<p>Toby Keth's new album</p>

Toby Keth's new album

Does Kenny Chesney keep Toby Keith out of the top spot on the Billboard 200?

Eminem hangs in there in the top 5

Kenny Chesney is poised to spend a second week at No. 1  on the Billboard 200 next week as “Hemingway’s Whiskey” will sell around 80,000 copies. That’s enough to keep fellow country superstar Toby Keith and his latest, “Bullets in the Gun,”  from reaching the summit. That title will shift around 70,000 units, according to Hits Daily Double.

In addition to Keith, two other sets will bow in the Top 10: Bruno Mars’ “Doo Wops and Hooligans” will come in at No. 4, right below Eminem’s “Recovery” (although as of Friday, Mars is in a dead heat with Zac Brown Band, so he may come in at No. 5).

Rapper and Gucci Mane compadre Waka Flocka Flame will bow at No. 7, nestled between Linkin Park and Katy Perry, with “Flockaveli,” our favorite title of the week.

Debuting within the top 15 will be rapper Faith Evans’ first album in five years, “Something About Faith.”  http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/home/home.cgi

<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Music Power Rankings: Lady Gaga and 'Glee' battle for No. 1

Kenny Chesney and Nas make their first appearances on the list

It feels a bit like we’re in topsy-turvy land in the music industry this week as the “Glee” cast surpasses the Beatles for charting the most songs on the Billboard 100 by a non-solo act and Lady Gaga lands in the Top 10 of Forbes’ list of most powerful women alongside Michele Obama and ahead of Supreme Court justices. In a year when ticket sales take a nose dive, England’s Glastonbury Festival manages to sell 140,000 ducats without announcing a single participating act.

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<p>The album art for Lee Dewyze's &quot;Live it Up&quot;</p>

The album art for Lee Dewyze's "Live it Up"

Sneak Peek: 'American Idol' champ Lee DeWyze's new album

How does 'Live It Up' sound?

Hitfix got a sneak peak at four songs from “American Idol” season 9 winner Lee DeWyze’s  forthcoming album today and we couldn’t wait to share it with you. “Live It Up” will come out Nov. 16, but first single, the title track, will hit radio on Oct. 13.

Here are the four songs we heard:

“Live It Up” (Written by Lee DeWyze, Toby Gad, Lindy Robbins; Produced by Toby Gad): The first single is a positive, mid-tempo tune about making the most of the time that you have. DeWyze’s raspy vocals work well here; he’s got a little bit of a John Mayer-thing going on.  We’re not sure we would have picked it as a first single, but conventional wisdom is you never release your strongest single first and this tune will be a good bridge from his “Idol” to his post-”Idol” career.

“Beautiful Like You” (written by Thomas "Tawgs" Salter & Andy Stochansky, produced by Chris DeStefano):  This mid-tempo love song opens with a solo piano and builds. There’s a certain wistfulness to the lyrics as he is waiting for his love to come around. DeWyze sounds more confident here than he ever did on “American Idol.”

“Me & My Jealousy” (written by DeWyze, John Shanks, Zac Maloy, produced by Shanks): A nice shift from the previous two tracks, “Jealousy” is a fast-paced, dynamic tune that starts with a synthesizer and builds to a full-bodied production, complete with strings. The cascading chorus gallops along and DeWyze’s spirited vocals show off some considerable chops.

 “Dear Isabelle” (written by DeWyze, Gad, Robbins, produced by Gad). If you liked the Plain White T’s’ “Hey There Delilah,” you’ll love “Dear Isabelle.”  The loping, acoustic guitar intros a bittersweet tale about losing a love because of your own doing.

"Live it Up" comes out on Nov. 16.  Will you buy it?

<p>Aaron Johnson discusses playing John Lennon in &quot;Nowhere Boy.&quot;</p>

Aaron Johnson discusses playing John Lennon in "Nowhere Boy."

Watch: Aaron Johnson talks about becoming John Lennon in 'Nowhere Boy'

Does he have any aspirations to become a musician himself?

Oct. 9 marks what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. There are a number of tributes and reissues planned, but perhaps the most insightful is “Nowhere Boy,” a British film that examines two extremely pivotal years in the future Beatle’s life.

In the movie, helmed by first-time director Sam Taylor-Wood, we see Lennon from the ages of 15 to 17. At the start of the film, he is living in Liverpool with his aunt, Mimi, and uncle, George, who have raised him since the age of 5. A tragic event reunites him with his mother, Julia. She is the exact opposite of her sister, the strict, stoic Julia.  She is a flighty dreamer who teaches a young Lennon how to play banjo, which leads him to guitar, which leads him to start the Quarryman, which leads him to Paul McCartney. You get the idea.

Aaron Johnson, best known stateside for his role in “Kick-Ass,” does a remarkable job as a young Lennon. He nails his accent and mannerisms, but artfully dodges the line between portrayal and imitation.  The movie is a must-see for Beatles fans.  

Check out my interview with Johnson, Taylor-Wood and a clip from the film embedded below.

"Nowhere Boy" is now playing in limited release.

<p>Lee DeWyze</p>

Lee DeWyze

Credit: FOX

'American Idol' winner Lee DeWyze sets name, release date for his new album

First single premieres on Oct. 13

American Idol” season 9 winner Lee DeWyze will release his 19/RCA debut, “Live It Up,” on Nov. 16.

First single, the title track, will debut on “On Air with Ryan Seacrest on Oct. 13.

DeWyze worked with such writers/ producers as John Shanks, Toby Gad and Espionage on the set, much of which he co-wrote while on the road during this summer’s “American Idol” tour.

Putting out an album on a major label is truly a dream come true,” said 24-year-old DeWyze, in a statement. “I’m excited for all the people who supported me throughout Idol to hear what I can do with my own songs. The album shows a whole different side of me and I’m so proud of it.”

DeWyze has previously labeled his brand of music “chill rock,” based, in part, on his influences. “I grew up listening to Simon & Garfunkel, The Mamas & the Papas, Cat Stevens, and Kris Kristofferson,” DeWyze says. “I love hard-edged vocals over pretty melodies — that’s what I’m about. I really admire guys like Dave Matthews and Ray LaMontagne, and to now be on the same record label as them — it just blows my mind.”

Hitfix is getting a sneak listen to DeWyze’s album on Friday, so we’ll post what we think.
 

<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Lady Gaga comes in at No. 7 on Forbes' Most Powerful Women list

Where do Beyonce and Madonna come in?

In case we needed any further proof that it’s Lady Gaga’s world and we just live in it, the singer just landed at No. 7 on Forbes’ list of the 2010 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. We’re sure Michele Obama and Hilary Clinton -- both of whom somehow, miraculously, came in ahead of Lady Gaga -- are breathing a sigh of relief. Nancy Pelosi and Sarah Palin, who come in behind LG, not so much. Beyonce also makes the Top 10, skirting in at No. 9.

Madonna, who comes in at No. 29, is the only other music artist on the list. The overall list was compiled by slotting women into particular categories, such as politics, business, media and the odd designation of “lifestyle,” into which Lady Gaga falls. The lists were then merged to come up with a master list.

Lady Gaga is also, at 24, the youngest woman on the list. To see a complete list, click here.

<p>Bruno Mars sees you</p>

Bruno Mars sees you

Credit: AP Photo

Bruno Mars makes it three in a row on the Hot 100

Will Far*East Movement move him out of the top spot?

Bruno Mars makes it three in a row as “Just the Way You Are” stays atop the Billboard Hot 100 for another week.  His debut album, “Doo Wops & Hooligans,” streeted on Tuesday and is poised to come in around No. 3.

Gaining fast on Mars is Far*East Movement’s “Like a G6,” which flies 6-2. The song knocks “Just the Way You Are” out of the top spot on the Hot Digital Songs chart and increased radio play earns it the Airplay Gainer tag.

As we already wrote here, in many ways this week’s chart belongs to “Glee.”  This is the week in music history when the “Glee” cast earns the dubious distinction of surpassing the Beatles for the non-solo act with the most songs on the Hot 100. “Glee” has six songs on this week’s chart, ratcheting its overall tally up to 75, which tops the Beatles’ 71.

Also benefiting from “Glee” is Paramore, whose song “The Only Exception” was performed on the Sept. 28 episode. The “Glee” version debuts at No. 26 on the Hot 100, while the original leaps 57-25 on the Digital Songs chart.

Were it not for “Glee’s” six debuts on the Hot 100, Lil Wayne would be the leader this week as four tunes from “I Am Not a Human Being” bow this week. None can match the No. 2 bow for the album on the Billboard 200, but the unappetizingly-titled “Gonorrhea” hits No. 17 on the Hot 100.  A round of applause to Lil Wayne and a dose of penicillin.

It’s way to early to call it any kind of comeback for alternative rock-- which is generally missing from the upper reaches of the Hot 100 lately--but Neon Tree’s “Animal” hits No. 20 on Hot 100. According to Billboard, this makes it the first song to do so since Linkin Park’s “New Divide” in June 2009.

<p>&quot;Glee&quot;</p>

"Glee"

Credit: FOX

'Glee' cast surpasses the Beatles for most songs on the Billboard Hot 100

Guess who they're gunning for next

This week, the cast of “Glee” surpasses the Beatles for the most songs on Billboard Hot 100 by a non-solo act. Let’s let that take a minute to sink in. “Glee,” which is a TV show with fictional characters, has just topped the Fab Four, the most exalted act in pop music history.

The “Glee” cast debuts six new songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 that comes out Thursday (the chart date is 10/16, for chart watchers) giving the cast a total of 75 entries on the Hot 100. That tops the Beatles’ 71. Not only does “Glee” move ahead (and will continue to move ahead decisively), it only took “Glee” about 16 months or so what it took the Beatles 32 years to accomplish.

Of course, “Glee’s” format is structured so that multiple songs are available  on iTunes immediately following an episode and the digital sales are what drive the songs up the chart, so it’s a little like comparing tennis players who played with wood rackets  to ones who play with graphite. The mechanisms to deliver and purchase music have changed drastically as to make such comparisons not really valid. That’s not to take anything away from the phenomenon of “Glee,” of course.

“Glee” owes a big shout out to Britney Spears because five of the six songs that bow on this week’s chart--and enable “Glee” to topple the Beatles-- are Spears’ remakes, following the Britney-themed Sept. 28 episode. The other charting tune?  a cover of Paramore’s “The Only Exception.”

Still ahead of “Glee” are Elvis Presley, the all-time leader with 108 charted tunes, and James Brown with 91.

<p>Pink's &quot;Raise Your Glass&quot;</p>

Pink's "Raise Your Glass"

Listen: Pink's new single 'Raise Your Glass'

What song does it remind you of?

Why does everything sound like me to Katy Perry these days?  Pink’s new “Raise Your Glass,” one of two new cuts on her forthcoming greatest hits, echoes the bouncy chorus of “California Gurls.”

With impossibly stupid lyrics like “What’s the dealio” and Don’t be fancy/Just get dancy” and “Don’t be fizzy/just get dizzy” and “If you’re too school for cool” (no, we didn’t mistype that), “Raise Your Glass”  may feature some of the worst lyrics we’ve ever heard... and we know that’s saying a lot.

Guess what. We don’t care.

All my criticisms aside, it’s nearly impossible to hear the song and not want to pogo around your apartment, dorm room or office. So we’re forgetting about the verses (which is scary easy, as it turns out) and just focusing on the chorus...and trying to figure out how to type as we dance and raise our glass.

Produced by long-time Pink collaborator Max Martin and co-written by Pink (I’m not so sure I’d be proud of that),  the song stands in the Party Pink vein of such songs as “Get the Party Started” and “So What” as opposed to her more serious side, exhibited in such songs as “Sober” or “Don’t Let Me Get Me.” Move over Ke$ha. Your 15 minutes are up. Pink is back to grab the tacky title.

Listen for yourself here, you dirty little freaks (Pink's words, not ours)  and let us know what you think. Other than wishing it were Friday already and you were somewhere dancing to this.

 

<p>KT Tunstall</p>

KT Tunstall

Credit: EMI

Interview: KT Tunstall talks about her new album 'Tiger Suit'

... And why we'll never see her writhing around like a 'She Wolf'

Some people ask WWJD--What Would Jesus Do-- as a guide to their actions. KT Tunstall has WWPSD and WWCHD? That would be What Would Patti Smith Do and What Would Chrissie Hynde Do?

The rock legends represent her tent poles as to how the Scottish singer/songwriter wants to guide her own career. And it’s serving her just fine so far,TYVM (thank you very much).

Tunstall’s  third album, “Tiger Suit,” come out on Virgin Records today and it’s a Tigger-sized bounce forward for the artist. She combines her largely acoustic instrumentation with dance and electronic textures for a sound she calls “nature techno.” Works for us. Read our review here.

The mainly upbeat album is fronted by first single, “Fade Like a Shadow,” a bouncy uplifting track about a sad subject matter---moving on from a love. It is easily as catchy as her previous hits “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Suddenly I See.”

The album title comes from a recurring dream that Tunstall had as a child where she would go outside and fearlessly play with a tiger in her yard. She realized that maybe she was a tiger too. Putting on her “Tiger Suit,” now, as Tunstall puts it, is “about the cojones” to do what you believe.  It also described the “metaphorical suit” she puts on stage.

As she grew more successful--her debut album, “Eye to the Telescope,” sold 1.3 million in the U.S.-- Tunstall realized she was wearing the suit all the time, even when she needed to be vulnerable, such as when she was writing. “My psychologist friend calls it ‘zippering up your aura.’ It means you’re not letting anyone damage you, but you’re also not letting too much of yourself let go,” even when you need too. Now, she’s learned to take off her aura and tiger suit and strip herself bare when she’s writing. “That’s done at home with a cardigan with a shot of whiskey,” she says. “I go way Hemingway when I write.”

For “Tiger Suit,” she unzipped herself and wrote songs that had her “fired up,” when it came time to get back into the studio. She also paired with such writers as Linda Perry, best known for her work with Christina Aguilera and Pink, and Greg Kurstin, who was Grammy nominated for his work with Lily Allen. She also worked with past collaborators Martin Terefe and Jimmy Hogarth. “Most of the singles you’ve had in the U.S. are all songs I’ve written on my own,” she says. “I’m very proud of that, but at the same time, I’ve realized the richness of writing with someone else. It really takes you to places you’d never go on your own.”

One place Tunstall will never go--on her own or with others-- is to prance around scantily clad like many other female artists. in fact, Tunstall recently found herself embroiled in a mini-scandal when she told Britain’s Daily Record that Shakira’s explicit, sexual video for “She Wolf,” “shocked me and I am not easily shocked...It is shocking, but it seems they need to shock to get attention.”

She plays down the riff a few months later, as she talks to Hitfix. She says she’s never been pushed by her label to sex up her image like it seems so many current female artists are.  “I think they know better than to bother trying,” she says. “They knew what they were getting when they signed me. I was 27 when I was signed. I was less malleable.”
Tunstall followed up “Eye of the Telescope” with 2007’s “Drastic Fantastic,” which failed so capture as large an audience. But Tunstall doesn’t measure her success by album sales. In a statement sure to make her label blanch, she says, “If I never sold another record, but could still play gigs, I’d be happy.”

She goes one step further: “If someone said to me you can make music and record music for as long as you want, but never be able to play music for people again, I don’t know if I’d do it...A song isn’t finished for me until I share it.”