<p>Miley and Robin</p>

Miley and Robin

Credit: Charles Sykes/AP

Music Power Rankings: Miley Cyrus twerks her way to the top

Eminem, Robin Thicke, Michael Jackson, Jack Black also make the list

1. Miley Cyrus: She twerked her way to top headlines this week. Whether people found her VMA appearance appropriate or repugnant, her single sales increased 50%.  And the sale of tongue increased 1000%

2. VMAs: Whether it was for Lady Gaga, the ‘N Sync reunion or Miley Cyrus, people tuned in to MTV’s annual fest to the tune of a 66% ratings increase over 2012.

3. Eminem: “MMLP2” will drop Nov. 5 and it looks like Em’s not just looking backward with the album title, but with the samples. First single< "Berzerk,"  samples both Billy Squier and Beastie Boys.

4. Robin Thicke: Sure, he got overshadowed by Miley at the VMAs, but no one can top him when it comes to the Billboard Hot 100. “Blurred Lines” has been No. 1 for 12 weeks—or to put it in perspective, it’s been on top of the chart for more than 1/3 of the calendar year.

5. Imagine Dragons:
“Radioactive” celebrates a full year on the Billboard Hot 100, only the second song, following Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep,” to achieve the feat. And it’s still in the top 5! 

6. Lorde: The New Zealand singer tops Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart with “Royals,” making her the first solo woman to top the chart in 17 years... or in other words, one year before Lorde was born.
 
7. Michael Jackson: Timbaland is working on a project that combines his music and Jackson’s voice. We want a duet with Justin Timberlake.

8. George Strait: The cowboy may be riding away when it comes to the concert trail, but Strait just signed  a new deal with MCA Nashville for five more albums.  He already has 60 No. 1s... how many more are coming?

9. Jack White: He tweets a photo of his Dead Weather bandmates, saying they were back in the studio. Guess we’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the follow-up to “Blunderbuss.”

10. Paul McCartney: With no advance notice, McCartney drops “New,” a track that sounds anything but. It rings with a Beatlesque innocence and charm.



 

Read Full Post
<p>M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold</p>

M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold

Credit: Chris Pizzello/AP

Avenged Sevenfold set to top Billboard 200 next week

Justin Timberlake sees major VMA bounce

Rockers Avenged Sevenfold will reign atop the Billboard 200 next week with “Hail To the King” (175,000) knocking country king, Luke Bryan and his current No. 1, “Crash My Party,” down to No. 2 (105,000). “King” is the group’s second No. 1, following 2010’s “Nightmare.”

The title is one of four debuts as we head into the busy fourth quarter. Rapper Big Sean’s “Hall of Fame” bows at No. 3 (75,000), while fellow rapper Juicy J comes in at No. 5 (65,000) with “Star Trippy.” “Alabama & Friends,” featuring top country artists performing hits by the legendary country band launches at No. 8 (28,000).

Robin Thicke’s former No. 1, “Blurred Lines” sees a little bump following the Video Music Awards, rising back up to No. 4 (65,000), while Justin Timberlake, who gave a 15-minute performance and received the Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs sees an even larger sales result, climbing back up to No. 6 from No. 22 (45,000), according to Hits Daily Double.

John Mayer’s “Paradise Valley” falls to No. 7 (40,000), R&B supergroup TGT’s “Three Kings” drops to No. 9 (27,000), while “Now That’s What I Call Music 47 slides to No. 10 (27,000).

 

Read Full Post
<p>Orianthi and Steven Tyler</p>

Orianthi and Steven Tyler

Credit: Stephen Holding/ShootingStarsPhotography.com

Exclusive: Orianthi and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler's duet, 'Sex E. Bizarre' in full

Plus, U.S. premiere of 'Better With You'

From Michael Jackson to Alice Cooper, Carrie Underwood, Steve Vai and Santana, Australian guitar wiz Orianthi has shared stages with some of the top artists in the world.

Now a guitar hero to many herself, is splitting her time this year touring as a member of Alice Cooper’s band and promoting her excellent solo album, “Heaven In This Hell.” The album, produced by Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, came out in March.

But she also found time to sneak in a fiery rock duet with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and you can hear it in full for the first time anywhere here on Hitfix. From Orianthi's screaming guitar and sultry vocals to Tyler's bad boy growl, the two rockers perfectly complement each other on the fiesty, fun cut. Orianthi lays down a solo in the middle that will make you forget that other guitarist Tyler usually plays with.

"Sex E. Bizarre" is one of three new songs that appear on the deluxe version of "Heaven In This Hell," out Sept. 3. The driving rocker, written by Orianthi, Tyler and Marti Frederiksen, goes to rock radio next week.

Hitfix is also proud to present the U.S. premiere of "Better With You," an infectious uptempo track  that previously appeared only on the Japanese release of "Heaven In This Hell," but will be available on the Sept. 3 deluxe version worldwide.  The pop-tinged tune will definitely hit the sweet spot with fans who first connected with Orianthi through her 2009 breakthrough hit, "According To You," which reached No. 3 on Billboard's Pop Songs chart.

 

Read Full Post
 Jay Z's fiery new video for 'Holy Grail' with Justin Timberlake: Watch

Jay Z's fiery new video for 'Holy Grail' with Justin Timberlake: Watch

HitFix
A-
Readers
n/a
Brooding clip explores the fame game

Jay Z’s intense video for “Holy Grail,” Justin Timberlake, bowed today on Facebook.

The top 10 track, which extrapolates Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” is a study on fame and how corrosive and addictive it can be.

The best  scene of the video is Justin TImberlake’s interlude, which features him walking among sheet-covered furniture composed of  moving dancers.

While it’s a little hard for us common folks to sympathize with Jay Z’s complaints about fame (and even he tells himself to get off his “high horse”), the Anthony Mandler-directed clip is a visual feast that ends in upsetting crash, symbolic of the fickleness of fame.

Read Full Post
Go behind the scenes as Nine Inch Nails preps for 2013 tour: Watch

Go behind the scenes as Nine Inch Nails preps for 2013 tour: Watch

Do you think Trent Reznor is easy to please? Guess again...

Trent Reznor may be the face and name to Nine Inch Nails, but it’s a whole team behind him that puts together a tour, as a new Vevo behind-the-scenes feature shows.

The 13-minute movie starts 18 days before Nine Inch Nails will play its first 2013 show at the Fuji Rock Festival on July 26. The band has already been rehearsing for a few months, but there’s still lots to be done in creating the multi-media show that Reznor is known for.

Tensions escalate as the Fuji date approaches. “Trend demands, demands, demands excellence in everything,” says his Rob Sheridan, his longtime art director. “We want the best always. That  high level of expectation leads to a lot of stressful moments.”

Cut to a few minutes later, two days before the Fuji fest and an exasperated Reznor is saying to his team, “It’s all fucked up right?”  In a Come To Jesus meeting with the crew, he says, “We had it the first day. It looked fantastic. Since then, it’s looked shittier.”

Come the Fuji Rock Fest, Reznor’s wondering how the show, which features new music, a new band, and new production, will come off, especially in the pouring rain.

The U.S. leg of the Nine Inch Nails: Tension tour starts Sept. 28 in St. Paul, Minn.

Nine Inch Nails’ new album, “Hesitation Marks,” comes out Sept. 3 and is streaming on iTunes now.

Read Full Post
<p>Macklemore</p>

Macklemore

Credit: AP Photo

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on a new album and the 'nervewracking' VMAs

'I didn't think we had one single on 'The Heist,' says Macklemore

LOS ANGELES—Don’t look for a new Macklemore & Ryan Lewis album anytime soon.

The pair, whose breakthrough album, “The Heist,” has spawned three radio hits and is still in the top 20 on the Billboard 200, plans to take some time to “live life” and refuel their creative tanks after they finish their current tour at the end of the year.

Speaking at the Grammy Museum here Wednesday night, Lewis admitted that the pressure to top themselves following the platinum success of “The Heist” was there, but that the duo knew it would be wrong to try to rush out a follow-up quickly —although he added the next album might not take the three years it took to make “The Heist.”

“By Christmas, we would have played 250 shows since ‘The Heist’ came out,” Lewis said. “To go straight into the studio [without a break] and think you have something to share would be wrong...If you don’t have shit to say, you don’t have shit to say.” 

Macklemore (aka Ben Haggerty) said he’s tried to write on the road, but with little success since he writes what he knows. “We’ve been traveling every day,” he says, adding that his lyrics on tour usually amount to “‘I’m on an airplane.’ No one wants to hear that song ever,” he said with a laugh.

And about those radio hits, “Thrift Shop,” “Can’t Hold Us,” and “Same Love”? Macklemore says he never expected the success the pair has received at Top 40 radio. “I didn’t think we had one single on ‘The Heist’,” he said. “I didn’t think it would get radio play.”

Then when the Seattle act scored big with “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz, and the song stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 for six non-consecutive weeks, Macklemore worried that the pair would be seen as a novelty act. “I was the ‘Thrift Shop’ guy and it was scary as hell,” he says. “Then, ‘Can’t Hold Us’ relieved some of that, and with ‘Some Love,’ the fear was completely eased.”

A number of the songs on “The Heist” take on issues, whether it be “Same Love’s” warm embrace of same sex marriage or “Wings,” which stresses anti-consumerism. Macklemore said he knows it’s a fine line between making a point and preaching, and he’s careful not to cross it. “I write from experience. I try to do it from my perspective from my own life,” he said. “‘Wings’ is about anti-consumerism. I acknowledge I’m caught up in it. All of these are my issues; my means of communication is to be vulnerable.”

And he admits he felt very vulnerable as he wrote the lyrics to “Same Love.”  The line, “in third grade, I thought that I was gay” was the “scariest bars I ever put on a song, but that’s my truth. People on the internet are going to say ‘you’re a homo.’ I don’t care.” He reiterated the comment he made during his acceptance speech for Video with the Best Social Message at Sunday’s Video Music Awards that “Same Love” remains the duo’s song he is the proudest to have written.

Macklemore referred to the VMAs as a “nervewracking” experience, not because it was the pair’s first performance at a major awards show, but because he didn’t know how to win and award and give an acceptance speech. “You don’t want to mess that up,” he said, before he and Lewis gave a shout out to their publicist in the audience whom they did forget to thank from the Barclays Center stage on Sunday.

With their rising popularity, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are having the most success of any Seattle rap act since Sir Mix-A-Lot hit it big with 1992’s “Baby Got Back.” And while they hope other local hip-hop artists follow their lead, Macklemore is in no way ready to hand over the mic.

“As much as you want to pass the torch, as an MC, by nature I’m a competitive person,” he said. “It’s ego. I want to be the biggest rapper that ever came out of Seattle.”

Read Full Post
<p>Paul McCartney</p>

Paul McCartney

Listen: Paul McCartney's jaunty, new track, 'New'

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
Superstar's next album, 'New,' arrives Oct. 15

Paul McCartney dropped a new tune, “New,” today that, to the joy of Beatles’ fans, sounds delightfully old.

Produced by Mark Ronson, “New” is a sweet pop slice that slides in at under 3 minutes. “All my life, I never knew what I could be, what I could do, then we were new,” McCartney sings on the jangly, jaunty, horn-laden tune that sounds like it could be a “Revolver” outtake. There’s a glorious Beach Boy-like vocalization that fades out at the end that adds to the track's innocent charm.

McCartney’s 16th solo album, also titled “New,” will come out Oct. 15 in the U.S. and will be his first album of all new material in six years. His last set, 2012’s “Kisses On The Bottom,” was composed of standards, with a few new tracks.

In addition to Ronson, McCartney worked with Adele producer Paul Epworth, Ethan Johns, and George Martin’s son, Giles, according to Rolling Stone.  The album will be 12 songs.

Read Full Post
<p>Robin Thicke and friends at the VMAs.</p>

Robin Thicke and friends at the VMAs.

Credit: AP Photo

Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' tops Billboard Hot 100 for 12th week

Which two acts score their first Top 10 hits this week?

Of the 35 weeks so far in 2013, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” has been the No. 1 song on the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for more than one/third of them.

This week, Thicke’s streak continues as “Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I., spends its 12th week at No. 1, holding off Katy Perry’s “Roar” for at least one more frame. It is only the 14th song to have that long a stint at No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 55-year history.

For the first time during its reign, “Blurred Lines” shows a slight dip in radio listenership, so that may be a sign that the song is losing its stranglehold.  Perry’s “Roar” drops in digital sales after its amazing 550,000 tally last week, but gains in airplay and streaming to stay at No. 2.

Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” remains at No. 3, but she could definitely see a bump after her attention-getting performance at Sunday’s Video Music Awards on MTV.

Lady Gaga, who opened the VMAs, could also see another rise next week. Regardless, the song continues its upward trajectory this week, as it climbs 6-4, propelled largely by streaming of the video.

All hail Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” as it falls 4-5, but celebrates its 52nd week on the Billboard Hot 100. It is only the second song, following Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” to spend a full year on the Hot 100, according to Billboard.

Rounding out the top 10, Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake falls 5-6, Avicii lands his first top 10 as “Wake Me Up”  soars 11-7. Capitol Cities’ “Safe And Sound” ticks up two to No. 8, while Lana Del Rey also sees her first Top 10 hit with “Summertime Sadness,” featuring Cedric Gervais, as it rises 15-9. Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” drops 7-10.

Read Full Post
<p>Nine Inch Nails</p>

Nine Inch Nails

Credit: AP Photo

Stream Nine Inch Nail's new album, 'Hesitation Marks' in full now

Hear Trent Reznor's latest one week before its official release

Nine Inch Nails’ “Hesitation Marks” isn’t out until next Tuesday (Sept. 3), but fans can stream NIN's album in its entirety now via iTunes.

The album comes in standard and deluxe versions (and with four covers), with the latter featuring three bonus tracks: "Find My Way (Oneohtrix Point Never Remix)," "All Time Low (Todd Rundgren remix)" and "While I'm Still Here (Breyer P-Orridge 'Howler' Remix)" ( OK, how cool is a Todd Rundgren remix? )

First single, “Came Back Haunted,” has reached Top 10 at Modern Rock Radio, while the poppy (by NIN standards) second single, “Everything” is also doing well.

Recorded by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder, “Hesitation Marks” is Nine Inch Nails’ first album in five years and features Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Kim Crimson’s Adrian Belew (who was in NIN for a hot minute), and bassist Pino Palladino.

And if you’re not busy on Sept. 3, Nine Inch Nails will be playing a record release show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour.  The full arena tour starts Sept. 28




 

Read Full Post
Justin Timberlake talks 'sense of desperation' in making 'The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2'

Justin Timberlake talks 'sense of desperation' in making 'The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2'

Watch his teaser for the sequel

Fresh off his 15-minute performance at Sunday night’s Video Music Awards (giving the only appearance people are talking about other than Miley Cyrus’s twerkfest), Justin Timberlake has posted a trailer for his “The 20/20 Experience —2 of 2.”  The set comes out Sept. 30.

The combined albums—"The 20/20 Experience" came out in March and is the biggest selling album of 2013 —took 20 days to record in the studio and Timberlake just couldn’t stop as the songs came tumbling out.

Timberlake also posted an open letter on his website, noting that he wrote the songs for the two sets “over a year ago, it’s been so hard to wait this long to release them. I can’t wait for you to hear The 20/20 Experience in full.”

He also promises more action to come: “Catch your breath, TN kids,” he write, alluding to the pet name he’s given his band for this project. “We’ve still got the 3rd and 4th quarter to go.” In other words, we’re just coming up on halftime.  Timberlake, who just completed a stadium tour with Jay Z, has his own arena tour coming up for the rest of the year.

He concludes the letter with “This is too much fun.”

The video shows Timberlake and producer Timbaland goofing around in the studio as Timberlake talks about the speed with which the projects came together. “We usually take our time,” he says, and I felt like it would drive the creativity in a different way to feel like we had to spring every day and it would hyper-focus us.”  He also says he felt like he "owed" it to himself to exploit this "sense of desperation" to make music.

 

Read Full Post