CARLY RAE JEPSEN SAYS HER FULL-LENGTH DEBUT ALBUM IS “ALMOST FINISHED”
“I feel like the songs are mostly there, but there’s still some production and stuff to be done,” the thus-far one-and-one-half hit wonder says. “We’re in the home stretch.” [MTV]
SKRILLEX IS SCORING HARMONY KORINE’S NEW MOVIE
And, diving deeper yet into the pop-culture vortex, the movie is said to star James Franco. [Flavorwire]
MEET THE MAN WHO MAKES JUSTIN BIEBER SING
Kuk Harrell, vocal producer to the stars, is the one that makes sure artists like Bieber, Rihanna, and Jennifer Lopez bring their “superstar performance” to every song. [NYT]
TOM CRUISE GETS M83 TO SCORE HIS NEXT MOVIE
The french electronic band are set to score Oblivion, a sci-fi film that stars Tom Cruise and is directed by Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. You win some, you lose some. [RS]
According to TMZ, the Lauryn Hill has plead guilty to tax evasion, telling a judge this morning that she intentionally failed to file tax returns in between 2005 and 2007, when she earned more than $1.8 million. She was released on $150,000 bail, but will have to return to court in November for sentencing. According to her attorney, Nathan Hochman, Hill plans on paying back the taxes owed before then. But if it’s decided in November that the gesture is to little or too late, she could see up to three years of jail time.
When news broke, the former Fugees frontwoman attempted to temper the charges with a lengthy missive posted to her Tumblr. “For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground,” she wrote in defense, claiming to have removed herself and her family from society in order to “keep them safe, healthy, and free from danger.” She goes on to explain that she had filed regularly in the years prior and that, although she she stopped when she felt “it was necessary to withdraw from society”, her intention “has always been to get this situation rectified.”
Unfortunately, potential three years jail time (one for each year’s taxes not filed) and upwards of $75,000 in fines sounds not like the rectification she had hoped for. Hill has been edging herself back into the scene, making semi-regular appearances at big events like Hot 97’s Summer Jam and Rock the Bells the year prior. It was starting to seem like we might get her back! But, as compelling as Ms. Hill’s arguments for hiding out may be, Uncle Sam gets the last say on this one.
Wu-Tang Clan‘s beat master and resident martial arts aficionado, it was only a matter of time before RZA got a ninja flick of his own. And alas, here we have it! RZA makes his directorial this fall with The Man with the Iron Fists, and if this eye-popping first trailer is any indication, it should be all his kung fu dreams fully realized.
Co-written with Eli Roth and presented by king of the shlock Quentin Tarantino, the film finds RZA and his fellow co-stars (Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu) tangled-up in some sort of bloody adventure in feudal China. This is RZA’s first go behind the camera, but having starred also in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes and with Denzel Washington in American Gangster, he is an old pro when it comes to being on-screen. By the looks of the trailer, he really goes for it with this one, bringing all the blood and high kicks and fancy knives you could dream of.
And better yet is the soundtrack, which is rumored to feature new tracks by Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan, The Black Keys, Wiz Khalifa, and RZA himself — the sort of all-star line-up that could get even a hemophobe excited! Wu-Tang have been sampling kung fu films on their albums for years now, and RZA helped arrange the soundtrack for Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The bar has been set high.
For the rest of the year the most anticipated moment of any music award show is going to be the Whitney Houston tribute. It’s no different with this Sunday’s BET Awards. The Associated Press reported that both Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z have been confirmed as guests for the big night. The power couple haven’t attended the award show in years. This year the Carters will be in the building ladies and gentleman. Read more…
Maroon 5 have been burning up the midnight circuit in support of their new album Overexposed, dropping in on Letterman earlier this week and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night. Frontman Adam Levine first sat down with Fallon to talk about his burgeoning acting career and “his homie” Christina Aguilera, and then the band played their smash single “Payphone.” As always, Levine — planted at center-stage in just a white tee-shirt, the band rocking hard behind him — made his job look easy, like the Song of the Summer contender works for him. Current chart-toppers Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen should be feeling the heat after showings like this. Next week, things at the top might be looking a little different!
It’s been three years since Alicia Keys last album The Element of Freedom, and in those three years Keys married producer Swizz Beats and welcomed her first child into the world. With all of the exciting changes in her life she is ready to tell her story through the untitled upcoming album. To connect with her fans Keys posted a touching video to YouTube to talk about the journey of making new music. She says she’s been in the studio eight months working on the album because she’s a whole new person. “It’s like I’m a different person, a new person,” she explains. “Everything is new, from being married and having a baby, and what that’s done for me in just giving me a sense of real stability, real connection, grounding, reason, and purpose. So much of the music that you’re going to hear is talking about what that feels like, what we’re all going through, all of us,” she said. Read more…
It is Guinness World Record official: The Flaming Lips have broken the record for the most concerts in different cities in one day. With about forty minutes to spare, the Flaming Lips took the stage at the House of Blues in New Orleans for the eighth and last time to play “Do You Realize?” Balloons and confetti fell from the ceiling, and Wayne Coyne sounded no worse for the wear of his epic journey. “Finally!” he yelled, urging the crowd to sing along. “Come on come on come on!”
“I feel like I could go another f***ing 24-hours,” Coyne joked as he accepted the record from to Guinness World Record officiants with a half-hour to spare. “I think I’ll get that call from Jay-Z pretty soon.”
Check out the record breaking performance of “Do You Realize?” below, and see more highlights from the day over on OMusicAwwards.com!
Music is the best backdrop to our life experiences, and with the Summer solstice now a week or so behind us, it’s time to finalize those party/road-trip/gym playlists and ease into the season that puts sun on our skin and BBQ on our plates. I’m putting my money on the songs below to make it to the winner’s circle this year, but it’s still early, and only in time will the victors be revealed.
NOMINATION:Kanye West ft. Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz, “Mercy” EXPLANATION: If you don’t act a little bit foolish when this song comes on, I don’t think we can be friends. Kicking-off the G.O.O.D Music relay race, Big Sean hits his verbal stride first, and whether it’s his wordplay, Pusha T’s unique emphasis while using the word “ho,” Kanye’s obligatory “molly” reference, or 2 Chainz’ phenomenal lead-off grunt, this track has something special for everyone. Not only will we hear “Mercy” blasting out of car and house party windows all summer long, but it puts a stake in the ground for Kanye’s squad as they prep for their unified Cruel Summer project, allegedly coming soon.
You Oughta Know artist Christina Perri first let us on to this wistful duet last January when, while speaking with our own Jim Shearer, she mentioned that she was rerecording the melancholy lovestrong cut, “Distance,” with an artist that is as many parts Justin Bieber as he is Tony Bennett. Well, that someone turned out to be the ever-likeable Jason Mraz, and their reworking? Even more vulnerable and beautiful than the original. And now she shares with us again, this time the music video for “Distance,” which is ours exclusively to share with you over the next 24-hours.
“Distance” is the story of love kept at bay. “I will make sure to keep my distance, say I love you when you’re not listening,” she sings on the chorus, where she is met by Mraz, vocals in harmony. But then the wrench is thrown and she wonders, “How long can we keep this up?”
In the video, director Elliott Sellers captures this tension by drawing the two apart, hiding Mraz the farthest corner of the beautiful mansion through which Perri wanders. Drawing the sunlight in behind her, she checks room after room. Is he in the library? The garden? At the top of the staircase? Well, you will have to watch to find out.