"Lovato's song, on the other hand, is all about desire. She wants the girl because she wants the girl. Her perspective is that of a newbie, but that doesn’t make her a tourist; when she says 'Even if they judge / Fuck it,' she's going through the same process most every queer person has had to go through. Mostly, though, the song is about pop music's favorite topic: being attracted to someone hot." Demi Lovato's 'Cool for the Summer': The Next Great Gay Anthem?, Spencer Kornhaber for The Atlantic [more inside]
...he co-wrote four songs on the Backstreet Boys’ self-titled 1996 debut album, one of which, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart,” went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. And with that, his career took off. You probably know most of what comes next. For instance, you probably know that, to date, Martin has co-written 19 songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100, and another 36 that charted in the top 10 but didn't manage to hit #1. You probably know that many of those songs were recorded by Katy Perry (who has recorded 10 top-10 songs with Martin), Taylor Swift (six top-10 songs with Martin), Britney Spears (also six), P!nk (five), and the Backstreet Boys (five). You might also know that Martin’s 19 chart-toppers put him at third place on the all-time list behind Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26). Stereogum's Michael Nelson on superproducer/songwriter Max Martin, complete with a list of 30 Essential Max Martin Songs.
Hoot.ch is a cool, beautifully curated music gizmo with new songs almost every day. Dazed electronica, sunny pop, arty rock, stained-glass hip-hop - from John Hopkins to Belle & Sebastian to Pusha T, and lots of unknown gems. Sometimes you just want to sit back and let good songs play. [more inside]
Singer-songwriter Laura Marling will release her latest album, Once I Was an Eagle, this May. She's shared a first song off of it, "Where Can I Go?" [more inside]
DJ Earworm has released his annual "United State of Pop" mashup of the year's 25 most popular songs according to Billboard's charts: Shine Brighter. [more inside]
"Blame it on the Rain" by Milli Vanilli. "Unbreak My Heart" by Toni Braxton. "Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes. "If I Could Turn Back Time" by Cher. "Because You Loved Me" by Celine Dion. "If You Asked Me To" by Patti LaBelle. What do all of these songs have in common? They were all written by Diane Warren, a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame whose songs have awards such as a a Grammy, a Golden Globe award, and several ASCAP awards for Songwriter of the Year.
Given the seeming homogeneity of many hit songs, it might come as a surprise that some very strange and unconventional songs have found their way to the top of the pop charts in the past. Some are novelty songs, some are just weird... [more inside]
The Belfer Cylinders Digital Connection is a collection of old cylinder records at Syracuse University. The library has started to digitize them, both in mp3 and wav format. They have only 293 online yet but aim to have 6000 cylinders digitized by the end of next year. It can be searched either by genre, keyword or Here are a few that I really like: Bedtime at the Zoo, That Syncopated Boogie-boo, Mary, You're a Little Bit Old Fashioned, Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong, Phoebe Brown, Was zu Gott ist zu Gott und was zu leute ist zu leute, Aberystwyth, Glada na lusch, I Love a Lassie and Pussy's in the Well.
Speaking of 'highly virulent earworms,' today's NY Times suggests that searching for this year's 'song of the summer' may lead to "one sad conclusion." Have today's hitmakers failed to live up to the jams of yesteryear? Others have offered their opinions...
The Japanese Tatu clones are here: Juemilia and Suitei Shoujo (Presumed Girls). Do Rino and Lissa have a message for their fans? (via Geisha asobi blog)
Pazz & Jop 2002 - The Village Voice has tabulated the top albums and singles from 695 critics (and 10,2002 LPs). Some of the ballot-fillers even got a little personal. The usual essays are included. If your fav CD didn't make the cut, perhaps it made it onto the dean's list.