Credit: Columbia

Sneak Preview: Adele unveils new songs and Hitfix was there

Tunes showcase the tracks of her tears

The last we heard from Adele, she was carting around two well-deserved Grammys for her wins for best new artist and best female pop vocal performance.

That was nearly two years ago and the “Chasing Pavements” singer has been fairly quiet since then, but Hitfix got a sneak listen to four songs from her forthcoming album at a very intimate, invite-only performance by the British singer at Los Angeles’ Largo Theater.

With a red-velvet backdrop and surrounded by antique lamps, an admittedly nervous Adele previewed four songs from her second still-untitled album that comes out in February.

 First single, “Rolling in the Deep,” goes to radio in mid-November and will coincide with an appearance on “Ellen.”  The melodic and beat-heavy thumper showcases a side of Adele not heard on “19,” one influenced by her exposure to Wanda Jackson, the pioneering country and rockabilly star. “I really got into her,” Adele said, admitting a little obsession with the singer.

Like “Rolling,” the other three songs dealt with heartache. Adele’s lyrics are like an open wound, still smarting and raw, delivered in her pure soprano that cuts through any clutter and soars above the notes.

On ballad “Someone Like You,” she sings about a past love who has found someone else. She’s trying to be happy for him, but is blinded by her inability to move on as she tries to find someone like him over and over again. “I’m shaking,” she said after performing the song accompanied only by a pianist. “I get upset whenever I sing it.”

Adele recorded much of the album in Malibu and recalled how Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” saturated the airwaves as she was in the studio. “ I really got into it,” she said, adding that she’s thinking of going to Nashville for some writing sessions.  We’re holding our breath for an “Adele in Nashville” album (yes, all references to “Dusty in Memphis” are intentional).  While  the torchy “Don’t You Remember” recalls Lady A, the song is vintage Adele as she admits to  “A fickle heart, a bitterness, a wandering eye and a heaviness in my head,” but she begs her ex, “dont u remember the reason you loved me before?”

Adele collaborated with hitmaker OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder on two tracks including “Turning Tables,” a ballad about a fighting couple. “I won’t let you close enough to hurt me,” Adele sang, eyes closed, fingers fluttering.

She closed with “Pavements” and “Hometown Glory,” which the now 22-year old wrote when she was 16.  The small crowd wanted more, but she begged off. “My voice has been dormant for months, it’s pissed off at me” for putting if back to work, she said.  Her voluminous voice sounded perfect to us in this very welcome return.

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<p>Lady Antebellum</p>

Lady Antebellum

Watch: Lady Antebellum’s new video for ‘Hello World’

Bring some tissues

In Lady Antebellum’s soulful ballad, “Hello World,”  lead singer Charles Kelley details  a world that so many of us exist in, but aren’t really a part of. We’re so busy checking our cell phones, frustrated at the traffic jam and stressed about work that we’re not paying attention to the beauty that is around us.  And we’re in some kind of psychic pain because of it.

But then something comes along, it can be a giggling child, a beautiful rainbow or a gorgeous sunset that gently tugs you back to the present and a state of gratitude.  In this case, it’s an adorable little girl, enjoying an ice cream cone in the backseat of an SUV, waving to people in other cars like we all did when we were small. Flash to the front seat and her parents are bickering.

The trio, using the always popular trope of  performing on a rain-slicked, dark street in the middle of the city, adopts the proper somber tone as events take a tragic turn.

We’re not going to give away the ending, but it’s a bit heavy handed. However, be sure to watch until the ending for the twist.  Plus, we’re feeling a bit bad for the dad, who gets carted away here and forgotten about.


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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: ap photo

Far East Movement and Taylor Swift make strides on the Billboard Hot 100

Willow Smith whips her way on to the chart

The Far* East Movement doesn’t move at all this week as it marks its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Like a G6.” The tune, featuring Cataracs and the Dev, also returns to No. 1 on the Hot Digital Songs chart.

And Taylor Swift just keeps setting records on the chart. “Mean,” from “Spean Now,” debuts at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it three weeks in a row that Swifty has claimed Hot Shot Debut honors. No one else has ever done that before (it will be interesting to see if we see more superstars deploying her set up of releasing one track a week to iTunes a few weeks before that album’s release).

Other sparkling debuts include Willow Smith who whips her way to N0. 78 with her first single, “Whip My Hair.” Billboard notes that she is the second offspring of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith to hit the Hot 100 this year as Willow’s big brother Jaden peaked at No. 33 this summer with his duet with Justin Bieber on “Never Say Never. “

Look for Katy Perry to bring her third single from “Teenage Dream” to the Hot 100 next week, as “Firework” bows at No. 29 on Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart.

Finally, while we’re certain that Cee Lo’s “F*** You” may top many critic’s polls for the hot single of the year, climbing to No. 17 was the best the song (and its clean version, “Forget You”) could muster on the Hot 100. 

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Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Usher and Elvis star on 'Now 36' hit compilation

Latest edition of multi-artist hit collection also features Adam Lambert, Daughtry and many more

“Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 36,” the latest in the never-ending collection of current pop hits, will street on Nov. 9 with a new feature.

A few editions back, “Now” added a “Now What’s Next” slot for tracks from emerging acts. Now, for the first time, the compilations will also include a “Now Flashback” track.  The first will be Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds.”  And in what we’re sure is a total coincidence,  “Now 36” comes with info on how to enter a contest to win a trip to Vegas to see “Viva Elvis by Cirque du Soleil” at that Aria Hotel.

The “Now What’s Next” tracks from “36” come from The Secret Sisters, Sick Puppies, and Free Energy.

NOW That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 36  track listing:

1.  Katy Perry                                                          Teenage Dream
2.  Usher (feat. Pitbull)                                             DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love
3.  Ke$ha                                                                 Take It Off
4.  Adam Lambert                                                    If I Had You
5.  Taio Cruz                                                            Dynamite
6.  Nelly                                                                   Just A Dream
7.  Chris Brown (feat. Tyga & Kevin McCall)           Deuces
8.  B.o.B (feat. Rivers Cuomo)                                Magic
9.  David Guetta                                                      Memories (feat. Kid Cudi)
10. Maroon 5                                                           Misery
11. Neon Trees                                                        Animal
12. OneRepublic                                                      Secrets
13. Sara Bareilles                                                    King Of Anything
14. Paramore                                                           The Only Exception
15. Daughtry                                                            September
16. Sugarland                                                          Stuck Like Glue

BONUS TRACKS: “NOW What’s Next” New Music Preview
17. Sick Puppies                                                     Maybe
18. Free Energy                                                      Bang Pop
19. The Secret Sisters                                           Tennessee Me

BONUS TRACK: “NOW Flashback”
Elvis Presley                                                           Suspicious Minds

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<p>Jon Bon Jovi</p>

Jon Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi sets 2011 North American tour dates

Are they playing at your house?

The sun never sets on a Bon Jovi. We think Jon, Richie and the other ones (okay, we kid, David and Tico) have been tour continuously since 1980. They just keep circling the globe over and over.

So we’re not surprised that more Bon Jovi dates have been announced  for 2011, in support of the band’s “Greatest Hits” set that comes out Nov. 9.  As we previously wrote, “Bon Jovi--The Circle Tour” will play in movie theaters across the land on Nov. 8. Additionally, the band will appear on “The Today Show,” Nov. 12;  A&E’s “Private Sessions,” Nov. 17; “The American Music Awards,” Nov. 21 (see other performers here); “Larry King Live,” Nov. 22; “Ellen,” Nov. 23 and CNN’s “Heroes,” Nov. 25.  These Jersey Boys are hard workers.

Below are the 2011 North American tour dates:

February 9                     State College, PA          Bryce Jordan Center                
February 11                   Pittsburgh, PA               Consol Energy Center  
February 14                   Toronto, ON                  Air Canada Centre                   
February 18                   Montreal, QB                 Bell Centre                              
February 21                   Raleigh, NC                  RBC Center                            
February 24                   New York City, NY        Madison Square Garden           
February 25                   New York City, NY        Madison Square Garden           
February 27                   Washington, DC            Verizon Center                        
March 1                        Boston, MA                   TD Garden                              
March 2                        Philadelphia, PA            Wells Fargo Center                  
March 4                        Uncasville, CT              Mohegan Sun Arena                 
March 8                        Chicago, IL                   United Center                                                  
March 17                       San Antonio, TX            AT&T Center                           
March 19                       Las Vegas, NV              MGM Grand Garden Arena                                           
March 22                       Salt Lake City, UT         EnergySolutions Arena
March 25                       Vancouver, BC              Rogers Arena  

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<p>Carrie Underwood</p>

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney headlining Stagecoach 2011

Spring bill also includes Loretta Lynn, Leon Russell and Wanda Jackson

Stagecoach will wheel back into town for the fifth consecutive year with Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood as headliners.

The country music festival that takes place a week or two after  Coachella on Indio, Calif.’s  Empire Polo Club grounds, will also features Loretta Lynn, Darius Rucker and Josh Turner at the April 30-May 1 fest.      

Tickets, which are $99 for a two-day pass, go on sale Nov. 5.  There are also a variety of packages include camping options.

The Stagecoach line-up as of today (with more acts to be added) is: Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Loretta Lynn, Josh Turner, Chris Young, Leon Russell, Easton Corbin, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas Trio, Gatlin Brothers, Jack Ingram, Mel Tillis, Rodney Crowell, Rhonda Vincent, Secret Sisters, Steel Magnolia, Joanna Smith, Wanda Jackson, Stealing Angels, The Gourds, Rosie Flores, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Sara Watkins, The Cleverlys, Phosphorescent, The Punch Brothers and Truth & Salvage Co.

Leon Russell will be playing as a solo act, after his successful tour with Elton John promoting their new album, "The Union."  Also, if you have the chance to see living legends Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson (whom both share Jack White as a producer), you shouldn’t pass that up.

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Prince's 'Welcome 2 America' schedules tour dates

Prince's 'Welcome 2 America' schedules tour dates

Next stop? Madison Square Garden

Prince’s “Welcome 2 America” concert series will touch down first in New Jersey.

New York’s WBLS announced the first three dates today on air: Dec, 14-15, 17 at  the Izod Center in E. Rutherford, N.J. (It will always be the Meadowlands to us). That show ill be followed by two Madison Square Garden shows on Dec. 19 and 29.

Tickets, according to WBLS, go on sale Oct. 30. The R&B station is also giving away tickets to the show.

As we previously reported, the “Welcome 2 America” shows will feature Prince as the emcee (and performer) and will also feature Janelle Monae, Sheila E, Cassandra Wilson, Maceo Parker, Esperanza Spalding, Mint Condition, and the New Power Generation. We don’t know if each artist will appear on each date. 

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<p>Daft Punk</p>

Daft Punk

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

Can you spot the electronic duo in the scene?

Before lucky fans get to see a 25-minute look at “Tron: Legacy” on Friday on an  IMAX screen, check out this 2-minute snippet of from the movie featuring a nice chunk of Daft Punk's score. This piece is called “Derezzed.” And no, we have no idea what it means, although some “Tron” geek might.

After some opening drum beats, the theme from the French dance music duo is pretty much a repeating synthesized loop with a few other sequences thrown in. It’s hypnotic and fits perfectly to picture. The editors have done an excellent job of integrating the score with the sound effects so they complement, instead of compete, with each other.

We believe that may also be the duo in the suits in the beginning, according to this still we ran a few weeks ago.

The score, the pair’s first,  comes out Nov. 22. While some streams of the “Tron” score have been available, including on Seattle’s KNND website (although they have since taken them down) and on the "Tron" website , this are the first longer scenes of the music and picture together. You can also hear a little bit of Daft Punk's pulsing, ominous score in the trailer, which came out in March. 


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<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Is Taylor Swift's 'Speak Now' a sales bust or boom?

Is she busting down records like she busts on John Mayer?

Is Taylor Swift singlehandedly going to save the music industry? Of course not, but it looks like she’s going to have a darn good opening week.  After only 24 hours on sale, “Speak Now” is on target (or should we say on Target, given her exclusive deluxe edition through the retailer) to sell as much as 900,000 in its opening week, according to Hits Daily Double. That would best this year’s former champ, Eminem’s “Recovery,” which sold  741,000 copies in its opening week in June.

“Speak Now”  is on top of iTunes’ album chart today, followed by Kings of Leon’s extended version of “Come Around Sundown” and the regular version.

Additionally, four of the songs, “Sparks Fly,” “Innocent,” “The Story of Us,” and “Dear John,”--a quartet of tunes that were not released prior to the album’s street date-- are in the top 10 on iTunes’ Songs chart.

So why is Swift still selling albums when many of her younger fans are dedicated singles buyers?  Here are a few reasons why:

*As much as Swift has become a pop sensation, much of her base is in country and country fans, by and large, still buy albums, not just singles.

*In the media, Swift has done such a canny job of letting everyone know that each song is about someone else--and that someone else is possibly very famous--that people want the whole album so they can guess whom the tracks are about and parse the not-so-hidden meanings. Speaking of, here is a really fun piece by my colleague Chris Willman about whom each song may be about.

*Even though many of her fans are singles buyers, they are now buying the tracks that hadn’t previously been released over the last few weeks, so once someone buys 10 tracks from an album (regardless of how many tracks over that there may be on the album), that counts as an “album equivalent” sales to Nielsen SoundScan.

*Although she’s only one more album into her career than Katy Perry, Swift has built up an extremely loyal following. Perry, whose “Teenage Dream” sold less than 200,000 copies in its first week in a major disappointment,  is seen by many as more of a “celebrity” than an artist. That’s no necessarily her fault, but Swift stays out of the gossip rags, by and large, and focuses largely on her music.

*For newer fans who had never heard of her before the whole Kanye West  2009 MTV VMA kerfuffle (which she very adroitly managed to keep alive for a full year until she debuted “Innocent” at this year’s VMAs), this is their first chance to buy a new album since all that mess.

*In so much as they matter at all any more, the album is getting stellar reviews across the board, which helps those sitting on the fence to plunk down their money. Here's our review.

*Her label, Big Machine, saturated the market. There are rumored to be 2 million copies out there, so the good news is there is no chance of anyone walking into a retailer and not being able to find it because it’s on back order.

*As is usually the case on opening week for most superstar titles, there is some nice discounting going on. “Speak Now” has a list price of $18.98 (not that anyone is paying that), but it is selling for $8 at Amazon and Target ($14.99 for the deluxe edition) and  $9.99 at Best Buy.

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<p>Nicki Minaj</p>

Nicki Minaj

What did Nicki Minaj just do that no other woman has ever done?

Eminem, Jay-Z and Kanye West are with her every beat

Nicki Minaj managed to do today what no other female artist before her has done: she landed on MTV’s Hottest MC in the Game list.  Minaj comes in at No. 6. Who came in higher than she?  No. 1 is Eminem, and then Jay-Z, Kanye West, Drake and Rick Ross.

MTV recaps Minaj’s year--bear in mind she hasn’t even had an album out yet (although that all changes next month) and the list was so exhaustive, we had to take a nap. In addition to her own No. 1 with “Your Love,” she collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Jay Z, DJ Khaled, Drake, Christina Aguilera, Sean Kingston, Usher, Jay Sean, Trey Songz and millions more. 

The artists on the list were chosen by an MTV braintrust (no jokes...) based on the MCs shyme skills, commercial success, web presence, business ventures and cultural influence. In other words, the list is totally subjective.  It's the third year the list has been compiled.

Rounding out the top 10 are Lil Wayne (7),  Waka Flocka Flame (8), B.o.B. (9) and Ludacris (10).


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