With everyone in a kurfluffle over VH1′s new unscripted show Naked Dating (Thursdays, 9/8C), we got to thinking about nudity in media. Where’s the last place it’s totally acceptable to be sans clothing in public (besides dates, apparently)? Music videos. Yep, your favorite divas, R&B crooners, and post-punk bands have all dropped trou — and bras, and panties — in the name of record promotion.
When it comes to Lady Gaga‘s style, she seems like a true original. Hooded leotards, Kermit dresses, the meat frock thing — she was born that way. Right? No. One of Gaga’s most important inspirations might surprise you: Sir Marilyn Manson. The shock rocker’s debut album Portrait of an American Family turns 20 years old today, and it got us thinking about all of the artists it has influenced, from hardcore acts to Mother Monster herself.
As you may have heard, Robin Thicke recently released a new album, Paula. In an effort to win back his wife, hottie actress Paula Patton (the couple separated in February due to his cheating shenanigans), the R&B singer threw together this album of baby-come-back-to-me ballads — but it’s been greeted by crickets. The album has bombed completely, selling only 25,000 copies so far. And it gets even worse in the UK, where it sold only 530 copies! Perspective? An album has to sell at least 500,000 copies to be certified by the Record Company Industry of America. Not really the ex-wife panty-dropper the crooner was expecting, was it?
By Christopher Rosa
It’s not hard to record a song nowadays—a laptop, GarageBand and microphone are all one needs to crank out a decent track. And with the magic of Auto-Tune, you can even sound pitch perfect. It’s no surprise that artists flock to this tool to amp up their game, some abusing it to disguise the fact that they can’t really sing at all. It’s like a pop P.E.D.! But music’s most notorious tool isn’t always used for evil.
By Christopher Rosa
Last week marked the 15th anniversary of Britney Spears‘ first solo concert tour. You’ve already seen our nostalgia-inducing trip down memory lane, where we compared shots from her …Baby One More Time Tour (1999) and her current Las Vegas residency Britney: Piece of Me. But what about all the good stuff in between—the tours, television appearances and surprise shows that made our Britney-loving hearts skip several beats? What are Brit Brit’s greatest performances of all time?
So, it’s the 4th of July -and what better way to celebrate the ol’ Red, White & Blue than with, well…red, white and blue!
Reinvention. It’s part of an artist’s nature. Start out sounding and looking one way, get bored, evolve into something different. But for a lot of artists, this evolution is pretty subtle from album to album.
With schlock rock pioneers, Kiss, going on a forty-city tour this summer (a grueling schedule for aging Baby Boomers; hope they’re bringing Ben-Gay) — we realized that the band was celebrating a huge milestone in 2014. Forty years of wearing truly psychotic makeup. Sure, they weren’t the first to do it – - that title goes to that weasly-genius Alice Cooper — but the fact that they were four big, brawny New York dudes made up to look like clown demons was super-memorable. And they took it so seriously! Each member was painted in the style of a different character: Starchild (Paul Stanley), The Demon (Gene Simmons), Space Ace (Ace Frehley) and Catman (Peter Criss). Totally bonkers, but seventh grade boys adored their freaky looks. Next up? A slew of bands hit stages looking like ghouls crossed with drag queens.
By Christopher Rosa
When a song doesn’t fit, it just doesn’t fit. Unfortunately for today’s crop of talent, recording a song that doesn’t feel right can mean losing a coveted spot atop the Billboard Hot 100 or Top 40 charts. It’s like squeezing into a pair of jeans after Thanksgiving—not pretty, y’all.
Dance movies own us. Right? They’re irresistible. And the best ones have a lot in common. They’re glorified B movies (Breakin‘). They usually feature star-crossed lovers from disparate backgrounds (Save the Last Dance). The soundtracks are incredible (Flashdance). The titles are usually stolen from hip-hop slang that’s at least a year old (You Got Served — which means we’re due for a flick called Yolo! Twerk That Body). Throw all those elements together, and you have a classic guilty pleasure for the ages.