Watch: Iron & Wine performs new album in its entirety

Watch: Iron & Wine performs new album in its entirety

Sam Beam and band shine during WNYC gig

Iron & Wine gave fans a sneak peak of their entire new album, "Kiss Each Other Clean," Wednesday night (Jan. 5) by performing the new set from start to finish for WNYC's NPR Music's First Listen series. You can watch the whole thing here.

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

Katy Perry trades up on the Billboard Hot 100, plus chart moves by Paramore and Vampire Weekend

Who else rings in the new year with good news?

Katy Perry is having a great week. Not only did her track, “California Gurls” featuring Snoop Dogg emerge as the top single seller in 2010 (after Train’s “Hey Soul Sister” has grabbed the crown based on early-December reports), but “Firework,” the third 10 top from her Grammy-nominated “Teenage Dream” explodes back into the top spot on the Hot 100.

This marks the fourth non-consecutive week at No. 1 for the track, as it bumps Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” out of the top spot. “Grenade” slips to No. 1.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Eminem made the Grammy compilation, but buddy Jay-Z?&nbsp;No go.</p>

Eminem made the Grammy compilation, but buddy Jay-Z? No go.

Credit: AP Photo

Grammy Nominees album features Cee Lo, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Eminem

Where are Jay Z and Alicia Keys?

Need to catch up on the year in pop music? A great way is through the “2011 Grammy Nominees” album, which comes out Jan. 25 on Jive Records 

Each year, the Recording Academy, the folks who bring you the Grammys, link with a different major label, to release the collection which highlights songs nominated for the upcoming Grammy Awards. A part of the proceeds of the album sales goes to the Recording Academy’s two charitable organizations, MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation.


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<p>Talib Kweli</p>

Talib Kweli

Listen: Download Talib Kweli's new song 'Cold Rain' for free

New album, 'Gutter Rainbows,' set to drop later this year

Talib Kweli will deliver his first album in four years later this year but the wait is over for some new music. “Cold Rain”  from the forthcoming “Gutter Rainbows,” is immediately catchy between Kweli’s relaxed rap, the cascading piano, precise drum beat, and female backing singers wrapping their lyrics around the chorus, it’s a big thumbs up.

The former Black Star MC is concerned about the state of affairs in the Ski Beatz-produced song, which is no surprise given his previous material, but the Reflection Eternal member also takes an opportunity to talk about his responsibility to his community and take a few swipes at current rappers.

Click on this link to hear the song and download it for free from We did.

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<p>Miss PIggy channeling Nicki Minaj</p>

Miss PIggy channeling Nicki Minaj

Watch: The Muppets channel Kanye West's 'Monster' Part 2

Kermit and Miss Piggy talk dirty

We’ve already to two Muppet-homages to Kanye West’s “Monster.” After one surfaced earlier this week, a second one debuted yesterday. We like this one better.

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<p>Julian Casablancas of the Strokes</p>

Julian Casablancas of the Strokes

The Strokes' new album coming in March

Bassist Nikolai Fraiture explains why recording got 'weird'

The new year is barely a week old and we’re already getting excited about a number of new releases coming out. Now comes word that The Strokes’ first album in five years will come here sooner than expected.

Bassist Nikolai Fraiture told BBC’s Radio 1 on Wednesday that the album, the group’s fourth, should be out “by March.” But in some ways, fans should expect a step backwards, rather than forward. “Sonically, I feel it’s the album we should have made between [2003’s] ‘Room On Fire’ and [2006’s] ‘First Impressions on Earth.’”

“Earth” was the band’s last album and in the meantime, most of the members have released their own projects. That led to a little weirdness when it came time to come back together. “There was a lot of weird energy flowing around,” Fraiture said. “ There are different dynamics in the group in different ways.” For example, lead singer Julian Casablancas recorded his vocals without the band around. “Usually we’re always in a room and changing stuff and doing it all together,” Lowe said. “It’s all a learning experience.”

Lowe also said the band will undergo a world tour in support of the as-yet-untitled set.

We tagged The Strokes’ new set as one of the most anticipated for 2011. Check out our list here.


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<p>Gerry Raffterty.</p>

Gerry Raffterty.

'Baker Street' singer Gerry Rafferty dies

Scottish artist was 63

Gerry Rafferty, best known for his hits “Baker Street” and “Stuck in the Middle With You,” had died. He was 63.

The Scot passed away after a long illness, according to U.K. newspaper The Guardian. Rafferty first came to prominence in 1972 as part of Stealers Wheeler, whose “Stuck in the Middle With You” had a resurgence in the ‘90s after Quentin Tarantino featured the tune in “Reservoir Dogs.”

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<p>Jane's Addiction</p>

Jane's Addiction

Jane's Addiction recording new album with Dave Sitek's help

Sitek will play bass and help write songs on summer release

Well, this should sound interesting. TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek has linked up with Jane’s Addiction to play bass and write tunes for the forthcoming Jane’s album.

He joins singer Perry Farrell, guitarist Dave Navarro and drummer Stephen Perkins in the band. Also signed on is producer Rich Costey, who’s worked with Muse, Franz Ferdinand and Interpol. Founding bassist Eric Avery, who has come and gone before, left the band last year. Duff McKagan joined briefly, but only lasted six months and left in September.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Foo Fighters</p>

Foo Fighters

Listen: Foo Fighters finish recording new album, tease track

Break out the champagne as band completes Butch Vig-produced set

The Foo Fighters are celebrating not only the new year, but the completion of their new album.

The band tweeted a group photo on Monday with the caption, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially done. Champagne, anyone?”

Head Foo Dave Grohl told BBC’s Radio 1 on Tuesday that the album was “massive...There’s 11 songs and front to back there’s not one sleepy ballad.”

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Pink Floyd's Roger Waters</p>

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters

Pink Floyd and EMI sign on the dotted line for five more years

Roger Waters set to tape six 'The Wall' shows for possible DVD

After a contentious last few years, Pink Floyd and EMI have made up and inked a new five-year deal that allows the record company to continue to market and distribute the group’s catalogue.

The new pact also involves the settlement of any legal disputes the band had lodged against the label over royalty payments, according to a press release from EMI.

[More after the jump...]

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