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

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Robbie Williams Goes Petshopping

As reported at the end of March, Robbie Williams and Neil Tennant dined out and raised speculation about a future collaboration.

One such fruit of the pairing was the recent BBC Radio 2 concert honoring the Boys' 21-years as a presence in British music, where the former boy-bander sang the PSB tune "Jealousy."

...and another, reportedly, is the two tracks Neil contributed to Robbie Williams' upcoming album, which has an "electronic dance style after he was inspired by Kylie Minogue."

Neil told The Sun: "We've done two songs with Robbie. It sounds really good. We haven't really written with anyone before." Robbie's album is tentatively scheduled for an August release date.

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"To All Those B*stards Who Don't Like My Music..."

So sayeth James Blunt at this year's Ivor Novello songwriting awards ceremony in England, after winning in the Most Performed Work and International Hit Of The Year categories. "To those basatards who don't like my music," he shreiked, "you're all adults. You can switch your radio off."

Unfortunately for J-Blo, that's just what Britain's Essex FM has done. The station has banned "You're Beautiful" and "Goodbye My Lover" from their playlist after polling listeners and finding that most have grown tired of his "distinctive sound."

Didn't some other British station do this with Kylie in the early '90s?


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stick With Uniting Nations, Daz

This year's UK Eurovision entry, "Teenage Life" by Daz Sampson (one half of Uniting Nations), is one of those irritating white boy raps that also boasts an irritating school-tramp chorus. Daz didn't win the competition, and radio in Britain has snubbed the tune for the most part. However, that hasn't stopped the single from doing a slow climb up the UK singles chart over the past three weeks. This week, it hops into the Top 10. That said, there is a decent "Skylinez Mix" of the "Teenage Life" that sounds like a cross between New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" and Kylie's "Better The Devil You Know." Unfortunately, it's only available from the British iTunes store. You can listen to it at Daz's MySpace page.

It should also be mentioned that the single is out on Pete Waterman's imprint on the Sony label.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley *9 weeks*
2. "I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker" - Sandi Thom
3. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal
4. "Control Myself" - LL Cool J feat. Jennifer Lopez
5. "Country Girl" - Primal Scream
6. "Nine2Five" - Ordinary Boys feat. Lady Sovereign
7. "Up All Night" - Matt Willis *new*
8. "Teenage Life" - Daz Sampson
9. "S.O.S." - Rihanna
10. "Fill My Little World" - Feeling

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Fundamental Breakdown

Fundamental, the new Pet Shop Boys album, has entered the UK album chart at #5. After listening for a week now, here's a general assessment:



BEST PSB BALLAD EVER: "I Made My Excuses And Left"






NOT BAD FOR BALLADS: "Luna Park," "Casanova In Hell"

PRETTY COOL FOR FILLER: "The Sodom And Gomorrah Show"




Overall, it's not better than Very, but after time will be seen as being as good as it.

Listen to the special BBC Radio 2 concert the Boys did on May 8 here.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Shakira Had Better Not F*** Up Nelly Furtado Going To #1

For some reason, that hooker Shakira's song "Hips Don't Lie" was missing from iTunes all spring. Her album was on there, but the single wasn't. And people were bitchin' up a storm, creating iMixes like "Get HIPS DON'T LIE Or I'll Torch Your Mom's House" and stuff. Meanwhile, that song blowz!

So, anyway, for the past week, Nelly Furtado has had the top downloaded song with "Promiscuous." It jumpted up to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, and rightfully so! It's the proper melding of hip hop, pop and '80s synth cheese. It's refreshing like pop should be. But here comes g.d. Shakira, tramping up behind Furbox, currently shaking her hips at #2 on the download chart.

Why hasn't anyone shot a bottle rocket up that skank bag yet?

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Gayest Scene In High School Musical

Ridiculously addictive Disney Channel flick High School Musical came out on DVD this week, and sold over 400,000 copies on Tuesday, its first day of release, alone. It immediately set the record as the best-selling TV movie release of all time.

Now, after watching it again last night, I can't help but think part of its charm is the tongue-in-cheek humor. Witness the highly homo-erotic locker room exchange between (shirtless) star basketball player Troy and his coach/dad (played by hot-ass Bart Johnson, pictured right). Troy is conflicted about wanting to win the big game, but also wanting to explore the secretly hidden "musical" tendencies burgeoning within (ahem!). Coach seems more than happy to help him out:

COACH: How you feeling?
TROY: Nervous...
COACH: Yeah, me too. Wish I could suit up and play along side of you.
TROY: You had your turn.
COACH: Know what I want from you today?
TROY: The championship?
COACH: It'll either come or it won't. What I want is for you to have fun. I know all about the pressure, and probably too much of it has come from me. What I really want is to see my son having the time of his life playing a game we both love. (!!!) You give me that, and I will sleep with a smile on my face no matter how the score comes out. (!!!!!!)
TROY: Thanks, coach...uh, dad.

Coach, uh, dad then slaps Troy on the thigh and walks out of the locker room. Hmmmm.


Hip Hop Hooray!

It's back to business at the top of the chart this week as another cookie cutter hip hop song goes to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Chamillionaire Featuring Krayzie Bone replaces Rihanna with "Ridin'." NEXT! A rap song that ain't half bad, meanwhile, is Fort Minor Featuring Holly Brook's "Where'd You Go," at #5. Fort Minor is a side project of Linkin Park's Mike Shindoa, and the tune is kinda reminiscent of Eminem and Dido's "Stan" -- but good!

After a week as the most-downloaded single, "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado sluts its way into the Top 10. Further down, Gnarls Barkley is finally crossing over in the States as their UK chart-topper of seven weeks, "Crazy," cracks the U.S. Top 40. This week it moves up to #38. And, while it took forever, "Bossy," the new single by Kelis, is beginning to slowly move up the chart. The single jumps up 32 spots to #50. Snow Patrol has the "hot shot debut" at #55 with "Chasing Cars."

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Ridin'" - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone *1 week*
2. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter
3. "S.O.S." - Rihanna
4. "Temperature" - Sean Paul
5. "Where'd You Go" - Fort Minor feat. Holly Brook
6. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
7. "Snap Yo Fingers" - Lil Jon
8. "Over My Head (Cable Car)" - The Fray
9. "Promiscuous" - Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland *sales gainer*
10. "What You Know" - T.I.

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America Picks Sex Symbol Taylor Hicks, And Clay Aiken's New Look

Yeah, yeah, yeah... Taylor Hicks won the fifth season of American Idol tonight. Now there's a star. But the real shocker...

...was the "unveiling" of Clay Aiken's new look...

...while he performed "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" (classy).

Meanwhile, has Reba McEntire realized her weave is missing yet?

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Shove A Straw Up Mimi

Wow! Not only did Mariah Carey lose about 75 lbs., she's actually doing a fun pop song! Why can't she make a whole album like this?


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Latest Paris Hilton Album Rumor

Has any album taken longer to record than the upcoming one from Paris Hilton (pictured at the Cannes Film Festival below, and looking more like a scrawny old hooker than ever)?

Supposedly titled Paris Is Burning, word is that she's now recording a cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."

This sounds about as believable as the one where she was seeking music advice from Pete Waterman...

"It's just Paris's latest idea and because she shares a label with Gnarls, she thinks that it will all be a piece of cake," an unnamed source told Britain's Daily Star. Riiiight.

The hotel whoress has also been said to be working on the album with Nick Carter, Three 6 Mafia, JC Chasez and your mom.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

"I Need To Transcend!"

Oh, cruel world! How did Just Friends flop at the box office last year when it truly deserves props for being the awesome camp classic that it is? Check out this scene of Anna Faris as Samantha James, a Paris Hilton-esque bimbo cutting her song, "Love From Afar," which sounds a lot like "Can't Get You Out Of My Head."

  • Here's her big hit! [mp3]
  • Can Pop Music Combine Seriousness And Fun?

    Well, today the new Pet Shop Boys album, Fundamental, is finally out in the U.K. It's a whole month before it's released here in the States (my copy was shipped from Amazon UK on Saturday!). The U.S. Amazon store surprisingly shows the British import ranked at #80 currently for music sales (#7 in the U.K.).

    Meanwhile, go here to watch an interesting interview with the PSBs on the British program The Culture Show, which aired Saturday.


    Sunday, May 21, 2006

    Infernal Sidles Up To Gnarls Barkley

    Geez. It's an eighth week at #1 in the U.K. for Gnarls Barkley and their single "Crazy." How over this song is everyone? But Infernal crawls up to the runner-up notch with "From Paris To Berlin."

    The only new entry in the Top 10 is Sunblock at #9 with the Prydz-esque "First Time." You can watch the video for this trash here.

    Meanwhile, Pet Shop Boys' new single "I'm With Stupid" falls victim to the dreaded #8-to-#25 plunge! In the parallel universe of the U.S., Jewel falls prey to the same dreadful malady with her new album.

    The U.K. Top 10:

    1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley *8 weeks*
    2. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal
    3. "Control Myself" - LL Cool J feat. Jennifer Lopez
    4. "Say I" - Christina Milian feat. Young Jeezy
    5. "Somebody's Watching Me" - Beatfreakz
    6. "Touch It" - Busta Rhymes
    7. "S.O.S." - Rihanna
    8. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    9. "First Time" - Sunblock feat. Robin Beck *new*
    10. "No Promises" - Shayne Ward

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    Friday, May 19, 2006

    Drama Queens

    Here are a couple pics of the Bananarama gals at Borders in Hollywood last night (click 'em to enlarge):

    Apparently over 300 people showed up and stood in a line that wrapped around the block!

    Many thanks to T and J for showing up in my absence and taking photos and getting my copy of Drama signed. And thanks to these pictures, my dad now has the hots for them and -- no lie -- is sending me out tonight to get their greatest hits CD for him. Unbeknownst to him, he's also getting Drama :)

    Get your copy here.


    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Promiscuous Girl Nelly Furtado Slinks Her Way Up The Chart

    Not much new going on in the American Top 10 this week. What's interesting is that Billboard notes the new singles certifications. Cascada's "Everytime We Touch" has gone double platinum (2 million copies/downloads sold), Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten" is five times platinum, and James Blunt is 6 times platinum (!!) with "You're Beautiful." Meanwhile, I guess I'm not the only one Nelly Furtado's new single "Promiscuous" is growing on. It jumps up 34 spots to #30 this week.

    The U.S. Top 10:

    1. "S.O.S." - Rihanna *3 weeks*
    2. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter
    3. "Ridin'" - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone
    4. "Temperature" - Sean Paul
    5. "Where'd You Go" - Fort Minor feat. Holly Brook
    6. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    7. "Snap Yo Fingers" - Lil Jon *airplay/sales gainer*
    8. "What You Know" - T.I.
    9. "What's Left Of Me" - Nick Lachey
    10. "Over My Head (Cable Car)" - The Fray

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    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Nick Lachey Tops Himself

    Naughty! Billboard reports today that Nick Lachey debuts on the Top 200 Albums chart this week at #2 with "What's Left Of Me." The album sold 172,000 copies in its first week, which equals the amount his first album, SoulO, has sold in its entire run since it came out in 2003. What a difference having a hit single tied into a high-profile divorce and homo-erotic spread in Rolling Stone and Us Weekly makes.

    Further down the album chart, Gnarls Barkley debuts at #20 with St. Elsewhere, and Snow Patrol debuts at #34 with Eyes Open.

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    Young Divas Put American Idols To Shame

    Why do we get stuck with Z-grade Idol wash-ups who do drab ballads, when Australia is able to throw together four of their past contestants for a fun, breezy pop cover of "This Time I Know It's For Real"? Young Divas -- okay, they coulda put more thought into the group name -- is made up of Kate DeAraugo, Paulini, Emily Williams and Ricki-Lee. The single, which comes with an extended mix, was released two weeks ago, and it hit #7 in the Aussie singles chart this past week. Read more about the broads here.


    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    Anatomy Download

    Being back in my hometown, I'm coming to realize that a lot of people I know are heavily into watching Grey's Anatomy, the Sunday night hospital drama on ABC. I personally haven't gotten into it as Sandra Oh really irritated me in the film Sideways.I really just can't tolerate her face. That said, I got strapped into watching the two-part finale of Grey's Anatomy with my parents, over the course of Sunday and Monday nights. Over the final moments of the last episode -- wherein the season cliffhanger was hatched -- Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" (off the new album Eyes Open) played, manipulating it into quite a tearjerking moment. Not surprisingly, "Chasing Cars" is today the 32nd most-downloaded song on iTunes. Meanwhile, their official U.S. single, "Hands Open," has yet to even enter the daily 100 Downloads chart at the online music store.


    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    Dannii Minogue, Nicki French, Sugababes Go Head-To-Head June 5

    Over in the UK, June 5 is looking to be a hot date for new single releases! As mentioned here a few weeks ago, Diva DJs Vs. Nicki French are putting out "Total Eclipse Of The Heart '06" then, complete with seven mixes. Additionally, "So Under Pressure," the first single off Dannii Minogue's forthcoming greatest hits package, comes out the same day. You can watch the video on her official site.

    Another one to pick up is "Follow Me Home," the fourth single off Sugababes' latest album, Taller In More Ways.

    Here's the video.

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    Look On The Floor

    What great timing! Not only did I unknowingly decide to spend a week back in Pennsylvania while Bananarama are in Los Angeles on Thursday, signing their new CD Drama...

    ...but now they're making an appearance on Saturday night at Micky's nightclub in West Hollywood -- the night before I fly back.

    Le sigh.


    21st British Top 10 For Pet Shop Boys

    "I'm With Stupid" has entered the UK singles chart at #8, giving the Pet Shop Boys their 21st Top 10 single in England. Maybe I can get some cash for the dozens of posts about them in the past couple months, then? Hey, spread the celebrating this way, boys!

    "I'm With Stupid" is also their 3rd British Top 10 of the new millenium. The prior two were "Miracles," which charted at #10 in November 2003...

    ...and "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk," which also went to #8, in January 2000.

    The U.K. Top 10:

    1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley *7 weeks*
    2. "Control Myself" - LL Cool J feat. Jennifer Lopez
    3. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal
    4. "Somebody's Watching Me" - Beatfreakz
    5. "S.O.S." - Rihanna
    6. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    7. "No Promises" - Shayne Ward
    8. "I'm With Stupid" - Pet Shop Boys *new*
    9. "Stoned In Love" - Chicane feat. Tom Jones
    10. "Naive" - The Kooks

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    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Pet Shop Boys Finally Announce U.S. Release Details For Fundamental

    In an article published on Billboard's site today, the details of the North American release of the new Pet Shop Boys album, Fundamental, were finally announced. The album, being released here by Rhino, is out June 27.

    Both the regular version as well as the limited-edition, double-disc version -- Fundamentalism -- will be available.

    The article went on to mention that the Pettos kick off a European summer tour June 15 at Norway's Sommerfestival. Then, they're expected to hit North America in August or September.

    Yee-haw! Time to quit the job and caravan around the country bouncing from show to show.


    Hi, Mom!

    It's hard to believe it's been 10 years since these broads hit the scene (except in the U.S., where we had the Spice Girls phenomenon as a one-year delayed reaction). But, it seems appropriate to trot out this video, as this Sunday is Mother's Day. Don't forget to call or send the old hooker a card!

    Tomorrow I'm flying back home to visit Mama D'Luv for a week. It'll be Chart Rigger on location in good ol' western Pennsylvania.

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    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    KT Tunstall Climbing Up Nick Lachey's Rear

    It's a second week at #1 for Rihanna on the Billboard Hot 100. Great song and all, but don't stay too long at the parade, RiRi, ya know what I'm sayin'? That Soft Cell sample can get old real quick like. Anyway, Nick Lachey has managed to stay in the Top 10 for a second week. And a curse on the house of the fiend (you know who you are) who emailed me earlier this week to tell me that Target was carrying a "special edition" of Nick's album, with a bonus track added on. Was I ever intending on buying this CD? No! Did I then go straight to Target, via power of persuasion, and nervously walk up to the counter with the Nick Lachey CD in hand, looking around to make sure no one saw me? Maybe. Oh well, it was hidden under the new Snow Patrol CD, which also had a Target-only bonus disc included.

    Now for those sad to see British artistes James Blunt and Natasha Bedingfield drop out of the Top 10 this week, fear not! Another droll singer/songwriter-y act from the U.K. is flying up the chart in the form of Scottish guitar minx, KT Tunstall. It's a bona fide KT frenzy over here, as "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree" has jumped from #79 to #23 this week. The kidz downloading High School Musical must have all graduated and moved on to more sleep-inducing fare, methinks.

    And finally, a few other tunes are making noticeable moves on the download charts. Nelly Furtado's new U.S. single, "Promiscuous," is currently at #21 on iTunes (and debuts at #64 on the Hot 100). Between this one, her overseas single "Maneater" and Rihanna's "S.O.S.", it's nice to see R&B is getting a bit more poppy. Another single not fitting into the typical R&B box is the current U.K. #1, "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, a few spots behind Nelly Furtado on iTunes. It debuts on the Hot 100 at #91.

    The U.S. Top 10:

    1. "S.O.S." - Rihanna *2 weeks*
    2. "Bad Day" - Daniel Powter
    3. "Temperature" - Sean Paul
    4. "Ridin'" - Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone
    5. "Where'd You Go" - Fort Minor feat. Holly Brook *sales gainer*
    6. "What You Know" - T.I.
    7. "What's Left Of Me" - Nick Lachey
    8. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    9. "Over My Head (Cable Car)" - The Fray
    10. "Ms. New Booty" - Bubba Sparxxx

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    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Goodbye, Jewel?

    Gotta love how Billboard describes Jewel entering the charts with her latest album.

    Moving 82,000 copies, Jewel makes a return to The Billboard 200 with Goodbye Alice in Wonderland, which enters at No. 8, giving the singer-songwriter her fifth top 10 album. The final album under her Atlantic contract, Goodbye comes three years after the poppy 0304, which debuted at No. 2.

    Ouch. "Final." Way to be back-handed! Well, to be honest, it's not Jewel's best. She shoulda stuck with tight cleavage-bearing clothes and drum machines.

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    True Hollywood Story: Simon Cowell

    This trash airs on E! this Sunday. In the description on E!'s site for the show, it says:

    Cowell found success early on as a record producer after turning his then girlfriend, pop singer Sinitta, into an international star.

    Dammit! The Sinitta hook lures us in every time. It airs on Mother's Day, and it looks like mom's just gonna have to sit and watch, too. Supposedly Pete Waterman sat down and was interviewed for this.

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    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    Britney Spears Is Knocked Up Again + Adam Rickitt Breathes Again

    So, apparently Britney Spears went on Late Night With David Letterman today and confirmed that she is indeed knocked up with another Feder-brat. Who really cares, right? Hasn't this rumor been going around for the past few months, anyway? The more important news is that The Brit, who often comments on here, gave me his sob story recently about how he accidentally deleted all his MP3's from his iPod -- without having any of them backed up. This prompted me to finally get around to uploading a large portion of my CD collection to my new iPod that I got around the holidays. It's taken me three days so far, and I should be finished tonight.

    Now, I have a rather large collection of CD singles, and going through it, I realized I'd forgotten entirely about a lot of them. There was the whole period in 1999 when I used to haunt the Virgin Megastore's import section on a weekly basis, picking up singles by such long-forgotten gems as Lolly and Adam Rickitt. I saw this homo-erotic masterpiece in November, playing on a video screen, when Mr. Brady and I popped into the G-A-Y bar in London. The tune still stands up as great pop, I think.

    Adam Rickitt's "I Breathe Again" charted at UK #5 in June of 1999. Oddly enough, I remember buying this single along with the import for Pet Shop Boys' "I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Anymore" -- the video for which is very similar to this. Another similarity: Sylvia Mason-James sings backing vocals on both songs.

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    Hey, look -- a free CD to give away! And it's Ultra Electro, the latest in the series of groovy compilations from Ultra Records!

    It's got some of the most swingin' dance hits from the past year, just crying out to be blaring from you speakers. And dig the naughty Paris Hilton-esque broad on the cover. She's all, "You know you wanna play this sh**!"

    Now, I don't care where you live -- this CD is going out to someone! All you gotta do is post below what the lamest CD in your music collection is. The worst one gets this gem.

    DISC 1
    Gorillaz - DARE (Soulwax Remix)
    Depeche Mode - A Pain That I'm Used To (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)
    New Order - Waiting For The Sirens’ Call (Planet Funk Remix)
    Röyksopp - What Else Is There? (Trentemoller Remix)
    Ladytron - Sugar (Jagz Kooner Mix)
    Tiefschwarz feat. Matty Safer - Warning Siren (Buick Project Remix)
    Daft Punk - Technologic
    Moby - Dream About Me (Sebastian Ingrosso Remix)
    Shiny Toy Guns - Le Disko (Tommie Sunshine’s Brooklyn Fire Retouch)
    The Egg - Walking Away (Tocadisco’s Acid Walk Mix)
    Goldfrapp - Ooh La La (Tiefschwarz Remix)
    N.E.R.D. - She Wants To Move (DFA Remix)

    DISC 2
    Daisy Daisy - Michelle Plays Ping Pong
    M.A.N.D.Y. vs. Booka Shade - Body Language
    Trick & Kubic feat. Valeska – Easy
    Armand Van Helden - Sugar (Paper Faces Remix)
    Laid feat. Yota - Me
    Freeform Five - No More Conversations (Mylo Remix)
    Tonite Only – Danger (The Bomb)
    Alter Ego – Rocker (Eric Prydz Remix)
    Digitalism - Zdarlight
    Tom Novy feat. Michael Marshall – Your Body (Gianluca Motta Remix )
    Till West & DJ Delicious - Same Man
    Supermode – Tell Me Why

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Pet Shop Boys Announce Next Single

    The new Pet Shop Boys single, "I'm With Stupid," is out today in the U.K. It's available on CD, DVD and 7-inch formats.

    Additionally, the Boys announced on their official site yesterday that the next single off Fundamental will be "Minimal." It'll possibly be out late July.


    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Mission Impossible: Tom Cruise Dancing

    Well, his latest movie didn't perform too well, but at least it didn't tank as badly as when Tom Cruise danced on B.E.T. the other day. Go, white boy!


    Snow Days

    It's another week without a debut entry in the British Top 10 singles chart. With albums, Snow Patrol's Eyes Open debuts at #1, while their single "You're All I Have" hangs in at #10. It's the band's second Top 10 single (it peaked at #7 last week), the first being "Run" which hit #5 two years ago. Here in the States, Eyes Open is released on Tuesday, and Amazon.com currently has it on sale for $8.96.

    Meanwhile, the latest Michael Jackson re-released single does worse than it's predecessors -- all of which have so far missed the Top 10. This week, "Remember The Time" misses the Top 20, going in at #22.

    The U.K. Top 10:

    1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley *6 weeks*
    2. "Dani California" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    3. "Somebody's Watching Me" - Beatfreakz
    4. "From Paris To Berlin" - Infernal
    5. "S.O.S." - Rihanna
    6. "Steady As She Goes" - Raconteurs
    7. "Stoned In Love" - Chicane feat. Tom Jones
    8. "Bang Bang You're Dead" - Dirty Pretty Things
    9. "No Promises" - Shayne Ward
    10. "You're All I Have" - Snow Patrol

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    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Someone Who Won't Leave Me Feeling...

    Well, the new Pet Shop Boys single comes out on Monday, so I've been listening to them all day today. This morning I ran across this clip from Top Of The Pops, which I've always felt is one of the best songs the Boys (albeit Neil alone) have had their hand in:

    Although Electronic's "Disappointed" came out in summer 1992 (and I had their first album back in 1991), I never knew about this song until almost three years after it was included on the Cool World soundtrack.

    In 1994, I transferred to Indiana University Of Pennsylvania (aka IUP) after attending a community college for two years. That fall I made friends with this guy Bryan, who lived on the floor above me in Gordon Hall. He and I would occasionally eat lunch together and talk about music. He was really into the Britpop stuff (Blur, Ride, Slowdive) that was out at the time. I remember he made me a mixed tape and it was the first time I'd heard Oasis.

    One Friday night that fall, we were taking a walk around the campus, and we realized we both liked the Pet Shop Boys. Disco 2 had just come out. I asked him if he thought Neil Tennant was gay or not. We speculated about it for about an hour, and I don't recall if we ever drew a real conclusion, although I remember trying to prove that he very well could be by using the middle eight verse from "I Want To Wake Up" as proof ("You're in love with me/ She's in love with me/ But you know as well as I do I could never think of anyone but you" - the "you" obviously being a "he."). At any rate, we were oblivious to the fact that Neil had come out that very year in Attitude magazine, as widespread use of the internet was still kind of new (although this was about the time when I first began using the internet, in the university's computer lab).

    Bryan and I stayed friends throughout the year. One time we ran over to the record store on the campus called Vibes. I was about to buy Rick Astley's Whenever You Need Somebody on CD, to replace my worn-out tape copy. Bryan was horrified, and I still can hear him say to me, "As your friend, I can't let you do that!" I ended up buying Peter Gabriel's Shaking The Tree: 16 Golden Greats instead.

    By January that school year, we were both bored out of our minds being away in some small college town in the dead of winter. One day, after lunch we were in his room and I found the CD single for "Disappointed" amongst his massive music collection. I think he kept all his discs in a trunk, or some kind of big storage box. I'd never heard it before, and so I borrowed it and dubbed the single mix and the extended "Electronic Mix" onto a mixed tape I was making, which is still in my car's glove compartment to this day. It's got other songs from the time on it, like Corona's "Rhythm Of The Night," Weezer's "Buddy Holly" and Real McCoy's "Another Night." Another one I put on the tape that I got from him was "Nightswimming" by R.E.M..

    Anyway, the following year, we'd both moved out of Gordon Hall, and would see each other occasionally at the coffee shop or at parties. I eventually lost track of him. About four years later, I found the CD single for "Disappointed" at Tower Records (who strangely still keeps it in stock) and picked up a copy.

    On a final note, the other night I randomly thought of Bryan and Googled his full name, and found that he's here in the blogosphere, too, doing his thing. I tried to put some vague comment on one of his posts with a link to the TOTP video clip above included, but for some reason it didn't go through. I guess some things are probably just better left as memories.

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