“Our next guest made her U.S. TV debut on our Late Night show last year and since then has become one of the most popular artists in music,” host Jimmy Fallon said while introducing Lorde on Tuesday night’s Tonight Show . The teenage New Zealand singer’s rise has been nothing short of meteoric: She went from performing “Royals” in the 12:35 a.m. hour in October 2013 to promoting the soundtrack she curated for the Number One film in America in November 2014
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After scoring their first Number One in two years when “Rewind” hit the top spot on the Mediabase chart in June, Rascal Flatts’ return to chart dominance stumbled a bit with the follow-up “Payback,” an oddly aggressive track with a rock beat that stalled just shy of the Top 20. With new single “Riot,” however, the trio of Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney are on more solid ground. A soaring mid-tempo ballad written by Jaren Boyer and Sara Haze, the love song is right in the CMA Award-winning vocal group’s sweet spot. CMA New Artist Winners: Where Are They Now
Something to be thankful for this (and every) Thanksgiving: that country music gave us musicians like Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. A bonus? The time those two icons performed together for a 1983 TV special that also featured Kris Kristofferson and Brenda Lee, both of whom had appeared alongside Parton and Nelson on a 1982 double album called The Winning Hand . Coincidentally, Johnny Cash — who wrote the liner notes for The Winning Hand — also hosted the syndicated TV event. Flashback: Dolly Parton Busts a Rhyme In the mid Sixties, Parton, Nelson, Kristofferson and Lee were all signed to Monument Records in Nashville, a label whose roster (at one time or another) also included Roy Orbison, Connie Smith, Jeannie Seely and Ray Stevens.
By now, Jake Owen has explained many times why he felt compelled to record Travis Meadows’ moving ballad, “What We Ain’t Got”: The tune, warning about a grass-is-greener mentality, connected with Owen on a personal, visceral level. But when it came time to film a video for his current single, the singer was conflicted about how to present the narrative. Jake Owen Looks to Redefine His Image “The song itself is such a powerful piece of art, that to try to tell the same story, all you can hope is to make it just as good. It’s easy to go make a video for ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night,’ a song about being on the water, having fun and hanging out with your friends.
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck , the first fully authorized documentary about the late Nirvana frontman, will see release on HBO in 2015. The film is the first to be made with the cooperation of Cobain’s family, and was written, directed and produced by Oscar-nominee Brett Morgen ( On the Ropes , Crossfire Hurricane ). No Apologies: All 102 Nirvana Songs Ranked Morgen and his team were given access to Cobain’s entire personal and family archives, and the film will consequently boast footage from numerous Nirvana performances, plus previously unheard songs and never-before-seen home movies, recordings, artwork, photography, journals, demos and songbooks. In a statement, Morgen said he began working on the project eight years ago and was floored by the amount of material Cobain had left behind: “[O]nce I stepped into Kurt’s archive, I discovered over 200 hours of unreleased music and audio, a vast array of art projects (oil paintings, sculptures), countless hours of never-before-seen home movies, and over 4,000 pages of writings that together help paint an intimate portrait of an artist who rarely revealed himself to the media.” Drawing inspiration from Cobain’s significant artistic output in realms other than music, Morgen told NME in 2013 that the film would feature “a mix of animation and live action.” Montage of Heck doesn’t have an official premiere date yet, but will see release via HBO Documentary Films and Universal Pictures. Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, has signed on as the film’s executive producer.
Waylon Jennings once famously said he “couldn’t go pop with a mouthful of firecrackers,” yet with an album of previously released material, he did help country music reach a milestone heretofore reserved for pop and rock albums. On this day in 1976, Wanted! The Outlaws , an LP on which Jennings was featured alongside his wife Jessi Colter, Willie Nelson and Tompall Glaser, became country music’s first platinum-certified LP, signifying sales of one million. Watch Willie Nelson, Sister Bobbie Duet on Taxing Song Although Jennings had begun the transformation from slick Countrypolitan to renegade with the 1972 album Ladies Love Outlaws , this compilation, released on RCA, gave an official name to a country-music movement reserved for artists outside the mainstream. Raucous, rebellious and decidedly uninterested in the blending of pop and country that was storming the charts at the time (and continues to do so today), the Outlaw Movement was also spurred on by such landmark events as the 1976 debut of the long-running PBS series Austin City Limits .
Black Friday just got a little brighter. On November 28th, Jenny Lewis will release Pax-Am Sessions , a seven-inch vinyl single featuring two alternate performances of songs from her newest solo record, The Voyager . The single is one of several releases hitting the racks this week in celebration of Record Store Day, which began holding its annual Black Friday sale — an offshoot of the springtime Record Store Day event, held every year on the third Saturday of April — in November 2010. Jenny Lewis Talks New LP, Country Influences While most of The Voyager was produced by Ryan Adams and Mike Viola, Lewis turned to outside producers for help on a handful of tracks. Her boyfriend and occasional bandmate, Johnathan Rice, produced “You Can’t Outrun ‘Em,” while fellow genre-bending folkie Beck put his own stamp on the album’s kickoff single, “Just One of the Guys.” Pax-Am Sessions will feature the original recordings of both songs, as captured by Adams and Viola. The single’s title refers to Adams’ personal studio in Los Angeles, where he also tracked his self-titled solo record and Butch Walker’s upcoming Afraid of Ghosts . Pax-Am Sessions isn’t Lewis’ first Record Store Day release.
There’s so much to love about Thanksgiving: the piles of food, the expressions of gratitude, that uncle that still tries to get you to pull his finger, the four-day weekend, etc. And yet, this late November feast of gluttony is easily the most underserved among the major U.S. holidays when it comes to one important factor: its songs. 50 Greatest ‘SNL’ Sketches of All Time Christmas, of course, has more carols and novelty numbers than you can shake a giant candy cane at
Eminem’s Shady XV compilation, which collects two discs worth of music to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Shady Records, is out on November 24th, but the set’s 28 songs isn’t enough to fully tell the story of the rapper’s label. Eminem has remedied that by releasing a free mixtape called Shady Classics , a 66-song collection curated by DJ Whoo Kid. 5 Eminem Tracks Only Hardcore Fans Know Shady Classics gathers the best of what’s not on the Best Of, from loose Eminem freestyles and featured verses to D12 cuts and over a dozen 50 Cent recordings. Among the highlights on the mixtape are Eminem’s guest spot on Dr. Dre’s “Say What You Say,” D12’s “Devil’s Night” and the clever juxtaposition of both Eminem and 50 Cent’s versions of “Wanksta.” Stream or download Shady Classics over Datpiff.
This week, Frankie Ballard has the Number One song on Billboard ‘s Country Airplay chart with “Sunshine & Whiskey,” the title track from his second album, which also contains his first chart-topper, “Helluva Life.” The singer-guitarist’s self-titled 2011 debut, however, didn’t fare as well, with its two singles unable to crack the Top 20. Ballard credits a total immersion in the recording process for Sunshine & Whiskey with helping the LP over the hump. 50 Rock Albums Every Country Fan Should Own “I poured as much of myself into this album as I could. I played as many instruments as I could, and wrenched and wrenched
Saturday Night Live has announced the musical guests and hosts who will appear on the show throughout the rest of 2014. Nicki Minaj will perform on the December 6th episode with host James Franco, Charli XCX will make her SNL debut on the December 13th with host Martin Freeman, and One Direction will grace the stage on December 20th with host Amy Adams. Nicki Minaj Addresses Controversial ‘Nazi’ Video Minaj will be promoting her upcoming third studio album, The Pinkprint , which hits shelves on December 15th.
“Here tonight is a band who are the runner-up on American Idol , wasn’t it fellas,” Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson joked introducing Metallica on the penultimate night of the metal gods’ week-long residency. With only two nights left, Metallica decided to bust out “one of their signature tunes,” as Ferguson put it, “a song called ‘Enter Sandman.'” Related: Metallica to Issue 27 Live Albums by Year’s End There’s nothing flashy about this version of their biggest Black Album track — just another polished, kick-ass performance by a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band that’s been doing it now for over three decades (although James Hetfield seems to really relish the moments where he laughs after the chorus). For the fourth consecutive night, Kirk Hammett thrashed away at a guitar emblazoned with a graphic of actor Boris Karloff as the Mummy, a reminder of Hammett’s passion for horror movie memorabilia.