me

brummie poppets who became very famous, very quickly and disappeared in a puff of smoke, possibly quite literally, as disney was involved. middle sister and lead singer cleopatra is set to release a solo project imminently

eve – groove of love

that’s eve as in ebony vibe everlasting not as in eve the slightly butch rapper. ebony vibe everlasting…good god…sometimes the 90s were just a bit too worthy.

ghost town djs – my boo

miami bass tune which was so unlike anything else at the time. the ghost town dj’s were actually the producers – who were the girls?

good 2 go – never satisfied

new jill swing group from LA who were – gasp – white. perhaps they would have fared better fifteen years on as back in 1992, no one quite got them.

the gyrlz – if it’s games you’re playing

the gyrlz were terri, monica and tara. later the group became a duo after tara left, and has minor success throughout the 90s. the gyrlz debut and only cd is ultra rare and worth £ on ebay if you can track it down.

jazzyfatnastees – the lie

you can hardly call this duo a girl band in the traditional sense, rather, they’re here to demonstrate a different approach. more focus on lyrics than style and club bangers.

phajja – so long

late 90s girl band, no distinguishing features. still, the internet was live and kicking and they did in fact release two albums so the lack of info and availability of their music is a shame…

pure soul – wait for you

many people remember music channel mainstay ‘we must be in love’…and that’s it.

shades – serenade

classier girl group who rose from the ashes of new jill swing.

terri and monica – intentions

the sequel to ‘the gyrlz’ minus one member. i remember their music being critically acclaimed but success was still not forthcoming.

 

90s r&b boybands – one hit wonders November 4, 2007

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 these boybands had their fans out there – somewhere. occasionally, one of these fans will recognise them when they sell them car insurance. maybe that’s enough to keep them going?

slightly more likely to get recognised are the b list and the a list are still gong strong. and now with added z list!

download here

3t – anything

sons of tito jackson who are probably around 30 now. apparently in 1996 their record sales in the UK were second only to the spice girls. who knew? tried to make a comeback but in boyband terms are a bit long in the tooth now although that hasn’t stopped take that…

911 – in a magazine

no not the geordie shortarses who had a way with the ladies. this was a teddy riley project fronted by basic black singer dezo adams. folded with their label after releasing this and ‘cutie’.

az yet – last night

az yet are still going, in two incarnations. disuptes over who owned the name led to two simultaneous groups and to be honest…i’m not going to unravel it all cos all you really need to know is that they had this hit and did a couple of chicago covers. sorted.

basic black – special kind of fool

the precursor to the above mentioned 911, with more of a new jack swing flavour. had a big hit with ‘she’s mine’.

f.s effect – i wanna be your lover

could win the coveted crap 90s album title award for ‘so deep it’s bottomless’. no other info.

kreuz – do you right

uk group who actually got signed to motown but something went wrong. not sure what exactly but, it did all sound a bit too good to be true didn’t it?

h-town – part time lover

better known for their collaboration with jodeci on ‘knockin’ the boots’, which must have made for a confusing recording session as to my mind, they are exactly the same group.

men of vizion – do thangz

had two hits that i can remember, this and ‘break me off’. little bit cheesy in a montell jordan kind of way.

motif and positive k – you told me

positive k at least, had that crazy video ‘i got a man’ that was always on the box music channel back in the day. this lot fell under the radar, big time.

p.o.v – anutha luv

probably best known for their collaboration with girl group jade ‘ all thru the nite’. wore dkny baseball shirts and bounced up and down a lot.

portrait – honey dip

perhaps the only group on this list to release three consecutive 90s albums. you could call them a poor man’s hi-five but that would be cruel…

smoove – all about her

another comedy 90s album title ‘smoove with a ruffness’ which perhaps is directly attributable to its lack of sales as in those pre-amazon days the man at the record counter would look at what you were buying and smirk..

 

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.

 

90s girl bands – all credit to the spice girls. no really… July 26, 2007

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 so, a while back i did a post on the premier r&b girl bands of the 90s, and this is the b list. the ones who now work in telesales, stay at home with their kids or ‘went back to college to study fashion’.

its funny that the spice girls are still credited with opening up the market for girl acts, in a decade widely remembered for the proliferation of drippy irish boy bands. in the same way that nkotb didn’t invent boy bands, the spice girls were far from an influence on ooh, about 50 or so r&b girl groups that came before them. i laughed when i read an early US review that claimed the spice girls sounded ‘a bit like tlc’. yeah and mya sounds a bit like aretha.

so, being the same age as baby spice i was far too old to get caught in the spice trap and managed to navigate the irritation of my then new boyfriend fancying geri halliwell. we’re still together, and he denies everything.

these groups didn’t go on to conquer the world (destiny’s child) and don’t enjoy regular royalty payments by being featured on countless classic r&b compilations (jade, swv). they probably only had one good album each, that wasn’t quite successful enough to guarantee a follow up.

such groups don’t really exist today as it’s not commercially viable to put any money into new acts that will have limited success. at least this lot managed to shift a few units, if not a platinum amount. so, if they think they’re skint now, they should thank their lucky stars they weren’t born ten years later…check out the 90s girl band premier league and the even more unfortunate one-hit wonders. and the no-hit wonders.

90s also-ran girl bands – download here

zhane – sending my love

zhane’s early work was club friendly but little substance…so they did a reverse nelly furtado and wrote some nice material for their second album. also check out ‘crush’.

assorted phlavors – make up your mind

this group, with their typical mid 90s sound, suffered somewhat from arriving on the cusp of timbaland and missy‘s late 90s r&b revolution. along with…

allure – head over heels

…mariah’s girl group, who are still together but have suffered from delays and non-starters with their second and third albums.

braxtons – slow flow

yes, as in, toni‘s sisters. the group thing didn’t last long but tamar has had minimal solo success. did a fairly pointless cover of diana ross’ ‘the boss’.

for real – like i do

identikit 90s r&b group with no distinguishing features. briefly attempted to differentiate themselves with the original version of this track and its accompanying motown-style video.

nuttin nyce – in my nature

nastier than jade and more vocally challenged than swv, their main competition at the time. most of their tunes now sound very dated.

kut klose – surrender

slinky slow jam specialists, in my opinion they did grind’n’b much better than the slightly desparate sounding changing faces.

mokenstef – he’s mine

popular track from another faceless r&b group that doubtless prompted a thousand catfights in the (then very few) r&b clubs across the country.

sista – i wanna be with you

sista‘s album was shelved but has since leaked, and you can hear proto-missy all over it.

good girls – just call me

perennial old skool half-hour favourite, in the hard to find remix version. despite this, the good girls found chart success elusive, perhaps due in part to their odd penchant for acid wash denim, which was seriously passe by 1992.

 

don’t call them new jill swing June 4, 2007

when new jack swing started to falter, a new influx of girl groups, including swv, appeared circa 1992, along with mary j blige, and were hailed as ‘new jill swing’. see what they did there?

 

this was in fact a misleading label as the music these girls were making wasn’t a feminised new jack sound. it was in fact far grittier, and more likely to take its cues from naughty by nature than guy. another labelling hiccup occurred when, logically, since their names begin with a ‘t’ ‘l’ and ‘c’, you guessed it, that was to be the group’s name before the eventual tlc beat them to it within a matter of weeks.

 

most of these girl groups, in order to compete in the g-funk era, were forced to dress and act like men. gone were the lyrca minidresses and heels. in with the homegirl persona and lumberjack shirts. swv didn’t go down this route. maybe because they were still in high school, and hadn’t developed the right kind allure to carry it off. they were far from ugly, but its fair to say swv would never have been accused of possessing looks over talent.

 

coko, lelee and taj may have been young, but i had no idea at the time. they sang like women, in contrast to left eye’s cute rapping for tlc. they dressed older than their years, unlike jade, who appeared to still be hanging out with the underage street crowd. they weren’t too cool, which made them real. years later, their songs sound fresh.

their accessibility saw them enjoy huge success until their split in 1998. coko then embarked on a solo career, to lukewarm success. taj married a dallas cowboys footballer and currently has a reality show amusingly titled ‘i married a baller‘. lelee recently revealed that the group received little financial reward for their work and that she’s been struggling to stay afloat since the group split. sound familiar?

twelve swv essentialsdownload here

 

right here

their most famous track has many versions. the most ubiquitous is definitely the michael jackson sampling human nature mix, but this g-man mix is probably lesser known and proves there was more to the song than good sampling.

 

 

i’m so into you

again, there were several versions of this track – the original and allstars mix are widely available, but this teddy riley mix featuring wreckx-n-effect bumps along nicely. the first swv track i ever bought.

 

weak

the original ballad is nice, but this remix is perfect midtempo 90s jeep music. it had stuttering beats before timbaland invented them and twittery, electronic background vocals. should be on every chillout playlist.

 

 

anything

again, the original is ok but this remix, featured on above the rim, with the wu-tang clan, is something else. i defy you not to dance if you hear this in a club.
can’t cope
an unreleased track which sounds early 90s to me so probably a leftover from ‘it’s about time’. nice production, this has become one of my favourites.

all night long
featured on the waiting to exhale soundtrack, this is one of swv’s best slow jams.

use your heart
this version is a duet featuring rome. a young pharrell williams produced this, and several other tracks on swv‘s second album ‘a new beginning’.

mystery
another unreleased track, very unusual arrangement and I’m wondering why this failed to get past whichever album session it was recorded in.

can we
from 1997’s booty call soundtrack, this is one swv‘s most popular tracks.

tell me how you want it
another soundtrack contribution, this time from the money talks soundtrack.

rain
i’m not sure many people realise this is actually a cover of an 80s vesta williams track. this is one of those rare times when the cover is better.

where you are
a jackson five cover for the hav plenty soundtrack. i prefer this version to wacko’s pre-teen squeaking.