Friday, April 18, 2014

NEW KELIS: RUMBLE

Kelis' new album, Food, is out next Tuesday, y'all!!! I already wrote my review since I have it already -- I have my ways -- and it GOOD! The second single released from the album is a groovy, soulful jam called Rumble. It's sexy, rootsy and everything you expect from Kelis but with a retro-twist. It's a big ol' pile of YAAAAAAS! Check out the Christian Lamb directed video below that shows the outdoorsy side of the songstress. Now head over to iTunes to pre-order Food.

MADONNA FRIDAY: DEEPER AND DEEPER

Madonna's Erotica album, as I have noted before, is often thought of as all sex and no substance by those who didn't ever bother giving it a try, yet one of her most effective dance singles ever came from the underrated masterpiece, Deeper and Deeper. Released as the second single from Erotica in December 1992, Deeper and Deeper is a straight up call to the dance floor, hearkening back to Vogue, Causing a Commotion and Express Yourself. The song also, in part, follows Madonna's pattern of including a Spanish influence on her albums with the breakdown in the middle featuring acoustic flamenco guitar and castanets. Ole'! And DO NOT forget that Deeper and Deeper also references Vogue at the end of the song with the "Let your body move to the music. Let your bodY go with the flow" refrain. YAAAS! The video for the song, directed by Bobby Woods, features many of Madonna's friends including Sofia Coppola, Udo Kier, Debi Mazar and has Madonna, playing a character inspired by Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick, dancing in a nightclub, partying with friends and eating bananas. Ha! CAMPTASTIC! Madonna also debuted a new look: No eyebrows! She looks fierce, y'all!!! Deeper and Deeper climbed to #7 on the Hot 100 and was her 15th #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in the US. Critics have called it one of her best Disco inspired singles ever. So, here is your dance-happy Madonna Friday song, Deeper and Deeper. Enjoy and Happy Madonna Friday!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VICTORIA "POSH SPICE" BECKHAM!!

Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice, is 40 today!! Victoria is so much more than a former Spice Girl, she is a fashion icon and mogul and a mommy to four kids with a husband who is hotter than a two dollar pistol!! Hard to believe she was once my least favorite Spice Girl!! I am a little obsessed with her now. Her fashion line is quite literally everything. Of course, Victoria, like all the other Spice Girls, took her run at the charts solo as well and is actually the only Spice to hit the top ten in the UK with all of her single releases. Granted, she released three singles, BUT STILL!! I rather enjoyed some of her songs, like the cheeky ones below, and I certainly enjoy her style. Watch the videos below (the first one is HILARIOUS and campy and the second is sexy as all hell) and bask in her fierceness. Happy birthday, Vicki!

FLASHBACK: 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF CYNDI LAUPER'S "SHE'S SO UNUSUAL"

In 1983 women in rock were still pretty marginalized. There were a few up-and-comers trying to break that mold, including Madonna (who was yet to hit big) but the first woman to change the game, take control and ignite some girl power on the charts was Cyndi Lauper with her debut solo album She's So Unusual. Although it was released at the tail end of 1983, She's So Unusual really took off in 1984, so Cyndi toured the album last year but just released She's So Unusual: A 30th Anniversary Celebration on April 1st. The set comes packed with demo versions of the songs on the album, a demo of a left out track and some special remixes and B-sides. It's a doozy! Of course, upon its original release, She's So Unusual was praised by critics for Cyndi's unique voice and persona as well as the maturity of the songwriting and vocal performance. It was the first album by a woman to have four top 5 singles on the Hot 100 from one album with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (#2), Time After Time (#1), She Bop (#3) and All Through the Night (#5). She had one more hit with Money Changes Everything (#27) as well. What is most remarkable about the album is that there is not a single filler song on it. Cyndi's flexible voice covered Prince (When You Were Mine) and Jules Shear (All Through the Night) as well as taking musical influence from ska, reggae and even covered a Boop-style song from 1929! She even not-so-subtly addresses the joy of female masturbation in the song She Bop. WERQ! She's So Unusual was showered with accolades including six Grammy nominations, including album of the year, and ten MTV VMA nominations. Cyndi won Best New Artist at the Grammy awards and home the Moon Man for Best Female Video for Girls Just Wanna Have Fun at the VMAs. She's So Unusual pops up on most "Best of" charts in music magazines including Rolling Stone's 2003 "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" (#494) and Slant Magazine's "Best Albums of the 80s" (#22). The album is an absolute jewel and a time capsule of early/mid 80s music. I saw Cyndi perform the album live last year and, let me tell you, that bitch can still sing every note. She's the real deal. Enjoy the album's videos below and the tracks not released as well, in order as they appear on the album. Here is Cyndi Lauper's seminal girl-power album, She's So Unusual.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

HUMPDAY SEXY SONG: WHATEVER YOU WANT - TINA TURNER

Tina Turner is a timeless sex goddess and legendary rock goddess, so it only makes sense that a few of her songs are Humpday anthems. Case in point is Tina's 1996 song Whatever You Want from her excellent Wildest Dreams album. It was released as a single after Tina's James Bond theme Golden Eye (YAAAAS!) and has a similar feel to it. Whatever You Want was written by, among others, none other than 80s/90s songstress  Taylor Dayne and it boasts some awesomely sexy production by Trevor Horn. Of course, Tina was only about 56 (almost 57) when this song came out, so naturally she's in a body suit in the Stephane Sednaoui directed video. WHAT? Girl is looking S-N-A-T-C-H-E-D in this clip, y'all. It's very Tron, but with a sexy, strong black woman giving you legs for days. This song is, in my opinion -- which, to be clear, is all that matters -- one of Tina's best ever. Enjoy Whatever You Want and hump a 56 year old today. No. Wait. Don't. Ask first.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THE #1 SONG 30 YEARS AGO TODAY WAS.....

....Footloose by Kenny Loggins. Yes, everybody was cutting "footloose" back in '84 and, although that sounds incredibly painful, it was actually totally fun. Kenny Loggins was pretty much the soundtrack king back in the day. Between the songs from Footloose, the title track and I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man) (#22 US, 1984) my actual favorite Kenny Loggins soundtrack song, I'm Alright (#7 US, 1980) from Caddyshack, Danger Zone (#2 US, 1986) from Top Gun, Meet Me Halfway (#11 US, 1987) from Over the Top, and Nobody's Fool (#8 US, 1988) from Caddyshack II,  Kenny was the go-to dude to have a hit on MTV to promote your movie. Footloose, the song, soundtrack and movie, were all cultural phenomena when they hit in early 1984 and Footloose was the lead single. The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 31st and stayed for three weeks, becoming the first of two #1 songs from the film, the other being Deniece Williams' Let's Hear It For The Boy. The video was put together using the now-iconic scenes from the film, especially the warehouse dance sequence. It sold the shit out of the film, girl!! Footloose hit #1 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand as well as her in the US. There is no doubt that anytime, anywhere there is an 80s playlist on, Footloose will be the ass-shaker coming up next. Here is the #1 song from 30 years ago today, Footloose by Kenny Loggins.

Monday, April 14, 2014

NEW LANA DEL REY: WEST COAST

Wow! I must say that I am pleasantly surprised on many levels with Lana Del Rey's new song, West Coast. Not only is it not just a repeat of her earlier material, it is also very good! Moody, 70s psychedelic rock influenced West Coast is heavy drums and a slight reggae beat, and the chorus is like falling into a trance as the music slows and Lana's vocals go all breathy and dreamy. I'm very much liking it. Listen to the song below, and don't worry, this is not the video, just a clip on a loop to introduce the single. Lana looks hot though!! Enjoy West Coast. Lana's new album, Ultraviolence, is due sometime is the next couple of months.

Friday, April 11, 2014

MADONNA FRIDAY: GAMBLER

"You can't stop me now, 'cuz I'm right and I'm making advances. Let me show you how. Tonight I'll be taking my chances on you." The oft forgotten OTHER song from the Vision Quest Soundtrack, Gambler was the second single released in the UK  from that film, which featured Madonna as a nightclub singer, after Crazy for You. The song was never released as a single in the US at the request of Madonna's record label, Sire, so it wouldn't compete the the Like A Virgin singles already flooding the market. Crazy For You had already hit #1 from the soundtrack for its label, Geffen, and Sire did not want a repeat in the US. And that, my friends, is how the music industry works. The video, however, was released to MTV to promote the film and Madonna performed it on her Virgin Tour, which is the video I included in this post. The song was written by Madonna all by herself and produced by John "Jellybean" Benitez, her frequent collaborator and sometimes boyfriend at that time. The song was released in other countries and was a top 10 hit in the UK (#4), Australia (#10), Ireland and Italy (#3) and other territories.  I know I listened to the shiz out of this song on my little cassette player, so it was released in MY childhood bedroom/nightclub. Anyway, here is a forgotten classic by the one and only Madonna, Gambler. Enjoy your Madonna Friday!

NEW KATY PERRY: BIRTHDAY

Katy Perry has released a lyric video to her next single, Birthday. The peppy, upbeat, sexy little tune is def one of the highlights of her album Prism. It was written by Perry, Bonnie McKee, Max Martin, Dr. Luke and Cirkut. That's a lot of fingers in the pie, if you will. In the lyric video, Katy prepares all sorts of sweets for the object of her affection -- or CONfection, if you will. See what I did there? And yes, that is Katy and her sister on the single's artwork from a childhood birthday party. Since the song is actually pretty sexual, is it creepy to put a picture of your sister on the artwork? Am I over thinking this? Okay. I'll shut up. Enjoy the perfectly delightful Birthday below. Katy, don't fuck this one up with another eyesore of a video. Thanks.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

FLASHBACK: STING

Oh, Sting, ye of the tantric sex legend. Can you imagine, hours upon hours of sex with Sting? WAIT! Hold up. That is not what this is about. This is about the music. Sting (Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner) was, of course, the lead singer of the pioneering new wave band The Police. The Police had a fairly short but hugely successful career, spanning five albums and several classic singles. After the band disbanded, Sting took his sexy ass solo in 1985 with his debut solo album The Dream of the Blue Turtles (#3 UK, #2 US) and hit the top 10 with If You Love Somebody Set Them Free and Fortress Around Your Heart. That was just the start as Sting's solo career soon overtook any success The Police had on the pop charts. Subsequent albums like Nothing Like The Sun, The Soul Cages, Ten Summoner's Tales, Mercury Falling and Brand New Day kept him on the charts all over the world. His ageless sexiness certainly didn't hurt either. Hits like We'll Be Together, All This Time, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Fields of Gold and Desert Rose have kept Sting in our hearts and ear-holes since the late 70s and he is still touring and a force to be reckoned with to this day. Here are some of the sexy Police-man's greatest hits and videos to warm you up today. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

NEW KYLIE MINOGUE: I WAS GONNA CANCEL

Kylie Minogue has announced that the next single from her excellent Kiss Me Once album will be the Pharrell written and produced groove I Was Gonna Cancel. It's an upbeat, funky little tune much in the vein of Pharrell's better work like Happy and Get Lucky and his excellent bonus track on Madonna's Hard Candy album Ring My Bell, click HERE to experience that treatTo accompany the announcement, here is her official lyric video, all neon and niceness. While this was not on my wish list of songs to be released as a single from Kiss Me Once (I would prefer Les Sex, Million Miles or Feels So Good) I do think it's quite catchy and having the uber-hot Pharrell attached is not gonna hurt. So check out I Was Gonna Cancel below.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

THE #1 SONG 25 YEARS AGO TODAY WAS.....

.....Eternal Flame by The Bangles. The Bangles had already reached the top of the Hot 100 once with Walk Like An Egyptian in 1986, but Eternal Flame was little less of a surprise hit and eventually broke up the band. Susanna Hoffs, who most people consider the "lead" singer (the band disputes that label) wrote the song with hit-makers Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and released it as the second single from their 1988 album Everything. While members of the band all agreed that the song was perfectly lovely, they didn't feel that Eternal Flame sounded like their music. Guitarist Michael Steele said on their episode of VH1's Behind the Music it was more of a Whitney Houston ballad than a song by The Bangles. The record label backed Hoffs and released the song, which hit #1 on the Hot 100 on April 1, 1989. April's Fool's indeed! Eternal Flame also topped the charts in Australia, the UK, Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands and Ireland as well as the US Adult Contemporary chart.  It is definitely one of their signature hits. The band eventually mended fences in the late 90s and put our another album and toured. Eternal Flame lives on.

Friday, March 28, 2014

MADONNA FRIDAY: FROZEN

Madonna had undoubtedly bared her soul many times before the release of her 1998 album Ray of Light. Staring with 1989's Like A Prayer Madge had written about her personal life and inner thoughts many times, but with the release of Frozen, the first single from Ray of Light, things changed. Madonna released the song in the winter of 1998 and it was a complete departure from her earlier work. Only hinted at on Bedtime Stories with songs like Sanctuary and Bedtime Story, Ray of Light took electronic music and added emotion to create a mix that would impact the music industry. Frozen was lush strings, quiet vocals and stunning visuals all wrapped up in the already iconic image of Madonna. Acclaimed by music critics and fans alike, Frozen went to #2 on the Hot 100, making Madonna the artists with the most #2 hits in Billboard history, and #1 in the UK, Spain, France, Italy and Finland was a top 10 hit worldwide. The Chris Cunningham directed video was shot in the Mojave Desert and showed Madonna as an ethereal earth mother, floating and wielding the power of the elements and dealing with Madonna's then-new fascination with mysticism. It received an MTV VMA for Best Special Effects. Frozen is one of Madonna's most important singles because it symbolizes a shift in her music and her image. So on this day when it's finally warming up a bit in NYC, here is Madonna's Frozen. Happy Madonna Friday!

NEW MUSIC: GOOD AS GONE - LEAVE THE LIGHT ON

If Melissa Etheridge and Dixie Chicks had a baby, you would get Good As Gone. I know I don't review a lot of country artists unless they have a huge gay fanbase, but I'm from Texas so country music is in my designer underwear, y'all! Based out of Austin, Texas, this up-and-coming girl power country band consists of LeighAnn Heil and Alexa Manza. The duo's debut album, Leave The Light On, is smart, tight and -- most importantly -- catchy as hell! From the driving (literally) opening track Go Fast, which tells the story of a woman who refused to let life pass her by, Leave The Light On delivers track after track of pure country-rock goodness. Hit the Deck reminds me of early 90s Etheridge with it's husky vocal and slow burn and there are sweet harmonies and melodies galore on Photographs and Sunday Drive. The album fits nicely into the Texas Country category, but also is a great country-pop album that should appeal to a wide range of fans. Think Dixie Chicks, 90s Lorrie Morgan, and a little Shania. YES! Take a listen to the album and buy it on the Good As Gone website, and check for live shows around the Austin area. These girls are rockin' it out, y'all! Take a listen to the ladies' playlist below.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

FLASHBACK: LONG LOST JANET JACKSON/HERB ALPERT SONG - DIAMONDS

Long forgotten....except by me because I LOVED LOVED LOVED this song!!!! Back in 1987, Herb Alpert was an established horn player who hadn't had a hit in a while. He teamed up with Janet's producing super-duo, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. One of the results was Diamonds, a song recorded with vocals by Janet Jackson and Lisa Keith (but really just Janet) and hit #5 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B charts. Herb didn't have another hit, but Janet was just at the beginning of her streak, which of course boosted this song as well. Don't get me wrong though, the funky horn and "dontcha know, diamonds are a girl's best friend" chorus rocked my world. Check out the mostly forgotten and often underrated Diamonds!!