Tuesday, December 31, 2013


GIRL! This is a gorgeous song and this bitch can S-I-N-G! Here is the second song surfacing from Lea Michele's debut solo album Louder called Battlefield. Simple, powerful and beautiful, Battlefield pulls no vocal punches. Lea's album isn't out unitl March, but if first song Cannonball and this song are what we are in for, do we have a new Celine? I think we might. Go, Lea!! Listen and love.

Friday, December 20, 2013


AND HERE THEY ARE!!! Here is my top 5 songs of 2013. No big surprise, the ladies dominate again with only one fellow making into the top 10 and only three appearing in the whole countdown, discounting the fierce drag queens, of course. It's pop music all the way, but there is an electro maestro hidden right in the middle of the divas of pop music. Miley is back for her second appearance, as is Gaga. A lady who has written hits for just about everybody in teh business and a last minute shot to the top from what is sure to be THE album of 2014 and already my fave of this year. Let's get the (wrecking) ball rolling and see who hits number one. Enjoy and I hope you have a Happy Holiday season!!! See you in 2014!!
05. Wrecking Ball - Miley Cyrus
04. American Girl - Bonnie McKee
03. Retrograde - James Blake
02. Applause - Lady Gaga
01. XO - Beyonce


TOP 10, BITCHES!!! Can you believe I was able to narrow down these billions of songs this year to just 20? I mean, I am pretty much the bomb, right? (Patting self on back) The ladies continue KILLING IT in the first installment of our Top 10 of 2013. Lorde repeats, Beyonce's sisters croons her way on and Gaga does a duet. Miley's first of two songs peek into the countdown and Lana Del Rey oozes sex with her entry. 2013 is truly the year of the ladies it seems.
10. Tennis Court - Lorde
09. Looks Good With Trouble - Solange ft. Kendrick Lamar
08. Do What U Want - Lady Gaga ft. R. Kelly
07. We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus
06. Burning Desire - Lana Del Rey

Thursday, December 19, 2013


The ladies are nailing it in this round. Only one newcomer and then some, by comparison, musical veterans with pretty varied styles. A 16-year-old Kiwi, a country music superstar gone solo, the Princess of Pop, a crossover queen and a comeback from a British Broad. The videos are exciting too! Sisters are doing it for themselves today, y'all!! Dive into my top 20 countdown and take in numbers 15 through 11. Enjoy!

15. Royals - Lorde
14. Without You - Natalie Maines

13. Work Bitch - Britney Spears

12. Red - Taylor Swift

11. Hard Out Here - Lily Allen


......Again by Janet Jackson. With the release of her 1993 album janet. Janet jackson sexed up her image and came on S-T-R-O-N-G. She really wanted us to know she had a vajayjay, y'all!!! BUT not everything was about sex. Janet recorded the lovely ballad Again not just for her album, but also for her feature film debut Poetic Justice and used it as the song for the closing credits. Again was nominated for Best Original Song at the 66th Academy Awards. Not to bad, Janet. It became her seventh #1 song on the Hot 100 and held the top spot for two weeks. It even ended up being the 56th biggest song of the 90s according to Billboard's End-of-Decade Chart. It's soft, beautiful and moving and one of Janet's standout ballads of all time. And not one word about her down-there in the whole song. Way to go, J. Anyway, here is the #1 song from 20 years ago, Again by Janet Jackson.

Janet Jackson - Again by liismari


And now to the good stuff. Here is the first of four posts I will do to break down my top 20 songs of 2013. What a year it was. Plenty of one hit wonders racking it up this year and many legendary artists contributing some very fine singles to their already great cannon of hits. I base this on my personal playlist, the number of times I listened to the songs, the way they moved me, the memories attached to them and, of course, their amaziness. The first installment is notable for having not one, not two, but THREE drag queens represent!! Not to shabby. There is also a creepy but catchy date rape anthem, a living legend and one of the best musical groups of all time. Here we go with numbers 20 through 16. Enjoy.

20. Lick It Lollipop - RuPaul ft. Lady Bunny
19. Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke
18. Call Me On The Ouija Board - Sharon Needles
17. Drew - Goldfrapp

16. Take It Like a Man - Cher

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I can't believe this is the fifth year end countdown I have done on this blog! Here we are again, the end of another year of music. What a year it's been. We learned a lot about hype, humility and coming in just under the wire to blow 'em all away, didn't we? I wouldn't say that this year was a particularly strong one for albums. There were plenty of singles that hit, but not all of those artists were able to deliver on the one-hit hype. These albums, in my estimation, were the most enjoyable front to back. I could sit and listen to them and they evoked a mood or a curiosity with each track. These artists were able to transcend in some ways the "just get a hit on the radio" vibe that artists are mostly after these days. They have that something extra special. Without further ado, here are my picks for the top 10 albums of 2013.

10. Electric - Pet Shop Boys - Seminal electronic group Pet Shop Boys came back this year with a brand new album, Electric and it's a damn shame that everyone was going gaga over Daft Punk (even though I really like their album too) because Electric is a much more diverse, fun set. Plenty of club tracks, like the opener Axis, along with some classic Pet Shop Boys melodies, like the delicious Thursday. The Boys were back with a vengeance and the whole album pulses with the perfect blend of what we've always loved of PSB and what is yet to come.

09. Britney Jean - Britney Spears - Hyped as Britney Spears' most personal album to date, on THAT it did not deliver.  Alien and Perfume are two of her loveliest songs she's ever recorded and Work Bitch and Tik Tik Boom are sassy Brit-Brit at it's most catchy. How much of Britney is actually invested in her music is not clear anymore, but the old girl (and her production team) can still push out an album full of pop gems. Keep 'em coming, Britney. Unless you're done. Then stop. What Britney Jean does deliver on is pop hit after pop hit and a little more personality.

08. Closer to the Truth - Cher - I mean, C'MON!! It's fucking Cher, people! Cher came back after about a 12 year absence. Her last album of original music was 2001's Living Proof. Closer to Truth finds Cher in full voice and as Cher as ever. Woman's World was just the tip of the anthem-berg. Take It Like a Man and My Love are glorious in their clubbiness and should be playing everywhere anyone is doing anything. This bitch is even going on tour again. AND I'M SEEING HER!! Closer to the Truth is a real return to pop form and as welcome a return as there has ever been.

07. Overgrown - James Blake - James Blake's second full solo album is smooth, sexy, experimental, electronic, sensuous and thoughtful. That voice, those loops and beats. James takes it a step further with Overgrown after his auspicious debut two years ago with self-titled debut. Retrograde is perhaps the most mesmerizing song of the year and the whole album will hypnotize you with its quasi-futuristic sense of musicality. This 25 year old musician has many years in the spotlight ahead of him and he is pioneering something very special.

06. Prism - Katy Perry - Prism is a hodgepodge of musical tastes. It wants to draw in the biggest possible audience and I think it succeeds in its quest. There are dance anthems aplenty, sweet ballads, introspective, if not cliched, heartfelt songs. Katy is coming off of one of the most successful albums of the past decade in terms of singles, and I don't think this is going to surpass Teenage Dream, to be honest. I do think that there are many, many songs to be pulled off this album as singles and eventually they will get to them. Legendary Lovers, International Smile and Spiritual have radio hit written all over them. Roar was an undeniable success, so Katy still has it in her.

05. Pure Heroine - Lorde - The 16 year old from New Zealand hit the scene with weird dancing and deep lyrics that go beyond her years and won over the world. You can't swing a dick without hitting someone listening toRoyals. Trust me. I've tried. Ouch. The album as a whole is quite impressive in its diversity and ability to keep the listener surprised and intrigued. Tennis Court is one of the catchiest songs I heard all year and Buzzcut Season is sweet, simple and soft. Pretty much every song leaves its mark right from the first listen. It'll have you going back for repeat listening for sure. Not just a singles artist, that Lorde. I'd say it's a pretty good start.

04. Bangerz - Miley Cyrus - GIRL!! This album is good, y'all! It's a little bit country, it's a little bit hip hop, it's all Miley. We Can't Stop and Wrecking Ball are crazy good and absolute chart gold and third single, Adore, is going to take us to a new place with it's soft balladry. There is literally no limit to the amount of singles they might pull off of this mo'fo'. #GETITRIGHT, FU, My Darlin', Rooting for My Baby are all single worthy. So forget the twerking and the tongue wagging and listen tot he music. The girl can deliver a song. Bangerz places Miley in the big leagues of pop music and she almost took it over this year. Now can she keep it going?

03. Tales of Us - Goldfrapp - Ethereal, mystical, soft, breathy, sexy and smooth are all words to describe Goldfrapp and their album Tales of Us. A concept album of sorts, each song weaves a tale of a person going through various things in their life from being born in the wrong body, having an elicit affair or simply wandering through life. Goldfrapp take this sound from the 80s glam of Head First (my #1 album three years ago) and back to their amazing 2008 album Seventh Tree but this time a little darker and little less folksy. The opening of Jo with its flourish of strings, the guitar galloping through Drew, the tribal stomps of Thea and the march of the album closer Clay take you on an unforgettable journey through time and space. Goldfrapp can paint a picture with their music like no one else.

02. ARTPOP - Lady Gaga - Lady Gaga was hyped and hyped and hyped until she oversaturated the market before the release of ARTPOP and it may have turned some away from her newest offering. That is a shame because ARTPOP actually takes Gaga back to the simpler times when she was writing for the sake of the beat and the fun than for a cause. Not to say I didn't love Born This Way (my #1 pick two years ago), but ARTPOP is a lot more fun in many ways with is tongue-in-cheek subjects and fun lyrics. The title track is one of the most stunning and simple pieces I think Gaga has ever done and Applause is pure anthemic fun. Venus, Do What U Want, G.U.Y. all deserve their time in the spotlight. If she can get people to start paying attention to the music again, Gaga has still got a lot to show us.

01. Beyoncé - Beyoncé - Well, she did it. Beyoncé released a surprise album and absolutely crushed every bitch on the block. This album is everything Beyoncé is; sassy, smart, classy, sexy, and fresh. It's also things Bey usually isn't: open, real, warm and experimental. There are things we've never heard her do like the crunchingly swaggy Partition and gangster of ***Flawless. There is also pure pop candy in the form of the ode to cunnilingus Blow and the best love anthem I've heard in years XO. We have our usual, stunning Beyoncé ballads here as well with Pretty Hurts and the haunting Heaven, but we also have her very own Thriller in the heavenly Haunted. (See what I did there?) The sky is the limit and Beyoncé is reaching for it. The whole disc is packed full of perfection, including the accompanying videos, and we have a big couple of year ahead of us with this album. It's definitely earned it's position atop this years album picks. Destined to be a classic.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Well, it's been a fun journey back in time this year, but this is the last post of my 1985 series. Why, you ask? Because I am at the end of my discovered archive of charts that I made back when I was ** years old. Yes, this is the end of an era. For me. You probably didn't even know I was doing this. HA! Anyhoozers, December 15th had some debuts from one of the sweetest jazz/pop singers in history, a rock group and Stevie Wonder. Stevie Nicks shot up the charts this week with Talk To Me and Sheila E. held fast to the top spot. It's been such a weird ride going back over these charts almost 30 years after I made them. What a joy to see what my mind worked like then and how much I loved pop music as a kid. Most of these artists still have a place on my various playlists from time to time as they helped form who I was then and who I am now. Madonna, Prince, Tina Turner, Sade; all 80s icons for sure, but not just the 80s. So many artists from the 80s made a huge mark on the pop landscape because, unlike most decades, pop music in the 80s was not confined to one specific sound. Hip Hop was coming into its own, dance music, jazz, rock and roll, doo-wop, folk,  and even big band music charted on the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 Albums Chart in the 1980s. Hopefully we'll get back to that time in music when more people weren't afraid to sound different and look different and take even bigger risks. 1985 was great year in music. Enjoy! OH, and just to recap, all the #1 song this year were: Like a Virgin (Madonna), I Would Die 4 U (Prince & The Revolution), Neutron Dance (Pointer Sisters), California Girls (David Lee Roth), Material Girl (Madonna), Crazy For You (Madonna), Everything She Wants (Wham!), Angel (Madonna), A View To A Kill (Duran Duran), Raspberry Beret (Prince & The Revolution), You Give Good Love (Whitney Houston), You Spin Me Round (Dead or Alive), Man In Motion (John Parr), Dress You Up (Madonna), Saving All My Love For You (Whitney Houston), Lay Your Hands on Me (Thompson Twins), Never (Heart), Sister Fate (Sheila E.) So there it was, 1985.
30. Tonight She Comes - The Cars
29. Sweetest Taboo - Sade

28. Go Home - Stevie Wonder 
27. When The Going Gets Tough - Billy Ocean
26. Everybody Dance - Tamara & The Scene
25. Digital Display - Ready For The World
24. Everything Must Change - Paul Young
23. Tears Are Falling - KISS
22. Everything In My Heart - Corey Hart
21. How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
20. It's Only Love - Bryan Adams and Tina Turner
19. Talk to Me - Stevie Nicks
18. Love Is The Seventh Wave - Sting
17. That's What Friends Are For - Dionne and Friends
16. Holly Rock - Sheila E.
15. Sidewalk Talk - Jellybean
14. Conga - Miami Sound Machine
13. Small Town - John Cougar Mellencamp
12. Do It For Love - Sheena Easton
11. I'm Your Man - Wham!
10. Perfect Way - Scritti Politti
09. Sleeping Bag - ZZ Top
08. Emergency - Kool & The Gang
07. Election Day - Arcadia
06. Walk of Life - Dire Straits
05. Alive and Kicking - Simple Minds

04. America - Prince & The Revolution
03. Love Bizarre - Sheila E. and Prince
02. Say You Say Me - Lionel Richie
01. Sister Fate - Sheila E.

Friday, December 13, 2013


Beyoncé can sometimes coast on safe and pretty. I love her, but that is just a fact. The girl is gorgeous and marketable as all hell, but she can get a little boring at times. I guess this time she decided she was sick of being hyped and marketed like a piece of meat, so Beyoncé did what Beyoncé should do and she dropped a surprise album at midnight last night/this morning that includes 14 songs and 17 videos. Yep. That bitch just put all you other bitches on B-L-A-S-T! The self-titled album comes out with no promotion and the "visual album" is only available on iTunes as a full album until December 20th when the individual songs will then be available. I gotta tell you, I have been sick the past couple of days and when I saw this on my computer this morning, it made me feel better right away. Beyoncé explains her decision to keep hush-hush on the album:
"I see music. It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music. I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans."
This is a very unusual approach to releasing an album, but I do remember one artist doing it before. After the great success of Purple Rain, Prince & The Revolution released the #1 album Around the World In a Day without a single or any promotion so his fans would experience it as a whole. Pretty good company, B. I have listened to the album and watched the videos this morning and it is pretty stellar. There is a lot of dark and a lot of light on the album and Beyoncé has ventured into some new territory. I am excited to see what the era of Beyoncé holds for us all.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Oooh la la. George Michael, like any respectable gay, loves his supermodels. His 1990 video for Freedom '90 had already featured a bevy of high-paid sluts beauties and so in 1992 he repeated this theme and put himself on display (slightly) in the video for Too Funky. This time the video is directed by designer Thierry Mugler and features, among others, supermodels Linda Evangelista and Tyra Banks, actresses Julie Newmar and Rossy de Palma and drag queen Lypsinka in a fierce, high fashion video. The amazing costumes were all designed by Mugler. Too Funky was donated by Michael to the Red Hot + Dance album which was a project to raise money for AIDS awareness. Good cause, George! ANYWAY, the sexy video helped the song reach #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 in the UK and was all over MTV in the summer of 1992. It's sexy, sassy and has a lot of ass class. Both. Enjoy George Michael's Too Funky and hump a supermodel if you see one on the street today.


Britney's new single, Perfume, is quite lovely. It has an actual melody (courtesy of co-writer Sia) and that alone puts it in a different category from most of the EDM of post-2010 Britney. I'm not complaining because I love Brit's dance music, mind you. Well now we have the emotional-ish video for the song which finds our Brit-Brit in a love triangle with a guy whose hair is at a weird, in-betweeny length and a young Rachel Weisz doppelganger. Soak that man-slut in perfume before you send him to his whore, Britney!!!! Good girl. I know there is some product placement for Britney's perfume in the video, but it makes sense in this case, so I ain't trying to hate. FUN FACT: Director Joseph Kahn -- who directed her Stronger, Toxic and Womanizer videos -- seems to indicate, via his twitter, that the video's ending was changed at the last minute (without his knowledge) and was supposed to end with Britney doing something "shocking" and almost a full minute more of the video was cut. He called the ending "Breaking Bad-ney". Clever? He noted, "Wish they'd release the director's cut of Perfume. Britney's performance is unbelievable in it. A true artist. Game changer." Spears was seen holding a gun in pictures released from the set. I bet she blew their asses away!! Many fans are calling for a release of the original video on twitter. In the meantime, here is the perfectly lovely released version of Britney Spears' Perfume. Britney Jean, the new album is out now.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


....Heaven Is a Place On Earth by Belinda Carlisle. L-O-V-E this song. Belinda was, of course, the lead singer of The Go-Go's and this was the first single off of her second solo album. It was also her only US #1 song with or without The Go-Go's, believe it or not. Heaven Is a Place On Earth was a worldwide hit, reaching the top spot in several countries, and definitely an 80s pop classic. Belinda had continued success and still makes albums and tours to this day. This song, however, is her signature song and enjoys continued airplay and relevance in today's pop landscape. FUN FACT: The video was one of two directed by Diane Keaton. Yes, Annie Hall directed this video. Ha. Anyhoo, HIAPOE took the top spot on the US Hot 100 on December 5th and was there for just one week before being taken over by George Michael's Faith, but it left its mark I'd say. So here is the #1 song from 26 years ago today, Belinda Carlisle with Heaven Is a Place On Earth.


Sorry for the delayed posting this week. I had a crazy weekend. SO this week in 1985 I was listening to lots of new music. Billy Ocean was a thing, Stevie Nicks was a goddess (as always) and Sheila E. was still hogging up all the space on my countdown. Heart was slowing slipping down the list, inch by inch, but in good news Eddie Murphy's Party All the Time fell from #8 to #SEEYA!! Oh, joy. I guess I did like that song at some point though. My 1985 self should be ashamed. Anyway, if you click on the links below you can watch videos, and some of them are surprises. The #1 song AGAIN this week is Sister Fate, so I uploaded a very awkward Japanese television performance and interview that Sheila E. did in 1985. It's kind of everything. Check it out, bitches! Later.
30. When The Going Gets Tough - Billy Ocean
29. Everybody Dance - Tamara and the Scene
28. Talk to Me - Stevie Nicks
27. Digital Display - Ready for the World
26. Everything Must Change - Paul Young
25. Everything In My Heart - Corey Hart
24. Tears Are Falling - KISS
23. How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
22. It's Only Love - Bryan Adams and Tina Turner
21. Love Is the Seventh Wave - Sting
20. Wrap Her Up - Elton John
19. That's What Friends Are For - Dionne and Friends
18. Sidewalk Talk - Jellybean
17. Holly Rock - Sheila E.
16. Conga - Miami Sound Machine
15. Small Town - John Cougar Mellencamp
14. Do It For Love - Sheena Easton
13. I'm You Man - Wham!
12. Alive and Kicking - Simple Minds
11. Perfect Way - Scritti Politti
10. Emergency - Kool & The Gang
09. Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves - Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin
08. Walk of Life - Dire Straits
07. Election Day - Arcadia
06. America - Prince & The Revolution
05. Never - Heart
04. Love Bizarre - Sheila E. and Prince
03. Sleeping Bag - ZZ Top
02. Say You Say Me - Lionel Richie
01. Sister Fate - Sheila E.


After 1,000 seasons on GLEE (it's been that long, right?) Lea Michele is finally releasing her debut solo album........in March. But to keep us from jumping off buildings in desperation, Lea has graced us with her first official single, Cannonball. Lea's Cannonball is a power ballad and she sings it right from the kitty, y'all. The girl is serving voice. Sounds like a Celine song a bit, which is perfect since we don't have a Celine-esque singer on the scene right now. Not even Celine. Listen to the full track below and go over to iTunes and pre-order Louder right now. DO IT! Or don't. I don't technically own you. Loving the cover for the album. Hello, gorgeous!

Friday, December 6, 2013


In 1992/93 Madonna was having her first bout of backlash. Erotica, the album, and SEX, the book, had been too much for some prudish assholes people. They felt it was too oversexualized for main stream media and harshly criticized Madonna for what they believed she was saying was a true portrayal of her life, even though she explained the projects were about fantasy. After the controversy had died down, Madonna was ready to work again and decided to take a step back from the sex and just make a great pop song. Her friend and director of her amazy documentary, Truth or Dare, Alek Keshishian, was directing his feature debut, With Honors, and as a favor Madonna recorded a song for the film titled I'll Remember. The song was a change in direction for Madge, leaving the dance floor sex of Erotica and exploring a thoughtful, beautiful ballad. I'll Remember was a commercial and critical success, reaching #2 on the Hot 100 in the Spring of 1994 and being nominated for a Grammy (Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television) and a Golden Globe (Best Original Song). The video for the song was directed by Keshishian and featured Madonna singing the song in the studio in front of clips from the film With Honors (which starred George of the Jungle, My Cousin Vinny, McDreamy and that girl from The Cutting Edge) and also as a record executive, dressed as a man. The video and her look are very similar to her video from Rain from Erotica. She wasn't TOTALLY going to give in. Ha! Madonna rarely performs the song (if she ever has I don't remember), so it's always a pleasure to hear it. Enjoy I'll Remember. Happy Madonna Friday!

Madonna - I'll Remember from Max Giudice on Vimeo.


Dear Theatre Snobs,

I know you. I used to live among you. To be fair, I was really more of a dancer and didn't quite fit into the world or "musical theatre", but I do love musicals and I enjoy seeing live performances. So when I went on my Facebook last night to see how people were liking The Sound of Music Live on NBC, I was disheartened/not surprised by the amount of catty, bitchy remarks directed at star Carrie Underwood. Was Carrie perfect? Of course not. Who is? So Julie Andrews was great in the movie. Is no one ever allowed to do it again? That is just silly. There are millions of talented young women in this world who could play Maria. You might say, "So-and-so from Blah Blah Blah the Musical would have been so much better than Carrie Underwood." That might be true, but NO ONE KNOWS WHO THE FUCK SHE IS! Carrie Underwood has sold 20 million singles and 15 million albums worldwide. If she wanted to play Tevya I'm sure NBC would throw a beard on that bitch, hand her a fiddle and let her go. You think you can do better than Carrie? GET FAMOUS! Carrie brought people to The Sound of Music last night that may have never discovered it. Fans of country music, fans of American Idol, kids who have never heard a musical but love Carrie Underwood. That means maybe they understand musicals a little bit better and will possibly explore that world. Is that bad? Think about it, all of you Bitter Betties who had nothing better to do than snark and bite at the production last night (I guess your catering gig fell through) will have plenty of kids to teach voice to at your community theatre when you run out of money and have to eventually move back in with your parents and work part time at your local Dolly Dinkle's Tap & Twirl. Do you know how many Broadway people were employed and PAID last night? I guess if you had been offered the part you would have turned it down for artistic reasons. Right. Keep telling yourself that. I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not that long ago a young actress went on twitter to criticize the recent revival of Into the Woods and the theatre community went batshit crazy and proclaimed she would never work again. What's the difference, you may ask? Carrie Underwood is beautiful and famous, so you are free to openly hate on her and get away with it. If you haven't learned already in the world of Broadway that it's not JUST about talent, then you have a long, sad life ahead of you. That's show biz! So the next time this rolls around and (Insert Famous Person) is doing a live version of (Insert Musical) on television, maybe think about someone coming to see you in your next show and tearing you apart via social media while you are performing for the sole reason that they are not in your show. Break a leg!

Better Than You,

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Lana Del Rey, an albino male model, Jesus, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis walk into a park..... Ha. No, but that IS how this short film starts. Here is the visually stunning short film with a soundtrack made up of songs from Lana's Born to Die: Paradise Edition album. Here is Lana and Shaun Ross in an Anthony Mandler film, Tropico. Enjoy.


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 the 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!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Lorde's album Pure Heroine is full of possible singles, and Team is the chosen one for now. The video is visually stunning and I'll let Lorde explain the concept to you: "this video was borne from a dream i had a few months ago about teenagers in their own world, a world with hierarchies and initiations, where the boy who was second in command had acne on his face, and so did the girl who was queen. i dreamt about this world being so different to anything anyone had ever seen, a dark world full of tropical plants and ruins and sweat. and of this world, i dreamt about tests that didn't need to be passed in order to be allowed in: sometimes the person who loses is stronger." Got it? Good. Watch Team.


One of the biggest selling bands of the 80s, one of the biggest selling albums of all time and THE hottest video vixen of all time culminate in this masterpiece of metal from 1987, Still of the Night. Whitesnake had been making music since the 70s but not until the release of their self-titled 1987 album did they break through to the mainstream. Here I Go Again hit #1 on the Hot 100 and Is This Love snaked its way up to #2 (click both of those links for extra humping). Both of those songs were obvious pop-metal hits and both of those videos also featured lead singer David Coverdale's then-girlfriend and future ex-wife Tawny Kitaen. Still of the Night, however, was NOT a pop song. It was a rock and roll banger with a fucking sweet breakdown in the middle (about the 2:00 mark). It was slinky, sexy and aggressive and, IMO, the best metal song of the era. It did not do well on the Hot 100, peaking at #79, but it notched a #18 on US Mainstream Rock Tracks and #16 in the UK. The Whitesnake album went on to sell 8 million copies in the US alone. There are many hump-worthy songs on the album, but if you want to REALLY get busy, as Arsenio would say (it was 1987, work with me here) then pop in Still of the Night and hump away! Enjoy and hump a guitar.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


.....Blame It On The Rain by Milli Vanilli. Yep. Milli Vanilli. And you know what is REALLY crazy? It was their third #1 song of 1989! They hit the top spot already that year with Baby Don't Forget My Number in July and Girl I'm Gonna Miss You in September. ANYHOO!!! Blame It On The Rain, written by super-song writer Diane Warren, was right in the middle of MV's run of hits but was their last #1 song, hitting the top of the Billboard Hot 100 on November 25, 1989 and staying there for two weeks. The follow up, All or Nothing, hit #4 and then.....well you know what happened to them. They tried to release songs using their own voices but to no avail. The rest is a sad story that I won't go into right now. Even though the good looking duo didn't sing a lick on their most successful album, they looked good, danced up a storm and the songs were pretty catchy. Try not to enjoy this song while you listen to it. I miss the 80s. Here is the #1 song from this day in 1989, Blame It On The Rain.

Monday, December 2, 2013


Okay. This new Britney Spears album, aptly titled Britney Jean, has been hyped as her most personal to date. I am not hearing any evidence of that on initially hearing the record. It seems about as personal as a conversation with an MTA employee. Or a handjob from a Kardashian. That being said, this is a pretty good album. Ray of Light? No. Maybe they meant it's personal for the people who were awake during it's making. Ha. I kid. I love Britney. Britney Jean is, of course, Britney's first and middle name and it bring to mind another artist who hyped a personal album using their middle name that did not do well; Janet Jackson's criminally underrated 2004 effort Damita Jo. That album DID, however, make good on its hype of intimacy. Anyhoo, Britney does have a co-writing credit on every track, but anyone in the music industry knows that just comes from a certain number of successful years in the business and people wanting to work with you. So here is a track-by-track breakdown of Britney Jean.
1. Alien - Britney Jean starts off with a promising track that could be somewhat personal. Alien, produced by William Orbit, among others, and co-written by Britney is all things Orbit; swirling synths, mystical sounding backup vocals and a spot on production. It's got a great melody and, like Gaga's ARTPOP, is delving into space themes. Brit's vocals are nice on this track as well. I would like to see this released as a single.
2. Work Bitch - This cut has been out for a while and it is a pretty banging club track that every gay worth their salt knows by now. Make sure you get the explicit version of the album or instead of "work bitch" it says "work work". LAME!
3. Perfume - serves as the second single from Britney Jean and it's a lovely ballad about a girl losing her man to one of his exes. Personal? Who actually knows if it's that or just more music to move some of her perfume lines. Either way, it's quite lovely and again finds Britney actually singing a melody. Sia co-wrote it and I'll take it. 
4. It Should Be Easy - is a groovy track that, unfortunately, features Will.I.Am. I am so sick of him I can't stand it. The auto-tune on this track makes Cher's Believe sound like an acoustic hootenanny. Still, it's much better than that Scream & Shout monstrosity from last year that they threw at everyone's face and we were supposed to like.
5. Tik Tik Boom (ft. T.I.) - goes hard and sexy with lyrics like "talk dirty to me, babe, every time I want it" Britney is no just flirting on this track. It is full of bass and cooing vocals. One of the stand-out tracks for sure.
6. Body Ache - is not, I learned after hearing it, about a bad flu. It's about dancing until one's body aches. Now I think the last time Britney danced that hard was probably around the time most people buying this album were born, so I find it hard to believe this is personal at all. Ha. This is another hot track.
7. Til It's Gone - Okay, I might believe this is personal on some level. Mourning for lost love could easily fit into Britney's life in many ways. Who knows which lost love this song is about, but it's a nice electro-dance-ballad, if that's a thing. Another stand out track.
8. Passenger - This song is one of the strongest in terms of melody and content that Britney has done in years. Katy Perry co-wrote this song and it seems it could be about God. It's more universally about not trying to control every aspect of your life and letting the universe guide you. Britney turns in a good vocal on this one too, sounding like old-school Brit. This should be a single for sure.
9. Chillin' With You (ft. Jamie Lynn) - Well, this makes a case that auto-tune may be just what the Spears family vocals naturally sound like. They all have little electronic voice boxes. Ha. This is just a simple, bright duet with her little sister, Jamie Lynn, who also has new country single out on iTunes by the way. Nothing groundbreaking here, but I guess it's kind of sweet to hear these two together. They probably understand one another pretty well.
10. Don't Cry - A dark, electronic track closes the album in fine fashion. Mid-tempo beats, sirens and guitar keep this song about staying strong moving along and ending the (non-deluxe) album on a high note. It has a very early Eurythmics feel to it. I like.


Lots of new stuff popped into my countdown this week in 1985. Whitney Houston's third single, and arguably her best ever, How Will I Know peeks around the corner at #30 and then some strictly 80s fellas jump in front of her. MEN!! Am I right, ladies? Ready for the World had their follow up Digital Display and Corey Hart and Paul Young have some lesser known songs debut as well. Dire Straits somehow were on my chart in the top 10. Go figure. BUT the newest thing is a new #1 song by someone who has three hits on the chart this week. I still love that woman too. Most of the countdown just shuffled around this week, but one song....WOW, did it fall. Separate Lives by Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin was sitting pretty at #2 last week and this week it is GONE! I guess I separated those lives pretty quickly, bitch! See what I did there? Okay, so just click on some links and enjoy some 80s realness. Until next week, whatever.

30. How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
29. Digital Display - Ready for the World
28. Everything Must Change - Paul Young
27. Everything In My Heart - Corey Hart
26. Tears are Falling - KISS
25. That's What Friends Are For - Dionne and Friends
24. Wrap Her Up - Elton John
23. It's Only Love - Bryan Adams and Tina Turner
22. Love Is the Seventh Wave - Sting
21. Sidewalk Talk - Jellybean
20. Conga - Miami Sound Machine
19. I'm Your Man - Wham!
18. Holly Rock - Sheila E.
17. Small Town - John Cougar Mellencamp
16. Do It For Love - Sheena Easton
15. Alive and Kicking - Simple Minds
14. Perfect Way - Scritti Politti
13. Lover Come Back To Me - Dead or Alive
12. Emergency - Kool & The Gang
11. Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves - Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin
10. Walk of Life - Dire Straits
09. America - Prince & The Revolution
08. Party All the Time - Eddie Murphy
07. Election Day - Arcadia
06. Love Bizarre - Sheila E. and Prince
05. Sleeping Bag - ZZ Top
04. Say You Say Me - Lionel Richie
03. Oak Tree - Morris Day
02. Never - Heart
01. Sister Fate - Sheila E.