Quick Hits: No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins, Van Halen, Eminem, Taylor Swift, Nas, Blur, Arctic Monkeys
July 2, 2012
No Doubt will release their comeback single "Settle Down" on July 16, with the music video debuting the same day. The clip was directed by Sophie Muller, who has directed many of the band's best-known videos over the years. No Doubt's new album Push And Shove will be released September 25, with a series of TV performances of"Settle Down" slated for late July.
Smashing Pumpkins will release a deluxe version of Pisces Iscariot on July 17. The special edition will include the original album remastered by Bob Ludwig, 17 previously unreleased or alternate versions of Pisces era songs, 24 previously unreleased live performances, and the band’s first-ever demo reproduced on cassette, along with postcards, watercolor illustrations, photos, liner notes by David Wild, and track-by-track annotations by Billy Corgan. The set will be available as both standard and deluxe digital editions, a standard physical edition, and on 180 gram vinyl.
After postponing all tour dates after June 26, Van Halen has now officially canceled those shows completely, according to Pollstar.com. The band has not yet issued a statement on the tour being axed, but earlier in June, USA Today published an interview with Eddie Van Halen in which he said the band simply over-committed itself. "We bit off more than we could chew. This record took a lot out of us. And we went on tour earlier than we wanted to so we could play Madison Square Garden (in March, before a renovation), and that threw the schedule out of whack," the guitarist said. He added that the band will play Japan in November "and in the New Year, we'll possibly do something special, but I can’t talk about it."
Eminem is back in the studio crafting his eighth album. Speaking with DJ Whoo Kid on his Shade 45 satellite radio show, Em said he is still in the early stages of recording and the material has yet to take shape. As usual, he will work with Dr. Dre at some point in the process. "Yeah, of course he'll be involved," Em said. "I usually get going and kind of start going a certain direction and just record what I'm feeling. Then I'll go see Dre and fill in some of those pieces."
Taylor Swift will release a new fragrance in September called Wonderstruck Enchanted. "Wonderstruck Enchanted is the next chapter in the story of my Wonderstruck fragrance," the singer told WWD. "Wonderstruck is about that moment when you instantly feel a connection to someone, but then there's that feeling of being completely enamored -- enchanted -- when you know a little more about that someone and still feel that strong connection."
As the July 17 release of Nas' 10th studio album, Life Is Good, approaches, the emcee has been very open about how much the album was inspired by his divorce from R&B singer Kelis. The lyrics offer glimpses of a marriage falling apart, followed by redemption. "When I started working on the record, I tried to avoid it," Nas told Billboard.com. "The timing was just calling for me to not avoid all the shit that was going on out there. It was like a 10,000-ton gorilla in the room watching me. This is the way I got it off of my chest. This album talks about life, love and money. It talks about the fact that marriage is expensive. Life Is Good represents the most beautiful, dramatic and heavy moments in my life." He added that his producers, No I.D., Salaam Remi and Swizz Beatz, could all relate to what he was going through. "When I sat down with No I.D. and Salaam and originally told them what I wanted to do, we felt like we were waking up a certain fan that doesn't buy rap anymore," Nas recalls. "Our goal on the album was to just do what's real. No I.D. has been married twice. Swizz has also been married twice and has gone through baby-mama drama. So the conversation between all of us was great."
Blur debuted two brand-new songs today in a webcast, playing "Under The Westway" and "The Puritan" on a London rooftop. The two tracks were written and recorded for the London Olympics and are now available for purchase digitally, with a vinyl single set for release in August.
UK rockers Arctic Monkeys hope their next studio album will be a "heavier" affair. Speaking to Artrocker, singer Alex Turner said, "I think we're going to go the direction of those heavier tunes. We did 'R U Mine', and I think that's where it's going to be at for us for the next record." He added, "We feel the strength of the last record is 'Don't Sit Down…', the other songs like that – 'Brick By Brick' – the other side of it is fine, but I don't know how much more of that we can do."