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

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

What's Not To Love?

Okay, I f***ed up in my post a couple days ago about Louis XIV, which The Duke so graciously pointed out.

It seems I misspelled the object of my affection's name; it's actually Brian Karscig, not Brian Carson (pictured in the scarf).

Now, with a hot quote like this from a recent interview Brian did, how can you fault me for my crush:

What's your passion?
Brian- It's the fans. We love being close to our fans. I want to be so close that they can taste my cock. We are very aggressive and always have fire and passion about what we do on stage.


The Best Erasure Single In Ten Years

Okay, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Erasure. Hell, my very first post here on Chart Rigger was on them. And yes, I like the Pet Shop Boys, too! Gimme a break -- I was a lonely kid growing up in the Pennsylvania suburbs in the late '80s/early '90s with a penchant for synth-pop and cute guys in Umbro shorts.

My first purchase of theirs was "Chains Of Love" on cassette single when I was 14-years-old. In the summer of 1990, when I was 16, I went to see them play at the A.J. Palumbo Center in Pittsburgh on the "Wild! Tour." I also managed to see the last show of that tour at Jones Beach on Long Island, a couple months later. I went by myself, and my grandma waited for me outside in the parking lot the whole time!

I have all their albums, mostly on CD (Okay, I totally skipped Loveboat after a friend bought it and we listened and discovered how much it sucked). I'll even own up to the fact that Erasure has pretty much put out a load of crap albums over the past 8 years.

But, the latest one, Nightbird, actually isn't too bad. It's not amazing. But it doesn't suck. The first single from it, "Breathe," went to #4 in the U.K. singles chart this past January. The second one, "Don't Say You Love Me," went to #15 there just this past week.

The great news is that the third single is going to be a double A-side of the best two songs the duo has crafted in well over 10 years: "Here I Go Impossible Again" and "All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love." I'm not being biased -- these really are two good songs, and the best Nightbird has to offer. Who knows if they'll actually chart well. But, if Vince and Andy truly are in the twighlight of their career as a duo, this is a great way to go out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Back In Black

Well, I caught a listen of the new Backstreet Boys single today, thanks to groovy blogger Arjan. And, well... it's "okay." Nothing really new or groundbreaking. Just a very moody ballad. I will say that it's nice to hear that the guys have actually matured.

I'm actually surprised that the grown-up boy band didn't go for the obvious and do some R&B-tinged ballad-by-numbers concoction. "Incomplete" sounds more like something Evanescence would have put out. Parts of it actually sound a tad like Backstreet's last single, "Drowning," off their 2001 greatest hits album.

No word on a title for the forthcoming album, or a release date. My curiosity is up, though, to hear the Max Martin songs. I don't think "Incomplete" is one of them, but I could be wrong. If they're anything like his production on Kelly Clarkson's latest album, then that can only be a good thing.

A Band I'd Drive Three Hours To See

On Saturday, The Duke, his brother and friend Kris picked me up around noon and we headed down to San Diego to see Louis XIV play at Soma. With the traffic, it took us about three hours to get there from L.A. Now, I had seen Louis XIV last summer, when they opened for The Killers at The Troubador in West Hollywood. I remember them not being that bad - but nothing super, either.

After hearing their single "Finding Out True Love Is Blind" when we went dancing on my birthday, though, I started to take a shine to this cheeky band that actually hails from San Diego.

Our first stop when we got down there was at some record store to pick up our passes to the soundcheck. Along with the passes, we also got a free copy of the band's CD, The Best Little Secrets Are Kept, which came out this past Tuesday on Atlantic.

At the soundcheck, it was apparent that my newest rock star crush was going to be guitarist/sometimes singer Brian Carson (in the picture above, he's got on a red tie and sunglasses). He's a short little mo' fo' with a trendy haircut (in fact, I went out and got a sort of similar cut today - long on top, shorter in the back except for a trendy, new millenium-style rat tail). After that, we got to have the band sign our CDs. I think Brian totally fell for me when he saw how stunning I am. No, seriously... like, totally.

We had to kill a couple hours before the show started, so we hit Tower Records, some lame t-shirt store and got drinks at Black Angus. By the time we got to the show, the first of the two nauseating emo bands opening the concert was halfway done with their set. Just recalling how bad they were has me teetering on vomiting.

The second band was even worse. What the hell is wrong with these kids that are into emo? The bands suck! I stormed out of the main room and sat the band out on the floor of the lobby, eating a Nestle Crunch bar and playing Mobile Hawk on my cell phone.

Thankfully, when Louis XIV came on, they were ten times better than when I saw them last summer. They were total cock rock grooviness, emulating David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Iggy Pop. The teenage chicks and old queen beside us sure seemed to enjoy it!

All in all, they're not the best band in the world, but they've got a lot of charisma. It's cool that there are finally some rock bands out there to get excited about. Plus, they're part of a growing number of artists who can hopefully pull pop music out of the dismal place it's sunk to these past few years. After all,it wasn't too long ago that "rock" was all about Limp Bizkit and Crazy Town. Those guys could only dream of being as cool as Louis XIV.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Hey, Daft Punk, Wha' Happened?

Now, I was kinda excited to get the new Daft Punk CD, Human After All. It's been 4 years since their last one, Discovery, which is still on my all-time Top 20 albums list.

So, I picked up the disc at Tower Records last week, excitedly popped it in my computer when I got back to the office and, well, the first song was okay. Then the second one, "Prime Time Of Your Life" came on, and... uh... it sounds like there's a basic idea of a song there... hmmm. Onward to the next one, which is the single, "Robot Rock." Christ! This is what they're releasing as a single? It's the same guitar riff over and over -- no vocals whatsoever -- not interesting. And not interested.

And so, when "Steam Machine" came on, which basically sounds like the duo stuck a tape recorder up against a 7-11 Slurpee machine and tried to make a song out of what they recorded, I had to take the disc out and beat it a few times.

The title Human After All is, of course, an ironic wink, as it's their least human-sounding effort yet. There's a scant smattering of vocals, and even then there's nothing like the warm pop crooning on Discovery's masterpiece, "Digital Love." Mostly, it's a dark, strange exploration in repetitive loops and beats -- sounding much like an unfinished -- or abandoned -- project.

I had read somewhere they whipped this album together in 6 weeks. It really shows. What a waste of 14 bucks. Perhaps appropriately, it debuted at a lowly #98 on the Top 200 Albums chart this week.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

WTF? Kelly Osbourne Puts Out A Good Single!

Chart Rigger is loving the fact that Linda Perry strapped Kelly Osbourne to a Korg and turned her into a chilly, '80s-sounding minx for Kelly's new single "One Word" (think Kylie meets Human League)! Plus, she sounds so much classier when her voice is raped by Pro Tools. This is the lead single to Osbourne's upcoming album, Sleeping In The Nothing, which comes out June 7th in the U.S.

The cool thing about the song is that you'd never even know it was Kelly singing it. This is pure electro heaven! If this is the new direction Linda Perry is going in, as well, consider us fans. We always knew that Valley dyke was two steps ahead of every other pop music producer. "One Word" really needs to be heard to be believed! Ozzy most likely had a stroke when he heard it.

American Idol, Please Give Us A Break

Seriously! How can people watch mind-numbingly vapid trash like American Idol night after night? Oh, and we love their latest scam -- a week after the Mario Vasquez scandal, FOX is trying to keep it's mega-hit in the headlines. This time, it's mixed up phone numbers broadcast on last night's episode. Oops! Looks like they had to do the voting episode again tonight, with the "correct" phone numbers to call for the contestants -- and now an additional episode will air tomorrow.

Keep in mind, that FOX is running this extra episode back-to-back with the network's new sitcom "Life On A Stick." Gee, do we think this could be all be a ploy to ensure high ratings for the new show's pilot? No, it couldn't be!

But really, folks, the real scandal screeching in all the headlines should have been complete dork Anthony Federov's flatter than a pancake rendition of "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)." Please! This queen is way too boring to attempt an Aretha/George Michael duet all on his lonesome. And is it us, or do the contestants all do the same songs, week after week, year after year? Can't these stiffs get crunked and bust out some 50 Cent or GWAR or some shit?

This show is utterly ridiculous and we're completely over it. Oh, and if anyone Tivo'd tonight's episode, can you be a peach and IM me?

Monday, March 21, 2005

So Old In My Shoes

It's been kind of blah Monday. Thanks to the iPod being on shuffle, I've gotten back into the Smashing Pumpkins, though. I was doing one of my monthly walking around the UCLA campus with the headphones on to clear my head jaunts yesterday, and I decided to play the Pumpkins.

Old faves like "Zero," "Cherub Rock" and "Today" popped up -- and of course I had to play "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" about 4 times in a row (rawk!).

But the real shocker was when "Disarm" came on and I actually listened to it the whole way through for the first time in about 10 years. I dunno, I think it got so overplayed in the summer of '94 that I just always skipped past it (or I should say FF'd past it, since my original copy of Siamese Dreams was on cassette?). But with the setting sun, the cool spring air and the possibilities of the still-new year laid out before me, I really got a lump in my throat as I heard this song, which I'd played a million times throughout my formative years, for what felt like the first time.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

More Greedy White People!

Shanaynay has learned of yet another case of greedy white people. You know these crackers been rippin' folks off since they bought Manhattan from the Injuns for a pack of Kools and a roach clip. Now Apple, the makers of iPod –- da bling-bling king of MP3 players –- wants everyone who makin' an Apple accessories to hook them up with a license fee.


You think Shanaynay’s gonna pop over a Hamilton every time she pops a Franklin? In the words of Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple: “HELL. NO.” Where does it end? Apple already done busted every other MP3 player's ass.

That. Just. Greedy. This is the kinda shit that makes Shanaynay glad she shoplifts!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Bravery Are Here. Prepare To Be Ruined

Chart Rigger's love affair with The Killers' Brandon Flowers has been in jeopardy ever since we first caught a glimpse 'n' listen of The Bravery -- especially ultra-hot frontman Sam Endicott. And now, even the hipster British press has caught on to the rivalry between the two singers. Maybe Brandon ain't too keen on The Bravery taking over the title of "Coolest Band In The World."

Here are some groovy tidbits from the cover story on the band from last week's issue of NME, who declare "The Bravery are here. Prepare To Be Ruined":

1. Apparenty Brandon Flowers described [The Bravery's NME ShockWave Awards] performance as "bullshit."

2. After Endicott explains how he came up with the sound of the band: You didn't nick it all off The Killers', then? Sam sighs. "We'd never even heard any of those bands' names until our album was almost done."

3. Guitarist "Dirt": "The first time I heard The Killers was on a drive back from one of our shows in Boston... Actually, my side project is a Killers cover band."

4. Fans are turning up copying their clothes and make-up. Gigs are like "Nirvana in '94 or something." [Chart Rigger: Uh, did Nirvana do many gigs in '94 before Kurt's demise that April?]

5. Sam muses. "It's strange, but somehow the really intelligent, really beautiful girls with great senses of humour are not the ones that wanna give you a blowjob after the show."

6. "These kids I used to hang out with would smoke crack," [Sam] says. "DC is the crack capital, we have a proud heritage - and would do TV, which is what you call it when you go find an old TV in a junk yard and you hollow out the transistor and you smoke it."

Yowza! Prepare to be ruined, indeed. The Bravery's self-titled CD comes out March 29th on Island in the U.S.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Why Does Clay Aiken Look Like A Lesbian?

It's just something we've always wondered. Of course, Chart Rigger fully undestands that lesbians are butch, and Clay Aiken, while looking like an uber-dyke, will never be one. But maybe he should opt for growing out his hair, like that nice Bo Bice fella on American Idol. Then at least he'd only look like a lipstick lesbian.

And in related news, the balls are rolling quickly for last week's AI refugee Mario Vasquez, who has apparently hired the same lawyer Clay used to get himself out of his contract with the TV show (so basically you're telling us Clay chooses to do such sucky music, without the prodding of Simon Fuller?)

We could easily tell that Vasquez character was sketchy. We can already predict his future: lotsa money (mis)spent by some clueless record label marketing him as the next Justin Timberlake (insert celebrity girlfriend here) -- countless sightings at red carpet events -- mondo tabloid coverage -- hangin' out with Puffy and Ashton in Vegas -- then comes the CD, riddled with lame ballads and attempts at Hip Hop cred -- it sells about 190,000 copies -- suddenly he can't afford that high-powered lawyer anymore and the famous friends all drop him -- then voila! He becomes one of Clay Aiken's bitches, trimming his hedges and pouring his strawberry daquiris. But, that's great, because we like to kick up our feet and watch dumb Idols flop.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

You can bet J'ason D will be celebrating his Irish roots by tying on a few when he and The Duke go to the Whisky-A-Go-Go tonight to see a lineup of bands neither of us have ever heard of before.

And in related news, Irish band Snow Patrol have apparently given (super hottie) bassist Mark McClelland the boot. Here are excerpts from singer Gary Lightbody and the record company's statements on Snow Patrol's official site:

"Following a life-changing year in 2004, Snow Patrol found themselves under a whole set of new and unexpected pressures. These pressures have unfortunately taken their toll on working relationships within the band, and it was felt that Snow Patrol could not move forward with Mark as a member."

"I started the group with Mark 10 years ago and he was a massive part of Snow Patrol and my life throughout that decade. This is the hardest decision we have ever had to make, and believe us when we say we didn't make it lightly. It got to the stage that things couldn't go on as they were, so we felt there was no other course of action but this."

Couldn't they have gotten rid of Gary instead? Mark was much better-looking!

The Chart Don't Lie

Only a couple interesting things happening on this week's Billboard charts. The first being that The Killers finally get their platinum-selling album Hot Fuss into the Top 10 this week after 39 weeks of release. The album moves up to #8. Meanwhile, on the Hot 100 Singles chart, "Mr Brightside" rebounds from #21 up to #19.

Also on the singles chart, Kelly Clarkson's undeniably catchy "Since U Been Gone" moves up one notch to #5, making it her biggest hit since her first single went to #1. We really have grown to like Kelly after this second album. You'd hardly know she came out of the AI factory, and she's pretty much the only one from that show who ever gets any airplay. Of course, it's 50 Cent at #1 for a fourth week, still fending off Green Day in the runner-up position.

Synth U Been Gone

Woah! One listen to Elkland's '80s-soaked single "Apart," and you'll be waken up before you go-go! Now, the video for the song is a straight up homage to A Flock Of Seagulls' 1982 "I Ran" video. The music sounds more like XTC meets Yaz. It's all analog synths, handclaps and happy melodies.

Halfway through watching the clip of "Apart" on iTunes, I realized I had actually seen Elkland perform "live" last summer (albeit with a guitarist and a Mac iBook G4 as the instruments), opening for The Secret Machines at the Troubador in West Hollywood. Lead singer Jon Pierece was shaking and dancing all over the stage -- at one point he even climbed the scaffolding and jumped off. Those crazy kids!!

According to their official site, the band hails from upstate New York. It seems they all O.D.'d on '80s synthpop growing up, while their friends were into grunge. I love the fact that boys in pop bands are being coy and adrogynous with their image. It's almost like -- well, the '80s! Elkland's full-length CD, Golden, comes out on April 19th in the States on Sony. You can download the single for "Apart" now from either iTunes or the Elkland website. It's also available to order on vinyl.

He Bangs The Fans

Singer Ian Brown was arrested after beating on a fan at a San Francisco concert. Apparently, the former Stone Roses frontman got all feisty when the sound sucked at the show during his gig at the Great American Music Hall, and he and the band stopped playing after only 3 songs (the bastard!).

Then, an irate fan - probably pissed at the loss of $30 - jumped on stage and tackled Brown to the ground. The rest of the band members jumped in to break it up and the scuffle ended backstage.

Fifteen minutes later, the band apparently came back on stage, and Ian finished the show - poor sound quality and all - before being hauled off by the po' for questioning. Ah, the glamour of grown men acting like children.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

This Is News?

Alright, alright. Chart Rigger feels obligated to throw in its' two cents on this issue of American Idol Top 12 finalist Mario Vasquez leaving the show this week for "personal reasons." Here's what we have to say: WHO FUCKIN' CARES?!!?

Again, people, there's a war going on! There are evil things going on in the White House! Daft Punk has a new album out (which we're buying today)! This Vasquez dude was just a nobody, really. How is it that this is the talk of the week?

Well, to answer that question, we have to realize that AI is a FOX show, and FOX loves to do their spin in the news. There's probably something far more lurid going on in the world that's getting buried with all the "Mario left because he's gay!" or "Mario left because Puff Daddy lured him away to Bad Boy Records" stories. How personal can these "problems" possibly be when he did about 20 interviews yesterday with the press about his departure from the contest? The guy's a total zero in our book.

Oh well. I guess this officially makes us contributors to all that. But really, ya'll -- get over it. Showbiz will go on.

Guilty Pleasure Of The Week

B-Boys International ft. Paul M's "One Step Closer" was recently one of the entrants to Sweden's Melodifestivalen competition (no relation to the S Club Juniors song). This is high camp, kids. Think cheesy rapper mixed with the most modulated, syrupy, sugar-pop boy band chorus ever!

The song stalled at the first round of Melodifestivalen. Of course, Chart Rigger discourages each and every one of you from going to the secret place to download it! The main man behind B-Boys International is rapper Peter Thelenius, who apparently had 17 hits with the Euro-dance group Basic Element in the '90s. Paul M is a singer roped in for the Melodifestivalen entry, and boy do they ever tweak his voice to inhuman heights! We love the bit at the end where they kick him up an octave and he sounds like a robotic chipmunk! The download is courtesy of the "Into The Groove" blog, but we don't want you to grab it while you can, since it won't be available for too long.That would just be downright naughty!

Monday, March 14, 2005

In My Arms, Baby, Yeah! (part two)

Well, we wish! Part of the decision-making for us in the Sunset Strippers vs. Cabin Crew/"Waiting For A Star To Fall" UK chart battle is the video for the Strippers' version -- featuring the loveably goofball laddie getting a bit carried away with his headphones at the laundromat.

He fantasizes that three complete bimb-a-trons come marching in and do their best Bananarama impersonation (think the oh-so-complicated dance moves from the "I Heard A Rumour" routine) while he rocks out with a mop. It's pure camp, and the guy is so cute that we're paying him twenty bucks to come mop our floors this weekend!

Now, if we had directed this video, we'd have combined the concept with that of Amy Grant's "Every Heartbeat," where the hot guy comes into the laundromat and strips down to his boxers. Both of our boys would chuck Amy in the drier while they fight over who gets to pole dance with the mop. Geez, don't these record labels know their audience for these cheesy songs? Ah, well. It's great to see some fun being injected to pop videos these days, nonetheless.

In My Arms, Baby, Yeah! (part one)

Okay, guys, we really wanted to turn our noses up at Sunset Strippers' new single "Falling Stars," which debuted at #3 last week in the UK. The song is another in a growing list of songs that sample an '80s chestnut (this time it's "Waiting For A Star To Fall" by Boy Meets Girl), looping the main hook over and over and laying it over a new disco beat. We gotta say, though -- we're smitten!

Now, when LMC took this formula mainstream last winter with "Take Me To The Clouds Above," it just left us wanting to hear the original Whitney Houston classic, "How Will I Know," that it borrowed heavily from (did we say that out loud?) -- although, granted, they got a vocalist to actually sing the original lyrics, rather than just sample Whit's hit directly. But, really, laying it over a riff from U2's "With Or Without You" did nothing for us.

Then along comes Eric Prydz last fall and blows the genre through the roof with "Call On Me." Again, just give us Steve Winwood's "Valerie." And, yes, we actually liked Uniting Nations' "Out Of Touch" for a week or two, but only because the original song was our favorite Hall And Oates hit when we were growing up.

So now, Sunset Strippers is battling it out with Cabin Crew, whose "Star To Fall" was out last week (debuting at #4 and featuring re-recorded vocals by Boy Meets Girl, rather than a sample of the original "Waiting For A Star To Fall"). Cabin Crew were apparently unable to snag the rights to the original from BMG, hence the "new" vocals, and they have to settle for a chart placing one notch lower than the Sunset Strippers version.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

A New J. Low

From the desk of Shananay La Child:

I hate that fake ghetto bitch. I wish I could run into her frontin' ass "on the 6 " and take her out wit' my shank. The only train that bitch been ridin' these past few years has been that fat caboose booty she pushed herself around on.

Bitch can't sing --bitch can't act -- an' she already had three marriages and NO KIDS?!? WHAT THE FUCK KINDA PUERTO RICAN IS SHE? She probably fakin' bein' a Rican too! If you wash off that spray-on tan, the 'ho probably ain't even LATIN! You know that new album o' herz gonna suck. You ain't ghetto, J. Blow -- you just a get-HO! MMmmmmmkay!

Godlike Geniuses Or Just Krafty?

With the slew of young, hipster bands like Interpol and The Bravery popping up and being obviously heavily influenced by New Order, it's about time New Order themselves put out a new album and did a proper tour. Forget 2001's Get Ready, which the band put out after an 8-year hiatus -- the new album, Waiting For The Siren's Call kicks ass! It's out next week in the UK and April 26th in the U.S.

You can tell "Barny" Sumner and the gang must have gotten a lot of complaints about the last one being a tad bit "guitar-heavy," because they sure rolled out the Korg for this one! There's still some guitar-heavy tracks, but overall, expect to dance, kids! (Gillian Gilbert is sitting this album out, though).


01. "Krafty" - 1st single. It's actually just 'alright' compared to some other ones on here.

02. "I Told You So" - Awesome dance track with a punchy electro/reggae-tinged beat. Groovy!

03. "Jetstream" - Bernard and Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters duet. Bouncy and sassy!

04. "Guilt Is A Useless Emotion" - Buy this CD for this song alone! An AMAZING dance anthem that reminds you why New Order are innovators in the genre!

New Order recently won the NME Godlike Genius award in the UK, which was presented to them by the Pet Shop Boys (you can see Chris Lowe there in the background, all dressed up as usual). Interestingly, superstar photographer Anton Corbijn is set to film a movie based on the life of Joy Division's doomed frontman, Ian Curtis. We're just glad that time is proving that the bands and artists that really make an impact and matter ain't neccessarily the ones that rule the charts and get the radio airplay.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Looking Good In A Buffalo Stance

Yeah, yeah, yeah... we've been a tad lazy with the posting this week. But, quit yer cryin', kids. We're back! So let's first give a shout out for the fact that it's Friday, and we couldn't be freakin' happier!

One of the things that brightened the day was when the iPod randomly landed on Neneh Cherry's "Buffalo Stance." Is this a great song or what? Why can't Hip Hop be this much fun now? Seriously, when that keyboard melody kicks in under the "who's looking good today / who's looking good in every way" bit, it's instant nostalgia. "We do the dive every time we dance!"

But, us being Chart Rigger, of course we have some trivia for ya'll. Back in '84, when Vince Clarke had split from Yaz(oo), he set out to produce songs for different singers. One of the songs offered to him was "Looking Good Diving" by Cameron McVey. Vince was like, yeah, fuck off, mate, and so Cameron formed pop group Morgan-McVey with some other dude, and Stock/Aitken/Waterman ended up producing the song. It's a pretty cheesy pop tune, undeniably '80s - but the chorus is a killer!

The S/A/W-produced single was released in the UK in '87. Yeah, major flop! But, the b-side featured an unknown London rapper named Neneh Cherry. It was basically "Looking Good Diving" with Neneh rapping very similar lyrics to what would later become "Buffalo Stance" over top of it.

In the meantime, Neneh had become romantically involved with Cameron McVey, who wrote the majority of Neneh's first album, Raw Like Sushi. "Buffalo Stance," the breakout hit from the album, borrowed heavily from "Looking Good Diving." It was basically a re-recording of that single's b-side. The phrase "looking good" pops up all through "Buffalo Stance," even.

Now, if only someone out there would do a mash-up of the two recordings. Hey, we got 'em both. You know where to reach us! If you've never heard "Looking Good Diving," you're really missing out on pure '80s camp. It's hard to even distinguish whether it's a male or female singing.

We'll give you love, baby, not romance!

The Chart Don't Lie

No, but the chart sure does suck! That's why this week Chart Rigger is protesting and not publishing a post about the chart. Look, there's actually really nothing to report. It's all trash. Hopefully we'll have something to say about next week's chart. We even thought about talking about the Dance Chart or the Album Chart, but frankly, we're too drunk to bother after a night in West Hollywood with our fabulous British publicist friend, Paul Armstrong.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

He Talk, Talk -- He Talks To You

The internet sure is a funny place. It was only about two months ago that we were lamenting how ten years have gone by and The Real McCoy seemed to have vanished off the face of earth -- after making such a huge impact with classic Europop tunes like "Another Night," "Run Away" and "Automatic Lover." We knew O-Jay was off producing in Germany, but little was really known about The Real McCoy's seemingly overnight disappearance.

Well, you can thank us for being bored out of our minds over the weekend and checking the usual dance sites, like Dance Artist Info, where we just happened to stumble upon a link to O-Jay's (aka Olaf Jeglitza) blog! He started it back in January (the same week Moogaboo and I started Chart Rigger -- great minds think alike!) with a post about his trip as a teenager to New York in 1983 - where he discovered his love of hip hop.

Post by post, the blog details O-Jay's journey in the '80s from photographer's assistant to aspiring breakdancer to local celebrity in Berlin -- and finally the early version of Real McCoy. So far, he's up to the chance meeting of singer Patricia "Patsy" Peterson, and the recording of the seminal early hit "It's On You."

The blog reads like information from a time capsule of a hip European scene that we were just a tad too young to know about. There's also great photos to accompany the posts! But, enough of us talking about it. Go check it out!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Keep Your Hands Off, Lady!

Congratulations to one of our favorite new band's, The Bravery, for landing at #7 this week in the UK with their single "An Honest Mistake." We broke the earth-jolting news to you last month about how we are totally crushing on lead singer Sam Endicott.

Well, thanks to The Hazzards' blog, we found out that supermodel Kate Moss allegedly has a thing for Sam, too. That bitch musta heard about him on Chart Rigger and thought she could beat us to the punch. Too bad for Kate, though, since it was reported she showed up to The Bravery's show in London last week and schmoozed her way backstage, only to learn that Sam and the band had jetted off after the show without meeting her. She was apparently "desperate" to hook up with him.

Well, Kate, after you dated that skeevy lead singer from The Libertines, who's gonna wanna go there? Yecch. Just keep your hands off our Sam!

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New York Pretty

How can you not love The Hazzards? Not only are they the funnest band to come out of New York in years (sorry, Interpol, maybe if you took some anti-depressants), but they also have the 2nd best blog ever on their official site. Of course ours is #1! You may remember these gals, Sydney and Anne, from their 2003 single "Gay Boyfriend," which was a cult hit in the UK (remixed by and released on Mike Stock's former Better The Devil label), the video for which was a favorite on email forwards.

But, now the gals are back with an EP you can order off their site called So Pretty. They've recently hooked up with a band to back them, and they sound in top form on new tunes like "Girl Beer" and "Just A Temp." There's even a rockin' version of "Gay Boyfriend" on the EP. Make sure your parents aren't listening when you get to the last song, "The Business," though. There's a swear word in it! We think So Pretty is the perfect CD to play while you're cleaning the apartment or driving into the country for the weekend to visit Aunt Charm! So get over to The Hazzards' site and buy it already!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Skanky White Bitch

From the desk of Shananay La Child:

I know Shitney tryin' to keep it real and get ghetto, and I think she musta learned to stick wit what she know best: trailer trash.

It just go to show you folks - you can still have plenty of dough and be PWT. My momma used to call it "trash wit' ca$h," and Clitney is the perfect example. In this photo, she be sportin' a scrunchy, greasy hair and she doin' what she do best: sucking.

She suck more than a gay man at a fireman's ball. She suck candy, she suck that trashy Justin Timberlake bootleg husband and she suck at
sangin' (Aguilera may be a hoochie, but the girl gotz pipes, unlike Brixxxney).

But I will give the trashy bitch this -- at least she ain't dumb enough to go on Saturday Night Live and lip synch. She just save it for when them dumb white folks pay $90 to see her "live." Mmmkaaaay!

Being #1

So, here we have it. This week's #1 singles in the UK and the US:

US: "Candy Shop" 50 Cent
UK: "Dakota" Stereophonics

At times the US and UK couldn't be more divided in the public's music taste. Case in point, this week finds '90s UK indie stalwarts Stereophonics landing at the top - while in the US, it's R&B business as usual. One thing is for certain, though. Either way, pop appears to have eaten itself and died a gradual, but sure death. Sure, the occasional mash-up or '80s-sampled DJ concoction might sneak into the charts in the UK, but gone are the days of cheery, cheesy pop bouncing into the mainstream.

Maybe we're living in more introspective times. Maybe R&B is the new pop. Regardless, one thing is for sure - there ain't much fun happenin' on the radio these days. That's why we have our iPod headphones permanently planted in our ears. At least that way, we're guaranteed to hear just a little variety. Imagine if radio programmers all had the same idea. Ah, well. Carry on.

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

She's Gonna Pop! Alright

Well, we were a bit curious to check out the rants and raves in the fan forum on UK bubblegum group Pop!'s official site, post breakup. And, boy - what a conspiracy there is a-brewin'!

It seems the kids are all atwitter that the real reason for the split up is Jade, the 18-year old blond broad, got knocked up (hey, we don't judge!) and wanted to leave the group. She was also apparently unhappy with all the politics of the music biz.

Now, really! If this were the case, she could have been easily swapped out with some other poplet wannabe, no? Surely there's an ample supply of fame-hungry starlets that would eagerly sign a deal with the devil -er, Pete Waterman - for a little time in the spotlight.

Anyway, the only one we ever really cared about is tall, dark and handsome Glenn, because he's hot. You can apparently catch him dancing on tour with Kylie this summer.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Has It Really Been Ten Years? (part 2)

Apparently so, and today Billboard reports Alanis Morrissette is commemorating the 10th anniversary of her debut album, Jagged Little Pill, by re-recording the the set acoustic-style with original producer Glen Ballard. By the way, we're running a pic of Al's fiance, Ryan Reynolds, who we can probably all agree is much more of a looker.

The "new" album (no title yet - how about Apparent Dry Spell Career Desperation?) will be released on June 13th, 10 years to the day of Jagged Little Pill's release. But, the CD will only be available in Starbucks coffee shops, of all places, for the first 6 weeks -- then it goes straight to regular retail. The new set will feature all the original's songs in the same order, plus video footage and new artwork.

Billboard reports that the original album has sold 14.4 million copies in the States alone, and 30 million worldwide. That's a lotta bank. But, Ryan, we're better hung!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Chart Don't Lie

No, it sure don't -- and boy does it suck this week! Well, it pretty much sucks every week. This is, after all, America. Alrighty then, here's a real shocker -- not only is 50 Cent at #1 for the 2nd week with "Candy Shop," he's also got two more songs in the Top 5. Doesn't he always, though? Apparently not, since Billboard says it's the first time anyone's achieved that feat in the Nielsen Soundscan era. Whatever, he's a total snooze.

Even more depressing is that Green Day, while still at #2 with "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams," have lost their bullet. Kelly Clarkson flip flops with Gwen Stefani featuring Eve and moves up to #7 with "Since U Been Gone." Gwen Stefani's singles suck and we're over her. Wonder if her husband's realized she's not a man yet.

The only bit of justice in this week's chart is a bit further down. The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" finally jumps into the Top 20 at #17, knocking "Get Right" by way-past-her-sell-by-date Jennifer Lopez down to #20! It's about time everyone wised up to the fact that this woman is someone better best forgotten. Let's hope her album flops, too. She's apparently still got some fans in the UK, though, where the song went to #1 a few weeks back. And what's with that uber-annoying horn sample the whole way through this piece of trash song? God, lady, go away already.

Rob Thomas, attempting to pull off a more pop direction ala Jewel's last album, moves up five places to #26 with "Lonely No More." We kinda like this song. It's a grower. Nothing great, but it's harmless fun. What you're seeing in the picture there is actually the rather uninspired artwork for his forthcoming album. Meanwhile, how did Goo Goo Dolls sneak into the Top 40 with a cover of "Give A Little Bit?" Especially when it's from a live album? Anyway, the single is at #39 this week after peaking at #37 last week.

Pretty dismal.


Chart RIgger would like to welcome aboard our new correspondant, Shananay La Child. It seems 30-year old Shananay has been looking for a job ever since her 2 sons started classes at the Inglewood Community College this past fall.

While she's an avid Chart Rigger reader, she feels she has a lot to contribute: "I know I got lots ta say about them pop starz, especially them crazy white boys from Eng-a-land you always writin' about. Who dey think dey foolin' by singin' 'bout girls all da time?"

Uh, we're sure Shananay will be a welcome addition into the Chart Rigger family. Now, has anyone seen my wallet?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Nothing's Gonna Stop Her Now...

...well, except for flipping her car over! It seems '80s pop vixen Samantha Fox was cruising around in her car with her lezbo lover near Stockholm when they "hit a patch of ice" -- causing Sambo to flip the car over onto its roof.

La Fox, 37, got some whiplash, while her 45-year old clam bumper, Myra Stratton, sustained back injuries. Now, really, Sam! Ice? Just try and convince us that the old broad didn't have her face buried in your pants when you lost control of the car. We dare ya! It's cute how she refers to Myra as her "manager" in her diary of the accident on her official website.

At any rate, we're just glad the gals are okay. If you haven't yet caught Gunther's re-working of Fox's classic tune, "Touch Me," then you're missing out on major cheese. It topped the charts in Sweden last November, but strangely hasn't hit in the UK yet. It's pure camp, and total pop bliss.

Where's The Digital Love?

If we were extremely naughty and had spent the whole day trying to illegally download songs from the new Daft Punk album, Human After All, we'd be highly pissed right now that all we found were corrupt files and 4-minute loops of a partial segment from each song.

But, we didn't, so we're not. Instead, we're just gonna listen to Mylo and turn our noses up at Daft Punk. Human After All comes out Stateside on March 15th, and we're not sharing with anyone!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Slut Idol

Alright, as much as we told ourselves we weren't going to watch this trash this season, we can't help but sneak a peak once a week at American Idol. And boy, is there ever a pack of grade-Z 'hos this year!

First up is Jessica Sierra. She's 19, loves Christina Aguilera and Elton, and there's no doubt she's probably the queen of her trailer park. According to her profile on the show's website, she says people would be surprised that she owns The Top Ten Wiggly Tunes by The Wiggles. Wrong, Jessica. We're not surprised. In fact, we're sure you can wiggle just fine, especially in the men's room at the truck stop.

The other close contender for Chart Rigger Slut Idol is Mikalah Gordon. This utter bimb said on tonight's episode that she wants to be famous because she "can't cook, can't clean and can't even walk [her] own dogs." Yeah, but we bet you can drop to your knees and make magic happen, kitten. Does America really find these vapid broads to be "cute" or respectable? Hell, with an attitude like that, we can't wait 'til you f*** up our order at Jack In The Box next month, because we're soooo gonna throw a fit to your manager until you get fired.

Anyway, lest anyone think we're sexist, we simply aren't commenting on the guys because they're all ugly.


"Woah! These Metal Wires Make Noise!"

Speaking of middle-aged ladies of dance, Backstreet's back, dolls, just when the world needs them! That's right, the Boys have finished their new album, and -- shocker -- promise it's an entirely new, more mature direction for them. That's really good, though, because we've spent the past 5 years praying for this:

Jesus, we know you're up there. We know we've done some really bad things lately, and the rash is just your way of letting us know that you're watching, but -- PLEASE, Jesus -- just answer this one prayer! Please let Backtreet go in a new, more mature direction with the next album! Oh, please, please, please!!!

Yeah, screw that! It's over, Gs! So what if Brian's got a very realistic-looking toupee and a sassy sock wristlet now? And big deal if they did that big tsunami benefit gig in Siberia or wherever. Does Nick think air-jamming "Freebird" on that stage prop is gonna ease those people's sufffering?

Three words... okay, two words and a Roman numeral: Boyz II Men. Wait, they worked with Max Martin on the new album? OMG, we're totally pre-ordering from Amazon, pronto!