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I quite like bonfire night, so i am full of joie de vivre and excitementosity. Sing, sing loudly everyone, “Build a bonfire! Build a bonfire! Stick the teachers on the top...” This is just a ludicrous old song, by the way, not an instruction to set fire to anyone really. As i would never condone that sort of behaviour. And as well as it being the day we celebrate the cruel burning of criminals, i have also given my blog a quick but much needed revamp. It's just the start and more cosmetic changes are coming later this month! Anyway, to go with our new sophisticated look, I decided upon a post that examines all that is sophisticated in the world at the moment...

Sometimes it is hard to find sophisticosity in the world of cheesy pop. Yet, like love, actually, i think you will find it is all around. Take Abba for example - surely one of the greatest pop groups of all time, whose songs sound so easy, joyous, heartbreaking and accessible. Anyone who has studied music or has a good ear will know that they are actually, incredibly well structured, intricate compositions that are very difficult to play and sing. And that is certainly proved in spades whenever any popstars try to cover the tracks today. Take last night's X Factor for example - over half of the 8 acts were embarrasing to watch as they butchered classic after classic. While I am still all about the two groups left, i will concede that Leona did a stunning reinterpretation of Chiquiquita. And despite nerves and a humiliating guitar solo, the effortlessly likeable MacDonald Brothers (above) turned in a decent version of Fernando. Though i would have picked something a little less obvious for them - maybe My Love, My Life...

But for me, the difficult Abba theme proved that this competition has to be all about Eton Road. Lets address some facts: they are (3 out of) 4 good looking lads. They have good enough vocals for a boyband. They are clearly having the time of their lives. They have a great, yet individual sense of style. They could seriously bring some sense of fun and joy back to the charts. And we desperately need a V-style boyband to be huge again in England. Their take on Does Your Mother Know was incredibly infectious and well put together and had a smile on my face from start to finish. Now can i possibly suggest the Air Supply cover below as next weeks choice??
LINK: Eton Road fan site
LINK: The Bitch Factor blog site
LINK: Eton Road sing Mack The Knife on Youtube
MP3: Eton Road - Does Your Mother Know
MP3: Abba - I Am The City
MP3: S Club - Dancing Queen
MP3: Air Supply - Every Woman In The World

Sure, Eton Road could use a little polish to turn their exuberance into sophisticated boyband pop - they could do a lot worse than to take tips from ultimate classy boyband (if you ignore Do What You Like vid!) Take That... cashing in even more, they are releasing "The Platinum Collection" which brings together all 3 of the 90s studio albums with unreleased tracks and new liner notes. Colour me geeked to be spending even more money on the songs I already have ;)

However, look how grown up the boys look on the cover of their new album. First single, a Gary Barlow tour-de-force, Patience suggests a lush mature new sound and I am eager to get my hands on the new cd. Xo got me thinking about the contribution of Mark Owen to the album, and I hope - as rumours suggest - that it is a more collaborative affair than the first single suggests. Mark was definitely the hidden talent in the group. His vastly underrated How The Mighty Fall album had several sparkling pop gems on it - from the adam ant inspired 3:15 to Makin Out and the brillo Believe In The Boogie. Rarely does a boyband produce a great entertainer (robbie), a polished writer (Gary) and an untapped talent (Mark). Yes, Eton Road could do a lot worse than to aspire to the lofty heights of Take That...
LINK: Pre-order Take That's Beautiful World album
LINK: Pre-order Take That's Platinum Collection
MP3: Take That - Patience (radio rip)
MP3: Mark Owen - Believe In The Boogie (remix)
MP3: Mark Owen - Waiting For The Girl To Call
MP3: Mark Owen - 3:15
MP3: Mark Owen - Sorry Lately

Pop to your local cineplex (if you are in England) to watch Brit-com, Starter For Ten and not only will you see cool Scots actor James McAvoy (Narnia; Shameless) but self confessed bad boy Dominic Cooper who recently played sexually ambiguous Dakin in the Broadway and movie version of the addictive The History Boys. Now 27 years old, he's ready to ditch the school uniform and offering of oral pleasure (shame) to concentrate on other film work and modelling gigs. And he's deluged with offers as well. Damn him! I hate it when younger, better looking people than me end up all gorgeous and successful ;)
LINK: Finally! Check out Jessica's positive review of the movie
LINK: Buy the new version of The History Boys book
MP3: The History Boys - Bye Bye Blackbird (w/ Dominic Cooper)


If ever a comic deserved to get the TV show treatment, hot new comic Testament is it. Written by Doug Rushkoff and illustrated by Liam Sharp, it's a retelling of the bible story with all the sex, gore and confusion left in to attract a modern day audience. The real draw here though is the clever way it weaves a modern and ancient storyline together. The core story revolves around young rebels resisting an oppressive government which plays out next to a parallel Bible story. It's trippy, inventive, utterly addictive and definitely worth the monthly entrance fee. The only annoying thing is that it is quite similar to the children's novel I am working on, although i think mine takes a much different direction and draws on different religious themes to the comic. Hurrah!

~ Far be it from me to need another excuse to talk about future saviour of pop, Simon Curtis, but some high school graduate has used his Disney-commissioned track Flashback on a slide show of their graduation day. You can listen to that here. It's another winning pop tune...
~ today is exactly 50 days until Christmas day. Which is very exciting in the festive extreme, no?
~ Good lord, in may it was everyone covering Crazy, then it was SexyBack and now it seems the hot track to cover (possibly because it's been released in the US "of" A) is Maneater - BoyKillBoy have done it, and now Panic At The Disco live lounge it here...
~ I've really got to stop jizzing over Nick's site (not literally, though who's to say...) but he keeps putting excellent stuff on there. Check out the latest Scisster video here and an album review of soon to be Zapping faves Ella Rouge here...
~ Oooh! Excitement! Not only is her Christmas CD a chilled out delight, but Sarah McLachlan is doing a Stripped Music performance very soon... YAY!
~ New blog The Parade of Pop is just too adorable in all it's enthusiasm and innocence ;)
~ my dad will not be happy i said "jizzing". Twice :)
~ misused toothbrushes? Dodgy singing? Life and death situations? Onstreet flirting? It must be the latest and craziest holiday diaries blog...

Coming soon: A 7 to watch in 2007 youtube update; Will's greatest hits?; Magic Numbers and McFly's albums; Jean!; Something on Lois and Clark (eventually) and Gilmore Girls; When 90s come back - featuring tiffany! Wilson Phillips! Expose!; Books; more new myspace wannabe popstars; more lists of fave girl bands, pop bands, etc; and probably lots more distracting stuff....


  1. xolondon said...
    Jizzing Jizzing Jizzing! ;)

    Thanks for the Mark tracks, though it seems that version of "Boogie"
    is not really a remix, is it? Do you have a remix or acoustic version?
    Marty said...
    i'm having real issues with the macdonald brothers. come on, admit it, they are in fact two big bits of shit.

    and everytime louis tells us that Scotland is voting for them I'd beg to differ, for I certainly am not.

    I'm on BBC1 watching strictly. Notoverly impressed by this year at all. No Brenda/Voices With Soul fun!
    Rose said...
    Love the new layout.

    I hate Bonfire Night. The idiots round here like to set fireworks off at 3am :-/

    I loved Leona's & Eton Road's performances. I hope either one of those two wins.

    I heard McFly's album yesterday. I like it. I like it more than 'Room On The 3rd Floor' but not as much as 'Wonderland'. I'm buying it on Tuesday when I go shopping. I'm kinda disappointed they didn't record 'SIASS'. I love the song, it would've been amazing to have a studio version of it.
    Paul said...
    XO - i know i have a version of BITB acoustic styl-ee round here somewhere, but since dazpod online retagged all the mp3s to transfer them into iTunes, they are all in a weird folder system and not where i want them at all!! I will find and provide :)

    Marty - i do agree that they aren't the best, but i just find them so likeable. Unlike journey south and andy abrahams. i DO miss the big personalities like Brenda tho...

    Rose - thanks. i quite like the new format too! I can't believe mcfly dropped like a stone to number nine (more on that in mondays post) however, i do have my next two preferences for singles picked out! Maybe that tune will end up as a bside??
    Poster Girl said...
    Ah! I'm gone for a couple of days, and I don't even recognize everything when I come back :) Lovely redesign!

    Will as in Will Young? He can't have a greatest hits already (although a guess that would continue the three albums and then greatest hits trend)! He needs another original album! I don't keep up with him as well as I should (mainly because there are so many great blogs to keep me up-to-date on his music), but I love his songs :)
    Paul said...
    Ah PG, you know its the same old brand new me :) Yes it will be William of Young tomorrow or whenever i post...

    plus you will love Eton Road when they inevitably win the X Factor next month and become britains biggest boyband after Pacific Avenue but just ahead of Billiam...

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