'American Idol' champ takes home video of the year as Taylor Swift goes home empty handed
Carrie Underwood needs a bigger awards shelf. Following her big wins in April at the Academy of Country Music Awards, she continued her streak as the big winner at Wednesday’s CMT Music Awards in Nashville, snaring honors for video of the year for “Cowboy Casanova” and CMT performance of the year for “Temporary Home” from her CMT “Invitation Only” special. She was the night's only multiple winner.
First single from 'Laws of Illusion' out June 15
Sarah McLachlan is feeling good and it shows. In her new video for “Loving You is Easy,” her breeziest song, maybe, ever, she struts her stuff. Her new man has her feeling sexy and sultry.
To her and director Liz Friedlander’s credit, there’s no literal interpretation of the lyrics: we don’t see McLachlan burst into flames when she sings she’s “on fire” or leap into the air when she rhapsodizes about his love taking her “higher.” It’s just McLachlan in an array of slinky, but not inappropriate, clothes, bubbles (nothing says “sexy time” like bubbles in the air) and confetti. At one point, she’s cheesily joined by two dancers whose pas de deux replicates sex, I guess. She’s definitely feeling R rated, but the video is a G. We’ve seen more cleavage on the Disney Channel, but that’s not a complaint. The point of the video, which debuted on Huffington Post, is about how her guy’s love makes her feel and it’s clearly delicious.
“Loving You is Easy” is the first single from “Laws of Illusion,” McLachlan’s first studio album in eight years. “Laws” is out June 15.
Cancels all tour dates and promotional activities for next two months
Lanois, who is part of Jive Records’ act Black Dub, has canceled all upcoming tour dates and other activities, according to a statement released by his label. He is expected to be released from the hospital soon, and will be recuperating for the next two months.
The statement did not go into detail about the accident, other than to say he suffered “multiple injuries.”
Look for updates as they become available on HitFix.
Track tackles domestic abuse on raw, blistering track
If the few songs we’ve heard from “Recovery” are any indication, Eminem is back in fine form after stumbling with “Relapse.” “Love the Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna,tthe latest tune to slip out from the June 22 release, is a sucker punch to the gut about domestic abuse.
Eminem nails the rage of an abuser: he goes from promising the violence will never happen again, then tries to make it sound like the woman is a somewhat willing partner, rapping “That’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano.” The tension in his voice rises as he goes from being contrite to confessing he’ll tie her to the bed and set the house on fire she tries to leave again.
Rihanna’s chorus is haunting as she sings:“Just going to stand there and watch me burn, but that’s alright because I like the way it hurts/ Just going to stand there and hear me cry, that’s alright because I love the way you lie.” The words come perilously close to blaming the victim, but the impact of hearing someone who has lived through domestic violence sing those lyrics creates an almost visceral reaction. We can only hope that’s not how she felt when Chris Brown was hitting her. She's more forthcoming here than on any track on "Rated R."
Musically, “Love to Way You Lie” recalls “Lose Yourself.” The subject matter makes it difficult to listen to, but Eminem is at his best when he tackles tough terrain honestly and without flinching.
Eminem's label is taking down the song as quickly as it pops up on YouTube, but if you're quick, you can still find a version. It's worth the hunt.
What do you think?
British Home Office states right to refuse entry to anyone with criminal record
Brown tweeted “"SORRY to all the fans in Europe!!! My tour is cancelled. I’m pretty sure y’all know my entry was denied in your country. I love you. SORRY!!"
The tweet, which was reported on a number of news websites, has since been deleted. We’re a little concerned that Brown seems to think that Europe is a country, but, quite frankly, that’s the least of his problems.
Great British officials can deny a visa to anyone with a criminal record… so it seems that Brown’s domestic violence episode with Rihanna continues to haunt him.
His representative told TMZ that the denial was based on “issues surrounding his work visa.”
Is she running out of steam and where are the Great Danes?
Sometimes the only words to say are “Thank you.” Lady GaGa has said her black & white video for “Alejandro,” which premiered today on www.ladygaga.com, is about her love for her gay male friends. And she loves them a lot –at least enough to let them have close to 10 minutes of writhing around in nothing but tight black shorts-- at first in some military formation. Glad to see “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been abolished in GaGa’s world.
There’s some snow, a gauzy funeral scene, a heart carried on a pillow, and a buff dude in a spiked helmet holding a gun to his crotch. That’s about it for plot. Plus some really bad bowl haircuts.
The song, one of her weakest so far, is a rip-off of Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita,” which Lady GaGa seems to acknowledge as the dancers cop moves straight out of “Vogue.” The video is chockful of other homages to Madge, including the Catholic iconography (check out LG in a leather habit, swallowing her rosary. Can’t wait to see what the Pope has to say about that) and some light bondage, as well as a stylish advancement on Madonna’s infamous cone bra.
Directed by fashion photographer Steven Klein, “Alejandro” is a visual feast, but, by Lady GaGa’s standards, there’s nothing particularly shocking or innovative here. It’s no “Paparazzi” or “Telephone.” Even the final scene is a bit of a take-off of an earlier Lady GaGa video, but it’s still head and shoulders above the average video out there these days.
What did you think?
ESPN.com streams new album
Listen to “Mojo,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ first studio album in eight years. The set is streaming on ESPN.com, as part of the sports site’s new music section.
We’ll review the album next week when it comes out, but from a cursory listen, it sounds like “Mojo” explores the band’s jammy side. First single, "I Should Have Known It," already hit No. 1 at classic rock radio
“’Mojo’ is a huge opening of a door for us,” Petty says in a statement. “Every now and then you hit something where you find some new ground and this is definitely one of those times.”
The album comes out June 15, while Blu-Ray and vinyl versions comes out June 29. The Blu-Ray set will be available online exclusively through Amazon and at indie retail stores.
Additionally, this weekend, Westwood One will air a 90-minute radio special hosted by Jim Ladd (about whom Petty wrote “The Last DJ”) about the making of the album.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are tour throughout the U.S. Every ticket purchased comes with a download of the new album.
Where is Aguilera's heart?
Hear that? That’s the sound of Christina Aguilera trying to resurrect a career that we weren't even aware was broken.
In the four years since her last studio album, “Back to Basic,” it’s clear that Aguilera has listened to every bottled blonde that’s hit the charts lately, plus carefully watched what gals like M.I.A., Ke$ha and Britney are doing and tried to figure out where she fits in.Almost every move on “Bionic” feels calculated and the result is an album that’s often as exhausting to listen to as it must have been to make.
Who else debuts in next week's Top 10?
After a nine-year recording hiatus, Stone Temple Pilots are cleared to land in the top spot on the Billboard 200 with their self-titled set. The foursome’s last album, 2001’s “Shangri-La Dee Da,” peaked at No. 9. It will do so with around 65,000 in sales, one of the lowest tallies to land an act at No. 1 since the start of the Nielsen SoundScan era in 1991.
There’s one possible obstacle in STP’s way: that pesky “Glee” soundtrack, which may decide to spend another week at No. 1, although as of Friday, STP had a 5,000-copy margin. Justin Bieber and Lady Antebellum are duking it out for the No. 3 spot with both targeted to sell around 50,000 copies.
After STP, the only title looking strong enough to debut in the top 10 is the “Sex & the City 2” soundtrack, although poor-to-dismal movie reviews may help sink the soundtrack as well.
Also, Brooks & Dunn, following May 23’s CBS’s tribute concert to the retiring duo, burst back into the Top 10.
DeWyze heads to 19/RCA, while Bowersox goes to 19/Jive
DeWyze has signed with 19/RCA, while Bowersox signed with 19/Jive. 19 is the company started by “American Idol” founder Simon Fuller, 19 has right of first refusal to sign the 10 finalists to a label, while the RCA label group (now part of Sony) has the first rights to the acts through its affiliation with 19. While these deals were announced much faster than usual, the question is never which label the winner will sign with, just which imprint within that label group.
In fact, all of the winners have gone through 19 and RCA-owned labels: Kelly Clarkson (RCA), Ruben Studdard (J Records), Fantasia (RCA), Carrie Underwood (Arista Nashville), Taylor Hicks (Arista), Jordin Sparks (Jive), David Cook (RCA) and Kris Allen (Jive).
DeWyze and Bowersox already have singles in the marketplace: As of Friday morning, DeWyze’s cover of U2’s “Beautiful Day” is at No. 3 on iTunes’ songs chart, while Bowersox’s version of Patty Griffin’s Up to the Mountain” is at No. 7. No official word on when their albums will be released, but we should look toward the fourth quarter, when many previous winners have put out their first post-“Idol” effort, according to Billboard, which first broke the news of the record deals.