Inside Music with Melinda Newman

Watch: Katy Perry's fascinating behind-the-scenes videos for 'Wide Awake'

Get answers to how did they do that scene?

Watch: Katy Perry's fascinating behind-the-scenes videos for 'Wide Awake'
Credit: Capitol Records

Katy Perry’s video for “Wide Awake” has been out for a minute, but now you can go behind the scenes of the MTV Video Music Award-nominated clip.

[More after the jump...]

Dee Snider tells Paul Ryan, 'We're Not Gonna Take It'

Twisted Sister frontman tells VP candidate to cut it out

<p>Dee Snider</p>

Dee Snider

Credit: NBC

Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider has joined the Silversun Pickups in telling the Republican presidential ticket to back off.

Snider issued a statement today after it came to his attention that Mitt Romney’s choice for vice president,  Rep. Paul Ryan, is using “We’re Not Gonna Take It” during campaign stops.

“I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan's use of my song "Were Not Gonna Take It" as recorded by my band Twisted Sister,” Snider said in a statement released to Talking Points Memo campaign reporter Benjy Sarlin. “There is almost nothing on which I  agree with Paul Ryan, except perhaps the use of the P90X.”

That’s more than the Silversun Pickups had in common with Romney. Last week, the LA-based alternative group issued a cease-and-desist letter to Romney’s campaign after it used their song, “Panic Switch.” A Romney campaign spokesperson responded that “Panic Switch” was “not a song we would have played intentionally.” 


Justin Bieber heads to 'The Simpsons' to shake up Springfield

Will the teen idol play himself?

<p>Lisa Simpson and The Bieb</p>

Lisa Simpson and The Bieb

Justin Bieber is coming to Springfield. The teen idol will appear as himself on an episode of “The Simpsons” that airs in 2013.

Bieber tweeted about that he did a voice over for the show, declaring it “swaggy.”  Then “The Simpsons” executive producer Al Jean gave more details to Entertainment Weekly: “He tries to get into a talent show that Bart is playing piano in and they won’t admit him,” Jean said. “Draw your own conclusions.” Hmmmm. Who will have the bigger crush on him? Lisa or Milhouse?

The episode is called “The Fabulous Faker Boy,” which might give us more of a hint about the plot. Among the other famous names who will appear as voice guests on the 24th season of the animated show are Natalie Portman, Steve Carrell, Zooey Deschanel, Anne Hathaway, and Edward Norton, according to EW. The new season premieres Sept. 30.

Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' tops the Billboard Hot 100

The record-setting single ends Flo Rida's brief ride at No. 1

<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Taylor Swift lands her first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with style this week as  “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” rockets from No. 72 to the top spot.

Swift had previously peaked at No. 2 twice before. "Never" got plenty of airplay, but it was digital downloads that really fueled the blast to the top: “Never” sold 623,000 copies, making it the highest selling sales week ever for a female artist. (The overall No. 1 belongs to Flo Rida’s “Right Round” with 636,000 in 2009).

Speaking of, Flo Rida’s “Whistle” slips to No. 2 after one week at the top, according to Billboard. Swift’s ascent pushes every song in the top 5 down a notch: Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” goes 2-3, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” 3-4 and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” 4-5.

In the bottom half of the Top 10, fun.’s second top 10, “Some Nights” rises 8-6 and Maroon 5’s “Payphone” falls out of the top 5 for the first time in its 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, dropping 5-7. But there’s good news as well for the Adam Levine-led group as “One More Night,” the follow-up to “Payphone” makes it arrival into the Top 10, jumping 15-9.

“Night” is one of two new entries in the Top 10: Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean moves up four notches to No. 8.

David Guetta’s “Titanium” featuring Sia closes out to Top 10 dropping from 7 to 10.

Alanis Morissette talks 'Havoc,' addiction and motherhood

And her love of purses

<p>Alanis Morissette</p>

Alanis Morissette

“I’m as shallow as you can get,” a charming Alanis Morissette surprisingly confessed at a Los Angeles event, and then proceeded to prove just the opposite.

The small gathering, held at Sonos Studios in Hollywood, featured a Q&A conducted by Billboard's Phil Gallo, with Morissette about the making of her new album, “Havoc And Bright Lights,” as well as a mini-concert by the Grammy winner.

[More after the jump...]

Watch: Garbage swims into a 'Big Bright World' in new video

Is Shirley Manson a vision of life or death?



It may be a “Big Bright World,” as the song’s title indicates, but for the video for the tune, Garbage sees things pretty much in black and white, at least at the start.

[More after the jump...]

Taylor Swift reunites with the top of the charts with 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

Could the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100?

Taylor Swift reunites with the top of the charts with 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together'

It’s a sweet reunion for Taylor Swift and the Billboard charts this week as her new single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” will set a number of records. She could also land at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song, which the singer introduced via a YouTube fan chat last Monday, likely sold more than 600,000 digital downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Although the final numbers are still being tabulated, according to Billboard, that would make it the best selling week ever for a female artist, topping Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok.” If Swift managed to sell more than 636,000, she will claim the title for all-time top seller, surpassing Flo Rida’s “Right Round.”

Though we won’t know where Swift leaps to on the Billboard Hot 100 after debuting at No. 72 last week based on only a few hours of sales, until Wednesday, it is possible that she could soar to the top spot. She is guaranteed a top 5 spot, according to Billboard. The Hot 100 combines digital sales and radio airplay.

This week she will come in at No. 13 on Billboard Hot Country Songs, at No. 16 on Adult Contemporary, No. 18 on Mainstream Top 40 and No. 21 on Adult Top 40. The high numbers were aided by Clear Channel playing the song at the top of the hour for the first 24 hours of its release.

"Never" is the first single from Swift's fourth studio album, "Red," out Oct. 22.

Album Review: Owl City's 'The Midsummer Station' soars from high to low

Adam Young exalts and despairs in equal measure

<p>Owl City's &quot;The Midsummer Station&quot;</p>

Owl City's "The Midsummer Station"

When Owl City first swooped onto the pop scene  with 2009’s  “Fireflies,” he was frequently compared to The Postal Service with good reason: The synthesized pop sound and twee factor were similarly high.

On “The Midsummer Station,”  Owl City (aka Adam Young) pairs with other producers and songwriters for the first time,  and the result is a slight expansion of his sound that renders it just as recognizable, but marginally more diverse and slightly less precious.

Lest that sound like a swipe, part of Young’s appeal is his relentless positivity in many songs, often delivered with a keening earnestness that lends itself to teenage girls and misfit kids who want someone to tell them that it will all be okay. His ability to accomplish that alone is a reason to cheer for him.  On
“Shooting Star,” he crosses Katy Perry’s “Firework” with any host of  David Guetta songs for an uplifting anthem. “Embers” treads a similar path, but with its encouraging words —including “It gets better”— it  could serve as a theme for the gay anti-bullying campaign of the same name.

When Young’s not riding unicorns into the sunset and looking up at the stars (one of his favorite themes), then he’s in the depths of despair. “Silhouette” veers from the standard formula in that it starts on a real piano instead of synths and poignantly addresses a pain brought on by Young’s own action that has left him feeling obliterated and exhausted, yet unable to move on. The deliberate quietness of the production adds to the feeling of self-imposed solitude.  On “Take It All Away,” his only prayer is to keep it together until the person who has  broken his heart leaves so she doesn’t see him crumble.

The album’s sweet spot comes with “Good Time,” his duet with It Girl, Carly Rae Jepsen. The pop charmer, which has already breached the Hot 100’s Top 15, draws heavily from Perry’s “California Gurls” chorus, but stands on its own as a proper summer anthem. Their voices suit the song well.

“Dementia” features Blink 182‘s Mark Hoppus,which automatically makes it the album’s hardest driving track. Lyrically, it’s a look at Young’s fast developing fame and what it did to his head following “Fireflies.”  “This is love, this is war, this is pure insanity,” he sings.

The outside writers and producers seemingly show their influence the most in the music. While too many of the songs still sound too similar and too reliant on the same synth beats, “Gold” had a stomp that makes it stand out. “I’m Coming After You” ultimately  doesn’t succeed because Young’s too sincere to pull off the cheekiness of the lyrical twists, but he sings in a bolder, stronger fashion that shows a different side of him worth exploring.

Young saves the best track for last: “Metropolis,” a tune about coming home to the only one who “gets me,” has a depth and different lyrical theme than most of his songs. Plus the strings add a pleasing dimension.

In many ways, “The Midsummer Station” feels like  it was made by an artist in transition. If he’s willing to keep stepping out of his comfort zone, it will be worthwhile to see what Young does next.

Girls rule this week's edition of Music Power Rankings

Taylor Swift, Spice Girls, Pussy Riot and more

<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: Theron Kirkman/AP

1. Pussy Riot: The female Russian punk band receives a two-year sentence for “hooliganism,” while the world’s eyes turn toward Russia. We haven’t heard the last of this by a long shot.

2. Taylor Swift: She announces Oct. 22 as the release date for her fourth studio album. Everyone she’s ever dated updates their passports and starts booking flights out of the country.

3. Spice Girls: The fab five has a triumphant return at Olympics and there are rumors of a new reunion tour.  Girl Power indeed.

4. Mumford & Sons:
Anticipation zooms for “Babel,” as the British folk rockers first single from the new set, “I Will Wait,” bows on rock songs at no. 14 with 5 million impressions.

5. Ellie Varner: RB& upstart comes roaring onto the Billboard 200 at No. 4 with perfect “Perfectly Imperfect.”

6. YouTube:
A new survey reveals that YouTube tops any other media for teens when it comes to listening to music. In another striking result, 9% of adults said they listen to cassettes. Wonder what the number is for 8-tracks?

7. Janelle Monae
The “Tightrope” singer becomes a Cover Girl spokesperson. Hopefully folks will get to know her as more than the guest singer on “We Are Young.”

8. Silversun Pickups: The band tells the Romney campaign to quit using their song, “Panic Switch,” without their permission--or at all.

9. Dave Mustaine: Megadeth leader accuses President Obama of “staging”  the Aurora, Colo. deaths.  Why is there no Dixie Chicks-like backlash? Oh yeah, they actually had a career to harm when they made their (much less offensive) comments.

10. Flo Rida:
It turns out a whistle beats a phone call when it comes to reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The rapper’s paean to certain sexual delights finally knocks Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” out of No. 1. Put your lips together and blow.

It's No. 1 for rapper 2 Chainz on next week's Billboard 200

It's true, his 'Based on a 'T.R.U.' Story' is poised to bow at the top

<p>2 Chainz</p>

2 Chainz

Credit: Jeff Daly/AP

Rapper 2 Chainz will take his first major label studio album to the top of the Billboard 200 next week, as “Based on a T.R.U. Story” will handily bow at No. 1.

The title from the ubiquitous artist, who's recently collaborated with Nicki Minaj and Kanye West,  will sell up to 140,000 copies, that’s 60,000 more than the projected sales for “Now 43,” this week’s No. 1 seller, which will drop to No. 2, according to Hits Daily Double.

The only other new contender in the Top 10 will be Insane Clown Posse’s “The Might Death Pop,” which could bow at No. 4, the highest position the band’s last effort, 2009’s “Bang! Pow! Boom!,” reached.

With no Amazon .99-cent special propelling an unlikely title up into the top the chart as has happened the past two weeks (Hello Frank Sinatra and Bee Gees!), the Top 10 shifts back to familiar current names.   Rick Ross’s former No. 1, “God Forgives, I Don’t,” will likely fall slightly to No. 3.  Justin Bieber’s “Believe,” Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” and One Direction’s “Up All Night” are in a dead heat for the No. 5 spot. 

Similarly, both Zac Brown Band’s “Unchained” and Adele’s “21” are too close to call  for the No. 8 spot. (Will this be “21” last week in the top 10? It could be...after nearly 20 months of never falling out of the top 10).  Likely to land at No. 10 is  Kidz Bop Kids’  “Kidz Bop 22.”

After making a huge splash this week by debuting at No. 4 with “Perfectly Imperfect,” new arist Ellie Varner falls out of the top 15.

The new chart will be released next Wednesday.

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