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<p>Kris Allen's new album cover</p>

Kris Allen's new album cover

Credit: 19/RCA

'American Idol's Kris Allen sets release date for 'Thank You Camellia'

He also launches remix contest for 'The Vision of Love'

American Idol” fans rejoice:  As we've previously reported, Season eight runner-up  Adam Lambert will release “Trespassing” on May 15  and now we get word that the season’s winner Kris Allen’s sophomore set, “Thank You Camellia” will come out a week later on May 22.

We already wrote about first single, “The Vision of Love,” which Allen co-wrote. Now it turns out Allen co-wrote every song on the album.  He is wrapping up recording with producers and co-writers, including Neon Trees’ Tim Pagnotta, Chris Brown/Justin Bieber producer Nasri and Adam Messinger, and Kevin Kadish, who has worked with Jason Mraz and Rob Thomas.

Speaking of Mraz, he and Allen are both part of the Live in the Vineyard festival, which takes place April 13 at the Uptown Theater in Napa, Calif.

Allen has also launched a remix contest for “The Vision of Love.” The winner, selected by Allen, will receive $2,000, a pair of Beats by Dre headphones and a signed CD and photo by Allen.

As far as who the Camellia is Allen name checks in the title,  we don’t know if it’s a reference to the beautiful southern flower or someone specific. Or maybe Camellia is the adorable dog on the album cover.

 

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<p>Regina Spektor in &quot;All the Rowboats&quot;</p>

Regina Spektor in "All the Rowboats"

Watch: Regina Spektor is scared in 'All the Rowboats' music video

Head for the sea when the walls close in on you

I like Regina Spektor's new single "All the Rowboats" an awful lot, and now the track from "What We Saw From the Cheap Seats" went and got itself a matching music video.

The singer-songwriter isn't the most convincing pantomime (or lip-syncer), and the animation is a little touch-and-go, but much like that song, it seems to be more about atmosphere than anything else. The serious and ominous track puts Spektor's beautiful mug under a very large bed of hair and sets to work on causing her much discomfort. Sometimes the rocking of a boat is the only comfort.

"My beautiful friends Adria Petty, Peter Sluszka and Ivan Abel co-directed it! It was like getting the band back together- I love their brains and hearts! So many people worked very hard on this and it was really interesting to make. I hope you enjoy!!!!!" she enthused on her Facebook page.

"What We Saw from the Cheap Seats" is out on May 29; another song from it, "Don't Leave Me- (Ne Me Quitte Pas)," bowed last week. You can also find the tracklist via that link. The pre-order for the iTunes digital deluxe version of the album is open today.

Spektor will also release a pair of Russian cover songs on Record Store Day, April 21. 

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Chris Brown
Chris Brown
Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Chris Brown wants to make 'Sweet Love' to you

He promises lots of grinding and whatnot on new single

Chris Brown’s “Fortune,” out May 8, has already spawned one hit, “Turn Up the Music,” now he’s looking for the next with “Sweet Love,”  a very busy track about getting very busy.

The track, which premiered on Funkmaster Flex’s show (hence the tag at the beginning), opens with Brown whispering as a waterfall of synths tumbles over his croon “let’s get naked,” and then oh-so-romantically sing about “grinding inside and out of you/so c’mon baby girl, let’s just take our clothes off” and later “you start screaming when I go downtown.”  Subtlety has never been his strong suit, has it?

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Megan Hilty</p>

Megan Hilty

Credit: NBC

'Smash's' Megan Hilty signs with Sony's Masterworks

Broadway star currently working on demos

We don’t know yet if Megan Hilty’s “Smash” alter ego Ivy Lynn will get to play Marilyn Monroe on the show, but the real-life Broadway star has won a recording contract.

Hilty, who has starred on Broadway in such shows as “Wicked” and “9 to 5,” has signed with Sony’s Masterworks label through Columbia Records, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As with “Glee,” Columbia has a deal to release any songs from “Smash,” as well as first rights to the various singers on the show.  Her co-star, “American Idol” album Katherine McPhee, signed with Masterworks last June. The label is also home to Kristen Chenoweth.

No word on when her Masterworks debut will appear, but she is already working on demos.

 

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<p>On &quot;Happy Endings,&quot;&nbsp;Alex (Elisha Cuthbert)&nbsp;has to make a quick switch from butch to femme.</p>

On "Happy Endings," Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) has to make a quick switch from butch to femme.

Credit: ABC

'Happy Endings' - 'Big White Lies': Come and knock on our door

Does a stupid sitcom trope become funny if you're aware that it's stupid?

A review of last night's "Happy Endings" coming up just as soon as I'm a young, handsome Ron Popeil...

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<p>Can Sofia Vergara and &quot;Modern Family&quot;&nbsp;shoot down &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;in Hulu's Best in Show?</p>

Can Sofia Vergara and "Modern Family" shoot down "Community" in Hulu's Best in Show?

Credit: ABC

Hulu's Best in Show moves into round 4

It's 'Community' vs. 'Modern Family' and 'Sons of Anarchy' vs. 'The Walking Dead'

When I left the office last night, the next round of Hulu's Best in Show competition was shaping up to have an obvious narrative: popular hits vs. critically-adored cult favorites. In one bracket, we would have "Community," which had the only easy victory of round 3 over "New Girl," vs. "Modern Family," which had beaten out "Archer" by the slimmest of margins. In the other bracket, we would have "Sons of Anarchy," which held on for a tight win over "Game of Thrones," versus "Breaking Bad," which had eked out a see-saw battle with "The Walking Dead." I made my picks, emailed my blurbs to Hulu, and went home to my family.

But the third round wasn't technically over yet, and "The Walking Dead" showrunner Glen Mazzara — a Twitter newcomer who's quickly learned how to leverage social media from his old "Shield" colleague Kurt Sutter — kept stumping for votes, and by the time dinner was finished, "Walking Dead" had slipped ahead again, and stayed there until the voting closed.

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<p>In &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;&nbsp;season 2, King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson)&nbsp;faces many challengers to his crown.</p>

In "Game of Thrones" season 2, King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) faces many challengers to his crown.

Credit: HBO

Review: HBO's 'Game of Thrones' is bigger and better in season 2

More characters! More locations! More kings! More awesomeness!
Sometimes with storytelling, less is more, and more is less. Sometimes, when you have too much going on — too many characters, too many storylines, too many big moments — nothing gets the proper attention or makes the intended impact. Sometimes — particularly in the world of television, where there are limits in terms of both time and money — you're better off focusing on a smaller group of things you can do well.
 
Sometimes, though, if you have talented enough people — and, even better, if they're working off of great source material —  then more can, in fact, be more. "Justified" has demonstrated that repeatedly this season as it's thrown a virtual army of colorful bad guys at Raylan Givens. And on Sunday night at 9, HBO's "Game of Thrones" makes its triumphant return with a second season that features more of everything: more characters, more locations, more brutality.
 
And, as the follow-up to an incredibly strong debut season, it's even more fun.
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Watch: Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson explain why 'Wrath of the Titans' tops 'Clash'

'Wrath' stars rave about 3D and the father-son story
NEW YORK, NY - Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson know a thing or two about sequels, having both been part of franchises from the ground-floor and also joined franchises mid-stream. Last Saturday, I sat down with the two stars to discuss what makes a satisfying sequel and why "Wrath of the Titans" improves upon "Clash of the Titans."
 
In "Wrath," which opens on Friday (March 30), Worthington reprises his role as half-man/half-God Perseus, while Neeson returns as King of the Gods, Zeus. While the first movie was all about Perseus discovering his strength and Zeus hovering on Olympus with his hair billowing, "Wrath" gets down-and-dirty with an off-his-game Perseus having to leave his son to help his father prevent *his* father -- the monstrous Kronos -- from escaping his netherworld prison. 
 
In our conversation, Worthington and Neeson talk about the draw of the multi-generational father-son story at the core of "Wrath" and why they were drawn to playing weakness.
 
But don't worry that "Wrath of the Titans" is some sort of thoughtful, existential drama. The stars also discuss why this time around, the 3D kicks butt. 
 
Check out the interview...
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<p>Troyzan of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>
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Troyzan of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: One World' - 'The Beauty in a Merge'

With Colton in the rear-view, would 'Survivor' find a new story?
Pre-credit sequence. Welcome to the Merge! The castaways return to camp. There's cheese and grapes and wine. Troyzan is overjoyed, because this is what he's been waiting for. Alicia thinks Christina should have gone home instead of Colton. Bacteria thought different, Alicia. Don't mess with bacteria. "By Colton leaving, he screwed me over," Alicia whines, wondering if she'll be able to return to her original Girl Power alliance. She anticipates a beginning to the backstabbing. You can almost hear the "Survivor" producer yelling, "God, I hope so!" in the background.
 
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<p>David Walton, Amanda Peet and Larry Miller in &quot;Bent.&quot;</p>

David Walton, Amanda Peet and Larry Miller in "Bent."

Credit: NBC

'Bent' - 'HD'/'A Game': The day the music died

Pete and Ben continue to fight over Alex in the season's middle chapters

A quick review of tonight's two episodes of "Bent" coming up just as soon as I make a couple of Pop Tarts in your mind kitchen...

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'We Are Young' continues its good time at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100
Credit: Fueled By Ramen

'We Are Young' continues its good time at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100

Who else makes strides in this week's Top 10?

“We Are Young” from fun. featuring Janelle Monae  is aging gracefully at it spends its fourth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Much of its strength comes from its digital performance. The song has sold 2.39 million copies in 2012, the year’s biggest seller.  It also continues to gain airplay.

The crossover tune also remains solid at Alternative radio: it is No. 2 on Billboard’s Alternative airplay chart.

Just as “Young” holds at No. 1, the songs at No. 2, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” and No. 3, “The Wanted’s “Glad You Came,” remain in the same spot.

Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”  featuring Kimbra and Nicki Minaj’s “Starships” each slide up one to No. 4 and 5, respectively.

Their upward mobility push Adele’s “Set Fire To the Rain” down 4-6, while Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones”  featuring Sia moves up two spots to No. 7, following its spectacular debut last week at No. 9. Katy Perry’s former No. 1 “Part Of Me” rebounds 10-8, Drake’s “Take Care” featuring Rihanna drops 8-9 and David Guetta’s “Turn Me On” featuring Minaj falls 7-10.

There are no new entries in the top 10, however that will change next week when Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend” likely charges into the Top 5.
 

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<p>L-R:&nbsp;Steven Tyler,&nbsp;Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith pose for photos at today's press conference announcing their 2012 Global Warming Tour.</p>

L-R: Steven Tyler, Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith pose for photos at today's press conference announcing their 2012 Global Warming Tour.

Credit: AP Photo/Katy Winn

Interview: Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton talks new tour, album and 'savoring'

'We're always on the verge of breaking up, you know'

Aerosmith will get back in the saddle again this summer with a new tour and the band’s first new studio album since 2004’s “Honkin’ on Bobo.”  At a press conference held Wednesday at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton (Brad Whitford is on tour with Experience Hendrix) revealed the new album will come out in a few months. The still-untitled project is co-produced by Jack Douglas, who produced such legendary albums as 1975’s “Toys in the Attic,”  and 1976’s “Rocks; Tyler, and Marti Frederiksen. If Douglas is responsible for the band’s earliest success, Frederiksen has been a major part of the band’s mid-‘90s resurgence.

After the press conference, I sat down with bassist Hamilton for an exclusive one-on-one to talk about the fractious band’s past and the current state of their union,  how he feels on stage, and what he really thought about the “60 Minutes” profile that ran a few weeks ago.

The Global Warming tour, which starts June 16,  only covers 18 markets so far. Will there be a second leg?


 We get out there when we can. Obviously, we have restrictions time-wise with Steven and we’re still working out how we’re going to do what we do in the time that we have.

So you don’t know if there will be a second leg?


I’m sure, in the fall, there most likely will be. I just don’t like to jinx it by saying, “Yes there will.” It’s extremely likely there will be another leg. That’s the plan.

Because we know nothing ever goes wrong in the Aerosmith camp
...

God, I tell you, every show... we were just in South America and Japan. Every show was like adding a pearl on a string. You savor it and you gotta love it because we don’t have all the time in the world. We’ll see what happens.

Has playing live become more precious to you as you 
get older?

Yes, very much. Especially when it comes to touring outside of the country. Going places that we’ve either only been to a couple of times or never been to, or even going to Japan where we’ve been going for years, decades.  You just want to savor every bit of it, really, because you see the looks on the faces of those people in the crowd and you think about the effort that it takes to go to a show. It’s expensive. A lot of the girls want to go and buy something special to wear. You have to park. You have to figure out how you’re going to do it and still get to work or school the next morning.  You realize that — what people are doing to be able to come see you.

To this day, you still do meet and greets with fans before the show. Why?

It’s like a little shot of the pure essence of it because people are so nervous and they’ve been thinking about what’s going to happen in that meet and greet for a long time and what they’re going to say and you really get a feeling and a reminder of what it feels like to put your headphones on and get between your speakers and hear your favorite songs. So doing that before a show gives you a shot of that, that pure thing of why are we here.

My old boss used to say that the band was locked in a dance it couldn’t get out of... you love each other and hate each other and go on nonetheless.

We’re always on the verge of breaking up, you know. There’s always something to worry about all the time, you know, but we keep coming back. And a big part of why we keep coming back is because the phone is ringing and it’s our manager calling and saying, “Hey, your fans really want you to play. Do you want to go on tour?”  “Yes.” So we go out there.

And there’s some chemistry, that happens when you’re together. Once you walk on stage does all the bad stuff float away?

It’s really amazing. Like a lot of the shows we did in South America were places  we’ve never played before and there were definitely glances going around saying, “Wow, here was are. We’re playing Paraguay. Can you believe it?”  A year ago, October, this past October, we were as close to breaking up as we’ve been in a long time, but we had  four big shows that we had to do or we would have gotten our ass chewed off. We went out and did them and sure enough,  we were not on speaking terms with Steven for a lot of things around that period, but when we got on stage, it was there. And it was a relief too.

What is the state of the union now?


Really good. We’re making plans and looking forward to the future. We’ve got this tour, we’re going to get this album out sometime between now and September.

After Aerosmith’s profile on “60 Minutes” a few weeks ago, you tweeted that you were still recovering from that. Any regrets that the band has been so public about your squabbles. Do you feel it detracts from the music?

I don’t think it detracts from the music, but when I saw that show, I went and immediately texted Steven and said “Good job,” and he texted back, ‘At what?” and I said, “60 Minutes.” You might not expect that we’d go back and forth. They wanted to get something a little bit deeper. It was kind of the same subject matter that we’ve talked about over and over, but a bit deeper. I think it was pretty painful the way they just kept nailing him. They kept setting him up and hitting him with these out-of-context remarks, you know, and it put him in a corner. I thought he behaved well in a corner, he defended himself. He said, “yeah, I’m that good.” And I’m like, thinking, “Yeah, you are. You are really good. Maybe not as good as you think you are, but you are really pretty good’” (laughs).

In the press conference you were talking about the new album, and reuniting with Jack Douglas. He did “Honkin.’....

But there was only one original on that album.  We’re back to that process of pre-production, which Jack has always been a big part of. We learned how to make records with him and learned what we like in terms of how to arrange a song and all that stuff...It’s a beautiful thing because [Jack’s] into the weird and he will support the unusual. He will make sure everybody gets a chance to say what they want to say musically on an album.

So he’s a referee, as any producer is.

Yeah, but a lot of producers, they just want to get the thing that’s going to get on the radio and get it done. Keep the record company happy and get on to their next project. You don’t get that with Jack. He’s not sitting around making a phone call every time there’s a break about what his next project is going to be. He’s completely emotionally and mentally dedicated to what you’re doing.

Where are you in the recording process? Steven said you’ve been working on it for four months.

We’ve been working on it for much longer than four months. I think what Steven was talking about is the phase of being out in L.A. and the phase that results in the vocals getting done. We worked all last summer and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been working on this record every day for years. Agonizing... We’ve got probably three-quarters or maybe even slightly more of the vocals [done].

Steven mentioned a song called “Legendary Child.” What’s that one sound like?

It’s a medium-tempo rocker. It’s a classic Aerosmith song. It rocks, but it has a very strong melodic content and a lot of spaces in there for Joe and Brad and everybody to lay down some riff that they want everybody to hear.  It’s a song that wasn’t written yesterday. It’s been around for awhile, but never really recorded and we’ve never done the full-on pre-production and production of the song until now.

You referenced 1975 in the press conference, which, of course, was the year “Toys in the Attic” was released. Is that a good reference point for  what you want to sound like on this album?

Yeah, without really saying that, you know. That’s sort of pathetic to say, “Let’s make an imitation of ‘Rocks’.”  Those records were an accurate representation of our tastes back then in combination with Jack. I want to be fair: there’s a couple of songs produced by Marti Frederiksen, who’s an amazing songwriter and producer. But I mention Jack because he’s sort of the overlord of this whole thing. Yes, we longed for that process that’s based on our relationship with him.

What do you do when an Aerosmith song comes on the radio?

First thing I do is turn it up and I’m checking it out to see how it sounds compared to the song that was on before it and the one that’s on after it.

Even if it’s a classic song like “Walk This Way?”

You’re still thinking, “Wow, shit, I wish we would have done this, you know, or that part should have been twice as long.” That still happens.



 
 

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