Tag Archive for 'music'

So much talent

Click baiting headlines are really frustrating when you are online. “This girl did something and you won’t believe what happened next” etc etc when really what you won’t believe is that someone got you to watch a shitty video where not a lot actually happens. Sadly I fall for those all the time. Today though I watched this video (below) of an X-Factor UK Audition. Of course the tv show and the website played up the sob story of the tragic loss of his brother. Apparently it is now the rules of reality tv that you can’t have a good audition unless there is a tragic sob story involved.

Jake here, has had some genuine tragedy in his life, losing his 19 year old brother. When the audition first started and Mel B stops him not that far into the song you think it’s over. After a few words and discussion from Simon Cowell et al, Jake gets to belt out a beautiful version of “Say Something” by Great Big World and to me, he does a fantastic job. He’s a very marketable package. He’s very good looking, seems genuinely polite and he can sing the hell out of the song. Let’s hope he gets a bit further than the auditions.

Could this be it?

Finding music appropriate for an aerial circus routine is something that I find really difficult. If I sit on a piece of music for too long without working it into a routine then I lose interest in it. The same is true if I try a routine to a piece of music and it doesn’t work. Rather than rework the routine I seem to throw the music away and start again.

Our teacher wants us to put together a routine for the end of term. Not for a public performance but just for each other. He also wants it to be close to five minutes long which is tough. That’s a long routine and will require lots of additional training to get through it which is good. I need to push my training and endurance anyway. This morning I have come up with two options. I’d always liked the Jack White cover of U2′s Love is Blindness but it’s only three and a half minutes so I put a minute of the original U2 version at the start before it goes into the bonkers angry Jack White version. I like it but I’m not sure it’s right.

The more likely option is Ed Sheeran “I See Fire” from the second Hobbit movie soundtrack. It’s the right length at just a smidge under five minutes and it builds beautifully from an almost acoustic folk song to an orchestral dramatic piece with moments to work with for drama in the routine.

Australia’s X-Factor 2014 guys.

Last night on tv they had a marathon repeat of the new series so far of Australia’s X-Factor. The auditions have just started and a few guys really stood out for me. A favourite was the return of Tee who auditioned and got a fair way through the process last year. He was struggling with confidence as his mother wasn’t speaking with him because of his sexuality. Things have clearly improved on both fronts and he absolutely BELTS out Somebody to love by Queen. His voice is great and the smile and personality is killer.

Next up is Dean. Dean scares me a little bit. There’s no denying that he’s very talented and has the charismatic rock star thing going on. He has a bit of a dangerous eccentricity vibe going on for me though. One of the judges likens him to Michael Hutchence. He apparently left home at 15 to earn the right to be a man by the age of 18. WTF? He strikes me as one of those people that enjoys being moody and confronting. Great performer though.

Next up is the adorable Jaymie. He’s only young but his version of Wonderwall is fantastic. As much as everyone tries to say that image isn’t important and it should all be about talent, that’s bullshit as we all know. It doesn’t hurt that Jaymie is cute and has beautiful eyes to go with his talent. Can we also talk about his beautiful brother who is backstage with the family? I haven’t really gotten into this season of the Voice despite Kylie being on the panel. X-Factor just seems to be more interesting for me.

Still relevant, sadly.

Thirty years ago a pop duo called Bronski Beat released a song called Smalltown Boy about a gay man having to leave his home town because he is gay and isn’t accepted. Sadly thirty years on it’s still relevant despite the enormous gains the LGBTQ community has made. When I was growing up in denial about my sexuality gay marriage wasn’t even something that I thought about. In my mind it was like the Berlin Wall coming down or Apartheid ending in South Africa. It just wasn’t ever going to happen. Now look at the world. Unfortunately lots of kids don’t even see acceptance from their family as a possibility. That’s why Jimmy Somerville’s reprise of the song this year, a very haunting version is still so meaningful. Above is the new version and below is the original version.

Confounding expectations

It’s nice to have expectations shattered from time to time, especially when those expectations aren’t necessarily positive. Very much like Simon Cowell in this video, I was expecting a fairly formulaic performance by a cliched boy band when I saw the five guys lined up to audition. When they started singing a song from Les Miserable in beautiful strong voices I was as blown away as the audience. Not being overly familiar with the musical I did think it was some religious song at first with all the god references.

The guys seem like nice guys too and the tall one nearly crying at the end when the audience is all on their feet is very sweet to see. Any good, self respecting boy band, even the operatic good ones, has to have a gay member. Which one do you think it is?

Mining the Clouds Monday, always.

There are two things that I’m mining clouds about today. The first is a very personal thing for a dear friend of mine. She and her husband have been trying to have a baby for a couple of years now and they’d been told that it was very unlikely to happen for a couple of reasons. Nearly 6 weeks ago, she and I were at dinner and something was said that made me prick up my ears and I just gave her a quizzical look and she just said “It’s too early” so we just carried on and pretended like nothing had been said. He has just told me in the past few days that she’s pregnant. Not hard to find the silver lining there is it? The struggles and trouble they’ve had conceiving can only make it just that little bit more special. Having a baby is pretty magical anyway so it’s hard to beat it I imagine.

The second thing is just for me. We started back at the second term of aerial silks tonight and the teacher is showing me some tough love. I injured myself slightly several years ago (not the big arm injury two years ago) doing a certain trick and I’ve been more than reluctant to do it ever since. She’s making me build up to doing it over the term. It’s far from a difficult trick but it’s scary and there is potential for pain. We are doing everything we can to minimise the pain and I trust her so it’s going to happen. The other part to this mining the clouds section is that I’ve found a new piece of music to work up a routine to. At the end of last term I did a routine to a song that I’d had in mind for a while but it didn’t rock my world once I actually did it. Instead I’ve found this amazing mashup of Dr Dre and Kylie by Alt J. A friend has used his musical magic and extended it for me to a length suitable for a routine. Bring it on.

It’s time to Sexercize!

Kylie has just released the video for a song from her new album Kiss Me Once called Sexercize. The song was written by Sia who must absolutely be raking in millions of dollars in royalties from all the songs she’s written for stars lately. This is probably the most deliberately raunchy video from Kylie and it even has a warning on youtube about explicit content. There’s gyrating, sweat, a pommel horse and Kylie in heels, always in heels. The two videos from this album so far have been a visual departure for Ms Minogue and I’m loving it.

Random naked guy dancing.

This is yet another example of how different European attitudes to nudity are compared to places like Australia and the U.S. This is a music video for “Fiks” by Ensh. Now maybe this video didn’t actually get played in Europe but it was made and there was one willing model who was prepared to dance nude in a music video in a very non-sexual way. Most nudity that we see here in Australia or America is sexualised or is a joke or dare situation for a laugh. This is a guy dancing who happens to be nude.

After watching the video it’s very clear that the model/dancer Milan Panet-Gigon certainly knows how to move his body and moving it the way he does goes a long way to keeping it in the shape it’s in. He’s a hot tight-bodied guy with apparently boundless energy. Very cool to watch.

Ensh – Fiks (Official Video) from Milenko Vujosevic on Vimeo.

Tinie bit of a crush.

Last night I saw an episode of the Graham Norton show which I like for it’s irreverance and the fact that half the time I suspect the celebrity guests might be a little tipsy. One of the guests was the British rapper Tinie Tempah who I’d heard of and know one or two of his songs but I wasn’t overly familiar with. Tinie’s real name is Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu but Tinie works even though he’s 5’10″ and not that tiny at all.

Now I’m not really a fan of rap music especially the style of Kanye as a lot of rap seems to be just about what material posessions you own and how you score with the ladies. Tinie’s music isn’t straying too far from the formula but I don’t mind it. What I really find incredibly sexy about Tinie is his gorgeous smile. A lot of the guys I find stunning have a great big smile and Mr Tempah is no different. A big wide smile that lights up his whole face. Even in the live shows that I’ve watched on youtube he busts out that smile instead of being all totally gansta and full of attitude. Tinie isn’t afraid of a bit of a bold fashion choice from time to time either. I personally love that blue tweed looking suit with a white t-shirt. So sexy.

Hearing him interviewed on tv he is surprisingly softly spoken and not full of bravado like you might expect a rapper to be. This man could smile at me any day, preferably first thing in the morning in bed.

Mining those clouds

There aren’t many people I know who look forward to going to work on a Monday morning. Even those people that like their jobs would probably still like another day of the weekend to play with. If you had a surprise performance by a musician or band pop up on your public transport it would certainly soften the blow of going back to work.

Every year on Australia Day, one of our radio stations, Triple J counts down the Hottest 100 from the previous 12 months and the latest countdown was topped by Vance Joy with his song Riptide. Vance also happened to turn up on Tram Sessions in Melbourne. Tram Sessions is a guerilla style gigs on Melbourne Trams started in 2010. This acoustic version of Riptide is, in my opinion better than the original and I didn’t realise that Vance was so bloody cute. If a man can serenade me I think he’s half way to a wedding ring.

Not a good strategy!

When Kylie released the first single off her Aphrodite album in 2010, All the Lovers, her record label did it the old school way. Release it for radio and weeks later make it available for purchase. Not surprisingly it didn’t work. She could possibly have had a number one with that single in the UK and Australia but no, by the time it was available the momentum was gone. Such is the music industry today. That’s why Gaga’s Art-Pop album didn’t sell as well as predicted. Too much hype for too long. BeyoncĂ© changed the whole game with her self titled release.

So why is Kylie using the old strategy yet again? Who knows. Into the Blue is the first single from her upcoming 12th studio album and it’s being released for radio play on Monday (27th). The single was leaked and all over the internet a few days ago but seems to have been pulled from all the blogs that I saw it on. Apparently press releases have gone out saying the single is going to be released for purchase on March 16th. That’s outrageous. Six week delay from radio to being available? That kind of thing worked before the world of online music.

I have a theory. Kylie has also been teasing with the image above of her lips with water droplets. My sneaking suspicion is that this is part of the album artwork. There has been no release date announced for the album but rumours say right after the single. I am hoping that the single will be available to buy straight after the radio release and the album might actually be released in March instead of the single. Here’s hoping. I want Kylie to have number one singles, not mismanaged releases.

My 2013 playlist

A few years ago I started a playlist for the year. As the year went on, when a song came along that I really liked it got added to that playlist so I ended up with a sountrack to that year of sorts. 2013 was the third year that I’ve done that and I thought since it’s New Year’s Eve here in Sydney already that I would share my playlist with you.

As the year goes on sometimes songs get deleted from the list. Get Lucky by Daft Punk got deleted after it was played on the radio every 10 seconds and it started to make me homicidal. The end result is quite an eclectic mix of songs but hey, it’s what I liked through the year. I hope you enjoy. Some of the artists are Australian so those of you abroad might discover some new artists to enjoy.

John Legend – All of me (De Hofnar Bootleg) – Listen here
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell) – Listen here
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Can’t Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton) – Listen here
Come & Get In Trouble With Me – Ricki-Lee – Listen here
Firestarter – Samantha Jade – Listen here
Good Morning – Ed Drewett – Listen here
Heart Hypnotic – Delta Goodrem – Listen here
I Could Be The One – Avici & Nicky Romero – Listen here
I Need Your Love – Calvin Harris (feat. Ellie Goulding) – Listen here
La La La – Naughty Boy (feat. Sam Smith) – Listen here
Resolution – Matt Corby – Listen here
Royals – Lorde – Listen here
Same Love – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) – Listen here
Skirt – Kylie Minogue – Listen here
Something’s Got a Hold On Me – Jessica Mauboy – Listen here
Work B*tch – Britney Spears – Listen here
Young & Beautiful (Cedric Gervais Remix) – Lana Del Ray – Listen here

Well that was impressive

With the huge number of talent shows on television these days and social media sending auditionees “viral” all the time, the editors and producers of the shows are always trying to make someone “happen”. Whether it’s the next Susan Boyle moment with a socially awkward person blowing the world away with an amazing voice or a tragic life story and the person over coming all odds to be fantastic, it feels like the people are being rammed down our throats all the time. The new season of Australian X-Factor started last night and while I hadn’t seen any of the promos on tv a lot of people were talking about “that little 14 year old kid” who was apparently amazing.

Well I watched his audition online today and it’s bloody fantastic. I’m posting the longer clip of Jai Waetford’s audition because Ronan Keating got him to also sing one of his own songs. This kid taught himself to play guitar from youtube videos. It’s also really sweet to see a 14 year old boy who isn’t going through that sullen, grumpy phase where they hate their mother. He’s got a strong bond with his mum and he seems like a genuinely nice kid, with a great voice. Enjoy.

All American Boy

When people use the term “All American Boy” the images that come to mind are of buff, white corn-fed looking guys. I’m not sure why it only seems to refer to white boys but that’s a whole other discussion. Anyway, Steve Grand is a U.S. country singer who fits the bill completely. Although if you mentioned that an All American Boy might be gay to some of the more conservative Southern folks they might not appreciate it, but that’s exactly what Steve is. A gorgeous looking guy with a killer body, a great voice who happens to like guys. He could like me as hard as he wanted.

In his video to his new single “All American Boy” he is seen hanging out with a mate and they end up going for a cheeky skinny dip where we are treated to a glimpse of Steve’s great butt. Steve mis-reads the bromoerotic playfulness of his mate and goes in for a kiss while they are in the water. Sadly his mate isn’t interested but nicely isn’t awkward about it. He does however make a beeline for the hot chick when they get back to a party a little later when the clothes are (mostly) back on.

It turns out that the straight friend is played by “Taylor” from Fratmen so even if he identifies as straight, a bit of nude male touchy feely bonding isn’t a new thing for the straight mate in this video.

Same Love goes #1!

I heard this song for the first time a few weeks ago when they performed it live on Ellen. It’s not my usual style of music but I really like the song and the lyrics are very important. Given that the song is championing the rights of LGBT people and for equality for all, it was a very pleasant surprise to hear that it has gone to number 1 on the charts here in Australia.

We are viewed as a liberally minded country here but as I’ve said many times, our Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition Party are both staunchly anti marriage equality and it drives me crazy. So while I know there are pockets of Australia that are very gay friendly and accepting I didn’t think a political song about equality would resonate so well with a lot of the country. Well done Australia. I love being pleasantly surprised.