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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sky Ferreira Just Scored Extra Points For Casting Michael Madsen In Her "Obsession" Video

Violence, from a distance, has always caught my attention. Weird, I know. Maybe it's a fascination with the human condition. Taxi Driver is my favorite movie (thanks for introducing me to that one at an impressionable age, mom!). And naturally I've taken in, oh, all of Quentin Tarantino's flicks over the years.

So color me giddy, if not a bit surprised, that the object of desire in question in teen poplet Sky Ferreira's "Obsession" video turns out to be none other than Michael Madsen, here in full-on Reservoir Dogs Vic Vega—aka "Mr. Blonde"—mode. Let's just overlook the fact that she's 18 and he's 53, and she's rolling around like a sex kitten while fantasizing about him, shall we?

No, Madsen doesn't saw some poor cop's ear off in Sky's vid. He does, however, snip off some tied-up chick's hair. Worry not. She's a "mean girl."



Don't get me wrong—I still think "Obsession" as a song is a bit of a letdown after Ferreira's far superior offering "One."

But at least we get to see Madsen in his greatest roll since he got wasted by a black mamba in Kill Bill.

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U.S. Chart Roundup: Brace Yourselves—'Glee' Is A Hit Or Something

The main activity on the Billboard Hot 100 this week comes from the songs that appeared in the Season 2 premiere of Glee. The singing troupe of TV dorks see their following covers hit the chart: "Empire State Of Mind" (#21), "Telephone" (#23), "Billionaire" (#28) [Note: for the record, I fucking hate this song], "Listen" (#38) and "What I Did For Love" (#51).

Elsewhere, all does not seem lost just yet for Selena Gomez & The Scene's moody dance-pop jam "A Year Without Rain." After dropping from #35 to #65 last week, the single now jumps up to #53. Her same-named album debuts on the Top 200 album chart at #4. (Is it any good? I've only heard a few clips—seems decent enough?)

That brings us to Florence + The Machine, whose "Dog Days Are Over" sadly falls from #21—where it flew to after Flo's stellar MTV VMAs performance the other week—to #73. Over on the Top 200, FATM's Lungs has a less dramatic plunge from #14 to #28.

And we'll end with these two final notes—first up, Brandon Flowers' Flamingo, which debuted at #8 last week, drops to #30. I actually made it the whole way through this album twice. It's not bad. It's just...there.

And at least Christina Aguilera can be happy that she's finally #1 again somewhere. Her Bionic single "You Lost Me" has topped the Dance/Club Play Songs chart. Triumph!

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars" *2 weeks*
2. "Teenage Dream" - Katy Perry
3. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
4. "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" - Usher feat. Pitbull
5. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
6. "Like A G6" - Far*East Movement 
7. "Just A Dream" - Nelly
8. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna
9. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
10. "Club Can't Handle Me" - Flo Rida feat. David Guetta

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Interview With Adam Levine Of Maroon 5

I recently interviewed Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. You can read part of the one-on-one over at Idolator, and more in the current (October) issue of Instinct.

NOTE: a not-so-minor typo found its way into the Instinct piece. (Grrrrr!) For the second question, I began to ask him, "As a fellow Californian, I wanted to ask you....", and he cut me off and jokingly finished my sentence, "...how long have I been gay?"

Somewhere along the way, this mistakenly got printed as me just asking him how long he's been gay. (Not my fault, Adam!) I mean, I'm ballsy, but not that ballsy.

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Watch Kylie Minogue Cover Hurts And Do Her Hits On BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge

Kylie Minogue performed today on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge, where she offered up three of her own jams ("Get Outta My Way," "All The Lovers" and "Can't Get You Out Of My Head") as well as a cover of Hurts' "Wonderful Life."

"Wonderful Life"


"Get Outta My Way"


"Can't Get You Out Of My Head"


Stunning. Music Week has "Get Out Of My Way" climbing into the UK Top 10 by the time Sunday's chart is published. (Last week it entered at #48).

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Upcoming Take That Vs. JLS UK Chart Showdown Seems A Bit Familiar

Take That 3.0, now with Robbie Williams back on board, are set to have their new Stuart Price-produced album released in the UK on November 22. And who's ballsy enough to take them on by dropping their LP up against the man band that week? Newly-minted golden boy band JLS.

There's a great little writeup Neil McCormick did in the Telegraph that likens this impending chart battle to the now-classic Blur vs. Oasis one from 1995 on the UK singles chart.
"Somehow there was more at stake in the Oasis versus Blur chart battle of 1995. It was a time when British rock and pop music was genuinely exciting the nation, somehow bringing youth culture into alignment with the politics of (still brand spanking) New Labour to potentially forge a fresh identity for the country, trademarked as Cool Britannia. Oasis versus Blur was a battle for the heart of Britpop, north versus south, plebeian versus arty, laddism versus aestheticism. Somehow, the question of whose single the young people of the country were going to buy actually seemed to say something about the future."
I

(Speaking of which, there's a great book on this very subject by John Harris that I read about six years back, which I can never recommend enough. It's called Britpop!: Cool Britannia and the Spectacular Demise of English Rock.)

Anyway, McCormick sums up the whole Blur vs. Oasis history lesson with this:
"Blur won the singles contest, when 'Country House' pipped Oasis’s 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' [as commenter cheremoneq points out, it was 'Roll With It'] to number one. Oasis won the war, when they surged on to become the biggest selling British band since the Beatles. And 15 years on, both groups are as defunct as (no longer) New Labour, the record industry is rapidly going down the tubes in an era of free downloads and calamitous sales, and the only way anyone can generate music headlines is by conjuring up artificial controversy between mainstream manufactured bands locked into the shiny showbusiness values of a pre-Britpop (actually, a pre-rock and roll) generation. It’s a competition between two brands of the same soap to see which produces more bubbles."
One thing worth noting: Neil doesn't mention the most ironic part of all this—the #1 single in the UK the week this pop battle was playing out was "Never Forget" by none other than Take That.

Aston Merrygold from JLS, on the other hand, was 7 years old at the time.

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Shakira Shakes Her Gold Pants In Her Guerrilla-Style "Loca" Video

Over the past few week's I've found myself kind of addicted to Shakira's "Loca," the first single off upcoming album Sale El Sol. It's almost as if the Colombian diva's truthful hips have hypnotized me with their rapid gyrating.

And, oh, how they gyrate in the song's music video. Here she is on the streets of Barcelona, where the video was shot pretty much guerrilla-style.



I really can't see this being much of a U.S. hit. And sure enough, it's nowhere to be found on the iTunes chart. Maybe in the UK, though, where Dizzee Rascal (who's "featured") is a big name?

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Rihanna's 'Loud' Album Cover

Of all Rihanna's many hair styles over the years, this fire engine red one isn't my fave. That said, the close-up of her face with just a bit of the red showing works for this, her Loud album cover. She almost looks '50s-starlet glam here.

Really, let's just hope the music is good this time around. So far, so good with "Only Girl (In The World)." And, yes—the song has its haters. And those people can go choke on RiRi's red weave.

Loud is due out November 16.

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Out Now: Kylie Minogue "Get Outta My Way"

Just a reminder that Kylie Minogue's "Get Outta My Way" is officially out as a single today. Three remix EPs were added to U.S. iTunes, while one was thrown on various European iTunes stores over the past few days.

The song itself is currently #32 on the UK iTunes singles roundup, while the remix package is #24. Which is all very :/

Such a great jam—what happened? The album (Aphrodite) has been steadily selling well in England. Did that deflate any chance for individual singles getting purchases? Or is the song not getting much play?

Sigh. I'm digging both the SDP Extended and 7th Heaven mixes.

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It Would Seem This Is Only 'The Beginning' For The Black Eyed Peas

You may recall I taunted you all on April 1st with news of the Black Eyed Peas' breakup. Alas, that was not true. April Fool's Day. Ha....ha.

No, chyldryn—Fergie and Co. will follow up their 2009 album The E.N.D. with The Beginning, which will.i.am says in this interview with Nicki Minaj (from the set of their video shoot for single "Check It Out") contains 12 tracks, two of which were produced by David Guetta and four having been swizzed by Ammo of Kelis "4th Of July (Fireworks)" and Ke$ha "Your Love Is My Drug" fame.



The Beginning is set for a November 30 release. Hoo-razzy.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Willow Smith & Kylie Minogue: Fashion Friends

Kylie Minogue was snapped with 9-year-old "Whip My Hair" pop terror Willow Smith and her mom Jada over the weekend during Milan Fashion Week. I've already aired my grievances regarding Willow's low rent jam. (Sorry, gays—much like Madonna's undead, thousand-year-old carcass, that's one bandwagon that can come unhitched and roll off a cliff for all I care.)

Jay-Z's Roc Nation recently signed Willow to the label. Again, she's 9. Label deal. Radio clogged with trash. Deep sigh. Spank her, Kylie!

More pics of Willow and her famous pals in Milan over at Idolator.

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Mariah Carey's High Heels Couldn't Take It Anymore—She Falls In Singapore

Folks, let's just take a moment to contemplate something. This is Mariah Carey performing in Singapore on Saturday at a Formula 1 Grand Prix event.

And this is the cover of her upcoming holiday album, Merry Christmas II You.
Either this broad has at least two kids on the way, or she's been stress-eating ever since Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel was released DOA last year.

Anyway, Mimi took a spill last night while performing her 1992 hit "Make It Happen." The best part comes when she orders her personal slave to come on stage and remove her shoes right there in front of the audience.. The poor girl seems kind of stunned at Mariah's request, but it's best not to upset The Butterfly, chylde—otherwise it'll be the Decapitation Of Mimi's Assistant.


"We love her. She is a darling dear," Mariah says while the girl attempts to get the shoes out from under the diva. They're probably gonna find that assistant's lifeless corpse floating in the Kallang River by Thursday.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

UK Chart: OMD Return + Bruno Mars Should Really Do Lines More Often

Bruno Mars should really just go slap down some cash for a giant bucket of coke and snort the shit like it's going out of style every time he throws a new record out. Because his Las Vegas arrest last Sunday for drug possession has led to his debut solo single "Just The Way You Are" topping both the U.S. and UK charts this week.

The rest of the Brit tally is a bit quiet, with minor blips coming in from Enrique Iglesias and Nicole Scherzinger's "Heartbeat" (#13), Glee Season 2 star Charice's "Pyramid" (#17), Mark Ronson & The Business Intl's "The Bike Song" (#21) and The Saturdays' "Higher" (#22).

Over on the UK album chart, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark return after 14 years with History Of Modern (peek at my snazzy non-review), which enters at #28. The synth band's last studio album Universal hit #24 back in 1996, while the compilation The OMD Singles peaked at #16 in 1998.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars *new* *1 week*
2. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
3. "Teenage Dream" - Katy Perry
4. "For The First Time" - The Script
5. "Start Without You" - Alexandra Burke
6. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
7. "Focus" - Emma's Imagination *new*
8. "Katy On A Mission" - Katy B
9. "Impossible" - Shontelle
10. "I'm In Love (I Wanna Do It)" - Alex Gaudino *new*

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Shayne Ward's New Single Is A Cover Of Nickelback's "Gotta Be Somebody"

By all rights, everything about that headline is immensely tragic. Alas, it's the truth. Here's what we know: Digital Spy premiered a minute-long clip of Shayne Ward's lead single from forthcoming third album Obsession today. And it's a cover of Nickelback's 2008 single "Gotta Be Somebody."

Yes, the same Nickelback that used to inspire such venomous post titles as When You Die And Go To Hell, It's Actually A Never-Ending Nickelback Concert and Vapid Milquetoast Zeroes Keep Buying Nickelback here on Chart Rigger. (Wow—I'm quite proud of those!)

So once again, as with the case of Joe McElderry's "Ambitions," we have a X Factor winner signed to the SyCo label covering a fairly recent tune. What, does Simon Cowell just turn on the radio and say, "Oh, that's nice—let's have Alexandra do this one and Shayne do that one and then toss this modern day chestnut over to Joe"?

OK—ALL THAT ASIDE, here is a portion of Shayne's version, and also the Nickelback original:



The Shayne version—not quite the disaster you would expect, no? And again, it's only a clip of the song. Let's all just calm down. After all, there's always the chance that he'll appear 80% naked in the music video, right?

Shayne's "Gotta Be Somebody" is produced by Ray Hedges (of B*Witched "C'est La Vie" fame), Nigel Butler (of Emma Bunton "Who The Hell Are You" fame),  Cutfather (of Ace Of Base "Cruel Summer" fame) and David Kopatz (of Jordin Sparks "S.O.S. [Let The Music Play]" fame), and will be released November 7 in the UK.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ultimate

Ultimate Pet Shop Boys, the single sleeves. Courtesy of time and booze on my hands. (Click the image to see it full size.)

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It's Joe McElderry's "Ambitions" Video

Pop chyldryn, what you are about to witness with Joe McElderry's "Ambitions" music video is total freedom. You see, this Nigel Dick-directed clip finds jumpin' Joe full of pep, twirling through a market square in Bulgaria while performing just enough synchronized dance moves to keep the casual Steps fan happy.

True, the last time a X Factor winner pulled such shenanigans in a video (see: Shayne Ward's "If That's OK With You") it didn't go over so well. But Joe's not straight, and—duh—being gay = dancing. Also, sorry, Alex Gardner, but I've now got a young, new perfectly-coiffed English hottie to chase after.

(P.S. Eff off to the person who commented the other day that I wouldn't give Joe the time of day if he weren't gay. Sure, I'd have to employ a vial of rohypnol from my plentiful stash if he weren't, but—pshaw!—as if that's ever been a dealbreaker.)

Feel free to spin, shake, twirl and flash that smile in all future videos, Joe.



Joe McElderry's Wide Awake album is due out in the UK on October 25. Surely you've pre-ordered your copy?

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Bruno Mars And Far*East Movement Get The Charts Completely Wasted

So we have a new #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week in the form of "Just The Way You Are," the first official single by Bruno Mars. Of course, Bruno's celebrating will be dampened by the fact that he got busted for carrying cocaine around last weekend in Las Vegas. (Did he learn nothing from wise sage/music legend Paris Hilton?)

And then at #10 we have the sizzurp-slurping Far*East Movement, whose "Like A G6" makes me feel like drowning myself in a tub full of grain alcohol. Hey, kids—getting fucked up is fun! And so is getting arrested! Paaaaaaaarty!



Moving on to classier trash, two singles jump 72 positions this week—Rihanna's "Only Girl (In The World)" (up from #75 to #3) and Florence + The Machine's "Dog Days Are Over" (#93 to #21). RiRi's jam benefits from being added to iTunes last week, while Flo performed on the MTV VMAs two Sundays ago.

FATM's LP Lungs also makes an impressive leap, from #44 to #14, on the Top 200 album chart. Not faring as well is Robyn's Body Talk Pt. 2, which drops from last week's debut position of #41 to #200. Ouch. At least Brandon Flowers managed a #8 debut with solo album Flamingo. (Two weeks ago he landed the album at #1 in the UK.)

And in slightly Sophie Ellis-Bextor-related news, Armin Van Buuren's Mirage, which contains their collaboration "Not Giving Up On Love," debuts at #148. I'm playing their jam this very moment in celebration of this momentous triumph.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars" *1 week*
2. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna
4. "Teenage Dream" - Katy Perry
5. "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" - Usher feat. Pitbull
6. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
7. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
8. "Just A Dream" - Nelly
9. "Club Can't Handle Me" - Flo Rida feat. David Guetta
10. "Like A G6" - Far*East Movement

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vote For Hurts At The MTV Europe Music Awards

Amidst the sea of snooze that is the MTV Europe Music Nominees this year—where, once again, the number of actual European artists is minimal compared to American ones—there is the Best Push Act category, which finds Hurts pitted against the likes of Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, B.o.B and Jason Derulo.

Do the right thing, pop chyldryn—VOTE for Hurts. Here (click "Best Push Act" in the sidebar).

THE 2010 MTV EMA NOMINEES:

Best Rock
Kings Of Leon
Linkin Park
Thirty Seconds to Mars
Muse
Ozzy Osbourne

Best Pop
Lady Gaga
Usher
Katy Perry
Miley Cyrus
Rihanna

Best Hip Hop
T.I.
Eminem
Kanye West
Lil Wayne
Snoop Dogg

Best Alternative
Gorillaz
Gossip
Paramore
Vampire Weekend
Arcade Fire

Best Live Act
Bon Jovi
Lady Gaga
Muse
Kings of Leon
Linkin Park

Best Song
Usher, “OMG”
Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg, “California Gurls”
Eminem feat. Rihanna, “Love The Way You Lie”
Rihanna, “Rude Boy”
Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”

Best Male
Eminem
Justin Bieber
Usher
Enrique Iglesias
Kanye West

Best Female
Lady Gaga
Katy Perry
Miley Cyrus
Shakira
Rihanna

Best New Act
Ke$ha
B.o.B
Jason Derulo
Plan B
Justin Bieber

Best Video
Thirty Seconds To Mars, “Kings And Queens”
Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg, “California Gurls”
Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce, “Telephone”
Plan B, “Prayin’”
Eminem feat. Rihanna, “Love The Way You Lie”

Best Push Act
Ke$ha
Alexandra Burke
Jason Derulo
Justin Bieber
Selena Gomez and The Scene
B.o.B
The Drums
Professor Green
Hurts
Mike Posner

Best World Stage Performance
Green Day
Muse
Thirty Seconds To Mars
Katy Perry
Gorillaz
Tokio Hotel

This trash airs live from Madrid on November 7.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

'Ultimate' Pet Shop Boys To Contain New Song "Together"

First of all, I am appalled—APPALLED—that the only single off the magnificent Very to be featured on the upcoming Ultimate Pet Shop Boys collection is "Go West." But then again, with only 19 of their past hits included—and not all of them the obvious Top 10-charting choices (no "So Hard", "It's Alright", "Can You Forgive Her" or "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk")—what did you expect?

The good news is that a new song, "Together", will be included. Says the PSBs' official site, "The new song was written and produced with former Xenomania staff member Tim Powell and will also be released as a single. The release date will be announced shortly."

Xenomania, of course, produced the Boys' 2009 album Yes.

ULTIMATE TRACKLIST:
West End girls
Suburbia
It's a sin
What have I done to deserve this?
Always on my mind
Heart
Domino dancing
Left to my own devices
Being boring
Where the streets have no name (I can't take my eyes off you)
Go West
Before
Se a vida é (That's the way life is)
New York City boy
Home and dry
Miracles
I'm with stupid
Love etc.
Together

It's the DVD that makes this all worth it, really, isn't it?

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I'm Quoted In The 'Washington Post Express' Today

Thanks to D.C.-based XOLondon for pointing out that the Washington Post Express picked up on my Mariah Carey Merry Christmas II You writeup from yesterday.

I'm glad they're scouring only the classiest of sources for material. (You can find the blurb here on page 67.) Thanks, WP!

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The New Ke$ha Album Will Be The Old Ke$ha Album With New Ke$ha Songs

Okay, okay—this Billboard cover story on Dr. Luke is two weeks old, but I just got around to reading it on Sunday.

Here's all the info on Ke$ha's Animal re-release, which is being served up in time for the holidays (so Grandma can throw glitter down her red-and-green vinyl thong on Christmas Day, one would assume):

"Lukasz Gottwald—the writer/producer better-known to the explosive-chorus-loving world as Dr. Luke—has booked all three rooms at Conway for the entire month of September. He’s told his manager to cancel all meetings, and you might have to excuse him if your call goes to voice mail. The deadline task at hand: Coming up with enough new songs for his protégée, Ke$ha, to get a deluxe repackaging of her debut album out in time for the holiday buying season.

"Nothing is remotely done yet, and Ke$ha is only available for a three-week stretch, so he and fellow producers Benny Blanco and Ammo are hard at work coming up with rough tracks for the singer to put her stamp on. How many songs are they planning on adding to the Animal reissue?
 "'I’d like as many as eight, if possible,' Gottwald says. 'But I’ll be happy if I got four or five great ones. And a lot depends on the next two weeks. She has a single right now, ‘Take It Off,’ which is doing pretty well.'
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"In the coming months, Gottwald will co-executive produce Britney Spears’ 2011 project, alongside [Max] Martin. For his own label, Kemosabe, whose sole release so far is Ke$ha’s Animal, he’ll be working with his latest signings, female singers Sabi and Sophia Black. Meanwhile, taking off his executive hat, he’s still involved in plenty of production one-offs, like an upcoming single for British powerhouse vocalist Jessie J (who co-wrote 'Party in the U.S.A.' for herself before sacrificing it to [Miley] Cyrus).
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"He fires up a track they’ve already worked on with Ke$ha. As usual for her, it’s an all-synth sound... There’s an unfinished chorus on this new track, in which Gottwald is singing through such distorted Auto-Tune, it’s impossible to tell what he’s saying-which is deliberate, so he won’t unduly influence Ke$ha when she comes up with her own lyrics.
"Meanwhile, she's already laid down spoken-word sections on the verses. Gottwald is laughingly unsure whether to call it "rap" or just "her white-girl thing." It's very much in line with her chosen persona-and very much irresistible-but apparently, she's not as sure about it as her producer is. The words: 'I'm in love all right/With my crazy beautiful life/With the parties, the disasters/With my friends all pretty and plastered/I've been through my sketchy phases/Been a shitty waitress/But I'm not now, guess it worked out/Got here by running my mouth.'

"'She can second-guess that,' Gottwald says, pausing the Pro Tools, 'but I like that. I think it's real. Maybe the chorus will tie it together. Who knows? And if it's not good enough, it won't go on the record.'"

Sounds dreamy. Ke$ha recently became only the 11th solo female in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to land four Top 10 singles off their debut album. The first was Cyndi Lauper in 1984. Madonna and Britney—not on there.

Here's the full list:

1. Cyndi Lauper, She's So Unusual (1984)
2. Whitney Houston, Whitney Houston (1985-1986)
3. Debbie Gibson, Out Of The Blue (1987-1988)
4. Taylor Dayne, Tell It To My Heart (1988)
5. Paula Abdul, Forever Your Girl (1989-1990)
6. Mariah Carey, Mariah Carey (1990-1991)
7. Christina Aguilera, Christina Aguilera (1999-2000)
8. Beyonce, Dangerously In Love (2003-2004)
9. Fergie, The Dutchess (2006-2007)
10. Lady Gaga, The Fame (2009)
11. Ke$ha, Animal (2009-2010)

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Whoever Photoshopped Mariah Carey's New Christmas Album Cover Deserves A Raise

When all else fails miserably, pop stars always have the inevitable Christmas album to fall back on. And this year, Mariah Carey will cash in on that safety net with her shameless Merry Christmas II You, the sequel to her 1994 hit album Merry Christmas.

Of course, the odds of the follow-up producing anything as rad as this classy jam are pretty slim:



Mimi's official site says the album will contain the usual Xmas covers ("Little Drummer Boy," "O Come All Ye Faithful"), a new version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (ghetto!) and four new songs, including a single called "Oh Santa."

I'm just wondering who the body double they hired for the cover image is.

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The Saturdays' "Higher" Video Thankfully Spares Us From Flo Frida

The Saturdays' "Higher" video has been blocked in this country, thanks to the VEVO police. But that's why God invented sketchy overseas video-sharing sites!

Have to admit, the Sats are seeming pretty generic with these past two releases (Headlines and Wordshaker). I used to think they had what it takes to replace that 10-legged stripper machine Girls Aloud, but now I think they'll just always be relegated to getting B-side throwaways and scraps from other girl bands' recording sessions.

Cute video, though.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Brits Weren't Feeling Robyn's "Hang With Me"

Robyn's Body Talk Pt. 2 charts better in the UK (#38) than the first part did in June (#47), but her new single "Hang With Me" has a disastrous debut at #54 this week. Only three months ago "Dancing On My Own" made it to #8 on the Brit singles chart.

The rest of it is pretty dull this week. Hurts drop eight positions to #12 on the album chart with Happiness, while their single "Wonderful Life" is still hanging in there in the lower reaches of the Top 40, this week at #38.

Meanwhile, Shontelle (just barely) lands her second UK Top 10 single with "Impossible", which goes in at #10. Here in the States that trash went to #13 and hung around forever until it eventually went platinum.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Start Without You" - Alexandra Burke *2 weeks*
2. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
3. "Teenage Dream" - Katy Perry
4. "For The First Time" - The Script
5. "Please Don't Let Me Go" - Olly Murs
6. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
7. "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" - Usher feat. Pitbull
8. "Katy On A Mission" - Katy B
9. "Club Can't Handle Me" - Flo Rida feat. David Guetta
10. "Impossible" - Shontelle *new*

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It's Joe McElderry's 'Wide Awake' Album Cover + New Single "Ambitions"

Not to be outdone by naked photos of Olly Murs, semi-naked photos of fellow X Factor alum Shayne Ward or Shayne's Obsession album cover, the cover of Joe McElderry's upcoming debut album Wide Awake has been unveiled. Handsome!

Joe's LP is out October 25 in the UK, and the first single off it, a cover of Donkeyboy's "Ambitions," premiered this evening on Radio 1.



Here's the video for Donkeyboy's original version:

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rihanna's People Are Pissed Over That "Who's That Chick" Video Leak

So SRP Records, the "production/record label of Rihanna, Shontelle" and a bunch of other broads, isn't too pleased that someone—obviously in their ranks—leaked that eyepopping vid for "Who's That Chick" yesterday.

"Its a leak,defjam is pulling it down as fast as possible. The song is not a single-4 the clubs only," the label tweeted last night.

But really, they should just get over it. RiRi's current single "Only Girl (In The World)" is #1 on iTunes, and you can bet your fire engine red synthetic wig that it's gonna be #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 by Halloween.

In fact, they might as well just slap "Who's That Chick" on iTunes real quick like, too. America seems to be starved for Ri's angelic chirping.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

'Ultimate' Pet Shop Boys: Here's What's On The DVD

Today the Pet Shop Boys' site gave up a little more info on the forthcoming CD/DVD release of Ultimate, a new greatest hits that's out November 1.
"The special edition of the forthcoming Ultimate Pet Shop Boys compilation includes a DVD with over three hours of BBC TV performances by Pet Shop Boys, released by arrangement with BBC Music. As well as the complete Glastonbury Festival performance from earlier this year, there are 27 performances of singles."
 Still hoping for at least one new song—the tracklist of the CD stands at 19 songs. Then again, the cover image is an old one, so who knows?

Anyway, below is what's on the DVD, in addition to the Glasto concert (wondering if that date for "Se A Vida E" (which was released in '96) is a typo?):

1. West End girls
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 15/12/85

2. Love comes quickly
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 20/03/86

3. Opportunities (Let's make lots of money)
Recorded for BBC 2’s Whistle Test. First transmitted: 29/04/86

4. Suburbia
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 02/10/86

5. It’s a sin
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 25/06/87

6. Rent
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 22/10/87

7. Always on my mind
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 10/12/87

8. What have I done to deserve this?
Recorded for The Brits Awards. First transmitted: 08/02/88

9. Heart
Recorded for BBC 1’s Wogan. First transmitted: 30/03/88

10. Domino dancing
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 22/09/88

11. Left to my own devices
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 01/12/88

12. So hard
Recorded for BBC 1’s Wogan. First transmitted: 28/09/90

13. Being boring
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 29/11/90

14. Can You Forgive Her?
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 10/06/93

15. Liberation
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 07/04/94

16. Paninaro ‘95
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 03/08/95

17. Se a vida é
Recorded for BBC 2’s Top Of The Pops 2. First Transmitted: 02/12/03

18. A red letter day
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 28/03/97

19. Somewhere
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 04/07/97

20. I don't know what you want but I can't give it any more
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 30/07/99

21. New York City boy
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 08/10/99

22. You only tell me you love me when you're drunk
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 14/01/00

23. Home and dry
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 29/03/02

24. I get along
Recorded for BBC 2’s Top Of The Pops 2. First transmitted: 17/04/02

25. Miracles
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 14/11/03

26. Flamboyant
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 19/03/04

27. I’m with Stupid
Recorded for BBC 1’s Top Of The Pops. First transmitted: 23/04/06

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Rihanna's "Who's That Chick" Video Appears Out Of The Blue



No idea what the hell this is from—possibly Rihanna's upcoming album Loud or David Guetta's upcoming album (which features RiRi). Either way, that is some colorful pop bliss.

Boo to all the vocal distortion in the chorus on an otherwise fun song, though.

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Usher Gives Max Martin Props (As He Should) On 'Chelsea Lately'

Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" is the first Usher song I've ever purchased. And it's a damn fine jam. Even Chelsea Handler said she loves the song on Chelsea Lately when she had Ush on Wednesday night.

In between his failed attempts at getting in Chelsea's pants, the singer gave a "shout out to Max Martin." He went on to say, "Incredible producer, incredible record. I really wanted to do different things on this album [Versus]...I really enjoy working with Max Martin. Great record."

Let's just overlook the fact that the song is so over-produced, he can only sing half of it live.



Now if Ursh is smart, he'll get his fine ass in the studio for a full album of Max jams. "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" is currently #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Pink Releasing Greatest Hits (It's About Time!)

Pink is releasing her greatest hits on November 22 with a new tune or two included, and that's the best news I've heard all week! That's right—Pink eats bitches like Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna for brunch then sprays them out after four tequila shooters all over the wall.

There's no tracklist yet, but here's hoping it's has all of her singles in the mix. Including that one with William Orbit from Charlie's Angels 2, "Feel Good Time." Some of Pink's albums are a bit iffy to listen to the whole way through, but that's broad's hit jams are top notch 99.99999% of the time.

And there you go.

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Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" Is About As Good As Her Dad's Music

Two words with this one, kids: Kriss Kross.

Nine-year-old Willow Smith's obnoxious trash jam "Whip My Hair" now has a teaser video. Why do I have a feeling that with the right forces of evil in alignment, this horse shit will become a giant smash just like all of her dad Will's songs did for an annoying period of time?



The subliminal pink triangles are a classy touch, though. Oh, wait—that's a "W." For "whatever."

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Robyn's 'Body Talk Pt. 2' Becomes Her Highest-Charting Album In The U.S.

Robyn's Body Talk Pt. 2 had a much better debut (#41) on this week's Billboard Top 200 album chart than Pt. 1 did (#97) back in June. Chalk it up to her recent tour here with Kelis—and it's probably a good thing for the upcoming Pt. 3 that she's touring here in the States again in November.

Body Talk Pt. 2 has now become Robyn's highest-charting album in the States, a title that previously belonged to her 1997 debut Robyn Is Here (which peaked at #57, but ultimately went Platinum).

Sadly, Robyn's excellent jam "Hang With Me" was released this week in England and isn't performing as well as "Dancing On My Own" did there (the latter charted at #8 on the UK chart in June). Currently, "Hang With Me" is #92 on UK iTunes.

Over on the Hot 100 singles chart, Katy Perry is #1 for a second week with "Teenage Dream," while Adam Lambert climbs to a new high of #31 with "If I Had You."

Meanwhile, it's a big week for debuts: Selena Gomez & The Scene go in at #35 with "A Year Without Rain," Rihanna cracks the chart at #75 with "Only Girl (In The World)"—but expect it to make a huge leap next week since it went on sale this week at iTunes, where it's currently #1—and Florence + The Machine's "Dog Days Are Over" debuts at #93 (that one will jump up, too, as it's at #6 on iTunes after Flo's MTV VMAs performance).

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Teenage Dream" - Katy Perry *2 weeks*
2. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars
4. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
5. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
6. "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" - Usher feat. Pitbull
7. "Just A Dream" - Nelly
8. "Take It Off" - Ke$ha
9. "Club Can't Handle Me" - Flo Rida feat. David Guetta
10. "Mine" - Tayler Swift

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shayne Ward And Joe McElderry Are Not Only UK Pop Stars, They're Also Next Models

Here are a couple pics of last year's X Factor winner Joe McElderry from his portfolio on the Next Models site. That's nice, Joe.

And here are pics of Shayne Ward from his profile on the Next Models site.

And here you thought Shayne's official Obsession album cover was the only good news to come from him today. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to step out of the room for about 45 seconds. Nah, make that 25 seconds.

P.S. Kind of puts that Olly Murs nude photo to shame, no?

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Shayne Ward's Official 'Obsession' Album Cover

Well, it's about time! After news came that Shayne Ward's third album would be called Obsession, he added the following to his website today:
"So the time is HERE! And I have amazing news. I'm soooo excited, I'm very proud to announce that my new ALBUM "OBSESSION" is due for release 15th November and you can PRE ORDER NOW!!"
And if you pre-order now, he promises to get naked, just like Olly Murs! Oh, okay...I might be making that part up.

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It's Kelly Rowland's "Rose Colored Glasses" Video

First of all: radio programmers of America, get your heads out of your ASSES and start playing Kelly Rowland's "Rose Colored Glasses" already!

It's Dr. Luke's umpteenth single from the past few months, and since he's been currently clogging the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 with jams by Katy Perry, B.o.B, Taio Cruz and Ke$ha, there's no why reason Miss Kelly can't be a part of that, too.

The music video for "Rose Colored Glasses" premiered today, and has not only a nice shot of Kelly's fine booty...

...but also Lady Rowland getting violent.

Ass and smashing things—two of my favorite things. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The New OMD Album 'History Of Modern' Is Pretty Good

I recently reviewed History Of Modern, the new Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark album—their first in 14 years—for an upcoming issue of Instinct. It's not mindblowing right off the bat, but it's a definitely a grower if given the chance. The LP, with its cover designed by Factory Records alum Peter Saville, is out in the States on September 28 via Warner Bros. imprint Bright Antenna.

My friend Becky is going to be so excited—in addition to Pet Shop Boys' "Domino Dancing," we used to request "Dreaming" at all our junior high dances. Now that singer Andy McCluskey has gotten managing hooker troupes like Atomic Kitten out of his system and made nice with Paul Humphreys again, they re-teamed with their "Souvenir"/"Joan Of Arc"-era band members (smart move).

To paraphrase a line from my writeup, tracks like “Green,” “The Right Side?” and the aptly-titled “The Future, The Past And Forever After,” will have you hoping OMD doesn’t take another decade+ off. (The latter sound tres 1990-era PSB, BTW).

Here's the music video for new jam "If You Want It":



Incidentally, while the band's first greatest hits (1988) and 1991 album Sugar Tax were staples of my mid-teen years, their '98 collection The OMD Singles has been steadily rocking my stereo for the past decade.

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