<p>Sara Bareilles</p>

Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles set to release new album this summer

First single 'Brave' followed by 18-city solo tour

Singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles will release her third album this summer. First single, “Brave,” will come out April 23, and will be followed by her 18-city "Brave Enough" solo tour.

The still-untitled Epic set will be Bareilles’ first full-length album since 2010’s  “Kaleidoscope Heart,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.  Since then, Bareilles appeared as a judge on NBC’s singing competition, “The Sing-Off,” and released a documentary, “A Trace of the Sun: Volunteering in Japan,” about her time in Japan with relief-effort team All Hands Volunteer following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Last year, she released an EP, “Once Upon Another Time,” produced by Ben Folds.

The album comes after some challenging times in her life. “I have been confronting some of my greatest fears in the last handful of months and have been amazed at how empowered I can feel when I muster up the courage to turn and growl back at those monsters under the bed,” she said in a statement “The songs on this album are a true reflection of everything I’ve come to experience in recent months.”


Date:               City:                            Venue:                                    On Sale                                 
4/25/13           Washington DC           9:30 Club                                 March 28th
4/27/13           New Haven, CT           Toad’s Place                            March 29th
4/28/13           Boston, MA                 Tsai Performance Center       March 29th                
4/29/13           Toronto, ON                Phoenix Concert Theater        March 28th
4/30/13           Philadelphia, PA          Union Transfer                        March 29th    
5/2/13             Chicago, IL                  Park West                                March 30th
5/3/13             Milwaukee, WI            Pabst Theater                          March 29th
5/4/13             Minneapolis, MN        Cedar Cultural Center            March 29th
5/6/13             Englewood, CO           Gothic Theater                        March 30th
5/9/13             Vancouver, BC            Rio Theater                             March 28th
5/10/13           Portland, OR               Roseland Theater                    March 29th
5/11/13           Seattle, WA                 Showbox @ The Market         March 29th
5/13/13           San Francisco, CA        Slim’s                                       March 31st
5/14/13           Los Angeles, CA           El Rey                                      March 30th
5/17/13           Austin, TX                    Parish                                      March 29th
5/20/13           Atlanta, GA                  Variety Playhouse                   March 29th
5/21/13           Charlotte, NC              Booth Playhouse                     March 29th
5/23/13           New York, NY              Highline Ballroom                   March 29th

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<p>Chris Brown</p>

Chris Brown

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Chris Brown's new single, 'Fine China,' breaks next week

What else do we know about his next album?

Chris Brown’s new single, “Fine China,” will drop Monday, April 1. The song comes from Brown’s sixth album, “X,” which will come out on RCA in late August/early September, according to Billboard.

“Fine China” was influenced by Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Sam Cooke, Brown told a handful of reporters for whom he played five new tracks recently.

Among the producers on the set are Timbaland, Danja, Diplo, BAM, Drumma Boy, CP Dubb, Mel and Mus, Verse Simmonds and Camper.

Guests on the album include Kendrick Lamar, who is on “Autumn Leaves,” a potential single.

“X” will be Brown’s first album since last year’s “Fortune.” Like girlfriend Rihanna, Brown is releasing an album a year.

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Album Review: Blake Shelton's 'Based On A True Story...'
Credit: Warner Bros. Records

Album Review: Blake Shelton's 'Based On A True Story...'

Does 'The Voice' mentor's new album give the whole picture?

Blake Shelton’s is a country mouse who’s become a part-time city mouse. By virtue of his stint as a mentor on “The Voice,” he’s now got one foot squarely in Los Angeles just as much as he has the other in Nashville (or actually Oklahoma, as the case may be), but he seems determined to make sure his redneck bonafides stay intact on “Based On A True Story...,” his seventh studio album.

In fact, the only tune that addresses his Los Angeles life is “Small Town Big Time,” a ditty that pokes fun at Hollywood, while still yearning to be back in a one-stoplight town. Most of the album is devoted to his country roots in ways both clever and disappointingly mundane. On album opener “Boys ‘Round Here,”  Shelton takes on Jason Aldean’s sloping success with a song that’s as much talking as it is singing, set to a pointed guitar melody. It even includes the refrain, “chew tobacco, chew tobacco, chew tobacco, spit...” The mid-tempo “Country On the Radio” panders to the usual tired country tropes of pick-ups, cut-offs, and, of course, a name check to King George, George Strait.

Shelton has said in interviews for this album that he is in such a happy place with his career and private life (as private as his marriage to fellow country superstar Miranda Lambert can be) that he only wanted to record upbeat tunes. For the most part, that’s what he’s done here. He displays an appealing cross between Johnny Paycheck’s feistiness and Jimmy Buffett’s good timing swagger on “I Still Got A Finger,” a modern update on “Take This Job & Shove It.”

With his easy-going voice and attitude, Shelton makes it all sound effortless, especially on current No. 1 country hit, the infectious “Sure Be Cool If You Did,” but if you’re looking for any kind of depth, look elsewhere. This is an album for popping in the car on a sunny day that will serve as the soundtrack for a day at the beach as much as a night at your favorite honky tonk.

ACM host Shelton is a man’s man, but he knows he has great appeal to the ladies, who love his romantic side: hence tunes like ballad “Mine Would Be You.” It’s one of those impossibly romantic songs about a man whose “best day/finest hour/wildest dream come true” is the woman by his side. Chicks dig that stuff, but this one comes with a twist in the last verse that gives it a kick you don’t see coming.

Similarly aimed for his female audience are My Eyes,” a sly, sultry song, where he declares, “My eyes are the only thing I don’t wanna take off of you" and  “Lay Low,” which, other than the line about “stay high,”  has the musical feel of ‘80s country tune with just the right amount of cheesiness.

The album ends with “Granddaddy’s Gun,” a touching salute to his grandfather, who suggested handling a gun with the same care as a man handles a woman. The gun has taken the place of the family Bible as the keeper of generations of memories.

There’s nothing wrong with “Based On A True Story,” but there’s also nothing particularly excellent other than “Granddaddy’s Gun” and “Mine Would Be You.” The production is predictable, as are most of the songs. Shelton is a true talent and yet this album doesn’t match up with his abilities. Maybe he’s simply too stretched to spend the amount of time writing or recording an album that would reflect the totality of his talents, but it would be great to get an album from him that really showed what he could do. While pleasing in many ways, "Based On A True Story..." rarely scratches below the surface.

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<p>Queens of the Stone Age</p>

Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of The Stone Age headed out on tour to support June release

'...Like Clockwork' will be group's first for Matador Records

As we previously reported, Queens of the Stone Age’s first album in six years, “...Like Clockwork,” will come out in June. We still don’t have an exact date, but the label will be Matador, best known for releasing albums by acts like Belle & Sebastian, Yo La Tengo and Interpol over the years.

In addition to playing at Lollapalooza Brazil this weekend, the band will go on an “extensive world tour,” according to a press release. It will make the first time the band hit the stage since its limited dates in 2011 around the re-release of QOTSA’s 1998 debut.

So who exactly is in the band now? It’s Josh Homme, Troy Van Leeuwen, Dean Fertita, and MIchael Shuman.  Handling drumming  duties on the album were Dave Grohl, Joey Castillo and Jon Theodore. Among the guests on “...Like Clockwork” are Elton John, Trent Reznor, Jake Shears, Mark Lanegan. Josh Homme and the band produced the set, which was recorded by Mark Rankin at Pink Duck Studios in Burbank, Calif.  “...Like Clockwork” is the band’s first album since 2007’s “Era Vulgaris.”

Exact release date and tour dates are coming soon. So is June.

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<p>Mumford &amp;&nbsp;Sons arrive at the 2013 Grammy Awards</p>

Mumford & Sons arrive at the 2013 Grammy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Mumford & Sons' summer tour swings through the West and Southwest

No Lollapalooza date listed yet

Mumford & Sons are rumored to be headlining Lollapalooza, which runs Aug. 2-4, but as the Grammy-winning group’s new tour schedule reveals, they definitely won’t be playing the first night of the Chicago festival.

On Aug. 2, they will be headlining Montreal’s Osheaga Festival. However, after that, the band has a three-week break before its North American Gentlemen of the Road Stopover dates begin. The Lollapalooza line-up will be announced in April.

The tour, announced today, also includes stops at  Washington’s Sasquatch Music Festival and Manchester, Tenn.’s Bonnaroo. Opening acts are Michael Kiwanuka and Mystery Jets. The outing, dubbed Summer Stampede 2013, starts at Calgary's


Mumford & Sons Upcoming Tour Dates
5/21 - Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome*
5/22 - Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place*
5/24 - Surrey, BC @ Holland Park*
5/26 - George, WA @ Sasquatch Music Festival
5/27 - Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena*
5/29 - Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre*
5/30 - Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre*
5/31 - Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre*
6/02 - San Bernardino, CA @ Glen Helen Regional Park*
6/03 - Chula Vista, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre*
6/05 - Phoenix, AZ @ Desert Sky Pavilion*
6/06 - Taos, NM @ Kit Carson Park*
6/08 - Austin, TX @ Austin 360 Amphitheater*
6/09 - Austin, TX @ Austin 360 Amphitheater*
6/11 - Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion*
6/12 - The Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion*
6/13 - New Orleans, LA @ Mardi Gras World*
6/15 - Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
6/17 - Bonner Springs, KS @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre*
6/20 - Telluride, CO @ Telluride Bluegrass Festival
8/02-04 - Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
8/23-24 - Simcoe, ON @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
8/30-31 - Troy, OH @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
9/06-07 - Guthrie, OK @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover
9/13-14 - St. Augustine, FL @ Gentlemen of the Road Stopover

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<p>Lady Antebellum</p>

Lady Antebellum

Credit: Jeff Bottari/Invision/AP

Lady Antebellum reveals track listing for new album, 'Golden'

Fourth set inspired by time on the road

Lady Antebellum’s fourth album, “Golden,” was inspired by the trio’s life on the road.
Out May 7, the Grammy-winning group’s latest set developed out of experimentation between Lady A and its band as they traveled across the world. “We were just kind of in that live show mindset for this album,” said the band’s Dave Haywood, in a statement. “We had that perspective of being on a tour and having seen what translates in an arena. We have a better idea what kind of songs are so relateable where it shakes everybody like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve totally been there’.”

The band’s Charles Kelley adds that the trio wanted to reinvent themselves a little, as jangly first single “Downtown shows, but not too much. “I get annoyed when people reinvent themselves too much because there’s a reason people fell n love with you in the first place, but I think it’s important not to regurgitate the same stuff over and over again.” 

The band co-produced the set with Paul Worley, who has worked with them on their previous efforts. HitFix heard the title track, the wistful, beautiful “Golden,” when the band taped an episode of CMT’s “Crossroads” with Stevie Nicks.

GOLDEN Track List:

1. Get To Me
2. Goodbye Town
3. Nothin' Like The First Time
4. Downtown
5. Better Off Now (That You're Gone)
6. It Ain't Pretty
7. Can't Stand The Rain
8. Golden
9. Long Teenage Goodbye
10. All For Love
11. Better Man
12. Generation Away


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Album Review: Dido's 'Girl Who Got Away'

Album Review: Dido's 'Girl Who Got Away'

British singer displays her many moods on new set

As much as Dido’s three previous studio albums have been about her dreamy, ethereal voice, her projects have also been about marrying her vocals to myriad beats.

On “Girl Who Got Away,” out Tuesday (26), she uses the same basic palette but widens the parameters with largely winning results.

The album opens with “No Freedom,” an acoustic guitar-based, reggae tinged song, but it’s not long before all manner of beats and electronic music are blending in with the strong melodies.

For her first album in nearly five years, she paired with writers/producers Brian Eno, Jeff Bhasker, Rick Nowels, Greg Kurstin and her most frequent collaborator, her brother Rollo Armstrong. Under a less sure hand, so many cooks might threaten to create a disjointed effort, but, here, it merely serves to provide the many different flavors of Dido.

On the title track, she’s the girl who got away from her career temporarily— she disappeared to have a baby—but who also gets away with having a happy life: “the lover who really loved, the dancer who danced to the last song...”  That happiness spills over again on the lovely spare “Sitting on The Roof Of The World” as Dido looks back on her musical journey with gratitude that she slipped through the door of success while there was still an opening, and yet she’s still able to return home.

One of the highlights is the mantra-like “Let Us Move On” featuring Kendrick Lamar. Unlike so many songs with a rap breakdown that seemingly has no connection to the tune of origin, Lamar’s portion fits in with the overall calm chill of the song and there’s a potency in the juxtaposition of his gruffness with her understated elegance.

For all the joy many of the track profess, “Girl” has many moods, some of them dark. Dido’s beatific voice lets her deliver harsh lyrics with such lilting precision that you don’t even feel the knife go in,  such as on “End Of Night,” when she sings, “I feel nothing when you cry/ I hear nothing/ see no need to reply, I can smile then and turn away.”

Similarly “Blackbird” seems like upbeat tune that opens with a sunny, engaging tape-manipulated stutter step,  but the words tell a different story: “Why do I bring you love, when all you give me back is pain?...There’s a blackbird in my chest all aflutter, and all caged in... wanting to break free with the wolves in my head,” Dido sings.

With Dido’s languid vocals, nothing ever feels rushed or particularly urgent, yet there’s nothing complacent about any of the work here. The airiness of her voice provides the perfect complement to the beats. While it’s easy to let her voice just glide over you like an incoming fog, those who dive deeper will find plenty lurking under the surface on “Girl.”


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<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: Joel Ryan/AP

Music Power Rankings: Justin Timberlake, Rihanna and Beyonce make the list

Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney do too

1. Justin Timberlake: There are 800,000 reasons why he’s No. 1 this week. That’s how big “The 20/20 Experience” is going to be.

2. Rolling Stones: They link with AEG for an estimated $80 million guarantee for 18 North American shows.  If that doesn’t buy them satisfaction, nothing will.

3. Paul McCartney:
At 70, he’s preparing to hit the long and winding road again with his “Out There!” tour, going to cities he’s never played before.

4. Beyonce: She’s even got Rush Limbaugh stirred up over her latest tune, “Bow Down,” even if he clearly has no clue what the song’s about.

5. Rihanna:
Her “Rihanna  777” “documentary” about her seven concerts in seven days in seven countries will air on Fox May 6. Maybe the special will accomplish something she never could: start on time. 

6. Lil Wayne: After suffering seizures and  giving his fans quite the health scare last week, Weezy is out of the hospital and seems to be faring well and was last seen cruising the aisles of Rite Aid buying cough syrup.

7. Lollapalooza: The Chicago Tribute leaks that Mumford & Sons and Phoenix will be among the headliners at this year’s fest.

8. David Bowie: He has to settle for No. 2 in the U.S., but takes “The Next Day” his first album in 10 years, to No. 1 in 12 countries without a single interview or television appearance. Make of that what you will...

9. SFX: Robert Sillerman’s company continues to snap up EDM-focused companies, this time purchasing 75% of Dutch company  ID&T.  First up will be the U.S. version of the Tomorrowland Festival. “And now is the time on “Sprockets” where we dance.”

10. Michelle Shocked:  There are millions of people who had never heard of the folk singer until this week when she made anti-gay remarks from a San Francisco stage and millions more who wish now they never had. 


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My Chemical Romance disbands after 12 years

My Chemical Romance disbands after 12 years

'The Black Parade' band calls it quits via its website

After a dozen years together, My Chemical Romance has disbanded. The New Jersey-based group released a collective statement on its website on Friday night. The statement in full is below.

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<p>Justin Timberlake's &quot;The 20/20 Experience&quot;</p>

Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience"

Justin Timberlake's 'The 20/20 Experience' dominates next week's Billboard 200

New album will sell more than the next 9 other titles combined

Have you heard of the 800 lb. gorilla? Next week, Justin Timberlake will be the 800,000 lb. gorilla as it looks like “The 20/20 Experience” will sell up to 800,000 copies, making it the fifth biggest debut of the decade.

Sales projections for “20/20” keep increasing. At the beginning of the week, it appeared that his first album in seven years would sell at least 500,000; then the number soared to 750,000 and with two days left until the chart close, it’s at 800,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

At that rate, the title will handily sell more than the rest of the nine titles in Billboard 200 top 10 combined. In fact, no one else looks to even top 50,000 copies.

In addition to Timberlake, the other debuts will be Kacey Musgraves’ excellent “Same Trailer, Different Park” (read our interview with the up-and-comer here) at No. 4, with sales of around 40,000, and an expanded edition of the soundtrack to “Les Miserables” at No. 7.

Otherwise, it looks like Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” will be at No. 2, Luke Bryan’s “Spring Break...Here To Party” at No. 3 and this week’s No. 1, Bon Jovi’s “What About Now” at No. 5.

Pink’s “The Truth About Love” climbs several notches to No. 6 on the strength of her well-received concert tour and her new single with fun.s’ Nate Ruess, “///. Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” is at No. 8,  Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” at No. 9, and Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” at No. 10, according to Hits Daily Double.

David Bowie’s “The Next Day” which bowed at No. 2 this week, likely drops to No. 11 with sales of 21,000-24,000.

In case you’re wondering, the top two biggest debuts of the decade so far belong to Taylor Swift, followed by Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne.


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