Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30th Candletime


Happy 79th birthday to Willie Nelson - the Keith Richards of country music....


Happy 39th to Jeff Timmons, member of 98 Degrees and current Chippendales host..Now where's the reunion tour?


It's the big 69 for 60's teenybopper Bobby Vee...


Diana Agron from Glee turns 26 today. That's a lot of years held back! Kidding aside she's awesome.


and finally, happy birthday to punk troubadour Amanda Palmer, who is crazy enough to release on one hand a ditty about date rape at an Oasis concert, and on the other hand put out a record titled "Do You Swear To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass"...




Songoftheday 4/30/12 - What happened here, as the New York sunset disappeared...



Elton John - "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)"
from the album Jump Up! (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #13 (two weeks)
weeks in Top-40: 10

Today's Song Of The Day is Elton John's requiem for friend and idol John Lennon, who was murdered a year and a half past. "Empty Garden" was released at a time where Elton was at a relatively "dry" point in his career, which his previous LP The Fox having two singles miss the top-20 (thought "Nobody Wins" came one rung under). With Jump Up!, he set up camp away from his singer-songwriter rock output of the 70's squarely into adult contemporary territory, and his booming and dramatic wail would characterize a lot of his most successful work of the decade. Even thought the lyrics were written by longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin (who used Elton and John's appearance at Madison Square Garden as an reference point), this song was extremely personal for Elton, and the performance in my opinion was his best in the 80's, where his performance became more workmanlike.


Twenty-five years later, Elton would go through the same cathartic musical release mourning the death of Princess Diana of Wales, but "Empty Garden" remains a special nugget in his legacy.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29th Candletime...


Today, April 29th, marks Carnie Wilson of Wilson Phillips' 44th birthday. Go on and have the cake, girl!


Happy 72nd to April Stevens...duetting with Nino Tempo on "Deep Purple"


Tommy James of the Shondells is 65, so he can pick up that Social Security check now...


Big Easy rapper mogul and Dancing With The Stars alum Master P turns 45...


1/3 of R&B girl group SWV and Survivor contestant Taj Johnson turns 41...


Member of Irish boyband Westlife and Voice of Ireland mentor Kiam Egan turns 32...


And most important of all, uber-middlechild Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) turns 54 today. It's a Sunshine Day!



Robbed Hit of the week 4/29/12 - Sugarhill Gang's "Apache"...



Sugarhill Gang - "Apache"
from the album 8th Wonder (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: # 53

This week's robbed hit is by the breakthrough hip-hop act who had the first top-40 rap single with the classic "Rapper's Delight". The Sugarhill Gang was formed in Englewood, New Jersey by singer-turned label head Sylvia Robinson. Robinson had been half of the Mickey & Sylvia duo  ("Love Is Strange"), then had a top hit of her own in 1973 with "Pillow Talk", one of the first "disco" songs of the 70s. With husband Joseph, she signed Master Gee, Wonder Mike, and Big Bank Hank to her Sugarhill Records label, and along with labelmates Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, were the first big acts of the burgeoning rap genre.

"Apache" with the first single from their sophomore album, and while it didn't make the top-40, it climbed to #13 on the R&B chart, and got major airplay on New York and Philly radio, as well as in the dance clubs all along the east coast. The track samples the 1960 instrumental hit of the same name that Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann took to #2 in the US.


Taking samples from a version by the Incredible Bongo Band, with some lyrics, shout-outs to Tonto and Custer, and the awesome "Jam On It" chorus, this belongs in every wedding reception.


They went on Soul Train to perform the song, it's really grainy/quiet, but I love the fun they're havin'.


The big-butt lover himself, Sir Mix-A-Lot, redid the track as "Jump On It"...



Aye-ungaungaungaunga...

Songoftheday 4/29/12 - You were working as a waitress at a cocktail bar...



The Human League - "Don't You Want Me"
from the album Dare (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #1 (three weeks)
weeks in top-40: 21

Today's Song of the Day was the harbinger of the second "British" wave of the 80's, and the first bonified electronic #1 pop hit.

The Human League started out as a purely electro-art rock group by keyboardists Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh in the late 70's. They recruited singer Philip Oakey (their original unavailable choice Glenn Gregory went on to front Heaven 17), and released two records that got some success in the burgeoning new wave movement along with contemporaries Depeche Mode and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. However, conflicts on where the band's music split the group, with Ware and Marsh abandonning the League because it was going too pop-leaning to form Heaven 17, which ironically became just as pop-inflected as the other.

On their third album, Dare, Oakey brought in two female voices to their sound, in the form of school-age girls Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall. Employing producer Martin Rushent, whose pop-music studio experience with such diverse acts as Fleetwood Mac and the Buzzcocks influenced the album's accessibility, the group focused on producing an electronic album that squarely fit in mainstream radio.

"Don't You Want Me" was actually released as the fourth single in the UK, after three consecutive top-20 hits including the #3 "Love Action (I Believe In Love)". Oakey has stated that he hated the finshed track, and protested its original release. However the song obviously found a home in the hearts and radio of Britain and America, as it became a worldwide success, giving them a number-one hit in the States on their first try.


"Don't You Want Me" turned out to be the only top-40 hit from Dare, though the group went on to score more hits throughout the 80s and 90s, including their second transformation under Janet Jackson/Time producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis giving them their second #1 in 1986, "Human". Reduced to the trio of Oakey, Sulley, and Catherall along with backing musicians, the League continue to tour in the UK.

In 1988, the song got the "Stock Aitken Waterman" treatment with the Pete Hammond produced version by singer Mandy...


And in 2002 Swedish camp-dance group Alcazar offered up their version which made the US dance chart top-30, The video's pretty fun...


And finally, in one of Glee's jump-the-shark episodes where Blaine questions his sexuality, Darren Criss and Lea Michele put out the Kidz Bop-esque cover.



Up tomorrow: Elton's other postmortem tribute.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Songoftheday 4/28/12 - a look from you and I would fall from grace, and that would wipe the smile right off my face...



Asia - "Heat Of The Moment"
from the album Asia (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (three weeks)
weeks in top-40: 12

Today's song of the day is by the rock "supergroup" Asia. The band was made of 4 powerhouses of progressive rock: Geoff Downes and Steve Howe of Yes, drummer Carl "Emerson Lake & Palmer" Palmer, and singer John Wetton from King Crimson and Roxy Music. Their first self-titled album was one of the first cassettes I bought with my own money, and the second "rock" T-shirt I ever owned (after the Police's Zenyatta Mondatta shirt). Five of the nine tracks made the rock radio chart, and "Heat Of The Moment" remains their biggest hit.


Unabashedly pop for these guys, and well foretelling the Yes transformation that was to come a couple years later. And of course beside the band's mention in 40 Year Old Virgin (shh it's true), South Park's Cartman brought it to Congress...


As for the band, Asia has gone through a ton of personnel changes before reuniting the original lineup in 2006. Also, the song was sampled for a dance track by Steven Lee and Gaby Derhsin in 2010 that made the US dance charts.





Up Tomorrow: he met her in a cocktail bar.

twostepcub's music chart for April 27, 2012...


It's time for my top-100 tunes for the week. This week Antipodeans Gotye and Kimbra spend an eighth week at the top, while British TigerBeaters the Wanted (pictured above) make it into the top-five. Former big hits by Robin Thicke and Katy Perry drop out, as singles by One Direction, Justin Bieber, and Carrie Underwood make the biggest jumps (moves of 10+ places highlighted in red).Link-O-Rama is in effect, so you can click on any of the artists' names to open up their official website for more info.

This Week          Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Something That I Used To Know - Gotye f/Kimbra (1)
2. We Are Young - fun. f/Jonelle Monae (2)
3. Rumour Has It - Adele (5)
4. I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz (4)
5. Glad You Came - The Wanted (7)
6. Bully - Shinedown (8)
7. Set Fire To The Rain - Adele (3)
8. Part Of Me - Katy Perry (10)
9. Domino - Jessie J (9)
10. Turn Me On - David Guetta f/Nicki Minaj (6)
11. Feel So Close - Calvin Harris (15)
12. Drive By - Train (12)
13. Love On Top - Beyonce (13)
14. Wild Ones - Flo Rida f/Sia (16)
15. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson (11)
16. Give Me All Your Luvin' - Madonna f/Nicki Minaj & MIA (18)
17. Levels - Avicii (17)
18. Alone With You - Jake Owen (14)
19. A Woman Like You - Lee Brice (21)
20. Titanium - David Guetta f/Sia (20)
21. Lonely Boy - Black Keys (19)
22. These Days - Foo Fighters (22)
23. Tonight Is The Night - Outasight (24)
24. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri (26)
25. Run - Matt Nathanson f/Sugarland (25)
26. Dancing Away With My Heart - Lady Antebellum (32)
27. Over You - Miranda Lambert (37)
28. What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction (72)
29. International Love - Pitbull f/Chris Brown (29)
30. Ai Se Eu Te Pego - Michel Telo (30)
31. Starships - Nicki Minaj (41)
32. Respect - Melanie Amaro (34)
33. Good Girl - Carrie Underwood (47)
34. Fine By Me - Andy Grammer (38)
35. Ours - Taylor Swift (23)
36. Naked - Dev & Enrique Iglesias (42)
37. It Will Rain - Bruno Mars (27)
38. Banjo - Rascal Flatts (40)
39. Next To Me - Emeli Sande (43)
40. Drink On It - Blake Shelton (44)
41. We Found Love - Rihanna f/Calvin Harris (31)
42. Paradise - Coldplay (28)
43. Gold On The Ceiling - Black Keys (50)
44. Better Than I Used To Be - Tim McGraw (48)
45. No Hurry - Zac Brown Band (49)
46. Love You Like A Love Song - Selena Gomez & The Scene (36)
47. Not Your Fault - AWOLnation (35)
48. Girl Gone Wild - Madonna (54)
49. Good Feeling - Flo Rida (39)
50. Thank You - Estelle (51)
51. Better Than I Know Myself - Adam Lambert (56)
52. Lullaby - Nickelback (52)
53. She Gets Down On Her Knees - Yoko Ono (53)
54. Tongue Tied - Grouplove (58)
55. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. - RLP & Barbara Tucker f/Lil Jon (55)
56. Wild One Two - Jack Back f/David Guetta, Nicky Romero & Sia (66)
57. Woo - Anthony Hamilton (57)
58. Shadow Days - John Mayer (60)
59. Never Forget - Dave Aude f/Lena Katina (63)
60. Changed The Way You Kiss Me - Example (64)
61. Don't Stop (Color On The Walls) - Foster The People (33)
62. Face To The Floor - Chevelle (45)
63. Fly Over States - Jason Aldean (71)
64. Midnight City - M83 (68)
65. Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Eli Young Band (67)
66. Eyes Open - Taylor Swift (76)
67. Charlie Brown - Coldplay (69)
68. If You Ever Come Back - The Script (73)
69. Oh My Goodness - Olly Murs (79)
70. You Don't Know Her Like I Do - Brantley Gilbert (74)
71. Simple Song - The Shins (75)
72. Drunk On You - Luke Bryan (82)
73. Watching You Watch Him - Eric Hutchinson (77)
74. Brokenhearted - Karmin (DEBUT)
75. Springsteen - Eric Church (81)
76. Got My Country On - Chris Cagle (80)
77. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen (DEBUT)
78. Famous - Audio Playground (DEBUT)
79. Ships In The Night - Mat Kearney (83)
80. Boyfriend - Justin Bieber (100)
81. Cough Syrup - Young Giant (61)
82. Rock The Boat - Bob Sinclar f/Pitbull (86)
83. This Ole Boy - Craig Morgan (87)
84. Alone Again - Alyssa Reid f/Jump Smokers (84)
85. Heart Skips A Beat - Olly Murs f/Rizzle Kicks (89)
86. Time Is Love - Josh Turner (91)
87. Favorite Song - Colbie Caillat f/Common (99)
88. Somethin' 'Bout A Truck - Kip Moore (90)
89. She Doesn't Mind - Sean Paul (93)
90. Let's Don't Call It A Night - Casey James (92)
91. Share My Love - R. Kelly (DEBUT)
92. Paso (The Nini Anthem) - Sak Noel (96)
93. Sexy & I Know It - LMFAO (88)
94. Turn Up The Music - Chris Brown (98)
95. Feel Like A Rock Star - Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw (DEBUT)
96. No Resolution - Seether (DEBUT)
97. Real Love - Eric Benet (RE-ENTRY)
98. Give Your Heart A Break - Demi Lovato (DEBUT)
99. Wanna Make You Love Me - Andy Gibson (DEBUT)
100. Easy - Cro (DEBUT)

 There are nine new songs on my list this week (highlighted in green), and here they are, along with a little about the artists, with links to their previous hits on video in orange.

The highest debut belongs to the duo Karmin, who rode the YouTube wave to record label success. Nick Noonan and Amy Heidemann, who met at Boston's Berklee College of Music and are now engaged, put out a series of covers of hiphop songs like "Look At Me Now" which grew a Reddit fanbase. They recently were the musical guest of Saturday Night Live (rare for an act with no released album), and one of the songs they performed, "Brokenhearted" is breaking through as a top-5 dance and top-40 pop hit.


 Next up is another internet-dependent sensation, this time Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen. Jepsen, from the town of Mission in British Columbia, was a contestant on Canadian Idol, where she came in third in 2007. She had a couple of top-40 hits in Canada, but it took being signed to Justin Bieber's Schoolboy label and his promotion to his gajillion tween "Beliebers" to give her a #1 there as well as England and cross over to the US for a top-10 hit with the uber-cute "Call Me Maybe"...


Also from Canada, this time from Edmonton, Alberta, is dance trio Audio Playground, with their first American hit. With singer Anthony Gitto, they topped the Canadian charts with a cover of Erasure's "A Little Respect", and now reach the US dance list with "Famous"...


R&B loverman R.Kelly has topped the US soul charts a dozen times, most recently with 2003's "Step In The Name Of Love". His newest CD, Write Me Back, is due out in June, and the first single from it is the adult R&B top-5 hit "Share My Love"..

 

Between them country giants Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw have forty-three charttoppers, and they team up for a song that had one of the highest debuts on that list in years (#13) with "Feel Like A Rock Star"..


 South African post-grunge band Seether place their third single from their latest album Holding On To Strings Better Left To Fray onto the Mainstream Rock Songs chart, where they sent "Country Song" and "Tonight" to the #1 spot. It's with "No Resolution"...



After struggling with recovery from drugs, alcohol, and an eating disorder, former Disney actress and Barney kid Demi Lovato had her first solo pop top-10 with "Skyscraper" last year, and the followup has made the adult-pop top-30. Here's "Give Your Heart a Break"...


Andy Gibson, co-writer of the Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson crossover country-pop smash "Don't You Wanna Stay", has his first singing chart hit with the top-30 country single "Wanna Make You Love Me".


The final debut is by German rapper Cro, who cribs the hook from the 60s hit "Sunny" for his first top-3 hit in his homeland, "Easy"..


Thank you, and good night....

Friday, April 27, 2012

SOTD - in the sweet ol' country where I come from, nobody ever works, nothing gets done...



The Rolling Stones - "Hang Fire"
from the album Tattoo You (1981)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #20 (two weeks)
weeks in top-40: 6

Today's Song of the Day was the third single off of the Rolling Stones' classic Tattoo You LP, which gathered assorted songs from recording sessions from their previous albums. "Hang Fire" was from 1978's Some Girls sessions (which gave us "Miss You" and "Beast Of Burden"), and has a deceptively politically subversive message underneath the toss-off surf-rock backdrop. As a kid, I thought "hang fire" was just a drugged up version of "hang five", but it's a slang phrase for loafing around, stemming from the weaponry term for a misfired gun. It's almost a put-down of the youth culture as "dole queens", which I guess at this point in their career they've moved to artistic elitists. Oh well. Still a fun little ditty. The song made the pop top 20 and the #2 spot on the rock radio chart.



 Up tomorrow: a rock "continent" of a supergroup.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Songoftheday 4/26/12 - I'm just an average guy, fool around a little on the side...



Ray Parker Jr. - "The Other Woman"
from the album The Other Woman (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #4 (two weeks)

Today's song of the day is Ray Parker Jr.'s glorification of gettin' some on the side. Parker, a sideman for such R&B greats as Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, formed Raydio in the late 70's. The group had three top-10 pop hits, including one of my personal 'perfect' pop singles of all time, "You Can't Change That". The band split in 1981 (fellow member Jerry Knight went on to record "Breakin'...There's No Stoppin' Us" as Ollie & Jerry), and Ray's first solo album's title song became his first top-10 solo hit.



His album just missed the top-10 at #11, but remains his biggest seller (not including the Ghostbusters soundtrack), which is why it's crazy that it's not available on CD except for a Japanese import for mucho dineiro.

Tomorrow: the Glimmer Twins flame-surf.

April 26th candletime


Happy 50th birthday to Soap star/singer Michael Damian.


And happy 42nd to TLC's non-holographic T-Boz...


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25th candletime...


Happy 48th birthday to Andy Bell, lead singer for synth-pop duo Erasure. My favorite Erasure singles:

1) Drama!
2) Sometimes
3) A Little Respect
4) Fingers & Thumbs (Cold Summer's Day)
5) Chorus
6) Chains Of Love
7) Don't Say Your Love Is Killing Me
8) Love To Hate You
9) Victim Of Love
10) It Doesn't Have To Be


It's also the 66th birthday of Bjorn Ulvaeus, 1/4 of ABBA. My favorite ABBA singles:

1) Take a Chance On Me
2) When All Is Said And Done
3) The Winner Takes It All
4) Knowing Me Knowing You
5) Mamma Mia
6) One Of Us
7) The Name Of The Game
8) SOS
9) Dancing Queen
10) I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do


Songoftheday 4/25/12 - Maybe I didn't love you, quite as often as I could have...



Willie Nelson - "Always Of My Mind"
from the album Always On My Mind (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #5 (three weeks)
Weeks In The Top-40: 15

Today's song of the day is the classic cover of "Always On My Mind" my country legend/toker Willie Nelson. The song originally was written back in the early 70s, and released initially by pop/country ingenue Brenda Lee, who had only a minor hit with the single.That same year, Elvis Presley released the definitive version, having a top-20 country hit and a top-10 pop hit in Britain.

"Always..." was the first single for Willie after his film Honeysuckle Rose, featuring his iconic hit "On The Road Again". But it was the cover of this song that gave Nelson his biggest solo hit by far, and won writers Wayne Carson, Johnny Christopher, and Mark James a Grammy for Song of the Year. The production, stark with just the piano prevalent and echoing backing vocals, gave his version a timeless and ethereal quality. Even live, Willie's usual quivering voice fits well with the song, giving it a vulnerability that Elvis' perhaps was lacking...


Five years later, the song would return to the US pop top-5 courtesy of the Pet Shop Boys, who amped the campy drama and tossed off the vulnerability...


Tomorrow: MonogamyBusters!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Distant Shores Song of the Night...You're my river runnin' hard..


Tonight's Distant Shores song is a remake of Lykke Li's "I Follow Rivers" by Belgian rock band Triggerfinger. They're currently on top of the chart in the Netherlands and Belgium with this single.




Cee U Next Tuesday of the Week...Why Ann Romney can bite my ass....


Screw Ann Romney. I am totally tired of the deification of this Stepford Wife because she was able to turn a critique on her perennially-wealthy life to be some sort of "attack" on "stay at home moms". Yo Ann, you know what's an attack on stay-at-home moms? THIS:








It's been a couple weeks since the legendary "War Againsts Moms" meme slash bullshit that the GOP establishment assisted by the "ooh yay we have an easy-ass narrative" media borg, but I'm still seething about it. Ann Romney proved to be the queen of victimhood when fellow Washington (but center-left-leaning) tool Hilary Rosen forgot her PR training with a totally-true but clumsily worded quip about Romney not working a day in your life. This started up the panty-twisting machine that distorted the whole off-the-cuff comment into a heathen barrage on all stay-at-home mom's. Even the President had to tuck it in and refute the claim, even though he had nothing to do with it.

Well you know what? Fuck her.

Enough of this act that this poor innocent woman is so aggrieved. Anyone with blood flowing into their cranium knows that the reference wasn't about her being a mother as to her financial and cultural status. This was so proven out by her actions later on in Florida where she proclaimed the kerfuffle as a "Birthday present" and her high-tag shopping spree.

I went to a school with the kids of people just like her. She has an entire staff (multiple, considering the multiple houses they have) to cater to them, in fact it even was a point of contention when it was found out he had undocumented foreigners on his landscaping contractors.She freely admitted that her idea of scraping by was living on fucking husband's interest. There was NO period of time where she was in any shape or form close to what the vast majority of Americans are facing today.

As for her saintly moral character, FUCK HER. WITH A STICK. To gleefully justify shoving their dog on a crate on top of their car puts her in psycopathic territory in my book. (And nobody talks about what happened to the dog after.)

As for the old "you can't attack her, she's been through CANCER! been through MS!" gig, you know what? There are a shitload of women going through that, women who Ann and her husband are playing pawns with by fucking with their ability to get health insurance. She has access to whatever she wants, and I sympathize completely with women's struggles with the disease with all the hurdles they face, but I'm not forced to have to fucking care about hers. If they weren't so intent on fucking the 99% over, I would be, but they made their deal with the devil. There are so many more victims of cancer and MS than need help more than pussyfooting around her rich ass.


I'll end by saying, let Ann Romney eat cake. The Trump-bought cake with her on her money-engulfing dressage horses. And until she and her milquetoast husband who are intent on destroying the chances of millions of Americans fighting for their health, she can lick my balls.


Update:  In case you're thinking I'm being way too harsh on the woman read this article. Money quote:

 I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn’t easy for any of us.


Dafuq is dat


Again, Marie Antoinette gets no sympathy for me. I'll save that for those women (and men) struggling.

April 24 candletime....


Today should be a national gay holiday, since it's Barbra Streisand's 70th birthday (pictured above showing Lady GaGa how it's done.

My favorite hits of Barb's:

1) What Kind Of Fool
2) Evergreen
3) No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
4) Guilty
5) Promises (as you see I loves me some Guilty)


and forty (!) years younger is Kelly Clarkson, who turns the big 3-0 today. My favorite Kelly hits.

1) Walk Away
2) Since U Been Gone
3) Never Again
4) Because Of You
5) Mr. Know It All


Now where's the duet between the two?

SOTD - you're a discontented mother and a regimented wife...



Charlene - "I've Never Been To Me"
from the album I've Never Been To Me (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #3 (three weeks)

Today's Song of The Day is by soft-pop singer Charlene (nee D'Angelo, then Duncan, then Oliver), who had one of the first 80's "revival" records with her hit "I've Never Been To Me". The song was originally released back in 1977, where it scraped the bottom of the pop chart, peaking at #97. Five years later, with the help of DJ Scott Shannon, the song's popularity spread like wildfire, putting her in the US top-3 and having a number-one record in Britain, where she was now living. And fortunately, it restored the controversial-for-its-time lyrics and bridge.


Her record was rereleased by Motown, and she was so far removed from what the label was doing, that I'm not sure they knew what to do with her. Her followup record featured a duet with Stevie Wonder, but that didn't even make the top-40. It's a shame, since the I've Never Been To Me album is really good for that kind of music, and it's out of print and hard to find (I had to pay a pretty penny a copy). However, the song had a resurgence courtesy of Australian camp classic Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, where it was showcased in the opening scene..


"I've Never Been To Me" was written by Ron Miller and Ken Hirsch, and originally was in a man's perspective, which was covered by the likes of the Temptations.


In 1992 British alt-rock band Ned's Atomic Dustbin did a wacked out rave cover of the song..


And Charlene herself guested on a dance remix of the track.


This still remains one of my favorite "Guilty Pleasure" songs.

Tomorrow: 4/20's musical leader does the King.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Distant Shores Song of the night - Euphoria...

Tonight's Distant Shores song of the night is Sweden's entry into this years Eurovision song contest, Loreen's "Euphoria". Loreen (born Lorine Talhaoui), was a contestant on that country's Idol franchise, and Euphoria is her second top-10 hit and first #1 there.


Quisling of the week - Mitt's Gay BFF...


This week's Quisling (named for the infamous Norwegian leader who sold his country out to the Nazis) is Richard Grenell, Willard Romney's new foreign policy spokesman. While I should be gleeful that his appointment is drawing the ire of the fire-and-brimstone neanderthals, his attempt on being the catty GOP gay-friend only to go try to disinfect his Twitter account of his blatherings on Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and the Gingriches is pretty comical.

Recently this douchenozzle opined that Rachel Maddow should "take a breath and put on a necklace", alluding to a) the fact that she can speak coherently without mouthbreathing and b) nod nod wink wink is a big ol' LESBIAN. SHOCKER! Yo, Dick (it is short for Richard, no?), is this the witty banter that gets you blocked on Grindr? For someone whose verbal affectation makes Marcus Bachmann seem like Clint Eastwood, you certainly love to throw rhinestones in glass houses.

I recently watched a fluffy gay romcom where the boyfriend was a self-proclaimed Gay Republican, because of the "economic issues". Which is of course code for "as long as I can help them fuck over the dark people, they'll love my presence!". And for selling short so you can bang a buck out, go take your vinegary cattiness, shove it in a Fleet, and flush yourself out with it.

Bless his lil' soul.

SOTD - step right this way.....



The Beatles - "The Beatles Movie Medley"
from the album Reel Music (1982)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #12 (three weeks)

After the left-field success of the cut-and-paste act Stars On 45's "Medley", a #1 hit, record labels dipped their feet into the nostalgia pool, with releases like the "Hooked On Classics" kind, putting a medley of way-older styles to a electronic drumbeat, and string-along medleys of cornerstone oldies acts. The Beach Boys' label released a medley of their hits which went top-20 in 1981, and to promote the Beatles first compilation release since the death of John Lennon, Reel Music, Capitol put out a 45 single named "The Beatles Movie Medley". The track tied together parts of  seven Fab Four movie classics: "Magical Mystery Tour", "All You Need Is Love", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "I Should Have Known Better", "A Hard Day's Night", "Ticket To Ride", and "Get Back".



The band and the label haven't thought so much of the mashup, since neither Reel Music nor the "Beatles Movie Medley" have been available in the States on CD. I picked up what I thought was a Japanese CD, but I can't rip it onto my computer. Alas. #whitepeopleproblems.

Tomorrow: Priscilla's opening bang.

April 23 candletime


Happy 29th birthday, Taio Cruz. Now dance.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Distant Shores song of the night...Delta's Dawn...


Singer Delta Goodrem has a lot in common with Antipodean queen Kylie Minogue. They're both Aussie singers who got their start on the soap Neighbours, Both transitioned from acting to singing with teen-pop releases before venturing into more adult material (though Delta went right to it on her debut album). Both have had crazy success around the world but have struggled to conquer the States (especially Delta, who only can boast a top-20 adult-pop ranking). And while Kylie's price may have been too high for the British version of The Voice, Delta settled in just fine in the Australian show's mentor spot. Both have had harrowing battles with cancer (Goodrem was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at 18), and on a lighter note both have a proclivity for younger men (Delta dated Nick Jonas a couple years back, and rumors swirl about her and co-Voice-mate Joel Madden). She's back on the charts in the #2 spot in her home country with the Brightman-esque "Sitting On Top Of The World"...


I revived my "Distant Shores..." segment to showcase music popular around the world that may not be even released in the States. But, as the phenomenal success of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" can attest, it just takes a little time....


twostepcubchart for April 20, 2012...


Hey folks, time for my top-100 tunes for the week. This week Gotye and Kimbra spend a seventh week at #1, while Adele (pictured above) now has two songs in the top-5. Nicki Minaj has the only track moving at least ten places, while former big hits by Gavin DeGraw and Havana Brown drop out. Link-O-Rama is still in effect, so you can click on any of the highlighted artist names to go to their website (now thanks to Blogger it'll automatically go to a new window. Yay!)

This Week       Song/Artist (last week's position in parentheses)
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1. Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye f/Kimbra (1)
2. We Are Young - fun. (2)
3. Set Fire To The Rain - Adele (3)
4. I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz (5)
5. Rumour Has It - Adele (13)
6. Turn Me On - David Guetta f/Nicki Minaj (4)
7. Glad You Came - The Wanted (11)
8. Bully - Shinedown (10)
9. Domino - Jessie J (6)
10. Part Of Me - Katy Perry (12)
11. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Kelly Clarkson (7)
12. Drive By - Train (8)
13. Love On Top - Beyonce (9)
14. Alone With You - Jake Owen (14)
15. Feel So Close - Calvin Harris (15)
16. Wild Ones - Flo Rida f/Sia (21)
17. Levels - Avicii (17)
18. Give Me All Your Luvin' - Madonna f/Nicki Minaj & MIA (22)
19. Lonely Boy - Black Keys (16)
20. Titanium - David Guetta f/Sia (18)
21. A Woman Like You - Lee Brice (26)
22. These Days - Foo Fighters (20)
23. Ours - Taylor Swift (19)
24. Tonight Is The Night - Outasight (30)
25. Run - Matt Nathanson f/Sugarland (29)
26. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri (28)
27. It Will Rain - Bruno Mars (23)
28. Paradise - Coldplay (24)
29. International Love - Pitbull f/Chris Brown (33)
30. Ai Se Eu Te Pego - Michel Telo (31)
31. We Found Love - Rihanna f/Calvin Harris (27)
32. Dancing Away With My Heart - Lady Antebellum (36)
33. Don't Stop (Color On The Walls) - Foster The People (25)
34. Respect - Melanie Amaro (38)
35. Not Your Fault - AWOLnation (35)
36. Love You Like A Love Song - Selena Gomez & The Scene (32)
37. Over You - Miranda Lambert (43)
38. Fine By Me - Andy Grammer (40)
39. Good Feeling - Flo Rida (39)
40. Banjo - Rascal Flatts (44)
41. Starships - Nicki Minaj (51)
42. Naked - Dev & Enrique Iglesias (46)
43. Next To Me - Emeli Sande (45)
44. Drink on It - Blake Shelton (48)
45. Face To The Floor - Chevelle (41)
46. Love After War - Robin Thicke (34)
47. Good Girl - Carrie Underwood (54)
48. Better Than I Used To Be - Tim McGraw (50)
49. No Hurry - The Zac Brown Band (53)
50. Gold On The Ceiling - Black Keys (58)
51. Thank You - Estelle (56)
52. Lullaby - Nickelback (52)
53. She Gets Down On Her Knees - Yoko Ono (57)
54. Girl Gone Wild - Madonna (DEBUT)
55. R.E.S.P..E.C.T. - RLP & Barbara Tucker f/Lil' Jon (55)
56. Better Than I Know Myself - Adam Lambert (60)
57. Woo - Anthony Hamilton (59)
58. Tongue Tied - Grouplove (64)
59. F U Betta - Neon Hitch (47)
60. Shadow Days - John Mayer (62)
61. Cough Syrup - Young The Giant (61)
62. The One That Got Away - Katy Perry (49)
63. Never Forget - Dave Aude f/Lena Katina (67)
64. Changed The Way You Kiss Me - Example (68)
65. Satellite - Rise Against (65)
66. Wild One Too - Jack Back f/David Guetta, Nicky Romero & Sia (DEBUT)
67. Even If It Breaks Your Heart - Eli Young Band (72)
68. Midnight City - M83 (74)
69. Charlie Brown - Coldplay (69)
70. Be Your Freak - Kenny Dope f/Josh Milan (71)
71. Fly Over States - Jason Aldean (76)
72. What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction (RE-ENTRY)
73. If You Ever Come Back - The Script (80)
74. You Don't Know Her Like I Do - Brantley Gilbert (78)
75. A Simple Song - The Shins (77)
76. Eyes Open - Taylor Swift (DEBUT)
77. Watching You Watch Him - Eric Hutchinson (82)
78. Surrender - Paul Oakenfold (66)
79. Oh My Goodness - Olly Murs (DEBUT)
80. Got My Country On - Chris Cagle (84)
81. Springsteen - Eric Church (88)
82. Drunk On You - Luke Bryan (DEBUT)
83. Ships In The Night - Mat Kearney (89)
84. Alone Again - Alyssa Reid f/Jump Smokers (86)
85. Where I Come From - Montgomery Gentry (85)
86. Rock The Boat - Bob Sinclar f/Pitbull (92)
87. This Ole Boy - Craig Morgan (91)
88. Sexy & I Know It - LMFAO (73)
89. Heart Skips A Beat - Olly Murs f/Rizzle Kicks (93)
90. Somethin' 'Bout A Truck - Kip Moore (90)
91. Time Is Love - Josh Turner (DEBUT)
92. Let's Don't Call It A Night - Casey James (94)
93. She Doesn't Mind - Sean Paul (97)
94. Insomnia - L2 (96)
95. Beekeeper's Daughter - All-American Rejects (DEBUT)
96. Paso (The Nini Anthem) - Sak Noel (DEBUT)
97. Remember Everything - Five Finger Death Punch (98)
98. Turn Up The Music - Chris Brown (DEBUT)
99. Favorite Song - Colbie Caillat f/Common (DEBUT)
100. Boyfriend - Justin Bieber (DEBUT)

There are eleven new songs on my list this week (highlighted in yellow), and here they are, along with a little about the artists, with links to their previous hits on video in orange.

The highest debut belongs to Madonna, who has her eighth #1 album with her latest, MDNA, and her last single, "Give Me All Your Luvin'", made the pop Top-10, tying with Elvis Presley for the record of most top-10 hits in the rock era (also tying the Beatles for third-place for most top-40 pop hits).The followup is the bouncy "Girl Gone Wild" complete with a video borrowing ideas from "Vogue" and "Justify My Love"...



The Flo Rida/Sia collaboration "Wild Ones" has just jumped into my top-20, and a remix under the moniker of "Jack Back" featuring French DJ David Guetta (making his third on my chart this week), Dutch DJ Nicki Romero, and Sia's vocals on "Wild One Two"...


The hottest movie of this year so far was been the Hunger Games, and from the soundtrack to that country ingenue Taylor Swift has two cuts, "Safe And Sound" with the alt-country duo Civil Wars, and her single that's getting play on adult pop radio, "Eyes Open"...


British X Factor runner-up Olly Murs has proven to have had the biggest pop career of all the male contestants of that show, since while his previous hit "Heart Skips A Beat" is just now topping the charts in Germany, his second followup to that, "Oh My Goodness" is breaking through in his homeland becoming a top-10 airplay success there. Hint - pick up his excellent In Case You Didn't Know CD, even on import, it's so worth it.


Country spring breaker Luke Bryan follows his #1 hit "I Don't Want This Night To End" with "Drunk On You"...


Also on the country tip, crooner Josh Turner is back with his low, booming voice previewing his upcoming CD Punching Bag with the breezy "Time Is Love", which reminds me of his former #1 "Would You Go With Me"...


Oklahoma power-pop outfit the All-American Rejects have accrued three top-10 singles in the US, including the #1 pop radio hit "Gives You Hell" from 2008. After a four year break, their fourth album, Kids In The Street, came out three weeks ago, and the first single from that is top-30 on adult-pop radio. Here's "Beekeeper's Daughter"...


Spanish DJ Sak Noel gave us the international novelty dance hit of last year with the crude "Loca People", and this year the party continues with "Paso (The Nini Anthem)"...


Chris Brown is back from stirring up shit, appearing on a zillion songs (like Pitbull's "International Love"), and collaborating with the woman who had a restraining order on him (on "Birthday Cake"),  to top the British charts and score a dance hit with "Turn Up The Music"...


California soft-rock singer Colbie Caillat teams up with rapper Common for her third single off of her All Of You CD, and off the heels of her #2 adult-pop hit "Brighter Than The Sun". The result is "Favorite Song"...


And finally, it's the Biebs. Justin Bieber, that is, who at all of 18 is still the teen heartthrob de jour. Mind you, he's only had two top-10 singles in the US, "Baby" and "Never Say Never", both of which are now overtaken by the success of his latest, "Boyfriend"...


And roaring back on to my list is the former #1 British hit by boyband One Direction that's now top-5 in the States, "What Makes You Beautiful"...


Rain Rain water my plants....