"tired of movies all by myself, I'm sure you folks know what I mean..."
Before moving to the chaotic city of Caracas, where I've been living for the past 11 years, I'd always stay at my grandma's house for some days off with my mother-side of my family. As young as I was back then, my curiousity for all things music was present and would manifest itself by checking out old record collections of my cousins, who were considerably older than me. When my sister and her friends had "Los Merenguitos" and "Chamocropolis" as musical references, I had Donna Summer's "I Remember Yesterday" and, most definitely, Sister Sledge's 1980 disc "Love Somebody Today". I rescued both of these LP's from the dusty shelves and saved them for my own, placing Sister Sledge as one of my all time favorite albums (which is far better than "We are Family" to begin with). I don't really know how to express this, but I've had a special connection with this record, from the stylish cover and the even more stylish R&B/Disco production (courtesy of Chic, of course). It always takes me back to my growing-up experience, and it's nice to revisit it from time to time. MP3: Sister Sledge - Got To Love Somebody
If the 1980's has taught us something is that bad taste dreadfully ruled during that entire 10-year span, in both music and fashion. Nonetheless, there were some rare exceptions where the marriage between sound and style (or the lack there of) worked to perfection and gave us timeless beats. The following decade surely made up for what was missing in the previous one: the 90s brought back the simplicity and chic-ness of old times, shaped for the MTV generation, and coupled with authentic talent that relied on soulful vocals rather than weird extravaganza.
Enter En Vogue. Cindy Herron, Maxine Jones, Dawn Robinson and Terry Ellis, four gorgeous black ladies whose cool funky R&B dominated US charts during most of the decade. What was so special about En Vogue besides the facts that we've already discussed? They looked like the girl group next door, that is if you we're next door to Versace and Dior headquarters. Their lyrics easily empowered women (and men who felt like women) into being self-assured beings. They could sing their butts off rivaling the Mariahs and Whitneys of their day. They were so accesible (on music and on pressence) that you could buy them for the dozen if they were actually on sale.
The times have changed and their string on the charts might be over but En Vogue is back and are performing constantly on American and European shores, in a setlist that features most, if not ALL, of their biggest hits. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll put on my wig and my babydoll-shaped dress and sashay around the house looking for a man to teach him what it's worth. Halleloo! (I'm sorry, too much "Drag Race" lately)
In his liner notes for the ultra-excellent "Disco Discharge: Euro Beats" CD, Alan Jones, co-author of "Saturday Night Fever: the story of Disco" named Raffaella Roberta Pelloni (better known as Raffaella Carrà) as an "Eurotrash gay icon". Wiser words have never been said. This all singing/all dancing Italian bombshell has been shaking heads and waists since the early 70s with her high spirited and over-the-top camp numbers, so it's no wonder that the gay community has stood by her all these years, uplifting the woman into the "icon" category she truly deserves.
Choosing a Carrà favorite is a hard task, specially when there are so many good songs. People would prefer the latin infused "Maracaibo" or "Hay que venir al sur", but the one that's close to me is the rocking singalong madness that is "Rumore". I don't know about the lyrics, and honestly I rather not know, I don't want to throw away the fun about this mad tune.
Here's a treat of "Rumore", performed with tight-clad boys and girls on Spanish TV. Goditi!
If I ever want to look back at my younger years, at the times when I would sneak around my cousins' vinil collection or when my strange fascination for pop music truly came to birth, I definitely have to refer to this album. To me, it is one of the best examples on how a pop record should be made. No wonder it's so good, since it was produced by 80s demigods Stock-Aitken-Waterman (the men that brought you Kylie and countless others). It was also the zenith of Bananarama's reign as queer queens, already established by their campy video for "Venus". Most of this 10-set disc is brilliant and I might have even heard the first 5 songs of it ("I Can't Help It", "I Heard A Rumour", "Some Girls", "Love In the First Degree" and "Once in a Lifetime") over more than a houndred times in the last 10 years. However, I do have my critique surrounding some of the tracks: I don't really mind about "Strike it Rich" (it's the worst song in their career, as far as I'm concerned), plus I would have preffered replacing the original versions of "Nathan Jones" and "I Want You Back" with the re-recorded one with then-new Banana Jacquie O'Sullivan. And though "Bad for Me" and "Come Back" are two good songs, they are mostly filler and filler they shall be for ages.
Five years ago, Rhino Records came to the rescue and delivered some bonus goodies on WOW!: Single versions, remixes and even B-sides. Nonetheless, it reaffirms to me how great this album was and still is: TRUE POP GREATNESS!
I've never been fond of this so-called current of "World Music": marked influences from all over the world, made in a western context or scenario. I wouldn't deny, however, the interesting factor of it, discovering or rediscovering sounds buried in historic places. I was talking to a friend from London, and in all of our conversations he tries to challenge me on which songs of his childhood I haven't heard before. He scored with this song by Sheila Chandra, not only it is hardcore "World Music" but it uses some of the instrumental techniques of the time (1982), making it sound as good as any other pop/rock/new wave record.
Not the typical bollywood number, I'm afraid. It's not even kitsch, so at the end, it's better off that way.
As far as I'm concerned, the BBC is one of THE best references for what's happening around the world, whether it is news, economy, sports, overall culture and, of course, music. Since 2003, critics and important figures of the industry come together to select the acts they feel will represent the total scope of music for an entire year. Every time they've been spot on: from the hard hitting rap of 50 Cent in 2003, to the pop fun of Mika in 2007, and let's not forget the female trifecta of Adele, Little Boots and Ellie Goulding in the past three years. The list for 2011 is out and the top 5 is something to talk about, as they are totally different one from the other, quite unknown all of 'em, but won't be for long, i'm sure. Let's get to know them:
5: Claire Maguire: this 23 year old birmingham sunshine, compared to the likes of Stevie Nicks and Annie Lennox, started singing and writing music from the age of 7. At 17, she began travelling regularly to London to establish music contacts and also began posting demo songs on MySpace, impressing even the one and only Jay-Z and Jarvis Cocker. In October of last year, Clare got her place in an European tour supporting Plan B and Hurts and in the meantime, she polished what would become her debut album, "Light After Dark", set to be released in late February.
4: Jamie Woon: the son of Celtic folk singer and backing artist Mae McKenna has charmed a host of critics with his electronic soul. Initally inspired by Britpop, he started playing guitar at 15, and attended London's BRIT School, graduating the year behind Amy Winehouse, who he later supported live. Woon describes his sound and style as "R&B and groove-based vocal-led music", backed by samplers and programming, or just a single guitar track. In 2007 he released his first EP "Wayfaring Stranger", which will be followed on April 4 by his full lenght "Mirrorwriting".
3: The Vaccines: this indie foursome have been together since last June and its already drawing comparisons to The Jesus & Mary Chain and The Ramones. After the release of a demo, they embarked on their first UK tour which later took them all the way to London to play a sold out show in The Flowerpot, with an audience that included Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos and members of White Lies and The Maccabees. The Vaccines are now signed to Columbia Records and their second single, "Post Break-Up Sex" will drop later this month.
2: James Blake: there is no doubt why this man is on this list, he's absolutely brilliant and even though he's not number 1, he still deserves to be on the very top of it. When James was not studying Popular Music at Goldsmith University of London, he was making dub-step beats remenicent of Arthur Russell's experimental work in the 80s and 90s. He has three EP's, each showcasing his remarkable talent and sensibility for sultry vocals and electronica. His critical acclaim is practically universal and its bound to increase even more when his self titled CD (already leaked in the internet) hit stores on February 7.
1: Jessie J: if you've ever heard Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" (a catchy tune which i'm sure you have heard. a LOT), you'd be surprised that one of the song's co-writers is BBC's winner for Sound of 2011, Jessica Cornish, better known as Jessie J. Her interest in music dates all the way from her teens, when she was casted in Andrew Lloyd Webber's West End production of Whistle Down the Wind. At 16, she began studying at the BRIT School, and joined a girl group the following year. After her promising career almost stopped when she suffered a minor stroke, she found sucess writing for Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake, who hailed her as "the best singer in the world right now". Her first single "Do it like a Dude" hit the UK top 20, while her debut CD is set to be released sometime this year.
Here we are back again on 2011, so excited about this year but I won't say a word, you'll figure it out in a couple of months. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed the holidays with the old folks, but while we are on the xmas subject, I somehow don't understand how people could: a) spend that special occasion on their own or b) with a party destroying themselves out. Those are things I could not put my finger on. Call me silly, or just plain dull, but my kind of Christmas is dressed from top to bottom, with a drink in my hand, and being with my family in a nice and cozy place called home. I could spend all the best time I want over there, sometimes without lifting a finger, and have a ball. Interesting enough, "house" is the connection for my mp3 freebies today, a pair of views on the topic by two greats: my darling Diana Ross and the new stuff from Hercules and Love Affair, who's second album is expected to drop late in the month and it's bound to shake some booties with its cool 90's inspired house music. Come on in!
It's almost four hours left for those dreadful but hopeful bells to ring, indicating us that it's midnight, the beginning of a brand new 12-month period for everybody to enjoy. It is only fair to dedicate a part of this few hours to look back at what we lived during the year. And what a year it has been for me. Not much has changed: i still have my family alive and well and my work is as stressful as always, but I had a huge personal awakening, partly thanks to my travelings overseas. My experiences in London, Paris and Barcelona with my bestie Luchicha gave me a lot to think about my future plans, about my desire to try new things in a new environment. Not that I hate being here, but the situation that we're all in is not exactly very inspiring, to be bluntly honest. The whole world is out there, and I know that is waiting for me. Somehow, someday, I will be able to respond to the world's wishes. My heart also had a quite turbulent year, it got elevated to the highest highs and dropped into the most depressing lows, but all in all, I've gone through. My determination and persevarence, those are the things that keep me standing and going. All is not lost, and I'm quite content about that. After all, i'm still young and there's a lot of living to do.
Corniness aside, I've had a fantastic 2010, and to that I have to thank every living and animated being that had surrounded me all year long. My wishes for 2011? Being alive I guess, travel some more, fall in love again, who knows? Still, i'm looking forward for all of it. Bring it on!
That being said, I hope you all have a great new year and may all your wishes come true. See you all soon! xo
(the picture may or may not have anything to do with new year's celebration, but it ranks as one of the best i took during the year, so it stays. damn it)
Art is all around us. We see it everywhere but mostly, in recent years. we see it in the streets, accesible for the whole world to appreciate. I've noticed street art, but never went deep into it, never quite cared for it, until today that is.
I just came back from an art gallery with two good friends, Luchicha and Juanduh. After getting lost in an uncertain area of the city, we finally got to that art gallery for a very special occasion, a screening of Banksy's "Exit Through the Gift Shop" film. I'm seriously lost for words about this one. It's one hell of a documentary and it has many layers to it, since it's not all about street art and its main figures (Space Invaders, Shepard Fairey and Banksy himself) but also about a man that started from scratch and became bigger than his mentors, Thierry Guetta aka Mr. Brainwash. It took me minutes (90 to be exact) to realize that his work is indeed popular and quite iconic, after all Madonna commanded him to do the cover for the "Celebration" CD.
I really loved this documentary and also the song that goes along with it, just brilliant I say. It made my whole pre-xmas week. By the way, if I don't catch you all by then, merry xmas and a happy new year to all :)
Sweden is far from being underestimated when it comes to music. After all, it's the birthplace to one of the greatest acts in history (you don't want me to tell you the 4-letter name of that act). It is also the place for an ongoing wave of young talents, destined to get out of the freezy scandinavian weather and into the global scope of pop and rock.
Take notice on Indie outfit Those Dancing Days. Formed in 2005, this five-piece group of keaboardist Lisa, guitarrist Rebecka, basist Mimmi, drummer Cissi and superb vocalist Linnea has been turning heads thanks to their alternative sound and cute but energetic pressence on stage. They have one EP as well as a full lenght album on Whichita Recordings ("In Our Space Hero Suits") and next March will be the release of their second, still untitled. For this occasion, by a simple glimpse of new single "Fuckarias", they are slowly walking away from their sweet Twee tunes, replacing them with a harder, richer feeling, still maintaning loyal to rock details.
It's a coming-of-age period for these swedish birds, and it might be just the beginning.
Growing up on radio and cassettes, it's far to obvious to deny my love for the music of the 80's. Whether it was good or bad, awesome or terrible, there's something about the music of that era that moves me like no other. It makes me sing, it makes me dance, it takes me back to places I thought I tucked inside my brain.
One of my first memories of 80s music is Shep Pettibone, producer and a very good friend of a one Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. Everything he touches screams the 1980's and that's not exactly a bad thing. Any production in which he was involved is an instant favorite for me and one of his most remarkable works, not to mention a total radio classic, is his 1987 remix of New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle"
I don't care for any other remixes, I don't even care about Frente's cover (although it's quite sweet), the original Shep Pettibone remix is a must for the soundtrack of my life, and it's also my introduction to New Order, followed by the equally great "True Faith". It's industrial, edgy, disturbing, close to being dark and on top of it all, extremely dancey, enough to bust a move at every time this one is played. The video, directed by Robert Longo, is as intriguing as the song itself, just iconic and visually imponent.
Do I really have to go on much further than this? This is a classic, period. End of post.
Over the last month, I owe all of my discoveries of new and not so new music to a pale little person from my hometown of Maracaibo, whose knowledge and open mind about personal stuff is amazing me by the minute. It is someone that's becoming to be very special to me.
One of his best kept secrets, which i'm going to reveal just this once (sorry dear) is Mazzy Star, a dream pop outfit from Santa Monica, California, made up mainly by guitarrist David Roback and vocalist Hope Sandoval. My friend and I played a little game of making mixtapes for each other, showcasing one of our favourite artists. I chose the Supremes and went all intense by making an almost 70-track mixtape. Then this friend sent to me some songs of Mazzy Star and it was instant love. These are songs that aren't meant to be hard and sweaty, these are profound songs of longing, acceptance and adoration, evoking nostalgia, due to the heartfelt voice of Hope and the overall arrangements.
Since next weekend i'll be on a trip to Maracaibo, i'll be sure to make Mazzy Star a part of the soundtrack to it. Enjoy this one as well.
Last night I had the pleasure to enjoy a documentary on Patti Smith called "Dream of Life". God bless Patti Smith, really. I've written her off for so many years, mainly because she didn't sound like all my favorite artists. For that, I'm ashamed. But since life makes so many twists and turns, I was able to make up for all the lost time of not listening to her impressive work.
Recently I got a hold of most of her well known records (Horses, Radio Ethiopia, Easter and Wave) and now I can honestly say that I couldn't go through the day without listening to at least one song from Patti. She's rebellious, reflective, loving, revolutionary and artistic all at the same time. All of those facets are reflected on "Dream of Life", one doc I truly recommend. Apart from her runarounds with famous and fashionable people, she's a force to be reckon with, as far as I'm concerned.
"Life is an adventure of our own design, intercepted by fate and a series of lucky and unlucky accidents"
I have been a fan of Roxy Music from not too long ago. Always acknowledged them but never really took them seriously until I found the "Best of Roxy Music" compilation and then I was hooked and got me their entire discography. They have a song for any situation: whether I feel like trashing the house, or feeling glamourous and sexy or feeling reflective about my life and actions, Roxy has been there.
They are currently in the works for a brand new tour next year, one which me and a zillion people are dying to attend and experience. In the meantime, we'll have to sit back, wait and enjoy Bryan Ferry's thirteen solo album, "Olympia", which hit stores just recently.
If there was ever an ingredient for Roxy's slick sound, is Ferry. He was born slick, that's why he ended up with supermodel Jerry Hall in the late 70s before Mick Jagger won her over. He's an elegant man in every way and it shows on every song he makes, and the 10-set "Olympia" is no exception. His voice sounds current and gets even more improvement with the help of the record's numerous contributors: Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, Flea, Groove Armada, Scissor Sisters, Nile Rodgers, David Gilmour and his old Roxy bandmates. And to top it off, Kate Moss graces the cover of the CD, talking about an all star colaboration.
This is a total must listen, if you are long running Roxy Music fans, or just curious ears who want to know what cool sounds like.
Nick Weiss and Logan Takahashi seem to be two young americans who are just about to graduate and have a profound love for music. In reality, however, these are geniuses whose dark imagination travels them to the worlds of R&B, hip-hop, club music and even strange psychedelic nostalgia. Their sound is truly an unique trance-like experience where the body and the mind are forced to react to such explosion: they can be as tender or reflective as they want to be, but they can also turn the record upside down and create house bangers that will most likely to be the soundtrack to young girls (and boys) fantasies everywhere in the upcoming year.
Many people I know tend to recognize Blondie from their most popular work, from 1978 onwards ("Heart Of Glass", "Call Me", "The Tide is High" and 1999's "Maria"). That's ok, but still a bit unfortunate 'cause deep in its core, Blondie was an underground punk rock band with modern and tropical influences. Four male musicians, masters at their work, fronted by one hot blonde (with really dark roots), whose voice evocated sassyness, anarchy, sensuality and even vulnerability.
All the greatness of Blondie's catalogue should be traced from their 1976 selftitled debut on Private Stock Records. It's quick and fast (only 33 minutes long), with some intervals of slow jazzy tropicalia ("Man Overboard") and love magic ("In the Flesh"). Nevermind the lyrics, they are infused with remaniscent of the past, longings, romantic challenges and just pure crazyness: words from songs like "Kung Fu-Girls", "X-Offender" or "The Attack of the Giant Ants" would make a great example on how mental but how genius Debbie Harry & co could be.
With such fun, it would be a no-brainer to place this album into my list of favorites, just close to "Parallel Lines" or "Eat to the Beat" but not far away from "Autoamerican" please.
Before my love for cassettes, CD's and mp3's, there is my love for vinil. There's something special about them, about the way the needle is set in the first track, the hiss and dust creating a unique sound. We don't expect high quality, we expect the essence, the rawness, the elaborated design of the sleeve, that's why vinils have a strong, special place in my music heart.
One of my favorites albums these days is Mark Ronson & The Buisness INTL's "Record Collection", and Tashen's "Extraordinary Records" is a must in my night table. Taking that into consideration, I've taking the chance of digging out some dirt and look out for my own record collection, one that's filled with spiderwebs but also holds a cute little spot in my closet. It's been curated by myself ever since I moved to Caracas, and has been nutered thanks to my constant trips to a urine-smelling bridge with old books for sale and of course, old records.
One of my proudest achievements would be discovering most of Donna Summer's original releases. I hardly knew her before that, I guess only the basics, but never the album-only songs, nor the layout of the gatefold designs. One fine day, I decided to buy em all, it costed me like 200 Bs. each, as cheap as it was possible, I didn't care, I had to have them. So far, they are my favorites among the 120+ discs in my collection
Some downsides to my rack? It might be the "poor" state of some of the LP's like Diana Ross & The Supremes' "Love Child". I had to buy it coz I love the Supremes, but this one is pretty shitty. The sleeve is deteriorated and so is the vinil itself, it wouldn't be possible to hear it without skipping and hissing. Other downsilde would be me preffering a Milli Vanilli album over some cool looking ones from Michael Jackson or other 12 inchers. God, really, Milli Vanilli? I mean, I do think they made good songs, but they are not worth passing by some MJ goods.
Anyhoo, I hope you've enjoyed this post, I sure will try to update regularly, since apologies are few far in between. Till then... x
Long before she was known for singing about mistakes after a night of a few drinks, acting alongside Schwarzenegger, Robin Williams and Sean Penn and appearing on CNN and Fox News dissing Chavez and Castro, Maria Conchita Alonso was famous for being at least three things: beauty queen, drama queen and...disco queen.
After she won Miss Teen Venezuela in 1975 and established herself as an actress in soap operas, Alonso thought the next obvious step was to indulge into a foray in music, with the help of producer and singer Rudy La Scala. The result was a nickname (A'mbar) and an album called "Love Maniac", released in 1979 under a highly effective intrigue campaign.
Her record company Polydor and several music experts feared that songs written and sung in English would dangered her reputation and therefore, there wouldn't be an audience that could take her seriously as a singer. Keeping that in mind, Polydor decided to release the track without her face in the sleeve. The result of that marketing stategy was a chart-topping hit for Maria Conchita in September 1979.
She followed "Love Maniac" with another A'mbar album called "The Witch" but was rather unsuccessful and decided to concentrate on her acting career in Hollywood, as well as some other albums throughout the 80s and 90s.
It's obvious which song is candidate for "The Jam of '10", and trust me, it isn't "We No Speak Americano" (although is a close runnerup). It's actually "Barbra Streisand" by Duck Sauce. The first time I heard it I was so glad that Armand Van Helden and A-Trak were able enough to mix the electronic pulsating beats of today with what seems to be a nursery island chant that's so catchy and fresh in 2010 as it was when it was first created...almost 30 years ago.
Now who were responsible for this? None other than Boney M., a german Disco group put together by producer Frank Farian, who a decade later layed his midas touch on a certain duo of black male models. For a short period of time (1976-80) they were one of the most successful bands in Western Europe, thanks to their other-worldly costumes, their stage shows and their poppy tunes, one of which "Gotta Go Home" is sampled by the producers of our days to create a dance anthem. Long live Boney M.
Did i tell you guys already that disco will never ever ever die? Well if i have, than this is another testament of it. The greatest disco band of all time, CHIC, is coming alive once more with the release of a luxe box set called "Nile Rodgers Presents The CHIC Organization Vol. 1: Savoir Faire". This long waited release will get its due on October 18 and will showcase the classic era of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards' pristine productions, not only for their own band but for other performers such as Diana Ross, Debbie Harry, Sister Sledge, Sheila B. Devotionand more. The 4CD set will also include some unreleased tracks by funky keyboard player Fonzi Thornton as well as some awesome remixes by the king himself, Dimitri From Paris (he already put out a teaser or his rework on Norma Jean's "Saturday", which is pretty EPIC for a 2 minute clip. I would not imagine the rest of it).
If you don't have any idea who CHIC is, it's never too late to find out (actually, their biggest hit, "Le Freak" has been on countless films such as Shrek 2, and the baseline for "Good Times" has been influential enough to have Queen boogie and to land the foundations for today's hip hop tracks).
Rarely used, Myspace always comes with the best surprises, here's one I found out on my inbox. Remember the glam discofied sounds of Iceland's Max Skiba? Well one of his collectives, the KDMS, are releasing a brand new single with a video starring a space lady we all know and love.
Here it comes: The new slowdisco bomb of Kathy Diamond and Max Skiba aka THE KDMS. It’s their second 12inch release on Gomma, but already the buzz is big. Their last Gomma -single “Never Stop Believing” (including the infamous house remix by New York DJ legend NICKY SIANO) was huge with DJs from Pilooski to Holy Ghost, Sweeney to Aeroplane. And it is quite sure that the new one will get no less attention. “High Wire” can easily be described as a little masterpiece. Just listen to it one time and it will stay in your head. Remixes come up by Russian disco heros D – PULSE, Gomma’s own MUSTANG and KOOL DJ DUST (with releases on Permanent Vacation and Tronik Youth’s label under his belt). This release of the London Disco Queen Diamond and the Polish house wunderkind Skiba will be followed by 2 other singles the two recorded separately: Kathy has just released her single with Toby Tobias on Radioslave’s label REKIDS and another record with Nick Chacona on Mood. And Max Skiba (whose last single was featured on MYLO’s Mixmag CD) comes with a single on UNDER THE SHADE. We can be sure: 2011 will be big for these two disco youngsters.
It's thursday and almost forgot about yesterday, when a legendary cult bad bad really bad movie, one of my all time favorites, turned 30. Whew! the time passed so fast we hardly noticed. I'm surprised that some people actually don't know about the existence of "Xanadu" or the fact that Olivia Newton-John (fantastic pop star and NOT JUST the girl who played "Sandy" on "Grease") starred in it. Others are also quite oblivious about the plot which was pure disco nonsense: the core of the flick is the friendship between Sonny Malone, a record sleve designer, and Danny McGuire (played by Gene Kelly, in his last movie before his death ten years later), an ex jazz musician from the 1930s. Both men are enchanted by the same woman: a muse named Kira, one of Zeus' golden daughters sent to Earth in a flash of neon lights and roller skates. Her lady power inspire Sonny and Danny to transform an old theatre (the Pan-Pacific Auditorium) into a other-worldly place called...what else...Xanadu!
The critics, or should I call them the cynics, tend to focus on the really bad acting instead of what's so beautiful about the film: the choreography, the editing, the animation (at one point, Sonny and Kira suddenly are trapped in a Disney-like fantasy) and of course, the music, provided by Livvy, brit legend Cliff Richard, rock group The Tubes on a jazz-new wave hybrid called "Dancin'" and the Electric Light Orchestra, who puts the cherry on the milkshake on the classic title track, the one that goes on forever. The story and its legacy is still going strong thanks to the gay comunity taking it to heart and a Broadway adaptation that was quite popular in 2007-08.
I've always had a thing for that strange smokey persona that is the enigmatic Gary Numan. The pale face, black eyeliner, the suits, it's an imagery that evoques artistic imposition, theatricality and an alternative point of view. Overall, it was a very distintive style that, blended with his haunting electrobeats, influenced a world of musicians, from The Killers, to Nine Inch Nails to GaGa (even if she doesn't try to admit it).
Although he's most known for his 79 hit song "Cars", there's so much more to this man: his tours and albums are one of a kind and quite diverse (his sound is eminently electronic but he also flirted with synthpop and jazz, while his concerts could go from a rave to a down right industrial freak show), he married the president of his fan club and he's a certified pilot. Go figure!
My original intention was to leave you guys alone for the weekend and come back on later days but i've broken my one day silence to give you Bim, the birthchild of Rebecca Rosier and Tim Davis. This London-based outfit is getting the notorieity it deserves thanks to their "blend of harmonies, piano duets and electro beats", very much in the style of Imogen Heap, the Cardigans or even Abba.
The indie duo is currently on tour in the UK promoting their debut album "Scatterheart", a record filled with upbeat songs and sad but beautiful tearjerkers. Worthy of hearing indeed.
Finally after a long but deserving wait, I had the pleasure of watching the new biopic based on the life and times of France's ultimate bad boy, Serge Gainsbourg. For curious and fans alike, "Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)" is a comprehensive look at this provocateur, from his early years as an aspiring and hugely talented painter to the appreciation of his composing skills, not to mention his talent of seducing some of the most beautiful women of his country and beyond. (Even Whitney Houston falled for his charms...sortof).
The director Joann Sfar lays special emphasis on Serge's alter ego, the defiant, mischievous poet Gainsbarre, a troubled personality that would haunt him through his relationships, his career and his deadly vices. As far as the cast is concerned, Eric Elmosnino and the late Lucy Gordon are quite convincing as Serge and Jane Birkin, his muse during his golden era. Elmosino, especially, is Gainsbourg reborn, with all and his sometimes unwashed appearence. Noteworthy is model Leititia Casta, who puts all the stops as the legendary Brigitte Bardot (watch for "Comic Strip" and the birth of the classic "Je T'aime...Mon Non Plus".
Overall, it's not the typical rock/pop movie. It elevates itself into a form of art, just like Gainsbourg himself.
That said, it made perfect sense that a group like Pet Shop Boys, dressed in conical hats and riding rickshaws, would take part in the Games’ closing ceremony performing one of their biggest hits and a true outlook at class and inner-city pressure, “West End Girls.”