Good News, Bad News For Lana Del Rey: Born To Die Debuts At #2, But She Cancels SXSW

by (@unclegrambo)

After her widely-maligned performance on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, many bloodthirsty people pronounced Lana Del Rey‘s career over before it even began, utilizing everything from thousand-plus word thinkpieces to snarktastic 140 character tweets to make their opinions heard. Much like we saw in the initial hours after LDR appeared on SNL, though, all the controversy ended up working in her favor. According to a press release issued by her record label, Born To Die sold 77,000 copies in the United States last week, good enough for a #2 debut on the Billboard charts (and significantly outpacing early projections of a 55-60K sales week). The record also debuted at #1 in the UK, where it sold 117,000 copies, and ended up moving some 800,000 copies worldwide. Somewhere in Los Angeles, we hope that Juliette Lewis is scarfing down a plate of crow and chasing it with a slice of humble pie!

However, it isn’t all peaches and cream in Lana Del Rey’s world this week. Despite the fact that she played a well-received set on Letterman last week and performed an intimate gig for her passionate fanbase at the Los Angeles outpost of Amoeba Records yesterday, it seems that Interscope is determined to limit her exposure at this point in time. Earlier this week, the New York Post erroneously reported that she had cancelled a planned Spring tour of the United States; her reps firmly denied this to be the case, but then confirmed to Pitchfork that LDR had indeed cancelled a planned outing to Australia, as well as her highly-anticipated SXSW dates in March. So, for now, LDR fans will have to make do with repeated listens to Born To Die, as well as a still unscheduled appearance on Ellen, to get their Lana fix.

Lana Del Rey Denies Tour Cancellation Rumors [Pitchfork]

[Photo: Getty Images]

Jay-Z And Kanye West’s Video For “Paris” Kaleidoscopes So Hard (That S**t Cray!)

by (@kat_george)

Have you ever wondered exactly what’s going on inside Kayne West‘s brain? There’s been at least one occasion where we’ve lost sleep over it, but now we can put our questions to rest once and for all, as the Kanye directed video for his Watch The Throne hit “Paris” with Jay-Z gives us a glimpse into the cray goings on inside the West cranial cavity. And it’s exactly what we’d pictured — a kaleidoscopic, ordered chaos in which buxom women are commodified and appear in double while regal black panthers lurk in the shadows.

Comprised mostly of footage of Hov and Ye playing to an audience, there’s a cameo from Will Ferrell and plenty avant-bricolage consisting of found images of Paris, digital geometry and the same kaleidoscopic effects that are used throughout. There are the requisite thrown up diamonds by the audience’s hands; but our favorite part is an almost poignant moment where Kanye looks out over the crowd. We can only see the back of his head — his vantage point becomes ours as the crowd, for blink-and-you’ll-miss-it split seconds turns to a thrilling kaleidoscope and back. A visual narrative that accompanies the banging “ball so hard” themed track, the video brings elements of the surreal and the absurd to Kanye and Jay’s world of money, fame, and Paris.

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Posted: The Fray Play “Heartbeat” On Big Morning Buzz Live And Give Us A Second Intimate Blog Post

by (@kat_george)

VH1′s February Posted artist The Fray stopped by Big Morning Buzz Live today to play their new single “Heartbeat.” After their high energy performance of the song on Letterman, The Fray gave us a stripped back performance of the song, which was just as moving as the inspiring show they put on for Letterman. The guys also took the chance to give us the second installment of their Posted blog, and after the first poetic and intimate entry, this second post by lead guitarist Dave Welsh tells the story of the band’s Super Bowl experience. Read the post from February 6th after the jump.

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Tuned In: The Band Perry Sing “All Your Life” For You On Ellen

by (@kat_george)

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Ahead of the Grammys this weekend, for which they’re nominated for Best New Artist, The Band Perry stopped by The Ellen Degeneres Show to play their song “All Your Life.” Melodic and sweet, The Band Perry played their soft, rolling country track to perfection, not putting a single note wrong. Their stirring harmonies and gently strumming guitar added dynamism to the romantic love song. The Band Perry will also be performing at the Grammys, with a whole host of new stars and old legends.

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Gala So Hard: Jay-Z Live At Carnegie Hall

by (@unclegrambo)

“We gon’ step on all those lines that separate us tonight; you’re about to witness music at a very high level.”

Jay-Z made this characteristically bravado-laden declaration three songs into his set at New York City’s Carnegie Hall last night, the second of two charity shows benefiting the United Way and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation that he performed this week. Much has been said about cultural ramifications of a night like this, a triumphant chapter in a rags to riches story so improbable that Horatio Alger himself would never have envisioned penning it. It was clear from the outset of the show that Jay-Z had every intention of delivering on that ambitious bill of goods —when was the last time anyone attempted to put on a hip hop show featuring a 20-plus piece symphony orchestra for an audience filled with (primarily rich white) people in suits?—but by the end of the show, I couldn’t help but feel like he wasn’t quite able to achieve both of those audacious goals equally.

First, the scene. Carnegie Hall is one of our country’s most legendary musical venues, and also one of our most exclusive. Not just anyone is allowed to perform here, nor is just anyone necessarily allowed to attend a gig there. As a means of showing respect to the 121-year-old venue and all that it symbolizes, attendees of this two-night stand were encouraged to dress formally for the occasion; like a good general, Hov made sure to follow his own directive. Taking the stage a few minutes after 10 p.m. in white tuxedo jacket, black tux pants, a dapper black bow-tie and stylish shades, J-Hova looked like the long lost sixth member of the Rat Pack as he performed “Public Service Announcement” off his 2003 LP, The Black Album. The audience ate it up, leaping to their feet and waving their well-manicured hands in the air like they just didn’t care, perhaps no one more so than his wife Beyoncé. The new mom snuck into her box seat (stage right, closest to the stage) just as the house lights dimmed and proceeded to emphatically dance in a standing position for most of the show’s nearly two-hour runtime.

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Last Lap: Beyonce Will Release “End Of Time” As Her Next Single

by (@kat_george)

Beyoncé Will Release “End Of Time” As Her Next Single
New mom Beyoncé is set to release “End Of Time” from her 2011 album 4 as her next single. Makes sense — we can’t imagine that Bey is ready to get back to work on new material so soon after the bub, and of course the world is keen for more from Mamma Knowles. So she’s doing the best she can to appease our hungry eyes and ears, not that we ever had any doubt she would. [Pop Dust]

Lana Del Rey Is Swarmed By Hysterical Fans
You know you’ve made it when you have fans that cry hysterically in your presence. Lana Del Rey‘s fans shed more than a few tears, overwhelmed in her presence at a signing at Amoeba Records. [Hipster Runoff]

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Ellie Goulding’s New Video For “Lights” Is More Brilliant Than Blinding

by (@kat_george)

Ellie Goulding‘s new video for “Lights” is flashy, but it’s more brilliant than it is blinding. Featuring a glowing Goulding singing the dance-led track back lit by a glorious halo of clean light, the song has club anthem written all over it. Goulding begins playing the tambourine, and transitions to drums as the video picks up its pace. There are some great moments where Goulding is frozen in time, in a 360 degree view, surrounded by neon illustrations. If Goulding’s hair shaking and drum bashing while neon laser beams flash around her doesn’t get you dancing, then it’s probable that nothing will. Bright and fun, were thinking “Lights” is the perfect song to lead into spring toe tapping along with.

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Kelly Clarkson Is “Stronger” Than Adele On This Week’s Charts

by (@kat_george)

Last week we wondered if Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” could topple Adele’s “Set Fire To The Rain” to take the number one spot on the Billboard 100, after the song snuck up to number two, just behind the dominating Adele. Well, our Kelly has done us proud in the chart battle of the divas, usurping the as yet undefeated Adele to steal first. “Stronger” is Kelly’s third number one hit after 2002′s “A Moment Like This” and 2009′s “My Life Would Suck Without You.” We’re huge Adele fans, but we’re also pretty stoked to see Kelly take the lead — it’s wonderful that the top spot is getting shared amongst such deserving ladies! And the icing on the cake? Both ladies will be performing at this weekend’s Grammy awards show — it will be Adele’s first live performance since recovering from vocal chord surgery, and for Kelly the show will follow her moving rendition of the national anthem at last weekend’s Super Bowl.

54th Annual Grammy Awards will air on Sunday February 12th at 8 PM ET on CBS.

Kelly Clarkson Drives ‘Stronger’ to Hot 100 Summit [Billboard]

[Photos: Getty Images]

Beach Boys To Perform For The First Time In More Than 20 Years At The Grammys With Maroon 5 And Foster The People

by (@kat_george)

Grammy fever is surging ahead of Sunday’s awards ceremony. And if this latest announcement doesn’t get you giddy with excitement, then we’re afraid nothing can help you. The surviving members of The Beach Boys will perform for the first time in over 20 years at the Grammys — and will be joined by Maroon 5 and Foster The People! Knowing our excitement at merely playing witness to the iconic occasion, we can only imagine the pure happiness that the Foster boys and Maroon 5 must be feeling to be included in what will surely be a moment to remember.

The Beach Boys lineup will include Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Mark, and in addition to the Grammys, The Boys will be touring and recording a new album. Of the reunion, Brian Wilson said, “I miss the boys and it will be a thrill for me to make a new record and be on stage with them again.” The Beach Boys will be joining a legendary cast of performers for what is set to be a spectacular Grammys stage, including Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Adele, a duet from Coldplay and Rihanna, Foo Fighters, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars and Jason Aldean.

Beach Boys Reunion Begins at Grammys, With Foster the People & Maroon 5 [Billboard]

[Photos: Getty Images]

Do You Think Black Sabbath Can Reform Without Bill Ward? Fans Say No Way On Facebook!

by (@kat_george)

Last week we reported that Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was reluctant to sign a contract for the reformation of the band for a reunion tour and new album. Of the contract, Ward said, “I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour, however, I am unable to continue unless a ‘signable’ contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another ‘unsignable’ contract was handed to me. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician.”

Now it seems like Black Sabbath are preparing to go forward with the reunion — with or without Ward. Rumours are rife that the band has already lined up a replacement drummer, but fans are not going to take it lying down. A Facebook group has popped up, called “1,000,000 Black Sabbath fans say yes to Bill Ward,” and as of right now the group has 11,113 likes. The pages’ mission statement simply states, “We all feel that any Black Sabbath Reunion must include original drummer Bill Ward.” It also includes statements like, “Thin Lizzy sounded better the minute Brian Downing rejoined the band, UFO always sounds better with Andy Parker behind the kit, I can’t imagine Deep Purple without Ian Paice. No Bonzo = No Led Zeppelin. The Who ain’t The Who without Keith. Bill Ward is the drummer for Black Sabbath!!”

What do you think? Do you think Black Sabbath can go ahead without Bill Ward? Will you be joining the Facebook protest? Or do you think another drummer would suit the line up just fine? Let us know in the poll below!

Black Sabbath Fans Rally Behind Bill Ward As Group Reportedly Finds Replacement Drummer [Ultimate Classic Rock]
1,000,000 Black Sabbath fans say yes to Bill Ward [Facebook]

[Photo: Getty Images]