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

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's New Darren Hayes Jam "Bloodstained Heart"

Darren Hayes is feeling very generous lately. First we get the video for "Black Out The Sun," the follow-up to "Talk Talk Talk." Now there's "Bloodstained Heart," a slightly Coldplay-esque jam (while still remaining very Darren) that is the next Australian single (out this coming Monday, September 5).

So far it's three for three in my book with the Secret Codes & Battleships tunes.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Few Classy Words On Kelly Clarkson's New Single "Mr. Know It All"

I never got around to posting thoughts on Kelly Clarkson's new single "Mr. Know It All" when it leaked on Friday, but today it was added to her official site, so here it is:

Some folks are comparing it to Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are," and really, I can't think of a more boring singer to compare Kelly Clarkson to.

I guess if you listen hard enough, you can hear a few similar notes between Bruno's snooze trash and this. But, I like "Mr. Know It All" enough. It's not immediately catchy the way "My Life Would Suck Without You" was.

But at least it's not as much of a drag as "I Do Not Hook Up." Overall, a 7 out of 10. Maybe I'll upgrade to an 8 if Kelly shows her Texas tits in the video.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Britney Spears Has "A Really Cool" Video Concept For Her Next Single "Criminal"

Britney Spears, who snagged the Best Pop Video win (for "Till The World Ends") at the MTV VMAs last night, as well as the Video Vanguard Award, let the cat out of the bag during an interview that her fourth Femme Fatale single will be "Criminal." Yes, the flute-addled jam at the end of the album!

"Criminal" — produced by Max Martin/Shellback

I'm totally down with this decision. Even though "Criminal" isn't an obvious pop single, it's the fourth release off the album, and so Wigney is allowed to take a few chances.

Plus, she claims she's got "a really cool" video concept lined up.

Personally, I'd feel completely satisfied if The Wig closed this whole era with "Inside Out."


2011 MTV Video Music Award Winners

The only thing that remotely kept this year's MTV Video Music Awards from sucking was Adele's performance of "Someone Like You," Bruno Mars paying tribute to Amy Winehouse by singing "Valerie" and Lady Gaga in dude-drag as Jo Calderone throughout the entire night.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Katy Perry, "Firework"
FEMALE VIDEO: Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"
MALE VIDEO: Justin Bieber, "U Smile"
BEST NEW ARTIST: Tyler, The Creator, "Yonkers"
POP VIDEO: Britney Spears, "Till The World Ends"
ROCK VIDEO: Foo Fighters, "Walk"
HIP HOP VIDEO: Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"
BEST COLLABORATION: Katy Perry & Kanye West, "E.T."
DIRECTION IN A VIDEO: Adele, "Rolling In The Deep"
CHOREOGRAPHY: Beyonce, "Run The World (Girls)"
SPECIAL EFFECTS: Katy Perry & Kanye West, "E.T."
ART DIRECTION: Adele, "Rolling In The Deep"
EDITING: Adele, "Rolling In The Deep"
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Adele, "Rolling In The Deep"
VIDEO WITH A MESSAGE: Lady Gaga, "Born This Way"
BEST LATINO ARTIST: Mana, "Lluvia al Corazón"

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Will Young & Olly Murs Lead The Reality TV Pop Star Charge This Week

Based on today's brand new UK chart data, Will Young, it appears, is back. The original Pop Idol winner's borderline excellent Richard X-produced fifth LP Echoes has become his first album to top the chart since 2003's Friday's Child. Meanwhile, "Jealousy," the first single off the record, debuts at #5.

Meanwhile, it's another reality singing competition vet who tops the UK singles chart this week — Olly Murs (with a bit of assistance from Rizzle Kicks), with "Heart Skips A Beat." And he didn't even have to flash his naked ass to do it this time! Meanwhile, it was nearly one year ago when Olly racked up his first UK #1, "Please Don't Let Me Go."

Hopping back on the album chart (it's all so confusing, isn't it?), Olly's 2009 X Factor rival Joe McElderry debuts just behind Will Young, at #2, with his snoozy, post-Popstar to Operastar collection of opera standards and ballads, Classic.

So many reality TV gays clogging up the charts these days with their big, thick music.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Heart Skips A Beat" - Olly Murs/Rizzle Kicks *new* *1 week*
2. "Feel So Close" - Calvin Harris *new*
3. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
4. "Don't Go" - Wretch 32 feat. Josh Kumra
5. "Jealousy" - Will Young *new*
6. "Jar Of Hearts" - Christina Perri
7. "Heaven" - Emeli Sande
8. "Down With The Trumpets" - Rizzle Kicks
9. "The A Team" - Ed Sheeran
10. "Little Bad Girl" - David Guetta feat. Cruz & Ludacris

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Leona Lewis' "Collide" Video Makes Me Feel Like I'm Reliving A Teenage Dream

Darren Hayes' "Black Out The Sun" Video + A Really Long, Rambling Bit From Me

I really dug Darren Hayes' last single "Talk Talk Talk," even though it took a few listens to totally click. I've been a fan of the Aussie singer-songwriter since buying Savage Garden's "I Want You" single back in early '97, and so it's been an interesting ride watching Daz grow as an artist.

Spin, his first solo album, was a bit of a pop/R&B hodge podge, but it's an enjoyable mix that became one of my most-played CDs back in '02. Then came The Tension And The Spark two years later, which blew Spin out of the water, and showed that Hayes had finally shed the heavy burden of tackling commercial success as a solo artist — having already conquered said achievement while part of SG gave him that leeway, monetarily and probably mentally — and was now ready to explore a creative side he probably hadn't previously dared to engage.

And, let's be clear: The Tension And The Spark is a really effing fantastic pop album. At 13 tracks, it's also a dark journey at times. (One need only dig a bit online to read what was happening in Hayes' personal life to find the context). The ultimate testament of Darren's second solo record is that, for a LP released back in 2004, it's solid enough that it sounds as if it could have been dropped this week (thanks, in part, to Hayes and Robert Conley's other-worldly production.)

Side note: The Tension And The Spark was initially not made available in the States, but it's been on iTunes now for about three years.  If you only go for one track, let it be "Light" — because you probably won't want to stop after that.

The singer followed that up with double-album This Delicate Thing We've Made, and by that time Chart Rigger was online. It was fun to feverishly track the progress and release as it was happening. (I was an editor at Instinct magazine then, and we interviewed Darren no less than three times between 2006 and 2007 — and you can also stream my Towleroad interview with him here.)

Anyway, I didn't mean for this to get so long and rambly (not an actual word — until now). I guess the big point I wanted to make is that "Black Out The Sun," Darren's new single (the second from upcoming album Secret Codes And Battleships, after "Talk Talk Talk"), is a lush new jam that seems to show he's finally ready to marry a bit of his original pop/R&B sensibility with the electronic sound he's been pursuing for the past few albums.

Oh, and it kind of sounds like Pussycat Dolls' "Buttons."

"Black Out The Sun" will be released on October 2, ahead of the October 17 release of Hayes' fourth solo LP Secret Codes And Battleships.


Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Rihanna's "Cheers" Video

So Rihanna's gone and released her "Hey, it's my seventh single off the album, so you know what that means — live concert footage video!" video "Cheers." Yay?

Thankfully there's also some quick original footage in there too, taken while Ri was driving around and strutting in a swimsuit through Barbados recently. Plus, hey — cameos by Avril Lavigne, J. Cole, Cee Lo Green and Jay-Z? Anyone?

Maybe if they included clips from the supposed J. Cole/Rihanna sex tape, things would brighten up?

Still, great jam.


Beyonce's "1+1" Video: A Thought Or Two

I've had a night to sleep on Beyonce's "1+1" video, and guess what? She can keep taking her clothes off, but the song still sucks.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

US Chart Roundup: Lil Wayne's Big Hits, Adele Is No One-Hit Wonder & There's A Whole Lot Of Sax

Apparently Lil Wayne's "She Will," which features Drake and debuts at #3 this week, marks his 79th entry on the Billboard Hot 100, and has him behind only the Glee cast (156 entries), Elvis Presley (108) and James Brown (91) with the most appearances on the chart. And yet Rolling Stone crowned Eminem the King Of Hip Hop last week?

Anyway, some decent jams shift around this week, mostly for the better. Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera's "Moves Like Jagger" actually falls a notch, to #4, but I've been hearing it more and more on the radio. (Gotta give props to the Italians, as the song was on the air every time I hopped in a shuttle or cab back in early July over there.)

I'm still torn about Gym Class Heroes and Adam Levine's "Stereo Hearts" (up four positions to #15 this week); on one hand I like the beat a lot, but on the other, it's effing Travie McCoy — i.e. the Limp Bizkit of this decade in my book.

Another jam I was totally conflicted over for two seconds before I finally just went ahead and downloaded: Cobra Starship and Sabi's "You Make Me Feel..." It moves up to #19 on the Hot 100 (and doesn't it sound shamelessly like Taio Cruz's "Dynamite"?)

Adele's winter/spring chart-topper in the UK "Someone Like You" (#34) finally cracks the Top 40 here, making it her third single to do so, following "Chasing Pavements" (which peaked at #21) and "Rolling In The Deep" (#1). Just below her at #35 is Lady Gaga with "You And I," which flies up from #96 following last week's premiere of the music video.

Another recent hit in the UK, Alexandra Stan's "Mr. Saxobeat," hovers just outside the Top 40 after moving up nine spots to #44. And speaking of saxophones and beats, Dev's "In The Dark" jumps 14 positions to #56.

Finally, Nicole Scherzinger's "Don't Hold Your Breath," which is hands-down one of the raddest pop songs of 201l, debuts at #86. You probably shouldn't count on it rising anytime soon, though — after initially rising to the Top 40 on iTunes last week, it's currently way down at #158.

Poor pussycat.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" - Katy Perry *2 weeks*
2. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/GoonRock
3. "She Will" - Lil Wayne feat. Drake *new*
4. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
5. "Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj
6. "Lighters" - Bad Meets Evil feat. Bruno Mars
7. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
8. "How To Love" - Lil Wayne
9. "Good Life" - OneRepublic
10. "I Wanna Go" - Britney Spears

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's Alice Cooper & Ke$ha's "What Baby Wants"

Ke$ha and Alice Cooper performed together earlier this summer in Norway, and they've been verbally sucking each other off by saying how much they admire each other left and right. To quote the broad herself (Ke$ha, not Alice), blah blah blah.

You knew this was going to turn into a collaboration, right? Below is a clip of "What Baby Wants," from Cooper's upcoming Welcome 2 My Nightmare album. He sounds Auto-Tuned to all hell on the chorus. Welcome to Ke$ha's world, Alice.

PS really classy lyrics.

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Florence + The Machine Surprise The Internet With New Single "What The Water Gave Me"

Oh, Flo — I know I once flung your Lungs CD like a frisbee out my car window and said of you that Tori Amos wants her pussy back... but who really ever listens to what I have to say?

Was there a better surprise today than Florence's lush new single and video for "What The Water Gave Me" being unveiled? (It's on iTunes, folks.)


Sunday, August 21, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Emeli Sande's "Heaven" Is One Of My Jams Of The Year

Crap Top 10 this week, save for Emeli Sande's rad "Heaven" at #2. And I guess Maroon 5 and Xtina's "Moves Like Jagger" (at #3, mirroring the song's current US chart position) is alright, too.

Nero's "Promises" gets bumped down to #5. That trash has grown on me. The duo's full album Welcome Reality, which was also released in the US, is #1 this week on the the UK chart.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Don't Go" - Wretch 32 feat. Josh Kumra *new* *1 week*
2. "Heaven" - Emeli Sande *new*
3. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera *new*
4. "Jar Of Hearts" - Christina Perri
5. "Promises" - Nero
6. "The A Team" - Ed Sheeran
7. "Little Bad Girl" - David Guetta feat. Cruz & Ludacris
8. "Down With The Trumpets" - Rizzle Kicks
9. "She Makes Me Wanna" - JLS feat. Dev
10. "Glad You Came" - The Wanted

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Lady Gaga Unveils Extended MTV VMAs Promo, Announces She'll Open The Awards Show

That big news Lady Gaga was to announce on MTV last night following what was supposed to be her "You And I" video premiere (before the clip leaked online two days ahead of schedule) finally came: the quirky dame will open the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, August 28.

Gaga had her Little Monster fans out in Times Square unravel a banner stating "Gaga To Open VMAs!!" while she stood with Sway up in the MTV studios where TRL used to be shot.

Let's just hope this broad flashes some T&A to counter all the blood and gore that's probably going to be spilled on stage.

Anyway, here's Lady Gaga's new, extended MTV VMAs promo spot (which features her Born This Way tracks "Government Hooker" and "Heavy Metal Lover") that premiered yesterday:

PS "Heavy Metal Lover," which is sadly only featured here with the quick "dirty pony" line, really is the best song off that album, no?

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Someone Who's Not A Katy Perry Fan: Linda Perry

They may share the same last name, but clearly the writer of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" and Pink's "Get The Party Started" draws the line there.

Hottest line: "Who wants a fucking Katy Perry record? I'm sorry. You know, you're gonna get the two songs that are probably the hits that are good. But the rest of the album is gonna be crap. It is."

Well, actually, Linda — make that the five songs that are the hits.

[Via Idolator]

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FYI: One Of The Year's Best Pop Songs Was Released On US iTunes This Week

Nicole Scherzinger's "Don't Hold Your Breath" — a rightly-so #1 hit in the UK earlier this year — was made available on US iTunes this week. If I were you (don't worry, I'm not), I'd do yourself (myself?) a favor download it (I did).

A very intelligent person with good taste is quoted as saying the following on Wikipedia: "Well, okay—we will allow that this song already sounds better than every Pussycat Dolls single combined."


US Chart Roundup: Katy Perry Officially Tied With Michael Jackson With Most #1 Hits Off An Album

Katy Perry finally got "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" to #1 on the Hot 100 (with a little help from the Missy Elliott remix, which was released last week and offered up for a reduced price of 69 cents on iTunes), and so she's now tied with Michael Jackson for having the most chart-topping singles off one album.

This no doubt has MJ fans Eeeee HeeeeeeEEEeeeEEEEEeeEEEE-ing into their Corn Flakes. But it's like an 85-year-old one-legged hooker told me once: "Kid, as long as you still have your mouth..."

Katy is also now the first female artist to have five #1s from the same album. And, personally, I don't give a flying leap about Michael Jackson's record being tied. How many albums still have solid jams like "Last Friday Night" left once the fifth single rolls around (if the artist is lucky enough to get five releases off an album)? And with Jacko, "Dirty Diana" was complete trash, and should have peaked at #71, not #1.

Moving on, last week I was in PA and driving to Pittsburgh with Moogaboo, and he mentioned how Britney Spears was stuck at the dreaded #7 on the chart with "I Wanna Go." Of course, I was all, "But it's all over radio — don't worry, it'll climb higher." Alas, this week the song drops to #9. Sigh. I knew that song needed more whistling in it.

Final note: OneRepublic's "Good Life" is totally my jam.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" - Katy Perry *1 week*
2. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/GoonRock
3. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
4. "Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj
5. "Lighters" - Bad Meets Evil feat. Bruno Mars
6. "How To Love" - Lil Wayne
7. "Give Me Everything" - Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, AfroJack & Nayer
8. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
9. "I Wanna Go" - Britney Spears
10. "Good Life" - OneRepublic

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Kelly Clarkson Announces New Album 'Stronger' + Single "Mr. Know It All"

There have been several artists with albums called StrongerAgnes, Kristine W and Kate Ryan come to mind. Likewise, Britney Spears, Sugababes, Mary J. Blige and Gary Barlow (or at least their songwriters) have all opted for the word in the past when slapping a title on their jams.

And now Kelly Clarkson enters the fray by titling her upcoming fifth album, which is due out October 25, Stronger. News also came today that the first winner of American Idol (Jesus — way back in 2002) will unveil first single "Mr. Know It All" on August 30, following a live web chat on her official site.

Surprisingly, unlike the 4,286 other songs Kelly Clarkson recorded for the upcoming LP, "Mr. Know It All" has yet to leak in full.

But apparently the song "has a 'Just The Way You Are' vibe" (one assumes of the Bruno Mars variety?) and Ms. Kelly herself sounds "more like Pink."

So there you go.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lady Gaga's "You And I" Video Is Her Best From The 'Born This Way' Era So Far

Geez, way to steal Madonna's thunder on the old Vampyre's birthday. I don't know what goes through Lady Gaga's mind when she comes up with the sick trash that winds up being her music videos, but her "You And I" clip comes off like a combo of cheesy romance, cutting room floor footage from some lost John Waters flick and the Nebraska Chainsaw Massacre.

In any case, this is her best music video from the Born This Way era. And it just happened to leak two days ahead of its planned MTV premiere date. Three cheers for Jo Calderone, aka Gaga's man-drag alter ego, I say! (Doesn't he/she kind of look like Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong?)

PS Wonder what director Joseph Kahn (who was either fired off or quit the "Edge Of Glory" shoot) thinks, now that the scrapped mermaid imagery has surfaced in this clip?


Happy Birthday, Madonna! (My 'Erotica' Shame)

Alright, alright — all joking aside, I'm actually going to give Ye Olde Vampyre Madonna some props. I don't know what it was — that questionable Rolling Stone Queen Of Pop ranking a few months back that attempted to dethrone Tradge from throne (until the mag's readers reinstated her), perhaps — but something has softened me and reawakened my teenage-era like for this fellow gap-toothed ho. (Yeah, you can slide a brick between my front chompers — don't get excited.)

Whatever the catalyst was, it coincided with me walking through Half Price Books one Thursday night in June and the Erotica CD catching the corner of my eye. There it was, front and center on the bargain cart, priced at $3 (highway robbery). Was I ready to finally take the plunge and purchase the album, nearly 19 years after its release?

Multiple friends over the years have owned Erotica, so its not like I haven't heard it here and there throughout the past two decades. So, yeah — I bought it. And I have literally played the shit out of that trash since June. (Just check my last.fm profile — Madonna used to languish outside my Top 15 Artists, and now the broad is #7 with over 1,000 plays).

Oh, Erotica. It's dated. It's tacky. It's unintentionally hilarious: "Little Susie Ho-maker"?; the wan, ultra-thin vocals on "Words"; "And the next time you want pussy, just look in the mirror, baby"?; "Where Life Begins"??!?

Let's all be honest, the Vampyre was completely phoning this album in. Talking had replaced actual singing by the early '90s. She was filling her schedule with the movie roles, the Sex book, the banging. Go back and listen to her vocal range on Madonna and Like A Virgin. And then listen to Erotica followed by Ray Of Light. (Yeah, I know — she'd had the vocal lessons for Evita by then.) In addition to the aural shortcomings, she just comes off like a bitter drag queen on these bitchy diatribes masquerading as songs.

And I love every second of it. A highlight: the bit in "Waiting" where she's all "it was so easy in the beginning, when you didn't feel like RUNNING from your feelings, like you are now / What happened, who do I remind you of?" Yeah, baby — Sigmund Freud, analyze this.

So big ups to the Vampyre for the trip down memory lane this summer. While I knew back in 1992 when Mandy, one of my BFFs, would play the CD repeatedly that Erotica was hardly Madonna's best album, it made me think then — and still does now — that life must have been a ball if you were a working female impersonator in New York City (or anywhere) when this album dropped.

(And, full disclosure: while I never owned Erotica in its heyday, I videotaped Madonna's appearance on Saturday Night Live that winter, plus that hour-long Kurt Loder interview that ran on MTV where she had the little hat on. And I bought a few of the singles, including "Rain.")

Happy 73rd Birthday, Madge!

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Erasure: "When I Start To (Break It All Down)" [538th Listen]

A week-and-a-half ago, while mentioning that I was listening to Tomorrow's World, the upcoming 14th studio album from Erasure, I noted of first Frankmusik-produced single "When I Start To (Break It All Down)":
"The song starts off slow, but once it things get into full swing, we're left with a proper sing-along jam on our hands."
 Et voila, here it is!

There's not too much more to add other than that I've had more time to listen to the full album, and of its nine tracks, there are about five that are immediate standouts — which, if you think about it, is about 4.5 more than we got on the past decade's worth Erasure albums.

[Via Arjan Writes]

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Adam Levine Gets Semi-Naked For 'OUT', Discusses His Gay Brother

Those fuckers who own OUT owe me cash from like two years ago. So I refuse to ever mention them. Oh, wait — Adam Levine has his shirt off (again) for his cover story in the upcoming issue? Dammit!

Among other things, the Maroon 5 frontman talked about his gay brother in the cover story:
"My brother is gay, and we knew when he was two. We all knew. We all really wanted to provide some cushion for him and constantly let him know that it’s OK. A lot of people don’t want their kid to be gay and will fight it at all costs. But I’ve got news for you—it’s a losing fucking battle. The more you fight it, the more fucked-up your kid’s gonna be. You’ve just gotta embrace it from the beginning. That’s the only way to deal with it as a family. Otherwise, you’re just screwing yourself over, and you’re gonna make your kid miserable.”
And speaking of Adam's gay bro, a bit of digging online turned up this totally cute pic of him:

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Sugababes' "Freedom" Single Cover Is Way Better Than Sugababes' "Freedom" Video

I have a strange like for Sugababes new single "Freedom," which is officially out in the UK on September 25. The music video for the song, not so much.

Anyway, here's the somewhat classy single sleeve, which the 'babes posted on Twitter this morning. I'm just wondering why Heidi Range marched into the plastic surgeon's office and demanded to get a new face that looks like Anna Paquin/Avril Lavigne?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Nero Dubsteps On Cher Lloyd's Tacky Wig

Is Nero's "Promises" the song that will finally cause dubstep to cross over to the masses? This week the fourth single from the duo hit #1 on the UK chart, so maybe?

You might recall that the duo's previous single, "Guilt," managed to crack the Top 10 back in May. But whether or not Nero truly become household names, we should all just be glad that "Promises" is now the third chart-topping single in the UK in three weeks, and Cher Lloyd's assault on the ears "Swagger Jagger" has been pushed down, much like her head probably was multiple times before she was finally offered a recording contract.

Don't choke, kitten — no one likes bile on their crotch.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Promises" - Nero *new* *1 week*
2. "She Makes Me Wanna" - JLS feat. Dev
3. "Swagger Jagger" - Cher Lloyd
4. "Little Bad Girl" - David Guetta feat. Cruz & Ludacris
5. "Jar Of Hearts" - Christina Perri
6. "Glad You Came" - The Wanted
7. "The A Team" - Ed Sheeran
8. "Down With The Trumpets" - Rizzle Kicks
9. "Louder" - DJ Fresh feat. Sian Evans
10. "Best Thing I Never Had" - Beyonce

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Friday, August 12, 2011

It's Coldplay's 'Mylo Xyloto' Album Cover

Coldplay's fifth album Mylo Xyloto is being released on October 24, while next single "Paradise" arrives September 12.

Yeah, that cover art does nothing for me. I'm not saying it's bad...it just kind of makes me think of U2's Achtung Baby cover. Which looks nothing like it. Only it sort of does. But not really.

Okay, it's the colors.

So meanwhile, Achtung Baby was released 20 years ago. That makes me want to start fastening a noose...

UPDATE: A few commenters suggest that U2's Zooropa album cover is probably more along the lines of what I was thinking. And while that wasn't consciously what I had in mind, I now see the similarities. (PS — Zooropa = my favorite U2 album.)


Classy Fergie And Martika Pics

Leave it to Pop Trash Mike, who is interning with us over at Idolator, to dig up never-before-seen pics of onetime Kids Incorporated co-stars Fergie and Martika together — the above image snapped at a party to celebrate "Toy Soldiers" going to #1 waaaay back in 1989.

Head over to check out Mike's properly trashtastic interview with Martika, and to see another photo of these broads together.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

US Chart Roundup: Party Rock Is In The Trash Tonight

While LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" matches Lady Gaga's six-week stretch at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Born This Way," the dance-pop clowns are now dangerously close to tying Adele's seven-week run with "Rolling In The Deep" — i.e. the single that's spent the most weeks at the top of the chart this year so far.

It's not that I don't like "Party Rock Anthem," mind you. At this point, after hearing it practically every time I bother to turn on the radio, I just feel kind of numb/confused/bewildered/mystified/tortured/assaulted/raped by it.

Speaking of which, Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera's "Moves Like Jagger" makes its way back into the Top 10, at #8, after spending a lone week at the same position when it debuted on the Hot 100 nearly two months ago.

Likewise, on the Top 200 album chart, Adele's 21 returns to #1 for a 12th non-consecutive week. That's now the longest stretch at the top for an LP since Santana's Supernatural was #1 for the same amount of time between 1999 and 2000.

And that, folks, is fascinating...

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/GoonRock *6 weeks*
2. "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" - Katy Perry
3. "Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj
4. "Give Me Everything" - Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, AfroJack & Nayer
5. "Lighters" - Bad Meets Evil feat. Bruno Mars
6. "How To Love" - Lil Wayne
7. "I Wanna Go" - Britney Spears
8. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
9. "Rolling In The Deep" - Adele
10. "Tonight, Tonight" - Hot Chelle Rae

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Sugababes' "Freedom" Video Is A Big Pile Of Ho

Sugababes flirting with lesbianism in their "Freedom" video — so shocking!!!! Super tacky way to piss all over a decent comeback for the trio.

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Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera's "Moves Like Jagger" Video Is A Man-Drag

I heard Maroon 5 and Christina Aguilera's "Moves Like Jagger" repeatedly on the radio when I was in Italy last month. The song was a Top 10 hit there, and I guess it was here, too. But it was one of those ones that debuted high and quickly dropped like a stone down the chart.

Anyway, a month-and-a-half later, Shellback and Benny Blanco co-production "Moves Like Jagger" miraculously is now the top download at iTunes, and so what better time for the music video to premiere?

The clip is enjoyable enough. It features a pack of Mick Jagger impersonators — mind you, who are all women — auditioning to be in M5's video. Old interview and concert footage of Mick is edited in to show, you know, his moves.

Adam Levine felt the need to remain shirtless for the majority of the clip (I'm kind of over my "he's so sexy" phase after getting to know his personality on The Voice). Eventually, Xtina comes along for her cameo, and I swear Adam wasn't on the same set with her at all when this video was shot. Even in the parts where they look like they're together, you can't see Aguilera's face.

Maybe they hired a Christina impersonator too?

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Mr. Blobby > Cher Lloyd

See, now I just foolishly assumed that if I ignored Cher Lloyd's ridiculous "Swagger Jagger" long enough, this broad would slide down the sewer drain eventually. Oops!

Abysmal. And probably the biggest atrocity Simon Cowell has been involved with since "Mr. Blobby."

Actually, that one might be better than "Swagger Jagger."

The UK Top 10:

1. "Swagger Jagger" - Cher Lloyd *new* *1 week*
2. "She Makes Me Wanna" - JLS feat. Dev
3. "Glad You Came" - The Wanted
4. "The A Team" - Ed Sheeran
5. "Louder" - DJ Fresh feat. Sian Evans
6. "Little Bad Girl" - David Guetta feat. Cruz & Ludacris
7. "Best Thing I Never Had" - Beyonce
8. "Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj
9. "Down With The Trumpets" - Rizzle Kicks
10. "How We Roll" - Loick Essien feat. Tanya Lacey

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Friday, August 05, 2011

Lady Gaga's "You And I" Single Art Looks Like When She Was A Dude For 'Vogue Hommes' Japan

Here's Lady Gaga's cover art for fourth Born This Way single "You And I." She twittered this gender-bending trash out earlier this evening while writing, "You will never find what you are looking for in love, if you don't love yourself."

This is, of course, exactly like when she went all dude-drag as "Jo Calderone" for Japanese Vogue Hommes last year:

It's about time someone got around to homaging the evolution of Al Pacino in pop.


(Naked) Frankmusik Says Hello To Chart Rigger

Thought that might get your attention. Erasure producer/tourmate Frankmusik decided to strip off, get a massage by two other naked dudes and give a nice shout out to Chart Rigger readers.

Wasn't that nice of him?


Frankmusik Hitting The Road With Erasure

As we know, Frankmusik produced Erasure's upcoming 14th (!!!) studio album Tomorrow's World (out October 4). I'm actually listening to it now, and you can relax, Andy and Vince fans — it's light years better than 2008 offering A Light At The End Of The World.

The chorus of the first single "When I Start To Break It All Down" is pretty epic. The song starts off slow, but once it things get into full swing, we're left with a proper sing-along jam on our hands. Another standout: "What Will I Say When You're Gone." Overall, it's pretty safe to say that Erasure has got groove back.

Anyway, more good news: Frankmusik is going on tour with Erasure this fall! Dates below:

August 31 — Tampa, FL (The Ritz Ybor)
September 2 — Orlando, FL (House of Blues)
September 3 — Atlanta, GA (Center Stage
September 4 — Asheville, NC (The Orange Peel)
September 6 — Washington, DC (9:30 Club)
September 7 — Washington, DC (9:30 Club)
September 8 — Philadelphia, PA (Theatre of the Living Arts)
September 10 — Boston, MA (House of Blues)
September 11 — Toronto, ON (Sound Academy)
September 13 — New York, NY (Terminal 5)
September 14 — New York, NY (Terminal 5)
September 16 — Chicago, IL (Congress Theater)
September 17 — Chicago, IL (Congress Theater)
September 18 — Milwaukee, WI (Pabst Theater)
September 20 — Indianapolis, IN (The Vogue Theatre)
September 21 — St. Louis, MO (The Pageant)
September 23 — Austin, TX (Austin City Limits Live)
September 24 — Houston, TX (Verizon Wireless Theatre)
September 25 — Dallas, TX (House of Blues)
September 27 — Denver, CO (Ogden Theatre)
September 28 — Salt Lake City, UT (Kingsbury Hall)
September 30 — Las Vegas, NV (The Palms Concert Theater)
October 1 — Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Palladium)
October 2 — San Diego, CA (House of Blues)
October 4 — Oakland, CA (Fox Theater)
October 5 — Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)
October 6 — Seattle, WA (Neptune)

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Avril Lavigne Ambushed By Fan On Stage In Brazil

Happy Friday!


Thursday, August 04, 2011

US Chart Roundup: Britney Spears Sets Personal Record With Third 'Femme Fatale' Hit

The Max Martin- and Shellback-produced "I Wanna Go" has climbed up to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and so Weaveney Spears can pop a bottle of Yoo-Hoo in celebration as it marks the first time she's landed three Top 10 hits from one of her albums (in this case, Femme Fatale).

The closest Her Wigship previously  came to achieving such a feat was with her first album, ...Baby One More Time: the title track reached #1 and "(You Drive Me) Crazy" peaked at #10 in 1999, while "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" climbed to #14 the following year.

Extensionney has scored more than four Top 10 singles from one album overseas before. For instance, ...Baby One More Time actually had four songs go Top 5 in the UK. Ironically, this time around, only one jam ("Hold It Against Me") off Femme Fatale has made the Top 10 in the UK.

On a final note, speaking of "I Wanna Go," I watched the 1995 Parker Posey flick Party Girl last night for the first time in years. It's nice to see Guillermo Diaz (aka Britney's driving companion in her latest vid) is still working on such classy projects.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/GoonRock *5 weeks*
2. "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" - Katy Perry
3. "Super Bass" - Nicki Minaj
4. "Give Me Everything" - Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, AfroJack & Nayer
5. "How To Love" - Lil Wayne
6. "Rolling In The Deep" - Adele
7. "Lighters" - Bad Meets Evil feat. Bruno Mars
8. "Tonight, Tonight" - Hot Chelle Rae
9. "I Wanna Go" - Britney Spears
10. "The Edge Of Glory" - Lady Gaga

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Hot Boss: Bruce Springsteen's Orignal Music Video For "Dancing In The Dark"

This is pretty mesmerizing: it's Bruce Springsteen's original video concept for his 1984 single "Dancing In The Dark." Just him, uh, dancing in the dark. And looking hella hot.

Clarence Clemons pops in at the end, which makes you wonder if Lady Gaga saw this recently-surfaced footage back in the spring — because it's basically the exact same concept as her video for "The Edge Of Glory."


Darren Hayes' "Talk Talk Talk": The Two Best Mixes

To be sure, the "Out Of Talk" remix of Darren Hayes' current single "Talk Talk Talk" is a nice slice of addictive, eyebrow-raising ear candy, what with its mashing-up with Hall & Oates 1984 hit "Out Of Touch" (Daz also mined that year for his "Talk Talk Talk" b-side, a cover of Madonna's "Angel.")

But make no mistake — you'll kick yourself if you skip out on the "Penguin Prison Mix" of the jam.

Two "Talk Talk Talk" remix EPs were made available everywhere digitally this week.


Sabi Has A Single Called "Wild Heart"

Oh, Sabi. You look like that chick on True Blood who has the hots for Sam Merlotte and you sound like Rihanna. And gotta love how Britney Spears tried to front like she hand-picked this broad out of the streets of L.A. to appear on her Femme Fatale track "(Drop Dead) Beautiful," when really Dr. Luke probably added the up-and-coming songstress to Wigney's track without her even knowing it as a means to springboard her into a sexy career.

Anyway, here's Sabi's new jam "Wild Heart." It's bump-and-grind drama. I think I like it, but I'm not sure. These Sabis are all starting to sound the same.


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

LIGHTS "Everybody Breaks A Glass" = Good Jam

Here's another jam I missed while traveling: "Everybody Breaks A Glass" by LIGHTS, which is the lead single from her upcoming sophomore album.

I liked LIGHTS' first album enough to give it a few spins two years ago, but it never really completely clicked with me. This song, however, is pretty awesome. So much drama. So much synth-crackle. Such angsty lyrics!

The rapper is Shad, and usually these tacked-on MCs grate on my hide. But his addition here is pretty non-invasive.