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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rihanna Hospitalized In Sweden, Probably Due To Exhaustion From Slaying Beyonce All Year

Rihanna was forced to cancel her scheduled concert in Malmo, Sweden, tonight, as she's been hospitalized in the country. She posted a pic of an IV drip in her arm on Twitter and wrote, "Sorry Malmo!!!"

I'm attributing this to fatigue from having to constantly slay Beyonce in the charts all year long, around the world. At least her mission has been more than accomplished.

Poor girl — get well soon, RiR!

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Amy Winehouse 'Lioness' Out In December

A posthumous Amy Winehouse collection of unreleased material called Lioness: Hidden Treasures is being released on December 5. Who knows exactly how much of the deceases singer's material is out there and decent enough to chuck out to the public? This particular album will have 12 songs, including alternate takes of "Tears Dry On Their Own", "Valerie" and "Wake Up Alone", covers of "The Girl From Ipanema" and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and never-before-heard tunes "Like Smoke" — a collaboration with Nas — and "Between The Cheats".

This LP was pretty much inevitable. But that said, it looks pretty decent.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Professor Green's Eminem Knockoff & Coldplay's New Album Are #1

Someone should really cc Professor Green on the next memo regarding "Love The Way You Lie" knockoffs being so 2010. His tacky "Read All About It" ends Rihanna and Calvin Harris' three-week reign at the top with "We Found Love" and becomes the new #1 single in the UK, and he's even dragged the otherwise stellar Emeli Sande into this garbage.



The more interesting action is on the album chart, where Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto arrives at #1 on the strength of 208,000 copies sold, which gives the band the second best first week sales for an album in the UK after Lady Gaga's Born This Way (215,000).

Kelly Clarkson's Stronger debuts at #5, while Darren Hayes goes in at #29 with his fourth solo album Secret Codes And Battleships. While this marks Darren's first album to miss the Top 20 (so far, at least) in the UK, Secret Codes had a #10 debut in his home country of Australia. (His previous LP, This Delicate Thing We've Made, only scrounged its way to #19 on the ARIA chart in 2007.)

On a final note, Steps' The Ultimate Collection slips from #3 to #9 in its third week on the UK album chart.

The UK Top 10 Singles:

1. "Read All About It" - Professor Green feat. Emeli Sande *new* *1 week*
2. "Earthquake" - Labrinth feat. Tinie Tempah *new*
3. "We Found Love" - Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
4. "Mr. Know It All" - Kelly Clarkson
5. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
6. "Wherever You Will Go" - Charlene Soraia
7. "Sexy And I Know It" - LMFAO
8. "When I Was A Youngster" - Rizzle Kicks *new*
9. "Lightning" - The Wanted
10. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Madonna: "We're Looking For A Woman Girl Female Child"

Typically delusional Madonna stans are convulsing and sitting on their cone bras over the news — so far only confirmed by Just Jared, not Ye Olde Vampyre's camp of walking dead slaves — that her first single from her upcoming studio album will be a Martin Solveig production called "Give Me All Your Love".

She's allegedly going to perform this Syren call, meant to lure unsuspecting humans with a pulse into her jaws of horror, at the Super Bowl. Even more disturbing — M.I.A., who makes me want to smash glass and swallow it while ramming a screwdriver into my ear drums, is said to appear on the song, along with rent-a-rapstress Nicki Minaj.

Boy Culture also has some alleged confirmation on Vampyre's album: it's produced by Solveig, William Orbit (thank Christ) and Benny Benassi, and the lead single is said to have some kind of "cheer" in it — all the better to get clueless Madge stans traipsing into her honey trap of death while in cheerleader drag!

Towleroad posted the following promo video for Vampyre and Chylde's line of human slave garments, Material Girl. It's really good — you know, in the way that Swept Away and Body Of Evidence are good.

All you really hear is: "Blah blah blah irony blah blah," and then the ultimate message of evil: "We're looking for a woman girl female child!"

Fucking hell — lock your doors! RUN!!!!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Steps Do "Tragedy" On 'OK! TV', "Deeper Shade Of Blue" At Trafford Centre

More Steps promo this week, following the band's Monday appearance on Loose Women: first, the reunited quintet hit up OK! TV, where they gave a pretty flawless performance of "Tragedy" (especially compared to their understandably wobbly "dust off the mothballs" rendition on This Morning earlier in the month).

Good to see the dance routine getting tighter.



They taped the OK! TV gig yesterday, and it aired tonight. Meanwhile, this evening Steps were actually in Manchester for the Christmas lights switch-on ceremony at Trafford Centre.

Fan site Ultimate Steps posted these pics, and has a full set of photos from the event.

Here's the band performing "Deeper Shade Of Blue" at Trafford Centre. (They also did "Tragedy".)



In its third week of release, Steps' Ultimate Collection is currently hanging in at #9 in midweeks for this Sunday's upcoming UK album chart. It debuted two weeks ago at #1, and slightly slid down to #3 on the current chart.

ALSO SEE: 
* The Steps Banterview: You'll Be Sorry  
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 3  
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 4
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen 

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U.S. Chart Roundup: Adele & Rihanna Slay Beyonce Once Again

Adele's "Someone Like You" has a fifth round atop the Hot 100 the same week her sophomore album 21 climbs back to #1 for a 13th non-consecutive stint on the Top 200 and crosses the 4 million mark (it's total copies sold in the US to date are 4.1 million). Good to see all that touring is paying off. Oh, wait...

Meanwhile, Rihanna gets ever closer to shredding Beyonce's tired wig once again by inching toward having her 12th chart-topping single, as "We Found Love" moves up from #6 to #2. If she has any dignity left, Bey will shoot out that kid she's fake-pregnant with and give up music for playing bridge. Her latest flops, "Party" and "Countdown", are at #75 and #77, dis-respectively.

Elsewhere, Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away" jumps from #94 to #55, while Britney Spears gets a boost from #92 to #66 with "Criminal".

So much sexy, so little time.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Someone Like You" - Adele *5 weeks*
2. "We Found Love" - Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
3. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
4. "Sexy And I Know It" - LMFAO
5. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
6. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine
7. "Without You" - David Guetta feat. Usher
8. "You Make Me Feel..." - Cobra Starship feat. Sabi
9. "Make Me Proud" - Drake feat. Nicki Minaj
10. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/GoonRock

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beyonce's "Party" Video: Another Flop In The Bucket

Let's get this straight: "Party" is Beyonce's third video from 4 in two weeks, and her sixth overall in five months — and yet none of these flops has cracked the Top 10 on the Hot 100?

Hang it up, baby. Love how she drags Kelly Rowland (and her sister Solange) into this, clearly because Kelly is killing it this year and Bey is grasping.

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Will Young's "Come On" Video Is Best In Show

With Echoes, Will Young has released one of my favorite albums of the year. The record, produced entirely by Richard X, has proven to be a steady seller in the UK, and lead single "Jealousy" gave Will his first big hit in years.

And so along comes the second single, "Come On". While I like the song, I have to say, "Losing Myself" would have been my choice for the next release from Echoes.

At any rate, I will admit that the "Come On" music video — which is set at a dog show, with Will possessing the canine that just won't cooperate — nearly made me an emotional wreck. There's just something about animals or pets that, when they're threatened with harm or jeered by others, triggers some protective mechanism within.

Will's dog triumphs in the end of the clip, but you sort of get the impression that it's a dream sequence.

Good song. Excellent video. And, as I said, spectacular album.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shayne Ward Has Hair!

Screw the Steps reunion, Beyonce's impending "Party" video and Coldplay's new album being released this week — Shayne Ward has grown out his effing hair! (Remember: when he's in pop star mode — or naked — he looks like this and this.)

The hottest piece of tail to ever come out of Manchester is currently starring in Rock Of Ages in London's West End, and he appeared on ITV show This Morning today. Don't you just want to reach out and spank his weave?

Thanks to @WardyWanderer for TwitPic-ing these.

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Taio Cruz's "Hangover" Video Is Totally Wasted

So what goes down in the video for "Hangover", Taio Cruz's latest collaboration with Dr. Luke? Helloooooo? Only a major PAAAAAAAAARTTTTTTTTTAYYYYYYYYYYY!!!

And it's so off the chain, I watched half of it and I'm shit-faced-ed and never need to see it again. Flo Rida's in there, too, so you know it's good.

Wait — hold on, I gotta puke.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Lee Latchford Evans' Pecs & Steps Perform "Deeper Shade Of Blue" On 'Loose Women'

Steps appeared on UK talk show Loose Women today, where, aside from the fact that Lee looked like the hot piece we all know he is (even with his clothes on — unlike here), they got fellow guest Alice Cooper to do the "Tragedy" pose.

Lisa Scott-Lee and Claire Richards sat for a round of questions from the broads on the show, and then the band performed "Deeper Shade Of Blue".

Interestingly, Lisa and Claire were asked if they'll all be recording new music together. (Like, after having a surprise UK #1 last week with The Ultimate Collection and selling out several of their 2012 tour dates, it's even a question at this point.)

"I think we need to talk about it, really, because it's kind of taken us by surprise," said Lisa. "We weren't expecting the support we've had." Aww. You're welcome, doll.

Now get your asses in the studio and at least get a new single out there.



ALSO SEE: 
* The Steps Banterview: You'll Be Sorry  
* UK Chart: Steps' Ultimate Collection Is #1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 3  
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 4
* Watch Steps' Ultimate Tour Trailer 
* Steps Perform On This Morning
* Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen   

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Steps' 'Ultimate Collection' Hangs Near Top

After debuting at #1 on the UK album chart with The Ultimate Collection, Steps' new greatest hits set drops only two positions to #3 this week, below new entries from Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (#1) and last year's X Factor winner Matt Cardle (#2).

It's quite an achievement, and we can expect the promo from the five-piece band to increase now that the final episode of Steps Reunion aired this past week. They'll be performing on ITV program Loose Women tomorrow, and then switching on the Christmas lights and singing at The Trafford Centre in Manchester on Thursday.

Here's a Radio 2 interview with Claire Richards and Lee Latchford Evans from the group that aired on Friday.:



Over on the UK singles chart, it's a third week at the top for Rihanna and Calvin Harris' smash "We Found Love", which means boy band The Wanted have to settle for a #2 entry with "Lightning", their third single from upcoming album Battleground.

Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson's "Mr. Know It All" (#6) becomes the singer's seventh Top 10 UK single, and Matt Cardle's "Run For Your Life" suffers a disastrous 17-position drop to #23 in its second week on the chart.

The UK Top 10 Singles:

1. "We Found Love" - Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris *3 weeks*
2. "Lightning" - The Wanted *new*
3. "Wherever You Will Go" - Charlene Soraia
4. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
5. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine
6. "Mr. Know It All" - Kelly Clarkson *new* 
7. "Jar Of Hearts" - Christina Perri
8. "Sexy And I Know It" - LMFAO
9. "Video Games" - Lana Del Rey *new*
10. "Without You" - David Guetta feat. Usher

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My First Mix CD: January 2001

Yesterday, while driving around, I was reminded of the very first mix CD I made, back in January 2001. I dug it out, threw it in my car and played it last night. I also scanned the tracklist and posted on the Chart Rigger Facebook wall, which has brought about some interesting comments (my fave: the guy who says he slept with one of the male members of Deuce — which isn't the first person I've heard say that).

The backstory is this: I actually didn't own a computer at that point, and so the whole Napster revolution passed me by. (Limewire, a few years later, was a different story.) That said, my good friend was heavily into downloading music (illegally), and I'd tell him certain songs to grab for me on occasion.

I was actually more interested in making a mix than yanking songs for free off the Internet, however, because the quality of the MP3s he was getting was so poor. So I scheduled some time with him one Sunday night in late January 2001, brought over a stack of CDs and I made my very first compact disc mix on his computer.

Most of the songs are from that era. Even Take That/Lulu "Relight My Fire", a song originally released in 1993, had appeared on one of the UK Queer As Folk soundtracks. I had watched the series on video for the first time in Summer 2000, in PAL format. I was working at Summit Entertainment at the time, and we had a PAL converter in the office conference room, as, in the pre-Twilight days, Summit was mainly an overseas distributor.

I think I just threw Deuce's "No Surrender" (a 1996 single) and Ace Of Base's "Beautiful Life" (1995) on there because I knew they'd sound good and round things out pretty well.

I made this mix two months before Daft Punk's Discovery was released (though "One More Time" had been out on CD single for a couple months at that point). Also, I believe, at that time, Steps' "It's The Way You Make Me Feel" was the most recent actual single included, since it had been officially released (in the UK) in early January 2001. Of course, the Buzz album had been out since the fall of 2000.

The Deja Vu "When You Say Nothing At All" cover was from some Almighty mix compilation I picked up at the Virgin Megastore. It was obviously recorded because Ronan Keating made the song popular again a year-and-a-half earlier when he released his own cover as his debut solo single (which appeared in Notting Hill), and Almighty were all about the dodgy covers at that point.

Anyway, I burned about seven copies of the mix at my friend's place, hopped in my car and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway that Sunday night, just listening to it. I don't think I got home till about 1 a.m.  But it felt so exhilarating to hear all those songs on a CD, in the order that I arranged them.

The following week, I either handed over or mailed all the copies to friends. Good times.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Lady Gaga Rolls Out 'Born This Way: The Remix' & 'The Collection'

Wait, there was a Foster The People remix of "The Edge Of Glory"?

1. Born This Way (Zedd Remix)
2. Judas (Goldfrapp Remix)
3. The Edge of Glory (Foster the People Remix)
4. Yoü And I (Wild Beasts Remix)
5. Marry the Night (The Weeknd & Ilangelo Remix)
6. Black Jesus (Michael Woods Remix)
7. Bloody Mary (The Horrors Remix)
8. Scheiße (Guena LG Remix) 9. Americano (Gregori Klosman Remix)
10. Electric Chapel (Two Door Cinema Club Remix)
11. Yoü And I – (Metronomy Remix)
12. Judas (Hurts Remix)
13. Born This Way (Twin Shadow Remix)
14. The Edge of Glory (Sultan & Ned Shepard Remix)

The Born This Way: The Collection set has the original 17-track album, the new remix album and DVD of the Monster Ball. Both of the above are out November 21.

Clearly, the best thing about this news is the comment that some fan left on fan site Daily Gaga: "I would absolutely love to fuck the shit out of her in that slime dress."

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The Steps Banterview: You'll Be Sorry (When You Realize The Trash You're Missin')

It's been just over two years since D'luv and his trusty sidekick in all things pop Moogaboo sat down for a proper Banterview. But with Steps reuniting for a successful UK TV show, a chart-topping greatest hits collection and sold-out tour, the music trash-talkers felt it was time to get back to business and have a proper chat. Pull up a chair, cue up "One For Sorrow" and have a read below!

Read more »

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

'Steps Reunion': Watch Episode 4

Grab the Kleenex, because it's time for the fourth and final episode of Steps Reunion — and the ending montage is going to reduce you to blubbering, pop-loving wreck. Sigh. I can't believe it's over. But the good news is that the Sky Living show ends on a total up note, and lets us know that, really, as far as Steps 2.0 are concerned, things have only just begun.

The final installment picks up with the reunited gang — Claire Richards, Faye Tozer, Ian "H" Watkins, Lee Latchford Evans and Lisa Scott-Lee, who has Skyped in from Dubai — sitting around a table with manager Steven Howard and being played the final version of their Ultimate Collection bonus track "Dancing Queen".

The guys seem a bit concerned that they're being relegated to backing vocal duties, just like the old days. But the two of them eventually get over it when they hear the mix. Likewise, there's some drama when the five of them enter a dance studio to rehearse for their then-upcoming This Morning performance with their original "Tragedy" choreographer Paul Roberts. Claire doesn't feel like she's in shape enough to pick up the dance moves. (In her words, she says she feels like an "elephant".)

Interestingly, Paul — who, for someone who was teaching pop acts dance steps in 1998, looks like he's still in his 20s — explains that the original "Tragedy" moves were copped and slightly altered from Macaulay Culkin's iconic Home Alone hands-to-face pose. 

Eventually, things all fall into place: Steps, who have been working with a famous vocal coach as they want to sing live going forward, give their first performance together in 10 years, their tour is announced and The Ultimate Collection is released, all within the same day.

To celebrate, they all have dinner with Steven the manager. He pulls up iTunes and shows them that, in its first day of release, The Ultimate Collection is the top download. "And if it only lasts for one day at #1, we still got it," Faye says through tears. Of course, as we know, the album stayed at the top of iTunes throughout last week and went on to top the UK chart this past Sunday. (Currently, midweeks show that the hits set has only has slid to #3 in its second week.)

It's a touching moment when the band realizes that, despite the rocky first dinner they had together after reuniting for the show, they've suddenly found themselves all being friends — not to mention an actual band — again, 10 years after their initial split.

At the dinner table, Lee says to them all, "We may have come into this thinking, you know what, we might just be closing a door here — at the end of the day, we might just be saying goodbye the right way. But today feels like actually we opened a huge door. And if that can carry us to the next level, I really do think that there's legs there again. I think we can have a few years at this. I see a career rather than a quick fix."

Faye chimes in: "Holy crap —Steps are back." The screen informs us that nearly 100,000 ticket were sold for next April's UK tour within 48 hours, and then there's a short but emotional montage that plays out. And just for an extra punch to the gut, Coldplay's tearjerker "Fix You" plays underneath the images of the fivesome's journey over the past four episodes.

Note: as I mentioned last week, you have to click the X to close the ad above the video player. And, yes, other ads pop up and start playing occasionally during the episode, but you can either close them or wait them out till they're done. (They usually don't last more than a minute or so.)



God, I can't wait to hear new music from these guys. Thanks so much for checking out these episodes of Steps Reunion here with me over the last month. And, once again, props to Popsessed for originally posting this one.

ALSO SEE: 
* The Steps Banterview: You'll Be Sorry  
* UK Chart: Steps' Ultimate Collection Is #1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Watch Steps Reunion: Episode 3  
* Watch Steps' Ultimate Tour Trailer 
* Steps Perform On This Morning
* Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen   

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US Chart Roundup: A New Pack Of Max Martin Jams Invades The Hot 100

The upper reach of Billboard's Hot 100 chart is somewhat the same this week as last — save for the swapping out of Lady Gaga's "You And I" and Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Bruno Mars' Mac And Devin Go To High School soundtrack single "Young, Wild & Free" at #10.

So let's instead go to the very far end of the chart, where Britney Spears' fourth Femme Fatale single, the Max Martin and Shellback co-production "Criminal", debuts at #92. Entering below that, at #94, is Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away", also produced by Martin (with Dr. Luke). Finally, "Domino" by Jessie J, a Dr. Luke and Cirkut co-production that was co-written by Max Martin, goes in at #96.

Higher up on the Hot 100, Romanian bimbette Alexandra Stan's "Mr. Saxobeat" finally breaks from from the #28 position, where it had been stuck for several weeks, and climbs to #21.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Someone Like You" - Adele *4 weeks*
2. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
3. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
4. "Sexy And I Know It" - LMFAO
5. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine
6. "We Found Love" - Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
7. "Without You" - David Guetta feat. Usher
8. "You Make Me Feel..." - Cobra Starship feat. Sabi
9. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/GoonRock
10. "Young, Wild & Free" - Snoop Dogg/Wiz Khalifa/Bruno Mars *new*

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rihanna's "We Found Love" Video: Sex, Drugs, Sex, Pop, Sex, Drugs, Sex & Sex

Rihanna's latest foray into softcore porn, her "We Found Love" music video, finds the Barbadian broad hooking up with a pretty Irish boy. The pair embark on a roller coaster romp, inhaling drugs and having lots of sex along the way.

But as with most whirlwind romances, things eventually flame out, and it gets ugly between RiRi and her perfectly chisel-faced man.

Calvin Harris makes a brief cameo, as a DJ in a field full of party-goers. I still say this is one of the classiest jams of the year, and you can expect it to land on Chart Rigger's Best list in a couple months.

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Steps Add More Dates To Ultimate Tour

Following a successful week of TV appearances and landing the #1 album in the UK, Steps have added additional dates to their 2012 Ultimate Tour.

The full list of dates is below. Are you going to see them live?

April 4 — Liverpool Echo Arena, Liverpool
April 6 — SECC, Glasgow
April 7 —Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, Aberdeen
April 8 — Metro Radio Arena Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne
April 10 — Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester
April 11 — Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
April 12 — LG Arena Birmingham, Birmingham
April 13 — Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
April 15 — Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
April 16 —Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), Bournemouth
April 17 — Brighton Centre, Brighton
April 19 — North Greenwich O2 Arena, London
April 20 — North Greenwich O2 Arena, London *new date*
April 22 — Metro Radio Arena Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne *new date*
April 23 — Glasgow Braehead Arena, Glasgow *new date*
April 25 — LG Arena Birmingham, Birmingham *new date*
April 26 — Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester *new date*
April 27 — Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield *new date*


ALSO SEE: 
* The Steps Banterview: You'll Be Sorry  
* UK Chart: Steps' Ultimate Collection Is #1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Watch Steps Reunion: Episode 3  
* Watch Steps' Ultimate Tour Trailer 
* Steps Perform On This Morning
* Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen  

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Westlife Splitting: Best News I've Heard All Week

Amateur hour has finally come to a end, as lobotomized elevator music favorites Westlife have announced they're calling it quits. The quartet, who have been flop central since the far classier Take That reunited five years, posted the following on their official site:
"After 14 years, 26 top ten hits including 14 number one singles, 11 top 5 albums, 7 of which hit the top spot and have collectively sold over 44 million copies around the world, 10 sell out tours and countless memories that we will forever cherish, we today announce our plan to go our separate ways after a greatest hits collection this Christmas and a farewell tour next year. The decision is entirely amicable and after spending all of our adult life together so far, we want to have a well-earned break and look at new ventures. We see the greatest hits collection and the farewell tour as the perfect way to celebrate our incredible career along with our fans. We are really looking forward to getting out on the tour and seeing our fans one last time."
Almost brings a tear to the eye — a tear of joy, that is.

Clearly, now that Steps have gotten back together and are set to annihilate every other pop band in their sight, Shelflife realized that the writing was on the wall, and they've now scurried away with their tails between their legs.

Good call, lads — you stayed far too long at your own boring party. 

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It's Coldplay's "Paradise" Video

Awww, cute. Elephants always bring the sexy.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's Britney Spears' "Criminal" Video

For "Criminal," Britney Spears' fourth single off Femme Fatale, the Weaved One jetted off to London to shoot the bullett-addled music video, which co-stars her real-life boyfriend Jason Trawick. It's a real Natural Born Killers affair, which finds the pair going on a crime spree, doing all kinds of The Sexy (in bed, in a shower, etc.) and, eventually, being hunted down by the police.

"Criminal" is entertaining on a certain level, but not nearly as much as Brit's previous visual, for "I Wanna Go". Still, while many artists in the midst of their world tour who are this deep into an album at this point would be serving up a video with concert footage, thankfully Lady Spears is still giving it 100% on the video front.

And, musically, this flute jam is definitely one of the most interesting and unusual Britney singles to come along in years.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Coldplay & Rihanna's "Princess Of China"

So Coldplay's new album Mylo Xyloto has found itself spilled all over the Internet a full week ahead of its release, and naturally the track most people are curious about is the pair-up with Rihanna, "Princess Of China". I haven't heard anything else on the album other than the two singles, but here's the RiRi jam:



Not bad! Upon first listen, it's kind of mysterious-sounding, and very electronic. So far I'm digging this era of Coldplay, which isn't surprising, since I still play their last album on a regular basis.

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Steps' 'Ultimate Collection' Is #1

After blogging feverishly about the newly-reunited Steps over the past month, Chart Rigger lived up to its classy name this week by helping the band land The Ultimate Collection at #1 on the UK album chart. Well, the Sky Living series Steps Reunion and the fivesome's recent appearances on Lorraine and This Morning maybe, possibly had something to do with it. too.

This marks Steps first #1 album since their last greatest hits collection Gold was released this very same week back in 2001. It also give the band three #1 albums to their credit, including their second studio LP Steptacular, which was released in 1999, and thus gives the quintet a chart-topping UK album in each of the past three decades ('90s, '00s and now).

"Huge thanks to everyone that helped @OfficialSteps get to No1 today. Can't believe the support. Looking forward to seeing u all on tour," band member/hot piece Lee Latchford Evans tweeted a few hours ago.

Faye Tozer also took to Twitter with this: "Overwhelmed : ) Can't thank everybody enough for such an amazing day! It's unbelievable! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!"

Seriously, did anyone see this coming? And now, just roll on some new music already!

Below is the ho-hum action on the singles chart. Sorry, Matt Cardle!

The UK Top 10:

1. "We Found Love" - Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris *2 weeks*
2. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
3. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine *new*
4. "Jar Of Hearts" - Christina Perri
5. "Sexy And I Know It" - LMFAO
6. "Run For Your Life" - Matt Cardle *new* 
7. "Wherever You Will Go" - Charlene Soraia
8. "Loca People" - Sak Noel
9. "The A Team" - Ed Sheeran
10. "What Makes You Beautiful" - One Direction

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Rihanna's F*cking "We Found Love" Video Sneek Peak Trash Fest

A hopeless place for Rihanna is apparently Ireland, where her "We Found Love" video was shot over a three-day period last month. This is the first of three behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the clip. And at six minutes, this is more than enough.

All you really need to know: “We’re about to fuck on a tractor!”

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Steps Do "Deeper Shade Of Blue" On 'Lorraine'

Following their Monday appearance on This Morning, Steps hit up UK morning show Lorraine today, where the five members sat for an interview and performed their 2000 hit "Deeper Shade Of Blue," off Steptacular.

They were asked the standard questions, such as why H and Claire decided to leave the band back in 2001. (Claire used the excuse again of "being tired", etc.) But what was interesting is that they said they're only trailing Evanescence by 800 copies for hitting #1 on Sunday's UK album chart with The Ultimate Collection.

Steps — Lorraine interview



I will note that, vocally, they sound pretty on-point during their performance, especially with the harmonies. The moves seem a tad clunky, however, and I'm starting to wonder if they shouldn't ditch the synchronized dancing altogether at this point and just present themselves as a mature vocal group — at least until the tour?

Steps — Lorraine performance of "Deeper Shade Of Blue"




ALSO SEE:  
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Watch Steps Reunion: Episode 3  
* Watch Steps' Ultimate Tour Trailer 
* Steps Perform On This Morning
* Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen  

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

'Steps Reunion': Watch Episode 3

Here we are with Steps Reunion's third episode, and first let me say that I can not believe that The Ultimate Collection has been #1 on UK iTunes since Monday. Or that they're going on tour again. Or, really, that we're sitting here talking about Steps in the present tense, in 2011!

But that we are, so let's get down to business.

First off, a lot of people have been e-mailing and asking about the videos that I've been posting here. Just a note: you have to click the X to close the ad above the video player. And, yes, other ads pop up and start playing occasionally during the episode, but you can either close them or wait them out till they're done. (They usually don't last more than a minute or so.) Hey, at least we're getting to watch this trash! And a big thanks to Martin at Popsessed for posting these, too. Got a d'luvvly email from him earlier this week — a true Steps stan.

So, episode 1 of Steps Reunion was all about catching up with the band members since their split in December 2001, and episode 2 was them meeting up to air their grievances at the way things ended back then — and to repair burned bridges.

This time around we find the band signing up with their new manager, Steven Howard (who says he's worked with folks like Daft Punk, Billy Ocean and The Stone Roses — talk about eclectic!), and then heading into the studio to record their Ultimate Collection bonus track: a cover of ABBA's "Dancing Queen".

Steven really grills the band, asking them why they want to get back together. He says he wants to make sure they're 100% in it, and that their past dramas have been aired out. Once that's out of the way, Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards and Lisa Scott-Lee head into the studio with producer Eliot Kennedy (Spice Girls' "Say You'll Be There", Take That's "Everything Changes").

At first it's suggested that Claire sing the first verse, but Lisa quickly shoots that down, and a comprise is made: Faye Tozer, who is heading into the studio later with H (they're both rehearsing for a play they're in), will do the opening of the song. Meanwhile, Lee is feeling dejected and not up to the task, since the vocals are in a pitch higher than he's comfortable with, and he's basically relegated once again to backup. "It's almost like stepping back into the booth and doing the low bits is stepping back into my old role and just fitting in that piece of the jigsaw - which is right for Steps," he says. "Doesn't mean it's right for me."

Really, Lee — just rip off your shirt, drop your pants and look in the mirror. (Like you did here!) See? All better. Eventually Faye and H show up, the song is recorded, and in a touching moment, we get to witness a first: the five members of Steps in the studio, recording a vocal track together for the very first time. Sniff! 

The episode closes with the five meeting up with "image consultant" Vernon, who makes H seem Jason Statham by comparison. He proceeds to criticize the band's old image by comparing — rather unfairly, I'd say — their outfits from the late '90s and early '00s with what he thinks is cool now. The band bristles at the wardrobe he suggests, but it all comes together.

Their first publicity image as a reunited pop act is shown to them on the set of their photo shoot, and they all get rather emotional. Even Vernon admits, "I'm welling up."

Rather hopefully, H says what we're all thinking: "This could really take its place in our future now." Double sniff!



What do you think of episode 3, fellow Steps stans?

ALSO SEE:
* The Steps Banterview: You'll Be Sorry 

* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 4  
* Watch Steps' Ultimate Tour Trailer 
* Steps Perform On This Morning
* Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen  

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US Chart Roundup: 'Glee' Is A Flop In Season 3

Things remain pretty much the same on the Hot 100, as Adele's "Someone Like You" racks up a third week at #1. Dev's "In The Dark" is up to #11 and Alexandra Stan's "Mr. Saxobeat" is stuck at #26 again.

Meanwhile, those Glee songs are really flopping, aren't they? The cast's rendition of Coldplay's "Fix You," which has been the series' only Top 10 iTunes hit with Season 3, arrives at a disappointing #53. Elsewhere, "Girls (Who Run The World)" crashes and burns at #91. That said, Beyonce probably wishes she could land a chart position that high up these days.

Glee is three episodes into the third season (it's on a break until November due to baseball playoffs), but the show has progressively dropped in the ratings each week since it premiered in September.

It might help if the producers ditched the Broadway numbers — of which Glee has been heavy on lately — and started going back to hits the general public knows and can sing along with.

That, and they need to get a new storyline that doesn't seem like re-heated pussy on a stick.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Someone Like You" - Adele *3 weeks*
2. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
3. "Pumped Up Kicks" - Foster The People
4. "Sexy And I Know It" - LMFAO
5. "Stereo Hearts" - Gym Class Heroes feat. Adam Levine
6. "Party Rock Anthem" - LMFAO/Lauren Bennett/GoonRock
7. "We Found Love" - Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris
8. "Without You" - David Guetta feat. Usher
9. "You Make Me Feel..." - Cobra Starship feat. Sabi
10. "You And I" - Lady Gaga

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Luciana & Betty White's "I'm Still Hot" = Class

If Beyonce hasn't yet hung her Dereon wig out to dry for good and Lady Gaga is still acting like she's Queen Of Pop, they'd better stop in their tracks and watch Luciana and Betty White's video for "I'm Still Hot." (Admittedly, it took me two viewings of this hot trash before I realized I was watching the former Golden Girls star and not Madonna.)

Frankly, I could have done with less of the muscle dudes and more of Betty breakdancing and having a snake slither between her thighs. Nevertheless, this clip is sure to put today's entire crop of pop hoes in their places.

And, good news — a portion of the proceeds from this sure-to-be #1 smash go toward more snakes slithering between Betty's thighs...via the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Watch Steps' Ultimate Tour Trailer

Big ups to Todd Noonan for pointing out in the comments on the Steps This Morning performance post that there's an official trailer for the 2012 Ultimate Tour.

And, I'm as shocked (and elated) as anyone at this — The Ultimate Collection has been the #1 album on UK iTunes since its release on Monday. The physical CD is currently #9 on Amazon UK.

Equally mind-blowing: I now have a d'luvvly pair of tickets to see Steps in London in April! I can't even go into how much hooking I'll have to do to pay my way there. Who else is going?



ALSO SEE:
* Steps Perform On This Morning
* Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen 

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Rihanna's Two 'Talk That Talk' Album Covers

Lick those lips, RiRi, because we know what's going in there. That's right — a blueberry popsicle. Above is the cover of Talk That Talk, regular edition. Below is deluxe version. Both out November 21.

The "We Found Love" video is scheduled to premiere this Friday.

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It's The Saturdays' "My Heart Takes Over" Video

As we all learned in grade school, it's hard to find a stripper pole on the cliffs of Iceland. And so The Saturdays are left to bundle up and wander around the island country looking properly tortured in their video for "My Heart Takes Over," the Steve Mac-produced third single from upcoming album On Your Radar (out November 21 in the UK).

If rumors are true, the Sats — or at least four of them — will be able to shed the heavy coats for thongs when they hit Los Angeles in the new year, as they've apparently inked a US label deal and are signed up to shoot a reality series for D'luv's old stomping grounds, the E! channel. (Member Una Healy is pregnant and is said to be sitting out the first season of the show.)

And as I always used to say when I worked there, you can't spell "cheap!" without "E!".

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Steps Perform "It's The Way You Make Me Feel" & "Tragedy" On 'This Morning'

Following up with this morning's post about Steps announcing their upcoming 2012 Ultimate Tour, here's the reunited quintet's interview and performances of "Tragedy" and "It's The Way You Make Me Feel" on UK morning show This Morning — i.e. their first live performance in 10 years.

They look a bit nervous for "Tragedy," but things loosen up for the second song, where all five appear to be having a great time. Have to say, Faye Tozer and Claire Richards sounded pretty fantastic. Lisa Scott-Lee, well — she has a good six months to get her live vocals back in shape for the tour.

As for Lee Latchford-Evans — he just needs to get naked again.

Steps — "Tragedy" (on This Morning)

   

Steps — "It's The Way You Make Me Feel" (on This Morning)

   

Steps — This Morning interview

 

And good news for the band — The Ultimate Collection is now #1 on UK iTunes on its first day of release. And, yes, I caved in an ordered it from Amazon UK.

ALSO SEE:
* Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen 

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Steps Announce Ultimate Tour (UK)

After flying to Milan to see Take That in July, you know I'm so down to hop over to the UK to see Steps in April. The band appeared on ITV's This Morning today, where they performed "It's The Way You Make Me Feel" and "Tragedy" live. And then there was the big announcement (which was pretty much inevitable): their 2012 Ultimate Tour.

The (so far) 12-date UK tour ties in with the band's Ultimate Collection greatest hits, which was released today and is currently at #2 on UK iTunes.

Dates below, and more info here:

April 4 —  Liverpool Echo Arena, Liverpool
April 6 —  SECC, Glasgow
April 7 — Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre, Aberdeen
April 8 — Metro Radio Arena Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne
April 10 — Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester
April 11 — Capital FM Arena, Nottingham
April 12 — LG Arena Birmingham, Birmingham
April 13 — Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
April 15 — Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield
April 16 —Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), Bournemouth
April 17 — Brighton Centre, Brighton
April 19 — North Greenwich O2 Arena, London

ALSO SEE:
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 1
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 2
* Steps "Dancing Queen": Listen

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Sunday, October 09, 2011

UK Chart Roundup: Rihanna & Calvin Harris Find Love At #1

Rihanna and Calvin Harris' "We Found Love" has debuted at the top of the UK chart, becoming the Barbadian broad's fifth #1 as a main artist in the country (following "Umbrella," "Take A Bow," "Only Girl (In The World)" and "What's My Name") and sixth overall (if we include her feature on Jay-Z's "Run This Town").

Likewise, this marks Calvin's third overall UK #1 (including his "I'm Not Alone" and Dizzee Rascal's "Dance Wiv Me," which he also featured on). In the US, "We Found Love" is currently at #9 on the Hot 100.


Marina & The Diamonds' "Radioactive" debuts at #25 while Florence + The Machine's "Shake It Out" goes in at #27. Other than that, quiet week.

The UK Top 10:

1. "We Found Love" - Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris *new* *1 week*
2. "Moves Like Jagger" - Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera
3. "Loca People" - Sak Noel
4. "What Makes You Beautiful" - One Direction
5. "Iris" - Goo Goo Dolls
6. "No Regrets" - Dappy
7. "Sexy And I Know It" - LMFAO
8. "I Won't Let You Go" - James Morrison
9. "It Girl" - Jason Derulo
10. "Lighters" - Bad Meets Evil feat. Bruno Mars

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Friday, October 07, 2011

Kelly Rowland's UK 'Cosmopolitan' Cover Slays Beyonce's Tired "Countdown" Music Video

Beyonce's video for bland, by-the-numbers track "Countdown" off her dead-in-the-water 4 album has premiered. I can't really be too much of a hater, though, because there's actually one really cute part: when it ends.

This is a "no"...



...and this below is the definition of hot. Sorry, Bey. Time to retire and take up knitting, girl, while Kelendria mops the tiles with your Dollar Store wig.

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'Steps Reunion': Watch Episode 2

The first episode of Steps Reunion was all about bringing fans of the pop act up to speed on the individual members' lives, following their nasty (and who knew is was this nasty?!) split in December 2001.

But part two of the four-part series jumps straight into the drama, with Claire Richards, Faye Tozer, Ian "H" Watkins, Lee Latchford-Evans and Lisa Scott-Lee sitting down at a table together to air all their grievances with each other.

Faye is surprisingly relentless in grilling H and Claire on why they left the band. She doesn't let the excuse of "I was tired" and "we wanted normal lives" slide, either.  "Yeah, you said you needed a break and you were tired, but you were ready to go on [as a duo] with Claire," Faye shoots back.

Lisa jumps in by saying, "Because you guys came out so soon afterwards it felt — it was apparent — that this had been planned, you know, a lot longer than two weeks before. Because there you were with a new single, a new video, a new album."

H claims he can't remember much about it, because it was all "a blur," but Faye confronts them again, saying that as she carried on recording music, she would talk to writers and producers who admitted they had been writing for H and Claire before Steps even split up.

Steps fell apart in December 2001, after H and Claire handed the other three resignation letters on the night of their final Gold Tour concert date in Manchester. By March 2002, the pair's single "DJ" had been released and charted at #3 in the UK.

Interestingly, Faye later asks, "What happened to the 'give everybody three months warning' that was in our group agreement?" Claire tries to say, "Well, but that's different, isn't it...?" Faye cuts her off: "Well, it is to you, because you managed to be able to do it!"

Despite the tension, the girls go off to Spain together for a vacation to try to bond, while Lee drives up from London to H's house in Wales for a weekend  to finally get to know him as a person and, possibly, as a friend.




Three poignant moments at the end of the episode:

1. Faye cites "Deeper Shade Of Blue" as a good video to look at if they all decide to return to the pop scene. ("It would be really fun to play with something like that — I think that's exactly where we should be.") She seems to indicate that their later music — what she refers to as "edgy dance cheese"— is a good reference point. Smart cookie.

2. Claire pipes up and says to the other girls that they need a "Patience" — i.e. Take That's 2006 comeback single after the man band's own 10-year break.

3. Lisa says she worked with Gary Barlow pre-Take That 2.0 while making her solo album: "I could just call him up and say, 'Hi! Remember me?'" Well, Lisa, he's written for Matt Cardle. The only way is up at this point.

All in all, good stuff. And ending with "Better Best Forgotten" was fucking perfect. The likelihood of new material from Steps is seeming more and more like it could happen.

ALSO:
* The Steps Banterview: You'll Be Sorry 

* Steps Reunion: Watch episode 3
* Steps Reunion: Watch Episode 4 

* Big thanks to Popsessed for uploading this classy trash!

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