Category: Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus says goodbye to Twitter with a rap; Courtney Love's account is removed

Twitter continues to lose some of its most-followed music celebs. Days after teen star Miley Cyrus removed her account, perpetual ranter Courtney Love has disappeared from the social-networking service. Love's Twitter disappeared without warning, but its removal came soon after Love's teenage daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, laid into young Ali Lohan.

Cyrus, however, isn't disappearing so quietly.

With rumors that she left Twitter at the behest of her supposed love interest Liam Hemsworth, the tween star and their friends channeled all their non-tweeting free time into a short, cheesy rap. "I stopped living for moments, and started living for people," Cyrus sings, adding, "Everything that I type and everything I do / All those lame gossip sites take it and they make it news."

Cyrus admits to some withdrawals, as well as missing Dane Cook's latest updates, but promises no more "fake feuds" with Demi Lovato. If the result of Cyrus leaving Twitter is more charmingly bad videos like the one above, Pop & Hiss applauds the move.

Cyrus was leaving Twitter while she was on top. According to data from BigChampagne, Cyrus had the third-most Twitter followers among musicians as of Oct. 6, with more than 2.2 million users tracking her pimple updates. Only Britney Spears and John Mayer had more.

But Cyrus and Love aren't the only high-profile musicians to disappear from the site. British singer Lily Allen, who ranks No. 9 among active Twitter musicians, hasn't updated since Sept. 28, going quiet after taking heat for her views on Internt file-sharing. Earlier this year, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor stopped updating his account, declaring on July 17 that "flesh and reality are calling." 

In May, rapper Kanye West ranted against the service, writing in his "Caps Lock" glory, "I'M TOO BUSY ACTUALLY BUSY BEING CREATIVE MOST OF THE TIME AND IF I'M NOT AND I'M JUST LAYING ON A BEACH I WOULDN'T TELL THE WORLD. EVERYTHING THAT TWITTER OFFERS I NEED LESS OF."

Although she wasn't nearly as blunt, it appears Cyrus would agree.

-- Todd Martens

Related: Demi versus Perez? See Twitter, where celebs rant

LOLcats Now Haz Music Reviews, Part 1: Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Asher Roth

Some of us here at Pop & Hiss have a theory that almost everything is better with cats. To see whether such a hypothesis extends to music criticism, we reached out to two clever women who were responsible for bringing the LOLcat phenomenon to the stage.

Kristyn Pomranz and Katherine Steinberg are the brains behind "I Can Has Cheezburger: The MusicLOL!," an off-Broadway production based on the popular blog about silly kitties with misspelled captions. The musical premiered at the New York Fringe Festival in August and may make its way to other areas of the country (paws crossed).

Ben Huh, the chief executive of Pet Holdings Inc., which is the parent company of the I Can Has Cheezburger blog, recommended the pair for our project. Despite being an expert in cat-speak, the Seattle-based Huh says he's not very knowledgeable about new music.

So while other music publications have already jumped on the phenom, Pop & Hiss went straight to the source, and asked Pomranz and Steinberg to bestow their musical criticisms onto goofy pictures of cats. In between work on their new musical -- "which is also about food but not about cats," Pomranz wrote in an e-mail -- the duo has let us know what your pets think about your music collection.

We can has musik revyooz.

Lady-gaga(2) Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is one of the hottest --- and most unusual -- acts around right now. She wrestled with Madonna on Saturday, and recently parted with Kanye "Imma-let-you-finish" West for her November tour.

Between all these forays into pop stardom and designing high-end headphones, does Gaga even have time to make good music? The cat thinks so.

Click "read more" for the rest of the LOLcat music reviews.

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Live review: Miley Cyrus' 'Wonder World' concert at Staples Center

The tween sensation sings and even raps with ease but offers very few glimpses of a real, more truly compelling Miley.

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The last time Miley Cyrus toured North America, in 2007, she didn't make the trip alone. Her money-minting "Best of Both Worlds" road show featured sets by both Cyrus and her Disney Channel alter ego, Hannah Montana, and as is often the case in this town, reality didn't always come out on top.

At a Honda Center stop in Anaheim, Cyrus, then 14, struggled to express herself in a way that lived up to her on-screen persona; when the concert climaxed with a virtual duet between Cyrus and a video version of Hannah, one of the girls seemed more two-dimensional than the other.

Nearly two years later, Cyrus is out on her own on the "Wonder World" tour, which hit Staples Center on Tuesday before a show at Honda on Wednesday. She wasn't in competition with Hannah this time, but Cyrus still had to battle herself.

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On the charts: Whitney returns, and the Insane Clown Posse never went away

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The onslaught of year-end releases has begun. Whitney Houston, perhaps the most talked-about comeback of the year, debuts atop the U.S. pop charts, returning to the No. 1 spot with her best sales week since Niselen SoundScan began tracking data back in 1991.

Her "I Look to You" sold 304,000 copies following its Aug. 31 release -- a day earlier than the usual Tuesday release day in order to remain eligible for the upcoming Grammy Awards. Of course, Houston's biggest hits came prior to 1991, but the sales number is a good sign for the artist in this depressed market. Even while not making the first week impact of an Eminem, the 304,000 tally is a significant bump over her first-week SoundScan numbers for 2002's "Just Whitney," which Billboard tells us bowed at the top after selling 205,000 copies. 

But Houston is still going to need a hit for sustained sales success throughout the holiday season. Thus far, the title track hasn't reached the top 50 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart, and her more recent single, the swift retro cut "Million Dollar Bill," has yet to penetrate the big chart. Nevertheless, "I Look to You" is Houston's first album to debut at No. 1 since 1987's "Whitney" topped the chart when it was released.

A run-down of other chart notables below:

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Who cares about 'My Generation' anymore?

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The 1960s: We just can't get away from them.

As the muddy dust of Woodstock nostalgia settles -- taking with it the whining protests of sensitive little-sibling Gen Xers -- the baby boom is immediately reasserting its pop cultural might, this time in a much more effective way. The marketing campaign for "The Beatles: Rock Band" game moves forward hour by hour, with today's song list announcement stoking an appetite already primed by major media attention, and the already unveiled chart allowing users to check that their fake instruments will work with the highly compatible game. (Sorry, would-be Ringos in possession of "Rock Revolution" drums, you will be purchasing a new set.)

Between the attention given rock's most fondly remembered musical gathering and the careful campaign to remind everyone of what Fab Four still matters the most, any hope non-boomers had that they'd finally moved to pop's center seemed dashed.

Yet the truth is, it's getting hard to argue that any generation dominates pop. A nationwide telephone survey by the Pew Research Center's Demographic and Social Trends project, timed to coincide with the Woodstock birthday, found that while some differences remain between elders and youth, in general they're not a source of antagonism. Furthermore, rock was found to be the dominant music of both generations. President Obama may symbolize the rise of the hip hop nation -- a view that Hua Hsu effectively put forth in his Atlantic magazine piece, The End of White America?, earlier this year -- but it's well known that Obama has Springsteen and Bob Dylan on his iPod.

So what does it mean that 24-year-old New Jersey police Officer Kristie Buble didn't recognize Dylan when she picked him up as a possible vagrant during a pre-show stroll in the rain last month? Nothing, perhaps, beyond the fact that even iconic faces age and change. But that small incident also raises a thought about the changing relevance of the generational ideal.

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Sugarland tops the chart, but not without controversy

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Country duo Sugarland has another No. 1 album with the CD/DVD package "Live on the Inside," but in a slow sales week, the emphasis shifts to how the product was sold rather than how many copies have been sold. 

For the live follow-up to last year's "Love on the Inside," Sugarland took a page from the likes of AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, Christina Aguilera, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen and Prince to go the exclusive retail route. Initial returns for Sugarland are modest, as Wal-Mart-exclusive "Live on the Inside" sold 76,000 copies in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. 

But the Atlanta-area band drew some heat earlier this week from its local indie shop Decatur CD. The store's owner, Warren Hudson, criticized the band on the company blog, writing to Sugarland that  "by shutting the door on independent record stores, you’re in effect shutting the door on your hometown."

"We’re not trying to put the band in the cross hairs, by any means," Hudson said to Pop & Hiss this morning. "I have no doubt that Wal-Mart is one of the best avenues for this band. We just happen to be in the town where the band got their start. We didn’t start the band, by any means, but we supported them from Day 1."

Retail exclusives remain a controversial topic. For bands and labels, it's an instant payday, as retailers pay for the exclusivity, plus sales to the retailer are often one way, meaning they are not returnable to the distributor. Yet the practice blocks mom-and-pop, music-specific outlets from selling the CD, and limits a fan's buying options. 

Additionally, the corporate partnerships often seem -- at least on the surface -- to go against rock idealism. Springsteen, for instance, told the New York Times that selling a Wal-Mart-exclusive greatest hits package was a "mistake," adding that “given [Wal-Mart's] labor history, it was something that if we’d thought about it a little longer, we’d have done something different.”

Pearl Jam, for its upcoming "Backspacer," due Sept. 20, walked a careful line. The album, the band's first outside the major label system, is a Target exclusive, with qualifications. The album will continue to be available at indie shops and Apple's iTunes store -- just not at Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

Hudson points to such a solution as a workable arrangement, and chided Sugarland for not going a similar route. Sugarland's Kristian Bush appears to have heard Hudson's complaint, as a user named "Kristian" responded on the blog, writing that Hudson was right, and that he would come by the store with a couple boxes of CDs and "peel off the Wal-Mart stickers together while we catch up."

Hudson says he hasn't made an effort to verify whether or not Bush was the one who did indeed post. Pop & Hiss reached out to Sugarland's management, but has yet to receive confirmation or denial. Nevertheless, Hudson has no doubt it was indeed Bush who wrote in, and says he will not be upset if the artist isn't able to make it to the store.

"I’m pretty sure that was him," Hudson said. "He’s been in this store. But we haven’t heard a thing, and it’s completely up to them -- how they want to do it. I wouldn’t think less of them, regardless of what they did. The principal of the idea has been put out there now."

"Live on the Inside" isn't on par with Sugarland's recent numbers, but that likely has more to do with the lack of new studio material than the album's availability at retail. About a year ago, the act's "Love on the Inside" debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. pop charts after it sold 314,000 copies in its first week. The album sold 485,000 copies in its first two weeks in stores.

Elsewhere on the charts:

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Michael, Maxwell and Miley: The music you bought this week

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Fans continued to feverishly purchase Michael Jackson albums in the days after his Staples Center memorial last week. More than 1.1 million copies of Jackson's catalog were sold through Sunday, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures released to Billboard.

Jackson was expected to be the week's hot seller, but it was a bit of a surprise to see the numbers increase once again. Overall, Jackson's sales jumped 37% over the previous week. His sales were led by "Number Ones," which sold 349,000 copies, followed by "Thriller," which sold 264,000 copies.

Jackson again, however, is relegated to Billboard's catalog charts, as are any albums that are older than 18 months and have fallen below No. 100 on the U.S. pop chart. In two and a half weeks, Jackson titles have sold 2.3 million copies.

On the current U.S. pop charts, R&B singer Maxwell leads. His "BLACKsummers'night" opened with 316,000 copies, and Billboard reports that's a career best. His last album, 2001's "Now," debuted with 296,000 copies.

Also new is Miley Cyrus' latest soundtrack to the "Hannah Montana" TV series. The album lands at No. 3, having sold 137,000 copies in its first week. That number is significantly lower than some past "Hannah Montana"-branded titles. A 2006 soundtrack to the Disney Channel series sold 281,000 copies in its first week, and a double-disc effort in 2007 bowed with 326,000 copies.

Yet don't make the mistake of thinking that "Hannah Montana" has run its course.

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Miley Cyrus -- back on tour

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Will Miley-mania extend into 2009?

We’ll find out come June 13, when tickets go on sale for Miley Cyrus' 2009 North American tour, which opens Sept. 14 in Portland, Ore., reaches Southern California for stops Sept. 22 at Staples Center in L.A. and Sept. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

The tour encompasses 45 dates in 43 cities, concluding Dec. 2 in Miami, and will feature Metro Station as her opening act at all performances. Notably, it's being billed as a Miley Cyrus tour, without marquee billing for her Disney Channel alter ego, Hannah Montana, as on her previous tour.

Her previous tour set off a ticket feeding frenzy among her teen and preteen fans, with scalpers asking thousands of dollars for the best seats at various stops.

This time, tour promoter AEG Live is using a paperless ticket delivery system, where ticket buyers will be admitted to the shows by showing a government issued photo ID and the credit card used to buy their tickets. It’s similar to a system AC/DC used successfully to reduce scalping on its last tour.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo credit: AP
 

Grizzly Bear roars onto the pop chart, as Eminem holds at No. 1

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Despite leaking to the Web in March, the latest from much-hyped Brooklyn indie-rock quartet Grizzly Bear has made a top 10 debut on the U.S. pop charts. The band's first-week sales of 33,000 copies are in a distant universe from the numbers tallied by the likes of Eminem and Green Day, but in today's depressed sales climate, that's more than enough for the chamber-pop of "Veckatimest" to land at No. 8.

Since hitting the file-sharing networks, Warp Records' "Veckatimest" has been hyped as one of the year's stronger indie rock efforts, receiving rave reviews from this publication, the Chicago Tribune, popular Web-zine Pitchfork and  Rolling Stone, among many others. The band members pleaded with fans to buy the album, despite admitting on their blog that they had "conflicting opinions" about file-sharing.

"Veckatimest" gives  Grizzly Bear its best sales week by far. The group's sophomore effort, "Yellow House," was released in 2006 and has sold 55,000 copies to date. Of the 33,000 copies sold of "Veckatimest," a relatively high number came in the form of digital download purchases -- a reflection of the band's Web-savvy fan base or perhaps Amazon.com's loss-leading first-week price of $3.99. A total of 13,000 digital albums were purchased.

A strong number of "Veckatimest's" first-week sales came from the independent sector. Billboard's chart analyst Ketih Caulfield writes that 24% were made at independent and small chain outlets. Not unexpectedly, Grizzly Bear also performed well in the ever-burgeoning vinyl market, selling 4,000 LPs  in the first week.

At the top of the chart, it's all Eminem, Green Day and Miley Cyrus. It won't be known until next week whether Eminem will receive a sales-boost from his MTV Movie Awards appearances. For now, he's   withstood a major second-week drop-off to hold at No. 1

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Eminem scores 2009's best debut, and who's the fairest 'Idol' of them all?*

Eminem_karin_catt_3_Eminem hasn’t had any trouble generating headlines since he announced that he’d be unleashing a new album late last year. On “Relapse,” he’s taking shots at Mariah Carey and getting graphic when rapping about “Hannah Montana,”  which almost guarantees that the rapper will continue to be a media obsession.

But does his pop culture outlaw act still generate album sales? First-week returns for Aftermath/Interscope’s “Relapse” indicate Eminem’s audience has diminished slightly, but it’s still a sizable one. “Relapse” sold 608,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, giving the artist the largest debut of 2009 and best first week since AC/DC’s “Black Ice” arrived with 784,000 copies last October, according to Billboard.

Overall album sales have diminished significantly from Eminem’s height in the late ‘90s and the start of the new decade, when it was expected that an album bearing his name would top first-week sales of 1 million copies. Lil Wayneaccomplished the feat last year with his Cash Money/Universal album “Tha Carter III,” and Eminem can still generate plenty of attention, but not that kind of heat.

When last we heard from the rapper, his late 2004 effort  “Encore” was able to sell 711,000 copies in just three days. The album was released off-cycle on a Friday, and in its first full week in stores it went on to sell 871,000 copies. The album’s 10-day total topped 1.5 million copies sold, a tally Eminem probably won’t reach in the coming weeks.

To date, AC/DC’s “Black Ice” (Columbia) has sold about 2 million copies. As for 2009’s other blockbuster albums, they’re still struggling to top the 1 million mark. U2’s “No Line on the Horizon” (Interscope) opened strong, tallying 484,000 copies in its first week, and is getting closer to the seven-figure mark, having sold 902,000 copies to date.

Kelly Clarkson’s “All I Ever Wanted” (RCA) won rave reviews and debuted with 255,000 copies sold but has petered out at around 581,000 copies. Disney’s soundtrack to “Hannah Montana: The Movie” opened lower, with 139,000 copies sold in its first week, but has since taken off, and now stands at 952,000 and should top 1 million sold in the next two weeks.

Last week’s topper, Green Day’s Reprise set “21st Century Breakdown,” brought in 166,000 copies in its first full week in stores. It sold 215,000 copies in a shortened sales week, having been released on a Friday, and stands with a 10-day total of 381,000 copies sold.

Aside from Eminem, the other big sales news this week comes from “American Idol.”  In the battle between Adam Lambert and Kris Allen fans, both sects can claim a victory of sorts this week.

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