<p>Katy Perry&nbsp;</p>
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Katy Perry 

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Music Power Rankings: Katy Perry, RHCP, Justin Bieber and more

Are TicketMaster and Live Nation really putting Fans First with new coalition?

1) Katy Perry (not ranked last week): Adele and Lady Gaga tend to steal her thunder, but Katy Perry just keeps raking them in: she leads the MTV Video Music Award nominations with nine nods.

2) Your dad’s modern rock (not ranked): Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink-182 and Staind all return to Billboard’s alternative rock chart chart this week with first singles from new projects after years away.

3) Take That (not ranked): And just like that the reformed British Boy band shattered Bruce Springsteen’s previous record for highest grossest concert stand. Who’s the boss now?

4) Blake Shelton (not ranked): “The Voice” mentor scores his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  If we were him, we’d get in our “Voice” mentor chair and spin around and around to celebrate.

5) Fans First Coalition (not ranked): Those excellent paragons of consumer rights TicketMaster and Live Nation link with a number of artists and promoters and form a coalition to fight secondary ticketing site StubHub, which they believe is gouging the public. Because TicketMaster fees are so not doing that....

6) Justin Bieber (not ranked): It takes the rest of us a lifetime, but apparently the Bieb needs only a month to “kind of grow up.” he tells the Hollywood Reporter that he’s taking 30 days off to hang with friends, “think, pray and just kind of grow up.”

7) Pitchfork Music Festival (not ranked):
Despite sunstroke-inducing heat, all the little hipsters gathered together in Chicago last weekend to sneer and make fun of their friends’ favorite bands during the three-day sold-out fest.

8) Sylvia Rhone (not ranked):
The Doug Morris protege has worked for him at Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and. now, it looks like she may follow him to Sony Music to reinvigorate the Portrait imprint. It’s really good to have friends in high places.

9) Apple (not ranked):
Bloomberg reports that Apple could buy Hulu in a move that would shake Netflix to its core and increase Apple’s world domination.

10) Spotify (No. 10): The new (to the U.S.) streaming service signs up around 70,000 paid subscribers in its first week, according to Billboard. How many more are using the ad-supported version? Either way, it’s a strong start. http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/digital-and-mobile/spotify-u-s-70-000-reasons-to-believe-the-1005289682.story
 

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<p>Little Dragon</p>

Little Dragon

Watch: Little Dragon's trippy, surreal video for 'When I Go Out'

Get your weekend off to a great start

Want your mind to explode? Check out the video for “When I Go Out” from Sweden’s Little Dragon.  Someone has a computer with lots of toys and they aren’t afraid to use it.

The trippy video, which meshes perfectly with the hypnotic synth track, drum loops and frontwoman Yukimi Nagano’s heavily-processed vocals,  is a kaleidoscope of images colliding into one another with the only constant being an African mask. Surreal image follows surreal image as screens split, colors flow and it rains and rains. It is as fascinating as it is indecipherable.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Tori Amos</p>

Tori Amos

Credit: Toriamos.com

Tori Amos sets U.S. tour dates for 'Night of the Hunters' tour

Is she coming to your town?

Tori Amos, everyone’s favorite Cornflake Girl, is coming back to tour.  The U.S. leg of her Night of the Hunters tour starts November 29 at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performance Arts Center.

The tour supports her “Night of the Hunters” album, out in September on Deutsche Grammaphon, which, in Amos’s own inimitable fashion, features new songs inspired by classical pieces written over the last 400 years. Read more about the album here.

Night of Hunters Tour North American Dates


11/29: Atlanta, GA @ Cobb Energy Performance Arts Center
12/1: Philadelphia, PA @ Academy of Music
12/2: New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
12/3: New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
12/5: Washington DC @ Constitution Hall
12/6: Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theater
12/8: Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
12/10: Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
12/13: Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater
12/14: Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
12/16: Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre
12/17: Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre
12/18: Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theatre
12/21: Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall
12/22: Dallas, TX @ Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie


 

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<p>Pitbull and Marc Anthony</p>

Pitbull and Marc Anthony

Watch: Pitbull's new video for 'Rain Over Me' with Marc Anthony

How can they wear suits in the desert and never break a sweat?

So we have a pressing question. In the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony split, who gets custody of Pitbull?  Pitbull is featured on Lopez’s comeback single “On the Floor” and now Anthony is the guest vocalist on Pit’s new single, “Rain Over Me.”

While we contemplate this important issue, we’ve got the new video for “Rain Over Me” to watch. While much of the country is swathed in a heat wave, Pitbull and Anthony do nothing to cool it off as they head to the desert to drive BMWs, drink Voli Vodka, dodge scorpions and wear designer suits in 120-degree heat and never break a sweat.

The two dance together in what is obviously a rain dance because next thing you know, it’s raining over them and their collective women.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>The album art or David Guetta's 'Nothing But The Beat.'</p>

The album art or David Guetta's 'Nothing But The Beat.'

Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Hudson and Usher guest on David Guetta's new album

See who else is on the star-studded 'Nothing But the Beat'

It’s probably easier to answer who is not on David Guetta’s new album than who is.

The list of guests on the French DJ’s “Nothing But the Beat,” out Aug. 29, includes Chris Brown, Jennifer Hudson, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Snoop Dogg, Taio Cruz and Usher.  Plus, Akon, Dev, Flo Rida, Jessie J, Sia, Timbaland, and Will.I.Am also stop by.  Of course, Minaj and Flo Rida are on current hit single, “Where Them Girls At.”

Guetta's latest Single, “Little Bad Girl," features Cruz and Ludacris.

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<p>LMFAO</p>

LMFAO

LMFAO spends another week at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

Demi Lovato's 'Skyscraper' debuts sky high

LMFAO makes it three weeks in a row as “Party Rock Anthem” featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock stays at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

There’s also good news for Demi Lovato, whose inspirational tune “Skyscraper” soars to No. 10 in its opening week. The tune, Lovato’s first since receiving treatment for an eating disorder,  is her first Top 10 debut, according to Billboard. It is very likely to surpass her other top 10 entry, “This Is Me,” with Joe Jonas, which peaked at No. 9 three years ago.

Inbetween the two, there’s minimal movement in the rest of the top 10. Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, stays at No. 2; Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) continues its slow march upward, creeping 4-3, as it switches places with Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep.”  Nicki Minaj stars at No. 5 with “Super Bass.” Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory” trades spots with Lil Wayne’s “How To Love,” as the latter moves 7-6. OneRepublic’s “Good Life” and Hot Chelle Rae’s “Tonight Tonight” hold their ground at No. 8 and No. 9 respectively.
 

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<p>'Captain America'</p>

'Captain America'

Credit: Paramount

Interview: Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken talks 'Captain America'

What kept him from scoring the movie?

There’s a moment in “Captain America” when the government decides that instead of sending the newly-hatched super hero Steve Rogers into combat, the best use of his powers would be to help build morale for the WW2 effort. In an upbeat montage, we see a cartoonishly-clad Rogers flanked by a chorus line and  traveling across the country as they dance and sing to a gloriously uncynical, patriotic march, “Star Spangled Man.”

The scene and song are pure cinema magic (or “brilliant,” as my colleague Drew McWeeny writes here in his review) and Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken tells Hitfix that it was as much fun to write as it is for us to watch. “To me, the [moment] screamed out for Irving Berlin, in the sense of ‘This Is The Army, Mr. Jones’ or ‘God Bless America.’ It should be patriotic and it should be fun. The goal was to come up with orchestration that felt authentic to the ‘40s, USO [experience].”

While “Captain America” wasn’t one of his heroes—Menken grew up reading Classic Comics of literary works like “Ivanhoe"— Berlin is his “greatest songwriting hero,” so to write something in the style of the master pleased him no end. “Plus, one of my dreams is to do an RKO/MGM-type live action musical. That’s the aspect that really tickled me.”

Menken wrote the tune, which also appears over the end credits (some nice news we broke to him—he hadn’t seen the finished movie yet when we talked on July 19) with lyricist David Zippel. Because the scene was shot to the music, the pair wrote the tune before filming started, similar to an animated picture. Menken, of course, is the master of animation music, having won eight Oscars for his work on modern Disney classics like “The Little Mermaid” (best score), “Under The Sea” (best song) and “Beauty & The the Beast (best score and song).

In fact, Menken has the most Oscars of anyone living. The only folks with more are Walt Disney, who has 22, and fellow composer Alfred Newman, both of whom have died. He’s tied with the late legendary costume designer Edith Head.

Menken laughs that the “Captain America” situation “had the potential to be a disaster”: director Joe Johnston hadn’t worked with putting song performances in movies before, Menken and Zippel weren’t on site, Menken’s song needed to mesh with Alan Silvestri’s score. But it all worked perfectly “from our side and their side,” he says. “The result was a bit of a triumph. I think we were all very fortunate.”

Silvestri’s score hits all the right notes, although Menken says he wishes he’d gotten the shot to score the film as well. “Captain America” marks only the third time he’s dropped one song into a movie he didn’t score. The other two were “The Measure of a Man” for “Rocky V” and “My Christmas Tree” for “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”

Menken’s schedule was so packed that the filmmakers were concerned about his time commitments: While he would need to be composing, “Sister Act,” which he wrote the music for,  was opening on Broadway;  a new production of “Aladdin” was opening in Seattle and he was working on the stage musical for “Newsies,” which goes into rehearsal next month.

“I threw my hat in the ring and said I’d kill myself to do this and they thought, unfortunately, given my schedule, that’s probably what it would have taken,” Menken says, adding that his lack of action film scores may have hurt him. “They [had] more security with Alan. Let’s face it, if you could get Alan, you do. He’s one of my favorite scorers.”

True enough, but there’s something topsy-turvy about a world where an eight-time Oscar winner has to prove himself in a different genre. “I can always hope I get one in the future. I’m known for a certain kind of thing,” he says, although he notes that many of his scores for the animated pictures include writing for action scenes. “People are very comfortable with you doing that kind of thing. I love the kind of thing I do. An action adventure film score would be a wonderful thing to do more of.”

While all eight Oscars are special, he says that two wins stand out: winning best score for “The Little Mermaid” because it was his first Oscar, and, bittersweetly, winning best song for “Aladdin’s”  “A Whole New World.” “That was a major shock,” he says. “First of all, [his longtime lyricist partner] Howard [Ashman] had passed away and I was very, very afraid that I wouldn’t be able to duplicate the success that I’d had with him. With ‘A Whole New World,’ I was able to step out and do it on my own [with] Tim Rice. It was a big transition in my life. Also, it was a No. 1 single, Grammy song of the year. It was a crazy juggernaut. It just became a huge, huge thing.”

With 19 total nominations, he’s lost more Oscars than he’s won. When pushed, he admits that some losses were tougher to take than others.  The loss for the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” score in 1997 and this year’s loss in best original song for “I See the Light” from “Tangled” were “disappointing.” He laughs at the question, fully admitting he’s gathered more than his share: “I’ve won so many, it would be graceless to complain about losing.” And very un-Captain America.

"Captain America" opens July 22.

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<p>Kanye West and Jay-Z</p>

Kanye West and Jay-Z

Credit: VEVO

Listen: Kanye West and Jay-Z debut a new song from 'Watch The Throne'

'Otis' pays homage to Otis Redding

Less than two weeks before “Watch The Throne's" release, Jay-Z and Kanye West let loose with a new song from the collaboration.

“Otis,” which Flexmaster Flex bowed on his blog Wednesday night, opens with a sample of Otis Redding’s classic “Try A Little Tenderness” (and gives way to a pretty cool remix of Redding’s tune that serves as a tasty bed under the whole track) before the two rappers go back and forth on anything but tender rhymes. Jay-Z brags about his new watches and West riffs on the word “custom... customs... customers.”  They drop a lot more product names and...we’re done.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon in 'History of Rap 2'
Credit: NBC

Watch: Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon in 'History of Rap 2'

The pair go old and new school in the second rendition

Justin Timberlake has made it very clear that we’re not getting any new music for awhile, so, oddly, late night on NBC has become the best place to hear him, whether it's  in sketches on "Saturday Night Live" or  on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

Last night, he and  Fallon continued their “History of Rap” with Part 2, when Timberlake stopped by Fallon's show to promise “Friends with Benefits.”  The original “History of Rap” aired last September and included tunes from Kanye West, Eminem, Beastie Boys and Sugar Hill Gang.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Blake Shelton</p>

Blake Shelton

Credit: AP Photo

Blake Shelton's 'Red River Blue' flows to No. 1 on Billboard 200

Who are the other five debuts in the top 10?

Blake Shelton is having a good year:  He married longtime girlfriend Miranda Lambert, his fame rose substantially through his mentoring role on “The Voice,” and now he’s landed his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Red River Blue” flows to the top spot with sales of 116,000 copies. Four of Shelton’s previous albums have landed in the top 10, but never higher than No. 3.

Incubus’ new set, “If Not Now, When?” earns second place with 80,000. It is the rock band’s fifth top five album, according to Billboard.

There are four other premieres in the Top 10: Country hotshot Chris Young’s “Neon” comes in at No. 4, Colbie Caillat’s  “All of You” at No. 6, Theory of A Deadman’s “The Truth Is...” at No. 8, and Sublime with Rome’s “Yours Truly”  at No. 9.

Last week’s No. 1, Beyonce’s “4” drops to No. 5,  Adele’s “21” moves 2-3. Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party”  slips 4-7, while Selena Gomez & the Scene’s “When The Sun Goes Down” tumbles 3-10.

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