BRITNEY’S FIRST EVER CO-HEADLINING TOUR

Who will pop icon Britney Spears share the spotlight with on her summer tour this year?

By Alex Nagorski (Britney enthusiast extraordinaire) 

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Prior to Britney Spears’ surprise performance in Las Vegas on Friday, it was revealed that this summer she would be embarking on her first ever co-headlining tour (in support of her phenomenal new album, Femme Fatale). Details of whom Britney will be sharing the bill with have yet to surface, but sources promise that it’ll be a major name in the industry. I mean, duh. How can it not be? If you’re co-headlining with Britney Spears, you’re not going to be a little one-hit-wonder or a washed out has-been. Sorry, Willa Ford/Avril Lavigne.

How about Christina Aguilera? Talk about epicness. A Britney/Christina tour would sell out faster than Paramore did when they signed on to record that lame-ass Twilight theme song. Not only would it make the gays of yesteryear have a jitterspasm at the idea of seeing these two frenemies share a stage, but it would also just be a ridiculously smart move for both of their careers. Besides, Christina needs something in her life that isn’t deep fried or drenched in booze juice. And just think: Pepsi vs Coke sponsors! Crossroads/Burlesque mashed up intro videos! The possibilities are endless …

FFpromo2 Then there’s the obvious option: Madonna. Britney and Madonna have like totes been besties since day one. Remember when Madonna wore that Britney shirt when “Baby One More Time” was just getting big? Or how about that glorious VMA performance? What about their duet, “Me Against The Music” and the sexy-as-fuck accompanying music video?

In case you need a time frame, “MATM” was right before Madge became Britney’s spiritual adviser. Hence the Kaballah bracelet in the “Everytime” video.

Today, the relationship between Madonna and Britney has gone from “it takes a legend to make a star” to pure comradery. Madonna cited Britney’s “Piece of Me” as the inspiration for the type of musical direction she intends to go in. Then of course, there was that video Britney recorded for Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2009, followed by a surprise performance at her L.A. show (I felt so jipped for going to the New York one, #justsayin). And apparently, the two were seen having a long talk in the corner of Madonna’s Academy Awards after-party this year. Gossiping about a tour collabo? As Pink once (profoundly) said, who knows?

But maybe Madonna is not the best choice for Britney to co-headline with. Don’t get me wrong, that would be an UHHHHH-MAZING tour that I would shell out top dollar to attend. But I feel as though in an effort to secure Britney’s reclaiming of the pop throne, her team won’t take the risk of booking a performer that has the potential to outshine her. That means that other divas such as Christina, Madonna and the rest of the minions (Lady GaGa, Cher, Beyonce, etc.) are most likely out of the running.

Sexy-britney-spears-femme-fatale So who’s big enough to tour alongside Britney? My guess is that it’ll probably be someone who’s a major star in a completely different genre. That way, people won’t be able to compare the performances too much. My guess? Hip hop. My more specific guess?  The Black Eyed Peas. Britney collaborated with Peas member Will.I.Am on the Femme Fatale track “Big Fat Bass.” She’s a long time, open fan of the band and they do have enough hits and household name value to tour alongside Britney.

If not the Peas, Kanye is another good bet. Remember how he had that whole collaborative tour lined up with Lady GaGa that later got scrapped after that whole VMA incident? You know, the one that Taylor Swift never got over and treated as though he had murdered her family? Well, he might still be inkling to do something with a pop ingénue, and who better than Britney?

Oh, and in terms of an opener for the tour? Ke$ha is a shoe-in. Not only did she write Britney’s single, “Till The World Ends,” but her music is similar enough to Britney’s to warm the crowd up – but it’s not good enough to outshine our little Brit Brit.

We’ll have to be patient for the announcement of who Britney’s big co-headliner will be. It is being speculated that it’ll be Enrique Iglesias, but I’m choosing to ignore those rumors because the idea of seeing Enrique Iglesias in concert sounds about as exciting as watching an M. Night Shyamalan marathon while giving yourself an enema. But if this is true, I guess we all better prepare for the “Can’t Really Sing? Good Thing You’re Pretty” tour.

In the meantime, I highly suggest you pick up a copy of “Femme Fatale,” in stores today. It’s easily Britney’s best and most mature work to date. I mean, if the thumping beats and Britney’s sexy vocals don’t make you want to be a stripper, then you really need to reevaluate your life and every choice you’ve ever made.

*** UPDATE #1: Britney just announced (8:30 am EST) on Good Morning America that she will indeed be touring with Enrique Iglesias this summer. The first round of dates have already been announced.

*** UPDATE #2: HALLELUJAH! Only hours after Britney announced the details of her co-headlining tour, Enrique Iglesias has already dropped out. Turns out Brit Brit doesn’t hate her fans and won’t force them to sit through that shit after all!

Originally published on Crazytown Blog

ARE YOU LISTENING, RYAN MURPHY?

The 13 things that need to happen on GLEE before this season ends.
By Alex Nagorski

Dec2

Darren Criss (a.k.a Blaine) poses for OUT Magazine
Love it or hate it, you have to give Glee credit where it’s due. To kids today, the show is what Saved By The Bell or Dawson’s Creek were to us growing up: the show that defines their generation. And yes, while it may have its fair share of issues (lack of character development, songs that don’t make sense with the plot, etc.) Glee is unarguably one of the most progressive shows on television. 

Season 2 had a weak start but has been improving significantly each episode (Gleeks get drunk! Kathy Griffin as Sarah Palin!). To continue this upward climb, I’ve made a list of thirteen suggestions for Ryan Murphy and Co. to consider as they finish writing the remainder of the season to ensure they end on a high note (see what I did there?) before the finale this summer:

  1. Brittany does a cover of Rebecca Black’s smash game-changing hit, “Friday”.
  2. Blaine loses all of his clothes in a house fire and has to be naked for the rest of the season.
  3. Rachel admits that her original song, “Get It Right,” was actually a B-side from Idina Menzel’s failed “pop” album, “I Stand.”
  4. Mr. Schu donates all of his hair to Locks of Love, followed by a cover of anything from Britney’s Blackout album. 
  5. Tina and Mike film a response video to that ignorant blonde bimbo over at UCLA.
  6. The end of all Katy Perry covers and inspired Cheerios routines.
  7. Sam runs out of Lip Venom.
  8. Finn discovers a way to get rid of the extra chromosome he nurses so well every time he tries to seriously act.  
  9. Mercedes actually busts the windows of someone’s car (ala Cher in Burlesque).
  10. A guest starring appearance by Sarah Michelle Gellar for a special encore performance of “Something To Sing About” from the Buffy musical episode.
  11. Artie spits out a Lil’Kim/Nicki Minaj mashup.
  12. Santana and Brittany reenact the Natalie Portman/Mila Kunis sex scene from Black Swan.
  13. Julie Andrews reveals the secret truth behind Kurt’s eunuch origins when she guest stars as his grandmother.
Originally published on Crazytown Blog

SO YOU WANT TO REALLY IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS?

Then play this at your next get-together! Inspired by the pop achievement that is Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” I’ve created a playlist that’s sure to make your friends have fun fun fun fun fun. Whether you want to play drinking games or just have something to listen to as that final push you need to jump off the George Washington Bridge, I present to you “WINNERS: The official playlist”

HOW I BECAME COURTNEY LOVE’S PERSONAL SHOPPER

The first chapter of what’s sure to be a life-long comradery.
By Alex Nagorski

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(My BFFL C Lovez and I)

So there I was: minding my own business, walking down Broadway, bopping to Ke$ha and slicing away at some Fruit Ninja on my phone. I was en route to meet up with my friend Christine for drinks prior to a show some of our friends from college had written and were performing at the Frigid Theater Festival downtown. The date was Saturday, March 5 – which in gay time can be referred to as five whole days before Femme Fatale leaked.

All of a sudden, I feel someone’s hand grab the part of my body that would be a bicep had I not given up on the Insanity workout DVDs after day three. “Excuse me,” someone boisterously says. I take out my earphones and turn around to see who it is. Naturally, it’s Courtney Love.

 
“Hi, I’m sorry but I’m so fucking lost. Do you have any idea where ABC Carpet and Home is?” she asks me. She’s wearing a short black dress with an oversized black trenchcoat and stilettos that have a heel larger than her album sales have ever been. “Sure,” I respond. “It’s only a couple blocks down and I’m heading that way anyway. Would you like me to walk you?” 
 
“You’re a fucking doll,” Courtney replies to me as she links her arm around mine and I begin escorting her down the bustling city street. “They should never let rock stars out at night,” she snickers as she snorts back the snot dripping from her nose – a cute little tick she kept doing for the rest of the night. Flu or … ? 
I’m thinking I should somehow acknowledge who she is. “I don’t know if this is inappropriate for me to say, but I really enjoyed the Hole record you put out last year,” I tell her. “That’s totally appropriate for you to say! You’re like one of four people who listened to it. What’s not appropriate is if you were to tell me how much you love Nirvana,” she responds. Immediately I start hearing my best friend Gina’s conspiracy theories on why Courtney actually killed Kurt playing back in my head. I have no response. Cricket cricket.

We get to ABC Carpet and Home but the store is closed. Courtney starts knocking on the door as two security guards come to the door. “Store’s closed, ma’am,” they tell her. “I have an appointment on the third floor,” Courtney replies. The guards do their little walky talky magic (reminding me how happy I am that Nextels don’t exist anymore) and tell her she’s allowed inside. “What are you doing right now?” she asks me. “Come with me!” she says while grabbing my hand and pulling me into the store with her.

And that’s how I literally spent the next 45-minutes walking around the empty store with Courtney Love and picking out plates, vases, pillows, cups, lamps, etc. for her new house. We chatted about everything from the British art dealer she’s seeing (“because who isn’t an art dealer these days, right?” Sure, Courtney) to how she’s the one that brought Russell Brand over to America (“I like nursed him on my tit”) to how I have “surprisingly really good taste” in home furnishings (“Thanks, it’s part of my license to gay”).

At the end of our little shopping excursion, the staff of the store had us leave through the service exit because the gates in the main entrance were already secured into place. As we parted ways (me to my friends’ show and her to an art opening), we hugged and did the European two-cheek-peck goodbye. “Sorry, do you mind if I take a picture with you so that my friends believe me why I’m late?” I ask. She doesn’t argue that for a moment and continues to thank me for helping her.

I have to say, Courtney Love is not at all what I expected her to be. She was actually a very easy-to-talk-to and warm person. I mean sure, it was a little diva-ish of her to insist on making the staff of the store stay after hours so she could shop, but like … there are worse offenses you can read if you Google her. She was talking to me like I was an old friend and I was half expecting her to offer that we have a sleepover so we would give each other makeovers, share a roll of cookie dough, and practice making out. And just for the record: I totally would have done it.

Originally published on Crazytown Blog

INTERVIEW WITH DARWIN DEEZ

An exclusive Q&A with indie rock’s new “it” boy.
By Alex Nagorsk

(Darwin Deez’ official music video for “Constellations”)

ALEX: Your music fascinates me because it seems to be such an amalgamation of classic rock and contemporary folk/electronica. The result is often incredibly catchy pop music that’s a lot smarter than a lot of other stuff out there. By drawing from such different genres, what have you found to be the greatest challenge in creating your sound?

DARWIN: Thank you! Well, the challenge in creative pursuits is always quality.  Making something different is easy by comparison. There’s some old advice that I’ve always regarded with respect: the more different kinds of music you listen to, the more original your music will be.  I don’t really love jazz or African drumming other world music or classical music though.  I mostly just study the shit out of some pop music.  All kinds.  And I’ve spent a lot of time on bad/mediocre pop music.  So I wouldn’t recommend that, but I guess it’s worked for me.

You met your band members while working with them at a New York restaurant as a waiter and then proceeded to record your entire album on your home computer. When you found our your record was going to be commercially released, were there any types of changes that had to be made to the tracks? Or did they remain untouched from when you recorded them yourself?
Very minimal changes. I added a barely noticeable ride cymbal to the chorus of the bomb song. That might have been it. The label suggested strings on that song. They were open to re-doing the whole thing but in the end we both recognized the charm of the homemade recordings. Plus the takes were there and they were good and I had already slaved hours over comping them (compiling the final part from multiple takes).

How different is the music you play today than the music you and your band played together during your first rehearsal? What types of evolutions happened with your sound?
The songs we play now are the same songs we started on almost 3 years ago. The set has become more seamless and arguably more entertaining, but the songs haven’t changed much except for improvised intros and jams – and the addition of one rap track.

Cover Art You’ve already made quite a name for yourself in the UK, hitting #5 on the indie album charts and gracing the cover of NME when you were named #10 on the magazine’s annual “cool list.” With your album now being released stateside, what excites you most about bringing your music to the U.S.?
There are some cool music lovers (and regular people) in the US. It’s nice not to have to spend $2400 flying the band out of the country and another chunk of change on backline rental before we even make a cent. So I like that prospect of US popularity. If I daresay popularity. That’s a very business-y answer but I guess fans are fans to me. People who love the music are people who love the music. This shit is for everyone, you know?

What have you found to be the biggest differences so far between playing shows in the UK and in America?
American crowds are much more excitable than British ones. At least they show it more. I’d theorize that they were just drunker but the Brits drink way more on average. They’re just enjoying it inwardly I guess, trying not to be annoying to fellow show-goers I guess. Also the American crowds are much smaller at this point.

When you’re on tour, what are your favorite songs to play?
I like to play “The City” because I like the rhythm and the groove of it. And I like to play “Up In The Clouds” because it affords me lots of freedom vocally.

In addition to your music, you’ve also become known for your eclectic dancing. What is it about your moves that you think has made them stand out so much?
I think people can tell that we are dancing from the heart up there. And they respond to any performance that is from the heart.  Some nights I’m feeling happy and get more into the dancing and some nights I feel sad and I get more into singing the songs, so it’s nice.

You cite Nietzsche as one of your biggest influences. What type of impact have his writings had on your songwriting?
I’d say none. He has a great style but I haven’t figured out how to translate it into songwriting nor have I ever consciously tried. I think the only influence he ever had was that reading him made me want to kill myself, and that’s why I wrote “The Suicide Song.”

You recently created a full-length rap mix-tape created entirely from samples from the 1971 movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. What inspired this project and why did you choose that film in particular to work with?
Well, I did the whole thing for fun, to get my creative juices flowing again after a long period of just touring and not writing. The challenge of making it a concept album appealed to me and motivated me to finish it. Also I knew the concept would make it more likely to be talked about and therefore more likely to be listened to. I was really inspired to rap by Das Racist. And I loved some of the melodies from the movie soundtrack and I knew they’d make great hip-hop choruses when sped up. And I also knew I could do some fun twisting of mood by through sampling, such as on “Catastrophe” – a dark, moody track made from samples of the most ridiculously joyous song in the movie.

A lot of your music is filled with metaphors about outer space – stars, constellations, the stratosphere, satellites, etc. What does this imagery signify to you? Or are you just trying to subtly tell us that you’re an alien?
I don’t know what it signifies to me. I think it’s just more exciting than earth. I’m not an alien, though.  You’re thinking of Weezy Wii.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly about what music was on his iPod, Glee star Darren Criss listed you as one of his five artists he’s currently really into. “He’s really big in the U.K. He played some shows with my brother. He’s tough to describe. He sounds like a lot of U.K. weird stuff. I don’t know how to explain him,” Darren said of you. How would you describe your music to someone who had never heard it before?
I just call it homemade indie pop/rock with guitars and drum machines. By the way, thanks for the shout out, Darren!

So what is currently on your iPod? Any music by Darren, the other Glee kids, or Freelance Whales (Darren’s brother’s band)?
Currently on my figurative iPod is Das Racist, Nine Inch Nails, Ke$ha, Friends, more Das Racist, lots of Rage [Against the Machine], Childish Gambino, the new ‘Ye joint, and Bell and Wakey!Wakey! bootlegs.

Any final words?
We are driving through treacherous, lecherous snow-covered Alabama. This is my first – no – second trip to Alabama, and I am typing this on my laptop in the front seat of our Honda Odyssey minivan while Miles, our drummer, drives.  We played for a few people in Nashville last night and drove by Music Row this afternoon after crashing with Andrew’s [bass/guitar] aunt’s house.  Miles is bumping some mild electronica.  I think we are going to make it to our show in Birmingham tonight, but just barely.  This is real shit kids!  We love you.

Darwin Deez’ eponymous debut album is out now via Lucky Number Music Limited.
Originally published on Crazytown Blog