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New job for dazpants!

Good Lord, I am tired this very morning as I type this. I had to get up at 4.30am to get ready to take DazPlushtush to the airport, so I am fairly zonked. Which oddly enough doesn't come up as a word I need to spell check on Microsoft Word. How bizarre (OMC). Anyway, the airport was strangely bustling at 5.30am and mercifully my beloved Starbucks was open so I got a nice white cafĂ© mocha venti with an extra shot of expresso to wake me up. Of course, now I am totally wired and way too hyper to be enjoying my final five days at work… It seems strange to be leaving behind the world of Direct Payments which I have been immersed in for five years (four as part of a charity then the last 18 months with the local government), but I really need a change and am excited about the challenges ahead. And I have two weeks off before starting my new job, so hopefully Darren and I will get to jet off somewhere together. PS ~ after the disaster that is Celebrity Big Brother and Soapstar Superstar, I remain very thrilled about the prospect of Dancing On Ice returning with Torville and Dean. I utterly adored the last series and the elder statesmen of pop revival continues with Stephen Gately, Duncan James and the always desperate Leisl Scott hyphen Lee. Should be brilliant television :) Got lots of bloggy stuff planned for this week, not sure how I am going to fit it all in, but I better get on with the post to see if I can…

This week I have chosen to spotlight the amazing song Brave by the super talented Gavin Mikhail. Once again, this is a song I have written about many times before but I never grow tired of it and it's beauty and splendour shine through with each listen. I would call this power pop at the very peak of it's game – gavin certainly knows his way around the piano and has great instinct for creating a gorgeous melody surrounded by crashing (but not overwhelming) chords and a soaring vocal. I really can't say enough good things about this beautiful emotive number, so I'll let some other people weigh in with their opinions…
Veronica Mars (poppostergirl) ~ isn't this beautiful? Love the piano, love the melody, and Gavin's voice is a perfect fit with the lyrics he's singing.
Dan (this man's world) ~ This song is gorgeous – it's a sweeping inspirational love song the kinds of which just doesn't get made all that much any longer, and if it does, it certainly doesn't get airplay. I think what appeals to me most about this song is the confession we're getting from Gavin – his not being able to be brave, That is not something that is particularly easy for men in our culture to admit – but with the help of whoever he's singing about, he can be that brave. It takes a strong strong man (Rick Astley?) to admit to that in today's society. Will definitely be checking out the rest of his CD.
You can stream Brave on Gavin's official home page. You can also choose to download it legally at the links below. And don't forget to vote out of five for what you think of the song at the link below (too messy to include in the post this time – but please take the time to vote! Simon got 93 points last week, so have to see if Gavin beats him or not!)
LINK: Gavin's myspace site
LINK: Gavin's official site (go to songs and choose Brave)
LINK: Purchase Brave (US iTunes)
LINK: Purchase Brave (UK iTunes)
LINK: Take my poll!
Sophie Ellis Bextor ~ Catch You
A sparkling glittering diamond of a track that marks the return of Ms Bextor and hopefully a return of classy effortless pop to the chart. The other songs I've heard from her upcoming album also have a definite shine to them. And it was certainly the pick of the other bloggers who listened to the tracks this week…
(Veronica Mars): catchy but classy dancey pop. Excellent--what more is there to say?
(Dan): I have to say I've fallen for this song – hook, line and sinker. It's a great little piece of pop and it's inspiring me to listen to a little bit more Sophie Ellis Bextor. (I haven't really heard anything of hers aside from "Murder on the Dancefloor.") I guess I just mostly find myself echoing what others have said about this song. It's the best Blondie song they never recorded – and that's meant as a compliment!
(Digital Technique): Already a contender for my song of 2007 and it's only the middle of January!! This song manages to sound both fresh and new but also reassuringely retro at the same time. It reminds me a bit of Blondie (or maybe thats just me!) - could Sophie EB be the next Debbie Harry?? An interesting thought!! A definite return to form, after the slightly dissapointing Shoot From The Hip, bring on the album and the return of pop in 2007!!
Mark Ronson ~ Toxic
Last week we looked at how Mark put together a riveting remake of Stop If You've Heard This One Before by Daniel Merriweather. His version of Britney's Toxic (a song I adore) isn't quite as magnificent but is still an interesting enough interpretation that I am looking forward to his album out in March…
(Veronica Mars): I loved "Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before," but I'm not feeling this one as much. It does what it wants to do well; I think it's just my general preference for uptempo pop that means, while listening to this, I just wanted to go listen to Britney's version
(Dan): I was never a huge fan of this song in its original incarnation, but it was used brilliantly in the first series of the new Doctor Who. When I first heard this song, I thought "ugh, I don't really want to hear this song again and especially with rapping and other such stuff." But surprisingly, I warmed to it a bit over the last week. However, the best cover version of "Toxic" will always be now defunct bluegrass group Nickel Creek's live cover. Something about hearing a Britney Spears song played on fiddles tickles me in just the right way!!
Evan ~ Under your Spell
I didn't even know about Evan until recently when I rather randomly happened upon what turns out to be his second album. This track reminds of erasure in the late 80s when they were at the peak of their game, yet bought bang up to date. Utterly addictive and entrancing!
(Veronica Mars): I love this--it's all big and sweeping and orchestral and beautiful. His Melodifestivalen performance might not have been amazing (though he wins bonus points for his outfit), but as a studio version, this is gorgeous and, though I'm not sure I would necessarily call it "fun," it's not the sort of song that demands a serious listening experience.
The Click Five ~ Pop Princess
Not a particularly new song, but I don't feel that The Clicks ever got the launch they deserved in the UK and this could be just the track to launch them. So I am taking control of their career and kicking off their chart domination with this jaunty little ditty beloved by all ;)
(Digital Technique): So much more than just the 'American McFly' that they are often described as, they manage to mix the guitar pop sound of McFly with a slight electropop twist. They remind me a bit of Swedish popsters Melody Club, never a bad thing!! Such an addictive song, listened to it in the car driving into work this morning and was singing the chorus all day - which I am sure my friends loved!! Definitely time they tried to break the UK - give McFly a bit of competition!!
(Dan): Wow, I'd never heard this song before. It sounds like if Green Day were a boy band in the traditional sense of a boy band, this is what they would produce. And that's not a bad thing. While I'm not a huge Green Day fan, they have put out some good songs. Perhaps this is the direction they should go?? :)
(Veronica Mars): now, you could say I'm biased towards the Click Five, but the reason I'm so biased towards them is because they make absolutely amazing songs like this. This is exactly the sort of song that deserves to rule the radio--catchier than should be allowed, more fun than a barrel of monkeys, and with all the elements good guitar pop should have (handclaps, synths, nonsense syllables [here, "ah"'s], and guitars that never overpower the vocals or the melody). Given the current environment, this would probably flop, but it shouldn't, and, if it was released, "Pop Princess" would easily be one of my favorite singles of the year. And you know what's scary? They have a whole album full of songs this good or better.
Deborah Gibson ~ MYOB / Until You're All Mine
I'll let the other bloggers comment on MYOB other than to say this six year old track is still as fresh and perfectly pop today as it was in 2001. It's tragic that it wasn't the huge hit it deserved to be. I'd remix and re-release in a flash and pop UYAM on the flip – one of the most gorgeous ballads I've EVER heard. Simply perfect (and only a demo!!)
(Dan): Leave it to Deborah to work kids on a playground into a pop song. If this song had been released in the late 80s when Deborah was Debbie and at her peak here in the U.S., it would have been a huge hit. It's very fashionable to mock Deborah here in the States, but really, I do think that she's very talented and really has written some top notch pop songs. This is one of them, although I think I probably prefer the dance mix over the original album version – it cranks the tempo up a bit and makes it seem a bit more urgent.
(Veronica Mars): this would work great as a double A-side, as they're two great songs. I really love "MYOB," though. The schoolyard chants work well and don't come off as gimmicky, and I love how the jump rope-esque beat continues through the whole song. Also great: the various voices Deborah uses.
Thanks to Digital Technique, Dan and Poppostergirl for their comments on this weeks selected tracks! Much appreciated. Email me if you want to be included in future weeks!
. The first of two week long retrospecticuses (or however you spell the plural of a made up one) begins with a reverse look at the most recent career choices made by my favourite singer Deborah Gibson. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but was spurred on when a new song (though kinda old – more on that in a minute) Rich Girl was put onto Deb's myspace site. It's been 3 years since her last studio album was released, but in that time Deborah has been as productive as ever, and produced some great pop songs that deserve to be collected up and acknowledged for the talent they show. The new music started flowing in December 2004, when Deborah released the sublime festive ballad Christmas Without You as part of a compilation cd. Quite rightly, as with all Deb's ballads it is heavy on melody and intrinsically beautiful in it's use of piano and sweet vocal. It was a perfect lead in to 2005, which was a busy year for fans. Not only were there two cds rounding up unreleased demos (Memory Lane 1&2 featuring some classic tunes such as Cinderella theme 'Some People' and a number of songs deemed not good enough by Atlantic for the Body Mind Soul album in 1993 that far outshine much of the material eventually put on it…), there was a fan club day in Florida which I attended and was rather brillo, the naked but tasteful Playboy spread and of course the accompanying single Naked. This track was a great slice of guitar spangled pop that would have easily held it's own upside songs that Daniel Powter and Kelly Clarkson were releasing at the time. It was at this time that Rich Girl (a cover of the Hall & Oates song way before Nelly Furtado got the idea) was touted as a second single and prelude to an album, but sadly that has yet to materialise. 2006 saw Deborah back on tv lasting a few episodes into Skating On Ice and touring with the O'Neill Brothers, with whom she released a single Someone You Love – another piano and strings ballad that had some elegant and uplifting lyrics and a timeless chorus. Just beautiful. Sadly, her second collaboration of the year – with Jordan Knight on Say Goodbye – wasn't her best moment, though did give her a minor AC smash, for which we should be grateful. And the start of 2007 sees rumours of an album once more as 3 new songs have been released to fans – Sounds Like Love is a mid tempo ballad a la Irreplaceable or We Belong Together and is the most contemporary thing Deb has done in a while. Famous tries hard to be cutting edge and contemporary but sadly isn't – though it's hard to dislike a song that evokes so many memories of fab songs from the early 90s. And Rich Girl leaked yesterday – I seem to remember the version played at the fan day being slightly rockier and dancier, though I am completely enjoying the pure pop interpretation of this version. Just lovely. Coming tomorrow ~ Coloured Lights…
LINK: The official Deborah Gibson myspace site
. Our second retrospecticus that will run all week is one of my favourite discoveries of the past few years, and whose sophomore album I have been highly anticipating for a while now. So in preparation for that, let's go back to a time when the Kaiser Chiefs were Parva, Posh had no Becks, Backstreet Boys ruled the world and Maroon 5 were just a twinkle in the eye of Kara's Flowers. Indeed the four members of Kara's Flowers – Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, Micky Madden and Ryan Dusick – were the nucleus that would create one of the most successful pop rock acts of the new millennium. Friends since high school the boys put together a sound that was heavy on the beatles influence yet was missing the soul infusion that dictated their later success. A debut album Fourth World was preceeded by a single called Soap Disco which was slightly punk pop yet still showcased the early stages of Adam's ability to create something radio friendly and perky. His voice is completely different here to how it sounds on Maroon 5 records, but fits well with the type of music the Flowers were putting out. Oliver is extremely Beatles-esque, while My Ocean Blue may well be our first introduction to Jane with the line "me and my darling Jane". Again it gives hints of what is to come with Maroon 5 and is a well produced and beautifully crafted pop song. Still for people tuning into this disc expecting Songs About Jane the early years, you may well be disappointed. If you're looking for well crafted jerky pop, then come on in! Tomorrow we'll see how they developed with the Stagg Street recordings…
LINK: Buy Kara's Flower's Fourth World CD
. ~ We can't help but like the band Page 44. I wrote about them before here and their blogs and online interactions with fans continue to be hilarious (my latest discussion involved how the signing woman on hollyoaks took up the whole bloody screen!) Well quite rightly, the boys are getting lots of attention - and have a host of great stuff coming up! Check out their myspace site for further details and click on the pic above. They deserve your support :)
~ Hurrah for DazPants - he went for an
interview on Friday and we found out today that he got the job :) So we both will be starting new jobs on Feb 5th! Everything's coming up Milhouse!
~ I love the fact that yesterday the pic of the guy in his undies was the most clicked thing on my site! You shallow pervy lot, LOL! Go to
this website for further pics!!!
Coming Tuesday: More maroon 5 and Deb retrospecticus; classic moments in pop ripe for remake; maybe something else…


  1. Robpop said...
    Ok...this is weird! I just updated YouCallThatLife with Debbie G!!!!!!!!!
    Poster Girl said...
    Congrats to Darren! :)

    I keep meaning to check out Kara's Flowers--maybe I should use one of those iTunes gift certificates to buy their CD (seriously, I'm so tempted to become a lawyer and make it my life's goal to work out the legal issues so that we could buy music from anywhere in the world. I know, not going to happen, but it's still ridiculous, especially if it's not a case of a phased release--if I can buy a CD from the UK, shouldn't I be able to buy digital music from there? All of which is only relevant because if I don't start buying music from US groups, that iTunes "money" is never going to get used...but I'd spend it in a heartbeat if I could buy from anywhere. All right, rant over!).

    Looking forward to hearing all the songs! And yay for Gavin's "Brave" doing so well in your poll so far.
    Paul said...
    robpop! Great minds think alike :) There can never be too much debs on the webs!

    Veronica! I support your in your lawyerly career. I would love to buy music online from all over the world! And darren thanks you!

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