<p>Eminem's 'Recovery'</p>

Eminem's 'Recovery'

Eminem's 'Recovery' helps heal an ailing music industry and a lock as No. 1

Album is on track to sell as much as 750,000 next week

Could Eminem’s “Recovery” signal a recovery for the music industry as well?  The rapper’s new album, which came out June 21, is now expected to sell as many as 750,000 copies in its opening frame and is a lock to come in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It will be the highest tally since AC/DC’s ‘Black Ice” in 2008.

Estimates are soaring higher every day. Earlier this week, it looked like Em would hit the 600,000 mark, but by Friday afternoon indications were that it could soar even higher, according to Hits Daily Double.

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<p>Norah Jones is one of the slated artists on the Lilith Fair tour</p>

Norah Jones is one of the slated artists on the Lilith Fair tour

Lilith cancels some dates on eve of tour's kick-off

Amid brutal touring summer, femme fest slashes some August shows

The summer touring season just got even worse. After admitting to weak sales in some markets, it looks like the reincarnated Lilith tour is now beginning to cancel some dates.

Although Lilith representatives have yet to confirm the cancellations, Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper is reporting cancellations due to poor ticket sales.

Additionally, Norah Jones’ manager told the newspaper that the dates the singer was slated to appear on, Aug. 10-16 in Florida, Alabama and Texas, had been canceled, although they still remain on the Lilith website and Lilith co-founder Terry McBride would not confirm the cancellations to the newspaper, but did not deny that they could happen.  Dates in Phoenix and Nashville had previously been pulled; the Arizona show was yanked in protest to Arizona’s new immigration policy. A number of shows in Canada were downsized to smaller venues.

In its first run since 1999, Lilith kicks off Sunday night in Calgary, Alberta. Co-founder Sarah McLachlan will play all dates. Other artists on the slate include Sheryl Crow, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Emmylou Harris,  Courtyard Hounds, Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, the Gossip and many more. See the line-up at www.lilithfair.com


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Michael Jackson

A year after his death, Michael Jackson is bigger than ever and no. 1 on the music power rankings chart.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Music Power Rankings: Death becomes Jacko

Eminem's 'Recovery' and Tim McGraw's 'Rising' also make the list

Was there really any doubt?  Of course, the King of Pop has to be tops on this week’s Music Power Rankings. Friday marks the one-year anniversary of his death and, in many ways, he’s never been more popular.  Since last June 25, his estate has earned anywhere between $200 million and $1 billion, depending upon varying press reports, and concert film, “This is It,” helped rehab his tarnished image, especially in the U.S., and put the public’s  focus squarely back on his talent, as opposed to his personality quirks (to put it nicely).

1.  Michael Jackson (not ranked last week): The sales, respect and success that had eluded him for the last decade or so returns for the saddest of reasons and proves, tragically, that death is a good career move.

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<p>The actual Lady Gaga</p>

The actual Lady Gaga

Credit: AP

Watch: Spoof of Lady GaGa's 'Alejandro'

'Old Lady GaGa' version has it all over the original. And Fixodent too!

Lady GaGa can get a glimpse of what she’s going to look like 50 years from now and we need to warn her: it ain’t pretty, but it sure is hilarious.

This spoof of her “Alejandro” video is far more entertaining than the original, plus, Fixodent gets outrageous product placement.

Playing  “Old Lady GaGa” is Broadway actress  Jackie Hoffman, who’s illustrious resume includes “Hairspray” and “The Addams Family.”  The clip is part of “The Battery’s Down,” an on-line  series featuring Broadway stars.

Thanks to Idolator for turning us on to this.




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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP

Listen: New Lady Gaga tune, 'Changing Skies'

Is she taking us into a new great blue yonder?

Is it possible? A new Lady GaGa track has leaked and it features Miss G straight out singing along to a cool, military –precision-drum beat. We found the track on Idolator. Hear it here.

Vulture questions if that is T.I. rapping in the background.  We don’t know who it is, but it doesn’t matter. Quite frankly, it just distracts from the track.

Is “Changing Skies”  Lady G’s message to us that she’s changing it up on her forthcoming third album?  It’s definitely a move away from tunes like “Bad Romance,” which had about six different moving parts, and is more of a traditional song structure. And it is light years better than “Alejandro,”  GaGa’s most unremarkable song to date.  There’s nothing particularly  “Lady GaGa” about it,  but maybe that’s her way of  keeping us on our toes.  After a few repeat listens, it’s almost Disney Channel material—other than the very cool, trippy fade-out. Do we think that’s what she’s going for?  Maybe what makes it so shocking is that there’s nothing in it that’s shocking? How Lady GaGa of her…

What do you think?

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<p>Kenny Chesney</p>

Kenny Chesney

Kenny Chesney sets release date for 'Hemingway's Whiskey'

Country superstar turns doc maker on football film

Kenny Chesney will release “Hemingway’s Whiskey,” his first new studio album since 2008’s “Lucky Old Sun,” Sept. 28.

Chesney took the year off from his usual summer stadium tour (and the industry certainly could have used him this year), but he’s hardly been idle. In the last few months, his 3D movie “Kenny Chesney: Summer in 3D” came out, plus he’s putting the finishing touches on “Boys of Fall,” his documentary about high school football. Hey, why should Ice Cube corner the market on music stars producing docs about football?  Maybe “Boys of Fall,” which Chesney is shopping for distribution now, can be bundled with this season’s DVD of “Friday Night Lights.”

Anyway,  “Hemingway’s Whiskey”  takes its title from a Guy Clark tune.   “When I heard the song, I knew it was the perfect title for the record,” Chesney says in a statement.. “I was sitting in my truck and a friend had given me Guy's album, which had just come out - and it's a song that talks about living life to its fullest, being a man about your responsibilities and not compromising. As soon as I heard it, I knew I had to cut it… and call the album that… because it says everything about the way you live your life, and what life can be if you refuse to buy into limits, which - as someone who's read all his books - is everything Hemingway's novels revolved around.”


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Where will Eminem's first SoCal concert in five years take place?

Kiss, B.o.B., Blink-182, Bush and Rise Against will also be there

Eminem, Kiss, Blink-182 and a reunited Bush will appear at Epicenter Twenty Ten, a two-day festival that takes place Sept. 25-26 at Fontana’s (Calif.) Auto Club Speedway (do we get a discount with our AAA card?)

This marks only the third announced date for Eminem, who will also perform with Jay-Z in September at Detroit’s Tiger Stadium and New York’s Yankee Stadium.  Eminem’s latest album, “Recovery,” came out yesterday and is selling quickly. Read Hitfix’s review here.  It is also Eminem’s first full concert in Southern California since 2005 and will be the first time Bush has played together in nearly 10 years. Additionally, it is Blink-182's only North American date this year, as well as Kiss and Rise Against's only California appearances in 2010.

Also appearing at the Fontana festival will be Rise Against, Thirty Seconds to Mars, B.o.B., Bad Religion, Papa Roach, Suicidal Tendencies and many more. Tickets go on sale June 26  and start at $79.50/day. Epicenter Twenty Ten is presented by Right Arm Entertainment, the same company that produces  Ohio’s Rock on the Range festival.

Eminem and Jay-Z appeared on the rooftop of the Ed Sullivan Theater yesterday as part of Jay-Z’s performance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”


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Listen: Maroon 5 pairs with Mutt Lange for new single 'Misery'

Listen: Maroon 5 pairs with Mutt Lange for new single 'Misery'

Should they now be called Maroon Leppard?

Move along, nothing to see here. Or hear here. “Misery,” the new single from Maroon 5’s  Sept. 21 album, “Hands All Over” pairs the popmeisters with uber-producer Mutt Lange. This combination should be made in heaven. To be sure, “Misery” sounds pristine and punchy, even coming out of computer speakers, but at this point in their career, Maroon 5 needs to mix it up a bit. We don’t expect them to break into a polka or anything like that, but “Misery” could have appeared on 2002’s “Songs About  Jane.”

Having said that, the track, about love’s woes (very familiar territory for Adam Levine and co.) is a bouncy, percussive, sparkly slice of pop that, if it had come out sooner, could have vied for one of the  songs of the summer.

Maybe our expectations were too high, but we wish Maroon 5 and Lange had really poured it on. We don’t want Maroon 5 to sound like Def Leppard (although we LOVE Def Leppard), but we would have hoped that Lange would have pushed Maroon5 a little more.  This sounds like a slight retread of “This Love.”  Admittedly, if you’re going to copy yourself, you could pick much worse tracks than that earworm.

The band recorded “Hands All Over,” the studio follow-up to 2007’s “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,” in Switzerland. Among the 15-track cuts is “Out of Goodbyes,” which features Lady Antebellum.

Maroon 5’s new tour starts July 30. The rotating line up of openers includes Owl City, Kris Allen, Guster, VV Brown and  Ry Cumming.

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Eminem and Miley Cyrus lead this week's releases

Tasty week also includes The Roots, Sia and the Chemical Bros.

It’s a wacky week in release land. After Miley Cyrus and Eminem decided to move their albums up to an off-cycle Monday release, instead of the usual Tuesday, virtually every act followed suit. Except for The Chemical Bros. and Sia, all of these albums are available now.

The big question is can either Eminem or Cyrus knock Drake out of the No. 1 spot next week? We say yes and we’re betting on Eminem to come in at No. 1 with sales of 500,000+plus. In fact, we’re going out on a limb and saying he’ll surpass Sade’s “Soldier of Love” for the biggest opening frame of this year. Don’t let us down, Slim Shady…

The Chemical Bros., “Further” (Freestyle Dust/Astralwerks): Those masters of the beats are back with their seventh studio album full of instrumentals and vocals handled largely by the duo’s Tom Rowlands.

Miley Cyrus, “Can’t Be Tamed” (Hollywood): Teen queen Cyrus is like a foal kicking at the barn door eager to show the world that Hannah Montana is all grown up.  Read review here.

Eminem, “Recovery” (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope): The follow up to last year’s ‘Relapse” already seems like a big winner, given such  tracks as “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie” feat. Rihanna.  Not that he’s ever gone away, but we sense a huge new chapter starting today for Marshall Mathers. Read Katie Hasty's review here.

Macy Gray, “The Sellout” (Concord): After finding herself without a label, double -Grammy winner with the spacey attitude and child-like, soaring voice returns with a stripped-down album that goes back to her roots. The album title is ironic get it? She debuts with Bobby Brown on one track.

Herbie Hancock, “The Imagine Project” (Hancock/RED):  Legendary jazz artist turns 70 this year and “The Imagine Project” is the opening salvo of the celebration. Artists such as Dave Matthews Band Seal, Pink, John Legend and many, many more join Hancock for this audio and video collection of all new recordings centered around peace and global responsibility.

Ozzy Osbourne, “Scream” (Epic): Heavy metal mad-man Osbourne is promoting this set, his 10th studio album, like a brand new artist.  First single “Let Me Hear Your Scream” is already a rock hit. Plus, Ozzy is headed on an 18-month worldwide tour (!!) starting Aug. 14.

Robert Randolph and the Family Band, “We Walk This Way” (Warner Bros.): One of best live acts around, Randolph and his band linked with T Bone Burnett for this tasty set of covers including Bob Dylan’s “Shot of Love” and Prince’s “Walk Don’t Walk.” Guests include Ben Harper and Leon Russell. Randolph is a steel guitar master who deserves superstardom. Help him out.

The Roots, “How I Got Over” (Def Jam):  Serving as the house band for Jimmy Fallon has done nothing to diminish this seminal outfit’s penchant for sharply-drawn, trenchant hip hop. Led by  ?uestlove and Black Tongue, more than a decade after its amazing “Things Fall Apart,” the Roots remain as vital a musical force as always. Guests include John Legend,  Joanna Newsom and Monster of Folk.

Sia, “We Are Born” (Monkey Puzzle/Jive): Sweet-voiced, quirky Australian singer/songwriter has been contributing to other folks’ records, like Christina Aguilera’s “Bionic,” so it’s nice to have her back where she belongs: helming her own project.  Check out the infectious “Clap Your Hands” as well as a cover of Madonna’s “Oh Father.”

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<p>Miley Cyrus</p>

Miley Cyrus

Credit: Adrien Veczan/AP

Review: Miley Cyrus can't be tamed on new album. But can she be blamed?

Will this album make us miss her while she goes away from music?

Has there been something missing in your life? If so, we suspect that it may have been hearing Miley Cyrus rap. Well, now your life is complete.

On “Liberty Walk,” the opening track from Cyrus’s new album, “Can’t Be Tamed,” she feels compelled to break into rap at least twice. We don’t know why, but we’ll give her this: she’s not that much worse of a rapper than Madonna on “Vogue.”  You don’t mind her doing it, you just can’t figure out for the life of you why she is.

So it goes with quite a few of the songs on “Can’t Be Tamed,” including the faux-rebellious, downright irritating title track, and her plodding, completely pointless remake of Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” which makes you yearn for the shallow depths of the original. She takes Ke$ha head on with “Permanent December.” The talky-singy style doesn’t suit her any better than it does Ke$ha, although, to her credit, she’s not throwing up in anyone’s closet. Ke$ha didn’t invent this style, but she 100% owns it, for better or worse, right now and Cyrus should have respected that.

Enough complaining. As Cyrus, herself, tells us in her little electronic slice of heaven, “Liberty Walk,” don’t listen “to the people who hate.”

Indeed, part of what makes “Can’t Be Tamed” so frustrating is that she has the makings of a really strong pop album, and even with its foibles, “Can’t Be Tamed” is a marked improvement over her previous solo albums.

She gets the mix decidedly right on “Two More Lonely People,” a throbbing, irresistible pop dance confection (with great acoustic guitar accents) that hits all the right notes. It’s Kylie Minogue crossed with Jefferson Starship.  Same with the lovely mid-tempo “Forgiveness and Love,” a gentle reminder that these are often the only things that matter. It’s a great message for her young fans. On penultimate track, “Robot,” she turns into Euro-dance diva. Then she ends strong with the Expose-like “My Heart Beats for Love”  (although what’s with the Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” echo-chamber drums?)

That’s the weird thing here. Oddly for someone not born until 1992, the production here is decidedly retro, circa mid- ‘80s, such as on the beat-heavy Stacey Q rip-off (yet strangely adorable) “Who Owns My Heart.”  Think heavy drums, lots of synths, layers upon layers of dense production. Let it breathe, dude!

As the title track none-too-subtly reminds us, Cyrus is on the verge of adulthood. Heck, she’s 17 going on 45. She’s leaping from teen to twice-divorced, chain-smoking, trailer park single mom in a single bound, if she doesn’t watch it. Lyrically here, you get the feeling she’s so desperate to be seen as an adult, yet I have to say it’s still jarring to hear Hannah Montana sing about making love in “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” It’s too soon, Miley. Trust me; you’ll get there soon enough.  The songs with emotionally mature themes work best here when she’s not forcing her fake ID down our throat.

Most of the time Cyrus’s fine, but totally unremarkable vocals do the trick here and she stretches admirably on a few tracks her. But then she stops you dead with some awkward affectation via her delivery. Her pronunciation goes haywire on certain tracks and you feel like you’re walked into the worst acting class ever. It happens on “Liberty Walk,” “Who Owns My Heart” and the otherwise enjoyable “Scars.” Where’s Henry Higgins when you need him?

Cyrus has said she’s walking away from music for awhile.  With “Can’t Be Tamed” she’s left us a set that will tide us over while she’s gone, but won’t make us pine for her return.

Listen for yourself below. What do you think?




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