katstevens: (avril)
2010-10-01 12:24 pm
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Quarterly music round-up: OCT

It's OCTOBER, which means it's time for the quarterly music round-up (I ended up posting July's list over on poptimists instead).

Here are my top 20 songs of the year so far:

I been Southampton but I've never been to Scunthorpe )
katstevens: (avril)
2010-05-25 05:19 pm
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Europvision!

I'll be part of the awesome team of music writer superheroes liveblogging the first Eurovision semi-final tonight from 8pm at The Singles Jukebox. Come join us!

I've also cast my eye over some of the participant's promo videos at The Vids Are Alright - contains a) horses b) giant cardboard heads c) SWIMMING POOL.
katstevens: (bosh)
2010-01-01 07:14 am

Happy New Decade!

And here's my favourite song of the decade:

katstevens: (bettyboo)
2009-09-09 02:37 pm
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If You Cirque Amy

[Posted here instead of over on FT, as it's a bit out of date now - this was written in June.]


A 27-year-old mother-of-two is suspended in the air above a fiery chasm, kept only from plummeting to a grisly death by the grip of a muscle-bound man's thighs. Thunderous drumbeats ring out around the arena, where 20,000 people look on, all holding their breath...

Britney Spears at the O2. )
katstevens: (enriquenoez)
2009-06-23 04:41 pm

Urge to (in for the) kill.... rising

Oh dear, La Roux gets feminism wrong AGAIN

First it was 'girls look a bit stupid playing guitars', now this:

What's your stance on the way that female musicians either choose to or are forced to use a sexuality that's essentially just designed to appeal to men?

"It's really patronising to women. I know that there's far more ways to be sexy than to dress in a miniskirt and a tank top. If you're a real woman you can turn someone on in a plastic bag just by looking at them. That's what a real woman is, when you've got the sex eyes. I think you attract a certain kind of man by dressing like that. Women wonder why they get beaten up, or having relationships with arsehole men. Because you attracted one, you tw4t. It's a funny culture, it's definitely a funny culture. Those women are just insecure, but they'll turn round to me and say 'you're just jealous 'cos you want a tan and you want big boobs, stupid boy-looking girl'. You can't win, they wouldn't believe me for a second."


Jebus, is she *actually* saying that by dressing in a certain way, women are inviting men to abuse them? I think she is. Sigh.
katstevens: (bettyboo)
2007-06-14 04:42 pm
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Robyn & Kleerup.

I was listening to Kleerup & Robyn's With Every Heartbeat last night. Robyn is the sort of popstar I approve of in general but would probably never buy an album by, as the majority of her songs I find to be quite good but not 'amazing'. I'd heard Heartbeat plenty of times before and not really given it much thought or credit. But watching the video last night I was struck what a magnificent song it was, spine-tingling and beautiful, like standing on top of a mountain and seeing for miles, or watching every single person in the club whooping with joy at the song you've just faded up on the mixer, or walking over the Thames at night, or smelling the Autumn bonfire smell. There's so much brilliant stuff out there and it makes me well up sometimes. This is because I am an enormous soppy hippy and should be forced down the mines for twenty years of hard labour to snap myself out of it etc. But back to Robyn. Why did this song become beautiful all of a sudden after a dozen mediocre hearings?

It could have been the video - the original version features neither Robyn nor Kleerup and is much better executed in terms of an entertaining visual. The newer version has Robyn walking backwards and looking sad, whilst some stop-motion lego blocks move around her. It's pretty rubbish both in concept and production values *but* you can see the pain on her face as she wrestles with expressing the emotions of the song. It's like she can't quite get across *just how much* it hurts with every heartbeat and is cross with herself for writing lyrics that are somehow too big for her. She is only little, after all.

It might also have been because I was fully immersed and paying attention to the song, rather than listening on headphones whilst at work. But what is most likely is that I didn't understand what the song was trying to achieve until now. Previous listens had rendered me disappointed that the song didn't 'go anywhere', that it was lacking oomph or a change of pace/instrumentation, and it didn't bosh up properly for dancing. Now I can appreciate it as a mushy universe-hugging sunshine song*, in the vein of Ellen Allien's Way Out from last year. It doesn't need to bosh or have a key change, it's just fine as it is - and it's fast becoming one of my songs of the year.

*Unless you pay any attention to the lyrics, of course. Poor old Robyn, the course of true love never ran smooth - at least in the world of pop.