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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AC/DC @ the Forum

December 17, 2008 at 12:36 pm (Virgin Music) (, , , , )

The LA Forum is a great place to see a show, and now I’ve worked out freebie parking it is even better, it may not be the fanciest arena but there is no neon or boxes to distract from the rock. AC/DC hold a special place in my heart as I’m Australian and the Bon tracks seeped into my consciousness from a very early age. This is only my second time seeing them and they don’t disappoint even though it feels a little like a Broadway show, I get the feeling that the show is remarkably similar from night to night…not that that is a bad thing. Malcolm and Cliff’s backing vocals are an entertaining little side show as they walk up to and back from the mics in unison. The props and fireworks are all there as you’d expect…the blow-up Rosie, the bell and the cannons and so are the songs, though there were too many new songs for me and no It’s A Long Way to the Top. My favorite track was Let There Be Rock (also an underrated but killer Bon era album) with Angus’ solo showing part of the reason they are held up as such a great live band, I banged my head with pure joy during that one. So the show was excellent and that is without the added bonus of some of the best people watching ever, especially the women. There was also plenty of questionable behavior from the 90% male crowd…especially in the restroom…

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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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Killers @ Jimmy Kimmel

December 15, 2008 at 7:56 pm (Virgin Music) (, , , )

The Killers played on the Jimmy Kimmel show on 11/24 on their outdoor stage at the back of the theatre. This was the first one I had been to and they did 7 songs, apparently bands don’t usually play that many. The Killers new album Day & Age was released that day so they played 4 songs from it starting with Human which sounded great, then Spaceman, Losing Touch and Neon Tiger. Being release day I had only had the chance to listen to the album a few times before seeing them and to be honest I wasn’t sure if I liked the new songs but they won me over after hearing them live. LA is the Killers biggest market in the US so the crowd was really into it and there were hundreds of people who couldn’t get in that were hanging out on the street in the back. They also played one song from each of their previous releases finishing up with All The Things That I’ve Done. I’ve seen this band a bunch of times over the years and Brandon has always seemed very awkward, I’m happy to report that he finally seems to be comfortable on stage and sounded and looked great (no goofy facial hair).

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Britney’s Birthday at Virgin Megastore

December 3, 2008 at 8:22 am (Hollywood Store, San Francisco Store) (, , , )

Britney Spears fans came out in the hundreds last night to celebrate the release of Circus, her 6th studio album, and her 27th birthday at Virgin Megastore Hollywood and San Francisco. In Hollywood, fans were lined up outside by 8pm and wanted to be the first people to buy Circus. It took some convincing to get people out of line, but we were able to get over 100 fans inside the store to participate in our trivia contest, hosted by Ms. Lyla Karug, a southern girl, just like Britney. We decorated the store with over 100 Britney balloons, served mini pink cupcakes and gave out some great prizes, while playing the new CD. In San Francisco, DJ Dave interacted with fans and hosted a trivia contest for prizes as well, with Kevin from Sony providing posters and balloons to decorate the store.
We sold out of Brit’s album in our Hollywood store as well as the Rolling Stone Magazine issues with Brit-Brit on the cover!
Welcome back, Britney.

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Check out Costumes at Virgin Megastore from the movie Twilight:

December 1, 2008 at 6:55 pm (Times Square Store) (, , )

We’ve just put up some a new “Twilight” display at our Virgin Megastore Times Square of actual costumes worn by the Vampires in the movie. The costumes are displayed on mannequins with illuminated eyes suspended throughout the store as if they were flying around. There’s even a floating holographic projection screen showing clips from the film. The costumes include Edward’s pea coat; Bella’s outfit from when she’s flying through the forest on Edward’s back, as well as a fur pelt coat worn by the blood hungry Victoria. The display is up until end of next week. But in case you can’t make it there here is a video to show you a bit of the display along with some trivia questions for true Twilight fans:

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Beatlemania comes to Virgin

November 11, 2008 at 7:09 am (In Store Events) (, , )

Everyone has their favorite Beatle. Mine has always been John (I have a thing for the bad boys). It’s funny that Beatles are as popular today as they were in the 60’s. It really says something about their music and their personalities. When you hear a Beatle’s song, it’s simply magic. As the Divisional Merchandise Manager for Fashion, I am pleased to bring a little magic into the store with our Beatles boutiques. We offer a wide variety of exclusive tee shirts, bags, hats, accessories and games that will satisfy every Beatles fan. CD’s, Books and DVD’s complement the assortment. You can’t miss the shop- the fixtures are decorated with Yellow Submarine decals and the Fab Four are positioned over the space in their best costumes. Hope to see you there!


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Deadmau5 Live DJ set and CD signing

November 6, 2008 at 1:52 pm (Hollywood Store) (, , , )

While many celebrated our historic presidential election results last night, innovative DJ and producer Deadmau5 celebrated his own historic moment, the release of his debut album,Random Album Title at the Virgin Megastore Hollywood & Highland, where he spun for over an hour and was asked for an encore! Almost 300 fans came out to see him, turning our store in to a good old fashioned rave. Apparently pacifiers for those over 3 yrs old didn’t go out of style in 1998. J None the less, everyone had a great time, and most stayed afterwards to meet with him and have their CD signed, for a total of 230 CD’s sold. Thank you to Ultra and ADA for bringing us this opportunity, and to Crystal’s team, especially Matt, Chris and Alex for running the event right a long side me.


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Eagles of Death Metal at Hollywood and Highland

October 24, 2008 at 9:24 pm (Hollywood Store) (, , , )

I’m April Windsor, and I manage the regional marketing efforts for our California stores. My favorite part of the job is managing our awesome in-store events with artists from all genres. Check out our latest Hollywood & Highland concert below…..

Tonight we hosted a special live performance & signing with local favorite, Eagles of Death Metal. Eagles of Death Metal played an awesome show – Virgin Megastore Hollywood & Highland was transformed in to a real live concert venue! Not that this was the first time, but I was really impressed how the event came together tonight. The band proved to be a truly solid rock ‘n’ roll band, and were very personable with their fans, getting them pumped about the music from stage – they had everyone dancing! They started off the night with a 45 minute set, playing to over 150 fans. All of the band members thought the in-store was great and said they would love to come back any time, if we would have them. Very cool!

This event was in conjunction with the new Rock Star Games video game, Midnight Club Los Angeles, which our Hollywood store and Eagles of Death Metal are featured in. Fans had two options: Pre-order the game, receive 2 wristbands, pre-order the upcoming EofDM album, Heart On, and receive 1 wristband. With each pre-order, fans were given an Eagles of Death Metal poster and free 10” vinyl for the signing.

Thanks to everyone who helped put this event together, especially Rock Star Games, the H&H store team, and Fontana and Rocket Science for hopping on the bandwagon and providing the great GWP’s.


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