Country music fest takes place April 24-25 in Indio, Calif.
Round up your doggies and mark your calendars now: Stagecoach has set its dates and headliners for the 2010 event.
Stagecoach is the country cousin to the Coachella and usually takes place closely after the alternative music festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.
The next Stagecoach takes play April 24-25 with headliners Keith Urban and Toby Keith appearing at the festival for the first time. Returning headliners include Brooks & Dunn--making their final Stagecoach appearance before they go their separate ways- -and Sugarland.
Other acts already confirmed include Billy Currington, Gary Allan, Phil Vassar, Merle Haggard, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jamey Johnson, Ray Price, Carlene Carter, Joey + Rory, BJ Thomas, The Avett Brothers, Bobby Bare, Nick 13, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Baxter Black, Steel Drivers, Easton Corbin, Mallary Hope, Chuck Mead, Mary Gauthier, Bill Anderson, Waddie Mitchell and the wonderfully- named Trampled By Turtles.
Tickets go on sale Oct. 16 and start at $99 for two-day passes.
The fourth edition of Stagecoach will be presented by ABC Daytime and Soapnet.
Watch: A shirtless Robert Pattinson and a stupefied Kristen Stewart
Rob Pattinson fans, here's all you really need to know about the Death Cab for Cutie's video for "Meet Me on the Equinox" from "The Twilight Saga: New Moon": the money shot comes at 3:13. That's when Pattinson-or Edward Cullen to his legions of devoted fans-takes off his shirt and reveals his pale pecs in all their ghoulish glory.
The clip, which debuted Wednesday night on MTV as a major media event, features a few scenes from "New Moon" interspersed with Death Cab for Cutie playing the song in a lodge of some sort. If the Death Cab footage-and the scene where they are frozen as if they're playing Freeze Tag-has any greater significance and ties in with the "New Moon" theme, it's completely lost on us.
Anyway, back to the movie footage: Bella, played in her usual stupefied stoner state by Kristen Stewart, sees Edward in a forest, but he kisses her on the forehead and walks away, leaving her heartbroken and in anguish... maybe. It's really hard to tell since Stewart's expression never really changes. The there's some astonishingly cheesy (even by "Twilight" standards) footage of Bella fleeing on a motorcycle but a giant spectral image of Edward in the sky startles her-or we assume it does. Have we mentioned her expression never changes from one of befuddlement? It's as if you can see a "how the hell did I get here?" thought bubble over her head. During the song's bridge, Stewart dives off a bridge (ah... nice symmetry) into very cold water before being plucked from the frigid waters by a mystery stranger-cut to a random amp shot.
Then we travel to somewhere clearly not in the Pacific Northwest (or it could be-we know squat about "New Moon's " plot or the Pacific Northwest, but it looks like a monastery in an Italian village. Bella is racing to get to Edward, who is walking out of the monastery, but first feels the need to unbutton his shirt. She leaps over a fountain, frantic to get to him. Cut... It's all very dramatic and doesn't make a lick of sense if you don't know beyond the basic plot.
We're still a little surprised that Death Cab jumped on the "Twilight" bandwagon, but I guess they have a lot of teenage girl fans and, god knows, so does the "Twilight" series. And, we guess they're as hungry for a hit as the next act. You can't really blame them for that. To be fair, the song isn't that different from anything you'd find on a Death Cab album.
The band explains its involvement-and how you actually can meet on an equinox-- this way in a statement: "We wrote 'Meet Me On the Equinox' to reflect the celestial themes and motifs that run throughout the 'Twilight' series, and we wanted to capture that desperate feeling of endings and beginnings that so strongly affect the main characters," said Death Cab for Cutie bassist Nick Harmer. "This song marks the first attempt that Death Cab for Cutie has ever made at contributing new, unreleased material for a film. It just seems a perfect synergy that a band from the Northwest would create a song for a series of novels set in the Northwest. We are not only proud to be a part of the 'Twilight' legacy but also honored to join so many other fantastic artists that have lent their amazing creativity to this soundtrack."
What do you think of the video?
Despite strong sales from Michael Jackson and Beatles, decline goes on
Well, at least they're consistent. Album sales continue to slide, marking declines for eight out of the last nine years.
In the third quarter 2009, sales were down 11.1% from the same period in 2008, according to Billboard. For the year so far, sales are done 13.9% from last year. In case anyone's still counting, in 2008, sales were down 14% from 2007. And so it goes.
Even the splendid sales from Michael Jackson and the Beatles didn't slow the drop much. Third quarter sales from the two iconic acts in the third quarter helped stem the tide, but didn't stop the bleeding. In the third quarter, Jackson sold close to 5 million albums in the U.S. following his June 25 death, while the Beatles have sold 1.3 million units since their catalog was re-released Sept. 9.
The top seller of the year so far is Jackson's "Number Ones" with 1.8 million units. That title has quite a ways to go to catch last year's winner: Lil Wayne's "The Carter III," which sold 2.5 million copies in the 2008 calendar year. Is it too cruel to remind you that there were years, not too long ago, when a title from a superstar, such as Eminem or Garth Brooks, would sell one million copies in a week? Makes you cry, doesn't it?
Singer/songwriter enlists Elton John, Amy Ray and Rick Rubin for new album
Real artists don't need smoke and mirrors; they just need their voice and a guitar. The first time I heard Brandi Carlile play was in a conference room and she held us all in the palm of her hand with her soaring, tremendous vocals and stirring lyrics. Since then, she's toured with the likes of Sheryl Crow and Ray LaMontagne, as well has had her music heard in TV shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," and "So You Think You Can Dance."
Carlile's third Columbia album, "Give Up the Ghost," came out Tuesday, Oct. 5. On the Rick Rubin-produced CD, she's joined by such illustrious guests as Elton John, the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray, Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith and Tom Petty and Heartbreakers' keyboardist Benmont Tench.
Hitfix talked to Carlile while she was on the road outside of Boston.
You've got Elton John, Amy Ray, Chad Smith and Benmont Tench on this record. You must have felt like, "Okay, I can die now..."
(laughs)Particularly the Elton John sequence. I got on my plane after that and I was like, "This plane could have crashed, I think I'd be okay at that point." It's not just Elton, I've been so lucky to have so much happen.
What was it like recording with Elton in the studio? Were you afraid to sing in front of him?
I didn't have to sing, it was already done. I have to say, he was wonderful. His piano playing was amazing; he got it in one take. I knew he was going to sing, I was really excited, but I have to tell you I couldn't have prepared myself to hear him sing my words I'd written. It took the breath right out of my lungs. I had my brother on my phone and had the phone in my pocket so he could hear it.
Elton also sent you 100 albums to listen to. Which ones are you still playing?
I'm listening to each of them systematically so if I should see him I can pass the quiz.
You worked on "Ghost" for a year. Was recording all you were doing 24/7?
Me and the twins [bandmates Tim and Phil Hanseroth] are a live band. We've been touring for so long. That's how we've cultivated our songwriting live, we play our songs a year before we ever record them. That's how we did this record: writing songs, playing live, touring in the middle of recording, always integrating the live and studio.
Some artists love the studio, some love playing live. What about you?
I don't think they have to be [separate]. A studio can be like a vortex, you forget how to play for the love of music and start to play to get the take. You go to play a show and realize you're not accepting the energy coming from the crowd, you're playing for the take and that's no way to play. I think you can capture energy and raucousness in the studio if you can stay in that place. We feel most like ourselves when we play in a live setting.
The opening track is "Looking Out," which features the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray. Talk about that track.
Amy's my dearest friend in life and I've loved the Indigo Girls since I was 15. "Looking Out" is a song that's so powerful; it needed a big voice to be a background vocal. When you take a song like that and have a man sing it, it sounds like a power ballad duet, like "A Whole New World." But if you sing your own harmonies, it sounds overproduced. I needed a genderless powerful voice on that song; her voice has male and female properties.
This big change in this album from your two past projects seems to be the depth of the lyrics.
The record being called "Give up the Ghost," we had big talks about transcendence and about how we couldn't write a record about being on the road. So many bands put out their first record and it's about coming of age, it's about their life up to now. Then their second record is about being signed and being on the road. That's unrelateable for most people and it's a temporary condition. We decided there was still so much on our past that we could write about and so much in our future, we didn't need to write about being on the bus.
For some, the title can be tough if you believe in a bleak ending, but for me, it's a lifted weight
'Friday I'll Be Over U' turns back the clock
"Friday I'll Be Over U" is the first offering from "American Idol" contestant Allison Iraheta. Written by popmeister Max Martin, it's a punky, new wave slice of pop that sounds like something straight out of the '80s, which was, gulp, before Iraheta was even born. With its aggressive chorus and echo chamber effect, it's hard to tell if Iraheta has the pipes to develop into a Kelly Clarkson-type belter or if she's going to be an over-produced one-hit wonder.
Hear it here.
The track is from Iraheta's debut album, which comes out Dec. 1. Aside from Martin, other writers and producers contributing to the project include Howard Benson and Kevin Rudolf.
As you'll recall, Iraheta finished in the top 4 on last season's 'American Idol,' displaying tremendous maturity, spunk and pipes for someone who was only 16 at the time.
In an interview with Popeater, Iraheta sounds like the teenager she is, talking about missing her dogs while she's on the road and how her dream collaborator would be Pink.
Is she Miss Kitty or Lady GaGa?
She seemed like such a nice girl when she was on "American Idol" a hundred years ago, but here's Carrie Underwood in the video for "Cowboy Casanova" sporting an outfit that's a cross between something "Gunsmoke's" saloon-proprietor Miss Kitty and Lady GaGa would wear.
We only see the "Cowboy Casanova" in question lurking in the shadows and he's straight out of central casting for Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal"; he wouldn't know the front end of the horse if it bit him on the ass. (We still maintain the song's intro rips off MJ's "The Way She Makes Me Feel"). Bad casting on that end.
In fact, the whole video is a visual feast, but just seems off as after repeated viewings, we can't figure out if it's supposed to take place in a high-placed bordello or just what's going on. Plus, Underwood looks stunning in a variety of scanty outfits (which is, of course, the only point that really matters here), but she seems very uncomfortable gyrating around as she strikes one awkward pose after another.
What do you think?
'Memoirs' singer also takes on her haters
The first time I interviewed Mariah Carey was around 15 years ago. I was Billboard's newly minted talent editor and she was already a superstar. Her sweet, often angelic vocals made me think I'd be talking to some fragile creature, but she was a down-to-earth, slightly tough, city girl. And so she has remained. I interviewed her again last week for AOL.com. She's sold another 100 million or so albums, become richer than Croesus, and divorced and remarried since our first talk and she lives in that rarified air where only first names are necessary. But there's something about Carey that remains open and vulnerable in a way that still surprises me and makes interviewing her a delight. Below is my conversation with Carey with some additional material:
Mariah Carey doesn't go around proclaiming herself the Queen of Pop, but she would have good argument to do so. With 18 No. 1 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 to her credit, she is a lock to surpass the Beatles' record of 20 No. 1 to claim the title -- in fact Carey's the lone artist within striking distance. The only question is will the Fab Four's record tumble during the run of 'Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel,' Mimi's just released CD.
Given Carey's aggressively happy marital union to 'America's Got Talent' host Nick Cannon, no one would be surprised if 'Memoirs' floated along on the puffy clouds of connubial bliss, one joyous paean to the glory of love after another. But they would be wrong. As much as 'Memoirs' celebrates the unexpected rapture she's found with Cannon, the collection mourns heartbreak in all its wrenching disguises.
Carey, who co-produced 'Memoirs' with Tricky Stewart and The-Dream took time out on the 'Memoirs' release day to talk to PopEater about her surprising bedside reading material, cross dressing, unsightly facial hair and her emotional message to those who feel the five-octave superstar needs to change her tune.
You've compared this album to taking pages from your private diary. How hard was it to revisit what were clearly some painful times?
You know what? It was easier to revisit the painful times because they're over and I wanted to let out how I was feeling. And in a way, letting it out when there's also humor attached to it is more therapeutic.
You can be very funny, but it's not a side you usually show on your records until now on songs like 'Obsessed' and 'Up Out of My Face.'
It's interesting because my friends know that my sense of humor is like 70% of who I am. It's had to be that way since I was a little kid. But my work didn't always tend to reflect that and I think that collaborating is fun and so, therefore, whatever you're feeling, you can bounce it off of somebody, where if you're just by yourself, maybe you wouldn't have the guts to say, "okay, maybe I'm just going to say this one line."
You told Elle that your favorite song is 'The Impossible' because you're in love for the first time. Did you fear love would never happen for you?
I don't think I feared it because I guess I almost didn't believe in it. I always had a connection spiritually and I felt that maybe that's where I was supposed to be and I made music and wanted to be creative. But, you know, I didn't really trust people. I didn't really trust [sighs] what it would be like to be in a relationship again because I'd been, you know ... so many times it had been disappointing. But the situation with Nick is totally different because we're very similar. We have a lot of the same likes and dislikes and we have so much fun together.
What would surprise us that you do for fun?
I go for walk in a semi-disguise. That's fun to me. I like to go to public places and do things that I would never get a chance to do. The other night, I went out wearing all Nick's clothes.
Did anyone recognize you?
Yeah, a couple of people. But the thing is if they recognize him, they're going to ... if he's holding someone's hand and walking with them, they're going to look and go, "Who is he with?"
And if he's holding someone's hand, he better be with you.
Exactly! You know that's right.
How did Nick influence this album?
I think being with Nick had a big influence on this album because we would just drive around and listen to it and there would be little things we would [suggest]. Just even little ad libs or things that I would do that would become our favorite little part. He's really into different groups from back in the day and so that's a really specific style and even if it's just a "yeah" (sings softly) like that, I did something that I knew he would think was cute. I might do it just to make him laugh and then that would be his favorite part. [laughs]
What do you want people to learn about you from 'Memoir' that they may not know about you yet?
I think there are a whole lot of different songs. They should hear the subtlety of 'H.A.T.E. U.,' but also the pain in that. And there's other songs like 'Angels Cry' [and] 'Languishing.'
Well, I feel like, "This is the way I feel sometimes" and I'm sure other people feel the same way. You don't have to be someone in the public eye to feel this way. It's kind of more about your personal relationships -- and I don't want to say which ones I'm referring to -- and how you feel about the people that are in your life and/or may be just observing your life. I just think that is like the antithesis of 'Obsessed.' I think that's why I made it the interlude to 'I Want to Know What Love Is' because it was, I don't know, like [quotes lyrics]: "Those ancient buried recollections/We transform them and select them/you have yours, I have mine/That's fine." There are a lot of people who rewrite history and change things and you're like, "I don't remember it happening that way."
You work very hard. Do you ever get to rest and breathe?
I do sometimes and it's better now because we have more places to live. Nick had a place out in L.A. and then we decided, OK, let's just do something together and really make it work for both of us and that's really been cool. We have a place in the Bahamas and so we can go to different places without having to rent them and do all that nonsense. So it's nice, it's relaxing and you can calm down and experience solitude.
In a recent USA Today piece, journalist Alan Light was quoted as saying that you've "affiliated [yourself] with urban musicians and that's a young person's game. It would be good for her..."
[Interrupts] I heard it. I don't agree. I heard the quote and he said he preferred that I stand there and sing.
Well, he said it would be good for you "to reestablish herself as a vocalist because that's her strength." How do you assess both parts of that comment?
OK, either he likes urban music but he doesn't like me singing urban music or he's someone who wants me to stand in the middle of stage and sing ballads. And that's cool, I'll do that, but honestly, my fans want to hear a variety of songs. Even back in the day, I was singing...People don't realize that 'Dreamlover' was based on a loop that a lot of rappers have used so that was way back when. I don't think people realize that it was a pop song [but] underneath it all it was produced by Dave "Jam" Hall, who would mainly work with Mary J. Blige and rappers. It's always been a love of mine to sing R&B music. But the thing is you can sing a song like 'The Impossible' or 'H.A.T.E. U' and you don't have to belt or sing out the whole time. I think 'I Want to Know What Love Is' does what he is referring to. Can I say one more thing? If they can't hear that I'm a vocalist from 'I Want to Know What Love Is' then I just don't know what they want me to do.
In August, Nick quoted the book of Genesis when he was tweeting a response to Eminem for taking you on in the song "The Warning." Then in Ell, when asked about where you wanted to be 10 years from now, you quoted Matthew 6:34. Were you always a student of the Bible or is that something that you two brought out in each other?
Actually, a friend of mine's mom gave me a student bible about 2004. You read it three times and then the last time you're reading every word, you're not skipping things, so I have been reading that bible pretty much every night for years and I learned a lot. Now I have to figure out, okay, what's my next bible? Is it going to be a devotional, because I really feel there's a lot we can learn. I'm not a religious fanatic. It's just something that I'm very spiritual and I do feel calmer when I read even just a little bit of the bible and go to sleep.
What did you take away from playing a very plain character in the movie "Precious?"
I think I'm less insecure...because you go that far, even allowing them to do a faux 'stache on you, it's just sort of like, "Okay, this isn't my greatest angle, but I've definitely looked worse."
Who else is slated to appear on country's biggest night?
Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will pull double duty at the 43rd annual Country Music Assn. Awards, serving not only as co-hosts, but as performers.
It may be the last time to see some of your favorites on TV for awhile: Brooks & Dunn are pulling the plug on their tremendously successful partnership after their next tour, while Chesney is taking a year or so off the road for a little down time.
The show airs live (EST), Nov. 11, on ABC from Nashville's Sommet Center.
It's a hodge-podge of album releases this week, from Keith Urban to Air
New music and album releases for Oct. 6, 2009:
Air, "Love 2" (Astralwerks): This French duo's fifth studio album combines atmospherics, electronica and their general je ne sais quois to strong effect in this song cycle about love.
Backstreet Boys, "This is Us" (Jive): Boy band returns for another go-round with collaborators old (Max Martin) and new (T-Pain). The group jumps on the vamp wagon with the video for their first single "Straight Through My Heart."
Michael Buble, "Crazy Love" (143/Reprise): The Canadian crooner mixes it up on his fourth album by recording largely live, as well as blending standards with modern-day songs about love, such the Eagles' "Heartache Tonight."
Built to Spill, "There is No Enemy" (Warner Bros.): Alternative band led by Doug Martsch's distinctive vocals keeps up its rep as one of the leading purveyors of guitar-based rock that spans the spectrum of the genre.
Brandi Carlile, "Give Up the Ghost," (Columbia): Folk-rock singer/songwriter with a knock- out voice pairs with the likes of the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray and Sir Elton John on her third, Rick-Rubin-produced set.
Daniel Johnston, "Is and Always Was" (Eternal Yip Eye Music/High Wire): Emotionally troubled-yet-beloved singer/songwriter mixes it up for his latest album by taking switching from his usual low-key recording efforts to going for multi-layered, lush production with Jason Falkner.
Toby Keith, "American Ride" (Show Dog Nashville): Country superstar delivers another album with the typical swagger, but there are also a few heartbreaking tunes on here, especially his wrenching farewell to his good friend, bassist/former NBA superstar Wayman Tisdale, who died of cancer earlier this year.
Kiss, "Sonic Boom" (Kiss): Attention Wal-Mart shoppers: Just like Garth Brooks, the Eagles and Journey before them, Kiss is offering this 3-disc set exclusively through the world's biggest retailer. "Sonic Boom," the band's first album since 1998, combines new material, remakes of classic hits and a live DVD.
Blake Lewis, "Heartbreak on Vinyl" (Tommy Boy) After parting ways with Arista, "American Idol" season 6 runner-up and beatboxer Blake Lewis releases a dance/beats-oriented album on a label known for its dance artists.
Noah and the Whale, "The First Days of Spring" (Cherrytree/Interscope): Part of London's new anti-folk scene, most folks in the U.S. still know this quartet from their music's usage in car commercial. On their second album, the band covers such big themes as love, loss and mortality. So big, in fact, that they had to make a film to accompany the CD.
Somebody snatches the top spot, and it's not Mariah, Babs or Madonna
While most eyes were focused on the divas--Mariah, Madonna and Babs-little Hayley Williams and her band Paramore were busy selling records. So much so that it looks like the Nashville-based rock band will come in at No. 1 next week with "Brand New Eyes."
The group is on track to sell around 195,000 copies, giving them a handy lead over Mariah Carey's "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel," which will sell up to 170,000, according to Hits Daily Double.
Barbra Streisand could catch Carey, but will likely have to settle for No. 3 with "Love is the Answer." So where does this leave poor Madge with "Celebration," her greatest hits set? Madonna will have to settle for No. 8 or so...not too much to celebrate there.
Inbetween are a slew of new releases from Breaking Benjamin, Alice in Chains and Miranda Lambert, who will come in at No. 1 on the country chart with "Revolution." In fact, the only holdovers in the top 10 from last week are Jay Z, who falls from 2-6 and Pearl Jam, who dive from No. 1 to 9.