Kelis and Bret Michaels also offer new albums
With much of America on vacation because of the July 4 weekend, only a few artists practice their independence with July 6 release dates. Big Boi’s “Sir Luscious Leftfoot,” which it feels like we’ve simultaneously waited for forever and already heard 45 tracks from, finally arrives after label entanglements. We also get new Enrique Iglesias and Kylie Minogue.
Big Boi, “Sir Luscious Leftfoot…Son of Chico Dusty” (Def Jam): One-half of Outkast, Big Boi brings in the big guns for his solo effort: T.I., Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx and B.o.B. Fun feisty tracks like ‘Shutterbugg” and “General Patton” make this a likely contender to enter near the top of the chart.
Enrique Iglesias, ‘Euphoria” (Universal): He already has an mid-level hit in ‘I Like It” featuring Pitbull, in part thanks to the inclusion of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” cast. The bilingual album also includes Wisin & Yandel and Pussycat Doll/”Dancing with the Stars” champ, Nicole Scherzinger.
Kelis, “Flesh Tone” (will.i.am music group/Interscope): Singer brings her musical milkshake back to the yard with this, her first album on the label run by the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman. He produced the dance-oriented effort, as did David Guetta, DJ Ammo and a few others. First single, “Acapella,” reached No.1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart.
Bret Michaels, “Custom Built” (Poor Boy): Poison frontman continues his improbable comeback, health willing, with his first album in five years. The set includes a cover of Sublime’s “What I Got” and the creepy duet with Miley Cyrus, “Nothing To Lose.” Bandana not included.
Kylie Minogue, “Aphrodite” (Astralwerks/EMI): Fronted by first single, “All the Lovers,” Aussie Minogue brings another dose of her intoxicating pop dance brew. Will the U.S. ever catch up to the rest of the world when it comes to Miss M’s fabulosity?
Did she make the right decision letting her man go?
Fantasia is often underrated as a vocalist since, quite frankly, there’s usually so much crazy surrounding her and her wacky family that takes center stage, but she is one of the most talented vocalists spawned by "American Idol." In the new clip for her soulful “Bittersweet,” she wonders if she made the right decision letting loose her man. She wonders in her house, in the club, in the street. And she looks fabulous doing it.
The song, which is climbing Billboard's R&B charts, has a delicious ‘70s soul vibe, while the video looks a little ‘40s retro. Plus, we love the “A Star is Born” turn at the end—but we don’t want to give away the twist exccept to say, yeah, it's bittersweet.
Can The-Dream spoil Eminem's party?
“Recovery” should move around 340,000 copies, meaning it tops 1 million sold in two weeks. That’s an astonishing feat for anyone, but all the more so in these days of plummeting sales.
One only has to look at the rest of Hits Daily Double’s chart prediction to see how bleak it is if your name isn’t Marshall Mathers or Drake, whose former chart-topper “Thank Me Later” stays in No. 2 with predicted sales of around 125,000.
The highest debut next week looks to be The-Dream’s “Love King,” which will come in at No. 3 with sales of around 60,000, although the “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” soundtrack may push it to No. 4. The only other title to bow in the top 10 will likely be 3Oh!3’s “Streets of Gold,” with around 40,000 sold.
Miley Cyrus’s “Can’t Be Tamed,” which came in at No. 3 this week drops to No. 7 and sales of around 40,000.
Where do Vans WarpedTour and Katy Perry rank this week?
Eminem sold 741,000 copies of the aptly-named “Recovery,” making it the highest seller since AC/DC’s “Black Ice” debuted in October 2008. Plus, there was more good news for the rapper: his stadium dates with Jay-Z in New York and Detroit sold out so quickly that more concerts were added. No slump here.
1. Eminem (No. 3, last week): “Recovery” outsells its nearest competitor 7:1 and lifts a sagging music industry, even if just for a moment. Talk about a stimulus package.
2. Vans Warped Tour (not ranked): The longest-running touring festival in the U.S. returns for its 16th iteration, drawing 12,000 fans to the first of its 42 dates. Bolstered by a reasonable ticket price and 90 acts to choose from, the festival continues to set the standard for how it’s done.
3. The Sound Strike (not ranked): The initiative started by Rage Against the Machine’s Zack De La Rocha to boycott performing in Arizona is picking up steam. The movement protests the passage of a law that makes it mandatory that police stop residents they believe may be undocumented. The latest artists to join the cause are Nine Inch Nails, My Morning Jacket, Maroon5 and Ben Harper. De La Rocha said this week that Sound Strike is considering a series of protest concerts this month. Not attending? Gov. Jan Brewer.
4. Lucian Grange (not ranked): Haven’t heard of him yet? You will. The former head of Universal Music International moves stateside this week to start his reign as co-CEO of Universal Music Group with co-CEO Doug Morris before Morris steps down for good in several months. Meet the new king.
5. Warner Music Group (not ranked): The label group, home to such acts as Linkin Park, Michael Buble, Jason Derulo, Flaming Lips, Metallica and others, inks a deal with MTV Networks to have the music video outlet handle ad sales and marketing for Warner artists’ clips across a range of platforms. Plus, according to the Wall Street Journal, MTV Networks promises WMG preferential treatment across its channels, which might mean something if they played videos anymore.
6. John Lennon (not ranked): The beloved Beatle’s post-Fab Four output will be digitally remastered and re-released in October to commemorate what would have been his 70th birthday. Additionally, expanded versions and new collections will be included. Widow Yoko Ono will oversee the initiative. Imagine.
7. Katy Perry (not ranked): She spends her fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it the biggest hit of her young career. I guess she doesn’t have to wish we all were “California Gurls.”
8 Brad Paisley (not ranked): The country superstar knocks the presumtive CMA song of the year, Miranda Lambert’s “The House that Built Me,” out of the top spot with “Water,” his 15th No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Jason Aldean, whose “Crazy Town,” gets stuck at No. 2 again prays for a drought.
9. Pandora (not ranked): The online radio station that recommends tunes based upon listeners’ preferences is declared by Forbes as the future of music. The songwriters and publishers Pandora paid a collective $30 million to in royalties last year wholeheartedly agree.
10. HMV (not ranked): Given that music sales are tanking, we have to really hand it to British chain HMV, whose profits soar 18% by expanding its offerings and pushing CDs into a little bin in the front. We kid about that last part…sort of.
What do you think?
Music Power Rankings appear every Friday in The Beat Goes On on HitFix.
Why we think the Sarah McLachlan-led fest is struggling
A beleaguered Lilith Tour has canceled 10 dates. Off the books of the female-fronted festival are Salt Lake City (7/12), Montreal (7/23), Raleigh (8/4), Charlotte (8/6), West Palm Beach (8/10), Tampa (8/11), Birmingham (8/12), Austin (8/14), Houston (8/15) and Dallas (8/16).
“We are in the midst of one of the most challenging summer concert seasons with many tours being cancelled outright,” says Terry McBride, who co-founded the festival with Sarah McLachlan and booking agent Marty Diamond. “Everyone involved with the tour would like to apologize to the fans and artists scheduled to play in these markets, and express appreciation for all the support for the festival’s return. Lilith remains the only tour of its kind, and we are confident that fans will be amazed by what each date has to offer.”
Although unconfirmed, rumors of cancellations began trickling down last week. Then, McBride denied the cancellations, but said they were reviewing every week. The tour started June 27 in Alberta, Canada, drawing 9,000 to its opening night.
There are several reasons why the tour is struggling. Of course, the economy is part of it, but we think there are a few others. Although the list of artists involved reads like a who’s who of estrogen, when you click on individual dates, the line-ups are very often extraordinarily light on star power. Sarah McLachlan is the only big name confirmed for every date (as well as a local contest winner: that only ensures that person’s parents attend). Lilith should have had secured four big names that would play the entire tour. Instead, Lilith organizers made a near fatal flaw when they thought the name was strong enough to lure in fans regardless of the line-up. It doesn’t work that way after 11 years away when you’re counting on fans buying tickets who don’t remember the earlier incarnation of the fest.
While I love the idea of Lilith and I truly enjoyed my experience attending the first go-round, other than a shared gender, there may not be enough in common on the line-up to entice consumers. Plus, Lilith pissed fans off royally after Lilith loyalists paid full price for tickets only to see those who waited to buy pay as little as $10. (Tickets for the Los Angeles show range from $47.50-$258. Almost $50 is way too much to pay for a lawn seat.
There’s a bigger industry issue at play here as well. After last year’s deep discounting, fans don’t want to pay full price—for anything. Lilith’s opening night in Alberta reported strong walk-ups. However, if a date is tanking, the promoter doesn’t have the luxury of waiting to see if fans will show up the last moment. We are at a pivotal moment in the touring industry. More thoughts about what’s wrong and how to fix it to come.
Below are the remaining dates for Lilith:
Thur, Jul 1 Vancouver, BC Ambleside Park
Fri, Jul 2 Portland, OR Sleep Country Amphitheater
Sat, Jul 3 Seattle, WA The Gorge Amphitheatre
Mon, Jul 5 San Francisco, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View
Wed, Jul 7 San Diego, CA Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
Fri, Jul 9 Las Vegas, NV The Beach At Mandalay Bay
Sat, Jul 10 Los Angeles, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Tue, Jul 13 Denver, CO Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
Thur, Jul 15 Kansas City, MO Capitol Federal Park @ Sandstone
Fri, Jul 16 St. Louis, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St Louis
Sat, Jul 17 Chicago, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
**Sun, Jul 18 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
Tues, Jul 20 Indianapolis, IN Verizon Wireless Music Center
Wed, Jul 21 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
Sat, Jul 24 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Tues, Jul 27 Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center
Wed, Jul 28 Philadelphia, PA Susquehanna Bank Center
Fri, Jul 30 Boston, MA Comcast Center
Sat, Jul 31 New York, NY PNC Bank Arts Center
Sun, Aug 1 Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre
**Tues, Aug 3 Washington, DC Merriweather Post Pavilion
Sun, Aug 8 Atlanta, GA Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Will 'Love the Way You Lie' featuring Rihanna knock Perry off the top of Billboard Hot 100?
All the pundits have crowned “California Gurls” the song of the summer and that bears out as Katy Perry’s opening salvo from her forthcoming album “Teenage Dream,” spends its fourth week atop the Billboard Hot 100.
However, it looks like Eminem might rain on her parade next week. “Love the Way You Lie,” featuring Rihanna, pushes “Gurls” out of the top spot on Billboard’s Hot Digital Songs, according to billboard.biz and lands at No. 2 on the Billboard 100 (which combines sales and airplay). Additionally, “Love the Way You Lie” is gaining traction at radio, as it surpasses “Not Afraid,” the first single from Em’s charttopping “Recovery” in airplay. “Not Afraid” already reached the top spot on the Billboard 100. As radio samples from “Recovery” and fans cherrypick tracks, seven songs from the album are on the Hot 100, but that won’t last.
In other Billboard 100 news, Jason Derulo logs his third top 10 hit from his self-titled debut album as “Ridin’ Solo” hits No. 10. Derulo, like many pop acts, is the classic case of an artist (Hello, Flo rida) whose fans are invested heavily in his singles, but don’t feel the need to buy the album. Despite the success of previous Top 10 tunes, “Whatcha Say” and “In My Head,” the album has only sold 170,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Another example is Taio Cruz. His tune, “Dynamite,” captures Greatest Gainer honors on the Billboard 100, moving 31-14 based on an 81% gain in digital sales and a 57% increase in airplay. The success, following his No.1 hit, “Break Your Heart,” isn’t really moving the needle on his album, “Rokstarr,” which stands at No. 87 on the Billboard 200 this week, one step above Derulo.
On the iTunes Songs chart, Perry still reigns supreme, with “Gurls” at No. 1 followed by Cruz’s “Dynamite” at No. 2.
Who else is on the producer's wish list?
pharrell-williams" class="autolink">Pharrell Williams has worked with artists from all genres. Most recently, he’s worked with Game on “R.E.D.,” the rapper’s much delayed project, and is working with Jay-Z, although he’s sworn to secrecy about that one. Through his work with the Neptunes, N.E.R.D. and other ventures, he’s collaborated with Britney Spears, Madonna, Kanye West, Gwen Stefani, Shakira, Busta Rhymes, Clipse, the Hives, Justin Timberlake, Nelly, Maroon5 and dozens more. But there are still a few artists on his wish list.
We talked to Pharrell today about his work on “Despicable Me.” He wrote a number of songs, as well as the score, for the adorable, funny animated 3D movie that stars Steve Carrell. His tunes, especially the delightfully sinister title track and the bouncy “Fun Fun Fun” greatly enhance the movie’s mood. We’ll post our full interview with Pharrell in a few days, but we wanted to reveal who is on his hit list.
“I like working with challenging people across the board,” he tells HitFix. Tops on his list is Eminem. Next comes Lady Gaga. “That could be interesting,” he says. Maybe he can go to one of the Jay-Z/Eminem stadium shows and get Hova to put in a good word for him with Marshall Mathers.
We last ran into Pharrell at a Bruce Springsteen in 2009 so we had to ask if the Boss also on the bucket list? “I would love to,” Pharrell says, but adds, “I can’t imagine that he would want to or could envision what we do, but I would love to work with him.”
I don’t know… we’d love to hear what the two could conjure up together.
Finally: A deluxe reissue of the 1978 album
We Springsteen fans have been waiting for a deluxe reissue of 1978’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” for while now—even since word leaked out that there would be a 30th anniversary edition. Well, we’ll settle for a 32nd anniversary package.
E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt told a British radio station that the reissue will be out by year’s end, and that it may include more than 10 outtakes. Van Zandt confirms these are beyond the “Darkness” outtakes that were on 1998’s essential “Tracks” box set, according to Rolling Stone.
He also adds that similarly to how the Rolling Stones went in and recorded some overdubs on the “Exile on Main St.” reissue, the Boss may do the same.
"We'll go back and he might finish a lyric on one or two, or finish a harmony on one or two, but we'll keep them intact pretty much," he said.
Recorded after the gargantuan, breakthrough success of 1975’s “Born to Run,” “Darkness” is beloved among hardcore Springsteen fans as one of his rawest, fiercest rock records with such tracks as the blistering “Adam Raised a Cain,” anthemic “Badlands,” the sensuous “Candy’s Room,” and, what many fans (me included) consider some of his most poignant, saddest lyrics ever on “Racing in the Street.”
If the outtakes on “Tracks” are any indication, there’s no telling if the previously unreleased songs will follow “Darkness’s” serious themes or be lighthearted, such as “Tracks” outtake “So Young & In Love.”
In an interview I did with Springsteen in 1998 for Billboard about “Tracks,” he talked about his mindset when creating “Darkness.” I had asked him how his choices for album selections were made:
“Take after "Born To Run." At that time, I said, ‘Well, this is a moment when people often go wrong or get lost after the first shot of some success’,” Springsteen said. “So [with] ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town,’ I wanted to make a record that specifically sent a message to my audience that I wasn't going to be blocked in by the success I'd had in terms of what kind of music I created. So the editing on ‘Darkness’ was based around creating a record that had a seriousness of tone. Meanwhile, there were all these bar band records that we had cut [like] ‘Give The Girl A Kiss’ and ‘So Young And In Love.’ So I had all this music that I couldn't use at that time that just got put to the side.”
We know what just went to the top of our Christmas wish list.
Swim with the dolphins, cry with the pelican
Pearl Jam’s new video for “Amongst the Waves” is a glorious look at our oceans. Lead singer Eddie Vedder is a fanatical surfer so we don’t know if any of the footage, including the adorable black and white opening of a father and daughter, is him, but the point of view is all his. It’s like a four-minute vacation right there on your computer, with a Pearl Jam concert thrown in.
We also like that, even though you know it has to be coming, PJ lets the video spool out with its natural beauty before ending it with a few heartbreaking shots of the Gulf—post BP oil spill.
The video will be for sale on iTunes starting July 6 with proceeds from the U.S. going to Conservation International’s Oceans Campaign.
If you’ve got a minute, scroll down www.pearljam.com/oceans and see different ways you can help support the clean up in the Gulf from the BP oil spill, but, otherwise, enjoy the gorgeous footage.
(Note: If you're having trouble buffering the clip, turn off the HD option).
UPDATE: Will there be more GBV dates?
Matador Records is coming of age and, man, is it throwing a party. The seminal indie label’s 21st birthday bash, slated for Oct. 1-3 at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas, will feature the cream of the crop of acts who have passed through Chris Lombardi and Gerard Cosloy’s door since Lombardi founded the New York record company in 1989 (Cosloy joined shortly thereafter).
Guided by Voices, in its most-beloved mid-‘90s configuration, will play its first show in five years. Other headliners includes Belle & Sebastian, Pavement (on a little reunion tour of its own) and Sonic Youth.
Also joining in the fun will be Matador acts past and present including Spoon, Yo La Tango, Cat Power, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the New Pornographers, Superchunk, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Cold Cave, Girls and more acts to be announced next week. Where’s Liz Phair?
On his blog on Matador’s site, Cosloy said, “We’ll be dropping further hints about the lineup in the days ahead but a final announcement and information about how to purchase tikets will be made here at the trusty Matablog on July 5. Are you as psyched as we are?”
While it seems a little odd to us that a label so associated with smart rock, lo-fi and slightly left-of-center music would go to the oh-so-stereotypical Vegas to celebrate, we get the whole “turning 21” theme and we guess even the cool kids are attracted to its bright lights.
UPDATE: former GBV member Jim Greer just posted on his Facebook page: "Just to clarify: a) I am not playing, nor do I belong, in any "classic line-up" reunion outside my family; and b) yes, there will be more GBV dates than just the Vegas shindig. That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know." As a further comment, he added that, sadly, will be out of the country and will miss the shows, but called them "awesome."