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While sales figures are sketchy because of the holidays, look for Taylor Swift’s “Red” to top the Billboard 200 next week.
Early estimates have the superstar’s fourth studio album spending a seventh non-consecutive week at No. 1 with sales of up to 225,000, according to Billboard. The tally will include Amazon’s Christmas Eve sales price of $1.99 (Nielsen SoundScan counts the discounted sales because the album has been out more than four weeks).
“Red” stands atop the leader board this week as well, with sales of 276,000. If “Red” does remain in the top spot, Swift will have registered 24 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, tying Adele as the female artist with the most weeks at No. 1 since the launch of SoundScan in 1991. Swift’s feat spans three albums: 2008’s “Fearless,” 2010’s “Speak Now” and “Red,” while all of Adele’s 24 weeks come from “21.”
In other chart news, look for the soundtrack to “Les Miserables” to possibly vault into the top 10. The title, which is No. 1 on iTunes following the movie’s Dec. 25 opening, debuted at No. 33 this week.
Billboard also expects Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” and One Direction’s “Take Me Home” to remain in the top 10.
The New Year’s Day holiday will delay the chart results until Thursday, Jan. 3 instead of Wednesday, Jan. 2.
I know I'm way behind the curve in reporting on these, but the weeks before Christmas kept us so busy with wall-to-wall US critics' awards that certain things passed me by -- particularly awards away from the Oscar trail. This afternoon, I suddenly remembered the Prix Louis-Delluc, arguably the most prestigious award in French cinema, and wondered if I'd missed their nominations. As it turned out, I'd missed the entire thing.
The Louis-Delluc, a single award handed to the year's best French film -- as determined by a jury headed by Cannes president Gilles Jacob -- was first presented in 1937, and the list of previous winners is a veritable who's who of classic French cinema: Renoir, Cocteau, Truffaut, Bresson, Malle, Chabrol, Rohmer, Godard, and so on.
Walton Goggins would be beloved if the only thing he'd ever done was his work on "The Shield." That was such a remarkable character, developed so carefully over the course of the series, that it set the bar very high for other roles for Goggins for the future.
Thankfully, the filmmakers who have worked with him since the end of that show seem to understand what a gift he can be to a production. He found another great role in a series in the form of "Justified," and this holiday season, he's in the new films from both Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino. Considering how long he's been working as an actor (his first credit was in 1990), it feels like things have finally come up roses for a guy whose work more than justifies the attention.
In our interview, we talked about the way his role in "Django Unchained" evolved over the course of the shoot, and I can't say I'm remotely surprised to hear that Tarantino flipped for him. Part of what makes Goggins so striking is the way he looks so dangerous, but when he speaks, there is a sly intelligence that you might not imagine at first. When he plays a character who is supposed to be a threat, it doesn't feel like acting. It feels like he's a genuine threat, someone you wouldn't want to cross.
It's a list of songs from 2012, kids. Let's just have fun.
To check out my 30 best albums of 2012 list, head here: it includes top distinctions to Fiona Apple, Swans, Matthew Dear, Kendrick Lamar, Swans and more.
Here is a list of 40 of my favorite songs from this year. Listen to the Spotify list of them here.
- Miguel, "Adorn"
- Icona Pop, "I Love It"
- Frank Ocean, "Sweet Life"
- Cold Specks, "Blank Maps"
- Shovels & Rope, "Birmingham"
- Nicki Minaj, "The Boys
- Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
- Le1f, "Wut"
- Burial, "Kindred"
- David Byrne + St. Vincent, "Who"
- Grimes, "Oblivion"
- R. Kelly, "Share My Love"
- Holy Other, "Held"
- OneRepublic, "Feel Again"
- Nas - "Daughters"
- High on Fire, "Bloody Knuckles"
- Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait"
- Emeli Sande, "Where I Sleep"
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop"
- Justin Townes Earle, "Am I That Lonely"
- Ke$ha - "Die Young"
- Maps & Atlases, "Old & Gray"
- Pallbearer, "Devoid of Redemption"
- Dope Body, "Road Dog"
- Miranda Lambert, "Fastest Girl In Town"
- Killer Mike, "Reagan"
- Dr. John, "Locked Down"
- Ellie Goulding, "Anything Can Happen"
- Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
- Walk the Moon, "Anna Sun"
- First Aid Kit, "Emmylou"
- Japandroids, "The House That Heaven Built"
- Father John Misty, "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"
- Hospitality, "Eighth Avenue"
- Mynabirds, "Generals"
- Alabama Shakes, "Hold On"
- Santigold, "The Keepers"
- Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
- A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
- Charli XCX, "You're the One"
If you want to not only see the names, but hear the music from the top musicians who left us this year, this four-minute montage, "The Music They Made," posted by the New York Times last night is well worth your time.
[More after the jump...]
It turns out that eight isn’t enough. Justin Bieber’s “Believe:Acoustic” continues to expand. Originally slated as an 8-song EP, Bieber keeps adding new songs to the Jan. 29 release.
On Thursday night, he tweeted that he “had to write some new ones. Now I’m putting out 10 SONGS on #Believeacoustive. I’m telling u. PREORDER it now : ).”
In addition to the sales plug, the Biebs also gave more details: “Every song has a new guitar arrangement...1 w/ piano. Everything feels new.”
Idolator has speculated that Bieber may have been writing new material with “The A-Team” singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.
As Hitfix previously reported, Bieber announced the EP earlier this month. Bieber released “My Worlds Acoustic” in 2010, which featured stripped-down versions of songs from “My World 2.0.”
Retailers received coal in their Christmas stocking this year: sales during the pivotal holiday period were down 10% from last year, according to Billboard.
Comparing Nov. 18-Dec. 23 with the same five-week period in 2011 shows sales of 54.9 million albums this year versus 61 million last year.
Billboard attributes the drop in sales to two factors: the lack of a superstar blockbuster like Adele’s “21” or Michael Buble’s “Christmas” that provided sustained sales of more than 200,000 for several weeks running, as well as the fact that last year’s figures included Dec. 24, which is one of the biggest shopping days of the the year.
The breakdown between physical and digital sales followed the shift during non-holiday periods: Digital album sales rose 5.3% during the five weeks, while physical CD sales were down 15.4%. Individual track downloads, however, were down 4.8% to 139.8 million units compared with 2011 sales over the same period.
While there were no sustained superstar sales retailers mentioned such titles as One Direction’s “Take Me Home,” Taylor Swift’s “Red,” Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox,” Mumford & Sons’ “Babel,” Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” and Pink’s “Truth About Love” as strong holiday sellers.
When the Oscar nominations are announced in exactly two weeks' time (!), they'll be a pioneering edition in two ways: not only will they land earlier in the season than ever before, but they'll be the first to be partially drawn from electronic voting. It's a brave new world and all, but after interviewing a cross-section of voters, Many of them aren't happy with the changes -- to the point that some of them, short of time to see the necessary films and/or befuddled by the security surrounding the online ballot -- may not bother voting at all. Scott Feinberg quotes one member as saying, "There will probably be a large percentage of people who will just say, 'Screw it,' and not even vote this year," and expresses concern that the changes could result in a record low in voter anticipation. Of course, we'll never know. [The Race]
I've still got two more wrap-up pieces for 2012 to come, but first, we thought we'd take a look ahead at 2013, which promises to be a huge year for movies.
We've tried to put together a wide array of the types of films that people are looking forward to. You'll see some familiar faces here as we anticipate the returns of "Star Trek," "Iron Man," and "Thor," and you'll see prestige pieces as well as potential blockbusters.
The thing about anticipation is that I'm not sure it means what it used to. These days, movies arrive pre-digested thanks to all the information and clips and special glimpses and four-minute clip reels and IMAX previews and whatever other way studios have started to use to reach out to audiences. At one point, there were something like 25 minutes of clips from "The Hobbit" floating around out there, all officially released by the studio, and that's for a film that is as pre-sold as pre-sold gets. And I get it… studios are at the point where they are trying anything and everything to get people to actually show up to the theaters.
So, the designers walk down Fifth Avenue (or, as Josh calls it, Fifth Ave, which makes me want to smack him to death with a designer purse) and end up at Elie Tahari's flagship store. Their challenge is to create a "wow" ready-to-wear look that can retail at $500 to $700. The winning design will be sold at all of the Elie Tahari stores and proceeds will go to Save the Garment Center. Mondo won this challenge last season. No pressure.
When great British actors reach a certain age Americans, er, media types tend to believe they must have worked together at some point during their careers. In the West End, on the BBC or in some movie. At the least, they were in one of those "Harry Potter" movies, right? Well, not really.