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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: It's all about Lady Gaga
Friday, January 8, 2010
Very few female pop stars have made such a major splash in such a short amount of time as Lady Gaga. With basically a year on the books, she's spring boarded her way towards every angle of pop culture, dominating radio, music videos, prime time and late night television, the internet, and last but not least, dance clubs of all orientations. Not only are her club-infused groove ingeniously infectious, but the singer/songwriter is always wearing outrageous outfits and overflowing with attitude to get some extra attention.
Obviously a protégé of Madonna, and to a lesser extent Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga knows just how to press all the right buttons in the studio or in concert. Currently on the road in support of The Fame Monster (Interscope), she's basically playing all the tunes from late 2008's standard CD The Fame ("Just Dance," "Poker Face," "Paparazzi"), plus the bonus tracks tacked on to the expanded edition ("Bad Romance").
As for the production, it's so big that the superstar in the making's had to cancel several club and theatre shows to move into larger halls. In the Windy City, that means a switch from the venerable Chicago Theatre to the higher population of the Rosemont Theatre, recently host to Barry Manilow's local staging of his Las Vegas show. In other words, expect plenty of glitz and kitsch at what could be the most over the top tour of the new year. (Bet your life - Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Rosemont Theatre- Rosemont, IL: www.ticketmaster.com).
Street Week: Elvis turns 75, Kanye tells some stories
Monday, January 4, 2010
The undisputed king of rock n' roll Elvis Presley would've turned 75 this month, which means a new compilation is in order. The multi-faceted entertainer is fairly well summarized on this twenty-five track CD aptly titled 75 (Sony), which includes pretty much every obligatory smash such as "Don't Be Cruel," "Jailhouse Rock," "Hound Dog" and "Can't Help Falling In Love."
Marvin Gaye was amongst the most socially provocative artists of Motown's classic era. All anyone in doubt has to do is turn to the masterpiece What's Going On: Rarities Edition (Motown), which covers all the outtakes, b-sides and extras from the initial album. This project was previously released as part of a double disc bundle also including the standard What's Going On album, but can now be purchased separately for those who already own the original.
He may have earned an even more negative reputation for the ultimate diss of 2009 against Taylor Swift, but Kanye West seemed sincere when offering apologies and has even taken time off the road to reflect. No matter one's personal opinion of the rapper, there's no denying his talent on this CD/DVD set of VH1 Storytellers (Def Jam/Roc A Fella). Though the set spans his entire career thus far, particular emphasis is spent on 808's & Heartbreak, which was written in the wake of his mother's passing.
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