Friday, May 1, 2015

HILARY DUFF PUTS SNEAK PEEK OF 'SPARKS' VIDEO ON INSTAGRAM

So hot!! Hilary Duff is back and she's not fu**king around, you guys. The artist formerly known as Lizzie McGuire is serving neon realness in the sneak peek of her upcoming video for her white hot dance track Sparks. Looking gorgeous and rocking some funky-colored locks, Ms. Duff is sexy as all get out. Can't wait for the full video and hope her album, which has no release date yet. Sparks is available now on iTunes.
A video posted by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff) on

MADONNA FRIDAY: FIRST SINGLES FROM ALL 00 ALBUMS RANKED

We did the 80s: We did the 90s: Now comes the 00s, baby. Madonna released four albums between 2000 and 2009: Music, American Life, Confessions On A Dance Floor and Hard Candy. The all important lead single, the single that gives the listening public a taste of what's to come, can make or break an album. Here are the four lead singles from each album ranked, girl. AGAIN, in determining this ranking I took into consideration not just which was my favorite song, but how well it represented what was in store for the album, sonically and tonally, and the impact it had on me personally during the era of Madonna's career it kickstarted. Suck on these and enjoy your Madonna Friday.
4. American Life (American Life) - While this lead single failed to hit big in the US (#37), around the world it was a pretty massive song. The album, as good and underrated as it is, did not have the same tone as the title track. More somber and acoustic, the rest of American Life leaned a little more on the folksy side and was more introspective than the lead single. The amazing ballad Nothing Fails, one of Madonna's greatest songs of all time, might have been a better choice as lead single. Of course the American Life era is cited as a backlash to the huge success of her previous two albums, Music and Ray of Light, but in hindsight I think critics are realizing what an amazing piece of work it really is. Also, this music video is an absolute masterpiece. It's a shame not many people got to see it.

3. 4 Minutes (ft. Justin Timberlake) (Hard Candy) - While an excellent single, 4 Minutes actually gave a somewhat false impression of the rest of Hard Candy. The album had many good -- even great -- songs to offer, but it just didn't sound like a Madonna album. 4 Minutes seemed almost like a Justin Timberlake song with Madonna guesting on it, but there were so many more "Madonna-ish" singles, like Miles Away or Heartbeat, that could have set up the album better. Instead it was lead by 4 Minutes and followed up by the frantic Give It 2 Me, which is not my favorite, I must admit. The choices for singles did not serve Hard Candy well.

2. Music (Music) - Music, the album and the song, had a lot riding on it. The follow up to Madonna's most critically acclaimed album of her career, Ray of Light, had to be just right, and as a lead single I don't think you could do much better than Music. While maintaining the electronic sound of RoL, Music ushered in a more Euro-pop element that would be very prevalent on the album, but also gave the fans a break from the intense spirituality of the past couple of years and just let them fucking dance!! Yes, there was some deep shit on Music (Gone, I Deserve It, Nobody's Perfect) but we knew that was on the way. Music let us dance while we got ready for it. It also has one of the best SECOND singles of all time in Don't Tell Me. Jeez that song and video are amazing!!!!

1. Hung Up (Confessions On A Dance Floor) - I mean.....come one! Hung Up not only prepared us for a non-stop dance party full of disco-fied gems to come from COADF, but samples one of the greatest songs of the disco era: Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) by ABBA. Can it get better than that? Not on this list, motherfucker. What followed was an entire album of dance floor perfection, with some pretty deep messages hidden behind the beats. Confessions is definitely one of Madonna's greatest works of her entire career and it was lead off perfectly by Hung Up.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: HOWARD JONES

Does the name sound familiar? If not, some of the songs will. Howard Jones, described by AllMusic as "one of the defining figures of mid-'80s synth pop" was a MAJOR pop star in the 80s in both his native UK and the US with a string of successful songs and albums, the biggest being Dream Into Action (#2 UK, #10 US)... then he went away. He was an important, figure in synth-pop, often combining the New Wave sound with an optimistic, 60s feel. Jones bombarded the charts with classic hits like What is Love (#2 UK), New Song (#3 UK), Things Can Only Get Better (#6 UK, #5 US), No One Is To Blame (#4 US), Everlasting Love (#12 US) and Life in One Day (#14 UK, #19 US).  Howard still tours and records when he feels like it, even releasing the album Ordinary Heroes in 2009. Mostly we can remember him by his wonderful 80s hits and this quote about his career that is just bad-ass, "I wasn't fashionable. I never got good reviews. But I'm proud of the fact that I wasn't liked by the media... Pop music is so reactionary and bigoted. And I found that what's 'cool' is often very shallow and transient." Chew on that, bitches!!! Anyway, here are some of Howard's VERY cool hits for you to enjoy and remember on this Throwback Thursday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: COUNTRY LEGEND/LGBT ADVOCATE WILLIE NELSON

Willie Nelson, 82 today, is a legend, not only in country music, but in American culture in general, activism and all around bad-assery. Willie started his music career in the 1950s, writing songs for himself and others, but his major mainstream success came when he decided to start writing and recording "outlaw country" in the mid-70s on such albums as Redheaded Stranger and Wanted! The Outlaws. Nelson forayed into film in the 80s appearing in The Electric Horseman and Honeysuckle Rose, all the while dropping classic country tracks like My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys, On The Road Again, Always On My Mind and Pancho and Lefty. Willie also crossed over to the pop charts with songs like Good Hearted Woman, the Julio Iglesias duet To All The Girls I've Loved Before, and the perhaps the first LGBT country anthem Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Found Of Each Other, which was featured on the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack. Willie has been an outspoken advocate for many causes such as the legalization of marijuana and the use of biodiesel fuel, of which he has his own brand made from vegetable oil. Of course the thing that most endears Willie to me is his outspoken support for the LGBT community. Willie is quoted as saying, "It's ridiculous to me that this is something we're having a conversation about in this day and age....I thought it was something that was settled a long time ago. I've known straight and gay people all my life. I can't tell the difference. People are people where I came from." Amen, Willie! He added, "I'd never marry a man I didn't like." HA! There is that Texas sense of humor. So here is a big salute to one of MY heroes, Willie Nelson. Happy birthday, Outlaw! Here are some of his best, including the video for the LGBT anthem Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other and my fave Willie song EVER Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain.

NEW GIORGIO MORODER FT. SIA - DEJA VU

Giorgio Moroder, legendary Grammy and Academy Award winning producer/musician is coming out with his first studio album in 30 years, Deja Vu, and her is the title track with Sia. A glittery, spinning disco number that gives you all the Studio 54 realness you could possibly want. Take a listen below and dance your patootie off this morning. YAAAAAAS! Deja Vu is the second single from the upcoming album after the US #1 Dance Chart hit Right Here, Right Now ft. Kylie Minogue (click link for video). Deja Vu, the album, is out June 12th!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

JUST BECAUSE: THE HOLY TRINITY


NEW ADAM LAMBERT VIDEO: GHOST TOWN

He's back, and looking fine as hell!!! Adam Lambert's new single, Ghost Town (not to be confused with Madonna's Ghosttown) is a pumping club track with a soft side. The song is co-written by, among others, hit maker Max Martin. The video, directed by the legendary Hype Williams, is shot in lovely black and white and features a bevy of hot dancers and Adam emoting his fanny off. Check out the track below. Lambert's forthcoming album, The Original High, is due out June 12th. You can pre-order it on iTunes and Ghost Town will download immediately. Support the first openly gay pop star on a major label and get that shit today!!!!

NEW MUSIC: RuPAUL'S DRAG RACE CONTESTANT, MISS FAME - RUBBER DOLL

SPOILER ALERT!! Her time on RuPaul's Drag Race Season 7 may finally be over, but Miss Fame ain't going nowhere, hunty. Here is the new single from the "Full Latex Fantasy Fetish Fashionista" herself, Rubber Doll. Poppy, dancy and fierce, the girl should have worked it out like this on the show!!! I must say that I am pretty impressed that Fame pulled this off. She was a little underwhelming when it came to any kind of acting/singing/dancing challenge on the show, so good on her. Don't open the library too quickly, Miss Fame has a thing or two to prove.


HUMPDAY SEXY SONG: KYLIE MINOGUE - RED BLOODED WOMAN

Kylie is a sex machine! On top of being one of the most successful artists in music history, Kylie is also a top notch, Grade A sexy symbol for the ages. Here 2004 single Red Blooded Woman is proof positive that she can drive the boys (and girls) W-I-L-D! Incorporating elements of hip-hop into a synth groove, RBW took Kylie into an urban groove that melted hearts and tented pants all over the globe. Check her out getting sexy all over the freeway in the video below. Happy Humpday!! Go hump in a truck.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

THE #1 SONG 35 YEARS AGO TODAY WAS...

.....Call Me by Blondie. With music and production by famed Italian producer Giorgio Moroder and lyrics by Debbie Harry, Call Me became Blondie's biggest hit ever!! Moroder was interested in writing with Stevie Nicks when approached about songs for the Richard Gere film American Gigolo (the one where he shows his junk), but Nicks was unavailable due to label conflict, so fate steered him toward Blondie. They made a little chart history together, turns out. Call Me hit #1 on April 19, 1980 and remained for six weeks, becoming the biggest hit of 1980. It would go on to be #44 on Billboard Top 100 of ALL TIME,  and at last count was #283 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Call them, indeed! The video features a cabbie that appeared in other Blondie videos riding around NYC being cabbie-like. Anyhoo, here is the #1 song from 30 years ago today, Blondie's Call Me.

Monday, April 27, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHEENA EASTON!!!

Sheena Easton turns 56 today! I LOVE SHEENA EASTON!!! There, I said it. I think she has a great voice and is sexy and turned it out in the 80s, bitch. I love how she started off an innocent and wide-eyed Scottish lass and then became a slutty little minx who canoodled with Prince. Yeah, PRINCE!!! Sheena had some of my fave hits from the 80s and continues to perform to this very day. She has starred on Broadway (Man of La Mancha and Grease), had parts in several television shows (Miami Vice, Highlander) and appeared in films (All Dogs Go to Heaven). Easton also has been a big star in Vegas at the Hilton and was inducted into the Casino Legends Hall of Fame in 2004. Among the accolades she has won over her career are two Grammys: in 1981 for Best New Artist and in 1985 for Best Mexican-American Performance for a duet with Luis Miguel. She is the only performer to record a James Bond theme (For Your Eyes Only) AND appear in the iconic opening sequence for the film because she's so darn pretty. It's fun to be pretty. Here are some oldies but goodies by Sheena Easton. Enjoy and Happy Birthday, Sheena!

HAPPY MONDAY SONG: JANET JACKSON - DOESN'T REALLY MATTER

Another week, another Janet Jackson song to make you happy as a clam on a Monday. Doesn't Really Matter was released as a single to promote Janet's star turn in The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps. While that film surprisingly failed to sweep the Oscars that year, Doesn't Really Matter was a big ol' fat hit!! Fat. Get it? The Klumps. Never mind. Released May 21, 2000, the song was a return to the bright, cheery pop sound that Janet had foregone on her previous album, the remarkable and dark The Velvet Rope, and fans were ready. Doesn't Really Matter jumped to #1 on the Hot 100 and maintained the spot for three weeks. The video is also as cute as can be, full of Japanese imagery, and features some sick choreography. Smile and watch today's Happy Monday Song. It'll give you a happy boner.

Friday, April 24, 2015

MADONNA FRIDAY: EXPRESS YOURSELF

Madonna is practically made of money, and in 1989 she was beginning to realize it. She was (is) the queen of everything and was riding the wave of her latest #1 album and single Like a Prayer. Her second single from LAP was the funky, hard-driving smash Express Yourself. Madonna decided to put some of that hard-earned money to use and make what was, at the time, the most expensive music video EVER, coming in at $5 million (it's still the 3rd most expensive). Directed by David Fincher, the video was a tribute to the silent film Metropolis and featured Madonna as the ruler of an industrial world, using half-naked men as her slaves and playthings and getting chained up, for her pleasure, in the process. Hot! The song itself hit #2 on the Hot 100 and opened her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour. A fan favorite and one of Madonna's signature songs, Express Yourself sounds as up-to-date today as it did back then. So dance your cooch off to Express Yourself. Happy Madonna Friday!!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: ANNIE LENNOX - DIVA

Annie Lennox is definitely one of the most celebrated and compelling voices in modern pop music. As lead singer of Eurythmics, Lennox -- along with Dave Stewart -- created chart success paralleled by very few of their peers throughout the 80s. After Euythmics decided to take a break in 1990, Lennox took some time off, had a baby, and eventually, luckily for all of us, decided to return to music. Needless to say, she nailed that shit. Lennox unleashed Diva in the Spring of 1992 and the world took notice. From the first single, the beautiful Why, to the yearing soul of Cold, the brilliantly gleeful Little Bird, to the swagger of (my personal favorite) Money Can't Buy It, Diva was a masterclass in singing and songwriting. Lennox wrote an album of songs that dealt with motherhood, sisterhood, heartache, triumph and love. To accompany the record Annie released a video album featuring 9 of the 11 tracks from Diva directed by Sophie Muller, with whom she had collaborated during her time with Eurythmics. Visually stunning and owing much to the pure beauty of Lennox' face and her charisma, the video album went on to win a Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video. The album was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance - Female at the Grammys as well. The Brit Awards honored Annie with Best British Album, Best British Female Artist and nominated her for Best British Video for Walking On Broken Glass. Her producer, Stephen Lipson, was also nominated for Best British Producer. The album hit #1 on the UK charts, but only #23 in the US, although it has sold over 2 million copies in the States since it's release. Diva's amazing roster of singles were Why (#5 UK, #34 US), Precious (#23 UK, N/A US), Walking On Broken Glass (#8 UK, #14 US), Cold (#26 UK, N/A US) and Little Bird (#3 UK, #49 US). Diva stands as a stunning album that shows no signs of aging all these years later, and the same can be said of Annie. A true pop classic. Enjoy some videos from Diva below.
) ) ) ) ) )

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION RELEASED 'AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY' 30 YEARS AGO TODAY

Perhaps one of Prince & The Revolution's most offbeat, transitional works, Around The World In A Day, was released on an unsuspecting public 30 years ago today. With minimal to zero promo to trumpet its release, Around The World In A Day showed up in record stores without even a picture of Prince or the band to push it. In fact, first single Raspberry Beret was not released until a month after the album.  Prince stated that he wanted listeners to experience the album as a whole and not base its substance on just one song. Following the hugely successful and overtly commercial Purple Rain, Prince & The Revolution hit the studio looking for a new sound. What they came up with, rumored to be influenced greatly by Revolution members Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, was an eclectic group of songs with a psychedelic twist, relying heavily on tambourines, cymbals and strings. Even without promotion, Around The World In A Day still managed two Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with Raspberry Beret (#2) and Pop Life (#7), a top 20 with Paisley Park in the UK (#18) and one more Hot 100 entry in the US with America (#46). While not as successful as Purple Rain (what was?) ATWIAD still hit #1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed there for three consecutive weeks. What it also did was set up a change in Prince's sound that would stay with him through his next album, Parade, the amazing soundtrack to his film Under the Cherry Moon, also written in tight collaboration with Wendy and Lisa. Although it is not as lauded as some of his other output during his most commercially successful period, I find Around The World In A Day to be such an important album in terms of evolution of his sound and reinvention in Prince's career. I still listen to this album to this day and it hold up incredibly well. So take a listen below and Happy 30th, Around The World In A Day.