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CD RELEASES & REVIEWS
Album Art Released For Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now”

We reported last month that Taylor Swift’s third studio album was called Speak Now and that it was going to be full of raw, honest songs that Swift wrote herself. The PR campaign is underway, as the first single “Mine” debuted at No. 3 on the Hot 100 on August 16. Then, yesterday (August 18), Big Machine Records posted the album cover on Swift’s site. We’re not sure what speaking your mind fearlessly amid critics and fans has to do with a flowy purple Disney princess dress, but we’ll wait till the album comes out on October 25 to judge. The music video for “Mine” will debut on CMT with “CMT Presents: Taylor Swift ‘Mine’” on August 27 at 8 PM.

DAILY POP
Jason Bonham’s Led Zepplin Experience

No, Robert Plant has not come around. In fact, given the success of his latest solo outing, it is unlikely that he would consider taking the stage with Bonham, Jimmy Paige, and John Paul Jones anytime soon (guess the 2007 reunion concert was one of a kind). Jason Bonham, John Bonham’s son, plans to honor his father and the band’s memory with a tribute tour that will begin on October 8 at Dawson Creek in British Columbia.

After the reunion show in 2007, rumors circulated that Steven Tyler, Axl Rose, or Myles Kennedy was singing lead vocals in rehearsals for a full-on Zep reunion tour. These turned out to be just rumors, and the idea was shelved.

DAILY POP
Hip-Hop’s hottest new collaboration: Justin Bieber and Kanye West

How surprised can we be, though? This is Kanye West, the most radically media-conscious celebrity we’ve ever met! Let’s face it, the man knows how to drum up publicity- good or bad (but then again, there’s no such thing as bad publicity). So it should come as no surprise that after his still untitled album drops on November 16, he and Bieber the Boy Wonder will lay down some tracks with The Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon. Do you think West and Bieber decided this backstage at a concert? Shook hands at a press conference? Bumped into each other at a club? No, the partnership was formed on Twitter. They tweeted (twote?) each other expressing mutual admiration, and here we are.

The details as to what the three artists will come up with are still murky, but it is clear that it’s going to happen. Justin Bieber feat. Kanye West feat. Raekwon. What do you think?

DAILY POP
Axe Uncages The King

August 16 at Capitale in Chinatown, T.I. played a secret show for Axe’s “One Night Only” series, according to a press release from Newswire. “One Night Only” shows are secret, exclusive, and only advertised via Axe’s and the artist’s Twitter or Facebook accounts. T.I. performed tracks from his new album King Uncaged, due September 28. His colleagues B.o.B., Keri Hilson, and Swizz Beatz joined him onstage for the surprise set.

Get in on a “One Night Only” show in your town by following Axe on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/axe) or Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/axe). Of course, when we find out, we’ll let you know, too =)

SPECIAL EVENTS
Musikfest 2010- The Heart of a Small Town

Musikfest is a ten-day-long community music and arts festival on the Delaware River in Bethlehem, PA on the site where the Bethlehem steel plant used to function as one of the top producers in the nation before shutting down in the early nineties. In short, it’s a really interesting place.

Musikfest was started in 1984 as a way to use the arts to revitalize the town of Bethlehem after the steel plant shut down. When the factory- known as Steelstacks- was closed, steelworkers planted trees at the top of the blast furnaces as a symbol of the potential that the area still had. Now, all these years later, the trees still grow and Steelstacks is being renovated into the new ArtsQuest Center. ArtsQuest’s goal in Bethlehem is to “take a unique setting and turn it into something positive,” Curt Mosel said. Mosel is the director of marketing and PR for ArtsQuest. “It will be a huge win for tourism and more opportunities for the 25,000 college students that live in the Lehigh Valley area.”

ALL ACCESS PASS
The Doobie Brothers Rockin The Sands River Stage at Musikfest!

The Doobie Brothers kicked ass on Wednesday night and that’s all there is to it. Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, two original members from the band’s 1970 California formation, still looked full of spirit after decades of playing. Johnston wears the most epic rock ‘n roll mustache and 80s hair ever while Simmons looks like the devil’s doorman.

They played three tracks from their first new album in ten years, World Gone Crazy. They were called “Nobody,” “World Gone Crazy,” and “Back to the Chateau.” They were classic DB and made more impressive by the fact that these guys have been writing new original material for over forty years!

ALL ACCESS PASS
Gaslight Anthem Brings It Home To Jersey

The legendary Stone Pony continues to be a place where the best names in rock ‘n roll gather to scream, shout, bop, swing, and fist pump their ways into history. Last night the summer stage was alive with one of the hottest new breakout bands from Jersey, Gaslight Anthem. Touring in support of their recently released megahit, American Slang, they played a nearly two-hour set with over twenty songs and they showed no signs of stopping.

The most impressive part of the show was singer Brian Fallon. Where did the guy with the wavering warbly voice from “’59 Sound” two years ago get this hard-rocking, Chris Cornell-style belt?? He commanded respect and admiration from the audience as his voice tore through their new album. They opened with “American Slang,” and his voice did not let up from then until the end.

DAILY POP
American Idol Overhaul

Peter Rice, chairman of entertainment for Fox Network Group, says “no one has signed a deal yet” to be a judge in season 10 of American Idol. The rumor mill is spinning fast, and stars like Barry Manilow, Elton John, Bret Michaels, Justin Timberlake, Nigel Lythgoe (So You Think You Can Dance judge) and Howard Stern have all supposedly expressed interest in joining Randy Jackson, the remaining original judge, on the panel. Simon Cowell announced in season 9 that he would be leaving the show to work on his own talent show for Fox, The X Factor. Kara DioGuardi was recently fired for not connecting with the fans. Ellen DeGeneres had a good season on the show, but felt that she was not a good judge of musical talent and left.

DAILY POP
Kanye’s Upcoming Album Now Untitled

“The album is no longer called Good Ass Job,” West said via Twitter yesterday, “I’m bouncing a couple titles around now.”

The album will be West’s fifth, following 2008’s 808s and Heartbreak. He has previewed new material a capella at both Facebook’s and Twitter’s headquarters. It looks like West and his team are beginning an aggressive marketing campaign for the new album. And if it really does come out on September 14, as is rumored, he'd better think of a name quick.