Tuesday, January 22, 2008

That "Female British 1-Hit Wonders of the Late 90's" Blog!!!

T to the G to the I to the F.

A good afternoon to all of you currently being pummeled by this effin' snowstorm. This sucks balls. It's like we're actually living in a snow globe. Actually.

So yesterday I was planning on doing this whole blog entirely devoted to the show Lost, as its fourth season premiere was last night. What ended up happening was me aimlessly trying to summarize the plot of the show up until night and it was just about the hottest mess you've never read. Like not funny at all, just a rambling pile of crap that went no where. Which is why I didn't post it. And good thing, too - if anyone watched the series recap episode that was on immediately before the season premiere, it summed it up much nicer than I could have hoped to. So phew.

I don't know if y'all did watch it, but I was kind of underwhelmed. Lost seems to have two types of episodes: Episodes where shit happens and Episodes that set up shit that will happen. Last night was of the latter.

Something of note: they've continued with their flash-forwards (as opposed to their flash-backs) detailing what happens to several characters in the future when they're off the island. Ding ding ding - we learned that there's an "Oceanic Six"... six of them who become minor celebrities... this presumably means that only six of them survive/make it off the island, but then again, maybe it doesn't. Who fucking knows with this show.

I can tell y'all one thing right now... If but one more motherfucker delivers an incomplete plot point inches away from their last gasp of breath, I'm gonna fucking lose it. For real. This show is the KING of having characters says something expository RIGHT before they die. Think back to the first fucking episode... the pilot, within an inch of his life, tells them that they were [insert number] of miles off course then, without missing a beat, his body's snatched out of the fuselage by the 'monster'. When Cynthia "Libby" Juatros died, she managed to squeeze out 'Michael' before her eyes roll back her head. Charlie - same thing... manages to somehow etch "Not Penny's boat" with a sharpie on his hand as water engulfs him. Then LAST NIGHT that Naomi chick manages to survive a knife being hurled into her back long enough to crawl away, double back, crawl away in a different direction, CLIMB A TREE, swoop down on Kate then radio back to the boat, leave a message for her sister then "*gasp* *gasp* *gasp*... *dead*".

Time to find a new MECHANISM, writers of Lost. Can ONE person die uneventfully? Or better yet, deliver quasi-exposition, then LIVE to finish that thought? Bah... anyway...

IT'S FRIDAY!!! And I haven't done a countdown in a while, so...

ANYONE REMEMBER THE 90'S??? Specifically the years 1996-1999??? Fuck... I sound like someone pitching a Time Life retro anthology or something... which is probably not a bad idea, now that I think of it... I should totally assemble one! ... But that's neither here nor there...

Anyballs - does anyone recall the exponentially large amount of one-hit wonder female acts from the UK that stormed the charts in the mid-late 90's? I sure do.

Perhaps because of, or perhaps in spite of the popularity of the Spice Girls, the late 90's saw a revolving clown-car stocked with British lasses armed with one hit and one hit only... well, at least one hit in North America. I'm sure they were all huge-shit deals on their native soil, but guess who's problem that is? Not mine.

This is either going to be a "OH MY GOD! I TOTALLY REMEMBER THAT!!! YOU'VE DONE IT AGAIN JOHNSTON" read for you or "Why do I possibly give a fuck about this? I'm going to go play fantasy football" read for you.

Either way... I now present My Top 10 Female British One-Hit Wonders Of The Mid-Late 90's!!!


I was never a fan of All Saints, but they're too prominent for me to leave off this list - even I can admit that. Some people really liked them... thought of them as a sort of legitimate version of the Spice Girls. I always found them really bland. I thought what they were to the Spice Girls, were like what 98 Degrees were to the Backstreet Boys or something, y'know? Irregardless, Melanie Blatt, Shaznay Lewis and sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton had a slew of hits in the late 90's including but limited to "I Know Where It's At", "Lady Marmalade", "Pure Shores" and of course, "Never Ever". They've since disbanded, but hinted at a reunion album being in the works at an event in September of last year. Guess what I won't be listening to.


Hello. Can you hear me? Is it lonely where you are? You sound so close but you feel so far - yes, those were the lyrics of the lone hit by Warwickshire native Billie Myers. Propelled by being featured on an episode of Dawson's Creek, "Kiss The Rain" was elevated into the pantheon of wistful chick ballads a-la Paula Cole's "I Don't Wanna Wait", Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" and The Cranberries' "Dreams" as go-to songs to play at moments when one is at a fork in the road romantically. After a sophomore effort failed to take with the public, Myers has since left her record label and producing her third release, "Slightly Bitter", independently. And not even her mother cares about this fact.


Ohhhhh yeah. Lovvved this song. It was part of the invasion of Hi-NRG Eurotrash that was infiltrating airwaves circa-1997. But yeah... not too, too much to tell you about the musical enigma that is Crush. It seems like it was just a project betwixt two British actresses named Donna Air and Jayni Hoy. Donna Air was on some show called "Byker Grove" and became a British MTV personality whose claim to fame was asking Irish family act The Coors how they met. They recorded an album as Crush, that single "Jellyhead" got remixed by Motiv8 and became a sleeper hit. That's pretty much it. As far as I can tell, there are currently no plans for a second album.


Yep. Cleopatra... comin' at'cha. I really only remember them from that super-annoying yet super-"get stuck in your head"-able song above and another minor hit called "Life Ain't Easy", but apparently they were kind of a big deal. Sisters Cleo, Yonah and Zainam Higgins started out as Cleopatra & The Attractions, and were signed to Madonna's Maverick records in '99. They had a string of hits in the UK, and were Covergirl spokesmodels in the US for some triple-lipstick line or something. They had a wildly-successful sitcom in the UK, as well... sort of a Hannah Montana-esque to-do, only times 3 and black. After a shakeup at Warner, their last effort went drastically under-publicized and there was a push to take Cleo - who had written and sung lead on all their hits - solo, but sisterhood is sisterhood and the group left Warner after that, SNAP. They're currently re-signed and working on a new single to drop any day now. Comin' at'cha, indeed.


London-born Sonia Clarke was born to parents of Trinidadian descent. Her mother divorced, remarried, and moved back to Trinidad but Sonique refused to leave England. So she lived on the streets for a while and a some point, got into the progressive club scene in mid-80's London. She hooked up with a gaggle of producers - among them, William Orbit - and was featured vocalist on a slew of dance hits at the dawn of the techno revolution. She eventually moved away from feature vocals to DJ'ing and then producing - which is what spawned her smash hit, "It Feels So Good". She continues to produce and DJ and enjoys spending time in general obscurity.

Palette Cleanser: JIMMY RAY - "ARE YOU JIMMY RAY"

Insofar as novelty songs go, the mid to late 90's were a fucking gold mine. "Macarena". "Mambo No. 5". "Short Dick Man". "Cotton-Eye Joe". However, Jimmy Ray stands alone. My God this song was awesome. I don't think I need to tell you that this was Jimmy Ray's only even-remote hit, but oh... what a contribution. I remember in high school we had a Jimmy Ray day... in which, for no reason at all, it played during lunch hour and everyone went batshit insane. Anyway...


This is a little bit earlier than the time period I'm concentrating on, but I just HAD to include Shampoo! Jacqui Blake and Carrie Askew were best gal-pals at their Plumstead high school, who were big into the 'zine scene - kinda like blogs before blogs were invented. At some point, they formed the band Shampoo, based on their nickname "The Shampoo Girls" - as they famously told boys that they couldn't go out because they needed to stay home and wash their hair. Several bonafide punk-efforts were released in the early 90's but their biggest hit came off their '94 pop release, "We Are Shampoo". "Trouble" - featured in the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers film - blew up. Hardcore. Because of their fascination with all things pink, shiny and tiny, they became HUGE in Japan and were at one point on a list of the richest women in the UK. It's unknown what the balls they're up to now.


Petite Irish lass Samantha Mumba was heralded as the "black Britney Spears" for the millisecond that she was popular... Discovered by the manager of Boyzone and Westlife (thought they were the same thing... whatever) during a televise talent competition, she was put into the pop machine and what popped out was the little ditty about 'not givin' it up on the first night' that you see above you. A few other releases followed (which I really enjoyed, actually) including "Always Come Back To Your Love" and "Baby Come On Over Tonight"... themes that might have been a little heavy for her 15-years of age, but whatever. Anyballs, her second album, "Woman" and single, "I'm Right Here" flopped and she was dropped from her label. Apparently, much like EVERYONE ELSE ON THIS LIST, she has a release planned to drop any day now. Notice a trend?


Okay, technically Ms. G isn't British, she's Australian. But it's the same fucking difference. This song HAD to be included in all the Eurotrash I'm slingin' around. Originally a DJ in her native Melbourne, she was chosen to participate in 1996's Eurovision song contest with her song "Ooh, Aah, Just A Little Bit" - which basically thrust her and that boppy song into the spotlight. Recently, she re-entered the Eurovision contest and lost to Katie "Jordan" Price of all people. Beyond that, she's expecting a second child and has no plans to record anything. Which is probably for the best. Lightning like "Ooh, Aah" doesn't strike twice people!


Okay... here comes one of those songs that was a WAAAAAY bigger hit than you remember it being. It was at Number 2 for NINE weeks back in '96 and the song exceeded more than 1 million spins on radio - a record high at that point in time. Beyond that, she's a Welsh chick. She released a couple of things after that, but nothing caught on. She released an album, "In The Pink" last year and a single, "Shout", is out right now. I haven't heard it. I doubt I will. That's pretty much it.







I know. I know! If anyone is actually interested in this countdown, all you've been wondering is "when the fuck is B*Witched coming up?!?!?" Well, the wait is over. Comprised of sexy Irish teens Sinéad O'Carroll, Lindsay Armaou and twins Edele and Keavy Lynch - they mixed Irish folk and mainstream pop music and purposely cultivated a tomboy image and made off like bandits in the process. EVERY single from their debut album hit Number 1 in the UK - which must be some sort of record. Although they achieved marginal success over here, "C'est La Vie" still stands as one of the most quintessential pop songs of the 90's. And that's why they numba 1.

Shoot. That was kind of boring. Not gonna lie.

Not boring? VOTING! Today is your last day to vote for Bitch YOU Loved/Hated for the month of January!!! We are currently in a three-way tie for Bitch YOU Hated, so please - vote for the Bitch YOU Hated This Month! And, to make the shit even, vote for the Bitch YOU Loved This Month!

Smell ya later,

--- Aj

Haute Topics

Can I get a what-what? ... No, I can't.

Ahhhh... why hello, and welcome to my home. I'm nicely rested today after my 12-hour bout with the giggles yesterday caused by squarely by the phrase "We are holding Jesus ransom until you clean up the poopie from your wieners"... man... People must have thought I was fucking stoned out of my mind yesterday... I was just walking along, laughing hysterically to myself, pausing intermittently to sigh because I was laughing so much it hurt... bah... anyway...

Sooooo... some things:


According to a study conducted by the venerable Toronto Star, a staggering 200 TTC (Toronto Transit Commission for all you non-Torontonians) workers suffer from severe stress brought on by acts of violence either impaired to them or witnessed by them.

It recounts tales of bus, streetcar and subway operators being punched, kicked, gang-rushed, spat upon even shot at and the quintessential stories of subway operators witnessing suicides via-subway tracks (which is truly the most selfish form of suicide... not only are you taking your own life, but compromising the schedule of others. For shame. Subway jumpers, along with teenage mothers and handicapped people on the TTC, are part of a group of people I call "pirates of my convenience". Maybe I shouldn't have admitted that. Ahhh well...)

Hmmm... there are kinda two sides of the coin here. Study after study have shown that commuting is the worst part of an urbanites' day, so right away there's inherent rage. On top of that THE COST TO RIDE THE TTC IS ASTRONOMICAL!!! In the above article, a solid fucking third of it talks about how fares will have to increase YET AGAIN to up the worker's salaries, pay for shields, a U.S. consultant firm to review the situation blah blah blah blah blah. Where the fuck is it going to end???

Why the fuck does mass transit work - and for much, MUCH less money and much, MUCH more efficiently - in other cities such as Montreal, New York, Boston and D.C. I really don't know what's wrong with this picture... if only I followed my dream of becoming an urban geographer... (for serious: I'm a HUGE SimCity buff)... ahhh well...

A solution I can see is creating some sort of passport system exclusive to the TTC that would need to be scanned to A.) confirm your 'character' and B.) keep record of who was where, when kinda-thing... I think that would be a solution, albeit pricey.

Failing that... Good old-fashioned racial and/or class profiling was helpful more than it was ever hurtful, so there's that... = )

B.) OSCAR NOMS OSCAR NOMS OSCAR NOMS!!! (no one [except Yerxa] cares)

Yep. Yawn. This morning, Hollywood It-girl Kathy Bates (not really), fresh from what I'd have to assume her early morning dump, took to the podium and announced this year's nominee's for a golden fella named Oscar.

And no one fucking cares. Yawn Yawn Yawn. Best Actor race is Daniel Day Lewis' to lose. Johnny Depp'll prove his only competition - hopefully the Deppster can finally pull off a win! Best Actress race is betwixt haggard screen siren Julie Christie for keepin' it real in 'Zheimer-fest "Away From Her" or some French chick for a movie about another French chick (I know it's Marion Cottilard and I know it's Edith Piaf... I was just trying to be apathetic to be cool) leaving pint-sized Canadian lesbo Ellen Page in the dust. In fact, the only real surprises came in the Best Actress category, which saw several popular choices shut out...

Sorry, Jessica. Next year.

But the REAL excitement comes in the Best Supporting Actor category, which is stacked with MAJOR movie-star heart-throb names like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Hal Holbrook and - oh God, I don't know if I can get out this last name without ejaculating - Tom Wilkinson! Wow, can't wait to see how those cards fall. I'm kidding of course. And that statue will go to Javier Bardem for that Coen brothers picture.

And then Best Supporting Actress will likely go to Cate Blanchett, making it her second Oscar. Yes. Cate Blanchett will have two Oscars. Talk about a wacky Wednesday (does anyone remember that book??? It was AWESOME!)

Anyway, adding the absolute dullness of this year's crop is the fact that the ceremony will be devoid of any sort of levity and wit whatsoever. Bruce Vilanch, who's sat in as head-writer for many telecasts since the early 90's, told EW.com that today would be the absolute last day for the Writer's Guild and studio's to reach an agreement and have the show go off without a hitch - seeing as much of the show isn't written until they know who the nominees are. So there. The Oscar's is gonna suck musky, musky balls this year.

I was so looking forward to Jon Stewart hosting again. Those attack add parodies they did when he hosted the first year killed me. KILLED me. Ohhh well...


Yepper skeppers.

After a brief love/[hate] affair with blonde, Great Britain's jewel of neo-soul is back rocking her signature brunette bee-hive.

I don't even know why she would fuck with that - IT'S HER SIGNATURE LOOK! And you know how important signature looks are.

Granted, I didn't make the best case for her blonde locks with picture provided, but I think we can all agree - she's much better dark.

In other Winehouse news: Bitch certainly didn't take a page out of the Whitney Houston "I make waaaay too much money to eva smoke crack... Crack is Whack" handbook recently when she was both photographed and videographed by a "friend" getting cozy with a crack pipe.

Number 1.) Make some new fucking friends. Friends who don't tape you doing crack with their phone then sell your ass out.

More importantly,

Number 2.) DON'T DO CRACK!!! As per gleamed from Whitney Houston, IT'S WHACK!!!

Anyway, here's the video. Because, y'know, it's fun...

Done like Donda [West],

--- Aj