Sam Sparro Hub

Music News: Cyndi Lauper, Hercules And Love Affair, Smashing Pumpkins, Ne-Yo, CSS, Gorillaz

Photo taken at Splash NYC, courtesy "Workit" at the Cyndi Lauper Forum.

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

Cyndi Lauper shot the video for her next single, "Into The Nightlife," at New York's Splash nightclub on Tuesday last week, and there was an open call for extras. Did anyone make it?

"Into The Nightlife" is one of the tracks on Cyndi's new album Bring Ya To The Brink which she flew to Sweden to work on, this one being with the Murlyn production team's Peer Åström (who also co-wrote and co-produced Brink's "Echo"). While in Sweden, Lauper also worked with Andreas Kleerup (on "Lay Me Down"), who crafted Robyn's international hit "With Every Heartbeat," and Axwell ("Rain On Me").

The singer talked to Newsday about travelling abroad last year to work with the various co-writers and producers: "I wanted to go and experience life there. It really helped me as a writer. It's the first time I've taken a sabbatical to write, taking a sabbatical from being a mom and a wife, from this and that. It was just me, living a different life, having a moment for myself. It was extraordinary to me."

Other collaborators on the record include Basement Jaxx, The Scumfrog, Dragonette and U.S. songwriter, DJ and remixer, Richard Morel. Given the amount of cooks in the kitchen, if you ask me, Brink Ya To The Brink is a very mixed bag that actually works, give or take maybe two tracks. Personally, I keep hitting repeat on "Rain On Me"; you'd half expect to hear it chirping atop some high drama scene with Carrie in Sex And The City were it sill on. Oh well. There's always Grey's Anatomy.

In the meantime, Cyndi Lauper and Co. kick off the True Colors Tour this week. Here's a special message she taped for Towleroad readers about the concerts:

Smashingpumpkinsroad.jpg This week's free iTunes single of the week is "Blind" by Hercules And Love Affair, featuring Antony Hegarty of Antony And The Johnsons on vocals. Hercules And Love Affair is basically New York-based DJ Andy Butler's project, which features a rotating line-up of singers. "Blind" cracked the Top 40 in the U.K. earlier this year, and, curiously, Wikipedia notes that Butler "began his musical career at 15, DJing in a Denver leather bar run by a hostess called Chocolate Thunder Pussy." The act is signed to LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy's DFA Records.

road.jpg Billy Corgan to celebrate the Smashing Pumpkins' (pictured left) 20th anniversary this fall with a handful of U.S. gigs and a collection of the band's early, unreleased recordings: "We're hoping to put out some early demos at the end of this year to start a rolling boxed set. There's an audience out there that wants to hear the fourth show we ever did with the song we only did that one time. Maybe it's only 500 people, but maybe you find a way."

road.jpg Ne-Yo on writing for Lindsay Lohan's upcoming album: "We gave her a quality record and she did a ridiculously fabulous job."

road.jpg Cansei de Ser Sexy, aka CSS, have added several U.S. dates to their summer tour. The Brazilian five-piece grew in popularity stateside last year after their song "Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex" was used in ads for Apple's iPod Touch.

road.jpg The Sun claims that Sam Sparro says the following about Madonna in an interview for the June issue of U.K. gay mag, Attitude: "Madonna is wretched at the moment -- absolutely vulgar. Put it away! You're not young and sexy anymore. She went thoughtful and mature for a while, and now she's chucked it away in some desperate attempt at being hot again. It's just a bit vile." Then again, this is The Sun we're talking about...

road.jpg American Idol winner David Cook dating former contestant Kimberly Caldwell?

road.jpg Blogger Brad at MuuMuse waxes on why M83 stand out in the sea of New Wave revivalists.

Despite previously stating that their act won't be doing any new music, singer Damn Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, better known as cartoon band Gorillaz, have written theme music for the BBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics: "The idea is you tell the story of Journey to the West in a two-minute sequence. Their treatment will kick-start our coverage in a different, energetic way."

517pwhmz4cl_sl500_aa240_road.jpg THIS WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

Usher's fifth album, Here I Stand, featuring guest vocals from Beyonce and Jay-Z.

Lay It Down, a new studio album from Al Green, on which he worked with The Roots' Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson.

Singles from the Pussycat Dolls ("When I Grow Up") and Timbaland protege Keri Hilson ("Energy").

The Sex And The City motion picture soundtrack, featuring Fergie, Jennifer Hudson, Nina Simone, Kaskade and Morningwood.

Songs In A&E, from English rockers Spiritualized. It's the band's first album since 2003, as frontman Jason Pierce fell seriously ill with a respiratory disease in 2005.

Sam Sparro On Being Gay: 'This is Me, I'm Happy with Myself'


Freshly-minted UK music sensation Sam Sparro talks to the Guardian today about being out and proud.

SparroSays Sparro: "I've always thought, 'This is me, I'm happy with myself,' and so that's what I'm here to project. So that gay teenagers don't have to get the shit kicked out of them in school and think that they're a horrible person. It's easier to be an 'out' pop star today. Morrissey never came out, and Neil Tennant left it very, very late, whereas Jake Shears was open from the start."

On coming out to his parents: "I thought it was going to be the worst thing in the world and they were never going to talk to me again. I really worried that they were going to disown me. But I should have trusted them a bit more and known that they're better than that. I'm really close to both of my parents, and they're really supportive and they love my boyfriend. I've been with him for two years."

Sparro also looks back on what he describes as a miserable adolescence, documented via tattoos and weird body piercings, as a good thing: "I think all that time being unhappy was a good thing because I learned to rely on myself. I think to love yourself is really important because if you can't love yourself you can't love anybody else."

Watch Sam Sparro's video for his single "Black and Gold", AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Sam Sparro On Being Gay: 'This is Me, I'm Happy with Myself'" »

Music News: Sam Sparro Is Not Related To Chaka Khan, Plus Fleetwood Mac, Sheryl Crow, Danity Kane, Madonna, Marilyn Manson


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

This week saw Australian-born, Los Angeles-based Sam Sparro crack the U.K. Top 40 with his electro number, "Black And Gold." On his MySpace, Sam describes his music as sounding like "ice melting and ass smacking." You can be the judge of that -- below is the vid for "Black And Gold," which, hmmmm, gave this viewer a bit of a opportunistic flashback.

SsSparro, signed to Universal, is currently in England doing promotion for "Black And Gold" and his forthcoming self-titled album -- including tour dates with retro chanteuse, Adele. Interestingly, there seem to be a number of reports linking Sam to Chaka Khan, of all people.

The 24-year-old singer comically notes this on blog: "I had an interview a few weeks ago where someone had heard that Chaka Khan was my godmother! Now it has been reported that Chaka Kahn [sic] 'kick-started' my career. Thanks Chaka - I'm sure that's news to us both. I've actually only ever met her twice...when I was 12 years old. A friend of my family's was her musical director and married to her sister. Someone had suggested to her that she might record a particular gospel track on her on next record and I was the only one in the room who knew all the words - so I busted out singing it with piano accompaniment. She said 'Damn! That white boy can sing!' That was pretty much it. I wonder what other 'creative writing' will crop up in the future????"

Oh, Sam. I feel for you. There's also a behind-the-scenes clip of his photo shoot with U.K. gay mag Attitude on his site.

road.jpg Fleetwood Mac to return next year with new material and Sheryl Crow in tow? Says Lindsey Buckingham: "I think we were all a little surprised (Crow) was announcing that to the world with such certainty. We have talked about the possibility of bringing another woman into the scene to kind of give Stevie a sort of foil and shake it up a little bit. (Crow) was certainly a name that has come up. We'll have to see." Buckingham released Live At The Bass Performance Hall, a new concert DVD, yesterday.

Mmroad.jpg Michael Musto describes one DJ and Madonna fan's dislike of her new single and album cover, pointing out that the indifferent singer will no doubt be laughing "all the way to the nearest Barclays Bank (where she can pick up her accent again, if not her weirdly absent husband)."

road.jpg Marilyn Manson's (pictured right) former bandmate Madonna Wayne Gacy suing for misuse of $20 million of the band's money: "Unauthorized purchases Gacy claims Manson made with group funds include the full skeleton of a four-year-old Chinese girl, various pieces of Nazi propaganda and a $150,000 engagement ring (money not so well spent, in retrospect) for ex-wife Dita Von Teese. He also claims in court papers that Manson paid for his entire wedding to Von Teese with the group's money as well as financed a drug habit."

road.jpg Diddy's gyrating, Making The Band-concocted girl group Danity Kane score the week's #1 album on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart. Welcome To The Dollhouse posts the second-biggest sales week of the year, behind Jack Johnson's Sleep Through The Static.

road.jpg The New York Times offers a dissection of Britney's TV comeback.

road.jpg MTV revisits John Norris' 2004 interview with John McCain, where the Arizona senator was asked if he'd consider another run for the White House: "I think it's very unlikely. ... We had a kind of magical moment [in 2000]. A lot of things came together that I think would be very difficult to do again. And one thing I would hate to be is somebody who goes back in and would lose. ... It's a long time away, but I doubt it. [Smiling.] I'm not gettin' any younger!"

road.jpg Pop Trash Addicts is just "your typical, Gen Y internet user" with a penchant for washed-up divas and La Toya Jackson.

4_minutesroad.jpg THE WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

Battle of the legendary super talents: new singles from Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake ("4 Minutes"), Mariah Carey ("Touch My Body") and Heidi Montag ("No More").

Funplex, the first album of new material from the B-52's in 16 years.

Morrissey's latest Greatest Hits, compiled mostly of material from his past two albums and a minor smattering of his classics. Contains new songs "That's How People Grow Up" and "All You Need Is Me."

Temposhark's debut, The Invisible Line. Previously the British electronic duo had provided remixes for M.I.A., Kate Havnevik and Hellogoodbye.

Counting Crows' half rock, half country concept record Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings.

The Raconteurs' Consolers Of The Lonely, which, as mentioned last week, was literally completed at the beginning of the month.

Pretty. Odd., the sophomore set from Vegas emo act Panic At The Disco.


Towleroad - Blogged