Carl Alvarez’s Best of 2008

December 28, 2008 at 4:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Top 10 Best Albums-no order:

Q-Tip                     ‘Renaissance’                                                    Universal/Motown

Ice Cube              ‘Raw Footage’                                                   Lench Mob/EMI

Erykah Badu       ‘New Amerykah pt.1’                                     Universal/Motown

Kanye West        ‘808s & Heartbreak’                                        Island/Def Jam

Young Jeezy       ‘The Recession’                                                Island/Def Jam

Lil Wayne             ‘Tha Carter III’                                                  Universal/Motown

Metallica              ‘Death Magnetic’                                             Warner Bros.

Fleet Foxes         ‘Fleet Foxes’                                                      Sub Pop

Motorhead         ‘Motorizer’                                                         SPV

Plant Life             ‘The Return of Jack Splash’                          Counterflow/Caroline/EMI

Top 10 gigs-in order:

DJ Premiere & Pete Rock DJ/Producer Battle at Crash Mansion LA, CA-April 2008

Iron Maiden at Verizon Amphitheatre formerly Irvine Meadows, Irvine, CA-May 2008

Hot 97 Summer Jam with Lil Wayne, Kanye , Jim Jones, Public Enemy at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ-June 2008

DJ Green Lantern, Statik Selektah & Don Cannon DJ/Producer Battle at the One Stop Shop Producer’s Conference,  Phoenix, AZ-March 2008

American Idol-Idol Gives Back at the Kodak Theatre Hollywood, CA-April 2008

Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco-Glow in the Dark Tour at the Nokia Theatre LA, CA-April 2008

Alicia Keys at Staples Center LA, CA-May 2008

Wyclef Jean at the House of Blues Anaheim, CA-February 2008

Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Motorhead & Testament at San Manuel Casino Pavilion San Bernardino, CA -August 2008

Ice Cube at the Grove Anaheim, CA-August 2008

Top 50 “What’s Playing” Hip Hop & R&B songs-in order:

Lil Wayne “A Milli”

Young Jeezy ft. Kanye West “Put On”

T.I. “Swing Your Rag”

Ryan Leslie “Diamond Girl”

Estelle ft. Kanye West “American Boy”

Jazmine Sullivan “I Need You Bad”

Trey Songz “Can’t Help But Wait”

Alicia Keys ft. Ludacris “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” remix

Ice Cube “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It”

Big Boi ft. Mary J. Blige “Something’s Gotta Give”

Missy Elliott “Ching Ching”

Jay-Z “BK Anthem”

Nas “Black President”

Game ft. Common “Angel”

Musiqsoul Child ft. Mary J. Blige “If You Leave”

Janet Jackson “Rock With U”

Beyonce “Halo”

Lil Wayne ft. Static Major “Lollipop”

Natasha Bedingfield ft. Sean Kingston “Love Like This”

T-Pain ft. Justin Timberlake “Can’t Believe It” remix

Usher ft. Young Jeezy “Love in the Club”

Jay-Z “Jocking Jay-Z (Dope Boy Fresh)”

Solange Knowles “T.O.N.Y.”

Brandy “Right Here (Departed)”

E-40 ft. Lil Jon “Turf Drop”

J.Holiday “Higher”

Kanye West “Robocop”

Jay Electronica “Exibit A (Transformation)”

Rock City “Losin It”

Idle Worship “Steady”

Kanye West “Streetlights”

DJ Feli Fel ft. Kanye West, Ne-Yo, Jermaine Dupri & Fabulous “The Finer Things”

Ill Bill “A Bullet Never Lies”

Big Boi ft. Andre 3000 & Raekwon “Royal Flush”

Busta Rhymes “Don’t Touch Me (Throw Da Water On Em)”

T.I. “No Matter What”

T.I. “What’s Happening, What’s Up”

Omar Cruz ft. Frankie J “To The Top”

Common ft. Pharrell “Universal Mind Control”

Bishop Lamont “Grow Up”

Nina Sky ft. Rick Ross “Curtain Call”

Monica ft. Ludacris “Still Standing”

Scarface ft. Lil Wayne & Bun B “Forgot About Me”

Sophia Fresh “Drop It”

Justin Timberlake “Magic”

Trey Songz “Feelin Like Money”

Keri Hilson ft. Lil Wayne “Turning Me On”

Toni Braxton “Melt”

Sean Garrett ft. Rick Ross “6 in the Morning”

Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. “If I”

2009 Bright Spots in Hip Hop & R&B-no order:

Jay Electronica

Lil Wayne ‘Tha Carter IV’

Dr. Dre ‘Detox’

Outkast, Andre 3000, Big Boi

Bone Thugs n Harmony reunion/album

Jay-Z ‘Blueprint 3’

Idle Worship (Talib Kweli, Res & Graph Nobel)

Vaughn Anthony

Ryan Leslie

Beastie Boys

People we will miss & remember in 2008:

Isaac Hayes-singer & actor

Bernie Mac-comedian & actor

Bettie Page-pin up queen

George Carlin-comedian & actor

Neil Aspinall-music industry (worked with Beatles)

Heath Ledger-actor

Miriam Makeba-musician/singer

Shakir Stewart-talent scout/music industry (Island/Def Jam)

Michael Crichton-author

Mitch Mitchell-musician/rock drummer (Jimi Hendrix)

Buddy Miles-musician/rock drummer (Jimi Hendrix)

Jeff Healey-musician/blues guitarist


Johnny Grant-Hollywood Mayor


Norman Whitfield-music producer/songwriter

Jerry Wexler-music producer

Mikky Dread-musician/reggae artist

Joe Gibbs-music producer/reggae

Jerry Finn-music producer/punk & indie rock

Johnny J-music producer/hip hop

Static Major-artist & producer/hip hop

Paul Newman-actor

Charlton Heston-actor

Yves Saint Laurent-fashion designer

Jimmy McGriff-musician/jazz organist

Pervis Jackson-singer (Spinners)

Levi Stubbs-singer (Four Tops)

Andre Young Jr.-aspiring rapper (son of Dr. Dre)

LeRoi Moore-musician/saxophonist (Dave Matthews Band)

Jerry Reed-musician/actor

Rick Wright-musician/keyboardist (Pink Floyd)

Munetaka Higuchi-musician/rock drummer (Loudness)

Rudy Ray Moore-comedian & actor

MC Breed-musician/rapper


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Dave Ehrlich’s Best of 2008

December 28, 2008 at 3:50 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Albums, in descending order:

10. TV On The Radio – Dear Science (Interscope)
09. No Age – Nouns (Sub Pop)
08. Torche – Meanderthal (Hydrahead)
07. Thee Oh Sees – The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In (Tomlab)
06. The Night Marchers – See You In Magic (Vagrant)
05. Deerhunter – Microcastle / Weird Era Cont. (Kranky)
04. The Black Angels – Directions To See a Ghost (Light in the Attic)
03. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Dig, Lazarus, Dig!! (Anti-)
02. British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music? (Rough Trade)
01. Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life (Matador)

Bubbling under:

The Dirtbombs – We Have You Surrounded (In The Red)
The Duke Spirit – Neptune (Artist First)
Wire – Object 47 (Pink Flag)

Eagles of Death Metal – Heart On (Downtown)
Boris – Smile (Southern Lord)
Jay Reatard – Singles 06-07 (In The Red)
Jay Reatard – Matador Singles 08(Matador)

Songs of the Year:

“Leopardman at C&A” – The Dirtbombs
“Days of Last” – Fucked Up
“No Lucifer” – British Sea Power
“Today’s Lesson” – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
“Doves” – The Black Angels
“And I Keep Holding On” – The Night Marchers
“Visit Colonel” – Thee Oh Sees
“Never Stops” – Deerhunter
“We Carry On” – Portishead
“Healer” – Torche
“Halfway Home” – TV On The Radio
“Oh, It’s Such a Shame” – Jay Reatard
“Where Do You Run To?” – Vivian Girls
“Wolf Kidult Man” – The Fall
“This Ship Was Built To Last” – The Duke Spirit
“Statement” – Boris
“Geraldine” – Glasvegas
“One of Us” – Wire


01. Let the Right One In (dir. Tomas Alfredson)
02. Inside (dir. Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury)
03. Mother of Tears (dir. Dario Argento)
04. Frontier(s) (dir. Xavier Gens)
05. Iron Man (dir. Jon Favreau)

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Virgin Megastore’s Best of 2008

December 28, 2008 at 2:31 am (Uncategorized)

We’re all entertainment junkies here at Virgin, and it’s a holiday tradition for us to do top ten lists of our favorite music, movies, books, games, gadgets, etc. Take a look at what we think the best of the best was for 2008. Who knows, you might discover something new that squeaks into your own top ten.

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Keane @ The Roxy

December 16, 2008 at 7:30 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

What a nice way to spend the hours before my birthday started seeing a fine band in excellent form at the Roxy. Keane could play a much bigger venue in LA but for some reason decided to play three small shows instead, the last of which was this one at the Roxy. The first thing I noticed was how thin and healthy lead singer Tom Chaplin looks compared to his chubby red cheeked past and also how good his vocals are, he has always had an great voice but now he seems to sound even better. It was also evident from the start that this was going to be a special show, the crowd were going bananas after each song and the band were obviously surprised by the amount of love they were getting and by the end the love fest was almost embarrassing. Most of the material came from their most recent album, Perfect Symmetry which I wasn’t too sure about initially due to the 80’s influences but has since grown on me and will end up on my best of list somewhere. They also threw in some older gems mostly from their first album…so all in all a killer show and I say give the new album a fresh go if you didn’t like it the first time…my faves are Lovers are Losing and the title track.

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August 7, 2008 at 2:09 pm (Uncategorized)

So we’ve uploaded the video to YouTube of thieves dressed in black breaking and entering our Hollywood and Highland location – maybe you can solve the clues and win a reward.
The “bandits” have “stolen” our Virgin Mega Bird art-collection, designed by famed LA street graphic artist, David Browne. We’ve been told that the Birds are being held for “ransom” in three U.S. Cities: LA, San Francisco and NYC. So it’s time for you to play investigator and join in our scavenger hunt. There are 30 birds in total missing — we’re offering between $100 – $1000 reward for each returned. Hurry now. Time is a wastin’. Go to to view the video and find the clues. To help rein in help from you all – we sent out our call sign… a la Batman style…with this 4-story projection of the Virgin Bird on Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd. Perhaps you saw it?

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June 19, 2008 at 7:56 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

We had a great event last night at our Hollywood & Highland store, UFC Champion, Tito Ortiz, signed copies of his autobiography, This Is Gonna Hurt; The Life of a Mixed Martial Arts Champion. I’ve always been a big fan of Tito’s and after watching him on last season’s Celebrity Apprentice, was pumped to meet him in person. He was terrific with his fans as he took time to chat with them in between his signings. Great night. Great Guest. We’d welcome him back anytime.


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Virgin Recommends at Coachella

April 28, 2008 at 7:55 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

We had a great weekend at the Coachella festival! Fantastic performances, perfect weather and Prince on stage – it couldn’t have gone any better. The signings inside our Virgin Mega Tent were really fun as well. A first for me, as Les Savy Fav actually allowed their fans to pose and take some fairly creative photos with them. Crowds packed our tent for Gogol Bord performance — her and her back up dancers have energy to spare! Truly a great show. Hope you were able to make it out to the desert. As always, Coachella definitely delivered once again.


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March Madness With Mariah

April 18, 2008 at 10:12 pm (Uncategorized)

So our Mariah Midnight Release Parties on Monday night turned out to be a huge success at several of the Virgin Megastores. Mimi-fans showed up in droves at our Hollywood, San Fran, Orange and Union Square store in NYC. The parties were part of an early celebration for the midnight release of Mariah’s new album E=MC2. It was like a mini nightclub all dedicated to Mariah — with our in-store DJs spinning Mariah’s greatest hits and leading trivia games and even doing Mariah Carey-OKE in our New York City store. I knew Ms. Carey had some hard-core fans, but I never imaged the lengths some go to prove their adoration. We awarded one gentlemen (see photo below) as Mariah’s Biggest Fan…check out his tattoo! It felt like a mini-New Year’s Eve celebration as we counted down to midnight as that was when we could officially open the tills and start selling her CD. And speaking of Mariah — not sure if you caught American Idol this week – but she was the guest judge. All of the contestants sang, or at least tried to sing, one of her songs. My personal favorite was David Cook – check him out here singing Mariah’s “Always Be My Baby.”


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April 4, 2008 at 1:25 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

As some of you might have already known Wrestlemania XXIV took place in Orlando, Florida last weekend. We were able to secure two huge WWE artist’s in support of the event which had a great fan turnout!
On Thursday, Chris Jericho, the world famous WWE champion and lead singer of the band “Fozzy” arrived to greet over 500+ fans who had lined up outside our door all day. Chris signed memoribilia and was kind enough to take photos with our customers. He signed copies of his album “Fozzy”, his autobiography “A Lion’s Tale”, as well as copies of “WWE, The Music Volume 8/ Greatest Hits.” Customers also stocked up on his action figures, WWE t-shirts and WWE DVD’s. This event was even more successful than last year’s event and we have to thank Chris as he really took the time to meet and chat with his fans.



Wrestlemania continued on Saturday as we hosted Dave Batista , the world famous WWE wrestler known as “The Animal” who also stopped by our Orlando store to greet 600+ fans and to sign copies of his book “Batista Unleashed”. We’ve already received great feedback from the WWE organizers on how well this event was put together. A huge thank you goes out to our Orlando team and to Simon & Schuster for bringing us these great events! For a little more on the event, click the video link below!




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Scratch Nirvana. Oh Nevermind.

March 11, 2008 at 1:11 am (Hollywood Store, Times Square Store, Uncategorized) (, , )

So a couple of years ago we worked with folks at Epson and GestureTek, a digital signage company, to create this interactive floor display in two of our Megastores…one in our Times Square location and the other in our Hollywood and Highland store. The system projects imagery from the sleeve of Nirvana’s perennially popular album “Nevermind” onto a durable floor mat. It’s basic in design, but very unique to customers because as they walk across the mat or even just wave their hand over it, it instantly reacts to their movements…allowing them to manipulate the swimming baby in pursuit of a dollar bill. Anything from creating ripples in the water, make the baby bob in the water, make the dollar bill float around – or even activate a song sample from the album – all can be done just by walking across the mat.

Now to be honest – we thought it was time to make room for something new. After all we’ve had this screen in place since late 2005. But just a week before we were going to take it down, one of our managers noticed that the Nirvana baby had been the inspiration for quite a few recent YouTube videos. Little did we know that secretly folks had been coming into the store to make their own mini-movie of our interactive floating bambino?

All this to say – how can we break down the inspiration of a new YouTube Phenom?

So – we’ve decided to let it stay put for now…and in case you can’t make it out to the store check out the various clips below! The last one is my personal favorite…it has the best sound, if you ask me.

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