Saturday, 31 December 2011

Four candles



Many congratulations to "national treasure" Ronnie Corbett, who becomes a CBE in the New Years Honours list.

Any excuse for a bit of a jolly with this timeless classic sketch:



Happy New Year, peeps!

New Years Honours on the BBC

Friday, 30 December 2011

A bit late, but...

...I just got this Xmas card from Charlie Hides...


Faboo!

I light up the night and live like a star



It's almost the end of the year, and I am busy preparing for our New Year's Eve party.

However, it is also the fantabulosa Miss Sheryl Lee Ralph's 55th birthday - so happily we can start the weekend with a whiff of poppers and some dry ice, and have a bit of a boogie to her timeless classic In The Evening!

Thank Disco It's Friday!



I know I have written about the significance of this song before, back in 2008 but it is too good not to be repeated...

Enjoy!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Jump!



Speaking of Luciana...

Hot of the presses is the first prediction of a smash hit for 2012!

It's the Cube Guys featuring Luciana, and Jump:



Luciana Caporaso official website

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The great musical round-up 2011



OK, It's that time of year when all thoughts turn to trying to remember what music "rocked our boats" during the last twelve months.

To that end, here are (in no particular order) the Dolores Delargo Towers Top Twenty Songs of 2011!

Let us open with the very cool Eastman ft Neve - Greedy Eyes, from July:



Even cooler, Jessica 6 - White Horse, from March:



Herr Styler - Snow in Paris was toast of the town here at the Towers in January:



The beautiful Sound of Arrows - Nova, first featured here in April:



A very welcome return for a gay pioneer, Darren Hayes - Black Out The Sun (here in its remixed form), from September:



Speaking of gay, gay, gay - the anthem that never was, Sir Ari Gold featuring LaBelle's Sarah Dash - Sparkle, featured here in September:



Duran Duran - Girl Panic was a fantabulosa return to form for a long-standing favourite group in November:



Continuing the theme of "welcome returns", Mari Wilson - O.I.C, released earlier in the year, was a discovery here in December:



Not something I am proud of, but I still love Selena Gomez - Love You Like A Love Song, from September:



The sleaze-tastic Traci Lords - Last Drag, from November:



A song that was shockingly ignored by everyone, Beth Ditto - I Wrote the Book, from February:



For once my taste and that of the great unwashed collided, as Example - Changed the Way You Kiss Me became the big chart-topper of the summer, featured here first in March:



A chart could not really be a chart without at least one from the UK's "great white hope": Adele - Rolling in the Deep, as featured here way back in January:



One of my fave discoveries of the year, The Young Professionals ft Uriel Yakutiel - D.I.S.C.O, from July:



The magnificent Will Young - Jealousy, returned to our arms in style in August:



A song (and an artist) that is indeed very popular round here, Eric Saade - Popular, who wuz robbed at Eurovision in May:



Speaking of "we wuz robbed", our own Euro-contender Blue - I Can, was first revealed here in March:



A close contender, and thus in the Top Three, is Martin Solveig ft Dragonette - Hello, featured here in January:



Snapping at the heels of the top slot is the anthem of our last holiday in Spain: Luciana - I'm Still Hot, which I first played on our return in February but seems to have been around for the whole year (including the infamous Betty White version):



And finally, there has to be a winner, and so at Number 1 is (of course) the irresistible Sak Noel - Loca People, which first featured here in September, and has been buzzing round our eardrums ever since:



There will be plenty of omissions, and songs that have completely slipped the memory no doubt, but that is the nature of any Top Twenty.

However, as always, enjoy!!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Indelible



110 years ago today, one of our patron saints here at Dolores Delargo Towers, Marie Magdelene Dietrich von Losch (better known as Marlene Dietrich) was born!

I am aware I have written about the lady before. Over at Dolores Delargo Towers - Museum of Camp, Fraulein Dietrich is our newest photographic exhibit.

However, on this special day, I feel it is timely to pay a musical tribute to an indelible icon...

Falling in Love Again:

Johnny:

The Boys in the Backroom:

Lili Marlene:

...and, of course, her classic androgynous look in Morocco:



Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, indeed!

Monday, 26 December 2011

When You're Winning



Ten years ago, the Xmas charts - and, it seemed, the World - belonged to Mr Robbie Williams.

His duet with Nicole Kidman Something Stupid was at Number 1 in the singles chart, and his Swing When You're Winning LP was at the top of the album chart. He was (and remains) among the best-selling music artists in the world and the best-selling British solo artist in the UK.

To celebrate, here's a rather fab way to open a show!



I'd still do him...

www.robbiewilliams.com

Monday, it's just another day



That's it, all over for another year...

We had far too much to eat and drink, lots of merriment, avoided Oxford Street, suffered the office parties, exchanged the prezzies and generally knackered ourselves out as always - and now we look forward to "round two" with the New Year celebrations next weekend.

Meanwhile, some traditions should never change. It may be Boxing Day, but it's also another Tacky Music Monday - and any excuse, I say, for a bit of Dalida!


Monday, Tuesday - fantabulosa every day!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

A sweet Xmas carol



It's traditional.

Have a good one!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Nochebuena



Happy 40th birthday today to the gorgeous eternal lust-object Senorita Ricky Martin!

Grinch that I am, in this continuing countdown to "TV-and_chocolates-day" I would have played his Ay, ay, ay It's Christmas, but it's unlistenable. He looks very pretty on this video for Que Hermoso Niño, a Spanish Christmas version of Greensleeves, however:



But more in keeping with our taste here at Dolores Delargo Towers is this all-time classic duet between the snake-hipped Latino gayer and our fave Pop Princess!



Hope Ricky gets everything he wants for his birthday...



Feliz Navidad, amigos!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Just 'cause it's 'tis the season



It's the last working day before the big break, and I feel there is only one song I can play to celebrate....

So grab your "Sexy Santa" outfit, your tinsel boa and sparkly deely-boppers, and have a little bop to this perennial favourite!

Thank Disco It's (the last) Friday (before Xmas)!!

Bah Humbug, indeed.



"Bah, humbug!" No, that's too strong
'Cause it is my favorite holiday
But all this year's been a busy blur
Don't think I have the energy

To add to my already mad rush
Just 'cause it's 'tis the season.
The perfect gift for me would be
Completions and connections left from

Last year, ski shop,
Encounter, most interesting.
Had his number but never the time
Most of '81 passed along those lines.

So deck those halls, trim those trees
Raise up cups of Christmas cheer,
I just need to catch my breath,
Christmas by myself this year.

Calendar picture, frozen landscape,
Chilled this room for twenty-four days,
Evergreens, sparkling snow
Get this winter over with!

Flashback to springtime, saw him again,
Would've been good to go for lunch,
Couldn't agree when we were both free,
We tried, we said we'd keep in touch.

Didn't, of course, 'til summertime,
Out to the beach to his boat could I join him?
No, this time it was me,
Sunburn in the third degree.

Now the calendar's just one page
And, of course, I am excited
Tonight's the night, but I've set my mind
Not to do too much about it.

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
But I think I'll miss this one this year.

Hardly dashing through the snow
Cause I bundled up too tight
Last minute have-to-do's
A few cards a few calls
'Cause it's r-s-v-p
No thanks, no party lights
It's Christmas Eve, gonna relax
Turned down all of my invites.

Last fall I had a night to myself,
Same guy called, halloween party,
Waited all night for him to show,
This time his car wouldn't go,

Forget it, it's cold, it's getting late,
Trudge on home to celebrate
In a quiet way, unwind
Doing Christmas right this time.

A&P has provided me
With the world's smallest turkey
Already in the oven, nice and hot
Oh damn! Guess what I forgot?

So on with the boots, back out in the snow
To the only all-night grocery,
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
In the line is that guy I've been chasing all year!

"I'm spending this one alone," he said.
"Need a break; this year's been crazy."
I said, "Me too, but why are you?
You mean you forgot cranberries too?"

Then suddenly we laughed and laughed
Caught on to what was happening
That Christmas magic's brought this tale
To a very happy ending!

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Couldn't miss this one this year!
Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Couldn't miss this one this year!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Cool Yule



Today there is cause to celebrate - it all gets better from here! For this, the Winter Solstice, Midwinter's Day, marks the shortest day of the year.

Solstice on the BBC

Most intelligent people nowadays understand that Christmas is merely a Christianisation of the primeval Winter Solstice celebrations. Customs such as gift-giving, (carol) singing, family feasting, trees and decorations all pre-date the advance of the Middle-Eastern cult of the baby Jesus.

The ancients of northern Europe noticed that the Sun seemed to be dying up to Midwinter's Day. After Midwinter's Day the Sun seemed to be reborn, and this was a great reason to celebrate. With Midwinter's Day comes the promise of better weather and a return to the warmth of spring. They celebrated the Sun's rebirth with a festival that came to be known as Yule - involving a huge roast meal and all the trimmings. Theirs was probably a wild boar that was freshly hunted and ours more likely involves a force-fed turkey and a ham from Tesco, but the principle is similar.

The traditional decoration of the "Yule log" with holly, ivy, ribbons and the robin are throwbacks to ancient Germanic superstitions and belief in the spirits of the "Wild Wood". Traditionally the Yule log from the previous year must be burnt and reduced to ashes by midnight on the previous night. These days the log tends to be made of cake and you eat it, which is a much better option. Incidentally, the extension of the decorated log into what we now know as the "Christmas tree" only dates back to traditions established in Estonia and the Baltic in the fifteenth century.

Admittedly, our tradition of pulling Xmas crackers is a much tamer custom than the Norse hlautteinar, the sacrificial twigs with which the blood of ritually sacrificed animals was splattered all over statues of their idols (now represented by the "nativity scene" perhaps?) and up the walls of their temples. I think I might prefer this to wearing a silly paper hat...

Even better, all this "kissing under the mistletoe" business is put into its right and proper context when you realise that in ancient times mistletoe was seen as a representation of divine male essence (and thus romance, fertility and vitality), possibly due to a resemblance between the berries and semen. My kind of party!

From further south, the impetus for non-stop partying, drinking, the giving of gifts and dreadfully tacky mass entertainment comes from the Roman festival of Saturnalia - Catullus called it "the best of days." These candle-lit orgies went on for weeks, and were probably a damned sight better than your average office "do"! Yet one tradition has been carried over from those far-flung days: the concept of the Boss (the "master") serving his subservients (the "slaves") with food and booze, which has ended up as that awkward first round at the bar before the top brass slope off and let the rest of us slide into oblivion.

As for the jovial "Santa Claus", I wrote a whole blog on that subject last year: read all about it here.

And, to conclude? Who better than Miss Bette Midler?!



Happy Solstice!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

You would even say it glows



As the countdown to Tinsel Doom continues, it's time for some real class!

A perennial favourite from the lovely Kiki (aka Justin Bond) and Herb - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer never sounded so good...



Kiki and Herb

Lost Bowie



A rare David Bowie Top of the Pops performance will be shown on television tonight for the first time since it was originally broadcast in 1973.

It was believed that every recording of the singer performing his hit The Jean Genie had been destroyed.

It emerged last week that one had been found - and it will feature in the Top of The Pops 2 Christmas Special on BBC 2.

The footage was found when retired TV cameraman John Henshall realised he had his own copy of the performance.

The film emerged earlier this month when it was shown at the Missing Believed Wiped event at the British Film Institute in London which celebrates the discovery of long-lost TV shows.

Read more on the BBC

5, 6, 7, 8 and back!



It's the original Barbarella Miss Jane Fonda's (74th) birthday today!

To celebrate, here's French DJ Bob Sinclar's famous tribute:



A walk (or high kick, or stretch maybe?) down memory lane, indeed...

Jane Fonda on IMDB

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Hey Santa Claus!



It's the office Xmas party this evening. Deep joy.

My countdown to the Day of Overindulgence continues, with this excellent and subtle little number that just about encapsulates everything I love about this time of year...



NSFW

Bang a gong



On the 40th anniversary of the utterly brilliant, the all-conquering and seminal Electric Warrior album by T-Rex - at Number 1 in the UK charts on this date in 1971 - I thought it worth revisiting this succinct tribute by Chris Jones from 2003:
Hot on the heels of its 30th anniversary re-release, T.Rex's most consistent album still deserves to have its praises sung. Think of glam and you probably focus on the 1972-4 heyday with acts veering from the sublime (Bowie, Roxy etc) to the ridiculous (Mud, Gary Glitter...Jobriath anyone?). Yet this slice of pop heaven was on the shelves by autumn 1971, making it officially the first glam album in the world. What's even more amazing is how fresh it still sounds.

Bolan himself was never one to avoid a trend. In his own mind he was always a star: Stories abound of his early days as a persistent chancer in mod/psychedelic London. Yet, if John's Children and Tyrannosaurus Rex didn't hold the keys to his inevitable stardom they certainly allowed him to learn the tricks that would flower on his first hit Ride A White Swan. This was the point at which he and long-term producer Tony Visconti took the hippy-dippy lyrics and 'Larry the Lamb' vocal stylings and bolted them on to good old stripped-down, four-to-the-floor rock 'n' roll. For four glorious years they never looked back...

With superb sleevenotes by Visconti himself, it must never be forgotten that this is as much his album as Bolan's (not forgetting Mickey Finn's radical bongos, ho ho). Visconti was behind so much of the glam-defining process that his name becomes synonymous with the genre. On this and Bowie's early work (Space Oddity, Man Who Sold The World) he creates a warm, spacey reverb-drenched world full of hip-thrusting libido and pouty tongue-twisting. Bolan's lyrics often approach 'back of a bus ticket' status in their throw-away couplets (Girl, Motivator etc.), but what shines through is the irrepressible fun the whole team seem to be having. The two monster hits (Get It On and Jeepster) still stand as monuments to pop concision. Nonsensical rhyme riding on swaggering guitar and drums.

Add to this at least two other utter classics (the frenzied funk of Rip Off and the touching ballad Life's A Gas) and not one real filler and you've got an album that's always going to sound box fresh: 5.1 surround sound just adds a little icing on the cake. Life's still a gas...
I couldn't agree more!

Here's the tracklist (and some tracks too, for your delectation):

1 Mambo Sun

2 Cosmic Dancer


3 Jeepster


4 Monolith

5 Lean Woman Blues

6 Bang a Gong (Get It On)


7 Planet Queen

8 Girl

9 The Motivator

10 Life's a Gas


11 Rip Off

Electric Warrior on Amazon

Monday, 19 December 2011

Shove your fruitcake



The countdown to the big day continues here at Dolores Delargo Towers with this charming favourite of ours:



Ah, families...

Shimmy!



On this day, 105 years ago, Miss Betty Grable - the original "Forces Sweetheart", the pin-up that every GI in the Second World War lusted after, was born.

On this Tacky Music Monday, we celebrate the divine Miss G with one of her typically risqué numbers, Shimmy Like My Sister Kate:



Have a good (last) week - the big break is on its way!

Betty Grable on IMDB

Sunday, 18 December 2011

It begins



As is my wont at this time of year, I always feel like there should be some kind of countdown to the dreaded Xmas.

And to that end, it begins here with this charming little number...





Bah Humbug (#1 in a series)!

Barefoot diva



RIP Cesaria Evora, the Cape Verdian "barefoot diva" who died yesterday aged 70.

Senhora Evora was not a lady with whose work I was particularly familiar I have to admit, but she had a beautifully smoky voice and encapsulated a certain spirit of the Portuguese-African musical blend - and it is always sad to lose another classy diva...

As a tribute, here's a fab remix of her Sangue de Beirona by none other than that great maestro of house music, DJ François Kevorkian:



Cesaria Evora obituary on the BBC

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Another dose of muzak...



This week, it hasn't just rained (literally) but it's poured - not only did the fearsome virus attack almost leave us stranded without a PC but today (yet again) Virgin Media left us without the interweb for hours...

Still, better late than never - here's the latest selection of more recent choons I have selected for your delectation, dear reader.

Launching the selection in style is yet another Ukrainian wannabee diva - Kamaliya, with an incredibly OTT camp video for her new single (her first in English, apparently) Crazy in My Heart. Mike over at Pop Trash Addicts loves it, and I love it too...



This month we welcome back that house favourite eccentric Miss Róisín Murphy, who seems to be heading for the dancefloors with her latest single Simulation (which is a collaboration with a mystery producer from the north of England, apparently - whoever that might be):



Speaking of welcome returns to eccentric artists, we haven't heard from the completely bonkers Mr Patrick Wolf for a while! And here he is, in fine Gothic form, with his latest - Together:



Back to the dancefloors - well, perhaps not to a "Ritzy" near you - here's a rather fab collaboration between the Swedish DJ Adrian Lux and UK electro-indie types The Good Natured. They're Alive:



On a bit more of a retro 80s kick is Charli XCX with the rather atmospheric Nuclear Seasons:



And finally, rapidly becoming a bit of a favourite here at Dolores Delargo Towers are the magnificently camp Azari & III, here with their brilliant Reckless With Your Love:



As ever, enjoy!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Never be a spectator



"I burned the candle at both ends and it often gave a lovely light."



"The one unforgivable sin is to be boring."

RIP the intellectual genius that was Christopher Hitchens, polemicist, atheist and iconoclast. A hero of mine.

Obituary in The Guardian

"Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you."

"Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did...To terrify children with the image of Hell, to consider women an inferior creation - is that good for the world?"


More of the wonderful wit and wisdom of Mr Hitchens

Take it easy



Many happy returns to Mr Benny Andersson, who celebrates his 65th birthday today!

There is very little I really need to say about the genius behind the music of Abba, of Chess and of much, much more. Thus, let us instead celebrate the last weekend before the madness that is Xmas by slipping on our best white platforms and satin suits, and boogie along with this catchy number from the big man's repertoire...



Thank Disco It's Friday!

Benny Andersson on Wikipedia

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A paean to Ramnit.A



Whoo-hoo! "Normal" service is resumed!

To celebrate this evening a bit of a victory - for tonight I managed (fingers crossed) to finally restore my PC after a couple of days of battling a very nasty virus indeed (its name is Win32/Ramnit.A) - I thought I'd play a rather appropriate little number:



PS It would have been the 104th birthday of Mr Francis Albert Sinatra this week. I've Got You Under My Skin was perhaps the longest-serving of the great man's standards...

http://www.sinatra.com/

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Dragman, faux fox, Santa's syndrome and snapping fingers





In the last 'peerless gay literary salon' - Polari - of the year, the theme was understandably Christmassy, and Paul Burston, resplendent in a faux fox fur borrowed especially from Lana Turner or Arlene Dahl for the occasion, had a marvellous line-up of entertainment ready and waiting for the packed house of regulars and literary types (and the lovely actress Barbara Ewing, of Brass fame, too)!



Opening the show with a real element of sparkle and pizzazz was the inaugural live appearance for house fave Mr David McAlmont's new project Fingersnap, with pianist Guy Davies (visit their website). Their song Some Kind of Masterpiece particularly caught my attention:



A couple more numbers, including an Amy Winehouse memorial, later they concluded with a particularly poignant ballad. For our friend Ange (proudly sat with us at the front of the stage) had a couple of years ago submitted a story to Mr McA in response for his call for ideas for themes for his songs. She had told him the full story of the difficult birth of her son James, born prematurely on Christmas Day, and it had moved him so much he wrote this song, Merry Christmas is You, as a tribute:



Having moved everyone to tears and sniffles it was time for a bit of light relief!



And right on cue, the very wonderful Rebecca Chance (aka Lauren Henderson) bounced onto the stage to play the "MC"rather than reader for a change and introduce our first reading. She explained that as she was currently in Casualty (the programme not hospital!) the former Corrie actress and screenwriter Tracy Brabin was unfortunately unable to appear in person to read from her forthcoming novel, so in her place the actress Siân Reeves (apparently nominated "Best Villain" at the British Soap Awards 2010 for her role as Sally Spode in Emmerdale) would take the spotlight. She treated us to some rip-roaring passages from Tracy's work in progress, her novel Paradise, featuring the suffocating consequences of a family argument involving a rebellious teenager. It sounded fabulous, and I look forward to reading the finished work!





Steven Appleby is one of my favourite off-the-wall cartoonists. The outpourings of his bizarre imagination have followed me around through the years, ever since he first started publishing them in the NME in the 1980s - and since then, of course, he has had regular comic strips in such esteemed tomes as The Times, The Observer and The Sunday Telegraph, and currently The Guardian. [Check out his Loomus cartoons for inspiration!] I had never seen him in person however, and had no idea he would be wearing a sparkly skirt and jacket with such aplomb - a style that has inspired Lesley Joseph, no doubt.



Steven introduced the unsuspecting audience to "his world", much of which is featured in his new collection, The Coffee Table Book Of Doom. A fascinating world it is, too! I loved it - being familiar with some of the cartoons that form Steven's "favourite things" - as did the audience, who gave him rousing applause.

Next up was the charming Miss Susie Boyt (author of the rather fab My Judy Garland Life), who we last saw at Polari way back in February 2009.



Inspired by an article in an American magazine about a woman who claimed she suffered from "an almost-illness she called over-giving", and in the spirit of the season Susie pondered whether this was an affliction also experienced by Santa Claus:
Human beings can be terribly literal about repairing the damage of their past. I know I am. People who are most obsessed with things and their distribution are often those who grew up on the edge of plenty, looking through its windows, pressing their noses up against its lavish colours and promise.

Was that Santa’s realm, a poor-relation or very minor royal, raised in a palace in a bad neighbourhood, with no civil-list income and a Robin Hood ethic?

It’s very unfashionable just now – dammit! – to think we can change the world by giving thoughtful trinkets to our loved ones, let alone to strangers.

When shopping for gifts I nurse a desire to find presents that will prove so essential to friends’ well-being that they cannot imagine how they functioned previously without the gift, without me.

In the past people rather admired me for this tendency. Now they nudge each other and term it a neurosis. “What’s that all about?” they smirk. So I tell them the cracker-motto version, which is that when I was five, walking home from school one day, I found £200 on the pavement in £20 notes. I handed it to my mother, solemnly. Red bills which were languishing in the hall were paid. Buns were bought, more than we could eat. Suddenly I wasn’t a schoolgirl any more; I was a provider, a little war-hero, practically the man of the house. I walked a little bit taller after that. These things go deep.

And what of Father Christmas’s domestic set-up? It’s not hard to construct. Do Mrs Claus and the nippers suffer as the families of other world-class geniuses often do? “Just this year can you spend Christmas at home with us? Do you really have to work? Oh please? You’ve done the Christmas shift for as long as any of us can remember, please think of delegating this year.” Cut to Father Christmas with a pained expression and a tear in his eye, protesting in a whisper, “But darlings! It’s who I am ...”
Our headliner Ali Smith, twice-nominated for both the Orange and the Man Booker literary prizes, treated us to a couple of saucy (and very fast-paced!) extracts from her estimable works There But For The and Girl Meets Boy - her two passages were on the theme of sex; one for men (“it’s very quick”, she joked), and one for women, which lasted longer(!). Very entertaining, indeed...



And thus, with a final flourish, Mr Burston welcomed Fingersnap back to the stage for a few more numbers before it was all over until 2012...

Inspired by the furore over the appointment of the out-gay Gene Robinson, The Bishop of New Hampshire:



The duo's new single, I Wanna Rise:



Roll on the first Polari of the New Year!!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

My face in the spotlight



Many happy returns (yesterday) to the very lovely Miss Honor Blackman (aka Pussy Galore, aka Mrs Cathy Gale), who celebrated her 86th birthday.

I know I have posted this song before, but it is too wonderful not to be repeated...



Oh such regrets, I've been foolish it's true
I'm the star who fell from grace,
It's how I'll be remembered, if remembered by you.
I've had my chance, I've had my day
No more opening nights, with my name up in lights
On the Champs-Élysées
I've had my dreams, I've had my day
I've had my fame and I've thrown my dreams away

I hid all my torments in life, on stage night after night
My face in the spotlight,
No more curtain calls, all the encores are memories today
I've had my fame, I've had my day
I've had my chance, I could have been one of the greats

Once there were five star reviews, endless press interviews,
But my life, my life was front page news,
Now there is no more applause, I'm no longer adored
There's no star on my door
I'm the star who fell from grace
The star who fell from grace.


Honor Blackman official website

[PS My PC at Dolores Delargo Towers is currently experiencing a virus attack, so blog posts may be a bit erratic over the next few days]

Monday, 12 December 2011

Fancy dancing, yes I do



Monday, Monday, can't trust that day...

It certainly comes around too soon!

I am battling another virus attack on the PC, it is one of those grey days that you just know is not going to get light, and I have another lovely week in work ahead - but at least we have Polari (with David McAlmont among the guests) to look forward to tonight.

And to brighten our day on this Tacky Music Monday I feel we are well overdue a visit to Holland (I wish! Poverty is a terrible thing...) - here's the fabulously tacky girlband Luv and their "classic" Ooh, Yes I Do!



Have a good week!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dancing in the Dark



It's a gloomy Sunday - what better to cheer us up than a magnificent example of the sublime cinematic talents of Mr Busby Berkeley?

Here's the breathtaking Shadow Waltz...



Now, if that doesn't make you smile I don't know what will!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Yes I will have you



Every once in a while, a blast from the past hits the eardrums, gets stuck there and just refuses to go away.

Such a song at the moment is that 80s "one hit wonder" band Animotion and the appropriately titled Obsession...



You are an obsession
I cannot sleep
I am a possession
Unopened at your feet
There is no balance
No equality
Be still
I will not accept defeat

I will have you
Yes I will have you
I will find a way and I will have you
Like a butterfly
A wild butterfly
I will collect you and capture you

You are an obsession
You're my obsession
Who do you want me to be
To make you sleep with me?
You are an obsession
You're my obsession
Who do you want me to be
To make you sleep with me?

I feed you I drink you
My day and my night
I need you I need you
By sun or candlelight
You protest you want to leave
Stay there's no alternative

Your face appears again
I see the beauty there
But I see danger
Stranger beware
A circumstance in your naked dreams
Your affection is not what it seems

You are an obsession
You're my obsession
Who do you want me to be
To make you sleep with me?
You are an obsession
You're my obsession
Who do you want me to be
To make you sleep with me?

My fantasy has turned to madness
All my goodness has turned to badness
My need to possess you has consumed my soul
My life is trembling I have no control

I will have you
Yes I will have you
I will find a way and I will have you
Like a butterfly
A wild butterfly
I will collect you and capture you

You are an obsession
You're my obsession
Who do you want me to be
To make you sleep with me?
You are an obsession
You're my obsession
Who do you want me to be
To make you sleep with me?


Amazingly, the band is still together, and making new music as we speak...

Animotion website

Friday, 9 December 2011

It's like Thunder. Lightning...



Another week is drawing to a close, thank heavens.

Nights are almost at their longest, the dreaded Festering Season is in full swing (if I hear another piped crackly recording of Mariah Carey blasting down the aisles of another shop I swear I will kill someone), yet there's no excuse not to party - so dust off your impossibly-crafted hat-and-spangles outfit and boogie a la Amii Stewart!

Knock on Wood is possibly the best of the best disco songs of all time - Thank Disco It's Friday!



Enjoy!

Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul



One of the pioneers of Northern Soul, Dobie Gray is dead. RIP, Mr Tight Trousers...

The In Crowd:


Drift Away:


Dobie Gray dies at 71.

Read more and download his 1973 album Drift Away here.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Tell me baby where did I go wrong?



"I don't do anything in order to cause trouble. It just so happens that what I do naturally causes trouble. I'm proud to be a troublemaker."

Many happy returns to Miss Sinead O'Connor, singer, songwriter, anti-war campaigner and all-round fruit-loop, who celebrates her 45th birthday today - apparently by getting married to husband number four!

The lady has never been very far from the headlines over the years - for ripping up a photo of the Pope on live TV in the US, for refusing to perform if the American anthem was played, then later for being ordained as a priest in a weirdo offshoot of the self-same Catholic church she so decried...

Yet despite many hiccups in her professional and public career, and many hit-and-miss musical ones too (her latest project is a foray into reggae of all things!) Miss O'Connor remains forever etched on my consciousness - if only for the one song that is guaranteed to make even a hard-bitten bitch such as yours truly cry, Nothing Compares 2 U:



Pass the hankies...

Changing the mood somewhat, Miss O'Connor (and Alison Moyet!) also notably provided backing vocals for this most memorable of appearances by Miss Dusrty Springfield (her last) on Jools Holland's show back in 1995. Sublime.



Happy birthday to a unique talent!

Sinead O'Connor on Wikipedia

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

It should never be a crime to be gay



Much to the horror of the fascist "Tea Party" Republicans in Texas and other American states with a fine history of supporting human rights causes [sic], President Obama has "come out" on the side of the gays in time for International Human Rights Day on 10th December.

From The Guardian today:
President Barack Obama has told US officials to consider how countries treat its gay and lesbian populations when making decisions about allocating foreign aid.

In the first ever US government strategy to deal with human rights abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens abroad, a presidential memo issued on Tuesday instructs agencies using foreign aid to promote such rights.

Gay and lesbian lobby groups have reported an increase in human rights abuses in Africa and parts of the Middle East.

President Obama is among international leaders who have condemned a bill proposed in Uganda which would make some homosexual acts a crime punishable by death. The Ugandan parliament has recently re-opened the debate on the bill, which had been abandoned after an international outcry.

In the memo, Obama said: "I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world, whether it is passing laws that criminalise LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women and children for their perceived sexual orientation."


At the United Nations in Geneva, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented this message in a speech to delegates (including representatives of the very countries who have introduced homophobic legislation and committed or supported vile anti-gay propaganda).

"It should never be a crime to be gay," she said. "Gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world. Being gay is not a Western invention. It is a human reality."

Read Mrs Clinton's speech in full

It is about time the US took a stand against the many countries across the world where gay people are imprisoned, slandered, abused or even killed for their sexuality.

However, as many commentators have wrily observed, shouldn't the US put its own house in order now and repeal all the anti-gay legislation that some of its own States have introduced?

Pop-a-matic



Time once more for some of the newer songs I have discovered recently, that have grabbed my attention...

The BBC has just released the long-list of its annual "Sounds of..." series (a selection of new artists that their "panel of tastemakers" - whatever that may mean - has selected as tipped for success). Of the motley crew of fifteen chosen for 2012, no less than four are rappers and two are "dubstep", which loads the selection in a rather depressing direction. I shan't examine the list in detail as much of it is unlistenable, and I need to hear more of the likes of Lianne La Havas ("soul music" apparently) and Ren Harvieu before I can get into them.

However, of the tracks I have been able to listen to without screaming at the PC, the best of the bunch is by the moody Swedish band Niki and the Dove. The track the Beeb is pushing is over a year old, but rather fab (especially in this Drevkollektivet remix), DJ Ease My Mind:



Following on from a prospective "Sound of 2012", here's the return of an artist who won the self-same BBC contest back in 2009 - it's the lovely Little Boots and Shake:



Speaking of very welcome returns, here with a new single (released earlier in 2011 admittedly) is an old favourite of ours at Dolores Delargo Towers, Miss Mari Wilson!

Miss Wilson just so happens to be a recent new exhibit in the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp - and, sans beehive, our lady's comeback is ably produced it seems by the rather fab BoiSoundsMusic, whose collaborations with the artist known as Him and the inimitable Dusty O I have previously featured (click the links). The resulting first single O.I.C. is really quite fantabulosa!



Suitably prepared for winter, here's the rather lovely Charlotta Perers aka Big Fox and her new single Boring Ones - very stylish indeed...



And finally, I know I featured the new single from Miss Traci Lords in a recent "Pick of the Pops" post, but that was merely a teaser and is now gone from YouTube - now the splendidly sleazy video for Last Drag has finally been released!



As always, enjoy!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Dear Old Pals



We had another rip-roaring time at the Victorian Music Hall evening at Wilton's on Sunday. As you might expect, the fabulous and long-serving Players' Theatre Company (celebrating their 75th anniversary this year, and now regularly resident at the Leicester Square Theatre) were in their element, "at home" at last at this, the most outstanding (and indeed the oldest) of Britain's surviving Music Halls.

Stalwart of the Players' company (and former Crackerjack star) Jan Hunt was not only the lead performer this time around, but also the show's producer. And as well as performing her "signature tunes" How'd You Like To Spoon With Me? and Why Am I Always the Bridesmaid?, she had chosen a fabulous selection of acts - Miss Judith Hibbert (who paid tribute to Gracie Fields), Mr Richard Winch, Mr Ben Stock, Miss Julia Sutton, Romany the Diva of Magic, comic juggler Mr Michael Pearse and opera diva Miss Jane Webster among them.

There are (sadly) few videos out there in internetland of the Players' Theatre star performers, but two of the acts who were on stage included:

Ukulele virtuoso Andy Eastwood, who played a remarkable William Tell Overture...


...and the youngest member of the company, 14-year old Ellie Bamber, who sang an an almost innocent version (given her age) of the famous double entendre classic Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me A Bow-Wow and this, a typically mawkish Temperance Movement warning song, Father Dear Father:


Here is the original version of Why am I Always the Bridesmaid?, sung by Miss Lily Morris:


Ben Stock performed for us a wonderfully rollicking version of When Father Papered the Parlour (here sung by David Jones):




Among many other gorgeous Music Hall standards the fantastic Miss Julia Sutton sang was the classic Hold Your Hand Out, You Naughty Boy - and here is a rare recording of the ebullient Florrie Forde singing it:


Another (rather wonderful) song Miss Sutton sang included the lyric "you told me you loved me, in The Old Welsh Harp down Hendon way". I cannot for the life of me find a trace of this song anywhere on the web, so if anyone has a clue please let me know...

I digress.

Let's finish off with an oddity - a medley of Music Hall classics recorded lord alone knows when by a long-forgotten ensemble called "The Coronets". It's jolly stuff nonetheless, and includes several choons from Sunday that I haven't included so far such as Don't Dilly Dally On The Way and Dear Old Pals (the Players' Theatre Company's traditional closing number):


The whole evening was exceptionally good entertainment, and all in aid of the capital restoration fund for Wilton's Music Hall - visit their website for more on how to donate to this magnificent cause!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Thought for the Day



J'adore The Daily Mash

You've given us the drive again



Oh dear, where do these bloody weekends disappear to?

On this Tacky Music Monday, let us ease ourselves back into the drudgery of another week tied to our desks in the estimable company of none other than Miss Diana Ross, here doing a few of her spectacular Broadway tributes (from the 70s show Getting It Together)!

Annie Get Your Gun:

Mame:

My Fair Lady:

Enjoy!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Wunderschön











In memoriam for the beauteous Horst Buchholz, star of The Magnificent Seven and Life is Beautiful, who was taken away from us far too soon in 2003. He would have been 78 today.

RIP, Liebling...

Hosrt Buchholz on Wikipedia