Inside Music with Melinda Newman
Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver singer gets his croon on
Scott Weiland is getting his Bing Crosby croon on in this nostalgic video for “Winter Wonderland” from the Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver front man’s totally non-ironic take on one of the most popular holiday standards.
The tune is from Weiland’s “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” out now, which features Weiland warbling through a number of Christmas classics surrounded by lush orchestrations and a big band.
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Why is Taylor Swift happy this week?
Rihanna’s enduring relationship with the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 continues as “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris logs its third week at the summit.
The single, the first track from Rihanna’s new album, “Talk That Talk,” out Nov. 21, gets some company as the next single from the set, “You Da One” debuts at No. 73.
Rihanna isn’t the only one with good news: Taylor Swift has three songs debut within the top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100: “If This Was a Movie” starts at No. 10, while “Ours,” which she performed on the CMA Awards, arrives at No. 13 (Tay-Tay’s favorite number) and “Superman” flies in at No. 26. Why the activity? In addition to the CMAs, last week marked the songs’ digital availability after being only physically available on the special edition “Speak Now” CD offered exclusively at Target, according to Billboard.
Music from Cirque du Soleil's 'Immortal' show comes out Nov. 21
Michael Jackson’s “The Immortal World Tour” opened Oct. 2 in Montreal. The show, produced in collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and Jackson’s estate, features ambitious reinventions of some of the King of Pop’s biggest hits, performed by a live band as Cirque’s acrobats do seemingly impossible feats. The band, led by keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, plays to the late singer’s vocals.
Similarly to Cirque du Soleil’s tremendsously popular “Love,” which is built around the Beatles' hits, “Immortal” takes Jackson’s music (solo and with the Jackson 5) and creates mash-ups and new arrangements. However, in the case of “Love,” the musical designers were George Martin, who, of course, produced all the Beatles hits originally, and his talented son Giles. Music designer Kevin Antunes handles the duties for Cirque. He is best known for his work with The New Kids on the Block, Marky Mark, Britney Spears and ‘N Sync.
When does her new album hit the streets?
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Ingrid Michaelson, but she’s back to haunt us with the dramatic “Ghost.” She’s “broken down the middle of my heart, heart....” from love’s disastrous results. She’s left to roam the halls with the pieces of her that haven’t already died from her lover’s negligence.
The string-laden, wrenching track, which premiered on EW.com today, is a stunning return from the New York singer-songwriter and the opening salvo from her David Kahne-produced fourth album, “Human Again,” out Jan. 24. Hear it here. If you're having a tough time with your own relationship and need to have a good cry, you'll be sobbing by the time you reach the bridge.
Watch them warm up on their jazzy take on the wintry classic
Former “American Idols” Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams are in a frisky, holiday mood as thy duet on the wintertime classic “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” It’s a sweet, jazzy video that we think the Gap should immediately appropriate for its Christmas campaign.
The video comes a day after fellow season 10 finalist Paul McDonald released his duet with his wife, “Twilight” actress Nikki Reed on a sweet, country-flavored tune called “Now That I Found You.”
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Who brought the marshmallows for the s'mores?
The Fray’s Isaac Slade may want to “kiss your scars tonight” as he sings in the group’s new single, “Heartbeat,” but he also wants you to download the video for free.
The video for the track, which is soaring up Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs chart and this week is sandwiched between, oddly enough, Nickelback and LMFAO, premiered today on iTunes.
Watch the video from their MSG performance last week
They are very few people on this planet cooler than Dave Grohl, but one who definitely fits the bill is Joan Jett, whose coolness is off the meter.
As fans of both acts know, Jett joined the Foo Fighters a few days ago at New York's Madison Square Garden for a blazing version of Jett’s punk classic, “Bad Reputation.” It’s fun to watch Pat Smear and Grohl bouncing around, obviously having the time of their lives, as Jett tears the roof off MSG. Grohl, who notes it's the first time they've performed together, appropriately introduces her as “the baddest motherfucker I know” and calls it the "greatest fucking night of the tour." I'm convinced that if you look up "true believer" in the rock and roll dictionary, there would be a picture of Jett, who wrote this song with her longtime manager Kenny Laguna, Ritchie Cordell and Marty Joe Kupersmith more than (gasp) 30 years ago.
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Sparkling magical tune is one of two the Icelandic artist wrote for the Oscar contender
Though Jónsi's music, both as part of Sigur Rós and on his beautiful solo album,"Go," have luscious cinematic elements, his work on Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought A Zoo” marks the first time the Icelandic artist has composed music specifically for a theatrical release.
In addition to scoring the film, Jónsi also wrote two new songs for the movie, including “Gathering Stories,” which he co-wrote with Crowe. While “Zoo” is the first collaboration between the two, Crowe licensed three Sigur Rós tunes for 2001‘s “Vanilla Sky.” “Gathering Stories” premiered on NPR today. Hear it here.
What happens when 'American Idol' meets 'Twilight?'
Note to Blake and Miranda: You do not need to worry about the new country couple of the moment, “American Idol” season 10 contestant Paul McDonald and “Twilight’s” Nikki Reed.
Today, the two debuted “Now That I Found You” on Ryan Seacrest’s morning show. The pleasant mid-tempo ballad, which wraps around a pedal steel and a chugging beat, tells us that the newlyweds like each other alot, including loving each other’s smile in the morning and the fact that they (or one of them) wears socks to bed. We actually think one of the lines is about doing laundry in their house.
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Travie McCoy and friends explore life's sweet and sour sides
Gym Class Heroes have always been all over the place musically, wearing their myriad influences on their collective sleeve.
On “The Papercut Chronicles II,” out Nov. 15, the same aesthetic applies. While Travie McCoy’s spoken vocals dominate, pop, R&B, hip hop and aggressive rock all splice together, often on the same track.
The results are mixed, but one thing is clear: what works best for Gym Class Heroes is their tried-and-true method of cannily bringing in someone with singing chops that are in direct contrast to McCoy’s rapping. First single, clever “Stereo Hearts” featuring Maroon 5’s Adam Levine works perfectly and has provided the band with one of its biggest hits in its 14-year career. That yin and yang approach has proven a good call for the band on the past, especially on such tunes as the poignant “Live Forever” featuring McCoy’s hero Daryl Hall from 2008’s “The Quilt” or on 2006’s “Cupid’s Chokehold,” which blended McCoy’s gruff rap with Patrick Stump’s delicate take on Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America” (or, of course, McCoy’s solo success with Bruno Mars on last year’s “Billionaire.”)