Jackson owns the record for the most Hot 100 No. 1 singles from one album -- with five from his 1987 album "Bad." Presently, Perry has four No. 1s from her "Teenage Dream" set. Its fifth single, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)," rests at No. 2 on the chart this week.
Perry has so far claimed four No. 1s from "Teenage Dream" -- "California Gurls," the title track, "Firework" and "E.T." (featuring Kanye West). "Last Friday Night" is in its second week at No. 2 and its seventh frame in the top 10. Jackson's five No. 1s from "Bad" are "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," the title track, "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Man in the Mirror" and "Dirty Diana." Some fans might have immediately thought "Thriller" held the record for the most No. 1s, since it was such a monster album. While it did spawn seven top 10 hits, only two of them -- "Billie Jean" and "Beat It" -- hit No. 1.
With gay marriage now legal in New York State, businesses and their employees are wondering how to move forward on dollars and cents.
Death penalty dead in Illinois: "The fate of executions in the state was sealed in March when Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation ending the death penalty, following years of stories of men sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit and families of murder victims angrily demanding their loved ones' killers pay with their own lives."
Singer Aaron Carter denies a report claiming Michael Jackson plied him with wine and cocaine when he was 15-years old.
Peer pressure can lead to false memories. From 'Science' magazine: "We examined how socially induced memory errors are generated in the brain by studying the memory of individuals exposed to recollections of others. Participants exhibited a strong tendency to conform to erroneous recollections of the group, producing both long-lasting and temporary errors, even when their initial memory was strong and accurate."
Maybe you've seen this, maybe you haven't -- either way, this woman speaks the truth. [Possibly NSFW.]
Remember when Congressional Republicans were obsessed with fighting marriage equality? Well, now they're moving away from the contentious issue. "When you got the highest unemployment, highest foreclosures and highest bankruptcy, social issues right now take a back seat to putting food on the table," said freshman Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada.
Federal and justice department officials said that California's Tehachapi Unified School District failed to properly protect 13-year old gay student Seth Walsh, who killed himself after enduring homophobic bullying.
Equality California remains adamant that they could build support for a 2012 ballot measure repealing Proposition 8, which forbids same-sex marriage. Said activist Kate Kendall to Rex Wockner: "There is clearly a momentum shift. But our poll numbers of likely voters have to be in high 50%. And we need to see a much more engaged base. But surely New York helps re-open the conversation."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
Nicole Kidman on why she chose John Cameron Mitchell to helm her new movie Rabbit Hole: "I think a director that's very cold, or that's slightly removed or stoic, wouldn't have been so good because the script itself was very restrained. So it was the combination of a very raw director with a restrained script, I just thought that was interesting."
Brazil will give pensions to gay couples: "The Social Security Ministry says in a Friday statement that the gay spouse of a retiree who dies will now be able to receive the pension payments once received by his or her companion. The policy covers formally registered workers who pay monthly social security fees."
Modern Tonic — a free daily email delivering gay-approved pop culture gems before they get co-opted by everyone else — presents a weekly music update here on Towleroad.
TODAY'S FEATURED NEW RELEASES:
Nobody in hip-hop has been able to fill the quirky shadow that Missy Elliot cast, but the voluptuous, gay-friendly Nicki Minaj comes close. Like Missy, Nicki returns to a nostalgic, pre-Guetta urban sound in her debut, Pink Friday. She not only caught our attention with the Annie Lennox-sampling "Your Love" in early 2010 but she caught that of hip-hop's elite and many of its current players appear on Pink Friday. Eminem's participation in "Roman’s Revenge" adds a harder flare to an otherwise mainstream album; the Rihanna/Nicki exchange program continues here with the gorgeous, girl-powery ballad "Fly"; and Natasha Bedingfield's inclusion on the fast-paced electro groove "Last Chance" allows the debut to end on a high. Though the talented wordsmith certainly didn't need the help of the massive star-power that aligned for her debut to shine, and despite a few duds sprinkled throughout, the collective amassed has us saying TGIPF.
If the soundtrack forBurlesque is approached with an appreciation for overproduction, you can walk away satisfied. The weight of the soundtrack falls to Christina Aguilera, who takes the lead on eight of its ten tracks, including the radio-ready "Express" and the long awaited (and worth it!) collaboration with Australian songstress Sia, "Bound To You." Cher's two contributions — her first original releases in seven years — might get lost when reading the Aguilera-heavy Burlesque track list, but once the incredible ballad "You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me" (written by none other than Diane Warren) starts to play, it's clear that the seasoned pro only needs a single show-stopping song (and, OK, a healthy dash of autotune) to stand out on an album chock-full of Aguilera's masterful vocals. Stream the Almighty Remix of Cher's "You Haven't Seen The Last of Me" and the album cut of Christina's "Express" in the player below.
Thanks to Robyn's Body Talk series, Sweden's greatest export in 2010 is synth-drenched creative pop beats. The final installment in the series doesn't ease up on Robyn's penchant for infectious hooks, with each of the five new tracks ingrained in the brain, ready for repeat in the shower after first listen. Like Body Talk Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, the third (simply titled Body Talk) boasts songs that stick out first and foremost ("Time Machine" and "Stars 4-ever") and others that are slow-burning, latent gems ("Call Your Girlfriend" and "Get Myself Together"). If you've just awakened from a coma (welcome back!) and missed The Year of Robyn, the inclusion of the five best tracks from each the first two Body Talks on this release make this the stand-alone must-have in the series. (Body Talk is available for $3.99 at amazon.com.)
The response to the "new" Michael Jackson tracks has been fairly lackluster so far: "Breaking News" doesn't even sound like Michael and "Hold My Hand," with Akon (and which is surprisingly good), didn't even crack the Top 20. Another track, the unfortunately-named "Do You Know (Where Your Children Are?), with Jay-Z, and a previously unreleased video for "One More Chance" have hit the web.
In-the-know pop fans advise that when you want to escape the disco stick, you should pick up the Spektor. Regina has consistently been a breath of fresh air, and though the material on the Regina Spektor: Live in London CD+DVD set is largely culled from her known catalogue (along with three never-before-heard songs), it's nowhere near stale.
Cannibal, a repackaging of Ke$ha's debut plus eight new tracks including the infectious "We R Who We R" and "Sleazy," might accomplish what Animal couldn't by finally separating the disheveled pop-tart from the pack.
While Jackson family members and the blogosphere debate the origin of a voice on Michael's first posthumous release, true fans will find a nice distraction from the dispute with Vision, a box set of 3 DVDs featuring MJ's entire collection of videos and short films.
Röyksopp — another Scandinavian synth-pop act determined to make 2010 the year of episodic albums — follows up its early 2010 release today with (when compared to Junior) the more-atmospheric, less-mainstream Senior.
For Kanye West's introspective My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, he reflects on his past few years as America's most misunderstood man and spins it with inspiration from the likes of Gil Scott-Heron to arrive at an album that ditches the glitzy 808 beats to focus on what — besides self-absorption — really makes Kanye a star: lyrical finesse.
Glasser — "Mirrorage" Whether through hoodoo or witchcraft, the spellbinding video for "Mirrorage" announces ethereal American songstress Glasser’s appearance on the scene. Her Florence and the Machine-like hallucinatory music video entry will likely ensure that Glasser’s staying power is stronger than the flickering mirage she appears to be in this debut.
Friends Electric — "Golden Blood" On its Myspace page, Welsh dance-act Friends Electric says it wants to inject personality back into dance music. They accomplish just that by giving the adorable bespectacled lead singer plenty of face time in the dream-like "Golden Blood."
Bernard Sumner, Hot Chip, Hot City — "Didn't Know What Love Was" If post-punk icon Bernard Sumner (Joy Division, New Order) had cloned himself as many times as director Andreas Nilsson does in the human kaleidoscope-like video for his Hot Chip/Hot City collaboration, "Didn’t Know What Love Was," he might have birthed even more legendary ‘80s groups.