In a season busied with festivals, iHeartRadio has proven itself in just two years to be a formidable force when it comes to bringing in the big acts. The Clear Channel festival debuted last year with a lineup chocked full of marquee names like Jay-Z, Carrie Underwood, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj. And by the looks of the lineup released this morning, this year’s show will be as big a blowout as the last.
Word has it that American Idol is looking to recast the judges panel with one of their greatest successes past: Adam Lambert! According to an E! News report, Fox network executives are courting the season eight contestant with hopes that he will fill the not likely to return Jennifer Lopez‘s seat. From the sounds of it, the talent seeking show is looking to reboot for its 12th season, and bringing back a glittery old flame like Lambert to judge should help to do just that. As an alum — and a particularly successful one at that — he is well situated to guide and inspire contestants. And he’s already proven a hit amongst Idol watchers, so he could be just the hit of change the show needs ahead of its teenage years.
PEARL JAM DIEHARD GETS HIS DREAM SET
Superfan Brian Farias has been to 108 Pearl Jam shows but none so special as the 109th, when the band played a setlist (complete with two encores!) he had drafted for them. [RS]
DO YOU DRIP.FM?
Music nerds, behold! Based on HBO’s “quality, consistency and catalog” model, this new music subscription service “drips” new releases straight from the labels to your inbox several times a month. [LAWeekly]
KEEP COOL IN JAMES HETFIELD’S SUNGLASSES
The “road dog” Metallica frontman is releasing “faster than a speeding riff” pair of shades through Sutro Eyewear. And for just $219.99, they’re yours! [Vulture]
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT
In the New York Times this weekend, Frank Ocean talks about love and life and his new album; and James Murphy talks about his almost starring role in Noah Baumbach’s since slashed The Corrections adaptation. And to soundtrack your reading, “Sweet Life,” a Pharrell assisted leak from Channel Orange. Happy weekend! [NYT/NYT / Fader]
The Zac Brown Band got a make over from the man behind Beavis & Butthead and King of the Hill for the video for “The Wind,” the first single off their upcoming album Uncaged (due out next week). The song itself is, in many ways, your typical country love song, complete with a chorus that rings of love that “will find you anywhere.” Animator Mike Judge’s treatment is decidedly less lovey-dovey and way more country fried. And for that it’s all the more awesome.
Judge’s video tells the tale of “Robo Redneck,” aka “The Six Million Dollar Honky,” aka Zac Brown, returned to life bigger and badder after a dramatic back-country trucking accident. Half-man, half-robot, Robo Redneck is like your average beer swigging, duck hunting, guitar playing robo-country star, except with bottle openers implanted into the tip of each finger and automatic weapons built into his biceps. And wait ’till you see the way he shreds, swapping guitar for guitar for a fiddle until he pops a valve. The video ends with a “To Be Continued,” teasing of a Robo Redneck versus Bionic Peckerwood sequel. Is there more to come from this Judge/Brown partnership? We can only hope! Read more…
Def Leppard is one of the most creatively and commercially successful rock acts of the last thirty years. Thanks to selling over 60 million albums worldwide and remaining a popular touring act to this day, they’ve earned themselves way more money than they’ll ever be able to spend. However, they have become increasingly irritated with their business associates at the Universal Music Group of late, mainly due to the fact that they feel like they haven’t been paid their fair share of royalties generated from past digital music sales. This is hardly a novel problem, but Joe Elliott and the rest of the Def Leppard camp have come up with a fairly novel approach to solving it: Instead of letting their lawyers haggle in court over fractions of a penny that they should be paid per download or stream of their catalog, Billboard is reporting that they have gone into the studio to re-record new versions of their old songs so that they’ll earn ALL of the money from future purchases of their music.
Yes, you read that right. Instead of being able to hear albums like Hysteria or Pyromania in their original form as recorded by legendary superproducer Robert “Mutt” Lange, newcomers to the Def Leppard fold will instead hear the 2012 incarnation of the band’s re-recordings of their hits. Singer Joe Elliott admits to Billboard that the process wasn’t exactly easy, either. “You just don’t go in and say: ‘Hey guys, let’s record it,’ and it’s done in three minutes. I had to sing myself into a certain throat shape to be able to sing that way again. It was really hard work, but we did have a good laugh over it here and there.”
Well, their hard work notwithstanding, how do the songs measure up? Take a listen to a :30 snippet of the 2012 version of their 1987 anthem, “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”
Looks like it’s going to be a Cruel Summer, and then straight back to work for Kanye West! Speaking with MTV News, Def Jam VP and long time Kanye collaborator No I.D. let slip that he has been working with Kanye on a new solo project that is slated to follow-up the G.O.O.D. crew project. “It’s what you expect and everything you don’t expect,” he teased, reminding also that Kanye “hasn’t missed yet.” Besides greatness, though, what exactly do we expect?
Of course, every breathe Kanye starts a rumor. Based on a few of the things we know, and a few of the things we have heard, a few things you might considered when deciding what to expect of this sixth studio album:
BIG BOI IS LAUNCHING A NEW SOCK LINE
Andre 3000 might be the Outkast member better known for his style, but does has he ever designed a sock line of his own? We don’t think so. It’s also worth mentioning that his new album is “coming good.” [Complex]
ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN DAN DEACON LAYERS ‘CALL ME MAYBE’ 147 TIMES
This is what we imagine it would sound like if everyone on the subway/airplane/gym unplugged their headphones all at once. [HuffPost]
NORAH JONES GETS THAT “EVERYONE NEEDS A BEST FRIEND”
Jones lent Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane this brassy, big-band number for his debut movie, Ted. No ticket stub required to enjoy this one. [Stereogum]
MAN SINGS “KISS FROM A ROSE” TO HIS CAT
Watch as an eager feline lover serenades his cat with a Seal classic. What say you: the most lucky or the least lucky cat in the world?
In a battle of rock versus pop, the rock won this week with Linkin Park edging Maroon 5 out for the top spot on Billboard‘s Top 200 chart. But just barely.
According to Nielsen SoundScan numbers, Linkin Park’s Living Things sold 223,000 copies in its first week on the shelves, just more than the 222,000 that Maroon 5’s Overexposed sold. Accordingly, Linkin Park will enter the charts at No. 1 for the fourth consecutive album. And like they did with 2010’s Hands All Over, Maroon 5 will take the runners-up spot.
The stars, they are just like us! Sometimes they, too, are moved to tears by Madonna — oh, wait.
In Berlin over the weekend, a dramatic rework of “Like a Virgin” had the 53-year-old Queen of Pop herself reaching for her deepest vocal registers, and then the tissues. About three minutes into the video above, Madge loses herself to tears. Kneeling down at the edge of the stage, she took a beat or two to regain herself before she was raised to her feet by a shirtless back-up dancer so that she could finish the number.
Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, celebrated the Fourth of July by releasing a new mixtape called Royalty. This new tape really shows of the strides he has taken since his freshman album, Camp, as a rapper and a rapper who can snag big-time guests. The hour long affair features high-profile appearances from hip hop heavy-weights like Bun B, RZA and Ghostface Killa; hip hop up-and-comers like Danny Brown, Ab-Soul, and Kilo Kish; and, um, Tina Fey, who closes the tape with a verse of her own. And it’s as that less-than-likely, last-but-not-least guest that she has managed to steal the show. Because who says rap can’t be funny?