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Hello boys and girls. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin... because this is going to be a fairly lengthy post. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas is it not? Standing behind a woman in Starbucks (toffee nut latte - yummy) who had bought her husband a christmas card from her freaking cat highlighted how crazy but fun this time of year is. Unless she was going to make the christmas card from her "pussy" (Mrs Slocombe style - calm down mom and dad!) as a wee jape - but then again that is still frankly a little bit weird. Lots of DazPresents Christmas gifts arrived from Amazon today so i have bought some nice silvery wrapping paper to wrap them up in. Darren always goes a little insane with the tape when wrapping my gifts and I usually need a blow torch to get into them! Still it's not as bad as one Valentine's Day when he gave me two bags of flour and said "don't say i never give you flours". I still lay awake crying at night over that one....
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THE ONES DANCING LIKE A ROBOT TO ELECTROPOP:
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It's very hard to dislike Jean. Not Jean that I used to work with because she was a walking nightmare to manage and reminded me of Joan Ferguson from Cell Block H. Shudder. No I am talking phantasmagorical musical group Jean. Which when you think about it is a great name for a group. Better than George for a solo singer. But I digress. TheZapping loves Jean for many reasons - their myspace page gives us epileptic fits on a regular basis; they are friends with the lovely Switch22 and attend Scissor Sisters concerts together; they get to go to glamourous places like Jersey which is where Bergerac lives; it has Matthew in it from Bad Boys Inc so clearly reminds me of many furtive "under the duvet" moments from my teens. And of course Jean make great music also. Electric Legs starts as a sparse piece of electronica with a great vocal (particularly on the line "she was a lady, a supersonic beauty queen") before plunging head first into a killer of a chorus at about the 1min30 mark. Girls Aloud should whore themselves out for a chorus this creamy :) Spiralling proves they are no one trick pony - a hauntingly beautiful ballad that quite rightly focuses on Matthew's vocal, which carries the song. It's kind of Erasure-esque and that's a huge compliment from me. I thought Erasure did ballads (Always, Am I Right, You Surround Me) incredibly well... then it goes all Shakespear's Sister "Stay" in the middle and you are titillated and aroused musically all over again. Some say the electro-clash movement is tired and over, but Jean make it fresh and exciting all over again. I don't want to gush too much. I'm a natural gusher (once it went in Darren's eye and he felt blinded) so just head on over to their sites and check them out for yourself...

Similar to Jean, but not quite as good (though still pretty fine) are T.H.E.M. - The Human Ego Maniacs, who are Christiana and Justin. Based in LA they have been making dance records for a few years but I have only just clocked them on my radar. Again, they manage to take the inspiration from Bananarama, Human League, Duran Duran and turn it into something pulsing and exciting. Killer Killer is a logical choice of single - persistent electro beats and a chorus that is so unassuming at first that it's genuinely surprising when you are still humming it ten minutes later. For something more immediate check out the giddy Beautiful which rather excellently makes use of the refrain "Mirror Mirror on the wall..." Super...
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LINK: Jean's myspace site
LINK: Bootleg Baby's myspace site
LINK: Andy Jean's myspace site
LINK: THEM's myspace site
LINK: Purchase THEM's new cd via iTunes
MP3: Jean vs Mylo - Electric Legs
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THE ZAPPING BOOK CLUB:
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Books are generally quite ace aren't they? As someone quite wise once said (i think it was Belle from Disney's Beauty And The Beast) they can take you away to magical places where you won't discover it's a prince til chapter three. Or something. Anyway, The Zapping Book Club will recommend a couple of books on a weekly basis (or when I remember any"hoo") and hopefully have some sort of theme to it. But it's all a bit hit and miss with these things isn't it? Anyway, this week it's all about reality talent contests...
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~ Chart Throb by Ben Elton: I'm not usually a huge Ben Elton fan, but this book certainly caught my eye. Basically it takes a pop shot at the world of "unscripted" television shows such as X-Factor and American Idol where the judges (a music mogul, the nation's fave mom and some other bloke... sound familiar?) control everything that happens until one contestant changes the rules and the judges face becoming ex-factors themselves. I've not finished it yet so can't tell you what happens, but it certainly is a mighty interesting read so far :)
~ My Sister's A Popstar by Kimberley Green: Aimed much more at a teen audience (which suits me down to the ground whatever that means...), this is a pretty hilarious tale of a young girl whose sister wins a tv talent show, does a national tour and then returns home with cameras in tow as she is talked into having her life become the next hit reality show. Amid the comedic situations lies a touching story of a young girl struggling to find her place in life in the shadow of her bigger sister. Quite lovely...
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LINK: Purchase Ben Elton's Chart Throb
LINK: Purchase Kim Green's My Sister's A Popstar
MP3: Eton Road - This Old Heart Of Mine (from X Factor)
MP3: Leona - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (from X Factor)
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THE ONE WHERE THE ZAPPING TRIES TO PREDICT THE FUTURE:
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~Generally, I worship the ground that Poppostergirl walks on. Not in a creepy stalking way though. It's a metaphor, children. Anyway, in a recent comment, PPG referred to a boyband being put together and while this one may not be it, i am hoping they will be one of a glut of boybands storming the charts in 2007. It all started with Lee Mulhern, who looks about 13 but is 17, has some straight forward cover versions on his myspace site and is part of a band called Streetwize that was put together by that guy who got sued by Backstreet Boys and N*Sync. Still, the guy knows how to launch boybands so Streetwize could be in with a shot. My tip - try more songs like the disco-tastic Love Kills on Lee's site rather than the ballads. It will make you stand out more :)
~ And while we are predicting 2007 stuff (just like our 7 to watch in 2007), Music Week went on and on today about how there are so many female artists releasing new albums in first quarter of 2007 - including Kylie & Sophie Ellis Bextor (yay), Dido, Delta Goodrem and Kelly Clarkson (meh!) and Norah Jones and Lucie Silvas (zzzzz). Still you can't go wrong with the first two can you? And of course, if you read yesterday's post you'll all be as excited as me that Deborah Gibson is coming back. Yep, take it from me - first quarter 2007 is going to yield some great female music...
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LINK: Lee Mulhern's myspace page
LINK: Streetwize's myspace page
MP3: Lee Mulhern - Love Kills
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THE ZAPPING RECORD COMPANY PROJECT 2007:
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Remember when we told you that we were going to attempt to be a record company in 2007 and pick & choose singles for a select bunch of artists? no? Better click here and refresh your memory... Anyway, how it will work is that there will be 13 artists who will each release one single every 13 weeks. That's four singles over the course of the year. The single release will be promoted on here and you will be able to vote on where you think it would chart based on the rest of that week's releases...Now don't roll your eyes, it will be interactive, contributory fun :) Trust me :) Anyway, I have picked a certain number of artists for the "roster" (listed below), but will need 3 more to complete the line-up. And that is where you get to choose - they can be signed, unsigned, famous, breaking out, anyone you like, but they must have at least four songs to their repertoire... Suggest away dudes...

QUICK BITZ/BLOG WATCH:
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~ Lots going on in the land of The Feeling right now. Love It When You Call is out on Monday and I can't wait - two new b-sides and a Lo-Fi-Fnk remix. Plus a competition to win a phonecall from The Feeling? I would so love it if they called :) (he loves it when you call, boys...)
~ Why is the guy on the far left dressed up to look like granny crooner Ronan Keating (can i get away with saying that if I like Westlife??)
~ Goodness, it's all coming together for Mika... not only is he on Jools Holland on Friday, but he has a digital download EP out on Monday called Dodgy Holiday, and his debut album will be out in the new year preceeded by the brillo Grace Kelly...
~ Check out Daniel Kirkley rocking the essential black tie/white shirt on the set of his video for My New Dawn...
~ There is a new Abi Ryan track on her producer Jim's myspace page called Nothing Can Compare...

~ Remember when Heat was good - here is a vintage letter from yours truly from early 2004. They like me, they really like me...
~ We like Dan's blog - he quotes erasure, likes brillo pop music, comes up with lists of songs that have order and reason to them, likes the best Madonna b-side ever (Supernatural), has a wife who deserves a medal for being in labour for about 3 weeks and looks suspiciously like Dr Who. Marv.
~ I liked him for about 3 minutes last week, but now am over him. But if you are so inclined, you can download (for sample purposes only of course) Chris Daughtry's album over at Kimberley's excellent festive blog...
~ It's always nice when other bloggers you admire mention your work. Thanks Arjan for the shout out to my scissor sisters review :)
~ Nick's brilliant idea of doing a "mix cd cover" for the mp3s he posts is now up - quality music resides at AlienHits...
~ What About Brian gets a full season? YAY!
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Coming soon: A little interactive thing we like to call The Zapping Myspace X-Factor audition post (catchy huh?); a fashion update; some more lists at the weekend over on the spinoff blog; gay singers; crappy but addictive tv; 24 days of Christmas; more on the feeling and mika; a christmas gift guide of what you can buy me, er i mean buy your loved ones... and so much more its not even funny. Well some of it will be a little funny...

5 Comments:

  1. Poster Girl said...
    Ooo, published in a magazine!

    Interesting sounding books--I've never heard of Ben Elton before, but the concept sounds interesting/fun. Really, if anything's related to TV singing competitions (fictional or not), I'm intrigued :)

    Hmmm...I wonder if Streetwize is that band? Mark from the band looked familiar, but now I think I might juts have seen him somewhere else on MySpace before. Shame--it's always fun when popstars get recycled! 365's out-of-the-top-40 placing isn't promising for future boy bands, though, but hopefully a really quality boy band can still be successful.

    By the way, my shoes aren't nearly as fabulous as Ella's probably are, so that ground isn't really worth worshipping ;)
    Dan said...
    Paul - thanks for the shout!

    And consider yourself duly shouted as well. And I'm adding you to the blogroll, not that you'll see a huge spike in traffic via my puny little blog, but hey, every little bit helps!

    I can't even remember how I happened upon your blog, but I am VERY glad that I did.

    Dan C.
    Nick said...
    Paul, you're giving me a run for my money! I loved Jean. Thank you!!
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Give DazPopTart a peck on the panties for me, would ya, lezbo?
    Paul said...
    PG - you should definitely check out those books :) I am most disappointed and disheartened by 365 chart placing but i know better boybands are just around the corner....

    Dan - good to have you on board :)

    Nick - Jean are pretty fine are they not? I think they are starting to get some record company interest too from what Matthew said...

    D'Luv - no :)

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