Tag Archives: pop

Eurovision 2013 Liveblog

This concludes tonight’s 2013 Eurovision Song contest live blog.  Goodnight Europe

11:50- there it is folks, this years winner- Denmark!

11:10- ‘SHE GONNA EAT ME IN MY SLEEP’- Screams BHT as Lena gives the points with perky jumpy aplomb

10:55- It’s not the winning r beating the UK that counts, it’s the shirtless men.

10:50- Azerbaijan looks like the Predator Alien.

10:45- GOOD FRIDAY AGREEMENT MY ASS.  800 YEARS.

10:42 Sweden’s judge looks like a character from Final Fantasy.  Ireland got two points, ripple of ‘wooos’ spread through the room.

10:40 BHT is hugging her wine bottle, sobbing and singing along to winner takes it all

LIVEBLOG SUSPENDED because how on earth could you top that.

10:25- ‘Is this really funny or do I just really like Sweden?’ ‘You just really like Sweden.  And you’re drunk.’ (Then the titties happened)  SKIRT RIPPING

10:10- Maybe this is the wine talking, but BHT predicts A MILLION POINTS for Dreamboat Dolan tonight.  Interval act is a medly by last year’s winner, wearing a dress that has crashed into a seagull on the way to the Arena.  Sex Kitteh likes her hair, but is uncomfortable with the juxtaposition of ‘We got the power’ alongside white flag and military jumpsuits.

10:05- Georgia are really fuckin’ boring so instead we’re waiting for DREAMBOAT DOLAN to wrap up the show, and seeing what kind of riverdance knock off Sweden have planned for the interval

 

9:55- ‘FUCKIN’ DUBSTEP!’ BHT declares, spilling half her wine drunkenly as Danaerys Stormborn takes the stage for Norway.

9:50- Team BHT now wondering what happened to make Lena so fucking weird the year after she won Eurovision as Italy takes the stage. Fun fact- Italy were never regular attendants at Eurovision until recently, where they’ve performed… dreadfully. Italian singer having a bit of a wobble during his song.

9:45- Hodor?

9:40- The most homoerotic song of the night from Azerbaijan.  Greece next with ‘Alcohol is Free (but trousers are expensive)’.  Any song with a bazooki solo is fine by me.  Sex Kitteh wants to vote for Greece, so Germany will have to pay for the party next year.

9:35- Denmark is tonight’s favorite to win doing a Sandie Shaw and singing barefoot.  Sex Kitteh and bearded Avenger have named her Hermione Granger.  ‘If there’s nothing but teardrops between you I’m sure you could sort it out with some vigorous sex.’  Thor representing Iceland now, which seems like unfair advantage to BHT. Then again, only other skilled singer from Iceland=Bjork, who is probably an Alien.

9:25- BHT’s brother would like it to be known he wants Hungary to do well because he did three weeks of chef training in Budapest.

9:20- ‘Thats just what Bonnie Tyler SOUNDS like!’ BHT snaps defensively to Sex Kitteh and Bearded Avenger.

9:15- Romania, otherwise known as the best fucking song of the entire fucking decade.  BHT is excited, BHT sex kitteh is intrigued and BHT Beard Avenger asks ‘Is that the bad guy from Tekken?’  We will hear no bad words spoken about counter tenors.  Second Dubstep breakdown of the evening.

9:05- Jesus up there currently.  Armenia is so boring we muted them so we could listen to 2011’s winner, Lena.  First glasses of wine cracked out.  the Nethelands up next, dark horse entrants into the contest from last week.  BHT hopes Adele is listening.

8:55- Eupoooooooooori- Whoops, sorry.  We meant Gloooooorious.  Germany standing atop the bare staircase of Austerity.  Pretty symbolic.

8:55- Malta, home of Malteasers on stage now.  Poor guy sounds like Bruno Mars with kidney stones. Worst instrument miming of the night goes jointly to the Acoustic Bass and ukulele mimers.  Maltese Bruno Mars, following girls is not cool.  Russian entry singer needs to reconsider the position of her parting as she continues the scourge of maxi dresses.  Cascada up next for germany, prepare to relive  MTV in 2006

8:40- Estonia has broken the Eurovision by switching off the colour.  BHT sex Kitteh is dissapointed with the lack of skirt ripping so far. Maxi dresses and beach coverups dominate tonight’s wardrobe.  Enough dry ice to smother the first five rows.  Giant disco ball from which emerges slutty Taylor Swift singing for Belarus wearing a Gina G style sparkly dress.

8:30- Spain off key and boring.  Awkward instrument miming all up in here.  BHT co-host ‘sex kitteh’ asks ‘What are the chances some of Spain’s dress coming off?’ Wishful thinking, BHT SK.  Are bagpipes native to Spain?  Belgian performer is only 18 but still has the eyes of a serial killer (BHT Sex Kitteh thinks he’s sexy.) (no she doesn’t).  BHT SK- That’s ‘the is it thrush?’ dance from the Belgians.  FIRST DUBSTEP BREAKDOWN OF THE NIGHT

Eyes of a killer… Eurovision act, that is!

8:25- ‘Oh wait!  There it goes!’ Skirt is growing.  Resembling a volcano.  As Finland takes the stage, Feminists everywhere gird their loins for the problematic lyrics.  WIND MACHINE VEILS

8:20 First superfluous dancers of the night from Moldova AND a bloke miming the piano.  BHT party currently arguing about Molodovan performers skirt.  ‘Is it growing bigger? No thats just the lights on it’

8:20- Everyone in Lithuanian entry singing off key.  Strobe lighting giving BHT and co-hosts a small seizure.  Verdict- this really sucks.

8:15- BHT waiting patiently for the ABBA reunion interval show.  Assuming Benny and Bjorn are backstage trying to squeeze into their stretched out jumpsuits.  France first, a rather jazzy entry of the style which has left them bottom of the table in recent years.  Entry looks like Ke$ha and Country Love crashed in midair.

8:10- Out Ireland comes in dead last.  BHT hopes this is not an omen of things to come…..

8:00- Fuckin’ neon butterflies invading Malmo via the sea.  If BHT was the olympic opening ceremony BHT would sue….

7:55- Fever pitch!  Here’s our spotting guide and an awkward photo of Dana

1-Skirt ripping (or someone emerges from someone else’s skirt)

2-awkward attempts at humour from the host

3-Ethnic chanting/dress/instruments

4-completely superfluous dancers

5-Obviously mimed instruments

6- Graham Norton says something bitchy

7- Marty Whelan tries to sound like Terry Wogan and fails.

7:45- dreamboat junction in fifteen minutes

She wants your heart

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7:30- Prep underway.  Hair blowdried and backcombed, leather pants applied.  Wine uncorked.

total eclipse of the Bonnie

11:30AM – Bank Holiday Tuesday will be liveblogging and tweeting the 58th Eurovision Grand Prix tonight from 8PM.  Follow on twitter @Keofunkel and @BankHolidayTues for the proceedings which are sure to include alcohol, camp and shrieks of joy at the sight of the return of those leather pants to Irish eurovision hopes.

DEM PANTS

Restrain your orgasms until tonight, ladies.

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Niamh ‘BHT is back in business baby’ Keoghan

Beiber Fever

Column originally published on the StudentStandard.ie

About Beiber

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Just this afternoon on her train, Bank Holiday Tuesday (BHT) noticed many “tweenage” girls in short shorts and brightly coloured baseball caps. I wondered if I had in fact fallen through a wormhole to 1993.  No, these were just the final stragglers returning from staking out the Merrion Hotel where Justin Bieber was staying.  Oh Bieber fever.  When I was a girl it was Spice World and Boyzone – we were big into pandering the gender binary to little girls in my day and viewed the new wave of co-ed pop groups with suspicion. Liberty X and Hearsay and all that MIXING of the SEXES! It was too much for my little 9 year old head.  Now we’re back to the nice binary system of boys in one group, girls in another.  Now some don’t even NEED band mates: we have Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber to aspire to.

I drove past the point depot with my Ma last night and marveled at all the cars parked around- way more than you’d usually see waiting after a gig.  When I heard it was Bieber I realised this must be an army of mums and dads waiting anxiously to pick up their darlings from the concert, possibly chaperoned by cool older sisters or younger aunties.  There is something strangely cult like about Bieber.  I think his hair has nanobots in it, controlling the little girls via electron pulses.  That is the only way I can justify his alarmingly hysterical popularity.  Maybe he’s a cult leader. I think Anonymous needs to get onto him, to be honest.  He could be sacrificing virgins to Xenu for all we know.

But seriously, let us all be fair.  Bieber is pretty easily avoidable in music fan terms. He doesn’t get that much radio play and he’s not on the music channels (yes this is how BHT experiences her music because it is still 2003 in her head…) and the level of hate he produces online is about equal to that of Osama bin Laden.  People haaaaate this kid.  BHT is not sure why.  As far as pop crooners pandering to little girls go, he’s certainly not the worst.  Often I hear people complaining that kids are listening to shit music these days.  Eh, yeah, because that’s what kids do.  You have to go through a stage where you listen to total twaddle before you catch five seconds of, say, Joni Mitchell’s Blue played by your mother at 3AM on a Sunday and you understand.

We need shitty pop music slopped out by the mainstream labels: if we didn’t  we would have no way of obscuring our gems so they don’t get sucked in by the mainstream.  Let the little girls work themselves into a state of weeping hysteria. Let them get it out of their systems now in one fearsome  dose of fever: the Bieber fever.  Bad music is, to BHT, a rite of passage we must all take.  We don’t all have parents with extensive Rory Gallagher back catalogues or Uncles who lend you Talking heads ‘77 to help you in your education- some of us curate our tastes slowly, through accumulation.  The first Album BHT owned was Avril Lavigne and a best  of Britney Spears.  Let those without sin cast the first hip hop style diss.  Besides, little girls have always listened to inane crap. It’s how Donny Osmond and John Travolta made careers.  There is NO POINT trying to play Ani DiFranco to your 3 year old cousin (BHT has tried).

So let it be said now: BHT is defending Bieber.  She is defending Bieber because all little girls have to have their shitty music quota filled, so that when they are 24 and sipping ironic PBR at a party in a squat on Camden street wearing one of those absurd furry animal hats, she must still pause before passing judgement on another person’s music taste.  It is an  anchoring anti hipster force in the world, for no matter how hip and cool any of us will ever be,

There will always be a Bieber Fever scar on our heart.

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Niamh ‘I’m about to lose my mind up in hurrr’ Keoghan

Advice for misfit teenage girls

Do you ever feel like you’re not really as smart  as everyone thinks you are, and that you’re just fooling everyone?

If you ever have, I want to talk to you.

Life gave me a lot of things to hate about myself when I was fifteen- I was some wanker, all things considered.  I was a teenage girl, which means inevitably that I was emotional and irrational.  My voice was too loud.  I was really fat.  I had horrible hair.  I thought I was gay because the sight of boys my age made me heave with revulsion (I later realised this was actually due to lynx body spray).  I had no friends that weren’t caught up in a quagmire of mean girls level political intrigue.

The world is not a kind place for a fat, awkward, loud, precocious teenage girl.

I’ve since met the type of kid I was; bursting with ideas and excitement and OPINIONS about THINGS and FEELINGS and speaking in a LOUD VOICE about everything.  They’ll talk your ear off for hours about their favourite obscure media, they’ll tell you ALL ABOUT the novel they’re working on, how much they CAN’T WAIT to be in college and out of school.  Christ, they can be nightmares.  it isn’t their fault.  They have yet to grow into the massive amount of personality they have developed in just over a decade of existence.

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On the other hand, girls at that age are wonderful.  They can do ANYTHING.  They’re writing novels (albeit mine all had unfortunately problematic gender relations and some slut shaming that I’m not proud of) and poems and getting jobs and buying CDs.  Usually if they’ve navigated through the junior cycle of school without much injury (or too much) at fifteen they’ll be finishing up worrying what other people think of them and asking ‘well what do I think of myself, actually?’  If they’re anything like me, they’ll look at themselves and not like what they see at all.

It’s a rough age for boys and girls (I focus mostly on girls on account of having BARRELS of embarrassing experience.), But I have constructed here a few pointers that I wish I had lived by when I was fifteen.

You are not going to look like that for the rest of your life-  I know your parents and friends will reassure you that ‘you’re lovely!’ every time you express concerns over how you look.  So let me give it to you straight- You probably are a bit weird looking. Everyone is a bit weird looking when they’re fifteen.

We had a femmy lumberjack phase back in ’07

You’re in that uncomfortable stage of looking a bit adult but also still childlike, while acting a bit adult and childish at the same time.  You’ll know what I mean when you look back on photos from this time when you’re 20.  It’s disconcerting, particularly if you’re prematurely articulate and clever. You are also likely to be overweight, suffering from acne, or have braces.  I am telling you that is both

a) totally okay

b) totally temporary

you will not look weird for the rest of your life because as you grow you’ll realize that good looking people are often not the ones with perfectly proportioned features, but simply the ones with a bit of personality.  The ones who are all laughing, smiling, having fun, asking you how you’re getting on.  You cannot imagine the beauty to be found in a pair of bright, alert eyes that are full of fun.  It’s also not the be all and end all to be good looking.  There are worse things to be.  If you’re not happy with your body, tell yourself it’s sleeping.  Be kind to it.  It’s as confused as your head is.

Trust me, the braces will come off, the fat will roll off, you’ll get a nice haircut and discover what clothes actually suit you, and you’ll be looking FAB.

….Most of the time

Listen to the music you like, not what makes you cool. This piece of advice actually comes from a girl who was a few years ahead of me at school who gave me a cascade of useful advice around 2006, and this is probably the best and most long reaching wisdom she gave me. Who you are when you go to school is not going to define you and your relationships for the rest of your life.  Seriously.  It’s fucking brilliant.  But the reason the music advice is so good is part of the reason I love music as a conversation topic- You can bullshit about your favourite bands for HOURS.  You can dissect and analyse and share interpretations for hours, and there’s always more to discover.

Listen to the stuff you like because when you talk about stuff you honestly enjoy, you’ll be more interesting.  People will open up and share what they like.  Don’t subject yourself to bad music- it is in fact damaging to your health (I am not making that up).  Music is something people get passionate about and love discussing, it’s a great conversation topic.  When you find people with similar taste in music, you’ll never feel as alone again.  Best advice I ever got- listen to music you like, not the stuff that makes you cool.  I am an EXPERT in sleeper indie hits on the Top 40 charts, for instance.  If you like it, you don’t have to apologise for it.  Rock bands are at least as over produced as pop music these days, there’s nothing more inherently honest about it.  So yes, go and listen to Born this Way, we’ll be waiting with coffee to discuss.

Cover your bedroom in posters.  You will regret it if you don’t; curate a fucking exhibition of yourself in that room, mark it out as yours.  You will never have such a license to throw whatever you want up on a wall ever again, unless you become an eccentric billionaire.

Nobody gives a shit what you did in secondary school. No, read that again.  None of that shit matters.  Read it again.  NOBODY CARES.  You cannot begin to imagine the pettiness you’ll identify when you look back on your teenage years.  Keep in mind always that school ends- you leave when you’re 18 and you don’t have to meet these people EVER AGAIN.  You can go to college and start over. You only have to keep in touch with the people you want.  This doesn’t give you license to be an arse, but keep in mind that no matter how bad it seems, usually that stuff won’t carry over into college and the real world.

Do things for your personal happiness.  Do things that make you feel good, and understand that it is not your job to only satisfy other people’s needs and whims.  Friendships are about two people enjoying one another’s company.  You’re not anybody’s lap dog, nor are you anyone’s boss.  Don’t do things that make you unhappy.  When you’re fifteen you’re allowed be a bit selfish and live for yourself, so do that!  Try not to be too much of a dick.

Relax.  The way you feel right now?  That’s not how you feel forever.  It’ll return now and then, in dark moments of self doubt and come creeping back, but that’s a temporary feeling.  You’re going to be okay.  You are going to do a lot of things you regret, but that’s okay because you’re allowed.  We have all been there.  We are scarlet for the things we did, said and believed when we were fifteen. That’s not  to say what you believe in and want and feel isn’t important- a lot of things you decide now will stick with you, but not all of it.  You will discard those things you don’t enjoy like a snake sheds skin.  You’re only starting out.  You’re going to be fine.

Oh, and under no circumstances should you wear jeggings.  You’ll be scarlet you ever wore jeggings for SURE.

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Niamh ‘I was quite the looker’ Keoghan

Bank Holiday Tuesday’s 2012

Okay, here is part 1 of all the things that I am able to remember from 2012.  Either I remembered it, or was reminded of it by reading my old tweets.  I tried to pick things that had a deeper cultural relevance that I noticed, rather than just being a list of stuff that came out or happened.  Also a lot of shit happened so I’m not going to get everything in.  But here is what Bank Holiday Tuesday remembers

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Everyone dressed as Slenderman for Halloween.  2012 will go down in history as a very difficult year and you could see echoes of this all through pop culture.  Our collective consciousness was fixated on the approaching Mayan Apocalypse date with a kind of gallows humour.   Slenderman became a widely known character in 2012, after spending time building up steam on message boards, youtube and in general internet counter culture.

The original Slender man photo, and the one that started the mythos

I think this surge in popularity can be attributed to two things- our approaching sense of dread, uncertainty and doom, and THAT FUCKING GAME.  I don’t think there is a university aged person in Ireland now who hasn’t played that game while wankered at a house party with all your friends around you screaming DON’T GO IN THE BUILDING! He’ll sneak up behind you OH MY GOD THE CHAIR’S BEEN MOVED.

In all seriousness, I do think the Slender man’s popularity as the horror mascot of the 2010s is telling of our anxieties and fears as a generation, and perhaps also of the stagnation of the horror film industry.  The next iconic horror character after Samara from the Ring movies (remember when Samara from the ring movies was a ‘thing?’ remember throwing all your hair in front of your face and whispering ‘seven daaaaays’? good times) Doesn’t come from a schlock slasher horror or a remake of Japanese suspense- Slenderman didn’t come from any work at all; he originated on a horror message board (Slendy is page 3,hilariously)  and was then adopted into various works such a Marble Hornets and… that fucking game.  It’s a public domain, open source free shared horror template!

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

So with all this in mind, a million tall skinny guys went as Slendy for Halloween, with mixed results.  My top award goes to Danny who honestly scared the bejesus out of me with his costume.  Everyone else, I will offer the wisdom; a morph suit does not a cosmic horror make.

Barrack Obama was re-elected but do I really need to include it on my review in detail?  It all played out like a really forced media game, with people insisting ‘ooooh no it’s gonna be really close, seriously!!!’ when the stats really showed otherwise.  Bouncing back from what I personally think was a voodoo magic sabotaged performance in the first debate, Obama pretty much stormed it beyond Fox News and conservative talk radio in the states, mostly because Paul Ryan and Mittens are just so.  fucking.  WEIRD.  No really, Paul Ryan is really scary looking and I would not have wanted him to be the vice Prez. Now with a looming debt crisis and without the idealism of change behind him, Obama has a very rough second term to ride out.

It was a good year for feminism in a strange way, considering we had so much complete and utter fucking bullshit to contend with.  The GOP candidate Todd Akin started off with some incredibly bone headed comments about rape and how rape victims rarely get pregnant because the body has magic rape detection powers that repel the evil sperm- if only this were true.  Cue more comments from other GOP candidates about how ‘some girls rape easy’ and the shitstorm caused by health insurance providers possibly being made to include birth control as part of their healthcare plans.  Apparently sex is now a lifestyle choice, and avoiding pregnancy for medical reasons can ONLY be done via no sex.  Weird.  Also weird is the idea that the pill is solely birth control when often it’s used for regulation of hormones.

Chris Brown Left twitter, leaving in his wake the need for another terrible celebrity to lol at, and a shitload of misogynistic abuse leveled at the female comic whose sparring with Brown seemed to be what fucked him off Twitter.  I will confess to never wading into the Chris Brown pool because I’d feel like a hypocrite and an elitist, because I listen to Ike turner, John lennon, Phil Spektor and many others who have done terrible, terrible things to women without much sign of remorse.  I would say I don’t take much stock in Chris Brown as an artist and in his music, he is absolutely hideous both with general misogynistic bullshit and with constant backhanded references to his violence and all it paints for me is the picture of an entirely unapologetic guy.  I will never ever like Chris brown.  What a jerk.

Online bullying is the sad new way people are terrible to one another now, with several heavily reported young deaths by suicide linked to online harassment.  To throw my hat into the ring on what is a very sad and controversial topic, I have to say that I’ve always argued it’s not the technology that’s the problem, it’s the attitudes prevailing in society.  The big problem people have with the internet is that it is essentially anonymous, and it is claimed that this encourages downright sadistic and unpleasant things to be said and done to people.  I have to argue that people talked shit and said horrible things to me when I was 12, before facebook and even before bebo.  back then, they got to me by sending text messages and making phone calls- teenagers will always utilize technology to be brutal to one another, and in the adult word we seem to have entirely forgotten harassing phone calls and letters.  This isn’t a new thing, and it isn’t going to be solved by censorship or legislation.

In a broader sense, I’m kind of disturbed by this obsession we all have with understanding why someone took their life- the media seems determined to connect it with one single influence when in reality the victims of suicide have many different reasons and factors effecting their ability to think straight and seek help.  It’s a terrible complicated mental health crisis and we can’t keep catching our heels on scapegoats.

The Olympics and Paralympics blew everybody’s minds mostly because I don’t think people were expecting much.  It had some pretty bad pre talk, but the thunderous opening ceremony directed by Danny Boyle let you know this was the real fucking deal.  Mostly due to Tom Daley representing team GB the diving events had a lot of popularity (and now there’s a celebrity diving competition on ITV1 next year!).  I took great personal pleasure from the extensive coverage of the men’s gymnastics.  (Team GB Gymnastics squad, I’ll see you in my dreams)

Katie Taylor inspiration-bombed all of Ireland with her amazing Gold Medal performance (I watched her final fight through my fingers) and the rest of the Irish team put in a fucking fantastic Olympics, our best performance since 1956.  Cian O’Connor redeemed himself after the stripping of his 2004 gold by claiming bronze here and Rob Heffernan came agonizingly close to a bronze for Ireland in the bafflingly intense and amusing spot of race walking.  Ireland’s Paralympians continued the inspiration-parade, being fucking fantastic setting world records and the like.  I’m still a bit sad that it’s gone, tbh.

The question ‘You don’t agree with abortion, do you?’ Made dinners in older relatives homes excruciatingly awkward for many this year, as the mother of all throw downs sparked off again.  led most visibly by Clare Daly of the ULA and Sinead Redmond, a righteously pissed off pregnant woman the campaign for action on the X case was launched this year.  Youth Defence reared their charming heads again with a billboard campaign around Irish cities that showed torn stolen istock photos and 18 week scans reading ‘Abortion tears her life apart.’ Following this, the posters were vandalized, criticized and generally just written off as the sort of bullshit YD like to go on with.

When Savita Halappanavar died the game seemed to change.  Previously on the fence onlookers marched on government buildings, the Catholic church made statements, people squabbled over the numbers attending rallies and in the midst of all this the media had no idea where to turn.

Interesting to me was the reaction to the story that asked people to give Praveem Halappanavar, Savita’s widower, his privacy.  Enda Kenny was quoted as saying ‘we must remember that a man’s wife has died.’ The political set seemed confounded by what to do when Mr. Halappanavar made it clear he wasn’t going away and doesn’t want a respectful silence over this issue.   They got really confused when Mr. Halappanavar Insisted he wouldn’t co-operate with a HSE led investigation that included several Galway based doctors on it’s panel.

Pro Choice groups called for the X case to finally be legislated for, while Pro Life groups wrung their hands over things like the ‘suicide clause’ not being included in any legislation (Although I do wonder why any woman would fake being suicidal to get an abortion as opposed to the much easier option of, oh I don’t know, GETTING THE BOAT TO ENGLAND).  Now as the year closes it does so with the news that legislation for abortion in line with the X case ruling will be introduced, governed by regulations.

The age of X Factor seems to be ending, as James Arthur only managed to squeak number 2 for Christmas.  Overall it seems we’re getting a bit tired of the polished pop reality star- even X Factor USA was won by a 40 year old country singer, and Britain’s Got Talent by a teenage girl with a dancing dog.  Glee popularized ‘Somebody that I used to know’ to the point where it became the smash indie hit of the summer, along with fun’s ‘we are young’ and Adele continuing her charts dominance.  Glee has slipped from cultural juggernaunt with some modicum of critical acclaim into the realm of the cheesy melodrama it used to parody.

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Whew, way too much happened this year, fucking hell.  I’ll see you in part 2

Niamh ‘There will be awards at the end of all this’ Keoghan