My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance during a New Jersey show in 1987.  Yep, it's been that long.

Credit: AP Photo

My Chemical Romance sets release date for first album in four years

'Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys' comes out Nov. 22

We can’t judge the music yet, but My Chemical Romance wins the award for most pretentious album and song title of the year. On Nov. 22, Warner Bros. will release “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,” MCR’s follow-up to its fantastic 2006 set, “The Black Parade.”

The single — get ready — “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)” comes out Sept. 28. We're rolling our eyes and we're big fans.

Rob Cavallo, new Warner Bros. Records chairman, produced the set. He also produced “The Black Parade,” as well as albums from Green Day, Dave Matthews Band, The Goo Good Dolls and many others.

In advance of the album’s release, MCR will play seven European dates, starting Oct. 23 at London’s HMV Apollo. No word on a U.S. tour yet. 

Are you excited about the return of My Chemical Romance? 



 

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<p>Barry Bostwick of 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'</p>

Barry Bostwick of 'Rocky Horror Picture Show'

Credit: rockymusic.org

Hitfix Interview: Barry Bostwick discusses 'Rocky Horror Picture Show' and his role on 'Glee'

Brad Majors hosts Sept. 25's special showing and heralds the Oct. 19 Blu-Ray release

The void will be calling on Sept. 25 as Sins O’The Flesh presents a 35th anniversary screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” hosted by Barry Bostwick in Los Angeles. The movie comes out on Blu-Ray on Oct. 19.

As Hitfix found, the genial Bostwick is surprisingly still game to discuss playing Brad Majors in the classic film after years of moviegoers screaming “Asshole!” whenever his character appears on screen and having countless dinners interrupted by fans requesting him to sputter “Dammit Janet.”

Bostwick was already a Tony-nominated Broadway star (for originating the role of “Grease’s” Danny Zuko) by the time he went to England to film 1975’s “Rocky Horror.” The movie was shot sequentially. Like uptight Brad — whom he based on his growing up in a “very Republican family”— Bostwick says he felt a bit like an outsider at first, but by the time they filmed the floor show, he fit right in.

“The worst thing about the shoot was whenever I had to pee, I’d have to leave the soundstage and go to another building where the bathroom was,” he says. “We shot in October, November and December in England. I was always wet. The castle where we shot was leaking. We’d have to walk through a field to get to it.” He laughs and adds, “It was a miserable shoot. Susan [Sarandon] got pneumonia.”

Even though the movie has never stopped running in theaters since it opened  35 years ago, Bostwick says he didn’t fully realize “Rocky Horror’s” iconic place in pop culture until a second generation of fans embraced it. Now, he says, “I have 12-year olds coming up to me telling me they’ve seen it with their grandparents.”

As for his own children — his 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter — “My son says he’s seen it several times, but not with me, so I’m not really sure how.” His daughter hasn’t seen it.

Now a whole new generation of fans may be exposed to the movie via a “Rocky Horror”-themed episode of “Glee,” airing Oct. 26. Bostwick and Meat Loaf, who played Eddie in the movie, play right-wing station managers at the television station where Sue Sylvester delivers her biting “As Sue Sees It” commentaries. Bostwick doesn’t sing in the episode, but he hints that his character may come back and be “involved” with Sylvester. “We were stunt casting and our parts are small, but the cast was great. They showed me sufficient adoration.”

Bostwick watched the movie again for his commentary on the Blu-Ray DVD. “I like it more and more every time I see it,” he says. On the rare occasion he’s gone into a theater to catch the film, he enjoys the spectacle, “but I wish that maybe once a month there was a showing where people would just watch the movie as we made it.”

The Tony and Golden Globe winner has always found steady work, doing many parts he loves, including playing George Washington in two acclaimed mini-series and a six-year stint as Randall Winston, the slightly befuddled mayor of New York City in “Spin City.”  We’re pretty sure Bostwick is joking when he says, “I’ve only had to do two or three porn films, but you’ll never find those.”

Bostwick recently played the obsessed Captain Ahab in a modern adaptation of “Moby Dick.” Instead of a small boat, the action takes place on a submarine, meaning the great white whale had to be commensurately larger. “So you can imagine how big he is,” Bostwick says. “Definitely bigger than a bread box.” The producers are shopping the movie to potential television outlets now.

Saturday’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” screening, at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles, is part of the Sept. 23-25 SinsCon, a three-day festival dedicated to all things “Rocky Horror.” The screening includes a live shadowcast performance, featuring many performers who are featured in the Blu-Ray disc. For more information, go to http://sinscon.com/

The movie is the same night as the Hollywood Bowl’s much loved “Sound of Music” sing-a-long, so we couldn’t resist asking Bostwick which selection from “Rocky Horror” he’d like to see Maria, the nun played by Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” sing. Without missing a beat, he replied, “Oh, it would have to be ‘Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me.’” Conversely, he’d love to see the cast of “Rocky Horror” remake “The Sound of Music.” If he had to pick one song, he’d pick “Edelweiss.” “But it would have to be ‘Edel-Vice,’” he says and continues riffing on the title until he comes up with something so hilariously profane that it would make Brad Majors blush. But Frank-N-Furter would be very proud...and willing.

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Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars during rehearsals for the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Bruno Mars tops the Billboard Hot 100...but not for long

Rihanna and Florence + the Machine come on strong

Let’s just call it a mixed week for Bruno Mars. On the down side, there’s the arrest for cocaine possession earlier this week. On the up side, he scores his first No. 1 as a lead artist as “Just the Way You Are” goes 3-1 to top the Billboard Hot 100.

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<p>Jimmy Iovine</p>

Jimmy Iovine

Credit: Peter Kramer

Who is Jimmy Iovine and will he save 'American Idol'?

The respected producer and label exec is the new 'in-house mentor'

Along with the official announcement that Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler would be the new “American Idol” judges, the powers-that-be confirmed today that Interscope/Geffen/A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine would be the “in-house mentor.”

What does this mean? First off, a little background on Iovine. Iovine began his career as an engineer on such albums as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” He then progressed to producing artists like Stevie Nicks, U2, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and other rockers. As head of Interscope/Geffen/A&M, he’s overseen the careers of artists like Eminem, Pussycat Dolls, Lady Gaga, No Doubt and many more. Although Interscope, like all labels, has gone through its tough periods, there have been times under Iovine’s watch in the ‘90s and early ‘2000s, when Interscope was seen as the gold standard among labels--for several years running. The Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga’s success has helped usher in a new pop age for the record company, but it's not on a hot streak right now as it has been sometimes in the past.

There is no doubt that, given his production background and his label expertise, Iovine is uniquely poised to advise the contestants from both an artistic and commercial perspective. Also by eliminating, for the most part, the guest mentor, “American Idol” gets rid of what was one of the most awkward parts of the show: an artist like Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett or Neil Sedaka would come on as guest mentor and the poor contestants, none of whom were born when these acts were having hits, would have to act as if they were in the presence of one of their musical heroes. It was disingenuous and stunk, quite frankly.

Iovine and his baseball cap (as you’ll see, he’s never without it), keep a relatively low profile in the music industry in that you don’t see him out and about that much like you do other executives, but he’s certainly not adverse to raising his own profile a little. Plus, he’s got a new boss (Lucian Grange) to impress.  Pussycat Dolls and a few other acts aside, manufactured pop princes and princesses have not really been what Iovine is known for, so it will be interesting to see him dealing with singers who, by and large, are not self-contained acts.

At the same time, Interscope/Geffen/A&M’s parent company, Universal Music Group, has taken over Sony’s deal with “American Idol” to sign and distribute albums from contestants starting with Season 10. Therefore, Iovine is getting early hands-on experience with singers, at least two of whom will end up on his label each season.

Iovine says he’ll bring in top producers like Timbaland to work with the contestants as well. Again, it’s a way for Interscope to do early reconnaissance on whom they want to sign under the guise of trying to hip up the show and give viewers a little more of an idea of how the sausage is made. In the end though, no matter what they do, it’s still a glorified karaoke contest.

It’s unclear how often we’ll see the behind-the-scenes work Iovine and friends are doing on the show and what kind of “artist development” they’re really offering as opposed to just coaching the kids to take the test, i.e., teaching them tricks that will help them get votes as opposed to develop their own voice.

We’ll be watching this season and give an update after we see what Iovine brings to the party.

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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Taylor Swift reveals track listing for new album 'Speak Now'

Follow up to 'Fearless' comes out Oct. 25

Let the guessing games begin. Taylor Swift has released the track listing for her third album, “Speak Now,” out Oct. 25. As Swift said in a conference call with her fans this summer, each song is about a specific person or event. We know that  track 11, “Innocent,” is about a certain Mr. West, but the rest, including first single “Mine,” are still up for grabs.

As we previously reported, Swift will release a deluxe version through Target, which will include three additional songs, remixes and video content.

“Speak Now” track listing:

1. Mine
2. Sparks Fly
3. Back to December
4. Speak Now
5. Dear John
6. Mean
7. The Story of Us
8. Never Grow Up
9. Enchanted
10. Better Than Revenge
11. Innocent
12. Haunted
13. Last Kiss
14. Long Live

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Linkin Park

Linkin Park barely hits no. 1 with "A Thousand Suns."

Linkin Park squeaks by Trey Songz to come in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200

Who sees the biggest sales gain from MTV's Video Music Awards?

In a photo finish, Linkin Park’s “A Thousand Suns” beat Trey Songz’ “Passion, Pain & Pleasure” for the top spot on this week’s Billboard 200 by 1,000 copies.

“A Thousand Suns,” LP’s fourth No. 1, sold 241,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan via Billboard, while “Passion” moved 240,000 units. It’s Songz’ highest charting debut and best sales week. For LP--in what is a sign of the times-- the first week numbers are a drastic drop from the 623,000 for its 2007 studio album, “Minutes to Midnight.”

Other debuts in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 include country singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson, whose “The Guitar Song” opens at No. 4. He lands at No. 1 on the Country Albums chart with that tally. Robert Plant comes in at No. 5 on the big chart with “Band of Joy.” Weezer’s “Hurley,” its first for Epitaph, comes in at No. 6, which is one spot higher than its last set for DGC/Interscope, last year’s “Raditude.” The KillersBrandon Flowers squeaks into the Top 10 at No. 8 with “Flamingo,” which sold 41,000 copies.

Sara Bareilles’ “Kaleidoscope Heart,” last week’s chart topper, tumbles to No. 12 with a 69% drop in sales.

So which performers saw a bump from Sept. 12’s MTV Video Music Awards? Eminem, for one. “Recovery” increases 10% in sales, even though it moves down the chart 2-3. Similarly, Justin Bieber’s “My World” increases in sales 3% despite dropping 8-10.

As we suspected, however, the biggest gainer is Florence and the Machine’s “Lungs.” that set  jumps from 43-14 with an 165% increase in sales.  Two weeks ago, the album leapt 99-43 after the group’s VMA performance (that’s quite a feat because the charts close on Sunday nights, which means enough people bought the album that night immediately after seeing the performance to give the title that large a bounce).

Overall album sales were up 11% compared with last week, but down 17% from the same week last year.

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Wyclef Jean

Wyclef Jean

Credit: AP Photo

Wyclef Jean hangs up presidential bid to focus on new album

Fugees co-founder decides not to appeal after being disqualified from running

Wyclef Jean’s political career is over before it even began--at least for now. The Fugees-founder-turned solo artist has given up his big for president of his native Haiti and, instead, will focus on promoting his new album.

The campaign was beleaguered from the start as Jean presented no clear platform. He was officially disqualified from the race last month by the powers that be, but he had vowed to fight that decision until yesterday, according to The Guardian. Although no reason for his expulsion was given, it was believe to be because he did not meet Haiti’s five-year residency requirement.

Jean, whose Yele Haiti Foundation provides services and aid for impoverished Haitians, initially told the Guardian, “Singing is not enough. I'm being drafted. Every year I probably do 200 shows and I have a very comfortable life. But people are saying to me, 'Clef, if you don't put yourself on the ground, in 10 years' time you will look at it and say you could have.'"


Perhaps we will learn more about his presidential platform in his new album, out in February. Its title? “If I were President, the Haitian Experience.”




 

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Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle waves to the crowd after performing on stage at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, prior to the Papal Mass Thursday, Sept. 16 2010.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris Clark

Susan Boyle returns with 'The Gift' in November

Set includes season favorites and, yes, her cover of Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day'

Can lightning strike twice for Susan Boyle?  The “Britain’s Got Talent” discovery will release “The Gift” on Nov. 9. Her debut, “I Dreamed a Dream,” came out last November and has sold 9 million worldwide since its release.

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<p>OK Go and a Dog</p>

OK Go and a Dog

You must watch OK Go's new video for 'White Knuckles' right now

It will make you wag your tail with glee

Who knew when OK Go made its landmark video for "Here It Goes Again" four years ago that was only the tip of the quartet's creative iceberg.  And then they came back with the brilliant "This Too Shall Pass."  There’s no one making more innovative videos these days than OK Go.  The band's latest includes many four-legged friends and is guaranteed to brighten your day.

“White Knuckles” is a typically catchy OK Go track, but it would appear the band took the line about “paw print” seriously when it came time to make the video. Up against a blue screen, the two-legged creatures--clad all in white-- frolic with about a dozen four-legged types, all adorable mutts, who know a thing or two about leaping, delivering high-fives and, my favorite, looking to the left and right on cue. You will not be able to watch this without smiling.

We want OK Go to take the pooches and create a show in Vegas that we can go to over and over again...sort of like a doggie Siegfried and Roy. Without the maulings. 

OK Go ended its deal with EMI several months ago and is now completely independent and for a band that really needs to do its own thing, unfettered by decision by committee, it has been a liberating great move.

Even better than the video? All the dogs in the clips are rescue dogs. OK Go is donating a portion of all sales of the video to ASPCA. For more information, go to www.okgo.net/dogs.

 

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<p>The cover of Billy Currington's new album</p>

The cover of Billy Currington's new album

Interview: Billy Currington talks about his sixth No. 1 country hit and Carrie Underwood

'People are Crazy' and 'Pretty Good at Drinking Beer' singer discusses new album

It’s a good time to be Billy Currington, with one--well, perhaps two-- exceptions. As the country singer’s career has soared and he’s moved from playing rough-and-tumble clubs to bigger venues, there’s been one downside: fewer women flashing him from the audience. “I saw a lot more boobs in my earlier days,” he laughs.

It’s all a trade-off he’s more than willing to make. Currington’s last four singles have gone straight to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot  Country Songs chart. His most recent, the humorous “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer,” is the first single from “Enjoy Yourself,” his upbeat new album that comes out today, Sept. 21.

Hitfix talked to Currington about his fourth studio album and more.

In the video for “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer,” the lead has a hidden talent for Beer Pong. What’s one of your hidden talents?

I’m pretty good at casting a net for [fishing]. I only fish with a net. It’s a lot more fun. One of the last dinners I had, I caught with a cast net. A flounder and red fish. That’s who you’re talking to (laughs).
 

You set an attendance record this summer at the Kentucky State Fair. What was going through your mind when you’re looking out and seeing more than 20,000 people all there for you?


For me it was a visual of growth. I got to see it and let it in settle in: ‘Wow, we did get somewhere. We are making progress.’ All these things that we thought will never get here, we got here. That’s what was going through my mind... It’s an experience that I know a lot of people won’t get to have. I wish I could share it with anyone.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen, looking out into the audience?


A tornado in Canada. That was kind of weird, not fun. That was a mess...  [Ed.’s note: Currington is being typically understated here. He suffered a concussion when the stage  collapsed as he was performing, his bassist was injured and a spectator was killed.]

That had to be really frightening. What about something just odd, like women flashing you. That’s an evergreen, it seems.

I saw a lot more boobs in the earlier years (laughs).  I don’t know, I  think the places we’re playing [now],  there’s a lot more security so you don’t see them getting as rowdy. There are shows every now and then.

Next up for you is touring with Carrie Underwood. What are you looking forward to on that tour?


What I’m looking forward to the most is playing before all these people she brings night after night, people that haven’t seen us before. It’s probably all girls coming to see her...That’s not a bad thing for us. We definitely hope there are some dudes there that can enjoy ‘Pretty Good at Drinking Beer’ and ‘People are Crazy.’

You duetted with Shania Twain a number of years ago. Whom would you most like to duet with now?

I’d say Colbie Caillat. I don’t know of any country artist that I would want to do one with more than her...I’d like to do one that we wrote together. [She’s] someone I’ve wanted to work with for awhile.

Four years ago, you did a video for “Must Be Doing Something Right” that was very sexy. You’ve stayed away from the really sexy videos lately. Was that on purpose?

‘Must Be Doing Something Right”  was the first one with love scenes. There was a lot of sex involved. It definitely came off that way and I did a lot of interviews and I had to talk about that a bunch and [having] my shirt off. That was tied around the Playgirl interview.  I felt like people thought I was this dude with his shirt off. I didn’t purposefully start recording hard core country songs,I  just asked that those be the ones [my label put out as singles].

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