Category Archives: Uncategorized

We’re moving…

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your patience. Since I lasted posted, which must be about three months ago now, things have changed immeasurably. For example, I no longer have such a strong aversion to mash potato (who knew that fish cakes contained potato?) and I’ve started trying to go to bed earlier. Perhaps slightly more relevant is the fact that I’m now writing about music for a living, so my time is mainly taken up with that. It’s difficult to find an hour to spend on something that isn’t paying you any money, even if it is (and always has been) pretty fun.

So, rather than give up on it completely, I’ve decided to start a 3mins30secs Tumblr thingy, which you can view here.

It will just be dumping ground for videos, new tracks and bits of opinion, which, frankly, is what this blog was becoming of late. The only thing that wasn’t simply a video being thrown online was the Watch with my Mother’s Mother thing and that will soon be available somewhere else (yep, Nan got herself the equivalent of a major label deal after years with this penniless independent).

Anyways, hope you enjoy the new thing.

Love you, Michael


Electropop’s new saviour

It’s been too long. We’re sorry. To make amends we’ve got a real treat for both your eyes and your ears. In our other job writing about new music for The Guardian we get sent lots of emails about bands and songs and bands and songs and sometimes you just think, “yes, this is all very well but where’s the man with the haircut I had when I was fourteen sat in a windowless room surrounded by a bank of keyboards playing a response song with the earnest glee of someone whose morning regime consists of deciding which shade of black his roll neck sweater should be?” HERE HE IS:

This is ‘Synthpop’s Alive (Remix)’ by Maison Vague and it’s basically amazing.

Watch with my Mother’s Mother: Christmas Special

This week I had to apologise profusely to my Nan for not getting to speak to her sooner. What with a bad cold and various after work alcohol-infused outings, it was either leave it for a bit or call her up at 2am slurring the lyrics to ‘White Christmas’ down the phone. So, by way of an apology, I sent her the Coldplay Christmas single, ‘Christmas Lights’ (the video I had sent her two weeks ago) AND Matt Cardle‘s debut video for ‘When We Collide’. Below is the final Watch with my Mother’s Mother of 2010 and read on for a special Christmas wish from Nan to all of the people that have said nice things about this here feature. Merry Christmas y’all.

I wasn’t very impressed, it was a bit like a dirge really. I thought the video was tame as well. I tell you what the song reminded me of, The Isle of Mull [I think she means Mull of Kintyre]. It’s not particularly happy, I didn’t think it was very good as a Christmas song. There was no, like, “Happy Christmas”, there was nothing like that really. If you’re going to make a sad Christmas song at least make it memorable.

I just wasn’t impressed all in all. I liked some of the video and at one point I thought I saw Elvis going along the back. There were three of them in a boat and I thought that was quite comical, but overall I wasn’t impressed really. It wasn’t good enough for Coldplay I didn’t think, they do much better than that don’t they? I don’t think everybody can make a successful Christmas song you know. My favourite? Oh, what’s that old one, the one with that guy with the beard…no, not Father Christmas Michael [laughs for a long time]. No, not the white beard. Slade! What was his name? What was that song? They were so catchy weren’t they. I love ‘Last Christmas’ too and I like Elvis’ ‘Blue Christmas’.

Song: 7

Video: 6

Ohhh, Matt. I love Matt whether he’s got a hat or not. I thought he was brilliant and I love that song. I loved the video because it shows him going through the X Factor, I thought it was fantastic. I went on his website too and I really want his CD now. I thought the whole story bit was brilliant in the video and it showed how nice he is. He’s got such a range, I thought he was gorgeous. He was the winner in every single week bar one wasn’t he?

I love the song. I love it more when I listen to it with earphones, it’s so beautiful. Really beautiful. It wasn’t really until you sent it to me and I listened to it that I noticed it properly and it struck a bell. I was willing him to have a good song because I wanted him to win so I wasn’t really taking it in as much as now. I’m so grateful for all those ones you’ve sent. I’ve got them all written down in a folder.

I think people liked him because most weeks he was there wasn’t he? He was consistent, always something you remembered. Dannii did well with his songs every week too. He did a lot of girl songs, which he did perfectly, because he’s got this range. I play that CD you sent me all the time, it’s lovely.

Rebecca lost it with Christina Aguilera didn’t she? Mind you, Rihanna with Matt, I think he was “wow”, gobsmacked, don’t you? I thought it was nice and she did look lovely. But, oh God, later on, that was awful. She took that dressing gown off and she was just walking about with her bottom out. They did complain didn’t they. It was before 9 o’clock.

Song: 10

Video: 10

Have a happy, healthy Christmas everybody!

Record of the Day awards: VOTE FOR MY NAN

So, that award nomination news we mentioned can now be revealed in all its glory. Yes, 3mins30secs (along with ever other blog ever written it must be said), has been nominated for Best Blog at the annual Record of the Day awards! ‘Citing. Now, as we all know, this is mainly down to my Nan, so let’s do all we can to win it for Joy!

The winner is decided by public votes so please follow the link below and make me and my Nan very happy. Thank you.


EDIT: Voting closes this Thursday!

Let’s all lighten up a bit

In the immortal words of Timbaland, “it’s been a long time, we shouldn’t have left you, without a dope blog to step to, step to, step to, etc”. Well, we’re back now. Iceland was properly amazing and hopefully there will be some kind of report up here very soon, complete with a handful of the 487 photos we took.

In the meantime, we’re talking Rihanna. Rihanna’s an interesting one, isn’t she? Good Girl Gone Bad basically set her up to reach Beyonce-level standards of pop domination and then all the unpleasantness happened and in one way or another that influenced her music with the darker, more grown-up Rated R.

There are large amounts of pop fans who feel like that album was some kind of holy grail and any thought of moving away from it is sacrilege. Well, we’re in a sales driven world people and the fact is Rated R didn’t sell as well as it should have so here we are with a rushed new album, Loud, the aesthetic of which is very much light, colourful and playful. One look at the new video for ‘Only Girl (In The World)’ tells you all you need to know:

The thing is, it suits her more like this. The old look was all a bit too emo for our liking. Plus, the economy’s fucked, the environment’s fucked, the Tory’s are in charge and Mad Men’s moving to Sky! We need our pop stars to be fun, not all serious and earnest.

Here’s the second single, featuring Drake:

Vote for us at the BT Digital Music Awards!

Last year, this blog, in another incarnation, was voted the 49th best music blog at the glittering (we didn’t go) BT Digital Awards. We were one place behind a George Michael blog, called George Michael’s Taxi Service (we jest, it wasn’t called that). Well, this year we’re hoping to break the Top 40 so we need your help!

Below is a widget thing that you can click on in order to vote for 3mins30secs and there’s something else involving tweeting things or Facebook or something. It’s all highly technical and was listed in the ‘Terms & Conditions’ bit when we entered but now we can’t remember. Basically, if you like this blog then vote and make our (mediocre) dreams come true.


Hands that do dishes

We went to see The Hundred In The Hands play at the launch of ‘Sup (yikes!) magazine’s 22nd edition this evening. Yep, we’re one of those kind of blogs. The kind that saunters through Soho, enters a private members club, guzzles two free cocktails (courtesy of some Vodka company), watches said band play a stripped back version of some songs and then just, you know, hangs out and, like, talks about the media.

Despite our obvious wankery, the band themselves were excellent and we haven’t put this video on here yet so this is the perfect excuse. This is ‘Pigeons’ and the video involves a young girls vomiting fireworks:

We’re off to Latitude for a long weekend

So, we’ll see you soon.

Here’s a picture of three women in gold leotards and a man with face paint on. This is what Latitude is all about…

New Music Monday

People, people, PEOPLE! Is it something we’ve done? Do we just put you off things? Like, “oh, well, if 3mins30secs are saying it’s good then maybe we should show them by not buying it. Yeah, fuck them! We’ll bring them down”, etc, etc. We only ask because the new Mystery Jets album entered at no. 42, whilst that Kelis single entered one place higher than the new Lee Ryan single (!) at no. 32. To recap, a hugely underrated band who can seemingly knock a hit single out in their sleep miss the bit of the chart anyone cares about, whilst a bonafide club banger enters one place higher than a man who claimed whales being hunted was somehow more of a pressing urgency than global terrorism. If we were school teachers we’d be calling you all in for a detention, making you write lines and filling your heads with religious doctrines. Yeah, it’s that bad! By the way, Big Boi missed out too but, frankly, we’re passed caring now. Roll out this week’s victims…


The ArchAndroid by Janelle Monáe

We’ve been waiting for this moment for so long. Ladies and gentleman, members of the jury, please welcome the future…Janelle Monáe! We did a bit of writing on this album, emailed it to The Guardian and they only went and put it in their printed pages thingy and on the interweb super highway. This is a link. It’s as if it says everything we wanted to say about the album in a neatly packaged 150 word review. Needless to say, The ArchAndroid is aceness.


/\/\/\Y/\ by M.I.A

OK, so she’s not everyone’s cup of tea and a lot of the time her political polemic seems to stem from a desire to cause controversy as opposed to a genuine desire to spread a specific message, but as an artist she’s never less than really very interesting. The difficult to spell /\/\/\Y/\ is her third album and first since she got properly famous (Grammy awards, Oscar nominations, etc), so what does she do? She makes an album based mainly on the sound of drills, weird internet connection noises and Suicide samples. Thankfully, amongst all that racket, there are some genuinely excellent songs, including the lovely ‘Tell Me Why’ (produced by Diplo), the dreamy ‘Space’ and the frazzled, ‘Teqkilla’. Well worth a listen, as ever.


‘Bang Bang Bang’ by Mark Ronson & The Business Intl feat. Q-Tip and MNDR

Well, who’d have thunk it? Mark Ronson has only gone and made a very very good pop single and there’s not a horn in sight. ‘Bang Bang Bang’ is a blast of synths, all tumbling about all over each other, whilst newcomer MNDR adds some sultry vocals and the permanently chillaxed Q-Tip adds some stylish rap-talk. Perfect.

Cock n balls

Back in 2008, Anita Blay, aka cocknbullkid (she’s dropped the ‘the’, moniker fans) made a couple of amazing electro-pop tunes with some guy from Metronomy and all the cool kids in Shoreditch had artfully detached fits of excitement in her general direction. The buzz built to a place on the BBC Big in 2009 list thingy and she even appeared on the excellent Guardian Buzz Chart (whoever came up with that should be knighted).

From this pretty good start, things quickly went very quiet indeed and 2009 came and went without an album. In fact, all the stuff she’d been working on was scrapped and a whole new set of songs were recorded with the like of Peter, Bjorn & John, Gonzales and Liam Howe. In fact, just the other day, she tweeted that she was still working on the album and that it may or may not feature Diplo.

This is all very well, but we’re an impatient bunch and want everything about 5 minutes ago. So, it’s with great pleasure that we can bring you (via, a new song from the new album, entitled ‘Cocknbullkid’. Yep, it’s an eponymous track, like ‘Cleopatra’s Theme’, only mildly better. Gone is the cheap electro, and in its place are bouncing piano lines, horn blasts and lush backing vocals.