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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Howard Stern Interviewed Madonna, And The Whole Thing Was Pretty Great

Madonna is pulling out all the stops for just-released album Rebel Heart, because, after all, the goddamn thing leaked five weeks early (not to mention the demo leak in December), and it's now going toe-to-toe with the Empire soundtrack for topping the Billboard 200 next week.

And so Ye Olde Vampyre swung by Howard Stern's radio show yesterday for the first time ever, and it was a fascinating hour-and-a-half listen. Howard "went there" on several topics — including Madonna being raped when she first arrived in New York, her father marrying their housekeeper, boinking Lenny Kravitz when they worked together on "Justify My Love" and her relationship with Warren Beatty.

Also, when Stern zeroed in on "Ghosttown" being one of his favorite tracks on Rebel Heart, Madge said she just shot the video this week for it — so there's your "Living For Love" follow-up single.

The whole thing is pretty good stuff, and it's nice to actually hear an interview in full — something you don't get with print or online or taped television chats.


Sunday, March 08, 2015

UK Chart Roundup: Years & Years Hit The Top With Aptly-Titled Jam "King"

Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do" had literally been tops on the UK chart for a full month, until today, and that's fine. I kind of like that trash — it's reminiscent of Ellie's first album...you know, before she started making watered-down sellout tracks for teen sluts in the suburbs who suck cock for Wednesday night kicks in the back of some van in the high school football stadium parking lot — but let's face it: after 4 weeks, time to take a hike, baby.

That brings us to Years & Years. Previous single "Desire" was a jam, and it scraped its way to #26 last fall, but "King" is a jam-jam, and molto deserving of kicking Ellie's marshmallow arse off the top of the chart and claiming the #1 position. Quite simply, "King" just feels like a big song, with it's synth-up air of mystery and pop perfection, and with a little luck, hopefully it can cross over to the States sometime before 2015 ends.

That brings us to another great track that (finally) makes its way into the UK Top 10 this week: Marlon Roudette's dreamy "When The Beat Drops Out," originally a summer 2014 hit in various other reaches of Europe.

And hey — "King" and "When The Beat Drops Out" brought me out of my weeks-long moratorium on writing about the boring log-jam on the chart, so there's something good going on.

The UK Top 10:

1. "King" - Years & Years *new* *1 week*
2. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding
3. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
4. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier
5. "Earned It" - The Weeknd 
6. "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
7. "When The Beat Drops Out" - Marlon Roudette *new*
8. "Hold Back The River" - James Bay
9. "Sugar" - Maroon 5
10. "Heartbeat Song" - Kelly Clarkson

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Thursday, March 05, 2015

US Chart Roundup: All I Can Think Of To Get Through Is Nick Jonas

Every once in awhile, when the Hot 100 gets too jam-packed with garbage, I have to take a week or two off from commenting on it. And look — three weeks after we last met up here, "Uptown Funk" is still #1 and "Thinking Out Loud" is still just behind it. Yippee!

Plus, now there's the added bonus of Pitbull and Ne-Yo being in the Top 10! That's about as welcome as three icicles up the cunt, to be honest.

And so, let's just look a bit further down, where Nick Jonas has jumped into the Top 40, at #34, with "Jealous" follow-up single "Chains" (which, actually, was the single before "Jealous," but why be technical?). I'm hoping that trash makes it into the Top 10 by the thick of spring, because it's a pretty decent pop jam, and right now it's snowing heavily in New York, and all I can think about to get me through is warm days and Nick Jonas naked...

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Uptown Funk" - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars *9 weeks*
2. "Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran
3. "Sugar" - Maroon 5
4. "Love Me Like You Do" - Ellie Goulding
5. "FourFiveSeconds" - Rihanna, Kanye West & Paul McCartney
6. "Take Me To Church" - Hozier
7. "Style" - Taylor Swift
8. "Blank Space" - Taylor Swift
9. "Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)" - The Weeknd
10. "Time Of Our Lives" - Pitbull & Ne-Yo

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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You": Listen To The First Great Pop Single Of 2015

Three years ago, Carly Rae Jepsen owned the spring and summer airwaves with her inescapable radio behemoth "Call Me Maybe" (and, to a lesser extent, the Owl City pair-up "Good Time"). The Canadian singer's first US album Kiss was largely ignored, however, and that's a shame — because from opening track "Tiny Little Bows" and onward, it was a pretty solid collection of pop.

Cut to now, and Carly Rae is releasing her brand new single "I Really Like You" this coming Tuesday (March 2). The song is basically the best Top 40-leaning thing we've heard in this first quarter of the year, and if you don't believe me, then listen below.

Now do you believe me?