Thursday, December 1, 2011

2012 Grammy Winner Predictions

If you happened to catch the Grammy Nominations Concert last night, there were many great performances--well, all except Rihanna, of course.

Lady Gaga opened the show with another freakish, but yet, intriguing performance--this time her new single, "Marry the Night." She also closed the show with an effortless performance of "You and I," accompanied by country group Sugarland, and, well....it actually worked well. There's a reason for the past three years Gaga has received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. Maybe this time she'll actually win. Although, Adele will be tough to beat.

Rihanna's lip synced performance of "We Found Love" was pre-taped from a show during her tour in London. I don't know what's worse: Disgracing the Grammys or cheating thousands of fans that paid hundreds to see a live concert. It's a double whammy for Rihanna, as she consistently sings terrible or doesn't sing at all (More often doesn't sing at all). Have we really gotten to the point where the most respected music awards show turns a blind eye to artists that lip sync? Rihanna received four nominations for next year, including *sigh* Album of the Year.


The reason a Grammy award is considered much more credible than all other music awards is because both the nominations and winners are determined by music professionals in an elite committee called the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS).

Many music award shows, such as the VMAs and American Music Awards, determine winners based on the highest amount of online fan votes. Yes, that means any moron with a computer, bias opinion and no knowledge of music can contribute to the fate of all artists nominated.

Anyway, here are some of my predictions for who will win next year:

Record of the Year: Rolling In The Deep (Adele),  Holocene (Bon Iver), Grenade (Bruno Mars), The Cave (Mumford & Sons), Firework (Katy Perry)

Album of the Year: 21 (Adele), Wasting Light (Foo Fighters), Born This Way (Lady Gaga), Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Bruno Mars), Loud (Rihanna)

Song of the Year: All of the Lights, (Jeff Bhasker, Fergie, Malik Jones, Warren Trotter & Kanye West, songwriters; performed by Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi & Fergie); The Cave (Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters; performed by Mumford & Sons); Grenade (Brody Brown, Claude Kelly, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Bruno Mars & Andrew Wyatt, songwriters; performed by Bruno Mars); Holocene (Justin Vernon, songwriter; performed by Bon Iver); Rolling In The Deep (Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, songwriters; performed by Adele)

Best New Artist: The Band Perry, Bon Iver, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Skrillex

Best Pop Solo Performance: Someone Like You (Adele), You and I (Lady Gaga), Grenade (Bruno Mars), Firework (Katy Perry), F***in' Perfect (Pink)

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Body And Soul (Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse), Dearest (The Black Keys), Paradise (Coldplay), Pumped Up Kicks (Foster the People), Moves Like Jagger (Maroon 5 & Christina Aguilera)

Best Pop Vocal Album: 21 (Adele), The Lady Killer (Cee Lo Green), Born This Way (Lady Gaga), Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Bruno Mars), Loud (Rihanna)

Best Rock Song: The Cave (Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford & Country Winston, songwriters; performed by Mumford & Sons); Down By The Water (Colin Meloy, songwriter; performed by The Decemberists), Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion & Chris Martin, songwriters; performed by Coldplay), Lotus Flower (Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O'Brien, Phil Selway & Thom Yorke, songwriters; performed by Radiohead), Walk (Foo Fighters, songwriters; performed by Foo Fighters)

Best Rock Album: Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul (Jeff Beck), Wasting Light (Foo Fighters), Come Around Sundown (Kings of Leon), I'm With You (Red Hot Chili Peppers), The Whole Live (Wilco)
Best Rap Album: Watch The Throne (Jay-Z & Kanye West), Tha Carter IV (Lil Wayne), Lasers (Lupe Fiasco), Pink Friday (Nicki Minaj), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Kanye West)

Best Country Album: My Kinda Party (Jason Aldean), Chief (Eric Church), Own The Night (Lady Antebellum), Red River Blue (Blake Shelton), Here For A Good Time (George Strait), Speak Now (Taylor Swift)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hip Hop Officially Just Became Uncool


Justin Bieber has revealed that two of the biggest current hip hop artists, Kanye West and Drake, will be collaborating with the teen pop sensation on his new album due out in the next few months.

West seems to have always had Bieber Fever. In the past he tweeted: "Listening to @JustinBieber 'Run Away Love'...I love Sunday mornings in the crib."

...Yo Kanye, Imma let you finish, but Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus's duet was the best of all time.


Former Backstreet Boy's Back, All Right!

Hooray -- The missing cog has been found!

Kevin Richardson recently announced he will be joining the Backstreet Boys once again at a Bahamas concert on December 3 and then most likely indefinitely. Richardson was the only Backstreet Boy that did not partake in a reunion that began five years ago when the group released two albums and collaborated with New Kids On The Block, forming NKOTBSB.

We can all thank our lucky stars that Richardson has taken a break from his busy career of doing nothing to rejoin the Backstreet Boys. The group is now complete by adding another washed up singer--but not just any washed up singer--one with the look of a degenerate and/or pedophile.




Friday, October 28, 2011

Green Day Celebrate Halloween in NYC

Photo Credit: Jessica Levy
Green Day celebrated Halloween with 300 lucky fans last night during their concert at The Studio at Webster Hall. The show was announced Wednesday morning, with tickets on sale hours later. It sold out in 35 seconds. 

The band took the stage at around midnight in their costumes: Billie Joe Armstrong dressed as Jack Skelington and Tre Cool dressed in drag. They opened with a cover of "Monster Mash," followed by over 20 brand new songs. The encore consisted of oldies including "She," "2,000 Light Years Away" and "Welcome to Paradise." 

As usual, Green Day fans went home extremely satisfied. 

Set List:
Monster Mash
Crushing Bastards
Let Yourself Go
Carpe diem
Stay the Night
Stop When the Red Lights Flash
Oh Love
Fell for Snoo
Hybrid Moments
Nuclear Family
Sweet 16
Stray Heart
Stop, Drop and Roll 
Dirty Rotten Bastards
8th Ave. Serenade
Makeout Party
Wild One
Fuck Time (Foxboro Hot Tubs song)
Wow! That's Loud
Soda Pop Curtis
Trouble Maker
Lazy Bones
Little Boy Named Train
Teenagers From Mars (The Network song)
Sex Drugs & Violence
Amanda
Blue Moon of Kentucky (Elvis cover)
Welcome to Paradise
Geek Stink Breath
Hitchin' A Ride
She
Going to Pasalacqua
1,000 Hours
Murder City
Letterbomb
2,000 Light Years Away
Paper Lanterns

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Miley Cyrus: Maybe Third Time's A Charm?

Miley Cyrus, or Hannah Montana--whatever the hell her name is--will reportedly be covering a Bob Dylan song in the near future. The song will appear on the charity album, Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. Adele, Sting, Patti Smith, Dave Matthews Band and ...[groan]... Ke$ha will also appear on the album.

Cyrus has been widely criticized over covers of classics she has done in the past, including Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." I'm sure she won't disappoint us with her consistent track record.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Amy Winehouse's Cause of Death... for Real, This Time.


The coroner has finally stated a cause of death for Amy Winehouse. Ready for this? Winehouse consumed a "very large amount of alcohol" -- so much that it was five times over the legal driving limit. OK, now that we've stated the obvious... 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hanson Play to Save The Music, Celebrate Drummer's Birthday

Photo Credit: Jessica Levy
Teen pop group turned indie rock band, Hanson, were one of the performers at VH1's Save the Music Foundation's Family Day in NYC yesterday. The band not only celebrated their love for music, but also drummer Zac's 26th birthday. Other performers at the free event included: Mat Kearney, Hot Peas 'N Butter, SafetySuit and The American Secrets. 

Hanson, who are used to playing for a crowd of women in their late 20's, seemed to enjoy their new fans ranging from the ages of around 1-5 years old. Isaac, 30, told the crowd that this is the "cutest thing" he's ever seen in response to the young children dancing to Hanson's music. Taylor, 28, who has four kids of his own, encouraged all "little people" to come to the front of the crowd in order to view the concert better. He also joked that short women should come to the front as well.

"When our first record came out, Zac was 11, I was 16 and Taylor was 14," Isaac said before breaking into the first chords of "MMMBop."

Fans got an extra special treat as a birthday cake was brought on stage in celebration of youngest brother Zac's 26th birthday. "Remember, kids, don't play with matches. Let your parents light the candles in your house," a VH1 rep joked.

Zac did not share his cake with fans.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shocking 'American Idol' News


This just in: Season 9 American Idol winner Lee DeWyze that no one remembers or can name one song by has been dropped from RCA Records.

Darn. At least Season 9 runner-up, Crystal Bowersox, remains signed to RCA. She had that hit called... ummm... uhhh.... yeah. Anyway...

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Not-So-Rancid Musical Web Series

Punk rocker Tim Armstrong of Rancid has created an online musical theater series, Tim Timebomb's RockNRoll Theater


Armstrong says the show is influenced by The Twilight Zone and other "anthology television from the late fifties, early sixties." AFI's Davey Havok and Rancid guitarist Lars Frederiksen will be featured in the debut episode, "Dante." Armstrong revealed to Rolling Stone that he has written 50 new songs for the first 12 episodes. 


"When I asked Davey Havok I couldn't even get my pitch out. I was like 10 seconds into my pitch and he was on board. The first thing we did was a short with Jack Grisham from TSOL, he was on board in like 10 seconds," Armstrong says. "Singers love to do dialogue. There's a scene, Davey is the devil and Lars plays this bad guy, the antagonist, they loved it."


This isn't the first time Havok has appeared in a musical. The rocker starred in Green Day's American Idiot on Broadway as the antagonist role of St. Jimmy for two weeks in March. Havok was decent in the role, but portrayed it as a bit too flamboyant for my liking to be a drug dealing villain. Maybe this will work out better when he plays the devil in Armstrong's musical.


Aside from Rancid, Armstrong has played in some of the most successful punk rock bands, including Operation Ivy and The Transplants. He is also the owner of Hellcat Records, home of Dropkick Murphys, Tiger Army and of course Rancid and Operation Ivy. 

Tim Timebomb's RockNRoll Theater will premiere October 21 on VEVO.



The Definition of Mixing Oil and Water

What does convicted felon T.I. do after being released from prison after 10 months?

Duh, he joins country pop princess Taylor Swift on stage in Atlanta to sing "Live Your Life"!





In other news--enjoy Lil Wayne's remix of Joe Jonas' "Just in Love." The chorus of the generic fluffy pop song is as follows: Girl, I'm just in love with you/No other words words to use/I'm just in love with you.

As always, Weezy adds his own classy finishing touch: We go together like money and power/I don't need nuttin', nuttin', but her/All them other bitches ain't f--kin' with her. How appropriate!


Joe Jonas must feel like he has some street cred by association now with that "Parental Advisory" sticker on his album cover. 



Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Featured Artist: Side by Side


Side by Side is a pop-rock band from Charlotte, NC comprised of Joelle Kittrell (vocals) and twin brothers Michael (guitar) and Joseph Pepe (bass). The twins met Joelle through a mutual connection and in 2010 began recording a self-titled EP that would be released in February 2011. 

This EP takes you on a journey through heartbreak; It begins with the up-beat song, "My Heart," a track that is the most worth listening to. It later ends with the soft ballad "To The Sky," which consists of a beautiful acoustic arrangement, including a violin and piano. The music is fairly simple and the lyrics are decent, but the most positive element by far is Kittrell's voice, which reminds me much of a young Natalie Merchant. Side by Side's five-song EP is short, but very much sweet. 

Billboard voted Side by Side one of the top six unsigned bands in the nation in its 2011 Battle of the Bands. Michael Pepe revealed to the magazine that the band takes time to discuss events happening in their life weekly in hope to inspire new songs. "Go for it all, or don't go at all" is a motto that Pepe says the band sticks to.

Learn more about Side by Side: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

May the Best Rockers Win

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees are in!

Guns N' Roses, the Cure, Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Eric B. and Rakim, the Spinners, the Small Faces/Faces, Freddie King and Rufus with Chaka Khan are all first-time nominees. Beastie Boys, Laura Nyro, War, Donna Summer, Donovan and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers are also nominated.

Artists are eligible 25 years after releasing their first single or album. The artists whom receive the most votes will make the cut.  

Guns N' Roses recently announced a fall tour that will kick off October 2 in Brazil. The Cure also announced it will be playing its first three albums from start-to-finish, with scheduled concerts in London, Hollywood and NYC.





Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Please Stop the Music

It was a beautiful day on Alan Graham's Northern Ireland field; wheat grass, corn, and two melons -- Rihanna's melons, that is.

The singer shot a video for her new single "We Found Love" and broke the rules by going topless. Graham told her to cover up because it was "inappropriate." He then kicked her off the field.

I'm sure Rihanna's decision to go topless was based on how completely relevant it is to the lyrics of the song. Maybe it was during the part where she sings "We found love in a hopeless place"? Hmm... no. Maybe "Yellow diamonds in the light"? No... still wouldn't quite fit. Oh well.

Graham admitted he had "never heard of Rihanna" before that day. Let's face it--He's not missing much.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lady Gaga Stands Up to Bullies

Getty Images
Lady Gaga doesn't f--k around.

The singer met with President Obama yesterday to address bullying issues at a political fundraiser in Silicon Valley, CA. She pleaded with everyone "to do what they can to prevent bullying," according to a source at ABC News.

This action was based on the recent death of Jamey Rodemeye, a big Gaga fan, who was recently bullied because of his sexual orientation to the point of suicide.

"The past days I've spent reflecting, crying, and yelling. I have so much anger. It is hard to feel love when cruelty takes someones life," Gaga said of Rodemeye's death. "Jamey Rodemeyer, 14 yrs old, took his life because of bullying. Bullying must become illegal. It is a hate crime. I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey."

Ricky Martin joined Gaga by posting on Twitter to his 4 million followers, "How many lives do we have to lose to finally stop the harassment, hatred, bigotry, abuse? #BULLYING #MakeALawForJamey." His Twitter icon was also changed to a picture of Rodemeye.

Gaga is well-known supporter for the LGBT community. "She makes me so happy and she let's me know that I was born this way," Rodemeye said of Gaga in a video for the It Gets Better campaign on May 4.   


Saturday, September 24, 2011

'X Factor' Becomes X-Rated

Fox
We've all been seeing the previews for this damned show for the past six months. Simon Cowell's X Factor has finally premiered on Fox this week.

The American Idol meets America's Got Talent meets The Sing Off show exposed some extremely talented singers that proved themselves worthy enough to go into the next round. For other contestants, they either had the potential but weren't entirely ready yet or they were just plain terrible.

One contestant in particular, Geo Godley, sang an original song while...well, dropping trou. As the entire audience boo'd him, the judges looked away in disgust. Judge Paula Abdul dramatically left the area and shortly after the camera captured her gagging backstage. Has Paula never seen a penis before? She acted as if the guy took a dump on the stage for cryin' out loud! The only good thing about Godley's x-rated stunt is that it distracted everyone of his horrible singing voice.

One of the best auditions consisted of 18-year-old Melanie Amaro singing Beyonce's "Listen." Another great audition was Stacy Francis, 42, who had a tear jerking story about when she used to be in an abusive relationship. Francis sang "Natural Woman" and blew the judges away with her strong Aretha Franklin-esque vocals.

"That was one of the best auditions I've ever heard in my life," Simon Cowell said of Francis's performance.

As usual, Paula Abdul contributes nothing to the show and struggles to compete with the younger, hotter female judge -- this time it's Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls. At one point, a contestant gushed to Scherzinger how beautiful she was. Abdul struggled to make her presence known by saying, "She is, isn't she?" (Translation: "Hi! I'm here too!") She was ignored and then repeated herself again, "She is, isn't she?" She was ignored again.

Former record executive, producer and songwriter L.A. Reid obviously knows what he's talking about, making him an essential judge on the show. I find myself tuning out when Abdul and Scherzinger are speaking and then tuning back in when it's Reid and Cowell's turns to speak.

In the grand scheme of things, this show was not any different than any of the other singing competitions. Simon Cowell or not, it is the same exact concept and format -- but did anyone expect any different? At least the winner will become 5 million dollars richer. Hopefully in addition they can have an everlasting career, unlike the many American Idol winners.







Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday to 'The Boss'

"If they had told me I was the janitor and would have to mop up and clean the toilets after the show in order to play, I probably would have done it," Bruce Springsteen once said.

Springsteen began his career in 1972 when he signed a deal with Columbia Records and released Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ. At that time he also formed the E-Street Band.

He is probably best known for 1984's Born in the USA, which is one of the best-selling albums of all time. It was at that time when Rolling Stone called Springsteen "Voice of the Decade."

Currently, Springsteen and the E-Street Band are deciding on their future. In June, saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away due to complications from a stroke.

Happy birthday to "The Boss," who turns 62 today.


Fall Music Tour Guide

Summer tours are officially over! Have no fear, Banter On The Beat has compiled a list of the biggest tours coming to a city near you this fall.


Foo Fighters
Support: Rise Against, Cage The Elephant, Mariachi el Bronx, Social Distortion, The Joy Formidable, Tenacious D, Fucked Up

Dates: 9/14 - 10/28; 11/7 - 11/16; 11/28 - 12/13

Prices: $36 - $56




The Throne
Support: TBA

Dates: 10/29 - 12/18

Prices: $100 - $250









Foster the People

Support: The Cults, Reptar

Dates: 9/13 - 10/20

Prices: $25 - $36



NOFX & Anti-Flag


Support: TBA

Dates: 10/6 - 10/23

Prices: $30 - $38



Bush

Support: Chevelle, Filter

Dates:  9/27 - 11/22

Prices: $35 - $65




Hanson

Support: Meiko, Run Run Run

Dates: 9/3 - 11/29

Prices: $30 - $35



The Smashing Pumpkins

Support: Fancy Space People, Light FM

Dates: 10/5 - 12/8

Prices: $35 - $60



Evanescence

Support: The Pretty Reckless, Rival Sons

Dates: 10/2 - 11/21

Prices: $38.50 - $52.50



Yellowcard

Support: Every Avenue, Go Radio, Saves the Day

Dates: 10/8 - 11/18; 11/28 - 12/17

Prices: $24.50 - $30.50




Panic! At The Disco

Support: Foxy Shazam, Patrick Stump

Dates: 10/9 - 11/10

Prices: $24.50 - $25.50



Reel Big Fish

Support: Streetlight Manifesto, Lionizie, Rodeo Ruby Love

Dates: 11/21 - 12/23

Prices: $20 - $25



Guns 'N Roses

Support: TBA

Dates: 10/28 - ??? (Tour dates still TBA)

Prices: TBA



Green Day Surprise Fans... Again

concertkid / greendayauthority.com
Green Day fans that happened to log into the band's official fan club website yesterday afternoon were in for quite the shock. The band announced they would be doing, yet, another surprise concert that night; this time in Oakland, CA.

"We can't tell you exactly where, we can't tell you exactly why" is what the announcement read. Additionally, the club gave away a ticket to each of the first 20 people that responded.

Green Day performed at Oakland's 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. The crowd consisted of only 160 people, mainly friends and family, according to a review on greendayauthority.com.

The set list included hits "Welcome to Paradise" and "American Idiot," while ending with "St. Jimmy." The band also played new songs from their upcoming album due out next year.

Last month, Green Day performed a surprise concert at The Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, CA. They will be performing at the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor ceremony to honor comedian Will Ferrell on October 23 in Washington, D.C.

Also see: Green Day Perform New Songs at Last Minute Gig

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

R.I.P. R.E.M.: Band Breaks Up

Alternative rock band R.E.M. decided to "call it a day" and end their 27 year run as a band.

The band let fans know on their official website today: "To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening."

Each band member also shared their own thoughts:

"During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, 'what next'? Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together.

"We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this – there's no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We've made this decision together, amicably and with each other's best interests at heart. The time just feels right." - Mike

"A wise man once said – 'the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave. We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we're going to walk away from it.


"I hope our fans realize this wasn't an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.

"We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It's been amazing." - Michael

"One of the things that was always so great about being in R.E.M. was the fact that the records and the songs we wrote meant as much to our fans as they did to us. It was, and still is, important to us to do right by you. Being a part of your lives has been an unbelievable gift. Thank you.

"Mike, Michael, Bill, Bertis, and I walk away as great friends. I know I will be seeing them in the future, just as I know I will be seeing everyone who has followed us and supported us through the years. Even if it's only in the vinyl aisle of your local record store, or standing at the back of the club: watching a group of 19 year olds trying to change the world." - Peter

R.E.M. has produced many hits, including "Everybody Hurts," "Stand" and "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" The band has sold a total of 19.3 million albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan.






Monday, September 19, 2011

Foo Fighters Counter-Protest Bigots Through Music

When members of the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church announced they were going to picket outside the Foo Fighter's Kansas City show on Friday, the band decided to come prepared.

All the Foo Fighters needed to pack were trucker outfits to transform into the characters from their recent comedic "Hot Buns" video and they were all set.

"I don't care if you're black or white or purple or green, whether you're Pennsylvanian or Transylvanian, Lady Gaga or Lady Antebellum. It takes all kinds," frontman Dave Grohl said.

See the Foo Fighters' footage from the protest. The video was uploaded on Friday and has currently been viewed over 750,000 times.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

'Anything Anything' Returns to the Airwaves

Anything Anything with Rich Russo has returned! The free form radio show will premiere tonight and air every Sunday night from 9-11 p.m. on alternative rock station WXPK-FM 107.1 The Peak.

The show will also air on several other stations in the coming months, including New Jersey rock station WDHA-FM, according to an announcement by Russo. Anything Anything was originally aired on 101.9 RXP until the station recently changed to an all-news format.

The Peak is broadcasted in areas of northern New Jersey and NYC. It can also be streamed on The Peak's website.

Support the local rock scene!

See also: No More Love for Rock in NYC

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Music This Week

Check out Amy Lee jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge in Evanescence's new video for "What You Want." The song is Evanescence's first single from the band's upcoming self-titled third album to be released on October 11. Catch Evanescence on tour with The Pretty Reckless kicking off October 10 at the Fox Theater in Oakland.

 
 

Florence + The Machine released their second single "Shake It Out" from upcoming album Ceremonials, which will be released October 10 in the UK.



Tony Bennett collaborated with Lady Gaga in remaking show tune classic from musical Babes In Arms, "The Lady is a Tramp." The duet will appear on Bennett's forthcoming Duets II album on September 20, which will also include duets with Amy Winehouse and Mariah Carey.




 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In Memory of Amy Winehouse

Happy 28th Birthday to the late Amy Winehouse. Columbia released her final studio recording today--a duet with Tony Bennett on "Body and Soul."

"My dad ... was like, 'Oh, it's only my favorite song in the world you're going to sing. Oh my God! Do you even know it?' and I was like, 'Of course I know it, Mitchell. I'm your daughter, of course I know it,'" Winehouse said. "It was really exciting that he chose that song because I do love it. It's such a beautifully written song."

Mitch Winehouse recently stated he thinks a seizure due to alcoholic detoxification caused his daughter's death.

"Everything Amy did, she did to excess," Mitch Winehouse said in an interview with Anderson Cooper. "She drank to excess and did detox to excess."

Amy Winehouse passed unexpectedly in London on July 23. All proceeds from the recording will be contributed to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which also launched today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another Horrifying Collaboration

Coldplay singer Chris Martin recently revealed to a UK newspaper that Rihanna will be featured on the track "Princess of China" from the band's new album to be released next month.

"When the vocal happened I thought 'Wow, you sound different' but I think that's also because [Rihanna] was singing a different song to what we are used to hearing from her," Martin said.

I suppose "different" would be somewhat of an accurate description. Couldn't this scenario be comparable to mixing feces with chocolate? Why ruin something that's already good?

Rihanna is an artist managed by Jay-Z's company Roc Nation. It is well known that Chris Martin and Jay-Z are good friends; Martin and wife Gwenyth Paltrow even attended Beyonce and Jay-Z's very private wedding in 2008.  Hmm... starting to make sense now.

Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto will be released on October 24.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Britney Spears to Release Another Pointless Remix Album

Oops! She's doing it again. Britney Spears announced she will be releasing another remix album, B In The Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2, on October 11.

"Exciting news tweeps... new remix album is coming out on 10/11! Pumped for you to hear these tracks," she tweeted.

Britney's first remix album, B In The Mix, was released six years ago and included hits "Toxic," "Me Against The Music" and "I'm A Slave 4 U." The album sold a whopping 119,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.


Once again, both an effortless and meaningless album by Britney Spears will bless the music world.


Track listing for B In The Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2:

1. Gimme More (Kaskade Club Mix)
2. Piece Of Me (Tiƫsto Club Mix)
3. Radar (Tonal Club Remix)
4. Womanizer (Benny Benassi Extended)
5. Circus (Linus Loves Remix)
6. If U Seek Amy (U-Tern Remix)
7. 3 (Manhattan Clique Club Remix)
8. Till The World Ends (Alex Suarez Club Remix)
9. I Wanna Go (Gareth Emery Remix)
10. Criminal (Varsity Team Remix)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Music Industry Ten Years Ago on 9/11

It's hard to believe 9/11 happened ten years ago.

Former Walt Disney consumer products senior VP Carolyn Beug, Backstreet Boy's roadie Danny Lee and ASCAP's music licensing team member Jane Simpkin were passengers of the two planes that hit the WTC towers and among the approximate 2,700 people who died.

Music concerts and events were constantly postponed or canceled, including the Latin Grammy Awards, CMJ Music Marathon, and tours by U2, Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Shaggy, Weezer and Brian Wilson.

Releases on 9/11/01 included: Jay-Z's The Blueprint, Nickelback's Silver Side Up, Bob Dylan's Love and Theft and Mariah Carey's Glitter Soundtrack. Music sales that week dropped 5% and 16.2% in the New York metropolitan area, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Fund raising events, including the America: A Tribute to Heros telethon, raised over $100 million dollars. Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, U2, Faith Hill, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi and the Dixie Chicks were some of the telethon performers.

Ten years later, many songs have been written about 9/11 including: "Covered In Rain" by John Mayer, "Believe" by Yellowcard, "Undivided" by Bon Jovi, "New Killer Star" by David Bowie, "911 For Peace" by Anti-Flag and "The Rising" by Bruce Springsteen.


Many music artists remembered 9/11 during the ten year anniversary this year.

"We were in disbelief," Lady Gaga told MTV. "We all watched the second tower fall together."  

“Of course it’s a very powerful and painful day for us, but again, we should be showing our resolve,” Jay-Z said. “We’re moving on, playing football, and everything is great out here.”

Read more about the music industry and 9/11 at Billboard.com.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Adele Makes History

Adele's performance of "Someone Like You" at the 2011 VMAs was a breath of fresh air. Let's face it -- she always seems to put most current female singers to shame.

Luckily for the British singer, that performance resulted in "Someone Like You" jumping from No. 19 to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week. This is the biggest jump in the chart's history without releasing a single.

"Someone Like You" was released on Februray 22, 2011 and has sold 275,000 downloads, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Adele's first single from 21, "Rolling in the Deep," has sold 5 million copies and is currently the top-selling song this year.




Adele performing "Someone Like You" on the 2011 MTV VMAs.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Music Events Tonight at Fashion's Night Out

Foster the People
Fashion's Night Out is an after-hours worldwide shopping event that includes celebrities, designers and music artists -- And it's all happening tonight!

Make sure you check out some of the biggest music events in NYC:

Nicki Minaj hosting at Yves Saint Laurent
3 E. 57th St. 7-10 p.m.

Joe Jonas performing at Saks Fifth Avenue 
611 Fifth Ave.. 6th Fl. 7 p.m.

Andrew W.K. performing at Saks Fifth Avenue
611 Fifth Ave., 7th Fl. 6-10 p.m.

Foster the People performing at at Lacoste
608 Fifth Ave. 6-11 p.m.

Leighton Meester performing with with her band, Check in the Dark at Tiffany & Co.
727 Fifth Ave. 6-11 p.m.

Kelly Rowland performing at Macy's
151 W. 34th St. 4th Fl. 7 p.m.

Drake DJ'ing at Versace
647 Fifth Ave. 7-10 p.m.

The Roots performing with Gary Clark Jr. at John Varvatos
315 Bowery. 9 p.m.

Find more events at fashionsnightout.com.


Madonna is Not Legally 'Material Girl'

Madonna is known to many as "Material Girl," based on her 1985 single, but apparently she doesn't own the name.

A federal judge recently rejected her claim that she is entitled to an already registered trademark for the name. Madge named her clothing company Material Girl Brand and was sued last year by another clothing company that really does own the registered trademark.

Judge S. James Otero laughed at the pop star's claims that she brought "Material Girl" to fame and stated, "Defendants' argument that Madonna created the 'Material Girl' mark through her performances fails as a matter of law. This Court and other courts have recognized that the singing of a song does not create a trademark."

That's not all of Madonna's legal issues. Another lawsuit against her over noise levels was recently given the go-ahead by a judge. Madonna was using a New York apartment as a dance studio. Perhaps these judges are Cyndi Lauper fans?

Madonna may be known as "Material Girl" to the public, but does she really have the right to trademark the name? The song was actually written by Peter Brown and Robert Rans, so this lawsuit could be comparable to if Sarah Michelle Gellar claimed she's entitled to own the registered trademark for the name the name "Buffy."
 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Britney Clip That Will Make Everyone Go 'Crazy'

Rolling Stone
It's a slow day in music.

Someone with a lot of time on their hands created this little ditty, which includes every instance Britney Spears has sung the words "baby" and "crazy" on her albums. Coincidentally, Excedrin Migraine sales have skyrocketed.

This excruciating clip lasts over five minutes long. We can now officially conclude that Britney will always reign as the Queen of Meaningful Lyrics.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ex-My Chemical Romance Drummer Pathetically Attempts to Defend Himself

Michael Pedicone, My Chemical Romance's ex-drummer as of five days ago, told his side of the story to Kerrang! today. Pedicone was recently fired after he was caught stealing from the band.

"Almost as soon as I began touring with MCR I ran into problems with a member of the band's crew who I'll not name. The problems were many, big and small, but some of them were large enough that they began to greatly impact me and, by extension, my family. I'd reached my wits' end, and I made what was certainly the poorest decision of my life. Rather than address the issues that I had with the crew member in an open and honest manner, I tried to make them look irresponsible. My intention was to make this person look incompetent. I had no intention of profiting whatsoever. Again, I cannot overstate how poor my judgment was in this situation; it was a tremendous mistake, and it's one I'll regret for years to come.

"I would have liked an opportunity to share my side of the story with MCR, an opportunity to express my remorse. I was never given one.

"I'd like to thank MCR's members, crew, and supporters for giving me some of the best musical experiences of my life in the past several months. However brief our partnership, it was an honour and a dream come true to play with such a talented bunch of individuals. I wish MCR the best of luck in the future, and I'm looking forward to my next endeavour."

Well, why didn't he tell us this sooner?! His image is now officially squeaky clean in my book. Are there any bands out there that need a new drummer who will only steal if he is framing a crew member?

Also See: My Chemical Romance Fires Drummer for Stealing

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Freddie Mercury!

Freddie Mercury would have celebrated his 65th birthday today. Music artists posted memories and birthday wishes to the late singer on YouTube.

"(Queen's) probably the most influential band to My Chemical Romance," Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance said. "Freddie Mercury (is) probably the most important front man to me growing up as a little boy."

"Happy Birthday, Freddie. The world is your voice and we can only hope to achieve half of what you achieved--all of us artists--because you really were an inspiration," said Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins.

Katy Perry even sang an off-key version of "Happy Birthday" to Mercury. Oh well, I guess she tried.

Mercury died in 1991 from AIDS. Who knows what the music industry would be like now if he was still alive?

Check out The Mercury Phoenix Trust to donate in the fight against AIDS. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Chemical Romance Fires Drummer for Stealing

My Chemical Romance recently fired drummer Michael Pedicone after he was allegedly caught stealing from the band.

"Some s--t happened last night and before the blogosphere gets all crazy with false statements and ridiculous opinions we want the true story to come from us... But please listen close because this is the only time we are ever going to talk about this," the band stated on their official website. "The relationship between My Chemical Romance and Michael Pedicone is over. He was caught red handed stealing from the band and confessed to police after our show last night in Auburn, Washington. We are heartbroken and sick to our stomachs over this entire situation. The band has no intention of pressing charges or taking this matter any further than we have to.

Michael Pedicone
"We just want him out of our lives. The people who play in this band are a family, and family should not take advantage of each other like he did," the band continues. "We are currently moving forward, and hope to have a new drummer in place for our show in Salt Lake City, Utah. The show must go on."

Jarrod Alexander (The Suicide File, A Static Lullaby) replaced Pedicone for the remainder of My Chemical Romance's tour with Blink-182. It is unknown if he will remain the band's drummer after the tour.

"What happened is more complicated than it sounds but I did make a mistake. It was never my intention to hurt this band or all of you," Michael Pedicone tweeted. "It was an error in judgement based on a whole other situation that's way deeper but this does not define me."

My Chemical Romance fans replied with mixed emotions.

"How could you do this? You hurt all of the Killjoys and My Chemical Romance. There's consequences to every action," a fan @Goddamnkilljoy tweeted.

"Good luck in the future. You have lots of talent. #SoLongAndGoodnight," another fan @GetUpAndSass tweeted.

My Chemical Romance have had repeated bad luck with drummers. Pedicone joined the band last year when Bob Bryar quit after replacing Matt Pelissier in 2004. Maybe the fourth time's the charm?


Green Day Singer Booted Off Flight For Fashion Faux Pas

Billie Joe Armstrong
"Just got kicked off a southwest flight because my pants sagged too low! What the f--k? No joke!" Billie Joe Armstrong (@BJAofficial) tweeted Thursday night. The Green Day front man's first tweet in 22 days confused many of his followers as they strived to find out more information.

ABC news producer, Cindy Qiu, was on the same flight and explained to the station how a Southwest flight attendant told Armstrong to pull up his pants. "Don't you have better things to do than worry about that?" Armstrong reportedly said. Qiu said the flight attendant then threatened Armstrong to pull up his pants or he's "coming off the plane."

Southwest reached out to Armstrong by tweeting, "@BJAofficial Very sorry for your experience tonight, someone from our Customer Relations Team will reach out to you to get more details."

Shortly after, the airline released in a statement that "the situation was resolved to Armstrong's satisfaction." 

Luckily for Southwest, Armstrong handled the situation a bit more maturely than Kevin Smith, who decided to ignore Southwest's attempts to reach out to him after the airline kicked the actor off a flight last year due to his weight.

We can only hope Billie Joe Armstrong writes a wonderful song about this experience.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Justin Timberlake's Last Minute Gigs in NYC


Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake has been busy in NYC this week. The pop/R&B singer performed two free surprise concerts Wednesday and Thursday with Memphis band FreeSol.

The first show at Southern Hospitality was announced on Wednesday via Timberlake's Twitter: "NYC!!! Wanna check out some live music tonight?? Meet me and @freesol at 45th & 9th at 11pm."

Timberlake and FreeSol played another show the following night at Irving Plaza for National 901 Day, an event to promote both FreeSol and 901 Silver Tequila.

FreeSol's debut album will be released October 11.

Watch Timberlake's acoustic performance of "Cry Me A River."


Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Featured Artist: Emily's Army

Emily's Army (L to R:  Max Becker, Joey Armstrong, Travis Neumann, Cole Becker)
Fortunately for Green Day fans and beyond, singer Billie Joe Armstrong reproduced and passed along his wonderful musical genes.

Drummer Joey Armstrong, 16, followed in the footsteps of his old man by starting teen pop-punk band Emily's Army with brothers Cole (vocals/guitar) and Max Becker (bass), and Travis Neumann (guitar). Their debut album, Don't Be A Dick, was produced by Billie Joe and recorded in only four days at Jingletown Recordings in Oakland, CA.

New York City got a small taste of Emily's Army last year at the Bowery Electric when they opened for Green Day's side project, The Foxboro Hot Tubs. Since then, they've mainly performed locally on the west coast, but recently returned back east on their very first tour


Photo credit: Jessica Le
On August 9th, Emily's Army played a show at The Stolen Sleeves Collective, which is actually a fan's basement located in Brooklyn. As happy as I was not getting mugged during my seven-block walk from the subway, I was even happier to check out a full Emily's Army set once and for all. Before the show, the band sat at their merch booth, more than willing to meet the fans that came out to see them. It turns out the Becker brothers are quite the flirts, as they immediately informed me that the purchase of their CD comes with a "free kiss" and later wrote "You're beautiful" on my CD. As adorable as they are, my adult self traded in the free kiss for a free hug instead.

During their half hour set, I was extremely impressed by how they already have grown as a band. Since Emily's Army is comprised of teenagers, they most definitely have the time to get progressively better. The band also writes their own music, an admirable trait at such a young age.

In the past year they were featured in huge music publications such as Rolling Stone, Spin, and on MTV.com. Many have wondered if this is only because of their relation to Green Day or they really can hold their own. Well, maybe it is a little of both...but does it really matter?

The lyrics from their first single "Broadcast This" clearly state:  "I don't wanna listen to what's on the radio. Boring music...Depressing talk shows. It would be nice to hear something that I musically enjoy..."

After listening to this album, it did bring me back to '94--The era of Green Day's Dookie. And that's always something I "musically enjoy."

Take a look at their video for "Broadcast This":





Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sting's Birthday Bash

The legendary Sting will be celebrating his 60th birthday in the best city ever with some very special guests.

A concert at the Beacon Theatre in NYC will feature artists Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, will.i.am, Rufus Wainwright, Billy Joel, Mary J. Blige and more. Tickets are on sale only to Sting fan club members ranging from $250 - $2,500.

That's one expensive party.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kim Kardashian: Turn It Off

Once upon a time, Kim Kardashian woke up one morning and decided she wanted to be a singer. And with the aide of computers, fame, money and her big ass, that is what she's done--again proving that becoming a singer does not always require talent. Here is a clip of the video for her oh-so-meaningful debut single "Jam (Turn It Up)" that people will actually buy, simply because it's Kim Kardashian. We can only hope she gets it all out of her system after only one album like Paris Hilton.