<p>Goldfrapp</p>

Goldfrapp

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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<p>Estelle</p>

Estelle

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>
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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>

OK Go

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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<p>Bruce Willis in Gorillaz' &quot;Stylo&quot; video</p>

Bruce Willis in Gorillaz' "Stylo" video

Watch: Bruce Willis helps out on Gorillaz' new video for 'Stylo'

First single from 'Plastic Beach' brings back some old friends

Yippie Ki Yay. Bruce Willis rides back into town to save the day...sort of.

In the video for “Stylo,” the first single from Gorillaz’ forthcoming “Plastic Beach” album,  a trio of Gorillaz characters, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and 2D, are having no trouble escaping the long arm of the law. Cops, bloated on donuts (Yum!) prove no match for our scoundrels, but bounty hunter Willis sure does.

As he follows them down the road to ruin, he goes all bad ass on them. We won’t say how it ends, but it may be hard to bring these characters back for a sequel.

Jamie Hewlett, who co-founded Gorillaz with Damon Albarn, directs the apocolypic clip, which like virtually every other clip we’ve seen this year, takes place in the desert. It also looks uniquely American.  Hey! Who let Murdoc and co. into the country?

As far as we can tell, the video had absolutely nothing to do with the lyrics (other the “on the run” line), but somehow it all works perfectly. The slow groove of the song is greatly enhanced by legendary soul man Bobby Womack’s presence, as well as Mos Def’s textured rhymes.

We’d certainly rather watch Willis in this than in “Cop Out.”

Listen to the album stream here.

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Lady GaGa performs at the American Music Awards.

Lady GaGa performs at the 2009 American Music Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles

Lady GaGa plans summer arena tour for North America

But first, she'll trek through Europe for longer outing

Lady GaGa will kick off her first major North American arena tour this June. Cities for the 30-date tour will be announced soon.

But before she returns to these shores, she has some international business to take care of. LG, started her European tour last week in Manchester, England, added new European dates starting May 7 in Sweden and will then bring the Monster Ball to the Netherlands, Belgium and France and back to the U.K., according to her website, www.ladygaga.com. Semi Precious Weapons will open the European dates.

The outing is promoted by Live Nation Global Touring. Following her three Great Britain dates this week, she heads to New Zealand and Australia before ending the first leg in Yokohama, Japan on April 18.

No word yet on who will open the summer arena tour or how it will different, if at all, from the new Euro tour, which features 15 costume changes and 19 songs.

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<p>Danny Gokey</p>

Danny Gokey

New music from Peter Gabriel, Lifehouse, Jason Derulo, Danny Gokey lead March 2 slate

'Almost Alice' compilation and Little Boots also on the docket

Just as a spring thaw is finally coming after a brutal winter, the flow of album releases is starting after a few cold weeks with no superstar releases (Okay, we know it's only been three weeks since new albums from Sade came out and four since Lady Antebellum.) On March 2,  we have a full slate, including Peter Gabriel's first set in seven years, as well as "Almost Alice," new Lifehouse, Jason Derulo and Danny Gokey.

Benny Andersson Band, “Story of a Heart” (Decca): Abba fans rejoice:  Andersson and fellow co-founder Bjorn Ulvaeus collaborate on this project featuring 16 musicians. I guess they can’t count the millions raked in from “Mamma Mia” 24/7.

Jamie Cullum, “The Pursuit” (Verve): Spunky British singer/pianist, renowned for his energetic live shows, returns with his first album in four years. Mega- producer/songwriter Greg Wells, who has worked with everyone from Pink to Katy Perry, Aerosmith, Timbaland and OneRepublic.

Jason Derulo, “Jason Derulo” (Beluga Heights/Warner Bros.):  His first single, the mega-autotuned “Whatcha Say,” has already been a huge radio hit, as second single “In My Head” climbs the charts. If accessible, paint-by-numbers, rhythmic pop is your thing, check out the full album.

Peter Gabriel, “Scratch My Back” (Virgin): In his first album in seven years, Gabriel tackles tunes from Arcade Fire, Paul Simon, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Radiohead, Bon Iver and others and turns them on their heads. In return, in a forthcoming set called “I’ll Scratch Yours,” the same artists are expected to cover their favorite Gabriel tune.

Danny Gokey, “My Best Days” (19 Recordings/RCA Nashville): American Idol” Season 8 finalist takes the southern route traveled before him by fellow contestants like Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler and Josh Gracin by going country.

Lifehouse, “Smoke & Mirrors” (Interscope): It’s been nine years since Jason Wade-led Lifehouse released its first album, “No Name Face.” The group’s fifth album relies on the same tried-and-true (albeit with a few twist) guitar-based, alternative songs that take up residence on the Adult Top 40 charts. The group will tour with Daughtry and Cavo this spring.

Little Boots, “Hands” (Elektra): Will Little Boots give Lady GaGa a run for her money? Probably not, but the British dance-pop artist caused a stir in her native UK with this set, which came out last summer there. She starts a U.S. tour March. 2.

Rogue Wave, “Permalight” (Brushfire/Universal): Much-licensed lo-fi rock band from Oakland, Calif. returns with a set produced by Dennis Herring and released on Jack Johnson’s imprint.

Various Artists, “Almost Alice” (Buena Vista/Disney):  April Lavigne, Owl City, The Cure’s Robert Smith, Franz Ferdinand and more fall down the rabbit hole in this companion album to Danny Elfman’s “Alice in Wonderland” score, which also comes out March 2.
 

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<p>Jack Johnson</p>

Jack Johnson

Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson featured on free 'Best of Bonnaroo' compilation

Join the conversation on climate change, get some groovy tunes

Here’s a deal that’s sure to warm you up:  Wilco, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band and My Morning Jacket are among the acts donating tracks to “Best of Bonnaroo,” a 17-track compilation. Although you can download the songs for free, the hope is that participants will join the conversation on climate change before doing so. 

The collection was organized by Bonnaroo, voter registration organization HeadCount and the NRDC Action Fund, a leading environmental group. Go to www.musicforaction.org, email your representatives and local paper about climate change and then download the music. Again, if you don’t feel like taking action, the music is still yours for free.

Here is the tracklist:

Wilco                                    Bull Black Nova
Pearl Jam                           Animal
Jack Johnson                     Inaudible Melodies
Dave Matthews Band         Rapunzel
Death Cab for Cutie          Cath...
Ani DiFranco                       Fuel
Phish                                    Kill Devil Falls
Gov't Mule                             Banks of the Deep End           
O.A.R.                                    Delicate Few
moe.                                      Not Coming Down
Raphael Saadiq                 100 Yard Dash
Bob Weir & RatDog            Throwing Stones
The Disco Biscuits             And The Ladies Were the Rest of the Night
The Decemberists             The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid
My Morning Jacket               Oh! Sweet Nuthin'
Guster                                    Happier
Phil Lesh and Friends        Box of Rain
 

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Listen: Hear Gorillaz' new album, 'Plastic Beach' one full  week before you can buy it

Listen: Hear Gorillaz' new album, 'Plastic Beach' one full week before you can buy it

Dive in and hear what has Damon Albarn got in store for us this time

One week before “Plastic Beach,” the Gorillaz’ first new album in five years, comes out March 9, you can hear it here.

Don’t be fooled and think your computer is playing tricks on you. “Plastic Beach” opens with a full-on classical interlude, simply named “Orchestral Intro,” that’s more Chopin than Albarn.
But then we hear Snoop Dogg beckoning on “Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach.”  Then, however, we go back to classical music. This time it sounds like Tchaikovsky before morphing into the next song.  And so it goes. It isn’t until the third vocal track, “Rhinestone Eyes,” that head Gorilla Damon Albarn’s instantly recognizable, blasé delivery appears as he sings “Your love’s like rhinestones falling from the sky.”  That doesn’t seem like a compliment to me.

The animated group’s previous two albums, the 2001 self-titled set and 2005’s “Demon Days,”  combined lush sounds with hip hop and electronic and “Beach” expands on that template by bringing in the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental-Arabic Music to provide many of the symphonic touches. Other guests, in addition to Snoop, include Bobby Womack, Lou Reed, Mos Def, and Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals.  The group, as it were, will headline Coachella April 18. We'll also post the video for "Stylo" when it becomes available on March 2.

Dive into the beach and let the music wash over you. 

 

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<p>Shakira</p>

Shakira

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Shakira's new clip for 'Gypsy' with tennis star Rafael Nadal

Colombian star gives Nadal the dance of his life

Reason No. 2683 on why it’s good to be a music superstar: you get to pick hot dudes to make out with in your music videos.

In the clip for “Gypsy,” Shakira’s lasted single from her “She Wolf” album, she cavorts with hot Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who seems only too happy to be invited to the party for two. We imagine his thought process went something like this? “What? Shakira wants to straddle me and shake her booty in my face and make out with me on camera? Sign me up!”

Seriously, the song is nothing to get excited about and we predict it’s going to do nothing to lift “She Wolf” out of the basement of the Billboard 200, but the video is muey caliente.

It starts with Shakira showing off her fabulous abs in a black gauzy slip of a thing. She’s then joined by Nadal, whose job description here is basically to look good shirtless (check), fondle Shakira (check) and look appreciative while she dances for him in a shimmery mini dress and shakes her quite impressive booty in his direction (check).

I’m not real sure why the two multi-millionaires have to hang out in a dirt pit, but apparently that’s what rich, gorgeous people do.

Regardless, we know they’re just acting, but there’s chemistry to spare here.

 

 

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