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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's Jessie J's "Price Tag" Video

Actually, it's Natasha Bedingfield covering Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" with a sample of Lily Allen's "Smile" mixed in and an appearance by B.o.B (because, honestly—who doesn't love B.o.B?).

Okay, not really. But you get the point. Still, much better than "Do It Like A Dude."



Jessie J's debut album Who You Are is out in the UK March 28 and the U.S. on April 12.

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UK Chart Roundup: Ke$ha Whores Her Way To #1, Adele Sells A Boatload Of '21'

That $14 million lawsuit looming over Ke$ha's head, filed by her former management firm, might as well just be a bunch of blah blah blah—for today at least—since the fairy tale-hating hooker's "We R Who We R" has topped the new UK chart.

Well, okay—if someone was suing my ass for a few mill, I'd probably be more concerned about that than the 90,000 downloads I sold of my single overseas. At least Tra$ha can smile knowing "We R Who We R" is now her highest-charting song in the UK (and only the second to reach the Top 10, after "Tik Tok" peaked at #4).

Elsewhere, Chase & Status' ravey "Blind Faith" debuts at #5, giving the duo a career high single on the UK chart.



And that brings us to Pink, who's "Perfect" (aka "Fuckin' Perfect") enters at #21 a month before its official release date (chalk it up to the mucho-graphic video's premiere and coverage). Here in the States, Pink's single is at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100, but will no doubt jump much higher now that it's been the top download on iTunes for the past week.

Over on the Brit album roundup, Adele's sophomore release 21 easily debuts at #1 after selling upwards of 208,000 copies. Meanwhile, her single "Rolling In The Deep" drops from #2 to #3.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha *new *1 week*
2. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars
3. "Rolling In The Deep" - Adele
4. "Coming Home" - Diddy - Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey
5. "Blind Faith" - Chase & Status feat. Liam Bailey *new*  
6. "Do It Like A Dude" - Jessie J
7. "Traktor" - Wretch 32 feat. L
8. "Hold It Against Me" - Britney Spears
9. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
10. "Yeah 3X" - Chris Brown *new*

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

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Britney Spears' Seventh Album Dropping March 15

The release date for Weaveney Spears' upcoming seventh studio album—whatever the hell it's called—has now been confirmed (via Billboard via MTV News via leaked info from Jive) as March 15. That's good news, since The Weaved One's latest single "Hold It Against Me" dropped from #1 to #6 on the Hot 100 this week, and quite frankly, her rabid fans could use some cheering up.

Says the leaked one-sheet:
"Back with multiple songs to add to their track record with Britney are Max Martin and Dr. Luke ('Hold It Against Me'). The album also features tracks/production by proven hitmakers Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Fraser T. Smith, and Bloodshy & Avant, to name a few."
Know why this is effing rad news? Because Rodney Jerkins only did the greatest Britney album track EVER:



Plus, maybe Bloodshy & Avant will make Britney sound more like Miike Snow than "Radar"? (Though, "Radar" is, like, the jam.)

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Nicki Minaj's "Moment 4 Life" Video Has A Fairytale Ending Because She Gets To Bang Drake

Nicki Minaj's "Fairy Godmother" character in her "Moment 4 Life" video is hands-down the gayest things since...since...well, since Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" lyrics.

In fact, the whole cheesy-dialogue-filled intro to this visual clip is better than Nicki's song itself, which also features one of Drake's monotone mumble raps. (Though, I'll admit, Drizzy's looking quite boffable here.)

It's all a fun, eye-popping affair. But, let's be honest here—next time Nicki wants to do a real fairytale-themed video, she needs to take a few pointers from Ke$ha's trashy ass.



Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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Lady Gaga Tweets "Born This Way" Lyrics, Subtlety Goes Out The Window

After taunting her Little Monsters earlier today with a brief sampling of the lyrics to her upcoming single "Born This Way," Lady Gaga obliged her rabid fanbase this evening and tweeted all the lines to the Gaga/Fernando Garibay/DJ White Shadow production.

Who knows what the hell this song is going to sound like (she's set to premiere it live at the Grammys on February 13). But any jam that has the words "boudoir," "drag," "queen," "prudence" and "chola" in the lyrics can't be all that bad...can it?

By the way, if you didn't already know the Lady was down with The Gays, then—surprise!

"BORN THIS WAY"

INTRO:
It doesn't matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M
Just put your paws up
'cause you were Born This Way, Baby

VERSE:
MY MAMA TOLD ME WHEN I WAS YOUNG
WE ARE ALL BORN SUPERSTARS

SHE ROLLED MY HAIR AND PUT MY LIPSTICK ON
IN THE GLASS OF HER BOUDOIR

"THERE'S NOTHIN WRONG WITH LOVIN WHO YOU ARE"
SHE SAID, "'CAUSE HE MADE YOU PERFECT, BABE"

"SO HOLD YOUR HEAD UP GIRL AND YOU'LL GO FAR,
LISTEN TO ME WHEN I SAY"

CHORUS:
I'M BEAUTIFUL IN MY WAY
'CAUSE GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

DON'T HIDE YOURSELF IN REGRET
JUST LOVE YOURSELF AND YOU'RE SET
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

POST-CHORUS:
OOO THERE AIN'T NO OTHER WAY
BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY
BABY I WAS BORN THIS WAY
OOO THERE AIN'T NO OTHER WAY
BABY I WAS BORN-
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY

DON'T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON'T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON'T BE A DRAG -JUST BE A QUEEN
DON'T BE!

VERSE:
GIVE YOURSELF PRUDENCE
AND LOVE YOUR FRIENDS
SUBWAY KID, REJOICE YOUR TRUTH

IN THE RELIGION OF THE INSECURE
I MUST BE MYSELF, RESPECT MY YOUTH

A DIFFERENT LOVER IS NOT A SIN
BELIEVE CAPITAL H-I-M (HEY HEY HEY)
I LOVE MY LIFE I LOVE THIS RECORD AND
MI AMORE VOLE FE YAH (LOVE NEEDS FAITH)

REPEAT CHORUS + POST-CHORUS

BRIDGE:

DON'T BE A DRAG, JUST BE A QUEEN
WHETHER YOU'RE BROKE OR EVERGREEN
YOU'RE BLACK, WHITE, BEIGE, CHOLA DESCENT
YOU'RE LEBANESE, YOU'RE ORIENT
WHETHER LIFE'S DISABILITIES
LEFT YOU OUTCAST, BULLIED, OR TEASED
REJOICE AND LOVE YOURSELF TODAY
'CAUSE BABY YOU WERE BORN THIS WAY

NO MATTER GAY, STRAIGHT, OR BI,
LESBIAN, TRANSGENDERED LIFE
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO SURVIVE
NO MATTER BLACK, WHITE OR BEIGE
CHOLA OR ORIENT MADE
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN TO BE BRAVE

REPEAT CHORUS

OUTRO/REFRAIN:

I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!

I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!
I'M ON THE RIGHT TRACK BABY
I WAS BORN THIS WAY HEY!

Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Katy Perry's "E.T." Cover Art Is Kinda Good

Have to say, the "E.T." single artwork doesn't come off as irksome as Katy Perry herself does. She kind of looks like the Creature From The Ho Lagoon in the black and white pic.

Plus, the t.A.T.u. "All The Things She Said"-esque song is one of the better ones off Teenage Dream (though the label really needs to get around to tossing out "Last Friday Night" already!).



Katy threw this trash on her Facebook wall yesterday and said, "Here's a sneak peek of the artwork for 'E.T.', the next single off Teenage Dream! Stay tuned for a new music video and remixes coming soon."

Hopefully a UFO flies out of her thong in the clip and lasers her head until she miraculously has a decent live singing voice. That would be truly paranormal.

Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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US Chart Roundup: Britney Plummets While The Fuck Songs Keep Climbing

Now that the frenzy over Britney Spears' new-ish single "Hold It Against Me" has blown over, the Dr. Luke/Max Martin dance-pop jam winds up being unable to sustain a lengthy stay at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and thus plunges to #6 like a scrawny one-eyed whore who just spotted a nickel on the ground in the alleyway behind Rite-Aid on a Sunday morning. This past weekend "Hold It Against Me" debuted at #6 on the UK chart.

Elsewhere, Enrique Iglesias' sex jam "Tonight (I'm Fuckin' You)" inches up to #4, matching the peak of his 2010 hit "I Like It." And just outside the Top 10, Pink's "Fuckin' Perfect" hops from #30 to #11 thanks to the premiere of the somewhat graphic music video.



I love it when inspirational songs have "fuck" in the title and blood on the wall.

Another chica who takes a tumble on the chart this week is Avril Lavigne, who's "What The Hell" drops from #13 to #31. I don't really know what else to say about that song other than it's paper-thin and simply not that memorable. Like, I never find myself thinking, I really need to hear that song...now!

On a final note, Adele's "Rolling In The Deep"—a #2 single in the UK this week—climbs from #97 to #84.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars *3 weeks*
2. "Firework" - Katy Perry
3. "Black And Yellow" - Wiz Khalifa
4. "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris & DJ Frank E
5. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
6. "Hold It Against Me" - Britney Spears
7. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha
8. "Raise Your Glass" - Pink
9. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas
10. "Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)" - Pitbull feat. T-Pain

Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

K-Dolla Is The Sluttiest Disney Character Ever In Funny Or Die's 'Princess Ke$ha'

At last—2011 finally offers up some classy music! Too bad Ke$ha's Cannibal doesn't have anything as good as her "Princess Ke$ha" song in this FunnyOrDie.com video, where she tries to pull off being a classy broad before saying "fuck it" and giving in to her ho-tastic fairy tale ways.

Hottest line: "Look in the mirror, rub my eyes and what is this? Some genie slut smiling back—suck it, bitch!"



I might have to re-think breaking things off with Ke$ha after this triumph.

Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dido, A.R. Rahman '127 Hours' Song Nominated For An Oscar, Xtina Screams Into Her Pillow

I've had an aversion to 127 Hours ever since its release last fall. Something about watching hot piece of tail James Franco hack off his arm doesn't exactly seem like popcorn fare.

Likewise, I've had an aversion to Dido ever since she warbled on the horrid 2004 Band Aid 20 abortion of a charity single, the release—and utter injustice—of which (true story) partly inspired the creation of Chart Rigger.

But surprise! Dido and composer A.R. Rahman's dirge from 127 Days, "If I Rise," has been nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar (along with “Coming Home” from Country Strong, “I See the Light” from Tangled and “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3), while Christina Aguilera and Cher's semi-entertaining musical flick Burlesque was shut out. "If I Rise" was co-written by Dido's brother Rollo Armstrong.



Last week Diane Warren won a Golden Globe for penning Cher's big Burlesque ballad, "You Haven't Seen The Last Of Me."

Oh, well—that was a good jam, but those old broads should just concentrate on slapping together Cher's new album. It's only been ten years since Living Proof, after all. And, Jesus—even Britney, who went through some cracked-out years, is about to release her fifth album since 2001.

Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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It's Jessie J's "Who You Are" Album Cover + Tracklist

Critics' Choice BRIT Award recipient Jessie J tweeted out the cover of her debut album Who You Are this morning. I'm still not really feeling "Do It Like A Dude," but the song is currently at #3 on the UK chart.

That said, the album cover is simple and stylish, and fits nicely along with the 22-year-old British songstress has conjured up for herself.

Who You Are is scheduled for a release overseas on March 28, followed in the U.S. on April 12—which always makes total sense, because surely no one on these shores will illegally download it in the interim (see: Adele 21).

Here's the tracklist:

1. “Price Tag” feat. B.o.B
2. “Nobody’s Perfect”
3. “Abracadabra”
4. “Big White Room”
5. “Casualty of Love”
6. “Rainbow”
7. “Who’s Laughing Now”
8. “Do It Like a Dude”
9. “Mamma Knows Best”
10. “L.O.V.E.”
11. “Stand Up”
12. “I Need This”
13. “Who You Are”

Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

This Is What Britney Spears Looks Like On The Set Of Her "Hold It Against Me" Video

Hopefully Weaveney's video won't be as disappointing as the UK chart placing for "Hold It Against Me" was yesterday.

Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Major Britney Spears Fail

Weaveney Spears got her wig handed to hear in a Trenta-sized frappuccino cup today when Bruno Mars' "Grenade" spent a second week atop the UK chart while new singles from Adele, Diddy - Dirty Money and Wretch 32 all debuted higher than "Hold It Against Me" (#6). Here in the States the song is currently #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Initially Sony didn't have the Weaved One's latest slated for release in the UK until the end of February. The label then rushed "Hold It Against Me" onto UK iTunes after it topped the digital download store's charts in 17 other countries. Oops!...Maybe They Should Have Waited Until Wigney Was Available For In-Person Promotion After All (Again)

Here are how Extensionney's lead singles off her studio album's have charted so far in the UK:

* "...Baby One More Time" (#1)
* "Oops!...I Did It Again" (#1)
* "I'm A Slave 4 U" (#4)
* "Me Against The Music" (#2)
* "Gimme More" (#3)
* "Womanizer" (#3)
* "Hold It Against Me" (#6)

At least Weaveney can breathe a sigh of relief over not doing disastrous as Avril Lavigne, who hobbles into the chart at #29 with "What The Hell" like a knock-kneed hooker whose left foot was blown off by a land mine while her right one is permanently wrapped around her neck.

Speaking of which, here's the "What The Hell Video," which leaked this weekend:



Nice cameo by Mama Lavigne at 1:57. And I'll take the boyfriend if you don't want him, Av.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars *2 weeks*
2. "Rolling In The Deep" - Adele *new*
3. "Do It Like A Dude" - Jessie J
4. "Coming Home" - Diddy - Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey *new*
5. "Traktor" - Wretch 32 feat. L *new*  
6. "Hold It Against Me" - Britney Spears *new*
7. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
8. "Like You Like" - Aggro Santos *new*
9. "Lights On" - Katy B feat. Ms. Dynamite
10. "Eyes Wide Shut" - JLS feat. Tinie Tempah  

Chart Rigger turned 6 this week. Fill out the fun pop blogiversary questionnaire.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chart Riggerversary: Six Random Facts About Me, Six Random Facts About You

Pull out the party hats—today marks six years since Chart Rigger went online! Yee-hawzoo! In honor of this monumental historical achievement, I thought that, rather than bore you with some sappy trash, it would be classy to tell you six random facts about myself you might not have known (or really cared about to begin with).

AND THEN why don't ye brave souls among us take the same six points in bold below and answer them in the comments. Awwww—it'll be like we're speed-dating.

1. When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be _________.
A comic book writer/artist for DC. I used to draw my own comics, color them with Crayola magic markers and make my parents read them.

2. The first album I ever bought on CD:
UB40, Labor Of Love II. A few days after Christmas 1989

3. My favorite movie (or at least one of them):
Taxi Driver. I had never seen it until my mom bought me the video when I was on a big De Niro kick my freshman year of college.

4. Favorite artist someone else turned me on to:
Saint Etienne. I bought Foxbase Alpha in spring 1991, but didn't truly become a fan until Moogaboo put "He's On The Phone" on a mixtape he gave to me at Christmas 1995.

5. Album everyone loves that I tried to get into but found to be as dull as a dead hooker's non-moving mouth:
Janelle Monae, The ArchAndroid

6. Song that played during a memorable makeout session:
Enigma, "Return To Innocence." First time I kissed a boy. His CD single was on repeat for two hours in his dorm room.

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Darren Criss, Chris Colfer And The 'Entertainment Weekly' Gay Issues: 1995, 2011

Here are the pics of Glee's cute as all hell "Teenage Dream" crooner Darren Criss and Golden Globe-winner Chris Colfer from inside their Entertainment Weekly cover story. I just got the issue in the mail yesterday—with the 'Gay Teens On TV' special report—and it got me thinking about EW's 'The Gay '90s' feature, which was the cover story in the September 8, 1995 issue.

I had a subscription to the mag the whole time I was in college back then, and for whatever reason, I grabbed that issue and a couple others when I was back in Pennsylvania in February last year.

Here's an interesting bit—if only for the quaintness of it all—from the "What's Out Now" music section in the 1995 article:
"Just three years ago, even a self-proclaimed drag queen like Boy George felt it threatening to identify himself as anything more than 'bisexual.' Yet in the mid-'90s, Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys—both featuring gay vocalists—have won over as many fans for their dance beats as for their gay-themed lyrics, and despite Michael Stipe's ambiguous sexual stance, R.E.M. has seen no drop-off in its arena drawing power. Kurt Cobain moved rock a step forward by proclaiming in the liner notes to Nirvana's Incesticide that he didn't want homophobes buying the group's albums, and country golden boy Garth Brooks' album The Chase included 'We Shall Be Free' in support of gay rights. Small wonder that it's hip to have a band member announce an alternative lifestyle (including players in the Breeders, Sugar, Luscious Jackson, Kitchens Of Distinction and Faith No More)."
The moral of the story? The Breeders = good, good times.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Ellie Goulding's U.S. 'Lights' Album Cover

As mentioned two weeks back, BRIT Awards-nominated blondie Ellie Goulding is getting a U.S. release of her debut LP Lights via Cherrytree on March 8. Above is the album cover for the domestic version, the aesthetic for which isn't too much unlike the UK re-release of the album, Bright Lights, from last year.

[Via Idolator]

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Throwback: All I Really Want Is You

I'm not nostalgic. Nor am I overly-sentimental and living in the past. I couldn't possibly bother with the Britneys, the Pinks, the Willows and the Gagas of Planet Pop if I was. But sometimes there are brief visits back—necessary stopovers, if you will—I need to make to keep the equilibrium stable, and to keep from falling off the edge.

See, these days and these nights, solitary driving hours in my life, have piled up over the decades and could virtually fill a stack of mileage logs jammed behind coffee cans on some dusty shelf in a garage. Only the garage is my head. And they're all stretches of time sound-tracked by radio hits—a bulk of them love songs that, at that the time of release, I had no relatable tie to or relevant frame of reference for. 

I know you have to do this too (or at least I want to believe I'm not the only one who does):  It's a Sunday afternoon in the highly un-exciting month of January. Something random like 76 cents from a gift card is left in your iTunes account, and the determination is there to just decimate it in one fell swoop. Some pop song from the solitary driving days, some guilty pleasure, some jam out there—one you wouldn't have been caught dead owning on CD single at the time—is in need attention. But which one?

Abruptly it hits you. Then you download it. And that seemingly non-exciting day turns on a dime as you find yourself on a long walk on the rain-soaked streets of the town where you live, with the song now inhabiting a playlist on your iPod, stuck on repeat. Only today those snatches of lyrics and flourishes of melody are so, so relatable. Who cares if you're trudging through a cemetery; a sidewalk behind some Eastern Bloc-style apartment complex; the gravelly alley behind the Wal-Mart by the freeway? The once-elusive references hit you like arrows launched from a crossbow. And, Jesus—it's only 4 o'clock.

****
TAKING A DAY AT A TIME

I enrolled in a class called Literature & The Arts during my final semester at community college, and it stands out in my mind for three things: my friend (we'll call her Kaitlyn) who decided to take the class with me, a field trip we embarked on to see La bohème at the Benedum Center in downtown Pittsburgh, and the two instructors we had—one of whom is actually now the mayor of my hometown, and the other who apparently ran into some legal troubles (to put it mildly) a decade later.

(That's Kaitlyn and I to the right, waiting to take the bus to see La bohème.)

Between that class and the others that filled my schedule, there was also editing the school newspaper, the university applications, lofty ambitions for a future screenwriting career and the endless task of hanging out with friends—steadfast new pals made so easily, the way it only happens at that age.

There were also the treks to Pittsburgh and back on weekends (sometimes twice in one day—a 45-minute drive each way). To the Beehive. To the movies. Through the suburban back roads on cloudy days and at 1 a.m. on warm, hopeful nights. The future was inconsequential.

And every time I flipped to a station that was playing Jon Secada's "If You Go" in those spring and summer months of 1994, it was kind of blissful.



(Note that the video is basically all a re-enactment of the final scene from The Graduate.)

****
DEALING WITH FEELINGS I DON'T WANNA HIDE

Not sure what the hell it is about this trifle, but I still have the lyrics and the arrangement of every backing vocal and every emotionally-charged improvisation Jon makes in "If You Go" imprinted in my memory—which is remarkable for the fact that, until five days ago, I hadn't heard the song in at least 13 or 14 years.

Learning to love, baby
Without taking you along for a ride

It should be noted that when this single was in heavy rotation, the only action I was getting was of the occasional (read: quite frequent) self variety.

Tried to find myself
Tried to find the truth
Get out from this shell

Of course, there was much more at play, subconsciously, with the way my personal life was heading. But that wasn't on the schedule until next semester.

Sorry if you felt misled
But I know what I feel
I know what I said

****
I'M ALMOST THERE TO SHOW YOU HOW MUCH I REALLY CARE

When the semester finally ended, the school had a formal dance on the Gateway Clipper, which zipped up and down the three rivers that snake along downtown Pittsburgh. There were three part-time jobs (!!!) to tend to that summer. I played tennis almost daily. The Andy Warhol Museum opened, which I visited with my parents. My cousin had a baby. The movies had Forrest Gump. Besides Jon Secada, Top 40 radio had Lisa Loeb's "Stay (I Missed You)," Prince's "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World," Ace Of Base's "Don't Turn Around" and Elton John's "Can You Feel The Love Tonight."

OJ Simpson's SUV chase went down on a Friday night, which I watched on the news while house-sitting for a friend who took off to Europe and talking to another friend—the only person I knew who was transferring to the same university I would be attending in the fall—on the phone.

All that said, despite the words in "If You Go," there wasn't anyone I really wanted. There was no intoxicating summer romance to get lost in. Hell, I don't even recall any actual intoxication in those months.

I can't imagine I skipped over daydreaming about what being in love would feel like. But my reality then was just a close-knit group of friends, harmless songs on the radio and a blinding, brilliant sense of naivete.

And that's probably why it was so perfect.

Don't you think I don't know
This is where I belong

THIS PIECE IS A CONTINUATION OF:
* Mix Tapes, CD Singles And Being Boring—Tales Of A Lonely Teenage Nobody
* This Used To Be My Playground
* Coffee, Drugs, Death And Ace Of Base 
* I'll Remember
*
Return To Innocence
* Threesomes, Term Papers, Erasure And The Book-End of Gen X

IT PRECEDES:
* Someone Who Won't Leave Me Feeling...
* You Can Depend On Me

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Darren Criss And Chris Colfer Cover This Week's 'Entertainment Weekly'

"Gay Teens On TV" ... played by 23-year-old Darren Criss and 20-year-old Chris Colfer. But anyway, let's not get technical. Very cute cover (and very timely, given Colfer's Golden Globe win for Glee on Sunday).

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It's The Music Video For Lady Gaga's Mugler Fashion Show Remix

Yesterday a remixed version of a yet-to-be identified track from Lady Gaga's upcoming album Born This Way played during Thierry Mugler's menswear fashion show in Paris. But the main YouTube clip of the event that was doing the rounds was so low quality that, if you're like me, your interest was barely raised.

But wait! Now a full-on music video for the track has surfaced. It's directed by Mariano Vivanco and features footage from the runway at yesterday's fashion show and also the model Rick Genest, who one might say has gone a bit "overboard" with the tattoos.

But screw him, what about the Lady Gaga song? Well, it's definitely a remix. And she appears to be mumbling in German (she says "I don't speak German but I can if you'd like") at the beginning. But eventually we get a taste for what promises to be a pretty smashing choon.

The musical magic kicks in at about the 2:27 mark in the video.



Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" single is out February 13, while we have to wait till effing May 23 for the full album.

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US Chart Roundup: The Results Of The Britney Vs. Avril Lavigne Vs. Kanye & Jay-Z Battle

We've already gone through this twice this week, so no need to ramble on about Britney Spears debuting at #1 with "Hold It Against Me," thereby giving her a fourth chart-topping single and producer/God Max Martin his 10th, etc. So let's move ahead...

Avril Lavigne's "What The Hell" enters the Billboard Hot 100 at #13, which shows the power of radio airplay—something Britney's single was aided by, but Avril clearly was not. For a few days after being released, "What The Hell" was just beneath Britney at #2 on iTunes. But then she flip-flopped with Kanye West and Jay-Z's "H.A.M." (which enters at #23). In the end, both of those singles got barreled over at radio in lieu of Britney and slid down the digital store's song chart.

Now that the holiday craziness has settled for good, Edward Maya's "Stereo Love" is able to jump back up to its previous peak position of #16. Another climber: Pink's "Fuckin' Perfect," which moves up 27 positions to #30 and is the Hot 100's "airplay gainer" this week. If we're to include the collaborative 2001 cover of "Lady Marmalade," this now gives Pink a total of 17 Top 40 singles in the U.S.

One of my guilty pleasure jams from last year, Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson's "Don't You Wanna Stay," is at #43 this week. That's just a good old-fashioned duet, like something you'd expect Peter Cetera to have cranked out with some broad in the '80s.

On a final note, album sales really appear to be in the dumpster (more so than usual) in 2011. Cake's Showroom Of Compassion debuts at #1, but has posted the worst returns (44,000 copies) for a top album in Nielsen SoundScan history. It seems like only yesterday when the Dreamgirls soundtrack set the record low, with 60,000 copies. Alas, folks, that was exactly four years ago this month.

Meanwhile, Cake...

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Hold It Against Me" - Britney Spears *new* *1 week*
2. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars  
3. "Firework" - Katy Perry
4. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
5. "Black And Yellow" - Wiz Khalifa
6. "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris & DJ Frank E 
7. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha 
8. "Raise Your Glass" - Pink  
9. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas
10. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" Debuts At #1

No real surprise here. On Monday Billboard all but confirmed Weaveney's new single "Hold It Against Me" was going to debut at #1 on the Hot 100 chart this week, and now here we are.

The full chart will be published tomorrow, but basically the jam sold 411,000 downloads and Spears is now only the second artist ever to have two singles debut at #1 here in the States (the other being Mariah Carey, who entered at the top with "Fantasy," "One Sweet Day" and "Honey").

Now The Weaved One has a fourth chart-topper to her name, while producer-songwriter Max Martin has 10. And this couldn't come soon enough, because if either Bruno Mars' "Grenade" or Katy Perry's "Firework" flip-flopped and was #1 again, I was going to swallow a grenade.

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Suede Playing Coachella!

Just when I'd put a cap on my concert-going (for at least the first half of the year) after spending a small fortune on tickets for Robyn, Lady Gaga, Cut Copy, Kylie Minogue, Take That, along comes the announcement of the Coachella lineup—which includes Suede.

Fucking Suede! Of course, it's Suede sans the brilliant Bernard Butler, who left the Britpop band in 1994. But still—Suede.




Some other folks are playing Coachella, which goes down the weekend of April 15, this year. People like Kanye West, Robyn, Kings Of Leon, Duran Duran, Arcade Fire...

But, really—Suede.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jennifer Lopez's "On The Floor" Doesn't Quite Suck

Even though the song leaked over the weekend, the official "world premiere" of Jennifer Lopez's new song "On The Floor" happened this morning on Ryan Seacrest's website. Consider it a multi-platform promotional tactic—J.Lo is a new judge on American Idol, Ryan is the host of American Idol, Ryan has a website, J.Lo has big boobs etc. etc.

Actually, this version of "On The Floor" is a minute shorter than the one that surfaced a few days back. And I'm not exactly disliking the RedOne-produced jam.



But you just have to wonder how much anyone would care if "On The Floor" didn't build its entire melody around that hook from Kaoma's "Lambada"?



Not that "the kids these days" even know what Kaoma's "Lambada" is. But take away that sample, and all you're left with is a pile of J.Lo's big boobs.

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Clips Of Take That's New Year's Eve Gig In Barbados Finally Pop Up

Remember when Take That (minus Robbie Williams) performed at Simon Cowell's private New Year's Eve party in Barbados on New Year's Eve? No? Alright, we'll try this...

Remember when Take That hottie Howard Donald was walking around the beach shirtless in December? Well, video—of the shoddy, taken-on-a-cell-phone-from-way-over-there variety—of Howard's band Take That performing at said NYE gig has finally found its way online.

"Never Forget"



"Shine"



"Back For Good"



[Via @US_TakeThatFans]

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Robyn Won Four Swedish Grammys Tonight

Robyn is currently up for a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording (for "Dancing On My Own") and a BRIT Award for Best International Female Solo Artist. But the hot bitch won four Swedish Grammis tonight, for Best Female Artist, Best Composer, Best Album and Best Song.

Pics of her at the event are up at Idolator.

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Britney Spears Will Debut At #1 This Week, And Gays' Heads Will Implode

That's right, gay people—Weaveney Spears' new single "Hold It Against Me" is probably going to Auto Tune its way to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, says the mag. Well, then they sort of cagily warn that official details of what lands at the top of the chart won't be revealed until Wednesday.

But that's like saying you're not quite sure if Cheryl Cole could make a Sprite can disappear, when you know damn well...

Anyway, if when Weaveney's jam hits the top of the chart, it will mark her fourth U.S. #1 single, after "...Baby One More Time," "Womanizer" and "3."

It'll also become Max Martin's 10th chart-topper here, following a bunch of other songs I'm too lazy to type out—but the last one was Pink's "Raise Your Glass."

And speaking of which, did you check out Max's new one he produced for E-Type? Good stuff.

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Daniel Bedingfield: Still A Hot Bounce

There was a time when early '00s pop singer Daniel Bedingfield frequently got the engine D'luv revving.

But ever since he had a car accident then put out a not-so-hot sophomore album in 2004, he appeared to have fucked off the pop culture radar—until YNetNews.com posted an article this morning, which seems to indicate Daniel has been crashing on couches and performing with various Israeli musicians.

Says Bedingfield:
"I'm filming a YouTube documentary for the Stop The Traffik campaign against human trafficking. After Israel, I'm flying to London, Amsterdam, then to my apartment in Los Angeles, where my sister Natasha lives, then Kingston, Jamaica and Berlin. Everywhere I go, want to meet local musicians, sleep in their houses, connect with them, be affected by their mood and live with them."
Classy! Yeah, I know where Natasha lives in L.A., right in that complex that also houses Michelle Williams of Blue Valentine/Heath Ledger baby fame. (Oh, the irony...)

Don't think I won't be standing outside with a "For Sale" sign around my neck when you breeze into town, buster.

Meanwhile, total jam (the "Metro Mix," of course)...

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E-Type Returns With New Max Martin-Produced Jam "Back 2 Life"

E-Type is a massively successful Swedish artist who managed to rack up #1 hits in his home country and other parts of Europe during the '90s and '00s like "This Is The Way," "Here I Go Again" and "Free Like A Flying Demon," but barely dented the dance charts on our shores. (That said, I imported his single "Angels Crying" back in winter '98—a #2 hit in Sweden—because I had just started collecting anything and everything Max Martin.)

Anyway, E-Type is back—and more importantly, back with Max Martin! Below is "Back 2 Life," his new single that was released to Swedish radio today, and is produced by Max and Shellback.



Those chords during the chorus are a total winner. A press release from Universal Sweden notes that "during a dinner recently with his old friend Max Martin they decided to bring E-type back to life."

"Back 2 Life" will appear on an EP of new music due out later this year.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Jessie J Can Sit On My Popsicle

This week's UK chart is notable mostly for the inching up Jessie J does with "Do It Like A Dude" to #2, where it's held back only by the debut of Bruno Mars' earnest "Grenade" at the top.

Good for her, I say. And good for me. Because since everything else stays pretty flat this week, I'm going out for a popsicle.

The U.K. Top 10:

1. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars *new* *1 week*
2. "Do It Like A Dude" - Jessie J
3. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
4. "Lights On" - Katy B feat. Ms. Dynamite
5. "When We Collide" - Matt Cardle  
6. "Who's That Chick" - David Guetta feat. Rihanna
7. "Make You Feel My Love" - Adele
8. "The Time (Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas
9. "Like A G6" - Far East Movement
10. "Eyes Wide Shut" - JLS feat. Tinie Tempah 

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Piers Morgan Further Rips Into Madonna In 'EW'

America's/Britain's Got Talent loud mouth Piers Morgan is heavily shilling his new CNN talk show Piers Morgan Tonight, which premieres tomorrow night, to anyone who will listen.

So yesterday I was flipping through the new issue of Entertainment Weekly and almost spit out my watermelon Jolly Rancher over this hot quote—yet another good dig on Madonna, who Piers has said is banned from his show.
"I was interested to see she doesn't know who I am because Madonna and I have been feuding for 25 years... When I watched her in the days of 'Holiday,' nothing was sexier than Madonna. Watching Madonna at 52 going out with 22-year-old kids called Jesus and stripping her clothes off for magazines, it's like, Please, it's over. We have a new one, it's called Lady Gaga."
Clearly, Piers has been reading Chart Rigger for awhile now.

SEE ALSO:
* Lady GaGa Hammers A Giant Stake Into Madonna's Undead Corpse
* Madonna: Banterview With The Vampyre
* Lady GaGa Again Spanks Madonna
* Madonna: Truth In Advertising
* Lady Gaga: 4, Madonna: 0
* Madonna's New Single Is A Hit Somewhere!
* Lady GaGa Renders Christina Aguilera Irrelevant (Say Hi To Madonna, Christina!)

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Roxette Return With "She's Got Nothing On (But The Radio)" Video, Sign North American Deal

Something about seeing Swede-poppers Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson together as Roxette, nine years and one cancer scare after their last album was released, just makes all seem right in the world.

The cheeky "She's Got Nothing On (But The Radio)," the lead single off upcoming album Charm School, was released across Europe this week. And below is the video, which premiered today and features the pair doing their classic Roxette stances while a bunch of pretty kids get down at a house party.



The good new for fans of the duo in the States: music publisher Kobalt just signed Roxette to a North American deal.

"Through the deal Kobalt will also represent Roxette for synchronization for motion picture, TV, games, ringtones and other media," says a press release.

The pair's last album to see a release on these shores was 1994's Crash! Boom! Bang!

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Keisha Buchanan's "Under Control" Is Clobbering Britney's "Hold It Against Me"

Things aren't looking so good for Britney Spears in the house D'luv since ex-Sugababe Keisha Buchanan's irresistible pop masterpiece "Under Control" leaked two days ago. And even it's a demo, it's still miles ahead of "Hold It Against Me", and full of the fun that Weaveney seems to be lacking with her latest.



My Last.fm profile doesn't lie:


And, oops—in the time it took me to write the above:


"Pretty bummed about my track being leaked, But the response has been amazing!! Thanks so much. Even better 2 come:-) Album almost finished X," Keisha tweeted about "Under Control" two days ago.

Britney who?

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best Demonic Whitney Houston Impersonator EVER

Imagine how awesome it would be if this guy (Showtime contestant Ryan Robles, in the Philippines) did this kind of performance to every Top 10 Whitney Houston single there ever was? Hell, throw "The Star-Spangled Banner" in there, too! I actually think this creature's voice is better than Whitney's, and he's only lip syncing.  

Sigh. When I have dreams, these are what they look and sound like. Let's hope Ryan made it over to the States last fall to audition for American Idol.

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The 2011 Brit Awards Nominees

You're looking at the brand spanking new Brit Award, which was designed by Vivienne Westwood. Swanky. It looks like a bowling pin with two strips of bacon wrapped around it.

At any rate, the nominees for the 2011 BRITs were announced today, and as usual there were a few eyebrow-raising choices. For instance, Lip-syncing hag Cheryl Cole is up for British Female Solo Artist and British Single (for "Promise This," which made Chart Rigger's Worst Singles Of 2010 list).

Thankfully there were also nods for Take That (British Group and Album Of The Year), Kylie Minogue and Robyn (both International Female Solo Artist) to offset that travesty.

Totally snubbed: Goldfrapp, whose Head First was album of the year in 2010 in my opinion, and Susan Boyle, who has moved more records worldwide in the past year-and-a-half than Take That and Cheryl Cole combined.

THE NOMINEES FOR THE 2011 BRIT AWARDS:

British Male Solo Artist
Mark Ronson
Paul Weller
Plan B
Robert Plant
Tinie Tempah

British Female Solo Artist
Cheryl Cole
Ellie Goulding
Laura Marling
Paloma Faith
Rumer

British Breakthrough Act
Ellie Goulding
Mumford And Sons
Rumer
Tinie Tempah
The xx

British Group 
Biffy Clyro
Gorillaz
Mumford And Sons
Take That
The xx

British Single
Alexandra Burke feat. Pitbull, "All Night Long" (snooze)
Cheryl Cole, "Parachute" (scam!!!!)
Florence And The Machine, "You've Got The Love" (sure, why not?)
Matt Cardle, "When We Collide" (zzzzzz)
Olly Murs, "Please Don't Let Me Go" (zzzzzzz)
Plan B, "She Said" (okay)
Scouting For Girls, "This Ain't A Love Song" (can't remember it)
Taio Cruz, "Dynamite" (should win)
Tinie Tempah, "Pass Out" (will win)
The Wanted, "All Time Low" (puh-lease)

MasterCard British Album of the Year
Mumford And Sons, Sigh No More
Plan B, The Defamation Of Strickland Banks
Take That, Progress
Tinie Tempah, Disc-Overy
The xx, xx

International Male Solo Artist
Bruce Springsteen
Cee Lo Green
David Guetta
Eminem
Kanye West

International Female Solo Artist
Alicia Keys
Katy Perry
Kylie Minogue
Rihanna
Robyn

International Breakthrough Act
Bruno Mars
Glee Cast
Justin Bieber
The National
The Temper Trap

International Group
Arcade Fire
Black Eyed Peas
Kings Of Leon
The Script
Vampire Weekend

International Album
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
Cee Lo Green, The Lady Killer
Eminem, Recovery
Katy Perry, Teenage Dream
Kings of Leon, Come Around Sundown

Critics' Choice
Jessie J

British Producer
Ethan Johns
John Leckie
Markus Dravs
Mike Pela
Stuart Price

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US Chart Roundup: Britney Spears And Avril Lavigne Can't Debut Soon Enough

We're a week away from seeing how Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me" and Avril Lavigne's "What The Hell"—currently #1 and #2, respectively, on iTunes—affect the Billboard Hot 100. But until then, it's pretty much snoozeville in the Top 10.

Taio Cruz's "Higher" cracks the Top 40 this week, at #37. I've managed to somehow completely avoid hearing the American release with Travie McCoy on it (thank Christ). Maybe it's a subconscious boycott since they dumped Kylie, who's on the version released overseas?

And now that Pink's "Fuckin' Perfect" is finally gaining airplay, it re-enters the chart at #57. Lots of Max Martin this week.

Over on the Top 200, Taylor Swift's Speak Now, which is #1 for sixth non-consecutive week, sets record low sales for a top album (52,000 copies). Way to go, Taylor—thanks for fucking up the economy. Terrorist whore.

At least Daft Punk's TRON: Legacy soundtrack climbs to #4. I'm currently have a serious relationship with that album. I think it's love.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Grenade" - Bruno Mars  *2 weeks*
2. "Firework" - Katy Perry
3. "What's My Name" - Rihanna feat. Drake
4. "We R Who We R" - Ke$ha 
5. "Raise Your Glass" - Pink 
6. "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" - Enrique Iglesias ft. Ludacris & DJ Frank E 
7. "Black And Gold" - Wiz Khalifa
8. "The Time (The Dirty Bit)" - The Black Eyed Peas
9. "Just The Way You Are" - Bruno Mars
10. "Only Girl (In The World)" - Rihanna

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Take That's Next 'Progress' Single Announced

One of the worst kept secrets in Take That Land was confirmed today on the band's official site—that "Kidz" is to be the second single off the million-selling Progress (release date: February 28). And I have to say, this is a much better choice than the rumored-to-have-been-scrapped-single "SOS." (Though, c'mon, lads—why not go for the far superior "Happy Now" already?)

Even though its been documented that it is in fact Robbie Williams singing the chorus on the largely Mark Owens-dominated "Kidz", XOLondon and I have had several discussions about how it actually sounds suspiciously like Gary Barlow's vocals.

Anyway, here's a making-of video on "Kidz," where the That talk about recording the track in Los Angeles.

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Lady Gaga Will Perform At The Grammys

It's been nearly a year since we last saw Lady Gaga performing on American TV—doing "Alejandro" on American Idol, was it? And with the Grammys taking place the same day her "Born This Way" single is released (February 13), it appears that Gaga's longtime choreographer Laurieann Gibson may have let the monster out of the bag with regards to the singer performing at the awards show. Which—duh!—we would have expected anyway.

Fan site GagaDaily.com posted the following Twitter exchange between Gibson and a fan, while also noting that she's set to choreograph all the music videos from the upcoming Born This Way LP (though maybe not after this premature disclosure):

If I were Lady Gaga, I'd clock that bitch in the head. But then I'd get over it, because Laurieann did the moves for "Bad Romance" and "Telephone," and, really, you can't get better than that.

Gaga is nominated for six Grammys, including Album Of The Year.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Frankmusik Does "Rocketeer" Backup For Far East Movement On 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

While stumbling around in your "Hold It Against Me"/Kylie Minogue tour info stupor, you might have missed Frankmusik filling in for Ryan Tedder when Far East Movement performed their latest single "Rocketeer" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night.

It was a great showcase for Mr. Vincent Frank, whose debut U.S. single "The Fear Inside" was added to iTunes last month. Now, if only someone had pointed out who it was singing and playing keyboards...

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Kylie Minogue North American Tour Dates Announced

Today just keeps getting classier! Following her fall 2009 innaugural trek across North America, Kylie Minogue has made good on her promise to return to this neck of the woods. Her Aphrodite LIve 2011 Tour kicks off April 28 in Montreal and wraps up May 22 at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

One observation: while the tour is hitting a lot of U.S. cities throughout the month, the entire midwest - including, strangely, Chicago - seems to have been left out.

Below are the dates. Those registered at Kylie.com or in possession of an American Express card can take advantage of the pre-sale starting at 10 a.m. this Friday, January 14. Otherwise, tickets go on sale to the public on Saturday, January 22.

This means I've got Robyn in February, Kylie now in May in Take That in July. 2011, you're starting to rock.

April 28 - Montreal (Bell Centre)
April 29 - Boston (Agganis Arena)
April 30 - Washington, D.C. (GMU Patriot Center)
May 2, 3 - New York City (Hammerstein Ballroom)
May 6 - Atlanta (Fox Theatre)
May 7 - Fort Lauderdale (BankAtlantic Center)
May 8 - Orlando (Hard Rock Live Orlando)
May 10 - Houston (Verizon Wireless Theatre)
May 12 – Mexico City (Sports Palace)
May 14 – Guadalajara, Mexico (Auditorio Telmex)
May 16 – Monterrey, Mexico (Arena)
May 18 - Dallas (Verizon Theatre at Grand Praire)
May 20 - Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl)
May 21 - San Francisco (Bill Graham Civic Auditorium)
May 22 - Las Vegas (Colosseum at Caesar's Palace)

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