Quick Hits: Katy Perry, One Direction, Bridge School Benefit, Paramore, Coldplay, Avril Lavigne, Ed Sheeran, Kings of Leon, Lollapalooza
September 6, 2013

Not long after Katy Perry premiered the video for her new single, "Roar," the singer appeared on Good Morning America this morning to unveil her Prism album cover. The cover photo for the October 22 release was taken in upstate New York. "I shot it with this amazing New York photographer named Ryan McGinley. And I just wanted it to be pure and radiant and full of light," Perry said on GMA about the image (seen at right). In addition to premiering the cover, she also announced a "Roar" contest. Fans can submit videos of themselves singing the song, and on Perry's birthday (October 25), she will perform at the high school that wins her "Roar" video contest.
     Also while in NYC, Perry and Capitol Records hosted a listening party for Prism on Thursday night. According to MTV News, ten songs were previewed at the event and Perry told the crowd that some were "very rough mixes" of the tracks. New tunes included "Birthday," "Walking On Air," "This Is How We Do," "Dark Horse" and "Legendary Lovers."

One Direction will roll out their third album in two years, as the British boy band revealed today that Midnight Memories will be released on November 25. It will include the group's latest single, "Best Song Ever."

The lineup for the 2013 edition of Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert has been announced. Slated for October 26-27 at the Shoreline Ampitheatre in Mountain View, CA, it will be headlined with a reunion of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Also on board for the annual, acoustic event are fun.The Killers, Queens Of The Stone Age, Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket, Jenny Lewis, Heart and Diana Krall.

Paramore is getting ready to wrap up its European tour at the end of September before kicking off a North American jaunt on October 15 in Seattle. After that, Australia and New Zealand are scheduled for January, and the group will headline a cruise in March. With all of this touring still ahead, frontwoman Hayley Williams says that fans should expect a tighter, more bombastic show. "We've been planning this tour for a while," Williams told Billboard. "We just put a lot of forethought and a lot of elbow grease into this. We want to show the longtime fans how far they've brought us, and we want to show all the new fans what they might have missed out on had they not caught on. So bigger production, bigger stages, obviously. We want to be a band that puts on a larger than life show. I've sort of rediscovered Freddie Mercury as a 24-year-old; I first fell in love with him as a kid, through Wayne's World. I want to put on a show like that, that people can't stop talking about, and we've just been working really, really hard to make sure that's what it is. It's going to be massive, I think, for Paramore. I'm really, really excited about it."

Coldplay has released the new song "Atlas," which will appear on the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This marks the first time Coldplay has recorded an original song for a motion picture, and their first new song since the release of Mylo Xyloto in 2011. The new Hunger Games movie is due in theaters on November 22. You can watch the lyric video for "Atlas" here.

Avril Lavigne has released the track list for her self-titled, fifth studio album, which is due on November 5. The song "Let Me Go" features her hubby Chad Kroeger, and "Bad Girl" is listed as a duet with Marilyn Manson. The album also will feature the two already-released singles, "Here's to Never Growing Up" and "Rock N Roll." It was co-produced by Lavigne, Kroeger, Martin Johnson and David Hodges.

British singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran has been on a prolific hot streak lately, telling Rolling Stone that he recently "demoed 70 songs" and that he's "hoping to release three [albums] in three years." Sheeran hasn't settled yet on the exact songs or production style he will use for the first of those records, but he has chosen Jeff Bhasker (Taylor Swift, Kanye West) and the legendary Rick Rubin to produce. "Rick had an idea of me recording it completely acoustic and then adding [instrumentation later]," Sheeran told the magazine. "There are just so many tunes and so many directions to go with the album that I don't really know."

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia star Glenn Howerton has made a comedic new trailer starring Danny DeVito for Kings of Leon's forthcoming record, Mechanical Bull, due out September 24. Check it out below:

Lollapalooza will return to South America in 2014, as Billboard reports that Perry Farrell's music festival will launch in Buenos Aires, Argentina next year. Dates and the show's lineup will be announced sometime soon.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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