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

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Not Content With A #1 Album, Nelly Furtado Also Tops The Singles Chart

If there was a week for her to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, this was the one to do it. Nelly Furtado manages to leap over Shakira and Taylor Hicks with "Promiscuous" the week before Katherine McPhee and Jessica Simpson's new singles arrive.


This also finds her sitting at the summit in both the U.S. and UK (with two different singles), and at the top of the U.S. Top 200 Albums chart with Loose. In the UK, the album is at #9 this week.

Meanwhile, Gnarls Barkley creeps into the Top 5, and Christina Aguilera paws her way into the Top 10. And who thought there'd ever come a day when you'd hear of a Paris Hilton single having the "Hot Shot Debut?" "Stars Are Blind" enters this week at #18.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Promiscuous" - Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland *1 week*
2. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
3. "Do I Make You Proud?" - Taylor Hicks
4. "It's Goin' Down" - Young Joc
5. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley
6. "Me & U" - Cassie
7. "Ridin'" - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone
8. "Unfaithful" - Rihanna
9. "Ain't No Other Man" - Christina Aguilera
10. "Life Is A Highway" - Rascal Flatts

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Towering Performance

There's a great review of the Pet Shop Boys' Tower Of London concert last night, from the Evening Standard.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Brandon Flowers: "Emo is dangerous!"


With the new album from The Killers a mere few months from release, lead singer Brandon Flowers is barrelling out of the gate with pistols loaded. Here are excerpts from his interview in next week's issue of Brit mag NME:


"You don't realize what you could be getting yourselves into, with Fall Out Boy, and what kind of impact it could have in a way that you don't really want."


"Culturally, if it gets as big as it is in America, it could change an entire generation of people growing up here. Emo, pop-punk, whatever you want to call it, is dangerous."


"We don't wanna dislike anyone, and we've still never met Fall Out Boy, but there's a creature inside me that wants to beat all those bands to death. They just all go into the happy emo funnel and everyone loves 'em without thinking. 'Oh, Fall Out Boy likes you? Fuck! I'm gonna go buy your CD!'"


Brandon, babe, we love you and all -- and even agree that emo is just plain sludge -- but shut your bitchy gob for once and let's hear the new music.

For more on the homo-erotic cat fighting between The Killers and Fall Out Boy, go here.

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Sigh...

I love the ol' ball and chain very much, otherwise I wouldn't be going to see Pink in concert tonight...


However, he's in for it in November, when the Pet Shop Boys do two nights here in L.A.

Battle Of The Bimbos On iTunes

It's interesting to note that a new eight-song EP by Morrissey gets a more prominent display at the top of the iTunes homepage this week than the new Jessica Simpson single, which is tucked away down at the bottom under "Exclusives" (and even then you have to scroll a few times to find it).


Meanwhile, also quietly added this week is the remix EP for Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind," no doubt as an attempt to keep the single going during Jessica's debut. But here's hoping that Katherine McPhee, also out now, has about as much staying power as her American Idol cohort, Taylor Hicks, who has dropped on the download chart faster than you can say Ruben Studdard.

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Nelly Furtado Debuts At #1 With Loose

She may have had to settle for #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart with "Promiscuous," but this week Nelly Furtado debuts at #1 on the Top 200 Albums chart with Loose. The album sold 219,000 copies in its first week, and it's definitely her most successful one chart-wise to date. Whoa Nelly peaked at #24, while Folklore only reached #38. Also having a good week is Keane, whose Under The Iron Sea enters the U.S. album chart at #4. Their last album, Hopes And Fears debuted at #173 and peaked at #45.

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In Search Of Fundamental

Well, five weeks after its release around the rest of the planet, Pet Shop Boys' new album Fundamental finally hit shelves here in the States yesterday. Being a hopeless fan, I decided to go driving about yesterday to see it in stores for myself...


First stop: Target at the West Hollywood Gateway shopping center at Santa Monica Blvd. and La Brea Ave. Hmmm... not only is it not on the "new releases" shelf, there aren't any Pet Shop Boys CDs in the "P" section. Alas, Keane and Nelly Furtado are still prominently displayed, which makes sense since both were flying off the shelves here last week when I bought Under The Iron Sea.

I'm about to get back in my car and head over to Virgin Megastore on Sunset, but then I decide then to walk next door to Best Buy. Good thinking, as they had about eight copies... I buy two (you know, one for my parents, which I rationalize in my mind that it'll take them back to when I was young and always playing the PSBs... when really they'll probably politely file it away under Never To Be Seen Again).

Out of curiosity, I still head over to Virgin. Woah, there's a huge Bananarama window display for their new album. I bet the Virgin stores in London would have opted to go out of business before doing a Bananarama promotional display. I'll have to go back with my digital camera and get a pic of it to post here later. Just inside the doors on the "new release" display, there's Pet Shop Boys (along with Bananarama). How nice.

I don't buy any more copies. Those two broads have gotten their cash out of me for this album. I've already got the two-disc UK version, downloaded the album from iTunes and now bought two more copies.

That's not to mention the American tour they're doing this fall, where they'll be playing two nights here in L.A. (though not until November). No, I've done my part. And I promise this will be the last Pet Shop Boys post. Well, until something excitingly new happens with them... so next week, then.

You can find the rest of their tour dates on their official site.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Edge Of Seventeen

Today I got to thinking about Chesney Hawkes' gloriously cheesy pop rock hit from 1991, "The One And Only" -- as you do -- and that lead me to think back to being 17 years old (as pictured here on the sad drive home from a canceled Morrissey concert in Pittsburgh back in July of '91).


Mostly when looking back on that summer, I think of having another long, boring year of high school left before graduation, and also how really bad AC hits by Bryan Adams and Michael Bolton dominated radio. But back to The Chez, what's really surpising (and probably forgotten by most Americans) is that while he managed to take this one hit of his to the top of the British charts, he also landed it at #10 in the U.S. This was likely due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the lame Michael J. Fox/Bridget Fonda flick Doc Hollywood.

And while he briefly filled the void left open by Jason Donovan in the UK, whose popularity had peaked by this point, Chesney also came across on these shores as a one man Nelson. It's interesting to note that he's the son of the lead singer of '60s band The Tremoloes -- who had a hit with their rendition of "Silence Is Golden." Also, he hasn't grown up to be too bad looking (pictured on the right from last year), although naturally he's done some trashy reality TV recently in England. Anyway, how about reliving the joy and watching the video... rawk out!

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Producer Dallas Austin Is Up The Creek

It sucks to be music producer Dallas Austin these days. Supposedly, the Atlanta-based producer was travelling to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates last month -- depending on what your read, either to attend Naomi Campbell's birthday party or to see a few music events -- when he was detained for possession of and trafficking cocaine. Oops! Having been jailed since May 19, Austin is expected to enter a plea on July 2. If found guilty, he could face from one to 15 years in prison.

Austin has produced such hits as Sugababes' "Push The Button" and "Ugly," TLC's "Creep," Madonna's "Secret" and Gwen Stefani's "Cool."

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Producer Arif Mardin Has Died At 74

Sadly, one of pop's most successful producers, Arif Mardin, has passed away at age 74 after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. The list of artists the 12-time Grammy-winner has worked with is endless -- Aretha Franklin, Jewel, Dusty Springfield, David Bowie and Culture Club to name a few -- and most recently he produced Norah Jones' Come Away With Me and Feels Like Home albums. The Turkish-American had produced six U.S. #1 singles, including Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings," Bee Gees' "Jive Talkin'" and Phil Collins' "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)."

For more info on Mardin, go here.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Dannii Minogue's Hits Cracks UK Top 20

Well, Dannii Minogue fared better on the UK album chart this week (#17) than her single "So Under Pressure" did last week (#20). My copy of The Hits & Beyond arrived from Amazon UK on Thursday, and I must admit I'm addicted to it! Last night I went to the party for my friend Mediawhore's 25th b-day and blasted Dannii's "Love Fight" on the drive home... perfect pop for driving through the city at night! Anyway, the rest of the UK Top 10 singles remain a bit boring.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Maneater" - Nelly Furtado *3 weeks*
2. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
3. "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker" - Sandi Thom
4. "Supermassive Black Hole" - Muse *new*
5. "Monster" - Automatic
6. "Mas Que Nada" - Sergio Mendes feat. Black Eyed Peas
7. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal
8. "Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)" - Lostprophets
9. "Valerie" - The Zutons *new*
10. "Who Knew" - Pink

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Boy Trouble

A quick glimpse at the official site for the Backstreet Boys (don't judge!) reveals this:

Statement to our fans from the Backstreet Boys regarding Kevin Richardson departure from the group: “Earlier this year, after much soul searching, Kevin Richardson came to us and told us that he had decided to leave the group and pursue other interests. He gave his blessing to continue the music without him...This weekend we are returning to the studio to begin the follow-up to Never Gone, and will see you later this year with a new album.”

New album? Who even knew they were still together?

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Year So Far...

It's hard to believe that 2006 is pretty much halfway over, and that summer has officially begun. Not sure about where you are, but here it's a beautiful sunny day, if not a tad overly-hot. Thanks, global warming! Anyway, seeing as 2006 has given us one of the most rapid-fire successions of #1 singles here in the U.S., this seems like a good time to recap the top tunes so far on both sides of the pond.

It's interesting to note that thus far, the U.S. and the UK have only shared one #1 this year: Ne-Yo's "So Sick." And who knows if the biggest UK single of the year -- "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley -- will reach the same heights over here. It's only just this week entered the U.S. Top 10. Meanwhile, UK sensations Arctic Monkeys failed to thaw American listeners. But, one thing's almost certain... Old Blighty will most likely be spared Taylor Hicks.


2006 U.S. #1 Singles

1. "Don't Forget About Us" - Mariah Carey (2 weeks*)
2. "Laffy Taffy" - D4L (1 week)
3. "Grillz" - Nelly feat. Paul Wall, Ali & Gripp (2 weeks)
4. "Check On It" - Beyonce feat. Slim Thug (5 weeks)
5. "You're Beautiful" - James Blunt (1 week)
6. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo (2 weeks)
7. "Temperature" - Sean Paul (1 week)
8. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter (5 weeks)
9. "S.O.S." - Rihanna (3 weeks)
10. "Ridin'" - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone (2 weeks)
11. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean (2 weeks)
12. "Do I Make You Proud?" - Taylor Hicks (1 week)


2006 UK #1 Singles

1. "That's My Goal" - Shayne Ward (4 weeks*)
2. "When The Sun Goes Down" - Arctic Monkeys (1 week)
3. "Nasty Girl" - Notorious B.I.G. (2 weeks)
4. "Thunder In My Heart Again" - Meck feat. Leo Sayer (2 weeks)
5. "Sorry" - Madonna (1 week)
6. "It's Chico Time" - Chico (2 weeks)
7. "No Tomorrow" - Orson (1 week)
8. "So Sick" - Ne-Yo (1 week)
9. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley (9 weeks)
10. "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker" - Sandi Thom (1 week)
11. "Maneater" - Nelly Furtado (2 weeks)

* originally hit #1 in December 2005 and carried into January

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Vanessa Anne Hudgens' Musical Solo

Ashley Tisdale may have stolen all the scenes in High School Musical, but this week's issue of Billboard reports that the Disney Channel movie's star, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, has signed a recording deal with Hollywood Records (also owned by Disney).


Her first CD, not yet titled, will be released on September 26. Meanwhile, who knew that Vanessa Anne made her feature film debut in the 2003 bad girl tramp-fest Thirteen (pictured below)?

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Jose Gonzalez Steals Kylie's Heart

Today Kylie's tour manager officially announced that the miniscule minx would be resuming her Showgirl tour -- now called the Showgirl Homecoming tour -- in Australia this November. Additionally, Swedish indie tunesmith Jose Gonzalez will be releasing his cover of La Minogue's 1989 UK #1, "Hand On Your Heart," next month. At first the thought of a somber, acoustic rendition of a slick Stock Aitken Waterman track sounds, er, impossibly disturbing. But actually, it works like you'd never expect! Granted, it's pretty much a different song...

Here's Kylie's version:



And here's Jose's version:

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The New Pet Shop Boys Single

As reported on their awesomely revamped website, Pet Shop Boys will release "Minimal" as the second single off Fundamental on July 24, complete with a revamped radio version. CD 2 of the two-part single will contain a U-Myx track, which will allow fans to remix their own version of the song. Also, there will be a DVD single that features the exclusive b-side, "Blue On Blue," and an unreleased 7" mix of "No Time For Tears," a track off last year's Battleship Potempkin score.

Here's the full track listing for the three formats of the "Minimal" single:

CD1:
1. Minimal (radio edit)
2. In private (Performed by Pet Shop Boys and Elton John) (Stuart Crichton 7")

CD2:
1. Minimal (radio edit)
2. Minimal (Tocadisco's Sunday at Space Remix)
3. Minimal (M Factor Remix)
4. Minimal (U-Myx)

DVD:
1. Minimal (Telex Hell mix)
2. Blue on blue
3. No time for tears (Unreleased 7-inch mix)
4. Minimal (video)

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Taylor Hicks, Gnarls Barkley Invade The Top 10

Tragic. But inevitable. Taylor Hicks debuting at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart feels like that scene in Halloween when Donald Pleasance says, "Death has come to your small town, sheriff." This hopefully is a one-week thing, though, since that gray-haired dud's single has already plummeted to #17 on the iTunes download chart. Of course, then there's the ominous release next week by that broad who came in second on AI.

Anyway, the biggest tune in England from this year has crossed over in the U.S., as Gnarls Barkley enter the Top 10 with "Crazy." It almost seemed like the song wouldn't fit into any U.S. radio station format, but alternative radio has picked it up and is playing it to death. Elsewhere, Christina Aguilera is still hovering around in the teens (#13). Maybe nobody really cares about that 'ho moaning over a repetitive horn loop.

And finally, everyone's favorite bible-thankin', thong-wearin' soul tramp, Beyonce, debuts at #44 with her new single "Deja Vu." And this is my favorite Beyonce story this week.


The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Do I Make You Proud?" - Taylor Hicks *1 week* *hot shot debut*
2. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean
3. "Promiscuous" - Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland *airplay gainer*
4. "It's Goin' Down" - Young Joc
5. "Ridin'" - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone
6. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley
7. "Life Is A Highway" - Rascal Flatts *sales gainer*
8. "Unfaithful" - Rihanna
9. "Me & U" - Cassie
10. "Snap Yo Fingers" - Lil Jon feat. E-40 & Sean Paul

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After 42 Years, Britain's Top Of The Pops Fading To Black


In the same year British pop institution Smash Hits magazine folded, now it's been announced that after 42 years, BBC's Top Of The Pops is leaving the air. I won't pretend to have ever seen the show other than online -- espcially on sites such as YouTube, a site which, ironically, is probably one of the reason there's no longer a need for shows like TOTP.

The program's first episode in 1964 featured performances by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. In the '80s, the show famously turned unknown guests such as Boy George and George Michael into superstars. The final episode will air on July 30. "In a rapidly changing musical landscape, Top Of The Pops no longer occupies the central role it once did," said the BBC's director of television, Jana Bennett. Go here for a full history.

Here below is probably one of my favorite clips of Nirvana, from a November 1991 taping of TOTP. Kurt Cobain would later he claim he sang the vocals to sound like Morrissey, in a rebellion against the show's producers insisting that the band play over a backing track rather than live.


There's no word yet on whether plans for the American version of the show that was to be launched later this year will still go through.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Noooooooooooooooooooo!

Why, Jesus, why?

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People Are Deaf

Sometimes really scary thing happen like you go to bed the day the Paris Hilton "Stars Are Blind" single is released on iTunes, only to wake up the next morning and find that it's whored its way to #8 on the download chart. Presumably there is a large gaggle of people with bad taste who haven't already illegally downloaded the gem. The good thing is that Paris has now knocked Taylor Hicks out of iTunes' Top 10.

Both Keane and Nelly Furtado's new albums are out as of yesterday, as well, and they've landed at #1 and #2 respectively on iTunes. I grabbed a copy of Keane's Under The Iron Sea at Target for only $9.98, because I like the pretty cartoon horsies in the artwork. Great album, though. They've taken another step toward perfecting the art of writing dreamy, melodic pop. As for Nelly, it's hard to pinpoint one favorite song on Loose, but "Do It" is a pretty groovy.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Nick Lachey's Tacky Axe Commercial

Thanks, Mobius.

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Stock Aitken Waterman To Hit The Telly?

And yet another Monday morning rolls around with a case of Chart Rigger proving to have a creepy sixth sense quality. Last week it was the official news that Christina Milian had been dropped from Island Def Jam, and this week -- after several Stock Aitken Waterman-related posts over the past few days -- the word is out (albeit via The Sun's gossip column) that Mike, Matt and Pete are working on an Idol-esque reality TV show, where the three will write and produce the winner's songs.

Taking a look online, you get the sense that British media is still a bit leary about revisiting the days of SAW's cheesy pop. This article on the pop producers' TV show is titled "The Day The Music Died," and predicts:

"...lines and lines of spandex-clad Steps wannabes, all furiously performing for the camera and screeching show tunes at the top of their voices."


God, let's hope so!

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bye, Bye, G-A-Y?

Say it ain't so!


A quick zip through the message board at the official site for London club G-A-Y has revealed that the venue that's housed Europe's premiere campy gay dance party for years -- The Astoria -- has changed hands. Now, there are several differing reports on what's really going down, and quite frankly, I ain't taking the time to research to see which one is legitimate... but here they are:

* In a £23.75 million deal, the Astoria changed ownership from a subsidiary of Clear Channel Music Group UK (!) to Derwent Valley, who already own a majority of the businesses on the adjoining block. In 2008, once Clear Channel's lease is up, the venue will be converted to flats, shops and offices.

* British government is issuing a compulsory purchase order for the Astoria to convert it to a rail station: "Big railway line that will stop at Tottenham Court Road. The new station will basically fill the space currently occupied by the Astoria."

Here is a petition from G-A-Y promoter Jeremy Joseph that's being submitted to Parliament to stop the supposed Crossrail Project.

I've gotten to shake a tailfeather at G-A-Y three different times over my two trips to London -- the first time, reality TV flash-in-the-pan Alex Parks performed. The second time was a grand old "Camp Attack" Friday night last November. And the third time was the next night, to see former PWL labelmates Jason Donovan, Sonia and Sinitta perform!


All I can say is nothing is as joyous as the traditional Saturday midnight balloon drop when Kylie's "Better The Devil You Know" kicks on! Here's a brief history of The Astoria, and this talks about G-A-Y.

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Nelly Furtado Bitch-Slaps Shakira

Not much new going on in the official UK singles chart, other than Nelly Furtado's "Maneater" holding off the competition at #1. Not even Shakira, who trumped Nelly in the U.S., could knock her off the top spot. That could all change over here soon, though, as Furtado's U.S. single "Promiscuous" has overtaken "Hips Don't Lie" as the top iTunes download. Further down the Top 10, another World Cup anthem checks in at #10, making a total of three of the football-themed tunes in the tally (all in a row).

And Dannii Minogue's latest, "So Under Pressure," has a not-so-great placing at #20. Still, it gives her the 13th Top 20 UK hit of her 15-year career.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Maneater" - Nelly Furtado *2 weeks*
2. "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker" - Sandi Thom
3. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean *new*
4. "Monster" - Automatic
5. "Who Says You Can't Go Home" - Bon Jovi *new*
6. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal
7. "Who Knew" - Pink
8. "World At Your Feet" - Embrace
9. "3 Lions" - Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds
10. "Hurry Up England" - Sham 69 & The Special Assembly *new*

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A Bit More Nicki French

Tomorrow, the single for the new mixes of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Diva DJs Vs. Nicki French is out in the UK on Energise Records. You haven't ordered a copy yet? Well, you can do so right here. Over the past two weeks, we've run our interview done with Nicki to commemorate the release of the new single, and the response on her offical site's forum has been pretty groovy! She performed this past Monday at London's G-A-Y nightclub, and so here are a few more anecdotes she shared, particularly on her gay fans.

On Gay Prides: "I actually did do some in the States back in 1995. They got me onto one in Chicago. It was very weird because there was just this tiny little box for a stage. I mean, I couldn't move anywhere! But, fabulous crowd! Normally, with the Prides particularly, there are usually other people on. I love to watch other artists perform. I tend to try to not take a show in the evening if I'm doing a Pride, because you just like to mill around and soak up the atmosphere. I do prefer to sit around and chat with people."

On Having A Loyal Gay Following: "I think specifically, more and more, the gay clubs have always appreciated live singing. Big-name artists have come from the gay scene simply because they learn how to entertain. To start with, the gay audiences can be the hardest in the world to please. But if you work hard and you have a talent, I think they are so appreciative. They love a belter. They love a diva. They're always going for the female vocalists. I do think its because they appreciate the proper singers."

On American Idol Contestant Mandisa Declining To Perform At A Gay Event Because Of Her Religious Beliefs: "I suppose if you have such a strong, strong belief, in a way, you've got to admire her for standing up for those beliefs. However, you go onto a show like that, you've got to put everything out of the window. You've got to put it all to one side to move on. That's what the show’s all about! I agree with something Simon Cowell said about Chris Daughtry, the heavy rock singer –- this is American Idol, if you wanna sing like that, you don’t do American Idol. I think that’s so true. It’s a very niche entertainment show. With things like [Mandisa's] strong beliefs like that, you know you're going to be asked to do performances in places that you wouldn't normally, so you have to put that sort of feeling to one side if you want to progress."

Well said! And with that, we'll leave you with Nicki's awesome performance of "Don't Play That Song Again" at Eurovision in 2000. Listen to her belt out that last part!

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Shine Until Tomorrow

It's Friday and nothing's goin' on, so let's watch the Ferry Aid video!


Highlights include:

* Paul McCartney's mullet!

* A very young Andy Bell (awwww!)

* Boy George wearing that denim snood beret he wore in Smash Hits!

* Finally realizing it's the guy from Level 42 singing that part!

* The dude from Wet Wet Wet smoking a cigarette and looking drunk!

* Stock Aitken Waterman twiddling the knobs....

* ... so naturally Mel & Kim get the most airtime.

But, not to make light -- this charity single was originally organized in 1987 for relief aid when Britain's fully-loaded ferry, Herald Of Free Enterprise, capsized into the North Sea off the Belgian port of Zebrugge. 190 people were submerged into frigid waters and killed, causing a wake-up call for reform of the mismanaged ferry transport system worldwide. The Ferry Aid single went on to sell 2 million copies. And that's your history lesson for the day!

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Shakira Rapidly Slides Up And Down The #1 Pole For Another Week

Shakira's still straddling the big, hard #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart this week with "Hips Don't Lie." Looks like some tough competition is on its way in the weeks to come, though, particularly from ho-hum Idol grunt, Taylor Hicks. Meanwhile, Nelly Furtado inches up one more notch to #2. Yay! We came so close to having Nelly be at the top of the charts both here and in the UK. Alas, 'twas not to be. Futher down the Top 20, Christina Aguilera has this week's
"hot shot debut" at #19 with "Ain't No Other Man." And look -- Xtina's all classy now!

Another classy blonde is Natasha Bedingfield, whose new single, um, "Single," debuts on the Hot 100 this week at #72. "Single" is the third release off her album Unwritten, but it was actually her very first UK single two years ago. Over there, it peaked at #3. The only other UK single Natasha has yet to put out here is "I Bruise Easily."

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean *2 weeks*
2. "Promiscuous" - Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland *airplay gainer*
3. "It's Goin' Down" - Young Joc *sales gainer*
4. "Ridin'" - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone
5. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter
6. "Where'd You Go" - Fort Minor feat. Holly Brook
7. "Unfaithful" - Rihanna
8. "Me & U" - Cassie
9. "Snap Yo Fingers" - Lil Jon feat. E-40 & Sean Paul
10. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers

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Back By Demand: D'Luv's Pussycat Dolls

Alright, so a few of you have emailed me this week or put a comment on about D'Luv's kitties. So today was impromptu pussycat photo shoot! Here's Cracker doing his favorite thing...


...while Miss Pussy is never caught off-guard, mostly because she herself is a sneaky little hooker.


My handsome boy...


"Get yo' arm off me if you wanna keep it attached, player!"

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What's Up With George Michael's Face?

It's lookin' a little stretched these days.


Anyway, here's his new single, out in the UK on June 26. It's currently at the top of Amazon UK's pre-release singles chart, followed by Diva DJs Vs. Nicki French, "Total Eclipse Of The Heart."

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National Enquirer Uncovers Taylor Hicks' "Raging Gay Sex Scandal"

That's right -- in case you hadn't heard, American Idol season 5 winner Taylor Hicks is caught up in a "gay shocker" (or so says the National Enquirer). Here's the best part:

"Inside Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, Taylor was freaking out that a 'queer smear' would rob him of victory," an A.I. insider told The Enquirer.

Meanwhile, Hicks' single "Do I Make You Proud?" is twirling its way up the iTunes download chart. Alas, he's gotta sit at #7 behind a gaggle of strumpets such as Shakira, Nelly Furtado, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hear It On A Timeless Wavelength

Pet Shop Boys' new album Fundamental (as well as bonus disc Fundamentalism) is available on the U.S. iTunes store, two weeks before its domestic CD release.


It sure beats downloading the Taylor Hicks single.

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Monday, June 12, 2006

More On Dannii And Kylie At G-A-Y

Here's an MTV report on Kylie Minogue gettin' sassy on the G-A-Y stage with sis Dannii this past Saturday.

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Not So Amazin'

Some folks call us many things, but this week let's add "pop prophets" to that list. One week after doing a post entitled "Drop It Like It's Flopped" -- reporting on the troubling performance of Christina Milian's new album So Amazin' -- it looks like the singer really has been dropped by Island Def Jam because she flopped! The New York Daily News reported today that C-Mil refused to record "S.O.S.," which was then passed on Rihanna, who took the single to #1 in the U.S. Rihanna's latest album sold 115,000 copies in its first week, while Milian's sold 50,202.

One of Christina's reps gave the Daily News this statement: "Christina Milian and Island Def Jam have decided to end their relationship due to creative differences. This was a mutual decision." Meanwhile, Vibe magazine has apparently nixed her from being their August cover story and replaced her with Keyshia Cole.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Nelly Furtado Eats The UK While Sugababes Erase Former Member From Hits Set

Think one of the World Cup tie-in singles topped the UK chart this week? Maybe Embrace or Tony Christie or -- shudder! -- Crazy Frog? Well, thankfully, the answer is no. Instead, it was the much-deserving new European release from Nelly Furtado, "Maneater." (Here in the States, Nelly's "Promiscuous" has been perched at #3 for two weeks.) Missing out on the Top 10 this time around is Morrissey, whose "The Youngest Was The Most Loved" has to settle for a #14 placing. Not your best tune, Moz. And Eurovision-winning Lordi's "Hard Rock Hallelujah" goes in at #25 based on downloads alone.

Meanwhile, Sugababes latest single, "Follow Me Home," suffers a fairly dismal chart placing, landing at #32! And while it was expected that they'd be releasing another album this year, turns out it's going to be a greatest hits. *Sigh*. As we've learned from Steps and other British pop groups, that's not always a good sign for the prospect of the act's longevity. Also it was reported that Sugababe Heidi Range would be re-recording all of former member Siobahn Donaghy's vocals for the hits collection. Ouch!

The UK Top 10:

1. "Maneater" - Nelly Furtado *1 week*
2. "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker" - Sandi Thom
3. "World At Your Feet" - Embrace
4. "Monster" - Automatic
5. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley
6. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal
7. "Who Knew" - Pink
8. "(Is This The Way To) The World Cup" - Tony Christie
9. "Is It Any Wonder" - Keane
10. "3 Lions" - Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds *new*

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