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04/19/2007


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #753

FCKH8: Warning: graphic language ahead.

MOBY: Is a New Yorker for marriage equality.

BANKSY: His opening sequence for The Simpsons.

MAD MEN WITH A TWIST: RJD2 vs. Nat King Cole.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


MUSIC NEWS: Cazwell, Moby, La Roux, Michael Jackson

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Guestblogger MODERN TONIC

The editors of Modern Tonic present a weekly music update here on Towleroad. The rest of the week, they scan the pop-culture landscape for movie, TV, book and Web recommendations in their daily email.

Road TODAY'S NEW RELEASES AND FREE DOWNLOADS

“Homo-hop” artist Cazwell – born Luke Caswell in Worcester, MA — loves to use his mouth. On the title track of his second album, Watch My Mouth, the openly gay rapper talks about how that mouth can “lick it, slurp it, slide it, shake it, bake it, stir it, fry it,” and that’s just for starters. A mix of spanking new grooves and previously released tracks from his debut Get Into It, Cazwell creates a homo-centric hip-hop fusion with some old school samples and icy electro-clash synths, from the love-rap “Tonight” – featuring Shannon’s “Give Me Tonight” — to the celebrity bitch-slap “I Seen Beyoncé at Burger King.”

Most of the time, though, Cazwell raps about bizness as usual — “All Over Your Face” is about, oh, just guess. He’s such a sex-positive fiend he’s like Peaches with a penis (although that might be redundant).

For a user-friendly taste of Cazwell, check out the FREE DOWNLOAD “Money Back.”

MobyTechno-head Moby — inspired by a speech from his friend David Lynch regarding creativity for its own sake — follows his chill, ambient muse to the evocative Wait for Me. Featuring vocals from  Amelia Zirin Brown, first single “Pale Horses” gets a Gui Boratto Last Window Mix on this FREE DOWNLOAD

“Wanderlust” isn’t just a song from Björk’s Volta — it’s her way of life, documented on the live performances/videos of her latest release, Voltaïc (available in 2CD/2DVD, CD/DVD and single CD formats).

The musical once known as Bounce — Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show —  gets its belated original cast recording, featuring Michael Cerveris and Alexander Gemignani.

On Wilco (The Album), the Telly Savalas/Wilco connection’s finally revealed in “Wilco (The Song)”: “Wilco will love you, baby.” Kojak couldn’t have said it better.

Two-step on over and spend an American Saturday Night with country superstar Brad Paisley (though, to be honest, any old night would do).

LaRoux03_800 Across the pond, hotly tipped electropop duo La Roux finally drop their self-titled debut. We know you’ve heard a lot about them already (both here and nearly everywhere else), but get used to it. Elly Jackson and Ben Langmaid’s Yazoo/Eurythmics homage deserves mention, especially Jackson’s shape-shifting vocals — one second she’s an Alison Moyet soul sister (“Colourless Colour”) and the next she’s Joni Mitchell in a sea of synths (“Cover My Eyes”).  A U.S. release is due September 29.

Also released:  Rob Thomas — Cradlesong; Tanya Tucker — My Turn; The Woodstock Experience (box set); Nouvelle Vague — 3 (import).

Road MUSIC NEWS

As far as the music world is concerned, there's little else going on this week in the long shadow of Michael Jackson's tragic death. As much as we would love to wax nostalgic on the brilliance of his music, everyone else has been doing that for days....so we've opted to present a few business items related to his passing:

Road The New York Times ran a comprehensive, and fascinating, story over the weekend about the tangled mess of Jackson's personal finances. Sadly, the article points out that the estate may soon be in better shape than ever, with a significant influx of cash to put towards its debts (thanks to the explosion of sales of his music), while money will no longer be going out to pay for Jackson's famously excessive lifestyle.

Road The 750,000 ticket buyers for what were to be Jackson's "This Is It!" shows at London's O2 Michael_jackson_o2_concert_2009 Arena will be offered the option to keep the actual ticket as a (very pricey) souvenir instead of obtaining a refund.

Road In addition to having filmed an entire run-through last week during "This Is It!" rehearsals (expected to be released as a concert CD/DVD), Jackson also spent nine days earlier this month shooting a top-secret 3D video that was to be shown behind him while he performed at the London shows. Technology was provided by the company working on James Cameron's forthcoming Avatar. Plans for what was Jackson's final video shoot have not yet been announced.

Road With Jackson memorabilia auctions proliferating on eBay and sales of his albums topping charts worldwide, this is only the beginning of a long and lucrative business of merchandise sales in the time-honored tradition of the likes of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

Road U.S. radio airplay for Jackson's hits jumped 1,735% after last Thursday. "Billie Jean" was played the most.

Road MUSIC VIDEOS

Martin Solveig ftrg. Dragonette: “Boys & Girls”

The French DJ-producer joins the Canadian electropop kids for an Astaire/Rogers romp through The House of Gaultier. C’est magnifique!

God Help The Girl: “Come Monday Night”
The song doesn’t start until 1:30 into the video, but it’s worth the wait for Stuart Murdoch’s (Belle & Sebastian) tribute to swinging 60’s U.K. girl-pop featuring the smooth-as-glass vocals of Catherine Ireton.

Marina And The Diamonds: “I Am Not A Robot”
Welsh-born Marina Diamond looks like Catherine Zeta-Jones, sounds like Regina Spektor and acts like a body-painted Björk in this colorfully quirky video.

Rockwell: “Somebody’s Watching Me”
Our homage to Michael Jackson is from 1984. This video for the paranoia anthem, by Motown chief Berry Gordy's son, Rockwell, features Jackson's unmistakably sweet and catchy chorus. The King of Pop is dead; long live the King.



Music News: Chess, Grace Jones, Gossip, New Order, Mika, Moby

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Guestblogger MODERN TONIC

The editors of Modern Tonic present a weekly music update here on Towleroad. The rest of the week, they scan the pop-culture landscape for movie, TV, book and Web recommendations in their daily email.

Road MUSIC NEWS:

Created by Tim Rice and the BBoys from ABBA (Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson), Chess is one strange shape-shifter of a theatrical production. Since its 1984 concept album debut Chess-Cover— featuring Murray Head’s worldwide smash “One Night in Bangkok” and "I Know Him So Well," later covered by Whitney Houston and her mom — the show’s gotten more facelifts than Joan Rivers. Opening to mixed reviews, the original 1986 London production ran for three years. The 1988 New York production — entirely reconceived — closed after two months. Subsequent stagings have mixed-and-matched the plotlines.

But there has long been a rabid following of fans, many of whom declare Rice’s bastard stepchild to be one of the greatest pop-rock musicals of all time. Maybe it’s the Machiavellian Cold War plotline. Or maybe it’s the sweeping, non-stop ABBA-esque melodies. Whatever it is, you can see and hear it as it was meant to be in the new Chess in Concert, (out today on DVD and as a single- or double-CD; also airing tomorrow on PBS) which Rice calls the “official version” of the show, recorded live over two nights at London's Royal Albert Hall last May, and featuring an ace cast of Josh Groban (pictured above), Adam Pascal (Rent) and Idina Menzel (Wicked). Do we smell a Broadway revival? A boy can dream.

Road Hurricane warning: Grace Jones — in no danger of becoming the hardest working woman in show-bizGraceJ  — is planning two U.S. shows in support of her latest album. July 27 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, and July 30 at New York’s more intimate Hammerstein Ballroom.

Road Stream Gossip's new album Music For Men (out digitally June 23, on CD October 6) in its entirety.

Road Members of New Order (Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Phil Cunningham), joined by Blur's Alex James, have formed a new band, Bad Lieutenant. They have already completed work on their first album.

Road "It's a big, huge-sounding pop record that sonically references big records from the 80s or 90s": An extensive interview with Mika, whose debut album sold 6 million copies worldwide, touches on his forthcoming follow-up album as well as his childhood and adolescence, fame and, vaguely, his sexuality and past relationships. 

Road Moby, whose new album Wait For Me is out June 30, talks about his distaste for his seminal album, Play

Road Listen like thieves: An international scam involving a group of criminals who created music, sold it on Amazon and iTunes, and then bought $750,000 worth of it themselves using 1,500 stolen credit cards has ended with nine arrests. The "sales" of the music online resulted in the group pocketing $300,000 in royalties paid out by the music services.

LauraRoad TODAY'S NEW RELEASES:

Twenty-one-year-old Dubliner Laura Izibor is here to change the landscape of Irish soul for good with her  modern mesh of '70s soul and '00s hip-hop on Let the Truth Be Told, her expressive debut.

Miss Kittin — the French electro-clash artist — sees her debut collaboration with turntablist The Hacker, First Album, re-released today with one additional 2001 track, "The Beach." "Party in My Head" — from Two, their recent follow-up joint effort  — gets a remix workout from the Paris-based Thieves Like Us. DOWNLOAD IT HERE FOR FREE.

Our favorite Canadian crooner filmed his December ’08 MSG gig last year for release on the CD/DVD combo-pack Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden.

New releases also from: Spinal Tap — Back from the Dead; Trevor Horn and Friends — Slaves to the Rhythm (concert DVD); The Legends — Over and Over; Jonas Brothers — Lines, Vines and Trying Times.

Road MUSIC VIDEOS AND CLIPS:

PALOMA FAITH — “Stone Cold Sober”
This lively Spanish-English burlesque dancer/singer/actress (who appears in Heath Ledger’s final film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) is a red-hot harlot in a hoop skirt on her debut video. Single out today in the U.K., album there in the fall.

AQUA — “Back to the 80s”
The Barbie-loving Danes offer up a cheese-fest of awful 80’s-ness that’s so pungent it could just turn them into a two-hit wonder. From their "Greatest Hits" out this week in Europe (no U.S./U.K. release date announced yet).

LE KID — “Mercy Mercy”
The second sing-along single from these pop-crazy Swedes features the whitest people ever at a lakeside party in 50’s swimwear.

KID BRITISH — “Our House Is Dadless”
More than just sampling, these multi-ethnic Manchester rappers re-boot Madness’ jubilant hit with industrial grit for the new millennium.



Music News: Matt Lauer Interviews Kylie Minogue, Plus Jesse McCartney, Fall Out Boy, George Michael

Kyliem

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

Between R.E.M., George Michael and Kylie Minogue, it's a gay ol' week as far as new music releases. Kylie's X finally officially drops in the U.S. today, after making a brief three-week appearance on iTunes back in February.

Australia's "singing budgie" is doing stateside promotion all week for X -- including performances of new single "All I See" tonight on Dancing With The Stars, tomorrow on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and then Thursday on Ellen -- and yesterday she sat down for an interview with the Today Show's Matt Lauer.

During their chat, Kylie responded to rumors that she'll soon marry French actor Olivier Martinez, tried to explain her elusive chart success in America and instructed Lauer on how he'll have to greet her once she's awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) this summer by the Queen of England.

The U.S. version of X contains an extra mix of "All I See," featuring rapper Mims.

road.jpg SEEING DOUBLE: The pixelated cover of Jesse McCartney's new album Departure, due out May 20, might evoke some "rude" thoughts from Robbie Williams.

Jmccover1Rw

Amydrwhoroad.jpg Amy Winehouse to appear alongside David Tennant on Dr. Who? April Fool's!

road.jpg Following suit with Madonna, U2 have signed a 12-year deal with concert promoting firm Live Nation, though Universal will continue to distribute the Irish band's actual music. Says Bono of Live Nation, who has managed U2's tours for three decades: "We've been dating for over 20 years now. It's about time we tied the knot."

road.jpg U.K. gossip site Digital Spy finds Beyoncé, Limp Bizkit, Sugababes, Steps, Fiona Apple, Blink 182 and Michael Jackson all have one thing in common: they've got the worst album titles of our times.

road.jpg Think you've got what it takes to remix Radiohead? Five separate tracks from their new single "Nude" are up for purchase on iTunes, and buyers are encouraged to create and upload their own GarageBand creation to Radioheadremix.com. Net surfers have to May 1 to vote for their favorite mix on the site.

road.jpg Fall Out Boy's plan to gig on every continent within two weeks falls apart. FOB frontman Pete Wentz: “It’s an utter disappointment… I read [on the MTV Newsroom blog] someone compared it to Geraldo opening Capone's vault, but it's worse than that, because, like, Capone's stuff is in there, you just can't get the light on. There's no spin for it; we got two hours away from Antarctica and we can't go.”

road.jpg POP BLOG WATCH: Miss feeling like a clove-smoking, coffee-drinking teenage girl running rampant in the record store? Hit up Eurovision- and Swede-obsessed Poster Girl.

Accelerateroad.jpg TODAY'S NEW RELEASES:

George Michael's Twenty Five, a two-disc collection of various hits -- including four from Wham! -- and six songs previously unreleased in the U.S. The deluxe edition contains Michael's music videos.

R.E.M.'s 14th album Accelerate, produced by Jacknife Lee.

Moby's Last Night, which finds him returning to his dance roots.

A Town And Two Cities, the debut from British alt rockers Your Vegas. They also have a line of fashion accessories coming to U.S. Bloomingdale's.

Van Morrison's Keep It Simple, his 33rd studio album, and first since 1999.

Attack & Release, from Akron, Ohio blues-rock duo The Black Keys.


Moby Praises 'Superior' Gays, Wants Gay Kids, Blasts Sally Kern

In an interview with The Advocate's Brandon Voss, electronic music artist Moby says he'd "much rather align myself with the gay community than the straight community" and says that he still stands by statements he made some time ago that gays are "superior to straight people."

Moby_2Says Moby: "I also said that if and when I ever have children, I want gay children, which didn’t really endear me to the Christian right wing of America. There are a lot of people in the world who are virulently homophobic or misogynistic or anti-Semitic, and what baffles me is that if you just look at it empirically, gays, women, and Jews are certainly responsible for far fewer violent crimes than straight white guys. They’ve started fewer wars, and they tend to be well educated, fun to hang out with, and they have nice homes, bars, and restaurants."

As far as his own sexuality goes, Moby refuses to label it: "I just like to think of myself as being pretty open-minded. Also, you never know what the future might bring, so I have no idea. It’s a cliché to say this, but in a perfect world, the dichotomous definition of straight and gay would probably carry less weight."

In an entry on his website, Moby also recently blasted Oklahoma State Rep. Sally Kern for her remarks about gay people.

Said Moby: "ok, where to begin...how about this simple question: what did jesus (presumably sally kern's god) say about homosexuality? let's see...nothing? yup, nothing. dear sally kern: jesus never mentioned homosexuality. allow me to put it a different way, perhaps in question form...how many times did jesus mention homosexuality? oh (to be conversational), none? yup none. never. not once. zero. he did mention divorce (saying it was bad), and capitalism (ditto: bad), and judgementalism and intolerance (again: bad), and forgiveness (good). but homosexuality? never mentioned by jesus in the gospels. so why are the religious right in the u.s so utterly obsessed with homosexuality? and how is the homosexual agenda (whatever that might be) destroying the nation? i mean, if evangelicals call themselves christians shouldn't they sort of base their evangelical agenda on the things that christ actually said?

Moby's new studio album, Last Night, arrives on April 1.

Moby [big gay following]
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