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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

MTV Video Music Awards 2012: The Nominations

Below you'll find the main nominations for this year's MTV Video Music Awards, which will be broadcast live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Thursday, September 6. Rihanna and Drake lead the pack with five nominations each. Drake, folks...

And who the hell is still listening to M.I.A. at this point? Plus, "Wide Awake" for Video Of The Year? I guess I liked it enough... but video of the year?

Alicia Keys and One Direction (who are up for Best New Artist and Best Pop Video) are the first performers to be announced.

Katy Perry, "Wide Awake"
Gotye, "Somebody That I Used To Know"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Drake (feat. Rihanna), "Take Care"
M.I.A., "Bad Girls"

Fun. (feat. Janelle Monae), "We Are Young"
Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
The Wanted, "Glad You Came" 

Childish Gambino, "Heartbeat"
Drake (feat. Lil Wayne), "HYFR"
Kanye West (feat. Pusha T, Big Sean & 2 Chainz), "Mercy"
Watch the Throne, "Paris"
Nicki Minaj (feat. 2 Chainz), "Beez in the Trap"

Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
Drake (feat. Rihanna), "Take Care"
Chris Brown, "Turn Up the Music"
Usher, "Climax"

Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Katy Perry, "Part of Me"
Beyoncé, "Love on Top"
Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Selena Gomez & The Scene, "Love You Like a Love Song"

One Direction, "What Makes You Beautiful"
Fun. (feat. Janelle Monae), "We Are Young"
Rihanna, "We Found Love"
Justin Bieber, "Boyfriend"
Maroon 5 (feat. Wiz Khalifa), "Payphone"

Coldplay, "Paradise"
The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy"
Linkin Park, "BURN IT DOWN"
Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines"
Imagine Dragons, "It's Time"

Duck Sauce, "Big Bad Wolf"
Calvin Harris, "Feel So Close"
Skrillex, "First of the Year (Equinox)"
Martin Solveig, "The Night Out"
Avicii, "Le7els"

Demi Lovato, "Skyscraper"
Rise Against, "Ballad of Hollis Brown"
Kelly Clarkson, "Dark Side"
Gym Class Heroes, "The Fighter"
K'Naan (feat. Nelly Furtado), "Is Anybody Out There?"
Lil Wayne, "How to Love"

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Perform At Wimbledon: Watch

Above is a performance of "What Have I Done To Deserve This" (complete with projected Dusty Springfield) by Pet Shop Boys on Henman Hill at Wimbledon during Saturday's Olympics tennis match.

They also did "Always On My Mind" and new single "Winner," but who knows when footage that doesn't look like it was shot by a 6-year-old holding an iPhone upside down will turn up.


It's Ellie Goulding's 'Halcyon' Album Cover

Out October 9 in the States, and a day before overseas. Glad we don't have to wait a whole effing year like we did with Lights.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: When Conor Maynard Nixes The Timberlake Thing, He'll Be Quite Good

Aw, little Conor Maynard. I gave this Justin Timberlake wannabe a decent review in an upcoming issue of Instinct for his album Contrast. He's kind of shit now, but has potential...if he ever develops his own sound.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Spectrum (Calvin Harris Remix)" - Florence + The Machine *3 weeks*
2. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa
3. "Black Heart" - Stooshe
4. "Vegas Girl" - Conor Maynard *new*
5. "Whistle" - Flo Rida
6. "Brokenhearted" - Karmin *new*
7. "Feel The Love" - Rudimental feat. John Newman
8. "Don't Wake Me Up" - Chris Brown
9. "This Is Love" - will.i.am feat Eva Simons
10. "We Are Young" - fun. feat. Janelle Monae

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Unveil 'Elysium' Album Cover, Tracklist

The album cover and tracklist for Pet Shop Boys' 11th studio album Elysium (out September 18) were revealed on their official site today. Welcome to their "L.A. album"!

The duo's site notes:
"The double-CD and double-vinyl versions of Elysium will include instrumental versions of each song. The artwork was designed by Farrow and the version shown here is for the regular single-CD/digital download versions."
Here's the two-disc version:

I can personally say that "A face like that" is rather epic, in a late-'80s/early-'90s/Introspective kind of way, and is my favorite track off the new LP.

1. Leaving
2. Invisible
3. Winner
4. Your early stuff
5. A face like that
6. Breathing space
7. Ego music
8. Hold on
9. Give it a go
10. Memory of the future
11. Everything means something
12. Requiem in denim and leopardskin


It's Scissor Sisters' "Let's Have A Kiki" Video (Finally)

Lost in all the London Olympics furor yesterday was the premiere of Scissor Sisters' video for third (and best) Magic Hour single "Let's Have A Kiki." If this somehow doesn't become a giant hit for the band, given that the song is one of the summer's viral breakout hits, then there is something seriously wrong with the universe.

The video, shot all in one take, is pretty rad. Watch through the very end to see Jake Shears practically collapse. You just know it took these sluts at least six tries to get this fucker right.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

It's The Killers' "Runaways" Video

The Killers' "Runaways" video has premiered, and I have to say, it's a pretty kick-ass clip. The band looks downright iconic while doing not much else than jamming while surrounded by darkness in the first half, then swathed in a dazzling array of colors and camera effects in the latter part. It's amazing what the right lighting can do.

Almost feels like they're pulling a bit from U2's "With Or Without You" vid.

"Runaways," the band's first single from upcoming album Battle Born (out September 18), debuted today on the Billboard Hot 100 at #78.


US Chart Roundup: The Return Of No Doubt & The Killers

Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" is #1 for a seventh week, and is now just seven days shy of tying the reign of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" for longest stretch at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 2012. And I officially can no longer stand the song.

However, Owl City and Carly Rae's "Good Time," which is at #23 in its fourth week on the chart, doesn't quite make me want to slam an axe into the radio yet. That jam, which debuted at #17 three weeks ago, briefly slipped out of the Top 10 on iTunes, but is now back up to #6 there thanks to the song's video premiere the other day.

Elsewhere, Calvin Harris and Ne-Yo's "Let's Go" moves up to #20, while No Doubt's "Settle Down" debuts at #34. This marks the California band's first Top 40 single (and first single in general, really) since their cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life" reached #10 in 2003. Just below No Doubt at #35, Alex Clare cracks the Top 40 with his previous UK hit "Too Close," while The Wanted manage to creak up two positions to #51 with "Chasing The Sun."

On a final note, The Killers' "Runaways" debuts at #78. It's their first first entry on the Hot 100 since 2010 holiday single "Boots" landed at #79.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen *7 weeks*
2. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa
3. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry
4. "Lights" - Ellie Goulding
5. "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye feat. Kimbra
6. "Whistle" - Flo Rida
7. "Where Have You Been" - Rihanna
8. "Titanium" - David Guetta feat. Sia
9. "Scream" - Usher
10. "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" - Pink

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's Dragonette's 'Bodyparts' Album Cover

Out September 25, same day as No Doubt's Push And Shove and Green Day's Uno, and a week after Pink's The Truth About Love, The Killers' Battle Born, Pet Shop Boys' Elysium and Nelly Furtado's The Spirit Indestructible.

If you pick up the September issue of Instinct (out third week August), you'll catch a review of Dragonette's Bodyparts by Mr. Xolondon.


JoJo Scrapped 'Jumping Trains'

Last week, when JoJo premiered new single "Demonstrate," I pondered whatever happened to her five-years-in-the-making Jumping Trains LP, which was supposed to be out earlier this year. Turns out she dumped the album entirely.

JoJo told Billboard the following at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday: "It didn't feel right anymore," she says. "I've been working on it for a long time. I'm 21 now and it didn't feel like me."

She added that she'll be shooting the video for "Demonstrate" the first week of August, and that the new material she's been working on is "something that is musical but still on the cutting edge yet still has an element of nostalgia. It makes me feel the way that hip-hop and R&B in the 90's kind of makes me feel."
So, more K-Ci & JoJo, perhaps? Ba-da-boom TSCH!


It's Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen's "Good Time" Video

I'll admit that I've been on an Owl City kick lately, mostly due to his Carly Rae Jepsen pair-up "Good Time" and Shooting Stars EP jams "Gold" and "Take It All Away." I know — I'm so uncool.

The "Good Time" video has now premiered, and it features the sunny pair driving off to camp, having slushees, toasting marshmallows and dancing around a fire.

They also have sex up against a tree, at which point Owl City begins hooting and spinning his head the entire way around. (That last part isn't really in the video, but I like to imagine it'll be in the expanded short film version on his DVD music video compilation some day.)

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Offer Up "Winner" Video, Single Details

Pet Shop Boys do not appear in their video for first Elysium single "Winner," but the clip is nonetheless a compelling one that thankfully avoids an obvious Olympics theme. Instead, the visual focuses on London Rollergirls, a female roller derby crew that happens to have a transgender member named Dirty Diana.

Despite her name, Diana is less on stripper poles and hooking up with rock stars, and more of about fitting in with the rest of the girls and being a kick-ass roller diva.

Again, a refreshing concept. Below is the info for the Boys' upcoming official single release for "Winner," which is out August 6 in the UK:

The track-listing for the first digital bundle and the CD is as follows:
1. Winner
2. A certain "Je ne sais quoi"
3. The way through the woods (long version)
4. I started a joke
'A certain "Je ne sais quoi"' was originally written and recorded in 2007 and recently reworked by Chris and Neil. 'The way through the woods' was recorded in Los Angeles during the 'Elysium' sessions but Neil and Chris did more work on it subsequently, creating a much longer version. It is a setting of a poem by Rudyard Kipling and, like 'Winner', features an orchestral arrangement by Joachim Horsley, Andrew Dawson and Ben Leathers. 'I started a joke' is a cover of a Bee Gees song from the 60s and is intended as a tribute to the late Robin Gibb. All three bonus tracks have been mixed by Bob Kraushaar.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Gareth Gates Had A Hit 10 Years Ago

On this week 10 years ago, Gareth Gates, the runner-up (behind Will Young) from the very first season of Pop Idol (which spawned American Idol and a thousand imitators), saw his rather decent second single "Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)" spend a second week of three atop the UK singles chart.

It was Gareth's peak pop moment, alas — as the rest of his output was quite shit — and the song came courtesy of hit-making Swedes Jörgen Elofsson, Per Magnusson and David Kreuger, who did some of the better tracks on Britney Spears' first LP ("Sometimes," "(You Drive Me) Crazy").

Ironically, while "Anyone Of Us" hit #1 in the UK, Sweden and Norway, the song either failed to chart or wasn't released in Italy, where video was shot.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Spectrum (Calvin Harris Remix)" - Florence + The Machine *2 weeks*
2. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa
3. "Don't Wake Me Up" - Chris Brown
4. "This Is Love" - will.i.am feat. Eva Simons
5. "Black Heart" - Stooshe
6. "Whistle" - Flo Rida
7. "Feel The Love" - Rudimental feat. John Newman
8. "Princess Of China" - Coldplay feat. Rihanna
9. "Pound The Alarm" - Nicki Minaj
10. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry

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Friday, July 20, 2012

The Devil We Blame Our Atrocities On

Marilyn Manson's essay written in May 1999 about the Columbine shootings could have been penned this morning about the so-called "Dark Knight shootings", give or take a few cultural references.

Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?

by Marilyn Manson

It is sad to think that the first few people on earth needed no books, movies, games or music to inspire cold-blooded murder. The day that Cain bashed his brother Abel's brains in, the only motivation he needed was his own human disposition to violence. Whether you interpret the Bible as literature or as the final word of whatever God may be, Christianity has given us an image of death and sexuality that we have based our culture around. A half-naked dead man hangs in most homes and around our necks, and we have just taken that for granted all our lives. Is it a symbol of hope or hopelessness? The world's most famous murder-suicide was also the birth of the death icon -- the blueprint for celebrity. Unfortunately, for all of their inspiring morality, nowhere in the Gospels is intelligence praised as a virtue.
A lot of people forget or never realize that I started my band as a criticism of these very issues of despair and hypocrisy. The name Marilyn Manson has never celebrated the sad fact that America puts killers on the cover of Time magazine, giving them as much notoriety as our favorite movie stars. From Jesse James to Charles Manson, the media, since their inception, have turned criminals into folk heroes. They just created two new ones when they plastered those dipshits Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris' pictures on the front of every newspaper. Don't be surprised if every kid who gets pushed around has two new idols.

We applaud the creation of a bomb whose sole purpose is to destroy all of mankind, and we grow up watching our president's brains splattered all over Texas. Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised. Does anyone think the Civil War was the least bit civil? If television had existed, you could be sure they would have been there to cover it, or maybe even participate in it, like their violent car chase of Princess Di. Disgusting vultures looking for corpses, exploiting, fucking, filming and serving it up for our hungry appetites in a gluttonous display of endless human stupidity.

When it comes down to who's to blame for the high school murders in Littleton, Colorado, throw a rock and you'll hit someone who's guilty. We're the people who sit back and tolerate children owning guns, and we're the ones who tune in and watch the up-to-the-minute details of what they do with them. I think it's terrible when anyone dies, especially if it is someone you know and love. But what is more offensive is that when these tragedies happen, most people don't really care any more than they would about the season finale of Friends or The Real World. I was dumbfounded as I watched the media snake right in, not missing a teardrop, interviewing the parents of dead children, televising the funerals. Then came the witch hunt.

Man's greatest fear is chaos. It was unthinkable that these kids did not have a simple black-and-white reason for their actions. And so a scapegoat was needed. I remember hearing the initial reports from Littleton, that Harris and Klebold were wearing makeup and were dressed like Marilyn Manson, whom they obviously must worship, since they were dressed in black. Of course, speculation snowballed into making me the poster boy for everything that is bad in the world. These two idiots weren't wearing makeup, and they weren't dressed like me or like goths. Since Middle America has not heard of the music they did listen to (KMFDM and Rammstein, among others), the media picked something they thought was similar.

Responsible journalists have reported with less publicity that Harris and Klebold were not Marilyn Manson fans -- that they even disliked my music. Even if they were fans, that gives them no excuse, nor does it mean that music is to blame. Did we look for James Huberty's inspiration when he gunned down people at McDonald's? What did Timothy McVeigh like to watch? What about David Koresh, Jim Jones? Do you think entertainment inspired Kip Kinkel, or should we blame the fact that his father bought him the guns he used in the Springfield, Oregon, murders? What inspires Bill Clinton to blow people up in Kosovo? Was it something that Monica Lewinsky said to him? Isn't killing just killing, regardless if it's in Vietnam or Jonesboro, Arkansas? Why do we justify one, just because it seems to be for the right reasons? Should there ever be a right reason? If a kid is old enough to drive a car or buy a gun, isn't he old enough to be held personally responsible for what he does with his car or gun? Or if he's a teenager, should someone else be blamed because he isn't as enlightened as an eighteen-year-old?

America loves to find an icon to hang its guilt on. But, admittedly, I have assumed the role of Antichrist; I am the Nineties voice of individuality, and people tend to associate anyone who looks and behaves differently with illegal or immoral activity. Deep down, most adults hate people who go against the grain. It's comical that people are naive enough to have forgotten Elvis, Jim Morrison and Ozzy so quickly. All of them were subjected to the same age-old arguments, scrutiny and prejudice. I wrote a song called "Lunchbox," and some journalists have interpreted it as a song about guns. Ironically, the song is about being picked on and fighting back with my Kiss lunch box, which I used as a weapon on the playground. In 1979, metal lunch boxes were banned because they were considered dangerous weapons in the hands of delinquents. I also wrote a song called "Get Your Gunn." The title is spelled with two n's because the song was a reaction to the murder of Dr. David Gunn, who was killed in Florida by pro-life activists while I was living there. That was the ultimate hypocrisy I witnessed growing up: that these people killed someone in the name of being "pro-life."

The somewhat positive messages of these songs are usually the ones that sensationalists misinterpret as promoting the very things I am decrying. Right now, everyone is thinking of how they can prevent things like Littleton. How do you prevent AIDS, world war, depression, car crashes? We live in a free country, but with that freedom there is a burden of personal responsibility. Rather than teaching a child what is moral and immoral, right and wrong, we first and foremost can establish what the laws that govern us are. You can always escape hell by not believing in it, but you cannot escape death and you cannot escape prison.

It is no wonder that kids are growing up more cynical; they have a lot of information in front of them. They can see that they are living in a world that's made of bullshit. In the past, there was always the idea that you could turn and run and start something better. But now America has become one big mall, and because of the Internet and all of the technology we have, there's nowhere to run. People are the same everywhere. Sometimes music, movies and books are the only things that let us feel like someone else feels like we do. I've always tried to let people know it's OK, or better, if you don't fit into the program. Use your imagination -- if some geek from Ohio can become something, why can't anyone else with the willpower and creativity?

I chose not to jump into the media frenzy and defend myself, though I was begged to be on every single TV show in existence. I didn't want to contribute to these fame-seeking journalists and opportunists looking to fill their churches or to get elected because of their self-righteous finger-pointing. They want to blame entertainment? Isn't religion the first real entertainment? People dress up in costumes, sing songs and dedicate themselves in eternal fandom. Everyone will agree that nothing was more entertaining than Clinton shooting off his prick and then his bombs in true political form. And the news -- that's obvious. So is entertainment to blame? I'd like media commentators to ask themselves, because their coverage of the event was some of the most gruesome entertainment any of us have seen.

I think that the National Rifle Association is far too powerful to take on, so most people choose Doom, The Basketball Diaries or yours truly. This kind of controversy does not help me sell records or tickets, and I wouldn't want it to. I'm a controversial artist, one who dares to have an opinion and bothers to create music and videos that challenge people's ideas in a world that is watered-down and hollow. In my work I examine the America we live in, and I've always tried to show people that the devil we blame our atrocities on is really just each one of us. So don't expect the end of the world to come one day out of the blue -- it's been happening every day for a long time.

(May 28, 1999)


Lana Del Rey Is A Sepia-Toned Lesbian In "Summertime Sadness" Video

Lana Del Rey keeps her sad noir hooker trash schtick rolling with the video for "Summertime Sadness," which, if you ask me, is the best song off Born To Die.

Basically it's a video made on the cheap, with flashbacks to some lipstick lezbo affair she had before the two dolls jumped off a bridge or a mountain or some shit.

Just imagine if this was the video for Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Good Time"...


Thursday, July 19, 2012

US Chart Roundup: Lady Gaga And Katy Perry Can "Blow" Pink

I'm really glad Pink now has more Top 10 hits on the Hot 100 (she has 12) than either Lady Gaga (she has 11) or Katy Perry (11, also). It makes all seem right in the world. My only problem is that "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)," her latest (it's up to #9) feels sort of pedestrian. It's been several weeks now, and that song still hasn't grown on me. Call me old school, but I like my Pink with Max Martin and (really old school) Linda Perry.

Oh, well. Everything else on the Hot 100 is pretty flat this week, save for The Wanted jumping up 17 positions to #53 with "Chasing The Sun," which finally looks like it's making some headway on iTunes.

Over on the Top 200 album chart, Frank Ocean's much-hyped debut LP Channel Orange arrives at #2. "Pyramids" has kind of been my jam for a few weeks now, so well done. Now if only the gays could actually turn all this "Let's Have A Kiki" business into a hit for Scissor Sisters.

You know, Frank Ocean, Scissor Sisters — same thing, right?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen *6 weeks*
2. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa
3. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry
4. "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye feat. Kimbra
5. "Lights" - Ellie Goulding
6. "Where Have You Been" - Rihanna
7. "Whistle" - Flo Rida
8. "Titanium" - David Guetta feat. Sia
9. "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" - Pink
10. "Scream" - Usher

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

JoJo Gets Even Naughtier With "Demonstrate"

Just when you're sitting there wondering what happened to JoJo and her Jumping Trains album that was supposed to be out in "early 2012," along comes the saucy minx with a a new single.

"Demonstrate" is basically an R&B slow jam where the singer uses her body to show her man how good and naughty she can be. Sound-wise, it also kind of finds the 21-year-old venturing into Beyonce/Kelly Rowland territory.

"Demonstrate" was whipped up by Drake's producer Noah Shebib. Jumping Trains is now expected to be out this fall. Or, you know, next fall. Or fall 2014...


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

George Michael Cheats Death In "White Light" Video

George Michael has successfully transformed into a Silverlake daddy — and has more than enough cash to back that title up — as evidenced by his video for new single "White Light." And given that the old broad has had several run-ins with the law, and even cheated death this past winter after a bout with pneumonia, it makes sense that he'd shoot a video where he's on the brink of kicking the bucket.

That's when George's guardian angel Kate Moss steps in. (Hello — isn't she yours, too?) And with the toss of a coin, she decides that it's time for the singer to.... well, just watch this trash below and find out.

I have to say, I've been digging this jam. It's his first decent single since '96, if you ask me.


Monday, July 16, 2012

No Doubt Get In Line And "Settle Down" In Their New Video

No Doubt's "Settle Down" video finds Gwen Stefani and the guys each driving a Mack truck to a party destination, where they basically throw down with a big ol' reggae-infused rave with a bunch of dancers. I already flipped my lid earlier today over the song itself. All I can add about the video is that Gwen is looking pretty flawless.

I hope this fucker turns out to be a big hit.

It's Pink's 'The Truth About Love' Album Cover

Here's the cover of Pink's upcoming album The Truth About Love, which arrives September 18, the same day as new album releases from Nelly Furtado, Pet Shop Boys, The Killers, Ne-Yo and Ben Folds Five.


No Doubt's "Settle Down" Is Everything Today

Admit it — you thought "Settle Down," the Diplo-produced lead single from No Doubt's Push And Shove (out September 25), was going to suck, didn't you?

You were wrong.


It's Madonna's "Turn Up The Radio" Video

Madonna's "Turn Up The Radio" turns out to be another classic case of the music video being better than the song itself. In fact, I think this is Ye Olde Vampyre's best video of the three MDNA singles (sorry, gays who saw Jesus and spoke in tongues over that trashy "Girl Gone Wild" clip) — let alone her best one since Confessions era.

Maybe the reason is because Madge is in her natural element here. No, I'm not talking about the Italian setting. I mean the fact that she's an old cougar riding around in a car, picking up young men to drain the life force out of.

Dance with Madonna at your own risk, boys. She'll live for thousands of years, regardless, while you'll end up dead at 28, face down in a ditch with your boxer briefs around your ankles.

Turn up the radio!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Calvin Harris' Remix Of Florence's Vagina

Oh, good — I love Calvin Harris' remix of Florence's vagina!

The UK Top 10:

1. "Spectrum (Say My Name)" - Florence + The Machine *new* *1 week*
2. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa
3. "This Is Love" - will.i.am feat. Eva Simons
4. "Don't Wake Me Up" - Chris Brown
5. "Black Heart" - Stooshe
6. "Whistle" - Flo Rida
7. "Feel The Love" - Rudimental feat. John Newman
8. "Princess Of China" - Coldplay feat. Rihanna
9. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry
10. "Pound The Alarm" - Nicki Minaj

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Madonna's "Turn Up The Radio" Single Art: A Lot Of Effort Went Into This

Brava, signorina.


It's Saint Etienne's "I've Got Your Music" Video

Well, I didn't make the cut for Saint Etienne's "I've Got Your Music" video, but it's still a semi-fun watch, regardless. (Only semi.) Alas, I'm not nearly as cute as the little red-headed tyke holding a KLF 12".


Has Anyone Submitted Owl City To That Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians Site Yet?

Just sayin'.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

US Chart Roundup: Pink's New Single Blows, But Appears To Be A Hit

"Call Me Maybe," the eighth single to top the Billboard Hot 100 in 2012, is still on top (for a fifth week). Carly Rae Jepsen is now one week shy of tying fun.'s "We Are Young" for having the second-longest run at #1 this year — Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" being in first place, with eight weeks.

A bit further down the chart, Owl City and Carly Rae's "Good Time" moves up one position to #17, while Pink's "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" debuts at #58. Both singles have been getting decent airplay over the past week, and Pink jumped up to #2 on iTunes this week (behind Katy Perry's "Wide Awake"). "Good Time" is #8 on iTunes. But I'm still not digging the Pink song. I'm sure hearing it repeatedly over the next three months will eventually wear me down.

Meanwhile, with their latest US single, The Wanted appear to be on the Ellie Goulding "Lights" trajectory of taking three thousand weeks to climb the Hot 100, as "Chasing The Sun" inches up from #72 to #70.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen *5 weeks*
2. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa
3. "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye feat. Kimbra
4. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry
5. "Lights" - Ellie Goulding
6. "Where Have You Been" - Rihanna
7. "Titanium" - David Guetta feat. Sia
8. "We Are Young" - fun. feat. Janelle Monae
9. "Starships" - Nicki Minaj
10. "Scream" - Usher

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Saint Etienne's Amy Winehouse "Just Friends" Cover

Saint Etienne have covered Amy Winehouse's 2006 Back To Black tune "Just Friends" for a special Q magazine tribute compilation. Not much to say about it other than it's pretty fucking lovely.

Do you agree?

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The Killers' 'Battle Born' Out In September

The Killers' fourth album Battle Born will be out September 18, the same week as Nelly Furtado, Pink and Pet Shop Boys' new albums (and the Michael Jackson Bad re-issue).


Ellie Goulding Offers Up Free New Song "Hanging On"

What better time for Ellie Goulding to release new music (for free) than when she's enjoying her first US Top 10 single? It seems like the English broad has been working on new material forever, and she's giving us the first taste with "Hanging On," a moody slow number that verges on dubstep but never quite has a breakdown.

I like "Hanging On," but this isn't really going to keep her in the good graces of the chart gods, but hopefully it's just an experimental tease of better things to come. The Tinie Tempah pair-up is kind of unnecessary, but whatever.

"Free download so please share and enjoy irresponsibly," Ellie wrote on her Facebook page. You can download it here.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

PWL Hit Factory Live Gig In London Canceled: They Say It's Gonna Rain

Yesterday Kylie Minogue tweeted the above pic of herself while rehearsing with Jason Donovan for their PWL Hit Factory Live reunion, but this morning brought news that the entire fest had to be called off due weather conditions (and last weekend's Wireless Festival) making the Hyde Park  grounds in London unsafe.

Pete Waterman told the BBC the following:
"People have come from all over the world to make this happen. We're trying to work out what we can do. Police, parks and safety people have said it's completely unsafe at the moment. We saw the damage caused by the Wireless festival at the weekend, but we can't get lorries on to the site to dump bark and mulch on the ground. What can I say? We've had exceptional weather. If it's not safe, it's not safe and you can't control that."
As expected, the mood on the official PWL Facebook page of those who planned to attend the event reflects disappointment.

Hazell Dean, who was due to perform at Hit Factory Live — and who recorded the ironically-titled tune "They Say It's Gonna Rain" — passed this message along:
"Dear All. As you can imagine I am absolutely devastated.
I arrived for rehearsals earlier and was told the news by the guys from Dead Or Alive.
I don't know what else to say, as I only know as much as you which is what is reported on the BBC News website.
I'm sure PWL and Live Nation will make and announcement as soon as they can.
Hopefully with a rescheduled date.
Iam as gutted as you guys.

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It's The Killers' New Single "Runaways"

The Killers' new single "Runaways" is set to debut today but has leaked online a bit early. Musically, there are slight shades reminiscent of the band's 2006 album Sam's Town, mainly in the intro. However, overall, the synthy guitar-pop jam mostly reminds me of something that would have sounded at home on 2008's Day & Age.

I guess in that sense, the song doesn't indicate that Brandon Flowers and the gang have progressed much, but that's okay — Day & Age was a solid album, and "Runaways" has some fat guitar riffs that make me believe they've still got edge.


Monday, July 09, 2012

Here's A Tease Of No Doubt's "Settle Down" Video

If the music playing over top the tease of No Doubt's "Settle Down" video is anything, Gwen Stefani & the other guys who aren't Gwen Stefani will be serving up a Middle Eastern-tinged affair as the first single from upcoming album Push And Shove.

As usual, Gwen snagged Sophie Muller to lens the "Settle Down" vid, which premieres in full next Monday (July 16).

I personally can't believe No Doubt haven't released anything together since their 2003 cover of "It's My Life". I bought that trash on CD single in London back when it was out, and upon a quick check, it appears to be the only No Doubt song I have in my iTunes.

Perhaps I should remedy that. "Underneath It All" was kind of a jam. Whatever happened to Lady Saw, anyway?


Sunday, July 08, 2012

U.K. Chart Post: I Think I'll Go Beat Off To My Channing Tatum Calendar

Maroon 5 return to #1 in the UK after being displaced last week by will.i.am's latest shit single "This Is Love." And that sassy Stooshe jam "Black Heart" climbs back up from #8 to #5.

Meanwhile, on the album chart, Chris Brown's Fortune debuts at #1. More than enough reason to stop right here, and just sit and wonder whether or not the above pic of Adam Levine with a mustache is hot or not. Somewhere in between? Lukewarm?

He never really did it for me. I think I'll go beat off to my Channing Tatum calendar.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa *1 week*
2. "Don't Wake Me Up" - Chris Brown
3. "This Is Love" - will.i.am feat. Eva Simons
4. "Whistle" - Flo Rida
5. "Black Heart" - Stooshe
6. "Feel The Love" - Rudimental feat. John Newman
7. "We Are Young" - fun. feat. Janelle Monae
8. "Princess Of China" - Coldplay feat. Rihanna
9. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry
10. "Call My Name" - Cheryl

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

US Chart Roundup: Carly Rae Jepsen Now Has Two Songs In The Top 20

Yes, Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" is still #1, now for a fourth week, on the Hot 100. The Canadian pop sorceress also manages to debut at #18 with her Owl City pair-up "Good Time," which climbed into the Top 10 on iTunes last week and has been nicely perched there ever since.

Further down the chart, Calvin Harris and Ne-Yo's "Let's Go" gets bumped up to #31 while Cher Lloyd cracks the Top 40 (at #35) with her first US hit "Want U Back". The song was her third single from her debut LP in Lloyd's home country of the UK, and peaked at #25 there earlier this year.

Elsewhere, The Wanted continue their slow rise with "Chasing The Sun," which is now up to #72. And Nero's dubstep jam "Promises", which topped the UK chart nearly a year ago, debuts at #81.

Over on the Top 200, Linkin Park's Living Things managed squeak past Maroon 5's Overexposed and snag the #1 position after selling 223,000 copies, just 3,000 more than the latter. This puts Maroon 5 at #2 on both the album and single charts.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Call Me Maybe" - Carly Rae Jepsen *4 weeks*
2. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa
3. "Somebody That I Used To Know" - Gotye feat. Kimbra
4. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry
5. "Where Have You Been" - Rihanna
6. "Lights" - Ellie Goulding
7. "We Are Young" - fun. feat. Janelle Monae
8. "Starships" - Nicki Minaj
9. "Titanium" - David Guetta feat. Sia
10. "Scream" - Usher

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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Pink Announces 'The Truth About Love' Album

Out September 18. Too bad first single "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" kinda blows. Oh well, maybe it'll be an I'm Not Dead and have far stronger singles to come?


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

It's The Killers' Cover Art For New Single "Runaways"

"Runaways," The Killers' first Steve Lilywhite-produced single off upcoming fourth album Battle Born, is out next week (July 10).


Pink's "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" Contains Lots Of Shrieking

I want to like Pink's new Greg Kurstin-produced single "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)", I really do. And the intro and verses are pleasant enough. But the chorus is pretty weak, and she sounds like a shrieking hyena on it.

Plus, do we really need to hear the word "shit" that much in a pop song?

Oh, well. Maybe it's a grower...


Monday, July 02, 2012

Pet Shop Boys "Winner": The Full Song/Lyric Video

Ooh, it goes up an octave. Full assessment later today.


Sunday, July 01, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Will.i.am Needs To Stop

Sorry, Chris Brown and William Orbit, but when will.i.am is involved, mediocrity will always, always win.

The UK Top 10:

1. "This Is Love" - will.i.am feat. Eva Simons *new* *1 week*
2. "Payphone" - Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa
3. "Don't Wake Me Up" - Chris Brown *new*
4. "Whistle" - Flo Rida
5. "Call My Name" - Cheryl
6. "Feel The Love" - Rudimental feat. John Newman
7. "Princess Of China" - Coldplay feat. Rihanna
8. "Black Heart" - Stooshe
9. "We Are Young" - fun. feat. Janelle Monae
10. "Wide Awake" - Katy Perry

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