Watch: Santigold and David Byrne in video for 'Please Don't'

Tune is from Byrne and Fat Boy Slim's ode to Imelda Marcos

David Byrne is brilliant and he’s earned the right to do whatever appeals to his crazy little mind, but we do have to say that when we first heard about his plans for a two-CD concept album about the relationship between Imelda Marcos, wife of the former Philippines leader Ferdinand Marcos, and one of her servants, it sounded  like it could appeal to a very small niche market.

 However, that was before we heard any of  “Here Lies Love,” which he’s collaborating on with Fat Boy Slim. The pair have brought in lots of ladies to help execute their vision on the April 6 release, including Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Sia, and, as you’re about to hear, Santigold.
What’s clear is as more of the songs roll out, the Marcos relationship is the starting point for the songs, but their appeal goes far beyond people interested in the shoe-collecting crazy lady.
Read Full Post
Alex Chilton perform with Big Star at SXSW in 2004.

Alex Chilton performs with Big Star at SXSW in 2004.

Credit: AP Photo/Jack Plunkett

Big Star's Alex Chilton dead of a heart attack at 59

Revered '70s band was set to play SXSW on Saturday

Alex Chilton, lead singer of Box Tops and tremendously influential pop indie band Big Star, died today of an apparent heart attack. He was 59.

Ironically, Big Star, who no doubt influenced 1000 of the 1500 acts playing at SXSW this week, was slated to play the Austin music festival on Saturday.

His Big Star bandmate and longtime friend, Jody Stephens, confirmed the news to Memphis’s Commercial Appeal, which broke the news. Chilton was from Memphis.

Chilton was only 16 when he sang the Box Tops’ huge hit, “The Letter” in the ‘60s. Shortly following that band’s break up in 1970 and a short-lived attempt at a solo career, Chilton joined with Chris Bell (who died in 1978), Andy Hummel and Jody Stephens, who, like him were obsessed with British pop. The foursome, known as Big Star, helped put Memphis on the modern day pop map, recording at Ardent Studio, as well as being the lead  act on the Stax-distributed label. It released three critically adored albums, but the band never achieved any true modicum of commercial success.

 Chilton, always a reluctant musical hero,  returned to his solo career and relocated to New Orleans. In the ‘90s, with their cult status secure, Big Star reunited with the addition of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow from the Posies. The last Big Star album, “In Space,” was released in 2005.

The group never scored a major hit, but it—and Chilton’s—influence on modern day pop music can’t be underestimated, especially when it comes to ‘80s acts like REM and the Replacements, who revered  Chilton so much that they wrote and recorded a song, “Alex Chilton,”  as a tribute for its 1987 album, “Pleased To Meet Me.”

Additionally, scores of artists, ranging from Wilco, the Bangles, Jeff Buckley and Counting Crows have recorded his songs.  However, for many people, their only exposure to Big Star was the group's  "In the Street," a version of which was used as the opening theme for "That '70s Show." 

Chilton is survived by his wife, Laura, and son, Timothy.

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Jason Wade of Lifehouse</p>

 Jason Wade of Lifehouse

Credit: Steve Nesius/AP

Ten Minutes with Lifehouse's Jason Wade

Band co-founder shares his secret obsession, what's on his iPod and Chris Daughtry stories

Lifehouse may not grab the headlines for their offstage antics or celebrity hook-ups. Instead, the quartet quietly goes about topping the charts with tunes that stick to radio playlists like glue. Since its 2001 major label debut, “No Name Face,” the Los Angeles-based band has crafted hit after hit, including “Hanging by a Moment,” “Breathing,” “You and Me,” “Whatever It Takes” and, now, adult contemporary chart topper, “Halfway Gone,” the first single from the group’s fifth album, “Smoke and Mirrors.”

Released March 2, “Smoke and Mirrors” debuted at a career-high No. 6 on the Billboard 200 last week. It features Lifehouse’s stock-in-trade: instantly recognizable, mid-tempo, lyrically dramatic rock tracks, but also switches up rhythms and instrumentation in the way the band had never attempted before.

Hitfix chatted with founding member/lead singer/primary songwriter Jason Wade, who got his geek on with us.  

“Smoke and Mirrors” is a hybrid of rawer material that you wrote on the road and more polished studio songs How deliberate was that?

It wasn’t really that deliberate in the beginning, but about halfway through the record, we started to realize we were kind of making a more organic rock record and neglecting the polished radio side that’s kind of kept us alive over the past 10 years. So we kind of shifted our focus to kind of bring some balance to the record, I guess you could say. And that’s where the whole smoke and mirrors concept came from. We were really kind of showcasing two different sides of the band that’s reflected on this album.

Some bands would say let’s just go with the organic side and see if our fans will follow us. Did you feel that wouldn’t fully represent who you were?

I kind of feel like we already did that on our album, [2002’s]  “Stanley Climbfall,” and it didn’t really work out too well (laughs). We’ve kind of been down that road before and I think it’s really important to see yourself from the outside. That’s a problem that a lot of bands have: they can’t really see who their fans are and where they’re at in their career. I think we took a healthy glance of where we’re at after 10 years. We had a lot of fun making this record, to be honest.

What was so fun about it?

Just kind of pushing the sonic space a bit more. We didn’t want to just recreate “No Name Face” or the last record. We really had a lot of fun, we pulled out some synth basses and we kind of just messed with some of the rhythms and just didn’t take it that serious, you know.

Did your producer, Jude Cole, encourage that in the studio?

Yeah, he’s been a huge catalyst. He’s always the one pushing us forward and is always the first one to scrap a song and take it back to the beginning. He pushed us pretty hard on this record which I think was kind of necessary.


Because I think that when you get to a certain place where you’re having a certain amount of success, it’s easy to just get complacent and just make the same record over and over just because it’s working and I don’t really think that’s a healthy thing, especially for us, because we felt we just needed to continue to move forward and try some new things and Jude was a huge catalyst for that.

Smoke and mirrors as a saying means that things are all an illusion. How do you feel that also fits into making music these days?

Well, I think it’s funny because I feel like our band has always been the kind of antithesis to smoke and mirrors. Even though we’re in the studio making some albums that are more polished than others, we’re still not really flying anything in, using Autotune live; we’re just two guitars, bass and drums. A lot of people are shocked when they see us live. When they hear us on the radio, they think it’s going to be this big production with a lot of smoke and mirrors, I guess you could say, but really, when we are out on the road, it’s just two guitarists, bass and drums.

So there’s no illusion when you’re out on the road.

Exactly. What you see is what you get.

You guys are road dogs. What’s the one item you’ve learned you can’t live without on the road?

I’d have to say probably my iPod for listening to music before the show. I’m just a huge fan of every genre as long as it’s quality music.

What’s on your iPod that would surprise us?

The last couple of years, I’ve just been obsessed with film music. I have over 350 soundtracks on my iPod. I really hope to get into film music someday in the future.

Who’s your favorite composer?

I’d have to say, right now, Thomas Newman. He’s just brilliant. Just in how he uses the clarinets. “American Beauty” is one of my favorites. The stuff he did for “Six Feet Under,” he’s a genius.

First single, “Halfway Gone,” you wrote with Kevin Rudolf. That’s a bit of a switch up for you guys.

We were about 90% done with the record. At that point we felt like we had our pop songs covered. We had our rock songs covered, but it was funny, every time that song “Let it Rock” would come on Top 40, it was the only song I would turn up in my car. Jude and I had the idea to reach out to him for a collaboration and see if we could kind of fuse together these two sides of the record that we were making. It turned out that he was a big Lifehouse fan and he happened to be in L.A. at the time so he came down to the studio. It was a really different kind of collaboration because I usually write on acoustic guitar and Kevin brought all these keyboards in and all these drum loops and it sounded like a dance party. It was like these two different worlds colliding in a good way. So it was a really interesting collaboration.

You also wrote with Chris Daughtry and Richard Marx on “Had Enough.”  What was that like?

It was interesting. The whole collaboration came out of me and Chris Daughtry had become good friends over the last couple of years.  Chris wrote a song with Richard and [Nickelback’s] Chad Kroeger and so he had the idea to fly Richard in from Chicago. To be honest, I knew his stuff, but I wasn’t that familiar and once I got to know Richard during those two days, I realized I knew all these songs that he wrote from everyone from Keith Urban to Luther Vandross. It was kind of going to a professional songwriting clinic, you know what I mean?  And for me, that’s different because I’ve always come from a visceral place. Not really professional, I just kind of pick up a guitar and go where it takes me, so it was definitely a really good learning experience.

You’re touring with Daughtry and Cavo. How is it different from your previous tours?

We’re playing a 45-minute set and it’s going to give us a chance to highlight a lot of the new stuff and really sink our teeth into this record. It’s a long tour, it’s three and half months and it just  came out of a natural progression of being friends and getting to know those guys and I think we share a lot of the same fans, so it just kind of made sense.

You turn 30 in a few months. You were 18 when you started this band. What are your thoughts about this milestone?

You know what?  I think I’ve felt 30 since I was 25 with all the wear and tear on the road. I don’t think it’s going to be a huge deal. I already feel 30, to be honest, so I’ve got that going for me.

Do you have a gig that day?

I don’t think so. The Daughtry tour wraps up mid-June, so I’m thinking about maybe going to Mexico with my wife.

As you mentioned, the band has been together a dozen years. Are there times you can see it ending or can you see that in the blink of an eye it will be 24 years together.

I kind of think as long as we’re all having fun doing this, we’re going to keep it going. I hit a point about mid-way through the band’s existence in 2005 where everyone started growing apart. Me and Rick [Woolstenhulme] the drummer became good friends, but [band co-founder/bassist] Sergio [Andrade] and I kind of grew apart and we were kind of childhood friends.

So when that happened, just no one was having fun anymore and it just became a job and when music becomes just a job, it becomes miserable and I don’t think any band has any right sticking around when they’re not having fun. So as soon as [current bassist] Bryce [Soderberg] joined the band, the chemistry just really locked it. We’re just having a blast right now, so as long as that attitude is prevalent, we’re still going to be doing it.


Read Full Post


Credit: Jeff Christensen/AP

Ludacris lands at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, ending a rap drought

Four other new debuts join him in the Top 10, including Gorillaz and Broken Bells

Ludacris scores his fourth No. 1 album of his career this week as “Battle of the Sexes,” lands at the top of the Billboard 200 this week. It is one of four debuts in the top 5.

Luda’s seventh set, which features him collaborating with such artists as Ciara, Ne-Yo, Flo-Rida and Lil Kim, sold 137,000 copies. It is the first rap album to debut at No. 1 in nearly since Jay Z’s “The Blueprint 3” last fall, according to Billboard.

Animated creation Gorillaz lope into the No. 2 spot with “Plastic Beach,” which moves 112,000 copies. It is the Damon Albarn-led band’s highest charting album.

Remarkably, the lost album of Jimi Hendrix music, “Valleys of Neptune,” debuts at No. 4, selling 95,000. It is the posthumous guitar slinger’s best appearance on the chart since 1971’s “The Cry of Love.” If you’re keeping count, it is his 34th album to chart since his 1970 death. He may have Tupac beat, although we imagine that Michael Jackson will eventually far surpass Hendrix’s post-death tally.

Coming in at No. 5 is country singer Gary Allan, which is fourth straight top 10 set, “Get off on the Pain.”

The only holdout from last week’s top 5, is Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now,” which falls from No. 1 to No. 3.

Also debuting in the top 10 is the self-titled No. 7 bow from Broken Bells, a duo composed of Danger Mouse and the Shins’ lead singer James Mercer.

Rounding out the Top 10 are Sade’s “Soldier of Love” (No. 6), Lady GaGa’s “The Fame” (No. 8), Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.” (No. 9) and Blake Shelton’s “Hillbilly Bone” (No. 10). Shelton also takes the title tune to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Songs chart this week.

With a light release schedule from this Tuesday, it’s possible that Ludacris will stay at No. 1 again next week, but more likely that Lady A will bounce back up to No. 1.

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Alicia Keys</p>

 Alicia Keys

Credit: Dave Allocca/AP

Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, John Legend kick off FIFA World Cup celebration

Artists will perform June 10 in Johannesburg's Orlando Stadium

The ubiquitous Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Shakira and Juanes are among the artists who will play FIFA’s World Cup Kick-Off Celebration concert June 10 in Johannesburg.

The show, which takes place in Soweto’s Orlando Stadium, will be broadcast around the world, according to FIFA’s website. Other participating artists include Amadou & Marian, Angelique Kidjo, BLK JKS, the Parlotones, Vieux Farka Toure, Tinariwen and Vusi Mahlesela. The spectacle will also feature appearances from soccer legends throughout the decades.  This marks the first time the World Cup has been played in Africa.

Net proceeds from the concert will go to 20 Centres for 2010, which aims to build 20 healthcare and education outposts throughout Africa.

Read Full Post

DMX sentenced to six months in jail for probation violation

Judge also orders rapper to undergo a mental health evaluation

DMX has been sentenced to six months in jail for violating his probation. In a Phoenix court on Tuesday, the rapper admitted to failing a drug test last year. He has been out on probation for the last 10 months, following a 90-day sentence for abusing animals and drug convictions, until his March 9 arrest for probation violation, according to the Associated Press.

DMX, who is the only artist to have his four albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, seemingly cannot get out of his own way (even  celeb rehab specialist Dr. Drew has offered to help him). DMX, aka Earl Simmons, has been arrested at least half a dozen times over the last decade on a whole panoply of charges (at least he’s varying it up) including the fairly mundane drug and weapon possession to theft and animal cruelty.

In addition to the six months in lock up, the judge also ordered DMX to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Read Full Post


Phish is the latest act to jump into the summer tour waters

After a five-year hiatus, Phish can't stop touring

There’s clearly something in the touring waters. There have been five major summer tours announced in the last 48 hours: Outings from Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, Lilith 2010,  Eagles/Dixie Chicks/Keith Urban and now, Phish. They took a few years off and now we can’t get them off the road, God bless ‘em.
The new circuit starts June 11 at Chicago’s Toyota Park.

Tickets go on sale to the general public April 2, while Phish fanatics get the change to request their tickets a week earlier via

Below are the dates.

Date     City/State     Venue
6/11     Chicago, IL     Toyota Park
6/12     Cuyahoga Falls, OH     Blossom Music Center
6/13     Hershey, PA     Hersheypark Stadium
6/15     Portsmouth, VA     Telos Pavilion at Harbor Center
6/17     Hartford, CT      Comcast Theatre
6/18     Hartford, CT      Comcast Theatre
6/19     Saratoga Springs, NY      Saratoga Performing Arts Center
6/20     Saratoga Springs, NY     Saratoga Performing Arts Center
6/22     Mansfield, MA      Comcast Center
6/24     Camden, NJ      Susquehanna Bank Center
6/25     Camden, NJ      Susquehanna Bank Center
6/26     Columbia, MD     Merriweather Post Pavilion
6/27     Columbia, MD     Merriweather Post Pavilion
6/29     Canandaigua, NY     CMAC
7/1     Raleigh, NC       Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion
7/2     Charlotte, NC      Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
7/3     Alpharetta, GA      Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre @ Encore Park
7/4      Alpharetta, GA      Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre @ Encore Park
8/5      Berkeley, CA      Greek Theatre
8/6      Berkeley, CA      Greek Theatre
8/7      Berkeley, CA      Greek Theatre
8/9      Telluride, CO      Telluride Town Park
8/10      Telluride, CO     Telluride Town Park
8/12     Noblesville, IN     Verizon Wireless Music Center
8/13     Noblesville, IN     Verizon Wireless Music Center
8/14     East Troy, WI     Alpine Valley Music Theatre
8/15     East Troy, WI     Alpine Valley Music Theatre
8/17     Wantagh, NY     Nikon Theater at Jones Beach
8/18     Wantagh, NY     Nikon Theater at Jones Beach


Read Full Post
<p>Courtney Love</p>

Courtney Love

Courtney Love takes to her Facebook page to apologize to her 'eternal lover' Billy Corgan

But is it all an effort to get him to allow his songs for 'Nobody's Daughter?'

The ongoing living drama known as Courtney Love continues as the singer attempts to mend fences with former collaborator/boyfriend Billy Corgan via her Facebook page.

As you may be aware, Corgan threw down the gauntlet several days ago when he told Rolling Stone that he was done with Love and that if she’d released the songs they worked together on for Hole's new album, "Nobdoy's Daughter," there was going to be trouble “because I haven’t given my permission.” Now, he may have just been negotiating in the press and for all we know it’s since been resolved, but Love felt the need to to apologize to Corgan, calling the pair  “eternal lovers” and “eternal warriors.”

Here’s her Facebook post, courtesy of The Daily Swarm. Someone’s clearly ready to make nice.

Dearest Billy:

I love you, I love your strong and eternal heart, even love the fucked up gnarly amazing magnificent bigger-than-god louder-than-love karma of the songs you write and allow me to fly with. We have again created beauty from the agony between us, all the buried and unburied anguish, all that is true, that is gold, that is meant to be is within this endless and somehow eternal cycle of Billy & Courtney.I hope you will take my sincerest apologies for all the thousand ways I sometimes offend you, because I know you are a king, a prince, and my beautiful noble boy. No one will ever force my hand, nothing will come between the truth of what we are:
Eternal lovers
Eternal fighters
Eternal warriors.
Let the forces and the shock and awe loose from its cages, all credit where it is due. I love and you and can never thank you enough.Your soul (and you know this).

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Mary J. Blige</p>

 Mary J. Blige

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Lilith 2010 announces initial dates for returning female-fronted festival

Sarah McLachlan only headliner to play all 36 shows

After weeks of teasing us with artist announcements and tour cities, Lilith 2010 is finally throwing out some real red meat with eight initial dates.

The opening date for the resurgent tour has yet to be announced, but we know that an early stop (though not the first stop, according to our sources), will be July 2 at The Amphitheater at Clark County in Portland, Ore. Tickets for that date and seven others go on sale this Saturday, March 27 via and

Additionally, the Lilith folks have revealed that there will be 11 artists on each date out of the revolving template of more than 80 acts. And only tour creator Sarah McLachlan will play every show.
Here are first announced stops for the 36-city tour. Below the dates is the growing list of participating acts.
Fri, Jul 2        Portland, OR        The Amphitheatre at Clark County
Sat, Jul 3        Seattle, WA        The Gorge Amphitheatre
Sat, Jul 17        Chicago, IL        First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
Tues, July 20        Indianapolis, IN    Verizon Wireless Music Center
Sat, Jul 24        Toronto, ON        Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
**Tues, July 27    Cleveland, OH        Blossom Music Center
Sun, Aug 8        Atlanta, GA        Aaron’s Amphitheatre
Tues, Aug 10        W. Palm Beach, FL    Cruzan Amphitheatre

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, 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, 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.

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;The Dixie Chicks</p>

 The Dixie Chicks

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

The Eagles, Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban soar into stadiums this summer

Outing marks the Chicks' first dates together in four years

The Eagles, Dixie Chicks and Keith Urban are linking up for the first announced stadium tour of the summer. It will be the first Dixie Chicks’ outing since 2006 and it comes on the heels of two of the three Chicks, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, starting their own group, Courtyard Hounds.

Only eight dates have been announced so far on the Eagles website, with more sure to come. The tour is promoted by LiveNation, which, of course, it would be since the Eagles’ manager Irving Azoff is executive chairman of the newly formed Live Nation Entertainment.

Ticket prices have yet to be announced, but they will utilize All-in ticketing, which means no added fees. In other words, they’ve included all the service fees, etc. that you normally have to pay onto the face value of the ticket.

June 8: *Toronto, ON (Rogers Centre)
June 10: East Rutherford, NJ (New Meadowlands Stadium)
June 12: Boston (Gillette Stadium)
June 14: Philadelphia (Citizens Bank Ball Park)
June 15: Washington, DC (Nationals Park)
June 19: Chicago (Soldier Field)
June 22: *Winnipeg, MB (Canad Inns Stadium)
June 24: *St. Louis (Busch Stadium)

*Keith Urban will not be on these shows

Read Full Post