Listen: Does  Justin Timberlake's new single 'TKO' knock you out?

Listen: Does Justin Timberlake's new single 'TKO' knock you out?

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He returns to the slow groove with boxing metaphor-filled jam

TKO,” Justin Timberlake’s second single from “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 20” uses boxing as a metaphor for love.

He’s in love with someone who hits below the below even after the ref blows the whistle. “This isn’t the girl I used to know... I’m down for the count, yet girl, you knock me out.”

Like many of the songs on “The 20/20 Experience,” it’s a heavyweight of a song, weighing in at 7:06. Plus, it’s more of a rambling, shuffling groove of a tune rather than any kind of conventional chorus/verse/chorus.  Timbaland’s production is full of heavy bass beats and little curlicue background synth noises. There's some nice singing from Timberlake here, however, and he leaves the falsetto on the shelf for this one for the most part.

Similarly to many of those tracks, at around 5 minutes, the song morphs into a slightly different, slower tune with Timbaland repeating “She killed me with that coochie-coo.”

It’s not an instant hit and I’m not sure radio will gravitate toward it. Radio seems content to keep playing “Mirrors” over “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2’s” first single, the far catchier “Take Back The Night.”
“The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2” comes out Sept. 27.

Are you knocked out by “TKO?”

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<p>Miley Cyrus together with Britney Spears in 'Miley: The Movement.'</p>

Miley Cyrus together with Britney Spears in 'Miley: The Movement.'

Credit: MTV

Watch: Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears share a moment in Cyrus's MTV doc trailer

She can't stop, won't stop, posing nude

“You’re always going to make people talk, you might as well make them talk for like, two weeks, instead of two seconds,” says Miley Cyrus is the trailer for her upcoming MTV “documentary,” “Miley: The Movement.”

(A side note: Let’s stop calling these specials “documentaries”; they are total promotion pieces with no bit of objectivity to them often paid for by the artist or the label).

In the 90-second clip, watch Miley look pensively out the window, because, y’all, that shows she’s a real artist. Watch her give her band direction as she tells them that’s when a part gets “messy,” because, as you know, she’s a real artist. Watch her twerk and watch her make Britney Spears laugh as she brings up that she wants to blow it up at the MTV Video Music Awards because “everyone takes the VMAs so serious.” Since when???? Britney just sits there and giggles.

“I have this freedom to do whatever I want because I’m starting as a new artist right now,” declares Cyrus, and clearly, what she’s doing is working since her new single, “Wrecking Ball,” is atop the Billboard Hot 100 right now.

As far as the movement referred to in the title, apparently, according to Cyrus, “There’s an army. We’re all part of that movement.” I’m not real sure what the movement is, I’m sure it will all be revealed when the special airs on Oct. 2.

“Bangerz,” Cyrus’s new album on RCA, comes out Oct. 8. And, in case you haven’t heard, she can’t stop, won’t stop, posing nude. Fans can purchase a vinyl picture disc version of the album featuring a topless shot of Cyrus (granted her arm is strategically placed) from her website, since we know WalMart won’t be carrying that cover). See Cyrus’s alternate “Bangerz” covers here. Fans can vote on their favorite image on her website starting today.

 

Get More: Miley Cyrus, Music News

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<p>Carole King has been named MusiCares Person of the Year</p>

Carole King has been named MusiCares Person of the Year

Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Lady Gaga, Dixie Chicks set to honor Carole King, MusiCares Person of the Year

Steven Tyler, James Taylor and Bette Midler will also take part

Lady Gaga, Dixie Chicks, Bette Midler, James Taylor, Jason Mraz and Steven Tyler are among the artists who will salute Carole King, 2014 MusiCares Person of the Year.

The Jan. 24 fundraiser, always held two nights before the Grammy Awards, benefits MusiCares’ health and human services program, which provides emergency financial, medical, educational and emotional support for those in the music community through such programs as its MAP Fund, which allows access to addiction recovery services, and helping provide monetary support with medical bills.

The Recording Academy, the same organization that puts on the Grammys, started the MusiCares Person of the Year event 24 years ago. Past honorees include Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Bonnie Raitt, Tony Bennett, James Taylor and Neil Young. The evening honors an artist for her musical contribution, as well as charitable work. King, a 4-time Grammy winner,  is known for her support of environmental efforts, as well as a number of political causes.

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<p>Miley Cyrus's &quot;Wrecking Ball&quot;</p>

Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball"

Credit: RCA Records

Miley Cyrus crashes into No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 with 'Wrecking Ball'

Women rule the roost in the top 10

Miley Cyrus crashes into No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as “Wrecking Ball” becomes her first chart topper, soaring 22-1.

Streaming and digital sales propel the push following the controversial video, which features a nude Cyrus. “Ball” replaces Katy Perry’s “Roar,” which falls to No. 2, following two weeks at No. 1.

An interesting Cyrus family note: While Cyrus is the only member of her family to score a No. 1 song on the Hot 100, three Cyruses have landed top 10 hits: Miley, her father Billy Ray, who landed at No. 4 with “Achy Breaky Heart” 21 years ago; and her brother Trace, who hit No. 10 with “Shake It,” as part of Metro Station in 2008, according to Billboard.

Miley’s previous peak was No. 2 with “Party in the U.S.A.”

Lorde’s “Royals” holds at No. 3, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I. and Pharrell,” falls 2-4, and Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” remains at No. 5.

Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake,” slides 4-6, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” is at No. 7 for the second straight week, Eminem’s “Berzerk” rises 10-8, Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” featuring Majid Jordan, slips one spot to No. 9, and Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais’ “Summertime Sadness” fades into fall as it declines four spots to No. 10.






 

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Watch: Justin Bieber raps on Maejor Ali's 'Lolly' video, featuring Juicy J
Credit: Island/Def Jam

Watch: Justin Bieber raps on Maejor Ali's 'Lolly' video, featuring Juicy J

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We don't think they're talking about candy

Check out Justin Bieber rapping on the new video for Maejor Ali’s “Lolly,” which also features Juicy J.

Though the song has been on YouTube since February, it was only released on iTunes yesterday, the same day the video came out, and it has quickly climbed into the Top 10 in iTunes.

Maejor Ali has a piece of candy and it’s just for you, girl, and he’s so thrilled that you want to kiss the top. If you haven’t gathered that he’s talking about his tootsie roll yet, we can’t really help you.

Justin Bieber doesn’t embarrass himself as a rapper and he saves most of the provocative lines for Juicy J.
The video features women and Ali, Juicy J and Bieber dancing against a colorful background and that’s really about all there is to it, aside from some licking of actual lollypops.

It’s a big week for Juicy J, who is also on the new Katy Perry single, “Dark Horse.”

What do you think of “Lolly?”

 

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<p>LL Cool J -- host of previous years' Grammy Nominations Concert Live </p>

LL Cool J -- host of previous years' Grammy Nominations Concert Live

'Grammy Nominations Concert Live' set for Dec. 6 on CBS

Find out who receives nomintations for the 2014 Grammy Awards

Nominations for the 56th annual Grammy Awards will be announced Friday, Dec. 6 on “The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! —Countdown to Music’s Biggest Night” television special on CBS.

Airing at 10 p.m. ET/PT, the special marks the sixth time the nominations (or at least nominations in a few of the 1,859 Grammy categories) will be announced via a prime-time special. This marks the first time the show has been slotted on a Friday night, a ratings graveyard, although the thinking may be that folks are more amenable to music programming to kick off their weekend. The program, which will be beamed live from Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater, combines performances from likely nominees with a reading of the nominees in a few categories  scattered in between. The full list of nominees goes up online on Grammy.com as soon as the show is over.

No word yet on who will host the Grammy Nomination Concert Live, but there’s a good chance that Grammy host LL Cool J (and “NCIS Los Angeles” star) will show up.

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will take place Jan. 26, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center and will air on CBS. The Grammys are moved up this year a few weeks this year as not to compete with the Winter Olympics.

Eligibility for the 2014 Grammy Awards ends Sept. 18. Check out our gallery of potential best new artist contenders here.

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<p>Gwar</p>

Gwar

Fans petition for Gwar to replace Bruno Mars at Super Bowl halftime

Good luck with that

You may think Bruno Mars and Nickelback have nothing in common, but you’d be wrong. Remember two years ago when Nickelback haters started a petition to protest the Canadian band performing during halftime at the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit in 2011? 

A new petition has started asking the NFL to replace Super Bowl XLVIV halftime performer Bruno Mars with heavy metal shock rockers Gwar, who perform in horror film/sci fi costumes and  have more than a little fondness for graphic, over-the-top performances.  More than 18,000 people have signed the petition, according to NME.

The idea is a hilarious one and maybe Mars can work up a rendition of “Gorilla” that would feature Gwar. "We don’t want another year of sitting around talking through a muted, boring NFL Super Bowl halftime show," wrote campaign founder Jeff Cantrell, who started the petition on change.org. "We want something different. We want a real spectacle that only Gwar can provide. Doesn't the NFL want more viewers? Don’t advertisers want more people paying attention? This way everyone wins." If pearl-clutching Super Bowl watchers still haven't gotten over Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," imagine the fun they'd have with Gwar's cartoonish gory antics?

The Super Bowl takes place Feb. 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Maybe Mars can respond as Nickelback did with the help of comedian Paul Scheer and Funny Or Die with a similar clip. In the meantime, here's a little Gwar to get you going this Wednesday. Unlike Mars, Nickelback protesters didn't have  specific act in mind to replace them, although local heroes such as Bob Seger and Kid Rock were suggested, they just wanted Nickelback out.

 

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<p>AVICCI - 'True'</p>

AVICCI - 'True'

Album Review: Avicii's new album, 'True,' expands far beyond EDM's borders

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He keeps the beats, but veers into bluegrass, folk and more on debut

On Avicii’s first full-length album, “True,” out today, he seems determined to show that while he may be best known as an EDM producer and DJ, trying to pigeonhole him into any one category will only prove foolish.

Following the success of such tracks as “Levels” and “Silhouettes,” Avicii vaulted to a new mainstream level with the success of “Wake Me Up,” the first single from “True.” In the U.S., the single, featuring soul singer/rapper Aloe Blacc on vocals and Incubus’s Mike Einziger on acoustic guitar, has climbed into the top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, while it has gone No. 1 in 22 other countries. The song, which combines an acoustic guitar, folky melody with Blacc’s striking vocals, and Avicii’s beats sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does... beautifully.

But that’s only the beginning of Avicii’s experimentation into the country realm. On “Hey Brother,” Dan Tyminski of Alison Krauss and Union Station and “O Brother, Where Art Thou’ fame, provides the high lonesome voice on the bluegrass tune. It’s a pretty safe bet to assume that Avicii will have the bluegrass EDM field all to himself, but he pulls it off.

With album closer “Heart Upon My Sleeve,” he drafts alternative rock band Imagine Dragons' lead singer Dan Reynolds for an emotional ending. And that’s what separates Avicii from many of his colleagues: he wants to make you move —every song here has a BPM of between 120 and 135—but he also wants to make you feel something and he’s brought in vocalists who can do the heavy lifting vocally.

Even though he’s only 24, Avicii has a confidence that go a far way to convincing us that he’s not just blindly feeling his way, he has absolute conviction in his choices.  How else to explain his writing “Addicted To You” with Mac Davis. Yes, that Mac Davis from “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” fame and writer of Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto.” They pair for the mid-tempo tune of obsessive love, delivered with just the right amount of anguish by Audra Mae. 

“Addicted To You” isn’t the only look back: on the shape-shifting “Liar Liar,” featuring Blondfire and Einziger, it sure sounds like Avicii employs a Farfisa, straight out of ?uestion Mark & The Mysterians’ “96 Tears.”
Many of the tracks are pure dance (or dance pop, like new single, the thumping “You Make Me,” featuring Salem Al Fakir on vocals), and Avicii has those down cold. Particularly striking is “Lay Me Down,” which features “American Idol’s” Adam Lambert’s searing powerhouse vocal on a funky track co-written by Chic’s Nile Rodgers. It’s is a dance and pop smash (and maybe because of Rodgers’ influence the intro may remind you of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” before it explodes into its own creation).

For purists, “True” may be too adventurous for their tastes —as Avicii found out after he got major push back from some fans following his debut of many of these songs at Miami’s Ultra Festival in March—but for the rest of us, Avicii has created an album that invites all of us to join in, even if we never step foot in a club.
 

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<p>Pearl Jam - 'Sirens'</p>

Pearl Jam - 'Sirens'

UPDATED: Watch the video for Pearl Jam's emotional, gorgeous new single, 'Sirens'

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Eddie Vedder had never sounded so lovely

After the punk blast of “Mind Your Manners,” the first single from Pearl Jam’s upcoming album, “Lightning Bolt,” the Seattle group comes back with a gentle, very melodic ballad, “Sirens.”

With an acoustic guitar and piano base, the song unfolds at a leisurely pace. Eddie Vedder is such an intense singer that when he lays back behind the groove a little bit here, it’s such a pleasure to hear him hold back, while sacrificing nothing emotionally.  And, make no mistake,  there’s a lot of emotion in “Sirens,” as he sings about the possibility of losing the woman he loves to another man or to his "going away." If that happens, it's vital that she know he always loved her, as he stirringly sings, "When I see your face, the fear goes away.”

Pearl Jam has no shortage of lovely ballads and this one has the same graceful beauty as "Backspacer's"  "Just Breathe," but there’s something melodically about “Sirens,” especially with the layered harmonies and Vedder’s vocal performance here, that will grab you by the throat before you realize it.  Plus, there’s a lived-in feel to the lyrics and an emotional acceptance that I’m not sure Vedder could have pulled off before he got into his 40s. “It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead,” he sings.

If “Mind Your Manners” and “Sirens” are any indication, “Lightning Bolt," which comes out Oct. 15, is going to be a hell of an album.

What do you think of "Sirens?"

UPDATED: Pearl Jam released a performance video for "Sirens" today, as well as made the song available on iTunes.

 

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<p>Cover art for 'Wise up Ghost'</p>

Cover art for 'Wise up Ghost'

Credit: Blue Note Records

Album Review: Elvis Costello & The Roots, 'Wise Up Ghost'

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Colloboration haunts and grooves in equal measure

On “Wise Up Ghost,” Elvis Costello and the Roots make surprisingly compatible musical companions. 

From the first jagged synthetic rhythms that open the sinister-sounding “Walk Us Uptown,” it’s clear that there’s something special happening that unfurls through the course of 12 tracks.

The British singer/songwriter, known for his often snarling observations, and the Philadelphia hip-hop collective find an immediate groove that plays to both their strengths: Costello’s trenchant, biting words and complex melodies and The Roots’ imaginative and creative song construction that pulls in a wide array of influences.

[More after the jump...]

 

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