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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Boy Krazy And Sonia: The Latest PWL Artists To Get Remastered And Repackaged On CD

Both Sonia's 1990 album Everybody Knows and Boy Krazy's 1993 self-titled LP are being re-released in CD format on the Cherry Pop label September 20. You may recall that Boy Krazy's remastered album and single EPs (with a shedful of mixes) were added to iTunes last year, while Sonia's PWL material was made available digitally this past spring.

It's worth noting that Boy Krazy's album was the last one Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman worked on as a production trio, before Matt split.

Says the press info:
"When first issued in the UK in 1991, 'That's What Love Can Do' failed to enter the Top 75, but 18 months later it was playlisted by a Denver radio station and soon became a runaway airplay hit across the US. As a result, the single was reissued internationally and work on the album finally completed at PWL. Despite scoring two US hits, Boy Krazy split up later in 1993."
Here's what to expect on both:

Boy Krazy - Boy Krazy (Special Edition)

1. That's What Love Can Do
2. That Kinda Love
3. On A Wing And A Prayer
4. Different Class
5. Good Times With Bad Boys
6. Just Like A Dream Come True
7. Love Is A Freaky Thing
8. All You Have To Do
9. One Thing Leads To Another
10. Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Bonus Tracks

11. Exception To The Rule *
12. I'll Never Get Another Chance Like This
13. That's What Love Can Do (Extended Version)
14. All You Have To Do (Extended Version) *
15. Good Times With Bad Boys (Dave Ford 12'' Mix) *
16. Love Is A Freaky Thing (Lurve Dog 12'' Mix) *
17. On A Wing And A Prayer (Original Mix)
18. Just Like A Dream Come True (Original Mix) *
19. Who Could Ask For Anything More? (Original Version) *
20. That's What Love Can Do (Original Mix) *
 
* First time on CD

Everybody Knows Sonia (Special Edition)

1. You'll Never Stop Me Loving You
2. Everybody Knows
3. Listen To Your Heart
4. Someone Like You
5. Counting Every Minute
6. Can't Forget You
7. Now I'm Without You
8. Can't Help The Way That I Feel
9. Climb To The Top Of A Mountain
10. End Of The World

Bonus Tracks

11. Better Than Ever
12. You'll Never Stop Me Loving You (Extended Version) *
13. Can't Forget You (Extended Version)
14. Listen To Your Heart (Extended Version)
15. Counting Every Minute (The King's Counting House Mix) *
16. You'll Never Stop Me Loving You (XXX Kiss Mix) *
17. Let's Have A Party *
18. You'll Never Stop Me Loving You (Demo Version) +

+ Previously unreleased
* First time on CD

[Thanks, Mark]

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Friday, July 30, 2010

2009 'X Factor' Winner Joe McElderry Comes Out

Big up to last year's X Factor winner Joe McElderry, who today revealed he is gay on his official site. Joe topped the UK chart once on his own—with his cover of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" (after, of course, an initial harshing by Rage Against The Machine)—and contributed vocals to the all star Helping Haiti charity cover of "Everybody Hurts," which also hit #1 in England earlier this year. (He also sang on last November's chart-topping cover of "You Are Not Alone" with the other X Factor Finalists.)

Here's his statement in full:
"Hey Guys,

"Tomorrow there will be some articles about me in the newspapers because I have been doing some important interviews today. I wanted you to know that the articles are true. I also wanted you to know that I really respect your loyal support and all the kind messages I have had from you up to this date.
I have always been a very honest person and so it is important for me to continue to be honest. It has been the most amazing year so far and I feel so privileged. It’s also been a time of real self realisation and I feel as if I have grown up so much in these few months.

"There has been speculation about my sexuality in the past and I have always been honest at the time I have been asked. Over the past few weeks I have really had time to reflect and to realise who I am. I spoke to my friends and family about this in the last few days and it was important to do the same for you all as you have been so supportive.

"I have had nothing but support from you and many of you have been very open in saying that you will continue to support me whatever my sexuality. It is important to me to let you know first, so that you know the stories in the papers are true. I made the choice to speak openly about this.

"Again, I can’t thank you enough for all your support. Everything is going well and I’m really happy to be able to move forward from here.

Joe."
Joe, who just turned 19 last month, couldn't have been classier. And to think, when I came out at 20, I think I wrote my statement on the backside of some stripper at a rave...

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ellen DeGeneres Leaves 'American Idol' After One Season: Here's A List Of Replacements

Damn. Ellen DeGeneres must have really hated her judging gig on American Idol during Season 9—i.e. the only season she was on the show.

The New York Times reports this evening that she's splitting "effective immediately," even though she had four more seasons left on her contract. Below is part of her statement that the publication printed:
"A couple months ago, I let Fox and the American Idol producers know that this didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn’t leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for."
So now they gotta fill both that broad and Simon Cowell's seats. Well here's a list of entertainers who ain't workin':

* Judy Tenuta
* Mariah Carey
* Gary Busey
* Lara Flynn Boyle
* That "Dude, you got a Dell!" guy
* Jesse Camp
* Pee Wee Herman
* Stacey Q
* Sisqo
* Tori Spelling
* Margaret Cho
* David Hasselhoff
* The Bangles
* Stevie Nicks
* Jenny Berggren
* Linn Berggren
* Tara Kemp
* Vanilla Ice
* Johnny Knoxville
* That broad who played Bubble on Absolutely Fabulous
* Prince
* Gerardo
* Pauly Shore
* Rosanne
* Kennedy
* Janice Dickinson
* Deborah Gibson
* Tiffany

Oh, wait—Debbie Gibson and Tiffany are working!

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Max Martin Makes Me Feel Like I'm Living A Teenage Dream

This literally has to be be Max Martin's most prolific time period, hit-wise, since 1999/2000, no? In glancing over the current Billboard Hot 100 chart, the Swedish songwriter-producer has zillion-dollar hands all over the following:

* Katy Perry's "California Gurls" (#2, co-wrote/co-produced)
* Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" (#3, co-wrote)
* Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" (#12, co-wrote/produced)
* Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" (debuts at #20, co-wrote)
* Adam Lambert's "If I Had You" (#69, co-wrote/co-produced)

I totally forgot to mention that "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" entered the Hot 100 at #19 last week—forgive me, I was still blinded by thoughts of Enrique Iglesias losing his pants. (And congrats to him for "I Like It" moving up to #6, thereby breaking the rut of the dreaded #8 that so often plagues pop stars.)

I have to say, hearing "Dynamite," "Teenage Dream" and "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" on the radio on a daily basis just makes me smile. And P.S., Max—I know you're notoriously press-shy, but get some new headshots already! We've all been using the same ones (plus the above frowny pic of you) for half a decade now.

Alright, onward to Kylie Minogue Aphrodite watch, now in week three—and it's looking pretty dire.  The album's path on the chart to date is now #19-89-190. Girl, get your Aussie butt over here and do some promotion, already. This ain't Body Language!

Over on the Dance/Club Play Songs chart, Kylie's "All The Lovers" moves up one position to #3.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna *2 weeks*
2. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg
3. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
4. "Airplanes" - B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams
5. "Billionaire" - Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars
6. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
7. "Cooler Than Me" - Mike Posner
8. "OMG" - Usher feat. will.i.am
9. "Find Your Love" - Drake
10. "Ridin' Solo" - Jason Derulo

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Hurts And Kylie Minogue Confirm Duet "Devotion"

News came today from both Hurts (aka the new Pet Shop Boys) and Kylie Minogue that a duet between them titled "Devotion" will indeed appear on the Manchester, England duo's forthcoming debut LP Happiness.

NME posted confirmation from Hurts frontman Theo Hutchcraft earlier today:
"A few weeks ago we finished our album, but it did not feel complete. We have written an album, mainly about women, which felt lost without the salvation of a woman.

"We wrote a song about infidelity called 'Devotion'. Since we have enjoyed an illicit life-long love affair with Kylie Minogue, we mustered up every ounce of courage we had and asked her if she would like to sing the song with us. She said yes. The delicate yet powerful way she expresses the fragility of female emotion has added a magical missing ingredient to an album about love, loss and happiness. If you don't ask, you don't get… I guess."
Meanwhile, this evening Minogue tweeted, "I have recorded a song called 'Devotion' with the delicious 'Hurts'!!!"

Extremely excited for this album—and even more so now. It's out in the UK on September 6. In the meantime, Yanks can snag a pared-down version of the Arthur Baker remix of Hurts' single "Wonderful Life" (which shaves nearly a minute and 40 seconds off the original) from the latest Kitsuné Maison compilation on iTunes.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Soul Legend Paris Hilton Shooting New Music Video, Prepping Kylie Minogue-Inspired Album

Stop the presses! No sooner did I rip and toss Paris Hilton's 2006 debut LP Paris—a true foray into guilty pop pleasure—onto my iPod this week does news of her sophomore album arrive! And, as she says, it's inspired by Queen Of Everything That Exists, Kylie Minogue.

“I really have always loved Kylie Minogue. She’s, like, one of my favorite artists,” Paris told Heat magazine. “I’ve just been really inspired by her. I just wanted my music to kind of emulate her.”

Even classier—the music legend (Paris, that is) is shooting her upcoming video for "an unnamed track" off her upcoming album in Ibiza.

See, Moogaboo and I always believed in the musical genius of soulful vocalist Paris—so much so that we did not one but two banterviews on her back in 2006. And let's not forget that her Dr. Luke-produced jam "Nothing In This World" features backing vocals by a then-unknown Ke$ha.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Kylie Minogue Gets A Standing Ovation On Australia's 'Dancing With The Stars'

Not only did Kylie Minogue belt out her Aphrodite hit "All The Lovers" on Australia's Dancing With The Stars last night, she also "outed" her parents along with sister Dannii Minogue's babydaddy Kris Smith, who were all sitting in the audience.

In Australia, "All The Lovers" peaked at #14 on the ARIA chart (and is currently at #29). In the UK, the single hit #3, while in the U.S. it jumped from #10 to #4 last week on the Billboard Hot Dance Songs chart.



ALSO SEE:
* My Kylie Minogue Interview (part one)
* My Kylie Minogue Interview (part two)

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It's Robyn's "Hang With Me" Video

Biggest gripe about Robyn's gig in L.A. on Friday night? She didn't perform her Body Talk Pt. 2 mix of new single "Hang With Me."

Thankfully she makes up for it this morning with the music video. Lush with synths and restrained heartbreak. Absolutely gorgeous.



On Robyn's official site, it's noted that "Hang With Me" will be available August 16 in Scandinavia, August 17 in the US and Canada, September 3 in Germany, Switzerland and Holland and September 5 in the UK and Australia.

Robyn says, "Pop should be seductive and sweet when it can. And I felt like I could be on 'Hang With Me', in a uncompromising way. It´s like a sweet and sour bon-bon wrapped in melancholy. Yum."

Quite accurate, you little blonde minx.

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Hurts Are The Pet Shop Boys You'd Want To Have Sex With In Their "Wonderful Life" Video

If Lady Gaga is the 2010 version of 1984 Madonna, then consider Manchester, England duo Hurts the modern incarnation of Pet Shop Boys. And like the post title here implies, it'd be swell to hit it with either of these synthy gents (Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson)—if you're into broody, fashionably depressing Bret Easton Ellis novel-type sex.

Anyway, there's a profile on Hurts in the August issue of Interview (with a beautiful photo by Sharif Hamza), wherein Theo alleges that the U.S. is in the band's plans (though there's no hint of this yet on their MySpace):
"We spent a long time hiding away on purpose. But now it feels exciting to finally exist and be judged. We've taken a lot from America, so it's going to be interesting to see how the music sits with people there. We'll do some special performances when we finally come over this fall, kind of like a golden handshake to the U.S."
Their single "Wonderful Life" is finally released in the UK on August 23. Below is the cover:


And here's the music video:



Note: XOLondon chides the dancers in the video, stating that they're nothing more than "Robert Palmer girls doing shit choreography." Mind you, when XOLondon dresses up as a Robert Palmer girl, his dancing is simply irresistible.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The UK Likes The Native Tongue Of Yolanda Be Cool's "We No Speak Americano"

Folks, we've seen this happen before—a novelty jam becomes an international smash across the globe and eventually the U.S. catches on months after the fact. And now that Aussie twosome Yolanda Be Cool (and producer DCUP) have finally sealed the deal with "We No Speak Americano" in the UK after flirting with the #1 position for weeks, surely us Yanks can't be far behind from embracing this trashy hit? (And here's a tip, Americanos—the single was added to U.S. iTunes this week.)



Other than that, it's snooze village on the Brit chart, where no new entries slip into the Top 10 this week. And I'm out of town for the weekend, so catch you tomorrow!

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "We No Speak Americano" - Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP *1 week*
2. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. "Airplanes" - B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams
4. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry
5. "Pack Up" - Eliza Doolittle
6. "Bang Bang Bang" - Mark Ronson and The Business Intl
7. "Just Be Good To Green" - Professor Green feat. Lily Allen
8. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
9. "The Club Is Alive" - JLS
10. "My First Kiss" - 3OH!3 feat. Ke$ha

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Robyn And Kelis Do All Hearts In L.A.

Sorry things have been quiet 'round these parts for the past few days, but I've been traveling since Saturday morning. Friday night I hit up the Robyn/Kelis All Hearts Tour show in Los Angeles. Another big thank you to the guy who came up to me in line and said he reads the blog on a daily basis—I always wondered who that one person was (and here I thought it was my mom).

Joking aside, the show was stellar. It was like a giant, sweaty nightclub on the floor, and you could tell  both broads were feeling energized by the reception they got.

Here's what Robyn tweeted yesterday:
"Thank you 4 last night LA! The best show and crowd out of all the shows we´ve done here in the us so far!!! thanku thank u thank u"
We thew galleries of both Robyn and Kelis at the gig up on Idolator.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

My Problem With Katy Perry Has Always Been This...

In May 2008 I typed out a small piece for Towleroad called "How Gay Is Katy Perry?", where—with eyebrow arched—I wondered just where she was going with her then-newly-popular songs "Ur So Gay" and "I Kissed A Girl."

"Are Katy Perry's lyrics offensive, or are they just silly, gimmicky pop songs by a self-proclaimed attention seeker to be taken with a grain of salt?" I asked. And over two years later, I'm still a bit leery about the nagging disingenuous nature that seems to surround the blue-wigged pop minx. She just seems like a big jokester rather than a music artist. She's singing, but she's rolling her eyes and pissing in the punchbowl as she does it.

My biggest problem with Perry is that every other single she releases seems to dig its hooks into my ear. I couldn't have given a toss about "I Kissed A Girl," but "Hot N Cold" landed smack at #5 on Chart Rigger's 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2008 list.

"California Gurls" was a cheap "TiK ToK" carbon copy throwaway (naughty Dr. Luke), but current single "Teenage Dream" has a kind of anthemic urgency to it.

Witness, chyldren:



See what I mean? It's upbeat and pure adrenaline rush, but there's some kind of underlying, angst-ridden sadness to it, a la Robyn's "Dancing On My Own," Texas' "Inner Smile" and Kylie's "All The Lovers." Like, you want to dance, but you're crying as you do so.

And therein lies the problem; Whipped Cream Tits really shouldn't be inciting these kind of emotions. Granted, I haven't seen the writing credits on this one. But something tells me that even if all she does is sneezes in the studio, she gets co-authorship of whatever tune is being recorded that moment.

But giving credit where credit is due, Perry sounds stronger and more impassioned here vocally than she ever has before. (What up, Pro Tools?)

At any rate, I dug "California Gurls" for about two or three spins before it made me want to put a power drill up to my forehead. We'll have to see how long the rascally charm of "Teenage Dream" lasts.

Maybe Katy's just destined to leave me forever feeling hot and then cold.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Robyn Reveals 'Body Talk Pt. 2'

Hot! Robyn unveiled the cover for Body Talk Pt. 2 today on her official site. She also threw on the tracklist and noted that Klas Åhlund, Kleerup, Savage Skulls, Diplo and Snoop Dogg are all on board.

1. IN MY EYES
2. INCLUDE ME OUT
3. HANG WITH ME
4. LOVE KILLS
5. WE DANCE TO THE BEAT
6. CRIMINAL INTENT
7. U SHOULD KNOW BETTER feat. SNOOP DOGG
8. INDESTRUCTIBLE (acoustic version)

Can't wait to see her live with Kelis tomorrow night!

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Enrique Iglesias' Pants Still On = Stuck At #8 Again

Let's face it—until Enrique Iglesias gives it up and fulfills that promise to water ski in the buff now that Spain won the World Cup, "I Like It" is never gonna move into the upper reaches of the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. This week the single spends a second week at #8. C'mon, Enrique—drop those pants and make the world scream bailamos already!



Alright, on to the real news. Eminem and Rihanna's "Love The Way You Lie" has finally knocked Katy Perry's "California Gurls" off the top of the chart. Both songs are completely saturating radio right now, so it's kind of like choosing between death by firing squad rather than death by having a grenade shoved in your mouth like a ball gag—something Katy Perry is probably really up on.

Further down the Hot 100, Adam Lambert's "If I Had You" inches up to #69. Hey, at least now it's bested the #72 peak of his version of "No Boundaries," right?

Sigh. And as expected, the party couldn't last forever for Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite here in the U.S. without a hit single or some promo appearances to support it. This week the LP drops from its debut position of #19 to #89 on the Top 200 Albums chart.

But on an upbeat note, Kylie's "All The Lovers" is the week's greatest gainer on the Dance/Club Play Songs chart, where it jumps up to #4.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna *1 week*
2. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg
3. "Airplanes" - B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams
4. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
5. "OMG" - Usher feat. will.i.am 
6. "Cooler Than Me" - Mike Posner
7. "Billionaire" - Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars
8. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
9. "Find Your Love" - Drake
10. "Ridin' Solo" - Jason Derulo

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It's A Full Radio Rip Of Ace Of Base's "All For You"

This is far less exciting now that we hear the whole thing. Ace Of Base's "All For You" has been sent off to various European radio stations, so naturally a rip of it has leaked.

Musically it's there (though could be a tad more "up"). Vocally it just makes me think that if they do live shows with these two new girls singing the old AOB stuff, they'd better wear protective armor.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Katy Perry Should Have Gone With The "Teenage Dream" Single Cover For Her Album

Here's Katy Perry looking like she just got double-stuffed against a brick wall in the alleyway behind Safeway on her Teenage Dream album cover.

Sorry, but no amount of cotton candy shooting out of this broad's ass is ever distract from her mediocre vocal talent and the fact that "California Gurls" needs to be retired from its four-times-an-hour rotation on Top 40 radio.

The "Teenage Dream" single cover was better.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Katy Perry Looks Like Some B-Movie Wenchbag On Her 'Teenage Dream' Album Single Cover

She just needs the Creature From The Black Lagoon to shove her whipped cream cans in his mouth and bite down hard.

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The 'Body Talk Pt. 2' Version of Robyn's "Hang With Me" Is Pretty Effing Sublime

Just when you thought Robyn wouldn't be able to top "Dancing On My Own"—oh, fuck that. You knew she had a lot more in her. Case in point: the single version of "Hang With Me" (the acoustic version is on Body Talk Pt. 1) that's set to appear on Body Talk Pt. 2 (out September 6).

I lover this broad. Got my tickets to see her with Kelis on Friday here in Hollywood. Should be quite a do.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Kylie Minogue Does "All The Lovers" On 'Alan Carr: Chatty Man'

I posted that clip of Kylie doing "Get Outta My Way" on Alan Carr: Chatty Man last night. Now someone finally slapped her performance of "All The Lovers" on YouTube. The dancers make me feel randy.

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Kylie Minogue's "Get Outta My Way" Live TV Debut On 'Alan Carr: Chatty Man'

For her TV debut of "Get Outta My Way," the second single off Aphrodite, Kylie Minogue hit up Alan Carr's UK program Chatty Man.

She's got her work cut out for her with that jam, since it's basically got a majorly over-produced, high octane chorus that would be hard for most pop stars to tackle live. But Kylie ably distracts from that fact with a backing track and some choreographed dance moves.

If there's a Minogue single that deserves to be her first British #1 in seven years, it's this. Truly a standout on Aphrodite.

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

M.I.A.'s Completely Massive Flop

Professor Green and Lily Allen's "Just Be Good To Green" makes me want to ram a pitchfork through my face, so naturally it debuted this week higher on the UK singles chart (#5) than Mark Ronson's far superior new jam "Bang Bang Bang" (#6).



But really, I'm just kind of glad for the fail of M.I.A.'s new album Maya. It flops into the UK album chart at #21, while her single "XXXO" tanks at #26. Sorry, baby—next time you feel like ripping countless other pop stars to shreds in the press, why don't you just stuff one of your tits in your mouth? Mmmmm—tastes like whore.

On to classier dames, Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite slips to #2 on the Brit album chart, while her single "All The Lovers" slides from #9 in its fifth week to #12.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Airplanes" - B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams *1 week*
2. "We No Speak Americano" - Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP
3. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
4. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry
5. "Just Be Good To Green" - Professor Green feat. Lily Allen *new*
6. "Bang Bang Bang" - Mark Ronson and The Business Intl *new*
7. "The Club Is Alive" - JLS
8. "Pack Up" - Eliza Doolittle
9. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
10. "My First Kiss" - 3OH!3 feat. Ke$ha

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Ace Of Base Return With "All For You"

It's reunion fever on Planet Pop these days. But too bad only half of the original Ace Of Base members are on board for their second coming. (Last year they lost Jenny, while Linn had departed after 1998 album Flowers.)

Yes, now Ulf and Jonas have two new broads in the ranks, Clara Hagman and Julia Williamson. (Note: this is nothing new, as they were talking about adding at least one new member as far back as last summer.) I recall there being some drama when Jenny posted messages on Twitter saying that the band wouldn't be called Ace Of Base as long as the original members weren't taking part. Well, so much for that.

Below is 28 seconds of new single "All For You," which is being sent out to European radio today.



On one hand, as an AOB fan from day one, I want to rail against this new version of the band. Unfortunately this song is mucking it all up by sounding fantastic...

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Stuart Price Spices Up The Take That/Robbie Williams Reunion

Today it announced on the official Take That site that Robbie Williams has officially rejoined the band 15 years to the month after he quit. Gee—shocking. No, really.

Says the That's official site:
Following months of speculation Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams confirmed today that they have been recording a new studio album as a five piece, which they will release in November of this year. It is the first time they've recorded a full album together since the release of their number one album Nobody Else, back in 1995.

'Getting the five of us to be in a room together, although always a dream, never actually seemed like becoming a reality. Now the reality of the five of us making a record together feels like a dream. It's been an absolute delight spending time with Rob again. But I'm still a better footballer' - Mark Owen.

'I get embarrassingly excited when the five of us are in a room. It feels like coming home' - Robbie Williams.

'Flippin' brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I'm over the moon that Robbie's back with us, however long it lasts. I just want to enjoy our time with him. Life is beautifully strange sometimes' - Jason Orange.

The reunion of reunions took place in New York last September, following Take That's record-breaking The Circus Live tour. Shortly afterwards all five of the original Take That secretly wrote and recorded the six songs which would set the foundation for the forthcoming album.

Since then the band have been hard at work finishing their new, as yet untitled, record, which will be released through Polydor Records in November. The album has been produced by Stuart Price.
Jesus. Stuart Price, who recently swizzed up Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite, Brandon Flowers' Flamingo and Scissor Sisters' Night Work, must never sleep.

Here's video of the newly-reunited quintet in the studio with Mr. Price:



So should we refer to Take That 2.0 now as Take That 3.0 or Take That 1.0 Take 2? Either way, Robbie's got a collection out in September—which will contain the Gary Barlow duet "Shame"—called In And Out Of Consciousness—The Greatest Hits 1990 -2010.

Here's the cover, which was revealed yesterday:

And here's the tracklist (only one Take That song? WTF?):

CD1

1 Shame (with Gary Barlow)
2 Heart And I
3 You Know Me
4 Bodies
5 Morning Sun
6 She’s Madonna
7 Lovelight
8 Rudebox
9 Sin Sin Sin
10 Advertising Space
11 Make Me Pure
12 Tripping
13 Misunderstood
14 Radio
15 Sexed Up
16 Something Beautiful
17 Come Undone
18 Feel
19 Mr Bojangles

CD2

1 I Will Talk And Hollywood Will Listen
2 Somethin’ Stupid (with Nicole Kidman)
3 The Road To Mandalay
4 Eternity
5 Let Love Be Your Energy
6 Supreme
7 Kids (with Kylie Minogue)
8 Rock DJ
9 It’s Only Us
10 She’s The One
11 Strong
12 No Regrets
13 Millennium
14 Let Me Entertain You
15 Angels
16 South Of The Border
17 Lazy Days
18 Old Before I Die
19 Freedom
20 Everything Changes (with Take That)

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Enrique Iglesias' "I Like It" Would Go To #1 If He'd Take His Pants Off

Other than yesterday's news that Kylie Minogue racked up her first U.S. Top 20 album in eight years with Aphrodite, it's a pretty snoozy chart week.

Most noteworthy is Enrique Iglesias, whose "I Like It" climbs to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. It's only his fourth single to crack the Top 10 in the U.S., and his highest charting song since 2001, when "Hero" reached #3. I just kind of wish he didn't have to sell his soul to Pitbull and Jersey Shore to do it.

All that said, I liked that song about ping pong a lot better. Why couldn't that have become a big hit here? Enrique's album Euphoria debuted at #10 over on the Top 200 this week.

On the lower end, Adam Lambert's "If I Had You" moves up 12 notches to #73. It's been a month since the music video premiered. Here's hoping the single ends up being a slow burner like "Whataya Want From Me," and eventually climbs to a decent position.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg *6 weeks*
2. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. "Airplanes" - B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams
4. "OMG" - Usher feat. will.i.am
5. "Billionaire" - Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars
6. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
7. "Cooler Than Me" - Mike Posner
8. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
9. "Find Your Love" - Drake
10. "Ridin' Solo" - Jason Derulo

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Kylie Minogue Interview (Part Two), And 'Aphrodite' Charts In The U.S. Top 20

First off, congrats to Kylie Minogue for landing Aphrodite at #19 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart here in the States. Her only LP to reach higher than that was Fever, which hit #3 in 2002—and that one had the benefit of her massive hit "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" behind it.

To cap off the Kylie mania, Instinct has posted the second part of my d'luvvly interview with her on their website. So be sure to check that out. (Read the first part here.)

And below are some leftover bits from the interview that you won't read in either the magazine or on the Instinct site.

You expressed some thoughts you have now about X in hindsight. But I have to say, I still have that CD in my car and I listen to it at least once a week.
KYLIE MINOGUE: Oh! A lot of people tell me they still listen to it all the time. Like, they absolutely love it. And I think there were some amazing moments on it—perhaps even some moments that were a bit ahead of their time, like “Speakerphone.” People in the wider sense didn’t quite get that, but now I think you could put that on radio today. So, it’s just trying to get a lot of things right. I feel like this album [Aphrodite], the boat is rocking less. It feels like we’re a bit more on track without sacrificing those feelings of hearing something new and something exciting.

Let's discuss some of your unreleased work. [Note: she goes into much more detail in the magazine on this topic.]
Sadly I didn’t have songs like “Flower” or “Ruffle My Feathers” on X. And part of me wishes I did, but that’s another story. But at least I was able to do them on tour.

“Flower” is such a beautiful song and seems very personal. Sigh. It’d be nice if that were to see the light of day in a recorded version sometime!
Aww! [Laughs] I will do my best. Promise!

I’m interested in who you’re a fan of at the moment, music-wise. What are you listening to these days?
Let me just look on my iTunes. What have we got going on there? Ellie Goulding.

I just got that CD yesterday!
It’s brilliant. The first single is amazing and the second one just is doubly amazing.

The “Guns And Horses” one.
Yes. What have I purchased…just going down my file. I’ve got Deadmau5 on there. I was really taken with Flavors Of Entanglement, Alanis Morissette. She’s got a song called “Giggling For No Reason,” which I really life. Miike Snow. Santigold. Cicada. Bird And The Bee. Lady Gaga. MGMT. Etta James. The Killers, The Killers, The Killers!

They worked with Stuart also.
Yes! Exactly. Animal Collective, I love them. So my taste is diverse.

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The Saturdays' New Album 'Headlines' Isn't An Album, It's An EP?

What rock have I been sleeping under? I thought The Saturdays' Headlines! was going to be a full-on album? Guess it's an EP.

Oh well, I've expressed my thoughts on these broads post-Wordshaker. This had better be good. Below is some trash Sats member Una Healy (not the one who got bitten by the horsefly, sadly) said in an interview with RTE TEN:
"We have a single out called 'Missing You' on the 9th of August... Then we have a mini album coming out at the end of August, loads of summer shows all over the UK , performing all the time, and that's it really! And we have a book coming out in September, an autobiography about who we were before the band, how we got into the band and how it's been until now."
Headlines! is out August 16. Here's the tracklist:

1. Missing You
2. Ego
3. Higher
4. Forever Is Over
5. Died In Your Eyes
6. Karma
7. Puppet
8. One Shot (Starsmith Mix)

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Monday, July 12, 2010

So, The 7th Heaven Remix Of Kylie Minogue's "Get Outta My Way" Sounds Pretty Spectacular, No?



Bring on the full mix!

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Color Your Life WIth Kylie Minogue's 'Sat.1' Ad

Kylie Minogue shilling for German TV channel Sat.1? Sure, why not? If anything, the ad makes for a colorful alternative video to "All The Lovers."

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Brandon Flowers Aims To Be Pop-Rock's Golden Boy On His 'Flamingo' Album Cover

I have to say, I'm getting more and more into this idea of Brandon Flowers as a solo artist after seeing his music video for "Crossfire" and now the Flamingo album cover art. (Album out September 14.)

Longtime Chart Riggers will know that this blog's first year revolved around mucho fandom for Hot Fuss and B-Flo himself. By Sam's Town, my (as well as a multitude of others') patience had worn a bit thin for the band. And while Day & Age was a return to synthy form for the Vegas quartet, the magic sparkle shooting out of Brandon's shorts seemed to have faded.

I guess I'm open to the idea of a full-on Flowers renaissance. While it doesn't seem like solo material is necessary from him, what can it possibly hurt? ("Crossfire," if anything, proves that the guy still has some decently-melodic asexual angst left to croon about.) So far, so good.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kylie Minogue's 'Aphrodite' Tops The UK Chart

Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite bested new releases from Enrique Iglesias (#6) and Feeder (#16) on the UK album chart, where it bumped Eminem's Recovery off the top spot. (In Australia, however, Eminem stayed at #1 while Kylie entered the chart at #2—HATERS!!!!!)

It should be a pretty victorious week for Kylie, as Aphrodite also cracked the Top 10 in Belgium (#6), Ireland (#5), The Netherlands (#4) and Spain (#3), and looks to be on course for becoming Minogue's first U.S. Top 20 album since Fever (which reached #3 in 2002).

"Thank you all around the world for your #Aphrodite LOVE!!! Amazing chart positions everywhere and I am absolutely thrilled!!!! Love Kylie x," she tweeted today.

And here she is sending the gays into a frenzy at G-A-Y at Heaven in London last night:



Sorry, Enrique—but that's what euphoria looks like. Aphrodite is now Kylie's fifth album to hit #1 in the UK, following Kylie (1988), Enjoy Yourself (1989), Greatest Hits (1992) and Fever (2001). 

Over on the singles chart, Minogue's "All The Lovers" slips from #3 to #9 in its fourth week. Meanwhile, JLS rack up their third UK #1 single with "The Club Is Alive."

Sigh. Good day to be a Kylie fan.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "The Club Is Alive" - JLS *new* *1 week*
2. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry
3. "Airplanes" - B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams
4. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
5. "We No Speak Americano" - Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP *new*
6. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull
7. "My First Kiss" - 3OH!3 feat. Ke$ha *new*
8. "Alejandro" - Lady Gaga
9. ""All The Lovers" - Kylie Minogue
10. "Kickstarts" - Example

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kylie Minogue Has 'Out' Covered

Kylie Minogue is leaving no gay base uncovered. In addition to her Attitude cover and Instinct interview (done by yours d'luvvly), the artist I've played 797 times over the past seven days (according to Last FM) also graces the cover of OUT.

[Pic via Loft965.com]

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Friday, July 09, 2010

It's A Picture Of Dannii Minogue's Baby

Dannii Minogue literally just tweeted this photo of her and Kris Smith posing with baby Ethan Edward Smith. I'm just glad they're not whoring the first pics of the kid out to some high-bidding rag like Hello.

Dannii wrote, "Hey everyone thanks for all your wishes, we are loving baby Ethan and Kris is the best dad in the world. X"

Meanwhile, if I were that kid, I'd be naughty for like the next 20 years. 'Cause daddy looks like he spanks so good.

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Listen To The Alex Gardner EP

Handsome Xenomania-groomed teen Alex Gardner has an EP that's being released in Italy on July 13. Hopefully this isn't a case of his planned album being scrapped in lieu of this sort-of release!

The four songs that leaked off his sampler in early February are present here, as are two new jams: "I Wanna Be With Her" and "You See With Me"—the latter of which has a gorgeous middle eight that kicks in at the 2:33 mark and is a return to straight-up brilliance for the Brian Higgins crew.

Unfortunately, you can't hear that part in the EP megamix below. But you can hear full versions of all the songs over at MTV Italy.



1. "I Wanna Be With Her"
2. "Yesterday's News"
3. "There Goes My Heart"
4. "I'm Not Mad"
5. "You See With Me"
6. "Heartbreak"

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

It's Brandon Flowers' "Crossfire" Music Video

Brandon Flowers' music video for "Crossfire," his sensitive grower of a first solo single, premiered today. You know, this song took a few listens to work its way under my skin. But under there is where it's at.

Anyway, the vid features B-Flo being beaten and tortured by a pair of ninjas throughout the four+ minutes. Naturally, the first person to jump to his rescue is a butt-kicking Charlize Theron. Too bad she wasn't decked out in her Monster garb. That would have been hot.

The clip ends with them driving off in a beat-up pickup truck into the sunset. Charlize is at the wheel and she puts an arm around poor, fragile Brandon. She's such a dude.



Brandon Flowers' Stuart Price/Daniel Lanois/Brendan O'Brien-produced solo album Flamingo is due out September 14.

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Taio Cruz And Enrique Iglesias Have Far Less Annoying Summer Hits Than Katy Perry

I'm was kind of officially over Katy Perry's "California Gurls"—now at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a fifth week—after about four plays back in May. And if you ask me, there are far better "Songs Of The Summer" out there, i.e. tracks that aren't necessarily the best ones around, but likely the lesser of the evils you're going to hear relentlessly played on the radio till you want to stab someone through the skull with a beach umbrella.

One such jam would be Taio Cruz's "Dynamite," which was co-written by Max Martin and produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco. With Ke$ha's "Your Love Is My Drug" and Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" dropping out of the Top 10, there's room for Taio's upbeat single to hop in at #7. Pure pop.



The next one wore me down much slower. I almost feel ashamed to own up to the fact that I like Enrique Iglesias' "I Like It" (for now), for the sheer fact that it's somewhat tied in to MTV's bumpit-wound trainwreck series Jersey Shore. Alas, it's grown on me like Russell Brand's bed monster snaking up Katy Perry's thigh at 7 a.m.

At any rate, I'm starting to warm to "I Like It" with each listen, and this week the song jumps up to #18, thereby becoming Iglesias' highest charting single on the Hot 100 since "Escape" reached #12 back in 2002. Over on iTunes "I Like It" moved up to #4, where it's been sitting for the past few days. So expect it to probably start threatening the Top 10 next week.

 I just wish there was a version available sans Pitbull.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg *5 weeks*
2. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. "OMG" - Usher feat. will.i.am
4. "Airplanes" - B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams
5. "Billionaire" - Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars
6. "Cooler Than Me" - Mike Posner
7. "Dynamite" - Taio Cruz
8. "Find Your Love" - Drake
9. "Ridin' Solo" - Jason Derulo
10. "Not Afraid" - Eminem

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Kylie Minogue's 'Aphrodite' Headed For UK #1, US Top 20

It looks like all the chart rigging is paying off! While America is currently putting its stilettos in the popcorn ceiling for Eminem's Recovery, Kylie Minogue also looks set to carve out her own little corner in the upper reaches of the Billboard Top 200 next week.

Today the publication cautiously projected the following: "Both Enrique Iglesias' Euphoria and Bret Michaels' Custom Built are also possibly headed for top 20 debuts, as is Kylie Minogue's Aphrodite."

Hot! If that happens, it'll be her second highest-charting U.S. album, after Fever. Just as a refresher, here's how her other LPs that charted here played out:

* Kylie #53 (1988)
* Fever #3 (2002)
* Body Language #42 (2004)
* X #139 (2008)

Meanwhile, NME also reported today that Aphrodite is selling twice as many copies as Eminem's Recovery in the UK, and is set to become her fifth chart-topping album there on Sunday.

Get it, Kylie! You deserve it.

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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Dannii MInogue Welcomes Son Ethan Edward

Looks like Kylie wasn't the only Minogue who had a release lined up this week! Little sis Dannii Minogue and her sexy piece-of-tail rugby player boyfriend Kris Smith welcomed son Ethan Edward in Melbourne, Australia, on Monday. Congrats, Danielle Jane!

Kylie now has three nephews. And that kid's gonna be hot. Brendan, the middle Minogue, has two sons. Here's a pic of Kylie with her bro circa 1993:

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My Kylie Minogue Interview (Part One) And 'Aphrodite' Review In 'Instinct' Magazine

Here's part of the interview I did with Kylie Minogue for Instinct (click the image to make it a readable size). It was fashioned into the mag's "Soapbox" feature, wherein I asked her a series of questions loosely based around one theme (in this case, fandom). She also talks about her BFF Jake Shears a bit here.

Yes, I get the tiny little "moderated by" by-line that's nearly hidden in the spine in the lower left corner above. (A rule I believe I had a hand in establishing back when I worked there full time!)

I also reviewed Aphrodite in the July/August issue. Here's the writeup:
Rest of Kylie interview to come!

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Saturdays Are Super Classy Broads

I have to admit, that last album from The Saturdays was such unbelievable shit that I went off them real quick. Which was a shame, since I was totally into Chasing Lights for a stretch in late 2008 and early 2009.

And so I barely paid attention to "Missing You," the first single off the Sats' upcoming third album Headlines—mostly because the day the video premiered a week or two back, it wasn't able to be viewed in the U.S. Fuck that shit.

However, the broads performed the song for the first time live at T4 On The Beach on Sunday, though member Mollie King had to sit the gig out because she got bit by a horsefly and is on crutches. Which is so classy that now I'm kind of back into these strippers again.

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Kylie Minogue's 'Aphrodite' Is Out Today!

Hooray! Aphrodite is currently #4 ("Experience" edition) and #12 (regular edition) on U.S. iTunes. Here's Kylie launching her album in Ibiza and confirming that the next single will indeed be "Get Outta My Way."

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Monday, July 05, 2010

Kylie Minogue And Pete Waterman Do 'GMTV'

Here's Kylie Minogue talking about Aphrodite, etc. on GMTV from Friday. There's a pre-taped segment featuring Pete Waterman, who recalls that the first time he met Kylie she was doing basket-weaving in the reception area. Funny, she doesn't seem to remember that. (It was knitting, Pete!)



Here's Kylie talking about Neighbours. (Sorry, folks—she won't be making a cameo.)



More Minogue, talking about getting tatted up for her small part in an indie movie called Jack And Diane, which stars Jena Malone and was shot in New York.



Aphrodite is out now in Europe and Japan, drops in North America tomorrow!

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Kylie Minogue Keeps Climbing + The Contest Winners

First off, thanks to everyone who entered the Kylie Minogue Aphrodite/"All The Lovers" giveaway I did here on the blog the other day. Several of you came close, but in the end only two got all three answers correct. I would have taken either Fever or X as my favorite album, and so the winners turned out to be XOLondon (as Vinny Vero said on Twitter upon hearing this, "They don't call him Chart Rigger for nothing!") and Pourhomme80. Congrats, guys!

For the singles, I was looking for along the lines of "What Kind Of Fool (Heard All That Before)," "On A Night Like This," "Better The Devil You Know," "Put Yourself In My Place," "Hand On Your Heart," "In My Arms," "Breathe," etc. (Or, as the two winners guessed, "I Should Be So Lucky" and "Love At First Sight.")

Anyway, jumping to the new UK singles chart, Kylie actually moves up three positions in her third week with "All The Lovers," which now sits at a new high of #3. The only other single she ever peaked at #3 with was "In Your Eyes" back in 2002.

By Tuesday, Aphrodite will have been released in most territories. I saw a review the other day (was it on NPR's site?) that likened Kylie to soccer: huge everywhere in the world except America.

That said, this American sure loves her. In fact, I'm trying to figure out if I've blogged this much about one artist's upcoming album ever before. Maybe I'll go shoot off some bottle rockets and think about it. (Oh, the irony of doing a UK chart post on Independence Day....) Happy 4th Of July!

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry *2 weeks*
2. "Airplanes" - B.o.B feat. Hayley Williams
3. "All The Lovers" - Kylie Minogue
4. "I Like It" - Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull *new*
5. "Wavin' Flag" - K'naan
6. "Love The Way You Lie" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
7. "Alejandro" - Lady Gaga
8. "Kickstarts" - Example
9. "Commander" - Kelly Rowland feat. David Guetta
10. "Not Afraid" - Eminem

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