Quick Hits: Lady Gaga, Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Trent Reznor, Kings Of Leon, A$AP Rocky / Rihanna, Linkin Park, Brian McKnight, Big Wreck
November 8, 2012

Lady Gaga has announced she is donating $1 million to the American Red Cross to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy in her native New York. Gaga wrote that she is pledging the money on behalf of her parents and sister as well, adding she "would not be the woman or artist that I am today" without the Big Apple. She added, "Thank you for helping me build my spirit. I will now help you rebuild yours."
     In other Lady Gaga news, the Pop star leaked her collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar online last night. The alternate mix of "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" features Gaga on the chorus, rather than Lamar. The song appears on the rapper's acclaimed new album good kid, m.A.A.d city.

Carly Rae Jepsen, Cody Simpson and The Wanted are among the acts set to appear during the 86th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, November 22, according to MTV News. Fans will also see performances from Flo Rida, Neon Trees, Karmin, Colbie Caillat, iCarly star Jennette McCurdy and viral-video stars Megan & Liz. The annual holiday parade will begin at 9 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving Day.


How To Destroy Angels
Trent Reznor's How To Destroy Angels will release their second EP, An Omen, next week but Reznor says he is also making plans for Nine Inch Nails as well. Reznor told Rolling Stone that "there will be new music [from NIN]. There are some things in the works," adding that the band could play live again "if it feels right, it's a possibility. I never said that that wasn't going to happen, just that it couldn't go on as it was. Having a few years doing other things, I've enjoyed [them] and I'm enjoying doing How to Destroy Angels, and there will be a place for stuff that falls in the Nine Inch Nails column of things. It's a different kind of work. Stay tuned, we'll see what happens here."
     As for How To Destroy Angels, his band with his wife Mariqueen Maandig, producer/musician Atticus Ross and artist Rob Sheridan, Reznor says their first full-length record will be out in the first quarter of 2013. "Music videos will start to creep out pretty soon. You'll hear about some live performances coming up. That's going to happen next year. We're just trying to have fun and try to give it its best shot for people to actually check it out. And that was one of the main reasons we decided to sign with Columbia."

Kings Of Leon have announced a handful of U.K. tour dates for next summer that will form part of a full European tour. The shows are set from June 12 in London through July 10 in Birmingham. Kings of Leon recently began work on recording their sixth studio album, the follow up to 2010's Come Around Sundown.

A$AP Rocky will open for Rihanna on the North American leg of her Diamonds world tour, which kicks off March 8, 2013 in Buffalo, NY. The rapper previously hopped on Rihanna's "Cockiness" remix, and performed alongside the pop star at the MTV Video Music Awards in September. The pair will be on the road together until May 5 in Brooklyn, NY.

One woman was killed, with 19 other people injured, outside a Linkin Park concert in Cape Town, South Africa yesterday. Scaffolding with advertising on it outside the Cape Town Stadium was knocked down by high winds in the parking lot. Linkin Park released a statement, saying, "Following our performance tonight at Cape Town Stadium, we were advised that several people were injured as a result of the collapse of an advertising tower erected by Lucozade in the parking area outside the venue. We wish to express our deep sadness and concern for those injured and our heartfelt condolences to the family of the fan who died as a result of her injuries. Though we have had no relationship with the sponsor or the entity responsible for erecting the structure, we take the safety of our fans very seriously and our thoughts are with all of those who were affected by this tragedy."

Crooner Brian McKnight is readying a new album for release in early 2013. The title track, "Words," was written with Colbie Caillat. "We were on a plane together, and I didn't realize who she was 'cause I don't know anybody's face," McKnight told Billboard.com about Caillat. "We started talking, then she came by my house and we wrote this really great tune." McKnight added that he worked on nearly 40 songs for the set, and stylistically they are "all across the board, no musical theme," though he concedes that he "wrote a couple of typical Brian McKnight songs as insurance records."

After a 10-year break, Big Wreck have signed with ZoŽ/Rounder Records for the U.S. release of their long-awaited new album, Albatross. The album is set for a February 19 release. Co-produced by Big Wreck vocalist/guitarist Ian Thornley and Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats) and executive-produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Rush, Alice In Chains), Albatross was released in Canada earlier this year and debuted at #5 on SoundScan's album sales chart. Fans can download a free copy of the title track now via the bandís website, www.bigwreckmusic.com. Big Wreck will be touring Canada with Theory of a Deadman from November 16 through December 18, to be followed by a U.S. tour in early 2013.




 
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John Mayer
PD, WFLZ/Tampa

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