WISHING YOU ALL A LUMP OF THIS CHART TOPPER FOR CHRISTMAS: A year ago, if I’d challenged you to predict the Top Three first-week sales numbers, would you have answered Taylor Swift, Coldplay and rapper J. Cole? The first one’s obvious, the second possible and the third – like winning your NCAA-tournament pool by picking Valparaiso. Yet Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive sells 354,000 copies this week, or 375,000 if you include Billboard’s newfangled “equivalent units” formula, making its album-chart debut at Number One
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Billy Corgan has been asked to revisit the heyday of Nineties alternative rock a number of times while promoting the Smashing Pumpkins’ most recent record, Monuments to an Elegy , but in a new interview with The Guardian , the rocker seemed to hit a breaking point, saying: “Right now that era is irrelevant.” 100 Best Albums of the Nineties Corgan noted that neither the Pumpkins nor any of the other bands from that era are charting anymore, and dismissed the notion that a lot of new bands are being influenced by Nineties artists. “I don’t hear that,” Corgan said. “The mythology [of that era] right now is irrelevant to combat the pop menace in America right now.” While Corgan didn’t back up his rhetoric by naming names, he stated, “EDM is kicking everybody’s fucking ass,” and argued that no matter how sentimental people get about the Nineties, if that music, or the music it inspired, can’t compete in the top cultural spheres, “it doesn’t mean anything.” “Look at the numbers the DJs are making!” he said. “They’re kicking rock bands’ ass.
The Who have added some soon-to-be Rock and Roll Hall of Fame firepower to join them on the road when the Tommy rockers bring their Who Hits 50! Tour to North America next year: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Rock Hall Class of 2015 inductees, will serve as opening act on both North American legs of the Who’s jaunt. The Who also added a slate of new dates to their extensive trek. Joan Jett on Hall of Fame Induction: ‘I’m Flabbergasted’ “Having Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, a great American rock band, support us on our North American dates will ensure concertgoers a full night of entertainment,” Roger Daltrey said in a statement. “I love her.” “We’ve been very close friends with Joan Jett for a long time,” Pete Townshend added
Last night at New York venue Le Poisson Rouge, Elliott Wilson hosted the latest edition of CRWN, a rap version of Inside the Actors Studio , with Nicki Minaj as his guest. The conversation was pegged to the release of The Pinkprint , her latest LP, but the night quickly became a celebration of the local star’s entire catalog, with fans rapping back verses – even obscure freestyles – at every segue. In between, Minaj spoke candidly about the state of Young Money, her position in the game and the making of the album. Here are five things we learned. 20 Best R&B Albums of 2014 1.
A federal jury has ended a 10-year battle between Apple and consumers by deciding that the tech company did not block songs sold by competing stores from playing on iPods purchased from 2006 and 2009. The lawsuit alleged that the company had done so in order to monopolize the digital music market. After three hours of deliberation, the eight California-based jurors concluded that the version of iTunes that came out eight years ago improved the quality of iPods in general rather than restrict them, according to The New York Times . U2 and Apple Plot New ‘Interactive’ Digital Music Format “We created iPod and iTunes to give our customers the world’s best way to listen to music,” an Apple spokeswoman said in a statement
The Roots, Perry Farrell, Rufus Wainwright and Sleigh Bells frontwoman Alexis Krauss will lead an all-star tribute to David Byrne and Talking Heads at Carnegie Hall on March 23rd. No Compassion: CBGB in the Seventies The initial lineup for the show also boasts ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Beth Orton, O.A.R., Steve Earle, Todd Snider, Forro in the Dark and Bebel Gilberto. Tickets are currently available online, with more artists set to be announced soon. The Music of David Byrne and Talking Heads marks the 11th charity tribute concert organized by City Winery owner Michael Dorf, with all the proceeds benefiting music education programs for underprivileged youth. According to a statement, the concerts have already helped net over $1 million for groups like Young Audiences New York, Little Kids Rock, Church Street School of Music, Mr.
Modest Mouse have released the frantic, bounding “Lampshades on Fire,” the first taste of their upcoming new album, Strangers to Ourselves . The band enlisted numerous fans to help announce the album, sending them a double-A side 7-inch of the LP’s first single, one of which spins on a turntable in the video accompanying the song’s official release. 100 Best Songs of the 2000s A stomping, up-tempo number, “Lampshades on Fire” boasts a relentless, clattering drum beat and finds frontman Isaac Brock unleashing a torrent of tightly-wound lyrics over a simple buoyant keyboard riff and striking, but funky, guitar work. The song has been a part of Modest Mouse’s live sets since 2011. “Lampshades on Fire” will be made available as an instant download to those who pre-order Strangers to Ourselves on iTunes or Amazon
Stevie Wonder will be the focus of a televised tribute concert that will air one week after the Grammy Awards next year. Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life – An All-Star Grammy Salute will feature what the Recording Academy has billed as “some of the biggest names in music today” performing songs that the soul legend popularized over the past half a century. 50 Best Albums of 2014 The two-hour show will tape two days after the Grammys in Los Angeles and will air on CBS on Monday, February 16th, from 9 to 11 p.m. EST.
Eight long years after Modest Mouse released their We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank , Isaac Brock’s influential indie rock outfit will return in March 2015 with a new LP titled Strangers to Ourselves . The album will be preceded by the single “Lampshades on Fire,” a track that’s been in heavy rotation in Modest Mouse’s setlists dating back to 2011. A spokesperson for the band confirmed the info to Rolling Stone . Modest Mouse: Happy Hour Word of Modest Mouse’s first LP since 2007 first leaked out when the band’s management started asking for the addresses of some fan page denizens, Interstate 8 reports
One day after D’Angelo revealed he and his band the Vanguard would release his new album Black Messiah – his first LP in 14 years – in the near future, the idea of the neo-soul singer putting out music again still seemed difficult to fathom. However, with a Black Messiah listening party scheduled for Sunday night, D’Angelo has provided proof that his new studio album is on the horizon: A new single called “Sugah Daddy,” which the singer provided to Red Bull’s 20Before15 series. “He is about to take a radical 180 turn with this record,” Questlove told Rolling Stone of D’Angelo’s new album in June 2012. “It’s going to throw people off the same way that Prince’s Dirty Mind threw his R&B fanbase off. In the past few years, he’s discovered Bowie and Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Pet Sounds , Captain Beefheart and Zappa.” Despite the influx of new influences, D’Angelo fans will be happy to know that he still makes music that is uniquely D’Angelo’s: The brassy, funky “Sugah Daddy,” which fully employs the singer’s trademark falsetto, would slide comfortably on the back half of his neo-soul classic Voodoo .
It’s been a long time since fans have heard Michael Stipe sing. After R.E.M. split up in 2011 following the release of Collapse Into Now , Stipe has remained largely away from the microphone, only singing on a sea shanty with Courtney Love for Johnny Depp’s pirate-themed compilation and a surprise appearance alongside Coldplay’s Chris Martin at the 12-12-12 benefit concert in New York. Michael Stipe Inducts Nirvana Into Hall of Fame While fans questioned whether the singer was contemplating retirement, Stipe revealed to CBS This Morning: Saturday ‘s Anthony Mason that we might be hearing his trademark voice again at some point. “I think I’ll sing again. That’s maybe an exclusive?
With My Krazy Life , YG scored one of the best albums of 2014, a vivid depiction of gang life in South Central Los Angeles. All along, however, the Compton rapper wanted to go deeper, adding visuals to create a 30-minute short film, Blame It on the Streets . 50 Best Albums of 2014 “We knew we wanted to do a movie when My Krazy Life came out, but we didn’t have no time,” says the 24-year-old, slightly exhausted from a whirlwind of events that included an American Music Awards performance with Fergie and a star-studded premiere at the Chinese Theater in downtown L.A. YG co-wrote the Blame It on the Streets screenplay with Darryl “Lucky” Rodgers, drawing inspiration from two My Krazy Life tracks: “BPT,” about the rapper’s entry into the Piru Bloods, and “Meet the Flockers,” which describes his experience as a house burglar. “It’s a group of your homies, so it’s a flock of y’all going out lurking, looking for some shit to rob,” he explains