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

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Few Seconds Of New Will.i.am-Produced Britney Spears Song "The Big Fat Bass"

Lady Gaga's new video is such trash I think I need to cleanse my soul with this clip of new Britney Spears song "The Big Fat Bass," which was produced by will.i.am. Oh, fuck—what am I saying?

Fergieney sounds like a total robot ho, and this might as well be "The Time (Dirty Bit) Pt. II," it's so bland. The only good part is that slightly house-y piano at the beginning.

Pop music in 2011 may have just seriously jumped the shark today.

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It's Take That's Spacey "Kidz" Video

If you're looking for a sci fi-themed music video infused with a bit of menace that's a far more enjoyable ride than Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," then look no further than Take That's "Kidz."

The UK man band arrives from outer space and invades the Earth to have a little song and dance in the clip for their second single off their smash album Progress. It's a simple concept—albeit one that borrows from several recent movies—but it works.

I have tickets to see these hot pieces live in Italy in four-and-a-half months. Can't wait!


It's Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" Video

Alright, all you Madonna loons. Let's just get this out of the way right up front. There are absolutely no similarities between Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and Madge's "Vogue" music videos...

...none at all.

I have to say, while I defended the song two-and-a-half weeks ago when it premiered, the Nick Knight/Haus Of Gaga co-directed video for "Born This Way" falls into the same trap the one for "Alejandro" did: dark, depressing and doesn't match the feel of the song at all.

What's with all her clips made for the gay community being these dreary, murky gloom fests, while sassy lady-anthem jams like "Telephone" get bright, eye-popping vids?



Sunday, February 27, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Oh, Yeah? Well, Just Wait Till Adele's Sex Tape Leaks!

Adele's sex tape—sorry, album21 was finally released in the U.S. this past week, and is on track to debut at #1 of the Billboard Top 200. But in the UK, her sex tape has been inserted in the VCR for the past five weeks. She also thrust her ballad "Someone Like You" at the top of the UK singles chart, where it stays for a second week.

Let's just hope Adele's sex tape is nominated for 69 Oscars next year, because that's the only way the Academy will redeem itself from the utter shit telecast happening right now.

PS Been traveling this weekend. Back to normal trash tomorrow.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Someone Like You" - Adele *2 weeks*
2. "Price Tag" - Jessie J feat. B.o.B
3. "S&M (Come On)" - Rihanna
4. "Rolling In The Deep" - Adele
5. "Champion" - Chipmunk feat. Chris Brown  
6. "Good Girl" - Alexis Jordan *new*
7. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars
8. "Born This Way" - Lady Gaga
9. "Yeah 3X" - Chris Brown
10. "(Fuckin') Perfect" - Pink

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

James Van Der Beek Whips Off His Bra In Ke$ha's "Blow" Video

Jesus, I travel for one day and Ke$ha has to go and release her video for "Blow," which features laughing unicorns, rainbow laser guns and cheesy (literally) dialogue and sexy flirtation between the New Queen Of Soul and James Van Der Beek. The classiest part is when he reaches into his shirt and rips off his black bra.

And just what is it about a campy video that can often make a highly mediocre song seem listenable? Major bonus for "James Van Der Douche."

P.S. still not understanding how this trash tune took six writers and four producers to get made.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

U.S. Chart Roundup: Heh, Heh! Heh, Heh! Dr. Dre Said "Faggots"! Heh, Heh!

In this week's upper tier of the Billboard Hot 100, there are three songs produced by Stargate ("Firework," "S&M," "Black And Yellow"), three with the word "fuck" in the title ("Fuck You," "Fuckin' Perfect," "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)," two co-written by Bruno Mars ("Fuck You," "Grenade"), two containing the word "lesbian" in the lyrics ("Born This Way," "Black And Yellow"), one with "transgendered" in the lyrics ("Born This Way") and one with the word "faggots"("I Need A Doctor").

That's a shame about Dr. Dre's "I Need A Doctor," because I truly love Skylar Grey's haunting chorus on the single. And I've really come around to Eminem, who, after a seemingly hostile-toward-the-gays start, has said he has no problem with gay marriage and is besties with Elton John (did you catch Sir Elt's Rolling Stone cover story a few weeks back? Traaaaaashy—though read the whole thing if you get a chance. Good stuff.)

But it's Dre himself who drops the F-bomb in "I Need A Doctor" when he raps, "When the chips were down you just laughed at us, now you about to feel the fuckin' wrath of Aftermath, faggots." Okay, so the good (?) doctor is using the term in a general sense, targeting all the fair-weather MCs who turned their backs on him when he took a chance mentoring young white rapper Em. But still—faggots. It's 2011. Really?

Wonder what gay rights activist Lady Gaga, who has her own brand of headphones under Dre's "Beats By Dr. Dre" line, thinks? Maybe we're just not supposed to talk about it...

Elsewhere, Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" drops out of the Top 10 and lands at #11 in its sixth week on the chart, while Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" finally cracks the Top 40 by jumping 15 positions to #26. Previously the British singer reached #21 with her 2008 single "Chasing Pavements."

Meanwhile, Adele's 21 was released in the States this week, and is on track to debut at #1 on the next Top 200 album chart. Bet you won't catch her using "faggots" in a song.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Born This Way" - Lady Gaga *2 weeks*
2. "Fuck You" - Cee Lo Green
3. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars 
4. "I Need A Doctor" - Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey
5. "Firework" - Katy Perry
6. "Fuckin' Perfect" - Pink
7. "S&M" - Rihanna
8. "Never Say Never" - Justin Bieber feat. Jaden Smith
9. "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris & DJ Frank E
10. "Black And Yellow" - Wiz Khalifa

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25-Seconds Of New Britney Spears Song "How I Roll"

Booooooring. This Weaveney Femme Fatale album track was produced by Bloodshy and Avant ("Toxic," "Radar," "Piece Of Me"), and isn't nearly as catchy (so far) as "I Wanna Go" and "Inside Out."

Who knows—the full thing might rock?


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ke$ha's 'I Am The Dance Commander' Remix Album Sounds As Bad As The Cover Looks

I'm pretty sure I could have tipped a bucket of my own puke over a photo of Ke$ha and come up with something more artistic.

Trash list Tracklist for I Am The Dance Commander + I Command You To Dance: The Remix Album:

01 Blow (Cirkut Remix)
02 The Sleazy Remix (feat. Andre 3000)
03 TiK Tok Untold Remix
04 F**k Him He’s A DJ
05 Animal Switch Remix
06 Your Love Is My Drug Dave Audé Club Remix
07 We R Who We R Fred Falke Club Remix
08 Take It Off Billboard Remix
09 TiK Tok Chuck Buckett’s Veruca Salt Remix
10 Blah Blah Blah (feat. 3OH!3) DJ Skeet Skeet Radio Remix

I think we're going to stay broken-up for good.

[Via Sony press release]


There's Some "Heart" In Hurts' "Sunday" Video

My favorite part in the overly-melodramatic video for Hurts' new single "Sunday"? When synth-playing background dude Adam Anderson hangs around looking glum in a driver's cap, a la Pet Shop Boys' own synth-playing background dude Chris Lowe in their 1988 video for "Heart."

My favorite quote about the "Sunday" vid from Hurts frontman Theo Hutchcraft? "We go to an exotic, beautiful place, think of a theme that no-one else will understand except us, and surround us with women so people won't ask us what it's about!"

In this case that exotic, beautiful place is Romania. The "Sunday" single is officially released in the UK this coming Monday, February 27.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

David Archuleta Video-Blogs About Being Dropped From Jive

Good ol' Archie—he does love to ramble in his video blogs. I admittedly have a soft spot for David Archuleta (though, really, kiddo—that last album, not so good) so it's nice to seem him remaining so upbeat, post label-drop from Jive.

There's a whole bunch of Zen-like hoo-ha in this video blog from the young chap, but the gist is that the Sony execs in charge of Archuleta's trajectory left the company, and the American Idol alum says it just felt like the right time to change as an artiste, and leave the label, too.

Oh, well—Baby Queen and Jive will always have "Crush."

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20 Seconds Of New Max Martin-Produced Britney Spears Song "I Wanna Go"

Okay, between the 14 teasers for the "Hold It Against Me" video and the 10-second snippet of new song "Inside Out," this bullshit marketing tactic being used for Wigney's Femme Fatale album (out March 29) needs to stop!

But, until it does...here's the 20-second clip of new jam "I Wanna Go" that Dr. Luke tweeted out last night:

Luke says it's produced by Max Martin and Shellback (who did Pink's recent hits "Raise Your Glass" and "Fuckin' Perfect," as well as Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" and Weaveney's "If U Seek Amy" and "3").

Oooh, whistling. Has someone been listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' "Home"? I'd point out that Robotney sounds more like an Auto-Tuned machine than ever here, but—business as usual!

For an excellent read detailing the disturbing/creepy factor that Pattyhearstney herself hasn't uttered one single word publicly since the "Hold It Against Me"/Femme Fatale era kicked off in January, check out The Prophet's post from this past Friday.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Well, Now We Know Why David Archuleta Isn't On That 'Idol' Greatest Hits Album...

...because his label hates him. Well, okay, maybe that's not the reason David Archuleta, who I affectionately used to refer to as Baby Queen (said with love!) here on CR, doesn't show up on the upcoming American Idol 10th Anniversary - The Hits compilation, despite having had a Platinum-selling hit with "Crush" in 2008.

Still, Archie has reportedly been dropped by not only his label, Jive, but also his management company. And, really, things weren't looking so hot when his sophomore LP The Other Side Of Down was released in October last year. There appeared to be minor promo set up for the poor guy—he appeared on The Wendy Williams Show (low rent) and Live! With Regis And Kelly (zzzzzz), while a Today Show appearance (a biggie) was canceled last minute.

Billboard reported on Friday that The Other Side Of Down has sold only 67,000 copies, compared to the 765,000 shifted by his self-titled debut. Archuleta came in second to David Cook (quadruple snooze) in the 2008 season of American Idol.

Here's the poor guy in much happier times, when "Crush" was played for the first time on New York's Z100 three years ago:

Baby Queen tweeted the following, post-drop: "Thanks for the support you continue to show! Means a lot. Just wanted to check in [and] let you know things are going where I feel they should."

Well, I'll just repeat what I said when "Crush" landed on Chart Rigger's 10 Best Singles Of 2008 list: "Someday, when you're old enough, Archie, a big male stripper is gonna crush your head like a peanut between his thighs."

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Three Videos Worth Sitting Through: Beth Ditto, Cut Copy & The Sound Of Arrows

Occasionally I get so bogged down with the busy task of watching old Beavis And Butt-Head episodes that time slips away and I completely forget to put up a few music videos that are actually catching my fancy at the moment. Here are some from the past week or so...

Of all the pop queens currently lifting from old-school Madonna—her melodies, her outfits, her brazen sexuality (yes, we're look at you, Eminem)—no one does it better than Beth Ditto in her "Justify My Love" homage clip for "I Wrote The Book." Hooking up with Simian Mobile Disco for her electro EP called, uh, EP (out March 8 on Deconstruction) is the best thing she's done so far.

I caught Robyn live on Friday night, and the next gig on my schedule is Cut Copy. I listened to the Aussie dance trio's last two albums when I wrote a script while between jobs two years ago (any producers looking to make a modestly-budgeted indie movie out there?), and their new one Zonoscope has soundtracked my past month or so. Here's "Need You Now," which kind of sounds to me like Echo & The Bunnymen's "Bring On The Dancing Horses."

I've been smitten with The Sound Of Arrows since I reviewed "Into The Clouds" back in 2009 over on the Pop Trash Addicts Pop Panel. Here in the States, the Swedish duo's Danger! EP is available on iTunes (though it doesn't contain anything nearly as good as "Into The Clouds"). And today PopJustice put up their video for new single "Nova," which is out in the UK on April 25.

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Sunday, February 20, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Adele And Take That Get A Post-BRITs Boost

Adele's 21 has been on top of the UK album chart for the past four weeks, and while her single "Rolling In The Deep" peaked at #2 (so far), the soulful singer's "Someone Like You" has now leapt to the top of the Brit chart thanks to her performance of it at the BRITs on Tuesday.

Here in the States, 21 will finally be released this coming Tuesday. And thanks to the inclusion of "Rolling In The Deep" in the trailer for trash flick I Am Number Four—which opened this weekend—the song has now cracked the Top 10 on U.S. iTunes.

Like Adele, Take That see a bit of a boost, though not as big, following their military-themed BRITs performance of "Kidz." The single slides in at #31 a week ahead of its official release.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Someone Like You" - Adele *1 week*
2. "Price Tag" - Jessie J feat. B.o.B
3. "Born This Way" - Lady Gaga
4. "Rolling In The Deep" - Adele
5. "Champion" - Chipmunk feat. Chris Brown  
6. "S&M (Come On)" - Rihanna
7. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars
8. "Eyes Wide Shut" - JLS feat. Tinie Tempah
9. "Yeah 3X" - Chris Brown
10. "Higher" - Taio Cruz feat. Kylie Minogue

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

10 Seconds Of New Dr. Luke-Produced Britney Spears Song "Inside Out"

Last night Britney Spears and musical puppet master/Femme Fatale co-executive producer Dr. Luke tweeted out a link to a 10-second SoundCloud of new song "Inside Out." Maybe Weaveney's camp was sensing the overall lack of enthusiasm for the "Hold It Against Me" video and wanted to get folks excited about this broad again?

Well, it's hard to judge a tune by a 10-second snippet, but this already sounds way more "up" and happy than "Hold It Against Me."

Meanwhile, will.i.am posted this photo of he and Wigney in the studio together on Thursday. When did she turn into a 48-year-old cougar? And why are tracks still being recorded for Femme Fatale when the album is due out in five weeks?

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

...And That's When Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" Video Drove Me To Madness

The Jonas Akerlund-directed music video for Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" finally premiered tonight, smushed in between, of all things, episodes of Jersey Shore. Welcome to MTV prime time in the new decade, Wigney!

And speaking of wigs, Rugney's was looking quite durable in the vid. Like fiberglass. Or Rubbermaid. Hot stuff.

So anyway, the video! Well, basically Weaveney twirls around on a stage the whole time as always-present, intrusive cameras record her every move. (Because, in case you didn't know, that's how she lives her entire life!)

There's a bit at the beginning where she's popping and grinding with some hunky dancers, but I couldn't tell if they were cute, despite their Day Glo-colored hair, because I was too busy having a seizure over a.) the unmitigated ferocity of Britney's bullet belt, and 5.) the camera work.

The Wig later ends up donning what looks like the over-sized wedding dress my Aunt Connie wore to her low rent wedding at the local bingo hall back in '96 (free macaroni, y'all!). But when she starts rising off the ground, we soon realize that—oh, hell no!—Lady SpearSpear is about to shoot more kids out of her Platinum-selling taco stand! HOW did this Immaculate Britception happen?

Oh, wait—she only blows her dancers out of her dress. Meanwhile, looks like Tipsyney's been chugging Jack and playing with the Crayola magic markers again, because now she's gotten the shit all over her hands. Fuckin' Britney!!!!

Now, what's this shit? Lesbianfantasyney has split into two broads, and each is wearing the living room drapes and kicking the other one in the puss-ney! Wait—this is hot! Please, God—LET THERE BE SCISSORNEY!!!!!!!!!

Uh-oh. Did Corpseney just kick the bucket? No, no, no, pop chyldryn. For you see, that will never, ever happen. The Britney Construct does not allow for termination of the ComputerChipney program. She will simply live on through flashes of light and currents of electricity, coursing through the channels of cultures and societies long after we mere mortals are but dust.

Let's face it—I don't know what happened here. This Britney Spears clip is like a great allegory, a Twisted Music Video Enigma that may never truly reveal its intricate secrets. Something tells me even Jigsawney didn't know what the hell was going on while the cameras were rolling—she probably just followed the trail of red Skittles Jonas laid out from her front door to the soundstage.

But I'm just gonna keep watching as I lurch back and forth, till it's four in the morning, and my mouth is foaming, my eyes are crossed, and my head is swiveling from side to side, and I'm quietly whispering, "Britney...Britney...the lights are so, so pretty, Britney...."


Tween Knocks "Born This Way" Out Of The Park

This 10-year-old YouTube user named Maria caught Lady Gaga's attention yesterday when she posted her A+ ballad cover of this week's chart-topping single "Born This Way."

"Can't stop crying watching this. This is why I make music. She is the future," the Gaga tweeted. Interestingly, Maria nixed the "whether you're gay, straight or bi..." rap. Kids!


U.S. Chart Roundup: Lady Gaga Is #1, And There Are Three "Fuck" Songs In The Top 10

Much has already been made of this week's milestone Billboard Hot 100 chart, so let's just recap:

* Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" has debuted at #1
* "Born This Way" is the 1000th single to top the Hot 100
* The first #1 on the Hot 100: Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool," in 1958
* This is is Gaga's third single to top the Hot 100
* "Just Dance" and "Poker Face" were the other two
* "Born This Way" sold 448,000 downloads between last Friday and Sunday
* It's now the fourth-best debut sales week ever for a digital single
* It also marks the best opening sales week for a female artist
* It's the first #1 containing words "drag," "gay," "lesbian" & "transgendered"
* "Born This Way" is the 19th single to debut at #1

Billboard also points out another chart achievement this week: the cast of Glee has notched a grand total of 113 song entries on the Hot 100 to date, which now surpasses the record 108 by Elvis Presley.

That's great and all, but the publication clearly overlooked the MAIN triumph on the new chart: all three current hits with the word "fuck" in the title—Pink's "Fuckin' Perfect," Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)" and Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You"—are finally in the Top 10 together (now that Cee Lo's had a Grammys-fueled rebound).

And, even better, all three songs are stacked on top of each other at #5 through #7. So it's like they're—well, you know...

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Born This Way" - Lady Gaga *new* *1 week*
2. "Firework" - Katy Perry
3. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars 
4. "Black And Yellow" - Wiz Khalifa
5. "Fuckin' Perfect" - Pink
6. "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris & DJ Frank E
7. "Fuck You" - Cee Lo Green
8. "S&M" - Rihanna
9. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas
10. "Hold It Against Me" - Britney Spears

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's A Full 30 Seconds Of Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" Music Video

MTV tossed up a full 30-second preview of Weaveney's "Hold It Against Me" music video today, and now I'm about 14 shades more excited for this damn thing to finally premiere.

It's seemed like All Gaga, All The Time this past week, with the premiere of "Born This Way" and its quick ascent to the top of the singles chart. But this short clip of Brit's Jonas Akerlund-directed vid seems promising. Of course, it also offers a lot of smoke-and-mirrors shots of The Weaved One dancing (why not continuous shots, hmmm?).

There's so much to contemplate here—Wigney is confronted with her own self; Weaveney is surrounded by cameras; Extensionney looks like AN EFFING RAINBOW-COLORED BUTTERFLY!!!

This hot trash premieres in full tomorrow, at which time you can expect a full deconstruction of Rugney's video shortly after.


It's Official: Lady Gaga's "Born This Way Is The 1000th #1 Single On The 'Billboard' Hot 100

Thank Christ it wasn't something trashy like Pitbull's "Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)." The full Hot 100 will be published tomorrow.

"Born This Way" makes Lady Gaga's third #1 single (after "Just Dance" and "Poker Face"), and the 1000th different single to top the Hot 100 since the chart began in August 1958.

Billboard has compiled a chronological list of every #1 in Hot 100 history. Get it here.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The 2011 BRIT Awards Winners

The BRIT Awards, held this evening at London's 02 Arena, seemed to come hours after the Grammys. (Are they always held this close together?) Anyway, Arcade Fire took the International Album award, much the way they won Album Of The Year on this side of the pond on Sunday. And kudos to Take That (British Group) and Rihanna (International Female Solo Artist) for picking up statues, as well. Catch the full list of winners below!
Read more »

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Lady Gaga Tells Leno The Vampyre Gave Her Hiss Of Approval For "Born This Way"

Jay Leno asked Lady Gaga about the utterly lame "Born This Way" vs. Madonna's "Express Yourself" controversy last night on the Tonight Show.

Here's what she said:
“There is really no one who is a more adoring and loving Madonna fan than me. I am the hugest fan, personally and professionally. Well the good news is I got an email from her people sending me their love and support on behalf of the single. And if the queen says it shall be, then it shall be!”
So there.

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Darren Criss Covers 'Out', Uncovers Inside

Not only is Glee actor/crooner/hot piece of tail Darren Criss adept at covering songs by other artists, he's also quite skilled at covering magazines these days, too.

Following his Entertainment Weekly spread (ahem!) with Golden Globe-winning co-star Chris Colfer last month, Glee newie Darren is splashed front and center on the new issue of Out magazine. Yes, Out—which is published by those fuckers Regent/Here, who still owe me a hundred bucks from two years ago. That Out. But I'm not holding a grudge.

What the hell are we talking about? Oh, yeah—this:

[Via Pink Is The New Blog]

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Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" Set To Become The 1000th #1 Single On The Hot 100

After only two full days on sale (Friday through Sunday) before Billboard's cut-off for compiling chart data, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" single is set to crash into the #1 position on the Hot 100 this Thursday, reports the publication. And it just happens to be week that will mark the 1000th single to land at the top.

Billboard says "Born This Way" may wind up with a total number of digital downloads sold somewhere around 450,000, which would put Gaga in fourth place for best debut weeks (behind two Flo Rida singles and the Black Eyed Peas' atrocious "Boom Boom Pow"), and first among female artists (Fergie, you see, is clearly not female). Again, this comes after "Born This Way" was only on sale for two days.

It will also mark only the 19th time in the Hot 100's history that a single has debuted at #1. Meanwhile, "Born This Way" has entered Billboard's Pop Songs roundup—which tracks radio play—at #14, making it the second-highest debut in the chart's 18-year history (behind Mariah Carey's "Dreamlover").

Over in the UK, "Born This Way" debuted at #3 on Sunday.

This is all good news. Something just seems right in the world when Lady Gaga, the biggest pop icon this decade, has the milestone 1000th #1 single.

The first #1 single on the Hot 100 was Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool," back in August 1958.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 Grammy Awards Winners

If you slept under a rock all day, you missed The Grammys. I'm mentally fried from live-blogging the event over at Idolator, but here are some performances, plus some main winners...

Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"

Cee Lo Green & Gwyneth Paltrow, "Forget You (aka Fuck You)"

Rihanna & Drake, "What's My Name"

Rihanna, Eminem, Skylar Grey & Dr. Dre, "Love The Way You Lie/I Need A Doctor"

Album Of The Year: The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
Song Of The Year: "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
Record Of The Year: "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum
Best New Artist: Esperanza Spalding
Pop Vocal Album: The Fame Monster - Lady Gaga
Female Pop Vocal Performance: "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga 
Male Pop Vocal Performance: "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars 
Pop Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group: "Hey Soul Sister (Live) - Train 
Pop Collaboration: "Imagine" - Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal
Short Form Music Video: "Bad Romance" - Lady Gaga  
Dance Recording: "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna
Dance/Electronic Album: La Roux - La Roux
Remixed Recording, Non-Classical: "Revolver" - Madonna 
Country Album: Need You Now - Lady Antebellum
Country Song: "Need You Now" - Lady Antebellum 
Rap Album: Recovery - Eminem
Rap Song: "Empire State Of Mind" - Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys 
Rock Album: The Resistance - Muse 
Rock Song: "Angry World" - Neil Young
Alternative Music Album: Brothers - The Black Keys
R&B Album: Wake Up! - John Legend and The Roots
R&B Song: "Shine"- John Legend and The Roots 
R&B Male Vocal Performance: "There Goes My Baby" - Usher
R&B Female Vocal Performance: "Bittersweet" - Fantasia
R&B Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group: "Solider Of Love" - Sade
Urban/Alternative Performance: "Fuck You" - Cee Lo Green

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UK Chart Roundup: Lady Gaga Crashes In At #3, Madonna Hisses From The Crypt

Jessie J's "Price Tag" sold over 90,000 copies, according to The Official Charts Company, and retains the #1 position on the UK chart for a second week. But the bigger story is how Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" moved 60,000 in just over one day (34 hours) to debut at #3.

Yeah, you know—that song that everyone's trashing by saying it rips off Madonna? Or pitting against Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me"? That one. #3 after a day-and-a-half, bitches.

See, when it comes to pop stars delivering relevant music in the new millennium, don't go for second best, baby...

The UK Top 10:

1. "Price Tag" - Jessie J feat. B.o.B *2 weeks*
2. "Champion" - Chipmunk feat. Chris Brown *new*
3. "Born This Way" - Lady Gaga *new*
4. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars
5. "Rolling In The Deep" - Adele  
6. "Yeah 3X" - Chris Brown
7. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha
8. "Higher" - Taio Cruz feat. Kylie Minogue
9. "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris
10. "Coming Home" - Diddy - Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey


Saturday, February 12, 2011

If I Said I Like Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," Would You Hold It Against Me?

NOTE: I wanted to post my thoughts on Lady Gaga's new single yesterday. Alas, I've been traveling since last weekend. Anyway, back to business! In the Phoenix airport—here are my thoughts.

This, folks, is the point where we're all supposed to provide Lady Gaga with the inevitable backlash. She's simply become far too big, far too over-hyped, far too fast. And, besides, isn't this Britney's year?

But first off, I'm not going to play the Gaga Vs. Britney game. It's pointless, cheap and it's the lazy way out. Yeah, both broads put lead singles from their upcoming albums out within a month of each other. And, yes, this will be the first Britney album to arrive in the Age Of Gaga. So?

To really comment on "Born This Way," we have to look back to the very inception of the mountain of hype touting the song, when The Lady appeared on CNN's Larry King Live last June, jibber-jabbering about how her third album was already in the can. She took the opportunity to tell her Little Monsters that the set of jams would not, however, be released until the new year.

And then there was the MTV VMAs, where Gaga continued to fire up her followers when she revealed the title of her forthcoming album by singing a few lines from "Born This Way." Other hype tactics were employed: release dates for the single and album tweeted on New Year's Eve, lyrics posted across various websites in January, news that the single would be bumped up two days.

And that, Lady lovers (and haters), brings us to now. "Born This Way," the single, is here, and it was #1 across the digital retailer board within hours of release. Alright, already—so what the hell does it sound like?

Well, as I briefly noted yesterday,  my first impression was that it sounds like old-school Madonna mixed with '90s-era Erasure. I've not had much access to the Internet over the past 24 hours, but I've seen here and there that some folks are comparing "Born This Way" to Ye Olde Vampyre's "Express Yourself."

I can kind of hear that. The way Gaga talks in the beginning can maybe come across as similar to Madge's "Come on, girls!" rally cry. And the vocal melody is sort of like that in "Express Yourself." But let's get real about something—it's not like Madonna herself wasn't the artful queen of ripping off other musicians.

Personally, "Born This Way" did nothing for me the first time I played it. I wasn't overly disappointed, but I wasn't blown away, either. In fact, I couldn't help thinking that there might have been more of a "wow" factor if so much g.d. hype hadn't been shoveled to the masses in the lead-up.

But later in the day, I sat down and played it a few more times. And suddenly, those lyrics—which I found to be highly cringe-worthy and, frankly, quite a turn-off when they were revealed—seemed to work. And I began to think, so what if "Born This Way" sounds like Erasure or old Madonna? At least someone in mainstream pop is using those influences! It beats having to hear, say, Rihanna channeling vintage Iron Maiden.

Likewise, why shouldn't Lady Gaga be able to sing about drag queens and transgendered folks? Would it be better if she used homophobic lyrics?

The more I listened, the less I heard Madge. And what became apparent was that this is the first truly "happy" Lady Gaga single. There's no desperate stalking, one-night stands or tortured love that plays out in the lyrics. Sure, subtlety appears to have flown out the window. But "Born This Way" is just a fun pop song with a positive message. And in that respect, the 24-year-old songstress has shown that she is truly evolving as an artist.

I will mention Britney one more time, though, and just say that, like "Born This Way," "Hold It Against Me" took a few listens to truly click. But I'm glad I gave both songs the chance.

As we navigate this rapid-paced world where absolutely nothing in entertainment really seems new anymore, let's not get so jaded that we forget that there's room enough on Planet Pop for both Lady Gaga and Britney Spears—and it would be a much drearier world without them.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's Nicole Scherzinger's Cheap But Not Unpleasant "Don't Hold Your Breath" Video

Nicole Scherzinger's video for new (UK) single "Don't Hold Your Breath" is one of the cheapest-looking to come across the pop landscape from a major label artist in recent times. Well, okay—that Mariah Carey Christmas one with the fireworks was an exercise in low-rent entertainment, too.

But, that said, I absolutely love this jam. And I haven't loved a song this broad has been attached to since Pussycat Dolls' 2005 single "Stickwitu."

And to think, somewhere in the Chart Rigger vault there's an un-published Nicole Scherzinger Banterview that Moogaboo and I did up about four years back.


US Chart Roundup: "Black And Yellow" Is #1, But The Steelers Probably Don't Wanna Hear It

Well, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost the Super Bowl, but at least fans of the team waved their Terrible Towels high with one hand as they downloaded Wiz Khalifa's hometown football anthem "Black And Yellow" from iTunes with the other. The Stargate-produced hip hop jam finally climbs to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its 18th week on the chart.

Debuting at #5 is Dr. Dre—who apparently has been more content to live high on his mountain of cash and develop a line of headphones over the past decade than make music under his own name—with "I Need A Doctor." Grammy-nominated British producer Alex Da Kid (check out my interview with him) worked on Dre's track, so its no surprise that Alex's protege Skylar Grey appears on it (not to mention Dre's own protege Eminem).

This brings us to Rihanna's "S&M," which jumps from #66 to #31 after last week's premiere of the song's ho-hum video. Replacing RiRi at #66 is Ke$ha with "Blow," her second single off Cannibal. And two positions above her is Adele's "Rolling In The Deep."

A bit further down, Jessie J's "Price Tag"—this week's UK chart-topper—debuts at #88. Kind of a blase week. But at least, as mentioned yesterday, Pink's Greatest Hits...So Far!!! has finally jumped into the Top 10 on the album chart after three months.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Black And Yellow" - Wiz Khalifa *1 week*
2. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars 
3. "Firework" - Katy Perry
4. "Fuckin' Perfect" - Pink
5. "I Need A Doctor" - Dr. Dre feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey *new*
6. "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris & DJ Frank E
7. "Rocketeer" - Far East Movement feat. Ryan Tedder
8. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
9. "Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)" - Pitbull feat. T-Pain
10. "Hold It Against Me" - Britney Spears 

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Pink's 'Greatest Hits' Finally Goes Top 10

Almost three months to the day since it was released, Pink's Greatest Hits...So Far!!! has finally cracked the Top 10 of Billboard's Top 200 album chart. The publication reports today that the collection of brawlin' pop jams has climbed to #9 on the new chart, which will be officially published tomorrow.

Last week Pink's second single off the album, "Fuckin' Perfect," moved up to #2 on the Hot 100. Here's hoping "Heartbreak Down" (a far better song, in my opinion) gets the same love—if it even gets a full-on single release.

Chart Rigger just turned 6! Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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You'll Just Have To Keep Waiting For Britney Spears' 'Femme Fatale'

Wigney Spears really likes to torture her fans. Two weekends ago, the pop broad's upcoming album Femme Fatale was said (by a label source) to have a confirmed release date of March 15. Now the label has officially announced that the record won't be out until March 29.

That's good, though, because it gives The Weaved One plenty of time to premiere the "Hold It Against Me" video (on February 17) and chuck out a new single. Britney's never had two #1 hits off the same album, and maybe if she throws another trashy jam out there ahead of Femme Fatale, her foaming-at-the-mouth fanbase will send it to the top of the Hot 100 like "Hold It Against Me"?

Chart Rigger just turned 6! Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" Single Cover Is A Total Fuckin' Drag

I mean that in the classiest way, too. But, c'mon—she done stole Rupaul's wig right off her head and dunked it 30 (more) gallons of Agua Net. (And it's cold as hell out there. Rude!)

Speaking of which, I just watched Wigstock: The Movie last week for the first time since 1995. That's what you call some hot shit with no plot. But at least it has this...

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'60 Minutes' Peeks Into Lady Gaga's Life, "Born This Way" Single Bumped Up

Yesterday Lady Gaga tweeted that she "can't wait any longer" and that her upcoming "Born This Way" single is "coming Friday." The original release date was to be Sunday, coinciding with her Grammy debut of the song.

At this point, expectations are high—and the lyrics are pretty direct—so here's hoping this broad's latest jam lives up to the hype.

Anyway, here's a 50-second or so look at Gaga's 60 Minutes Overtime special, which will also air on Grammy night. I love how the chick living in her old apartment wouldn't let her come in.

Says the show's website, "Anderson Cooper talks with Gaga about her improbable rise from college drop-out to pop star, her philosophy on fame, and her new album."

This trash airs at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13.


Sunday, February 06, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Jessie J Should Do A Sex Tape

And so Jessie J's acclaimed reign continues, as the 22-year-old BRIT Awards fave sees her new Dr. Luke-produced single "Price Tag" debut at #1 in the UK. This gives her two jams in the Top 10 three weeks before her LP Who You Are arrives. And I'm still on the fence about her much-hyped output so far.

But let's all raise a glass of class to Kylie Minogue, who has landed her first Top 10 Brit hit since "All The Lovers" last spring with her "featuring" credit on Taio Cruz's "Higher." I really need to give that one a second chance.

Meanwhile, Wigney Spears continues to plummet, falling from #8 to #18 with "Hold It Against Me." Bitch better get that damn video out sooner than February 17 if she knows what's good for her.

Adele's 21 continues to dominate the album chart, and I'm off to watch my hometown team in the Super Bowl.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Price Tag" - Jessie J feat. B.o.B *new *1 week*
2. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars
3. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha
4. "Rolling In The Deep" - Adele
5. "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris *new*  
6. "Coming Home" - Diddy - Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey
7. "Do It Like A Dude" - Jessie J
8. "Higher" - Taio Cruz feat. Kylie Minogue
9. "Yeah 3X" - Chris Brown
10. "Blind Faith" - Chase & Status feat. Liam Bailey

Chart Rigger just turned 6! Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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