Is it Thursday? No, it’s BillboardDay!

MadonnaHi out there,

It’s Thursday so it’s Billboard Charts day.

As expected, ‘The Hunger Games’ OST at no. 1 was a ‘bounce’, it’s down to no. 5.  Still, that’s great for an OST.

So what ‘bounced’ it?  Mad-onna’s ‘MDNA’ which has debuted at no. 1!  It’s quite incredible what publicity and the media can do.  I wonder how many of that album’s buyers were concerned about the quality of the music, rather than the palpable hype and hoopla swirling around the album’s singer (in this case I use the word ‘singer’ loosely – very loosely).

Lionel Richie’s ‘Tuskegee’ has debuted at no. 2, finally bumping Adele’s ’21′ from that position.  If we Americans (including naturalized ones such as yours truly) have any sense or taste, ‘Tuskegee’ will bump ‘MDNA’ from its top spot next week!

British kiddie ambassador sensation One Direction (‘Up All Night’) is still in the Top Ten after three weeks, now down to no. 6.  And American elder statesman sensation, Bruce Springsteen is also still in the Top Ten after four weeks, dropping to no. 9.

But the news of the day on the charts is surely an ooold album’s comeback the Top Ten.  Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ has spent well over a year somewhere or another on Billboard’s Top 200, including pole position.  Last week it was at no. 31 and now it’s rocketed to no. 7 – back in the Top Ten!  No doubt this is the result of the publicity surrounding her upcoming 3D concert-documentary movie (in theatres on Independence Day), specially the trailer that was released only two days back.

On the singles side, The Hot 100′s peak position was held on to despite the likelihood of a debut single bumping it.  Justin Bieber’s new single ‘Boyfriend’ has entered the charts at no. 2, unable to dislodge fun’s ‘We are Young’ from the top spot.  ‘Young’ is at no. 1 for a fourth week running.  This single is in the Top Five on no less than half-a-dozen charts fifteen weeks after release!  That’s staying power for you.

Take it easy,

Shane

Beyonce, Katy, and watzisname — Zameer?

ZameerHello People,

What do Celine Dion, Nelly Furtado, Justin Bieber all have in common?  And what do all of them have in common with Zameer?  Chances are you’re scratching your heads.  Well, the answer to both questions is ‘Canada’.  Dion, Furtado, and the Bieb are big names in the United States from ‘north of the border’ and if Billboard is correct, fellow Canadian Zameer soon will be joining them on the charts.  He is Billboard’s ‘fastest growing artist on social media.’

Zameer is not exactly a newcomer; he has one hit single, ‘Win or Defeat’, to his credit and is about to release his second album.  And it was way back in 2006 that the Toronto Independent Music Awards heralded him as its ‘Best Independent Artist’.  So remember, you heard it here first: Zameer!

Unlike Zameer, singer Beyonce and former singing Spice Girl Victoria Adams (Beckham) are both huge names, and one made the other ‘scream’ – and it wasn’t about music.  Beyonce was doing Manhattan in a sizzling pink blouse over a multicoloured maxi skirt when fashion designer Victoria got her screaming fit.  Turns out she was excited because Beyonce, whom she called “one hot mama,” was wearing one of her outfits!

From pink to blue: Katy Perry.  Katy is also rather better known than Zameer but man-hating feminazi Naomi ‘Beauty is a Myth’ Wolf wants us to “boycott this singer” (sic).  Perry’s music-video for ‘Part of Me’ gave Wolf the fits because Perry makes out like a marine in the video, causing Wolf to shoot off some PC gibberish, like “glorification of violence.”  Perry responded with a semi-intelligible mishmash of politically-correct buzzwords of her own, like “people’s wellness is way low.”  Yup, playing marines will definitely ‘up’ “people’s wellness,” Katy.

TGIF and I’m off to validate Naomi Wolf’s ‘beauty is a myth’ scriptural axiom by heading for Cabaret Royale off Stemmons . . . see you there,

Shane

Offbeat and up-and-comers day!

Hello Music Hounds,

Let’s get offbeat and up-and-coming today, shall we?

First to the offbeat.  Idolator published a pair of funny photos side by side; we have a pair of blue- and green-haired punks.    Katy Perry was at a Paris studio session, haired dyed deep blue.  And Nicki Minaj arrived in Narita, Japan, hair a vivid shade of green!  (Okay, it was a green wig, and I suppose Katy and Nicki’s unusual hair colours aren’t exactly ‘news’.)  What made Katy blue and what made Nicki envious, we don’t yet know.

Anyway, I’m sure these fashion statements are the cue for Taylor Swift to dye her hair purple.  Now that would be news but I do think it ain’t gonna happen until hell freezes over!  All these fancy hair colours make one wish for the simple days of Debbie ‘Blondie’ Harry and nothing fancier than bleach and peroxide!  (And that was a gal who really could sing.)

Elliott Yamin is a lesser-known name than he should be.  In his catchy new single “Gather ‘Round,” he says he’s singing in a “Brand New Groove.”  Hmm, it’s a kinda Stevie Wonder groove, Elliott!  What’s more the soul-inflected singing is also reminiscent of Stevie.  And I mean that as a huuuge compliment.  Anyway that’s real singing from an artiste with some musical promise.

Train’s ‘Drive By’ is in an altogether different groove from Elliott Yamin’s new release but similar to it in being refreshingly musical and rhythmic, and with clean acoustic sounds.  Train have released a fancy-dance video on the making of their music-video, featuring a California vineyard and badass cars. Actually, the music is good enough to stand on its own without any upmarket ‘making of’ video!

Am I the only one seeing a trend?  The sexes in music – excluding the few exceptions that ‘prove the rule’ – have fallen into two distinctly different ‘grooves’.  A lot of near-established female singers (e.g. Perry and Minaj) can’t seem to hold their own musically and vocally, and have to rely on heavy synthesization and in-studio over-production (Mad-onna started the trend, of course).  However, the lads (e.g. Yamin and Train) seem to display genuine musical talent and can actually sing, and carry themselves without the excess of synthesization and in-studio over-production.

It’s a pity Corinne Drewery was never appreciated in America . . . I bet none of my readers have even heard of her!

Bye Y’all,

Shane

Ladies Night at the Lyrster!

Hello out there,

It’s ladies night at the Lyrster!

A news item has it that Rihanna suffered a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in New York.  The poor chump who wrote the item is totally out of it.  You see, when Rihanna suffers a so-called ‘wardrobe malfunction’, then her wardrobe is functioning properly!  It’s when she does not have what one would consider a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ that her wardrobe is . . . malfunctioning!  Don’t forget just who we’re talking about.

On the other coast, Miley Cyrus reported on duty at The Hunger Games in what is said to be a “midriff-baring outfit.”  Her two-piece black lace outfit is kinda confusing.  Is that a dress or is that lingerie?  It’s an in-between sarong-and-bodice combo, that’s what it is!  Let’s be honest: Miley has a peaches-and-cream complexion and that girl next door look so to see her vamp it up is like, is like . . . well, like seeing Rihanna in a nun’s habit!  What time does the belly-dancing show begin, Miley?

Is Katy Perry going the way of Madonna?  The pre-release sample of “Dressin’ Up” gives a clue.  The oversynthesized generic dance club track just doesn’t deliver.  Isn’t Perry supposed to be a country singer or rock singer?  If so, she should be commended to her 50s Capitol label-mate, Wanda Jackson.  Now that was a true blue rock ‘n’ roll singer and country singer, and, boy, did she have some pipes!  Katy, forget Madonna and let’s see if you can sing like Wanda.

Let’s close with a female singer who’s just unreal.  Meet Japanese pop sensation Hatsune Miku.  Her concerts in Japan are not only packed to the rafters, they’re shown in cinemas out in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and fans even fly to Japan from other countries to attend her concerts.  Problem is that Miku is really ‘unreal’ – she doesn’t exist!  It’s a computer-generated singing programme whose songs and singing are controlled by her ‘fans’.  It’s a Brave New World in Japan.

So, to wrap up, we have Rihanna and Miley having adventures with wardrobes, the former upto her usual, the latter, something unusual.  And we have Katy Perry as Madonna, and Hatsune Miku as . . . well, nothing!  Which one’s to your taste, fellows?

Cheers,

Shane