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

Monday, July 27, 2015

Disclosure & Sam Smith Reunite For "Omen": Watch The Video

The truth — well, my truth — about Sam Smith is, I can't stand his dull ballads. Sorry, folks...it's just snooze central to me. What I have loved from him is his features on Disclosure's "Latch" and Naughty Boy's "Latch," plus "Like I Can" and "Reminds Me Of You" off Smith's own album (the latter being a lovely, synthy bonus track done with Lorde's producer, Joel Little).

So here we are with the reunion of Disclosure and Smith (not to mention "Latch" songwriter Jimmy Napes), "Omen." It's the second single off Guy and Howard's upcoming sophomore LP Caracal (out September 25), and I think it's pretty fantastic. The first person I played it for this morning said, "It's not as immediately catchy as 'Latch'" — a sentiment I don't quite agree with, but you say tomato, I say tomahto; I think it's the same pleasantly-lazy house beat, and a slightly more instantly memorable chorus.

Anyway, as for the video, it was directed by Ryan Hope and is the second in a series of four clips coming from Disclosure that tell some type of story or other about a man and a woman on the run in Mexico City during what appears to be some futuristic, military-state type takeover.

The first in the series was "Holding On," which premiered earlier this month.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

U.S. Chart Roundup: "Lean On" Is My Jam

I feel like Major Lazer, DJ Snake and 's "Lean On" is the best song of the summer, as far as overplayed Top 40 nonsense goes, and so I'm thrilled to see it jump into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 this week (at #9). It's the first Top 10 single for all involved except DJ Snake, who had that painfully obnoxious "Turn Down For What" trash last year that somehow slithered its way to #4.

Everything else on the Hot 100 is kind of super butt this week — especially the fact that my other favorite jam of the summer, Demi Lovato's "Cool For The Summer," has slid down to #30. That's, chyldryn, is a crime. But the video premiere is right around the corner, so hopefully the song will get somewhat of a bump after that.

Down in the nether regions, Adam Lambert's "Ghost Town" moves back up from #80 to #74, one notch lower than its original #73 peak position.

Geez, between Demi and Adam, Max Martin is losing his touch.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)" - OMI *2 weeks*
2. "Can't Feel My Face" - The Weeknd
3. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
4. "Bad Blood" - Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar
5. "Watch Me" - Silento
6. "Trap Queen" - Fetty Wap
7. "Shut Up And Dance" - Walk The Moon
8. "Fight Song" - Rachel Platten
9. "Lean On" - Major Lazer & DJ Snake feat. MØ
10. "The Hills" - The Weeknd

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Monday, July 20, 2015

UK Chart Roundup: Little Mix Work Their "Black Magic"

Back in May, Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea released their colossal flop "Pretty Girls," a song that girl group Little Mix wrote but ultimately opted to scrap. Instead, the broads went with the far catchier "Black Magic" as the lead single from their upcoming third LP Get Weird (out in November), and the result is their first UK #1 since 2012's "Wings."

Meanwhile, I can't believe it's already been three years since "Wings." I remember driving around Dallas, Texas with that song playing on the radio. Dark moments in life, chyldryn. Dark moments in life we must continue to try to block out.

Elsewhere, the umpteenth version of Robin S' house classic "Show Me Love" to come along in the past year, this time from Sam Feldt and vocalist Kimberly Anne, makes its debut on the UK chart at #4. Kudos to Sam for at least making this a complete melodic overhaul of the track.

Elsewhere, poor Nathan Sykes plunges from his #14 debut last week with "Kiss Me Quick" to #58. Those Wanted guys are just basically doomed, aren't they...?

The UK Top 10:

1. "Black Magic" - Little Mix *new* *1 week*
2. "Shine" - Years & Years 
3. "Are You With Me" - Lost Frequencies
4. "Show Me Love" - Sam Feldt feat. Kimberly Anne *new*
5. "House Every Weekend" - David Zowie
6. "Waiting For Love" - Avicii
7. "Not Letting Go" - Tinie Tempah feat. Jess Glynne
8. "Shut Up & Dance" - Walk The Moon
9. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)" - OMI
10. "Worth It" - Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

US Chart Roundup: "Cheerleader" Is #1

Much as its already done in nearly 20 other countries throughout the world, OMI's "Cheerleader" takes over the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. Yay? This ends the nonconsecutive 12-week reign of Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth's "See You Again," a song that, quite frankly, that I was going to launch a bomb into my mouth with a mortar if it spent another another week at #1.

"Cheerleader" has already worn out its welcome, too — brace yourselves for its inevitable 13-week stint at #1 — and it's now only the fourth single (after "Uptown Funk," "Bad Blood" and "See You Again") to climb to the top of the singles chart in 2015. Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" was #1 in the first couple weeks of the year, but it first reached the top last November.

Do any of these above-mentioned songs not make you want to eat glass?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)" - OMI *1 week*
2. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
3. "Can't Feel My Face" - The Weeknd
4. "Bad Blood" - Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar
5. "Watch Me" - Silento
6. "Trap Queen" - Fetty Wap
7. "Shut Up And Dance" - Walk The Moon
8. "Fight Song" - Rachel Platten
9. "Where Are Ü Now" - Skrillex & Diplo with Justin Bieber
10. "Hey Mama" - David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Jess Glynne's "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself" Video Looks Much Like A Jess Glynne Video

Ginger belter Jess Glynne has now managed to rack up four chart-topping songs in the UK over the past year-and-a-half (plus six overall Top 10 singles) and win a Grammy. Basically, she's become the First Lady Of House Music in this latest era of pop we're all drifting through.

And so it's a safe bet that her latest release, "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself" — the second official single off her upcoming debut album I Cry When I Laugh (out in the UK August 14 and September 11 in the US) — will effortlessly become her umpteenth hit.

After all, drum and house cut sounds much as you'd expect a Jess Glynne single to sound, and the public's heart wants what it wants.


UK Chart Roundup: David Zowie's "House Every Weekend" Is First #1 Of The New Friday Chart Day

Chatham DJ David Zowie takes his debut single "House Every Weekend" to the top of the first UK singles chart to be published on a Friday, as opposed the previously-traditional Sunday. Of the nine single to top the chart in England so far in 2015, this is the third house jam — with the others being Jess Glynne's "Hold My Hand" and last week's #1, "Are You With Me" by Lost Frequencies.

This leaves Years & Years to miss out on their second consecutive chart-topping single, as "Shine" goes in at #2. The Greg Kurstin-co-written synth gem follows the band's winter #1 "King" and last year's "Desire," which peaked at #22.

So where does all this leave former Wanted member Nathan Sykes and his debut solo single, the soul throwback "Kiss Me Quick"? At a so-so #14. You can catch my recent interview with Nathan over on Idolator.

And that, as they say, is that.

The UK Top 10:

1. "House Every Weekend" - David Zowie *new* *1 week*
2. "Shine" - Years & Years *new*
3. "Worth It" - Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink
4."Are You With Me" - Lost Frequencies
5. "Not Letting Go" - Tinie Tempah feat. Jess Glynne
6. "Shut Up & Dance" - Walk The Moon
7. "Poison" - Rita Ora
8. "Wings" - Birdy
9. "Freak Of The Week" - Krept & Konan feat. Jeremih
10. "Let It Go" - James Bay

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

My Adam Lambert, Little Boots And Nathan Sykes Interviews

In addition to the midst of the past 7 weeks of jetsetting, I did some interviews with folks like Adam Lambert, Little Boots and Nathan Sykes to tie in with their latest projects. You can catch each of those at the below links:

* Little Boots Discusses The World Of Her New Album Working Girl 

* Adam Lambert Talks Chasing The Original High & The Funky, Housey Sound Of His New Album 

* Nathan Sykes On New Single "Kiss Me Quick" & His Soulful New Sound

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Little Boots' New Album 'Working Girl' Is Out Today And You Need To Listen To "Paradise"

Little Boots' third LP Working Girl is released today, and you can forget what all these blase cunts who have been dismissing the singles released so far have been saying — the album is easily her best to-date...and one of the best things to come out of 2015 in general. (Of course, 2015 in pop is the equivalent of a bucket of chum being spilled down your shorts, so it's not too hard to stand out if you have a semi-decent song up your sleeve.)

There are so many highlights on the album, but my absolute favorite is "Paradise," which is nice mix of electr-pop and the house sound LB began to explore with "Every Night I Say A Prayer" a few years back:

And if you dig that one, "The Game" will probably get the blood racing, too:

I recently interviewed Little Boots (aka Victoria Hesketh) for a fourth time — the most interviews I've done with any artist! It'll be up on Idolator later today, and I'll post the link here, along with some other interviews I've done in the past month.


Thursday, July 09, 2015

US Chart Roundup: Where The Hell Have I Been The Past 7 Weeks?!

After 10 years of updating Chart Rigger pretty much on the regular, and a long run of torturous winter weather, I decided to spend May, June and early July doing some traveling.

Things kicked off in mid-May with a 6-day trip back to Pittsburgh for a wedding of a friend from L.A. (who is also from the area I grew up in).

It was an especially memorable trip back to PA since I was joined by my friend Lisa Timmons, who, if you follow Idolator, has done recaps of American Idol, Glee and I Can Do That on the regular for me over the past two years. I love when you get to visit local sites you've seen a million times — in this case, the Andy Warhol Museum, Phipp's Conservatory, the cemetery in Evans City where Night Of The Living Dead was filmed — but you're with someone who's never seen it, so it feels like the first time all over again.

Next up was a four-day Memorial Day weekend road trip to Boston...the first time I ever spent more than a few hours in the city. That was followed two weeks later by an eight-day stay in Los Angeles, which I miss terribly.

I took the above pic on the Friday (June 12) I was there, while at a gas station on Ventura Blvd. I look at that photo and feel like it captures the excitement and contentment I was feeling on that trip — especially that Friday, as I was wrapping up a day of creative writing and getting ready to head out with some friends for the night. Anyway, I drove around that week blasting Major Lazer's "Lean On" and Fetty Wap's "Trap Queen" in my rental car (singing the wrong words — "I be in the kitchen cooking PASTA" — the whole time).

Finally, I jetted off at the tail-end of June for a 9-day trip to Paris.

It was my fourth time in the city, the last being a brief overnight stay during the Rihanna 777 trip in November 2012 and the first time being this trip in May 2007.

At any rate, I got back to the States this past Monday, and now it's Thursday and Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" IS STILL FUCKING #1. Twelve weeks, kids. TWELVE.

Much more to come, much more on the regular. I don't know if it'll all be about pop music, because pop music in 2015 can basically be summed up by "See You Again" spending 12 weeks at #1.

Oh, and follow me on Instagram while you're at it. And my 9 to 5 music writing can be found at Idolator. But stick around here for much more "me" shit.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "See You Again" - Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth *12 weeks*
2. "Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)" - OMI 
3. "Watch Me" - Silento
4. "Bad Blood" - Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar
5. "Trap Queen" - Fetty Wap
6. "Can't Feel My Face" - The Weeknd
7. "Shut Up And Dance" - Walk The Moon
8. "Where Are Ü Now" - Skrillex & Diplo with Justin Bieber
9. "Hey Mama" - David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack
10. "Fight Song" - Rachel Platten

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