I didn't think she could do it. Call Me Maybe is so catchy, has a gay video hook and has been blasted to shit by Facebook memes and not-quite-there Twitter jokes. Even Abercrombie and Fitch have forced their square-headed till bitches to base a YouTube commercial for them around it. (Beats getting fisted in a Bret Easton Ellis novel).
She's done it. Here it is. Carly Rae Jepsen has a new song:
It's summery, it's catchy, it's called Good Time. Obviously not as good as Kelis Good Stuff. It sounds a bit like Call Me Maybe. It's a collaboration with Owl City. I don't know their music, I think I just told myself three years ago Owl City are like Metro and Scouting For Girls and everything else you hear in the supermarket.
It won't have the online resonance of Call Me Maybe, but Good Time isn't a bad song. It's a bit Katy Perry. It's a bit Clare's Accessories. It's a good time. Sort of.
What do you think?
This time it's chill out techno number Pineapple Crush by Lone that Azealia Banks has decided to chatter over. Very 90s infused, a tad too hair salon waiting area for my liking, here it is:
It's the kind of sound Armand Van Helden was trying to revive in 2007. Proper good, porny house music. You can almost imagine Azealia Banks rapping over this too. Oh god, do you think Azealia is going to cover every single dance song going, like an epic worldwide rap version of playground game stuck-in-the-mud. Check this out:
And here's the Azealia Banks version of Pineapple Crush. I found it this morning via 1883 magazine. The song is called Liquorice, which is no doubt something to do with sex and race and other hip things that I don't understand. Azealia's quite lax about the N word on this one too. Is she repossessing a hate word, turning it into a good thing, or does she just want to sound like other rappers? Tina Fey wouldn't be impressed:
I'm not sure if I like the Liquorice video that much? Clearly it cost a lot more money than the 212 video, but it achieves less. 212 has a raw, cheeky simplicity. Azealia's personality comes across on 212, there's almost a sense of "Look Mum! I'm on the telly!", and it's wrapped in a certain monolithic chic that makes it stand out.
This new video for Liquorice is big budget, visually demanding and in parts boring. Azealia's cheekiness is more of a glowing ember lost amongst Brokeback Mountain panorama and loose linen. Elements of it are really fun, like when she stands on this horse-mounting box brandishing a baseball bat:
But what on earth is Azealia doing here. It looks like Katy Brand doing a parody of Kelly Rowland doing a life insurance advert:
Azealia's rapping is a little bit jibberish too, It has an improv kind of MC vibe to it, which is fine, but I quite like rappers who tell a bit more of a story. I much prefer her track 1991 and wish that was a fully-fledged single with a video.
Azealia Banks is being marketed as a pop star but she's more like a trainee rapper writing her name across the top of other peoples' homework. I've no problem with this. It's cool that she can slide these dance tracks under the door - and at a time when pop music is thoroughly boring, and we're talking mega boring. Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj are pumping out indistinguishable records. Tonnes of urban artists have turned to making shit mainstream dance. Gay bars in London are shamelessly playing laughably crap records by One Direction and Bruno Mars. So in that sense Azealia Banks is a more-than-welcome Trojan horse.
Azealia is young, she has an interesting personality, her Twitter feed is bonkers, she's on the pulse and she makes for compulsive viewing. It would be great if she covered a dance track fortnightly from now until death. She'd be able to rack up 50 hits in just two years! Nobody in clubs listen to the lyrics anyway, she could just use the same rap like a signature dish.
Moving away from chart music, and diving back into the depths of YouTube. I'm obssessed with this song and video. I can't even work out what it's called. Egyptrixx:
And, isn't this just the scariest music video ever. Seriously, watch it in the dark on full screen and wait to be terrified:
“Looks like it’s going to be an intimate one this evening” murmurs Kitti Ménage darkly. We’re in the basement of that junction diner near Old Street that looks like it just landed out of a hurricane. Neon signs flickering, badly applied lipstick, the B52s playing dominoes in one corner etc.
We’re here to see Das Kitten, the postcamden electro-pop duo who feature in the current issue of Gay Times. Here they are:
Donning the stage in translucent sheets rimmed with synthetic flowers, the band unveil themselves to reveal toned thighs bustling out of cock-squashing shorts, loose tunic tops and novelty sunglasses. Their costume designer Patience Harding is at the show and cannot help smiling a little at the results of her genius. The band look like henchmen of an impossibly gay dictator, or perhaps nightclub promoters on a package holiday in Hades. It’s a strong look:
The costumes are identical but the Kittens offer a perpendicular twin-set of two very different spectacles. It's like they’re finalists in a lookalike contest for someone only they can see. Watching Tom Cat sing is like watching a young Neil Tennant put on a play for his university German seminar. There are elements of mime acting, story-telling and a very visible protectiveness over the core emotions of each song.
Meanwhile watching Kitti Ménage is like witnessing a live Derek Jarman porno starring Stamper from Tomorrow Never Dies. He bulldozes his way fantastically inelegantly across foreign solo sections, tempo changes and rapid fire wordplay, then around unexpected corners he surprises the audience with sudden flourishing spirals of sensitivity. Combined with the shorts, it’s Tom of Finland doing New Romantics and it’s very watchable:
The band play six songs. Furry Kind of Fun, 9 Lives, Get In My Eurozone, Ready To Love, Popstar and Anything More.
Furry Kind of Fun is a good opener, it's upbeat, it sets the scene and it clears a space for gay culture to accomodate the imminent trail of never-ending cat puns that Das Kitten are about to deliver.
9 Lives is a strong pop song and is the most take-home tune of the night. Get In My Eurozone is fittingly ruined by three drunkards in suits who start shouting along at the back turning it into a kind of underground socio-political Macarena.
For Popstar Kittie Ménage sits in the wings and a guitarist is brought on. The guitar solo, played by Jamie Travis, gives the song a sexual edge in a similar fashion to Kate Bush’s And So Is Love or even Skin by Rihanna. If only the guitarist was in costume too though. A jock-strap and a crown of plastic flowers next time please boys.
Closing number Anything More features the rather daunting line “Some people are satisfied with a certain kind of life, but I will always back down and take it like your wife.” The duo leave the venue with the synths still rolling behind, a popular trick for East London electro show ponies as seen with bands like Your Distant Family and Fuck Buttons.
Have a listen to Anything More here. It's really good:
Listen to 9 Lives here:
Das Kitten could easily hold the attention of a larger audience. They’ve got the look, they’ve got the sound, they can write songs and they’ve managed to scratch themselves a patch on London’s underground music scene already.
With bigger gigs and bigger flames in their YouTube hot air balloon Das Kitten could make it as a fully fledged niche electro act with a record contract. But there’s a hint of more potential lingering too. They need to focus on their songwriting talent and pen themselves a killer hit, something to lead their current repertoire that condenses their sound into an atomic, possibly eponymous, song. And with that, the capes, the legs and the cat claws – they could plan a pop invasion. It’s a tall order though.
There's always Eurovision to fall back on.