<p>The cover of Bruno Mars' &quot;Unorthodox Jukebox&quot;</p>

The cover of Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox"

Taylor Swift's 'Red' looks good for another week atop the Billboard 200

Bruno Mars will be locked out of No. 1 by 'Red'

Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” is no match for Taylor Swift’s “Red,” as the Nashville-based singer’s latest album spends a second week at No. 1 after returning there this week.

“Red,” which came out in October, will likely sell up to 200,000 copies next week, giving it a commanding lead over Michael Buble’s “Christmas,” which is aimed at No. 2, but “Jukebox” may overcome it by the time the chart week ends on Sunday. Now, both titles are projected to sell between 150,000 and 160,000, according to Hits Daily Double. Aside from Mars’ “Jukebox,” Game’s “Jesus Piece” is the only other debut in the Top 10 at No. 6.

Rod Stewart’s “Merry Christmas, Baby” will move another 125,000 units for No. 4. One Direction’s “Take Me Home” is No. 5, with sales of up to 115,000.

Other Christmas titles likely having their last hurrah in the top 10 are Blake Shelton’s “Cheers, It’s Christmas” at No. 7 and Lady Antebellum’s “On This Winter’s Night” at No. 9.

Phillip Phillips’ “World From The Side Of the Moon” is at No. 8, while “Girl On Fire,” Alicia Keys’ former No. 1 falls to No. 10.

Both Wiz Khalifa’s “O.N.I.F.C.” and Ke$ha’s “Warrior” fall out of the top 10 after bowing at No. 2 and No 6, respectively, this week.

Read Full Post
Watch: Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples and Sean Lennon spread cheer on 'Colbert Report'

Watch: Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples and Sean Lennon spread cheer on 'Colbert Report'

Trio sings Lennon/Ono classic, 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)'

Stephen Colbert spread a lot of Christmas cheer last night as Jeff Tweedy, Mavis Staples, and John Lennon/Yoko Ono’s son Sean Lennon performed Lennon/Ono’s holiday staple, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” on “The Colbert Report” final new show of the season.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Watch: Taylor Swift gets led astray in new video for 'I Knew You Were Trouble'

Watch: Taylor Swift gets led astray in new video for 'I Knew You Were Trouble'

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
Reeve Carney takes our golden girl down a dark path

Taylor Swift’s a good girl led astray in her edgy new video for “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which debuted on MTV today.  It’s her 23rd video and she’s releasing it on her 23rd birthday. Yay synchronicity! The song is on "Red," her new album which leapt back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week.

The video opens as Swift wakes up in the morning on the littered ground, (“the cold hard ground” of the song’s lyrics), seemingly the only one left over from a hell of a rave the night before. The memories start to come back in flashes as New Wave/Post Punk Swift, in skinny jeans, a wig with pink highlights, and a torn t-shirt, tries to reconstruct the past 24 hours. Or she’s figuring out how the hell everyone else left and now she doesn’t have a ride home.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Hayley Williams of Paramore</p>

Hayley Williams of Paramore

Credit: AP Photo

Paramore sets its sights on April for fourth studio album

Self-titled release will be the first without the founding Farro brothers

Paramore will release its first album in more than three years when its self-titled fourth studio album comes out April 9, 2013. The first single, whose release has not been announced, will be “Now.”

The album, produced by Justin Meldal-Johnson, will be the first studio set since 2009’s “Brand New Eyes” and the 2010 departure of founding members/brothers Josh and Zac Farro. The band now officially exists as a trio: singer Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis and guitarist Taylor York.

“The whole making of this album was a rediscovering of ourselves as a band an as friend,” the trio wrote on its website. “It was a process that allowed us the freedom to explore new territory artistically and to liberate ourselves as musicians, singers, as people! Sincerely, we feel that the best way to give it a name is just to call it what it is. This album is us.”

The band has originally promised a new album out by the end of 2012. That didn’t happen and the last we’ve heard from the band were a couple of tunes released through Paramore’s Singles Club, including “Renegades” and “Hello Cold World.” The group announced the Singles Club in October 2011 as a way to get new songs to fans by the end of 2011 to tide them over until the new album in 2012 2013.

Paramore also announced a Southeast Asian/Australian tour, which will start in the Spring.  The outing will include dates in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Read Full Post
<p>Adele vs. Taylor Swift</p>

Adele vs. Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

It's Adele vs. Taylor Swift for Golden Globe for best original song

Keith Urban and Jon Bon Jovi also in the running

With both Adele and Taylor Swift in the running, the Golden Globe best original song slate looks more like a rundown of artists normally found on the Billboard Hot 100.   (By the way, today is Swift's 23rd birthday: Nice birthday present, Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.!)

Other than nominating “Suddenly,” a new song written for  “Les Miserables” to give the musical a Golden Globe and Oscar contender, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has turned to tunes written and performed by some of the biggest names in pop music to fill the slate.

The nominees are:

*"For You"— "Act of Valor" (performed by Keith Urban)
Music and lyrics by Monty Powell and Keith Urban

*"Not Running Anymore" — "Stand Up Guys" (performed by Jon Bon Jovi)
Music and lyrics by Jon Bon Jovi

*"Safe & Sound" — "The Hunger Games" (performed by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars)
Music and lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett

*“Skyfall”  (performed by Adele)
Music and lyrics  by: Adele and Paul Epworth

*"Suddenly)" — "Les Miserables" (performed by Hugh Jackman)
Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg;  Lyrics by: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg

The pop slant is nothing particularly new, as the Globes often tend to sway toward big pop names (some deserving, some merely selected for star power)  more than songs penned by traditional film composers. (Hello, remember Madonna's "Masterpiece" won last year). In this case though, there's not a dud in the bunch.

No offense to the gentlemen, but this year’s race is between the ladies: Swift and Adele. Adele’s Bond theme, “Skyfall,” is sweeping and dramatic and pays homage to the original Bond theme. Swift’s haunting, atmospheric "Safe & Sound" is groundbreaking in that it paired the teen pop/country queen  with the Civil Wars, which gave her a new depth, while creating a song that deeply resonated with "Hunger Games" fans.

A slight caveat before we totally write off the men: it’s important to remember that Bon Jovi is the only one here who has actually won a Golden Globe for best original song: he won in 1990 for the title tune to “Blaze Of Glory.”

There are some notable omissions, including any of the possible contenders from “Django Unchained,” as well as any tunes from an animated feature, such as “Learn Me Right” by Birdy and Mumford & Sons from “Brave.”

The voters also stayed away from Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” which was the biggest chart hit among the potential contenders, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fellow pop stars Florence & The Machine were also ignored for “Breath of Life” from “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

And as far as these nominations being any predictor of names we’ll see again come the Oscar nominations on Jan. 10?  Don’t bet on it. For the last eight years, other than “Crazy Heart’s” “The Weary Kind,” the Golden Globe winner for Best Original Song has not even been an Oscar nominee.

Read Full Post
<p>Judd Apatow and Graham Parker on the set of Universal Pictures' &quot;This Is 40.&quot;</p>

Judd Apatow and Graham Parker on the set of Universal Pictures' "This Is 40."

Credit: AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Suzanne Hanover

Graham Parker & The Rumour thrill at 'This is 40' soundtrack release party

Judd Apatow and Paul Rudd look on as Ryan Adams and Lindsey Buckingham also play

LOS ANGELES—In Judd Apatow’s  “This is 40,” Paul Rudd plays a music executive trying to bring back British singer/songwriter Graham Parker. At last night’s sold-out show at the Roxy here, Parker proved he needs no help.

Playing his first show with his original band, The Rumour, at the venue in more than 30 years, Parker headlined the “This Is 40” soundtrack release party. Fittingly enough, Apatow opened the evening, announcing, “This is a ridiculously good show,” before sitting beside Rudd for the rest of the evening.  He was right. Also appearing on the bill were Ryan Adams and Lindsey Buckingham, both of whom have songs on the movie’s soundtrack.

Adams took the stage first for a three-song set, opening with the lovely “Shining Through The Dark,” a live version of which appears on the soundtrack. The prolific songwriter sat on a low stool for his set, making all but the crown of his head invisible for  the standing audience.  No idea how he looked, but he sounded lovely as he also ran through “Lucky Now” and “Everybody Knows,” accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar.

In a nod to Buckingham (and to Parker's band, no doubt), Adams joked “I was going to play [Fleetwood Mac's] ‘Rumours’ front to back. I was going to play it on a Casio keyboard and dress up as a vampire.”

If Adams' short opener was lovely, Buckingham, introduced by the soundtrack’s producer Jon Brion,  reached transcendence in his remarkable four-sing set. Giving a short bow to the audience before strapping on an electric guitar, Buckingham was fully engaged from the first note. He skipped his two songs on the “This Is 40” soundtrack —”Sick Of You” and “She Acts Like You— and instead played an extended, incendiary “Shut Us Down,” which appeared on Cameron Crowe’s “Elizabethtown” soundtrack. The sound man took a second to catch up, but by the time Buckingham eased into a menacing, sensual “Go Insane,” his guitar playing was crystal clear. That’s a good thing because there are few guitarists who can play with his precision, speed and melodicism. He gets more sound out of a guitar than most musicians do from a full band. A slowed-down, time-shifting, hypnotic “Never Going Back Again” followed before he wrapped with “Big Love.” He remarked on how when he originally wrote the song in 1987, the line “Looking out for love”  hinted at a sense of alienation. Now he sees the song as “a meditation on the power of change.”

The evening belonged to Graham Parker & The Rumour, who played a wide-ranging 22-song set that spanned the title track from his 1976 debut album, “Howlin’ Wind” through this year’s “Three Chords Good.”

He parted with The Rumour in 1980, not reuniting until last year when they began recording “Three Chords Good.”  All five of the original members are on tour with him: guitarists Brinsley Schwarz and Martin Belmont, bassist Andrew Bodnar, keyboardist Bob Andrews, and drummer Steve Goulding. Though it took them a few minutes to seeming get into the groove, by “Get Started, Start a Fire” (from 1988’s “The Mona Lisa’s Sister”), the band was locked into a solid groove.

Though he slightly preceded them, Parker’s music recalls his fellow angry young man/British pre-punk colleagues Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, as well as U.S. singer/songwriter John Hiatt. His literate lyrics wrapped around guitar-driven, often ska-inflected, soulful melodies, and, while embraced by critics, he never had the breakthrough in the U.S. that many anticipated for him given his songs’ infectious nature.

Now 62, his once-legendary performances are still spirited, especially when he strips off the guitar and engages with the audience, as he did on the spiky “Nobody Hurts You” and the classic “Protection,” leaning over the audience and shading his eyes on the lyric, “You wanna hide?”

His most engaging tunes remain those that embrace a rollicking twanginess, including “Hotel Chambermaid” and “What Do You Like,” which he recorded with the Punch Bros. for “This Is 40.” He also performed the atmospheric 1977 track, “Watch The Moon Come Down,” another song Apatow snagged for the soundtrack.

It was hard to tell who was having more fun: Parker or the audience, as the crowd’s loud applause brought him back for two  encores. He concluded the evening with his bounciest track, “Soul Shoes” and his sparkling cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” which he’s been performing for decades not.

Read Full Post
<p>Bruno Mars</p>

Bruno Mars

Credit: AP Photo

Bruno Mars locks Rihanna out of the Billboard Hot 100 top spot

Mars sets an impressive record in the process

The same week Bruno Mars releases “Unorthodox Jukebox,” the first single from his sophomore set ascends to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

Locked Out Of Heaven” rises one spot to end Rihanna’s “Diamonds” after three weeks at No. 1.

The song is Mars’ fourth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in a 34-month span, giving him the record for the fastest accumulation of a quartet of No. 1s  by any male artist in 48 years. You have to go back to Bobby Vinton, who scored the same trick in 30 months, starting in 1962 with “Roses Are Red (My Love)?”  Mars’ four charttoppers are  B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ On You,” which featured Mars, and then three songs as lead artist: “Just The Way You Are,” “Grenade” and, now, “Locked.”

“Diamonds” drops to No. 2 (although it spends its 10th week at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Ke$ha’s “Die Young” stays are No. 3. The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” rises one to No. 4, trading places with Maroon 5’s “One More Night,” which drops to No. 5.

Rounding out the top 10, Flo Rida’s “Cry” climbs 8-6, Phillip Phillips’ “Home” hangs out at No. 7 again, fun.’s “Some Nights” falls two places to No. 8, while  Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” stays at No. 10.

The one new entry in the Top 10 comes at No. 9 with Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat” featuring Nicki Minaj.  The track marks Minaj’s ninth Hot 100 Top 10, which ties her with Missy Elliott for the most Top 10 tunes by a female rapper.

As far as Will.I.Am's tune with Britney Spears, "Scream & Shout?" After bowing at No. 12 last week, the song already starts its decline, dropping to No. 13.
 

Read Full Post
<p>Paul McCartney</p>

Paul McCartney

Credit: AP Photo

Will Paul McCartney join Nirvana's Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic at the Sandy concert?

7 Moments to watch for on tonight's 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief

Tonight’s 12-12-12 Sandy benefit Concert in New York will be sure to be full of fun collaborations and surprises. Among the artists performing are Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys and The Who. In addition to some of the rumors already out there, we chatted with some of our sources for some other moments to keep your eyes open for at Madison Square Garden.

Here are seven things to watch for:

*Paul McCartney performing with Nirvana’s Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic. British tabloid The Sun broke this story and ran a hilarious photoshopped pic of Sir Paul in a Nirvana photo sporting Kurt Cobain’s hair. They will reportedly play a new song. McCartney and Grohl played together at this year’s Grammys, but we have no idea on if this rumor is true, and, quite frankly, we’d rather see the trio play some classic rather than a new song (though certainly not a Nirvana classic). We reached out to Grohl’s publicist who would neither “confirm nor deny” the rumor and cheekily added, “You’ll have to wait and see tonight.”

*Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.  Waters spilled the beans on his performance last night on “Last Night With Jimmy Fallon.” Vedder will join him for “Comfortably Numb,” which already has us drooling. Here’s the thing: the show is riddled with Vedder’s favorite artists. He could also show up with Springsteen or The Who, since he loves them both.

*Bruce Springsteen’s opening set. The performance order hasn’t been officially announced, but word has leaked out that Springsteen and the E Street Band will open. While hardcore fans are hoping for “Sandy (Fourth Of July),” it’s too obscure for a worldwide audience. Expect “My City of Ruins” and “We Take Care Of Our Own.” 

*Eric Clapton's guests: No word yet on who the rock god is performing with, but his dressing room says "Eric Clapton and Friends," according to one of our spies, so expect some high profile artists, who aren't already announced to possibly join him.

*Billy Joel, whose modified performance of "Miami 2017" was the hands-down highlight of the first Sandy benefit on NBC on Nov. 1 will play with his full band for the first time in three years.  He will have no special guests with him.

*The surprises. There are some names that haven’t been officially announced. One rumor we’ve heard but weren’t able to confirm that makes perfect sense is Paul Simon. How could he not be there? We heard his name from one person on the scene, while another source told us his name hadn't appeared on any schedules.  The other obvious one is Jay-Z. Though he’s not listed, we wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a walk-on at some point, perhaps during Alicia Keys’ set.

*Paul McCartney's closing jam. There’s always one for something like this where everyone still in the building shows up for a rag-tag cover. Showbiz 411 is reporting that McCartney will close the set, so expect some kind of sing-along on either “Hey Jude” or another Beatles classic, but I wouldn’t bet against “Hey Jude.”

Proceeds from the evening go to The Robin Hood Relief Fund. To donate, click here. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. ET and will air basically everywhere, including 32 TV channels and on the internet.

Read Full Post
<p>Richie Sambora</p>

Richie Sambora

Credit: Press Here

Exclusive: Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora on Wednesday's superstar Sandy benefit

Listen to his charity single for the Red Cross

Richie Sambora may be in one of the most successful rock and roll bands of all time, but the Bon Jovi guitarist says he’s just a geeky music fan like the rest of us, especially when it comes to being in the presence of some of his music heroes.

Such will be the case tomorrow night when Bon Jovi joins such acts as The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and The Who for the 12-12-12 Concert to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Donna Summer in 2009</p>

Donna Summer in 2009

Credit: AP Photo

Donna Summer, Rush, Public Enemy are in Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2013

Who has to come back again next year?

Rush fans rejoice! The power trio is one of six acts who will be inducted into the  Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2013.

The rockers, whose fans had rallied around their cause for years, will be joined by Heart, Randy Newman, Public Enemy and Donna Summer and Albert King, both of whom will be inducted posthumously.

Upon hearing of the honor, Rush’s Geddy Lee said the victory was really for the fans, who were second only to the KISS Army, in marshaling the troops to get their band inducted. “It was a cause they championed,” Lee told Rolling Stone. “I’m very relieved for them and we share this honor with them, for sure.” He also noted how happy his mom was about the news.

Newman, in his own inimitable way, expressed joy that he will be inducted, god willing, before he dies. “I’m really glad it happened when I was still around to see it.”

Heart’s Ann Wilson, who, along with Joan Jett, should have gotten in years ago,  commented to Rolling Stone, “Some people have an idea of what the shape of rock & roll is supposed to look like... We’re not really it.” My guess is that shape would be a penis.

Public Enemy becomes the fourth hip-hop act to join the hall, alongside Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys.

Among the acts on the ballot this year who did not get elected are N.W.A., Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, Procol Harum, Chic, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Marvelettes, and the Meters.

Did the Hall get it right this year?  In my mind, that’s a resounding yes. Here’s my proof: I am notoriously horrible in making predictions, but I managed to get all five inductees correct this year in this piece earlier this year. The only one I missed was Albert King because I thought only five would go in. 

This year marked the first time the public could vote for the inductees, although their voice was small: the combined public vote counted for one of the 600 ballots.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater on April 18 and will be broadcast on HBO on May. 18.

Whom do you feel should be on next year’s list?  Will Chic finally get in on its eighth nomination? Does Rush’s entry pave the way for the long list of prog rockers who are still not in? Hall & Oates? Todd Rungren? And, yes, KISS?

Read Full Post