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Oh, Kelly

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Music | Leave a comment

Kelly Clarkson just revealed the cover of her upcoming sixth studio album (8th if you count the Greatest Hits one and the Xmas one) and looks like it was inspired by one of the most enigmatic figures in the contemporary pop world – miss Hilton. Take a look:

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On a serious note, I hope this new album is at least half as amazing as ‘All I Ever Wanted’ was. But at this point there’s no reason to doubt Kelly’s ability to bring another pot of pop gold to the table.

10 best moments from E! ‘Christina Milian Turned Up’

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I was never a fan of reality shows, but being a loyal Christina Milian fan since her 2002 debut made pretty much obligated to check out the premiere of her new E! reality show ‘Christina Milian Turned Up’, that follows Christina, her mom and two sisters as they, well, do anything to distract us from the fact that it’s been 9 years since Christina’s last album. And even though I’d prefer a EP of brand new music instead of that reality show, I can honestly say the first episode turned out to be a gloriously campy entertainment (plus Christina is obviously using the show as the platform to re-launch her singing career, which is nothing but good news). Here are my top 10 moments of the premiere:

1. Christina plays two of her new songs to her mother, who is also her manager. The songs are DJ Mustard-esque swearing-galore banger ‘Turn Up’ and a Ciara-esque midtempo ‘Rebel’ (that one gets a single treatment soon). You can listen to them here.

2. Christina giving a disapproving look to her sister Liz’s decision to stop wearing pants as she’s converting to the Orthodox Judaism (now that’s a twist!).

3. Christina almost-kinda-not-revealing that she’s dating Lil’ Wayne by blurring her iPhone case.

4. Christina going to my favorite NYC store – the Patricia Field’s store.

5. Christina going to a drag show in New York and eventually joining the queens to sing ‘Dip It Low’ because ‘she’s feeling free and turned up these days’.

6. Christina singing her own song ‘Dip It Low’ acapella during one of her ‘reality show interview’ moments. How iconic! Can we please get a ‘AM to PM’ acapella next time?

7. Christina’s mom telling her “Tina, you look like Big Bird right now with those” when Christina’s showing her the stuff she bought at the Field’s store.

8. Liz’s ‘koshering the kitchen’. I wonder if doing a reality show a kosher thing to do? Can somebody please ask a rabbi when you get a chance?

9. Christina revealing that her opinionated family did not attend her wedding with The-Dream.

10. Christina getting her nipple pierced on her mom’s Birthday because why not?

In case you need a more specific recap, you can get over to the E! website.

Talk to Mikey: Juliet Simms (Automatic Loveletter)

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

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I did mention my intrerview with Juliet Simms from Automatic Loveletter before, but now it’s time to finally show our chat that took place in New York back in summer 2010, when the band was about to release their debut studio album ‘Truth or Dare’. In 2012 Juliet appeared on The Voice and now she’s releasing a solo EP, but let’s take a look back when the things just started heating up for her in the first episode of Talk to Mikey.

My Girlfriend Is Taylor Swift

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Music | Leave a comment

It’s hardly a bold move for a pop singer to record an album dedicated to love. But when it’s Taylor Swift we’re talking about, the world goes silent and listens carefully. As by 25 this country-coquette with the looks of young Nicole Kidman managed to write her own list of the love affairs with A-listers, which includes Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner, John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal and Harry Styles (and these are only ‘official’ romances we’re talking about). I dissected ‘1989’ as the ‘How To Date Taylor Swift’ guide for Interview Russia magazine back in November 2014 and here’s the English version (as you never know when you may start dating Taylor!).

The original Russian version:

 

Are you the right fit for her?

First of all you need to figure out what types of guys our country-pop-princess is into. Judging by «Style», the boyfriend of her dreams must:

a) Look at Taylor with that “James Dean daydream look in your eyes”.

b) have “long hair, slicked back” and wear “white t-shirt”

c) Pick her up at midnight sharp

d) Even if “you been out and about with some other girl”, you should make Taylor sure you “can’t stop thinking about her”.

The rest of the portrait looks something like this: her Mister Perfect wears «suit and tie» («Blank Space»), «he’s so tall, and handsome as hell» («Wildest Dreams») and has «green eyes» («Wonderland»).

Basically, the good girl Taylor is drawn – what a shocker! – to the bad boys.

 

Is she the right fit for you?

This is what Taylor The Girlfriend looks like in her own words:

a) «The rumours, are terrible and cruel, but, honey, most of them are true» («New Romantics»)

b) « I got that red lip classic thing that you like» («Style»)

c) « I could show you incredible things: magic, madness, heaven, sin» («Blank Space»)

d) «I can make the bad guys good for a weekend » («Blank Space»)

e) «Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane» («Blank Space»)

f) «I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream» («Blank Space»)

g) «People like me wanna believe you when you say you’ve changed » («All You Had to Do Was Stay»)

 

How to make her fall for you.

Direct instructions are taken straight from «Wildest Dreams»:

«Say you’ll remember me
Standing in a nice dress, staring at the sunset babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams».

 

So promise her you’ll call her the next day. That should work.

 

Don’t be afraid of the fact that she’s a star.

Yes, she is constantly followed by the paparazzi and fans, but in «I Know Places» she promises she knows places where “we won’t be found”.

“Just grab my hand and don’t ever drop it

My love, they are the hunters, we are the foxes and we run”

 

A romantic destination? That would be New York.

Seems like Taylor owns more houses than she did release hit albums, but she’s mostly attracted to the bright lights of The Big Apple. “1989” opens with her ode to New York titled «Welcome to New York», so that’s where you’ll most likely go on vacation. And while Taylor’s enjoying the view, you can figure out her attitude towards The Most Important Stuff:

«Like any great love, it keeps you guessing
Like any real love, it’s ever-changing
Like any true love, it drives you crazy».

 

I say get her a ticket to a Broadway show.

 

Love is life.

Real love for Taylor is the whole life («This Love»):

«This love is good
This love is bad
This love is a life back from the dead».

 

Love is a burned toast.

In «You Are In Love» Taylor gives us a detailed description of the perfect relationships:

«Morning, his place, burnt toast, Sunday
You keep his shirt, he keeps his word»

 

Love is a nightmare.

But sometimes love means wandering in the dark woods, where every trail gives a false yet heady hope. That’s the love Taylor’s singing about in a hypnotic adult fairytale «Out of the Woods». Such romance can be fun («We decided to move the furniture so we could dance ») and passionate («The rest of the world was black and white but we were in screaming color»), but the breakup will be epic and bloody:

«Remember when you hit the brakes too soon
Twenty stitches in a hospital room
When you started crying
Baby, I did too»

However eventually the sun will come up with «the monsters turned out to be just trees». Meaning: she’ll probably quit first.

 

Although the breakup will be hard for her…

… she’ll surely find a couple of exquisite metaphors for the heartache («Clean»):

«The drought was the very worst,
When the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst
It was months, and months of back and forth,
You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore ».

How will she feel once she’s done with you? «I think I am finally clean». Ouch!

 

She knows when to acknowledge her mistakes.

«You still don’t know what I never said», – Taylor cries in «I Wish You Would». And then scolds herself: «I wish you would come back, wish I’d never hung up the phone like I did», and eventually confesses: « I miss you too much to be mad anymore».

Quite an impulsive girl she is.

 

If you’re leaving – don’t forget to shut the door.

«All you had to do was stay», says Taylor in «All You Had to Do Was Stay». But if you did leave, then leave for good:

«People like me are gone forever when you say goodbye ».

 

Or?..

But you can still try bringing her back – she’ll be pleased with that. In «How You Get The Girl» Taylor explains how to arrange a perfect comeback: first you have to promise to love her forever, then offer to go fix her broken heart, then show her the photos from your mutual ‘happy past’ and call yourself a madman for leaving without telling her why.

 

Casual encounter after the breakup will be brutal.

If the relationships didn’t work out at the end, don’t even bother trying to hurt her by showing up with your new girlfriend:

«My ex-man brought his new girlfriend
She’s like “oh my God”, but I’m just gonna shake it
And to the fella over there with the hella good hair
Won’t you come on over, baby».

And he will come. They always do.

Summing it all up, the romance with Taylor Swift consists of some very cinematic courting, followed by highly poetic torments of love, a hard breakup and a lasting aftertaste. And don’t forget that after everything’s over she’ll definitely write a song about you and sing it on the world’s biggest stadiums. Okay with all that? Then start getting ready by finally getting «1989» – last year’s best pop album.

Pop Culture of 2014: 35 Best Moments

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Blog, Cinema, Music, Style, Без рубрики | Leave a comment

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Even though 2014 didn’t see the comebacks of Rihanna or Kesha or the revival of Lady Gaga’s career, it did have some kickass moments. 35 of them, to be exact. So let’s take a look back and remember the best songs, movies, series, music videos, crossovers, catfights, fashion collections, deers and gorillas of 2014. Beware: the following list is highly subjective, but I did try to explain my choices.

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10 reasons why Sia was the pop queen of 2014

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Articles, Music | Leave a comment

The English translation of the piece I did for Svoy.ru for Sia’s Birthday.

There are artists who are presented to us just like a new set of the ‘Happy Meal’ toys: all wrapped in the nice packaging and shipped to the music McDonaldses of the world. That’s how we get to know people like Rita Ora and Meghan Trainor. And then there are people like Sia, whose quest to the same tops of the same charts is way more interesting (and ultimately – more satisfying) to witness.

Sia Furler’s whole career has been a snowball that was getting stronger and bigger since her trip-hop debut in the late 90s. Some people learned about her from these early releases, others – when her song ‘Breath Me’ was chosen as the soundtrack for the epic ‘Six Feet Under’ finale. Some liked her 2010’s colorful indie-pop record ‘We Are Born’ and for others she was simply the voice on the David Guetta and Flo-Rida’s records. And, finally, some knew her as the hit writer for artists like Rihanna and Britney. And everyone would agree that her journey to the top of Billboard’s Songs of the Year list was filled with struggles.

Sia’s Birthday is a great moment to look back at the reasons why she gets the title of 2014’s pop queen.

1. She released the best song of the year.
There are fun songs about partying. There are sad songs about hangovers. And then there are songs like ‘Chandelier’, where laughter comes from the pain, nervous breakdown is the bar’s specialty, tears fill the shot glasses and your shoes are long lost somewhere on the dancefloor. Sia managed to tell a very sad story about a party girl, who can’t ‘come down from the chandelier’ (meaning: break the vicious circle of partying), and she did it with quite simple yet powerful lyrics. The result was an overdramatic, epic and even heartbreaking song: it’s a rarity when we get a pop song of such caliber and it’s even rarer when such songs get worldwide recognition. With ‘Chandelier’ the world finally learned that Sia is so much more than a pop-songs-producing-machine and that she is an independent artist, whose charisma can overshadow a lot of her much more glossy pop rivals.

2. She made a creepy video for it.
There were a lot of interviews before the ‘Chandelier’ video premiere, where Sia stated that she doesn’t want to be a pop star – she just wants to make music and share it with the world. That’s why she was wearing a paper bag on the ‘Billboard’ cover and why 11-year-old Maddie Ziegler replaced her in the video for Sia’s potentially biggest solo hit. The video is creepy for various reasons. First of all, Maddie was a star of the ‘Dance Moms’ reality show – the one about parents obsessing about their children’s success (and it’s easy to see the show’s influence in the ‘Chandelier’ video). Secondly, the imagery of a girl dancing around in a shabby apartment in the skin-colored bodysuit with the crazy smile on her face would be a much better fit in some horror flick rather than next to a Rihanna video on MTV.

3. She released a good album.
«1000 Forms of Fear» was hardly a revolutionary record, but there’s more than just «Chandelier» to it, too. There is a booming ballad «Big Girls Cry», as well as playful love song with a sarcastic title «Hostage». Bouncy «Free The Animal» features Sia’s trademark ‘who-oh-oh-oh’ that have been processed through an electric shredded just to be gun-fired at the listeners. The melody in «Fire Meets Gasoline» is a twin sister of «Chandelier», but lyric-wise it’s no longer a story about a tragic partygirl but a fire-breathing love story. The album finishes with the 7-minute-long dramatic «Dressed in Black» that should provide a decent valuable dosage of catharsis to everyone, who felt the lack of the true emotions on the current pop landscape.

4. She inspired a lot of people
Obviously, from now on «Chandelier» is a frequent ‘guest’ on any singing competition: from The X Factor UK to The Voice Russia. Secondly, there’s hardly a shortage of ‘Chandelier’ covers on the YouTube: my favorite comes from the ‘Russian boy with the goat’. But Sia’s success in general is also an inspirational story about a person who worked long and hard and eventually ‘made it’. In one interview Sia mentioned that just 4 years ago she was doing drugs and was thinking about killing herself, but came to her senses, got clean and started writing for other popstars –to become a popstar herself just when she hit 39.

5. Her haircut is its own celebrity.
Sia obviously knows how pop works behind-the-scenes: by the time she was ready to release «Chandelier», she clearly understood the worth of a well-picked symbol in the pop culture. And that’s how her bob joined Bowie’s lightening, Michael Jackson’s glove, Madonna’s spiky bra, Lady Gaga’s claw and Nicki Minaj’s 3D-butt. The bob began its rise to the fame in New York in the ‘Chandelier’ lyric video, then graced the «1000 Forms of Fear» album cover and eventually ‘guest starred’ on Sia’s famous friends and fans’ heads as a wig.

6. She turned her back on the public.

Sia’s main prank of 2014 was her recusance towards facing the crowd: she performed «Chandelier» with her back turned to the viewers, while the guests entertained the public. There are tons of underlying themes to be found here: Sia’s unwillingness to play the ‘pop game’, her aspiration to switch put more attention on her voice and a banal attempt to shock, that makes one think of Lady Gaga’s early tricks. The shtick did get boring quickly (at the end of the day, everyone could just Google her face and she did promote her previous five records with her ‘face on’), but it was all worth it: the «Chandelier» got all the attention it deserved.

7. She made a lot of celebrity friends.
She started off with Lena Dunham dancing on stage during her «Chandelier» TV performance. Then Jimmy Kimmel did the same. And this fall Jim Carey himself spoofed the video during his appearance at the «Saturday Night Live».

8. She crafted yet another magic bag of hits for an army of popstars.
No idea when this Aussie actually sleeps, but it is known that apart from her own album, she also visited studios of the whole army of pop artists this year, writing for Shakira, JLo, Kylie, Cheryl, Brooke Candy, Eminem, David Guetta, Lea Michele, Gwen and Maroon 5. And that’s a list without the upcoming 2015 releases!

9. She made some new big collaborations.
Sia and David Guetta’s «Titanium» was and still is one of the EDM’s finest moments. This year she worked with the French dance guru once again and also sang a chorus in the epic Eminem’s track «Guts Over Fear», that saw yet another exotic reality TV star in its music video – Canadian model Chantelle Brown-Young.

10. She didn’t forget to smile.
«1000 Forms of Fear» promotional campaign was hardly a cheerful one, so Sia made a right move by releasing a 100%-uplifting tune «You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile»  for the ‘Annie’ OST. And she eventually started walking down the red carpets again, and doing it with a big smile on her face. Well, she earned it.

Mikey Moscow’s Party MP3 Birthday!

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Mikey Moscow’s Party Memories

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With Mikey Moscow’s Party turning 3-years-old tomorrow, it’s time to take a walk down that glittery memory lane. Love, broken jaws, oceans of glitter and 3 years worth of fun – I love you, too, guys! See you tomorrow at ‘Darling, I’ll Call You Later’ bar (B.Strochenovskiy, 7) at 22.00!

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Interview Russia 3 Years

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Interview Russia celebrated its 3d Birthday last week and I was there – to dance in the glitter and make sure I can get up early the next day and write a report. Which I did. Click on the photo to read it:

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Interview with Naomi Pilgrim

Posted on by Mikey Moscow in Blog, Interviews, Music | Leave a comment

About a year ago Naomi Pilgrim released her debut single – a trip-hop-y ‘No Gun’ that had pleasantly mellow sound and some remarkable lyrics (’12 hours flight, didn’t charge my Pod’ and ‘…at least now I know I should just stick to grass’ were among the best ones). Now she’s got a new song out – it’s called ‘It’s All Good’ (I’d like to think of it as a happy-end sequel to ‘No Gun ’ – ‘cause every melancholic Swedish lady deserves one!) and it’s, well, pretty good, too.

Back in April we did an interview for Cosmopolitan Russia and here’s the original version of the interview. Russian version is on the Cosmo’s website here:

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What’s your story?

My story contains Sweden and Barbados, a lot of longing for summer and creating while searching my own path. I’ve been making music for a long time, but it wasn’t until last year that I decided to dare to dream bigger and since then I’ve been busy fulfilling those dreams.

Why do you think so many talented artists come from Sweden and Barbados? Something in the water/air?

I think it’s because we live in a society where there is room for growth and where we appreciate the uniqueness in and of things. From that point of view we are able to take it further by pushing the limits.

What things from the ‘No Gun’ lyrics actually happened to you?

It’s not biographically written but some things are still true, but which scenarios I’m gonna leave unsaid haha.

What did you learn from working with Lykke Li?

I learned a lot, she is an excellent teacher. She taught me to ask the hard questions in the process of making/ creating and to always stand up for my vision.

What’s the most exciting thing about making music for you?

A lot of things! For example how an emotion and a simple thought can build a new world in a matter of seconds. Music teaches me new things Every day and I love to be absorbed in its wise universe.

You call yourself a ‘a whistle-blower for peace’. What does that mean exactly?

I am a firm believer in equality and since I have my freedom and we live in a cold world I think it would be a crime against humanity not to use it. The deadliest war since world war II  is happening right now in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Kids to small to carry a gun are being sent out in The frontlines of war armed with only a whistle. I use their weapon as my voice. Falling Whistles is campaign for peace in Congo, they sell this whistle and the proceeds goes to different life saving projects on the ground in Congo. And by wearing a whistle close to my heart I keep the story of these children alive.

Is there one thing that unites all Naomi’s of the world?

The warmth, the loving and the excellence?

What’s the game-plan for you this year? When will we hear new music?

I am heading out for The festival season with a new single coming out in the end of may!

What else does the world should know about Naomi Pilgrim?

I love champagne and oysters, swimming and horses.

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More on Naomi at her Facebook and twitter.