Quick Hits: Nicki Minaj, Madonna, RZA, The X Factor, Pearl Jam, MTV VMAs, Pretty Lights / Skrillex, James Iha, Baroness
August 28, 2012
Nicki Minaj has announced a new round of fall tour overseas in support of her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded album. The next leg of the Pink Friday: RELOADED tour begins in Nottingham, England on October 21 and runs up to November 7 in Cardiff, Wales. She will then visit New Zealand and Australia in late November and early December. Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl that Minaj is in the running to be a judge on American Idol.
Madonna kicks off the North American leg of her MDNA tour tonight in Philadelphia. Following the controversies that followed the tour in Europe, the singer sent a letter to Billboard to set the record straight. In the lengthy missive, Madonna says that It's true there is a lot of violence in the beginning of the show and sometimes the use of fake guns - but they are used as metaphors. I do not condone violence or the use of guns. Rather they are symbols of wanting to appear strong and wanting to find a way to stop feelings that I find hurtful or damaging. In my case its wanting to stop the lies and hypocrisy of the church, the intolerance of many narrow minded cultures and societies I have experienced throughout my life and in some cases the pain I have felt from having my heart broken." The complete note can be read here.
Wu Tang Rapper RZA will release a kung-fu film, The Man With the Iron Fists, on November 2, and he also has rounded up a few of his closest friends for the hip-hop-heavy soundtrack. Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Talib Kweli, The Black Keys and Kanye West will all appear on the soundtrack, which is due on October 23. According to AllHipHop.com, 'Ye contributes a track called "White Dress." The Iron Fists soundtrack will be released on RZA's new Soul Temple Records and be distributed through Stax/RED Distribution.
Rumors persist about which stars will appear on The X Factor this coming season. The latest dish says that Justin Bieber will reportedly work with L.A. Reid to help mentor his group on the show, according to TMZ. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Nick Jonas will team up with his longtime pal and former Camp Rock co-star DemiLovato to mentor her group when the final 16 contestants are picked. Jonas also has been in talks with American Idol about joining the judges panel for that show.
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and his longtime drumming collaborator Richard Stuverud team with singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur in a new side project called RNDM. The group's debut album, Acts, is due on October 30 and they will tour North America this fall. "It felt like those first bands you're in, where the first few weeks you ate and slept and breathed the music that you were working on," Ament says of working with his new group. "All you did was hum those songs until you got to the next practice. I was completely open to whatever was going to happen, and I know Joseph was too."
Demi Lovato has joined the pre-show to the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, where she will perform her hit "Give Your Heart a Break." The hour-long VMA pre-show will air live on September 6 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET/PT. Lovato will warm up the VMA crowd prior to the start of the main event, which is set to air at 8 p.m.
Pretty Lights and Skrillex have put their heads together for a two-day festival on the waterfront of downtown Nashville on October 26 and 27. The With Your Friends Festival is primed to feature each producer/DJ in a headliner slot with direct support from rap legend Nas, who will be performing with a nine-piece band. Santigold, 12th Planet, Dillon Francis, Michal Menert and TOKiMONSTA flesh out the bill.
To get fans excited for the release of his new solo album, Look To The Sky, James Iha is premiering the first single, "Speed Of Love," at www.pastemagazine.com. Look To The Sky is due on September 18 and features special guests Karen O and Nick Zinner of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara, Nina Persson of The Cardigans, Schlesinger and Tom Verlaine of Television. Iha will launch a U.S. tour in October.
Baroness has posted an update on Facebook following their bus crash in England earlier this month. All four band members are now out of the hospital, but the group has canceled the remainder of their tour dates for 2012.