<p>The members of Five Finger Death Punch</p>

The members of Five Finger Death Punch

Premiere of Five Finger Death Punch's 'Wrecking Ball' webisode: Exclusive

Why was recording the track from 'The Wrong Side of Heaven- Vol 2' so tough?

On Nov. 19, metal monsters Five Finger Death Punch will release the second installment of  “The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell.”

As you’ll recall, “The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell- Volume 1,” came out in July and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell - Volume 2” continues where “Vol. 1” left off. The band decided to release two sets this year after writing so much strong material for the first album that they knew they wanted their fans to hear all of it instead of having to leave some tunes unreleased because of space.

HitFix is pleased to premiere “Wrecking Ball.” No, it has nothing to do with the Miley Cyrus or Bruce Springsteen songs of the same name... just in case you didn’t know.

In this exclusive webisode about the song, vocalist Ivan Moody explains “I have a tendency to lose it every now and then. I’ve never been shy about it either so that song pretty much encompassed the other Ivan. Meet the monster.”

Drummer Jeremy Spencer adds it was one of the last songs recorded for Vol. 2, and as guitarist Jason Hook notes the band had to complete the song on tour. “that’s a freaking nightmare,” he says. Watch the clip and find out the surprising place he recorded his guitar solo.

You can pre-order 5FDP’s “The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell-Volume 2” here.

Read Full Post
<p>Jonas Brothers in 2007</p>

Jonas Brothers in 2007

Credit: AP Photo

The Jonas Brothers call it quits: 10 Sibling Bands that lasted longer

The Kinks, Oasis and Kings of Leon make the JoBros look tame

The Jonas Brothers may be the latest sibling act to implode, but they certainly aren't the first. Throughout rock's history, brother acts have been feuding and fighting, while they make beautiful music together.

Of course, not all brothers are bound to end up estranged, destined to sit at opposite ends of the table come holidays staring at each other in stony silence. For every Ray & Dave Davies of the Kinks, there's a loving counterpart, like the three Hanson brothers, Isaac, Taylor and Zac, who are going on 20 years without a public spat.

Here's a look at some brother acts, their biggest sibling rivalries and who still has some brotherly love.

Read about how and why the Jonas Brothers announced their split today here.

Read Full Post
<p>Pearl Jam</p>

Pearl Jam

Win a Pearl Jam 'Lightning Bolt' prize pack! Enter our giveaway contest

Receive the #1 ltd edition album on vinyl, t-shirt, stickers, and much more

Pearl Jam’s 10th studio album, the excellent “Lightning Bolt” is atop the Billboard 200 right now, but if you weren’t one of the people who bought it upon release last Tuesday, here’s your chance to win it for free on vinyl.

But wait, that’s not all!  In addition to the album, you will win a prize pack full of other Pearl Jam goodies:

Prize pack Includes:
- Limited edition vinyl copy of 'Lightning Bolt'
- Limited edition Pearl Jam Blue Wrigley Stadium T-shirt (Size L)
- Lightning Bolt poster (Not featured in image)
- Lightning Bolt window decal (Not featured in image)
- Lighting Bolt sticker, Forestry Sticker, Handshake Sticker, and Wolf Sticker
- Don Pendleton 'Lighting Bolt' songs postcard set

Here’s how you enter:
*Retweet the below tweet about the contest AND follow me @HitfixMelinda



*Retweet the giveaway tweet and follow @Hitfix



RULES:  You must be a U.S. resident to win and your Twitter account cannot be set on private. Contest ends Nov. 1 at 11:59 p.m. PT


Read Full Post
<p>A moment from JT's latest</p>

A moment from JT's latest

Credit: RCA

Justin Timberlake in 'TKO' revenge fantasy music video: Watch

Why he's punching far above his weight in this misguided clip

Love is a battlefield, as Pat Benatar sang. Or in the case of Justin Timberlake, it’s a boxing match...even if you never step into the ring. 

In the new video for “TKO,” Timberlake and his lady, played by Riley Keough (in case you don’t know, the actress is Elvis Presley’s granddaughter) have what one might call a turbulent relationship...or so we're supposed to ascertain.

She mainly walks around their modern, gorgeous apartment in one of his shirts, pouting unless they’re having make-up sex on their kitchen island. He just stares off into the distance as an arty representation of his deep, existential unhappiness brought on by her borrowing his shirts without asking (or whatever, we don't really know).

The make-up sex clearly doesn’t solve their issues because next thing we know, she’s clocking him with a cast-iron skillet and somehow, he finds himself being dragged behind her pick up truck for miles and miles. He’s still able to sing in the laughably bad clip and doesn’t seem to be in any particular pain. The video doesn’t come to a good end for him, but, hey, his shirt and hair are perfect even when he’s getting towed behind the truck like a small boat.

I know we’re supposed to look at the clip as revenge fantasy and it’s all fun and games, but can you imagine the uproar if it were a man dragging his girlfriend behind the truck or if he slammed her with the pan? This is a misguided look at domestic violence and there’s really no way you can make it work unless you take a much more obviously  cartoon-y look than they do here (they already pull all their punches- the sex is pretty antiseptic, no blood after the skillet hit, he almost seems to be enjoyed being dragged)  or you really commit and go all out (and run a link to a domestic violence hotline afterwards). Actually, on second thought, you can't make it work at all. They should have just played off the "TKO" theme and done a fun remake of the Barbra Streisand/Ryan O'Neal movie "The Main Event" or gone darker but not had the domestic violence. The song doesn’t have the serious edge of Eminem/Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie,” which took a very dramatic look at an abusive relationship and it worked. You felt the horror. This is just a well-shot fashion shoot that goes awry.

Read Full Post
<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Lady Gaga's drops a snippet of new song, 'Mary Jane Holland'

She wants to take you higher

Have we met Lady Gaga’s new alter ego —move over Jo Calderone—or is Momma Monster just declaring her love of weed in the new snippet for “Mary Jane Holland,” a track from Nov. 11’s "ArtPop." 

In the 2-minute preview, Lady Gaga singing in an exaggerated mannered tone, extols the virtue of Mary Jane, hanging in Amsterdam, and generally looks at the fame game. It’s a driving, throbbing track that includes call-outs and psychedelic turns. In other words, it’s more like a bad acid trip than a mellow high.

“I know at the moment they think I’m a mess/but its alright because I’m rich as piss,” she grandly sings during a bridge as she prepares to light one up, making it clear that this whole track is Lady Gaga taking a look at fame and art and artifice. That doesn’t make it particularly catchy, though, does it?

Read Full Post
Kelly Clarkson sparkles on 'Wrapped In Red' holiday album
Credit: RCA

Kelly Clarkson sparkles on 'Wrapped In Red' holiday album

She looks to classic holiday albums of the past for delightful set

Steeped in tradition, Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped In Red,” pulls off the nearly impossible feat: it’s a new holiday album that will immediately fit in with the classics on your shelf.

Clarkson and producer Greg Kurstin have clearly studied legendary Christmas album of yore—most notably Phil Spector’s “A Christmas Gift For You” and Andy Williams’ “Merry Christmas”— to lovingly recreate Christmas standards, as well as craft new ones in the image of  those sets.

Of course, all the homage-paying wouldn’t matter if Clarkson didn’t have both the voice power to carry off the full-throated confidence on “Blue Christmas” or “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” as well as the sense of fun that her spritely, horn-laden “Run Run Rudolph,” her jazzy remake of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (with Ronnie Dunn) or some of the originals command.

Wrapped in Red” and “Underneath the Tree,” two of the  album’s five new songs, benefit from a Spector-ish production that recalls girl groups of the ‘50s and early ‘60s. Of the two,  “Underneath the Tree” takes the retro, bouncy  wall-of-sound to the max.  It’s a finger-popping, bell-ringing pleaser that could achieve that rare feat of becoming a new Christmas standard. That hasn’t happened since Mariah’ Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” in 1994.

Both the perky, sweet “Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)”  and  “4 Carats,” a song that wants to be a bit like Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby,” fit in well with the lighthearted tone of the other originals, even if the two suffer a little in comparison.

The one misfire on the album belongs to Imogene Heap’s “Just For Now,” a piano ballad that is only tangentially tied to Christmas and doesn’t fit in with the rest of the set in that it sounds way too contemporary. Take out the few holiday references and it could be a single on non-seasonal track for Clarkson or Pink.

When it comes to the traditionals, Clarkson brings just the right reverential tone, whether it be on the  luscious, beautifully arranged “White Christmas,” or “The Sound of Music’s “”My Favorite Things.”

The album ends with a elegant rendition of “Silent Night,” featuring two of Clarkson’s idols: Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire. It’s gorgeously rendered, although McEntire’s voice is so distinctive it overwhelms Yearwood and Clarkson a little.

Christmas albums often feel like slap-dash affairs meant to sell albums between sets of new materials, but not this one. Clarkson has created a keeper for seasons to come.

Read Full Post
<p>Justin Bieber at his Oct. 24 concert</p>

Justin Bieber at his Oct. 24 concert

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Bieber's in 'Recovery' on new track

He's got amends to make on latest #MusicMonday release

Justin Bieber has some apologizing to do and all he wants to do is make it right. On “Recovery,” his fourth track in his #MusicMonday series of weekly releases, he’s making amends even if it’s too late.

“First I’ll acknowledge all trust has been broken...learning life through trial and error/just trying to make it right,” he sings on the Usher-lite R&B track. Set against a hypnotic synthetic, finger-popping beat, Bieber is missing his girl from a distance since he pushed her far away and realizes too late the mistakes he’s made.

It’s a fairly flat song without a noticeable chorus or a lot of variations, but that seems to be design instead of a writing flaw.

While Bieber has not name-checked ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez in his tweets, he has made clear how much the song means to him. Shortly after its delivery early this morning, he tweeted, “It’s here. One of the most important songs to me I’ve ever written. #Recovery. Hope it helps you.”

What do you think?


Read Full Post
<p>Lou Reed</p>

Lou Reed

Credit: AP Photo/Ric Francis

Remembering Lou Reed: My scariest interview

Revisiting my time with the icon

The most scared I’ve ever been before an interview was when I talked to Lou Reed in 1996. I was talent editor at Billboard and Reed, who died today,  was about to release “Set The Twilight Reeling,” an album composed entirely on the computer. It’s not that noteworthy a feat now, but it was then.

Reed’s acerbic, thorny reputation was well known, as was his love of esoteric theater, literature and music. I was raised on pop music and while I had grown to love the Velvet Underground and some of his solo material as my musical education expanded, to say I had any kind of vast knowledge about his past would be an overstatement. Add in that I was in awe of his use of language in his lyrics and in other interviews I'd read. I felt like I was being thrown into the deep end of the pool after only one swimming lesson.

I did a Music of Lou Reed crash course and it helped that I had truly loved his previous 1992 album, “Magic & Loss,” a meditation on death that touched me deeply, and understood how, in many ways, “Set the Twilight Reeling” was a pendulum-swinging reaction to that set.

Mainly, I just didn’t want to say something stupid—so the plan was to say very little—and I didn’t want him to be mean to me, as I knew he could be since so many of my colleagues proudly had their battle scars from tussles in the ring with the icon.

I went to his office/studio in Soho. It was a cold, crisp, beautifully clear January morning in New York, but I remember sweating in the taxi ride down from Billboard’s Times Square office because I was so nervous. So now I was worried about making a fool of myself and about sweating on a cranky legend.

Reed’s assistant buzzed me up to his office and there he was. It was a beautiful loft with lots of sunlight and not much furniture. Maybe I had been expecting some dark, wood-lined cave. Reed shook my hand, we sat on the couch, and, guess what? He was a pussy cat. I don’t just mean he didn’t eat me alive and I got out of there without crying (not that I would EVER do that in an interview). I mean he was downright sweet and—here's a word you don't hear said about him much—warm. I remember at one point we were laughing over something he said and I almost had an out-of-body experience. Maybe he appreciated that I wanted to talk about the new album (and had listened to it and prepared exhaustively) instead of pick his brain about the past. Maybe I just caught him on a good day.

My favorite part of the interview was when he revealed that he was an excellent typist as we discussed his computer skills. "When I was in high school, my parents made me take typing so I would have a job to fall back on," Reed said. "So Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground knows how to type."

He also expressed joy that he was still around to make music. "I'm happy I'm even walking on two legs,” he says. “Making rock records is kind of too good."

That was my only interview with Reed. In 2011, Reed screened a sweet movie about his 100-year old cousin, “Red Shirley,” at Sundance Film Festival and then performed before a very intimate audience at the Kimball Art Center. I remember sitting one row behind Reed at the screening and wanted to grab a few minutes with Reed and his manager, who had told me earlier that he would try to make that happen, waved me off. At his concert later on during the festival, his legendary crankiness returned during the 9-song set, while he just seemed rather uninterested in being there.

I’m glad I got him on a good day.

Read Full Post
<p>Ylvis' &quot;The Fox&quot;</p>

Ylvis' "The Fox"

Music Power Rankings: Michael Jackson, Kanye West and The Fox top the list

Pearl Jam and TLC also make this week's tally

1. Michael Jackson: He tops Forbes’ annual Top-Earning Dead Celebrities list with $160 million. That’s $40 million more than Madonna, the top-earning celebrity who is still above ground.

2. Pearl Jam: The group’s 10th studio album, “Lightning Bolt,” bows atop the Billboard 200 with sales of 166,000, the highest tally for a rock band this year.

3. TLC: The trio’s VH1 original movie, “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” was VH1’s highest rated telecast in five years, drawing more than 4.5 million total viewers. Nothing unpretty about that....

4. Kanye West: Have you heard? The press-shy rapper got engaged to Kim Kardashian. No, I’ve never heard of her either. She must like to stay out of the limelight.

5. The Who: Pete Townshend declares the Who’s final tour will be in 2015. Haven’t we heard that before? We won’t get fooled again.

6. YouTube: Because corrupting our eyeballs isn’t enough, YouTube now plans to launch a paid subscription music service because Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, parent company Google’s Play Music All Access, and the forthcoming Beats Music aren’t enough.

7. Sean Combs: He’s a music mogul, a fashion mogul, a liquor mogul, and now, a television mogul as he launches the new music cable channel, Revolt.

8. Elton John:
Sir Elton’s biopic, “Rocketman” soars forward with the casting of Tom Hardy as the legendary singer. Wouldn’t it be funny if he played Elton as “The Dark Knight Rise’s” Bane?

9. The Fox: Not only is “What Does The Fox Say” turning into the “Gangnam Style” of the fall, it turns out that the video for Ylvis’s hit is THE hot costume for Halloween this year.

10. Las Vegas: Because there just isn’t enough entertainment in Sin City already, the town decides to add another festival to this planet:  the Life Is Beautiful festival takes place this weekend with Beck and Vampire Weekend

Read Full Post
<p>Katy Perry</p>

Katy Perry

Credit: AP Photo

Katy Perry poised to push Pearl Jam off Billboard 200 perch next week

'Prism' will reflect brightly at No. 1

The revolving door at the top of the Billboard 200 continues to turn as Katy Perry’s “Prism” pushes Pearl Jam’s “Lightning Bolt” out of No. 1.

Perry’s fourth studio album will move up to 300,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double, a hefty tally above the 192,000 unit her last release, 2010’s “Teenage Dream” sold.

Following “Prism” strong launch, three titles-- all veterans in the top 10-- vie for No. 2. Likely to sell between 40,000-45,000 are Miley Cyrus’s “Bangerz,” Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same,” and “Lorde’s “Pure Heroine.” It’s too soon to tell how the No. 2-4 spots will shake out.

This week’s chart topper, “Lightning Bolt” will crash down to No. 5 (35,000-40,000).

The next two slots belong to newcomers: Girl group Fifth Harmony will bow at No. 6 with  its “Better Together” EP (30,000-35,000), while hardcore rock band AFI will come on the char at No. 7 with “Burials” (25,000-30,000).
Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2” hangs on to a Top 10 spot at No. 8 (24,000-27,000) as does Luke Bryan’s “Crash This Party” at No. 9 (22,000-25,000).

The fourth newcomer in the Top 10 belongs to DJ Khaled, who comes in at No. 10 (22,000-25,000) with “Suffering From Success.”

Read Full Post