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

Friday, November 29, 2013

Lady Gaga Performs "Gypsy" With Kermit, "Fashion" With RuPaul On Muppets Special

After shoving turkey and mashed potatoes and cookies and pie and more cookies and a third piece of pie down my yap yesterday, I sat down in front of the television to watch a show that brought the whole family joy on the festive holiday: American Horror Story: Coven.

Once I got all caught up on that trash, I flipped it to that Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular thing. If you missed it, these were the two bits of note:

Lady Gaga & Kermit, "Gypsy"



Lady Gaga & RuPaul, "Fashion!"



And if you're into watching a gender-flipped duet between two people who have absolutely no chemistry together doing everyone's favorite Christmas date-rape song...

Lady Gaga & Joseph Gordin-Levitt, "Baby, It's Cold Outside"

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Lorde Gobbles Up A Ninth Week At #1, Ellie's "Burn" Goes Top 40

On this glamourous Thanksgiving edition of the weekly chart rundown, I was reminded — don't ask me why — of Thanksgiving 2006, when I was typing out this very weekly update back in L.A. Every time this holiday rolls around, I think back to that particular Thanksgiving for some reason. Akon and Snoop Dogg's "I Wanna Love You" was #1 that week. Ha. Akon.

Anyway, here we are in 2013, and Lorde's "Royals" is at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a ninth week. The 17-year-old has now tied the stints at #1 by both Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," two broads who also hit the top of the chart with their debut US singles (if we overlook Ke$ha's feature on Flo Rida's "Right Round," of course).

Elsewhere, Lady Gaga's "Applause" finally drops out of the Top 10 after 14 weeks, and makes way for Passenger's "Let Her Go," which is at #10. Gaga also sees her album ARTPOP tumble from #1 to #8 in its second week on the Billboard 200. So far ARTPOP has only sold 305,000 copies. I'm thinking she'll be lucky if it goes Gold by the holidays.

Back on the Hot 100, Ellie Goulding's "Burn" finally cracks the Top 40, as it jumps from #48 to #36. She performed the song on The Voice Tuesday night, and it's now up to #12 on iTunes. Since Ellie's feature on Calvin Harris' "I Need Your Love" didn't make for a major splash in America — it peaked at #16 earlier this year — "Burn" just might see her escape the one-hit-wonderdom she established with "Lights" in 2012.

And with that, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *9 weeks*
2. "The Monster" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus 
4. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
5. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
6. "Demons" - Imagine Dragons
7. "Roar" - Katy Perry
8. "Timber" - Pitbull feat. Ke$ha
9. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
10. "Let Her Go" - Passenger

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Monday, November 25, 2013

American Music Awards 2013, In A Nutshell

Here's my review of last night's American Music Awards:

Here are the three performances that are semi-watchable:







Here are the winners:

ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Taylor Swift
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Ariana Grande
SINGLE OF THE YEAR: Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly, “Cruise”
ICON AWARD: Rihanna
POP/ROCK FEMALE ARTIST: Taylor Swift
POP/ROCK MALE ARTIST: Justin Timberlake
POP/ROCK BAND/DUO/GROUP: One Direction
POP/ROCK ALBUM: One Direction, Take Me Home
SOUL/R&B FEMALE ARTIST: Rihanna
SOUL/R&B MALE ARTIST: Justin Timberlake
SOUL/R&B ALBUM: Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC ARTIST: Avicii
COUNTRY ALBUM: Taylor Swift, Red
COUNTRY GROUP: Lady Antebellum
COUNTRY FEMALE ARTIST: Taylor Swift
COUNTRY MALE ARTIST: Luke Bryan
RAP/HIP HOP ALBUM: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Heist
ALTERNATIVE ROCK ARTIST: Imagine Dragons
ADULT CONTEMPORARY ARTIST: Maroon 5
LATIN MUSIC ARTIST: Marc Anthony
CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL ARTIST: Matthew West
TOP SOUNDTRACK: Pitch Perfect

Once again:

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Young Blood": Listen

In case you hadn't heard, Sophie Ellis-Bextor's fifth LP Wanderlust is out on January 20 (that would be next year, sillies), and it's a complete departure from her dance-pop sound of yore. The first single, "Young Blood," is now available to listen to in full.

As you can hear, the Ed Harcourt-produced ballad is a bit Adele-meets-John-Newman-and-then-they-fuck-on-silk-sheets-for-an-hour.



Ain't that a kick in the nuts?

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US Chart Roundup: Lady Gaga's 'ARTPOP' Twitter Freakout

So here's where we're at with ARTPOP: According to Billboard, Lady Gaga's latest sold 258,000 copies in its first week. Hits Daily Double has the slightly higher figure of 259,683 copies. Either way, the album is tops on the Billboard 200 this week. ARTPOP is now the third-highest debut for a female artist on the album chart in 2013, behind Katy Perry’s Prism (286,000) and Miley CyrusBangerz (270,000).

Still, the media has been quick to point out the fact that ARTPOP's predecessor, Born This Way, debuted at #1 on the strength of 1.1 million copies sold in its first week, back in 2011. Perhaps that explains this mini Twitter rant Gaga went on yesterday:





At any rate, over on the Hot 100, Gaga's "Applause" rises one position to #9 and "Do What U Want" jumps from #48 to #18 following her appearance on Saturday Night Live last weekend.

A bit further down, Passenger's "Let Her Go" is just outside of the Top 10, at #11, Ellie Goulding's "Burn" climbs to a new peak of #48 and Bastille's "Popmpeii" is up to #53.

Sexy.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *8 weeks*
2. "The Monster" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus 
4. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
5. "Roar" - Katy Perry
6. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
7. "Demons" - Imagine Dragons
8. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
9. "Applause" - Lady Gaga
10. "Timber" - Pitbull feat. Ke$ha

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera's "Say Something" Video

While worn-out hags like Rihanna, Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey are out there chucking forth utter fucking shit into the marketplace, leave it to Christina Aguilera to wind up with one of the better songs from this quarter.

As mentioned in last week's chart roundup, A Great Big World's "Say Something" got a massive boost when Xtina attached herself like a hit-starved barnacle to the track and performed it with the duo on The Voice. It debuted on the Hot 100 #16.

Here's an equally lovely video to go with the song:

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Two Boring Videos, One Week: Rihanna's "What Now" & Katy Perry's "Unconditionally"

Here are a wicked truths: Katy Perry's Prism album is terrible, her single "Unconditionally" is so boring it makes me want to hammer nails into my ears and Rihanna needs to get drop Unapologetic at this point because the only good song on that trash was "Diamonds" anyway.

Enjoy these hoes' latest videos!



Flop.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lady Gaga Performs "Do What U Want" (With R. Kelly) & "Gypsy" On 'SNL'

A week after appearing on The Graham Norton Show in the UK last weekend and performing "Do What U Want" by herself, Lady Gaga hit up Saturday Night Live last night (where she performed and hosted) and R. Kelly came along for the ride — their first live performance of the new ARTPOP single together.

And that's when all of this happened...

 
Here's "Do What U Want':



She also performed "Gypsy":



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Thursday, November 14, 2013

US Chart Roundup: Lady Gaga Has Two Top 10 Hits, Xtina Returns & Britney Flops

There's a bit to cover this week (finally), so let's just start at the top. Lorde's "Royals" is #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a seventh week, surpassing the six weeks Macklemore & Ryan Lewis spent at the top earlier this year with "Thrift Shop." This makes the New Zealand vixenlet the artist with the second-longest stretch at #1 in 2013, behind Robin Thicke ("Blurred Lines" stayed there for an ungodly 12 weeks).

Lady Gaga's "Applause" has been in the Top 10 for 13 weeks — this week the song is at #10 again — and its now joined by ARTPOP buzz single "Dope," which debuts at #8. This also marks Gaga's 13th Top 10 single on the Hot 100. (Further down the chart, Gaga and R. Kelly's "Do What U Want," ARTPOP's official second single, moves up 10 positions to #48.)

Outside of the Top 10: A Great Big World's "Say Something" got a massive boost last week when Christina Aguilera attached herself like a hit-starved barnacle to the track and performed it with the duo on The Voice. It debuts this week at #16.



Meanwhile, Britney Spears' "Perfume," her second single off the possible trainwreck known as Britney Jean, squeaks into the Hot 100 at #76.

Equally as disastrous, The Wanted flop onto the Billboard 200 album chart at #17 with their American debut Word Of Mouth. Sorry, lads — might be time to take up porn? Then again, everyone's too bored to jerk off to that.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *7 weeks*
2. "The Monster" - Eminem feat. Rihanna
3. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus 
4. "Roar" - Katy Perry
5. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
6. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
7. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
8. "Dope" - Lady Gaga *new*
9. "Demons" - Imagine Dragons
10. "Applause" - Lady Gaga

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Naughty Boy Interview

Last week I interviewed producer Naughty Boy for Idolator (watch below), who talked about not being on Britney Spears' upcoming album, but being a big fan of William Orbit (who apparently has at least one song on Britney Jean) and Madonna's classic Ray Of Light album.

He of course discussed several other things, including his international hit single "La La La" (which gets a US release in early December) and album Hotel Cabana (out in 2014), but those bits will be posted at a later date.

'Til then:

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Britney Spears' Tracklist For 'Britney Jean' Ensures This Album Will Flop Massively

T.I. Will.i.am. Jamie Lynn Spears. BYE, BRITNEY!

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It's Lily Allen's "Hard Out Here" Video

Here's the thing: Lily Allen used to annoy the fuck out of me. Then she put out that really amazing album It's Not Me, It's You in 2009, and I listened to it a lot when I was unemployed early that year and it was kind of my recessionista jam (along with Lady Gaga's The Fame).

Lily's back now with "Hard Out Here," the lead single from her upcoming third album. The song plays a bit like her previous album's lead single, "The Fear," in that it's pointing out how utterly ridiculous bitches are these days. That said, it makes fun of Miley Cyrus and twerking and Robin Thicke — plus there are balloon letters that spell out "Lily Allen has a baggy pussy," so what's not to love?

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Lady Gaga's 'ARTPOP' Pop Up Gallery: NYC

Stopped by the Lady Gaga ARTPOP pop up gallery this evening, down on 14th Street in New York. These are a few of the pics I snapped. You can catch the rest on my Tumblr. (Give me a follow there, too!)
You can also check out my ARTPOP album review over on Idolator.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

My Review Of Lady Gaga's 'ARTPOP'

If you're up for taking in a few hundred words on the subject, I reviewed Lady Gaga's new album ARTPOP over at Idolator.

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Saturday, November 09, 2013

Lady Gaga Possessed By 7 Different Demons (And Cher) During 'Graham Norton' Performance

Lady Gaga performed her new single "Do What U Want" on the Graham Norton Show last night, minus duet partner R. Kelly (though, nice ad lib there during his part). And during all this, the nutty broad looked like she was harboring half-a-dozen demonic spirits...and the scraps of Cher's headpiece from the 1986 Oscars that Jack Nicholson didn't snort off a gold plate.

Anyway, killer stuff, and Gaga again blows all the other pop hags out of the kiddie pool by offering up impressive live vocals.



Here's her performance of "Venus":

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Friday, November 08, 2013

Lady Gaga Shows Everything (Sort Of) In Nude 'ARTPOP' Shoot With Jeff Koons

We just posted these pics (along with a few others) of Lady Gaga's nude photo shoot with Jeff Koons, for the sculpture that wound up on the cover of ARTPOP, over on Idolator, and now I'm obsessed with her snatch.

LONG LIVE JOURNALISM.

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

U.S. Chart Roundup: Lorde Turns 17, Meets Bowie

Today your sweet Lorde turns 17. Having your single be #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a sixth week...not a bad birthday present. Even better: getting invited to Tilda Swinton's own b'day bash at New York's Museum of Modern Art earlier this week, and having your pic snapped with Tilda and David effing Bowie.

Royals.

Elsewhere, Lady Gaga's former second official single/now buzz track off (the recently leaked) ARTPOP, "Venus," debuts at #32, while "TKO," Justin Timberlake's dull as fuck second single off the second volume of The 20/20 Experience, climbs to #37.

Meanwhile, Ellie Goulding's "Burn," one of the year's best pop jams (and a former UK #1), regains its momentum and inches ever closer to its former #53 peak — this week at #57.

And finally, Britney Spears is now out of the Top 40 altogether after only seven weeks with "Work Bitch," which plummets from #36 to #59. Sorry, bitch.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Royals" - Lorde *6 weeks*
2. "Wrecking Ball" - Miley Cyrus
3. "The Monster" - Eminem feat. Rihanna *new*
4. "Roar" - Katy Perry
5. "Wake Me Up!" - Avicii
6. "Story Of My Life" - One Direction *new*
7. "Hold On, We're Going Home" - Drake feat. Majid Jordan
8. "Demons" - Imagine Dragons
9. "Counting Stars" - OneRepublic
10. "Applause" - Lady Gaga

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

Pet Shop Boys Perform "Thursday" On 'Jonathan Ross', Neil Tennant Does Example's Bit

After having caught the Pet Shop Boys live on their Electric Tour twice in New York in September and then later, in October, in Los Angeles, I figured I'd seen it all when it came to the duo doing new single (out today in the UK, out Tuesday in the US) "Thursday." But, nope — wrong — here they are serving up the song live on The Jonathan Ross Show from this weekend, with Neil Tennant surprisingly taking on Example's vocals.



Incidentally, Discography, the very first Pet Shop Boys hits collection, was released on this day in 1991.

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It's Britney Spears' "Perfume": Listen To The Second 'Britney Jean' Single

A big deal is being made of Britney Spears' upcoming studio album, entitled Britney Jean, boasting what is apparently very personal songwriting from the pop starlet. And it's like, well, okay — welcome to the world of actually writing your music, Britney. It should be personal.

Anyway, "Perfume," the second single off the album (following disappointing flop "Work Bitch") has arrived, and it's a co-write with Sia. Don't look for the track, a ballad, to raise any bars or break any ceilings other than those in Spears' own world. Still, it's a pleasant enough song that, compared to the limp number it's following up, shows some promise for Britney's eighth outing.

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