<p>Rivers Cuomo</p>

Rivers Cuomo

Credit: AP

Watch: B.o.B. and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo create some 'Magic'

Someone needs a louder alarm clock

Everything B.o.B. touches turns to gold--or at least a hit.  He ‘s landed his third 10 hit with “Magic” featuring Weezer’s  Rivers Cuomo and it’s a quirky enough pairing that it works perfectly.

In the video, Cuomo mainly shows up to perform with B.o.B. to perform at their house party, though he has a quick cameo later on.

However, there are few shenanigans going on at the party, including the trippy part where B.o.B. comes across himself sleeping, very soundly,  as the party rages on.  It’s a little creepy, quite frankly.  However, we like it better than the video for “Airplanes,” which, nice as it is, is, shouldn't be nominated for video of the year for the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards.

We’re rather focus on the B.o.B.’s rapping, which is incredibly engaging on “Magic.” In less than a year, he’s really started to create a career that’s highlights different facets of his rapping talents and, through his pairings with Cuomo, Paramore’s Hayley Williams (on “Airplanes”)  and Bruno Mars (on”Nothin’ On You), shows he’s declaring attempting to pigeonhole him is off-limits from the start.

Tell us what you think.


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It's been a good year for Eminem all around hasn't it?

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Eminem wins royalties case on appeal against UMG

Appeals court overturns 2009 district court decision

Eminem has won his lawsuit against Aftermath/Universal Music Group on appeal. On Friday, a U.S. Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Calif. ruled that UMG owed the rapper royalties from iTunes downloads and ringtones.

The decision overturned a March 2009 jury trial that ruled in favor of Aftermath and UMG, according to The Wrap.

At question was if royalty rate agreed upon under the term “masters licensed” also applied to downloads and master ringtones as it did to records sold, per the contract. Last March, the court ruled that it did not. On Friday,  the Appeals Court ruled with Eminem, writing, “ On appeal, F.B.T. reasserts that the Masters Licensed provision unambiguously applies to permanent downloads and master-tones. We agree that the contracts are unambiguous and that the district court should have granted summary judgment to F.B.T. We therefore reverse the judgment and vacate the district court’s orders awarding Aftermath its attorneys’ fees.” (The attorneys’ fees were $2.4 million, according to court papers.)

F.B.T. is the company that originally signed Eminem in 1995, before transferring those services to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath, which became part of UMG.

The Wrap also posted the court decision, which we’ve tried to chunnel through, but the upshot is that the district court believed there was sufficient evidence to consider the wording in the contract to be ambiguous when it came to royalties paid for downloads vs. records sold. The Appeals Count found the F.B.T.’s definitions used in the contract “broad,” but not ambiguous.

The papers only reverse the district court decision and do not say how much F.B.T. is owed in royalties, although The Wrap reports that F.B.T. won close to $160,000 from UMG in a separate claim over the accounting errors by the UMG.

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Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Eminem and Jay-Z's concert brings down Comerica Stadium

Read what the reviewers have to say about their opening night

Most reviewers didn’t like the one-two punch provided by Eminem and  Jay-Z’s opening night of a four-date tour Sept. 2, they loved it. The rap titans are playing two shows at Detroit’s Comerica Stadium before taking their road show to New York’s Yankee Stadium.

“You wanted history? They gave you history,” wrote Detroit News pop music writer Adam Graham. The pair, who did not perform together, were joined by a number of other artists, including Drake, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Dr. Dre.

Near the end of his set, an emotional Eminem nearly teared up while introducing ‘Not Afraid,’ Graham continued. “He dedicated the song to fans who stuck with him through years of career turbulence, and dedicated the song to his hometown. He closed the show with "Lose Yourself," toying with his live band during the extended outro before a flurry of fireworks marked the close of the show.

The love from the crowd was not lost on Jay, and he gave it right back at the end of his 82-minute set. "I wanna say I had an incredible time with y'all tonight, this is one of the best experiences of my entire life," he said. He closed with "Encore" and raised his arms in victory as he walked off the stage.

Billboard’s Gary Graff writes that He also praised Jay-Z , for doing “his part to get the stadium shows off on a good foot with an energetic, aggressive and loud 80-plus minutes, during which he and his band throwed through more than 30 songs -- all without making the set feel crammed or rushed. Dressed all in black (of course) and sporting sunglasses (of course), Jay-Z came out swinging hard with an opening salvo of "Dynasty," "Run This Town," "Free Mason," "On to the Next One" and "D.O.A.," prowling the front of the centerfield stage as a large oval screen mixed live close-ups with video images.”

“Eminem set out to confront his past demons, put them to rest and claim a victorious and potent present,” Graff continued, “which he largely did during an exhaustive, guest-filled 100-minute performance at Detroit's Comerica Park that spanned his entire recording career with full or partial performances of 33 songs.”

MTV’s Sway and Shaheem Reid live blogged the show.  Sway wrote: “Wow the crowd explodes when Jay does "99 Problems." Detroit has one of the most diverse hip-hop demograpics in the country. People from age 11 to 55 are dancing on the field. Its a party in Motown!”

Sway later writes: Eminem is seriously making a case for the top slot in this year's Hottest MC's round table! This Forever verse sounds ridiculous! Em shouts out Drake, "this is history in the making," says Drake "make some noise for the legend Eminem!"

It will be interesting to see how the dynamic changes once the two-some hit Jay-Z’s home turf on Sept. 13-14 at Yankee Stadium.


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<p>Steve Jobs at Apple's Sept. 1 presentation</p>

Steve Jobs at Apple's Sept. 1 presentation

Credit: AP Photo

Music Power Rankings: Apple pings the competition

Katy Perry and Ke$ha also make the list, but why is Heart on there?

We know, we know. We’re tired of having Apple on the chart every week too, but its supremacy cannot be denied. This week it will try to do what other companies such as Microsoft (with Zune) could not: combine a music service with a social networking site. On Wednesday, Steven Jobs announced a whole bunch of stuff, but the primary focus was on Ping, the social networking site.

1. Apple (last week, No. 3): So Steve Jobs didn’t announce a Cloud service, but Ping, a new social network for use with iTunes 10, has folks buzzing about the marriage of music and social networking. Will Facebook, which Jobs says Apple discussed working with, be the 800 lb. gorilla or will the two co-exist?

2. Katy Perry (No. 6): “Teenage Dream” may sell less than some of us expected in its opening frame, but it’s good enough to come in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Plus, the title track looks like it will finally be the song to knock Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

3. Miranda Lambert (not ranked): Seven years ago, she was just a loser on “Nashville Star.” Now, she holds the record for the most CMA Award-nominations this year and the most ever by a women in the CMA’s 44 years.

4. Disturbed (not ranked): The heavy metal band is poised to make it four in the row as “Asylum” is on target to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week.  Nothing disturbing about that.

5. Sony (not ranked): Stealing a little thunder from Apple, Sony announced that it will launch a cloud-based music service by year’s end. Music Unlimited will bow via Sony hardware, including PlayStation3 consoles, Vaio computers and its Bravia TV and Blue-Ray players.

6. Heart (not ranked): As the “Damn Yankees” song goes, “You Gotta Have Heart.” For the first time in 16 years, Heart--Ann and Nancy Wilson-- return to Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart with “Hey You,” from its brand new album, “Red Velvet Car.” Not that anyone reading this is old enough to remember, but the band’s first AC appearance was in 1977 with “Dreamboat Annie.”

7. Zaptunes (not ranked): The new music service may be nothing more than a glorified search engine and it looks like its claims to offer Beatles’ music for download may be wildly premature, but it sure had everyone talking this week. You can’t buy that kind of publicity.

8. Ke$ha (not ranked):  Woo-hoo! The “Tik Tok” singer becomes only the 11th solo female in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to land four songs in the top 10 with her debut album as “Take It Off” jumps 16-10. We’re sure she’ll celebrate by throwing up in someone’s closet. (Trivia question: Who was the first solo female to place four songs in the Top 10 from her debut album?)

9. 50 Cent (not ranked): And on the seventh day, he rested: The rapper announced on Sept. 1 that he will be taking a break from Twitter to write his new album...but that he’d be back on Sept. 6. Looks like it really be a Labor Day for Fiddy. Before departing, he declared the album will be “a classic.”

10. B.o.B (not ranked): Nice work if you can get it: The rapper, who’s a shoo-in for a best new artist Grammy nomination, got the nod to open Jay-Z and Eminem’s sold-out concerts at Detroit’s Comerica Park, which started Sept. 2, and then the two dates at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Music Power Rankings appear every Friday.  What do you think of this week's list?

Previous  rankings:

Aug. 27




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<p>Guns N' Roses play in the U.S. in August</p>

Guns N' Roses play in the U.S. in August

Credit: AP Photo

Guns N' Roses tells crowd 'We Won't Rock You,' after pelted by bottles

Axl and the boys walk off stage after three songs in Dublin

Have Guns N’ Roses fans really not learned the drill yet? Could there be any Axl Rose fan left in the universe who truly expects the band to go on when it says it will? Well, apparently yes.

Last night at Dublin’s O2 Arena, the GN’R took the stage 70 minutes later than expected, which is probably just enough time for an already drunk crowd to turn mean. 

The band opened with “Welcome to the Jungle,” but was pelted by water bottles (see, there’s at least one reason they won’t give us bottles here in the U.S. and the beer is served in plastic cups). Rose told the crowd to stop it or they would quit playing. Or, as the below video says, “All right, here’s the deal: one more bottle, we go home. It’s up to you.”

Apparently, the crowd wanted the the group to go home because three songs later, that’s what Guns N’ Roses did, according to musicradar. Left the stage. Like Axl has done before. 

No word on if the venue is offering refunds, although we doubt it because, technically, the band did finish the show, going back on after another hour delay to a mainly empty venue (there are conflicting reports as to whether Rose ever returned to the stage). The promoter MCD and the venue issued a statement, according to the AP, taking Rose to task for coming on late, but added that "no artist should be subjected to missiles and unknown substances being thrown at them." Missiles? 

Listen, if Kings of  Leon walks off after three songs because of a little pigeon poop, we surely don’t expect GN’R to stick around with bottles flying.

Watch below: It's short, but you get the point.



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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

Lady GaGa picks Scissor Sisters as openers for 2011 tour dates

Will she ever come off the road?

If Lady GaGa continues to tour at the rate she is now, she’ll be playing every backyard and Bar Mitzvah by the time she is done. The relentless touring machine (and one of the few artists who seems totally immune to the horrible touring season) has selected Scissor Sisters as the opening act for her 2011 tour. Yes, we’re already thinking that far ahead.

The Scissor Sisters’ run starts with the Feb. 19 opening of GaGa’s 2011 North American leg, according to GaGadaily.com. We think Scissor Sisters are a great pairing with LG, follow in the footsteps of recent openings Semi Precious Weapons and Alphabeat.

Lady GaGa’s current world tour ends Dec. 17 on London. Then she and her little monsters take a two-month break before starting the whole thing over again. However, we’re hoping that by the time the new tour starts in February, we’ll have new music.


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<p>Chris Martin</p>

Chris Martin

Credit: Paul Sakuma/AP

Watch: Coldplay's Chris Martin unveils new song at Apple event

Does 'Wedding Bells' ring your chimes?

Coldplay’s Chris Martin unveiled a new song this morning at the Apple Event. Such is the power of Steven Jobs.

The tune, “Wedding Bells,” is an inexorably sad song about an ex getting married, even though her former boyfriend clings to the hope of reconciliation.“You keep on moving/but I stand stll/I always loved you and I always will,” Martin sings.

Martin, alone at the piano, announces that “it could all go terribly wrong,”  before launching into the song. All that goes wrong is he hits a few clams, but the song itself is lovely.

What do you think?


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<p>Green Day's Billie Joe Aremstrong</p>

Green Day's Billie Joe Aremstrong

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Green Day premieres new song, 'Cigarettes and Valentines,' in concert

Look for it on a forthcoming live album

Only four years after Green Day’s live album, “Bullet in a Bible,” it looks like the punk pop trio is ready to release a new concert album.

The group premiered a new song, “Cigarettes and Valentines,” during a tour stop in Denver, according to punknews,  and added that they were recording a new live album.... or "live fucking album," as Billie Joe Armstrong declared.

“Cigarettes” was allegedly on Green Day’s lost--or should we say, stolen--album. As the well-known story goes, the master tapes for the follow-up to the band’s 2000 album, “Warning,” were nabbed. This was on of the songs supposedly on there. Instead of re-recording, the band wrote “American Idiot” instead. We never condone stealing of any kind, but thank you, thieves!

Check out the new song for yourself below.


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Katy Perry on the Today Show

Katy Perry performs on the 'Today' show last month in New York City.

Credit: AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

Katy Perry tops the Billboard 200 -- How low does Eminem go?

Fantasia, Usher and Little Big Town also score big

Katy Perry dislodges Eminem from the top spot on the Billboard 200 as her sophomore album, “Teenage Dream,” debuts with sales of 192,000.

Perry’s first album, 2008’s “One of the Boys,” peaked at No. 9. Perry is the first solo female to hit No. 1 since Ke$ha did so with “Animal” in January, according to Billboard.biz.  The number seems low, given the amount of excitement surrounded the album. However, she has sold more than 3 million downloads of first single, "California Gurls" and second single "Teenage Dream," which is the top digital download of the week. We are, as we have written about in the past, seeing the continuing transition from album sales to single sales, and it's important to bear in mind that, as the New York Times wrote about this week, album sales are no longer the only meaningful barometer of a project's success.

It’s a pair of ladies at the top with former “American Idol” winner Fantasia snaring the runner up position. Her set, “Back to Me,” sold 117,000, which is enough to land it at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
Eminem slides to No. 3 with sales of 98,000, which, remarkably, is the first time “Recovery” has slipped below the 100,000 mark since its release in June.

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift performs in Kennebunkport, Maine, Friday.  After today's nods were announced, she likely won't be performing at the CMAs.

Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Miranda Lambert leads all CMA nominations -- How did Taylor Swift fare?

Other top nominees? Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band

Miranda Lambert leads the list of artists nominated for the Country Music Association Awards with nine nods, the most for a female artist in the ceremony’s 44 years.

The most awards she can go home with will be seven since she’s competing with herself in two categories.

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