Fuzz Light Year: Cold Cave's 2nd Album: "Cherish The Light Years"

Cold Cave are brilliant at their art, a dark and intense American electro act, introduced to me by my music-geek pal Duncan James Robertson two years ago, I met the band when they played a tiny gig in Nottingham (review and photos with the band here).

During that Crystal Castles phase when lots of bands in London acquired synth players over night along with a fat girl in leggings and someone who looked a bit like a character played by Noel Fielding, Cold Cave were there in the background, avoiding that bandwagon, pushing out their own brand of intelligent lyrics, excessive feedback noise, brave beats and terrifying melodies. With all the intensity of Fuck Buttons, the vocal energy of The Fall and the image of some Warhammer dark elves, Cold Cave are cool, more than cool, they're placid.

The first single of their new album 'The Great Pan Is Dead' is a real running down the street as fast as you can, manically racing down steps, throwing stacks of paper out of a 15th storey window, type song. I love it. You can stream their third album Cherish The Light Years here below, it's released on April 5th.

For those new to Cold Cave check out The Trees Grew Emotions And Died, Gates, Double Lives In Single Beds and Theme From Tomorrowland - my favourite tracks of theirs.

Cullenders: Words and phrases that Jack Cullen coined

It has been pointed out to me that I invent words in my writing and sneak them under the sub-editorial radae, so I thought it might be time to start an official list, otherwise I'll only forget them and some teenage blogger in Brisbane will claim them. I'll try to add citations that show the original date and publication if possible.

Some lexical babies of mine:

1. Gleeché - (noun) - Swap the lederhosen for Haus of Gaga and you get the stock-gay sensation that is Kurt Hummel. Gleeché first appeared on the Guardian, Tuesday 15th March in the article 'The gay one from Glee - positive role model or dangerous cliché' (definition provided by @domster13 on Twitter)

2. Lesconic - (adjective) - First used to describe a portrait of the Leeds scenester and celesbian-in-waiting Claire Cole.

3. Lime Haus (proper noun) - Respelling of East London's town Limehouse, to give a sense of the place's new found trendiness after Shirley Knot moved there.

4. Bin-bag chic (adjective) - Description of the 2008 fashion trend for outdoor jackets that were large, shiny and looked like bin bags, popular with Italian gay men and in Britain popularised on the high street by Uni Qlo.

5. Pope-ular (mindset) - A deliberately populist activity or object related to the efforts of the Vatican City, for example the Pope's online fashion store.

6. Charlie Le Min-Who? (noun, includes question mark) - A boy whose accessories, image and trends outweigh his intelligence, personality and manners, creating a top-heavy wannabe. Coined in the Gay Times write up of the Charlie Le Mindu London Fashion Week after party 2011. Interchangeable with Charlie Le Vin Rouge, Charlie Le Vindaloo.

7. RT-shirt (noun) A painstakingly sought-after re-tweet from a celebrity on Twitter, or tweeting somebody or something on Twitter in the interest of garnering RTs. E.g. "@AlanCarr? Been there, done that, got the RT-shirt."

8. Age-drop (verb) To deliberately mention your age as a means to increase your status, to make others feel inferior, to remind peers of your rapid career progression, or to draw attention to your talents. E.g. "Twitter is new to me and I'm the only 19 year old technophobe in the world" - [Dylan Jones, March 2011]. Age-dropping needn't drop a numerical age, this is called ageless age-dropping. E.g. "New Kids on the Block? I never read those".

9. Boycessory (noun) A cute boy, usually younger, that somebody takes out with them and keeps close to their side in the faint hope that others will assume the pair are shagging. More often than not the boycessory will have been fucked once by the owner but moving forwards from there the relationship is propped up by free drinks, gifts and kept watertight with intense organisation and the enticing taxi rides. E.g. "Oh, look at Graham's new boycessory. Kind of cute, is he Dutch?"

10. Postcamden (adjective). An artist force that stems from Camden after the death of Amy Winehouse, so post 2011. The Winehouse / Noel Fielding era marked the crystalisation and consequent slump of Camden's artistic value and the area descended into a violent bar crawl of thick shits. After 2011 things began to pick up again and a postcamden scene began to twinkle. E.g. "Das Kitten are a postcamden electro duo."

REVIEW Britney Spears - Femme Fatale >>> Till The Record Ends: My first thoughts on Britney's 7th album

It’s Britney BITCH! God I love Britney blog posts. No need to be refined, no need to really even say anything, because words can’t do this girl justice, just as words will never hurt her. Britney is the nuclear-proof cockroach of the charts, her fans are GAGGING for new material, to the point that even before Femme Fatale has been officially released we’ve all over-played it and want more. There is a group of people, me included, who will literally throw money at anything by “Britney Spears”, possibly because we were at an impressionable age when Baby One More Time came out, possibly because she accommodates our alter-egos, or possibly becauses she just pushes out pop music at its purest. Perhaps those are the signs of a true pop star. Someone who has a place in your heart, someone you've kept with you since childhood. An inexplicable emblem.

When it comes to writing about Britney, everything has already been said, she’s not real, she’s just a brand, she can’t sing, she can’t dance, wa wa wa. Few of us know what she’s really like. Perhaps she’s quite intelligent underneath it all, perhaps she really is insane. Perhaps she’s watching TV with Ashton Kutcher right now, perhaps she’s in the bath, perhaps she’s dead. No, when it comes to Britney the old lady drops the blogger’s rulebook into the ocean and you can just type what the fuck you like. This girl don't even turn up to her own press conferences. Super STARRGH, where you from, how’s it going? Even national newspapers know that Britney is a journalistic wild card. Britney just is, and Britney just isn’t. Just say the word to yourself - Britney - go on, say it again, - Britney - what do you feel? - Britney - just remarkable. Its 100% distilled pop culture.

SO, Britney has a new album out, Femme Fatale. It’s a club album really, with girly dance songs seemingly inspired by nursery rhymes and breezy beats that are all underlined with intense and dark production touches. A genre which I’m christening as Dub-Prep. Anyway, I just had a listen and here are my first thoughts on each track:

Till The World Ends

A good first track. Lots of electronic vroop-vroop-vroops that set Femme Fatale’s club theme. Gets a bit boring though. Too reminiscent of Britney’s Pepsi ad. Seeing Britney buy songs off Ke$ha is like Ralph Lauren asking Jack Wills to design a collection. The problem with Ke$ha is that she’s a poor risk-shy hybrid of Uffie and Gaga, who in turn are both imitations of their own idols, and so we’re right at the end of the pop chain here. Imagine if you will a human centipede in which Britney’s plastic mouth is sewn-up to Ke$ha’s flabby glitter arse, forced to swallow her own successor’s shit. Luckily, Femme Fatale has more to offer…

Hold It Against Me

With its refreshing dub step inspired elements, dramatic breaks and hardcore beat, Hold It Against Me is the new trump card in Britney’s songbook. A Dub-Prep classic (WILL. CATCH. ON). The song says “Look Gaga, you can make a twenty-three minute video, re-enact the nativity story underwater with robots and wear a Rhino on your head for all I care, because I’m Britney Spears, I was nailing this shit a decade before you and all I need is my dodgy mascara” Britney has a gift for making pop look easy and effortless, everything’s in cruise control, whereas Gaga, as genius as she may be, makes being a pop star look exhausting.

Inside Out

Odd pauses at the start – effective slash annoying. Very Timbalandy sound. Sadly has one of of those constipated urban beats that is too slow for a party, for marching to work or for playing in the car (parts of my life that I gladly hand over to Miss Spears). I liked the lyric “Gotta look my best if we’re gonna break up”, also “hit me one more time” was a nice self-reference. Sexy beat or sandwich filler? Can’t decide.

I Wanna Go

Ooh, big camp beat HELLO. The whistling annoys me. She does that old trick where “I wanna go” suddenly becomes “I, I, I, Wanna Na Na Na, Go Oh Oh Oh”, which is fine at first but becomes a bit weak as the keystone of the entire song. Fast forward.

How I Roll

Definite like. Some Grace Jones-esque operattack vocal trickery here, à la Kylie Minogue’s X track Nudity. I like the splash of a piano, a nice anachronistic touch that reminds us we’re not actually living in space yet. Explicit lyrics alert, like “You can be my fuck tonight” and “Go down where my pussy’s at”. Britney is well past trying to prove she’s not that innocent, the final effect is just a chilled out message of “Look, I’m turning 30 this year guys”.

Drop Dead (Beautiful) feat. Sabi

Coming to a Shane Dawson YouTube video near you, it’s one of those poochy pouty applying-my-lip-gloss in the back of a taxi ones. Someone needs to tell Britney the phrase is actually drop dead gorgeous. The closest track to anything on Circus, sounds a bit like Kill The Lights (watching me, watching you, doo-bee dee). I love the bit where Britney just laughs her head off. What’s this Sabi malarkey though?

Seal It With A Kiss

I can just picture the Glee version now. The Ke$ha influence is very evident again, lots of Blah Blah Blah yo-yo beats. The chorus is a scared-of-itself rip-off of Katy Perry’s California Girls, which of course was itself a rip off of both Ke$ha's Tik Tok and Gaga’s Just Dance, which in turn was a rip-off of Aqua probably. Weird dub-preppy bit in the middle. The nursery rhyme inspiration this time: Cross my heart, Hope to die.

Big Fat Bass feat. Will.I.Am

Quite a fun number, and you can choose between the Will.I.Am or the Without.I.Am versions. Sounds a bit like something they’d use in a Curry’s advert. I like it when Britney speaks like a manic robot “THE BASS IS GET TING BIG GER THE BASS IS GET TING BIGGER”. A harmless dance tune, but let’s be honest, it’s like a Dannii Minogue album track. Pull the needle off it.

Trouble For Me

“Black Jack, whiskey straight, every day changes your life”. It’s a song about sleeping with hot twats and reluctantly giving them a second chance, mainly because they’re good in bed, which is kind of the story of my life. 2nd favourite track on album.

Trip To Your Heart

My current favourite. It’s a bubblegum electro-lullaby take on Shakira’s She Wolf that steers itself very close to the melody of Forever Young, and with a bit of everyone's favourite One Two, Buckle My Shoe thrown in for good measure. Halfway through the chorus Britney ditches lyrics in favour of going “Mm, loo loo loo dum dum dum doo”, like she’s got a croissant in her mouth or is skipping around the studio pulling her own plaits, I like that part.


Not feeling this one. It’s the If You Seek Amy of Femme Fatale and it’s even more irritating.


The intro made me crack up; it’s like a medieval-themed computer game. Like something off Madonna’s American Life album. Guitars and Britney don’t go. There’s also something a bit weird about a heartfelt slow number sung by a computer-generated witch that vaguely sounds like Britney Spears. If you want a Britney ballad you’re still better off listening to her 90s whoppers like Sometimes and Born To Wear A Nappy.

So, there we have it. As Culture Bully put it – “Femme Fatale is an album about celebrating the night: music for and about the clubs and the intimate aftermath that follows.”

It’s nothing mind-blowing, nothing new, none of the tracks are better than Cyndi Lauper’s Into The Night. But it’s Britney bitch, and you’re so buying it.


P.s. The photos on Britney's Wikipedia page are weird.

Can You Name The Nine Sisters of Liz Taylor’s Secret Circle ‘The Brunilati’ ?

I've been reading conspiracy theories on the net and became inspired to try my hand at my own. So without further ado...

Introducing Part 1 in this one part series on Jack of Hearts called Conspiracy Theory Thursdays in which this blog invents, exaggerates and then exposes a ground-breaking, earth-shattering conspiracy:

Liz Taylor and the Brunilati !!!*

Forget scientology, forget lizards, forget the Freemasons, forget Orange Wednesdays, this is the hottest conspiracy theory of 2011: The Brunilati

Taylor started the Brunilati with her 1967 prototype “Carla Bruni” (from where the Brunilati take their name) during the middle of her fifth marriage to Richard Burton (from whose name an anagram of ‘Bruni Roth Card’ can also be drawn). It was on the set of her 1967 movie The Taming of The Shrew that Taylor took some of Shakespeare’s societal commentary regarding the social sculpting of women and decided to apply these lessons to real life by anatomically sculpting women with the help of nine plastic surgeons that she just happened to have written down in her pocket phonebook.

The result was a secret circle of powerful and attractive brunettes, who together would slowly but surely take over the world. Some would be singers, others would act, the slightly duff creations would TV present and a select elitist few would go on to marry the most powerful men in the world.

The results of the Brunilati birthing program were as follows:

Brunilati 1: “Sophie Marceau” (1966)
Brunilati 2: “Carla Bruni” (1967)
Brunilati 3: “Liz Hurley” (1968)
Brunilati 4: “Samantha Cameron” (1971)
Brunilati 5: “Claudia Winkleman” (1972)
Brunilati 6: “Martine McCutcheon” (1976)
Brunilati 7: “Zooey Deschanel” (1980)
Brunilati 8: “Kate Middleton” (1982)
Brunilati 9: “Marina Diamindis” (1985)

Artificially harvested in a laboratory in the Hampstead basement of Elizabeth Taylor’s birth place, their bodies are a genetic mish-mash of what is called AC and CC, meaning a mixture of presenter-slash-model-slash-DJ-slash-handbag Alexa Chung (AC) and singer-slash-presenter-slash-human-snow-dome Charlotte Church (CC). Some members of the Brunilati turn out with a stronger AC side, e.g. "Samantha Cameron" making them slightly hard-shouldered sulkers with razor-sharp cheek bones, whilst others have a dominant CC strand, making them more curvaceous and giggly, e.g. "Kate Middleton".

Some critics of the Brunilati conspiracy theory have pointed out that neither Alexa Chung nor Charlotte Church existed during the 1960s when Taylor commenced her experimental project, but these critics forget that Taylor had access to Michael Jackson’s time machine which was originally used on men hired out of magazines to transport them back into their childhoods upon arrival at Jackson’s house.

Named Liz after Taylor herself, work on “Liz Hurley” commenced in 1965, making her technically the first member of the Brunilati, but Hurley wasn’t launched for another three years due to repeat technical difficulties relating to a fault in her acting ability, and so 1967's creation Brunilati 2 "Carla Bruni" became the first official ambassador of Taylor's sick agenda. Bruni's mission? To seduce the President of France. The sexual homing device that Bruni was installed with went horrifically wrong, meaning that instead of targeting the love of the President of France she instead won his heart via the pants of every other man in the country, a rather unpleasant scenic tour, but she got there in the end and Brunilati 2 "Carla Bruni" is Taylor's second most successful creation after Brunilati 8.

Taylor mainly used Hurley as a robot spy, making her Godmother to the Beckham’s children and handing her invites to palace parties. She was meant to marry David Cameron but mistook Hugh Grant for him, making it a disastrous mission that had to be put right by the creation of Brunilati 4 “Samantha Cameron”. Although Hugh Grant proved to be a useful tool in the Brunilati agenda, and work with him was later re-continued by Brunilati 6 “Martine McCutcheon” in 2006 on the set of Love Actually (which contains an anagram of L. Taylor if you pronounce it with the R as in Love Arctually).

Hurley’s part in Austin Powers as a ‘fembot’ was seen by Taylor as a coded form of self-expression, and she was punished accordingly. Hurley has now been emptied of her batteries and is in retirement, rusting in a disused cricket pavilion near Melbourne.

Brunilati 7 “Zooey Deschanel” was designed to become an indie electro-pop singer when Taylor realised she had little influence in this field. However, poor Deschanel couldn’t sing and so Brunilati 9 was later created “Marina Diamindis”. Taylor decided to make Deschanel an actress instead. Her first name Zooey is a clue to the fact that she was bred in captivity, whilst “Des Chanel” is a nod towards Taylor’s closeted obsession with France.

Originally it was intended that Brunilati 9 “Marina Diamindis” would marry Prince Harry in a similar vein to her predecessor Brunilati 8 “Kate Middleton”, currently Taylor’s most successful Brunilatibot. But Marina, mimicked Harry too closely, failing her A-Levels, but couldn’t find a way to forge her grades and so she was condemned to attend Middlesex University where Taylor had little use for her and so turned her into a band called Marina & The Diamonds, making her the first member of the Brunilati to have her name split into a compound. Her debut EP ‘The Crown Jewels’ is a reference to Marina’s former failed mission. Her name, Marina, is a clue that she is not a human but in fact an underwater waxwork puppet. Perhaps the greatest giveaway that Marina is a member of the Brunilati is the title of her bestselling single I Am Not A Robot - an unconvincing red herring.
Following 1985 Taylor ceased production on her Brunilati line, giving her girls the nickname “The Nine Sisters”. Today they rule supreme, and their success means that through them Elizabeth Taylor is married to and can thereby influence some of the world’s most powerful men, including the prime minister of England David Cameron, the president of France Nicholas Sarkozy, the future king of the British Empire Prince William, and Ben Gibbard – the lead vocalist of Deathcab For Cutie.

*That's the only time you will find three exclamation marks in a row on The Jack of Hearts. I was getting into the spirit of conspiracy theorists!