Monday, 24 October 2011

Romania's Revenge

If you hadn't noticed, the title of this post is a very witty pun on the popular record 'Roman's Revenge' by Nicki Minaj.

But that's not important. What is important is the Romanian Top 100, and that is what the following few paragraphs will attempt to dissect, if not particularly at length, then at least in an affected whimsical manner. 'Here', as they say, 'we go'.

There's a new entry at Number 83 for Alexandra Stan and Carlprit and it is called 'One Million'. What would be good would be if Carlprit married former German tennis star Michael Stich, opening up the possibility of him changing his name to Carlprit Stich. Anyway, the song itself starts off as a carbon copy of Sean Da Paul and Alexis Jordan's 'Got 2 Luv U' before morphing into a sort of Nadia Oh-esque masterpiece, especially in the chorus, which is as follows: "Milli-million, milli-million, milli-milli-milli-milli-milli-million (repeat to infinity)". Amazing.

Rihanna climbs to 66 with 'We Found Love' in the week that its ever so slightly publicised video was released. It's one of the best of the year, much like the song itself which - and this is just a hunch - is probably going to be enormous right through Christmas and the New Year. Again, just a hunch, but 'you heard it here first'.

There's a song with the refrain "Get a life, get a life, get a life; why don't you take my life, take my life, take my life" - incredible - that smoothly segues into Mory Kanté's 'Yé ké yé ké' - again, incredible - at Number 63. Apparently (well, factually), it's called 'Get A Life' and is by Nick Kamarera and Alinka.

Guess Who? No, really, Guess Who. Oh, that was a funny little wheeze. The rapper Guess Who, of 'Tot Mai Sus' 'fame', has leant his vocals to Grasu XXL's 'Lala Song' which has soared over recent weeks to a current position of 42. Much like out of date sweet and sour chicken, it's a bit funky - the important difference being that 'Lala Song' shouldn't be thrown in the bin, and nor will it give you the runs. It's good, basically.

All of which means... Well, not much. But in unrelated news DJ Antoine's genuinely abhorrent 'Welcome To St. Tropez' has earnt itself a second week at Number One. Following on from last week, here's some more of the lyrical pearls on offer in the most popular song in the whole of Romania right now.

"Imported linen, Egyptian cotton; the party just started, the party ain't stoppin'; keep shit poppin', poppin' these bottles; haters keep hatin', fuckin' these models; so much money like we own the lotto; pull up to a club in a white Murcielago"

In further unrelated news, the Euro is on the brink of collapse. Here is this week's Top 10:

10 (5) Andra - 'Telephone' FANDRASTIC (FANTASTIC)
9 (10) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona TUNE
8 (14) Mishelle - 'Only You' feat Randi REALLY QUITE PLEASANT
7 (9) Dan Balan - 'Freedom' WOULD WIN EUROVISION
6 (7) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' LUMPEN
5 (8) Alexinno - 'Senorita' feat Starchild WHY?
4 (4) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga CLASSY
3 (3) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony PITBULL'S FINEST HOUR
2 (2) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl'
1 (1) DJ Antoine - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna BLOODY HELL

And that's all you're getting. Except...
  • Nick Kamarera's sister has married one of the richest men in Romania. It really is amazing what you can find out just by putting someone's name into Google News. 'Congratulations' to 'all concerned' and so on and so on.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Real Music: The People Speak (Their Branes)

Bad news everybody. It turns out that popstars aren't the only ones babbling on about Real Music.

But who exactly, other than the aforementioned popstars, is attempting to to do so, and without a hint of irony? Well, short of secretly recording strangers' conversations in the street (apparently you're not supposed to do that) the best way of finding out what The Public At Large are talking about is through Twitter. A Twitter search for "Real Music" will thus reveal just who is peddling the phrase and what they have to say about it. Well guess what? Most of them are idiots. Witness:

Can't get enough of @edsheeran No.5 Collaborations. Genuine songwriting, real musicSun Oct 23 14:32:17 via Mobile Web

The Ed Sheeran fan is probably the archetypal Real Music exponent. Their fandom is of a sort that has existed since the dawn of time. Ed not only bangs on about how Real he is, it's one of his core selling points. It kind of follows, then, that most of his fans seem to be pretty young, impressionable perhaps. Looking for validation. They might genuinely like the music and they might even fancy Ed but what's also very important is that it's Definitely Real - mainly because Ed says it is. Teenage girls up and down the UK are (presumably) currently lording it over their foolish One Direction-loving friends, much in the same way that 60 years ago they'd be sneering at people for listening to Chet Baker instead of Miles Davis. Or something. It's always happened and it always will. Only the smart ones grow out of it.

now onto some real music, The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses - ultimate..... oh cant wait till next year... loved those years of musicSun Oct 23 14:34:17 via Seesmic

The Stone Roses, in case you've forgotten, were the greatest band to ever have lived. Not only that, but they were Real; so Real in fact that the Realness of each individual member eventually became too much to be contained in the confines of the group, causing a cataclysmic split in October 1996. Last week, in a move to reassert the levels of their impenetrable Integrity, they reunited. This has clearly excited Brian McGuire, who'll presumably be at one of the lucrative comeback gigs that have been arranged for next year, and can't wait to bask in the visceral authenticity that will be on show.

Real music can connect with the universe at an emotional state no evil can penetrate.Sun Oct 23 13:09:29 via SocialOomph

No. No idea.

What happen to real music? Like the 90's music,That's when it was real!Sun Oct 23 12:42:10 via web


@foxyroxy08 Don't bother... Later with Jools was good if you sky+'d it - real musicSun Oct 23 12:28:48 via web

This tweet came in response to someone saying that X Factor wasn't very good this week. To be honest, it wasn't. But was Jools any better? He had on:

'Bon Iver' - 'Dung On Air' more like, right? Right.
Feist - She's no Kitty Brucknell.
Ben L'Oncle Soul - Quite good.
Lianne La Havas - Also quite good, in a New Boring kind of way.
Mastodon - What a racket.

So, categorically, X Factor was better than Jools. AS ALWAYS.

Aaw Harry is purrfect ? Aren't u directioners ADORABLE *sarcasm* get a life and listen to REAL music. JUSTIN IS MORE PERFECT @justinbieberSun Oct 23 12:14:34 via Twitter for iPhone

Well this is a new one. A Justin Bieber fan taking the Real Music high ground over One Direction fans.

And that last tweet just goes to show: Real Music isn't the sole property of Ed Sheeran and Stone Roses fans - it's just that of idiots. And this little exercise in bloggery only really serves to show just how many there are. If you're not constantly confronted by them then it can be easy to forget, but the world is well and truly full to the brim with buffoons. 'Food for thought' for you there.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Worst Number One Of 2011

And it hasn't even been released yet.

Bloody hell.

Some interesting points to note:

  • What was the point in enlisting a bunch of the UK's 'hottest' rappers and getting them to talk instead of rap? Ewan McGregor could have done that, and he could have done it a lot better.
  • What on earth is it all about? It seems to be taking cues from the likes of 'Born This Way' and 'Firework' - 'self-empowerment' 'anthems' - but misfires even more spectacularly than Katy Perry's breasts.
  • He might have an amazing name, but not all of The Kids in the UK actually listen to Dot Rotten. Chances are the vast majority have never heard him, nor listen to grime, in spite of whatever Tulisa believes.  
  • The idea of bringing in these up and indeed coming (in an elevator, in Ed Sheeran's case) young artists is presumably because they can 'speak' to the 'youth' of the nation. And maybe in a way, to some, they can, but what they actually say here (and in some cases elsewhere) is no less out of touch and detached from reality than the musings of your common or garden MP: naught but ridiculous platitudes about "job prospects" and "university places". The fact that said up and comers believe they know what they are talking about and are actually making some kind of serious statement just serves to underline their arrogance, rather than the common touch it leads them to believe they have.


Here are some of the 'lyrics'.

'Ed Sheeran':
We're torn between what's right and what's not
What's up, what's down

Yeah, that probably means something.

Ms Dynamite (!?):
Left or right, deep down, on top, full stops
Exclamation mark, punctuation

Well that probably doesn't, but still.

100%, straight A's, education
University, job prospects, lost objects

Oh. We're playing word association, aren't we.

Dot Rotten:
Repeat sentence, feel presence
Receive gestures

Gavin Henson, Ishin-denshin
Relieve pressures

Tinchy Stryder:
Seek freedom, seek vengeance
Be full of life, be vacant
Flee danger, be braver

Vengeance? There's a good bit here when Tinchy gets to say 'flee' like he sometimes does in other songs.

Be flamboyant, be rejected
Be loved, be neglected
See sense


Rizzle Kicks:
See properly, see poorly
See tarnished, see quality

This bit's about going to the opticians.

Ms Dynamite:
Be selfless, be careless
Be you, be them
Be anyone

Be affected by a split personality disorder?

'Ed Sheeran':
Be an enemy, be a friend
But beware


Mz Bratt:
A wise man appreciates the time on a cheap watch

"Yeah, that one really is profound, let's put it in."

Dot Rotten:
Somebody probably dreams of the bed that you sleep on

Yeah, you selfish git.

Tinchy Stryder:
Your voice
We're living in the land of opportunities

Hang on, wasn't Chipmunk banging on about "university, job prospects and lost objects" just a couple of minutes ago?

Wretch 32:
You can turn silver into gold with four coins

Again, another particularly concerted attempt at seeming profound, however if we're talking about a pound coin here then you could actually do it with just two coins (two 50 pence pieces). The extra two would just be unnecessary. But still, 'deep'.

So, all in all, an incredibly confusing mess of contradictory questions and demands and downright nonsense. Still, it's going to raise some money for Children In Need, and that's what it's all about, right? Right.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

What Have The Romanians Ever Done For Us?

Well, this, for one thing.

But more importantly they've also made lots of (some) great (fairly good) music recently for our delectation (to listen to). What better way to celebrate that fact than to look at and then attempt to make some kind of 'comment' on their charts? ("We genuinely don't know or care" - The World)

Well first of all (and surprisingly), Olly Murs is at Number 66 with 'Heart Skips A Beat'. So that's nice.

Continuing with palindromic numbers, this week's Number 55 is 'So Far So Good' by John Puzzle featuring Elise. It sounds a bit Turkish and is rather delightful - it is, one could say, pretty good. Directly ahead of it at Number 54 is Claudio Cristo and Tamy's 'Teach Me', which really is quite remarkable. That is to say that if you really try then you might be able to be moved by it enough to make some kind of remark about it. So after much thought, here is one: it's a bit generic.

Raluka's 'Out Of Your Business', which climbs from 12 to 11 this week, is an absolute corker and the song Pixie Lott wishes she could pretend to have co-written. If it was released properly in the UK it would be a Top 10 single and if you disagree you're just plain wrong. (And haven't noticed the similarities between it and Pixie's own 'All About Tonight', which Raluka knocks into a not only a proverbial cocked hat, but an idiomatic one too.)

Good news everyone: the superbilious 'Smiley' has been dethroned. Apologies for that rather dodgy neologism, but at times like this it's easy to get caught up in the excitement.You know, now that he's left the top spot there's no more need to talk about him. And no more need for this picture:

However, in a further attempt to inflict pain on the good people of Romania he has passed on his crown of solid beige (thanks for that Peter) to the maker of a song that's possibly just as contemptible as 'Dream Girl'. Basically it's 'Welcome To St. Tropez'. Let's have a look at some of the witty bon mots on offer in what stands to reason to be DJ Antoine's finest work to date.

"Mad bitches, so much brought; spendin' like when I wanna fuck them all; get mad brain in my very fast car; Ferrari v12 Maranello on my arm; ladies can't resist the charm; haters, kiss the ring of the Don; and we do this all day, welcome to Saint Tropez."

Truly, we seem to be reaching The End Of Days. Regardless, the perfunctory blog must go on. There's actually one new entry in this week's Top 10 and if that's not something to get excited about then lord knows what is.

10 (11) Liviu Hodor - 'Sweet Love' feat Mona V GOOD
9 (9) Dan Balan - 'Freedom' A 'GROWER' (TECHNICAL TERM)
8 (7) Alexinno - 'Senorita' feat Starchild POINTLESS
7 (6) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' NO THANKS
6 (5) Rihanna - 'Man Down' A COD-PIECE OF ART
5 (8) Andra - 'Telephone' NOT A COVER; STILL GOOD
4 (2) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga A CUT ABOVE
3 (4) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony A MONUMENTAL TUNE
2 (1) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl' BLAH BLAH ET CETERA
1 (3) DJ Antoine - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna A TRAVESTY 

And that, 'unfortunately', is that. Except...
  • Elena Gheorghe dreamt about falling pregnant, and then fell pregnant! Not sure that's really how it works, but nonetheless congratulations and so on.
  • And Inna turned 25 on Sunday. Banal, but then sometimes banal can be nice, right? Right. Just not on this occasion.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Facts* Of Pop: No. 1 - Busted Caused Landfill Indie

Busted were to blame for Landfill Indie. This is a fact*.
    In September 2002 Busted released their debut single, 'What I Go To School For', and it went straight in at Number 3. The following years saw them experience huge success, right up until their split in January 2005. The likes of Son Of Dork and The Noise Next Door tried, but ultimately failed, to fill the gap they left and that, seemingly, was that.

    Only a few months after the split The Kooks had their first Top 40 hit with 'Eddie's Gun' (?), and a year after that they had become a major commercial proposition along with countless others including but not limited to Razorlight, Hard-Fi, The Courteeners, The View, The Twang (remember them?), The Fratellis, The Wombats, The Enemy, The Pigeon Detectives and Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong. Actually maybe not Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong but you get the idea.

    And why did this happen? Well it follows (or seems to follow) that fans of Busted during their pomp - 10-14 year olds - were, by 2007 - probably the height of Landfill - aged 14-18. Thanks to Charlie and co they had decided that they wanted guitars in their pop music and, being slightly older, had also decided that they didn't want to be told it was pop music, even though that's exactly what it was. It's the kind of training school hipster philosophy that Radio 1 employ to this day.

    Thankfully, that period has long since passed, proving itself to be something of an ephemeron (yes, 'ephemeron'). A new generation of teenagers have arrived and, like most previous ones, are, in the main, pop fans. Even if pop now means Guetta House. Hurrah.

    *Not a fact per se, or even a fact at all, but apparently it's good to be assertive with these kind of things so that's what's it's going to be. If you like, it could also be elaborated on to explain the even more fleeting mainstream popularity of emo. Or, conversely, not.

      Tuesday, 11 October 2011

      De De De De Do, De De De De Do, De De De De Do; This Is Romania

      Yes, the enthusiasm to write up this rundown thing is still just about there. Trundling ever on then:

      There's a track at Number 63 called 'Come Again' sung by a lady called Kamelia. It's rather unremarkable, if competent, fare - certainly not a patch on 'See It In A Boy's Eyes' - but it's definitely good to have her back after her accidentally hilarious appearances on all those panel shows (and, weirdly, The Fairy Jobmother).

      'Only You' by Mishelle and Randi (not the one who debunks psychics) rebounds from 14 to 11 and is rather good indeed. It's got the contemporary Romanian, Play & Win sound, yet sounds a lot more like an actual song than the majority of the output of the majority of the 'artistes' utilising it. This is in part due to its comparatively sparse arrangement, but, let's be honest, it's not a hard contrast to achieve when the likes of Alexandra Stan are pretty much bludgeoning you round the head with a saxophone. PRETTY MUCH.

      Don't know if you've noticed, but a lot of Romanian videos consist of naught but a pretty girl waltzing around, clad in what can only be described as 'a scanty fashion'. It's none too taxing, and presumably enjoyable if you like That Sort Of Thing, but it does a disservice to the countless great minds working behind the camera. They can do better. When it came to making the video for Crush and Alexandra's 'I Need You More' (this week's Number 19), a director was finally given the opportunity to show the world what they can do. The result is high concept stuff.

      Well, that is to say it's impenetrable. Various people, predominantly couples, are shown in a variety of settings (The Club, outside The Club, dancing but not at The Club). Simple enough. But the crux of the thing is that they all hold up some kind of LED flashcard with some nonsense slogan on. "FASHION VICTIM", says one. Another has "", the symbol for infinity. Neither have any relevance to the song. All that's really sure is that it's all about having a Good Time, and at the end of the day, isn't that we all et cetera et cetera. (Oh, and the song's not bad, rather lovely in fact, with a slight whiff of 'Canon In D' and a smattering of those Supertramp sounds that David Guetta is so fond of. What an unnecessarily long 'review'.)

      And now, the bad news: 'Smiley' remains at Number One for the fourth week. However, the good news: the Radio Killer remix makes 'Dream Girl' slightly more palatable. But only slightly. Something still must be done. People of Romania: the world knows your pain. We're sending help. But first of all, you've got to help yourself. Do whatever you can - hide his CDs in shops, anything. Together we can end this plague.

      Perhaps you could even put the above poster in your window. Just a thought. Here's the rather stagnant Top 10:

      10 (9) Pitbull - 'Give Me Everything' feat Ne-Yo etc GIVE ME STRENGTH
      9 (5) Dan Balan - 'Freedom' A 'WORK' 'IN PROGRESS'
      8 (10) Andra - 'Telephone' 100% GOOD 
      7 (8) Alexinno - 'Senorita' feat Starchild BORING
      6 (6) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' ONE PITBULL IS ENOUGH
      5 (7) Rihanna - 'Man Down' RUM-PA-PA-PUM (GOOD)
      4 (4) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony AY-AY-AYMAZING
      3 (3) DJ Antoine - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna CONTEMPTIBLE
      2 (2) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga WONDERFUL
      1 (1) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl' DEATH TO SMILEY

      And that should cover everything. Except...
      • 'Smiley' looks a bit like Dane Bowers, doesn't he? Not as good though.
      • And Andra had to cancel a gig due to a sprained ankle. Apparently a UK popstar had a similar problem recently but it was barely mentioned and so his or her name is proving rather elusive. Nope. No idea who it was. Shame.

      Tuesday, 4 October 2011

      What Exactly Do The Romanians Think They're Playing (At)?

      Well, this, for one thing.

      But that's not as important as the music they're playing. That is what this blog will investigate.

      First of all, a change: it seems that while the potentially made up Charly 1300 charts might have some basis in fact, the actual official Top 100 can be found here, and so that is the one that will be used here henceforth. Hurrah. As such, the composition of this week's chart is markedly different to last week's. Not that it really matters. So:

      Liviu Hodor's 'Sweet Love' (featuring Mona, of Craig McLachlan and indeed Check 1-2 fame) is up 10 places to 15, and has an accordion in it. Actually it might be a harmonica but you just never know these days. It's rather good.

      At Number 29 is Play & Win's 'Ya BB'. A former Number One, Wikipedia reliably informs that it "was the most broadcasted song on the Romanian radios for 16 weeks". It's not really all that amazing, but given that they're the masterminds (or maybe just minds) behind Inna, then it'd probably be fair to let them off. But only once.

      At Numbers 21 and 20 there's an Inna and Alexandra Stanwich with 'Un Momento' and 'Get Back (ASAP)'. Not overly remarkable, but what a pun hey? Actually that wouldn't be a sandwich, would it? It'd just be two slices of bread. But what bread.

      'Tell Me Why', by Amna, is notable for having a beat that in parts sounds not only a bit like 'I Feel Love', but also rather oompah-ish. She's not the world's greatest singer, but she does wield both a saxophone AND an accordion. Amazing? Amazing. It's at Number 22.

      Unfortunately, there's upsetting news at the top of the chart: Smiley's Number One. In fact, he's been at the top of this chart for two weeks. Something must be done. If you're reading this and you are Romanian (Blogger stats suggest that's unlikely) then please, this is your duty - do something about it. Protests at parliament, petitions to your president, whatever - Romania must be ridden of this plague.

      Anyway, here is the Top 10 in full, replete with 100% accurate and hilarious assessments.

      10 (11) Andra - 'Telephone' PROPERLY GREAT
      9 (10) Pitbull - 'Give Me Everything' feat Ne-Yo etc NE-YO'S QUITE GOOD
      8 (5) Alexinno - 'Senorita' feat Starchild BIT BORING
      7 (6) Rihanna - 'Man Down' GOOD
      6 (8) Lucky Man Project - 'Pumpin'' ROMANIAN PITBULL
      5 (4) Dan Balan - 'Freedom' NEEDS WORK
      4 (7) Pitbull - 'Rain Over Me' feat Marc Anthony A TRIUMPH
      3 (3) DJ Antoine - 'Welcome To St. Tropez' feat Kalenna DEPRESSING
      2 (2) Guess Who - 'Tot Mai Sus' feat Marius Moga MARVELLOUS
      1 (1) 'Smiley' - 'Dream Girl' HOW HAS THIS HAPPENED

      'And that', as somebody presumably says, 'is your lot'. Except... 
      • Smiley has won 4 Romanian Music Awards. This may or may not have happened recently but it was probably just some kind of mistake anyway so it doesn't matter. 
          • And it turns out that the Inna and Alexandra Stanwich was not only devoid of any filling, but also happened not this week, but last. Apologies to all concerned.