Tag Archives: britney

Five December talking points that aren’t Kate Middleton’s uterus

At the moment you can’t move on Twitter for people talking about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy and even more people talking about not wanting to talk about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy. So here are five alternative conversation starters to get you through the month.

Pantone book

On 13th December Pantone will announce their latest Color Of The Year. That’s right, just one nail-biting week until we finally find out if African Violet can piss all over Tender Shoots or if Linen will beat off Grayed Jade. The Citrus Sarcophagus’s sights are firmly set on Lemon Zest or Nectarine, but there’s some rather more considered analysis over at Re-Do it Design.

Nick Lachey The Winner Is

On 15th December if you’re in the Houston, TX or Philadelphia, PA areas you could go and audition for NBC’s new singing gameshow “The Winner Is. I like the name, and the convoluted phrases it’ll lead to host Nick Lachey having to say.

“And the winner of The Winner Is is…”

“Sorry, the The Winner Is winner isn’t you.”

“The The Winner Is winner Ida Winner wins Winona Ryder’s rider!”

And so on.

The Krankies and John Barrowman

19th December will be the first anniversary of our hearing the Krankies’ revelations about their “any time, anywhere” sex lives, tourbus shenanigans and swinging sessions. Oh it seemed shocking at the time, but against the increasingly unpleasant reports about other children’s entertainers this year, perhaps we can just celebrate the consensual joy of it all now. My favourite detail remains Janette’s fling with the leopard tamer and Ian’s wry comment that he knew what she’d been up to when she came home smelling of leopards. Brilliant.


21st December is, of course, the end of the world. But let’s not let that get us down. Britney’s shown that we can dance right through it and Jay Sean’s said it might not happen at all.  And as it marks the winter solstice it’s also the traditional day for an annual viewing of K9 and Company (see last post). I don’t know about you but if we’re facing apocalypse I’m going out with an unexpected karate chop and a “Put THAT in your leader, Mr Tobias!” too.

Joey McIntyre

On 31st December Joey from New Kids On The Block will celebrate his 40th birthday. I know! The passage of time, there. Why not use the last day of the year to think about YOUR lost youth, abandoned dreams, inevitable mortality and roads generally not taken? And don’t have nightmares, readers; on the night itself – in a special government initiative – Olympic songstress Emeli Sandé will visit every British citizen’s bedside to aid restful sleep with a soothing dirge. Happy 2013!

Favourite albums of 2011

20. Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam

19. Lupe Fiasco – Lasers

18. Lady Gaga – Born This Way

17. Rihanna – Talk That Talk

16. Theophilus London – Timez Are Weird These Days

15. Drake – Take Care

14. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

13. Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting

12. Lil B – I’m Gay (I’m Happy)

11. Selena Gomez & The Scene – When The Sun Goes Down

10. CocknBullKid – Adulthood

9. araabMUZIK – Electronic Dream

8. Cher Lloyd – Sticks + Stones

7. Riz MC – MICroscope

6. Beyoncé – 4

5. The Sound of Arrows – Voyage

4. Toddla T – Watch Me Dance

3. Britney Spears – Femme Fatale

Britney’s people have told her that every song on her album Femme Fatale is inspired by a different femme fatale from history, myth or fiction. Poor Britney just can’t work it out though! Can YOU match the lyrics from the album to the  foxy ladies in question? Answers below.

2. The Weeknd – House of Balloons

Poor Abel Tesfaye has just got the artwork for his epically miserable comedown album back from the designers, but it looks like they’ve strayed from his original vision! Can YOU spot the five subtle differences hidden in the new cover?

If you are having trouble spotting all five differences here are some hints!

  • I wonder who else was at those debauched parties he sings about?
  • There’s a subtle theme running through the album but we’ve “inflated” it
  • “Well doesn’t that put the cherry on top”
  • Track titles ‘MAY’ not ‘ALWAYS’ be correct!
  • A dog’s face

1. Katy B – On A Mission

Here are Katy’s missions explained track-by-track:


Attributes: Slowly unfolding; sweeping musical vista; quite long. Mission: 1986 film THE MISSION. (From the IMDB plot synopsis: “Initially, the Guarani warriors prepare to kill him, but after Gabriel plays an unforgettable solo on his oboe, they allow him to live”. And we’ve all had days like that.)


Attributes: Bold, purposeful, brill. Mission: KATY’S MISSION STATEMENT


Attributes: Elegant; structured; accomplished. Mission: MISSION REVIVAL ARCHITECTURE.


Attributes: Startling; Bleepy; Full of twists and turns that leave you feeling dislocated. Mission: Doctor Who‘s 1965 MISSION TO THE UNKNOWN episode with its imagination-gone-mad monsters and lack of regular cast.


Attributes: Propulsive; No nonsense; Designed to make you move. Mission: A SEARCH AND DESTROY MISSION.


Attributes: Dignified; Luxurious; Satisfying. Mission: The DIPLOMATIC MISSION where the Ferrero Rocher-stuffed Ambassador’s Receptions are held.


Attributes: Solid; A bit old-fashioned; Cheery. Mission: THE GLAD TIDINGS MISSION FROM 60s CORONATION STREET, over which Ena Sharples presided; a handy refuge in case of a gas leak on the Street.


Attributes: Bright; Bouncy; Pretty. Mission: MISSION BELL (the flower, stupid.)


Attributes: Passing the torch from one generation of singer to the next; Shiny; Confident. Mission: THE CONTINUING MISSION of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Enterprise-D.


Attributes: Fun; In your face; Sassy with the fanfares. Mission: The original series of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.


Attributes: Romantic; Irresistible; Destined to help Magnetic Man be warmly remembered even though most people shrugged at their album proper. Mission: A RESCUE MISSION.


Attributes: Charming; Laidback; Basking in the glow of all that’s come before. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Janet Jackson’s Homes & Gardens

Janet Jackson’s video for Control opens with a scene in which she argues with her parents about leaving home. She’s seen a real cute apartment in Westwood, she says, but her dad’s having none of it and insists she shouldn’t be living by herself. Spurning her mum’s hot cooking, Janet flounces out. In many of her subsequent videos, we get to see where she’s living. But was she right to ignore her parents’ advice? How’s her housekeeping? Let’s find out…

Let’s Wait Awhile: Never mind Westwood CA, the next time we see Janet she’s in an expensive-looking apartment in New York. We get to see a bit of it when she’s not too busy protesting her virginity, and it looks nice and clean. But can she keep up the standard?

The Pleasure Principle: Janet’s moved into an enormous, ridiculous duplex warehouse conversion. There are four cars in her lounge! When she kicks over a chair and strides upstairs to the mezzanine floor we see, instead of a bed, a large sculpted arch, perhaps representing her own ‘pleasure principle’. And famously, her mirror is in shreds. Her mother would be disappointed.

2300 Jackson Street: Has Janet admitted defeat? Here she is back at home with her family. Although confusingly they’re her real parents and siblings, not the ones from the Control video. I’m going to have to discount this as improbable on the grounds of not being fictional enough.

Miss You Much: No fixed abode (she’s in rehearsals).

(I like the Wikipedia description for this one: “Jackson enters the room and her dancers look at her. One dancer asks Jackson what she has been up to. She calls them nosey, and then demonstrates her love through song and dance.”)

Rhythm Nation: No fixed abode (breaking into factories).

Escapade: No fixed abode (hanging around at a Mardi Gras).

Alright: In a shock twist at the end of this video, we see that Janet has become homeless and is sleeping on a bench, dreaming of the 1930s. Were her parents right after all? :-(

Come Back To Me: Seeking her fortune elsewhere, Janet’s now skulking around an apartment in Paris of all places. Open the drapes and the windows a bit love, it’s a nice day! I mean I know she’s depressed, wallowing in memories of her boyfriend and all, but even in the flashbacks they’re eating off the floor! One word: FURNITURE.

Black Cat: No fixed abode (she’s in performance).

Love Will Never Do Without You: No fixed abode (frolicking on a beach).

That’s The Way Love Goes: Back in a spacious American home, either Janet’s living in a commune or she’s throwing some sort of stoner party. I’d clear those people out, Janet, they’re helping themselves to your stuff and wearing your sofa leather out. And keep an eye on that J-Lo.

If: No fixed abode (pervy nightclub).

Again: Appropriately for perhaps Janet’s loveliest song, it’s her nicest home yet. All sundrenched with adobe walls, wicker furniture, white linen and an adorable boyfriend. The only moment that briefly startles us from the reverie is when he pulls a necklace out of her crotch.

Because of Love: No fixed abode (tour montage).

Any Time, Any Place: Janet’s back in an apartment block, playing at peephole voyeurism with the fella in the opposite flat, letting herself in and having it off in a red chair. If that weren’t debauched enough, she’s back to her old bad habits of eating off the floor.

You Want This: Perhaps thrown out of the last apartment for obvious reasons, Janet’s now living out of a suitcase in a motel, with a girl gang. They pass the time by driving around the desert in sports cars terrorising men. She has quite literally lost all sense of right or wrong.

Whoops Now: No fixed abode (boating in Anguilla).

Scream: Janet’s parents have clearly stepped in by this point. “It’s just gone too far, hasn’t it Janet? Time you moved in with your brother.” But what with Michael Jackson being a bonkers popstar too, they end up living on a spaceship. Despite its futuristic charms — anti-grav Zen garden, interactive sculptures, room full of guitars and all — neither of them seem happy and it’s no time at all before Janet’s trying to break the toilet by jumping on it and Michael’s smashing all the vases.

Runaway: Back in New York in a modest, happy apartment (there’s a bike by the window and a cute dog), Janet’s still in thrall to her wild urges and jumps out of the window, having developed some sort of superpower of leaping between continents. Is it time we accepted she’s not a natural homemaker?

Twenty Foreplay: No fixed abode (swanning about in Hollywood).

Got ’til it’s Gone:  No fixed abode (putting things to rights in South Africa).

Together Again (Deeper Remix): Janet’s in a particularly lavish and beautiful apartment complex now. Well, lavish and beautiful as long as you don’t mind caterpillars crawling around everywhere.

I Get Lonely: No fixed abode. Wind tunnel & black bra.

Go Deep: What is Janet thinking?! She barges into a h0me-alone teenage boy’s house and holds a party! Disappointingly it turns out that she’s only done this in his dream, after he fell asleep fantasising about her. In this context the scene in which she and the lad both get covered in foam is most amusing. She’s like Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2.

Every Time: Hard to see the rest of the house, but she’s got a massive bath. Hopefully she won’t drown in it as Britney did in her own bath-based video for a song of the same name.

Doesn’t Really Matter: No fixed abode (getting freaky in Tokyo, although she sends a postcard home which we see going unread and trampled on).

All For You: No fixed abode (cartoon world with what appears to be a branch of Morrison’s in it).

Someone To Call My Lover: No fixed abode (on the road).

Son of a Gun: No fixed abode (on a voodoo rampage with Missy Elliott).

I Want You: No fixed abode (wandering through neighborhood).

All Nite (Don’t Stop): Further than ever from her mother’s dreams, Janet is seen living in a dirty squat with her new friends. They’ve got a good soundsystem, a lone sofa and a glitterball, but that’s about it.

Call on Me: No fixed abode (quinquereme with Nelly)

So Excited: Still living in a dirty squat, still kicking chairs over, and now Khia’s moved in too — her influence on Janet is all too clear, as she wanders around topless and has sex by a filthy urinal.

And that’s it. No subsequent Janet videos show us where she’s living. It’s 25 years since she turned her back on her parents, and this is where she ends up. Let’s remind ourselves of that fateful initial conversation, and let’s have a little think about our own life choices at the same time.

Oops Idris It Again

Fans of the TARDIS console room through the years have been spoiled rotten in Doctor Who recently. The Silence/Lodger version! The return of Christopher Eccleston’s and David Tennant’s one! The special Blue Peter one that reminded us of the old days!

But we’ve all forgotten where the inspiration for these new TARDIS control rooms came from, in the long years between 1989 and 2005. NO I’m not talking about the TV Movie! Imagine. I’m talking about Britney’s video for Oops!… I Did It Again in 2000. Have you forgotten? Just watch…

If popstars were… the apocalypse

So many ways for the world to end. It’s almost impossible to choose the best one. But some of our most interesting popstars have had a stab, and Britney’s only the most recent…

Jonathan King – Everyone’s Gone To The Moon

I’m scared, hold me! Where better to start our end times tour than with Jonathan King? Sure, this song’s been covered by everyone from Nina Simone to the Flaming Lips, but the desolate lyrics have a special resonance coming out of the wonky mouth of their author, the future convicted sex offender and satirically self-proclaimed ‘Vile Pervert’.

What sort of apocalypse is this? It’s a very 60s sort of Armageddon, with overtones of an ecological crisis but a sense that the worst thing that could happen would be everyone not loving each other any more and just going away. Jonathan wanders the streets of an abandoned earth, rambling oddly about mouths full of chocolate covered cream and arms that can only lift a spoon. No I’m not sure what it means either. Perhaps there are clues in his later work.

Does it sound like the end of all things? Yes it sounds terrible.

Black Box Recorder – It’s Only The End of the World

I’m scared, hold me! Well yes I have skipped straight to the late 90s without including Pet Shop Boys’ End of the World. It’s beautiful and devastating but it’s about the world NOT ending. Think of Black Box Recorder’s song as a bleaker response along similar lines if you like.

What sort of apocalypse is this? I’d say it’s the natural destruction of the earth as a consequence of the sun’s expansion – seen in an especially soporific, bored way, of course. The earth’s rotation slows, satellites break up in the atmosphere and our ashes are scattered in space. Meanwhile the narrator’s thoughts turn to the tatty fairground rides at a departed circus, and the dissipation of love.

Does it sound like the end of all things? Yes, if the end of all things is like going to sleep under anaesthetic in a 50s hospital while a posh, disinterested nurse talks you down. It’s exquisite.

Muse – Apocalypse Please

I’m scared, hold me! It’s no surprise to find these fellas on the list. They’re Britain’s favourite doomsday combo, after all. “It’s time for something biblical!” declares Matt Bellamy with glee as thunderous piano chords and DRUMS OF DEATH smash all around him.

What sort of apocalypse is this? You only need to look at the album cover: it’s the Christian Rapture, and some poor fella’s got stuck on earth. Speaking of which, I discovered today that there’s — oh yes — a video game version of Left Behind, that histrionic series of post-Rapture potboilers that’s popular in Christian bookshops. “If you can’t convert them, you might have to kill them!” players will tell themselves as they struggle to bring God’s love to a world awaiting Tribulation. Amusingly for uptight evangelicals everywhere, you can also play as the Antichrist’s forces.

Does it sound like the end of all things? Yes it bloody does.

U2 – Last Night On Earth

I’m scared, hold me! You can’t blame U2, with their roots in a charismatic Dublin fellowship, for being a bit obsessed with the end times. They’d even already had a dry run with Until the End of the World, a few years before this one.

So, apparently they had to put this song together in a terrible rush on their last studio day before going on tour. Poor Bono had to stay up all night to finish the lyrics! It doesn’t show, Bono. My favourite bit is “She’s not waiting on a saviour to come, she’s at a bus-stop with the News of the World and the Sun.” Given a choice of how to spend the last few hours of existence, I wouldn’t bother with the tabloids I don’t think. Especially not when, as logic tells us, one of them is at least a day out of date, whichever day of the week it is.

What sort of apocalypse is this? Hands on the clock are sticking and slipping (temporal distortion?), the ground’s giving way, and the girl in the song has got to ‘give it away’. It’s all a bit vague (THAT’S NOT LIKE YOU BONO), and Dublin was a long time ago, so let’s plump for something nice and Buddhist involving an advanced perception of time and the cycle of destruction and recreation.

Does it sound like the end of all things? No, it sounds like milky tea.

Britney Spears – Till The World Ends

I’m scared, hold me! Well it was only a matter of time before Britney turned her attention from self-destruction to the destruction of all things. Her sugar-coated catastrophe takes the form of a doom-laden dance-off. It’s that unique feeling when you find a partner on the dancefloor who’s so good you want to grind to the beat until the flesh melts off your bones.

What sort of apocalypse is this? Britney’s assertion that the world’s end will be within her lifetime rules out the dispensational premillennialism you might expect from her Southern Baptist upbringing. I’d tag her as a progressive amillennialist, or even a partial preterist, although with her determined adherence to hedonism in this song, it’s possible she doesn’t see herself as one of the saved.

Does it sound like the end of all things? No-one expected a disco! But there’s that thrilling moment when the end of the world is depicted sonically by a decaying 8-bit crunch. And then it comes back! Of course, if you watch the video, Britney does appear to have actually averted the apocalypse by dancing. The sun shines out of her arse at 3:10 and all! And as it’s set on “December 21, 2012”, she seems to have lumped herself in with the Mayan calendar view of things, so I might just have to rethink my interpretation of her eschatological leanings. But I’ll let Wikipedia have the last word. They’ve got a very important, and amazing, distinction to make.

Tied up with string: March


I suddenly realised, when there was no new episode of Friday Night Dinner on Comic Relief night, that it had become my tv highlight of the week. And quite right too; it’s very funny with a gently surreal tinge that anyone from a family of eccentric weirdos will recognise as THE TRUTH straight away.


Oh god The Weeknd’s House of Balloons has absolutely killed me. It picks up ultra-slow, claustrophobic R&B from where Drake left it last year, but it’s bleaker and harder and sadder. Desire and despair and devastation. I love it. AND IT IS FREE.

Britney’s Femme Fatale is pretty much flawless too – just the right mix of phoned-in robo-vocals, off-kilter production and the occasional nod to the rest of what’s going on in the charts. And good songs, more importantly. Excellent.


Wake Wood made me very happy indeed.  Hammer are back! And it’s like they’ve never been away, what with a couple moving to a new home, trouble with the car on country lanes, creepy children, implacably menacing animals…   In particular this film could be twinned with the Hammer House of Horror episode Growing Pains: HE works with animals, THEY’ve lost a child, SHE suspects supernatural goings-on, THAT PET DOG should probably have an eye kept on it etc, etc. Really thrilling and topped off with some lovely evocative music. WATCH OUT FOR THE SCARY ABACUS.

I’m sticking my neck out for Anuvahood too, especially after seeing a slew of reviews looking down on it for being crude and juvenile. There’s nothing wrong with crude and juvenile! I get the impression half the reviewers are just upset that they didn’t understand most of the slang. We laughed all the way through, especially when the magnificent Jocelyn Jee Essien charged in and took the film over for the duration of her cameo.


The Six Million Dollar Man homage in Tinie Tempah’s Wonderman is perfect, and nicely tongue-in-cheek (It’s not an especially new song, but the video’s been doing the rounds in the last month). Let’s think of my posting it here as a public service – I suspect I have a number of readers who love a bit of cheesy 70s telefantasy but don’t often hang around the pop video channels. This is for you!


We’re over-run with mice at work at the moment. Droppings have been found in drawers, unattended food left nibbled through, and on one notable if implausible occasion, mouse-wee was detected on someone’s desk. A succession of hard-faced pest removal men have stomped through the office, but more often than not they come to shake out the traps into their mousebuckets only to find them empty. While cheese and wine parties continue squeakily in the skirting boards, I hope.

What happened with the babysitter and the bad sherbert and the bad dream

By Bert, aged 3.9

My babysitter is called Britney. I look forward to when she comes round because she is very exciting and I never know what will happen. But sometimes this is a bit scary as well.

This week she came round and she was very happy because she was going on a vacation as soon as my mum got home. I asked her where she was going to go on her vacation and she laughed and she said to paradise. She was putting on lots of make-up as usual and I noticed she had some sherbert in her handbag and when she went to the toilet I had some of the sherbert but it did not taste very nice and I had to have a lie down.

Then there was something wrong with the lights and I could not see Britney properly but she looked strange. I was scared and I remembered when Britney took me to the barbers and about the haircut that made my mum angry and some other things that I was supposed to have forgotten.

Britney and I were on a spaceship and she was going to get married but some paint came out of her hands and she could not stop it and it spoiled her dress and she was crying but she was laughing as well and I did not know what was happening.

Then there were two Britneys and they had a big fight and the music was strange I had not heard any music like it before. I could not tell whether one of the Britneys was good and one of the Britneys was bad, I am not sure that either of them was sure of that either.

But I do not think that either of the Britneys won the fight. Then a big comet came and blew us all up and we died but then I woke up and it had all been a dream.

If I had thought about it I would have known that it was a dream because when Britney fought another Britney it was like what happened with my Auntie Nicki and one of her sisters at Halloween and when all the paint went everywhere it was like what my arch-enemy Willow Smith did at pre-school.

I was happy that all the bad things were just in a dream and I went to tell Britney about it. But she was asleep as well with her face on the kitchen table and there was lots of sherbert everywhere all around her. Her face looked nice when she was asleep because usually she is either very happy or very sad and when she was asleep she just looked like Britney. But I do not think the sherbert was good sherbert and I felt sorry for Britney because I know she wanted to go to paradise but I think it was too late.

If popstars were… Poisons

Nicole Scherzinger’s the latest popstar to sing about poison, but how does it compare to the greats of the canon? And which poison is she?

So many poisons, so little time

ABC – Poison Arrow

What’s it like?: Jauntily dramatic, with big drum crashes, dadfunk bass, ghostly piano, a deadpan spoken interlude and SOLO SAX. Pretty much perfect.

The lyrics?: The central conceit that Cupid’s arrow has been tainted is elegantly matched with a series of classic reversals: Right on the target but wide of the mark, what I thought was fire was only the spark, etc etc. Bonus points for no rhythm in cymbals, no tempo in drums.

What poison are they?: Something romantic and old-fashioned. A cyanide apple, but more Snow White than Alan Turing.


Culture Club – Church of the Poison Mind

What’s it like?: Well I suppose it’s got a good beat. Otherwise it’s a church with a wonky organ, wall-to-wall harmonica and a lot of unholy wailing all over the shop.

The lyrics? They work the ‘church’ side of the metaphor a lot more than the ‘poison’ one. There’s love will make you blind, but otherwise disappointing.

What poison are they? A Silk Cut dipped in poppers.

Alice Cooper – Poison

What’s it like?: Oh it’s a right old racket. But you know how it goes, don’t you.

The lyrics? Very impressive, from the opening Your cruel device onwards. The object of Alice’s affection has a call that’s like needles and pins, eyes that could kill with a look, and of course her lips are venomous poison which ends up running through Alice’s veins. Nicely sustained.

What poison is he?: Snakebite. By which I mean I’m sure Alice’d like to come off as something fanged and bitey and exotic, but he seems like such a gentle, humourous soul in reality that the classic UK cocktail of beer and cider would probably do.


Britney Spears – Toxic

What’s it like?: Strings that are woozy and swoopy, all at the same time. Croaky sex Mehitabel enthuses over gulpy descending bass with hilarious consequences. One of the best songs of all time.

The lyrics? It’s pretty much a direct sequel to the Alice Cooper song, to the extent that his your mouth, so hot/ your web, I’m caught/ your skin, so wet/ black lace, on sweat verse could be slipped right in here without anyone noticing. And as Britney ALSO fixates on the idea of her lover’s lips being a poison paradise, I suggest we consider this a classic ‘answer record’ to Alice, while we leave her salivating over the thought of a sip from the devil’s cup. WHATEVER THAT IS.

What poison is she?: Anything that’s going, I suspect. Dishwasher rinse-aid, a few too many Junior Disprins, an overdose of nutmeg. Whatever gets her there.


Nicole Scherzinger – Poison

What’s it like?: Like ejaculating over and over again while trying to bust a move on a crowded dancefloor with someone shouting at you over a pneumatic drill and a rave horn going off (brilliant).

The lyrics?: Finally, after decades of popstars serenading their poisonous lovers, Nicole positions herself as the toxic one. It’s her lips that are dripping venom, and her own bad girl power she’s itching to abuse. Otherwise the words are largely incomprehensible (Sexy little dirty screen? Stick to a stick?) but I think we can consider this a triumph.

What poison is she?: A heady mix of Formula One petrol fumes, Elnett hairspray, exciting cartoon poison bottles and the sticky patches you find on nightclub floors. All the good stuff.



A Piece Of Sausage Surprise

Go on Britney, it's your favourite.

So I’ve got this audio mash-up I did a couple of years ago knocking around on my hard drive and it needs a home. And Gillian Wright did some lovely acting as Jean Slater in Eastenders again this week, didn’t she. And Britney’s new single’s good, isn’t it. So it’s any excuse really. Click below to listen.