Inside Music with Melinda Newman

Watch: My Chemical Romance's video for 'Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)'

What movies does it rip off?

<p>My Chemical Romance's &quot;Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na.&quot;</p>

My Chemical Romance's "Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na."

It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen seen or heard from My Chemical Romance, but they make a memorable return with the video for “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" from their forthcoming album, "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys." 

The video takes place in an imaginary place called Battery City. Think “Blade Runner” crossed with “Mad Max” and The Power Rangers with a little of Gerard Way thrown in. It’s  a fairly nihilistic look at our future with a cryptic “Good Luck” message at the end. It’s also tailor-made for a sequel. Watch and you’ll see what we’re talking about.  Just remember, “The future is bulletproof/ the aftermath is secondary.”

As Katie Hasty wrote in her review of the song, there's something nonsensical about the tune. It reminded her of a brash Green Day. We'd throw in a healthy dose of Pink on steroids with lots of indecipherable non-sequiteurs like "Let me tell you about the sad man/shut up and let me see your jazz hands"

What do you think? 


 

Ke$ha turns into a 'Cannibal' on companion set to 'Animal'

New album includes eight new tunes

<p>Ke$ha performing on all fours for the Today Show audience in August.</p>

Ke$ha performing on all fours for the Today Show audience in August.

Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Ke$ha will release “Cannibal,” an 8-track “companion” to her platinum debut, “Animal,” on Nov. 22.

The set will be sold separately, as well as bundled with “Animal.” The first single,  “We R Who We R,” goes to radio on Oct. 14.

Dr. Luke, the man who gave us “Tik Tok,” and who has developed Ke$ha, executive produced “Cannibal.” Other collaborators include Max Martin, best known for his work with Pink and Britney Spears, and Benny Bianco, who has worked with Katy Perry and 3Oh!3, among others.

In her typically classy fashion (although we admire the joke), Ke$ha said in a statement: “This year has been carnivorous and life-changing. I have my rowdy, gorgeous fans to thank for taking me on the ride of a lifetime. My only goal with this record is to keep them dancing. The songs on ‘Cannibal’ were made to inspire people to ignore any hate or judgment and be themselves unapologetically. It's the perfect companion to Animal and I hope you guys like it. And if you don’t like it - bite me.”

That sounds painful.

Listen: Lee DeWyze's first single, 'Sweet Serendipity'

'American Idol' switches from title track to new tune for debut tune

<p>Lee DeWyze</p>

Lee DeWyze

Credit: FOX

Last week, we previewed four new songs for you from Lee DeWyze’s  post-”American Idol” debut,  “Live it Up,” including the title track, which was tagged as the first single.

Well, these things can always change. Yesterday we got the call from DeWyze’s rep that instead of “Live It Up,”  the new single would be a tune called “Sweet Serendipity,”and it would debut on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show on Wednesday morning. Even without hearing it, we were happy to hear the news since, as we wrote, we weren’t sure that “Live It Up” was the right call. It turns out "Sweet Serendipity" is a much stronger choice.

“Sweet Serendipity” is a song about the simple pleasures of living in the moment and believing that “something is watching over me like sweet serendipity.” It’s a light, happy up-tempo song that features a Jason Mraz-type feel. DeWyze’s delivery is strong, despite having a fairly strong torrent of words to get through.

Listen here and let us know what think.

Listen: Kings of Leon's new album 'Come Around Sundown' in its entirety

New album is streaming in its entirety

<p>Kings Of Leon</p>

Kings Of Leon

Kings of Leon’s “Come Around Sundown” doesn’t come out until next Tuesday, but the band is streaming the new album in its entirety on its website here.

You already know and love (probably) first single, “Radioactive.” We’ll wait to file our official review until closer to the album’s release, but it’s sounding pretty stripped down to us as we drop in on a few tracks.

What do you think?

Watch: Ciara channels Janet Jackson in 'Gimme Dat' video

Strong video makes up for weak song

<p>Ciara</p>

Ciara

You know what we want from Ciara? We want an exercise video. She writhes and dances around in her videos so much and has such a great body that clearly she has an awesome work out routine. That’s the main reason to watch the new clip for “Gimme Dat,” from her forthcoming album, “Basic Instinct.”

The music, quite frankly, has been pretty non-descript since “Love Sex Magic” feat. Justin Timberlake. Okay, I lied. The only song by Ciara that really captured my attention was “Goodies.”

She’s not having sex with the floor like she does in the “Ride”video here, but there are plenty of amazing moves. They are more in the “Rhythm Nation”  vein that she frequently borrows from.  Later, she switches from one Jackson to another, as some of the moves resemble Michael’s writhings. Check out the action around 2:30. We’ve never seen that in a video before.  She veers into Nicki Minaj territory very briefly. You’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

There’s absolutely no song here; it’s just a collection of beats that she monotone sings over for club play. We don't want to listen to the song ever without the visual, but she's damn compelling on video.

Did we know she was an Angels fan? (Update: Oops, we've just been informed it's an Atlanta Braves hat. Thanks!)


 

Listen: Taylor Swift shakes it up with 'Back to December' from 'Speak Now'

America's Sweetheart actually apologizes in song

<p>Taylor Swift's &quot;Back to December&quot;</p>

Taylor Swift's "Back to December"

Credit: Big Machine

Taylor Swift often half-jokes about how all her songs start: “So there was this boy...”  So why should  we expect any different with her new track released today? Well, hold onto your hats, boys and girls: We get a major shift in theme with “Back to December,” the second track released by Swift as part of her iTunes promotion that means a new tune every Tuesday until "Speak Now's" Oct. 25 release. This time, she’s the one who did the dumping instead of getting dumped or pining away for a boy! Alert the media! Oh, wait...

Seriously, “Back to December” is a shimmery, string-laden ballad that is tailor-made for dramatic award show performances. Swift sees her old beau, whom she now has serious regrets about letting go, and she apologizes. In her mind, as she tells him, she goes “back to December” in her head to replay the conversation over and over and she takes back her hurtful words.

There are a few nice metaphors:  “you gave me roses and I left them there to die” (i.e. the relationship) and “I’d go back and change it but I can’t/if the chain is on your door, I understand” (i.e.: if your heart is closed to me.)

We’re also a fan of the line “It turns out freedom means nothing but missing you.” She cops a little too much from Kris Kristofferson’s incredible “Me & Bobby McGee” line: “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,” but it’s nice nonetheless.

Does the song have a happy ending? Listen to it in full here and watch below for Swift’s emotional explanation about the song and to hear a preview. 

Whom do you think “Back to December” is about? Taylor Lautner, perhaps?

 

Get Lil Wayne's 'I Am Not Human' for free when you buy 'DefJam Rapstar'

New album bundled with video game for a week

<p>Lil Wayne' &quot;I Am Not a Human Being&quot;</p>

Lil Wayne' "I Am Not a Human Being"

Starting Oct. 12, Lil’ Wayne’s new album “I Am Not Human” will be bundled with for free “DefJam Rapstar” at Best Buy.

The deal, which lasts only a week, is part of Lil’ Wayne’s deal with Rapstar. His song, “Milli,” is also featured in the game. Their pairing kicked off their partnership with ads featuring the still-jailed rapper in an image with unhooked handcuffs, reading “I am the Beast. Feed me rappers or feed me beats.”

The album is available at all retailers tomorrow, after coming out last week as a digital only release. Even with no physical component, the title still managed to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. As Hitfix’s Katie Hasty astutely noticed in a Sept. 28 story, while other retailers such as Wal-Mart  and K-Mart were touting exclusive tracks, Best Buy was very quiet. Now we know why. The retailer had a much bigger plan.

As Billboard points out, this is the second recent bundling of an album with a video game. Soundgarden packaged 1 million copies of it greatest hits collection “Telephantasm” with “Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.”

Album Review: Darius Rucker's 'Charleston, SC 1966'

Brad Paisley and Kara DioGuardi help Hootie with his second country set

<p>Darius Rucker</p>

Darius Rucker

Darius Rucker successfully reinvented himself a few ago from a pop singer and leader of Hootie & the Blowfish to a solo country singer. That’s no easy feat given that other mainstream artists like Jessica Simpson tried to make the transition and failed miserably. “Learn to Live” scored him three No. 1 hits and he was named, without the slightest trace of irony, as the CMA Awards’ top new artist last year.

He stays the course on his second Capitol Nashville album, “Charleston, S.C. 1966,” as first single, “Come Back Song,” is already No. 3 on Billboard’s Country Songs chart.

His voice is soulful, fluid and so smooth that he sounds great singing anything (more about that later). Plus, he proves himself way more country than many format longtimers, as he generously sprinkles mandolin, fiddle and pedal steel throughout many of the tunes, especially the jaunty “Love Will Do That.”

Rucker’s sweet spot (and it’s not one he strays from much here) is his penchant for capturing details about every day life in a real, truthful way that makes you nod your head and say, “I’ve been there.” Couples fight, such as on “I Got Nothin’,” but instead of coming up with a magical quip, as they often do in song, Rucker is “just blank/I’m staring into space/praying ‘please, please let me think of something.’”  On “Whiskey and You,” he can’t leave his woman or his liquor (there’s a superior tune about the same subject, “Tequila and You” on Kenny Chesney’s new album, “Hemingway’s Whiskey.”). He’s a man trapped by his own desires.

Those desires pervade other tunes on the album as well, some less successfully. The hokey “Might Get Lucky” is an ungainly tune (although possibly 100% true) about how hard it is for married men with little kids to get themselves a little sumthin-sumthin. Given that Rucker co-wrote this with one of his musical heroes, the great Radney Foster, I’m surprised there’s not a little more sense of irony and a wink in the song as he sings, “There’s a window of opportunity between when the kids are tucked in and I have a glass of Chardonnay.” The underlying message is to “treat her right in the daylight.” (In another nod to Foster, Rucker’s album title is a tribute to Foster’s fine 1992 album, titled “Del Rio, TX 1959” after his birth place and year.)

Conversely, even though it borders on novelty,  Rucker’s duet with Brad Paisley (co-written with Paisley), “I Don’t Know” is hilarious as the two, growing drunker as the song progresses, pokes fun at themselves and males’ baser instincts as they don’t care whether “they’re real or fake” or which one takes the blonde, brunette or redhead.

He overdoes it on a few songs, such as album ender “In a Big Way,” where he  needs “some hanging around my little town/In a big way.” There’s a good song there about life on the road and his desires (“Sometimes I want to be George Jones/Sometimes Charley Pride”) in there, but he ladles it on a little thick when he talks about what he misses. Sweet tea is the only thing missing. Oh, wait. That drink makes its appearance in “Southern State of Mind.” (As a transplanted Southerner, I do love the line about being polite).

The few lyrical quibbles aside, Rucker has a strong command of country music and what makes a fine country song. And unlike many contemporary country artists, he isn’t afraid to make something sound country with no chance of pop crossover. HIs cliches are easily forgiven. 

Belle and Sebastian, Sufjan Stevens, Trent Reznor lead Oct. 12 new music

Darius Rucker, The Orb with David Gilmour and others on tap on release day

<p>Sufjan Stevens</p>

Sufjan Stevens

Indie rock fans will delight in the Oct. 12 release slate that includes new sets from Antony & the Johnsons, Belle & Sebastian and Sufjan Stevens. Country connoisseurs have a new collection from Darius Rucker and from burgeoning family act The Band Perry.

Antony & the Johnsons, “Swanlights” (Secretly Canadian): Chamber pop group features Bjork on new set, which comes complete with an 144-page book with singer Antony Hegarty’s artwork and photography.

The Band Perry, “The Band Perry” (Republic Nashville): Awkwardly-named brothers/sister country act already have two hits on their hands from their debut set, “Hip to My Heart” and “If I Die Young.”

Belle & Sebastian, “Write About Love” (Matador): Scottish band’s eighth full-length set is its first in four years and reteams the Stuart Murdoch-led group with “The Life Pursuit’s” producer Tony Hoffer. Guests include actress Carey Mulligan, as well as Norah Jones.

Far East Movement, “Free Wired” (Cherrytree/Interscope): Electro hop group has a smash on its hands with “Like a G6,” and there’s likely more where that came from with such guests as Keri Hilson, Lil Jon and Snoop Dogg.
 
The Orb feat. David Gilmour, "Metallic Spheres" (Columbia): Electronica pioneers pair with Pink Floyd’s Gilmour on this double set; the second disc is recorded in 3D surround sound, for what it’s worth.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “The Social Network” soundtrack (Null/Alliance Entertainment): Edgy, electronic soundtrack to “The Social Network” has Oscar buzz.

Darius Rucker,
“Charleston, SC 1966” (Capitol Nashville): Hootie & the Blowfish leader follows up his first country album with a new self-penned set that hits all the usual country cliches.

The Secret Sisters, “The Secret Sisters” (Beladroit/Universal): Muscle Shoals, Ala.-based siblings, Laura and Lydia Rogers bring that old family spirit to a largely acoustic classic country set. The album was produced by T Bone Burnett, while Jack White produced first single, “Big River.”

Sufjan Stevens, The Age of Adz” (Asthmatic Kitty): Stevens turns in his familiar, largely acoustic sound  for a new groove with hip-hop beats and layered electronics.

Various Artists, “The Vampire Dairies” soundtrack (Virgin/EMI): Why should “Twilight” and “True Blood” have all the fun? Hit TV show’s soundtrack features previously-unreleased tracks from Smashing Pumpkins and Gorillaz, as well as cuts from Tears for Fears, Kate Bush, Bat for Lashes and others.

Watch: Miley Cyrus is in da club in 'Who Owns My Heart' video

She can't seem to find her pants

<p>Miley Cyrus</p>

Miley Cyrus

Credit: AP

Wouldn’t it be funny if when Miley Cyrus turns 18 next month, she turned into this chaste thing who doesn’t feel the need to force her sexuality on anyone who comes within 100 yards?

In the video for “Who Owns My Heart,” the new single from the already DOA “Can’t Be Tamed” album,  little Miley is hangin’ in da club and writhing away in a limo one crotch shot away from being a Perez Hilton post with rude little drawings on it.

We see Miley in a doo rag getting ready to go out. She looks great. The girl has awesome, awesome legs and we see every inch of them....repeatedly.

In the club scenes she’s basically rubbing up against anyone who will let her-- guys, girls, guys and girls together in a Miley sandwich... it doesn’t matter.

The song has a very retro, ‘80s, Euro-disco feel--think Stacey Q’s “Two of Hearts.” In a different time, it would have been a huge radio hit and is one of the best tracks from “Can’t Be Tamed.”

We know we’re pretty harsh on Cyrus, but once she’s an adult, we can’t rag her for being a teenager-going-on-35, as she has ever since she pole-danced in the video for “Party in the U.S.A.” Maybe with the right to vote, she’ll also develop a sense of knowing that a little bit goes a long way and that sometimes the sexiest thing is to leave a little to the imagination.

 

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