<p>Katy Perry performing on the Today Show last year.</p>

Katy Perry performing on the Today Show last year.

Credit: AP Photo

Music Power Rankings: Adele, Katy Perry and the music industry's good news

Fleetwood Mac and Fleet Foxes both make this week's list

For years, the music industry operated under the assumption that digital sales would make up for sinking physical CD sales and it’s finally happened. It may be very short lived, but through May 8, music sales are up 1.6% over the previous year, marking the first this has happened in years. The increase comes as digital sales sold enough to offset the continuing decline in physical sales.

This news comes on top of last week’s good word that digital sales were up 8% over the same time period last year.

1. U.S. album sales (not ranked): Woohoo!  Overall sales are up for the first time in nearly a decade. It’s only 1.6% over the previous year, but for just one shiny moment we’re going to pretend that it’s all going to be alright.

2. Katy Perry (not ranked):
Lady Gaga may get more attention for letting her freak flag fly, but Katy keeps setting record after record. A few weeks ago she became the first artist in several years to score four No. 1s from an album. This week she becomes the only artist in the 52-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 to have a song in the top 10 of the chart continuously for a year. “Firework,” indeed.

3. Google (not ranked):
The mega-search engine (and YouTube owner) bows its Google Music Beta service to largely positive reviews, although it has to settle for launching the cloud service after it is unable to secure licenses from the major labels in order to debut a full-on downloadable service. Not really #winning.

4. Adele (No. 3):
She just moves from strength to strength. The British singer lands her first No. 1 single on the Hot 100 as “Rolling in the Deep” goes to No. 1 on the chart six months after its release. “21,” the album featuring “Rolling” remains at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Adele’s first album, “19,” soars back up the Billboard 200. “Rolling in the Dough” would be more appropriate.

5. Limewire (not ranked): The P2P and the Big Four label groups (Sony Music, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group and EMI) reach a $105 million out-of-court settlement. Who’s the winner? The labels, despite the fact they were intially asking for $1.4 billion.

6. Lady Antebellum (not ranked):
“Just A Kiss,” the group’s first single from its forthcoming third album, debuts at No 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, setting a record for the highest debut by a country group on the pop chart.

7. Fleet Foxes (not ranked):
The neo-folkies hit a major milestone this week: The group’s “Helplessness Blues” sells 8,900 copies on vinyl this week, marking the highest amount in the history of Nielsen Soundscan. It also sells 48,000 digital copies and 34,000 CDs for a hat trick that adds up to a No. 4 debut.

8. Fleetwood Mac (not ranked):
The band, who just saw a major surge in sales for its landmark album “Rumours” thanks to the “Glee” treatment looks like it will head back out on tour next year. This will likely be the only time in the history of Music Power Rankings that we get to have both the Fleet Foxes and Fleetwood Mac in a ranking.

9. Pink Floyd (not ranked):
The veteran band announces a huge reissue and archival footage program to give CDs one last hurrah. Additionally, Roger Waters and David Gilmour reunited for the first time publicly since 2005 to perform the classic “Comfortably Numb” at London’s O2 Arena. See it here.

What do you think of this week's rankings?  Share your thoughts below.

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Listen: 'I Wanna Go' set as 'mentally incapable' Britney Spears' next single

Listen: 'I Wanna Go' set as 'mentally incapable' Britney Spears' next single

Is she mentally incompetent, as her parents allege?

“I Wanna Go” will be the third single from Britney Spears’ current album “Femme Fatale.” The tune, which features Spears’ singing (autotuned as it may be), is produced by Shellback, Savan Kotecha and Max Martin. Chris Marrs Piliero will direct the video.

The song, which is also distinguished by Spears’ playful stuttering and its peppy whistling along the lines of Peter, Bjorn & John’s “Young Folks,” is about gratification, both self (wink, wink) and at the hands of others.

It follows “Hold It Against Me,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Hot 100, and “Till the World Ends,” which got a rebirth through a remix featuring Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha, ultimately peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune is also No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs.

Spears’ Femme Fatale kicks off June 16 in Sacramento with guests Minaj, Jessie and the Toy Boys and Nervo.

In other Spears news, her parents are claiming that she is still mentally unstable. The singer’s ex-manager, Sam Lufti, is suing Spears’ mom, Lynne Spears, for defamation. As part of the suit, he wants Spears to dive a deposition. However, her parents filed a motion in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 9, claiming that she is mentally incapable of testifying, according to Hollywood Reporter. Spears’ father, Jamie, still serves as her conservator, as he has since her very public breakdown four years ago.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Beyonce</p>
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Beyonce

Credit: Peter Kramer/AP

Beyonce delays video for 'Run the World (Girls)'

The big question is will it come out at all?

Has the curse of Friday the 13th struck Beyonce

Initially, the video for Beyonce's "Run the World (Girls)" was to go live at 12:01 a.m. EDT May 13. Then it was pushed back to 8 a.m. Now, Vevo is running a statement that says, “OK, bad news: 'Run the World (Girls)' won't be out on Friday like we thought. No new date yet. Beyonce is perfecting it."

The song, the first from Beyonce's new album, "4," has had a troubled life so far. The tune, which features a tribal, militaristic beat and a sample from Major Lazer's "Pon de Floor,"  debuted at No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has moved in the wrong direction ever since. Last week, it fell to No. 48 and this week it plummets to No. 65.  We have no inside information on this one yet, but it's possible that Sony has decided to pull the plug on the song and attendant promotion all together and move on as if it never happened. It wouldn't be the first time a label decided to cut its losses, although given that the bulk of the video seems done, we imagine it will still come out in some form or fashion. If not timed to the single, it may be temporarily shelved and saved as an extra on a DVD or some later compilation. We have a message into Beyonce's publicist to see if we can get any information.

As you know, even though Interscope did release the video for Lady Gaga's second single "Judas," as it was apparent that the song was tanking, the label followed up three days later with a third single, "Edge of Glory." Whether it's smart to have already burned through three singles before the album is released is a topic we'll address in another post.

In the meantime, enjoy the trailer to "Run the World (Girls)." It looks like a helluva video.

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<p>Just like J-Lo, Steven Tyler is using &quot;American Idol&quot; to launch a brand new single.</p>

Just like J-Lo, Steven Tyler is using "American Idol" to launch a brand new single.

Credit: FOX

Watch: Steven Tyler's video for '(It) Feels So Good'

What's Nicole Scherzinger doing in there?

I would have loved to have seen the treatment for Steven Tyler’s “(It) Feels So Good”: “Okay, we’re going to have an elephant, a monkey, a girl young enough to be Tyler’s granddaughter playing the love interest, a peregrine, Nicole Scherzinger, belly dancers, wrestlers, a melting disco ball and we’re going to go back and forth between black and white and color.”

Sold! In other words, the video makes absolutely no linear sense whatsoever, but clever editing with the images cut perfectly to the beat save the day as the Ray Kay-directed clip starts with Tyler in the make-upchair, holding a monkey. Said monkey soon ends up driving a golf cart.  The young girl, who goes from scantily clad to nude, rolling on the bed, and in the shower never actually cavorts with Tyler, we just see her holding someone’s hand, presumed to be Tyler. (Of course, longtime Aerosmith fans will remember that he likes them young, in shorts, and bent over both here and in the video for "Cryin,' which featured an underage Alicia Silverstone). Instead he nuzzles up to a pachyderm and to head Pussycat Doll Scherzinger, who, as it turns out, does some of the singing at the end of the song. Maybe this is how Tyler’s mind works...random scattershot images.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Roger Daltrey</p>

Roger Daltrey

Credit: AP Photo

Roger Daltrey to tour the Who's classic rock opera 'Tommy'

Pete Townshend absent, but gives outing his 'support'

And then there was one. Roger Daltrey is hitting the road to perform the Who’s classic rock opera “Tommy” in its entirety, as well as other Who classics.

Guess who’s not performing with him? Who guitarist Pete Townshend, who wrote the bulk of “Tommy.”  Instead, his baby brother Simon Townshend will be on guitar, in a band rounded out by guitarist Frank Simes, drummer Scott Deavours, bassist Jon Button and keyboardist Loren Gold.
 
The Who never toured the musical in its entirety in sequence, so this is your chance. Daltrey premiered this iteration at Royal Albert Hall in London in March at a benefit for Teenage Cancer Trust and will now embark on a six-week U.S. tour starting Sept. 13 in Hollywood, Fla.

Pete Townshend has given the tour his blessing, according to a statement: “Great to see Roger performing ‘Tommy’ with his band in 2011. I will be there in spirit. Roger has my complete and most loving support. Roger is touring his unique concert version of ‘Tommy’ using his faithful presentation of the original work as the backbone for a set of wider material. It is wonderful to hear the way Roger and his new band re-interpret the old Who songs.”

Tickets for the AEG-produced tour go on sale May 19.

DATE    CITY    VENUE
9/13    Hollywood, FL    Seminole Hard Rock
9/15    Alpharetta, GA    Verizon Wireless Pavilion
9/17    Boston, MA    Agganis Arena
9/18    Newark, NJ    Prudential Center
9/21    Philadelphia, PA    MANN Center
9/23    Uniondale, NY    Nassau Coliseum
9/24    Hartford, CT    XL Center
**9/27    Montreal, QC    Place Des Arts
**9/28    Ottawa, ON    Scotiabank Place
**9/30    Toronto, ON    Sony Centre For The Performing Arts
10/1    Windsor, ON    The Coliseum at Caesars Windsor
10/5    Minneapolis, MN    U.S. Bank Theater at Target Center
10/7    Hammond, IN    Venue at Horseshoe Casino
10/8    St. Louis, MO    Peabody Opera House
10/11    Cedar Park, TX    Cedar Park Center
10/12    Grand Prairie, TX    Verizon Theatre
10/14    Kansas City, MO    The Midland by AMC
10/16    Broomfield, CO    1STBANK Center
10/19    Los Angeles, CA    NOKIA Theatre
10/21    San Jose, CA    San Jose Civic
10/22    Las Vegas, NV    The Joint
10/24    Portland, OR    Rose Quarter-Theatre of the Clouds
10/25    Seattle, WA    Key Arena at Seattle Center
10/27    Vancouver, BC    Rogers Arena
10/29    Edmonton, AB    Rexall Place
10/30    Calgary, AB    Scotiabank Saddledome
11/1    Saskatoon, SK    Credit Union Centre
11/2    Winnipeg, MB    MTS Centre



 

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Adele may be No. 1, but 'E.T' sets an out-of-this world Hot 100 record

Does the 'Judas' video help revive Lady Gaga's tune on the chart?

Katy Perry’s “E.T.” featuring Kanye West may fall out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, but Perry sets a much sweeter record: with “E.T.” at No. 2, it marks the first time an artist has spent 52 consecutive weeks in the top 10 of the chart.

Perry’s streak began when “California Gurls” featuring Snoop Dogg bowed on the Hot 100 at No. 2 for the week of May 29, 2010. This week’s chart is dated May 21.

Knocking Perry’s “E.T.” out of the top spot is Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” meaning the British singer has both the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 and the No. 1 single on the Hot 100 simultaneously. She’s the first female artist to do so since Ke$ha hit both summits in January 2010 with the single “TiK ToK” and album “Animal,” according to Billboard. More remarkably, it is the first song by a female solo artist to top both Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart and the Hot 100 since Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” in 1990.

Just as Adele will likely receive an additional  surge next week from performing on “Dancing With the Stars” earlier this week, Jennifer Lopez gets a boost from singing “On the Floor” featuring Pitbull on “American Idol” last week: that song jumps 7-3 this week on the Billboard Hot 100.  The Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough”  stays at No. 4, as Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” remains at No. 5.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Dave Matthews</p>

Dave Matthews

Dave Matthews, Neil Young among headliners for 2011 annual Farm Aid

Line up also includes founder Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp

Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp will headline the annual Farm Aid concert on Aug. 13 at Kansas City’s Livestrong Sporting Park. Other acts will be announced soon.

Tickets start at a staggeringly low $29 for the concert that benefits family farming.  Nelson, Young and Mellencamp founded Farm Aid in 1985.

As one might imagine, the food at the festival will come from family-farm identified, local and organic foods.

This marks the first time that Farm Aid has taken place in Kansas.

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Listen: Steven Tyler's solo tune, '(It) Feels So Good'

Listen: Steven Tyler's solo tune, '(It) Feels So Good'

Aerosmith leader debuts video on 'American Idol' May 12

Steven Tyler has undoubtedly done his share of heavy breathing and now he’s sharing it with us on his first solo tune, “(It) Feels So Good,” a breezy, summer time tune.

He’ll premiere the video on “American Idol” on Thursday, May 12.

The tune is Aerosmith-lite with none of Joe Perry’s guitar bite, but the lyrics are vintage Tyler: a combo of lighthearted comments about his head being turned by a cutie with a twist: “My little kewpie was a real superfreak/By the time that I came down I’d been locked up in her room for a week...Your oh-la-la has done it to me good.” Tyler wrote the tune, which begins and ends with Tyler panting, with longtime Aerosmith collaborate Marti Frederikson.

The Aerosmith leader, who just released his autobiography, sounds great here, especially with the trademark yelps at the end, but the song could use a bit more punch.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Black Eyed Peas</p>

Black Eyed Peas

Watch: Black Eyed Peas party with a parrot on 'Don't Stop the Party' video

Go around the world with Fergie and the Boys

What could possibly stop the Black Eyed Peas’ party except for, oh say, an actually hummable melody?

OK, I’ll quit being a hater. It’s only because their lives are clearly so much more exciting than ours, as evidenced in the spanking brand new video clip for “Don’t Stop the Party.”

We follow the Peas on their world tour and get to see lots and lots of people jumping up and down to their music, as well as see one overzealous fan hop on stage and try to grab Fergie. There’s even a parrot. Plus, we see their futuristic costumes, etc. Like we've never seen those before. Yawn.

The video gets infinitely better around the 3:40 mark when it turns into a travelogue, as we see sandy beaches, city skylines and gorgeous landscapes that make us instantly want to call our travel agent and jet off to somewhere fabulous where the skies are blue, the champagne corks are popping and there are 60,000 waiting in a stadium for us.

With “Just Can’t Get Enough,” the second single from “The Beginning,” still ensconced in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100, BEP is clearly looking at “Don’t Stop the Party’s” video to get this “Party” started instead of giving it a jump start after its radio life is well underway.

So get packed and jump on the party bus.

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<p>Phish</p>

Phish

Phish closes tour with three-night stand in Colorado

Outing opens over Memorial Day

Phish is taking summer time touring seriously, starting its latest concert series on Memorial Day and ending it on Labor Day. That means they can wear white every single day.

The outing closes with three nights at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.,  Sept. 2-4. Tickets go on sales  to the general public on June 4 through various outlets.

Fans are encouraged to make use of nearby campgrounds with three-day camping/parking tickets available through Phish’s website.

The tour starts Memorial Day weekend in Bethel, N.Y. Other highlights include Super Ball IX, Phish’s ninth festival , which takes place in Watkins Glen, N.Y.  Ticket prices include a free MP3 download from that show.

Phish Summer Tour Dates

5/27                 Bethel, NY                   Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
5/28                 Bethel, NY                   Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
5/29                 Bethel, NY                   Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
5/31                 Holmdel, NJ                 PNC Bank Arts Center
6/1                   Holmdel, NJ                 PNC Bank Arts Center
6/3                   Clarkston, MI              DTE Energy Center
6/4                   Cleveland, OH              Blossom Music Center
6/5                   Cincinnati, OH             Riverbend Music Center
6/7                   Mansfield, MA             Comcast Center
6/8                   Darien Center, NY       Darien Lake Performing Arts Center - ticket includes free admission to Darien Lake Theme Park on day of show
6/10                 Camden, NJ                  Susquehanna Bank Center
6/11                 Columbia, MD              Merriweather Post Pavilion
6/12                 Columbia, MD              Merriweather Post Pavilion
6/14                 Alpharetta, GA                        Verizon Wireless @ Encore Park
6/15                 Alpharetta, GA                        Verizon Wireless @ Encore Park
6/17                 Charlotte, NC              Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
6/18                 Raleigh, NC                  Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion
6/19                 Portsmouth, VA           Ntelos Pavilion at Harbor Center
7/1-3                Watkins Glen, NY        Super Ball IX - Watkins Glen International
8/5-6                George, WA                 The Gorge
8/8                   Hollywood, CA                        Hollywood Bowl
8/9-10              Stateline, NV                Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys
8/12                 San Francisco, CA        Outside Lands Music Festival
8/15-17                        Chicago, IL                  UIC Pavilion
9/2-4                Commerce City, CO     Dick's Sporting Goods Park

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