Black Chandelier

Currently obsessed with this track. J introduced me to it this past weekend and it’s been on a high-rotation this week. Seeing as I’m completely incapable of writing anything profound on this blog at the moment, here’s the official video (love the look and feel) and the acoustic version. You’re welcome. Lyrics below.

Can’t wait for the album – Opposites, which releases 25/28 January.

Drip, drip, drip, drip

I shouldn’t laugh but I know I’m a failure in your eyes
I know it’s daft but I guess that I know it deep inside
It feels like we’re ready to crack these days, you and I
When it’s just the two of us, only the two of us, I could die

You left my heart like an abandoned car
Old and worn, ain’t no use at all
But I used to be free

We’re gonna separate ourselves tonight
We’re always running scared but holding knives
But there’s a black chandelier
It’s casting shadows and lies

Drip, drip, drip, drip

I’ll sit in silence for the rest of my life if you’d like
Dressing our wings with industrial gloves made of wire
Feel it penetrating the skin, we begin to relax
When it’s just the two of us, and a cute little cup of cyanide

You left my heart like an abandoned car
Old and worn, ain’t no use at all
But I used to be free

We’re gonna separate ourselves tonight
We’re always running scared but holding knives
But there’s a black chandelier
It’s casting shadows and lies


My favourite thing for today

I’m pretty in love with Pink, at the moment. I’ve had her album The Truth About Love on repeat in my car for about three weeks solid now (What, it’s a great relationships-and-all-their-dramas album). Anyway, one of my favourite tracks on the album is Try, which also happens to be her new single – and the music video is amazing. Seriously.

It’s helmed by Floria Sigismondi, who directed the incredible The Runaways (with Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart).

I’m in love. The choreography, the colours, the movement, the cinematography. Love, love, love.

I fink u freek-ing boring…

I know it’s not the popular opinion. Just like I know I’m supposed to be stunned every time Lady Gaga dons another outrageous outfit, I know that I’m meant to be shocked and a little disgusted by every video Die Antwoord releases and every line of their lyrics.

Watch their latest video, then carry on reading my rant:

It’s a great video. Wonderfully styled, directed, conceptualised. It’s strangely beautiful. I’m not criticising the video, not really.

But, I’m afraid, I’m a little bored of Die Antwoord. No, I lie. I’m a lot bored by Die Antwoord. Like Gaga, they try so hard to live their “product” – which sure, takes a lot of dedication – but the problem with their product is that it’s unsustainable. Once they have milked their zef-ness to death – or the world becomes desensitized to their bizarre nature – Die Antwoord will be left with what I would guess is a small fan base. For their sake, I hope I’m wrong.

It is, I don’t hesitate to say, a pity. Ninja (Or, as he’s also known, Watkin “Waddy” Tudor Jones) has been part of some fascinating musical projects here in South Africa and Yo-Landi is bizarrely beautiful and exceptionally talented. Their move from the fascinating, heavy “hip hop-ness” of their earlier material (Enter the Ninja went viral for a reason) and into a slightly more club-inspired genre shows their versatility and their eagerness to reinvent. Their breakaway from Interscope Records displays their commitment to artistic control. I just wish they would be more “real” in more of their material.

This concerted effort to shock/awe/offend is wearing thin. Much like Gaga, their attempts to stand out from the crowd so consistently has become their normal: There is nothing new in the video for I Fink U Freeky. Which is a pity, ’cause it’s a helluva catchy song.

The black and white, we’ve done before with Enter the Ninja. Yo-Landi drapes herself in rats and dons her Pikachu outfit. Ninja cavorts in his tired boxer shorts, imitated by the other stars of the video. It makes them recognisable – but it’s a far cry from the WTF impact of Enter the Ninja and Zef Side.

I watched the video for I Fink U Freeky, I wrote a small article on it, I trawled for pictures, I set up a poll. But what struck me the hardest today were lyrics I saw typed out from So What? in an article in Rolling Stone South Africa – penned by a friend of Ninja and Yo-Landi. Stripped of the show and the pretence, they were all the more impactful – and I’ve thought of those lyrics more than the video I watched:

“Rapped for 20 years, never made a cent/Borrowed money from my mom to pay the rent/Now how’m I gonna get out of this mess/Yo- landi shows me two stripes on the fucking piss-test/Broke-ass Ninja gonna be a daddy/Little baby Ninja gonna need some nappies.”

To me, that “reality” is infinitely more fascinating than the construct that is Die Antwoord.

The Ard of Anthem Singing

As bad as I feel my week has been, I’m pretty sure it’s been worse for Ard Matthews.

In case you’d been abducted by aliens (and I’m currently reading Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher so it seems quite likely at this point) and missed the entire skandaal, Just Jinjer frontman had the most epic of brain farts during a live performance of the South African national anthem, which was part of the Springbok squad announcement for the World Cup.

Now, South Africans are truly, notoriously unforgiving. We set such high standards for ourselves and our heroes that one slip up is enough to see you totally slammed. That’s what’s happened to Ard. And the poor guy, professional that he is, has accepted all the blame, made no excuses and simply apologised and apologised and apologised – and will continue apologising until he runs out of ways in which he can apologise. But it’s not looking good – I ran a poll on my site and almost 88% of the voters said that they wouldn’t accept any of those apologies, saying that there’s no excuse.

The public slamming and humiliation has started to get out of control. Local chicken franchise Nando’s ran an ad within 24 hours of the performance, broadcasters SuperSport and the SA Rugby Union have been hauled into Parliament to (ahem) face the music and even the infamous fellow-anthem destroyer Ras Dumisani has thrown in his five cents’ worth, saying that he thinks Ard “can’t sing at all” and that it “looks like he can’t concentrate on singing and playing the guitar at the same time – he should have got someone to accompany him.” This is rich, of course, coming from the guy whose rendition of the anthem was so bad that it was cited among the reasons the Springboks lost a match to France.

In among all of this, Ard has made no excuses. Okay, he has since posted a YouTube video to prove that he does in fact know the anthem.

But his behaviour is more than the now much-quoted Ras has done – after his debacle he blamed everything from the backing track to the crowd.

But it’s now got out of hand. The hate directed at Ard – who has been nothing but one of South Africa’s golden boys until now – is shocking. At the end of the day, it was simply human error. There was nothing malicious about it. Sure, Supersport could have allowed Ard a teleprompter. Sure, he could have stopped and started the anthem again. Sure, Bok coach P Divvy could have joined in like the redhead from the FNB ad – but none of that happened.

Let’s respect his apology and move on – and most importantly, let’s stop spewing the hate. We can’t go back and change the past, as I so often have to remind myself, so let’s rally forward. Forgive, forget, let it slide.


The long-weekend wrap-up

Right – so I have neglected this blog for a week or so for a number of different reasons, largely:

  • I was working the 10-day weekend news shift. The weekend news shift turns my brain into mush and it’s largely damage control by the end of it, no time for awesome things like blogging.
  • A lot of Grown Up Stuff happened. Being a grown up sucks. But it was a major wake-up call. Things could always, always be worse.
  • After my 10-day shift I went on a four-day weekend. (Perk!) My weekend included catching Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite Live at the Grand Arena here in Cape Town (amazing!) and surviving my first-ever trail run. I tried to work as little as possible during my time off.

The great thing about taking a little time off is how much cool stuff awaits your return – especially in the entertainment world! In no particular order…

Blink-182 release their new single, Up All Night. It reminds me of being 13 again.

The first trailer for the new Sherlock Holmes movie drops. Robert Downey Jr rocks my socks off.

Rebecca Black’s new single lands. It’s slightly less terrible than Friday. Slightly.

The first teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises has arrived. I squealed.

And, if you missed it, a clip from The Walking Dead Season 2.

Also – the big what.the.fuck moment of the week has come in the form of JLo’s separation from hubby Marc Anthony. But, it isn’t very surprising, if you think about it… And I’ll have more on that tomorrow. For now – research. For something pretty damn awesome.

Hugh Laurie is so, so worth it…

He’s best known for his portrayal of the ridiculously, absurdly sexy Dr Greg House in House – and now Loreal has decided to make him the new face of their Men Expert range of products.

He’s got the rugged look that Loreal want, obviously – the I’m a real man, not a girl, look real men use our products too look that cosmetics companies are going for. But the genius lies in his personality – of which he has oodles, unlike the rather dull Gerard Butler.

Their behind-the-scenes promo video features Laurie at his self-deprecating best. He’s funny, charming and can hold the screen like nobody’s business. (I’m a fan, is it obvious?)

Watch the video below, then check out how well he cleans up after the jump.

Continue reading

Eminem ‘Space Bound’ in suicide video

For the most part – I love Eminem. It’s a conundrum, see, because I completely abhor his attitude to women and gays in general.

But I also find him to be a lyrical genius with a mastery of the language that is unparallelled in the world of hip hop. He’s a powerful voice and a powerful actor – and he also has a sense of drama that I find intoxicating.

Anyway, my fan-girl-ness aside… His new video for Space Bound is no exception to the rule. Much like with Love the Way You Lie (which is also directed by Joseph Khan) there’s a strong cinematic feel to the video. Violence, too, obviously – this is Eminem, after all, and the song is another cautionary tale of the line between love and domestic abuse.

The video starts with Eminem hitching a ride from the ridiculously beautiful former porn star Sasha Grey. In the car, Eminem splits into two versions of himself – a calmer one and an aggressive one (quite possibly a throw-back to his famous Slim Shady persona).

This continues through a scene in a diner – where Eminem check the lovely Sasha’s phone and discovers that she is, in fact, two-timing him – to a room where he attempts to choke Sasha to death, before she disappears in front of his eyes and he puts a gun to his chin. The entire story then plays itself backwards to show Em climbing into the car again.

Take what you will from it – he dreamed it, it’s a hallucination, it’s a cautionary tale, it all actually happened – it’s a powerful, powerful video.

Unsurprisingly, the watchdogs were up in arms – with anti-violence group Mothers Against Violence providing my favourite soundbyte: “Children are influenced by the things they see,” the group said. “If we feed violence, it becomes strong. Like an addiction.”

“It’s all about the money with these videos. Eminem isn’t thinking about the families affected. It’s selfish — it comes to a point when selfishness becomes evil.”

It’s shot largely in pallettes of dark hues and greys with some bright pops of colour – the neon sign, the condiments on the diner table, the door – and obviously the light that Em raps against . Khan uses intense close-ups – particularly of the actors’ faces and upper bodies – much as he did with Love the Way You Lie, which produces a sense of claustrophobia and that inescapable sense of being in-your-face that Eminem trades on. It’s gritty and intense – a great piece of directing.

Well, watch it below and see for yourself. I think it’s amazing. And that’s my Entertainment Ed voice talking, not my Eminem fan-girl voice.

They need to make her go to Rehab…

This year was hailed as Amy Winehouse’s “comeback year”. This year, her team was sure, she would finally overcome her personal demons and get back to the height of her success.

But as 2011 starts slipping away at an alarming pace, that all looks impossible.

Amy Winehouse in Belgrade

Amy Winehouse during her disastrous Belgrade show.

An album was promised for Christmas 2010, which failed to materialise. Then it was set for a January release. It’s now June. She’s attempted various live performances, with varying results. She played her five shows in Brazil in January this year and seemed back on top, despite having to interrupt songs to take sips of water and falling off the stage during one gig. But then she was booed off stage in Dubai in February after appearing tired and distracted. After checking into rehab for a week at the end of May and being told by doctors “Stop drinking or die”, Amy performed a polished set at an intimate venue in London on 12 June, which an audience member described as being “like one of her old performances”.

Somehow, though, in the space of a week – the wheels fell off.

Amy performed a disastrous set in Serbia on 18 June in which she seemed trashed out of her mind. She stumbled onto the Belgrade stage over an hour late, paused to take off her shoes, introduced her band members incorrectly and mumbled her way through her song Just Friends. And that was just the opening number. If you’ve got the stomach for it, you can watch it here. It’s really not a pretty sight.

More after the jump…

Continue reading

Rihanna’s ‘Man Down’ causes controversy. Surprise.

As E! Online so wonderfully put it, “Another day, another incendiary Rihanna video”.

The video in question has been widely covered across the marvellousness that is the interwebz, so I’ll keep the briefing short. (Or you can read more on my site).

Very basically, in Man Down, Rihanna executes the man who raped her. And the industry watchdogs are pissed. For various different reasons. It’s described as an “inexcusable, shock-only, shoot-and-kill theme song”. Which I think is going a little far, seeing as nobody’s actually bothered to listen to the lyrics and watch the video at the same time.

Tell you what, do that now and I’ll carry on after the jump…


Continue reading

Lady Gaga’s Judas video – A brief review

You know, there’s a fine line when artists/studios/labels balance when promoting a piece of work.

Too little publicity and your product will disappear among the masses, destined to either fade into obscurity or (if they’re very, very lucky) become a cult classic. Too much publicity and you over-stimulate your audience to the point where no matter how amazing your film/song/novel is, somebody else expected it to be better.

To me, this is what’s happened to Lady Gaga’s video for Judas. For weeks and weeks we’ve heard Gaga talk about how it was the most exciting artistic moment of her career. We’ve heard hype from her creative partner, seen leaked details splashed all over the media and then, of course, the controversy surrounding the track itself. And then, she premiered the video – which you can watch below. My 2c and the video itself after the jump…

Continue reading