The Shins’ “Port of Morrow” runs into the same problems that albums like those from the New Pornographers or of Montreal do. There is a calculation and formula to great pop songwriting, and its expert writers sometimes struggle to distinguish each song as an individual work. There’s only small windows of spontaneous possibilities, like the predictable pinch-hits of Nels Cline when a Wilco song gets lost.
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Despite Justin Bieber’s phenomenal success, he has not been a Top 40 radio star. However all that could change with “Boyfriend.”
His sultry new single, which has been No. 1 on iTunes since its release at midnight March 26, is also earning rave reviews at radio. A Top 40 program director we talked to last week was positively buzzing about the song, noting it was Bieber’s strongest single yet.
If you look at Bieber’s Billboard Hot 100 stats, he’s only reached the Top 10 with two of the 21 songs he’s charted on the Hot 100 over the last three years. His peak came two years ago when “Baby” reached No. 5. His only other Top 10 tune is “Never Say Never,” which reached No. 8.
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The Black Keys have been a vocal opponent of Spotify before. Only this time they've called an important music/media tech guy and "assh*le." Oh gosh!
Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney clarified the band's stance to Grand Rapids, Mich. radio station WGRD this week, indicating that the streaming service's royalties scheme doesn't have enough of a payout for the band to make all releases available.
"The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I’m totally not against it. It’s just we won’t put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense," he said. "Trust me, Dan and I like to make money. If it was fair to the artist we would be involved in it... I imagine if Spotify becomes something that people are willing to pay for, then I’m sure iTunes will just create their own service, and they’re actually fair to artists.”
It takes a village of rappers to convey the message “Now we’re gonna get f***ed up/no excuses/no apologies” on “Take It To The Head,” the thumping first single from DJ Khaled’s forthcoming album, “Kiss the Ring.”
Khaled is joined by Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne on the Runners’-produced, mid-tempo track. Brown does the melodic heavy lifting here, while the others mainly chime in with raps that are NSFW listening. Warning: lots of uses of the N word here. Lil Wayne appeared on DJ Khaled’s 2011 hit “I’m On One,” which also featured Drake.
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It's July 7th, 2011, and I'm standing on a traffic island on a busy street in San Francisco, watching Jason Segel serve food from a catering truck to Da'Vone McDonald while his dad, David Paymer, looks on with approval. It's surprisingly cold outside, and this is just the start of what promises to be a very long day on-set.
There aren't many filmmakers who I can say I've visited on the set of every single one of their feature films, but "The Five-Year Engagement" is the third feature that Nicholas Stoller has directed, and it's the third time I've joined him on-set to watch him work and see what he's up to.
Like "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," this film is a close collaboration between Stoller and Jason Segel, who co-wrote the film with him. And, of course, Rodney Rothman is right there with Stoller again, producing and serving as a sort of comic sounding board for Stoller on the set. Watching these three guys work together, you get a sense that these are people who are incredibly comfortable as a team, and who have developed a shorthand that serves them well at this point.
Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins seem finally ready to release their long-gestating album-in-an-album project, "Oceania," due June 19. And with the announcement, comes other indications of sea change.
The album is an incorporated part of Corgan's 44-song concept project "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope," which initially intended to thrwart the traditional album release schedule and promotional thinking. Corgan and Co. -- drummer Mike Byrne, bassist Nicole Fiorentino and guitarist Jeff Schroeder -- have released 10 official "Kaleidyscope" tracks, practically as they were being created, in a work-in-progress effort to bring singular attention to each song in consideration of the whole, which is a conceptual "Fool's Journey" through Tarot cards. The first eight tracks were packed into two different EPs, both released in 2010. The last "Kaleidyscope" song was released in May 2011.
So up until the news today, fans have been left to wonder what happened to that "journey" in the last 10 months, with talk of "Oceania," but not a specific idea of how it fit into the Kaleidyscopic vision, particularly since the band has been dropping tracks almost exclusively on their own.
"Oceania," as has been revealed, will be released through Corgan's own Martha's Music publishing with distribution and support from EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution.
"The Smashing Pumpkins created Oceania as an album experience, and it is intended for the process of the release to follow a path of inclusion, so that best efforts are made for all the fans hear it at the same time as press or radio. We were excited to find partners in EMI Label Services that were equally passionate about the plan for the album release as well as being huge fans of the Pumpkins," says Peter Katsis in a statement.
Now just who the hell is Peter Katsis?
Did you get your tickets yet? Lollapalooza three-day passes went on sale today for the Aug. 3-5 festival in Chicago's Grant Park.
A limited number of Early Bird passes priced at $200 have already sold out. Once that unspecified number was gone, the price bumped up to $230. No single-day passes are available yet. Prices include service fees.
As usual, the tickets went on sale with no word on who is playing the festival. The line-up won’t be released until April 11.
The rumor mill is running rampant about who is playing, of course. In February, a Tweeter going by @lollaleaks tweeted that the headliners would include Metallica, Beyonce and Sonic Youth-- each of which could pretty much be shot down, which is exactly what Lollapalooza organizer Perry Farrell did. Then @Lollaleaks announced the whole thing was a hoax. Forbes ran an interesting piece on @Lollaleaks a few days ago and how his little joke escalated that's worth a look.
15 fun things we learned about Madonna from her Twitter: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and 'Kill Bill 3'
Last year I found myself hooked into "Bethenny Ever After" (Mon. 10 p.m. on Bravo) despite myself. Yes, former "Real Housewives of New York" star Bethenny Frankel can be crass, loud and annoying, but mostly she had a self-deprecating sense of humor that made scripted scenes almost tolerable and displays of conspicuous consumption a little less irritating. In some ways, she was the neurotic Manhattan version of Mary Tyler Moore 2.0 -- married with a kid in the big city, she was going to make it after all.
JAMES BOND 007 DECLASSIFIED
File #3: "Goldfinger"
This series will trace the cinema history of James Bond, while also examining Ian Fleming's original novels as source material and examining how faithful (or not) the films have been to his work.
Directed by Guy Hamilton
Screenplay by Richard Maibaum & Paul Dehn
Produced by Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman
CHARACTERS / CAST
James Bond / Sean Connery
Pussy Galore / Honor Blackman
Auric Goldfinger / Gert Frobe
Jill Masterson / Shirley Eaton
Tilly Masterson / Tania Mallet
Oddjob / Harold Sakata
M / Bernard Lee
Solo / Martin Benson
Felix Leiter / Cec Linder
Simmons / Austin Willis
Miss Moneypenny / Lois Maxwell
Dink / Margaret Nolan
After the gun-barrel image of Bond firing at the audience, we see Bond emerging from the water somewhere, a fake seagull on his head, and he immediately starts working to infiltrate wherever he is. This involves knocking out guards, firing grappling hooks, and planting plastic explosives all over a bunch of nitroglycerin tanks.