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Introducing The Music Mix on EW.com: No Doubt, Britney Spears, Grizzly Bear and more!

Gwenstefanigrizzly_lWant to know the latest scoop on No Doubt’s reunion? The only place you can find it right now is at a brand-new part of EW.com, The Music Mix, where we’ve got an exclusive Q&A with No Doubt on the set of the new Gossip Girl spin-off. Want more? You can also head over there today for the exclusive streaming debut of "Cheerleader" from indie darlings Grizzly Bear and a review of a recent Britney Spears show.

That’s only the teensiest tip of the iceberg of awesome music content that we’ll be rolling out there in the coming weeks and months. The Music Mix is EW.com’s new home for music coverage — you’ll find everything from exclusive streams and downloads to interviews to reviews and commentary, all from EW’s crack staff of music-obsessed writers. We’ll be ramping things way up with tons of on-the-scene reporting from the SXSW Music festival in Austin, Tex. later this week. And we’re eager to hear what you think of all this. So check it out and let us know: What do you want to see on The Music Mix?

addCredit(“Gwen Stefani: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.com; Grizzly Bear: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images”)

Britney Spears' new 'If U Seek Amy' video: Eh, it's okay

Many radio stations are reluctant to even play the barely-a-double-entendre track, but Mizz Spears has gone ahead and made a video for Circus‘s third single, "If U Seek Amy." The clip is set, apparently, at some sort of suburban house party; Vixen Britney (wild extensions, red lips, black bustier) writhes around with sexy extras in the first half, before Wholesome Britney (Marilyn bob, pink sweater set) comes on with a fresh-baked pie and picket-fence family.

And yet, this Amy person — we never meet her. Confounded, I tell you! In fact, though it’s kind of difficult to believe the song’s real meaning will get past even the thickest listener, the video itself is pretty tame…almost disappointingly so. We’ve seen La Brit role-play naughty ‘n’ nice before in clips like "Piece of Me," "Womanizer," and "Oops!…I Did It Again," and this one feels a little thrown together, no?

But PopWatchers, I defer to you: Watch it here and judge for yourself. Are you feeling it? Will you be hitting any of her tour stops, even if Daddy Spears is possibly firing her dancers? Or are you thinking Amy should just keep it in her britches already?

Britney Spears' latest tour snafu: You call this a comeback?

Britneyspears1_lBritney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, has reportedly fired three of the pop star’s dancers from her Circus tour after they failed a drug test. Last year, Brit’s dad was given legal conservatorship over his daughter following her bizarre behavior and legal battles over custody of her two sons. This latest news seems to indicate that Poppa Spears is taking his role seriously, and is committed to making sure Brit isn’t surrounded by negative influences. That also may bode well for Britney’s climb back to superstardom. Which is not to say she’s going to be scandal-free. On Sunday, Spears experienced an, ahem, wardrobe malfunction on stage in Tampa, Fla. No one seemed to notice until, not realizing her microphone was still on, Spears complained that her "p—- was hanging out." (And sadly, for all of us, not for the first time.)

But what do you think, PopWatchers? Can Britney regain the glory of her early days, or is she just destined to be tabloid fodder for the rest of her life?

addCredit(“Mark Liddell”)

Britney Spears' tour kicks off: Like a 'Circus,' indeed!

Would you believe it’s been half a decade since we last saw La Brit on the road? Five years after a knee injury shorted out her Onyx Hotel Tour, the star — then still but a Cheeto-twirling pop tartlet, now a 27-year-old battle-hardened divorcee and mother of two — brought the Circus to New Orleans last night.

Dressed as a sexy ringmaster, directing a colorful cast thatincluded jugglers, acrobats, and martial arts dancers, the Louisiana native treated a nearly sold-out crowd to, as the Associated Press describes it,  "a tightly choreographed, if perfunctory" performance (see a sneak peak provided by her new sponsor, Candies, below), full of Big Top-style razzle-dazzle. The ringmistress herself was widely reported to be lip-syncing her way through hits like the more recent"Womanizer" and "Piece of Me" and the now 10-year-old(!) "Baby One More Time."

Readers, you’ll have 26 more chances to catch her live before she heads to Europe in June….Will U Seek Britney?

Britney Spears' new single, 'If You Seek Amy': Cheeky or Childish?

Britneyspears_lThe natural first reaction, once you discover the hidden meaning embedded in the title of Britney Spears’ third single from Circus (if you say it fast, it spells something out) is a big ol’ eye roll. Hardy har har, Brit. You’re oh-so naughty. That was definitely my reaction when the brouhaha first started up after the song appeared on the album’s tracklist. But now "If You Seek Amy" is set for radio play, and it’s actually ruffling feathers as station managers wonder if the title, which in and of itself is not profane, of course, will earn them FCC fines. And suddenly, I’m smirking at how this little gag is pushing the envelope buttons. MTV, for instance, talked to Patti Marshall, program director at Cincinnati’s Q102, who said the song’s chorus is tantamount to "a little boy in sixth grade doing arm farts." If the song (embedded after the jump) falls flat, then so does the gag (personally, I think it sounds WAY too similar to "Womanizer"). But I gotta say, arm farts in the classroom have a naughty, irreverent appeal.

What say you, PopWatchers? Take our poll and let us know what you think of Britney’s play on words.


More Britney Spears:
Britney Spears: Comeback of the year?
Britney Spears’ dad gets a raise, tribute song
Britney Spears’ ‘Circus’ sales: Damn, girl!
Britney Spears’ new music video: ‘Womanizer’

addCredit(“Mark Liddell”)


Britney Spears' dad gets a raise, tribute song

Jamiespears_lA Los Angeles judge yesterday gave Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, a raise to around $75 per hour (or approximately $16,000 a month) for managing his troubled daughter’s affairs. In addition to scoring backpay (sweet!), we here at PopWatch thought the man also earned himself a tribute song, which we’ve set to the tune of Britney’s 2007 smash, "Gimme More." (We’ve embedded the video after the jump, in case you want a little musical accompaniment.)


He’s Britney’s bitch

Every time they’re hitting the town
Paps just go that extra mile it’s true
Public display of protection
Keeps Britney locked up in her room

Some say he’s mean, oh she wants frappuccinos
But she’s changed her ways (She’s changed her ways)
Some call him a jerk; he’s her dad, it’s not work
Still he wants a raise (Yeah he wants a raise)
Oh Jamie Spears is saying

Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more

Center of attention
Even when she’s buying groceries
Judge says it’s worth near eighty an hour
Dad works like Jack Bauer
Keeping Britney in power

She’s back on the charts, breaking Xtina’s heart
And not a hot mess (not just a hot mess)
Takes off like a geyser, she’s older and wiser
"Womanizer" (Yeah "Womanizer")
So Jamie Spears is saying

Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme gimme more
Gimme more
Gimme gimme more

addCredit(“Anthony Monterotti/PacificCoastNews.com”)


Britney Spears and Ellen DeGeneres go caroling: Great holiday stunt, huh?

Britneyspearsdegeneres_lIt’s a shame that EW has already closed its Best and Worst of 2008 issue, which hits stands Friday and includes our picks for the year’s Great Performances, because Britney Spears’ caroling excursion with Ellen DeGeneres might’ve earned a spot on that list — for Spears’ publicist. Great move. Catch B & E’s two-part adventure on The Ellen DeGeneres Show‘s website.

Is this the best holiday stunt you’ve seen on a talk show so far this season? (Translation: What else have I missed?)

More on holiday entertainment (and Britney Spears):
Britney Spears: From Media Sideshow to ‘Circus’ Triumph
Bad Holiday Movies Bracket Game: Pick the Worst!
The Best Holiday Movies
25 Classic Holiday TV Episodes
Holiday Songs You Secretly Hate — ‘Fess Up!
EW’s Holiday Gift Guide

Read next item:
What’s on your Must List?


addCredit(“Michael Rozman/Warner Brothers”)

Britney Spears' 'Circus' sales: Damn, girl!

Spearscircus_lMy apologies for the outburst in my headline up there, but this demands an emphatic exclamation. First-week sales results just came out for Britney Spears’ new album, and not only did she debut at No. 1 (no huge surprise there) — she did it by selling 505,000 copies. That’s a pretty huge number in the midst of a retail downturn. It also makes Britney the first artist in history to have released four albums that have each sold 500,000 or more copies in week 1. (She was previously tied for this stat with Tupac, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and, uh, Garth Brooks, each of whom notched three 500,000 debuts.) I know Britney wasn’t too keen on the word "comeback" in her MTV doc the other night, but what else are you supposed to call this?

In any case, we should be happy for Britney. Circus is a solid example of what she does best, even if it’s not quite as good as last year’s Blackout (which debuted with an underwhelming 290,000 sold). And this is more than enough to qualify for a new edition of EW.com’s Britney Moments Gallery, which Leah Greenblatt has just whipped up for the occasion. Anyone else impressed by this turn of events?

More on Britney Spears:
Britney Spears: From media sideshow to Circus triumph
Circus got a solid B review from EW
Tim Stack mulled over the "Circus" video
EW pondered six possible futures for Britney, post-Circus
Review: Britney Spears’ Blackout

Britney's 'Circus' video: Sensation or sideshow?

It’s been hard to focus on anything but Britney Spears’ "comeback" this week with the release of her new album, Circus. From the absorbing MTV documentary Britney: For the Record to her kinda underwhelming Good Morning America performances, it feels like Brit’s been EVERYWHERE. Well, now she’s released the video for the title track "Circus" and, I’m pleased to report, it feels like our old gal. She’s scantily dressed. She shows her navel. She even does a chair dance, perhaps a little homage to "Stronger," one of my fave videos. And there’s an elephant (could it be the same one from her VMA commercials with Russell Brand?)! Best of all, she actually looks animated in this video and appears to be having fun. That’s something that’s been sorely lacking in her more recent live performances. Check out her laugh at the end of the video for proof, then tell us what you think of the "Circus" clip.

More on Britney:
Britney Spears on ‘GMA': More popcorn!
Chris Willman reviews Britney’s ‘Circus’
First look: MTV’s ‘Britney: For the Record’ (from Margeaux’s Mix!)
Madonna + Britney + Justin = Sadness
Britney’s ‘Womanizer’ sets a download record
Britney vs. Beyonce: Who has the better video?
Britney: First seeds of a comeback?

Behold! 2008's top Yahoo! searches

Fergiewrestling_lHappy year-in-review day, P-Dubs. Yahoo! just released its Top Searches lists for 2008 — there are plenty of repeats from last year’s list (Britney Spears, WWE, Lindsay Lohan), but poor Fergie (pictured, smacked down) and a few others have been demoted to the vast wasteland of No. 11 and beyond. I’m disappointed that my top search, "nachos platter stretchy cheese," did not ooze its way onto the list, but I’ll live. The most intriguing repeat ranker? Naruto. "WTF is Naruto?" asked low life form Michael Slezak in an IM just now. "I thought maybe Naruto was like a pan-flute octet from Peru." Hell no. Naruto is obviously an ongoing Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime adaptation. Get it right.

Other notable winners: Hurricanes (News), "It’s Miley!!!!" (Celebrity Brat Pack), Heath Ledger (Farewells), and my personal favorite, IRS Stimulus Checks (Economy). Thanks to TechCrunch for the tip.

Compare this year’s list with last year’s after the jump. Is your top pop culture-related search on the list? If so, congratulations! You are "normal."

addCredit(“WWE Raw: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images”)


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