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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Christina Aguilera's New Single "Not Myself Tonight" Is Xtina I Can Believe In

Christina Aguilera's new single "Not Myself Tonight" premiered in full today on her official site. I gotta admit, this might actually be the first song by her I can get behind 100%. That said, it sounds like something off Britney Spears' 2007 album Blackout. (Again, probably why I like it.)



"Not Myself Tonight" is produced by Polow da Don, who swizzed up Chris Brown's "Forever" and Fergie's "Glamorous."

Image-wise, Xtina definitely seems to be going through a Madonna phase. She's even kind of talking through 1/3 of this song, like Madge was prone to do in the early '90s. (God, that was annoying.)

Anyway, "Not Myself Tonight" is out on iTunes April 13.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Ricky Martin Comes Out As A Gay Man

I don't imagine everyone will agree, but I had a few things to say about Ricky Martin officially coming out of the closet today over at Idolator.

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Goldfrapp's "Alive" Single Cover

Goldfrapp's cover for "Alive," the second single issued off Head First, as posted on Twitter this morning. Looks like that person I mentioned yesterday is indeed "in the know."

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Kelis Won't Win Over Any Animal Rights Activists With Her "Acapella" Video

Kelis certainly has some views on animal rights that folks might not necessarily agree with, but at least her video for "Acapella" is interesting. It kind of makes me want to get out my Crayola magic markers (yes, I still buy them at my age—don't judge!) and start drawing again.

That said, while she's got some four-legged friends in the clip, PETA will probably be further up in arms over the fact that Kelis is featured while hunting with a bow and arrow.



Meanwhile, this single has been out since...December, is it? What is it with artists taking so long with videos these days?

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Anyone Able To Tell Me If The Boyzone Album Is Any Good?

The official UK singles chart is snooze+ this week, so let's shift our short attentions span to the album chart, where Boyzone return to the top with Brother. To be completely honest, I've never listened to these DILFs other than "No Matter What"—and didn't they cover "When You Say Nothing At All"? Or was that just Ronan Keating? I think I had an Almighty cover of that jam on some compilation back in 2000 or some shit. Good stuff.

I don't know, is it even worth delving into the 'zone's back catalog? As cheesetastic as some of Take That's older stuff is, I still return to it on a regular basis. But Boyzone always seemed like Take That lite. Like, yeah—hot pieces of ass and all. But shit material they dished out.

Anyway, despite the dismal placing of Goldfrapp's "Rocket" a couple weeks back (it debuted at #47), the full LP Head First enters the Brit chart at a respectable #6. I guess they've officially become an album act, rather than a singles one?

A friend who is apparently "in the know" commented on my Facebook that "Alive" will be the official second single off Head First, followed by the title track. That said, I really think "I Wanna Life" deserves a proper release. But what the hell do I know?

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Telephone" - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce *2 weeks*
2. "Pass Out" - Tinie Tempah
3. "Baby" - Justin Bieber
4. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna
5. "Parachute" - Cheryl Cole
6. "Hot" - Inna
7. "Starry Eyed" - Ellie Goulding
8. "In My Head" - Jason Derulo
9. "BedRock" - Young Money
10. "Gave It All Away" - Boyzone

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Goldfrapp Rocket Onto 'Jonathan Ross'

Goldfrapp appeared on UK program Friday Night With Jonathan Ross last night to perform "Rocket," and Alison looked and sounded amazing. I think it's safe to say this more than makes up for what we'll just call The Italian Incident from earlier this week.



I am completely addicted to new album Head First—and brava to it doing well here in the States! Billboard pointed out that it's off to a "notable start" ahead of next week's chart.

P.S. Read my interview with Alison Goldfrapp yet? It's good, I promise.

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Alex Gardner's New Acoustic Video For "I'm Not Mad" + More Sexual Innuendo

Alex Gardner is ramming up—oops, my bad—ramping up promotion for his debut single "I'm Not Mad," which is released Monday in the UK.

Yesterday a new video for "I'm Not Mad"—this time an acoustic version—was uploaded (love that word) to YouTube. (Watch the original version, in all its Xenomania pop and mirrored-walls fantasticness, here.)

Here's the new vid:



Check out the "I'm Not Bad" B-side "Superfree" at either Alex's MySpace or the Xenomania News blog.

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Ke$ha's Classy Australian 'SYTYCD' Triumph

So that episode of So You Think You Can Dance featuring the New Queen Of Soul, Ke$ha, finally aired in Australia. It's the same one she did that interview for last week where she backpedaled out of a lyrical tussle with Britney Spears over the unreleased song "Styrofoam."

Here's the feathered broad writhing around to "Blah Blah Blah." Love how she's morphing into a hair metal tranny more and more with each performance.



All she's missing are a few pyrotechnics and Tawny Kitaen crawling around in a thong on her ride.

For more of Ke$ha's (mis)adventures Down Under, check out Pop Trash Addicts' live review and this pic of her stunning beauty at Bondi Beach.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Some Cicero Fan Had A Lot Of Time On Their Hands (Thank God)

Stumbled across this video some YouTuber made for "Then," an album track by early '90s Pet Shop Boys protege/hot bounce David Cicero. (Definitely seek out his 1992 LP Future Boy if you don't own a copy.)



Not bad, as far as "these things" go. Certainly the best song off said album.

ALSO SEE:
* Throwback: That Loving Feeling
* In Case You Were Wondering Whether Or Not Cicero Is Still Hot...
* The Pet Shop Boys Banterview: What Have They Done To Deserve This?

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I Guess "Telephone" Is Finally Kind Of A Hit

Wow. After four months of floundering around on the Billboard Hot 100, Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone" finally manages to climb up to a respectable #3. This seems to be the pattern with her, though—release a single, wait a few months to unleash the OTT video and then the song suddenly gets its momentum on the chart. Kind of makes you wonder how well a Gaga single not accompanied by a music video would fare?

At any rate, as mentioned last week, "Telephone" is Lady Gaga's sixth Top 10 single, and now becomes her fifth one to crack the Top 5 (with only "Paparazzi"—a far better jam than "Telephone," if you want my two cents—peaking at the lowly #6 last fall).

All the usual suspects (The Script, Adam Lambert, etc.) make only minor movements this week, so let's just end by noting that La Roux's "Bulletproof" jumps from #80 to #71, while Ke$ha's "Your Love Is My Drug" re-enters the chart at #91.

Whatever. She's on my hooker list for wimping out over her Britney diss.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna *2 weeks*
2. "Nothin' On You" - B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
3. "Telephone" - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce
4. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
5. "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris
6. "Imma Be" - The Black Eyed Peas
7. "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train
8. "Bedrock" - Young Money feat. Lloyd
9. "TiK ToK" - Ke$ha
10. "Baby" - Justin Bieber

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Alex Gardner With His Shirt Unbuttoned

Alex Gardner did a nice interview with STV where—and let's just cut right to the chase, folks—he had his shirt quite liberally unbuttoned, which was rather, uh, distracting.

He also performed an acoustic version of new single "I'm Not Mad" (out Monday, UK-ers!). And had his shirt unbuttoned. Did I say that already?

Yeah. Anyway, you can watch that here. Plus, below is a behind-the-scenes clip of the making of the "I'm Not Mad" music video.



And why the hell did it never occur to me that Alex's video looks like the one for this classy classic?



Also, you can have a listen to a short clip of the "I'm Not Mad" B-side "Superfree" over on his MySpace.

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Owl City's "Vanilla Twilight" Video Was Shot In My Hometown Of Pittsburgh

Boy, that "Fireflies" money must be kicking in, because main Owl City dude Adam Young went from being lean, cute and scruffy to looking like he's been eating a six-course meal each day. (He might have ingested k.d. lang, too—or at least her stylist.)

At any rate, "Vanilla Twilight" has been hovering around forever as a minor hit, and now the video—which, it turns out, was shot in the North Side of my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—has arrived.

Here 'tis:



It's a pretty clip that, if anything, reminds me of what a decent album Ocean Eyes is, despite the hateration it ultimately met with.

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My Interview With Goldfrapp

Please check out my Idolator interview with the one and only Goldfrapp, who with Head First have put out the first great pop album of 2010.

(Sorry, Ke$ha.)

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Christina Aguilera Justifies Her Love, Sophie Ellis-Bextor Has A Nice Rack

This crappy Christina Aguilera single cover for "Not Myself Tonight" is ripped out of the Madonna book of sluttery, circa 1990.

This Sophie Ellis-Bextor video for "Bittersweet," however, is not. She manages to be sexy without her tits in bondage gear.



I'm so glad one of these broads is back.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Ke$ha Wimps Out, Says She Regrets "Styrofoam"

Ke$ha is now trying to diffuse "Styrofoam"-gate by saying she made the Britney Spears-trashing song when she was 15.

"Now I do regret ever singing that," she laments in an interview with Australia's So You Think You Can Dance. (The line in question is—and hold on to your hats, because it's going to scandalize you to your very foundation—"In ten years, Britney Spears...Britney who?")

"At the time I was 15 and didn't have the balls to not sing it, so I mean that is why it's not on my record."



Give me a break. I would have had more respect for this hooker if she'd just been like, "Yeah, I said it—'cause you were all thinking it. And furthermore, Britney can shove a plate of Ring Dings up her Auto-Tuna funnel!"

Super-ass lame.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sugababes Are Flop City With 'Sweet 7', Lady Gaga Nabs Her Fourth UK #1 Single

Over the past six months, the latest incarnation of Sugababes managed to land three Top 10 singles in the UK. That said, their seventh studio album Sweet 7 is dead on arrival, debuting at an unspectacular #14. The fact that the subpar collection of hooker warbling leaked online about two months ago probably didn't help matters. (Add to that Sean Kingston features on one of the utter shit tracks—death by association.)

This is marks the lowest placing for a Sugababes album since their debut One Touch peaked at #26 in 2000.

Oh well—on to brighter news. Lady Gaga has racked up her fourth #1 hit single (following "Just Dance," "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance") in the UK with "Telephone." Here in the States the single finally went Top 10 this week, its success on both sides of the pond surely bolstered by the recent premiere of the ultra-lezbatronic music video.

Meanwhile, Inna—who's basically the Romanian Lady Gaga—debuts at #8 this week with "Hot." Doesn't it feel like this song has been around for ages at this point? Let's the watch the music video, because—and I mean this in the best possible way—she kind of looks like a rabid vampire.



The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Telephone" - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce *1 week*
2. "Pass Out" - Tinie Tempah
3. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna
4. "Baby" - Justin Bieber
5. "Starry Eyed" - Ellie Goulding
6. "Parachute" - Cheryl Cole
7. "In My Head" - Jason Derulo
8. "Hot" - Inna *new*
9. "Empire State Of Mind (Part II)" - Alicia Keys
10. "You Got The Dirtee Love" - Florence + The Machine/Dizzee Rascal

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Britney Spears Should Be Happy Her Sorry Ass Gets Mentioned In Ke$ha's New Song "Styrofoam"

First of all, here's the Queen Of Soul, Ke$ha, in her panties for a new shoot she did for Maxim's April issue. Classy! See more of these trashy pics here.

Second, I love how people are all up in arms over Ke$ha's newly-leaked jam "Styrofoam," which contains the lyrics: "In ten years, Britney Spears...Britney who?"

Please—not only is that the truest line in pop music to come along since those broads from Ace Of Base warbled that "life is demanding without understanding," it should also be the next phrase Britney gets tattooed on her ass! Don't be hating on Ke$ha for relaying the pop gospel to the masses. She's just the messenger.

Yeah, screw that used-up hooker Britney and her broke-down weave—Ke$ha is our Jesus now!

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Gratuitous Alex Gardner Update

Alex Gardner is on the right track to have a hit when his "I'm Not Mad" single is finally released in the UK (now March 29 rather than March 22)—opening gigs for OneRepublic and JLS here, hanging out with Robert Pattinson at the London premiere of Remember Me there (horrendously shit movie, BTW—not even worth a Netflix rental).

Of course, the pop game is a slippery slope, and hopefully the 18-year-old has on his spike-heeled trainers. (Sigh...Mini Viva.) One decent gig Alex recently landed was MTV's Live Sessions, where he performed "I'm Not Mad" and "Heartbreaker." (Note: a promo CD that did the rounds had this song simply listed as "Heartbreak"—but either way, it's a rad jam.)

Anyway, you can check out Alex's MTV Live Sessions performances here. Good stuff that I wish they'd offer up an embed code for. Oh well.

And here's a shady clip of him performing "Heartbreak(er?)" live at London venue The Lexington earlier this week:

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Friday, March 19, 2010

My Interview With Taio Cruz

There's a d'luvvly interview I did with Taio Cruz up over at Idolator, where he reveals this sexiness: "I don’t have any dirty pictures of Ke$ha but we are shooting the video [for their song "Dirty Picture"] soon and I’m sure we’ll take some then. So, even better—you’ll have moving dirty pictures of Ke$ha."

He also says this about Sugababes: "One week I was with them and the next week [there was] the new set up. I’ve known Jade [Ewen] for a long time, so I’m quite happy that she is doing well and in such an amazing band. I’m happy for them."

Give it a read!

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Rude Boy" Gets It Up And Lifts Rihanna To #1

Congrats to Rihanna, who manages to land a #1 hit off her depressing collection of torture jams Rated R. "Rude Boy" truly deserves the honor, and now marks her sixth overall chart-topping single (including T.I.'s "Live Your Life"). Now, fuck off with that album, Ri Ri, and come back with something classier and upbeat.

Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone" finally jumps into the Top 10 (at #9)—no doubt aided by the premiere of the lez-tastic prison porn music video—in its 16th week on the Billboard Hot 100. This gives Gaga her sixth Top 10 single, and leaves Beyonce and Rihanna tied for having the most Top 10 hits for a female artist (14) since the year 2000.

Elsewhere, Timbaland and Justin Timberlake's "Carry Out" is up to #11, The Script climb two positions to #17 with "Breakeven," Adam Lambert is at #22 with "Whataya Want From Me" and Avril Lavigne is stuck at #71 for a second week with "Alice."

La Roux, in the meantime, jump from #92 to #80 with "Bulletproof." Here they are from their appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this week:



On a final note, "We Are The World 25" has dropped 30 positions to #96 in only its fifth week on the chart. Yay, charity!

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna *1 week*
2. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
3. "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris
4. "Imma Be" - The Black Eyed Peas
5. "Nothin' On You" - B.o.B feat. Bruno Mars
6. "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train
7. "Bedrock" - Young Money feat. Lloyd
8. "TiK ToK" - Ke$ha
9. "Telephone" - Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce
10. "In My Head" - Jason Derulo

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Moogaboo Is On Wherewolf Radio!

You can hear Chart Rigger stablemate Moogaboo (aka John) and his pals spin everything from Goldfrapp and Bonnie Hayes & The Wild Combo to Pet Shop Boys and Frida every Wednesday night from 8 p.m. till 10 p.m. EST on Wherewolf Radio. Just go here and click to stream through iTunes.

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Finally, A New Robyn Photo + Song ("Fembot")

Robyn posted new jam "Fembot"—super-electro (what else?) and super-catchy (what else?)—over on her official site today.



She's also got a new interview up at Pitchfork, where she expands on the previous news about her upcoming three-part album:
“They’re albums with enough songs to make them feel like real bodies of work. They are shorter than usual, but still closer to ten songs than five… Right now I’m finishing the first one, which is going to come out in June. I’m already working on the second album so I hope that’ll come out sometime after the summer."
Good stuff.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

A New Goldfrapp Promo Pic To Ease The Pain Of "Rocket" Failing To Launch

Here's a new promo shot (by Serge Leblon) of Alison Goldfrapp. What a shame that, after previously landing 11 Top 40 singles in the UK—three of which ("Ooh La La," "Number 1" and "A&E") went Top 10—Goldfrapp's amazing new jam "Rocket" stiffed at #47 on the chart yesterday.

Sigh. Here's hoping full LP Head First does better after its release next week.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Closest I'll Ever Get To Making Out With Shayne Ward (+ His New Song "Crash")

So check this hot trash out... I won a box of Cadbury Heroes chocolates that was licked by Shayne Ward for a "caption this" contest on Facebook. (Thanks, Tell Him! My caption: "It'd be a real shayne to let these go to waste.")

And he even signed it. That effing box is going to sleeping in my bed with me for the next month or so. Oh, Shayne—it's like we're already in committed relationship and living together! Now you get to pay all my bills and spend lots of cash on me all the time! Yaaayyyy!

Anyway, below's a new song by Shanyne called "Crash"—supposedly produced by Stargate—that leaked this weekend. Compared to the upbeat stuff on his last album Breathless, it's a bit "safe."

Not bad for a ballad, though. UPDATE: After that one is another leaked track, "The Way You Are."



Here's "The Way You Are," which is a bit more up-tempo. This is the winner of the two in my book. If either of these end up on the third album, let's hope it's this d'luvvly jam.

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Boyzone Top The UK Album Chart The Week Of Stephen Gately's Birthday

Boyzone's fourth studio album (and first in 12 years) Brother becomes their fourth to top the UK album chart, thus forcing Gorillaz's Plastic Beach into the runner-up position. It's no doubt a bittersweet victory for the foursome, as late member Stephen Gately would have celebrated his 34th birthday this coming Wednesday (March 17).

Over on the singles chart, the 'zone's "Gave It All Away" falls from #9 to #20. Meanwhile, the Top 10 gets three new entries, led by Canadian pop munchkin Justin Bieber and his whiny tween jam "Baby" at #3. Garbriella Cilmi's Xenomania-produced '80s space hooker fest "On A Mission" slinks in at #9, while snoozy ballad "My Name" by McLean goes in at #10.



And once again I'm left wondering why, with all this garbage clogging things up, there was no love or room for Alphabeat.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Pass Out" - Tinie Tempah *2 weeks*
2. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna
3. "Baby" - Justin Bieber *new*
4. "Starry Eyed" - Ellie Goulding
5. "In My Head" - Jason Derulo
6. "Empire State Of Mind (Part II)" - Alicia Keys
7. "You Got The Dirtee Love" - Florence And The Machine/Dizzee Rascal
8. "Parachute" - Cheryl Cole
9. "On A Mission" - Gabriella Cilmi *new*
10. "My Name" - McLean *new*

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Josh Dubovie Will Sing Mike Stock And Pete Waterman's UK Eurovision Jam

Well, the dust has settled on the BBC Your Country Needs You special (read a full assessment over at Fizzy Pop), and it's now time for Scooch to step aside on my iPod—because the UK now has possibly the country's downright cheesiest Eurovision entry in years. Actually, who am I kidding? It could stand to be a lot cheesier—and to have a better chorus.

But oh, well. Here's Josh Dubovie singing Mike Stock and Pete Waterman's "That Sounds Good To Me":



At least it's better than The Sheilas—or is it? I'll have to marinate on this trash for a hot minute, but upon first (five) listen(s), it sounds like Kylie's "The One" meets Steps' cover of "Last Thing On My Mind." Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you...

ALSO SEE:
* Mike Stock & Pete Waterman Will Write This Year's UK Eurovision Entry
* Peter Waterman Is Doing Eurovision, But Here's How He Did On My iPod

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lady Gaga And Beyonce Rev Up The Pussy Wagon In Their "Telephone" Music Video







Un-effing-believable. All my trashy stripper/scissoring/hookertastic pop broad dreams come true in one Lady Gaga-Beyonce video! Viva La "Telephone"! And love the resurgence of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Pussy Wagon—as well the similarities between this vid and one of my all-time favorite flicks, Reform School Girls.

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Taoi Cruz Tops The Chart While La Roux Bring Up The Rear With "Bulletproof"

Last September Taio Cruz topped the UK chart with "Break Your Heart," and now that the single has properly Americanized (read: rapper Ludacris has been slapped onto the track), it's been deemed appropriate enough to pull the same stunt here in the States. Hoo-ray.

Taio is now the first British artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 since Jay Sean shot "Down"—another song with an American rapper attached—to #1 in October. Sassy.

Other than that business, it's a pretty snoozy week. I would like to point out that the Artists For Haiti single "We Are The World 25: For Haiti," which initially debuted at #2, has now plummeted to #66 on the chart. Geez, folks—where's your charity? Why haven't you downloaded that monstrosity like 16 times each?

Elsewhere, Avril Lavigne debuts at #71 with "Alice" (and sorry, baby—it ain't no "Girlfriend") while Johnny-come-latelys La Roux enter at #92 with "Bulletproof."

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Break Your Heart" - Taio Cruz feat. Ludacris *1 week*
2. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
3. "Bedrock" - Young Money feat. Lloyd
4. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna
5. "Imma Be" - The Black Eyed Peas
6. "TiK ToK" - Ke$ha
7. "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train
8. "In My Head" - Jason Derulo
9. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
10. "How Low" - Ludacris

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Chicane's New Video For "Come Back" Reminds Me Of Some Good Sex

So there's a new Chicane single called "Come Back"—which sample's Paul Young's '80s jam "Come Back And Stay"—being released on April 12. It's from the British one-man band's new album Giants.



Man, Chicane will forever remind me of some really awesome play I got in Summer 2000 to the tune of the Bryan Adams-featuring smasheroo "Don't Give Up." But, really—enough about me masturbating for three months. Here's that video. And crank this shit loud.

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My Interview With Sia

I interviewed Sia, and you can read the piece over at Idolator.

A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:

On writing songs for Christina Aguilera: "There are four of them... Then we did another one for her movie with Cher. So it’s been a really good collaboration, actually. We really got along great. We didn’t bin anything, which was good."

On contributing to David Byrne & Fatboy Slim's Here Lies Love: "The Santigold track is so amazing. And the Roisin Murphy track is so amazing... It was like David just emailed me and asked me if I wanted to sing on a track. I was like, um, hi—you’re David Byrne. Yes, yes, yes. The answer is always yes!"

On doing her new album with Greg Kurstin: "Greg produced the whole album. It was my usual band, and then Greg played the piano and Nick Valensi from The Strokes played the guitar. We had scheduled four weeks for it but it took two-and-a-half, so that was awesome. It just came barfing out. Then Greg took it away."

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Random Pics Yanked Off Twitter

These are just some random photos that have been posted to Twitter or sent in an email. Beyonce and Lady Gaga from the "Telephone" video (now premiering Thursday on E! News—but will probably leak before that.)

Kelis, possibly trying to out-"Freak" Estelle.

And speaking of which, the "Freak" single cover.

The single cover for Hole's "Skinny Little Bitch"—a song that's growing on me now.

Alex Gardner, from the set of an unspecified photo shoot.

Then of course there's the Frankmusik photo of him in the studio, sans clothing, holding his babymaker. You'll have to find that one on your own.

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