Inside Music with Melinda Newman

Watch: The video for Timbaland's 'If We Ever Meet Again' feat. Katy Perry

Why does she look so bored?

<p>Katy Perry in &quot;If We Ever Meet Again&quot;</p>

Katy Perry in "If We Ever Meet Again"

Usually Katy Perry is such a charming presence in videos that she overcomes any weakness in plot, but even she can’t help this senseless video that ties a big time jewelry crime ring… well, we actually can’t figure out what it ties in to. It has absolutely nothing to do with the song, "If We Ever Meet Again."

While we’re spewing bile, there’s not much of a song here. By the time we get to the breakdown at the 4:30 mark or so, even Timbaland and Perry look bored. It’s a shame because the chorus is mildly catchy and could have turned into something really memorable. It’s not like Timbaland doesn’t know how to write a hook, but he left this one half-baked.

Speaking of lacking, Timbaland and Perry have absolutely no chemistry as they stand side by side throughout much of the video. She could have at least pretended he was Russell Brand or something.

Jay-Z, Muse, Gorillaz headline 2010 Coachella Festival

Vampire Weekend, Pavement also on tap for April 16-18 event

<p>Jay-Z performing at All Points West last summer</p>

Jay-Z performing at All Points West last summer

Credit: Katie Hasty

Jay-Z, Muse and Gorillaz have been tapped to headline the 11th Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.
The country’s premier alternative music event takes place April 16-18 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., outside of Palm Springs.

The trio will be joined by more than 130 acts, including a reunited Pavement, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke (billed as Thom Yorke????, which we’ll explain in a minute), Vampire Weekend, Them Crooked Vultures, LCD Soundsystem, Phoenix, Tiësto, Faith No More, Deadmau5, David Guetta, MGMT and Public Image Limited.

So what’s with Thom Yorke????. We thought it be might that his appearance was questionable or not confirmed, but before we could ask the Coachella folks, our colleagues at Entertainment Weekly beat us to the punch. It turns out that Yorke will be playing with the group that backed him for a few L.A. dates last year, including Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea and producer Nigel Godrich. After he didn’t name that group, he saw some signs that tagged the assemblage as Thom Yorke????. The name stuck.

Tickets go on sale on Jan. 22. Three-day passes are $269 plus surcharges. Once again, Coachella will offer lay-away and camping packages. For more info, go to

Below is a daily breakdown of talent:

FRIDAY APRIL 16: Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem, Them Crooked Vultures, Vampire Weekend, Deadmau5, Public Image Limited, The Specials, Grizzly Bear, Passion Pit, Echo and the Bunnymen, Benny Benassi, Fever Ray, Grace Jones, She & Him, Erol Alkan, The Avett Brothers, Calle 13, The Whitest Boy Alive, The Cribs, La Roux, Yeasayer, Lucero, DJ Lance Rock, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Proxy, Ra Ra Riot, Deer Tick, Wolfgang Gartner, Aeroplane, Iglu & Hartly, Sleigh Bells, P.O.S., Baroness, Hockey, Little Dragon, White Rabbits, Wale, Kate Miller-Heidke, As Tall as Lions, Jets Overhead, Alana Grace, Pablo Hassan.

SATURDAY, APRIL 17: Muse, Faith No More, Tiësto, MGMT, David Guetta, The Dead Weather, Hot Chip, Devo, Coheed and Cambria, Kaskade, 2Many DJ's, Major Lazer, Dirty Projectors, Gossip, Z-Trip, The xx, John Waters, Les Claypool, The Raveonettes, Mew, Sia, Camera Obscura, Tokyo Police Club, Porcupine Tree, Old Crow Medicine Show, Aterciopalados, Bassnectar, Frightened Rabbit, Dirty South, Flying Lotus, Corinne Bailey Rae, Pretty Lights, Shooter Jennings, RX Bandits, The Almighty Defenders, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, Craze & Klever, Zoe, The Temper Trap, Portugal. The Man, Band of Skulls, Girls, Beach House, Steel Train, Frank Turner.

SUNDAY, APRIL 18: Gorillaz, Pavement, Thom Yorke????, Phoenix, Orbital, Spoon, Sly and the Family Stone, De La Soul, Julian Casablancas, Plastikman, Gary Numan, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sunny Day Real Estate, Yo La Tengo, MUTEMATH, Deerhunter, Infected Mushroom, Club 75, Matt & Kim, The Big Pink, Gil Scott-Heron, King Khan and the Shrines, Florence and the Machine, Yann Tiersen, Little Boots, Miike Snow, Talvin Singh, Ceu, B.o.B., Babasonicos, Owen Pallett, The Glitch Mob, Mayer Hawthorne, Local Natives, Rusko, The Middle East, Hadouken!, The Soft Pack, Kevin Devine, Paparazzi, Delphic, One EskimO.

Spoon, 'Crazy Heart' soundtrack, Grammy noms set top Jan. 19 releases

Can anyone push Vampire Weekend out of the top spot?

<p>Jeff Bridges in 'Crazy Heart': Soundtrack due Jan. 19</p>

Jeff Bridges in 'Crazy Heart': Soundtrack due Jan. 19

After new chart toppers from Ke$ha and Vampire Weekend came out the first two Tuesdays of 2010, things slow down for this week. Catch your breath now because it picks back up on Jan. 26. In the meantime, let’s look at the top releases of Jan. 19.

Editors, “In This Light and On This Evening” (Fader): British band releases what it calls its “rawest” album to date. Working with producer Flood, the group hit No. 1 on the U.K. album chart when “Light” was released domestically in October. Never as big in the U.S. as they are at home, the Editors, nonetheless, have a strong following stateside for their brand of moody indie rock.

Eels, “End Times” (Vagrant): Beloved group, led by Mark Everett (E), ended a four-year break between studio albums last May with the release of “Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire.” Now, less than eight months later comes the band’s eighth studio album, “End Times.” Recorded largely on a four-track recorder, “End Times” chronicles Everett’s divorce following in a long tradition of break-up albums such as “Blood on the Tracks,” “Rumours” and “Tunnel of Love.”

Motion City Soundtrack, “My Dinosaur Life” (Columbia): Pop punksters make the move from Epitaph to Columbia for their fourth studio album. The set reunites the band with Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, who produced the group’s second album, 2004’s “Commit This to Memory.”

Spoon, “Transference” (Merge): Revered Austin-based indie rock band fronted by Britt Daniel follows up 2007’s acclaimed “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” (and two intervening EPs) with its first self-produced set. “Transference,” written by Daniel, continues the group’s lo-fi and quirky, but always charming, musical journey. We’ll see if it can debut in the top 10 as “Ga Ga” did.

Various Artists, “Crazy Heart” (New West): T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham snagged the Golden Globe on Jan. 17 for best original song from a motion picture soundtrack for “The Weary Kind.” Check out that gorgeous song and lots of other originals from “Crazy Heart,” the story of a down-and-out country singer seeking redemption. The film’s stars, Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell, deliver the goods on such songs as “Fallin’ & Flyin’” and “Hold on You.” They’re surrounded by classic tracks from Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens and Townes Van Zandt.

Various Artists, “2010 Grammy Nominees” (Capitol/EMI Music): Check out 20 tracks all competing for a Grammy on Jan. 31. The collection, sales of which benefit MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation, features hits from the Black Eyed Peas, Lady GaGa, Kings of Leon, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Katy Perry and more.

2010 Grammy predictions: Phoenix, Death Cab, Depeche Mode vie for best alternative album

Where are the Decemberists and Grizzly Bear?

<p>Death Cab For Cutie</p>

Death Cab For Cutie

Today, we look at the only alternative music category in the Grammys: best alternative music album.

Best Alternative Music Album:

"Everything That Happens Will Happen Today,” David Byrne and Brian Eno
“The Open Door,” Death Cab for Cutie
“Sounds of the Universe,” Depeche Mode
“Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” Phoenix
“It’s Blitz!,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Not a good year for alternative music—at least not the limited vision of alternative music recognized by Grammy voters. Why the heck aren't the Decemberists, Grizzly Bear and Passion Pit in this category? Instead, we get an EP from Death Cab for Cutie that has far less heft than 2008’s “Narrow Stairs,” an interesting, esoteric set from Byrne and Eno, the latest from Depeche Mode and the only two true contenders here, albums from Phoenix and Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Although Phoenix has been around for awhile--“Wolfgang” is its fourth album--the band soared to new heights with this project, largely based on the success of “1901” and “Lisztomania."

The Grammy goes to: “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” Phoenix

Taylor Swift heads back into studio to record follow-up to 'Fearless'

Singer also appears on soundtrack for 'Valentine's Day'

<p>Taylor Swift</p>

Taylor Swift

Credit: AP Photo


Taylor Swift, whose “Fearless” was the top-selling album of 2009, goes back into the studio this week to begin work on her third studio album. Swift is once again working with producer Nathan Chapman, who helmed her first two sets.
Swift returns to work after a month off, spent with family and friends. “I've written songs on napkins and sat at a giant table with my whole family on my mother's birthday, all of us in one place for the first time in too long,” writes Swift on her MySpace blog. “I've gotten to take what has happened to me and process it to my full capability, and celebrate it the way it deserved to be celebrated. I've made new music. I've gone over the memories and jumped up and down with my producer and floated around with nothing on my schedule other than just appreciating what my life has somehow turned into.”
No word on a tentative release date, but fans won’t have to wait until her third album is finished to hear new music from Swift: Her song “Today was a Fairytale” is featured on the soundtrack to “Valentine’s Day.” She also appears in the movie.
Swift, who is nominated for eight Grammy Awards, will also perform at the Jan. 31 ceremonies.

Vampire Weekend bites into next week's chart

Do they take a big enough chunk to come in at No. 1?

<p>Vampire Weekend</p>

Vampire Weekend

 Vampire Weekend is poised to take a big bite out of next week’s album chart. The indie rockers look to be a lock to come in at No. 1 with sales of up to 120,000 with their second album, “Contra.“ The quartet knocks Ke$ha on her keester as  “Animal”  falls from No. 1  to No. 3 and Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed a Dream” sticks around at No. 2 with around 90,000 copies sold, according to Hits Daily Double.

No other debut enters the top 10 as acts like Lady GaGa, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, and three pesky little chipmunks hold their ground.

In fact we predict no big action on the chart until two weeks from now when Lady Antebellum’s sophomore set, out Jan. 26, blasts into the top spot.

Watch: Adam Lambert's video for 'Whatuya Want From Me'

We want his hair and eyeliner for sure

<p>Adam Lambert</p>

Adam Lambert

Oh Adam, why so much angst?  As the video opens, we see Lambert, alone in a spacious apartment, in a vulnerable state. By vulnerable, we mean with no guyliner and alone in bed. We see Lambert moping around his apartment, probably trying to figure out just how many square feet he has. The place is massive.

As the lyrics of the song infer, he’s questioning a relationship and asking what his partner wants and asking his partner (unseen in this video) to be patient with him. Shot in an often jarring quick cuts, the video follows Lambert as he’s thrust  into the spotlight (catch the scene with the paparazzi flashes) struggling with how to juggle all the facets of his life. Intersperse that with some performance footage and you’ve got a vague, intentionally ambigious video that his fans will love.

Throughout, Lambert works the camera like a super model, his charisma leaping off the screen. Someone needs to put him in a movie fast.


Pearl Jam, Kings of Leon and Green Day face off in 2010 Predictions for Best Rock Song

What song keeps running through your head?

<p>Pearl Jam: Is &quot;Fixer&quot; the best rock song?</p>

Pearl Jam: Is "Fixer" the best rock song?

As we count down to the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, today we look at the candidates for best rock song. This is an award that goes to songwriter not the performer, but this year, the artists and songwriters are one in the same.

Best Rock Song

“The Fixer,” Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready & Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam)

“I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight,” Bono, Adam Clayton, the Edge & Larry Mullen Jr (U2)

“21 Guns” (Billy Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt & Tre Cool (Green Day)

“Use Somebody” (Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon)

“Working on a Dream,” Bruce Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen)

In my mind, the fix is in for “The Fixer.” It’s one of Pearl Jam’s catchiest, most upbeat songs in years. However, there are several mitigating factors here: “Use Somebody” was a huge, across-the-board smash so non-rock voters may be more familiar with that song and mark their ballots for Kings of Leon. Both U2 and Green Day got shut out of the big categories and were relegated to the rock field. There may be some knee jerk votes cast for U2’s “Crazy,” which isn’t a good song at all. It’s got a great hook, but that’s it.  As far as Green Day goes, I’m a much bigger fan of the feisty punk of “Know Your Enemy,” but I am in the minority. Hitfix readers know that my love for Springsteen runs deep and wide. Well, it’s not deep or wide enough to think for a second that he deserves the award for “Working on a Dream.” It’s a nice idea, but an inferior song. Not only does it not deserve to win, it doesn’t even deserve the nomination. There are far better songs on the “Working on a Dream” album that should have gotten the nod.

The Grammy goes to: “Use Somebody”

The Grammy should go to:  “The Fixer”

See our other predictions so far:

Best rock performance by duo or group

Best male pop vocal performance

Best female pop vocal performance





Matthew Morrison from 'Glee' signs to Mercury Records

Golden Globe-nominated actor says his sound is a mix between Timberlake and Buble

<p>Matthew Morrison, aka Mr. Schuester from &quot;Glee&quot;</p>

Matthew Morrison, aka Mr. Schuester from "Glee"

Credit: AP Photo

Here’s another reason to be “Glee”-ful: Matthew Morrison, who plays glee club director Will Schuester on the popular Fox show has signed a solo recording deal with Mercury Records.

One of the more interesting behind-the-scenes facets of the deal is that Columbia Records has the rights sewed up to the “Glee” soundtracks, of which it’s already pumped out two from a series that has only had eight episodes. How did a competitor get the Golden-Globe nominated Morrison?  Regardless, we’re sure he won’t be the last “Glee” cast member to get a deal: we bet Lea Michele is negotiating a deal as we speak.

No word on what kind of music Morrison will do, although he has previously described his sound as a cross between Justin Timberlake and Michael Buble. Mercury is also home to rock acts like Duffy, Bon Jovi and Ida Maria, but Morrison’s a Broadway baby, having appeared as Link in “Hairspray” and in the Lincoln Center’s revival of “South Pacific.”

Morrison’s Mercury debut will come out this fall.

Madonna releases 'Sticky & Sweet' concert DVD

See 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage

<p>Madonna's Sticky &amp; Sweet concert poster</p>

Madonna's Sticky & Sweet concert poster

Who’s that Girl? Why, it’s Madonna and she’s back with a new DVD on her “Sticky & Sweet” concert tour, out on March 30.

The outing, produced by Live Nation as part of her gazillion-dollar deal with the concert promotion company, was one of the top grossing tours of the decade and was seen by more than 3.5 million fans in 32 countries, according to the promoter.

The “Sticky & Sweet” DVD, also available on Blu-Ray and CD, captures Madonna performing during her four concerts in Buenos Aires. She, of course, sings ‘Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” from “Evita,” which, we’re sure, caused Argentines to openly weep. The DVD also includes 30 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage.

Warner Bros. Records will distribute the title.

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