Wednesday, June 16, 2010
This past year has been quite the successful year for singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb, from frivolous news about her creating and selling her own line of her stylish eye glasses (which have been synonymous with her image since she hit it big in the music world with her 1994 classic "Stay (I Missed You)"), to perhaps more exciting news for her personal life, marrying music coordinator for the Conan O'Brien Show, Rory Hershkovitz, in January 2009 and giving birth to the couples first child, a daughter they named Lyla Rose Loeb Hershkovitz in November of last year.
Back in 2005, Lisa had her own reality show entitled "Number 1 Single", which gave a look at her life trying to find a nice Jewish man to fall in love with and have a family. The show ended after one season and she had not yet met the man of her dreams, but now she has. Mazel Tov to the happy couple.
Above is a live performance of her song "Truthfully" from her 1997 album "Firecracker" that she did at a New York City gig back in 2008. Lisa still remains the only Artist ever, to have a number 1 single on the billboard Hot 100 chart before being signed to a record label. Congrats on that too girl.
No story, I just love her lol.
Much like Lady Gaga, I find P!NK to be one of those few musicians whom I can watch endlessly in interviews because she is so fascinating and ballsy. The thing I especially like about her is that she doesn't put up a false demeanor (I think Gaga sometimes does), she sits there and speaks up and is honest no matter the situation and I just love that. Watch the interview above with my husband, George Stroumboulopoulos on his talk show "The Hour" to see what I mean. (Greatest talk show ever if you ask me).
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
OMG! This may be the best thing I've seen on a talk show in awhile. Self proclaimed D-list celebrity and outrageous stand up comic, Kathy Griffin, was on the talk show "The View" this morning to promote the season premiere of the 6th season of her Emmy Winning reality show "My Life On The D-List". While having fun chatting it up with co-hosts Joy Behar, Sherri Sheppard (both comics themselves) and some chicky from One Life to Live who was filling in as special guest host, it seemed as if the fourth co-host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, was in a tiff and not really open to giving Kathy so much as the time of day.
Being as rude as to literally yawn and stretch while Griffin was talking, Hasselbeck who is famously known for being a right winged "dingbat" (a polite way of saying Uptight Republican Bitch) shot a line at Kathy that basically implied that she wasn't funny and proved her disdain for her. Quick witted Kathy naturally fired back no problem saying "This moment is what I live for, so Bring It!", which means of course we can all expect to be hearing about this incident in her next set of stand up shows. Kathy also tweeted about it this afternoon, stating "The most unlikely person just MADE MY DAY. Please tell me you saw The View today." Take a look at the interview below and witness Hasselbeck's unprofessionality as a talk show host (and the birth of a new act for Kathy). I really think Elisabeth should be reprimanded for her behaviour.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Based on the collection of novels by Charlaine Harris and set in the fictional town of Bon Temps, Louisiana, the HBO series "True Blood" centres around Sookie Stackhouse (played by Oscar winner Anna Paquin) a telepathic waitress who finds herself falling in love with a vampire named Bill Compton (played by Paquin's real life fiancee, Stephen Moyer) and dealing with the difficulties that seems to come with that relationship from both sides of society (Vamps & Humans).
Much has happened in the series in it's short 2 season run, and with the premiere of the third season airing only two days ago, it looks like we're in for another wild ride with the addition of new supernatural beings and more relationships starting and being torn apart. Before the premiere episode, the principal cast sat down for a Q&A of fan questions and revealed their feelings on their characters and where the show has been thus far. Take a look.
I really shouldn't have been surprised by the news that singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright had written and composed his very own Opera, because his music (despite being labelled a brand of folk/pop) has always slightly bordered on classical. But still I found myself quite impressed this evening as I tuned in to watch his documentary "Prima Donna: The Story Of An Opera" which chronicled his journey from conception to the opening night in Manchester, England.
After performing Prima Donna in Manchester he moved his production to the London stage, and now the production has returned to his native land and is being presented as part of Toronto's Luminato Festival.
The Opera is about a day in the life of an aging opera singer, anxiously preparing for her comeback in 1970s Paris, who falls in love with a journalist. Watch the interview above to get the scoop from Rufus, and below I have included one of my favorite Rufus songs (among many) just because I think his music is mesmerizing.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Two thirds of the Grammy winning country group "The Dixie Chicks", sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, have formed a country folk duo and recently released their first album under the monocre "Court Yard Hounds". The sister act has confirmed that they are in no way leaving the Dixie Chicks for good. In fact, the chicks will be appearing as special guests on The Eagles summer tour while Court Yard Hounds will also be making frequent appearances on the Lilith Fair tour. They stated that fellow Chick and lead vocalist, Natalie Maines, was not quite ready to return to the recording studio to record their fifth album but the sisters were itching to perform once again. They decided to record some of the songs that Emily had been writing on her own over the past few years during her divorce from husband Charlie Robison, and thus, the Court Yard Hounds were born.
The album features Emily on lead vocals while sister Martie provides harmonies and of course spices up the tracks with her amazing fiddle playing. Robison's voice is a bit reminiscent of one of their mentors, Sheryl Crow, and the album is a stunning achievement for their first time out the gate.
The track listing for the album is,
2) The Coast
3) Delight (Something New Under The Sun)
4) See You In The Spring
5) Ain't No Son
7) I Miss You
9) April's Love
10) Then Again
11) It Didn't Make A Sound
12) Fear Of Wasted Time
I-tunes Deluxe Edition Bonus Songs
13) Well Behaved
14) Straw Cage
Watch the interview and performance of their first single above and go purchase their self-titled debut album now if you like what you hear.
Awhile back (I mean years ago, when I first started writing this blog) I wrote about the last time the original girls of En Vogue tried to reunite, which ultimately led to only two live tv performances, a hand full of concerts and a guest spot on the song "So What The Fuss" by Stevie Wonder. It wasn't long into that reunion before Dawn Robinson left the group for the second time due to differences with management and was replaced by Rhona Bennett. But now it's OFFICIAL!!!!! The four original members of the group, Cindy Herron Braggs, Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, and Maxine Jones are working on new music and their record label, "Rufftown Records", has confirmed that as of right now their first single from their new album (for which a title has not been shared with the public) will be released on September 1st of this year and the group has confirmed their plans for a world tour to support the album. To hear the news from the girls themselves and see them perform some of their biggest hits to date, watch their spotlight interview on A&E's Private Sessions below. Enjoy!
Part 1: Free Your Mind
Part 2: Interview 1
Part 3: My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)
Part 4: Interview 2
Part 5: Hold On
Part 6: Interview 3
Part 7: Don't Let Go (Love)
Part 8: Interview 4
Part 9: Interview 5
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I got permission from my boyfriend to include one of his performance video's on my blog since nobody looks or even really remembers that I have a blog (I write the posts as if thousands of people are reading them, but lets face it, it's just me) and I have to say that out of all of his video's, this has to be my favorite one that I've watched so far. I'll probably add more soon though. He's such a passionate performer and I'm quite envious of that.
Love this song (ain't he hot?!?! Yes, I think so!)
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Though I eventually began to like Madonna's last studio album "Hard Candy" (which I initially hated and still do to a certain extent), I was more pleased with the couple of new tracks that accompanied her latest greatest Hits collection "Celebration", including the title track above. I just miss her ballads. Is it too much to ask of her to throw in a few ballads now and then? Anyways, the video is very simple and basic and features not only her latest boytoy Jesus Luz (as the DJ), but also her now 13 year old daughter, Lourdes (aka Lola) who performs an impressive backflip near the end of the video when amongst the group of dancers.
Lola has been making a bit of a name for herself in the past few months. Not only have she and her Mother designed a line of clothing called "Material Girl" for Macy's department store, but she will also be featured (by herself) as the cover girl for the July issue of European Magazine "Quality". Well done!
Lola had previously been offered work in the public eye when she was offered the role of Lily in the big screen adaptation of the Sue Monk Kidd novel "The Secret Life Of Bees". She declined the role at the time because Madonna felt she was still too young. The role went instead to Dakota Fanning. Great film!
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Actress Zooey Deschanel and her good pal and musical collaborator M. Ward have teamed up once again to bring us their new collection "Volume 2", after the stunning success of their first release (appropriately titled) "Volume 1". The album is another great blend of 50's and 60's inspired folk pop tracks with a few great cover songs thrown in for good measure.
The track listing for the album goes like this,
2) In The Sun
3) Don't Look Back
4) Ridin' In My Car
5) Lingering Still
6) Me And You
7) Gonna Get Along Without You Now
9) I'm Gonna Make It Better
11) Over It Over Again
12) Brand New Shoes
13) If You Can't Sleep
The first single from the album is (obviously) In The Sun which features backing vocals by indie group Tilly & The Wall. Zooey said of writing the song,
"I originally composed it with a classic jazz chord progression—with a little chromatic step—and it was slower. But we got in the studio and Matt [Ward asked], 'Why don't we put a Bee Gees beat on it?' And it totally came to life in a way I didn't expect."
Check out the video above and if you like what you hear, go purchase the album. I'm sad I'll be missing the She & Him concert tomorrow night here in Toronto, but I saw them on tour for the last album so I guess I can't complain really.
Just released today, this is the brand new video from our beloved Lady Gaga. Comparisons have already been made to some of Madonna's earlier works but that is of course to be expected. The video (directed by photographer Steven Klein, who has also worked closely with our dear Queen of Pop), is a stark contrast from the flashy and colorful world of her previous video for Telephone. Sepia tones, homoerotic and even religious imagery are what you have to look forward to when you watch this militaristic romp which Gaga explains is about the,
“purity of my friendships with my gay friends, and how I’ve been unable to find that with a straight man in my life. It’s a celebration and an admiration of gay love—it confesses my envy of the courage and bravery they require to be together. In the video I’m pining for the love of my gay friends—but they just don’t want me to be with them.”
Monday, June 07, 2010
It's hard for me to choose a favorite song from Alanis' recent album "Flavors Of Entanglement" because it is so astonishingly brilliant, but I will say that from the first moment my ears met the song "Torch" I was madly in love and heartbroken at the same time. She so perfectly describes the sadness and defeat one feels when dealing with a break up.
This record was written after her very public break up with actor Ryan Reynolds, but the phoenix rose out of the ashes of that failed relationship and this past May 22nd, Alanis married her boyfriend of seven months, DJ Mario "Souleye" Treadway, in a small ceremony at their home in LA surrounded by their family. Congratulations Alanis! I can't wait to hear an album from the married perspective.
Because I could listen to her talk all day, I've decided to add this 2 hour interview with Lady Gaga that she recently did in London. The interview is basically a Q&A with her fans (and a few friends) who have sent in questions for her. The only annoying part is, since it's an interview for a website, the interviewer is typing her answers for the most part which leaves a bit of dead air in between questions while he's finishing typing. Give it a look.
Like many others, I am completely in love with Lady Gaga. Her music, her style, her video's, her attitude, her connection with her fans, her support of the Gay Community, her live performances, everything she does is done with such gusto and after only 2 albums she is within the top 10 artists that I find endlessly entertaining and completely fascinating. I'm amazed at how her performances seem to elevate to a new visual plateau each time she does a television performance, and that her musical talent is sincere and genuine.
As luck would have it, I am fortunate enough to be attending The Monster Ball with 3 of my friends when it stops in Toronto on July 12th. I was shocked when the tickets for the first show in Toronto (July 11th) sold out in about 20 seconds (at least it seemed that way). But luckily I snagged 4 for the 12th. I count myself amongst her "Little Monsters" and though I may not dress for the occassion (simply because I can't afford to buy anything new) when it arrives, my personality will show my Monster inside, trust!
So here's the Bad Romance video, because I love it to death, and the Alejandro video is rumored to be premiering tomorrow so I hope it will be just as stunning.
The amazing Cyndi Lauper is releasing her 11th studio album on June 22nd. The album is a collection of classic Blues songs called "Memphis Blues" and she took the time to perform the lead single, "Just Your Fool" on the recent season finale of the NBC reality show "The Apprentice", which she was also a contestant on.
The tracklisting for Memphis Blues goes as follows,
1) Just Your Fool
2) Shattered Dreams
3) Early In The Mornin'
4) Romance In The Dark
5) How Blue Can You Get?
6) Down Don't Bother Me
7) Don't Cry No More
8) Rollin' And Tumblin'
9) Down So Low
10) Mother Earth
12) Wild Women Don't Get The Blues
Cyndi will be supporting the album with the Memphis Blues Tour which includes a free show during Toronto's Pride weekend on July 3rd, which I am feverishly looking forward to. Her voice is the perfect match for singing the blues.
This morning, myself and many other facebook patrons were allowed access to listen to the new Sarah McLachlan album "Laws Of Illusion" in it's entirety. The album will be released officially on June 15th, and it is a beautiful peace of work.
I have to say as a fan, it is so much better than her last studio album (2003's Afterglow) on a sonic level. Afterglow, as nice of an album as it was, was pretty much a big snooze. Each song was nice on it's own, but 10 breathy ballads all in a row, with only 1 lively number makes for a kind of boring listen.
Laws of Illusion is a nice balance of upbeat/midtempo tracks and the gorgeous ballads that are her staple and I am eager to hear the tracks from this album at Lilith Fair next month. Well worth the 7 year wait. The song shown above was one of the 5 songs that perked my ear up upon first listen, of course the album version is fuller
The track listing for the album goes,
2) Illusions Of Bliss
3) Loving You Is Easy (first single)
6) Rivers Of Love
7) Love Come
8) Out Of Tune
10) Don't Give Up On Us
11) U Want Me 2
12) Bring On The Wonder
If you're interested in previewing the album before it's release (and you haven't downloaded it yet) you can go to Sarah's fan page on facebook, click the New Album tab at the top of the page and listen away. Plus, check out Sarah and other artists this summer on the Lilith Fair Tour, for details see the tours Official Website Here!
As I mentioned in the post below, this is Janet's latest single which she wrote for the soundtrack of her latest film, Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married, Too?" The song is a simple but beautiful ballad, which deserved nothing less than a beautiful but simple video to go along with it. Enjoy.
I should have added this when it first came out because I'm so in love with this song, but I've been ignoring all of my blogs for quite awhile, but I've had a bit of time today so it's a good chance to add some things that have interested me in the past little while.
So, this song was the new single that Janet added to her latest Greatest Hits album, Number 1's, which featured 33 #1 hits (both internationally and domestically) and landed itself in the #1 position on the Billboard US Dance Club Chart.
I don't really understand why her past few albums haven't done as well as others. I get that some people were offended by the whole Superbowl incident, but really, people must be over that by now. She hasn't successfully completed a world tour since the All For You tour and some of her lead singles have been clunkers but I think if this song had been the lead track from a studio album it would have put her back on top. C'mon, Michael's gone! You're the only Jackson we have left to look forward to. Lately she has been focusing her career on acting more. She recently reprised her role as Patricia in Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married, Too?", which spawned the hit ballad "Nothing" (which will be added to this site next) and is currently filming another Tyler Perry helmed film entitled "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf".
Get back to the recording studio Janet. I'll be going through withdrawal soon.
One Pop Diva who always seems to get it right, is the one named wonder from Sweden, Robyn. She's one of very few pop artists that manages to keep producing perfect pop dance gems time after time that are so infectious and classic that it keeps you in a summer state of mind all year round.
Her latest EP, "Body Talk Pt. 1", the first in a collection of three cd's that will all be released this year, will be released officially in North America on June 15th (of course I already have it) and as I suspected from the lead off single seen above, she has indeed achieved greatness (in my mind) once more.
The track listing for the album is short but incredibly sweet,
1) Don't Fucking Tell Me What To Do
3) Dancing On My Own
4) Cry When You Get Older
5) Dancehall Queen
6) None Of Dem
7) Hang With Me (Acoustic)
8) Jag Vet en Dejlig Rosa
To accompany the release of the album, Robyn will be touring some markets on her own and hooking up with and co-headlining a tour with Kelis in others. Check out the video above and the album when it's released
Alright, let's talk a little bit about Christina. Firstly, her 4th full length studio album, Bionic, is being released in stores tomorrow, but I think most of her fans have already heard it by now. It's a bit of a far cry from the brilliance of her last album, 2006's Back To Basics, but it does have an intoxicating energy to it that is refreshing and will make for good blastings during long summer drives. Where Back To Basics threw us into the sounds of the past with Bossanova beats and jazz chords coming out the whazoo, Bionic takes us into a raunchy futuristic dance club, where synthesizers and harsh dance beats rule supreme, and of course Christina's infamously powerful pipes top it all off. Of course she still brings it on home with the soaring ballads that have become a benchmark in her career, but some of the lyrics on this album are just plain lazy (fun, but lazy).
Now, speaking of lazy, let's discuss the video above for the lead single "Not Myself Tonight". As much as I love the song (and as much as I think she looks incredibly fierce), the video really is just a mixture of scene's stolen from the music video's of other female artists, particularly Madonna. Now, I realize that it's hard for most female artists not to mimic the likes of Madonna from time to time, because she really has seen and done it all at one point or another, but to outright copy images from videos like "Express Yourself", "Human Nature", and "Like A Prayer" is completely ludicrous. She even manages to steal visuals from Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", and Geri Halliwell's "It's Raining Men" video's. What is that about?
If it was her intention to copy these works as a sort of homage to these women and I'm just missing the irony, then I will be the first to apologize for my opinion, but I doubt that it was. But, like I said, it works for what it is, and she does look fierce. I just expected a little bit more creativity from her.
Now the track listing for Bionic is,
2) Not Myself Tonight
3) Woohoo (feat. Nicki Minaj)
4) Elastic Love
6) Love & Glamour (intro)
8) Prima Donna
9) Morning Dessert (intro)
10) Sex For Breakfast
11) Lift Me Up
12) My Heart (intro)
13) All I Need
14) I Am
15) You Lost Me
16) I Hate Boys
17) My Girls (feat. Peaches)
Deluxe Edition Bonus Songs:
19) Monday Morning
21) Birds Of Prey
22) Stronger Than Ever
23) I Am (Stripped)
24) Little Dreamer
Pick it up tomorrow, and enjoy it.
It's no secret that I find Donna De Lory's music extremely heavenly and delightful, and now I'm happy to report that I will be experiencing it first hand on July 24th. Donna has recently been added to the stunning line up of performers that will be playing at the Toronto stop of this summer's Lilith Fair tour.
When I first saw that Donna (longtime back-up performer for Madonna) was going to be performing with Lilith Fair, she was only signed up to perform at the San Diego show (which makes sense since she lives in California and has two young girls) and I thought to myself, wouldn't it be wild if she came to Toronto? But that will never happen. If she does choose to do another few shows, they'll probably be in places in the US, close to the California area. Or so I thought. By the time I had bought my ticket for the Toronto show she still hadn't been added to any other shows but I was excited for the list of performers who were signed for that lineup.
Now, about a week ago, I was reading an article about Sarah McLachlan and it mentioned the lineups of each of the Canadian dates for Lilith, and Donna's name appeared in the list of performers for TO. I thought, this surely has to be a misprint so I checked her official website and the official Lilith website and it's Frickin' True!
Long story short (too late), I can't wait to see her performing her own music live for the first time and above is a video for her single "Praying For Love" from her 1993 self-titled debut album. Love it!