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The Killers Hub



04/19/2007


News: Rod Blagojevich, Sushi, Cam Gigandet, Latisse, Daniel O'Donnell

road.jpg Illinois Governor Blagojevich tries to fill Obama's Senate seat: "U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said in a statement this afternoon that the Senate will not seat anyone Gov. Rod Blagojevich chooses to fill Illinois' vacant Senate post, amid word that the governor is set to name former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris. The statement also is signed by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who has repeatedly urged Blagojevich not to name a replacement for the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama."

Cooperroad.jpg Choire Sicha asks Anderson Cooper in the L.A. Times if he has any plans to offer 'opinionated' perspectives like some of his fellow anchors: "I have no plans to, no. I think those people are really good at what they do. Rachel Maddow is an incredible talent -- she's funny, and smart, obviously well researched on subjects. I'm just not interested as a viewer in listening to anchors' opinions. It seems like there's an awful lot of yelling, and this year yelling's been replaced by sarcasm and snark- iness."

road.jpg Many more shots of Prince Harry's fun in the sun.

road.jpg Sushi is ready to drop!

road.jpg Push for domestic partner recognition NY Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell interviews with David Paterson for Clinton Senate seat: " To say Mr. O’Donnell, known for his active support of gay rights issues, including same-sex marriage, was overly optimistic about his chances would be a stretch. He put his odds of getting the seat at about one in 10, or 'about the same as the population of gay people in the world.' But Mr. O’Donnell did offer that he believes the governor has yet to settle on a final choice."

road.jpg Vampire hottie Cam Gigandet shops at Barney's in a kilt.

Meritbadgesroad.jpg Wouldn't it be great if this overachiever turned out to be gay?

road.jpg FDA approves drug that thickens and grows longer eyelashes: "Latisse is a once-daily prescription treatment that is applied to the base of the upper eyelash with a sterile, single-use-per-eye disposable applicator. Once treatment is stopped, eyelashes will gradually return to where they were prior to treatment. Allergan said it estimates global peak sales of Latisse solution could top $500 million a year."

road.jpg Scientists to ignite man-made star.

road.jpg Jude Law shows off his bod in Brazil.

Leviroad.jpg BIRTH: Sarah Palin is a grandmother now.

road.jpg Gay man attacked in nightclub in Preston, UK: "Hairdresser Daniel Jenkinson, 23, who was left covered in blood after the assault, says he is now frightened to go out in the city. His attacker – Neil Bibby, 22, of Bramble Court, Penwortham, Preston – was sentenced to 200 hours' unpaid work, a three-month weekend curfew, and ordered to pay £2,000 compensation by Preston Magistrates after he pleaded guilty to assault."

road.jpg Perverted Catholic criminals.

road.jpg The Killers to record with Paul McCartney? "According to UK tabloid The Sun, the former Beatle watched the band perform at London's Royal Albert Hall last month and then told Brandon Flowers and co that he'd love to record with them. The paper quotes an unnamed 'source close to McCartney' as saying: 'Paul had a great time at the gig. He loves their music and their great attitude. He was as pleased to meet them as they were to meet him but they were gobsmacked when he said he'd love to do something with them music-wise.'"


Music News: A Final Listen To 2008

Finallisten2008

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

Another year, almost over. At the onset each January, the music fan in me looks ahead, anticipating new whatever intriguing new releases may be on the way. Yet for many reasons, politics took the front seat to pretty much everything in 2008.

Listening to and waxing philosophical on pop just kind of felt insignificant at many points over the past 12 months.

That said, this being my last Towleroad music column of the year, I decided to take a look back at just some random music-related points from 2008: Some that maybe didn't get mention here, some that did. Some perhaps unimportant in the grand scheme, but all of which are off the top of my head on this cold mid-December day:

200pxinghostcoloursroad.jpg   Lil Wayne had the best selling album of the year with Tha Carter III, which moved 2.7 copies. The second best-selling was Coldplay's Viva La Vida, which sold 1.9 million. By comparison, the top-selling album of 1998 was the Titanic soundtrack, at 7 million copies.

road.jpg   I was bummed that I missed catching Aussie dance trio Cut Copy live at every turn. Their latest album In Ghost Colors is pretty groovy, and definitely worth checking out (particularly the track "Lights & Music").

road.jpg   I did get to see MGMT live at Austin City Limits—which, as I read in Billboard today, was the fifth top-grossing music festival of the year, with $11.7 million in ticket sales. The band was a bit disappointing live. Chalk it up to the Texas heat? Meanwhile, there are two awesome new Pet Shop Boys mixes of MGMT's current single "Kids" out there—the "PSB Abstrakt Mix" and "PSB Synthpop Mix."

Take_that_the_circusroad.jpg   I'm not sure pop really got more perfect than Chris Brown's "Forever" in 2008.

road.jpg   Albums that will be worth revisiting after December 31: The Ting Tings' We Started Nothing, Robyn's Robyn, Cyndi Lauper's Bring Ya To The Brink and Kylie Minogue's X.

road.jpg   Ones that were perhaps a bit ahead of their time, or underappreciated: Santogold's Santogold, Keane's Perfect Symmetry and The Killers' Day & Age.

road.jpg   One import worth snagging: Take That's The Circus. That said, rumor has it the album is getting a U.S. release in 2009.

road.jpg At $282 in earnings, by year's end Madonna is set to see her Sticky & Sweet tour become the top-grossing jaunt ever for both a female and solo artist.

road.jpg   It was jarring to see Britney Spears on the cover of Rolling Stone in February for a story titled "Inside An American Tragedy," then nine months later with "Yes She Can: Britney Returns!"  But return she did, scoring her first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since her 1998 debut single. She also landed her first two back-to-back Top 10 singles ("Womanizer" and "Circus") last week.

Britneyspearsrollingstoneroad.jpg   It didn't seem possible for any artist to make an equally-impactful version of "Run" as Snow Patrol's 2004 original, but Leona Lewis somehow came close. Her cover has been the #1 U.K. single for two weeks now, and was just added to U.S. iTunes today.

road.jpg    In the spring we all pondered whether Katy Perry was offensive with her songs "Ur So Gay" and "I Kissed A Girl." Who knew she had a decent jam like "Hot N Cold" up her sleeve, to boot?

road.jpg Kevin Cogill cooperated with authorities and pleaded guilty to leaking tracks from Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy online over the summer, ahead of the album's November release. He could face a year in prison.

road.jpg   Whoever can count the amount of times Andy Towle mentioned Lady GaGa gets a gold star.

road.jpg   Following in the tradition of Sugababes and Girls Aloud, the Saturdays are the next in the line of great British girl groups who may never get proper exposure this side of the pond.

road.jpg   David Archuleta sure is merry, lively and spirited!

road.jpg   Finally, if ever there was a starlet deserving of claiming she sufffers from the grand Hollywood malady of "exhaustion," it just might be Rihanna.

road.jpg A FEW CLIPS FOR THE WEEK:

ELLEN DEGENERES AND BRITNEY SPEARS: Christmas caroling in L.A.

SARA BAREILLES AND INGRID MICHAELSON: "Winter Song," from the compilation Hotel Cafe Presents Winter Songs.

GIRLS ALOUD: New single "The Loving Kind," co-written by Pet Shop Boys and Xenomania, and officially out in the U.K. next month.

LILY ALLEN: "The Fear," new single (on iTunes now) from her upcoming second album It's Not Me, It's You.


Joseph_better_you_than_meroad.jpg THIS WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

Fall Out Boy's fifth album Folie à Deux, produced by Neal Avron and Pharrell Williams.

The Killers' third annual Product Red AIDS charity single "Joseph, Better You Than Me," also featuring Elton John and the Pet Shop Boys' Neil Tennant on vocals.

Keyshia Cole's third album A Different Me.

Holiday songs by Lady GaGa ("Christmas Tree"), Slim ("This Christmas") and Lady Antebellum ("Baby, It's Cold Outside").

New singles from Leona Lewis ("Run"), Bruce Springsteen ("The Wrestler") and R. Kelly ("I Believe").


Music News: So What Do You Think Of Britney Spears' Circus?

Britney_2

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

There are no doubt some Britney Spears fans amongst the readers of Towleroad, so it's time to turn it over to you guys. What do you think of Circus?

200pxcircus_albumHer sixth studio album, Circus is out today, one month shy of the 10-year anniversary of her debut ...Baby One More Time's release date. Britney was in Europe last week promoting the album by performing current single "Womanizer" on television shows such as France's Star Academy and U.K. talent competition The X Factor.

The video for her Dr. Luke/Benny Blanco-produced new single "Circus" premieres this Friday on Entertainment Tonight. It was directed by Francis Lawrence, who previously did Spears' "I'm A Slave 4 U" clip.

Circus also sees Britney reunited with Swedish hitmaker Max Martin—albeit on one song, "If U Seek Amy"—who crafted her classic singles "...Baby One More Time," "(You Drive Me) Crazy" and "Oops!...I Did It Again."

STANDOUT: For casual listeners, the main cut worth checking out is the dreamy dance jam "Unusual You." It was produced by Bloodshy & Avant, the duo behind Britney's award-winning hits "Piece Of Me" and "Toxic." How this wasn't the second (or first) single is anyone's guess.

Finally, happy birthday, Britney.

road.jpg A FEW CLIPS FOR THE WEEK:

BRITNEY SPEARS: Doing new single "Circus" today on Good Morning America.

THE KILLERS: "Losing Touch," the opening track off new album Day & Age, live on FUSE.

MGMT: Performing "Kids" on French television show Le Grand Journal De Canal+ on Thanksgiving Day.

"KIDS," A CAPPELLA: As done by Northfield, Minnesota's Carleton Singing Knights of Carleton College.


road.jpg TODAY'S NEW RELEASES:

IstacNew singles from Mariah Carey ("Right To Dream"), Franz Ferdinand ("Ulysses") and Lionel Richie ("Good Morning").

Sia's "Buttons" EP, featuring remixes by CSS and Filterheadz.

The Decemberists' Always The Bridesmaid, Volume 3 EP.

Akon's third album Freedom.

The holiday collection I'll Stay 'Til After Christmas, featuring Sally Shapiro's haunting "Piano Mix" of "Anorak Christmas."

The Cadillac Records motion picture soundtrack, with songs by Beyonce, Solange, Mos Def, Mary Mary, Nas and Buddy Guy.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #389

MIRIAM MAKEBA: R.I.P.

THE KILLERS: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. P.S. Brandon Flowers is a Mormon who has expressed support of gay rights. Unclear are his specific views about marriage.

F YOU: Joe Scarborough dropped the F bomb this morning on MSNBC.

WILL.I.AM: His new video "It's a New Day".

Check out our previous guides to the Tube here.


Music News: Keane, Coldplay, Pete Wentz, Pet Shop Boys, Janet Jackson, The Killers

Keane1

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

Perfect_symmetryTwo new music videos popped up over the past week—one from a band often accused of being a Coldplay knockoff, and one from Coldplay themselves.

Keane's "Spiralling" is the first offering off their third album Perfect Symmetry, out October 13. Like The Killers' upcoming Day & Age, Perfect Symmetry features some production by Stuart Price. The album's artwork was created by Korean artist Osang Gwon by using photos of life-sized sculptures of the band.

Meanwhile, the video for Coldplay's third single off Viva La Vida, "Lost!", is a bit of a snooze. A four-track digital EP for the song will be released in November.

Below are clips for "Spiralling" and "Lost!":

Jjroad.jpg   Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz attended a No On Prop 8 fundraiser in Hollywood on Sunday. Prop 8 is the state ballot measure that seeks to reinstate the gay marriage ban in California. Both Brad Pitt and Steven Spielberg have each donated $100,000 to organizations aimed at defeating Prop 8. The sum Wentz put toward the cause has yet to be disclosed.

road.jpg   Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel are to perform at an October 16 benefit for Barack Obama at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.

road.jpg   Janet Jackson has canceled two more shows this week—in Boston and Philadelphia—after initially falling ill when her Rockwitchu Tour rolled into Montreal. Perhaps this might explain her sudden mystery illness.

road.jpg   Barack Obama on hip hop: "I'm a little older than hip-hop culture. I was there at the beginning, but I was already getting older. What I've appreciated, watching this hip-hop generation, is to see how entrepreneurial they've been. In the past, musicians often (at) times were commodities. They were just shuffled around. Obviously, they did well, but they didn't have the vision to say, 'I'm going to build a business. I'm going to build my own studio. I'm going to create my own production operations.'"

road.jpg   And here you were worried that Paris Hilton would never record music again...

road.jpg   Clay Aiken prompts CNN to ponder what the big deal is with gay celebrities.

road.jpg   Pet Shop Boys laid down orchestra parts for their upcoming Xenomania-produced album last week. UK production house Xenomania have worked with Cher, Texas, Sugababes and Girls Aloud. Neil Tennant notes on the duo's official site, "There are only two tracks on the album featuring an orchestra. Generally it's more electronic-sounding that the last album."

road.jpg   Simply Red will release a greatest hits and tour the UK before splitting.

Thekillershumanroad.jpg   THE WEEK'S NEW RELEASES:

New singles from The Killers ("Human"), Christina Aguilera ("Keeps Gettin' Better"), David Cook ("Light On"), Ciara ("Go Girl"), Nickelback ("Gotta Be Somebody") and the High School Musical 3 cast ("A Night To Remember").

Jennifer Hudson's self-titled debut album, featuring collaborations with Fantasia, Ne-Yo, Timbaland and Ludacris.

Robin Thicke's third set, Something Else, featuring production by himself, the Neptunes and Pro Jay.

Way To Normal from Ben Folds.

Ani Difranco's Red Letter Year.

T.I.'s Paper Trail, which contains his hit single "Whatever You Like," plus the Rihanna duet "Live Your Life," which has hit #1 on iTunes after only one day of availability.


Music News: Brandon Flowers...Mr. Right-Side?

Brandonflowers

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

Thekillers_2Given that Andy's in Denver covering the Democratic National Convention, this seemed like the right week to take a bit of a political turn with the music column. But don't worry—I ain't about to start preaching.

Instead, I wanted to focus on part of an interview British rock journal NME ran last week with Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers. It's an article that likely won't get much press on this side of the pond. But it's one that's bound to raise an eyebrow or two.

First off, I like The Killers. Over the past year, I've mentioned them numerous times in my Towleroad music column, most recently talking about their upcoming third album—due out in November—which features Madonna collaborator Stuart Price on knob-twiddling duties.

It was four-and-a-half years ago when I first caught the Las Vegas-based band open for Morrissey here in L.A. at the Wiltern. It was just before Hot Fuss came out, and that being the year of the tenth anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, on some small level I felt like I was hopping on an up-and-coming band's wave before it crested and crashed, the way I never got to with Nirvana.

Between L.A., Long Beach, Cleveland and Austin, I caught The Killers live half a dozen times in the years following that first show. When I started Chart Rigger in 2005, a large number of that first year's posts were  devoted to a bit of fanboy crushing on Brandon Flowers.

Killersspreadl190808That said, my music blogger pal Paul in the U.K. mailed me the latest copy of NME, on which Flowers adorns the cover, last week. When it arrived, I tore open the package, laid back on my bed and began reading.

When I finished, I couldn't help wondering about what we truly expect of our idols and our icons. We read magazines, watch their movies, listen to their music, buy their books—all in an effort to get some inside glimpse into what they're really like, how they really feel and think.

But are we pleased when we hear Madonna comparing John McCain to Hitler? Did we really need to read Chris Ciccone reminiscing about toweling off his sister's naked body? Should the Dixie Chicks just  shut up and sing?

And does it really matter that eyeliner-happy, mischeviously ambigious devout Mormon Brandon Flowers might lean a little to "the middle"? Who knows—maybe more of us lean toward the middle than we care to admit.

Anyway, after the jump is an excerpt from James McMahon's interview with Flowers in the August 23, 2008 issue of NME.

Continue reading "Music News: Brandon Flowers...Mr. Right-Side?" »


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