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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Icona Pop Kick Robin Thicke To The Curb, The Wanted Debut In Top 5

And so it's Chart Rigger's top pick for Best Single Of 2012, Icona Pop's "I Love It," that puts the guillotine to Robin Thicke's four-week reign at the top of the UK chart with "Blurred Lines." ("I Love It" previously peaked at #7 here in the States.) I dig that this happened, but, to tell the truth, both songs can take a hike at this point, and I never really need to hear either for at least 17 more years.



This brings us to The Wanted, whose gimmicky Dr. Luke production "Walks Like Rihanna" has just become the boy band's third consecutive Top 5 single, and eighth overall. The song goes in at #4 this week — not bad, by any means, but maybe an underscore on the fact that the lads' days of having #1 hits seem to indeed be in the past at this point. By contrast, chart rivals One Direction have scored two chart-topping singles in the past seven months alone.

Oh, well — keep gettin' that p***y while it's hot & free, kiddos.

The UK Top 10:

1. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX *new* *1 week*
2. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
3. "Bang Bang" - Will.i.am *new*
4. "Walks Like Rihanna" - The Wanted *new*
5. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
6. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
7. "The Other Side" - Jason Derulo
8. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk
9. "Goin' Crazy'" - Dizzee Rascal feat. Robbie Williams
10. "Dear Darlin'" - Olly Murs

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Miley Cyrus & Her Ass Have A 7th Top 10 Hit With "We Can't Stop"

With Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" clogging up the top of every chart in the world yet again (it's not that sexy, everyone), it's best that we instead turn our eyes to Miley Cyrus' twerking, gyrating ass. It's hard to believe that five-and-a-half years have gone by since the onetime squeaky clean Disney chirpstress initially charmed her way into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 with "See You Again." Her last foray into the upper tier of the chart was three years ago, when "Can't Be Tamed" was a minor blip on the radar at #8. But here we are, seeing Miley again, as "We Can't Stop" grinds its way to #5 this week.

I can't say that I'm not still a little burned to see Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" continuing its descent, after peaking #2 a few weeks back. (Sigh. The song is now down to #7.) But sometimes life comes along an sticks your tits in a deep frier. What can you do?

This brings us to the other two songs on the Hot 100 worth championing this week: Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding's "I Need Your Love," now up to #24, and Capital Cities' "Safe And Sound," which, at #43, is close to finally cracking the Top 40.

All in all, as we reach the halfway point in 2013, it's been a pretty solid year for pop so far, no?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *3 weeks*
2. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams 
3. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
4. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
5. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
6. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
7. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
8. "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
9. "Come & Get It" - Selena Gomez
10. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's Club 2Gethr's "Livin' The Dream" Video ... Starring Nicki French!

If you're a casual pop music observer and have been wondering what producer Mike Stock and British songstress Nicki French have been up to since they paired up nearly 20 years ago for their globally successful cover of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart," then wonder no more!

Stock's new project, Club 2Gethr — a themed teen trio akin to Fast Food Rockers, 10 years later (this time it's all about camping, kiddies) — just premiered their music video for "Livin' The Dream." And Nicki plays their mom.

Enjoy. And if you're like me, you'll be wondering which of those two young ladies ended up with the hot dog.


"Livin' The Dream" is on iTunes for pre-order.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Robbie Williams And Dizzee Rascal Are Riding High

I can totally co-sign with Dizzee Rascal and Robbie Williams' new pair-up "Goin' Crazy," which debuts this week at #5 on the UK singles chart. It's actually a fun jam that's way better than it has any right to be.



Aside from his participation in charity singles and, of course, his work with Take That, this marks Robbie's sixth collaborative effort to make the Top 20, following "Kids" with Kylie Minogue (#2), "Somethin' Stupid" with Nicole Kidman (#1), "My Culture" with 1 Giant Leap (#9), "She's Madonna" with Pet Shop Boys (#16) and "Shame" with Gary Barlow (#2).

The UK Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *4 weeks*
2. "The Other Side" - Jason Derulo *new*
3. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
4. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
5. "Goin' Crazy'" - Dizzee Rascal feat. Robbie Williams *new*
6. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk
7. "Dear Darlin'" - Olly Murs
8. "Wild" - Jessie J feat. Big Sean & Dizzee Rascal
9. "Everything Has Changed" - Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran
10. "Another Love" - Tom Odell *new*

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My Frankmusik Interview

No rest for the wicked. In addition to posting my Idolator interview with Pet Shop Boys on Friday, I also published a recent chat I had with a very emotional, candid Frankmusik, whose album Between was released two weeks ago. You can watch it here.

My video producer Alex and I really put some time in to make this interview have a documentary feel, and I feel like it turned out pretty great.

This marks his first album since parting ways with Interscope, and he's still a bit bruised from the whole experience of living in Los Angeles for three years. (He's since moved back to the UK temporarily, and is in the midst of touring the States before relocating again, this time to New York).

Anyway, the interview is on camera, and it's nice to see a pop singer being honest, and setting aside all the polite PR bullshit. It's the first of two parts with him.

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Pet Shop Poster

Just caught this Canon-sponsored feature in the latest (June/July) issue of Details, which spotlights Fab.com founder Bradford Shellhammer's upstate New York country home — and, more importantly, his Pet Shop Boys poster in his country home.

It's provided inspiration for me to frame my own PSB Very poster, which I recently picked up off eBay in an effort to jazz up the Idolator office. I feel like I outgrew hanging posters on my walls at home about 15 years ago, but...


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Friday, June 21, 2013

My Pet Shop Boys Interview

As promised, my interview with both Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys is finally seeing the light of day! The rather lengthy chat I had with them for Idolator is now online. (We spoke for roughly 55 minutes.)

I'll post a link to the Instinct piece — which offers up different highlights from the conversation — once it's online, as well.



Needless to say, this was definitely a career highlight. And I'm very thankful to Wayne Studer, curator of the highly informative Pet Shop Boys Commentary site, for linking to the piece and citing it in several of his Electric album track write-ups.

PSBs' new album Electric will be released on July 15.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Miley Cyrus And Her P***y Have A Video Now For "We Can't Stop"

Hmmm. Mariah Carey and Miguel's "#Beautiful" seems to be stuck in a holding pattern at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it's eerily reminiscent of MC's lead Emancipation Of Mimi single "It's Like That" a million years ago (eight, actually). That one, if you recall, got sidelined at #16. But here's the good news! The song is a Top 10 hit...in Croatia. And South Korea.

Anyway, Avril Lavigne, another frequently hit-strapped ho, is up to #20 with "Here's To Never Growing Up." Good for her, I say. The business has been unkind to poor Avril, what with radio not playing her material from the past few years and circumstances allowing for her to meet and become engaged to the singer from Nickelflop.

Another broad who can use a hit: Miley Cyrus. Her "comeback" single "We Can't Stop" is a tad grating — and this week it plunges from #11 to #27 — but at least there's this naughty music video for it, which prominently features Miley's tongue, ass and p***y bouncing around feverishly:



We'll end with Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding's "I Need Your Love," which has risen to #30. In Croatia, however, it doesn't seem to have charted. So Mariah's got that.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *2 weeks*
2. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams 
3. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
4. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
5. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
6. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
7. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
8. "Come & Get It" - Selena Gomez
9. "The Way" - Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller
10. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Meeting Kylie Minogue, Being A Fanboy

I've had the good fortune to interview Kylie Minogue twice over the telephone — once for Instinct and once for Idolator — over the past three years. I even drafted up questions for a co-worker last summer, who chatted with Kylie on camera (and the result was this mind-blowing, personal video I received). But unfortunately, I had never met her in person...until yesterday.

The Aussie pop doll was signing copies of her photo book Kylie Fashion at Sak's Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, and, despite two sprained feet I sustained last week (seriously, don't ask), I waited in line for an hour-and-a-half (with MuuMuse) to get some face time with her.

It was great to simply feel like a fanboy. And ever nicer when Kylie said, "It's nice to put a face to the name, for the next time I see you." (!!!)


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Pet Shop Boys' Ravey "Vocal" Video

Pet Shop Boys' "Vocal" video may be very on-a-budget, but it's still a fascinating watch. Well, fascinating for me, at least, since it's comprised of footage of late-'80s rave parties in the UK, and last year I spent about 6 hours over a three-day period watching such footage on YouTube into the wee hours.

If you watch closely, it almost looks like flashes of Chris Lowe, a confessed rave party-goer back in the day, appear in there.



In fact, there's a pretty spectacular British documentary on rave culture called Summer Of Rave, which you can watch right here:



As for "Vocal," press release notes that the single (presumably in all formats) will officially be released on July 22, a week after the new Pet Shop Boys album Electric is made available.

Final note: As mentioned before, I spent an hour interviewing Neil and Chris, and it's for two features — one for Idolator and one for Instinct. Expect one, if not both, pieces to be online in the next week or so.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Things Really Weren't Much Better Around This Time In 2003, Either

If you thought it was dull having Robin Thicke & Co.'s "Blurred Lines" at #1 for a third week, consider that 10 years ago right now, Evanescence's "Bring Me To Life" was in the midst of a four-week stint atop the UK chart.

Stuff that makes you want to punch yourself in the dick, really.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *3 weeks*
2. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
3. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
4. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk
5. "Dear Darlin'" - Olly Murs
6. "Wild" - Jessie J feat. Big Sean & Dizzee Rascal
7. "Everything Has Changed" - Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran *new*
8. "I Will Survive" - Leah McFall
9. "Lights On" - Wiley feat. Angel & Tinchy Stryder *new*
10. "Antenna" - Fuse ODG

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Robin Thicke Does The Impossible, Scores A #1 Single

Each time Robin Thicke puts out a new album, I can't help but think, oh, man — nice guy, hot piece of ass, but it's never gonna happen. Case in point: His only Top 40 hit was 2007's "Lost Without U" (which peaked at #14), and his last album didn't even dent the Top 20. I've really just felt Robin's songs were just never really up to scratch.

But in 2013, as Baauer, Macklemore and Daft Punk have shown, anything goes...including Robin Thicke having a worldwide #1 smash hit with "Blurred Lines"! Is it the sample of the Michael Jackson shriek that did it? (Is that MJ or someone recreating the "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" wooooo?) The newly-rediscovered Midas touch of Pharrell Williams? The funky bassline? The sexy and silly video? My guess would be all of the above.



Everyone wants to have a good time in 2013, and this video delivers on all fronts. (Remember, YouTube streams now factor into chart positions, and this clip has over 45 million views.) Et voila — Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" has hopped up from #6 to #1.

Ironically, this comes at a cost for Justin Timberlake, who many had noted jacked Thicke's style for his 20/20 Experience era; "Mirrors" drops from its peak position of #2 to #4.

Elsewhere, the Hot 100 gets turnt up as Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" debuts at #11, Mariah Carey and Miguel's "#Beautiful" jumps to #15 and Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding's "I Need Your Love" finally cracks the Top 40, by climbing to #38.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *1 week*
2. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
3. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams
4. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
5. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
6. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
7. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
8. "Come & Get It" - Selena Gomez
9. "The Way" - Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller
10. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Goldfrapp Announce 'Tales Of Us' Album

Goldfrapp blew me away with their Head First album in 2010 (eff you all who disagree that it was a rad record!), and today the duo have finally announced the follow-up, Tales Of Us. The new LP will be released on September 9, and the tracklist is as follows (the first thing that becomes apparent is that it's all names...aka the "us" in question):

1. Jo
2. Annabel
3. Drew
4. Ulla
5. Alvar
6. Thea
7. Simone
8. Stranger
9. Laurel
10. Clay



The short trailer above previews some of the tracks, and it definitely sounds like a much more pensive, less electro-pop affair than Head First. A series of European tour dates have also been listed on the site for the fall.

Good, good stuff.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

It's Justin Timberlake's "Tunnel Vision" Single Art

With "Mirrors" now at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (soon to unseat Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Can't Hold Us" at #1?), Justin Timberlake has let slip that his third single off The 20/20 Experience will be "Tunnel Vision."

Personally, this wouldn't have been my choice for the the next single. I'd have gone with something a bit more upbeat like "Let The Groove Get In" or "Don't Hold The Wall."

"Tunnel Vision" just seems a bit too...murky?

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It's Cher's "Woman's World" Single Art

Damn. This song first premiered on Thanksgiving Day last year — over six months ago. Anyway, the "Woman's World" single is finally about to be released, and Cher is set to perform it live (?) on The Voice on June 18.

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Sunday, June 09, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Blurred Thongs

SNATCH.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *2 weeks*
2. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
3. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk
4. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
5. "Dear Darlin'" - Olly Murs
6. "Cary You'" - Union J *new*
7. "Antenna" - Fuse ODG *new*
8. "Wild" - Jessie J feat. Big Sean & Dizzee Rascal
9. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
10. "Waiting All Night" - Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre

Thursday, June 06, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Miguel Might Need That "#Beautiful" Money For Legal Fees

Jesus, ascending the Billboard Hot 100 can be a slow-moving process, no? Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors," which was released in February (and stuck at #3 for the past month) finally ekes its way to #2, now that Pink's "Just Give Me A Reason" is taking a tumble. Just behind, at #3, is Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," a song that seems inevitably destined to reach the top, if not become one of those annoying "Song Of The Summer" things.

Anyway, Mariah Carey announced yesterday that her new album (no title yet, the teasing minx) will be out on July 23. Lead single "#Beautiful" is up to #17, and that's a good thing — because her duet partner Miguel is gonna need some cash if that broad he decapitated at the Billboard Music Awards last month does indeed sue him.

Elsewhere, keeping with the "slow crawl up the chart" theme, Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding's "I Need Your Love" moves up to #42. Quite the opposite, however, is Lana Del Rey's"Young And Beautiful," as it rapidly plunges from #33 to #50.

On a finale note, Capital Cities' "Safe And Sound" is up to #74. I'm going out on a limb and saying this might just be the sleeper hit no one expected this summer. You can catch my interview with the electro-pop duo here.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray *5 weeks*
2. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
3. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams
4. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
5. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
6. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell Williams
7. "Come & Get It" - Selena Gomez
8. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
9. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
10. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko 

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Sunday, June 02, 2013

Pet Shop Boys' "Vocal": Hear The New 'Electric' Single

Following "Axis" and "Fluorescent," Pet Shop Boys have now let another preview of their trust-me-it's-excellent upcoming album Electric out into the ether: the radio edit of new single "Vocal"!

UPDATE: The full album version (all six+ minutes of it) is now available on iTunes, with a CD single, digital bundle and 12" to follow soon.



A vocal-less version of "Vocal" was previously played by Armin Van Buuren (hear it below), while the radio edit premiered last night on BBC Radio 2's Dance Years program, hosted by DJ Dave Pearce.



Side note: Since letting on that I've heard Electric in full and interviewed Neil and Chris, I've been hit with a lot of tweets and messages asking when there'll be a review or feature online. Look for the first of a several features coming sometime the week after this coming one. I'm doing a bit of coast-to-coast traveling at the moment, but trust me, I'm itching to get something online myself!

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UK Chart Roundup: Jessie J's Wild Boobs

This ho is in her skivvies, 'cause she don't give a fuck.



The UK Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *new* *1 week*
2. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
3. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk
4. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
5. "Wild" - Jessie J feat. Big Sean & Dizzee Rascal *new*
6. "Dear Darlin'" - Olly Murs
7. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
8. "Waiting All Night" - Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre
9. "We Own It (Fast & Furious)" - 2 Chainz feat. Wiz Khalifa
10. "Heart Attack" - Demi Lovato

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