Credit: ap photo

Ke$ha and Orianthi join 'American Idol' on St. Patrick's Day

Twelve finalists salute the Rolling Stones

She may not be Irish, but somehow it just seems right that hard-partying Ke$ha would show up on the drunkest holiday on the year, St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe she can bring the Jack to brush her teeth with.

She and guitarist Orianthi will appear on “American Idol’s” results show this Wednesday, March 17.

Ke$ha will perform her new hit, “Blah, Blah, Blah” (no word on if she’ll be joined by 3Oh!3 who are on the record. Orianthi, best known for her work with Michael Jackson, will perform “According to You.”

In other “Idol” minutiae, a new stage will be unveiled on March 16 as the newly minted 12 finalists get their ya-yas by performing songs from the Rolling Stones.  Time is not on our side.

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<p>The White Stripes</p>

The White Stripes

Credit: Autumn DeWilde

White Stripes, Drive-By Truckers lead slim new music release week

Runaways reissues coincide with new biopic about the Joan Jett-led band

The White Stripes lead a relatively low-key release week. The duo's live DVD/CD is joined by new sets from Drive-By Truckers and the Disco Biscuits, but there are no releases that are likely to shake up the top of the charts.

The Disco Biscuits, “Planet Anthem” (Diamond Riggs): Philadelphia based-band that plays neither disco nor, as far as know, is made up of biscuits,   returns with its latest set of spaced out, fun music. They don’t call themselves a jam band because they include large doses of electronica, but we will based on their great live chops.

Drive-By Truckers, “The Big To-Do” (ATO): The band some folks, including CNN, have proclaimed the best American rock and roll band playing these days, releases its 10th album and its first for ATO. The group’s Patterson Hood told JamBase that the set is “very much a rock album” inspired by the band’s latest stint on the road.  We’re particularly intrigued by the song title “The Fourth night of My Drinking.”

The Runaways, “The Mercury Albums Anthology” (Hip-O Select): Timed to the release of “The Runaways” biopic, catalog label Hip-O Select is reissuing the Runaways’ four albums, served up on two CDs.  The 42 tracks span the Joan Jett-led group’s canon from “Cherry Bomb” to a live set in Japan. See the movie to learn the history (done up Hollywood style), but listen to this collection to get the real story.

The White Stripes, “Under Great White Northern Lights” (Third Man/Warner). Meg and Jack White celebrate the band’s 10th anniversary (and possible swan song) on this 2007 tour of Canada, which culminates in an anniversary show in Nova Scotia. The audio features 16 tracks, while the DVD includes performances and a documentary on the pair’s sojourn across our neighbors to the north.

Gin Wigmore, “Holy Smoke” (Universal Motown): There’s been considerable buzz on New Zealand singer Gin Wigmore as she attempts to replicate the success here that she’s had down under, where the album hit No. 1. On the set, she gets a little production help from Ryan Adams’ band, The Cardinals, which certainly won’t hurt her endeavors.

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<p>Kings of Leon</p>

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon hits the road this summer for amphitheater tour

Outing starts June 5 in Atlantic City

Kings of Leon are hitting the road in what will surely be one of the biggest tours of the summer.  The outing starts June 5 at Atlantic City's Borgata Event Center and wraps in Dallas on Sept. 23 at the unfortunately named Superpages.com venue.

While Lady GaGa is spending the summer indoors in arenas, Bonnaroo headliners KoL will be outside, playing primarily amphitheaters.
Dates are below. On sale dates and support acts to come
5                        Atlantic City, NJ                        Borgata Event Center
6                        Saratoga, NY                                    Saratoga Performing Arts Center
8                        Scranton, PA                                    Toyota Pavillion at Montage Stage
9                        San Diego, CA                        Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
10                        Phoenix, AZ                                    Cricket Wireless Pavilion
12                        Los Angeles, CA                        Hollywood Bowl
14                        Irvine, CA                                    Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
17                        George, WA                                    The Gorge Amphitheatre
19                        Salt Lake City, UT                        USANA Amphitheatre
20                        Denver, CO                                    Comfort Dental Amphitheatre
23                        St. Louis, MO                        Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
24                        Chicago, IL                                    First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
26                        Cleveland, OH                           Blossom Music Center
28                        Toronto, ONT                          Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
30                        Darien Center, NY                  Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
31                        Detroit, MI                                    DTE Energy Music Center
3                        Hartford, CT                                    Comcast Theatre
5                        Camden, NJ                                    Susquehana Bank Amphitheatre
7                        Bristow, VA                                    Jiffy Lube Live
3                        Indianapolis, IN                        Verizon Wireless Music Center
4                        Cincinnati, OH                        Riverbend Music Center
7                        Pittsburgh, PA                        First Niagara Pavilion
8                        Hershey, PA                              Hershey Park Stadium & Star Pavilion
10                       Charlotte, NC                        Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
11                        Virginia Beach, VA                        Virginia Beach Amphitheatre
13                        Raleigh, NC                           Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at   
                                                                              Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
17                        West Palm Beach, FL            Cruzan Amphitheatre
18                        Tampa, FL                                    Ford Amphitheatre
20                        Birmingham, AL                        Verizon Wireless Music Center
22                        Houston, TX                                    Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
23                        Dallas, TX                                    Superpages.com


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Robert Pattinson at the 2010 Orange British Academy Awards.

Robert Pattinson at the 2010 Orange British Academy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Robert Pattinson has a song in his heart -- better than a stake

'Twilight' actor declares intention to record an album by year's end

Move over KStew, your boyfriend wants in on the music action. Robert Pattinson plans to record an album in 2010.

“I want to do [an album] at the end of the year,” NME reports Pattinson told the Sun. “All my friends are recording albums and I’m very annoyed about it. I don’t know how people can act and also sing. I’ll find some time to do it.”  Quite frankly, we’re not sure he’s not joking here, given the remark about being “annoyed.” He also doesn't mention who those celebrity friends are. Those wacky Brits.

However, as you know, the “Twilight” star sang “Never Think” on the original “Twilight” soundtrack, although he did not appear on the soundtrack for the  “New Moon” sequel.

His on and off-screen “Twilight” love interest Kristen Stewart shows off her musical chops as Joan Jett in “The Runaways,” which opens this Friday. However, she has stressed that she has no plans to cut an album of her own.

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Lady GaGa serves up her fifth no. 1 with "Telephone."

Lady GaGa serves up her fifth no. 1 with "Telephone."

Credit: Interscope

In 14 short months, Lady GaGa accomplishes what it took Mariah 12 years to achieve

With "Telephone," Lady GaGa and Beyonce tie MiMi's record for most No. 1s on Billboard Pop Songs chart

If we needed any further proof that it’s now Lady GaGa’s world and we just live in it, just ask Mariah Carey.
It took Lady G only 14 months what it took Mimi 12 years to do.  With “Telephone’s” rapid ascent to No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart, Lady GaGa has tied Carey’s record for the most No. 1s on the 18-year-old chart with six each, according to Billboard.biz.

In some kind of harmonic convergence, Lady GaGa’s “Telephone” co-conspirator, Beyonce, also hits the magical milestone because of her participation on the song (we’re not so sure “featured” artists should get to count that song toward their tally, but it’s not our decision. Lil Wayne would be way in the lead if the songs he was featured on reached the top of Pop Songs chart given that criteria). It took B seven years to achieve the feat.

Making Lady GaGa’s stats all the more remarkable are that she’s never had a song not go No. 1 on the airplay-based chart. All six of her official singles have reached the summit. At this point, she’ll be ready to put out a greatest hits set after one full album and a remix set with some new songs. At the rate she’s going, she’ll have the record all to herself by June.

Four artists,  Avril Lavigne, Pink, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, each have five No. 1s.

Lest anyone thing we're Mariah haters, we give her props for having a 20-year career. Only time will tell if Lady G will burn brightly and burn out or be able to sustain the long haul that few artists, like Carey, have achieved.

Courtesy of Billboard, here are Lady GaGa’s six chart toppers and when they reached No. 1:

"Just Dance," Jan. 24, 2009 (featuring Colby O'Donis)
"Poker Face," April 25, 2009
"LoveGame," July 25, 2009
"Paparazzi," Nov. 14, 2009                                
"Bad Romance," Jan. 16, 2010
"Telephone," March 27, 2010 (featuring Beyonce)

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Lady GaGa at the 2010 Grammy Awards

Lady GaGa at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

Credit: AP Photo

Lady GaGa announces North American tour dates for Monster Ball outing

Is it a given that she'll dress like the Statue of Liberty in New York-themed production?

Lady GaGa keeps on rolling.  Her first major North American arena tour will start June 28 at Montreal’s Bell Centre, stopping at 31 cities before wrapping at Raleigh’s RBC Center on Sept. 19.

The most-covered person on the planet by the pop media announced the dates on her website this morning. Tickets for the Live Nation-presented, Monster Ball  tour go on sale starting March 19.

The show will have a New York theme and will boast bigger production than the Monster Ball that swung through smaller venues last year. “It’s a story, and the story is that me and my friends are  in New York and we’re going to the Monster Ball and we get lost,”  LG told Ryan Seacrest  last month.

As Billboard.biz notes, the dates around the Aug. 6-8 Lollapalooza remain open on GaGa’s schedule, fueling the continued speculation that we reported last month the she’ll be headlining the Chicago festival.
No word yet on ticket pricing or opening acts.

JUNE 28        MONTREAL, QC        BELL CENTRE                ON SALE TBA
JULY 01        BOSTON, MA               TD GARDEN                ON SALE MARCH 22
JULY 11        TORONTO, ON            AIR CANADA CENTRE            ON SALE MARCH 19
JULY 17        ST. LOUIS, MO            SCOTTRADE CENTER            ON SALE TBA
JULY 20        OKLAHOMA CITY, OK    FORD CENTER                ON SALE TBA
JULY 25        HOUSTON, TX              TOYOTA CENTER                ON SALE TBA
JULY 28        DENVER, CO                PEPSI CENTER                ON SALE TBA
JULY 31        PHOENIX, AZ                US AIRWAYS CENTER            ON SALE TBA
AUGUST 03    KANSAS CITY, MO    SPRINT CENTER                ON SALE TBA                                  
AUGUST 13    LAS VEGAS, NV          MGM GRAND                ON SALE TBA
AUGUST 16    SAN JOSE, CA             HP PAVILION                ON SALE MARCH 19
AUGUST 19    PORTLAND, OR        ROSE GARDEN                ON SALE TBA
AUGUST 21    TACOMA, WA              TACOMA DOME            ON SALE TBA
AUGUST 26    EDMONTON, AB        REXALL PLACE                ON SALE TBA
AUGUST 30    ST. PAUL, MN             XCEL ENERGY CENTER            ON SALE TBA
SEPT. 01        MILWAUKEE, WI        BRADLEY CENTER            ON SALE TBA
SEPT. 16        HARTFORD, CT           XL CENTER                ON SALE TBA
SEPT. 19        RALEIGH, NC                RBC CENTER

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Credit: AP Photo

Who knocks Lady Antebellum out of No. 1? Can Ludacris 'Battle' his way to the top?

Which soundtrack soars after the Oscars?

Next week looks to be an active one in the Top 10 as five new titles will debut.

Topping the list is  Ludacris’s “Battle of the Sexes,” which looks to sell around 130,000 units, according to Hits Daily Double.  Luda’s seventh album features the rapper duetting with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Nicki Minaj, Lil Kim, Eve, Ciara, Ne-Yo, Flo Rida, Plies and Pharrell.

Coming in at No. 3, and also possibly cracking the 100,000 mark, will be “Plastic Beach” by Gorillaz, the virtual group’s third album.  Also debuting in the top 10 will be “Valleys of Neptune,” a posthumous album by the guitarist including a dozen previously unreleased studio recordings.  That title may also top 100,000 to come in at No. 4.

Country singer Gary Allan’s latest will debut at around No. 5, while “Broken Bells,” the self-titled album from the make-shift duo of Danger Mouse and Shins lead singer James Mercer, will come in at No. 9.

The rest of the Top 10 features veterans, such as Lady Antebellum, who, after returning briefly to No. 1 last week, take back up residence at No. 2, while Sade slips to No. 6, Lady GaGa hangs in at No. 7, the Blackeyed Peas at No. 8 and “Almost Alice,” inspired by hotter-than-hot movie “Alice in Wonderland,”  closes out the Top 10.

The Oscars look like they will provide a major boost to the “Crazy Heart” soundtrack, following “The Weary Kind’s” win for best original song and Jeff Bridges’ trophy for Best Actor. It leaps to No. 12. The previous week it was No. 30.

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Lady Gaga wears the American flag in her new video for 'Telephone.'

Lady GaGa goes red, white and blue for her new video with Beyonce, "Telephone."

Watch: Lady GaGa and Beyonce in 'Telephone.' Are they or aren't they 'special friends?'

Lady GaGa gets it on in prison and uses crime scene tape in creative ways

Like few artists before her, Lady GaGa has already established her desire to use music videos as far more than mere promotional clips. Instead, they are mini-movies that stand alone as their own creative expression.

In the 10-minute video for “Telephone,” which features Beyonce, Lady G creates a mini-spectacle that rips off “Caged Heat,” and then “Kill Bill” and finally “Thelma & Louise.”  It doesn’t have the warped sense of humor of “Paparazzi,” (which was also directed by Jonas Akerlund) or the wild futuristic bent of “Bad Romance,” but it’s wonderfully entertaining, if not very original.

The film opens as Lady GaGa, in the sharpest prison attire ever, has been arrested for some crime, perhaps of a crime against fashion, and is headed for a strip search by the butchest female prison guards ever. They declare “she doesn’t have a dick”—a reference to the recent rumor, based on a photo, that Lady GaGa was packing a penis.

She’s clearly sent to a prison full of Fashion Institute of Technology grads because they are all decked out in outfits straight off a trashy runway. Lady GaGa excels beyond all though, creatively dressing herself in chains, crafting eye glasses out of Marlboros and using Diet Coke cans for curlers. LG finds love immediately with her own tattooed love girl and has a little girl on girl action before she gets a mysterious phone call.

[If you are having problems with the embed, click here.]

She’s about to get out of jail, but first it’s time to break into a dance number as the lipstick lesbians get decked out in their black studded bras and panties.  Lady GaGa also decides to make a fashion statement out of crime scene tape. Girlfriend will never ever need to do anything as pedestrian as a Playboy photo shoot—she’s basically shown us everything but a full-on crotch shot in her videos. At least she keeps it interesting.

Once she’s done jailhouse rocking for the last time,  LG  reunites with Beyonce—or Honey B, as LG calls her, who has come to pick her up in, yes, the Pussy Wagon.

Their relationship is left deliberately vague but Beyonce provocatively feeds LG a bear claw in what would seem to be an allusion that they are more than just friends.

We’re not sure why, but Honey B decides to kill everyone in a diner with poison that Lady G, who’s now working in a kitchen without a hairnet but a bitching telephone made of hair, has used to spike coffee and Wonder Bread sandwiches (note the number of product placements. We stopped at four).

In case you’re wondering how to celebrate your next killing spree, the correct answer is by bursting into dance. If you can do it in a star-spangled bikini with your peeps, even better.  Lady GaGa brings out the nasty in Beyonce like no one else (as she did in the video for “Videophone”), but Beyonce can’t quite cross over to the dark side.  She appears in cut-offs, no bikini for her. Plus, Lady GaGa says “motherfucker,” but when Beyonce utters the same word, it’s bleeped.

In the final moments, the movie turns all “Thelma and Louise” after the two girls, dolled up perhaps ready to go to their own funeral, drive off, hands clasped as the words “To be continued” flash across the screen.  We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next.

What do you think of the second GaGa/Beyonce collaboration?  Does it beat "Videophone"?

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<p>Madonna and daughter Lourdes</p>

Madonna and daughter Lourdes

Credit: AP Photo

Madonna and Lourdes launch Material Girl fashion line

Reasonably priced line debuts at Macy's this summer

The Material Girl is living up to her name—literally. Madonna had launched a fashion line with her daughter, Lourdes, that will focus on clothes for teenage girls.

The Material Girl brand, available through Macy’s, will bow in 200 stores in time for back-to-school shopping and will include shoes, purses and jewelry, as well as clothing, according to New York Daily News.  A perfume line is slated for a later launch.

Prices will range from a very reasonable $12-$40, leading us to wonder if Lourdes will wear her own designs.  Madonna’s partner in the venture, aside from her 13-year-old daughter, is Iconix Brand Group.


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<p>Foo Fighters</p>

Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters end shortest hiatus on record with new Butch Vig-produced set

Warning to his neighbors: Album will be recorded in Dave Grohl's garage.

The Foo Fighters have tapped Butch Vig to produce their seventh studio album.  It marks a reunion for head Foo  Dave Grohl and Vig, who first worked together on Nirvana’s classic “Nevermind.”

The Foo Fighters had announced they were taking a brief hiatus, but that seems to be over now. During the brief break, Grohl recorded with Them Crooked Vultures, but now he's focused on the Foos. “Me and [Foos] drummer Taylor [Hawkins] have already started demoing songs,” Grohl told Rolling Stone at the Independent Spirit Awards late last week.

Grohl added that the album will truly be the epitome of garage rock: it will be recorded in analog in Grohl’s garage in Encino, Calif.  The album is the group’s first studio album since 2007’s   “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace.”  The foursome will also chronicle the making of the album as part of a documentary chronicling the group’s 16 (!!!) years  together.

Rolling Stone noted that Grohl said all this as he copiously swigged from a bottle of whiskey, to take it for what it’s worth.

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