The Week In Music: It's Magic
You might think it's foolish, but after a two-decade-plus hiatus the mostly original Cars (with a few spare parts) are ready to get things in gear again. According to a Billboard report, lead vocalist Ric Ocasek, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson (sans original bassist Benjamin Orr, who died of cancer in 2000) have been at work on their first studio album in 23 years, and are considering a tour. The band gave fans a taste of what to expect on Oct. 13 when they posted a brief sample of a new song called "Blue Tip." What can we expect from the band that made us want to shake it up in 1981? We're not sure, but it could be just what we needed.
With her penchant for the fashionably outrageous, it's really no surprise that Lady Gaga has emerged as a Halloween costume favorite this year. Her beefy meat dress is leading the charge as a must-have ensemble, though experts say there are some risks involved. "If it's fresh meat, you're going to get blood, juice, all over everything you touch...it's not very hygienic," one butcher told New Jersey's Star-Ledger. Another butcher added, "There's no insulating value at all....if it's a cold Halloween, you're going to freeze. Then there's the cost, which could be $250 or more." These are certainly valid concerns and thankfully there are sanitary alternatives. Retail chain Party City is offering spooky Gaga getups, including two-tone wigs, glasses, gloves, and makeup kits. And the poker-faced poet herself is also selling costume accessories via her own site. Regardless of costume, Halloween is all about tricks, treats and scaring up a little fun. To maximize your holiday experience, check out Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's safety tips and our GRAMMY.com feature on Halloween music.
Speaking of the fame monster, Lady Gaga reached a milestone in hitting 1 billion video views on YouTube alone. Her top five videos with the most views are "Poker Face" (298.5 million), "Just Dance" (124.8 million), "Alejandro" (95.6 million), "Telephone" featuring Beyoncé (89.1 million), and "LoveGame" (57.7 million). LG took time out to thank her "little monsters" via Twitter: "We reached 1 Billion views on youtube little monsters! If we stick together we can do anything. I dub u kings and queens of youtube! Unite!" Lady Gaga is set to unite with another little monster soon, as TWIM favorite Justin Bieber is dancing on the threshold of YouTube legend status with 965 million video views.
In semi-retirement news, Sony announced that its portable Walkman cassette player will be discontinued in Japan. A final batch was shipped to Japanese retailers in April, but once the units are sold the Walkman will be no more. There is good news for consumers in select parts of the world still enjoying their portable music listening via ribbons and plastic, as the Walkman will continue to be offered in the United States, Europe and some Asian countries. The Walkman was first introduced in 1979 in Japan and has sold an estimated 220 million units worldwide.
Fresh off being honored at the GRAMMY Salute To Country Music earlier this month, Loretta Lynn is set to receive the all-star tribute album treatment. Due on Nov. 9, Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute To Loretta Lynn will feature an array of artists paying homage to the first lady of country music, including Kid Rock, Reba McEntire, Allison Moorer, Paramore, Carrie Underwood, and Jack White. "Every word she writes is from the heart and she means it," said White of Lynn, with whom he collaborated on the GRAMMY-winning Van Lear Rose in 2004. "She's the greatest female singer/songwriter of the 20th century."
New directions could be on the horizon for U2 with reports of the band collaborating with Mr. "Crazy" himself, Danger Mouse. According to Bono, the band has several tracks in the works with the producer, widely known for his role as half of pop/soul duo Gnarls Barkley. "We have about 12 songs with him," said Bono. "At the moment that looks like the album we will put out next because it's just happening so easily." No Danger Mouse, that doesn't make you crazy. Bono also revealed the band is working on a "club" remix album involving collaborations with David Guetta, Lady Gaga, RedOne, and will.i.am.
Think you have enough metal in your kitchen? Think again. Now you can mix up some extra heavy metal meals with Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes And Mayhem From The Heavyweights Of Heavy Metal, a new cookbook from Steve "Buckshot" Seabury due out on Nov. 16…just in time for your Thanksgiving feast. The hard-rocking cooking guide features a compilation of more than 100 recipes from more than 150 rock and roll culinary artists, including Lita Ford, Megadeth, former Pantera bassist Rex Brown, and Type O Negative. We're hoping none of these recipes will call for ingredients that make your stomach turn…like the heads of bats. (Sorry, Ozzy.)
Health-conscious Madonna fans and gym enthusiasts alike will soon be able to pump some iron at the pop star's very own fitness center. Hard Candy Fitness, a partnership between Madonna, her manager and New Evolution Ventures, is scheduled to open its first location in a high-end neighborhood of Mexico City on Nov. 29, with plans to open in 10 additional locations, including Argentina, Asia, Brazil, Europe, and Russia. The singer has no plans to open a fitness center in the United States, but she will be present at the opening ceremony in Mexico City. Get ready to get physical, material-girl style.
Far East Movement's "Like A G6," featuring the Cataracs and Dev, is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a second week, while Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" is No. 1 on the iTunes singles chart.
Any news we've missed? Comment below.