Music News: Cyndi Lauper, Hercules And Love Affair, Smashing Pumpkins, Ne-Yo, CSS, Gorillaz

Photo taken at Splash NYC, courtesy “Workit” at the Cyndi Lauper Forum.

GuestbloggerRobbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.

Cyndi Lauper shot the video for her next single, “Into The Nightlife,” at New York’s Splash nightclub on Tuesday last week, and there was an open call for extras. Did anyone make it?

“Into The Nightlife” is one of the tracks on Cyndi’s new album Bring Ya To The Brink which she flew to Sweden to work on, this one being with the Murlyn production team’s Peer Åström (who also co-wrote and co-produced Brink‘s “Echo”). While in Sweden, Lauper also worked with Andreas Kleerup (on “Lay Me Down”), who crafted Robyn’s international hit “With Every Heartbeat,” and Axwell (“Rain On Me”).

The singer talked to Newsday about travelling abroad last year to work with the various co-writers and producers: “I wanted to go and experience life there. It really helped me as a writer. It’s the first time I’ve taken a sabbatical to write, taking a sabbatical from being a mom and a wife, from this and that. It was just me, living a different life, having a moment for myself. It was extraordinary to me.”

Other collaborators on the record include Basement Jaxx, The Scumfrog, Dragonette and U.S. songwriter, DJ and remixer, Richard Morel. Given the amount of cooks in the kitchen, if you ask me, Brink Ya To The Brink is a very mixed bag that actually works, give or take maybe two tracks. Personally, I keep hitting repeat on “Rain On Me”; you’d half expect to hear it chirping atop some high drama scene with Carrie in Sex And The City were it sill on. Oh well. There’s always Grey’s Anatomy.

In the meantime, Cyndi Lauper and Co. kick off the True Colors Tour this week. Here’s a special message she taped for Towleroad readers about the concerts:

Smashingpumpkinsroad.jpg This week’s free iTunes single of the week is “Blind” by Hercules And Love Affair, featuring Antony Hegarty of Antony And The Johnsons on vocals. Hercules And Love Affair is basically New York-based DJ Andy Butler’s project, which features a rotating line-up of singers. “Blind” cracked the Top 40 in the U.K. earlier this year, and, curiously, Wikipedia notes that Butler “began his musical career at 15, DJing in a Denver leather bar run by a hostess called Chocolate Thunder Pussy.” The act is signed to LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy’s DFA Records.

road.jpg Billy Corgan to celebrate the Smashing Pumpkins’ (pictured left) 20th anniversary this fall with a handful of U.S. gigs and a collection of the band’s early, unreleased recordings: “We’re hoping to put out some early demos at the end of this year to start a rolling boxed set. There’s an audience out there that wants to hear the fourth show we ever did with the song we only did that one time. Maybe it’s only 500 people, but maybe you find a way.”

road.jpg Ne-Yo on writing for Lindsay Lohan’s upcoming album: “We gave her a quality record and she did a ridiculously fabulous job.”

road.jpg Cansei de Ser Sexy, aka CSS, have added several U.S. dates to their summer tour. The Brazilian five-piece grew in popularity stateside last year after their song “Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex” was used in ads for Apple’s iPod Touch.

road.jpg The Sun claims that Sam Sparro says the following about Madonna in an interview for the June issue of U.K. gay mag, Attitude: “Madonna is wretched at the moment — absolutely vulgar. Put it away! You’re not young and sexy anymore. She went thoughtful and mature for a while, and now she’s chucked it away in some desperate attempt at being hot again. It’s just a bit vile.” Then again, this is The Sun we’re talking about…

road.jpg American Idol winner David Cook dating former contestant Kimberly Caldwell?

road.jpg Blogger Brad at MuuMuse waxes on why M83 stand out in the sea of New Wave revivalists.

Despite previously stating that their act won’t be doing any new music, singer Damn Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, better known as cartoon band Gorillaz, have written theme music for the BBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics: “The idea is you tell the story of Journey to the West in a two-minute sequence. Their treatment will kick-start our coverage in a different, energetic way.”

517pwhmz4cl_sl500_aa240_road.jpg THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES:

Usher’s fifth album, Here I Stand, featuring guest vocals from Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Lay It Down, a new studio album from Al Green, on which he worked with The Roots’ Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson.

Singles from the Pussycat Dolls (“When I Grow Up”) and Timbaland protege Keri Hilson (“Energy”).

The Sex And The City motion picture soundtrack, featuring Fergie, Jennifer Hudson, Nina Simone, Kaskade and Morningwood.

Songs In A&E, from English rockers Spiritualized. It’s the band’s first album since 2003, as frontman Jason Pierce fell seriously ill with a respiratory disease in 2005.


  1. Marco says

    Fuck Sam Sparro, whoever the hell he is anyway? I am so tired of the “she’s too old” to be sexy BS. I hope when I am pushing 50 I look half as good and I plan on being a sexual being. Why some want Madonna has to put on a pair of Mom jeans and do ads for Boniva is beyond me. Ageist bullshit.

    Good for Miss Cyndi. I am not a fan of the new record – I prefer Cyndi on the rockier.pop tip, but I hope it’s a big success for her. She’s a lovely human being who also looks great for her age.

  2. Martin says

    Cyndi’s new album is the DANCE ALBUM OF THE YEAR! Rain On Me and Into The night Life are freaking amazing! Great to see our community supporting her music! She’s done so much for US!

  3. Paul says

    Just to give Madonna the benefit of the doubt — I’m not saying I particularly believe this to be the case — but maybe she’s trying to break down some taboos about older women and sexuality? Some of us remember how she got blasted back in the day for her displays of sexuality — for things that no one even blinks at anymore. So her putting her junk out there in your face at 50 is continuing to push the boundaries in ways that even we’re not comfortable with?

  4. Johhny says

    I love Cyndi too, but she’ll have to beat Donna Summer’s debut at #17 to be the gay icon comeback of the year. Personally, I think Donna’s got the more substantial voice.

  5. James says

    why are we putting Cyndi against Donna??? Both of them are great artist, Cyndi writes her own stuff and has a great voice, Donna is a legend…why are you choosing to create this competition against each other is beyond me. How about “please support both of them as they are both great”????

  6. James says

    why are we putting Cyndi against Donna??? Both of them are great artist, Cyndi writes her own stuff and has a great voice, Donna is a legend…why are you choosing to create this competition against each other is beyond me. How about “please support both of them as they are both great”????

  7. Chad says

    People just love to hate on Madonna just cause she’s Madonna. Cause of her wealth and career and the fact that she’s the most famous woman in the world (still).

    The fact that she still doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks is the greatest thing about her. Granted there are times the worry lines begin to show, but that’s what botox is for 😉 She’s still an inspiriation. She’s an example of what true capatalism and greed is about (but also about following your spiritual path).

  8. crispy says

    There is definitely some ageism leveled at Madonna. But I think the point of that comment is that her music had matured with releases like Ray of Light and Music. But her latest album lost that maturity, it’s like she devolved.

    She can still be sexy at her age. There are plenty of sexy, mature women. But singing the lyrics “My sugar is sticky and sweet” is more Paris Hilton than Helen Mirren.

  9. JAYSON says

    Madonna’s spiritual path has lead her to the Kabbalah cult, which is explicitly anti-gay. But I guess the important thing is that the marginal talent has so much money she doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks. How spiritually inspiring!

  10. mrmnyc says

    I was at Cyndi’s video shoot last week. For the life of me, I can’t understand why a talent such as hers isn’t more appreciated by the masses. There were 2 takes for the video shoot. In between both takes, they were re-adjusting the cameras and filters, so she was just gabbing with the audience with her terrific sense of humor, and sang acoustic versions of She Bop, Same Ol’ Story, and of course she closed the night with an amazing acoustic version of True Colors. As she left the stage, she gave the most supportive, heart-felt speech I’ve ever heard. I’m paraphrasing here, but she very passionately told the all-gay crowd “You are NOT alone. You DO have your Supporters. We love you. Don’t give up.” If only we had politicians who were so loving. I’m not the slightest bit religious, but GOD BLESS CYNDI!!!

  11. says

    I think if I could pick one famous person to have as a friend, I’d pick Cyndi Lauper. I took my parents to see her a few years ago. Somehow we ended up in the front row. They didn’t appreciate what a talent she is – now they do! Her album is #8 on iTunes and climbing.

  12. peterparker says

    Robbie…thanks so much for posting about the new Spiritualized album! I saw J. Spaceman at a small theater here in Los Angeles a few months ago, and he was AMAZING! While I can certainly appreciate Madonna and Cyndi Lauper, I find it a little sad that a talent like Spiritualized goes unnoticed amid the reports of Madonna and Cyndi Lauper.

  13. soulbrotha says

    I have been rocking Al Green’s album for over a month now. It is the comeback lp of 2008! He will pull another Herbie Hancock and win the Grammy for album of the year.

  14. says

    Cyndi is actually older than Madonna, but her age is less an issue because of how she presents herself.

    I agree that women can be 50 – or older – and be sexy. What I don’t agree with is the version of “hot” Madonna is pushing (spreading?) on her album cover. Is it even remotely sexy? It’s tired – she’s done it before. Even if you get off on the pose, does she look inviting? She looks hard.

    This is not one of M’s finest moments, but I have no doubt she’ll rise again.

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