Category: Album & Concert Reviews


Lana Del Rey - "Summer Wine" Video

Lana Del Rey has never downplayed her affection for Nancy Sinatra — you might remember she called herself a “self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra” back in the “Video Games” days. Now, out of nowhere, she’s covering a song Nancy made famous with Lee Hazelwood in 1967. LDR’s “Summer Wine” clip comes only weeks after her version of Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” and like that cover, this one is pretty damn faithful to the original. Also like that song, this one has no compelling reason to exist, but doesn’t make the world a more horrible place, either. The vid itself is filmed on a Super 8 (or some equivalent vintage equipment), and like everything else in the visual world today, looks like an Instagram product. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1OEron4rXfk

 

 

http://bit.ly/17C06S9

national mistaken for strangers

Here’s the trailer for the new documentary about The NationalMistaken For Strangers, which premieres Wednesday, April 17th at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival (via Pitchfork).

The film was directed by Tom Berninger, brother to the band’s frontman Matt, and follows the Brooklyn outfit on their globe-trotting tour behind 2010′s High Violet.

“When my brother asked me along on tour as a roadie, I thought I might as well bring a camera to film the experience,” Tom explains in the film’s press release. “What started as a pretty modest tour documentary has, over the last two and a half years, grown into something much more personal, and hopefully more entertaining.”

The film’s premiere on Wednesday night will be followed by a special performance by the band. For more information, including ticketing, consult the festival’s official site.

Meanwhile, The National’s new album Trouble Will Find Me is due out May 21st via 4AD, and features Sufjan StevensSt. Vincent’s Annie Clark, and Sharon Van Etten, among others. Pre-order now.

coachella 2013

Coachella will stream a number of this weekend’s sets live on YouTube, including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phoenix, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Postal Service, How to Destroy Angels, Grinderman, Vampire Weekend, New Order, The xx, Tame Impala, James Blake, Father John Misty, Bat For Lashes, Beach House, Hot Chip, Descendents, Portugal. the Man, Janelle Monáe, Passion Pit, Local Natives, Japandroids, Purity Ring, Jessie Ware, and Palma Violets, among others.

Update: Blur, The Stone Roses, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wu-Tang Clan (!), Modest Mouse, Spiritualized, Franz Ferdinand, Justin Vernon’s blues rock side-project The Shouting Matches, Cloud Nothings, have all been added to the webcast schedule. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1102cHR

Check out full schedule below (note: all times in PDT).

Friday, April 12th:
03:30 – Jake Bugg
03:30 – Stars
03:30 – Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra
04:15 – Johnny Marr
04:30 – Beardyman
04:35 – Divine Fits
05:10 – Alt-J
05:20 – Metric
05:20 – Polica
06:10 – Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry
06:10 – Passion Pit
06:25 – Palma Violets
07:00 – Japandroids
07:00 – Local Natives
07:25 – Jello Biafra
07:50 – Sparks
07:50 – Of Monsters and Men
08:30 – Metric (Encore)
08:40 – Beach House
09:00 – Modest Mouse
09:30 – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
09:45 – Purity Ring
10:10 – Grinderman
10:20 – Blur
10:35 – Infected Mushroom
11:15 – Jurassic 5
11:25 – Foals
11:40 – The Stone Roses (Highlights)
12:10 – Tegan & Sara
12:10 – How to Destroy Angels
12:15 – Earl Sweatshirt

Saturday, April 13th:
03:30 – Mona
03:30 – Baauer
03:35 – Dropkick Murphys
04:15 – The Shouting Matches
04:25 – Ben Howard
04:45 – The Selecter
05:10 – Bat For Lashes
05:15 – Cafe Tacvba
05:45 – Biffy Clyro
06:05 – Puscifer
06:10 – Allen Stone
06:35 – Violent Femmes
06:55 – Portugal. the Man
07:00 – Major Lazer
07:45 – Grizzly Bear
07:45 – Bassnectar (Highlights)
08:00 – Yeasayer
08:20 – Benny Benassi
08:35 – Hot Chip
09:00 – Spiritualized
09:30 – The Postal Service
09:55 – Moby
10:00 – Descendents
10:30 – The xx
10:45 – Janelle Monae
10:55 – Two Door Cinema Club
11:35 – Phoenix
11:35 – Knife Party
11:45 – New Order

Sunday, April 14th:
03:30 – Smith Westerns
03:30 – DIIV
03:30 – The Gaslight Anthem
04:20 – Cloud Nothings
04:30 – Jessie Ware
04:30 – The Airborne Toxic Event
05:15 – The Lumineers
05:30 – Tanlines
06:05 – Social Distortion
06:10 – James Blake
06:20 – Paul Oakenfold
07:00 – Tame Impala
07:40 – Father John Misty
07:40 – Simian Mobile Disco
08:00 – Vampire Weekend
08:30 – Franz Ferdinand
08:50 – Pretty Lights (Highlights)
08:50 – OMD
09:20 – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
09:20 – Wu-Tang Clan
09:45 – The Faint
10:10 – Dinosaur Jr.
10:20 – Red Hot Chili Peppers
10:40 – Eric Prydz
11:00 – Dead Can Dance

* = PST.

 

Not a Downer: Tool's Adam Jones Talks 'Opiate' Reissue, New Material

Tool’s Adam Jones / Photo by Tim Cadiente

The alt-metal guitarist looks back on the band’s first release, and drops some hints about upcoming efforts

“I grew up with double-gatefold vinyl, and I didn’t use the cover for cleaning my pot,” deadpansTool guitarist Adam Jones — who incidentally doesn’t smoke weed — about why album art still matters to him. “The visual element is something we’re losing. I think our society is going into a forced minimalist period and people don’t care.”

The more pressing subject, though, is the limited-edition, art-jacked 21st-anniversary reissue ofOpiate, his band’s swelling, heavy debut release. For an outfit that has gone to painstaking lengths to impress its fans with eye-popping visuals, including the lenticular jewel case for their 1996 album Ænima and stereoscopic goggles for 2006’s 10,000 Days, the group’s guitarist-art director isn’t holding back this time. The reissue will feature new illustrations by Iron Man artist Adi Granov and innovative packaging designed by Mackie Osborne, Jones’s friend (and the wife of Melvins frontman King Buzzo). Tool have prepared five different versions of the artwork for the reissue (out March 26), limited to 5,000 copies total, and each will contain new artwork to view with the 10,000 Days goggles.

When the EP came out in 1992, those genre-defying sounds fit right in with L.A.’s nascent alt-metal scene, which at the time included Jane’s Addiction, Rage Against the Machine, Rollins Band and comedy rockers Green JellöOpiate‘s “Hush” addressed issues of the time like censorship, while the masturbation-themed “Part of Me” foreshadowed future Tool gross-outs like “Stinkfist.” The raw live recording of “Jerk-Off,” which the band recorded at the loft where Green Jellö lived, and the seductively hypnotic title cut revealed the band’s taste for early Swans and hardcore punk. The six-song collection was an extreme sampling of what the band would offer in the coming two decades. Read more here: http://go.spin.com/16Gkgcj

The salt-and-pepper-haired six-stringer, 48, spoke to Kory Grow for spin.com from his home, where he was spending a day “being a bum,” as he recovers from a marathon music-writing session for Tool’s new album.

This is the 21st anniversary edition of Opiate. Why did you skip the 20th?
We talked about doing it when it was the 20-year anniversary, but we were sort of un-serious. Then when the 21st anniversary came up, we considered it. Lately, we’ve been trying to write music and not doing any other projects that distract us.

Why did you decide to update the original release’s artwork?
When we did the art for the original, we did it so fast. The record company was giving us input about what sells and what doesn’t, and we tried to ignore it. It’s nice to update it. It still features the image of the priest from the original. There are more ideas developed around it instead of just this one guy. I feel like Spielberg or Lucas updating their movies. It’s me thanking the fans, giving them something special.

The new artwork features illustrations by Iron Man artist Adi Granov. How did you hook with him?
He sent me a Facebook request, and I accepted it. He’s a huge Tool fan and I’m a huge fan of his artwork. He does this very uncanny perspective that looks like it’s done with a computer but it’s not. Originally we talked about doing comics projects together. I’ve been developing comics ideas, and we’ll get to that when I finish the Tool record and he gets through his big workload. But when the Opiate thing came up, he said he would absolutely do it. I sent him some really quick, crappy sketches, because that’s all you need to push someone like him in the right direction. And he did an amazing job. He’s just the bomb. I can’t wait for our fans to see it and hope everyone appreciates it.

What went through your mind when you listened to Opiate again?
A lot of things. I’m proud of what we did. We worked hard, and it’s this little photograph or postcard from that time. It’s like a time machine.

What songs stood out to you most?
The live tracks, “Cold and Ugly” and “Jerk-Off,” which we don’t play anymore. I kind of miss them. Something else that stood out were the themes of Opiate and the way all the songs lead to [the title track]. It’s more the feeling of the record that hit me. It’s hard to describe.

You recorded the live songs at Green Jellö’s loft. What was that show like?
It was so strange. We wanted to record some live songs, so we rented a mobile truck, which is so funny these days because you can set up a laptop and do a better job. The mobile truck had all these spidering, webby cables stretching into a two-story loft. It was kind of chaotic. And there were just lots of problems with people who came. They were too drunk. You can hear this total idiot who climbed up into the rafters, and nobody could get to him, and he was heckling us with a bullhorn. So you hear Maynard make the comment about a dreadlocked idiot. [Sighs] Overall, the performances were really good. In the press, I’ve read that it was the first time we ever played, but it wasn’t. We were signed. We were recording Opiate. I think we were hungry and we really wanted to bleed and chew glass to get a good performance captured. I was very happy when I heard what we did.

In past interviews, you’ve said the songs on Opiate were your hardest-hitting tracks at the time. You also seemed a little ambivalent about how that cast Tool as a “metal band.” 
I feel then and now that we are metal. But we’re not traditional cookie-cutter metal, so we’ve always had trouble with people on the marketing side of the fence trying to push our band in different ways. Every time we did interviews back then, journalists wanted to compare us to Biohazard or some other band. And we’d just go, “Well, I think it’s kind of different.” So it’s hard.

The title track has popped up often in your live sets. You’ve collaborated with a lot of people over the years on that song in concert. Do any particular performances stand out?
We’ve always had songs we could pull someone into. We wrote “Bottom” [for Undertow] and asked Henry Rollins to do a little spoken word in the middle. It would have been nice to have someone during the “Opiate” thing. Instead, we’ve had everybody that we’ve possibly run into play drums during the middle of it, or do spoken word, play a solo. Zach De La Rocha did a cool spoken-word section one time. And Heitham Al-Sayed from Senser did a really cool, little Arabic thing one time. We’ve been very fortunate to have our peers and people we really respect come up and contribute.

On that note, what did you think of Limp Bizkit’s “Opiate” cover?
It’s great being appreciated by anybody; be it some band that has much different tastes than yours or a band with a different approach. I heard it once. I thought it was cool.

Since you just finished this Opiate reissue, how does it compare to the Tool record you’re working on now?
We’re older guys now. The band has changed drastically. We’re very distant people now and have our own lives. It’s always been like that. It’s been a collective perspective even from the start, but now it’s much more diverse. And I’m not saying that’s bad. It’s just different. So writing is a different perspective now. It’s taken a little longer. And besides that, we’ve had a couple major setbacks that we’re recovering from. I’m calling March “March Madness” because I’ve been really trying to kick ass and focus on this thing and get it to a point where we’re all happy. I really love those guys. And people grow and they change; it’s just like a relationship. You just have to compromise and respect each other. It’s just like life. It’s like anything else. That’s where it’s at.

 

Blur 10 Best Songs

Jim Dyson, Getty Images

During the great Britpop War of the Mid ’90s, only two bands were left standing after all the broken records were cleared from the battlefield: Oasis and Blur. Many assumed that Oasis would be the victor, based on their bigger commercial success in the U.S., but it turns out that Blur is the most durable of the two groups. While Oasis’ two perpetually feuding Gallagher brothers front separate but equally unremarkable bands these days, Blur frontman Damon Albarn has racked up an impressive list of credits over the past decade, including forming Gorillaz, producing R&B legend Bobby Womack and releasing ambitious, if not entirely listenable, solo projects. Here’s where it all started for him. Here’s Michael Gallucci from diffuser.fm recently listed 10 best Blur songs. Read more about the list here: http://bit.ly/14OFUwE

Blur Popscene

10

Popscene

From 1992 single

‘Popscene’ was one of Blur’s earliest singles and was supposed to be included on their excellent second album, ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish.’ But it bombed, barely cracking the charts in the U.K., so it was left off the LP. The relatively straightforward alt-rock song slams mindless pop music and the vapid culture it spawns — the very same scene that summarily ignored it. Oh, the irony.

Blur Coffee and TV

9

Coffee & TV

From ’13’ (1999)

The most traditional track on the band’s sixth album features guitarist Graham Coxon singing the verses (Albarn handles the choruses). Much of ’13’ goes lyrically and musically deeper than previous efforts; ‘Coffee & TV’ is one of the few songs that recalls the group’s early singles. The celebrated video, featuring an animated milk carton, is terrific, too.

Blur MOR

8

‘M.O.R.’

From ‘Blur’ (1997)

Blur’s self-titled album from 1997 was their no-frills rock record inspired by American indie groups like Pavement. ‘M.O.R.’ was the last of the four singles released. The song was also heavily inspired by David Bowie‘s ‘Lodger’ album; so much, in fact, that Bowie and collaborator Brian Eno eventually received songwriting credit.

Blur Parklife

7

‘Parklife’

From ‘Parklife’ (1994)

Blur was the most British of the Britpop bands, in both musical approach (they covered almost a century’s worth of styles during their 15 years together) and subject matter (plenty of U.S. fans rushed to whatever the 1994 equivalent to Wikipedia was to figure to out just what they were singing about). The title track to their third album is the most British cut on our list of the Top 10 Blur Songs. Actor Phil Daniels (who was in the 1979 movie ‘Quadrophenia’) narrates the song — about living in middle-class England during the mid ’90s — in a thick cockney accent. Doesn’t get more British than that.

Blur Country House

6

‘Country House’

From ‘The Great Escape’ (1995)

The first single from the band’s fourth album contains one of its catchiest choruses. ‘Country House’ is more drawing of class lines from a group that explored the topic better than any other artist at the time (you sure didn’t get this kinda stuff from Oasis). In the end, it’s essentially social commentary fueled by a massive hook and one of Albarn’s sharpest performances. It was also Blur’s first No. 1 in the U.K.

Blur Beetlebum

5

‘Beetlebum’

From ‘Blur’ (1997)

The first single from the band’s fifth album has nothing to do with the Fab Four — that was Oasis’ territory. Instead, the crawling, near-lethargic ‘Beetlebum’ is about drug use, which explains the hazy, dreamlike vibe. It was Blur’s second No. 1 in the U.K. Still, Albarn does sound a little likeJohn Lennon here.

Blur There's No Other Way

4

‘There’s No Other Way’

From ‘Leisure’ (1991)

The band’s second single (which showed up on their debut album four months later) marked their first Top 10 hit in the U.K. It’s also Blur’s first appearance on the U.S. charts (it reached No. 82). It pretty much set the tone for all the Britpop that followed, even though Blur themselves would abandon it as their records became more adventurous.

Blur She's So High

3

‘She’s So High’

From ‘Leisure’ (1991)

The band’s debut single, like ‘There’s No Other Way’ (see No. 4 on our list of the 10 Best Blur Songs), eventually appeared on their first album. And just like ‘There’s No Other Way,’ it set the template for most of the Britpop that made it onto the U.S. modern rock chart in the ’90s. It’s a bit noisier than most of Blur’s songs (at least until 1997’s “indie rock” album), but it remains one of their most popular tracks.

Blur Girls and Boys

2

‘Girls & Boys’

From ‘Parklife’ (1994)

How else to skewer disposable, repetitive synth-pop and its empty dance culture than with a repetitive synth-pop song that sounds a lot like the real thing? ‘Girls & Boys’ reached No. 59 in the U.S., the band’s second-highest chart placement. (It also reached Top 5 on the modern rock chart and Top 25 on, yep, the dance charts.) It’s one of Blur’s most playful and popular cuts.

Blur Song 2

1

‘Song 2’

From ‘Blur’ (1997)

Barely two minutes long, this blast of guitar-powered ’90s punk (which indeed is the second song on 1997’s self-titled LP) anchors Blur’s fifth album, which was inspired by U.S. indie rock. Albarn’s rousing “woo-hoo!” drives the song, but Coxon’s aggressive (and distorted) riffs aren’t too far behind. ‘Song 2’ may have been pure imitation, but Blur turned their tribute into one of their best and most durable hits. It was also their biggest U.S. single, climbing to No. 55.

Justin Timberlake Proves Streaming Isn't A Death Sentence For Music Sales

Do music subscription services threaten music sales? Not if you ask Justin Timberlake.

John Paul Titlow for readwrite.com wrote that the rise of all-you-can-stream services like Spotify have made some artists nervous about the model’s potential impact on music sales. It’s why bands like Coldplay have delayed the arrival of new albums on Spotify and others, like the Beatles and AC/DC, are holding out all together. Logically, it makes sense: If you make your music available to stream for free, people are less likely to buy it.

Right? Not always. Read more here: http://bit.ly/11gJpZA

Ahead of its release on March 19, Justin Timberlake’s new albumThe 20/20 Experience was streaming in its entirety not just on Spotify and Rdio, but at the iTunes store itself. Anybody who wanted to could quickly and legally access the album for a week. Then it was released. And it became the most pre-ordered album in iTunes history, surging past his record label’s sales expectations by 63%.

It’s good news not just for Timberlake himself, but for the music subscription model that he plans to embrace when MySpace — of which he is part owner — launches its own service later this year.  MySpace will join GoogleAmazon, Beats and God knows who else in entering the digital music subscription market in 2013.

Timberlake’s experience would seem to debunk the thesis that streaming can’t support artists and thus isn’t in their best interests. Indeed, his success will likely make him a poster child for the music subscription revolution as the industry marches toward a future in which music is rented more than it’s owned.

But hold on a second. For one thing, we’re not all Justin Timberlake. The pop megastar released his first solo album over a decade ago, after years of global success as a member of a massively popular boy band. In the same way that Radiohead’s 2007 experiment in “pay-what-you-want” record sales didn’t create a new model that worked for everybody, artists can’t necessarily look to Timberlake for cues about where their careers might be headed.

What The 20/20 Experience launch does show is that subscription services, while not ready to replace paid downloads as a revenue stream for the industry, can be a critical tool for marketing and ultimately driving sales. In time, the revenue available to streaming services may reach more sustainable levels. In the meantime, it’s nice to know the artists who embrace them aren’t shooting themselves in the foot by doing so.

Streaming may have promise, but it’s no silver bullet. The music market’s digital future is going to be a hybrid of approaches, some of which will work better than others in particular circumstances. Timberlake’s success is interesting — meaningful, even — but the way forward still isn’t a simple one.

Photo via Flickr user Edward Kustoff, CC 2.0

 

justin timberlake 20 20 experience

Justin Timberlake’s comeback album, The 20/20 Experience, just shattered all sorts of sales records. According to Billboard, the album moved 968,000 copies in its first week, making for the biggest opening week of 2013. Taylor Swift’s 2012 album Red was the last record to sell as many copies in its opening week.

Not since Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III in June 2008 has a male artist debuted with such numbers. In fact, The 20/20 Experience had the third-biggest debut for a solo male singer ever (!), behind only Usher’s Confessions (2004) and Garth Brooks’ Double Live(1998).

The 20/20 Experience also set an iTunes record for the fattest-selling album worldwide. Read more here: http://bit.ly/Zpi7v2

Yet for all the accolades, Timberlake’s sales number still fell well short of *NSYNC’s album No Strings Attached, which sold nearly 2.5 million copies during its opening week in April 2000.

roger waters israel boycott
Roger Waters wants you to lend him your ears / Photo by Getty Images

Pink Floyd singer convinced Stevie Wonder to cancel gig

In what’s becoming an annual tradition for the curmudgeonly former Pink Floyd frontman, Roger Waters has once again asked his fellow musicians to refrain from performing in Israel. For years, Waters — who is at the forefront of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement — has raged against Israel and its allies over their treatment of Palestine. While Waters initially hoped music would help mollify this ancient turf war, he doesn’t see that happening anytime soon, so instead he’s called upon musicians to boycott the country altogether. “They are running riot and it seems unlikely that running over there and playing the violin will have any lasting effect,” Waters told Electronic Intifada (via Rolling Stone).

This isn’t Waters first time running afoul with the country. Back in 2006, Waters relocated a tour date from Tel Aviv to the small town of Neve Shalom, where Palestinians and Israelis peacefully coexist, to voice his disapproval of the Israelis’ handling of Palestine. He also spray-painted the lyric “We don’t need no thought control” on the Israeli side of the West Bank wall. In 2010, during his tour celebrating The Wall, Waters’ concert projected imagery of Star of Davids morphing into dollar signs and dropped bombs, which drew the ire of the Anti-Defamation League. Then in 2011, Waters asked his fellow musicians to boycott playing Israel until the West Bank barrier came down. While that plea was largely ignored, Waters’ latest effort to get an artistic boycott of Israel going has convinced at least one person to refrain from playing there: Stevie Wonder.

Wonder was scheduled to perform in front of the Israeli Defense Forces this past December, but Waters convinced the singer to cancel his appearance. “I wrote a letter to [Wonder] saying that this would be like playing a police ball in Johannesburg the day after the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. It wouldn’t be a great thing to do, particularly as he was meant to be a UN ambassador for peace,” Waters told Electronic Intifada. “It wasn’t just me. Desmond Tutu also wrote a letter.” Waters  said that he hopes E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who penned the all-star Artists United Against Apartheid‘s protest track “Sun City,” will join him in his crusade.

While Waters is probably pumped that Lollapalooza Israel was canceled, he might be bummed to hear that Barbra Streisand and Alicia Keys have elected to perform in Israel this summer despite BDS pressure. Read more here: http://go.spin.com/YAjTdV

 

Justin Timberlake Manager Johnny Wright on Secret Plans Around ‘20/20 Experience,’ Touring, Myspace,  More

Justin Timberlake has a rare ability to seem to be everywhere without actually being in that many places. In a way, the marketing around his new album, The 20/20 Experience – out on RCA today – has taken a note from the way he managed to keep his solo musical career in the spotlight by not releasing any music of his own for six years: It might seem like he’s ubiquitous, but he’s not. He’s just chosen what he’s doing to promote the album very strategically for maximum impact: Some strategic online marketing; a couple of high-profile branding and radio campaigns; appearances on the Grammy and Brit Awards, “Saturday Night Live” and a week on “Jimmy Fallon”; a few buzz-building concerts; announcing a summer stadium tour with Jay-Z — sure, it’s all big, and it all came within two months. But compared with a lot of other album-release campaigns, it’s much more quality over quantity — and very, very few artists could be so selective and still go so big.

As RCA Records president/COO Tom Corson told Billboard.biz, “While it feels like he is everywhere, he has been going with less-is-more. The looks he has been getting have either been large events or strategic. He hasn’t been doing every TV or print opportunity.”

But perhaps most impressively of all, Timberlake, his management and label kept the entire project — and the marketing campaign around it, exhaustively detailed in this timeline — secret from the public for months. A couple of gossip sites reported that an album was underway, but the reports were denied and word didn’t get out. The fact that David Bowie – who had been largely off the radar for nearly a decade –announced that he’d completed a secret new album a couple of weeks before Timberlake announced his only adds to the skill of the stealth campaign around The 20/20 Experience.

Here, in a phone conversation last week from the set of the Fallon show, Timberlake’s longtime manager Johnny Wright talks at length about how the album came together, how they and RCA planned an international marketing campaign so quietly, the partnerships around the album, Justin’s role with Myspace, touring plans and much more.

Billboard.Biz: When did the planning for The 20/20 Experience really begin?
Johnny Wright: I guess the conversation really started off three years ago, when I thought maybe Justin would be interested in going back into music. We had a general discussion about how, [because] a lot of the physical record sellers were gone, by the time we’ve got music again we need to think about different ways to deliver it. So we started a general conversation about maybe putting an app together, and maybe doing a situation where we [released a song] every month. There were multiple things we actually talked about, but there wasn’t any movement for him to go back into music [at the time].

[Last year], probably around the late part of May/first week in June, he asked me to dinner and he said, “Guess where I’ve been the past couple of nights?” I said I don’t know, where? He said, “I’ve been in the studio with Timbaland.” I said what are you guys working on? And he said, “I’m working on my stuff.” I was kind of shocked because, you know, I wasn’t prepared for that!

Immediately that started the conversation of, “Okay, how are we gonna put it out?” I like to do this thing where we do a countdown clock and then deliver music from it — so what are we gonna deliver? At one point we even talked about having the countdown clock go into streaming the whole album, but then obviously we had to have conversations with the label and partners who wanted to be involved with the release of his music. So we ended up compromising and putting a single out and shortening the window to the album [release], because [usually artists] put the single out then wait three or four months for the album. But we said we really want to do this in a shorter period of time, so let’s put the single out and [release the album] seven or eight weeks after that — make it a short window, and because we have such a short window, we have to make a big impact.


Justin Timberlake and manager Johnny Wright (second from right)


We were lucky that there were some [big] platforms coming up in that window of eight weeks: One of them was the Grammys, so let’s go have a conversation to see if we can perform a song there. Another one was the Brit Awards in the UK, then “Wetten, dass..?” a huge television show in Germany, and then Justin’s relationship with “Saturday Night Live” and “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” As the plan between us started to come together, it was like, instead of doing the single on every one of these performances, why don’t we perform a different song? We figured at some point the album would in some way get out, but we kind of wanted to deliver it to them first in visual way. So when we performed on the Grammys, that was the first live television performance of “Suit & Tie” with Jay-Z, and then we segued into a new record from the album called “Pusher Love Girl.” For the Brit Awards [and Wetten, dass…?”] we performed “Mirrors,” another song off the album. And then when we came back to do “SNL,” we decided to do “Suit & Tie” and because visually no one in America had seen “Mirrors,” so we did that. And knowing that we had five nights on “Fallon,” it was like, let’s deliver a bunch of new records. The theory was that by the time we got to the release of the album, at least half of it would have been performed on major TV platforms.

And then we have relationship with iTunes where we agreed to allow them to stream the album a week before it was released, because again we weren’t afraid of letting people hear the music. We want people to be engaged; this whole album is an experience. And then from a radio perspective we had Clear Channel Radio, CBS, and all of our radio friends that embraced us — Clear Channel is doing what we call a “road block” [within] 24 hours, playing the new single every hour. And now on Monday night, we’re gonna take over 175 radio stations and have a live performance from El Rey in L.A., where Justin is gonna perform a half hour and Ryan Seacrest is gonna do an interview with him.

We have Target and Budweiser, who became a big partner with us, and we created two big TV commercials promoting the album. That gave us a great visibility and they’re the underwriters of the event that we are going to do in L.A. So in a short period of time we were able to have a great relationship with radio, we were able to stream the album, we were able to have a great relationship with iTunes, we were able to have able to have a relationship with a lot of great TV partners being a part of Justin’s career. Everybody basically came to the table and presented an opportunity for us to get a lot done in a short period of time. And it’s been a fun experience. We were very lucky that we had all these opportunities and these partners that wanted to give us these platforms. Read more the interview here: Justin Timberlakes Promotional Run-Up to The 20/20 Experience: A Timeline | Billboard.

 

 

<p>Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience"</p>

Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience

Have you heard of the 800 lb. gorilla? Next week, Justin Timberlake will be the 800,000 lb. gorilla as it looks like “The 20/20 Experience” will sell up to 800,000 copies, making it the fifth biggest debut of the decade.

Sales projections for “20/20” keep increasing. At the beginning of the week, it appeared that his first album in seven years would sell at least 500,000; then the number soared to 750,000 and with two days left until the chart close, it’s at 800,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

At that rate, the title will handily sell more than the rest of the nine titles in Billboard 200 top 10 combined. In fact, no one else looks to even top 50,000 copies.

In addition to Timberlake, the other debuts will be Kacey Musgraves’ excellent “Same Trailer, Different Park” (read our interview with the up-and-comer here) at No. 4, with sales of around 40,000, and an expanded edition of the soundtrack to “Les Miserables” at No. 7.

Otherwise, it looks like Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” will be at No. 2, Luke Bryan’s “Spring Break…Here To Party” at No. 3 and this week’s No. 1, Bon Jovi’s “What About Now” at No. 5.

Pink’s “The Truth About Love” climbs several notches to No. 6 on the strength of her well-received concert tour and her new single with fun.s’ Nate Ruess, “///. Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” is at No. 8,  Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” at No. 9, and Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” at No. 10, according to Hits Daily Double.

David Bowie’s “The Next Day” which bowed at No. 2 this week, likely drops to No. 11 with sales of 21,000-24,000.

In case you’re wondering, the top two biggest debuts of the decade so far belong to Taylor Swift, followed by Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne. Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/news/justin-timberlakes-the-20-20-experience-dominates-next-weeks-billboard-200#zThmwysDedYuoVgE.99

 

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