<p>will.i.am's &quot;This Is Love&quot;</p>

will.i.am's "This Is Love"


Listen: Will.I.Am's new song, 'This Is Love'

Eva Simons plays the Fergie role on the solo shot

Will.I.Am’s solo efforts have yet to yield any of the traction that his Black Eyed Peas’ success has brought.

Will that change with “This is Love,” presumably the next single from his forthcoming solo album, #willpower. The first single was non-starter “T.H.E.” featuring Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger.  Our guess is that the answer is no.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Adam Lambert</p>

Adam Lambert

Credit: RCA/19

Album Review: Adam Lambert's continuing evolution on 'Trespassing'

The former 'American Idol' runner-up has a lot to say on sophomore set

Adam Lambert’s sophomore major label set, “Trespassing” opens with a full blast of bravado. “Wait til you get a load of me!,” the American Idol season eight runner up declares over and over on the thumping, hand-clapping tune, redolent of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” crossed with Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Ready or not, Lambert is kicking down the door. He’s not just coming in, he’s claiming a seat at the head of the table and you will be served. The 15-track set is awash in Lambert’s influences: the aforementioned Queen and Michael Jackson, as well as Scissor Sisters, George Michael, and, even, Parliament.  To his credit, while he wears these inspirations with obvious homage, he still creates his own document here with his own history overriding those of any of his musical touchstones.

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<p>&nbsp;Carrie Underwood</p>

 Carrie Underwood

Credit: AP Photo

Carrie Underwood's 'Blown Away' stays still atop the Billboard 200

Only two titles look good to debut in next week's Top 10

Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” should stay tied down to the top spot on the Billboard 200 next week, as it looks to be the only title that will surpass 100,000 in sales.

With a few days left of reporting until the chart’s Sunday close, the Top 10 looks relatively static with only two new entries: Silversun Pickup’s “Neck of the Woods,” at No. 6 and Tank’s “This Is How I Feel” at No. 9.

Adele’s non-stoppable “21” will be at No. 2 with up to 95,000 copies sold and “Now That’s What I Call Music” at No. 3. Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee” and Norah Jones’ “Little Broken Hearts” are too close to call for No. 4 with both aiming for 60,000-65,000.

Similarly, while Hits Daily Double has “Neck of The Woods” projected to land at No. 7, that title and One Direction’s “Up All Night” are too close to call with both targeted to sell between 35,000-40,000.

B.o.B’s “Strange Clouds” rounds out the top 10 at No. 10 selling up to 27,000 copies.

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<p>&nbsp;Adam Lambert</p>

 Adam Lambert

Credit: AP Photo

Interview: Adam Lambert on 'Trespassing,' fierceness, and a memorable fan

Has living in the spotlight gotten any easier for the former 'American Idol' contestant?

On May 15, Adam Lambert’s second post- “American Idol” comes out. “Trespassing” is an extremely ambitious song cycle that takes the listener though life’s highs and lows. For Lambert’s fans, it come as no surprise that he holds nothing back whether he’s leading the party or in the depths of despair, aching to be understood.

Lambert talked to Hitfix about creating the follow up to 2009’s platinum “For Your Entertainment” and how, even though he makes it look easy, sometimes he struggles to be “fierce.Read his comments about fellow "American Idol" contestant Kris Allen's new single here.

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Should the Grammy Awards expand to 10 contenders instead of five?
Credit: National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences

Should the Grammy Awards expand to 10 contenders instead of five?

Will they follow the Latin Grammys and Academy Awards' lead?

Following the lead of the Academy Awards, the Latin Grammys have now decided to expand the field for album of the year from five to 10 contenders. The Latin Grammys come under the same umbrella as the Grammys: the National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences (NARAS), though the two have separate boards of trustees. Should the Grammys follow suit? 

The Latin Grammys will also expand the nominees to 10 in the other three general categories: song, record and best new artist.

While a representative of the Recording Academy told the Los Angeles Times that the move does not mean the Grammy Awards will do the same, you can bet that the idea is being floated around.

[More after the jump...]

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Interview: Silversun Pickups discuss dancing, helicopter rides, and Carrie Underwood
Credit: Dangerbird Records

Interview: Silversun Pickups discuss dancing, helicopter rides, and Carrie Underwood

Latest album, 'Neck of the Woods' brings a new groove to band's sound

There’s not a lot in Silversun Pickups’ swirling, heavy music to indicate the Los Angeles  alternative rock band’s four members enjoy busting a move, but it turns out they do — often resulting in collateral damage.

“We love to have dance parties,” says drummer Christopher Guanlao. “When we’re on the road, one of the things to kill the boredom is to have a dance party on the bus. A lot of the times, they’re impromptu, but they go off. We’ve broken tables, lighting fixtures...Luckily our techs are amazing and fix it before we have to return the bus.”

Some of those dance vibes found their way onto SSPU’s third full-length album, “Neck of the Woods,” which came out Tuesday.  The album looks like it could debut in the top 5on the Billboard 200, making it the band’s highest charting set yet, topping 2009’s “Swoon,” which bowed at No. 7.

While the songs, including first single “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings),” are instantly recognizable as SSPU, there’s an added groove that is fully deliberate, whether on the propulsive, insistent blast of opening track “Skin Graph,” the machine-gun rat-a-tat on “Out of Breath,” or full-on dance tune  “The Pit.”  “We definitely wanted to have more of a groove to the songs,” Guanlao says. “For me, it was really fun to actually do it; to step away from the rock drumming for a bit and get into a groove” on some of the tracks.

In fact, Guanlao was kept very busy on the album, so much so that he’s still figuring out how to replicate the songs live. “There’s definitely a lot more drumming involved on this one and a lot more percussive drumming,” he says. “This was the first time I played a shaker on a song. I did a lot of drum stuff, extra drum rolls, extra drum accents, that goes throughout the songs. It definitely feels like there’s a lot more going on. It gets tricky when you think about it in the live aspect: All of a sudden I realize if I only had that extra arm, I could do everything perfectly.”

For “Neck Of the Woods,” the band, which also includes vocalist/guitarist Brian Aubert, bassist/background vocalist Nikki Monniger and keyboardist Joseph Lester— switched to a new producer, Jacknife Lee, best known for his work with R.E.M., Snow Patrol and Weezer.

“He took out a lot of the fat,” Guanlao says. “If we didn’t have Jacknife around, we might have been going into the prog rock world. We tend to kind of write a lot of parts for songs and I think it worked well with ‘Swoon,’ but we definitely didn’t want to continue in that route. We’d give him a song that had six or seven changes and he’d say we only need three or four and he was right. We didn’t need two choruses in a song, we need one good one.”

For a brief time after the album’s release on Tuesday, it was No. 1 on iTunes album chart, a moment captured by one of the group’s managers, who took a screen shot and sent it to the band. “I was like, that‘s crazy!,” Guanlao. “I was kind of saying, What a bizarre world where we’re above Carrie Underwood. It’s great. The support that we’ve gotten from all our fans, it means the world to us. That’s why I do it.”

The band remains signed to Los Angeles indie Dangerbird Records, long after majors came calling following the group’s success with “Swoon.”  Aubert recently told Billboard that there was nothing a major label could do for them, except, as he joked, offer them a helicopter ride.

Which, quite frankly, sounds pretty sweet to Guanlao. “I read that article, and I was like, ‘I want a helicopter ride...I don’t know what he’s talking about, that’s kind of cool’,” he says laughing. “It you put that on the offer, that’s something to consider, though it’s not a yacht.”

Seriously, Guanlao agrees with Aubert. “He’s absolutely right. What can a major label give us right now? The days of huge signing advances that you could live off for the rest of your life are gone and we wouldn’t really want to do that anyway. We’re happy where we are.”

SSPU’s touring dance card is full through the rest of the year, a prospect that intimidated Guanlao until the band nailed the songs on “Neck” live. “Two months ago, when we didn’t know how to play the songs, that’s daunting. Now, it’s like, ‘let’s bring it on!’”

Plus, Guanlao already has some ideas for early 2013. The Los Angeles Lakers fan is a basketball junkie who recently “freaked out” when he met the Orlando Magic’s JJ Redick, especially because Redick is a huge fan of SSPU’s and had even tweeted about listening to the band’s song, “Royal We,” to get pumped up before a game.

Guanlao shared his love for the Lakers with ESPN, hoping it might bring him a little love from his team. I [tweeted] the ESPN [article] to the Lakers, like, ‘Hey, check it out! If you have some tickets.. Do you need a mascot?” He’s heard nothing so far.

Hey Lakers, we hear he may have some spare time after December. 

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<p>&nbsp;Alanis Morissette</p>

 Alanis Morissette


Listen: Alanis Morissette's first single in four years, 'Guardian'

She wants to be your 'angel on call'

Here’s the good news for Alanis Morissette fans: she has lost none of her earnestness. On her first new single in four years, “Guardian,” she positions herself at the front gate of your heart to protect and shield you.

Other than that, I don’t have a clue as to what the song is about.

The chorus, taken by itself, independent of the verses,  seems tailor-made for the new mom, who vows to watch over her beloved forever. “I’ll be your keeper for life as your guardian...I’ll be your angel on call... the greatest honor of all as your guardian.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Snow Patrol</p>

Snow Patrol


Concert Review: Snow Patrol takes over Hollywood's Palladium

Bright lights, big city, and even bigger songs and ambitions

At one point a a number of years ago, it seemed like Snow Patrol could be the next U2, or,  if not quite that lofty, the next Coldplay. The Irish/Scottish quintet’s songs covered the same anthemic, sweeping themes and were aggressively melodic and commercial.

Plus, led by Gary Lightbody, they were a tremendous live act.  I first saw them in 2003 at a Fader-sponsored party at a club at South by Southwest in Austin. They were awkward, Lightbody acted as if he were totally bombed, and there were only glimpses of anything more than an average talent. Fast forward to exactly a year later, first U.S. album “Final Straw” had come out, sold very well, and they were playing the much bigger outdoor venue Stubbs at SXSW. To this day, I have never seen a band exhibit such improvement over such a short amount of time. Lightbody commanded the audience like a pro. His voice was resonant and clear and the whole band worked like a well-oiled machine far beyond its experience.

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Watch: Five questions from Maroon 5's new 'Payphone' video
Credit: A&M/Octone Records

Watch: Five questions from Maroon 5's new 'Payphone' video

The heat gets to be too much for Adam Levine

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine finds himself inadvertently on the wrong side of the law in the ambitious, yet headscratching, video for “Payphone" featuring Wiz Khalifa. The clip debuted on E! News tonight.

The video opens with a scene straight out of “Falling Down”: Levine is bruised, battered, and shirtless, but he, somehow, still has a quarter to use the phone. We jump back in time to earlier in the day to a suited Levine as a bank desk jockey who can’t get the attention of his dreamy co-worker.

[More after the jump...]

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Credit: AP Photo

Gotye's 'Somebody That I Used To Know' gets used to the Billboard Hot 100 summit

What record did the song set this week?

Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra can definitely claim rights to the hit of Spring 2012 as it spends its fifth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Not only that, it becomes the first song to ever top the Billboard’s Hot 100, Alternative Songs, Dance/Club Play Songs and Dance/Mix Show Airplay.  This week marks its 10th atop the Alternative Songs chart, making “Somebody” the longest reign at No. 1 on that chart by a solo artist in the chart’s 23-year history, according to Billboard.

For the last few weeks, the top 3 of the Billboard Hot 100 have remained static: fun.s’ “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae stays at No. 2 and Maroon 5’s “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa hangs out at No. 3.
Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” continues its slow ascent, gaining one spot to No. 4. A number of other titles also creep up one: Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia rises to No. 5 and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” lifts to No. 9.

In the rest of the Top 10: The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” falls from No. 4-No. 6 and Justin Bieber’s “Girlfriend” drops from No. 7 to No. 8. One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” stays at No. 9, while Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” holds at No. 10.

There are no new entries into the Top 10 this week: the highest debut, B.o.B.’s “Both of Us” featuring Taylor Swift, bows at No. 18.

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