Pop Friday: Country Soul & Troop Support

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Joss Stone & Leanne Rimes Throw Down Some Country Soul

R&B meets C&W as the two singers connect on Crossroads. They do “Super Duper Love” and others. The show airs tonight on CMT, but you can watch it at the above link now.

Five For Fighting Helps the Troops That Are Fighting

A new CD put together by John Ondrasik has an array of artists including The Fray, Goo Goo Dolls, and Josh Groban, who are giving our military some music for the holidays.

The Weekly Wrap Up: New York Narrows It Down, Britney Turns 26

by (@katespencer)

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Remy Ma Bashes Lil Kim After Freestyle Diss

by (@katespencer)

remy-ma-1207.jpgAfter former jail bird Lil Kim bashed the soon-to-be locked up Remy Ma in a freestyle, the rapper spoke up about Kim’s diss on a Sirius radio show with DJ Kay Slay. Remy said, “That little boy better live [sic] me alone. She was saying ‘I’m going at [Remy] hard, she go hard to me, so I go hard back.’ I feel like if that’s going at me hard, like seriously, I’m just gonna chill out. That’s crazy to me.”

A “little boy?” We love it! Fight on, ladies! Remy continued the slamfest by picking on Kim’s love of all things surgically enhanced. “Like, how could you be conceited, you don’t even like your own face. What are you talking about? Are you serious…You don’t like your nose, you don’t like your cheeks, you don’t like your chin, you don’t like your skin color, you don’t like your t*ts, you don’t like your stomach, you don’t like your teeth…this chic has more ghostwriters than Foxy [Brown].”

When Kim explained her actions earlier in the week, she revealed that she once was cool with Remy but recent actions have created a rift between the two stars. She went on to say, “I’m the hottest bitch out. I’m real cocky these days, huh? I’m loving it.” So are we Kim! Almost as much as we’re gonna love Remy’s sure-to-be sassy comeback.

It’s Kissmas Time…

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We decided to get you something special this holiday season. You can’t get it in a store, and you can’t fit it in a box. In fact, the only place you’re going to find it is on VH1 Classic at 9pm tonight. That’s when KISS takes over your television set for 27 hours straight. The costumed rockers are about to drop Kissology: Volume 3 1992-2000, and our KISSmas fest lets you check out some of the DVD’s footage a full week before the disc hits stores. Longtime fans will recall that we covered the band completely at 2006′s Rock Honors. That’s still a good place for newcomers to hang out.

2007′s Craziest: Britney’s Bald Buzz

by (@katespencer)

britney-bald.jpg Some gossip stories are too big to forget. We?re counting down the 20 biggest, baddest, most ridiculous and saddest celeb scandals of the year. You?ll get a new one posted every day.

Just when we thought we had seen it all, Britney Spears went way farther off the deep end than anyone expected. Marrying K-Fed was one thing, but shaving her head and then getting some lips tattooed on her wrist? Holy crap! Back in February it seemed, well, effing insane. Now we know better – that bizarre Friday night would just be the first of one of the many inexplicable things America’s ex-sweetheart would do this year that blew our minds. Her makeunder went down just days after she spent 24 hours in a Caribbean rehab facility. Back home in LA something (un)clicked – besides the sound of razors against her head – and she headed to Esther’s Haircutting Studio on a Friday night, where the owner opened the store and allowed Brit to shave her hair herself. Newly bald, she then headed over to a tattoo parlor for some fresh ink. The starlet told people in the shop that she was “sick of people touching her” and acted “distraught and disturbed.” Sadly, not much has changed – besides her hair. [KABC]

Britney Blackmailing Paris with Sex Tape?

by (@katespencer)

Britney Spears is apparently threatening Paris Hilton, via letter, with the release of a video of the heiress caught in a lesbian sex romp if she doesn’t start treating her better as a friend. Through some hardcore investigative journalism (and a little magical tool called Photoshop) we’ve discovered Brit’s handwritten note. Enjoy.

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Britney Spears Artist Page

American Idol Sex Tape Scandal

by (@katespencer)

A screen shot from Jessica Sierra?s sex tape.Our love for American Idol’s Jessica Sierra has now turned into a sad, uncomfortable love. You know, it’s like the difference between driving by a car accident and staring at the scene with fascination, and driving by a car accident, staring at it with fascination but then realizing the people in it are seriously f*cked and feeling horrible about it. At first, when she was getting drunk and doing crazy shit we enjoyed it, but then last week – when Jessica got arrested, offered a cop a BJ if he let her off and then puked in a jail cell when he didn’t – we started feeling a little nervous. And now the first screen shot of Jess from her leaked sex tape has been posted by TMZ.com, and it’s made us feel all sorts of sad and yucky. The pic shows Sierra naked in bathtub smoking a cigarette, which is obviously a bad sign. Apparently the tape also has the Idol runner-up getting it on in various positions in a dingy hotel room. Blegh. We can’t stop staring, but we’re not enjoying this wreck at all. The singer is set to star on VH1′s new show Celebrity Rehab, which begins airing in January. Let’s hope that she signs back up for a second season.

[Image Credit: Go to TMZ.com to see the full-size image. ]

Friday: Mayer Secures Man Whore Status

by (@katespencer)

mayer-1207.jpgDonald Trump’s a Cheap Tipper
The comb-over king didn’t actually tip $10,000 at a California restaurant – it was all a publicity scam thought up by the eatery. Er, you’re fired? [DListed]

John Mayer Back Cuddling with Cam Diaz
Yup, this couple is back to their canoodling ways. Is there anyone or anything this guy won’t get with? [NYDN]

Amy Winehouse: ‘Happy’ About Grammys
Producer pal Mark Ronson says she’s psyched about her 6 Grammy noms (and not much else in her life right now). [People]

Happy Holidays from TomKat!
The Cruise clan sends out their holiday card, minus the cheesy family pic and lengthy letter on everyone’s accomplishments. [Seriously?OMG!WTF?]

Britney: Wigged Out & House Hunting
Yup, just another day in the life of the sane Britney Spears, who went house hunting with a hot realtor while wearing a f*cking wig. [x17]

MC Perez’s Rap: VajayjayZ?

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Perez Hilton and VH1?s New York.One quick wit and a microphone. We know that Perez Hilton slings mud in celebville, gets all rock critic about musical acts he adores, and loves himself some beats. But did you know he was a microphone fiend?

After drinking some funky cold medina, the blue-haired Queen decided to do the theme song to his upcoming 07 wrap-up show. That’s the place where he’s handing out awards in such categories as “Best Africa Spokeswhore” and “Hottest MILF,” so the tune references vajayjay, lady lumps, Xtina, trainwrecks, ankle bracelets, and the rest of the year’s BS.

Click the icon to listen, and rap along yourself: audio.gif

Top 20 Albums of the Year (1-5)

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Thousands of discs were released this year, but only 20 could make the final cut. With the most scientific of instruments (headphones, and sometimes CD players) we whittled down this year’s releases, and each Thursday for the three weeks we’ll deliver to you five of our faves. Let us know what we missed, and what you loved.

Dax Riggs, We Sing of Only Blood or Love (FAT POSSUM)

01_daxriggs.jpgThere?s only so many times you can listen to the umpteenth Eddie Vedder- or Chris Cornell-style crooner before vowing to shred your flannel. That, as it turns out, might be hasty: For every 3,000th 3 Doors Down, there?s at least one Dax Riggs, a manly man?s musician who?s got a throat as crusty and damaged as the BQE and miles of bad road behind him. (At one performance earlier this year in New York, Riggs, shirtless and sweating and wearing guy-liner, but not in the Ashlee-Simpson-is-my-lady way, limited his banter to the following: ?Magic is real.? That night, it was true.) Composed of short, filthy little songs, his low-octave growl and piercing shrieks make for cathartic relief from the radio. Songs like ?Demon Tied to a Chair in my Brain,? ?Dog-Headed Whore? and the utterly brilliant ?Didn?t Know Yet What I Would Know When I Was Bleedin?? — as fine a use for the future-perfect as any — evoke the presence of a real artist, someone who absolutely will not stop until he?s been exorcised completely. Fans of southern rock, take note. Please.

Ryan Adams, Easy Tiger, (LOST HIGHWAY)

02_ryanadams.jpgThere are a lot of reasons to dislike Ryan Adams. He?s the voice-mail-leaving, journalist-harassing, actress-dating enfant terrible of the alt-country world, a musician whose profound self-seriousness is rivaled only by his market-flooding output (three albums in 2006). But a funny thing happened with Easy Tiger: Adams got on the quality-control (and off the heroin and cocaine speedballs), took his own advice (referenced in his album title) and returned to his Heartbreaker roots, arguably what he does best. In abandoning his forays into AM radio with Gold and rock with Rock N Roll — hollow exercises — Adams has returned to emotionally wrought alt-rock, evidenced by the cracks in his voice and his display of his vulnerable upper registers. On ?The Sun Also Sets? Adams wavers between moan and growl, a sob caught in his throat as he outlines how easily relationships fall into disrepair. The sunny ?Two Hearts? belies the impending disappointment of a budding relationship, and Adams can?t resist a nod at irony when he summons a guitar solo by speaking its name on the inscrutable arena-rocker ?Halloween Head.? Hell, we even forgive him the Sheryl Crow duet on ?Two.? We?re just glad to have him back.

Abbey Lincoln, Abbey Sings Abbey (VERVE)

03_abbeylincoln.jpg The earthy jazz singer turned plenty of heads when she ditched her usual piano-bass-drums outfit and took up with Bob Dylan?s guitarist, Larry Campbell. But one person?s heresy is another?s revitalization, and the philosophical tunes that Lincoln?s known for not only fit right into the bluesy riffs and twangy peals, they resounded anew. Whether she?s singing about the way the world is falling down or questioning the wisdom of God?s judiciousness, she lets her 77-year-old rasp expose a song?s sentiment and sensuality. The way it slides between this melancholy program?s accordions and dobros is a joy.

White Stripes, Icky Thump (WARNER)

04_whitestripes.jpgWhen biography threatens to eclipse an artist?s work, the results are invariably poor. Between Jack White?s super-model marriage, Meg White?s incipient breakdown, major major-label expectations and the collective begging of indie U.S.A. desperate for something important, it?s little wonder that 2007 was the year that the White Stripes began to implode. That said, the candy-colored Detroit duo?s sixth studio album was a thoroughly engrossing affair, an ADD-suffering collection of songs that ran the gamut from the ridiculous (?Conquest?) to the sublime (?300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues?) to the classic (?You Don?t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You?re Told)).? There?s no denying that the album?s overall vision feels muddy, but then, that doesn?t seem to be the point: Rather, Jack and Meg are trying their best to put a smile on your face, and at that, this entry into their catalog is entirely successful. Yes, the spoken-word bit in ?Rag and Bone? becomes tiresome, and the bagpipes elsewhere are grating, but the exuberance with which the two approach their work is infectious, and the courageous way they build their material (and, in the case of Jack, their facial hair) is an inspiration. Anyone who claimed that Get Behind Me Satan would be remembered as their ?weird? record ought to polish their crystal ball.

Bjork, Volta, (ATLANTIC)

05_bjork.jpgVolta isn’t Bj?rk‘s most-forward thinking achievement, and that’s exactly why it’s such a breath of fresh air. The future, it would seem, has caught up with the reliably sci-fi Icelandic songstress, and so on Volta, she splashes in the streams of her memory. References dating back to her Sugarcubes day litter Volta‘s brass-and-beats framework, and, somewhat paradoxically, the result is Bj?rk’s most cohesive album since her 1997 masterpiece, Homogenic. Volta reaches a gorgeous peak with “The Dull Flame of Desire,” a duet with Antony and the Johnsons‘ Antony Hegarty that smolders and finally ignites thanks to Brian Chippendale’s pummeling drums. Future, past, present? Who cares when you have music that’s this transcendent?