Category: Paramore

Katy Perry, Paramore, Nicki Minaj tapped for 'VH1 Divas' special

Perry With its long-running “Divas” concert franchise, VH1 has over the years managed to snag an impressive array of female powerhouse vocalists, including veterans such as Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and younger divas Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and Miley Cyrus.

Dubbed “VH1 Divas: Salute the Troops,” this year's special will feature performances from Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Sugarland and Keri Hilson –- all of whom are scheduled to tape the event in front of military personnel at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego.

Paramore will visit Marines, soldiers, airmen, sailors, members of the Coast Guards and reservists stationed at an undisclosed military base in the Middle East. The band’s performance will be broadcast via satellite.

“VH1 Divas: Salute the Troops” will be broadcasat Dec. 5 and will also be shown internationally on the American Forces Network.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy

Photo: Katy Perry performs at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles in 2009. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Atlanta rapper B.o.B.'s 'Adventure' at No. 1

B.o.B. Adventures of Bobby Ray

In the track “Airplanes” from his just-released CD, “B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” Atlanta rapper Bobby Ray Simmons, aka B.o.B., imagines that “I just dropped my new album, on my first week I did 500,000.”  Well, the 21-year-old hip-hop newcomer didn’t come close to that number, but he did nevertheless make it to the top of the national sales chart his first week out.

Simmons’ album sold 84,000 copies, helped along by the presence of a number of high-profile guests including no less than Eminem, who joins in on a bonus track version of “Airplanes” along with Paramore singer Hayley Williams. Among his other partners are fellow rapper T.I., Lupe Fiasco, Rivers Cuomo, Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars and Ricco Barrino.

It was considerably more impressive than the lackluster first-week response to the latest outing for Courtney Love’s band Hole, which came in at No. 15 with sales of just 22,000 for “Nobody’s Daughter,” according to Billboard/Nielsen SoundScan. That mirrors the critical response to the new collection, which garners a 59 out of a possible 100 on’s aggregate of reviews from major publications and music websites.

Rolling Stone said “’Nobody’s Daughter’ isn’t a true success — but it’s a noble effort,” while, writing for The Los Angeles Times, Margaret Wappler said: “The biggest problem with ‘Nobody’s Daughter’ is the mostly standard hard rock licks provided by her too-merry band of youngsters. These boys don’t sound like they’ve lived through anything, much less Love’s torrid brand of ‘this.’”

Among other new Top 10 entries are Bullet for My Valentine’s “Fever,” opening at No., 3 with sales of 71,000 copies; Melissa Etheridge’s “Fearless Love,” at No. 7 with sales of 46,000; and Miranda Cosgrove’s “Sparks Fly,” landing right behind Etheridge at No. 8 after selling 36,000 copies.

Country trio Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” continues strongly at No. 2, and should crack the 2-million total sales mark this week if the album keeps on the pace it’s been on lately. Last week’s top-selling album, The "Glee" cast’s “Power of Madonna,” tumbled to No. 10 with sales of 29,000 copies, a second-week sales drop of 70%.

--Randy Lewis

Live review: Paramore at the Hollywood Palladium

The young pop-punk band looks at the world through brand new eyes in a moody and yes, edgy, makeup show.


Toward the end of Paramore’s Wednesday night set at the Hollywood Palladium, singer Hayley Williams swiped a pair of black plastic-frame eyeglasses from someone in the front row and put them on. "Do these make me look edgy?" she asked, cheekily, as the effect -- coupled with her newly platinum tresses -- was much more freshman art-school crush than anything especially dangerous.

But the question of edginess is one Paramore's been asking lately. Its latest album, "Brand New Eyes," has vaulted the very young band off the pop-punk axis and into the ever-thinner ranks of top-selling mainstream rock acts in America, one of even fewer that is fronted by a young woman. It's not a dark album, but it is a serious one, as Williams' gym-class sass and her band's expert, straightforward emo have grown into moody musings about post-breakup abandonment, the trials of modern religious faith and the fraught band dynamics that almost split Paramore up.

In that sense, simultaneously gunning for the upper reaches of Billboard with "Eyes" might have been the edgiest thing Paramore's done yet.
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Paramore's Hollywood Palladium show tonight is postponed

Paramore's fantastic new album of evocative modern punk may be called "Brand New Eyes," but what frontwoman Hayley Williams might really be in the market for right now is some brand new throat lozenges.

Vocal woes have forced the band to postpone their much anticipated show tonight at the Hollywood Palladium. A representative for the group confirmed that the postponement had resulted from vocal difficulties Williams began showing toward the end of their Tuesday night show at Pomona's Fox Theater, which came after a morning set at the Troubadour.

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Live Review: No Doubt at the Gibson Amphitheatre


Of all the people who deserve credit for making No Doubt's return tour such a giddy success, singer Gwen Stefani's trainer merits extra kudos. When Stefani took the Gibson Amphitheatre stage Wednesday night in a brash outfit that seemed equal parts chola swagger and Hamptons riding crop, women in the audience gasped at the impeccable tone of her abdominal muscles.

Less than a year after giving birth to her second child, the 39-year-old Stefani looked every bit the insouciant Anaheim daughter, equally quick with a toothy smile or a kick in the shins. The message was clear: No Doubt is in great, great shape today.

The band's round of summer touring -- its first after a five-year hiatus -- isn't exactly a reunion, as the inventive ska-pop band never truly broke up. But it was an occasion to reconsider the impact of the Orange County band on the tastes of an in-between generation too young for grunge, but one that swapped MP3s via dial-up modem.

For many twentysomething women today, No Doubt's early-'90s hits such as "Just a Girl" and "Spiderwebs" were first clues that summer fun and speaking your mind could go hand in hand. Their boyfriends could skateboard to the punkier moments of the band's breakout album, "Tragic Kingdom," and its singles were correctives to Seattle's gloomy stranglehold on rock radio. Even the band's late-career turn toward dark and sugary club-bangers anticipated rock and rap's turn toward dance beats and collaborations. No Doubt might have been rock's first undercover poptimists.

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Snap Judgment: Paramore's 'Ignorance'


I'm already on record as being pretty excited for Paramore's "brand new eyes," the capitalization-challenged new album from the Tennessee quintet. My first pass at hearing a draft of the first single,  "Ignorance," in producer Rob Cavallo's house a few months ago revealed the foundation of a whiplash emo single from a time (the '90s) when the word meant something more than misogynist caterwauling. The finished product, which hit the interwebs today, has hints of Sunny Day Real Estate's washed-out but insistent guitars, the breakneck rhythms of D.C. vets Q and Not U and an ambitiously brooding backing harmony arrangement from singer Hayley Williams.

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No Doubt opens 2009 tour in Las Vegas

Reporting from Las Vegas

Can a band that’s been on hiatus for five years, during which time its lead singer launched a monstrously successful solo career, return to find a meaningful place again within a music industry that’s gone into free fall while it was away?

No Doubt.

Much has indeed changed since the rock foursome from Orange County bid fans adieu in 2004 with a short but potent tour to promote a new greatest hits album, one that functioned as the guidepost for Saturday’s explosive opening-night performance to a sold-out house at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Singer Gwen Stefani birthed two children and two platinum-plus solo albums, not to mention establishing herself as a bona fide fashion designer, while bassist Tony Kanal,  guitarist Tom Dumont and drummer Adrian Young broadened their music skill sets by writing, playing with and/or producing other artists.
Nobody tried to pretend everything was the same as when No Doubt was riding high on the pop charts in the late-’90s and early-2000s, and it paid off in several aspects of a smartly conceived, thrillingly executed show that’s due for nearly five dozen dates across North America over the next four months.

Many of No Doubt’s songs revolve around love and heartbreak, subjects both universal and timeless. As the group’s chief lyricist, Stefani has channeled the woman’s point of view, specifically that of the young woman she used to be who often struggled to identify her place in the world.

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Paramore gambles on raw emotions


There's a certain serendipity to Paramore's opening slot on the upcoming and much-anticipated No Doubt return tour. Fans of the latter might remember the video for "Don't Speak," where No Doubt's three male members look daggers at bejeweled frontwoman Gwen Stefani as they're cropped out of a magazine shoot.

A similar thing might have happened over the last two years to Paramore. The young Tennessee pop-punk quintet vaulted into the charts on the strength of such buoyant singles as "Misery Business," the "Twilight" soundtrack cut "Decode" and their platinum-selling 2007 sophomore album "Riot!"

But Paramore's ochre-haired spitfire singer, 20-year-old Hayley Williams, inadvertently but understandably gleaned much of the spotlight during that rise. Her striking aesthetics and outspoken personality made her something of a tabloid regular, all while personal troubles brewed among her bandmates. Paramore canceled part of a European tour last year because of, as Williams said in a blog post, "internal issues that have been going on in this band for quite a while now," ones that they had to work on "at home and on our own terms."

"The room just got smaller and smaller as more people were looking on," Williams said on a couch in the home of producer Rob Cavallo, where the band is wrapping up tracking its as-yet-untitled third album. "You start to resent it, and a lot of that anger and emotion needed to come out, especially for me."

If there were doubts as to the band's future then, their forthcoming album should remedy them. The album is both about band members' grievances with one another, and a document proving they're finally past them.

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