The Week In Music: Justin Bieber, The Next Barbie?
It's Oct. 1 and the holidays are around the corner so it may be time to start thinking about a special gift for that special someone. We realize that holiday shopping can be difficult so we're happy to make our first official recommendation of the season: the new line of Justin Bieber dolls. Scheduled to hit retailers in early December, the Music Video Collection of Bieberfied figures will play 30-second clips of hits "Baby" and "One Less Lonely Girl" and showcase his signature looks from the song's music videos, including accoutrements such as a microphone, green hoodie and guitar. But wait, there's more. Another cuddly set, the JB Style Collection, features Bieber dressed in "street style," "awards style" and "red-carpet style" looks. The JB Style Collection will retail for $17.99, while the Music Video Collection will retail for $27.99 so it might be wise to start saving now and jockeying for an early position in line at a toy store near you.
In most parts of the country, a citizen has to be 21 or over to legally engage in activities such as consuming alcoholic beverages and driving a rental car. Luckily neither of these activities were among the criteria for Billboard's 21 Under 21: Music's Hottest Minors list. The untamable Miley Cyrus placed at No. 10, followed by Lady Gaga cover boy Greyson Chance (No. 9), JoBros touring mate Demi Lovato (No. 8), 9-year-old, whipped-hair fanatic Willow Smith (No. 7), and an administration-less Nick Jonas (No. 6). Coming in at No. 5 was tattooed 20-year-old Soulja Boy, followed by "Glee" star Charice (No. 4), Selena Gomez of the Scene (No. 3), and TWIM star Justin Bieber (No. 2). The list proved to be another chapter in the fairytale of GRAMMY winner Taylor Swift, who landed the crown of No. 1 music minor.
President Barack Obama is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone. Aside from discussing politics, the two-time GRAMMY winner also talked music in the issue's feature. "My iPod now has about 2,000 songs, and it is a source of great pleasure to me," said Obama. "There's still a lot of Stevie Wonder, a lot of Bob Dylan, a lot of Rolling Stones, a lot of R&B, a lot of Miles Davis and John Coltrane." Showing even more diversity, Obama cited a growing interest for rap. "My rap palate has greatly improved. Jay-Z used to be sort of what predominated, but now I've got a little Nas and a little Lil Wayne…but I would not claim to be an expert." Finally, the president dropped some words to remember for anyone, regardless of political affiliation. "Music is still a great source of joy and occasional solace in the midst of what can be some difficult days," said Obama.
Just what the world needs, another guitar solo list. Gibson's list of top 50 guitar solos would seem to come from a credible source. Rounding out the most magnificent examples of fretboard wizardry were Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" (David Gilmour) at No. 5; the Eagles' "Hotel California" (Don Felder, Joe Walsh) at No. 4; Jimi Hendrix Experience's "All Along The Watchtower" (Jimi Hendrix) at No. 3; Van Halen's "Eruption" (Eddie Van Halen) at No. 2; and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" (Jimmy Page) at No. 1. The iconic guitar company did not discriminate with their choices as Hendrix and Van Halen did not play Gibson guitars on their respective songs. In related six-string news, Gibson announced the latest addition to its storied arsenal of instruments, the Chad Kroeger "Blackwater" Les Paul, designed personally by the Nickelback frontman and surely perfect for strumming while hanging around "This Afternoon."
In record-breaking/travel news, German musician Vicente Patiz performed concerts in eight separate countries within a span of 24 hours, eclipsing the previous record of six held by guitarist Jeff Aug. Patiz started out in Oberhausen, Germany, before trekking to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, and Austria. The concerts were performed for between 20 and 100 attendees and lasted up to 90 minutes. "The concerts weren't all held at sociable times," said Patiz. "It was a bit difficult to get the Swiss to come to a concert first thing on Sunday morning." Note to future would-be record setters: Concerts in Switzerland should begin at more sociable times. The new record is due to be submitted to Guinness World Records.
A beacon for starving artists everywhere, Edward Pimentel of Albuquerque, N.M., took home 1 million Russian dumplings at the Karaoke World Championships, held Sept. 23–25 in Moscow. Pimentel performed what must have been a tasty rendition of Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" to claim the audience favorite prize, which would last him approximately 27.4 years if he consumes 100 dumplings a day. The winners of the karaoke competition were Finland natives Sam Moudden (men's) and Maria Saarimaa-Ylitalo (women's), who had to settle for their very own karaoke machines.
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has been busy in the world of social networking lately as he lent all 10 of his fingers and nails to score the soundtrack for The Social Network, an upcoming film that recounts the formation, and darker side, of social media giant Facebook. A savvy Facebook user himself, Reznor offered thoughtful tidbits on the social network medium in an interview with Mashable. "I watch people, friends of mine, and see how they portray themselves online and I find [it] interesting that it's kind of a hyper-real version of yourself," said Reznor. "And I question the generation or two coming up who are used to engaging people in that format and wonder what the repercussions will be down the road."
Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are" tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a second straight week while Britney Spears' "Toxic (Glee Cast Version)" holds the No. 1 spot on the iTunes singles chart.
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