dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Monday, February 27, 2006

We Put The "S" In "Hit"

Damn you, YouTube -- give me my life back, and stop compelling me to watch zero-quality transfers of videos for British novelty songs that flopped in 1988! Press play, if you dare.




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Wake Me Up

Yesterday, pop queen George Michael was found asleep at the wheel of his car by police near an intersection by Hyde Park in Central London. Wasn't he actually asleep at the wheel of his career while making his past three albums, as well? The 42-year-old was arrested, after his car was searched, on charges of possession of "Category C" drugs. George was bailed out, but has a court date in March. He was arrested in Los Angeles in 1998 for whorin' it up in a public toilet. The tart! Guilty feet, George.

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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Madonna Racks Up Her 12th U.K. #1

Sorry, Corrinne Bailey Rae - the artist Wikipedia refers to as "a more soulful Norah Jones" - but Madonna is taking the top spot on the U.K. singles chart this week with her new single, "Sorry." Corinne's chirpy R'n'B tune, "Put Your Records On" settles for the runner-up position. Meanwhile, remember The Darkness? They were huge two years ago. This latest album? Not so much. Their second single from it, "Is It Just Me," is also their second in a row to go in at #8. And like the last one, it'll probably head south quicker than Dannii Minogue at a strip club.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Sorry" - Madonna *new* *1 week*
2. "Put Your Records On" - Corinne Bailey Rae *new*
3. "Thunder In My Heart Again" - Meck feat. Leo Sayer
4. "Amazing" - Westlife *new*
5. "Nasty Girl" - Notorious B.I.G. feat. P. Diddy & Nelly
6. "Boys Will Be Boys" - Ordinary Boys
7. "Run It" - Chris Brown feat. Juelz Santana
8. "Is It Just Me" - The Darkness *new*
9. "You Got The Love" - The Source feat. Candi Staton
10."Sugar We're Goin' Down" - Fall Out Boy

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If You're A Fan Of Daniel Bedingfield, This Will Be Painful

We get so many magazines coming to the house D'Luv, that I've made up my mind to let most of my subscriptions run out without renewing this year. Why? Well, mostly because three months will go by and I'll realize I haven't read any of the ever-growing stack collecting dust over in the corner of the living room. That said, this morning I decided to catch up on reading them, and found this hilarious bit while scanning through the cover feature on Heath Ledger in the January issue of GQ. The writer and Heath are sitting in a New York coffee shop:

It has stopped raining. Ledger is approached by another cafe patron, one Daniel Bedingfield, who is apparently a pop singer of not-insignificant acclaim in his native England (this we had to Google). [Chart Rigger: Ouch!] Ledger is nothing but polite, but it's clear that the whole fellowship-of-the-famous angle Bedingfield's trying to work is lost on him.

"I've seen your movies," Bedingfield says, "and you've seen my album!"

He might as well have pointed out that he and Ledger are both mammals, for all the good it does. Ledger makes nice for a couple more seconds, until Bedingfield takes his leave. Then he leans toward us a little.

"Who was that?" he asks.


Poor Daniel. He probably just should have said, "You know, Natasha's brother?"

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sued: The Killers


Brandon Flowers and co. stepped into a Las Vegas studio last week to begin recording the follow-up to The Killers' debut album, Hot Fuss. A week later they're being sued by former manager Braden Merrick to the tune of $16 million. "As soon as he made them superstars they decided to stop paying him," Merrick's lawyer told The Associated Press. "He's entitled to a percentage of their income for his services as a manager and a producer." The band apparently canned Merrick last May, though his contract was to run through 2007.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Brandon made news for slamming Kanye West in the press -- though in a very homo-erotic fashion:

"[Kanye] makes me ill."


"I wanted to love him so much when he first came out."


"He has this sweet voice, and there's a cuteness to it."


"And then you see him in interviews and he's like a lion. It just ruined the whole package for me."

He's most likely moved on to someone else's package by now.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Editors Are Not Beyonce

I was all prepared to write a scathing post about the fact that Beyonce is still #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, but I realized that a.) The last three posts were way too bitchy, and b.) Beyonce ain't gettin' any more mentions here. Instead, it should be noted that The Editors are probably the best band to come out of England in years. They recently had a Top 10 single in the U.K. with "Munich" (after it was re-released) - which you can download from the U.S. iTunes store. I picked up the Australian copy of their album The Back Room last night, and I've probably played it about six times now. A lot of comparisons to Interpol have been thrown at the band, but after listening to the whole album, those comparisons all fade away. The Back Room won't be released here 'til March 21st. They're also mounting a North American tour this spring. Check out The Editors' official site for more info. And watch the video for "Munich" here:



The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Check On It" - Beyonce feat. Slim Thug *5 weeks*
2. "You're Beautiful" - James Blunt
3. "Grillz" - Nelly feat. Paul Wall, Ali & Gripp
4. "Temperature" - Sean Paul
5. "Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige
6. "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)" - T-Pain feat. Mike Jones
7. "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" - Chris Brown
8. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo
9. "Unwritten" - Natasha Bedingfield
10. "Shake That" - Eminem feat. Nate Dogg

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The New Cascada Album, aka 12 Songs That Sound Like "Everytime We Touch"


Wow. The DHT album that Robbins put out was bad. But the one by Cascada released in the U.S. yesterday is just a blatant scam. There are a couple slow songs, and then about a dozen or so that sound shamefully like "Everytime We Touch." Thank God you can listen to clips on iTunes before buying. Someone needs to pull the plug on this robot and throw her into the scrap heap. This is why dance music is shunned here.

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The Arctic Monkeys: America Buys The Hype


Today the Arctic Monkeys arrived on American soil. Well, not physically, but rather their 13-track collection of Brit rawk, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. It's possible that the publicity for this album -- which began with a storm of feverish praise throughout the blogosphere last year -- is equal to that over last year's blown-out-of-proportion lovefest for Coldplay's X&Y.

But, like, what gives? Much like X&Y, one listen to the album leaves you hankering for the good ol' days of a little Blur / Oasis bitch-slapping each other in the press. At least then the music underneath all the hype was good. Make no mistake about it, the Arctic Monkeys are basically a boyband who play guitars rather than do fancily choreographed dance moves. They're Yellowcard and McFly with grittier production values.

And making references to "Rio" and "Roxanne" isn't cool or retro or ironic. It's just lazy and unoriginal at this stage. To be perfectly honest, there is something to the music here. It's not completely awful. But all I can come up with is a familiarity to dozens of bands and songs that did it better twenty years ago.

The title of the album alone sounds like a defensive denial. I'll stick with The Jam and Madness, thanks. Because that's what people say you sound like, and that's what you're not.

At any rate, the album is already #3 on Amazon and #7 on iTunes. Someone's getting rich off this.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Britney Spears In People: What A Dumb Ho!

Topping last week's Rolling Stone interview with Mariah Carey is the new issue of People, with Britney Spears on the cover.

B.S. must have felt it was time to defend her pop legacy, her rat-faced trailer park husband and her stellar baby-on-board skillz. And boy, has she got lots of important things to say! In fact, there are are so many B.S. ba-zing!-ers, that you may find words fail you (much as they did her) after reading. So let's just skip to the highlights:


On Her Voice: "I'll sing [baby Sean Preston] 'Mary Had A Little Lamb.' I found out after the baby that I can sing!"


On Husband Kevin Federline, Maesto Of "PopoZao": "He goes into the studio and has his own vibe. I'm really impressed."


On Her Kid: "I'm not complaining about my lifestyle because [Sean Preston] will get to travel and see the damn world."


On Paparazzi: "I mean, Princess Diana got killed by one of these people."


On Her "Influences": "I used to listen to blues music and all that stuff. I would like to try to have more influences of that sound. Not that I'm going to be like frickin' Tina Turner. But you never know."

True dat!

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

This Week's Best Song Ever!!

Okay, "Gonna Dance All Night" by Eiffel 65 is apparently two years old, but I just stumbled upon it over at the Into The Groove MP3 download blog. Go download it immediately if you've never heard it -- it's the very definition of guilty pleasure! The big payoff is at 2:53 in the song.


I remember summer 2001 when MoogaBoo and I became entranced by the glut of remixes Eiffel 65 were churning out for groups like Peach and Alex Party. I had their 1999 CD Europop, which was a big hit here in the States. So I could never understand why the American label didn't release their 2002 follow-up, Contact, which had the cool song "Lucky (In My Life)" on it. They released another album in their home country of Italy two years ago which had the original Italian-language version of "Gonna Dance All Night" on it, called "Voglia Di Dance All Night." I completely forgot how much I loved their vocoded cheese pop.

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What A Shock - A Former Atomic Kitten Does A Cover Version

Ah, remember Atomic Kitten? They had a bunch of big hits in the U.K. with bland covers like "The Tide Is High" and "Eternal Flame." And bland or no, how can you not love a group that releases a single called "See Ya"? Then they split in 2004 and showbiz went on. But this week sees former Kitten Liz McClarnon having a solid debut in the U.K. Top 10 with her single -- shockingly, a cover -- "Woman In Love." Now, what I'd like to see is someone like Will Young release a cover of an Atomic Kitten cover. That, my friends, would be an inspiration.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Thunder In My Heart Again" - Meck feat. Leo Sayer *2 weeks*
2. "Nasty Girl" - Notorious B.I.G. feat. P. Diddy & Nelly
3. "Boys Will Be Boys" - Ordinary Boys
4. "Run It" - Chris Brown feat. Juelz Santana
5. "Woman In Love / I Get The Sweetest Feelling" - Liz McClarnon *new*
6. "Check On It" - Beyonce feat. Slim Thug
7. "All Time Love" - Will Young
8. "You Spin Me Round" - Dead Or Alive
9. "You Got The Love" - The Source feat. Candi Staton
10."Sugar We're Goin' Down" - Fall Out Boy

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The Bad Photographer

I heart Saint Etienne. Great show with a cool audience! Not sure how Sarah Cracknell maintains that lithe figure of hers, though!







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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Feeling Flash In Leicester Square

I'm off to see Saint Etienne tonight at Avalon in Hollywood. Can't wait!


Buy Saint Etienne's music here.

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Return Of The Moz

Well, after bitching about his record label last year, Morrissey is back with a new album on April 4th. It's called Ringleader Of The Tormentors, and the first single, "You Have Killed Me," is now available for download from the U.S. iTunes store. You can hear the single at Mozza's MySpace profile. I've got a promo of the album sitting on a stack of new music here on my desk, and I gotta say that overall the songs aren't as immediately catchy as the ones on You Are The Quarry. Oh well, diehards will like it, no doubt.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Chart Don't Lie

Well, despite being the top download all week, James Blunt stays at #2 this week on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart while Beyonce is at #1 for a fourth week. That reminds me, watch for my next post on the big payola scandal goin' down involving all the major record labels and radio conglomerates! Anyway, Cascada moves up to #19, P!nk has the top debut at #24 with "Stupid Girls" and Daniel Powter debuts at #55 with "Bad Day." And speaking of Cascada, Rolling Stone gave a very nasty review to the "Everytime We Touch" single in the latest issue:

Throbbing Euro-bass, plasticine Euro-vocals and four-on-the-floor Euro-beats equal a huge pile of Euro-suck on this dance-pop import.

This is the same mag that wasted a full page on Yellowcard in the same issue.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Check On It" - Beyonce feat. Slim Thug *4 weeks*
2. "You're Beautiful" - James Blunt
3. "Grillz" - Nelly feat. Paul Wall, Ali & Gripp
4. "Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige
5. "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper)" - T-Pain feat. Mike Jones
6. "Shake That" - Eminem feat. Nate Dogg
7. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo
8. "Temperature" - Sean Paul
9. "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" - Chris Brown
10. "Unpredictable" - Jamie Foxx feat. Ludacris

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The Brits!

Before heading off to bed, how could I not post about The Brit Awards -- especially since Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant presented Madge with an International Female Solo Artist statue.


James Blunt won two awards, and he looks to be conquering America next. Tomorrow is the moment of truth, which could see him topping the U.S. charts with "So Beautiful."

The Winners:

James Blunt: Pop Act

Lemar: British Urban Act

Jack Johnson: International Breakthrough Act

Kanye West: International Male Solo Artist

Kaiser Chiefs: British Rock Act

Arctic Monkeys: British Breakthrough Artist

Kaiser Chiefs: British Live Act

James Blunt: British Male Solo Artist

Coldplay "Speed Of Sound": British Single

Green Day: International Group

Kaiser Chiefs: British Group

KT Tunstall: British Female Artist

Madonna: International Female Solo Artist

Green Day American Idiot: International Album

Coldplay X&Y: MasterCard British Album

Paul Weller: Outstanding Contribution

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Rolling Stone Puts Mariah Carey (Minus About 7 Curves) On The Cover

I picked up the new Rolling Stone today, morbidly curious about their Mariah Carey cover feature.


The hottest part is when she's discussing her infamous meltdown after the Glitter travesty:

"Honestly, even my therapist - who's a genius and knows what he's talking about - was like, 'You did not have a breakdown. You had a diva moment of exhaustion and physical moment when your body couldn't take it and it got you pissed off.'"

I like this bitch so much better now that she's crazy.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Sugababes Cover The Arctic Monkeys And It Doesn't Suck!

Who says Brit girl group Sugababes are over now that they've had to replace yet another member? In a classy move, the 'babes have done a cover of the Arctic Monkeys' "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" to be included as the B-side of their new single, "Red Dress" (out in the UK on March 6th). You can download a 30-second clip of the tune over at PopJustice. It'll be a real shame if Sugababes' album Taller In More Ways doesn't get a U.S. release. It's got just enough R&B to get them to cross over here, the way Natasha Bedingfield did.

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Bananarama Gets A U.S. Release Date

As reported on their official site last week, Bananarama's latest album, Drama, will be released in the U.S. in May on indie dance label The Lab (also now home of Death In Vegas). The 'rams U.K. label has all but given up on Drama in their home country, as plans to release a third single off the album appear to have been scuttled. Instead, they're concentrating on releasing the album in other territories throughout the world. A note on Bananarama's site says that "Sara and Keren are getting ready to promote the album in America." Let's hope that means they'll be doing a show in L.A.!

In the U.K., two singles were released last year off Drama: "Move In My Direction" (U.K. #14) and "Look On The Floor (Hypnotic Tango)" (U.K. #26). The album failed to chart after being pulled from most stores at the last minute for some reason, and not getting to be uploaded to iTunes the first week of its release.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!


To buy Real McCoy's music, go here.

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Eurotrashtastic!

Here's a hot item from the New York Daily News gossip column, "Gatecrasher":

My personal favorite Fashion Week sighting: Ulf from Ace of Base at the Victoria's Secret party dancing with Swedish bimbotron, Victoria Silvstedt. Eurotrashtastic!

Did anyone else ever have a crush on Ulf back in '94? Just me? Thought so. Anyway, what's up with AOB's new album? It feels like they've been working on it longer than Axl's been bitching about The Chinese Democracy. And did Linn finally go off the deep end and quit the band? The last update on their official site is signed only by the other three members, and the one before that just has a pic of the three without her.

Ace Of Base's last album, 2002's Da Capo, wasn't released in too many territories. Their last big hits were "Cruel Summer," which went to U.S. #10 in 1998, and "Everytime It Rains," which went to U.K. #22 in the 1999.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Mixed Up

I've never been one for remixes, but there are a few going around these days that are pretty cool. Last year I really got into the "Thin White Duke Mix" of The Killers' "Mr. Brightside." Even my mom liked it (speaking of which, she actually commented on the last Mariah post - yes she's the one that called us "Nasty people"). Anyway, iTunes added a remix EP of Coldplay's new single, "Talk," last Tuesday -- which includes Junkie XL, Thin White Duke and Francois K mixes.

Another good one is the Eric Kupper mix of Saint Etienne's U.S. single, "Stars Above Us." It's been made to sound like New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle," or at least it seems that way. There was a promo floating around, which landed on the desk D'Luv last week, but it's now been announced on their official site that the single is being commercially released Stateside on February 28th.

I must admit that I was highly disappointed with the Pet Shop Boys' mix of the new Madonna single. It has, however, grown on me now that I've heard the shorter edit. It must be the cowbell. That'll do it everytime. Annoyingly, there was a news post at the Boys' official site today stating that their own new album, Fundamental, has had it's release date pushed back from April to May 22.

Now, I missed out on this whole Sunblock/Baywatch single in the U.K., but the mash-up version of it by Naughty Boy, which mixes the show's theme with "Phat Planet" by Leftfield, has a great Uniting Nations remix. Ever since iTunes put up their album this past fall, I'm loving all things UN. Hey, Uniting Nations should do a mash-up of Mimi's "We Belong Together" with "We Belong" by Pat Benatar. That could be cool. Or not.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

No, That's Not Your Mom -- It's Leo Sayer!

Oh, Leo Sayer... I remember finding some old disco compilation on CD back in '92 on a trip to the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh, and then playing "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" over and over in my bedroom. And now, thanks to L.A.-based producer DJ Meck, Leo's 1977 disco tune, "Thunder In My Heart," (U.S. #38, U.K. #23) has been dusted off and rejigged into this week's UK #1. Leo, as you can imagine, is probably doing The Hustle through his dining room upon hearing the news. In fact, you can read his musings on his surprise comeback at his official web site. And go here for a clip of the "Thunder In My Heart Again" video, which borrows heavily from Xanadu.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Thunder In My Heart Again" - Meck feat. Leo Sayer *new* *1 week*
2. "Nasty Girl" - Notorious B.I.G. feat. P. Diddy & Nelly
3. "Boys Will Be Boys" - Ordinary Boys
4. "Run It" - Chris Brown feat. Juelz Santana
5. "You Spin Me Round" - Dead Or Alive
6. "Check On It" - Beyonce feat. Slim Thug
7. "You Got The Love" - Source feat. Candi Staton *new*
8. "Sugar We're Goin' Down" - Fall Out Boy *new*
9. "Say Say Say (Waiting 4 U)" - Hi-tack
10."That's My Goal" - Shayne Ward

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Oops -- We Forgot Rick Astley's Birthday!

Rick Astley, our favorite Brit crooner who's consistently made one bad career move after another since 1989, turned 40 on Monday! Incidentally, J'ason D'Luv turned 32 the next day.

Here's a video from when Rick was 22, and J'ason was 14.



Buy Rick's music here.

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If You Just Love That James Blunt...

For those of you going all weak in the knees for James Blunt, look no further than Canadian Daniel Powter to statiate your need for wishy-washy middle of the road male pop star blandness. His self-titled debut album has been available in the States since May, but it seems that since James Blunt has crossed over, Daniel's single "Bad Day" is finally breaking through -- it's been climbing the download chart all week, and today is sitting at #34 on iTunes. "Bad Day" has already gone to #1 in Germany, and #2 in the U.K.

This song sounds like something that would be a big hit with townie sluts in some college bar on a Saturday night after three pitchers of Amstel Light. No wonder it's catching on in America!

Now, it seems to be impossible to find a picture of this guy without his beany cap on. What's the deal with that? The first person to find me a current pic of him sans cap gets a post about whatever tacky pop hooker they want, filtered through the D'Luv Profile machine.

Go here to watch the video for "Bad Day."

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Mariah Carey's Tentacled Grammy Weave

What were you thinking, hooker?


Hmmm. Could her handlers have encouraged the tangled jungle weave to distract from her oversized "Mimis"?


Dumb 'ho. U2 won all the Grammys -- and they're balding.


Better luck next comeback, lamb.

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

D'Luvvly Flashback

Divine - "I'm So Beautiful" (1984)


"...it was a superbly technical record. A pile of shit, but superbly technical,"
--Pete Waterman, the song's producer, from his autobiography I Wish I Was Me

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The Chart Don't Lie: High School Musicalgate

First up, it's worth mentioning that this week has James Blunt reaching the peak of #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart with "You're Beautiful." This makes him the first U.K. artist to reach those heights here since Elton John did in 1997 with "Candle In The Wind '97 / Something About The Way You Look Tonight." Elton of course went all the way to the top with that one. Incidentally, James Blunt's song is equally as boring. Billboard also noted that if James doesn't go any further, he'll be the first U.K. artist to peak at #2 since Donna Lewis did in 1996 with "I Love You Always Forever." Ah, college memories!

Now, what's really interesting is that a minor scandal has been surfacing from the whole High School Musical phenomenon. In the movie's entry on Wikipedia, there's an acknowledgement of the rumor that one of the musical's songwriters, Andrew Seeley (pictured right), could actually be the true singer behind the character Troy's voice. This week that rumor appears to have some weight to it, as Billboard has included Seeley in it's chart entry for "Breaking Free," which drops from #4 to #19, along with Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens. If you actually listen to the song, you can pretty much tell the difference between the two male singers (with Efron singing only the first line). Further down the chart at #40, Seeley has fully replaced Efron's singer credit on "Get'cha Head In The Game." Rumor or not, Seeley's IMDB profile lists him as being "Troy (Voice)."

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Check On It" - Beyonce feat. Slim Thug *3 weeks*
2. "You're Beautiful" - James Blunt
3. "Grillz" - Nelly feat. Paul Wall, Ali & Gripp
4. "Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige
5. "I'm N Luv (Wit A Stripper" - T-Pain feat. Mike Jones
6. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo
7. "Yo (Excuse Me Miss)" - Chris Brown
8. "Unpredictable" - Jamie Foxx feat. Ludacris
9. "Shake That" - Eminem feat. Nate Dogg
10. "Unwritten" - Natasha Bedingfield

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It's Pretty Bad When Madonna Sounds Better Live, Chris Martin

The Grammys were tonight, and the first hour or so was pretty cool -- then it was snoozeville. Maybe I'm getting too old to give a flying leap about these awards shows. Anyway, the only decent performances were the opening with the Gorillaz and Madonna -- where they did a brief mash-up of "Feel Good, Inc." and "Hung Up" -- and Paul McCartney. Other than that, it was kind of a bore.

Coldplay did their new single, "Talk," and it sounded tragic. You'd have thought Chris Martin was totally out of it, since he wasn't singing on key or even at the pace of the song. Maybe the monitor feed to his earpiece was off. Who knows. They really blew it, though. Kelly Clarkon won for Best Female Pop Vocalist for "Since U Been Gone," which was a totally deserved award. But I was most surprised at how off Mariah Carey seemed. Girlfriend was hittin' all the wrong notes, and even sounded a little hoarse. Still, her crazy weave twirling around every time she got all dramatic on stage had me laughing for a good five minutes.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The End Of An Era: R.I.P. Smash Hits

Sad! :*( After 28 years, British pop institution Smash Hits magazine is folding. The BBC did a cool feature called "The Lasting Legacy Of Smash Hits".

Here in America, we had a brief period in the late '80s when you could by the mag, although it was strangely titled Star Hits at first. Below is the first issue I ever bought, in Spring of 1988 when I was 14 and obsessed with The Cure. I picked it up at Rishor's Newstand one day after class during 8th grade in my suburban Pennsylvanian hometown.


One of the things Smash Hits was known for was being the place where Neil Tennant had a job as an editor before going on to be a succesful pop star as one half of the Pet Shop Boys. Once I moved to Los Angeles in 1999, I had a brief period of buying the mag (on import) again from the Virgin Megastore -- which was during the height of the resurgence of pop music all over the world.

At any rate, below is the famous cover with the Morrissey / Pete Burns meeting of the minds! You should definitely check out the original interview with the two of them.

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