9 May 2014

Haters: Nil Point

If you want to make sure you're in with a shot of winning Eurovision, then the best thing to do is piss of a bunch of small-minded bigots. Just ask Israel’s Dana International. In 1998 the trans singer received a barrage of hate and criticism in the run-up to the competition for being, well, a trans woman. Similarly, Ukraine’s gender-bending Verka Serduchka was the target of an angry petition calling for his removal from the contest in 2007.

Thankfully, both campaigns backfired spectacularly. Instead of removal, the heat generated by the petitions thrust the singers into the spotlight where fans of Eurovision’s celebration of difference and campery voted in their thousands, making a stand and defending them against the hateful minority - Dana International famously seized the winner’s trophy and Serduchka finished second place. 

And I have a feeling we'll see Conchita Wurst of Austria grab the top spot this weekend. The bearded drag superstar has been the target of a rather nasty campaign from homophobes-of-the-moment Russia and Belarus because, well, she's a bearded drag superstar.

But rather than buckle under the hate, I'm sure Eurovision will once again provide the rest of Europe with the best platform to stick two fingers up at those who wish to censor and silence lives not quite part of the norm and crown Conchita its new heroine.

Conchita Wurst and her fabulous beard - Deux Point.

2 May 2014

Witch Bitch?

So Angelina Jolie is Maleficent and Sofia Coppola has signed on to direct a live action version of The Little Mermaid which may or may not star FHM’s 98th Sexiest Woman of the Year 2011, Andrej Pejic. (Fingers crossed is doesn’t star Emma Watson.)

I love a Disney flick – especially one with a camp villain – so if Coppola’s movie features Ursula then this means two of my favourite baddies EVER are set to hit the big screen in fleshy human form.  

But before my love for this evil pair is crushed by below average films (I mean, come on, live action remakes are usually shockingly bad), I thought I'd let them go head-to-head and find out which witch is the baddest bitch on Disney's block. 

What’s her beef?

Maleficent: Sensitive soul that she is, Maleficent is a chronic FOMO sufferer - she fucking HATES missing a party. So when King Stefan and Queen Leah forget on purpose to invite her to celebrate the birth of their daughter, she puts a sixteen-year curse on the baby. And thank God she does - that party is so dry till our Mal shows up and poops all over it. Score: 10/10

Ursula: Ursula’s got major beef with King Triton because he's banished her from his underwater kingdom. She’s been living in a gloomy cave practicing her make-up skillz, getting fat and plotting to seize Triton’s crown ever since. Score: 7/10

The Look

Maleficent: It’s all about the headgear for this yellow-eyed fairy, and Maleficent’s curvaceous horns are killer. She teams her towering hat with a stylish high-collared black cape and magic stick that she uses to attack the bottoms of her minions. Score: 8/10  

Ursula: With her white quiff and grey lowlights Ursula is fashion-forward hunty! She’s got a make-up bag to die for and loves nothing more than painting on fierce brows and slathering her lips in MAC lipglass in Russian Red. Her curves are packed into a tight black PVC bodysuit and she finishes her look with a sickening shell necklace. Plus, anyone whose look is based on Divine gets bonus points. Score: 11/10


Maleficent: Every villain needs a trusted side-kick and Maleficent's is one crafty bird. Her raven Diablo is the clever sod that eventually finds Princess Aurora after his mistress's army of minions fail her. He's got a wicked little face and I love him. Score: 9/10

Ursula: Creepy eels Flotsam and Jetsam are Ursula's eyes and ears under the sea and persuade Ariel to visit the sea-witch in her lair. Other than that they're pretty useless. They speak in unison, and have mashed-up faces like the unsavouries who hang outside my local Lidl. Score: 7/10

The voice

Maleficent: Purrs and cackles. Shrieks hysterically but doesn’t do singing. She's too dark for that. Not even lip syncing. Score: 7/10

Ursula: My god, that voice – deep, suggestive, booming, demanding (‘Sing! Keep singing!’).  And she belts out the campest song in the history of Disney-villain showtunes ever. Score: 9/10


Maleficent: A tad annoyed that Prince Charming is hacking away at her thorny garden, Maleficent transforms into a mahoosive fire-breathing dragon. It's almost as scary as Monstro from Pinocchio. Almost. Score: 8/10

Ursula: With Triton's crown atop her head, Ursula huffs and puffs her way into a bigger version of herself. And it ain't pretty. Score: 6/10


These ladies have got loads in common - they're both frustrated with being left out, they're bent on getting their revenge and they enjoy nothing more than taking out their bitterness on pretty young things. But one goes about her business with the blackest of hearts and coldest of souls. And she still don't sing.
MALEFICENT - Score: 42/50

27 Apr 2014

Hello again

Wow. I'm so ashamed. I set up this blog as a space to share things I've seen and heard, things I've read and general musings. And I've posted NOTHING since 2012!

Working in publishing I know how much effort many bloggers put into their sites and the best blogs are those that follow a theme, however loose and flexible it is. And the best bloggers are disciplined, posting regularly and keeping things fresh.

So, with Snitch Bag I now plan to be disciplined and aim to post at least three times a week.What you'll find here is a mixture of book, film and music reviews, photos taken by me, bits on fashion and perhaps a comment piece or two (mainly me thinking aloud / sharing things that grind my gears). And the theme? Well, expect it to get a little bit gay around here.

8 Dec 2012

2012 in Music Videos

I’m a real sucker for a good music video. Always have been, always will be. I can spend hours in front of Youtube drinking in the fashions, memorising the dance moves and generally living a little vicariously through the theatrics that make up some of the best three minutes committed to film. 
We’ve seen nothing from Lady Gaga this year. Beyonce has been too busy raising child. And I’m not even going to acknowledge Psy’s Gangnam Style. So, in no particular order, here’s what I’ve enjoyed watching most in 2012 …

Candy Candy Candy – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
I could happily live in this video. The Hello Kitty colours, the disco balls, the crazy dancing onion. It's pure J-Pop joy.

I Fink You Freeky – Die Antwoord
It was so hard picking just one Die Antwoord video. They’re all amazing (even if their latest does ridicule Gaga). Because I mentioned Baby on Fire in my previous post, I’m going plum for I Fink You Freeky. Beautifully shot by acclaimed South African photographer Roger Ballen, this is stunningly dark stuff. 

Laura – Bat for Lashes
Oh, how I welled up when I first saw this. Tender, delicate, heart-warming. Natasha Khan ditches the headdresses and twirls an ageing ‘superstar’ around a dreamily lit stage.

Bad Girls – MIA
Say what you like about MIA, the girl sure makes some of the best music videos. This has already topped most end-of-year lists and scooped a ton of prizes, and it’s easy to see why. A big, ballsy work that mocks the expectations of the music video itself and its objectification of women. 

Girl Gone Wild - Madonna
This is Madonna showing all the young pretenders how it’s done.  She’s even recruited Kazaky in this one. If I’m honest, these muscle men in heels are the only reason Girl Gone Wild has made the list. Well, them and seeing Madonna looking as beautifully blonde as she did in her Erotica days.

Every Night I Say A Prayer - Little Boots
Bendy boys in leggings and crop tops do the best vogueing since, well, Vogue. Makes me want to visit a New York drag ball.   

Sweet Nothing - Calvin Harris feat. Florence and the Machine
Florence Welch is a battered girlfriend. She sings in a working men’s club. Calvin Harris pays some hardnuts to beat the shit out of her abusive lover ... Flo makes a good-looking man, too.

Hood - Perfume Genius
Simple and so lovely. Effeminate Mike Hadreas is cradled and dressed up by a beefy gay pornstar. Understated and gently touching.

Ke$ha: Warrior

I like girls who rap. I quite like glitter. And I really like getting hammered. It kinda goes without saying that I have a lot of time for Ke$ha.

Since I secretly purchased her debut record Animal, Ke$has auto-tuned snarls have featured on many a pre-drinking playlist, playfully nudging me to brush my teeth with a bottle of whiskey and get rather rowdy. So it was with much excitement that I got my hands on her second album proper, Warrior. 

Earlier in the year Ke$ha promised a record mostly inspired by 70s rock and the blues. In interviews she was threatening to expand her musical repertoire and move away from playground chants to develop something deeper that explored her spiritual journey (huh?!). Like I did with Christina Aguilera during her Back to Basics phase, I almost struck Ke$ha off my radar. I’m never interested in hearing a pop princess get serious with stripped back guff, and I certainly didn’t want to see Ke$ha swap her unhygienic rags for a look more wholesome. I wanted the same obnoxious odes to blacking out and getting laid in the backs of cars nasally screeched over squelchy electro beats. And, thankfully, that’s mostly what Ke$ha serves up again on Warrior. Hurrah! With Dr Luke, Will.i.am, fun., Max Martin and even Iggy Pop involved, Warrior is a big mix of electro-pop, dance and radio-friendly rock all shot through with Ke$ha’s cracking wordplay and knack for making something as innocent as going to the mall sound disgustingly crude.
While it’s not going to set the world on fire, Warrior certainly has its sights fixed on burning up plenty of dancefloors. From its stomping title-track opener to the ghost-loving Supernatural (complete with a Daft Punk-esque break), she takes us on a fast tour of dirty clubs, super late nights and getting wasted like there’s no tomorrow. She’s the ultimate YOLO advocate, celebrating the joys of being young and reckless and basically never ever apologising for fucking up. The only growing up Ke$ha appears to have done is to swap her bottle of Jack Daniels for a warm wine cooler.
Like any pop record, a couple of ballads are thrown into mix. They’re pretty forgettable and only worth the listen if you’re in any doubt that Ke$ha can actually sing. Most of her haters take issue with her fondness for auto-tune, and while she’ll never be a Mariah, tracks such as Past Lives and Wonderland prove that she can in fact hold a tune unaided.

I know I’m not going to win any cool points in professing my love for this grubby pop tart, but she’ll always be a first pick for any party playlist. Like Ke$ha, I recall walks of shame and rolling into work smelling of Bacardi breezers; I look back fondly on times passed out in the street wearing short shorts and a string vest; I even remember getting totally battered and blowing a shit load of glitter in someone’s unimpressed face (Ke$ha and I would so be best friends!). If you like your pop unapologetically fun, stupid and ridiculously catchy, then Ke$ha’s your girl.

Ke$ha still not for you? Here are a few other favourite brats to get a bit $leazy to: