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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

At Least Little Boots Fared Better Than Frankmusik, Right?

First up on the U.K. chart this week is 2005 Swedish Idol winner Agnes and her year-old Euro-jam "Release Me" (sadly not a cover of Wilson Phillips' 1990 power-schmaltz ballad), debuting at #3. For more on this one, head over to Don't Stop The Pop, where "Release Me" made top score with the Pop Panel—usually posted at Pop Trash Addicts—during Swede Week.

Another relic from 2005, Aussie duo the Veronicas, enter at #8 with "Untouched." In addition to reaching as high as #2 in Australia and Ireland with the song, the Veronicas also cracked the U.S. chart this past year with "Untouched," peaking at #17 after selling over one million downloads.

And remember when D'luv met the Veronicas four years ago, during their Max Martin days? God, I looked tragic...and I wrote like a self-important tool then, too. You know what I mean; some bloggers are still writing like that. To quote from AbFab, "You can lose the attitude—you only work in a shop."

I'm not even gonna link to the post, it's so bad. Find it yourself.

Where the hell was I? Oh, right. Little Boots. "New In Town" goes in at #13. Look, La Roux originally debuted at #11 with "In For The Kill" back in March, and stayed there for two weeks before eventually going all the way to #2. Who knows, maybe that'll happen for equally-synthy Little Boots, too?

At least it's better than Frankmusik, the other artist everyone's shoving popscicles up their asses over, who flopped right out of the gate at #26 last month with "Better Off As Two."

Anyway, hopefully those little boots aren't made for walking right out of her label deal! And, hey, it could be worse... look at Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak for instance; debuting at #10 last week with "Fairytale," then dropping to #38 like a murdered hooker in a cement coffin into the Thames. Bloosh!

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Bonkers" - Dizee Rascal *2 weeks*
2. "Boom Boom Pow" - Black Eyed Peas
3. "Release Me" - Agnes *new*
4. "Number 1" - Tinchy Stryder feat. N-Dubz
5. "Red" - Daniel Merriweather
6. "Kiss Me Thru The Phone'" - Souljah Boy Tell Em feat. Sammie
7. "In For The Kill'" - La Roux
8. "Untouched" - The Veronicas *new*
9. "Not Fair'" - Lily Allen
10. "We Made You" - Eminem

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Kristinia DeBarge's 'Goodbye' Vid: Was Lolita Even This Much Of A Ho?

Now, granted, Kristinia DeBarge just turned 19 a couple months back and Britney Spears was two years younger than that when she spread her thighs on the cover of Rolling Stone 10 years ago... but this vid for "Goodbye" is all schizo.

One minute it's teeny-bopper girlie, the next it's slinking-tramp slutty. Something tells me Kristinia is in need of a proper spanking.

Hopefully the vid is enough to propel "Goodbye" up the Hot 100 Singles chart a bit, where it's peaked at #30 so far (and is currently at #33).


Am I The Only One Torn Over Aqua's New Single?

It's cute, synthy and the lyrics are clever. But after nine years away, the fact that Aqua's coming back with merely a greatest hits and new single "Back To The '80s (Those Were The Days)" is a bit ho hum. I mean, retro '80s schtick is so early '00s, no?

I dunno, maybe its a grower. But I miss "Roses Are Red." And "My Oh My." Those jams remind me of driving to my shit job as a room service waiter at the Pittsburgh Doubletree Hotel in fall of '97, then going out dancing all night when I got off at 11 pm.

Now those were the days, Aqua.

I wasn't too crazy about this when the live clip was doing the rounds last summer, either.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lady GaGa: 4, Madonna: 0

Lady GaGa covers Rolling Stone's new issue, and the mag labels her "the defining pop star of the year." In other words, rejoice, children—we'll never have to worry about seeing Madonna's rotting carcass on the cover of that rag again!

Now, in case you're wondering about the scoring in the title this post, I'm going by Lady GaGa's three major hits this year. Her latest, "LoveGame," climbs up five positions to #22 this week on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. I'm also throwing in the magazine cover.

There's a bunch of other garbage going on, like a combo of nine tracks debuting between American Idol's Kris Allen and Adam Lambert—including Kris' official winner's song "No Boundaries" at #11. Shit song, hot mouth.

Cathy Dennis co-wrote that atrocity, which gives her two American hits in the past year, including Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl."

And speaking of the latter broad, her latest "Waking Up In Vegas" moves up to #10, giving her a third U.S. Top 10 single. Meanwhile, Rob Thomas debuts waaay down at #42 with brand new song "Her Diamonds."

Close, but no cigar, dude. But give Madge a kiss for us!

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Boom Boom Pow" - The Black Eyed Peas *8 weeks*
2. "Poker Face" - Lady GaGa
3. "Blame It" - Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain
4. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Glee Cast *new*
5. "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" - Pitbull
6. "New Divide" - Linkin Park *new*
7. "Day 'N' Nite" - Kid Cudi
8. "Halo" - Beyonce
9. "Birthday Sex" - Jeremih
10. "Waking Up In Vegas" - Katy Perry

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Saturdays Managed To Make It 'Work'

Last August I posed the d'luvvly question: Can the Saturdays last? Could the latest in an seemingly endless army of slinky, sexy Brit girl groups rise above their less fortunate counterparts (Red Blooded Women) and more successful predecessors (Girls Aloud, Sugababes) to make a name for themselves?

The answer, upon the eve of their fifth single's ("Work") release is a resounding Yes!

It was a depressing fall last year, no? Keane flopped. Sugababes flopped. Christina Aguilera debuted a new electro sound to a collective yawn. The Killers put out a decent album, but we realized they may not again touch the greatness that was Hot Fuss.

Luckily, the Saturdays' Chasing Lights came along and reminded record-buyers that there is still decent pop to be made. And, geez, they must be doing something right; the days of an artist managing five singles off an album—especially in less than one year—are all but gone.

Here's the video for "Work." Official single is out June 29.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kylie Minogue And Jason Donovan's PWL Back Catalogs Pop Onto iTunes

As if the Pete Hammond mixes of Wynonna Judd's "Sing" weren't enough of a treat last week, today onetime '80s Neighbours stars and Stock Aitken Waterman stablemates Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan see their entire PWL back catalogs added to iTunes (including U.S.).

In the case of Kylie, this includes her four SAW albums, her original 1992 Greatest Hits and even her DeConstruction albums (1994's self-titled one and 1997's Impossible Princess) made after she left the PWL label.

But with Jason, we get his two PWL albums and his Greatest Hits, plus his original singles with every remix you can imagine...and the B-sides (including the extended mix of "She's In Love With You")!

Ian Usher of PWL tells Chart Rigger, "[These are] available in the U.S. as well to coincide with the news of Kylie's tour and the usage of 'Celebration' on the Macy's ad."

We should be so lucky. And it looks like we are!

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Daniel Merriweather's Mouth And The Atrocity That Is Jade Ewen

The great thing about Daniel Merriweather, as I've stated before is—well, basically, his mouth. For singing, of course. Ahem. And, well, sing Daniel does on new single "Red," which debuts at #5 on the U.K. chart this week. This trumps his previous release "Change," which made it to #8 back in February.

Norway's Alexander Rybak is in at #10 with his cheeseball Eurovision-winning entry "Fairytale." Yeah, Alexander can just keep his mouth to himself.

This brings us to Jade Ewen, who sang Britain's entry at Eurovision (and placed fifth), "It's My Time." The single appropriately flops at #27. I was part of the Pop Trash Addicts pop panel this week, and in my review of this dismal travesty, I believe I summed it all up with, "Stick to stripping, baby." I don't know if it's the song itself or Jade's Who, me? I'm famous? emoting in the video that irks me to no end.

Here are the clips for "Red" and "It's My Time":

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Bonkers" - Dizee Rascal *new*
2. "Boom Boom Pow" - Black Eyed Peas
3. "Number 1" - Tinchy Stryder feat. N-Dubz
4. "We Made You" - Eminem
5. "Red" - Daniel Merriweather *new*
6. "In For The Kill'" - La Roux
7. "Not Fair'" - Lily Allen
8. "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" - Souljah Boy Tell Em feat. Sammie
9. "Poker Face" - Lady GaGa
10. "Fairytale" - Alexander Rybak

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Madonna: Truth In Advertising

Saw this at Amoeba Records last week. Nice to see that after a decade of flops, they finally found a way to market Ye Olde Vampyre.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Chart Rigger Interviews Industry's Donal Skehan

It's been awhile since Chart Rigger delved into the mind of a pop star and featured an interview—April 2007, to be exact; Mr. Dan Gillespie Sells of The Feeling.

But Industry, who formed in Ireland, have caught the ear of D'luv, so it was high time I pick up the phone and dialed Donal Skehan, the charming dark-haired gent of this poptastic four-piece.

You first heard a clip of Industry's upcoming single "My Baby's Waiting" (due out in Ireland June 19) here, and now—ahead of planned releases in the U.K. and, fingers crossed, the U.S.—dashing Donal spills it all. From streaking in the videos, the forthcoming Industry album and being "the biggest pop music fan ever," it's all below. So get to reading!

Good morning, Donal!
How are you? I’m a regular reader of yours!

Well, you do strike me as someone with an appreciation for fine art. Speaking of which, your Good Mood Food blog is super! I’ll have to send the ball and chain there for some new ideas.
Excellent. Tell him to pick up a few recipes there. And there’s a book coming out also in October, so he can get that too!

How did the band come to be called Industry?
That’s a bit of a random story. We were flying over to Sweden to record the first two songs. It was actually me and the blond guy in the band [Lee Hutton]. He was reading a magazine that had the words “aviation industry” in it. We were kind of wracking our brains trying to get a name. It had come to the stage where we were just happy to get something. There are so many bands like Take That and Girls Aloud, where the name wasn’t that amazing to start with but it’s what you create around it. So we were quite happy with Industry. Everyone agreed on it, and that’s how it came about.

So basically you’re telling me you were this close to being called Aviation.
Yes, well, that was an option, too!

You and Industry manager James Hyland have worked together before.
Yeah. James had a music television channel [Bubble Hits] and I worked as a producer on that. I used to do a little showbiz gossip show on the channel.

The food blog, the pop band, being a TV producer—you really are a jack-of-all-trades.
Fingers in so many pies!

Is it tough balancing the launching of the group with preparing for your cookbook’s release?
To be honest, it all just seems to have gotten really busy all of a sudden. The book, at the moment, is in its finishing stages. So just before we’re going on a radio show for the band, I’m off doing edits for the book. It’s a bit crazy, but it’s the only way I’d have it. I totally enjoy being busy.

What’s the book going to be called?
It’s called Good Mood Food.

Like the blog. Back to Industry, where was the video for your first single “My Baby’s Waiting” shot?
It was shot in Majorca. We actually went over with a Swedish TV production crew and they shot it with us. We had awful trouble with it. Apparently there’s only one week in Majorca when it rains, and we got that week. It was basically us chasing the sun for the three days we were there. On the last day, when we were really worried, the sun came out. So we got the shots!

Did you know any of your band mates before you all came together?
Yeah. Actually, I knew Lee. We were in a band before together. And when the band kind of broke up we always kept in touch. We’ve just been good friends. When you come and do something like this, and the whole process is actually working, it’s so much nicer to be working with someone you know and you trust and who you really get on with.

How many songs have Industry recorded so far?
We’ve recorded seven. I know James is still on the lookout for the last few songs for the album. Oscar Holter and Jakke Erixson are the names of the two lads who are doing the stuff, so they’ll be writing the last few tracks, as well, but [James] is on the lookout for “the big one,” if you know what I mean. It’s nearly there. The tracks that we’ve recorded so far are all quite different. You’ve heard a few of them, haven’t you?

Yeah. I’ve heard “In My Arms” and “My Baby’s Waiting.”
The song we’re releasing in the U.K. in August, there’s more of a dance beat. I know “My Baby’s Waiting” is quite commercial, but this one is a little bit different. It’s dancey. I’d be a bit embarrassed to say it has a Lady GaGa sound. But it does, it has that kind of dance beat to it. I’d be very flattered if there were comparisons made there, but I won’t make them myself! [Laughs]

Let’s project into the future and say these songs will be giant smash hits. When can Industry’s adoring public expect a full album?
We’re aiming for a September/October release for the album. It will depend how busy we are. Because we’ve recorded pretty much half the album, it will kind of depend on getting the time to record the final songs for it.

Well, coming full circle, I think you should call the album Aviation. Think of it: Industry, Aviation—the band is taking off.
[Laughs] That’s a great idea! I’ll have to mention that to them. They’ll all be laughing.

Do the four of you write music, as well?
“In Your Arms” is written by Lee. We’re working so closely with the producers, we’ve kind of become friends with them. I know some pop groups kind of go in and basically just record the song and leave. But we’ve been sitting in with them and giving them our opinions. We’re all talking about the tracks rather than just going in and being told what to do. We are definitely given more input. It’s great that the management people are taking a listen to the stuff that we’re writing.

Do you personally like pop music?
I love it! I’m like the biggest pop music fan ever!

Who are some other artists you’re into?
I love everything in the charts at the moment. I love Mika’s stuff. I love Take That’s recent stuff. Jesus, there are so many I could list off. I love all the pop that you feature! [Laughs] I do like a bit of cheesy pop.

I really should’ve just been born in Europe, I suppose. Something must have gotten switched at the very last moment. Half of my family is Irish, going way back…
I hate to tell you this, but you’re the typical American. Every American has an Irish story. “You know, my granddad, he’s related to this guy down in Cork…” [Laughs]

While we're on the topic of Ireland, let’s talk about your 2008 Eurosong entry, “Double Cross My Heart.”
Oh, God. I didn’t know you knew that much!

I do my research.
Well, I won’t hide it anymore. I’m a huge Eurovision fan. I had kind of done stuff in the music industry before and the opportunity just came up with the National Song Contest. Previously they hadn’t had it open to the public to enter. After the band I was in before, I kept in contact with a few of the songwriters. I pitched the idea to them and they came back with “Double Cross My Heart.” I liked it and thought it would be good for Eurovision. I could see a performance around it. So, I flew over to Sweden and recorded it. I recorded a mini documentary thing—it’s actually up on YouTube—and they picked me for one of the final six. I was extremely happy till I realized that turkey was in the same competition! [Laughs]

Can you believe you lost to Dustin the Turkey?
Oh, man. I’m still getting’ over it. It’s so funny, though, because I haven’t really done any press since then. But we’re doing the radio tour this week and practically the first question everybody’s asked is, “How does it feel to be beaten by a turkey?” I try to brush over it fairly quickly.

We’ll all be expecting lots of turkey recipes in your cookbook.
There’s only one, actually! Turkey mint!

How did you get to be so handy in the kitchen?
My mom and dad are fruit and vegetable distributors in Ireland, so we’ve always had a well-stocked fridge. There’ve always been new ingredients in our kitchen to kind of make anything. But my aunt is actually a food stylist and a caterer. She’s my godmother, as well, and we were very close when I was growing. You know, I just picked it up from osmosis, I guess. Basically, we’d spend weekends and I’d pick it up. There’s been no real formal training, just practice and practice.

Do you do all the photos of the dishes on the Good Mood Food blog yourself?
Yeah. I do. It’s a hobby to me, so I totally enjoy doing that, as well. I would spend my Saturday afternoon doing that rather than going to the cinema, do you know what I mean? My family has decided not to eat my food anymore because they can’t stand sitting while I take photos before I serve to them. [Laughs] So they’ve given up on my cooking!

The whole setup and look to your blog with the photos seems very intricate, with the lighting and the professional camera.
Thank you very much! That’s brilliant. It’s good to hear feedback. I don’t hear it too often except for the comments [on the blog]. The good thing with the book is it’s starting to kind of take off with the press here. It’s wonderful to get feedback on it, because it is, like I said, a hobby. To get something from it is pretty amazing. I’m happy with it.

How did the book deal come about? Did you seek that out?
No, not at all. It was through the blog. The commissioning editor of Mercier Press, who’s the Irish book publisher, contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in submitting a kind of brief to them about putting a book together. So it basically came through the blog. That was the amazing thing.

You have a girlfriend named Sophie.
Yeah. She’s from Sweden.

What was the first thing you ever cooked for her?
Oh my God. I think it must’ve been a pasta dish or something...or popcorn! [Laughs] Probably something really simple. Popcorn for a movie. No. I’m pretty sure it was a pasta dish. Fresh tomatoe pasta dish. Something simple.

Is she as into cooking as you are?
Um, she likes to cook, but I wouldn’t say she’s that wonderful. [Laughs] Let’s just say she tries. She definitely tries. She’s excellent at cleaning up the dishes!

Well, that’s all I have for you, Donal.
Thanks so much!

Keep in touch. We can send each other 140-character messages on Twitter.
They drive me insane. I have so much to say and the thing cuts me off!

Well, best of luck to you and your Industry mates, as well.
Massive thanks. We’ve all been reading the posts, so thanks a million for all the pluggin’.

And, hey, you and Lee—shirts off in the next video.
Right! I think we might not have a problem with that. [Laughs] I’ll put it to James and see what he says. We tried to streak but they just wouldn’t let us. But look very closely in the last frames of every video and we do a streak across the telly.

This is still the interview, you know.
You said this was finished two minutes ago! Oh, God.

Grab more info on Industry from their official site.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lady GaGa And Katy Perry Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon, Folks

So, can you believe Katy Perry rebounded from the "Thinking Of You" debacle to have another hit? Her fourth single, "Waking Up In Vegas" jumps up from #51 to #13 on this week's Billboard Hot 100 chart.

And it was a year ago right now when Katy was beginning to haunt radio and everything else in sight with her summer smash "I Kissed A Girl." Time flies when you're raking in buckets of cash, I suppose.

Eminem's 543rd single this year, "Beautiful," debuts at #17. He's gotta stop putting one out every week, because they just chart lower and lower, then go down faster than Katy Perry at a record exec meeting.

Then comes the string of this spring's decent jams making strides: Sean Kingston is up 11 positions to #18 with "Fire Burning," Kelly Clarkson inches up to #23 with "I Do Not Hook Up" and Green Day's "Know Your Enemy," at #28, is finally catching on. Green Day also have the #1 album this week with 21st Century Breakdown, after its Friday release saw the LP sell 215,000 copies in just three days.

Lady GaGa scores her third U.S. Top 40 single with "LoveGame," which makes a discohooker-worthy leap from #61 to #27. Additionally, her million-selling album The Fame reaches a new peak of #4 this week.

Hopefully some of these singles break up the dreck that is the current U.S. Top 10 soon; I can't handle the combined discontent of the Black Eyed Peas and Pitbull much longer.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Boom Boom Pow" - The Black Eyed Peas *7 weeks*
2. "Poker Face" - Lady GaGa
3. "Blame It" - Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain
4. "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" - Pitbull
5. "Day 'N' Nite" - Kid Cudi
6. "Halo" - Beyonce
7. "Don't Trust Me" - 3OH!3
8. "Sugar" - Flo Rida feat. Wynter
9. "Birthday Sex" - Jeremih
10. "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" - Souljah Boy Tell 'Em feat. Sammie

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Three Things You Need To Know About Kris Allen, Adam Lambert And 'American Idol'

1. Kris Allen winning is apparently "an upset." He's also pretty cute. I should have actually watched more than once this season.

2. Adam Lambert has nice teeth. Did he ever officially come out? Someone commented yesterday that I should have been supporting him. I guess to do that I'd have to support this snoozefest of a show, first.

3. Is a recording contract really that enticing of an offer at this day and age in the music biz? They should offer something more useful, like a CD player.

At any rate, here's Cyndi Lauper performing "Time After Time" with contestant Allison Iraheta during last night's finale. Can you believe Cyndi's turning 56 next month?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mariah Carey Confirms She's Nuts New Album Title On Twitter

You know, Memoirs Of An Imperfect Angel reminds me of those Angel movies I used to watch as a kid in the '80s on HBO—the ones where the teen broad was a high school student by day, hooker by night.

Remember those? I used to watch them at my neighbor's house, after his parents went to bed. Ah, to be 10 again. And kudos to Mariah Carey for being so retro-referential!

Meanwhile, Timbaland is apparently twiddling Mimi's knobs on this LP. Hey, he was able to get one hit out of Madonna last year. That's like getting blood from a 3,968-year-old stone with fangs that sucks the life force out of anything that moves within a five-mile radius these days.

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It Makes Perfect Sense That Pete Hammond Would Remix Wynonna Judd, Right?

Right now you're wondering, Why the hell am I reading about country legend Wynonna Judd on Chart Rigger?

Well, that would be because PWL legend Pete Hammond has remixed her latest single, "Sing"—in both the Pete Hammond Radio Edit form and that of the Pete Hammond Extended Mix. Each are on iTunes, and I'd suggest downloading asap.

Look, I don't ask, I just go with it sometimes. And occasionally that leads to those awesome "spring day with the iPod on and extra pep-in-the-step" moments. Which you'll have if you download these mixes. Promise.

* Thanks to all who pointed the "Sing" remixes out after last week's Lonnie Gordon/Pete Hammond post.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gary Barlow And Tony Hadley To Work On New Spandau Ballet Material

So, Spandau Ballet are back together and doing gigs in England and Ireland this fall. Even better, lead singer Tony Hadley says, "I'm hoping to start writing with Gary [Barlow] after the Spandau shows and we've started talking about it. I love Gary, he's great."

Funny enough, XO described Spandau Ballet a few months back as "Take That with erectile disfunction."

But the true class is that Tony says he and Barlow bonded over being "famous and fat." The difference being, of course, Gary had the wherewithall to cut the custard out of his diet for his comeback.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Just When You're In The Mood For An Old-School Vanessa Williams Jam...

Vanessa Williams has a new album called The Real Thing coming out on June 2. This naturally put me in the mood to hear some of her older jams—particularly her 1993 duet with Brian McKnight, "Love Is," off the Beverly Hills, 90210 soundtrack.

OK, first of all, there were some decent hits off that soundtrack, no? Jeremy Jordan's "Right Kind Of Love," Shanice's "I love Your Smile"...Tori Spelling should have been Barbie-doll-legging herself to all of those!

So, of course I went to download "Love Is" off iTunes, and—goddammit—it's like the one Vanessa Williams song not on there...except in some generic karaoke version.

That line, "Look at this place, it was paradise but now it's dying," used to kill me when I'd rock out by myself in the car, singing along while driving around my hometown at age 19.

Oh, well. Here's the vid, anyway:

"Love Is" reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in Spring 1993.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sorry, Brits, But Black Eyed Peas Speak The International Language Of Suck

Well, not only have Black Eyed Peas raped the U.S., Australia and Canada pop charts with their electrocity "Boom Boom Pow," they've also now done a black-eyed blitz on the U.K., as well.

Enjoy this horseshit, Brits; it's a real gem. Hopefully it stays at #1 for 39 weeks like it has here in America. You can thank us later. We know you're too busy enjoying other gems we've sent your way by Eminem, Kings Of Leon, Ciara and Flo Rida.

At least Green Day's excellent 21st Century Breakdown, an Uncle Sam export to not be ashamed of, is at the top of the U.K. album chart.


The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Boom Boom Pow" - Black Eyed Peas *1 week*
2. "Number 1" - Tinchy Stryder feat. N-Dubz
3. "In For The Kill'" - La Roux
4. "We Made You" - Eminem
5. "Not Fair'" - Lily Allen
6. "Tiny Dancer" - Ironik feat. Chipmunk & Elton John
7. "Poker Face" - Lady GaGa
8. "I'm Not Alone" - Calvin Harris
9. "Love Sex Magic" - Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake
10. "Warrior's Dance" - Prodigy

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Off Topic: They Banned My Favorite Book, So In Honor I'm Giving Away A Signed Copy

One of my all-time favorite books, Stephen Chbosky's The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, has come in sixth on the chart of the most-challenged books (by parents) in American libraries this year.

Fucking ridiculous. This book had a huge influence on me after reading it upon its publication in 1999, and look how classy I turned out!

Last week U.K. paper the Telegraph chalked the ranking up to "drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited to age group," then comically quipped, "Oh, to be a teenager again."

To celebrate this monumental achievement, Chart Rigger is giving away a copy of The Perks Of Being A Wallflower autographed by Stephen Chbosky—who later went on to write the screenplay for the movie version of Rent and created TV series Jericho. (Note: Stephen didn't sign the book for this giveaway. Rather, it's a signed copy I acquired on my own.)

Just shoot me an email at robbie.daw@gmail.com and tell me what your favorite book is and why, and I'll pick one winner to receive the signed copy based upon your answer. And, who knows, maybe I'll even do a post with some of the responses I get.

Include your name and mailing address. Country doesn't matter.

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Bring On Deborah Gibson's Second Coming!

Just when you thought Deborah Gibson could never achieve artistic heights higher than her 2006 duet with Jordan Knight, along comes Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus, a straight-to-DVD flick starring the foxy popstress that's out on Tuesday!

Totally buying it!

Wouldn't it be great if the shark tried to bite of Debzy's nose, but out of the blue she got all Don Corleone on it and pulled out her Walther p22 and blew its eyes out? (Must mentally tuck that away for self-touch material later...)

Anyway, for those out there commenting that this isn't real, here's the IMBD entry for it. (I mean the movie. Not Debbie's boobs. Those are questionable.)

But while we're on the subject—and I literally had this conversation with two different people in the past week, kid you not—why has this broad never done a Cathy Dennis and started writing/producing hits for today's wet-behind-the-ears pop stars? Seriously, none of these young ho's can write a hook like Deborah was doing at 17 all on her own back in the day!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's The Full Industry 'My Baby's Waiting' Video!

Back in early April I posted a clip of Irish boy/girl group Industry's debut single, "My Baby's Waiting" (produced by Swede hitmakers TEN). Below is the official video.

Pretty boys x pretty girls + sun - shirtlessness = possible hit. I mean, lose the shirts, lads, and it's a full on #1. Oh, well...

The single is released June 19.


The Pet Shop Boys 'Did You See Me Coming?' Video Is Very Minimal

OK, we all know the world's economy is in the toilet and record label's are struggling and money'$ too tight to mention and perhaps the Pet Shop Boys had to fund their clip for "Did You See Me Coming?" themselves, but...

...does such a great song deserve this ho-hum video?


Eminem's Ugly Botox Mouth Can Kiss Kristinia DeBarge's Butt!

The Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 remains pretty static this week, so let's instead turn away from that snoozefest and look elsewhere.

Daughtry has the Hot Shot Debut at #15 with "No Surprise," but all his songs sound the same and he looks like the ass-end of a bulldog, so F that.

Eminem 14th single in the past month debuts on the chart at # somethingorother, as well, but he looks like the ass-end of a female bulldog whose plastic surgeon got a little liberal with the Juvaderm, so double-F that.

And, seriously, who even gets their skirt in a twist about Eminem these days? What....he's being coy by poking fun at celebrities? Controversial!! A funny thing happened while you were in the nuthouse for the past five years, Em; people moved on!

OK, my two new jams, Sean Kingston's "Fire Burning" and Kristinia DeBarge's "Goodbye," are at #29 and #30, respectively. I play those on a daily basis while I'm off being sexy somewhere. You know, the 99-Cent Store, the alley behind 7-11 at 4 in the morning...

What else, what else. Oh, Lady GaGa's "LoveGame" is up to #61. Did you see her on Ellen this week? Love the part where The Gays come in around 1:43. The interview is cute, too, where she tells Ellen, "It means more to me to be on this show than anywhere," and that she looks up to her for being an ispiration for women and the gay community.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Boom Boom Pow" - The Black Eyed Peas *6 weeks*
2. "Poker Face" - Lady GaGa
3. "Blame It" - Jamie Foxx feat. T-Pain
4. "Day 'N' Nite" - Kid Cudi
5. "Halo" - Beyonce
6. "Sugar" - Flo Rida feat. Wynter
7. "Kiss Me Thru The Phone" - Souljah Boy Tell 'Em feat. Sammie
8. "Don't Trust Me" - 3OH!3
9. "Right Round" - Flo Rida feat. Kesha
10. "The Climb" - Miley Cyrus

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pete Hammond's Also Feeling Up Lonnie Gordon

Jesus, Pete Hammond never rests! In addition to the City Girls' "Make Up Your Mind" being released in June, he's also remixed Lonnie Gordon's 1991 single "Gonne Catch You" for a new version called "Catch You Baby," also set for release next month.

Here 'tis (thanks much to Jarvt for uploading these clips):

As mentioned awhile back, Lonnie Gordon's classic 1990 PWL/Supreme album If I Have To Stand Alone was reissued last month with a slew of extras.

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Pete Hammond's Got His Retro Hands All Over The City Girls

The City Girls are a new British girl group being produced by Pete Hammond, aka the guy who made Alphabeat's "Boyfriend" and Velvet's "Chemistry" 10 times more interesting! These broads are currently supporting (or recently supported) Pussycat Dolls on tour or something.

Below is a short sample of Pete's mix for "Make Up Your Mind," due out on June 28. Pretty rad!

This is giving me an Exposé jolt all over again! But who's the fourth broad in the video? Love how they've already done away with her.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009: My 10 Years In Los Angeles

Wow. Today marks 10 years since I rolled into Los Angeles in my beat up white 1990 Pontiac Sunbird. And let me tell you, the air conditioning gave out on that four-day cross-country drive from Pennsylvania, and Arizona in May is a real fucker with no air.

As I look back on where I was in May 1999 and where I am in May 2009, it makes me want to chew on a grenade wistfully think about how much life—and pop culture in general—has changed.

For instance, FOX's iconic nighttime soap Melrose Place ended its seven season run just as I moved to L.A. Meanwhile, this fall, the CW will boldly premiere an innovative new series tentatively called... Melrose Place 2.o.

In spring 1999, an controversial rapper named Eminem burst onto the music scene. And in 2009, yep—same douche, more botox.

And who could ever forget the Latin explosion? J. Lo, such vocal range.

Anyway, here are some some interesting tidbits from this week in 1999...a few of which don't really seem like it's been 10 years since:

* The #1 U.S. single: Ricky Martin, "Livin' La Vida Loca"
* The #1 U.S. album: TLC, Fanmail
* The #1 U.K. single: Backstreet Boys, "I Want It That Way"
* The #1 U.K. album: ABBA, Gold: Greatest Hits
* The #1 movie at the U.S. box office: The Mummy
* Number of albums sold in the U.S. in 1999: 938 million
* Albums so far this year: 124 million (and 2009 is almost half over)
* My favorite TV show in May 1999: Felicity, which ended its first season.
* Felicity cut her hair: That fall, in season 2.
* Felecity was co-created by: J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek)
* The first CD I bought as an Angeleno: Backstreet Boys, Millenium
* The second CD I bought as an Angeleno: The Felicity soundtrack
* My first job in L.A.: Exec assistant at Summit Entertainment
* Summit Entertainment is now known for: The Twilight films
* Speaking of Melrose, my first apartment was on: Melrose Ave.
* Books I read in 1999: Wonder Boys, The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, The Catcher In The Rye
* Concerts I saw in 1999: Saint Etienne, Pet Shop Boys, Backstreet Boys

Sigh. Sometimes you really do blink and a whole decade goes by. And, just for the hell of it:

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Pet Shop Boys Talk America In 'Out'

The Pet Shop Boys are on the cover of U.S. gay mag OUT's June/July issue. It's a pretty good interview; the writer, Andrew Sullivan, really gets them to talk about America-centric topics, which we don't normally get hear the twosome talking about.

Here's an excerpt (the full article is here) about Barack Obama:
NEIL TENNANT: "We’re crazy about Obama in Europe. We’re all Obama crazy. Everyone thinks he’s sexy. Lovely teeth, as my mother would say. He actually would have made a very good cardinal, that sort of gliding across St. Peter’s Square thing he does. He’s got that kind of bearing. He’s just brought back dignity, which is an amazing thing to put back on the cultural agenda. There’s a slightly corny song on our album called 'More Than a Dream,' which was written when Obama was slugging it out with Hillary in the primaries, and you could feel the potential for the world to change away from the sort of paranoia -- justified as it may be -- to something different. And that spirit is what we’re riding at the moment, although of course we wrote that before the economic crisis."
And another one about their hit phase in the States:
"I think in America we are filed under ’80s. The Pet Shop Boys career in America goes from 1986 to 1988, and in fact we have a string of hits at that point, and we’re always on the radio, and then suddenly, weirdly, with the song 'Left to My Own Devices,' it was all over. It happened like that. No one has ever explained to me why that happened, but I just thought, They’ve had enough of us. [Laughs] I didn’t really blame them. But what we liked was going back to being a cult thing, where we’ve remained, very loyally in America, ever since."


Is Jordin Sparks' 'Battlefield' Really That Good, Or Are We Just Settling For Mediocrity?

Jordin Sparks performed new single "Battlefield," off her upcoming second album (due out July 14), on American Idol last week. The Ryan Tedder-produced track was added to iTunes today.

Thankfully it doesn't sound like "Bleeding Love" or "Halo" or that Kelly Clarkson "Already Gone" dirge, i.e., every other song Ryan Tedder has written for pop broads in the past two years.

But I can't help feeling a bit ho-hum about "Battlefield." I mean, has pop music gotten so bad (answer: yes) that we're to get all swizzled about a ballad that lyrically winks at a bland 25-year-old Pat Benetar jam?

Sure, it's preferable to 3OH!3, Eminem or Flo Rida. So maybe I'm missing something. But I still believe pop music can be better than Ryan Tedder.

Anyway, here's "Battlefield." Cough up your $1.29 if you see fit.

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The La Roux 'Bulletproof' Single Cover

This isn't doing anything to dispell my theory that Elly Jackson is actually Clay Aiken, just in slightly more butched-up clothing.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Kylie Minogue: Quit Asking About My G.D. Elusive American Success!

There's an interview with Kylie Minogue on Billboard's site today, to promote her upcoming North American tour (of which a second New York date has been added now, after the first one sold out apparently within seconds).

She gets a bit feisty when asked about her lack of success in the States:
"It doesn't frustrate me. It's frustrating being asked about it and the assumption that it's something really missing in my career and in my life. It just so happens that I live in London and my time is spent more throughout Europe and then there's the Asian connection through Australia but the USA has remained at arms length."
You can't blame her for being on edge. She's had to put up with several dumb interviews lately. She also talks about feeling like she's missed out on a movie career or something, but, whatever—the important bit is about Kylie's next album!
"(It will be) pop, dance, that's my thing. I'd love to find a slightly new style, something that's the next step for me. I kind of have an idea but I can't really tell you. I'm working on it."


La Roux's 'Bulletproof' Video Is Groovy, But Has Anyone Seen Clay Aiken Lately?

Just an observation.

Here's the vid for La Roux's "Bulletproof," officially out as a U.K. single on June 15—incidentally, the same day as Take That's "Said It All."

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's The Amazing Tommy Sparks And Girls Aloud Fruity, Drippy Sex Drama

I'd been wanting to throw Tommy Sparks' video for "She's Got Me Dancing" up here for a while now, and since the single is in at #22 on the U.K. chart this week, seems as good a time as any to do so!

Tommy's from Stockholm (though he lives in the U.K.), and he sorta sounds like Junior Senior and Alphabeat. His self-titled album is out in England tomorrow.

Meanwhile, perhaps the United Kingdom needs a bit of a break from Girls Aloud. Last week, "Untouchable" became their first single to miss out on the Top 10. And this week it falls from #11 to #21.

That said, it's a good jam. Maybe they just need to go on a holiday and stuff coconuts up their skirts for a bit. Or squeeze bananas between their knees. Or crush oranges between their...

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Number 1" - Tinchy Stryder feat. N-Dubz *3 weeks*
2. "In For The Kill'" - La Roux
3. "Tiny Dancer" - Ironik feat. Chipmunk & Elton John
4. "I'm Not Alone" - Calvin Harris
5. "Poker Face" - Lady GaGa
6. "Love Sex Magic" - Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake
7. "We Made You" - Eminem
8. "Not Fair'" - Lily Allen
9. "Jai Ho'" - Ar Rahman feat. Pussycat Dolls
10. "Halo" - Beyonce

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