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Music News: Coldplay Continue To Give Away Their Music, Plus Madonna, Donna Summer, Clay Aiken


GuestbloggerRobbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.

NmeLast week Coldplay offered up "Violet Hill," their first single off forthcoming album Viva La Vida, Or Death And All His Friends, as a free download for seven days on their official site. It was reportedly downloaded by two million people, where "It would have outsold the whole of last week's [UK] top 40 (singles) four times over." The band continue to give the track away this week -- at least in their home country -- as a 7" vinyl single packaged in with British rock journal New Musical Express.

NME usually washes up on these shores in bookstores and newsstands with an inflated import price. The Coldplay issue offers new photos of the band and a brand new look for the mag: "Not only have we launched a brand spanking new-look magazine this week that’s seen us strip everything back to let the words and photography shine through, we’ve also added a whole load of new features to give you even more news, bands and gigs than ever before. Plus, to top it all off, the pièce de résistance is a FREE, 7-inch vinyl copy of Coldplay’s new single, 'Violet Hill.'"

Back here in the States, "Violet Hill" and a "single edit" of new track, "Viva La Vida", were added to iTunes. The latter is being offered for free with pre-orders of the album.

road.jpg Yee-owch! Here's an interview MTV's John Norris did with Madonna and Justin Timberlake. Madge doesn't seem too jazzed to be talking to Norris, as she gets a tad frosty with him toward the end. (Of course, that might expain why the awful, out-of-key singing moment was then used in the montage.)

Meanwhile, with first-week sales of 280,000, Billboard reports today that Madonna's Hard Candy has topped the album chart, giving her a seventh #1 on that tally. As far as female artists, only Barbra Streisand has had more chart-topping albums, with eight total.

Crayonsroad.jpg Amongst others, Donna Summer worked with producer Greg Kurstin on Crayons, her first album of original material in 17 years (due out May 20). Kurstin recently produced tracks on Kylie Minogue's X. "Stamp Your Feet," the current single off Crayons, pretty much makes you wanna do just that, though they could have done without the video.

road.jpg New Stephen King/John Mellencamp musical originally set for a 2009 debut has been delayed.

road.jpg Last show ever by The Police to benefit New York arts, while the band also donates to Bloomberg's MillionTreesNYC.

road.jpg In a one-star (out of five) review, the New York Daily News assesses Clay Aiken's new CD, On My Way Here: "From the new songs' lyrics, we discover that Aiken has 'seen the best and the worst' of life. He has walked 'through fire,' 'risen from the ashes' and felt 'the weight of the world' on his shoulders. Along the way, he also discovered that 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger,' which finally led him to realize, 'by the grace of God go I.'
If the universe holds any more survivor cliches, I've never heard them."

road.jpg What are your iPod habits and desires?


"Take A Bow", a new single from Rihanna off the upcoming re-release of Good Girl Gone Bad. (Not a Madonna cover.)

Gavin DeGraw's self-titled third album.

Home Before Dark, Neil Diamond's latest set of original material, produced by Rick Rubin.

Sony's 20th anniversary enhanced CD/DVD version of Midnight Oil's Diesel And Dust.

The always-charming Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits.

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  1. Could be wrong, but Donna Summer's Stamp Your Feet "video" looks like footage taken from her EPK. I don't think that is the actual video for the song...

    Posted by: Kergan | May 7, 2008 4:42:40 PM

  2. Thanks for the link to the NME article about Coldplay. I'm really looking forward to their new release.

    But dude! You missed the biggest music news of the week... Nine Inch Nails released a brand new CD and gave it away for FREE. And it's actually quite good. You can get it at

    Posted by: crispy | May 7, 2008 4:44:34 PM

  3. Cyndi Lauper release her new single yesterday- Same Old Fucking Story- Great new tune from a girl that supports our community more than any other artist out there!

    You can purchase her new single on ITunes-

    Posted by: Eric | May 7, 2008 4:49:58 PM

  4. madonna's a bitch. i wish i was her.

    Posted by: ian | May 7, 2008 4:58:12 PM

  5. "This time the famously controlling diva chose to work with MUSICAL SUPERSTARS."

    Huh? Christ, I'm old.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | May 7, 2008 5:08:11 PM

  6. I think Madonna actually likes John. Here's the full exchange between the two of them...

    Posted by: Mike NYC | May 7, 2008 5:12:43 PM

  7. Im not a big John Norris fan but I thought that was a really good interview. He wasn't pulling any punches. I don't think she was being cold at all - she was very comfortable with him. She was being sassy with him. I'm sure their relationship goes way back - she is in a place in her career to pick who interviews her.

    Posted by: jojo | May 7, 2008 5:16:19 PM

  8. Dear lord, John Norris looks terrible. But seems to be styling himself like a teenager. He's not that old, but looks it- how the hell has he kept his job at youth-obsessed MTV?

    And that was a dumb question, prompting Madonna to declare turning 50 was (his words) "something ending, something else beginning?". Did he expect her to agree? "Yes John, now that i'm turning 50 , I will only sing old-lady songs about menopause."
    WTF did he expect her to say ?

    Posted by: Desch | May 7, 2008 5:24:51 PM

  9. Maybe Coldplay is giiving away their new music because it sucks.

    And as for Madonna, I like 4 Minutes, but the verses sound exactly like the song she sang with Britney, Me Against The Music. And a lot of the songs on Madge's new record sound like other songs. One is just like a Justin song, who produced the rip off. It's kind of sad that Madonna has run out of songs herself.

    Posted by: elevator musac | May 7, 2008 5:49:29 PM

  10. John Norris' suicide hair job, dyed by hand, looks horrible. The bangs look like a comb over to hide a receding hairline.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | May 7, 2008 5:58:22 PM

  11. I'm not sure what's on John Norris's head, but it should be killed. As a man of a certain age (older than Timberlake, younger than Madonna) myself, it's useful to be reminded that attempting to look far younger than you are can have disastrous consequences.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 7, 2008 6:09:17 PM

  12. God I love Madonna. She really did get her wish. She does rule the world!

    Posted by: Chad | May 7, 2008 8:19:06 PM

  13. God, does Coldplay do ANYTHING that isn't a lame copy of Radiohead?

    Posted by: nuflux | May 7, 2008 8:35:19 PM

  14. Cyndi Lauper did release her new album yesterday- Her new single is a KILLER SONG! You got to hear it!

    SAME OLD FUCKING STORY ~ Great tune!

    Posted by: Mike | May 7, 2008 8:50:44 PM

  15. Coldplay is awesome. I can't wait for the new album. In the meantime I need to track down a copy of NME.

    By the way, why is there such a division between coldplay/radiohead fans? I don't get it. I happen to love both.

    Posted by: Fat Queer | May 8, 2008 3:09:26 AM

  16. I too like Cold Play. Hey, free (and good) music is enough incentive to buy more of their music. I also read excerpts of books I might buy.

    But then come the naysayers:

    A couple 'fashion' consultants (uh, who gives a crap, these guys are musicians, not pampered no-brains)
    Someone who says they only mimic another band. (Ever heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?)

    Stoopid. This is one thing that goes back to my remark about making noise for the sake of making noise. After a while, people will tune you out.

    Posted by: aaronj | May 8, 2008 3:08:18 PM

  17. Re: Norris' hair. Frosty is right. Lord.

    Posted by: yclept | May 8, 2008 3:12:22 PM

  18. what's with skelenorris' wig in that madge vid? yiiiiikes.

    Posted by: gravity | May 8, 2008 11:44:20 PM

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