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Gavin DeGraw Bids A Gracious Goodbye To Posted

Gavin DeGraw had a rough August. Not long after we joined him for Posted, he was hospitalized after being attacked(!) then hit by a taxi(!!) but with rest and care he returned two weeks later, as happy-go-lucky as ever. In this, his final Posted clip, the ever-gracious DeGraw saw fit to take a moment out of bidding a fond farewell…to apologize for his “little incident”! We’re just glad he was able to heal up and return to his leg of the Maroon 5/Train tour (You Oughta Know alum Matt Nathanson stepped in as of August 28), and impressed that despite everything he continued to keep us posted, as much as was possible, throughout the month. He’ll be announcing a new tour shortly, but in the meantime he’s begun the latest promotional push for Sweeter, due out September 20. So long, Gavin!
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Kelly Clarkson Premieres “Mr. Know It All,” Reveals Stronger Details In Live Chat

Yesterday evening, Kelly Clarkson premiered “Mr. Know It All,” the first single from forthcoming LP Stronger, in a live chat on kellyclarkson.com. During the chat (which was foreshortened by technical difficulties), she was her ebullient self, revealing a number of details about Stronger (songs will include “You Love Me,” “What Doesn’t Kill You,” and a duet with an Idol-affiliated woman that some speculate is Kara DioGuardi, but not a duet recorded with Chris Daughtry won’t make the cut) and plans for an upcoming tour (January) that she prefaced by saying she’d “get in trouble” for divulging. She confessed her deep and abiding crush on Kyle Chandler, particularly as Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights. She described herself as sassy nearly as much as Russell Clark would have, and invited her fans out to dive-bar karaoke. She also wished for an opportunity to sing with Adele or Miranda Lambert. (Someone make this happen!)

As for “Mr. Know It All,” Clarkson noted, “I hope y’all like the song,” as a postscript to its premiere, quipping, “If you don’t, lie to me!” We don’t have to lie. The mid-tempo ballad isn’t our favorite of her tracks, and we wish her vocals were mixed higher, but we dig it nonetheless. Two things in particular stand out, though we confess we’re not sure we’d have noticed if she hadn’t mentioned them in the chat. Her voice is particularly unprocessed (we hate to say “raw,” but there it is). During the making of Stronger Clarkson and the producers strove to record her voice as it’s heard at live shows, with as little adornment (or Auto-Tune) as possible. Clarkson’s backup vocals, however, sound a lot like Clarkson herself?because she insisted on recording them, a fact she attributed to a love of harmonies and a past as a choir nerd. Both of these tactics are quite effective, which is probably at least as indicative about the rest of the album as the way “Mr. Know It All” sounds. October 30 can’t come soon enough.
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Tuned In: Lenny Kravitz’s “Stand” On Letterman And Fallon‘s Revue?Featuring Tony Orlando

Lenny Kravitz followed Alec Baldwin and Joe Namath, but he and his band were so on last night that he may as well have followed a full show of Stupid Pet Tricks. Performing single “Stand” on the eve of the release of his album Black and White America, Kravitz had the audience in the palm of his hand. It’s not often that a late-night show will cut away from a band to show the audience, but when Kravitz shouted “C’mon, y’all!” and entreated them to clap along, the show’s director couldn’t help but briefly feature the entire audience clapping along. Kravitz could have had the most notable performance of the night with his eyes closed, but we’re glad he didn’t settle for that.

That said, we’re also glad we clicked over to Late Night With Jimmy Fallon afterward, because his show turned out to feature a panoply of musical performances. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks closed out the show by performing “Senator”?during which Malkmus blurted out an obscenity, and after which he failed to hide the smirk that indicated that the appearance was the most fun he’d had on television since Pavement was on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. But Dungeon Family A-lister Killer Mike was also sitting in with the Roots all night, and guest Will Forte invited Jimmy Fallon to join him in singing backup for a friend of Forte’s: Tony Orlando. Apparently Orlando is fond of observing young talent and telling them to follow their dreams, as Forte and Questlove shared similar stories of being encouraged in a manner that the Roots drummer compared to the Mean Joe Green Coke ad. In any case, Forte and Fallon provided backing vocals and a bit of percussion, and the Roots provided the rest, in a rendition of “Knock Three Times” that had Orlando quipping, a minute in, “Dawn who?”

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Kim Kardashian Eschews Both Subtlety And Innuendo In New Music Video

Thanks to the vocally-challenged likes of Heidi Montag and Paris Hilton, musical vanity projects emanating from the reality starlet universe already have a pretty poor reputation. However, this already disreputable genre is about to get a downgrade that makes what Standard & Poor did to the US credit rating look like small potatoes.

A 55-second snippet of Kim Kardashian‘s previously-thought-to-be-shelved singing debut, “Jam,” emerged yesterday on the KimKardashianMusic YouTube channel in the form of a music video. It features the recently married sex tape star crawling around on all fours in what looks to be a neon-lit air shaft, all the while licking her cherry red lips in slo-mo and shaking her oiled-up tailfeather in a way that would make Nelly, P. Diddy and Murphy Lee proud. There is no pretense of “art” in it whatsoever; rather, it’s so blatantly over the top with how it presents Kardashian as a sex object that it makes Warrant‘s treatment of Bobbi Brown in “Cherry Pie” look positively chivalrous by comparison. That said, this “leaked” video managed to rack (heh heh) up 2.2 million views in the last 24 hours, so clearly she must be doing something right.

Remember Kardashian’s Pop Career? Kim’s Shelved Music Video Leaks [Reality Rocks/Yahoo]

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Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Delta Bluesman Honeyboy Edwards Dies at 96
David “Honeyboy” Edwards, the last living link to Robert Johnson?and an accomplished blues guitarist in his own right?died of congestive heart failure yesterday morning. He scored his first hit, “Drop Down Mama,” in 1953, and continued performing into 2011, but retired after falling ill in July. He received a Traditional Blues Album Grammy in 2008 and a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2010. [Hollywood Reporter]

Willie Nelson Covers Coldplay For Chipotle
The country legend’s cover of “The Scientist” scores a short animated ad (with a plot not dissimilar to that of The Lorax) promoting Chipotle’s sustainability non-profit The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation. [Popdust]
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Maya Rudolph Fronts Prince Cover Band At Reunion Show For That Dog

Whom do you recruit to open for your hometown reunion show when you haven’t played together as a band in fourteen years? If you’re 1990s Los Angeles stalwarts that dog., who after three critically acclaimed and modestly-successful records on DGC, fell almost completely off the critical radar when they disbanded in 1997, the answer is simple. Call Maya Rudolph and her Prince cover band!

What seems like a bizarre double-bill actually makes a lot of sense given the participants’ shared history; the members of that dog. contributed plenty of session work for the likes of Weezer and Beck, and sisters Petra and Rachel Haden have played with Rudolph when the actress was a touring member of the Rentals in 1995. We could go on about their musical interconnections (and parentage, e.g. Rudolph’s mother Minnie Riperton), but the key takeaway here is the video above, in which Rudolph and band (Princess?get it?) deliver their take on classic Purple Rain cut “Darling Nikki.”

Watch Maya Rudolph Rock Out With Her Prince Cover Band [Vulture]
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Miranda Lambert Stands Firm, Continues To Insist She Did Not Break Up Blake Shelton’s Marriage

Miranda Lambert may have a forthcoming album (Four The Record, due out November 1) and a moderately successful side project (Pistol Annies, whose album Hell On Heels was released last week) but she continues to face charges (in so many words) of breaking up the first marriage of her husband Blake Shelton. As those who are well-versed in country lore know, Lambert met Shelton on June 8, 2005, when they sang “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” for the CMT special 100 Greatest Duets. In Lambert’s episode from this season of Behind the Music (available to stream in full on our site), she, her family, and Shelton talked about the unforgettable performance. “Looking back on that,” Shelton said, “I was falling in love with her, right there on stage”?and it’s plain to see. The problem? “I was a married guy, you know?” (Shelton had married his high school sweetheart Kaynette Williams two years earlier.) “Standing up there and singing with somebody and going, ‘Man, this shouldn?t be happening.’”

Last night when Lambert appeared on Dateline, she faced a similar line of questioning from Hoda Kotb, and she stuck to her story?that sparks flew during the 2005 special, but that she kept her distance until Shelton was divorced. “I had seen their wedding picture in Country Weekly,” she told Kotb. “I knew better, like, this is off limits. My parents are private investigators, for God?s sake. I?ve seen this my whole life?affairs. Of all people to know better, I know better than this.”

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Janet Jackson Weighs In Against Controversial Michael Jackson Tribute Concert

Janet Jackson has finally weighed in on the controversial tribute concert planned for her late brother in October, potentially putting the already imperiled Michael Jackson tribute in further jeopardy. In a one-sentence statement to the Associated Press, she wrote, simply, “Because of the trial, the timing of this tribute to our brother would be too difficult for me.”

The criminal trial to which she refers is that of Dr. Conrad Murray, charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. Her statement echoes that of siblings Randy and Jermaine Jackson, who issued a statement the day the concert was announced explaining that they would not support a tribute concert scheduled to take place during Murray’s trial.

Janet’s lack of support is the latest in a series of setbacks faced by Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert, scheduled for October 8 in Cardiff, Wales, since it was first announced, at a press conference in July, by Jackson’s mother Katherine and siblings Marlon, Jackie, Tito and La Toya. The tribute has booked a lineup including Ne-Yo, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Smokey Robinson, Leona Lewis, Alien Ant Farm, Craig David, and, via satellite, Beyoncé; will be broadcast to 30 countries (in 3D where available); and will raise money for the AIDS Project and other charities. Nevertheless the tribute has not received the support of Michael Jackson’s estate, and had furthermore come under fire from both the estate and MJ fans for initially including Kiss on the lineup in the face of negative comments Gene Simmons has made about Jackson.

Janet Jackson Not Attending Michael Jackson Tribute Concert [AP]

[Image: Getty Images]

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Hurricane Irene Results In Tremendous Flood Damage For New Jersey Residents?Including Sebastian Bach

New York City may have been spared the brunt of Hurricane Irene, but communities in the Catskills, Vermont, and New Jersey have been devastated by flooding, which has threatened to burst dams and has overflowed reservoirs?like the one in Lyndhurst, NJ, adjacent to the home of former Skid Row frontman, recurring Gilmore Girls guest star, and all-around nice guy Sebastian Bach. He reveals, on Facebook: “My home of 21 years, my house featured on MTV Cribs, has been destroyed, condemned, & deemed uninhabitable due to the extreme flooding courtesy of Hurricane Irene.” Unfortunately for Bach, his archive, full of Skid Row master tapes and press clippings and KISS memorabilia, was stored in the now-underwater basement. “Gone are irreplacable items, such as my KISS Gargoyles from the 1979 tour; KISS pinball machine; Skid Row master tapes, video & audio, concerts, master tapes from Oh Say Can You Scream etc.; boxes & boxes of one of a kind Skid Row memorabilia, from the first tour to our last, all stuff I collected on the road that no one else had…every single magazine that had Skid Row on the cover,” he reports.

On the bright side, before the hurricane leveled Bach’s home, his sons and their friends were able to move what artwork of Bach’s father David Bierk remained on the lower levels, so the entire David Bierk Archives, including the 16-foot “Slave To The Grind” mural that appeared on the cover of Skid Row’s 1991 album of the same name, is intact. Furthermore, neither he nor any of his family was injured in the storm.

[Sebastian Bach Image: Getty Archives. Lyndhurst Image: Sebastian Bach's Facebook]

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Tuned In: St. Vincent And Cake Angle For Prime Booking, Then Play Their Hearts Out

With the late shows just coming back from hiatus, and the VMAs only one day earlier, yesterday was not exactly prime late-night booking for big artists?but it did present an opportunity for artists who might otherwise have difficulty competing for airtime. St. Vincent on The Late Show with David Letterman, and to a lesser extent Cake on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, leaped at the opportunity, turning out great performances in what, for them, is a great venue.

St. Vincent, whose new album Strange Mercy is set to be released September 13, has scored a series of promotional coups: appearing on the September 2011 cover of Spin, performing on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and premiering the comically dark video for “Cruel” in unlikely venue The Huffington Post. Last night’s performance of “Cruel” was actually her second Late Show appearance?she performed “Marrow” in June of 2009?but she was hardly going through the motions. If “Cruel” is a good indication, her new album will be a fall highlight.

Cake, meanwhile, are hardly unknowns?1996′s Fashion Nugget went platinum on the strength of “The Distance”?but January’s Showroom of Compassion was their first LP in over six years, and self-released besides. That being said, this return to The Tonight Show (they performed “Long Time” on March 1) is if not unprecedented at least improbable for a band at this stage in their career, and they, too, made the best of it, with a well-performed rendition of “Mustache Man (Wasted).”

St. Vincent “Cruel” 8/29 Letterman [The Audio Perv]
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