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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Will.i.am & Britney Spears' "Scream & Shout" Video Is More Like A Dull Whisper

Will.i.am and Britney Spears' collaboration "Scream & Shout" isn't awful. It's just kind of generically drab. When is everyone going to realize that most things Will touches turns to pussy (and not in the sexy way)?

Until that happens, you catch the video for this pair's latest below. It's full of product placement, Auto-Tune, sleek costumes, Illuminati signs and lots and lots of low-grade pussy. Perfect for the holidays!

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Sia Performs "Diamonds" Live With Stargate: Watch

Sia has been one of my favorite pop broads for awhile now (have you read my 2010 interview with her?), and so I'm glad to see her having her day in the sun in the States, finally, after penning hits like  "Diamonds," "Titanium" and "Wild Ones."

Recently, Sia hit the stage with "Diamonds" producers Stargate at the Norwegian-American Achievement Awards ceremony for a performance of the song (which is currently #1 for Rihanna on the Hot 100). Watch the her elegantly somber version below.

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US Chart Roundup: Rihanna's "Diamonds" & 'Unapologetic' Shine Bright

Rihanna's "Diamonds," now in its second week atop the Billboard Hot 100, is the 12th single to reach #1 in 2012 (if we're to count RiRi's own "We Found Love," which technically went to #1 in 2011, briefly ceded the chart to LMFAO's "Sexy And I Know It," then returned to the top for two more weeks in January). And with December now nearly upon us, you have to wonder if she can pull off a repeat of wrapping up the year with the final chart-topper.

Either way, RiRi can pour it up this week, as she's got both the top single and top album. Her seventh LP Unapologetic is now her first to hit the peak position on the Top 200 chart. And I have to admit, after taking part in the sometimes-harrowing 777 Tour, I'm suffering from a bit of Stockholm syndrome, and have been listening to this broad's new record for the past week nonstop.

My fave jams off it: "Half Of Me," "What Now," "Love Without Tragedy / Mother Mary." Don't worry — it'll wear off quickly. It's hardly a superb album. I'm just still missing my hostage-taking pop queen, and caught up in her current diamond-shine. 

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Diamonds" - Rihanna *2 weeks*
2. "Die Young" - Ke$ha
3. "One More Night" - Maroon 5
4. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
5. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
6. "Some Nights" - fun.
7. "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers
8. "Home" - Phillip Phillips
9. "I Cry" - Flo Rida
10. "Let Me Love You" - Ne-Yo

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Alphabeat Release "X-Mas (Let's Do It Again)"

Alphabeat doing a Christmas song? Sure, why not. Sounding like a cross between Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" and Wham!'s "Last Christmas," the Danish band's synthy "X-mas (Let's Do It Again)" is already an infinitely better single than their previous two 2012 offerings "Vacation" and "Love Sea."

Personally, I kind of which the 'beat would just go back to their Black Box-esque '90s house pastiche of the previous album. Oh, well. Until then, hear their holiday jam below.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Mutya Keisha Siobhan Are Back In Business

Mutya Keisha Siobhan (aka the original Sugababes) kicked off the week by tweeting out the above photo, which states that they are "back in business." But lest any MKS fans start spinning around in an excited frenzy like the Tasmanian Devil, this is apparently not the cover of their upcoming album, but rather the cover of British mag Ponystep.

The broads have been in the studio over the past year with everyone from Emeli Sande to Biffco. Is a new single by the holidays too much to ask for?

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Girls Aloud Offer Up More Unlistenable Noise With "Every Now And Then"

Yesterday I pointed out the solid fact that Girls Aloud's "On The Metro" was only the third good song they've recorded in their 10-year career. This caused tweeter @JulianRupert to unfollow me. But as I've stated before, I'm not here to win a popularity contest; I'm here to keep it real and unmask the truths about pop. It's all for you, Damien!
So anyway, case in point, below you'll find the Xenomania-produced "Every Now And Then," one of the four new songs on GA's shameless "comeback" collection of flops,  Ten (out today in the UK). Generic piddle is putting it kindly.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Olly Murs Cock-Blocks Over-The-Hill Ho Brigade Girls Aloud With "Troublemaker"

Olly Murs earns the fourth #1 of his two-year recording career with "Troublemaker," the lead single off upcoming album Right Place Right Time, on the UK chart. I've gone on before about what a proper pop tune this one is, though it could do with having the utterly useless Flo Rida rap scraped off it.

According to the Official Charts Company, the 121,000 copies "Troublemaker" sold put it "well ahead" of Girls Aloud's comeback single "Something New," which has to settle for a #2 entry. This doesn't surprise me in the least, since the latter sounds like five alley cats in heat howling to be ass-rammed by Garfield. (Really, the 10-legged ho troupe should have gone with "On The Metro" as the lead single.)

Over on the album chart, Rihanna's Unapologetic becomes her fourth LP to hit #1 in the UK after selling 100,000 copies.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Troublemaker" - Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida *new* *1 week*
2. "Something New" - Girls Aloud *new*
3. "Little Things" - One Direction
4. "Beneath Your Beautiful" - Labrinth feat. Emeli Sande
5. "Girl On Fire" - Alicia Keys *new*
6. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
7. "The Power Of Love" - Gabrielle Aplin
8. "Candy" - Robbie Williams
9. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
10. ""Diamonds" - Rihanna

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Girls Aloud's "On The Metro": The Third Good Song Of Their 10-Year Career

Throughout the British group's 10-year history, Girls Aloud has churned out some wretched cack and passed it off as music. But occasionally, on rare occasions, they've released some pretty decent singles (see: "Call The Shots" and "The Loving Kind").

The broads' new greatest hits collection, Ten, contains another entry in the sparse "good Girls Aloud" category, thanks to new song "On The Metro."  Unfortunately, it's not lined up as their follow-up single to "Something New." Oh, well — missed flopportunity if you ask me. Listen below!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's Robbie Williams' "Different" Video

Here's another one I missed out on while being the in the bubble of Rihanna's 777 Tour: the video for Robbie Williams' second Take The Crown single, "Different." The song, co-written by Robbie, Gary Barlow and Jacknife Lee, borders on dullsville, but is just sappy enough to earn a decent chart position in the UK once it's officially released.

As for the video, it's basically Robbie looking intense while both conducting and starring in some '40s silver screen noir send-up.

"Be A Boy" is the real gem on Take The Crown. Best get that one out next.


Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Cher's "Woman's World": Hear Her New Dance Jam

Cher premiered her new single "Woman's World" online yesterday, and, really, I can't believe this broad finally has some new music out. She's apparently worked with everyone from Lady Gaga to Pink to Christina Aguilera to my cat Miss Pussy to President Obama to the four-dollar hooker down the alleyway and the ghost that fucked Ke$ha recently on her new tracks.

At any rate, you'll find the song below. It's geared toward the dancefloor, naturally, and it's from Cher's upcoming studio album, her first since 2001's Living Proof.


Pet Shop Boys' "Memory Of The Future": Hear Stuart Price's Seven-Inch Mix

"Memory Of The Future" is one of my favorite tracks off Pet Shop Boys' latest LP, Elysium, and so I'm jazzed that it's being released as the album's third single (on December 31). Even more rad: it's received a full-on radio mix overhaul by Stuart Price (listen below), who previous whipped up the Boys' 2009 Brit Awards medley and remixed their Yes single "All Over The World."

Finger crossed that Stuart produces Neil and Chris' next album, which they've said they're recording now, and will be in the dance-pop vein. Hear the snazzy new "Memory Of The Future" below.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

US Chart Roundup: Rihanna Lands 12th #1 Single

Rihanna's lead Unapologetic single, the Sia-penned "Diamonds," has topped the Hot 100, and thankfully ends the nine-week reign of Maroon 5's shit "One More Night." This not only marks RiRi's 12th #1 in the US, it also gives her the distinction of having at least one chart-topping single on six of her seven albums. (Only her debut, 2005's Music Of The Sun, failed to produce a #1.)

Traveling around with Rihanna on the 777 Tour last week proved to be a grueling experience (more on that later), but as her final gig of the seven ended in New York City on Tuesday night, news broke that "Diamonds" had captured the peak position on the chart. Personally, I feel like it's a worthy achievement for a song that's far better than some of her other #1s.

At any rate, I'm going to compile a mega-post with photos from the tour and links to my Idolator write-ups in the next day or so.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Diamonds" - Rihanna *1 week*
2. "One More Night" - Maroon 5
3. "Die Young" - Ke$ha
4. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
5. "Some Nights" - fun.
6. "Let Me Love You" - Ne-Yo
7. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
8. "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers
9. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
10. "I Cry" - Flo Rida

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: One Direction Crown Single, Album Tallies

As mentioned, One Direction's second Take Me Home single "Little Things" is total shit. And now it's totally #1 in the UK! This bumps Robbie Williams' "Candy" down to #6, and gives the fivesome their second chart-topper, not to mention their first since debut offering "What Makes You Beautiful" hit the top in fall 2011.

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that 1D's sophomore LP Take Me Home also manages to top the UK album chart this week, thus knocking Robbie's Take The Crown down to #5.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Little Things" - One Direction *new* *1 week*
2. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars *new*
3. "DNA" - Little Mix *new*
4. "Beneath Your Beautiful" - Labrinth feat. Emeli Sande
5. "The Power Of Love" - Gabrielle Aplin
6. "Candy" - Robbie Williams
7. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
8. "Ho Hey" - The Lumineers
9. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
10. "Love Is Easy" - McFly *new*

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

US Chart Roundup: Maroon 5's "One More Night" Spends One More Week At #1

Nine weeks? Really? What the fuck is WRONG with you, America?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "One More Night" - Maroon 5 *9 weeks*
2. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
3. "Die Young" - Ke$ha
4. "Some Nights" - fun.
5. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
6. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
7. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
8. "Let Me Love You" - Ne-Yo
9. "Too Close" - Alex Clare
10. "I Cry" - Flo Rida

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rihanna's 777 Tour: Taking Off Tomorrow (And I'm On Instagram Now)

I mentioned the other day that I've been invited to tag along on Rihanna's 777 Tour, which kicks off tomorrow (in Mexico City) and carries on through Toronto (Thursday), Stockholm (Friday), Paris (Saturday), Berlin (Sunday), London (Monday) and New York City (Tuesday).

I'm sitting in my hotel room near LAX in Los Angeles right now. As you can see above, I packed light — one carry-on bag. I mastered the art of compact travel when I did 10 days in Italy (and three cities there) with a carry-on last year.

As you can also see, I'm now on Instagram (as Chartrigger). Follow me!

You can catch all of my 777 Tour coverage over at Idolator, and I'll be posting links and odds and ends here, as well. Wish me luck — and pray for my soul, as it's going to be weary and sleepless for seven days straight.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Kelly Clarkson's "Catch My Breath" Video

No, folks, Kelly Clarkson never met a black dress and a bank of lights on a soundstage she didn't like. Et voila — her "Catch My Breath" video!

This lackluster clip probably won't do much for the single's chart prospects, as it already peaked at #54 on the Hot 100 upon its release last month, and is now off the chart. But who knows — maybe some late-in-the-game airplay will kick in?

Kelly's Greatest Hits: Chapter One is out next week (November 19) in the US.


Booty Luv Return With "Black Widow": Watch

Let this throw you for a loop: Booty Luv's first album, which contained UK hits like "Boogie 2Nite," "Don't Mess With My Man" and "Some Kinda Rush," came out in 2007. To give you an idea on just how long ago that was, it was the same year Rihanna released "Umbrella," Jordin Sparks won American Idol, Leon Jackson won The X Factor, Britney Spears went crazy and shaved her head (plus released Blackout) and Spice Girls reunited for a world tour.

Anyway, after 2009 single "Say It" landed at a so-so #16 in the UK, the bouncy gals of Booty Luv are back with new single "Black Widow," which is available as a pre-order on US iTunes (the remix EP has a release date of January 20, 2013).

The chorus gets a B for effort, but overall, it's a pedestrian track that remains largely indistinguishable from the slew of other EDM shit clogging up the airwaves these days.

I dunno — what do you think?


Sunday, November 11, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: The Wanted Porn Talk

Above you'll see a picture of The Wanted where it looks like all five of them just got done fucking each other hard, and there's probably lots of slippery mess on that couch. Max George looks the most like he enjoyed his spit-roast sesh. Okay, um — I'll be back in 45 seconds...

....Okay, back. What the hell are we talking about? Oh, right — The Wanted. Their latest jam "I Found You" debuts at #3 in the UK, marking their seventh of nine single to land in the Top 10 (actually, Top 5). Cause for Max to face-fuck the other four, if you ask me. Hoo-razzy!

Elsewhere, Robbie Williams sticks around atop the singles chart with "Candy," his first #1 hit in eight years, for a second week. Meanwhile, his ninth album Take The Crown takes the peak position of the album chart away from Calvin Harris.

According to the Official Charts Company, this is Robbie's 10th album to be tops in the UK, and the first time he's had a #1 album and single since 2001, when Swing While You're Winning and his Nicole Kidman duet "Something Stupid" ruled.

Speaking of flashbacks, on this week 10 years ago, Westlife's "Unbreakable" was #1 in the UK. And that, friends, is one boy band I never want to think about ramming each other's butts.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Candy" - Robbie Williams *2 weeks*
2. "Beneath Your Beautiful" - Labrinth feat. Emeli Sande
3. "I Found You" - The Wanted *new*
4. "Skyfall" - Adele
5. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia
6. "Gangnam Style" - PSY 
7. "Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya)" - Wiley feat. Skepta, JME & Ms D
8. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
9. "Do You Think Of Me" - Misha B *new*
10. "Shine Ya Light" - Rita Ora *new*

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Nicole Westbrook's "It's Thanksgiving" Changes Everything

Rebecca Black is officially over, now that stunning soul goddess Nicole Westbrook has arrived with her holiday hit "It's Thanksgiving."

Yes, from Patrice Wilson, the same muscle queen who penned "Friday," comes this inspiring treat. Watch below in wonder as Nicole blows party favors and sings into a turkey drumstick — all good practice for when she's wrapping her yap around other things for a fiver at age 19 so she can buy Spam and Kools.

Turkey, aaaay! Mashed potatoes, aaaay!


Rihanna's 'SNL' Performance & "Diamonds" Video, Plus I'm Going On The 777 Tour

I'll be taking part in Rihanna's 777 Tour, where she and a bunch of journalists are going to be flying around the world for a week as she performs at seven concerts in seven days. I feel like I've finally arrived... and by that, I mean I'll be arriving in each city with no prospect of sleep in sight.

At any rate, normal posting here may be a bit lax for a week, starting Wednesday, but expect a few RiRi surprises, at least.

In the meantime, here's Rihanna's SNL performances from last night:

Rihanna does "Diamonds" on Saturday Night Live

Rihanna does "Stay" on Saturday Night Live

And here's the "Diamonds" video, which premiered the other day:


Thursday, November 08, 2012

US Chart Roundup: Ke$ha's Video For Top 10 Single "Die Young" Premieres

Maroon 5 at #1 for eight weeks? Fuck that, let's watch Ke$ha's sexy church cult trash video for "Die Young" (down to #6 this week)!

Praise glitter!

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "One More Night" - Maroon 5 *8 weeks*
2. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
3. "Some Nights" - fun.
4. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
5. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
6. "Die Young" - Ke$ha
7. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
8. "As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Bieber feat. Big Sean
9. "Too Close" - Alex Clare
10. "Let Me Love You" - Ne-Yo

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

President Barack Obama's 2012 Victory Speech

"What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared....

"I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you're willing to work hard — it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love; it doesn't matter whether you're black or white, or Hispanic or Asian or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight — you can make it here in America if you're willing to try."


Mariah Carey's Obama Tribute Jam "Bring It On Home"

"Bring It On Home," a song Mariah Carey penned for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is doing the rounds now that Obama — thank fucking Christ — has won a second term.

Not a bad jam, Mimi. But, damn — sounds like you ran out of steam while writing the latter half of the lyrics. Maybe take out the Veuve Clicquot IV next time you put pen to paper.

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Sunday, November 04, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Over-The-Hill Robbie Williams & Calvin Harris Are #1

Robbie Williams' "Candy," co-written by fellow Take That member Gary Barlow, has become his first #1 single in the UK since 2004's "Radio." And just think, he and Gary didn't even have to pretend to mouth-joust like they did in the video for their 2010 duet "Shame"! Interestingly, Radio 1 apparently refused to add "Candy" to its playlist because Robbie, 38, was deemed to be "too old."

Meanwhile, the much more age-appropriate Calvin Harris (28) sees his third LP 18 Months go in at #1 on the UK album chart. Ironically, The Kylie Minogue, who gave Calvin his big break in 2007 by enlisting his production skills for X, has to settle for a #2 debut with The Abbey Road Sessions — a chart position that matches that of her last studio album, 2010's Aphrodite.

The Abbey Road Sessions is out in the US this coming Tuesday (November 6).

The UK Top 10:

1. "Candy" - Robbie Williams *new* *1 week*
2. "Beneath Your Beautiful" - Labrinth feat. Emeli Sande
3. "Can You Hear Me (Ayayaya)" - Wiley feat. Skepta, JME & Ms D *new*
4. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia
5. "Skyfall" - Adele 
6. "Sweet Nothing" - Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch
7. "Gangnam Style" - PSY 
8. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
9. "One More Night" - Maroon 5
10. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Christina Aguilera's 'Lotus': Preview The Tracks

Well, it's sounding better than Bionic. The song where she tells someone to "sit on my middle finger" sounds super classy.


US Chart Roundup: I'll Be Thinking About You

I'm as confounded as anyone as to how Maroon 5 are at #1 for a seventh week, with what has to be one of their blandest singles — and they've had some really dull ones. Still, there "One More Night" sits, holding off PSY's "Gangnam Style" for a sixth week. At this point, I kind of wish the Korean rapper would just get it over with already and knock Adam Levine & Co. out of the top spot, then tumble into obscurity.

Anyway, the rest of the Hot 100 is pretty flat this week, and of course the big news is Taylor Swift's fourth album Red selling 1.208 million copies in its first week — obviously enough to debut at #1 on the Top 200 album chart.  

But eff her and all this other shit. Personally, I'm pretty smitten with Calvin Harris' new album, 18 Months (just released this week). The Ayah Marah-featuring "Thinking About You" is totally my new jam.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "One More Night" - Maroon 5 *7 weeks*
2. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
3. "Some Nights" - fun.
4. "Die Young" - Ke$ha
5. "Diamond" - Rihanna
6. "As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Bieber feat. Big Sean
7. "Locked Out Of Heaven" - Bruno Mars
8. "Too Close" - Alex Clare
9. "Let Me Love You" - Ne-Yo
10. "Don't Wake Me Up" - Chris Brown

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