100 & Single: A Dozen Contenders For Billboard's Year-End Top 10, And Their Fight Against The "Last Christmas Effect"

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Later this week, Billboard is expected to announce its tallies for the biggest hits of 2011. And what a year for music it's been. Remember all those big hits: "Like a G6," "We R Who We R," "Raise Your Glass," "Fuck You!" and "What's My Name?"

What's that—you say the songs I just rattled off are kinda old? Like, 2010-old? You're absolutely right. But don't be surprised if these vintage hits feature prominently among the biggest Hot 100 hits of 2011.

Billboard's "chart year" runs from December 1 through November 30. Blame old-fashioned dead-tree production schedules—they do this so they can announce the year-end victors before the holidays arrive and run the lists in a big, collectible magazine the size of small phone book. (Makes a great stocking stuffer. Seriously!)

The upshot of this skewed calendar: Take a good look at what's topping the Hot 100 right now. Hits like Rihanna's "We Found Love" (No. 1), LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" (No. 2), or Bruno Mars's fast-rising "It Will Rain" are going to feature conspicuously among the top Billboard hits... of 2012, next December. On the 2011 list, they won't be very prominent at all.

Even with its abundance of aging tracks, the 2011 list will still be worth poring over when Billboard drops it in a few days. Unlike the year-end album chart—which is based on straight Soundscan sales totals, and whose victor is already a foregone conclusion—the formula of digital sales, radio airplay and online streaming that determines the weekly Hot 100 means year-end predictions require a lot more guesstimating. Which is more fun, anyway.

Let's run down, in alphabetical order, a baker's dozen of hits that are likely to figure prominently on Billboard's Top Hot 100 Songs of 2011. These are tracks likely to make the final Top 10 or at least the Top 20.

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Live: The Black Eyed Peas Grandstand, Survive The Rain In Central Park

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The Black Eyed Peas
The Great Lawn, Central Park
Friday, September 30

Better than: Being kettled.

Before Friday's Central Park show, the latest Black Eyed Peas news involved the group's announcement that they would be joining Christina Aguilera, Smokey Robinson, and Cee Lo Green on stage at a Michael Jackson tribute concert next month. It's a natural fit, because when it comes globe-spanning, black-or-white mega-pop, the Peas seem to be constantly reaching for (and in the case of 2009's The E.N.D., almost achieving) the monocultural dominance that once put Thriller in some 110 million households. will.i.am still hasn't written his "Billie Jean," but his presence at the head of this concert—half world's-biggest-charity-gala, half IRL telethon—showed that when it comes to toothless neoliberal humanitarian grandstanding, the rapper/producer might even have MJ beat.


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Here's Hoping That Christina Aguilera And Maroon 5 Kill The "Lazy Mick Jagger References In Lyrics" Trend Dead

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I mean, oh, honestly:

Christina Aguilera and Adam Levine of NBC's talent show "The Voice" are putting their voices together on a new Maroon 5 single. Aguilera is featured with Levine and his band on the tune "Moves Like Jagger," which will be released next week on iTunes.

"Moves Like Jagger"? You mean, like in the video for his embarrassing version of "Dancing With The Streets"? (SOUTH AMERRRRRICAAAAAA!!!)


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Live: Even Lou Reed Gets Sentimental At Rock Hall MSG Blowout #2 (Featuring U2, The Boss, The Black Eyed Peas, And Some Dude Named Mick)


Ooooh plus "Iron Man"

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Celebration
Madison Square Garden
Friday, October 30

"When we were down, rock 'n' roll lifted us up," says Tom Hanks in his introductory remarks for the final night of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's benefit-concert extravaganza at Madison Square Garden. "Rock 'n' roll music was American," he later adds. "And it changed the world." Despite his use of the past tense, tonight is anything but a eulogy: Friday's slate features a wider palate of curators than the previous night, this time including Aretha Franklin, Jeff Beck, Metallica, and U2. The headliners' guests, a pop-music dream-team ranging from Ray Davies to Ozzy Osbourne to the Black Eyed Peas, also do a better job than last night's cavalcade of explaining how far rock has come.


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News Roundup: Perez Hilton Sues, Kanye West/Spike Jonze, Jim James, My Morning Jacket

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--Perez Hilton is suing Black Eyed Peas manager Polo Molina for battery and "infliction of emotional distress," after, you know, he got punched for calling Will.I.Am something homophobic. Hilton's lawyer said in a statement: "Whether you love Perez or hate him, he is entitled to his freedom of speech without fear of physical violence." John Mayer has gotten involved, too, instigating an all-too-easy Twitter battle with the blogger. "Last year P!nk kneed me in the nuts outside Chateau Marmont," the guitarist wrote. "I was pissing blood for days. Did I make a scene?" Read the entire exchange chronologically here.

--Kanye West surprised the audience at the Los Angeles Film Festival last night with the premier of his Spike Jonze-directed short film, called We Were Once A Fairytale. The video involves West getting drunk, having sex in a club, realizing he's actually having sex with a pillow, cutting his stomach open with a bowie knife, and then pulling out a demon rodent connected by an umbilical chord.

--Jim James, frontman of My Morning Jacket, will release an eight-year-old EP of George Harrison covers under the moniker Yim Yames. The 6 tracks, recorded a few days after Harrison's death in 2001, includes post-Beatles classics like "My Sweet Lord" and "All Things Must Pass." "It's definitely not the tightest or most professional recording you're ever going to hear in your life but I like that," James Yames told Billboard. "I think it lends it a more childish atmosphere." The EP will be available at yimyames.com July 7, but a free track is available for streaming there now.

--SOTC: Your first source for all-things-Roots-related. The band, which debuted a new track on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night, has been added to Philadelphia's massive Fourth of July show at the Ben Franklin Parkway. Oh, and Sheryl Crow is playing. If you are stuck in the city, the band's Tuesday night Highline Ballroom residency has also been extended to November 24th.

The Black Eyed Peas Steamroll the Charts

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The Black Eyed Peas, whose The E.N.D. is completely successful as a work of bonkers zeitgeist, if not as an actual record--although SOTC officially pretty much fucks with about 60% of it--sold an astonishing 304,000 copies its first week out. Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, the Dirty Projectors sold 8,000 copies of Bitte Orca, which for what it's worth is 25,000 less than fellow critical darlings Grizzly Bear sold their first week out. The lesson is clear: don't fuck with the Black Eyed Peas, even if you're an abstruse, indie-targeted, prog version of the B-52s. [Billboard]

Let Us (Briefly) Address the Appalling Theme Song to Girls Next Door Spinoff Kendra



Having spent more time than I'd generally care to admit following the bubbleheaded, utopian antics of Hugh Hefner's then-girlfriends on drama-free E! juggernaut The Girls Next Door ("It's Wednesday, and Hef usually throws a party on Wednesday, so..."), I approached inevitable spinoff Kendra, focusing on the sportiest and least erudite of the three ladies, with caution. But I still approached it. And thus was I exposed to its toxically horrific theme song, a sub-Black Eyed Peas atrocity that makes [something really dumb] sound like [something really smart]. And this is coming to you from a blog not exactly opposed to BEP-style deranged frivolity. We're not looking for a Hill Street Blues sort of elegant poise here, but come the fuck on. If it took longer to write this thing than I did to blog about how terrible it is, I'll [unpleasant activity to convey my certainty that I'm right about this].

UPDATE: Oh sweet Jesus Too $hort might actually be responsible for this.

New Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. Leaks, To Spectacular Effect

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Not that we'll point you anywhere in particular to find it, but the Black Eyed Peas' new The E.N.D. has very much leaked onto the internet, in a blaze of bar mitzvah jams ("I Gotta Feeling" is gonna own), randomly French rave synths ("Ed Banger compilation Volume 3," said one friend yesterday), goofy Century 3000 jock jams, maddening ringtone rap (uh, "Ring-a-Ling"), and a song called "Electric City," on which Fergie rhymes "dildo" with "do re mi fa so la ti do." Seriously. Skip CNN-hologram jam "One Tribe" and you'll do better than fine.

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