<p>Mumford &amp; Sons</p>

Mumford & Sons

Credit: Katie Hasty

Listen: Mumford & Sons debut new track, 'Ghosts That We Knew,' live

Is this the first track from the new album?

Mumford & Sons debuted a new tune live on Philadelphia alternative rock station Radio 104.5 Tuesday night.  The largely acoustic (of course) “Ghosts That We Knew” features guitar, banjo and accordion and is definitely in the pocket of the folk rock we’ve come to know from the British quartet.

Even though the song picked up tempo toward the end, it lacked a little of the heft of such tunes at “Little Lion Man” or “The Cave,” but we’ll reserve judgment until we hear the studio version of “Ghost.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Nicki Minaj</p>

Nicki Minaj

Has Nicki Minaj gone too far in Big Sean's 'Dance (A$$)' remix video?

The focus is on her most formidable 'asset'

Let’s face it, expecting any modicum of class in a video where the most repeated word is “Ass”  makes about as much sense as expecting a vegan selection on the menu at a steakhouse.

Still, I can’t help but be disappointed in Nicki Minaj’s participation in the video for Big Sean’s “Dance (A$$)" remix released this week.

If Minaj wants me to look at her completely as a candy-colored cartoon character, which I do most of the time anyway, she’s pretty much accomplished her goal. The wide-eyed X-rated Barbie doll act is wearing thin though. And with each project, it becomes easier to dismiss her talent as a rapper and focus on her as some brightly colored object that distracts momentarily from anything else in view, but is forgotten the second she is out of the picture.

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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Lady Gaga forms Born This Way Foundation, will headline KIIS FM Jingle Ball

Who else will join her at Jingle Ball?

Never let it be said that Lady Gaga doesn’t put her money where her mouth is. She and her mom have formed the Born This Way Foundation. The non-profit will tackle self-esteem and bullying issues.

“Together, we hope to establish a standard of bravery and kindness, as well as a community worldwide that protects and nurtures others in the face of bullying and abandonment,” Gaga said in a statement, as reported by Idolator.

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<p>&nbsp;Glen Campbell</p>

 Glen Campbell

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Glen Campbell gets inked by Paul Westerberg in 'Ghost' video

Moving video salutes legendary artist's past and present

The Replacements’ Paul Westerberg makes a rare appearance in Glen Campbell’s “Ghost On The Canvas.” What’s the connection you may wonder?  Westerberg wrote the tune for Campbell for his new album of the same name. The set, likely to be Campbell’s last following his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, has received rave reviews, including mine.

The video features Campbell playing live, often in front of a golden multi-layered orb that recalls the logo from Campbell’s variety TV show, “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour”

Westerberg appears as a painter, who watches Campbell on TV (and plays the vinyl album on his turntable), as he creates images of Campbell alongside some of his iconic friends who played pivotal parts in his career, including Dean Martin, as well as Campbell on a black velvet painting — the ghost on the canvas.  The final portrait of  Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Buck Owens with Campbell creates a Mount Rushmore of musical titans.

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For anyone who’s followed Campbell’s story with this album, there’s something tremendously moving about the video, which also shows him backed by three of his four children, as he is in concert. Having seen Campbell twice on this tour, it’s clear he draws tremendous emotional support from having them on stage as he occasionally falters and they are there to pick him back up musically and keep him on track. 

I’ve been plugging this album every chance I get. The sad story is compelling, but even without that, Campbell, with great assistance from producer Julian Raymond, has made an incredibly gorgeous album that brings his career full circle. His guitar playing remains sharp and poignant and the song selection never shies away from the devastating illness his faces without ever wallowing in it.

In other Campbell news, the 45th Country Music Assn. Awards will honor Campbell during its Nov. 9 telecast. Three fellow gunslingers, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill and Keith Urban, will salute Campbell, who nabbed CMA Entertainer and male vocalist of the year in 1968.

 

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<p>Roger Waters</p>

Roger Waters

Credit: AP Photo

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters puts another brick in 'The Wall' for a 2012 U.S. tour

Outing begins in May

Roger Waters will bring Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” tour back to the U.S. in a slate of new shows starting May 1. Tickets for the tour, promoted by Live Nation, go on sale Nov. 7.

The multi-media presentation features the Pink Floyd co-founder performing the masterpiece from start to finish with a full band. Over the past two years, Waters’ “The Wall” has played to more than 1.6 million fans.

Starting at Houston’s Toyota Center on May 1, the 36-date outing will wrap at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.

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<p>The Wallflowers</p>

The Wallflowers

Wallflowers to reunite in 2012, according to Jakob Dylan

Six-year hiatus was unintentional

Jakob Dylan plans to reunite with his band The Wallflowers for their first album since 2005’s “Rebel, Sweetheart.”

Dylan, who’s currently touring behind his fine 2010 T-Bone Burnett produced set, “Women and Country,” told Rolling Stone that he and the reunited Wallflowers will start work on the new set in January and that the six-year hiatus was unintentional because, well, time goes by a lot faster when you get older.

“I never suggested we were breaking up. We all felt we were losing the plot a bit and we needed a break. And that year break becomes two years, then becomes three years and before you know it, five or six years go by pretty quickly. I can’t do what I do in the Wallflowers without them. I miss them.”

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<p>&nbsp;Jason Aldean</p>
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 Jason Aldean

Hitfix Interview: Jason Aldean on Lady Gaga, Adele, boxers and prosthetics

The country superstar celebrates double platinum 'My Kinda Party's' year at the top

This week marks Jason Aldean’s first anniversary. No, not to his wife. On Wednesday, his fourth album “My Kinda Party” celebrates its 52nd week on the charts. In that time, the double-platinum title has never dropped out of the top 20 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart or below the top 5 on Billboard’s country albums chart. It’s spawned four hits, including the smash “Dirt Road Anthem.”

Those numbers please Aldean, but as he sits backstage at the Universal Amphitheater, a few days before Halloween, he’s way more concerned with the night’s sold-out show, and the next album, which he starts recording this month.

Sitting on a black leather couch, Aldean, who will headline the Stagecoach Festvial this spring, has his creature comforts around him: the iconic photo of Johnny Cash flipping the bird sits atop a piano, surrounded by candles; a Georgia Bulldogs banner waves, and the album cover from Alabama’s “Mountain Music.”

Aldean, who grew more relaxed as the interview wore on, talked about what he thinks about Lady Gaga—both artists will perform at the Grammy nominations concert on CBS Nov. 30, which CMA Award means the most to him, tattoos, and his weirdest interactions with fans: think boxers and prosthetics.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Miranda Lambert, &quot;Four the Record&quot;</p>

Miranda Lambert, "Four the Record"

Album Review: Miranda Lambert sets it straight on 'Four the Record'

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Has marriage to Blake Shelton softened the country superstar?

Miranda Lambert has gone from “Nashville Star” contestant — and not even a winner at that — to country queen in the span of six short years. 

With “Four the Record,” her fourth album— get it? — she shows why. The reigning CMA female vocalist has always adored her country sisters who came before — Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris — but she draws just as much inspiration and grit from Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. This Texan loves her red meat, her guns, her liquor, her country, and her man, when he treats her right.

Jennings once joked that he “couldn’t go pop with a mouthful of firecrackers,” and the same holds true of Lambert. Her success has only made her stronger in her country convictions. Though there are touches of blues and rock on the Nov. 1 release,  country blazes through every song here, which are drenched in mandolins, fiddles, pedal steel and a well-placed mournful organ every now and then.

Smartly, Lambert doesn’t try to replicate her modern classic, the tearjerker “The House That Built Me,” from 2009’s “Revolution.” If nothing on “Four” reaches the heights of “House,” the project scores as a  consistently more even affair than her past three sets, full of  heartache, betrayal, and, above all, attitude.  Vocally, the 27-year old Lambert’s twang can sound boastful, regretful and torn all in the same song.

[More after the jump...]

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Album Review: Beach Boys' brilliant 'SMiLE' Sessions box set

Album Review: Beach Boys' brilliant 'SMiLE' Sessions box set

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Musical magic and madness 45 years after the fact

Glorious. There. That’s my one-word review of “SMiLE,” the never-released/never-completed Beach Boys album that is finally seeing the light of day 45 years after Brian Wilson and his band mates entered the studio.

Rolling Stone has called “SMiLE,”  “the most famous unfinished album in rock & roll history.”  Still unfinished, Capitol is, nevertheless, releasing the “SMiLE” sessions on Nov. 1. For diehards, a deluxe package includes not just the original tracks, but four CDs of studio outtakes, including 30 different snippets from the recording of “Heroes & Villains.” There are vinyl versions, digital only versions, and even a version that comes with a surf board.

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<p>The cover of the new Casting Crowns album</p>
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The cover of the new Casting Crowns album

Adele and Casting Crowns duke it out for Billboard 200 throne

Can Casting Crowns land the first Christian album to top the chart in 14 years?

Christian rockers Casting Crowns are vying for their first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week with “Come to the Well.” Should the band succeed, it will mark the first time that an album has topped both the Billboard 200 and the Christian albums chart since LeAnn Rimes’ “You Light Up My Life” in 1997, according to Billboard.com.

With Nielsen SoundScan's tally still a few days away from its Sunday close, it’s too soon to tell it Casting Crowns will triumph or if Adele’s “21” will land at the top as both are on target to sell between 100,000-110,000 units, according to Hits Daily Double.

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