<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Credit: AP Photo

Is Kanye West planning a 'Yeezus: Vol. 2?'

Producer Rick Rubin says 'maybe so'

Could “Yeezus, The Sequel” be on the way?

“Maybe so,” Rick Rubin told The Daily Beast. The producer  was brought in at the last minute to tighten up Kanye West’s new album, which tops the Billboard 200 this week.

Rubin spent two weeks on the album, working 15-hour days, in an effort to get the LP in shape as the deadline loomed. “To me it seemed impossible what he was asking,” Rubin said. “I panicked the whole time.”

One of the first decisions was to cut the 16 songs down to 10, leading to the possibility of releasing a second half, similar to how Justin Timberlake will release a second volume of music for “The 20/20 Experience” this fall.

Rubin says he spent most of his time stripping away from the tracks, instead of building them up. West’s direction was “instead of adding stuff, try taking stuff away.”

 

Read Full Post
<p>Beyonce</p>

Beyonce

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Beyonce's 'Standing On The Sun'; the full recorded version

The latest in a very odd game plan

We truly believe that at some point we will get an actual Beyonce single and a full fifth album, but in the meantime, Bey and her hive seem perfectly content to let little dibs and drabs of awesomeness from the forthcoming set leak out.

Today, we got the latest bit of what could be the full version of “Standing on the Sun.” The Island-tinged, summer tune first surfaced through an H&M commercial that previewed the tune, and then we posted a live version a few weeks ago. Now we get the entire recorded version of the  Sia-penned song, produced by Greg Kurstin.

So is all this spillage whetting your appetite or just death by a thousand paper cuts?

 

Read Full Post
<p>Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake in 'Inside Llewyn Davis.'</p>

Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake in 'Inside Llewyn Davis.'

Credit: CBS

Justin Timberlake and Marcus Mumford on 'Inside Llewyn Davis' soundtrack

Bob Dylan and Carey Mulligan also on album produced by Coen Bros. and Burnett

Justin Timberlake, Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons’ Marcus Mumford, and Chris Thile all appear on the soundtrack for the Coen Bros.‘  “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

Out Sept. 17, via Nonesuch Records, the 14-song compilation includes songs written specifically for and performed in the movie, as well as existing songs by such folkies as Dave Van Ronk to round out the story of a folk singer making his way in the nascent folk scene in Greenwich Village in the early ‘60s.

The movie, which stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, and Timberlake, won the Grand Prix at the Cannes International Film Festival. It opens in the U.S. on Dec. 6.

T Bone Burnett, who produced the soundtrack along with the Joel and Ethan Coen, told HitFix at Cannes that there will be a “series of shows” featuring music from the movie, but stopped short of calling it a full-blown tour.

Below is the "Inside Llewyn Davis' soundtrack listing

"Hang Me, Oh Hang Me" (Traditional; Arranged by Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Oscar Isaac
"Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song)" (Traditional; Arranged by Marcus Mumford, Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac
"The Last Thing on My Mind" (Tom Paxton) – Stark Sands with Punch Brothers
"Five Hundred Miles" (Hedy West) – Justin Timberlake, Carey Mulligan and Stark Sands
"Please Mr. Kennedy" (Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen) – Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver
"Green, Green Rocky Road" (Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman) – Oscar Isaac
"The Death of Queen Jane" (Traditional; Arranged by Oscar Isaac and T Bone Burnett) – Oscar Isaac
"The Roving Gambler" (Traditional) – John Cohen with the Down Hill Strugglers
"The Shoals of Herring" (Ewan MacColl) – Oscar Isaac with Punch Brothers
"The Auld Triangle" (Brendan Behan) – Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge, Marcus Mumford, Justin Timberlake and Gabe Witcher
"The Storms Are on the Ocean" (A.P. Carter) – Nancy Blake
"Fare Thee Well (Dink's Song) (Traditional; Arranged by Oscar Isaac) – Oscar Isaac
"Farewell" (Bob Dylan) – Bob Dylan
"Green, Green Rocky Road" (Len Chandler and Robert Kaufman) – Dave Van Ronk





 

Read Full Post
Jay-Z collaborates with Frank Ocean on 'Oceans'; is a free concert in the works?
Credit: AP Photo

Jay-Z collaborates with Frank Ocean on 'Oceans'; is a free concert in the works?

Jay-Z releases lyrics to another tune on 'Magna Carta Holy Grail'

It would only make perfect sense that Jay-Z and Frank Ocean would unite for a song called “Oceans.” What did you expect them to call it? Z?

[More after the jump...]

 

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

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga comes in No. 2 on Forbes Celebrity 100 power list

Who is the one celebrity more powerful than Momma Monster?

Lady Gaga is the highest ranking musician on Forbes’ 2013 Celebrity 100 power list, released today.

In fact, Momma Monster comes in at No. 2, only behind the great and powerful Oprah Winfrey, who tops the list.  Lady Gaga is one of six musicians in the top 10 alone.

The performer earned $80 million over the last year, despite having to cut short her “Born This Way Ball” tour because of her hip injury.  The tally also takes into account other measures of influence, including social media, to calculate a celebrity’s money and fame quotient.

Other musicians on the overall list include Beyonce at No. 4, Madonna (5), Taylor Swift (6), Bon Jovi (7), Justin Bieber (9), Jennifer Lopez (12), Rihanna (13), Coldplay (14), Katy Perry (18), Jay-Z (32), Toby Keith (43), Carrie Underwood (46), Kenny Chesney (47), Kanye West (59), Dr. Dre (63), and David Guetta (74).

Toby Keith is on the cover of the Forbes issue and in an entertaining profile about his many businesses, it comes to light that he owns 10% of Big Machine  Label Group, the record company Taylor Swift records for, which means that every time Swift sells records, it’s money in Keith’s pocket.

To see the whole list, click here.


 

Read Full Post
<p>Miley Cyrus</p>

Miley Cyrus

Credit: AP Photo

Miley Cyrus stomps Justin Bieber's Vevo record for most-viewed clip in 24 hours

'We Can't Stop' vs 'Beauty and The Beat'


They may have had a flirtation going on a few weeks ago, according to the tabloids, but now, Miley Cyrus is definitely coming out on top. Her odd video for “We Can’t Stop” broke Justin Bieber’s record for most views in 24 hours on Vevo.

Vevo broke the news via a tweet. It was a close race, but on June 19, its first day of release, Cyrus’s Diane Martel-directed video drew 10.7 million views, slipping ahead of Biebs’ “Beauty and The Beat,” which tallied 10.6 million views, according to Mashable

[More after the jump...]

 

Read Full Post
<p>Robin Thicke</p>

Robin Thicke

Credit: AP Photo

Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' makes it 3 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100

Bruno Mars also has reason to celebrate

Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” his first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, stays in the top spot for the third consecutive week. The track, featuring Pharrell and T.I., continues to gain airplay and sales. This week, the tune sold 424,000 copies, giving it the highest weekly tally for a song in 2013.

“Blurred Lines’” competitor for song of the summer, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” stays at No. 2, while the tune, which also features Pharrell, celebrates its sixth week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Songs chart.

Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” climbs 4-3, entering the top 3 for its first time in its 43rd week on the chart. Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise,” featuring Nelly moves 6-4 in its 38th week on the Billboard Hot 100 (Both songs started at other formats and then crossed over).

Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” zooms into the Top 10, soaring 27-5, making her seventh Top 10 hit and her first since “Party In The U.S.A.”  rose to No. 2 in 2009.

In the bottom half of the top 10, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” drops 3-6 and Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” falls 5-7.

Bruno Mars joins Cyrus as the other new entry to the top 10 as “Treasure,” his 11th Top 10,  jumps 11-8. Selena Gomez’s “Come & Get It” slips 8-9, while Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess, goes 7-10.

Read Full Post
<p>Bruce Springsteen</p>

Bruce Springsteen

Credit: Jo Lopez

Bruce Springsteen already prepping new album

He took Tom Morello into the studio with him

Though he’s knee-deep in a European tour, Bruce Springsteen is already hard at work on his follow-up to 2012’s “Wrecking Ball.”

"I have a lot of material. I still feel like I'm in the middle of the well,” The Boss told Rolling Stone.

And while you wouldn’t think there would be many firsts left for him, Springsteen cut tracks while on tour in Australia with guitarist Tom Morello, who was filling in for Steve Van Zandt. "We've never had a recording session during a tour in our lives. We did a couple of things that I wanted to put down. So that was very exciting. And being with Tommy was exciting. The band – Steven, Nils, all those guys – continues to be a source of inspiration for me."

He wouldn’t give any details about the direction or when a release date could approach, but just added that after the tour ends in September, he’ll be back at it (which also means for all of us hoping for more U.S. dates, the answer is no...).

"A week or two later, after stopping, I'm in the studio working, making a demo. You stop the performing for awhile, because this level of intensity. . . You need a break from it."

Last week, Springsteen and the E Street Band performed “Born To Run” in full, dedicating it to Van Zandt’s “The Sopranos” co-star James Gandolfini, who died June 19.


 

Read Full Post
<p>Mariah Carey</p>

Mariah Carey

Credit: FOX

Mariah Carey delays release of album

No new street date for 'The Art Of Letting Go'

It would appear that Mariah Carey has not learned the art of letting go. Carey, whose album, “The Art Of Letting Go,” was slated for a July 23 release, has been pushed back.

In a tweet to fans Monday night, Carey said, “While making this album, I got so immersed in the creative process that I just don’t feel I would be doing it justice to release it on 7/23.” And then later, “I’d rather not exclude meaningful songs. I want to give you this album as it’s meant to be heard. When I’m ready, you’ll be the first 2 know.”

That could be code for “we need more hits” or “I don’t want to do all this promo stuff right now” or it could really mean that she wants to rework the album, though calling it back a month before release for an artist as big as Carey is a bit of a major step given that the marketing campaign was surely already in place for a July 23 drop.

As far as we know, Carey will still perform at the 2013 BET Awards on June 30 and for free in Central Park on July 13 as part of a Major League Baseball’s Sandy Relief efforts.


 

Read Full Post
<p>Macklemore and Ryan Lewis</p>

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Could Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's 'Same Love' be Top 40's first 'historic' same-sex radio hit?

As we await SCOTUS' ruling, it certainly looks that way

Could Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love” be the first same-sex anthem to be a Top 40 radio hit?

The answer looks like yes.

The song, the latest single from “The Heist,” was No. 33 on the Billboard Top 40 last week (we’ll have the new numbers on Wednesday). That chart comprises radio play, Youtube and other online streaming, and digital sales, so a wildly popular video, such as Baauer's "Harlem Shuffle" can top the chart without receiving much radio airplay. More importantly in terms of radio airwaves, the song leaps six places this week to No. 24 on the Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 chart with an additional 905 spins from last week. Of the 159 radio stations reporting to Billboard, 130 are playing the song.

While Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, affirmed acceptance for all including the LBGT community,  “Same Love” would be the first song to reach the top 20 to embrace the concept of gay marriage. (To be sure, there have been gay anthems that have hit the Top 40 before,  like  The Village People's "YMCA" or Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax." Plus, we also have to give a shout out to Garth Brooks' "We Shall Be Free," which reached No. 12 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 1992, and included the line "When we're free to love anyone we choose," a shout out to same-sex couples.)

And it not now, when? Here are a few reasons why:

**The timing is perfect as the country awaits the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Prop 8 tomorrow.

**Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are dominating Top 40 right now, coming off of back-to-back No. 1 smashes with “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us,” and programmers are eager to keep the hit parade coming. Unlike Adult Contemporary, which will hold onto a song for months in heavy rotation, Top 40 is eager to keep the churn going.

**Top 40 listeners skew young, including the prized 18-24 demographic. In poll after poll, that age group has shown little resistance to the notion of gay marriage, so even in conservative states, it’s possible that the song could receive less blowback than one would traditionally think.

Over a spritely piano bed of The Impressions’ “People Get Ready,” Macklemore raps about his thoughts on how it’s time for gay marriage to be the law (the song was written in support of Washington state’s referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage in 2012). He hits on a vast array of points, including how if he were gay, he’d be upset about how hip-hop treats gays; those who cling to Bible verses to support their opposition to gay marriage, and suicide rates among gays. “A certificate on paper isn’t going to solve it all/but it’s a damn good start,” he sings.

His words are framed around Mary Lambert’s soulful singing of both the refrain,“I can’t change even if I tried/even if I wanted to,” and the opening words of 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind.”

Warner Bros. began officially working the song at Top 40 after “Can’t Hold Us” peaked at No. 1.  "It was as pre-sold as a hit song can be. It could have happened while 'Thrift Shop' was a hit. It should have happened while marriage equality was [first argued] in front of the Supreme Court. That it didn't was as much the nature of radio and label priorities as the subject matter,” says Sean Ross, author of the Ross on Radio column and purveyor of more radio knowledge than anyone I’ve ever met. He adds that the song is still "weeks away"  from having its greatest impact at radio, meaning it's still building steam.

The song had a brief run at Top 40 radio when it was originally released in support of the Washington referendum last year and has been on YouTube and floating around for nearly a year, but now it is getting the full-court press from Warner Bros., which means that stations that may have been reluctant to jump on it earlier may now.

Calling it “historic,” if the song becomes a major Top 40 hit, Gary Trust, Billboard’s associate director of charts/radio, says he thinks the time could be right. “It’s edgy lyrically, but with the whole topic of marriage equality being so mainstream, maybe there won’t be any barriers. Maybe now more than any other time it would have a better chance...it would be a historic barometer at Top 40 of where the audiences are.”

As he also notes, though they are few and far between, it wouldn’t be the first time a message song has made a dint on the Top 40, citing such songs as Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman”  No. 1 hit in 1972, which celebrated the women’s movement.

Ross also likes “Same Love’s” chances: “As a long-ish recitation—of the sort that was more common in the '60s— it could conceivably run its course quickly or hit the research buzz saw in a few weeks, but all signs are strong today.”

Below the embed are the lyrics to the tremendously moving song (courtesy www.azlyrics.com)


 

"SAME LOVE" lyrics


When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
'Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She's like "Ben you've loved girls since before pre-k, trippin' "
Yeah, I guess she had a point, didn't she?
Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
I remember doing the math like, "Yeah, I'm good at little league"
A preconceived idea of what it all meant
For those that liked the same sex
Had the characteristics
The right wing conservatives think it's a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don't know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago
I don't know

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I try
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
"Man, that's gay" gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we're saying
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don't have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself
When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren't anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same, but that's not important
No freedom till we're equal, damn right I support it

(I don't know)

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm

We press play, don't press pause
Progress, march on
With the veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
Till the day that my uncles can be united by law
When kids are walking 'round the hallway plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are
And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start
No law is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
About time that we raised up

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I try
Even if I wanted to
My love
My love
My love
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
She keeps me warm
Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is patient
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is kind
(I'm not crying on Sundays)
Love is patient
Love is kind
 

Read Full Post