<p>Daft Punk</p>

Daft Punk

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Daft Punk will top the Billboard 200 for second week

Who are the chart's three newcomers?

Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” will spend a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 next week, as it fends off three newcomers.

The French duo’s set drops considerably from the 335,000 this week to sell between 90,000-100,000 copies, but that’s still enough to give it a handy lead over Alice in Chains’ “The Devil Put Dinosaurs” here, which will sell up to 65,000 copies for No. 2 and John Fogerty’s “Wrote A Song For Everyone” and Little Mix’s “DNA,” both of which are on target to sell between 45,000-50,000 for No. 3 and No. 4, according to Hits Daily Double.

The rest of the Top 10 are veterans as Darius Rucker’s “True Believers” and the soundtrack to “The Great Gatsby” are in a dead heat for No. 5 with sales of 40,000-45,000 each.

Vampire Weekend’s “Modest Vampires of the City” and Imagine Dragons’ “Night Vision” find themselves in a similar situation with the titles tied going into the weekend for No. 7 with between 30,000-35,000 units each.

Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” logs another week in the Top 10, most likely at No. 9, while Blake Shelton’s “Based On A True Story...” leaps back from No. 16 to No. 10.

A number of this week’s debuts tumble out of the Top 10, including The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me,” French Montana’s “Excuse My French,” and Thirty Seconds to Mars’ “Love Lust Faith + Dreams.”


 

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<p>Kanye West</p>

Kanye West

Credit: AP Photo

Is this the final Kanye West 'Yeezus' cover art?

And what's with the rumors that he's re-recording the album?

Is Kanye West reshuffling the songs on his “Yeezus” two week before the album is slated to come out?

The rumor du jour, according to several different reports, is that West is still in the studio doing everything from putting “finishing touches” on the songs to adding new tunes.

The scuttlebutt seems to have started with the New York Post, which reports that the mixed reaction to “New Slaves” and “Black Skinhead,” which West debuted on “Saturday Night Live” a few weeks ago, sent him scurrying back into the studio to record "some consumer-friendly singles."  Combine that with the fact that “Yeezus” is not available for pre-order anymore, and the interwebs are going crazy.   The studio set, West’s sixth, was available for pre-order on iTunes, but the link was taken down a few days ago.

Then, of course, there’s been the whole juicy scandal over the “Yeezus” artwork. West’s baby mama, Kim Kardashian tweeted about the release day and posted a photo of an alleged album cover two weeks ago. Then this week came another potential cover, this one a painting of West hanging on a cross. He certainly has a martyr complex and the label’s refusal to confirm or deny the news only fueled the fire.

But this afternoon, MTV News reported that the album cover will be as generic and stripped down —and old school —as can be: It’s a photograph of a CD ( yes, that’s how people playing album before downloads, kids), in a jewel case with a piece of red duct tape that has “Yeezus” written in Sharpie.

Yeezus promo

 

We’ve asked the label about the re-recording rumors, but having heard back.

Quite honestly, if he is still messing with the album, he’s going to have trouble getting CDs pressed in time to meet the June 18 deadline, so unless he’s going for a digital release first, despite the album cover, we doubt he’s doing anything too serious.

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<p>Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington</p>

Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington

Credit: AP Photo

Stone Temple Pilots and Chester Bennington plan more music

Reconfigured group headed 'back in the studio'

Scott Weiland’s head may explode. Chester Bennington and Stone Temple Pilots plan to “hammer out some more music.”

The Linkin Park frontman told Rolling Stone,  “Next week we’re going back in the studio.” Bennington first fronted STP a few weeks ago at KROQ’s Weenie Roast. They played again Thursday night at the MAP/MusicCares Fund Benefit.

The reconfigured group already released its first single, “Out Of Time,” and most songs will likely follow in the same way.  “Everything we’re doing is on our own, so we’re just taking it one track at a time,” says Bennington, who remains in Linkin Park as well. “We would love to sit down and hammer out a record, but the reality is we’re gonna make music, we’re gonna make a lot of it, and we’re gonna be in a position to release a single at a time, go out and really give people music the way they want to get it.”  STP has not signed with a label.

STP filed suit last week against former lead singer Scott Weiland, demanding that he stop using the name Stone Temple Pilots and even stop singing STP songs. Weiland has not countersued yet, but threatened legal action in his on-line response.





 

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Watch: Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus toast friends in 'Ashtrays and Heartbreaks' video

Watch: Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus toast friends in 'Ashtrays and Heartbreaks' video

Life can go up in smoke in an instant

Snoop Lion (aka Snoop Dogg) and Miley Cyrus’s video for “Ashtrays and Heartbreaks” pays homage to the ones who have left us.

[More after the jump...]

 
The reggae-inflected track from Snoop Lion’s new album, “Reincarnated,” is a loping number with an enigmatic video that takes place in a city with a spectral, track-suited Snoop dancing and smoking his way through some seeming conflict. He and Cyrus never appear together or in the main action of the video other than as projections on glass, puddles, etc.

I’m not sure if the “full up all the ashtrays” is just another way of saving “smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em,” but the rest of clip features some people in conflict, a little girl idyllically jumping rope, and an old man feeding the pigeons... all tableaux from the modern inner city, as Snoop and Cyrus remind us to “raise a glass to the memories,” and as his huffing and puffing shows, clearly also light one up for them as well.

Check out my interview with Snoop Lion about “Reincarnated” here

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Watch: Miranda Lambert tears up during  Oklahoma tornado relief concert

Watch: Miranda Lambert tears up during Oklahoma tornado relief concert

Singer overcome with emotion during Healing for the Heartland benefit

Miranda Lambert had a hard time getting through her beautiful "The House That Built Me" during Wednesday night's "Healing  in the Heartland" concert last night and you will too if you watch this video.

 

[More after the jump...]

 

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<p>Macklemore and Ryan Lewis</p>

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis top Billboard Hot 100 with 'Can't Hold Us' again

What feat does the rap duo share with Bruno Mars?

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us,” featuring Ray Dalton, spends its fourth week atop the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, only two weeks fewer than the duo’s debut single, “Thrift Shop,” featuring Wanz.

The rap pair has had a song in the top 10 for every week of 2013, matched only by Bruno Mars with “Locked Out Of Heaven” and “When I Was Your Man,” which falls 4-10 this week, according to Billboard.

Following “Can’t Hold Us,” the remaining top 3 remains the same as last week: Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess is No. 2 and Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” is No. 3.

Daft Punk, which has the top album on the Billboard 200, continues to enjoy its biggest success on the Hot 100 in the French duo’s history as “Get Lucky,” featuring Pharrell Williams, leaps 10-4. Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” sails up one spot to 6-5.


Selena Gomez’s “Come & Get It” also rises one place 5-6, while Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” featuring Charli XCX regains some traction, climbing 9-7.  Rihanna’s “Stay” featuring Mikky Ekko falls 5-8 and Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” slips 8-9.

The big news outside of the Top 10 is that “Clouds” by Zach Sobiech floats onto the chart at  No. 28, based largely on digital sales. As you may have read, 18-year old Sobiech died last week after a four-year battle with cancer. As his disease progressed, he turned to writing and performing music to help him cope. The ballad became a viral sensation, especially after a number of celebrities, including Bryan Cranston and Sarah Silverman, expressed their support for Sobiech and the song.
 

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<p>John Fogerty</p>

John Fogerty

Credit: AP Photo

Concert Review: John Fogerty muscles through his hits at birthday gig

Show doubled as release party for 'Wrote A Song For Everyone'

John Fogerty turned Los Angeles’ stately, chandeliered El Rey Theater into a gritty roadhouse bar Tuesday night.

The 2-hour concert, which aired live on AXS TV, celebrated Fogerty’s 68th birthday and the release of his new album, “Wrote A Song For Everyone,” which features the Creedence Clearwater Revival rocker performing his greatest hits with artists ranging from the Foo Fighters to Miranda Lambert. As poster boards in the venue reminded patrons, May 28 also marked the 45th anniversary of the release of the first CCR album. (Read our review of "Wrote A Song For Everyone" here).

While it would have been totally understandable to expect a number of the guests on “Wrote A Song For Everyone” to show up for the album’s release party, other than Fogerty’s sons, who appear on “Lodi,” there were no such surprises. No one was stealing the show from the birthday boy.  Early on, Fogerty explained that the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl was celebrating his wife’s birthday as he launched into “Fortunate Son” and teased that Bob Seger might show up for “Who’ll Stop The Rain” before admitting that Seger was home in Detroit.

While it’s tempting to remark on Fogerty’s relentless energy for someone eligible for social security, the fact is his passion is laudable for an entertainer of any age. It’s clear he still relishes nothing more than ripping off a good guitar solo or going for an extended jam on such numbers as “Ramble Tamble,” a time-shifting, key-changing track from 1970’s “Cosmo’s Factory.” His many guitars got as good a work out as he did.

Fogerty front loaded the show with hits, including “Fortunate Son,” “Green River,” “Looking Out My Back Door” and “Born On The Bayou.” The middle section was devoted to swampy, long jams that were played with verve, but brought the energy level down from the opening, well-known tunes. Yes, he was the birthday boy and it was his party and his rules, but it sometimes felt like he was streamrolling through tunes such as “Somebody Help Me” and “Blue Moon Nights,”  albeit with sterling accompaniment from the always reliable powerhouse Kenny Aronoff on drums.

The hit parade came back for the show’s latter portion with the non-stop roll of “Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “Keep on Chooglin,” “Have You Ever Seen The Rain,” “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Centerfield,” “Old Man Down The Road” and then “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary” for encores. (The set list alone suggests that there could definitely be a “Wrote A Song For Everyone Vol. 2” given the number of hits left off the first edition).

“I love playing rock and roll for y’all and seeing the smiles on your faces,”  Fogerty said to the audience toward the end. Perhaps that was the best birthday present of all.

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Album Review: John Fogerty's 'Wrote A Song For Everyone' with Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert
Credit: Vanguard Records

Album Review: John Fogerty's 'Wrote A Song For Everyone' with Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert

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How do reinventions of his classics stand up to the originals?

One of last year’s top sellers was “Tuskegee,” a collection of Lionel Richie’s greatest hits newly recorded by the ex-Commodore with a passel of top country music artists, including Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain and Blake Shelton.

[More after the jump...]

 

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<p>Nine Inch Nails</p>

Nine Inch Nails

Credit: AP Photo

Nine Inch Nails ink deal with Columbia Records for new album

Set will be first since 2008's 'The Slip'

Nine Inch Nails have signed with Columbia Records for the release of a new NIN album later this year.

While NIN founder Trent Reznor has often championed a D-I-Y aesthetic, the move isn’t that surprising given that his trio, How To Destroy Angels, which also includes his composing partner Atticus Ross and his wife Mariqueen Maandig, is on Columbia. 

In a press release, Reznor admitted, “I’ve been less than honest about what I’ve really been up to to lately... for the last year, I’ve been secretly working non-stop with Atticus Ross and Alan Moulder on a new, full-length Nine Inch Nails record, which I’m happy to say is finishing and frankly f**king great.”

Actually, he hasn’t been that dishonest: Reznor hasn’t hidden that he was writing material for a potential NIN album to the press...Plus, with two-dozen upcoming dates including Lollapalooza in Chicago, as well as the Reading Festival and The Leeds Festival in the U.K., it’s not that surprising that new music is on the way.

The current line-up, following Eric Avery’s departure two weeks ago —is Reznor, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, Robin Finck and Ilan Rubin. The line-up will bow July 26 at the Fuji Rock Festival in Naeba, Japan, NIN’s first live show in almost four years. Reznor confirmed long-time, off-and-on again NINer Finck’s inclusion via Twitter earlier this month.

Reznor, who, with Ross, won an Academy Award for their score for “The Social Network,” said his film work has helped fuel his NIN resurgence: “My forays into film, HTDA and other projects really stimulated me creatively and I decided to focus that energy on taking Nine Inch Nails to a new place. Here we go!”

The new album will be NIN’s first new collection since 2008’s “The Slip,” which the band made available for free download via its website.

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Watch: Kelly Clarkson shows her true colors in 'People Like Us' video

Watch: Kelly Clarkson shows her true colors in 'People Like Us' video

She's got a secret that's bound to come out

Look! A Kelly Clarkson video for “People Like Us”  broke out in the middle of Nokia and BMW commercials! Seriously, I know that product placement in music videos is nothing new, but when it is as blatant as it is in this clip or in the new Jennifer Lopez video, it takes me right out of any story that the video is trying to tell.

And in this case, Clarkson is trying to tell a story, though I’m not really sure what it is. In a device straight out of “The Wizard of Oz” or “Pleasantville,” the clip takes place in both black & white and color. At the start, she is a scientist, presumably studying “People Like Us,” people who live in color, like those of us described in the song as “We are all misfits living in a world on fire.” 

[More after the jump...]

 

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