Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars Among Pop Heavyweights Recruited For Ryan Seacrest’s Inaugural Music Festival

The radio-station festival gets a big-budget upgrade this fall as Clear Channel celebrates and promotes the relaunch of their online music-streaming service iHeartRadio. The two-night iHeartRadio Festival, announced this morning by Clear Channel’s highest-profile music-show DJ, Ryan Seacrest, will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 23 and 24. Its claim as “biggest live music event in radio history” may be a stretch, but the star-studded lineup (see below) is certainly a significant cross-section of pop in 2011, and tickets start at a fairly reasonable $45 plus fees. The shows start at 7:30pm each night, which suggests short sets from each performer, but it is taking place in Vegas, after all, so perhaps the show will just run extremely late into the night.

The festival is a canny move by Clear Channel, who in addition to promoting the centralized streaming of each of their stations in one place, are battling the strong brand-association Pandora has with “streaming, create-your-own radio” (the announcement above even describes iHeartRadio’s custom functions as being “like Pandora”). Clear Channel will likely prove a strong opponent to for similar reasons.

The announced lineup:
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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Katy Perry Stakes Her Claim To Another S.O.T.S. Crown

[Click here for a larger image]

You know the moment when, near the end of horror movies, the seemingly-dead killer pops back to life, only to be shot/stabbed/poked-in-the-eye-with-a-wire-clothes-hanger by the protagonist? Well, if the Song of the Summer Countdown were a horror movie –this analogy is admittedly a stretch, but just follow us here for a sec– and Katy Perry were the doe-eyed Final Girl, then Adele would have to be the villain of our race.

Last week, after being unseated the week prior by “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” “Rolling In The Deep” came back from the grave to make one final (?) run at the #1 position. However, on this week’s just-updated Song of the Summer countdown, Katy Perry once again asserted her dominance as the Queen of the Summer Songs to claim the top spot back from the British songbird. However, the race is nowhere near over yet.

Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s ode to joys of pre-apocalyptic nookie, “Give Me Everything,” continues to climb its way up the charts; its third-place position this week marks the song’s best performance on the charts to date. LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” is currently sitting atop the Billboard and iTunes charts, and OneRepublic‘s “Good Life” burst into the Top 10 in its first week on this chart, no doubt propelled by Ryan Tedder’s recent appearances on NBC/Universal linear properties, The Voice, Platinum Hit and the Today Show (corporate synergy at its finest!). It’s entirely possible that the zeitgeist could blow in the direction of any of these songs and put some serious wind behind their sails (and sales), but at this point, it sure seems like Katy is once again the girl to beat!

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Joe Jonas Tries To Fill The Timberlake-Shaped Absence In Pop Music

Early this morning, the NY Daily News Gatecrasher blog reported that Joe Jonas got a particularly chilly reception from the “hostile hipsters” who attended the Paper-affiliated party at the branded temporary skatepark-cum-music venue House of Vans in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last Wednesday. According to the Gatecrasher report, Jonas was booed and pelted with “Nerf-style mini-basketballs.” The story is getting some buzz because it confirms readers’ (and some writers’) assumptions about both Joe Jonas and Williamsburg residents, and it illustrates the long road Jonas will have to walk if he hopes to cross over into dance-pop. The reality of the situation, though, may be a bit more complicated.
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by (@Lacezilla)

Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” Milestone Triggers Sexy Waterfall of Girl-Power

Fifteen years ago, Spice Girls released their first single in the UK and set the pop world ablaze with a sassy little tune called “Wannabe” that introduced the duel concepts of Girl Power and zig-a-zig-ahhhhh. Eventually hitting #1 in thirty countries across the world, Spices Scary, Ginger, Posh, Sporty and Baby parlayed the “Wannabe” phenomenon into fame and fortune, selling twenty-three million copies of their debut album Spice and seizing the throne for the best-selling girl group in history.

Because we’re sentimental when it comes to all things pop culture, other fave ?lady jams started flooding our memory bank and got us thinking that, well, sometimes they can get a bit raunchy. However, to us, that’s the beauty of girl groups: They balance with one foot on the empowerment soapbox, and the other foot on the soapbox that reads “gimme some.” Maybe we have it all wrong, but?this list of ten anthems that say “come hither” all while commanding some R-E-S-P-E-C-T will bring you back in time and get you set for a (hopefully) spicy week.

10. Dream, ?He Loves U Not?
Puffy’s Bad Boy girl group?pre-Danity Kane was sort of flop-ish, but their single wasn’t! And while the lyric “he’s into what he’s got” might be somewhat tame, it serves it’s purpose to give off a “there’s more where that came from” warning to ladies trying to steal their men.

9. Destiny?s Child, ?Lose My Breath?
“Put it on me deep in the right direction,” demands Kelly Rowland in this uptempo Destiny’s Child track. Serving as both an aphrodisiac and a challenge, the entire song begs the question of the ladies’ male suitors: “Can you keep up?”

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Coheed & Cambria Bassist Robs A Walgreens Then Drives Straight To His Concert

In an apparent cry for help practically straight out of the Nic Cage film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Coheed & Cambria bassist Michael Todd allegedly robbed a Walgreens Pharmacy in Attleboro, MA on Sunday afternoon. Attleboro Police responded to a report that a male had “threatened a pharmacist with a bomb threat and demanded Oxycontin” before departing the scene in a cab. The taxi dispatcher reported that the cab traveled directly from Walgreens to Comcast Center in Mansfield, where Coheed & Cambria were to open for Soundgarden that evening.

Todd was taken into custody after the show, and Coheed & Cambria have already found a replacement bassist to complete their tour. Todd had previously taken a leave of absence from the band, from November 2006 to April 2007, to address a heroin addiction.

Rock Star Arrested For Holding Up Walgreens in Attleboro [Patch]

[Image: Attleboro Police Dept.]


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

According to Adam Levine, Mick Jagger himself will appear in the music video for “Moves Like Jagger.” We wrote a treatment, which the band can have free of charge: Jagger teaches the members of Maroon 5 (and Christina Aguilera, of course) the “moves” from his David Bowie duet video “Dancing in the Street.” [Rolling Stone]

Lloyd‘s new album King of Hearts dropped on Tuesday, and he’s already got a video for lead single “Cupid,” but today he premiered a new video for “Naked.” Don’t expect this one to play on television, though: it’s just Kamille Leai, aka Hot Wings from Real Chance of Love, being naked for over five minutes of the 5:22 running time. The camera angles keep the clip mostly PG-13-by-technicality, but we are talking about a video in which she takes a bath, and then takes a shower for good measure (before sexting with Lloyd, who doesn’t even appear in the video). If only this video had premiered a week ago! We could have made a good “teaser” pun. [Rap Radar]

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Ten Years Of The Strokes And The White Stripes, And The Question Of What’s Next

The Strokes premiered the video for “Taken For a Fool,” the second single from Angles, earlier today, and unlike the conceptual first video “Under Cover of Darkness,” which symbolically narrates the band’s reunion after their extended hiatus, the video is a relatively simple band-performance clip, with a rhythmically animated background setting.

Nearly a decade ago, another simple-looking (though extraordinary labor-intensive) animated rock video made lots of waves on its way to winning Breakthrough Video of the Year at the 2002 VMAs: The White Stripes‘ LEGO-block “Fell in Love with a Girl.” Sunday marked the tenth anniversary of that single’s album, White Blood Cells, and while we’ve been exploring the story of Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt for its (fifteenth) anniversary (Part I/Part II), Eric Been marks the White Blood Cells decade for The Atlantic by re-examining the “Return of Rock” narrative that accompanied the rise of bands like the Stripes and the Strokes.

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iTunes Festival Covers: Adele Sings Bonnie Raitt; Linkin Park Sings Adele

Adele has never shied away from cover songs (when 21 debuted at #1, Buzzfeed listed their favorite nine covers, topped by her Unplugged performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”) but this latest cover is maybe her most fitting choice yet. As part of her iTunes Festival performance last night, she offered her take on Bonnie Raitt‘s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Aside from being a powerful song that Adele delivered well, the song is a good match for the boy-chews-up-girl-and-spits-her-out themes of 21, so it fits nicely into her body of work. One thing we’re wondering, though: a week and a half ago, Adele blogged her love of Bon Iver. Was she inspired to cover the song from his own rendition, on the B-side of his “Calgary” single and live on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon?

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by (@Lacezilla)

VH1 ALBUM-VERSARIES: Damon Dash And Clark Kent Wax Nostalgic On Reasonable Doubt At 15

Welcome to VH1′s new monthly series, Album-Versaries, in which we share fresh stories with you about the creation and lasting impact of some of the most important and influential albums in music history on their milestone anniversaries. Our first installment will focus on Jay-Z?s 1996 LP Reasonable Doubt, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary. This is Part II of a two-part series; Part I, Damon Dash Reflects on Jay-Z?s Reasonable Doubt On Its 15 Anniversary, ran yesterday.
Fifteen years ago, Jay-Z’s debut album, Reasonable Doubt, dropped on a largely unsuspecting public. For an independently produced album, it managed to debut pretty strongly on the charts (#23 on the Billboard 200), but it would still be a few years before Jay-Z’s became the household name it is today. That said, the LP now stands amongst the most highly regarded in hip-hop history and, in the timeline of Jay’s existence as both a person and an artist, represents the point in his life where he left the hustle of the streets behind and instead chose to pursue a career in music.
So, with Reasonable Doubt celebrating such an essential milestone, VH1 exclusively spoke to producers Ski and Clark Kent, as well as the album’s co-executive producer and co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, Damon Dash, about their recollections of the recording process. In Part II of VH1 Album-Versaries: Reasonable Doubt At 15, we’ll share with you stories Dame and Clark told us about the epic recording session of Jay and Biggie’s legendary track “Brooklyn’s Finest,” how these two feel about the gritty (and possibly unethical) themes of the album now that they have fifteen years worth of hindsight, and whether or not Jay and Dame will ever be able to repair their soured friendship.

There’s no definitive way to form a consensus for the best emcee of all-time, but anytime the question comes up, Jay-Z and the Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) are ALWAYS part of the conversation. In fact, in an MTV survey conducted back in 2006, Jay-Z and Biggie were listed as the #1 and #3 MCs of all-time, respectively. However, back when Reasonable Doubt was being recorded, Biggie was on top of the world, while no one outside of Brooklyn really knew who Jay was. Despite this, and thanks to Biggie’s DJ and Jay’s then-producer Clark Kent, the pair were introduced in a hoodwinked fashion and eventually laid down a track together, “Brooklyn’s Finest.”
?I was on tour with Big, so I was playing Jay?s sh*t for him every day on the bus,” recalls Clark. “At that point, I had made him respect Jay?s craftsmanship.” So when Clark accidentally played the “Brooklyn’s Finest” beat in front of Biggie during a Unique Studios session with Junior M.A.F.I.A., Big heard it, and said he wanted it. “I told him it was for Jay, and he was like ‘you give Jay everything!’”
Demanding that he get on the track too, Biggie accompanied Clark to D&D Studios that night, but didn’t actually come inside. Upstairs, once Jay finished his verses for the song (that was then tentatively titled either ?Once We Get Started? or ?No More Mr. Nice Guy”), Clark asked if they could put Big on the record as well. Dame didn?t want to pay “Puff” (pardon, Diddy) for the feature, and Jay was hesitant because he (1) didn?t know the already-popular rapper and (2) had just finished the song, but they both agreed that if Big would do it for free, they’d be game. ?I had Big in a car downstairs, waiting just in case,? explains Clark, who then told them he was going to the bathroom, and came back up with The Notorious himself. ?Put them in front of each other, there was no denying what could happen.? Two months later, after Big had walked away with Jay’s re-done verses on cassette, he came back to spit his own, and the song was officially born.
And as for the result? Well, in a review of Reasonable Doubt that was included as part of their 2003 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time feature, Rolling Stone described the track as featuring “two hungry talents seemingly aware that they had no one to outduel but each other.”. We also asked Dash to shed some light on this legendary collaboration and how it finally came together and, well, let’s just say that a lot of the sticky icky-icky was involved. Watch Dame tell the light-hearted story in his own words in the video we have clipped for you below.

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Tuned In: The Voice Winner Javier Colon Gives His All On “Stitch by Stitch” On Leno

Javier Colon was probably happy that the other late-night shows were in reruns last night when he appeared on the Tonight Show, but considering the ratings that The Voice pulled in for NBC, other musicians would probably have been just as happy not to have to face off with the show’s champion. He played the original composition that helped him win the reality competition, “Stitch by Stitch,” and it sounded great?an amalgam of the best bits of his performance on The Voice (e.g. live drums) and the studio version (a more fleshed-out, but not obtrusive, arrangement). As a conclusion to the televised promotion of both himself and The Voice before the show’s summer tour kicks off, it couldn’t have gone better.

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