Erykah Badu in her new video for "Window Seat"

Erykah Badu strips and gets shot in her new video for "Window Seat."

Credit: Interscope

Watch: Erykah Badu gets naked in controversial new video for 'Window Seat'

Is the singer making a statement or simply grabbing attention?

Erykah Badu has never been one to shy away from statements-- personal, social or political--and she’s making a big one on all three fronts  with her new video for “Window Seat,” from “New Amerykah, Part ll: Return of the Ankh.”

As the video opens, it would appear that Badu is headed to see an unnamed president, who is headed into town. She parks her car, and begins walking to destination unknown. As she strolls, she begins shedding her over coat, her hoodie. (Okay, a little side note here, MTV writes that she filmed the clip, which is a single shot, in Dallas on St. Patrick’s Day, at an intersection near where President Kennedy was assassinated. Also for your possible viewing pleasure, MTV conveniently compiled a number of other videos where the artist strips.)
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<p>The cover of Usher's new album</p>

The cover of Usher's new album

Credit: Jive Label Group

Usher ushers in March 30 releases. He's joined by Erykah Badu, BNL and Alan Jackson

Fictional conjoined twins, Evelyn Evelyn release full-length debut featuring Frances Bean Cobain

As the temperatures start to heat up, so do the releases. March 30 brings new albums from two superstars: Usher and Alan Jackson, as well as a releases from a number of proven hitmakers, including Erykah Badu and Barenaked Ladies, and a collection from fictional conjoined twins, Evelyn Evelyn.

 
Erykah Badu, “New Amerykah, Part ll: Return of the Ankh” (Universal Motown): Badu follows up 2008’s “Part l” with an album she calls more “emotional” and less “analytical” than its predecessor. It even features a banjo, for goodness’ sake.
 
Barenaked Ladies, “All in Good Time” (Raisin’/EMI): Still best known for its huge 1998 hit “One Week,” BNL’s stock in trade is catchy, clever pop that embeds itself in your brain. This is the first album since the departure of founding member Steven Page.
 
Black Francis, “NonStopErotik” (Crooked Vinyl): Alternative rock god Frank Black, best known as leader of seminal band The Pixies, releases his latest solo set that includes a cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers’ “Wheels.” He recorded the venture in Brookly, Los Angeles and London.
 
Evelyn Evelyn, “Evelyn, Evelyn” (Eleven): Fictional conjoined twins—the brainchildren of  Jason Webley and the Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer—release their first full set. If you want to meet the twins, you can buy an around-the-world adventure with them for $11,111,111 on their myspace page. The album also features the singing debut of Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.
 
Alan Jackson, “Freight Train” (Sony Music Nashville): Country superstar traditionalist returns with a 12-song set including eight he penned. The album includes a duet with Lee Ann Womack on Vern Gosdin’s “Till the End.” First single, “It’s Just That Way” continues its climb up Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Will it become Jackson’s 35th No. 1 single? Too soon to tell.
 
Turin Brakes, “Outbursts” (Cooking Vinyl): Tasty British acoustic duo of Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian releases its first set for Cooking Vinyl.
 
Usher, “Raymond v. Raymond” (Jive): We’ve waited a hot minute for this R&B sensation’s follow up to 2008’s “Here I Stand” as the label tweaked the set. First single, “Papers,” no doubt inspired by Usher’s recent divorce, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, although it peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. Usher is clearly feeling a little frisky on new single, “Lil Freak.” See the video here.
 

 

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<p>&nbsp;Robert Plant</p>

 Robert Plant

Credit: AP

Robert Plant takes his Band of Joy on the road in July

Group includes such notables as Patty Griffin and Buddy Miller

 

Robert Plant starts a U.S. tour on July 13. Sure, it’s no Led Zeppelin, but he’s joined by an amazing group, dubbed the Band of Joy, that includes vocalist Patty Griffin, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, and guitarist Buddy Miller. Plant historians will appreciate the band’s moniker as a nod to the group Plant and Zeppelin drummer John Bonham belonged to pre-Led Zep.

He’s recording the new album with the above-named musicians, but, so far, no release date has been set.

The new album, whenever it comes out, will be Plant’s first since his multi-Grammy winning collaboration with Alison Krauss, “Raising Sand.” The two attempted to record a follow-up last year, but it has since been shelved.

Below are the tour dates. More are to be added.

July
13        Memphis, TN                        The Orpheum Theater                                
15        Little Rock, AR                      Robinson Center Music Hall                                  
16        Tulsa, OK                   Brady Theater                                             
18        Albuquerque, NM     Sandia Casino Amphitheater                     
20        Phoenix, AZ               Dodge Theater                                                        
21        Tucson, AZ               Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater               
23        Dallas, TX                  Meyerson Symphony Hall              
24        Houston, TX              Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion               
26        Austin, TX                 Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater          
28        Mobile, AL                 The Saenger Theatre                                  
30        Clearwater, FL                      Ruth Eckerd Hall                            
31        Miami, FL                  Bayfront Park Amphitheater                      
 

Robert Plant starts a U.S. tour on July 13 in support of his new album.

 

Sure, it’s no Led Zeppelin, but he’s joined by an amazing group, dubbed the Band of Joy, that includes vocalist Patty Griffin, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, and guitarist Buddy Miller. Plant historians will appreciate the band’s moniker as a nod to the group Plant and Zeppelin drummer John Bonham belonged to pre-Led Zep.
He’s recording the new album with the above-named musicians, but, so far, no release date has been set.
The new album, whenever it comes out, will be Plant’s first since his multi-Grammy winning collaboration with Alison Krauss, “Raising Sand.” The two attempted to record a follow-up last year, but it has since been shelved.
July
13        Memphis, TN                        The Orpheum Theater                                
15        Little Rock, AR                      Robinson Center Music Hall                                  
16        Tulsa, OK                   Brady Theater                                             
18        Albuquerque, NM     Sandia Casino Amphitheater                     
20        Phoenix, AZ               Dodge Theater                                                        
21        Tucson, AZ               Anselmo Valencia Amphitheater               
23        Dallas, TX                  Meyerson Symphony Hall              
24        Houston, TX              Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion               
26        Austin, TX                 Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater          
28        Mobile, AL                 The Saenger Theatre                                  
30        Clearwater, FL                      Ruth Eckerd Hall                            
31        Miami, FL                  Bayfront Park Amphitheater                      
 

 

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<p>ABBA</p>

ABBA

Hey all you Dancing Queens: Could Abba reunite for one more show?

They aren't saying no, but they aren't saying yes either

 

We’re going to say it right off the bat: we don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of this happening, but Reuters is reporting that Abba could possibly play together again.
 
And when we say “could possibly play together again,” we mean that  for the first time in years, the male half of the foursome, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus,” didn’t stick their fingers in their ears and go “La, la, la, la” or run screaming in another direction when a reporter asked them about a possibility of a reunion by the ‘70s supergroup.
 
“Yeah, why not,” Andersson replied, reports Reuters, when a reporter for the London Times suggested a reunion. There’s no way this group is going to tour, but apparently the boys didn’t scoff at the notion of a one-off performance that would air around the world.
 
Of course, Andersson hadn’t checked it out with the two women in the group,  Frida Lyndstad or Agnetha Faltskog, even helpfully adding, “I don’t know if the girls sing anything anymore.
 
The simple fact is due to the worldwide success of “Mamma Mia,” Abba makes more  in royalties sitting on its collective bum than the rest of us working stiffs will make in a lifetime. Plus, we think Andersson is so sick of answering the question, he decided to just mess with the reporter.  Don't hold your breath for this one.

 

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<p>Justin Bieber</p>

Justin Bieber

Chart Preview: Will Justin Bieber's 'My World 2.0' land at 1.0?

Which one-named R&B diva returns with a surprising high debut?

 

 Justin Timberlake better move over, there’s another Justin at the top of the charts. Moppet Justin Bieber will easily land at No. 1 on the the Billboard 200  next week with “My World 2.0.” The set, which we reviewed here, could top the 250,000 mark.  Bieber’s first set, “My World” stands at No. 6 this week, making him the first artist since Lady GaGa to have two CDs in the top 10.
 
In a surprise, R&B singer Monica’s  “Still Standing”  will come in at No. 2, logging sales of up to 195,000. The set, produced by Babyface, Johnta Austin, Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, is selling four times more than expected, according to Hits Daily Double.
 
There are two more debuts in the top 10: the never-ending “Now 33: That’s What I Call Music” series slides in at No. 3, selling around 140,000 copies. This edition features tunes from Ke$ha, Lady GaGa, Rihanna, Owl City, Train, Daughtry, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift.
 
The other newcomer is the sophomore set from “She & Him,” otherwise known as Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, which lands at No. 5.
 
The rest of the top 10 includes Lady Antebellum, who slip to No. 4, Ludacris, Marvin Sapp, who stays strong after debuting at No. 2 last week, falling only to No. 8, Lady GaGa and Black Eyed Peas.
 
If you don’t believe that a hot movie’s arrival on DVD can affect soundtrack sales, just look at “Twilight Saga: New Moon.” Following the video’s recent release, the soundtrack soars to  No. 11. Two weeks ago it was No. 72.

 

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<p>Usher</p>

Usher

Watch Usher's new video for 'Lil Freak': Sexy or a big yawn?

He enlists Nicki Minaj to procure women for a menage a trois

 

Okay Usher, we get it… you are a single man and, boy, are you available. In the new clip for “Lil Freak,” our boy from the ATL is looking for a ménage a trios and he’s finding the pickings bountiful.
 
He’s enlisted Nicki Minaj (did we miss the memo that she has to be in EVERY video right now?)  to procure the right girls for him. Interestingly, the girl Minaj picks is the most wholesome of the bunch. You could practically take her home to mother—that is before Usher gets his hands on her.
 
We get a few smooth dance moves from Usher during the slow grind of a song, but it’s pretty much just a skeezy video from start to finish that is about as sexy as a film about STDs. Plus, the cold opening  is way, way too long even if you dig the hinted at Sapphic action.
 
It’s the latest song released from “Raymond V. Raymond,” which comes out Tuesday. Sadly, even the Stevie Wonder/”Living for the City” sample can’t save it.

 

 

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<p>Phoenix</p>

Phoenix

Download Phoenix's live album for free

Band gives fans 8-track Sydney show via its website

Hear Phoenix for free and pretend you’re in Sydney.

The French band who snared the Grammy for best alternative music album for “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” is offering fans a free download of their recent Australian concert via its website, www.wearephoenix.com. And there’s no catch… we promise.

The tracklisting is:
 
“Lisztomania”
“Lasso”
“Fences”
“Girlfriend”
“Armistice”
“Love Like a Sunset”
“Rome”
“1901”
 

 

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<p>Sheryl Crow is one of Lilith Fair's performers</p>

Sheryl Crow is one of Lilith Fair's performers

Finally! Lilith 2010 opens sets opening date June 27

Selena Gomez joins the fun

After months of leaking out details in dibs and drabs, Lilith Fair has finally announced the opening date of the rejuvenated femme fest.  The tour launches June 27 at Calgary’s McMahon Stadium. Tickets go on sale April 3. Additionally, Selena Gomez and Jenni Rivera have been added to the line-up.

To heighten awareness for the festival, founder Sarah McLachlan and Emmylou Harris will perform McLachlan’s “Angel” on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” tonight.
 
Below is a list of tour dates announced so far with on-sale dates.
 
Sun, Jun 27        Calgary, AB        McMahon Stadium (on-sale 4/3)
Mon, Jun 28        Edmonton, AB   Northlands Spectrum (on-sale 4/3)
Thur, Jul 1          Vancouver, BC   Pitt Meadows Airport (on-sale 4/3)
Fri, Jul 2            Portland, OR          The Amphitheatre at Clark County (on-s ale 3/27)
Sat, Jul 3           Seattle, WA            The Gorge Amphitheatre (on-sale 3/27)
Wed, Jul 7         San Diego, CA      Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre (on-sale 4/3)
Sat, Jul 10         Los Angeles, CA   Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (on-sale 4/3)
Tue, Jul 13        Denver, CO          Comfort Dental Amphitheatre (on-sale 4/3)
Sat, Jul 17        Chicago, IL               First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre (on-sale 3/27)
Tues, July 20     Indianapolis, IN        Verizon Wireless Music Center (on-sale 3/27)
Sat, Jul 24        Toronto, ON             Molson Canadian Amphitheatre (on-sale 3/27)
Tues, July 27     Cleveland, OH           Blossom Music Center (on-sale 4/3)
Sun, Aug 8       Atlanta, GA               Aaron’s Amphitheatre (on-sale 3/27)
Tues, Aug 10    W. Palm Beach, FL     Cruzan Amphitheatre (on-sale 3/27)

Full list of artists announced so far:
A Fine Frenzy, Anjulie, Ann Atomic, Anya Marina, Ash Koley, The Bangles, Beth Orton, Brandi Carlile, Butterfly Boucher, Cat Power, Ceci Bastida, Chairlift, Chantal Kreviazuk, Colbie Caillat, Corinne Bailey Rae, Court Yard Hounds, Donna Delory, Elizaveta, Emmylou Harris, Erin McCarley, Erykah Badu, Frazey Ford, The Go-Go’s, Gossip, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, Heart, Ima, Indigo Girls, Ingrid Michaelson, Janelle Monae, Jenni Rivera, Jennifer Knapp, Jesca Hoop, Jill Hennessy, Jill Scott, Julia Othmer, Kate Miller-Heidke, Kate Nash Katzenjammer, Kelly Clarkson, Ke$ha, La Roux, Lights, Lissie, Loretta Lynn, Lucy Schwartz, Marina & The Diamonds, Martina McBride, Mary J. Blige, Meaghan Smith, Melissa McClelland, Metric, Miranda Lambert, Miranda Lee Richards, Missy Higgins, Nikki Jean, Nneka, Norah Jones, Priscilla Renea, The Rescues, Rosie Thomas, Sara Bareilles, Sarah McLachlan, Selena Gomez, Serena Ryder, Sheryl Crow, Sia, Sugarland, Susan Justice, Suzanne Vega, Tara MacLean, Tegan and Sara, Toby Lightman, Vedera, Vita Chambers, The Submarines,  The Weepies, Ximena Sarinana, Zee Avi

 

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Jay Z at the 2010 Brit Awards

Jay-Z at the 2010 Brit Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: 'NY-Z,' Danny Clinch's video about Jay-Z

What do we learn about Hova?

Danny Clinch’s documentary on Jay-Z, "NY-Z," gives a short look at the life of the rap superstar. You can watch the doc, all 15 minutes of it, below.

A collaboration between Absolut, Facebook and Madison Square Garden, the black-and-white film follows Jay-Z as he muses on “The Blueprint 3” and being an adult in hip-hop and his thoughts about being a native New Yorker through his Sept. 11 MSG benefit, Answer the Call, which raised funds for 9/11 widows of first responders.
 
Do you learn anything new about Hova? No, but for fans, it’s a nice look into the way he works. Plus we see how he collaborates with John Mayer.
 
If you want the shorter version, here’s a link to our previous story about the documentary that features the trailer.
 
 
 

 

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Lady GaGa performs at the American Music Awards.

Lady GaGa performs at the American Music Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

With 'Telephone' still ringing, Lady GaGa thinks ahead to next video and directors

Plus, some thoughts on the constant Madonna comparisons

What’s next for Lady GaGa? In addition to a U.S. summer tour that is selling out like gangbusters (she’s already adding multiple dates in cities), it looks like the next video will be for “Alejandro.”

“Alejandro” is a campy, but fairly mundane, tune from “The Fame Monster” that reminds us of Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita” crossed with Abba’s “Fernando.”   While Lady GaGa is the last person we expect a straight-ahead narrative from when it comes to videos, the tune lends itself to plenty of drama and we know that GaGa can bring that.
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