Monday, March 28, 2005


Welcome to a new, regular (we hope) feature on Panda Pops, where we talk you through one of the latest pop promos in our own inimitable style. To kick us off this week, we will be detailing the debut video from Hollywood starlet Lindsay Lohan, 'Over', which you can view here. A screengrab will hopefully accompany this if we can figure out how the hell to do it.

00:03 The Lohan walks down the street that is used for every suburban street scene in a music video ever. The property prices in this street must be astronomical, since so many well-paid musicians seem to live there. Also, it's in a different time zone to the rest of the world, since the leaves are falling despite the fact that Autumn finished four months ago. Unless Lindsay lives somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps.
00:07 Drew Fuller! Looking positively edible with his trademark half-scowl, stylishly messy hair and just a little bit of stubble. This video just got a lot more exciting.
00:14 Oh dear. Despite that positive start, things take a drastic turn for the worse when The Lohan opens her mouth and starts singing, only to reveal that she cannot. The woman sounds like she's been gargling with gravel.
00:18 Lindsay stares forlornly through Drew Fuller's window. Drew stares wistfully back. Then a somewhat beefy man appears behind Drew, and Drew turns around. A bit of iffy blocking here makes it look like they're about to kiss, so we shall refer to this man from here onwards as Drew's butch new boyfriend. We don't seem to get many music videos where the theme is that of a gay separated from his fag hag, so this should be nice and different.
00:21 Drew pulls the curtains, presumably because he's going to have sex with his butch new boyfriend in the middle of the day, and doesn't want Lindsay The Fag Hag to watch. Good idea, Drew.
00:33 Lindsay gets home, and her parents are downstairs watching TV, not particularly caring about their poor fag-haggy daughter. Meanwhile, Lindsay continues to demonstrate that she cannot sing in the same key that her band are playing.
00:45 Cut between shots of Lindsay rocking out Ashlee Simpon-style in her garage (because The Lohan is so rock and roll), Lindsay flashes her norks at Drew Fuller in a scene vaguely reminiscent of American Beauty. Oh, Lindsay. The first rule of fag-haggery is to accept that you cannot come between your gay best friend and his butch new boyfriend.
01:02 Drew continues to stare sulkily back at Lindsay. Possibly he's missing the regular paycheque from Charmed ever since Chris got unceremoniously stabbed just before he was born (it made sense if you saw that episode. Well, sort of). We can't say we blame him since it's made him resort to appearing in music videos for quite crap songs again (he also appeared in the videos for The Calling's 'Wherever You Will Go' and - eurgh - Jennifer Love Hewitt's 'Barenaked', the latter of which I think we all saw more than enough of during I Still Know What You Did Last Summer).
01:06 Lindsay perves on Drew's (admittedly very nice) bottom as he lovingly touches up his hot rod, if you know what we mean. At least, we think it's Drew - the shot isn't very clear, and the next shot of Drew back at his bedroom window casts some doubt on that. Still, it's a music video, so we're not going to demand Oscar-worthy cinematography or continuity, and we're certainly not going to let it get in the way of a perfectly good double-entendre.
01:20 Sigh. Drew's wearing a nice hoody and a leather jacket. Couldn't they have just got rid of Lindsay altogether and let us stare at that for three minutes and forty-six seconds?
01:30 Lindsay and Drew mack in a caravan. Presumably this is a flashback, before Drew came to terms with his sexuality and dumped Lindsay for his butch new boyfriend. That's the only logical explanation. Lindsay, meanwhile, appears to be wearing the same top she was wearing yesterday whilst rocking out in the garage. Skank.
No wonder you turned your boyfriend gay, Lohan.
01:38 A pool party! Lindsay and Drew appear to have wandered onto the set of The O.C., and since there's a party, we're sure a punch-up is not too far away.
01:50 Drew looks cute in a beanie, but his hair is far too nice to hide. He rubs Lindsay's arm somewhat chastely as they sit on a diving board - presumably this is back in the present where she's his ex-girlfriend and current fag hag again. Phew.
01:53 A cute guy with a buzzcut starts to chat Drew up, we think. He's cute. That Lohan had better not throw a spanner in the works in that sort of drama-queeny, overprotective ex-girlfriend way we think she's all too capable of.
01:56 Oh no! Drew's butch new boyfriend arrives. Drew looks suitably horrified to have been caught chatting up someone else.
02:03 Drew gets up in his face all "I wasn't doing anything". Drew's butch new boyfriend just beckons him with a finger and walks off. Oh, so it's that kind of a relationship. Poor Drew.
02:07 Lohan looks guilty, as well she should. I bet she wanted that to happen.
02:13 Drew sadly follows his possibly-abusive butch boyfriend home. A bunch of poolside gays check out Drew's ass.
02:15 Lohan throws a tantrum. Oh, Lindsay, we told you. You'll always be second best to the boyfriend.
02:25 Lindsay drinks milk straight from the carton. We told you she was a skank.
02:31 Drew shoots her a suggestive look. Normally we'd assume that was a silent booty call, but it's far more likely he wants her to help him wash the car or something, since he's clearly gay in this video.
02:34 "My tears are turning into time" really is an appalling lyric. That's got nothing to do with the video, but it had to be said all the same.
02:38 Lindsay's guitarist steps on the echo pedal just as Drew floors his accelerator. Ooh! Synchronicity!
02:44 Drew's showing off his hot rod, wheeling Lindsay around in circles. Some people are in the back seat, but we can't see who they are very well, so we'll just assume they're not important to the plot.
02:47 Drew looks ecstatic, bless him. We bet his possibly-abusive boyfriend is going to turn up any second and ruin everything, mind.
02:55 Told you so.
02:57 Drew shoots him a look of fear. It's very important for music videos to tackle controversial and underrepresented subjects like that of domestic abuse in the gay community, so we'll give Lindsay the thumbs-up for that.
03:02 Drew's now-definitely-abusive boyfriend takes him roughly over the car bonnet. No, not like that, you pervs.
03:05 Lindsay looks sick, and in a brief flash back to the caravan, hurls a lightbulb at a wall. Presumably this was where Drew told her that he'd been visualising Orlando Bloom while they were boffing.
03:10 Drew's abusive boyfriend leaves him beaten in the dirt. He also appears to be a lot older. Poor Drew. All he wanted was a father figure to make up for the role model he'd been missing as a child, if we're going to take an extremely stereotypical view of this.
03:15 More shots of Drew and Lindsay macking in the caravan. Drew's presumably mid-visualisation.
03:20 Over at the racetrack, Lindsay picks Drew up and examines his boo-boo. He looks bereftly after the now-departed abusive (possibly ex-) boyfriend and Lindsay promises to take him out to Popstarz tonight to look for someone else.
03:23 Back in the caravan, Lindsay smashes some crockery, having not been told that any self-respecting female singer throws flowers in her video (cf. Dannii Minogue, Britney Spears).
03:27 Drew turns the light off and retreats to his bedroom, possibly to read some homoerotic short stories.
03:32 A final close-up of a very evocative Lindsay, who has at least proved in this video that she's a much better actress than she is a singer. Possibly a good idea for her to stick to the day job, then.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


We're actually at a bit of a loss for words. We were all set to make an entry that completely ripped off Popjustice's "Poor Javine" catchphrase, and make thinly-veiled threats to the British public that they'd rue the day they sent Jordan off to Eurovision and made us the first country ever to get a negative score. But Javine only went and won the thing, didn't she?

It was actually a very encouraging experience (although we are, to be perfectly honest, still sweating and shaking with tension over the whole thing) to hear the studio audience being fully in favour of Javine, to the point where they booed Jordan - sorry, "Katie" - every time she scored higher (notably, she is more popular in Scotland and on the internet - the last one speaks for itself, really, but we'll be asking flum to explain on behalf of his nation later). We really aren't fans of booing here at Panda Pops, and generally consider it wholly unnecessary, but we're more than willing to commit a double standard where that vacuous attention-seeking talent-wasteland Jordan is concerned.

We did feel quite sorry for Gina G, getting the lowest score in every single round. We may even consider coining the phrase "Poor Gina!", if we can be bothered, and if we think we won't be sued for theft of intellectual copyright. As for Andy Scott-Lee and Tricolore, well, the other one proved in Pop Idol that he can never be relied on to give a consistent performance, and we really don't need the latter when we're having a hard enough job trying to get rid of Il Divo and G4 as it is.

Finally, it was extremely heartwarming to hear Javine, after a rousing reprise of 'Touch My Fire' saying "thank you everyone for voting, it really means so much to me." There wasn't a dry eye in our house, but then we are prone to overexcitement. So, for the first time in years, we're sending a decent singer off to Eurovision with a decent song. We're probably still not going to win, mind, but at least we've given ourselves the best possible chance. Bravo, everyone.


Who says there is no justice in pop? Well, actually, they probably say it quite a lot here, and they've got a point, because despite the fact that acts like Mania, V, Girls Aloud, Rachel Stevens, Annie and Alcazar have released some stunning singles over the past year or so, the record-buying public at large seems to prefer to spend their cash on the latest slice of ruh-n-buh mediocrity by Nelly or Usher.

It saddens us that very few people in the UK - specifically people or institutions of influence, like national radio stations or music journalists - actually use their status to point out how formulaic a lot of the stuff that clogs up the charts really is, preferring to just think "oh well, at least they wrote it themselves and it's got a nice guitar solo". It's even worse when people commit the cardinal sin of releasing really terrible records and escape unpunished.

We were relieved, therefore, to hear this week that Dizzee Rascal had been arrested. "Finally," we thought, "the music police have tracked him down after that truly terrifying 'Happy Talk' sample and the risible rapping of Band Aid 20, have placed a restraining order that prevents him from going within 200 metres of a recording studio, and have asked him to retrospectively repay the Mercury Music Prize money so that it can be used to buy a couple of thousand kids a copy of What Will The Neighbours Say? so that they can realise pop isn't vacuous or uncool."

Imagine our disappointment, then, to find that he'd been arrested after police had found him in possession of pepper spray. Yup, pepper spray.

Remember what we said a few paragraphs up about people who tread a line of mediocrity? It seems appropriate that a serial offender like Dizzee Rascal should, in what we at Panda Pops are going to assume is an attempt at a cool US-gangland-style arrest scandal, do such a mediocre job of it. No drugs, no guns, just a canister of pepper spray. How very dull. This, we suspect, is what happens when you give Joss Stone a Best Urban Act award - no wonder the UK record-buying public would prefer to Buy American. At least they get arrested with style.