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I'm writing this in a future where it is Monday 27th November and probably lots has happened over the weekend that i'm probably not aware of! I feel like that guy Hiro Nokashima from Heroes, only thinner and better looking. Obviously. Anyway hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I trust that boybands are ruling the UK charts - what with Westlife and the number one album and Take That with the number one single? I shall be most miffed if not. And I will be furious and heartbroken all at the same time if Eton Road are kicked off the X Factor. But at least Robin Hood's doing ok in the ratings. I think... oh well on with the written on Friday but posted on Monday post...

For today's look at the changing world of pop, I am concentrating on 3 acts that i have mentioned a couple of times before, and all just narrowly missed out on my 7 in 2007 feature. Although to be honest, i'll be keeping an eye on them anyway. First up is the slimmed down Lockdown. In the last week they have lost a member, created a funky new image, updated their website and wormed their way a little deeper into my heart. The reason I continue to love Lockdown is because they remind of that time when pop wasn't judgemental, there was a lack of snobbery about it all and bands just embraced their tunes for what they were. 3 minutes of sugary goodness that just makes you feel good. I can remember more supposedly "throwaway" pop songs than i can epic rock masterpieces. And Lockdown have embraced that philosophy in spades. And more power to them for doing so. I've focused on their fun uptempo numbers before (a stomping cover of Poison included) but they also excel at quality pop ballad (think on a par with The Last Goodbye or Holding On For You - ballads par excellence) like How Can I Say Goodbye - a song they are justifiably proud of :)
Beyond are also going through an image update with new photos on the way. For now, I'll settle for the fun looking shot above because you can never go wrong with oversized sunglasses and a guy with his legs open ;) To be honest, the top ten in Britain (and America) would be a lot more fun if acts like Beyond were in it - they have Liberty X floorfillers like Show Me Off, the genius of A Little Bit of Ooh which just has a chorus so ebulliant and addictive it should come with a government health warning and even stock aitken and waterman covers (Cliff Richard's Just Don't Have The Heart) that shows their love of all things pure pop. I'm trying not to imagine an album full of tracks like this, because it may give a sugar rush so high (and not seen since the days of A*Teens New Arrival) i'd end up diabetic. I haven't seen them live but i can only imagine how great their dance routines are ;)
Finally we move onto Billiam. And sadly one of them is ill at the moment :( Poor mite. I'm not sure which one, but whichever, speedy recovery! Billiam are nipping at the heels of Pacific Avenue for my fave new boyband trio. They get extra points for realising turn up jeans are coming back into style and having a hoodie that says Super Ninja. All of this would be moot, if songs like Beautiful Ones didn't sizzle up your spine like a jolt of poptricity. But luckily even a 60 second clip does and it's merely proof that (as I said in Saturday's post) if you look hard enough you'll find that pop, actually, is all around...
LINK: Lockdown's myspace page
LINK: Beyond's myspace page
LINK: Billiam's myspace page
MP3: Lockdown - How Can I Say Goodbye
MP3: Beyond - A Little Bit of Ooh
If you didn't know any better, just by looking at Joe Brooks, you would think he would be knocking out the pop-guitar tunes favoured by Jesse McCartney or the syrupy ballads of Nick Lachey. Well you might think that, but you could not be more wrong. You could try, but you would fail. In fact, Joe (currently in Africa working on homes for habitats) takes his craft very seriously and writes and plays all of his own acoustic styled "mini-jams" with a maturity and depth rare in one so young. His debut EP Maybe Tomorrow doesn't even feature a cover version of the Scooch track, but owes more to Ray Lamontagne than it does to N*Sync. Tracks like Runaway put him in a category with James Morrison or the rockier side of Paolo Nutini. Song 4 is similar and is a great song for playing on a summers day while driving in your convertible. I can't wait to see what talent this matures into...
Similarly, Ryan Huston kind of looks like he just got out of a tour of duty. With 98 Degrees. And again, the music that is produced by this person couldn't be further than that image. A recent free download on his myspace page was the solemn morose song All Alone. Yet despite the maudlin lyrics, the song is a joy to listen to - the crisp repetitive guitar loop works really well and the echoing lyrincs (Wondering wondering wondering) fit in nicely with the concept of the song. Ryan has a cd of music out and is rerecording one of his tracks Daydream into a rockier version for his first single. If anyone has heard the acoustic version of Dashboard Confessional's Hands Down and the "plugged in" version, this is what I am anticipating Ryan doing with this song - giving it a whole new lease of life with some energetic guitars... And finally, I love people making songs their own - go to myspace (order the cd!) and listen to his version of Let It Snow. Talk about a winter wonderland...
LINK: Joe Brooks' myspace site
LINK: Ryan Huston's myspace site
MP3: Joe Brooks - Runaway
MP3: Ryan Huston - All Alone
What's not to love about musicals? Unless you don't like them, then you may want to skip this bit, although actually there is nothing else to skip to today as i'm writing this in the past and today is now Monday so i'm not really sure what quick bitz or blog watches there would be! Anyway, as Ellen Degeneres once and wisely said, my point (and i do have one) is this: 2 musicals are currently enjoying revival status on Broadway and once the bonus scheme kicks in at my new job, I will be over to see them. Newly back on the great white way is A Chorus Line - a film and musical I just adore. I think there are so many parts in it that are relevant to todays Idol contests - and the songs i've picked below would make great winners songs too... Basically it details an audition process to be a backing dancer in a broadway show and everyone's hopes and fears to get the part. Sounds boring, but is utterly engrossing... Celebrating 10 years of broadway revivalness (?!) is Chicago, which surprisingly only came to my attention with the film a few years back. A darkly comic look at justice and the media, nearly every song is a winner and again, parts of it are relevant for the stars of today (tho hopefully not the murder part)... The 3 CD box set is a delight with demos and more recent stars offering their performances of these classic Kander and Ebb songs :) BONZA!
LINK: Buy A Chorus Line cd
LINK: Buy Chicago - 10th Anniversary cd
MP3: Chorus Line - What I Did For Love
MP3: Chorus Line - One
MP3: Chicago (Lynda Carter - wonderwoman!) - When You're Good To Mama
MP3: Chicago (Liza Minelli) - My Own Best Friend


  1. Poster Girl said...
    The songs aren't working for me at the moment (something about exceeded bandwith?), but there's a very good chance that's just because of my computer, which has decided in the past couple of days that it doesn't like the songs over at #1 Hits either...

    Anyhow, in regards to the music I've heard at some point, I quite like Lockdown, Beyond, and Billiam. I'm sure PJ would argue that none of them would have a chance in the charts (I would very much hope he's wrong!), but at the very least we can listen to them through MySpace. Some philanthropic m/billionaire needs to open up a record label dedicated to releasing good pop regardless of the financial returns. Maybe that's what the Google guys should have done instead of buying YouTube. Or J.K. Rowling?
    Paul said...
    ooo it may be that i´ve exceeded bandwith on the server i use - will have to check when i get home. Sorry everyone - check out the myspace pages to hear the tunes... also can somone go to the ryan huston myspace site in the next 2 days and download let it snow? its free for a limited time only and i want it!! Email it to me at

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