Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Back to Basics

I think a little post-Xmas round up is in order for the day. I had a truly wonderful time this holiday, if only I didn't have to come into work today *arrghh*. There were many highlights but I won't get into them here. I got closer to a few friends this weekend and had some really lovely chats that made my heart warm up. A few cuddles from friends and strangers alike and I think I've gotten back to my old happy self (for the most part). Here's to a great 2005 !

Friday, December 24, 2004

The Year End Music Review - Its Finally Upon Us (YAY)!

The year 2004 has been a very good year for music. It was for me personally, a watershed year, as I morphed from Pop Princess into House Queen. Every few years I discover and fall in love with a new genre of music, in the early 90s it was Grunge, in the late 90s it was Jazz, and now it is House (or funky house, or whatever you wanna call it). Music plays an important part in my life, it can evoke such extreme feelings as pure joy and heartaching sadness. The top 10 songs have all had a personal impact on me during the year. Enjoy.

1. Shapeshifters - Lola's Theme

Without a question, the track of the year, and the one that was the main catalyst for my house revolution this year. Its hard to describe why Lola works so well, a bit like catching lightning in a bottle, it just does. The immediacy of the opening horns, fast beats and great sing-a-long-chorus work themselves into a crescendo of pure unadulterated joy. You can only agree with the lead singer proclaims 'I'm a different person, turned my world around.' A brilliant record from beginning to end.

2. Britney Spears - Toxic

I must admit, I was ready to jump off the Britney band-wagon sometime in late 2003. She needed a massive tune in order to save her from the inevitable backlash that comes with over-exposure. And boy was this massive. Yes, it has that signature Cathy Dennis sound. Yes, it uses much like every other pop track this year a middle eastern beat. And yes, its not the most original track of the year. But it works, mainly due to the attitude Ms Spears lends in that iconic video, to the very catchy hooks and beats, its by far her best track since Ooops I Did It Again and lands nicely at #2 for the year.

3. Christina Milian - Dip It Low (Full Intention Remix)

To some Ms Milian is the cheap man's Beyonce. The single version of Dip It Low was a pleasant enough slice of R&B with lots of innuendo and Ms Milian rolling around in black liquid and a rubber suit. Its not until you hear the Full Intention mix of the track that its brilliance comes to the forth. The track is speeded up, with a heavy bassline underscoring the fast beats as Milian croons 'pop...pop..pop.. That thing', the track works itself into a frenzy. Without a doubt my favorite remix of a commercial track this year.

4. A Studio Feat Polina - SOS (Skylark Vocal Mix)

Speak of immediacy, no other vocal performance has made me scratch my head on the dance floor more than Polina's on the SOS track. When you dance to this record, the entire time you are trying to chase the singer as she spits out the lyrics with such speed and urgency that you are left in a state of euphoria in the end. A great rework by Skylark with an a chunky bassline and a truly masterful vocal on top, this lands itself nicely into the top 5 of the year.

5. Michael Grey - The Weekend

If SOS is immediate and urgent, then the Weekend is its exact opposite. As the track works its way through its chilled beats, the lead singer casually proclaims 'I can't wait for the weekend to begin.' The only problem with the track is that its a bittersweet one when you hear it at 11 pm on a Sunday night, knowing the weekend won't begin for another five days.

6. JoJo - Leave (Get Out)

When I first saw the video for Leave (Get Out) I immediately proclaimed JoJo as the second coming, telling anyone who listened that indeed she had 'the voice of Christina, and the edge of Avril' mainly to puzzled and worried looks. Well, fine, the song about a cheating lover is too old for the 13 year old, but with that voice who cares. One of the best R&B pop tracks of the year, and a wonderful debut.

7. Destiny's Child - Lose My Breathe

Last year's single of the year holder Beyonce reunites with her DC bandmates to produce yet another fabulous kick-ass R&B tune. With a minimalist beat that hardly registers, this track is all about the three singers vocal performance, perhaps the most accomplished of all the DC singles. The DC girls are chastising the men who can't keep up with them on the dancefloor. When Michelle finally asks 'why you ask for some, when you really want none', you know that the girls mean business. Shame that the single is just about the only good thing on the disappointing Destiny fulfilled album.

8. Gadjo - So Many Times

A truly magnificent piece of funky house, this is a track you want to dance to with someone you love. The lead singers beautiful vocals work their way over a great chilled beat. Gorgeous.

9. Damien Rice - The Blower's Daughter

Folksy, bluesy and with a haunting voice, Damien Rice's debut album is full of gems. On this single he lays his heart and soul bare for all to see, and when he sings 'I can't take my eyes off of you' with such rawness it sends chills down your spine.

10. Gwen Stefani - What You're Waiting For

As the 'tick tock, tick tock' kicks in, Ms Stefani prepares to dazzle us with an amazing vocal performance that is witty and self-referential. This could have been a big mess, but Stefani pulls it in nicely with a quirky sense that only she can pull off. Although the song does stumble in the middle, the overall effect is that of a dreamy venture into the surreal. Mission accomplished.

Top 10 Runners Up (in no particular order)

Joss Stone - Right To Be Wrong
Maroon 5 - This Love
Jamelia - See It In A Boy's Eyes
Danny Howells and Dick Trever - From Dusk Til Dawn
Usher and Alicia Keys - My Boo
Scissor Sisters - Take Your Mamma
Martin Solveig - Rocking Music
Angel City - Do You Know (I Go Crazy)
Rachel Stevens - Some Girls
Girls Aloud - The Show

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

(SE)X Factor

Just when I thought that the ultra-cruisy gaydar website couldn't get any more shallow, we now have to contend with The Sex Factor. Basically you enter your picture into a category and all the other members can rate you on a scale of 1 to 10. I am appalled, disgusted and completely hooked. I must admit that I've rated some aquaintances that I dislike sort of low (on purpose) and I enjoy seeing what everyone's average rating is. Will I enter it ? Not really sure yet. I for one don't see anything wrong with assessing people based solely on physical appearance, because I realize that in cyber-world people are gonna be more visual and shallow (I know that I am). However, I don't know if my ego is healthy enough for a low rating. There is always the option to de-activate the entry if I am not happy though.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Strangers In The Night

This has been a truly strange week in that I have befriended (or made the aquaintance) more than one new person during my nights out in London. I am not talking about people I've met for sex or anything sordid like that. I'll just tell you about the most interesting one.

I met this Morrocan guy, my mini-cab driver from the 333 on Sunday night. Now, I usually just sit in the back-seat and sleep, but for some reason I jumped into the front seat. It was 2 in the morning, I was off my head (as per usual) and he started telling me about his life. He told about how his family of seven lived in poverty as children, and now most of them live in Europe making decent money by doing work no one else wants to do (like driving drugged out queens from Old Street to Hammersmith at 2 am for a lousy £16). To him, this life is better than the one he had. I also told him about my life story, and he listened, and although from the sounds of it he is a devout Muslim, he understood me and where I was coming from. He was sympathetic and kind and I don't think I've ever shared that much about my life with a total stranger before. It was very theraputic in a way, I told him whatever came to my mind and I didn't care about the consequence. When I got home he wished me luck and drove off into the night. Maybe I will see him again one day.

Song Lyric for A Trashed Out Disco Queen

These song lyrics that have made me think about my own life lately:

"I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly
I'll do what it takes til' I touch the sky
And I'll make a wish
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway
Out of the darkness and into the sun
But I won't forget all the ones that I loved
I'll take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway"

Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Blogging Duties and Look At This Link

Ok, I have been very neglectful of my blogging duties of late. I still have to start on my year-end music review. (Please look at my miserable attempt last year HERE). I also have to write about my little mini-adventure Monday night.

And another matter, I haven't spoken to him since he has put it up, but it looks like my friend Brad has started an online blog of his own. I know I shouldn't presume that because of my own fantastic site that Brad has been inspired to start his own, but I will. What a great inspiration I am *pats own back*, here is the address:

Monday, December 13, 2004

The top 10 singles of the year ... a preview

Well, I have mentioned this to a couple of people and it shall be forthcoming this week. What to expect, well anyone who has hung out with me this past year can guess at my top 5 choices (but where will they fall). There's a few surprises further down the chart (its not just pop), and I have also decided to include the 5 runner-ups (basically its a top 15) but without commentary or position.

*Watch This Space*

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I *heart* Lozenges

Ok, so I lost my voice on Sunday evening, much to the amusement of some of my friends. It was really weird not being able to talk for a few hours as I am a 'chatty kathy' as some might say. Anyway, lets recap.... Saturday night was brilliant, lots of sexy men at Megawoof (yes Richard, it will RISE to the top of my list) and I even got a bit of action on the night (too many details to share on this PG-rated website). Suffice it to say it was good for the ego, and the dancing was good for the soul. I've been so depressed lately that it was fantastic to just release all my tension and have fun. Also went to Beyond, it was nice, it was fun, not much to report.

Anyway, so Sunday I am minding my biz at Horsemeat Disco and my voice is slowly creeping away from me. The number of people who said 'sucking too much dick' as if they were the first person to think of it was staggering. Still, it was funny trying to communicate with just my facial expression and hands. And I did get some belly laughs as dear Michael tried to teach me how to hit on a guy while unable to speak to him. And I just sat and observed people most of the night and went home with a nice feeling inside. So, I lost my voice this weekend, but I regained my sanity. So, a good weekend then.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Saturday Morning Musings

Well, this has been a horrendous week in all senses of the word. I felt a bit lost this week, like I lost a part of me and had no idea where to look for it. It hit me this morning, what I lost is my optimism, my belief that 'everything will turn out ok in the end'.

It won't necessarily be ok, there are tough choices to be made and not everyone will end up happy in the end. Sooner or later I will walk away from my family and become even more distant than I am now. Its for the best. It will be less hurtful to them than if I stayed close to them, because I can't, my personal life is something they will never be able to tolerate or understand. And now, well, now I am just starting to feel hope again. Hope for what I am not sure, but I know that my life isn't as gloomy as I make it out to be, and I have the support of my friends who love me. All I want is to be embraced and hugged and told that everything is going to be ok. And in due time I'll start to believe it again, because thats my nature and that is what I have to do.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

No Beer and No TV, Make Homer Go .... Something Something

I have been without TV for the last four days, and its been driving me nuts. I can only take so much of 'reading'. Apparently, I will be getting one this weekend so that should be alright. Oh, for those of you devoted Ramification readers, not to worry, I'm fine. I went into a dark space over this week, but thats sort of expected given all the stuff going on in my life these past few weeks. Add to that, the stresses of work which are really getting to me, and I've made the decision to slow down the partying until Christmas time, well, we'll see !