North American leg starts Aug. 20
Ciara and Kristinia DeBarge just got the call from Brit Brit to be the opening acts on the next leg of her North American tour, which starts Aug. 20.
We love that Britney Spears keeps turning to her sisters for opening acts-as you recall, the Pussycat Dolls opened the last leg. The only boys allowed are back-up dancers...and her daddy and her agent/boyfriend.
DeBarge, who is riding high on her first hit, "Goodbye," says in a statement, "Joining Britney Spears for her 'Circus' tour will be an amazing and surreal experience for me. I have been dreaming of an opportunity like this forever, and can't wait."
Says Ciara about Britney in a quote on Spear's website: "Everything about Britney makes you like her. I feel like she's a star. She's got that energy that's just magnetic. She just glows. It's not just one thing about her that makes her cool." We'd rave about her too if we'd just gotten the opening slot, although the quote appears to be an earlier comment from Rap-Up magazine, meaning Ciara was sucking up before she had to.
Tour dates are:
August 20 Hamilton, ON Copps Coliseum
August 21 Ottawa, ON Scotiabank Place
August 24 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
August 25 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
August 29 Boston, MA TD Banknorth Garden
August 30 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
September 1 Orlando, FL Amway Arena
September 2 Miami, FL AA Arena
September 4 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
September 5 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
September 8 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills
September 9 Chicago, IL Allstate Arena
September 11 Des Moines, IA Wells Fargo Arena
September 12 Grand Forks, ND Alerus Center
September 15 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
September 16 Houston, TX Toyota Center
September 18 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
September 19 Bossier City, LA CenturyTel Center
September 21 El Paso, TX Don Haskins Center
September 23 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
September 26 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center
September 27 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center
'I Look to You' out Sept. 1
For Whitney Houston obsessives out there, Houston has announced the title of her new album. Wait for it... "I Look To You."
The set, out Sept. 1, will be her first album of new material (excluding a Christmas album) in seven years.
As we previously reported, among those whom Houston worked with on the project are R.Kelly, Diane Warren, David Foster, Swiss Beatz and Akon.
Folkie finishes recording sixth album with Band of Bees' Butler
Our favorite freak folkie, Devendra Banhart, has finished recording his sixth album. The big question is what label will release it: Banhart has left his previous home of XL Recordings.
This is Banhart's first studio album since 2007's "Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon." In other Banhart news, he is also part of a new collective that will recreate classic albums with Beck that will then be available via Beck's website. The Gallagher Bros. also recruited Banhart to remix "(Get Off Your) High Horse Lady" for Oasis, according to NME.
Randy Jackson lends a helping hand
In an "American Idol" season long ago and far away, a fair maiden named Brooke White delighted audiences with her creamy complexion, long blonde locks and strong voice. However, she was booted off with several weeks left in the competition never to be heard of again...until now.
On July 21, White will release "High Hopes & Heartbreak " on June Baby Records, a label formed by White, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson and White's manager Carl Stubner. In a first for Jackson, he also executive produced the album and is co-managing White. If it's good enough for Simon Fuller, it's good enough for Jackson.
White, a season seven contestant, sounds like a beauty contestant, saying in a statement: "If there was one valuable lesson that I learned from my 'Idol' experience, it would be to remain true to myself, even if that means going down the road less traveled and taking a few risks."
Pop quiz! Who won season seven? The answer is at the end of this item.
White, whom Carly Simon declared her favorite contender after she heard White sing her classic "You're So Vain," co-wrote the songs on her album.
Season seven winner: David Cook.
New girl group wouldn't be caught dead watching "Hannah Montana"
Call them the anti-Miley Cyrus. Buzz is building for Care Bears on Fire, a trio of ninth-grade girls who write and sing their own material. A summer tour includes two dates at Lollapalooza.
First single, "Everybody Else," from the band's forthcoming CD, "Get Over It," is a spunky kiss-off to conformity with its "don't want to be like everybody else" refrain and is a must listen for teenage girls. This is truly Grrrrrrl power.
On his Sirius/XM radio show "The Underground Garage," Little Steven declared "Everybody Else" the "coolest song in the world" on last week's episode. Like most punk tunes, the song is charming in its simplicity and naivety.
We don't know if we'd go as far as Little Steven, but it's a relief to see teenage girls who look and act their age instead of appearing like Barbie Dolls or strippers in training. There are two videos of the song floating around: a performance clip with a cool "paint-by-numbers" theme and a trippy, deliberately (we hope) cheesy video featuring the girls playing their instruments popping out of checkerboard graphics and geometric collages. Check them out here and let us know which one you prefer.
CBoF have got considerable power behind them: they were signed to S-Curve Records by Steve Greenberg, who discovered Hanson and Joss Stone. The trio is managed by Danny Goldberg who used to manage a little band named Nirvana.
Care Bears on Fire will be violating their curfew all summer while on tour. The outing lasts until late August, just in time for the girls to get their back to school shopping done.
7/10 House of Blues San Diego, CA
7/11 House of Blues Anaheim, CA
7/12 House of Blues West Hollywood, CA
7/14 The Fillmore San Francisco, CA
7/16 Gothic Theatre Englewood, CO
7/18 House of Blues Dallas, TX
7/19 House of Blues Houston, TX
7/22 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
8/8 Lollapalooza Chicago, IL
8/9 Lollapalooza Chicago, IL
8/14 Chevrolet Theatre Wallingford, CT
8/15 House of Blues Boston, MA
8/16 Capital one Theatre Westbury,NY
8/29 The Fillmore New York, NY
matchbox twenty lead singer sets dates for second solo tour
The matchbox twenty lead singer will be accompanied by opening acts One Republic and Carolina Liar on the theater tour. Venues have yet to be announced other than the Sept. 23 opener at the Hard Rock Café in Hollywood, Fla., and tour closer, Nov. 12 at New York's Beacon Theater (in a multi-night run).
Tour cities and dates are:
9/23 Hollywood, FL
9/25 Orlando, FL
9/26 Clearwater, FL
9/28 Raleigh, NC
9/29 Charlotte, SC
9/30 Atlanta, GA
10/4 Houston, TX
10/5 Grand Prairie, TX
10/7 Oklahoma City, OK
10/9 Council Bluffs, IA
10/10 Milwaukee, WI
10/11 St Paul, MN
10/14 Vancouver, BC
10/15 Seattle, WA
10/17 Reno, NV
10/18 San Francisco, CA
10/20 Los Angeles, CA
10/21 San Diego, CA
10/23 Temecula, CA
10/24 Las Vegas, NV
10/25 Tucson, AZ
10/27 Denver, CO
10/29 Kansas City, KS
10/30 Hammond, IN
10/31 St Louis, MO
11/2 Detroit, MI
11/4 Toronto, ONT
11/6 Atlantic City, NJ
11/7 Uncasville, CT
11/9 Boston, MA
11/10 Washington, DC
11/12 & 13 New York, NY
Did he pull off songs from 'Secret, Profane & Sugarcane?'
Elvis Costello's new album, "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane," which came out two weeks ago, was his highest debuting album in 30 years. The set, somewhat oddly, combines bluegrass tunes with a number of songs commissioned by the Royal Danish Opera about Hans Christian Anderson, and isn't likely to make it onto any Costello fan's list of the singer/songwriter's best efforts. However, it still proved to be wonderful fodder for his free concert Monday night at the Amoeba record store in Los Angeles.
Appearing in his second concert of the day--he started Monday with a similar show at Amoeba's San Francisco store--Costello delighted several hundred fans snaked inbetween the CD racks with a 10-song set, the vast majority of which was composed of the bluegrass portion of "Secret, Profane & Sugarcane."
By sporting a purple fedora, pink tie and sunglasses, Costello resembled Huggy Bear from "Starsky and Hutch" more than a bluegrass musician, but from the first note, there was no mistaking his love and understanding of the genre.
Costello opened with "Complicated Shadows," an often menacing sounding slab about misplaced justice. Accompanied by Jim Lauderdale on acoustic guitar and Mike Compton on mandolin, both of whom appear on the CD, Costello and co. created an unbelievably full, robust sound between the three musicians.
Costello was an amiable host, often telling short stories between songs. He introduced the jaunty "Crooked Line," co-written with the album's producer, T Bone Burnett, as "the only love song where I didn't leave myself and escape hatch in the third verse."
A highlight was the rollicking "Sulphur to Sugarcane," about "a reprehensible character, who goes around the country who has his hand where it shouldn't be," whether that be reaching for your wallet or on your "backside." The amusing song, which name checks cities and states across the U.S., sounded straight out of Randy Newman's canon, complete with a ragtime feel. Costello may be British, but with his encyclopedic musical knowledge and immense talent, he does true Americana better than almost anyone born on these shores.
Not every song worked well. While it's obviously impossible to disagree with the anti-slavery message of "Red Cotton," the tune ultimately sinks under its own heavy-handedness.
As if the songs from "Secret" weren't new enough to the audience (they aren't necessarily new to Costello, having been written over a period of the years), two of the performed tunes were brand new, according to Costello and yet to be recorded. The first, "Condemned Man," was a sinister, compelling tale about a convict's final days that had the high drama of a spaghetti western. The second, set closer "Five Small Words" was a clever, up-tempo number about deception that had the audience clapping along, especially as Costello seamlessly segued into Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away." Then, with a tip of his purple hat, he was gone.
Pete Yorn, Regina Spektor, Mars Volta, Gossip, Deer Tick lead the field
New Releases the week of June 23
Deer Tick, "Born on Flag Day" (Partisan Records): Second release from indie faves features three new players helping realize primary songwriter John McCauley III's vision of stirring rock that blends with country and definitely pays homage to Dylan, but is always heartfelt.
Dinosaur Jr., "Farm" (Jagjaguwar). Indie noisemeisters celebrate 25 years (with some extended downtime) of making music with "Farm." It's the band's fifth album with the original line-up led by J. Mascis. Ah...fuzzy guitars layered over often tasty melodies. Some things never change. Thankfully.
Ginuwine, "A Man's Thoughts" (13Star Records) R&B singer and former Jodeci member really hit his solo stride in the mid-to-late '90s with "Ginuwine...the Bachelor" and "100% Genuine." He returns with his sixth solo record that includes contributions from several well-known names such Missy Elliott, Brandy, Polow Da Don, Timbaland, Johnta Austin and the Underdogs.
Gossip, "Music for Men" (Columbia): The CD doesn't come out until October, but all digital outlets will sell "Music For Men" starting Tuesday. Led by first single, "Heavy Cross," "Music for Men" should continue to critical hosannhas for Northwest post-punk/dance trio led by Beth Ditto. Much more popular in the U.K. than at home, Gossip makes a bid for mainstream U.S. acceptance by pairing with producer Rick Rubin for "Men."
Patterson Hood, "Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs)" (Ruth Street Records). Second solo album from former Drive By Truckers singer travels the same road: rough and ready, often intense, solid rock and roll with tinges of country thrown in. Several members of DBT drop by as does Hood's dad, Muscle Shoals bass player David Hood.
The Lemonheads, "Varshons" (The End Records) Evan Dando and Co. returns with a strange collection of slightly obscure cover songs that you've most likely never heard of from the likes of GG Allin, Townes Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen. Liv Tyler and Kate Moss drop by to show that models can make the perfect accessory as a background singer.
The Mars Volta, "Octahedron" (Warner Bros.). Adventurous prog-rock influenced band releases fifth album, fresh off its Grammy win for best hard rock performance for "Wax Simulacra." By turns trippy and then punk, The Mars Volta are always thought-provoking. First single is "Since We've Been Wrong."
Regina Spektor, "Far" (Sire): Quirky female singer with gorgeous voice known for both her precise pronunciation and piano playing comes back strong with her latest release. It's hard to imagine three more diverse producers than Mike Elizondo, Jeff Lynne and Jackknife Lee, all of whom worked on "Far." First single, "Laughing With," is an interesting take on God and what makes him laugh.
Tortoise, "Beacons of Ancestorship" (Thrill Jockey). Lo-fi shoegazers return with first album of new material in more than five years. The group, lead by percussionist John McEntire, blends trance, rock, jazz and dance on its sixth release.
Pete Yorn, "Back and Fourth" (Columbia): After an iTunes-only release last week, Yorn's first album in three years arrives for all to buy on Tuesday. Yorn is calling the album his most "personal" collection, highly influenced by his time spent in Omaha recording with producer Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley). Fresh off opening for Coldplay, the singer/songwriter is on his own headlining tour now. For Yorn fans, there's more coming: he'll release his album of duets with Scarlett Johansson in September.
Indie band also appears on MTV's 'Unplugged' in July
The Silversun Pickups, who became one of the few indie bands to hit No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Songs chart last month with "Panic Switch," has added a slew of U.S. tour dates for August. Opening the shows will be the Manchester Orchestra and Cage the Elephant.
Additionally, the Pickups' "Unplugged" taping will begin airing on MTV.com in July.
Additional tour dates are:
August 2 - Jersey City, N.J. @ All Points West
August 3 - Baltimore, Md. @ Ram's Head
August 4 - Richmond, Va. @ The National
August 6 - Columbus, Ohio @ The LC Pavilion
August 7 - Lakewood, Ohio @ Lakewood Civic Auditorium *
August 9 - Chicago, Ill. @ Lollapalooza
August 10 - Minneapolis, Minn. @ State Theatre
August 12 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Garrick Centre
August 13 - Saskatoon, SK @ Louis' Pub
August 14 - Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Event Centre
August 15 - Calgary, AB @ MacEwan Hall
August 17 - Victoria, BC @ The Royal Theatre
August 18 - Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore Ballroom
August 19 - Vancouver, BC @ The Commodore Ballroom
August 21 - Eugene, Ore. @ McDonald Theatre
August 22 - Hillsboro, Ore. @ Washington County Fairground
August 28 - San Francisco, Calif. @ Outside Lands Festival
August 29 - San Diego, Calif. @ San Diego Street Scene
15th annual fest takes over New Orleans July 3-5
As they have every year since its inception, Frankie Beverly & Maze will close the festival.
The festival, which drew more than 270,000 attendees last year, takes place July 3-5 in New Orleans at the Superdome, with more than 100 acts featured on four different stages.