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Guinness Style: PSY Sets A World Record

Forget cars, computers, and costly petrochemicals. These days, South Korea’s most famous export is pop star PSY, who has just set the Guinness World Record for the most liked YouTube video of all time. It only took a few weeks for the rapper/producer’s massive hit “Gagnam Style” to become a viral sensation with millions of hits, hundreds of parody videos, and, surprisingly, several workout routines. By nabbing the Guinness record, PSY’s colorful montage of explosions, invisible horse riding, and sketchy yoga voyeurism has outstripped former YouTube record holders Adele, Justin Bieber, and LMFAO. While “Gagnam Style” is generally regarded as a much–loved worldwide sensation, some have questioned its reproduction of negative Asian stereotypes in the West. Others are just comfortable with emphatically screaming “You know what I’m saying!” while sitting on the toilet in a public restroom.

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Chart Catfight!: Look Who’s Hot on Carly Rae Jepsen’s Tail in the Battle of the Pop Divas!

Carly Rae Jepsen is in luck. It looks like she won’t have to ensure the continuation of her celebrity run after “Call Me Maybe” falls from its current summit by relying on the hoopla generated by her own Nipplegate—nude photos that ended up being someone else’s.

Thanks to a call from Adam Young, the one-man band behind Owl City, Jepsen is about to relight the fire under her rising star the old-fashioned way: with a new hit. “Good Time,” her duet with Owl City, just debuted at No. 18 on Billboard’s Hot 100, which means that her breakout No. 1 single won’t forever be alone on her hit list.

It’s pop symbiosis at its most effective: He saves her from that pop purgatory known as one-hit wonderdom, where he had been languishing since 2009, when the Owl City single “Fireflies” hit No. 1 on the Hot 100, and she helps get him out of it. Sure Katy Perry could have accomplished the same thing in the middle of a dead sleep, but that hardly would have been a meeting of near-equals.

Continue reading ‘Chart Catfight!: Look Who’s Hot on Carly Rae Jepsen’s Tail in the Battle of the Pop Divas!’

Sound and Vision: Songs of the Season — 10 Great “Summer” Singles

Summer and songs. They fit together like Santa and snow, like sex and the city, like Coldplay and Rihanna in the “Princess of China” single and video, which both acts no doubt are hoping will be the song of the summer of 2012. (And if it’s not, Rihanna’s got another shot anyway, with “Where Have You Been,” the fifth single from her Talk That Talk album.)

But the songs of summer aren’t just about the latest, greatest hits when warm weather starts to roll around. If they were, we all would have been stuck with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” on an endless beach loop last summer (and certainly some of us were). The hottest season has been figuring prominently into pop since the beginning of time, regardless of the temperature outside.

This year, it will be no different. So while the rest of the world is sweating it out to Rihanna and Coldplay, or Rihanna on her own, or brand new music from Justin Bieber, Usher, Chris Brown, or Fiona Apple (my personal beach pick), feel free to pad your summer mix with these ten entries, some of the best “summer’ songs ever.

Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: Songs of the Season — 10 Great “Summer” Singles’

Party Patrol

DaCav5

Prepare to “sweat your weaves out,” people. Coming straight outta the city of brotherly love is DaCav5, an electro-pop band armed with its own party rock anthems. Like LMFAO, DaCav5 specializes in crazed, pitch-bent beats that burrow down into your brain and command your body to move. “Dirty Style” has a whiff of “Party Rock Anthem,” kicking off with a big, fat, bassy beat. Add defiant mantras like “I don’t care what people say, Ima party anyway,” with a sexy female refrain and you’ve got yourself a hit. David Guetta, eat your heart out. “Party Started” does exactly what it proposes to do. The track gets underway with orchestral pulses and edgy vocal stylings. “Bitch get back, you know the kid got swag.” The kid definitely has swag. Make that all five kids. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some partying to do.

 

I Can Feel The Music In Memes: Songs As Internet Video Sensations

YouTube and music have gone hand in hand for a while now, helping break new stars (Gotye), and giving music lovers one more place to stream poor quality versions of their favorite songs. But perhaps YouTube’s greatest contribution to the music industry all started with the Chinese Backstreet Boys and their hilarious rendition of “I Want It That Way,” the video that spawned a sensation.

Six and a half years later, YouTube is no longer just a teenager, but hilarious lip syncing videos can still win over the crowd. Another sports team has lip synced another top 40 gem and have become mini-superstars themselves.

We did a little round up of some of the best/funniest/most clever music-centric vids on the web, read on for the rest:

Continue reading ‘I Can Feel The Music In Memes: Songs As Internet Video Sensations’

Sound and Vision: The Fall of R&B: How Pop Is Selling Its Soul for a Dance Beat

Remember the days when R&B and hip hop was the sound of pop? From the ‘90s to the mid ‘00s, music’s most dependable hitmakersMariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Boyz II Men, R. Kelly, Usher, Brandy, Monica, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child and Beyoncé, among themspecialized in “crossover” soul, climbing both the R&B charts and the Hot 100 in tandem.

But lately, something strange has been happening on Billboard’s R&B /Hip-Hop Songs chart: A hit is no longer necessarily a hit. Just because a song is big in the R&B sphere doesn’t mean it’s big anywhere else. For the week ending April 7, 2012, only one song in the R&B/Hip-Hop Top 10Tyga’s “Rack City”had managed a comparable placing on the Hot 100.

The song at No. 1, Beyoncé’s “Love on Top,” which had been there for multiple weeks, was way down at No. 54 on the Hot 100. (It briefly entered the Top 40 last September, debuting and peaking at No. 20 after Beyoncé performed it at the MTV Video Music Awards.) Meanwhile, there wasn’t a single R&B diva in the Top 40 aside from Janelle Monae, who got there by guest-singing on rock band fun.’s No. 1 hit “We Are Young.”

What happened to pop’s soul? There’s a disconnect between the pop and R&B charts that hasn’t been so pronounced since the days when Michael Jackson’s label, CBS Records, threatened to pull all of its artists from MTV if the then-fledgling network didn’t play Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video.

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Shakira and Afrojack Working Together?

In a recent interview with Billboard, DJ Afrojack revealed that he and Shakira have been working together in the studio.

“She’s really nice and that’s why we started working together,” says the DJ. “She has a unique voice and really loves the new dance thing. Like when a beat drops, she makes this like… face. She’s feeling it.”

This sheds some additional light on Shakira’s recent announcement that she has returned to the studio to work on a new album. Other sources have revealed that she will also collaborate with LMFAO, Akon and RedOne, but whether or not her tracks with Afrojack will be on the album is still unsure. “I never want to put a name tag on something,” says Afrojack. “I wanna just see what happens, but probably. We’ll see.”

Sound and Vision: Pop’s Singles Scene — the Scores and Strikes of 2012 (So Far)

During the early weeks of the year, 2012 sounded a lot like 2011, as Adele continued to rule Billboard’s Top 200 album and Hot 100 singles charts with 21, one year into the album’s life span. For all of her ongoing success, by February, the tops of the pops finally began to welcome some much-needed counterprogramming to The Adele Show, featuring rotating regular guest stars Katy Perry, Rihanna and Bruno Mars.

For several weeks, the late Whitney Houston became the chart force in death that she hadn’t been in life for more than a decade (“I Will Always Love You,” her signature No. 1 hit, re-charted and rose to No. 3, and one week, she had three albums in the Top 10), while a number of vets and newcomers arrived on the singles scene looking for a hit. They all came out swinging, but not everyone scored. Although the night—er, the year—is still young, look who’s winning (and losing) now.

Continue reading ‘Sound and Vision: Pop’s Singles Scene — the Scores and Strikes of 2012 (So Far)’

 


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