Tuned In: Mad Men Pays Homage To The French New Wave With “Zou Bisou Bisou”

by (@unclegrambo)

Last night’s fifth season premiere of Mad Men laid a lot of groundwork of what’s to come this year: Among other things, it appears this season will focus on the escalating power struggle between Pete Campbell and Roger Sterling, the desire of Lane Pryce to break free of his uptight British upbringing, Peggy Olsen‘s diminishing faith in her boss/mentor Don Draper, Sally Draper‘s continued ascent into womanhood (her new voice FTW!), and the effect that motherhood will have on Joan Holloway. Oh yeah, and there’s also the matter of Don Draper’s seemingly spontaneous marriage to his sultry, sex kitten secretary-cum-wife, Megan Draper (née Calvert, played by the actress Jessice Paré).

The most memorable scene of last night’s highly anticipated episode occurred during Don Draper’s surprise 40th birthday party, which was organized by his coquettish new wife (who, we must add, enjoys doing housekeeping in her unmentionables!). The swinging Sixties are starting to blossom in full, and as a means of demonstrating the sexual hold she has over her new spouse in a room full of his business associates, Megan performed a startling, part-karoake, part-striptease version of Gillian Hills‘ 1961 French pop song, “Zou Bisou Bisou.” There seems to be some debate as to the song’s origins, but we’re going to include Sophia Loren‘s English-language version of “Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo” below (which appears on a duets album she recorded with Peter Sellers!), mainly because our French is a little rusty.

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Fiona Apple Performs Her First New York City Show In Over 6 Years At The Music Hall Of Williamsburg

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Fiona Apple got a warm welcome back to her native city last night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Born in New York City in the fall of 1977, her last live show here dated back to December 2005, so fans —most of whom, we’re assuming, probably didn’t see her performances at SXSW last week— were exploding with emotion as the lights dimmed. She came onstage to deafening cheers, her hair in a simple ponytail, wearing a bright green camisole cinched with a silver-y belt that hung stylishly in a bow at her side. She declared that she had two things to say:

1) She missed her dog Janet, so her friend had made her a cardboard cutout of her canine pal that she could bring with her on stage.
2) Even though she wouldn’t hear anyone chatting away during the show, she suspected other folks in the crowd wouldn’t appreciate any loud talkers.

(On the second point, there would be little to worry about. The crowd hung on her every lyric last night. Talkers? No. But there were plenty of participants, as the set would veer into a full-fledged sing-along at several moments during the hour-long show.)

With that business taken care of, she smiled and said, “Just be nice, be good, and I will give you everything I can possibly give you.” The band then launched into “Fast As You Can” as Fiona started twitching away behind the microphone.

The set featured a total of 12 songs, eight of which were from her past albums — though she performed only the title track from Extraordinary Machine, which elicited some of the loudest hoots and hollers when she arrived at the chorus and sang, “I’ll make the most of it, I’m an extraordinary machine.”

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Last Lap: Pitbull Will Sing The Men In Black 3 Theme Song

by (@kat_george)

Pitbull Will Sing The Men In Black 3 Theme Song
Yes but no! What about Will Smith? With Pitbull touted to sing the Men In Black 3 theme song, we’re going to miss Smith’s cheeky sound. Guest verse maybe? [Popdust]

One Direction Offers Free Download
If you haven’t heard of One Direction then we suggest you get out from under that rock you’ve been living beneath (seriously, it’s not good for your back). To make your emergence from the substrata even easier, the guys are offering a free download of an acoustic version of their song “One Thing.” Get it. [Idolator]

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Adam Lambert Announces Official Trespassing Release Date

by (@kat_george)

We feel like just mashing on the keyboard with open palms because there really are no words to describe the excitement we get from Adam Lambert‘s announcement of the release date for his new album, Tespassing. After being delayed from an original March release date, it’s reassuring to know we don’t have to wait too much longer, with the highly anticipated release now due on May 15th. We know all you Glambert fans are busy trying to build time machines to travel forward and get your hands on a copy, but as Katy Perry says “All this money can’t buy me a time machine.” So use your time between now and May 15 productively — watch the “Better Than I Know Myself” video on repeat!

Adam Lambert’s ‘Trespassing’ Album Gets May Release Date [Idolator]

Rihanna Is A “Gangsta Goth Geisha” For Coldplay’s “Princess Of China” Video

by (@kat_george)

Rihanna has Tweeted images of herself from the set of the video for “Princess Of China,” her collaborative effort with Coldplay. Calling herself a “Gangsta goth geisha,” Rihanna looks every bit the part as she flips the bird — and a exposes a healthy amount of flesh — at the camera. Her elaborate costumes fit the persona personally, and somehow even as a princess Rihanna has managed to embody raw sex appeal. At which point we cold shower, and eagerly await the arrival of this video!

Ester Dean Knows She Has A Hit When She Feels A “Little Chill”

by (@kat_george)

Last month we talked about super song writer Ester Dean, and pontificated that she just might be the next big thing to cross over from behind the scenes to center stage after her amazing new track “Gimme Money” featuring Nicki Minaj was released. The New Yorker has profiled Dean (along with producer team Stargate), and the article only serves to future enforce her prowess as a hit machine. The New Yorker says, “Dean has a genius for infectious hooks. Somehow she is able to absorb the beat and the sound of a track, and to come out with its melodic essence. The words are more like vocalized beats than like lyrics, and they don’t communicate meaning so much as feeling and attitude—they nudge you closer to the ecstasy promised by the beat and the “rise,” or the “lift,” when the track builds to a climax.”

The article describes Dean’s process for hit making, and the whole thing seems so intrinsically organic that we can’t help but feel that Ester is destined for pop greatness. “Dean’s preferred method of working is to delay listening to a producer’s track until she is in the studio, in front of the mike. “I go into the booth and I scream and I sing and I yell, and sometimes it’s words but most time it’s not,” she told me. “And I just see when I get this little chill, here”—she touched her upper arm, just below the shoulder—“and then I’m, like, ‘Yeah, that’s the hook.’ ” If she doesn’t feel that chill after five minutes, she moves on to the next track, and tries again.”

The article goes on to say, “After several minutes of nonsense singing, the song began to coalesce. Almost imperceptibly, the right words rooted themselves in the rhythm while melodies and harmonies emerged in Dean’s voice. Her voice isn’t hip-hop or rock or country or gospel or soul, exactly, but it could be any one of those. “I’ll come alive tonight,” she sang. Dancing now, Dean raised one arm in the air. After a few more minutes, the producers told her she could come back into the control room. “See, I just go in there and scream and they fix it,” she said, emerging from the booth, looking elated, almost glowing.”

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Win A Trip For Two To VH1′s Live In The Vineyard

by (@kat_george)

Do you like winning stuff? Do you like artists like Richard Marx, Jason Mraz and Graffiti6? Well get into this — VH1 is giving you the chance to win a trip for two to Live In The Vineyard so you can enjoy intimate musical performances, wine and food in Napa Valley. The exclusive prize package includes a meet and greet with a VH1 artist, and you’ll get to hang with the VH1 Top 20 Countdown crew and meet the host, Jim Shearer. And to enter, all you have to do is click here and fill out your details. Simple really!

Enter now for a chance to win two tickets to VH1′s Live In The Vineyard!

Tuned In: Lana Del Rey Gives An Assured Performance On American Idol

by (@kat_george)

Last night Lana Del Rey performed on American Idol… Well, OK, not really — the performance was pre-recorded, we suspect to make sure Lana gave a glowing vocal performance and avoid another Saturday Night Live style debacle. Perhaps the pre-recording worked, or maybe Lana is starting to come into her own as a performer, because as she stood on the stage singing “Video Games” she seemed more self-assured than ever before. Cracking a few coy smiles, Lana seemed relaxed, although she stuck to the same standing in one spot and swaying back and forth routine that has become her trademark. Her vocals were near perfect too, as she seamlessly hit the flourishes in the bridge and chorus, and even touched some whimsical high notes towards the end. Kudos to Lana — it looks as though things might be coming together for her performance wise, despite all the hatorade.

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Last Lap: Michael K. Williams Will Play Ol’ Dirty Bastard In An Upcoming Biopic

by (@kat_george)

Michael K. Williams Will Play Ol’ Dirty Bastard In An Upcoming Biopic
Better known as Omar From The Wire, Michael K. Williams is now set to play the role of Ol’ Dirty Bastard in an upcoming biopic. It’s called Dirty White Boy and will explore the relationship between ODB and his former manager, 22-year-old Jarred Weisfeld. [A.V. Club]

Florence Welch And Dev Hynes Are Going To Make An Album Together, Maybe
Florence Welch has hinted that she might be making an album with Devonte Hynes. She said, “Dev Hynes is going to come on tour with us, all around America and Australia and that’ll be fun because we’ve been friends for years, so maybe something will come of that. We usually end up making some kind of strange album that will only exist on the internet.” We hope this happens in a Blood-Orange-Meets-Early-Florence-Circa-Lungs kind of way. [NME]

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Pink Floyd’s Legendary LP Dark Side Of The Moon Sets A Billboard Chart Record

by (@_bobina)

Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon Hits 800 Weeks On Billboard 200

Now, this is one for the books! Pink Floyd has hit yet another milestone with Dark Side of The Moon, which has just completed its 800th week on the Billboard 200!! Translation: That is 15 years and 5 months on the chart, which is more than any other band/artist in U.S. history by a LONG shot.

The iconic album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, in two sessions, between May 1972 and January 1973 and spent 741 consecutive weeks on the chart, from its release in 1973 up until 1988. It charted again in 2009 and has appeared periodically since. This brand new (and likely untouchable) milestone sounds to us like the perfect excuse to break out your old copy of the Wizard Of Oz, crank up the hi-fi with DSOTM, eat some brownies (Ed. Note – Whatever ingredients you choose to include in your brownie recipe is totally cool by us!), and enjoy one of the greatest albums ever recorded.

Just in case you’re curious, here is a list of the Top 10 longest-charting albums in Billboard 200 history:
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