November 17, 2009 |
John Mayer "Battle Studies" Columbia 1/2 On the high-contrast black-and-white cover photo of John Mayer's latest studio album, the singer, songwriter and guitarist's hands are pulling at the collar of a thick winter coat. It seems as though he's trying to brace against the onset of frosty conditions; the overall effect is fairly Morrissey-esque. That's no coincidence -- in themes and tone, Mayer shows a lot in common with the great romantic fatalist of '80s Brit pop: He's "Perfectly Lonely" in the song with that title, and he opens the collection with "Heartbreak Warfare," about the ways we hurt the ones we ostensibly love.
July 18, 2009 |
Every "American Idol" season is a lively, long argument about what matters most in contemporary music. Some think it's vocal talent; others, personality, an image that startles or a crooked smile that helps fans relate. People vote their loyalties and create an intriguing snapshot of the zeitgeist.
July 7, 2009 |
For non-devotees, "American Idol's" summer tour, which launched Sunday at this city's Rose Garden Arena, may seem an afterthought. But to fans of television's most popular program, this year's 52-city tour showcasing its 10 finalists is like seeing the ducklings burst forth and become swans at last. The young talents, who will make a stop July 16 at Staples Center, can finally fly free of the pressure of competition, scowling judges and an often unforgiving media corps.
June 25, 2009 |
In two weeks, the Top 10 contestants of Season 8 of "American Idol" will climb aboard buses for the final rite of an Idol's passage: the 50-city concert tour set to kick off in Portland, Ore., on July 5. For the Idols, the tour represents not only a chance to play rock star in packed arenas, but also the biggest paydays of their careers, with checks of reportedly $100,000-plus coming their way for the four months of labor. But before the road, there are songs to arrange, dance moves to choreograph, wardrobes to fit, and a few last moments of peace.
June 1, 2009
Weekly roundup of the top five in each category: TELEVISION Top shows, viewers 18 to 49 For week that ended May 24: American Idol (Wed.): Fox, 13.2 million viewers American Idol (Tues.): Fox, 11.3 million Two and a Half Men: CBS, 7.0 million Dancing With the Stars - Results: ABC, 6.8 million Rules of Engagement: CBS, 5.8 million Prime-time viewership For season through May 24: CBS: 11.7 million viewers Fox: 9.7 million ABC: 8.9 million NBC: 7.8 million Univision: 3.9 million Source: Nielsen Media Research -- MUSIC Albums Top sellers: Relapse: Eminem (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope)
May 29, 2009 |
Although it drew its smallest audience since 2004, viewership for the "American Idol" finale significantly surpassed its competition last week and helped Fox end CBS' 11-week streak as the most-watched network. An average of 28.84 million people tuned in to see Kris Allen named "Idol" champion, 9% fewer than the 31.66 million who watched last year when David Cook won the singing competition. But it was still 8.5 million more viewers than for last week's most-watched non-"Idol" program, the finale of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."