<p>Beyonce in January</p>

Beyonce in January

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Beyonce's new single, 'Girls (Who Run the World)'

How fierce is she?

A week after snippets leaked out, we’re getting a  full listen of Beyonce’s “Girls (Who Run the World)” and it’s clear she’s taking no prisoners. Listen to it below.

For all its sassiness, her mega-hit “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It),” was basically an old-fashioned look at marriage being the ultimate goal. That Bey is gone, replaced by a fierce, trash-talking female, who isn’t looking for man’s proposal to validate her self-worth. Even when she coos “Boy... I hope you still like me,” you know she’s going to throw that boy to the side as soon as she’s done with him.

Musically,  the Diplo-produced “Girls” is  more of a chant than a song and it feels like it came straight out of Bollywood by way of a very cool sample of Major Lazer’s “Pon de Floor.” (The rhythm sounds more Indian to us, but the video supposedly features 200 female African dancers). After a dozen listens or so, it’s grown on us. At first, we thought it was a throw-away track, but we’re coming around and love the percussive precision and lack of an identifiable chorus. There’s not a lot of build here; it stays at one level from start to finish, but it works.  We also love the part about "Who runs this mutha," which may be the hippest shout out to Mother Earth we've ever heard.

The word is that Beyonce will drop a new album in late June, right around the same time she headlines Glastonbury. 

[Update:  Stream removed upon request of the artist.] Check out this link for a site that still has the single streaming.

 

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<p>Matthew Morrison and Elton John</p>

Matthew Morrison and Elton John

Listen: Elton John and Matthew Morrison duet on 'Rocket Man'

Plus, Elton announces his September return to Vegas

It’s a big day for Elton John fans: his duet with Matthew Morrison from the “Glee”-meister’s  forthcoming solo set got a little leak today, and, more importantly, John released new dates for his return to Las Vegas’s Caesars Palace.

It’s been rumored for some time, but now it’s official: John begins a new residency  at the hotel’s Colosseum Sept. 28 for 16 shows.  The return is the first stint in a new three-year residency. His initial run ended in 2009. Instead of a red piano, this show is dubbed “The Million Dollar Piano.”  Tickets, which go on sale April 25, range from $55 to $250 plus fees.

[More after the jump...]

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Listen: Jennifer Lopez shakes her body for her 'Papi'

Listen: Jennifer Lopez shakes her body for her 'Papi'

Latest track from from forthcoming 'Love?' surfaces

Jennifer Lopez is feeling her Latin roots on “Papi,” a new tune from her forthcoming album, “Love?”

It’s at least the fourth song we’ve heard so far from the May 3 release. It’s a cross between Hilary Duff’s “Come Clean” and “The Lambada.”  No kidding... or at least that’s how it sounds to us. It’s a rhythmic fiesta.

We’ve always hated it when women refer to their boyfriends/husbands as “daddy” or, in this case, “papi” (same as when a man calls his wife “Mommy” in any context other than “Go ask your mommy).  It’s just gross, but we get that it doesn’t give other people the creeps. In addition to saying something in Spanish that we can’t translate but we imagine references dancing and moving, Lopez exhorts us to dance for our man and to flash that bling if we’ve got it.

RedOne, the man behind Lopez’s big hit, “On the Floor” and Lady Gaga’s new track, “Judas,” produced this tune as well. Musically, it sounds good and we like the drums at the beginning, but our minds quickly lost interest, though we admit our toes were still tapping.

What do you think?
 

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<p>Gorillaz</p>

Gorillaz

Gorillaz and 'Glee' lead April 19 album releases

Which 'American Idol' contestant finally makes her debut?

The pickings are slim this week when it comes to heavy hitters. In fact, there’s nothing here that’s likely to crack the top 10 other than the “Glee” set from the Warblers.  But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some tasty treats from the Gorillaz and an 'American Idol' contestant.

The Belle Brigade, “The Bell Brigade” (Reprise): Siblings Barbara and Ethan Gruska wear their love for such melodic superstars of the ’60 and ’70 like Fleetwood Mac and Simon & Garfunkel on their musical sleeves. Their granddad is legendary composer John Williams so they’re drawing from a great gene pool.

Kimberly Caldwell, “Without Regret” (Vanguard/Capitol):  “American Idol” season 2 contestant finally weighs in with her first post-Idol album. We hope she didn’t hurt herself in the rush.

Eliza Doolittle, “Eliza Doolittle” (Capitol):
The current British invasion continues with this sassy pop singer, who just played Coachella,  who has nothing to do with “My Fair Lady” whatsoever.

Gorillaz, “The Fall” (Virgin): This set, recorded while the band was on the road last autumn completely using iPad apps has been available as a download to fan club members for awhile, but now sees its CD, vinyl and digital download release.

Lenka, “Two” (Epic): Australian singer-songwriter returns with her sophomore set working with an array of producers including  Eg White (Adele), David Kosten (Bat for Lashes) and Guy Sigsworth (Bjork, Seal).

Ralph Stanley, “A Mother’s Prayer” (Rebel): Bluegrass godfather who reached mainstream acclaim through the “O Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack,  releases a collection of hymns and spirituals at the ripe old age of 84.

Various Artists, “Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers” (Columbia): New Directions gets some time off while the male a cappella singers at “Glee’s”  Dalton Academy take their turn at the microphone with their covers of  Pink’s “Raise Your Glass”  and Train’s “Hey Soul Sister.”

 

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<p>Foo Fighters</p>

Foo Fighters

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Young

Do Foo Fighters finally land their first No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200?

What happens to Adele and Britney Spears?

More than 15 years after their birth, Foo Fighters are poised to celebrate their first No. 1 with “Wasting Light.” The band’s sixth studio album is poised to sell up to 235,000 for the week ending April 17, according to Hits Daily Double.

That means Adele’s “21” drops out of No. 1 to No. 2 with sales of 80,000. Alison Krauss & Union Station’s latest, “Paper Airplane, should land at No. 3, while Latin rockers Mana’s “Drama and Light” and Paul Simon’s “So Beautiful or So What” are duking it out for the No. 4 and No. 5 spots.

The only other debut in the Top 10 looks to be British pop princess Jessie J’s “Who You Are.” Other newcomers, new titles from Atmosphere and TV on the Radio, barely miss the Top 10, coming in around No. 12 and 13, respectively.

Britney Spears’ “Femme Fatale,” which topped the Billboard 200 two weeks ago, looks like it will drop to No. 6.

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<p>'Born This Way'</p>

'Born This Way'

Look: Lady Gaga reveals album cover for 'Born This Way'

Where are her horns?

Half woman/half bike: Looks like Lady Gaga was born this way. The superstar unveiled the the album cover of her 5/23 album “Born This Way,” this morning via Twitter. The photo is black and white other than LG’s blood-red lips. Her facial and shoulder horns, that she swears are real, are covered by her blonde hair extensions.

She may have her horns, but she would appear to have lost her hands, which have been replaced by the front wheel of the chrome bike. How will she play the piano now?  In other Lady Gaga news, her new single, "Judas," came out yesterday and may debut at No. 1.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>&quot;Judas&quot;&nbsp;can't push Lady Gaga to the top of this week's music power rankings.</p>

"Judas" can't push Lady Gaga to the top of this week's music power rankings.

Credit: AP Photo

Music Power Rankings: Does Lady Gaga's 'Judas' move her to the top?

Or is Jennifer Lopez the world's most beautiful--and powerful-- person?

It’s time for that annual rite of Spring and the official kick off of the festival season, otherwise known as Coachella. More than 200,000 people are expected to make a pilgrimage to the desert in Palm Springs to see such acts as Kings of Leon, Black Keys, Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons, Kanye West, Duran Duran and the Strokes.

While concert tours may be struggling, festivals are strong and Coachella is no exception: tickets sold out within days of going on sale.

1. Coachella (not ranked last week):
Desert rats prepare for three days of hot, hot fun in the sun as security tries to keep gatecrashers at bay after around 20,000 interlopers snuck in for free each day in 2010. This year’s fest sold out in days. No recession here.

2. Record Store Day (not ranked):
It’s that one day of the year where we pay tribute to those treasured-yet-vanishing relics known as independent record stores. And yet we leave them to languish the other 364 days of the year.

3. Lady Gaga (not ranked):
“Judas,” her second single from “Born This Way” “leaks” out and is an immediate contender to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, blocking Rihanna’s “S&M” out of the top spot. Maybe if Rihanna had done the Gaga remix instead of the Britney remix...

4. Foo Fighters (not ranked, but should be ranked every week for how cool they are):  After 16 years and several albums, the Foos are about to score their first No. 1 album. And to their credit, they have been working like show ponies, playing every nick and cranny, including people’s garages, to get the word out. Furthermore, they look like they’ve had a blast doing it.

5. Prince (No. 7): The Purple One kicks off his three-week stint in Los Angeles with a three-hour show at the Forum. Simply one of the greatest there ever was, is and will be.

6. David Byrne (not ranked): He does what virtually no one else is able to do in America: he gets a politician to apologize. Florida’s ex-governor has to pay up and issue a public apology, via YouTube, for unauthorized use of Talking Heads’ tune “Road to Nowhere.”  We hope his apology is meant to be “a factual statement.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>George Michael</p>

George Michael

Credit: AP

Listen: George Michael's wedding present to William and Kate

Is it a song fit for a royal wedding?

Be part of the Royal Wedding! At 9  p.m. EDT, George Michael made available for free his present to Prince William and his bride-to-be, Kate (uh, we mean Catherine) Middleton. It’s a lush remake of Stevie Wonder’s “You & I” (You were perhaps expecting “I Want Your Sex?”). And it sure is more appropriate than Snoop Dogg's song he supposedly wrote for William's bachelor party, "Wet."  Nice....

The song, which has been given the Royal Family’s blessing, is available for free download on Michael’s special website  set up for the song, but he asks that you make a contribution to The Prince William & Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund.  The pair will marry on April 29.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>David Cook's &quot;This Loud Morning&quot;</p>

David Cook's "This Loud Morning"

Credit: RCA

David Cook sets release date for sophomore set 'This Loud Morning'

Debuts first single on 'American Idol' on April 21

Season 7 “American Idol” winner David Cook’s sophomore major label album, “This Loud Morning,” will come out June 28 on 19/RCA.

He’ll perform first single, “The Last Goodbye,” on “AI” on April 21. He teased us by posting the lyrics on his website last week. Of course, we hear him every week on on “AI” since his remake of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me” is this season’s farewell song to contestants voted off.

Actually, he’s been teasing us for awhile. In January, he posted a video of him working in the studio on songs “Goodbye to the Girl” and “Paper Heart.”

Matt Serletic, best known for his work with matchbox twenty and Collective Soul, produced the set, written by Cook solo and with such noted tunesmiths as David Hodges (who’s penned hits for fellow “AI” Kelly Clarkson, Ryan Tedder, Kevin Griffin and Marti Frederiksen.

Cook’s 2008 self-titled album sold more than 1 million copies and included the hit “Light On.”

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<p>Prince</p>

Prince

Watch: Prince shreds a little in new song, 'Laydown'

Legendary performer starts 21-date residency tonight in Los Angeles

Prince gets his funk on with new song “Laydown,” which he premieres on “Lopez Tonight” tonight, but we have a sneak preview of the full song below.

We really like it where Prince refers to himself as “the purple Yoda.” He also takes a swipe at plastic surgery. Need we add he does all this while sheathed in a sparkly gold pants suit and lays down some guitar shredding that would make Metallica proud.

[More after the jump...]

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