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Tag: Things We Love (41-50 of 97)

Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: Have we heard it all already?

Kanye-WestImage Credit: George Napolitano/FilmMagic.comEarlier this week, Kanye West‘s forthcoming fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, became available for iTunes presale. Along with that came the unveiling of the album’s track listing. Officially released singles like the defiant “Power” and self deprecating “Runaway” are there. And several songs released through West’s free weekly G.O.O.D. Friday series like the Nicki Minaj-assisted “Monster” and “So Apalled,” which features Jay-Z, also made the cut. Not to mention “Devil in a New Dress” and “See Me Now” with Beyoncé–which he dropped rough versions of this summer. And then on Saturday in his culture-clashing short movie, Runaway, Kanye debuted huge chunks of “Dark Fantasy,” “Gorgeous,” “All of the Lights,” “Hell of a Life,” “Blame Game,” and “Lost in the World.” Add all of those up and that’s the entire album.

Bummed out there won’t be any “new” tracks or surprises when you unwrap the packaging come November 22? You shouldn’t be. For one thing, Kanye’s only given us two whole finished tracks that we can probably expect to remain as they are on the album: “Power” and “Runaway.” The cuts featured on Runaway function more so as abbreviated songs to score the movie. We never even heard him rap on “Blame Game”–just John Legend’s crooning over keys. As for the G.O.O.D. Friday gems, Kanye laughed at the idea that those were finished when he leaked them in an interview with MTV after the movie’s premier. “Even though the track listing [is out],” he started, “People, they think that they’ve heard these songs. No, the have not heard these songs.”

And let’s not forget that Kanye is known for adding songs and creating new mixes of tracks at the 25th hour. When his debut album, The College Dropout, was almost entirely leaked by hackers early in 2004, he went back in the studio to best the bootleggers and thirsty bloggers, adding new instruments and drum patterns to it before it had to be submitted to his record label. And just as Graduation, his third album, was due in the summer of 2007 he cranked out “Flashing Lights.” So who’s to say that what we’ve heard is it?

As they do with all pre-ordered albums, iTunes warns on Kanye’s that “the pre-order contents listed here are subject to change without notice and the final product received may differ.” In this case, I expect exactly that.

Do you feel like Kanye spoiled the album for you? Or do expect a couple a new nuggets in your Fantasy meal? Let us know in the comments section.

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

More on the Music Mix:
Kid Rock on Steven Tyler’s ‘American Idol’ judgeship: ‘I think it’s the stupidest thing he’s ever done’
Sugarland leads this week’s Billboard 200 albums chart
Taylor Swift’s ‘Speak Now’ on track for year’s biggest sales week
Kanye West and Jay-Z are making a full album together

Co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will perform at CMA awards

Carrie-UnderwoodImage Credit: Monty Brinton/CBSGiddyup! Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Sugarland and George Strait have been announced as performers at the 44th Annual CMA Awards, which will air live Nov. 10 on ABC from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Also throwing their hats in the air are previously announced performers Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley. Look for a special performance by the Zac Brown Band with Alan Jackson. Paisley and Taylor Swift are looking for repeat wins as Male and Female Vocalist of the Year honors.

Read more:

Miranda Lambert leads CMA nominations with 9

Why do the CMAs keep snubbing Carrie Underwood for Entertainer of the Year?

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' soundtrack: Star Charlie Day explains why listening to the show's music is like 'huffing paint through your ears'

Charlie-Day There aren’t many shows that would hype a soundtrack with the slogan, “It’s like huffing glue through your ears.” Then again, there aren’t many—or any—shows like It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the boozy, anarchic sitcom whose sixth season debuts tonight on FX and whose first collection of featured music was released earlier this month. “That was not my idea,” says Charlie Day, who co-created the show and essays the role of the unhinged, and paint-huffing, “Charlie.” “But I wish I could take credit, and I do imagine you will get a similar sensation when you listen to it.”

The soundtrack rounds up the soothing muzak that punctuates and somehow perfectly complements the show’s mayhem. How did the It’s Always Sunny… team come up with the idea to mix easy listening vibes with their characters’ hard living ways? “The original pilot took place in Los Angeles,” explains Day. “All the characters were actors and we had this sort of ‘cha-cha’ version of ‘Hooray for Hollywood.’ FX loved the show, but wanted to take it out of the entertainment industry. We had a music supervisor called Ray Espinola and we said, ‘Give us everything you have in a sort of Leave It to Beaver with a big band-swing kind of feel,’ and the majority of the songs are from what he sent over. When you set it against what these characters were doing—which often times can be perceived as quite despicable, or wrong—it really disarmed the audience. It just became our go-to library of songs.”

The soundtrack includes the show’s theme tune, “Temptation Sensation” by Heinz Kiessling—a number whose excitable, suggestive title could not be more at odds with its mellifluous nature. “Yeah, it’s much more a title for a pornographic film,” laughs Day. “Some of these have the most bizarre titles for what they are: ‘Hotsy-Totsy,’ ‘Honey Bunch.’ We were leaning towards ‘Off Broadway’ to be the theme song. But John Landgraf, the president of the network, really liked ‘Temptation Sensation’ and he put his foot down. Now I’m happy it’s the theme tune. But it is an odd title.”

Tragically not included on the soundtrack are any songs from the show’s berserk rock opera “The Nightman Cometh.” Day acknowledges is an omission that is bound to disappoint many members of the sitcom’s rabid fan base. “The fans really love the original music from the show and I’d love to sit down and record some of it and give it to them,” he says.  “That must be done!”

Those who need reminding of quite why that must be done should check out the clip after the break, where you’ll also find a soothing slice of “Temptation Sensation.”

Are you tempted to buy the soundtrack? Or disappointed by the absence of “Day Man” and the rest of the homegrown Sunny tunes?


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.


Lady Gaga announces title of her upcoming new album during VMA speech, steals show

Lady-Gaga-Glee-VMAs_320.jpg Image Credit: Vince Bucci/PictureGroup/MTV Lady Gaga made good on a promise to fans to announce the name of her next album in her speech if she won Video of the Year: In accepting the award for “Bad Romance” (from Cher! who was wearing her “If I Could Turn Back Time” spiderweb/thong getup! gays, rejoice!) she not only dropped the title — Born This Way – but also sang a few bars. And between her amazing non-Auto-Tuned voice (sorry, Kanye) and her great throwaway line (“I never thought I’d be asking Cher to hold my meat purse”), she calmly, classily stole the show, just by being Gaga. No actual speech-stealing required. (Again, sorry, Kanye.)

What did you think of the impromptu sneak-peek at Born This Way, Music Mixers?

Ne-Yo updates Michael Jackson's 'The Way You Make Me Feel' video in new 'One in a Million' clip: Watch here

ne-yoIt’s a few beats slower than Micheal Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel,” but Ne-Yo‘s new video for “One in a Million” recalls the gloved one’s 1987 girl-chasing clip. Instead of following a vixen through an alley in the middle of the night with a posse of dancing goons, Ne-Yo and a gang of gentlemen prance through city streets clean in shirts, slacks, and wingtips.

Ne-Yo, a self-described M.J. fanatic, does a wonderful job being true to himself without turning this into a corny carbon copy. I can see Jackson’s influence. But there’s no crotch-grabbing plagiarism. The smooth mid-tempo cut is the third single from the singer/songwriter’s forthcoming album, Libra Scale. Check out the video to see if Ne-Yo’s charming ways, wizardry, and smooth steps actually win the girl over after the jump.


Ryan Bingham's 'Hallelujah' video: Watch an exclusive premiere on the Music Mix!

ryan-binghamCrazy Heart Oscar winner Ryan Bingham’s new album Junky Star is already an EW-Approved Must List™ Item. Now we’re proud to premiere this video for one of the most gut-wrenchingly beautiful songs on the album, “Hallelujah.”

Bingham’s demolished voice tells the tale of a man shot in a mugging by someone he mistook for a friend. I called it “desperately hopeful” in my review: the narrator is dying, praying for one more chance in life, praying for a chance at angelic redemption, then more or less deciding he’s probably not gonna get either of those things. “Hallelujah,” he sings, “is just a song.” That line kills me. Given the canonical status of a certain Leonard Cohen tune, you may not think you are able to love another song called “Hallelujah,” but that’s what growing up is all about: opening your heart to the world and letting it surprise you. Or something.

This video comes from an acoustic series called “Bingham Bootlegs”; you can watch the first video, “Depression,” here. (He’ll also be performing that tune on Letterman tonight.) Click through the jump for the “Hallelujah” bootleg, check out the full band version on Bingham’s MySpace, and leave your thoughts in the comments.


Brandon Flowers' solo show in NYC: A killer night

Brandon-FlowersWho needs the rest of The Killers anyway? All joking aside—The Killers are great!—the band’s frontman Brandon Flowers, who announced in April that he was going out on his own, appeared without his bandmates last night at NYC’s Highline Ballroom and quickly proved that the solo thing suits him very well, thank you very much.

The thing that was most stunning about Flowers’ show was just how much the crowd was with him, even though he’s only officially released one track from his upcoming album, Flamingo. The second song of the evening, single “Crossfire,” had pretty much the entire crowd singing along rapturously (maybe because it’s really all most people know so far?)—and that was even without an appearance by Charlize Theron, who memorably pops up in the song’s video.

Brandon’s big moment, however, came a bit later in the under-an-hour set, when he covered “Bette Davis Eyes,” which Jackie DeShannon originated in 1974 before Kim Carnes made it a hit in 1981. (Watch a bootleg clip from an earlier show of Flowers’ version of “Bette Davis Eyes.”) The singular synth melody at the beginning opened it beautifully, and then Flowers owned it with his vocals, too. Maybe this cover will make the album? We can hope. Another highlight of the night was “Magdalena,” a folksy yet danceable track that has Flowers wailing throughout.

Overall, the show felt right for Flowers because of his stage presence—he was believable, very into what he was doing, and (see his Santa Fe-inspired vest above) completely adorable, especially with his new military-inspired crew cut. He just seemed joyful, and that bled immediately into the crowd, including yours truly.

Are you all pumped to hear what Flowers has cooking for the rest of his solo debut? Can he make it without the rest of The Killers behind him? All signs point to yes, but let me know what you think in the comments below.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.

More news from’s Music Mix:
Katy Perry performs on ‘Today': Did you like her rendition of ‘California Gurls’?
Taylor Swift tells EW about new album ‘Speak Now': ‘I’ve covered every emotion I’ve felt in the last two years.’
What’s the ultimate song of summer 2010? Vote in our official poll
Bruce Springsteen: Six-disc ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ details
Eminem leads Billboard Hot 100 chart again
Wyclef Jean records song to protest Haiti presidency disqualification
Russell Simmons speaks out in support of ‘Ground Zero mosque’

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' soundtrack to be released September 1: Ta-da, ta-da, ta-da-daah-daah-daah...

sunny_philadelphiaImage Credit: Michael Becker/FXThe Extreme Music label announced today that that it will release the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia soundtrack on September 1. The CD will feature 19 tracks. The bulk of those numbers, including the show’s smooth muzak theme tune “Temptation Sensation,” are performed by the Heinz Kiessling Orchestra. Having already today admitted my inability to speak Haitian Creole, I might as well ‘fess up that that I know precious little about either the apparently late Heinz Kiessling, or his orchestra. However, it seems Kiessling’s music was previously used to soundtrack German sex education shows. Fans of the bawdy It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia will be aware of the appropriateness of that fact.

I’ve embedded the It’s Always Sunny… theme tune after the break. Will you be shelling out for the CD? And are you looking forward to the next season of the FX show (which returns September 16)?


Kanye West to perform at MTV VMAs: How will it go down one year after TaylorGate?

Kanye-West-TaylorImage Credit: Gary Hershorn/ Reuters/ LandovWell, that was quick. Just as fast as Kanye West was ushered out of the building for interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at last year’s VMAs, he’s back.

After months of backlash from his impromptu outburst, MTV has opened their arms and is hailing his forthcoming performance as a “triumphant return,” during which West will likely perform a selection from his  as-yet-untitled November album. The news will be a surprise to many who ideally would expect MTV to punish West for last year’s debacle. But hey, newsflash to all who didn’t know: There are no morals in entertainment. On the heels of releasing his groundbreaking “Power” clip (on MTV, by the way) and surprisingly premiering an unfinished Beyoncé-assisted track yesterday, Kanye’s comeback likely will bring in ridiculously high ratings.

When the awards air September 12 live from Los Angeles, we’ll certainly be tuned in. Swift, who’s also gearing up for the release of her Speak Now album and recently debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard hot 100 chart with the set’s first single “Mine,” probably will be in attendance.

Do you think Kanye will acknowledge last year’s gaff on stage? Since then, he’s personally apologized to the country-pop starlet. But do you expect him to do it again publicly? Do you think MTV will script a skit for the two to comedically act out? Oh, so many questions. Let us know what you think.

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