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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Paris Hilton's New Single "My BFF" Doesn't Suck

And here you thought the Katy Perry doll was gonna be the best pop news all week...

Los Angeles Top 40 station KIIS FM is streaming Paris Hilton's new single "My BFF" on its website. Hate to say it, but it's way better than Britney Spears' "Womanizer."

This trash ties in with that Paris Hilton's My New BFF show that the blonde broad is doing on MTV, where a bunch of people with apparently no life audition to be Hilton's best friend.

Jesus, I can't wait till George Bush is out of office and this decade ends.


Monday, September 29, 2008

The Killers To Perform On 'Saturday Night Live'

The Killers posted a couple new pics on their MySpace, and announced that they'll be the musical guests on this weekend's SNL (October 4).

Their new single "Human" will be added to iTunes tomorrow, as will Christina Aguilera's "Keeps Gettin' Better."

Are either of those even getting any radio play? Both are better than "Womanizer," and I heard that piece of shit on the radio in Austin.

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There's A Katy Perry Doll...No, Seriously

Check out this trash—the limited-edition collectible fashion doll of Katy Perry from Integrity Toys. Nice!

This would have come in handy when I was a kid, 'cause I used to make all my toys—whether they be male, female, robot, dinosaur—gang bang Teela and She-Ra.

The Katy doll is $49.99—you know, a mere pittance in today's economically-challenged times, right? However, the company is already sold out, so you'll have to get on a waiting list.



Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here Comes Sugababes' "Girls," And There Goes Will Young

The fall's new offerings are beginning to chip away at the boring ol' U.K. Top 10 that has remained somewhat stagnant and unmoving over the past month or so.

Perhaps the most surprising development is that "Changes," Will Young's first single off his upcoming fourth album, actually fell three spots following its physical CD single release. Last week "Changes" peaked at #10 on downloads alone. Now it sits at #13.

Sugababes make a return with the so-so "Girls" at #8. Actually, so-so is almost too kind a term for that turkey of a single. It's gettin' no D'luvvin' round these parts. In fact, that "The Promise" by ho troupe Girls Aloud beats "Girls" by a mile.

Kudos to Jennifer Hudson for climbing up four positions to #11 with "Spotlight" and congrats to Pink for debuting at #38 with "So What." Meanwhile, how about X Factor rejects Avenue entering at #50 with "Last Goodbye"?

Here's the video for said tune, in its "All Around The World Mix" form...paired up with the video for Sugababes' "Girls":

And I just wouldn't be me if I didn't point out (with glee) that McFly have fallen from #4 to #17 with "Lies." Ta, lads!

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Sex On Fire" - Kings Of Leon *3 weeks*
2. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry
3. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
4. "When I Grow Up" - Pussycat Dolls
5. "In This City" - Iglu & Hartly
6. "Cookie Jar" - Gym Class Heroes feat. The Dream
7. "You Make It Real'" - James Morrison *new*
8. "Girls" - Sugababes *new*
9. "Miss Independent" - Ne-Yo
10. "There You'll Be" - Faith Hill *new*

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Pop Conspiracy: Britney Spears' "Womanizer" Vs. Rihanna's "S.O.S."

Britney Spears' new single "Womaizer" made its debut in full today on New York City station Z100 FM. The pic above is Britboxx on the set of the video, which is being directed by Joseph Khan—who also did her clips for "Stronger" and "Toxic."

One thing's clear about "Womanizer"...it sounds exactly like Rihanna's "S.O.S."! It also kinda sounds like "Radar," off Britney's Blackout.

Doesn't it also seem like that bridge to the chorus is a bit lyrically-challenged? ("Womanizer, womanizer, oh, you're a womanizer, oh, you're a womanizer...")

Did Britney write this gem herself?

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

P!nk Falling Off From #1 Can't Ruin My Trip To Austin (The Alcohol Helps)

Pop kittens, D'luv flew to Austin, Texas, at an hour so un-Godly this morning that Courtney Love probably still hasn't rolled in yet from whatever crack-ditch she was holed up at all night back in L.A.—and it's almost 4 p.m. here.

Did that make sense? I don't think, but the booze is helping. I'm sitting in my fave Austin cafe/bar, The Spider House, where it's scruffy indie hipster central...where the all the boys look like they're in a band, and where all the girls look like they're boys.

In other words, I find myself blurting out, "Mom?!?" a lot here. It's a D'luvvly weekend of visiting my pal (and frequent Chart Rigger commenter) numbfromdrugs in grad school and hitting the Austin City Limits festival. (Somewhat disappointing lineup this year—Duffy canceled, but MGMT should be cool.)

So this week's Billboard Hot 100 chart: Pink! What happened? Can I get a "Holla!" on why all pop songs that hit #1 only seem to stay there for a solitary week, while we get Flo Rida and Soulja Boy dry-humping Fred Bronson for 13 weeks to stay on top?

Fuck if "So What" didn't drop to #2, and T.I.'s crap jam went back up. At least David Archuleta sucked off the right execs for "Crush" to hop from #30-something to #15 this week. Well, okay, it probably had more to do with the video arriving on iTunes and America's cougars downloading it to add an extra zing to their nightly vibe session.

Oh, that Kanye West "Love Lockdown" (#3 debut)...kinda okay? Ah, fuck it. At least maestro Max Martin's got two songs in the Top 10, with Katy Perry's "Hot N Cold" at #9 and Pink. (What is this, 1999?)

That said, thanks for the all the kindness on the Pet Shop Boys anniversary post for Very. You all rawk! It got some link-love from other sites, as well, so thanks to those broads, too!

Oh, well...thank Christ for tequila.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Whatever You Like" - T.I. *4 weeks* *airplay gainer*
2. "So What" - Pink
3. "Love Lockdown'" - Kanye West *new* *hot shot debut*
4. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
5. "Love Story'" - Taylor Swift
6. "Paper Planes'" - M.I.A
7. "Closer'" - Ne-Yo
8. "Can't Believe It'" - T-Pain feat. Lil Wayne
9. "Hot N Cold" - Katy Perry
10. "American Boy" - Estelle feat. Kanye West

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Chris Brown And Rihanna's "Electric Guitar" Will Still See The Light Of Day

Um....uh.......supposed to be typing but sexy is happening....?

Oh, right. Towleroad column, up now. As you may have read about from Poster Girl, Chris Brown's intended duet with Rihanna, "Electric Guitar," leaked last month before Ri-Ri even laid down her vocals. (But not before she laid down Chris—oookay!!) Hear it below.

Good news is, per the second short interview clip, they'll still be recording and releasing "Electric Guitar," despite the unfinished version getting out.

Good stuff.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes, Clay Aiken Is Gay...But Remember When Chart Rigger First Bent Him Over?

Now that Clay Aiken has opened up about being a lesbian, it's time to revisit this treasure from two year's ago...the Clay Aiken banterview!

Previously posted on September 18, 2006:

A promo of the new Clay Aiken CD, A Thousand Different Ways, arrived in the mail last week with a fey thud and little fanfare. D'luv and MoogaBoo sat down on Friday for an emergency banterview session.

J'ASON D'LUV: You know, I voted for Clay -- repeatedly -- during the final weeks of American Idol in 2003. I now live with the daily shame that every loser who voted for George W. Bush must feel.

MOOGABOO: Oh, babe. Don't remind the public. We're still reeling over JoJogate!

JD: Seriously, listening to this CD is like hearing the soundtrack that must play during a long, painful elevator ride to Hell.

M: Well, let's put it this way... you know how we've been friends for 11 years, and how I've been in awe at all the nice stuff you've done for me in that time...

JD: Are you sure you don't have me confused with someone else?

M: ...well, F that! You owe me bigtime. I listened to this entire album today in preparation for this discussion. In all seriousness, if Clay sounded more womanly here, it would be a good thing. It's that he only sounds half-womanly that I can't get into him.

JD: I actually listened to this while driving around in the rain yesterday, and I prayed for a hydroplaning disaster to end the torture, one way or another.

M: But you know, one thing I'll give ValleyPrettyBoy. At least he changed up the arrangement on that Richard Marx "classic," and made it a little bit his own.

JD: Well, the melancholy guitar riff on "Right Here Waiting" starts out kind of decent. But then a.) it's "Right Here Waiting," and 4.) Clay Aiken is singing it. Shouldn't he be cashing in at this point? There's no denying Clay can move CDs off the shelves. Where's the Timabaland vanity rap? The Scott Storch police-siren dance jam?

M: I think that would cause Claymates to desert him faster than Lindsay Lohan ditching an AA meeting.

JD: Thank God the official single is "Without You," because we all know that song hasn't been covered enough. And there's even a ringtone you can download.

M: Two Celine Dion covers on one album, more or less, is a bit extreme, even for someone as continually avant garde and provocative as Clay Aiken.

JD: Why hasn't Crazy Frog covered this one yet?

M: Even Crazy Frog probably thinks "Without You" is tired at this point.

JD: I hate when Clay hits that upper octave in the chorus. He does that thing with his voice where it sounds like a pterodactyl just rammed its beak up his ass.

M: You mean the faux-emotion waver?

JD: More like fax-emotion. In fact, I think he faxed the "soul" in to the studio for this whole thing.

M: Even judging Clay objectively, on his own terms and in the context of easy-listening crooners throughout the ages, I still think he falls way short of the greats.

JD: There's no doubt about that. Even luminaries such as Barry Manilow and Elton John knew enough to do a fast-paced rocker or disco number now and then, to also hook the more commercial listener.

M: Clay somehow seems above expressing any emotion, when he should by all means be over-emoting. At least a little. Being loud, which he can do well, is not the same thing. There's gotta be gigantic sweat beads on a gnarled, grimacing face for the housewives' panties to really fully drop.

JD: Hey, what about him doing "Everytime You Go Away"? I bet when Daryl Hall heard this he dropped dead right on top of John Oates.

M: I read somewhere that Clay hires lookalikes to do appearances at malls and such, just like Andy Warhol.

JD: Speaking of which, Clay's wig is looking strangely like Paul Reubens', circa his appearance in the gritty 2001 Johnny Depp crime drama Blow. See?

M: Freaky. Now show me a picture of Paul Reubens. Actually, I was thinking his wig looks more like the cover of Helen Reddy's Greatest Hits 8-track.

JD: Christ, this CD just goes on and on. His voice really is an instrument of pure evil.

M: Don't they use his music as confession bait at Guantanamo? You know, despite production from a very able team of Swedes, somehow the actual music on A Thousand Different Ways seems beside the point.

JD: I'm surprised at how many producers bent over to get a shot at producing this compost pile. Most shocking is Per Magnusson and Dave Kreuger, who gave us Britney Spears' "Sometimes." Here, they're reduced to knob-twiddling a watered-down version of "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word."

M: Knob-twidding? Bent over? Are you reading the liner notes again?

JD: Funny you should mention the liner notes, because in them Clay writes this: "To my miracle workers," which he rattles off a bunch of names, "who along with their jackhammers, blowtorches and heavy machinery had the unenviable task of making me look presentable." It's obvious Clay's been watching way too much gay porn lately.

M: He's got a Falcon construction worker fantasy going on there.

JD: So, this brings us to the cover of the Bad English ballad, "When I See You Smile." I used to date this girl back in 10th grade who declared that this was "our song." I've hated it ever since. And by "date," I mean we passed notes during History class. Which base is that again?

M: That's technically still in the dug-out.

JD: Dammit.

M: That song reminds me of getting a three-year subscription to Rolling Stone and not seeing Madonna, Cyndi Lauper or Samantha Fox on that cover once during those three years.

JD: Despite the goopy muck of standards done here, there are also two orignal songs written for this album -- one of which is penned by Aldo Nova. Let's not forget that he wrote Clay's #1 American Idol-finale hit, "This Is The Night."

M: No, let's forget. Didn't Aldo Nova have a solo career at some point? Or am I thinking of Del Amitri? God, Clay should hook up with those guys. "Roll To Me" is in every movie trailer.

JD: He did indeed have a solo career. My mom used to have one of his 45s when I was a kid. I forget what the song was called, but she would certainly cut me out of the will if she knew I was using my college education to write dissections of Clay Aiken albums.

M: Am I the only one who thinks Clay might be taking the tiniest of baby steps "outward" with this album? I'm of course referring to his not-terrible cover of Dolly Parton's '70s hit, "Here You Come Again."

JD: Well, he did call it A Thousand Different Ways. Wasn't that what John Paulus' response was when he went on Howard Stern's show and was asked to describe the Yuletide hotel romp he had with Clay?

M: It might also refer to John Paulus' many attempts to keep his name in the press. I actually feel for Clay in that situation.

JD: Did you see that clip from the American Idol finale last season, when he walked out and surprised that ClayTrinket singing "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"? It's like everyone in the world was in on the joke but the two of them.

M: And he seemed so arrogant! He looked at that Clay dweebling with such an air of "Yes, it's really me, my child." I feel bad that there are people severely retarded enough that they want to be Clay... and that includes Clay!

JD: It was like when Michael Jackson performed at The Brits in '96, saving international children on the stage from a Biblical doom. Only this time Jarvis Cocker wasn't there to ambush the show and make his ass sing along.

M: I wonder if that one made it onto the HiStory DVD?

JD: I can guarantee neither of us will ever know.

M: The more this CD plays, I find myself liking Clay, wanting to hear certain songs again and suddenly feeling very protective of him. Please help me.

JD: I personally think it's pretty cheap to make the Claymates wait with drenched knickers for three years for a lame album of cover versions. I hope there's an outraged revolt on Planet Dork when it comes out.

M: But these covers are just lame enough to please Planet Dork, don't you think? I mean, "Broken Wings"... great song, probably too edgy for your average Claymate, so they removed all synths and added a whispery female vocal (aside from Clay's) and made it as soft as a bag of Charmin. These people know to whom they're selling.

JD: I like how this female vocalist is trying to talk-sing, ala Madonna in "Justify My Love."

M: Yeah, but she doesn't sound mysterious or sexy... just lost. I half expect her to whisper, "Do you know if the restrooms are on this floor?"

JD: And Clay knows where every public restroom within a 10-mile radius is, I suspect.

For more of Chart Rigger's banterviews, scroll through the menu bar in the right-hand side column.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How Does The Killers' "Human" Rate As A First Single Off An Album?

The Killers' lead single "Human" off Day & Age leaked and did the rounds more times yesterday than a three-dollar hooker on Good Friday. But if you're a blessed saint and haven't heard it yet, it's streaming on the band's official site (and will be available for paid download next week).

Brandon Flowers and Co. has traditionally unleashed some groovy, memorable first singles off their albums—"Somebody Told Me," "When You Were Young" and even "Tranquilize" off last year's Sawdust compilation.

So how does "Human" rank when stacked up against these others? I like the Stuart Price production, but while the Killers aren't drowned out by all the blips and bleeps, I'm not entirely sure it all gels well.

It might grow on me. So far it's a 7 out of 10. Am I nuts?

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Pet Shop Boys 'Very' At 15: How Can I Even Try To Explain?

Today marks the first day of autumn. And it was this week in 1993—15 years ago—when the Pet Shop Boys' album Very was released. In so many ways, that fall was a new beginning for me, and Very soundtracked my life then and still resonates with who I am today.

This post isn't going to be an album review or retrospective. Music is so subjective, and who's to say that what I like you'll like. All I can convey is who I was in September 1993, as a 19-year-old college sophomore who wandered into National Record Mart and bought Very on cassette.

At that time, I was attending Butler County Community College in Pennsylvania, and applying to universities, anxious to get away to one of them the following school year. I was at the mall one week night, reading Entertainment Weekly at B. Dalton Books, and caught a review of Very, unaware that Pet Shop Boys had anything new out. I hurried down to NRM and bought it right away.

The place I most wanted to transfer to was Point Park College, a liberal arts school in downtown Pittsburgh with a journalism program I hoped to get into. I toured the "campus"—two high-rise buildings with a connecting pedestrian bridge that stretched over the city street below–that October, and eventually got accepted. But in the end, the school proved to be more expensive than what my student loans would cover.

While driving around my suburban hometown in my 1987 Dodge Shadow one night with my friend Becky in fall 1993, she started laughing when "Liberation," the third track (and fourth single) on Very came on, because of the lyrics, "The night, the stars / A light shone through the door."

I'd written an off-color poem months prior, and had given it to her. It contained the line, "The lights, the disco ball / You're hot! Oh, wait...you're a man!" Somewhere, she heard a corrolation between the two.

At that point I was far from openly entertaining any gay notions about myself...except in trashy, shock-value poetry, apparently. Twelve years later, that brand of humor would come into play in a new medium.

That October, Becky and I went on a field trip with our Geography professor to see famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater house. I listened to Very on my headphones during the bus ride.

We also stopped off in Johnstown, which is where this photo was taken:

A week later, both of us went to see A Nightmare Before Christmas.

Two great clips: Pet Shop Boys (in Beatles wigs) opening in Rio with "Tonight Is Forever/I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing" in December 1994 on the "DiscoVERY" tour, and also seguing into Culture Beat's "Mr. Vain" during "One In A Million," from the same gig.

In 1994, at Indiana University Of Pennsylvania—where I finally transferred to and got my Bachelor's degree from in 1997—everyone on my dorm room floor had Very. It was one of those essential CDs, like ABBA Gold, the first Weezer album and R.E.M. Monster, that most students owned.

It wasn't long before I met a guy and finally acted on the previously-mentioned impulses that lay buried during my time in my hometown. Suddenly I kind of understood Very from a completely different angle.

It's a funny thing that happens when you finish college; you enter the real world and find that what you'd been working so hard to get to is...lonely. And tough. When I moved to Los Angeles in 1999, I listened to Very a lot. It reminded me of good times. Innocent ones that had long gone by.

Every fall I dig that CD out. In fact, I probably play it more than any album still. It's my "if you were stranded on a desert island" disc.

Very is of its time, but has aged surprisingly well. "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing" is just spectacular pop, though I much prefer the album version over the single mix that was done. "One And One Make Five" and "The Theatre" are amazing album tracks that could have been singles.

"Young Offender" makes my heart break to this day, and is probably my favorite Pet Shop Boys song of all time. I like to think that I was a young offender when Very came out.

How graceful your movement
How bitter your scorn
I've been a teenager since before you were born

And I'm younger than some
I've only begun

A few facts about Very:

1. It's the Pet Shop Boys' fifth studio album.

2. In the U.K., it's the duo's only one to hit #1.

3. It reached #20 in the U.S., and has been certified gold (over 500,000 sold).

4. Neil Tennant commenting on "Go West" in the liner notes of the 2001 remastered CD: "[Chris Lowe] played [the original Village People version] to me and I said, 'This is ghastly.' I thought it was ghastly beyond belief. Awful. Anyway, Chris just carried on regardless."

5. Chris Lowe on he and Neil's image for the album promotion: "Everyone was being grungy. Everyone was just dressing in baggy jeans and T-shirt and sweatshirt, that Nirvana thing, looking ordinary. We wanted to be unique, outside of it."

6. Neil on "A Different Point Of View": "This song would have been great done by Take That... Chris never liked this song. Chris played the tune on orchestra hits, just to annoy me. And even more annoyingly, I really liked it."

I stopped at the newsstand today to grab a copy of British mag Pop—the "'80s excess issue," with a nice six-page interview with the Pet Shop Boys. I read it at Starbucks, which is when I took the top photo.

This piece is a continuation of "These Are The Days You'll Remember."

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Will Young Brings Changes To The U.K., But All McFly Have To Offer Are Lies

And so we find two staples of British pop in the '00s entering the Top 10 this week, which finally bumps out white trash-rock anthem "All Summer Long" and Eric Prydz's "Pjanoo."

After an impressive run where they racked up seven U.K. #1s, McFly seem to be slowing down. "Lies" makes their third single in a row to miss the top, debuting this week at #4 and becoming the boy band's lowest-charting single since 2005's "Ultraviolet/The Ballad Of Paul K."

Meanwhile, Will Young's "Changes"—a track that seems like it's already been around forever at this point thanks to the Internet—moves up to #10 based on digital downloads alone, ahead of its retail CD single availability tomorrow.

"Changes" marks Will's 10th single to make the U.K. Top 10—an even more impressive feat when you consider he's only had 11 total. (Though if you count his appearance on the Ultimate Shit Single Of The New Millenium—Band Aid 20's "Do They Know It's Christmas"–you could knock those numbers up by one. But let's not.)

Elsewhere, lest you actually believed that Katy Perry was a lesbian, that's her boyfriend Travis McCoy's band, Gym Class Heroes, underneath her there at #6 with "Cookie Jar." That's right...cookie jar. Like Travis shoving four fingers up Katy's cookie jar, and pulling out a pair of grandpa's dentures.

On that note, it's groovy to see Jennifer Hudson at #15 with "Spotlight," a jam that's taken forever to crawl up the chart here in the States (where it's at #41 currently).

But fuck it all—bring on new Take That!

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Sex On Fire" - Kings Of Leon *2 weeks*
2. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry
3. "When I Grow Up" - Pussycat Dolls
4. "Lies" - McFly
5. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
6. "Cookie Jar" - Gym Class Heroes feat. The Dream
7. "Beggin'" - Madcon
8. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" - The Script
9. "Miss Independent" - Ne-Yo
10. "Changes" - Will Young

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Take That Have Two Singles On The Way

How is it that Gary Barlow and his wonky-eye are in L.A. this very minute finishing up Take That's new album with producer John Shanks, and we haven't done oral sex with each other yet? I never understand how these things (don't) happen...?!

Thursday night the band won the Sony Ericson Tour Of The Year Award at the Vodafone Live Music Awards in London, beating out Sugababes and Girls Aloud. Of course, they weren't there to pick up their statue, because they're here not getting naked with me.

The Spice Girls also beat out Led Zeppelin and The Verve in the Best Live Return category. Think about that for a minute.

Anyway, it's been noted that Take That's new single will be out sometime in November. Meanwhile the Manchester Evening News reports the album should be out by Christmas, and that Barlow's pal, Brit comedian Peter Kay, is teaming up with the DILF boy band for a novelty single to rival the X Factor winner's release in the race to the Christmas #1 position in the U.K.

The single will tie in with Kay's reality-TV satire series Britain's Got The Pop Factor And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice.

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As Long As You Love Me

Check out D'luv's latest Towleroad column—"Saying Bye Bye Bye To TRL"—which one reader raves is "just a lot of wistful and self-absorbed rambling."

Surely he was equally impressed with my grade-A Photoshop skills?


Friday, September 19, 2008

Brandon Flowers On 'Human': It's Like Johnny Cash Meets The Pet Shop Boys

Brandon Flowers is looking younger and younger with each album, and the rest of the Killers morphing into my mom. Creepy.

Anyway, there's a really good interview in Rolling Stone—and on the mag's site—with Brandon that pretty much tells you everything you'd want to know about the new album.

1. Yes, it's officially called Day and Age.
2. Yes, it's out November 25.
3. Stuart Price is all over it.
4. There are two sax solos.

Here are some excerpts:

So, if Sam's Town is about Vegas, what is this one about?
For me it's definitely a continuation. On this one I was thinking more universal. Like, when Morrissey was singing about Manchester, I thought, "I got it." [laughs]. I don't know. Maybe I didn't. I feel like that's the duty, I guess. You're supposed to represent where you're from, and—I'm trying to figure out what that is— I don't know how to do it. I don't know.

So, and what is Stuart doing to it? He's just shining it up?
Yeah, and he's—he's not afraid to put out ideas, and you know at first that was hard to get used to. But I mean some of them we kept, and you know, we almost treated him like a fifth member.

So, for instance, on "Human," what did he add to that? Obviously it has kind of a Euro-pop feel to it.
The landscapes —that would be more Stuart. We'd do the meat and potatoes, and he adds the galaxy.


What's "Human" about?
I think we were at a weird festival in Germany. I was just trying to have it be a simple tune, with classic chord changes. The way I described it to Stuart was -- I remember saying this to him at dinner -- "I got this thing, it's like Johnny Cash meets the Pet Shop Boys. Let's go record it."


Right. So, what should we say about the other Killers stepping up on this record? I heard five songs and it's definitely the best shit you've ever done.

Yeah I feel like it is. I think it was like that freedom that Stuart gives you to just--If you want to try something—to nobody was afraid to try it. We brought in a sax player. Tommy, he's our buddy. He's probably going to come on the road with us. And Ronnie brought in his buddy—this Cuban guy, that's a percussionist. We all just kind of said, you know, fuck it. You know, people laugh at sax solos. We just said, fuck it.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Pink Lands Her First #1...Sort Of

It's hard to believe that, before this summer, Max Martin's (below left) only writing and/or production credit on a U.S. #1 single was almost 10 years ago—Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time."

Of course, had their been a CD single released for Backstreet Boys' "I Want It That Way," it surely would have hit the top, rather than peaking at #6 on airplay alone. ('Twas the days before iTunes, kids.)

Also, how much of a pain in the ass was it that Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" got stuck at #2 three years back?

Anyway, Pink lands at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time, with "So What." Well, first time if we're discounting her contribution to 2001's "Lady Marmalade," along with Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil' Kim. The old cougar look is working well for her, it would seem!

And along with his co-writing credit on Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl," Max Martin's role as producer and co-writer of "So What" gives him two #1-charting singles this year alone.

It truly does feel like a bit of a Pop Renaissance is going down in 2008.

Elsewhere, Estelle being re-added to iTunes after a brief experiment where Atlantic Records removed it in an attempt to boost CD sales has "American Boy" finally cracking the Top 10, at #9.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "So What" - Pink *1 week*
2. "Whatever You Like" - T.I. *airplay gainer*
3. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
4. "Paper Planes'" - M.I.A
5. "Swagga Like Us'" - Jay-Z *new* *hot shot debut*
6. "Forever" - Chris Brown
7. "Closer'" - Ne-Yo
8. "Can't Believe It'" - T-Pain feat. Lil Wayne
9. "American Boy" - Estelle feat. Kanye West
10. "Got Money" - Lil Wayne feat. T-Pain

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

That Horse Is Getting A Whole Lot Of Pink On The 'Funhouse' Album Cover

Goddammit, it is Pink or P!nk? Either way, the Funhouse album cover is pretty classy! It says that this broad is ready to take on the world, one dumbass at a time, crushing them like walnuts between her stalwart thighs.

Get 'em, P!nk! You too, Pink! This trash is out October 28.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The End Of An Era: After 10 Years, MTV Is Pulling The Plug On 'TRL'

MTV's Total Request Live turned 10 this month, and its last episode will air in November in a special Saturday two-hour edition. Awwwww. Granted, I haven't watched the show in about eight years, but awwwwww.

So did YouTube kill the video star? The Carson Daly-hosted TRL pretty much came along at the right time in 1998 to kickstart the whole teen pop craze—Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera, NSync.

But in recent years, especially after Daly left the show in 2003, what had once been a Top 10 video countdown program had been reduced to showing 20-second clips of videos while some kids screamed into a microphone or some actor or rapper promoted their latest project.

Or was it always like that? Christ, I'm old...

TRL's executive producer Dave Sirulnick says the show isn't ending for good:
"We want to close this era of TRL in a big celebratory way, and 10 is a great number. And 10 is the number that TRL counted down every single day for 10 years, and we hit this 10th (anniversary) and we thought, You know what? This feels like the right time and let's celebrate it and let's reward it. And let's let it have a little bit of a rest for a minute. Let it catch its breath! Been working hard — for 10 years!"
MTV will replace the show with the similar, Pete Wentz-hosted FNMTV, which aired for 15 episodes in the summer and returns this fall.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Britney Spears' 'Circus' Out In December

Wow! Less than a year after Blackout hit during Britney Spears' most trashy-low period of her career, the back-on-track hooker is putting out her sixth album Circus on December 2. The date is also Brit's 27th birthday.

The good news is that she worked with Max Martin again on several tracks, which she hasn't done since her 2001 album Britney.

First single "Womanizer" is "scheduled to hit radio" next Monday.

Riiiiight. Let's see if stations give as warm a reception to Spears as MTV did last weekend. Maybe if she shows up and flahses her boobs to the programmers. Or something.

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Pop Conspiracy: Pussycat Dolls Vs. Girls Aloud

The Pussycat Dolls' second single "Whatcha Think About That" off their forthcoming Doll Domination album has hit the airwaves. (I should know, I heard it last week while driving to pick up Chinese takeout.)

After it was added to iTunes on Tuesday, I couldn't help noticing the resemblance to the single cover for Girls Aloud's "Sexy! No No No..."

Of course, the main difference being that PCD look like two-dollar hookers, while Girls Aloud probably charge 20 and make you wear a condom.

Meanwhile, "Whatcha Think About That" isn't half bad, and actually kind of makes up for the banal atrocity that is "When I Grow Up." It also contains a rap from Missy Elliott, with the line: "Up in that club it's just me and my girls/Play like Katy Perry, kissing on girls."

Stay classy, Missy!

SIDE NOTE: To read grown men poetically masturbating over Girls Aloud's new single "The Promise"—which in D'luv's book doesn't hold a candle to last year's "Call The Shots—go here (Adem With An E) and here (XO's Middle Eight).

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Competition Stiffs Cliff On The U.K. Chart

Good ol' Cliff Richard. Tomorrow sees the U.K. release of the eight-disc box set And They Said It Wouldn't Last (My 50 Years In Music), celebrating the career of the now 68-year-old (!!) Sir Cliff.

Coinciding with this is the celebratory (and ultimately cheesy) single "Thank You For A Lifetime," which Cliff and Co. probably didn't anticipate would get beat to #1 on the U.K. chart by American southern rock outfit Kings Of Leon.

And while "Sex" ultimately proves to be more popular than Richards' "Lifetime," the latter still charts respectably at #3, giving the pop legend his fourth British Top 10 hit of the new millenium.

Of course, this new trash pales in comparison to these schmaltz classics:

Otherwise, it's a relatively slow week on the chart, thought it feels like a calm before a glut of new releases come charging down the horizon.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Sex On Fire" - Kings Of Leon *new* *1 week*
2. "I Kissed A Girl" - Katy Perry
3. "Thank You For A Lifetime" - Cliff Richard *new*
4. "When I Grow Up" - Pussycat Dolls
5. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
6. "Pjanoo" - Eric Prydz
7. "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" - The Script
8. "Beggin'" - Madcon
9. "All Summer Long" - Kid Rock
10. "Mountains" - Biffy Clyro

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Friday, September 12, 2008

If You Can Believe It, Leon Jackson's "Don't Call This Love" Isn't Too Shabby

Last year's X Factor winner Leon Jackson finally arrives on the scene next month with new material that will hopefully wash the bland taste of "When You Believe" out of the public's collective mouth.

Gotta hand it to Leon and the 50 people working for Simon Cowell behind the scenes—his first proper single, "Don't Call This Love," is surprisingly good in a retro-'70s soul way. Sort of like Duffy meets Nixon/Ford-era Philadelphia.

I can actually see Leon following in the footsteps of fellow X Factor alum Leona Lewis and crossing over in America with this...which is probably what Cowell had in mind all along.

Jackson's full album Right Now is out October 20 in the U.K.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Kids On The Block And Pink Are Runner-Ups

Did you ever think you'd see the day where, after a 14 year absence, New Kids On The Block would have a hit album again? The Block enters Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart at #2 on the back of 95,000 copies sold, making it their highest-charting LP since Step By Step in 1990.

Admittedly, D'luv was d'ubious about the reunited Kids at first. I figured their new album would go the safe, boring ballad route. And so it's a shock to hear The Block and realize that it's probably the most refreshing pop album this year.

The lyrics are at times completely cheesy ("Oh, it's crazy/ she's like, 'baby'/ I'm like Swayze", from "Dirty Dancing"), but the sound and feel of the record are top notch, which we can probably attribute to producer RedOne.

Best Tracks: "Big Girl Now," "Sexify My Love," "Twisted" and "Full Service."

As well, NKOTB's Greatest Hits that Sony threw out last month is up from #54 to #30 this week.

Back on the Hot 100, Pink's "So What climbs up one position to #2 following her cougar-tastic performance on the MTV VMAs.

Christ, there was just a commercial for the 9 To 5 musical on TV, and Dolly Parton—love ya, babe, but the plastic surgery...!

What were we talking about? Ah, fuck it...

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Whatever You Like" - T.I. *3 weeks* *airplay gainer*
2. "So What" - Pink *sales gainer*
3. "Disturbia" - Rihanna
4. "Forever" - Chris Brown
5. "Paper Planes'" - M.I.A
6. "I'm Yours" - Jason Mraz
7. "Viva La Vida'" - Coldplay
8. "Closer'" - Ne-Yo
9. "In The Ayer" - Flo Rida Feat. will.i.am
10. "Dangerous" - Kardinal Offishall Feat. Akon

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The New Saturdays Video Is OK, But Would Be Better With Stripper Poles Between Their Thighs

I like British girl group The Saturdays, and appreciate what they're bringing to the table. You can tell these broads wanna be sexy, but they're only on single #2, so the thongs and knee pads will have to wait for a few more videos.

That said, here's the new clip for "Up," which is officially out in the U.K. October 12 (with the full album following a week later):


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brian McFadden Vs. Bryan Abrams: Battle Of The Ex-Boy Band Scumbags

Here's ex-Westlife member Brian McFadden, fiance of Delta Goodrem who went solo in 2004 and who's now washed up and apparently a complete homophobe.

Take a listen to his comments from last month on a New Zealand morning show, where the color pink was being discussed and a woman called in and said traditionally boys used to wear it (McFadden: "Yes, in San Francisco and Sydney!"):

An excerpt: "Saying pink is a form of red is the same as saying homosexual is a form of male. Don't be goin' all technical on me sayin' 'in the old days.' Because in the old days, there was no such thing as gay. It was frowned upon. The church would burn you at the stake."

That's a shame. I really liked his single "Real To Me" when it was out four years ago.

Just for the record, here's Brian performing in a pink hoodie:

Next up we have former Color Me Badd singer Bryan Abrams, who got wasted on Friday in an Oklahoma City restaurant then punched his girlfriend in the face while screaming, "I'm-a kill you! You and me! You and me!"

Romantic, no?

Nice mugshot. Abrams is in the slammer, and the woman is pressing charges.

In typical D'luv fashion, I never liked any of Color Me Badd's big hits, like "I Wanna Sex You Up," "All 4 Love" and "I Adore Mi Amore."

I much preferred their minor 1994 hit "Choose," off their follow-up flop album. That's Bryan Abrams singing lead in the video:

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Does David Archuleta Have A Crush On The Girl Or The Boy In His New Video?

The answer of course being "yes." Go get 'em, Baby Queen!

And acting out your sexual frustrations with a piano? That's a new one.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

The 3rd Annual MTV VMAs Banterview...You Want A Piece Of This

Jumpin' Jonas Brothers! You'd think D'luv and MoogaBoo would have learned their lesson by now. But here they are, back to brave the MTV Video Music Awards for the third year. Well, half of the show, anyway.

First, here's the VMAs in two mintues:

Golly, we're so tech savvy, watching this streaming online rather than on the clunky ol' TV. Alright, let's see Britney's opening act. Hey, she actually looks really good! Her hair's all pulled back and she's trying to kiss that ugly broad.

MOOGABOO: That's actually Jonah Hill...trying to kiss Britney.

D: Damn! And I'm not even drinking this time.

M: Wise of them to give Britters practically zero dialogue. Now there's some crazy dance troupe singing "Disturbia."

D: And an emotionaless zombie with no personality just came out of a wedding cake. Oh, it's Rihanna.

M: Either this stream is fucked, or they're letting Rihanna sing without Autotune.

D: I wonder if she's really broke?

M: She needs to hook up with one of those Chris Brown "Forever"-type promotions. Maybe she already has, and next month we'll discover "Disturbia" was actually an ad for Advil all along.

D: Well, if worse comes to worse, Ri-Ri could probably land some TV gig. I wonder if QVC is hiring?

M: Luv, after watching that opening sequence with Britney, "I wonder if QVC is hiring?" should be the theme of the night.

D: Wait, I'll be right back............OK, sorry. I thought something was burning, then I realized it was just my computer rejecting Russell Brand.

M: Someone please bring Sarah Silverman back from whatever speakeasy she's performing in tonight to reprise her hosting gig from last year!

D: Katy Perry just stuck her tongue out at Russell from the audience. Which makes me think he probably rammed the bicuriosity right out of her at some point during rehearsal week.

M: Now Jamie Foxx is on. One of the producers really ought to let someone know that a 50-year-old just got past security.

D: Wait...I hear Haddaway "What Is Love"! This suddenly became the best VMAs ever!! Oh, damn. It was just a Diet Pepsi commercial.

M: Taylor Swift is introducing the Jonas Brothers. I wonder if they'll ever cross the threshold from dorky to hot?

D: Nick is kinda cute. But he's 15. Which means three more years till Playgirl!

M: Uh-oh. Katy's doing "Like A Virgin."

D: Wait, they're only showing 20 seconds of it? Now it's a commercial? That was anticlimactic. Though probably for the best.

M: Who's this trim singing now?

D: I hear violins, there's some homeless guy yelling onstage while a three-buck hooker from the Valley wails into a microphone. They're saying it's Leona Lewis and Lil' Wayne, but I'm not buying it.

M: Pussycat Dolls just won for something. Best performance in a free clinic?

D: Nicole Scherzinger is hogging the speech while the other Dolls try to get a word in edgewise.

M: I love how the other Dolls think their bodies wouldn't be disposed of if they actually did manage that.

D: You know, in a way the VMAs have always monumentally sucked. It's nothing new. They're good for maybe one buzzworthy performance each year, but when you actually sit and watch the entire thing, it's similar to having a root canal.

M: I've had more root canals than VMAs experiences, and I know which I prefer. That said, I was hoping for more in the way of dance numbers. Rihanna's was actually really cool, and it stands in high relief against the rest of the performances.

D: Agreed. And on that note, let's watch Pink then roll this trash. Miley Cyrus is introducing her. Only three more years till Playboy!

M: Pink's hair looks good! Who'd-a thunk this broad would still be turning out hits almost 10 years later? I remember thinking she was the next Alicia Bridges.

D: Pink sounds great, and this really is the performance of the night! The only thing that would have made it better is if she'd tasered Miley at the beginning, or dry-rode the Jonases.

M: It really is good on its own, and not just because nothing else was good.

D: Is it me or does Pink look like a boozy old cougar in a bathrobe?

M: Well, someone had to fill the Madonna slot.

* The 2006 MTV VMAs Drive Us To Drink
* The 2nd Annual VMAs Banterview...Or Thank God For Fast Forward

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