Quick Hits: Miley Cyrus, Jay Z, Katy Perry & Britney Spears, Grouplove, Sons of the Sea, Jack White, James Blunt, Virgin Mobile Freefest, Fiona Apple & Blake Mills, Life Is Beautiful Festival, JJ Cale
July 29, 2013

Miley Cyrus' video for "We Can’t Stop" has become the fastest music video to reach "Certified" status on VEVO, meaning that it has delivered 100 million views. The video reached this milestone in only 37 days, besting Eminem and Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie," which was Certified by VEVO in 39 days. Cyrus premiered the clip on June 19, where it promptly delivered 10.7 million views in the first 24, which at the time set a record. The video was directed by Diane Martel and was shot in Los Angeles.

After Jay Z was filmed performing the Magna Carta Holy Grail track "Picasso Baby" at New York's Pace Gallery, it turns out that HBO will air that performance as a special called Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film. It will air on August 2 at 11 p.m. EST. The airing will be preceded by Jay's appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher. Fans can check out a trailer for  Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film below:

Katy Perry revealed that she did some subtle backup vocals on the new Britney Spears song, "Ooh La La!," which is featured in the Smurfs 2 movie. The song was written by frequent Perry collaborator Bonnie McKee. At the L.A. premiere of the movie, Perry told E! News: "Me and Bonnie secretly did some background vocals on that song, so maybe listen for our voices."

Grouplove has unveiled details for their special headlining fall tour. The Seesaw Tour will feature two-night stands in 11 cities across the country – the first night will be electric; the second night will be stripped down/acoustic – starting with two shows in Seattle on September 9 and 10. The Seesaw Tour heralds the release of the band's new album, Spreading Rumours, due on September 17.

Sons of the Sea, the new project from Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd, will explore the sunny harmonies of the '60s and '70s with its self-titled, debut album, due out on September 24. Sons of the Sea finds the singer expressing his optimistic views through songs based on piano and guitar, and embellished with strings, bells, organs and synth. The full-length album follows the band's debut EP, Compass, which was released in June.

Jack White has donated $200,000 to the National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF), which is an independent, non-profit charitable corporation established by the U.S. Congress. Its mission is to support archives, libraries, cultural institutions and others committed to preserving America's radio, music and recorded sound heritage. White's donation has helped the NRPF to become operational. "With this contribution we can now put up our basic structure, begin enacting the preservation plan – and give out our first grants," Executive Director Gerald Seligman said in a statement. "We're committed to doing that right away, and certainly within the coming months." White also is on the board of directors for the NRPF.

James Blunt will release his fourth album, Moon Landing, on November 5. The new album was produced by Tom Rothrock (Beck, Moby, Foo Fighters), who worked with Blunt on his multi-platinum debut, Back To Bedlam. The album's first single, "Bonfire Heart," was released today. "This is a much more personal album, and also quite back to basics," commented Blunt. "It's about me and Tom, the producer, finding where the story all started and where we are now. It's an album about dreams, longing, first love."

The lineup for this year's Virgin Mobile Freefest has been revealed, and it boasts Robin Thicke, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, City and Colour, The Avett Brothers, Pretty Lights, Icona Pop and many more. The event takes place in Columbia, MD on September 21. Get all the details at www.virginmobilefeed.com/freefest/

This fall, in a collaborative performance, Fiona Apple and Blake Mills will embark on a 12-date North American tour. Tickets for Anything We Want: An Evening With Fiona Apple & Blake Mills will go on sale beginning this Friday, August 2. The trek runs from October 3 in Portland, OR to October 26 in Washington, DC. The artists plan to play songs from their respective catalogues as well as some original, yet to be released material.

Twelve additional bands will be announced today for the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas, set for October 26-27. New artists joining the bill include Alabama Shakes, Cults, Joey Bada$$, Smith Westerns, Nico Vega, The Dig and Dreamers, according to Billboard. The festival will boast some 50 entertainers, as well as 80 chefs and restaurants, performances by Cirque du Soleil, renowned artists, and more than 25 noted speakers. Headliners that were already announced include The Killers, Kings of Leon, Beck, Imagine Dragons, Pretty Lights, Empire of the Sun, Passion Pit, Jurassic 5, Childish Gambino, Portugal. The Man, Earl Sweatshirt, Living Colour and more.

Singer and songwriter JJ Cale, whose work turned into hit songs for artists such as Eric Clapton and Lynyrd Skynyrd, died from a heart attack on Friday in La Jolla, CA, at the age of 74. His website says "There are no immediate plans for services." Clapton scored big with several of Cale's compositions, including "After Midnight" and "Cocaine," and Lynyrd Skynyrd found similar success with Cale's "Call Me the Breeze." He also won a Grammy Award for his 2006 collaboration with Clapton, The Road to Escondido. Cale's site also notes that "Donations are not needed but he was a great lover of animals so, if you like, you can remember him with a donation to your favorite local animal shelter."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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