Inside Music with Melinda Newman
When and what remains to be seen, though it could be very soon
“What does the next decade mean for me?,” Justin Timberlake asks in a new video posted by the superstar at 9 a.m. today.
And the answer appears to be new music---sooner rather than later. Seven years after 2006’s “FutureSex/LoveSound,” Timberlake finally seems “ready” to put out new music. In the video, we hear Timberlake’s voice over footage of the artist walking into a studio with the final shot of him putting on earphones and declaring “I’m ready.”
A countdown clock then appears, that, if it’s telling us what we think it’s telling us, means, Timberlake will have new music (maybe a single, maybe an album) as early as 3 days from now--though it seems odd that he’d release anything on a Sunday. It all depends upon how you interpret the countdown clock, although it seems to clearly be counting down seconds, minutes, hours and days.
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The five contenders yield a few surprises
Credit: Universal Pictures
After last year’s Best Original Song debacle when only two songs were nominated, the Oscars got their footing back this year with five solid, if somewhat surprising, nominees.
To be sure, Adele’s “Skyfall” was the one song that seemed a foregone conclusion after it was deemed eligible (there was some initial doubt since it pays such a healthy homage to the original Bond theme). But its frontrunner status was due just as much, if not more, to Adele than to 007‘s revived franchise. And don’t presume she’s the frontrunner now: No James Bond theme has ever won an Oscar. Still, the song—written by Adele and Paul Epworth is lush and dramatic and a worthy entry.
The other sure bet was “Suddenly” from “Les Miserables,” the new song, written for the film by the stage musical’s original composers, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubil, and performed by Hugh Jackman. It fills a role similar to previous Oscar winner “You Must Love Me” from “Evita” or nominee “I Move On” from “Chicago,” both of which were added into the movie versions of the plays to give them potential Oscar contenders (and it worked).
The Academy Awards deemed a staggering 75 songs eligible for contention this year The remaining three slots, quite frankly, could have been filled by any number of contenders, but went to “Chasing Ice’s” “Before My Time,” written by J. Ralph and performed by Scarlett Johansson and violinist Joshua Bell, “Life of Pi’s” “Pi’s Lullaby,” written my Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri,” and “Everybody Needs A Best Friend,” written by Walter Murphy and Oscar host Seth McFarlane” and performed by Norah Jones.
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” is a sweet throwback to the big band era with a toe-tapping feel and a sweeping arrangement. The song also appears during a fun montage smack-dab in the film.
“Before My Time” runs over the end credits for “Chasing Ice,” a documentary about photographer James Balog’s effort to tell the story of climate change by placing time-lapse cameras across the Arctic. It’s an appropriately morose, spare, low-key ballad led by Johansson’s more than serviceable vocals, Bell’s always-haunting beautiful playing and the composer himself on piano. While Ralph is no doubt hoping for a repeat of Melissa Etheridge’s win for “I Need To Wake Up” from the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” he’s not likely to win, especially given that the doc didn’t make the cut for best original documentary.
Not to be flippant at all, but I didn’t realize that “Life Of Pi” even had a song in it when I saw it. Maybe I was still too consumed by the meerkat island. It turns out it is a lilting, magical tune by film composer Danna with lyrics by Jayashri, performed by Jaysahri. Given how enamored the Academy is with “Life Of Pi,” it could pull off a big surprise here. It could be this year’s “Jai Ho.”
Though only five songs can be nominated, there were some surprising snubs that I would have expected to fill the slots that went to “Best Friends” and “Before My Time.” Notable omissions include “Learn Me Right” from Best Animated Feature nominee Brave,” as well as any songs from “Django Unchained,” and “Song of the Lonely Mountain” from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
Both "Skyfall" and "Suddenly" are up for Golden Globes on Sunday. Fellow Golden Globe nominees "For You" from "Act of Valor" and "Not Running Anymore" from "Stand Up Guys." “Safe & Sound,” from “The Hunger Games,” wasn’t eligible for an Oscar.
Macklemore & Lewis score their first top 5 hit
Credit: AP Photo
Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out Of Heaven” remained locked into the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the fifth week.
The tally makes “Locked” Mars’ longest stint at No 1, surpassing the four weeks that both “Just The Way You Are” and “Grenade” spent at the top, according to Billboard.
Last week, “Locked” looked like it would be fending off a charge at the top spot from Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Instead, Swift’s song drops 2-3, swapping places with Rihanna’s Diamonds, which rises 3-2. The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” stays at No. 4.
The star of the week is Macklemore & Lewis’s “Thrift Shop,” which leaps 10-5. While the rap song is gaining at radio, its high chart position has been propelling largely by digital sales and streaming.
“American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips’ “Home” continues to have a healthy life, rising 6-9 in its 28th week on the chart. Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat,” featuring Nicki Minaj, falls 5-7.
After loitering in the top 15 for five weeks, Will.i.am’s “Scream & Shout,” featuring Britney Spears, breaks into the Top 10, yelling its way 12-8. The tune marks Will.i.am’s first Top 10 as a lead solo artist.
Maroon 5’s “One More Night” slides 8-9, while Flo Rida’s “I Cry” rises 11-10.
We're now supposed to call him The Prince of Pop, BTW
Justin Bieber's "Believe Acoustic"
Justin Bieber’s “Believe Acoustic,” out Jan. 29, will include three previously unreleased tracks, as well as new versions of eight of the tunes originally released on 2012’s “Believe.”
The new songs are “Yellow Raincoat,” produced by Bieber and Tom Strahle; “I Would,” produced by Da Internz and Aaron Michael Cox, and “Nothing Like Us,” written and produced by Bieber.
The collection also includes acoustic versions of “Boyfriend,” “As Long As You Love Me,” “Beauty And A Beat,” “All Around The World,” “Take You,” “Be Alright” and “She Don’t Like The Lights.” There is also a “live studio version” of “Fall.”
Bieber’s label is now officially branding him “The Prince of Pop,” obviously in hopes that it will stick as did Michael Jackson’s “The King of Pop.” We’re not begrudging Bieber his success and long may he reign, but we find the bestowing of the title in some kind of official way (we bet it is now in all of his press releases) a little obnoxious and certainly premature.
And just a reminder, as we reported yesterday, the Prince of Pop will serve as the host and musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on Feb. 9.
Mumford & Sons and The Black Keys also slated for Feb. 10 show
Rihanna performs in London this past November.
Credit: AP Photo
The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and fun. will perform at the Feb. 10 Grammy Awards.
The Grammys tweeted the first round of performers late Monday night.
All of the artists are up for awards for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. Mumford & Sons, fun., and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach lead the pack with six nominations each.
Swift, who co-hosted Grammy Nominations Concert Live, in December, is up for two awards while Rihanna got the nod in three categories.
The Grammy Awards will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.
Bryan replaces Reba McEntire at country music awards show
Blake Shelton will have help hosting the Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7.
Shelton has co-hosted the ACMs with Reba McEntire for the past two years after joining the long-time solo host in 2011. McEntire announced that she will no longer be co-hosting in the fall, leaving speculation that Shelton would go it alone until a few days ago when it was announced he would have a co-host and the guessing games began.
Now it turns out that Luke Bryan will join him to emcee the awards ceremony, which airs live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. We doubt he’ll look as lovely as McEntire in an evening gown. Bryan definitely brings a younger, boys-club vibe to the proceedings.
In other ACM news, Brad Paisley will host the Fan Jam, which runs concurrently with the ACM telecast and features acts performing live in a free show. Remote footage from the Fan Jam is cut into the television portion.
Additionally, as has been the case for the past four years, the night after the ACMs, the Academy and Dick Clark Productions will tape a themed night featuring many of country’s biggest names for a special that will air later in the Spring. Last year’s special was basically an infomercial for Lionel Richie’s “Tuskegee” album. Years past have included salutes to George Strait and Brooks & Dunn.
The Biebs will also serve as the musical guest
Credit: AP Photo
Justin Bieber will host and perform on “Saturday Night Live” on Feb. 9, according to Billboard.
The pop star tweeted Monday night, “maybe I’m hosting and performing on SNL...maybe.: ).” Billboard later independently confirmed the news and a date through a source.
Bieber appeared as the musical guest on the long-running show in April 2010. He showed up again in February 2011 in a “Church Chat” sketch and a pre-taped segment. This will be his first time pulling double duty.
His “SNL” appearance comes the week after he releases “Believe Acoustic” on Jan. 29. Originally slated as an 8-song EP featuring acoustic versions of the songs from 2012’s “Believe,” Bieber tweeted last month that the album has expanded to 10 songs, including some new material. “Every song has a new guitar arrangement...1 w/ piano. Everything feels new,” he tweeted.
Bieber is the second music artist to host and perform this season following Bruno Mars. A number of artists, ranging from Katy Perry, Mick Jagger, and Garth Brooks, have served as both artist and host. Maroon 5’s Adam Levine will host Jan. 26, but Kendrick Lamar will be the musical guest. Season 39 resumes Jan. 19 with Jennifer Lawrence as the host and The Lumineers as the musical guest.
So the only question is when will a skit about Bieber smoking pot will come in....before or after “Weekend Update.”
Listen to new Tony Visconti-produced song, 'Where Are We Now'
Jan. 8 is David Bowie’s 66th birthday and he’s handing out a huge present: Ten years after his last studio album and well into a self-imposed retirement, David Bowie shocked his fans by releasing a new single Monday night and announcing a new album.
“Where Are We Now,” produced by longtime collaborator Tony Visconti, precedes the March 12 release of “The Next Day,” Bowie's first studio album since 2003’s “Reality.” The new song/video is embedded below, but since that video is sometimes cutting out, you can also hear the new song here. It's available for sale on iTunes now.
The standard album, according to Bowie's website, is 14 tracks with a 17-track deluxe edition also available. Both are available for pre-order on iTunes. "The Next Day," on Iso/Columbia, is Bowie's 30th studio recording.
The mid-tempo song is low-key, but passionate and the good news is Bowie still sounds, well, like Bowie. There's a certain lilting poignancy to the track and a bit of a fragility. The video features Bowie’s face on top of a furry stuffed animal sitting in a chair. He looks, well, older. Stick around toward the end, when we see the full Bowie, looking much like we remembered. Anyone know who the women beside him in the video is? The video, directed by Tony Oursler, also features footage of an auto repair shop beneath the apartment Bowie lived in in Berlin.
*And by the way, Bowie fans, Monday marked the 41st anniversary of the release of "Changes."
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“The Next Day” track listing
1. “The Next Day”
2. “Dirty Boys”
3. “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
4. “Love Is Lost”
5. “Where Are We Now?”
6. “Valentine’s Day”
7. “If You Can See Me”
8. “I’d Rather Be High”
9. “Boss of Me”
10. “Dancing Out In Space”
11. “How Does the Grass Grow?”
12. “(You Will) Set the World On Fire”
13. “You Feel So Lonely You Could Die”
15. “So She” (Bonus Track)
16. “I’ll Take You There” (Bonus Track)
17. “Plan” (Bonus Track)
Mysterious Twitter account keeps springing forth with Purple One's material
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles
Prince has uploaded new music for his fans to enjoy... or if not him, someone who seems to have remarkable access to his vault.
As Antiquiet first reported, a Twitter account, under the name 3rdEyeGirl, has been providing links to Prince songs. It started with remixes of “Rock N' Roll Love Affair”—a song he released in November— and then one of “Laydown.”
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Boy band pays homage to those who came before it
Credit: Columbia Records
If I were a 12-year old girl, I would have One Direction’s video for “Kiss You” on repeat....for, like, ever.
It’s everything a video by a boy band should be. The clip pays homage to teen idols of the past, including Elvis Presley in “Jailhouse Rock,” the Beach Boys, and any myriad of bands that broke in the early ‘60s, including The Beatles.
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