Friday, 28 August 2009

A Tribute to Miss. Winehouse

In October 2006, a beehive bearing, diva gone wrong (with an uncanny resemblance to Janice from F.r.i.e.n.d.s) punched her way into the UK music scene reaching the Top 10 in no time. To those glued to Top 40 records, Amy appeared to have sprung out of nowhere to write one of the most recognisable songs of this decade. The Mark Ronson produced hit, 'Rehab' brought Motown-jazz back to the charts, later winning three Grammy Awards for Best Song, Best Record and Best Female Vocal Performance categories. WOW.

Her first album 'Frank' introduced the Diva, charting at 13 and having entered the Album Charts twice. With this secured success, the industry was ready for 'Back To Black', a dark-soul album with the same sentiment as the old album, but with a Mark Ronson big band feeling. With such favourite lines as, 'What kind of fuckery is this?/ You made me miss the Slick Rick gig.' that take your traditional good-girl divas *Celine Dion*, and punches them in the face. The track 'Back To Black' with it's funeral bells and violins is perhaps the most catchy and dramatic of her songs that depicts a dying relationship better than 'Foundations' *Kate Nash.*

"I asked my dad if he thought I needed to go. He said no, but I should give it a try. So I did, for just 15 minutes. I went in said 'hello' and explained that I drink because I am in love and have screwed up the relationship. Then I walked out."

This is where the substance-abuse comes in. Surely an opening track that states ''They tried to me me go to Rehab / I said No, No, No' must herald a future downfall? Coinciding with the release of her second album, Amy began a downward spiral into addiction. Barely a day went by in 2007 that didn't mention some new Amy-Scandal, she was hospitalized for overdoses on E, Ketamine, Cocaine and Alcohol and videos were posted of her supposedly smoking crack-cocaine. Her abusive relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil did not help and the two were photographed bruised and scarred in London. Amy punches Paparazzi. Amy's dad asks fans to boycott her album. Amy misses gigs. The tabloids were taking advantage again, and it was so readable. It seemed that perhaps Amy's wayward image went a lot further the heavy eyeliner and retro clothing.

But, believe it or not in January 2008, Amy Winehouse went to Rehab. Her husband was sent to jail for Physical assault and Amy took a holiday on the Island of St. Lucia, where she experienced an apparent 'holiday-love' with actor Josh Bowman and starts to look better and better, apparently coming off drugs and making a gradual recovery. It was the outcome that nobody expected, a recovery, eating out at the Prezzo resteraunt and leaving the resteraunt at 10:30 without misbehaving. She's been there, done that and recovered, and every good soul in the country sighed with relief when they heard about it.

Maybe it's time to ask, what makes us lap-up articles about such a bad role-model? Because Britain adores it. The introduction of such icons in the 60's produced National treasures such as Mick Jagger and James Dean. More contemporary youth treasures include the likes of Pete Doherty and of course, Winehouse. There is something so infuriating about someone with an extrodinary amount of talent, who in the words of many middle aged mothers, 'Throws it all away', and the youth love it. They don't want to be like her, but they want to channel her rebellious spirit and style. It's a bonus that she is one of her time's most iconic singers.

Admit it, that little bad side of you finds the mental image of Amy Winehouse appearing dancing topless in front of an audience of posh worrier mums very, very funny.

Originally published at

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Janelle Monae - Many Moons

Apart from sounding suspiciously like the 'Mona The Vampire' theme tune, I think Janelle could be one of the most refreshing things since Febreze and her dancing... Wow. I'm already signed up to her fanclub. If Michael was still alive, he would be proud.

The Covers That if I could hear, I would die a happy man


In For The Kill - Estelle
Funhouse - La Roux
Fascination - Bloc Party
The Girl You lost to Cocaine - The Mystery Jets
9 to 5 - Daft Punk
Bulletproof - Lily Allen
Just Dance - Ida Maria
Dance Wiv Me - Little Boots and Jamie T
Cassius - CSS
Mykonos - The Magic Numbers
Standing In The Way Of Control - Basement Jaxx
Umbrella - Laura Marling
Little Secrets - Florence + The Machine

Another Elly.. Ellie Goulding

I finally have a newcomer to watch, Ellie Goulding. Her name almost rhymes with Laura Marling and has about the same number of letters, but this girl sings Polly Scattergood landscapes with Laura Marling's blissfull voice with Passion Pit's synth sophistication. The combination is hardly a diva, actually a bit reminiscent of some of Avril Lavigne's downbeat songs, which can be a bit of a flannel dampener. Forgeting the flannel, her music is beautiful folksy electro, a pudding (desert to you americans) to Goldfrapp's 'Seventh Tree'. Try it;

However much I love Passion Pit, I never liked 'Sleepyhead'. It sort of reminded me of the voices that people hear in their heads just before they decide to massacre a school because 'They Don't Like Mondays.' Nice little Boomtown Rats homage there...
This rework with Starsmith is the business, and gives Ellie the upbeat sound she lacked a wee bit;

Friday, 21 August 2009

Drumming Song (Jackbeats remix)

It seems like anything Jackbeatz touch at the moment turns to gold, this is another good example;


In For The Kooks / Don't stop being bulletproof

Amazing Mashup mix here, a little bit of the Roux and a wee bit of Kooks. It actually genuinely sounds amazing, could almost be a duet!

Oh and heard the next one on Annie Mac, this is going to be huge! The Jackbeats have been climbing over unsuspecting tracks this summer and this sounds really funky, but with a distinct innocent touch;

Monday, 17 August 2009

Mini Viva

Disco smash? I'm a big fan of the Fred Falke remix, specifically for the lack of vocals in that version. I Love the overall composition of the song, especially the Japanese chorus intro, and I'm sure this'll be a hit. I was not at first a fan of the vocals, but I'm not going to lie, they've grown on me. There are times this week where I think I might not be able to get up in the morning if it wasn't for this song...

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Drumming Song

Florence's most dramatic single yet, Drumming Song is ready to be belted on to radio stations up and down the country, and actually gave me shivers when I heard it first. There is also something extraordinarily catchy about the repeated "Louder than cirens, louder than bells, sweeter than heaven, but harder than hell."

The video was filmed in Shoreditch church, and is not as exiting as her previous videos, but I respect it for toning down a wee bit!