1. BSBB Round 2: Sam Smith, "Stay With Me" vs. Maroon 5, "Maps"

    December 15, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Stay With Me Sam Smith Maps Maroon 5 DENISE WARNER: This isn’t even close. Years from now, Smith’s “Stay With Me” will be remembered as a career-making turn  — and “Maps” will be just another cookie-cutter Maroon 5 hit. My Vote…

  2. Audiam Raises Additional $1 Million From Music Biz Investors

    December 15, 2014 7:30 AM EST Audiam, the company started by Tunecore co-founders Jeff Price and Peter Wells to serve publishers and publishing administrators to get them paid accurately from interactive streaming music services, has just raised an additional $1 million in funding from a group of individual strategic…

  3. Mark Ronson, Ed Sheeran Lead U.K. Sales Charts

    December 15, 2014 3:20 AM EST Artist-producer Mark Ronson has landed his first U.K. No. 1 single, after “Uptown Funk” (Columbia/Sony), featuring Bruno Mars , entered at the top Sunday (Dec. 14). Ed Sheeran’s   X  (Asylum/Warner Music) rose again for its tenth aggregate week at the album summit. Ronson’s collaboration…

  4. D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah' Album Finally Drops: First Listen

    December 14, 2014 11:37 PM EST After 14 years without a full-length album, D’Angelo ’s Black Messiah was released Sunday (Dec. 14) just before midnight. The 12-track set is available here via iTunes.   How can you possibly encounter an album like this? The weight of expectations looms large, and it cuts two ways.…

  5. Amanda Palmer Writes on Business of Music, Touring at a Loss: 'Don't Talk About Your Risks'

    December 14, 2014 9:54 PM EST "The mostly-unspoken rule that artists aren’t supposed to talk about their businesses reveals plenty about how we tend to think of 'art' and 'business' as mutually exclusive," writes Amanda Palmer in an op-ed for the Guardian , describing the double standards…

  6. Modest Mouse's New Album, 'Strangers to Ourselves,' Will Be Out in March

    December 14, 2014 7:50 PM EST Modest Mouse teased a new single called "Lampshades on Fire" last week with an Instagram post , and now the band has let a lucky fan release news of a new album set for next year.  Modest Mouse & Brand New Rock New York's Forest Hills Stadium According to a Twitter post…

  7. BSBB Round 3: Beyonce feat. Jay Z, "Drunk In Love" vs. Pharrell Williams, "Happy"

    December 14, 2014 10:02 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Drunk In Love Beyonce feat. Jay Z Happy Pharrell Williams DENISE WARNER: Yes, Pharrell’s “Happy” got Meryl Streep up out of her seat at the Oscars. But had Beyonce’s oh-so-dirty duet with her husband been eligible for an…

  8. BSBB Round 2: One Direction, "Steal My Girl" vs. Jeremih ft. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Steal My Girl One Direction Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG MEAGHAN GARVEY: The sun rose and set on what felt like a dozen supposed release dates for my most anticipated R&B album of the year, Jeremih’s Late…

  9. BSBB Round 2: Paramore, "Ain't It Fun" vs. Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake, "Love Never Felt So Good"

    December 14, 2014 10:01 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Ain't It Fun Paramore Love Never Felt So Good Michael Jackson feat. Justin Timberlake JAMIESON COX: Argh, this is a tough one. “Ain’t It Fun” is exactly that, fun — so vital, sung to within an inch of its life by the…

  10. BSBB Round 1: John Legend, "All Of Me" vs. Ed Sheeran, "Sing"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules All Of Me John Legend Sing Ed Sheeran MAURA JOHNSTON: The battle of the stridently solo balladeers comes down to one simple criterion: Which one will last as a first dance song for weddings immemorial? My Vote: "All Of Me…

  11. BSBB Round 1: American Authors, "Best Day of My Life" vs. Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg, "Wiggle"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Best Day of My Life American Authors Wiggle Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg MAURA JOHNSTON: “Wiggle" wasn't even the best Derulo offering of 2014, but it wins by default here, as the brand of sync-ready jangle that…

  12. BSBB Round 1: MAGIC!, "Rude" vs. Maroon 5, "Maps"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Rude MAGIC! Maps Maroon 5 CHRIS PAYNE: At this point in their career, Maroon 5 sound like they’re just re-writing themselves, so it’s appropriate “Maps” is going up against a new band that’s basically piggybacking off the last…

  13. BSBB Round 1: Justin Timberlake, "Not a Bad Thing" vs. Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan, "This Is How We Roll"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Not a Bad Thing Justin Timberlake This Is How We Roll Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan MAURA JOHNSTON: If the whole of Timberlake's soupy ballad operated in the gauzy mode of its first 17 seconds, it would win this…

  14. BSBB Round 1: OneRepublic, "Counting Stars" vs. Avicii, "Hey Brother"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Counting Stars OneRepublic Hey Brother Avicii KRISTEN YOONSOO KIM: Both of these songs are pretty terrible, but if pressed for answer, I guess I’ll have to go with… OneRepublic. This Avicii track confuses me to no end — the…

  15. BSBB Round 1: Jeremih feat. YG, "Don't Tell 'Em" vs. Echosmith, "Cool Kids"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Don't Tell 'Em Jeremih feat. YG Cool Kids Echosmith CRAIG JENKINS: DJ Mustard gifted Chicago crooner Jeremih’s career new life with sleek “Don’t Tell Em,” which warps Eurodance mainstays Snap!’s “Rhythm Is a Dancer”…

  16. BSBB Round 1: Paramore, "Ain't It Fun" vs. Coldplay, "Magic"

    December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules Ain't It Fun Paramore Magic Coldplay MAURA JOHNSTON: Hayley Williams channeling every pop great before her while also laying a smackdown on those wallowing in Self-Pity Pond? Sorry, Coldplay. (And please, feel free to take…

  17. Does Michael Stipe Have Plans for R.E.M. to Reunite?

    December 13, 2014 7:40 PM EST In Sept. 2011, R.E.M.  " decided to call it a day as a band ." In the three years since they disbanded, fans have been wondering if frontman Michael Stipe has plans to sing again. In an interview with CBS This Morning , the iconic lead singer opened up about just that. "I…

  18. The Clash's 'London Calling' at 35: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review

    December 13, 2014 2:30 PM EST Any punk band worth its leather and studs can do dystopian, apocalyptic angst. The world is always ending, and after garbage men and plumbers, angry young guitar players have some of the best job security around. The trick is to rage in your own unique way. On the opening title track of its…

  19. Z100's Jingle Ball 2014 Highlights: Taylor Swift, 5 Seconds of Summer, Sam Smith & More

    December 13, 2014 1:12 PM EST iHeartRadio giant Z100 (WHTZ) New York held its annual Jingle Ball concert Friday night (Dec. 12) at Madison Square Garden, headlined by Taylor Swift , Iggy Azalea , Ariana Grande and other stars, mostly women. Taylor Swift Beats Laryngitis, Sam Smith, Ariana Grande Shine at KIIS FM…

  20. Watch Hayley Williams & Joy Williams Sing 'Hate to See Your Heart Break' at Women in Music Event

    December 13, 2014 11:11 AM EST Civil Wars singer Joy Williams and Hayley Williams joined forces for a stunningly gorgeous acoustic duet of Paramore 's "Hate To See Your Heart Break" at Billboard’s Women in Music event on Friday (Dec. 12). Hayley Williams Admits She Was 'Afraid to Make Eye Contact'…

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