As any Bruce Springsteen fan knows (and any regular Hitfix readers know I’m a Springsteen fanatic), there is nothing like a Springsteen concert. But since there are none of those on the docket right now, the Boss has given us the next best thing. And better yet, it’s for free.
Springsteen and the E Street Band took to the Asbury Park’s Carousel House last week for a mini-concert featuring four songs from “The Promise.” Filmed in front of 60 fans, the show was beautifully directed and edited by Thom Zimny and mixed by Bob Clearmountain.
Springsteen, who looks criminally buff for 61, performs “Racing in the Street (’78),” “Gotta Get That Feeling,” “Ain’t Good Enough For You,” “The Promise” and then, because ‘tis the season, he throws in a cover of Elvis’s “Blue Christmas.” The clips are airing on Vevo.com.
Watch while you can: the clips air until Jan. 1 and then they’re gone (we’re sure they will come back in some form for purchase).
“Firework,” the uplifting third single from Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” continues to sparkle as it spends its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song also stays atop the Digital Songs chart, surpassing 200,000 downloads for the week. “Firework’s” double blast at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 marks the end of five straight weeks of revolving chair in the No. 1 spot and becomes the first single to last more than one week in the pole position since Far*East Movement’s “Like a G6” on the charts for Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, according to Billboard. “Like a G6” returned to the top for a third non-consecutive week.
Will “Firework” make it for three? Not if Rihanna has her way, as “What’s My Name” featuring Drake is making a play to return to No. 1, moving 3-2 this week.
Looking at the rest of the top 5, Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” blasts 5-3; Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” falls 2-4, and Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” rebounds 8-5. Rounding out the top 10, Rihanna's “Only Girl in the World" is No. 6, “The Time (Dirty Bit)” from the Black Eyed Peas moves 4-8, Nelly’s “Just a Dream” holds at No. 9 and “Bottoms Up” by Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj closes out the week at No 10.
It looks like Diddy Dirty Money has its first hit on its hands as P Diddy’s new trio’s “Coming Home” soars 51-24 to earn Hot 100 Digital Gainer honors.
The highest debut belongs to imprisoned rapper T.I., whose “That’s All She Wrote” bows at No. 18 wiht “That’s All She Wrote.” Also starting their chart assaults this week are Chris Brown’s “No BS” at No. 89, “Bass Down Low” from Dev (best known for a guest spot of “Like A G6.” “Bass” starts at No. 9-, while “Fall For Your Type” from Jamie Foxx featuring Drake begins at No. 95.
Look for things to remain relatively static on the charts for the next few weeks through the holidays, but they’ll heat back up after the new year.
Bon Jovi tops this year’s list of biggest money makers on tour, grossing $146.5 million from their 69-show Circle outing.
It marks the second time in the past three years that the rock act has landed at No. 1, according to Billboard. The band got a bit of an unexpected boost from second place act U2, which had to cancel its North American summer tour due to Bono’s back injury. Otherwise, U2 may have topped the list.
It’s good to be nice, but it’s way more fun to be naughty. So believes Kanye West, who is now officially the busiest man in show business. After taking a bit of time off after Swift-gate last year, West has been making up for lost time, releasing tracks every Friday, tweeting every few seconds, putting out what many critics believe is one of the top albums of the year, and now, coming up with a new holiday song, “Christmas in Harlem.”
The slow jam is an amusing slow jam featuring CyHi Da Prynce and Teyana Taylor about rushing around to get to the mall for those last-minute gifts. Plus, he hints at some presents that no store can provide.
We like the verse delivered as Santa Clause and it’s good to know that his sleigh is faster than a Porsche. But it would have to be to get around the globe in one night, right?
So does the world really need another Christmas song? No, but we do know this: we’ll take this groove over another tired attempt at a new wanna-be traditional carol by some diva.
We’re also fond of Taylor’s sung verse around the 3-minute mark that sort of sounds like the Brother Johnson’s “Strawberry Letter No. 23.”
Check it out here. Then go hit the mall, as Kanye suggests, and give a kiss to Santa Claus.
One thing is for sure: Susan Boyle is having a great Christmas. Her holiday-themed sophomore set, “The Gift,” stays at No. 1, gathering its fourth week atop the Billboard 200 albums chart.
The album has now sold more than 1.4 million copies in five weeks, according to Nielsen SoundScan, including 243,000 this week.
Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” holds at No. 2, but sees a sales uptick of 11% to 201,000 copies, according to Billboard.com. “Glee’s” Christmas album sees a tremendous 49% surge to climb 4-3 with sales of 193,000.
At No. 4, T.I.’s “No Mercy” is this week’s highest debut of the week. While the title sells a respectable 159,000, it’s a far cry from his last set, 2008’s “Paper Trail,” which arrived atop the leader board with opening sales of 568,000.
Only one other new title bows in the Top 10: Daft Punk’s score for “Tron: Legacy.” The set comes in at No. 10 with sales of 71,000, which is more than two times the French duo’s previous best week. Additionally “Tron: Legacy” is the first score album to land in the Top 10 since 2005’s “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.”
Another fun fact: With two “Glee” sets in the Top 10 (in addition to the Christmas set, “Season Two: Volume 4” stands at No. 8), there are three soundtracks in the top 10 for the second time this year.
Year-to-year numbers continue to be glum. Year-to-date album sales are 291.45 million, down 13% compared to last year. Digital sales are up from last year, but only by 1%. Year-to-date digital tracks have sold 1.065 billion.
The official announcement won’t come until Wednesday, but as we hinted at here, Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Dr. John and Darlene Love will be the 2011 inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Move over Justin Bieber, there’s a new guy in town.
We first met Greyson Chance last year when his remake of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” became a YouTube sensation and resulted in his signing a deal with Geffen Records, also home to LG. But he’s not just on Geffen: he’s signed to Ellen Degeneres’ new label, Eleven Eleven, which goes through Guy Oseary’s label at Geffen. Oseary manages Madonna and ran her label Maverick.
Flash forward to several months after Chance’s moment in the sun and the 13-year old Chance has released a three-song EP in anticipation of a full album coming in 2011. First single “Waiting Outside the Lines” is one of those songs that 10-year old girls glom on to like a lifeline as if it were written directly for each one of them individually. It’s a treacly piano ballad about not being afraid to take chances and, apparently, it is so magical, it has the ability to conjure up screaming female tweens who circle around Chance and his piano like bees to honey. No cliche is spared in the video, including the pouring rain at the end (which Chance is so clearly not enjoying).
“I’m here to help you notice the rainbow, because I know what’s in you is out there,” he sings. That’s a lot of weight to carry on his slender little teen shoulders. His voice is serviceable, but I can’t help but feel sadness that all it takes to get a record deal these days is YouTube notoriety. Given that it’s eight months since his version of “Paparazzi” hit YouTube and the best Geffen has squeezed out is a three-song EP (that includes “Paparazzi,” “Waiting Outside the Lines” and a remake of Augustana’s “Fire”), any ability to capture on the excitement from that original YouTube video has long passed. It could also be that it is taking a little longer to develop Chance than expected, although that’s totally a guess on our part. We’ll know more when the album comes out next year, as well as from how Chance does on tour. He’s headed out to open for Miranda Cosgrove starting in January. Dates are below the video link.
2011 TOUR DATES (Supporting Miranda Cosgrove):
DATE CITY VENUE
Jan-24 Kansas City, MO Uptown
Jan-25 Minneapolis, MN State Theatre
Jan-26 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theatre
Jan-28 Rosemont, IL Rosemont Theatre
Jan-29 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theatre
Jan-30 Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square Center- State Theatre
Feb- 1 Detroit, MI The Fillmore
Feb-2 Munhall, PA Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
Feb-4 Wallingford, CT Oakdale Theatre
Feb-5 New York, NY Beacon Theatre
Feb-6 Glenside, PA Keswick Theatre
Feb-9 Bethesda, MD Music Center at Stathmore
Feb-10 Lowell, MA Lowell Auditorium
Feb-12 Montclair, NJ Wellmont Theatre
Feb-13 Westbury, NY Theater at Westbury
Feb-15 Atlanta, GA Center Stage
Feb-16 Tampa, FL Tampa Theatre
Feb-17 Orlando, FL Hard Rock
Feb-20 Houston, TX House of Blues
Feb-23 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theater
Feb-24 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
We don’t really know what has inspired the homages to Bing Crosby/David Bowie’s awkward duet of “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” that’s since turned into a classic, but we just got our second remake in as many weeks.
Following Jack Black/Jason Segal’s far superior animated version, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have served up their own Christmas salute to odd couple. Ferrell and Reilly go pretty much for a note-for-note recreation of the Crosby/Bowie TV special--down to the baby blue sweater-- but somehow manage to make it even creepier than the original.
They only veer off at the end, when fake Bowie and Bing’s conversation ends on a less than peaceful note. It’s pretty tame by “Funny or Die” standards and pretty unfunny, but if you’re a Ferrell or Reilly fan, you may find it amusing. We’ve provided the original underneath the new version, in case you’re feeling old school.
Is this his early Christmas present to his fans? Diddy just released his third video in as many weeks from his new album, “Last Train to Paris.” For “Ass on the Dance Floor,” director Colin Tilley creates an apocalyptic winter wonderland complete with ice floats, dark, claustrophobic imagery.
We also love how Diddy and Swizz Beatz, whose refrain here totally makes the song, are work as can be, completely bundled up, but the Dawn and Kalenna (the two women in Diddy Dirty Money) are strolled around in mini skirts with only mink shrugs to keep them warm. Thank God it’s a set and not the real thing. Brrrr.
Diddy doesn’t really show up until his rap around 2:50. To his credit, he’s created a song that doesn’t really need him. We’re not sure that’s what he meant to do. Anyway, enjoy the great beat and get your ass on the dance floor.