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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Katy Perry's Next Album Called 'Prism', First Single Called "Roar"...Maybe

Here's a photo of a gold truck that drove around Los Angeles on Monday with the words Katy Perry Prism on it, and the date October 22, 2013. One would therefore assume that this is a somewhat legit announcement of Katy Perry's post-Teenage Dream album, with its release date...or the mad actions of a loony Katy Perry stan.

Anyway, some site called Idolator also spilled the tea that the leads Prism single is called "Roar" (or "Rawr"), and it's apparently another Dr. Luke/Max Martin/Bonnie McKee concoction. Because there really aren't enough of those, you know?


It's Justin Timberlake's "Take Back The Night" Video

Justin Timberlake has never masked his inkling for all things Michael Jackson, and with new single "Take Back The Night" — the first from his upcoming The 20/20 Experience - 2 Of 2 (out September 30) — he holds a magnifying glass up to those tendencies.

The song, which sounds not unlike a mashup of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Off The Wall," probably falls at a 6 on the 1-to-10 JT Scale Of Pop ("Mirrors" being a 10, of course). It's a bit more than enjoyable than "Suit & Tie," with an irritatingly catchy chorus, but overall, it's not really pushing the envelope much, is it?


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Richard X On Annie's 'The A&R' EP, Pet Shop Boys' "Fugitive", Rachel Stevens' "Some Girls

Longtime Chart Rigger sidekick John Hamilton (aka Moogaboo) interviewed Richard X, the producer behind Annie's just-released The A&R EP, among dozens of other massive pop jams, and you can read their chat over at Idolator.

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Lady Gaga's "Applause" Single Cover Art: Talk About Scary Monsters

I'll admit it, I'm very excited to hear what Lady Gaga comes up with when she reaches up her Monster snatch and yanks out new single "Applause" on August 19. But, Jesus — does this broad always have to be so derivative?

The "Applause" single artwork premiered last night via WWD, and she had this to say about it:
"It’s the end of the night after the show. When I look at it I see that there is a longing for the applause. I see that there is a void that is leaking onstage, that the performer is leaking, that the art is sort of becoming something else in front of your eyes. Something more human, something more honest."

All I really see is Bowie.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Shitevicii

The UK Top 10:

1. "Wake Me Up" - Avicii *2 weeks*
2. "Best Song Ever" - One Direction *new* 
3. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
4. "Love Me Again" - John Newman
5. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
6. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
7. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
8. "Bang Bang" - Will.i.am
9. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk
10. "Come & Get It" - Selena Gomez

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Pet Shop Boys' 'Electric' Is Their Highest-Charting Album Since 'Very'

With everything on the Billboard Hot 100 remaining pretty much hooker meat, let's instead turn to the Billboard 200 album chart, where Pet Shop Boys' Electric goes in at #26. Like in the UK this past weekend, the duo have now landed their highest-charting album since Very. Here in the States, 1993 pop masterpiece Very peaked at #20, and eventually snagged a Gold certification.

Electric is now the Pet Shop Boys' seventh of their 12 studio albums to make the Top 40 in the US, and their first to do so since Yes clocked in at #32 in 2009. (It's follow-up, Elysium, made it to #44 last fall.)

Below is the full listing of how the duo's studio albums have charted in America. (Go here to see how they charted in the UK.)

1. Please (#7, 1986)
2. Actually (#25, 1987)
3. Introspective (#34, 1988)
4. Behaviour (#45, 1990)
5. Very (#20, 1993)
6. Bilingual (#39, 1996)
7. Nightlife (#84, 1999)
8. Release (#73, 2002)
9. Fundamental (#150, 2006)
10. Yes (#32, 2009)
11. Elysium (#44, 2012)
12. Electric (#26, 2013)

A job well done with their first outing on their own new label, x2. Now, roll on the tour — I've got tickets to see that laser fest on both nights they're playing in New York.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *7 weeks*
2. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
3. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
4. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams 
5. "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
6. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
7. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
8. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
9. "Cups" - Anna Kendrick
10. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lady Gaga's First 'ARTPOP' Single Is Maybe Called "Applause"

Lady Gaga's lead ARTPOP single, out August 19, is looking to be called "Applause" — at least as far as we can surmise from this photo posted last night on LittleMonsters.com — and is said to be produced by DJ White Shadow.

So take that, all you Monsters who thought it was going to be "Burqa."


I Interviewed Goldfrapp Again

Yesterday Alison Goldfrapp became the only artist to-date that I've interviewed three times. This one was all about upcoming album Tales Of Us (out in the US on September 10). I'll post the link once the interview is up, sometime in August.

Last week the gorgeous, Lisa Gunning-directed short film for "Drew," the first Tales Of Us single, premiered, and it absolutely blew me away. It looks like some lost Merchant Ivory film. And it has a pair of hot, naked dudes in it. What's not to love?

My previous interviews with Goldfrapp can be found below:

* 2010: Head First
* 2012: The Singles


Annie's 'The A&R EP': Listen To "Hold On" And "Invisible"

It's sounding like you could do a lot worse than pick up Annie and Richard X's The A&R EP when it's released on August 5. You've already heard "Back Together." Now get a load of the light and breezy "Hold On" below, and hear edgier dance track "Invisible" over at the Guardian's site.

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Icona Pop Release "All Night" Single, Reveal Release Date & Tracklist For 'This Is...' Album

Geez, it's been a long minute since Icona Pop first became a thing, hasn't it? And believe it or not, they've yet to release an album in America. (Their self-titled Swedish debut LP came out last November.)

That will change on September 24 with the arrival of This Is..., which is set to contain previously released songs "I Love It," "We Got The World" and "Ready For The Weekend," plus new single "All Night."

The latter was released on iTunes this week, and is currently at #35 on the digital store's daily chart.

This Is... tracklist

1. I Love It
2. All Night
3. We Got the World
4. Ready For the Weekend
5. Girlfriend
6. In the Stars
7. On a Roll
8. Just Another Night
9. Hold On
10. Light Me Up
11. Then We Kiss

Sunday, July 21, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Pet Shop Boys' 'Electric' Is Highest-Charting Studio Album Since 1993's 'Very'

The Pet Shop Boys let the cat out of the bag a little early ahead of the publication of the official UK single and album chart today, by posting the following message on their official site:
In the UK, Electric has today entered the albums chart at number three. This is PSBs' highest album chart position since Very entered at number one in 1993. 
Electric is the duo's 12th studio LP, and now their 15th overall Top 10 entry on the UK album chart. (And, technically, B-sides collection Alternative made it to #2, in 1995 — so Electric is their highest chart position overall on the UK chart, studio albums or otherwise, since that one.) Their last studio album, Elysium, marked the lowest placing for the Pet Shop Boys in the Top 10 when it debuted at #9 last September.

Here now is the breakdown of all Top 10 entries by the PSBs on the UK album chart:

* Please (#3, 1986)
* Actually (#2, 1987)
* Introspective (#2, 1988)
* Behaviour (#2, 1990)
* Discography (#3, 1991) — hits collection
* Very (#1, 1993)
* Disco 2 (#6, 1994) — dance compilation series
* Alternative (#2, 1995) — B-sides collection
* Bilingual (#4, 1996)
* Nightlife (#7, 1999)
* Release (#7, 2002)
* Fundamental (#5, 2006)
* Yes (#4, 2009)
* Elysium (#9, 2012)
* Electric (#3, 2013)


* My full review of Electric
* My interview with Neil and Chris
* PSBs' 12 Greatest Collaborations, by John Hamilton & myself

The UK Top 10:

1. "Wake Me Up" - Avicii *new* *new*
2. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
3. ""Love Me Again" - John Newman 
4. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
5. "Bang Bang" - Will.i.am
6. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith *new*
7. "Reload" - Sebastian Ingrosso feat. John Martin
8. "Come & Get It" - Selena Gomez *new*
9. "Jack" - Breach *new*
10. "Let Her Go" - Passenger

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Friday, July 19, 2013

The 'Clueless' Soundtrack Is 18, And My Friend Wrote This Great Retrospective On It

My pal Alex wrote an amazing look back at the Clueless soundtrack, which came out 18 years ago today. (Old enough to be a high school senior!) He even interviewed Jill Sobule ("Supermodel") and music supervisor Karyn Rachtman, who also did Reality Bites, Pulp Fiction, Romeo + Juliet, Boogie Nights, etc.

Check it out!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pet Shop Boys 'Electric' Might Be The #1 UK Album This Week (+ My Review)

Electric, the new, Stuart Price-produced album by Pet Shop Boys, was just released this week, and is currently only 1,500 copies behind Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines in the race for the #1 album in the UK. All of Neil and Chris' studio LPs have charted in the Top 10 in their home country, but their only #1 album to-date is Very, which was released 20 years ago. It's pretty fitting, then, that Electric is doing so well, considering it's the PSBs' best album since Very.

Up above you'll see my vinyl and CD copies of Electric, which just arrived yesterday. Super glamour.

Anyway, here's a nice roundup of Pet Shop Boys writing I've done in the past month:

* My full review of Electric
* My interview with Neil and Chris
* PSBs' 12 Greatest Collaborations, by John Hamilton & myself


US Chart Roundup: Capital Cities, Lorde & Justin Timberlake Are Royals

Two songs I honestly never anticipated becoming major US hits have cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week: Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding's "I Need Your Love," which is up to #17, and Capital Cities' "Safe And Sound," now at #20. I like to think that my interview with Capital Cities back in May is what helped propel their single to such great heights. You know — Robbie Daw, hitmaker.

Just outside of the Top 40, Justin Timberlake's controversial, disco-fied new single, "Take Back The Night" — off the upcoming The 20/20 Experience - 2 Of 2 (out September 30) — debuts at #47 after being made available as a download with pre-orders of the new album.

Moving along, Britney Spears' trashy Smurfs 2 track "Ooh La La" is $omehow up to #54, while the Cedric Gervais remix of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" debuts at #72.

On a final note, 16-year-old New Zealand native Lorde — somewhat of a Lana Del Rey for the tween set — sees her debut single "Royals" climb from #90 to #74 in its second week on the chart.


The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *6 weeks*
2. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams 
3. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
5. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
6. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
7. "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
8. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake *new*
9. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
10. "Cups" - Anna Kendrick

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Robin Thicke Is Back At #1...And Shirtless

After a two-week interruption by Icona Pop's "I Love It" and John Newman's excellent house jam "Love Me Again," Robin Thicke's goddamned "Blurred Lines" is back at #1 in the UK. And that makes me want to push a hooker off a bridge.

It's an offense that I don't even think the above shirtless photo can make up for. Well, maybe. No. Yes. No.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *5 week*
2. "Love Me Again" - John Newman
3. "Reload" - Sebastian Ingrosso feat. John Martin *new*
4. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
5. "Bang Bang" - Will.i.am
6. "Brokenhearted" - Lawson feat. Bob *new*
7. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
8. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
9. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk
10. "The Other Side" - Jason Derulo

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Lady Gaga Announces 'ARTPOP' Release Date, New Single Out In August

Lady Gaga ate dinner with a bunch of people in New York last night and announced the details of her new album ARTPOP, which she's only been blathering on about for half as long as she publicly flapped her gums over Born This Way before it was released.

The main, important details — the ones you'll care about — are these:

1. The first single is out August 19.

2. You can pre-order ARTPOP and some app or other on September 1.

3. ARTPOP and said app are to be released on November 11.

Below the full gist, via Gaga's Facebook. Get ready for HausRaveTechGaGaARTappPOP, everyone!

Here's hoping it's way more The Fame Monster than Born This Way.


Pet Shop Boys 'Electric': Hear The Full Album

In case you missed it, Electric, the new Pet Shop Boys album (out next week) is streaming in full through the duo's official website and Pandora.


Annie's 'The A & R EP' Now Has Cover Art

You may recall that last week Annie premiered her pretty rad new single "Back Together" as a preview of her upcoming Richard X-produced release, The A & R EP (out August 5). Now there's some late-'80s/early-'90s-looking cover art to accompany the five tracks.

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Britney Spears Looks Quite Un-Smurfy In Her "Ooh La La" Video

I thought for a split second recently that I might have been on board for this whole Britney Spears "Ooh La La" business, but I think that was only when I'd only heard the song one time, in passing — and it was definitely before I saw the music video.

In the clip, Louisiananey prances awkwardly in heels and a red dress while hanging out in the Smurf village. The song is, after all, from the soundtrack to Smurfs 2. And it took seven writers and three producers to put together (of course, none of which were Shakespears herself).

The visual that accompanies this Pitbull-level fare aims at being cute by having Matriarchney's sons Jada and Jethro take part, sitting in a movie theater audience, eating pop corn and watching Mom jiggle on the big screen.

Where's Hogatha when you need her for a little comic relief?


Thursday, July 11, 2013

US Chart Roundup: "Blurred Lines" Silence

Is it humanly possible that "Blurred Lines" has been #1 for five weeks and I have never heard it on the radio? I mean, it could be because I've only driven a car once in four months — since moving to Manhattan — and that one time I listened to Bjork's Debut instead of the radio.

Hopefully Robin Thicke is able to get by, financially, with the loss of my radio impression.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *5 weeks*
2. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams 
3. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
5. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
6. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
7. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
8. "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
9. "Come & Get It" - Selena Gomez
10. "Cups" - Anna Kendrick

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Sunday, July 07, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: John Newman's "Love Me Again" Kicks "I Love It" Off The Top

I kept meaning to write about John Newman's housey "Love Me Again" back in May when I first heard it, but I'm a busy fucker. Anyway, here we go — the song has debuted at #1 in the UK, and that's a pretty well-deserved accomplishment if you ask me.

John featured on Rudimental's "Feel The Love," which also topped the UK chart, last June.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Love Me Again" - John Newman *new* *1 week*
2. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
3. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
4. "Bang Bang" - Will.i.am
5. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
6. "Lights (The One)" - Gabz *new*
7. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
8. "The Other Side" - Jason Derulo
9. "Lost And Not Found'" - Chase & Status feat. Louis M^ttrs
10. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk

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Thursday, July 04, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Happy 4th Of July

Blowing apart packs of firecrackers for my secret white trash husband Macklemore as I type.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *4 weeks*
2. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams 
3. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
5. "Can't Hold Us" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
6. "Cruise" - Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly
7. "Mirrors" - Justin Timberlake
8. "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
9. "Come & Get It" - Selena Gomez
10. "The Way" - Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller

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It's Mutya Keisha Siobhan's "Flatline"

New Pet Shop Boys music and new music from the original members of Sugababes equals one sexy fucking summer. Mutya Keisha Siobhan, who it feels like have been in the studio working on this new album since at least 1936, finally premiered their single "Flatline" today, ahead of its official September 1 release.

I'm glad these broads are all back together, too. This is a proper jam — one that sounds like something whipped together in 1986 and then teleported to 2013 for our summer enjoyment. (Credit producer Dev Hynes for the perfect pop track.)

More of this, please, ladies.

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Pet Shop Boys' "Thursday" Gets Teased With A Video Featuring Example

Pet Shop Boys have been teasing their Electric tracks ahead of the album's release on July 15. And today, on Thursday, we get "Thursday" — at least the bit featuring Example's and a little of Neil Tennant. (Missing is Chris Lowe's countdown of the days.) You may recall that Example came in at #6 on Chart Rigger's 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2012 roundup, courtesy of his feature on Calvin Harris' "We'll Be Coming Back."

"Thursday" truly is one of the most commercial-sounding singles the PSBs have recorded in eons. Enjoy these 30 seconds:

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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Annie Premieres "Back Together" From Richard X-Produced 'The A&R EP'

It's funny how we don't realize the lengths at which we all need new music from Annie and producer Richard X in order to survive in this weary world until we actually get new music from the two of them. Added bonus: Little Boots wrote the tune in question — Annie's bouncy new single "Back Together."

The track is from the upcoming The A&R EP (out August 5), which contains five songs. And one of them is called "Ralph Macchio." The others are "Hold On," "Invisible" and "Mixed Emotions."

It's been a moment since Richard X turned out Will Young's breathtaking Echoes album, so this should be a real treat.

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Pet Shop Boys' 'Electric': A Roundup Of Song Clips + "Paninaro"/Dior Fashion Show

By now clips for several of the nine songs on the upcoming Pet Shop Boys album Electric — aside from singles "Axis" and "Vocal" — have found their way online. Below is a roundup of those, plus a video clip of the duo's "Paninaro" being used in the Dior Homme Spring - Summer 2014 fashion show in Paris.


"Love Is A Bourgeois Construct"

"Shouting In The Evening"

Dior Homme Paris Fashion Show — "Paninaro"