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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Poll Results: SWV Ideal Pop Act To Reform

SWV fans swooped in to ensure the Sisters With Voices won Chart Rigger's latest poll -- which pop group we'd all like to see get back together.

SWV -- comprised of members Coko, Taj and Leelee -- scored a U.S. #1 in 1993 with "Weak" as well as several other Top 10 hits that decade. Perhaps their biggest international success came with what could be considered one of the most well-known mashups -- the "Human Nature Mix" of the group's "Right Here," [Video] which incorporates the melody of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" as the main backing track. The song was included on the soundtrack to the successful kiddie click Free Willy.

All in all, SWV clocked in with 34 of the 71 votes cast. According to their entry on Wikipedia, the three gals actually have been performing together again over the past two years, and a new album is expected sometime in '07. Ironically, news also came last week that Scooch, one of the other artists in the poll, have reformed to take a stab at the British entry into this year's Eurovision contest. A clip of their new song "Flying The Flag (For You)" can be heard here. Let's just hope they fare better in Eurovision than they did here. Below are the rest of the results:

2. Steps (13 votes)
3. A*Teens (12 votes)
4-5. Deuce / Scooch (5 votes each)
6. *NSync (3 votes)

New poll up now in the sidebar.

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Looks Like An Early Winter For Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson revealed her new album title, My December, on her website yesterday, and according to this release, it'll be out in the spring.

Kelly's been unveiling several new songs recently -- including "One Minute," which she belted out at the Daytona 500 last week.

Sounds like girlfriend's gotten even more rock-y. According to Wikipedia, one of the guest musicians on My December is "punk rock legend" Mike Watt. She's likely trying to distance herself from all the pop ho's out there.

One thing's for sure: After that last album and appearing onstage wasted at Metal Skool in the summer, Kelly Clarkson can do no wrong round these parts...for now. Though, that Proactiv commercial is pretty cheesy.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mel C Holding Up Spice Reunion While Posh Gets NBC Reality Deal

Christ, this broad hasn't even finished unpacking her thong collection here in the States and she's already verging on Paris Hilton-esque lameness.

Victoria Beckham's manager, Simon Fuller, announced that Posh will be doing something completely daring and unique later this year; a reality show for NBC. "The Americans were falling over themselves to sign Victoria up for a TV show, but we had to choose the right deal for her," he told London's Evening Standard. As the Americans fell, they came up with the idea for it to be a "fly-on-the-wall show about her family's move to L.A." Shocking! None of her kids will appear on the show, apparently, and David Beckham will only play "a minor role."

Meanwhile, Fuller has also stated that Sporty Spice is holding up the Spice Girls reunion (which is to include a world tour, but no new music):

"All of the girls are up for it and the reunion will definitely happen in the next 18 months. The only person showing any reluctance is Mel C."

"She thinks her solo career is bigger than the band, which is just not the case."

"She needs to wise up and realize a reunion would be amazing for everybody concerned."

"Emma [Bunton] and Geri [Halliwell] are meeting her soon to discuss everything and convince her to finally sign a deal."

"The girls never wrote their own songs like [Take That's] Gary Barlow, so it wouldn't make sense for them to record a new album or anything."

"The Spice Girls will come back with a big bang; they'll do a whirlwind tour for six months and they'll be gone again."

No new music? Gosh, you'd think this was all about money or something...

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Mika Ditches Take That, But Can He Be As Badass Awesome As Chris Daughtry?

A month ago there was buzz that Mika might support Take That on their upcoming tour of England, but now he's apparently scotched that idea.

Granted, Mika recently spent five weeks at the top of the British charts with single "Grace Kelly," so he may be feeling a little big in the britches. But here in the States, the single has been hovering in the lower reaches of both the Billboard Hot 100 Singles and the iTunes download chart.

Clearly the way for a pop star to make it in America these days is to get your song played on a popular television show, ala Snow Patrol and The Fray's recent success when their sleep-inducing anthems were included on Grey's Anatomy, or Daniel Powter becoming huge one hit wonder after "Bad Day" got weekly play on American Idol.

Speaking of "Bad Day," you may be wondering why you don't hear the charming ditty warbling away this year on Idol. Maybe the producers wised up to the fact that they had to pay Powter's label to include the song on the show. Now they've simply replaced it with one by an artist of their own -- "Home," by the always charming Chris Daughtry.

New poll up now in the sidebar.

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The Truth Is Out There

Congratulations to Melissa Etheridge who won an Oscar tonight for Best Original Song ("I Need To Wake Up") and Davis Guggenheim whose An Inconvenient Truth won Best Documentary.

Most of all, congratulations to Al Gore for managing to wake millions of people up to the crisis of global warming. Though I've never revealed much about myself personally outside of musical tastes, I will say that Al Gore has been a hero of mine and an inspiration for many years, both as a politician and an environmentalist.

If you ever take just one bit of information from this site, let it be this: Click here, download the Take Action Flyer PDF which details 10 simple, easy things you can do to personally help fight global warming, slap it on your refrigerator or bulletin board and pass it out to friends. You'll be amazed how effortless it is to make the slightest changes to your daily life, and what a difference it could make if we all do it.

It's so easy to be cynical, but it's even easier to walk an empty water bottle to a recycle bin.

* ClimateCrisis.net
* Buy An Inconvenient Truth

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hell To The Chiefs

Yuck. Kaiser Chiefs are #1 this week on the official U.K. singles chart with "Ruby." At least Mika finally hit the road.

Kind of a dull week with not much new to cover for the most part, but..

Kudos to Kelis for having the best song off the highly undervalued Kelis Was Here make it all the way to #3. Also, Sophie Ellis-Bextor finally makes a decent jump to #8 with "Catch You," giving her a sixth British Top 10 hit post-Spiller. Take That's physical single for "Shine" is out tomorrow, but after weeks of crawling up the chart, it reaches a new high of #10 off downloads alone.

"Shine" marks the group's fifteenth Top 10 hit in the U.K.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Ruby" - Kaiser Chiefs *1 week*
2. "Grace Kelly" - Mika
3. "Lil Star" - Kelis feat. Cee-Lo
4. "I Wanna Love You" - Akon feat. Snoop Dogg
5. "How To Save A Life" - The Fray
6. "Starz In Their Eyes" - Just Jack
7. "The Sweet Escape" - Gwen Stefani feat. Akon
8. "Catch You" - Sopie Ellis-Bextor
9. "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" - Fall Out Boy
10. "Shine" - Take That

New poll up now in the sidebar.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Well, At Least Chris Daughtry Isn't Bitter

Christ Daughtry, voted off American Idol last season before making it to the finale, has far outsold winners Katharine McPhee and Taylor Hicks.

His album with his new band, Daughtry has so far moved close to two million copies, while the single "It's Not Over" [Video] peaked at U.S. #4. But, golly, does he ever come off as tangy in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (the article aptly titled "The Anti-Idol"). You'd think he had just been the subject of a Chart Rigger banterview or something!

Here are some excerpts:

On a Wednesday in late January, the chrome-domed singer is playing a lunchtime set at the Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian...Frail kids in wheelchairs and teenagers tethered to IVs eagerly await this glimmer of celebrity in a sunny two-story atrium.

When Daughtry arrives, however, he doesn't seem in a charitable mood. First he cancels the proposed Q&A session.

When a hospital administrator introduces him as "Chris from American Idol," the tightly wound singer snaps. He turns discreetly to a member of his entourage and whispers, "Are they even going to mention the album? Are they going to talk about the band? It's just Idol." [Chart Rigger: You know, so the 50 kids in wheelchairs and on IVs can rush out and buy the CD.]

Daughtry went into his first meeting with Clive Davis, who runs BMG Music Label Group and oversees the label side of the Idol franchise, determined to get his way. And after performing an original tune in the mogul's office...he did.

Thought Daughtry talks a lot about breaking the mold, the 12-song CD is as calculated as a Britney Spears album. A savvy rock producer was hired, along with proven songwriters like former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody and hit-maker Dr. Luke, who helped pen Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone."

The Nickelback-esque sound [Chart Rigger: Aaargh!!] was created by seasoned players, and auditions in Hollywood last fall found the appropriately pierced and mohawked sidemen now known just as Daughtry.

Daughtry himself admits that being away from home has brought stress to his marriage. "I'm not there to help her with anything," he says... The commitment that brings him far more anxiety, however, is the one he made to Idol."It can be frustrating...Well, I'm the one who decided to go on the show, so you can't be too upset about it."

A sold-out midweek show at Los Angeles' El Rey is filled with moms in bedazzled peasant shirts and clumps of kids sipping Shirley Temples...the room erupts in shrieks. A woman screams repeatedly, "You're so hot, Chris!"

It should be a triumphant coronation of a rock star, but during the entire 50-minute set, Daughtry doesn't smile once.

Jeez, if he thinks that's bad, wait till Clive Davis and Co. turn their attention to launching Leona Lewis in the States, Daughtry's next single stiffs at radio and he's left doing the shopping mall circuit with Kellie Pickler.

New poll up now in the sidebar.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Darren Hayes Sells Out U.S. Gigs Within Minutes

Talk about "spin"... Darren Hayes' press agent announced yesterday that the singer's first U.S. shows in six years -- two gigs at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in New York City on March 28 and 29 -- sold out in under 10 minutes. Apparently the first night was only known by Joe's Pub employees, and tickets sold out before it was announced to fans. After a second night was added, seats were gone after seven minutes.

“Our phones have been ringing off the hook ever since we put the Darren Hayes shows on-sale," said Bill Bragin, director of the venue, "which sold out faster than any show we have had in history. There is clearly a huge audience clamoring to see Darren here in the US. We even have people flying in from other States!”

Meanwhile, get yer cute gay, married butt out to L.A., Daz!

New poll up now in the sidebar.


What Goes Around Comes Back Around For The Dixie Chicks And Justin Timberlake

Almost a month ago, Justin Timberlake made a brief one week appearance in the lower Top 10 with "What Goes Around...Comes Around" before falling out. This week, he jumps from #8 to #1, simultaneously knocking Nelly Furtado down to #3 and racking up his third third consecutive single to top the Billboard Hot 100.

Following their post-Grammy sweep last week, the Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready To Make Nice" was the most-downloaded song for several days, which causes them to re-enter the Hot 100 at #4. Initially, the single was released last March and failed to go Top 20 after being virturally banned by radio following singer Natalie Maines' anti-Bush comments at a 2003 London concert.

But apparently the dumb Americans who opposed the Chicks have caught up these past few years in realizing Bush is a lame-ass and the worst President ever, as Taking The Long Way was also the most-downloaded album last week. It had a 714% increase in sales, and flew up from #72 on the Top 200 Albums chart to #8.

Outside the Top 10, Fergie's new single "Glamorous" has dropped faster than Britney Spears panties in a limousine. The song, which entered the upper tier last week at #9, has plummetted to #33. Corinne Bailey Rae has the Hot Shot Debut at #56 with "Like A Star," while on the album chart, Norah Jones knocks Fall Out Boy down to reclaim the top position. Overall, the week is most notable for there being only two truly R&B singles in the Top 10.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "What Goes Around...Comes Around" - Justin Timberlake *1 week*
2. "Runaway Love" - Ludacris feat. Mary J. Blige
3. "Say It Right" - Nelly Furtado
4. "Not Ready To Make Nice" - Dixie Chicks *re-entry*
5. "Don't Matter" - Akon
6. "The Sweet Escape" - Gwen Stefani feat. Akon
7. "It's Not Over" - Daughtry
8. "Cupid's Chokehold" - Gym Class Heroes feat. Patrick Stump
9. "Irreplaceable" - Beyoncé
10. "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" - Fall Out Boy

New poll up now in the sidebar.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Gadzooks! Someone Get Tara Reid A Recording Contract On The Pronto

Hot. But where the hell is the visual?


James Blunt Wins At Being A Loser

Nearly a year after going to #1 with "You're Beautiful," a riotous public took to last week's Chart Rigger poll to cast their vote and lynch James Blunt.

"You're Beautiful" was the clear winner of the "Which New Millenium Pop Song Do We Want The Master Tapes Lost For The Most" poll, garnering 21 votes out of 71 cast. Eight songs were up for the title, chosen in the most scientific manner which cannot be revealed. One thing I'll never understand, though: folks' reluctance to bash Coldplay.

That said, here is how the rest played out...

2. Usher "Yeah!" (11 votes)
3-4. Fergie "London Bridge"/Black Eyed Peas "My Humps" (10 votes)
5. Justin Timberlake "SexyBack" (9 votes)
6. Macy Gray "I Try" (5 votes)
7. The Streets "Fit But You Know It" (4 votes)
8. Coldplay "Clocks" (1 vote)

New poll up now in the sidebar.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Has Kylie Checked Out YourSpace?

Start slappin' the amateur demos you've been four-tracking online. It turns out Kylie Minogue plucked one budding songwriter right off MySpace.

We all know Kylie's been busy working with various established songwriters and producers on her first album in four years. One of the producers apparently took note of music 23-year-old Calvin Harris was posting on his MySpace page, and passed him on to Kylie. Her spokesperson confirmed to NME that they are indeed working together. He's since signed a deal with Sony and will have his own single out in March, titled "Acceptable In The 80s." Click on the link above to check out that song and others by Calvin.

Heck, I'm sending the Christmas charity single I cut with Miss Pussy a few years back to her. You may recall, it got to #24 in Japan.

It's the last day to vote for the worst song of the new millenium, in the sidebar.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Take That And The Gossip Continue Their Steady U.K. Chart Climb

It's pretty much a game of shuffle with the official U.K. Top 10 singles this week, as Akon moves up six places to #3 with "I Wanna Love you," which bumps down a bunch of singles. The View have then dropped out and Take That's "Patience" re-enters the upper tier at #10. "Patience" is one notch higher than Take That's new single "Shine," which has been steadily climbing the Top 40 for a few weeks.

Another climber is The Gossip (who will be touring the U.S. this spring/summer on an all-star bill with Scissor Sisters, Cyndi Lauper and Erasure). Their rowdy pro-gay anthem "Standing In The Way Of Control" has jumped an impressive 10 positions to #17. Snow Patrol enter the Top 40 modestly at #26 with "Open Your Eyes," the best song off their latest album, while Lily Allen has another low debut at #29 with "Alfie."

Finally, The Feeling just crack the Top 40 at #38 with "Rose," their fifth single off Twelve Stops And Home.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Grace Kelly" - Mika *5 weeks*
2. "Ruby" - Kaiser Chiefs
3. "I Wanna Love You" - Akon feat. Snoop Dogg
4. "Starz In Their Eyes" - Just Jack
5. "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" - Fall Out Boy
6. "Perfect (Exceeder)" - Mason vs. Princess Superstar
7. "How To Save A Life" - The Fray
8. "The Sweet Escape" - Gwen Stefani feat. Akon
9. "Too Little, Too Late" - JoJo
10. "Patience" - Take That

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Spice Girls Say They'll Be There?

RobPop from Don't Stop The Pop was crowing yesterday about the Spice Girls reunion that's been gaining news coverage momentum. My heart leapt, and suddenly I was that 24-year old standing in a sea of tween girls at their concert in Pittsburgh again, back in summer 1998. But frankly, I'll believe it's true when I see all five broads shaking their spice racks on stage. Rumors about them getting back together have cropped up from time to time, most famously around the period of the Live 8 shows two years ago. But it's now a post-Take That pop world, and word has it that the Spices will be joining a reformed Boyzone on a national tour after doing a chartiy gig in London this August.

Speaking of reunited '90s acts, All Saints' next single "Chick Fit" is officially released in two weeks. Here's the video:

The Wikipedia entry for All Saints states rumors are going around that the group, who had four U.K. #1s and a Top 10 U.S. hit in their heyday, have been dropped by their label, Parlophone. Despite their comeback single "Rock Steady" spending a month in the British Top 10 last fall and peaking at #3, their new album Studio 1 could be retitled Sales: 1.

Rounding out the U.K. girl group news, the Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud charity single "Walk This Way" is out March 12.

Sadly, upon listening, it sounds like eight alley cats in heat trying to claw their way through the chorus. Chart Rigger gives it a big hiss!

Vote for the most annoying pop song of the new millenium in the sidebar.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Milli Vanilli Movie (Not Kidding)

Seriously, the Milli Vanilli movie sounds like the best idea Hollywood has had in six decades.

Variety reported today that Jeff Nathanson is penning the script and directing the film for Universal. Who better to do a movie about the biggest chicanery in pop history than the guy who wrote Catch Me If You Can?

Hot: "He has secured the cooperation of Milli Vanilli alumnus Fabrice Morvan, who has been pursuing a comeback for years...." Well, this ought to take care of it.

Meanwhile, if I'm not mistaken (never!), the very first VH1 Behind The Music was on Milli Vanilli, back in 1998.

Vote for the most annoying pop song of the new millenium in the sidebar.


Nelly Furtado Side-Steps Beyoncé, Goes To #1

I'm glad Nelly Furtado topped the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart this week with "Say It Right." I think in retrospect, when the dust settles on the decade, it'll be one of the songs that rightfully stands the test of time. This gives Tranny Furtado her second #1 off Loose, and "Say It Right" is now the first song to officially climb to #1 in 2007.

Gwen Stefani's "The Sweet Escape" has moved up to #3, which ties the 2002 position for No Doubt's "Underneath It All" as her second best-charting single behind "Hollaback Girl" on the Hot 100. Fergie jumps 22 spots to #9 with "Glamorous," and Lily Allen slips into the Top 50 with "Smile," at #49. Over on the album chart, Katharine McPhee falls from last week's #2 debut to #11. So much for American Idol cranking out the winners. Give Taylor Hicks a big kiss on the way down, doll.

Overall, this is probably the best Top 10 we've had in ages, as far as variety goes.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Say It Right" - Nelly Furtado *1 week*
2. "Irreplaceable" - Beyoncé
3. "The Sweet Escape" - Gwen Stefani feat. Akon
4. "This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race" - Fall Out Boy
5. "Runaway Love" - Ludacris feat. Mary J. Blige
6. "It's Not Over" - Daughtry
7. "Cupid's Chokehold" - Gym Class Heroes feat. Patrick Stump
8. "What Goes Around...Comes Around" - Justin Timberlake
9. "Glamorous" - Fergie *airplay gainer*
10. "I Wanna Love You" - Akon feat. Snoop Dogg

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Music Junkie Digest: Take That Win A Brit, Ace Of Base Win Our Poll

The Brit Awards were held tonight, and Take That won Best Single for "Patience." They won in the same category 10 years ago.

Both The Killers and Arctic Monkeys won two awards each, while Amy Winehouse was named the Best Female British Act.

The Killers took home Brits for International Group and International Album. Meanwhile, their third single of Sam's Town, "Read My Mind," is now available as an EP of remixes from U.S. iTunes. Included is the "Pet Shop Boys Stars Are Blazing Mix," which has the usual swarthy Neil Tennant backing vocals. Here in the States we just had the Grammys, and after their five wins, the Dixie Chicks have the top downloaded single and album at iTunes.

On the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart this week, Fall Out Boy debuted at #1 with Infinity On High, while Ashley Tisdale's Headstrong is at #5.

And finally, it's time for the results of last week's "most deserving of a pop comeback" poll, where Ace Of Base took top honors with 28 votes!

While it's highly unlikely the Base will be back this year with a new album, they've been recording one for awhile, and word is it'll be out next year. The last set by the legendary Swedes, Da Capo, came out in 2002. Let's hope their next one is released in more territories, including the U.S.

All in all, there were 76 votes in the poll, and here's how the runner-ups scored:

2. Whitney Houston (19 votes)
3. Britney Spears (14)
4. Darren Hayes (11)
5. Gareth Gates (4)

Vote in our new poll, in the sidebar now!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been lagging a bit on updates the past two days, since I've had to take Miss Pussy to the vet, but she's all better now. Back to posting shortly...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Sound Of Music and Lyrics

The good news is that, with the movie out tomorrow, the Music and Lyrics soundtrack is now available on iTunes as of today...

The bad news is that you have to download the entire album to get Hugh Grant's slice of '80s brilliance, "Pop! Goes My Heart" [Clip]. It's pretty hot that the Britney Spears-like character, played by Haley Bennett, has a song called "Enter Bootytown." That alone just made Apple $11.99 richer.

It's the last day to vote in our poll for which artist deserves a comeback most, in the sidebar.


The Ego Has Crash Landed

Poor Robbie Williams. The needy L.A. transplant, whose hit status in his home country lately has been wobbly, has checked into rehab.

Frankly, it sounds a bit suspect that this is another attempt to bone Lindsay Lohan, but I digress. The Rudebox has apparently been popping pills, according to his spokesperson: "Robbie Williams has today been admitted into a treatment centre in America for his dependency on prescription drugs. There will be no further comment on this matter." Anyway, let's hope he gets healthy soon.

Maybe he's upset that Take That have massively overshadowed his once untarnished career in England, and that they're supposedly getting a U.S. release sometime this year for Beautiful World.

Or maybe he just read our banterview on him.

It's the last day to vote in our poll for which artist deserves a comeback most, in the sidebar.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Glamorous Fergie Sounds Luxurious

It seems we're entering one of those once-in-a-lifetime situations where Fergie has released a decent single (save for the ludicrous Ludicris rap). But, really, if the blatant similarities between The Dutchess and Gwen Stefani were somehow not apparent before, how about comparing the lyrical content of "Glamorous" to Gwen's "Luxurious":

Fergie: "We flying first class / Up in the sky / Poppin' champagne / Livin' my life / In the fast lane"

Gwen: "Champagne kisses / Hold me in your lap of luxury / I only want to fly first class / Desires, you're my limousine"

Fergie: "Wear them gold and diamond rings / All them things don't mean a thing / Chaperones and limousines / Shopping for expensive things"

Gwen: "This kind of love is getting expensive / We know how to live baby / We're luxiurious like Egyptian cotton / ...Diamond in the rough is lookin' so sparkly"

Fergie: "I've got money in the bank / And I'd really like to thank / ...Damn it's been a long road / And the industry is cold"

Gwen: "Working so hard every night and day / And now we get the payback / Cha-ching, Cha-ching / We're loaded and we're not gonna blow it"

Oh, well. At least you gotta give those two broads credit for singing about universal things all the fans can relate to.

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