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Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday: Guys And Dolls - I Got The Fire In Me

"Don't walk away from the light"

Guys And Dolls were a UK disco-pop group popular in the late 70's/early 80's. While a lot of their earlier stuff is a little too discofied for me, once they developed more Abba-esque new wave elements, they became much more interesting. I think the ballad Broken Dreams is their classic track, but it's a little too subdued for a Friday. Instead, I'm going to post the excellent (and total Abba rip-off) I Got The Fire In Me. I love the give and take between the female and male vocals and, of course, that glistening cotton-candy production. I do have one request, though. My kingdom to anyone who has an mp3 of their late-career single Glory To The Beautiful People. I can't seem to find one anywhere, and I really love that track. It sounds so much like Scissor Sisters!

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Buy their greatest hits here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Swiss Lips - Danz

"When I call you've gotta pick up the phone"

I have the legendary Popjustice to thank for introducing me to this band, as they recently featured their new single on their home page. English group Swiss Lips is the kind of band that first inspired this blog. They've got that rocky 80's pop sound that I just fall heads over heals for. It's a sound that was pretty prominent five to six years ago in Europe, but has since been replaced by a more dance-oriented direction, favoring electronics over guitars. Hopefully, Swiss Lips will be one of the first to usher in a new wave of these types of bands. They've certainly got the tunes to do it. All of the songs they've released so far are excellent.

(Music posted for evaluation purposes only. If you like what you hear, support the artists. Listen to more here. Follow me on twitter and facebook.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Top Ten X-Factor Contestants

A little over a year ago, I compiled a list of my favorite ever X-Factor contestants. Now that time's past (and we're nearing the finale of the 2012 UK series), I thought I'd revisit my list, taking into account not only what the contestants did on the competition, but also what they've managed to do in the real world.

Dropping out from last year's list:
Stacey Solomon (UK 2009)
Same Difference (UK 2007)
Alexandra Burke (UK 2008)
Ruth Lorenzo (UK 2008)

10. Rhydian Roberts (UK 2007) - down three places
He barely hangs onto my list, mostly for his most recent covers album and the sheer weirdness of his XF persona.
Big Song: The Promise

9. Amelia Lily (UK 2011) - new entry
I had predicted that Amelia would win last season's UK XF, so I was really excited when she was voted back in towards the end of the series' run. Since then, she's released an amazing debut single. I hope the album is as good.
Big Song: You Bring Me Joy

8. Jesper Nohrstedt (DK 2010) - down three places
We finally got to hear some music from Jesper this year. Both of his singles/collaborations were great and exactly what I'd expect after his excellent XF performances. If an album is looming, he could easily climb back up my list.
Big Song: Take Our Hearts

7. Altyan Childs (AU 2010) - down five places
His performances in the show keep him on my list, but what's frustrating is that he hasn't been able to convert his win into actual post-show stardom. It's too bad, because he really did have some of the best rock performances in the history of the show.
Big Song: Summer Of '69

6. Samantha Jade (AU 2012) - new entry
The most recent winner on my list, and the one with (by far) the best winner's single. I predict big things for this girl. In many ways, she's the "new" Kylie Minogue.
Big Song: What You've Done To Me

5. Jedward (UK 2009) - down two places
The only "joke" act in the show's history that's actually had some staying power. Their Eurovision entries are both fantastic, but the real surprise was their third album that was released this year. It's credibly good pop music.
Big Song: Waterline

4. Olly Murs (UK 2009) - new entry
I didn't fully support him when he was actually on the show, but now that he's wracked up three hit albums and some truly memorable singles, as well as hosting the Xtra Factor, I'm a total convert.
Big Song: Heart Skips A Beat

3. Cher Lloyd (UK 2010) - up three places
From the best series of XF ever, Cher was an obvious choice for post-show stardom. Since then, she's managed to go global, releasing a great debut. Still, I feel like the best is yet to come with her.
Big Song: With Ur Love

2. Reece Mastin (AU 2011) - new entry
Probably the most believable rocker the show's had, Reece rocketed to the winning spot last year in Australia. Since then, he's released four excellent singles and one original album (after the obligatory covers release) that marks him as a very promising new talent in Australia and, hopefully, the world.
Big Song: Shut Up And Kiss Me

1. One Direction (UK 2010) - even with last year
I knew from the beginning that these guys would take the world by storm, but I'm continually astonished at how big they actually are. Their journey on the show was very entertaining to watch, but it's their post-show music that's really cemented them at the top spot.
Big Song: What Makes You Beautiful

Honorable Mentions/Maybe Next Year:

Martin Hoberg Hedegaard (DK 2008)
Leona Lewis (UK 2006)
Wagner (UK 2011)
JLS (UK 2008)

Little Mix (UK 2011)
Kitty Brucknell (UK 2011)
District 3 (UK 2012)
What About Tonight (AU 2012)
Christina Parie (AU 2011)
Union J (UK 2012)
Emblem 3 (US 2012)
Carly Rose Sonenclar (US 2012)

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Monday, November 26, 2012

My Anti-Eurovision Post

So today was supposed to be the day where I jumped on Alienhits to excitedly announce that I had gotten tickets to Eurovision 2013 in Sweden, making the pilgrimage for the first time. It's been a weird sort of dream for me... so random and rare for an American pop music lover. And it seemed like the perfect year, given my familiarity and love for Sweden.

I had researched when the tickets went on sale, set my alarm for 12:55 AM last night (even though I had to get up early for work today), and waited in the online queue to hold my tickets. And there were some great seats available to me.

Then, try as I might, ticnet (the lame service in charge of ticketing) would not accept any kind of payment that I wanted to give it. See, ticnet apparently doesn't take any credit, debit or bank charges from countries outside of Europe. Of course, they couldn't have made this clear before I'd spent hours researching flights and lodging and everything. So if you're a Eurovision fan living outside of Europe, you're pretty much S.O.L. By the time I realized I could "call" them and get a chance for tickets (like I was going to attempt that long-distance phone call), the event had sold out.

So that's it, unfortunately. Barring some sort of miracle, I will not be attending Eurovision this year. For those that will be there, have fun. I'll be watching on TV, again :(

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