Bruce Springsteen's New Single, And Four Other Songs That Might Show Up On Pazz & Jop 2012

Last night at midnight—just like the old days!—the new single from Bruce Springsteen, "We Take Care Of Our Own," premiered on the radio—just like the, oh, you know. The song, taken from Springsteen's forthcoming Wrecking Ball (out March 6), is a slow-build, string-spangled anthem that belies the Boss's recent time spent hanging around the Arcade Fire, while also . Call it "The Girls In The Suburbs' Clothes," maybe? Listen below.

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Live: VH1 Brings Out The Divas At The Hammerstein Ballroom

via VH1
VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul
Hammerstein Ballroom
Sunday, December 18

Better than: Whatever Ryan Seacrest is going to cook up for VH1 Soul.

Last night's VH1 Divas taping existed both as a performance and self-contained, 24-hours-out advertising opportunity for its broadcast. (Tonight at 9 ET!) TV tapings are always strange to experience first-hand, given the way they're designed for after-the-fact consumption; there are lots of long lulls in the action for the purposes of commercial breaking/set redesigning, and in "let's all get together and put on a show" scenarios like this one there are TelePrompTers with lyrics ready to assist the under-rehearsed. Despite the breaks and assists, though, this taping didn't have the hermetically sealed feeling of ones I attended during the pre-social-media era—people were encouraged to tweet and Foursquare check-in and let their pals on social media know what they were experiencing via corporately provided hashtag. In the 21st century, after all, all publicity is.

The night's bent toward soul meant that most of the acts on the bill had pipes and cred—Chaka Khan, Mavis Staples, Martha Reeves, and Wanda Jackson represented for the pre-music-video era, while the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Ledisi, Jill Scott, and Jennifer Hudson were among the new-schoolers. Jessie J's tireless, apparently unending promotional campaign also continued here; her new party trick involves her stuttering out words instead of singing them in toto, a tic that serves to both illuminate the bleatiness of her voice and make her seem even more malleable and annoying. She's the opposite of a diva, her jet-black-dyed artifice doing a miserable job of covering up the void within; I expect either a turn to Christian rock or the "mysterious" leak of a sex tape within the next 12 months.

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Live: Estelle Grudgingly Panders to the Splendidly Dressed MOMA Masses

In Toronto, back when she maybe still liked "American Boy." CREDIT

MOMA's Party in the Garden
Tuesday, May 26

"I am so sick of singing this song," Estelle moans, and the crowd erupts. This is how she offers "American Boy," her big, critically beloved hit, and this is how we happily receive it. We, the fancily dressed crowd. The "cocktail attire" crowd. (We all define "cocktail attire" differently; I, personally, define it as "anything you probably shouldn't play tackle football in," and am thus catastrophically underdressed as usual.) We're live at MOMA's annual Sculpture Garden soiree, and despite the formal overtone and formalwear, everyone's chirping along now to "American Boy," which is fine with Estelle, because she's tired of singing it.

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