Inside Music with Melinda Newman
Does the country superstar change his sound for the next album?
Credit: AP Photo
“My Kinda Party” established Jason Aldean as the next big country superstar. Released in November 2010, the double-platinum set included five hit country tunes and was one of the top-selling albums in all genres in 2011. More significantly, “Party” also moved Aldean from opening act to arena headliner.
So there’s been a lot of speculation about how Aldean will change his sound, if at all, on his next album. We got a hint today with the release of “Take A Little Ride,” the first single from his upcoming fifth studio album.
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Tracklisting seems appropriately haunting
Mumford & Sons’ second album, “Babel,” will come out Sept. 25. The British folk rock group broke through in 2009 with the wildly successful “Sigh No More,” which spawned such hits as “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave.”
The group began previewing tracks from the new album earlier this year at some radio station events, as well as playing three new tunes at SXSW: “Lovers Eyes,” “Lover of the Light” and “Ghosts That We Knew.”
M&S will precede the album’s release with a short U.S. tour that will include their own curated multi-artist festivals, dubbed Gentlemen of he Road stopovers.
The transition from touring to recording was a little difficult at first, says the band in a statement. “At first, we peeled ourselves of the road quite reluctantly. WE love playing live, obviously, but it had also become an important part of our creative process. We had been writing and rehearsing in soundchecks and sort of ‘roadtesting’ new songs on our very gracious audiences. But then we fell in love with recording again.”
The group worked with producer Markus Dravs, who also helmed “Sigh No More.”
The track list for "Babel" reveals titles that seem appropriately haunting for the group's melodic, yet sometime melancholy, music: in addition to "Ghosts That We Knew," there are such intriguing titles as "Hopeless Wanderer" and "Whispers In The Dark" and "Broken Crown."
2. Whispers In The Dark
3. I Will Wait
4. Holland Road
5. Ghosts That We Knew
6. Lover Of The Light
7. Lovers' Eyes
9. Hopeless Wanderer
10. Broken Crown
11. Below My Feet
12. Not With Haste
Fellow rock veterans Fleetwood Mac also make the list
1. Rolling Stones: This week marked the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ first gig. It's only rock and roll, but we still like it.
2. Katy Perry’s Spinning Peppermint Bra: Behold the power of the boulder holder. The pop princess’s insurance company has asked that she retire the brassiere for fear her hair will get caught in its, uh, blades. Madonna's cone bra laughs maniacally.
3. “American Idol”: Both Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez turn in their walking papers this week. Will the singing talent show take this as a chance to revive itself or is this the start of the end?
4. Frank Ocean: He drops “Channel Orange” a week early digitally and instantly becomes a contender for “best of 2012” lists. Who needs Target, anyway?
5. Fleetwood Mac: Stevie Nicks becomes the latest member to confirm that the group will tour again soon. Of course, Lindsey Buckingham promised there was a tour coming in 2012. #stillwaiting
6. Vevo: Sony head Doug Morris, who has a leading role in launching Vevo while at Universal Music Group, fires a shot across the bow at Google in the Los Angeles Times, threatening to possibly pair Vevo with other companies after the Vevo/Google deal expires unless Google’s You Tube lowers its fees.
7. Nicki Minaj: “Roman Reloaded” may not have spawned a No. 1 tune yet, but it has set an interesting record of a different sort: Minaj’s single “Starships” sets the record this week for the most weeks spent in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 for a song that started its chart run in the Top 10 (is that confusing enough)? The tune bowed at No. 9 and has stayed in the Top 10 for 21 consecutive weeks.
8. Run-DMC: Surviving members of the groundbreaking rap group will reunite for the first time since Jam Master Jay’s death in 2002 at Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in November. Make plans to walk that way now.
9. Beats Electronics: Headphone company started by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine (and which has undoubtedly made them richer than music ever has) buys digital music service MOG. Still no word on when Dre will ever release “Detox.” Maybe after he’s bought Spotify, Rdio and Slacker.
10. Dennis Flemion: Member of cult band The Frogs drowns after going for a swim. Though they never had a hit record or made a dent in the mainstream, they greatly influenced a number of acts who did, including the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam.
Frank Ocean's digital only release also slated to open high
Zac Brown Band’s “Uncaged” will handily bow at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week, while Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” gets off to a surprisingly strong start.
“Uncaged” will likely sell up to 230,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double, with “Channel Orange,” which became available on iTunes a week before its planned release, will surpass 130,000 for No. 2.
The drop off is steep for the No. 3 spot with Chris Brown’s “Fortune,” Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” and Justin Bieber’s “Believe” all targeted to sell between 45,000-50,000 to vie for that spot.
Similarly, it’s still too close to call for No.6 with Linkin Park’s “Living Things,” Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” and Adele’s “21” all moving around 40,000 copies. That leaves One Direction’s “Up All Night” likely to hold the No. 10 spot.
Louis CK, Sharon Van Etten and others drop out of festival
Credit: AP Photo
All Tomorrow’s Parties’ I’ll Be Your Mirror is pulling a switcheroo.
Only two months before the Greg Dulli-curated event, the festival announced that it will move from its original 2012 home in Asbury Park, N.J. to New York City’s Pier 36. The dates remain Sept. 21-23.
In making the move, a number of artists, including Louis CK, Sharon Van Etten, Reigning Sound, and Factory Floor, have all pulled out citing scheduling conflicts.
In a statement, ATP organizer Barry Hogan primarily attributed the switch to “logistical concerns” and the need for more fan accommodations in Asbury Park, which seems like an odd thing to have not worked out before tickets went on sale. Making the move all the stranger: the Asbury Park waterfront location was the site of the 2011 ATP event. It had previously been held in upstate New York. Fans have until July 31 to request a full refund.
Pier 36, which is where I’ll Be Your Mirror 2013 will be held, is a new indoor venue on the East River in Manhattan.
Among the artists slated to play I’ll Be Your Mirror are Philip Glass and Tyondai Braxton, The Afghan Whigs, the Roots, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Joseph Arthur.
Hogan has liquidated ATP Concerts Ltd., seeking voluntary insolvency and transferring all of its assets to a new company, Willwall Ltd. In a statement posted on ATP’s website, Hogan further detailed changes in the company, but added that “all future events will continue as scheduled.”
He added that on July 16, the company will begin announcing the line-up for December’s Nightmare Before Christmas festival in the U.K. curated by Shellac.
Why recording in Beverly Hills was fun, but not necessarily productive
Frank Ocean planned all along to drop “Channel Orange” a week early digitally. Or so he told Zane Lowe at BBC Radio 1 in an interview that aired today.
“[I wanted to] let the music speak for itself for a second and not be in a situation where the record leaked. It was always my plan to drop it ahead of time,” the Odd Future member said of his solo set.. He added that he mirrored his plan on what his buddies Kanye West and Jay-Z did with “Watch The Throne,” which also came out digitally prior to its physical release.
In this digital age of cherry-picking tracks, Ocean says he made a work with the intent that the album be listened to from start to finish: “I hate to sound selfish, but that’s for my own personal enjoyment also,”he says. “That’s a big thing for me to make things sound cohesive and follow through.”
Noting how expensive studio time can be, Ocean recorded a number of the tracks in a rented house in Beverly Hills, bringing in any equipment he needed. He added that he definitely spent a little more time in the house’s pool and sauna than his label approved of, but that it still saved money.
His overarching goals in making “Channel Orange” were “to do things that I hadn’t done before structurally with songs and I wanted to go places sonically where I hadn’t gone before...I tried to just make something true to what I heard in my head and true to what I thought the future should be to me music wise.”
As Ocean heads out on his own tour starting tonight in Seattle, he noted that he may not be the road dog that other artists are, preferring quality over quantity: “I want to give the best show possible where I can to put myself in position to do my best,” he says. “If that means a lesser volume of appearances, so be it.” However, he’s got a pretty full plate coming up. Following his headlining U.S. gigs, he’ll switch to opening for Coldplay on the British group’s stadium swing in August and September.
Lowe doesn’t address Ocean’s recent letter about his past love affair with a man, but they cover some other interesting territory and Ocean sounds genial and relaxed throughout.
“Channel Orange” has sold well enough in its first week of digital only release that it is on target to debut at No. 2 on next week’s Billboard 200 album chart. Target has already announced that it will not carry the album. Though some groups have accused the mass marketer of homophobia, the chain said in a statement that it was not selling the title because of the digital exclusive.
Neither Katie Hasty or I have had time to write up a proper review of “Channel Orange,” but it is an excellent, often searing, album that manages to sound retro and progressive at the same time. Fans of artists like D’Angelo and Outkast will appreciate how Ocean similarly incorporates many different musical genres, while staying primarily within the R&B field.
When can you check out the full clip?
Radio hasn’t really responded to the first two singles from Madonna’s “MDNA,” but we're hoping the third single “Turn Up the Radio” may do the trick. The sweet pop slice is more in vogue with what pop stations are playing these days.
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Girls really do run the world, according to Forbes
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It’s a good time to be a woman in music: five of the top six highest-paid celebrities under 30 are female artists, according to Forbes.
Topping the list is Taylor Swift, who earned $57 million between May 2011-May 2012. Coming in at No. 3 is Rihanna ($53 million), No. 4 Lady Gaga ($52 million), No. 5 Katy Perry ($45 million) and No. 6 Adele ($35 million).
Justin Bieber earned $55 million to get wedged at No. 2 between Swift and Rihanna, a position we’re sure he’s very happy about.
Kristin Stewart, who is supposedly the highest paid actress in Hollywood, can only squeeze out a No. 7 slot and was easily outpaced by her musical colleagues. Stewart’s fellow “Twilight”-ers Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson also made the list. The only other male musician, Lil Wayne, came in at No. 8 with $27 million.
The numbers include album and concert sales, movie salaries, endorsements and other potential revenue streams.
What are the odds?
'Rumors'-era Fleetwood Mac
Maybe if the members of Fleetwood Mac say it enough, a tour will actually materialize.
Stevie Nicks was the latest FM’er to stir the pot about a new outing. She told “CBS This Morning” “it’s the plan,” when asked about a new tour, adding that everyone was on board. "That's what we do," she simply says.By “everyone” we assume that means Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. In the CBS interview, Nicks addresses how "devastating" it was for her when Christine McVie left the band in 1998.
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Teaser for Hype Williams-directed video thrills and chills
Jack White is going all Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez in his next video. A teaser for “Freedom at 21,” the third single from “Blunderbuss,” hit the internet today and it looks like White has gotten himself into a heap of trouble.
The Hype Williams-directed video debuts in full July 16, but the sneak peak reveals a blend of the blue wash that has permeated many of the visuals for “Blunderbuss” and Grindhouse as we see White getting slammed up against a car by a big bad tough female.
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