Grammy nominations be revealed Dec. 5 in morning unveiling and Christmas TV special
Credit: AP Photo

Grammy nominations be revealed Dec. 5 in morning unveiling and Christmas TV special

'A Very Grammy Christmas' will showcase Album of the Year nods... on a Friday night

The 2015 Grammy nominees will be revealed in two parts, both on Friday, Dec. 5. Album of the Year nominations will go up during an hour-long "A Very Grammy Christmas" at night, at 9 p.m. on CBS; all other categories will be announced early that morning.

According to Variety, the Recording Academy wanted to shake up their unveiling strategy, after six years of hosting a "Grammy Nominations Concert LIVE!" on Monday nights. The "holiday special" -- a strategy which has been explored by other music organizations like the CMAs -- will keep at least that single category of nominations in a performance show format.

As for the other 82 categories besides Album of the Year? Those nominations are "not expected to be presented in a press conference setting," though many other awards shows like the Golden Globes and Oscars choose to publish their lists on early mornings.

And all at once. The games begin on the same starter block.

Friday nights aren't exactly primetime for televised events. While the Recording Academy undboutedly wants to emphasize the prestige of the Album of the Year category, I think they may be diluting their message by splitting up the announcement and applying tinsel and a red and green sheen. Granted, broadcasting "Grammy Nominations Concert" on Mondays at 8 p.m. haven't garnered the excitement and viewership organizers may desire (even with repeated visits from Taylor Swift), but at least on Tuesday morning everyone wakes up with a full list of contenders in front of them. The full list of nominees, instead, will be complete on a Saturday morning this year.

The first round of voting started on Oct. 16 and are due Nov. 5; an excess of 17,000 recording submitted are eligible. The 2015 Grammy Awards will air on CBS on Feb. 8, from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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Sia's cover of 'Never Fully Dressed' for 'Annie' is a super-fun and super-trashy

Sia's cover of 'Never Fully Dressed' for 'Annie' is a super-fun and super-trashy

I for one welcome our new Quvenzhané overlord

Sia has contributed a new version of "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" to the forthcoming film redux of "Annie" and, boy, is it bonkers. It's mastered to the max, it's got new, original fillings (just like your teeth!), it's got Sia still working out whatever accent Sia does, and it's trashy as hell. I kind of love it.

If the film is anything like the accompanying music video to this "Never Fully Dressed," then prepare for divine and obnoxious child actors forcing your mouth into a twisted dumb grin for its duration. A patent corporate smarm will act as a thin layer of wax on the "Annie" of old and transition it into a viral video-binging, non-stop comic, New York-worshipping, anti-cynical pill to swallow.

And maybe it's best this way, because I am going to watch this movie so hard. One reason is because "Annie" was one of a couple of Broadway musicals that got top spin in my family growing up. "Empty belly life / rotten smelly life /'s a hard-knock life" was my refrain when I had to do chores, with a swarthy arm-sweeping motion. (We also loved "A Chorus Line." The 7-year-old version me will remain in hypersleep until a version of "Dance 10, Looks 3" is remixed, and sung by Beyonce, to wake me.)

Sia and Greg Kurstin combined to re-arrange and executive produce the old songs and create new ones including "Opportunity," "Who Am I," and "Moonquake Lake" featuring Beck. Sia collaborated with Stargate for "The City's Yours." All some pretty big names, all creative for Overbrook (Will Smith), Roc Nation (Jay Z), RCA and Sony's Madison Gate.

So far it looks like this "Annie" may be saccharine, and it sounds overexposed, and it will make me drink all of the Coke and eat all of the Junior Mints. Still scratching my head at the Cameron Diaz casting, but at least now she knows we're all looking at her. Quvenzhane Wallis wowed everyone with "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and here she looks like an excited Disney princess, just shy a couple years. I'm so excited. Now, when's the Jay Z cameo?

The "Annie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" album will be out on Nov. 17, and the movie -- starring Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Diaz, Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne -- heads to theaters right before Christmas, on Dec. 19.

Here is the tracklist for "Annie: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack":

1. Overture - Cast
2. Maybe - Quvenzhané Wallis, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Nicolette Pierini, Eden Duncan-Smith and Amanda Troya
3. It's The Hard-Knock Life - Quvenzhané Wallis, Zoe Margaret Colletti, Nicolette Pierini, Eden Duncan-Smith and Amanda Troya
4. Tomorrow - Quvenzhané Wallis
5. I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here (2014 Film Version) - Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne and Stephanie Kurtzuba
6. You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile (2014 Film Version) - Sia                   
7. Moonquake Lake - Sia and Beck
8. Little Girls (2014 Film Version) - Cameron Diaz
9. The City's Yours - Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis
10. Opportunity - Quvenzhané Wallis
11. Easy Street (2014 Film Version) - Cameron Diaz and Bobby Cannavale
12. Who Am I? - Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Quvenzhané Wallis
13. I Don't Need Anything But You (2014 Film Version) - Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis and Rose Byrne
14. Tomorrow (Reprise) - Cast
15. Opportunity (Sia Version) - Sia [Version does not appear in film]

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Taylor Swift is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in new song 'Welcome to New York'

Taylor Swift is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in new song 'Welcome to New York'

Taylor Swift is the first person on the planet to have ever lived in New York

Taylor Swift is a 24-year-old woman who recently relocated her whole life to New York City.

"Welcome to New York" sounds and feels just like what a 24-year-old girl would have to say about the gritty city after having ripped up her roots from wherever she hails from.

And just like you would with any young 20-something who is telling about the "ever-changing" city of New York after she's lived there for, like, a minute: you can just tune it out. "Out of the Woods" and "Shake It Off" are just so, so much stronger than this.

Stream "Welcome to New York" right here.

Keep your ears open for it during any televised fashion or music event -- or for a wide-eyed teen romantic comedy that will get two-stars on IMDB -- based in the greater New York metro area.

"Welcome to New York" is on Swift's next album "1989," out on Oct. 27.

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Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding go 'Outside' in new song

Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding go 'Outside' in new song

Abolish this synth

Somebody take that one particular synth away from Calvin Harris.

I love Ellie Goulding, and I actually really rather like two of the new cuts from his forthcoming album "Motion": "Slow Acid" is really exactly what you think it is, and John Newman is a good match on DJ Harris' "Blame."

But at around 0:41 on "Outside," the fifth song to be released from "Motion," Harris is selling cars. And entrance to a Six Flags. Its the generic floor bobber that will be instantly forgotten but can be synched a hundred way to Tuesday and rehashed for a thousand televised sports game bumpers.

Previously, he and Goulding worked on similarly minded "I Need Your Love," with that same video gamer feel, but at least vocal line had something to do. Here's, she's wasting away.

"Motion" is out on Nov. 4.

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Just look at this video thing FKA twigs did for Google Glass

Just look at this video thing FKA twigs did for Google Glass

Songs featured on stunning 'LP1'

As I've noted before, it's hard to pinpoint exactly the kind of music FKA twigs makes.

And with this new video, I'm in increasing wonder of what FKA twigs even is.

The British songwriter/producer/model/dance/spirit animal directed this new promotional video "#throughglass" for Google Glass, which is soundtracked by her own songs "Video Girls" and "Glass & Patron."

In it, dancers from searched videos appear IRL. This aren't just any music video girls. These are girls who will bring you shame about any and all of your purported "moves" that you "reserve" for the "dance floor." Twigs brings her own. You wake up on the floor.

"Video Girls" is off of "LP1," one of my favorites this year.

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Gwen Stefani says 'Baby Don't Lie' on new solo single
Credit: Mad Love/Interscope

Gwen Stefani says 'Baby Don't Lie' on new solo single

Musical Frankenstein doesn't yield anything distinctly Stefanian

Gwen Stefani's new solo single "Baby Don't Lie" is out, and it's running all over the place.

At first it threatens to be a gum-chewing M.I.A. hip-hop hybrid. Then it soars straight into Ellie Goulding dance-pop territory, and then mid-tempo love song with a hiccup at the end, plus a OneRepublic counter-melody on the tags after the chorus. Then Iggy Azalea's influence rears its head.

Well, at least the whiff of OneRepublic can be partly to all of the co-songwriters: Ryan Tedder, who worked with Benny Blanco and Noel Zancanella to write this sonic Frankenstein.

Tedder leads OneRepublic and Blanco -- who produced on OneRepublic's latest album "Native" -- could be a solid lead as to why anybody would ape the slack-voweled sounds of Iggy Azalea: he co-wrote pop-laden "Black Widow" for the Aussie rapper. Zancanella also co-wrote and co-produced for OneRepublic, and was behind Ellie Goulding's "Burn," plus a few tunes for acts like Maroon 5, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez.

Start connecting a bunch of those dots and you get a song that doesn't at all seem distinctly Gwen Stefani, except for her willingness to speak-sing without ever actually having to verge on rapping.

The No Doubt frontwoman still has a lot of power behind her voice and can still carry a decent melody when she's given one, namely the chorus here. But it's hardly a reintroduction to the personality behind "Hollaback Girl." This is a generic play for radio, without much fun or heart. I'm more eager to hear how a whole album would fare.

The music video for "Baby Don't Lie" will premiere tomorrow (Oct. 21).

"Baby Don't Lie" is Stefani's first new music as a solo artist since she released "The Sweet Escape" in 2006. No Doubt dropped their newest album in 2012. She is currently a judge on "The Voice."

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HitFix Mix: Lady Antebellum is paging Channing Tatum for 'Freestyle'

HitFix Mix: Lady Antebellum is paging Channing Tatum for 'Freestyle'

'Best of Me' soundtrack trio recommend three tracks to blow your hair back

Lady Antebellum just released their new album "747" and have a song on the soundtrack to "The Best of Me." There's a lot of noise out there, so their newest single "Freestyle" could use a leg up, too.

So, Channing Tatum, what say you?

In our interview this month -- ahead of tomorrow's release of the Nicholas Sparks romance adaptation "The Best of Me" -- multi-Grammy Award-winning Lady A was brainstorming some talent hey could bring into their music video world. Tony Hale and Kate Upton co-starred in the trio's smash country hit "Bartender" this summer, for instance.

Coming up with the tune for this week's Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden-starring feature didn't come totally out of left field.

The group "didn't have any of the visuals," said Dave Haywood, when they were approached to write a song for the movie earlier this year. But he, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley were already in the zone of writing every day for "747." (And it doesn't hurt that the group was fans of Sparks' stories, too.)

Scott said the process for making "747," felt altogether different because Lady A wanted this effort to be different, from all its other efforts.

"This record especially, we put so much time and thought and heart into making it different, and something that the fans would hear different from us," she said. "Just to see the response so far has been so affirming."

If you're curious about what lights each members' fire musically, you're in luck. The next three songs are hand-selected tracks from Lady Antebellum, for this week's HitFix Mixtape.

Charles Kelley recommends: Haim, "If I Could Change Your Mind"

Hillary Scott recommends: Kacey Musgraves, "It Is What It Is"

Dave Haywood recommends: Sam Hunt, "Leave the Night On"

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Damien Rice is cold, wet, sad and dancing in his 'I Don't Want to Change You' video

Damien Rice is cold, wet, sad and dancing in his 'I Don't Want to Change You' video

Rick Rubin co-produces on 'Favourite' new album

Damien Rice found the most beautiful docks of all the docks and got sad on it.

"I Don't Want to Change You" is the first single from the Irish singer-songwriter's forthcoming album "My Favourite Faded Fantasy," out on Nov. 10 and co-produced by Rice and Rick Rubin.

"Change You" is danceably upbeat wild party ride of a firework, with lots of cheerful whistles and a rap verse.

Just kidding, it's a slow, mellow, bummed-out chugger, which we've grown to know and love about Rice. The video matches: all blue hues and wet wool, Rice is solitary as an oyster on his gorgeous Icelandic dock, with small jilts of movement and crawling motions to and from the water until that bridge (the song bridge, not a bridge-bridge) where he has himself a little Thom Yorke-ian freak-out which I could scarcely call a "dance."

Damien Rice dances or freaks out

To compare:

Thom Yorke dances in Lotus Flower

"My Favourite Faded Fantasy" will be released on Nov. 10, almost exactly eight years after his last album "9" dropped.

Here are Damien Rice's North American tour dates, all of which are sold-out:

October 16   New York, NY     The Box
October 17   Brooklyn, NY     Warsaw
October 18   New York, NY     The Box
November 15  New York, NY     Apollo Theater
November 21  Montreal, QC     Metropolis

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Good news: Prince is playing 'Saturday Night Live,' and Chris Rock hosts

Good news: Prince is playing 'Saturday Night Live,' and Chris Rock hosts

9 Reasons Why You Know This Is The Best News.

Prince will perform and Chris Rock will host the new Nov. 1 episode of "Saturday Night Live."

Here are the various reasons why you already know this is good news.

1.This is Prince's first televised appearance in support of his two (2!) new albums, "Plectrumelectrum" and "Art Official Age." Prince doesn't just play for anybody, so you better bet he's got some tricks up his sleeve.

2. Prince played "SNL" in 1981 and 2006. YouTube may not let you revisit it, but it was awesome both times. He is due back.

3. Prince also happens to be one of the best performers to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show ever. You know he can play to a television national audience, on a big or small stage.

4. Chris Rock interviewed Prince back in 1997, you know he brings out a little something special in the Purple One.

5. Chris Rock loves Prince. "SNL" benefits from an appreciation society, that's how you get Prince having fun. (Look to Dave Chappelle, Prince and "Breakfast Can Wait.")

6. Prince and Chris Rock hang out. Chris Rock describes this, in part, in this bit with Jerry Seinfeld for "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" (fast forward to the 8-minute mark). They are up to something.

7. Rock dressed up as Prince in "Grown Ups 2." Prince even tweeted that image today. There's gotta be a revenge plot.

8. Rock has a new movie, "Top Five," due on December, and it's apparently one of his greatest projects to date. If he is peak form, then we are all in for a little treat.

9. This will be Rock's second time hosting "SNL" and dude's been through the Oscars hosting gig now, this should all be easy peas.

As previously reported, Jim Carrey and Iggy Azalea are hosting and music guesting (respectively) on Oct. 25's "SNL."

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Taylor Swift has a desperate kind of love in new song 'Out of the Woods
Credit: AP Photo

Taylor Swift has a desperate kind of love in new song 'Out of the Woods

Jack Antonoff co-wrote a synth-pop heart-stealer

"Are we out of the woods yet?" Taylor Swift sings over and over in her new song's chorus. "Are we in the clear yet?"

"Out of the Woods" is available now on iTunes, and is getting stripped every time it appears on YouTube. Still, though, you can listen to it all over Tumblr, here for example.

Co-written by Jack Antonoff (who just released a whole album of similarly minded pop and synth would-be-hits under the name Bleachers), "Out of the Woods" is a desperate kind of lost love single from the "Shake It Off" star.

A lot of (virtual) ink today will be devoted to the song's "last December" love interest, purportedly One Direction's Harry Styles, and partly for a good reason. Swift has always done a spectacular job of weaving relationship specifics in with evergreen heartache, painting songs like an intimate moment with one's favorite pop star AND generic enough to become one's own personal, relatable anthem.

"Remember when you hit the brakes too soon / 20 stitches in a hospital room," she relays about a snowmobile ride with an ex-boyfriend who, as told to Rolling Stone, "wrecked it so badly that she saw her life flash before her eyes. Both of them had to go to the ER, although Swift wasn't hurt. She corrects herself: 'Not as hurt.'"

"Out of the Woods" mixes of nostalgic and sad synths, trading minor keys and transitional chords for a chugging climax fit for any struggling optimist. It riffs off the '80s strains that led the "Drive" soundtrack, and wide open verses for Swift to get wordy-wordy and conversational, things she's good at.

And it's yet another signifier, that her album "1989" will far and away be her most pop album yet, that the "country" feel that dotted her last album "Red" were part of an obligation she's now fulfilled. Antonoff's encouragement here, to wave her on to song structures still more different, really works. This song will be everywhere this season, a certifiable hit.

"1989" is due Oct. 27.

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