Lady Gaga has big plans for “ARTPOP,” which, as we can tell by the use of all CAPS for its title, will be a very, very, very important album.
In a talk with her followers on LittleMonsters.com, she is considering releasing two volumes of the epic, according to Idolator. The first edition, out in Spring, and dubbed by LG as “VOL 1,” “should have all the commercial songs, and then save the experimental material. [But] to be honest even the experimental stuff is catchy. VOL 1 is a bit more modern.” She would release the experimental version a few months later.
Here’s the thing about Lady Gaga: she has, to her credit, really helped redefine the parameters of pop over the last few years. She plays with sonics, time signatures, and busts the door down on preconceived notions, so while a traditional and experimental versions may be smart marketing tools or, let’s give her credit, better expressions of how she’s like for her music to be presented, there’s no need to separate the two in our book.
During her chat, she also revealed a few details: “Princess Die,” a ballad that addresses suicide that she premiered on the road, will not likely make either volume. “I don’t think ‘Princess Die’ will make the cut, but I wrote another version of ‘Princess Die’ that is uptempo. ‘Princess Die’ isn’t as good as all the other songs I wrote.”
She also noted there is a “hip-hop/j-pop/pop song” on the album that is “more underground Chicago gay club trap” than traditional hip-hop.
We also know from previous communiques from Lady Gaga, that she has collaborated with both Kendrick Lamar and Azealia Banks and that the album will include some kind of sequel to “Telephone,” with or without Beyonce.
Who knows, maybe there will even be a collaboration with Calvin Harris after LG and the Scottish DJ kissed and made up yesterday via Twitter.
Lady Gaga has big plans for “ARTPOP,” which, as we can tell by the use of all CAPS for its title, will be a very, very, very important album.
The 46th annual CMA Awards air live Thursday on ABC from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, who have developed true chemistry and comedic timing in their four previous years as hosts, are back. This year's program promises plenty of drama, including will Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert continue to be king and queen of the country prom? They've snagged male and female vocalist for the past two years. Will other multiple-year consecutive winners such as Lady Antebellum and Sugarland continue their streaks?
Among the performers, many of whom are debuting new songs, are Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Jason Aldean, top nominee Eric Church, Kelly Clarkson, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band and Keith Urban.
It’s been a strong year for country music and there continues to be an infusion of new, exciting talent. Below are my predictions on who will take home the big prizes. Short version: It's Eric Church's night.
We’ll be live blogging the CMAs, so join us here at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Nov. 1 for all the action.
ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
All of these artists are great brand ambassadors for country music, which is an unspoken part of this award. Having said that, I would have swapped out Blake Shelton for Lady Antebellum, who had a tremendously successful world tour this year. While it’s easy to judge this solely on their live shows, the CMA tends to award someone more for all-around strength. Having seen all the nominees in concert over the past year or so, if it were solely on concert merit, I would give the award to either Chesney or Paisley, but Aldean’s star is rising and he’s now, like Chesney, risen to the stadium level. Combine that with his tremendous album sales and he’s the winner.
Will Win: Jason Aldean
FEMALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
Hmmm. Let’s review, shall we? Kelly Clarkson is a pop star who occasionally crosses over (very credibly and well) into country music. Taylor Swift is a former country star who is really now a pop star. The overall weakness in this category shows how dominated country music is right now by male artists. McBride has the purest voice of the bunch, but the past winner won’t take home the trophy this year. Underwood’s voice is unbelievable as well. She’s the best singer to ever come out of “American Idol” (sorry, Kelly). Reigning winner Lambert is on a roll that shows no signs of stopping--nor should it.
Will Win: Miranda Lambert
MALE VOCALIST OF THE YEAR
These are all solid hit makers and each is leaving his own mark on country music right now. It also shows the changing the guard: Urban is the only one that any of us had heard of 10 years ago (even though reigning champ Shelton was making records already, he didn’t really break through until a few years ago and then, since “The Voice,” has really exploded. Church, who is the most nominated artist this year, has carved out a slow and steady career for himself that seems about to bust wide open. His twang is instantly recognizable and CMA voters like the ring of stubborn authenticity he brings to the format.
Will Win: Eric Church
VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
The Band Perry
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band
What was I saying about how strong solo males are in country right now? So are groups. This category rises and falls, but has a bumper crop this year. LBT has put out the best album of its career, ZBB brings lots of younger fans into the format who listen to way more than country music. Eli Young Band has momentum with last year’s “Crazy Girl” and then “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” Lady A and TBP just keep getting stronger. While it may not be fair, it feels like it’s time to give Lady A a little bit of a rest from competition this year after the trio snagged the award the past three years.
Will Win: Eli Young Band
VOCAL DUO OF THE YEAR
Big & Rich
Love and Theft
The Civil Wars
Perennially one of the weakest categories with the CMA often resorting to tired duos who have not received a lick of airplay in years to round it out, the vocal duo of the year category is having a little bit of a resurgence this year. For more than a decade, it was dominated by Brooks & Dunn and lesser acts, and then Sugarland took over the title. This year, five-time winner Sugarland is one of the weaker offerings (they didn’t put out a new album during the eligibility period, though they toured). Big & Rich came rebounding back, while Love and Theft is gaining momentum and Thompson Square had its biggest hit so far. The Civil Wars are astounding and are definitely country leaning, despite the fact that country radio doesn’t care about them.
Will Win: Thompson Square
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Love and Theft
This tremendously strong slate features new acts all of whom have scored major hits this year (even if, like Brice and Gilbert, they have been around as songwriters for awhile helping other artists have hits). Having said that, it feels like a race between Hunter Hayes, Brantley Gilbert and Thompson Square, with Thompson Square seeming like the elder statesmen of the category. At 21, Hayes seems to represent young country, and country loves lauding artists who help lower the aging demographic. Plus, “Wanted,” which he co-wrote,” is a killer track.
Will Win: Hunter Hayes
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Luke Bryan, Tailgates and Tanlines
Eric Church, Chief
Miranda Lambert, Four the Record
Dierks Bentley, Home
Lady Antebellum, Own the Night
It's a toss-up between Lambert's "Four The Record" and Church's "Chief," both of which were critical favorites (though Lambert's album not so much as her previous efforts including 2010 winner "Revolution"). Bryan's album seems like the weakest link here, but there's no denying his appeal and he is very liked in Nashville. For all its strength, "Own The Night" is not Lady A's best album.
Will Win: "Chief"
SONG OF THE YEAR (Award goes to songwriters)
Eli Young Band, "Even if It Breaks Your Heart" - written by Will Hoge and Eric Paslay
Blake Shelton, "God Gave Me You" - written by Dave Barnes
Dierks Bentley, "Home" - written by Dierks Bentley, Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers
Miranda Lambert, "Over You" - written by Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton
Eric Church, "Springsteen" - written by Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell
Since this award goes to the songwriters, I always think of how the song would sound accompanied only by acoustic guitar or piano. Stripping down a song to its core elements is usually a good way to judge it. “Over You,” written about Shelton’s brother, is heartbreaking and a strong contender. It’s going to be a close race between “Over You” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” which took on a collective meaning for anyone who’s ever pursued a dream. A the selections show, the CMA tends to favor songs with "meaning," over fluff.
Will Win: “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”
SINGLE OF THE YEAR (Award goes to artist and producer)
Jason Aldean, "Dirt Road Anthem"
Blake Shelton, "God Gave Me You"
Dierks Bentley, "Home"
Little Big Town, "Pontoon"
Eric Church, "Springsteen"
“Dirt Road Anthem” seems a little too past its prime to still be forefront in voters’ minds. “God Gave Me You” is a syrupy ballad and “Pontoon,” as summer-loving fun as it is, is a trifle (though it did provide LBT with its first No. 1). “Home” hits all the right notes: patriotic without being jingoistic. However, it’s Eric Church’s year...and, apparently, Springsteen’s too.
Will Win: “Springsteen”
Kelly Clarkson and Vince Gill take a trip back to the early ‘80s with “Don’t Rush,” a duet featured on the “American Idol” champ’s “Greatest Hits- Chapter One” set coming Nov. 19.
With its soft rock, adult contemporary production and Gill’s tasteful guitar lines, the song sounds like it could be on the charts right beside Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “Islands in the Stream” or Air Supply’s “All Out Of Love.” There’s even a pause before the key change at the end. It's as different as "Don't You Wanna Stay," her duet with Jason Aldean, could be.
[More after the jump...]
It’s ‘til death do us part” and beyond for The Band Perry on new single, “Better Dig Two.”
The sibling trio, who struck both pop and country pay dirt last year with “If I Die Young,” released the first single from their sophomore set today, even though the album won’t come out until next Spring.
Produced by Rick Rubin, the track is a dark ballad about a woman, who took a vow to never divorce her husband, so if he goes before her, the gravedigger better “dig two” because she’s following soon after. Listen to it here. We'll embed it as soon as Rolling Stone's exclusive runs out.
“Let the stone say, ‘Here lies a girl whose only crutch was loving a man a little too much’,” Kimberly Perry sings in one of her most-understated, yet best vocals. She never blatantly threatens to kill him, but it’s clear that if his ring should start to slip off, there’s going to be trouble, especially if she sees him "with someone else." As she hauntingly sings at the end, “I told you on the day we wed, I was going to love you ‘til I was dead.”
The song’s spare production, bolstered by a meaty banjo intro, serves it well and makes it even more spooky, just in time for Halloween. The tune builds in intensity (and instrumentation) as Perry's vocal grows more and more impassioned. It feels like something out of a western. It's a shame it's too late for Kevin Costner's "Hatfield & McCoys."
The trio, who just wrapped up a tour with Brad Paisley, will debut the song on the CMA Music Awards this Thursday on ABC.
Man, they both need to let it go. Lady Gaga and Calvin Harris are in a He said/She said Twitter fight after Harris told morning show "BBC Breakfast" that he passed on working with her... in 2008.
Well, as you can imagine, this did not go over too well with Momma Monster. The Scottish DJ says the request came from her label and it was before she was very big. And he passed because he didn’t like the songs, which were none of "the big songs," and was too busy.
Earlier today, Lady Gaga took to Twitter, where she makes all her pronouncements these days, to call Harris a liar, and to accuse him of dropping her name to help promote his own project, “18 Months,” which comes out tomorrow (if you ask us, between working with Rihanna, Florence Welch, Ellie Goulding and Ne-Yo, he doesn’t really need her help to get the word out).
“Never even emailed you @calvinharris I guess it’s hard to believe I write + produce my music. cuz I’m a woman I don’t know about EDM right?,” she tweeted. We’re not really sure why she brings gender into this and, also, some of her co-producers, like RedOne, might be a little surprised to hear she doesn’t need them.
Anyway, Harris didn’t back down and responded, via tweet, according to entertainmentwise, that her label had emailed him about working with her. He then mentioned that he's a fan and he apologized if he offended her. His tweet has since been taken down.
They may not be working together any time soon, but Lady Gaga is working with Tony Bennett again. After the two fell in love with each other while recording “The Lady Is A Tramp” for his 2011 “Duets” album, they now plan to make an entire jazz album together, according to Billboard.
Bennett says that Lady Gaga’s father, Daddy Gaga (actually, his real name is Joseph Germanotta) contacted him recently to suggest doing a complete album of jazz tunes, though he’s mum on revealing any of the titles. They will work together with arranger/orchestrator Marion Evans.
“It’s going to really reaffirm that [Gaga’s] one of the best jazz singers that anyone’s ever heard,” Bennett says.
No word on when the two plan to go into the studio: Bennett’s new album, “Viva Duets,” bowed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 recently, and Gaga is finishing “ARTPOP,” which will come out in 2013.
UPDATE: Rest easy, all is now well between Lady Gaga and Calvin Harris. Following his semi-apology yesterday, she followed suit and tweeted: "@Calvin Harris thanks for the apology & explaining. My apologies too. Congratulations on your album. Wish you well. Cheers." And then she went to her label and yelled at whomever had asked him to work with her...
The first leg of Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” tour doesn’t end for another two weeks, but she has already announced a 2013 leg.
Today, Underwood unleashed another 40 dates on her website, starting Feb. 13 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Hunter Hayes will continue as opener. Tickets go on sale Nov. 2; $1 from each ticket sold will go to the Red Cross on the next leg, as it has on the first leg.
Underwood is on break from touring this week to prepare for hosting the CMA Awards, which will air on ABC on Nov. 1.
The new 2013 tour dates are below:
2-13 Colorado Springs, CO -- Colorado Springs World Arena
2-14 Broomfield, CO -- 1STBANK Center
2-17 Boise, ID -- Taco Bell Arena
2-19 Billings, MT -- MetraPark
2-21 Spokane, WA -- Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
2-22 Yakima, WA -- Yakima Sundome
2-25 Oakland, CA -- Oracle Arena
2-26 Stockton, CA -- Stockton Arena
3-2 Las Vegas, NV -- Mandalay Bay Events Center
3-3 Ontario, CA -- Citizens Business Bank Arena
3-5 Fresno, CA -- Save Mart Center
3-8 Rio Rancho, NM -- Santa Ana Star Center
3-21 Richmond, VA -- Richmond Coliseum
3-23 Roanoke, VA -- Roanoke Civic Center
3-25 Hershey, PA -- Giant Center
3-26 Buffalo, NY -- First Niagara Center
3-28 Hamilton, ON -- Copps Coliseum
3-30 Kingston, ON -- K-Rock Centre
4-2 St. John, NB -- Harbour Station
4-9 Portland, ME -- Cumberland County Civic Center
4-11 Youngstown, OH-- Covelli Centre
4-13 Lansing, MI -- Breslin Student Events Center
4-14 Ft. Wayne, IN -- Allen County Memorial Coliseum
4-16 Greenville, SC -- BiLo Center
4-17 Columbia, SC -- Colonial Life Arena
4-19 Augusta, GA -- James Brown Arena
4-20 Jacksonville, FL -- Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
4-23 Houston, TX -- Toyota Center
4-25 San Antonio, TX -- Freeman Coliseum
4-27 Cedar Park, TX -- Cedar Park Center
4-29 Lafayette, LA -- Cajundome
5-2 Bloomington, IL -- U.S. Cellular Coliseum
5-3 Milwaukee, WI -- BMO Harris Bradley Center
5-5 Toledo, OH -- Huntington Center
5-8 Charleston, WV -- Charleston Civic Center
5-10 Rockford, IL -- BMO Harris Bank Center
5-12 Omaha, NE -- CenturyLink Center
5-13 Sioux City, IA -- Tyson Events Center
5-15 Winnipeg, MB -- MTS Centre
5-18 Edmonton, AB -- Rexall Place
Well, they can’t all be “Call Me Maybe,” can they? Carly Rae Jepsen’s video for current single, “This Kiss,” is not going to lift the song into a pop culture phenomenon, as did the clip for “Maybe.”
Instead, Jepsen has delivered a fairly mundane video for the peppy song about wanting to kiss a boy so badly, even though you both are attached to other folks.
[More after the jump...]
Call it “What Makes Your Beautiful, Part 2.”
One Direction’s new track, “Little Things” catalogs, in great detail, all the things some girls/women hate about themselves: from her crinkles by her eyes and her stomach and her thighs to her weight and the fact that “you still have to squeeze into your jeans.” Thanks for noticing.
Hey girl, guess what? You may not like them, but it’s all those “Little Things” that make your man love you and makes you think you’re beautiful...or at least if your man is in One Direction. The only thing they leave out is cankles.
The stripped-down ballad, co-written by Ed Sheeran, is on 1D’s new album, “Take Me Home,” out Nov. 13. Yeah, it’s sweet, but, you know what, dude? We don’t need for you to point out that it’s those things that make you love us. We just want you to pretend they don’t exist and that you don’t see them. Now all you’ve done is make us more self-conscious. Just like how your bald spot and your hairy back are two of the little things that make you all the more lovable to us. Now hand over the remote and leave me alone.
Seriously, while a lyric video has been posted for “Little Things,” it hasn’t been confirmed as a second single from “Take Me Home,” following “Live While We’re Young.” “Young” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, driven largely by digital sales as opposed to radio play. This week it tumbles 10 spots to No. 31.
2. Justin Bieber: Biebs’ total YouTube views top 3 billion. If he weren’t Canadian, he would handily win the presidential election.
3. Jason Aldean: The country singer not only lands the No. 1 album in the country, he sells out Boston’s Fenway Park so quickly a second date is added. Kind of crazy given that most non-country fans have no idea who he is. Like he cares.
4. Lady Gaga: Mama Monster gets 19 species of ferns named after her. In response, Lady Gaga decides her fans will now be known as Little Ferns.
5. Adele’s baby: Has he gotten a record deal yet? Can we sign him?
6. Justin Timberlake: He serenaded new wife Jessica Biel with a new song. As long as it wasn’t called “Wedding Bell Blues,” we bet she’s very happy.
7. The Rolling Stones: They play a club gig for 600 fans in Paris. Within two months, 150,000 people will claim they were there.
8. Arcade Fire: The 2011 Grammy winners for album of the year are back in the studio working on the follow-up to “The Suburbs.” What’s next? “The ExUrbs?”
9. James Brown: Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger join forces to produce a feature biopic on Brown. They may have to be the hardest working men in show business to actually get this one to the screen.
10. Bruno Mars: The singer became the latest double threat to both perform and host on “Saturday Night Live,” bringing the show its best rating in months. Imagine if “SNL” had let Lana Del Rey do both...
So there was no doubt that Taylor Swift’s “Red” was going to come in at No. 1 next week, the only lingering question is how much over 1 million copies will it go?
With a few days left until Nielsen SoundScan closes on Sunday, it looks like “Red” could sell up to 1.25 million copies. That’s 1 million copies over its nearest competitor, Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid: M.A.A.D. City.”
That title will sell a very healthy 235,000-245,000 copies, which on almost any other week would land him at No. 1. No so next week. Swift’s feat will make her the first female artist in the 21-year SoundScan era to sell more than 1 million copies of two albums in their opening weeks, according to Billboard.
Three other albums debut in the Top 10: Tony Bennett’s “Viva Duets,” an album of the legend singing his greatest hits with Latin artists, will likely sell up to 35,000 copies to come in at No. 5. Rockers Stone Sour’s “House of Gold & Bones -Part 1” will bow at No. 8, while Lady Antebellum’s holiday album, “On This Winter’s Night,” lands at No. 9, selling between 19,000-22,000. While that’s very commendable, fellow country artist Scotty McCreery came in at No.4 this week with his holiday offering, “Christmas With Scotty,” which sold more than 40,000 this week.
Of the returning albums, this week’s No. 1, Jason Aldean’s “Night Train,” likely drops to No. 3, still selling a strong 145,000. Former No. 1, “Babel,” from Mumford & Sons, lands at No. 4 with sales of up to 60,000. Pink’s “The Truth About Love” hangs in there at No. 6, moving up to 30,000 copies. Brandy’s comeback album, “Two Eleven,” drops to No. 7, while Little Big Town’s “Tornado” will likely be at No. 10. A slight caveat: Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Scotty McCreery and Adele’s albums are all too close to call right now for positions 9-12.