[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
It's that time of year again! If you have some favourite songs of the year, send them over to poptimistspoll2010 at gmail dot com by 31st Dec! All the details are here.
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Already made your list and checked it twice? Why not submit it to this year's Freaky Trigger Readers' Poll!
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com

To celebrate 60 years of the UK Charts, DJ Chlorine and The Barnet Ape will be playing all #1s all night – all the boshingest chart-toppers from Aqua to Zager & Evans.

Superstar Guest DJS: Tome Wing and Bob Stanley.

WHERE: Downstairs @ Ryan’s Bar, 181 Stoke Newington Church St
WHEN: Friday 30th November 2012, 8pm-1am
(Facebook event link)

Seeya there dudes!
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com

Pop music! Dancing! Drill-n-bass remixes of Carly Rae Jepsen!
All the details here.
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Heads up, London dudes!

Poptimism presents... CLUB ACTION!
Friday, 14 September, 8pm-1am
Ryan's Bar, Stoke Newington Church St, N16 0UL

Pop music, dancing and proper beer. FREE ENTRY. Tell your friends!

(Facebook thing)
[identity profile] dubdobdee.livejournal.com
Tom asked this question at One Week?/One Band: "Did people actually dislike ABBA in the 70s? The Brian Eno quote I posted yesterday paints a familiar picture - nobody could say they liked them, then gradually people could. But how were they really received in the music press at the time?"

Here's my initial reply (writing as someone who began reading the UK rock press extremely intensely from 1977):

NME Book of Rock (1976 edn, key para, author unknown):
"[ABBA] first came to international attention through winning the grisly Eurovision song contest in 1974, but have since acieved world-wide success with their albums, compilations of slick pop material tailored to the singles market, and all delivered in a kind of jarring Eurospeak. ABBA have compensations, however; the superb quality of the production (attained with aid of Stig Anderson, long-serving producer in the Swedish record industry), the strong melodies, and the vocals--sometimes plaintive, sometimes strident--delivered by the girl singers who are as decorative as Swedish girls are proverbially supposed to be."

The Rolling Stone Record Guide (1980 edn, author is Ken Tucker):
"This Swedish quartet (two women, two men) is an international phenomenon; their sound--a compendium of white American pop hooks welded to memserizing synthesizers and the permanently anxious lead singing of the women--is pleasant and forgettable. In their conscious conquest of Everywhere, they are determined not to offend: as fixed cheeriness pervades, and thus ABBA is best taken in small doses--i.e. Their singles. Given this every-song-a-smiley-smash approach, the Greatest Hits is of the highest quality, even if it is prone to induce both sleep and cavities."

[All LPs given 2/5 except Hits which as 3/5: by comparison David Gates's Bread's two Bests get 4/5 and a fair bit more leeway and enthusiasm -- albeit from a different entry-writer...]

The Faber Companion to 20th-Century Popular Music, by Phil Hardy and Dave Laing (1990 edn):
Entry WAY too boring to write out, except for this weird claim: "Surprisingly (and in marked contrast to Fleetdood Mac), the strained personal relationships within the group -- both couoples parted -- were never reflected in Ulvaeus's anmd Andersson's songs."

Eno is of course highly parti pris within the context of the Brit discussion of rock and pop (as was glam generally): so when he skewers an orthodoxy, it's basically a summary of the foolish opinions of everyone he wants to dismiss as stupid, and sidesteps all those who'd already come over to his side of the argument. The "3-inch-singles are better than albums" was a well formed and boisterous faction already -- Greg Shaw was one of its cheerleaders -- and plenty of people were already wrestling with the issues of quasi-manufactured pop-for-younger-teens (cf anyone writing about the Monkees or Marc Bolan).

Of course the issue here is that ABBA weren't so evidently writing for younger teens: quite the opposite. And much of the pop/rock discourse in the 70s was often trying to argue that, well, TEENAGERS ARE THE NEW GROWN-UPS GRANDAD: to be young means you're exciting and sexy and CORRECT (politically), and you need to be taken seriously, unlike adults who are all boring squares. Which is is a whole raft of contradictory assumptions, especially as time passes.

Finally, despite Ken Tucker's review, ABBA were more or less unknown in the US: and for British rock writers, validation in the end still came from across the Atlantic. The British rock press was young, anxious, unformed and inexperienced in the mid-70s: the US rock press was its admired older brother, at least for a while. It wasn't really till the 80s that critics came along who wanted to break with this -- who treated the American imprimatur as, if not worthless, then not really something to bother chasing.
[identity profile] skyecaptain.livejournal.com

Hello Denizens of the Land of Ghosts and Shadows Poptimists! Just finished a new mix some of y'all might dig -- Teenpop Lock and Drop Volume 2.

You can download and stream it here. Happy summer fun time!
[identity profile] koganbot.livejournal.com
Testing to see if we're still on anyone's dashboard.

Inspired by Christophe calling Big Bang's "Blue" the greatest boyband song since Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," I compiled a list of fifteen boyband tracks. Not a best-of, not a survey, but some stuff I think highly of, and enough gaps to call forth lists of your own:

The Jewels "Hearts Of Stone"
Dion And The Belmonts "I Wonder Why"
The Marcels "Blue Moon"
The Miracles "You Really Got A Hold On Me"
The Beatles "She Loves You"
The Temptations "(I Know) I'm Losing You"
The Monkees "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"
The Jackson 5 "I Want You Back"
The Moments "Love On A Two-Way Street"
New Kids On The Block "You Got It (The Right Stuff)"
Bell Biv DeVoe "Poison"
*NSync "I Want You Back"
Backstreet Boys "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)"
Big Bang "Tonight"
MBLAQ "I Don't Know"

[Error: unknown template video]

I was extrapolating forward and back from early '90s usage; so, the male r&b vocal group taken to by kids and teens, with dancing. Orioles and Drifters not eligible, Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers are. "I Want To Hold Your Hand" eligible, "I Am The Walrus" not. "ABC" eligible, "Shake Your Body" not (among other things, vocals too much a Michael-only showcase). I count the Coasters, but I'd have chosen the Robins/Coasters' "Riot In Cell Block Number 9," which is a bit early and the content is probably insufficiently pre-teen (though I myself would've loved it as a tyke). I count the early Wailers, but my choice, "Jailhouse," is too late, and it reaches older than teen. I disqualified duos even though in my heart I'm sure the Everly Brothers belong for "Cathy's Clown" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream," and maybe even Simon & Garfunkel for the electric version of "Sounds Of Silence."

Ignorance, missing sweet )

So have at it.

Temptation )

(Crossposting on [livejournal.com profile] koganbot, as I fear [livejournal.com profile] poptimists remains a ghost town.)
[identity profile] skyecaptain.livejournal.com
Hello poptimists! I'm doing an informal survey of people who listen and/or listened at some point in time to Ashlee Simpson's Autobiography, in preparation for a manuscript I'm putting together on the album. It is brief and anonymous.

Please feel free to share this link with any pop communities that you think might be useful. Thanks!

[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Morning poptimists! The Brit Award nominations are out and as usual there's plenty of dreck involved. But is there any wheat to this chaff?

Big ol' poll under the cut )

2011 Poll

Jan. 10th, 2012 10:23 pm
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Wotcher chaps - apologies for the radio silence for the last week but hopefully you will have noticed your top 97 tracks of 2011 appearing over on Freaky Trigger!

Here are the links in case you missed them:


Thanks to everyone who voted!
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Wotcher dudes and happy new year! Thanks for sending in your Songs of 2011 - tracks #97-#51 are now up at Freaky Trigger for your delectation. More to follow later today!
[identity profile] meserach.livejournal.com
Hi Poptimists!

As in traditional at this time of year I am embarking on a way over-ambitious music related blogging project over on my Tumblr! It is: review every single in the Top 40 this year!

I hope this may be relevant to your interests! Thus far I am two reviews in (featuring ME being RUDE about COLDPLAY and COMPARATIVELY NICER BUT NOT MUCH to OLLY MURS) and have 38 more to do hopefully by Sunday - I need people to shame me into completing it offer support and perhaps comments!

Check it out!
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Hi dudes! I haven't quite finished the big spreadsheet of DOOM yet so if you've forgotten to send your top 20 tracks to poptimistspoll2010@gmail.com then do it NOW. More details here.
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
Dudes! A quick reminder to send your top 20 songs of 2011 to poptimistspoll2010@gmail.com by the witching hour of 30th December! More info here.

In the meantime here is Girls Aloud with some festive cheer:

[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
*dusts off cobwebs*

RIGHT DUDES now is the time to make a list, check it twice, and send me your favourite songs of 2011!

  • Send up to 20 songs of 2011 to poptimistspoll2010@gmail.com* by 1am GMT on 31st 30th December (yes I am in the office that day and will need some distraction)

  • 'Songs of 2011' can mean songs released this year, or songs that emerged this year, or singles taken from a 2010 album released this year. To be honest I will be pretty lenient about the whole business so put whatever you like.

  • The order of your top 20 is important! Your #1 will be allocated more points than #20. If you can't think of 20 songs then 10 or 14 or 2 is just fine.

  • Bonus points may be awarded for emails with amusing subject lines.

  • You don't need to be a poptimists LJ member (or even have an LJ account!) to vote.

  • I'll post the results in the first week of January.

*Recycling emails is good for the environment!
**I am an idiot - 31st is a Saturday so I won't be in work...
[identity profile] dubdobdee.livejournal.com

I am the 0.00000001 percent: it’s taken me 19 years (and haha six Cate Blanchett movies)* to pin down my take on Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You” (initial discussion courtesy [livejournal.com profile] freakytigger's Popular review of same).

Seven if you count Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which even I don't...

Hullo LJ I am neglecting you!
[identity profile] piratemoggy.livejournal.com
It's the Lex 20p indie poll!

(sorry for not posting it yesterday, I was busy shouting at people about Flo Rida)

[Poll #1776577]
[identity profile] katstevens.livejournal.com
What's that coming over the hill? Is it a club night? IS IT A CLUB NIGHT?

It is indeed! It's this Friday!

DJ Chlorine and The Barnet Ape present an evening of rave classics, chart bosh and euro bangers at Mason & Taylor E1 (near Shoreditch High St tube). M&T do good beer, hence the laboured booze puns.

All the info here: Friday 19th August, 9pm-2am, free entry and all the 2 Unlimited you can drink! All welcome! We also have a special guest DJ set from [livejournal.com profile] awesomewells which apparently will contain 'lots of piano house'.

(We're only doing this for one night so if you don't come you will MISS OUT FOREVER. JSL.)
[identity profile] piratemoggy.livejournal.com
I refuse to join the rest of you stinkin' hippies over at Dreamwidth (not until I've consistently used Tumblr, anyway) so someone can x-post if they like. Or you could have a 2p Young Person's God Help Us If There's A War Prize. Whatever.

It is time for nominations to this year's highly-sought-after Lex 20p Indie Prize.

some guidelines )

[Poll #1766864]

We can also discuss the fact there seem to be literally three or four listenable things on the Mercury shortlist if you would rather.

Edit: younger readers who do not know Lex may be unaware of his work; not only is he our longstanding chum [livejournal.com profile] alexmacpherson but also a real actual music journalist, a few of his recent pieces for the Graun covered homophobia in hip hop, Cher Lloyd's ambitions and Liechtenstein's disco scene.

December 2014

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