Saturday, January 30, 2010

MUSIC Industry Gets Set for the 2010 Grammy's

With a lot of hype set for the 2010 Grammy Awards on January 31st, its hard to keep track of some of the important nominations and the possible winners. So we break from news of all sorts - Michael Jackson tributes (his children may be speaking, performances, after-parties, etc), sneak peaks of performances, charity events and big predictions - and take the time to review some of the big categories of awards and their nominations.

Now this wouldn't be such a fun blog without our predictions...

Here is a list of some of the big award categories and nominees:
( ** = CydecClops winner prediction)

Album of the Year
Beyoncé – I Am… Sasha Fierce
Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.
Lady Gaga – The Fame **
Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
Taylor Swift – Fearless

Record of the Year
Beyoncé – “Halo”
Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody”
Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me” **

Song of the Year
Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” **
Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
Maxwell – “Pretty Wings”
Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody”
Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals
Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling” **
Bon Jovi – “We Weren’t Born to Follow”
The Fray – “Never Say Never”
Daryl Hall & John Oates – “Sara Smile”
MGMT – “Kids”

Best New Artist:
Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings**

Best Female Vocal Pop Performance:
'Hometown Glory,' Adele
'Halo,' Beyonce
'Hot N Cold,' Katy Perry
'Sober,' Pink
'You Belong With Me,' Taylor Swift**

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance:
'This Time,' John Legend'
'Love You,' Maxwell**
'Make It Mine,' Jason Mraz
'If You Don't Know Me By Now,' Seal
'All About the Love Again,' Stevie Wonder

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals:
'Sea of Heartbreak,' Rosanne Cash and Bruce Springsteen
'Love Sex Magic,' Ciara and Justin Timberlake
'Lucky,' Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat**
'Baby, It's Cold Outside,' Willie Nelson and Norah Jones
'Breathe,' Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
'Besame Mucho,' Herb Alpert
'Throw Down Your Heart,' Béla Fleck
'The Fire,' Imogen Heap
'Phoenix Rise,' Maxwell
'Funk Joint,' Marcus Miller**

Best Pop Instrumental Album
'In Boston,' Chris Botti
'Legacy,' Hiroshima
'Potato Hole,' Booker T. Jones
'Modern Art,' The Rippingtons Featuring Russ Freeman
'Down The Wire,' Spyro Gyra**

Best Pop Vocal Album
'The E.N.D.' the Black Eyed Peas
'Breakthrough,' Colbie Caillat**
'All I Ever Wanted,'Kelly Clarkson
'The Fray,' The Fray
'Funhouse,' Pink

Best Dance Recording
'Boom Boom Pow,' The Black Eyed Peas**
'When Love Takes Over,' David Guetta & Kelly Rowland'
'Poker Face,' Lady Gaga
'Celebration,' Madonna
'Womanizer,' Britney Spears

Best Electronic/Dance Album
'Divided By Night,' The Crystal Method
'One Love,' David Guetta
'The Fame,' Lady Gaga**
'Party Rock,' LMFAO
'Yes,' Pet Shop Boys

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
'A Swingin' Christmas,' Tony Bennett
'Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden,' Michael Bublé **
'Your Songs,' Harry Connick, Jr.'
'Liza's at the Palace,' Liza Minnelli
'American Classic,' Willie Nelson

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
'Beyond Here Lies Nothin',' Bob Dylan
'Change in the Weather,' John Fogerty
'Dreamer,' Prince
'Working on a Dream,' Bruce Springsteen**
'Fork in the Road,' Neil Young

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
'Can't Find My Way Home,' Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood
'Life In Technicolor II,' Coldplay'
'21 Guns,' Green Day**
'Use Somebody,' Kings of Leon
'I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight,' U2

Best Hard Rock Performance
'War Machine,' AC/DC'
'Check My Brain,' Alice in Chains
'What I've Done,' Linkin Park'**
'The Unforgiven III,' Metallica
'Burn It to the Ground,' Nickelback

Best Metal Performance
'Dissident Aggressor,' Judas Priest
'Set to Fail,' Lamb of God**
'Head Crusher,' Megadeth
'Señor Peligro,' Ministry
'Hate Worldwide,' Slayer

Best Rock Instrumental Performance
'A Day in the Life,' Jeff Beck
'Warped Sister,' Booker T. Jones**
'Playing With Fire,' Brad Paisley
'Mr. Surfer Goes Jazzin',' Brian Setzer Orchestra
'Now We Run,' Steve Vai

Best Rock Song
'The Fixer,' Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready & Eddie Vedder, songwriters (Pearl Jam)
'I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight,' Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge & Larry Mullen Jr., songwriters (U2)
'21 Guns,' Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt & Tré Cool, songwriters (Green Day)**
'Use Somebody,' Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon)
'Working on a Dream,' Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)

Best Rock Album
'Black Ice,' AC/DC
'Live From Madison Square Garden,' Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood
'21st Century Breakdown,' Green Day**
'Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King,' Dave Matthews Band
'No Line on the Horizon,' U2

Best Alternative Music Album
'Everything That Happens Will Happen Today,' David Byrne & Brian Eno
'The Open Door,' Death Cab For Cutie
'Sounds of the Universe,' Depeche Mode
'Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,' Phoenix **
'It's Blitz!' Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)' Beyoncé
'It Kills Me,' Melanie Fiona
'That Was Then,' Lalah Hathaway
'Goin' Thru Changes,' Ledisi
'Lions, Tigers & Bears,' Jazmine Sullivan**

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance
'The Point Of It All,' Anthony Hamilton
'Pretty Wings,' Maxwell**
'Sobeautiful,' Musiq Soulchild
'Under,' Pleasure P
'There Goes My Baby,' Charlie Wilson

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
'Blame It,' Jamie Foxx & T-Pain
'Chocolate High,' India.Arie & Musiq Soulchild**
'Ifuleave,' Musiq Soulchild & Mary J. Blige
'Higher Ground,' Robert Randolph & The Clark Sisters
'Love Has Finally Come At Last,' Calvin Richardson & Ann Nesby

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
'At Last,' Beyoncé**
'Soul Music,' Anthony Hamilton
'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,' Boney James & Quinn
'Sow Love,' Ann Nesby
'Woman Gotta Have It,' Calvin Richardson

Best Urban/Alternative Performance
'Daykeeper,' The Foreign Exchange
'All Matter,' Robert Glasper & Bilal
'Pearls,' India.Arie & Dobet Gnahore**
'A Tale Of Two,' Eric Roberson, Ben O'Neill & Michelle Thompson
'Blend,' Tonex

Best R&B Song
'Blame It,' James T. Brown, John Conte, Jr., Jamie Foxx, Christopher Henderson, Brandon R. Melanchon, Breyon Prescott, T-Pain & Nathan L. Walker, songwriters (Jamie Foxx & T-Pain)
'Lions, Tigers & Bears' Salaam Remi & Jazmine Sullivan, songwriters (Jazmine Sullivan)
'Pretty Wings,' Hod David & Musze, songwriters (Maxwell)
'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)'**
Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, songwriters (Beyoncé)
'Under,' D. Babbs, L. Bereal, M. Cooper, A. Dixon, J. Franklin, T. Jones, R. New & K. Stephens, songwriters (Pleasure P)

Best R&B Album
'The Point Of It All,' Anthony Hamilton
'Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics,' India.Arie**
'Turn Me Loose,' Ledisi
'Blacksummers' Night,' Maxwell
'Uncle Charlie,' Charlie Wilson

Best Contemporary R&B Album
'I Am... Sasha Fierce,' Beyoncé
'Intuition,' Jamie Foxx**
'The Introduction Of Marcus Cooper,' Pleasure P
'Ready,' Trey Songz
'Thr33 Ringz,' T-Pain

Best Rap Solo Performance
'Best I Ever Had,' Drake**
'Beautiful,' Eminem
'D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune),' Jay-Z
'Day 'N' Nite,' Kid Cudi
'Casa Bey,' Mos Def

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group
'Too Many Rappers,' Beastie Boys & Nas
'Crack A Bottle,' Eminem, Dr. Dre & 50 Cent
'Money Goes, Honey Stay,' Fabolous & Jay-Z
'Make Her Say,' Kid Cudi, Kanye West & Common**
'Amazing,' Kanye West & Young Jeezy

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
'Ego,' Beyoncé & Kanye West
'Knock You Down,' Keri Hilson, Kanye West & Ne-Yo
'Run This Town,' Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West**
'I'm On A Boat,' The Lonely Island & T-Pain
'Dead And Gone,' T.I. & Justin Timberlake

Best Rap Song
'Best I Ever Had,' Aubrey Drake Graham, D. Hamilton & M. Samuels, songwriters (Drake)
'Day 'N' Nite,' S. Mescudi & O. Omishore, songwriters (Kid Cudi)
'Dead And Gone,' C. Harris, R. Tadross & J. Timberlake, songwriters (T.I. & Justin Timberlake)
'D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune),' Shawn Carter & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer, Paul Leka, Janko Nilovic & Dave Sucky, songwriters) (Jay-Z)
'Run This Town,' Shawn Carter, R. Fenty, M. Riddick, Kanye West & E. Wilson, songwriters (Athanasios Alatas, songwriter) (Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West) **

Best Rap Album
'Universal Mind Control,' Common
'Relapse,' Eminem
'R.O.O.T.S.' Flo Rida
'The Ecstatic,' Mos Def **
'The Renaissance,' Q-Tip

Best Female Country Vocal Performance
'Dead Flowers,' Miranda Lambert
'I Just Call You Mine,' Martina McBride
'White Horse,' Taylor Swift
'Just A Dream,' Carrie Underwood**
'Solitary Thinkin',' Lee Ann Womack

Best Male Country Vocal Performance
'All I Ask For Anymore,' Trace Adkins
'People Are Crazy,' Billy Currington
'High Cost Of Living,' Jamey Johnson
'Living For The Night,' George Strait
'Sweet Thing,' Keith Urban**

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
'Cowgirls Don't Cry,' Brooks & Dunn
'Chicken Fried,' Zac Brown Band
'I Run To You,' Lady Antebellum**
'Here Comes Goodbye,' Rascal Flatts
'It Happens,' Sugarland

Best Country Collaboration With Vocals
'Beautiful World,' Dierks Bentley & Patty Griffin**
'Down The Road,' Kenny Chesney & Mac McAnally
'Start A Band,' Brad Paisley & Keith Urban
'I Told You So,' Carrie Underwood & Randy Travis
'Everything But Quits,' Lee Ann Womack & George Strait

Best Country Instrumental Performance
'Under The (Five) Wire,' Alison Brown
'The Crystal Merchant,' The Greencards
'Mansinneedof,' Sarah Jarosz
'Producer's Medley,' Steve Wariner**

Best Country Song
'All I Ask For Anymore,' Casey Beathard & Tim James, songwriters (Trace Adkins)
Track from: X (Ten)
'High Cost Of Living,' Jamey Johnson & James Slater, songwriters (Jamey Johnson)
'I Run To You,' Tom Douglas, Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley & Hillary Scott, songwriters (Lady Antebellum)
'People Are Crazy,' Bobby Braddock & Troy Jones, songwriters (Billy Currington)
'White Horse,' Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)**

Best Country Album
'The Foundation,' Zac Brown Band
'Twang,' George Strait
'Fearless,' Taylor Swift**
'Defying Gravity,' Keith Urban
'Call Me Crazy,' Lee Ann Womack

Best New Age Album
'Faith,' Jim Brickman
'Prayer For Compassion,' David Darling
'Laserium For The Soul,' Henta
'In A Dream,' Peter Kater, Dominic Miller, Kenny Loggins & Jaques Morelenbaum **
'Impressions Of The West Lake,' Kitaro

Best Contemporary Jazz Album
'Urbanus,' Stefon Harris & Blackout
'Sounding Point,' Julian Lage **
'At World's Edge,' Philippe Saisse
'Big Neighborhood,' Mike Stern
'75,' Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate

Best Jazz Vocal Album
'No Regrets,' Randy Crawford (& Joe Sample)
'Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman,' Kurt Elling
'So In Love,' Roberta Gambarini **
'Tide,' Luciana Souza
'Desire,' Tierney Sutton (Band)

Best Improvised Jazz Solo
'Dancin' 4 Chicken,' Terence Blanchard, soloist
'All Of You,' Gerald Clayton, soloist
'Ms. Garvey, Ms. Garvey,' Roy Hargrove, soloist **
'On Green Dolphin Street,' Martial Solal, soloist
'Villa Palmeras,' Miguel Zenón, soloist

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group
'Quartet Live,' Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow & Antonio Sanchez **
'Brother To Brother,' Clayton Brothers
'Five Peace Band - Live,' Chick Corea & John McLaughlin Five Peace Band
'Remembrance,' John Patitucci Trio
'The Bright Mississippi,' Allen Toussaint

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
'Legendary,' Bob Florence Limited Edition
'Eternal Interlude,' John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
'Fun Time,' Sammy Nestico And The SWR Big Band
'Book One,' New Orleans Jazz Orchestra **
'Lab 2009,' University Of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band

Best Latin Jazz Album
'Things I Wanted To Do,' Chembo Corniel
'Áurea,' Geoffrey Keezer
'Brazilliance X 4,' Claudio Roditi
'Juntos Para Siempre,' Bebo Valdés And Chucho Valdés **
'Esta Plena,' Miguel Zenón

Best Gospel Performance
'Free To Be Me,' Francesca Battistelli
'Jesus Is Love,' Heather Headley Featuring Smokie Norful **
'I Believe,' Jonny Lang With Fisk Jubilee Singers
'Wait On The Lord,' Donnie McClurkin Featuring Karen Clark Sheard
'Born Again,' Third Day

Best Gospel Song
'Born Again,' Tai Anderson, David Carr, Mark Lee & Mac Powell, songwriters (Third Day)
'City On Our Knees,' Cary Barlowe, Toby McKeehan & Jaime Moore, songwriters (TobyMac)
'Every Prayer,' Dayna Caddell, Israel Houghton, Aaron Lindsey & Ricardo Sanchez, songwriters (Israel Houghton & Mary Mary)
'God In Me,' Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell & Warryn Campbell, songwriters (Mary Mary Featuring Kierra "KiKi" Sheard) **
'The Motions,' Jason Houser, Sam Mizell & Matthew West, songwriters (Matthew West)

Best Rock Or Rap Gospel Album
'The Big Picture,' Da' T.R.U.T.H.
'Crash,' Decyfer Down
'Innocence & Instinct,' Red
'Live Revelations,' Third Day **
'The Dash,' John Wells-The Tonic

Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album
'Speaking Louder Than Before,' Jeremy Camp
'The Power Of One,' Israel Houghton
'The Long Fall Back To Earth,' Jars Of Clay
'Love Is On The Move,' Leeland
'Freedom,' Mandisa **

Best Contemporary R&B Gospel Album
'Audience Of One,' Heather Headley
'Renewed,' Sheri Jones-Moffett
'Just James,' J Moss
'Smokie Norful: Live,' Smokie Norful
'Bold Right Life,' Kierra Sheard **

Best Reggae Album
'Rasta Got Soul,' Buju Banton
'Brand New Me,' Gregory Isaacs
'Awake,' Julian Marley **
'Mind Control -- Acoustic,' Stephen Marley
'Imperial Blaze,' Sean Paul

Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
'Cadillac Records,' (Various Artists)
'Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds,' (Various Artists)
'Slumdog Millionaire,' (Various Artists) **
'True Blood,' (Various Artists)
'Twilight,' (Various Artists)

Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
'The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (Disc 1),' Alexandre Desplat, composer
'Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince,' Nicholas Hooper, composer
'Milk,' Danny Elfman, composer **
'Star Trek,' Michael Giacchino, composer
'Up,' Michael Giacchino, composer

Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
'The Climb' (From Hannah Montana: The Movie), Jessi Alexander & Jon Mabe, songwriters (Miley Cyrus)
'Decode' (From Twilight), Josh Farro, Hayley Williams & Taylor York, songwriters (Paramore)
'Jai Ho' (From Slumdog Millionaire), Gulzar, A.R. Rahman & Tanvi Shah, songwriters (A.R. Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer & Vijay Prakash) **
'Once In A Lifetime,' (From Cadillac Records), Ian Dench, James Dring, Amanda Ghost, Beyoncé Knowles, Scott McFarnon & Jody Street, songwriters (Beyoncé)
'The Wrestler' (From The Wrestler), Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen)

New Music : January 25, 2010 - February 01, 2010

Corinne Bailey Rae "The Sea"
This songstress made her initial splash in 2006 with a #1 UK album and sleeper U.S. hit ("Put Your Records On") that positioned her as another hip Adult Contemporary newcomer in the soul-jazz-pop mode of Norah Jones, Madeline Peyroux, and Melody Gardot. Her follow-up four years later sounds more robust and assured than its mellow predecessor. While some of that growth may have been triggered by the accidental death of her husband in 2008, Rae and her collaborators say she was already stepping up her game before tragedy struck. Cuts like "Paris Nights/New York Mornings" and the funky "Feels Like The First Time" have more meat on their bones--check out the organ on the sinuous "The Blackest Lily"!!

Lady Antebellum "Need You Now"
Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, and Hillary Scott enjoyed success right out of the gate. Their 2008 self-titled debut topped the country charts, and spun off three hits, including "I Run To You." With two 2009 CMA victories under their belt, the Grammy Award-nominated threesome seems poised to continue its winning streak with "Need You Now." They certainly didn't tinker with a successful formula. Their sophomore set is once again produced by Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks, Big & Rich), with the band co-writing eight out of eleven selections. In addition to the title tune, which was a #1 country single for five weeks last year and looks to cross over to pop radio stations a la Taylor Swift or Faith Hill. "Need You Now" also includes their current smash, the restless childhood meditation "American Honey."

The Magnetic Fields "Realism"
In the wake of 2008's Jesus and Mary Chain-inspired "Distortion," Stephin Merritt and his band once again change tack for the ninth album from that takes its cues from late '60s and early '70s psychedelic folk and orchestral pop. The album eschews electronic instruments, instead weaving its beguiling spell with timbres ranging from tablas to tuba, autoharp to accordion; tinkling toy piano adds deceptive whimsy to "The Dolls' Tea Party." The cd opener - "You Must Be Out of Your Mind" is up to par there with their other hit, "I Don't Believe You" in his ever-growing catalog of vitriolic dismissals of former paramours. "We Are Having A Hootenanny" includes the unforgettable couplet "do-si-do down/to our hoedown."

Charlotte Gainsbourg "Irm"
The French actress ("The Science of Sleep," Lars von Trier's controversial "Antichrist") has never wanted for musical collaborators: Her father, the legendary and Serge Gainsbourg oversaw her earliest work, while Air, Jarvis Cocker, the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon, and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich all worked on her 2006 full-length "5.55." For "IRM," Gainsbourg teams with Beck, who produced the thirteen-track album, and also composed the music and co-wrote lyrics for all but one song. Gainsbourg's breathy vocals will never give Mariah Carey pause, but she radiates commanding presence, and seems equally at home on tunes with a vintage pop sensibility ("In The End" recalls François Hardy at her dreamy '60s best) and experimental fare (the crunchy, percussive "Master's Hands").

Other New Releases Worth Checking Out:
(Have not listened to, but please feel free to post a review)

* Patty Griffin: "Downtown Church" (listen)
* Barry Manilow: "The Greatest Love Songs of All Time"
* Basia Bulat: "Heart of My Own"

2010 : A Look at the Year With Its Movie Releases

As we are a month into the new year and a new decade, CydeClops Productions took a sneak peak at a few new movies on the horizon for the year. The year brings a lot of sequels that people have been waiting for - Shrek, Toy Story 3, Twilight Saga, Iron Man 2, Sex In The City 2 and more. There's the nostalgia of the 80's - Clash of the Titans, The A-Team, Tron Legacy, Nightmare on Elm Street and The Expendables (a movie shot full of 80's action heroes). The big stars come out with the type of roles we are used to seeing them in - Knight and Day (Tom Cruise), Salt (Angelina Jolie), Grown Ups (Adam Sandler), Little Fockers (Ben Stiller) and Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (Michael Douglas brings back Gordon Gekko). While some movies bring back tandems of the director and the actor that brought their movies to fame - Alice in Wonderland (Edward Scissorhands' Tim Burton + Johnny Depp), Robin Hood (Gladiator's Ridley Scott + Russell Crowe) and The Green Zone (Bourne Identity's Paul Greengrass + Matt Damon).

So if you were looking to save some money because you thought this would be the decade that you would start going out to the movies a lot less, these movies are the reasons why that type of new year's resolution will be easily broken ...

The Sure Things
'Alice in Wonderland'
Release Date: March 5
Starring: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter
Why It'll Be Big: Tim Burton's take on this beloved tale takes place when Alice (Wasikowska) is a teenager, meaning we'll get a whole new twisty adventure -- hosted of course by the wonderfully weird Mad Hatter (Depp as a Madonna lookalike?). Judging from its extraordinary trailer, this very Burton-esque trip will be a wonder in itself.

'Iron Man 2'
Release Date: May 7
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson
Why It'll Be Big: As if the promise of RDJ reprising his career-rejuvenating role as wisecracking billionaire playboy-turned-superhero Tony Stark weren't enough, this go-around adds Rourke as formidable Russian foe Whiplash and Johansson as sexy double agent (we think?) the Black Widow. This puppy is bulletproof.

'Shrek Forever After'
Release Date: May 21
Starring: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy
Why It'll Be Big: Though 'The Third' was a disappointment, 'Shrek' remains one of the best animated franchises around, and really the only 'toon that can rival Pixar in side-splitting humor that's friendly to both kids and adults. As per tradition, this final installments packs some exciting new voice talent, including John Hamm and Craig Robinson.

'Sex and the City 2'
Release Date: May 28
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon
Why It'll Be Big: The girls are back! Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte will "Carrie on" in this sequel to 'Sex and the City,' which assures fans they "haven't seen anything yet." Based on the trailer, this means a possible wedding (Samantha?), a Moroccan getaway and Carrie in a "J'adore Dior" t-shirt (OK, that we've seen before).

'Toy Story 3'
Release Date: June 18
Starring: Tim Allen, Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton
Why It'll Be Big: The gang is back, and this time they're in 3-D. Newcomers Keaton (who plays a Ken doll) and Whoopi Goldberg (who's finally back in a movie!) join Hanks, Allen and the rest of the toys in their mission to escape a day care center -- to which they were donated by their college-bound owner. Expect another funny, heartfelt mega-hit (Pixar's 11th straight).

'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse'
Release Date: June 30
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Why It'll Be Big: Let's be honest, Bella's (Stewart) reunion with vamp love Edward's (Pattinson) is the #1 reason Twi-hards will head back to theaters for the insanely popular franchise's third installment. But more love triangle drama, sexy werewolves (led by breakout star Lautner) and Bella's "immortal" decision may also have something to do with it.

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt 1'
Release Date: Nov. 19
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Why It'll Be Big: If you have to wonder why it'll be big, then we'd like to escort you out of that cave where you've been living. David Yates returns to direct this penultimate film in the series, in which Harry, Hermione and Ron leave Hogwarts to find and destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes. Breaking J.K. Rowling's final book into two parts will allow the filmmakers to be even more faithful to the books than they've been previously -- so even die hard Potterheads should walk away happy.

Fanboy Central
'The Losers'
Release Date: April 9
Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana
Why It'll Be Big: It's hard to say whether this spring actioner (about a group of mercenaries taking revenge against the corrupt government) is shooting to be this year's 'Watchmen' (minus the gargantuan expectations) or 'Wanted' (minus the Angelina Jolie). Based on a lesser known Vertigo comic, it'll be considered a success if it mirrors either in box office returns.

Release Date: April 16
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Nicolas Cage, Chloe Grace Moretz
Why It'll Be Big: Forget 'Fanboys' -- this is the comedy for and about fanboys that fanboys have been waiting for. Teen Dave Lizewski (Johnson) transforms himself into an ass-kicking superhero (superpowers not included) in this buzzed about fantasy comedy. Oh, and we get to see McLovin' act like he's a superhero. Sold!

'Jonah Hex'
Release Date: June 18
Starring: Josh Brolin, Megan Fox, John Malkovich
Why It'll Be Big: Fanboys have been drooling over the adaptation of this comic-book Western ever since it was announced, and it's not hard to see why: It's got Josh Brolin as a badass gunslinging bounty hunter, John Malkovich as his sinister nemesis and Megan Fox accentuating her acting talents in a bust-ballooning corset. Need we say more?

'Tron: Legacy'
Release Date: Dec. 17
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Bruce Boxleitner
Why It'll Be Big: When the first footage from 'Tron: Legacy' was unveiled at Comic-Con in 2008, the crowd hushed ... then went crazy. This sequel to the 1982 film brings back Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, except this time it's son Sam (Hedlund) who gets pulled into the weird universe of Tron where his dad's been living. And if you thought all that neon cyber-stuff looked cool in the '80s, just wait until you get a look at the upgrade.

'The Green Hornet'
Release Date: Dec. 22
Starring: Seth Rogen, Christoph Waltz, Cameron Diaz
Why It'll Be Big: The Green Hornet strikes again! Seth Rogen and his 'Superbad' collaborator Evan Goldberg wrote this adaptation of the radio show and TV series, so that takes care of the funny; Michel Gondry (who co-wrote the story for 'Eternal Sunshine' with Charlie Kaufman and wrote and directed 'The Science of Sleep') is directing, so that takes care of the visually inventive and wonderfully strange. As for Rogen as a superhero, well, he didn't lose all that weight for nothin'.

The Funny Stuff
'Youth in Revolt'
Release Date: Jan. 8
Starring: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Zach Galifianakis
Why It'll Be Big: It's been called 'Fight Club' meets 'Superbad' (a lot). Based on the novel by C.D. Payne, 'Youth' is a role-reversal of sorts for its star Michael Cera who plays Nick Twisp, a dorky, sex-obsessed teen who develops a bad boy alter ego (a mustached Frenchman named Francois) to help him get a girl. Cera fans will eat it up.

'Valentine's Day'
Release Date: Feb. 12
Starring: Half of Hollywood, including Julia Roberts, Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel
Why It'll Be Big: Where did they cast this one, the SAG Awards? Also starring Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Bradley Cooper, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner, Jamie Foxx and more (many more), it follows several couples as they make or break their relationships leading up to the most hated/loved made-up holiday of the year.

'Cop Out'
Release Date: Feb. 26
Starring: Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan
Why It'll Be Big: Originally boasting the not-so-marquee-friendly title 'A Couple of Dicks,' Kevin Smith's buddy cop comedy may have underwent the most clever name change ever (get it, "cop out"?!). It also gives Morgan, the zaniest of '30 Rock' zanies, a long-awaited big-screen star vehicle ('G-Force' notwithstanding).

'Hot Tub Time Machine'
Release Date: March 19
Starring: John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson
Why It'll Be Big: The timing couldn't be better for this time-travel comedy. Hot on the heels of that phenomenon 'The Hangover,' we get another R-rated laugher about man-children navigating hazy terrain and featuring highly respected comic actors on the cusp of breaking out (substitute Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms with Corddry and Robinson). And lest we forget... John Cusack's being funny again!

'Date Night'
Release Date: April 9
Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg
Why It'll Be Big: NBC Must-See TV hits the big screen, with Carell ('The Office') and Fey ('30 Rock') starring as a married couple who try to keep the spark alive by going on a date night ... but end up just trying to stay alive when gun-toting thugs mistake them for James Franco and Mila Kunis. We see the resemblance.

'Get Him to the Greek'
Release Date: June 11
Starring: Russell Brand, Rose Byrne, Jonah Hill
Why It'll Be Big: In this sequel of sorts to 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall,' the madcap Brit Brand gets the star vehicle he deserves, reprising his role as rocker Aldous Snow, who must rely on a record company intern (Hill, in a new role) to escort him to a high-profile gig at L.A.'s Greek Theater. One upside from the get-go: less naked Jason Segel.

'Grown Ups'
Release Date: June 25
Starring: Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James
Why It'll Be Big: Hit machine Sandler recruits not only Rock and former fake onscreen lover James, but also Rob Schneider and David Spade (two funnymen seriously hurting for another movie hit); they play five old high school pals who reunite to honor the passing of the old coach. So yes, it's sort of like 'The Big Chill' ... with a lot more fart jokes.

'Little Fockers'
Release Date: July 30
Starring: Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Robert De Niro
Why It'll Be Big: 'Meet the Parents' raked in $166.2 million and its sequel 'Meet the Fockers' a staggering $279 million domestically. We can only assume that the third installment -- which finds Gaylord Focker (Stiller) and his wife (Polo) raising 5-year-old twins -- will do enough box office to rival 'Avatar.' Joking aside, 'Fockers' films are always a hoot, and this one adds Harvey Keitel, Jessica Alba and Laura Dern to the mix.

'The Other Guys'
Release Date: Aug. 6
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton
Why It'll Be Big: Action-comedies are hit-and-miss (Ferrell and Wahlberg are partners-in-crime-solving), but Ferrell-and-Adam McKay movies are nearly all hits ('Anchorman,' 'Talladega Nights' and 'Step Brothers'). Factor in Wahlberg's first comedic act since Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch (too easy!) and this makes a case worth investigating.

'Your Highness'
Release Date: Oct. 1
Starring: James Franco, Danny McBride, Zooey Deschanel
Why It'll Be Big: Once one of the most cherished directors in Indiewood after films like 'All the Real Girls' and 'Undertow,' it seems David Gordon Green found a new calling after the success of 'Pineapple Express.' But the title leaves us a bit dazed and confused: Is this fantasy about a prince (Franco) and his lazy brother (McBride) saving their Medieval Kingdom another stoner comedy?

'Due Date'
Release Date: Nov. 5
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis
Why It'll Be Big: These days, audiences will watch RDJ in anything, so a raunchy road-trip comedy directed by 'Hangover' helmer Todd Phillips and co-starring that movie's breakout buffoon Zach Galifianakis isn't going to be a hard sell. Downey stars as a dad-to-be racing cross-country for the birth of his first child, while Galifianakis plays the offbeat traveling companion who's also the trip's heaviest baggage. Sounds like it could be this generation's 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles.'

'Gulliver's Travels'
Release Date: Dec. 22
Starring: Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segel
Why It'll Be Big: Jack Black has always been larger than life ... and he'll appear even more so as the titular journalist shipwrecked on an island of miniature folk called Liliputians in this comedic reimagining of Jonathan Swift's classic novel. While the premise undoubtedly will provide bountiful cause for Black to showcase his slapstick strengths, we're hoping he'll tone the schtick down just a bit. After all, he'd crush half of Liliput with just one of his patented rooster dances.

Pure Action
'Green Zone'
Release Date: March 12
Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan
Why It'll Be Big: Tired of waiting for the fourth installment in the 'Bourne' saga? This might as well be it, with director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon reuniting for the based-on-real-life tale of a badass CIA operative on the hunt for WMDs in Iraq.

'Clash of the Titans'
Release Date: March 26
Starring: Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson
Why It'll Be Big: The 1981 man-vs.-Greek-gods epic, beloved for its delightfully campy special effects, gets a modern makeover complete with rock music, eye-popping F/X and 'Avatar' star Sam Worthington as Perseus, a human forced to battle kings, snake-headed Gorgons, optically challenged witches and a gargantuan Kraken. And, yes, we dig the "Damn the Gods" tagline.

'Robin Hood'
Release Date: May 14
Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong
Why It'll Be Big: Forget the green tights and feathered cap. The legendary tale of the man who stole from the rich and gave to the poor gets the gritty 'Gladiator' treatment courtesy of Crowe and director Ridley Scott. Judging by the trailer, they should scrap formality and rename the character Maximus Robinhoodimus Meridius.

'Prince of Persia: The Sand of Time'
Release Date: May 28
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley
Why It'll Be Big: Most of the buzz around this epic adventure has surrounded Gyllenhaal 2.0's buffed-up physique (hey Jake, which way's the beach?), but Disney's adaptation of the popular videogame should be able to lure those rabid swashbuckling 'Pirates' fans as they anxiously await Captain Jack's fourth go-round.

'The A-Team'
Release Date: June 11
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, Sharlto Copley
Why It'll Be Big: The long-awaited big-screen version of the beloved '80s TV serial finally hits screens, updating the story so that the rabble crew of Vietnam vets-turned-mercenaries are now Iraq War vets. The casting is pitch-perfect (Neeson as Hannibal, Cooper as Faceman, Biel as a hot chick), and the nostalgia factor is high -- so as long as director Joe Carnahan and co. bring the action and the cheeky humor, this'll be a grade-'A' smash.

'Knight and Day'
Release Date: July 2
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard
Why It'll Be Big: Smiling wide and kicking butt (just the way we like him), Cruise is in full-on 'Mission Impossible'-meets-'Tropic Thunder' mode as a secret agent out to save the world -- and make audiences laugh in the process. His 'Vanilla Sky' co-star Diaz ups the comedy quotient, and the trailer alone reminds us why these two are among the world's biggest stars.

Release Date: July 23
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Liev Schreiber
Why It'll Be Big: Angelina Jolie in an action thriller, as a CIA agent accused of being a Russian spy? Do you remember the last time we saw Jolie with a gun (ahem, 'Wanted')? There will be ass-kicking. Oh yes. There will be ass-kicking.

'The Expendables'
Release Date: Aug. 13
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li
Why It'll Be Big: With a cast that spans four decades of old and new action stars (other players include Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke, Arnold Schwarzenegger (!), Eric Roberts (!!) and Dolph Lundgren (!!!), we have two questions about this actioner about an all-star team of mercenaries in South America: A) How in the world could you not be curious? And B) Has there ever been too much "action hero" in one movie?

The Prestige Projects

'Shutter Island'
Release Date: Feb. 19
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo
Why It'll Be Big: Buzz was high for this Martin Scorsese thriller based on Dennis Lehane's novel ... when it was supposed to come out last fall. And then (for reasons unknown) it was moved to February, not usually the breeding ground of Oscar-caliber films. But that doesn't mean this film about U.S. Marshals hunting an escaped mental patient won't scare the bejeezus out of us, and possibly even scare up an award or two.

'Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps'
Release Date: April 23
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan
Why It'll Be Big: Face it, Gordon Gekko can't be stopped. It's 20 years later and the ex-Wall Street bad boy has been released from prison (somewhat) reformed. But thanks to his beautiful young daughter (Oscar contender Mulligan, for 'An Education') and her go-getter fiance (LaBeouf) he's forced to face Wall St. and the oncoming economic doom he can be blamed for in this ever-so-topical sequel from Oliver Stone.

Release Date: July 16
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Why It'll Be Big: Have you seen the trailers? They're freaking amazing -- not that we expect anything less from 'The Dark Knight' auteur Christopher Nolan. Sure, we're still a bit hazy on the plot -- something about Leonardo DiCaprio stealing ideas from people's minds -- but the imagery and tantalizing teaser clips are 100% intriguing.

'Eat, Pray, Love'
Release Date: Aug. 13
Starring: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco
Why It'll Be Big: The big-screen adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir probably won't draw a huge male audience (unless they're dragged along for date night), but we challenge you to find a woman over 20 who isn't stoked for this tale of a soul-searching woman (Roberts) who -- you guessed it -- eats, prays, loves and travels her way to happiness. Think of it as a globetrotting, slightly more spiritual 'Julie & Julia.'

'The American'
Release Date: Sept. 1
Starring: George Clooney, Bruce Altman, Thekla Reuten
Why It'll Be Big: Coming off a red-hot year in which he may or may not win his second Oscar, Clooney won't be seen again in '10 until fall. But sounds like it'll be worth the wait. He plays an assassin in Italy completing one last job in this thriller from the arty hands of Anton Corbijn ('Control'). Is this Clooney's answer to his pals' Jason Bourne & Mr. Smith?

'The Social Network'
Release Date: Oct. 25
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones
Why It'll Be Big: Facebook will get a big-screen makeover in this new flick from David Fincher ('Zodiac'; 'Seven'), about the rise of the popular social networking site. Its current status update: Jesse Eisenberg will play co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, while Justin Timberlake is tagged to play Napster co-creator Sean Parker.

Family Fare
'Percy Jackson & The Olympians'
Release Date: Feb. 12
Starring: Logan Lerman, Rosario Dawson, Uma Thurman
Why It'll Be Big: Is 'Percy Jackson' the next 'Harry Potter'? The same, of course, was asked of 'Chronicles of Narnia' (sort of) and 'Golden Compass' (not at all). We'll make one not-so-bold guarantee: This family actioner about a teen (Lerman) who discovers he's the descendant of a Greek god will at least out-battle the latter.

'How to Train Your Dragon'
Release Date: March 26
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill
Why It'll Be Big: DreamWorks' new animated 3-D movie stars Baruchel as a teenager who believes it's his destiny to become a top dragon fighter -- until he befriends a dragon and starts to rethink everything he knew. If it sounds a little like the studio's massively successful 'Kung Fu Panda,' well, that's not really a bad thing, is it?

'The Karate Kid'
Release Date: June 11
Starring: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, Taraji P. Henson
Why It'll Be Big?: Bring it on? Or sacrilege? '80s babies who will forever feel kinship with Ralph "Daniel Son" Macchio may resent it, but there's no stopping this retooling, which will be decidedly more family-friendly given it stars the 11-year-old son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett (as a kid who's family relocates to China). As least Macchio was old enough for teen angst.

'Despicable Me'
Release Date: July 9
Starring: Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig
Why It'll Be Big: This animated tale boasts a laundry list of the universe's funniest people (Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Danny McBride, Jemaine Clement and a slew of others join those above) AND an ingeniously fun premise: What happens when the planet's second biggest supervillain (Carell), who is plotting to steal the moon, becomes de facto dad to three orphan girls? Hilarity ensues, of course.

'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'
Release Date: July 16
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Monica Bellucci
Why It'll Be Big: Jerry Bruckheimer's second big summer release of '10 (he also produced 'Prince of Persia'), this one's like 'National Treasure' meets 'Harry Potter,' based on 'Fantasia.' Cage is the sorcerer and rising star Baruchel ('Tropic Thunder') is the apprentice who hops on a broomstick with a mind of its own.

'Guardians of Ga'Hoole'
Release Date: Sept. 24
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ryan Kwanten, Helen Mirren
Why It'll Be Big: Based on the book series by Kathryn Lasky and directed by Zack Snyder ('300,' 'Watchmen'), this high-flying animated adventure follows owls Soren (Sturgess) and Kludd (Kwanten) as they travel in search of the Great Tree, site of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole. The Guardians, we learn, are the owl kingdoms' last chance to fend off the evil Pure Ones. With Mirren, Sam Neill and Geoffrey Rush also lending their voices, this one should be a hoot and a half.

Release Date: Nov. 5
Starring: Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey
Why It'll Be Big: Finally, the Pitt-Ferrell collaboration we've been waiting for! Of course, the actors may not have even shared the same space; 'Megamind' is an animated adventure-comedy about superheroes. May sound like familiar ground, but if it's anything like 'The Incredibles,' we'll take it.

Release Date: Nov. 24
Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi
Why It'll Be Big: How has it taken so long for Disney to turn the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tale into an animated feature? Regardless, the studio promises a modern take on the tale, with an independent heroine who does more than just pine away in her tower. Moore supplies the voice of the gal with the fabulously long locks, and Levi (best known for the NBC series 'Chuck') plays her earnest fellow with a hair fetish.

'The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader'
Release Date: Dec. 10
Starring: Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley
Why It'll Be Big: It's Lucy (Henley) and Edmund (Keynes) carrying the weight for the Pevensie clan as the siblings return to Narnia (along with Cousin Eustace, played by Will Poulter) for a swashbuckling adventure across the seas on the titular ship. Liam Neeson (Aslan) and Eddie Izzard (Reepicheep) return as voice talent.

The Chills and Thrills

'Edge of Darkness'
Release Date: Jan. 29
Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone
Why It'll Be Big: 'Casino Royale' meets 'The Departed' meets 'Payback' with Martin Campbell directing from a script by William Monahan, and Mel Gibson starring as a detective on a vengeful hunt for his daughter's murderer. It's Gibson's first starring role since 2002's 'Signs' ... and that little DUI incident/rant that sullied his rep, so the big question is: Can Mel still put butts in movie theater seats? We're betting yes.

'The Wolfman'
Release Date: Feb. 12
Starring: Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt, Anthony Hopkins
Why It'll Be Big: Despite numerous release delays, hopes remain high for this rehash on the classic monster yarn. And unlike, say, the misfiring monster mash 'Van Helsing,' this 21st century update looks dark and brooding (and even scary!), with the versatile del Toro in a role he may just have been born to play.

'Nightmare on Elm Street'
Release Date: April 30
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz
Why It'll Be Big: Is there a better actor to play the ultimate creep, Freddy Kruger, than Haley, who's already creeped us out (and the neighborhood) as a pedophile on the loose in his Oscar-nominated 'Little Children'? We hate to advocate classic horror remakes (damn you, 'Halloween' and 'Friday the 13th') but this one has promise.


Monday, January 25, 2010

New Music : January 19, 2010 - January 24, 2010

"2010 Grammy Nominees"
The 16th installment of this long-running series includes highlights from a year that brought us hits from the Black Eyed Peas, Lady GaGa, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Sugarland, Coldplay, and a dozen others. A portion of proceeds from sales of the disc will go to MusiCares, which helps musicians in need of health care, and the Grammy Foundation.

Mark Oliver Everett "End Times"
The Eels front man, better known as E, endured hard times and just seven months after his 2009 release, "Hombre Lobo," he returns with a 14 song album. Recorded mostly on an old four-track in his basement, inspired by his divorce and the overall sorry state of the world. Yet the genius of E, as demonstrated on previous Eels albums like 1998's "Electro-Shock Blues," is his gift for rendering heart-wrenching sentiments into stick-in-your-craw songs, and he does it again here. Melancholy numbers like the piano ballad "A Line in the Dirt" and "Apple Trees" are juxtaposed by livelier fare such as "Gone Man" and the fuzzed-out "Paradise Blues." "End Times" makes feeling unhappy surprisingly palatable.

Soundtrack "Crazy Heart"
Nominated for an Academy Award four times before, Jeff Bridges originally rejected the role of grizzled country singer Bad Blake, and only changed his mind after T Bone Burnett ("Walk the Line," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?") was tapped as music director. Featuring classic-sounding originals composed specifically for the film, and performed by Bridges and co-star Colin Farrell, the soundtrack also includes new songs by Sam Phillips and Ryan Bingham (who has a role in the film, too), alongside vintage cuts from Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Lightnin' Hopkins, Townes Van Zandt, and the Louvin Brothers.

Spoon "Transference"
It was mid-2007 when the Austin, Texas, indie rockers dropped their sixth full-length, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga," and scored their first top-10 album and a slot on "Saturday Night Live." Britt Daniel and crew began priming fans for the release of this follow-up late last year, with the release of the singles "Got Nuffin" and "Written in Reverse," the latter propelled by a chunky piano riff that rivals Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move." The quartet's first self-produced full-length proves just as quirky and cool, from the smudged and blurry "Who Makes Your Money" to the minimalist funk of "Nobody Gets Me But You."

Other New Releases Worth Checking Out:
(Have not listened to, but please feel free to post a review)

* Gretchen Wilson: "Greatest Hits"
* Rjd2: "The Colossus"
* The Len Price 3: "Pictures" (listen)
* Surfer Blood: "Astrocoast" (listen)
* Dawn Landes: "Sweet Heart Rodeo" (listen)

New Music : December 29, 2009 - January 5, 2010

Ke$ha "Animal"
Featuring"TiK ToK", a party anthem track that is the first debut single by a female vocalist to hit #1 on the Billboard charts since Lady GaGa snagged that spot with "Just Dance." Otherwise this LA native, who previously sang the hook on Flo Rida's chart-topping "Right Round," takes a trashier approach to electro-pop. "Animal" was executive produced by notorious Swedish hit-maker Dr. Luke (Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson), and also features the handiwork of the nefarious Max Martin--the mastermind responsible for Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone" and "My Life Would Suck Without You"--and Benny Blanco (Spank Rock). Not that Ke$ha is just some studio puppet. She wrote or co-wrote all 14 of the originals on "Animal," including "Blah Blah Blah," which features 3OH!3, and the dirty disco of "Boots & Boys."

Katharine McPhee "Unbroken"
Back in 2007, A.I. runner up McPhee made news when she was dropped by her record label--within days of Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard being sent packing, too--following so-so sales for her self-titled debut. But she landed at Verve, home to such legends as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. Produced by John Alagia (John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz), "Unbroken" doesn't recast McPhee as a jazz singer, but it does align her more closely with mature acts like Norah Jones and Diana Krall, especially on the laidback "Lifetime." The thirteen selections, six of which were co-written by McPhee, include contributions from Paula Cole, Ingrid Michaelson, and Rachel Yamagata. Also thrown into the mix is a cover of Melanie's kooky 1971 #1 "Brand New Key," and a couple tunes from the pen of "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, including the brassy break-up number "Had It All."

Other New Releases Worth Checking Out:
(Have not listened to, but please feel free to post a review)

* Serart: "Serart" [Enhanced]
* Ashley Brown: "Speak Low"
* Diana Ross: "Diana: Rarities Edition"

U.K. Court Clears P2P Site Owner Of Fraud - Decision May Affect Music Worldwide

In a blow to the U.K. music industry's efforts to tackle piracy, a jury at Teeside Crown Court has cleared a 26-year-old software engineer who ran the BitTorrent tracker Oink of conspiracy to defraud.

Alan Ellis from Middlesbrough was accused of profiting to the tune of $18,000 a month in donations from the 200,000 registered users. It is estimated that 21 million downloads were facilitated by the site.

Ellis operated the site in the bedroom of his flat from 2004 until it was shut down in a police raid in 2007. Police found almost $300,000 in his accounts; he said this was to pay for rental of a server and ultimately to buy a server.

The site was hosted on his home computer but had moved to a commercial server in Amsterdam by 2007 because of the amount of traffic it was getting.

He told the court that he set up Oink to improved his programming skills while he was a student at Teeside University. Ellis, who had a full-time job as a software engineer and described Oink as a hobby, said there was no intention to defraud copyright holders.

On Jan. 15 he was unanimously acquitted by the jury of the single charge of conspiracy to defraud after seven days on trial. He declined to comment to reporters when he left the court.

"This is a hugely disappointing verdict which is out of line with decisions made in similar cases around the world, such as the Pirate Bay," said a spokesman for U.K. trade body the BPI in a statement. "The defendant made nearly £200,000 [$324,800] by exploiting other people's work without permission. The case shows that artists and music companies need better protection."

(Source: 01/15/2010 ; written by:By Andre Paine, London)

Could be a blow to the music industry as this type of case may be used as precedence in future cases against piracy. A win on the consumer of music but a loss for the small time musicians looking to get their music out without people stealing it from them. Its a double-edged sword leading one to ask ... Does piracy hurt an artist in the long run or help them?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

CydeClops' Top Music Albums of the Decade (2000 to 2009)

As the decade of 2000 came to a close and we are well into the second decade of this millennium, time now for the CydeClops Productions Top Lists!! First ever, since the company's formation within the decade of 2000. We will shell out our picks of the greatest, in our opinion, in Music Albums and Movies. Hope you were entertained the same way we were and we hope you think the same way about them. If not, please feel free to post your own picks and let everyone else know what your thoughts are!!

This particular blog will cite the Top Lists in the Music industry by particular categories between 2000 and 2009. The albums aren't ranked in any particular order because cutting down the list was hard enough!!

Here's how what we based our picks on (not in any particular order).
a) Technical - sound, number of top hits, number of weeks on Billboard Charts, etc.
b) Soundscans
c) Originality
d) Hype - news, media, video, downloads, friends, word of mouth, etc.

Top Music Albums of the Decade (2000-2009):

Top #5 Rock Albums
- Bruce Springsteen "The Rising"
- Green Day "American Idiot"
- U2 "All That You Can't Leave Behind"
- Nickelback "Silver Side Up"
- Creed "Weathered"

Top #5 R & B Albums
- Ne-Yo "In My Words"
- Usher "8701"
- Destiny's Child "Survivor"
- Alicia Keys "Songs In A Minor"
- Mary J. Blige "No More Drama"

Top #5 Hip-Hop Albums
- Outkast "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below"
- Timbaland "Shock Value"
- Black Eyed Peas "Elephunk"
- Sean Paul "Dutty Rock"
- Kanye West "The College Dropout"

Top #5 Rap Albums
- Dr. Dre "The Chronic 2001"
- Jay-Z "The Blueprint"
- Eminem "The Marshall Mathers LP"
- Nas "Stillmatic"
- Nelly "Sweat/Suit"

Top #5 Pop Albums
- Justin Timberlake "FutureSex/LoveSounds"
- Gwen Stefani "Love. Angel. Music. Baby."
- Kelly Clarkson "Breakaway"
- Mariah Carey "Emancipation of Mimi"
- Beyonce "B-day"

Top #5 Soundtrack Albums
- 8 Mile
- Kill Bill V.1
- Dreamgirls
- O Brother, Where Art Thou?
- High School Musical

Top #5 Alternative/Progressive Rock Albums
- Radiohead "Kid A"
- The Gorrillaz "Demon Days"
- The Killers "Hot Fuss"
- Linkin Park "Hybrid Theory"
- AudioSlave "Self Titled"

Top #5 Country Albums
- Taylor Swift "Fearless"
- Dixie Chicks "Fly"
- Faith Hill "Breathe"
- Shania Twain "Up"
- Tim McGraw "Live Like You Were Dying"

Top #10 Songs of the Decade
- OutKast "Hey Ya"
- Nickelback "How You Remind Me"
- Kelly Clarkson "Since You Been Gone"
- Mariah Carey "We Belong Together"
- Destiny's Child "Independent Women"
- Black Eyed Peas ft. Justin Timberlake "Where is The Love?"
- Usher ft. Lil' Jon and Ludacris "Yeah"
- N'SYNC "Bye Bye Bye"
- Green Day "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
- Eminem "Lose Yourself"