Mildly amusing this AM.
Mildly amusing this AM.
When Katy Perry released her debut album, the self-titled Katy Hudson (her real name) way back in 2001, who would have squared her the measure of her California pop potential beside that gospel-rock record?
Nine years and a handful of record companies later with a Top 10 album under her belt, Perry returns with heavy expectations from the record industry and new release Teenage Dreams.
Even before you press play, Perry promises coquettish fancy wrapped in a candy-coloured cloud on the cover. Less than fifty minutes later, expectations fall more than a little flat. Instead of seductive tunes, we’re firmly in sub-par Stefani territory, with none of the subversion that Perry aches so very hard to extoll. Exhibit A - Peacock.
Are you brave enough to let me see your peacock?
Don’t be a chicken boy, stop acting like a beeotch
I’ma peace out if you don’t give me the pay off
Come on baby let me see
What you’re hiding underneath
I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock
Your peacock, cock
Your peacock, cock, cock
I wanna see your peacock, cock, cock
Great pop songs never fail to sound fresh. Now, I can imagine an army of just-there teenage girls rejoicing in the 99% wit-free lyrics with aplomb, but give the song five, ten and fifteen years and then measure its effect. In an effort to out-schlock I Kissed a Girl, Perry firmly misjudges.
Even with the criticism leveled, there are bright spots like Firework produced by the Norwegian production pair Stargate that demonstrates the ballsy singer Perry is turning into. It’s playfully foreshadows where Katy should do next. The remaining songs flit between middling Britney fillers and incidental music from The Hills which is shame. This hasn’t done a bit of damage on the initial commercial response with Teenage Dream jumping to number 1 in the UK, US, Canada, Ireland and Australia. Let’s see what happens long-term!
Verdict: The overall effect is patchy, with Perry shining in unexpected ways. Let’s hope the next album is more fully-fleshed out.
I’m unbashed Björk fan, so checking out Robyn covering Hyperballad at last night’s Polar Music Prize show in Stockholm was essential. Oh, the pressure when Herself is front and centre. Check out her outfit from top to toe!
This years, the Polars recognised Björk and Ennio Morricone for their contribution to music. Past recipents of the prize include Sir Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones and Sonny Rollins. Anyways, enjoy!
Let’s kick off this review by trotting out all of the Rumer comparisons. Tipped the next Karen Carpenter and Carole King, she has a heavy mantle to assume. Even Burt Bacharach is a fanboi. Tall billing for a young singer, indeed!
And onto the Slow, Rumer’s debut single. It’s impossible to ignore Karen Carpenter in Slow’s world-weary, pop maneuvers.
Rumer cites a starry team as influences – amongst the inevitable nods to Carpenter and King, up pops unexpected references to Cilla Black, Roberta Flack, Smokey Robinson and the entire cadre of the Laurel Canyon in the 60s. Those influences shine through in Rumer’s vocals. Smooth like glossy marble she defines arches for the structure of the Slow to sit on. One wonders what Rumer would sound like a capella or with just a brush of a snare.
Just like its companion video, Slow is steeped in languid moods. You can smell the Summer sun. Accompanying percussion cuts softly through piano and guitar, but Rumer pulls the tune out of itself before it becomes predictable with a soft punch of her feathery vocals. Undeniably, Rumer is a star in the making.
Slow goes on release on August 23rd. Free download of Rumer’s cover of Paul Simon’s Long, Long Day.
Rumer plays Dublin’s Academy on October 16th supporting Joshua Radin.
Label: Atlantic Records
Rumer interview (beware, it autoplays!)
The Irish Web Awards show takes place in the vaunted halls of the Mansion House on October 16th. Details on how to attend the evening will pop up on the IWA site in coming weeks and sure, we’ll give you a tickle with a post here to remind you on how you go along and geek out with the makers of the best Irish sites of 2010!
There is a Jewish proverb that goes, ‘God could not be everywhere so he created mothers’. Vincenzo Natali’s mad-science horror flick Splice is not just a case of man playing God but also a dark look at motherhood.
Natali’s picture stars Sarah Polley far from the hills of Avonlea as Elsa and He Seems To Be in Everything This Year, Adrien Brody as Clive – a pair of scientists and lovers skating the dark side of genetics. Elsa and Clive are mavericks in their field of advanced genetics. Together they splice, dice and reassemble animal DNA into hybrids – think weird Altered States-esque goops of matter. Having pushed the bounds of science further than anyone else, they go that further mile and cook up a human-animal hybrid named Dren. And here’s when the creepometer gets cranked up twelve notches.
Polley’s Elsa is a woman living on the edge. Her fractured relationship with her own mother is magnified and reflected to tragic effect. At odds even with the First Principles of the movie, Natali decides that Nature overrules nurture. Elsa’s protectiveness of Dren grates at times and it’s then Polley sounds tinny to the Nth degree. In these moments, it’s difficult to escape the fact that Splice would be a much more effective horror movie with less exposition on how Elsa is a bad mother and more exploration into how her experiences have warped her world-view and ethics.
In stark contrast to mother figure Elsa, Brody’s Clive feels like an emasculated plot device. God knows Brody tries to carve out a performance, but Polley’s Elsa gives him little room to breathe and he ends up being a sounding board for her fucked up Id.
Natali’s movie asks interesting questions about forbidden sexuality, motherhood and God Complex of modern science in the first half but I can’t help feeling that the film woke up in the last thirty minutes with its socks on and realising it is a creature feature and that requires lots of blood splatty action. By then, Dren has grown up and the movie is fast running out of time and ideas! It’s especially disappointing when you realise Natali wrote and directed Cube and is donning the same hats in the eagerly-awaited adaptation of Gibson’s Neuromancer due next year.
A parting shoutout to adult Dren actress Delphine Chanéac who deftly portrays the hybrid with operatic grace subverting the Frankenmonster norms with aplomb!
Verdict: Not enough blood for horror fans, not enough originality for goatee strokers.
Written & Directed: Vincenzo Natali.
Beat this mashup by the Jackson 5 v Nirvana by Mark Vidler/Go Home Productions.
There are so many ways I could describe Kelly Cutrone – Earth Mother, ‘PR Machine’, no-shit merchant. Ever since Cutrone graced The Hills, I’ve been a confirmed Kelly fan. On finishing, her first book – a fast-paced self-tome – aptly named ‘If You Have To Cry, Go Outside and Other Things Your Mother Never Told You’, I’d have to add Advice Angel.
Genre-wise, the book is very much in self-help/spirituality/career guidance bucket and is squarely aimed at aspiring fashionista fans of the show and PR queens but there’s a heavy pinch of here’s my hard-worned life lessons, take them and run with it!
As she aptly puts it:
For women, life is set up like a video game. It starts out in childhood with the Disney princesses, followed by the need to become the prettiest girl, the pop star or the model, and then, in high school, we’re told it’s time to become the thinnest girl, then to become successful, find a guy, convince him to move in with us, get married, have a baby, and live happily ever after!
Despite Kelly’s hints on hiring, finding your style and making difficult life decisions, the most engaging parts of the book were the memoirs she strings together to illustrate her advice. She’s not afraid to impart the bad choices in her life and use them like springboards. Like for example her reminiscing on waking up in a Bill Blass gown she’d won after an accidental heroin trip to find a man wearing tube socks and a whip saying he’d been a very bad boy. Yes, things had to change and did change for her.
The thing is, that as the book went on I wanted more irreverent memoirs. More stories about her life. I know that she’s currently working on a second book on the same vein, I just hope that book three is an exhaustive autobiography.
‘If You Have To Cry..’ is incredibly readable. I hoovered it up in a day or so. I’m not sure it’s a book to reread from start to finish, rather one of those books you can dip into for an amusing aside or a nugget of advice.
P.S. Kelly is @peoplesrev on Twitter!
Lilly is holding a lovely competition for five issues of Homemaker Magazine dating from 1959. Vintagey lovely. There’s still time to squeeze in an entry.
Just back from a jaunt in Temple Bar. Industry Design in Temple Bar (at the end of Cow’s Lane) is nice but way too expensive and maybe a little to desigery for me. €60 cushions. Lovely cushions, but still €60 a pop. I might pop back for a chair or a clock though.
However, I bought a lovely new tea set for €30 in Lucy’s Lounge on Fownes Street. Owner Dee was delightful. Going to put the kettle on and make buckets of chamomile tea this afternoon. Flaunt your imperfections, as Dee said. Lovely Lucy’s. Thank to Catherine for the tip!