<p>Mick Jagger in 1972</p>

Mick Jagger in 1972

The Rolling Stones' 'Exile on Main St.' leads May 18 release slate

LCD Soundsystem, Black Keys and 'Glee' gets its Lady GaGa on

The biggest release of May 18 is nearly 40 years old: The reissue of The Rolling Stones classic, “Exile on Main St.,” complete with 10 bonus tracks, has the music world atwitter. The Stones’ masterpiece is just one of several noteworthy reissues coming out including The Jayhawks’ self-titled 1986 debut, which makes its bow on CD, as well as Duran Duran’s eponymous first set and 1983’s “Seven and the Ragged Tiger.” Tops among the new releases are “Brothers” from The Black Keys, LCD Soundsystem’s third and perhaps last CD and another “Glee” set to make Gleeks smile.

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Casey James, Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze

The final three "American Idol" contestants for this season: Casey James, Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze. 

Credit: FOX

Kimberley Locke chooses her 'American Idol' winner

Is the former "AI" contestant for Team Crystal, Casey or Lee?

Most of the “American Idol” viewing public may feel like the competition is Crystal Bowersox’s to lose, but she doesn’t have Kimberley Locke’s vote.

Locke, who came in third place in “American Idol’s” second season in 2003, has been watching closely and she’s rooting for...Lee DeWyze. 

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<p>Why is this man smiling? Chris Martin is frontman for Coldplay, who is signed to&nbsp; major label EMI</p>

Why is this man smiling? Chris Martin is frontman for Coldplay, who is signed to  major label EMI

Music Power Rankings: Terra Firma, EMI land on solid ground

Eminem, 'Eclipse' and 'Ellen' make this week's list too

This week’s top music power broker rose from the near-certain death to claim the pole position. Terra Firma, which owns EMI, one of the four biggest record companies in the world, was circling the drain and threatening to take EMI with it, as it struggled to come up with the money it owned CitiGroup.

This week, Terra Firma boss Guy Hands, who’s largely seen as having made one mistake with EMI after another since Terra Firma bought EMI in 2007, secured the $156 million it needed to keep from defaulting on its loan to Citi. EMI is home to such hot artists as Lady Antebellum and Katy Perry, as well as the owner of such vaunted properties as the Beatles and Beach Boys catalogs.

The $156 million calls off the hounds, but only temporarily: Terra Firma will have to come up with a similar amount for each of the next two years to stay in good standing with Citi. It may raise funds by selling off assets, such as its very valuable publishing division or by making deals with Sony or Universal Music Group to distribute its product.  But for now, Terra Firma lives to see another day.

1.  Terra Firma (not ranked): Like a last-minute death row reprieve from the governor, Terra Firma, the company that owns EMI, secured the $156 million it needed in funding to keep from defaulting on its loan to Citigroup just in time.

2.  Eminem (not ranked): Slim Shady is back. “Not Afraid,” the first single from “Recovery,” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, only the 16th song in the 52-year-old chart to start at the summit.  Add in two stadium dates with Jay-Z announced Wednesday and we have to ask Relapse? What Relapse?

3.  The major record labels (not ranked): Thirteen major record labels, including plaintiff Arista Records, scored a big victory on Wednesday when U.S. District Court Judge (and one-time Supreme Ct. nominee) Kimba Wood ruled that free peer-to-peer music file sharing system LimeWire is guilty of copyright violations.  A June 1 conference with the judge is set, but Limewire hopes to reach a settlement with the labels before then. It’s like putting a band-aid on an amputation, but it’s something.

4.  Godsmack (not ranked): No “Cryin’ like a Bitch” for Erna Sully and Co., as the little band from Boston scores its third chart topper on the Billboard 200, besting the sales of such acts as Justin Bieber, James Taylor & Carole King and the Dixie Chicks’ spin-off, Court Yard Hounds.

5.    Lollapalooza (not ranked):  It’s a crowd-a-palooza as the three-day Chicago festival announces that it will sell 20,000 more tickets per day to this year’s Aug. 6-8 shindig. That’s on top of the 225,000 tickets already sold.  Coachella and Stagecoach both had banner years; looks like Lolla will too.

6.    “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” soundtrack (No. 8 last week): So great remains “Twilight” fever that even the seven-hour roll out of the line-up for the companion album to the third movie in the series makes news. And with exclusive tracks from Muse, Beck, the Dead Weather and Vampire Weekend, among others, why not? Forget about Team Jacob or Team Edward. We’re Team Alex Patsavas, the movie’s music supervisor.

7.    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (not ranked): Music city’s reigning power couple calls on all their friends in high places to participate in “Nashville Rising,” a June 22 benefit concert in Music City to help flood victims. Who heeds the call? Miley Cyrus, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes and many others.

8.    Charice (not ranked): Have you heard her? The 18-year old Filipina with the rag-to-riches tale has captured Oprah’s heart. She had the little girl with the big voice on her show on Tuesday, the same day her David Foster-produced album hit stores. She may debut higher than hipster faves The Dead Weather and The National on next week’s album chart.  Move over Celine Dion, there’s a new girl in town.  Click here to hear “Pyramids,” the remix of which reached No. 2 on Billboard’s dance charts. The million dollar question? Will little kids like her as much as their soccer moms do?

9.    Greyson Chance (not ranked): Okay, sure we won’t remember this 12-year-old YouTube sensation’s  performance of “Paparazzi” at his school’s assembly  15 minutes from now, but do you have the power to get Lady GaGa to call in and surprise you on “The Ellen Show? “ I didn’t think so.

10.    Lena Horne (not ranked):  A music power broker this week? No, but we have to pay respect to the great Horne, who died this week at 92.  In addition to being a ferocious talent (Did anyone ever sing “Stormy Weather” as elegantly as she?), she was a fierce civil rights advocate who never took the easy way out.

Previous Rankings

May 8

May 1

April 23




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<p>Lady Antebellum</p>

Lady Antebellum

Who will set a record for lowest sales tally for No. 1 on album chart next week?

Will it be Lady Antebellum or The National?

The good news for Lady Antebellum is that the Nashville trio is on tap to return to the top of the charts next week. The bad news is that the group may do so with the lowest sales tally since Nielsen SoundScan bowed in 1991. Ouch.

Furthermore, the predicted difference in sales for the No. 1 spot vs. the No. 10 spot is 15,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double. That means that with two days left in the sales week, the No. 1 spot o the Billboard 200 could still be up for grabs. And who might nab the summit from Lady A? Possibly The National, whose “High Violet” has catapulted the Brooklyn-based indie band onto the  mainstream consciousness like none of its previous albums or Justin Bieber’s “My World, Part 2.”  Also duking it out for the top 5 are the new sets from The Dead Weather and Charice.

This week’s chart topper from Godsmack looks like it will remain in the top 10, but probably in the lower half.

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<p>Kylie Minogue, &quot;Aphrodite&quot;</p>

Kylie Minogue, "Aphrodite"


Listen: Kylie Minogue's new single, 'All the Lovers' from forthcoming album, 'Aphrodite'

Sure, it will be a dance hit, but what about pop radio?

Kylie Minogue unveiled a new single, “All the Lovers” on BBC Radio 1 this morning. In England, and in much of the rest of the world, Minogue is a superstar of the first order. While she has her extremely fervent followers in the U.S., especially in the dance community, she’s never sustained the level of excitement here that she does abroad.

Will that change with “All the Lovers,” the first single from her album “Aphrodite,” out June 6? Hard to tell. Most pundits are raving about the single, but they are so in the tank for Minogue that they are predisposed to slavishly adore her. The song starts off a little slowly, but has an insistent beat that will make it a surefire dance hit. The question is can she have another Top 40 mainstream hit in the U.S.? Despite her massive success elsewhere, she remains known here to the general public for her cover of “The Locomotion” decades ago and for her chart smash, the wonderful “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” from 2000.

Minogue delivers an often whispery soft vocal on “All the Lovers” that glides over the notes and seductively draws in the listener, but it doesn’t have the strong instant appeal of Katy Perry’s  “California Gurls,” or even Kimberly Locke’s infectious current dance bon bon, “ Strobelight.”

“The single was one of the last tracks to be written for the album,” Minogue posted on her website. “As I was recording it I knew that ‘All the Lovers’ had to be the first single; it sums up the euphoria of the album perfectly.”

If that’s the case, then “Aphrodite” is way ahead of “X,” her last studio album. The electro-based set didn’t even crack the top half of the Billboard 200. Minogue’s first (!!) real tour of the U.S. last year instantly sold out and helped build more excitement for her, so we’ll see if “Aphrodite,” which the label is pushing as a pop and dance album, can continue that enthusiasm and get her the bigger audience here she so richly deserve.

What do you think of "All the Lovers?"


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Watch: Ke$ha plays with a big snake in 'Your Love is My Drug' video

Whatever she's smoking, we want some

We’ll have whatever she’s having. Ke$ha’s got it bad, and it turns out that's oh so good, in the video for “Your Love is My Drug.”

America’s favorite new party girl is, by her own admission, a “lovesick crackhead”  for her new fella, but we’d say it’s more peyote than crack given the trippy adventure she takes us on through the desert with her long-haired hippie ‘70s reject   Shaman boyfriend.  They wander through the wilderness, perhaps for 40 days and 40 nights, and then seek adventure, just like the owl and the pussycat, in a rowboat. By now, the good drugs have really kicked in and Ke$ha and her beau are surrounded by a cartoon ocean, complete with a cartoon buoy and seagull and a big old crab..

As the mind-altering substances  (which we don’t see them drop, of course) further take hold, she enters in an animated, pop-art  world straight out of  The Beatles' “Yellow Submarine” crossed with Peter Max,  where  psychedelic fish playfully frolic.

Then as phase two hits,  Ke$ha turns into a bit of a  Shaman herself, covered in tribal paint and dancing with a python. We’re still not really sure what the elephant has to do with anything other than they figured, “Why not?” It’s a video; suspension of disbelief is the price of admission.

It’s a sweet (for Ke$ha) song and the video follows a real storyline that turns into a visual feast. It’s her best effort yet. When it comes to this drug, just say yes.




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Hitfix Interview: O.A.R's Marc Roberge has the beat on the band's new album

Band starts new tour in July

O.A.R. co-founder Marc Roberge is going back to the future for the group’s new album.  “We’re revisiting the drive that got us here in the first place,” Roberge tells Hitfix. “The vibe that you get when you go for it on your first record: pure excitement.”

Their running mate is producer Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Faith No More), who helmed O.A.R.’s 2008 album, “All Sides.” That set spawned the band’s biggest hit, “Shattered (Turn the Car Around),” which reached No. 2.

In addition to capturing that initial thrill that come with making a first album, the band is putting a little extra spring in its musical step on the new set, which it expects to release by September. “We’re absolutely trying to bring a little more rhythm into the songs, a little more backbeat,” Roberge says. “Our drummer really rose to the occasion and provided us with the foundation. I’m all about the rhythm section and then we’ll just pile everything on to that.”

O.A.R. is renowned for its energetic live shows. There’s a reason for that: the band lives for its time on stage. “Playing live is like therapy,” Roberge says. “It’s a cleansing for me. Honestly, playing music is the only time, on stage, that I feel completely comfortable. It’s the only play I can be myself completely.”

See for yourself: O.A.R. starts a new tour in July that will run through October.

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Alicia Keys in the video for "Un-thinkable."

Alicia Keys in the video for "Un-thinkable."

Watch: Alicia Keys and Chad Michael Murray make beautiful music in 'Un-Thinkable' video

Can their love survive racial tensions and a mullet?

Alicia Keys takes us back in time in her new video for “Un-thinkable,” and she brings “One Tree Hill’s” Chad Michael Murray with her.

The plotline, which starts in the ‘50s with grainy black and white footage, follows Keys and Murray as two crazy kids who only want to love each other, despite the fact that  in the ‘50s, an openly out interracial couple was  “Un-Thinkable.”  They go through the decades, and a switch from black and white to color, and some truly unfortunate haircut choices (How ‘bout that mullet, Murray?) as they progress through the decades. Styles changes, but people’s opinions don’t progress as much as one would like to see.

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Eminem sets 2010 record with 'Not Afraid'; track to bow at No. 1 on Hot 100

Track becomes only the 16th song to start at the summit

“Recovery”  indeed. “Not Afraid,” the first single from Eminem’s June 22 release, “Recovery,” will debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 tomorrow. The tune, which hits the summit based largely on digital sales, is only the 16th track in the 52-year-history of the chart to bow at the top. “Not Afraid” sold 380,000 digital copies in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the highest tally of 2010.  The chart combines singles sales and airplay.

The last song to start at the summit was Britney Spears’ “3” in October.  “Not Afraid” is only the second rap song of the 16 to land at the top, according to Billboard, following 1997’s “I’ll Be Missing You.”  It is also Eminem’s third trip to the top following 2002’s “Lose Yourself” and last year’s “Crack a Bottle,” from “Relapse.”

Below is a list of the 16 No. 1 debuts on the Billlboard Hot 100 chart.

Artist, "Title" (Year)

1) Michael Jackson, "You Are Not Alone" (1995)
2) Mariah Carey, "Fantasy" (1995)
3) Whitney Houston, "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" (1995)
4) Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men, "One Sweet Day" (1995)
5) Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112, "I'll Be Missing You" (1997)
6) Mariah Carey, "Honey" (1997)
7) Elton John, "Candle in the Wind 1997/Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (1997)
8) Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On" (1998)
9) Aerosmith, "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" (1998)
10) Lauryn Hill, "Doo Wop (That Thing)" (1998)
11) Clay Aiken, "This Is The Night" (2003)
12) Fantasia, "I Believe" (2004)
13) Carrie Underwood, "Inside Your Heaven" (2005)
14) Taylor Hicks, "Do I Make You Proud" (2006)
15) Britney Spears, "3" (2009)
16) Eminem, "Not Afraid" (2010)

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Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles returns with "King of Anything."

Credit: Epic

Listen: Sara Bareilles’ new single, ‘King of Anything’

She definitely isn't singing this guy a love song

From love song to kiss off: Sara Bareilles is back and she no longer has a shred of interest in wooing you; this time she wants you to put you in your place but good.

On “King of Anything,” her new single out today, she ups the melodic peppiness that propelled “Love Song” into her breakthrough hit.  Take a jaunty piano tune, throw in some hand claps, just enough quirkiness to make the tune stand out but not alienate, and a strong vocal performance with attitude and you have all the makings of a sunny, catchy adult contemporary hit. Though she sounds sweet, she’s telling her boy to get lost. “Who died and made you king of anything?,” she asks. Clearly, not her.

“King of Anything” is the first single from “Kaleidoscope Heart,” her sophomore album for Epic, which will come out in 2010. The pop jury is out on Bareilles: “Love Song” was a huge hit in 2007, in part because of its placement in a Rhapsody commercial, but none of the subsequent singles from “Little Voice” received significant pop airplay.  That should change with “King of Anything.”

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