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04/19/2007


Music News: The Eagles Leave Britney In The Dust, Plus Ex-Boyfriends, Darren Hayes, Sheryl Crow, Prince, Justice, Peaches

GuestbloggerPlease welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning weekly music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.

Britney_3In the 11th hour (i.e., today), Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan came to an agreement to revise the music publication's chart rules to allow albums sold exclusively at only one retailer to be eligible for entry on Billboard's charts. This spelled a certain doom for Britney Spears' #1 debut. Although Blackout sold about 290,000 copies -- far lower than the 350,000 projection made by Billboard last week -- she was still expected to capture the top position on the album chart.

However, at the same time, The Eagles Long Road Out Of Eden became available last Tuesday at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club outlets, and went on to sell 711,000 copies over the course of the week. With the revised chart policy, the classic rock band's first studio album in 28 years easily beats Britney to #1 on this week's Top 200.

Regardless of whether Blackout had debuted on top or not, the writing for Britney seems to be pretty much on the wall. Her last studio record, In The Zone, racked up sales of 609,000 in its first week four years ago -- more than twice the sales of Blackout. Of course one could argue that illegal downloading has only increased since that time, causing music to sell less now more than ever. But take into consideration that Carrie Underwood's Carnival Ride -- the previous chart-topping album -- managed to move 527,000 copies its first week out.

Blackout has received a lot of goodwill and swell reviews in recent days, but perhaps Britney's shenanigans really have finally caught up with her, as America has clearly moved on to other sweethearts.

road.jpg Ex_boyfriendsSan Francisco-based pop punk trio Ex-Boyfriends (pictured left) "are looking for bands that like to take long walks on the beach, cuddle for hours on end, watch Merchant Ivory films and love taking it up the a**."

road.jpg Darren Hayes is back in the U.S. to do several gigs and Miami's White Party, and he may be hitting a Borders near you.

road.jpg Beyoncé to sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," while Carrie Underwood takes on "The Sound Of Music."

road.jpg Turns out only two out of five listeners paid for the one million downloads of Radiohead's In Rainbows, but that's necessarily a bad thing.

road.jpg Sheryl Crow releasing "environmentally conscious" new album in February.

road.jpg Prince threatens his own fans with legal action, but they're ready for their day in court.

road.jpg Peaches, Justice, 2 Live Crew and Jason Bentley to have a Hard New Year's Eve in L.A.

Sia

road.jpg THIS WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

New singles from Kylie Minogue ("2 Hearts"), Spice Girls ("Headlines"), Oasis ("Lord Don't Slow Me Down") and Idina Menzel ("Brave").

Nearly a year after its European release, To All New Arrivals by U.K. dance act Faithless arrives on iTunes.

Jay-Z's album of songs inspired by the the film American Gangster.

Chris Brown's Exclusive, containing the current #1 single on Billboard's Hot 100, "Kiss Kiss."

Sia's Day Too Soon EP.


News: Prince Harry, Radiohead, Oscar Wilde, Robo-Bugs, Paris Hilton

road.jpg Florida Rep. and men's room-frequenter Bob Allen's trial begins on November 5th.

Sydneymanroad.jpg Matt Leveson, a 20-year-old Sydney man who went missing after a night of partying, is feared murdered: "The wildlife welfare officer, a regular at the club, was thought to be going home to Cronulla. His family reported him missing when he failed to show for work the following Tuesday. He had also stopped answering his phone. Two days later Mr Leveson's green 1999 Corolla hatchback was found dumped outside a public toilet at Waratah Park Reserve, Sutherland. Police said evidence suggested he did not park it there. They believe he 'met with foul play'."

road.jpg Funeral held in Ireland for lesbian soldier Ciara Durkin, slain mysteriously in Afghanistan. The investigation into her death is ongoing.

road.jpg Radiohead fans pissed at poor sound quality of In Rainbows digital download: "The sentiment among many fans seems to have gone from admiration for the group's willingness to let the consumer decide how much to pay for the new album to anger over the low quality of the downloads — and dismay over the band's manager's statement that the you-choose-the-price downloads were just a promotional tool for the release of the physical CD."

Wilderoad.jpg POLL: Oscar Wilde is Britain's greatest wit.

road.jpg Paris Hilton heading to Rwanda on charity mission: I'm scared, yeah. I've heard it's really dangerous. I've never been on a trip like this before. I love having everything documented. It shows people what everyday life is like for me, how hard I work. There are a lot of misconceptions about me."

road.jpg Jack Mackenroth, set to compete in the upcoming Project Runway season, denies a rumor that he was booted from the show because of a staph infection: "'He says he was the fifth designer voted off,' says the snitch. 'He is claiming that this was at least part of the reason he was booted.' Mackenroth, who had signed a confidentiality agreement, denied spilling the beans when contacted by Bravo. 'People will say things about me whether they know me or not,' he said in a statement released through Bravo's PR. 'Those were not my words and are fictitious.'"

Robobugroad.jpg Is the government employing high-tech robo-bugs at anti-war rallies?

road.jpg Same-sex couples from Australia seen heading to the U.S. in increasing numbers on the quest for designer babies: "IVF pioneer Dr Jeffrey Steinberg said an increasing number of gay and lesbian Australians were visiting his Californian fertility centre to begin a family and side-step Australian law that prohibits surrogacy. 'We see about two or three gay couples from Australia each month and that's about a five-fold increase over the last two years,' he told The Sunday Mail. Dr Steinberg said between 75 per cent and 80 per cent of same-sex couples who came to him for treatment decided to choose the sex of the baby, using the controversial IVF procedure and embryo screening known as Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis."

Deanjohnsonroad.jpg The NYT looks into the mysterious death of gay club icon Dean Johnson: "After Mr. Johnson did not show up for band rehearsal on Sept. 27, his friends called the Washington police and finally got an answer. Mr. Johnson’s body was in the city morgue; it had been there for a week. As details of his death surfaced, the mystery around it grew. Four days earlier, the police had found the body of another man, Jeremy Conklin, 26, at the same apartment — that of Steven S. Saleh. Mr. Conklin had been pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, said Inspector Rodney Parks of the Washington police. For Dean Johnson, whose heyday in the 1980s mirrored the rise and fall of New York’s bohemian downtown club scene, and who rarely kept the salacious details of his life private, it seemed an inconceivable way to go. The apartment Mr. Johnson died in was at the end of a nondescript hallway on the second floor of a stately building — a distant cry from the East Village nightclubs where he and the naked go-go boys under his command once reigned."

road.jpg Prince Harry cheers on English rugby at the World Cup. Unfortunately, no nipple-licking.

road.jpg Who had sex with Alan Cumming?


Music News: Kylie Minogue's "2 Hearts" Pops Up Early, Plus Michael Jackson, Robyn, Radiohead, Jennifer Lopez

GuestbloggerPlease welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning occasional music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.

Nqawards109_2Well, Kylie Minogue's new video for "2 Hearts" has been popping up and disappearing from video sharing sites over the past few hours, so watch while you can (and let the inevitable Madonna/Goldfrapp comparisons begin). Kudos for the new direction, but after hearing the very similar original version of this song by Kish Mauve, one can't help but wish Kylie had made her version sound a bit more...Kylie.

Not surprisingly, the single itself leaked yesterday after a radio promo copy was uploaded online. Meanwhile, the singer was awarded a Q Idol Award by London-based Q Magazine on Monday. Former guitarist for The Smiths, Johnny Marr, picked up the Lifetime Achievement award, and Paul McCartney was given the Q Icon honor.

"2 Hearts" will have an official digital release November 5 in Europe, with her album X dropping there November 26. A U.S. release is expected sometime in the new year (at which point, no doubt, most folks who want them will have handily gotten their hands on the tracks already).

road.jpg As of today, Radiohead's new album is just a click away.

road.jpg Michael Jackson has written a letter to his fans: "Hopefully, you've all seen the results of my recent photo shoot with L'Uomo Vogue. Soon I will be sharing exciting and surprising news with you from my other efforts."

Robynroad.jpg Look out, MySpace! Rumors are mounting Facebook will be partnering up with Apple soon by finally allowing musicians to create artists pages, and previewing 30-second clips of tracks with an iTunes widget.

road.jpg Robyn (pictured left) gets boxed in for her new video. She'll also see a U.S. release of her latest self-titled album, via Interscope, on December 4.

road.jpg Jennifer Lopez is four months pregnant with twins, according to US Weekly.

road.jpg Employees at a U.K.-based Kwik-Fit have apparently been playing their radios too loud, causing the Performing Rights Society to sue the auto repair shop for almost $400,000 (or £200,000) for copyright infringement and artists royalties.

Ffroad.jpg THIS WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

Brave, the sixth (!) studio album from Jennifer Lopez.

Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Jesus, which isn't being offered on iTunes this week. Makes sense. The Beatles, Kid Rock...

Alt rockers She Wants Revenge's This Is Forever.

Miss Patti's Christmas, a mixture of traditional classics and new yuletide concoctions from Patti LaBelle, plus Josh Groban's holiday set, Noel.

Brother-and-sister duo The Fiery Furnaces' Widow City.

Vanessa Carlton's Heroes & Thieves, and LeAnn Rimes' Family.


Music News: Will.i.am Got It From Daft Punk, Plus Radiohead, Britney Spears, Morrissey, Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue

Daft

GuestbloggerPlease welcome Robbie Daw, who will be penning occasional music posts for us here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own pop music site called Chart Rigger.

Some of hip-hop's more luminary figures have been sampling French house duo Daft Punk in recent years -- Busta Rhyme's "Touch It" contains a sample of the outfit's "Technologic", while more recently Kanye West wrapped "Stronger" around the melody of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", and took it to #1 in several countries. But the buck apparently stops with will.i.am.

The Black Eyed Peas singer's solo album dropped last week, and a new video for a remix of his latest single, "I Got It From My Mama" (below) -- which is basically a mash-up with Daft Punk's 1997 hit "Around The World", and contains a humorous solo by blonde singer Aria -- has began circulating online. Will.i.am apparently didn't get permission before using the hook, and it seems Daft Punk's lawyers are now involved.

Today, Pitchfork Media posted an interview with the duo's Thomas Bangalter, done over email, and noted that questions regarding the will.i.am remix were left unanswered by the robotic Frenchman.

Despite all this, and whatever the outcome, it's still a damn catchy mix.

road.jpg As mentioned here yesterday, Radiohead are offering up their new album In Rainbows, available next week, at whatever price buyers wish to pay. British rock journal NME are asking readers to write in and explain how much they plan to plunk down for the record, and they've already begun posting the wide-ranging answers on their website.

road.jpg While country trio Rascal Flatts look set to have the best-selling album on the charts this week, Britney Spears has maintained the top download on iTunes for the past five days with her single, "Gimme More." Depending on the amount of radio airplay it's receiving, "Gimme More" could be a contender for the #1 position on Billboard's Hot 100. The song is currently at #68 on the chart tallied before the single became commercially available.

Morrisseyroad.jpg Morrissey (pictured right) says he'll release his ninth studio album next year: "The plan is to make a new album after this tour. It's absolutely written and completely ready."

road.jpg An "insider" claims Bono has written a new track to be included on the Spice Girls' Greatest Hits, due out in November: "There's been a bit of unease as to how the album will perform, and if there's still a solid Spice Girls fanbase out there. However, Bono's involvement has lifted the whole camp, and he's delighted to have been asked to add this experience."

road.jpg Kylie Minogue has axed a few scenes from White Diamond, the upcoming documentary on her recovery from breast cancer: "In one scene you can see a glimpse of Kylie’s boobs. She wanted to show other cancer survivors there is nothing to be ashamed of. No scarring is visible because she had clever reconstructive surgery after the partial mastectomy to remove her cancer. But she felt it was too much and was extremely unhappy so it got chopped."

Annieroad.jpg TODAY'S NEW RELEASES: New singles from Seal ("Amazing," produced by Madonna's Confessions On A Dancefloor collaborator Stuart Price), Natasha Bedingfield ("Love Like This," also featuring Sean Kingston) and David Gray ("The World To Me").

Bruce Springsteen's Magic, Annie Lennox's Songs Of Mass Destruction, PJ Harvey's White Chalk and Siouxsie Sioux's solo album, Mantaray.

Young R&B singer J. Holiday's Back Of My Lac'.

A ton of hits: Matchbox Twenty's Exile On Mainstream, Amy Grant's Greatest Hits, The Very Best Of Mick Jagger, Faith Hill's The Hits, Elton John's Elton 60 - Live At Madison Square Garden and Frankie Valli's Romancing The 60s.


Radiohead on In Rainbows: Pay Whatever You Want

Radioheadband

Radiohead, releasing their new album In Rainbows on October 10, have told fans they can pay whatever they want for it.

Radiohead_2The Telegraph reports: "While loyal fans are likely to want to pay the band something, customers could opt to pay as little 45p - the credit card handling fee. The album is also available separately as part of a £40 box-set which includes the album on CD, two vinyl records, a CD with additional songs, photos, artwork and lyrics. It is Radiohead's first album since Hail to the Thief, which was released in 2003 after which the band's contract with EMI/Capitol expired."

Telegraph blogger Shane Richmond notes: "None of the things Radiohead are doing with this is unique. All of them have been developed and used by other artists for quite some time. But this is Radiohead. When one of the world's biggest bands does something like this, it will get noticed and it will start people thinking. Record labels survived for years on the value they added to the process. They made it possible for bands to make records and get them into the stores and then used their marketing weight to get those records played on the radio and featured in magazines. In the process they made enormous profits by overcharging fans and underpaying artists. They no longer add any value to the process. In fact, they act as a barrier between fans and musicians. It's time to move them out of the way and Radiohead have just showed us how."


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