"When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts negative associations." - Marilyn vos Savant

Saturday, December 22, 2012


One of the Pet Shop Boys fan pages had this on here. It's basically a Christmas Party with a lot of the well known musicians that are popular with the magazines. It's been said on the description that the idea  came from Neil Tennant himself, I thought that was a remarkable move on getting musicians do something briefly but hilarious and a fun-tastic piece compiled within twelve minutes. My goodness if it was an actual footage, I would have possibly died of laughter! It's just that funny. Since Christmas is rapidly approaching, I thought I shared this on here, I don't remember if they mentioned on the Smash Hits Christmas audio but it's good nonetheless. Mark Edith did the recording and producer was Taylor Dann. The following musician and bands are featured are: ABBA, ABC, Adam, Bananarama, Bucks Fizz, Captain Sensible, Culture Club, Duran Duran,  Fun Boy Three, Haircut One Hundred, Imagination, The Jam, Madness, Mari Wilson, Musical Youth, Piranhas, Police, Steve Strange, Toyah and Ultravox. Some you heard of and some you might haven't but it's still a cute little audio and it was very well thought out. I'm not sure if they do these type of things anymore, I do know about free CDs and stuff with magazines but something like a Christmas special. But anyway, it's a part 2 to this and I will link you on the bottom of this.

Oh and If you don't here from me in a few days, I will everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Smash Hits 1982 Christmas Party Part 2

My thoughts on Neil Tennant's Smash Hits Christmas on Radio 4

Couple days ago, a fan friend and I was listening to the Smash Hits radio, thankfully my internet didn't have a hiccup where it buffered or anything. I was truly shocked and impressed there was another Smash Hits audio, because the magazine itself is a fascination and fun filled. But this one was similar to the podcast last year but this time more of the staff members actually spoke in this one as well as Neil did. It was very informative and you can really tell how much they missed the atmosphere of the magazine and being part of it. Even the emotions on the voices about how music nowadays isn't all that cracked up to be, because it's really not about ideas anymore and they are right and with a magazine like Smash Hits, it was hard enough as it was to cope with the changing decade. I honestly wished this was on a podcast. I really like this one as well as the one about Neil Tennant wanting his job back. I think the link is still available to have a listen, it's only about 30 minutes in length but it's worth to have a listen! I haven't listen to the one where Neil reads a chapter of Moby Dick but I've manage to listen to other audios. The link for the Smash Hits radio is below this paragraph. Again it's really short but it's good. Really discussing like the best times and intriguing facts. The Smash Hits story is also on YouTube as well, that's another documentary that's good to understand about the magazine.

Smash Hits Radio

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Update and minimal review post

Hello dear readers,

I haven't abandon my blogs, I've just been busy and having a writer's block. In spite of that, I have been reading with one Pet Shop Boys book and almost done with that, looking at videos and working on a few posts but would go through them here and there. I will; however, continue on where I left off even with the Soft Cell/ Marc Almond posts as well. And may I just say that the Philharmonic BBC Concert that the Boys, Johnny Marr, orchestra and choir did an outstanding job, I was really impressed by the song choices and everything, there were some songs I wish it wasn't on there but still it was really excellent. Who ever seen it live, was truly lucky to see all that art. Even though, Neil's voice was trembling a bit, sounds like he was nervous, but he still sounded good! I will possibly have a better review on it later on. All I can is that I truly hope they will release it like they did with Concrete. If you have not listened to it yet(which I'm sure you have), I would recommend it. As fas as the single choices, I'm not really too impressed by that but that's the choice. Out of the video, "Leaving" and "Invisible" are probably the best videos I've seen. "Winner", for me unfortunately, wasn't their best video, in fact, I would consider it to be one of their worst videos. Only because I've seen what they are capable of doing and seeing something like that, wouldn't impress a young artist like myself. The idea was good, but they needed more than what they had on there and they weren't even on the video. Even though, I'm not too fond of the art cover of "Memory of the Future", I do have hope that the music video would be better than I would think it would be. I do like the "Leaving" art covers, but I think this time, I will just get the CDs for "Memory of the Future" and not the vinyls. It's like a weird clash between David Bowie and Andy Warhol on a bad day. The B-sides so far sound very good, and I am enthuse by that which hopefully, the new B-sides will prove remarkable. I am excited about the new pet text with Neil Tennant discussing about Smash Hits again, it's like the other one he did last year, and if possible, it would also be neat if they release a demo compilation, I've heard a good amount of demos of theirs and wonder why they haven't released on yet! Anyway, expect more blog posts heading your way! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pet Shop Boys - Paninaro (original video)

Yes, I’m back gotten busier with the new small jobs at college I have and my art projects I’m doing. I got back into doing the video critiques. I will discuss the newer videos later on in the blog.

“Paninaro” is a video that the Pet Shop Boys themselves created while they were in Milan. It is the derivative of the word “Paninari” which means sandwich. There were some Italian youth culture that was described or depict from this segment but really were teens wearing random clothes like rolled up jeans, white trousers, Timberland shoes, etc. Almost how Chris was dressed in the video. Chris wore the same iconic Issey Miyake “Suburbia” sunglasses. I like how it was symbolic within itself because it was a like a follow up from the “Suburbia” video and Neil with the cowboy hat and shades. I think that the Boys used Super 8 films only because of the style and how it looked. Soft Cell used something quite similar for the “Memorabilia” video.  I actually really liked how they did their own video; it shows their creative side other than getting another artist’s interpretation, which isn’t bad either. Some photo shots of Chris and Neil from the video later because the cover of the Disco which oddly enough, was inspired by Soft Cell’s Non Stop Ecstatic Dancing because of a remix album. They also used two of the photos for their VHS and LaserDisc of Television .They elements of using other people in their videos, Chris dancing, stop motion with the Miyake shades and a lot of editing, and having some symbolism with the words like “Passion”, “Love” and “Art”. The 80’s were very opened for new style and trends and the Boys were taking one step at a time. There’s another key part in the song while the song plays, you hear Chris’ voice from an interview where he talks about what he didn’t like and what he like. Which is cool and rare that he does more talking than Neil, since he doesn’t like the do a lot of chit chat. If I had to choose between Pop or Art, I’d say art.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Birthday Post!

After finishing my studies, I worked on a birthday drawing for Mr. Chris Lowe for his 53rd birthday. I actually didn't have an actual idea in mind , so I saw a photo on the official site and thought the hat was extremely cool and abstract! And something click into my head and I also wanted to add the cartoon, animal version of Chris, called Kip I made up.  I know it's a bit off because I made the proportions a bit small but I think it's okay enough to post it. Basically a pencil drawing Chris out and since he loves to sleep there's some Z's there. The photo also reminded me of Eric Watson's iconic "Love Comes Quickly" photo of Chris but an updated and futuristic and almost look like a church hat too. But anyway, Happy Birthday Chris Lowe! It's crayons and markers! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Elysium art review

The vinyl and double CD of Pet Shop Boys Elysium.
The rainbow was coincidental on there from my crystal statue by the window.

Recently, I have been listening to Pet Shop Boys latest album Elysium and I must say I was truly impressed.  It is the eleventh studio album produced by the band as well as Andrew Dawson, the producer beyond Kanye West, Jay-Z, etc. I gotten my copy at the Amoeba store, as I’m finding myself in the store a lot lately, the price wasn’t so bad either. I actually ordered mine on Amazon but apparently they didn’t have one at stock, so basically I waited for nothing. So I called and checked and finally came to the conclusion to just cancel it and then go to the store.  I guess it was a reason for me to get it there because I not only gotten the double disc but also the vinyl, as well as “Suburbia”(Chris on the front cover) and “Opportunities” (Gray cover).  I’ll be frankly honest, when I first saw the cover, I wasn’t all that enthuse about it because it did look like an image slapped on something or wasn’t thought of properly. But when I saw it in person, it looked beautiful and after knowing what it was about, it made much sense. The vinyl looks so beautiful it was a submerged of the regular edition (the water and sand) and the double disc edition (the sky) together like a mirroring image. And the choices of the colors amazed me even more: the blue and orange kind of gave me a Very/Can You Forgive Her? Type feel and ironically at the closing ceremonies, they had the cone hats but they were in black but still. But the album itself is more of a Behaviour-esque sound than any of their albums; the whole part of reflecting and calmness and about afterlife and death and depicting a story it a fascinating way. The sleeve covers as well really intrigued me because I would discuss about primary and secondary colors and now it’s like it’s a coincidence. The sleeves on the vinyl are orange and a deep purple which are secondary colors and then on the double disc it had one primary color which is blue and the other two are secondary colors: brighter purple and green. The packaging for the deluxe edition is nice just, like the Format and (so I have read) like the PopArt 3 CD set. And it gets even better about the album, is that it was very unusual that they released the second CD with all instrumentals, because I adore a lot of their instrumentals it’s like they seriously read my mind or something or it was a pure coincidence. Even though Relentless does have instrumentals, but it’s not a full instrumental CD or album, that’s if you want to make a comparison between the two. But it would make sense because after listening to the instrumentals, it was really good. It gives the songs a different tone verses Neil’s voice along with the back up singers. I personally listen to the instrumental versions a bit more because it gives a heavenly sound or the idea of being in the afterlife or peacefulness. My favorites on Elysium is “Leaving”, “Invisible”, “Your Early Stuff”,  “A Face Like That”, “Ego Music”, “Memory of the Future” and “Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin.” For the instrumentals the whole CD is good. It just really takes you there in euphoria. It’s like a journey of going back and for on life, afterlife, and so forth.  I also gotten the commentary last night, I didn’t want to come out of pocket because I heard about a promotional code but it’s okay, since my aunt gave me a gift card, thank God for aunts right?  It was a short but funny commentary about the songs with the Boys as well as David Walliams. I found out the Water sisters not only sung with Michael Jackson as backing vocals but also as well for Adele too or “Ego Music” is like the second part to “How Can You Expect to be Taken Seriously?”

A few comments I would like to point out that sounded like something familiar to me on a few songs in my honest opinion. “Leaving” on the beats or sound, it reminded me of Soft Cell’s “Bedsitter” 12-inch mixed with Dusty Springfield’s “In Private” well her version of the song. “Ego Music” actually reminded me of their demos where Neil be talking or having a dialogue conversation almost like “Closer to Heaven” demo or “My Night” demo. Then there’s a song on the Bratz movie where the antagonist sings a song called “It’s All About Me” kind of reminded about that, even though it doesn’t have anything to do with the song itself.  “Memory of the Future” is almost like a second installment with the word Future, because on Yes, their previous album, well the limited edition it had “This Used to be the Future” featuring Philip Oakey (Human League). I know the songs are different but the title alone sounds like some kind of trilogy thing about future, first on what it used to be, two now Memory of the Future. So it would almost go hand in hand. I would also point out that I didn’t like “Invisible” at first but it finally grow on me; however,  “Winner” won’t unless I hear it live, used in the proper context or the HappySad remix. It just doesn’t sound like something they would put out and it is a cheesy song unless it was used properly like at the Olympics Parade or something like that. And the other songs I haven’t mentioned, they would have to grow on me but the instrumentals are good, so it’s best to get the double disc if you can. My views on this will change but this is how I feel at the moment. Overall It’s a nice album minus a few songs, it does give me a Disney soundtrack vibe just a wee bit but still good.

Pet Shop Boys Concrete review


 While also listening to Elysium, I was listening to Pet Shop Boys Concrete. Another material that moved me, words cannot describe how this album sounded! It is their 17th album released on October 23, 2006. It’s a double CD, and mine was from Amoeba Music; imported. It was the first live concert to be put on audio CD. It was located at the Mermaid Theatre for Radio 2 with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Monday May 8th, 2006. Musical Director: Trevor Horn. It was an interesting choice of title Concrete, it was going to be called Concert but they announce as Concrete, which sounded way better. I guess because concert is a common word and then by them having more than one concert, it’s best to give a unique title. I like the context of the word for it, even the booklet had the sense of gray scale color scheme and pictures of place with concrete or cement on the foundation. It seems it’s like the title for me is like a “permanent” type of meaning of revealing material from the past and newer recent music at the time and also having special guest performances by Robbie Williams, Frances Barber, and Rufus Wainwright. The choices of the songs were fascinating. I mean there’s no “Go West” or “Domino Dancing” or even “Opportunities”. But instead songs like “It’s Alright”, You Only Tell Me You Love When You’re Drunk”, “Nothing Has Been Proved” or “Dreaming of the Queen”, “Friendly Fire” and “Indefinite Leave to Remain.” Some were blast from the past and they still sounded good as well as their newer material. I felt like I gotten a minimal glimpse of Closer to Heaven musical because of Barber’s version of “Friendly Fire” or “After All” from Battleship Potemkin score/soundtrack. That was unusual choice for the concert but I didn’t pay that much mind to it really. I must say that honestly, that “Friendly Fire”, “Casanova in Hell”, and “Jealousy” actually sounded way better than the Pet Shop Boy versions of the track. It just that these individual musicians bring the actual feel to the song, and frankly, these are on my few least favorite tracks but for now, these are probably the only versions of these songs I will truly like rather the Pet Shop Boys’ versions.  “Rent” even though it was sung by the Pet Shop Boys; but it also did a mini bring back of Liza Minnelli’s version, which by far is the best version of the song, I believe. I hate to even admit that “It’s a Sin” and “Numb,” sounded really good on here too because those are also my least favorites of theirs. Not to mention “Nothing Has Been Proved” sounded good because I prefer Dusty Springfield’s version of the song. When they write a song for someone, most of the time I would prefer the version of the musicians it was for versus their version. Then ending it with “West End Girls” of course as the encore was done really well. I can actually just listen to this on my way to school sometimes and it just gives the reminder that they still have so much to offer even at their age, it’s incredible! Fans told me about this concert and they weren’t lying, it was brilliant. It’s good to actually own this, I highly recommend it; those competition winners were really lucky to be around that much art. I haven’t been able to see the music scores, and musical but honestly just by listening to these small glimpses, for me it’s not that much of a rush because this is really that good! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Authorized Biography of Soft Cell by Simon Tebbutt (full review)

I have finally completed this particular book today. I was determined to finish this book before the month was up. I read a little bit here and there. Since I started school, I was a bit busy focusing on homework to enhance my writing and logic abilities. Speaking of, working on a paper for class that's due in a couple of days and thought to finally do some blogging to warm me up. 

The cover is from the "Soul Inside" sessions, I really love this photo; very expressional. This biography of Soft Cell is an excellent brief but detailed book of important facts and opinions of the artists’ views of music and just being an artist in general by Simon Tebbutt. I was on a insanely, dramatic adventure of the Soft Cell world seeing the sweet and bashful side of them; while on some parts the raw and crazy side of them. It includes a lot of exclusive pictures of the musicians and associates. The brilliance of the choices of words brought out how bizarre the life of an artist was. Especially actually having direct quotes from situations that were only mentioned but not thoroughly investigated by human ears or the eyes of the Internet. But the tongue-in-cheek twist and turns this book have, you in for one insane roller coaster ride. You can honestly tell that Soft Cell were one of the few real artists that really wanted to be seen as artists and reveal how hard life can be especially struggling through so much at a young age. Such occurrences like Dave Ball losing his dad at 17, same thing happened to me at 19, or having the doubt of being famous or to the point you explode at someone because they keep making accusations for nothing, or even keep stating to retire. It’s hard when no one encourages you, especially after going through so much. I didn’t even know Soft Cell’s third album The Art of Falling Apart, Marc lost money and friends just to make the album. It seems that this biography book was released before their last album was out because it wasn’t mentioned. It only stopped at their third album. It can be difficult when you want to establish an image for yourself. Knowing why their album art was unique than mainstream artists because of rebellion of wanting your own style or what depicts you personally. And this band was very emotional at what they did even when Marc went from different bands back to back, it was an outlet to do things that Soft Cell couldn’t produce as a whole. Ironically, the song that I play constantly or played constantly “Tainted Love” was the bands shadow and nightmare to the point it was considered “that song” or that song. Tebbutt gave intense biographical features from the rise and falling apart of Soft Cell by using exclusive pieces from different materials and what not. The sexual content wasn’t shocking because that was the Soft Cell image at the time and whatever that was left from the band. This is another piece or something extremely rare that obviously the musicians have changed and so on, but this is a glimpse of the life of this band. I mean I didn’t even know they were in Spain and at the time “Bedsitter” was more popular than “Tainted Love” or Phil Oakey of Human League stated this “Marc Almond has got a twenty times better voice than mine.” Or when Marc was talking about how musicians slag his voice but this quote really was deep,” I have been told by classically trained singers that I have an exceptional range.  And I’m getting better all the time. I listen to all the singers who slag me off and I can tell by the way they are singing that they are doing it all wrong. They’re singing from their throats and wallets, not their hearts and souls at all.” Both quotes are on page 122. That’s truly a deep quote and that’s how an artists should be, thinking about the heart and soul and not money and being pretentious. I am truly fortunate to have this as a gift. I can’t seriously thank you enough Elaine! I have six books to go, I’ll get a move on another book but this time it’s the unauthorized biography of the Pet Shop Boys and it will be a post about that one too, so stay tuned! I know this biography book is rare and harder to find but if you come across this book, if you love different, unique, raw, organic, sexual related stuff and hard working and real true artists, then this book is definitely for keeps! I truly apologize for the repetition but this book really moved me.

Tim Pope (And Friends) - I Want To Be A Tree review

While having some Pet Shop Boys related drafts underway, I thought I discuss about this video. This was one of the videos I saw when I became a Soft Cell fan. Quite interesting because this is Tim Pope and friends that made a video of his song called "I Want to Be a Tree". The song is quite funny and you get a whiff of different artists from well known bands that he directed videos from. The artists includes Style Council, Freur, Robert Smith, Lauren Tolhurst, Siouxsie Sioux, Budgie, Soft Cell, Paul Young, and Mark Hollis. The video is hilarious and silly, you get to see the artists' shy, crazy side in the video, like Soft Cell threw pies at Pope. I'm glad it's still on here because it captures such rare moments like this because artists often change, believe me, I know. This is a video of interest and the director too. He did a lot of videos with artists you are more likely familiar with.

Rare rough copy of the original video for director Tim Pope's song I Want To Be A Tree, shown on The Whistle Test in 1984. According to Pope: "my bloody office at cowboy films lost the original of the tree video", and this is all that survives. Kudos to anyone who can name each member of the all-star cast. << This is what YouTube or the person that uploaded the video said about it, well more like the information about it. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A good friend of mine found something quite interesting!

A good friend of mine Clare told about something interesting today, pretty funny at the same time. She knows I love the era of Neil Tennant working in Smash Hits and there's an interview that Neil did of Marc Almond of Soft Cell back in the day well from a shocker he also did a singles review on Soft Cell's "What" single. I do agree "What" is a song that isn't as bizarre as Soft Cell's other material, and then I know he forgot the title on a podcast calling it "Why" which is pretty hilarious because did a singles review on the song. A day after my birthday on the same year the interview he did of Marc Almond too? What could be better? Seeing a review like that one and seeing a review like the negative review on the Go-Go's single is just quite fascinating about how a person's opinion can change on different artists/bands and then the Duran Duran "Save a Prayer" review was shocking since he didn't or doesn't like Simon Le Bon supposedly. I took a photo from my phone because you can't save photos on flickr. Here's the link Click Here! to see the original! Thanks again Clare, I just love finding the similarities on artists!

CLick Here! to see an awesome drawing from an awesome pet head! :D