katy perry

Porn is rubbish without a soundtrack

14 August 2012

A table full of notes for our Lightyears album/novel. Not set up in any way.Already read Fifty Shades Of Grey? Finished both the sequels? Bought the t-shirt and the S&M pottery set and the EL James celebratory dildo?

Well, now you can buy the album too.

According to Yahoo News, James has curated an album of 15 classical tracks due for release this autumn that she says helped inspire her during the writing process. EMI Classics – the label behind the record – have called it ‘the perfect accompaniment to the Fifty Shades reading experience’ (they’ve obviously never heard of KY Jelly). This nugget of news pricked my ears because, as you know, I’ve written a novel about The Lightyears that also has its own soundtrack (erm, no, that’s not a plug. What do you take me for? It’s just a relevant comparison). ‘Course all the material on our album will be original, but hey ho. I’m not showing off or anything. I mean, EL James is way too busy being questioned about her sex life on Oprah to write pop songs.

Incidentally, in case you haven’t heard, last week Fifty Shades was officially tagged The Best-Selling Book Of All Time in Britain. A lot of fuss has been made of this, mainly because it’s also universally considered to be very badly-written. And this bugs people. But why the big fuss, I say? History has shown time and again that the products that shift the quickest units are rarely masterpieces. Susan Boyle’s ‘I Dreamed A Dream’…? Fastest-selling album ever by a British woman. Who has the most entries on the ‘best-selling singles of all time’ list, aside from Elvis? Katy Perry. This is just the way the world works (although if you’re one of the 1.5 million people who bought ‘The World According To Clarkson’, I’m going to have to ask that you never, ever talk to me or attempt to look at me in any way).

Finally on this subject, I peeked over the shoulder of a poker-faced Kindle reader on the tube the other day and totally busted them reading Fifty Shades. This felt a bit like catching someone with their hand down their pants. My personal feeling is that Boris ought to pass a law stating that, if you’re going to read this book on the underground, you’re also legally required to wear a t-shirt bearing the declaration: ‘I’m reading porn. I’m pretending not to, but I am absolutely READING PORN’.

And, hey, if you fancy a slice of literature you won’t have to pretend you aren’t watching, check this out. I done this, I did.

Never judge a book by its cover

13 July 2012

My copy of 14th century alliterative romance Sir Gawain & The Green Knight. More exciting than its cover suggests.It’s emerged in the press that Katy Perry‘s insurance agents are concerned that, one of these days, she’s going to come a cropper on one of her bizarre stage outfits.

The Pezmeister has upset her insurance company by insisting on wearing a mechanical rotating bra during live gigs, and now they’re worried her hair might get stuck in the mechanism and cause a serious neck injury (I should imagine Katy’s publicists, on the other hand, are rubbing their palms together at the PR jamboree that would follow the headline ‘Popstar decapitated live onstage by malfunctioning brassiere’).

Perry’s insurers are probably justified in their anxieties, although of course her wardrobe antics do somewhat pale in comparison to Gaga’s – a woman who, when she’s not dressing up in pork underpants, is more than likely to be seen accepting a Grammy in nothing but a few strips of rather cleverly positioned duck tape.

But the thing is, insurance issues aside, all of this just exposes the superficial farce that is pop music these days. What are we doing endlessly discussing the outrageous garb of this popstar or that when really we should be debating the quality of their music…? Isn’t that judging proverbial books by their covers? I just think it’s really sad when musicians feel like they have to dress up, like they have to play court jester in ridiculous costumes, when really they should just let their music speak for itself.

I just think it’s really sad.

The Lightyears in Korea, 2009.

...and again in Korea, 2008.

...and back in Berkshire, 2010.