The 80s sounds still rule

With all the holiday parties, it was cool hearing a ton of 80s music. That sound will always be popular with parties, just like the Motown sound has survived through the years. But it’s not just the music. You’re seeing more pop artists these days mimic the look as well with popstar’s 80s costumes. This retro look has become very popular when people dress up for costume parties, but the wild and crazy look of the 80s still reappears with today’s pop stars.

Katy Perry is a great example, as the sound of many of her songs along with her crazy looks on the red carpet and in her video harks back to the colored hair Eighties. Watch the Friday Night video and then watch old Cindy Lauper videos. The comparison is more than valid.

With her incredible popularity, the Katy Perry look is now showing up often at parties, along with crazy 80s costumes. Of course over the holidays we saw many lovely ladies in a Christmas fancy dress, but as New Year’s Eve rolled around we saw more and more outrageous looks. With the economy improving we might see a return of even more of these looks. The economy boomed in the Eighties and the colorful looks and big hair reflected the party mood of the times.

So crank up a mix tape of Katy Perry and your favorites Eighties bands, put on a wild costume and throw a massive party!

  

Katy Perry parties on Friday night

This video by Katy Perry has 139 million views and I just heard the song for the first time. I knew I was getting old . . . but this is ridiculous.

  

Bullz-Eye’s Favorite Albums and Songs of 2010: Associate Editor Will Harris’s picks

I don’t even know why I’m here, frankly. I think it’s pretty well documented that all I do these days is write about television and interview people ’til the cows come home. Once upon a time, though, I used to be a music critic, dammit…and once you’ve had opinions about music, you’ll always have opinions about music. As such, here are my thoughts on the albums and songs that grabbed me this year. This may be the first time I’ve actually written about most of them, but you can damn well be sure that I’ve spent plenty of time listening to them.

Favorite Albums

1. Tom Jones: Praise & Blame
It’s a pretty consistent tradition that my #1 slot on my Best Albums list of any given year belongs to an artist whose career I’ve followed for quite some time, but Sir Tom earned his spot fair and square. Kicking things off with a stark cover of Bob Dylan’s “What Good Am I?” which will leave listeners spellbound, the Welsh wonder goes gospel with this record, and while it’s admittedly not the sort of career move that generally results in the shifting of mass units, it’s a creative success, one which befits a man entering his seventies far more than, say, another retread of “Sexbomb.” Having already secured legendary status (not to mention a knighthood), our man Tom can afford to step outside of people’s perceptions, and for those who’ve been paying attention, that’s what he’s been doing for the past several albums, including 2008’s 24 Hours and his 2004 collaboration with Jools Holland. But while Praise & Blame is a continuation of an existing trend, it’s also arguably the first time Jones has made absolutely no commercial concessions. There’s no wink-and-a-nudge cover of “200 Lbs. of Heavenly joy.” There’s no song by Bono and the Edge nor uber-hip production from Future Cut. There’s just Tom Jones, age 70…and, by God, he’s still got it.

2. Glen Matlock & The Philistines: Born Running
It isn’t as though it’s surprising that John Lydon’s the member of the Sex Pistols who’s gone on to have the most successful solo career – he was, after all, the frontman for the group – but it continues to be equally eyebrow-raising that so few of the band’s fans have kept their ears open for the consistently solid material emerging from Glen Matlock‘s camp. It’s not quite as punk as the Pistols – which makes perfect sense if you believe the story about Matlock supposedly getting the boot from the band for liking the Beatles a bit too much – but the songs on Born Running still pack a fierce wallop.

3. Brian Wilson: Reimagines Gershwin
The older I get, the less I allow myself to feel guilty about enjoying an album that I could easily peddle to people my grandparents’ age. All things considered, I’d much rather have a full collection of new originals from Mr. Wilson, but the way he takes these Gershwin classics and arranges them to match his traditional sound is still music to my ears. Then, of course, there’s the added bonus that he’s taken on the task of completing a couple of previously-unfinished Gershwin songs. Unsurprisingly, they sound just like Brian Wilson compositions…not that there’s anything wrong with that. At all.

4. Farrah: Farrah
There’s Britpop, and then there’s power pop, but you don’t tend to find bands who can manage to comfortably keep a foot in both camp; I’d argue that Farrah succeeds at this task, but given that they don’t have a particularly high profile in either, I suppose it really all depends on how you define success. For my part, though, if an artist releases an album which contains a significant number of catchy-as-hell hooks, it’s top of the pops in my book, which means that this self-titled entry into their discography is yet another winner for Farrah.

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Bullz-Eye’s Top Ten Music Moments of 2010: Staff Writer Rob Smith’s Picks

In my mind, 2010 will be remembered more for moments of strangeness, oddity, and lessened expectation, than it will be for transcendent music. The throwaway nature of pop has never been more transient or incidental; technology enables us to hear as much as we want and, by the sheer volume of those possibilities, to actively listen as little as we ever have. How else to explain Ke$ha and the Glee cast recordings, much less the continuing nonsense of Black Eyed Peas? Raise your hand if you think Bruno Mars or Rihanna are still going to be churning out hits ten years from now, or that Katy Perry (more about her below) will still be squeezing into latex after she and her pasty Brit hubby have two or three little Russells to contend with, and things start saggin’.

I will remember 2010 for several key moments:

Top 10 Music Moments of 2010

1. The Roots, Being the Roots. Are they the best band on the planet? It’s hard to argue when their versatility is put on display every weeknight, and when they reiterate their overall excellence by turning out two of the best records of the year (How I Got Over and Wake Up, with John Legend).

2. Dio, Chilton Die. We lost metal’s gentle sorcerer (Ronnie James Dio) and Big Star’s genius-in-residence (Alex Chilton) within a few months of one another. May they both rock in peace.


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Katy Perry: Teenage Dream


RIYL: Ke$ha, Nelly Furtado, Lily Allen

Katy_Perry_Teenage_DreamShe sounded for all the world like a one-hit wonder when she made her debut with the aggressively obnoxious “I Kissed a Girl,” but surprise, surprise — Katy Perry is currently in the middle of setting airplay records with “California Gurls,” the Snoop-enhanced first single from her new album, Teenage Dream. A few more hits like this, and Perry stands a chance at carving out a Black Eyed Peas-style career, embracing cheerful disposability with a string of shiny, deceptively sharp pop songs.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, here’s Teenage Dream. Simply by virtue of the smash hits she’s scored with “Gurls” and the title track, Perry’s already vanquished the sophomore jinx, but does the album deliver on the promises made by those killer leadoff singles? The short answer: Not really. But compared to a lot of mainstream pop records, its wheat-to-chaff ratio is surprisingly high.

Given who she is and the era we’re living in, it’d verge on unreasonable to expect Perry to put together an album of songs as pop-smackingly delectable as “California Gurls,” so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that there’s a fair amount of filler on Teenage Dream. What’s unusual — and fairly troublesome for Perry’s long-term prospects — is the fact that her least appealing moments come when she’s trying to get serious, as on tracks like the meant-to-be-showstopping ballads “Pearl” and “Not Like the Movies.” There aren’t many pop singers who embrace brainlessness as warmly as Katy Perry, and as a result, she’s just not believable when she thinks she really has something to say. Like Teenage Dream‘s cover art indicates, she’s trapped herself in a fluffy prison.

Fluffiness has its own rewards, though, and even if Perry will probably never reach the levels of profundity she strains for so unconvincingly during Teenage Dream‘s duds, she at least has a knack for irresistible anthems to shallowness, stupidity, and narcissism. For a good seven songs or so, Dream finds Perry shooting cotton candy sparks on a beach made from rainbow sand while unicorns shit churros and pee ice-cold beer on everyone. You get the title track, “Gurls,” the fabulously dumb “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” the soaring “Firework,” and “Peacock,” which actually beats the Black Eyed Peas at their own stupid game, plus the cutely aggro “Circle the Drain” and future Hot AC hit “The One That Got Away” — basically, a solid EP’s worth of 21st century Top 40 at its most hollowly addictive. If you care about Katy Perry at all, this is probably exactly what you’re hoping for. How long she’ll be able to keep this up is anyone’s guess, but in the meantime, she’s living a rather pleasant Dream. (Capitol 2010)

Katy Perry MySpace page

  

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