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

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lady Gaga Teases "Swine," "Manicure" & "Sex Dreams" Ahead Of Sunday's iTunes Festival

Remember how Ke$ha was rambling on Twitter two years ago about how she was going to invent a new music genre called "cock pop," and then she vomited up an album with songs that sounded pretty much like her debut? Well, I think the real money is on Lady Gaga as far as bringing rock back into pop. At least as far as we can tell from these rehearsal vids promoting her appearance at tomorrow's iTunes Festival in London.

This is some 1987-era Cher-meets-Lita-Ford shit.



"Sex Dreams"


Thursday, August 29, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Applause, Applause Applause & Summertime, Summertime Sadness

"Blurred Lines" has been #1 for 12 weeks now. That's THREE MONTHS. Only 14 songs have ever topped the Billboard Hot 100 for that length of time or longer, and the last one to do so was the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" in 2009.

In other words, like "I Gotta Feeling," "Blurred Lines" is now one of those songs that you're likely so absolutely sick of, you won't have an appreciation for it again until it's 18 years from now, when you're feeling nostalgic for the 'teens decade, and "Blurred Lines" comes on some radio station during retro lunch hour or whatever the fuck and you're all, "Ooh, that was my jam! I need to make a playlist of just this song!" And it won't happen a day before then. Because right now "Blurred Lines" is making you want to bayonet your eyes.

This leaves Katy Perry to flounder at #2 for a second week with "Roar," while Lady Gaga inches up closer to her, at #4, with "Applause." Now that scag Miley Cyrus needs to just drop like her thong does at Christmas dinner and we can watch some real Katy vs. Gaga drama play out.

On a final note, Avicii, Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervais all claim their first Top 10 hits this week as "Wake Me Up!" and Gervais' remix of "Summertime Sadness" move up to #7 and #9, respectively.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *12 weeks*
2. "Roar" - Katy Perry
3. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
5. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons 
6. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
7. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
8. "Safe And Sound" - Capital Cities
9. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais
10. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Lady Gaga & Justin Timberlake & *NSYNC: The Best MTV VMAs Performances

For the first time since Britney gave her career-defining performance of "Gimme More" in 2007, the MTV Video Music Awards gave us all something (good) to talk about.

Lady Gaga continuously snatched her own wig as she opened the VMAs with "Applause" last night, and it was the best performance...until Justin Timberlake hit the stage for about 20 minutes (!!), belting out his entire catalog of hits and doing a quick "Girlfriend/Bye Bye Bye" medley with his old *NSYNC boy bandmates.

Timberlake, the recipient of this year's Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, also wound up snagging Video Of The Year for the excellent "Mirrors" (which also won for Best Editing, while David Fincher won Best Directing for "Suit & Tie").

Here's the full list of who won what:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
BEST FEMALE VIDEO: Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”
BEST MALE VIDEO: Bruno Mars, “Locked Out Of Heaven”
BEST COLLABORATION: Pink & Nate Reuss, “Just Give Me A Reason”
BEST ROCK VIDEO: 30 Seconds To Mars, “Up In The Air”
BEST HIP HOP VIDEO: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Can’t Hold Us”
BEST POP VIDEO: Selena Gomez, “Come & Get It”
BEST VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Same Love”
BEST SONG OF THE SUMMER: One Direction, “Best Song Ever”
ARTIST TO WATCH: Austin Mahone
BEST DIRECTION: Justin Timberlake, “Suit & Tie” (Director: David Fincher)
BEST EDITING: Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Capital Cities, “Safe And Sound”
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Bruno Mars, “Treasure”
BEST ART DIRECTION: Janelle Monae & Erykah Badu, “Q.U.E.E.N.”
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, “Can’t Hold Us”

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It's Miley Cyrus' 'Bangerz' Album Cover, New Single "Wrecking Ball" & MTV VMAs Slut Fest

Miley's new album cover looks like it was the condom used when Miami Vice fucked the Cocktail soundtrack.

Speaking of which, here's Miley in heat, getting knocked up by every male (and a few females) at the MTV Video Music Awards last night.

But, really — she's sensitive. Let's listen to her sad new ballad, "Wrecking Ball," which is the #1 song on iTunes. America loves a whore with a heart of gold.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Matt Cardle & Melanie C Have A Semi-Comeback

Aww. Matt Cardle and Melanie C's "Loving You" is actually a semi-hit in the UK, debuting at #14. The song is Matt's first to crack the Top 40 since the Gary Barlow-penned "Run For Your Life" landed at #6 in 2011, and it's Mel's first solo single to do so since "I Want Candy" made it to #24 in spring 2007. (Later that year, the Spice Girls reached #11 with "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)".

Ah, the good ol' days.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Burn" - Ellie Goulding *2 weeks*
2. "Wake Me Up" - Avicii
3. "Sonnentanz (Sun Don't Shine)" - Klankarussell feat. Will Heard *new*
4. "Earthquake" - DJ Fresh feat. Diplo & Dominique *new*
5. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey vs. Cedric Gervais
6. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
7. "The Other Side Of Love" - Sean Paul *new*
8. "Lifted" - Naughty Boy feat. Emeli Sande *new*
9. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
10. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell

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Friday, August 23, 2013

'Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1' Turns 10: Read The Producer's Great Interview

Following his spectacular chat with British producer Richard X for Annie's The A&R EP last month, John Hamilton — aka frequent Chart Rigger collaborator Moogaboo — whipped up a wonderful anniversary piece on Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1, which turns 10 today.

Read it over at Idolator, and be sure to catch the long-lost original single sleeve for Liberty X's "Being Nobody," plus the advert for the girl group that never materialized, Sweet-X.

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Neither Katy Perry Or Lady Gaga Able To Unseat Robin Thicke

Sorry, stans. When all was said and done, neither Katy Perry's "Roar" or Lady Gaga's "Applause" were unable to unseat Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" from the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week.

What did happen, though, was this: Perry and Gaga each racked up their 12th Top 10 singles, as "Roar" jumped from #85 to #2 after selling 557,000 downloads last week, and "Applause" debuted at #6 (218,000). "Roar" technically outsold "Blurred Lines," by the way, but the latter scored more airplay and streaming points, and is now around on top for an 11th week to annoy the fuck out of everyone. Sorry, KatyKakez.

Of the 13 singles each pop broad has had serviced to radio in the States, only one missed the Top 10 on the Hot 100 — for Katy it was "Thinking Of You" and for Gaga it was "Marry The Night" — and, coincidentally, both of those songs peaked at #29.

One last thing to note: for this week at least, "Roar" has now matched the peak position of Katy's previous Top 10 hit, "Wide Awake," and ditto for Gaga with "Applause" and "You And I."

And that, folks, is the way the hooker sizzles.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *11 weeks*
2. "Roar" - Katy Perry
3. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons 
5. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
6. "Applause" - Lady Gaga *new*
7. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams
8. "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
9. "Cups" - Anna Kendrick
10. "Safe And Sound" - Capital Cities

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

In Defense Of Lady Gaga's "Applause": Watch The Music Video

Over on Idolator last week, I made a case for why Lady Gaga's lead ARTPOP single "Applause" doesn't suck, a bulk of critics seem to think.

In it, I wrote the following:
Art and pop references aside, “Applause” finds Gaga sending the biggest musical love letter to a fanbase since Backstreet Boys‘ 1999 single “Larger Than Life.” Personally, I’ve found myself more drawn to the sound of the track itself, which plays like a return to Gaga’s days of The Fame. The opening, pulsating synths are a straight-up throwback to the “Poker Face” intro — albeit slightly sped up — while the handclap-laden chorus swells and soars with the same pop frenzy that made “Paparazzi” such a delight.
Of course, as far as critical opinion goes, I've never been aligned with the majority, especially when it comes to Gaga.

And so now we get the "Applause" video, which I also find to be miles ahead of what any other low rent, z-grade pop hag is doing these days. Sorry, but Gaga's head on a swan's neck — not to mention her in David Bowie drag — just appeals to my own twisted sensibilities

I don't think there's been a more debated and deconstructed pop single this year. And that, in the end, is what makes "Applause" so exciting. In that sense, job well done, Gaga.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Ellie Goulding Lands First #1 Single, Gaga's "Applause" Debuts At #5

Ellie Goulding's "Burn" debuts at #1 this week in the UK, thus knocking Miley Cyrus down to #3. Good! "Burn" kicks" "We Can't Stop" in the pussy as far as being a far more quality jam.

I was pretty disappointed when "Burn" dropped out of site quickly here in the States, after briefly making an appearance in the iTunes Top 10. Then again, given Ellie's track record here, "Burn" will probably become a stateside hit some time in 2015.

That brings us to Lady Gaga's "Applause," which goes in at #5, despite going on sale two days later than the rest of last week's new singles. "Applause" is now Gaga's highest-charting UK single since 2011's "Born This Way," which peaked at #3. The rest of the single from that one's same-titled parent album failed to crack the Top 5.

On a final note, poor The Wanted — "We Own The Night," their fourth single from yet-to-be-released third album Word Of Mouth flops at #10. I honestly have yet to hear this song, and I don't think I'm going to remedy that any time soon. Ta!

The UK Top 10:

1. "Burn" - Ellie Goulding *new* *1 week*
2. "Wake Me Up" - Avicii
3. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey
5. "Applause" - Lady Gaga *new*
6. "Trampoline" - Tinie Tempah feat. 2 Chainz
7. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
8. "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High" - Arctic Monkeys *new*
9. "Holy Grail" - Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake
10. "We Own The Night" - The Wanted *new*

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Katy Perry Is About To Explode

Katy Perry's reductive "Roar" clocks in at #85 on the Billboard Hot 100 after getting some late-week airplay spins. America is eating the single up, as the latest reports have this trash racking up 525,000 downloads by the time this week's chart cut-off time rolls around — likely enough to finally knock "Blurred Lines" off the top after a 10-week run. If that happens, "Roar" will be only the eighth single to reach #1 in 2013.

Elsewhere, the rest of this week's Top 10 is the exact same as it was last week: sexy.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *10 weeks*
2. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
3. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
4. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams 
5. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
6. "Cups" - Anna Kendrick
7. "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
8. "Clarity" - Zedd feat. Foxes
9. "Safe And Sound" - Capital Cities
10. "Love Somebody" - Maroon 5

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shady Lady Gaga Releases "Applause" A Week Early (Sorry, Katy Perry)

Not content to let Katy Perry have her week in the sun with new Sara Bareilles rip-off song "Roar," Lady Gaga cited leaks of snippets of "Applause" for the reason she pulled the trigger a week early on the single's release.

Good! "Applause" kicks "Roar" in the tiger pussy anyway, with all its Bowie-esque flourishes and irresistible hooks. It's so nice to hear Gaga ditching the awkward Born This Way posturing and getting back to Fame Monster amazingness.

One of these broads is going to finally knock "Blurred Lines" off the top of the Hot 100, and my money is on Gaga.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Miley's "We Can't Stop" Starts At the Top

Over on the UK chart, Miley Cyrus manages to do one better than she's been able to here in the States by taking "We Can't Stop" to #1. (It's been stuck at #2 for the past month on the Billboard Hot 100.) The song also happens to be Miley's first Top 10 hit in the UK, besting the #11 position "See You Again," "The Climb" and "Party In The U.S.A." each peaked at.

What a glamorous achievement, Miley. Pack your nose and stick your ass up in celebration, gurl.

The UK Top 10:

1. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus *new* *1 week*
2. "Wake Me Up" - Avicii
3. "Trampoline" - Tinie Tempah feat. 2 Chainz *new*
4. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey
5. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
6. "Love Me Again" - John Newman
7. "Holy Grail" - Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake
8. "Thinking About You" - Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar
9. "Best Song Ever" - One Direction
10. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX

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Ayah Marar's "The Real" Is A Really Good Song You Should Know

While everyone's just getting up to speed with singer Ayah Marar, thanks to her feature on Calvin Harris' current UK Top 10 single "Thinking About You," you should know that her dance-pop album The Real was quietly released in the US by Radikal Records in July.

The LP is a bit of a grower, with a few cookie cutter numbers weighing it down a bit. Still, the title track is definitely one worth checking out.

And here 'tis:


Katy Perry's "Roar" Leaked: Listen

This is okay. I think it would come off better if it was some lesser slag moaning it. But to be honest, I expected a bigger jam to come flying out of Katy's tiger pussy. Instead, it's a mewing kitten pawing lazily at her left boob.


It's 12 Seconds Of Lady Gaga's "Applause"

These 12 seconds of "Applause" have me back aboard the ARTPOP train, after being slightly derailed by "Aura/Burqa" last week.


Friday, August 09, 2013

Lady Gaga Gets Naked, Shows Off Fake Arm & Preps For "Applause" And Other Stuff

Lady Gaga has been quite a busy broad lately, tossing out promo pics left and right. And lookee here — it's her boobs and hoo hoo on full display, in this art! pop! video where she practices the method of performance artist Marina Abramovic! (Basically, just an excuse to get her cans out and cause a fuss.)

I'm pretty jazzed about the upcoming single ("Applause" is out August 19), and so far the pretension of this whole ARTPOP thing isn't pissing me off too much. Maybe she'll straddle that prosthetic arm in the music video?


It's Katy Perry's "Roar" Single Cover

Maybe Katy didn't get the memo that the '80s are out and the '90s are sexy?


It's Avril Lavigne's 'Avril Lavigne' Album Cover

Avril Lavigne Instagram'd the cover art for her upcoming self-titled album, and I can get down with the Black Swan whore look displayed here.

A funny thing happened on Idolator this summer when we posted our annual Song Of The Summer poll — the choices being Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," Mariah Carey and Miguel's "#Beautiful," Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" and Avril's "Here's To Never Growing Up" — and Avril won. The most floppy of them all.

Abbey Dawn forever.


Thursday, August 08, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Zedd & Capital Cities Dance Into The Top 10

Zedd's "Clarity" and Capital Cities' "Safe And Sound" become the latest in a string of dance-oriented acts to snag chart success on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013, as the songs crack the Top 10 this week, at #8 and #9, respectively. It's a bright spot in a week sees "Blurred Lines" overstay its welcome by hanging out at the top yet again.


The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell *9 weeks*
2. "We Can't Stop" - Miley Cyrus
3. "Radioactive" - Imagine Dragons
4. "Get Lucky" - Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams 
5. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
6. "Cups" - Anna Kendrick
7. "Treasure" - Bruno Mars
8. "Clarity" - Zedd feat. Foxes
9. "Safe And Sound" - Capital Cities
10. "Love Somebody" - Maroon 5

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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Lady Gaga's "Aura" (Or "Burqa") Demo Leaks

For more than a minute, Internet rumors had a mysterious yet-to-be-heard song called "Burqa" being pinpointed as Lady Gaga's lead ARTPOP single. We now, of course, know that's not true, as "Applause" is going to clap its way into your consciousness on August 19 (or, honestly, probably several days before that, when it leaks). Still, what of "Burqa"?

The song in question, now possibly titled "Aura," finally made its way online last night. Upon listening to it, it's clear that it's a demo — the vocals are too uneven in volume, the intro beat is pretty basic and the song seems to be missing a second verse. It's all very reminiscent of that day in spring 2011 when snatches of a rough version of "Judas" kept leaking left and right.

And speaking of "Judas," "Aura/Burqa" throws a bit of an initial wet rag on the notion that Gaga was going to be a little more "Poker Face" and a lot less Born This Way this time around.

There is something to be said for letting go of conventions and structure and being Art! Pop! Still, would it kill Lady Gaga to just give us another good old-fashioned verse-chorus killer, circa Fame Monster?


Sunday, August 04, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Calvin Harris & Ayah Marar's "Thinking About You" Goes Top 10

I've said it before, and here it is again: "Thinking About You" is simply the best song on Calvin Harris' 18 Months album. And now it's hopped into the UK Top 10 at #9. The vocals are by Ayah Marar, who also chirped on Calvin's best Ready For The Weekend track, "Flashback."

"Thinking About You" now gives Harris his eighth (!) Top 10 hit off 18 Months (or his ninth, if we're to count Rihanna's tacked-on "We Found Love").

The UK Top 10:

1. "Wake Me Up" - Avicii *3 weeks*
2. "Love Me Again" - John Newman
3. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
4. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey
5. "Best Song Ever" - One Direction
6. "I Love It" - Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
7. "La La La" - Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith
8. "Let Her Go" - Passenger
9. "Thinking About You" - Calvin Harris feat. Ayah Marar
10. "Bang Bang" - Will.i.am

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Saturday, August 03, 2013

Lady Gaga vs. Katy Perry: "Applause" & "Roar" Promo Gone Wild On Social Media

I'm pretty jazzed about the return of Lady Gaga, at least for new single "Applause," which is to arrive on August 19. But what's hilarious is how now Katy Perry is trying to one-up her with her own swing back into the pop scene.

These two broads' back-and-forth promo antics on social media yesterday played out like two hoes in the high school playground trying to vie for riding the same dumb jock's pole — which is actually pretty brilliant, considering the dumb jock (that would be us, pop fans) is likely to pay more attention and, ultimately, fuck both at the same time.

So above is Gaga's tease for her "Applause" lyrics," while below you'll find Katy Perry's "Roar" teaser clip, where she burns her goddamn "Teenage Dream" wig. Up next: wrestling braless in a jello-slathered kiddie pool.

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Everything About Annie's "Back Together" Video Makes Me Smile

The not-real chart show countdown at the beginning...can we get a full length version of Deejay Jesu's "This Ol' House," please?

If you've not yet bought The A&R EP (it came out this week), hop to it. This is some straight up '90s realness. Thanks, Annie and Richard X.

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