<p>Matthew Morrison</p>
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Matthew Morrison

Credit: AP

'Glee's' Matthew Morrison, Tyler the Creator, and the Cars drive May 10 new album releases

Raphael Saadiq, Christina Perri and the Lonely Island bring new sets too

After last week’s cascade of top titles including new releases from Beastie Boys, Jennifer Lopez and Stevie Nicks, the release slate slows to a trickle the week of May 10 in terms of marquee names. However, there are still plenty of reasons to be “Glee”-ful as Matthew Morrison releases his solo album debut, plus neo-soul sensation Rafael Saddiq returns with a new set.

The Cars, “Move Like This” (Hear Music/Concord): Ric Ocasek and the boys are back with a tight set produced by Jacknife Lee. It’s their first album featuring original members Ocasek, Elliott Easton, Greg Hawkes and David Robinson  in 27 years. We have two words: Let’s Go.

Booker T. Jones, “The Road From Memphis” (Anti-Epitaph): Long gone are the MGs, but in their place, Jones has a slew of modern artists like My Morning Jacket’s Yim Yames, the National’s Matt Berninger and Sharon Jones accompanying the soul vet. He blends originals with covers of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and Lauren Hill’s “Everything is Everything.”

The Lonely Island, “Turtleneck & Chain” (Universal Republic): “SNL’s” Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, aka The Lonely Island, are back with their second set, a double CD (!!) that includes tunes from their “SNL” digital shorts, including the brilliant “I Just Had Sex” featuring Akon, the newest sensation, “Jack Sparrow” featuring Michael Bolton” and “Motherlover” featuring Justin Timberlake.

Manchester Orchestra, “Simple Math” (Favorite Gentleman/Columbia): Third album from scraggly eclectic alternative quintet from Georgia finds them adding strings to their ragged rock sound of a set of deeply personal tunes.

Matthew Morrison, “Matthew Morrison” (Mercury): “Glee’s” Mr. Schuester gets some help from Gwyneth Paltrow and Elton John on his first solo album that will appeal to fans of Michael Buble and that ilk. No, he does not duet with Sue Sylvester.

Okkervil River, “I Am Very Far” (Jagjaguwar):
Austin, Texas indie faves release their sixth set and their first since their collaboration with Roky Erickson.

Christina Perri, “lovestrong” (Atlantic): Is there more to this 24-year old singer/songwriter than her breakthrough smash ballad “Jar of Hearts?” Her label certainly hopes so since they signed her after the song started to take off.

Raphael Saadiq, “Stone Rollin,’” (Columbia): You saw him perform with Mick Jagger on the Grammys and if you’re old enough, you remember him from Tony! Toni! Tone!. Saadiq’s brand of soul combines old school with indie leanings for a smooth, wonderful sound. On his fifth studio album, he tackles everything from mellotron to drums, but gets some able assistance from the likes of Robert Randolph.

Tyler, the Creator, “Goblin” (XL Recordings):
Leader of hip hop collective Odd Future releases a solo CD. With titles like “B***h Suck D**K and “Fish/Boppin B***h,” it’s fun for the whole family to enjoy.

Various Artists, “The Royal Wedding: The Official Album” (Decca): Yes, it’s true. This is an album featuring the music from the April 29 extravagance and even William and Catherine’s vows. If it came with a replica of Princess Beatrice’s hat, I would be so in.


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<p>Lady Gaga's &quot;The Edge of Glory&quot;</p>

Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory"

Lady Gaga drops a new song 'The Edge of Glory' at 1 p.m. PDT today

Third track from May 23 release 'Born This Way' follows 'Judas'

With “Judas” underperforming, Lady Gaga is already moving on to the next song from “Born This Way”... or at least giving us a chance to hear more before the album drops on May 23.

Over the weekend, she tweeted that new song, “Till the Edge of Glory” will drop on Monday at 1 p.m. PDT. “Another shot before we kiss the other side. I’m on the edge of something final we call life.”  We’re hoping those are lines from the song. The song will be released on iTunes.

Lady Gaga also tweeted a new image to go with the single.

First single, “Born This Way,” soared the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and has become an anthem in very sort order. “Judas” debuted at No. 10 and has fallen to No. 20 in two weeks, although the video, which came out on Thursday, may help it rebound back up the chart this week.

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Interview: Ne-Yo on his next album, playing in Japan, where he sleeps

Singer slated to appear in George Lucas's 'Red Tails'

Forget those rumors you’ve heard about Ne-Yo’s fifth studio album being called “Love & Passion.” He set the record straight for us when we ran into him recently. “It doesn’t have a name yet. But be looking for it in September,” he says. “I’m putting it together as we speak.”

Ne-Yo is collaborating with a number of fellow musicians, producers and songwriters on the set, including Tricky, Ryan Leslie and Stargate. As far as guest artists, it’s still unclear. “I don’t know what I’m doing for features yet, but talking with a bunch of people. We’ll see what happens in the long run.”

Don’t look for Ne-Yo to chase trends on the new set, his follow-up to “Libra Scale.” “I wasn’t trying to find the next hot new thing with this album. I went in with traditional R&B, traditional pop music, music that feels good. That’s what this whole album is about. Music that feels good.”

Unlike a number of artists who have postponed appearances in Japan following the devastating earthquake, Ne-Yo kept his commitments there and played a series of shows in late March. “To be completely honest with you, if you didn’t know something had just happened over there, you wouldn’t know. Their spirits are so high. All the shows went over fantastic. We raised a bunch of money for a good cause and it felt good.”

He says he never contemplating not going. “I felt like for me to back out of it at that time, it would have been absolutely wrong. That’s the time when they need music and a reason to smile and a reason to be happy the most. What kind of artist would I be, especially  since they’ve been so supportive of my career this whole time, to back out of them in their time of need?”

In other Ne-Yo news, he recently told the Associated Press that he’d inked a deal with The Cartoon Network for an animated series called “I Heart Tuesdays,” about a 16-year old girl who has to save the world every week.

He also keeps acting. Following his stint as a killer in a recent episode of “CSI: NY,” as well as a role in  “Battle: Los Angeles,” look for him in George Lucas’s “Red Tails,” a film about the famed Tuskegee airmen. The movie comes out in February.

So it seemed only logical to ask when Ne-Yo finds time to sleep. The answer was up in the air: “On airplanes. That’s the only time I can sleep and I never have any problems. The second my ass touches the seat, I’m gone.”

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<p>The cover of The Beastie Boys' 'Hot Sauce Committee Part Two'</p>
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The cover of The Beastie Boys' 'Hot Sauce Committee Part Two'

Are the Beastie Boys powerful enough to stop Adele's 21 on the Billboard 200?

Major changes on the chart with eight Top 10 debuts

Look for Adele to log another week at the top of the Billboard 200 when the official chart results are announced on Wednesday. “21” is poised to sell up to 160,000 copies, as much as 50,000 more than the likely No. 2 album, Beastie Boys’ “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.”

The Beasties kick off a slew of new titles in the top 10: eight potential ones to be exact.  “Hot Sauce” and “Now 38” are too close to call for the No. 2 and No. 3 slots, although Hits Daily Double gives “Hot Sauce” a slight edge going into the final round.

Coming in at No. 4 is likely to be Spin cover boys Fleet Foxes’ “Helplessness Blues”, with sales of around 90,000. "American Idol" judge Jennifer Lopez settles for No. 5 with “Love?” selling up to 65,000 copies as her comeback continues, but  probably not at the pace she would have liked. Stevie Nicks’  “In Your Dreams,” her first solo album in 10 years, summons sales of close to 50,000 copies for No. 6, while Musiq Soulchild’s “Musiqinthemagiq” looks good for No. 7 with around 40,000 units.

Mumford & Sons’ “Sigh No More” maintains its residency in the top 10, most likely at No. 8, making it the only title other than “21” to not be a debut in the elite set.  Sade’s “Ultimate Collection” and Sixx: A.M.’s” This is Gonna Hurt” (Motley Crue member Nikki Sixx’s side project) are too close to call for No. 9 and 10, with both set to sell between 27,000-30,000 copies.

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<p>Christina Aguilera of 'The Voice'</p>

Christina Aguilera of 'The Voice'

Credit: NBC

Music Power Rankings: Who keeps Lady Gaga and Adele out of the top spot?

'The Voice' and Simon Cowell trump 'American Idol'

What started as rumors several months ago ended as reality today as Access Industry’s purchased Warner Music Group today for $3.3 billion in an all-cash transaction. While many industry pundits expected rival label group to get purchased again first following the Citi fiasco, WMG—home to REM and Green Day among others—moved to the front of the line.

Access Industry, helmed by Russian billionaire Len Blavatnik, outbid approximately 10 other bidders in the auction, and will take the company private, depriving all of us who were watching the constantly fluctuating stock price of a daily pleasure.

In terms of what’s next: speculation is that  Chairman/CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. will remain and will oversee a likely acquisition of EMI and the sell off of publishing arm Warner/Chappell.

1) Warner Music Group (No. 8):  Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries buys the debt-ridden company for $3.3 billion. Want a little perspective as to how much fortunes in the music industry have fallen?  In 1998, Seagram paid $10.6 billion for the smaller Polygram. Will Access now buy EMI and finally merge the two.

2) Lady Gaga (not ranked):
The video for “Judas” premiered Thursday night and by Friday it had received 5 million views. Will it be enough to push the pulsating track back up the Hot 100? Plus, LG’s Monster Ball tour closed on Friday with a gross of $227.4 million, the most ever--and certainly the longest-- for by a debut headlining act, according to Billboard.

3) Adele (not ranked):
She takes a licking and keeps on ticking. She gets knocked out of the top spot on the Billboard 200 only to pop back up to the top spot: she spends her sixth week there this week. We say she’s got two more before Lady Gaga knocks her out, but we wouldn’t put it past her to climb back up again after Momma Monster has her initial run

4) “The Voice” (not ranked): NBC’s new singing competition is already proving to be a sale boon-——for its coaches. The week after the show’s debut,  mentor Cee Lo Green’s “The Lady Killer” leaps 72-48 on the Billboard 200, while the Adam Levine-fronted Maroon 5’s “Hands All Over” re-enters the chart at No. 106, representing a 27% jump in sales.

5) Simon Cowell (not ranked):
With the U.S. launch of “The X Factor” drawing nearer,  co-creator Simon Cowell certainly can’t need the money. He leapt over Sting and Mick Jagger to land at No. 6 on the list of Britain’s richest music folks with an estimated worth of $330 million.

[More after the jump...]

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Rihanna, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars slated for 'Today' summer concerts

'American Idol' winner set for June 2

Meredith Viera is leaving and Matt Lauer may be a question mark after 2012, but NBC “Today’s” summer concert series remains a sure thing.

The morning show will kick off the Toyota Concert Series with Rihanna on May 27. Among the other artists who will be stretching their vocal chords before breakfast Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Train, Lenny Kravitz and Bruno Mars. Interestingly, all the coaches on NBC’s new hit reality singing show “The Voice” are slated to perform except for Christina Aguilera.

The schedule so far:

May 27: Rihanna
June 2: “American Idol” winner and runner-up
June 3: New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys
June 10: The Script
June 17: Kenny Chesney
June 24: Bruno Mars
July 1: Pitbull with T-Pain and Ne-Yo
July 8: Blake Shelton
July 15: Chris Brown
July 22: Cee Lo Green
July 29: Journey
Aug. 5: Maroon 5
Aug. 12: Zac Brown Band
Aug. 19: Enrique Igesias
Aug. 26: Train
Sept. 2: Lenny Kravitz

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<p>&nbsp;Lady Gaga's 'Judas' video</p>

 Lady Gaga's 'Judas' video

Watch: Lady Gaga's video for 'Judas'

Turns out Jesus is not her homeboy

Every girl wants the bad boy. Even Lady Gaga. If it means dumping the King of Kings for him, even better.

In her new video for “Judas,” Lady Gaga transforms the 12 disciples into a motorcycle gang—— Heaven’s Angels, maybe? Regardless, it’s a brilliant idea.  She’s Jesus’s Old Lady, but she’s got it bad for Judas, played by Norman Reedus, who gets in bar brawls, gropes women and seems adverse to washing his hair. As she sings in “Judas,” “Jesus is my virtue/Judas is the demon I cling to.” 

Her longing is so great she has to break out in dance and rock some “Thriller”-type/Michael Jackson moves. While Jesus is off healing people and performing other miracles, she’s declaring her love for Judas for all to hear. Her love has even reduced her to making that stupid little two-handed heart symbol that Taylor Swift made famous.

The video should come with a warning tag: “based very loosely on a true story,” since she takes so many liberties with the story of Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene, including sharing a bath with J + J and writhing orgiastically while Judas pours water on her clothed bum. Of course, if one is looking to Lady Gaga for Biblical accuracy, there’s a much bigger problem brewing there, umkay?

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Stevie Nicks</p>

Stevie Nicks

Interview: Stevie Nicks talks 'In Your Dreams' and her greatest pleasure

Why she never played 'Secret Love' for Fleetwood Mac

Stevie Nicks released her first solo album in 10 years on May 3. “In Your Dreams” is vintage Nicks:  her raspy vocals wrap around swirling tales of love, both secret and sacred.

Produced by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard, some of the album’s songs grew out of poems that Nicks had written years ago that she finally set to music with her collaborators. For Nicks, “In Your Dreams” is as definitive a work as Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” or her acclaimed 1981 solo album debut, “Bella Donna.” “I’m more proud of this than anything, really,” she says.  Hitfix talked with Nicks about creating “In Your Dreams,” as well as lonely bus journeys and her love for Edgar Allan Poe.

You wrote first single, “Secret Love” in the ‘70s, but put it away and never played it for anyone. You’ve said now that you don’t even remember who it was about.

That song is a song that had I played it for Fleetwood Mac or for Lindsey [Buckingham], he really would have liked it because it’s a very simple kind of song. It’s very sophisticated in its simplicity.  Christine [McVie] would have loved it, so I never played it for them.

At that point, in ‘75, I didn’t have a house in Phoenix because I was just in Fleetwood Mac and I was a waitress up until 1975 so I would send stuff to my mom. I put that in in a box and put it in my mom’s garage and I never took it out. It went out bootlegged somehow because the world has heard it because when I sent [my sister] home to look for it and [we] found it on Youtube. I don’t know whether to be thrilled or horrified by that. It’s possible when I first wrote it I left it out on a table and it said “Secret Love” on it and somebody took it and recorded it from cassette to cassette and put it back. I have no idea otherwise how it could have gotten out because I put it away. It was always a song that I didn’t want anybody to know about because whatever it was about, it was a secret.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Katy Perry in &quot;E.T.&quot;</p>

Katy Perry in "E.T."

Does Katy Perry fight off a Hot 100 surge from Britney Spears?

Where's Lady Gaga's 'Judas' now?

“E.T.” has found a home, a long-term residence in fact, atop Billboard's Hot 100 as Katy Perry’s tune lands at the top for a fifth non-consecutive week.

“E.T.”  featuring Kayne West, staves off a charge from Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” after both titles sell around 300,000 copies. The Hot 100 tabulates digital sales and radio play.

Coming in at No. 3 is Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends,” which zooms 11-3, based on a remix featuring Nicki Minaj and Ke$ha. In fact sales of the remix and the original version were up more than 100% over the previous week, according to Billboard. The sales are similar to the surge Rihanna’s “S&M” experienced after a remix of that song featuring Spears surfaced.

Rounding out the top five, The Black Eyed Peas’ “Just Can’t Get Enough” slips 3-4, while Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” proves to be quite an achiever, climbing 6-5.

The aforementioned “S&M” slides 4-6, while Jennifer Lopez’s “On the Floor” holds at No. 7.  The rearranging of the Top 10 continues as Ke$ha’s “Blow” rises one spot to No. 8, Jeremih’s “Down on Me” featuring 50 Cent, goes down 5-9. Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes falls 8-10.

Lady Gaga’s “Judas” continues to fall after debuting, and seemingly peaking,  at No. 10 two weeks ago. It fell to 12 last week and to 20 this week. However, the song will likely get a boost on next week’s chart following today’s debut of the “Judas” video.

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<p>Eddie Vedder</p>

Eddie Vedder

Watch: Eddie Vedder softly strums for you in 'Longing to Belong' video

Take a lovely break and sing along

Stop what you’re doing and take a chill break by watching the lovely video for “Longing to Belong,” from Eddie Vedder’s “Ukulele Songs.” We guarantee you’ll feel more relaxed within three minutes.

Amid a backdrop of  silent waves cascading and sunny skies, Vedder strums his uke as he sings about hoping his loved one will come around. The “loved one,” seen only fleetingly, is, of course, of the super model variety (despite all his sensitivity, he is a rock star, after all). The gorgeous water footage looks very similar to some of the scenes used in the Pearl Jam clip for “Amongst the Waves.” Hey, we’re all for a little recycling. http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/the-beat-goes-on/posts/watch-get-wet-with-pearl-jam-on-video-for-amongst-the-waves

It’s a sweet, simple clip whose tone perfectly matches the low-key, simple, beguiling song.

“Ukulele Songs” comes out May 31.


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