<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Live Blogging the Grammy Nominations Concert Live

Performances from Maroon 5, The Who, and a few nominations

9:55 p.m.: The Grammy Nominations Concert Live starts in a few minutes. Instead of announcing the nominations for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards at the crack of dawn, like any good awards show, the Grammys decided a few years ago to make the announcement into a special event...sort of a mini-Grammys with performances and big acts reeling off the names of a the nominees in a few select categories.

10:03: It can only go up from here. The show opens with the most cliched of cliches: that a black person can't possibly be up on country music and know what a honky tonk is. That follows with Taylor Swift, or T-Swizzle, turning into a beat box while LL Cool J horribly sings a few lines of "Mean." It's going to be a long hour.

10:05: The Grammys have to go back a few decades to find a real legend: we switch to footage of Johnny Cash who is then honored by Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry, who duet on "Jackson." Better that than "Ring of Fire," but sometimes an homage just feels like a pale imitation.

10:08:  Country cutie Hunter Hayes performs a medley of the songs from the albums up for Pop Vocal Album (though no one actually announces the category). Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger,"  Florence & the Machine's "Ceremonials," fun.'s "Some Nights," Maroon 5's "Overexposed," and Pink's "The Truth About Love" are the nominees for Pop Vocal Album. Their joy at being nominated we're sure mitigates the fact that Hayes completely butchered most of the songs.

10:15: Maroon 5 is performing a medley of all their hits they've had in the past year, which is considerable, especially given that the band was on the verge of extinction until Adam Levine's stint on "The Voice" revived the band: "One More Night," "Moves Like Jagger" (no Xtina) and "Daylight." No "Payphone."

10:21: "Lonely Boy," The Black Keys; "Stronger," Kelly Clarkson," "We Are Young," fun., "Somebody That I Used To Know," Gotye, "Thinking About You," Frank Ocean," and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," Taylor Swift are the nominees for record of the year. In my predictions, I thought that "We Are Young" and "Somebody" weren't eligible because they started being worked to radio prior to the Sept. 30 eligibility period, but that's clearly not the case. That changes everything...

10: 23: I'm not sure why we have footage of the Who playing from their Nashville show earlier in the week as an outro, but we do. Maybe because it was their first concert in Nashville? Hard to believe, but true!

10:28: Luke Bryan performs "I Don't Want This Night To End."  Perhaps in deference to the occasion, he's not sporting his usual baseball cap. I have a friend who counts the number of times that Bryan switches his cap from forwards to backwards on concert. I think it's about 2,439 times usually. It's a smoke-plume, confetti-dropping energetic performance that they should have saved to close the show. He sounds a little flat, but it's a good overall performance from a country performer who it's been fun to watch get better and better.

10:31 Little Big Town is singing "Yesterday" in tribute to the Beatles who won best new artist. Why not "Afternoon Delight" for Starland Vocal Band?  The nominees are Alabama Shakes, fun., Hunter Hayes, The Lumineers and Frank Ocean. That sound you hear? Ten million One Direction fans rushing to Twitter to denounce the horror of it all!

10:39: Fun, who already has three nominations tonight, is performing "We Are Young," or as I like to call it, the Record of The Year. It will win and they will win best new artist. It's a beautifully produced record and the performance tonight  with Janelle Monae will garner them votes...even though it's a little rough around the edges. Plus, just listen to Nate Ruess sing...

10:51: Ne-Yo brings down the house with "Let Me Love You (Until You Can Love Yourself)." Love him. Nominations for best country solo performance: "Home," Dierks Bentley;  "Springsteen,"  Eric Church; "Cost of Livin'," Ronnie Dunn, "Wanted," Hunter Hays, Blake Shelton, "Over," and Carrie Underwood's "Blown Away." What? 

10:55: Album of the year nominees: "El Camino,""Black Keys, "Some Nights," fun., "Babel," Mumford & Sons, "Channel Orange," Frank Ocean, and "Blunderbuss," Jack White.

10:58: Maroon 5 close out the evening with "Payphone." Off to look at the full list of nominations. Keep tuning in to Hitfix throughout the night as we dive deep into the nominations and who, besides One Direction, was snubbed, and who, like Fun. and Frank Ocean, are already big winners.

 

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<p>Rihanna</p>

Rihanna

Credit: AP Photo

Rihanna shines atop the Billboard Hot 100 for another week

Will.I.Am and Britney Spears make a big splash

Rihanna continues to shine brightly atop the Billboard Hot 100 as “Diamonds’ mines a third week at No. 1.

“Diamonds” hold in the pole position is strengthened by the song’s rise to No. 1 on Billboard’s Radio Songs chart. The song spends its ninth week atop Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, according to Billboard.

“Diamonds” locks Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” out of the top spot as the soulful singer’s new single leaps 4-2. “Locked” pushes Ke$ha’s “Die Young” out of the secondary slot, down one to No. 3.  In turn, “Die Young” displaces Maroon 5’s former chart topper, “One More Night,” down from No. 3 to No. 4.

The Lumineers score their first top 5 as “Ho Hey” climbs 7-5.

The bottom half of the Top 10 finds fun.s’ “Some People” hanging at No. 6, while Phillip Phillips’ “Home” rises 8-7.  Flo Rida’s “I Cry” also rises one spot to No. 8. Ne-Yo’s “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)” inches 10-9 and Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” forever locked out of the No. 1 spot at seven weeks at No. 2, likely sees its last week in the Top 10 as it falls 5-10.

Two big moves just outside of the Billboard Hot 100: Alicia Keys’ “Girl On Fire” leaps 21-11 as the album of the same name bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.  Also, “Scream & Shout” from Will.I.Am featuring Britney Spears bows at No. 12, bolstered largely by digital sales.



 

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<p>Lady Gaga vs. Jack White</p>

Lady Gaga vs. Jack White

Credit: AP Photo

A few thoughts on Jack White's non-apology to Lady Gaga

When in doubt, compliment someone's charity work

When is an apology not an apology? When it comes from Jack White. As you may have seen earlier today, the former White Stripes front man seemingly went after Lady Gaga in a story in the UK edition of Esquire. In a excerpt from the piece, he said of Momma Monster: “I don’t think she lives it because it’s all artifice...It’s all image with no meaning behind it. You can’t sink your teeth into it. It’s a sound bite. It’s very of this age because that’s what people want.”

Shortly thereafter, he walked back a little and clarified his comments via a statement, but in our mind, he only made it worse.

He doesn’t go after Esquire; he goes after the NME, whom he says took his comments out of context in a blogpost on their site. The quote we posted above is taking directly from Esquire’s site.  Regardless, he stresses that, even to Esquire, he “never said anything about her music or questioned the authenticity of her songs in any way. I was in a conversation about the drawbacks of image for the sake of image....I don’t like my comment about Lady Gaga’s presentation being changed into some sort of negative critique of her music.”

So then here in his statement, when he had a chance to say something about Lady Gaga’s music, he did not. Instead, he said, “Peace to Lady Gaga and I fully congratulate and compliment her on her championing of gay rights issues and the momentum it’s given to help create change.”

That’s nice, but it’s a little like if someone asks you, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” and you answer “I love that purse!  Where did you get it?” It’s as if he really wanted to say something nice about Lady Gaga and her, admittedly swell, championing of gay rights was it.  Maybe he also would like to comment on what a nice bouquet her perfume has?

While we’re at it, no, White doesn’t dress up in a meat suit, but he’s worked plenty hard to cultivate his own image of a hat-wearing, pale-faced rocker who likes to see himself as an acolyte of blues and rock greats of yore. And that’s fine. Everyone has an image. For as much as Lady Gaga’s fame is based on style, it’s also based on a very real substance that makes her fans feel tremendously connected to her. Whether that’s because of her music or because of a tweet, that doesn’t seem like artifice to me.

Though he had no comment on her music for Esquire or in his new statement, a few years ago he said he channeled her when writing the music for The Dead Weather’s track, “The Difference Between Us.”  He said, according to AceShowbiz, “I was thinking of the type of song a contemporary musician would write so I started thinking about [Lady Gaga]. I starting thinking of how she would write the music to this song and got quite into being Lady Gaga in an odd way.”

So even if he’s not a fan, it looks like she’s seeped into his pores, nonetheless. Just as she has with the rest of us. No reply yet about all this from Lady Gaga, who, according to her Twitter page, is too busy working with the United Nations on her compassion campaign to worry about this kind of stuff.

Lest we take any of this too seriously, White certainly lets us know that he isn't above poking plenty of fun at his own musical detractors. On the landing page of his website are two comments from critics that are hilariously negative, including "His songs are often little more than de-fanged blues, lacking the passion and grizzled realness that makes the genre speak to so many people." 

Maybe we all just need to lighten up.

 




 

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Watch: The Band Perry plays dress-up in video for 'Better Dig Two'

Watch: The Band Perry plays dress-up in video for 'Better Dig Two'

HitFix
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Readers
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Someone takes her wedding vows very seriously

Don’t mess with Kimberly Perry. As the video shows for “Better Dig Two,” The Band Perry’s new murder ballad, she takes “til death do us part” literally. The clip debuted on CMT.com today.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Trent Reznor in the trailer for &quot;Sound City&quot;</p>

Trent Reznor in the trailer for "Sound City"

Watch the new trailer for Dave Grohl's 'Sound City' documentary

Film chronicles legendary California studio's rise and fall

If this trailer for “Sound City” doesn’t simultaneously make your pulse race and make you tear up a little, then you might want to go ahead and crawl back into bed and contemplate if your heart is three sizes too small.

As previously reported, the Dave Grohl-directed documentary, which will have its grand coming out party at Sundance in January, lovingly details the Van Nuys, Calif’s studios rise—it’s where Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was recorded along with several other classics— as well as its fall when it failed to keep up with the digital times.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Bruno Mars</p>

Bruno Mars

Credit: NBC

Listen to Bruno Mars' and Green Day's new albums one week early

Both sets are streaming now

Tre,” the third in Green Day’s fall trilogy of albums, doesn’t drop until Dec. 11, but fans can hear the album in its entirety starting today on the band’s website.

Originally slated to come out in January, “Tre” follows “Uno,” which came out in September, and “Dos,” released in November.  The group moved up the album’s release as a treat for the fans after Green Day had to cancel most of the promo activities around the release of the trilogy due to lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s decision to enter rehab.

“Quatro,” a documentary about the making of the trilogy, recently premiered on VH1. A longer version will be released in 2013.

Additionally, Bruno Mars’ sophomore set, “Unorthodox Jukebox,” which includes the hit “Locked Out Of Heaven,” also begins streaming today, a week before its release. Hear it here.  Yesterday, Mars previewed another song from the album, the beautiful “When I Was Your Man.”

We’ll have full reviews of both albums next week.




 

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Listen: Bruno Mars breaks your heart with 'When I Was Your Man'
Credit: Atlantic Records

Listen: Bruno Mars breaks your heart with 'When I Was Your Man'

HitFix
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Readers
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It's too late to turn back now

When Bruno Mars called his debut album “Doo Wops and Hooligans,” it was clear this was a young artist with a strong sense of the musical history that had gone before him.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Ke$ha's &quot;Warrior&quot;</p>

Ke$ha's "Warrior"

Credit: RCA Records

Album Review: Ke$ha's looking for nothing but a good time on 'Warrior'

HitFix
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Readers
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The night goes on forever on her new set

On 2010’s “Animal”and its companion follow-up, “Cannibal,” Ke$ha sounded like a bratty little sister to Pink and Katy Perry. On “Warrior,”  out Dec. 4, she makes her bid to push them out of the way for good and makes a case for her disposable, of-the-moment, liquor-soaked, trashy pop.

Ke$ha’s music provides the template for wanna-be party girls, who start to get itchy for the weekend around Wednesday afternoon. Just like those girls, who teeter precariously on 6-inch stilettos about to topple over outside of clubs that won’t let them in, her music feels just as precarious. It’s well-crafted in its patchwork fashion, but feels like it could fall apart at any moment and won’t be remembered in the headachy haze of Sunday morning’s hangover.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>The Killers' &quot;I Feel It In My Bones&quot;</p>

The Killers' "I Feel It In My Bones"

Listen: The Killers' new Christmas single 'I Feel It In My Bones'

Festive romp benefits charity

Christmas brings with it mistletoe, egg nog, elves, Santa, and, for the last six years, a charity single from The Killers.

The Las Vegas-based group revealed its seven annual stocking stuffer, “I Feel It In My Bones,” over the weekend on Rollingstone.com. In the retro, ringing, ‘80s  guitar-driven rocker, Brandon Flowers is writing his annual letter to Santa, and their relationship has been, to put it bluntly, a little rocky. Santa still thinks he’s been a little more naughty than nice and it’s going to take a lot of convincing to talk him out of delivering a lump of coal.

“Hey Kringle, you mean to say when you were young, it never got wild,” Flowers calls out to Santa, who’s having none of it and has decided to make an example out of this bad boy.  

Amid the ringing sleigh bells and hollow-sounding “Ho, ho, ho,” this Santa has one heck of a sinister laugh going on that would even give the Grinch the willies.

The band’s drummer, Ronnie Vannucci, told NME that the song is a “reworking” of a demo from  “Battle Born” writing sessions. "This song was basically started a while back and we just finished it and changed it into more of a Christmas song. It was mixed by Alan Moulder, he did it when we were over in the UK a couple of weeks ago."

The big-hearted (if not-big boned) rockers will donate all proceeds from the sale of the song to (RED), which fights the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa. It will be available starting Dec. 4 on iTunes.  A video, shot in both the U.K. and Las Vegas, will be released shortly.

Hear the track here.

 

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<p>Rihanna</p>

Rihanna

Credit: John Shearer/AP

Music Power Rankings: Rihanna, Michael Jackson, and Adele top the list

Dr. Dre makes the list too, but not for making music

1. Rihanna: It took seven albums in seven years to get there, but Rihanna finally grabs the brass ring:  “Unapologetic” is her first album to land at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

2. Michael Jackson:
“Thriller” turns 30. The best-selling U.S. studio album of all time has aged remarkably gracefully. The way it makes us feel? Still thrilling after all these years.

3. Dr. Dre: He tops Forbes list of the highest-paid musicians in 2012 with $110 million. Did he achieve this feat by putting out an album or touring this year? No, he did not. He did it from selling his Beats headphone line. There’s a lesson to be learned there.

4. Adele: “21,” the British singer’s sophomore set, hits Diamond status in the U.S. for sales of more than 10 million. In a lovely bit of synchronicity, it is the 21st album to achieve that milestone since the launch of SoundScan in 1991.

5. Psy: The S. Korean rapper ponies his way to the top of YouTube as “Gangnam Style” becomes the most watched video ever on the internet channel, surpassing 830 million. Dropping to second place? Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” Oh baby, baby, baby.

6. Pussy Riot: The jailed Russian trio are up for Time’s Person of the Year. We don’t think they should win, but we certainly hope they beat fellow nominee “Shades of Grey” author E.L. James.
 
7. Gotye: In addition to sweeping the Australian ARIA Awards, his breakthrough hit, “Somebody That I Used to Know,”  is Spotify’s top song of the year. Somebody just make an extra .95 cents in streaming royalties.

8. Rolling Stones: The Glimmer Twins, plus some Stones old and new, kick off their very limited 50th anniversary tour in London and they all are still standing...even Keef.

9. Rod Stewart: His “Merry Christmas Baby” is looking like the holiday album of the season for 60+ crowd. Now get off my lawn and pass the eggnog.

10. Swizz Beatz:
The producer/recording artist announces that he will just release singles from now on instead of albums. Wait, he’s released albums before?

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