<p>&quot;The Hunger Games&quot; soundtrack</p>

"The Hunger Games" soundtrack

Review: 'The Hunger Games' soundtrack leaves you sated

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Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Arcade lead a fine compilation

Though “The Hunger Games” takes place in the future, the movie’s soundtrack, out today, takes a decided look back.

Many, though not all, of the songs sound as if they could have come from Appalachia in the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s, with their reliance on acoustic instrumentation and slight celtic influence, none more so than the banjo/mandolin filled “Run Daddy Run” by Miranda Lambert featuring Pistol Annies  (since she is a member of the Pistol Annies, we’re not quite sure how they got pegged as a featured artist here) and Civil Wars’ tender, tremulous “Kingdom Come.”

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<p>Bruce Springsteen at SXSW</p>

Bruce Springsteen at SXSW

Credit: AP Photo

Concert Review: Bruce Springsteen brings the 'Wrecking Ball' to Greensboro

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How does the new material fit in with the classics?

Let me start off by saying I’ve never seen Bruce Springsteen give a bad show in the close to 40 times that I have seen him over a 30-year period. There are merely gradations from good to great to breathtaking to transcendent. I should also admit that I consider being inside an arena at a Springsteen show, surrounded by my Springsteen community, to be one of my happiest places on earth.

This would mean I’m hardly objective when it comes to reviewing a Springsteen show and I judge it on a different level than the casual fan. Even with that caveat, last night’s show at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum displayed a level of polish that was astonishing considering it was only the official second night of the “Wrecking Ball” tour (he played warm-up gigs at the Apollo Theater and SXSW). While never reaching transcendence (and, really, how realistic an expectation is that every time?), the show was far better than the second night should be, especially given the number of Springsteen newbies on stage.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Beyonce</p>

Beyonce

Credit: AP Photo

Beyonce returns to the concert stage: Where can you see her?

The three shows will be her first since becoming a red hot mama

Is Atlantic City turning into the new Las Vegas in terms of offering still vital and relevant artists a platform to perform regularly?

As the rumors continue to swirl that Britney Spears could be the next act to set up her tent (“Circus” or otherwise) in Sin City, Beyonce will perform three shows in Atlantic City at the new Revel Resort.

Set for May 25-27,  at Ovation Hall, the concerts will be Bey’s first shows after giving birth to Blue Ivy Carter earlier this year.

We can only imagine what the payday is for a show like this. It’s obviously enough for Beyonce to take it seriously.  An big artist we know refers to such high-paying gigs as "bank runs."  The venue, which holds 5,050, was designed by Cirque du Soleil veterans Sceno Plus.

The tickets go on sale April 6. We went to ticketmaster.com to find out how much they will set you back, but there’s no price up yet.

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<p>Nicki Minaj</p>

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj takes her act to Europe for 15-date tour

Check out the guest stars on 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded'

As the April 3 release date for Nicki Minaj’s sophomore set, “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” nears, expect lots more Minaj minutiae. Today, comes word of her European tour. The outing kicks off June 8 in Stockholm and swings through Scandinavia, France and Italy, before hitting the U.K. June 24 with two dates at HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London.

In case you missed it, Minaj also released the official tracklisting for the standard and deluxe editions. It looks like she’s in really good company for the sets, which include such guests as Lil Wayne (natch), Cam’ron, Rick Ross, Nas, Drake, Young Jeezy, Chris Brown, Bobby V and Beenie Man.

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<p>Garbage</p>
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Garbage

Credit: AP

Listen: Garbage's new single, 'Blood for Poppies'

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Download it for free today

Garbage's new single, "Blood for Poppies" is a sonic slab that is instantly redolent of the band from its mid-2000s heyday, and yet at the same time, sounds completely new.

Awash in synthesizers and guitar effects, the song also combines a slight reggae, slacker feel as Shirley Manson wonders "why they are calling on my radio/they know I'm here/just outtasight." The production, helmed by band members --including uber-producer Butch Vig-- is intense, especially during the echo-y breakdown in the middle about "staying alive."

[More after the jump...]

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<p>&nbsp;Big Time Rush</p>
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 Big Time Rush

Credit: Charlies Sykes/AP

Here they come: The next wave of Boy Bands

One Direction, The Wanted and Big Time Rush lead the parade

Are we on the verge of another Boy Band bubble? With The Wanted’s “Glad You Came”  perched at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, teen girls screaming their lungs out over One Direction on “The Today Show,” and Big Time Rush gathering their own “Monkees”-type following from their Nickelodeon series, it sure looks like it.

The timing is right as well. For some reason, there seems to be a new batch of boy bands around the beginning of every decade or so. In the late ‘90s/early ’00, it was the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync. Twenty years ago it was New Kids on The Block and New Edition.

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<p>Bruce Springsteen performs at SXSW</p>
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Bruce Springsteen performs at SXSW

Credit: Jack Plunkett/AP

Music Power Rankings: Bruce Springsteen, Britney Spears and Bob Marley

Plus, a little music conference in Texas

1) Bruce Springsteen: “Wrecking Ball” comes in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, dethroning Queen Adele; Springsteen delivers a keynote at SXSW that instantly takes on mythical status, and then puts on a show that leaves people breathless.  Forever and always The Boss.

2) One Direction: Need any proof boy bands are back? The Wanted is at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 1D, as the Directioners call them, are slated to make music history next week when “Up All Night” bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making it the first debut album by a British band to EVER come in at No. 1 on the album chart. Take that, Fab Four.

3) Britney Spears: She allegedly turns down $10 million to appear on “The X Factor.”  Looks like Simon Cowell is going to have to hit her, baby, one more time... with an extra $10 million.

4) SXSW: The annual Austin music fest draws more than 2,000 bands and at least 4,000 bloggers claiming to have discovered the next big thing... only to declare the act "over" by the next morning

5) ”Marley”: The long-awaited biopic on Bob Marley, which has passed through many directors’ hands before Kevin Madconald wrangled it, is, as it absolutely must, coming out on 4/20.

6) Flaming Lips: The Oklahoma band’s  musical based on their album “Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots” gets an official premiere slot this fall at the La Jolla (Calif.) Playhouse. Up next:  “Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water: The Musical.”

7) Rolling Stones: They’re the only ones cool enough to delay celebrating their 50th anniversary until they are 51.  #Waitingonafriend

8) Wiz Khalifa
: His “Taylor Allderdice” mixtape proves so popular that it crashes the website. Wow, who knew Amber Rose was such a draw?

9) Turntable.fm:
After operating in a legal gray area, the online music service finalizes deals with the four major record companies. Now you can play D.J. and bore all your friends legally. 

10) Billy Corgan: The Smashing Pumpkins’ founder praises the ‘90s for producing better bands and calls today’s artists posers at SXSW. And, by the way, get off his damn lawn!

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<p>One Direction</p>
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One Direction

Credit: Charlies Sykes/AP

One Direction could make chart history on next week's Billboard 200

How does Guns N' Roses' greatest hits rise to No. 3?

British boy band One Direction is only going one way next week on the Billboard 200 and that’s straight to the top. The quintet’s “Up All Night,” is poised to sell between 165,000-175,000 copies, which should be enough to top Adele’s “21,” which will likely remain at No. 2 with sales of 150,000-160,000 copies.

Should One Direction bow at No. 1, it will mark the first time a British group’s debut album has come onto the chart in the pole position, according to Billboard. Take that Fab Four.

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<p>Kid Cudi </p>

Kid Cudi

Catching up on 'The Hunger Games': new tracks from Taylor Swift and Kid Cudi

Only a few more days until the soundtrack comes out

We took our eye off “Hunger Games” ball for a second this week and we missed the two latest tracks from the March 20 soundtrack.

Check out this rhythmic, spare haunting track from Kid Cudi, “The Ruler & The Killer.” It’s Cudi, a drum, a fuzzy guitar and a lot of menace. It’s sinister and dark, as Cudi warns “You don’t talk, you’ll say nothing, okay,” as the song builds and builds.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Katy Perry heads into combat in 'Part of Me' video sneak peak

Watch: Katy Perry heads into combat in 'Part of Me' video sneak peak

Love is a battlefield in new clip

Katy Perry is headed into battle: a love battle that is. In this very quick teaser for the video for “Part Of Me,” she is in full combat mode: complete with camouflage war paint.  As Pat Benatar infamously sang, "Love is a Battlefield." 

The song, which Perry debuted on the Grammys is not, we repeat, is not, she swears, about ex-husband Russell Brand, despite the fact that it would seem to fit their parting perfectly. It was actually written before she even met Brand.

[More after the jump...]

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