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As someone in a Michael McLean mormon musical once sang "I hate the rain. It's driving me insane". It may have been Noah's wife, I can't remember off the top of me head! Anyway, it was piddling down this morning and due to stupidly long jeans hanging off my hips, I had to tip toe through the puddles holding my jeans up like some sort of crazy bridesmaid on acid. What a site I must have looked…And then with no prompting at all Karen Carpenter came on my archos singing Rainy Days and Mondays. Which was nice until... I was not amused when someones soggy newspaper (wet from the rain one prays as it was the sun page three) blew into my face (this is the second time this has happened to me in less than 4 weeks though last time it was a bin bag!). I was even less amused when after 20 minutes at work i went into the bathroom to find half a headline and someone's boob imprinted on my cheek! Grrrr Anyway, prior to my dainty walk to work I had finally caught up on the Christmas Ugly Betty episode, watching it from the comfort of standard class accommodation on the train. I just LOVE this show so much. Everything about it. Betty's goodness, her sisters very "street" attitude, the gay nephew, crushing on Daniel Mead and loving the fact that Chris Gorham is still in it. Hurrah! I can't wait for all new eps to return later this month… Talking of quality tv Shameless returned last night and despite a rather rubbish ending for Kev and Veronica, was as fab as ever. Best line? Sheila explaining romance to 13 year old Debbie… "You know how it is, you've been together for a while and the first casualty is cunnilingus…" marv! Now on with the post…

In the present chart climate, it's pretty hard to believe that there once were other boybands out there that aren't Take That or Westlife. But there were – some one sadly one album wonders like V, Phixx and Mercury4. Others went onto huge success before disbanding (5ive, Blue, Boyzone). And some just seemingly fizzled out – though on closer inspection, that's not the case at all. And that's where D-Side come in. Popping into our lives and charts just after the turn of the millennium, this plucky five piece seemed to have it all going for them. They had a pretty decent debut album (Stronger Together) that was filled with contributions from industry heavy hitter Desmond Child who contributed 6 of the tracks. Singles like Speechless and Invisible (later popeatspopped by Clay Aiken) stormed into the UK top ten and they landed an opening slot on the Blue tour. And if memory serves me correctly won the Smash Hits Best New Tour Act award, back when that meant something. Apart from Invisible (though their version was much more sprightly and certainly less maudlin than Clay's version), most their singles were wisely upbeat slices of pop, with sparkling choruses and your typical boyband harmonies. Real World is a tender ballad with an impeccable vocal while tracks like Pushin Me Out (sampling Salt n Pepa) deserved to be a huge single and dancefloor anthem. Fix Me predated the sound perfected by Busted and McFly in all it's pop-rock goodness, whilst still retaining it's poppy dance feel and the title track takes uplifting anthems to the max. At 17 tracks, there was some filler, but overall it was a promising debut and one that shouldn't have led to what happened next… (Coming tomorrow – when 5 became 3…)
LINK: D-side's official myspace site
LINK: Purchase Stronger Together
MP3: Pushin Me Out
MP3: Fix Me

Much like love, remixes, actually, are all around. Anyone worth their salt who has a slightly uptempo track nips out to get some cracking xenomania/sleazesisters (remember them)/thin white duke remix and then spunks it all over iTunes for their fans to purchase at 79p a pop. Not everyone does that however. Some very fine people take the time to do completely different reinterpretations of their songs (read: lay the vocal track over a different backing). Here are some of my favourite alternate versions that popped up on my archos this week:
Matt Willis – Don't Let It Go To Waste (piano and strings version)
If you haven't checked out Mr Willis yet (and lord knows I didn't for the longest time), then you really should have a sneaky peek at this reworking of the title track to his album. Scaling back on the pomp and grandeur of the production gives the melody and intensity of the track a real chance to shine through. Plus anything where piano gets top billing is a-ok with me.
Nerina Pallot – Everybody's Going To War (orchestral version)
I've written about this version before, but it really does change how the song comes across. The strings give it a slightly more ominous feeling, as it strips back some of the melody and concentrates on nerina's sweet and somewhat haunting vocal. Far less jaunty than the radio remix and certainly worthy of a spin…
Mika – Grace Kelly (Piano and Vocal version)
Can this boy do no wrong? As Grace Kelly prepares to storm the charts and Life in Cartoon Motion gets ready to take over the world, why not listen to this rather fine interpretation of his bombastic ditty that he did for a live acoustic session exclusively for napster. Great piano work and you feel like Mika is singing to you in your living room. It makes the listening experience feel very intimate and cosy ;)
Kylie – Better The Devil You Know (Swing version live)
Another song I have posted before but certainly worth a re-airing. This was the duet Kylie did with the rather scrumptious Adam Garcia on An Audience With Kylie back in 2001. She completely changed the song from storming disco classic into foot tapping, jazz tinged swinger that certainly wouldn't have been out of place on the set of Chicago. Pure genius.
Deborah Gibson – Lost In Your Eyes (2006 revamp)
Deb's 1989 number one smash is ripe for boyband duet makeover, and this sleek piano/guitar version from last year gives the song slightly more pep and brings it up to date for a whole new AC audience. And it's the ideal version for Eton Road to duet with her on…

There is nothing more that thezapping likes than a dreamy man singing a swoony song. So colour me delighted when a brand swoony new track popped up on dreamy 11 in 07 singer Conor's myspace page and is produced by people who have worked with Liberty X (who do a mean ballad in Holding On For You) and Savage Garden (who completely broke my heart with I Knew I Loved You). And it's a bit of a corker. Entitled 'Heart of Stone' it does everything a ballad should do – heartbreaking lyrics, soaring chorus, outstanding vocal, swirling strings and the feeling that people will be slow dancing to this for years to come. When I compare it to A Different Corner or Careless Whisper by George Michael I mean it as a huge compliment – those are ballads that transcend time and trends and remain fresh and meaningful whenever you listen to them. So score one for us – we were very right to put Conor in our 11 in 07 and now eagerly await his I Should Be So Lucky offering…
. And while he is busy putting the finishing touches to his single Daydream, Ryan Huston has treated us to a fully produced song entitled Tired, which is anything but. Much like Conor, Ryan has a very distinctive vocal style that he uses to his advantage in songs and this tune sets it off nicely. Great production values that remind us of a slightly poppier Teddy Geiger enhance this melodic little ditty to great effect and if this is an indicator of things to come from Mr. Huston, then pencil us in for the album please…
STREAM: Conor's music
STREAM: Ryan's music
(thezapping note: I got an email from my v good buddy simon who went to see Kylie on New years eve and again last night. Rather than relay what he told me about the concert, I am pilfering his words wholesale to let you know what went on!)
"The show was similar in format to NYE (including all the eye candy dancers). Kylie was in a much more upbeat mood though with her audience interaction and was clearly loving being on stage. There were a few slow bits. The new Kylie/Scissor Sister track was very good and a fave of Marks (Simon' other half!). She came on stage with her back to the audience for Kids with another female stood with her (Mark thought it was going to be some girl on girl action to follow the two guy kissing routine from earlier in the show) but it actually turned out to be Danni -they did a very good rendition of the track. At the end Kylie grab a young boy out of the audience and
got him to sing Can't get you out of my head while she danced around for a little while. It was really sweet as the boys Mum burst in to tears and Kylie went over to her and said there was no need to cry. She then did her farewell and dragged Danni back on stage too. All in all a good show! "
LINK: Purchase Kylie's Homecoming cd
~ this post about take that by adem may well be the cutest blog post I have ever read. Ever! He is so invited on the second honeymoon with yesterday's invitee, Nick!
~ Dazpants got a sexy new phone today. Because he only has eyes for me, he was completely oblivious to the fact that Thomas the sales guy was flirting outrageously!!
~ I am so looking forward to the launch of Lost in Limbo and they even get sexy Robert o Connor to podcast for them! Colour me green with envy at their sexy look!
~ NME recommends The View and Air Traffic (and Mika) as some of their top picks in 2007. That is sooooo thezapping of them...
~ we love Pinkie and Perkys (ie Rob) new blog. I was meant to be part of it but new blogger won't let be part of an original blogger blog! Curses! Still, I will find a way!
Coming Thurs - D-Side part two! Another moment in time album! Some new songs we have come across lately that are quite good...


  1. Poster Girl said...
    Adem's post is amazing, isn't it? I meant to link to it, but, me being me, I completely forgot to--I'm so glad you have a good memory! :) And Blogger needs to work itself out.

    Speaking of remixes that completely remake the song, did you catch the Torch Team remix of the Delays' "Valentine" when it was on Nick's blog, or if you have the special edition or whatever it came's a little left-field, but I love it--it's enough to make you long for the days of overnight camps or family camping trips. Or imagine that you went to overnight camps and family camping trips :)

    Love the D-side songs--what with this and Human Nature, this is the place for introductions not just to up-and-coming boybands, but boybands I should already know a lot (or even just know at all) about!
    Stu said...
    1. While Pushin' Me Out is one of my favorite songs, I must say that I strongly prefer the "Gravity" album - even the "popeatspopped" Friday Hill number, "One More Night Alone".

    2. I think you should check out this...Norwegian awesomeness care of youtube....
    Paul said...
    check back on thurs Stu for some stuff on the aces Gravity album... and PPG/Veronica - glad to be expanding your boyband vocab!
    PinkieDust said...
    So much i-kandy. I want to be a boyband. I can rhym red with bed and sad and mad. Love with dove and boy with toy.

    Forget the scrubber/fluffer job Mr.ZappingBoss. I have dreams above my station. Im off to join a boyband.


    PS: Paul, I sent you an email to your hotmail address with the cumpic. Do you think the article is any good?
    Paul said...
    i did like the article a lot! Stick it to the man! Your photo shopping skills leave a lot to be desired however!! hehe - and i refuse to let you out of your contract so you can only join a boyband at my record company!
    J'ason D'luv said...
    D-Side...gosh, I loved "Invisible" when in summer '03. Too bad Clay Aiken's version was the epitome of bland. Also, I was in London the week "Real World" was released, and bought the single. Alas, they were bye bye after that.

    MIKA. Good lord, is no one else conscious of the fact that he's like a cheap Jake Shears knock-off? I'm betting he'll be tossed in the Stefy/Morningwood/Clear Static retro-tired scrap heap by the summer.
    Paul said...
    D'luv 2 luv u baby! Clay's version was the epitomy of dulletha. I can't believe i really liked his song Measure A Man at one point. Don't ask don't tell... and hush your mouth re: Mika! And Stefy. Both are marvels. Tsk!

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