I review the week’s singles

Where’s Pato Banton these days?

(This suggestion from @_Lee_ZX_ – nice underscore work there, Lee)

deKay reviews the week’s singles?

Now I’m going to assume, and it’s a pretty big assumption, that Lee is talking about the UK’s music singles rather than the latest postings on Plenty of Fish. Although that would be pretty good to do a post on, assuming I never want to write anything ever again. *makes notes*

There is a problem here in that several million (estimate) new singles are released every day, and there’s no way I’m going to review all of them. Reducing it to just those released this week that actually ended up in the UK top 40 goes too far the other way, with just 4 songs. I have decided, then, to review the current (as of the 26th August 2016) UK Top 10. If that’s not good enough for you, Lee, then I’m sorry. So very sorry.

Since this is my blog, I won’t be reviewing them by actually listening to them, my goodness no. That’s far too much work. I’ll be basing my review entirely on the title of the track. It’s as good as any other measure, I’m sure. This week then:

  1. COLD WATER by Major Lazer/Justin Bieber/Mø
    Lazer is spelt wrong and Justin Bieber in cold water just makes me feel sick. I’m not sure what a Mø is, although I did find out if you hold own the O key on a Mac for a few seconds then press the number 6, you can type it. Why anyone would sing about cold water is beyond me. Unless it’s from the Titanic soundtrack? It’s not, is it? BOUY/10
  2. LET ME LOVE YOU by DJ Snake Ft Justin Bieber
    Justin Bieber again? This wouldn’t happen in my day. I presume the song is about DJ Snake, who may or may not be an actual snake (how does he drive the decks?), asking our Just for permission to love him. You don’t need permission to love someone, you stupid boy/man/reptile. FORKED TONGUE/10
  3. DANCING ON MY OWN by Calum Scott
    I can see it now. Poor Calum’s mates have all copped off with some girls on a hen night, and Calum comes out of the toilets and returns to the dancefloor. After a few minutes it dawns on him that all his chums have gone. In fact, everyone has gone. It’s morning, Calum – you passed out on the bog again. There’s not even any music playing. Oh Calum. LONELY/10
  4. CLOSER by Chainsmokers Ft Halsey
    Pretty sure Halsey is a Pokémon, and smoking, let alone chainsmoking, is bad, OK? If they’re really chainsmokers, I would certainly stay away, my little Pokéchum, as passive smoking is a killer too. Unless it’s “closer” as in, someone who closes, in which case it’s perhaps a song about closing the cigarette packet and giving up. Either way, stupid song. FAG ASH/10
  5. PERFECT STRANGERS by Jonas Blue Ft JP Cooper
    Was Jonas in Blue, or is he one of the Jonas Brothers? And isn’t JP Cooper some financial investment company? None of this makes any sense. Nor does the title of the song, actually – unless it’s about two people who never meet. Perhaps Jonas never went to his JP Cooper appointment about what to do with the lump sum he was left when his grandma passed away. BANKERS/10
  6. DON’T LET ME DOWN by Chainsmokers Ft Daya
    I’ve never heard of anyone so far, apart from Justin Bieber and frankly, I’d rather not have heard about him. It’s Chainsmokers again, still unable to do without Nick O’Teen (best get Superman on it), and Daya is… who? In this song, maybe Daya is a car tyre and Chainsmokers are vandals. Right? Who knows any more. Modern songs are crap. DEFLATION/10
  7. HEATHENS by Twenty One Pilots
    That’s almost as many people in a single pop combo as Blazin’ Squad. Now there’s some proper music. Being pilots, they eschew the notion that God did not intend us to fly, and therefore are dubbed heathens. Blimey, that was an obvious one. 747/10
  8. ONE DANCE by Drake ft Wizkid & Kyla
    Wizkid was that C64 game wasn’t it? Sequel to Wizball? Seems he’s done good for himself. Drake, I’ve heard of – he’s the one that isn’t Chris Brown – and Kyla was in Final Fantasy I think. Not sure why they all have One Dance, but that dance is clearly going to be Morris Dancing. About time we had another Morris Dancing hit in the charts, I have to say. MAYPOLES/10
  9. TREAT YOU BETTER by Shawn Mendes
    I didn’t realise the Spider-Man film guy sang songs too. I expect this track is all about Peter Parker’s double life causing problems for his relationship with Mary-Jane, forever standing her up, putting her in harms way, occasionally getting her killed. Those sorts of things. And he’s promising to treat her better. Aw, Spidey. You can’t! Not while Doctor Octopus is still at large! WEBS/10
  10. TOO GOOD by Drake Ft Rihanna
    I know who Rihanna is! She’s the one who can’t spell her own name and has a bottom. No, the other one with a bottom. Who sings. No the other other one. Yeah, that one. This song is self-referential and is about how it is literally too good to go to number one, so ended up at number ten instead. And some people say the charts aren’t rigged! MILKSHAKE/10

Gina G

You know what I’m I’m looking for.

(Another suggestion of little value from @JayTay)

Gina G

Quite. Look Mr Tay, I’m not in the habit of knowing anything about Europop one hit wonders, despite reports to the contrary. But, in the absence of anything else to write about, Gina G it is.

We all know that she sang a song called “Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit”. However, what we don’t know is anything else. Apparently there were other songs, but I suspect this is mere rumour, as if she did we’d likely know about them.

“Ooh Aah,, Just A Little Bit” was number one in the UK, even though it was the UK’s entry that year into the Eurovision Song Contest and didn’t win. I can only assume it’s because everyone fancied Gina G or something. I was not one of these people.

Gina G

It’s a catchy song I suppose, and a bit naughty perhaps, but I’m baffled as to how it got to be so popular. Mind you, that counts for almost everything that has ever reached the top end of the charts. People are strange.

Just in case you have never heard her most (and only) famous song, which yes, really does have an ellipsis in the title alongside two non-words, you can watch her perform it at Eurovision. Completed with knickers on show from her backing dancers. Utter filth. No wonder we voted out of the EU after that.

She was no Whigfield, it has to be said.

That BBC David Bowie Prom Thing

It’s a God awful small affair

Just a short missive about the BBC’s special David Bowie Prom night because I don’t want to dwell on it too much, but in Comic Book Guy fashion I felt I needed to register my disgust on that place where much disgust is registered: The Internet.

That’s a little too harsh as I was not disgusted by the prom at all. No, like you’d chide a naughty child, I was simply disappointed.

I’ve written about Bowie before, so you’ll know I was a massive fan. He was a artist who went through many changes (no pun intended) in his musical influences and style, and there are fans like me who took in this broad body of work, and others who are more limited to certain albums or eras. That’s fine, but it does mean that any collected works is likely to contain tracks that these second type of fan won’t appreciate. Even I wondered about the inclusion of Lady Grinning Soul and After All in this concert, but I’m not going to complain.

No, my complaint is more about how tracks were arranged and performed, and more specifically who was chosen to perform them. I’m not adverse to reworkings, covers or sampling work at all, and often enjoy differently interpreted works, but some of the performances here were truly baffling.

To keep it brief, the two worst points were John Cale, and (surprisingly) Marc Almond. I’m no fan of Almond, but I don’t dislike his previous work and quite enjoyed his performance with Jools Holland that I attended a few years back. He can certainly sing, but his Bowie performance was flat, monotone and without emotion or talent. John Cale commandeered by ego much of the latter part of the concert and hacked and slashed his way through Space Oddity in such a way it made me wish they’d brought Commander Hadfield on instead.

Paul Buchanan and Anna Calvi tried their best to ruin the show further, but thankfully excellent performances by Amanda Palmer and Neil Hannon dragged the event out of the gutter, and Laura Mvula’s take on Girl Loves Me was genuinely outstanding.

The David Bowie Prom was such a waste of an opportunity, a curious collection of performers, and a terribly disappointing concert as a result.

Nightcore x Video Games

Waiting for the item drop

I’m sure you all remember that wonderful Nightcore post I did way back in February. Ah, it was a different time. The UK was still in the EU, Wales were still crap at football, and children the world over went about their daily lives blissfully ignorant of the Pokémon that lurked literally everywhere.

At the end of that post, I introduced you to the wonder that was a Nightcore version of the Pumpkin Hill Knuckles Rap, and teased that there were Nightcore versions of other video games. Well, the time has come to inflic–uh, entertain you with those! Oh yes.

Just in case you’d forgotten what Nightcore is, here’s our Graham with a quick reminder: Nightcore tracks have anime girl pictures, sound like chipmunks, and have increased BPM rates – sometimes to dangerous levels.

Let us begin, with perhaps the most iconic of all video game tunes (it was a top ten hit in the UK!) – Tetris:

Epic. Not least the drop 26 seconds in. I could probably listen to that on repeat all the live long day… if it wasn’t for all the other amazing Nightcore choons!

When you think of repetitive, impossible to unthink, video game tune earworms, one of the first to spring to mind (and remain there, glued to your thalamus) is Bubble Bobble. See, it’s in your head right now, and you’ve not even clicked play yet.

You can click play now.

So good, right? But of course, you may be wanting a palete-cleanser after that, and what better than something recognisable from virtually every Zelda game ever?

Another pretty well known Nintendo theme is the battle music from various Kirby games. Just listen to this, and the wonderful new places it takes “music” from around 46 seconds in. Lovely.

Can you name the very best non-Knuckles related Sonic music track? Green Hill Zone? Hahaha, no. Starlight Zone? Carnival Night Zone? No way. Toot Toot Sonic Warrior? Yes! But not that.

No, the correct answer is Sonic Adventure 2’s incredible Escape from the City of course! (Of course). ROLLING AROUND AT THE SPEED OF SOUND HELL YEAH.

Hard to top that, right? Aside from Nightcore Knuckles, of course. And this masterpiece – Castlevania’s Bloody Tears. In Nightcore form. BOOM.

And there we have it. Conclusive proof that Nightcore and Video Games combined create the greatest of all things.

Finally, and although not technically a game, it is related to a game and relevant given yesterday’s post, I give you one more bonus track:

 

Jam

Go with it.

(Part 4 in a seemingly never ending series of suggestions by @JayTay)

I’ve covered Hats, The Weather, and the millennia old popularity war between dogs and ostriches, so the next thing on the list is…

Jam

By which, I can only assume, he means this stone cold music classic:

Which definitely hasn’t aged at all. No sir.

Of particular interest in the track (besides the appearance of Kris Kross) is the bit at 1:47 where Michael Jordan slam dunks to a crash, which sounds not unlike 6 seconds into this:

Of course, rumours have circulated for years about Michael Jackson’s involvement in the Sonic 3 soundtrack, with no conclusive evidence, but it’s hard to ignore the shared samples.

Dick Deadeye

I’ve never ever been to sea.


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I think it’s about time that I was up front with you all. There’s something I’ve not been public about, and it’s perhaps because I was concerned I’d be judged. Hopefully, you, my internet friends, will be very accepting but I’m slightly scared that some of you may be less tolerant. If you are, then please reconsider. This is very hard for me, and I’ve seen other people over the years manage the same public announcement to varying degrees of acceptance.

Deep breath.

Spoiler Inside Show

If I open my eyes now, I hope you’re still there and you’re still looking kindly at me. And, if you are, I thank you. You are wonderful.

Probably the first time I realised I liked musicals was when I was bought a copy of Dick Deadeye on VHS when I was about 8 years old. It’s an animated tale of a sailor named Dick Deadeye, or possibly Deadeye Dick (the film is referred to as both) as he is tasked with recovering The Ultimate Secret[ref]”It’s not just a common or garden secret that everybody knows! It’s not even Top Secret that only a few thousand people know! It’s the Ultimate secret! That nobody knows!”[/ref] after it has been stolen.

Along the way, Dick puts together a crew of degenerates and criminals and sets off after The Pirate King and The Sorcerer, and it’s all told using music, plot and characters from Gilbert and Sullivan operas. Songs like The Judge’s Song from Trial by Jury, When A Felon’s Not Engaged In His Employment and I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General from The Pirates of Penzance, and A Wandering Minstrel I from the Mikado. Of course, I didn’t recognise any of them from anywhere back then, but it was one of my favourite films. Still is, I think.

And not just because it had women with bare nipples in it. In a kid’s cartoon! Honestly.

Since then, I’ve enjoyed a fair few other musicals – mainly in film form, it has to be said. Grease, obviously. The Producers (in film form, both the 1967 and the 2005 versions are equally good in my opinion) is fantastic too. More recently, there’s Scott Pilgrim vs the World which I class as a musical even if it isn’t in the same way the others are. My wife frequently berates me for liking Annie (the 1982 version) but it’s an excellent film with fantastic songs. No, it is. She doesn’t like musicals at all.

I got her back once by not telling her that Sweeney Todd (the 2007 Tim Burton film) was a musical. Half way through she twigged. I think she enjoyed it anyway. And she’s the one who owns the Blues Brothers album! Tch.

Probably the best musical, however, is of course The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In most of its forms, but my favourite is the Tim Curry 1975 film. Oh look! Tim Curry was in Annie too! There you are then – proof. Of. Something.

But back to Dick Deadeye. The thing with Dick Deadeye, is that virtually nobody aside from me and my sister have even heard of it. There are very few references to its existence on the internet and although the character (who is from HMS Pinafore) appears, the film is much harder to find – not least because it is also called Deadeye Dick. Or Duty Done. Or sometimes, “Deadeye Dick; or Duty Done”. To make matters worse, there’s also a band called Deadeye Dick. And a stage version of the same thing.

Thankfully, someone put a VHS rip of the film up on YouTube a couple of years ago and all being well, it’s still there. Here:

(Nudity at 42:10)

 

Improving Run Baby Run

Baby loves to run.

(This suggestion provided by @xexyzx)

Ways in which you would improve Run Baby Run.

Well, I’m no songwriter, but I’ll give it a go.

Firstly, it’s a very slow song. I think if it was sped up a little I’d like it more. I like it as it is, of course, but if it was a bit faster. And a bit more rock and a bit less folk too, I suppose. Perhaps I’d make the subject of the lyrics more obvious as well, while I’m at it. Supposedly it’s about her parents being 60s hippies and she’s not able to deal with modern life as a result, or something. It’s a bit vague. Make it less vague.

Musically, it needs more guitar solos. All music is better with epic guitar solos, especially if there’s a ten minute drum solo too. So add those. Put a guitar solo after the first chorus – with the last “baby run” kick it in with some metal and wah wah for a couple of minutes, then after the second verse “That’s sure she knows exactly how BANG to carry BANG on BANG BANG BANG DRUM SOLO”. Then a chorus, then another guitar solo that’s a key change higher than the previous one. That should do it.

Oh, and an airhorn at the end. Banging.

Unless xexyzx is talking about the Best Game Ever Made, which also happens to be called Run Baby Run. But why would that be the case? It is Mary Poppins, as it’s practically perfect in every way.

The only possible way to improve it would be to have new levels, but since there’s a level editor, that’s simple. Maybe the game could be remade for every platform ever so I don’t need to use emulators? I really can’t think of anything else, so I’m pretty sure xexyzx is talking about the Sheryl Crow song. Unless he means the book of the same name (I’ve never read it) or the film of the same name (I’ve never seen it), but I can’t comment on those.

iTunes Insight

Useless music stats post.

More than 5 years ago, I posted this. Enough time has probably passed now to give it another go.

Directions: Open iTunes/iPod or Windows Media Player to answer the following. Go to your library. Answer, no matter how embarrassing it is.

How many songs: 4013

Sort by song title
First song: Abide With Me – Emeli Sandé
Last song: 99 Red Balloons – Nena

Sort by time
Shortest Song: Willowedge Vision – Focus Group
Longest Song: For Lack of a Better Name (Mixed Version) – Deadmau5

Sort by album
First Song: Ace of Spades – Motörhead
Last Song: 80’s, The – Various Artists

Top 5 Most Played Songs no cheating
I Have Not Been to Oxford Town – David Bowie
Always Crashing in the Same Car – David Bowie
Up the Hill Backwards – David Bowie
Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed – David Bowie
Same Jeans – The View

First 5 songs that come up on Shuffle
Phorever People – The Shamen
Bitch – Meradith Brooks
The Speed of Pain – Marilyn Manson
The Louisianna Gator Boys / How Blue Can You Get – The Blues Brothers
Best Song Ever – Gabrielle Aplin

Search
1. Sex‚ How many songs come up: 17
2. Death‚ How many songs come up: 4
3. Love, How many songs come up: 203
4. You‚ How many songs come up: 423
5. love and you, How many songs come up: 7

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