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Showing posts from August, 2011


Shoulda Woulda Coulda: Singles That Never Were

They are the songs that should've been - and never were - released as official singles for the masses to enjoy and for radio DJs to put on their Top 40 rotation. One can't help but wonder, What the hell were the record labels thinking?

Being one to never shy away from creating a playlist or two, I've compiled 20 tracks from the past ten years that never gained the popularity they deserve.

1. "Cinderella" by Britney Spears (2001) - A distant cousin of "Stronger," this powerhouse pop explosion from the album Britney is an anthemic banger in which Brit gets all Shakespearean on us with the lyric, "I won't return to thee." (See also: the BT-produced "Before The Goodbye," an unreleased, before-its-time electro-dance number that gives "Till The World Ends" a run for its apocalyptic money)

2. "Get Mine, Get Yours" by Christina Aguilera (2002) - After living in L.A. for several months I purchased the epic Stripped and…


A Duet I'd Like To See Happen

After seeing what these two delivered to the VMAs last night -- proving that pop artists with voices still exist -- I would love to see a collaboration between them sometime in the near future.

Both Adele and Bruno Mars do the Lovers Scorned thing so well, I can't help but imagine a single in which we'd hear two sides to a story about a relationship in ruins and its devastating effects. A he-said-she-said love song, if you will.

Record labels and managers, are you listening?

H.P.M.


Random Thought of the Week #24

I am now convinced that, like deaths, break-ups come in threes.

And possibly during odd-numbered years: Back in 2009, three of my closest friends went through emotional relationship turmoil (I even wrote about it here). And now, as of this month, three other friends of mine are taking a trip to Splitsville. Damn.

"The only constant is change."

H.P.M.


The Curious Case of the Sitcom Star Replacement

While the American television audience gets ready to see Ashton Kutcher make his debut on the (ahem) retooled Two and a Half Men, inquiring minds want to know how it will all go down. The burning questions on the minds of millions of fans are heating up: How will the former That 70s Show star, who's playing an immature Internet billionaire, be written into the show's premise? What's happening to Charlie Sheen's character? Is he really being killed off in a fiery accident, a plot development most likely the creation of a writer scorned? (See: The Hogan Family below)

I, for one, was never a regular viewer of Men. In the eight years it's been on the air, I probably caught a total of 20 minutes of the show, most of that time against my will as I had most likely been sitting on my grandmother's couch during any given holiday visit to New York. However, the brouhaha surrounding this recent casting headline has made me think about similar switch-ups on sitcoms past. M…


Forgotten Vampires of the 80s

Before there was ever a Team Edward, before Sookie fell for Bill and Eric - hell, before Buffy picked up her first wooden stake - there was a vampire craze that sunk its teeth into popular culture during the 1980s*. There was the good (1987's sexy-awesome The Lost Boys), the bad (Grace Jones's Vamp) and the artsy (David Bowie, Catherine Deneuve, and Susan Sarandon in The Hunger).

And since that Fright Night remake is upon us (don't let me down, Colin Farrell), I'm going to rev up the Nostalgia Machine once again and revisit some lesser-known titles I grew up with and still cherish to this day. In fact, their VHS copies are collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. It's about time they come out of storage...

Once Bitten (1985)

A fresh-faced, pre-In Living Color Jim Carrey plays Mark, a high schooler who just wants to lose his virginity to his smokin' hot girlfriend. His two horndog friends decide to take him to The Big City (in this case, Los Angeles) where they can…


When Bad Music Videos Happen to Great Pop Songs

When you hear a pop song you absolutely love, it's easy to assume (or hope) that the accompanying music video will only enhance the awesomeness of it with the right blend of imagery, overall production elements (sets, camerawork, casting), and perhaps a good narrative to follow. But when the end result does nothing to compliment said tune, it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of pop culture junkies who eagerly anticipate seeing their favorite singles manifest into the visual medium (If you're one to argue that music videos are already a dying art form, then let's save that discussion for another time).

Here are five great songs from major pop artists whose music videos were major letdowns, most likely because expectations had been so high at the time. I'm sure there are plenty more to nitpick, but this will have to do for now...

"Gimme More" by Britney Spears (2007)

Granted, this came out shortly after Brit shaved her head and went all Kimberly Shaw on an SUV wit…


Theme Song of the Month: August 2011

The buck-toothed bloke pictured here goes by the name of Example (real name Elliot Gleave, hence his initials inspiring the stage name). He's 29 and British. And a pretty talented rapper-singer at that.

He's got a nifty little club anthem called "Stay Awake" that's been sucking me in and making me a fan (also worth trying: "Changed The Way You Kissed Me"). Without being too heavy-handed, the single is a message to all the kids out there, advising them to responsibly take charge of their lives so that our entire future doesn't go down the toilet -- and to have a good time shufflin' to his beats, of course:


And yes, I'm still trying to decipher all the Cockney-ed lyrics in between.

H.P.M.