<p>Britney's back.</p>

Britney's back.

UPDATE: We reveal what time you can hear Britney's new single, 'Hold It Against Me' single

Plus, why should you know who Bonnie McKee is

There were hints before the new year that we’d get a sneak peak of  Britney Spears’ new song, “Hold It Against Me,” on Friday (7), but it sounds like we’ll have to wait until Tuesday (Jan. 11), although we can pass the time staring at the single cover, as well as listening to a demo of the song sung by Bonnie McKee. The cover is surprisingly innocent, a close-cropped photo of Spears’ face, given the sexy song.

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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Watch: Lady Gaga goes traditional in surprise New York appearance

Dressed in her finest bondage gear, she croons 'Someone to Watch Over Me'

We hardly expect conventional behavior from Lady Gaga, so it’s no surprise that even when she shows up at a place as staid and traditional at the Plaza Hotel’s Oak Room in New York , she still brings a basic hooker get-up of thigh highs, exposed garter belt and dress with cut outs.

But she was all business when it came to singing. In the clip below, she sings the great Gershwin standard, “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Somehow, we doubt it will show up on her new album, “Born This Way,” but we wonder if an album of tunes from the Great American Songbook can be far behind?

Fair warning: the video only has splashes of Lady Gaga in it, but you can hear her very well.


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<p>The cover to &quot;Watch the Throne.&quot;</p>

The cover to "Watch the Throne."

Kanye West reveals cover for 'Watch the Throne' single with Jay-Z

First track, "H.A.M." comes out Jan. 11

When Kanye West and Jay-Z  offhandedly announced on New Year’s Eve that “Watch The Throne,” their joint album would come out next week,  the fact that they were both drinking huge bottles of champagne at the time cast doubt on whether that was the alcohol talking, but now we have proof that 1-11-11 is the day for the release of the first single from the project.

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Watch: Foo Fighters are a drag in new clip -- Watch out Beyonce

Watch: Foo Fighters are a drag in new clip -- Watch out Beyonce

Plus, listen to their sweet tribute to Gerry Rafferty

There are lots of reasons to like Foo Fighters, but perhaps even more than their music is the fact that they never take themselves too seriously.  And here they go proving it again.

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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.


[More after the jump...]

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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 www.rcrdlbl.com. 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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