Tag Archive for 'music'

My soundtrack to 2015

Every year for the past 5 years I’ve created a playlist at the start of the year in  iTunes. As the year goes on, whenever a song really grabs me I add it to that playlist and at the end of the year it is almost like a soundtrack to that year. This year I added more songs than ever to that list but a few of them didn’t survive the full year and were culled. Sometimes they just don’t make the grade. Now that we’ve hit 2016 and there won’t be any more songs added to the list, it’s time to share the list with you. The songs are in the order that they were added as the year went on. For the first time ever artists features more than once. Of course one of those is Kylie. She’s a featured artist on two of the tracks for 2015. There was nearly a third, her camp disco Christmas duet with Dannii nearly made the cut too. Ellie Goulding actually features twice too!

1. Right Here Right Now – Giorgio Moroder (feat.Kylie Minogue)

2. Living for Love – Madonna

3. Crazy in Love (50 Shades of Grey Mix) – Beyonce

4. FourFiveSeconds – Kanye West, Rihanna, Paul McCartney

5. Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne

6. Overload – Life of Dillon

7. Aerial Love – Daniel Johns

8. Powerful – Major Lazer (feat Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley)

9. Ghost Town – Adam Lambert

10. Wings – Delta Goodrem

11. The Other Boys – Nervo (feat. Kylie Minogue, Jake Shears & Nile Rogers)

12. Omen – Disclosure (feat. Sam Smith)

13. Easy Love – Sigala

14. This Aint Love – Jessica Mauboy

15. Alive – Sia

16. Runnin’ (Lose it All) – Naughty Boy (feat. Beyonce & Arrow Benjamin)

17. On My Mind – Ellie Goulding

18. Adventures of a Lifetime – Coldplay

19. Turn The Music Louder (Rumble) – KDA (feat. Tinie Tempah & Katy B)

20. Black & Blue – Guy Sebastian

21. Stone – Cyrus

And the best man won!

I’ve just sat through about a million hours of the X Factor Australia Grand Finale. It was the outcome I wanted and that was probably expected. A 19 year old guy called Cyrus from my home town of Wollongong won after a stellar performance week after week. He was by far the most commercial of the contestants in the finale and a very deserving winner.

When he was announced as the winner and finally broke free from celebrating family and contestants, he firstly thanked God which put me on edge a little which was unfair. It seems so trite when musicians thank God but then I reminded myself that I have religious friends and this was a kid who has just won his dream chance at life so he was probably just being grateful. He seems like a great, humble and articulate guy and he’s cute as hell. Fingers crossed he does well because I think he deserves it.

After that marathon finale show I think I need a lie down.

This should help

I’ve had a bit of a blah week at work. Nothing wildly bad just not a great week and for some reason today, even though it’s the weekend I’ve been in a flat mood. I have no idea why but I do know I don’t enjoy it. So, I’ve just cranked up some fun music and actually started cleaning this house. My housemate isn’t great at cleaning and neither am I but I have hit my threshold and I thought a clean floor would help.

Any time Kylie releases new music, that puts a smile on my face too. This song has been out for a while now but the video only dropped this week. Kylie Minogue and Jake Shears are really good friends and obviously have a good time hanging out together. Add them to a Nervo track and it’s guaranteed fun. Nervo are a couple of Aussie DJ twin sisters and producers and this song is from their album Collateral.

Jake Shears looks like he’d be great fun to have at a party and my life would be complete if I got to hang out with Kylie, we all know that.

Thankfully, a mate is coming over to hang out in a couple of hours, so I’m going to get some beer and work out what we’ll do for dinner and hopefully have a good, relaxed but cheerful evening.

Happy birthday Kylie!

Today is Kylie Minogue’s 47th birthday and while she hasn’t had the chart success here that she might have had a few years back I don’t think she’s going to give up any time soon. She’s not to everyone’s taste, I know that so please refrain from slagging her off in the comments.

In honour of her birthday I’m sharing her video from 3 years ago for Timebomb. It is one of my favourite Kylie tracks and it gets me singing along and dancing without fail. Enjoy. Happy birthday Kylie.

So damned sexy

Now that the soggy mess of a movie “50 Shades of Grey” has come out everyone can finally go get it out of their system. Personally I’ve never heard of so many people walking out on a film that has been so anticipated. I’ve not read the books, nor do I intend to and once Jamie Dornan said he wasn’t going frontal in the film I lost the last shred of motivation to see it.

One thing that I really do like from the film is Beyonce’s version of her old hit “Crazy in Love.” It’s a slow sexy version and it’s almost begging for someone to do a circus routine to it. The only problem is that it’s a touch short for a good routine. Now, if I was still doing pole dancing this song would be used in a heartbeat.

A mate of mine and I were joking several months ago and somewhere along the way I promised to do a drag routine at his 40th which is late next year and this song may be a contender. Nothing like grinding awkwardly in drag on a close mate’s lap in front of his family to really add a special something to the evening don’t you think?

My 2014 playlist

Along with the calendar I have been doing for the past few years, another yearly adventure is my playlist for the year. At the beginning of the year I create a playlist in my itunes for that year and as the year goes on I add the songs that really grab me throughout that 12 month period. The danger with listening to it too much through the year is that you can get a bit sick of the early songs but it’s a great reminder of the songs you loved as the year went by.

So here is what made me dance and sing in 2014. Yes, I know my tastes are very mainstream and top 40.

XO – Beyonce – Watch the video here.
Goodness Gracious – Ellie Goulding – Watch the video here.
Into the Blue – Kylie Minogue – Watch the video here.
Happy – Pharrell Williams – Watch the video here.
Liar Liar – Chris Cab – Watch the video here.
Jump – Rihanna – Watch the video here.
Sing – Ed Sheeran – Watch the video here.
All We Need is Love – Ricki Lee – Watch the video here.
Chandelier – Sia – Watch the video here.
A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay – Watch the video here.
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift – Watch the video here.
Live Louder – Nathaniel – Watch the video here.
Sunlight (featuring Years and Years) – The Magician – Watch the video here.
Stay Alive – José Gonzalez – Watch the video here.
Uptown Funk (featuring Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson – Watch the video here.

Don’t mess with the classics

Years and years ago a song came along that I must have listened to hundreds of times and hundreds of times since that era. Chris Isaak is a fantastic performer live and the song Wicked Game will always be a classic to me. It’s a song that defies trends and fads and it just doesn’t seem to age. Maybe because it wasn’t of any particularly trendy genre when it was released.

A friend of mine is a very passionate U2 fan and anyone that covers a U2 song better do a bloody good job of it or you will experience her venom. I feel a bit the same about Wicked Game. It was released 25 years ago in 1989 and it is still as beautiful now as it was then. So WHY do people feel the need to mess with a classic? Parra for Cuva are a band or an artist who have decided to mess with Wicked Game and mess with it badly. The single, featuring the vocals of Anna Naklab is a dull but radio friendly interpretation that adds a drum beat to the song and makes it sound as if Lana Del Ray went to Hawaii and got stoned for about a month and decided to do a cover.

Chris Isaak’s video for the song was even a classic directed by the late great Herb Ritts and co-starring Helena Christensen in an luscious sensual feast for the eyes. The new video looks like a Hallmark advertisement with music that doesn’t match. I’m clearly turning into a cranky old man but you can judge for yourselves below.

The imagery of my sexuality

Bruce Weber is one of the most iconic image makers alive. He’s captured so many of the Hollywood celebrities that are working today along with defining the image of Abercrombie and Fitch. Before I realised my own sexuality I discovered the images of Mr Weber through Abercrombie and Fitch’s famous quarterly “catalogues”. Why was I looking at these guys the way I was? Of course I was trying to convince myself that it was because I wanted to have their beautiful bodies. I was clearly wrong.

Bruce’s imagery has come to be the definition of homoerotic male bonding. All those amazing looking men getting nude and frolicking around together in the name of sport. Of course the gay community fell for it hook line and sinker.

About the time I discovered his work for Abercrombie and Fitch, I also found the book Bear Pond. It’s a book so laden with beautiful nude men that I was as scared of it as I was aroused when I first saw it, deeply in denial of my own urges. Bruce, along with Herb Ritts (RIP) and Australia’s own James Houston, you have become my holy trinity of photographic inspiration.



Last week I heard about a new collaboration that Pink was a part of. Going by her real name Alecia Moore and Dallas Green (aka City and Colour) had spoken about working together for a while and very spontaneously they recorded some music which I have to say is absolutely gorgeous. It’s very different to her work as Pink but just as lyrically honest and raw. Their beautiful song “Break the Cycle” (below) is a song about her mother. I’ve preordered their Rose Av. album and listened to the first couple of tracks over and over. It’s such gorgeous haunting music.

As much as I read a lot of blogs and things online, music blogs aren’t on my list generally. So it was a really pleasant surprise to hear of new music from Pink. I don’t listen to her albums often but they are good when you are in the mood for them and I think she’s a very talented woman and so refreshingly unscripted and honest. This album I think will be a regular listen.

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.