Eminem's 'Recovery' and Tim McGraw's 'Rising' also make the list
Was there really any doubt? Of course, the King of Pop has to be tops on this week’s Music Power Rankings. Friday marks the one-year anniversary of his death and, in many ways, he’s never been more popular. Since last June 25, his estate has earned anywhere between $200 million and $1 billion, depending upon varying press reports, and concert film, “This is It,” helped rehab his tarnished image, especially in the U.S., and put the public’s focus squarely back on his talent, as opposed to his personality quirks (to put it nicely).
1. Michael Jackson (not ranked last week): The sales, respect and success that had eluded him for the last decade or so returns for the saddest of reasons and proves, tragically, that death is a good career move.
'Old Lady GaGa' version has it all over the original. And Fixodent too!
Lady GaGa can get a glimpse of what she’s going to look like 50 years from now and we need to warn her: it ain’t pretty, but it sure is hilarious.
This spoof of her “Alejandro” video is far more entertaining than the original, plus, Fixodent gets outrageous product placement.
Playing “Old Lady GaGa” is Broadway actress Jackie Hoffman, who’s illustrious resume includes “Hairspray” and “The Addams Family.” The clip is part of “The Battery’s Down,” an on-line series featuring Broadway stars.
Thanks to Idolator for turning us on to this.
Is she taking us into a new great blue yonder?
Vulture questions if that is T.I. rapping in the background. We don’t know who it is, but it doesn’t matter. Quite frankly, it just distracts from the track.
Is “Changing Skies” Lady G’s message to us that she’s changing it up on her forthcoming third album? It’s definitely a move away from tunes like “Bad Romance,” which had about six different moving parts, and is more of a traditional song structure. And it is light years better than “Alejandro,” GaGa’s most unremarkable song to date. There’s nothing particularly “Lady GaGa” about it, but maybe that’s her way of keeping us on our toes. After a few repeat listens, it’s almost Disney Channel material—other than the very cool, trippy fade-out. Do we think that’s what she’s going for? Maybe what makes it so shocking is that there’s nothing in it that’s shocking? How Lady GaGa of her…
What do you think?
Country superstar turns doc maker on football film
Kenny Chesney will release “Hemingway’s Whiskey,” his first new studio album since 2008’s “Lucky Old Sun,” Sept. 28.
Chesney took the year off from his usual summer stadium tour (and the industry certainly could have used him this year), but he’s hardly been idle. In the last few months, his 3D movie “Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D” came out, plus he’s putting the finishing touches on “Boys of Fall,” his documentary about high school football. Hey, why should Ice Cube corner the market on music stars producing docs about football? Maybe “Boys of Fall,” which Chesney is shopping for distribution now, can be bundled with this season’s DVD of “Friday Night Lights.”
Anyway, “Hemingway’s Whiskey” takes its title from a Guy Clark tune. “When I heard the song, I knew it was the perfect title for the record,” Chesney says in a statement.. “I was sitting in my truck and a friend had given me Guy's album, which had just come out - and it's a song that talks about living life to its fullest, being a man about your responsibilities and not compromising. As soon as I heard it, I knew I had to cut it… and call the album that… because it says everything about the way you live your life, and what life can be if you refuse to buy into limits, which - as someone who's read all his books - is everything Hemingway's novels revolved around.”
Kiss, B.o.B., Blink-182, Bush and Rise Against will also be there
Eminem, Kiss, Blink-182 and a reunited Bush will appear at Epicenter Twenty Ten, a two-day festival that takes place Sept. 25-26 at Fontana’s (Calif.) Auto Club Speedway (do we get a discount with our AAA card?)
This marks only the third announced date for Eminem, who will also perform with Jay-Z in September at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium and New York’s Yankee Stadium. Eminem’s latest album, “Recovery,” came out yesterday and is selling quickly. Read Hitfix’s review here. It is also Eminem’s first full concert in Southern California since 2005 and will be the first time Bush has played together in nearly 10 years. Additionally, it is Blink-182's only North American date this year, as well as Kiss and Rise Against's only California appearances in 2010.
Also appearing at the Fontana festival will be Rise Against, Thirty Seconds to Mars, B.o.B., Bad Religion, Papa Roach, Suicidal Tendencies and many more. Tickets go on sale June 26 and start at $79.50/day. Epicenter Twenty Ten is presented by Right Arm Entertainment, the same company that produces Ohio’s Rock on the Range festival.
Eminem and Jay-Z appeared on the rooftop of the Ed Sullivan Theater yesterday as part of Jay-Z’s performance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
Should they now be called Maroon Leppard?
Move along, nothing to see here. Or hear here. “Misery,” the new single from Maroon 5’s Sept. 21 album, “Hands All Over” pairs the popmeisters with uber-producer Mutt Lange. This combination should be made in heaven. To be sure, “Misery” sounds pristine and punchy, even coming out of computer speakers, but at this point in their career, Maroon 5 needs to mix it up a bit. We don’t expect them to break into a polka or anything like that, but “Misery” could have appeared on 2002’s “Songs About Jane.”
Having said that, the track, about love’s woes (very familiar territory for Adam Levine and co.) is a bouncy, percussive, sparkly slice of pop that, if it had come out sooner, could have vied for one of the songs of the summer.
Maybe our expectations were too high, but we wish Maroon 5 and Lange had really poured it on. We don’t want Maroon 5 to sound like Def Leppard (although we LOVE Def Leppard), but we would have hoped that Lange would have pushed Maroon5 a little more. This sounds like a slight retread of “This Love.” Admittedly, if you’re going to copy yourself, you could pick much worse tracks than that earworm.
The band recorded “Hands All Over,” the studio follow-up to 2007’s “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,” in Switzerland. Among the 15-track cuts is “Out of Goodbyes,” which features Lady Antebellum.
Tasty week also includes The Roots, Sia and the Chemical Bros.
It’s a wacky week in release land. After Miley Cyrus and Eminem decided to move their albums up to an off-cycle Monday release, instead of the usual Tuesday, virtually every act followed suit. Except for The Chemical Bros. and Sia, all of these albums are available now.
The big question is can either Eminem or Cyrus knock Drake out of the No. 1 spot next week? We say yes and we’re betting on Eminem to come in at No. 1 with sales of 500,000+plus. In fact, we’re going out on a limb and saying he’ll surpass Sade’s “Soldier of Love” for the biggest opening frame of this year. Don’t let us down, Slim Shady…
The Chemical Bros., “Further” (Freestyle Dust/Astralwerks): Those masters of the beats are back with their seventh studio album full of instrumentals and vocals handled largely by the duo’s Tom Rowlands.
Miley Cyrus, “Can’t Be Tamed” (Hollywood): Teen queen Cyrus is like a foal kicking at the barn door eager to show the world that Hannah Montana is all grown up. Read review here.
Eminem, “Recovery” (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope): The follow up to last year’s ‘Relapse” already seems like a big winner, given such tracks as “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie” feat. Rihanna. Not that he’s ever gone away, but we sense a huge new chapter starting today for Marshall Mathers. Read Katie Hasty's review here.
Macy Gray, “The Sellout” (Concord): After finding herself without a label, double -Grammy winner with the spacey attitude and child-like, soaring voice returns with a stripped-down album that goes back to her roots. The album title is ironic get it? She debuts with Bobby Brown on one track.
Herbie Hancock, “The Imagine Project” (Hancock/RED): Legendary jazz artist turns 70 this year and “The Imagine Project” is the opening salvo of the celebration. Artists such as Dave Matthews Band Seal, Pink, John Legend and many, many more join Hancock for this audio and video collection of all new recordings centered around peace and global responsibility.
Ozzy Osbourne, “Scream” (Epic): Heavy metal mad-man Osbourne is promoting this set, his 10th studio album, like a brand new artist. First single “Let Me Hear Your Scream” is already a rock hit. Plus, Ozzy is headed on an 18-month worldwide tour (!!) starting Aug. 14.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band, “We Walk This Way” (Warner Bros.): One of best live acts around, Randolph and his band linked with T Bone Burnett for this tasty set of covers including Bob Dylan’s “Shot of Love” and Prince’s “Walk Don’t Walk.” Guests include Ben Harper and Leon Russell. Randolph is a steel guitar master who deserves superstardom. Help him out.
The Roots, “How I Got Over” (Def Jam): Serving as the house band for Jimmy Fallon has done nothing to diminish this seminal outfit’s penchant for sharply-drawn, trenchant hip hop. Led by ?uestlove and Black Tongue, more than a decade after its amazing “Things Fall Apart,” the Roots remain as vital a musical force as always. Guests include John Legend, Joanna Newsom and Monster of Folk.
Sia, “We Are Born” (Monkey Puzzle/Jive): Sweet-voiced, quirky Australian singer/songwriter has been contributing to other folks’ records, like Christina Aguilera’s “Bionic,” so it’s nice to have her back where she belongs: helming her own project. Check out the infectious “Clap Your Hands” as well as a cover of Madonna’s “Oh Father.”
Will this album make us miss her while she goes away from music?
Has there been something missing in your life? If so, we suspect that it may have been hearing Miley Cyrus rap. Well, now your life is complete.
On “Liberty Walk,” the opening track from Cyrus’s new album, “Can’t Be Tamed,” she feels compelled to break into rap at least twice. We don’t know why, but we’ll give her this: she’s not that much worse of a rapper than Madonna on “Vogue.” You don’t mind her doing it, you just can’t figure out for the life of you why she is.
So it goes with quite a few of the songs on “Can’t Be Tamed,” including the faux-rebellious, downright irritating title track, and her plodding, completely pointless remake of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” which makes you yearn for the shallow depths of the original. She takes Ke$ha head on with “Permanent December.” The talky-singy style doesn’t suit her any better than it does Ke$ha, although, to her credit, she’s not throwing up in anyone’s closet. Ke$ha didn’t invent this style, but she 100% owns it, for better or worse, right now and Cyrus should have respected that.
Enough complaining. As Cyrus, herself, tells us in her little electronic slice of heaven, “Liberty Walk,” don’t listen “to the people who hate.”
Indeed, part of what makes “Can’t Be Tamed” so frustrating is that she has the makings of a really strong pop album, and even with its foibles, “Can’t Be Tamed” is a marked improvement over her previous solo albums.
She gets the mix decidedly right on “Two More Lonely People,” a throbbing, irresistible pop dance confection (with great acoustic guitar accents) that hits all the right notes. It’s Kylie Minogue crossed with Jefferson Starship. Same with the lovely mid-tempo “Forgiveness and Love,” a gentle reminder that these are often the only things that matter. It’s a great message for her young fans. On penultimate track, “Robot,” she turns into Euro-dance diva. Then she ends strong with the Expose-like “My Heart Beats for Love” (although what’s with the Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” echo-chamber drums?)
That’s the weird thing here. Oddly for someone not born until 1992, the production here is decidedly retro, circa mid- ‘80s, such as on the beat-heavy Stacey Q rip-off (yet strangely adorable) “Who Owns My Heart.” Think heavy drums, lots of synths, layers upon layers of dense production. Let it breathe, dude!
As the title track none-too-subtly reminds us, Cyrus is on the verge of adulthood. Heck, she’s 17 going on 45. She’s leaping from teen to twice-divorced, chain-smoking, trailer park single mom in a single bound, if she doesn’t watch it. Lyrically here, you get the feeling she’s so desperate to be seen as an adult, yet I have to say it’s still jarring to hear Hannah Montana sing about making love in “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” It’s too soon, Miley. Trust me; you’ll get there soon enough. The songs with emotionally mature themes work best here when she’s not forcing her fake ID down our throat.
Most of the time Cyrus’s fine, but totally unremarkable vocals do the trick here and she stretches admirably on a few tracks her. But then she stops you dead with some awkward affectation via her delivery. Her pronunciation goes haywire on certain tracks and you feel like you’re walked into the worst acting class ever. It happens on “Liberty Walk,” “Who Owns My Heart” and the otherwise enjoyable “Scars.” Where’s Henry Higgins when you need him?
Cyrus has said she’s walking away from music for awhile. With “Can’t Be Tamed” she’s left us a set that will tide us over while she’s gone, but won’t make us pine for her return.
Listen for yourself below. What do you think?
One year after his death, he truly is the King of Pop
There’s a horrible, but true, saying: death is a good career move. Such is definitely the case with Michael Jackson.
The trade magazine looked at various money streams since Jackson’s death, including his extended Sony Music deal and revenue from “This is It,” which Billboard calls the most successful concert film of all time.
Billboard breaks it down as such: Jackson’s estate has earned $429 million through the sale of 33 million albums worldwide, as well as 26.5 million digital downloads. Add in ringtone sales, Jackson 5 album sales and various performance royalties and it adds up to nearly half a billion.
Revenues from “This is It’s” theatrical, DVD and forthcoming TV rights add up to $392 million for the estate (Billboard estimates that Jackson’s share is as high as 90%).
His music publishing holdings, both for his own Mijac, and his 50% share of Sony/ATV combines for roughly $130 million.
Unbelievably, even though he died before taking the stage in London for his “This is It” tour, his estate still made an estimated $6.5 million from unreturned tickets, $5 million from concert merchandise and another $20 million in various licensing deals.
Lastly, a new recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment allows the label to put out 10 albums through 2017. We have a feeling the re-issue slate is going to make the torrent of posthumous 2Pac albums look tame.
Attorney John Branca, who oversees Jackson’s estate with John McClain, tells Billboard that Elvis Presley is the role model for Jackson. That’s an excellent comparison. Jackson is the only celebrity to die since Presley’s 1977 death who can come close to Presley’s hold on mass appeal. It will be interested to watch as the King of Pop and the King jockey for top spot on the highest-earning dead celebrity list for years, if not decades, to come.
What other stars will be there? What about Sting? Tim McGraw?
Justin Bieber, Sting Tim McGraw, Pete Wentz, Harry Connick Jr., Aaron Neville, , and Lenny Kravitz are among the celebrities who will take part in Larry King’s telethon to raise money for those hurt by the Gulf Coast oil spill. And no, none of the money will go to BP, no matter how much Rep. Joe Barton begs for it to.
“Disaster in the Gulf: How You Can Help,” will air on CNN tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET. Money raised will go to three charities: United Way, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Nature Conservancy.
Other celebrities taking part include Cameron Diaz, Kathy Griffin, Alyssa Milano, Ted Danson Robert Redford, Jenny McCarthy, Melania Trump (Really? She counts as a celebrity?), Ian Somerhalder and Philippe Cousteau.
While relief efforts were immediately rolled out for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the more recent earthquake in Haiti, relief for the thousands whose livelihoods have been affected by the Gulf Oil spill has been slow to come. In this interesting ABC News piece, pundits speculate that is because of the relative low loss of life (of course, if you lost one of the 11 crew members on the rig, there’s nothing small about it), focus on the Nashville floods and other reasons.