Something weird about La La Land

Has anyone else noticed a very strange and increasing phenomenon in the world of showbusiness and celebrity? It can be found in the comment sections (if they are still allowed) of any story carried by the mainstream media involving stories about the biggest ‘stars’ and films.

Increasingly there is a huge disparity between the often gushing praise lavished upon the star by the journalist writing the piece and the members of the public commenting below.

I’ve been noticing this trend for quite a while now (as I always head to the comments section on any story before actually reading the article) and it was spectacularly demonstrated with the recent release of ‘La La Land’. Continue reading “Something weird about La La Land”

A New Age of Enlightenment?

It’s been quite amusing watching the various back-slapping ceremonies taking place recently. Granny Meryl kicked it off with her finger-wagging lecture at the Golden Globes, and since then we’ve had a tsunami of ‘celebrity’ opinions on everything from the refugee crisis to Global warming.

Last night pop luminary, Katy Perry, gave us her view on Trump and Theresa May, while singing her latest ditty ‘Chained to the rhythm’ (with its monotonous repeating of the words ‘on and on and…’)

She is certainly embracing her new role as some kind of musical Che Guevara and her new cause is apparently pushing her new ‘purposeful pop’ to the masses…which probably explains the severe lack of words in her songs. Sadly her ‘puppet show’ gimmick was as throwaway as her music. The public (well those over 25) aren’t buying into it anymore. We’ve all seen through the increasingly tawdry façade of celebrity. Continue reading “A New Age of Enlightenment?”

Stevie Wonder was once young too…

When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby talk, when in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture death is a clear possibility. – Neil Postman

I’ve always found it hard to see an older person and imagine them as being young. It can be shocking to look back at photographs of your grandparents as fresh, smooth-faced teenagers and young adults and correlate those images with the lined, ‘lived-in’ face of the people we know now. Continue reading “Stevie Wonder was once young too…”

I apologise…

In a week where ‘pop star’ Lily Allen apologised to an Afghan refugee ‘on behalf of our country’ I feel that it’s only fair that I apologise to the city of Detroit and to the incredible legacy left behind it by the genius of Berry Gordy Jnr and Tamla Motown.

This weekend, Britain’s X-Factor is going to get its line-up of talentless starry eyed muppets to sing songs from the Motown back catalogue. Of course we’ll have the usual protestations of, “I’ve never ever heard this song” or “this song was way before my time” – blah blah blah. But, in reality, this week will completely expose these up and coming ‘stars’ for what they really are. Continue reading “I apologise…”

Who was or is the last diva?

In the 60s and 70s we were spoilt for choice with strong-voiced, soulful women – real divas like Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Diana Ross and Patti LaBelle.

Of course, in the 80s the charts continued to be dominated and blessed with ladies like Donna Summer, Randy Crawford and Chaka Khan.

We rolled into the 90s and those big voices were still in evidence – the diva flame being kept alight by the likes of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton.

However, as the millennium approached it seemed that the diva was at risk of extinction and over the past 20 years that threat seems to have become a sad reality.

What I’d like to know is who was your last diva? In my opinion is was between Whitney and Mariah but what do you think?

The invisible man

Terribly sad news that the writing genius – Rod Temperton has died aged only 66.

Although his name probably isn’t on the tip of most people’s tongues, he wrote some of the most iconic tunes of our time from Heatwave’s, ‘Boogie Nights & Always and Forever’, George Benson’s, ‘Give me the Night’, Michael McDonald’s, ‘Sweet Freedom’ right through to the global smashes for megastar Michael Jackson, ‘Rock with You’, ‘Off the Wall’, ‘The Lady in my life’ and of course, ‘Thriller’. Continue reading “The invisible man”

No autotune required

Of course our amazingly talented, power balladeering, shoulderpad-wearing divas of the 80’s and early 90’s were heavily influenced by the soul sisters of the 60’s and 70’s – women who could deliver a blistering, heart-wrenching performance without the need for writhing around up on stage almost naked or turning the air blue with profanity for attention; their sheer vocal talent was enough. These were days when the ladies we all looked up to didn’t have to go around covering one eye or flashing signs to Baphomet. Continue reading “No autotune required”

Repetitive songs

Of course, there have always been annoying and repetitive songs in our charts; the 80’s and 90’s certainly had there fair share of them, however, even the likes of Joe Dolce, Shaddup You Face or The Birdy Song never seemed to reach the execrable depths plumbed by today’s most hated tunes – tunes which literally burrow into your consciousness even if you desperately try to avoid them. The ironically titled, ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, manages to induce quite the opposite emotion in nearly everyone I know. Continue reading “Repetitive songs”

Music then…and now

It’s easy to look back – with rose-tinted specs firmly in place- and state that ‘things were so much better when I was a kid’.

However when this is said in relation to music I think this could be a fair assumption. Music lovers growing up through the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (and up until about 1996) were certainly fortunate indeed especially compared to the dross that fills our charts today.

I suppose it was the diversity of sound that completely sets these periods apart from today. There was something for everyone; not the big homogenous gloop of similar sounding tunes and voices that is dished out today. Continue reading “Music then…and now”