<p>M.I.A. rocked the Coachella Valley Arts &amp; Music Festival this year</p>

M.I.A. rocked the Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival this year

Credit: AP Photo

Coachella sets 2010 dates; headliner rumor-mill begins

Layaway and pre-sale start today

The 2019 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will be held April 16-18. No acts yet, but if you want to take it on faith that the line-up will be worth checking out (and we would, if we were you), a pre-sale and layaway plan starts today.
 
Held at the Empiro Polo Grounds in Indio, Calif., the festival offers three days of fantastic alternative, rock and dance music. If you’re a music fan, you can’t really go wrong with attending Coachella because if you don’t like who’s playing on one stage, there will likely be someone else you adore on another—or some new musical discovery to be had.
 
Tickets for the event are $269. Changes this year include people will now be able to bring their cars next to their camping spots (instead of hauling their gear).
 
If you’re interested, follow the fun “rumors” thread on the Coachella website, but be aware that “rumor” is code for “wishlist” in this case.

 

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<p>Alicia Keys</p>

Alicia Keys

New music releases this week: Alicia Keys, Robin Thicke, Kylie Minogue

The 'Avatar' soundtrack also hits stores

 

Years ago, there were no significant album releases after Thanksgiving. That’s obviously no longer the case.
 
This week alone brings new titles from Alicia Keys, Robin Thicke and Kylie Minogue as well as the “Avatar” soundtrack.
 
Animal Collective, “Fall Be Kind” (Domino): Art rockers started the year with the most critically acclaimed and popular album of their career with “Merriweather Post Pavilion.” Just in time for the holidays, they give their fans a little end-of-the year present with this five-track EP that includes samples from both Zamfir, the pan flute master, and the Grateful Dead. Is there anyone else who can get away with that?

Alicia Keys, “The Element of Freedom” (MBK/J): R&B/pop singer’s fourth album takes the listener on an emotional journey that shows both Keys’ strengths and vulnerabilities, including, according to an interview with Billboard, her battle with depression. Plus, there’s a duet with Beyonce and part two of her massive hit with Jay-Z, “Empire State of Mind.” Read review here.

Julian Lennon/James Scott Cook, “Lucy” (theRevolution): After an 11-year hiatus, Lennon eases back into the recording process with this EP, named after childhood friend,  Lucy Vodden, the inspiration for the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” who recently died of lupus. James Scott Cook is the first artist signed to theRevolution, a label co-founded by Lennon.

Kylie Minogue, “Kylie: Live in New York” (Astrelwerks): Minogue’s third live set was recorded earlier this year at New York’s Hammersmith Ballroom at the conclusion of her North American tour.

Robin Thicke, “Sex Therapy: The Session” (Star Trak/Interscope): Thicke crosses over from sensual to full on sexy with his fourth studio album that includes appearances from Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, Kid Cudi, Estelle and the Game.  God knows he’s got the smoky, sex-drenched voice to deliver a song like “Make U Love Me” or “It’s in the Mornin’.”

Various Artists, “Avatar” (Atlantic): We don’t normally include film soundtracks, but most movies aren’t “Avatar.” Along with James Horner’s score, you get the Leona Lewis-warbled theme, “I See You,” which wants with all its heart to be the new “My Heart Will Go On.”

Phil Vassar, “Traveling Circus” (Universal South): One of country’s top songwriters releases his fifth studio album. While his career hasn’t reached the heights of those he’s penned songs for (Tim McGraw and Alan Jackson, to name two), he’s always a good listen.
 

 

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<p>&nbsp;Susan Boyle</p>

 Susan Boyle

Credit: AP

Susan Boyle's 'Dream' Continues. How do Chris Brown's opening sales look?

Is 'Graffiti' a winner or a loser on next week's chart?

 

The Susan Boyle phenomenon continues. After topping the charts for two weeks, she’s going for a third. Look for “I Dreamed a Dream” to sell up to a staggering 675,000 copies this week as lots of folks are clearly stuffing Boyle into their Christmas stocking.
 
She has a handy lead over the top-themed holiday collection, Andrea Bocelli’s “My Christmas,” which continues to soar. It will sell around 400,000 unit this week, predicts Hits Daily Double. It is far and away the smash Christmas album of the season. No other title has even comes close to “My Christmas,” which will surpass the 1.5 million mark this week. For example, Sugarland’s “Green & Gold” has sold around 150,000, while Bob Dylan’s much-discussed first ever Christmas album, “Christmas in the Heart” is at around 95,000. (If we want to be generous and count Sting’s “On a Winter’s Night” as holiday title, it’s worth noting that it has surpassed 300,000).
 
Back to what you’re likely to see on next Wednesday’s album chart: Of the newcomers, “Glee’s” second soundtrack will be the top new entry with around 140,000 copies sold. (The first “Glee” collection, released a few weeks ago, is still hanging tough and will probably be in the top 12 or so).
 
So how does Chris Brown’s “Graffiti” look? Not so hot. The title will be lucky to eek out 100,000 in sales. If anyone’s comparing notes, Rihanna’s “Rated R” sold 180,000   units in its opening frame a few weeks ago. Rapper Gucci Mane will likely also debut in the Top 10 with sales of around 90,000.

 

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<p>&nbsp;Mariah Carey</p>

 Mariah Carey

Credit: NBC`

Mariah Carey starts first tour in three years on Jan. 2

Is the 'Imperfect Angel' coming to your town?

 

“Imperfect Angel” Mariah Carey kicks off an eight-week tour Jan. 2. It will be her first outing since 2006’s “Adventures of Mimi” outing.
 
The dates, which go on sale to the general public on Dec. 19, follow her Dec. 31 show at New York’s Madison Square Garden, which still has tickets available.  Opening will be the awfully-named RydazNrtist, a group signed to Nick Cannon’s NCredible Entertainment. Hmmmm. Wonder how they got that gig?
 
A few thoughts: It’s very late to be announcing a tour that starts in three weeks, especially when many people may have already spent their disposable income on Christmas presents.  For example, Taylor Swift’s tickets for her shows Spring shows have already been on sale for months. Secondly, the venues reveal, for the most part, much smaller facilities than Carey has played in the past. For example, she’s playing the Tower Theater outside of Philadelphia, which has a capacity of slightly more than 3,000. In Chicago, she’s playing the 3,600-seat Chicago Theater. She’s left room in her schedule for multiples at each venue, however. In other cities, such as Toronto, she’s playing the Air Canada Centre, which has a capacity of 19,800 (although the facility has a scaled-down theatre mode). The smaller venues may be an economic reality, but they also seem like a great place to see and hear Carey, as opposed to a cavernous arena.
Below are the tour dates:
 
Jan.      2                Atlantic City, NJ         Borgata –
            15-16          Mashantucket, CT      MGM Grand Theatre @Foxwoods          
            19              Atlanta, GA               Fox Theatre
            21               Hollywood, FL           Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
            25              Detroit, MI                  Fox Theatre
            27              Washington, DC         DAR Constitution Hall
            30              Boston, MA                Wang Theatre
Feb.     1                Philadelphia, PA         Tower
            4                Montreal, Que.            Bell Centre
            6                Ottawa, Ont.               Scotiabank Place                                             9               Toronto, Ont.              Air Canada Centre
            10              Columbus, OH          Schottenstein Center
            13              Chicago, IL                 Chicago Theatre                                               16             Minneapolis, MN     Northrop Auditorium
            18              Dallas, TX                   Nokia Theatre
            20              Phoenix, AZ                Dodge Theatre
            23              Los Angeles, CA        Gibson Theater
            26              Oakland, CA               Oracle Arena                                                     27               Las Vegas, NV            The Pearl Concert Theater
 
 

 

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<p>Jeff Bridges at the Los Angeles premiere of &quot;Crazy Heart.&quot;</p>

Jeff Bridges at the Los Angeles premiere of "Crazy Heart."

Credit: AP Photo/Dan Steinberg

The Jeff Bridges Interview: The 'Crazy Heart' star talks music, marriage and mortality

Plus: Tackling John Wayne's performance in a remake of 'True Grit'

Mention Jeff Bridges to almost anyone and they immediately can reference their favorite Bridges’ character, whether it’s the innocent alien in “Starman,” the burnt-out DJ in “The Fisher King,” the mediocre jazz musician in “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” the valiant president in “The Contender” or the now iconic Dude from “The Big Lebowski.”
 
With “Crazy Heart,” Bridges has added another unforgettable character to his remarkable 40-year career. In the film, out Dec. 16, he plays Bad Blake, a once-successful country singer who’s traveled thousands of miles down dark, bad roads. At the bottom of a downward slide, he drives from gig to gig in his old, beat-up Suburban, a shadow of his former self, but the music is all he has. Bridges so completely inhabits the role and received so much acclaim as the movie played the festival circuit, the decision was made to move up the release date in time for Bridges to be in Oscar contention. If nominated, it will be his fifth acting nod.

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<p>Mary J. Blige joins the newly relaunched Lilith Fair</p>

Mary J. Blige joins the newly relaunched Lilith Fair

Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Sugarland, Erykah Badu lined up for Lilith Fair

Co-founder Sarah McLachlan returns while newbies like Ke$ha, Colbie Caillat abound


Lilith Fair will offer something old and something new, as the returning female-leaning festival announces its initial slate of performers for this summer’s tour.

Lilith co-founder Sarah McLachlan plus Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Erykah Badu and Tegan and Sara are among the returning alumni from Lilith Fairs past.
 
Newcomers on the rotating bill include Mary J. Blige, Colbie Caillat, Ke$ha, Miranda Lambert, Corrine Bailey Rae, A Fine Frenzy, Chairlift, Jill Scott, Sugarland, Brandi Carlile, Sara Bareilles, Zee Avi and the Weepies.
 
For more info go to www.lilithfair.com
 
Here are the first round of cities the tour will hit—dates to be announced.
 
o    Atlanta, GA 
o    Boston, MA
o    Calgary, AB
o    Chicago, IL
o    Dallas, TX
o    Denver, CO
o    London, UK
o    Los Angeles, CA
o    Minneapolis, MN
o    Montreal, QC
o    New York, NY
o    Philadelphia, PA
o    Portland, OR
o    Seattle, WA
o    San Francisco, CA
o    Toronto, ON
o    Vancouver, BC
o    Washington, DC
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<p>Yes, Taylor Swift has completely taken over the music business. There is no escape.</p>

Yes, Taylor Swift has completely taken over the music business. There is no escape.

Credit: AP Photo/Pete Kramer

Who is Billboard's top artist of 2009? Lady GaGa? Taylor Swift? Michael Jackson?

See how your favorite ranked

 It’s official: Taylor Swift is Billboard’s Artist of the Year. The music industry Bible tallied album sales and Hot 100 song ranking to come up with the list of the top artists of 2009.  

As you’ll see (and as the Grammy nominations last week reflected, it was a very good year for the ladies). Swift’s album, “Fearless,” has sold more than 4 million copies, while her music, most notable singles “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me,” have been crossover, multi-format smashes.

The lingering question, however, is if Billboard had allowed catalog titles on the Billboard 200, would that have made a difference? Would Michael Jackson’s astronomical posthumous sales been enough to propel him into the Top 10? Billboard made the change to include catalog titles going forward in late November--too late for both Jackson and the Beatles.

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<p>Daniel Powter: Have a bad day?</p>

Daniel Powter: Have a bad day?

Name that Tune: Who leads the list of One-Hit Wonders of the 2000s

How did Gnarls Barkley and James Blunt fare?


Here’s a list you don’t want to top: The decade’s top one-hit wonders chart. We at Hitfix will bring you plenty of our own lists -- some of them, like Daniel’s great countdown of his favorite TV shows of the decade, have already started.

But in the meantime, as Drew did earlier today, we’ll link to some of our favorites from other sites.

Billboard has a great listing of those folks whose song you couldn’t escape for months -- and then you never heard from them again.

Here’s the top 10, but we think you should check out the whole list. It goes to 50. Sit play and play, “Oh yeah! What ever did happen to them?”

Daniel Powter, “Bad Day”
Terror Squad, “Lean Back”
Crazy Town, “Butterfly”
Mims, “This is Why I’m Hot”
D4L, “Laffy Taffy”
James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”
Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy”
Blu Cantrell, “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)”
Bo Bice, “Inside Your Heaven”
Dream, “He Loves U Not”
 

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<p>Lady GaGa</p>

Lady GaGa

iTunes' top sellers of 2009: How about MJ, Jay-Z, Lady GaGa?

Is your favorite on the list?
 
Which artists sold the most in 2009? That answer will be revealed in a few days when Billboard releases its list of top sellers based on Nielsen SoundScan, but in the meantime, the world’s largest music seller, iTunes, has weighed in.

Kings of Leon’s “Only by the Night,” was the top album download on iTunes for this year (this also includes album-equivalent, which means 10 tracks from an album or more), while the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow,” was the leading single download. Below are the top albums and tracks lists.

A few observations: While “Only by the Night” sold well, it was far from the top seller in the U.S. That’s probably going to be Taylor Swift’s “Fearless.” It’s worth noting that while everyone is going around screaming that the physical album is dead, about 75% of all album sales are still from CDs, not album downloads. Yes, the physical album is a dinosaur, but it’s not extinct yet.

Another thought: There has been much thought that digital singles sales cannibalize album sales. That’s no doubt true to some measure and we certainly see that with rap singles in particular. A rap song may sell more than a million downloads, but the album it’s taken from will be in the low six figures. But it’s hard to argue that point in any meaningful way when one-third of the acts on the top-selling tracks list are also on the top-selling albums list.
 
 

ALBUMS
1. Kings of Leon, Only by the Night
2. Twilight
3. Lady Gaga, The Fame
4. Taylor Swift, Fearless
5. Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King
6. The Essential Michael Jackson
7. The Fray, The Fray
8. Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3
9. Eminem, Relapse
10. Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)

TRACKS
1. "Boom Boom Pow," Black Eyed Peas
2. "Right Round," Flo Rida
3. "Poker Face," Lady Gaga
4. "I Gotta Feeling," Black Eyed Peas
5. "Gives You Hell," The All-American Rejects
6. "Just Dance," Lady Gaga & Colby O'Donis
7. "Party in the U.S.A.," Miley Cyrus
8. "The Climb," Miley Cyrus
9. "Dead and Gone,” T.I. f/ Justin Timberlake
10. "Use Somebody," KIngs of Leon
Go to www.itunes.com for a complete rundown on the top sellers in all genres.

 

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<p>Sade</p>

Sade

Listen: Sade makes a militant return on 'Soldier of Love'

Singer appears after a decade-long absence. Did you miss her?


If you’re under 30, unless your parents have introduced you to Sade, it’s probably impossible to understand how adored she was when her records first came out in the 1980s. In fact, you may have never heard her name.
 
Here was the stunning, exotic  British/Nigerian beauty , who sang with total ennui, in a somewhat flat monotone that nonetheless stirred emotions within the listener even if Sade remained impassive. Songs like “Your Love is King,” “Smooth Operator,” and “No Ordinary Love” were mainstays on MTV. Indeed, with her sleek, gorgeous presence and stylized videos, she and a then-nascent MTV were made for each other.
 
It’s been more than 20 years since Sade has a real radio hit and around 10 years since her last album, but she’s back now, still on her original label (Epic) with a new single from her forthcoming February album. (Editor's Note: As one of our readers pointed out below, it has actually been 17 years since her last radio hit, "No Ordinary Love." )
 
And it’s amazing how little has changed. Not that we expected Sade to suddenly be a belter, but “Soldier of Love” sounds like it could have come off of “Diamond Life” or any of her other huge sellers.Hear it here.
 
“I’ve lost the use of my heart, but I’m still alive,” Sade sings as the song open as its military-precision drums propel the story. Her voice is instantly identifiable, but is deeper, and not quite as smooth. It’s grown a little rougher around the edges over time. However, that weatherbeaten tone certainly fits such lyrics as “I’ve been torn up inside, I’ve been left behind” and “It’s too late for love to come to turn it all around.”
 
It is too late for Sade? Perhaps. We doubt even adult-leaning radio would play her at this point. This is a song that will live or die by press and television placements. It has the right tone to be used in a commercial for an FX TV show or something like that. Plus, there are some righteous dance remixes to be made of this track.
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