Friday, October 31, 2014

MADONNA FRIDAY: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! MADONNA'S GHOSTLIEST SONG ' SUPERNATURAL'

There are lots of rare or unreleased Madonna songs out there, but this song is the Halloween-iest of her gems. Supernatural was released on the compilation Red Hot + Dance, an album that raised funds for AIDS research and relief, though on that album it was in remix form. This is the original version that appeared as a B-side to the single Cherish. It was originally recorded during the sessions for True Blue. I love this song. It finds Madonna being visited by a ghost who becomes her lover. It's fun and campy with lyrics that wonder, if Madonna made love to this spirit would she have a "ghost baby". Ha. Oh, Madge. Anyway, for you Halloween listening pleasure, here is Supernatural in it's original form and, as a bonus, a recent remix Supernatural (Guyomes Supaduppa Remix) Happy Madonna Friday!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY: CULTURE CLUB

Ah, the 80s. Our collars were popped, our pants were rolled and family values were abundant. Oh, and Boy George was not gay. HA!! People actually fell for that for a while. Even after he called himself a drag queen while accepting the Best New Artist award at the Grammy in 1984! But I need to go back a bit. Culture Club was born out of London's club scene in the early 1980s. Boy George had sung with Bow Wow Wow for a while and upon leaving the group wanted to form his own. With an Irish transvestite as the lead singer, a black guy on bass, an Anglo-Saxon on guitar and keyboards and a Jewish drummer, naturally they came up with the name Culture Club. It didn't take too long for the band to get attention and they were signed by Virgin Records. Their first album, Kissing To Be Clever ( #14 US,  #5 UK), was a huge, worldwide hit and spawned the hit singles Do You Really Want to Hurt Me (#2 US, #1 UK), Time (Clock of the Heart) (#2 US, #3 UK) and I'll Tumble 4 Ya (#9 US) . Culture Club was the first band to have three top ten hits in the US off of a debut album since The Beatles. Not too shabby. In 1983 the band released the follow up album, Colour By Numbers ( #2 US,  #1 UK), and continued their streak of hits with Church of the Poison Mind (#10 US, #2 UK), their biggest single  Karma Chameleon (#1 US, #1 UK), Victims (#3 UK), Miss Me Blind (#5 US) and It's a Miracle (#4 UK, #13 US). It was around this time that the band started to implode. Boy George was heavy into drugs and his (secret) relationship with drummer John Moss was going south fast. By the time Culture Club released Waking Up with the House On Fire (#26 US, #2 UK) in 1984, they were barely holding it together. The only true hit single on the album was The War Song (#17 US, #2 UK) while The Medal Song (#32 UK) and Mistake No. 3 (#33 US) barely scraped the Top 40. The album was a disappointment only selling 2.7 million copies worldwide. Their 1986 album From Luxury to Heartache (#32 US, #10 UK) was recorded with George in the throes of heroin addiction and was a very difficult process. Producer Arif Mardin had to leave halfway through the process due to prior commitments and George's inability to record tracks. They did manage one hit off of the album with Move Away (#12 US, #7 UK), but From Luxury to Heartache only sold 1 million copies worldwide ultimately and George quickly entered rehab for his drug addiction. The band broke up. The band has reunited a couple of times, even producing another UK hit with I Just Wanna Be Loved (#4 UK) in 1998. George has battled drugs throughout his time in the spotlight, but has also enjoyed some solo success, most recently with his 2013 album This is What I Do (#33 UK). Culture Club is one of the most recognizable, successful bands of the 80s and has left an indelible mark on pop culture musically and visually. Here are some of my personal favorite Culture Club tracks, including their song from the amazing 80s movie Electric Dreams, Love Is Love. Enjoy and bow down to 80s!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

REVIEW: TAYLOR SWIFT - 1989

Taylor Swift has officially gone pop. I mean, come on. Wasn't she always pop? Sure, a country twang snuck in, but the thing that strikes me is that the songwriting on 1989 is the same as her other albums, they are just to a different beat. And that's a good thing!!! 1989 is the year this bitch was born, y'all!! And just barely: December 23, 1989. We are all old! There is definitely some 80s influence on this album, especially with album opener, the excellent and anthemic Welcome to New York, but this is not a retro album. What this album IS is confessional. Taylor always writes about her life and, frankly, that is what makes her music so popular and entertaining. There are juicy songs about relationship troubles like the synth-soaked Out of the Woods; the biting Bad Blood, a song supposedly about her feud with Katy Perry; and even songs about hopeless romanticism like Blank Space. Taylor writes with some pretty heavy weight pop names here: Max Martin (Britney, Pink, Katy Perry), Shellback (Pink, Britney, Usher) , Ryan Tedder (U2, Adele, Beyonce), singer/songwriter Imogen Heap, and Fun's Jack Antonoff. This makes for an album of many influences, but surprising cohesiveness. The possibility for singles is staggering; the pulsing Style is a definite highlight and the gorgeous All You Had To Do Was Stay is a genius title and continuation of Taylor's personal stories of love and heartbreak. This is not just an experiment of some country girl playing in the pop world, this is a genuinely inspired pop record. Of course, first single Shake It Off already hit #1 and she hasn't even had to officially release a second single yet. Interestingly there are a couple of obvious modern influences, like the Lana Del Rey whisper of Wildest Dreams, which finds Swift crooning and scooping her notes so perfectly that I had to check if Lana wrote the song. She didn't. This, again, is not a complaint. The results are quite lovely. There is also influence from another young singer that is a friend of Taylor's, Lorde. I Know Places is VERY Lorde and could easily fit on Heroine, her debut. Of course it would be easy to label Swift a copy cat, but to dream that artists are not inspired or influenced by their contemporaries is ludicrous. Another highlight would have to be the absolutely breathtaking This Love, written solely by Swift. Soft, floating and airy, This Love has GOT to be a single, y'all. The album closes with the Imogen Heap assisted Clean, a song heavily influenced by the singer and it features Heap on backup vocals. It's a dramatic end the first album in a new era for Taylor Swift. 1989 delivers exactly what was promised, a more pop Swift.

Friday, October 24, 2014

TAYLOR SWIFT PERFORMS 'OUT OF THE WOODS' ON JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE

Taylor Swift's new album 1989 comes out Monday. Here is her live performance of the addictive Out of the Woods on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

MADONNA FRIDAY: LA ISLA BONITA

Madonna loves a Latin beat. She's had many songs inspired by latin flovor such as Borderline, Spanish Eyes, Love Makes the World Go Round, Deeper and Deeper, Take a Bow, You'll See, etc etc etc, but her most successful song in that genre, in my opinion, has to be La Isla Bonita. From her 1986 album True Blue, La Isla Bonita was the fifth and final single released on February 27, 1987 reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart and #1 in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria and the Eurochart for three weeks, becoming Madg'es fourth #1 on that chart. It is noted as the first heavily Latin influenced single by Madonna. Clearly one of Madonna's favorite among her back catalog, La Isla Bonita has been performed on almost all of her tours in different arrangements. The song has stood the test of time, feeling as fresh today as it did in 1986, and remains a favorite among Madonna's fans. FUN FACT: La Isla Bonita was previously written as a lament for the mythical Spanish island called San Pedro and was offered to Michael Jackson for his Bad album, but was turned down by Michael. While working with Patrick Leonard on the True Blue album, Madonna accepted it in Jackson's place and re-wrote the song's lyrics. The rest is history. So now, enjoy the "tropical..island breeze" of La Isla Bonita.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

JESSICA LANGE'S FULL PERFORMANCE OF LANA DEL REY COVER ON AMERICAN HORROR STORY

I mean.....GENIUS!!! Last night Jessica Lange, aka Elsa Mars, sang her much hyped Lana Del Rey cover of Gods & Monsters on American Horror Story: Freak Show, and she nailed it!! Lana Del Rey's music fits frighteningly well on this season, so Jessica had to look no further than her lyrics for inspiration. Of course, they left out the most controversial lyric for this broadcast. The second verse normally starts out, "In the land of Gods & Monsters I was an angel looking to get f**ked hard". Demure. I guess even FX can't get away with that. Ha. This season of AHS is kind of awesome so far. Is it weird that I'm attracted to Dandy? I don't think I'm supposed to be. Anyhoozers, enjoy!!

SIA RELEASES POP VERSION OF SONG FROM "ANNIE"

Sia may not be showing her face lately, but bitch's voice is all over the place!! Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Jay-Z are ruining producing Annie for the next generation with an updated and unnecessary remake coming out December 19th starring the Oscar nominated Quvenzhan√© Wallis and Oscar winner (I still can't with that) Jamie Foxx. (It's not negative if I cross out words, right?) Willow Smith was originally going to star a few years ago, but since her voice makes Rihanna sound like a soprano, things didn't work out. Anyway, I don't know if it's just this one song, but one of the musicals highlights, You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile, is getting a pop music version for release, and I have to say it's quite charming. Sia is kind of fantastic, so I guess this shouldn't come as a big surprise. Listen below and watch the not-so-charming video. It's fine, but do we really have to watch Hollywood ruin Annie? C'mon! Not Again-i!! See what I did there?

BETTE MIDLER'S COVER OF THE TLC SONG "WATERFALLS" IS HERE!!

Bette Midler is putting out her album It's The Girls, her salute to girl groups, on November 4th. While most of the songs concentrate on 60s girl groups like The Supremes, The Chiffons and such, there is one surprise: TLC!! Bette does a lovely cover of the groups signature 1995 hit Waterfalls and she Bettes it up real nice!! What a DIVINE surprise. Listen below and preorder It's The Girls now on iTunes. Don't worry, she doesn't do the rap!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

HUMPDAY SEXY SONG: SADE - NO ORDINARY LOVE

Sade releases almost exclusively baby-making music. This girl has helped more women get pregnant than IVF, bitch! Thank Gaga the gays can't reproduce. Sade has had so many sexy hits it was hard to pick just one for you to hump to today, but I have come through, kids. Here is, arguably, Sade's sexiest number, No Ordinary Love. I mean this song is so sexy it was used in Indecent Proposal to give Woody Harrelson a woody so he could try to keep Demi Moore off Robert Redford's rich, old pole. It didn't work, but still, it was a valiant effort. No Ordinary Love was the lead single from Sade's fourth album, 1992's Love Deluxe, and has become one of her signature tunes. It wasn't her biggest hit on the charts, but it has definitely stayed around longer and cemented it's place in the sexy hall of fame. The song also won Sade a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. That's specific. Anyway, grab onto to the closest thing you can hump and get ready for some mermaid realness from the video. Here is Sade's No Ordinary Love. Hump a seashell crab. I don't know. Also, how gorgeous is this woman!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NEW GWEN STEFANI SONG AND VIDEO: BABY DON'T LIE

WHAT? I had no idea this video was coming. Yay!! I love Gwen!! Back with her first solo effort since 2006's Sweet Escape, Gwen serves up some Wizard of Oz, yellow brick road realness in the video for the moody, excellent new single Baby Don't Lie, written by Stefani, Ryan Tedder, Benny Blanco and Noel Zancanella. I really like it and Gwen looks great. Anyway, here it is!!

SNIPPET OF AMERICAN HORROR STORY'S LANA DEL REY COVER LEAKS. AND IT'S.......

Gods & Monsters from Born To Die: The Paradise Edition. Damn!! Why didn't I guess that? It's an obvious choice, even just by the name. As you know, AHS has been doing covers of modern songs inexplicably set in 1950's Florida this season. Because everything else on AHS makes so much sense, right? They've already done David Bowie's Life On Mars and Fiona Apple's Criminal, but now Jessica Lange is tackling Del Rey in a beautifully twisted way. Well, I guess Lana is already beautifully twisted, so it's just a cover. Deal with it. Watch the leaked snippets, apparently from Venezuela, below. American Horror Story: Freak Show is on Wednesday nights at 10 on FX.

MADONNA'S BLOND AMBITION PONYTAILS SELLS BIG AT AUCTION. REALLY BIG!!!

Remember Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour looks? You don't? F**king educate yourself, you ignorant bitch. Too harsh? It was all Jean Paul Gaultier bustiers, head mic, sexy male dancers. Well once piece of that equation, the iconic blond ponytail that sat atop her head for the majority of the tour (she swapped it for tight curls towards the end) just sold at the Profiles in History auction in California for a whopping $20,000. Boom! It was expected to bring in 3,000 to 5,000, but these bitches didn't know who they were dealing with. Okerrrrrr?!! In other news, my old hair is somewhere in a dumpster on 53rd Street and Mariah Carey has started stockpiling weaves.

REVIEW: ANNIE LENNOX - NOSTALGIA. PLUS LIVE PERFORMANCE OF GEORGIA ON MY MIND.

It makes sense that Annie Lennox would nail a song like I Put A Spell On You. After all, isn't the song Lennox is arguably best known for,  the Eurythmics' classic Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), an update of sorts of the Spell? As a matter of fact, there isn't one song on Annie's new album, Nostalgia, which is made up of songs from her youth and most the Great American Songbook, that her voice doesn't float over with ease. This is not exactly a party record, but at 59 and with a storied career trailing in her wake, Lennox has MORE than earned the right to croon her way through 45 minutes of her favorite tunes. You've got them all here: Classics by Hoagy Carmichael, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and many more. Opening the album with an old Victrola sounding recording of Carmichael (I think) singing Memphis In June, Lennox covers the song is lush strings and cooing vocals to set the tone for Nostalgia. Georgia On My Mind is given a treatment -- and don't let this dissuade you from listening -- of a classic Air Supply or Styx soft rocker. I know that sounds weird, but shut up and listen to it. Her soft, controlled Summertime is perhaps the best version of this ubiquitous song I have ever heard from a modern recording artist, and Strange Fruit, co-written and made famous by none other than Billie Holiday, retains every bit of its eerie presence as Lennox mournfully sings about the lynchings of African Americans in the South in the early part of the 20th century. You Belong To Me, The Nearness of You and, well, all of the tracks are beautifully arranged and performed and, even though outside of Annie's usual boathouse, sit perfectly on her golden voice. Nostalgia is a glorious addition to her varied, eclectic catalog and is sure to please any (adult) listener out there. A wonderful new classic from the first lady of Blue Eyed Soul. Enjoy a live performance Georgia On My Mind below.

Monday, October 20, 2014

TAYLOR SWIFT'S TWO PREVIEW SONGS FOR 1989 ARE NAILING IT

Taylor Swift got me with her last album, Red. It was catchy, smart and full of interesting songs. I thought that would be it, but I don't know how to quit you, Taylor Swift. While I did not like first single Shake It Off, I have to say that the second song to be released in full (though not an official single) Out of the Woods and now the preview for Welcome to New York have me all aflutter for Tay's new album!!! She's left country far behind and is sounding very 80s new wave on these tracks. Are you excited? Check them out below. 1989 is out October 27th, so you only have a week to go!!! We can make it.