Quick Hits: Kanye West, Katy Perry, Cage The Elephant, Britney Spears, Emeli Sandé, Jennifer Lopez & will.i.am, Andre 3000, Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson & Jeff Beck
August 5, 2013

Kanye West has been announced as the second performer confirmed for the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. Lady Gaga has already been announced, performing her upcoming single "Applause." West is slated to perform "Black Skinhead" from Yeezus. It will be West's seventh performance at the VMAs, tying a record set by Madonna.

Katy Perry has released a second, ominous teaser video for her upcoming single, "Roar." In the new clip, subtitled "The Third Coming," Perry is apparently at a funeral for her own "California Gurls" persona, as a casket is shown decorated with pink pinwheels as a pair of girls in Perry's lavender wigs cry. This ties in to the first clip, revealed on Friday, where Perry burns her blue wig from that era. "Roar" will be revealed next Monday, August 12. Her new album Prism is due out October 22. Watch "Rise - The Third Coming" below:

Cage The Elephant will release its third album, Melophobia, in the fall, and the band says that recording and perfecting this album was quite a challenge. "Melophobia is the hatred or fear of music," frontman Matt Shultz told Consequence Of Sound. "The whole process was riddled with adversity and growing pains. I don't want to make it seem like it wasn't rewarding, ’cause there were moments of peace and beautiful grace. But there was no part of the process that was easy. I've always read of musicians that couldn’t stand their own music or the sound of their own voice. Now I understand that. To critique something to the point you literally can’t do it anymore. To literally go crazy from it." The singer explained that lyrically, he was writing "these super inner reflective songs, and the band wanted things with more energy and enthusiasm." But ultimately, they reached a middle ground. "Musically, what we're trying to do is to be super thoughtful but blend that with the playfulness," Shultz said. "It became a game to juxtapose and blend those polar opposites. We wanted to see how we can take those odd spectrums and marry them cohesively."

On Saturday, Britney Spears took to her Facebook page to share the "recipe" for her upcoming eighth album. The recipe dictates that Brit will mix together certain elements of her seven previous works. The final step says to: "Mix it all together in a vanilla-smelling studio. Pour some B-love into it. Stir it carefully with a producer's spoon until combined. Wait about a year. Pour the mixture into CD cases and cover the top with 'bonuses' stickers." Spears, who recently released the single "Ooh La La" for the Smurfs 2 soundtrack, teamed up with producers will.i.am, Hit Boy, and William Orbit for the forthcoming opus.

Emeli Sandé will launch a U.S. headline tour on October 11 at The Fillmore Miami Beach. The run will wrap up at the Vic Theatre in Chicago on October 26. Tickets will go on sale this Saturday, August 10. In other news, Sandé will release Live At Royal Albert Hall, a CD capturing her first-ever concert at the historic London venue, exclusively at Target beginning August 27. On October 8, the concert will be available on DVD and Blu-ray as well as on video via iTunes.

Jennifer Lopez and will.i.am are at the top of producers' wish lists to be judges on the next season of American Idol, and Lopez's deal is expected to be signed any day now, according to the Hollywood Reporter. However, will's contract looks to be a little further off. Lopez had served as a judge for two previous seasons in 2011 and 2012, while the Black Eyed Peas rapper held a seat on the U.K. version of The Voice. Meanwhile, on August 2 it was announced that judge Keith Urban will be returning to the show for another season.

BET executive Stephen Hill tweeted over the weekend that he ran into Outkast rapper Andre 3000, and Dre told him that "I got a solo album coming top of the year." The news may come as a shock to fans, since Andre has never released a solo album, and his Jimi Hendrix biopic is soon to come out. However, Andre's publicist told Billboard that the album release is not set in stone. "Regarding reports of a specific plan to release an album in early 2014, there is no official confirmation on that report," the rep stated.

Elvis Costello has announced his first major headlining solo dates on the east coast in a decade. The set of 13 shows runs from November 2 in Burlington, VT to November 19 in Orono, ME. Meanwhile, Costello will release Wise Up Ghost, his new collaborative album with The Roots, on September 17.

Brian Wilson and Jeff Beck will embark on a month-long U.S. tour together in the fall. It is set to kick off on September 27 in Hollywood, FL and wrap on October 27 in Akron, OH. "He's got a truckload of hits to play, but we'll build on that and interact," Beck told USA Today about the tour. "Brian will kick things off, but I'll also be given enough time to establish what I'm about. In the end, we'll mix and match. It's a complete honor to be on stage with him." Wilson calls Beck "very well versed" in his music, noting that "he'll play in the pockets where I'm not singing. He brings that great guitar-player kind of thing to the picture."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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