Quick Hits: Jay-Z & Coldplay, Dave Grohl, The Voice, Kanye West, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Allman Brothers Band, Bobby Womack
January 2, 2013


Jay-Z is helping to score the film version of The Great Gatsby along with producer The Bullitts. Bullitts broke the news on Twitter, writing: "Jay-Z and myself have been working tirelessly on the score for the upcoming #CLASSIC The Great Gatsby! It is too DOPE for words!" Meanwhile, Jay brought in the new year by co-headlining the Barclays Center in Brooklyn with Coldplay. The British rockers played first, and then at 11:59 p.m., Jay came on stage to sing "Auld Lang Syne" with Chris Martin, before playing his own 90-minute set. Jay-Z also joined Coldplay on the song "Lost" during their set, and then Martin returned the favor when he sang with Jay during "Heart of The City."

Dave Grohl will perform along with a group of musicians to be announced at the Sundance Film Festival later this month, to promote his new Sound City documentary. Dubbed Dave Grohl's Sound City Players, the band will make their debut on January 18 as part of the film festival in Utah. According to an announcement, the concert will feature "core musicians and special guests" from Sound City onstage together with Grohl.

With The Voice set to return for a new season on March 25, new judges Usher and Shakira spoke at a press conference about their upcoming roles. "Once we are in the process of trying to get a contestant recruited for our team, there's a lot of adrenaline and there's a lot of tension," Shakira said about the show. She also mentioned her tendency to micro-manage her career, and added that: "When I'm giving directions to my contestants, I'm particularly focused on details." Usher joked with his new co-star and described Shakira as a mix of "comic relief, super f**king serious, and gangster... She's so nice now but she really pulls out that switchblade in the battle." Veteran judge Blake Shelton also was on hand at the press conference, where he said the show will be more competitive than ever. "Cee Lo was always so laid back," Shelton stated. "He's kind of been the quiet killer in this thing. We replace Cee Lo with somebody that's just that much more aggressive and now you've got four that are killers up here."

During a concert at Revel Resort in Atlantic City on Sunday night, Kanye West told his audience that his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, is expecting a child. West told concertgoers to congratulate his "baby mom" and that this was the "most amazing thing," and the news immediately went viral online. Kardashian later confirmed the story on her website, where she wrote: "It's true!! Kanye and I are expecting a baby. We feel so blessed and lucky and wish that in addition to both of our families, his mom and my dad could be here to celebrate this special time with us. Looking forward to great new beginnings in 2013 and to starting a family."

Bruce Springsteen will receive quite a tribute when he's honored as the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year on February 8 in Los Angeles. Stars such as Neil Young, Mumford & Sons, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, Jim James, Tom Morello, Alabama Shakes, Patti Smith, Emmylou Harris, Kenny Chesney, Sting, John Legend, and Natalie Maines are all set to perform at the event honoring Springsteen. The 2013 Person of the Year tribute will be broadcast live on CBS.

Eddie Vedder says Pearl Jam is "maybe halfway there" towards completing their next studio album. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, which focuses mainly on Vedder's involvement in the West Memphis Three legal battle, the singer says that the band is taking their time and currently taking a break from recording. Vedder adds, "We really work together as a unit these days. It's really the compilation of all the parts. It's not like one guy trying to tell everybody, 'These are my songs. This is what it should sound like.' We've figured out after all these years that if everybody just puts their stamp on it then it sounds how we want it to. Then it sounds new, cause everyone is growing, you know.  Everyone is growing after all these years."

The Allman Brothers Band has scheduled a March residency at New York's Beacon Theatre. The classic rockers will play a series of back-to-back shows, which are set for March 1 and 2; 5 and 6; 8 and 9, 12 and 13; and 15 and 16.

Soul singer Bobby Womack has been diagnosed with early signs of Alzheimer's disease after he had trouble remembering song lyrics and the names of collaborators, he told the BBC. "The doctor said, 'You have signs of Alzheimer's,'" Womack told Giles Peterson on BBC 6 Music. "He said it's not bad yet, but it's going to get worse." Womack is known for playing guitar for Sam Cooke, and then launching a solo career in the late '60s that included hits like "Lookin' for a Love" and "That's the Way I Feel About Cha." Last year he released a new album called The Bravest Man in the Universe that was co-produced by Blur's Damon Albarn. Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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