<p>Bon Iver's Justin Vernon</p>

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon

Listen: Bon Iver and The Chieftains on 'Down in the Willow Garden'

Has a murder ballad ever sounded so lovely?

Bon Iver and the Chieftains make death sound beautiful on their remake of the traditional murder ballad “Down In the Willow Garden.”

The song, which appears on the Chieftains’ 50th anniversary album, “Voice of Ages,” spins a tale of a man about to be hanged for poisoning, stabbing and then dumping his lover’s body in the river. It’s been recorded by everyone from Charlie Monroe to the Everly Brothers to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and now it’s the Grammy-nominated  Bon Iver’s turn. His take is haunting and mournful, as a murder ballad should be. It is also unexpectedly lovely, expecially because of the Chieftains’ instrumentation. It's streaming at Pitchfork.

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<p>Keith Urban</p>

Keith Urban

Credit: AP Photo

Lady Antebellum and Band Perry join Keith Urban for All for the Hall

Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town and Thompson Square also on April benefit bill

While Taylor Swift is off sticking it to her ex-boyfriends, Keith Urban will be joined by Lady Antebellum, Pistol Annies, The Band Perry and many more for the annual All For The Hall concert, April 10.

The concert, which takes place at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, benefits the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Other artists on the bill include Vince Gill, Alabama, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, Thompson Square and the Oak Ridge Boys.

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<p>Jeff Tweedy</p>

Jeff Tweedy

Wilco takes a year off from Solid Sound Festival, vows 2013 return

Band cites launch of new label and touring for hiatus

Wilco will return with its Solid Sound Festival in 2013 after taking this year off.

The group announced the hiatus on its website, but added that the band will play a summer concert to benefit MASS MoCA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Mass.

Solid Sound Festival 3 will take place June 21-23, 2013 at MASS MoCa.

Wilco introduced the Solid Sound Festival in 2010, with the first event featuring the band as well as such acts as Mavis Staples, The Autumn Defense , The Nels Cline Singers and Kristen Schaal.

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<p>Madonna at the Golden Globes</p>

Madonna at the Golden Globes

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Madonna reveals details on new album's 'light and dark' sides

Plus: Sniping from and at Elton John

Madonna revealed more details about “M.D.N.A.” last night at the Golden Globes, in between swipes at Elton John and talking about her win for “Masterpiece” from “W.E.”

As we’ve previously reported, French producer Martin Solveig produced the majority of the album, out in March. “I love his sound. It’s really fresh, doesn’t sound like anybody else’s,” Madge said backstage. “I would say his music is happy. It puts a smile on your face.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Lana Del Rey performs on &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;.</p>

Lana Del Rey performs on "Saturday Night Live".

Credit: NBC

Was Lana Del Rey's 'Saturday Night Live' performance a career killer?

Is Lady Gaga the only one who gets to reinvent herself?

For Interscope Records, which will release Lana Del Rey’s major label debut on Jan. 31, the good news is there’s lots and lots of discussion about Del Rey clogging the internet today following her performance on “Saturday Night Live” last night.

The bad news is most of it is horrible.

If you already knew who Lana Del Rey was, chances are pretty good last night’s performances did nothing to make you want to investigate her further. If you had never heard of her before last night, there was little in her awkward, uncomfortable appearance that is likely to make you seek out the album, the perhaps unfortunately titled "Born To Die,"  when it drops.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: 'Joyful Noise's' Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan talk working with icons

Just how intimidating is it to duet with Dolly Parton?

Jeremy Jordan gets thrown in the deep end in “Joyful Noise,” which opens today. The Broadway vet makes his movie debut in the film and holds his own playing against such icons as Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah. Plus, he plays the love interest of KeKe Palmer, who, at 18, may have more film experience than the other three combined. She certainly has poise, as she shows in this interview.

Palmer, whose rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” is one of the film’s musical highlights, and Jordan share a sweet chemistry on screen and their connection was evident during our short interview with them as well.

In the interview above, Jordan, who is headed back to Broadway to star in “Newsies,”  talks about sharing a piano bench and a song with Parton, while Palmer confesses that she has sassed her mom, just like her character does with Queen Latifah, who plays her movie mom. The film was a reunion for Palmer and Queen Latifah, who worked together when Palmer was 9 in "Beauty Shop." 

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<p>The cover of Adele's &quot;21&quot;</p>
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The cover of Adele's "21"

Does Adele make it to sweet 16 on the Billboard 200?

What act that you've likely never heard of comes in at No. 2?

In a now familiar refrain, it’s Adele’s “21” for the win next week as the title is poised to spend its 16th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

The British singer’s sophomore set could top the 100,000 mark again next week, according to Hits Daily Double, giving it a huge margin of David Crowder Band’s “Give Us Rest,” which is predicted to sell around 45,000, to come in at No. 2

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Watch: Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars play 'Hunger Game's' 'Safe and Sound'

Watch: Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars play 'Hunger Game's' 'Safe and Sound'

Swifty shows up at the duo's Nashville show

Taylor Swift, who brought up guest artist after guest artist during her recent tour, got to crash someone else's show last night:  She joined  The Civil Wars to perform “Safe and Sound,” their duet from “Hunger Games”  on stage for the pair's sold-out show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Madonna on &quot;Good Morning America&quot;</p>

Madonna on "Good Morning America"

Watch: Madonna swats at Lady Gaga on 'GMA'

But she saves her true wrath for Newsweek

What is she wearing? That was the first question I thought when I watched the below excerpt from Madonna’s interview with “Good Morning America” that aired today.

Money can’t buy taste and the fake cheerleader outfit with silver fringe and "WE" necklace distracted me so much that I almost couldn't focus on what she was saying.  The interview is largely a snore in which Cynthia McFadden tries to be titillating by asking if Madonna’s recent kiss with Nicki Minaj included tongue, but Madonna is really having none of it.

[More after the jump...]

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What's the bad news about Adele's 'Titanic' success?
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

What's the bad news about Adele's 'Titanic' success?

Why is she so far ahead of the pack?

Next week, barring any stunning surprises, Adele’s “21” will celebrate its 16th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. That statistic gives the album the most weeks at No. 1 since the “Titanic” soundtrack in 1997-1998.

How can there by anything bad about that? Well, plenty. Especially when you think about what her success says about the state of the music industry and today’s music makers.

Let’s make something clear: This is not meant to take anything away from Adele, and her U.S. label, Columbia, which set up the album beautifully and have paced the singles perfectly. This is more a look at what's wrong with everything else. Here’s the bad news:

*If you subtract “21’s” success from the 2011 numbers, sales for 2011 were down from 2010; her album sales alone can wipe away the 1.4% increase experienced over the previous year.  Since “21” first debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart dated March 12 2011, 23 other albums have hit No. 1, but “21” always bounced back to the top, never spending more than 10 weeks out of No. 1.  Plus, it has never dropped out of the Top 10 since its release.

*Other than “21,” the only other album to spend more than two weeks at No. 1 since “21’s” release is Michael Buble’s “Christmas.”  A holiday album. An album that does not rely on radio play and has an extraordinarily short shelf life (although it is a perennial) and does nothing to build an artist’s career.

*To drive the nail further in the coffin, the gap between “21’s” sales and sales of “Christmas,” the second-best selling album in 2011, was around 3 million copies .  Do you want us to repeat that? “21” sold 5.8 million copies; “Christmas” sold  2.45 million. There are 310 million people in the U.S.

*Nearly a year after “21’s” release, Columbia is only on the third single, “Set Fire To The Rain.”  How many pop records, especially urban leanings ones, are on their third single by the time the album comes out?  Granted, a “Rolling in the Deep” only comes along once in, apparently, every 25 years, but there’s something to be learned from sticking with a single and not rushing things. It’s called patience and development.

*Acts need to make albums that capture people’s interest for more than a second.  Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto?” Lady Antebellum’s “Own the Night?” Drake’s “Take Care?”  All highly anticipated albums that got one and were done: one week at No. 1 and then started to drop.  All the emphasis is on opening week, there’s no building or sustaining a story.

*Artists need to make better albums. Yes, we are transitioning to a digital download world, but note that Adele had the biggest selling single of the year, as well as album. That says that people wanted to buy the album because they wanted to hear more after purchasing “Rolling In the Deep,” and they had faith that the tracks they had not heard would be just as good as the ones that they had. How many other albums can you say that about recently?

*Is it really as simple as Dave Grohl makes it sound? He told Billboard earlier this week: “Someone asked me recently, ‘What do you think the problem with the music industry is?’ I said, take the Adele record, for example. It's an amazing record and everybody's so shocked that it's such a phenomenon. I'm not. You know why that record's huge? Because it's fucking good and it's real. When you have an artist singing about something real and she's incredibly talented, it deserves all the rewards it gets, it's a great record. Now imagine if all records were that good. Do you think only one of them would sell? Fuck no! All of them would...A lot of people are promoting records that are just throw-it-against-the-wall-see-if-it-sticks meaningless bullshit. Everybody has the responsibility to do the right thing and promote artists that mean something."

No, of course it’s not that simple. The Foo Fighters’ “Wasting Light” has sold around 670,000 copies. Does that mean it’s only 1/9 as good as “21?” Of course not, but Grohl’s broader point is well taken about the industry's continued mentality that settles for merely good enough. And that's too bad.

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