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Day in Pop Report for 08/08/2013


Stephen Colbert Spills Daft Punk MTV VMA Secret After Snubbing
(Radio.com) According to a resentful and somewhat vindictive Stephen Colbert: Daft Punk are playing the MTV VMAs. This week, the French electronic duo was supposed to perform their summer song contender "Get Lucky" on The Colbert Report as part of the host's summer music festival, StePhest Colbchella '013. But the band was unable to appear due to a contractual obligation with MTV.

"Here's the story: it's a true story," Colbert explained to the audience. "We booked Click and Clack over here about a month ago. This network is owned by Viacom, which is also the owner of MTV

"… Apparently, Daft Punk are going to make a surprise appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards. Don't tell anyone, because fun fact: no one told me until two hours ago."

Along with Daft Punk's not-so-secret appearance, this year's MTV VMAs, airing August 25, features performances from Kanye West and Lady Gaga, who will debut the first single off her upcoming album, ARTPOP.

But Daft Punk's loss was certainly Robin Thicke's gain. The singer, who just happened to be sitting in the audience, was able to fill in with his own Pharrell-assisted summer hit, "Blurred Lines." For professional and personal reasons, Colbert then crowned the single, the official song of the summer.

Though Daft Punk wasn't actually there to perform "Get Lucky," Colbert enlisted stars like Jeff Bridges, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon and a bearded Jon Stewart (via satellite) to help him throw the ultimate dance party. Watch here.

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Trial Date Set For Sugarland Stage Collapse
(Radio.com) Nearly two years ago, seven people were killed at the Indiana State Fair when the stage collapsed. Country duo Sugarland were about to take the stage on August 13, 2011, when winds of 60 miles per hour forced them to postpone their set. Minutes later the stage fell, injuring dozens and killing seven in attendance.

While the victims have received $11 million in damages, Indianapolis news station WRTV reports that a court date to further investigate the incident has been set for next February.

The trial will decide if Sugarland and the concert production companies at the Indiana State Fair should be held accountable for the stage collapse.

The duo, made up of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, have made several depositions but could be called in for additional testimony before the close of 2013. Several families of the victims have already filed lawsuits against Sugarland, claiming they were negligent in the stage collapse. Find out what the band had to say.

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Robin Thicke Scores First No. 1 Album With Blurred Lines
(Radio.com) It only took six albums and ten years, but Robin Thicke has a No. 1 album. He claimed the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart for the first time this week with his latest, Blurred Lines. The album sold 177,000 copies in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Sales for Blurred Lines were driven by its title track, which is currently in the position to claim Song of the Summer status for 2013 in its ninth week at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

The song has also permeated pop culture, from countless YouTube parodies to a recent Vine gone viral of a woman dancing to the tune in the back of a car.

Thicke has further boosted the song's profile with a cheeky performance with the Roots on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and cranking it out for The Colbert Report after Daft Punk was forced to pull out of a highly publicized booking. more on this story

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Miley Cyrus Reveals Album Title After Hitting Twitter Milestone
Miley Cyrus celebrated hitting the milestone of obtaining 13 million followers on Twitter by revealing to her followers that her new album will be entitled "Bangerz."

Earlier this week Cyrus took to her Twitter account and tweeted, "If you don't know why my record is called BANGERZ you'll know as soon as you hear it. Nothin but #BANGERZ."

Only a few details about the album have been revealed. There is no released date announced yet but we do know that Cyrus recruited Pharrell Williams to produce the album.

"It's just gonna sound like her and her influences, but it's not that hip-hop heavy," Pharrell told MTV News. "That's not what she does, that's not where she comes from. It's a part of what she loves, which is a very big difference."

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The Killers Made Their Label Happy By Recording With M83
(Radio.com) When The Killers even mention that they might be going back into the studio, the Vegas rockers tend to receive a lengthy list of potential producers from their label, Island Records. They typically reject the label's choices, except in the recent case of M83's Anthony Gonzalez.

Chatting backstage at Lollapalooza during New Order's set (essentially the opener to The Killers' headlining slot), guitarist Dave Keuning told Radio.com that Gonzalez was one of the rare names on the list that stood out to them.

"There was a mutual thing like, 'Yeah we think he's good. We'll try him out,'" Keuning said. "It's something we finally agreed with our label on."

So far the band has only recorded one song with the French electronic producer, whose most recent release was the Oblivion soundtrack, as a way to test out the chemistry.

It's an approach the band has taken before, using a producer for only one song on an album. In fact, Keuning said it was how they made their most recent record. "Battle Born was kind of all over the place because we just had so many people we wanted to know who they were and what they were like," he explained.

The Killers teamed up with five different producers including Daniel Lanois (Bob Dylan, Brandon Flowers), Damien Taylor (Bjork), Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam) and Steve Lillywhite for the 2012 release.

"This guy's worked with The Smiths and U2," Keuning said of Lillywhite. "So it's like, 'What is it about him?' So we worked with him a little bit."

Keuning would reveal few details about the new song with Gonzalez, but he did say it's nearly completed. "I think it will be a great single when it comes out," he said. And when can fans expect to hear it?

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Nile Rodgers Talks Gets Lucky and Avicii and Adam Lambert Collab
(Radio.com) Nile Rodgers' status as a bona fide music legend has been long solidified. Starting with his pioneering work in the 1970s producing hits for his band Chic ("Good Times," "Le Freak") and other acts like Sister Sledge ("We Are Family"), his success would stretch through the '80s with groundbreaking albums from such artists as Madonna (Like A Virgin) and David Bowie (Let's Dance).

Now that he's co-written Daft Punk's current smash, "Get Lucky," Nile Rodgers is more in-demand than ever. Rodgers sat down with New York's WCBS-FM (a Radio.com station) today (Aug. 7) to talk about the state of the music industry, and how his Daft Punk collaboration could be the most important track of his illustrious career.

"The growth in the industry is 19 percent this last year, which is huge because now we're approaching numbers that I'm accustomed to, like the numbers I grew up with," Rodgers noted. "I co-wrote–I think it's still the biggest song of the year this year, Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky.' It's not the biggest seller of my life, but it's in a weird way one of the most influential, because it's the only record that I've had that's been No. 1 in 97 countries simultaneously. That's half the countries in the entire world. That was a statistic that I never even knew people kept track of.

"With 'Get Lucky,' we sold a million [copies] in just England alone, which is impossible," Rodgers continued. "I've never sold a million records in England. That's only happened 135 times in history, and some of those records took 25 years to get to that level."

Rodgers, who is currently on the winning side of an ongoing battle with prostate cancer, is making a point to fully enjoy moment of his revived popularity among the music elite, and was particularly excited to discuss "Lay Me Down," a new collaboration with EDM star Avicii and Adam Lambert.

"I'm watching this thing on Twitter, and everybody's going crazy over a joint that honestly, I wrote in two hours," Rodgers explained of the song, which is officially titled "ID (Lay Me Down)." more.

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Songs That Defy Tom Petty's View Country is 'Bad Rock With a Fiddle'
(Radio.com) Tom Petty has a beef with country music. Or, at least, the current state of country, if comments he made to Rolling Stone this week are any indication.

In answering a question about contemporary country music — which during a Beacon Theater show this past May he called "bad rock with a fiddle" — he replies, "I hate to generalize on a whole genre of music," and then proceeds to generalize on a whole genre of music.

Today's country landscape, Petty feels, "does seem to be missing that magic element that it used to have. I don't really see a George Jones or a Buck Owens or any anything that fresh coming up.

"I'm sure there must be somebody doing it, but most of that music reminds me of rock in the middle Eighties where it became incredibly generic and relied on videos."

He then finishes by saying, "I don't want to rail on about country because I don't really know much about it, but that's what it seems like to me."

Since Petty admits he doesn't really "know much about" contemporary country, we figured we'd help him out with a few favorite artists and songs from the last few years.

1. Kacey Musgraves, "Merry Go 'Round": "Merry Go 'Round" is among the strongest, smartest and most forward-thinking songs to hit the country Top Ten in ages. Musgraves makes brave, insightful comments about the world as she sees it, but she does it with warmth and just enough humor that it never feels deprecating.

2. Miranda Lambert, "The House That Built Me": Lambert has a fiery reputation, and she sings plenty of confrontational material ("Gunpower and Lead," anyone?). But for this song, she strips away that exterior puts focus on the power of the melody and words. She didn't write it (Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin did), but she made it her own.

3. Eric Church, "Springsteen": The song title alone makes this at least a curiosity to rock fans, but at its heart "Springsteen" is about the power of memory–how a single song can instantaneously take you back to a specific time and place. See seven more songs.

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Dillon Francis Takes EDM In Sensitive Direction
(Radio.com) Fans might be surprised to know that Dillon Francis' new single, "Without You," is a detailed account of his recent relationship woes. And the truth is, the first time the L.A.-based moombahton DJ and producer heard the song, he was shocked, too.

While in the studio with Orlando Higginbottom, better known as the DJ project Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (TEED for short), Francis started talking about the girl he was dating at the time. "[TEED] kept smoking his cigarettes and I was just telling him about my life being like, 'My girlfriend, I want her to move out of my place, but I don't want her to think it's me breaking up with her, I want her to think it's us moving apart so that we can grow bigger together as a couple,'" Francis told Radio.com while at Lollapalooza over the weekend.

The following day, the two were back in the studio and Francis heard TEED singing a new set of lyrics that sounded a bit too familiar. "He's like, 'I'm singing this about your exact situation right now, I'm actually basing it off everything you told me yesterday," Francis explained. "It was kind of amazing… I've never had a song written about my life, that's why it's so dear to me."

Apparently, his fans are also connecting with the track's we're-breaking-up-but-everything's-going-to-be-fine theme. "A lot of people have been tweeting at me and on Facebook saying, 'I really relate to this, I totally understand what you're saying,'" Francis said, before quickly clarifying. "What he's saying about my relationship."

On Francis' upcoming album, he plans to show more of his sensitive side, revealing that at least four songs on the record will be in the same vein as "Without You," which he says is a "great guide for everybody in a relationship."

Listen to "Without You," released Tuesday (Aug. 6), here.

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JJ Abrams Co Helping Empire Of The Sun Build A Mythology
(Radio.com) "We have lofty ideas." That's what Nick Littlemore of Australian duo Empire Of The Sun tells Radio.com during a recent interview. Those "lofty ideas" include not only a striking visual identity, but also a mythology that runs throughout their songs–albeit one the Australian duo (Littlemore and singer/guitarist Luke Steele) tends to avoid explaining.

"We wanted to do something that just extended your dreams," is how Littlemore explains his and Steele's elaborate costumes, video storylines and overall visual presentation. "We wanted to create something that kids could believe in."

It's fitting, then, that the band has aligned with J.J. Abrams' production company, Bad Robot. Abrams, after all, has enjoyed creating mythologies of his own, most notably in the TV series Lost.

Bad Robot produced "Alive," the group's first video from their new album, Ice On The Dune. "They're starting to branch out into the music world," Steele explains about Bad Robot, "and our recording studio in Santa Monica was just down the road, and we started hanging out a bit. We started working with their screenwriters to help develop the next part of [our] fantasy and journey."

The band's latest release is Ice On The Dune, and Littlemore adds that they could wind up doing as many as five more videos from the album. To him, Abrams' sense of wonder and mystery is one of the reasons he likes to be in business with the filmmaker.

"I loved seeing this TED talk by JJ," says Littlemore. "He's talking about the concept of a 'mystery box' that his uncle gave him for his tenth birthday. It's just a cardboard box – it says if you open this box, everything you ever wanted is going to be inside it. So he's never opened it! It's still on the shelf in his office." How does Elton John and Iron Maiden figure in their vision? Find that out and watch the video.

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Eli Young Band To Perform Live on TV Tomorrow
Country group Eli Young Band will be performing live this Friday on Fox & Friends as part of the Fox New Network's hit morning show's All-American Summer Concert Series.

You can tune in at 8AM/ET this Friday August 9th to watch the Eli Young Band perform some of their hits as well as discuss their summer tour in support of their new hit single "Drunk Last Night".

Fox & Friends hosts a new music artist every Friday during the summer. Next week will feature a performance from Tower of Power and country hit makers Thompson Square will take the outdoor stage in two weeks.

The series will conclude on August 30th with a performance by country star Justin Moore. If you are in the New York City area and would like to watch one of the performances in person, you can find directions and details (including free Famous Dave's BBQ) here.

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Boston Native Sammy Adams Explains Why It's LA Story
(Radio.com) Sammy Adams, the hunk of burning love behind 'All Night Longer,' swung by the studio to chat with New York's 92.3 NOW's Zann about his new single and the difference between New York and California girls.

"Everybody's a model or a wannabe/If you're that bad it's in Paris where you ought'a be/She's an actress, working on the late shift/Only longs for a big break as a waitress," Sammy raps in his new single, 'LA Story.'

The native Bostonian said his song was not well received by his east coaster friends since his social commentary is embedded in such a catchy beat. "People from Boston would be like, 'Why'd you write an L.A. Story song?' And it's like well if you listen closely, you can tell I'm from Boston because I sort of take the piss out of a lot of things in L.A. "

"I think New York girls are more cultured and more intelligent," Sammy said. "There's sort of every walk of life in New York. I feel like girls fit a mold in Hollywood, and in New York there's such a wide variety, like European girls–girls from all over the world. They're just sort of well-versed in terms of culture."

Mike Posner sings the hook on the new track, which Sammy said was a fun project that was a long time coming. "Mike and I have known each other for years. We did a show together with Big Sean–I think it was 2008 or 2009–out in California.," Sammy said. "Then, Mikey released 'Matter of Time' and Sean was releasing 'Finally Famous' mix tapes, and then both of them blew up so we never got to work. We had ideas of working on songs together, then they both just got really busy. [L.A. Story] was great because we needed someone to help me sing the hook and do the bridge, and Mikey immediately came to mind." A lot more.

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Schoolboy Q Releases 'Collard Greens' Video Featuring Kendrick Lamar
(Radio.com) Don your best bucket hat in honor of Schoolboy Q, for the L.A. rapper and his Black Hippy associate Kendrick Lamar just released the video for "Collard Greens."

Watch the detached head of Q get some real hippy filters as he and Kendrick hop from a small indoor party to a larger outdoor party. It could even be the same party, the narrative is not too clear. Either way, watch the whole thing unfold.

"Collard Greens", along "Yay Yay" and a few other leaked tracks floating around, will appear on Schoolboy Q's forthcoming third LP Oxymoron. The album will feature Lamar and a whole quiver of A-list rappers including 50 Cent, Danny Brown, Raekwon, Action Bronson, and AbSoul, and while the exact date for the release is not known, it's scheduled for sometime in 2013 via Top Dog Entertainment/Interscope.

Listen to "Yay Yay" here

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• Lana Del Rey Releases Ultraviolence Video

• Brad Paisley Reveals More 'Moonshine in the Trunk' Details

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