Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bottom Of The Barrel?

A novelty song by an ex-"Big Brother" contestant, whose lasting legacy was her ability to jiggle her flabby buttocks, may be construed by some as scraping the bottom of the musical barrel. Well, I really couldn't give a fuck when the bottom of the barrel sounds this good! Sara-Marie Fedele might be best remembered for her "erotic" bum dancing or possibly for having a breast lift on national television but these stunning accomplishments pale in significance to her contribution to the Australian music industry.

Sara-Marie featured on the first season of Australian "Big Brother" in 2001 and developed a cult following for her outrageous behaviour. When she was finally evicted from the house, some bright spark threw a record contract her way - despite Sara's complete and utter lack of musical talent. The resulting single, a dance cover of the Pointer Sisters' classic "I'm So Excited", should have been unbearably awful. The single version, which includes Sara-Marie calling out "bum dance" instructions, was terrible in a memorable sort of way. However, the "bum dance" free mix that I have uploaded is a trashtastic classic. In fact, listening to the song now, I can't help feeling that Sara missed her calling.

Sadly, Sara-Marie's trash classic is not available on iTunes. It might be worth keeping an eye on Australian Ebay for a physical copy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Gay Pimp Is My Hero

I know I must sound like a broken record but I find the new wave of gay pop acts unbearably shit. This is not open for discussion. Darren Hayes is a personality free zone, Will Young is a complete waste of space, Anthony Callea is a repulsive dwarf, Mika is a fugly hypocrite who wont even confirm that he's into cock and I really couldn't give a flying fuck about Rufus Wainwright, his cunt sister or his well hung German boyfriend. After the fabulous heights scaled by Pete Burns, Boy George and Paul Parker in the 1980s - how did it come to THIS? Thankfully, there is still one gay artist who makes brilliant pop music and actually has something to say. His name is Jonny McGovern and I worship the dirty, gay ground he walks on.

Jonny is probably best known as the Gay Pimp, the dashing superstar homosexual behind youtube classics "Soccer Practice" and "Lookin' Cute, Feelin' Cute". Mr McGovern started his career as a stand up comic before unintentionally revolutionising gay pop as we know it. The genius which "Soccer Practice" and "Lookin' Cute, Feelin' Cute" display is really quite dazzling. The Gay Pimp character is a human banner that screams "fuck you" to the multitude of gangster rappers who perpetuate homophobia in their lyrics. Jonny uses a medium known for its intolerance, turns it inside out and creates a queer utopia. Moreover, he has crafted two shining pop gems that work just as well without their hilarious videos. This is what, in my opinion, separates Jonny from other internet "celebrities". Behind the amusement lies one hell of a gifted songwriter.

In case you are the one gay who still hasn't seen the video for "Soccer Practice", brace yourself for one of the best pop songs of the decade!


The follow up "Lookin' Cute, Feelin' Cute" is an even bolder political statement. I can't emphasise how important it is to hear a gay man sing lyrics like "We can't get married but that's ok, we like to fuck too much anyway". It's not only amusing but it packs one hell of a punch. Unlike Darren Hayes and Elton John, who bleat on about their crappy gay marriages, Jonny says "fuck you and your hetero customs" and personally, I couldn't agree more. Don't even get me started on the fabulous Gayboy Bunnies or the dirty, gay breakdown. Respect!


After taking a brief leave of absence, Jonny returned earlier this year with a hot new song and recently released his second album "Gays Gone Wild". The sound is distinctly harder and more dance orientated but the humour is still there and Jonny's knack for touching on important gay issues remains uncanny. Songs like "Girl, I Fucked Yo' Boyfriend", "Bossy Bottom" and "Don't Fall In Love With A Homo" are musical snapshots of gay life in all its fucked up glory. One of my favourites is "Electroboy". What's not to like about a song that begins with the words "your asymmetrical haircut is making me hot"? I wasn't overly taken with the lead single "Something For The Fellas (That Like Fellas)" when I first heard it but it's a grower and the video is certainly memorable. I think the tranny rapper deserves her own album. What a fabulous bitch!


Here is a short clip of Jonny performing "Don't Fall In Love With A Homo" at a recent gay pride event. I wish I was there to worship the Gay Pimp in person!


I've uploaded "Soccer Practice" and an older version of "Electroboy", which was free to download from Jonny's website a couple of years ago.

The CD versions of these songs are much better quality and slightly remixed. "Soccer Practice" is available on Gay Pimp's first album "Dirty Gay Hits", which you can and should purchase here. The new and improved "Electroboy" can be found on Jonny's brilliant new album "Gays Gone Wild", which is available from iTunes and CD Baby. You can find out more about Jonny's music on his stunningly gay website.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sharing The Love Of Joanne Vol. 1

Very few songs manage to capture the zeitgeist for any length of time, let alone define a decade. Yet Joanne's classic hit "Jackie" exudes the 1990s with every craptastic beat. "Jackie" was released 1998 and eventually peaked at #3, becoming the highest selling Australian single of the year. At a time when grunge was still ubiquitous, Joanne chanting "Jack, Jack, Jackie" against a tacky dance beat was something of a revelation. "Jackie" remained a mainstay in gay nightclubs for almost a year and stayed on the charts for 30 weeks. In short, Joanne was Australia's leading camp diva while Kylie was finding herself over at Deconstruction and Dannii was more focused on upsizing her tits than releasing fabulous pop music. For that reason alone, Joanne deserves the love and respect of any serious pop trash fan!

In the aftermath of the "Jackie" phenomenon, Joanne was briefly considered to be the next big pop sensation. She released an amazing 6 singles from her debut album, all of which were minor hits. A couple of those songs have aged worse than Nick Nolte but most of them are still gleaming pop gems. "Jackie" was by far the biggest hit and still holds up a trashy delight almost 10 years later! I plan on revisiting all of Joanne's stunning pop releases over the next couple of weeks in the hope of enlightening the world (well, the 3 queens who read this Blog) to Joanne's fabulous contribution to Australian pop history. Stay tuned!

Joanne's music is still not available on iTunes, which is a complete disgrace! However, you should be able to find most of her releases on Australian Ebay. Give Joanne a cheap thrill and leave a message on her Myspace.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

When Tina Went POP!

I adore Tina Arena. I grew up watching her perform on Young Talent Time alongside my spiritual guide, Dannii Minogue, and have followed her career closely over the years. Few artists have tried as many styles and musical genres with as much success as Tina. She started out as yet another scantily dressed pop tart (who could ever forget the video for "I Need Your Body"?!) before staging one of the greatest comebacks in Australian musical history as a serious artiste with the staggeringly successful "Don't Ask". Tina's next album, "In Deep", was a concerted effort to appeal to the American adult contemporary market. That album tanked in comparison to "Don't Ask" and Tina decided that a pop makeover was in order. The resulting album, "Just Me", is an absolute delight. Of course it basically killed Tina's career but it lives on as Australian pop trash classic!

I should, and most probably will, devote a post to the entire album. "Just Me" is bursting with pop gems but I want to concentrate on the delicious "Soul Mate #9". I had my Ipod on shuffle last night and had a screaming POPgasm when Tina's fabulous anthem penetrated my ears. I was going to post a faux R'n'B remix but I don't think the world is ready for gansta Tina just yet! Anyway, the song is sublime in its original format. In fact, it's so good that it makes me more than a little sad to see what has happened to Tina in the years that followed. It is beyond shameful that an extraordinary talent like Tina was dumped by her label and had to flee to France in order to reinvent herself as the antipodean Celine Dion! I have my fingers crossed that Tina will drop those stinking French ballads, return to Australia and continue making fantastic pop music. I will be waiting at the airport with a "Welcome Home" banner!

You can purchase "Just Me" from iTunes, Chaos and Sanity. Oh, and check out the cute pic from Young Talent Time below. Tina is second from the left in the top row and that is the adorable Dannii Minogue on the left in the bottom row. They should hook up and record a duet!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sophie Monk Vs Roxane LeBrasse

Salt 'N' Pepa's "Push It" became gossip column fodder last week when it was announced that Sophie Monk and Australian Idol contestant, Roxane LeBrasse, had both recorded versions of the 80s rap classic. The "Push It" battle was really quite amusing at first. In a truly classy display, Sophie recorded the song to promote a new range of push up bras (pictured above), while Roxane's version was intended to launch her music career. Unfortunately, that plan came to a screeching halt when Universal Australia announced that they were scrapping Roxane's single due to the "unfair" competition.

Universal's response strikes me as being rather heavy handed. Firstly, the songs are completely different. Sophie's is a standard cover version, which is basically a poor excuse to wear as little as possible and gyrate like a whore. Roxane's "Sexy Girls", on the other hand, is not really a cover at all - it just samples "Push It". Then there is the fact that Sophie's rendition was never scheduled for a commercial release. As far as I can tell the song will be given away in stores selling the Monk push up bra. Universal should be sending Sophie a box of her favourite diuretics as a thank you for all the publicity instead of destroying Roxane's pop dream. You can read about the saga and watch a clip of Sophie's fantastically slutty video here. Roxanne's "Sexy Girls" is playing on her Myspace. I love Sophie but Roxane's song is vastly superior.

I guess it is back to the drawing board for poor Roxane. The woman deserves some good luck after suffering the indignity of finishing 9th on Australian Idol and then losing her record deal to a lingerie commercial! The shame is that Roxane's new material sounds fantastic. Anyone who still needs convincing should check out "I Ain't Playin'", a song she recorded with the Rockmelons way back in 2002. I think "I Ain't Playin'" is one of the group's best non-Deni songs. It was included on their album "Rockies 3".

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Australia's Secret Weapon - Brielle Davis

Are gays still banned from the military in this country? If Australia has finally moved out of the dark ages, I'd consider a (very brief) tour of duty if it meant being treated to a private performance by the lovely Brielle Davis! Brielle was recently selected to perform for Australian troops in the troubled city of Honiara in the Solomon Islands along with the Screaming Jets. I'd like to commend the army on their excellent taste - Brielle's recent single "Take It Off" is surely one of the year's best pop releases! I'm sure Brielle's stunning good looks had nothing to do with her selection...

Australian troops - mesmerised by Brielle's... vocal talent

Brielle is currently putting the finishing touches on her first pop album (she released a cute country album as a 12 year old). I still can't get enough of the first two singles, "Serial Thriller" and "Take It Off". Check out the film clip for "Take It Off", which I find particularly classy! Hopefully, Brielle will tell us all about her patriotic mission on her website and Myspace, which is showcasing another excellent new track called "Circles".

In other pop diva related news, Dannii is being stalked to appear on the second series of "Australia's Got Talent". Check out Dannii's Dirty Box for more information!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kate Miller-Heidke's Words

The Aus-pop marathon continues with the quirky Kate Miller-Heidke. Kate has built a devoted following and garnered some impressive hype over the past couple of years. Both of her independent EPs received considerable airplay and comparisons to Tori Amos and Kate Bush were thrown around like pills at a gay dance party. Personally, I think Kate sounds like a less commercial Gwen Stefani with a throat infection. I mean that as a compliment. Sort of.

With all the buzz surrounding Kate, it was only a matter of time before a major label signed her and Sony got in first. Kate's first single for Sony is the slightly demented "Words". I still can't decide if I love or hate the song but I have been playing it on high rotation since it was released a couple of weeks ago, so it guess I'm leaning towards the former. "Words" begins rather inauspiciously before turning into one of the strangest pop hits of the year. The frequent tempo changes combined with Kate's operatic voice and some bizarre backing vocals make for a unique listening experience. The song broke the trend of Aus-pop flops by actually reaching the top 50 of the Singles Chart and Kate has been promoting her new album on every TV show in Australia. I've included the Album Mix of "Words", which is slightly less immediate than the single mix.

Kate Miller-Heidke's debut album "Little Eve" is released today and can be purchased from Sanity, Chaos and iTunes. I have my eye on the two disc version. "Words" is also available from those stores. Check out the arresting video clip and visit Kate's Myspace for more information.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Remixed Slinkee Minx - Embrace The Gayness!

Slinkee Minx is yet another fine Australian pop act to release a single in the last couple of weeks. Sadly, most of these singles are already lining bargain bins. I have my fingers crossed that the lovely ladies from Slinkee Minx can build on their cult following and carve out their own little niche on the Australian music scene. Lord only knows it could use a little colour and movement - two qualities that the girls have buckets of!

Of all the current Australian girlbands, Slinkee Minx are probably the most trashy. I'm not referring to their sublime music but the actual group. That might sound nasty but I mean it as a sincere compliment. I will never forget a Slinkee Minx showcase at the Midnight Shift, which climaxed in the girls dragging a male blow-up doll on the stage and describing it as their prefect man. So classy! Thankfully, the band's music is just as much fun as their image. "Way Of Life" is the girls' 4th single but their first in two years. I actually preferred their recent club release, "Every Little Thing" (which can be heard on the band's Myspace) but that's not to say that "Way Of Life" isn't fabulous in its own right. The song is another simple but utterly infectious dance anthem. I like the KC Baker Radio Edit, which is slightly less cheesy than the standard version.

I've also been revisiting the group's earlier singles, their hit cover versions of "Summer Rain" and "Careless Whisper" - and their floptastic third single, "Someday". "Someday" might not have set the charts on fire but I still think it's fantastic. I've uploaded a radio edit by Moustache, an outfit that has already featured on Pop Trash Addicts this year in their own right. Hopefully, all of the singles will appear on Slinkee Minx's much anticipated (by me, anyway!) new album, which is titled "Electric Dreams" and is scheduled for release on the 28th of July.

"Way Of Life" is available for purchase from Chaos, Sanity and iTunes. "Someday" is still available from Chaos and the mixes can be downloaded from iTunes. Check out the band's website for more information.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Engelbert Humperdinck's Dance Album

I've decided to interrupt my recent posting spree of new Australian pop music to worship an album that has long been close to my heart. I don't think anyone will mind. If the overwhelming silence that greeted my posts on Cosima, Amy & Co is any indication, I assume you think they are a bunch of useless cunts anyway. And you could well be right. The same, however, can not be said for the subject of this post. Engelbert Humperdinck is a true legend (or so my mother tells me) and his dance album is one of the most delicious pop trash offerings of the last decade. Make no mistake, this album is cheesier than an unwashed cock dipped in fondue!

The most remarkable thing about Engelbert's dance experiment is the fact that the album is actually rather brilliant. Released in 1998, when Engelbert was a mere 62 years old, "The Dance Album" appears to be one of the first attempts to jump on Cher's "Believe" bandwagon. However, Engelbert's comeback as the undisputed king of the dancefloor took a slightly different approach. Firstly, he employed Chris Cox and Barry Harris to produce the whole album. Those names should be familiar to club queens because they are otherwise known as Thunderpuss and released a series of brilliant remixes for the likes of Whitney, Madonna and Britney in the late 1990s.

The album also differentiates itself from the other geriatric dance albums by mostly comprising of new, gayed-up versions of old hits. The dance re-makes of "Release Me" and "A Man Without Love" are truly sublime, while I never miss the opportunity to stun and amaze my guests by playing the glorious disco version of "The Last Waltz"! In addition revitalising several classic Humperdinck hits, the Thunderpuss boys also contribute four new songs. All of the new tunes make me moist but "Am I The Lover" is a craptastic masterpiece! Who wouldn't want to be serenaded by sexy Engelbert singing this anthem?! It's easy to dismiss "The Dance Album" as a gimmick or a tragic grasp for relevance by a fading star. However, it's much harder to ignore the album's enormous appeal or the overwhelming sense of fun that shines through each and every song.

"The Dance Album" can be purchased cheaply from Amazon and regularly turns up on Ebay.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Amy Pearson - Australia's Latest Pop Import

One of the few local pop acts to make any kind of impact on the Australian Singles Chart of late is Amy Pearson, who debuts this week at number 28 with her first single "Don't Miss You". I say "local" because Amy is signed to the Australian arm of Sony and has lived in the country for the past 4 years but she originally hails from the exotic town of Birmingham. The story behind Amy's immigration is really quite amusing. Amy's website proudly boasts that she was discovered by Take That's Gary Barlow, who was "impressed with her natural talent" and anticipated "a huge music career for her". I guess that's why no one in England was interested and she was shipped off to the pop music abyss that is Australia. However, it seems that Gary might have the last laugh because "Don't Miss You" is turning into quite a hit.

I'm not particularly overwhelmed with "Don't Miss You" but I understand its warm reception. The song is pleasant enough and stays firmly within the bounds of the pop/rock genre that currently dominates the charts. Amy reminds me somewhat of Kelly Clarkson - only Amy's not obese and her music isn't totally shit. Perhaps, Stacie Orrico would be a more flattering and appropriate comparison. The remixed version of "Don't Miss You" is only slightly different from the radio edit but has a distinct pop edge. It's taken a few listens but I'm rather taken with it now. I'll be interested to see which direction her upcoming album takes - if she's willing to embrace pop or would rather wallow in middle of the road rubbish like her mentor and his shit band of aging fuckwits.

Amy's single is available from Sanity, Chaos and iTunes. Check out Amy's Myspace for more information.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Suzy Ray - A True Pop Trash Diva

In a just world, Australia's Suzy Ray would be bigger than Nicki French. Or at least as massive as Melissa Tkautz! That is high praise indeed but Suzy is truly a unique talent. There has been a mini-flood of new pop releases in Australia over the past couple of weeks but none of them are as much fun as Suzy Ray's "Disco In My Car", which was actually released way back in January. I'm ashamed it has taken me such a long time to feature this exquisite diva because Suzy Ray embodies all that I cherish in music.

I loved Suzy from the moment I read her Myspace resume. Suzy is an ex-cheerleader for the Adelaide 36ers, who won a cheerleading competition in Japan and then enrolled at The Music Factory in Melbourne. This lead to gigs performing in amusement parks and fabulously, being hired as Barbie for Mattel's "Live Barbie" shows in Sydney. Never one to rest on her laurels, Suzy's next claim to fame was singing backing vocals for The Bold & The Beautiful's Ronn Moss and appearing as a "featured dancer" during his Australian tour. Amazingly, Suzy somehow found the time to write some songs and get a record deal. The resulting single, "Disco In My Car", is one of the most amusing three minutes of pure pop nonsense to emerge from Australia in a long time. Personally, I think the song is a thinly veiled sexual metaphor with the "car" really representing Suzy's pretty chuff. I'm sure you can all guess what kind of "disco" she wants inside it!

Unfortunately for Suzy, the nation wasn't ready for her brand of pop genius and the song flopped. I really hope Suzy doesn't give up because she has all the ingredients to be a pop trash icon. But don't take my word for it, put aside three and a half minutes to watch this brilliant cover of Captain & Tenille's "Love Will Keep Us Together" performed at Sydney's Arq nightclub. Suzy channels Kylie in her delightful pink vinyl bodysuit and her gay dancers are a sight for sore eyes. Suzy needs to release this as her next single. This shit is camp!



You can purchase Suzy's stunning anthem from Chaos, Sanity and iTunes. Make sure to check out the song's hilarious video clip.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Inaya Day's Latest Club Hit

Despite a relatively low profile in her homeland, Inaya Day is becoming something of a local star in Australia. After teaming up with Aussie DJ mrTimothy (or T-Funk, depending on his mood) for a series of hits that include "I Am Tha 1", "Stand By Me" and a cover "The Glamorous Life", Inaya has become something of a fixture on the Australian club scene and a minor chart force. Inaya's latest offering is a collaboration with American DJs Bill Bennett and Pete Masitti but it also has an Australian connection. "Breakaway" is a cover of Big Pig's classic song of the same name, which remains one of the seminal Australian hits of the 1980s.

I would love to post a link to Big Pig's version, which still holds up today, but their bizarre video is yet to appear on youtube. I'm sure I remember the band wearing industrial aprons! Anyway, back to Inaya's version. "Breakaway" has been transformed into a stomping dancefloor anthem, which benefits enormously from Inaya's powerful vocals. Sadly, some of the chanting that made Big Pig's version so original has been lost but the song works remarkably well. My only complaint is that it sounds a little bit too slick. I would love to see what Inaya could create with more freedom to experiment. Hopefully, she will be collecting all of her hit singles on an album one of these days!

"Breakaway" has been picked up by Sony/BMG in Australia and was released on Monday. It's already big in the clubs, so with any luck Inaya could have another hit on her hands. The single contains a plethora of remixes from local DJs and even the obligatory Taylor Square Remix for the poofs, which I'm told is the handiwork of Alex and Rob Taylor. Respect!

You can purchase the single from Chaos, Sanity or iTunes. Check out Inaya Day's glamorous website for more information.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Good Grief, Cosima's Back!

Cosima De Vito returns to the pop scene this week with a brand new single and to my complete surprise, it's entirely fabulous! "Keep It Natural" is Cosima's first single in two years and represents a completely new musical direction for the diva who placed 3rd on the first series of Australian Idol, behind Guy Sebastian and Shannon Noll. The dreary ballads have given way to a thumping dancefloor anthem, which is easily the best Australian Idol solo single since Paulini's "Rough Day". "Keep It Natural" is already gaining popularity on the club scene and could be the start of a whole new career as a trashy dance diva!

I have said a lot of nasty things about Cosima in the past, describing her as the poor man's Tina Arena and likening her face to a slapped arsehole. I might have been overly unkind but anyone who suffered through Cosima's notorious debut album will understand my grudge. For those lucky enough to have escaped "Cosima", the album's notoriety lies with fact that it was comprised almost exclusively of lame Diane Warren penned power ballads, the majority of which had already been released by other artists. In a nutshell, it was a dreary pile of shit. To make matters worse, the project was self-funded and is rumoured to have pushed the De Vito family close bankruptcy when the album flopped. It's great to see that Cosima has learned from her mistakes and found a whole new sound.

I've had my misgivings about Cosima's choice of material but never about the quality of her voice. I still think she sounds like Tina Arena but that is a massive compliment. It makes a nice change to hear someone who can actually belt the fuck out of song instead of talking their way through it. In fact, Cosima's voice is so big that "Keep It Natural" reminds me of Deborah Cox at her best. I was also impressed to learn that Cosima co-wrote the song with Trevor Steel. Hopefully, this means no more Diane Warren! You know a song is being aimed squarely at the gays when a "Taylor Square Remix" is included (Taylor Square is a meeting point on Sydney's gay scene) and I couldn't be happier - the remix is a trashy delight!

You can purchase Cosima's dancefloor anthem from Sanity, Chaos and iTunes. The single includes an interesting Italian version of the song. Check out this fantastic live performance on the Today Show or visit Cosima's website for further information.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

German Kylie Cover - Aus Meinem Kopf

One of my favourite albums of the year comes from Germany's Erdmoebel. I've been a huge fan of the band since hearing their German language rendition of Wham's "Last Christmas" on the now sadly defunct "Germans Under Cover". Their new album continues the trend of translating English language hits into German. In fact, "No. 1 Hits" is comprised exclusively of German versions of international chart toppers and the first single is a gorgeous interpretation of Kylie's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" or "Aus Meinem Kopf"!

Erdmoebel might look like a group of German engineers but there is nothing clinical or cold about their music. The band specialise in a rich, organic sound that seems positively out of place on the current music scene. Unlike most of the fabulous shit I usually listen to, Erdmoebel display some real musicianship and subtlety - without being pretentious or dull. The precise song translations are a delight for German speakers, as is the complete mood transformation that each "hit" receives. The variety of the artists covered is also staggering - Which other act can claim to have covered The Vengaboys, Kylie, Nirvana, Tom Jones, Kraftwerk and Robbie Williams on the one album?

It speaks volumes for the quality of song that it still sounds amazing in a different language, pared right back, without any of the studio wizardry that made it so spectacular in the first place. Erdmoebel achieve just that by turning "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" into a dark and moody, atmospheric groove. The concept sounds awful but it works spectacularly well. "Aus Meinem Kopf" wont drag you to the dance floor but it makes for perfect late night listening. Think of it as a special treat for those rare moments when your ears demand just a little bit of quality. Check out the video clip, which takes place in the not so classy surrounds of someone's crappy office.

I have to thank Magical Froggy for Bierfrau Kylie. From her green face, I'd say she's either had one too many glasses of German goodness or is auditioning for the next Exorcist re-make. "No. 1 Hits" is highly recommended and can be purchased from German Amazon. Check out Erdmoebel's website for more information about the band.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Craptastic Covers - What A Feeling!

Few songs ever manage to capture the zeitgeist of an era quite like Irene Cara's "Flashdance... What A Feeling". Giorgio Moroder's masterpiece endures as a pulsating testament to all that was fabulous about 1980s pop music. The song also scored one of the most memorable sequences in popular movie history. Who will ever forget Jennifer Beals' steel worker/erotic dancer's audition in "Flashdance"? The stumble and the triumph! Dirty, old Geri Halliwell ripped off the scene in the video for her awful cover of "It's Raining Men", as did Jennifer Lopez in the significantly more glamorous clip for "I'm Glad". The song and the famous audition scene recently appeared in an Australian beer commercial - which resulted in Irene Cara being invited to perform "What A Feeling" at the 2006 AFL Grand Final! I'm not sure what the beer swilling football fans made of 47 year old Irene's performance but I was beside myself!

My original intention for this post was to navigate my way through the multitude of "What A Feeling" cover versions but it soon dawned on me that Irene's anthem has been covered more often than Dannii has gone on holiday. As a result, I've decided to mention a couple of craptastic international covers before concentrating on a selection of Australian versions. One of the most startling interpretations is DJ Bobo's stunningly awful rap extravaganza. The bizarre video clip, bad rapping and even worse dancing makes this a very guilty pleasure indeed! Swedish cunt, Carola Haggkvist, serves up a more traditional version, while Polish Idol, Hania Stach, struggles with the lyrics but still sounds kind of fabulous. Which is more than I can say about Swedish pop tart, Agnes Carlsson, who sounds completely disinterested. "What A Feeling" has also been warmly embraced by dance music producers. Global Deejays had a massive club hit with their dance version and spoofed the audition scene in their trashy video. The Hughes Corporation produced another worthy dance interpretation, although the soft porn video is slightly worrying.

"What A Feeling" has always been popular with Australian pop fans and has been covered numerous times. Here are some of my favourite versions:

Young Divas

The Young Divas' debut album of 80s covers would have felt incomplete without a version of "What A Feeling". The girls give it their all and the song duly becomes one of the album's many highlights.

The "Razzle Dazzle" Soundtrack

"Razzle Dazzle" is the latest Australian comedy to flop at the box office. The whole thing would have been completely unbearable if it wasn't for the presence of ex-"Prisoner" star Kerry Armstrong and not one but two versions of "What A Feeling"!

Wendy Matthews

The strangest contributor to the "Razzle Dazzle" soundtrack is Wendy Matthews, who was hugely successful in the early 90s with sparse ballads like "The Day You Went Away" and "Token Angels". She is the last person I would have picked to sing a trashy re-make of "What A Feeling", given her recent move towards the adult contemporary market. The production on this track is pretty awful (it sounds like someone recorded it on their answering machine) but it is a fun change of pace for Wendy.

Natasha Stuart

Natasha provides three tracks on the "Razzle Dazzle" soundtrack, including "What A Feeling" and an equally trashy cover of Rozelle's "Everybody's Free". Natasha has been plugging away on the live music scene for quite a few years now and I recently saw her perform as Deni Hines' backing vocalist. If Natasha has the Deni seal of approval, that's good enough for me! This version of "What A Feeling" is really quite bizarre. Check out Natasha's other songs on her informative Myspace.

Louis Gaston

Admittedly, Louis Gaston isn't Australian but this dance mix was huge on the Australian club scene. It's kind of tragic but it gets me going!

Madeline Perrone



Madeline was a contestant on the recently completed first season of "Australia's Got Talent", which famously employed Dannii as a judge. Madeline covered "What A Feeling" in the semi-finals and eventually placed in the top 4. Anyone who mentions Dannii in their pre-song interview and dances around in baggy overalls is alright by me. I want a studio version!

Bjorn Again

The original Bjorn Again (they eventually licensed the name to several international acts) formed in Melbourne in the late 1980s as an ABBA tribute band. They eventually widened their musical horizons in the 1990s and covered a variety of other acts. Their rendition of "What A Feeling" makes me moist. I LOVE Bjorn Again and can hardly wait for their upcoming tour in July. This is fabulous!

Marcia Hines

I've saved the best for last! Marcia Hines is one of the holy divas of the Australian music scene and it seems only appropriate that an icon of the 80s leaves her stamp on one of the iconic songs of that decade. Marcia's version of "What A Feeling" is very faithful to the original and holds up as a fun slice of 90s pop. However, the M 1:11 Remix is by far the best and most unusual Australian interpretation of "What A Feeling". The remix transforms the song into a sunny urban groove, complete with a guest rapper - and somehow manages to NOT be shit! It's hard to explain but there is definitely some kind of genius at play here - "Take a ride with Marcia Hines, she shines all the time!"

You can purchase most of these versions from iTunes or search for physical copies on Australian Ebay. The "Razzle Dazzle" Soundtrack and Young Divas' album are available from Sanity and Chaos.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Kylie's Demos - Cutting Edge Publicity?

I was more than a little surprised to open my Sunday newspaper and find this article - on the front page no less! Kylie could fart and it would be news in Australia but surely the recent leak of five new demos is not THAT earth shattering. The whole thing is obviously a flimsy excuse to put a sexy photo of Kylie on the cover (which is fine by me!) but the conspiracy theory about Kylie intentionally leaking the tracks to generate some positive publicity is just taking the piss. You know you're reading some quality journalism when the main sources are Pop Justice and a Kylie impersonator! I guess it must be true if, the admittedly rather fabulous, Lucy Holmes says so!

Personally, I think the whole thing is dubious. Kylie tracks have been flooding out of Parlophone for years and it hasn't exactly helped in the past. I'm sure the record company weren't particularly impressed that fans were enjoying "I Believe In You" and "Giving You Up" months before the release of "Ultimate Kylie". I should say fans and other curious parties, which leads me to my next point. If the leaked demos do, in fact, comprise half of Kylie's upcoming album, it wont stop Kylie's hardcore fans from buying a physical copy but the casual listener will be more than happy to play the leaked MP3s on their Ipod and save the $20 they would otherwise spend on the real thing.

I think there are two possible explanations: 1) general incompetence or 2) the possibility that the leaked tracks were never intended for the finished product. If that is the case, the album is going to be the best Minogue recording since "Neon Nights" because I'm still absolutely blown away by the brilliance of "Stars", "In My Arms" and "Lose Control". Kylie can bin the other two songs or be a sweetheart and give them to Rebekah K! I can only imagine next week's headline: "Kylie Changes Tampon".

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dannii-tastic!

I am getting old. I recently came across a Young Talent Time fanzine that I purchased with my pocket money back in 1988. That's 19 fucking years ago!! It's only a matter of time before I start buying Michael Crawford CDs and need a walking stick. I can only hope to age as gracefully as Dannii, who is still a vision of youthful loveliness all these years later. I have literally been a Holidannii fan for as long as I can remember. It's quite amazing really.

The fanzine features a lovely article about Dannii, which contains some truly fabulous pics and wonderful quotes. According to the article, Dannii's favourite hobby is kayaking (!) and she was apparently planning on having a "I Should Be So Lucky" sized hit of her own. Poor, poor Dannii. Check out the article and pics at Dannii's Dirty Box. By the way, how gorgeous is the above photo of Dannii and Natalie Miller (Kylie's preferred backing vocalist)? Those skirts are divine! The pic of Dannii with her curling iron also had me in stitches!