Britney’s new single: the inspiration behind the multitude of Youtube covers

Britney Spears’ new single, Hold It Against Me, has only been out for about a month, but it’s already inspired a large number of covers on Youtube.

From the couple of videos I watched, most people have remade the dance-pop song into a slow ballad, and I’m quite impressed. These two versions, in particular, stood out to me.

The first is by Chester See and Andy Lange, and the other is by Sam Tsui; both musicians are quite prominent on the internet and you can even purchase Tsui’s music on iTunes. If you enjoy See and Lange’s cover, it’s available freely from Lange’s website. I have had this on heavy rotation for the past week.

The striking thing about the covers has been the fact that a song with dirty lyrics could be transformed into a meaningful love song. It’s amazing how changing a song’s arrangement can do so much.

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Pop music’s obsession with sex

Checked out the iTunes Singles or the ARIA Singles Charts lately? You won’t be surprised to know that many of the songs that feature in the top 20 are just about sex with not much subtlety.

Let’s look at the iTunes Singles Chart (as of January 30). First place is taken by Rihanna’s S&M. In case you weren’t aware, that’s short for sadomasochism. Number two is Wynter Gordon’s Dirty Talk. No prizes for guessing what that song is about. Katy Perry’s Ryan Tedder-esque E.T. takes fourth place, and it’s basically a song about Perry’s sensual love for an extraterrestrial alien who she begs to “take me…wanna be your victim, ready for abduction”.  Enrique Iglesias’ terrible track Tonight (I’m F***in’ You) comes in at number nine. (The censored counterpart that replaces the f-word with Lovin’ is at number 25.)

Then there’s Avril Lavigne’s single What The Hell at number 10 and from the surface you would not even guess that the song was related to sex at all. Well, if you google the lyrics – as you do with all songs – you notice that the ex-sk8er girl is telling off her boyfriend for wanting a monogamous relationship. “You say that I’m messing with your head All ’cause I was making out with your friend. Love hurts whether it’s right or wrong I can’t stop ’cause I’m having too much fun”.

What else is there? Oh, there’s Usher’s More at number 13. I haven’t actually heard this particular track but upon doing a quick Google search, I found that once again it’s just like the songs I’ve already mentioned – sex, sex and more sex in wonderfully descriptive language: “I’m a beast, I’m an animal, I’m that monster in the mirror, the headliner, finisher, I’m the closer, winner. Best when under pressure one second’s left I show up.”

I’m not done yet and I am only at number 15, which is taken up by The Lonely Island’s I Just Had Sex. No explanation needed again. Little Red occupies the 18th spot with Rock It, a track that isn’t quite clear about what it’s on about. Is the band singing about dancing all night long or something else? Hmmmm.

Lastly, Britney Spears’ new single, Hold It Against Me is at number 19. The song has no artistic quality at all, but as a pop music enthusiast, I quite like it despite its shallow lyrical content courtesy of Max Martin and Dr Luke. It’s like her last single, 3 – complete trash, but terribly catchy and addictive.

That rounds up the iTunes Top 20 Singles Chart. I hope you won’t hold it against me – definitely not in the way Britney is insinuating – and think that I hate pop music because I think it’s all sex-driven. I confess that I do enjoy pop music. I even admitted that I liked Britney’s single. But perhaps you will be a bit more conscious of the lyrical content of songs you listen to when you turn on the radio or iPod.

Not everyone will be a MasterChef

It’s been almost a fortnight since Masterchef ended. The show was a massive phenomenon. It was what everyone talked about at work, at uni, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Even the Sydney Morning Herald was obsessed with the show going by the heavy content that was published while it was on air.

Masterchef was definitely one of those rare gems in that it was a reality TV program that actually had substance unlike trash such as Big Brother or Farmer Wants A Wife.

In cheesy terms, people enjoyed the show because it showed average Australians pursuing their dreams of being a chef. I’m sure that because of the show, more people now want to become chefs and own their own big restaurant. There’s even a kids version of Masterchef that will be hitting screens soon.

I do think it’s good to be inspired by the examples of others, and to pursue cooking if it’s a passion. However, not everyone is going to be the next Jamie Oliver or [insert name of a famous chef], write best-selling cook books, or manage a successful restaurant that attracts global attention.

In last week’s MX, readers expressed such views to the paper.

“It’s not as glamorous as they make out.”

“I am a chef too…I am thinking of driving buses. They get more money and a life.”

“I’m the partner of a chef. He has no life outside his job. We see each other every now and then yet we live together. I don’t think people appreciate what hard work chefs do for all of us.”

I know that being a chef is not always the best job in the world. My dad is a former owner of a small Chinese restaurant and it was exhausting and time-consuming. I barely saw him since he was at work. There were no set holidays, weekends were work and it was just stressful.

Now, of course there are people who work their way up to the top and become managers of a major restaurant or even several. There are usually people who are working for you and in some cases, you don’t even have to be there physically at the restaurant. In that case a culinary career is fantastic. But not everyone will make it that far. To do so would be a “dream”, the buzz word used by Masterchef contestants.

Prince of Persia film review

Today, I had the opportunity to watch Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films) and I probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for my friend having spare tickets that she couldn’t use. I had low expectations of the film as there have been mixed reviews.

Prince of Persia, is a live action film version of the popular game franchise based on the same name and stars Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role of Prince Dastan and Ben Kingsley as the villain, Nizam.

Plotwise, it follows Dastan as his sets out to prove his innocence against a crime he did not commit (killing his adopted father) along with searching and protecting special knife that can turn back time. He’s joined by a princess and the knife’s guardian who is played by Gemma Arterton.

I would not judge the film as the worst thing I have ever seen but it isn’t the best either. There are plenty of action sequences (unlike a film like 300, there are no graphic blood spraying or maybe there was and the camera moved so fast I missed it) which made the film quite fun and enjoyable to sit through. I did find the whole ‘slow motion then quick pace’ overused.

However, the plot was a bit predictable at times and I laughed at those cheesy scenes where Gyllenhaal and Arterton’s characters are about to kiss but don’t (very Hollywood-style, will they or won’t they?). From memory, I think those scenes occur nearly five times throughout the film.

All the characters speak with a very distinctively English accent, which is rather strange seeing that the film is set in Persia.

There are twists in the film but the major one is identifying who the villain is but this is spoiled the moment Kingsley’s character shows up on screen. Kingsley wears dark eyeliner and he looks very effective as the stereotypical evil uncle. I wonder if that’s intentional because any red herring was lost on me.

The film used some good, if not excessive, CGI

The score by Harry Gregson-Williams (Kingdom of Heaven, Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia) was well done and I enjoyed the Middle Eastern flavoured soundtrack.

Overall, the film should be treated as pure entertainment. It’s not fantastic but you should just enjoy it for what it’s worth.

Rating: 6/10

The Diva goes crowd-surfing

Wow! I thought it was amazing when I found out that Beyonce had crowd-surfed during her London concert on Monday night.

Her stage persona, Sasha Fierce was singing her hit ‘Halo’ in a leotard and high heels before  diving into the crowd of excited fans who carried her for a few moments and then put her safely back onto the stage. Bet those fans will never forget that moment.

I thought it was amazing that she was still able to belt out “halo halo haloooooo” while being lifted by a crowd.

You can watch one of the many fan videos floating on Youtube:

 

Read my lips!

Britney will happily gyrate in a cage but singing is a no go for her.

The past week has been polluted with news about Britney Spears’ awful lip syncing adventures in concert and to quote an old Britney song, “You drive me crazy!”

Controversy started when there were news of alleged walk outs of her concert in Perth because audiences were disgusted that Britney was lip syncing. Britney’s publicist defended the singer by stating that such claims were inaccurate and an “absolute fabrication”.

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Celebrities abandoning Twitter

no to twitter

In the days before social networking was the norm, celebrities made announcements through a publicist and the only way the public found out anything about their personal life was through reading gossip magazines and other news sites.

Then Twitter became a sudden sensation with stars creating accounts and tweeting about their daily activities. Artists and actors on Twitter often revealed details about their careers- what was happening behind the scenes on the set of their films or insights into the recording process of their music. It was great for the fans to be so close and intimate with their favourite celebrity.

Celebrity tweets even became the source for many entertainment news. Why rely on making up fake sources or depend on a press release when you can make a story up from taking a 140 word tweet from a star?

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