Critics were queueing up to pronounce The X Factor terminally ill last night, as its final sees male singers with varying degrees of street cred vying for a somewhat tarnished winner’s crown. Simon Cowell, driving force behind the show, was under mounting pressure to step in, with ratings and ad revenues down significantly on previous series. Once the dominant presence in living rooms across the country every weekend, the show is now beaten regularly in the ratings by BBC1’s rival show Strictly Come Dancing, which attracts up to 2 million more viewers.
A series of lacklustre winners in previous years, along with the departure of Cowell from the judging panel, has led to a long-term decline in the once unstoppable programme’s fortunes. Viewing figures last weekend were 40 per cent below the equivalent semi-final show two years ago, the last year Cowell was a judge. Read more here
PSY has been taking over America with his surprise smash hit “Gangnam Style” but there’s new information on the South Korean pop star that will soon change his popularity among U.S. fans.
It turns out PSY has been involved in several anti-American protest performances. According to Mediaite.com he smashed a model U.S. tank while onstage in 2002 to oppose 37,000 U.S. troops that descended on the Korean Peninsula.
A few years later, PSY cursed Americans after a South Korean missionary was executed. His song “Dear American” sets the record straight.
“Kill those f***ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives/Kill those f***ing Yankees who ordered them to torture/Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers/Kill them all slowly and painfully,” he raps.
PSY is slated to perform for President Obama for a Christmas In Washington special to air on TNT Friday, December 21. As a result, a petition to rescind his invitation has been created by outraged Americans for his anti-American song lyrics. Read more here
Justin Biebers manager Scooter Braun went on a Twitter rant following Wednesday night’s Grammy Awards nominations announcement. Writing to his over 2 million followers, the 31-year-old Braun defended his No. 1 client Justin Bieber who received no Grammy nominations. “I just plain DISAGREE,” he tweeted. “The kid deserved it. Grammy board u blew it on this one.” Other artists that were snubbed include Psy, Coldplay and Nicki Minaj.
The sequencing of tracks on an album may have long been subject to artists’ creative muses, but, according to A&R and streaming services decision-makers, the order in which songs appear on a set can have far-reaching effects on an acts’, and labels’, bottom lines, especially in an era of digital music consumption.
Throughout the rock era, an album’s track order has often been based on what has caught an artist’s fancy, shaped by such elements as feel and flow. “I never like to put two happy songs in a row or two of the same kind of sadness in a row,” Taylor Swift explained in the Oct. 27 Billboard cover story about how she decided the order of cuts on her recent Billboard 200 chart-topper “Red.” “It’s just about establishing [a sequence that] sounds like that’s the order of things. It’s a gut-feeling thing.”
In other cases, it’s even simpler; Billy Joel reportedly set the sequence for his 1993 Billboard 200 No. 1 “River of Dreams” based on the order in which he wrote each song (with “Famous Last Words” serving as a logical closer for the album). Read more here.
The New York Times published an article “‘Thriller’ and the Lessons of the Mega-Super-Album”.
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” turns 30 this year. It is still the biggest-selling album ever, worldwide, by a lot. As is the case with most biggest-evers, actual or perceived (“I Love Lucy,” say, or “Star Wars”), it’s hard to imagine a world in which “Thriller” didn’t exist. And who would want to remember the pre-“Thriller” days anyway, at least the stretch of months right before it was released, which were nasty ones for the music business? To paraphrase Don McLean’s “American Pie,” the year that “Thriller” came out, 1982, was the year the music almost died. Read more here