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"What The Hell": A Conversation with Avril Lavigne, a Josh T. Pearson Exclusive, Roy Orbison News and a YouTube/RightsFlow Deal

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Bored? Well, this particular post features an interview with pop icon Avril Lavigne, an exclusive video by artist Josh T. Pearson, news about a crazy, over-the-top Roy Orbison box set, and a RightsFlow/YouTube deal. So? Whaddayasay? Let's get a-crackin' on this awesomely sweet Thursday...

A Conversation With Avril Lavigne

Mike Ragogna: Your single/video, "What The Hell," is an early slice of your new 15-track album, Goodbye Lullaby.

Avril Lavigne: I've been working on this record for about two years, and it's the most time I've spent on an album. I'm very proud of this record.

MR: Beyond being the artist, what were some of your duties on this one?

AL: I produced two songs for the first time.

MR: What was the writing process like?

AL: I've always written every song on my albums, I've co-written them all. On this record though, I wrote half of the record by myself. So, I'm very excited about that.

MR: Where did you record the project and what do you think of your new single?

AL: I recorded this record at my home studio. "What The Hell" is very spontaneous lyrically and it's a lot of fun. The rest of my album is very different from the single, it's very stripped down and raw.

MR: "Alice" also appears on the album, which is a track you did for the film Alice In Wonderland, right?

AL: Yeah! That's the first end credit song. That was a really awesome experience.

MR: In a nutshell, can you tell me what that's about?

AL: Basically, knowing that this was for a Tim Burton film, I went for a darker, moodier approach for the songwriting. So, I took to my piano and thought about Alice going into Wonderland, falling into this hole and tripping out, and her journey--her having to be strong and get through it. I'm really excited to also put this song on the album because it's the message on my record. It's about life's journey and finding inner strength.

MR: And there's your "What The Hell" video, what's the basic concept?

AL: The concept of the video is a guy who really likes a girl and is chasing after her around town, but she just wants to have fun. That's basically what the song is about so that's the concept for the video.

MR: Who directed it?

AL: Marcus Raboy

MR: Do you think Goodbye Lullaby represents a noticeable growth from your first album?

AL: A hundred percent. That's what this album is about, personal growth, moving forward, and opening a new chapter of life.

MR: Yet "What The Hell" is such a fun recording.

AL: The thing about "What The Hell" is that I'm promoting this album Goodbye Lullaby that's a deeper, more raw record. It's something that I keep talking about in depth...("What The Hell") doesn't sound like anything on this record, it's a full on pop-rock song, funny and very light. The record has a lot more depth to it. The purpose of ("What The Hell") was to come out after not having a song for a few years to bridge into the new songs. I'm looking forward to people hearing the new stuff.

MR: Now, you've also been in a couple of movies such as Fast Food Nation.

AL: My goal is I would love to be in a movie, but being a singer, I have to do it right and it has to be done cool. If I did a movie where I was a singer, that to me wouldn't be that cool. I would need to play something that was challenging as a character, I would love to do something dark and moody. At the same time, I totally think I could play a Valley Girl--a ditzy, funny, over the top girl. I've had the opportunity to do music videos, which I sort of get to act in. When I was younger, I did theater and was in plays, so it's cool. That's what I would want to do some day. Yeah I was in Fast Food Nation in which I was in 7 scenes. I also did a voiceover in Over The Hedge which was a Dreamworks animated film.

MR: And of course, you also have a fragrance line.

AL: I have two fragrances out at the moment--one is called Black Star and the other is Forbidden Rose. I give them to my mom's sister and my grandma loves them. I will give them to my friends and there is body wash and lotion, and my girlfriend will be like, "Oh my God, my boyfriend came out of the shower smelling like you today!" It's cool to have that stuff to give it to my friends and family, to have it for myself.

MR: And you've got another product line as well, right?

AL: One project that's really cool and I'm really excited about is my clothing line. It's called Abbey Dawn, I started it two and a half years ago. I just launched www.abbydawn.com which is a huge deal internationally because I travel a lot to Asia and Europe. It's been really cool because fashion and my music career go hand in hand. I design for myself, I wear all the stuff, and being a girl and getting to design clothes is super cool. I get so much inspiration from my travels and going to other countries, checking out different trends internationally.

MR: Sweet. What advice do you have for new artists?

AL: Make sure whatever you do and put out there really resembles and represents you. That's a part of you and that's a part of your identity and that's the rest of your life and career.

(transcribed by Theo Shier)

And now, a word (or 20) from Josh T. Pearson:

Josh T. Pearson - Woman, When I've Raised Hell by Mute Artists

Josh T. Pearson is the newest artist to be signed to Mute and will be heading to SXSW in a few weeks to debut his solo record The Last of the Country Gentlemen which will hit shelves on March 29th. Natasha from Bat For Lashes has this to say about him: "I first heard Josh when I listened to the Lift To Experience album, Texas Jerusalem Crossroads. It was around the time I started recording the first Bat For Lashes album, and I remember being so taken aback by Josh's haunting voice, preacher-like storytelling lyrics and guitar playing...Like a doomed angel singing over a desert storm. I think he's the funniest, darkest and most handsome man I ever met."

PRESS RELEASES:

YOUTUBE TAPS RIGHTSFLOW FOR PUBLISHING RIGHTS MANAGEMENT

RightsFlow today announced an agreement with YouTube to assist with music rights management. The deal allows YouTube to enlist RightsFlow's help in processing and managing music rights.

David G. King, YouTube Product Manager responsible for rights management, said, "We are excited to be working with RightsFlow to help address the complexities around music rights management."

Patrick Sullivan, RightsFlow President/CEO, added, "We are pleased to be working with the premier online video community to expedite rights administration and drive royalty revenues for publishers and songwriters. Our agile technology platform and skilled staff enable us to effectively manage the accelerating traffic flow through YouTube's intersection of content and commerce."

About RightsFlow - www.rightsflow.com

RightsFlow is a leading technology-enabled licensing and royalty service provider for artists, record labels, distributors, and online music companies. Our technology powers rapid song identification and provides an unprecedented level of transparency forboth licensees and licensors. RightsFlow specializes in obtaining bulkphysical, DPD, and ringtone licenses including streaming, tethered, and limited download rights. Our proprietary "FLOW" licensing technology and 23 million song database allow us to serve over 12,000 clients obtaining licenses frompublishers and songwriters all over the world - including major, independent and artist controlled works.

RightsFlow also powers Limelight (www.songclearance.com), its online mechanical licensing utility providing the simplest way for musicians, bands, choirs and labels to clear any cover song. RightsFlow is a member of DDEX, DiMA, NARM and A2IM.

LEGACY RECORDINGS CELEBRATES THE 75th BIRTHDAY YEAR OF ROCK & ROLL LEGEND ROY ORBISON WITH LONG-AWAITED MONO RELEASE OF ROY ORBISON: THE MONUMENT SINGLES COLLECTION ON TUESDAY, APRIL 5

Monument Records/The House That Roy Built: The Big O's Monument Singles Collection Debuts First-Ever CD Release Of Original Mono Mixes of All A & B Sides Cut For The Label, Plus DVD of Nine Songs From "The Monument Concert 1965" Digitally Restored, Includes The Official Video For "Oh Pretty Woman"

"Orbison...transcended all the genres--folk, country, rock and roll or just about anything. His stuff mixed all the styles and some that hadn't even been invented yet.... He sounded like he was singing from an Olympian mountaintop and he meant business." - Bob Dylan, Chronicles Vol. 1

"Roy's ballads were always best when you were alone in the dark. They were scary. His voice was unearthly.... I always wanted to sing like Roy Orbison..."
- Bruce Springsteen

".... Roy Orbison! It was only because we were with Roy Orbison that we
were there at all. He was definitely top of the bill... What a beacon
in the southernmost gloom. The amazing Roy Orbison." - Keith Richards, Life

"Roy the singer, people talk about him all the time, everyone curtsies to the voice, and so they should. The thing people don't talk about enough as far as I'm concerned is how innovative this music was, how radical in terms of its songwriting. As I become more interested in songwriting, you hit a wall where Roy Orbison is standing." - Bono, 1999

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is celebrating the 75th birthday (April 23, 1936) year of Roy Orbison with the long-awaited release of Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection, a 2 CD/1 DVD set including all the A&B sides recorded by Orbison for the groundbreaking Monument label during an electrifying peak from 1960-1964. Restored to pristine mono mixes for the first time since their original 7" vinyl releases, Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection presents The Big O's core classic catalog the way it's meant to sound.

Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection, a 2 CD/1 DVD set, will be available everywhere Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Roy Orbison - The Monument A-Sides will also be available on a single CD.

A small independent record label enjoying modest successes in the late 1950s, Monument Records grew to become a major force in American rock and roll, country, jazz and rhythm & blues, its label identity synonymous with its biggest star, Roy Orbison. Other artists on the Monument label have included Kris Kristofferson, Boots Randolph, Dolly Parton, Ray Stevens, Tony Joe White, Charlie McCoy, Willie Nelson and others.

The 75th birthday commemorative release of Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection includes the first-ever DVD release of Orbison performing nine songs from "The Monument Concert 1965," including the official video for "Oh Pretty Woman," digitally restored for especially for this collection.

Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection includes liner notes by Roy Orbison Jr. featuring new interviews with Fred Foster, Joe Melson, Bob Moore and others.

Best recognized around the world for his otherworldly voice and black sunglasses. Roy Orbison was both rock & roll pioneer and prototypical singer-songwriter, beginning with his first high school band (the Wink Westerners/Teen Kings) and shifting into mass consciousness in the 1960s with a string of singles for the Monument label that defined an artist and helped launch a label.

Orbison - along with a short list that included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins - was one of the undisputed originators and architects of rock & roll at Sam Phillips' Sun Records. Orbison cut his first chart hit (it reached #1 on the local charts), "Ooby Dooby," for Sun in 1956, staying with the label for two years before a brief stint at RCA in 1958.

Roy Orbison signed with the newly emerging independent label Monument Records in mid-1959. While his second single for Monument, "Uptown," became his biggest hit as a performer since "Ooby Dooby," it was Orbison's third single for the label, "Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel)," which announced to the world the true artistry of Roy Orbison. The song peaked #2 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, crossed over to #14 on the Billboard Black Singles chart, and rocketed up to #1 on the UK charts.

Orbison followed up the breakthrough with a pair of respectfully charting singles - "Blue Angel" (#9 Pop, #23 Black) and "I'm Hurtin'" (#27 Pop) - before knocking it out of the park with "Running Scared'," his first USA #1 Pop.

After that came an unbroken four-year string of Top 40 Hits - "Crying," "Candy Man," "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)," "Working for the Man," "Leah," "In Dreams," "Pretty Paper," "Blue Bayou," " Mean Woman Blues," "It's Over" - during which Roy Orbison became America's top-selling recording artist and one of the world's most celebrated entertainers.

Orbison played shows with Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Jimmy Page, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Isaak, and many, many others, the man and music leaving a deep impact on them all. The monumental 1963 Roy Orbison World Tour, which featured Patsy Cline (in the weeks before her death) as a support act in the states, helped break the then-rising Beatles (Orbison fans themselves who'd recorded Roy's hit "Dream Baby" for a BBC radio broadcast in 1962) when they played support on the European leg of the tour. Orbison's profound musical and emotional influences may be heard in early Beatles singles (e.g. "Love Me Do" after "Candy Man," "Please Please Me" after "Only The Lonely," "Daytripper" after "Oh, Pretty Woman").

Roy Orbison was one of the few established hit-makers from the late 1950s and early 1960s to not only hold his ground, but to actually increase his popularity in the wake of the British Invasion. He maintained his popularity through music which displayed an extraordinary variety of themes, structure, tempo and rhythm and an authentic, emotional connection that transcended mere craft, exemplified in his signature classic, "Oh, Pretty Woman," recorded on August 1st, 1964. Written by Orbison with his new writing partner Bill Dees, "Oh, Pretty Woman" became Roy's biggest hit and is one of the most recognized and popular songs of all time. Released in August 1964 in the US and in September of that year in the UK, the song hit the #1 slot in virtually every country in the world where people had record players, selling some seven million copies that year.

And this was only the beginning....

Ahead of Roy were 23 world tours, 12 albums for MGM, his starring role in the 1967 MGM feature film "The Fastest Guitar Alive," the 1988 all-star Cinemax special "Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night," The Traveling Wilburys (with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne), the Class of '55 reunion album (with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins), television appearances on "Saturday Night Live" and "Austin City Limits," his 1988 Mystery Girl album, the 1992 posthumous collection King of Hearts (produced by Jeff Lynne), the posthumous hit singles "You Got It" and "I Drove All Night," not to mention lawsuits, deaths, fires, tragedies, and Grammy awards.

When Roy Orbison died in 1988, he had two albums in the Billboard Top 5. In 1990, the Pretty Woman soundtrack topped the charts. In 2010, Roy Orbison got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Capitol Records Building alongside John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Garth Brooks.

ROY ORBISON: THE MONUMENT SINGLES COLLECTION

Disc One: The A-Sides
1. Uptown
2. Only The Lonely
3. Blue Angel
4. I'm Hurtin'
5. Running Scared
6. Lana
7. Crying
8. Let The Good Times Roll
9. Blue Bayou
10. Dream Baby
11. The Crowd
12. Working For The Man
13. In Dreams
14. Falling
15. It's Over
16. Oh, Pretty Woman
17. Goodnight
Bonus Tracks:
18. Pretty Paper
19. (Say) You're My Girl
20. Paper Boy

Disc Two: The B-Sides
1. Pretty One
2. Here Comes That Song Again
3. Today's Teardrops
4. I Can't Stop Loving You
5. Love Hurts
6. Summer Song
7. Candy Man
8. Mean Woman Blues
9. The Actress
10. Mama
11. Leah
12. Shahdaroba
13. Distant Drums
14. Indian Wedding
15. Yo Te Amo Maria
16. Only With You
Bonus Tracks:
17. Beautiful Dreamer
18. Sleepy Hollow
19. With The Bug

The Monument Concert - DVD
1. Only the Lonely
2. Running Scared
3. Crying
4. What'd I Say
5. Dream Baby
6. Mean Woman Blues
7. It's Over
8. Oh, Pretty Woman
9. Goodnight