Incubus' Mike Einziger on working with Avicii, The Internet and 'The Lone Ranger'

Incubus' Mike Einziger on working with Avicii, The Internet and 'The Lone Ranger'

When will we get a new Incubus album?

When Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger got the call that superstar DJ/producer Avicii (aka Tim Bergling) wanted to meet with him, he admits he wasn’t sure why. “I wasn’t too familiar with Tim’s world, and, also, specifically with Tim’s music. I knew the song ‘Levels,’ and I knew him as an electronic music producer, but I didn’t know how that would work with what I do.”

The answer, it turns out, is fabulously. The two co-wrote “Wake Me Up,” the first single from Avicii’s “True,” out Sept. 17. With its foot-stomping, hand-clapping, acoustic appeal (anchored by a fierce beat), “Wake Me Up” has soared to No. 1 in more than 22 countries and has become Bergling’s first Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

[More after the jump...]

 

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<p>A moment from Icona Pop's new video</p>

A moment from Icona Pop's new video

Credit: Atlantic Records

Icona Pop pays homage to 'Paris Is Burning' in new 'All Night' video: Watch

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Swedish duo's debut album comes out Sept. 24

Icona Pop pays homage to ‘80s movie, “Paris is Burning,” in its new video for “All Night.”  The original film celebrated the culture of drag balls in New York, many of which focused on the African-American and Latino transgender community.

Icona Pop’s Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo perform the peppy, synthetic tune in a night club as the dancers swirl around them. The live footage is intercut with interviews with the drag artists talking about the community created by the balls. The drag queens are far more interesting than Icona Pop, and we’re quite sure the duo wouldn’t have it any other way.

After having to scrap the first several dates of its U.S. tour after Jawo fell ill, including an appearance at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival, the “I Love It” pair continues a U.S. club tour tonight in Chicago. The tour wraps in Brooklyn on Sept. 25.

On Sept. 24, Atlantic Records will release the act’s debut album, “This Is...Icona Pop.” Icona Pop will appear on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Sept. 25 and “The Today Show” on Sept. 26.

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<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Katy Perry's 'Roar' dominates Billboard Hot 100, Lorde and Avicii score big

Drake's lucky No. 13

Katy Perry’s “Roar” remains king of the chart jungle for a second week, as the track also tops many of the charts that determine Hot 100 position: streaming songs, on-demand songs and digital songs, while the song rises 6-2 on radio songs.

The upward mobility gives “Roar” a commanding lead of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I. and Pharrell, which remains at No. 2 for the second week, following its 12-week run at No. 1. (“Blurred Lines” beats “Roar” on one front: it is still receiving more radio airplay).

Several tunes reach new highs on the Top 10: New Zealand teenager Lorde scores her first Top 5 hit as multi-format smash, “Royals,” moves 8-3. Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake,” rises 5-4 to reach a new summit, while Avicii lands his first top 5 as well, as “Wake Me Up” moves 7-5.

There’s also upward movement in the lower half of the Top 10 as Lana Del Rey and Cedric Gervais’ “Summertime Sadness” leaps 10-6, also a new peak. Del Rey’s gain is Lady Gaga’s loss as “Applause” drops one to No. 7. Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” featuring Majid Jordan, marches 12-8, marking the rapper's 13th Top 10 hit  Capitol Cities’ “Safe and Sound” moves back into the Top 10, inching 11-9, and Eminem’s “Berzerk” drops 3-10. While airplay for the track continues to increase, Eminem's tune falls based on a 48% drop in digital sales, according to Billboard.

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<p>Cover art for Kings of Leon's new album, 'Mechanical Bull'</p>

Cover art for Kings of Leon's new album, 'Mechanical Bull'

Credit: RCA

Watch: Kings of Leon cover Robyn's 'Dancing On My Own'

Band also debuts new songs from 'Mechanical Bull'

Kings of Leon, whose new album, “Mechanical Bull, comes out Sept. 24, covered Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” a new twist yesterday on BBC Radio 1.

The Followill  family slowed the track down and bolstered it with a trembling, fuzzy guitar background to give it an emotional heft.  It’s a little as if they crossed Roxy Music with the Swedish dance diva. There’s also something very cool about Caleb Followill’s gruff voice singing the line, “I’m not the girl you’re taking home.”

On BBC Radio 1, the group also previewed several new songs from the forthcoming album, including “Beautiful War” (embedded beneath the video),  “Family Tree,” and “Wait For Me.”

What do you think of Kings of Leon’s cover? They are just the latest act to do so. Check out these other versions by Fleet FoxesThe Duke Spirit, and Cher Lloyd.
 

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<p>Britney Spears, seen here at the 'Smurfs 2' premiere</p>

Britney Spears, seen here at the 'Smurfs 2' premiere

Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Britney Spears will debut new single, 'Work Bitch,' on Sept. 16

Tune goes on sale on Sept. 17

As everyone’s been swinging back and forth like a pinata awaiting Britney Spears’ Sept. 17 news (Will it be a new single? Finally confirmation of her Las Vegas residency? A Las Vegas pizzeria?), Spears decided to break the news herself.

On Sept. 16, Spears’ new single, “Work Bitch,” according to a Spears tweet,  will premiere at 6 p.m. ET on Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio.com and at radio.  The track will go live on iTunes for digital download at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 17. So is that the news that the countdown clock on her website is moving toward?

Spears has already shot the video for “Work Bitch,” according to Rolling Stone, in the desert with director Ben Mor, with whom she worked on will.i.am’s “Scream And Shout”  clip. As you recall, earlier this week, Spears sent into the world two photos of herself, including one in a bikini, from the video shoot, proving that the “Work Bitch” singer had definitely been working out.

There’s still no word on an album release date, though with the single dropping next week, it’s likely that Spears will put out the album this year in order to take advantage of the fourth quarter holiday shopping season. We predict a November release date. And if not, we know that Spears will be appearing on someone else's album coming out this year: yesterday, Miley Cyrus released the track list for her Oct. 8 release, "Bangerz," revealing the title of her collaboration with Spears is "SMS (Bangerz)." 

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Watch: Kanye West performs 'Bound 2' on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

Watch: Kanye West performs 'Bound 2' on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon'

Rapper's surprised appearances paired him with Charlie Wilson, The Roots

Kanye West made an unannounced stop at “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” last night where he performed "Yeezus" track “Bound 2” with Charlie Wilson and house band, The Roots.

West had been in New York for fashion week and while the performance was a surprise, word leaked out later in the day before the show aired.

West’s “Yeezus” tour, featuring Kendrick Lamar, starts Oct. 19 in Seattle. It is his first solo tour since 2008’s “Glow In The Dark.” 

 

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<p>Keith Urban - 'Fuse'</p>

Keith Urban - 'Fuse'

Credit: Capitol Nashville

Album Review: Keith Urban's 'Fuse' marries country with other musical styles

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Miranda Lambert and Eric Church guest on new set

With “Fuse,” Keith Urban announced his desire to shake up his sound a bit, but longtime fans need have no fear. While the "American Idol" judge incorporates eight producers, including popmeisters Stargate and Butch Walker, and he plays beyond country’s confines on a few tracks, most tunes hew closely to what  the faithful have come to love: mid-tempo tunes anchored by banjo or guitar and Urban’s instantly recognizable vocals. The album is out today (10).

“Somewhere In My Car”: The first thing you hear on this mid-tempo wistful track is a banjo, a reassuring sign that as much as Urban has decided to stretch his musical legs a little, he’s not straying that far. The girl is long gone, but in his memory he can remember the feel of her lips on his, kissing in the car and the beautiful pain of a time gone by. A fuzzy guitar gives the otherwise soft song a harder edge.  GRADE: B

“Even The Stars Fall 4 U”: Opening with shouts of “Hey!” before going into an instantly catchy, exuberant love song, “Stars” combines country instrumentation with the most pop production Urban has ever gone for. It has the same multi-format smash appeal like Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.” Country radio may want a slightly different mix, but given how pop country is leaning right now, probably not. If the label can wait this long, this could be a song of summer, 2014.  GRADE: A-

“Cop Car”: Urban takes a trip back in time as he remembers falling in love in police car after getting arresting for some youthful hijinks. The lyrics stretch for a meaning, but he’s going to lose plenty of folks when he talks about the siren lights reflecting in her eyes. Even as talented an artist as Urban can’t sell this line: “Something about the blue lights shining bringing out the freedom in your eyes.” Nice guitar solo, but that can’t save this song. I’d like to make a citizen’s arrest, please: GRADE: C-

“Shame”: Urban admits his foibles in this mid-tempo tale of skipping bill payments, missing birthdays, burning bridges, hurting lovers, and, basically, being human. “Everyone hurts the same,” he sings, and we all carry our scars around, even though we’re too scared to show them. Interesting lyrics, but may been better sequenced further down the record. GRADE: B-

“Good Thing”:  Forget “Sweet Thing,” Urban is more concerned about the moment as he woos a girl in a club in this bouncy track that’s more Dierks Bentley than Keith Urban. It’s a change of pace for Urban, but it’s a very well produced, fun, upbeat ditty. He promises if she gives him one chance, she’ll never be lonely again. Check out the Jerry Reed-like guitar solo. GRADE: B+

“We Were Us” (featuring Miranda Lambert): Lambert and Urban’s voices wind around each other effortlessly in this banjo-based mid-tempo about a couple who has split, but neither has let go. GRADE: B

“Love’s Poster Child”:  A slow, southern, swampy song that casts Urban as a man in need of a love infusion and he’s found just the woman to do it. Fans of Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country”  will love the feel of this one. Definitely a single. GRADE: A

“She’s My 11”: This uptempo declaration of love will have fans clapping along. The swaying song with a “whoa-oh-oh” sing-a-long features one of Urban’s best vocals.  GRADE: B

“Come Back To Me”: Probably the biggest stretch sonically on the album, “Come Back To Me” is built around a hypnotic electronic loop and a woozy guitar solo. Urban wants his love to come back, but she has already found someone new, so all he can hope for is that he treats her right. GRADE: A

“Red Camaro”: Another entry in the flirty, fun cars-and-girls song pantheon.  GRADE: B-

“Little Bit Of Everything”: The first single, and first No. 1, from “Fuse,” is as easy going as the song’s lyrics, which are about not “needing too much of nothing,” and being happy with life’s simple pleasures. Perfect song to usher out the summer with a very tasty guitar outro. GRADE: B

“Raise ‘Em Up” (featuring Eric Church): Melodically redolent of a slower “Someone Like You,” “Raise “Em Up” plays off the title, whether it be raising a glass or raising a kid. Church is way down in the mix. GRADE:  B-

“Heart Like Mine”: Album closer is a piano-based mid-tempo track with a strong melody, dramatic build and layered, pop backing vocals. The tale of     humility and love ends the project on a strong note and with a strong heartbeat. GRADE: B+

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Watch: Ellie Goulding's 'How Long Will I Love You' video from 'About Time'

Watch: Ellie Goulding's 'How Long Will I Love You' video from 'About Time'

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Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson travel through time in new film

Ellie Goulding’s sweet cover of the Waterboys’ “How Long Will I Love You,” serves as the perfect backdrop for a video that promotes both the song and “About Time,” a British romantic comedy starring Rachel McAdams.

The clip veers between Goulding, who just wrapped up opening for Bruno Mars on his North American tour,  looking sincerely into the camera, her blonde hair gently blowing, and footage of McAdams looking, as always, beautifully adorable. The film clips move through McAdams’ character’s life with love interest Domhnall Gleeson. “About Time,” which opens Nov. 8, is from that new genre rom com sci fi... seriously. It’s about a young man who tries to change his past to alter his future for the better. Better yet, it’s from “Love Actually’s”  Richard Curtis.

Goulding’s version of “How Long Will I Love You” appears on the deluxe version of “Halcyon Days,” which was released Aug. 27. The set includes her 2012 album, “Halcyon,” as well as 10 new tracks, including “How Long Will I Love You.”  Additionally, the song will be on the soundtrack for “About Time.”

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Watch: Lady Gaga channels 'Wizard of Oz' on 'Good Morning America'

Watch: Lady Gaga channels 'Wizard of Oz' on 'Good Morning America'

Even Toto is along for the ride

Lady Gaga channeled Dorothy from “Wizard Of Oz” on “Good Morning America” today, as she unveiled a new rendition of “Applause” that opened with a sedate Dorothy singing “Over the Rainbow” (complete with Toto) before an adoring Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow.

With their urging, she launched into “Applause,” morphing into Glinda the Good Witch as they traveled down the Yellow Brick Road, complete with poppy fields. She then transformed into the evil witch (or seemingly attempted to after ripping a green wig off of a witch (we wonder if there was a slight wardrobe malfunction there).  She then disappeared behind a curtain before coming back as Dorothy complete with a huge gingham bow.

“Applause” is the first single from “ARTPOP,” which comes out Nov. 11.

We liked it much better than the VMA performance. What do you think?

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<p>Taylor Swift as seen at the VMAs</p>

Taylor Swift as seen at the VMAs

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez headed into the studio together: Reports

Pair hit it off after performing at Staples Center together

When Jennifer Lopez joined Taylor Swift on stage during Swift’s four-show sold-out run at Los Angeles’ Staples Center last month, that may have been the opening salvo in a new partnership.

Us Weekly first reported that the pair are working on a new song for Lopez’s next album, and E News! has since confirmed it. Swift certainly embraced all genres of music on her current album, “Red,” so we could certainly see JLo and TSwift coming up with a great club thumper. Or maybe they should just remake Donna Summer/Barbra Streisand’s “Enough Is Enough.” However, giving the rumor a little less credence is the fact that neither Swift's nor Lopez's representatives have commented on the rumor.

The returning "American Idol" judge and Swift started their own mutual appreciation society after the Staples show, during which they performed “Jenny From The Block” together. Both tweeted how much they loved working together.

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