Quick Hits: Jay Z & Beyoncé, U2 & Will Smith, Bastille, Damon Albarn
January 20, 2014
A commercial for the Grammy Awards that aired on CBS on Sunday night listed Jay Z and Beyoncé as new additions to the performance lineup. The couple now joins Taylor Swift, Lorde, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Daft Punk, Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Metallica, Robin Thicke, Kendrick Lamar, and many others who will take the stage at the Los Angeles ceremony on Sunday, January 26. As of press time, www.Grammy.com did not post any news about the addition of Jay and Bey, and it's unclear whether they will collaborate onstage or perform separately.
NBC has confirmed that when Jimmy Fallon takes over as host of The Tonight Show next month, his first guests will be Will Smith and U2. U2 was just nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Original Song for the track "Ordinary Love," from the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. The band also is expected to release a new album sometime this year. Meanwhile, Will Smith will be promoting his upcoming movie, Focus. The premiere of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon will take place on February 17.
In the midst of a very busy touring schedule, Bastille is trying to lay down some tracks for a sophomore album. The group's Will Farquarson told Billboard that their writing process is becoming more collaborative. "Initially Dan [Smith] did it all and we'd kind of go in and do our parts. Now the basis is still Dan's songwriting, but we're all in there from the get-go, just sticking our two cents in there," Farquarson said. "And a lot of the songs are taking shape in sound check as well. So we're coming from a live perspective because Dan will bring us the songs and we'll jam them and go from there and embellish it as we can." In the meantime, Bastille will keep touring the globe in 2014. "This summer is going to be packed with a lot of festival dates," Farquarson added, "and I think we're coming back to America a few times this year. So the next six months, at least, is constantly touring, and then the festivals in the summer, and we hope to get some recording time in between. We just know it's going to be very busy."
Damon Albarn has announced that his solo album, Everyday Robots, is slated for release on April 29. He told RollingStone of the release: "It's got my name on it and I wrote the songs, but Richard Russell [producer and head of XL Recordings] was a fantastic editor and did a lot of the atmospheric stuff, so in a sense it's not entirely my record. It is my narrative, and my voice and my songs." Albarn also said he will spend 2014 promoting the record and doing "some more theater-based work, maybe a film score." Check out the video for the title track from Albarn's album below: