Saturday, 22 October 2016

Salmigondis de musique

I have not done one of these "potpourri-of-pop" blogs for such a long time, I'd almost forgotten that "newer music" can produce some works of wonder and amusement. One tends to avoid most music beloved of the "benighted yoof" these days (all those Kendricks, Minajs, Drakes, Arianas, Little Mixes and Biebers - yuk), but occasionally I do pop in for a little look... Of the chart-toppers, I can just about cope with some currently mega-popular artists such as Adele or Clean Bandit, and the occasional tolerable choon like that Zara Larsson one that dominated the summer airwaves, or maybe that much-hyped Christina and the Queens ditty, but in general whatever the "Charts" these days encompasses tends to pass me by. But what of the rest? Here goes...

Watch me shimmy into the light..." Thus the remarkable Allie X announces her arrival - and, with RuPaul's Drag Race winner (and house fave) Violet Chachki on board in this magnificent "let's-raid-the-dressing-up-box" video, what a spectacle she is too! She's All The Rage:

Speaking of summer, the strangely-named Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners and This Girl has an alluring Northern Soul-tinged feel about it. The "pretty-young-things-at-play" video certainly does make one rather nostalgic for warmer climes...

One can always rely upon the brilliant Mr Dave Audé to make a slightly-catchy-yet-not-good-enough song such as Handclap by Fitz and the Tantrums into something really special:

No-one ever thought that meeja-sensations Sam and the Womp would ever be more than a one-hit-wonder, after their surprise hit of 2012 Bom Bom - but, as "comebacks" go, with the help of some "Bjork-lite" vocals from Bloom De Wilde and a glitzy video I think Fireflies is a rather jolly effort:

Next, and by complete contrast, a song that was played (with his tongue firmly in his cheek) by the ever-wonderful Desmond Carrington on his penultimate show on Radio 2 last night - it's Madeleine Peyroux and her cover of Tom Waits's Tango Till They're Sore . I love it!

Here is a really unexpected treat. We are all aware that everyone's (not least ours at Dolores Delargo Towers) favourite octogenarian chanteuse (not-yet-a-Dame) Petula Clark is cool, professional, and still retains the vocal tone and energy that would shame many a wannabee a quarter her age, but she is also never content just to rest on her "easy listening" laurels, it seems. With its catchy tune and atmospheric visuals, her new single Sacrifice My Heart is simply faboo!

The very lovely Andy Bell has been busy, too - what with his stage show Torsten The Beautiful Libertine, various live appearances and the release of two albums (the soundtrack to Torsten and a remix album of songs from the show Variance 2) this year. And here [courtesy of our friend John-John, who alerted me to it a while ago], with the excellent support of the one-and-only Al Pillay and the mixing talents of DJ Matt Pop, is Queercore!

If it's a party you're after, you can do much worse than a really catchy cover of the Four Seasons' Oh What A Night, in French, by the Gallic pop sensation (and occasional Ricky Martin duettist) M. (Matt) Pokora! Cette Année La, indeed:

...then there is the sumptuously funky début by the esoterically-named JANE and We Don't Wanna Dance! Shades of Sylvester/Wild Cherry/Average White Band and the heyday of Disco, methinks:

And, finally - not because this is by any means a conclusive list of favourites from the past few months, but merely because I have to end somewhere - Here's the lovely Robbie Williams and his (oh-so-"controversial") Party Like a Russian:

Anything that pisses Putin off has my vote!

Anyhoo, that's all folks - as ever, enjoy; and let me know your thoughts...

[*Salmigondis de musique = (hopefully) "musical hodgepodge" in French]

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Worldwide Ambassador of Love

Another week drags its dank way to a close. Oh, how I hate the creeping darkness at this time of year. But hey! There's a weekend to look forward to - and that can only mean one thing...

It's time for a party!

To get us up and running, let us join in the shirtless fun that this Thursday's birthday boy Mr George McCrae [self-styled "Worldwide Ambassador of Love", according to his website] is obviously having on The Julio Iglesias Hour!

With his tightest trousers and his sparkly jacket on, surrounded by some chemically-enhanced dancers in hideous green suedette outfits, psychedelic camera effects and a cartoon sheep - how could he not?!

He Just Can't Leave You Alone. Apparently.

Thank Disco It's Friday!

George Warren McCrae Jr. (born 19th October 1944)

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Thought for the Day

Hallowe'en is coming.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Let's cause a nuclear reaction, shake it up

It's Divine's birthday today!

All hail.

By way of a little tribute to the largest of our larger-than-life Patron Saints, here's an old favourite - Shake It Up, "performed" by... Ursula the Sea Witch...

Happy birthday, Harris Glenn Milstead aka Divine (19th October 1945 – 7th March 1988)

Read my tribute to the great Diva of Trash on the 70th anniversary of her birth last year - and also reminiscences on her notorious sojourn down the Thames for Gay Pride way back in 1985 (my first Pride)!

I can remember the screams and cheers even now...

Even more Divine here, here and here.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

You can keep your grit

Hmmm. Unsurprisingly, Ken Loach - the enfant terrible of "kitchen sink realism" - has criticised our appetite for the "fake nostalgia" of costume dramas....

Mr Loach's variously successful dramas embrace "gritty mundanity", and everyone in them (so it seems) just has to suffer. His lead characters are people such as "an unemployed recovering alcoholic in Glasgow" (My Name is Joe), "an unemployed worker and member of the Communist Party of Great Britain who decides to fight for the republican side in the Spanish Civil War" (Land and Freedom), "brothers who join the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence from the United Kingdom" (The Wind That Shakes the Barley), a boy brought up in the grim North of England whose only "friend" (a kestrel) is brutally strangled by his bully-boy brother (Kes), or a homeless woman whose harrowing screams as her children are taken off her by Social Services traumatised viewers for years (Cathy Come Home).

Downton Abbey, Brideshead Revisited, Pride and Prejudice, Upstairs Downstairs, The Jewel in the Crown, The Duchess of Duke Street, Cranford, I Claudius, Poldark and the rest, however, provide viewers with sumptuous settings, beautiful people, extravagant clothing and jewellery, country houses, polite manners, grand vistas and arch dialogue. In other words, nothing "gritty" at all. And all the better for it, in my opinion!

Give me an escapist faux-historical hour or so of wallowing in the glamorous lives of the type of people who I'll never meet, or worse, never be (even a crap one such as Mr Selfridge or the ill-considered "update" of Upstairs Downstairs), and I am happy.

I am not convinced, however, that Ken Loach could ever be described as such.

So, dear reader - which do you prefer?


Or this?

Monday, 17 October 2016

You lead me on and I pursue

Monday. Groan...

With the miserable, rainy weather that is upon us, the dark mornings and the prospect of another bum-numbing week ahead, I'm going to need more than coffee and a fag to make this morning feel OK.

Thank heavens for today's birthday girl, the gorgeous Miss Rita Hayworth! On this Tacky Music Monday, who could not raise a smile as she glitters and sambas her tits off, replete with hat-drumming safety gays, tassels and twirls - on You Excite Me?

It certainly cheered me up!

Rita Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino, 17th October 1918 – 14th May 1987)

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Who could ask for anything more?

"I absolutely do not have a retirement age...I believe age should not stop you from keeping on."

She shares her birthday with a bit of a "mixed bag" of other famous names - including Nobel laureate Günter Grass, organist Reginald Dixon, singers Max Bygraves and Emile Ford, guitarist/songwriter Gary Kemp, orchestra leader Bert Kaempfert, arty chanteuse Nico, fellow actresses Linda Darnell, Suzanne Somers and Carmen Sevilla, soul singer Sugar Pie DeSanto, actor Peter Bowles and, greatest of them all, Mr Oscar Wilde. She's won five Tony Awards, six Golden Globes and an Olivier Award, as well as an Honorary Academy Award. In her eight decade career she's worked with them all, including Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, George Sanders, Judy Garland, Deborah Kerr, Lana Turner, Gene Kelly, Hedy Lamarr, Tony Curtis, Paul Newman, Sophia Loren, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley - and all this even before landing her memorable turns in the star-studded Agatha Christie adaptations Death On The Nile and The Mirror Crack'd, and her later immortality as TV's "Jessica Fletcher" in Murder She Wrote (in which guest stars dropped like flies)...

Dame Angela Lansbury (for it is she), we salute you!

Here is our adored Premier-League Patron Saint herself, working the boards with another beloved Dame - Julie Andrews - in a magnificent tableau of tributes to the great ladies of showbiz: The Dolly Sisters, Miss Ethel Merman, Miss Helen Morgan, Miss Eleanor Powell, Miss Mae West, Señorita Carmen Miranda, Miss Judy Garland and (ahem) The Rockettes.

It's a tour-de-force, peeps!

Happy birthday, Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury DBE (born 16th October 1925)

Read my tribute on her 90th, and on her 89th, and my blog about our visit to see her in person in Blithe Spirit.

I AM Angela Lansbury...