<p>Weird Al</p>
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Weird Al


Listen: 'Weird Al' Yankovic's take on Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way'

Does he bring the funny?

Don’t you just  love a happy ending? After going public yesterday with the fact that Lady Gaga wouldn’t approve, “I Perform This Way,”  his parody of “Born This Way,” Weird Al later updated his blog with the news that Momma Monster had indeed signed off on his releasing the tune. According to "Weird Al" Yankovic, her management had turned it down without running it by her Lordship. When she got wind of it, she turned that frown into a smile. Now who knows if that’s true, but Lady Gaga gets to look like the hero and like she has a great sense of humor about herself.

It’s been awhile since Weird Al has been in the news. In the ‘80s, his parodies were frequently part of MTV’s video rotation and we’re sure the video for “I Perform This Way” is what will really drive the media saturation. In the meantime, listen to the spook below. We admit, the line about  wrapping "my small intestines around my neck" made us laugh out loud. Unlike many of his parodies that take a theme and turn it on its head into something totally different, like “Like a Surgeon,” his parody of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,”  Weird Al’s “I Perform This Way” is a direct poke at Lady Gaga herself and it’s pretty spot on.

A Supreme Court ruling years ago allows parody as a fair use, so Weird Al was fine to release the song anyway legally.  But he has always gotten permission from the artists, which, in some way, gives his parodies a little extra clout since they're artist-approved.

Listen for yourself below. Or go buy it. All proceeds go to the Human Rights Campaign, a move that undoubtedly helped persuade Gaga. We can't wait for the country version.

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Listen: Official new Beyonce track 'Girls (Run the World)'

Listen: Official new Beyonce track 'Girls (Run the World)'

She's taking over again

Two days after the song originally leaked and we all had to pull down our posts of that leak, we’re getting the full version of  Beyonce’s “Girls (Run the World)” legitimately this time and it’s clear she’s taking no prisoners.

For all its sassiness,  her mega-hit “SingleLadies  (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.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Jennifer Nettles</p>

Jennifer Nettles

Watch: Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles gets her sexy on in new video 'Tonight'

See her love affair with a wind machine

Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles is really eager for the night to get here. In the band’s new video for “Tonight,” Nettles runs through three scenarios as she sings, waiting for her lover to arrive.  No matter how great he may be, we’re not so sure her lover will be able to compete with the ever-present fan blowing her hair in each scene.

We’re a huge fan of Nettles’ voice, but, quite frankly, she just seems awkward here, especially in the second vignette where she’s self-consciously dancing/shimmying alone on a stage in a hideous outfit.  In the third scene--in an all-white bedroom-- she crawls and rolls around on the bed waiting for her man giving her best sultry stare right into the camera. You can almost hear some sleazy cameraman saying to her, “Make love to the camera, baby.” 

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Rihanna</p>

Rihanna

Credit: AP Photo

Does Rihanna's 'S&M' beat Lady Gaga's 'Judas' to the Billboard Hot 100?

Who else has a big week on the singles chart?

Bondage wins over religion as Rihanna’s “S&M” holds off Lady Gaga’s “Judas” to top the Billboard Hot 100.

Not only that, Rihanna sets a pair of records while doing so. She holds the shortest time span between her first and 10th No. 1 for any solo artist in the chart’s 52-year history, according to Billboard.  “SOS” hit No. 1 in May 13, 2006,  while “S&M” will hit the history books as the No. 1 single for the week ending April 30 (Billboard is always dated a week ahead).

Rihanna’s win is only by a few months, as she tops the previous shortest span held by Mariah Carey. The songbird started her No. 1 climb with “Vision of Love” on Aug. 4, 1990 and landed her 10th No. 1 on Dec. 2, 1995 with “One Sweet Day.”

Two groups still logged their top 10s in a shorter time period and it will be impossible to beat them because of the way the charts work now: Unbelieveably, the Beatles scored 10 No. 1’s over a 20-month period, while the Supremes did the same over 32 months.

“S&M’s” triumph over “Judas” is propelled by the remix of the song featuring Britney Spears. The original and “Rih-mix” accounted for 293,000 downloads last week.   “Judas” comes in at No. 10 with only three days of availability after it snuck out on Friday.

Former No. 1  “E.T.”, by Katy Perry featuring  Kanye West, slips to No. 2. The Black Eyed Peas’ "Just Can't Get Enough" remains at No. 3; Jeremih’s  "Down on Me" featuring 50 Cent keeps coming up as it climbs 6-4, while  Cee Lo Green's "F**k You (Forget You)" drops one to No. 5.

Rounding out the Top 10, Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" soars 10-6, Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now," featuring Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes holds at No. 7, Jennifer Lopez's "On the Floor" featuring Pitbull ups one to No. 8, trading places with  Britney Spears' "Till the World Ends.”

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Linkin Park re-ups for a third 'Transformers' film with new song

Linkin Park re-ups for a third 'Transformers' film with new song

Rock group heads to the 'Dark of the Moon' with Michael Bay

Megan Fox may not be a continuing part of Michael Bay’s “Transformers” series, but Linkin Park keeps hanging in there with the franchise.

The group will supply the end-title song for Paramount’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” marking the third go-round for the rock band and the “Transformers” series.

They aren’t writing a song specifically for the movie, however. Instead, current single “Iridescent,” from current album, “A Thousand Suns,” will be revamped for the movie.

Previously, “What I’ve Done” appeared in the first “Transformers” film, while “New Divide” was in 2009’s “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”  Linkin Park’s Joe Hahn will direct the video for “Iridescent.”

[More after the jump...]

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<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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