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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Lady Gaga Does What She Wants, Lands Another Top 20 Hit

After two-and-a-half months of contending with Lady Gaga and Katy Perry's singles "Applause" and "Roar," respectively, their official follow-ups finally debut on the Billboard Hot 100. First up, at #13, is Gaga's superior, '80s-sounding synth jam "Do What U Want," a duet with R. Kelly, of all people. Katy's "Unconditionally," another generic, safe choice in the vein of "Roar," arrives at #30.



Perry's flat Prism, meanwhile, debuts at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart this week after selling 286,000 copies, besting the 192,000 Teenage Dream opened with in 2010, and giving her the best sales week for a female artist in 2013 to-date.

Back on the Hot 100, Lorde's "Royals" spends a fifth week at #1. She's now the female artist who's had the longest run at the top of the singles chart in 2013, following the three weeks Pink spent there with "Just Give Me A Reason" and the two weeks both Katy Perry's "Roar" and Miley Cyrus' "Chain Between My Snatch" racked up.

Not faring as well as any of the above-mentioned pop divas is Britney Spears, whose "Work Bitch" has tumbled to #36 in only its sixth week on the chart. Maybe she should have just called it "Whip Between My Snatch"?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *5 weeks*
2. "Roar" - Katy Perry
3. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
5. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
6. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
7. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
8. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
9. "Demons" - Imagine Dragons
10. "The Fox" - Ylvis

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Justin Timberlake's "TKO" Video Is A Drag

Here's my whole issue with Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience era: the first album, released in March, was pretty great — with the top-notch "Mirrors," breezy "Suit & Tie" and solid album tracks like "Let The Groove Get In" and "Strawberry Bubblegum" — but so far part two has been not only overkill, but, singles-wise, more than a bit of a dud.

Both "Take Back The Night" and "TKO" failed to catch on at radio because they're just not unique enough or quite up to "Mirrors"-like greatness. The songs feel like what they basically are: underwhelming tracks that didn't make the cut for the first album.

And so, following "Take Back The Night" stalling at #29 on the Hot 100, we now have the video for "TKO," an overly-long seven-minute clip that shows Timberlake being dragged behind a pickup truck by his girlfriend after they have a fight. Ultimately, she jumps out of the vehicle just before it pulls Justin off a cliff.

Maybe it's a metaphor for how JT feels about his own album campaign at this point?

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Lady Gaga's "Mary Jane Holland" Isn't Subtle

There's a triumphant-sounding bit in "Mary Jane Holland," the latest track from ARTPOP to be previewed, where Lady Gaga declares that she — or rather the narrator of this particular tale — is "rich as piss." The synth chords beneath sound like they should be blaring during a winning moment in a Rocky film, and the whole track is reminiscent of "Heavy Metal Lover," one of the best jams on Born This Way (an album, mind you, fraught with non-jams).

So far we've yet to hear an abysmal track from this album. Sorry, Prism.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Oh, Lorde

Sixteen-year-old New Zealand songstress Lorde is currently #1 in the States with "Royals," and the song follows suit this week in the UK by topping the chart there, as well. It's exciting stuff if you're one of the people who wasn't already over this song in June or July or even August.

Otherwise, there's always the hope that OneRepublic will return to the top in a week or so... [*SHOTGUN BLAST*]

The UK Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *new* *1 week*
2. "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" - James Arthur *new*
3. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
4. "Roar" - Katy Perry
5. "Booyah" - Showtek feat. We Are Aloud & Sonny Wilson *new*
6. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
7. "Bonfire Heart" - James Blunt
8. "Beautiful Life" - Union J *new*
9. "Afterglow" - Wilkinson
10. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan

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Lady Gaga's Spacy "Venus": Listen

Here's Lady Gaga's "Venus," the song that was going to be the second ARTPOP single until "Do What U Want" topped iTunes after being released as a buzz track on Monday. Need to listen to this one a few more times, but I think she made the right call.

"Venus" is out tomorrow.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Britney Spears' 'Britney Jean' Album Cover Revealed With Handwritten Letter To Fans

I can't lie — Britney Spears got it right with the artwork for her upcoming eighth album Britney Jean (out December 3). It's simple, sleek and leads one to believe that there's no need for flash here because the music itself is the focus.

And, indeed, Hemingwayney herself penned a letter to fans to accompany the cover art, stating, among other things, that she's "been through a lot in the past few years and it has really inspired me to dig deeper and write songs that I think everyone can relate to." (See: "Work Bitch")

Says Scribeney, "I am a performer. I am a Mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean."

Awww.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pet Shop Boys Presented With Outstanding Contribution To Music Q Award

This week the Pet Shop Boys were given the Outstanding Contribution To Music prize at the Q Awards by Robbie Williams, just ahead of the November 4 release of the pair's latest Electric single, "Thursday." This follows Neil and Chris wrapping their Electric Tour, not to mention the similar Outstanding Contribution To Music award they were given at the 2009 BRITs.

Quipped Neil on stage, "Has everyone read Morrissey's book? Well, he hasn't won..."

You can sit through this three+ minute clip of Q Awards highlights, or just jump to the end to catch a bit of the announcer chick talking over footage of Robbie and the Boys:

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US Chart Roundup: Alison Gold Has A Top 40 Hit

Quality rock music has finally thawed out and resurfaced, first in the form of Ylvis' "The Fox," and now Alison Gold's "Chinese Food." The latter, a piece of art that formed organically when 13-year-old Gold's parents plunked down a few thousand to Ark Music Factory composer Patrice Wilson so that he'd transform their daughter into a a modern day Janis Joplin, debuts on the Billboard Hot 100 this week at #29.



The thing is, no one is actually buying this aural delicacy that has a video confusing Chinese and Japanese culture. (Geishas appearing in a video for song about Chinese food? Sure.) No, this all happened because over 10 million people have watched the clip on YouTube. So, brava, Billboard, for allowing that rule.

Oh, and by the way...



Future #34 smash?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *4 weeks*
2. "Roar" - Katy Perry
3. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
5. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
6. "The Fox" - Ylvis
7. "Rap God" - Eminem *new*
8. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
9. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
10. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Lady Gaga, Dat Ass & R. Kelly Collab On Fantastic 'ARTPOP' Buzz Single "Do What U Want"

While Lady Gaga teased a bit of her new ARTPOP buzz track "Do What U Want" in a Beats By Dre commercial last week, the full song was made available on iTunes today — and quickly shot to #1.

I'll admit, when I first saw R. Kelly would be featuring here, my eyes rolled higher than a 15-year-old stripper on a 30 foot pole. Thankfully, though, the song is easily one of the best that Gaga has ever recorded. "Do What U Want" isn't really setting any standards or breaking new ground, but it manages to do what too few tracks do these days: get back to simple pop basics. (Even Gaga, who shined in this area on her debut The Fame, lost the plot entirely with 2011's Born This Way.)



On "Do What U Want," Gaga and Kelly trade verses from opposing points of view over a sturdy synth track and solid beat. The lyrical gist: say what you want about Gaga in the press, but you can't have her heart and you can't stop her voice.

My only gripe: Kelly's voice is in top form — has anyone ever crooned "we don't give a fuck" so soulfully? — but his mediocre lyrics about being "at the club" and brushing off "haters" are beyond cliche.

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: You Probably Missed OneRepublic At #1 Like A Hole In The Head

OneRepublic are back at #1 in the UK with "Counting Stars," a fact that's so utterly depressing that we should all instead focus on the fact that, 10 years ago this week, Sugababes were #1 with their third chart-topper, "Hole In The Head."



The UK Top 10:

1. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic *2 weeks*
2. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
3. "Juliet" - Lawson *new*
4. "Bonfire Heart" - James Blunt
5. "Rap God" - Eminem *new*
6. "Roar" - Katy Perry
7. "Berzerk" - Eminem
8. "Afterglow" - Wilkinson *new*
9. "R U Crazy" - Conor Maynard
10. "Change Your Life" - Iggy Azalea feat. T.I. *new*

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Listen To Katy Perry's Full 'Prism' Album

This week Katy Perry's Prism leaked, ahead of its October 22 release. A month back stated my thoughts on the album here.  Basically, "Walking On Air" (already released as a buzz track) is the best thing on the album, and "Double Rainbow" will get you off if you're a snooze. Some of the other Swede-produced tracks are okay, but KP's vocal arrangements don't really take you to "Teenage Dream"-like places.

Anyway, here's "Walking On Air," as performed by Katy, her turbo tits and several backup dancers on Saturday Night Live last weekend.



And here's Katy's full album:



The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *3 weeks*
2. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
3. "Roar" - Katy Perry
4. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
5. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
6. "The Fox" - Ylvis
7. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
8. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
9. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
10. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sophie Ellis-Bextor's Fifth Album 'Wanderlust' Out In January: Hear Some Of The Tracks

The fact that Sophie Ellis-Bextor has a new album on the way should give you immeasurable happiness. I'll admit that Make A Scene, her 2011 LP, didn't really click with me as a whole, though the Richard X-produced single "Starlight" landed here on the 10 Best Pop Singles Of 2011 list.

Anyway, it's a new day and a new style of music for Sophie with upcoming album Wanderlust (out January 20). Below you'll find the trailer for the record, which previews several of the retro-sounding, timeless pop-leaning tracks — including lead single "Young Blood."



Wanderlust was produced and arranged by Ed Harcourt, who also gets a co-writing credit. (He did "Cut Straight To The Heart" on Make A Scene.) Tracklist below:

Birth of an Empire
Until the Stars Collide
Runaway Daydreamer
The Deer & the Wolf
Young Blood
Interlude
13 Little Dolls
Wrong Side of the Sun
Love Is a Camera
Cry To the Beat of the Band
When the Storm Has Blown Over

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Britney Spears Announces Eighth Album Title

During this cute interview with London's Capital FM today, a somewhat nervous-looking Britney Spears strung more words together than she has during a sitdown in at least seven years. The key points I took away from this whole shebang were "I need to make it rain!" and that Britney gains 10 pounds everytime (Spears spelling!) she goes to Las Vegas.

Oh, and her upcoming album is called Britney Jean.

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: "Chain Between My Snatch" Is Like A Contagion

Oh, good — the nasty infection that is "Chain Between My Snatch" has now spread overseas and topped the UK chart. Enjoy that, folks.

I wish John Newman's "Cheating" had debuted higher than #9, but in all honesty, it's not the greatest choice of single, given the other, more standout tracks on his debut album Tribute (out this coming week). Still, not bad for having gone up against a handful of other new releases.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus *new* *1 week*
2. "Berzerk" - Eminem *new*
3. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
4. "R U Crazy" - Conor Maynard *new*
5. "Disco Love" - The Saturdays *new*
6. "Bonfire Heart" - James Blunt *new*
7. "Roar" - Katy Perry
8. "Talk Dirty" - Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz
9. "Cheating" - John Newman *new*
10. "Can We Dance?" - Vamps

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Don't Stop Believin'

I've needed to get this out for three months now — or probably three years, actually. This is about one life more than anything. And, um, Glee.

In Spring of 2009, at high recession time, I was out of a 9-to-5 job and needed some kind of project to occupy my days. And so I'd sit in a Starbucks in Westwood (Los Angeles) every day for hours upon hours, banging away at a screenplay and writing up posts on this blog.  

To paint the time period with pop culture reference points, Lady Gaga was just happening really big. Jordin Sparks' last great song, "Battlefield," was out. The Black Eyed Peas were having a renaissance with "Boom Boom Pow," Pet Shop Boys had just released their pretty great Yes album and La Roux was maybe the coolest new thing around. What ultimately got me to pick up with the script — one that I'd started four years prior but set aside for a rainy day (or 120 rainy days) — was seeing the movie Adventureland in the theater. Nice coming of age story, I thought. Then, haughtily, I can do better.

That May, in the last few weeks of my unemployment, Fox aired the pilot for what seemed on the surface like a TV series knocking off the then-three-and-a-half-year-old High School Musical. It was called Glee. And, thankfully, it became obvious in the first five minutes that any HSM comparisons were unfounded.

If I took the time to actually have a think about what, culturally, was going on in 2009 to ignite Glee's mass appeal — more so than simply "everyone's been through high school and likes a good a cappella rendition of the latest radio jam, right?" — then I'd maybe come up with something about a group of kicked-around high school losers battling the big, bad odds stacked against them resonating extremely well in the time of America's economic crisis.

Glee for me was all about that last number in the pilot, when Finn, Rachel, Tina, Mercedes, Kurt and Artie came together on a dark stage in an empty high school auditorium and found a spark where there was seemingly no fire, all via a joyous performance of Journey's early '80s ephochal ode to loneliness, "Don't Stop Believin'."

The rest of this will work best if unashamedly play this clip loudly. (Trust me, it's the only way, and "shame is a wasted emotion.")



****
Growing up an only kid, I always felt comfortable in lonely surroundings, and confident in taking on the world — something that might have been obvious from the fucks-free tone of Chart Rigger from the get-go. When I look back now, it's easy to pinpoint that in early 2009 I felt on top of things, creatively. As far as this blog goes, that period capped off a peak three-year stretch. My screenplay was finished. I was out of a "day job," but I was getting full-time freelance work. I was even making an extra hundred bucks a week by picking up dog-walking duties in the afternoons. (Random memory: through all of this, I listened to Cut Copy's albums Bright Like Neon Love and In Ghost Colours albums around the clock.)

And then my dad died that July. A blur of three weeks spent in Pennsylvania followed.

A few weeks later, back in Los Angeles, one of my best friends was in a life-altering motorcycle accident. I took on a freelance job for a major record label cranking out trivia questions for an iPhone app that would never see the light of day. Somewhere in the haze, I got offered an editor position at Idolator. Astoundingly, a disastrous move to Texas followed in 2010, where isolation and loneliness broke through my once-sturdy barricade and haunted me at every turn for over two years.

If I've ever been "Zen-like" about anything, it's now, when I look back on that span of what I can only describe as a really abysmal end to a the previous decade.

And so, adrift in the middle of nowhere — or, more specifically, Dallas — a light inside of me went out.

****
Somehow through all of that I kept watching Glee. The show got preposterous — like, absolutely fucking terrible — as the seasons wore on, and Season 4 was the undeniable worst. But I stuck with it...barely.

I can admit that I phoned in three years of blogging here on Chart Rigger. There were a dozen times where I thought about writing The Final Post between 2010 and 2012, or just letting it slide into disuse without a word. Still, somehow that never happened. (Trust — I'm not delusional enough to think this blog has any significance in the world, other than being an outlet for me to put words on the Internet in the midst of each day in my life.)

The funny thing about hitting rock bottom, emotionally, is that life has a way of kicking you in the ass at some point and telling you to grow up, if you're willing to let it. Once and for all, just grow up.

I did a lot of traveling in that otherwise drab period, and eventually the opportunity for a move to New York presented itself. Sure,why the hell not?

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Checking Twitter while on a weekend trip to Connecticut early Sunday morning, July 14, it became apparent very quickly that Cory Monteith had died. Years of writing about celebrities has a way of numbing you to such events, but one out-of-the-blue factor made this sink in like a dagger, which was that it also happened to be the four-year anniversary of my dad's death. I cried for an hour that morning, and did the one thing at that point that felt natural. I logged on to Idolator and cranked out several posts about Cory and Finn and Glee and sadness.

Back in New York late on Sunday afternoon, I walked around Central Park listening to "Don't Stop Believin'" and "The Scientist" and "Keep Holding On" on my iPod, the songs I felt the show did an exceptionally well job of incorporating a powerful gut-punch into.



Man, "The Scientist" can wreck you. I sat on the steps by the Bethesda fountain in the park, hiding behind dark, dark sunglasses, and played it over and over.

Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be so hard
I'm going back to the start


I know my dad would have totally dug Glee, or at least the first season or two. He really loved music and was always rooting for the underdog. He just never had a chance to see it.

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Last night's episode of Glee dealing with Finn Hudson/Cory Monteith's death, "The Quarterback," was one of the saddest things I've ever watched, as far as episodic TV series go. Maybe the saddest. I re-watched it on Hulu this morning and did several posts on my Tumblr that are really just screen grabs from every bit that had me ugly-crying. There are 30 images altogether, so that gives you an idea what kind of morning I had.



But the point of all this isn't to enforce and air of doom and gloom. Quite the opposite. (And I realize this is also the sappiest, schmaltziest post that's ever existed in this space. You know I don't give an F, though.)

I'm really enjoying living in New York. And my outlook on life really turned on that day in July when I sat in the park and thought about getting back to being happy. It's a re-learning process. I've had to stop questioning where the universe has dragged me and let go of a lot of sadness and confusion with regards to the past four years. Sometimes it's best to just lean forward and fall into the flow of what will be.

Funny enough, as I'm writing this, I'm sitting now in the same Starbucks in Westwood where I spent so many hours finishing that screenplay in Spring 2009. The sun is shining and the sky over this city that I've missed so much over the past 48 months looks surreal, blue. It feels warm here.

Oh, and I finally re-read that script last night on the flight from New York to Los Angeles. I didn't cringe once — always a good sign. In fact, I guffawed out loud multiple times, much to the annoyance of the slumped over dude beside me who was trying to sleep. I even got out my red pen and made a few minor changes. 

I guess it's time to go back to the start.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Ylvis, The Last True Artist

Sometimes you forget what an outright sausage fest the pop charts are these days. Lorde, now at #1 (for a second week) with "Royals," is only the fourth female to top the Billboard Hot 100 this year, following Pink ("Just Give Me A Reason"), Katy Perry ("Roar") and Girl (?) Whore With Tongue ("Chain Between My Snatch"). Really, I just hope "The Fox" gets to the top and stays there for six years. Ylvis is like the savior of rock and roll.



Elsewhere, thanks to all the views of Britney Spears' "Work Bitch" video, the song has rebounded from the jowls of flopdom in its third week, as it jumps from #41 to #13. Again, nice video, but I can't imagine this will.i.am-tainted trash will stick around long, unless America has truly lost it. Oh, wait...

A bit further down, Katy Perry's latest Prism buzz single "Walking On Air" debuts at #34.
That classy track is still my jam. I only wish the full album was full of such sexy material, a la Alphabeat's The Spell/The Beat Is...

Anyway, here's the latest, foxes.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *2 weeks*
2. "Roar" - Katy Perry
3. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
5. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
6. "The Fox" - Ylvis
7. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
8. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
9. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
10. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais

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Lady Gaga Offers Up 'ARTPOP' Album Tracklist & "Aura" Lyric Video

There's a scene in Lady Gaga's Machete Kills-filled lyric video for "Aura" where Cuba Gooding Jr. (!) rips off a mask to reveal that he's actually Gaga underneath. That's truly the most fucked-up/brilliant thing I've seen in at least two days, and that's saying a lot.



Anyway, here's the ARTPOP tracklist. Let's hope "Fashion!" is the "Fashion" — as in the song Gaga and RedOne wrote for Heidi Montag five years ago.



1. Aura
2. Venus
3. G.U.Y.
4. Sexxx Dreams
5. Jewels N’ Drugs (featuring T.I, Too $hort & Twista)
6. MANiCURE
7. Do What U Want (featuring R. Kelly)
8. ARTPOP
9. Swine
10. Donatella
11. Fashion!
12. Mary Jane Holland
13. Dope
14. Gypsy
15. Applause

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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

'90s Dance Heaven: Bastille Cover/Mashup "Rhythm Is A Dancer" & "Rhythm Of The Night

Snap!'s "Rhythm Is A Dancer" is a Eurodance classic, a '90s staple and one of the best songs to come out of 1992. Likewise, Corona's "The Rhythm Of The Night" is a similar '90s Euro classic, and one of 1994's best.

Jump to now, and Bastille are one of my favorite bands of the year. They've covered and mashed up "Rhythm Is A Dancer" with "The Rhythm Of The Night" — now titled "Of The Night," which was first made available on a mixtape released in February; now to be included on their November 25 album release — and nothing could be more perfect on the planet at this moment in time. Enjoy the dark, creepy video below.

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Paris Hilton's Classy "Good Time" Video

Paris Hilton's latest sensational global smash is currently soaring at #135 on iTunes. Perhaps the music video will get it up to #117? Enjoy!

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Monday, October 07, 2013

Lady Gaga Poses Nude With My Grandma's Lawn Ornament On 'ARTPOP' Album Cover

I love everything about Lady Gaga's ARTPOP album cover, from the Birth Of Venus hints to the pink and white font to Gaga clutching her boobs to her shooting a blue Jeff Koons ball out of her monster bag. While her last album artwork looked like something that came racing out your nightmares after taking a detour through Oz — but, like, Oz in The Wiz, not The Wizard Of Oz — this looks like something that's inviting and poppy and fun.

It's as if Gaga is saying, "Here, everyone – I'm predicting the future with my crystal pussy, and it's telling me that you're going to love my new album. Now, who wants to play peek-a-boo tits?"

Right?

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It's Paris Hilton's "Good Time"!

Paris Hilton's first new single in seven years, "Good Time," is finally out tomorrow (October 8), and today the Afrojack-produced jam naturally wound up online in full. It's much more dance-leaning than anything on The Queen Of Everything's debut album Paris. And if there's a version that doesn't feature Lil Wayne rapping about sucking, fucking, asses and bitches, I just might love it unconditionally.

I'm already giving this aptly-titled track major props for not featuring overly-multi-tracked vocals by Paris. Call me crazy, but it seems like she's been fine-tuning her natural instrument quite a bit since we last heard her pipes set to music.



What say you?

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It's Gary Barlow's "Let Me Go" Video

Hot Barlow premiered the video for his new solo single "Let Me Go" overnight, and it features his fine DILF ass wandering around the streets of NYC looking for a piano, then starting a street party by belting out the Since I Saw You Last jam.

Album Since I Saw You Last is out November 25, and this Mumford/Phillip Phillips-y single is out November 17.

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Gary Barlow Remains A Hot Daddy With 'Since I Saw You Last' Album Cover

If you were looking for a reminder that Gary Barlow is still the type of DILF you'd want to come over to your house and bend you over the couch and ram you in to next Sunday, then gaze no further than the cover art for his upcoming third solo album, Since I Saw You Last (out November 25).

It's quite an improvement over the cover of his last solo outing, 1999's Twelve Months, Eleven Days. I always felt poor Gaz looked like he'd just been kicked in the nuts right before the camera snapped with that one.

Of course, the key period to have had Gary come over and piledrive your face into the plaster would have been around the time of 1997's Open Road. He was fresh out of Take That 1.0 then, still having solo hits (I absolutely love that album's title track) and looking like quite the hot piece of blonde tail.

In lieu of that, the next best thing, I'm still convinced, is 43-year-old Barlow dick.

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Pet Shop Boys' "Thursday" Single Artwork Is Very

Chris Lowe dons the glitter ball helmet he's been working on the Pet Shop Boys' Electric Tour for the cover art of the duo's upcoming single "Thursday." It's pretty much the best single the Boys have released in a decade, and below is the tracklist for the various versions, which are out November 4. (A+++ for having Tensnake remix the song.)

CD / Digital bundle
1. Thursday (radio edit)
2. No more ballads
3. Odd man out
4. Thursday (Tensnake remix)

12" Vinyl
Side A
1. Thursday (album mix)
2. Thursday (Eddie Amador main remix)
Side B
Thursday (Tensnake remix)

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Sunday, October 06, 2013

UK Chart Roundup: Chase & Status' "Count On Me" Is My New Jam Fave '90s House Throwback

It's nice to hear dubstep slowly but surely bleeding out of mainstream dance tracks and being replaced by retro '90s house flourishes (see: Katy Perry's "Walking On Air," Tensnake's "Mainline," Katy B's "Aaliyah" and "5 AM," etc.).

The latest addition to the pack: Chase And Status' "Count On Me," a raging, raving house jam featuring vocals by Moko. It goes in at #5 on the UK chart this week...



...and somehow manages to match the London dance act's previous Top 10 single from earlier this year, "Lost & Not Found," in being completely awesome.



The UK Top 10:

1. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic *1 week*
2. "Can We Dance?" - Vamps *new*
3. "Talk Dirty" - Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz
4. "Roar" - Katy Perry
5. "Count On Me" - Chase And Status feat. Moko *new*
6. "You Make Me" - Avicii
7. "Skyscraper" - Demi Lovato
8. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake
9. "Same Love" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert
10. "Something Really Bad" - Dizzee Rascal feat. will.i.am *new*

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Thursday, October 03, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Oh, Lorde

With "Royals" now at #1, sixteen-years-and-11-months-old Lorde is now the first solo artist from New Zealand top the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the most recently-born artist and the first female solo artist to do so since Tiffany's version of "I Think We're Alone Now" reached the peak position in 1987. Good job, babe — just don't take all the residuals and pack them up your nose.

Meanwhile, Britney Spears' "Work Bitch" makes a devastating drop from last week's debut position of #12 to #41. Guess it's just a Miley world, and we're all just pulling our thongs up our vaginas as we zip through it on the big conveyor belt heading to Hell.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *1 week*
2. "Roar" - Katy Perry
3. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
5. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
6. "Holy Grail" - Jay-Z feat. Justin Timberlake
7. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
8. "The Fox" - Ylvis
9. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
10. "Summertime Sadness" - Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

It's Rihanna's Stripper-Filled "Pour It Up" Video

Last November, when I was on a plane with Rihanna flying all over the world in a sleep-deprived haze, tracks from her then-new album Unapologetic were piped in wherever we went: the 777 jet,  shuttle buses hauling us to her club shows each night, her concerts themselves...

One of the murkiest of them was "Pour It Up," which still has the ability to give me flashbacks to that trip whenever I hear it. The lyrics are all about Rihanna's alcohol consumption, her pride in the money she's got stacked up and the glitzy life she's bumping, grinding and smoking her way through.

The video takes things a step further and shows strippers (Rihanna included) twirling on a pole, twerking in a pool and looking pretty altogether stunning.



The track itself is vapid as fuck, but the video's a winner in my book.

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Paris Hilton's "Good Time" Single Art: They Say 6 Is The Mark Of The Sexy

It takes a village of stunning, glowing, goddess-like Parises to make up the cover artwork for "Good Time."

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

It's Britney Spears' "Work Bitch" Video

There are no two ways about it: Britney Spears looks absolutely fantastic in her fuck-me heels in the slick 'n' flashy "Work Bitch" video. Plus, she whips some back-up dancer ho in the ass. So, utter basic-ness of the song itself aside, I'm giving Classney props for this hot trash visual.

Granted, she's yet to top "Hold It Against Me"...but Britney at least blows just about every other pop video from the last two months out of the jacuzzi with this one.



And, brava, Clairvoyantney, for having the foresight to premiere a video for a song called "Work Bitch" on the day the United States government shuts down.

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Paris Hilton's Extended "Good Time" Video Preview Will Have To Tide You Over

...because the "Good Time" single release has now been pushed back a week, to October 8. Oh, well — we've waited seven years for Queen Of Everything Paris Hilton to bless us with new aural delights. What's another seven days?

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Sia, The Weeknd & Diplo's "Elastic Heart" Is The Best Ballad You'll Hear This Fall

I was pretty much fucks-free over last year's Hunger Games movie soundtrack, but the upcoming one for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (out November 19) has some decent artists attached (including Lorde, Coldplay, The Weeknd, Sia and Christina Aguilera).

In fact, Sia and The Weeknd team up here for Diplo production "Elastic Heart," which is pretty much, as stated up above, the best ballad you're going to hear this fall. (There's a rumor out there that the song was originally submitted to Beyonce, but whether it's true or not, I'm glad Sia ended up doing this herself.)

Sia is on an absolute tear, and her knack for stirring up emotions with the most unlikely collaborations (see David Guetta's "Titanium" and Rihanna's "Diamonds") via her lyrical ability is pretty uncanny.



"Elastic Heart" is available today on iTunes.

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