Kelly Clarkson Hub




MUSIC NEWS: Jennifer Hudson, Pet Shop Boys, Kelly Clarkson, Faithless, Panic At The Disco, Duran Duran, Derrick Carter

Jennifer-Hudson

NORMAN BRANNON

Guestblogger Norman Brannon is a pop critic, musician, and author based in New York City. He presents a weekly music update here on Towleroad and writes regularly at Nervous Acid.  

Follow Norman on Twitter at @nervousacid.

ESSENTIAL NEW MUSIC:

Jennifer-Hudson-I-Remember-Me Jennifer Hudson I Remember Me (Arista)

For Jennifer Hudson to begin her sophomore album with the lyric "I've been through some things" is to point out the obvious. If by "some things" she is referring to getting married, giving birth to her first son, dropping five dress sizes, and then having to mourn the murders of her mother, brother, and nephew — allegedly at the hands of her estranged brother-in-law — then, by all means, she's been through it. But while tragedy does not cast a pall over I Remember Me, it certainly informs it: Hudson's performance is more pointed and determined than ever before, whether she's in swagger mode ("I Got This"), retrospective mode ("I Remember Me"), or self-assuring disco anthem mode ("Everybody Needs Love"), and it's this newfound urgency that takes her into even higher levels of artistry. Still, it's almost impossible to ignore the naked sentiment behind re-recording Natasha Bedingfield's "Still Here" and Brooks & Dunn's "Believe" — two songs that both, in their own way, attempt to bridge the gap between loss and healing. Hudson might still be somewhere in between the two, but this album's sheer faith and optimism clearly point towards the light.

The_Most_Incredible_Thing Pet Shop Boys The Most Incredible Thing: Original Score (Astralwerks/EMI)

It turns out that the conception that Pet Shop Boys are "composing a ballet" is somewhat misleading: The score for The Most Incredible Thing, which comes out this week as a double-disc collection, is not exactly The Rite of Spring. Which means that while the opening "Prologue" begins with an orthodox orchestral movement that Stravinsky may have even smiled upon, convention is quickly subverted by the album's second minute when "The Grind" introduces a Kraftwerk-for-choreography motif that goes on to dominate the mostly instrumental set. It's a stylistic maneuver that is both consistent and consistently baffling — the opening waltz of "The Risk" somehow makes way for a spell of pulsing guitar rock, while "The Challenge" finds itself somewhere between Pet Shop Boys, a Paris is Burning runway soundtrack, and Star Wars composer John Williams — and yet there's a never a sense that Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have lost control. On the contrary, it's their ability to express restraint amid the necessary histrionic musical moments that makes The Most Incredible Thing actually quite incredible. The physicality of a Pet Shop Boys record has always been there, but without Tennant's vocal, the band's otherwise linear, emotive narrative has all the freedom to become a little bit unhinged — primal, even.

THE DISPATCH:

Omd_march2011Road So what happened at this year's South by Southwest? A crane fell into the audience at an OMD show, a riot broke out at a secret reunion show for Death From Above 1979, and Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel struck a female audience member after she hit him in the face with ice and spit on him. Unreal.

Road Kelly Clarkson's forthcoming fifth album is complete, but according to the singer, it will not see the light of day until September. "I realize that's a long time," she says, "but that's the best time to release it apparently." Details about the album are scarce, but we do know that Clarkson has recorded a version of Eric Hutchinson's blues-tinged "Why Don't You Try."

Road UK house icons Faithless have announced that, immediately following their last scheduled show on April 8 in London, the group will disband. In an official statement prepared by the group, Maxi Jazz explains, "After 15 years and six albums, I think we've probably made our collective point by now and that it's time to close the book and return the library." The band's final album, The Dance, was released last year.

Teddybears-band Road Sweden's Teddybears have rereleased a song from 2010's Devil's Music with a new singer: The freshly revamped "Cardiac Arrest" features Robyn on vocals and is available from iTunes now.

Road In 1983 Queen singer Freddie Mercury collaborated with Michael Jackson on at least three songs — only one of which, "State Of Shock," was ever released. (A Mercury-less version became a top-ten hit for the Jacksons in 1984.) This week, Queen's Roger Taylor confirms that the tracks are currently being "worked on," but declines to expand on any further details for a release. "I'm not allowed to say too much about it," he told NME, "but they sound incredible."

Ellie-goulding1 Road Ellie Goulding recently returned to BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge for a session, and as is the custom on the show, she performed a never-before heard cover: Check out Goulding's version of The Knife's "Heartbeats" — which, if you'll remember, was also given a very different, but effective acoustic treatment by José Gonzalez in 2006.

Road Blur and Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn has announced his latest project: Doctor Dee is a new piece of musical theater based on "the life of the 16th Century alchemist, astrologer, and spy John Dee," and is set to premiere in July. Albarn will write and star in the show, which has been scheduled to run at the English National Opera.

Road Back in January, the legendary songwriter, musician, and producer Nile Rodgers disclosed that he had been fighting an "aggressive cancer" since October, saying, "everything in my happy-music universe imploded." This week, however, we're happy to report that the happy-music universe is back in business: Rodgers' latest test results are cancer-free.

COMING OUT:

Panic vices Of all of the post-Pete Wentz guyliner bands, Panic at the Disco always stood out for their elaborate instrumentation, verbose song titles, and dramatic sense of style. They also made an incredibly underrated album in 2008 called Pretty. Odd., which showcased a newfound love for British invasion bands like the Kinks and primed Panic well for life after emo. This week, they release Vices & Virtues — their third album overall and first as a duo, following the departure of Ryan Ross and Jon Walker in 2009. Whatever it lacks in consistency is made up for in experimentation, which one can only assume is the only way to go when half your band finds the door. Songs like "The Calendar" and "Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)" recall the best parts of their first two records without too much nostalgia, but Vices is, at its core, seemingly more of a transition record than an endpoint.

Duran-Duran-All-You-Need-Is-Now Duran Duran's last record — produced primarily by Danja and Timbaland — was, to be honest, a bit out of their lane. Which is part of the reason why their Mark Ronson–helmed thirteenth album, All You Need Is Now, really delivers: The title track is indicative of the album's overall intent, balancing modern electronic aesthetics with classic Simon LeBon hooks that wouldn't seem out of place on a classic Duran Duran album. (One of its most successful bids, "Girl Panic!", is really only once-removed from "Girls On Film" — which, to be honest, probably needed a modern successor anyway.) Guest spots from Scissor Sisters' Ana Matronic, Kelis, and Arcade Fire's Owen Pallett round out the effort, which — despite its digital release in December — finally sees its physical release today.

Derrick_Carter-Fabric_56-2011 In spite of the circuit haze of Peter Rauhofer and Junior Vasquez, Chicago's legendary (and openly gay) Derrick Carter has been pushing his distinct house style — which he lovingly calls "Boompty" — as a DJ, producer, and record label impresario for more than twenty years. This week he releases a 17-track mix for London's Fabric DJ series featuring Chicago staples like Justin Long, Cajmere, and Lego, in addition to longtime likeminded folk like DJ Sneak and Iz & Diz. Clubbers who don't enjoy being clubbed over the head all night with stark-and-dark tribal will find reprieve in Carter's room-enveloping sound.

Also out today: Adam Lambert — Glam Nation Live CD/DVD (RCA), Richard Ashcroft — United Nations of Sound (Razor & Tie), The Strokes — Angles (RCA), Ke$ha — I Am The Dance Commander + I Command You To Dance: The Remix Album (RCA), Green Day — Awesome as F**k CD/DVD (Reprise/Warner Bros.)

SOUND & VISION:

CANT, Solange Knowles & Twin Shadow — "Kenya"

While it's impossible to have predicted what a collaboration between Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor, indie darling Twin Shadow, and Solange Knowles — sister of Beyoncé — might sound like, it seems equally impossible to have predicted that it could be this good: "Kenya" is a gorgeous and complex record — subtly melodic, carefully layered, ethereally tribal — in which Solange's performance shuns the melismatic runs of her sister's greatest hits for what turns out to be a humbler, gentler Knowles. Proceeds from the single go to benefit the Replenish Africa Initiative.

Katy B — "Broken Record"

As the go-to muse for Rinse FM DJs like Benga and Magnetic Man, Katy B quickly established her presence in London dubstep and garage quarters with last year's top-five single "Katy On A Mission." Her debut album — also titled On A Mission — is due for release on April 4, and third single "Broken Record" shows the singer dabbling with a more commercial terrain. If it weren't for the sub-bass jungle throwback of a chorus, you'd think Stargate was producing.

The Joy Formidable — "Whirring"

Welsh trio The Joy Formidable recently announced "Whirring" as their debut American single, and as far as introductions go, this is a good one: It's like a noise pop Breeders for people who loved Kelley Deal at her least sedated; it's shoegaze for people who never felt My Bloody Valentine were loud enough. If you're looking to find a more enthralling female rock singer than Ritzy Bryan this year, she hasn't shown up yet.

SebastiAn — "Embody"

SebastiAn is best known as the elusive, but popular electro DJ behind a half-dozen wildly successful singles for the Ed Banger label in Paris, but with this clip — for the lead single from Total, SebastiAn's forthcoming debut — he totally takes a backseat to that magic dancing boy. In terms of can't-stop-smiling potential, this kid rates crazy high.



News: Ganymede, Mark Salling, Eating Disorders, Paula Abdul

RoadUkraine offers deal to Elton John in guardianship of HIV-positive boy?

Paulaabdul RoadPaula Abdul wants Ellen's job now.

RoadCourt: Male teen tried to stab, gas man to death after having sex with him. "Prosecuting counsel Jennifer Blewitt told the court the teenager had been communicating with the man for some time through text messages before he agreed to meet him. The pair then returned to the man’s home for sex and the younger man left afterwards, leaving the kitchen gas turned on and unlit. Soon afterwards, Ms Blewitt said, he returned with the knife and thrust it at the man as he opened the door."

RoadDivas: Kelly Clarkson duets with Melissa Etheridge.

RoadFour gay candidates advance in NYC elections.

RoadBritish school calls emergency assembly over sex change of 12-year-old boy: "What has really upset the parents is that the school didn't see fit to send us a letter first so we could explain it to children in our own way. Maybe we could have explained sexual politics and encouraged our kids to be more sensitive. They were simply told, 'You may notice one pupil is not present in this assembly – that is because the pupil is now a girl'. The girl, as she now is, will go through hell because of how this has been handled."

RoadObama anoints unicorn trend.

Ganymede RoadJupiter's moon Ganymede generates spectacular light shows at planet's poles.

RoadThousands line up for gay and lesbian job fair in NYC.

RoadGLB teens at higher risk for eating disorders: "Among males, the highest risks were seen among homosexuals -- who were seven times more likely to report bingeing and nearly 12 times more likely to report purging than heterosexual males."

RoadInside the secret rallies of Maine marriage equality foes: "The interesting revelation: That it was apparently the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins who requested the media shut-out. Weird, considering this is a man who has never met a camera lens to which he wouldn't lend a talking point."

RoadAmericablog: Who is Barney Frank, anyway?

Glee RoadMohawk lovers: Glee's Mark Salling.

RoadEuropean Parliament condemns homophobic legislation in Lithuania: “It is particularly alarming that the Lithuanian parliament succeeded in passing homophobic legislation under the pretence of child protection, when it is clearly in the best interests of young people to have as much information as possible on these issues. Open discussion among young people is the best way to tackle discriminatory attitudes and the high suicide rates of young people who come out as gay or lesbian."

RoadInsurance company ordered to pay $10 million for revoking policy of 17-year-old college student after he tested positive for HIV.

RoadShirley Tan and her family advocate for immigration in D.C.: "The Tan-Mercado family met with several members of Congress, the staff of numerous additional Congressional offices, and, in a West Wing meeting, White House staffers to press for new cosponsors for the Uniting American Families Act and the House Reuniting Families Act, as well as for inclusion of lesbian and gay binational families in comprehensive immigration reform."


News: Chicago, Christian Bale, Jupiter, India, Virginia Foxx, Tanning

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India High Court to consider appeal of historic ruling decriminalizing homosexuality: "In taking up the appeal, the highest court is responding to a petition by two private citizens who claimed they were deeply hurt by the judgment 'inasmuch as it seriously affects them and fellow countrymen in all spheres of their lives, personal as well as social.'"

Jupiter

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Does Jupiter "take bullets" for Earth?

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It's a Saved by the Bell reunion!

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Rep. Virginia Foxx's latest ridiculous statement: Obama health care reform will put seniors to death.

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Australian PM Kevin Rudd says ban on same-sex marriage will remain: " Rudd said his government's position remained unchanged amid media speculation that he would face a groundswell of support for same-sex marriage at Labor's national conference, due to begin in Sydney on Thursday. 'We are consistent with the policy we took to the last election,' he told public broadcaster ABC."

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Chicago's Commission on Human Rights to honor gay veterans.

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Johnny Depp disguises himself as squirrel at Comic-Con.

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Two openly gay candidates for SF Supervisor say "wait" on Prop 8 ballot measure.

Dayana

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Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza comes out for marriage equality.

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Officials place no restrictions on Gay Pride parade in Belfast: "We respect the views of those who are organising the Pride parade and those who wish to express their opposition. Just as with any other parade where there is disagreement the commission believes it is paramount that all concerned treat each other with respect and show tolerance towards the view of wider society. We welcome the assurances we have received in regards to the stewarding of the parade and the general conduct of the participants."

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Kissimmee, Florida City Commissioner wants to add "In God We Trust" to city's logo because he thinks it will help rid the nation of unsavory things like gays, abortion, and pot. Otero:
"This nation has been moving toward more liberal postures such as homosexuality, gay marriage, abortion and the legalization of marijuana. I'm against that way of thinking. Those are not the values upon which this nation was founded. I think we need to fight for the values we're losing."

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Christian Bale completes his latest unbelievable transformation.

Bale

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STUDY: Tanning beds as deadly as Arsenic and Mustard Gas.

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Is Kelly Clarkson being punished by label bosses for speaking out about the similarity of her song to Beyonce's?

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Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams sees "two-track" Anglican Church.

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Grey's Anatomy says good-bye to Dr. George O'Malley.

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OMG interviews Simon Rex about his online pilot.

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Chicago's first openly gay alderman Tom Tunney asks if City Hall should set aside business contracts for LGBT-owned companies: "Tunney asked Corporation Counsel Mara Georges whether any other municipality has a 'category' that defines 'LGBT as a qualified minority.' Georges said she knows of no such category anywhere in the United States. But, she didn’t slam the door. 'We are certainly happy to talk to you about it and whether that’s something we should attempt to pursue,' Georges said."


News: Michael Jackson, Tortoise, Whitney Houston, Caymans, Halo

RoadFormer Idaho senator Larry Craig opens consulting firm.

RoadPolice surround Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray's house in Las Vegas. Murray administered Jackson Propofol the night before his death. Home raided.

Transit RoadDocked Space Shuttle and ISS transit sun. FLASHBACK: Space Shuttle and Hubble transit sun.

RoadAspray: The cure for stank ass.

RoadHalo vs. Already Gone: Did Ryan Tedder sell Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson the same song with different lyrics?

RoadBill in Uganda would ban free speech on behalf of LGBT people: "Recently, [Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity James Nsaba] Buturo said that once the two bills are passed into law, it will be an offence to publish and distribute literature on homosexuality. He also said it would become impossible for homosexuals to address press conferences and attract people to support their cause."

RoadNearly-extinct Galapagos tortoise may become father at the age of 90.

RoadWhitney Houston moves up date of album release, offers free track on website.

RoadGay cruise to visit Cayman Islands again: "Three years ago, Atlantis Events brought 3,200 gay tourists to Cayman. A small number turned out to protest when the passengers came ashore in 2006, but the visit passed off without much disturbance. Mr. Yuan said he believed people’s attitudes had changed since 1998, and that the tourism industry in Cayman had extended a welcome to Atlantis and its customers."

RoadACT UP veteran and film and music critic Robert Hilferty takes own life.

Gyllenhaal_namath RoadConfirmed: Jake Gyllenhaal to play Joe Namath.

RoadJosh & Josh visit World Outgames for Passport magazine.

RoadProtect Marriage chairman Ron Prentice holds secret meeting, tells followers to pray for LGBT divisiveness in repeal of Proposition 8.

RoadBoy George says Elton John helped him through prison experience: "Elton offered me love and support from both himself and David [Furnish]. He also sent me a lovely music player...Stephen Fry, Matt Lucas, Antony Hegarty and Holly Johnson wrote to me too. The only time I got emotional in prison was when I got letters from friends. People that beforehand I wouldn’t have thought I could rely on."

Fwbartender RoadFort Worth Rainbow Lounge bartender killed in car wreck.

RoadTired of vampires yet?

RoadGrace Jones plays Hollywood Bowl.

RoadACLU of Florida gets $150,000 in funding from Tides Foundation to help end Florida's gay adoption ban.

Road500 protest Gay Pride in Charlotte, North Carolina: “We are not here to have a confrontation…We are here to send the message that God has a better way.”

Road$294K: Proponents of Vermont's marriage equality bill outspent opponents by a margin of 7 to 1. "Meanwhile, same-sex marriage opponents spent only $41,769 on their campaign, according to final disclosure forms filed Monday."

RoadUN grants official status to LGBT Brazilian organization: "The victory for the Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians and Transsexuals marks the third consecutive year the U.N. Economic and Social Council has overturned a decision by a 19-country committee blocking gay groups from participating in the global body's debates."

RoadWilliam Shatner makes poetry of Sarah Palin speech.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #510

ANTARCTICA: A year on ice.

SONIA SOTOMAYOR: She's a terrorist!

DEADLINE: a Post-It stop-motion masterwork.

KELLY CLARKSON: Performs her latest track "Already Gone" on Letterman.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


Kelly Clarkson's #1 Fan in a Towel Does Not Hook Up

Clarkson

This is Kelly Clarkson's new single - and its first official YouTube bathroom video.

Watch it (likely not appropriate for work), AFTER THE JUMP...

Related...
Move Over Shane Mercado [tr]

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