Before we into the personal, strobe-lit music daydream that was (and still most certainly is) Madonna’s whirling tenth studio album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, it’s absolutely necessary to understand that before the conception of Madge’s Grammy award-winning dance music opus, her music career was in pure best of times, yet (somewhat)worst of times mode. Read more »
Ever since the vase-shattering JoJo burst onto the music scene at just thirteen years old with her ’04 debut single, “Leave(Get Out),” the songstress captured music hearts across the globe and seemed to be headed to the high roads of music stardom. However, due to major drama with her record label, Interscope, her career was sidelined a bit and unfortunately, the “Too Little, Too Late” diva struggled to regain her prowess on the Billboard charts these last few years.
But being the industry fighter she is and just how devoted her long-time fans are, Ms. JoJo bounced back this year after finally being freed from the label and recently served us with a trio of songs in a fiery “tringle,” as well as hitting the road on her sold out I Am JoJo Tour, which will find its place on the Coda Philly stage tonight.
Before the delightful diva owns those spotlights, she took some to chat with us, spilling about the highs and lows of stardom, dished details on the eye-popping video for her comeback single, “When Love Hurts,” and reveals how she truly feels that this is just the true beginning of her red-hot career.
I just first have to ask you….how’s life these days? I’m happy as a motherfucker! Being busy is good for most people like myself, so I’m thankful right now. I’m in a state of gratefulness for these opportunities. I just want to seize and live in this moment.
There’s really no need to rehash your well publicized record label and music industry struggles. Of course, there were some negative energy that came out of that time, but do you feel you gained anything positive throughout the ordeal? Yes, absolutely. I can’t help to look at it as something that was meant to be part of my story. I think that it taught me to be more self-sufficient and to develop an even stronger relationship with my fans. Just being myself and not having opinions from the label and not trying to have an image in mind and all of these things I’ve been forced to think about since I was twelve. To not have to do that anymore, it’s really taught me how to trust myself. Read more »
From Janet Jackson’s official Facebook page.
Janet Jackson is officially back.
We could’ve easily said this a few months ago when the living legend announced her return to music as well as with the launch of her now critically acclaimed Unbreakable World Tour (it will dance its way into town on Feb 24th), but now she’s officially back in the music chart game with her eleventh studio set, Unbreakable, a smooth, sensual music love affair that once again re-teams her with long time collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Hard to believe that it has been nearly 30 years since Ms. Jackson let us know that she was in full Control, following up with ’89’s Rhythm Nation 1814 and ’93’s janet., further telling the world that Michael Jackson’s kid sister was not only establishing herself with her own creative identity, but letting us know that it was her world and we were the ones living in it, and now with Unbreakable, we still most certainly are. Read more »
A scene from “To Wong Foo.”
Twenty years ago this week, To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar, the memorable movie about three drag queens—Vida Boheme(the dearly departed Patrick Swayze), Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes) and Chi Chi Rodriguez(John Leguizamo)—who embark on the road trip of our lives, opened at the box office and made its mark on pop culture…forever.
Stephen Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment produced the film, which went on to strut its way to #1 and ended up snatching a $36 million final take, which is about $70 million in today’s diva dollars. Not only did To Wong Foo welcome drag into the mainstream, but it’s also a film that everyone can enjoy as its humor and tenderness still stays fabulously true even two decades later.
While at its very best, TWF is a gay-themed flick, but more than that it has something for everybody amongst its high-heeled humor and heart. To commemorate this oh, so ravishing red-and-wild occasion, I came up with 5 reasons as to why not you, not me, but to why everybody should experience this wonderful film at least once in their lifetime. Read more »
“Is this like a Noxema commercial, or what?”
It’s those first words uttered by Cher Horowitz (played by Alicia Silverstone) that began our love affair with Amy Heckerling’s Clueless, which hit theaters 20 years ago this weekend. Loosely based on Jane Austen’s coming-of-age novel Emma, the movie reminds us that even the most privileged among us can’t escape the sometimes-brutal pangs of entering adulthood.
All these years later, Clueless continues to resonate. Iggy Azalea recreated key scenes from the film in her video for “Fancy.” Countless designers have mimicked the film’s memorable fashion in their collections through the years. And it has a Tumblr following as strong as any modern movie out there.
There’s no doubt about it, Clueless is a certifiable cult classic—and its two-decade anniversary is something worth celebrating. I offer my hat tip via these 20 behind-the-scenes movie facts that you might’ve not known about Cher and the rest of the Clueless crew.
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Yesterday, Ms. Janet Jackson got all of us queens clutching our music pearls when the iconic diva announced her Unbreakable World Tour, which will kick off in late summer in support of her hotly anticipated new studio album. The first 36-date leg of her tour kicks off Aug. 31 in Vancouver, BC and continues in North America through Nov. 12 in Honolulu, and while Philly wasn’t announced just yet (New York wasn’t either, don’t feel bad), there’s no doubt that the anticipation will have all of us biting our fabulous fingernails until our beloved diva makes the coveted announcement of her musical stop in our hometown.
Until that day comes, we might as well start perfecting our Janet dance moves, so I rounded up of 10 of her most iconic clips that feature her sexiest looks, delectable dancing, and of course, showcase what she’s owned for three decades: out-of-this-world talent. Being that all of Ms. Jackson if-you’re-nasty’s videos are iconic, this list certainly wasn’t an easy one to put together, but you will find that these videos are all wrapped in that Janet pleasure principle that we have to come to know and love from her for all these years. Start your Unbreakable World Tour engines….right now.
10.”Rock With U”
One of Janet’s most underrated videos…of all time. This dark, sexy, strobe-lit clip is not only iconic for its sleek costumes and ridiculously on point dancing, but the fact that it was magically shot in one take really takes this seductive Discipline number to the next diva level.
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If the streets look empty on June 12th, it’s because fans of Orange is the New Black will be huddled around their TV sets binge-watching the third season of everyone’s favorite ladies-prison drama on Netflix. Since its fiery debut two years ago, the show has become a favorite among pop-culture fanatics thanks to its twisted plot lines, crazy characters, and edge-of-your-seat Litchfield prison drama. While season 2 delivered a ton of satisfying twists and turns, it also left us scratching our heads. The season 3 trailer didn’t do much to help; it actually left us all that more puzzled.
So, in the spirit of anticipation, I’ve rounded up some of the most burning questions I’m dying to have answered when the new season debuts.
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Get ready to feel old: I was listening to iTunes this week, when a song from Alanis Morrisette’s Jagged Little Pill played on random shuffle. It was a welcome little stroll down memory lane until it hit me that that album is turning 20 freaking years old this year. That got me wondering: First, am I really that old? And then what other albums from my youth are hitting that two-decade mile marker? I did some scrolling and this is what I found. I’m willing to bet you rocked out to some—or all of these—back in 1995.
Alanis Morrisette | Jagged Little Pill
If there ever was an album that was (and most certainly still is) all wrapped up in mid-'90s music truth, it's certainly Alanis's Grammy-snatching '95 set. From the moment we saw her trekking across the desert in the video for Pill lead single "You Oughta Know," we were hooked on her wonderfully weird vocal stylings and angsty jingles. It also doesn't hurt that album cuts like "Hand In My Pocket," "Ironic," "You Learn" and "All I Really Want," still make the music on Jagged Little Pill seem relatable after all these years.
Mariah Carey | Daydream
Not only did Mariah Carey's multi-platinum Daydream album deliver the diva three more No. 1 hits ("Fantasy," "One Sweet Day" and "Always Be My Baby") but it became the pinnacle of a time when Carey began straying from her trademark adult contemporary sound into a more seductive R&B, get-me-away-from-Tommy-Mottola mode. Not only is Daydream one of the diva's strongest vocal efforts, but other album glass-breakers, "Underneath The Stars," "Forever," "Open Arms," and especially "Fantasy," will all have us singing, "shoo-do-do-do-do-do" for the rest of our lives.
Various Artists | Batman Forever Soundtrack
Is Batman Forever the worst Batman movie in the history of the franchise? Without a doubt. Does it have of the best soundtracks ever? Riddle me yes. Not only does it contain one of the biggest hits of the '90s, the Grammy-winning "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal, but it contains the supercharged U2 track "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" and a slew of other buzz-worthy mid-'90s artists, like PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, The Flaming Lips and Massive Attack. That almost makes up for the fact that Batman Forever was just God awful.
Björk | Post
While the head-scratching diva from Iceland had released two prior studio sets, it was Post that truly put her on the American music map with its oh-so-eclectic sound and sensual, screechy sonnets. Six singles were released from the album, but it's standouts "Hyperballad," "Army Of Me" and "It's Oh So Quiet" that truly made Björk's wild album one of a kind in the mid-‘90s.
Shania Twain | The Woman in Me
Country crossover queen Shania Twain's second album not only paved the way for a mid-'90s country music hoedown (you're welcome, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes and Leann Womack), but it bulldozed a place in music history for her other smash '90s album, Come On Over. Classic Woman singles "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?," "Any Man Of Mine," "(If You're Not In It For Love) I'm Outta Here" and the album's title track prove Ms. Twain was quite the music force to be reckoned with (and that we all kind of liked country just a little bit).
Radiohead | The Bends
If there was ever an album that defined a generation of college-rock radio listeners in the '90s, it was Radiohead's shimmering second set. With its melancholy melodies and light synthetic tones—all mixed perfectly with that infamous "wah-wah-wah" sound that Cher in Clueless (also 20 this year!) loved so much—it's no wonder that sensitive singles "High & Dry" and "Fake Plastic Trees" still have you reaching for a Kleenex.
Jewel | Pieces of You
You'd be hard pressed to find a more heartbreaking collection of songs from the mid-'90s than this one. One part shattered dreams, one part broken promises, Pieces of You was the album for high school girls everywhere who just had their heart stomped on by some guy in study hall. Singles "You Were Meant For Me," "Who Will Save Your Soul" and haunting ballad "Foolish Games" not only put Jewel on the music radar, but it also saved her from living in her van down by a river in Alaska.
Oasis | (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
Drunken feuds! Fights on stage! All those cigarettes! From start to finish, Oasis's landmark album is packed full of U.K. rock gems, explosive harmonizing melodies and synth-laced grooves. Even today, when hearing the title track and their dazzling reworking of "Wonderwall," I find a sudden urge to light up a smoke or 20.
Foo Fighters | Foo Fighters
The story behind Foo's debut set is quite an interesting one. While many thought it was bandmate Dave Grohl's attempt to start another band following the suicide of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, it was much more than that. During the recording process, Grohl wrote and played every note and sang every vocal on the set, only later adding in instrumentation with bandmates Nick Mendel, William Goldsmith and former Nirvana bandmate Pat Smear. While it contained mighty fine rock and plenty of catchy pop hooks, in the end, Foo's debut proved to be one of the only positive things to stem from losing Cobain.
Garbage | Garbage
Two words: Shirley Manson. In a radio world that was dominated by grungy rock gods, it was Shirley and the rest of her gaggle of Garbage who ushered in a fresh sound laced with gutsy rhythms, blinding beats and purring vocals—which were delivered to perfection by Ms. Manson. Smash singles "Vow," "Queer," "Only When Happy When It Rains" and "Stupid Girl" still have Garbage smelling mighty fine today.
No Doubt | Tragic Kingdom
Hard to believe, but it was 20 years ago that Gwen was doing all those push-ups in the video for Tragic lead single, "Just A Girl." Ms. Stefani and the boys of No Doubt certainly delivered plenty of punk prowess and sultry ska rhythms on their chart-shattering debut. Hit singles "Just A Girl, "Spiderwebs," and "Sunday Morning" are all still in a music class of their very own. Also, how many times have you sang—or at least heard someone sing—"Don't Speak" on a drunken karaoke night?
Real McCoy | Another Night
I'm sure I can speak for a whole lot of guys when I say I don't know how far I would have gotten in high school if it weren't for the galactic grooves of German dance trio Real McCoy. Smash hits "Run Away," their remake of Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love," "Sleeping With An Angel" and the album's title track were the stuff that '90s gym classes were made of.
Smashing Pumpkins | Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
While the Pumpkin's previous studio efforts Siamese Dream and Pisces Iscariot gave them plenty of '90s music cred, it was this double-disc set that made them a household name. Mainly produced by frontman Billy Corgan, the album featured a whopping 28 tracks, six of them being released as singles. Album cuts "Bullet With Butterfly Wings," "Tonight, Tonight," "Thirty-three" and seminal Pumpkins tune "1979" all sound just as delightfully juiced-up today as they did back then.
Marilyn Manson | Smells Like Children
Not only was this Manson's breakthrough, but Children became a nightmare for every '90s soccer mom who thought their kids were listening to the Antichrist. With their vivid imagery, crazy videos and hellish sound, not to mention, those eyes, it's albums like this that prove the '90s were one of the most insane times in music ever.
2pac | Me Against The World
If there ever was an album that defined mid-'90s hip-hop, it was 2Pac's landmark fourth studio set. 2Pac released World while he was in prison for attacking his Menace II Society director, Allen Hughes, sexually assaulting a female fan, and an attempted shooting of two off-duty police officers. With that aside, it's tracks like "Temptations" and everyone's favorite hip-hop tearjerker "Dear Mama" that truly make 2Pac's World a rap classic.
Need a playlist about right now? Hear a mix of all 15 albums below or follow the list here:
Here we are, fresh at the top of another year in music, and 2015 looks to be quite a doozy. With new albums on the horizon from Rihanna, Coldplay, Madonna and Kelly Clarkson, it’s already shaping up to be quite an interesting year for radio. However, the burning question on everyone’s mind: Will Adele finally make her grand return? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out. Check out our 15 most-anticipated albums of 2015 below:
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By now we are all snow boot-deep in yet another holiday season filled with yuletide logs, office holiday parties, ugly Christmas sweaters and drunk uncles. But even with all that, no crazy holiday season is complete without the perfect soundtrack. While this year doesn’t have A-plus offerings like 2013’s releases from folks like Michael Bublé and Kelly Clarkson, there are still a handful of new works worthy of a spot in your holiday music collection.
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