Going against the GrindR

I’ve been meaning to post a link up to these GrindR art mash-ups for a while, I think they’re great. I found them on this gentleman James Hall’s blog. Although intended to be lightly humourous, they make quite a profound point about the history of gay culture and its relationship with technological advances.
I’m still unsure about GrindR. It’s no different really to other online hook-up sites, but because of the glamour of the iPhone and the splendour of all things app a lot of men clearly feel more at ease using GrindR than they would logging into Gaydar. Also Stephen Fry publicised it before 1000s of closeted viewers on Top Gear, making GrindR one of the best places to meet embryonic homosexuals.
Polly Vernon has written some brilliant features about GrindR for the Guardian: “Reconfiguring the landscape of human relationships”, “the sexual equivalent of ordering take-away” etc. etc.
and I’m all for no strings fun (as I’m sure you’ve deciphered from my resident GT blog !) but I think GrindR takes the excitement away from traditional seduction, the backward glance, the gaze, the hints, the chase, the 'Have I? Haven't I?', the predatory etiquette almost.
Fair enough - I’d sooner meet someone off GrindR than roam around Hampstead Heath waist-high in wet nettles and dog shit, but I still prefer those completely organic and unplanned encounters that don't need Steve Jobs to lay the ground work, like at dinner parties, work events, on beaches, or at weddings. I've never needed an iPhone before to embark upon exciting new carnal adventures, so why start now? Sometimes a bit of the old 'pull their tie towards you behind the moonlit marquee' is all you need, and the victorious feeling is infinitely higher.
I’m completely onboard with technology right now. I have to be. But I still plan to retire to a lost and forgotten little French village and spend my lonesome days doing jigsaw puzzles, writing letters and rambling along the stormy coastline, until my Tadzio comes along.

Joe My God wrote a piece here about the potential dangers of GrindR, some of the comments beneath are very funny.

Check out James Hall's blog Avalanche of Day Dreams for more GrindR mash-ups including The Last GrindR and The Grinding of St. Matthew!

P.s. How scary does GrindR's logo want to be?!

Is my Gay Boyfriend STRAIGHT?

Is there a bitch in the middle of your otherwise perfect life? How to tell if your boyfriend is harbouring a secret lust for the fairer sex.

(This is a response to 'Is My Husband GAY?' on the bizarre website ChristWire.Org Please take a look at this article before reading this post)

Right now in North London there are over three and a half gay couples secretly struggling with heterosexuality in their marriages. Are you one of them Toby? What about you Shane? Are you having intimacy issues? Are you suspicious about your boyfriend’s late night activities? Don’t tell yourself that you’re simply being paranoid without taking a closer look...

Heterosexuality can pop up at any time during a long-term relationship. Your boyfriend may have been experimenting with the “straight” lifestyle even before you met. Sometimes it’s the nervous family who has rushed a young man into being gay out of a fear that his secret attraction to women will ruin his chances of wealth or happiness. For others, heterosexuality can appear later in life when men crave a break from the success of their careers or have been waiting too long for a new Madonna album to extend the daydream that is their life. Crystal meth and other narcotics are also proven to help gay men forget their fears and to drive people into the despairing arms of women.
Drawing on the expertise of generalisation, social stereotyping, uninformed opinion, medieval scientific belief and unhelpful bollocks, The Jack of Hearts has put together a list of 15 commonly-accepted characteristics of men struggling with heterosexuality within their relationships:

1) Secretive late night use of cellphones and computers
Porn addiction is closely associated with, in fact bound to, male heterosexuality. Be on the lookout for a boyfriend who doesn’t let you check his iPhone. You may think GrindR and Gaydar are his only apps, but he could be harbouring dangerous sites like Friends Reunited and Match.Com, chatting to girls he once starred alongside in school musicals. For the sake of trust, a couple should share everything, including email accounts, STIs, website histories, Topman store cards and starter platters for two in Nandos.

2) Looks at other women in a flirtatious way
When you’re out in public, does he stare unashamedly at women’s breasts? Does he grant himself the right to objectify any female? When out shopping in Selfridges, has he ever erratically yelled “Oi lav, show us yer tits!” at unsuspecting girls? Does he whistle at women on the street when waiting at a set of traffic lights? Is he like, totally sexist?

3) Feigning attention in gay clubs and bars
Have you noticed a lack of interest in new songs by The Saturdays? Does it ever seem as if he’s just using G-A-Y as an excuse to spend time around your fag hags? Do you sometimes see him looking at Katie Melua on the front of Boyz magazine with a malicious and lustful glint?

4) Not giving a shit about his appearance
Gay men have their taste dictated to them by vast commercial organisations in accordance to how much they earn. Other gay men strive to look like chavs. They smell exactly as they’re told to by cosmetic labels and their skin always matches that of Tina Turner. If your boyfriend is wearing more than two Fred Perry items in one outfit then you may have a hetero on your hands. Does he use Lynx deodorant? Lynx has been scientifically proven to repel women so that men are left alone and single, wanking into an empty kebab box with a laptop on one knee, well into their forties – a common trait in heterosexual men. Does your boyfriend use L’Oreal Perfect Blonde Maximum Crème? If so – he may have first developed a liking for it in his illicit girlfriend’s shower. Ask him if he's heard of the word 'Lambretta' - it's something to do with straight men.

5) Watches football on a Saturday despite being physically unfit and shit at sport.
Straight men use sport as an excuse to socially exclude women and to have secret liaisons in pubs. They like to read statistics and opinion pieces in cheaply produced newspapers without the hassle of ever playing the sport itself. Afterwards, they use public areas and the plastic seating areas in Chinese take-aways to engage in aggressive activity beyond the prying black eyes of their women. If your boyfriend returns from a shopping trip in Manchester too exhausted to talk about what he bought and without a manicure then that is a worrisome sign.

6) Strange sexual demands
Fetishism is a sign that a man is seeking a harder thrill beyond the normal intimacy of homosexual relations. The man may not appeal to the deep desires that are coming to the surface as the marriage drags on. If there is a sudden interest in wigs, fake breasts, school skirts or playing with make-up then this is clearly an indication of deep emotional abnormalities. It is a scientifically proven fact that drag queens are gay men satisfying their vaginal lusting in a sartorial way. All of the drag queens in the Bible confessed that they were heterosexual seconds before being stoned to death and burning in hell forever anyway, so be careful.

7) More interested in the more effeminate men in all-male gay pornographic films
In the original article "Is my husband GAY?" Stephenson Billings advises worried Christian wives who like to watch porn with their husbands to try and see if his eyes are more on the man or the woman in the movie. He then tells wives to decipher whether their husbands are deliberately picking adult movies with specific male porn actors. Just too ridiculous, perverse and stupid to even parody. But if your boyfriend enjoys effeminate male porn actors with longish blond hair, who like to be ridden about like a pony and then receive facials from a group of macho men, watch out - your boyfriend is definitely straight and would rather be watching a woman have sex. (Give me strength...)

8) Travels frequently to remote areas like Wymondham in Leicestershire?
Some boyfriends will spend a great deal of money travelling far from home to hide their deplorable opposite-sex actions. Small villages offer indulgence of every kind. From post offices and bus shelters to WI meetings and homemade jam stalls, a gay man seeking encounters with desperate sex-parched women can find them easily if he’s so inclined. Is there ever really a good excuse for a husband to visit Cromer without his boyfriend? He's a crustacean-loving woman eater.

10) Too many friendly young female friends
Someone who makes an extra effort to surround themselves with women should raise concerns in any community. It is biologically proven that gay men cannot get on socially with women, and so any female friends that your boyfriend has are likely to be secret sexual partners. Do they touch each other or embrace in long hugs? Does your boyfriend go to Starbucks on his lunch break to chat to a female friend about her new bathroom and recent divorce? He wants her SEX.

11) A racist and predictable sense of humour
A man who is secretly engaged in heterosexual activity with others may exhibit laddish behaviour when they get together in a group. In a sense, he has “tied his hair up” and this will be seen in his racist views and minimal hand gestures. Heterosexual men enjoy making other races feel lower than themselves, sometimes heterosexual men can be so racist that they reject their own race, changing the colour of their skin, like Michael Jackson and Cliff Richard.

12) Love of wrong pop culture
It’s quite common for gay men to enjoy the science fiction end of popular culture, but when your boyfriend becomes overly obsessed with romantic fiction, that is cause for alarm. Holding his hand inside his pants whilst watching Anakin Skywalker fight with a light sabre is a normal homosexual activity, but if he starts wanting to watch Love Actually or Step Mom – beware, your boyfriend is probably straight. Colin Firth is a heterosexual icon after all, and Susan Sarandon is a 90s siren for straight sex.

13) Introverted about his bare chest in public
Does he put his shirt back on at picnics and longingly savour his prawn sandwich when you and the other gay men are scoffing on Scotch eggs and having group sex on a wooden bench? Does he wear long baggy shapeless shorts at the beach? Does it seem like he’s purposely standing right on the edge of a crowd, talking on the phone to his Dad about finances instead of asking his Mum what happened on Corrie? He may be detesting physical affirmation from other men and desperately looking for hints of shared awkwardness in those around him.

14) Sudden heavy drinking
Sometimes people dealing with an unbearable emotional issue like heterosexuality will turn to alcohol to hide their distress. Does your man disappear on drinking binges for long hours without answering his cellphone? Is there a strange odour about him when he returns, some strange mix of beer and peanuts? Does he snore, fart and burp frequently? All three of these things just scream H-E-T - get out before he beats you with a baseball bat.

15) Gentlemen, have you dated men in the past who turned out to be straight?
This is an important question to ask yourself when your marriage starts to have problems. Statistics have shown that gay men who have encountered straight men romantically in the past are the most likely to repeat this (incredibly arousing and heavenly) mistake in future relationships. If you answered yes, you should ask yourself whether you’re honestly looking for a boyfriend (someone who is willing to be your leather-bound sex slave in the bedroom but who also loves the work of Mariah Carey), or just a closet heterosexual (who will be good at unblocking the toilet when you’ve flushed down too many wipes, but will never admire Frankie from The Saturdays in the innocent way that you do).
Is raising the teenagers from hell more important than sharing teenagers after Heaven? Ultimately, it’s a question of bending your priorities.
BY REQUEST(!): A vocab guide for Americans reading this post:
G-A-Y: A popular gay bar in London's Soho district
Cromer: A small seaside town in Norfolk, famous for crab meat, and a popular holiday destination in the Victorian era
Cliff Richard: A heterosexual singer, famous for his textbook heterosexual appearance in the song Wired For Sound. A role model to all straight men.
Scotch eggs: An egg covered in porky fat and bread crumbs.
Colin Firth: An actor who has taken on several gay parts in recent years.
The Saturdays: An English girl group who perform watered-down 80s-inspired electro pop
Heaven: A large gay club in London

Who else thinks these London "Trophy Properties" are the height of Tacky?

This “trophy property” looks nauseating and nightmarish. You couldn’t dance like mad to Eurythmics in that room, or bake a cake, or start an epic jig saw on the floor! I guess the mega rich don't have popcorn movie nights either?
I’m currently looking for a new flat in London and so couldn’t help but notice the front page yesterday of that free newspaper, the one that Mexican bandits attempt to ram into your mouth as you enter an Underground station…
The story was about “trophy properties” and focused on one particular flat in London at the new Candy & Candy development One Hyde Park. It’s on the market for £140 million.
My first feelings were probably those that the ghastly paper wanted to wring out of me – “ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY MILLION”, and “Who the fuck are these overseas buyers who need bullet proof windows? They ain’t got no dough from writing no Harry Potter” etc.
But then I read on and realised that these “trophy properties” aren’t actually living spaces, but more of a living hell. “Ex-SAS security guards”, “underground walkways to reach the apartment”, “air purification” - Sounds more like Area Fifty One Hyde Park to me.
And it seems many of the super rich share something in common with those who live on the streets: They both lack homes.
Does anyone else think the photo published with the article (above) just looks a bit, well, tacky? It reminds me of the VIP lounge of the Norfolk Line ferry I went to France on last month, or a high-end plastic surgeon's waiting room. Do the mega rich not have taste? Have they spent so much of their lives in soulless hotels that they've forgotten what living looks like?
£140 million could buy oak-panelled libraries with first edition T.S. Eliot collections, inner city courtyards with baroque fountains and climbing roses, Louis XVI chairs and a Cindy Sherman portrait. I admire the English millionaires who know how to spend tastefully. Like Jonathon Ross and the Hampstead set, or Kate Bush with her breathtaking home on an estuary island.
This “trophy property” looks nauseating and nightmarish. You couldn’t dance like mad to Eurythmics in that room, or bake a cake, or start an epic jig saw on the floor! I guess the mega rich don't have popcorn movie nights either? And by the way.. when staying at a friend's house after a dinner party I so prefer the friends who put you up on a wonky sofa bed wedged between the TV and the coffee table, to those who send you off down fifteen corridors to your own isolated bunker.
I wonder if the lease comes with a certificate that says “Congratulations! You’re the laughing stock of London but hey - enjoy the ice maker with its LCD and self-timer!”
Like MasterCard’s tiresome marketing team have reiterated for us: there are some things in life money can’t buy, and taste is evidently one of them. Would you not feel fucking stupid spending £140 million on a flat? Would it not all feel a bit Emperor’s New Clothes? It’s as if these billionaires think life is a level of Sonic the Hedgehog where you have to constantly collect rings before the time runs out. Like, jeez.
Just give me an ex-council flat, a few magazines to stick up on the wall, a decent hi-fi, my Care Bears duvet cover (below)and I’m happy. Like Andy Warhol explained, the President drinks the same Coca-Cola that the tramp on the corner drinks.
If you spend £140 million on a flat in London then you’ve completely missed the point of this beautiful and cultural city, and have probably missed the point of life itself too. One hundred and forty million. Haha. What does our best girl Kirsty Allsopp think of all this?
Right, I’m off to Sainsbury’s to buy myself a Diet Coke and a Twix. That’ll be £1.40 please.

See the "Care Bears Count Down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1..." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRG8NNqqeqE Heavenly!

Dictator Pop

I love games on Twitter, especially when they involve puns.

Dictators and pop music don’t really go. Sometimes dictators hire their favourite popstars for private parties, like Moammar Gaddafi's son who paid Beyoncé $2million to fly out and perform five songs on New Year’s Eve.

Then there’s controversial Pakistani political Pervez Musharraf, who proved that he had the X Factor when he appeared onstage in some London blues clubs, triggering a YouTube sensation back in Pakistan that raised a lot of eyebrows.

And then of course there’s the marionette version of Kim Jong Il, who sings his slow number “So Ronery” in Team America (pictured above).

Today on Twitter #DictatorSongs became a UK trending topic. A game in which people must tweet the name of a popular song but bend it into a pun that contains either the name of a dictator or a word connected to the topic of dictatorships.

Some of the most popular were:

‘I Shot Musharraf’

‘Totalitarian Eclipse of the Heart’

‘(Hussain It Best) When Hussain Nothing At All’

And my favourite… not quite a song title… But just brilliant…

‘Mao milkshake brings all the boys to the yard’

Mao Milkshakes, you know you want one.
Thanks to @TVPB @DrCyberBob @ralphspekt and @98Jobo for these #dictatorsongs !

I Respect Naomi Campbell

"Nobody had even considered the phrase 'blood diamond' until five years ago, because although we like to pretend we pay attention, our generation is more responsive to Kanye West sampling Shirley Bassey or Leonardo DiCaprio taking his top off and rolling around in the jungle"
Jeez, diamionds are this girl's worst enemy. It must be horrible and frightening to be caught up in a court case as dangerous and serious as this. I feel for Naomi Campbell and her concerns for her family's safety. Taylor stands accused of murder, torture, trading with illegal arms and blood diamonds, recruiting child soldiers and pushing sex slaves. No wonder Naomi is scared. This is a far cry from the warmth of Ralph Lauren campaigns.

As bitchy as the fashion industry may be, she is currently under the burning spotlight of press and international news organisations. She is being used as a prop by Charles Taylor's prosecutors to draw attention and publicity to the case. Of course she can't remember details from a dinner party decades ago - Naomi Campbell will have gone to these lavish star-studded galas almost every night of her life.

I can't even begin to imagine the huge pressure of these state dinners with world leaders, and always having to do the right thing, say the right thing, accept gifts from strange men, smile politely, thank people who you don't know or give a shit about. Naomi became one of the biggest supermodels of the 20th century in a short space of time, the first black woman on the cover of Vogue, she had colossal weight on her shoulders and big issues of her own throughout the 90s. Of course she has an ego, the world gave her one at a young age whether she liked it or not.
I also found Matthew Weavers Guardian courtroom report patronising and unfair against Naomi. Why should she be expected to know all the countries in Africa? He should go down the shops in London (where Naomi was discovered in the 80s) and try asking 100 shoppers if they've heard of Liberia, and if so, to point at Liberia on a map.

It does strike me as strange that she answered her hotel door in the night to shady characters. Maybe she did date Taylor, maybe she did sleep with Taylor? Power has allure. But I believe that if she did, she didn't know exactly who he was, who he'd become, or the extent of his political or alleged criminal activities. She was a model, at a party, who accepted some diamonds... this kind of thing happens all the time. Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy, Julia Roberts ... I bet they've all been presented with jewellery from creepy admirers on state visits. If someone gives you a gift, you take it.
Nobody had even considered the phrase 'blood diamond' until five years ago, because although we like to pretend we pay attention, we're actually more responsive to Kanye West sampling Shirley Bassey or Leonardo DiCaprio taking his top off and rolling around in the jungle.

By the way, I can also deal with and accept the fact that Naomi Campbell has been enraged once or twice in the past and lost her temper - when luggage seemed to have been stolen from her at an airport, and when a pair of designer jeans had gone missing in the care of one of her staff. I'd be fucking pissed off if I lost a case, especially if I suspected paparazzi of intercepting it. Similarly, if Donna Karan sent me some £3000 jeans and my maid went and 'lost them' in the wash, I'd probably pick my cell phone up and chuck it too!

What happened to the days when finding diamonds was fun...

In this video below, Mr and Mrs Ramaboa, from Lesotha, discover the 7th largest diamond in the world, and are whisked around the bright lights and heights of New York. In traditional dress of coure.


This video is from the British Pathe film archive online. Does anyone know anything about this story? Like what happened to the diamond?
'I Respect Naomi Campbell' by Jack Cullen, on The Jack of Hearts blog, August 2010

MEAN GIRLS: What They Did Next

When Mean Girls first slapped our screens back in 2004 it was HUGE. Girls were hiking to the cinema for repeat viewings, their boyfriends secretly hoping they’d be dragged along too. When the DVD came out it instantly replaced Zoolander and Save The Last Dance in all the girls common rooms at school. And we all caught the Quote Mean Girls virus, dishing out our favourite one-liners: “My nail beds suck!” – “Once Regina George punched me in the face… it was aw’thom” – “I wish we could bake a cake out of rainbows and smiles” – “That is SO fetch!” Some critics were sceptical about the comparisons to teen classics like Heathers and Clueless. Surely Mean Girls wasn’t that good? But it was. Mean Girls was mwah-assive. But how did these young actors fair in the years that followed? Did Rachel McAdams emerge as a bigger actress than Lindsay Lohan, or was it Amanda Seyfried who won the long race? Who’d have thought that Aaron Samuels was gayer than Damian in real life, and what about Gretchen Weiners played by Lacey Chabert? Lacey who? Here’s what the mean girls did next...

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan)

Lindsay was already a big name when Mean Girls came out, thanks to child stardom and lead roles in The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday. Sadly her personal life took the driving seat after Mean Girls, racking up prison sentences for drug use and drink driving. A spree of mad business ideas followed like her own range of fake tan, arguments with Barack Obama’s electioneering team, attempts at a pop career and a highly publicised shift in her sexuality. Then Miley Cyrus emerged and completely seized the girl idol throne where Lindsay once sat. Stumped out and ruined, Lindsay turned to fashion and paparazzi for funding. Currently she is filming Inferno, depicting the life of porn actress Linda Lovelace who starred in the cult adult film Deep Throat. Despite Lindsay’s rocky past, I think she will pull herself together and become a respected woman again , a la Drew Barrymore or Demi Moore. Assuming the press and the police leave her alone for more than five minutes.

Regina George (Rachel McAdams)

Nobody had heard of Rachel McAdams until Regina George first strutted into that canteen with her plastic tray and invited innocent Cady to sit with her. Luckily playing an uber meow-factor bitch didn’t typecast Rachel and she secured herself a variety of strong roles, including Allie in The Notebook, Lisa in Red Eye and Irene in Sherlock Holmes. Rachel is a good actress and there’s no reason why she shouldn’t go from strength to strength. Already a regular pin on the red carpet, she’ll be a pillar of Hollywood within a few years. “Vintage!”

Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried)

Karen was my favourite of the plastics with her backwards ‘K’ spelt out in sequins across her cleavage and her wonderfully vacant remarks. Little did we know what lay in store for the young Amanda Seyfried. Not a month goes past without panda Amanda’s big eyes staring at us from the poster of a new movie, or gaping out from the cover of a magazine, it seems she’s starring in about 14 things at any one time. Mamma Mia is the high point for her so far though. IMDB need to buy a new warehouse to store her filmography, there’s no stopping this one, she’s a workaholic. I smell a Hollywood wedding down the line, but will it be Dominic Cooper? I wouldn’t want his mate James Corden at my wedding that’s for sure. “I’m a mouse – DUH!”

Gretchen Weiners (Lacey Chabert)

Gretchen was a brilliant character with her encyclopaedic insecurities, epitomised by the platinum hoop earrings from her parents that she had to pretend she *sob sniff* didn’t like. Actress Lacey Chabert was dealt the worst hand out of the Mean Girls crowd, failing to bag any big parts since then and turning her efforts to voice work, providing the voices for a Bratz doll and also the character Meg in Family Guy. She’s so not fetching any roles.

Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan)

Accused of having a "big lesbian crush" on Regina, and of being a drugs user in Mean Girls, it’s like Lindsay Lohan has been living out the fictional life of Janis Ian ever since. Lizzy Caplan who played gothic plastic-hater Janis is actually very beautiful beneath that tar-thick mascara. She starred in the handheld horror film Cloverfield, she played Amy in True Blood, and starred in The Class. Lizzy is less career-driven than the other folks from Mean Girls. She lives happily in Hollywood with her flatmate and her cat Lisa. I feel that.

Ms. Norbury (Tina Fey)

We were mere teenagers when Mean Girls came out and so paid little attention to the school teacher Ms. Norbury, although I did like her line “The highlight of my summer was having the police search my flat for crack” Tina Fey who played Ms. Norbury also wrote Mean Girls, and went on to write, direct and star in my favourite sitcom 30 Rock. Team Tina!

Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett)

Aaron Samuels was the Abercrombie & Fitch esque hunk that Regina and Cady fought over. Although Aaron shows a passionate liking for both girls in the movie, in real life actor Jonathan Bennett prefers a bit of jingle bell cock, or is at least “heavily rumoured to be gay”, because in Hollywood nobody is gay remember. Acting-wise he’s not done much since Mean Girls, maybe because he’s been enjoying himself. He did appear in a bondage-themed art project by photographer David LaChapelle though. Anyone else want to multiply him by the power of X?

Damian (Daniel Franzese)

Damian, the big gay reject who was “too gay to function” had enjoyed cult success in a few projects before Mean Girls, including a walk-on part as the nightclub host in Party Monster – “Ladies and Gentlemen, theeeee CLUB KIDSSS!”. Since Mean Girls Damian has focused his efforts on his passion for art, exhibiting work a few times in Los Angeles. You see, he does belong on the art freaks table at lunch.

So there we have it. A little Jack of Hearts homage to Mean Girls. I’d like it if Tina Fey wrote a sequel when Regina, Karen, Gretchen and Cady are all in their 40s. But then again she gave Mean Girls a happy ending where they all learn not to be mean anymore and Aaron Samuels moves out of town to presumably come out.

Originally published 4th August 2010

Find Jack on Twitter @jackcullenuk

Uffie! Uffie! Uffie! ... Uff! Uff! Uff!

Oh you're H&M? I'm Paul Smith BITCH!” yaps Uffie in a dig at her online haters on the final track of her long-awaited album Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans. I’ve been obsessed with this album on my recent roadtrip across Europe and so wanted to jot some notes down on it…
It’s been three years since the fille terrible Uffie ripped onto the scene aged 19 after she booked DJ Feadz to play at her party, bedded him as a boyfriend and bagged herself a deal with Ed Banger Records, the French label ran by Daft Punk’s ex-manager Pedro Winter, made famous by Justice. Since then Uffie’s had several hurdles to clear, most notably her brief marriage with ‘Le Baron’ André Saraiva and giving birth to their child Henrietta. While she’s been away several artists have tried to cash in on taking Uffie’s sound and driving it into the mainstream, the most obvious example being Ke$ha.
But Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans is the sort of sophisticated, timely and timeless electro pop album that girls like Ke$ha can only dream of…
The album’s opening track is of course Pop The Glock, her 2006 breakthrough hit, a sort of electro-acapella spaced-out Barbie rap which went viral on the underground scene. Next up is Art of Uff, produced by Mr Oizo, a haunting rap with daunting piano scales that references Art of Noise’s infamous tune Moments of Love.
The third track is a single ADD SUV, starring Pharrell Williams. A Manhattan playlist giant earlier on in the party year, ADD SUV pokes fun at the R’n’B genre and rappers’ obsessions with expensive cars. To collaborate with Pharrell fortifies Uffie’s place impressively on the music map, tugging her away from the traditional ‘main-ternative’ mindset of most Ed Banger artists. The Skateboard P / Busy P partnership is a potentially powerful one, let’s hope it perseveres to penetrate the American music scene deeper still. Mirwais is another new jewel in Uffie’s underground crown here, perhaps making it the first pop record to feature two men who have both produced albums for Madonna?
Give It Away is my favourite track on Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans, a beautiful computer gamey jam with popcorn synths bubbling away that really captures the essence of Uffie: the international party girl turned popstar who seriously doesn’t give a shit but is somehow fixating and valuable.
It’s easy to see why some have compared Uffie to the Andy Warhol superstars of the 1960s: Uffie is dependent on the support of good producers and industry favours, and she’ll be the first to admit that her talent is limited, yet she has a glistening star quality that exceeds all of the men on Ed Banger. Perhaps in the future we’ll talk about the Busy P superstars?
Other Uffie tracks that need a mention here (although the whole album’s great) are MC’s Can Kiss, a relentless upbeat trash rap single that sounds a lot like fellow Ed Rec artist SebastiAn’s B-Side Momy. Then there’s Neuneu, a funky Mr. Oizo number which is kind of like Uffie’s take on Crazy In Love. Finally Uffie’s old school single F1rst Love appears in the middle of the album.
Uffie really proves herself with Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans. Sophisticated, sexy, catchy and really carefully put together. Good things come to those who wait, and Uffie’s always worth the wait.
Play Give It Away: