The Majak Mixtape - Tunesday! (3/29/11)

Hey Mixtapers Hey! Did you miss us? We missed you. We're back from a little vacation away from the Majak Kingdom, but we're back to rule the the land with our usual brand of snark and wit. So we, as we typically, welcome you to another stunning, flawless, amazing, serving ON ITUNES NOW REALNESS better than your favorite edition of the Majak Mixtape, where pop culture goes to deny using a dance double in "Black Swan."

It's Tunesday, where we come for the record companies' wigs as we talk about some of the hottest new albums coming out today. But before we get to all of the tunes, let us

First up, let us take on all of the massive amount of butthurt happening in relation to "Black Swan" as everybody and their mama has come out to defend Natalie Portman against accusations from body double Sarah Lane who is claiming there are some "Flashdance"-esque shenanigans happening when it comes to credit about the dancing in the film. While Sarah Lane has been saying she danced the majority of Natalie's part in the film, people like "Black Swan" choreographer and Natalie Portman's boyfriend Benjamin Millepied, "Black Swan" co-star Mila Kunis and "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky have call come out in defense of Natalie Portman. Natalie Portman, for her part, has remained mum about the matter. All we can say is, this is what happens when you don't thank somebody in your Oscar speech, gurl.

(Which speaking of dance doubles, "Dancing With the Stars" would be so much better if they hired some. Can you imagine some super talented, thin and nimble dancer in the wideshots and then it cuts to Wendy Williams' The Joker from "Batman" grin? Also, who hears Panic! at the Disco's music and immediately thinks PERFECT FOR THE JIVE. I. Can't.)

In other industry news, Beyonce has dumped her daddy Matthew Knowles as her manager. The world feverishly awaits if this will be the thing that sparks Beyonce to have a non-beauty pagaent personality. We're sort of hugely surprised that it took Beyonce this long to dump her father as her manager given her marriage to Jay-Z and the little fact of Matthew Knowles cheating on her mother and getting some other woman pregnant. As much as we enjoy the Knowles family bond, we hope that this also means that maybe Tina is out the door as Beyonce's stylist du jour because some of those performance outfits she has been in over the year would make some of the queens on "RuPaul's Drag Race" say TOO MUCH.

And in SOMEBODY FINALLY GOT SOME MEDIA TRAINING NEWS, Ina Garten has agreed to meet with the six-year-old kid with cancer who wanted to cook with her. As we reported last week, the "Barefoot Contessa" hostess drew the ire from pretty much the whole world when it was reported she turned down seeing a sick kid who had gone through the Make-a-Wish foundation to try to cook with her not once but twice. According to TMZ, Ina is claiming she only recently heard about this whole situation this weekend and is looking forward to cooking with Enzo at the Food Network studios. There is not enough side eye in the world on Ina's whole I JUST LEARNED ABOUT LIKE YESTERDAY business. Really? Your Blackberry/iPhone doesn't get Internet service in the GOOD VANILLA aisle of the grocery store or something. Whatever. Anyway, we're glad to learn that everything has worked out through the simple power of flogging a celebrity and their reputation in the mass public forum that is the Internet. Refreshing.

And that's the tea. Continue on for the Tunesday madness!

Hey Mixtapers, thanks for continuing reading as we delve into another stunning, flawless, amazing edition of Tunesday! We've got a lot of releases so let us get down to business, shall we? We shall!

First up, Britney Spears is back with a new album with the release horribly titled, relentlessly leaked "Femme Fatale." Arriving three years after the sonic clusterfuck that was "Circus," "Femme Fatale" is actually a very well-constructed dance album with dubstep influences, limitless sexual innuendos and sparkling production that can make us even like something associated with Will.I.Am., which may be the greatest miracle to come from the album.

What keeps us from fully loving the album in a way we love other albums that we put on repeat is that Britney Spears is a completely incidental part of her own album, a trend that start with "Blackout." "Blackout" was essentially a great showcase for up-and-coming producers who got to show off their skills against the blank canvas that is Britney Spears' increasingly disinterested coos and MMMM YEAHS that permeate her discography. This theme carried onto "Circus," the album that was pretty much Britney and her management screaming out, "SHE'S TOTALLY SANE, FORGET THE HEADSHAVING AND THE UMBRELLA TO THE CAR AND THE GIMME MORE PERFORMANCE." You had to hand it to manager Larry Rudolph for aggressively trying to cause some sort of mass amnesia on the public consciousness.

Anyway, "Femme Fatale" is basically like the classy, non-nervous breakdown version of "Blackout," which is both its greatest strength and weakness. We've seen this all before but at least she's ripping off something interesting I guess.

Where at one point Britney used to, you know, at least attempt to sing, she's now pretty much a shiny robot, programmed to dispassionately blurt out words to dance beats. And taken at that level, the album is brilliant piece of fluff. Our favorite song off the album is the midtempo-ish cut "Inside Out."

The closest to the Britney of yore, who embraced cheesy pop melodies in ways her contemporaries never had the nerve to, is the song "Trip to Your Heart." It's the kind of cheesy love song that would've fit in easily on "In the Zone."

While the album is filled with high energy tunes, Britney Spears' live performances in promotion of the album has been putting the BS in Britney Spears. We get it. She's gone through troubles and difficulties and yada yada yada. But isn't being a pop star like her job? Her chosen vocation? Maybe? Britney, at this point, is resting on her legacy of amazing performances while now doing routines completely made up of hair flipping and fancy arm dancing. We routinely do more intensive routines while doing Denise Austin work out DVDs.

Britney, gurl. When at best you're looking like a less silicone-injected Pam Anderson, you have to look at your life, look at your stylist.

Elsewhere in the new music landscape, indie outfit Peter, Bjorn and John is back with a new album "Gimme Some." You have to give credit to PB and J for surviving the hoopla that was "Young Folks" off their "Writer's Block" album. It's always a difficult road to navigate when you as an indie artist suddenly find yourself attaining mainstream success out of nowhere, which is exactly what happened when "Young Folks" captured the hearts of hipsters everywhere. With its genial vibe and abundance of whistling, it was pretty much guaranteed to dominate as an instant earworm as it was featured in films and TV shows and even got sampled by Kanye West in a remix:

And a wonderful bluegrass cover by Dawn Landes:

Not unlike M.I.A., who found herself inexplicably charting with the massive hit "Paper Planes," PB and J went running away from the pop-friendly sound that had given them the great success in the first place. But, seemingly having made peace with the ghost of "Young Folks," PB and J have returned to form with a spikey little album of uptempo pop tunes that shows both a return to form and growth all at the same time.

Their song "Dig a Little Deeper" is like a lost Vampire Weekend song, minus the capri pants and the Peter Gabriel worship.

While "Tomorrow Has to Wait" has a garage band meets Phil Spector vibe that we adore.

Elsewhere, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have a new album out titled "Belong." You know, realistically we should hate this band just because of their name that is so pretentiously hipster in the worst way. Luckily, their music is catchy pop-rock that gloriously recalls that sort of late 1980s/early 1990s college radio era. We can imagine Christian Slater's DJ character in "Pump Up the Volume" playing a lot of the tracks on the album, including songs like "Heaven's Gonna Happen Now."

Or "Girl of 1,000 Dreams."

We interrupt this Mixtape for this piece of second hand embarrassment known as an interview with the head of Ark Music Factory Patrice Wilson. Look at that, a record company head somehow manages to score an exclusive interview. WITH HIMSELF.

So much I CAN'T action all over the place, especially the intentionally vague assertion that Patrice is from "Europe" and his accent indeterminible origin. Also, "We don't charge an artist. But if we do, we charge them around $2,000 to $4,000." Totes brills.

Also out with a new album is The Sounds. We don't know what Sweden does a better job producing: pop acts or Beetles. We're going to go with pop acts as we adore outfits like Alphabeat and Robyn as well The Sounds, who have a new album "Something to Die For." Lead by as close to a modern version of Deborah Harry as you can get in the form of Maja Ivarsson, The Sounds first stormed their ways into our hearts and made us dance about in our skinny jeans with their 2002 debut album "Living in America" and their song "Dance With Me."

Since then, the group has been churning out albums and music that sounds like it would be completely at home on early 1980s, Martha Quinn hosted MTV.

It's hard for us to pick our favorite track off the album since it's a strong piece of dance rock. We adore the track "Diana"

Or "Dance With The Devil"

Next up, Hunx and his Punx have put out an amazingly quirky album "Too Young to Be in Love." Imagine if the Ronnettes or the Shangri-Las were led by an amazing gay man with attitude. You pretty much got a lot of the sonic sound Hunx and His Punx. A smart take on the classic Wall-of-Sound, girl group sound, Hunx and his Punx seem like they came directly out of an early John Waters film, which may be one of the greatest compliments we can ever give a group.

Elsewhere, Snoop Dogg is leaving no pun unused as releases his new album "Doggumentary," adding to a list of albums that include "The Doggfather" and "No Limit Top Dogg." On this album, Snoop Dogg blesses us with the tune "Wet," a song he wrote for Prince William's bachelor party. Yes, nothing in that previous sentence makes a lick of sense but welcome to life.

His current single is "Boom" with T-Pain. Who knew people still wanted T-Pain all up in their songs?

And that's just a small sampling of all the hot new album releases of the day, y'all! As always, we thank and wish you love, peace and DOWNLOADS. BRING ON THE YELLE FROM HER NEW ALBUM SAFARI DISCO CLUB.


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