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

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pet Shop Boys Reveal 'Electric' Tracklist, Release Date & "Axis" Video

Oh, right — Pet Shop Boys have an album coming out this summer. I'd almost forgotten, since they first announced 12th LP Electric about a month-and-a-half ago. Turns out the album, which was originally slated for a June release, will now be out worldwide on July 15, via the Boys' brand new label x2 (or "times two"), through Kobalt Label Services.

The first taste of the Stuart Price-produced Electric is opening track "Axis," which contains no real singing by Neil Tennant, but plenty of spoken phrases and Italo disco mixed with Giorgio Moroder-esque flourishes.

And here's a video!

No word yet on whether "Axis" is an official single, but my guess would be that it's simply a teaser, much in the way "Invisible" was for Elysium last year.

Pet Shop Boys' official site also notes that Electric has a run time of about 50 minutes, and contains nine tracks altogether — eight originals and a cover of Bruce Springsteen's 2007 song "Last To Die." And get ready to arch an eyebrow, because rapper Example features on a song called "Thursday."

Electric tracklist

1. Axis
2. Bolshy
3. Love is a bourgeois construct
4. Fluorescent
5. Inside a dream
6. The last to die
7. Shouting in the evening
8. Thursday (featuring Example)
9. Vocal

"Axis" is available on iTunes now, while Electric is up for pre-order.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Daft Punk Get Lucky, Land First #1 Single

Surprising move: Daft Punk's lead Random Access Memories single "Get Lucky" jumps up from #3 to #1 on the UK chart, marking the duo's first chart-topping single in the country. (Their previous highest entry was 2000's "One More Time," which peaked at #2.)

"Get Lucky" has already hit #1 in France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Australia, and become the pair's first Top 20 (let alone Top 40) hit in the States. Guess it'll be one of the contenders for the ever-irritating "hey, let's be the first to call it" Song Of The Summer?

The UK Top 10:

1. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk *1 week*
2. "Waiting All Night" - Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre
3. "#thatPower" - will.i.am feat. Justin Bieber
4. "I Need Your Love" - Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding
5. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
6. "Need U (100%)" - Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E
7. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
8. "Hey Porsche" - Nelly
9. "What A Night" - Loveable Rogues *new*
10. "Feel This Moment" - Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

US Chart Roundup: PSY Is A Hag

Somehow, some way, PSY's "Gentleman" video has racked up over 240,000 views on YouTube over the past two weeks, thus enabling the robotic trash jam to jump up to #5 in its second week on the Billboard Hot 100. And to give an idea as to how much that many YouTube plays outweigh actual digital sales, consider the fact that "Gentleman" is current floundering at #60 on iTunes.

But screw that garbage — Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" has debuted at #19. Granted, it's not nearly the heights the song reached in the UK. But the feat still manages to get the French duo into the Top 40 in the US for the very first time. (Daft Punk's previous high was #61, a position both "Around The World" and "One More Time" reached.)

Pharrell Williams should be kissing the double asses of Daft Punk, too, since "Get Lucky" is the first hit he's had since his feature on Ludacris' "Money Maker" saw him go to #1 in 2006.

Everything else is whore slime.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess *2 weeks*
2. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray
3. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz
4. "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
5. "Gentleman" - PSY
6. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
7. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake 
8. "Suit & Tie" - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z
9. "Feel This Moment" - Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera
10. "Started From The Bottom" - Drake

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Monday, April 22, 2013

It's Texas' "The Conversation" Video

The return of Texas is one of the musical highlights of the year so far, and less than a month after realizing they had a new single called "The Conversation" out (off the band's forthcoming album of the same name, out May 20), along comes the music video.

The clip plays out, naturally, like a recreation of scenes from Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 thriller The Conversation (pretty much a staple of college film classes, no?), and stars Peter Mullan, of Trainspotting and Shallow Grave fame.

But more importantly, Peter Mullan went around jamming that ice pick-like surgical instrument in people's faces in Session 9. That's a swell film.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" Is The Duo's First Top 10 Hit Since "One More Time"

They started out as hit-makers, took a dip in popularity with 2005's not-very-good Human After All, regained their cool sheen with 2010's Tron: Legacy soundtrack, and are now back on top. Well, almost on top.

Daft Punk's comeback single "Get Lucky" was released around the globe on Friday at 12:01 a.m., and within two days racked up 50,000 paid downloads in the UK. That's enough to see the Pharrell Williams-featuring song go in at #3 on this week's single chart.

The pair's last Top 10 hit in the UK came with 2000's "One More Time," which made it to #2 (a position it also achieved on Chart Rigger's Top 40 Singles Of The '00s list). Previous Top 10 singles in the country include "Da Funk" (#7 in 1996) and "Around The World" (#5 in 1997).

It'll be interesting to see if DP can not only land "Get Lucky" in the Top 40 in the States this week — mostly because their highest charting entries have been "Around The World" and "One More Time," both of which peaked at #61 on the Hot 100 — but have an actual hit that sticks around for bit in the chart.

Elsewhere in the UK, Calvin Harris' Ellie Goulding-featuring "I Need Your Love" climbs to #7, thus marking his seventh consecutive Top 10 hit off 18 Month. Also, PSY's "Gentleman" becomes his second Top 10 hit as it makes an appearance at #10,

The UK Top 10:

1. "Waiting All Night" - Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre *new* *1 week*
2. "#thatPower" - will.i.am feat. Justin Bieber *new*
3. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk *new*
4. "Need U (100%)" - Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E
5. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
6. "Hey Porsche" - Nelly
7. "I Need Your Love" - Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding
8. "Feel This Moment" - Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera
9. "Pompeii" - Bastille
10. "Gentleman" - PSY

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A Very Urgent Message About Max Martin

Don't get me wrong — I love Max Martin, and think he's basically a modern-day Beethoven. But there's something that I'm just going to take the initiative and come out and say, acting as a mouthpiece for no doubt hordes of other pop fans.

First of all, above and below, you'll see photos of Max from the 2013 ASCAP Pop Awards earlier this week, where he was named Songwriter Of The Year for a third year in a row, and the sixth time overall.

And below you'll see two photos of Max (with Dr. Luke) at the same ceremony, two years ago.

To get to the actual point...

....Max Martin: much more fuckable with short hair.


Friday, April 19, 2013

It's Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" (Radio Edit)

Has there been a more buzzed-about, hyped or leaked-in-pieces song in 2013 than Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," the first single off the upcoming Random Access Memories (out May 21)? The song was officially made available to purchase today, via iTunes and the Amazon MP3 store. And if you need a recap, Pharrell does the vocals, Nile Rodgers does the disco and the robots do the razzle dazzle.

Enough rambling about this damn single. Here it is:


Thursday, April 18, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Pink Lands Her Fourth #1 Single With "Just Give Me A Reason"

I'm glad that Bruno Mars only had one week at #1 with "When I Was Your Man," which, quite frankly, is a one of the more sap-laden ballads in recent memory. And I'm also glad it was Pink who knocked him off the top of the Hot 100.

"Just Give Me A Reason" now marks Pink's fourth trip to the top of the chart, following "Lady Marmalade" (2001), "So What" (2008) and "Raise Your Glass" (2010). Maybe I should actually listen to her latest album, The Truth About Love, again, now that it's produced three Top 10 hits? I'll admit, I played it once, in the fall, and it sounded like snooze central.

Anyway, Ryan Tedder had better watch his back, lest go-to songwriter Nate Ruess, Pink's "Just Give Me A Reason" duet partner, start eating his lunch. The song now gives the fun. frontman his second trip to the top, after last year's over-saturation of "We Are Young."

Elsewhere, Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" finally cracks the Top 10 by jumping up to #7, the same week that The 20/20 Experience's three-week reign on the Top 200 album chart ends. (Paramore's self-titled album bumps it down to #3.)

It's springtime. The sun is shining. And "Mirrors" still feels like the perfect pop song, two months later.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess *1 week*
2. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz
3. "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
4. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
5. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray 
6. "Suit & Tie" - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z
7. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake 
8. "Feel This Moment" - Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera
9. "Started From The Bottom" - Drake
10. "Heart Attack" - Demi Lovato

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories' Roundup

In case you've missed the Daft Punk deluge over the past couple of weeks...

1. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers, "Get Lucky" (the actual full song a slick loop by some stan)

2. "Get Lucky" (partial video clip shown during Saturday Night Live this past weekend)

3. Creator's Project interview with Daft Punk collaborator Giorgio Moroder

4. Creator's Project interview with Daft Punk collaborator Todd Edwards

5. Creator's Project interview with Daft Punk collaborator Nile Rodgers

6. Creator's Project interview with Daft Punk collaborator Pharrell Williams

7. Random Access Memories tracklist:

1. "Give Life Back To Music"
2. "The Game Of Love"
3. "Giorgio by Moroder"
4. "Within"
5. "Instant Crush"
6. "Lose Yourself To Dance"
7. "Touch"
8. "Get Lucky"
9. "Beyond"
10. "Motherboard"
11. "Fragments of Time"
12. "Doin’ It Right"
13. "Contact"

Random Access Memories it out May 17.

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PSY's "Gentleman" Video Is...

Five days after it premiered, now that I've had to properly digest the masterwork that is PSY's "Gentleman" video, I kind of feel about this trash the same way I did about "Gangnam Style": it'll never be a hit.

Goes to show what I know. 117 million views later...


Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding's "I Need Your Love" Video, For All You Calvin & Ellie Shippers

I'm not sure if Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding are actually hitting it, but they appear to be very loved up in the video for "I Need Your Love" (aka the best song on Calvin's 18 Months album). Skrillex is probably somewhere shaving his eyebrows in fury.

This video makes me miss L.A.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Ding Dong! Show Us Your Tits, Baby

The 74-year-old, 50-second-long Wizard Of Oz soundtrack tune "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" has to settle for a #2 entry in the UK, following a campaign to get the song to the top of the chart after the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

It's my firm belief that if she had released at least one or two sex tapes over the years, the song would have been #1.

Oh, well...

The UK Top 10:

1. "Need U (100%)" - Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E *2 weeks*
2. "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" - The Wizard Of Oz Film Cast *new*
3. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
4. "Pompeii" - Bastille
5. "Feel This Moment" - Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera
6. "Hey Porsche" - Nelly
7. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
8. "What About Us" - The Saturdays feat. Sean Paul
9. "22" - Taylor Swift
10. "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kelly Clarkson Is Doing A Christmas Album

Kelly Clarkson is currently recording a Christmas album, something she either mentioned herself during an online chat or Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn let out of the bag by posting the info on Facebook.

Either way, great opportunity to post the above pic of Keluminescent wearing a Santa hat and looking like a possessed elf.


US Chart Roundup: Little Mix Fly With "Wings"

Bruno Mars' second Unorthodox Jukebox single, "When I Was Your Man," is now his second to top the Billboard Hot 100. It's just the type of run-of-the-mill radio fodder that whores who think they've been cheated out of love because they take cash for pussy eat up. So good for you, Bruno, for being intuitive enough to tap into that market!

Elsewhere, while Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" drops one position to #12 (I'm over it), his third solo album The 20/20 Experience is #1 for a third week, bringing its grand total to 1.43 million sold so far.

Meanwhile, Icona Pop and Charli XCX crack the Top 20 with "I Love It" (it's up to #17), the song that topped Chart Rigger's 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2012 list in December. Olly Murs' "Troublemaker" drops from its peak position of #29 to #32, and Swede-dance-pop outfit Krewella inch up to #40 with "Alive."

On a final note, UK X Factor winners Little Mix land their first entry on the US singles chart with "Wings," which goes in at #98 (ironically the same week that fellow UK X Factor contestants One Direction tumble to #99 with "One Way Or Another").

The TMS-produced "Wings" was Little Mix's second #1 single in the UK in 2012, following "Cannonball."

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars *1 week*
2. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz
3. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
4. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
5. "Suit & Tie" - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z
6. "Harlem Shake" - Baauer
7. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray 
8. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line
9. "Started From The Bottom" - Drake
10. "Feel This Moment" - Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera

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Monday, April 08, 2013

Last Week I Interviewed 98 Degrees, Bright Light Bright Light & Del Marquis

It was a busy first week in New York.

Watch Bright Light Bright Light Perform New Song "In Your Care" Live In New York

This past Friday, I caught Bright Light Bright Light's superb first performance at Joe's Pub in New York with a full band. (Read my review of the show.) I snapped the above pics, and many more can be viewed on my Tumblr. (Are you broads following me there yet?!)

One of the highlights: BLx2's (aka Rod Thomas) doing the fully-produced version of new song "In Your Care." I shot this video, which didn't turn out to be as ratchet in quality as I was expecting:

Another highlight: my vinyl copy of his album Make Me Believe In Hope. I got the last one on the table.


Jessie Ware's "Imagine It Was Us" Video Has Me Falling Deeper And Deeper

Jessie Ware's debut Devotion made my Best Albums list in 2012 for its original UK release. On April 15, the Gold Edition will be released in her home country, and a day later the album finally sees the light of day, officially, in the US.

Tacked on to both is new single "Imagine It Was Us." Xolondon describes it this way: "The video, like the arrangement, has threads of the early 90s." I'll take it one step further and say that the visual is giving me strong, glitter-strewn shades of Madonna's 1992 vid for "Deeper And Deeper."

Excellent track with a complimentary, era-capturing video.


Sunday, April 07, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Duke Dumont & A*M*E Thankfully Kick PJ & Duncan To The Curb

Last year's BBC Sounds Of 2013 nominee A*M*E and British DJ Duke Dumont finally break through with their joint single "Need U (100%)" — a number that doesn't sway from the current trend of retro-'90s dance/house throwbacks — which debuts at #1 in the UK this week.

It's good stuff for many reasons, not the least of which is that it bumps actual '90s reheated semi-flop-turned-viral-hit "Let's Get Ready To Rhumble" by PJ & Duncan off the top of the chart.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Need U (100%)" - Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E *1 week*
2. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
3. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
4. "What About Us" - The Saturdays feat. Sean Paul
5. "Pompeii" - Bastille
6. "Let's Get Ready To Rumble" - PJ & Duncan
7. "Hey Porsche" - Nelly
8. "Feel This Moment" - Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera
9. "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
10. "It's A Beautiful Day" - Michael Buble *new*

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Thursday, April 04, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Thank God Justin Timberlake Is Here To Erase The Memory Of Justin Bieber

Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" has climbed to #11, making everything right in the world this week. Over on the Billboard 200 album chart, JT's The 20/20 Experience is tops for a second week, and has sold 1.29 million copies in just 14 days.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Wanz *6 weeks*
2. "When I Was Your Man" - Bruno Mars
3. "Suit & Tie" - Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z
4. "Harlem Shake" - Baauer
5. "Just Give Me A Reason" - Pink feat. Nate Ruess
6. "Stay" - Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko
7. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons 
8. "Started From The Bottom" - Drake
9. "Feel This Moment" - Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera
10. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Texas Return With 'The Conversation'

To give you an idea how much I've been living under a rock these past two months, I had zero clue that Texas were back! Ageless, genderless goddess Sharleen Spiteri & Co.'s first album since 2005 is The Conversation, and it's out worldwide on May 20. Bonus: Suede/McAlmont & Butler/Duffy mastermind Bernard Butler worked on the record!

Title track "The Conversation," the lead single, was made available on iTunes last week.

The song's pretty rad, right? Sharleen released two solo albums (2008's Melody and 2010's The Movie Songbook) following Texas' previous LP Red Book.


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

It's 98 Degrees' '2.0' Album Cover & New Oral Sex Single "Microphone"

"Hey, lady, you're warmed up and ready to blow," the classy, reunited gents of 98 Degrees chirp on "Microphone," their comeback single that aims to outdo Flo Rida's 2012 hit "Whistle" in the LOL We're Really Talking About Blow Jobs, Everyone category.

The dance-pop track is the first taste (wink!!!!) of the band's first  album in 13 years, 2.0, which arrives on May 7. It's not the most immediately catchy song right off the bat, like, for instance, The Greatest Single Of 2013 "Mirrors" is. But maybe it's a grower (ha ha ha ha hahahahahahhaha.....$^%#%)?