Soundwaves

Idol's William Hung, Dolce at Velvet, Armand Van Helden, Deborah Cox, more

By Doug Rule
Published on April 1, 2004, 12:00am | Comments


HUNG OVER… William Hung just might become the most remembered American Idol yet, despite his dismissal from the FOX show during the third season tryouts. Hung, known for his butchering of Ricky Martin's butcher-worthy “She Bangs,” will bang bang your brain next week, when his debut album and his debut music video is released, and he'll appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Right here, we really wish we could say gotcha, April Fool's, and move on to more deserving subjects. But it's no joke: This diminutive songwrecker who can't sing and can't dance really, truly will release his debut album -- Inspiration  -- thanks to the record label Koch Entertainment, where producing quality is obviously not job number one. The sure-to-be worst album of the year will include his sure-to-be “artistic recreations” of Martin's “Shake Your Bon Bon,” Elton John's “Rocket Man,” Enrigue Iglesias' “Bailamos,” among other tracks. But wait there's more: the first batch of CDs will be packaged with a DVD of studio footage, “a day in the life” vignette and -- get this -- a Q&A with fans. What more could you ask for: A tranquilizer? A bullet to your brain?…

MIAMI MUSIC I: DOLCE… Next Saturday, April 10, local DJ Yiannis will bring dance singer Dolce to town. Dolce will perform at Velvet Nation her latest song, “Feels Good,” produced by the remixers Orange Factory, and of course her memorable 2002 dance hit “Fire,” plus its 2003 follow-up, “Sorrow.” Dolce, with the fire-y voice and presence, is now recording for Baltimore-based Act 2 Records, which is investing far more effort and money in promoting her than most independent labels do, Billboard says. Yiannis says she was one of the standout performers at last month's weeklong dance music convivium in Miami...

MIAMI MUSIC II: ASTRID… Another Miami standout: Astrid Suryanto. The 22-year-old artist has been working closely with Victor Calderone in producing her debut album, due later this year. The first single from their collaboration, “Rainwater,” is available now as a CD Maxi-Single from Strata Recordings, featuring six different mixes of the song plus the laid-back original. A little too laid-back, actually. Calderone's first foray into producing music, “Rainwater” sneaks up on you but never sticks in your craw. It's like whipped cream topping your Café Mocha -- delightful but not the star attraction. That is, except when Calderone mixes it into his typical caffeinated beat-bed that he's best known for. His Calderone Mix, created with That Kid Chris, embellishes the glimmering nature of Astrid's wind-chiming original by adding invigorating, propulsive tribal-house twists. Astrid's publicist, Leslie Hermelin, reports that Astrid, whose label is positioning her to be a first-name-only artist, gave the best performance she heard in Miami. Astrid's live singing and guitar-playing, with accompaniment from a cellist, was so impressive that an MTV camera crew shifted its focus from a band performing nearby to film her. (No word on when or if the footage will air.) We don't doubt it was a remarkable sight and sound, and we don't mean to suggest Astrid doesn't demonstrate tremendous potential. One listen to the CD Maxi-Single bonus track, “Hold On,” proves, in fact, that she does. Its mesmerizing vocals adroitly match moody acoustic guitar strumming to create chilled-out bliss, a coffee house classic…

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Britney Spears: Toxic

George Michael: Patience

Deborah Cox: Remixed

MIAMI MUSIC III: ARMAND… After years of absence, dance producer Armand Van Helden provided two of the most heard and talked about tracks during the Miami madness last month: his remix of Britney Spears' creepy-goodness track “Toxic,” and even more his own “Hear My Name” featuring Spalding Rockwell. “Hear My Name” is infused with new-wave-ish electro funk and amounts to a dance version of giddy guitar rock. It's irresistible ear candy, the first track of what promises to be a great forthcoming artist album from Van Helden…

DEBORAH COX'S BROADWAY BEATS… Disney Theatrical Productions has just released a dance remix of one tune from its hit Elton John and Tim Rice's musical Aida. Dance power-pop vocalist Deborah Cox made her Broadway debut as the musical's title character in February, taking over from power-pop cohort Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child). And to celebrate, Disney hired producer-extraordinaire (and coming Cherry 9 DJ) Tony Moran to remix Aida's “Easy as Life.” The rising, emotion-laden track is available for a limited time as a free streaming-audio download at www.disneyonbroadway.com/deborahcox. From there you can also enter to win a weekend getaway that the gay-marketing promotional material called “fit for a princess like Aida, or a queen just like yourself,” roundtrip airfare to New York, a stay at the W Times Square, dinner at Blue Fin, and front-row seats to see Aida. Cox will continue in the role of Aida through June. Who'll star next, Whitney Houston? That would give new, literal meaning to the Houston-Cox dueling duet of years past, “Same Script, Different Cast”…


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