Sunday, 10 August 2014

Turn It Up!: Jay Brannan - Blue Haired Lady (Music Video)

  "Release me from this flesh and bone but don't let me die alone."

 Damn you, Jay Brannan, you've done it again. This is yet another song by this masterful artist in which the lyrics rip right into my heart and soul and reduce me to tears. I've listened to this song at least 30 times or more since it's video's release and it still gets me all choked up.

 Blue Haired Lady is the first single from Jay's third (and latest) original LP "Always, Then & Now" which was just released about a month ago, and chronicles the final days of an elderly woman's life as she looks back and reflects on the family she has made and the paths she has chosen. The songs imagery and dialogue are so relatable and that's what I've always loved about Jay's music.

 For me in particular, this song reminds me of my maternal Grandmother's passing. My grandmother had had a stroke so she couldn't really speak aside from a few words, but the most beautiful thing was when we would play the old Scottish folk tunes that she listened to in her younger years, she would sing along with them word for word, clear as a bell. In the end, she fell into a coma and was in that state for a week or so, my family surrounded her during these days because we all wanted to be with her when the time came. My Mom even slept in a chair at the nursing home where she stayed in order to be there. The strange thing is, of the countless hours by her side that she could have passed, she ended up passing at around 5 in the morning (July 1st, 2011 Canada Day) during a 5 minute period where my Mom had left her side to go get a wash clothe to wipe her brow. We all seem to think that she was waiting for a moment to be alone in order to let go, thereby making it easier on us.

So, when, in the lyrics of this song, Jay sings...

  "I trained you up how you should go 
loved you hard, it's clear you know 
but let the songs and wailing cease 
children let me die in peace"

 .... and the juxtaposition between the first choruses stating that she doesn't want to die alone and the final chorus pleading for the opposite... yeah, you best believe I'm all teared up right now. Ugh, he kills me.

 So, long story short, I have no idea how I'm going to get through this song without crying when I see him live in Toronto in September, but it will be a welcomed challenge (and one that I will gladly lose). Please play this, Jay, and thank you for this beautiful music.

 Everyone buy Jay's new album Always, Then & Now (available on i-Tunes), it is a wonderfully crafted collection.

 Side note: It took me about 2 weeks to write this post lol. I kept getting halfway through, crying and then coming back to it and erasing things. It was worth it though. The other thing is, I know I didn't talk much about the video itself (directed by Rich Dorato and Adam Franklin, there you go lol), but I wanted to make this post more personal.

Have a good day readers, and maybe give a hug to the ones you're with!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Turn It Up!: Alanis Morissette - Big Sur (Music Video)

  "My little one, enthralled by the redwoods as I ride amongst monarchs and mist."

 This is probably my favorite bonus song from the Deluxe Edition of Alanis' latest album "Havoc And Bright Lights". Though it's not an official single for the album, Alanis has released the song as a limited edition autographed vinyl through her website to treat her fans for their years of support.

 The song is a beautiful, sweet, and relaxed tune about her love for the majesty and tranquil beauty of California's "Big Sur" region, which is located just south of San Jose and is famous, in the pop-cultural sense, for being an escapist getaway for many famous poets, painters, novelists and musicians including Anias Nin, Henry Miller, Richard Brautigan, and Jack Kerouac (all of whom she name drops in the songs chorus). The area was also home to one of the biggest Folk Music Festivals in the 60's and 70's, which touted performers like Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (to name a few). A documentary of the festival was even shot in 1969 called Celebration at Big Sur, you should check that out. Given the area has such a bohemian type history, it's no wonder Alanis went for a mellow, stripped down soundscape full of acoustic guitars and various string instrument flourishes, creating a musical nirvana for us all to enjoy. Even her vocals are fluid and laid back, capturing the essence perfectly. God I love it!

 Naturally, the video (directed by Eric Ernest Johnson) was shot on location and features Miss Morissette hitch hiking on Highway 1, eventually being picked up by herself (can we say Ironic throwback? Love!), dancing on the beach, walking through the redwood forests, and playing with her friends at the top of the bluffs.

 So, there you have it, an instant hit of summer! I'm sure this will be a staple on Alanis' new "Intimate & Acoustic" tour which has just recently been announced, so if you're a fan, be sure to check out if she is coming to a town near you.

 Till Next Time,

 Love & Light!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Turn It Up!: O-Town - Skydive (Music Video)

  "I just wanna skydive right into your life, seeing the whole world by your side!"

 O-Town Is Back!!!!! YAY!!!!!!

 I wrote about the reunion of Danity Kane about a week ago and now I'm happy to report the original members of O-Town (the first group to have been spawned from the show Making The Band) have reunited as a quartet.

 Jacob Underwood, Dan Miller, Trevor Penick, and Erik-Michael Estrada were discovered and brought together (along with non returning member Ashley Parker Angel) by music producer Lou Pearlman in 2000 during the run of the first series of Making The Band.

Pearlman, who was already behind the creation of the Backstreet Boys and 'NSync, was looking to create another hot boy band who would rival the others on the charts. Pop groups (especially Boy Bands) were huge during the late 90's and early 2000's, but unfortunately, by the time O-Town came along, similar groups were already starting to fall out of favor, so they only really got 2 or 3 good years out of the group before they fizzled away. Plus, being a television reality show commodity, people didn't really hold the group in high regard.

 Nonetheless, O-Town did score a few hit songs before their time came to an end, including "Liquid Dreams", "We Fit Together", "These Are The Days" and their most popular song to date "All Or Nothing". Their first album (O-Town (2000)) managed to achieve platinum status in the US and Canada (reaching #5 and #2 on the respective charts), but due to the set backs of releasing their second album O2 in 2002, that album only charted at #28 on the US charts but made little to no impact elsewhere.

 The boys went their separate ways after that, but rumors of their possible reunion were on people's lips since 2011. TMZ reported that year that Jacob, Dan, Trevor, and Erik had gotten together and were in the studio working on new material, but that Ashley Parker Angel had refused to join the reunion but wished his brothers well on the new endeavor. In March this year, the band launched a new official website and announced a summer tour that would be followed by the release of a new album in August called "Lines & Circles".

 Their first single "Skydive" was released on Soundcloud on May 28th and will be available to the public on July 27th. Lines & Circles has been given a release date of August 3rd.

 My best friend and I are so excited for this reunion (him more than me to be honest. He's freaking out lol). I think they were so underrated at the time they came out, I'm looking forward to them having a good solid reunion if people will give them a chance again.

This song is hot, I can't stop listening to it. The pounding drum line in the chorus set against the orchestral verses really drive it home with a lot of power and vigor. The video was shot in San Diego in an area of the desert called "The Valley of The Crescent Moon" where Jacob has had many family parties since his childhood. Beautiful Space.

 As an added bonus, I'm also including this video from their first official photo shoot back as a band. See below.


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Liven It Up!: Lucy Hale - Nervous Girls (Acoustic)

  "I guess we're all the same after all."

 Some people will recognize Lucy Hale from her role as Aria on the hit ABC Family show "Pretty Little Liars" but music has actually been part of her career longer than acting. You may remember the short lived spin off show to American Idol years ago called "American Juniors". Essentially the same idea as American Idol, but with younger contestants and the end game was to create a 5 person music group as opposed to having a single winner.

 Anywho, Lucy was one of the winners of that short lived program and thusly recorded an album with her fellow winning contestants. After the disintegration of that group, Lucy set her sights on acting, landing a slew of guest starring gigs before finally landing her role in Pretty Little Liars. Keeping music in the loop through her acting endeavors by singing on PLL and doing a movie musical "A Cinderella Story: Once Upon A Song" (another retelling of the Cinderella story, how original), she was then signed to Hollywood Records and began work on her debut solo album.

 The result is her new country album "Road Between" which was released on June 12th 2014. I was going to add the music video for the first single "You Sound Good To Me", which has done fairly well on the Billboard country charts, but when I listened to the album, this song resonated with me more, and to my luck she's released a live acoustic video for it. Another reason I chose this video is because I wanted people to actually hear her voice without filter or production gadgets. It may not be 100% perfect but it's pretty damn good and I personally think that country music was a smart way to go for her. Her voice has that warm clarity and simplicity that can make her a big hit in the country market.

 Long story short, it sounds like a debut album, she has some growth to do as an artist, but that will come in time. so I hope she allows herself that time and continues to record and discover more of who she is musically, because so far, I'm very impressed.

 Check out the full album and of course tune in to watch her on Pretty Little Liars which is now in its fifth season on ABC Family.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Turn It Up!: Brooke Candy - Opulence (Music Video)

  "I Own Everything, Baby!"

 I'm full on living for this video right now. I just discovered Brooke Candy on the weekend as I was going through a new followers library and saw her name. The name alone intrigued me, so I went to her artist page to check out a couple of music video's to see what kind of music she did, and to my luck, this was the first video I saw.

 Brooke Candy (yes, that's her given name) is from Oxnard, California. Her father is the CFO of Hustler magazine and CEO of Hustler Casino. After working as an intern for Rachel Zoe, Brooke got a job working as a mannequin stylist for Hustler store fronts and eventually started working as a stripper at the Seventh Veil Club in Hollywood. During this time she was honing her craft as a rapper and eventually quit stripping because music was more financially lucrative. Having now been featured on other artists songs, Brooke (after many offers from other record labels) has signed a deal with RCA records and is in the midst of recording her debut album. In the meantime, she has released a 5 song EP (Opulence EP 2014) and several one off singles through Tumblr and Youtube for her fans, whom she has nicknamed "The Fag Mob".

 I think this video (directed by Stephen Klein) is absolutely FIERCE!!!! The music, the wardrobe, the makeup, the sets, the concept, the effects... it's all working for me. I'm looking forward to more stuff from her.

 Give it a try!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Turn It Up!: Danity Kane - Lemonade (Lyric Video)

 Danity Kane Is Back, Baby!!!!!

 The girl group that formed and disbanded during the run of the 3rd and 4th installments of MTV's reality show "Making The Band", have returned as a trio with a hot new single for the summer.

 Original members Aubrey O'Day, Dawn Richard, and Shannon Bex are pressing ahead with the reunion album and touring dates that were both announced last year, without fellow members D. Woods and Aundrea "Drea" Fimbres (who was originally part of the reunion group, but announced her departure during their mini promotional tour this year).

 To go back in time a little, Danity Kane was formed by P. Diddy and Bad Boy Records in 2005 during the run of Making The Band 3. The girls released 2 Pop/R&B albums (2006's "Danity Kane" which went Platinum, and 2008's "Welcome To The Dollhouse" which went Gold) during their original run and released a few hit singles, most notably was their 2008 single "Damages" which went to #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Plagued with break-up rumors from the very beginning of their career's together, the girls ultimately started to disband in 2008, when Diddy fired Aubrey O'Day (my personal favorite) for becoming too sexual with her image and letting fame go to her head, claiming she wasn't the same girl that he signed. He also released D. Woods from her contract, citing that she wasn't happy in the group and had taken on a few of O'Day's (apparently) less than desirable qualities. On the following season of the show, only Dawn Richard and Aundrea Fimbres returned to find out the fate of the group, at which point it was announced that Shannon Bex had been released from her contract and the same was to happen to Aundrea. Dawn Richard was the last man standing but would never go on to assemble another line up for Danity Kane, but instead went on to pursue a solo career as the other girls had done.

 Now they're back as a trio, and I gotta say I am absolutely loving this single, I can't wait to see the official video, and I'm really excited for the new album. I hope this reunion does really well and puts them on top where they deserve to be. Let's not let this become another "En Vogue" story!

 Turn it out Ladies!!!!!!!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Turn It Up!: Veruca Salt - The Museum Of Broken Relationships (Music Video)

"Jubilation! He Loves Me Again!"

The notion that I even get to write these next words just makes me so happy!


Veruca Salt is an alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1993 when Vocalists/Guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post were introduced to each other through their mutual friend, actress Lili Taylor. The two began creating music together and before long they added musicians Jim Shapiro (Nina Gordon's brother) on drums, and Steve Lack on bass to complete their sound.

The group named themselves after the spoiled little rich girl character in the classic Roald Dahl book "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory", and started playing local gigs. They were soon discovered by Jim Powers from the independent label "Minty Fresh Records" and began work on their first studio album. The first album "American Thighs" was released in 1994 and the band quickly gained recognition when their first single "Seether" became a hit on MTV and Much Music. The album eventually went Gold and was followed by the EP "Blow It Out Your Ass, It's Veruca Salt" (1996), which contained 4 new songs to hold them over as they began work on their second album.

Now signed to Geffen Records, the bands second album "Eight Arms To Hold You" (1997) skyrocketed their careers with the release of the song "Volcano Girls", which not only has the most kick-ass music video ever, but was also used in the opening credits of the dark teen comedy film "Jawbreaker" (one of my faves) starring Rose McGowan.

Following the release of the Eight Arms To Hold You, the original line up of the band slowly started to disintegrate. Jim Shapiro left just after the release of the album, being replaced by drummer Stacy Jones, and after touring with BUSH and beginning work on their third album, Nina Gordon and Louise Post had a falling out (which to this day the events surrounding this remain a mystery), and Nina walked away.

In the subsequent years since their falling out, Nina Gordon has released two solo records (2000's "Tonight And The Rest Of My Life", and 2006's "Bleeding Heart Graffiti"), and Louise Post has continued recording under the "Veruca Salt" moniker releasing two full length albums post-Gordon, 2000's "Resolver", and 2006's "IV".

The band has gone through many line up changes since 1997, but in March of 2013, the bands original members Nina, Louise, Jim, and Steve made the official announcement of their reformation via their official Facebook page,

"For now, let's just say this: Hatchets Buried, Axes Exhumed."

Then in September of last year, the announcement came that they were working on new music to be released in 2014. The result (up to now) has been a special 10" vinyl disk called "MMXIV", which was released on April 19th for Record Store Day and contains 2 new tracks (including the one above) and the promise of a new full length Veruca Salt album to come later this year, as well as a small tour this summer. I hope to hell they add a date to Toronto, because one of my biggest regrets is not seeing them live the first time around.

I'm absolutely in love with the two new songs, because they are both a return to the classic VS sound. A perfect blend of pop and alternative sounds and their voices still compliment each others incredibly well (takes me right back to High School).

Highly anticipating the full length album and the opportunity to see them live! I will not miss my chance again!!!!!!

Wait there's more!!!!: To read the first dual interview with Louise and Nina since their reunion, SIMPLY CLICK HERE!!! You're Welcome!

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Listen Up!: Jem & The Holograms Movie In The Works!!!!!

The Holograms: (from left) Aja, Shana, Jem, Kimber, and Raya.

Show Time Synergy
Oh Man! This is the most perplexing post to write because, on the one hand, I am so ecstatic that this project is finally becoming a reality, but on the other hand, the things I have read or heard about it so far make it sound like it is going to be abysmal, and if that's the case, I don't even want them to bother.
The Misfits: (from left) Roxy, Stormer, Pizzazz, and Jetta.
 Jem & The Holograms was my favorite cartoon show of the 1980's. In fact, I'm such a big fan that I have all 3 seasons on DVD, and many of my social media handles are "Hologram82", which is where the name of this blog stems from! #FunFacts

Jem was originally a popular line of toy dolls by Hasbro Toys which came out in the early 80's. At the time, Hasbro had been collaborating with Marvel Productions and Sunbow Productions to develop cartoon series based on some of their most popular toy lines, including Transformers and G.I. Joe. Stemming from the success of these toys/shows which were targeted primarily toward young boys, the company created the idea of a doll series for the young girls, about a girl band named "Jem & The Holograms", a rival girl band named "The Misfits", and a computerized holographic entity known as "Synergy" who was responsible (via a pair of "Jem-star" earrings) for turning a mild mannered girl named Jerrica Benton and her gang of friends into the bright haired, "Truly Outrageous" singing sensations, Jem & The Holograms.

The cartoon series was developed with the help of writer Christy Marx, who had previously worked as a writer on G.I. Joe, Spider Man, and The Fantastic Four. The production company chose her because they wanted a female writer who could create a world with romance, fashion, glamour, and all the other fun girly stuff, but also balance it with some fun action and adventure elements so the boys wouldn't change the channel either (and, of course, tie it all together with some fun songs that helped the storyline along). Sounds simple enough (Oy).

The world she created, centered on Jerrica Benton, a young woman who becomes owner and manager of her fathers' music company "Starlight Music" after he passes away. Jerrica lives with her younger sister Kimber, and their childhood friends (and adopted foster sisters) Aja and Shana in a mansion called "Starlight House" which is also a home for Foster Girls. The four girls become a band in order to save Starlight Music from the villainous music executive Eric Raymond and his rival band of rebellious girl rockers, Pizzazz, Roxy, and Stormer (otherwise known as "The Misfits") who want to destroy Starlight Music and take over the music industry. While preparing for a local Battle Of The Bands competition, Jerrica receives a pair of star-shaped earrings, and as she puts them on, a holographic entity known as "Synergy" appears before her. She and her friends are led to an abandoned Drive-In movie theatre (sounds shady), where they come upon a hidden room to find a giant holographic computer, which her father built as "the ultimate audio-visual entertainment synthesizer". Using Synergy to produce a holographic new persona known as Jem, Jerrica and the girls win the Battle Of The Bands against The Misfits and regain control of their company. Using the Jem-star earrings to transition between being Jerrica and being her rock star alter ego, Synergy warns her to keep Jem's true identity a secret, a secret she ends up keeping from everyone, including her boyfriend Rio who acts as the Holograms tour manager, creating an unusual love triangle between himself, Jerrica and Jem (who unbeknownst to him are in fact the same person). Her band mates are the only ones that know Jem's true identity.

Now that you have some background on the show, let's talk about the movie. About a month ago, it was officially announced that a live action film version of Jem and The Holograms was being worked on and was going to be directed by Jon M. Chu (G.I Joe: Retaliation). The director and 2 of his producers posted a video on youtube and the films official website, encouraging fans to help with the creative process of the movie, from casting, to costume design, to makeup, to music and lyrics, you name it. This sounded great to me initially, because I liked that they really, really seemed to want to do it right.

Here's where I become skeptical. Firstly, in the above described video, the director used the words "Modern Day Reinvention", if this movie doesn't take place in the 80's, then I've already lost all hope. One of my friends read a possible early synopsis for the film and it made Jem out to be an internet sensation. That's bullshit, one of the ongoing themes of the Jem cartoon series was working hard and applying yourself in order to make any of your dreams come true, not putting your ass on youtube for 15 minutes in order to gain over night fame. The only characters that kind of thing would work for, would be The Misfits, because they were always about cheating and taking the easy way out to get what they wanted (which is why they always lost). Secondly, they just announced the four actresses playing Jem, Kimber, Aja, and Shana, and while I'm glad that people like Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus are not part of the cast (yet), I have no idea who any of these girls are, which to be fair, might be a good thing. The four girls are, Aubrey Peeples (Jem), Stefanie Scott (Kimber), Hayley Kiyoko (Aja), and Aurora Perrineau (Shana). I heard that Aubrey is on the show Nashville, so I looked up a clip on youtube of her singing on that show, and I gotta say, I'm not bowled over by her vocal ability. She can carry a tune, but the series Jem had some amazing pipes on her (thanks to the brilliant vocal ability's of Britta Phillips, who's singing voice I, for years, thought was actually Martika's lol), so unless they go with someone else's singing voice, I'm not going to be impressed. The other thing about the cast is that they look too young. I believe the Holograms are all meant to be in their early 20's (with the possibility of Kimber being in her late teens as she's younger than the other 3), but Aubrey alone looks like she's only 16 (which would make Kimber 12 or 13).

I'm gonna hold out a bit of hope until the full cast is revealed and until we get a trailer (or even a teaser trailer) for it, but at this moment, it doesn't look good.

Show's Over Synergy!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Turn It Up!: Madonna - Oh Father (Music Video)

"Oh Father, you never wanted to live that way, you never wanted to hurt me. Why am I running away?"

Howdy Readers, it's been awhile and I've missed you all. I've been very busy as of late, mostly with making plans to buy a house with my boyfriend (fingers crossed, we're looking at new houses tomorrow), and at the moment I'm not feeling well, but I wanted to add this post because this is definitely a worthy occasion.

Today is the 25th anniversary of yet another great pop album, Madonna's 1989 classic "Like A Prayer". This is one of the finest and most cohesive collections of Madonna's career. Not only was every song written or co-written by her, but it was the first time she had ever fully delved into really personal lyrics and subject matter. Her first 3 albums were filled with mostly lighter fare (with the exception of a few songs on True Blue, ie. Live To Tell and Papa Don't Preach), but the overall theme of Like A Prayer, was family, death, and religion.

Though the album spawned a lot of controversy from the catholic league and many political and religious groups for it's content and eventual video imagery for the singles "Like A Prayer", "Express Yourself" and "Oh Father", music critics hailed Madonna for artfully facing her inner most thoughts and demons regarding an array of situations faced from childhood to young womanhood. From singing about the death of her Mother (her Mother died of breast cancer when she was 5) in "Promise To Try", to questioning the patriarchal rules of society and the Catholic church in "Like A Prayer" and "Express Yourself", to dealing with the subject of abuse (both spousal and familial) in songs like "Til Death Do Us Part" and "Oh Father", and ultimately rollicking in the sounds of love in songs like "Cherish", "Dear Jessie" and "Keep It Together", she takes us all on a cathartic roller coaster ride and opens the doors for discussion , revolution, and celebration.

Now to the video above! I chose this video because it is probably my favorite song on the album, and because the video always brings a tear to my eye. Oh Father was the 4th and ultimately least successful single released from Like A Prayer, but who cares about things like that?!?! You don't need to be a hit to be on this blog (actually, quite the contrary). This may be another reason I chose it, everyone always talks about the controversy surrounding the Like a Prayer and Express Yourself videos (rightfully so), but I feel this song never gets it's dues.

Though she has never divulged the actual inspiration behind the song, I feel that the song is ultimately about abandonment and forgiveness. Whether the references to abuse were literal or figurative, the fact is that the song touches on being left and being neglected by a parent when the other dies. In Madonna's case, her mother died, her father eventually remarried, and Madonna felt abandoned by both of them. In the video, she makes fewer attempts to be vague. The little girl dancing in the graveyard, is a reflection of Madonna's innocence. As she dances outside, her Mother is dying inside, and the girl is eventually left with an abusive Father. As she grows up, the woman she becomes is trapped in yet another abusive relationship (sins of the father) and as she grows to forgive her Father and understand the pain that he put her through was a reflection of his own inner pain, she finds the will power to walk out on her abusive lover.

I have to say that the most vivid image from this video for me, is the image of the little girl at her mothers casket and gazing upon her Mothers lips which have been sewn shut. Madonna has stated that this was a lingering memory of her own Mother's funeral.  

"There was so much left unsaid, so many untangled and unresolved emotions, of remorse, guilt, loss, anger, confusion. ... I saw my mother, looking very beautiful and lying as if she were asleep in an open casket. Then I noticed that my mother's mouth looked funny. It took me some time to realize that it had been sewn up. In that awful moment, I began to understand what I had lost forever. The final image of my mother, at once peaceful yet grotesque, haunts me today."

In closing, I invite each of you to comment (if you wish) and let me know what your favorite song from Like A Prayer is, and why?

Till next post! Shows over Synergy lol.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Picture This!: Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once (Album Cover)

Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy... It's coming soon!!!!!! Kylie Minogue is getting ready to release her 12th studio album "Kiss Me Once" in the spring. Even though we don't have an official release date for the album, she has given us the cover art above, and the first single "Into The Blue" has leaked online ahead of it's release to radio, which is meant to be January 27th. I'll talk about the single when the music video is released, but let's talk about the album cover.

Upon first glance, I love how sexy and playful she always looks, but there's something about this picture that makes me think it would have been great for a single cover. This may be because I'm comparing it to the Aphrodite album cover which just seemed more epic in it's ownership, but this just seems kind of safe. It makes sense with the rain streaked window and her pursed lips moving in for a kiss, but it's almost too literal. Maybe it's not even that, maybe it's just the font and placement of the album title that's bothering me. I think the glass should have been steamed up and the album title should have been written into the condensation. It's still a cute and flawless picture, it just looks like single cover art, not full on album cover art.

I'm wondering what the album will sound like, from the sound of the single, it's classic Kylie dance pop, but there was also that "Skirt" song that came out awhile ago, and given that she's now being managed by Jay-Z's "Roc Nation" company, I'm wondering if there will be a few surprises style-wise.

What do you guys think?

Liven It Up! : Debbie Gibson - No More Rhyme (Live)

"You Can Find Your Place But Never Fit In, And Only When You've Left, Do You Know Where You've Been!"

Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of Debbie Gibson's 2nd studio album 1989's "Electric Youth". This album kind of defined my childhood, so I thought I would add the live version of the album's third single (and one of my personal favorite's) "No More Rhyme". This video is taken from the Live Around The World vhs concert video that Deb released after the success of the Electric Youth Tour.

The Electric Youth album spawned 4 singles, the massively successful "Lost In Your Eyes", title track "Electric Youth", "No More Rhyme", and "We Could Be Together", and is still the biggest selling album of Deb's career. As well as the tour, she released her book "Between The Lines" which she wrote with the help of writer Mark Bego, and she also released her perfume through Revlon, which shared the same name as the album. My friend Dean bought me a bottle of it off of e-bay a few Christmas's ago, because we used to sneak into his sisters room as kids and spray ourselves with hers lol.

I remember listening to this album with my older brother when I was a kid and loving it to bits (still do), I also remember being crushed that I wasn't allowed to go to the concert when it came to Toronto. My parents thought I was too young to go to a big stadium show at the time (I was 8), so I had to stay home while he went with his friends. For some reason, they didn't mind me going to stadium concerts when I was 10 (which is when my concert going experience began), but 8 was too young. Ugh Parents!!!! Oh well, I finally saw her live in New York a few years ago, after the release of Colored Lights, and I met her when she came to Toronto in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. Good Times!

Though she has not released any new music in quite some time (a song here and there), she has remained in the public eye by doing reality programs like The Celebrity Apprentice and also horribly cheesy syfy movies like "Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus" and "Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid" with Tiffany.

Her voice has kinda lost it's luster in the past few years, becoming thin and a bit squeaky, but she admits her faults and has been working with a voice coach to deal with the changes in her vocals. She is still adamant about making a return to pop music. I hope she can rediscover her voice and come back with something great, til' then, we'll always have Electric Youth!

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Years From Me and Miss Coco Peru!!!!

"I have the joy in my heart. I have one word for you two.... Wait!"

Hello my lovely readers! I hope you have all been well. I know I have had sporadic gaps between posting this year, but when I started this blog, my intention was to only post when the muse struck me. Having said that, this last gap was more forced than voluntary because my computer crashed and I was without a fast acting pc until now. I want to thank those who have stopped by, commented, or taken any kind of interest in my silly little blog, and wish you all a very Happy New Year.

I add this video, because I love Miss Coco Peru, and find her absolutely hysterical. I first fell in love with her when I saw her in the movie "Trick" (1999), and I could just listen to her talk for hours on end!!!!

I raise a cup of "Tension Tamer Tea" to you all lol.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Turn It Up!: Lady Gaga - Applause (Music Video)

  "Pop Culture Was An Art, Now Art's In Pop Culture In Me!"

 Well, it's almost time my lovelies! In a weeks time the new Lady Gaga album ARTPOP officially gets released, and you all are either very excited, or mortified beyond belief and wish she would just go away lol. I happen to fit into the group of you who are forever on the fence about her. I love her to a point, I think she's really creative and fun to watch, but there's a certain pretentiousness about her that often rubs me the wrong way (We Get It Gaga, You're An ARTIST!), but the thing is, I think she's fully aware of this side of her and is often annoyed by it also, so that's what keeps me coming back. My only other issue is (and this is kind of indirectly about her) when people (namely fans) take a singers stance out of context. Gaga is obviously of the motto of let your freak flag fly, which I fully support, but when fans take that to mean that they can present themselves or carry themselves in a manner that is right for them, but makes them non-inclusive to other people, that is just fucked up in my opinion. There has got to be a way in which you can be the most fully realised version of yourself without being a selfish prick to others, because then, you are no better than the people that oppressed you. I'm not really articulating it right, but if you know what I mean, then you know what I mean.

 So, let's get back to the music, that's why you're here. This is (if you've been living under a rock) the first single from ARTPOP. I originally didn't think much of the song until I saw the video, which, according to quotes from Gaga, is exactly the point of this album. The visual side of her craft is just as big a part of this project as the auditory side. The video, directed by Inez & Vinoodh who have worked numerous times with artists like Bjork and Antony Hegarty of Antony and The Johnsons, features Gaga in various circus performer outfits and many different shape shifting persona's (as well as her homage to Botticelli's "Birth Of Venus"). The lyrics are not just about her need for adulation but also an artists need for an audience. Does art exist if there's no one there to see, hear, smell, touch or taste it?

 'Applause' is a very meaningful song to me, because it addresses what many think of 'celebrities' today, that we 'do it' for the attention. But some of us are 'artists' in this group called 'celebrity,' & what we create doesn't live on unless there's an audience to remember it. So I may need your attention at first, so I can sing you my song. But its the 'Applause' after that let me know if I've entertained you. Entertainment makes people happy, I live for the 'Applause,' to know I've spread that. I live to hear you cheer, to just be a part of that.I believe in show business. The 'Applause' is what breeds that thing that I love. When I know I've made you happy. When I know it was good.'

 As well as this song, Gaga has premiered probably half the album by now, by releasing them in video form (a lyric video for the song Aura, and audio videos for the songs Venus, and Do What You Want feat. R Kelly) or performing them live (see the iTunes Festival performance). I personally have been intrigued by all of these songs and am looking forward to finally hearing the finished product from start to finish, so I guess whatever she's doing, it's working.

 Game well played Gaga!

Turn It Up!: Mariah Carey - #Beautiful Feat. Miguel (Music Video)

  "Don’t Stop ’Til You Thrill Me, Oh How You Thrill Me!"

 I thought I already added this, but I guess I was wrong. I think this is the best single Mimi has come out with in quite a while. It almost has a 60's pop sound, and let me tell you, having just gotten back from a vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC, it is the perfect song to listen to while sunbathing by a pool surrounded by palm trees. 

I've said this before, but I love Mariah for 2 reasons, I genuinely think she is incredibly talented (although a bit conceited at times) and also, because she is bat shit crazy. Just take a look at this video, dancing around and flashing her coochie to Miguel in a barn full of chandelier's. I gotta say though, she works every inch of that body of hers. Looking majorly fierce!!!!!!

 The song is expected to be a part of Mariah's yet to be released, 14th studio album "The Art Of Letting Go", which has had many release dates thus far, but is currently set for release in early 2014, but the title track and second helping from the album will be making it's world debut on November 11th.

 I was toying with which version of the song to add to the blog, the regular of the explicit, but I decided to go with the regular one, because the video for the explicit version of the song doesn't have the scenes with Mariah on the motorcycle in the black leather short shorts, and let's face it, we all need black leather short shorts in our lives. Here's a link to the explicit version though.

 I'm too good to you! ;~)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Turn It Up!: Cher - Woman's World (Music Video)

  "Tell The Truth, This Is A Woman's World!"

 I've been on such a Cher high for the past month, you wouldn't believe how much I've been listening to her. And why not? She recently released her 25th studio album "Closer To The Truth", which is an absolutely incredible piece of work (you're really doing yourself a disservice if you don't have it yet), and the legendary Diva has also announced her latest tour venture (despite her previous 2 year long Farewell Tour back in 2002) which is set to start in 2014, entitled The Dressed To Kill Tour. This boy has his ticket, do you? 

Woman's World was the first single from the album, and though it leaked online in September of 2012, the single didn't officially get released until June of this year. It was worth the wait for this amazing song of female empowerment. The video (directed by Ray Kay) was released on August 20th and features Cher in many a fantastic wig (one made of shredded newspaper clippings, one made of wheat, and one particular wig that Cher has admitted she doesn't care for) while her body is mixed and matched with various other women's. 

Just a word about my love and respect for this woman. I first fell in love with her when I saw the movie Mermaids when I was about 14. I loved that movie so much, her relationship with Winona Ryder in that film was just so funny and (although heightened) very relatable. The teenage angst you feel towards your parents as a teen were perfectly highlighted in that film. Then, my best friend Dean showed me the movie "Mask" and that was it, I was transfixed forever. So, it's safe to say that I fell in love with Cher as an actress first and then the music came after. The first song I heard by her was probably The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss) but I remember vividly, hearing the song "After All", her duet with Peter Cetera on the radio quite often when I was a kid, and loving it to pieces, but I just didn't know at the time who sang it. So, my first Cher album was a Greatest Hits album (1965 - 1992) that I bought while on vacation in Scotland. It had 15 hits on it and I became obsessed. She didn't sound like anyone else, her musical style was always changing, her looks (for the most part) were always amazing and flawless (there are obviously a few exceptions lol) and of course, once you watch her in interviews and/or read about her life and career (Read her book "The First Time")and realize, that's she's just about the funniest and most down to earth and straight forward human beings there is, it's hard to not get caught up in the dark ladies spell.

 So, thank you Cher, for touching my heart and soul with your many amazing performances throughout the years (both in film and in music) and here's to an amazing tour ahead! Can't wait til April!!!!!!!!