Poptastic Confessions

Poptastic Confessions

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Friday, June 28, 2013

This Is What It Feels Like by Armin van Buuren

Dear Poptastic Readers,

A few years ago I was introduced to Armin van Buuren when he collaborated with Sophie Ellis-Bextor on their song "Not Giving Up On Love", which was at #15 in my favorite songs of 2010. Well, he's back with a new song called "This Is What It Feels Like" with Trevor Guthrie on vocals.



The song has been out for a month or so and it is featured on Armin's album "Intense." But I just discovered the song and I quite like it. Perhaps you will, too. It's a tad bit catchy!



The video is shot in the desert and has two convertible Mustangs driving around, plus a cameo from Ron Jeremy. 



The song and album are on iTunes. Please support the artist.

Cheer then,
—Davearama

Taken Over by Rebecca & Fiona

Dear Poptastic Readers,

It seems I can't get enough of the Swedish DJ/dance pop duo Rebecca & Fiona! And to make matters worse, they were just in San Francisco last week and I completely missed it! Whoops!


A new promo shot from their Facebook page.

In May, I featured their new song "Union", which I still think is FABulous! But the more I listen to them, the more I like them. And feel I ought to feature their song from earlier this year called "Taken Over."




"Taken Over" is a bit relentless. Perhaps that is what I like about it. The pounding of the keyboards and what sounds like a motorcycle in the background plus the atmospheric synths make for an incredibly awesome song. Plus the melody is quite nice.

The song features Swedish DJ/Producer Style of Eye (aka Linus Eklöw), however he isn't in the video (that I can tell). Speaking of the video, it's quite odd. What a storyline! Oh my!



If you haven't already, head over to iTunes and purchase "Taken Over" and "Union." You won't be sorry! And then you might want to pick up their debut album "I Love You, Man", which features the amazing singles "Bullets" and "Jane Doe."

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dancing Out by French Horn Rebellion featuring Jody Watley

Dear Poptastic Readers,

While we wait for the new single "Nightlife" by Jody Watley, the group French Horn Rebellion have a new song featuring Jody Watley called "Dancing Out." The song also features Young Empires, too.




You might remember that earlier in the year, Poptastic Confessions featured a song by French Horn Rebellion featuring Jody Watley called "Cold Enough", which was featured on their "Love Is Dangerous" EP.




While "Cold Enough" was funky and fresh, "Dancing Out" is a bit retro ... but it is still good fun. Unfortunately, Jody isn't in the video. However, there is a picture of her right before the girl in the video lip synchs to Jody's vocals. It's a cute video. Hoop earrings are missing, but it has some 80s freestyle dancing!




"Dancing Out" is available on iTunes and it has remixes! So go buy the EP and support the artists!

And remember, "Nightlife" should be coming soon!

Cheers then,
—Davearama



Friday, June 21, 2013

Vocal Video by Pet Shop Boys

Dear Poptastic Readers,

What a fun, busy week it has been here. We started off with an interview with Lisa Cork-Twiss, formerly of Real McCoy and yesterday we celebrated our two-year anniversary. Good times!

Well, today I'm just going to tell you about the new video for the latest Pet Shop Boys single called "Vocal." You might remember that I wrote about it earlier this month. And I'm very happy to say that the song has indeed grown on me, and I quite like the melody.




Here's what the Pet Shop Boys say about the video on their website ...

This short film has been produced and directed by the filmmaker and photographer, Joost Vandeburg. He has created it using authentic amateur film footage shot at various raves in the late 80s, along with some footage from the Haçienda in Manchester. The video (and the song) was inspired by the way British youth at this time found its own freedom with a new culture epitomised by dance music and raves: "It's in the music/It's in the song/And the feeling of the warmth around us all is so strong."



Thank goodness the video is a radio edit as it clocks in 3:32. Hopefully the edited version will be on iTunes soon!

Cheers then,
—Dave





Thursday, June 20, 2013

Two-year anniversary of Poptastic Confessions

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Two years ago today, I posted my first blog entry! So it is our two-year anniversary! Hooray!



My first post was about Annikafiore's fantastic "Preaching to the Choir" EP. And at the end of the year, the SoundFactory remix of her song "Don't Wanna C U 2nite" was my #1 favourite song of 2011.




The blog wasn't always called Poptastic Confessions. It was originally called Davearama's Guide to Poptastic Music. However, I wanted to give the blog a name that didn't actually focus on me, so in March of 2012, I changed the name. I chose the name because sometimes admitting that you like glorious pop music can be sort of a confession. It didn't hurt that Bananarama's third album was called "True Confessions."



It's been a lot of fun the past two years. I think my favourite posts have been the interviews I've done for the blog: Annikafiore, Ani of The Pipettes, Gwenno, Felix of Le Kid, and Lisa formerly of the Real McCoy. Before the blog was around, I had interviewed Keren and Sara of Bananarama, and Jacquie formerly of Bananarama for the Pop Life fanzine.



I hope to bring you more poptastic interviews in the future. If you are new to Poptastic Confessions, I hope you look around and explore some of the music featured over the past two years. And as always, please support the artists!

I appreciate those of you who have commented or shared links with friends on Twitter and Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, Poptastic Confessions has a Facebook page. Please like and share it. I even have a Twitter account if you are so interested.

Thanks for stopping by! An extra special thanks for sharing the blog with others!

Cheers then,
—Davearama


Ooh La La!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Festival Video by Victoria and Jacob

Dear Poptastic Readers,

In early May of this year, Poptastic Confessions featured a song called "Festival" from Victoria and Jacob. My friend Aug did a remix of it.



Well, the video is on YouTube and the song is available on iTunes. It's quite the dreamy summer song. Oh those legs! Check it out ...



There. Isn't it cute? iTunes awaits your purchase. ~:-)

Cheers then,
—Davearama


Monday, June 17, 2013

An Interview with Real McCoy singer Lisa Cork-Twiss

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Exciting news! I have interviewed Lisa Cork-Twiss, formerly of the 90s dance group Real McCoy. She is very kind and gracious. And she is wonderful singer and songwriter. Now, before we get to the interview, I thought it would be good to give you a brief history of the group.



Lisa Cork-Twiss

The group started in 1989 and it was called M.C. Sar and the Real McCoy. The group consisted of O-Jay, Patsy and a rapper named Shampro who sometimes mimed O-Jay's raps. They released the singles "Pump Up The Jam", "It's On You", "Don't Stop", "No Showbo" and "Let's Talk About Love" and the album "Make A Move!" in 1990.





Shampro left the group and O-Jay became the front man. O-Jay and Patsy started working on their next album called "Space Invaders." The songs were great, but the company executives weren't happy with Patsy's vocals. So a session singer by the name of Karin Kassar came in and sang all of the female vocals. 



The Real McCoy 1992–1995: Patsy and O-Jay

The duo were having hits all over Europe with "Another Night", "Automatic Lover (Call For Love)" and "Run Away." And Patsy was miming the vocals of Karin, but the public wasn't aware of this.




Clive Davis at Arista Records took notice of the group and brought them to American but dropped the name "M.C. Sar"  and the group name was shortened to "Real McCoy." Some new songs were recorded, but the female vocals were still done with Karin. New videos were made for "Another Night" and "Run Away", but the latter wasn't released until YouTube came along.


The Real McCoy 1995–1996: Vanessa, O-Jay and Patsy


During the promotion in America, another female singer named Vanessa Mason was added to the group. She had similar vocals to Karin making live performances more credible. Up until then, they had always lip-synched their performances.




More singles and new videos came for "Automatic Lover (Call For Love)", "Love And Devotion", "Come And Get Your Love" and the double A-side with no videos for "Sleeping With An Angel" and "Ooh Boy!" Real McCoy had success in America with the first two singles both going to #3 in the pop charts. And two #1s on the dance charts.




After the promotion for the "Another Night" album, Patsy left the group. She went on to have one solo song called "Money 4 Me." And in 1996, Lisa was brought in to part of the Real McCoy.


 
The Real McCoy 1996–1998: Vanessa, Lisa and O-Jay

Lisa's first performance with the group was at the World Music Awards in Monaco. Sadly, the performance isn't on YouTube. But here are some small photos from that performance.




Real McCoy released new music in 1997 with a fantastic album called "One More Time." This time, Vanessa and Lisa sang all the vocals themselves. And they even helped write the songs! The first single had the same name. And two more singles followed: "I Wanna Come (With You)" and a remake of Shaina Twain's "(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here."




After the promotion, the group disbanded. In 1998, a remix of their early remake "Pump Up The Jam" was released. And in 1999 a new Real McCoy surfaced with a remake of one of their early songs called "It's On You." The new lineup of Real McCoy featured two new female singers named Gabi and Ginger. A man named Jason was in the video miming to O-Jay's vocals. However, O-Jay did have a cameo in the video. Another single came in 2000 called "Hey Now" ... this time Jason was doing his own vocals. 




In 2006, O-Jay used the Real McCoy name when he joined the Polish group Ich Troje on their song "Follow My Heart."




In 2007, O-Jay released a Real McCoy single with no female vocals. He remade the song "People Are Still Having Sex."




In 2009, O-Jay formed a new version of Real McCoy with himself and two new singers named Debbie and Gemma. Gemma had some fame as a solo artist and as in a group called Kissing Freddie in the UK as she had been on X Factor twice. The new lineup did some live shows. And even debuted a new song called "Two Hearts." But it got no official release, and then it all went silent again.


The Real McCoy 2009: Gemma, O-Jay and Debbie

Real McCoy used to have an official Facebook artist page run by O-Jay, but that is no longer. There is a website, but currently it has no information on it. Hopefully that will change soon!

I've always loved the Real McCoy and "One More Time" is my favourite album by the group. Lisa and Vanessa's vocals are awesome and the melodies are quite nice. So I took a chance and reached out to Lisa for an interview. She seemed to be the person I knew the least about. So I thought interviewing her would be great for fans to hear. Thankfully, she said yes! My questions are in bold. Lisa's answers are in italics. Enjoy!~



***


Before you joined Real McCoy, what was your music path like? How did you get in the business?

I grew up singing in the church as many singers of color in the South. My Mother was a pianist/composer and I come from a musical family. My Uncle Carl Perkins, jazz pianist, was renowned in the 50's West Coast scene and recorded with many greats.

I started my 1st band in High School called, Lisa Cork & The Screws in the 80s, my spiked dog collar phase. I was in and out of a few bands and then joined the Houston, TX based band in 1986 called SoWat where I met Brent Argovitz. SoWat moved to NYC ... well Hoboken, NJ. ; unfortunately we broke up soon afterwards. Which brings me to question 2.


"This pic is me in my band SoWat circa 1987. That's Brent Argovitz 
next to me and my eraser head fro... hehe"

"Me in my SoWat days taken from a fashion blurb in the Houston Chronicle"

"Haha!! Me, on the left, when I used to sing back up for Carl Lewis, yes the runner."

Awesome! "Lisa Cork and the Screws" is hilarious! How did you come to join Real McCoy? Wikipedia says songwriter/producer Brent Argovitz brought you into the group. 
Is that true?

Brent Argovitz later was to become the musical director for such acts as Hathaway and Taylor Dane before becoming involved with The Real McCoy in the same capacity. He also toured with them on drums. He asked if I would like to audition after Patsy was no longer involved. The audition obviously went well, I think based on the fact of how well my voice blended with Vanessa Mason as most of the vocals were in unison. My 1st show with The Real McCoy was at the World Music Awards in Monaco in 1996 which was a whirlwind of an incredible experience considering that 2 weeks prior I was literally working as a waitress in a cocktail bar; so sharing the same televised stage with the likes of Michael Jackson was mind blowing.


"Here's a Real McCoy pic taken in Monaco while we were there
for the World Music Awards in 1996, before I went blond."

Were you aware that the album “Another Night” had all female vocals by session-singer Karin Kasar?

I was not aware of Karin's involvement when I joined The Real McCoy.

Me, either. Do you know why Karin never joined Real McCoy?

I have no knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Karin's experience with The Real McCoy.

I was wondering if you ever met Patsy Petersen?

I was never introduced to Patsy although I did see her once at a club in Berlin.

How did O-Jay and Vanessa welcome you to the group?

O-Jay and Vanessa were both very welcoming and we all got on like a house on fire which was beneficial considering the amount of downtime one is forced to spend together while traveling/touring, recording and promoting an album.



“One More Time” is one of my favourite pop/dance albums. How was it recording the album?

Most of the album was recorded at the Studio/home of the Executive Producer Jurgen Wind in a small village in East Berlin. He also owned a small group of flats there down the road where we were accommodated. The track Love Save Me was recorded in Sweden. The overall experience was very enjoyable and professional with lots of downtime in between takes making comradery essential!


The "One More Time" CD Booklet

I noticed that you co-wrote two of the songs on the album, and they are two of my favourite tracks “The Sky Is The Limit” and “Tonight.”

It was awesome, as a new member that they welcomed my creative input to the writing process and I’m proud of my contribution to the album. I'm happy that you like those songs in particular.

Euro cover for "One More Time"

“One More Time” was the first single. How was it making the video and promoting it?

The video for One More Time was shot in LA in a nightclub. A huge production with lots of very excited extras. There was a real party atmosphere and the energy was incredible.


US cover for "One More Time"

Euro cover for "I Wanna Come (With You)"

“One More Time” and “I Wanna Come (With You)” were different from the Euro to the US versions. Which do you prefer?

My all time favorite version of One More Time is the Bass Bumpers Remix. To be honest, I don't have a preference for I Wanna Come With You.


US cover for "I Wanna Come (With You)"

Nice. I prefer the US versions. Whose idea was it to remake the Shania Twain song “(If You’re Not In It For Love) I’m Outta Here”? Did you ever hear from Shania about what she thought of the remake?

The idea to remake the Shania Twain song was that of our A&R Rep at Arista. I have no knowledge of her response.




I'm sure that she loved it. Why weren’t videos made for “I Wanna Come” and “I’m Outta Here”? And did you like the ones I made from the CD-Rom?

I think the decision was made not to incur more expenses based on lack luster sales...but I'm only guessing. I loved your vids Dave! Thank you for taking the time to do that. Very entertaining!

A video for "I Wanna Come (With You)" edited by Davearama.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuLjYM9O5J8
A video for "If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here" 
edited by Davearama.

The group disbanded after the promotion for the album. What happened?

See the above answer....

In 1999, another Real McCoy single was released with all new singers. It was a remake of their early song “It’s On You.” Was there ever any talk of you and Vanessa to sing on that?

No...not to my knowledge.

That's probably why the single flopped! In 2009, O-Jay and two new singers named Debbie and Gemma did some shows as the new Real McCoy. Were you and Vanessa not asked back?

No...not to my knowledge.

Do you keep in touch with O-Jay and Vanessa?

I kept in touch with them for a while afterwards and visited them in Berlin.




I always wondered what had happened to you after Real McCoy. I think last year I discovered that you had music on SoundCloud under your new last name Cork-Twiss. You’re solo music is very varied. I really like "Hand Me Down", "Change", "Tonight", "Stone Cold Smiling Faces" and "Black Coffee." Are there any of songs that you are most proud of?

Thank you for your interest Dave. My music on Soundcloud is mostly a plethora of original demos recorded before and after The Real McCoy; with a variety of collaborators and some completely solo undertakings. I have dabbled in a bit of jazz before and after The Real McCoy and a good representation of that is my Soundcloud demo of Black Coffee. I also collaborated with my husband Jeff Twiss in our home studio we called 'Jam Boudoir" on a track called Naked Soul. I am proud of those songs in particular. I also quite fancy all of the tracks that I co-wrote with Brent Argovitz who is still my dear friend until this day. He is currently based in Hawaii and plays drums for an awesome band called Bub n’da Smack Dab among other collaborations.

"I might mention that the jazz act I was in at the 
time was called Feed The Kitty. Here's a promo pic."



Besides listening to your solo music on SoundCloud, is there a place where fans can purchase your solo music?

Not at present but I will keep you posted! I currently live in Austin, TX and am in a band called Deep Eddie. We play mostly classic rock and it is great fun!!!

"Me in my current band, Deep Eddie, not the best shot. We are 
fairly newly formed and do not have any pro promo pics yet."

Would you ever consider re-recording some of the Real McCoy tracks from the album “One More Time”? May I suggest the wonderful “The Sky Is The Limit”?

I would not rule out any musical opportunities. I will sing until the day I die!

Would you ever have a reunion with O-Jay and Vanessa as Real McCoy?

Would I reunion with The Real McCoy?...absolutely! Great memories deserve repeating.

***

Thanks again, Lisa! I’m very excited to give fans a new perspective. 

If you don't have the album "One More Time" by Real McCoy, go out and get it! And if you are in Austin, check out Lisa's band Deep Eddie!

And if O-Jay and Vanessa are reading this ... Get together with Lisa and do it "One More Time!"



Cheers then,
—Davearama

P.S. Also available with Lisa on the cover ...







Saturday, June 15, 2013

Jody Watley Nightlife Music Teaser

Dear Funky, Poptastic Readers,

Get ready for some new, fresh music from Jody Watley.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRZ4ps8HFv0

That is all.

Have a lovely weekend!

Cheers then,
—Davearama

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Music Career of Dannii Minogue

Dear Poptastic Readers,

Lately, I've taken to listening to Dannii Minogue's back catalogue. And what a fun catalogue it is! I miss Dannii's music career and I really wish she would return to making music.


Dannii Minogue

Dannii is indeed the younger sister of Kylie Minogue. But what most people don't know is that Dannii actually started in show business before Kylie in the 80s in popular Australian show called "Young Talent Time." Dannii followed that show with soap opera called "Home and Away."


A very young Dannii

While older sister Kylie's music career took off in 1988. Dannii's first single "Love and Kisses" debuted in 1990. It was top ten hit in Australia and the UK. Her debut album featured four more singles: "Success", "I Don't Want To Take This Pain", "Jump To The Beat" and "Baby Love." The US got one single ... "Jump To The Beat" in 1991 and it didn't make much a splash.




Dannii released two singles in 1992: "Show You The Way To Go" and "Love's On Every Corner." 1993 brought three more singles: "This Is It", "This Is The Way" and "Get Into You." The latter being the name of her sophomore album.




In 1995, Dannii went back in the studio to record her third album. The album was recorded and the first single "Free Your Love" was about to be released when the label shelved the whole project. Also in 1995, Dannii contributed vocals to two songs with Eurogroove: "Rescue Me" and "Boogie Woogie."




A blonde Dannii came back big time in 1997 with the comeback single "All I Wanna Do" that went to #4 in the UK. Her amazing "Girl" album had two more singles "Everything I Wanted" and "Disrememberance." All three singles went to #1 on the UK dance charts. There was another single in Australia ... a remake of "Coconut." It was recorded in 1995 and a remix was used as a hidden track on the Girl album. After that, her first "greatest hits" compilation was released called "The Singles."




In 1999, Dannii released a song called "Everlasting Night" in Australia for Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras compilation.




A DJ by the name of Riva invited Dannii to sing on a song in 2001 called "Who Do You Love Now?" It was a massive club hit in 2002 as well as going to #3 in the UK. It got Dannii's music career back on track. Another single in 2002 followed called "Put The Needle On It" and it went to #7 in the UK.




2003 saw Dannii's biggest hit ever. The super smash "I Begin To Wonder" just missed the #1 spot in the UK as it went to #2. Her awesome album "Neon Nights" went Gold. Another single came in the form of a remixed version of "Don't Wanna Lose This Feeling" and it went to #5 in the UK. Strangely enough, no more singles from the album were issued. Except in Germany, a promo single of the album's hidden track "Come And Get It" was released.




In the Fall of 2004, Dannii got everyone dancing again with the amazing single with Flower Power called "You Won't Forget About Me." And then a year later, the next single with Soul Seekerz called "Perfection" that sampled "Turn The Beat Around" by Vicki Sue Robinson was released. Still, no new album.




Finally, in 2006 ... a greatest hits album called "The Hits and Beyond" with 5 new songs on it was released. The single to promote the album was "So Under Pressure." One of the new songs was "I Can't Sleep At Night" for which a video was made and the single would get a digital release in 2007.




Dannii recorded a remake of the Sister Sledge classic "He's The Greatest Dancer." It was released as a single, but no video, just a couple of TV performances.




At the end of 2007, Dannii recorded an AMAZING dance track with producer Jason Nevins called "Touch Me Like That." The song sampled the music to "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" by Sylvester.




Finally, Dannii's last studio album "Club Disco" was released. However, it contained the last six singles as well as some of the tracks from "The Hits and Beyond." But it did have some new tracks, too. Especially a chill version of "Xanadu."




Dannii put her singing career on hold after that. She has been very successful as a talent judge on Australian's Got Talent, The X Factor UK, and The X Factor Australia




She started a family and has written a style book as well as an autobiography.




While Dannii might have put her music career on hold, fans were delighted when three compilations came out: "Unleashed", "The Early Years" and "The 1995 Sessions." As well as Deluxe versions of her albums. My good friend Kurt helped work on those wonderful CDs.




Dannii hasn't completely been silent. She did record a remake of "More, More, More" and sung a duet with her sister Kylie on the remake of ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All."




But pop music misses Dannii. I know I do. Here's hoping she makes a return to music. Who cares if it isn't at the top of the charts? She just needs to make music again.

Cheers then,
—Davearama