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NEWS: Silvio Berlusconi Resigns, Republicans Debate, Cats Sell, And The Bombast Of Kylie Minogue

SilvioHandsUp
Road Farewell, Berlusconi! What a long, ridiculous trip it's been!

An impromptu orchestra and choir gathered outside the presidential palace, where Mr. Berlusconi resigned, playing the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.”

Hundreds of spectators gathered outside, shouting “buffoon” and “go home” to a polarizing leader once loved by many, making Mr. Berlusconi the very embodiment of the Italian saying that the tenor is applauded until he is booed off stage. Some in the crowd were popping bottles of champagne. And cars and mopeds in downtown Rome waved Italian flags and honked their horns in celebration, as they do when the national soccer team wins.

... Fulvia Roscini, 47, a nurse, had brought her 8-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter outside the prime minister’s office on Saturday evening. “We came here because I wanted my kids to see this,” she said, “to see that another country is possible and is already here.”

Road The powerful bromance of Silvio Berlusconi and Vladimir Putin.

'Sup, Silvio,
I’m sure you are feeling worse than a dying elk today. And I know that hanging at my birthday party helped cheer you up during that whole mess with the 17-year-old. So I decided to put a little something together for you. It’s a photo gallery of us. I wrote down memories with each photo, like they do on Facebook. I hope it brings you happiness.

Road Speaking of which, does Vladimir Putin remind you of sex? He will.

Road "Ex-gay" academia falls deeper into disrepute.

Road The Times live-blogging of the ramblingest, most disorganized Republican debate yet ...

Road ... which was sponsored, in part, by white nationalists.

Road Bill O'Reilly's book about Lincoln banned from Ford Theatre.

Catvertising Road No doubt about it: Catvertising is the next big thing.

Road Gorgeous! Astounding! "Beat It" played by 15-year-old Korean guitar whizz.

Road These footballers have scannable skulls.

Road Barney's goes Gagadelic.

Road Confession: "But after nearly four decades on earth, I have managed to miss out on one of the most essential components of human nature: romantic love."

Road If you heard the leaked Madonna single, guess what? You're not a true fan.

Road Kylie Minogue to release package of greatest hits with orchestral acompaniment. Live industry preview AFTER THE JUMP! [HT: Oh No They Didn't]

Continue reading "NEWS: Silvio Berlusconi Resigns, Republicans Debate, Cats Sell, And The Bombast Of Kylie Minogue" »


Dr. Conrad Murray Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter in Death of Michael Jackson: VIDEO

Murray

Dr. Conrad Murray was declared guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson for injecting the King of Pop with the surgical anesthetic propofol.

The L.A. Times:

The verdict against Dr. Conrad Murray comes after a jury of seven men and five women  deliberated for about nine hours over two days. The 58-year-old cardiologist, who was charged with the lowest possible homicide offense, faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison and a minimum sentence of probation.

Murray now also faces the probable loss of his medical license. California authorities already suspended his right to practice, but medical boards in Nevada and Texas agreed to wait to evaluate licenses he holds in their states until after the criminal case.

A crowd gathered outside the courtroom erupted after the verdict was read.

Watch the verdict and fans react outside the courtroom (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Dr. Conrad Murray Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter in Death of Michael Jackson: VIDEO" »


Katy Perry Releases Missy Elliott Remix in Push to Tie Michael Jackson Record: LISTEN

Katy Perry has released a Missy Elliott remix of her single "Last Friday Night (TGIF)" in hopes to tie a long-standing chart record held by Michael Jackson.

Missy 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.

Billboard adds:

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.

Listen to the Missy Elliott remix, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Katy Perry Releases Missy Elliott Remix in Push to Tie Michael Jackson Record: LISTEN" »


News: False Memories, Tiger Cubs, A Famous Divorce

 road With gay marriage now legal in New York State, businesses and their employees are wondering how to move forward on dollars and cents.

CaptChrisEvans  road 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."

 road Singer Aaron Carter denies a report claiming Michael Jackson plied him with wine and cocaine when he was 15-years old.

 road Summer of the Hunk.

 road Citing "irreconcilable differences,” Maria Shriver has officially filed for divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger. This, of course, is not surprising.

 road 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."

 road Bradley Cooper loves cuddling with cubs. Tiger cubs, that is...

 road Maybe you've seen this, maybe you haven't -- either way, this woman speaks the truth. [Possibly NSFW.]

 road 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.

 road CygnusBlackhole 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.
 
 road Scientists have finally pinned down famous black hole Cygnus X-1's location: 6,000 light years away.

 road Michele Bachmann has gone eerily silent on LGBT politics, once a cornerstone of her political platform.

 road 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."

 road VIDEO: Tibetan bowl levitates water.


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: Brazil, John Cameron Mitchell, Christine O'Donnell, Rome

 road The newest Real Housewives of Orange County cast member is a lesbian.

Ricky  road Ricky Martin joins Ke$ha and Kylie at the "40 Principales Awards" in Madrid.

 road The Manhattan Declaration app might make its way back onto iTunes.

 road 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."

 road Critics less than thrilled over new Michael Jackson album.

 road The Gwent County Police department in Wales now has an LGBT unit.

 road Willow Smith's parents would rather put their 10-year-old child to work rather than give her an education.

Witch  road Christine O'Donnell's "I'm not a witch" is the quote of the year.

 road Nicole Richie and Joel Madden tie the knot.

 road 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."

 road Massachusetts serial killer confesses to the murder of eight women.

 road Angelina Jolie plus Johnny Depp does not equal box office gold.

 road Police in Rome arrest a group that robbed tourists, leaving one dead, outside of a gay club.


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