<p>Michael Jackson</p>

Michael Jackson

Watch: Michael Jackson and Akon's video for 'Hold My Hand'

The King of Pop makes a few cameos

How do you create a music video for a song by an artist who’s dead? If said artist is Michael Jackson, there’s a wealth of footage to glean from so why is there so little footage of Jackson in the new video for the clip for “Hold My Hand,” his duet with Akon?

Instead, the director focused on children dancing, which is cute to be sure, as well as people in various stages of duress looking skyward and lots of shots of, you got it, hands...and, oddly enough, Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (watch until the end for a weird shot there). There are also babies and seemingly hundreds of MJ fans releasing balloons in his honor. Akon always gets his due, as he’s shown singing in front of a white screen.

In other words, it’s a montage of images, coming very quickly at you throughout the mid-tempo ballad.  The theme follows the lyrics: life is much better and easier if you have someone’s hand to hold. There’s no disputing that message and it’s nice that the director didn’t resort to cliches of only couples holding hands. We just wish they’d thrown in more Michael than the obligatory shots shown here.

Sadly, all the pretty images, nice photography and cute kids can’t save the song, which is like warmed-over Justin Bieber-meets-Hootie-and-the Blowfish.

“Hold My Hand” is featured on “Michael,” which comes out Tuesday.

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Watch: Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep' music video

Maybe you can explain it to us

There are bad things going on in Adele’s house. Dishes, lots of them, are being thrown, there’s a renovation project gone horrible wrong,  and there’s some demented court jester writhing around in a room filled with white powder. And that’s just the first minute of the video for “Rolling in the Deep.”

Then there’s a model of a miniature city, the buildings erected all in white, that goes up in flames as further symbolic proof that all has gone wrong.  (Or maybe it stands for the fire that has started in Adele’s heart). Our favorite are the seemingly thousands of water-filled glasses trembling along to the bass beat. It’s a great visual that does seem matched to the line about finally seeing everything “crystal clear.”

Having said that, I have absolutely no idea what this video is about. It’s abstract as they come. Adele sits in a chair never rising as she sings, oblivious to the destruction going on in the other rooms. We don’t know why the jester’s scenes are shot in black and white. Maybe it’s just an artistic choice or maybe it means something much more. Sometimes there’s no need to have a linear storyline and this video proves it. It’s compelling and fascinating in a kind of “Hmmm, am I supposed to understand this?” way. I hope the answer is no, I’m not.

What do you think the video is about?



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<p>A Day to Remember</p>

A Day to Remember

A Day to Remember, New Found Glory set to rock Bamboozle Music Festival

Festival also features Boys Like Girls, Waka Flocka Flame and more

It’s still five months away, but mark your calendars for April 29-May 1 for the Bamboozle Festival.

The three-day event, which takes place at the new Meadowlands Stadium, Rutherford, N.J., will feature A Day to Remember, Boys Like Girls, New Found Glory with Marky Ramone, Circa Surviva, Waka Flocka Flame, Streetlight Manifesto, Forever the Sickest Kids, LMFAO, Ryan Cabrera, Senses Fail, The Ready Set and RX Bandits. More artists will be added.

The festival, which launched in 2003, is one of the first mega-artist on the 2011 slate, preceded only by Indio, Calif’s Coachella, which will be held April 15-17.  Bamboozle runs the same weekend as Coachella’s country cousin, Stagecoach.

New to Bamboozle next year will be The Temple of Boozle,  a stage featuring DJs, including Super Mash Bros. and Wait What.  The B-Boy Battle’s breakdancing competition returns, as does The Break Contest, a talent search.

Three-day early-bird passes are on sale now for $99 through www.thebamboozle.com.


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<p>Katy Perry in &quot;Firework&quot;</p>

Katy Perry in "Firework"

Katy Perry's record-setting run sets off 'Firework' on the Billboard Hot 100

Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna and Florence + the Machine also have cause for celebration

Katy Perry just scored a hat trick. As “Firework” powers its way to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100  this week, she becomes the first female artist in more than a decade to take three consecutive singles from one album to the top.

“Firework” follows “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream” to the summit. All three appear on Perry’s second album, “Teenage Dream,” which garnered an Grammy nomination for album of the year last week.

She beats a record set by another current Grammy nominee, Monica. The R&B singer took “The Boy is Mine” featuring Brandy, “The First Night” and “Angel of Mine” to the top spot over an eight-month span starting in June 1998, according to Billboard.

In other Hot 100 news, Pink’s “Raise Your Glass,” switches places with “Firework,” slipping 1-2. Rihanna sees a surge with “What’s My Name” rising 5-3, giving women the top 3 slots, while her “Only Girl (In the World) moves 3-6.

Although the Black Eyed Peas’ “The Beginning” starts its Billboard 200 run at a disappointing No. 6, first single “The Time (Dirty Bit)” continues its rise, leaping 9-4. Rounding out the top 5 are Grammy wunderkind Bruno Mars, whose “Grenade” continues to blow up, soaring 10-5.  His “Just the Way You Are” falls 4-7.

Ke$ha’s former No. 1, “We R Who We R,” tumbles 6-8. Coming in at No. 9 is Nelly’s “Just a Dream,” down one from last week; and Trey Songz’ “Bottoms Up” featuring Nicki Minaj creeps back into the top 10, inching up 11-10.

As new entries slow to a trickle through the holidays, the top debut belows to—who else— the cast of “Glee.” New Dimension’s version of Florence and the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” bows at No. 22, leading the four other “Glee” Hot 100 entries this week. “Glee’s” cover also helps lift Flo’s original 58-21.

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<p>Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear</p>

Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear

Interview: Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste reveals plans for the next album

When can we expect the follow-up to 2009's revered 'Veckatimest?'

Grizzly Bear, whose 2009 album, “Veckatimest” topped many best-of lists, will head back into the studio early next year, according to the Brooklyn-based band’s frontman Ed Droste.

“We’ll start writing after Christmas,” Droste tells Hitfix. “We just finished our last show in October. We thought maybe we can pretend we’re not in a band for three months and hopefully not be in a bus or a plane.”

With that mission almost accomplished, Droste says he and his Bear mates — guitarist Daniel Rossen, bassist Chris Taylor, and drummer Christopher Bear — will “start dipping our toes into a writing process and see where that takes us. We want everything to just happen.”

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<p>Daft Punk</p>

Daft Punk

Watch: Daft Punk's official 'Derezzed' video from 'Tron'

Does the pair finally remove their helmets?

My colleague Katie Hasty will post a full review of Daft Punk’s “Tron: Legacy” soundtrack later today, but until then, check out the official video for “Derezzed,” which MTV premiered today.

The video is decidedly old-school (well, as old school as futuristic knights can appear jousting on their combo lightcycles/dinosaurs) as the duo play a video game manufactured by Encom in 1981 (the original “Tron” came out in 1982; Encom is the company that creates "Tron").

There’s no footage from the new movie, which opens Dec. 17, except there’s a reveal at the end that ties it up neatly to bring it back to the future.

Quite honestly, we like the trailer that features the music better. Of course, dialog interrupts the music in that one, but it's much more visually appealing. See that one here.

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<p>Snoop Dogg</p>

Snoop Dogg

Credit: AP

Watch: Submerge yourself with Snoop Dogg in video for Gorillaz' 'Plastic Beach'

Rapper weaves fascinating tales in compelling new music clip

Periscope up!  Snoop Dogg is on deck of a mystical, magical submarine in this new Gorillaz clip for “Welcome to the Plastic Beach,” the title track from their current album.

The totality of the clip is a camera on Snoop surveying his unseen kingdom,as he does his thing over the Gorillaz’ retro-soulful/”Superfly”-like beat (okay, there are a few cut ins with lyrics, but those are seldom). And it’s as compelling as can be. That’s because Snoop’s charisma leaps off the small screen as he tells us kids to “gather round.” He knows “the world seems to hopeless,” but he’s here to give us some redemption. We’re not sure exactly how, but we’re buying whatever he’s selling.

And let’s take a moment to check out the awesome fashion statement SD is making:  The stovepipe hat is unlike anything we’ve ever seen a captain wear, although the jacket is straight out of the Captain Bligh collection.

We are so ready to rock it in the bubble bath with Snoop after watching this. 


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<p>Animated versions of Jason Segel and Jack Black bring you holiday cheer.</p>

Animated versions of Jason Segel and Jack Black bring you holiday cheer.

Watch: Jack Black and Jason Segel bring you holiday cheer

Duo takes on David Bowie/Bing Crosby's 'Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy'

Jack Black and Jason Segel spread a little holiday cheer of their own with this fun cartoon of the twosome singing “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy 2010.”

The pair, who (ready for the obligatory plug?) appear together in “Gulliver’s Travels,” recreate the now legendary David Bowie/Bing Crosby  1977 television special where Bowie just happens to drop by on the Bingster and they spontaneously burst into song, their voices miraculously intertwining on the two Christmas tunes.

In the video, which debuted on collegehumor.com today, Black and Segel lovingly adhere to the premise, but also make this their own as the former stops by in search of ginger. Turn out, Black has a “ginger bushel” out back. The animation is delightfully retro ‘70s. I almost expected the Jackson 5 to pop out and join them.

It turns out both Black and Segel have very pleasant voices, especially Black when he takes the lead on “Peace on Earth.”

And best of all, proceeds from sales of the video from iTunes go to Blue Star Families, a non-profit organization that deals with issues facing military families.

Below, check out Black and Segel and then scroll down to watch the bizarrely awkward Bowie/Crosby original.




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Watch: T.I.'s new video for 'No Mercy' featuring The-Dream

Redemption-seeking rapper invokes Tupac, Lady Di and Jesus

In a track that now seems eerily prescient,  the video for T.I.’s “No Mercy” seems to foreshadow the rapper’s return to prison.

The title tune to his new album is about his initial incarceration from a 2007 felony gun possession charge, according to a number of reports.  Lyrics such as “Tell the judge if he throwed [sic] the book at me/Make it the Bible...loyal beyond belief to my detriment/it’s so vital I change or blow opportunities.”

T.I., who is back in prison for violating his probation,  then invokes both 2Pac, including questioning if his near-biblical suffering means he is the “second coming of Pac,” as well as Princess Diana, although that reference seems to be more for the sake of the rhyme “I just ask that I can make my peace with god and say goodbye/For the world like Lady Di.”

The video keeps with the religious theme as T.I. enters a church seeking some kind of redemption and mercy, although deeply aware that “nightmares have become his dreams.”  And how handy is it that The-Dream is there to sing the refrain about “letting me go,” so he can fulfill his destiny.

It’s a compelling, often beautifully shot clip, especially with the sun streaming through the  stained glass, T.I. makes a convincing case that he has learned from his crime and time--although that begs the question of how did he end up in prison again? Is it really his destiny?


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<p>&quot;Tron: Legacy&quot;</p>

"Tron: Legacy"

Credit: Disney

T.I., Natasha Bedingfield, Daft Punk's 'Tron' lead new music releases

Duffy and Juanes also make the holiday deadline

The last major release date before Christmas yields a few nice treats, including a long-awaited set from Natasha Bedingfield, a stripped-down set from Adam Lambert,  as well as rapper T.I.’s “No Mercy”  and Daft Punk’s highly-anticipated soundtrack to “Tron: Legacy.”

Natasha Bedingfield, “Strip Me” (Epic): British songstress of “Unwritten” fame returns after a long break with a provocatively titled new set of uptempo tunes. First single, the title track, showcases a different sound, full of heavy beats and echo.

Daft Punk, “TRON: Legacy” (Walt Disney): French duo combines its trademark electronica with traditional orchestration for the adventurous, futuristic score to 1982’s “Tron,” itself composed by electronic pioneer Wendy Carlos. And the amazing thing is they never remove their helmets.

Duffy, “Endlessly” (Mercury): English thrush who broke big with “Mercy” two years ago returns for a second set of retro pop-soul that suits her amazing pipes perfectly.

Flyleaf, “Remember to Live” (A&M/Octone): As lead singer Lacey Sturm preps for her impending motherhood and a break from the band, Flyleaf delivers this placeholder to keep fans happy until the group can provide a full-on follow up to 2009’s “Memento Mori.” The EP contains seven songs, including five older tracks, as well as two reinventions of previously released tunes.

Hinder “All American Nightmare” (Universal Republic): Rockers from the heartland return with their third major-label effort. The slight glam sound from album No. 2 is gone for straight-ahead rock. First single, the title tune, already had a strong showing on Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, peaking at No. 7.

Juanes, “P.A.R.C.E.” (Universal Latino):
Colombian superstar Juanes unleashes his fifth album that deals with, in part, with his reconciliation with his wife  and the birth of their new home.

Adam Lambert, “Acoustic Live” (19 Recordings/RCA): “American Idol” runner up from season eight throws a few tidbits to the faithful with this set of five unplugged tunes, including “Aftermath” and “If I Had You.”

Plain White T’s, “Wonders of the Younger” (Hollywood):
“Hey There Delilah” dudes are back with another melodic/harmony filled soft rock.

T.I., “No Mercy”  (Grand Hustle/Atlantic):
T.I. may be incarcerated, but that won’t stop him from unleashing his seventh album, “No Mercy” (previously titled “King Uncaged”). There’s a passel full of guests on the effort, including Kayne West, Kid Cudi, the Neptunes, Chris Brown, Eminem, The-Dream and Christina Aguilera, on top track “Castle Walls.”

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