Backstage Pass

Music, concerts, musicians and more.

Intro 12.16.13: Videos from Beyonce, Breeders, English Beat and more

(Credit: AP)

Wonder what surprises Beyonce has in store for her Barclays Center shows Thursday and Sunday, the last of her "Mrs. Carter World Tour." Could they be bigger than her great new album?

Intro brings you the week’s hottest videos and shows every Monday. To catch up on all the Intros and watch classic Long Island music scene videos, check out Newsday Music’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/newsdaymusic.

THE...

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'Beyonce' album review: Winner from start to finish

An image from Beyonce.com announcing the surprise release

(Credit: beyonce.com)

This was worth the wait.

Beyoncé finally unleashed her often-delayed fifth album, "Beyoncé" (Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia) early Friday morning with no advance warning. Just as with the creation of the album itself, B wanted complete control of its distribution as well, selling it only as an all-or-nothing package on iTunes, with no songs available individually. She also created...

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MTV VMAs predictions: Best social message video

Ben Haggerty, better known by his stage name

(Credit: AP)

To get ready for the MTV Video Music Awards at Barclays Center Sunday night, we're going to look at the nominees in some of the top categories.

Let's start with the "Best Video with a Social Message" nominees:

(App users, watch the videos at newsday.com/backstagepass.)

WILL WIN: “Same Love.” It’s the strongest of messages in a strong...

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Beyonce Izod Center show explains a lot

Singer Beyonce performs during her "Mrs. Carter Show

(Credit: Robin Harper)

“The Mrs. Carter Show” explains a lot about how this year’s Beyoncé controversies have come about.

The stunningly polished spectacle at Izod Center Wednesday night can only be achieved through meticulous planning and exacting, repeated rehearsal. Queen B has clearly practiced everything – right down to how to look the most regal as she flies over the crowd on a harness.

It makes her...

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Jay Z to debut 'Picasso Baby' video on HBO Friday

Jay-Z performs at the Wireless Festival at the

(Credit: AP)

Jay-Z will unveil his video for “Picasso Baby” on HBO Friday night, following an interview on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

The video is based on Jay’s six-hour performance of the song at the Pace Gallery earlier this month, rapping the song directly to people one-on-one -- some famous, including actor Alan Cumming, performance artist Marina Abramovic and New York magazine’s Jerry Saltz, and...

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Barclays Center debuts as America's top arena

Beyonce is scheduled to perform at Barclays Center

(Credit: AP)

 The Barclays Center has officially opened with a bang.

 The Brooklyn arena was named the top-grossing venue in America for the first half of 2013, according to Billboard, with $46.9 million in gross ticket sales revenue. According to Pollstar, the venue – which has hosted 51 concerts since it opened in September and will bring in Beyonce and Justin Bieber next week – was the third-biggest...

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'Magna Carta Holy Grail' proves Jay-Z still rules

Jay-Z attends Samsung Mobile's celebration in Brooklyn for

(Credit: Getty Images)

Jay-Z has never been short on ambition.

But on his new album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” (Roc-a-Fella), he raises the stakes to new Hov-ian heights -- tackling everything from race relations and religion to fatherhood and his relationship with wife Beyoncé. If his classic “Blueprint” albums were about achieving success in the music industry, “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” which was released to Samsung...

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Summer Jam 2013: Hot 97's night of surprises and boldface names

Mariah Carey performs at the Hot 97 Summer

(Credit: AP )

Hot 97's annual Summer Jam is the New York hip-hop mainstay's way of planting its flag, taking over a stadium for a workday's worth of sets by the biggest names -- some of whom are announced in advance, some aren't. The announced bill for Sunday night's 20th installment of the festival split the difference between hip-hop legends (the also-turning-20 Staten Island collective Wu-Tang Clan; the Brooklyn-born...

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Hear Beyonce's new song 'Grown Woman'

Beyoncé attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume

(Credit: AP)

Beyonce has gotten pretty good at keeping her still-untitled album project from springing any leaks. Today, however, “Grown Woman,” the song from her Pepsi commercial that debuted last month, has emerged in full, though, as usual, there aren’t many details available.

No confirmation on whether the song will be on the new album or if it’s her new single. It’s a catchy track, reportedly produced...

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