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Lollapalooza 2013 Day 3: The Cure charm, Phoenix finish strong, and Baroness and Palma Violets burn the rest to the ground

If the first day of Lollapalooza was all about connecting past and future, and the second was a referendum on country in rock, the theme of Sunday was, “Man, there certainly was a lot of music this weekend.” Freed from the confines of a vague narrative (either constructed by the producers or grafted upon it by media types), the third and final day in Chicago’s Grant Park  was simply about finding something to be passionate about and then leaving it all on the field.

A great deal of that passion was reserved for the Cure, who served up a lovely two hours of throwback sadness as one of Sunday night’s headliners. Though his band has already been alt royalty for decades, frontman Robert Smith still draws his charisma from outsider weirdness. And though the Cure’s setlist was aggressively familiar (if you can think of a Cure song right now, they probably played it), it still lent many of their jams some freshness—even Smith himself still seems alarmed at just how sinister the bassline is that lurks underneath “Lullaby.”

He’s charmingly expressive too—during “Friday I’m In Love,” he made a stink face every time the lyrics came around to “Thursday,” as though that part of the week committed some still-unforgivable sin. And though he himself is showing signs of age, his voice remains as powerfully delicate as it did back when he recorded “Boys Don’t Cry,” the band’s first hit and still their encore-closing number.

At the opposite end of the festival grounds, Phoenix provided a Euro alt-dance party for anybody who wasn’t an aging goth romantic. READ FULL STORY

Best and Worst 2012: Carly Rae Jepsen, Taylor Swift, and the other best singles of the year

Carly-Rae-Jepsen

One encouraging trend that ran throughout 2012 was the egalitarian nature of hit singles. Whether you were a Joni Mitchell-loving Canadian Idol survivor, an Australian with a bruised ego, or a bunch of Florida emo survivors high on Queen, the music world fully embraced you as long as your inescapable earworms continuously delivered thrilling results.

Check out EW’s list of the 20 greatest singles of the year below (as they appear in the current issue of EW, which is on newsstands now), and be sure to check out this specially-curated VEVO playlist that takes you through the year that was one glorious pop hook at a time.

BEST

1. Carly Rae Jepsen, ”Call Me Maybe”
Before the countless YouTube lip dubs, the nine weeks at No. 1, and the 1,000th time you heard it at a BBQ, there was just a song: a purple-ink love letter with a tiny voice whispering about wishing wells and ripped jeans like it was a secret she wanted you to keep forever. It might have been the soundtrack of your summer, or you might’ve rolled your eyes at parties but then secretly put it on your workout mix. But every time it played, life sounded just a tiny bit different. Better maybe. Adam Markovitz READ FULL STORY

On the Charts: Matchbox Twenty earn first No. 1, Imagine Dragons take flight, Alicia Keys not yet 'On Fire'

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Straight up, what did you hope to learn about here?

Oh, you wanted some chart news? Well, then you’re in the right place.

Sixteen years after the release of their debut album, Matchbox Twenty earned its first number one album on the Billboard 200 this week. Their latest set, North, sold 95,000 copies in its first seven days. The album’s success is a  testament to the rockers’ loyal fans, considering the disc’s lead single “Shes So Mean” peaked last week at No. 40 on the Hot 100.

The Rob Thomas-led crew formerly found massive success with their 1996 debut Yourself or Someone Like You, which peaked at No. 5 but was certified 12x platinum (oh, the how the music industry has changed…). North won’t likely reach those heights, but the No. 1 spot is still an impressive honor for the nostalgia-fueled act.

Time will tell whether fellow 1990s stalwarts Green Day and No Doubt can match Matchbox Twenty’s resilience, but for now, let’s check out the week’s other chart winners and losers: READ FULL STORY

On the Charts: Maroon 5 takes over, Taylor Swift hits No. 1, Kelly Clarkson stuck on the 'Dark Side'

Maroon 5 have officially accomplished the rare feat of having not one but two singles in the Top 10 of Billboard‘s Hot 100 this week.

Although their smash “Payphone” is on its way down after peaking at No. 2 (this week it dropped from No. 5 to No. 7), their followup “One More Night” has wasted no time ascending the upper tiers of the chart. This week “Night” jumps 15-9, following major gains at radio and 170,000 additional downloads.

The two hit singles are driving album sales for the band’s fourth album Overexposed, which grew 59 percent to 36,000 copies this week — a $3.99 sale on Amazon also boosted sales substantially — and moved from No. 11 to No. 5 on the Billboard 200. The disc has moved 450,000 copies after eight weeks on the chart.

We’ll find out if “One More Night” can climb one spot higher than “Payphone” in the weeks to come, but for now, let’s check out the week’s other chart winners and losers below:

READ FULL STORY

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