<p>The cover of Jack White's &quot;Blunderbuss&quot;</p>
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The cover of Jack White's "Blunderbuss"

Jack White 'Blunderbusses' his way to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week

It took a solo record to get him there

Going solo apparently suits Jack White well. The former White Stripe and Raconteur is poised to score his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 next week with his first solo album, “Blunderbuss.”

That means Lionel Richie’s two-week run at No. 1 with “Tuskegee” ends, but Richie only slips to No. 3, with Adele’s “21” rising 3-2, according to Hits Daily Double.

White is one of four likely new titles in the top 10: Country singer Lee Brice’s “Hard 2 Love”  is in a dead heat for No. 6, vying with Jason Mraz’s  “Love is a Four-Letter Word” and fellow country artist Kip Moore’s “Up All Night.” With two days left until the chart closes, they are all slated to sell between 35,000-40,000. The last new entry will be The Wanted’s self-titled EP at No. 10.

For those aware of album titles, Moore’s entry means that there will be two albums in the Top 10 next week with the same title: Moore’s set and One Direction’s “Up All Night,” which will probably be No. 4. 

Rounding out the top 10, Nicki Minaj’s former No. 1, “ Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” will be at No. 5 and Gotye’s “Making Mirrors” at No. 9.

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<p>John Mayer</p>

John Mayer


Watch: John Mayer takes us on a trip through his 'Shadow Days' on new video

Roll the windows down and enjoy the scenery

Pack your bags, we’re riding shotgun on a road trip with John Mayer. In the video for “Shadow Days,” he takes us on a triptych across the West and Southwest-- from California to Idaho and Arizona and beyond. He’s traveling solo, but there are stops along the way: a diner,  a convenience story, a guitar shop.

The shaggy-haired Mayer is sporting a hat much like the kind producer Don Was, who helmed  Mayer's new album, “Born & Raised,” sports, as well as a few days’ scruff so we’re thinking Was definitely rubbed off on him not only musically, but fashion-wise. And he certainly got a beautifully nuanced guitar performance out of him on "Shadow Days." 

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart</p>

Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart

Credit: AP Photos

Exclusive: 'AI's' Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams combining on new song

When will we hear the new collaboration?

As fans will see for themselves when they hear Haley Reinhart’s debut album, “Listen Up,” out May 22, the  “American Idol” season 10 contestant has really come into her own. Her sultry voice wrapping around the album's  jazzy and soulful pop melodies recalls Amy Winehouse, Dusty Springfield, and Regina Spektor.

Though her fellow Season 10 contestant and buddy Casey Abrams does not appear on her album, it sounds like she might guest on his forthcoming Concord album, set for release this summer. The two released a spirited version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" as a Christmas gift to their fans and have reunited for more.

We interviewed Reinhart yesterday about the new album, but also asked if the pair had recorded anything new. “Yes, we actually just had something in the mix and I’ll let him talk about that; it’s nothing that I’ll give away," Reinhart said. "But yes, we are getting together and doing more stuff...We could never leave each other in that way. We have to continue to do stuff together.”

[More after the jump...]

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Credit: AP Photo

Will TLC bring Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes back to life on reunion tour?

Two remaining members are booking dates, according to reports

First Tupac, now Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes?

Ten years after her death, Lopes’ bandmates in TLC told TMZ that they are planning a reunion tour and hope to make Lopes’ image and voice a part of the concert.

Lopes “appeared” with remaining members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas once before posthumously, according to MTV, on what was called TLC’s Final Concert at a 2003 radio show. Lopes’ image was projected onto video screens.

TMZ reports that the group has already book five cities on the 2012 tour, with more to be added. While the outlet inferred that she would appear “Tupac” style,  it’s unclear if Watkins and Thomas plan to use old footage of Lopes or create new footage as Digital Domain and AC Concepts with Shakur’s image for Coachella.

More as it develops. We gave our thoughts on the matter here.

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Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Usher wants to make you 'Scream' on new single

Clunky lyrics weigh down the groove

Usher moves from the dance floor to the bedroom on new single, “Scream.” 

The club thumper is all about pleasing his woman and living in the moment. Although the mood is totally set by the sexy, mid-tempo groove, some of the lyrics definitely go down as his worst. We can live with the trite “Imagine me whisper in your ear that I wanna take off all your clothes,” but “Relax and get on your back if you want to scream” sounds decidedly unromantic and a little creepy, even coming from someone as smooth and undoubtedly skilled as Usher.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Florence Welch looks particularly like the Evil Queen from &quot;Snow White and the Huntsman&quot; in this performance during the first weekend of Coachella earlier this month.</p>

Florence Welch looks particularly like the Evil Queen from "Snow White and the Huntsman" in this performance during the first weekend of Coachella earlier this month.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Listen: Florence + The Machine's new song for 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Group brings just the right amount of menace

Florence + the Machine’s ethereal, dramatic music is the perfect match for “Snow White and the Huntsman,” the second of this year’s two Snow White themed movies...the one that stars Charlize Theron.

On “Breath of Life,” group namesake Florence Welch surrounds her considerable pipes with strings, operatic background singers, chanting, and drums to create an atmospheric theme that conjures up images of doom and danger.  Quite frankly, it sounds like it could have worked just as well in “The Hunger Games.”  You won’t be singing along to it, but it sticks in your mind after only a few listens.

[More after the jump...]

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Mark Foster receives a deep facial at his local salon in the music video for "Houdini".
Mark Foster receives a deep facial at his local salon in the music video for "Houdini".
Credit: Columbia Records

Watch: Foster The People's 'Houdini' video shows the band's sleight of hand

Is it a social commentary on the music business?

After repeated viewings of Foster the People’s video for “Houdini,” we’re not sure if the trio is making a fun video or a much deeper commentary on life in the pop music machine... either way, it works.

The boys are playing live when a lighting rig crashes down on them to disastrous effect putting their concert that night in jeopardy. But never fear, a league of scientists and masterminds put the band back together again, fixing all their wiring and moving parts (leaving the question as to whether they were real to begin with or always a creation). The team of scientists resurrecting them even turns the group into a boy band with dance moves straight out of N’Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye” video. Mystery men in green suits (who, like a green screen in filming won't be visible to those watching)  manipulate their every move.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Zac Brown in June 2011</p>

Zac Brown in June 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Zac Brown Band plots new album 'Uncaged' for July release

ZBB expands with new percussionist, Brown talks current tour

Zac Brown Band will bow its new studio album and newest band member on July 10.

Uncaged,” the group’s third major label set, features the addition of percussionist Daniel de los Reyes. Brown told the AP that the ZBB, which is already quite the collective, was inspired to add the percussionist to “create a new kind of pulse within the band.”  De los Reyes previously played with Earth, Wind & Fire and Jennifer Lopez. No word yet on who will produce the set.

The band’s last album was 2010’s “You Get What You Give" on Southern Ground/Atlantic.

We’re not sure how they’re finding time to record since ZBB is on tour now through the rest of the summer behind its biggest, most expansive production so far.  “We always want to exceed everyone’s expectations,” Brown told Hitfix when we talked to him at the Academy of Country Music Awards a few weeks ago. “We want them to come in expecting one thing and get way more than that.” The tour includes ZBB’s Southern Ground label mates Sonia Leigh and Blackberry Smoke.

Brown is also hands-on in getting Camp Southern Ground off the ground. A pet project of Brown's ever since he was a camp counselor when he was 14, the Camp, based in Fayetteville, Ga.,  will be "a state-of-the-art camp where kids can come—mainstream, underprivileged, and kids with developmental disorders," the father of four says. "It's a big project, a big undertaking. It's coming together so far and I believe it will the rest of the way, but we need help." Folks can make donations to the camp, which plans to open in 2014, at  www.campsouthernground.org.

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Credit: AP Photo

Gotye's 'Somebody' gleefully stays at No. 1, Maroon 5 bows big on Hot 100

What else happens in the top 10 this week?

Gotye, who has been backpedaling after criticizing “Glee’s” cover of “Somebody That I Used To Know,” stays at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the song this week, but he fends off a heavy challenge from Maroon 5.

The group’s “Payphone” zooms onto the chart at No. 3, propelled by digital sales of 493,000. That’s the most sold by any group (not solo artist) in one week, according to Billboard. The previous group high was 465,000 for Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow,” according to Billboard.  (The best week total for all acts remains Flo Rida’s “Right Round” with 636,000). While digital sales are the main driver in Maroon 5’s success, “Payphone” gets a strong start at radio as well, entering at No. 36 on Billboard’s Radio Songs chart.   The No. 3 entry is the group’s best Hot 100 start.

In the rest of the top 5,  fun.’s “We Are Young” featuring Janelle Monae remains at No. 2, while Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” gains a spot, moving No. 4-5. The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” falls from No. 3-5.

“Payphone” is the only new entry in the Top 10 (Train’s “Drive By” just misses by climbing from No. 13 to No. 11).  Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia stays at No. 6. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” rises one spot to No. 7. Three other titles slide, but remain in the top 10:  One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” slips from No. 4 to No. 8; Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” drops two to No. 9 and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” weakens, falling one spot to No. 10.

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Nas sets release date for 'Life is Good'; first new album in four years
Credit: Island Def Jam

Nas sets release date for 'Life is Good'; first new album in four years

Video for current single, 'The Don,' debuts on Friday, April 27

Rapper Nas returns with his first album in four years, “Life is Good,” on July 17.

Second track, “The Don,” which was produced by Da Internz, Salaam Remi and the late Heavy D, is at radio now, while fans heard an earlier track, “Nasty,” last summer.  A third track, “Daughters,” (not the John Mayer song, we’re sure), goes for sale on iTunes on May 1. The video for “The Don”  premieres on MTV and Vevo on Friday, April 27.

[More after the jump...]

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