Olivia Newton-John Hub

MUSIC NEWS — HOLIDAY 2010 EDITION: Annie Lennox, Mariah Carey, Shelby Lynne, Wilson Phillips, Olivia Newton-John, Glee, The Superions; plus David Guetta and Rihanna, Natalia Kills, Chrisette Michele, Simian Mobile Disco, Jazmine Sullivan

GuestbloggerMODERN TONIC

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.


'Tis the season when Sugar Plum Fairies — dressed like go-go boys, of course — dance in our heads. And they have some new tunes for all that holiday gyrating. Here's the best of the chestnut-roasting season soundtracks (all available now):

Annielennoxchristmas1011-1Annie Lennox, the big-lunged voice of Eurythmics, offers English madrigals ("God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"), dark ballads ("In the Bleak Midwinter") and a gorgeous addition to the Christmas canon with her own "Universal Child" on A Christmas Cornucopia.

Mariah-carey-xmas-x2 Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas II You is as curvaceous and inviting as her hip-hugging red-velvet Santa suit on the cover. The traditional songs are good, but the originals are the standouts, especially "Oh Santa!" — a finger-snapping, new-fangled classic that swoops in with a Celtic trill that could either be a pennywhistle or Mimi herself. Who can tell?
ShelbyLynne-Xmas-CoverThe soulful country-pop voice of Shelby Lynne adds a sexy sheen and down-home charm to 9 covers and two originals on Merry Christmas, her first holiday record. Those two originals — the country-swinging "Ain't Nothin' Like Christmas" and the down-tempo melancholy of "Xmas" — make us hope it’s not her last. Stream "Ain't Nothin' Like Christmas" in player below.
Wilson-Phillips_XMAS_cvr_5x Responsible for their 10-million-selling debut, producer Glen Ballard returns to the fold for Wilson Phillips' Christmas in Harmony, 13 holiday tunes sun-drenched with California sunshine, including the swinging "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" (stream in player below) and "Warm Lovin' Christmastime." Surf’s up, Santa!
ONJ-Christmas-Collection-co Olivia Newton-John's fourth Christmas release Christmas Collection is a gently grooving, breezy romp through holiday favorites featuring Vince Gill ("Away in a Manger"), Clint Black ("Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!") and the London Symphony Orchestra. And at 62, ON-J's voice is as pure and angelic as ever, a gift that keeps on giving. Stream "Christmas Never Felt Like This Before" in player below.
Jessica-Simpson-Happy-Chris While we've never been ones to get all misty-eyed over the oeuvre of Jessica Simpson, her second holiday release Happy Christmas is a lovely surprise. She duets with the always-reliable Willie Nelson on a bluesy "Merry Christmas, Baby," offers a sweet-natured original, "My Only Wish," and covers John & Yoko’s "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" without making a fool of herself.
Glee The Glee gang gets in on the holiday action with Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album. Which one's getting the most action on the Modern Tonic rotation? "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" featuring k.d. lang and the touching duet "Baby, It's Cold Outside" between Kurt (Chris Colfer) and his supremely talented, adorable friend Blaine (Darren Criss).

DestinationNow, what's a holiday without fruitcake? The Superions — with the B-52's Fred Schneider and instrumentalists Noah Brodie and Dan Marshall — set their sights on Destination… Christmas! It's a holiday hoot featuring "Santa's Disco," the lascivious "Jingle Those Bells" and the delicious synth-pop confection "Fruitcake" (free download in player below).

Puppini Bonus free downloads: two tracks from The Puppini Sisters, "Santa Baby" and a cover of Wham's "Last Christmas" from their new album Christmas With the Puppini Sisters." Also in our player is Little & Ashley's "Winter Night" from the L.A.-based duo's new Winter Night EP

Towleroad November 30, 2010 by moderntonic.com


Road We want to comment on our review of Nicki Minaj's album Pink Friday which ran here last week. Eminem's guest rap on "Roman's Revenge" contains the use of the word "faggot" and some other homophobic lyrics. We regret not pointing this out and taking it into consideration in our review of the album. Regardless of our otherwise positive take, we find it unacceptable that Eminem's rap appears on the album of an artist who had only recently positioned herself as gay-friendly.

Road Susan Boyle gets a frog in her throat.

Crlbu Road David Guetta is re-releasing his smash album One Love as One More Love (out now as an import; US release TBD), with an additional disc of 12 bonus tracks. Included is his collaboration with Rihanna, "Who's That Chick?" (aka the track from the Doritos commercial), also available now as a single. Stream the FMIF Remix in our player above.

Road Listen to a twenty-minute megamix of Daft Punk's Tron soundtrack.

Road Lady Gaga says Born This Way is "f***ing really good" and that it will be "the greatest album of this decade."

Road Yet another Michael Jackson track emerges from the vaults. Ping has debuted the Thrilller-era "Much Too Soon," the closing track from Michael, out December 14. (Go to MJ's page on Ping in iTunes to hear the track).

Natalia Road Frankmusik has remixed Natalia Kills' "Mirrors" (free download in player above). The new video for the track, from Kills' debut album Perfectionist, due in March, will be released December 6. Kills was also in the studio with Frankmusik to work on a track for his new album, due next spring.

Road Bono and The Edge talk about Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, the mega-million dollar musical for which they wrote the score.


The Black Eyed Peas return with The Beginning, not as slamming as the highlights of The E.N.D., but more consistent. Standouts: the feel-good single "Light Up the Night" and Fergie's punk-rock hiccups on "The Situation."

SimianMobileDisco-DelicacieUK dance duo Simian Mobile Disco get techno-licious on Delicacies — a collection of instrumental dance tracks on two discs (one CD with separate tracks; the second a mix). Most delectable: the Krautrock-meets-OMD closer "Ortolan." Free download of the radio edit of "Sweetbread" in our player above.

After topping the charts with her second release Epiphany, R&B singer Chrisette Michele deserves to open her third album Let Freedom Reign with the mid-tempo groove of "I'm a Star" and follow it up with "Number One." If it weren’t for those pesky Black Eyed Peas, she’d probably hit that height again. Stream the Andy Zulla dance mix of "Boys Cry Too" in our player above.

Philly soul sister Jazmine Sullivan throws down on her sophomore release Love Me Back, 11 tough-minded tracks about love and loss produced by Missy Elliott (the neo-soul "Excuse Me"), "Holding You Down (Goin' in Circles)"), Ne-Yo (who also duets on "U Get On My Nerves") and more. Stream single "10 Seconds" in player above.

Beyonce Also out:  Various Artists – Glee: The Music, Volume Four; Beyoncé — I Am… World Tour (CD/DVD); Ron Isley — Mr. I; Fefe Dobson – Joy; Black Swan Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Active Child — "I'm in Your Church at Night"
In a storm of flour, three zaftig bakers create angelic human beings, one of whom is L.A.-based songwriter Pat Grossi aka Active Child. Surreal, beatific and as luminous as Grossi’s unearthly, keening voice.

Cheryl Cole "The Flood"
A windy beachside provides the backdrop for Cheryl Cole's hybrid love tune that begins with a gentle country vibe before slamming home on a sing-along-and-sing-it-out-loud pop chorus. From her second solo album, Messy Little Raindrops.

Sander Kleinenberg feat. Jamie Cullum "Remember When"
Dutch DJ/producer Kleinenberg invites jazz-pop dandy Cullum to get his Timberlake on for this funky Eurodisco jam shot in a brightly lighted subway-cum-disco. From his new disc 5k.

Jamie Woon "Night Air"
London newcomer Woon strolls through a fecund woodland nightscape in this evocative clip for his eerie, dubstep-influenced electro single. His anticipated debut’s due in 2011.

Watch: Sue Sylvester and Olivia Newton John Get 'Physical'


How many of the Gleeks watching this show ever saw the 1981 original, which was certainly one of the camp classics of early music videos? Many of them weren't even born yet.



Continue reading "Watch: Sue Sylvester and Olivia Newton John Get 'Physical'" »

News: AIDS, Amy Winehouse, Olympics, Matt Lucas, Liberia

road.jpg "Elite" HIV wife may hold key to AIDS vaccine: A woman who has never shown symptoms of infection with the AIDS virus may hold the secret to defeating the virus, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. Infected at least 10 years ago by her husband, the woman is able somehow to naturally control the deadly and incurable virus -- even though her husband must take cocktails of strong HIV drugs to control his. She is a so-called 'elite suppressor,' and studies of her immune cells have begun to offer clues to how her body does it, the team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said. 'This is the best evidence to date that elite suppressors can have fully pathogenic virus,' said Dr. Joel Blankson, who led the study."

Spanishteamroad.jpg Spanish Olympic basketball team under fire for 'slant-eye' photo.

road.jpg Amy Winehouse seeking revenge on charts for being dumped by James Bond producers: "I do think they could have waited a bit. If they want a worldwide hit I have them all up here (pointing to her beehive)."

road.jpg Annie Lennox talks AIDS from the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City: "There have been around 25,000 people who have come to take part in this extraordinary event. A conference like this gives tremendous focus and profile on the issue of HIV/AIDS...There are representatives from all walks of life. HIV is a very complex issue, and it effects people in all kinds of different ways. So to be a representative of those people, whether they're gay and lesbian men and women - whether they're transsexuals, or mothers, or children - whoever it happens to be - it's deeply moving just to take a moment to look at who's here. It's like a microcosm of the world, in actual fact."

road.jpg McCain forced to remove attack ad with Wayne's World clip. Doesn't think he's gone negative.

road.jpg Australia Capitol Territory says civil partnerships exceed expectations: "Attorney-General Simon Corbell says 23 gay or lesbian couples have already registered their partnerships."

road.jpg A psychiatrist who Provincetown being re-branded to go after heterosexuals?

road.jpg Clay Aiken leaves the hospital with his boy.

Mcgeeroad.jpg In June I reported that Little Britain creator Matt Lucas and his partner Kevin McGee were seeking a divorce. Well, it looks like they've made up, for the moment.

road.jpg A chat with Olivia Newton-John.

road.jpg The NYT visits Graydon's Carter's Waverly Inn: "The reservations system has miniprofiles on clients: the number of times they have eaten at the restaurant, (Mr. Menicheschi, the publisher, supposedly is near the top of the list with more than 200 meals) whether they complained about the food, whether they yelled at a waiter or ever wrote an unflattering word about Mr. Carter. No, not really on the last one. Has anyone been blacklisted? Mr. Carter won’t say, but Mr. Varda admits that there is one group. 'B-list stars who call the paparazzi from inside the restaurant,' he said. 'They are not invited back.'"

road.jpg Anti-gay professor indicted in Israel: "Hillel Weiss, who helped found his nation's religious peace movement, has been indicted on two charges of inciting violence and intimidation after two very crude outbursts, including one about the abominable gays..."

Chinaroad.jpg The little girl who sang at the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies was a fake. Music designer Chen: "The reason why little Yang was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image, we were thinking about what was best for the nation. The reason was for the national interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings, and expression."

road.jpg Madonna on track to adopt a baby girl from Malawi.

road.jpg Study shows sexual abuse of male soldiers common in Liberia: "More than 40% of female combatants said they had experienced sexual violence, compared with less than 10% in the general population. Surprisingly, 33% of male combatants said they had been similarly abused. 'Mental health policies need to address males as victims of sexual violence,' Lawry says."

road.jpg Ready for Mantyhose?

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #311

MICHELLE OBAMA: Her appearance on The View.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: A sneak peak at the upcoming series Sordid Lives.

EGG: First-ever video of human ovulation, to accompany these shots from last week.

GIVE IT 2 ME: The "making of" of Madonna's latest video.

Check out our previous guides to the Tube here.


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