Credit: Evan Agostini/AP

Music Power Rankings: Lady Gaga and Jay-Z top the list

Daft Punk, Pearl Jam and Psy also make the list

1. Lady Gaga: "ArtPop" is coming, "ArtPop" is coming! We’ll get Momma Monster’s new album, Nov. 11., but first we’ll get a new single in September. Paws up!!

2. Jay-Z: Yes, it was messy, but his Samsung partnership led the way for a new distribution model AND he still will sell more than half a million albums through traditional retail this week.

3. Daft Punk: In a deal that’s too perfect, the French pair inks a deal with Trojan for “Get Lucky” condoms  Plus, the band plans to work with “Random Access Memories” producer Nile Rodgers on some unfinished Chic material.

4. Pearl JamExpect to get hit with a “Lightning Bolt” in October.

5. Rap Music: The genre pulls off a hat trick for the first time. Thanks to Kanye West, Wale, J. Cole and Mac Miller, rap music had the top 3 spots on the Billboard 200 for three weeks running.

6. Psy: He’s only really known in the U.S. for two hits, “Gangnam Style” and “Gentleman,” but the South Korean rapper has joined Rihanna and Justin Bieber as the only three artists to surpass 3 billion views on YouTube. And, as far as we know, he hasn’t urinated in a janitor’s bucket or posted pictures of himself scantily-clad, rolling a joint.

7. Steve Grand: Gay unsigned, pop/country artist’s sweet song/video about unrequited love goes viral, passing the 1 million views mark  on YouTube.

8. “Cups”:
Almost a year after the movie came out and more than six months after the song first debuted on the chart, Anna Kendrick’s “Cups,” from “Pitch Perfect” hits the Top 10. Please do not let this be a trend.

9. Justin Bieber: Footage of the teen star urinating in a janitor’s bucket and cursing out a picture of President Clinton surfaces.  Someone needs to start telling his friends to stop filming his every move. Or here’s an idea: Stop acting like a twerp.

10. Randy Travis: The country music legend remains in the hospital following a heart virus and subsequent stroke. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

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<p>The cover of Jay-Z's &quot;Magna Carta Holy Grail&quot;</p>

The cover of Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail"

Jay-Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail' reigns on next week's Billboard 200

Two other artists enter the top 10 as well

Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” will top the Billboard 200 by a wide margin next week. Released July 4 to Samsung owners, but only to traditional retailer on July 9, Hova’s latest album will move up to 520,000 units, according to Hits Daily Double. And that’s above and beyond the one million copies distributed through Jay-Z’s one-way deal with Samsung.

He’s one of three artists with new albums debuting within the top 10. After a long absence, Ciara returns with “Body Party,” which looks good for No. 2 with up to 60,000 copies. Skylar Grey, best known for co-writing “Love The Way You Lie” for Eminem and Rihanna, will likely bow at No. 9 with “Don’t Look Down.”

This week’s No. 1 title, J Cole’s “Born Sinner,” drops to No. 3, while Kanye West’s “Yeezus” slides to No. 4. Imagine Dragons’ “Night Vision” is at No. 5. Wale’s former No 1, “The Gifted,” is at No. 6.

Florida Georgia Line’s “Here To The Good Times” is No. 7. Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” is No. 8, and Macklemore &  Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist” will likely be at No. 10.

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<p>Arcade Fire</p>

Arcade Fire

Credit: Arcadefire.com

Arcade Fire announces new album release date via Twitter

Apparently, they were just waiting for someone to say something nice

One of Arcade Fire’s twitter followers was definitely in the right place at the right time. Yesterday, one of the co-ed Canadian band’s fans simply tweeted, “@arcadefire you’re my favorite.”  And the band responded with way more than a simple “thanks” (though, being Canadian and, therefore, very polite, they did thank him).

The Montreal-based band spilled the release date for its new album as Oct. 29, and included two photos of a sphere and of the band that are almost suitable for framing or could be part of the album artwork. No word on the title yet.

The album will the the group’s first since 2010’s “The Suburbs,” which snagged album of the year at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
Arcade Fire had been previewing material over the last year, including a tune called “Crucified Again,” last November.  LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy is producing the new set.

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Justin Timberlake's new song, 'Take Back The Night' in full: Listen
Credit: AP Photo

Justin Timberlake's new song, 'Take Back The Night' in full: Listen

Plus, all the details on 'The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2'

After teasing a snippet of new single, “Take Back The Night,” Justin Timberlake unleashed the full 6-minute song today on YouTube.

The disco tune is the first single from “The 20/20 Experience- 2 of 2,” the sequel to “The 20/20 Experience,” which comes out Sept. 30.

[More after the jump...]


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<p>Cover art for 'ArtPop.'</p>

Cover art for 'ArtPop.'

Credit: Lady Gaga

Check out Lady Gaga's first artwork for new album, 'ArtPop,' out Nov. 11

First single will drop Aug. 19

Paws up, Little Monsters: Lady Gaga will return with a new single Aug. 19.

She posted the news on her Facebook page just after midnight PT.   Fans can pre-order her new app/album, “ArtPop,” on Sept. 1 for delivery on Nov. 11. “ArtPop” is her fourth studio album and her first since 2011’s “Born This Way.”

In a further explanation on her Facebook page, Momma Monster posted:

“Buil by TechHAUS, the technological branch of Haus of Gaga, the app itself is a musical and visual engineering system that combines music, art, fashion, and technology with a new worldwide community – ‘the auras’. Altering the human experience with social media, we bring ARTculture into POP in a reverse Warholian expedition.

“Exploring Gaga‘s existence as a cultural interface, the user will share in the ‘adrenaline of fame’ as they build and share their own projects, chat with one another, and watch in real-time on a virtual globe as ARTPOP explodes onto the physical and virtual existence at once on November 11, our ‘BIG BANG!’ On the day Haus of Gaga venges with forte to bring the music industry into a new age; an age where art drives pop, and the artist once again is in control of the ‘icon.’

“In turn, the album ARTPOP musically mirrors Gaga‘s creative process as she passes through the mediums of each artist she collaborates with, scoring a blueprint of her journey. The result, a ‘rage’ of electronic passion and fury, defining each artistic process from beginning to end, ARTPOP could mean anything. But or her, this is a celebration of obsession. And on November 10, she will host an evening of artRave exhibiting Haus of Gaga’s projects as well as collaboration with Inez & Vinoodh, Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic, and Jeff Koons.”

While it’s not known what songs made the cut, among the producers Lady Gaga has worked with over the past two years on potential material for “ArtPop” are RedOne, Zedd, Madeon and Dallas Austin. Among the artists she’s r recorded with are Kendrick Lamar and Azealia Banks.

She previewed a new song while on tour in 2012:  “Princess Die,” about Princess Diana. She later revealed in a fan chat that the version of the song she performed on tour would not make the album, but that she had written a more uptempo version that was under consideration. She also talked about a hip-hop/j-pop/pop song, and has mentioned other new recordings, including one called “Tea.”

Lady Gaga seems to have abandoned a plan she floated last year to release to volumes of music: one would be more “commercial,” she said, while the other, released a few months later,  would be more experimental.

The announcement comes a day after reports surfaced that Lady Gaga will perform at the iTunes Festival in London this fall, her first full concert since hip surgery earlier this year.  The festival runs Sept. 1-30. While Gaga’s participation isn’t confirmed, among the artists who are laying the fest are Arctic monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Queens of the Stone Age and the Pixies.

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Watch: Bruce fans, even Elvis, go nuts in 'Springsteen & I' preview

Watch: Bruce fans, even Elvis, go nuts in 'Springsteen & I' preview

Ridley Scott-produced doc about the Boss and his followers comes out July 22

“Springsteen & I,” a documentary about Bruce Springsteen and his relationship with his fans, created by his fans, comes out July 22.

The film, directed by Baillie Walsh  and produced by Ridley Scott, focuses on the overwhelming kinship that exists not only between The Boss and his fans, but between the fans themselves. As Springsteen himself talks about, his career is an ongoing "conversation" with his fans, an ongoing communion that gets renewed everytime he steps on stage.

As a die-hard Bruce fan who’s attended around 45 Springsteen shows, this preview of the film looks about right. Sure, it’s glowing, but to be a Springsteen fan is to feel like this. Some of the absolutely happiest hours in my life have been spent in the pit at a Springsteen show singing along with strangers and feeling like nothing in the world existed but us and Bruce and the E Street Band.

I’ll have a review of the documentary as it gets closer and, hopefully, an interview with Walsh.



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Listen: Pearl Jam's new single, 'Mind Your Manners,' will melt your brain

Listen: Pearl Jam's new single, 'Mind Your Manners,' will melt your brain

Track is first tune from upcoming album, 'Lightning Bolt'

First came word of a Pearl Jam tour on Monday, and today fans got the news they really wanted: a new Pearl Jam album, “Lightning Bolt,” will drop Oct. 15.

First single, “Mind Your Manners,” came out today and it’s a bullet-train, punk-rock rush of a song as Eddie Vedder sings about disillusionment and unlikely redemption. It ends with a cacophony of call-and-response vocals screaming “living hell.”

The song is anchored by Matt Cameron’s insistent, powerful drumming, a wily guitar solo, and Vedder’s intense vocals.  The single’s artwork, which features a gun, drops of blood and a rosary on a plate, heighten the drama.

And yes, Pearl Jam’s website, after featuring a countdown clock for the tour and then the album announcement, now has a countdown clock for the album release. It’s 94 days away as of July 11. 

Fans can pre-order the album on Pearljam.com, as well as on iTunes now.

Here's the cover art:

Pearl Jam

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<p>Adam Lambert</p>

Adam Lambert

Credit: AP Photo

'American Idol's' Adam Lambert joins 'Glee'

What role would you like to see him play?

Gleeks and Glamberts rejoice: Adam Lambert is joining the cast of “Glee” for the season 5 of the Fox series.

The show’s co-creator Ryan Murphy announced the news via Twitter, tweeting, “I am thrilled to announce that the super talented Adam Lambert is joining the cast of ‘Glee’ this fall.” Lambert has not commented via Twitter or otherwise.

It remains to be seen whether Lambert will play himself, as he did on “Pretty Little Liars,”  or a fictional character. He is the second “American Idol” contest to join the show: Jessica Sanchez had a two-episode role as a performer from a rival school last season, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lambert is a known “Glee” fan. He told The Reporter last year that the series “really paints a picture of what it’s like to be an arts kid in high school... ‘Glee’ is really irresistible.”

What role would you like to see Lambert play on “Glee?”
We’d like him to be a substitute teacher who comes in an really shakes things up and threatens to take away New Directions from Mr. Schuster.

The move comes at a time when “Glee” is reinventing itself with a number of original cast members, including Heather Morris and Amber Riley, cutting back on their roles next season. Season 5 begins airing in September.


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Kings of Leon set to release new single,  'Supersoaker'
Credit: KoL

Kings of Leon set to release new single, 'Supersoaker'

Track comes out July 17, followed by 'Jimmy Fallon' gig July 22

Kings of Leon will release its new single, “Supersoaker,” on July 17. The track is on “Mechanical Bull,” which comes out Sept. 24.

The news of the song’s choice to kick off the new set comes as no surprise as the band debuted the song at New York’s Governor’s Ball June 8 (after being rained out June 7). It sounds straight up KoL with a little rawness that suits the group.

Kings of leon

The official television premiere of the song comes July 22 on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” That one wasn’t too hard to predict: Fallon breathlessly announced the album’s arrival in June.

Kings of Leon are currently on tour in Europe, but will come back to the U.S. for the Fallon date and for its Rock For Oklahoma charity concert on July 23 at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City. The concert, which will benefit tornado relief efforts in the Sooner state, will also feature Jackson Browne, Flaming Lips, and Built to Spill, and comes after other concert efforts featuring Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and others.

“Mechanical Bull” is the group’s first album since 2010’s “Come Around Sundown.”


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Credit: AP Photo

Jay-Z apologizes for Samsung issues, talks more babies with Beyonce

Jack White-distributed version of 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' includes bonus track

 For those of us who had trouble with the Samsung promotional download for “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” Jay-Z had a few words of sympathy during an interview on New York’s Power 105 radio station this morning.

"I can't even imagine waiting for Rakim's album at 12 o'clock and I couldn't get it and I downloaded — I did everything right," Jay-Z said.  "On the 24th I downloaded my app, I set it, I watched the clock count down and at 12 'clock I couldn't get it. For me that's not cool."

Jay-Z blames an overloaded infrastructure for the delay fans experienced in trying to download the album. "It's not even a number that you can fathom; it's 20 times the amount we thought was going to happen. So you can't even prepare service for that, it's very difficult."

He knows that as the guinea pig for this form of digital distribution, he could experience glitches that will be ironed out for the next artist. That has to get better," he urged. "The next person now knows how to go into it better, which is cool and that's my job. I took the hit for that." (h/t MTV News).

Of course, all this doesn’t explain why I had so much trouble playing individual songs more than 24 hours after the download launched. I would have to close the app and re-open it to go from one song to the next.

In other Jay-Z news (because there’s always news), he talked about dancing around with Beyonce in their stocking feet to her music to New York radio host Angie Martinez from Hot 97 on Tuesday.

According to MTV News, he also told Martinez that Beyonce has “100,000 amazing song,” but didn’t give any details on when we’d get to hear the 12 or so that would make up an album beyond the three or four that has dripped out this year. As far as a little sibling for Blue Ivy, he says he would love that. “Absolutely, God willing.”

And if downloading the Samsung app for “MCHG” or buying it via iTunes or on CD wasn’t your thing, Jack White’s Third Man Records will release “MGCH” on vinyl “in coming weeks,” according to a press release. The vinyl version will include a bonus track called “Open Letter.”

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