Monday, December 22, 2008

Hallelujah! Christmas number 1 and 2

In the UK there is always this big hooha about who will be 'the Christmas number one'. This year it is the beautiful Leonard Cohen track of the very appropriate name 'Hallelujah' (which some people will know as 'the Shrek song', strangely enough)

Not only is it number one though, but also number two. The version that is topping the charts is the version from Alexandra Burke, the winner of this year's X-Factor. Whilst the number two spot is held by the 1994 Jeff Buckley version of the song. I have always been a fan of the Jeff Buckley version. It's like the raw emotion is dripping off that one. So haunting and so beautiful.

I once had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Buckley at Glastonbury festival and- like everyone else- his strange and untimely death came as a huge shock to me. He drowned in 1997 at the age of 30. The world lost a great and honest talent on that sad day. But I'm thrilled to see that a new generation of music lovers is discovering Jeff Buckley's music again.

Alexandra's version of the track is good too & with a performance like that, how could she not win the competition?

Sadly enough, they wouldn't let me embed the Jeff Buckley version. You actually will have to go to Utube to watch it:

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

No internet connection...

Hi all,

Well, we've moved house, but the internet connection there is not working yet. We are waiting for it to be fixed, but God knows how long it will take. We've been told 2 to 3 weeks, with no definate date (in never know)

So, my extremely slack blogging of late will continue for a while longer. My appologies.

I will be blogging properly again in 2009.

Love, Simone

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Is Coldplay's 'Viva la Vida' a rip-off?

Thanks to James Hyman for forwarding me this Utube link. Pretty convincing stuff, I'm afraid. So my bet is that this will cost Coldplay a lot of money as Viva la Vida does sound almost exactly like Joe Satriani's 'If I could fly'.

On the other hand, alternative band Creaky board also accused Coldplay of ripping off parts of Viva la vida from their track 'Songs I didn't write' (that title sounds almost like a piss-take of the situation, doesn't it?)

Creaky Boards later retracted the accusations and now speculate that both songs may have been inspired by the video game The Legend of Zelda (do you think they were given something to retract their claim?)

Click here to hear the comparison between those & more 'songs that sound like other songs'.

I actually believe that people do this stuff by accident. They start humming a melody they have heard somewhere, somehow & they think it's their own idea. It just has this 'familiar feel' to it (which is normally a good thing when you write a song). And- even when they aren't 100% sure that is an original idea- when they run it by other people and ask them if they've ever heard it before, those people all say no. Because the original is quite obscure. So, before you know it, you've ripped someone off. When you rip someone off knowingly, you make enough little changes to your song so no one can sue you (something Noel Galagher, for instance, is a star at ; )

Please tell me your verdict. Guilty or not?

Friday, December 05, 2008

BBC's Best of 2009 list is out. And it is brilliant!

Fifteen of the best rising music stars have been announced as the longlist for the BBC's Sound of 2009.

The list is designed to find the best up-and-coming acts for the coming year, with the winner to be named in January.

More than 130 of the UK's leading music critics and broadcasters named their favourite new acts, and the 15 with the most votes have made the longlist.

Adele triumphed at number one in Sound of 2008, followed by Duffy, The Ting Tings and Glasvegas.

To see and hear the 2009 list, click here

I've checked out all the acts and think most of them are really good. Still, let me pick my favorite three & share them with you here. They are the most pop and the most catchy of the list, I think. It is possible that after several listens, I may start to prefer others that simply take longer to grow on you. But this is my list as it stands. Please let me know which of the list are your personal favorits. I'm curious to know.

Frankmusik: Dance singer, remixer and all-round whizz-kid Vincent Frank creates high-energy robopop in which fast neon beats jump out of '80s-tinged tunes.

Frank has remixed tracks for the likes of Mika, Radiohead and CSS. His debut album, Complete Me, has been co-produced by Stuart Price, who has worked with The Killers, Madonna and Keane.

Currently the hottest new hip-hop artist in the US, Kid Cudi has signed to Kanye West's label, features on the star's new album and has been supporting him on tour.

Just Dance - Lady GaGa

New York party princess Lady GaGa is making waves in the US, where her infectious top 10 single Just Dance has just been nominated for a Grammy for best dance recording. She has also written songs for Britney Spears, Pussycat Dolls and New Kids on the Block.

So, that's my (pop) list. Do also check out Temper Trap, La Roux, Passion Pit, Florence & the machine, and Master Shortie. As I said, the whole list is great. The BBC rocks yet again!