Tuesday 29 September 2009

Best Just To Avoid Looking AJ's Balding Head.

This is the new Backstreet Boys choon...

Despite the video encompassing a bizarre mixture of True Blood and the JLS "Beat Again" video and AJ's balding head, its nice to see the lads abandon the mature but crashingly dull man band sound with hook-less ballads like Inconsolable and Unbreakable (basically anything ending in "-able") and instead embracing the euro pop boy band fromage of old...



Sunday 27 September 2009

Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work

Can't Stop listening to this tune!


Tuesday 22 September 2009

Review - 500 Days of Summer

'This is not a love story, this is a story about love'. Its rare that a tag line really summarises the feeling of a film accurately but this line describes this film perfectly. Our hero and hopeless Romantic Tom(Gordon Levitt)works in a greeting cards company writing slogans. Growing up with the messages of Joy Division and The Smiths Tom believes there is a one true love for every person and when free-spirit Summer (Zoe Deschanel) joins the company as his bosses new secretary they bond over music and start what can only be described as a romantic entanglement.


- Gordon Levitt is extremely likeable as Tom playing a character that any guy can relate to and any girl can feel sympathy for
- Good soundtrack featuring tracks by The Smiths, Regina Spektor, Doves, Feist and a variety of other alternative hits.
- Mark Webb provides us with some very nice shots and transitions
- The films non-chronological timeline keeps you interested and avoids the common rom-com predictablity
- By eschewing the stereotypical storyline about unrequited love becoming requited and everyone living happily ever after, the film gets to takes a fresh look at what happens after the initial sparks
- Zoe Deschanel is very very pretty


- Although initially likeable as an always in a good mood free-spirit, Summers indecisiveness can prove frustrating and doesn't leave you with much sympathy for the character
- By revealing the end at the beginning the film suffers from a lack of a climax and fizzles out rather than bangs
- Not necessarily a major con as the film is most definitely based on the story of the two main characters but I felt like some of the supporting characters could have done with a bit more fleshing out

It seems that unconventional indie romantic comedies have been popping up a lot more recently and with that one could expect a lapse in quality however 500 Days of Summer strives to keep the bar high and succeeds. It portrays all stages of a relationship perfectly from the naiveity and innocence of the new couple right down to the bikering and petty fighting of a pairing whose sun has already set. As is the case with most romantic comedies it may not leave you with much food for thought, but at least it leaves you with a smile on your face.

Score: 4 out of 5

If You Enjoyed: Nick and Norah's infinite playlist, Juno, High Fidelity, Almost Famous


Tuesday 15 September 2009

The New Dolly Rockers Choon: Considerably Better Than Their Current One.

The Dolly Rockers are a rather jolly new all girl trio who tasted fame briefly during the boot camp/judges houses stages of X Factor 2006 where they were, quite frankly, a bit lame really...

But sure they were only babies then. Nowadays they've re-invented themselves as somewhat of an antidote to the sudden influx of overly coiffed UK girl bands such as The Saturdays, Girls Can't Catch, Bubble G and Louis Walsh's as yet unnamed (and crashingly dull) forthcoming new girlband. Their current extremely witty and cutting debut single Gold Digger rode surprisingly high in the charts recently but still in my opinion suffered a little from not really having much a tune to speak of. However their next single Boys Will Be Boys rectifies that issue more than sufficiently while still maintaining the refreshingly sharp lyrics and pointedly English accents.

P.S. When listening to this choon, does anyone else get the urge to sing "they're so FUCKING boring" as opposed to the original lyric "they're so FRICKIN' boring"?
Just me then?


Monday 14 September 2009

Things I Learned On Tuesday Night.

Ok, first of all my apologies at only getting around to writing up a round up the events that occurred on Tuesday, 8th of September in the Old Crown Public House, otherwise known as the 2009 Twenty Quid Music Prize, now but I was combatting a lack of internet until Friday, and a lack of arsed-ness til just now...

However, I shall not leave you in the dark any longer. Here is a quick round up/blow by blow account of interesting stuff that happened/that I learned/that left me thinking wtf?!/etc...


1)Frankmusik is knocked out WAAAY too early.

2) ...but really the wrong Frankmusik song was nominated.

3) There are a vast number of judges with occupations involved in the music industry in some way, shape or form.

4) ...however their influence amounts to nothing in the face of an extremely loud, and very annoying civil servant.

5) ...and an extremely opinionated Tory

6) ...this is also the point where everyone realised that Methods Of Modern Love really DOES sound like The One by Kylie Minogue.

7) During the FACE-OFF OF DOOM between Tinchy Stryder and Girls Aloud, Nicola from Girls Aloud takes it upon herself to just saunter in, completely unannounced.

8) Cue open-mouthed staring...

9) More staring.

10) ...and yet more staring.

11) All the while, the research scientist from Slough (whom I am relying on for a much needed picture with my idol as I have no camera of my own) becomes progressively more pissed next to me.

12) ...between the staring and pissed-ness, we become less and less likely to be candidates for a photo op with Nicola.

13) ...which is completely understandable.

14) Smokers break yields some fascinating conclusions.

15) Conclusion 1: they would prefer Calvin Harris' I'm Not Alone to be played at their funeral as opposed to La Roux's In For The Kill. Obv.

16) Conclusion 2: STOP EVERYTHING. One of the judges is wearing Dougie from McFly's actual shorts.

17) Everyone in the room pauses to take in the enormity of the above mentioned revelation.

18) At this point, Pet Shop Boys come up against JLS for another FACE-OFF OF DOOM.

19) Unfortunately JLS's lyrical message of emotional blackmail fails to top that of PSB's desire for equal opportunities shagging.

20) ...understandably enough.

21) JLS v The Saturdays.

22) Actually, this one takes quite a while...

23) The civil servant attempts to take on the scouser. Bad move. Evils are exchanged for rest of evening.

24) Still arguing over JLS v The Sats.

25) The decision comes down to Nicola.

26) Scoop of the evening: JLS are better drinking buddies than The Saturdays! Juicy!

27) As a result of their hard drinking ways, JLS finally knock out The Sats. The gay guy from Wales next to me mourns.

28) Quick check of the live tweets. One of the judges warns that it is pointless buying Dumper (the work experience robot) drinks as he is not good for reciprocation.

29) Judge to the right of me gets a picture with Dumper. Life goal is achieved and hugs are exchanged.

30) Girls by Sugababes is voted worst song of the past year.

31) ...I voted for Pixie Lott. Nicola votes for The Loving Kind... wait, what?!?!

32) Little Boots New In Town is knocked out.


34) JUST LIKE THAT?! BASTARDS!! *runs away crying*

35) I request a moment of silence for Little Boots untimely demise. Peter Robinson looks at me as if I have two heads. Moving on...

36) Calvin Harris v Lily Allen in GRAPH DRAWING FACE-OFF OF DOOM.

37) Judging panel feel Lily Allen graph drawing may have been rigged due to graphic artist's preference for Calvin.

38) Considerably trolleyed research scientist from Slough attempts to analyse graphs. Fails miserably. Lily is out.

39) The Saturdays v Girls Aloud. OH GOD.

40) Cue tactful arguments for and against Girls Aloud for the benefit of Nicola. Welsh gay guy becomes more and more agitated. Things are getting a little too political for his liking...

41) The Sats are knocked out fairly quickly. I blame the Tories.

42) Alesha Dixon is drawn. FINALLY!!!

43) Alesha song is played. Trolleyed research scientist launches into hilarious dance. All observe the scene before them in awe...

44) ...but the dance cannot save Alesha. She is trashed quicker than you can say Strictly Come Dancing.

45) THE FINAL SHOWDOWN: Calvin Harris v Girls Aloud.

46) Becomes quite obv who is going to win as Nicola's presence becomes ever more potent... "its just not... appropriate!!" opines gay Welsh guy in frustration... I feel his pain.

47) Dumper fan states that The Promise blatantly rips off the Blankety Blank theme tune.

48) Strong air of resignation in the air. Strong swell of support for Calvin towards the end, purely out of defiance at this stage...

49) Alas however the Tories win out yet again and GA take the prize for the 5th TIME IN 7 YEARS!!

50) "I really wanted a guy to win this year..." opines Welsh gay guy. "22 vaginas have won in the past 7 years. Did you know that?"

51) ...I did not know that. Maybe it is time for a penis... But we'll have to wait until next year to find out if that will ever happen.

All in all readers, a very productive and drunken evening was had by all. The power of pop still remains the most uniting force in music and that it will always stay, no matter how the musical landscape may change in the years to come that we can be sure.

A word of warning however: If any one of you humble readers ever find youself lucky enough to take part in the wonder that is Popjustice 20quid Music Prize in years to come, please be aware of the following things...

  1. Peter Robinson, though he is my idol, is still at heart a somewhat opportunistic git who will have no qualms about making you look like an absolute tit in front of legendary pop producer/general all round genius Richard X.
  2. Before launching into a detailed, mainly negative critique of a pop song produced by Richard X, please make sure you are not ACTUALLY babbling away to Richard X himself as you are doing it... *cringe*
Oh, and I did get my pic wit Nicola in the end...

(The girl in the middle is the above mentioned research scientist... what a legend.)


Monday 7 September 2009

Its Only Pop Music But I Like It.

Happiness Machine readers may remember me giving a cryptic clue a couple of weeks ago to something very cool and pop related that I will be taking part in tomorrow night. Make no mistake people, this is nothing short of epic...

my whole life has been leading up to this point...

Loyal subjects, I have chosen to be part of the prestigious (prestigious? really?... - Ed) ok maybe not prestigious but certainly supremely awesome judging panel for...

the 2009 Popjustice 20 Quid Music Prize!!!!!

Yes readers, tomorrow night I shall be in the presence of the great Peter Robinson and 34 other assorted die hard pop fans such as myself in a random pub in London for a night of pop, booze and over-priced pub grub... but mostly pop.

Forget the Mercury Music Prize people! In these troubled times, debating the merits of Bat for Lashes sophmore effort over Florence and the Machine patchy debut is not nearly as life affirming as arguing the toss about whether JLS's Beat Again is a pile of poo or a modern pop triumph!!!

Anyways, I must leave you now as my internet is about to run out in the hostel... Expect a full report on the night's proceedings when I return! its gonna be a good un'!


Tuesday 1 September 2009

Picks of the Picnic

For those of you heading to Stradbally this weekend I thought I'd put together a quick list of what I think you should be going to see with a track from each to get you in the mood. This is only a small cross-section of what I hope to see over the weekend but it'll hopefully give a taste of what's to come.

Click below to get the track list

*Note - Tracks removed due to DMCA complaint


Jeffrey Lewis and The Junkyard - To Be Objectified

Jeffrey Lewis comes to EP with his brand of lo-fi anti-folk. Although he doesn't possess the strongest voice his poignant, introspective and sometimes extremely funny lyrics make this an act not to miss. He also throws a bit of art into the middle of his shows.

Black Ghosts - Any Way You Choose to Give It (Boy 8 Bit Remix)

I know its technically not a Boy 8 bit song but it gives you a taste of the bit crunched sound he'll be displaying.

Dark Room Notes - Shake Shake My Ceiling

Dark Melodic Electro-Indie from this Dublin four piece. Catch them on Friday or Saturday in this Thisispopbaby area/tent.

Japanese Popstars - Delboys Revenge

Having only heard this track fairly recently it has taken up residency on my iPod. This is the what I will be going crazy to at 1 in the morning in the Little Big Tent.

Villagers - Meaning of the Ritual

Ex-Immediate Conor O Brien will take to the stage in the body and sound on friday evening. Whether it is an acoustic or full band set make sure you don't miss this (but if you do they're also playing on sunday on the Crawdaddy stage round 1.10


Lisa Hannigan - I Don't Know

This is the 'hit' song from her debut offering 'Sea Sew'. Get down to the main stage to see the full breadth of this songwriters talent before she blows up even more.

The XX - Crystalised

A lesson in minimalist indie songwriting. Everyone take notes.

Jape - Phil Lynott

Cracking tune from 'Ritual'. All that needs to be said is 'Look. at. the. fucking. moon'

Explosions in the Sky - Catastrophe and The Cure

Delay drenched guitars combine with powerful drumming to write moving instrumental music that could soundtrack your life.

Marina and The Diamonds - The Shampain Sleeper

If you haven't heard of her yet your missing out. Steadily gaining in popularity this half-greek songstress writes quirky piano pop with a smidge of synthy-electro bleeps thrown in for good measure.


Basement Jaxx - Raindrops

New single from a duo who just can't seem to write a bad song. Vocodered brilliance throughout.

Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work

This three piece from Northern Ireland came to my attention through a friend and it baffles me that they aren't huge already. One of the catchiest indie-pop songs I've heard in a long time.

Florence and The Machince - Cosmic Love

Possibly the artist I'm most excited about this weekend, Florence and The Machine take to the stage in electric arena round 17.15. Having slowly been gathering interest from the media, realeasing an excellent debut album and having a song (this one in fact) soundtrack an O2 ad, Florence Welsh's star is most definitely on the rise.

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt.1

This song has a soft spot in my heart as its the song that introduced me to the Floaty-pop-noises of The Flaming Lips. Will Wayne Coyne zorb his way around the crowd? I'll just have to go down and find out.

Passion Pit - Moths Wings

One of my top picks from the groups debut album 'Manners'. I hope they can live up to my expectations live.

The full Stage Times are available in PDF here – Friday Saturday Sunday