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Who needs guitars anyway?

Best Bits
Thursday, March 31, 2005

This Song Is Bananas...B A N A N A S!!

Here's a link to download the video premiere of Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl. It is just how I imagined it actually. Hollaback Girl is one of my favourite tracks from LAMB and I would worry that it being a single would make me get bored of it, but I still absolutely love What You Waiting For so I think it will be OK. The song looses a bit of it's oomph without the "shit"s but it's still very ace, as is the video. The Harjuku girls are there of course, looking a little more "street" for the occasion, and Gwen gets through several costumes ranging from cheerleader to marching band leader, and she looks fab in every one. She may try too hard a lot of the time but still does a better job of being cool than any other girl pop star around right now.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I already knew the almost painfully exciting news that Darren Hayes has written a track for the Backstreet Boys' new album, but I just read on the ace blog Arjan Writes that the song in question is Lift Me Up. As all true Darren fans will know, this is not in fact a brand new song but one that was first heard around the time of the Spin album. In fact, it has already been released by Olivia Newton John as long ago as 2002, as a duet with Darren. Click here for a clip.

I am a little disappointed that it's not a brand new song that he's given them, and as much as Lift Me Up is lovely I find it hard to imagine sung by the BSBs. It just won't come together in my mind, but I guess we'll have to buy the album and find out!

Gavin Degreat

Last week I posted on Into The Groove that Gavin Degraw's album Chariot would be released last Monday but it has in fact been postponed to next Monday (the 4th). I strongly advise you all go out and get your copy because anyone who doesn't have it is truly missing out! And for those of you who are clever enough to have bought it already, you may be interested to hear that he's playing a gig on May 31st at the Scala in King's Cross, London. Get your tickets here. And that's not the only good news for Gavin - the video for Chariot, his next single release in the US is going to be directed by Zach Braff, who you will know from the TV show Scrubs and Garden State, one of my favourite films of the past year, which you should all make sure you see because it's impossible not to love.

Return of the Timberlake

It's quite exciting to see Justin back on music scene, even if it's alongside Snoop Dogg and his old chum Pharrel. The JT bit of the song is good at least. I think I'll have to get Justified out again soon. Plus, with rumours that *N Sync may follow the BSBs and make a new album, he should be back in favour soon enough. Here's a picture of Justin and Snoop doing what I'm sure would fit Hilary Duff's definition of "a crazy dance" on the set of the video for Signs.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Everybody's Gone Surfin'....

Here's the new video by Miss Kelly of Oz. All these people saying it's "quite good actually" are right, but I think some of them may just be caught up in the shock of her doing something that doesn't totally ruin your hearing for the next week or so.

A more eagerly awaited comeback is that of my favourite band of many years ago, the Backstreet Boys. They're finally preparing to release their new single Incomplete and recently revealed the single cover. They don't seem to have changed their look since their last release, just got a bit older. I believe Kevin, the oldest member, is in his mid 30s now - hardly a boy! But the Beach Boys kept their name and they're ancient by now.

Happy Easter everyone!
Friday, March 25, 2005

Video Killed The Radio Star

Rooster - You're So Right For Me
Rooster are back on form after the slow-rock slop of Staring At The Sun. This would have been a much more fitting follow-up to Come Get Some. Rooster are never going to make the pop-rock major league but their fanbase has proven larger than expected with the reasonable success of their album. At least this video is semi-interesting too.
78% Poptastic!

Lindsay Lohan - Over
I'm pleased to Lindsay releasing a single in the UK at last. Rumours was on the schedules for ages but never got itself together. Over is a good choice for her UK debut as it's got a bit more 'edge' than her other songs and gives a truer representation of her album. It should be a hit. I'm definitely more of a fan of Lindsay music-wise than Hilary Duff, who was always pretty useless. I just don't like Lindsay's tarted up look these days. She may be 18 and old enough to dress and look how she likes but she'll always be the sweet little girl out of Parent Trap to me.
86% Poptastic!

Athlete - Half Light
I liked Wires but not to a level where I'd consider getting their album, but this second release from it is making me think again. It's lovely! As is the video, with a very elegant rabbit taking a starring role. This song is everything Wires was and more - equally grand and intimate. It has to do well...or the cute rabbits gets it!
93% Poptastic!

Other Video News:

Bloc Party have taken influence from Pop! for their new video for Banquet. They've got the buff hotties, the colourful video, now all they need is some good songs.

The Box are claiming to have the exclusive preview of J-Lo's new duet with Fat Joe. So how come I've seen it twice already (it's rubbish, obviously).

Number one in this week's Box chart is...Freefaller! I don't get it either. Perhaps they're going to 'do a Rooster' and have a hit with their rubbish second single. Or not...
Monday, March 21, 2005

Dirrrty Pop Review: Bodies Without Organs - Prototype

Mr Popjustice has a pretty good record when it comes to recognising brilliant albums and I'm pleased to say his taste is as good as ever because this album really is the "first great pop album of 2005". In fact it's one of the greatest pop albums I've heard in a long time and quite possibly the best pure pop album since the 90s. A swooping statement I know, but I wouldn't say it if I didn't believe it to be true.

Most of you should at least have some idea by now of the BWO/Alcazar/Army Of Lovers story, but for those of you to whom those names mean very little, here is a brief history. The whole phemomenon stems back to one ginger-bearded South-African Swede named Alexander Bard. He made several attempts at a pop career, including a drag act named Barbie, and in 1987, the year I too was born, he formed a pop group with his friends Jean-Pierre Barda and La Camilla called Army Of Lovers. They were glamorous, flamboyant and very very camp! Their music was electronic discopop from the start with styles ranging from dance/club songs to ballads. A Swedish 1980s Scissor Sisters, if you like. Sadly as fame arrived the band began to fight. La Camilla left and was replaced by a girl named Michaela and a new female member, Dominika joined, but eventually interest in the Army waned and Alexander began work on other acts.

First came the synthpop group Vacuum, who are still around today releasing singles in Eurpe and beyond and writing for acts such as Rachel Stevens. Then he struck gold with the fabulous Alcazar, who began as a duo and provided Alexander's biggest UK hit with Crying At The Discotheque. They have released 2 more singles in the UK since and remain one of Sweden's biggest pop groups, recently gaining a no.1 single with their Melodifestivalen entry Alcastar. Alexander's next move was to join up with an ex-member of Vacuum, Marina Schiptjenko and Swedish Popstars entrant Martin Rolinski.

BWO released their debut album, Prototype, in their home country last week (it has been out a few months in Russia, where they are most popular) and I finally got hold of a copy. It only took one listen for me realise it was something pretty special. As you will know, I'm a huge fan of Alcazar, but their songs are quite varied in quality, whereas BWO are extremely consistent. Any of the album tracks could have been single releases. It is often difficult to find adjectives to describe the music I love, but there is only one suitable for this album and that is glorious. Europop and electropop are my two favourite genres of music so a combination of the two would be incredible, and BWO prove me right. Imagine the European Scissor Sisters or an electrofied Ace of Base for 2005. Does that sound like your perfect band? It certainly is mine.

Here is a track-by-track review of Prototype:

1. Sixteen Tonnes Of Hardware
This was BWO's 3rd single and it's one of their catchiest songs (which makes it very catchy indeed!) with a brilliant racing video. It's so fitting that the first line sung on this album is vocodered. I challenge you not to be singing along by the final chorus.

2. Conquering America
Alexander called this BWO's answer to Can't Get You Out Of My Head and while it sounds very little like Kylie, it's not undeserving of the comparison. It was their 2nd single and is probably my favourite BWO song. In a story almost as bizarre as my discovery of Scissor Sisters whilst shopping in Topshop, I first heard this song in the freezer department of Swedish supermarket ICA and was so excited that I forgot to get anything for my tea and had to live on an apple and a Plopp bar!

3. Son Of A Gun
This song begins with a piano, but it only takes a few seconds to break into full-force electronica and "woah-oh-oh"s. The chorus is basically "son of a gun" repeated four times but this doesn't stop it being yet another masterpiece from the organless Swedes. Probably not a good choice for asingle but still definitely fabulous.

4. Open Door
Now for the band's one and only ballad, but don't think it'll be a slushy romantic affair or any less electro-tastic than any of their other songs. It begins a bit like Ant & Dec's one musical triumph (yes it did exist!), When I Fall In Love, and is very lovely as they struggle not to break into another danceathon. This is going to be their 5th single and I think it could be a big hit. The Swedes love this sort of thing, and so do I. If you're not so into the electronic sound but still want to get in on the BWO act, this is the track for you.

5. Walking The Night
A bit more Eurodance in style, this would have been huge in the 90s. It also includes my favourite bit of any BWO song, where the music pauses for Martin to profess, "cos passion is the route to my groove!" Who says cheesy can't be beautiful at the same time? These are truly the happiest sounding songs I've heard, especially from a male singer. They're positively euphoric!

6. Voodoo Magic
The verses remind me of some of the darker Alcazar songs but the chorus is as warm and bright as ever. There are plenty more "woah-oh-oh"s on show here and although it's not quite as much of a sing-along as some of the others you can't help but try! This is definitely the track I'd recommend to Alcazar fans - in fact if I didn't know better I'd think it was the lovely Andreas and Magnus on vocals.

7. Sunshine In The Rain
This is one of my favourite songs on the album. It's the most typical Europop with the cutest lyrics and melody, making me smile til my face hurts. The "woah-oh-oh"s are replaced with "ooh-la-lala"s and it namechecks London. Hurrah! This will definitely be making an appearace as the first track on any summer compilation CD I make this year.

8. Riding Through The Night
This song begins with a stage-whispered "bodies without organs" namecheck, which is always fun. It has more long notes that Open Door but a nice upbeat backing. The "woah-oh-oh"s are back with a vengeance. This is another one that I absolutely loved from first listen. Again, not a sing-along but you're going to try your hardest anyway!

9. Say I Love You
As the title suggests, this is a love song and the lyrics are quite slushy, but the music is still dramatic and exciting. Lots of violins. There is a great music break just after 2:40, followed by a quiet version of the chorus before breaking back into the chorus again full-force for final minute of the song. Yet another triumph, although perhaps not of the levels of the songs surrounding it.

10. Rhythm Divine
I read another review which said that this reggae-styled track was the let-down of the album but that reviewer was clearly lying. No Europop album is complete without it's token reggae song and this is one of the best, especially as it includes the words "looks like a martian invasion" and a No Doubt reference (possibly) with "the beat goes rocksteady". This is probably my favourite song on the album after Conquering America. I just can't help but sing, dance and clap along. This is a song of infinite aceness!

11. European Psycho
As with all great songs about psychos (see Vanilla Ninja), this begins with spooky synths and a racing, pulsing beat. The songs doesn't actually have the title in it, which shows that BWO are cool as well as ace. It doesn't have a proper chorus, but several sections which repeat. It's more unusual but still excellent and very 80s.

12. Living In A Fantasy
This was the very first BWO single, and it's a bit more laid-back than the others, but very intricate and surprisingly catchy. It shows off Alexander's talent better than ever. It's hard to review a song I've listened to so many times, but if you're a serious electronica fan then this is the BWO song for you.

13. Gone
BWO's Melodifestivalen entry and 4th Swedish single was this mid-tempo number. I'm not quite as keen on it as their other singles but it grows on me with every listen. I watched the performance (available for download here) and it was very exciting to see the trio in real moving life. Martin is scarily tall and absolutely beautiful, Alexander does a fine job of jumping up and down behind the computer/keyboard thing in his horrible jumper and Marina looked lovely, elegantly playing what my little musical instrument knowledge suggests is an electric piano in a fantastic purple dress.

14. Open Door (Disco Version)
A band like this couldn't do a ballad without making a disco version and it's just as good in both forms. I know I'll be singing "heavens got an open door tonight", which makes up most of the chorus, for weeks to come.

15. Sixteen Tonnes Of Hardware (Johan S. Remix)
Even when remixes are deemed good enough to take up album space, I rarely like them enough not to rewind back to the start of the album to hear the originals instead, but these 2 are as good as, if not better than, the originals. Whoever Johan S. is, I'm a fan!

16. Conquering America (Johan S. Remix)
If the aim of this mix was to make me feel like I'm caught up in a disco gunfight, it has been very successful. And I have to say the result is pretty incredible, but of course that's what we've come to expect by now! Anyone who says pop's glory days are over is wrong. Have a listen to Bodies Without Organs and you'll be a positive as me that pop will be back on top soon. If we got through the good music drought of the early 90s we can definitely get through this!

Click here for a brilliant BWO website.

Click here to get your copy of Prototype.
Friday, March 18, 2005

Video Killed The Radio Star

The Servant - Liquify
Following in the footsteps of BBMak, the Servant are a band who made it big(ish) abroad (particularly France and Italy) without being famous in their home country of the UK first. They released Orchestra, the first single from their current self-titled album in December 2003 and they're finally having another go with this catchy, lightweight pop song. The singer's dancing in the pretty video is very Adam Levine but their sound is more Daniel Bedingfield meets Kasabian - a strange mix I know but it actually works very well. Their album, released in 2004, is also good but quite hard to get hold of without paying a lot or waiting ages.
87% Poptastic!

Daft Punk - Robot Rock
I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of Daft Punk but I really liked the poppy sound of their last album, so I was looking forward to hearing what they'd release next. The first single, however, is quite disappointing. They've gone for an electro-rock sound which could be a good thing but this track just doesn't appeal to me. If they'd released a euphoric piece of disco-madness such as the similar but American band USE's Emerald City from 2004, they could have had a massive hit and a new fan on their hands, but at the moment it's looking unlikely.
45% Poptastic!
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Melodi Club

Click here for a WMV file I made of the best bits of the show which you can watch as you read. It includes, in order: Martin, Linda, Shirley, Alcazar, Jimmy, Nanne, After Dark, the results, Martin.

A male presenter says we will need pills to get through tonight. He's not wrong. The show opens with a short sequence of acrobatics which looks especially manic on the bad quality stream I'm watching. The presenters, Jill Johnson (she released a bad version of Hopelessly Devoted To You once) and Mark Levengood (I don't know who he is) are dressed in black and yellow. I think Mark's outfit must be an 'individual' take on Swedish national dress. Now they have moved to a different stage. There is a British and Irish flag near the front of the audience. Time for some singing, yay!

Martin Stenmarck - Las Vegas
This is a great song in my opinion, and I cannot stand Elvis impersonations. It's not really an impersonation but it's certainly that 50s cabaret style. It begins a bit like Fever. He's quite buff, I think - the fuzzy stream makes it hard to tell. His singing is good enough. I'm not sure what order this is supposed to be in cos Martin is neither first alphabetically or chronologically of when they got through to the final.

The presenters have got changed already! We've only had one song! They're worse than the actual Eurovision presenters.

Linda Bengtzing - Alla flickor
The pill-popping presenter is back and can't pronounce Linda's name. I've finally got to grips with the spelling. All Flickor is my favourite song out of all the entries in any round of Melodifestivalen 2005 so I'm really pleased she's made the final. Sadly her disasterous bright orange outfit from the first show is back too. Such a brilliant song though. Pure Eurovision and such a powerful, soaring, upbeat chorus. She reminds me a little of the lovely little legend that was Anjeza Shahini from last year's contest, in looks and general feel if not sound. I believe Linda was a Fame Factory contestant in Sweden, like Jimmy Jansson who is coming up later.

Nordman - Odet var min vag
This band are so rubbish! They have absolutely none of the Melodifestivalen spirit, yet are for some reason quite popular. The singer is bald and very ugly. He can't sing very well and the song is very boring. It's a sign of a brilliant song when, like Linda Bengtzing's, it's still utterly brilliant when you don't understand a word of it. This song is quite the opposite. It's one of those songs which you get every year in Eurovision and wonder why on Earth they were sent to represent their country, they're just so un-Eurovision, so hopefully it won't be the Swedish entry taking up that role this year.

Shirley Klamp - Att alska dig
Shirley is a legend in my mind ever since she made the most brilliant Christmas song of all time - her version of Do They Know It's Christmas. It's brilliance is truly impossible to describe or comprehend. Sadly this song is not quite that good but it's still pretty poptastic. Her entry to Melodifestivalen 2004, Min Karlek (pronounced Sharlek by those crazy Swedes), just missed out by coming second so she's hoping to go one better this year and I wouldn't be too upset if she did - she does have a better chance than my other favourites - but there are definitely better songs in the contest. It's good but doesn't really have any catchy bits, which a Eurovision song surely needs. She certainly has enough excitement and enthusiasm, though!

The presenters have got the giggles about something but I wasn't paying attention so I'm afraid I have no idea what it was.

Sanne Salomonsen - Higher Ground
Back to English at last. Sanne is really old. She is hugging the pill-popper. What a lovely couple they make...er, not! Yuck. She really thinks she's Anastacia and I guess she's not too far off. She's even wearing an outfit just like Anastacia's in I'm Outta Love. The song is quite catchy and upbeat but I don't think much to her singing. Nowhere near good enough to win and I'll be hugely shocked if she does, although the song is very popular on Limewire whenever I search for Melodifestivalen so you never know!

My arms are aching from all this fast typing. They don't have adverts on this channel (it is the Swedish equivalent to BBC) so I won't get any breaks. Ouch!

Caroline Wennergren - A Different Kind Of Love
I can't remember hearing this one although I probably have cos I seem to remember it's a boring ballad. Oh hang on, she is not who I thought she was! I have heard this song and I really hate it. I hate her too. She's not a totally awful singer and looks like the missing, particularly ugly, member of Cleopatra, but I have an irrational hatred of Caroline and her red scrunchie. Pauline Kamusewu did this sort of thing a hundred million times better. Search out some of her stuff instead.

Alcazar - Alcastar
Hooray! I love this band so much it hurts (oh it hurts, in the middle of the night etc.). Pill-popper says they have the x-factor. Tess looks scared. Their costumes and performance are unbelievably fantastic. They appear from a discoball for goodness' sake! The fancy dress from before is sadly absent but they work the 'matching in white' look better than any cheesy boyband could ever dream to. Everyone can be an alcastar! Worship the talky bit. Key change! Whooooooooooosh! Just try and tell me this isn't the best band to ever exist in the history of time.

Jimmy Jansson - Vi kan gunga
What better after the exhilarating excitement of the best band evertm than the cutest little popstar I have ever come across. Yimmy Yansson, as the Swedes call him! Liking the shirt in the interview. Very 5 Colours In Her Hair. He is after all a one-boy McFly with 100 times the energy. The Swedes do everything we Brits attempt so much better and little Jimmy is no exception. If it's not Alcazar or Linda I would definitely like him to win. Oh why can't all 3 win? It's too mean to only allow 1!

Fredrik Kempe & Sanna Nielsen - Du och jag mot varlden
Last one, and it's the oldies, Fred & Sanna. Sanna is wearing a highly inappropriate skimpy lingerie-esque dress and still manages to remind me of Leslie Garrett. Fredrik is simply a lost cause in his shiny red and black. As much as I love shiny, sparkly things they should only be worn by those young enough to carry it off and Freddy, dear, that does not include not describe you.

At last I can breathe. It's all over. Except it's not! There's still Nanne to go! Oh my God...

Nanne Gronvall - Hall on mig
Pill-popper mentions Hannibal Lecter. I'm not entirely surprised. Oooh! This looks really ace! I know the song isn't that great, but...big drums! Bright pink dress! High-pitched scream! Such fun! Nanne was already the favourite and coming last, as with all the singing competitions, gives you a big advantage. She is a complete nutter too. It's all very dramatic.

Now it really is finished, but of course the real drama is still to come. Who will be this year's Swedish Eurovision entry? It's super-exciting! I really am absolutely shattered. I shall certainly sleep well tonight. Better set the video for Popworld.

Loads of talking in Swedish now. They just announced what sounded like "Alcazar" but is in fact a lady with a mop. It's Lena Ph singing Det gor ont (unt?). Not sure who the others are though, maybe old Swedish entrants? Apparently it's Carola and Charlotte Nielsen. Now there's a Bucks Fizz-esque band and Swedish drag pop act After Dark dressed as Abba singing Waterloo in Swedish! Back to Det gor ont. The enormous trophy is back! It has bird on the top and every Melodifestivalen winner has a little plaque on the side. Then Carola sings another song. Kill The World, or something. One of her male dancers looks like an ugly gay Ryan off The OC and the other is surely H from Steps.

Time for points now! I can't see the board and I don't understand the numbers. Oh crap! Martin won the first vote. Shocking! Alcazar came 3rd. And the second vote (the presenter of which called Jill (the cheerful but probably botoxed female presenter) "schnukging"...I wonder what that means? Perhaps they're not very secret lovers!), Martin 1st and Alcazar 3rd again. Need to see who is coming 2nd. 3rd round, I think Alcazar won it! Yippee!

OK, I have a clearer version now. It was Jimmy who came 2nd in the first round, Shirley in the 2nd but Alcazar did not win the 3rd round - in fact they got a dismal 2 points, Martin fell out of favour coming only 4th and the top 3 positions were taken quite differently by Caroline Wennergren (yuck!), Linda Bengtzing (YAY! her first points so far!) and Nanne Gronvall (who had been predicted to win the whole thing!). In round 4, Martin does even worse with only 4 points and Alcazar only get 6! Jimmy, Shirley and again Nanne make up the top 3. It's now neck and neck between her and Martin - he is in the lead by 2 points. Oh it's so tense!

Nordman is losing with only 1 point so far - brilliant! Round 5 shakes things up again as Alcazar and Martin get the top 2 points and Nanne gets a big fat zero! Could she be out of the race? Not likely in this insane competition! Whoever wins of those 3 would be ace but Alcazar are of course my preference. Sadly they only get 2 points in round 6, Nanne only gets 4 and the top 3 points go to Caroline (grrr!), the lovely Shirley and buff hottie Martin. It looks like he has this sewn up now as he's 20 points ahead of Shirley, his nearest rival. Alcazar are 2 points behind her and Nanne is lagging 10 points behind them, but as we've already seen, anything could happen!

It shocks me that Linda isn't doing better. Her song is so amazing! Must be the orange outfit. Round 7 and Nanne does badly but the top 3 are Alcazar, Shirley and Martin again! He will surely win now! It surprises me a little as I had no idea he was a favourite but his song is really catchy and the power of buffness is never to be underestimated. Round 8 isn't kind to Alcazar but the top 3 are Martin, Shirley, with Nanne on top allowing her to overtake Alcazar in the leaderboard. Martin is still 20 points ahead of Shirley (they have 78 and 58 points respectively).

Round 9 brings good news for Martin, Nanne and....ALCAZAR! They finally win a round and get easily the biggest cheer of the night so far. Everyone loves the 'Zar so why aren't they winning? There's still time! The girl from Malmo looks just like Edith Bowman. Sadly Alcazar have plummeted back down to 2 points. The top 3 for round 10 are Martin, Shirley and Nanne. It seems that Martin (now 22 points ahead) will keep his lead but Shirley, Nanne and Alcazar are really fighting it out for 2nd place. Nordman only have 4 points! HAHAHA!

Round 11 and it's good news for Nanne, Alcazar and Shirley, who is edging closer to Martin but nowhere near close enough. Her points have been consistently good though compared to Alcazar's for example which have been all over the shop! Now they seem to want usthe Swedes to vote again? Maybe it's text votes. It costs 9.90kr...about 76p. Quite expensive for a phone vote, but this is Melodifestivalen, they can charge what they like!

Now another interval act. It's that Redneck Woman woman! She's not Swedish! Or anything to do with Melodifestivalen! OHHHH! I've just realised it's Jill Johnson (the presenter) singing Redneck Woman. I do love this song actually. Hey y'all anyhaw! She could have at least changed it to "I know all the words to every Lena Ph song!" Jill is in fact rather good. I may like her now. It's hard not to like anyone Swedish. Except Mr pill-popper who is back dressed as a red indian. It may be funny but I can't understand a word of it.

It's Lena Ph again! Dancing like a zombie in purple tights to the self-referencing masterpiece that is Lena Anthem. 14 mins til the end of the programme so I guess about 8 til we know the winner. Det Gor Ont! Again! It is an ace song though. I want some purple tights.

Carola is back with a sparkly envelope. Of course the winner must come in a sparkly envelope! The points for this final round come in multiples of 11. My expectation is that Martin's lead will gain him less votes cos frankly he doesn't need them, but this could lead to him losing out. So much tension! OMG! Shirley only got 44 points! She will lose her 2nd place for sure. She looks sad but waves. And Alcazar only get 66. Aww! :( They clap nicely with false smiles. 88 points go to Caroline! Oh no! But still she is behind Alcazar and Shirley so all is well. 110 points to...(OMG tension!)...Martin! Has he still won? I don't know! The winner of this vote getting 120 points is Nanne. The final results are up: Martin has won by just 3 points! How close can you get! He is very very excited! And buff! Hooray!

I'm not sure how to feel about Martin winning. I am quite pleased cos Las Vegas and Martin himself are both very ace but there were both better songs for Eurovision (Linda, Nanne) and acer people (Alcazar, Jimmy). I can't really see an American themed song blowing everyone away. But is is very catchy.

So the final results were:

1. Martin - 212 points
2. Nanne - 209
3. Alcazar - 135
4. Shirley - 130
5. Caroline - 116
6. Jimmy - 49
7. Sanne - 35
8. Fredrik & Sanna - 30
9. Linda - 15
10. Nordman (HA!) - 15

Martin goes up to get his award. He snogs an ugly man! It may just be the excitement speaking. Then he sings again and laughs through the first verse. he almost knocks out everyone on stage with a microphone stand.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Video Killed The Radio Star

Kim-Lian - Teenage Superstar
Any avid fans of Into The Groove will have noticed and hopefully downloaded the 2 songs by Kim-Lian that I have posted there. I even posted about her right here on Dirrrty Pop early last year. However, I never expected that she would, a year later, be launched in the UK! I am as you will have guessed by now a huge fan of this girl's exhaustingly energetic brand of pop-rock. I would really like her to be huge here but the chance is very slim. She may have a brilliant song but she doesn't have an ounce of coolness in her whole body. That is why I love her but it's no recipe for success. The video is full of garish colours and cheesy dance routines - it's particularly reminiscent of Lolly's for Girls Just Wanna Have Fun but the song is so many times better that the number doesn't even have a name.
95% Poptastic!

Caesars - Jerk It Out
Yes, this is the song from the iPod Shuffle advert, which also happens to be one of the acest adverts on TV right now, entirely thanks to it's extremely ace soundtrack. The full length song is even acer. And what, you may ask, is the reason behind their aceness? Well it has nothing to do with promoting overrated mp3 players. The Caesars are in fact a Swedish band, and on a day like this (the Melodifestivalen final...more on that later!) what could be better? The other thing that makes them ace (or tragic, it depends on your viewpoint) is that one of them appears to be someone's very scruffy grandfather! If you like this you should definitely listen to more of the Caesars' music because their aceness is very consistent. Hooray for that!
92% Poptastic!
Saturday, March 05, 2005

God Bless The N-or-way!

Now we have something brilliant to send to Eurovision I am getting very excited about the competition in May, so to ensure that you are excited too, I am going to review the finals by 2 of my favourite European countries, Norway and Sweden. The Norwegian final was tonight and you can still watch it here.

The finalists:

L-R: Jorun Erdal, Cheezy Keys, Andreea Proteasa, Kathrine Strugstad, Jahn Teigen, Blissed, Seppo, Wigwam.

Jorun Erdal - I Am Rock'n'Roll
Very cheesy title but the song is actually quite good. Not a winner though. I just noticed that all of the songs are in English, none in Norwegian, quite a contrast to Sweden where it's about 50:50, excluding the one boy in the semi-finals who sang in his own made-up language!

Cheezy Keys - Feel The Beat
Who knew that Cheezy Keys would turn out to be a 5-piece boyband, and with no keyboards or even an accordian in sight?! The song is surprisingly brilliant and the band are quite buff - I am shocked!

Andreea Proteasa - Kingdom Come
This girl should meet Tricolore cos her song also sounds like it should have been on the Lion King soundtrack. Actually this is a rather nice song but a little boring.

Kathrine Strugstad - Velvet Blue
A Europop princess at last, this is a pretty good dance-pop song and she has a nice line in sparkly blue feather wristbands as well as some rather flexible semi-buff denim-clad boy dancers. Not special enough to do really well though.

Jahn Teigen - My Heart Is My Home
The ugliest Eurovision hopeful since last year's Maltese boy, Ludwig. The song is extremely rubbish too.

Blissed - You Are The One
A nice girl/boy pop band now, hooray! Notable features are that they are all dressed in black and one of the girls has a 'mohican' hairdo. A bit like Alcazar if Annika was replaced by a wannabe punk. They're very cheesy but they are pure pop with literal dance routines and that is always a plus point. Oooh! Key change! The boys' jackets have "winner" printed on the back. Excitement!

Seppo - Can You Hear Me
A piano player & singer duet. Really really boring.

Wigwam - In My Dreams
A comedy 70s/80s (I don't know, I wasn't born yet!) glam rock band! They look old enough to have actually been a band in the 70s too. It's quite good too.

And the winner was...

Wigwam! I think Norway are going to do quite well this year. At least they'll be noticed, unlike Knut from last year who needed to be a bit more knutty.


Sanity has prevailed and it turns out that Great Britain does have taste after all! Jordan has been everywhere all week, even going so far as to announce her pregnancy and engagement on the week of the MYMU final, and still she could not win! I'm so glad that I will still be able to support the UK in Eurovision. I was all ready to defect to Sweden but now I can support a brilliant song and my country at the same time! I only wish I could have seen Jordan's reaction when she went back to her dressing room as I'm sure it would have been utterly hilarious. Also, someone needs to inform her that just cos she's got a baby growing doesn't mean she has to wear a babygrow or dress like a cross between Barbie and a Teletubby!

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