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!! OMG, a Q&A with Alison Goldfrapp !!

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Earlier this week, British pop duo Goldfrapp released a new album called Head First, their fifth in 10 years. If you’ve been following the career of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory for that long, you’ll know that they have a tendency to shift musical gears with each new release.

Goldfrapp describes the album’s nine songs, which took six months to write and produce, as unabashedly optimistic and upbeat. Indeed, Head First is a shimmering, euphoric take on ’80s stadium pop, with big choruses, propulsive beats and dreamy, disco-influenced piano and string arrangements.

A few weeks ago, we rang up Alison Goldfrapp in London to chat about the positive vibes she’s sending off these days, her love of Olivia Newton-John, Prince and Chrissie Hynde, the unusual amount of press attention her personal life has received lately, and her experience songwriting with Christina Aguilera. Read the Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with V V Brown !!

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Who is V V Brown? She is the latest in a seemingly never-ending conga line of British pop starlets to sashay across the Atlantic to perform on our late night talk shows, dazzle us with fabulously self-styled outfits, and subject themselves to interviews with our gay music bloggers.

Brown, who is 25, released her debut album Travelling Like The Light in the UK last summer and was immediately branded ‘one to watch’ by several mainstream media outlets. Her first few singles – “Shark In The Water”, “Crying Blood” and “LEAVE!” – energetically blend classic soul and blues influences with indie rock hooks and R&B swagger.

Ahead of the album’s official US street date in April (it’s already available for download), Brown has been hitting the North American club and talk show circuit to drum up interest. It was in a Washington, D.C. hotel room a couple weeks ago that we reached V V via phone to chat about writing the songs for Travelling Like the Light on a one-string guitar, her forthcoming comic book and her trip to Nigeria with Damon Albarn’s band Gorillaz. Read the Q&A after the jump.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Joan Rivers !!

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Joan Rivers may be as old as my grandma (and, like my grandma, is apparently a Republican!) but unlike Grandmother Bmad, she hates just about everyone and calls people “cunt” in public. Refreshing!

I went to see her show at the Laurie Beechman Theater on Wednesday for an act that was was decidedly ungrandmotherly. She had a bunch of jokes scribbled indecipherably on cue cards at her feet but seemed to ignore them in favor of riffing extemperaneously on topics ranging from the World Trade Center families (“I’d sacrifice a family member for $5 million! Next Thanksgiving just look around the table!”), Anne Frank (“She’s a good friend. I met her when I flew Lufthansa and she fell out of the overhead compartment!”) and poors. (“I hate poor people! Any poor people in the audience get the f*ck out!”) Oh, also she said she hates Haitians, which I had to give her credit for cause who the f*ck says that?
One might argue that Anne Frank jokes are a little zzzs in the year 2010, but when it comes to someone like Joan Rivers isn’t that kind of the point? This is one of the few working comedians who actually remembers Hitler, so I give her a pass to make jokes about him. And I LOLed at them!

Joan’s had a big year: she was the winner of Celebrity Apprentice last year, she’s made a triumphant return to E!’s Fashion Police— which will air again this Sunday for the SAG awards– and she and daughter/sidekick Melissa have a new reality show called Mother Knows Best, coming in March on the WE network.

She was nice enough to talk to me a few weeks ago on the topics of women in comedy, Jay Leno, the Oscars, and whatever else. Read the full Q&A after the jump.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Owen Pallett !!

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This year is shaping up to be a big one for Owen Pallett, a.k.a. The Artist Formerly Known As Final Fantasy. The indie violinist has just released his debut album for Domino Records, Heartland, and as we reported previously, it’s an epic orchestral pop record with a homoerotic narrative about a super hot religious zealot named Lewis. He’s also featured in the January issue of Vogue and he just finished working on the score for John Cameron Mitchell’s new film, Rabbit Hole.

In his words: “There’s a part of me that knows that this is a year when I can send out for sushi or a year when I’m going to have to keep cooking at home.”

Pallett is also a big pop music fan. In addition to composing string arrangements for pop and indie acts such as Arcade Fire, Pet Shop Boys, The Last Shadow Puppets and Mika, he also likes to discuss and argue about the latest trends in Top 40 and R&B. We rang him up in New York after he wrapped work on Rabbit Hole to chat about Heartland, the time he got tanked in a club with the Pet Shop Boys, and his thoughts on Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.Read the full Q&A after the jump!

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!! OMG, a Q&A with John Holland of Salem !!

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A couple weeks ago we posted a few tracks by Salem, a noise pop band that has been making waves in indie music circles with its druggy, bass-heavy beats, foreboding synths and distorted vocals. In other words, their music sends a sensation up our spines that celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe likes to call “Witch vibes! Witch vibes!”

Formed three years ago in Chicago by John Holland, Heather Marlatt and Jack Donoghue, Salem have released two EPs and a few singles. They’re in the midst of recording a debut LP, but will take a break to play a one-off Halloween gig in Toronto tomorrow night. We rang up Salem’s John Holland in his home base in Interlochen, Michigan to chat about the band, his favorite hip-hop acts and his Halloween costume.

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