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7 days til Christmas...

As a very good friend pointed out to me this very morning, in Love, Actually speak…"1 week til Christmas". Hurrah, etc. I have got to stop saying etc. after everything. I used to do it years ago in monthly newsletters I would send to all my friends and I'm not sure how I got back into the habit. It's all a bit popjusticey now, isn't it?? Sunday passed by in a flash really. DazPejoric slept most of the day while I caught up on myspace, veronica mars and an absolutely lovely film called Joyeux Noel. I really had to concentrate though because it was "realistic" i.e. the German people spoke German and the French spoke French. So I had to pay attention, which is hard for me because I like to multi task!! But it was quite heartwarming and I'm sure I will write about it later this week. Probably. If I have time…Anyway, there is a lot to fit in before thezapping goes on a brief festive break from blogging, so I'd better get on with it…

Clearly, this is the picture I should have been displaying of the winners this year (even though the other good looking one – for there are two – has been cut out of the scan. Grrr). But it was not to be. So the most boring season of X-Factor comes to a close and it would churlish of me not to admit that I do absolutely get goosebumps from winner Leona's voice (though I think people are forgetting Shayne's unforgettable vocal on Somewhere Over The Rainbow when they talk about best vocalist ever…) I only caught bits of the show, but enough to know that Leona could have an amazing career if handled right. Her duet with my faves, Take That was obviously a fave of the night for me (though would it have killed the producers to let her go uptempo and do the Lulu bit of Relight My Fire??), but surprisingly I really REALLY enjoyed Ray's duet with Westlife, which quite frankly was a bit knockout. However, by the time it got round to each act singing the final song – A Moment Like This – it was clear that if Leona didn't win, I would have to emigrate to a country where sanity prevailed. Ray's version was actually quite dire – if that had been his audition song, Simon would have told him it was ok, nothing special. The song was picked for Leona and it totally showed. However, it's the song that's the problem. Any reality pop fan will already know this from Kelly Clarkson, so it's seems old and dated instead of capturing the moment of the show. Perhaps Simon should've spent the £400k he paid Take That to be on the show on a quality song instead…So I won't be tuning into leona's career until the second single is released… And definitely the saddest thing about the Xfactor finishing is that The Bitch Factor will no longer be following the progress of the show in their own inimitable and brilliant style :(
LINK: Buy Leona's single
MP3: Ray Quinn – A Moment Like This (live)
MP3: Leona Lewis – A Moment Like This (live + all by myself)
MP3: Ray Quinn & Westlife – That's Life (live)
MP3: Leona Lewis & Take That – A Million Love Songs (live)
. And so our guide to your festive fashion outfits concludes, but be sure to be back here next week so all you guys and girlfriends of sartorially challenged fellas can check out what hot togs to wear for New Years Eve. All thanks to the fine people at God bless all who sail in them. Today, we examine what to wear if you are out on a hot date :) If you are lucky enough to snag yourself a hottie, then first impressions tend to be lingering. The key is to look fashionably sensitive without going overboard. I had all black on and a bald head on my first date with dazpanicked and he had the cops on speed dial, so probably not the best look. I should have gone with a nice fitted shirt with roll up sleeves. And if you are rolling up the sleeves be sure to have a leather cuff round your wrist. If you get lucky they may be strapping you to the headboard with it later ;)
. Of course, following comments from Ella about jeans being boring (you are somewhat right luv, but most fellas love them), you may wish to be a bit bold and ditch the denim. Opt for a pair of casual but tailored trousers paired with a long sleeve t-shirt. Sturdy style work boots to top the outfit off are an absolute must…
. And to have something to take off (the illusion of undressing on a date can work just as well for men as it can for women), why not layer up with a fine knit cardigan and a super stylish scarf…
. And of course, there are times when you just have to follow suit because the casual look just won't cut it. When the dress code calls for it, there is nothing sexier and more stylish than a well fitted tux with a black tie. Very bummable. Very Bond.
. After the letdown that was Keane's "Under The Iron Sea", I was understandably nervous about sophomore sets from some of my other fave 2004 acts – The Killers and Scissor Sisters (Maroon 5, I'm still waiting…) When both sets debuted in September of this year, I was relieved to find that they were both (in my eyes) pretty consistently good. However, The Killers in particular seemed to suffer from critical and blogosphere backlash (due to their cockiness/facial hair, etc?) and "only" a number two debut for said album in the states. Yet, despite a number 15 chart placement (and subsequent plummet) for the amazing Bones, it feels to me that the first two singles were a prelude to the world domination that Sam's Town is going to experience in 2007. Not only do they have the original Christmas song this year, they have already earmarked greatness in 2007 by cleverly releasing a third single (Read My Mind) that is even better than the stunning Bones (which, itself was even better than the outstanding When You Were Young). Then they remind us that they fuse dance with indie pop brilliantly, by commissioning those Boys of the Pet Shop to remix the track. Rumours abound months ahead of time that they will write the next and perform the next James Bond theme. And the UK arena tour will prove that Sam's Town gets better with repeated listening. All this before festival season announced too! 2007 (which so would be a good year for a second Craig Daniels James Bond film) is going to be a Killers year…
LINK: Purchase Sam's Town
MP3: The Killers – Read My Mind
LINK: Purchase The Killers - Great Big Sled via iTunes (UK) (US)
. Abba tribute acts are a bit hit and miss really, aren't they? Lots make a living trawling the party circuit, but only a couple have really made an impression. A-Teens succeeded in bringing the sound up to date in a world where abba-inspired bands like S Club and Steps ruled the roost. However, it's Bjorn Again that have managed to take the abba sound and build a solid and enjoyable career from it. They have even tackled other acts songs and made them sound distinctly Abba with a bit of Bjorn Again cheekiness. In response to Erasure's Abba-esque, they released Erasure-ish featuring a harmonised version of A Little Respect. That did well enough to be followed by a Duran Duran tribute and their crowning glory – their take on Little Drummer Boy set to the backing music of Fernando. And it is just incredibly simple, yet genius in it's execution. It's always nice to have a bit of Abba at Christmas! And listening to it made me feel the need for some electro-pop festivity so here are a couple of classics from Erasure (whose Crackers International EP remains a yuletide must, and the track I've selected is them at their most yearning and melancholy) and those Pet Shop Boys…
MP3: Bjorn Again – Little Drummer Boy
MP3: Bjorn Again – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
MP3: Erasure – She Won't Be Home
MP3: Pet Shop Boys – It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas
BONUS MP3: Bjorn Again – A Little Respect
BONUS MP3: Bjorn Again – Girls On Film

~ Sunday night it is just as important to check out J'Ason's comments on the British charts as it is to check out the charts themselves. For a sly, witty article complete with loyal commentary every week from regular readers you are a nincompoop if you ain't checking this hot dude out :)
~ My beloved Robbie Williams feels he has
overstayed his welcome in this country. Judging by his recent schizophrenic album I would have to agree. I'd love for him to take a break and come back better and bigger than ever...
~ Girlbands 47-58 is back on Rob(o)pop#s Don't Stop The Pop empire ;)
~ He's here, he's electroqueer, get used to it!! His new list of random thoughts is amazing - i love number one, and totally agree with number nine. Plus he's done something on fabbalicious group Alcazar. It's like a christmas jizzfest (don't ever repeat that mom!)
~ I don't agree with some of it and agree with bits of it, so head on over and see what your opinions are of Popjustice's A-Z of 2006...
~ We may "borrow" this idea from Nick in 2007 if our computer skills improve and if he promises not to beat us over the head with a mallet...(a gentle spanking will suffice!)
~ ages ago i asked a friend if I would like Josh Kelly and he just looked at me in way that was a cross between how you would look at poo on your shoe and, um, well something else unpleasant, I'm not sure what. So hurrah for our own little veronica mars, Poppostergirl for solving the mystery (i would like him!)
~ Run, don't walk over to Zeon's place for some Pipettes Christmassy goodness!
~ I just watched Beauty And The Beast: An Enchanted Christmas and now you can enjoy the festive joviality by downloading it at the ever marv Kimberleys site...
Coming soon: Some myspace european goodness; looking at the challenges for christmas number ones on the flip side; perfect months of pop retrospective; a very grown up christmas; a cabaret boyband; some more end of year stuff; revealing the all new zapping for 2007 and lots more ;)


  1. eLeMeNOhPeaQ said...
    I'm loving the Bjorn Again songs you've posted. I've seen them a few times in the U.S., and am not surprised they have such a following. Now, maybe they will record a cover of "Hung Up"? (hmmm...)

    Oh, and thanks for reminding me about the Erasure track from their Crackers EP. I'll have to include that one for the next Christmas compilation. (The 12" Remix of "Knocking On Your Door" and "State Farm (Madhouse Mix)" by Yaz [oo], compliment eachother as back-to-back tracks on a mix as well.)

    ciao for now
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Hasn't Robbie W. been living in LA for awhile now? Poor old sod...
    Anonymous said...
    I'm not on my computer at the moment, so I can't listen to the songs and I'm going to leave this "anonymously," but I'm looking forward to listening to the Bjorn Again songs!

    Agree about the Electroqueer Alcazar feature--so many excellent moments of pop from them...

    I still haven't listened to all of the Killers' album yet; I really liked "When You Were Young," but for some reason haven't gotten "Bones." I'll have to give "Read My Mind" a listen, though.

    Paul said...
    LMNOPQ ~ great name by the way if i didn't say so already :) Anyway, yeah, i kind of would love to hear them cover Hung Up.hehehe, that would be fun! I hear they are supporting Kylie on her new years eve gig! How super ;)

    J'Ason - isn't he your bagel boy? Rar, etc...

    PG - ooo spooky, are you on some veronica mars crime cracking mission that you have to post anonymously ;) I love Bones, i think it is tres majesticals!! but for now its all about the mcfly live lounge that is going to air on weds...rumour has it that may be the song...

    oh how inappropriate, my word verif. is gspot
    RPC said...
    Love the blog, Paul, but (at the risk of being a puritan) I don't think you should have posted the Killers 'Great Big Sled' - it's a charity number and while I am sure people are file-sharing it, I think changing the link to iTunes would be a good idea.
    Paul said...
    fair point young man :) Changed! Thanks for pointing that out...

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