Quick Hits: Rihanna & Maroon 5, Smashing Pumpkins, Katy Perry, Axl Rose, Hollywood Undead, Bill Dees
November 1, 2012

Rihanna and Maroon 5 will pull off a Saturday Night Live fourpeat this month when both return to the show as musical guests for the fourth time. Following this weekend's show with comedian Louis CK and fun., the November 10 show will feature Rihanna along with host Anne Hathaway, and the November 17 show will be hosted by actor Jeremy Renner with Maroon 5. In other Rihanna news, the singer will embark on her 777 Tour next month, on which she will perform seven shows in seven days in seven countries. An elite group of fans from her "Rihanna Navy" fan club and more than 150 journalists will board a Boeing 777 twinjet and travel to each of the seven shows. The 777 Tour will kick off on November 14 and close towards November 19, just in time for the release of her new album, Unapologetic. Lastly, Rihanna has been nominated for Best Worldwide Act at the MTV EMAs, happening on November 11 in Frankfurt, Germany. The 2012 MTV EMA will feature performances by Taylor Swift, Muse, No Doubt, Carly Rae Jepsen, fun., Rita Ora, Alicia Keys, Pitbull, The Killers and PSY.

Smashing Pumpkins

The Smashing Pumpkins were due to spend Halloween performing at Brooklyn's new Barclay's Arena, but due to the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the show is being rescheduled. Details of the new date will be announced soon. Hurricane Sandy has also forced the band to reschedule other east coast shows. Their concert in Camden, NJ will now take place on December 8 and Fairfax, VA will be on December 9. The Pumpkins' show in Uncasville, CT is also being rescheduled with the date to be announced soon. All tickets from the original shows will be honored at the new dates.

Katy Perry will join President Barack Obama at a rally in Milwaukee this Saturday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Pop singer will appear at the event, slated for the Delta Center. Perry performed at an Obama campaign event last week in Las Vegas, wearing a form-fitting dress designed to look like a ballot.

In an interview with USA Today, Axl Rose said that fans will not have to wait as long for a new Guns N' Roses album as they did for Chinese Democracy. "I had to deal with so many other things that don't have to do with music but have to do with the industry," Rose said of why Chinese Democracy took so long to come out. "There's such a loss of time. It was more about survival. There wasn't anyone to work with or trust. Someone would come in to help produce and the reality was they just wanted to mix it and get it out the door. They had a different agenda. (The next album) will come out sooner." The singer also explained that everyone is the band is writing music, and "we recorded a lot of songs over the years. We'll figure out what we feel best about. Chinese was done in piecemeal with one person here and one there at different times. Appetite for Destruction was the only thing written with lyrics and melody fitting the guitar parts at the same time. After that, I got a barrage of guitar songs that I was supposed to put words to, and I don't know if that was the best thing for Guns. I do want to lean more toward lyrics and melody."

The masked men of Hollywood Undead return with their new single, "We Are," from their forthcoming album Notes From The Underground, which will be released in January. "We Are" reunites the band with producer Danny Lohner [Nine Inch Nails, Puscifer]. Vocalist Johnny 3 Tears explains, "The song is about collective resistance. It's the silent majority, but we're using Los Angeles as the backdrop. Every time we work with Danny, he takes our music to the next level. He's willing to go as far outside the box as we are. As a whole, it's a good introduction to Notes From The Underground because it encompasses the band idealistically. Think of it as an ode to our misled youth."

Singer/composer Bill Dees, best known for his songwriting collaboration with Roy Orbison on the hit "Oh, Pretty Woman," died last week at age 73 in Mountain Home, Arkansas, where he had lived since 1989, according to an announcement posted on the website of the Kirby & Family Funeral Home. Dees, a Texas native, is credited with writing scores of songs for artists such as Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Glen Campbell. But his work with Orbison proved quite fruitful, as the pair penned other Orbison singles like "It's Over," "Born on the Wind," "Crawling Back," "Communication Breakdown," "Walk On," "Windsurfer" and "So This Is Love." A memorial service for Dees is scheduled for Saturday, November 3.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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