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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ellie Goulding Off To A Good Chart Start, While Sugababes Nab Another Hit

Banging out today's UK chart post super-quick while on a flight layover at the Cincinnati airport. So hoo-ray for Brit Award favorite Ellie Goulding and her #4 debut with "Starry Eyed." Congrats also to Sugababes for snagging their third Top 10 hit in a row with the rather ho-hum "Wear My Kiss" (#7). Maybe there's some life in the 'babes brand yet?

It would have been nice to see Alphabeat debut higher than #29 with "Hole In My Heart," but what can you do? At least they have that classy opening slot on the UK leg of Lady Gaga's Monster Ball tour. "Hole In My Heart" follows the band's #20 entry last year for "The Spell."

Anyway, Ellie and Alphabeat:

I really gotta get that effing Alphabeat album at this point already. Anyway, up, up and away...

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "In My Head" - Jason Derulo *new* *1 week*
2. "You Got The Dirtee Love" - Florence And The Machine/Dizzee Rascal
3. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna
4. "Starry Eyed" - Ellie Goulding *new*
5. "Empire State Of Mind (Part II)" - Alicia Keys
6. "If We Ever Meet Again" - Timbaland feat. Katy Perry
7. "Wear My kiss" - Sugababes *new*
8. "Fireflies" - Owl City
9. "Everybody Hurts" - Helping Haiti
10. "One Shot" - JLS

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cyndi Lauper Scoring 'Kinky Boots,' Headed To TV

Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga did the the rounds together a couple weeks back, but I'd not seen this particular photo. Cute.

A couple Cyndi updates: the New York Times notes that she'll be scoring the upcoming Broadway-bound stage adaptation of 2005 indie British flick Kinky Boots. I remember writing a review of that classy trash for Instinct.

As well, the forum at the Cyndi Lauper News site has gone a bit nutty over the news that Lady She Bop has signed a deal with producer Mark Burnett to star in her own reality TV series—which is separate from her upcoming stint on Celebrity Apprentice.

Hey, money changes everything.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Industry Look To The UK With New Songs "Drown Me In The Music" + "Kill The DJ"

Industry are back with two new jams, and at this point I'm just going to start referring to them as the Irish Ace Of Base (yes, Industry, that's a compliment—feel honored!)—because that's how popsexxy they are.

Not only is the quartet supporting JLS on the X Factor boy band's upcoming Irish Arena Tour in Belfast and Dublin, they're also getting ready for an official UK launch. But they need your help in deciding which of the two following dance tracks to release in Ol' Blighty—"Drown Me In The Music" or "Kill The DJ":

Give each a listen and go vote on Industry's official Facebook page. Both tracks were produced by Ki Fitzgerald and Klaus Derendorf, and "Kill The DJ" was mixed by Grammy winner Dave Pensado.

You wanna know what I think? "Drown Me In The Music" is the clear-cut hit. It's got ABBA-esque melody that immediately grabs you upon first listen.

But "Kill The DJ" shouldn't be discounted, either. Maybe a second or third single, after "Drown" does a proper job of charming the Brit charts.

* Chart Rigger's Interview With Industry's Donal Skehan
* Industry Unveil Third Single "In Your Arms"
* There's A Hot Bloke In Industry's "Burn" Video


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ke$ha Singing "Karma Police" At Age 13 Is The Best Pop Revelation Of 2010 So Far

When Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke kicks the bucket and is exiled to hell, you know what he's going to to have to endure on an infinite loop while he roasts? Ke$ha, back in 2000 at age 13, singing "Karma Police" at a middle school talent competition.

The shirt. The hair. The curves. The raw talent. Ke$ha probably thanks Christ every day that Auto Tune came along—not to mention Fen-Phen.

But whatever. She still looks hotter than I ever did while wearing a tie-dyed tank top and hip-hugging jeans in junior high school.

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The Black Eyed Peas End Ke$ha's Reign At #1

The Black Eyed Peas, who spent a grand total of 26 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 last year between two different singles, land their third chart topper off The E.N.D. this week with "Imma Be" (watch the video). Thus, it's brings about the end of Ke$ha's reign after nine weeks on top with "TiK ToK"—just one week shy of tying the record set by Debby Boone for longest stay at #1 with a debut single by a female artist (10 weeks in 1977 with "You Light Up My Life"). Sorry, Kesh—better luck with "Blah Blah Blah."

Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone" scrapes up one position to #14, but expect it to increase its (surprisingly slow, considering the two singers involved) speed once the video drops next week. And after 17 weeks on the Hot 100, 2009 Kris Allen finally cracks the Top 20, at #19, with "Live Like We're Dying." I've said it before and I'll say it again—porn or male prostitution will be highly more lucrative for this guy in the long run. Trust.

OTHER DECENT JUMPS: The Script are up from #28 to #22 with "Breakeven," Rihanna flies from #64 to #23 with "Rude Boy," i.e. the first decent offering from Rated R, and Adam Lambert moves three spots to #28 with "Whataya Want From Me."

Mariah Carey has a dismal debut at #100 with her Nicki Minaj-featuring jam "Up Out My Face," despite its pleasant, campy video. Mimi, it might be time to consider some career counselling. 'Cause, girl, the prospect of you ever having a hit again seems like a sweet, sweet fantasy, baby.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Imma Be" - The Black Eyed Peas *1 week*
2. "TiK ToK" - Ke$ha
3. "Bedrock" - Young Money feat. Lloyd
4. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
5. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
6. "We Are The World 25 For Haiti" - Artists For Haiti
7. "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train
8. "How Low" - Ludacris
9. "In My Head" - Jason Derulo
10. "Say Aah" - Trey Songz feat. Fabolous

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Both Mike Stock And Pete Waterman Will Write This Year's UK Eurovision Entry

At the end of January it was announced that producer Pete Waterman would be penning the 2010 UK song for the Eurovision Song Contest. Pete not being a songwriter, per se, I wondered—he can't possibly be doing this by himself...?

Well, lo and behold—none other than Mike Stock will be banging out the tune with him. (That's actually Graham Norton in the pic above, who'll be hosting Here's what Pete told the BBC:
"When the BBC called to ask if I would do it, I had two questions. The first was to ensure that I had a free hand musically and the second was to ask my old partner Mike Stock to help me. We haven't worked together recently, but we've remained friends and there was no question that I would be willing as long as he was prepared to do it with me. Mike is the musician and he interprets my ideas—a trouble shared is a trouble halved, as they say."

"The song has to appeal to one person only, and that's me. Others will have their views on whether it's a good song or not, but I have to be in charge as ultimately I have to deliver it. If people don't like it, I can't do anything about that. We have the same starting point with all our songs and we know what the limitations are."
Well, this could shape up to be either a super classy pop exercise, or the last nail in coffin of the Stock Aitken Waterman legacy. I'm choosing to believe it'll be the latter. Call it my new sunny outlook.

After all, when Mike and Pete got it right, they got it so, so right...

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It's Ke$ha's "Blah Blah Blah" Video

So here's Ke$ha's "Blah Blah Blah" video (which also features 3OH!3). It's been getting yanked off YouTube left and right today, so this clip I found is pretty Z-grade. Note that the first 30 seconds are muted. Hot. It launches into the song, though—don't you worry.

My favorite part of the vid is when Ke$ha texts to her friend at the beginning about the bouncer at the door: "What a mega douche MASTER!!!!!!"

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Overdid It, Doll

Post-BRITs, the UK chart is a bit of a snooze this week. Florence And The Machine and Dizzee Rascal mashed up their respective jams "You Got The Love" and "Dirty Cash" live at the awards gig, and the subsequent single release—"You Got The Dirtee Love"—debuts at #2.

It's hard to believe Lemar has now been around long enough to warrant a greatest hits collection, but, hey—you blink anymore and suddenly you're knocked up again. Or is that just me? Sorry, this is what happens when you put vodka in your morning coffee. And when Lemar scores his seventh UK Top 10 hit. With "The Way Love Goes. At #8.

Speaking of D'luvisms, I'm prematurely giving Best Song Title Of The Year to The Courteeners for "You Overdid It Doll," which debuts at #28.

That's the title of my memoirs sorted out, then.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Everybody Hurts" - Helping Haiti *2 weeks*
2. "You Got The Dirtee Love" - Florence And The Machine/Dizzee Rascal
3. "Fireflies" - Owl City
4. "If We Ever Meet Again" - Timbaland feat. Katy Perry
5. "Empire State Of Mind (Part II)" - Alicia Keys
6. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna
7. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Glee Cast
8. "The Way Love Goes" - Lemar *new*
9. "Halo/Walking On Sunshine" - Glee Cast
10. "Starstrukk" - 3OH!3 feat. Katy Perry

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ke$ha's A Super Classy Slut

Here's Ke$ha performing second single "Blah Blah Blah" (sans douche buckets 3OH!3) on UK morning show GMTV on Friday. Just when I was almost over this broad, her glitter thighs make me fall for her all over again.

Meanwhile, Ke$ha and Lady Gaga are in the UK at the same time? Here's hoping they run into each other while hookin' for Euros and claw each other's thongs off.

UPDATE: Someone pointed out that Britain's currency is the pound—which I know from having visited on a few occasions, lads—but as I commented below, we're talking about a global catfight that starts out in England and carries on across the rest of Europe, much like a STD that acquires a Eurail pass.


Lady Gaga & Terence Koh: 88 Pearls

Cute video. Terence Koh is the designer who did Lady Gaga's pearl outfit she wore to the amfAR benefit when NYC Fashion Week kicked off. Love how the 69 joke goes right over her head.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Chart Rigger In 'Saturday Night Magazine'

Chart Rigger gets a mention in the March issue Saturday Night Magazine, along with NME, The Hype Machine, Beat Port, Musicovery and Last FM.

"We are loving the fact that electro pop acts like Lady Gaga have ousted so many of the dirty emo rock bands from the charts, airwaves and 2010 musical landscape. And we love keeping up with our favorite pop stars on chartrigger.blogspot.com, an aficionado's guide to all the new releases, videos, remixes and general happenings in the world of pop music, from an interview with David Guetta to Goldfrapp's new single and cussing out Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift. We'll never be popless again!"
Aw, shucks.


It's Alex Gardner's Highly-Reflective "I'm Not Mad" Music Video

Scottish bugger Alex Gardner teased the masses last week by posting a few images from the set of his "I'm Not Mad" video shoot. But eff that noise—now we have the full music video itself!

Kind of simple. But, look—if I looked like Alex Gardner, I'd stare at myself in the mirror in my damn videos, too. Here's what Alex told the BBC about the clip for his debut Xenomania-produced single:
"I got to go to Los Angeles. It was a big deal for me because my entire life I've never been out of Europe or anywhere. There are some great visuals to it. It's me basically in this mirrors box room. The floors, the walls - everything is mirrors.

"It's very trippy, you look down on the top of your own head so it's very kind of strange. It's basically a metaphor for being stuck with things that you can't really do anything about.

"It's me going a little bit mental, a little bit crazy. It's very psychedelic."

I just can't believe both Alex Gardner and Take That were here in L.A. last month and didn't invite me out for a drink or a game of strip poker.

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Listen To Lady Gaga Bust Out New Jam "Glitter And Grease" In Manchester

Lady Gaga kicked off the UK leg of her Monster Ball tour Thursday night (with Alphabeat in tow). The three-time Brit Award winner started the show off with "Dance In The Dark," then performed new jam "Glitter And Grease" for her second number. Hear it in the clip below at the 1:43 mark.

I don't know what I think of that right now. I'm too effing tired. Must revisit. In the meantime, check out the BBC's full review of Gaga's Manchester gig.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

"We Are The World" Would Have Debuted At #1 If Heidi Montag Had Been Given A Solo

The big news on this week's Billboard Hot 100 is that the "We Are The World" remake by Artists For Haiti—i.e. every highly relevant pop figure on the planet except for Heidi Montag, Lady Gaga, Heidi Montag, Britney Spears, Heidi Montag, Beyonce, Heidi Montag, Jay-Z and Heidi Montag—debuts at #2, after two-day sales of over 260,000 digital copies. (The single was added to iTunes last Friday, and Billboard's cut-off for adding up chart data is Sunday.)

To protest this glaring omission and gross misjudgment made by Quincy Jones, here's a brand new jam from Heidi called "Trash Me":

Stunning. It sounds like the classiest moments of Britney's "If U Seek Amy" and Gwen Stefani's "The Sweet Escape" were put on a USB that was jammed up Heidi's robot ditch while she belted out her stirring, soulful powerhouse vocals in the studio. Oh, to be a fly on the wall...

Elsewhere, Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone" is up one to #15, The Script jump from #40 to #28 with "Breakeven," Adam Lambert climbs to #31 with "Whataya Want From Me" and Sade fly up from #80 to #52 with "Soldier Of Love."

Speaking of Sade, the band's full Soldier Of Love LP—its first one in ten years—debuts at #1 on the Top 200 Albums chart after selling 502,000 copies. And, really, I never get tired of lead singer Sade Adu's voice. It's almost as good as Heidi Montag's.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "TiK ToK" - Ke$ha *9 weeks*
2. "We Are The World 25 For Haiti" - Artists For Haiti *new*
3. "Imma Be" - The Black Eyed Peas
4. "Bedrock" - Young Money feat. Lloyd
5. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
6. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
7. "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train
8. "How Low" - Ludacris
9. "In My Head" - Jason Derulo
10. "Sexy Chick" - David Guetta feat. Akon

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Pet Shop Boys: "Suburbia" In A Living Room And 'Pandemonium' Live

Here's a video of Pet Shop Boys performing "Suburbia" for Lorraine Sands—winner of the MasterCard Priceless Gig/Brit Awards tie-in contest—and her friends in her London living room. You can real the full details of the intimate (to say the least) show here.

Additionally, here's the trailer for the Boys' Pandemonium live CD/DVD, which was released this week in the UK and is out March 23 in the States.


Calvin Harris And His Big Deck Are Heading On Over To America

Scottish DJ/producer/pop star Calvin Harris (pictured above looking extremely boinkable while arriving at the Brit Awards on Tuesday) will be doing some North American gigs over the course of next two months. Naturally I'll be out of town when he's in L.A. next Saturday. Oh, well. He knows where to find me.

The dates (the two Vancouver ones are Winter Olympic after-parties):

Feb 24, Miami Beach, FL, LIV Night Club
Feb 25, Vancouver, BC, Gossip Nightclub
Feb 26, Vancouver, BC, Celebrities Nightclub
Feb 27, Los Angeles, CA, Avalon
Feb 28, San Diego, CA, Voyeur Night Club
Mar 19, Montreal QC, Metropolis
Mar 20, Toronto, ON, Sound Academy
Mar 24, Miami Beach, FL, LIV Night Club
Mar 27, Miami Beach, FL, Louis Lounge
April 2, Halifax NS, The Palace
April 3, Washington DC, Glow

And, yes, I've posted Calvin's "Flashback" video before—but this song really is the jam. So here it is again:


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Xenomania Kiddo Alex Gardner Reveals Two New Jams As Vagabond Officially Split Up

Alex Gardner finally uploaded three new songs to his MySpace today—including his debut single "I'm Not Mad" and "Heartbreak," both of which are on a four-song sampler of Alex's forthcoming album that's doing the rounds.

To me "Heartbreak" sounds a tad bit like the also-Xenomania-produced "The Way It Used To Be," off Pet Shop Boys' 2009 album Yes.

The third tune on Gardner's MySpace is the broody, moody slowie "You See With Me" (which also sounds exactly like another song I can't quite put my finger on yet!). So far this kid's five for five in my d'luvvly book.

Here's a new interview with Alex, where he talks about how he first hooked up with Xenomania chief Brian Higgins, and how he's been compared to Wet Wet Wet's Marti Pellow, George Michael and Rick Astley. (Hmmm. Who might have drawn that comparison?)

In other related info, the Xenomania News blog posted today that Vagabond have officially split up. They cite a tweet from former member Luke Fitton:
"We have all moved on to new projects as things haven't worked out the way we would have hoped with Vagabond. We are all very much in support of each others decisions to move on musically and there is no hard feelings. I'd personally like to thank everyone who has supported us and we assure you that everything we are currently working on is very exciting and we hope you enjoy it just as much."

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Another Stock Aitken Waterman Re-Release: Haywoode's 'Arrival'

Stock Aitken Waterman fans take note: Haywoode's 1986 album Arrival has been remastered and swizzed up for its very first CD release in most territories in a special edition brought to you by the folks at Cherry Red—i.e. the UK label that reissued Lonnie Gordon, Princess and Mandy Smith's CDs last spring. Arrival was released this week.

Says the press release:
Via a succession of singles - including two forgotten gems by then-little-known underground dance producers Stock Aitken & Waterman, 'You'd Better Not Fool Around' and 'Getting Closer' (covered later by Kylie) - full international chart success finally struck for Haywoode with 'Roses' in July 1986.

The long-awaited 'Arrival' album was finally unveiled, showcasing new tracks including Haywoode's take on Prince's debut hit 'I Wanna Be Your Lover'. The album soon became a much-sought-after 'lost classic' of the era, with CDs from Japan (the only territory releasing the format beyond vinyl and cassette) still regularly fetching hundreds of pounds on eBay.

SAW expert Jeremy Kay, who worked on the project, assured me the following: "The package has been put together by the same team as Mandy, Lonnie, Princess and Sintta Hits+, so a quality product is guaranteed." Also be sure to check out Pop Trash Addicts' interview with Haywoode from last July!

Here's the full tracklist for the special edition of Haywoode's Arrival:

01. Roses (7" Version)
02. Getting Closer (7" Version) *
03. Single Handed (7'' Version) *
04. I Can’t Let You Go (Detroit 7" Mix)
05. Jelly Baby
06. You'd Better Not Fool Around (7'' Version) *
07. I Wanna Be Your Lover
08. A Time Like This (7'' Version) *
09. Missing You
10. Under Fire

11. Tease Me *
12. A Time Like This (Extended Version Part 1) *
13. Single Handed (Extended Version)
14. I Can’t Let You Go (Thigh & Mighty Mix) *
15. Getting Closer (Extended Version)
16. You'd Better Not Fool Around (Extended Version) *
17. Roses (Extended Version)

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The New 'Glee' Promo: Madonna, The Beatles And Sue Sylvester's Cone Bra

Below is the new promo for Glee, which aired during Tuesday's American Idol. Only seven more weeks till this hot trash is back on Fox!

This spring brings the all-Madonna episode of Glee. Now, what I love is how even in the above clip showcasing a bit of the Madge fest, there still manages to be a Lady Gaga reference. Ye Olde Vampyre's coffin, finally nailed shut. "Madonna is weeping" indeed. Thanks a milli, Glee!

P.S. "Hello, Goodbye" = my favorite Beatles song ever.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Brit Awards 2010 In All Its Photo, Video And Frightening Lady Gaga Glory

Lady Gaga whirled into the Brit Awards looking like a nun who got raped by my living room curtains. Actually, her outfit was some scary shit. You will have nightmares over that getup. Trust. Gaga picked up three BRITs at the London gig—International Breakthrough Artist, International Female Solo Artist and International Album—the most wins of the night.

Below are some pics, performances and the full list of winners from the Brit Awards 2010 shindig that went down at Earls Court.

Boyzone's head DILF Ronan Keating. Would totally hit it...

Geri Halliwell of Spice Girls. Those broads won the Most Memorable BRITs performance of the past 30 years. Um, duh.

High class stripper/X Factor witch Cheryl Cole performing "Fight For This Love":

Lily Allen, mistaking the BRITs for the Hooker Pride parade.

And here we have... Oh, Jesus! No!!!

Robbie Williams, looking like Geri Halliwell just rammed her brolly up his arse. He was given the Outstanding Contribution To Music award.

Here's Robbie performing a medley of his hits. Sorry, just was not nearly as good as pop gods Pet Shop Boys' medley from last year's BRITs.

Ke$ha. Why so sour, baby—are you effing sick of "TiK ToK," too?

JLS. Gay face happens to pop stars, too.

Lady Gaga performing a stripped-down "Telephone"—which she dedicated to the late Alexander McQueen—and "Dance In The Dark."

Sugababes, Version 47.0.

Cat Deeley and Kylie Minogue. Where's the rest of Kylie? That horrifying Lady Gaga nun monster ate the other half of her.

And finally... Oh, Christ!

The Brit Awards 2010 winners:

Dizzee Rascal

Lily Allen



Florence And The Machine, Lungs

JLS, “Beat Again”


Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga, The Fame

Ellie Goulding

Robbie Williams

Spice Girls, “Wannabe/Who Do You Think You Are”

Oasis, What’s The Story (Morning Glory)

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The Black Eyed Peas' "Imma Be Rocking That Body" Video Is Better Than 'Transformers'

The Black Eyed Peas' new double-video for "Imma Be" and "Rock That Body" (i.e. the other David Guetta track on their The E.N.D. album) pretty much makes up for the group releasing that piece of ear garbage "Boom Boom Pow" last year. And the special effects-laden mini movie is way better than Transformers.

They (or whoever) must have spent a fortune on this 10-minute clip (which now blends the songs into "Imma Be Rocking That Body"). And a big budget music video is something you practically never see these days.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

A Lovely New(ish?) Photo Of Alex Gardner

This was sent over by Alex Gardner's PR for a writeup Moogaboo did on "I'm Not Mad" in the March issue of Instinct. If it's an old pic, I hadn't seen it before.

"I'm Not Mad" video supposedly coming this week.

Here's Alex doing "There Goes My Heart" live and acoustic during his recent appearance on Hallam FM (watch his interview here):


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dandy Andy's "My Lonely Valentine" Video Is DIY-Groovy

Last week I posted the d'luvvly clip of "My Lonely Valentine" by French cats Dandy Andy featuring NYC-based Carmen Castro on vocals. "Without a date, I take gay or straight." Damn, that sounds like my last-call mantra... from when I was 14.

Here's the official music vid:

Classy, creepy and totally effed up. With any luck, this will be nestled in the comfy zone of the UK Top 10 upon its release in a couple weeks.

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Does Everybody Hate "Everybody Hurts"?

No shock here—Simon Cowell's all-star Helping Haiti charity single "Everybody Hurts" sold about 453,000 copies to land at #1 on the official UK singles chart. The R.E.M. cover was added to U.S. iTunes on Friday, around the time the new version of "We Are The World" was made available.

And over the past few weeks, "Everybody Hurts" really has proven to be a polarizing choice of song for the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. In his piece for The Quietus titled "Why 'Everybody Hurts' Is The Last Thing Haiti Needs," Jude Rogers writes the following:
"A humanitarian disaster of unimaginable proportions has hit a country long buckling from centuries of corruption and poverty. And what is pop’s response? Everybody hurts. It’s not just you, poor, things. We poor creatures hurt too. 'When the day is long'–hey, we sympathise, those aftershocks must be a right bitch, especially when you don’t know when they’re going to bury your family home deeper in debris – and 'the night is yours alone'–especially when your wife and children are dead, and you haven’t got any food or water, that must be a right bummer – well, 'hang on'. That’s what pop says: 'hang on'. The temerity of that lyrical twist, its jaw-dropping tastelessness, telling people that have had to hang on already, forever, to just bolster their spirits in the face of devastation—a state unknown to pop stars who wouldn’t piss in a bottle for less than ten grand–makes it pop’s grimmest moment of all time...

It gets worse. The message of 'Everybody Hurts' is now being placed on the same plain as the lyrics to 'Do They Know It’s Christmas?', effectively demoting Bill Berry and Michael Stipe’s subtle skills to the school of Midge Ure–a man who didn’t notice the “clanging chimes of doom” in Bono’s sickening line, “Tonight, thank God it’s them instead of you”. The media have also been happy to comply in this process, asking Rod Stewart and James Morrison if 'Simon' had asked them do this personally, as if Cowell was God, deigning to descend from his heavenly Mr Topper’s barber chair.”
Meanwhile, here's the somewhat unusual praise the Huffington Post lavished upon the charity single today:
"When megaproducer Simon Cowell brings in all-stars to sing R.E.M.'s Everybody Hurts for Haitian relief, you know the song will be heart-rending. But four minutes and twenty seconds into the official video, it becomes more than that. It becomes an image of pure love."
Personally, I've kept pretty mum on it all, mostly because I feel sort of indifferent as to whether or not the lyrics are appropriate or not. Is it schlocky? Hell yes. What did anyone expect from Simon Cowell & Co.?

I don't know. Maybe my cynicism is dwindling. Or maybe I used it all up when writing about "We Are The World" the other day, a cover version equally as low-rent, musically—but one which, like "Everybody Hurts," was at least concocted with seemingly good intentions in mind.

In the end, everyone will forget they ever downloaded "Everybody Hurts" and "We Are The World" as time goes by. And on some Friday afternoon in the not-so-distant future, when either one pops up randomly on shuffle while you're on a leisurely stroll or driving down the freeway, you'll wince and skip ahead—and maybe even delete the song from your library.

Oh, well. Hopefully part of the buck you dropped actually winds up—as the title implies—helping Haiti.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Everybody Hurts" - Helping Haiti *new* *1 week*
2. "Fireflies" - Owl City
3. "If We Ever Meet Again" - Timbaland feat. Katy Perry
4. "Empire State Of Mind (Part II)" - Alicia Keys
5. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Glee Cast
6. "Starstrukk" - 3OH!3 feat. Katy Perry
7. "One Shot" - JLS
8. "Replay" - Iyaz
9. "Halo/Walking On Sunshine" - Glee Cast
10. "Rude Boy" - Rihanna

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Helping Haiti "Everybody Hurts" Single Washes Onto American Shores

The digital single is now available on U.S. iTunes. Guess they had to wait till "We Are The World 25" was added first? It will be interesting to see how this one does here, with little-to-no promotion (compared to WATW).

More on the Helping Haiti version of "Everybody Hurts":

* Here's Kylie Minogue Recording "Everybody Hurts"
* The Helping Haiti "Everybody Hurts" Video
* Who Sings What On The Helping Haiti Cover Of "Everybody Hurts"
* What Pop Stars Look Like When Recording "Everybody Hurts"

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Friday, February 12, 2010

The "We Are The World 25" For Haiti Video

Here's "We Are The World 25 For Haiti" video. Not to sound like a crotchety old bastard, but they had me till the big rap finale. I was still hanging on a bit there, but the Kanye West ending made me wanna swallow glass.

Pink and Jennifer Hudson are A+ though, and Celine Dion did OK with Cyndi Lauper's original solo. Plus, gotta love how Lil Wayne was fed through the Daft Punk machine.

Whatever. They got my $1.29 on iTunes. I am the children.

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Photos From Alex Gardner's "I'm Not Mad" Video Shoot Are Fascinating Friday Fodder

I really hope teenage Xenomania protege Alex Gardner doesn't flop when his single "I'm Not Mad" is released next month, because he sure ain't too too bad on the eyes ears. Alex posted these photos from the song's video shoot today on his MySpace blog.

Alex kind of looks like this guy I dated in the late '90s who used to make a living by jamming the wires and whatnot into television sets at a Sony plant. Wonder what ever happened to him?

Anyway, as far as the "I'm Not Mad" video, today Alex tweeted: "I'll let you know where you can see it next week." Till then, check out this video interview with him.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Here's Pink, Justin Bieber And Adam Levine Recording Their Solo Bits For "We Are The World"

First of all, I love this photo of all the artists recording "We Are The World" last week after the Grammys. It's as if Quincy Jones was like, "OK, y'all, look up here and wait for my cue," and Barbra Streisand was all, "Fuck that shit, I didn't iron my wig, knock the mothballs out of my bra and cake on the warpaint to not get my damn picture taken!"

Good ol' Babs, always taking the classy road. And speaking of classy, MTV threw this video up today of Pink, Justin Bieber, Adam Levine, Mary J. Blige (who sounds like she's blowing out her vocal chords) and Akon recording their solos for the new version of "We Are The World."

You know, because when one thinks of artists who harbor a genuine, charitable concern for the welfare of others, one thinks of Akon.

All I really want to know is this: where the hell was Ke$ha?

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Can You Believe Goddamn "TiK ToK" Is Still #1 (Or That Shiny Toy Guns Are Still Alive)?

Klassy Ke$ha has now spent eight weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with "TiK ToK," making it the longest stay at #1 for a female solo artist since Beyonce racked up ten weeks with "Irreplaceable" at in late 2006/early 2007. There's really not much more you can say about this broad or this song, so hopefully she has a new schtick/look by the time that "Blah Blah Blah" video is released. Otherwise, thanks for doing a round of shots, baby, but this relationship was never gonna move past the parking lot.

Pink gets a post-Grammy Awards boost, as "Glitter In The Air" debuts this week at #18, while Funhouse jumps up from #61 to #15 on the Top 200 Albums chart.

Meanwhile, back on the Hot 100, The Script finally land "Breakeven" in the Top 40, as the single moves up from #53 to #40. I guess they heard about my offer of a hand down the shorts if they started hustling that song along a bit faster. Don't worry, lads, I always wear ISOTONERs.

Finally, good ol' Shiny Toy Guns debut at #97 with their cover of Peter Schilling's 1983 synth jam "Major Tom (Coming Home)." Was this recording really necessary? Hey, it was used in a car commercial...

Gosh, I remember seeing this group before they had a label deal (and with a different female singer) back in February 2005 at the Viper Room here in Los Angeles. Who knew they'd still be kicking around—and not serving lattes at Starbucks—five years later?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "TiK ToK" - Ke$ha *8 weeks*
2. "Imma Be" - The Black Eyed Peas
3. "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
4. "Bedrock" - Young Money feat. Lloyd
5. "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga
6. "Sexy Chick" - David Guetta feat. Akon
7. "Hey, Soul Sister" - Train
8. "How Low" - Ludacris
9. "I Gotta Feeling" - The Black Eyed Peas
10. "Replay" - Iyaz

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lady Gaga And Cyndi Lauper Viva Glam Up The Morning Talk Show Circuit

Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga continued their MAC Viva Glam AIDS awareness campaign for women today by hitting up both Good Morning America and The Today Show. The winner of the two in my book is the GMA appearance, where both New York pop stars spoke eloquently about the cause—and where Gaga even made Cyndi tear up when praising her.

Good Morning America:

The Today Show:

Sadly, they both kind of dodge the question (posed on The Today Show) of a duet ever materializing between the two of them.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Here's Kylie Recording "Everybody Hurts"

The other day I made reference (here in the comments) to Kylie Minogue not appearing in the Helping Haiti "Everybody Hurts" video, mentioning that she was somewhat "dressed down" when she cooed her bit for the song in the studio. Above is a pic from her recording session for the song.

Just for the record, I think she looks spectacular here sans makeup. There's only one other person I can think of who's aging more gracefully, and that's me. (Haw haw!) I'm all for more appearances by Au Naturale Kylie in the future.

Meanwhile, Spinner notes that the "Everybody Hurts" charity single has shifted over 150,000 copies in just two days so far in the UK.

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Sade: Classy Band, Classy Broad

Sade (the band) are doing the promo rounds in the U.S. They performed on NBC's The Today Show and BET's 106 And Park today. I love how Sade (the broad) only puts a damn album out whenever she feels like it—i.e. every ten years or so.

This all got me in the mood to dig out the greatest hits, which I listened to today while driving in the rain. Classic jams on that. Reminds me of my mom playing Diamond Life in the mid-'80s.

As for new album Soldier Of Love—which is #1 on Amazon and iTunes—it gets two thumbs up in my book. Nice music for the winter doldrums.


Dandy Andy Lament "My Lonely Valentine"

What better way to contemplate offing yourself at celebrate Valentine's Day than by listening to Paris-based dance-pop outfit Dandy Andy and their new jam "My Lonely Valentine"? This upcoming UK single release features New York's MC Carmen on vocals, and is being put out by Ian Usher's PopLife Records, who recently scooped up Same Difference.

Classiest lyric: "I've been wondering what you've been doing and where you are—with someone lame I hope!" Gosh, it almost makes me wish I was single this year, so I could share in the disco ball misery.

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Monday, February 08, 2010

The Helping Haiti "Everybody Hurts" Video

No big surprises here with the Helping Haiti "Everybody Hurts" video. It's basically footage of victims of the earthquake with black and white clips of the singers (read the full list of who sang what lines here) edited in.

The single was released in the UK yesterday and is already #1 on iTunes.

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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Somebody Please Put A Hit Out On Jedward And Bring Shayne Ward Back

Ah, poor Jedward. The X Factor dorks were unable to knock synth geek Owl City off the top of the UK chart with their mashup (read: murdering of) "Under Pressure" and "Ice Ice Baby."

But fuck those two. The only X Factor alum I want to hear from is Shayne Ward. And by hear from, I mean him mumbling while half-conscious, shirtless, jeans around the ankles and tied to a tree with an apple in his mouth. (Hey, it's my birthday—let me have some fun!)

We're supposedly one month away from Shayne's new single "Oxygen" being released. I'm just glad that the Heidi Range duet rumor isn't true. 'Cause I'd rip that bitch's weave off with a Rototiller like Kelly Clarkson attacking a plate of spaghetti if she tried anything fresh with Shayne.

And screw Simon Cowell for not inviting the hottest piece of tail to grace the X Factor stage to take part in the Helping Haiti "Everybody Hurts" charity single. (Which, by the way, is already #1 on UK iTunes after being added around midnight last night.) He needs to pull his face out of Susan Boyle's matronly she-taco and realize all things entertainment don't begin and end with that warbling broad. They begin and end with Shayne's ass.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Fireflies" - Owl City *3 weeks*
2. "Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)" - Jedward *new*
3. "If We Ever Meet Again" - Timbaland feat. Katy Perry
4. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Glee Cast
5. "Empire State Of Mind (Part II)" - Alicia Keys
6. "Replay" - Iyaz
7. "Starstrukk" - 3OH!3 feat. Katy Perry
8. "One Shot" - JLS
9. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Journey
10. "Won't Go Quietly" - Example

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