Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Jana Speaker/Robots In Disguise/Bonjour Tristesse

Jana Speaker

Jana Speaker is a bikini clad sports promo girl turned US fake reality tv star. She is was in the Las vegas show 'Pieces' , a kind of low brow vagina monologues, and most famously played Cami the Moron on the Joe Schmoe Show sequel. Her website describes her as 'the OC's answer to Pamela Anderson' , bottle blonde and with the kind of prosthetic chest that could crush a man as he slept I guess that means.

Her website waxes lyrical about her rise from dyslexic bimbo to super intellegent cookery whizz bimbo, read it in it's berevity here

Robots In Disguise

I never got with the whole Optimus Prime Transformers claptrap when I was a kid, they weren't really worth the effort as a truck or as a rather cumbersome looking robot. Plus after a few too many twists they went all floppy anyway. My best mate at the time amassed a small fortune however selling stolen transformers until he was caught. He was banned from Tescos for years as a result. This Robots In Disguise is much better, known in part for one of them being the other half of Vince '‘Your moves are like being caressed by natural yoghurt" Noir from the Mighty Boosh. Mirror Mirror shows them at their most pop, and is easily the stand out track off the album 'Get Rid'...it could still get you banned from Tescos. Maybe.

MP3: Robots In Disguise - Mirror Mirror

Francoise Sagan - Bonjour Tristesse

I started this book sometime ago and never got further than a few pages, it came up in conversation recently and I feel prompted to revisit it. The cult french book tells the story of a 17-year-old girl named Cécile who spends her summer in a villa on the French Rivera with her father. Cecile seeks solace from her youth in the world of older men, a parody of her father who seeks solace in the arms of women to retain his youth.The story focuses on Cecile's naivety and fear of losing her decadent lifestyle as new women come into her fathers life.

Jean Seberg, of Breathless fame, played Cecile in the 1958 movie of the book.

(Read Unread Reading)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tila Tequila/Bat For Lashes/Wicked

Tila Tequila

Tila Tequila- 31.5 million people can't be wrong. Can they?

Tequila, or Tila Nguyen to give her her proper name, is the crowned queen of social networking. Trading in her playboy roots for an empire carved off the back of MySpace, Tila has her own clothing range, a mobile phone endorsement and a brief singing carer ahead of her thanks to A&M Records. Not bad for a diminutive Vietnamese girl who spent her early years in a gated Buddhist community.

Tila proves that all you need is friends in low places to make it big.

Bat For Lashes

Brighton based Bat for Lashes are Equal parts Bjork and Tori Amos, and Natasha Khan matches them both on eccentricity. The Wizard comes across like a sweeping post modern version of Kate Bush’ Wuthering Heights, all electronic resonance and otherworldly whispered vocals. It taps the influences of Broadcast in its use of vocal reverb and hidden drum movements but the depth and clarity of Natasha’s voice has a staggering beauty that is unique only to her. Immerse yourself in her atmospheric and tragic stories.

MP3: Bat For Lashes - The Wizard

Gregory Maguire - Wicked

“And I’ll get your little dog too..”

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West up to the point where Dorothy dumps a house on her sister and then cruelly melts her. The story centres around little green Elphalba and the trials and tribulations of growing up, all the characters we know from L Frank Baum’s story are here, Glinda (a blonde airhead) the wicked witch of the east, Dorothy and even the Munchkins. Maguire brings the characters to life, not by parodying the tale but by rooting its fiction in a deep seated reality, conveying the true tragedy of the girl who ended up with blue monkeys as her only companions.

Wicked has been turned into a successful stage play and has just opened in London.

(Read Unread Reading)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Holly Valance/Annie/The Book Of Lost Things

Holly Valance

Holly Valance: She's not dead.

The, kiss kiss, ex neighbours and FHM darling has been hiding out in LA, read that as touting for acting roles. She was in some commercials for telephone callbacks and had a bit part in some drama, the name of which escapes me, but I remember she played a russian pole dancer or something thereabouts. Anyway, she's back, well sort of...in the new film DOA: Dead or Alive alongside Jamie Presley whom I posted about earlier this month.

Watch her unique way of putting on a bra here


Ok, so this is kind of an old track really. I liked it a lot at the time it was released but I like it even more today since dancing round my kitchen to it with my daughter, who incidentally knows most of the words after just one listen. The Mylo remix beefs it all up with a much needed electro punch.

'You think you're chocolate but you're chewing gum' sounds like a playground chant if ever I heard one.

MP3: Annie - Chewing Gum (Mylo Remix)

John Connolly - The book Of Lost Things

John Connolly’s book of lost things is a brooding yet wonderfully poignant account of one boy’s journey into manhood. The twelve year old protagonist moves from unpleasant family sorrow, through adolescent jealousy and into a dark Alice through the looking glass style secret garden in search of himself. The surreal new land he finds himself in is populated by a glut of freakish characters and the boy, David, moves from one dangerous situation to the next dealing with homosexuality, cannibalism and half man half wolf like creatures. His only means of escape lies in the book of lost things which he must find in order to return home.

(Read Unread Reading)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Evelina Oboza/Juliette and the Licks/The End

Evelina Oboza

Evelina Oboza is the daughter of a Polish farmer, although I doubt very much she dressed like this while on his farm.
It's very hard to find out much about her, a European catwalk model by trade it would seem and apparently she was in CSI as a 'motion actress' ?! Not sure what that actually involves, walking about doubling for someone else I guess.

She also looks remarkably like my wife, although she doesn't dress like that on our farm either.

If we had a farm.

Juliette and the Licks

Juliette Lewis at al provide the song and MSTRKRFT lift it out of the ordinary to something far greater once again. I'm becoming a bit of a MSTRKRFT remix fanatic, everything they touch seems to turn to gold.

I find it very hard to imagine Juliette hanging out with Tom Cruise at a Scientology convention, seems so unlikely, her looking like somethingh the cat dragged in and him jumping up and down on the nearest sofa like a two year old. I mean, what would L Ron Hubbard have to say.

MP3: Juliette and the Licks - Got Love To Kill (MSTRKRFT Remix)

Lemony Snicket - The End

The long running epic by the Magnetic Fields organ grinder come author draws to a close. Will the Baudelaire ophans find out the truth behind all the fires, deaths and general unpleasantness?
In one way I hope not , however when the tale is complete the Gothic Archies album of all the music involved with this sorry tale will be released.

So get it over with quickly Mr Snicket!

(Read Unread Reading)

Friday, September 01, 2006

Becky Mantin/Adventure Kid/Paint it Black

Becky Mantin

Becky Mantin has the best hair on TV. Fact.

The former model turned weather goddess has the most amazing haircut, chopped and sculpted like a manga cartoonist designed it she's revolutionising the weather girl hair industry as we speak!
Currently Becky can be seen on ITV weather, prior to that she was an occasional presenter on This Morning (oh the glamour) She's worth more than that though, so watch this space as this is clearly just the beginning of her career....hell, her hair should have it's own show at least!

Adventure Kid

Sometimes things come full circle, back when this blog started I posted a track called I'm from Barcelona by We're from Barcelona here, a wonderful anthem that became the soundtrack to my summer. Well four months on i've found that track reinvented as the soundtrack to my autumn! Adventure Kid has given the happy swedes song the electro pop treatment, vocoderised, thumping, illegible and blip filled, like loading your Comodore 64 on a sunny but windswept afternoon.

Visit Adventure Kid's website here, worth it for the opening tune alone.

MP3: Adventure Kid - Robots Sing We're from Barcelona

Janet Fitch - Paint it Black

Set in and around the 1980's punk rock scene Paint it Black tells the story of Josie Tyrel, a teen runaway and art model, and how she deals with the suicidal end to her relationship with her art student boyfriend Michael. His mother a renowned pianist blames her for everything and slowly as Josie learns to deal with life post Michael she enters into a a twisted and turbulent sharing of loss with her dead partners mother.
Paint it Black is chick lit, but cerebral chick lit, 'Shopoholic buys Prada' this is not.

Janet Fitch debut novel was White Oleander, which was made into a film in 2002 starring Alison Lohman and Michelle Pfeiffer.

(Read Unread Reading)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jaime Presley/Buck 65/Republic of Trees

Jamie Presley

Now if you're like me you're probably more used to seeing Jamie looking like this playing the adorable trailer trash ex wife Joy in 'My name is Earl' What I didn't know is that she's been a model, appeared in an Aerosmith and Marilyn Manson video, she's been in The Pussycat Dolls, has her own lingerie label and was once Drew Barrymore's body double.

Yeah, I didn't get the last one either.

She's next appearing as Tina Armstrong, the wrestler wannabe supermodel, in DOA: Dead or Alive the forthcoming movie based on the popular video game.

Buck 65

Buck 65, the Tom Waits sounding ex hip hop artist also known as Richard Terfry, is given the MSTRKRFT treatment on this track. God only knows what he's singing about though. Something to do with the urban legend that JFK singlehandedly destroyed the fedora hat industry.

"And we're surrounded by assassins, phantomas, mutantes and serpents, werewolves and sex fiends"

MP3:Buck 65 - Kennedy Killed The Hat (MSTRKRFT Remix)

Sam Taylor - The Republic of Trees

Four children, Michael, Louis, Alex and Isobel, escape their ordinary lives by running away to a forest to create their own utopian community. The arrival of newcomer Joy however soon plunges their dream like lives into darkness. Billed as a modern day Lord of the Flies crossed with 1984 this is the first novel from the former pop culture correspondant for The Observer newspaper.

(Read Unread Reading)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Charlotte Church/The Knife/Hotel California

Charlotte Church

Charlotte Church: Voice of an angel, body of a welder.

Or at least this was how I percieved the welsh Lindsay Lohan until I saw the Guardian magazine's photoshoot with her from October 2005 (Front Cover image above), easily the best photo of her that I have seen, why does she insist on looking like this when she can look really iconic, like above?!
Don't even get me started on that dreadful 50's karaoke song she sang recently dressed like a corseted drag act!

Charlotte is soon to present her up and coming Channel 4 show 'The Charlotte Church Show' which will undoubtedly start up the Welsh bandwagon, building on ground already trodden by both Glynn and Imogen from Big Brother . Say goodbye to the regional northern accents that have dominated Channel 4 for so long!

The Knife

"Trees there will be, apples fruits maybe"

Even though The Knife's album debuted at number 1 in their native Sweden and they have received the equivalent of a Swedish grammy they are no Abba. 'We share our mother's health' is a freak of a song, a house style dance track with bizarre lyrics about apples and slightly nightmarish (check out the masks) but beautiful vocals.

The whole song sounds a bit like you're being yelled at from another room in another world.

This verison is remixed by my 5 year old daughters favourite band 'Ratatat'

MP3: The Knife - We Share Our Mothers Health (Ratatat Remix)

Hotel Califonia - Barney Hoskyns

Former NME and Mojo journalist Barney Hosykns takes us back to the late sixties and early seventies to tell the real story behind the vibrant LA music scene of that era. Via interviews with all the key players of the period he sets the scene for the rise and rise of the Geffen empire and the inevitable chaos, corruption and drug fuelled creativity that ran alongside it.

A rival record producer on speaking to David Geffen was quoted as saying , “You’d jump into a pool of pus to come up with a nickel between your teeth!”

this book reveals both the nickels and the puss.

(Read Unread Reading)