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Archive for November, 2012

Tuesday Tunes: Spotlight on Pitbull

Album_ArtworkPitbull might work hard as a Miami multi-hyphenate – he’s involved in vodka, fast food and, uh, energy strip businesses – but when it comes to music, it’s all about the play time.

It’s hard to believe that “Global Warming” is his seventh album since 2004, after getting his start with Atlanta’s Lil Jon and stomping a large footprint in the Spanish hip-hop genre. Not much has changed in his repertoire, for better or for worse.

While there is nothing particularly memorable on the album, chockablock with guest stars and curious samples, its songs are destined for longevity in disco ball havens and aerobics classes worldwide.

At times, Pitbull deftly melds his Cuban roots with slick synthesizers, coming up with an engaging club banger such as “Don’t Stop the Party” or the “Macarena”-sampling title track.

Other times, he essentially remixes an old song (i.e., Mickey and Sylvia’s “Love is Strange” on “Back in Time”) or relies on a tedious beat to …

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Clapton announces tour, including Atlanta stop

Clapton performed at Gwinnett Arena in 2010. Photo: Robb D. Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

Clapton performed at Gwinnett Arena in 2010. Photo: Robb D. Cohen/www.robbsphotos.com

[I'm on with my rock 'n' roll pal Kaedy Kiely at 97.1 The River every Wednesday at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. to talk about the latest rock news. Tune in to hear what's up!]

Eric Clapton has announced a spring tour that will bring him through the Arena at Gwinnett Center at 7:30 p.m. March 27. Tickets are $55-$95 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 30.

The U.S. outing will wrap April 12-13 at Madison Square Garden with Clapton’s fourth Crossroads Guitar Festival, spotlighting a dazzling array of talent including Jeff Beck, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Buddy Guy, Keb Mo and Jonny Lang.

The rest of the dates, though, will feature Clapton’s long-time band members Doyle Bramhall II (guitar), Steve Jordan (drums), Chris Stainton (keyboards) and Willie Weeks (bass), along with new recruits Paul Carrack (organ/keys) and Greg Leisz (pedal steel guitar). Michelle John and Sharon White will take the stage as …

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Some highs and lows from the AMAs

Dick Clark's presence will always be felt at the AMAs. All photos: Getty Images

Dick Clark's presence will always be felt at the AMAs. All photos: Getty Images

The big moment at the 40th anniversary of the American Music Awards wasn’t when Justin Bieber won his third award of the night, making him the top winner, or when David Guetta won the inaugural Favorite Artist Electronic Dance Music Award and gleefully accepted via video from Brazil, where he is on tour.

What was your favorite moment of the AMAs?

  • Justin Bieber winning three awards
  • Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Dick Clark
  • Psy dancing with M.C. Hammer
  • Pink’s performance of “Try”
  • Other (comment below)

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No, a highlight for those of us who have watched the AMAs throughout the year was Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Dick Clark, the man who created the awards show, became a bonafide media icon and, as we certainly know, a hero to Ryan Seacrest, who introduced Wonder’s performance.

While it wasn’t an elaborate homage, it was, appropriately, focused on …

Continue reading Some highs and lows from the AMAs »

Vote for your favorite AMA performance so far

Kesha performs. It's hard to find words. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kesha performs. It's hard to find words. Photo credit: Getty Images

Since the AMAs are pretty much the People’s Choice Award of music – a nice tchotchke for the bookshelf, but not an award that carries much prestige, like, say, a Grammy – it doesn’t really matter who wins what.

Who has had the best AMA performance so far?

  • No Doubt, “Looking Hot”
  • Kesha, “Die Young”
  • Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”
  • Kelly Clarkson medley
  • Usher medley

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If you are keeping track, Taylor Swift scored Favorite Female Country Artist (and has gotten SO much better at not making that faux-surprised face when her name is announced as the winner); Nicki Minaj looked annoyed when called up as the victor for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album; Linkin Park scored their fifth win in the Favorite Alternative Rock Artist category; and Favorite Soul/R&B Artist went to Usher, his eighth career AMA. He apparently said many things that required a bleep out …

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Usher, Bieber make early appearances at American Music Awards

Usher donned some cool ruby red slippers that you can't see in this photo. Credit: Getty Images

Usher donned some cool ruby red slippers that you can't see in this photo. Credit: Getty Images

The 40th annual American Music Awards might be taking place in Los Angeles, but there was a healthy dose of Atlanta early in the show.

Usher, up for three of the fan-voted awards, opened the telecast sporting black leather and red boots and rolled through a medley of “Numb,” “Climax” and “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.” The singer, looking a little more beefily muscular than usual, seemed to mostly be singing live (painfully obvious during his run down a treadmill while singing) except when engaging in a fleet-footed routine. An assault of laser lights nearly took him and his troupe of dancers out at the end, but a breathless Usher kept his cool.

Moments later, Dunwoody’s ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest – does this guy ever nap? – moved closer to becoming the next Dick Clark and announced the winner of Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist: Justin Bieber.

The sometimes-Atlantan …

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Madonna flaunts her assets at Philips Arena

Madonna still has sass. Photo: Robb D. Cohen/ www.RobbsPhotos.com

Madonna still has sass. Photo: Robb D. Cohen/ www.RobbsPhotos.com

Overheard in the ladies room near the end of the Madonna show: “She used to be good. Now she’s just so…weird.”

That one of the most polarizing figures in pop music history is being classified as unconventional is hardly news. Madonna became Madonna not because of her limited vocal ability or creative dance moves – she did it based on an unparalleled ability to provoke, a shrewd business mind and smart songwriting collaborations that helped her create dozens of ageless pop nuggets.

Now she’s 54, keenly aware that she won’t be able to perform a two-hour equivalent of a Broadway spectacle nearly nightly for six months – this “MDNA” tour launched overseas in May and wraps Tuesday after two nights in Miami – or that stripping down to a black bra and underwear, as she did toward the end of Saturday’s Philips Arena show, isn’t going to be met with catcalls and cheers for her impressively taut …

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Rick Springfield is experiencing an affair of the art

"Songs for the End of the World" is Springfield's 18th studio album. Photo: Jay Gilbert

"Songs for the End of the World" is Springfield's 18th studio album. Photo: Jay Gilbert

[I'm on with my rock 'n' roll pal Kaedy Kiely at 97.1 The River every Wednesday at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. to talk about the latest rock news. Tune in to hear what's up!]

Rick Springfield is pretty sure that when he dies, “Jessie’s Girl” will be playing at his funeral.

“Sort of like ‘Thanks for the Memories,’ or something,” he said with a laugh.

Though the simple pop song from 1981 about coveting your neighbor’s girl will always shadow Springfield’s career – all talk show appearances invariably include a “Jessie’s” sighting – he isn’t bitter that his past tends to overshadow his present.

But his present is something worth paying attention to, particularly his recently released “Songs for the End of the World,” his 18th studio album and most melodically cohesive work since 1999’s “Karma” album and most lyrically challenging since 1988’s “Rock of …

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Concerts: Madonna, Trey Songz, Asia, War

Trey Songz at the Fox TheatreR&B star Trey Songz plays the Fox Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 17. Photo: Raymond Hagans

SATURDAY
Madonna
She used to be the one who brought the underground into the mainstream, but in recent years Madonna has seemed like more of a follower than a trendsetter. But nothing can take away her long list of accomplishments, including her 2008 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and her huge catalog of memorable and massive hits. Her many compilations demonstrate that a lot of fans think of her as a singles artist, but there are hidden gems on her albums. The best ones begin with the words “Like a” — 1984’s “Like a Virgin” and 1989’s “Like a Prayer.”
8 p.m. Nov. 17. $49-$355. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive, Atlanta. 404-878-3000, www.philipsarena.com.

Trey Songz
His fifth album, “Chapter V, ” was released in August, but R&B singer Songz could have made a career being the name after “featuring” on many hit singles and popular tracks. …

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Bon Jovi hitting the big screen

JBJ, still reaching for the stars after all these years. Photo: Courtesy Fathom Events

JBJ, still reaching for the stars after all these years. Photo: Courtesy Fathom Events

[I'm on with my rock 'n' roll pal Kaedy Kiely at 97.1 The River every Wednesday at 6:50 and 7:50 a.m. to talk about the latest rock news. Tune in to hear what's up!]

Bon Jovi is the latest rock band to bring its live show to the movie screen.

On Nov. 27, “Bon Jovi Inside Out” will play in hundreds of theaters nationwide, including Regal Northpoint 8, Regal Perimeter Pointe, Regal Hollywood 24, AMC Barrett Commons 24, AMC Discover Mills 18 and Merchant’s Walk Stadium Cinemas 12.

The one-night-only showing will feature the band playing hits picked by fans and recorded earlier at London’s O2 Arena, New Meadowlands Stadium and Madison Square Garden.

The event is also expected to include a live broadcast from Times Square so the guys can talk up their 2013 tour and album, and also engage in an interactive Q&A session. No word if Jon Bon Jovi’s inclusion will be affected by his recent …

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Stevie Wonder to pay tribute to Dick Clark at AMAs

Stevie Wonder is no stranger to the AMAs. Photo: Courtesy AMAs

Stevie Wonder is no stranger to the AMAs. Photo: Courtesy AMAs

Stevie Wonder will salute Dick Clark on Sunday’s American Music Awards, performing a tribute to the media icon, who died in April.

The AMAs were Clark’s baby, created in 1973 to compete with the Grammy Awards, and Wonder received the Favorite Soul/R&B Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Single award for “Superstition” at the inaugural telecast. Since then, Wonder has won nine AMAs. Ryan Seacrest will also be on hand to introduce the tribute performance.

Sunday’s show is the 40th anniversary of the awards and will also offer performances from Usher, Justin Bieber, No Doubt, Carrie Underwood, Pink, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj, Kelly Clarkson and others.

The telecast kicks off at 8 p.m. on ABC, but first, a pre-show will stream live 5 p.m. at http://www.youtube.com/awardsshownetwork. Jason Derulo is expected to perform, while Mr. “Gangnam Style” himself, Psy, will be named the AMAs New Media Honoree.

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