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Tag: In the Studio (21-30 of 41)

Coldplay working on first concept album, reteaming with Brian Eno

all-points-west-coldplayImage Credit: Roger Kisby/WireImage.comViva la concept! Coldplay will follow 2008’s Grammy-winning Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends with another album helmed by their own special friend, Roxy Music alum/ambient icon/MGMT inspo Brian Eno—this one, according to frontman Chris Martin, “from the point of view of two people who are a bit lost. Two like-minded outsiders who meet in a very difficult environment and therefore have a journey together.”

“It’s a concept album but it’s supposed to be very personal within a big framework,” Martin told BBC News. “Does that make sense?”

“Brian is the sower of seeds and ideas and experimenting, which is very liberating. Then Markus’s job is to come in after all that’s been done and try and sculpt it into some kind of releasable format,” says Martin. “They’re like a tag team.” (Markus being Vida collaborator Markus Dravs, who also co-produced the recent Arcade Fire and Mumford and Sons records.)

Martin conceded that there had been some false starts: “We spent a year making a lot of noise. You know those things in a fairground where you have bran in a tub and in there are some hidden prizes? That’s sort of where we are at.”

Still, he says, as the songwriting process goes on, his bandmates are his best critics: “I’m so lucky that we have [this] group, in as much as there are a lot of people who don’t like us in the world, but there would be a lot more without this filtering system. Think of the rubbish that doesn’t get out, if you don’t like the stuff that does.”

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Kim Kardashian is making an album

kim-kardashianImage Credit: George Pimentel/Getty ImagesKim Kardashian is famous for a number of reasons, but singing is not particularly one of them. Until now! People reports that the socialite reality star has been busy in the recording studio with The-Dream. According to a top-secret source quoted in the story, “They’re working on some fun music.”

The-Dream is one of the greatest singer-songwriters in contemporary R&B. And hey, who doesn’t like fun music? So I’m withholding all snark for now, at least until we get to hear what Kim K sounds like on record.

But how about you? Do you have any interest in hearing a Kardashian/Dream collab? Sound off in the comments.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Mavis Staples: The legendary singer on her new, Jeff Tweedy-produced CD—and the day Bob Dylan asked for her hand in marriage

Mavis-StaplesThere aren’t many singers who end an interview by asking if their interrogator wants a hug. Actually, in this writer’s experience, there is just one: Mavis Staples.

Yes, Staples, 71, may be more, literally, open-armed than most music legends, but she is 100% deserving of that title nonetheless. The vocalist’s family band, the Staple Singers, first hit the charts way back in 1956 with the gospel track “Uncloudy Day.” In the ’60s the group—which was led by Mavis’ father Pops—hung out with Bob Dylan, and covered Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” In the  ’70s the band scored a string of soul-pop hits, including “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There,” and “Let’s Do It Again”.

The latter track was produced by Curtis Mayfield, who temporarily nudged the Staples Singers away from their usual “message”-based lyrical terrain into more lusty territory. “We got into the studio and Curtis said, ‘Now, Pops, this is your part,'” recalls Staples. “And Curtis sang, ‘Now, I like you, lady…’ Pops said, ‘Curtis, I’m not going to say that. I’m a church man!’ And Curtis said, ‘Oh, Pops, come on, man. The Lord won’t mind!’”

The Staple Singers’ soul-funk grooves, and Mavis Staples’ deep, soulful, vocals, attracted a raft of famous fans. They performed with The Band on the latter’s concert movie The Last Waltz and Prince produced two solo albums for Staples—1989’s Time Waits for No One and 1993’s The Voice.

Pops Staples died in 2000, but his daughter continues to perform—and to attract famous name collaborators. Ry Cooder produced her 2007 set “We’ll Never Turn Back,” while Wilco head honcho, and Staples’ fellow Chicagoan, Jeff Tweedy oversaw her latest collection “You Are Not Alone.” On the CD, which is released today, Staples tackles songs by John Fogerty, Randy Newman, Pops Staples, and two numbers penned by Tweedy, including the title track. She also sings the traditional number “Wonderful Savior”—a song the Wilco frontman made her record in a freezing stairwell. Hey, that’s no way to treat a living legend! “No!” agrees Staples, with a laugh. “I told him, ‘Tweedy, it’s cold out there, this is Chicago!’ We had the coldest winter in I don’t know how many years. It had to be like ten below. And you know this stairwell is even colder. I said, ‘I’m not going out there!’ He said, ‘Someone get Mavis a coat and a hat and a scarf and some gloves! And, Mavis, go out there with the rest of the guys and sing the song!’ So I did. And the song sounded so good, I suggested doing it again, but we had gotten it that first time.”

Of course she had. She’s Mavis Staples!

After the jump, Staples talks about how she came to work with “Tweedy” in the first place—and how she almost became Mrs Robert Zimmerman.


T.I. celebrates box office success with 'Takers,' readies 'King Uncaged'

tiImage Credit: Moises De Pena/WireImage.comT.I.‘s bank heist drama Takers secured a surprise box office victory over The Last Exorcism this weekend after early reports had the horror flick on top. Today the rapper-actor, who starred in and produced Takers, is making sure everyone knows. “I just want to get the word out to people because there has been some misinterpretation and some premature accounts of us being No. 2, but nothing of the sort is anything near being the truth,” T.I. tells the Music Mix via phone. (In the final report, Takers made $20.5 million to The Last Exorcism‘s $20.4.)

T.I. is relishing Takers‘ success even more since it wasn’t a sure thing.  “I’m ambitious by nature,” he says. “I have no other choice but to expect the absolute best for myself and for my business and my endeavors.” Yet he knew that The Last Exorcism was “set in a better position to be No. 1, given that they were showing on nearly 1,000 more screens than we were. But we had a higher per-screen average.”

Now that Takers is officially No. 1, T.I. is thinking about a possible prequel (SPOILER ALERT), “giving a little more backstory on how the crew ran before [his character] Ghost had to go away.”

First, though, he’s getting serious about finishing his next album, King Uncaged, which is still awaiting a final release date. T.I. currently estimates he has “two-three more weeks’ worth of work” left winnowing down the 100-plus new songs he’s recorded for the album. “I gave my word and I promised that after I completely gave my attention to the marketing and release of the film, once I released it to a No. 1 opening and did twenty-plus millions of dollars in box office at the debut — now, starting Monday, man, I am completely consuming myself with the completion of King Uncaged,” he solemnly swears. “And I’ma get it to you, man, A.S.A.P.

Looking forward to King Uncaged? Did you see Takers? Let us know in the comments.

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Justin Bieber and Kanye West possibly to record together: Good idea?

kanye-bieberImage Credit: Kevin Knight/Retna Ltd; Scott Legato/FilmMagicJustin Bieber. Kanye West. Raekwon the Chef. Those might not be three names you ever expected to read in the same sentence. Thanks to Twitter, they seem to be well on their way to forming one of the strangest supergroups in recent memory.

MTV News has a good run-down of how the teen-pop whiz, the cutting-edge rap genius, and the rugged Wu-Tang Clan vet linked up. It all started when Kanye voiced his appreciation for Bieber’s “Runaway Love” on Twitter this past Sunday. Mr. Biebs was duly psyched about this shout-out, and said as much. “So bugged out me and @JustinBieber are tweeting at the same time,” West then reflected. “Social networking is pretty awesome.” West followed this thought with a boldly random suggestion: “Maybe we can do something together. Me, You and Raekwon.” Bieber’s reply: “me, u, and the chef 2gether on a song = EPIC. haha.”

Celeb lovefests on Twitter are a dime a dozen, but Raekwon told XXL last night that a real plan for the trio to record together was already in motion. “It’s definitely gonna happen,” promised Rae. “Yeezy called me and we gon’ make it pop.” Mere minutes ago, Raekwon elaborated on his own Twitter account: “On my way to the airport to nyc to get up wit my legendary @kanyewest! Yall asked for it now we’re gonna deliver!”

We’ll update you as soon as any more solid info emerges. ‘Til then, is this a collaboration you’d like to hear? Are there any people out there who consider themselves fans of both Justin Bieber and Raekwon?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Susan Boyle reportedly planning Christmas album

susan-boyleImage Credit: Daniele Venturelli/Getty ImagesIs Susan Boyle making a Christmas album? According to a report in Billboard citing unnamed “U.S. retail sources,” the Scottish sales phenomenon is currently in the studio recording a Yule-themed set for a potential October release. A spokesperson for Columbia Records confirms that Boyle is in the process of recording her second album, but was unable to confirm whether or not it has anything to do with the holidays.

Boyle’s debut, I Dreamed A Dream, sold more than three million copies in the U.S. in just over a month after being released late last November, making her follow-up a very big deal within the music industry. What do you think of this report? Would you buy a Susan Boyle Christmas album?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Radiohead album coming this year? Maybe, maybe not, says drummer Philip Selway

Phil-SelwayImage Credit: John Shearer/Getty ImagesOne of the biggest mysteries in rock right now is when Radiohead will release their eighth album. Last month, guitarist Ed O’Brien said they were “at the finish line” after working on and off since at least March 2009. O’Brien even suggested, not for the first time, that the highly anticipated follow-up to 2007’s In Rainbows could be out by the end of this year. So when I sat down with Radiohead drummer Philip Selway today to talk about his excellent solo debut, Familial (out Aug. 31), I had to ask him how the band’s new album is coming along. “It’s not finished yet,” Selway replied immediately. “It’s still ongoing. We like where we are so far.”

Selway added that Radiohead’s latest studio sojourns have been “very productive, very creative sessions. You don’t want to start summing them up, though, until you’ve actually finished. I think that’s when you get the real hindsight on it, and the real flavor of actually what went on.” As for that 2010 deadline that O’Brien mentioned? “Oh, I don’t know. We keep on hitting those points where you think, ‘We’re there.’ And then [later] you think, ‘No, it’s not.’ We’re having a break from it at the moment. I’ll be [promoting Familial], and then we’ll come back to it later in the summer and see where we are.”

So there you have it. LP8 may or may not be in your hands by New Year’s (hey, he didn’t deny it), but either way, sounds like things are going well. Anyway, considering the out-of-the-blue surprise release strategy Radiohead employed for In Rainbows, I wouldn’t count on too much advance notice whenever they decide the next one is done. When do you think that day will come? Are you looking forward to the next Radiohead album as eagerly as I am?

Also: Radiohead drummer Philip Selway preps a suprising solo debut: The Music Mix Q&A

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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3OH!3 explore 'Streets of Gold' in the studio: 'We're going full-ahead with the sexism and misogyny'

After extensive touring on the strength of their top 10 hit “Don’t Trust Me,” electro-rap duo 3OH!3 finally got a chance to start working on a follow-up album last month. “Sean [Foreman] and I went up to the mountains in Colorado for 10 days and wrote, like, 15 songs, super-quick,” co-lead vocalist Nathaniel Motte (pictured, right, with Foreman) tells the Music Mix. Next Motte and Foreman headed to L.A., where they’ve been logging studio hours with producers including Dr. Luke (Ke$ha), Benny Blanco (“Don’t Trust Me”), and Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, The Bird and the Bee). By now they’re about 25 potential tunes and counting into their third full-length, which they hope to release this June. While they’re far from done recording, they have settled on a title for the album: Streets of Gold. “It just felt right and big and epic and happy,” Motte explains. “It’s hopefully timeless.”

This is the first time 3OH!3 has had the luxury of staying in the studio for so long. “We recorded our last CD in, like, three and a half weeks, so it was definitely a lot quicker. There’s definitely an advantage to having this much time to refine our stuff. I think I’ve learned a lot as a producer, as a songwriter, and as a beatmaker. Hopefully this stuff is going to sound a lot bigger and more well-rounded…We’ve been doing some classic straight-up electro songs, and then we’ve also been doing some throwback-sounding stuff, some slower stuff, and then some harder rap stuff.”

One thing 3OH!3 don’t plan to do on Streets of Gold is tone down their lyrical style, which has been widely criticized as sexist. (Sample line from “Don’t Trust Me”: “Shush girl, shut your lips/Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips!”) “No,” Motte says with a chortle. “We’re going full-ahead with the sexism and misogyny. We’re trying to blaze new trails.” He laughs again. “Nah, man. I think we still like to write some things that are definitely tongue in cheek and more based on punchlines, poking fun at relationships and whatever. I dunno. I guess I’d have to go through and see if there’s something offensive in there. I actually would hope that there is. You know, it makes it a little funny.”

Sigh. Are you looking forward to 3OH!3’s Streets of Gold, misogyny and all? Sound off in the comments.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Photo credit: Pamela Littky

Radiohead rumor control: Their next album is NOT finished

We Radiohead fans have a way of getting all hyper-ventilate-y every time the slightest shred of news, gossip, or implication slips out regarding our beloved band. (No offense meant. I can say this of Radiohead fans because I most fervently am one.) So when a rumor got out today that the band threw a wrap party in L.A. last weekend to celebrate the completion of their eighth studio album, quite a few people got very excited.

Only one problem: It’s not true. I just asked Radiohead’s publicist whether the band had indeed finished recording LP8. “FALSE,” came the reply within minutes. As for the so-called “wrap party,” their rep couldn’t confirm or deny whether that happened — but if it did, it presumably had nothing to do with completing an album.

Looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer for the new album that guitarist Ed O’Brien promised us in 2010. Oh well. Fellow Radiohead worshippers, you may now return to your regularly scheduled activity of listening for the thousandth time to the unbelievable B-sides from Amnesiac, and I will do the same.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Photo Credit: Kevin Westenberg

Aaron Carter: 'I am back now, here I am' -- a Music Mix interview

Beware, Aaron Carter haters—and there may be a few—the onetime tween pin-up, brother of Backstreet Nick, and recent Dancing with the Stars alum has launched a new stage in his career.

He’s really hoping you’re going to appreciate it.

“I’m back here to make a point when it comes to my abilities, my dancing,” Carter told on the red carpet at Sunday’s 52 annual Grammy Awards in L.A. ” If I am going to talk the talk, I will walk the walk. I’m going to do everything it takes. I’m here – take your best shot at me.”

Carter, 22, who has a single, “Dance with Me,” currently on iTunes with Flo Rida, is in prove-himself mode – or at least advertising it publicly, despite regaining prominence (sort of) last fall, finishing fifth on Dancing with the Stars with partner Karina Smirnoff. He has an independent record label, which he has signed himself to, he says.

“A lot of people didn’t expect that [Flo Rida single],” Carter says. “But he supports me and what I’ve done in my career. That means a lot to me. I have had ups and downs, trials and tribulations, but I’m back in my early 20s, to relive all that success over.”

“I am back now, here I am,” Carter repeated. “I am back at the Grammys, not just for no reason. I’m here because I’m living my dream. Major record labels want to sign me and put me down. They want to bring me here to get their competition here. I’m sick of that happening. I’m sick of sitting around, letting that [happen].”

He added, “This is it for me.”

Carter is reportedly on track to release a CD later this year, his fifth, though is vague on details when pressed. It would be his first record in eight years, after 2002’s Another Earthquake. His most successful was 2000’s Oh Aaron, which went triple platinum.

“I took some time off,” he says of the downtime. “I’m producing it, writing it, I mix it, I master it. I vocal-arrange it. I have my own studio down in Miami. I do it all. I want to be a real artist to consumers. I want to be the real thing for them. There are so many artists out there that don’t play the piano and actually write the lyrics and do it all creatively.”

And that one song, “Let Go,” that was rumored to be about ex-girlfriend Hilary Duff? Well, it is. “Of course, yeah,” Carter says. “I write about my feelings, things that happen in my life and experiences.”

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