Tag Archives: Katy Perry

Cool New Music (9/21/17)

I interrupt my interruption to bring you twenty new(ish) songs that are rocking my world these days. Let me know which ones hit you.

Regular blogging will resume at some point this year.


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It’s Max Martin’s Birthday And I Need To Dance!

As a songwriter, Max Martin has a credit on 21 number one singles on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. Only Paul McCartney and John Lennon have more. He has had 60 top tens as a writer. On top of that, he has had a hand in producing a slew of hits. Some of them are good.

Today, Max Martin turns 45 years old. Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour. Our playlist consists of twenty songs Max Martin had a hand in writing and/or producing. Some of them are good.


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A Hint Of Mint – Volume 22

Lots of ladies in this week’s installment of A Hint of Mint, which includes some college radio classics plus two different songs entitled “I Kissed a Girl,” neither of which is performed by Katy Perry, at least not the version here.


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Grammy Nominees Were Announced And I Need To Dance!

This year’s Grammy nominations were announced this morning. Here they are:

Record of the Year
Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX – “Fancy”
Sia – “Chandelier”
Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
Taylor Swift – “Shake It Off”
Meghan Trainor – “All About That Bass”

Song of the Year
Same as Record of the Year, except instead of “Fancy” you’ve got Hozier’s “Take Me to Church”

Album of the Year
They plan on announcing the nominees in this category tonight during the A Very Grammy Christmas television special. Ariana Grande, Maroon 5 and Album of the Year nominations? Cancel your Friday night plans!

Best New Artist
Bastille
Iggy Azalea
Haim
Sam Smith
Some lady I’ve never heard of

Best Pop Vocal Album
Coldplay – Zzzzz
Miley Cyrus – Zzzzz
Ariana Grande – Zzzzz
Katy Perry – Zzzzz
Ed Sheeran – Zzzzz
Sam Smith – Zzzzz

Best Rock Album
Beck – Morning Phase
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
The Black Keys – Turn Blue
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
U2 – Are You Fucking Kidding Me?!?!

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Jhené Aiko – How Do You Pronounce That?
Beyoncé – I’m Now The Most Nominated Woman In Grammy History, So Bow Down Bitches
Chris Brown – Undeserved
Mali Music – Who?
Pharrell Williams – Gurl!

Best Country Album
Miranda Lambert – Platinum
+ four others

Best Spoken Word Album (a/k/a Best Audiobook)
Forget the titles; look at this list of nominated performers – James Franco, John Waters, Joan Rivers, Gloria Gaynor, Elizabeth Warren and Jimmy Carter! They better present this one on the telecast! Gurl!

Best Rock Song
Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
Beck – “Blue Moon”
The Black Keys – “Jack White Better Not Be Nominated”
Ryan Adams – “Gimme Something Good”
Jack White – “The Black Keys Better Not Be Nominated”

Best R&B Song
Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z – “Drunk In Love”
Usher – “I’m Going to Lose to Beyoncé”
Chris Brown featuring Usher and Rick Ross – “I Don’t Deserve a Nomination and I’m Going to Lose to Beyoncé”
Luke James featuring Rick Ross – “You Never Heard of Me and I’m Going to Lose to Beyoncé”
Jhené Aiko – “Though I Also Have an Accent over the Second E in My First Name I’m Going to Lose to Beyoncé”

Best Country Song
Miranda Lambert – “Automatic”
+ four others

Best Dance Recording
Seriously, there is a category for the best audiobook. The Grammy Awards’ tag-line is “Music’s Biggest Night.” Unless Elizabeth Warren sang her memoirs this category should not exist.

This post doesn’t cover all nominations. In total, the Grammy Awards have nominees in 12,623 categories, three of which are presented on the air. Tune in sometime in January or February to see who wins as well as a rare live television appearance from the reclusive Taylor Swift!

As for now, it’s Friday, which is dance day on Tunes du Jour. As tomorrow is Ira Gershwin’s 118th birthday, we’ll kick off this week’s dance party with Donna Summer, who by now may have dined with the famed lyricist.

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Ten Facts About Britney Spears’s “Toxic”

Ten Facts About Britney Spears’s “Toxic”:
• It was Britney’s fourth top ten single in the US, after “…Baby One More Time,” “(You Drive Me) Crazy,” “Oops! I Did It Again.” Four years passed between “Oops” and “Toxic.”
• It went to #1 in the UK, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Norway, Argentina, Ireland and Iceland, and went top ten in sixteen other countries.
• It won Britney her first Grammy Award, for Best Dance Recording.
• Initially the song was offered to Kylie Minogue, but she passed.
• One of its four writers is Cathy Dennis, who had hits as a singer in the late 1980s/early 90s with “Touch Me (All Night Long),” “Just Another Dream,” “Too Many Walls,” and “C’mon and Get My Love.” Dennis is a writer on Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You out of My Head,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Before Your Love” and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.”
• “Toxic” was produced by the Swedish production duo Bloodshy & Advant, who also produced Spears’ “Piece of Me” and “My Prerogative.”
Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NME and The Telegraph named “Toxic” one of the best singles of the first decade of this millennium. Pitchfork ranked it at #3 on their Best Singles of 2004 list, while the Village Voice critics poll had it at #5.
• Naming it one of the best tracks of the decade, NME wrote “It’s the song that little girls dance to at discos. It’s the standard soundtrack to gay clubs and hen nights. And it basically soundtracked all fun in the last decade from the moment it was released.”
• In 2010, Britney Spears said that “Toxic” was her favorite song from her catalogue.
• In 2013, Jay-Z said that “Toxic” was his favorite song from the Britney Spears oeuvre.

Today Britney Spears celebrates her 33rd birthday. 33! Here are twenty career highlights.

More about Britney Spears here.

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It’s Friday And I Need To Dance!

Ringo + Lily 002
“I love to have that conflict of something sounding so sweet but actually being really quite dark.”

That quote from Lily Allen summarizes one of my favorite attributes of her music – sunny melodies coupled with not-quite-sunny lyrics, a juxtaposition that makes for some wonderfully subversive pop tunes.

The song that put her on the map, “Smile,” exemplifies this. It’s a catchy song – upbeat, major chords. Lily wrote it about an ex-boyfriend who was cheating on her. Then the ex got dumped by his new girlfriend and he called Lily to console him, which brings us to the awesome chorus: “At first when I see you cry, it makes me smile. Yeah, it makes me smile / At worse I feel bad for a while, but then I just smile. I go ahead and smile.”

“Smile” appeared on Allen’s debut album Alright, Still, released in 2006. Her follow-up album, 2009’s It’s Not Me, It’s You, contains another brilliant example of this style, this time aimed at a well-known public figure.

The song was initially released by Allen on her MySpace page in 2008 as “Guess Who, Batman.” The song is not about anyone connected with Batman, but rather, someone whose initials match the first letter of each word in this title. If you’re still not sure, I’ll let Lily give you a clue: “It was originally written about this fucking arsehole who used to be the President of the United States of America. His name is George W. Bush.”

She made that comment after Bush left office and after the song was released with an additional verse and a new title, “Fuck You.”

Among the things for which she takes Bush to task is his perceived homophobia: “So you say it’s not okay to be gay / Well, I think you’re just evil.”

Shortly after the second album’s release an Australia guy with the YouTube moniker steviebeebishop created a video for the song that featured members of the L, G, B and T populations and their supporters around the world lip-synching the tune. It became a phenomenon that spread to other countries, with lip-synched versions emanating from countries such as France, Croatia, New Zealand, Hungary, Mexico and Brazil.

The song was no longer specifically about Bush, but directed towards anyone who expresses anti-gay sentiments. As steviebeebishop explained when he posted his video:

theres a disgusting amount of hate on the internet (especially on youtube!) directed at minority groups (especially the LGBT community) so i was inspired to organize this collab video. i never set out to change the world. i did not make this for the gay haters to see. i wanted to make something light hearted and funny for the victims of gay hate, to teach them to brush off the hate and stand strong and confident as who they are. you’re not alone! stevie loves you 🙂

Today is Lily Allen’s 29th birthday. As Friday is dance day at Tunes du Jour, we’ll kick off our playlist with a remix of “Fuck You.” By the way, Lily’s third album, Sheezus, is out today.

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