Wednesday, March 30, 2011
“‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of the greatest love stories of all time,” says Elton John, who serves as executive producer and provides the music for Touchstone Pictures' new animated comedy “Gnomeo & Juliet.” “And garden gnomes are huge in many countries throughout the world. We thought this would be a really good idea.”
John, a singer, songwriter, musician and humanitarian, teamed up with longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin to provide the soundtrack for the film. “In describing the music, all I can say is that I had to reevaluate myself with any pop sensibilities still lurking in my decidedly un-pop brain,” says Taupin. “Cue some old Beatles circa ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and voila, that sounded like a good starting point. Gnomes are very poppy, wouldn’t you agree? Colorful, energetic and ABBAesque, so it seemed only natural that the songs suit the characters. Guess I just put my pointy hat on and went out into the garden.”
“Elton John and Bernie Taupin are geniuses,” says director Kelly Asbury. “They have written classics for the ages. And the opportunity to use that in the fabric of the movie was fantastic.”
These gnomes don’t sing, says the director. “We didn’t want it to be a traditional musical. But to use the music as song score really tied it together.”
Adds producer Steve Hamilton Shaw, “The songs are terrific. The music overall is crucial in not only showcasing the comedy, but also in delivering the emotion that lies behind the story. The movie has great emotional depth and strength of character.”
The John-Taupin team created all-new music for the film, including “Hello Hello,” a song created to illustrate the moment when Gnomeo meets and falls for Juliet. “It’s our love-at-first-sight song,” says Asbury.
At the other end of the spectrum is “Love Builds a Garden.” Says Asbury, “‘Love Builds a Garden’ is Featherstone’s backstory song that teaches Gnomeo and Juliet a really big lesson about hate versus love and the power of love.”
“I think ‘Love Builds a Garden’ is the best song in the movie,” says John. “The flamingo explains to them that even though his garden is overgrown, it once flourished because the two people that lived there loved each other. Once they stopped loving each other, the garden died. But love can bring the garden back to life.”
“Gnomeo & Juliet” also features a new take on “Crocodile Rock,” performed by Nelly Furtado, featuring John. His classic recordings will also be featured in the film, including “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” and “Your Song.”
“It’s very accessible,” says John about the film. “It’s very funny, and because it’s quite colloquial, we can make it even funnier.”
Opening across the Philippines on April 13 in Digital 3D and regular format, “Gnomeo & Juliet” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
LADY GAGA UNLEASHES SPLENDID REMIXES OF HER HOTTEST HIT SINGLE “BORN THIS WAY”; CD OUT NOW IN ALL MUSIC STORES!!!
Here’s an exciting news from MCA Music! A Limited Edition CD of Lady Gaga is now out for grabs!!! This mini-album consists of 4 tracks—the main version plus 3 groovy remixes (LA Riots Remix, Chew Fu Born To Fix Remix, and DJ White Shadow Remix) of her latest smash hit single “Born This Way”. With empowering lyrics, great hook, pulsating beat and catchy danceable music, “Born This Way” has made a remarkable and massive impact, storming our local hit charts (which has now reached #1), packing the dance floors and getting blasts from cars, computers and radios all over the place.
Lady Gaga continues to explode onto the global cultural landscape this year with her catchy pop anthems and her fashion-forward aesthetics. Worldwide she has sold more than four million copies of her debut album, The Fame, and more than 15 million singles, making her music’s biggest breakout star of the year. She is only the third artist in history to claim three #1 hits from a debut album (“Just Dance,” “Poker Face” and “LoveGame”).
“Born This Way” indeed is a colossal comeback and this teaser and limited edition CD, exclusively released under MCA Music, will definitely be an essential piece of collector’s item for all the “Little Monsters” out there!
Get Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” as your ringback tone!!!
Just text the code KJ874 and send to 2332 for Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers
Or the code BORNGAGA and send to 2728 for Smart and Talk N’ Text subscribers
Or the code 5492054 and send to 2300 for SUN subscribers
Warner Bros. has just unveiled the first poster of “The Hangover Part II”!
The film is director Todd Phillips’ follow-up to 2009’s smash hit “The Hangover,” which became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all-time and also won the Golden Globe for Best Film – Comedy or Musical.
Reprising their roles from “The Hangover,” Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Justin Bartha star in the film. Ken Jeong, Jeffrey Tambor, and Mike Tyson also rejoin the cast.
In “The Hangover Part II,” Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined.
Opening across the Philippines in June 2011, “The Hangover Part II” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Take your first-look at the new poster of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” which has just been released by Warner Bros.!
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2,” is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The much-anticipated motion picture event is the second of two full-length parts.
In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry Potter who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort.
It all ends here.
Distributed by Warner Bros., “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” will be released in Philippine theatres and IMAX, in 3D and 2D, beginning July 15, 2011.
Warner Bros.’ new comedy “Arthur” brings the inspired pairing of charismatic British comedian Russell Brand with Oscar®-winning actress Helen Mirren, in roles based on the 1981 performances of Dudley Moore as Arthur, and Sir John Gielgud as his strait-laced butler.
“Russell and Helen bring their own style and perspective to these two characters in a way that makes you feel you’re seeing old friends in a different light,” states director Jason Winer. “If there’s one actor on the planet who can re-invent this role for a new generation, it’s Russell Brand. And with Hobson as a nanny, played by Helen Mirren, instead of a butler, the idea of the two of them together was irresistible.”
“Arthur’s the man-child to end all man-children,” describes Mirren, whose Hobson is a point of flawless composure amidst the endless whirling party that defines Arthur’s existence as the story opens. But that party could soon be over as he faces a momentous choice between the two young women in his life.
“You can’t have Arthur without Hobson there to smack him on the head now and then and say, ‘What’s wrong with you?,’” adds producer Larry Brezner.
“Since his father died young and his mother is too busy running the business, Hobson is the only real family he’s ever known. She’s his ballast, his rock,” says producer Kevin McCormick. “Strict and formal, she nevertheless adores him and always tells him he can achieve anything he wants—although, lately, she has begun to wonder if he will ever meet that potential.”
In concert with this, what Helen Mirren particularly appreciated about the Hobson role was that, unlike the others in Arthur’s life, “Hobson is not a simple enabler. She’s a strong character. She doesn’t so much stand up to him, because technically he is her employer, but she’s perfectly capable and unafraid of telling him he’s behaving like an idiot and she knows him well enough to send him up. It’s a rich, intense and complicated relationship; there is undeniably a great love there and a great depth of feeling.”
Says Winer, “Helen brings all her regal bearing to the role of the austere nanny but also a delightfully dry wit and comic timing that’s a real kick to watch. She and Russell had a great, playful chemistry together that was not only perfect for the movie but kept going off-camera, which helped to keep all of us entertained.”
“Russell is so incredibly inventive and energetic, just a constant flow of imagination. It’s extraordinary,” she says.
“Working with Helen is inspiring, interesting, a real honor,” Brand responds. “She’s proper but also funny, quirky and totally charming. All in all, I had a great time on this film. I got to kiss Jennifer Garner, I got to kiss Greta Gerwig and I got to kiss Helen Mirren…. Granted, that last one wasn’t in the script.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, “Arthur” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Aly Michalka, who recently appeared in “Easy A” opposite Emma Stone and stars in the hit TV series “Hellcats,” now plays Tracy, the high-energy party girl in Columbia Pictures’ new suspense thriller “The Roommate.”
A finely tuned tale of madness and role reversal, “The Roommate” is packed with ingenious twists and heart-stopping surprises as Sara (Minka Kelly), a naïve college freshman begins to suspect that her roommate, Rebecca (Leighton Meester) is not what she appears to be.
Dorm mate to both Sara and Rebecca, Tracy is the first obstacle for Rebecca in her friendship with Sara. “Tracy is a wild girl,” says Michalka. “She has a great personality, and likes to drink and meet guys. She makes it her job to ensure Sara has a social life. Rebecca does what she has to in order to put the kibosh on the friendship, because it gets in her way.”
Michalka was attracted to the script’s edgy, dark look at campus life. “It’s a creepy story, without crossing over into the horror genre,” she says. “It’s still in the realm of reality, but it takes you into this world that is uneasy and unsettling from the very start. As Rebecca, Leighton definitely has a crazed look in her eyes. From what I’ve seen, she definitely scares me.”
The actress, who has not attended college, says that working on the movie was an education in itself. “It was a very chill set,” shares Michalka. “I was excited to be able to be part of a young and up-and-coming cast. Doing this film made it seem like I was going to college—minus the whole creepy roommate thing.”
Also a musician and songwriter, Aly Michalka is a star on the rise with several exciting projects on the horizon. She currently stars in the lead role of the new CW drama series “Hellcats” opposite Ashley Tisdale. She plays ‘Marti’ a college student that is forced to join the competitive Hellcats cheerleading squad in order to save her scholarship and stay in school. She also recently starred in the Screen Gems comedy feature “Easy A” opposite of Emma Stone. In addition to her many film roles, she is also working on another album with her sister AJ Michalka. The duo is now known as “78violet.”
Michalka began her acting career with a starring role on The Disney Channel’s “Phil of the Future” about a family from the future trying to live in the modern world. She next starred in two Disney Channel films, “Now You See It” and “Cow Belles,” as well as the Disney pilot “Haversham Hall.” She also starred in the MTV original movie “Super Sweet Sixteen: The Movie.”
Most recently Michalka was seen starring in Summit Entertainment’s “Bandslam” opposite Vanessa Hudgens and Gaelen Connell.
Opening across the Philippines on April 6, “The Roommate” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit http://www.columbiapictures.com.ph for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at www.Facebook.com/ColumbiaPicturesPH and join our fan contests.
Owen Wilson stars as Rick, a suburban dad easily distracted by beautiful women, in New Line Cinema's raunchy comedy “Hall Pass.” “Most guys can’t help noticing a good-looking woman walk by, but some of them do a better job at being subtle about it,” explains Wilson. “With others, like Rick, it’s like they have their heads on a swivel.”
In the film, best friends Rick and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) have both been married for a long time. They love their wives, but, like some guys, just can’t help checking out every other woman who crosses their paths. Fed up with this habitual rubber-necking, their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) take a bold approach to revitalize their marriages by granting their husbands a “hall pass”: one week of freedom to do whatever they want, no questions asked. Seven days to see exactly what it is out there they think they’re missing…or stop looking once and for all.
“Rick is happily married, with kids and a wife he loves. He has a good job, a nice existence but, like a lot of men, he can’t help noticing women and this irritates his wife,” says co-director Peter Farrelly.
“It’s more Rick’s emotional arc that propels the story so it’s important that the audience likes him,” notes co-director Bobby Farrelly. “That’s one of the reasons we cast Owen Wilson, because he has such an inherent likeability and decency. He’s very funny, but also someone you can get behind and want to support.” In such a potentially polarizing role, being able to convey that core decency is key.
Pegging Rick as “kind of a schlub,” Wilson explains, “It’s not that his marriage is bad, just a little predictable, and he has this illusion that if he was still out there, single, he’d just be crushing it. But that’s not necessarily the case. He really has no idea what it’s like anymore. Besides, you have to wonder if he was ever that great to begin with.”
As Rick, Wilson got the opportunity to portray a character not as successful with women as he imagines—in contrast to some of the actor’s best-known roles. Says Peter, “Owen is usually Mr. Slick on screen, the charming, good-looking dude, but he can also be goofy. We thought it would be interesting for him to play a guy who struggles to be noticed.”
Owen Wilson is one of contemporary cinema’s most successful actors, and has won great acclaim for his memorable turns in mainstream and independent films. His string of box office successes includes the recent “Marley & Me,” with Jennifer Aniston, based on the popular memoir by John Grogan; the acclaimed Disney/Pixar animated feature “Cars,” “Night at the Museum” and its sequel “Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian,” opposite Robin Williams and Ben Stiller; and the smash hit comedy “Wedding Crashers,” opposite Vince Vaughn.
Wilson will soon reprise his role as the voice of Lightning McQueen in “Cars 2,” scheduled to open in August 2011.
Opening across the Philippines on April 6, “Hall Pass” is a New Line Cinema presentation to be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
For Emily Blunt who provides the voice of the feisty and independent Juliet in Touchstone Pictures' animated comedy “Gnomeo & Juliet,” becoming a gnome isn’t a walk in the garden, so to speak.
“Acting is acting,” says Blunt, adding “the approach to this film is not unlike others. When you’re doing a comedic version of one of the greatest love stories of all-time, I think it always has to be ingrained in some kind of truth because people don’t laugh if they’re not invested. We all very much wanted to play real people in this.”
She’s beautiful, delicate and pristine—at least according to her father, Lord Redbrick, the head of the Reds. As such, Juliet's place is aptly atop a grand fountain pedestal. “But she’s also very fiery,” says Blunt of her character, “and very much her father’s child, so I was really thrilled to see that they’ve made her kind of a tomboy.”
But Juliet is just not cut out for life on a pedestal. She longs to get her hands dirty in the garden alongside the rest of the Reds. She wants to contribute, but her father won’t allow her off her pedestal—he’s afraid she’ll get chipped. When Juliet spots a beautiful orchid beyond the garden’s walls, she decides to venture out to retrieve it. That’s when she meets him. She doesn’t realize Gnomeo is a Blue until it’s too late. Juliet’s in love. And she doesn’t really understand just why it’s so wrong to love a Blue—even if you are a Red.
Reflecting on their comic re-imagining of the classic Shakespeare tale, Blunt attests “It is very, very funny and it's a very heightened world to invest in, but I really feel that the core of what is so sweeping and romantic about Romeo and Juliet is still there. This truly captures the essence of forbidden love and it really captures the teenage frustrations that we’ve all felt. It's a very human story at the end of the day and quite an emotional one. And I think this is definitely the ending that people always wanted from Romeo and Juliet.”
Emily Blunt shot to international prominence with her lead role in the multi-award-winning romance from Pawel Pawlikowski “My Summer of Love.” Later, an adaptation of the hugely popular Lauren Weisberger novel “The Devil Wears Prada” features Blunt as the intensely neurotic Emily Charlton. Co-starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, the film opened to great acclaim, earning more than $320 million worldwide.
Blunt plays Britain’s Queen Victoria in the early stages of her life in “The Young Victoria.” The Martin Scorsese-produced biopic gave her Best Actress nominations at the 2010 Golden Globe® Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards.
Her other films include “The Wolfman,” “Gulliver’s Travels,” and “The Adjustment Bureau.” Up next for Blunt is “The Muppets” for Disney, which is slated for a holiday 2011 release. Directed by James Bobin, “The Muppets” also stars Jason Segel and Amy Adams.
Opening soon across the Philippines in Digital 3D and regular format, “Gnomeo & Juliet” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Don't count on hearing the Foo Fighters hit "Times Like These" on "Glee" anytime soon. Frontman Dave Grohl says he and his bandmates are squarely in the corner of Kings of Leon andSlash -- as in, they want no part of the Ryan Murphy-helmed show.
"It's every band's right, you shouldn't have to do f---ing 'Glee,'" Grohl told The Hollywood Reporter following the premiere of Foo Fighters: Back and Forth, the new Foo Fighters documentary which just made its South By Southwest debut. "And then the guy who created 'Glee' is so offended that we're not, like, begging to be on his f---ing show… f--- that guy for thinking anybody and everybody should want to do 'Glee.'"
You might be wondering, has Grohl ever actually watched the show? As it turns out, yes, he gave "Glee" a whirl. "I watched 10 minutes. It's not my thing," Grohl grizzled. But he doesn't have as much of a problem with the series as he does with its creator.
Recounting anti-"Glee" comments made by Slash earlier this year and subsequent retorts by Murphy, Grohl explained to drummer Taylor Hawkins: "The 'Glee' guy, what a f---ing jerk. Slash was the first one. He wanted to do Guns 'n' Roses and Slash is like, 'I hate f---ing musicals. It's worse than "Grease."' Then [Murphy's] like, 'Well, of course he'd say that, he's a washed up ol' rock star, that's what they f---ing do.' And then Kings of Leon say, 'No, we don't want to be on your show.' And then he's like, 'Snotty little assholes…' And it's just like, Dude, maybe not everyone loves 'Glee.' Me included."
Said Hawkins: "Yeah, f--- that shit.
Source: Billboard.com | Jay A. Fernandez and Shirley Halperin, The Hollywood Reporter | March 18, 2011 12:34 EDT
Someone asked Dave Grohl if rock'n'roll is dead.
It probably wasn't the wisest question to pose to a die-hard rocker like Grohl, who leads the Foo Fighters, and is considered by many to be the greatest rock drummer alive.
"I said, 'Dude, ask the 130,000 people who are coming to see us at England's Milton Keynes Bowl in July. Ask the 2,000 people who were drinking and having the night of their life at South by Southwest," says Grohl, who in late March visited the conference for the premiere of the Foo Fighters' revealing new James Moll-directed documentary "Foo Fighters: Back and Forth" and played a packed gig at local staple Stubb's.
"Just because rock'n'roll isn't No. 1 in the commercial mainstream doesn't mean it's gone," he says. "It doesn't mean it's dead. All I know is what rock'n'roll means to me. It's this living, breathing thing that you can see in someone's eye."
Video: "Foo Fighters: Back and Forth" Movie Trailer
You don't need to catch Grohl's eye to know he's an authentic rocker. If his résumé isn't convincing enough -- he drummed for Nirvana before releasing the Foo Fighters' self-titled debut as a one-man band in 1995 -- then his old-school approach to recording the Foos' seventh full-length album should cast away any doubt. For "Wasting Light," due April 12 on Roswell/RCA, the band ditched Pro Tools and laid down the 11-track set -- the group's most aggressive-sounding release to date -- on analog tape in the garage of Grohl's home in Encino, Calif. Butch Vig -- who helmed Nirvana's groundbreaking "Nevermind" album -- steered the Foo Fighters' first studio release since 2007's "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace." The set also features guest appearances by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and singer/guitarist Bob Mould (formerly of Hüsker Dü and Sugar)
"There's poetry in being the band that can sell out Wembley but also makes a record in a garage," Grohl says. "Why go into the most expensive studio with the biggest producer and use the best state-of-the-art equipment? Where's the rock'n'roll in that? What happened to the kid who dropped out of high school, painted houses and worked in a furniture warehouse just so that he could get on the road and fucking escape from everything? I don't like doing what people expect me to do."
DUCKS IN A ROW
Adopting vintage recording methods to produce a warm, nostalgic rock sound is a dicey move in today's music climate. Pop music reigned last year with artists like Justin Bieber and Ke$ha commanding the sales and radio charts. But while rock is experiencing a down phase in terms of album sales and radio listenership, the Foo Fighters are confident that the rock music buyer's market will welcome "Wasting Light" with open arms.
Their optimism isn't unfounded. Since the band's launch 16 years ago, it has scored 24 hits on the Alternative chart and sold 9.5 million albums (and 8.5 million track downloads) in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. And Grohl, guitarist Pat Smear, bassist Nate Mendel, drummer Taylor Hawkins and guitarist Chris Shiflett are coming fully loaded with an arsenal of marketing and promotional efforts in what RCA Music Group GM/executive VP Tom Corson calls "one of the most comprehensive campaigns I've ever been involved with."
In addition to concert and festival dates booked globally through the end of August, there's already a single at rock radio ("Rope"), various TV appearances and synch placements in the works (including a "Saturday Night Live" appearance on April 9), two new music videos, the exclusive vinyl covers album "Medium Rare" for Record Store Day (April 16), secret club shows in Los Angeles, a Foo-branded 1989 white limousine cruising the country previewing "Wasting Light" for radio stations and indie retailers, another North American tour planned for the fall and the forthcoming documentary. The Foos' camp is also focusing part of its marketing/promotional strategy on the "garage" theme of the album, which includes a BlackBerry -sponsored North American tour (brokered by MAC Presents) where the band will play in the actual garages of eight lucky fans.
"Like anybody else who's making music right now, we're looking for new ways to let people know you have an album coming out," says Mendel, the Sunny Day Real Estate bassist who joined the Foo Fighters in 1995. "There are lots of areas where you can be concerned or complain about the state of things, but there are cool opportunities to do something different, too."
WHY THE FOO FIGHTERS ARE GREAT FOR ROCK RADIO
"So far, the buzz for "Wasting Light" is strong -- especially online, where in addition to gritty videos for the punky song "White Limo" (featuring an appearance by Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister) and sinewy first single "Rope," numerous websites and blogs posted quotes from Grohl siding with Kings of Leon and Slash in slamming "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy for his negative comments about being declined permission to use certain songs on Fox's show. (The Foo Fighters share Sony Music Entertainment as a parent company with "Glee," which releases its albums through Columbia.) "You shouldn't have to do fucking 'Glee,' " Grohl told the Hollywood Reporter.
"Glee"-bashing aside, the Foos have also experienced success at rock radio in recent weeks. "Rope" recently topped Billboard's Alternative chart, giving the group its eighth No. 1. The five-piece is now the first act with Alternative No. 1s in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s. The band also ties U2 for fourth -- most leaders in the chart's history, with only the Red Hot Chili Peppers (11), Linkin Park (10) and Green Day (nine) boasting greater sums.
Video: Foo Fighters, "Rope"
Radio programmers are thrilled to have new music from the rock vets. "This album is great for rock radio," says Matt Pinfield, who hosts the morning show with PD Leslie Fram at alternative WRXP New York. "Rock radio needs the Foo Fighters and the Foo Fighters need rock radio. It's a great relationship."
Fram adds, "You have to realize that most people in alternative radio have been with this band from day one. So for them to be year after year a core band for alternative radio -- and one of our top five core bands -- it's very important that we keep current music from the Foo Fighters on the radio station."
RCA Music Group senior VP of rock music Bill Burrs, who has worked off and on with Grohl since Nirvana's demise in 1994, plans to follow "Rope" with another heavy-hitting rock track. "Normally we'd go rocking into something like a 'Times Like These' or 'Long Road to Ruin,' then come back with another rocking song," he says, noting that the follow-up single is a toss-up among "Bridge Burning," "Walk" or "These Days." "We're going to keep it in the vein of rock'n'roll because that's what this record is really about."
ROUGH FOR ROCK -- AND ALL GENRES
In recent years, rock radio has experienced a decline in listenership. The Nielsen BDS audience totals for the No. 1 song on the Rock Songs chart have dipped from about 15 million-16 million each week in mid-2009 to about 10 million in recent months. Nevertheless, "Rope" is at 15 million on this week's list, the highest sum for a No. 1 on the chart since February 2010.
Looking at the past 10 years, in late 2002, 86 stations were playing the No. 1 song on the Alternative chart; nine years later, there are 61, a drop of 25 that reflects the hefty number of stations that have either all-out switched or tweaked their playlists significantly from a core alternative focus. "A lot of the traditional indicators indicate that rock needs a refresher and is in a bit of a down cycle. What's happening more is that rock music is being consumed in ways that it wasn't consumed before," RCA's Corson says. "Yes, there are less stations playing rock music. And the audience has dwindled because it's moved online a lot."
Since 1994 (the first year for which Nielsen SoundScan still has genre data available on its current site) alternative rock has seen its sales soar from 13.4% of total U.S. album sales to its peak in 2004 when it comprised 20% of all U.S. album sales. Since that year, however, the genre has slid backward. In 2007, alternative rock comprised 17.7% of the album market, rebounding somewhat during the next two years to 18.9% (2008) and 18.2% (2009) before falling to 16.5% (2010) of all U.S. albums.
So far this year, alternative rock accounts for 17.1% of U.S. album sales. In 2010, new rock albums by Kings of Leon ("Come Around Sundown"), My Chemical Romance ("Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys") and Linkin Park ("A Thousand Suns") likely failed to sell as well out of the gate as some in the music business expected for such high-profile bands.
DAVE GROHL SAYS "ROCK'N'ROLL IS IMPERFECTION... IT'A F**KING REAL"
Granted, album sales continue to decline in all musical genres. But, for instance, in the 15 weeks following the release of My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade" (2006), the set had sold 889,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In the same time period in 2010, follow-up "Danger Days" shifted 238,000 units. The trend is similar for the other aforementioned releases. The Foo Fighters' best-selling album, "The Colour and the Shape" (1997), has sold 2.3 million copies, while 2007's "Echoes" has moved nearly 900,000.
But the downturn certainly hasn't dampened the band's spirit, especially since it still does well on the road. In 2008, the Foo Fighters grossed $19.4 million from 42 arena concerts that drew more than 431,000 fans, according to Billboard Boxscore.
And thanks to a hefty album promotion campaign spearheaded by Silva Artist Management (the Foo Fighters are managed by John Silva) and RCA, fans will have plenty of reasons to purchase "Wasting Light." One reason in particular: A limited number of physical copies will include a piece of the master tape used to make the recording, according to RCA Records senior VP of artist development Aaron Borns.
Also: They're embracing digital practices to build awareness for "Wasting Light," which began late last year with Grohl using Twitter to tease fans with photos and news updates about the recording of the album. "That's certainly something we haven't had in the past," Borns says, adding that other early digital strategies included offering brief song clips on the band's website as well as a free ringtone of "Bridge Burning." "The band wanted to be more engaged with the fans earlier this time."
In addition to a TV partnership starting in April with ESPN to feature Foos tracks "I Should Have Known," "These Days," "Rope" and "Walk," the group has synch placements in the works for a couple of upcoming films, though Borns declined to reveal specifics. But in an effort to further engage the band's younger demographic, it partnered with Fuse for a contest that allows fans to submit their own videos for each of the 11 songs on "Wasting Light." In the week following the album's release, a special program will air on Fuse to debut the self-made clips.
Grohl acknowledges that the Foo Fighters' fans have changed during the band's 16-year career, and that younger, more tech-savvy listeners are coming onboard each day.
"Our relationship with our fans is different now than it was 15 years ago, because the range in age is really wide," he says. "I'll look down and see kids that are 8 years old with Foo Fighters shirts on singing every word, and then I'll see their 65-year-old mustached dad with a beer sitting a couple seats above them."
Grohl adds that "Wasting Light" is the last Foo Fighters album owed to RCA under the band's contract, though the label declined to comment on its contractual status with its artists. "Our deal is up," Grohl says, noting that the band technically makes albums under Roswell ("Which I'm the fucking president of," he says) and hasn't yet discussed where its next album will be released. "We haven't seriously talked about it. But they're great people that I loved working with for a long time."
For now, Grohl isn't worried about the business side of his music, he's relishing every moment at the forefront of what some believe is a dying genre. "To me, rock'n'roll is analog. Rock'n'roll is imperfection," he says. "Rock'n'roll is musicians onstage who aren't pretty and don't sing perfectly. They get a little drunk and don't sound like the record. And they don't have computers behind them fucking playing things for them. To me, rock'n'roll is fucking real. It's alive and well."
Source: Billboard.com | Mitchell Peters, L.A. | March 25, 2011 12:56 EDT
Friday, March 25, 2011
|Michael Becker/ FOX|
The stakes are always high on "American Idol," but when Top 11 week rolls around, there's an added layer of pressure. Why? Because everyone knows that the next-best prize to winning is up for grabs -- make the top 10, and you get to go on tour.
This season, Top 11 week also happened to be to the one in which the "Idol" hopefuls took on the Motown catalog -- a theme known for giving "Idol" fans so many memorable performances, from Kelly Clarkson's "You're All I Need to Get By" to Adam Lambert's "Tracks of My Tears." As Seacrest tells us at the beginning of the show, the Motown legacy runs deep. Over 400 songs from its catalog have charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and over 50 of those were No. 1 hits. (Thanks for the shout out, Ryan!)
So, did the top 11 live up to the massive hits they chose to sing tonight and prove they deserve to go on the road? Let's take a look.
Song: Marvin Gaye, "Heard It Through the Grapevine"
Steven said: "I think you are the perfect entertainer. Perfect pitch and perfect mix of crazy-ass, out of control ego. That's what makes an artist today."
Jennifer said: "People already know who Casey is, that's such an incredible thing. You might be, like, the guy right now. You can really carve out a niche for yourself and be amazing."
Randy said: "You know what's so perfect about you? You can only do you, and that you is great."
We say: According to Steven Tyler's formula, Casey Abrams is the new Kanye West. I don't know about all that, but like Ye, Casey has certainly taken a few creative risks for better or worse. Last week's Nirvana performance, which I am still trying to scrub from my brain? Worse. Tonight? Better. This week Casey Abrams focused on one goal, and that was to harness his unrivaled energy and the "screamy-screechy" sound that's divided the folks watching at home. He succeeded at this mission with a Marvin Gaye classic, until his very last note. Glory, it was not. But Casey will be safe tomorrow, of course, because the judges clearly l-o-v-e him.
Song: Martha and the Vandellas, "(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave"
Steven said: You've taken a step out, I love it. I'm good with it.
Jennifer said: "It was great to see you let loose like that -- now I know you got it in you."
Randy said: "I know I've been a little tough on you the last couple of weeks -- although I still feel you can dig deeper and take more vocal chances, I'm happy to see you move up a notch tonight with something different."
We say: Well, look at Thia Megia, strutting her stuff! (Tentatively, but still.) After weeks of languorous ballads, Thia finally went uptempo and showed off a bit of personality onstage. Unfortunately, she flubbed the lyrics a bit -- the judges may not have called her out on it, but that doesn't mean it never happened -- and in the midst of all that dancing, she forgot to sing her best. With so many other contestants bringing their A-game tonight, she could be in trouble.
Song: Marvin Gaye and Tammi Tarrell, "You're All I Need"
Steven said: "You held it back, you milked it, and at the very end it just was beautiful."
Jennifer said: "You made us beg for those notes. We were like, 'Give it to us Jacob, give it to us!'"
Randy said: "You know what was wrong with that performance, guys? Absolutely nothing!"
We say: Mentor Jimmy Iovine gave Jacob Lusk some fantastic advice this week, telling him that all of his vocal runs, while great, could lose their "specialness" if repeated too often. "Use that power when it's justified in a song," he counseled. Jacob clearly listened, because this was his most thoughtful, nuanced performance yet, and I went from being a reluctant admirer to a borderline fan. Yes, folks: Jacob could... go... all... the... way.
Song: The Supremes, "You Keep Me Hangin' On"
Steven said: "You ripped that song another beauty mark, didn't ya? Every time you sing, I can hear that person we've been watching grow every time come out a little bit more."
Jennifer said: "You know what I loved about this performance? You, like, threw your neck and your head into it. It was, like, so much attitude! It was a really good job."
Randy said: "She's now got her swagger on high, dude -- she's ready!"
We say: Lauren Alaina showed that's she's a little bit country, rock 'n' roll,and soul with her best performance of the competition so far. She also held back on the personality quirks a bit, which was much appreciated after last week's face-mask strangeness (clearly prompted by delirious flu symptoms). Lauren is still not quite ending up in my top 3 after a performance night, but I'm rooting for her to get there, and I bet she will soon.
Song: Lionel Richie, "Hello"
Steven said: "You wrapped up too soon, but your voice is so beautiful. You just gotta pull back a little bit and you'll have it."
Jennifer said: "I don't want the intensity to come from you wanting to do well. I want the intensity to come from, your heart is breaking." (Editor's note: Is this the best "Idol" critique ever? Possibly.)
Randy said: "The only thing you're missing that connection. You've definitely got the pipes."
We say: "Idol" history can't be ignored: David Cook gave an unforgettable performance of "Hello" in season 7, and it would be tough for anyone, Stefano Langone included, to match that moment. Though his vocals were still pitch-perfect, Stefano's emotional connection was lacking, and the judges rightfully pointed it out. Even more troublesome, though, was the fact that he didn't quite seem to understand their critique. If he can't take the feedback, he might be forced to get his a** out the kitchen. Just saying!
Song: The Miracles, "You've Really Got a Hold On Me"
Steven said: "You don't look a day over fabulous. That's the Haley I've been looking for since the first time I heard you..with that [rock star yelp], that growl you got."
Jennifer said: "You have that effortless control in your voice. You can do anything with your voice, probably more than anybody in the competition."
Randy said: "This is exactly he kind of singer that we always thought that you were. I'm just happy to see you return to that form, yo."
We say: Jimmy Iovine told Haley Reinhart to perform like she's "got nothing to lose," and she did just that, singing the heck out of a Smokey Robinson classic. Still, not all the stylistic dots were connecting, and not everyone at home loves Haley's growling as much as Steven does. Given the fact that she's got a history of being in the bottom 3 so far, I'm not sure Haley did enough to escape that tonight.
Song: Stevie Wonder, "For Once in My Life"
Steven said: "You took a big chance in doing that, I love that you really ripped it. When you go down on those low notes, man, you tweak everybody."
Jennifer said: "This was a great version of this song' you really made it your own. It wasn't your strongest vocal performance, but every time you hit the low note at the end, you get me all over again."
Randy said: "You are the young lady killer. Dude, that's that young lady killer note!
We say: Everyone was wondering what "Idol's" resident country boy would do on Motown night, and I have to say that Scotty McCreery did a fine job making Stevie's song his own, but not turning it into a "lounge singer" performance as Jimmy Iovine feared. The more he's onstage, the more comfortable Scotty looks. Plus, the judges are all gaga for his lowest register, and Randy's even coined a name for it that Cee-Lo Green would be proud of. At this point, Scotty's as safe as it gets.
Song: Stevie Wonder, "All in Love Is Fair"
Steven said: "I think that right now you are the closest star in this American Idol universe. You are all that."
Jennifer said: "You can have a career like Celine Dion -- Celine gets on that stage, and she owns that stage. She walks all over that stage, she stomps that stage. Now I need you to start incorporating that other part, that other dynamic to your performance. You're gonna have to do a two-hour concert one day."
Randy said: "What I love is that you think of the note and you hit it just dead on -- if i have one criticism: gimme a midtempo, gimme an uptempo, I know you can do it. You can't live by ballads alone."
We say: Another great critique by Jennifer Lopez that said it all: Pia was born with the pipes, and now she needs to command the "Idol" stage with more than just her voice and beauty. She gets a 10 for difficulty, and I liked her more than ever tonight -- it was the first time that I really believed she could win the competition. But there are other contestants who seem to be singing more from their hearts, and that's got to catch up with her at some point.
Song: The Miracles' "Track of My Tears"
Steven said: "I love what you did with the guitar today. It's just great."
Jennifer said: "You're the most seasoned performer we have. You're kinda the complete package. All you need is a good producer, and there you go!"
Randy said: "You kind of took it to a cool, kind of Paul, kind of Rod Stewarty, sorta kinda place. When you sing tender, at the very end? Oh my god, dude."
We say: What's it going to take for the judges to go negative on Paul McDonald? Yes, he's laidback and confident -- and yes, that smile is hard not to zone in on -- but with the level of talent surrounding him tonight, it's pretty clear that he's one of the weakest links in this top 11 pool. If tomorrow's bottom three is made up of all girls and no Paul yet again, America will have gotten it wrong.
Song: Martha and the Vandellas, "Dancing in the Street"
Steven said: "It was E to the Z, ooh, tweedly dee! Once again, we see the whole package."
Jennifer said: "I'm gonna be totally honest, it was my first little goosebumps of the night! You got the goosies, you got the goosieees."
Randy said: "Finally, tonight, all of Naima showed up. Everything was very smart tonight that you did, so I appreciate that."
We say: Naima Adedapo, you're so much better at African dance than hip-hop dance -- stick to that! As for singing, this is another case of a contestant bringing their best when it counted the most. Naima picked the right song for her limited range (relative to her peers), and made sure to hit her notes. For that, she just might manage to escape the bottom three this week.
Song: Stevie Wonder, "Living in the City"
Steven said: "I think sometimes it takes a little bit of being crazy to make a difference in this world, and that's what you're all about. The song was perfect for your voice and you nailed it."
Jennifer said: "It's just an incredible thing to watch, honestly. You leave me speechless."
Randy said: "When it started it was a little bit rough for me -- by the end of the song you were unbelievable. By the time you turned on the whole car, I was like, 'Yes.'"
We say: The judges are getting a little carried away with their praise. Randy hinted at this in his feedback, but James Durbin's performance was all kinds of pitchy in the beginning. Yes, he pulled it together at the end, but it was far from a breakthrough moment, and it won't give his detractors any more reason to change their mind. The pimp spot comes with high expectations, and unfortunately James didn't quite deliver.
Final verdict: If it was based solely on tonight, I'd be calling Thia Megia, Paul McDonald and Stefano Langone for the bottom three. Unfortunately, the girls have been getting the shaft this season yet again, and so I'm guessing Stefano will be in the clear, while Haley Reinhart will end up in the bottom and ultimately go home. If America votes right, though, Paul will be packing his bags.
What do you think: will another girl be voted off tomorrow, or is it Paul's time to go? And who was your favorite contestant tonight? Let me know in the comments.
(Check back with Billboard after every "American Idol" performance night for our recap and predictions, and follow us on Twitter @billboarddotcom for our live blow-by-blow of each episode.)
Source: Billboard.com | Monica Herrera, N.Y. | March 23, 2011 11:55 EDT
For contestants on American Idol, having their dreams of being the Idol winner dashed by being eliminated stings enough, but it’s compounded when they’re eliminated right before making it into the top 10. To come that close to being able to hit the road on the Idols live summer tour…ouch.
Season 10′s wildly popular soul man Casey Abrams almost suffered such a fate on last night’s results show. The 20-year-old, who’s known for his big voice and risk-taking performances, received the lowest amount of votes and found himself singing for his life in hopes of snagging the judges’ save.
Before Casey even got halfway through his performance of “I Don’t Need No Doctor,” the judges stopped him. “We know who you are…we don’t need to hear you sing anymore,” Randy Jackson said. Steven Tyler chimed in with the decision: “This is crazy. We made the decision to keep you on.”
A visibly surprised and emotional Casey couldn’t believe the judges’ sole save was used on him. “Are you kidding…I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Oh my God,” he said as he hugged each judge.
“I thought that if someone got cut tonight, they wouldn’t use the save, because there’s 11 people,” an almost tongue-tied Casey explained to Ryan Seacrest.
While the use of the save obviously meant the judges love what Casey brings to the show, it came with some stern advice. “Get back to being the musician that you are. No more antics,” said Jennifer Lopez. “You deserve to be here.”
The news — and the surprises — got even better from there. Idol made the unprecedented decision to allow all 11 finalists to tour this summer.
The top 11 will perform again next Wednesday, with two contestants saying goodbye on Thursday’s results show.
Source: Neonlimelight.com | TJ
|Getty Images | INFphoto.com|
From his early jaw-dropping, buzzed-about performances to Tuesday's (Mar. 22) "Good Morning America" debacle, Chris Brown's music career and his personal life have seen more highs and lows than a rollercoaster.
In fact, there have been so many triumphs and tragedies in Brown's time in the spotlight, it's hard to keep them all straight. Luckily, you have us to help jar your memory. Relive Brown's biggest moments -- from his breathtaking debut album to his highly scrutinized video apology, from his buzzed-about Michael Jackson tribute performance at the BET Awards to his recent sexting scandal -- and tell us where you think the talented and troubled R&B icon is headed next.
|ABC | INFphoto.com|
Source: Billboard Staff | March 23, 2011 11:40 EDT