Set is ninth in Columbia's 'Bootleg Series'
Some of Bob Dylan’s earliest works will come out Oct. 19. “The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964" is the ninth volume of Columbia Records’ ongoing “Bootleg Series.”
The 47 tracks on “The Witmark Demos” highlights a solo Dylan on piano, guitar and harmonica playing such now legendary songs as “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Blowin’ in the Wind,” as well as 15 tunes that have never seen the light of day in any form, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Also coming Oct. 19 is “Bob Dylan-The Original Mono Recordings,” a reissuing of Dylan’s first eight studio albums in their mono mix. Titles includes his 1962 debut “Bob Dylan” and 1967’s “John Wesley Harding.”
'American Idol' winner wanted to quiet the 'noise'
Fantasia’s new album, “Back to Me,” hits stores today and she’s been running the usual press gauntlet. What is unusual is how candid she is about her recent suicide attempt, especially on ABC's "Good Morning America" today.
The former “American Idol” champ talked about her overdose, saying it was no accident. Furthermore, she elaborated that it was not just recent events—and issues with her married boyfriend—that led to the attempt; rather it was a cumulative effect of years of troubles including bankruptcy.
GaGa officially surpassed Britney Spears over the weekend
Listen to his 'Power' remix with Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz
How did we make it through the day before Kanye West joined the Twitter nation earlier this summer? It now seems to be his prime form of communication and it’s good to know that his Messianic complex is still in full effect.
Via Twitter, West announced that he will [sic on all of the following] “drop 1 new song every wekend until Xmas… I’m calling it good Fridays. Yall know every Friday yall gone have a new joint from our family. We look at the game completely different now…It’s about the fans. No holding back. That’s why I dropped See Me Now…It wasn’t about me it was about the Summer the BBQs etc.” He also adds that it may not always be his music, it may be from another artist.
A few thoughts: the most interesting part of the post is his line about “we look at the game completely different now.” Grammar issues aside, he acknowledging that while we all still oooh and ahhh about album release dates—West’s /// comes Nov. XX---the album is becoming more and more obsolete.
As we see with Mike Posner’s pitiful album sales for “31 Minutes to Takeoff,” despite having a top 10 single in “Cooler Than Me,” all fans want now is to digest the song (i.e.: the music) in small, individual bites.
To be sure, there are some artists who have such a strong fan base, like Eminem or alternative acts like Arcade Fire, where the audience wants to support them by purchasing the entire album, but they are a smaller and smaller base.
In the meantime, enjoy one of the latest from West: his remix of “Power,” featuring Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz.
Will Lady GaGa and Taylor Swift get added to the roster?
Enimem will make a rare live appearance at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 12. The rapper is the leading male nominee with eight nods.
No word on what song he’ll perform, but we hope it’s “Love the Way You Lie,” which has taken up residency atop the Billboard Hot 100.
He joins already announced performers Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake, B.o.B and Florence + The Machine. Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Trey Songz, Ashley Greene and Selena Gomez. That slate is a little light on superstars so expect way more to be rolled out in the coming weeks, including some top rock acts (since there are no rock bands announced so far).
We have no inside track, but we bet that Taylor Swift, whose new album comes out in October, gets a slot, especially given that her video for “Mine” debuts across all MTV Network platforms, including MTV, VH1 and CMT, on Friday.
Plus, Lady GaGa, who leads all nominees has to be a lock to perform, we'd think, so don't be surprised if her name is added the closer it gets.
Parton pens new songs for the movie about a gospel choir
Parton will also contribute music to the film, her first since she helped bring “9-to-5” to Broadway.
“I’m really happy to be doing a movie with Queen Latifah,” Parton said in a statement. “I really like her and have often thought we would be fun together. Even though we play rivals in the movie, I’m sure we’ll have our fun behind the scenes.”
Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment will produce, alongside Farrell Paura Productions and O.N.C. Entertainment. Todd Graff, who wrote the screenplay, will direct. Graff previously directed ‘Bandslam.”
The movie is set for a 2011 release.
Why is the album so 'bittersweet?'
Like a true diva, eight-time Grammy nominee Fantasia opens “Back to Me,” her third album, saying “You know, sometimes you have to put yourself first.” Before delving into the mid-tempo, old school “I’m Doin’ Me.” The song is a shout out to all her sisters to love themselves enough to not pick a man who can’t love you “equally.”
It’s always tempting to filter an album’s lyrics through a singer’s personal life, especially when said life has gone from personal to public, as Fantasia’s has done recently. But given that this album was long completed before her recent troubles, we’re taking the album at face value.
Fantasia has enlisted an A Team of collaborators here, including Cee-Lo, Ne-Yo, Jim Jonsin, Claude Kelly and Rico Love, with varied results. “Back to Me” succeeds best when it takes an old school approach, such as on “I’m Doin’ Me,” first smash single “Bittersweet,” the layered, lush, finger-snapping “Collard Greens and Cornbread” and the sexy “Teach Me.”
There’s a certain timelessness to those tracks, whereas a tune like “Man of the House” is weighed down under its generic tone and synthetic beats. On the cacophonous “Move Me,” Fantasia’s fighting against a bombastic production. Mighty as her voice is—and make no mistake—she may be the finest, purest vocalist to ever come out of the “American Idol” juggernaut, Fantasia can’t compete with everything going on in that track. Oddly, the somewhat similar heavy-handedness works on “The Thrill is Gone” (not a remake of the B.B. King classic).
On the sparkling “Falling in Love Tonight,” the production team gets the blend of contemporary and classic just right. A sure single, “Even Angels,” is gorgeous; but, quite frankly, anyone from Miley Cyrus to Beyonce could have cut it. What Fantasia adds is an emotional investment that many artists are afraid to, or can’t. bring to a song.
Where “Back to Me Soars” is when Fantasia quits trying to follow any hitmaking formula and just lets her voice and feelings take over. While not every track fulfills that promise, enough of the selections on “Back to Me” do to warrant a big thumbs up.
How much will 'Teenage Dream' sell its first week?
It’s Ladies Week as Katy Perry, Fantasia and the hippest of them all, Chrissie Hynde, release new albums on Tuesday, Aug. 24. The laser-beam focus is on Perry, with expectations running high for “Teenage Dream,” her follow up to 2008’s breakthrough, “One of the Boys.” Fantasia’s third album, “Back to Me,” has already spawned an R&B chart topper with “Bittersweet,” but Hynde is living the word with her new project, some of which details loving someone you can never have. The other top release is “Versus” from Usher, a nine-song set that serves as a companion to “Raymond Vs. Raymond.”
Eels, “Tomorrow Morning” (E Works): Band led by Mark Oliver Everett (aka E) releases the third effort in its trilogy that started with “Hombre Lobo” and then “End Times.” “Morning” mines the same topics of love, loss and redemption as the previous two.
Fantasia, “Back to Me” (J Records): “American Idol” winner returns with her third solo album and, for the most part, it’s a beauty, filled with retro-soul tracks that showcase her powerful, mellifluous voice. Read review here.
Fitz & the Tantrums, “Pickin’ Up the Pieces” (Dangerbird): L.A.-based retro, sharply-dressed soulsters Fitz & the Tantrums release their full-length debut full of old school, irresistible R&B and pop.
JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys, “Fidelity!,” (La Mina/Rocket Science): The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde pairs with Welsh musician JP Jones for a lovely, folk-based set that is anchored by the heartbreaking (and clearly autobiographical) “Perfect Lover,” about a woman who meets her soul mate, but they can’t be together because she’s too old to give him children. Did we mention that Hynde is around 60 and Jones probably half that?
Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream” (Capitol): Is there any doubt that this will be a smash? Perry’s evolved into a full-fledged superstar since the release of 2008’s “One of the Boys,” and the first two singles from the new set, “California Gurls” and the title track, have already landed in the top 10. “Dream,” in the main, is more up-tempo than “One of the Boys.” Let the count begin for how many weeks it will log at No. 1. Read review here.
Usher, “Versus” (LaFace): The nine-song follow-up to “Raymond Vs. Raymond” includes hit “There Goes My Baby,” “DJ Got Us Falling in Love” featuring Pitbull and Usher’s collaboration with Jay-Z, “Hot Tottie,” as well as six other tracks such as a remix of “Somebody to Love” featuring Justin Bieber. Fans can buy “Versus” separately or bundled with “Raymond Vs. Raymond.”
And that doesn't include Bono and the Edge's 'Spider-man' soundtrack
Bono’s recent back troubles seem to have ignited a fire under U2. The band’s frontman tells Rolling Stone that fans can expect three new albums from Irish quartet, in addition to Bono and U2 guitarist The Edge’s score for the “Spider-Man,” musical, “Turn off the Dark,” opening on Broadway in December.
Coming down the pike are “Songs of Ascent,” which is composed of tracks cut at the same time as the band’s last studio album, “No Line on the Horizon.” The group is also working on a rock album and a club album.
So when can fans expect this bounty? Bono tells the magazine to expect a new release—its unclear which one—by the time the foursome returns to the U.S. next summer to make up the 20 or so dates postponed after Bono hurt his back and required surgery earlier this year.
Drizzy also announced 'Welcome Home Weezy' for his Cash Money labelmate
Drake’s new video for “Miss Me” must be the 8,000th clip that features Lil Wayne since his March incarceration. But there’s more. There’s also some fire and a stripper, who just seems to be irritating Drake more than anything else. “Miss Me” was directed by Anthony Mandler, who’s helmed all of Drake’s clips from “Thank Me Later.”
Even when he’s between the dancer’s legs, Drake is pining for Nicki Minaj,who, he’s hoping, will marry him one day since her “ pants are mighty fitted.”
Drake tells MTV that the video’s message is “youth in revolt, rebellious,” which completely bypassed me unless nothing says “revolt” like a writhing dancer.
Weezy’s rap is definitely NSFW with such lines as “My bitches do it til they suck the brown off.” Wouldn’t that hurt? It’s one of his most rambling raps ever in that he also shouts out to Haiti and other complete non-sequiturs. His image appears as some ethereal floating head through most of his part, with a few group shots taken before he went to jail. Our favorite part is when Weezy quotes lyrics from the Miracles' 1976 hit, "Love Machine." Trippy.
The video, edited in quick cuts and beautifully shot as it may be, has not plot and, like the song, is weirdly all over the place. There’s no relation at all to Drake’s sweet “Miss Me” chorus and the rest of the song or Weezy’s rap and the video has the same disjointed feel.
In other Lil Wayne news, Drake announced on Thursday that a “Welcome Home Weezy” concert will be held Nov. 5 to herald Lil Wayne’s release from jail. He’s been serving time in New York’s Riker’s Island on weapons charges and is slated to be released on Nov. 4. No details on the concert, but newlilwayne.com figures it will likely be on the west coast since Drake plays in Los Angeles on Nov. 4 and in Las Vegas on Nov. 6.