Rihanna Streams Big In 2015 And Announces 2016 World Tour

by Noiz 1. December 2015 19:34

Rihanna Streams Big In 2015 And Announces 2016 World Tour

You know you’re a big time pop/rock star when you don’t release an album and you still have an awesome year.

You know…

… like The Beatles being the bestselling foreign act in the U.S. in the 2000s.


…. Adele’s 21 being the bestselling album for 2011 (the year it was released) and 2012.

Rihanna didn’t release an album in 2015 (or 2014) but she had an awesome year anyways—at least she had one on Spotify.

Rihanna accounted for more than one billion streams on Spotify.  That made her the most-streamed female artist on the site for 2015.

The most streamed artist was Drake.  Subscribers streamed Drizzy to the tune of 1.8 billion times.

The artist responsible for the most streams in a single day was Justin Bieber.

Beauty Behind the Madness, by the Weeknd, was the most streamed album.


…coming in first is a testament to Rihanna’s popularity.  Yet, it does come with an asterisk—it comes with a great, big asterisk.

She may not have released an album but she did release three singles: “FourFiveSeconds,” “Bitch Better Have My Money,” and “American Oxygen.”

Furthermore, Taylor Swift isn’t on Spotify.  She didn’t release an album this year either but she is Taylor Swift after all.

Another thing…

…Adele is on Spotify but her latest album, 25, is not.

Also adding to the asterisk’s immense girth is the three women who trailed Rihanna—Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Beyoncé—didn’t release an album either. 

Apparently, if you want fans to listen to your music on Spotify all you have to do is not release a new LP.


…Rihanna will issue an album in 2016.

Her long awaited eighth studio album, Anti, is set to drop sometime next year.  The album is executive produced by Kanye West and will feature contributions from Paul McCartney, Travis Scott, and David Guetta.

While details are sparse about her pending plater, they are plentiful when it comes to her upcoming tour.

Get this…

Rihanna’s “The Anti World Tour” begins Feb. 26 in San Diego at the Viejas Arena.  Two nights later she’ll be at the SAP Center in San Jose.

Dates to circle on your calendar include…

…March 6, that’s when Rihanna performs in Dallas at the American Airlines Center…

…March 27 when Brooklyn welcomes Rihanna to the Barclays Center…

…and April 29 when Rihanna comes to Las Vegas for a gig at Mandalay Bay.

Rihanna rolls into Los Angeles on May 3 for a concert at the Forum.  That’s the penultimate stop on her route.  Her last North American show is scheduled for May 7 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

From there…

…Rihanna heads across the pond to the Old World.  Her first European date is set for June 11 in Amsterdam.

She’ll continue to collect Rihanna tickets all over the continent through Aug. 12.  That night she’ll perform in Zurich at the Letzigrund Stadion.

Her concert in Zurich will be the last and 61st of her “Anti World Tour.”  Thirty-six of those shows are planned for North America and twenty-five are booked for Europe.

This is Rihanna’s first outing since 2014’s “The Monster Tour.”

Her opening act for all North American dates will be Travis Scott.  Warming up audiences in Europe will be The Weeknd and Big Sean.

The tour is being sponsored by Samsung.  Rihanna signed a deal with the company in November.

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Justin Bieber Tour Offers Selfies For Two Grand

by Noiz 19. November 2015 18:02

Justin Bieber Tour Offers Selfies For Two Grand

For those of you who thought back in May of 2009 that we’d be saying “Justin Who?” in ten years, you might want to start inventing some excuses as to why you got it so wrong.

Sure, we still have more than three years left in your imaginary epoch, but the way Justin Bieber is going, and the amount of air time he’s been getting, the singing sensation will have to go out of his way to be irrelevant come the spring of 2019.

In other words, “Bieber Fever” is far from being over.

Recent Successes
Is he still a teeny bopper?

Well, his recent collaboration with Skrillex and Diplo earned him some serious (and much needed) street cred.

He has made successful appearances on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and The Late Late Show with James Corden. Bieber has been interviewing quite well as of late.

Bieber’s last two singles, “What Do You Mean?” and “Sorry,” peaked at number one and number two respectively on the Billboard Hot 100.

Justin Bieber vs. One Direction
His latest, and fourth, studio album, Purpose, dropped Nov. 13. Industry insiders think it will beat out One Direction’s Made in the A.M., which was also released on the aforementioned date.

Projections have Bieber moving 550,000 units with 100,000 coming from online sources. One Direction is projected to move 475,000 with just 50,000 digital units involved.

If Purpose does debut at number one, it will be Bieber’s sixth album to top the charts.

Justin Bieber Misses Target
Both artists, especially J.B. have been working hard to promote their respective platters. Bieber held five so-called “listening events” where fans could buy tickets that came with free digital copies of Purpose.

Also, Bieber teamed with Lyft (Uber’s main competitor) and 1-800-Flowers for special promotions that involved discounted or free copies of his latest studio offering.

Interestingly, during the first three days of release, Bieber lost the sales battle at both Walmart and Target.

Walmart was so close that if it was a Presidential election there would have been a recount.

Bieber didn’t stand a chance at Target. The retailer had five different covers for the new One Direction album. Thanks to that tactic, 1D outsold JB nearly three to one.

By the way, Taylor Swift 1,287,000 copies of 1989 during its first week of sales. In Bieber and One Direction’s defense, Swift’s main competition consisted of Danity Kane and Rancid.

Justin Bieber Is Top Artist… Finally
Bieber also topped the Billboard Artist 100 chart. This is a list Billboard has put together that looks at an artist’s sales (at brick-and-mortar stores and online), radio airplay, and social media activity.

Amazingly, Bieber has never topped the Artist 100 (it has only been around since July 2014), although he’s been on it since its inception.

Taylor Swift has topped the charts several times for a total of 31 weeks.

Justin Bieber Tour
To promote “Purpose,” Biebs is hitting the road.

He’ll perform 58 concerts all over North America. His tour begins March 9 in Seattle, Washington and concludes July 18 in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

Look for Bieber concerts in Las Vegas on March 25, Denver on April 4, Rosemont (Chicago) on April 22, and Brooklyn on May 4 and May 5.

Also on the docket, are two Justin Bieber performances in Los Angeles—one on March 20 and the other on March 21. Both are scheduled at Staples Center.

Justin Bieber Past Tours
His upcoming “Purpose World Tour” will be the singer’s third major road trip.

His first, “My World Tour,” began in June of 2010 and wrapped in October of 2011. In total, Bieber performed 127 shows and grossed more than $53 million.

“The Believe Tour” spanned 162 shows and grossed in excess of $209 million. The tour’s first concert was Sept. 29, 2012 and its last was Dec. 8, 2013.

Combined, Justin Bieber tickets have been collected at 289 concerts and raked in more than $262 million.

When Justin Bieber begins his 2016 “Purpose Tour” he’ll be just 22.

Justin Bieber Selfie
There’s another reason why Bieber looks like he’s here to stay. In fact, there are 2,000 reasons.

Fans can purchase three different VIP experiences during the “Purpose Tour.” The one that’s getting the most attention is the ultimate experience or the one worth $2,000.

“Where Are You Now” Package
>>Premium merchandize package
>>Entrance through VIP door
>>Plaque to commemorate the event
>>Digital copy of Purpose

“I’ll Show You” Package
>>All the stuff included in the “Where Are You Now” package
>>Meet and greet, but…
>>…fans can only take group photos

Ultimate #Purpose Experience
>>All the stuff included in the above packages
>>A seat in a barricaded section close to the stage
>>Behind the scenes tour
>>Opportunity to take selfie with Justin Bieber

What is really grabbing headlines is the fact that $2,000 will land you the opportunity to take a selfie with Justin Bieber. This has drawn the ire of haters and resentment from fans.

Of course, it’s more immaturity than wisdom that makes a $2,000 Justin Bieber selfie seems “unfair”—a common charge issued by fans. Life is unfair and if Bieber wants to charge $2,000 or $1 million dollars he can (and will).

Reports indicate that there were only 20 Ultimate #Purpose Experience packages available for the entire tour. That seems odd, but they probably weren’t location specific.

If someone in Sacramento wants a $2,000 selfie than Bieber will make sure he/she gets it. If 20 people want a selfie before the Justin Bieber concert in Boston on May 10 or May 11, then the crooner can kill 20 birds with one selfie stick (so to speak).

It’s actually surprising he’s not selling more; that he doesn’t sell 20 ultimate packages to every concert. After all, artists have to do something to counter poor album sales.

Get this…

Bieber’s 20 Ultimate #Purpose Experience packages will fetch the singer a cool $40,000.

If he sold 20 at every tour stop, Bieber would make an additional $2,320,000 on selfies alone!

Will Justin Bieber Do It For Free?
The question isn’t whether or not $2,000 is too much for a selfie with Justin Bieber. The question is will Justin Bieber ever let anyone take a selfie with him for free?

If I paid $2,000 for a selfie and then learned a bunch of fans got free ones at an airport or night club, I’d be upset.

Granted, it’s unlikely that anyone desiring a selfie with Justin Bieber will ever be able to get close enough to get one—maybe on accident but certainly not on Purpose.

So, unless you have $925 or $2,000 burning a hole in your pocket, the closet you’ll ever get to actually meeting Justin Bieber is attending one of his concerts.

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2015 MLB Playoffs Are All About Parity

by Noiz 1. October 2015 21:24

2015 MLB Playoffs Are All About Parity

When I was a kid, in the… let’s just say sometime in the 20th century… you knew who was going to win the World Series long before October rolled around.

At the very least, you knew there were only a couple of teams that stood a snowball’s chance of being crowned world champs—everyone else was just playing out the schedule.

Back then, the good teams were really good and they knew how to play as favorites.  Today’s players tend to do better when it’s “us versus the world” or when they’re the obvious underdog.

That’s not to say there weren’t upsets and underdogs back in the “olden days,” but they were few and far between. 

In 2015, however, we may have a wide open, no clear cut favorite, no clear cut underdog, your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine MLB playoffs.

We’re talking full-on, one-hundred percent parity.   It’s probably the most parity Major League Baseball has ever experienced in its second season.

You can make a case for each of the ten teams in the MLB postseason winning the World Series as easily as you can diagram their early exit.

And that’s exactly what we did…

Toronto Blue Jays
Qualified By Winning: American League East
Last Playoff Berth: 1993
Last World Series Victory: 1993 (2)

Case For Winning It All: Entering the playoffs, the Blue Jays have the best lineup in the business and a bona fide ace leading their rotation (David Price).  Toronto didn’t start the season as World Series favorites but they became one after making some key trades prior to the deadline.

Reason They Won’t Win It All: Their closer Roberto Osuna has struggled down the stretch and Troy Tulowitzki (one of those big trades) is coming off of an injury (small crack in left shoulder blade).

Kansas City Royals
Qualified By Winning: American League Central
Last Playoff Berth: 2014 (Lost World Series)
Last World Series Victory: 1985 (1)

Case For Winning It All: Since Opening Day, the Kansas City Royals have been the best team in the American League.  They play great defense and have a killer bullpen.  They are also second in the American League in batting average and stolen bases.  The Royals playoffs could once again end with a World Series appearance.

Reason They Won’t Win It All: The Royals’ future rests on the arm of recently acquired ace, Johnny Cueto.  Unfortunately for the Royals and their fans, Cueto has been remarkably below average.  Since coming to K.C. he’s surrendered nearly five earned runs a game.  If the Royals want to win the World Series he needs to pitch like a Cy Young candidate.

Texas Rangers
Qualified By Winning: American League West
Last Playoff Berth: 2012 (Lost AL Wild Card Game)
Last World Series Victory: None

Case For Winning It All: After losing starting pitcher Yu Darvish for the season, before the season even began, the Texas Rangers were supposed to finish in the cellar.  Yet, manager Jeff Banister has refused to let his team quit.  Since Aug. 1, the Rangers have been one of baseball’s best team. 

Reason They Won’t Win It All:  The Rangers team ERA is over four—bad enough for 13th in the American League.  Cole Hamels came to Arlington via a trade and has filled in for Darvish quite nicely.  Hamels, however, is not known as “Mr. October” and similar questions marks hang over the heads of the Rangers other starting pitchers.  The Rangers playoffs chances will hinge on their hurlers.

New York Yankees
Qualified As: American League Wild Card #1
Last Playoff Berth: 2012 (Lost ALCS)
Last World Series Victory: 2009 (27)

Case For Winning It All: The New York Yankees are fourth in the American League in home runs, second in runs, and third in OPS.  They also have the best bullpen in the Majors.  Closer Andrew Miller has an ERA below two.

Reason They Won’t Win It All: Mark Teixeira is out for the season with a fracture in his shin.  For a playoff team, the Yanks starting rotation is terrible.  Home field advantage will extend the Yankees playoffs beyond the Wild Card Game but not much further. 

Houston Astros
Qualified As: American League Wild Card #2
Last Playoff Berth: 2005 (Lost World Series)
Last World Series Victory: None

Case For Winning It All: Like the Rangers, no one expected the Houston Astros to be in 2015 MLB Postseason.  They reached the playoffs thanks to ace Dallas Keuchel and their potent lumber.

Reason They Won’t Win It All:  There are two reasons the Astros playoffs will end in anguish.  One, Keuchel can’t pitch every game.  Two, Keuchel can’t close.  The Astros bullpen is awful.

New York Mets
Qualified By Winning: National League East
Last Playoff Berth: 2006 (Lost NLCS)
Last World Series Victory: 1986 (2)

Case For Winning It All: The feel-good New York Mets possess a lights-out starting rotation led by Matt Harvey.  The Mets have the best team ERA in the National League… for a club not aligned in the NL Central.

Reason They Won’t Win It All: No one is really sure how many innings Harvey will give the Mets in the playoffs.  That’s not good news when you consider that the Mets relief pitching is below average.  Furthermore, in the NL the Metropolitans are 13th in team batting average and last in steals. 

St. Louis Cardinals
Qualified By Winning: National League Central
Last Playoff Berth: 2014 (Lost NLCS)
Last World Series Victory: 2011 (11)

Case For Winning It All: The St. Louis Cardinals are the best team in baseball.  They’re also the most clutch and the most resilient.   They have the best team ERA and they’ve allowed the fewest runs in the entire Major Leagues.

Reason They Won’t Win It All: Injuries.  As the season closes, the Cards are dealing with injuries to Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, and Matt Adams.  Has the roster run out of gas for a 2015 Cardinals playoff push?

Los Angeles Dodgers
Qualified By Winning: National League West
Last Playoff Berth: 2014 (Lost NLDS)
Last World Series Victory: 1988 (6)

Case For Winning It All: The Los Angeles Dodgers have not one but two aces: Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.  The Dodgers lead the Senior Circuit in homers and on-base percentage and are second in OPS.

Reason They Won’t Win It All:  The Dodgers don’t have a legitimate third arm to go with Kershaw and Greinke.  That’s a bit odd for a team with a $300 million payroll.  Speaking of their payroll, the pressure will definitely be on the Dodgers in the playoffs.  It will be a colossal failure if the Boys in Blue, who are getting a lot of green, don’t win the World Series.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Qualified As: National League Wild Card #1
Last Playoff Berth: 2014 (Lost NL Wild Card Game)
Last World Series Victory: 1979 (5)

Case For Winning It All: The Pittsburgh Pirates are a balanced team—they’re good at the plate and on the mound.  If they can escape the Wild Card Game they will be a team no one wants to play.

Reason They Won’t Win It All: They can’t catch.  The team leads the National League in errors.  The Pirates 2015 playoffs will be decided by their gloves, not their bats.

Chicago Cubs
Qualified As: National League Wild Card #2
Last Playoff Berth: 2008 (Lost NLDS)
Last World Series Victory: 1908 (2)

Case For Winning It All: Some experts believe the youthful Chicago Cubs are a year away from being a championship club.  Usually, when you hear talk like that it means a team is poised to take it all.  The Cubs will look to win their first World Series in more than a century behind ace Jake Arrieta and manager Joe Maddon.

Reason They Won’t Win It All:  The Cubs strike out far too often for a playoff team.  They also lack a strong bullpen.  It will be interesting to see how the Cubs in the playoffs will rip the hearts out of their faithful fans.

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Mac Miller Evolves And Launches Tour

by Noiz 27. September 2015 15:27

Mac Miller Evolves And Launches Tour

There’s one thing all great musicians do. 

That one thing is evolve.

Their music changes, or to put it another way, their music doesn’t stay the same.

Becoming stagnated is a death sentence in the music business.

We’re not necessarily talking about keeping up on the latest music trends or working with the hottest producers.  Nor do we mean an artist has to continually reinvent themselves like Madonna.

We mean, musicians need to mature as people and then use that wisdom to mature as an artist.

The band with the most dramatic, important, and famous musical evolution is The Beatles.  It’s hard to believe but in half a dozen years the “Fab Four” went from “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to “Across The Universe.”

The Beatles are not the only artists who evolved.  The Rolling Stones, The Who, U2, The Clash, Pink Floyd, Paul Weller, and David Bowie all managed to grow musically.

In fact, most of the great artists—those worthy of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame considerations—evolved.  It might not be as drastic as the aforementioned artists but they evolved.

The passage of time makes it’s easier to see an artist’s musical evolution but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience their progress as it happens.

An artist that has recently “evolved” is Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller.

Miller has done so thanks to his third studio release, GO:OD AM.

The album dropped Sept. 18—just two days before the launch of a Mac Miller tour. 

The 17-track opus features contributions from Ab-Soul, Lil B, Miguel, Little Dragon, and Chief Keef.

The LP was produced by a slew of people including ID Labs, Sha Money XL, THC, Christian Rich, Frank Dukes, Sevn Thomas, Drew Byrd, Thundercat, and Tyler, the Creator.

In order to plot Miller’s evolution we must go back to the beginning; to the primordial ooze of his career.

Blue Slide Park
When Miller started releasing mixtapes he was 15.  His first studio album, Blue Slide Park, dropped when he was 19.

While critics dislike the album, it sold very well.  Blue Slide Park debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.

Back then, his music was called “frat rap.”  His lyrics were pretty banal and his flows were unconfident, and simple.  Critics charged that he hadn’t found his voice.

As Ryan Alfieri wrote in an UPROXX article…

“In his early mixtape days, Mac’s style was the equivalent of a rap starter pack for kids; sugary instrumentals behind bars that rarely went beyond the “who you know that’s iller than Mac Miller” message.”

Adding to his party image was his MTV2 reality show, Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family.  It was Miller’s lame attempt to combine Jackass with Entourage.

Watching Movies with the Sound Off
Miller’s sophomore effort, Watching Movies with the Sound Off, hit streets in 2013. 

Commercially, it didn’t live up to its predecessor but critics started to come around on the rapper who looks like a clerk from Best Buys.

In Watching Movies, Miller employed bleak and dreary lyrics.  The somber mood was appropriate since Miller had moved to Los Angeles (to make his second album and his television show) and picked up a drug habit.

Chris Gibbons, in his album review of GO:OD AM for The Boombox, had this to say about Watching Movies with the Sound Off:

“Miller’s more poppy sensibilities remained, but the tone was darker. The lyrics were more focused on depression and drug addiction than having a good time. “

Miller’s drug habit was so bad that he had an “intern” whose job it was to wipe cocaine and blood off of rolled up bills. 

“…I looked at my phone and saw that I had him [listed] in there as ‘Intern.’  I asked him what he had me in his phone as.  He said ‘My hero.’”   — Mac Miller

Surprisingly, that wasn’t rock bottom.


Miller reached rock bottom while touring Europe.  He called up legendary producer Rick Rubin and asked for his help.  Rubin gave it and Miller got clean.

He then left Los Angeles and relocated to New York City.

“I wanted to come back to reality.  New York is a good place for that.” — Mac Miller

Miller’s third album, GO:OD AM is also his first with a major label, Warner Bros Records.  Miller signed with Warner because they allowed him full creative control.

It was a good decision by both entities because GO:OD AM is Miller’s best work to date.  It takes the fun of his debut record and combines it with the maturity he began displaying in his second issue.

On top of that, Miller adds doses of wisdom, depth, confidence, conviction, and earnest introspection.  He’s no longer making music for frat parties or making music while high. 

He’s just making great music.

The Artist

Furthermore, Miller’s style and flow have matured.  Not only does he have more profound things to say, but he’s rapping those insightful ideas better than ever before. 

Miller has finally come into his own as a rapper, and he’s demanding that we take him seriously as an artist.

What’s really amazing about Miller’s evolution is he’s still only 23 years old!

In five years, Miller has gone from frat rapper to legitimate hip hop artist.  One can only imagine where the next five years will take him.

Where will he be when he turns 30?  What will he sound like then? 

At last…

In GO:OD AM, Miller addresses the infamous “Eminem Comparisons.”  The two rappers are often compared to one another because they’re both white (and diminutive).  Other than that they have little in common.

Miller actually has more in common with Wiz Khalifa—they both went to the same high school.

In the album’s second track, “Brand Name,” Miller raps:

“I’m a white rapper, they always call me shady/Got no idea what I’m contemplatin’”

Mac Miller Tour
Miller’s 2015 Tour has more than 60 dates scheduled for the United States, Canada, and Europe.

A group of artists, including Goldlink, Michael Christmas, Domo Genesis, and Remember Music, will open for Miller.  They’ll take turns warming up audience so don’t expect every artist to perform at every show. 

Miller will be in Europe for five concerts in late September and early October.  He’ll return to the States on Oct. 6 for a gig at the Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, New York.

Look for Mac Miller concerts in Cleveland (Oct. 9), Detroit (Oct. 14), Seattle (Nov. 9), and Las Vegas (Nov. 17).

Perhaps the highlight of his road trip his Oct. 31.  On Halloween Night, Mac Miller descends on Morrison, Colorado for a show at the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Miller’s tour ends Dec. 20 in Toronto.

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