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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Susan Boyle Is Classy And All, But What About *This* Version Of 'Wild Horses'?

How many artists in the U.K. Top 10 this week does Simon Cowell have a finger in (or up)? Far too many to count, children.

Cowell's main glove this week is Susan Boyle, whose I Dreamed A Dream set a record by having the best opening sales week for a debut album in U.K. history. The LP sold 410,000 copies. Here in the U.S., I Dreamed A Dream is expected to move well over 600,000 units when the new chart is announced later in the week.

As if that wasn't enough to monsoon your knickers, Boyle's rendition of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" debuted at #9 in the singles chart. Meanwhile, remember when that hot kid sang "Wild Horses" in Camp? Good times. That trashy flick was kind of the precursor to Glee.

What the hell ever happened to him?

Back on the U.K. singles chart, ot much else going on, other than Mariah Carey flopping her way to #19 with "I Want To Know What Love Is" (at least it's a hit somewhere), and Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone" entering at #30.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "BBC Children In Need Medley" - Peter Kay * new* *1 week*
2. "You Are Not Alone" - The X Factor Finalists 2009
3. "Whatcha Say" - Jason Derulo
4. "Meet Me Halfway" - The Black Eyed Peas
5. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
6. "Russian Roulette" - Rihanna *new*
7. "TiK ToK" -

8. "Fight For This Love" - Cheryl Cole
9. "Wild Horses" - Susan Boyle *new*
10. "Happy" - Leona Lewis

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's A Quick Turkey Day Chart Roundup

Another pop-filled Top 10—well, it could be considered pop-filled for this decade, at least. The two most notable jumps come from Lady Gaga, up from #11 to #2 with "Bad Romance," and David Guetta and Akon, who move from #12 to #7 with "Sexy Chick" (the classier version of "Sexy Bitch").

Gaga's fifth Top 10 hit now becomes her highest charting single since "Poker Face" went to #1 earlier this year. Annoyingly, David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over"—a far better single than "Sexy Chick"—only got to #76 here, though, admittedly, the latter is kind of a jam in its own right.

Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone" does the stripper-lunge up from #20 to #16, bumping Rihanna's dirge-y "Russian Roulette" down to #19.

OTHER TRASH: Leona Lewis ekes out her third U.S. Top 40 hit with "Happy," which jumps to #31 after a heavy week of promotional appearances from the singer here in the States. Also, Alica Keys' synth-filled '80s-esque ballad "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart" debuts at #58, while Rihanna's "Hard" enters at the soaring heights of #80.


The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Empire State Of Mind" - Jay-Z feat. Alica Keys *2 weeks*
2. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
3. "Fireflies" - Owl City
4. "Whatcha Say" - Jason DeRulo
5. "TiK ToK" - Kesha
6. "Replay" - Iyaz
7. "Sexy Chick" - David Guetta feat. Akon
8. "Paparazzi" - Lady GaGa
9. "3" - Britney Spears
10. "Down" - Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So I Broke Down And Bought Susan Boyle

First of all, can you believe that Susan Boyle is projected to sell more than Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga and Rihanna combined by next week with I Dreamed A Dream?

Second of all, Rihanna—flop city, apparently. Guess throwing three grim dirges against the wall at once wasn't such a hot promo tactic?

Fifthly, on a total impulse buy, I snuck into Amoeba today and plunked down $12 for the Susan Boyle CD. Total impulse buy. My shame is only made less severe by knowing that some 600,000 Americans (not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Brits) are said to be doing exactly the same thing.

I did it all for "Daydream Believer."


Monday, November 23, 2009

Kelis Gives Chart Rigger A Shout Out (Sort Of), Introduces New Song 'Acapella'

Kelis Was Here was an underrated album with several hit-worthy tracks—plus I just love how this broad just does her own thing and doesn't give a flying leap. And so, who cares if she gets tongue-tied over Chart Rigger, and calls it "Chart Trigger"? (It's certainly been referred to as worse things.)

And here's new jam "Acapella," which was posted on Kelis' official site today:

On her site, Kelis wrote, "My new album is pretty much done. I signed a new deal and am madly in love with life and ready to share something with you."


America Loves Lady Gaga's Burning Thighs!

Lady Gaga may not have won any statues at the American Music Awards tonight, but she gained something much more—she won the hearts and minds of America itself!

Yes, chyldren, flee to the city, wedge a thong up your candy and start stripping in grimy gay dives, and one day you, too, can writhe around on stage and bang on a flaming piano while Hollywood screams for your boobs!

Here's Lady Gaga performing "Bad Romance" and "Speechless" at the AMAs tonight:

Did anyone else even perform? Doesn't matter...

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The 'X Factor' Finalists Can Kiss My Butt

I never thought there would come the day where only one word could so effectively sum up the charts. Alas... SNOOOOOOOZE.

There's always Alesha Dixon popping in at #15 with "To Love Again." Oh, wait—SNOOOOOOOZE.

Well, at least at #16 there's Florence And TheSNOOOOOOOZE.

And poor Agnes, only scraping in at #40 with "I Need YouSNOOOOOOOZE.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "You Are Not Alone" - The X Factor Finalists 2009 *1 week*
2. "Meet Me Halfway" - The Black Eyed Peas
3. "Whatcha Say" - Jason Derulo *new*
4. "Happy" - Leona Lewis
5. "Fight For This Love" - Cheryl Cole
6. "Everybody In Love" - JLS
7. "TiK ToK" - Kesha
8. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
9. "I Need You" - N-Dubz
10. "3" - Britney Spears

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Postman Always Rings 'The Fame Monster'

This was a pleasant surprise in the mail today. Not that I'd *cough* already been playing it all week or anything.

So why did it take till the last quarter of 2009 for the best pop album of the decade—Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster—to be released?!

And what the hell is this hot trash pic?

It looks like someone scooped a hooker's fried head out of the fireplace after it'd been burning all night.


Keri Hilson Should Do More Songs Like 'I Like' And Ditch The Boring Ho Act

Keri Hilson's new song "I Like" is actually a pretty decent synth jam! So naturally, it's from the soundtrack of German film Zweiohrküken, and not her U.S. album In A Perfect World.

Keri's got that pop touch that's pretty evident in cuts like "The Way I Are" and "Energy"—but more often than not, it gets repressed.

It's a shame she's marketed as a R&B cookie-cutter hooker with interchangeable Rapper X stapled to her thong. Sometimes when I flip on the radio and hear "Turnin' Me On," it makes me want to put a nail gun up to my forehead. I think it's the way Lil Wayne sounds like a rubber-voiced pimp on the track.

So why do the Germans get "I Like," and we get snoozefests like "Knock You Down"? Fuck this, I'm digging out the Scooch CD.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Adam Lambert Says 'OUT' Magazine 'Really Crossed A Line'

Adam Lambert—who appears on the cover of OUT's 'OUT 100: Class Of 2009' issue—responded to an open letter the mag's editor Aaron Hicklin penned (complaining about, as Entertainment Weekly states it, "certain stipulations placed on the interview and cover shoot by Lambert’s management team").

Here's what Lambo had to say in reply to EW:
"What people don’t realize is, I am managing my image, more than maybe the editor of OUT magazine likes to give anybody credit for. My team is a team. And I really feel fortunate that 19 Management and Simon Fuller said to me, from the get-go, 'We want to do what you want to do. You need to tell us how you want to do things, what interests you have,' and they’ve been incredibly supportive of me. I really mean it. I’m not being puppeted around. I didn’t want to jump onto a gay magazine as my first thing, because I feel like that’s putting myself in a box and limiting myself. It was my desire to stay away from talking about certain political and civil rights issues because I’m not a politician. I’m an entertainer. That is not my area of expertise. I can talk about relationships and personal experiences because as an artist those things involve writing lyrics and that part of my process. But I didn’t feel comfortable talking about the March on Washington. I didn’t feel comfortable, so I asked my publicist to ask the interviewer to stay away from the political questions. I take full responsibility for that. I think that the editor has his agenda and has his opinions, which I respect, but they’re not necessarily my opinions. And I wish there was a little respect for that. Not every gay man is the same gay man... If there are things going on behind the scenes with my management, it has nothing to do with my interview with them. He really crossed a line."
Well, okay. But why isn't anyone talking about the real issue at hand—how great Cyndi Lauper looks on the cover!

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How Was *This* Not Aqua's Lead Single Off The 'Greatest Hits' Collection?

"Spin Me Your Christmas" is ten kazillion times better than "Back To The '80s." And maybe four times better than "My Mamma Said." Pity it's only being tacked onto the re-release of Aqua's Greatest Hits in Denmark.


Kesha Is A Kla$$ Act

When Kesha first arrived while screeching on Flo Rida's overplayed "Right Round" earlier this year, I posted 10 reasons why we need to love her after noting:
"I sort of hypothesized that Kesha (or Ke$ha, if you're cla$$y) is probably some 400 lb. housewife who occasionally comes into the studio to mop up after hours, who Dr. Luke grabbed and asked to warble the chorus."
And, who knows? That may still be true! But in any event, Kesha's Dr. Luke-produced solo jam "TiK ToK" has leapt like an acrobatic, spring-footed stripper into the Top 10 (at #10). Of course, getting played on Project Runway and The Hills probably helped the cause, while also answering the question: Is anyone still actually watching those shows?

Oh, yeah—and Jay-Z and Alicia Keys jointly nab their fourth #1 singles with "Empire State Of Mind."

Over on the Top 200 Albums chart, Britney Spears' The Singles Collection debuts at #22—much lower than the #7 position Madonna's Celebration hits set entered at. And look where that one's flizz-opped to after only seven weeks—all the way down to #114.

Holida-ay....Chk-chk. BLAMMM!

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Empire State Of Mind" - Jay-Z feat. Alica Keys *1 week*
2. "Fireflies" - Owl City
3. "Whatcha Say" - Jason DeRulo
4. "Replay" - Iyaz
5. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
6. "3" - Britney Spears
7. "Down" - Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne
8. "Party In The U.S.A." - Miley Cyrus
9. "Paparazzi" - Lady GaGa
10. "TiK ToK" - Kesha

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Two Best Songs On Chris Brown's 'Graffiti'

I remember getting really jazzed the first time I heard Chris Brown's "Forever" in spring 2008. It was like, where has this singular slice of pure American-grown pop been hiding this entire decade? It eventually went on to top Chart Rigger's 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2008 list.

But fast forward a year, and it's kinda hard to listen to Chris Brown—or even look at a photo of him—without the Rihanna scandal playing into the mental equation.

I posted the snippets of Brown's upcoming album Graffiti today over at Idolator (which proved to cause quite the drama in the comments). To me, there are two standout tracks, the main one being "I.Y.A." Next comes "Pass Out." Were these different times, there'd probably be a fair amount of raving on this end about them.

Ah, well. Without much fanfare, here are clips of "I.Y.A." and "Pass Out." Listen (if you can) without prejudice:

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Interviewing Annie

Had a sitdown with Annie—who's new album Don't Stop was released in the States today (physical copies containing a five-song EP called All Night)—yesterday. The interview is now up at Idolator.

There's a lot of good stuff in there for all you Xenomania and Saint Etienne fans, too! Speaking of which, here's a quote from her that ended up on the cutting room floor about Saint Etienne's Bob Stanley:
"I met Bob in London years ago. I used to play in a really shit band called Suitcase. I met him and I think he was working for EMI, or maybe it was Heavenly. I'm not sure. I just talked about the project, and he was like, 'It sounds good. You should send me a record.' He wanted to come see us play live in Bergen, but I think just before that we broke up. We had this meeting and all the guys were saying, 'Okay, now we're gonna start to do trip hop.' I was like, I'm never gonna do trip hop. No way! I'm quitting. Because of that I started my own project. So of course, Bob Stanley never got to see us live. Then it went a couple of years, and I put out Anniemal and got the offer of playing a gig with them. I was like, 'Hey, do you remember—I sent you a tape.' Bob was like, 'What?' Then I just talked about Suitcase. He said, 'Wow! Okay, yeah—Suitcase. I never got to see you, and I was really interested and excited.' It was just really funny to meet him again with my own project."

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Beyonce And Lady Gaga's 'Video Phone' Clip Is Nice To Look At, But Then There's The Song

Beyonce's remix of "Video Phone" featuring Lady Gaga—to be included on B's re-release of I Am...Sasha Fierce, out next week—has about as much melody as a hooker being jammed into a wood chipper. Actually, that might spray out a better hook. Nice visuals in the vid, though.

To reiterate once again, when it comes to these broads' two duets, I'm 100% Team "Telephone!" (Hear it here!)

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D:ream Gearing Up For New Album

What the hell?!? I was surprised to find that Irish dance outfit D:ream quietly reformed after Peter Cunnah and Al Mackenzie ran into each other last year, and began working on new material. (You may recall my d'luvvly D:ream-themed "Throwback" post from last June.)

In digging for some info on their current venture, this groovy interview with the duo from Music Fascination popped up and shed a bit of light on the matter:
AL: l had been out all night and ended up in a park having a few glasses of red to calm me down after an 'incident,' shall we say. Pete was just up and out with the family. Our paths crossed and now we are here talking to you. How did that happen?
New single "All Things To All Men" (EP available on U.S. iTunes and at Amazon's MP3 store) was released on the band's own User label in September, and next single "Drop Beats Not Bombs" can be heard on D:ream's MySpace, along with several other new tracks.

Here's the "All Things To All Men" vid:

You can also catch another new song, "We Are Fans," on D:ream's official site. Upcoming album In Memory Of... is slated for a February release.

"We may do a free digital release in December," says the duo. "Then again, we may not."

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Robbie Williams Beat (Again) By JLS, Chartjackers End Up Jacking The Chart

This week's big U.K. chart news, album-wise, comes in the form of former X Factor contestants JLS beating Robbie Williams to #1. The boy band's self-titled debut album relegated Reality Killed The Video Star to the runner-up position.

But the foursome might not exactly be popping champagne corks in celebration, since the victory is marred by about 60 of their fans being injured at a Christmas lights switch-on concert yesterday in Birmingham.

Elsewhere, Dame Shirley Bassey's The Performance—which features a star-studded roster of songwriters—comes in at #20.

Over on the singles chart, Leona Lewis suffers a similar Robbie Williams-esque upset as the Black Eyed Peas beat her to #1 with "Meet Me Halfway." And rightly so, I say! Leona might wanna watch her back, though—Shayne Ward's lead single off his sophomore album once debuted at #2 as well, and not too long after he was chained up, thrown in a dumpster and rolled into the English Channel.

Britney Spears' "3" enters the chart at #7, but that song's a total snooze at this point. More interesting is Sugababes popping in at #8 with "About A Girl," because this actually marks the first time in three albums that the gals have landed two Top 10 singles off the same LP. The last time was "Push The Button" (#1) and "Ugly" (#3), from Taller In More Ways back in 2005. (Plus, if we wanna be technical, there's also "Red Dress" (#4) from the same album.)

Of course, this probably has much to do with the fact that the 'babes Sweet 7 isn't even out yet, and "About A Girl" might have charted lower if it were, given that their fans would already have the RedOne tune along with the rest of the album.

On a final note, Internet project/phenom Chartjackers have managed to jack their way to the soaring heights of #36 with Children In Need charity single "I've Got Nothing." And, what the heck—here's the vid:

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Meet Me Halfway" - The Black Eyed Peas *1 week*
2. "Happy" - Leona Lewis *new*
3. "Everybody In Love" - JLS
4. "Fight For This Love" - Cheryl Cole
5. "I Need You" - N-Dubz *new*
6. "TiK ToK" - Kesha
7. "3" - Britney Spears *new*
8. "About A Girl" - Sugababes *new*
9. "Down" - Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne
10. "Bad Boys" - Alexandra Burke feat. Flo Rida

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What Would Erik Hassle Think Of This?

You remember this guy—he jerked around in front of his video camera to Kelly Clarkson's "I Do Not Hook Up" this past spring while wearing nothing but a towel. Now he's writhing in what looks like naughty pain to Erik Hassle's "Love Me To Pieces," clad in a T-shirt and...well, nothing else.

All I keep thinking is, Stop stretching the neck of that shirt out! I've knifed people for doing that to my tees before.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

If You Wish Mini Viva's 'I Wish' Could Sound More Poptastic, Your Wish Has Come True

"I Wish," Xenomania-produced Mini Viva's second single, was pretty close to perfection to begin with. Then along comes the Cahill radio mix:

I'm thinking downtown L.A. could use a Mini Viva-ing every day.

Thanks, XOLondon, for the email tip.

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Pet Shop Boys' 'Beautiful People' EP Has Surprisingly Popped Up On U.S. iTunes

Quick note to mention that the the EP for the Pet Shop Boys' third single off Yes, "Beautiful People" popped up on U.S. iTunes this week, despite not even getting a proper release in their home country of Great Britain. Plus, it includes the 7" mix of 2006 Richard X-produced track "Fugitive."

This kind of gives hope that the Christmas EP with the Boys' "Viva La Vida" cover will get a digital release here in the States, too!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lady Gaga & Beyonce's "Telephone" and "Video Phone" Leak On The Same Day

So, are you Team "Telephone" or Team "Video Phone"? Lady Gaga's Fame Monster duet with Beyonce ("Telephone") leaked this fine Thursday eve:

It was announced today that it'll be Gaga's next single off the not-really re-release. Also, Beyonce's remix of "Video Phone," also featuring Lady Gaga and set for B's I Am...Sasha Fierce re-release leaked:

Team "Telephone" here.

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Owl City Flies Back To #1 + Why Isn't There A Natalie Horler Sex Tape Yet?

Thankfully Owl City's "Fireflies" is the latest single to have a non-consecutive second week at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. And while I admittedly burned out on OC's Ocean Eyes album at some point last month, it does deserve a revisit now in honor of this achievement!

Meanwhile, Lady GaGa's "Bad Romance" gets bounced of the Top 10 to make way for Rihanna's "Russian Roulette." But expect the former to do the couture-clad hooker stroll back in on next week's chart now that the video has premiered. "Bad Romance" is currently at #4 on iTunes' Top Songs, but dropped from #9 to #18 on the Hot 100.

Elsewhere, 15-year-old pop munchkin Justin Bieber debuts at #26 with "Favorite Girl," which is two positions below one of his 65 other singles, "One Time."

Also, the endurance and Cascada's "Evacuate The Dancefloor" cannot be denied, as the song finally reaches a new peak of #28. They just need to either get that broad Natalie Horler onto Dancing With The Stars, or have her sex tape broadcast during the commercial breaks. One or the other. That'd likely push the single up to at least #21.

Finally, it might not be curtains here for Leona Lewis, who just announced her first U.K. tour. "Happy," the first single off Echo, manages to rebound and bounce up from #98 to #68.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Fireflies" - Owl City *2 weeks*
2. "Empire State Of Mind" - Jay-Z feat. Alica Keys
3. "Whatcha Say" - Jason DeRulo
4. "Replay" - Iyaz
5. "Down" - Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne
6. "Party In The U.S.A." - Miley Cyrus
7. "Paparazzi" - Lady GaGa
8. "3" - Britney Spears
9. "Russian Roulette" - Rihanna
10. "Sweet Dreams" - Beyonce

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Quick Note About Idolator

Hi, gang. By now some of you may know that I'm writing for Idolator.com. As with any type of change, there comes a fair share of commentary. Especially since the much-loved and hugely talented Maura Johnston had been at the helm of the site for several years.

At any rate, I started along with another writer after Maura signed off on Monday, and am looking forward to being part of the site moving ahead. And consider this an open invite to come over to visit and be a part of the community there, too!

That said, Chart Rigger will carry on as usual. (As if I could ever give it up!)


'Billboard' To Finally Factor The Old Stuff Into Its Main Album Chart

Starting with its December 5 issue, Billboard will start factoring in all albums into its Top 200 Albums chart, regardless of how long ago it was released. Well, it's about time!

You might recall when a slew of Michael Jackson albums became relegated to the Top Pop Catalog chart following his death in June, due to the previous rules. (Billboard had previously gone by the mantra stipulating "that an album that ranks below No. 100 on the chart, is more than 18 months old, and does not have a current charting single at radio, would be removed from the Billboard 200 and other corresponding album charts on which it has appeared.")

And you can only imagine the legions of angry Jacko fans who weren't having any of that.

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Dial Up The The Rick Astley Virus!

This is pretty hot—the Daily Mail reports some 21-year-old Australian student claims to have created the very first iPhone virus, wherein users who've installed applications not approved by Apple suddenly get their wallpaper changed to a pic of Rick Astley. The virus then spreads once another person with an iPhone is called from the "infected" one.

As with Rick Rolling, I'm failing to see how this is a bad thing? In fact, the only thing that would make it classier is if the ringtones were all changed to "Take Me To Your Heart":

See? Fun! It's when all this Rick nonsense starts involving songs like that dodgy cover of "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" that folks ought to start getting worried.

And don't even get me started on Rick's Hold Me In Your Arms album track "Dial My Number." Hey, wait a minute...!

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You've Come A Long Way, Lady: 'Bad Romance' + The Quick Year In GaGa Video Iconography

The "Bad Romance" video:


Monday, November 09, 2009

It's A Sugababes Vs. Leona Lewis Monday!

Drama-riddled Sugababes' new single "About A Girl"—not, incidentally, a Nirvana cover, rock fans—is out this week in the U.K., but it's facing some pretty stiff competition from the return of Ryan Tedder's #1 balladeer, Leona Lewis.

LeLe had the advantage of performing her snooze-inducing dirge "Happy" on The X Factor last night. But Sugababes have the advantage of singing the far better song. Plus, it's produced by RedOne—c'mon, all the kidz love RedOne these days!

Also, the "About A Girl" vid was shot just outside of Los Angeles at one of D'luv's favorite hiking haunts, the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park:

In fact, my feet feel 20 times sexier knowing that the 'babes have done the same dance routines *I* usually do in the middle of the sand there!

Marvel at this sexy pic I took there in May. Marvel, I say:

And, look, I don't care who's in this band at this point. As long as the songs are good, I'll keep listening.

Hey, wait—maybe the next time they kick one of these broads out on their ass, they can wrangle in Leona Lewis to replace her!

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

When Did Snow Patrol Suddenly Become Infinitely More Exciting Than JLS?

Former X Factor snooze boy band JLS land their second #1 on the U.K. singles chart this week with "Everybody In Love"—a boring-to-the-point-of-being-offensive affair that makes their previous derivative single, "Beat Again," sound like Debussy by comparison.

The only thing remotely interesting about this all is that now producer J.R. Rotem has the distinction of having the #1 single in both Britain and the U.S. (with Jason DeRulo's "Whatcha Say.")

Moving on, Snow Patrol's "Just Say Yes" debuts at #15. The surprisingly synthy number is one of three new songs included on the band's upcoming hits collection—though the track was originally written for Gwen Stefani, who apparently rejected it, a few years back. (It was next offered to Nicole Scherzinger for her eventually-scrapped album.)

I haven't liked Snow Patrol for two albums now, but "Just Say Yes" is undeniable shimmery pop goodness! See what you think:

Moving on, Calvin Harris' "Flashback"—a truly hit-worthy single—suffers the fate of only scraping up to #18 in the week of its official release. Oh, well, Calvin. You'll always have "I'm Not Alone."

Meanwhile, what ever happened to The Saturdays' Wordshaker? Strippers, you gotta stay on the pole if you want the cash! Last week Wordshaker slid from #40 to #57 on the album chart in only its third week on shelves. And this week? C-YA!

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Everybody In Love" - JLS *new* *1 week*
2. "Fight For This Love" - Cheryl Cole
3. "Meet Me Halfway" - The Black Eyed Peas
4. "Down" - Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne
5. "Bad Boys" - Alexandra Burke feat. Flo Rida
6. "TiK ToK" - Kesha *new*
7. "Haven't Met You Yet" - Michael Buble
8. "What About Now" - Westlife
9. "End Credits" - Chase & Status *new*
10. Bad Romance" - Lady GaGa

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Lady GaGa Announces Re-Release Is Off, Full New Album Will Issued...Or Something

Lady GaGa appeared on German program Wetten Dass this evening wearing what looked like a Batman cape around her thighs and previewed a clip from her "Bad Romance" video, the full thing of which will debut on Monday.

She also said that she's been "fighting" with her label, and now The Fame Monster will be its own album, rather than a re-release.

Hmmm. So does this mean it's still only eight tracks, as originally planned? If so, it'll kinda be like that recent Miley Cyrus Time Of Our Lives EP. Oh, Lady—what a mysterious broad you are.

Below is the clip of the Gag on Wetten Das—wherein she appears to have some translating mic in her ear. Hot. ("Bad Romance" clip is at the end.)


Friday, November 06, 2009

Throwback: Goodbye To The Rhythm Of The Night

This year has brought about abrupt endings and new beginnings, but perhaps the one goodbye that's particularly kick in the old nostalgia pants is the upcoming closing of Pittsburgh's oldest surviving gay bar—and my '90s haunt—Pegasus.

I was a bit sad to hear that after 29 years that dive's shutting its doors for good on December 6. Interestingly, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review notes that "the nightclub also was where Wexford native Christina Aguilera entered 'teen night' talent contests." That would have been around the time of my hanging out there regularly—she must've blended in with all the other skanked-out drag queens/hookers.

The first time I ever climbed down the dark stairwell to the underground (literally!) club was in December 1994—nearly 15 years ago—when I was home on Christmas Break during my first year away at university.

I wasn't quite "gay" then. I was in that brief gray area in-between or something. A group my fellow co-eds who lived within about a half hour drive from each other all got together, and our 18-year-old friend Todd wanted to go to Pegasus to meet up with some guy he had just started seeing. So off we went!

Todd had the cassette single for Corona's "The Rhythm Of The Night," and we played it about 10 times on repeat on the way there.

I think the thing I remember most is getting the worst case of butterflies in the gut that felt like they were flying up my throat as we walked in the Liberty Avenue entrance and descended the stairs into Pegasus. It's the type of feeling you only ever get when you're young and 20 and slowly but surely walking into something you know there's never going to be any return from.

At first, I kind of took shelter at the underage bar as soon as we got there. It took about 45 minutes before I ventured onto the dancefloor. But venture I did. And it was great!

My old Pegasus jams:

I started going back whenever I could. There was always someone driving a car full of us into Pittsburgh on Tuesdays and Thursdays (under 21 night) over the next year-and-a-half from IUP.

MoogaBoo and I were good pals by then, and we practically spent the entire summers of 1995, 1996 and 1997 at Pegasus. It was good times—many hearts were won and broken, many drinks were downed and there was always some really good Eurodance to groove to.

Here's a trashy pic of me (nice earring) circa Halloween 1995 at the club (note to self—making that face is fucktard-tastic):

Below is my "Thanks For The Memories, Pegs" playlist, comprised of songs either heard for the first time there or that were played regularly. But, surely, they're ones that will always remind me of more footloose and fancy free days:

1. "Another Night" - Real McCoy
2. "The Rhythm Of The Night" - Corona
3. "100% Pure Love" - Crystal Waters
4. "One Night In Heaven" - M People
5. "U Sure Do" - Strike
6. "Don't Give Me Your Life" - Alex Party
7. "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" - Nicki French
8. "Dreamer" - Livin' Joy
9. "Do You Wanna Party?" - DJ Scott & Lorna B
10. "Always Coca Cola" - Un Disco In Lattina
11. "I Luv U Baby" - The Original
12. "Run Away" - Real McCoy
13. "Magic Carpet Ride" - Mighty Dub Katz
14. "Turn The Beat Around" - Gloria Estefan
15. "Don't Make Me Wait" - Loveland
16. "The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)" - Bucketheads
17. "Open Your Heart" - M People
18. "Everybody Be Somebody" - Ruffneck feat. Yavahn
19. "When I Think Of You" - Whigfield
20. "Be My Lover" - La Bouche
21. "Close To You" - Fun Factory

Throwback: You Can Depend On Me

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Listen To Same Difference's 'Souled Out'!

The other day there was the snazzy news that pop duo Same Difference have signed a new label deal, and are working away on a new album due out in 2010.

And in case you've yet to check out "Souled Out"—which, despite its title, is not an R&B affair, more like Steps scissoring Scooch at a rave. (Oh, only in my dreams!)—here it is.

PopLife, the new label, also says Same Difference's 2008 album Pop will be getting an international release "with a slightly tweaked tracklisting."

In the meantime, check out Fizzy Pop's recent interview with Sarah and Sean of Same Difference.


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Pet Shop Boys Pull A Pet Shop Boys And Release A Non-Album (Sort Of) EP

For the first time in 12 years, Pet Shop Boys are releasing what is essentially a non-album single. Well, it's actually an EP. And "All Over The World"—from recent album Yes—is on it, so technically, that might shoot a torpedo through my non-album statement. But it's a new recording of "All Over The World"!

Okay, so Christmas is the name of the EP, and here's what's on it:

1. A new version of "It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas"—a fan club release from 1997 that eventually surfaced on a Starbucks/Hear Music holiday compilation Elton John organized back in 2005.

2. "My Girl"—cover a Madness song.
3. "All Over The World"—new version co-produced by Marius De Vries and the PSBs.
4. "Domino Dancing/Viva La Vida"—studio version of a medley they performed on their recent tour, this one produced by Stuart Price.
5. "My Girl (Our House Mix)"—done by PSBs themselves, hence the "our" in "Our House Mix." But, also being a Madness cover, who sang "Our House"...well, you get the picture.

The Pets used to be great at releasing surprise singles in the midst of their albums—like "Always On My Mind" around Christmas 1987 (hence the pic way up at the top), or their 1991 mashup of "Where The Streets Have No Name" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."

All in all, a nice Christmas gift to shove up your stocking.

* Chart Rigger's Top 40 Pop Singles Of The Decade List

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Jason DeRulo, Lady GaGa And Taylor Swift Have A Big Sexy Threesome On The Chart

Jason DeRulo's "Whatcha Say" has now become the third #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 for sample-happy producer J.R. Rotem, following Rihanna's "SOS" in 2006 and Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls" in 2007.

It's also now the fifth week in a row where a different song has been at the top of the chart (factoring in two non-consecutive weeks for Jay Sean's "Down") since the 14-week stretch of The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" ended

Meanwhile, Taylor Swift has set a Billboard Hot 100 record by debuting five songs from her Platinum Edition re-release of Fearless in the Top 30, led by "Jump Then Fall" at #10. Interrupt that, Kanye West.

Just above Taylor—or, rather, on top of Taylor with a bowl of strawberries, a whip and a mind full of leather-clad thoughts—is Lady GaGa, who debuts at #9 with "Bad Romance." This now gives the pint-sized disco hooker her fifth Top 10 single of the year. "Paparazzi" is at #6 for a third week.

Also stuck in place is Chris Brown's "I Can Transform Ya," at #24. Scandal aside, I really hope that trash continues its flop streak. It's just kind of run-of-the-mill material from him.

Here's the album cover for Brown's upcoming third album, Graffiti:

Edgy. Elsewhere, Rihanna's "Russian Roulette" moves up from #100 to #75. Expect that dismal dirge to lumber into the Top 10 next week, following its first week of digital availability.

FLOP WATCH: After only three weeks on the chart for each, Usher's "Papers" dropps from #31 to #41, and John Mayer sinks from #44 to #68 with his stoner track "Who Says." Oh, and Adam Lambert's "Time For Miracles" has flizz-opped off the Hot 100 entirely after one week at #50.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Whatcha Say" - Jason DeRulo *1 week*
2. "Fireflies" - Owl City
3. "Empire State Of Mind" - Jay-Z feat. Alica Keys
4. "Down" - Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne
5. "Party In The U.S.A." - Miley Cyrus
6. "Paparazzi" - Lady GaGa
7. "Run This Town" - Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West
8. "3" - Britney Spears
9. "Bad Romance" - Lady GaGa *new*
10. "Jump Then Fall" - Taylor Swift *new*

* Chart Rigger's Top 40 Pop Singles Of The Decade List

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