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Hear And now

This week on the music beat: Nov. 11, 2009

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KID ROCK Fancy yourself the sixth member of the Backstreet Boys? You may be in luck. ABC is currently holding a nationwide casting call for a new reality-based boy-band show. The network has partnered with MTV Productions and Trans Continental Records — the Orlando, Fla.-based cheese-pop assembly line responsible for BSB and ‘N Sync — to bring an as-yet-untitled Real World-meets-The Monkees hybrid to the boob tube. Mike Greco, head of broadcast research for New York ad agency BBD&O, thinks the idea’s as ripe as a 14-year-old’s hormones. ”It’s not just another Cops. This hasn’t really been done before on network television,” he says of the still-unscheduled program. The five winners will be shipped off to Trans Con’s headquarters, where their every dance move and ego clash will be caught on camera as they prepare for their first gig. ”I’m sure the producers would like to have a Puck,” says a Trans Con spokesperson. ”But eventually everybody’s a Puck if you leave the cameras on long enough.”

MAC DADDY Is Stevie Nicks getting jiggy wit’ it? The witchy woman is recording her new album, Trouble in Shangri-la, with Dallas Austin, the wunderkind producer behind R&B players TLC (see page 32), Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, Monica, and others. ”Stevie was in Hawaii listening to the TLC record and went, ‘Wow, whoever did ”Unpretty” should produce my stuff. He had to have some Fleetwood Mac influence in him somewhere,”’ says Austin, who aims to free the gypsy’s inner homegirl. ”The thing about her music is she always did have a core R&B feel going on. Even the older Fleetwood Mac stuff like ‘Dreams’ and ‘Rhiannon’ had more of a groove to it than what was happening at that time.” The 27-year-old studio whiz adds that the album, which may include some early tracks Sheryl Crow produced before he signed on, won’t send old-school fans running for their Rumours vinyl. ”We’re keeping her dreamy mystique. We’ve got candles, dragons, Buddhas, and a huge photo of Jimi Hendrix in the studio.”