<p>Eminem and Lil Wayne at the 2010 Grammy Awards</p>

Eminem and Lil Wayne at the 2010 Grammy Awards

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Lil Wayne and Eminem in video for 'Drop the World'

The two rappers go apocalyptic, set world on fire

Before Lil Wayne hops up in his spaceship and leaves earth—or goes to prison—whichever comes first, he and Eminem settle scores in the video for Lil Wayne’s “Drop the Earth.”  The mesmerizing track is one of the best on Lil Wayne’s otherwise disappointing “Rebirth.”

The gritty clip recalls “Escape from New York” or any movie, really, where marauding gangs, perhaps seeking vigilante justice or, in some cases, just a night of wilding, take to the abandoned city streets bringing destruction with them.

Eminem stops by around the 2:10 mark and pretty much raps better here than on anything on his recent album. When Eminem talks about  feeling like the walls are closing in, I believe him every time.

It’s a grim song in a grim world. except for that weird line about the cabbage and the lettuce, but by the looks of things, the veggies don’t fare any better than the rest of us in the melee.

Watch the video below, courtesy of Tuffjamma TV. 


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Greg Kurstin and Inara George, better known as The Bird and The Bee

Greg Kurstin and Inara George, better known as The Bird and The Bee.

Review: The Bird and The Bee are joined by Oates for Hall & Oates tribute show

Jazz/synth duo pay homage to another famous duo in Los Angeles

One surefire way to know the artist you’re paying homage to gives you his blessing? He shows up at your gig.
John Oates, the dark-haired half of Hall & Oates, paid The Bird and the Bee the ultimate compliment Friday night when he joined the alternative/synth pop duo’s packed show at the El Rey in Los Angeles.

Singer Inara George and keyboardist Greg Kurstin’s new set is a tribute to Hall & Oates, the most successful duo in pop history. “Interpreting the Masters Volume1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates” comes out March 23 on Blue Note Records and includes eight classic Hall & Oates tunes.

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Listen: Drake's new single, 'Over'

Hear him complain about how tough it is to be famous

Awwww, what happened Drake?  Did you miss your nap?

An extremely cranky Drake spews about how difficult fame is in “Over,” his new single: “I know way too many people here that I didn’t know last year/Who the fuck are y’all?,” he sings in the first stanza. The song opens with a string-led flourish, but goes nowhere fast lyrically, despite a very compelling beat.

Yeah, yeah, we get it, Drake. Fame’s a bitch. Women who wouldn’t give you a second look otherwise are falling all over you. We can see where you wouldn’t want that.  You’re traveling all over the world like a rock star. Total drag that… we get it.

Maybe with Lil Wayne, his protégé, headed off to jail,  there’s no one to keep a check on Drake, but this is not the message you put out before anyone really knows your name.  In some circles, the rapper is already huge because of the superior “Best I Ever Had,” but he’s hardly reached critical mass and may we remind him that he has yet to even release a full album yet? (“Over” is the first single from the modestly named “Thank Me Later.” )

Anyway, after bitching for awhile, he starts bragging about how “no one’s done it like I did it” and he’s made every skeptic a believer and he has the “shit that makes the bitches go insane.” Drake has considerable talent, but this is a bit much, even by typical rapper braggadocio standards. We'd like to see how Jada Pinkett feels about being called a bitch. And just a warning, in case it bothers you, he drops the N word.

Drake declares that he will be performing “until it’s over/but it’s far from over” and that he has no right to complain, but we have every right to complain about this song. Drake, if you’re really that tired of hanging out with folks you don’t know and all the trappings of fame, just keep putting out singles like this. Your little problem will take care of itself. And if you're just having a bad day, we're sorry, but keep it to yourself.


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<p>&quot;Almost Alice&quot;</p>

"Almost Alice"

Chart preview: Can Sade hold off Lady Antebellum for another week?

The top 10 is packed with newcomers: Do Danny Gokey and Jason Derulo top 'Alice'?'

After a fairly static Top 10 for the past two weeks, look for lots of new names next week when the new album chart bows on Wednesday. First off, five weeks after debuting at No. 1 only to have Sade push them down to No. 2 for the last three weeks, Lady Antebellum likely bounces back up to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, thanks in large part to a Target promotion.

Lady A’s “Need You Now” looks to be the only title to surpass 100,00 in sales. Hits Daily Double predicts sales of around 115,000, while Sade’s “Soldier of Love” slips to No. 2 with sales of 75,000 or so.

Country singer Blake Shelton’s six-song set (a new experiment from Warner Bros.) looks like a lock to come in at No. 3, and is the first of a possible six debuts in the Top 10. “Almost Alice,” the various artist compilation of songs inspired by Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” will debut at No. 4, with  “American Idol” runner-up Danny Gokey coming in at No. 5, Lifehouse’s latest at No. 6 and Jason Derulo at No. 7.

After top 10 mainstays Lady GaGa and Black Eyed Peas, country singer Easton Corbin comes in at No. 10. That’s three new country debuts in the top 10, plus a country act at the top of the chart, incase anyone’s looking for a genre that isn’t tanking these days…

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<p>Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber</p>

Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber

Listen: Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston take on the nursery rhyme, 'Eenie Meanie'

If you're a bad chick, watch out and count your toes

What’s next? “Humpty Dumpty?” Teen moppet Justin Bieber rolled out another single today. This one is a collaboration with Jamaica’s Sean Kingston called “Eenie Meenie,” and yes, it includes the lyrics to the children’s nursery rhyme, “Eenie Meenie Miney Mo.” We know Bieber’s fans are young, but we didn’t think they were that young! (Other than the 3-year old smitten with Bieber on Jimmy Kimmel this week.)

Seriously, the song is pretty much all Kingston’s with Bieber chirping in on the second verse and at the end. It’s catchy enough and will undoubtedly soar up the Top 40 since it sounds like everything else on the charts right now with its reliance on a predictable beat and repetitive lyrics, but it still makes us laugh when Kingston raps “eenie meenie miney mo/catch a bad chick by her toe/if she holla (if, if she holla) let her go.” And not in a good way.

The tune will be on both Bieber’s March 23 album, “My World 2.0,” which will likely sell 5 trillion upon week of release if every one of his fans’ parents buys it for their tot. It will also be on Kingston’s forthcoming album.

Meanwhile, Bieber’s collaboration with Ludicris, “Baby,” continues to climb up the singles chart.
We’re giving it until midnight tonight before someone has done a really excellent mash-up of “Eenie Meenie” and Phil Collins/Philip Bailey’s “Easy Lover.”  If we knew how, we’d do it ourselves. 


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<p>Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett</p>

Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Credit: AP Photo

Ten Minutes with Oscar nominees 'Crazy Heart's' T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham

The pair talks about the inspiration for 'The Weary Kind' and more

While no win is ever a lock before the name on the envelope is read, “The Weary Kind” is definitely the odds-on favorite to snare the Oscar for best original song at Sunday’s Academy Awards.

The theme to “Crazy Heart,” written by Ryan Bingham and producer T Bone Burnett, perfectly captures the to-the-bone exhaustion felt by Bad Blake, the washed-up country singer played to perfection by Jeff Bridges.
For Bingham, who’s released two excellent albums on Nashville’s Lost Highway label, writing the song came easily. Director/screenwriter Scott Cooper handed him the script and said, “’Let me know if it inspires you to write anything.’ We went out on the road for a couple of weeks, I got back and read the script and the song just came out,” Bingham recalls. “I was like, ‘Man, this guy is like Townes Van Zandt, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon and Willie. All these guys that I’ve looked up to for so long. It’s kind of easy to write this song, to describe this guy’s life and what all he’s gone through.”

While it seems like the inspiration for Blake’s character would be such real-life antecedents as Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and any number of rough-and-tumble country traditionalists, Burnett says it was actually Leonard Cohen.

As Burnett, Bingham and the other songwriters who crafted tunes for the film, including John Goodwin and Stephen Bruton, sat with Bridges and Cooper to create Blake’s back story-- such as whom he listened to as a child, what brought about his downfall, etc.—“the first person I brought up was Leonard Cohen,” Burnett says. “I thought Jeff has a deep chest voice so it was obvious he couldn’t sing in that normal Nashville [voice]…In my way of looking at that, I wanted him to have wanted to have been Leonard Cohen when he was young. To be a poet as Kris Kristofferson was a poet. We knew we had to make Bad Blake singular.”

Blake’s Texas roots were authenticated by Burnett, who grew up in Ft. Worth and by his close friend, Bruton, who passed away last year from cancer. It was vital to the pair that Blake felt like a true Texas troubadour. The kind the pair grew up seeing “Stephen and I go back to junior high; we’ve known each other our whole lives,” says Burnett, still referring to Bruton in the present tense. “He’s the one who played me the Stanley Bros. for the first time. His family had the record shop in town and all of us interested in music would gather there. It was a university of music there.”

It’s understandably bittersweet for Burnett as he runs the awards show gauntlet without Bruton by his side. “There’s a tremendous amount of pain associated with it because Stephen’s not there,” he says. “I’m really sorry to see that he’s not here to be with us for this ride.”

For Bingham, 28, even though “Crazy Heart” is a work of fiction, it still serves as a cautionary tale. “Watch your step. We could all end up like that really easy,” he says of Blake’s rundown world. “It opened my eyes up to you can go this way or that way. Choose the road you travel.”

That road may include Burnett producing a future Bingham album, but if not, the younger artist has already learned plenty from Burnett by osmosis. “Being honest with your music and your songs, that’s basically kind of it,” Bingham says. “Sticking to what you know and what you believe in. Music kind of chooses you in a way. I always say, ‘It’s kind of like music has me by the hair, dragging me down the road.’”

Bad Blake couldn’t have said it better himself.

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Watch: Goldfrapp blasts off with video for 'Rocket'

Straight to the moon, Alison!

Mix Steven Spielberg’s classic “Duel” with Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video, the closing scene of Martin Scorsese’s “After Hours” and some random NASA footage and you've got  the video for Goldfrapp’s “Rocket.”

Oh, and, of course, throw in the desert since it is the setting for nearly every video these days whether it be Gorillaz’ “Stylo,” Sade’s “Soldier of Love” and Rihanna’s “Hard.”

In the song, Alison Goldfrapp sings “I’ve got a rocket/ you’re going on it/you’re never coming back.” But it’s to such a bouncy beat that it doesn’t seem the least bit menacing.  However, put the girl behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler carrying a rocket as payload, with a dude who has clearly done something to deserve to be wrapped totally in duct tape (yes, we know it’s plaster for “After Hours,” not duct tape, but you get the idea) and the song takes on a much different tone.  She calmly drives to the middle of the desert, where identical looking, scantily clad-women wait, dancing to pass the time.

We won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say she’s not looking to rekindle the relationship for a very long time. See if you can spot Goldfrapp’s partner in the band, Will Gregory, in a cameo. The tune is the first single from the duo’s fifth album, “Head First,” which comes out March 23.



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Watch: Estelle gets her 'Freak' on with handcuffs and glitter

New track from 'American Girl' takes on the galaxy

Move over Ke$ha. Estelle wants you to know she can be just as freaky as you and she doesn’t need to brush her teeth with Jack Daniels to do so.

In her video for the hypnotic “Freak,” the American Girl wants to get her freak on in an intergalactic, cosmic kind of way. The trippy clip, directed by Nabil Elderkin, is a cross between Grace Jones and Missy Elliott with Estelle dancing in outer space, adorned in a wacked out space suit,then some great formal gear and fabulous gold mouth glitter.  Joining her for the party is Kardinal Offishall,  plus great samples from Soul II Soul’s fantastic 1989 hit  “Back to Life.”

Estelle wants us to know she can be a freak, every day of every week, and she’s got the handcuffs to prove it.  We believe her. And we totally dig that even when she’s talking about leather and hair pulling, she still seems classy. She’s kind of like the Mayflower Madame of freaks, while Ke$ha is more Heidi Fleiss.

If Estelle keeps up this new side of her personality, we say she should get the opening gig for Lady GaGa's U.S. summer arena tour.



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<p>Courtney Love of Hole</p>
<br />

Courtney Love of Hole

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Hole's Courtney Love takes on 'Skinny Little B*tch,' free download

New single from April 27's 'Nodody's Daughter'

“Nobody’s Daughter,” the first album from Courtney Love’s band Hole in a decade, comes out April 27. Download new single, “Skinny Little Bitch” for free here or listen below.

As with Guns N’ Roses and Axl Rose, all that’s left of any remnant of past incarnations of Hole is Love. The new band members are guitarist Micko Larkin, bassist Shawn Dailey and drummer Stuart Fisher.  Good luck, fellas! “Daughter” is Hole’s first album since 1998’s “Celebrity Skin” and Love’s first set since 2004’s “America’s Sweetheart.”

A few weeks ago, Hole previewed material from “Nobody’s Daughter” on Jonathon Ross’s late night television show, as well as playing a few gigs in London, Milan and Amsterdam.  Mercury Records must have already abandoned the no-starter “Samantha” for new single, “Skinny Little B*tch,” which the label began pushing to radio today. It’s straight ahead, driving punk rock with a catchy chorus about a “nasty piece of work.” The line about how she could “kick her scrawny ass” is pure Courtney.

In addition to a playing Spin’s SXSW show, Hole also has three gigs planned in the U.K. in May with more dates coming. 

Here's "Skinny Little B*tch," but we think it sounds much better downloaded directly from her website, which we've linked to above.



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<p>OK Go</p>


Credit: EMI

Watch: OK Go's astonishing new video for 'This Too Shall Pass'

See which video they take an anvil to

There’s a scene at the 2:39 mark of OK Go’s new video for “This Too Shall Pass” that really says it all. A huge pinball sets in motion an anvil that smashes through a TV screen. Playing on the TV? OK Go’s now legendary synchronized treadmill video for “Here It Goes Again.”  In other words, move on. Yes. That 2005 video was a marvel in video making and in marketing and virtually everyone on the planet saw it, but OK Go is much, much more.

And how. If there’s any one making videos as clever or smart these days as OK Go, we don’t know who they are. For the quartet, the visual and the audible are inextricably combined. In “This Too Shall Pass,” lead singer Damian Kulash and his band mates have constructed a two-story Rube Goldberg machine that runs the duration of the nearly four-minute clip. Dominos topple causing balls to scatter causing chairs to fall causing a typewriter to type. It goes on and on in a fascinating smorgasbord of cause and effect. It’s like something out of a Tim Burton movie but better and a million times cheaper.

The contraption is a modern, living breathing art installation, really. It took the band three months to create it in a warehouse in Los Angeles with help from friends at NASA and Jet Propulsion Labs. They should open up warehouse and bring in school kids to see it.

As far as we can tell, the video is shot without a editing (there’s one scene we’re not so sure about). Plus, since it opens with bassist Tim Nordwind covered in paint (all band members are sprayed with paint balls in the final shot) this clearly isn’t a first take.

I was at lead singer Kulash’s house to interview him and Nordwind a few months ago before they started this project and it’s clear that Kulash is one of those exceptionally rare people who’s right and left brain are equally engaged. In addition to writing very clever pop songs,  he has a mind that loves puzzles—he was working on a very intricate 3D puzzle that day and had the biggest collection of Legos, all color coordinated and very neatly arranged in rectangular tubs, that I’d ever see.  This video must be his absolute dream.

Watch it over and over. You’ll catch something new every time.

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