Billy Corgan

Courtney Love really got under Billy Corgan's skin. 

Credit: AP Photo

A tweaked Billy Corgan tweets his disdain for Courtney Love

Love's ex-lover condemns her talent and parenting skills

Determined to rain on Courtney Love’s parade,  her ex-boyfriend and sometime collaborator Billy Corgan spent much of Monday tweeting his disdain—to put it politely—for the singer, whose new album, “Nobody’s Daughter” comes out Tuesday. (Read our review here.)

Antiquiet connected the dots, but Corgan kept going after the website posted some of his “thoughts.”  (Yes, he was nice enough to enumerate them). Corgan and Love wrote for “Nobody’s Daughter” together, but he told Rolling Stone that he didn’t give his permission for the songs to be on the album.

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John Mayer

John "You can't pin him down" Mayer

Credit: AP Photo

John Mayer and Keith Urban sling their guitars for CMT's 'Crossroads'

Axe-men sing praise other's tunes and throw in a little George Michael

Heads up, guitarslingers:  two of the best,  John Mayer and Keith Urban will shoot it out, musically speaking, on “CMT Crossroads.” The show, which pairs pop and country stars such as Taylor Swift with Def Leppard,  begins airing  June 18.

Taped in Nashville, the program features such Urban hits as  “’Til Summer Comes Around,” and “Sweet Thing,” as well as Mayer tunes like “Perfectly Lonely” and “Gravity.”  They close the show with their take on George Michael’s “Faith.”  What? No “I Want Your Sex?”

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<p>Hole's &quot;Nobody's Daughter&quot;</p>

Hole's "Nobody's Daughter"

Review: Hole's 'Nobody's Daughter'

Does Courtney Love bring as much drama to the record as she does real life?

It’s not Courtney Love’s fault that her life is far more interesting than her music could ever be (Oh wait; actually it probably is).  Publicly, she seems to careen from train wreck to train wreck like a pinball traveling at high velocity.

On “Nobody’s Daughter,” the first album from her band Hole in 12 years, we get a Love who, while vitriolic and lacerating (often toward herself) is never as captivating as one of her rambling missives that seem to appear out of nowhere every now and then. But that doesn’t mean the whole exercise is a wash. Far from it.

But first, let’s clear up this whole Hole thing. Love is the only remaining member after guitarist/co-founder Eric Erlandson decided he no longer wanted to be in the Hole business close to a decade ago. So “Nobody’s Daughter,” which has precious little of the pop sheen displayed on 1997’s “Celebrity Skin,” is really Love with a few musicians that most folks have never heard of before now.

Love does nothing by half measures—nothing worth talking about, at least--so some of the album’s best moments are the dramatic flourishes the lyrics provide when she’s bringing the crazy. On “For Once in Your Life” she sings, “I’ve used the last hole in my arm to gouge out the pieces of you.” That’s amazing imagery. On “Samantha,” an otherwise dullard of a song, she spits out “People like you f*** people like me” in a voice that is as resigned as it is angry and exhausted. Who can’t relate to that?

The most touching tune is ballad “Letter to God,” in which Love confesses her sins in a way that is manipulative, vulnerable and compelling all at the same time. “Oh God, please tell me now are you disappointed or are you proud… I’m so sorry I’m so weak/that I turned into a freak…I am coming unglued/Please help me… I never wanted to be the person you see…Thank you.” Hello, God. It’s me, Courtney.

At her best, Love says what the rest of us are too afraid to voice out loud, or, in some cases, even admit we think.

Musically, “Nobody’s Daughter” features fairly straight-ahead rock and roll with the usual tropes of starting slowly and the speeding up or getting louder toward the end of the song to symbolize heightened passion, Certain tunes, including first single, “Skinny Little Bitch,” and “Loser Dust” come roaring out of the gate to strong effect. Is it just me or does the guitar on the title track remind anyone else of Camper van Beethoven’s “Pictures of Matchstick Men?”

There are also times when the whole effort falls apart, such as on “Honey,” where Love talks about opening up, but then just resorts to screeching to get some point across that I still haven’t deciphered. Plus, her vocal delivery is so mannered; it often sounds more like a phonetics tutorial gone awry. I’m still trying to get my head around album closer, “Never Go Hungry” in which Love, accompanied primarily by an acoustic guitar, would seem to be channeling her inner Scarlet O’Hara as she declares, “I don’t care what it takes my friend, I will never go hungry again.” Perhaps it’s a metaphor for her travails through the music business, although unlike many of her counterparts, she has survived… no matter what. God as her witness.  


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<p>Young Jeezy</p>

Young Jeezy

Watch: Young Jeezy goes crazy in 'Lose My Mind' music video

Atlanta MC/rapper extols a good night in the club, even though it ends in the morgue

Young Jeezy is back with the first video from his forthcoming album, “Thug Motivation 103.” “Lose My Mind,” featuring Plies, is an, at times, gritty, urban slice of life that opens with a scene straight that looks like it could have come straight out of “The Wire,” if the show moved from Baltimore to  the ATL.

Despite the great time he’s having in much of the artfully shot black-and-white video, he can’t forget the ghosts that haunt him from the past and the dark ending shows the good times never last. He tells MTV that “Lose My Mind” is also a metaphor for going crazy in the club (though it feels and sounds  a lot heavier than a fun night out to us). Plus, how fun can any night that ends in the morgue be, even if it's in his mind.

"'Lose My Mind' is doing what the hell I wanna do in the club,” Jeezy tells MTV News. “If it's 100 bottles of rosé, if it's 40 bottles of Belvedere, if it's all the kush in the world. Im’ma do what I wanna do. When I leave there, I don't wanna remember nothing. I just wanna wake up and do the same thing again. That's what 'Lose My Mind' is about. You gotta have life your way. If you ain't losing your mind, you ain't partying right."





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<p>B.o.B. aka Bobby Ray</p>

B.o.B. aka Bobby Ray

B.o.B., Miranda Cosgrove and Hole lead April 27 album release slate

Madonna fave Gogol Bordello, Melissa Etheridge and Bullet for my Valentine also surface

There’s a little something for everyone with Tuesday’s album release slate. We’ll hear what B.o.B. has to offer beyond “Nothing On You” and a few leaked tracks when we get his full length set. Plus, Hole returns with its first set in 12 years, while veteran rockers Melissa Etheridge and Peter Frampton also serve up new material. Popsters will eat up “iCarly” star Miranda Cosgrove’s debut album.  Dig in.

B.o.B: “B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray” (Grand Hustle/Rebel Rock/Atlantic): He’s already scored his first number one with the sweet “Nothing on You” and seems to be everywhere with his cover of  Vampire Weekend’s ‘The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” with Janelle Monae, plus his collaboration with Eminem and Hayley Williams. Our colleague Katie Hasty is already over him. We’ll see if the rest of America feels the same way when his album comes out Tuesday.  We’re predicting a top 5 album debut.

Bullet for My Valentine, “Fever” (Jive): Welsh metal band unleashes the hounds on its third album, produced by Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Good Charlotte).  “Fever” doesn’t necessarily rock harder than “Scream Aim Fire,” but it lands its punches with more pinpoint accuracy, especially on such tracks as “Your Betrayal.”

Mary Chapin Carpenter, “The Age of Miracles” (Zoe/Rounder): Singer/songwriter whose light seems to have dimmed lately after a strong ‘90s run, but she’s back with a strong new set featuring the likes of Alison Krauss and Vince Gill.

Miranda Cosgrove, “Sparks Fly” (Columbia): She’s 16 and she’s already richer than you’ll ever be. Nickelodeon power house and star of “iCarly” goes for world domination with her solo full length debut and enlists such top-flight producers as Dr. Luke (Britney, Katy Perry) and the Matrix to realize her plan. Writers on the project include Ke$ha and Avril Lavigne. First single is  “Kissin’ U”  is exactly what you’d expect: a sweet, innocent, poppy ode to the joys of making out. Where’s the duet with Justin Bieber?

Melissa Etheridge, “Fearless Love” (Island):  Veteran rocker’s 10th studio album is a celebration of rock produced by her friend/former guitarist John Shanks. Drawing deep on her influences, such as the Who, Springsteen and the Stones musically, Etheridge tackles love and fear lyrically.

Peter Frampton, “Thank You Mr. Churchill” (A&M/New Door/Ume): Heralded rock guitarist returns with his first set since snagging a Grammy a few years ago for his instrumental set, “Fingerprints.” This time, he’s singing about everything from his sobriety to Wall Street corruption to a Japanese teenager kidnapped by North Koreans 30 years ago.

Gogol Bordello, “Trans-Continental Hustle” (American Recordings): Rick Rubin produces this undefinable collective’s fifth studio album. The New York-based group, led by Eugene Hutz, combines punk rock with world music with a flair of the gypsy thrown in. Its commercial high point remains joining Madonna on stage in 2007 at the London Live Earth concert.

Hole, “Nobody’s Daughter” (Mercury): Courtney Love-fronted band returns with its first album in 12 years—although that’s a bit of a misstatement since Love is the only remaining member from the last album. Album review coming shortly.

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Justin Timberlake had the last laugh when it came to his hit single "Sexyback"

Justin Timberlake had the last laugh when it came to his hit single "Sexyback."

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Justin Timberlake reveals his label thought 'Sexyback' was going to bomb

Why did Timberlake's label hate the megahit?

On the face of things, it would seem that Justin Timberlake and veteran artist Bill Withers, best known for his early ‘70s hits,  “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean on Me” and “Use Me,” wouldn’t seem to have much in common given the 40 + year-age difference. However, they displayed a stirring number of similarities as they discussed their creative processes and record company struggles during a joint session during the April 22-24 ASCAP Expo, a three- day conference organized by the performing rights organization for songwriters and producers in Los Angeles.

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Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones celebrate the Grammy success of "Thriller"

Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones celebrate the Grammy success of "Thriller."

Life Lessons from Quincy Jones and why Epic didn't want him to produce 'Thriller'

Legendary producer chats with Ludacris during the ASCAP Expo

“If anyone tells you they know how to sell 60 million records, they don’t,” stated the legendary Quincy Jones during an engaging Q&A conducted by rapper Ludacris at the ASCAP Expo in Los Angeles, April 23. 

And he should know. Jones, who is the mastermind producer/arranger/composer behind such projects as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “We are the World,” stressed to the audience of songwriters and producers that the only righteous artistic path is following your heart, not the money. “You do something that gives you goose bumps and you love. It works out or it doesn’t.”

Of course, it’s “worked out” a lot for Jones, who, at 77, is celebrating six decades of making music. Like John Mayer, who was interviewed at the Expo on Thursday, Jones stressed the importance of learning your craft to build upon your talent, not suppress it.  “There are only 12 notes,” he said. “I spent 20 to 30 years learning to be a good musician.”

There is simply no substitute for knowledge—or what Jones referred to as “science.” When asked how he deals with pressure, he replied “Learn your science. Science is what provides the [ability] to express your emotion…Your chops get you out of pressure.”

Jones took his innate talent as a musician—he plays at least seven instruments—and then studied orchestration in Paris under the acclaimed Nadia Boulanger, who declared him “corrupted” from his jazz training with such artists like Ray Charles.

Jones’ career has been so vast and spans so many different areas, that he was only able to touch on a few areas. But here are some of the highlights:

**Scoring films is a discipline totally different from writing songs. “The sprockets don’t line. The image is not going to change because you want to add two bars,” he said. Music is the “emotion lotion” for the film, as he said Steven Spielberg calls it.

**His cure for writer’s block: Relax, put up your feet, keep what you’re working on nearby and “know it’s not about you, it’s about your higher power…Have humility in your creativity and grace in your success. Be humble enough to accept God’s whisper.”

**Knowledge extends far beyond traditional schooling. As a young man, Jones traveled the world with Lionel Hampton as his trumpet player and arranger. “When I traveled overseas, I learned eat what they eat, listen to the [local] music and learn 30-40 words in their language.”

**Epic Records did not want Jones to produce “Thriller.” He and Michael had worked together on the Broadway play “The Wiz.”  “Back then, Michael was listening. I started watching him at rehearsals. He knew everyone’s moves,” said Jones. When it came time to go into the studio, Epic felt Jones was too “jazzy. They said ‘Get Gamble and Huff.” That’s when I learned the power of being underestimated,” Jones said with a laugh.

**His advice for aspiring singers (although it translates to any instrument) is “take your 10 favorite singers and put them on a disc and learn every note. Walk in the shoes of giants.”

**Use your pain to fuel your art. “I didn’t have a mother. At 7, my mother was taken away in a straight jacket. At 12, I thought, if I don’t have a mother, I don’t need one. My stepmother was a pain in the booty. Music is my mother.”

*8His favorite recording he ever worked on is “Somewhere” with Aretha Franklin from the early ‘70s. “I play it every day at my house,” he said, adding that he’d like to have it played at his funeral.

**During their early days as teens in the Northwest, he and Ray Charles would repeat  every day--in part, to counteract the discrimination they faced—“Not one drop of my self-worth depends upon your acceptance of me.”

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<p>The cast of 'Glee' in the 'Power of Madonna' episode</p>

The cast of 'Glee' in the 'Power of Madonna' episode

Credit: FOX

Chart preview: Can Madonna propel 'Glee' to the top of the chart?

Which artists see a nice bounce from the ACMs?

Gleeks, rejoice: Such is the power of Madonna that she doesn’t even have to open her mouth to land on top of the album charts. The “Glee” cast’s karaoke versions of Madge hits, highlighted in Tuesday’s episode of the popular Fox show, will top the 100,000 mark next week, making it a lock for No. 1, according to Hits Daily Double. The seven-track set, dubbed, appropriately enough, “The Power of Madonna,” includes the show’s take on “Vogue” “Express Yourself,” “4 Minutes,” and “Like a Prayer.”

Also likely to debut in the Billboard 200’s Top 10 next week is AC/DC’s   “Iron Man 2” (CD/DVD set, which features 15 classic AC/DC tunes, many of which are featured in the Robert Downey Jr. blockbuster. It may debut as high as No. 3, while the latest from rockers Sevendust chimes in at No. 8.

Last Sunday’s Academy of Country Music awards appears to have boosted sales for two of the big winners: Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” which has been in the top 10 since its January release, bounces back up to No. 2, while Miranda Lambert’s “Revolution,” which was named album of the years, soars back into the top 10.

Last week’s chart topper, Justin Bieber’s “My World 2.0,” falls to No. 4, while last week’s No. 2 album and highest debut, MGMT’s “Congratulations,” drops out of the top 10.

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<p>John Mayer</p>

John Mayer

John Mayer's cure for constipation revealed during Q&A at ASCAPExpo

Plus, he compares playing MSG to 'banging a really, really hot girl.'

John Mayer has a sure-fire cure for constipation, although it’s probably not a workable solution for most of us.

“If you’re feeling plugged up from the fruit-and-cheese plate, play a gig at Madison Square Garden,” he advised an audience of songwriters and producers April 22 during his keynote Q&A at the ASCAP Expo, a three-day conference put on in Los Angeles by the performing rights organization. Mayer was responding to interviewer Erik Philbrook’s query about what emotion does selling out Madison Square Garden conjure up. “Is having to poop an emotion?” Mayer asked.

Mayer has kept a pretty low profile since opening his mouth and lodging his foot in it earlier this year during a Playboy interview, but he was back in fine—and mainly gaffe-proof—form at the ASCAP Expo. His one notable “WTF?” moment came when he compared playing at MSG to “banging a really, really hot girl. I hope I can satisfy this girl enough so that I can have a shot at coming back.”  After waiting for that comment to sink in with the packed crowd of several hundred, he joked “I just wanted to give my manager something to Google for tomorrow.”

Mayer had plenty of good advice for the aspiring songwriters, but it mainly boiled down to staying true to your muse and trying not to have an “excessive need for external validation” that keeps you from following your own gifts instead of seeking adulation. “That first record has to be the big clown shoe in the door,” he said, but added that subsequent records shouldn’t be about proving yourself to others. He noted that his Grammy-winning tune “Gravity,” was his favorite because “I got out of my own way…Sometimes when you write, you’re trying to let someone else know that you’re a good writer,” instead of focusing on pleasing yourself.

Mayer, who first picked up the guitar when he was 13 in 1991, joked that he was “highly well versed in playing Tesla songs and Warrant… The songs of Trixter and Saigon Kick still flow through my veins.” Though he dropped out of Berklee School of Music, he stressed that instruction always makes a musician better. “If you think by going to vocal lessons, I might lose my natural timbre. Bullshit,” he said.

He advised that artists find other musicians of their same caliber or higher. “Be with other people who want to ascend,” he said, admitting that he didn’t play well with others when he first started and that was okay. “I had so much I wanted to get out. I didn’t feel tremendously like sharing. I didn’t want to teach people to give a shit. You’re not going to get where you’re going if there aren’t a lot of people from high school who think you’re an asshole.”

The 7-time Grammy winner also had a bit of a wake-up call for anyone still believing a record deal is the Holy Grail. “It’s a work contract, not a check,” he said, noting that his Columbia Records deal means they own certain rights to him in perpetuity. “I can’t cut a record with Kanye on Mars,” he joked.

Mayer, who joined Jay Z on stage recently, confessed that he’s a “closet hip-hop freak,” who practices making up beats in his spare time. “I’ve studied the whole J Dilla thing,” he says referencing the late hip hop producer. “Can Bob Dylan and J Dilla meet? Where would that be? They don’t go together yet. I’m trying to have the right mix of Dylan meets Dilla.”

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<p>Joni Mitchell</p>

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell to Bob Dylan: You're a 'plagiarist' and 'a fake'

How does the enigmatic Dylan respond?

Joni Mitchell is having trouble seeing both sides now when it comes to Bob Dylan. Most music fans consider the twosome among the most influential and seminal artists of the last 50 years, and place Dylan at the absolute pinnacle of the singer/songwriter pantheon. Mitchell does not hold him in such high regard.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times that ran April 22, Mitchell called Dylan a fake. After the reporter, Matt Diehl, commented that both Mitchell and Dylan had altered their given names, Mitchell blasted Dylan with both barrels: “Bob is not authentic at all. He’s a plagiarist and his name and voice are fake,” she said. But she wasn’t done yet. “Bob is a deception. We are like night and day, he and I.”

She further goes on to explain that her name is simply a nickname derived from her given name, Roberta Joan Anderson, combined with her married name, from when she married Chuck Mitchell. Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman.

Mitchell doesn't clarify the plagiarism accusation, but a number of outlets have connected the dots to a New York Times 2006 article that notes the similarities between Dylan's lyrics on "Modern Times" to those of confederate poet Henry Timrod.

Mitchell didn’t reserve her vitriol solely for Zimmy, oops, we mean Dylan. Commenting that Rolling Stone named her “Old Lady of the Year” in the ‘70s for her alleged number of lovers, she added, “Grace [Slick] and Janis Joplin were [sleeping] with their whole bands and falling down drunk and nobody came after them.”

On a side note, at least Mitchell’s affairs of the heart inspired some wonderful music. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s sweet “Our House,” was allegedly written by Graham Nash about his relationship with Mitchell, while her songs “Car on a Hill” and “Help Me” are rumored to be about her affair with the Eagles’ Glenn Frey. “A Free Man in Paris” is about David Geffen.

In the L.A. Times piece, the only person getting away unscathed is Jimi Hendrix, whom Mitchell calls “the sweetest guy.”  As far as the rest of us Americans, Mitchell, a Canadian, doesn’t seem to have much use for us for the last 30 years. She says her later work “is set against the stupid, destructive way we live on this planet. Americans have decided to be stupid and shallow since 1980. Madonna is like Nero; she marks the turning point.” Ouch.

According to his representatives, Dylan was unavailable for comment. Mitchell’s rep did not respond to a request for a comment. Perhaps Mitchell’s words speak for themselves.

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