Archive for bad dancing

50. ‘Ready for the Floor’ by Hot Chip (2008)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by G.K. Reid

 Although Kylie Minogue (who, pop legend has it, this song was originally destined for) could have given this the sublime crying-in-the-disco treatment in her sleep, it would have been at the expense of the jaggedness and the idiosyncrasy that make this song (and Hot Chip generally) something to cherish. 

Kylie couldn’t have pulled off the repressed Englishness of the ‘perchance/dance’ rhyme, nor could she have queried ‘Why don’t you open up, we talk?’ with such anxious, geeky tenderness.

And I doubt she would have slapped on half a Joker-face and danced like a five-year-old in the video either.

Bonus points: That having been said, I’d still LOVE to hear a Kylie version.


64. ‘Biology’ by Girls Aloud (2006)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 22, 2010 by G.K. Reid

From left to right: Pete Burns; Sour-Face; Racist; Porn Star; and The Unintelligible Irish One.

Girls Aloud. Where to start, eh? I mean, in many ways, they’re fantastic. And yet, in an equal number of ways, you want most of them to just cock the fuck off. (Not Sarah Harding, because she’s clearly one of the most amazing women of the 21st Century). I’m not entirely sure as to how Girls Aloud managed to luck into being the main vessel for the most interesting and innovative pop songwriting/production team of recent years (Xenomania), but then I have to consider that, when I listen to Shangri-Las records, I never even bother to wonder about such things at all.

However it has come to be, Girls Aloud do currently enjoy a very interesting position in the media and the music press. They’re obviously kitted out for tabloid interest – well, mostly just Cheryl… and occasionally Sarah, when her alcoholism becomes too public… and very occasionally Nicola when she calls the Prime Minister a ‘toad’ or something. (I exclude Nadine because, let’s face it, no one actually gives a shit whether she’s shagging that big-pecced guy from Desperate Housewives or not, not least because its impossible to decipher anything she ever says). But as well as being tabloid fodder, they’ve gained a lot of stuffy-critic-approved CREDIBILITY. And, as such, now appear to be national treasures.

I remain skeptical. If only because Girls Aloud have managed to generate more hype than they have good songs.

Having said that, though, Biology remains a triumph. It’s just very odd. And incredibly daring – I can’t think of another pop song this decade that shifted gears with such confident precision, yet retained such a charming, slapdash facade, as though it had all been miraculously cobbled together in 15 minutes (cleverly, the out-of-sync dancing in the video maintains this sense of ramshackle fun).

For these reasons, and more, Biology is a great example of a pop song that is happy and confident with it’s own musical or structural merits. It knows that it’s breaking the mould, but it doesn’t demand that people take notice. Unfortunately, it DID make people take notice, and ever since Girls Aloud as a pop-thing have got increasingly complacent and assured in their own vanguard brilliance. (AKA: Cheryl and Nadine are going to fuck it up for everyone else.)

Bonus points: I neglected to mention Pete Burns/Kimberley earlier re: tabloid interest. But that’s largely because there. is. no. interest. Rest assured, she’s actually my second favourite member of the band, after Sarah. Chuck Cheryl in on backing vocals (just to piss her off) and ditch the other two, and you may have my second favourite hypothetical Turbo-Ronettes of the century.

73. ‘Up’ by The Saturdays (2008)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 14, 2010 by G.K. Reid

Colour-coded. Do JLS know about this?

It has to be said: there are too many Saturdays. There is no way on Earth that this band needs five people in it. It’s not like the Spice Girls where they all had their distinct “personalities” and they all (minus Posh) got solo bits. All The Saturdays have is colourful tights. So, we’re ditching two of them. Specifically, we’re ditching the vampire-eyed one (also known as “Blue Tights”) because she’s clearly at least 7 years older than the rest of them, and the one in the middle (“Red Tights”) because she’s clearly at least 5 inches taller than the rest of them. Also, Yellow Tights has an excellent Girl Band Face, and Orange Tights brings the now-requisite Fierce Hair. And I think we can all agree that Pink Tights, on the far right there, has a mightily impressive set of lungs on her. 

I now recommend that, liberated from the dead weight, Yellow, Orange and Pink Tights (Pink up front, Yellow and Orange ooh-ing behind her) forge ahead to become some sort of futuristic turbo-Ronettes, and try to record songs as emphatic and as vigorously executed as this one. (Sadly, ‘Up’ is starting to look increasingly like a fluke).

Bonus points: The endearingly shoddy video seems to play with the knowledge that they need to shed some members, teasing you with the prospect that two of them may fall to their deaths.

77. ‘Gimme More’ by Britney Spears (2007)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 12, 2010 by G.K. Reid

She’s fine!

Even without the coinciding Greek tragedy of Britney’s tabloid-salivating meltdown, this track would retain its authentically sinister, seedy undertones.  The way the backing vocals warp as they intone ‘more!’, alternating between an exaggeratedly feminine and macho question and demand, and peaking with a compliant, orgasmic exclamation; the lyrical references to both sides of the voyeuristic gaze (which Britney insists is thrillingly erotic, but the queasy and primal musical arrangement suggests is a much darker, baser human impulse); the ‘Danja!/danger!’ sirens as the demands for ‘more’ are clearly being satisfied. Gimme More is very much a song for this century, as it positions the sexual act as audience entertainment and can’t conceive of an existence where someone isn’t watching, and there isn’t something to demand for oneself. 

Bonus points: This made for an excellent twofer with the hilarious philippic that is Piece of Me.