Bell Biv Devoe remain obsessed with poisonous female

I Thought You Were Dead!, Video

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New Jack Swing pioneers Bell Biv Devoe popped up on Jimmy Fallon’s show last week, performing their brand new- sorry, their twenty-one year old song, “Poison”. The chaps looked pretty good for their age, taking wise, if funky, precautions against televised indignity: green leather waistcoats to hold in the guts, and shades to hide the crow’s feet. Respect for trying a few moves before running out of breath, as well.

“Poison” still sounds great today, although of course not many people realised on its realise that it was a subtle warning about HIV and AIDS. Or – no, that was “Poison” by Alice Cooper, wasn’t it? Or – no, was that “Poison” by The Prodigy? Or – hang on, was that “Poison” by Nicole Shirtslinger? Or – could it have been Poison the band?

Yes, didn’t Poison the band form with the noble aim of preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS, with each song’s lyrics part of an overarching, career-spanning narrative bemoaning the loss of sexual freedom in the eighties and nineties? Wasn’t there something in “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” about avoiding pricks?

I don’t think Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” was about HIV and AIDS. It was merely the tale of a woman whose wily sexual powers were such that BBD decided she bore a resemblance to an actual poison, such as cyanide, sarin, strychnine, ricin, tetrodoxin, hemlock or potassium chloride.

It’s still not clear exactly which substance this toxic femme resembled, but given the effect the above examples have on a human being’s central nervous system we probably owe Bell Biv Devoe a hearty thanks for the heads-up.

Or at least we might if they had TOLD US WHAT HER NAME WAS. Pillocks.

Miley Cyrus now palatable to hipsters thanks to Rye Rye

Video, Where Have I Heard That Song Before?

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You shouldn’t really need an excuse to like Miley Cyrus’s's’s’ “Party in the U.S.A”, because it’s a rather adorably catchy little twit. But let’s face it, folk of a certain age, or people who have a misguided sense of their own coolosity, will never be able to admit liking it.

So here’s Rye Rye with a hipster-friendly remix of it. She’s probably only a year or two older than Miley Cyrus, but I think everyone’s allowed to like this “Party In The USA” remix because:

1. Rye Rye is “urban”, and her version is “dancefloor-friendly” (i.e., it’s faster and contains rapping).

2. For the video, Rye Rye appears to have raided M.I.A’s “closet”. Perhaps it was while M.I.A. was guesting on her recent single “Sunshine”.

3. Rye Rye adds plenty of “eyyy”s and “yeah”s – and even uses the word “bitch” a few times – which the original version sadly lacked. Crucially, she also employs the well-worn question “where the party at?” – which, in case you were in any doubt that you were listening to a track intended for dancing to, helpfully clears things up. Of course, she knows damn well where the party at, the minx. It’s in the title of the song she’s sampled, for goodness’s's’s’ sake!

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John “Rappin’” Hood and his merry men: Ice-T and Dr. Benton

Film, TV & Radio Goodness, Video

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I won’t go into the whys and wherefores and wherefore art thous, but I found myself watching a film from 1985 called Rappin’ recently. I would imagine it was one of the first films to try and incorporate hip-hop into its narrative, because it’s utterly appalling.

Mario Van Peebles plays a man called John Hood, who, to the ears of everyone around him, is a brilliant rapper. The viewer soon realises this is not the case. Or, most viewers do – here’s The New York Times around the time of the film’s release:

Rappin’ has a finale that gives everyone in the cast a chance to rap a line or two. Some of them, like Mr. Van Peebles, are quite good at this; most are not.

Anyway, whatever his verbal abilities, obviously the protagonist ends up being known as John “Rappin’” Hood.

His crew contains Eriq LaSalle, aka Dr. Peter Benton from ER, and they use this rapping stuff to try and fight off dratted property developers who are attempting to evict people so they can build a MegaMall or something. Ice-T pops up for a bit, in a significantly less scary form than in the years that followed.

If you’d like to watch it for yourself, it’s on Lovefilm’s online service. Maybe don’t make it your primary reason for taking out a subscription, though.

It’s Monday, so Pharrell Williams will be boning you now

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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It’s always pleasing when a video lives up to the ridiculosity of the song it accompanies. So well done N*E*R*D, and Pharrell Williams in particular, for stepping up to “the plate” with “Hypnotize U”.

As with every song that has ever featured Pharrell, this song is about boning. Specifically, Pharrell’s boning. More specifically, Pharrell’s boning of “u”.

“Touch it girl, touch it girl, touch it girl – ah,” he demands. It’s the kind of approach that only really works if you’re an innernational popstar, as you’ll soon discover if you try it in the aisle of your local supermarket. And just in case you think the “it” to which he refers could be a kitten, or a nice rug, or some plush flock wallpaper – I’ve checked, and none of these items appear in this video. Except for some plush flock wallpaper.

While Phazza starts the clip having a good old scrub, he soon exits his wooden, mirror-fronted shower cubicle to be confronted not with a cloud of water vapour or a noisy extractor fan, but approximately a dozen panting, writhing Tommy Hilfiger models. And, er, Phonejacker (2:02).

When it comes to the inevitable divide you find with N*E*R*D songs – they tend to be either amazing or utter ballhole – “Hypnotize U” may actually end up in the former category. It’s got an insistent, 808s and Heartbreaks something about it which reduces the preposterousness of the lyrics by a small but important amount with each listen.

Shame the once great Neptunes are now followers of production methods rather than leaders, but at least this is better than the utter ballhole that was “Hot-n-Fun”.

Does Pharrell remind anyone else of Adam Sandler when he wears a pork pie hat and denim jacket at 3:33 onwards?

Buy N*E*R*D tracks at 7digital (I wouldn’t bother with whole albums, they’re invariably disappointing)

Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” gets the video it deserves by omitting Usher from the equation

Forwarding Fodder, Video, Your New Favourite Weirdo

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I’m not going to lie – I bloody love Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love”. I can’t help it. Obviously it would be fortwenteen times better if it contained no Pitbull, but few records manage to escape his “input” these days.

I was disappointed with the video, though. It was your standard club-based yawnathon – some nice choreography, but it didn’t really capture the R&B/eurocheese crossover vitality of the song.

So thank Kong for Keenan Cahill who, under the YouTube moniker BeenerKeeKee19952, has provided the enthusiastic treatment the tune deserves. It’s a shame (but not remotely surprising) that, as one YT commenter understates in reference to the feedback Keenan has received from the community, “most of these comments r rude”.

R.I.P. Solomon Burke

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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If you shuffle off this mortal coil having left something this good behind, you know you did life right.

Some words and a playlist intended to prove the magnificence of Chic, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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For the last month or so I have found myself listening to a lot of Chic, and Chic-produced musics. “Chic?!?!?!??” will say the cooligans, “Aren’t they spangly disco nonsense what only gets played at Christmas parties and such and such and such??!?!?”

Well, yes and no. And no again. Because if there was an award doled out for Most Overlooked Clever Buggers In Music, well, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic would… probably be overlooked for it. So I’m going to do my own wee bit to try and explain why the pair deserve at least a dozen props from listeners of music all over this dumb old world.

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“Lyrical Spread” encourages cheap labelling of music (and crumpets)

Forwarding Fodder, Hip-Hop Isn't Dead, Video

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Did you ever have one of these things when you were A Young?

I did. I specifically asked Santa for one, I seem to remember. I needed to assert myself against the haters (i.e., my mischievous little brother), see. So when I got it I printed out labels with “Stuart’s desk” and “Stuart’s Boba Fett” and slapped them on my things.

You can laugh, but nobody had the nerve to steal that desk. I’m pretty sure my brother still got Boba Fett though.

This clever short video, “Lyrical Spread”, makes rather better use of a Dymo (other labelmakers are available), and it’s all kinds of mesmerising. Soundtracked by the hooky, cricket-fixated “Batter, Rapper And The Mad Hatter” by some UK hip-hoppists called 9 Chameleons, it features dollops of lyrics printed out and spread like budda all over a nice English afternoon tea. Yummers!

This came via Radar Music Videos, who showcase cameraloads of talented viditors on the reglear (and offer commissions for filmmakers to pitch for).

Lyrical Spread (feat. The Chameleon) from Ian Robertson on Vimeo.

Washed Out’s new video reminds me that I prefer one of his other songs

Up-And-Coming Acts, Video

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Washed Out – “Hold Out” from John Lipari on Vimeo.

This is the new video for Washed Out’s “Hold Out”. If you haven’t heard of Washed Out (real name: Ernest Greene), don’t feel bad. I only just started listening to him, and I’m supposed to be a music blogger. The REAL music bloggers were doing excite-a-poos over Washed Out about a year ago, when I was discovering Bon Jovi.

It’s a nice enough video, and gives a good idea of what you can expect from the album from which it is yoinked, Life Of Leisure. It’s all kind of like that floppy feeling you get after a too-hot bath, but more tuneful.

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Grandma-ster Flash

Forwarding Fodder, Video

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Here’s a granny breakdancing for you. She’s on a boardwalk at what appears to be the spring break from your flu-iest fever dream.

Can you shiver as audibly as the crowd around the 1.00 point?

[via Today's Big Thing]