dimanche 27 mai 2007

L'eau à la bouche : macarons faits maison

Je ne peux résister à l'autosatisfaction culinaire, après plusieurs heures passées dans ma cuisine ce week-end, et vous présente sur mon blog (ça change des critiques musicales) la photo de mes macarons faits maison, aux couleurs aussi diverses que leurs parfums (de gauche à droite et de haut en bas : pistache, framboise, chocolat, citron, pain d'épices, choco/coco, clémentine, fraise tagada). C'était mon premier essai et même si j'ai hésité encore sur la taille ou le temps de cuisson parfois, le résultat est globalement réussi :

Je ne saurais que trop vous conseiller, pour peu que vous sachiez manier la poche à douille et la spatule à blancs en neige, d'aller jeter un coup d'oeil sur le site où je me suis procuré la recette de ces délicates gourmandises :
Clair, précis, aux multiples parfums et aux alléchantes photos, ce site dédié aux macarons mais pas seulement, vaut le détour !

vendredi 18 mai 2007

Falling in love with Mike Rizzo's new mix of Kenne's unreleased song

What's in common between the following people :
- ex PWL Mixmaster & british pop hits producer Phil Harding,
- UK G-A-Y favourite remixers Almighty,
- US latin club act Roc Project,
- US Circuit God Jonathan Peters,
- german Culture Beat producer Doug Laurent,
- London based club remixers Sharp Boys and
- US Top10 remixer Mike Rizzo ?
you don't know?
let me help you out...
He debuted in 2004 with the best sing-along feelgood pop-dance song of the year ("Everybody Happy"), remixed at Almighty for the clubby crowds, and then released a following single covering one of New Order's best song ever ("True Faith").
He recorded further songs nowhere else than at PWL ex star Phil Harding's own recording studios and although these jewels stay commercially unreleased, they have been unleashed in various mix combinations on his own MySpace page and have pleased our ears with perfect dance-pop style, sometimes disco-housed, sometimes more tribal house, always fun and energetic.
There have been years since these songs were talked about on some PWL fans forums and then we finally get to hear them there so I couldn't be less thankful to that special underground (but sooner or later going to rise to global club stardom) friendly singer of ours than to dedicate him a page in my pop & dance music reviews pages...
His name is KENNE and you must remember his first video clip where is blondie head emerged from the ground singing "everybody happy, everybody feel fine..." between the legs of people dancing in the discotheque, walking on the beach or on the grass...
The clip was hilarious (thankfully, Kenne changed back his color of hair into black!) and the song, released with its leading Almighty radio version, an instant hit on the floor at the G-A-Y Astoria, London, moving hands up in the air and bimbo boys showing off their bodies with T-shirts all away... mmmm, good old memories .
Then there was the True Faith dance cover version (promoted under another alias Jukka) that was a radio Top20 in France where Kenne filmed his video and although New Order songs are never easy songs to adapt, Kenne's version is one of my favourite ones (with dutch Sita's accoustic version of "Bizarre love triangle").
After these tracks were recorded with german producer Doug Laurent (who worked for eurodance superstars Culture Beat) and both remixed by Almighty team, Kenne chose to make his dream come true and flew up to London to meet and work with Phil Harding, the never forgotten first and only Mixmaster at PWL studios, home of star producers Stock Aitken & Waterman and hundreds of worldwide hits in the 80's & 90's.
He recorded 4 new tracks with him, the two firsts of which he co-wrote, "Take Me Back", "Touched By Love", "Falling In Love" and "I Still Love You" (a song the dutch boyband Get Ready previously recorded on their Harding & Curnow produced album "The Mission" in 1999) but the record companies were becoming more relunctant in signing new "pop" artists and it got tougher and tougher from then on so the only place where we can listen to these songs (from now on) is here :
It is interesting to note that since they were created with Phil harding, they have inspired some US star producers and we can listen to a fantastic storming mix by Mike Rizzo of "Falling in love" which could never sound better and up-to-date than in this edit : the perfect track to re-launch Kenne's career in US clubs. A featuring on some independant film soundtrack a la Circuit or Queer As Folk would certainly be enough for that as this song is an instant gemm you can't help but fall in love to in a second... the least for a song named "Falling in love" .
But there's more chocolates in Kenne's music box to pick up and treasure : the Sharp Boys mix of "You are a star (this is your night)" would not sound out of place in today's european clubs & radios, mixing electro disco sounds & pop appeal and I would love to see an animated videoclip to promote it heavily on music channels for example. An Almighty remix of "Be your lover", another Doug Laurent song, is so catchy I can't understand why (oh why!?) it hasn't been released nor promoted... And I have to admit my personal guilty pleasure is to listen to "Everybody happy", the Almighty radio edit, over and over again .
From the names that have decided to work with him without big record companies to invite them, it seems clear Kenne's pop appeal and instant music seduction is inviting so all I can do is to advise you to go to his MySpace page, listen to the numerous tracks airplayed to the visitors' delight and as you'll undoubtly like them, become a new Kenne's friend and leave him comments and show him your love for his music, talk about him to your friends of same tastes and make his MySpace page such a hit his music can get noticed by some record company that will finally got his stuff released so that we can, at last, get a real CD album by Kenne in our hands.
THAT would really make me happy!
"Everybody happy... Everybody feel fine..."

samedi 12 mai 2007

Eurovision’s 2007 Show in Helsinki review

It seems that each time I write here about Eurovision, I'm on the brink of suicide... Not really of course, but I'm in total despair after the results tonight...
Not really because of this year's winner, but because of the little points my favourites, UK contestant Scooch, have got from all countries, meaning 0 points, except for Irish 7 & Maltese 12 points...

Thursday's semi-finale should have warned me a bit as the pop geniuses of Netherlands' Edsilia Rombley & Denmark's "Drama Queen" and even the fame of swiss DJ Bobo & all his vampires crew couldn't be enough to make it to the final... I already feared for my lil' Scooch & their cheesy camp pop number...

Sure I was right!

I was going mad during the results coming one after the other to see that they were stuck at the bottom end with nul points. I jumped up when their got their first 7 points from neighbour Ireland and felt really pleased to see Malta still had good taste in music by giving them their 12 points...
That makes them finish ex-aequo with our awful untasty frenchies and that means too much! I feel so pleased for the latter's underperformance and so sad for the first ones' injustice!
Well, in fact, I did my best and I, who never ever before had taken my phone for any TV programm, have phoned twice (!) to try to get UK in the french points ...with no success : I must have been the only one in the country to have phoned for them
But what could I expect? In 2007, cheesy pop is dead and it looks like eastern Europe ain't the place for it to ressucite...

So what will I remember from this year's euro millesime?

First, that the winner's singer, though looking like a fat boy next door type lesbian and having 5 backing vocalist with brushed up hairdoo showing no piece of flesh at all (!), did a pretty good vocal performance and I won't complain about the good response she got in the votes.

On contrary, I can't understand that her leadership in the televoting could have been disputed by Ukrainian awful robotic man supposed to be vamped as a drag queen... Danish DQ, who was a real lady must have suffocated hearing this pastiche was supposed to have the same dressing goal... or are women in Ukraine that ugly? I have always felt drag-queens were all about glamour, glitter & beauty. Verka had only glittering outfits. The rest was only ridiculous and I don't even talk about the song!

My TOP songs from this year's entries have nearly all underperformed in the results though gettin' incredibly good performances by their artists and I won't talk any more of my poor Scooch...
- Edsilia Rombley did her best Anastacia impersonation in the semi-finale with a roaring vocal performance that should have led her to the top finalists and a tune that has HIT written all over it... Being robbed by some east european contestants of her place in finale is a real SHAME! I understand that she has even not stayed in Helsinki for the saturday night show and was back in her country showing her face while giving the votes.
- Danish DQ did a good job with his/her dancers on "Drama queen" and the song stayed glued in my head till the end of the show. I'll sure keep on listening to this tune some more!
- DJ Bobo tried his best to be Lordi's follower but although the song was memorable, maybe his performance suffered from too much dance and not enough breathing and no more studio's autotune... I'll still be adding his soon to be released album to my discography
- I liked the Belgium's entry from the CD but the performance was overall bad : it si hard to aternate high notes & low ones in live but the disco funky music was refreshing.
- Norway's spanish flavoured pop reminded me of carola but lacked a little thing that woudl have made the difference maybe.
- I fell in love with the Hungary's blues and would have thought it would finally finish higher in the finale. That girl really can sing with her heart! I'd be curious to hear a full album from her... On the same accoustic side, I really loved the german Sinatra boy : it even sounded like an english standard!
- I discovered Georgia's diva Sopho sounding like Björk would have sounded to me if she hadn't had that awful voice. Though a little too ethnic/tribal, the techno arrangements and the beautiful voice & chorus made me belt out some "My story, his story" in my flat as if I were his personal backing vocalist And she was really cute too. I'd like to know if she has some more music of that style available to check this a little more.
- Andorra tried a neopunk entry by sending a McFly/Busted boysband that failed to win a ticket to finale and Latvia's 6 tenors did a pretty good job at replicating Il Divo but it wasn't enough in the finale though...
- Greece & Turkey did their best to try to sound the same with Tarkan sound-a-likes Sarbel (young cute boy that would have performed better maybe if he had been a little more shirtless ) and Mr Dogulu, dressed in red and shaking it, shaking it too.
- While I'm in for real sex symbols & supposed ones, Spain did a wonderful job giving us 4 stallions dressed in white with a perfect dance pop song but there again they were maybe not showing enough chest or abs to get noticed. Belarus' Lady Di hidden son gets higher showing his torso with his John Barry sounding magical song.
- On the girlies side, Russia won the top place with the sexy trio Serebro but their song failed to get to #1. Other Short dress were used to different results by other female contestants and I will only thank Karolina's hair stylist for his wonderful work between the two shows : it was the least she could do to keep her shampoo publicity contract after the awful hairstyle she had on pre-finale. Moldova's miss Barbu chose leather pants to differ but I still wonder why nobody has ever explained to her that a song need to be sung ...not shouted, nor screamed! My hears are still bleeding from her performances...
Well, I think I'm finished with the ones who need a review... I just want to talk about some more contestants for their unabilities to gain any interest from me : Malta was so old fashioned that her two half-naked dancers were the only reason not to shut the TV down, the varied tribal & pop-opera influenced ones bored me, the old-fashioned rockers with long haired even more, while the Teapacks from Israel irritated me to push the mute button quickly after their chorus and the irish lullaby made me have a good sleep even before 22:00, which is a first EVER in my life!
Now I think it is high time for me to stop here and go to bed... It is starting to get late (or early in the morning?) and as I have nothing to celebrate tonight, there is no more reason to stay up all night partying...
Luckily I'll be making pleasant dreams of tomorrow UK chart placings, with Scooch entering the Top Ten maybe at the highest place? Who knows? I've ordered my CD single anyway and I'll keep playing it surely for a long time !

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sunday 13 May Edit

Incredible but true... They've made it to #5 in this week's UK Charts !

Some european people out there still love POP, I feel better now...