Towleroad is abuzz about Adam Levine this morning, though not without reason. The smooth-talking, reality TV-hosting crooner is hitting the airwaves with a new single from his band's latest album V and it happens to be a lovely, beautifully-sung duet with rocker Gwen Stefani. Their partnership may seem like an ill-advised publicity stunt for The Voice at this point (remember Stefani's embarassing mispronunciation of "The Colbert Report" when she and Levine presented at the Emmys?), but this song, "My Heart Is Open," is anything but. Co-written by Sia, there is genuine yearning, emotion, and vocal talent behind the somewhat stock lyrics.
Nuclear fuel has melted through the base of the plant at Fukushima: "The findings of the report, which has been given to the International Atomic Energy Agency, were revealed by the Yomiuri newspaper, which described a 'melt-through' as being 'far worse than a core meltdown' and 'the worst possibility in a nuclear accident.'"
Gwen Stefani giving up her solo career. That was a moment in time. It went on a little longer than we all thought it would, because it was inspired and you have to go with wherever you’re at in that time in your life … [But] everything works out how it should.”
Gay man killed with platypus statue, court hears: "A Melbourne man who was angry at being propositioned by his gay housemate assaulted him with a platypus statue during a fatal fight, a court has heard. Aaron James Johnstone, 29, 'lost it' after his drunk and naked housemate Phillip Higgins propositioned him in September 2006. Johnstone told police he assaulted Mr Higgins before dropping the platypus statue on him. Johnstone has pleaded not guilty to murder and is facing trial in the Victorian Supreme Court."
Holland, Michigan to address anti-gay discrimination: "After hearing a number of opinions both pro and con, the Holland City Council last night instructed City Attorney Andrew Mulder to draw up a proposed amendment that would, if passed, extend the city’s non-discrimination ordinance and equal employment opportunity policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity."
Robbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad. Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.
Yesterday (March 2) marked 10 years since the death of British soul singer Dusty Springfield, known for such songs as "Wishin' And Hopin'," "I Only Want To Be With You" and "Son Of A Preacher Man." After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Dusty passed away the day she was to receive the OBE (Order of the British Empire) at Buckingham Palace, and 10 days before she was to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in the U.S. She was 59.
At her funeral in London, Elton John noted, "I think she is the greatest white singer that there ever has been," while Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys said, "I think Dusty would have been amazed and moved to learn how much she means to people, what an impact her singing has made, what fondness people feel for her. The British have always taken pop music surprisingly seriously and they know that Dusty Springfield was unique, a soul singer, a star, the real thing. Dusty's voice is always there to lift you up when you're down. I feel proud that we knew her and worked with her and played a small part in her fabulous life. She was 'fab', and because of her music, she always will be."
The site Broadway World stated yesterday that Wicked and Pushing Daisies actress Kristin Chenoweth is currently developing a movie based on the life of Springfield, which Playbill mentioned in 2005 would focus on the singer's life while recording her classic 1969 album Dusty In Memphis.
Below are some clips of Dusty Springfield both in her prime in the '60s and after her successful comeback in the 1980s.
If you're planning to see M83 perform with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall this Saturday, don't expect to hear "Kim & Jessie" or anything off the French band's recent album Saturdays = Youth. Says frontman Anthony Gonzales, "We'll play tracks that are more like orchestral material—mostly songs from my previous albums, for example 'Before The Dawn Heals Us', because I don't think it's really interesting to play pop songs with the orchestra."
The reunited No Doubt (above) to perform on the May 11 season finale of Gossip Girl. Then band will do a cover of Adam and the Ants' "Stand And Deliver" on the hit nighttime teen soap, before Gwen Stefani and Co. head off on tour this summer.
Metalheads, get ready to rock the big screen. The high-def documentary Iron Maiden: Flight 666 will air for one day only (April 21) on 400 screens in 34 different countries. The film chronicles Iron Maiden circling the globe on a Boeing 757 to perform 23 sold out stadium and arena shows. The band was named Best Live Act at the Brit Awards two weeks ago.
An interesting review of Erasure's Total Pop!—The First 40 Hits compilation from U.K. site The Quietus: "That Erasure were fated forever to remain in the critical and commercial shadow of fellow synth-pop behemoths the Pet Shop Boys seems largely down to their more overtly gay aesthetic: while Q journalists and Mondeo Man alike could cheerfully endorse the latter’s arch pop nous and ambiguous sexuality without too many hang-ups, it was harder to fully embrace Erasure’s flamboyant outrageousness without finding your masculinity just a little compromised. No matter: in an era when the contrived camp affectations of The Scissor Sisters and Mika is hailed as in some way progressive and ground-breaking, Erasure deserve to be celebrated for their sparkling originality and crusading flamboyance, but mostly for their impeccable tuneage. Be out and be proud."
TODAY'S NEW RELEASES:
U2's twelfth studio album No Line On The Horizon, featuring a photograph of the sea meeting the sky by Hiroshi Sugimoto on the cover. Last night in Los Angeles, a special U2 pop up installation was opened to the public at Space 15 Twenty on North Cahuenga Blvd. The installation is open today from noon to 9 p.m., as well. Rock photographer Anton Corbijn's pictures of the band are on display, and his new film Linear will be screened at the location.
Total Dance 2009, mixed by Tony Okungbowa and featuring remixes of hits by Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Estelle, David Archuleta, Coldplay and Chris Brown, amongst others. Annoyingly, iTunes only offers the continuous mix as one hour+-long MP3.
Robbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.
Either these two pop dames are trying to give us déjà vu, or they're both just really into boxes. Kylie Minogue's new video for "In My Arms" (below, left) made its way online yesterday, and it bears more than a passing resemblance to Robyn's video for "Handle Me" (right) from last fall.
While "In My Arms" is Minogue's second single off X throughout most of Europe, the U.K. and Australia will get "Wow" instead. Videos for both "In My Arms" and "Wow" were shot while Kylie was recently in Los Angeles by director Melina Matsoukas. The U.S. version of X is tentatively scheduled for a March release on Capitol Records.
Meanwhile, two EPs from Robyn were made available stateside yesterday -- the five-track Rakomonie EP and the single package for her U.K. chart-topper, "With Every Heartbeat." Robyn's full-length album from Cherrytree/Interscope will drop in April. The singer is doing three sold-out club performances next week in New York, San Francisco and L.A.
Despite the company's current woes -- or perhaps in spite of them -- Yahoo Music to offer non-digital rights managed (DRM) songs by the end of the year.
Music sales are dismal all over, but Cat Power (pictured right) scores her best week ever with newly-released album Jukebox.
With an updated website boasting past achievements and playing a schmaltzy new ballad, is the latest musical reunion... New Kids On The Block? Group member Danny Wood initially denied it on his MySpace blog, but has since written: "Hi to all the New Kids On The Block fans, I wanted to clarify since my first post this morning regarding the NKOTB reunion. I loved being a part of the group, and have always thought 'maybe someday we'll get back together' – you just never know when your someday will come. I can guarantee all the fans that if this reunion were to happen, they would hear about it first on www.NKOTB.com."
"Glass-smashing garage punk and genre-mashing pop. Weed-infused hip-hop and Ivy League-schooled geek rock." Get to know Spin's Who's Next In '08. (In particular, Duffy and The Wombats already have huge buzz overseas, Santogold seems just crazy enough to crossover and Margot And The Nuclear So And So's really dig cello.)
Girls just wanna have fun: Cyndi Lauper, Natalie Cole, Bonnie Raitt and Bette Midler to be award presenters at the Feb. 10 Grammys.
Said Stefani: "There's a lot of songs that were left over from the last album, and there's some new songs I did with Pharrell. There's a lot of Pharrell on this record. I did some stuff with Tony and some stuff with Akon."
NME: Possible tracks which may appear on the album, include 'Fluorescent Lights', 'Candyland', 'Wind It Up', 'Breaking Up' and 'Orange County Girl'...Although the title has not yet been announced, various fan websites are speculating that it will be called Sweet Escape."
Obviously, Hershey has a major sponsorship opportunity here.