<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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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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Look: Justin Bieber unveils cover art for new single, 'Boyfriend'

Look: Justin Bieber unveils cover art for new single, 'Boyfriend'

The fans get to decide

Justin Bieber’s new single, “Boyfriend,” co-written with Mike Posner, doesn’t come out until March 26, but the teen idol has his fans in a frenzy about the track already.

Friday morning, Bieber teased that he would tweet the single cover art, but instead, posted two potential covers and is letting his fans decide. The song will be the first single off his new album, “Believe.”  The cover that gets the most tweets over the weekend wins. Mind you, to the non-Belieber, there is not that much difference in the covers: he has on the same shirt in both, he’s leaning toward his right, but in one he’s running his fingers through what looks like a new hair-do and in the other, he’s staring off longingly (no doubt, he’s waiting for you, girl.... ). Either way, if he’s finally ditched the side bangs for good now that he’s 18, we applaud the Bieb.

And big props to Bieber for signing the on-line petition to get the MPAA to change the rating for "Bully" from R. If he gets his fans involved, we bet it will make the difference.

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Which one do you like better?

Follow Melinda Newman on Twitter @HitFixMelinda
 

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<p>&nbsp;Haley Reinhart</p>

 Haley Reinhart

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: 'American Idol's' Haley Reinhart streams first single

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When can you get her debut album?

“American Idol” contestant Haley Reinhart will drop her debut album, “Listen Up!” on May 22 on 19/Interscope.

The jazzy singer’s first single “Free,” will be for sale on March 20, but you can stream it for free now on her Facebook page. (You have to go to her page to hear it. There's a slowed down, demo version on youtube, but it's not as strong as the final track).

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The Flaming Lips' musical 'Yoshimi' sets late fall premiere

Join the robots at La Jolla Playhouse

The Flaming Lips’ new musical, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” based on the 2002 album of the same name, is coming to theaters. The musical will bow this fall at the prestigious La Jolla (Calif.)  Playhouse.

Des McAnuff, who has directed such plays as “Jersey Boys” and the current Broadway revival of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” will helm the production, according to the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper notes that screen writer Aaron Sorkin, who was previously connected with the project, which has been in the works for five years, is no longer associated with it.

Like Green Day’s “American Idiot,” “Yoshimi,” which chronicles the adventures of a female Japanese artist who ventures into the world of robots, includes the songs from the titular album, but also includes tunes from other Flaming Lips albums.

Look for a November or December premiere.
 

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