One of last year’s top sellers was “Tuskegee,” a collection of Lionel Richie’s greatest hits newly recorded by the ex-Commodore with a passel of top country music artists, including Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and Blake Shelton.
Nine Inch Nails have signed with Columbia Records for the release of a new NIN album later this year.
While NIN founder Trent Reznor has often championed a D-I-Y aesthetic, the move isn’t that surprising given that his trio, How To Destroy Angels, which also includes his composing partner Atticus Ross and his wife Mariqueen Maandig, is on Columbia.
In a press release, Reznor admitted, “I’ve been less than honest about what I’ve really been up to to lately... for the last year, I’ve been secretly working non-stop with Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder on a new, full-length Nine Inch Nails record, which I’m happy to say is finishing and frankly f**king great.”
Actually, he hasn’t been that dishonest: Reznor hasn’t hidden that he was writing material for a potential NIN album to the press...Plus, with two-dozen upcoming dates including Lollapalooza in Chicago, as well as the Reading Festival and The Leeds Festival in the U.K., it’s not that surprising that new music is on the way.
The current line-up, following Eric Avery’s departure two weeks ago —is Reznor, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, Robin Finck and Ilan Rubin. The line-up will bow July 26 at the Fuji Rock Festival in Naeba, Japan, NIN’s first live show in almost four years. Reznor confirmed long-time, off-and-on again NINer Finck’s inclusion via Twitter earlier this month.
Reznor, who, with Ross, won an Academy Award for their score for “The Social Network,” said his film work has helped fuel his NIN resurgence: “My forays into film, HTDA and other projects really stimulated me creatively and I decided to focus that energy on taking Nine Inch Nails to a new place. Here we go!”
The new album will be NIN’s first new collection since 2008’s “The Slip,” which the band made available for free download via its website.
Look! A Kelly Clarkson video for “People Like Us” broke out in the middle of Nokia and BMW commercials! Seriously, I know that product placement in music videos is nothing new, but when it is as blatant as it is in this clip or in the new Jennifer Lopez video, it takes me right out of any story that the video is trying to tell.
And in this case, Clarkson is trying to tell a story, though I’m not really sure what it is. In a device straight out of “The Wizard of Oz” or “Pleasantville,” the clip takes place in both black & white and color. At the start, she is a scientist, presumably studying “People Like Us,” people who live in color, like those of us described in the song as “We are all misfits living in a world on fire.”
1.Zach Sobiech: 18-year old Sobiech died this week of cancer, but his legacy has already begun as his video viral sensation, “Clouds,” lands atop the iTunes singles chart and is poised to come onto the Billboard Hot 100 next week. Better yet: All proceeds go to the cancer research fund started in his name. How soon before the movie about his inspirational life is made?
2. Daft Punk: The French duo makes helmets fashionable as its first album in eight years, “Random Access Memories,” is poised to top 300,000 in the U.S. alone in its first week, as well as top the charts in countries around the world. “Get Lucky” indeed.
3. Blake Shelton: “The Voice” coach is the first Oklahoma artist to organize a benefit for victims of the horrific tornado that destroyed Moore, Ok. last week, while Toby Keith put his boots down in his hometown hours after the disaster. Kudos also to fellow Okie Carrie Underwood, who donated $1 million to the Red Cross.
4. “American Idol”: In an effort to stave off sinking ratings, the talent contest is contemplating bringing back past finalists, such as Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson as judges. Say what you will about the idea and the show, but it’s the only vocal competition that has actually produced winners whose names we remember.
5. Robin Thicke: He’s had some kind of resurrection as “Blurred Lines” hits no. 1 on iTunes and sales soar 204% Maybe every video should have naked women... well, the 2% that don’t already.
6. Pharrell: Sure he produces, but his career as a performer is going just fine: He’s the featured artist on Daft Punk’s first top 10, “Get Lucky,” he’s featured on Robin Thicke’s comeback single, “Blurred Lines,” and “Happy,” his tune from “Despicable Me 2,” will be a major summer jam.
7. Paris Hilton: She signs to Cash Money. Can’t wait for the duet with Nicki Minaj featuring Lil Wayne.
8. Labrinth: He’s going to be the next big thing as his son with Emile Sande, “Beneath Your Beautiful,” prepares to blow up here as it already has abroad. Get ready...
9. Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio: The two become the latest judges to sign on to Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor.” We’ll see if they fare better than Britney Spears. If you haven’t been asked to be part of a talent show judging panel yet, raise your hand. No? No one?
10. Ray Manzarek: The Doors’ keyboardist always managed to light our fire, lead our Spanish caravan, be a rider in a storm, steer our crystal ship, until he died this week. The End.
But if he’s mad, the remaining members of Stone Temple Pilots are really angry. They filed a lawsuit on Friday in Los Angeles, demanding that Weiland stop using the name Stone Temple Pilots or, more dramatically, sing STP songs.
The lawsuit alleges that Weiland communicated with his former bandmates only through intermediaries and was chronically late. His alleged ongoing substance abuse issues caused the band financial harm, according to the Associated Press (h/t Billboard). Furthermore, the suit claims that Weiland has strong-armed radio not to play “Out of Time,” the new single with Bennington as singer.
Weiland’s Facebook statement doesn’t address the lawsuit directly, but stresses that the remaining members also have no right to use the name. Below is his statement in full.
“A letter to my fans,
Like everybody else out there, I read about my band, Stone Temple Pilots, and their recent performance this past weekend with a new singer. To tell you the truth, it took me by surprise. And it hurt.
But the band that played last weekend was not Stone Temple Pilots and it was wrong of them to present themselves as that. First of all they don’t have the legal right to call themselves STP because I’m still a member of the band. And more importantly, they don’t have the ethical right to call themselves Stone Temple Pilots because it’s misleading and dishonest to the millions of fans that have followed us for so many years.
When I tour on my own, it’s never as Stone Temple Pilots. It’s as Scott Weiland. The fans deserve to know what they’re getting. Like any band that’s stood the test of time and made music for more than two decades, STP had a special alchemy – the four of us together were greater than any one of us apart. So if my former bandmates want to tour with a new singer, that’s their prerogative.
I don’t give a fuck what they call themselves, but it’s not Stone Temple Pilots. ?And so I say to you, our fans, I’ll see you out there on the road this summer where I’m touring as ‘Scott Weiland’ with my band The Wildabouts. But don’t give up on STP. I know I haven’t.”
Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 by a wide margin next week. How wide, you ask? The title by the French duo is poised to sell up to 325,000 copies, more than four times The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me,” which is slated to come in at No. 2. Wide enough for you?
Half the Top 10 will be new titles. Joining Daft Punk and The National will be Darius Rucker’s “True Believers” and Thirty Seconds To Mars’ “Love Lust Faith + Dreams.” Going into the weekend, they are both predicted to sell between 60,000-65,000, making it too close to call for who will come in at No. 3 and who will settle for No. 4, according to Hits Daily Double. The other debut belongs to French Montana, who will see his “Excuse My French” come in at either No. 7 or 8 (right now, it’s in a dead heat with this week’s No. 1 title, Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City” for the No. 7 spot.
Rounding out the top 10, “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack continues to be a top seller and will likely be at No. 5. George Strait’s “Love Is Everything” is at No. 6, Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” at No. 9 and Lady Antebellum’s “Golden” at No. 10.
We already know there’s nothing that Prince can’t play, but even so, his funky instrumental take on Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow” still put a new part in our hair.
His cover, which features some a nice guitar shoot out between him and Donna Grantis, dropped on drfunkenberry.com earlier today and the website says the Purple One plans to unveil it at his show Saturday night at The Myth in Minneapolis.
But that’s not the only goodie from Prince today. We also get a video for "FixUrLifeUp," his new jam that he played at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night. The clip, a cross between a lyric video and a performance shoot, captures Prince and his all-girl band, 3rd Eye Girl, in all their glory.
Mariah Carey handled herself like a pro this morning, even if she threw Donatella Versace under the bus, when her gorgeous, sparkling gown “popped” while she was on “Good Morning America.”
While Carey was speaking with Lara Spencer after her performance of "Always Be My Baby" as part of GMA’s Summer Concert Series, Carey’s dress, which was definitely a little bright for the early hour, “popped,” or as far as we could tell, a strap broke and the zipper started to split, threatening to free Carey’s “girls.” "What should we call this? The Central Park Saga?," she joked. "I love you Donatella, but it popped darling."
Tonight, “Michael Jackson One,” Cirque du Soleil’s new show heralding the King of Pop, starts previews at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Will the show, which officially opens June 29, bring the same fervor and excitement as Cirque’s “Love,” which features the music of the Beatles?
Hitfix got a sneak peek at “MJ One” a few weeks ago when we saw four production numbers in the tale that follows four misfits: each one comes into possession of a certain article associated with Jackson: his sequined glove, his dancing shoes, his bowler hat and his sunglasses and the story follows their journey of discovery.
Through 22 different Jackson tunes, different scenes play out. For example, during “Bad,” the dancers and acrobats swing from scaffolding in a city landscape complete with a running subway.. For “Tabloid Junkie,” they find themselves pursued by “Matrix”-like futuristic paparazzi who come complete with cameras built into their shoulders. It’s a reinterpretation of Jackson’s songs via Cirque’s magical world.
“It’s expressing and experiencing things in a new way,,” says the show’s director and writer Jamie King, who toured with Jackson as a dancer on the “Dangerous” tour. “It’s taking Michael’s videos like ‘Thriller’ and ‘Beat It’ and being able to put a twist on them in the very fantastical way Cirque has. Imagine taking the ‘Thriller’ dance from the sky? What could that look like? There were all these opportunities.”
Indeed, Welby Altidor, the show’s director of creation (how’s that for a title?), says the Cirque troupe re-envisioned Jackson from a 360 perspective. “If Michael were an acrobat, how would he move? How would he fly? How would he do some of the things that Cirque du Soleil is known for doing?” Take those elements and tie in inspiration from urban dance, hip-hop and many other dance forms and those ideas created the springboard for the show.
The idea was also for the spectacular to focus on Jackson’s theme of unity. “The message we heard in many, many of his songs [was] togetherness, oneness. It’s something we want to explore and celebrate in his show.”
“He had a very simple message at the end of the day,” King says of Jackson. “We are one.”
“One” is the second show created by the estate of Michael Jackson and Cirque du Soleil. Unlike “Immortal,” the tremendously popular touring show about Jackson, “Michael Jackson One” features his songs in their near entirety, as opposed to in mash-ups, as well as follows a narrative based on these four characters.
Metallica has enough songs for its follow-up to 2008’s “Death Magnetic,” but fans may have a bit of a wait before they get the next studio album from the metal gods.
“We’ve getting there,” bassist Robert Trujillo told Billboard, “and we’ll have something great, hopefully, in the next year.”
“We got out into the room and jammed and we’ve come up with enough material for a record, for sure,” confirmed lead singer James Hetfield. “We just haven’t had enough time to really focus on it and dial in and start whittling it into these masterpieces, hopefully.”
Standing between the band and the studio is its second Orion Music + More festival, which takes place June 8-9 at Detroit’s Belle Isle. The quartet also has its previously announced 3-D film, “Metallica Through the Never,” in the works. The band’s Lars Ulrich is at the Cannes Film Festival seeking international buyers; the movie bows in the States on Sept. 27.