The Week In Music: Donny & Marie Are A Little Bit Christmas
This holiday season you can catch Donny and Marie Osmond gracing the Broadway stage together for the first time in "Donny & Marie — A Broadway Christmas." The siblings will perform a string of 12 performances at the Marriott Marquis Theatre in New York beginning on Dec. 9, featuring a set ripe with their favorite hits and holiday songs, and maybe one bad apple. We're hoping for a little bit of country, a little bit of rock and roll and a whole lotta Christmas.
Also looking to spice up the holidays, female vocal trio Wilson Phillips has returned with Christmas In Harmony, an album featuring the girls' rich harmonies on seasonal favorites such as "Little Drummer Boy," "Silent Night," "The Christmas Song," and "Winter Wonderland," among others. It marks WP's first new album since their 2004 all-covers album California, as well as their first collaboration with GRAMMY-winning producer Glen Ballard since their 1990 self-titled debut, which spawned a trio of No. 1 hits: "Hold On," "Release Me" and "You're In Love." Carnie, Chynna and Wendy will spread some cheer during appearances on "Good Morning America" and "The View" this holiday season.
The history of rock band infighting is a rich one: the Kinks' Davies brothers; Oasis' Gallagher brothers; the soap-opera relationships of Fleetwood Mac; and, oh yes, the falling out of that little songwriting team known as Lennon and McCartney. But a band that's been together for nearly 50 years? Obviously, that takes a lot of mutual respect. Or not. In his new autobiography Life, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards describes vocalist Mick Jagger as "unbearable," and says they've been estranged as friends for decades. If you want to know just what makes Jagger so hard to live with, you'll have to buy the book, but meanwhile you may view your next Stones concert through a different lens. Get off of my cloud indeed.
He liked it. He put a ring on it? Is a baby on the way? According to an US Weekly report, Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z are expecting their first child. It's too early to determine the baby's sex, but we'd like to throw out a few name suggestions anyway. Baby Boy, Naughty Girl, Destiny's Child, Diva, and of course…Sasha Fierce. But before we get ahead of ourselves, Beyoncé's mother Tina Knowles has denied the report. "The truth is that it's not Beyoncé that's pregnant. It's me," Knowles said during an interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." She quickly retracted the statement, saying, "I'm kidding y'all. I'm 56. No, no it's not true [about Beyoncé]. Not right now." The good news is Mama Knowles says that when her diva daughter does become pregnant, she'll be thrilled. For now, we'll keep that Sasha Fierce name suggestion in our back pocket.
Taylor Swift's Speak Now will be released on Oct. 25 and reviews are pointing to this being the songstress' most personal work yet. A handful of songs appear to be aimed at some of the men who took liberties with young Taylor's heart, including ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas and Kanye West. "Dear John" is speculated to be a direct letter to John Mayer, with whom Swift had a brief relationship and performed a duet on his song "Half Of My Heart." Lyrics include "Don't you think I was too young to be messed with," and "Don't you think 19's too young/To be played/By your dark, twisted games/When I loved you so." Asked about the song, Swift told People, "A lot of times when people's relationships end, they write an e-mail to that person and say everything that they wish they would have said. A lot of times they don't push send." It would appear Taylor hit "send" and "record."
Speaking of Kanye, he's had his mouth full of late. He visited "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Oct. 18 to discuss his new short film Runaway, his upcoming album and, yes, the Taylor Swift incident. He also took the opportunity to unveil his new diamond-encrusted row of bottom teeth. "I just thought the diamonds were cooler," said West. We ain't sayin' he's a diamond digger….
Though she hasn't really gone anywhere, Ke$ha is back. The tik-toking blonde will release a new album, Cannibal, on Nov. 22, and feels she is on to something big. "I feel like I'm creating this hopefully very youthful and irreverent movement of the kids, of, like, adolescence," said Ke$ha in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "I feel like the parents don't get it, but the kids get it." Though it appears some critics may not be getting it. In response to a review that was critical of her voice, Ke$ha said modestly, "I accidentally read a review, and it was really positive, but at the end it said, 'We don't really know if she has the best voice.' Which is bulls**t. That's the one thing I'm most confident about. I don't have the best body in the world, but I know for a fact that I have a really good voice." Meanwhile, you can view Ke$ha and her body on the latest issue of Seventeen.
Not one to sugarcoat his feelings, Sir Elton John — an avid music fan who for years has bought nearly every new release the day it came out — may be curtailing his purchases given his recent commentary on the state of music. "Songwriters today are pretty awful," John told Britain's Radio Times magazine on Oct. 19. In disparaging music-related shows such as "American Idol," John said, "I'm not a fan of talent shows. I probably wouldn't have lasted if I'd gone on one. I was asked to judge 'American Idol.' I couldn't do it because I won't slag anyone off." John described television in general as "boring [and] arse-paralysingly brain crippling." Don't shoot him, he's just a piano player with opinions.
Following the announcement of Justin Bieber's new nail polish line, our favorite California gurl Katy Perry has followed suit. The Katy Perry for OPI collection will be available in January, and will offer four teenage-dreamlike shades: Teenage Dream (pink glitter), Not Like The Movies (silver), Last Friday Night (shimmering bright blue), and The One That Got Away (dark purple). Also included will be a top coat, Black Shatter, which will create the illusion of a cracked leopard-print canvas when painted on top of a dry undercoat. Who will be the next artist in line to vie for nail polish market supremacy? As you ponder that thought, check out Billboard's top 10 list of wacky pop star products.
Kings Of Leon frontman Caleb Followill put his chops to more good use on Oct. 17 when he starred as a guest judge on "Iron Chef America." Offering up his thoughts on Iron Chef Michael Symon's veal and tuna roulade dish, the Southern-bred singer said, "I thought it looked beautiful. Maybe could've used a little bit of salt, but I thought it was great." Followill must have fancied the next dish (pancetta-wrapped veal with lobster) more as he asked Chef Symon, "Is it okay if we eat it all?" Chef Symon responded, "Absolutely. I would never leave halfway through your show." We're still waiting to hear if Followill will pursue a worldwide tour in support of his band's recent release, Come Around Sundown, or if he'll take a break to appear on "The Next Food Network Star."
Before Kurt Cobain and his grungy cohorts took over mainstream popular music in 1991, Nelson was riding high in 1990 with the release of their debut album, After The Rain. Led by Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, the twin sons of actor/musician Ricky Nelson, the group invaded MTV on the strength of the twins' flowing blond locks, pinup looks and catchy hooks, scoring two Top 10 hits with the album's title track and "(Can't Live Without Your) Love And Affection." Two decades later, the now-shorn Nelson twins will resurface with a sequel album, Lightning Strikes Twice, on Nov. 5. "Lightning Strikes Twice has allowed us creatively, artistically and musically to resolve some unfinished business," said Gunnar Nelson. Will chart-success strike twice for Nelson? After such a long hiatus from the charts, the forecast is murky.
Far East Movement's "Like A G6," featuring the Cataracs and Dev, is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 while Taylor Swift's "Mean" is No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart.
Any news we've missed? Comment below.