Archive | November, 2015

Tina Arena is ashamed of something she shouldn’t be…

27 Nov

Oh Tina. You glorious, perky-breasted goddess, you. You captivated us from the moment you donned your pink, polyester onesie and belted Volare to the adoring live audience of Young Talent Time. And you did it again last night when you majestically appeared at the top of the ARIA stairs amidst some serious dry ice to belt the shit out of Chains. (Again in a onesie, but this one had a funking cape.)

Fellow babe Kylie Minogue then inducted you into the Hall of Fame before you gave a rousing, if not lengthy (I’ve got the attention span of a three year-old after downing a litre of cordial), speech about the music industry and the role women have to play in it. You even referenced your amazing cans. Bravo.

But I have one little problem with that speech, Tina.

Amongst the praise and positive memories of Johnny Young and his bowl cut, you delivered a small dagger to the heart that I’m not sure everyone watching at home felt as much as I did.

Not to take away from your well-deserved moment, but you implied that your 1990 single, I Need Your Body was not your greatest work. At first I thought maybe it was a joke and you were just trying to be funny. But upon further research, I discovered that this glistening gem of early-90’s electro-pop has been making you “cringe” for years.

And to this I call bullshit.

I Need Your Body IS ONE OF THE BEST GODDAMN POP SONGS OF OUR TIME!

(And if you have yet to experience the song for yourself, I demand you stop what you’re doing right now and watch this immediately:)

 

Here are the reasons why:

1. It was your break-out song.

All through the 80’s you were labelled Tiny Tina. Every Australian with a working television wanted to take you home and cook you pineapple fritters. But you had to grow up some time.  Britney did it when she donned leather bumsters and danced up on a lot of sweaty people in I’ m a Slave For You. And the song isn’t even that good, just quietly. I Need Your Body was your Britney moment. And you did it BEFORE her! AND you were all of 20 years old. At 20, my biggest achievement was buying my own jaffle-maker and managing to shave my legs once a week. While you were busy paving the way for many a sexually frustrated child star to come. Don’t be ashamed of that, Tina.

2. Half-naked dancing men.

While the trend for music videos, today and in the past, has been to parade dancing women around in vagina shorts and bikini tops, you bucked that trend in the INYB video clip. Because Tina don’t give no f***s. Your film clip featured a small chorus of shirtless, muscly dudes dancing on patio chairs in the Phantom of the Opera’s house. I was just shy of six at the time, but even I could appreciate it. Because #girlpower.

3. It reached #3 on the ARIA charts.

And that is nothing to sneeze at. Let’s put this into perspective:

Chains, your stunning anthem of white-girl angst that no one else can sing, no matter how many Pinots they’ve had, (definitely not me…I’m talking about a friend) only ever got to #4. NUMBER FOUR! I mean, that is a travesty of justice in itself, but now is not the time. The point is, I Need Your Body beat that. That is a BIG. FLIPPING. DEAL.

4. ALL THE VELVET!

Again, I’m referencing the music video here, but who can seriously forget that velvet bolero?! Most people get a bit caught up in the memory of your boobs dancing around in the matching velvet dress, but honestly, it was all about that bolero for me. At times you even got so into the whole running-away-from-Fabio’s-brother thing, it fell off your shoulders but you just kept going. Very devil may care, very Tara Reid nip-slip without the nip. That entire velvet outfit was my life and I will continue to spend my waking hours hunting it down so I can wear it to every social occasion ever.

Seriously, can someone bring velvet back?

5. It’s a great bloody song.

For realz. It’s a song about being so damn into a guy that you constantly feel burning things inside you, and not in the medical/STD way. Who can forget lyrics like:

And the wind cries out

Out your name to me

And I feel no shame

Feeling this way…

Gawd I love a smart wind reference. It taught us girls that it was totally okay to feel all the feelings about a boy and even encouraged us to own it in the hope he might show up at our own abandoned mansion and dance about in the shadows.

The song also contains a siiick electro beat. The kind of frenetic, blood-pumping disco/pop track that made Belinda Carlisle a household name. Honestly, if it wasn’t for I Need Your Body, dance concerts across Australia would have had nothing to do with all their lycra bodysuits and jazz sneakers.

 

I need your body

Even her perm on the single cover is #onfleek.

 

Anyway Tina, my point here is that, while you are polishing off your Hall of Fame trophy and looking back on what has been a pretty illustrious career, please don’t view I Need Your Body as that ugly, stumble-block that you try to laugh about now but secretly kills you inside. Because it shouldn’t.

I have and will continue to defend I Need Your Body until the cows come home, as well as continue to play it on repeat at erry flipping house party I go to.

So, on behalf of the children and teens of the 90’s, I would just like to say thank you, Tina. Thank you for one of the best velvet-clad, shadow-dancing disco pop tracks of our generation.

Merci beaucoup.*

 

 

*Because Tina speaks French. She’ll know what it means.

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How I Feel About… “Mary: The Making of a Princess”

16 Nov

Last night I watched Mary: The Making of a Princess, the “dramatization” of Mary Donaldson’s meteoric rise from Tasmanian girl-next-door to future Queen of Denmark.

Now, I don’t know if Our Mary herself had any actual input into the script; but all sources seem to be pointing to the negative. I mean, she’s probably v v busy ruling over a foreign country and buying wool-blend coats.

But we all know that this did actually happen; an unassuming girl from Tasmania literally went out on the turps with her mates and landed herself a flipping prince. I mean, it’s the stuff dreams are made of. Mary is the poster child for every Disney-obsessed single gal who has been told time and time again that meeting their Prince Charming is a f*cking fantasy.

I just don’t know how I feel about what I watched last night.

Opening sequence began. Hello sweeping, panoramic views of Sydney. Mary running along a mountainous pathway, looking forlornly at the couples making PDA’s. Poor Mary. The subtle tones of Ain’t That a Kick in The Head suggested that this probably wasn’t going to be the gritty, expose I was hoping it might be, but rather a Mills & Boon-esque brainchild burst from the compound of Woman’s Day.

What was wrong with it?

First of all, the producers really wanted to get across to us that Our Mary is a good girl. Wholesome, sweet, health-conscious. The list goes on. I mean, she came home from her run, sat on the couch and ate CELERY! Bitch, please. (Mary was all about the running. When she thought she’d been dumped, she wailed about not being able to go for another run. Come on, Mary! Get in bed and eat your feelings like a REGULAR WOMAN!)

Later, when Fred basically just got his junk out, no big deal, and ran into the ocean, Mary hesitantly followed, still in her dress. Again, I’m calling bullsh*t. Hot, charming legitimate prince wants to sexy skinny dip with you and you keep your clothes ON?! Either the producers were really pushing the whole “Virgin Mary” thing or that did not happen. Any woman with half a brain and a thread of libido would be stripping off quicker than you can say, “Haagen Dazs.”

Second of all, I know this is a real story, but it played out too much like a literal fairy tale. Apart from the long-distance issue and the brief mention of some naked model called Bettina, the awkward and often heart-breaking logistics of dating were not explored as much as I would have liked.

After coming back to Sydney to take Mary out for the day on a super yacht, Freddy gets a call that his beloved Grandmama has had a stroke. He swiftly wraps up his seduction on the high seas and hot-foots it out of there back to his kingdom, leaving Mary on the pier in her cut-off cargo pants, looking forlorn and rejected. Now, if this was my life, you could pretty much cut there and have it in the can. Girl meets hot rich guy. Hot rich guy seduces girl. They drink on super yacht. Hot rich guy makes excuse to get the funk out of there. He never calls her again. The end. But we all know that was not the case.

And speaking of calling her, that’s the other thing. Did Freddy have some sort of psychic ability? Because ERRY single time Our Mary was sittin around mooning over him, he would magically call her. If life has taught me anything it’s that dudes never call when you’re thinking about them. You just end up drinking yourself into a stupor and yelling at the TV.

Look, it got on my nerves, okay?

Lastly, these previous two issues combined to create an overall narrative that was pretty lacking in real tension. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the producers’ efforts to inject the drama, but it didn’t get them far.

The job was pretty much left up to Mary’s gruff, Scottish father. And while he did a fairly stoic job of it, I couldn’t help but wonder how realistic it all was. Sorry to make the comparison again, but seriously, if I turned up at my parents with the Crown Prince of Denmark in tow, they would probably throw a parade big enough to rival Kylie Minogue at bloody Mardi Gras.

Add to that the fact that he wrote a letter asking for Mary’s hand in marriage, I just don’t think there would be a camera lens advanced enough to capture the speed with which my Dad would sign that sucker away. Like, a goddamn PRINCE wants to marry your single daughter; is there a problem here?

So what was good about it?

The soundtrack. Madison Avenue, Killing Heidi and New Radicals. GAWD 2000 was a good year for music! When the opening strains of Don’t Call Me Baby rang out over the Slip Inn dance floor, I was transported to a better day of hair mascara and working part-time at Baskin & Robbins. In fact, the entire Year 2000-vibe of the film was a pleasant and, for the most part, accurate trip down memory lane. A time of dial-up internet and Nikki Webster before the boob job. #memories.

Also the guy who played Prince Frederik was a total dreamboat. He was shirtless a lot. It made me feel things in my own special Danish place.

 

The moral of the story?

As much as we all love Princess Mary, did we girls really need a fluffy telemovie about her real life fairy tale while we sit around fielding d*ck pics on Tinder?

Jury’s out.

 

fred and mary

Maybe you should take your shirt off again.