21 April 2010

Soundtrack for Sex and the City 2

The soundtrack for the much-anticipated Sex and the City 2 will be released on May 25 and there are a few fun surprises!

Jennifer Hudson and Leona Lewis sing a duet together. Liza Minnelli covers Beyonce’s chart-topper “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and Alicia Keys performs her own rendition of the Blondie classic “Rapture.”

The soundtrack also features the stars of SATC2 Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon, performing the Helen Reddy classic “I Am Woman.” Can’t wait to hear that one!

11 July 2008

Staffers will keep you

On Wednesday, cameras finally rolled on Britney Spears’ video shoot for Madonna’s tour. In the clip, Brit, clad in a gray hoodie, walks into an elevator and nervously paces as it begins its ascent. She then kicks and smacks the elevator walls, screams into the camera and pulls down her hood to yell, “It’s Britney, bitch.”

· Nobody here is trying to tell Amy Winehouse how to live her life. But does it really make sense for the troubled “Rehab” singer to be launching her own club night at London’s Camden Monarch on Thursday (July 10)? Love the name, though: “Snakehips at the Monarch.”

· Here’s the rehearsal footage of the Flaming Lips practicing their cover of the Who’s “Tommy” in preparation for Saturday’s VH1 Rock Honors concert (airing July 17). All we can say is: fish-eye lens, lots of smoke, a strobing gong, alien helium vocals and some kind of silver tassel rah-rah drum stick being waved around by singer Wayne Coyne. Have we mentioned how much we love the Lips?

· After the free Bon Jovi All-Star Concert in Central Park on Saturday, Sheryl Crow, 3 Doors Down and Josh Groban are getting in on the musical action at the All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium on July 15.


25 June 2008

Kanye West wins two prizes at BET Awards

Rap star Kanye West picked up two prizes at the BET Awards, an event honoring black recording artists, actors and athletes, while Alicia Keys was one of several stars who used the occasion to salute presidential contender Barack Obama.

The only other multiple winner was the hip-hop duo UGK, consisting of Bernard "Bun B" Freeman and the recently deceased Chad "Pimp C" Butler. In all 15 awards were handed out during a three-hour show mixing the heroes of contemporary hip-hop and old-school R&B.

Keys, flying high with a successful worldwide tour, a chart-topping album and an upcoming film, shared the stage with three leading female ensemble acts from the 1990s -- TLC, En Vogue and Sisters with Voices -- for a medley of R&B music.

She went on to win the prize for best female R&B artist, and offered a heartfelt endorsement to Obama, who would be the first African-American elected to the nation's highest office.

"Together we can do anything -- Obama, y'all!" she enthused.

Teen sensation Chris Brown, who topped the U.S. singles chart last year with "Kiss Kiss," was named best male R&B performer.


The evening's most spine-tingling moment came when veteran soul crooner Al Green, recipient of a lifetime achievement award, got the audience in the Shrine Auditorium on its feet singing, and dancing, along with his classic 1970s hit "Let's Stay Together."

Backstage a short time later, Green apologized.

"I'm sorry I didn't sing as well as I should because I got scared. I was nervous," he said. Green, 62, earlier this month hit the top 10 of the U.S. pop chart with his first album in three years, "Lay It Down."

West, whose third album, "Graduation," was one of 2007's top-selling releases and spawned three Grammys, was named best male hip-hop artist and shared a second BET prize with R&B singer T-Pain for their collaboration on the hit single "Good Life."

"This man, T-Pain, is a genius," West declared onstage of his co-winner, resplendent in metallic silver-and-black patterned top hat and tails and oversized shades. "I'm one of the kings in this game right now, so my opinion counts."

T-Pain, a southern soul singer with a best-selling ringtone adapted from his hit single "Buy U a Drank," was visibly humbled and euphoric.

"I appreciate it everybody," he said. "Three years ago, I couldn't even get a ticket to get up in here." T-Pain entered the show with the most nominations, five in all.

UGK, whose album "Underground Kingz" topped the charts last summer, won the BET prize as best group and shared the award for best video with the hip-hop duo Outkast for their work together on "International Player's Anthem (I Choose You)."

It was a bittersweet triumph for UGK, coming just six months after Butler, 33, was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel. Two days later UGK received a Grammy nomination for the song "International Player's Anthem." Butler had previously served nearly four years in prison for aggravated assault.

Freeman, aka Bun B, now pursuing a solo career, said he hoped "to keep Pimp C's legacy alive" with a new UGK album due out this fall.

The prize for best female hip-hop performer went to Missy Elliott, who has not had an album out since 2005 but has a new CD set for release in August.

The Dream was named best new artist, and the viewers' choice award, determined by an online vote of fans, went to Lil Wayne and his single "Lollipop," featuring Static.

The best and actress awards went to Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Halle Berry, neither of whom attended.

The eighth annual BET Awards was presented by the BET (Black Entertainment Television) Networks cable group, which carried the three-hour show live.

21 June 2008

Album Release- June 24 2008

24 June Tuesday
Joseph Arthur [Title TBA] EP
Dwele Sketches of a Man
Alejandro Escovedo Real Animal
Hercules And Love Affair Hercules And Love Affair
IAMX Kiss+Swallow US Release
Less Than Jake GNV FLA
Nelly Brass Knuckles
Safari So Good Every Fight is a Food Fight When You're A Cannibal
Three 6 Mafia Last 2 Walk
Paul Weller 22 Dreams
Withered Folie Circulaire

14 June 2008

Album Review: Julianne Hough – ‘Julianne Hough’

Julianne Hough is already known to millions of fans as the two-time professional dance champion on ABC-TV's top-rated Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). The show, which pairs professional dancers with music, sports, film and television celebrities, has become a cultural phenomenon and Julianne its top star.

Julianne's debut album is a compelling collection of songs about the joys and challenges of everyday life delivered by an evocative young voice. "That Song In My Head" is the first single from the album and available immediately to download from the Amazon MP3 store.

Release Date (USA): 2008-05-20

Artist/s: Julianne Hough
Label: Mercury Nashville

Track Listing
1 That Song In My Head
2 You, You, You
3 Hide Your Matches
4 My Hallelujah Song
5 Jimmy Rae McGee
6 Dreaming Under The Same Moon (Featuring Derek Hough)
7 About Life
8 Hello
9 Help Me, Help You
10 Love Yourself
11 I'd Just Be With You

Tha Carter III Review: The Takeover

Lil Wayne moves to the forefront of hip-hop biggest star with “Tha Carter III.”
I admit I was skeptical. With all the postponed release dates and absurd amount of hype, I figured Lil Wayne's much-anticipated “Tha Carter III” would only disappoint.

Now that Weezy has become mainstream and released the 50 Cent-like single “Lollipop” for the radio masses, I figured the so-called best rapper alive would become yet another hip-hop star who eschewed creativity for selling out.
Turns out “Tha Carter III” was worth the wait.
The disc is a potpourri of tracks, from the likely club hit “Got Money” featuring T-Pain to the R&B-infused “Comfortable” produced by Kanye West with the hook crooned by the legendary Babyface.
Other guest stars include Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Robin Thicke, Bobby Valentino, Fabolous and Juelz Santana.
The song with Jay-Z, “Mr. Carter,” is the hottest track on the disc, but it also could signal a changing of the guard. While Jay-Z spits his usual hot rhymes, it's Weezy who takes the lead, which is how it's starting to play out in the hip-hop mainstream.
Want proof? When I went to pick up the CD last night, the store I was at had already sold out of their initial copies and had to tap into Wednesday's supply. That's how hot Weezy is right now and there doesn't seem to be any signs of him cooling down.

13 June 2008

Ashanti's bloody videos spark protest

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Blood-splattered videos for R&B singer-songwriter Ashanti's single "The Way That I Love You" sparked a protest by demonstrators in Los Angeles, prompting the artist and Universal Records to remove the clips from the Internet.
Led by civil-rights organization Project Islamic Hope and its leader, Najee Ali, more than two dozen parents and religious leaders gathered outside the West Coast Universal/Motown offices on Tuesday (June 10) to voice their displeasure with the videos.
One clip features a scorned lover, played by Ashanti, who gets revenge on her cheating boyfriend by stabbing him to death. Images include a murder scene with a bloody knife and the boyfriend's body in a tub.
A separate promotional video includes a fake news reports about a killing spree allegedly inspired by Ashanti's love crime, as well as bloody walls with the words "black children will die" smeared on them. Before the protest, the promo video was viewable on TheWayThatILoveYou.com, but the site has since been removed.
The site allowed visitors to send customized versions of the promotional video called "Gotchagrams," with options to input a friend's name, their "crime" and "weapon of choice."

"Following discussions with Ashanti, we have jointly decided to remove the TheWayThatILoveYou.com website that hosts the Gotchagram," reads a statement from Universal. "Ashanti and her music have always been about self-empowerment and addressing the issues that are most meaningful to her. We stand by our artist and her creative choices."

"The Way That I Love You" is the first single from her new album, "The Declaration," which debuts this week at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.


Album Review: 'Evil Urges' by My Morning Jacket

New album a hodgepodge of genre, style, quality
My Morning Jacket's "Evil Urges" appears to be the product of a band that has collectively lost its damn mind. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (though a few tracks might be), but My Morning Jacket doesn't appear to be content with being a pretty terrific alt-country, reverb-heavy, Southern-rock band; they're reaching into all sorts of other genres, too. More than a few times, this results in a pretty disjointed feeling, but it works more often than it doesn't.

That doesn't mean it isn't completely bizarre - we've got songs that sound like Donovan, '60s bubblegum pop, James Taylor, '80s hair bands and Michael Jackson (I know, I was as surprised as anyone). More distressingly, Jim James and co. have largely dropped the reverb that made "It Still Moves" and "Z" so dream-like and memorable. I respect bands for messing with their sound and all (as long as they don't become, well, lame in the process - see the last Interpol album), but some remnant of what made me like the band in the first place is always appreciated.

See, for example, the most bewildering track on the album, "Highly Suspicious," which melds an '80s hair band feel with a bit of Tom Waits and a bit of Michael Jackson. I have no idea what to make of it, and it doesn't really fit with the rest of the album.

The tracks I like the best, I must admit, are by and large the hill-country songs, simple and with few flourishes, that the band does best. See "Sec Walkin" and "Smokin from Shootin," two excellent tracks that remind us, in spite of a few spots now and then, that My Morning Jacket can still bring the Southern rock better than just about anyone. The title track, "Evil Urges," in which James helpfully reminds us in a falsetto that is atypically alarming for him that "evil urges, baby / are part of the human race," brings the greatness as well.

But the anthemic "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt. 2" and the soft storytelling of "Librarian" are unrivaled in any of My Morning Jacket's previous output. It's worth listening to the weaker tracks (or the fairly decent tracks that don't really make much of an impression, like "I'm Amazed," "Look at You" and "Remnants") to get to these two gems. "Librarian" is a gentle, haunting Donovan-type ballad that marks the first reasonably serious use of the term "Interweb" I've encountered anywhere, while also lamenting the beauty of a librarian, spoiled, as James sings, by her own self-image (and drawing a comparison to Karen Carpenter, "another lovely victim of the mirror"). "When God gave us mirrors," he sings, "he had no idea."

"Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt. 2," meanwhile, is bombastic where "Librarian" is subdued. It seems like the kitchen-sink track on an album that feels like a kitchen-sink album, as the song essentially serves as a reprise of the "Pt. 1" track, with the addition of synthesizers, disco-style beats and choirs. If that sounds over-the-top, it is, but in the most excellent way.

If it sounds like I have no idea what to make of this album, even after having listened to it many, many times … well, that's true. But the high parts are high enough to give this a recommendation. You can always skip past the really weird parts.

12 June 2008

Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends (Parlophone)

Release date: 12 June 2008
All the talk before Coldplay released their last album was how an unforeseen delay of the album's release (caused allegedly by Chris Martin being scared witless by, erm, Morning Runner) would lead to a profits warning by EMI - that's how much was riding on what turned out to be a pretty underwhelming record.

This time round, you could be forgiven for EMI's shareholders panicking once again. All the talk is of musical revolution - it's Dylan goes electric, it's Coldplay's very own Achtung Baby, maybe even their Kid A.....

Or maybe not. For, although this is undoubtedly Coldplay's most musically adventurous album, it certainly won't scare away the millions of people who bought their first three albums. True, there's a little less trademark piano, which has been replaced by excessive percussion and some unusual song structures, but it's certainly not an unrecognisable Chris Martin who welcomes us aboard the rather pretentiously titled album.

An instrumental opening up the record is about as avant-garde as Coldplay get here - but as instrumental opening tracks go, it's pretty damn good. Life In Technicolour builds up slowly, then bursts into action, aided by some 'woah-oh-oh's from Martin. It's an uplifting opening, which bodes well for the next 45 minutes.

There are several tracks that merge into each other, giving the impression sometimes of a total shift in time signatures - Yes for example begins as a woozy, doomy ballad, with Martin wearily intoning "I'm just so tired of this loneliness" before effortless spiralling off into Chinese Sleep Chant, which with its barrage of guitars and whispered vocals, sounds like it could be an out-take from a Ride or Asobi Seksu album.

It's a similar story with Lovers In Japan, although slightly more Coldplay-esque. The opening is all chiming guitars and soaring choruses - the closest that the band have ever come to U2 in effect - before quickly changing tone into a more sombre piano ballad, Reign Of Love. The idea behind these 'hidden tracks' is apparently intended to encourage people to download the whole album rather than specific tracks, but it works very well.

Viva La Vida also contains some of Chris Martin's best songs to date, such as the excellent, string drenched Viva La Vida which rivals Arcade Fire for sheer uplifting goodness, and the stomping Violet Hill, which cleverly switches from snarling and aggressive to plaintive and yearning at the click of a finger.

There are other nice touches throughout - the clattering percussion on Cemeteries Of London, the backwards guitar loop on Strawberry Swing and the closing Death And All His Friends which expertedly builds up to a bellowing chorus of "I don't want a cycle of recycled revenge, I don't want to follow death and all of his friends" which is so impassioned you'll have trouble stopping yourself joining in.

Yet there are other moments which stop this being Martin's masterpiece. He's still got that habit of writing lyrics in platitudes and cliches - the otherwise excellent 42 solemnly informs us that "those who are dead are not dead, they're just living in my head" while throughout the album there is mention of time being short, someday the sun will come out, big fish in little ponds and so on.

It's a shame because the aforementioned 42 is probably the furthest they've pushed the boat out musically - there's about 3 different melodies in there, switching from piano ballad, to funky guitar wig-out, a hand-clapping section, before switching back to the piano ballad. Credit for this should go to producer Brian Eno, who's done a similar job to what he did with Paul Simon a couple of years ago - subtly adding little touches here and there in order to develop the band's sound without scaring off the casual fan.

They're a much maligned bunch are Coldplay - mainly because they're so successful. Yet you only become successful if you're good at what you do, and Coldplay are extremely good at what they do. While this doesn't quite hit the heady heights of A Rush Of Blood To The Heads, it's a huge improvement on the beiger than beige X&Y, and if their next album (apparently featuring a Kylie Minogue duet!) continues this trajectory, we could have something pretty special on our hands.

June release 2008 - 17 June

17 June Tuesday
The Briggs Come All You Madmen
Busta Rhymes Blessed
Coldplay Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends
Anthony David Acey Deucey
Goo Goo Dolls Greatest Hits Volume 2
Ice Cube Raw Footage
MIGGS Unraveled
Judas Priest Nostradamus
Missy Elliott FANomenal
The Notwist The Devil, You + Me
The Offspring Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace
Ride The Boogie Ride The Boogie
Silver Jews Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
Tilly and the Wall O
Sister Hazel Before The Amplifiers, Live Acoustic
Wolf Parade At Mount Zoomer