Inside Music with Melinda Newman
New Third Man Records set features a cover of a Howlin' Wolf song
There are some artists who seem to just get hipper as they get older and Jack White seems to connect with each one of them.
First it was Loretta Lynn and then Wanda Jackson. Now, White has linked with Tom Jones, whom we were just raving about in our list of top concerts of 2011.
White recently told Mojo (via twentyfourbit) that the latest 45 from his label, Third Man Records, will be Jones performing “Jezebel”and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Evil (Is Going On).” White told the British magazine, “He impressed the shit out of everybody.” The single comes out March 5.
The recording would seem to be part of Third Man Records’ Blue Series, which may also include re-issues (in conjunction with Document Records) of some of the blues masters who influenced White, including Blind Willie McTell and Charley Patton.
Next up for White: he'll appear on The History Channel's "American Pickers" on Monday, Jan. 9., as the show visits Third Man Records in Nashville. Apparently, there's a little bargaining going on as White tries to barter the phone booth used in a Dead Weather video for, as a press release states, "one of the most memorable treasures ever to appear on the show."
In other Jones news, he will be one of the four coaches when the U.K. launches its own version of "The Voice" this Spring. The knighted Welshman will join Jessie J, The Script frontman Danny O'Donoghue and Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am.
Grohl teams with Stephen Pearcy and Warren DeMartini for new track
There’s no telling whom Dave Grohl will team up with next. The Foo Fighters leader is now headed into the studio with Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy and Warren DeMartini.
Ratt lead singer Pearcy tweeted today: “Warren and I are doing a song for a project with @foofightersDave. We’ll let him tell you about when he’s ready kidz. Not for a RATT record.” Don't bother looking for an update from Grohl's Twitter page: the last tweet is from 2009.
The Foos are still mining tracks from their excellent Grammy-nominated 2011 album “Wasting Light,” which made my list of top 10 albums of 2011. Pearcy’s latest solo album, “Sucker Punch,” will come out later this year. Ratt’s last album, “Infestation,” was released in 2010, but Pearcy also tweeted today that he is set to demo songs for a new Ratt record next week
Does Katy Perry get any closer to setting the record?
LMFAO is still sexy as “Sexy and I Know It” spends its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not only is the duo sexy, it’s hot as “Party Rock Anthem” climbs 9-6 this week on the back of a Christmas sales surge.
Former No. 1, Rihanna’s “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris, remains at No. 2, while Katy Perry’s “The One That Got Away” stays at No. 3 and Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain” holds at No. 4.
Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” ticks up one spot to No. 5, while Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Ni**as In Paris” falls two to No. 7.
Like LMFAO, Adele takes up two slots in the Top 10 as third single “Set Fire to the Rain” is No. 8 and former No. 1 “Someone Like You” is at No. 9. Both songs are on Adele’s “21,” which was 2011‘s top selling album.
Rounding out the top 10 is Gym Class Heroes’ “Stereo Hearts” featuring Adam Levine, which sneaks up on from No. 11.
Who else is in the top 5 as industry sees first uptick since 2004?
Unless you’ve been under a rock—and perhaps, even then— it will come as no surprise that Adele’s “21” is the best selling album of the year.
The British singer’s second set sold 5.82 million copies in the U.S. during 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it the best-selling album since Usher’s “Confessions” sold 7.98 million in 2004. The title is in its 14th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week.
Adele is a double winner in that “Rolling In the Deep,” the biggest cross-format smash in two decades, sold 5.2 million copies, making it the top selling single of 2011.
Returning to albums, Michael Buble’s “Christmas,” which came out in mid-October, covered a lot of territory quickly to claim the No. 2 spot with sales of 2.45 million albums. It sprinted past Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which sold 2.1 million.
Rounding out the diverse list of top five album sellers for 2011 were Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” at 1.92 million units and Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” at 1.58 million.
Overall, album sales were up 1.3% in 2011 over 2010, reported Billboard. Modest as it was, the growth marked the first annual uptick since 2004. Album sales tallied 330.6 million compared with 2010’s 326.2 million.
Though much was made of the demise of the physical CD, with many reports claiming that some major labels would quit manufacturing the discs in 2012, it looks like the CD has a little life left in it yet. Yes, digital sales continue to climb, and for the first time, digital album sales and digital track equivalents (when someone purchases 10 tracks from an album) surpassed the 50% mark for the first time this year, yet 49.7% of all album sales are still from physical goods. The industry isn’t about to walk away from those kinds of numbers any time soon. In fact, when the fan decided to purchase an entire album (excluding track equivalent albums), the physical CD percentage soared to 68.7%.
Digital track sales saw an 8.5% gain over 2010, with total numbers reaching 1.27 billion. Think we aren’t totally living in a singles world? In 2011, 112 tracks scanned more than 1 million units, compared with 80 in 2010. Only 13 albums sold more than 1 million copies last year, the same number as 2010.
Following “Rolling in the Deep,” the top digital single sellers were LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” at No. 2 with 5.47 million copies, Katy Perry’s “E.T.” at 4.83 million, Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” featuring Christina Aguilera at 4.11 million and Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer at 3.87 million.
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Are Astro and Josh Krajcik next?
Will a new dance be born?
“Middle Finger” may be the cheeriest song about flipping the bird ever released.
Fans of Mac Miller and Cobra Starship (and whatever that seemingly small overlapping intersection may be) will surely already be familiar with the downright jaunty, toe-tapper about throwing your middle fingers up, “to the sky-y-y-y” since the promotional track surfaced on the internet months ago.
Now, however, the song will get its proper release as an official single from Cobra Starship’s 2011 album, “Night Shades,” according to The Boombox. Available on iTunes starting yesterday, it goes to radio next week.
[More after the jump...]
Was Kelly Clarkson wrong to endorse Ron Paul?
Today’s Iowa Caucus and Kelly Clarkson’s recent dust-up with her fans after she endorsed Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul got me thinking about whether artists should talk politics or just keep their mouths shut unless they are singing.
As we posted yesterday, Clarkson, who initially got her feelings hurt by fans’ criticism following her endorsement, saw a slight bump in album sales after her Paul plug, but it’s impossible to know if that’s because pro-Paul people rushed out to buy the record (unlikely) or if the publicity that ensued simply reminded them that she had a new album out there (likely).
He's brought Jaden Smith along for the countdown
We’re playing catch-up here, but Justin Bieber is so sincere is his desire to wish us a Happy New Year, who are we to let a few days’ delay stop us?
On “Happy New Year,” a slow jam with Jaden Smith which Bieber tweeted on Dec. 31, Bieber counts down “5-4-3-2-1. Kiss Me.” Then he advises us that 2012 is a year to be “better, stronger and closer to the people around you,” before suggesting we grab someone special and “you know...” Every nine-year old Bieber fan is undoubtedly kissing her pillow by this point, pretending it’s Bieber.
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Do you like her version or Jessie James' version better?
Oh, don’t think for a second that it’s a coincidence that Katy Perry’s version of “Bullet,” a song about falling for a bad boy leaked out today, only days after word of her divorce from Russell Brand went public. Note that it’s the first we’ve heard of her since the announcement. Also note the song was written long before she met Brand, so don't get any ideas.
“My heart was like a ghost town baby and now I’ve met a man that breaks me,” she sings on the track, before an autotuned voice chimes in “My mama warned me about boys like you.” However, as the title indicates, she gives as good as she gets: “I’m a bullet and I’m headed straight for your heart/it’s going to leave a mark.” Ouch.
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First track from new album reveals a mellower Mraz
Fans who are familiar with Jason Mraz through his jaunty “The Remedy” or ubiquitous “I’m Yours,” will see a completely different side on “I Won’t Give Up.”
The largely acoustic ballad, which is ripe for a country remake (Rascal Flatts, we are talking to you), is a poignant tale about a lost relationship that Mraz exits with his head held high.
The gentle tone was no doubt influenced by Mraz’s international acoustic tour, which took him through five continents before it wrapped in December.
[More after the jump...]