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Music News: Lady GaGa—An Opening Act No More, Plus M83, Radiohead, Pet Shop Boys


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

Ladygg_2Last year proved to be a long haul for Lady GaGa—one that's just now beginning to pay off. Her major label debut single, "Just Dance," was released in April, with the LP The Fame following in October.

After touring as opening act for the reunited New Kids On The Block in the fall, NYC-born Lady GaGa (real name: Joanne Stefani Germanotta) found herself in the warm-up slot once again this month, in Europe with the Pussycat Dolls.

But a funny thing happened along the way; the Lady's ship began to come in. "Just Dance" eventually topped both the Canadian and Australian charts. In Decemeber, the single—which also features Colby Adonis on guest vocals—found itself nominated for a Grammy in the Best Dance Recording category.

Finally, last week, "Just Dance" topped the Billboard Hot 100 after initially debuting on the chart 22 weeks ago. Billboard noted that it was the longest trek to #1 since November 2000, when Creed's "With Arms Wide Open" landed at the top after 27 weeks.

GaGa barely had time to celebrate this victory when, on Sunday, she also topped the U.K. singles chart.

Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that it's been announced that after wrapping her opening gig with the Pussycat Dolls in February, Lady GaGa will return to the States for her first headling tour, "The Fame Ball."

The jaunt kicks off March 12 at San Diego's House Of Blues, and continues through April, where the show ends at Atlanta's Centerstage.

Other venues the 22-date "Fame Ball" will hit along the way include L.A.'s Avalon (March 13), San Francisco's Mezzanine (March 14), Chicago's House Of Blues (March 24) and New York's Webster Hall (March 31). Nab more info on Lady GaGa's tour at her official website.

Ok_computerroad.jpg Something to celebrate or get up in arms over? After parting ways with EMI/Capitol two years ago, Radiohead's first three studio albums, Pablo Honey (1993), The Bends (1995) and OK Computer (1997) will be released on March 24 by the label in expanded “Collectors Edition” and limited edition “Special Collectors Edition” packages. The label notes that each “Collectors Edition” includes the original album plus a second CD of rarities, including demos, sessions and live recordings. As well, each “Special Collectors Edition,” in deluxe, lift-top box packaging, includes both audio discs and adds a DVD with a variety of promotional music videos, TV performances and filmed concert performances, as well as a series of postcards.

M83_2road.jpg Out the same week from EMI—in the U.K. at least—is the Pet Shop Boys' ninth studio album, Yes. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe worked with revered British production team Xenomania for the new set, which will be preceded by the lead single "Love, Etc." Johnny Marr, formerly of The Smiths and now of The Cribs, laid down guitar work for the album. Marr previously worked on the Boys' albums Behavior (1990) and Release (2002), and collaborated with Neil and Chris in the all-star band Electronic.

PopJustice was lucky enough to snag an early review copy of Yes. Check out the site's comical review!

Meanwhile, on February 18, the Pet Shop Boys will be honored for Outstanding Contribution To Music at this year's Brit Awards. Tennant told the BBC they'll be offering up "a very special performance" at the event.

road.jpg "Shoegazer" act M83 will be opening for The Killers this month and in February. Once a duo, M83 now soley consists of Anthony Gonzalez (pictured right), of Antibes, France.

M83's haunting, synth-heavy track "Kim & Jessie" landed on Rolling Stone's "100 Best Singles Of 2008" last month. Gonzalez will perform the song on Late Night With Conan O'Brien on January 27, to support M83's current album Saturdays=Youth.

Gonzalez will also do a show at New York City's Irving Plaza on January 24, the night before M83's opening gig for The Killers at Madison Square Garden.

Catch the video for "Kim & Jessie" below:

M83's label, Mute, is currently extending open call for fans to submit their best video interpretations of the act's new single "We Own The Sky." Entries must be submitted here on YouTube by January 20th.

Music News: Nas Protests Fox News, Plus Fleetwood Mac, Miley Cyrus, Lady GaGa, Pink


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

Calling Fox News a "propaganda machine," rapper Nas stood outside the Manhattan offices of the network yesterday and held a protest that was organized by against what is believed to be a racist smear campaign against the Barack Obama campaign.

You can watch an MTV News report in the video below, but here is the gist of Nas' speech: "We already knew that Fox is not a news network; they are a propaganda machine. But their racist attacks have gone way too far. Calling Michelle Obama 'Barack's baby mama'—tell me, is that acceptable? Is that racist? Bill O'Reilly saying a 'lynching party' for Michelle Obama might be legit if she has the wrong political opinions. Is that acceptable? Is that flat-out racist?

"Is this hate-mongering and fear-mongering at its worst? ... Fox's pattern of race-baiting and fear-mongering regularly focuses on black leaders, black institutions and ordinary black people. Like when they used the solemn occasion of Coretta Scott King's funeral to call black leaders racist — that's not acceptable. It's offensive to black Americans, and it's offensive to all Americans."

Following the protest, Fox issued the following, somehwhat defiant, statement: "Fox News believes in all protesters exercising their right to free speech, including Nas, who has an album to promote."

Pinkroad.jpg Looks like there are still "7 things" people love about Miley Cyrus, despite all the recent scandals the 15-year-old has endured. Billboard notes that while Nas has the #1 album this week, Cyrus has a slight lead with Breakout over Sugarland's latest to grab the top position on next week's chart after first day sales of 110,000.

road.jpg Jive announced yesterday that Pink's fifth album (not yet titled) will be released October 28, and will be preceded by the single "So What," which will be available digitally mid-August. "So What" was written by Pink and produced by Max Martin," who also twiddled the knobs on her hits "U + Ur Hand" and "Who Knew."

road.jpg Does Amy Winehouse's dad prefer the troubled singer's waxwork to the real thing? "We're going to take this Amy home with us and send the real one back," he said, possibly joking. "This one does what she's told—and she doesn't move." He then added: "She's put on a lot of weight. She's eating and concentrating on her new album, so she's doing pretty well."

road.jpg Fleetwood Mac to tour in 2009, sans Christine McVie (and Sheryl Crow).

road.jpg New laws in Russia are set to ban emo.

road.jpg Saint Etienne will release a new version of "Burnt Out Car" as a single in September, as well as three different versions of London Conversations: The Best Of Saint Etienne—one of which will be "a 3 disc set in a beautiful book cover with a dvd of all our promo vids."

road.jpg You may recall Lady GaGa's performance of "Just Dance" at the Miss Universe competition from two weeks back. She also wrote the New Edition duet that will appear on the upcoming New Kids On The Block album: “I wrote a song on the album and I’m a featured singer on a song called 'Big Boy, Big Girl.' The album will surprise people. It’s completely futuristic – new, now and contemporary. There is nothing jaded or old about it. It’s them doing 2008.”

Sugarlandroad.jpg THE WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

The Deluxe Fan Edition of country duo Sugarland's third album, Love On The Inside, featuring a cover of Dream Academy's '80s hit, "Life In A Northern Town." Billboard reports that after first-day sales of over 100,000 copies, Love On The Inside is neck-and-neck with Miley Cyrus' Breakout to debut at #1 next week.

Futurism, a DJ set from Danny Tenaglia.

Donkey, the second album from Brazilian act Cansei De Ser Sexy (also known as CSS).

Partie Traumatic, the debut from Black Kids, one of Rolling Stone's "one's to watch in 2008."

"So Much Better," a single from MTV's Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search For Elle Woods winner Bailey Hanks.

Music News: Sarah Cracknell And The Feeling Banking On Hits In '08, Plus Radiohead, Juno, Apple, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey


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.

While everyone's currently bedazzled by Radiohead's In Rainbows and the new Janet Jackson video, here are a couple alternatives you might have missed when their clips popped up over the busy holidays.

Mark Brown featuring Sarah Cracknell - "The Journey Continues": Built around a piece of classical music composed by Elena Kats Chernin that's currently being used in commercials by U.K. insurance firm Lloyd's, DJ and dance label head Mark Brown wisely chose Saint Etienne frontwoman Sarah Cracknell to sing over the haunting track. It's already become a radio hit abroad, ahead of its February 4 single release. We stateside folk can download "The Journey Continues" from 7 Digital. Incidentally, The Sun reports that the video is made up of 30,000 still photographs. Cracknell herself makes a Hitchcockian, blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance during the second verse.

The Feeling - "I Thought It Was Over": Last month I posted a fan-made YouTube clip of the first single off The Feeling's upcoming sophomore album Join With Us, but here now is the official video. Openly-gay lead singer Dan Gillespie Sells has some fun with tongue-in-cheek wordplay during the chorus. While Interscope put out the band's debut album here in the States last year, there's no word yet on a domestic release for Join With Us yet. The album is out in the U.K. February 18, a week after "I Thought It Was Over" is made available digitally and in stores.

road.jpg Billboard reports today that Radiohead's In Rainbows has debuted atop the album chart after it was finally made available in retail outlets and on iTunes. The publication also points out that In Rainbows only sold 122,000 copies compared to the 300,000 first-week copies 2003's Hail To The Thief moved, though the new album has been selling untracked by SoundScan for two months already at

Mariah_4road.jpg Meanwhile, the Juno soundtrack, which has been dominating the iTunes download chart for a couple weeks, makes a somewhat official debut on the Billboard tally. Though it was only available digitally until yesterday, several retailers violated the physical CD's street date and put it out last week. The soundtrack enters the official Top 200 Albums chart at #8.

road.jpg Apple drops iTunes prices in the U.K. to avoid an expensive antitrust conflict.

road.jpg Mariah Carey to People on the reported J. Lo "pig" comment: "This is just some internet gossip and it's pathetic that people actually entertain the thought that this could be real. This is another sad example of two strong women being pitted against each other." She'll probably save the real zingers for this spring, when her new album is expected to drop alongside Madonna's.

road.jpg Former American Idols Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks have been let go from J Records, making Hicks the first winner not to make a second album while signed to a major label.

road.jpg The YouTube "teaser" clip for next month's 25th Anniversary Edition of Michael Jackson's Thriller contains lots of fluffy commentary by Mary J. Blige, Wyclef Jean and Pharrell Williams, as well as some interesting tidbits from Quincy Jones.


Kate_nashIf you love Lily Allen, then Kate Nash's Made Of Bricks will be right up your alley. The 19-year-old Irish singer and her annunciated accent finally wash onto American shores this week, after having a major U.K. smash last year with "Foundations."

Sia's third studio release, Some People Have Real Problems, via Starbucks' Hear Music label. The album contains "Day Too Soon," which was initially put out in EP form last fall.

"The Silence Between Us," a new single from former Hüsker Dü and Sugar frontman Bob Mould.

The World's Top DJs compilation from dance label Ultra. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the retro-rave-y "I Found U" by Axwell.


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