Think Michael Buble had a good week this week when “Christmas” moved 292,000 units to outsell Adele’s “21” by a two-to-one margin and retain his No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200? Then just wait until next week when “Christmas” possibly surpasses the 500,000 mark.
Every now and then a Christmas title takes over the charts and dominates through the holidays (even if it doesn’t camp out at No. 1): it’s happened with Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream,” Josh Groban’s “Noel” and now it’s Buble’s moment. This week’s new release from the Black Keys was the only possible challenger at the top and the album didn’t come close (more about that later). We predict that “Christmas” is a lock to stay at No. 1 until 2012. So why does it surge to such high numbers next week? The increase is, in large part, due to his primetime special on Dec. 6 on NBC.
Pearl Jam will kick off a series of European headlining gigs on June 20 and include a show at the Isle of Wight Festival in the U.K. on June 23.
The headliners for Isle of Wight this year are the top of vintage American rock acts with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers playing June 22 and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing June 24.
Pearl Jam, who celebrated their 20th anniversary all year long this year, including with the fine documentary “Pearl Jam 20,” will spend three weeks touring Europe. No word on a new U.S. tour yet.
Los Angeles punk band X, who has toured with the band before, will serve as the opener. For a fun interview with X’s Exene Cervenka about touring with Eddie Vedder and the boys, as well as some other illuminated comments, go here.
Pearl Jam's European tour dates:
June 20: Manchester, U.K. (MEN Arena) ?
June 23: Isle of Wright, U.K. (Isle of Wight Festival) ?
June 26: Amsterdam, Netherlands (Ziggo Dome) ?
June 29: Werchter, Belgium (Rockwerchter Festival)
July 4: Berlin, Germany (O2 Arena)
July 7: Stockholm, Sweden (Ericsson Globe Arena) ?
July 9: Oslo, Norway (Spektrum) ?
July 10: Copenhagen, Denmark (Forum)
Tim McGraw got his Christmas present early when a judge decided that he could, indeed, get released from his record contract from Curb Records, with whom he has been feuding for years now.
So now, he’s spreading his joy with his fans via this free download of “Christmas All Over the World,” a rocking, twangy little tune written by Daniel Tashian and Troy Verges. The Beatlesque backing vocals and Glen Campbell-style guitar playing are a nice touch. And McGraw sounds great. It is available for free via AOL on Dec. 8 and then, starting Dec. 9, through timmcgraw.com. Hear it here.
McGraw, who embarks on a stadium tour with buddy Kenny Chesney next summer, released the song on his StyleSonic Records. He’ll have a new album out next year-- although it’s unclear if it will come out via StyleSonic or if he’s looking for another major label deal.
Fellow soon-to-be-ex-Curb artist Lyle Lovett also just released a Christmas EP, “Songs for the Season.” Produced by Lovett and Nathaniel Kunkel, the online release features the Vince Guaraldi/ “Peanuts” classic “Christmastime is Here,” as well as “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” a duet with Kat Edmonson,” and a few other treats. On other Lovett news, the four-time Grammy winner will release his last set for Curb on Feb. 28. Appropriately enough, the album is titled "Release Me,"
Jay Z will be headline two shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Feb. 6-7. The two concerts are benefits for the United Way and Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation (Carter is Jay Z’s real name).
“It’s every artists dream to play a venue as legendary as Carnegie Hall,” said Jay Z in a statement. “The fact that I can use the arts and my talent to benefit the education of the next generation of artist, entrepreneurs and great thinkers makes for a legendary night. I’m proud to be a part of the continuing work of United Way of New York City and expanding the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.”
It’s safe to say that lack of confidence will not ever be an issue with little Willow Smith, the spawn of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. Really, what other 11-year old has the cojones to start her video in the same style as the legendary opening credits from “Star Wars?”
The Hype Williams-directed “Fireball” featuring, of course, Nicki Minaj, debuted on B.E.T.’s “”106th and Park” on Wednesday. Smith continues on in her Rihanna mini-me mode in her spoken/sung delivery, although this song, to keep it in “Star Wars” parlance, is from a galaxy far far away from “Whip My Hair” and a far better one at that. (Musically, however, the song features the same military beat as "Run The World (Girls)" from Beyonce).
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It’s a very familiar picture by now. For the sixth week in a row, Rihanna’s “We Found Love” featuring Calvin Harris tops the Billboard Hot 100 and leaves LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” in the runner-up slot for the fifth week.
That means “Sexy” has been a bridesmaid for the longest time frame since Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” got stuck at No. 2 for seven weeks in 2009-2010, according to Billboard.
The Afghan Whigs will play their first show in 13 years when the Greg Dulli-led band reunites for All Tomorrow’s Parties “I’ll Be Your Mirror” festival at London’s Alexandra Palace on May 27.
The revered Cincinnati band are taking the slot that had been held by Guided By Voices, who cancelled because they broke up and have cancelled all 2012 (and we presume beyond that) bookings.
Other performers during the May 25-27 festival, curated by Mogwai and ATP, include Slayer, Sleep, Mudhoney, Yuck, the Melvins, and a reunited Codeine. Newly added are The Archers of Loaf and Chavez, who reformed last year.
Welcome to the Rock Hall, baby: the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will will induct Guns N’ Roses as one of its six honorees for the class of 2012.
Joining them will be the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, ‘60s folksinger Donovan, singer-songwriter Laura Nyro, and the Small Faces.
An artist is eligible 25 years after his or her first album or single comes out.
In what has become a depressing rite of passage, we can almost always count on a posthumous album or two (or 200, if you’re Tupac) within months of an artist’s death.
This time, sadly, it’s Amy Winehouse’s turn. Winehouse died July 23 of alcohol poisoning. Out today, “Lioness: Hidden Treasures,” compiles 12 previously unreleased songs, alternative versions and a few cover tunes recorded over the past nine years, including her last recording session with Tony Bennett on “Body & Soul.” So the question is which of these tunes are treasures and which should have remained hidden?
The album opens with Winehouse’s 2002 reggae-tinged version of Ruby & The Romantics‘ 1963 hit “Our Day Will Comes,” and with good reason. It’s the track where Winehouse sounds most coherent. It’s a lively, jaunty remake that showcases Winehouse’s love and connection to the singers from the ‘50s and ‘60s and her uncanny intuitiveness when it comes to capturing the sassiness and longing so prevalent in the female pioneers.
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Admit it. You wanted a Santa Claus who knows how to pop and lock for Christmas, didn’t you? Well, look no further, because everyone’s favorite holiday elf, Justin Bieber, has just delivered one to your internet stocking. In his new video for “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” the toys, Santa’s helpers, and Kris Kringle himself are all breaking into head spins.
The only one who looks like he isn’t having a good time is Mr. Under the Mistletoe himself. In his 8,000th holiday video this week, Bieber seems very concerned and intense about Santa Claus’s arrival or maybe the steampunk glove he’s wearing is just a little too tight.
The live action video, embedded below, is the second from Bieber for “Santa Claus is Coming To Town”; the first was an animated clip to accompany “Arthur Christmas.” Arthur makes a few very unobtrusive drop in for this video, but otherwise, knows to stay the hell out of the kitchen. Given that this arrangement follows the Jacksons’ version, there is a very sweet little homage to the group. See if you can figure it out.
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