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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Everything's Gone Pop Chips!

To quote from the one Matchbox Twenty song that didn't take 37 listens for me to enjoy, "I wish the real world would just stop hassling me!"

D'luv took a day off from everything this week and visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). While there, I grabbed lunch in a cafe with a friend, and was delighted to discover a rack of Pop Chips! So I snapped the pic above.

Other things I've discovered this week but have been to bogged the F down to mention here till now:

The cover art for Pet Shop Boys' Yes, via XO's Middle Eight.

These stills from Take That's "Up All Night" video:

Pink's "Please Don't Leave Me" video:



I also got to take in the Vanity Fair Portraits exhibit at LACMA, and cranked out another Towleroad column.

Have a happy weekend!

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kelly Clarkson Tops The U.S. Chart, And, Geez, Photoshop Has She's Come A Long Way

Clive Davis, put on your party dress. (Yes, you can wear the little black one, you old slut.)

Kelly Clarkson has topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with her new single "My Life Would Suck Without You" after only its first week of availability at digital retailers. It's her first #1 in the States since her 2002 debut single, "A Moment Like This," which was released upon her winning American Idol that September.

Yes, folks, the economy may suck, but with Lady GaGa and Kelly Clarkson topping the chart back-to-back, at least 2009 is shaping up to be the year that pop makes a comeback. (Of course, the trend started last year.)

"My Life Would Suck Without You" now gives writer/producer Max Martin his third #1 single in less than a year—including Pink's "So What" and Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl"—and his fourth U.S. chart topper overall (Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time").

It also gives Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald his third, after Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" and Perry's "I Kissed A Girl."

"Suck" made a significant leap from its debut position of #97 to #1, which makes it the highest jump to the top of the main Billboard singles chart ever. In this digital day and age, though, anything goes, and that record is constantly being broken. There are still three more times an artist—or even Kelly herself—will be able to outdo this feat.

"My Life Would Suck Without You" sold upwards of 280,000 downloads last week. And in case you're wondering what Kelly herself is thinking, why, here's what she wrote on her blog:
THANK Y’ALL SO MUCH FOR REQUESTING AND VOTING FOR MY NEW SINGLE!!! IT’S DOING SO GREAT BECAUSE OF Y’ALL SO THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
OTHER GROOVES: Pink's "Sober," The Veronicas' "Untouched" and Ne-Yo's "Mad" all leap into the Top 20, at #16, #17 and #19, respectively.

Beyonce's "Diva" is #28, and my personal favorite jam of the moment, Lady GaGa's "Poker Face," is up to #32. Someone told me they don't like her glitter ball face mask she wears at the beginning of the video (pictured above), but screw that—here's the clip, anyway!



On a final note, U2's "Get On Your Boots" is the Hot Shot Debut at #37. I think it's time to fill those boots with concrete and toss that shit into the River Shannon.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "My Life Would Suck Without You" - Kelly Clarkson *1 week*
2. "Just Dance" - Lady GaGa feat. Colby O'Donis
3. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" - Beyoncé
4. "Heartless" - Kanye West *airplay gainer*
5. "Love Story" - Taylor Swift
6. "Gives You Hell" - The All-American Rejects
7. "Live Your Life" - T.I. feat. Rihanna
8. "You Found Me" - The Fray *sales gainer*
9. "Circus" - Britney Spears
10. "I'm Yours" - Jason Mraz

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Watch Kelly Clarkson's 'My Life Would Suck Without You' Video...Well, Until It's Yanked

Vinyl leggings. Keys flushed down the toilet. Hair blown in 46 different directions via three wind machines. Once this video gets disabled via Sony, just know that's all you're really missing out on with the new Kelly Clarkson video.

Don't you just long the good ol' days (i.e., a year ago) when record labels didn't yank videos or disable the embedding of them? You'd think they might enjoy a bit of free promotion.

Alas, in this case, the video isn't set to premiere till tonight's episode of American Idol. But who wants to watch that shit?

Anyway, the clip for "My Life Would Suck Without You":

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Take That's 'Up All Night' Video Makes Me Want To Go Back To Bed

Well, here's Take That's video for second single off The Circus, "Up All Night." I'm still kind of nonplussed by this choice for a release.

Anyone else feel the same way? The street-fair video is okay, I just wish it was for "Said It All" or "You" or "Hold Up A Light." Actually, my fave tune on the album is "The Garden," but that's a song that would either epically fail as a single or be #1 for two months.

Anyway, here's the "Up All Night" clip:

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Leona Lewis Arrested For Giving Chace Crawford A Hand Job In Public

Well, at least that's what I'm taking from the U.S. video for Leona Lewis' new single, "I Will Be."

The song was written by Max Martin and Dr. Luke—what isn't these days?—with Avril Lavigne, and apparently was recorded by Avril for her last album The Best Damn Thing. I wouldn't know, because I don't listen to such trash.

If you tell me something like, "This was a Boy Krazy B-side, from their third European single," I'd be all like, "Hold on, let me cue that shit up—I got it right here!"

Anyway, in the video, it looks like Leona is giving her boyfriend, played by Gossip Girl "heartthrob" Chace Crawford, some kind of sex in a car. Then she hands him a pile of cash, so he must be a hooker. Then the cops arrest her.

Leona needs to learn how we roll over here in America. Public sex with whores is best done in shopping cars in an alleyway and McDonald's Playlands. Not in a car in a parking garage.

Have British people learned nothing from George Michael?

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Saturdays Are, Like, So The New Girls Aloud + My Hot, Sweaty MGMT Story

Alright, folks, I momentarily missed out on doing actual U.K. chart talk last Sunday due to my escaped pussy. Vut to quote the wise Jerri Blank from Strangers With Candy, I've got something to SAY!

First off, a giant Wee-haw! to The Saturdays for totally kicking Sugababes and Girls Aloud to the curb and injecting a bit of rogue excitement back into the land of U.K. girl groups. Not only is it a third week inside the British Top 10 for "Issues," last week the single climbed to #4, thereby besting the #5 peak of previous single "Up."

Meanwhile, sadly, the only good Girls Aloud single (other than "Call The Shots") stalled at a dismal #10 placing last week. What happened with "The Loving Kind"? This week it falls to #14. Ouch! Did working with the Pet Shop Boys prove to be the kiss of death for them?

That doesn't seem likely, since the Boys are on the upswing—they're receiving the Outstanding Contribution To Music award at next month's Brits ceremony, plus they've got a hot remix out of MGMT's "Kids." And Neil and Chris' own ninth studio album Yes is out in March.

Anyway, speaking of MGMT's "Kids," that single has been hovering around in the U.K. chart since October. It finally climbed to #16 earlier this month. This week it's at #30.

Okay, so the MGMT story: Back in September, when I went to Austin, Texas, to visit a friend and hit up the Austin City Limits festival, my pal got me into MGMT. We played them and Cut Copy that whole weekend. Wow, groovy NYC duo, etc. Great videos.

We went to this great Austin club called Beauty Bar, and when the DJ played "Time To Pretend," the place went crazy. The whole town was obviously geared up to see MGMT at the festival the next day.

So, cut to MGMT taking the stage for their set at ACL. Here's a photo I took of the crowd that came to watch them in the 95 degree heat:

Yeah, they sucked. Sucked hard. Harder than Lady GaGa sucked to get her record contract. Their sound was off. One of their amps blew out. But worst of all, even if none of those technical gaffs had happened, the band just stood there like statues while playing. Their was no charisma, no moving around.

None of the excitement of their great songs like "Electric Feel" or "Kids" translated into a fun, energetic live performance. By their third song, the entire crowd just started talking amongst themselves (as you can see in that pic above). By song four a lot of people walked away and went to see other bands.

I kind of chalked it up to a band that's best experienced at night in a small venue like a club suddenly finding itself on an outdoor stage during the day, with thousands of people standing in a field expecting a miracle.

Nevertheless, MGMT have great songs. And "Electric Feel" still made it into Chart Rigger's Best Singles Of 2008 list.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Just Dance" - Lady GaGa feat. Colby Adonis *3 weeks*
2. "Day 'n' Night" - Kid Cudi Vs. Crookers
3. "Take Me Back" - Tinchy Stryder feat. Taio Cruz
4. "Broken Strings" - James Morrison feat. Nelly Furtado
5. "Issues" - The Saturdays
6. "Let It Rock" - Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne
7. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)'" - Beyoncé
8. "Use Somebody" - Kings Of Leon
9. "Sober" - Pink
10. "Heartless" - Kanye West

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pop Conspiracy: The Killers' 'Spaceman' Video Vs. Erasure's 'Heavenly Action'

Thanks to XO London for pointing out that The Killers' video for second Day & Age single "Spaceman" has landed online.

Of course, D'luv took one look at Brandon Flowers' dainty space drag and was instantly reminded of Andy Bell's own scarlet and black solar garb in Erasure's 1985 clip for "Heavenly Action."

Boys, boys! There are enough fancy, airtight codpieces for everyone! Watch Brandon 'n' Andy swish on stardust below.

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Uh-Oh, Katy Perry...Guess What The Matrix Found Up In The Attic?

Oooooh! Katy Perry's not gonna like this. Pop production team The Matrix (i.e., Lauren Christy, Graham Edwards and Scott Spock) crafted a string of hits in the early '00s—most notably Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" and "Sk8r Boi," Hilary Duff's "So Yesterday" and Liz Phair's "Why Can't I?"

And in 2004, the producers recorded their own album, with two unknown singers fronting them—a British guy named Adam Longlands and (dun, dun, DUNNNN) a 19-year-old Katy Perry.

The self-titled Matrix album never saw a release, but now apparently, for some odd reason—Oh, I don't know, what could it be?—the trio thought it was the perfect timing to put it out on their own label, Let's Hear It Records.

The CD is released on Tuesday. I listened to it yesterday, and it's not bad! Particularly, the tracks "Take A Walk" and "I Love You" stand out. And Adam Longlands, where are you now?

It does, however, sound like Katy was majorly aping Avril's singing style. And every song that comes on you start thinking, Oh, it's the same guitar intro from "So Yesterday"! No, wait...it's "Sk8r Boi"!

Anyway, here's the one music video that originally got made in 2004 to promote the scrapped project, for the song "Broken":

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Anyone Have 'Patience' For Nick Lachey?

Here's the art for Nick Lachey's new single, "Patience." Yes, it's a cover of Take That's 2006 U.K. hit. Apparently the That's version just wasn't bland enough to be released in the States, so they called in the expert.

Nick, brother, this ain't no "What's Left Of Me." And why does he insist on sounding like a gay porn star getting rammed in the can?

Take a listen to Gary Barlow & Co.'s version and Lachey's version, and see whether or not you think Nick should just become a stripper.

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Take That Nominated For Brit Award, Announce Next Single

Good lord, the Brit Awards (aka, The Brits) nominations are dull this year! The Pet Shop Boys are getting the Outstanding Contribution To Music accolade—i.e., the "Yes, you're old" nod.

Other than that the only category with any real color is the one for British Group. The nominees are Coldplay, Elbow, Girls Aloud, Radiohead and Take That. Actually, did I say color? I meant dull hue.

Adele and Duffy are nominated for a bunch of stuff, too. Maybe they'll F on stage and liven things up. The show takes place February 18. The full list of Brits nominees is here.

Meanwhile, speaking of Take That, the band officially announced its second single off The Circus yesterday—"Up All Night."

That's right, the one that Mark Owen sings, which sounds like a Simon & Garfunkel chestnut. Actually, it sounds like the That's own "Shine," which was their second single off their last album, Beautiful World.

So if they're following the same pattern, the third single should flop, the fourth will only get a release in Germany, then they'll do damage control by contributing a song to a film soundtrack.

On a final note, Take That's Gary Barlow turned 38 on Tuesday, and his wife Dawn gave birth to their third kid, Daisy Barlow, last week.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chart Rigger Turns 4!

Wow—four years. This is like entering a second term in political office. When's the corruption scandal gonna hit?

Anyway, I won't ramble on too much about Chart Rigger's anniversary because—ta dah!—there's a quick, D'luvvly video blog for that purpose:



Wow, the charisma. And appropriately, it's the day Oscar nominations were announced. (Thanks to Lisa Timmons of Socialite Life for camera duty.)

Chart-wise, album sales are in the can, and Lady GaGa spends a third week at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 with "Just Dance." Her far superior second single off The Fame, "Poker Face," climbs up the rear, jumping from #72 to #48 this week.

Really, I just like talking about this broad as an excuse to post her photos, such as this misguided gem of her, pre-stylist, that went up at DListed earlier this week.

Britney Spears' "Womanizer" finally falls out of the Top 10, replaced by her own "Circus," which re-enters after intitially only spending two weeks in the upper tier back in December. Including Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold," that gives Dr. Luke two production credits in the high-up end of the chart.

Elsewhere, Pink officially enters the Top 20—albeit at #20–with "Sober," and Beyoncé enters the Top 40 at #37 with "Diva."

Alright, I'm off to celebrate my blogiversary with a venti hot chocolate at Starbucks. Thanks again for reading this poetry over the years!

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Just Dance" - Lady GaGa feat. Colby O'Donis *3 weeks*
2. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" - Beyoncé
3. "Heartless" - Kanye West
4. "Live Your Life" - T.I. feat. Rihanna
5. "Love Story" - Taylor Swift
6. "Gives You Hell" - The All-American Rejects
7. "I'm Yours" - Jason Mraz
8. "Hot N Cold" - Katy Perry
9. "Let It Rock" - Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne
10. "Circus" - Britney Spears

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Radio Won't Play Britney Spears' "If U Seek Amy" Because It Sounds Like...Well, You Know

So it seems producer Max Martin's creative reunion with Britney Spears isn't being so readily embraced by U.S. radio stations.

In particular, Britney's third single off Circus, "If U Seek Amy," has basically been met with a threatened universal ban from the airwaves.

Now Billboard is saying a parents' organization has its thong in a twizzy, too.

"There is no misinterpreting the lyrics to this song, and it's certainly not about a girl named Amy," says some guy from the Parents TV Council.

I wish someone would've asked this pimp, "Well, what ever do you mean?

Then he would've had to swear, and he'd probably get fired from the board or something. Or maybe Britney would pay him a visit and sit on his mouth.

At any rate, Jive Records has recorded another version of "If U Seek Amy," wherein "Seek" is changed to "See."

That way radio can protect listeners from Britney's suggestive lyrics, when all they want to hear is the classy poetry Akon usually offers.

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Real McCoy's Unreleased U.S. 'Run Away' Video

This is pretty cool for all the Eurodance geeks out there like D'luv. Last week Olaf "O-Jay" Jeglitza, founder of Real McCoy, uploaded the unreleased U.S. version of the "Run Away" video to his YouTube page.

The European video contained a different mix of the song and was set in the desert, but I always felt the version that became a hit in the U.S., with the mournful keyboard chords at the intro, was a much better version. Maybe I'm biased.

Anyway, here's the Nigel Dick-directed "Run Away" video that was never released. It's very 1984 in theme, just like the song:



As for why this video never got released, Nigel says on his website, "I don't care what Clive [Davis] says, this was a great video!"

Nigel Dick also directed the original Band Aid/"Do They Know It's Christmas?" clip, plus Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time," Backstreet Boys' "As Long As You Love Me" and Oasis' "Wonderwall."

But seeing the unreleased "Run Away" video is so great, because that song practically plays everytime I walk down the street—ala John Travolta and the Bee Gees in the opening of Saturday Night Fever!

"Run Away" originally hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We Have A New President!

Halle-F-ing-lujah! (And not in the low-rent, Alexandra Burke way.) Seems like a good time to drag out Opus III...

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Is It Me Or Does The New U2 Single Suck?

I heard "Get On Your Boots," the new U2 single, on the radio yesterday morning. You can now download the track on iTunes, and it's free when you pre-order the Irish band's new album, No Line On The Horizon (out March 3 in the U.S.).

At various points in this song's history, it's been said to be called "Sexy Boots" and "Get Your Boots On," but, well, anyway—that doesn't change the fact that it sounds like Bono & Co. jammed their back catalog in a blender and pressed "purée."

Am I right in thinking this is just a rehash of "Vertigo"?

I really liked U2 in their arty Achtung Baby/Zooropa phase. But since then, the band's output (with the exception of "Beautiful Day" and "Electrical Storm") has sounded more like Autopilot Baby on these ears.

Sometimes I feel like U2's unofficial "official" photographer Anton Corbijn is the best thing about them.

Anyway, below is the clip of "Get On Your Boots" from it's first broadcast yesterday, on Ireland's RTE 2FM morning show:

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nine Lives

Forgive me for breaking protocol today with the U.K. chart post, but it's been an exhausting day, both physically and mentally.

Last night our house cat Cracker snuck outside. We'd had a friend over, and we kind of deduced that when they left, Cracker slipped out the door unnoticed.

I realized he was gone around 6:30 a.m. this morning, because usually his yap is going nonstop—Food! Food! Food! But not today. And when you're a pet owner, you can sort of sense when something is wrong, some rhythm or some ritual as simple as howling to be fed at 6:15 a.m. on the dot is off.

I woke the other half up, we quickly made up a "Lost Cat" flyer and I went to Fed Ex Kinko's and had 70 copies made. We scoured the neighborhood, taping the flyers up on every lamp post, every telephone pole, handing them to neighbors.

Eventually I had to go back to have 70 more made up. Our friend who was over last night came to help us look for Cracker.

We all walked up and down the streets, calling, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty..." I ran to the Los Angeles Animal Control shelter—i.e., the pound—and I have to say, it's really, really depressing, and you don't ever want to have to do that. You just don't. There are hundreds of cages with lost animals, injured animals, despondent animals.... but no Cracker.

I'd held it together most of the day—even though taping each flyer up, with the picture of Cracker you see at the top of this post, nearly broke my heart every time—but by 5 p.m., when I got back from the shelter, I was ready to lose it.

Finally, our friend suggested we go up the street again calling him. We'd had one woman call who saw the flyer, and say she thought she saw Cracker early this morning outside her apartment building.

Something made me suggest that, before we walk up the street, we check the garage one more time, even though the three of us had checked it repeatedly.

So we walked back. "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!" Nothing. Then I decided to look over the wooden fence into the neighbor's back yard.

And there the little bastard was, sitting on her porch, peering up at me. I hoisted my friend, who's quite small, over the fence, and she grabbed him.

Once we got him inside, he ran straight for his food, then to his litterbox, then I gave him major flea treatment. And now he's passed out, curled up next to me.

It was a draining day. Really, one of the worst kind of things you could go through. But I guess the moral of the story is, never let good pussy walk out the door.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Just Dance" - Lady GaGa feat. Colby Adonis *2 weeks*
2. "Day 'n' Night" - Kid Cudi Vs. Crookers
3. "Broken Strings" - James Morrison feat. Nelly Furtado
4. "Issues" - The Saturdays
5. "Let It Rock" - Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne
6. "Hallelujah" - Alexandra Burke
7. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)'" - Beyoncé
8. "Use Somebody" - Kings Of Leon
9. "Run" - Leona Lewis
10. "The Loving Kind" - Girls Aloud

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Poll: What Is The Greatest Max Martin Song?

For the past couple months I've been kicking around this idea to make a two-disc Max Martin mix for my car called "What If Max Martin Had Never Existed?"

Just a hypothetical question, but can you imagine? Think of all the great pop songs that wouldn't be around—whether they be ones he wrote, produced, co-wrote, etc.

Anyway, given the giddy exuberance upon finally hearing Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" this week, I thought I'd be groovy to at least slap up a poll narrowing down six Max classics, and seeing which one Chart Rigger readers deem to be the Swedish pop king's greatest masterpiece.

And who knows, maybe I'll actually burn that compilation this weekend.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Nancy Pelosi Rickrolls The Nation



Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi launched Congress' first YouTube channel this week, and above is the latest clip—Pelosi's "cat cam" which quickly turns into a prank, wherein the broad Rickrolls viewers with Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" vid.

This follows Rick himself rolling the States by appearing live at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in November.

Perhaps Yahoo's Buzz Log says it best: "It does show Congress has a lighter side. All we ask is that they keep their day jobs."

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You Can Still Embed M83

Above is Anthony Gonzalez, the sole member making up French synth/shoegaze act M83 these days. He's pretty boff-tastic, no?

Anyway, yesterday marked my return to Towleroad after taking a bit of a holiday break. Among other things in the column, I wrote about how M83 are opening for The Killers on tour this month and in February.

Congratuations are in order, too, as Towleroad was announced the winner yesterday of the Web Blog Awards category for Best LGBT Blog! Thanks everyone who voted last week!

Here's the video for M83's "Kim & Jessie," a song that made Rolling Stone's "100 Best Singles of 2008" list. (A friend of mine gifted this track to me in the fall from iTunes, and I've been playing it nonstop ever since):



P.S. Kudos to Mute Records, one of the few labels left who don't disable embedding of its artists' videos!

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pop Music Requires A Democrat In Office, And My Classy All-American Rejects Story

Wow, pop really is back, even if it is in the form of pop-rock, somewhat.

That Taylor Swift "Love Story" song? I don't even consider that country. You hear it on the radio and you're like, "Oooh, a beat. Now here's a girl who puts out!"

And Lady GaGa? She took her leather thong, tied it around a flagpole and has firmly shoved it into the Rock Of Sexy. And she's not budging. Goodbye, Bush era!

See, this is why you need a Democrat in the White House:

John F. Kennedy/Lyndon Johnson = The Beatles, British Invasion, Motown's peak

Jimmy Carter = ABBA hitting #1 in America, disco, "Everybody talk about...pop music!"

Bill Clinton = Ace Of Base, Real McCoy, NSync, Spice Girls, Take That, Backstreet Boys, Britney, Robyn

That's right—just used The Beatles and Ace Of Base in a similar context. Maybe I should hire a security detail?

Down at #10, the All-American Rejects score their third Top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100. So here's my AAR story: In November 2003, I was waiting in line to get into London's G-A-Y club. AAR had just finished performing at the Astoria, the venue where G-A-Y was held, and the band's equipment was being unloaded by some pulley system out a back loading dock in an alleyway.

Then the group all walked out and people were like, "Who's that?" Then someone said, "It's All-American Rejects."

Then, Mr. Brady, who was with me, went to take a leak in some weird outdoor port-a-potty thing that didn't have any doors—you just stand there and pee in it. So I took a picture of him. And that's my All-American Rejects Story.

Other shit going on: Britney Spears' "Circus" hovers at #11 for a third non-consecutive week after initially spending two weeks in the Top 10, Pussycat Dolls' "I Hate This Part" is #18, The Fray sucks, Veronicas are #21 with "Untouched," Pink is up seven to #25 with "Sober" and Ne-Yo's got a new Top 40 hit with "Mad," at #33.

On the album chart, Lady GaGa's The Fame climbs from #26 to a new high of #14. Just dance, Barack Obama.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Just Dance" - Lady GaGa feat. Colby O'Donis *2 weeks*
2. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" - Beyoncé
3. "Heartless" - Kanye West *airplay gainer*
4. "Live Your Life" - T.I. feat. Rihanna
5. "Love Story" - Taylor Swift
6. "Hot N Cold" - Katy Perry
7. "I'm Yours" - Jason Mraz
8. "Let It Rock" - Kevin Rudolf
9. "Womanizer" - Britney Spears
10. "Gives You Hell" - The All-American Rejects *sales gainer*

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Take That, 'Attitude'!

Great, more nonsense for me to waste my cash on during a shit economy—Take That's four different covers on U.K. gay mag Attitude.

Howard Donald, I'm buying...then locking myself in the bedroom with for about three weeks. Jesus, tone down the sexy, you hot bastard.

Jason Orange, they Photoshopped you to boinkable status again. Sold!

Mark Owen, you and Gary Barlow can line Miss Pussy's litterbox. That's actually a good thing! She's been very friendly lately.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Full Version (And Mixes) Of Saint Etienne's "Method Of Modern Love"

After PopJustice uploaded the 30-second snippet of Saint Etienne's "Method Of Modern Love" in December—single out February 9—the new year started looking a whole shinier.

Then the band put a longer clip on their MySpace last week. And now, D'luv's stalwart sidekick MoogaBoo has tipped me off that flame-wigged sex goddess Janice Long played the entire song on her BBC Radio 2 show on Monday.

[Hear "Method Of Modern Love"] (Note: fast forward to 2 hr 15 min mark)

Says Moog, "It's the best thing they've ever done!" He was also kind enough to pass along a link to clips of all the mixes, including ones by Richard X and Cola Boy.

And, hey, this seems like as good a time as any to dig out this old chestnut—my interview with Saint Etienne's Sarah Cracknell!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Full Version Of Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You"



Here's the whole song of "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson. It premiered this morning on Elvis Duran's Z100 Radio show.

This will probably get yanked soon, so listen while you can! God, the opening is so "Since U Been Gone," which makes sense, since Dr. Luke said he and Max Martin wrote it around the same time that one was out.

Also, after hearing the whole thing, I'm kind of in agreeance with reader J.Me, who commented the other day that the verses have a similar melody as the opening verse of New Order's "Regret."

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Atomic Kitten: The Latest Pop Act To Hop On The Reunion Bandwagon?

Holy Moly! published this hot pic of the Atomic Kitten broads—what they look like now. The site notes the following:
"Amid a mess of hair irons, lip gloss and Top Shop seconds, it looks like the soothsayers were right as Atomic Kitten are close to reforming—but with ALL former members, swelling their poisonous ranks to four people. The original line up of Kerry Katona, Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon could be joined by Jenny Frost (second from left above, who replaced Katona in 2001).

All four members have not exactly set the world alight with their solo efforts and most of them (especially Kerry) are pretty much on the bones of their arse. They have sat green-faced (makes a change from the normal orange) as Take That, the Spice Girls and Boyzone all reformed and rolled about in canals stuffed with cash. Now they want a cut of the action."

I gotta admit, despite my penchant for all things pop, I never paid one iota of attention to these boring ho's.

I do recall when MoogaBoo came to visit in summer 2000, and we went to Virgin Megastore and he bought the "I Want Your Love" CD single on import. I think we were mostly curious because Andy McCluskey from Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark was their manager at the time.

But after their third cover version was foisted onto the public as a single, my eyes rolled so far up into my head, they never actually came back down.

Atomic Kitten always just seemed like the blandest of the bland. Was I completely missing out on something that everyone else was clued into?

All that said, the one on the far left kinda looks like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, so I just might be persuaded to get on board for this reunion.

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Kelly Clarkson Explains New Album Title In BBC Radio 1 Interview

Below is an interview with BBC's Radio 1 from yesterday, wherein Kelly Clarkson talks about her the title of her upcoming album All I Ever Wanted (due out March 17), amongst other things.

Kelly Clarkson: "There was a lot of mess in the press about my last album, and everybody kept saying that I wanted this and I wanted this. And I'm like, all I ever wanted since I was a kid was just to sing great music and that's it...that's all."

A snippet of "My Life Would Suck Without You" is also played, and though it's the same part that's been doing the rounds, there are a few seconds more at the beginning and end—at least more than what I've heard.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lady GaGa Wraps Her Vinyl Thighs Around The Top Of The U.K. Chart, Too

So, I've been listening to Lady GaGa's The Fame for the past couple days, given that she topped the U.S. chart this week, the U.K. chart today and, inevitably, is pretty much inescapable anymore.

I'm leaning toward thinking "Boys Boys Boys" is pretty groovy—particulary the line, Let's go see The Killers and make out in the bleachers.

Yeah, I know—I'm a little late to this party. But what can I say, I'm a bit dubious when it comes to hyped sluts in leather. Plus, "Just Dance" isn't really that great. There are far better tracks on the album.

Anyway, The Saturdays score their third Top 10 hit in a row with "Issues" this week, which has landed at #6. Previously, their debut single "If This Is Love" peaked at #8 in August, while "Up" made it to #5 in October.

I gotta say, out of all the big-release pop albums to come along in the past few months, The Saturdays' Chasing Lights is the one still in heavy rotation on the stereo D'luv. It's now re-entered the Brit album chart at #36.

A bit higher up on the LP tally, Kylie Minogue's Boombox—The Remix Album: 2000-2008 debuts at #28, while Take That's The Circus is finally knocked off the #1 slot after five week by Kings Of Leon.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Just Dance" - Lady GaGa feat. Colby Adonis *1 week*
2. "Broken Strings" - James Morrison feat. Nelly Furtado
3. "Hallelujah" - Alexandra Burke
4. "Run" - Leona Lewis
5. "Use Somebody" - Kings Of Leon
6. "Issues" - The Saturdays
7. "If I Were A Boy" - Beyoncé
8. "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)'" - Beyoncé
9. "Hot N Cold" - Katy Perry
10. "Let It Rock" - Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

What's Going On With Chart Rigger: January 2009

1. Chart Rigger picked up two awards from Pop Trash Addicts in the PTA Blog Awards! This is one of classiest honors a music blogger could ever hope to win, and I'm still hard just thinking about it. See below:

Best U.S. Blog: "From his hot lesbian soccer mum hairstyle to his copious use of the word 'hooker', D'Luv rocks my world. I can't imagine life without Robbie's bitchy chart updates, banterviews or nostalgic trips down memory lane. I just wish he would drag [contributor] MoogaBoo (pictured right) out of his dungeon lair more often."

Best Blog Writer: "This fabulous media whore is in high demand across the internet, spreading his unique brand of D'Luv to readers of classy sites as varied as The Daily Beast and Towleroad. One glance at Chart Rigger explains his popularity. It's sharp, funny and he uses the word 'stripper' a lot."

Gosh, it brings a tear to the eye. And every word, true. Yes, there are those out there imitating D'luv's ornate style—you know who you are, luvs—but, hey, don't feel bad about yourselves...even amateur hour needs consistantly bad writing. Own it.

2. Alright, so there's this other, less prestigious thing out there (har-de-har-har!) called the 2009 Web Blog Awards. If you enjoy reading Chart Rigger, do me a d'luvvly favor and go vote for Towleroad for Best LGBT Blog. It's already winning by a landslide, but keep the momentum going! Voting is still open for three more days, and I need to be as famous as possible all the extra writing gigs I can get. The electric bill doesn't pay itself!

And look at Andy Towle above. He's cute, no? Vote!

Also, up for Best Music Blog in the 2009 Web Blog Awards is frequent Chart Rigger commenter Paul, with his site Fizzy Pop. Sure, he's getting pummelled by several other sites, but something says he probably enjoys a hard thrashing now and then. Plus, it's just groovy he got nominated.

3. My latest Daily Beast recommendation was posted on Monday. It's on the recent Smiths' compilation, The Sound Of The Smiths. You can bookmark my page on the Daily Beast here.

4. I just finished re-reading Stephen Chbosky's The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, probably one of my top five favorite books of all time. I intially read it in fall 1999. It's a coming of age story about a shy, overly-smart 15-year-old writing letters to an anonymous friend about his school year (set in 1991-1992). That lone sentence doesn't really do it justice, but you can read more about the novel here. Just know that, at a short 213 pages, this controversial, sometimes-banned cult classic is all about first kisses, mix tapes, sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. [Buy here]

5. I can't stop listening to Daryl Hall & John Oates for some reason. (Pennsylvania represent!)



* The photo at the very top is the bag D'luv, at UCLA yesterday.

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