<p>Avett Brothers</p>

Avett Brothers

Watch:The Avett Brothers live their lives in new video for 'Live and Die'

The band makes beautiful music together

The Avett Bros.’ music is often simple fare. They play into the low-key aspect of their sound with the video for “Live and Die,” from their new album, “The Carpenter.”

The video is composed totally of the quintet playing the song live in a rehearsal room, with Seth and Scott Avett’s harmonies shining through. The performance footage is interspersed with scenes of the band members talking outside, the Avett Brothers working out the song, Scott Avett drawing (he’s a very accomplished artist) and even Scott watering plants outside of a stately mansion.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Kanye West and R. Kelly on 'To The World' from 'Cruel Summer'

Full album comes out Sept. 18

G.O.O.D. Music’s compilation, “Cruel Summer,” which drops as the season ends on Sept. 18, features label head Kanye West with a number of top artists including R. Kelly, John Legend, Kid Cudi, Raekwon, 2 Chainz and The-Dream.

Snippets of the full album are on iTunes, but today we get a full version of opening track  “To The World,” performed by West and Kelly. The song is basically a big “F You,” albeit an often clever one,” to you and yours.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Florence + The Machine on &quot;Jimmy Fallon&quot;</p>

Florence + The Machine on "Jimmy Fallon"

Watch: Florence + The Machine perform a stately 'Spectrum' on 'Jimmy Fallon'

Group continues U.S. tour before heading into a year-long hiatus

Florence Welch, the namesake of Florence + The Machine, is known for her dramatic, over-the-top performances, but for her debut on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” last night, she and the band delivered a breathtakingly spare version of “Spectrum.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Missy Elliott's &quot;Triple Threat&quot;</p>

Missy Elliott's "Triple Threat"

Look: Missy Elliott reveals 'Triple Threat' cover art

When can you hear the full song?

Missy Elliott has got sports on her mind. Earlier this week, she released a snippet of “Ninth Inning.”  And now, she’s switched from baseball to basketball. She just revealed the cover to “Triple Threat,” another song on her forthcoming new album.

The cover features someone in a basketball jersey with her name emblazoned across the shoulders and the words, “Triple Threat” where the numbers would be. On the accompanying basketball are the words “feat. Timbaland.” The producer is also on “Ninth Inning.”

We’ll have to wait until Sept. 17 to hear the full songs. That’s when Elliott will host a Ustream listening session to play both songs in their entirety. She will also answer questions from fans about the new album. That sounds like when we’ll hear about a release date and album title.


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<p>Cover art for the album's first single, &quot;Your Body.&quot;</p>

Cover art for the album's first single, "Your Body."

Credit: RCA

Christina Aguilera reveals details about new album, 'Lotus'

See when you can watch a sneak peek of the 'Your Body' video

Christina Aguilera’s new album, “Lotus,”  will come out in November, according to “The Voice” judge, who took to Twitter Wednesday to reveal details.

Among the other nuggets the Grammy-winning singer revealed:

*The album, her first since 2010’s “Bionic,” is called “Lotus” because a lotus "represents an unbreakable flower that survives under the hardest conditions and still thrives.”

*The inspiration for the album was "self-expression and freedom," she tweeted. "The album represents a rebirth for me."

*First single, “Your Body,” which leaked a few weeks ago, will be available for purchase on Friday. The single sleeve for the Max Martin-produced song features Aguilera wrapped in a diaphanous pink sheer dress with her arms overhead and lots of blonde extensions.

*A snippet of the music video for “Your Body” will air on “The Voice” on Monday, Sept. 17.

*Aguilera is currently listening to M83 and Frank Ocean.

Aguilera is in her third season as a coach on “The Voice.” At a press conference last month, “The Voice” producer Mark Burnett acknowledged that she and the other coaches, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, and Cee Lo Green, may need to rotate out for a season to attend to their careers and touring, especially if the show continues to offer a fall and spring season.

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo

Taylor Swift's 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together' returns to No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

What record does it set?

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” gets back with the top of the Billboard Hot 100 this week as the Taylor Swift tune returns to No. 1.

“Never” and Flo Rida’s “Whistle” have been trading places for the pole position for the past few weeks. After “Whistle” returned to the summit last week, it falls to No. 3, as Maroon 5’s “One More Night” rises 3-2.

Swift’s song spends its third week at No. 1, making it the longest run atop the Billboard Hot 100 for a country song since Kenny Rogers’ “Lady,” written be Lionel Richie, held the top spot for six weeks in 1980, according to Billboard.

“Never” continues to gain in airplay, while also remaining at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart. But that’s not Swift’s only chart triumph: “Ronan,” the charity single she debuted on Sept. 7’s “Stand Up For Cancer” televised benefit, enters the Hot 100 at No. 16. It is bolstered largely by digital sales: the song stands at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart with sales of 211,000.

Returning to the Top 10, fun.’s “Some Nights” and Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” switch places, as Goulding rises 5-4.

Pink’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” soars back into the Top 10, perhaps bolstered by her MTV Video Music Awards, lifting 11-6. Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me”  featuring Big Sean leaps 9-7. Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks”  slips 6-8 and Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City’s “Good Time” inches down 8-9.

The only new entry into the Top 10 is Alex Clare’s “Too Close,” which marks the singer’s first Top 10 hit. In addition to the former Alternative Songs chart topper’s use in a Bing commercial, “So You Think You Can Dance” played the song last week.

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Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Pink's new track, 'Try,' provides inspiration

She strongly sells weak song

Pink’s new album,”The Truth About Love,”  doesn’t come out until next Tuesday, but between now and then a lyric video for a new track will debut every day on Vevo.

Today’s track, “Try” is a mid-tempo sparkler, whose melody is a bit reminiscent of “You And Your Hand.” Lyrically, the song is all getting up again after being kicked down hard. From the opening lines, “Ever wonder about what he’s doing/How it all turned to lies,” it’s clear that her man has gone astray. But, as she advises us, “Just because it burns/doesn’t mean you’re gonna die.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>The Avett Brothers, &quot;The Carpenter&quot;</p>

The Avett Brothers, "The Carpenter"

Credit: American

Album Review: The Avett Brothers build well-crafted songs on 'The Carpenter'

Death and all his friends loom large on new Rick Rubin-produced set

“If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be scared to die,” sing the Avett Brothers in the banjo ballad, “The Once And Future Carpenter.” The track opens “The Carpenter,” the new album from Scott Avett, Seth Avett and bassist Bob Crawford, out today.

Coming from less talented hands, the words may sound like an empty platitude, but over the course of their career, the Avett Bros, who are joined on the album  (and in concert) by cellist Joe Kwon and drummer Jacob Edwards, have shown a knack for spinning simple truths out of complicated concepts.

On 2009’s “I And Love And You,” the album that brought the Avetts into the mainstream, producer Rick Rubin provided some needed spit and polish on the band’s material and streamlined the sound found on their earlier indie releases.

On “The Carpenter,”  the Brothers Avett, take the lessons they learned from Rubin, who produces again here, and retain what they liked and discard the rest. The result is an album that has a shine but is never overly glossy. Guests like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ keyboardist Benmont Tench and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith are there to add a certain texture, not for bragging rights.

Like contemporaries Mumford & Sons,  the Avett Bros. have found a new way to make acoustic instruments rock and roll with passion and intensity, while keeping the instruments’ authenticity. They also aren’t afraid to get noisy, loudly building their songs with a confidence that brims through on “Pretty Girl From Michigan,”  and the irrepressibly jangly “Geraldine,” as well as the shape-shifting, psychedelic “Paul Newman Vs. The Demons.” Melodically, they are deeply rooted in folk and country, but access rock,  grunge and pop with ease. They owe as much to Kurt Cobain as to Levon Helm.

Despite the often light melodies and glorious harmonies, there’s a certain gravitas to much of “The Carpenter,” as the band explores death and all his friends in its many different guises.  “Through My Prayers” is a tender tearjerker that anyone who has lost someone with words left unspoken will understand all too well.

If it’s not physical death, there’s also the death that comes from heartache, as poignantly expressed in the stark “Winter In My Heart.”  As the months tear off the calendar, the protagonist stays in a perpetual winter, unable to move on from a romantic loss.  The music on “I Never Knew You” may be bright and sparkly, but the lyrics detail a disenchanted, heartbroken lover, who  goes out “Friday night and talk(s) to anyone I can.” As he looks back on his past relationship, he realizes that his former paramour was a stranger even though he believed he was deeply in love.

It’s not all darkness on “The Carpenter.” On “A Father’s First Spring,” Scott Avett sweetly  details the first blushes of fatherhood and how painful it is leave his newborn daughter. On “Paul Newman Vs. The Demons,” the group salutes the legendary actor for the exemplary way he lived his life: “Oh to be like him and walk a path/To lend a hand, do something worth a damn.”  As much as the song is a paean to Newman, it’s also an exhortation to find a way to give up one’s demons. It’s the biggest stretch on the album, and its adventurous rambling doesn’t always work.

“The Carpenter” isn’t as bright as “I And Love And You,” but it has a depth of feeling that surpasses its predecessor and an understanding of life’s vicissitudes that anyone who has experienced them will appreciate for its honesty and, ultimately, hope.

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<p>Missy Elliott</p>

Missy Elliott

Listen: Missy Elliott's at bat in this 'Ninth Inning' snippet

She's coming back to finish what she started

Don’t count Missy Elliott out. She may have been absent lately, but it’s the top of the ninth and she’s coming back. In this 85-second snippet from “Ninth Inning,” the female rapper declares, over an ominous horn droning that gives way to a bright, classical-sounding  piano melody, “Now i’m in the ninth inning/thought I fell off/I ain’t finished.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Neil Young</p>

Neil Young

Credit: AP Photo

Neil Young & Crazy Horse unleash 'Psychedelic Pill' in October

Two-month tour starts in Windsor

Four months after releasing “Americana,” a ragged collection of American folk songs,  Neil Young & Crazy Horse will unleash “Psychedelic Pill,” a 2-CD set, on Oct. 30.

Produced by Young, with John Hanlon and Mark Humphreys, “Psychedelic Pill” contains  giant rambles of songs: “Driftin’ Back” spans more than 27 minutes, “Walk Like A Giant” stretches beyond the 16-minute mark. As with “Americana,” full-length videos or each song will be made.

Crazy Horse previewed a number of the tracks during some live dates in August; a full tour will kick off Oct. 3 in Windsor, Ontario.

As Hitfix previously reported, Neil Young & Crazy Horse will perform at Young’s annual Bridge School benefit Oct. 20-21, alongside The Flaming Lips, Jack White, Guns N’ Roses and more.

The track-listing for Psychedelic Pill: 
Disc One:
1 Driftin' Back (27:36)
2 Psychedelic Pill (3:26)
3 Ramada Inn (16:49)
4 Born In Ontario (3:49)
Disc Two:
1 Twisted Road (3:28)
2 She's Always Dancing (8:33)
3 For The Love Of Man (4:13)
4 Walk Like A Giant (16:27)
Bonus Track:
5 Psychedelic Pill (Alternate Mix)
Neil Young & Crazy Horse's  tour dates:  

Oct 3    Windsor, ONT               WFCU Centre 
Oct 5    Kingston, ONT              K ROCK Centre
Oct 6    London, ONT                John Labatt Centre 
Oct 8    Cleveland, OH               Wolstein Center 
Oct 9    Pittsburgh, PA              Petersen Events Center 
Oct 11  Chicago, IL                   United Center 
Oct 13  Austin, TX                     Zilker Park / Austin City Limits Fest.
Oct 14  Tulsa, OK                      Tulsa Convention Center Arena
Oct 17  Los Angeles, CA           Hollywood Bowl 
Oct 20-21 Mountain View, CA     Shoreline Amphitheater
Oct 25  Tuscaloosa, AL             Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
Oct 26  New Orleans, LA           Voodoo Fest
Nov 10  Seattle, WA                   Key Arena 
Nov 11  Vancouver, BC              Rogers Arena 
Nov 13  Calgary, AB                  Scotiabank Saddledome 
Nov 14  Saskatoon, SK              Credit Union Centre 
Nov 16  Winnipeg, MB               MTS Centre 
Nov 19  Toronto, ON                  Air Canada Centre  
Nov 20  Kitchener, ON               Memorial Auditorium 
Nov 23  Montreal, QC                 Bell Centre 
Nov 24  Ottawa, ON                   Scotiabank Place
Nov 26  Boston, MA                  TD Garden
Nov 27  New York, NY               Madison Square Garden
Nov 29  Philadelphia, PA            Wells Fargo Center
Nov 30  Fairfax, VA                   Patriot Center 
Dec 3   Brooklyn, NY                Barclays Center
Dec 4   Bridgeport, CT              Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard  


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