Monday, April 27, 2009

Christophe Willem's video for Berlin (not set in Berlin, though)

I love Christophe Willem's new single Berlin, but not too sure what to think about its just-released video. It's funny, but quite unexpected given the style of the song. I guess that's the trick and it works pretty well.
I already wrote about CW a few months ago as he was finishing his second album. For those who don't know him, he won the French X Factor 3 years ago, released his first album Inventaire one year later with a few awesome tracks on it, went on tour for months, and decided to go all electro pop on his second record. That smart little man recently explained he felt frustrated that only women, and more precisely women singing in English had access to well-produced quality pop music and that he didn't get why male singers couldn't. Basically he wanted his own little Womanizer! That's why he flew to London to pick some to producers who worked with Kylie or Britney and brought several cool tracks back home. Among those, a re-worked version of Kylie's Sensitized with Ms. Minogue's vocals on it, a reject from Brit's Blackout with new, French lyrics etc. Can't wait to hear all this from May 25. All this has a LOT of potential, the guy being a genuinely talented artist with daring tastes, at least for a French male singer, and no fear of shocking his core audience. A welcome change!

Caféine will be in stores on May 25, and Berlin is already available as a download on or French iTunes.

Here's Kiss The Bride, a song in English which was on his first album. It's a live version slightly mashed-up with Kylie's Can't Get You Out Of My Head. Amazing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fours good songs to kick off the week in style

(you know I HAD to)
Yes my dear readers I want you to feel good when you’re on the bus /train /subway /car etc tomorrow morning, probably under pouring rain if you’re in Paris. That’s why I thought I’d bring four pretty amazing songs to cheer you up. Cause you know, that’s the awesome power of music.

One: Girls AloudIt’s Your Dynamite
It’s the b-side to their phenomenal 21st single Untouchable, out tomorrow (Apr 27). The least I can say is that it’s just too good to be true. It’s a pop/dance track with a heavy 90s feel to it, AND it has a trance-like sequence at the end of each chorus. Major. Too bad they’re not singing it on their Out Of Control Tour, which started last Friday in Manchester. More on that ASAP.

Two: Lenny KravitzLet Love Rule (Justice Remix)
To coincide with the track’s 20th birthday, Lenny had it remix by no other than French electro duo Justice. The result is more than a success, and it can be downloaded for free on Kravitz’s website. If you have a chance to catch LK on stage somewhere next to you in the coming months, you should not hesitate: the man kicks ass.

Three: GossipHeavy Cross
It’s the first extract from their upcoming LP Music For Men, out sometime in June. I love this band for its raw energy, its great songs and its front woman, Beth Ditto. Aside from her impressive and deeply touching and distinctive voice, she’s got a real originality going far beyond the usual music industry criteria. She’s even fiercer than Sasha herself! Heavy Cross is a return in top form which makes me even more eager to hear what the band’s got in store with their new record.
Four: Lights – Ice

Lights is a young artist I had never heard about until Popjustice featured her a few days ago. She’s a cute brunette, and has an EP out which is quite good. Ice is my fave of the six songs. It’s ear-candy synth pop, perfect to wake up to in the morning. You can get the songs from iTunes, and you should. Apart from that, she’s from Canada, and here’s her MySpace. The end.

Little Boots has a video for her future hit New In Town

Well, everything's pretty much said in the title, isn't it? I know I've already written a lot about Little Boots, but she being my current musical obsession, I couldn't avoid to mention the fact that her first-ever proper video is out. It's pretty fun and she's insanely hot in it.
Basically it goes like this: act 1 The Lady and the dancing Tramps / act 2: The beauty and the hip-hop dancers / act 3: the Beauty and the car drivers' orgy. Or something like that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Little Boots, Little Lady, Huge Talent

Yesterday (Wed April 22nd), I was lucky enough to stand one metre away from 2009’s pop sensation, Miss Victoria Hesketh a.k.a. Little Boots. With the release of her first album Hands being imminent (June 1), promotional work has already begun. On Monday and Tuesday she opened for the Ting Tings in Paris, and on Wednesday she performed an 8-song set at legendary night club Le Régine.
Taking the stage a little after midnight, Victoria, her drummer and keyboard player kicked things off with Earthquake, probably one of her most efficient tracks, an electro-pop belter which really got things going. After saying greeting the audience with a very cute “bonsoir Paris, je suis Petit Bottes” (“Good evening Paris, I’m Little Boots”), she went on with the wonderful Meddle, soon followed by a new track from her upcoming album, Tune Into My Heart, which makes me believe that Hands is going to me a real masterpiece. The fourth track of the set was the delicious Mathematics, which clearly stands out with its funny lyrics based on something that used to not make me happy: maths. Then she introduced two new songs I had never heard before, Symmetry and Remedy, two heavily electro bangers strongly influenced by Goldfrapp’s style (think Strict Machine or Ooh La La). I immediately loved them anyway!

As the end of the got nearer and nearer, she performed her first proper single, New In Town, which I hope is going to be big in the charts, even though to me it wasn’t the most obvious choice to make for a first single. But still, it has some potential, even more when performed live. Of course, the last song of the set was Stuck On Repeat, which was played in its extended version, much to the audience’s pleasure. This track is a great summary of 2009’s electro-pop vibe. It’s extremely simple yet very cleverly built. This song has “hit” written all over it, so I really hope it gets released as a proper single later.

Sorry for the super crappy video & pics...!
Overall it was a great and very promising show, which made me even more certain that Little Boots is THE artist of 2009, and probably many years after that. Victoria proved she could take a stage and rock it for 30 minutes. Plus, her voice is really strong and and now I can’t wait to see her perform a proper headlining show, hopefully very soon. For now, bring on the album, Boots!

In other news, Little Boots covered the already amazing Rich Girls by The Virgins, turning it into Rich Boys and giving it a welcome electro spin that would make any boy, poor or rich melt! Get it fast, I’ll take the link down in 48 hours.

Here is New In Town, in case you haven’t heard it yet…

And finally, another great cover, of Sugababes’ classic Overload. Victoria filmed herself in her hotel room in Berlin, switched her Tenorion on and delivered this rather amazing version of the track. Enjoy guys!
Little Boots - Overload (Sugababes cover)

Don’t forget, New In Town will be released on May 25, while the album Hands will be yours from June 1.

Paolo Nutini's sweet Candy

Three years ago a nice Scottish guy looking more like a boy than a man, called Paolo Nutini arrived in the musical landscape with a simple and fresh-sounding collection of songs called These Streets. The fact he and James Morrison appeared almost simultaneously on the scene means they have often been compared. True, they share some similarities, the main one being their musical style. They both make human-sized pop songs with a slightly rock & folk edge. Basically they both are nice guys making pretty enjoyable music. But with Morrison releasing his second record a few months before him, it's possible that the excitement surrounding Nutini sort of faded in the past months, while he was recording in new album, Sunny Side Up (out June 1). But with the very promising first single Candy, it's very possible that things are gonna change for the better. Candy is a a fresh pop/folk song, as warm and nice as a sunny spring day. This might not be a revolution as far as music is concerned, but, better than just candy, it sure has the taste of a ...hum... let's say a passion fruit macaron with a glass of cold mango smoothie. Yummy!

Above is the video for Candy

Below is a little playlist of some of Paolo's songs, including his first single Last Request, a great cover of Amy Winehouse's Rehab, a duet with French singer Zazie called Duo (from her 2006 album Totem), and three joyous and more up-tempo tunes, Jenny, News Shoes and Halloway Grove. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mandy Moore is a new woman you know

Remember Mandy Moore? Not so long ago, when I was a homone-fuelled teenage boy I used to think her debut single Candy was cool (and she was hot). It was cool indeed, but it didn't exactly pass the test of time the way Britney's Baby One More Time did, to compare things that are comparable. It's funny because I heard the song again during the pas weekend, and it reminded me many things! So of course I watched the video on You Tube and felt very old.

Whatever, after Candy, I slightly lost interest in Mandy, until last year, when a song called Gardenia arrived on my computer thanks to my dear friend P. It has nothing of the sugary pop sound of her beginnings, but instead was rather deep (as far as pop can be!) and pretty moving. All that to say that Mandy in now a grown-up aiming at a more mature sound, while remaining a pop artist.

That's exactly the feeling you get when you hear that new song of hers called I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week. It's an up-tempo piece of shamedless pop that gets into your mind as fast as a Pussycat Doll spreading her legs. It might not be the song of the century, but it will do the trick if you're looking for something fresh and safe for the week!
Listen to I Could Break Your Heart Any Day Of The Week right here

And just for old time's sake, here are Candy & Gardenia.

Fantastic: 100 girls performing the Single Ladies routine in London

Some chewing-gum brand teamed up with Sasha Fierce aka Beyoncé to give away ALL the tickets for her November 15 show at the O² Arena in London. Apart from that they made this video below, which is a great example of good viral marketing. It's nothing new in terms of content (100 girls doing the superfamous Single Ladies routine), but it works damn well. Enjoy!

When Robyn joins Royksopp, amazingness ensues

I wrote a few weeks ago about that piece of electro-pop greatness that is the Royksopp/Robyn collaboration on The Girl And The Robot , but the post was later deleted by Blogger for no reason, since their was no illegal material involved. Whatever.
Their live performance of the track is a good reason to re-post this truly fantastic song. It is released sometime in May in the UK, and I don't know if you can, but I can smell a big hit coming.
Just to add a little to this overall very poor post, I have to say that Royksopp's album Junior which was released last month is an overall pretty enjoyable dance record. It stands perfectly as a soundtrack for a sunny and warm Spring day. You can give it a listen on Spotify or buy it from Itunes, 7 Digital etc.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Girlsbands war alert !!

Readers (all ten of you) !! Do you remember that post I made a few months ago about a new-British-girlband-you-were-going-to-like? Silhouettes, that was. Well I should probably have mentioned them again, saying they had a great song on their hands, according to the Myspace page (link). That song is called Keep You Head Up. Well if you look closely on said Myspace page, that properly amazing song is now nowhere to be seen.

Then today, reading about pop on the much-beloved Popjustice website, I read an article about a new girlband soon being launched by Fascination (home to Girls Aloud & The Saturdays, dream job for me). Those three ladies go by the name of Girls Can't Catch (WTF ??!) and seem to be of "proper girlband quality" base don the picture above. They'll be opening for labelmates Girls Aloud on their upcoming UK Tour. Well the Popjustice article (which you can read here) mentions two songs of theirs, one being Keep Your Head Up. And by the lyrics it is the same song as Silhouettes'.

So my idea is that the song was offered to Silhouettes first, but later taken by GCC. So naturally, the already-recorded version had to be removed from the Sils Myspace... I'm curious to hear the Girls Can't Catch version though. Well, as they say, when the song's good, it doesn't matter who sings it.

Anyway it's gonna be a busy year on the British girlbands front. Which of course means "a freaking exciting year" to me. The end.

Here is the Silhouettes version of the track, so you can get an idea of how amazing it is.

If you happen to own the copyright to this song and want it removed even though it's just here for streaming and information purposes, please send me an e-mail and I'll comply to your request.
Here's a pretty acceptable video of Girls Can't Catch performing Keep Your Head Up at G.A.Y. in London last weekend. Now you know.

And if you click on that link, you'll be able to watch GCC perform another (good) song of theirs, called Happy Alone

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Go back to tour rehearsals, bitch

(click to read more)

No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no and no.

This goes for you 4 other girls too, ok ?!!

(For a reason why I'm opposing this idea, please follow that link : NOOOO!)

Yeah Yeah Yeah(s) Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

One of my latest musical obsessions comes in the shape of a girl/boy american three-piece band. You might have heard about Yeah Yeah Yeahs if you're a Gossip Girl fan (or former GG fan like me) because they were featured once or twice on the show last year. Otherwise you might know them simply because you're cool.
They released their third album It's Blitz last week, and so close from Easter, all I can say is "Thank God". Plus the cover art features an see what I'm trying to say here : egg...Easter album. It's all karma, guys!

Anyway, whereas their previous efforts were clearly garage-rock infused, their new material is more electro-rock influenced. For the better, I mean. Their sound gained complexity, edginess and is much more exciting than before. The album opener and first single Zero clearly is one of the best songs of 2009 so far, being very simple and complex at the same time, but anyway VERY likable. Second track Heads Will Roll, if not only for its title (which reminds me of the poster catchphrase for Tim Burton's movie Sleepy Hollow!), is one hell of a song. I'll let you get a taste of the rest, cause I'm not going to find enough different ways to say "amazing".

For more info, check their website & Myspace page. Lots of funny stuff on there.

Short concert review : Julien Doré

It was great, people.

OK, I'll develop that a little: ...Julien Doré won French Idol (Nouvelle Star en français dans le texte) 2 years ago...became famous for his rather cool performances ...first post-Idol single was a cover of Alizée's fantastic Moi Lolita but in a rather original version...released first album Ersatz in June 2008...really (I mean REALLY) good job with this record...started touring La belle France at the end of mum (!) took me to his concert last week.

Mr. Doré proved he's a real showman, with a nearly 2-hour long set, reprising most of his first record, and adding some pretty fierce covers to the mix. He demonstrated a true sense of showmanship, surrounded by really good musicians and a rather fun yet surprising stage setting. All in all I had a lot more fun than I thought I would, so thank you mum for that ! Here and there are not-so-good pics I took with my brand new sexy phone, as well as a video of Julian's single Les Limites.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Have a nice weekend with The Noisettes!

As I'm off for some big fun these coming days, I figured I'd give you some ear candy to get crazy about until I return to blogging late next week...
Meet The Noisettes, a band which is currently sitting at #2 in the UK single charts. You might know their infectiously fierce single Don't Upset The Rhythm from the Mazda 2 TV ad, and here it is in full. It's pretty amazing.
Their album is coming at the end of the month, so be sure I'll write about them some more soon !!

Have fun over the weekend, and don't stop the pop, babes!

If you want to see the non-embeddable video, just click here!

Diamonds are a pop fan's best friends

Ladies and Gentlemen, my latest musical addiction goes by the rather popstarish name of Marina And The Diamonds. Marina is a British pop singer, she doesn't have a band called "The Diamonds", she calls Madonna an inspiration, was named one of the artists to watch in 2009 by the BBC, and she has four amazing songs as far as I know.

I'm afraid you'll have to visit her Myspace page to hear them, cause there's no way I can embed them here...

MATD is the kind of artist that's perfectly understood what pop music is all about: fresh sound, attitude, edginess and rhythm. Those three songs sure are promising, and if it's of any indication of how good the album's gonna be, I'm already melting. Bring on the LP, M!
Obsessions might be among my ten favourite songs of 2009 so far... I'll have to make some kind of top-ten-of-my-favourite-songs-of-the-year-so-far... Later!
Enjoy the tunes, and be sure you'll hear about M very soon!

This is another song called Seventeen, that's not on her Myspace! Love it!

One day a year

Artists who wished me a happy birthday today, through a heartfelt and credible newsletter:

- Robbie Williams (what? I subscribed to his newsletter ??! Didn't remember! Maybe that's because he hasn't done anything in years...)
- Girls Aloud (I knew I could count on them! I began to get hard...)
- Sharleen Spiteri (yay)

Not bad. But that Madonna bitch totally forgot. Too busy buying kids, probably.

Birthday song: Marina and the Diamonds - Obsessions (listen here). More on her very soon.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The curious case of Beyoncé Knowles

Yeah, a slutty & over-photoshopped picture. Cuz I can.

Reasons why I’ve always disliked Beyoncé Knowles as a solo artist, from a VERY objective and unbiased point of view:

- Bitch never bothers singing the Crazy In Love chorus whenever she performs it live. Frustration.
- She will never be able to topple her first single (a possibly one of the best pop singles of the 00s), the aforementioned Crazy In Love. Crushed expectations.
- Her live Destiny’s Child medleys are shit. She sings like 20sec of each song, whereas Bootylicious should always be performed in all its glory, and perhaps even in a 46min-long “extended mix”. Failed work of justice.
- She’s got disgusting taste as far as “fashion” is concerned. Blame her mother. Awfulness.
- Her live shows clearly lack the originality, edginess and craziness they should be about. A huge screen and nothing else is not a decent pop diva-sized stage set.
- She released her latest album on 2 CDs when one would have been sufficient, just for the sake of her concept. Not environment friendly.

Etc etc etc

That being said, I must say that after a few months of refusing to give it a proper listen, I’ve started to enjoy some of the songs on that I Am...Sasha Fierce album of hers. Of course, the ballads are dull, but the second CD (the “fierce” one) has some pretty good stuff on it. Like my latest obsession (as painful as it is to admit): Halo. Epic and perfect to sing in the shower. Sweet Dreams and Radio are rather (ie really) great too. Oh, yeah, and that Single Ladies song is enjoyable now that the hype surrounding it has finally passed.

PS: I was going to embed the Halo video, but in a very clever marketing move, it has been decided that it should not be made available for embedding. Congratulations to whoever is responsible for that.