Posts by Leslie Gornstein
- Yahoo Music at Yahoo Music1 hr ago
Why did Britney Spears’s latest album, "Britney Jean," perform so terribly?
In fairness, Spears did score the only debut in this week’s Top 10, and she’s having to compete with the "Duck Dynasty" people, who have the Lord on their side. But nobody is calling "Britney Jean" a success. The album debuted on the Billboard charts at No. 4, Spears’s lowest bow, like, ever, y’all. Initial sales of 107,000 copies fell below even the most modest industry predictions of 115,000 to 120,000 units. In contrast, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus all had more robust album debuts this year.
Why all the meh surrounding "Britney Jean"?
Well, you can start with the music itself. The album's first single, "Work Bitch," is fairly catchy, but the companion video fails to showcase Spears’s onetime trademark, her dancing. The track failed make it into the top 10 of Billboard’s Pop Songs airplay chart. It also had the shortest run on that list of any first single from the singer's albums.
“It’s lackluster,” one music publicist told me. “It’s what you’ve seen and heard from her before.”
- Our Country8 hrs ago
Q: How much does Garth Brooks stand to make off of his boxed set? How pent up is demand for his music, given that he has released three box sets?
A: The Oklahoma-based musician may have given us nothing between 2001 and 2009, and he may have limited his distribution to a single store — Walmart — but demand for the singer’s twang remains almost as insane as it was during his pre-Chris Gaines days.
The new set, which includes six CDs and two DVDs for a modest $25, has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, trouncing Britney Spears’s disappointing "Britney Jean" as well as the latest efforts from One Direction and Kelly Clarkson.
Burning Question: Beastie Boys vs. Cute Viral Video — Who Really Has Upper Hand in Legal Battle (and Does It Matter Any More)?Yahoo Music at Yahoo Music15 days ago
Q: Who's right in the dogfight between the Beastie Boys and toy company Goldiblox? Were the Beastie Boys ripped off when GoldieBlox releasedits viral video, or was the toy company right to preemptively sue the rap group and claim that the whole thing is protected parody speech?
A: The two surviving Beastie Boys may want their dippy ode to misogyny to remain in the sphere of protected copyright, but if this scrum ever goes to court, the rappers are likely to get knocked down faster than that Rube Goldberg contraption we saw in the Goldiblox video.
Yes, the video is clearly aimed at selling something. And yes, the Beasties have a long history of refusing to let their songs be used to sell anything. But just because you're selling something doesn't automatically make what GoldieBlox did illegal, or even immoral.
Welcome to the field of fair use law, where what you say matters almost as much as how you say it.
- Yahoo Music at Yahoo Music22 days ago
Q: Miley Cyrus has announced Icona Pop as the opening act for her Bangerz tour. Will this equal fame and fortune for the Swedish duo?
But quite possibly not.
This question assumes that the baby act is even getting paid for the privilege of getting the kids all turnt up for Miley and her super-feminist, extra-nekkid twerking jamboree. Some acts don’t get paid anything. Other singers, I’ve been told by managers and similar people who would know, actually have to pay for the privilege of being an opening act. One young woman, in fact, paid $31,000 to open for a rising British pop group last year.
That said, some big touring acts do pay their openers nominal fees; in the country world, for example, an agent tells me that a lucky baby country star may bring in $3,500 a show. (In comparison, bear in mind that a major star can earn a five figures per concert, easily.) The opening act also gets to sell merch and albums at the concerts, but basic expenses, such as transportation and hotels, aren't covered.
Is Miley Cyrus's sudden image makeover a total failure, or evil genius?
It does seem odd that so many people are picking on Cyrus. Sure, Rihanna, Britney Spears and other singers have caught flak as they morphed from teenyboppers to adults. Even old-timey teen idols like David Cassidy struggled to grow up while keeping the young audiences they worked so hard to build.
But none of those folks faced the solid, relentless mockery that followed Cyrus's painfully awkward performance at the MTV Video Music Awards last month. Her whole transition, from baby-faced wig aficionado to a molly enthusiast who makes out naked with construction equipment — it all seems so sudden, so silly, so…clumsy.
"I would have preferred a more gradual transition," says manager Jo-Ann Geffen, who has shepherded the careers of the Commodores, Cassidy, and Joshua Bell. "Clearly, no one is advising her effectively, or she's just not listening."
Q: Did Miley Cyrus's performance at the MTV Music Video Awards go too far, considering that it was on basic cable and many kids were likely watching?
A: At first I wanted to wave this question away. After all, Cyrus is just the latest celebrity to try her hand at Madonna-style vamping, complete with on-stage pseudo-masturbation and borrowing a faux-taboo cultural phenomenon wholesale from a minority group. Sunday's VMAs performance was more desperation than daring; at times Cyrus seemed to have to remind herself to stick out her tongue as she clomped down a set of stairs.
[RELATED: Miley's VMA Gig Shocks the World]
Q: One Direction is everywhere, from Madam Tussaud's wax museums to the gossip blogs. So does that make them the biggest boy band of all time?
A: You might very well think this is the case, given that the media sees Harry Styles alone as the second coming of Elvis, if Elvis kinda looked like Mick Jagger in his pre-Jerry days. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, there's a reason: You're probably too young to know this, but there were some huge boy bands before 1D — New Kids on the Block, 'NSync, New Edition, the Jackson 5, the Backstreet Boys. And many have sold more albums than One Direction could even imagine at this point.
Don'tget me wrong. There is nothing wrong with One Direction. Nothing wrong with Harry or Zayn or Zeke or Klem or Curly or Ringo any of those guys. It's just that, according to experts, they're not nearly the biggest of their genre. Not yet.
- Leslie Gornstein at Stop The Presses!4 mths ago
Is it true that Justin Bieber is getting into over-21 clubs, or at least trying to? Is anyone stupid enough to let him in? Why?-- Wilda, Vermont
Because they risk being vilified on Twitter by His Royal Shirtlessness! Don’t you remember March 1, that black, black day when Bieber reportedly got rebuffed from a London club on account of his underaged ways?
“Worst birthday ever,” he tweeted.
The horror! The unbridled humiliation those poor Londoners must have felt for seconds and seconds! Maybe that’s why a bar in Ohio reportedly accommodated Bieber earlier this month, allowing him in long enough to allegedly spit in a guy’s face and then deny it. Bieber also reportedly has been seen leaving over-21 houses o’ booze in New York.
- Leslie Gornstein at Stop The Presses!5 mths ago
Burning Question: Should Willow Smith really be singing about a "Summer Fling" at 12? The video looks inappropriate for her age, too. — Y.W., Detroit
If you're speaking about those lyrics — "It's just a few months, but we do it anyway" — followed by filmed flirtations with someone who appears to be much older than Willow, you're not alone.
Sure, the video also has plenty of teen-appropriate japery, like trampoline jumping, fake British accents and super soakers. But that isn't stopping the Twitterverse from weighing in with very mixed reactions.
"What the hell," an @ethannovak tweeted. "Have you guys seen Willow Smith's music video for 'Summer Fling'? She is 12. Super disturbing."
"Willow smith is 12 years old," @foyinog echoed. "I know that, but does she?"
However, the real backlash is coming from the child development community. The general gist: A "summer fling" theme may sound innocent compared with, say, an Eminem song. But it's still way too old for Smith's audience.
- Leslie Gornstein at Stop The Presses!5 mths ago
No, because Jay-Z is ridiculously wealthy, and if fans get angry with him, he can just buy a murdered-out matte black Cessna, and fly away to a private island to nurse his sorrows with Beyoncé by his side.
Sure, some fans vented displeasure with Jay-Z’s latest offering, which required early-bird listeners to give up not only names, ages and current locations, but also information on their Samsung phones' storage and system tools.
In certain instances, Samsung even asked for the right to post on a user’s Facebook or Twitter account, in exchange for advance access to "Magna Carta Holy Grail."