Monday, August 28, 2006

Honking Box Highlight: Little Miss Jocelyn

There were dark clouds over The Sloppy Dog when the tremendously funny 3 Non Blondes came to an end. Well, not quite – it hardly went out in a climactic explosion. But the point is, we miss it.

Anyway, from the ashes of 3 Non Blondes comes the hysterical new sketch show Little Miss Jocelyn. The genius Jocelyn Jee Esien gets a chance to shine on her own, not that the other 2 Non Blondes were exactly carried. Let the record show that Tameka Empson is one of the greatest comedy actresses in Britain, and Ninia Benjamin’s recent Big Brother commentary (“Richard makes me want to vomit blood” almost made us piss ourselves) cements her as a true mastermind of jest.

But back to the here and now, and a sketch show that shits all over the last series of Little Britain. Keep your minces peeled for the traffic warden character, whose name we’re yet to learn. Give us a few weeks to get to know who’s who, and until then, we bid yew fahrwell in de nem of Quane Elizabeth Two. This will take a LOOOONG tahm.

(Seriously – watch the show and you’ll get the joke.)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Single Reviews 28/08/06

It’s not just any old Single Reviews this week. No sir, it’s a Bank Holiday Special Single Reviews! Instead of your regular rundown of bitchy music analysis, it’s... well, exactly the same thing, just on a Bank Holiday Monday.

We’ve got a pet h8 4 txt msg spelling, so you’d think U + Ur Hand by Pink would be an instant binward-toss. But aside from being accompanied by the best video of her career, it’s an entertaining irate-a-thon that proves I’m Not Dead is arguably her greatest album as well.

Our blood bubbles with hatred at the return of musical scab Justin Timberlake, a creature who we’re determined not to forget was (and therefore still is) a scrawny white kid with a ginger afro in a Backstreet Boys rip-off band. Much in the same arrogant and tuneless vein as his debut solo shite, SexyBack is yet another mess of backward beats and shockingly awful chatter. And despite some of that chatter containing a “take it to the chorus”, we still can’t identify where the hell the chorus is.

Something to get very excited about comes in the form of The Fratellis, with the definitely not-horrendous Chelsea Dagger, where a killer riff carries an already-decent song and increasing anticipation for the album. And it would be our top dog this week if it weren’t for the next song...

It’s no revelation that The Feeling are the current favourite band at Sloppy Dog Towers, where no album has been rinsed quite as much as Twelve Stops And Home in the past few years. Never Be Lonely, initially our album track of choice but since pipped by Rosé and Blue Piccadilly, is back on top (in one way at least) as Single of the Week. Fan-fucking-tastic, end of.

This time 18 months ago, people (i.e., us) got rather fed up of the Scissor Sisters and the sycophantic praise that you couldn’t nip to Tesco’s without tripping over. Turns out the break not only purged them of any impending overkill, but gave them a chance to make another conqueror of a pop record – I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ is fun, quirky, and unashamedly gay in the best possible sense of the word. If that exists...?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Danity Kane - Danity Kane (Bad Boy)

To most, Danity Kane will be the epitome of wrong. All-American, managed by Diddy, compiled for a fly-on-the-wall show... the music snobs have plenty to complain about. And while we like to turn our noses up at most things presented to us, The Sloppy Dog has grown to love Shannon, Dawn, Aubrey, Aundrea and D. Woods – no irony. Well, maybe a bit.

Anyone who’s been tuned into Making the Band 3 will be no stranger to Danity Kane, or to immortal lines such as “we’re a group, a’ight? It’s not DeNosh and the She’s!” or “Wanita, you’s one cheeseburger away from being thick”. But as with all reality/talent shows, the end product rarely matches the entertainment factor throughout. For every Sound of the Underground, there’s ten That’s My Goals.

Here’s where Diddy flashing his cash at every given opportunity has been an advantage. Had he spewed out a bog standard balladry collection, the entire world would be calling him a stingy bastard. Thankfully, he’s called upon Timbaland, Scott Storch, and just about every A-producer in his iBook.

Resultantly, a large portion of the album is merely an audio representation of the visuals found in every 50 Cent video – oiled, bejewelled, near-naked, dead-behind-the-eyes dollar signs with absolutely no trace of character. Bearing in mind we’ve grown to know and love the five girls as people, the music has got to be pretty fucking horrendous to strip them so ruthlessly of their personality.

Lead single Show Stopper is a wearisome blend of ice, Cristal and sickening cliché, while the slippery Right Now is the hold music of a horny housewife themed sex phoneline. But all things considered, it’s the type of bottom-drawer R&B the US market will be doing backflips about.

That said, a fair portion of the album is certainly pop music to get excited about. The thumping beats of Want It and the nutcrushing One Shot pick up where Destiny’s Child should have carried on after Lose My Breath. While it may not justify spending twelve quid on a CD where half the tracks are tuneless slick-schtick, it’s hopeful that the potential is there to make a cracker of a pop album.

Until then, we’ll amuse ourselves with more classic Making the Band quotes. "I'm just the hoo-hoo girl", anyone?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Single Reviews 21/08/06

The lines are now closed. The votes have been counted and verified. And we can now reveal that this week’s Single Reviews are...

(Also, we can now reveal that the horrendous Big Brother references are going to be mercifully shelved. Until the Celebrity edition starts up again, at least. Sorry.)

Keane’s lukewarm homecoming heats up slightly with Crystal Ball – certainly no Somewhere Only We Know, but a whole lot more like Keane than Atlantic or Is It Any Wonder. Our current love affair with The Feeling means Keane have a long way to go to become the Sloppy Dog’s favourite warm ‘n’ fuzzies band again, but this is an agreeable start.

It’s a two-horse race to be crowned this week’s premier pop product – having already lavished one of the greatest songs of the year upon us, Boy Least Likely To return with the exquisitely cute Hugging My Grudge, a cheerful chugalong from Nashville via Never Never Land. But the jammy recipient of the hallowed Single of the Week title is Missy Elliott. While it’s fair to say We Run This is perhaps not her most inventive concept, it’s more infectious than Rebecca Loos, as fun as a bouncy castle full of puppies, and a clear reminder of why Missy continues to hold up the hip-hop brand amongst oceans of gold-drenched, idea-free, misogynistic trolls.

Speaking of which, Jay Z adds sweet FA to his biatch’s latest. Beyoncé should be tremendously grateful for her bloody awful video, as Déjà Vu would go entirely unnoticed were it not accompanied by $500,000 worth of oafish jiggling, not dissimilar to a toddler throwing a tantrum. Boring, boring, humdrum, beige music.

As a sort of Happy Meal version of Pete Doherty, Matt Willis has never been much to get excited about. In this vein, second single Hey Kid is the sort of forgettable Blobbie ladrock that Jonathan Wilkes would happily get on his knees for. The least offensive offshoot from the Busted bust-up, but when your competition is Fightstar and Son of Dork, that’s nothing to be proud of.

The Sloppy Dog's Honking Box

Drumroll, please! Welcome, one and all, to The Sloppy Dog’s Honking Box, a brand new column to address that wonderful glowing machine in the corner of all our living rooms. No, not that stupid 7ft Ikea uplight everyone has, but the brilliance that is television.

The Honking Box will be tackling telly’s hottest topics, highlighting upcoming televisual gems, and providing fair and frank reviews of your favourite shows. And there may – just may – be a teeny weeny bit of bitching. It’s not really our style, but hey.

You’d have to have been born without eyes and ears to have escaped the sinister lure of Big Brother 7 (at this point, we feel we should probably send our apologies to any readers born without eyes or ears – but as you can’t see or hear, we’ll just laugh at you instead). Reluctant congratulations to Pete Bennett, the golden-boy-for-no-reason that is now £100,000 richer. We still don’t believe you’d ever see him and uber-desperate Fame Academy quasi-Glibertine fuckwit Peter Brame in the same place, though...


Here at The Sloppy Dog, we were behind Aisleyne, who came a very respectable third. Aside from being the most honest and human Housemate since Anna, having to deal with skanky Spoiral all up in her flange, sticking up for underbeast underdog Sam, having an array of laughs ranging from weasel-with-bronchitis to full-blown Rustie Lee, and standing up to Grace, Sezer and Lisa, she proved that there’s nothing wrong with being a bit of a rude gyal, dem tings dem. And let’s face it, white people bathing in black culture hasn’t been represented by the greatest of role models.

Allow us to illustrate with a scientific chart – namely, the Golden Puffa of Dry Tings:

Let the record show that Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace is a fucking STAR, and we officially love her. May she forever trample over the equine face and concave chest of Hideous Grace, may her hair continue to glow as bright as a million supertroupers, and may we all anticipate to know ourselves as well as Ash-a-leeeeen does.

Finally, can anyone tell us why Lisa chose to come dressed as Christmas Eve from Avenue Q?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Single Reviews 14/08/06

Welcome to this week’s Single Reviews. Bearing that in mind, text ‘Aisleyne’ to 84444, or call 09011 32 33 14. Alternatively, you could text ‘Aisleyne’ to 84444, or call 09011 32 33 14. Or, if the mood takes you, you could call 09011 32 33 14, or ‘Aisleyne’ to 84444. Get where we’re going with this?

Five years ago, we hated Misteeq. We hated garage, we hated MCing, we hated cheap-looking weaves. But somewhere along the line, we developed a tolerance, which later became a fondness. Most probably, this soft spot came thanks to Alesha, true star of the group and now solo star in her own right. Debut solo single Lipstick, an insanely catchy, forthright call-to-arms for the laydeez, is our Single of the Week [twenty-year-old-self hangs head in shame].

Next up, low-rent buzz biatch Cassie with her debut Me & U (You), which, aside from the most preposterously pointless use of additional bracketed words in the entire history of song titles, brings approximately fuck all to the table. Devoid of originality, duller than shite, and floundering in a puddle of Costcutter massage oil, this is a harsh lesson in how not to do R & B.

The Divine Comedy almost match the untouchable splendour of My Lovely Horse with To Die A Virgin, a smart slice o’ slapstick that doesn’t drench the quirkily pleasant melody. Meanwhile, from the ashes of Linkin Park comes… well, Blazin’ Squad evidently. Fort Minor’s embarrassing Where’d You Go is a ghastly rap-ballad cess pond, like the imagined wedding of Abs from 5ive to one of the Wilson Phillips, officiated by Rooster. Vile, spineless, musical offal.

A double dose of middle-of-the-detergent-aisle dullness courtesy of X-Factor ejectee Maria Lawson, and omnipresent grunting wankstain Ronan Keating. The former’s debut effort Sleepwalking picks up where Gabrielle mysteriously vanished, an FM-favourable humalong that could well lead to medium-sized things. Sadly, the latter – a squeamish cover of Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris – is like the dried-on chunks of turd on the tail of a dog you didn’t even like anyway.

Finally, Aisleyne to win. Also, Aisleyne to win. But on the other hand, Aisleyne to win. And to summarise, Aisleyne to win.

Monday, August 07, 2006

This week's Celebrity News with Cristiano Ronaldo

Good morrow to you, my dears - tis I, most resplendent thespian, Cristiano Ronaldo. I've performed upon some of the most hallowed stages in theatre, though the more common Sloppy Dog-reading layman may be more familiar with my fine acting work upon the vast green pitches of numerous sanctified stadia. And while one is thoroughly contented with the hammy histrionics displayed through numerous footballing junctures, perhaps it's time to give something to you - the little people. I bringeth this week's Celebrity News.

Whilst honing my capable dive-and-roll technique the other day, I was informed of the news that the Pussycat Dolls are to begin a televised quest for a new member. Good luck to the scarlet harridans in their search, and to quote the Immortal Bard, "Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest". Namely, one advises that the new Doll locks Nicole in the proverbial bog, in the hope of obtaining any form of media attention.

One is most displeased to learn of the news that Wendy Richard is to withdraw her talents from the lowculture bastion that is Eastenders. It would appear the good woman is melancholic towards the writers' decision to have Pauline Fowler enter wedlock once again. Tis a shame, for a fine actor is she. She has nothing on my Lady Macbeth, but a fine actor nonetheless.

Conclusively, there lurks great vehemence regarding the re-entry of four dispossessed Housemates into the waning Big Brother homestead. Many a spectator has protested about their money being depleted on expelling these jesters, only to have them reinstated. One recommends that these discontented viewers hurl their bodies at the feet of Davina McCall, and maketh the claim that she kneed them in their bollocks. Never fails.

(Sponsored by Elastoplast – providers of high-tech earshielding devices to dramatic Portuguese poofters)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Frank - Devil's Got Your Gold (Polydor)

Try as you might, there’s no escaping the lure of reality television. A rather bold assertion given that Big Brother is currently reaching its stalest, but throw a dash of pop into the mix and you’re hooked. The X-Factor, Fame Academy, Making the Band – ace on a fucking stick.

Yet mix pop with fiction and you’re heading for full-on cataclysmic torment of all five senses. Frank – a band whom we’ve already provided a deserving downpour of abuse for – leak through the constraints of their Godawful T4 “drama” to bring us their debut album. And the results, we’re not at all surprised to say, are not good.

High on gloss, low on charisma and entirely mundane as far as musical capability is concerned, Frank prove that their supposed craft is as beige as their springboard show. The marvellously-titled Devil’s Got Your Gold does nothing to match the excitement of its moniker.

Electro-nods and pleasantly simple melodies are incapable of carrying a mammoth deficiency of imagination and personality. The monotone muddle of Never Left A Girl, the desperate trippy endeavours of Silence... it’s not even music worth disliking. It’s just there.

Seemingly compiled entirely from offcuts scavenged from the Xenomania dustbins, we’re presented with a collection of songs too dull for the Sugababes and too mature for Girls Aloud. Take Money In My Pocket, a single touted for in-house surl-girl duo Mania: an aloof, ballsy, eye-rollingly accomplished track which becomes a lifeless audition for Italia Conti’s B-class in the club hands of Frank.

Industry sycophants will no doubt claim that Frank are light years ahead of their time when the excuses are to be made for their inevitable polishing off, but perhaps the problem is that this music isn’t of a particular time. Or genre. Or style. Frank are too embarrassingly nonspecific to work in any format, ever.

So, it would appear the telly show gimmick really doesn’t carry much weight. Not that it ever has – did North & South teach us nothing?
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