As the world’s eyes are, appropriately, on the horrific events in Japan, we take a light-hearted look at some of the movers and shakers in the music industry this week. Spending her second week at the top is Adele, who has excited fans and critics alike with “19,” the first bona-fide success story of 2011.
1) Adele (No. 1): Her new album goes gold, selling more than 500,000 copies in three weeks to make it the top seller of 2011. The Daily Beast crowns her the queen of “pop’s new beauty standard.” Why don’t we keep her looks, and any other artist’s looks, out of it and just have it be about her astonishing talent alone?
2) Warner Music Group (not ranked): Bidding turns up at least five legitimate suitors for either the recorded music division or the publishing company or both. Have these folks looked at what’s happening to album sales lately?
3) Odd Future (not ranked): The Los Angeles-based rap collective lead by 19-year old Tyler, the Creator lands on the cover of Billboard. Are they the future of the music industry or just the latest flavor-of-the-month that we won’t remember by 2012? Is it possible to jump the shark if only .01% of the public knows who you are?
4) MOG (not ranked): Pandora has stolen the spotlight lately, but this music streaming service is making big moves, including this week’s deals with LG Samsung and Vizio to be part of new internet-ready televisions and BMW’s Mini line.
All four living former presidents will take part: In addition to Bush Sr., George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter will be in attendance. Bill Clinton will serve as the event’s co-chair. President Obama will be in Latin America, but will provide a taped message.
We’d give anything to see Brooks and Green duet on “F*** You," but we're not holding our breath.
Another day, another Britney song! But in this case, it’s Britney songs, as if Spears read our minds and threw us some bonus tracks to get us through the weekend.
First, we have the full version of “Inside Out,” following the release of a song snippet a few days ago. It’s a futuristic-sounding, slow-grooving tune about break-up sex that reminds us of Janet Jackson. And Spears even gets to drop in the title of her first hit.
Next is “(Drop Dead) Beautiful,” a straight-ahead, fun dance ditty with a fun rap in the middle by female rapper Sabi. Best line: “steam me like a pot full of vegetables.” It's an infectious, cascading tune full of mixed messages, and flirty giggles from Brit-Brit.
We also get a snippet of “Gasoline,” a syncopated, toe-tapper that features Spears singing in falsetto, “you set me on fire.” We think she means that in a good way.
Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” gestates for its fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the top 10 remains fairly static. The only new entry is Ke$ha’s “Blow,” whose unicorns carry it on gilded wings 11-7 (If you don’t get that reference, watch the video here).
Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor” takes the biggest leap within the Top 10 rising 9-5, making it her first bonafide hit since 2003, according to Billboard.
The highest debut belongs to Britney Spears as “Till the World Ends” starts at No. 20, a respectable bow considering it was only available for download for three days on iTunes. The tune, co-written by Ke$ha, is the second single from Spears’ March 29 album, “Femme Fatale.” First single, “Hold It Against Me,” debuted at No. 1.
Back to the Top 10, Cee-Lo’s “Forget You” holds at No. 2 for a third week, while Rihanna’s “S&M” whips its way up 5-3. Pink’s “F**kin’ Perfect” stays at No. 4, Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” slips 3-6. Katy Perry still has two tunes in the Top 10 as “E.T.” featuring Kanye West remains at No. 8, while “Firework” slides 6-10. Enrique Iglesias’ “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)” featuring Ludacris and DJ Frank E falls 7-9.
Other songs to keep your eye on include Foo Fighters’ “Rope,” which debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Rock Songs chart and No. 70 on the Billboard Hot 100.
That's really the Foo Fighters we swear. Performing "Rope."
If you’re waiting for Foo Fighters to bring the funny in the video for fuzzy rocker “Rope,” stop holding your breath. They spent their humor budget on the clip for “White Limo.”
Nope, the Dave Grohl-directed video for “Rope” is a straight-ahead performance clip shot on VHS of the boys performing inside a white light box (to get that “walls are closing in” claustrophobic feeling expressed in the lyrics). True enough, the lyrics hardly lend themselves to big laughs.
There are a few tricks, like showing everyone in silhouette and some flashy lights during the instrumental breakdown and the end, but, thankfully, it never veers into art-school antics. Grohl would never do that. If there’s a less pretentious rock star than Grohl, we’ve yet to meet him.
Diddy’s “Last Train To Paris” may have been a relative disappointment commercially, but the rapper is laughing all the way to the bank. Forbes named him hip-hop’s wealthiest artist. And, not surprisingly, it’s his other interests, such as his Sean Jean clothing line, that are fueling the funds.
Here are the top 5 richest hip-hoppers.
1) Sean “Diddy” Combs: $475 million
2) Jay-Z: $450 million
3) Dr. Dre: $125 million
4) (tie) 50 Cent and Bryan “Birdman” Williams: $100 million.
We’re surprised that Eminem isn’t on the list. Birdman's money comes primarily from his role as Cash Money Records co-founder. The methodology for selecting the artists included evaluating current holdings, past earnings, and available financial documents.
The female-fronted music festival rose like a phoenix last year after a long hiatus only to subsequently sink like a stone as poor ticket sales led to many cancellations.
Sarah McLachlan, who co-founded the original Lilith Fair multi-artist concert series as well as the rebirth, told Calgary’s Globe and Mail newspaper that, despite proclaiming last summer that Lilith would live on, it is over.
“It’s done,” McLachlan said “And that’s okay. It’s actually a really good thing."
McLachlan went on to say that when planning the revival, she and her partners didn’t take into account how much times had changed since the original Lilith Fair, which had a very-successful three-year run starting in 1997.
Legendary Latin artists Selena, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Carmen Miranda will be immortalized by the U.S. Postal Service in its new Latin Music Legends (Forever) stamp series.
The stamps, painted by San Diego-based artist Rafael Lopez, will be unveiled March 16 at the South X Southwest Music Conference. Members of the artists' families will be in attendance. Grupo Fantasma will perform.
"The United States Postal Service has a long-standing tradition of honoring and depicting the events and people who have influenced American culture and history and have helped to define our nation," said Marie Therese Dominguez, vice president of Government Relations and Public Policy for the U.S. Postal Service in a statement. "In the spirit of this rich tradition, we issue these new Forever stamps to celebrate Latin music legends and the distinctive musical genres and styles they each represented."
Casey Abrams from the new season of "American Idol"
Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Taking a page from the “Glee” playbook, immediately following tonight’s (March 9) show “American Idol” will offer a bundled album of the studio versions of the songs performed by the 13 finalists exclusively on iTunes. Individual songs will continue to be available for sale.
The contestants recorded the studio versions under the tutelage of “AI” mentor Jimmy Iovine and his go-to team of producers, including Rock Mafia, Rodney Jerkins Don Was, Jim Jonsin, Ron Fair and “Tricky” Stewart. The compilation album will sell for $7.99 and is the first release under the new 19/Interscope deal. The “American Idol” recordings switched from Sony Music to Interscope parent Universal Music Group starting with season 10.
Dave Matthews Band will host four Dave Matthews Band Caravans this year. The first of the four three-day, multi-artist festivals will take place June 24-26 at Bader Field in Atlantic City.
The line-up for the first Caravan includes David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, The Flaming Lips, O.A.R., Damian Marley, Bassnectar, Dr. Dog, Amos Lee, Thievery Corporation, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Warren Haynes Band, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Guster, Lotus, Rebelution, Fitz and the Tantrums, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Lisa Hannigan, Punch Brothers, From Good Homes, Delta Spirit, Big Gigantic, Alberta Cross, Mariachi El Bronx, TR3, Vusi Mahlasela, The Budos Band and Bobby Long.
Dave Matthews Band will perform a full set each night. Additionally, Matthews will play an acoustic set with DMB guitarist Tim Reynolds. Three-day passes for the Atlantic City festival will be $195 each. Single-day tickets are not available.
The next three festivals will be announced shortly. These will be DMB’s only appearances in 2011. For more information, go to www.dmbcaravan.com.