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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Eric Prydz, I Luv U Baby!

Will D'luv's restless ears ever tire of hearing and invoking a pop conspiracy? This week's U.K. chart finds Eric Prydz' '90s house throwback "Pjanoo" (or piano) enter at #2, matching the Swede DJ's January 2007 peak with "Proper Education."

But I can't help drawing at least a somewhat minute parallel between "Pjanoo" and one of my all-time fave '90s Euro-dance classics, The Original's "I Luv U Baby"—another jam that peaked at #2 on the U.K. chart in August 1995 (exactly 14 years ago this month).

Jesus, MoogaBoo and I used to go out and cut a rug to that one when we were 21. What are we now? 26? Yeah, sounds about right.

Elsewhere, Alphabeat's "Boyfriend" climbs to #15. Good. It deserves it, if only for the masterful "Pete Hammond Mix" (listen here). That particular version has become a clear frontrunner for my fave track of 2008 so far.

Do yourself a favor: Hop in your car and listen to that mix at a respectable, loud volume while jetting down the freeway like I did driving to Arizona for the holiday weekend.

Flying through the desert never felt so Linn-drum-tastic.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry *4 weeks*
2. "Pjanoo" - Eric Prydz *new*
3. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
4. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" - The Script
5. "Mountains" - Biffy Clyro
6. "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock
7. "Beggin'" - Madcon
8. "Dance Wiv Me" - Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris/Chrome
9. "Love Is Noise" - The Verve
10. "5 Years Time" - Noah & The Whale

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy 50th, Jacko!

Today is onetime King of Pop Michael Jackson's 50th birthday. How did we ever get to the day in age where we'd see him and Madonna turn half a century old? (And Morrissey, who'll be 50 next year, is just behind them!)

I don't really have the strength to get all philosophical about Jacko again, so instead I'll redirect you to a piece I wrote for Towleroad back in February, when Thriller was re-released for its 25th anniversary.

What I can say is this: When you boil down Jackson's catalog, it leaves two standout masterpieces—"Beat It" and "Smooth Criminal." (I'm not including the Jackson 5 years, because then we'd have to throw in "Maybe Tomorrow" and "The Love You Save.")

And so, like the age-old Rick Astley debate on which is better—"Never Gonna Give You Up" or "Together Forever"—which is the better Michael Jackson classic? "Beat It" or "Smooth Criminal"?


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Off Topic: I Would Watch The Republican National Convention Next Week...

...but, sorry luvs, Gossip Girl and 90210 are on.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pink Debuts In The Top 10 While Estelle Gets Yanked By The Yanks

Well, hopefully Rihanna enjoyed her two-week stay atop the Billboard Hot 100 while it lasted. And, really, Ri, if you're broke like they're whisperin' you are, best get to writing your own songs, anyway, and not having your boyfriend collect all the cash for penning "Disturbia."

T.I. flies up about 408 positions to #1 this week with "Whatever You Like," making it the largest leap to the top of the Hot 100 since the Mesozoic Era. (Or was it 70 positions? I skipped math a lot in 3rd grade to shoot smack in the play room.)

"Whatever You Like" is technically T.I.'s second #1, after appearing on Justin Timberlake's "My Love" two years ago.

Poor Baby Queen David Archuleta drops to #15 after debuting at #2 last week with "Crush," leaving room for Pink to enter the Top 10 at #9 with "So What." That makes Pink's ninth Top 10 U.S. single (including "Lady Marmalade"). So far "So What" matches her peak position for both "U + Ur Hand" and "Who Knew."

Elsewhere, Jordin Sparks cracks the Top 20 with "One Step At A Time" at #17 and Katy Perry's Dr. Luke/Max Martin jam "Hot N Cold" is up 21 notches to #48. Meanwhile, after topping out at #11 last week, Brit soul singer Estelle's "American Boy" got yanked off iTunes, and thus drops to #37.

Now that's some classy marketing.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Whatever You Like" - T.I. *1 week*
2. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
3. "Forever" - Chris Brown
4. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry
5. "Dangerous" - Kardinal Offishall Feat. Akon
6. "Paper Planes'" - M.I.A
7. "Viva La Vida'" - Coldplay
8. "Closer'" - Ne-Yo
9. "So What" - Pink *new* *hot shot debut*
10. "Take A Bow" - Rihanna

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brandon Flowers: Closet Republican?

See, you put things out there and they come back to you like a boomerang. After doing this post on Brandon Flowers last week, a little birdie mailed over a copy of NME.

That said, in the spirit of the Democratic National Convention taking place this week, D'luv's new politically-tinged Towleroad column is up.

Check it out and find out some things you may not have known about the Killers' frontman.

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'The Hills' Are Alive With The Sound Of Heidi Montag's Shitty New Single

Here's Heidi Montag's "Overdosin." The sound is off. The video is cheap. She's a gun fanatatic in a fucked up, co-dependent relationship and a supporter of John McCain.

So why can't I stop watching this garbage?

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dido Got Off Her Ass And Made An Album

That's right—Dido's back, with only her third album in nine years! I thought her first album was D'luvvly, but I'm still not forgiving this broad for taking part in that abominable "Do They Know It's Christmas 2004" single.

Safe Trip Home is out November 4, and is produced by Jon Brion, The Ark and Dido's brother Rollo Armstrong.

In the grand tradition of all overblown, self-righteous artists, a free track from the album called "Look No Further" is available now from her website. A free song? Fuck you, Dido!!

First official single "Don't Believe In Love" will be released later, whenever she gets around to it.


Kara DioGuardi: The Broad Who's The New Judge On 'American idol'

Below are some of the more well-known songs co-written by Kara DioGuardi, the old cougar who's joining American Idol's eighth season as the fourth judge.

This rich broad must've gotten bored burning her hundred dollar bills and decided to show up for some face time. Just call her C-Note.

Wonder if they're hauling her in because Paula Abdul is out of her gourd, and they're thinking of replacing her eventually?

That first video below is Kylie Minogue's "Spinning Around," from 2000. Ironically, one of the co-writers along with Kara on that one is none other than...Paula Abdul.

Hopefully the ladies get into a catfight over royalties on air.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

They Don't Make 'Em Like The Pete Hammond Mix Of Alphabeat's "Boyfriend" Anymore

It was a complete no-brainer that D'luv would fall hard for the Pete Hammond mix of Alphabeat's third U.K. single, "Boyfriend."

The now 61-year old (!!) mixer/remixer/producer made a solid name jazzing up a large bulk of Stock/Aitken/Waterman's productions and 12" mixes in the 1980s. Here he displays no shame in crafting "Boyfriend" into a 1988-esque-sounding confection that is pleasantly reminiscent of Bananarama's "I Can't Help It."

This is just complete pop heaven:

And while Alphabeat Vs. Bananarama was almost begging to be a "Pop Conspiracy," it just seemed a bit too obvious.

The "Pete Hammond Mix" of "Boyfriend" is available on U.K. iTunes.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

The New Keane Single That Premiered Today Is Pretty Awesome

Here's "The Lovers Are Losing," the first official single off Keane's third album, Perfect Symmetry. It was played on the Hit40 UK chart show today.

Keane initially got knocked around for being a Coldplay knock-off, but they pretty much came into their own with last album Under The Iron Sea.

"The Lovers Are Losing" is just as good as "Viva La Vida," and between this and "Spiralling"—the song they recently offered for free for a week—so far it sounds like Keane's album might kicks Coldplays' butt.

"Spiralling" is up two to #26 on the official U.K. chart this week.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry *3 weeks*
2. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" - The Script
3. "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock
4. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
5. "Beggin'" - Madcon
6. "Dance Wiv Me" - Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris/Chrome
7. "Love Is Noise" - The Verve
8. "5 Years Time" - Noah & The Whale
9. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown
10. "Mountains" - Biffy Clyro *new*

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Friday, August 22, 2008

The Week That Was: August 22, 2008

First up, Pink's new video for "So What," which premiered today.

Aww, nice to see she's still pals with ex-husband Carey Hart enough for him to appear in the vid and take a beating from the bitch. Classy flaming hair toward the end, too.

This story about Rihanna being broke is crazy! Who knows of it's true. It was e-mailed by blogger buddy Phil, and the source seems to be from Blackarazzi (which was legit enough to get picked up by MTV UK).

The short version is that Def Jam thinks of her as a singles artist only since her albums don't sell, and so Rihanna's management often has to funnel cash out of her product endorsement deals (Cover Girl, Samsung, Nike, etc.) to fund her videos and promotion.

"Take A Bow" and "Disturbia" alone cost her a combined total of $750,000, and, if this is to be believed, Rihanna currently only has $20,000 in the bank.

Best be hittin' up that boyfriend of yours for a loan, dollface.

Britney and Justin are recording a duet together for BS's next album! Don't forget to vote in the Chart Rigger poll for if you think it'll suck.

* I interviewed Destiny's Child doll Michelle Williams for Instinct.
* XOLondon tracked down M.I.A. band Lorraine. (But not MIA.)
* Yuri interviewed The Ultrasonics.
* FizzyPop's got some dish with Candy Coated Chaos.
* Don't Stop The Pop raps with Kylie producer Steve Anderson.
* Where the fuck is Pop Poster Girl?

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Poll: Will Britney Spears And Justin Timberlake's New Duet Suck?

They were supposed to record a duet for Blackout, Britney Spears' last album, but she just never showed up to meet Justin Timberlake to lay down vocals at Timabaland's studio last year.

But fear not—word has it these two are cutting a song together for Britney's new album, due out by year's end.

Looks good on paper. But will they sound like two out-of-tune alley cats f***ing in a dumpster at 3 a.m., or will it be an epic pop masterpiece?

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

David Archuleta Vs. David Cook...Who Got F***ed In The End?

Poor Taylor Swift. "Change" debuting at #10 on Billboard's Hot 100 would have been quite a feat any other week. Unfortunately for the blonde truckstop hooker, David Archuleta's "Crush" is the real story, landing at #2 in its first appearance on the chart.

But here's where it's open to interpretation as to who gets bragging rights. After David Cook was coronated the winner of American Idol, "The Time Of My Life" entered the Hot 100 at #3. So, technically one position below Idol runner-up Archuleta's "Crush." (My post that week was lovingly titled "I Wouldn't F*** This Chart With David Archuleta's D***.")

However, "The Time Of My Life" had sales of 236,000 in its first week, while "Crush" sold only about 166,000. So in summation, David Archuleta has a nice mouth. Er, voice! Voice. What? 17? Quick, look, it's Baby Queen on the set of the "Crush" video shoot from yesterday!

Chris Brown's 2008 Olympics-themed single "Dreamer" also makes a classy debut, at #16. Initially I was smitten with the track, but I'll admit I haven't listened to it much since last week. As you know, with D'luv, one day you're on his playlist. And the next, you're out.

Elsewhere, Estelle's "American Boy" is hovering at #11, last year's Idol winner Jordin Sparks is up to #21 with "One Step At A Time" and Leona Lewis hauls her candy up five positions to #33 with "Better In Time."

Keep it sexy.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Disturbia" - Rihanna *2 weeks*
2. "Crush" - David Archuleta *new* *hot shot debut*
"Forever" - Chris Brown
4. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry
5. "Viva La Vida'" - Coldplay
6. "Paper Planes'" - M.I.A
7. "Dangerous" - Kardinal Offishall Feat. Akon
8. "Take A Bow" - Rihanna
9. "Closer'" - Ne-Yo
10. "Change" - Taylor Swift *new*

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pink Names Her New Album

Pink has named her new album Funhouse. From the looks of this shot from the "So What" video, it looks like the only fun that was happening in her house is when she was beating the shit outta ex-husband Carey Hart!

The video for "So What" will debut on MTV this Friday, and the tune is the most-added song on U.S. radio. What, T-Pain doesn't have a new single out this week?

"So What" has also jumped to #7 on iTunes since going on sale Tuesday. Funhouse will be released October 28.


Where There's A Will, There's A Will Young

New Towleroad column is up. Think you better leave right now and check it out!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Killers On The Next Album: "It's Our Most Poppy Record"

Goddammit. Brandon Flowers is on the cover of the new NME. This is the type of thing I'll struggle with for about a week when I pass it in the magazine aisle at the Borders down the street:

"No, I'm not buying it. It's $9.95 with a jacked-up import price. Well, it'll be nice to have, maybe. That's stupid, though, because you can probably find a scan of it online and just read it for free. But it'd be nice to have. Absolutely not."

In the end, I'll buy not only this trash, but some other unecessary item to "ease the guilt" of spending that much on just one flimsy publication. Then I'll bring it home and throw it onto a pile of other garbage I'll never ever look at again, let alone actually read.

Anyway, a few promising quotes from The Killers about their upcoming Stuart Price-produced third album, from the NME site:
Mark Stoermer (bassist): "Each instrument has its place, and things aren't clouding anything up. We're not trying to be bombastic. It's our most poppy record but also our most experimental."

Brandon Flowers: "We learned that you can't please everyone. But we've got faith in what we do, faith in our fans and faith in the soon-to-be-converted."

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Keane's New Album: "Uplifting, Exciting And Hugely Positive"

On their official site, Keane have revealed the tracklisting for third album Perfect Symmetry, due out October 13. Also, the first "full single release" from the set will be "The Lovers Are Losing," out October 20.

Hot piece of ass keyboardist and songwriter Tim Rice-Oxley also discusses the overall feel of the new record. Pretty selfish of him, when he should really just be discussing banging me.

1. Spiralling
2. The Lovers Are Losing
3. Better Than This
4. You Haven't Told Me Anything
5. Perfect Symmetry
6. You Don't See Me
7. Again And Again
8. Playing Along
9. Pretend That You're Alone
10. Black Burning Heart
11. Love Is The End

Tim Rice-Oxley: "What I hope with this record is that every song has a sense of hope to it. I feel like even the songs that are not necessarily all sunny and positive still have the kind of human sympathy and positivity to them. I hope that every song is uplifting and inspiring and positive, even if it's trying to talk about something which is not necessarily particularly happy. And for me a lot of my favourite songs are like that. I don't think a record has to leave you feeling thoroughly bleak and depressed in order for it to be profound and touching.

"I definitely feel like this record is much more uplifting and much more exciting and has this hugely positive energy to every song. And I think that the overall record will have that same effect."


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Will Young Is Not In The U.K. Top 10 This Week

The U.K. chart is a bit snoozy this week, so here's the cover of Will Young's upcoming fourth album Let It Go, due out late September. Will appears to be taking style tips from George Michael, circa 1996 here.

Elsewhere, Keane's "Spiralling"—the first single off the forthcoming Perfect Symmetry—debuts at #28 based on downloads alone. The track was initially offered free for a week from the band's official site. Four years ago this month, Keane's "Bedshaped" became their third in a string of Top 10 U.K. hits, and the groovy "Spiralling" deserves to restore the trio back to its pre-Tom Chaplin-drug-scandal glory.

Of course, I may be one of only a few who really loved Keane's last album Under The Iron Sea.

But Will Young's last album? Not so much.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry *2 weeks*
2. "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock
3. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" - The Script
4. "Love Is Noise" - The Verve
5. "Dance Wiv Me" - Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris/Chrome
6. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
7. "Beggin'" - Madcon *new*
8. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown
9. "5 Years Time" - Noah & The Whale
10. "Viva La Vida" - Colplay

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy 60th Birthday, Madonna!

Today is Madonna's 60th birthday! And, dammit, she looks pretty good. Well, okay...she kinda looks like someone jammed their cleated shoe up against the back of a shrunken head, cut three holes in a piece of Saran wrap and stretched it back across either side. But, hey, beauty's where you find it, not just where you bump and grind it.

It's strange to think that we're living in a time when Madge doesn't really have big hits anymore, after a good 16 or 17 year stretch where everything she released was epic and overplayed by default.

Okay, there was "4 Minutes" this past spring, but that was only like a teasing nibble of the pie of world domination that the Material Girl used to have every finger in.

Who knew that one of the world's biggest sex symbols would one day actually be considered passé by Clear Channel American radio's standards.

We've had a long relationship, Madonna and me. My mom bought my dad her first two albums when they came out. I was nine and ten then. But it wasn't till The Immaculate Collection that I ever really cared about her enough to take a closer listen.

By that point my mom thought The Vampyre was a whore, and I'd become her biggest defender. A 16-year-old boy in awe of Madonna, ignoring her sexuality but loving the beats? Hmmmm.

I can't say that I stuck by her with unrequited love, though. For instance, I bought singles here and there—"This Used To Be My Playground," "Rain," "I'll Remember"—but I never bought another Madonna album again till Ray Of Light, eight years after The Immaculate Collection.

All the while, my mom, who'd introduced my dad and I to Maddy, would turn her nose up anytime I'd play one of those "mechanical-sounding" songs in the house. Looking back now, it's funny how we become our parents. (Do you hear that, Rocco? There's a cone bra and bustier in your future, lad.)

Anwyay, I view Madonna with somewhat of an eye askew now. Age has given me the benefit of getting to know her personality a bit more than I'd like to, albeit through interview snippets over the years. She may never show her true self, and maybe it's wrong to judge her by the cold, callous person that comes across in these one-on-one interactions with the media, but that's all we'll ever get to know of her. Sadly, that image more often than not has clouded any like I have for her music these days.

Oh, and Chris Ciccone...that book you wrote about Madonna? That's a pretty shitty birthday present. Mostly because it was utterly boring. And whiny. It's easy to see the family resemblance.

Anyway, happy 65th birthday, Madonna! I don't love you, but I do like you, if only for giving the world "Burnin' Up," "Like A Prayer" and "I'll Remember."

And also the Ray Of Light album. In hindsight, I think we could have actually been friends back then.

* Throwback: I'll Remember

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Brand New Songs From The Saturdays And Aqua, Minus the Protools

Unlike rock, as is often the case with over-produced pop music, sometimes it just doesn't sound that great live. Well, at least not via YouTube videos with sound filtered through tiny laptop speakers!

Below are live clips of The Saturdays' next single "Up," due out in October, and Aqua's new song "Back To The '80s." (Thanks, Rob.)

I'd be interested to hear the studio version of The Saturdays jam.

Aqua, though? They can scrap that one. They never really worked when they tried to pull of the novelty songs, post-"Barbie Girl."

Give me a "My Oh My" or "Bumble Bees" any day.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Go On And Take A Bow, Rihanna

Rihanna racks up her fourth #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 this week with "Disturbia." It follows in the footsteps of "SOS," "Umbrella" and "Take A Bow." If we're being technical, "Distburbia" is also the third #1 for her off Good Girl Gone Bad.

That's a bit of a stretch, though, since "Take A Bow" and "Disturbia" were tacked onto the album's re-release.

Nevertheless, "Disturbia" has reach the top and unseated Katy Perry's seven-week, song-of-the-summer run, thereby cock-blocking Rihanna's own boyfriend Chris Brown in the process. Love's a bitch, playah.

Political diva M.I.A. joins Coldplay, Leona Lewis and Natasha Bedingfield in the pool of Brits who've made a breakthrough this year in the lately American dominated Top 10. "Paper Planes" is the week's Sales Gainer, moving up 11 spots to #5.

M.I.A. performed at Austin City Limits last September but my pal and I split up and he saw her while I caught LCD Soundsystem on another stage. Then I nearly passed out from the 100-degree heat.

It was a classy affair till someone dumped a bottle of water on my head and I almost vomited on some three-year-old broad's face.

Anyway, a final round-up finds the Jonas Brothers having the Hot Shot Debut at #11 with "A Little Bit Longer," Jordin Sparks jumping seven positions to #24 with "One Step At A Time" and Leona Lewis sliding into the Top 40 at #38 with "Better In Time."

Look for David Archuleta to "Crush" the competition next week. (Oooooh, that was bad.)

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Disturbia" - Rihanna *1 week*
2. "Forever" - Chris Brown
3. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry
4. "Take A Bow" - Rihanna
5. "Paper Planes'" - M.I.A *sales gainer*
6. "Viva La Vida'" - Coldplay
7. "Dangerous" - Kardinal Offishall Feat. Akon
8. "A Milli" - Lil Wayne
9. "Burnin' Up" - The Jonas Brothers
10. "Closer'" - Ne-Yo

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Secretly Crushing On David Archuleta's "Crush"

Children, the unthinkable has happened. It's a nightmare. The shame streams forth from my soul like Katy Perry's tongue flickering about in search of semi-soiled panties to lap up.

D'luv has found himself smitten with none other than Baby Queen David Archuleta's new single, "Crush," after not watching more than half an episode of American Idol this past season.

Apparently I'm not the only one, either—within 20 hours, "Crush" is the top-downloaded track on iTunes. Look for it to debut in the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 next week.

Here's the little vixen listening to his single get it's very first airplay, on New York City's Z100:

"Crush" was produced and co-written by Emanuel Kiriakou, who also did up Nick Lachey's "What's Left Of Me" two years ago.

That's gotta be it. I was completely obsessed with that song back then. Give me a sappy, over-produced ballad with a decent chorus (yes, I'm talking about you, JoJo), and I'm on my knees.

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Chris Brown Is On A Roll With New Single "Dreamer" While Jive Denounces Leaked Tracks

On the heels of the current worldwide success of "No Air" and "Forever," Chris Brown has yet another rad single with "Dreamer." It was added to iTunes this week.

"Dreamer" is an Olympic-themed ballad in the vein of Michael Jackson's "Will You Be There" (remember that trash, from Free Willy?) and is included on the album Team USA Soundtrack.

Here's a promo vid clip featuring "Dreamer":

Meanwhile, this statement was released today from Jive Records' parent company, Sony BMG:
Recently, unauthorized Chris Brown material was leaked online. Most of the unfinished songs were demos and reference tracks Brown and his production team were writing and producing for other artists. Brown's record label, Jive Records is doing everything possible to prevent any further illegal distribution of these tracks.
Geez. Some people are so touchy. Would love to hear those tracks! Not download them, just hear them. Back off, Jive—I've got a taser gun!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sorry, United Kingdom, But Sucking Face With Katy Perry Is Pretty Much Inevitable

Just do like I did and give in. Give in to Katy Perry. Let her slide on top of you, jam her Sapphic tongue into your mouth and Hoover your molars like an aardvark with its snout up Joss Stone's vagina at a church picnic.

Katy Perry is a conqueror. She'll rule your land like she's ruled mine. She's got one leg wrapped around Big Ben and one over the shoulders of the Golden Gate Bridge. Say a prayer for everything in between.

Do we wish something else had made it to #1 this week? Sure. It would have been nice to see ho brigade The Saturdays make a leap with "If This Is Love." Unfortunately, they instead slip from #8 to #13. It kind of hints at an answer to this question.

Heck, it would've even been swell if The Verve made it to the top with comeback single, "Love Is Noise." That's one damn fine jam! Much like Coldplay with "Viva La Vida," Richard Ashcroft and Co. really pulled out a surprise electro-poppy rocker this summer. And #5 ain't too bad for a band that hasn't had new material out in 11 years.

Here's the vid for "Love Is Noise":

At least the song charts only on digital downloads this week. Maybe it'll jump up when the CD single is released tomorrow.

And maybe Katy Perry will release the world from her orifice-death-grip, too. Dare to dream, kids.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry *1 week*
2. "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock
3. "Dance Wiv Me" - Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris/Chrome
4. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" - Script
5. "Love Is Noise" - The Verve *new*
6. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown
7. "5 Years Time" - Noah & The Whale
8. "Closer" - Ne-Yo
9. "Disturbia" - Rihanna *new*
10. "All I Ever Wanted" - Basshunter

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Can The Saturdays Last?

A five piece girl group. If you think about it, that's a lot of mouths to feed. And in these days where illegal downloading undercuts sales of pop singles, the girls have to hit the stripper pole and ride it hard if they want to see a return on the label's investment.

That's why it's good, in a sense, that The Saturdays are touring with the old madames of the English whorehouse, Girls Aloud. The exposure should ensure at least six or seven more downloads of "If This Is Love" by the time all the thongs are packed away.

Debuting at #8 out of the gate on the U.K. chart isn't great. Still, it'll at least warrant one more. It's been said that The Saturdays will have three singles total before an album is released, so the fate of the gals will hinge on the performance of song #2.

These broads were interviewed for the Metro. The article itself isn't that interesting, as it's got the typically inane stock quotes from a new act: "We can definitely have a number one!" "We get on so well!" "I've got three or four friends I can trust!"

It's more notable for the male interviewer trying to do his best seductive girl group pose in the accompanying photo. You go get 'em, tiger!


Friday, August 08, 2008

Bookstore With A Sense Of Humor

Saw this yesterday at Borders in Hollywood. (Click photo for a better look.)


Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Pussycat Dolls: Strippers Without A Cause

This week's upper tier of the Billboard Hot 100 is indeed pretty hot for several reasons. First off, Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love" and Lil Wayne's "Lollipop"—two former #1s that have been hanging around like scappy, flea-riddled stray cats since the spring—finally drop out of the Top 10, making room for Ne-Yo's "Closer" at #10 and the re-entry of The Pussycat Dolls at #9 with "When I Grow Up."

Meanwhile, Leona's "Better In Time" has been steadily slithering up the chart for several weeks, this week making its way to #50.

Back to that Pussycat Dolls garbage, has anyone ever actually heard "When I Grow Up" getting airplay? I'll occassionally turn on the radio, and just from that am familiar with most of the songs by the usual pimps and strippers. But I've only ever heard the PCD one from the godawful MTV Movie Awards clip.

Also, it's worth noting that with "Disturbia" at #3 and "Take A Bow" at #4, Rihanna is only the sixth female artist to achieve two Top 5 U.S. singles at the same time (after Ashanti, Madonna, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey). Both were initially in the Top 5 together last week.

Chris Brown's got writing credits on two Top 5 singles, with "Forever" at a new high of #2 (hoo-ray!) and "Disturbia," on which he also contributes backing vocals, just behind.

The Jonas Brothers seemed to be unleashing an onslaught of a single each week leading up to their second album's release. Thank God that trash is out Tuesday so it can all end. "Tonight" is their second single to debut in the Top 10 in a month, entering at #8.

Other than jazz, Estelle's "American Boy" creeps up to #12 this week. Wouldn't that just be the perfect song if Kanye West didn't have his sleazy, arrogant paws all over it?

Then again, it probably wouldn't get any play otherwise. Sigh.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry *7 weeks*
2. "Forever" - Chris Brown
3. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
4. "Take A Bow" - Rihanna
5. "Viva La Vida'" - Coldplay
6. "A Milli" - Lil Wayne
7. "Dangerous" - Kardinal Offishall Feat. Akon
8. "Tonight" - Jonas Brothers *new* *hot shot debut*
9. "When I Grow Up" - The Pussycat Dolls
10. "Closer'" - Ne-Yo

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Pink's "So What": A New Sound For Max Martin

Here's Pink's new single "So What," produced by Max Martin, which I rambled on about the other day:

Also, new Towleroad column is up, and it's pretty Keane.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The "Featuring" Dilemma

I was elated to come across Andrew Collins' Guardian column revolving around what he deems to be pop music's "new 'F' word"—featuring. I'm so there with you, Andrew!

He goes on about how many songs in the charts feature "featuring" these days, as well as the different spellings (feat., ft., etc.), and laments the underuse of plain old "and" when it comes to duets. Think Estelle featuring Kanye West, Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake (despite the actual single sleeve saying just Madonna & Justin), Timbaland featuring OneRepublic.

My own constant dilemma with "featuring" is with my iPod. For instance, when one downloads or upload Madonna's new album, if you leave the Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake billing as is for "4 Minutes," the song gets knocked to the bottom of the tracklisting. Actually, it gets knocked to the end of all Madonna songs overall.

One shady way around this is to retype it as "4 Minutes (feat. Justin Timberlake)," leaving just Madonna in the artist column. Lame. That's not what the song is really called. And you're messing up my LastFM mojo by doing it that way.

There's always the option to leave out Justin's name altogether, theoretically solving all problems of song title and rearranged tracklisting. Again, total bullshit. Justin's on there singing. I can hear his nasally voice. Plus, it's like erasing part of history, man!

Then sometimes you get these out of the blue billings like "No Air" by Jordin Sparks "duet with" Chris Brown. Which Captain Obvious came up with that?

Life's a constant struggle when dealing with duets and iPods. And screw "featuring." I like the other "F" word much better.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Killers Reveal New Album Title

Well, OK. It's only a possible album title. The Killers' front diva Brandon Flowers told Uncut that a possible contender is Day And Age, which comes from a lyric in new song "Neon Tiger."

Here's "Neon Tiger," from a recent fan-only New York gig:

Naturally, the band's spokeswoman—i.e., Brandon Flowers—says Day And Age is not confirmed yet as the album title.

The Killers' Stuart Price-produced third studio set is rumored to be out in November. Maybe they should call it Sorry Gays, This Isn't Going To Sound Like Confessions On A Dancefloor.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" Video Is Just As Boring As Coldplay's Apple Commercial

Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" clip, directed by Anton Corbijn, premiered today. A bit after the fact at this point, no?


She's Ba-aaack!

Admittedly, I wasn't too much of a Pink (P!nk?) fan until her last album, I'm Not Dead. But anytime a broad is on the brink of career flatlining and then works with Max Martin, I'm on board.

Which is why it's classy that Pink had Max produce and co-write her upcoming single "So What" (on iTunes August 18). The video will premiere on FNMTV August 22.

Meanwhile, this is the lead single off her fifth album. Fifth album! Five albums in eight years is a lot these days, isn't it? Well, unless you count vixens like Miley Cyrus, who crank records out like they're turning tricks on a Saturday night.

But how many albums has Whitney Houston put out in eight years? Yeah, one. And you don't see Max Martin returning Whitney's phone calls, now, do you?

Pink's as-yet-untitled album is due October 28.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Kid Rock White-Trashes His Way To England And Kylie Breaks Her Streak

See that? It's Kid Rock jet-propelling his nasty carcass over the the U.K. to smoke a stogie in celebration for claiming this week's #1 single in the country, with "All Summer Long." Geez, just because this trash samples Warren Zevon's "Werewolf Of London" doesn't mean you people have to take it to heart!

Here in the States we're pretty much safe. "All Summer Long" has peaked so far at #38 and likely won't get too high since The Kid doesn't allow his music to be put on iTunes.

Meanwhile, one welcome entry into the Top 10 is The Saturdays' "If This Is Love"* at #8. Granted, the last thing we need is another low-rent five-piece girl group, but this one comes with a solid tune and Frankie Sanford and Rochelle Wiseman, formerly of S Club 8/Juniors, to boot. Be sure to also check out Chart Rigger's posthumous dissection of S Club 8 from two years ago.

Here are the vids for "If This Is Love" and S Club Juniors' 2002 jam, "New Direction":

Finally, painful though it may be, pop hookers, it's worth noting that this week's #36 chart placing for Kylie Minogue's "The One" breaks her run of 16 consecutive U.K. Top 10 singles (including Robbie Williams' "Kids"). The streak began in 2000 with "Spinning Around" and officially has now ended with May's #10 peak of "In My Arms." It truly is a shame, as "The One" is arguably the crown jewel of X, and the two old-school extended mixes of the track are rather epic.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock *1 week*
2. "Dance Wiv Me" - Dizzee Rascal/Calvin Harris/Chrome
3. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" - Script *new*
4. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry *new*
5. "No Air" - Jordin Sparks Duet With Chris Brown
6. "Closer" - Ne-Yo
7. "All I Ever Wanted" - Basshunter
8. "If This Is Love" - The Saturdays *new*
9. "Shut Up And Let Me Go" - The Ting Tings
10. "5 Years Time" - Noah & The Whale

Thanks, Ray!

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