Quick Hits: Justin Bieber & PSY, AC/DC, Blink-182, Eric Clapton, Rock On The Range, Muse, Backstreet Boys, Puscifer
November 19, 2012

Justin Bieber fans beware: PSY's "Gangnam Style" is on its way to surpassing Bieber's YouTube milestone of 800 million views. Bieber's hit "Baby" reached the 800 million mark over a span of 33 months, but Billboard notes that PSY's flash-fame has allowed him to catapult up close to that record – only 60 million views behind – within an impressive four months to date. Bieber hasn't commented on the accomplishment of "Baby's" fame, but he tweeted on November 14 about his latest YouTube hit, "Beauty And A Beat" featuring Nicki Minaj, having reached nearly 100 million views. The video broke a VEVO record by earning 10.6 million views within the first 24 hours of its release.

Australian rock band AC/DC has finally made the move to make their music available on iTunes. The group had famously held out on the digital sales market in order to promote album format sales. They are one of the last few big groups to hop on the digital bandwagon, joining the ranks with late arrivals such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Metallica. The prospect of digital sales was apparently too much of a draw to keep AC/DC from putting their songs on Apple's digital music platform; Kid Rock agreed by recently joining the iTunes store as well with his album Rebel Soul.


Blink-182 officially announce their new EP, titled dogs eating dogs, will be out December 18. Featuring five new songs, the EP will be sold in three different bundle packages via the trio's website. It is their first release since splitting from Interscope Records. Mark Hoppus said, "We're very excited about the dogs eating dogs EP. These songs didn't even exist a few weeks ago, they were just ideas. And now they're about to be released. Being independent, we have the freedom and ability to record and release new music when and how we want."

Eric Clapton will be on tour throughout the U.S. this upcoming spring, with the trek culminating in the Crossroads Guitar Festival in New York. The tour will start off in Phoenix on March 14 and reach an end with two shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 12 and 13, doubling as next year's edition of the Crossroads Fesitval. Artists slated for the festival include The Allman Brothers Band, John Mayer, BB King, Brad Paisley, Gary Clark Jr., Jeff Beck, among others. All profits from the Festival will benefit The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a treatment and education facility founded by Clapton for chemically dependent persons. Clapton said, "The Crossroads Festival is the realization of a dream for me, to gather a group of amazingly talented musicians to perform on one stage. The Crossroads performers are all musicians I admire and respect."

The 2013 edition of the Rock On The Range festival expands to three days, as organizers announce the seventh annual ROTR festival will be held May 17-19 in Columbus, OH. The complete lineup will be revealed early in 2013. "We are constantly working to improve upon the success of Rock On The Range," says Gary Spivack, co-executive producer of the event for Right Arm Entertainment. "For one, we'll have more ticket buying options than ever before and incentives for the ‘Rangers’ to buy early. Also, no longer will the Friday night be solely a 'pre-party;' it will be incorporated into the full weekend truly making ROTR the biggest destination festival for rock ‘n roll in the United States."

Muse have added seven more European stadium gigs to their 2013 itinerary. New concerts in Coventry, London and Manchster UK have been revealed for May and June, with shows in Spain, Portugal and Switzerland in June as well. More European dates will be announced soon. Muse kick off their North American tour in San Diego on January 21.

After a six-year break, The Backstreet Boys are back in action with the progression of their currently unnamed new album – the first album to be released independently after having left Jive Records. The group is working with a few "young cats," as Nick Carter calls them, like Taylor Reid and the Flipstones. Carter told Billboard that they are "Up and coming guys who I really think have a sound that hasn't been heard yet." The Backstreet Boys have recorded about 15 songs earlier this year in London with producer Martin Terefe. Howie Dorough seemed excited about their independence of a label, saying, "We're writing a lot for this album, working with a lot of producers. We're now free agents on our own label now. So we're really in charge of making this album ourselves and it's great, it's something we've always wanted to do."

Maynard James Keenan's Puscifer project will release a new EP in 2013. Titled Donkey Punch The Night, the eight song set includes a cover of Queen's classic "Bohemian Rhapsody" (as well as an alternate mix) as well as a version of "Balls To The Wall" by German Metal band Accept. The EP is due out February 19.

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Manny Simon
VP/Adult Formats,
Republic Records

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