We heard that Jay-Z‘s performance at SXSW last night was riveting, sweaty, and iconic. With Hov reportedly letting the crowd take over for him from time to time, tickets to the show were highly sought after and hard to come by, and largely given out to American Express holding contest winners. So imagine our luck when the whole thing got put up online at American Express’ youtube site (here), after being streamed live last night. No really. We know what we’re doing tonight — inviting all our friends over, putting the concert on the big screen and moshing around the room throwing out some very, very loud singing and rapping. If you need to get into the mood, watch the fan filmed video above of Jay performing “99 Problems” — a classic and crowd favorite. Jay also played the newest edition to his repertoire, “Glory”, an ode to the tiny baby Blue Ivy Carter. After the jump you can see the full set list if you need even more inspiration to watch, but get in quick; the stream is only available online for a week!
Posts By Kat George
By now, you can pretty much take for granted that a new Katy Perry song spells a pop-tastic, super fun hit. But Katy’s revealing a whole new side with her fresh singles for the soon to be released Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection. We’ve already heard “Part Of Me”‘s angry, empowering beat, complete with a blue haired Katy and the Grammys giving a powerful and emotional performance, and now it looks like we’re about to see a whole new sexy side. Not that we haven’t seen Katy Perry being sexy before, but this is something dirtier and darker than the sugary-sweet, coquettish sexuality of songs like “I Kissed A Girl” and “California Gurls.” In a snippet of her next single, “Dressing Up,” (which you can listen to here), Katy sings about some might dirty sex things, with lines like, “Are you ready for your blood to rise?/Tonight’s the night/I’m dressing up for you.” We’re imagining Katy in a series of sexy role play scenarios, and our blood has well and truly risen in anticipation of the new track!
New Music: Katy Perry Gets Naughty In “Dressing Up” (Snippet) [Neon Limelight]
[Photo: Getty Images]
Gavin DeGraw took us behind the scenes on the set for his new video for “Sweeter”. On set, Gavin told us that the video is about a girl being “Under-appreciated by her man. She decides she’s going to get out of the place and grab me on her way out.” With a cheeky grin on his face, he adds, “And I’m a guy, so I’m going to go along with this!”
Talking about his work, Gavin is upbeat, except for when it comes to the 4am wake up calls; “I thought I was just going to be writing songs and playing at The Garden. And we all just started laughing cos that’s not the music world… I love what I do, but an early morning like this, that’s work!” Although it doesn’t all sound so bad, with Gavin talking about the casting process, “You get to look online at beautiful women and say ‘Oh i want that one? Can i get that one?’… I get to be in a room with that person and feel like she likes me!” Sounds like a dream come true! Watch this space for the full video, coming soon.
VH1 Classic has a new promo trailer for 2012, and it’s bound to get you thinking. With references to iconic bands and the music you’ve always loved, the cryptic commerical recreates all your favorites. And here’s the fun part — while some of the references are the simple recreation of iconic imagery, others are more pun-tastic, and ask you to flex your powers of interpretation and deduction to figure out what the reference could be. Salt and pumpkins falling from the sky? A pepper on fire? A guy with a boom box for a face? What could all these things mean?! Watch the video and see if you can pick the references!
Promoting their forthcoming album, Strangeland, British rockers Keane stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to play their new single “Silenced By The Night”. The track has a vague country feel, and under the blue lights of Kimmel’s stage Keane’s romantic sound was given an otherworldly presence. The earnest sentiment of the lyrics and soaring melody of “Silenced By The Night” is a warm enveloping hug from the Keane machine, definitely a love ballad for the whimsical at heart.
15 Things You Didn’t Know About Jay-Z
Ahead of Jay-Z‘s SXSW performance tonight, Complex Magazine talked to Hov’s engineer and friend, Young Guru. So here are 15 fascinating things you didn’t know about Jay, including that his new album is not a concept album but it has a concept, and that there’s “serious consideration” being given to a Watch The Throne sequel. [Complex]
Jack White Kicks Off His Solo Tour in Chattanooga
And Rolling Stone have an amazing gallery of images to get you in the mood to appreciate Jack White as a solo artist. With Blunderbuss on the way, this is the first solo album and supporting tour in White’s career. [Rolling Stone]
There’s an adorable bromance brewing at The Voice, with Blake Shelton professing his love for Adam Levine to MTV. While Shelton’s dealt with accusations of homophobia in the past, it seems that if he ever did harbor any ill feeling towards same sex attractions, they’re well and truly conquered now. Shelton talked about how every day on Twitter fans ask him about his “bromance” with Adam, declaring, “All I have to say is, it’s true: I have a man crush on Adam… It blows me away people can pick up on that just by watching that on television. I want to kiss him. I want to kiss him so bad. I don’t care if it’s mutual or not. Can you honestly tell me that you don’t have a little bit of a crush on Adam? He’s sexy, is the word I’m using.” We think it’s super cute, and while we’re pretty sure Shelton’s wife, Miranda Lambert, doesn’t have anything to worry about, it’s still a kiss we’d love to see happen — can anyone say “ratings”?
One of our favorite You Oughta Know artists, The Civil Wars, have made it to the cover of Billboard magazine, and while they say you should never judge a book by it’s cover, you can expect the accompanying story inside the publication to be every bit as enticing as the formidable couple staring down the camera on the front. Here is a band who, as relative unknowns three odd years ago, are now one of the most talked about, and not to mention talented young bands catching the attention of everyone from Taylor Swift to Hollywood. The Civil Wars (Joy Williams and John Paul White) met in 2008, at a meeting that both parties tried to cancel (it can only be described as intensely fortuitous that neither succeeded); shortly after they began writing music and White asked Williams to start a band, which she says was, “Like being asked to prom.”
Everything since has been somewhat of a fairytale, with the band catching the ear of super star Taylor Swift. “We were doing a West Coast run and Taylor got in touch with us to say she was working with Burnett on The Hunger Games” says Williams. The Civil Wars then joined Taylor in the studio and, “We wrote ["Safe & Sound"] within two-and-a-half hours, got in the studio and recorded vocals and the temp version in another two hours. Less than a month later it was up on iTunes. We had no idea an afternoon would culminate in a thing like that. She had great ideas-everything was really easygoing with her. Walking into the studio with Taylor and T Bone felt like the most natural thing in the world.” The band also opened for Swift at the Grammys with a brief one minute performance that attracted the attention of critics, and was largely touted as one of the best performances of the night, leading to a 178% spike in sales for the band the following week. The Civil Wars’ manager, Nate Yetton says, “The Grammy stage and performing almost a trailer for the song was kind of the next natural step in the progression of the band, being exposed to a much broader audience.”
The band describe Swift’s support as “surreal,” but we imagine the blink-you’ll-miss-it rise to fame might be described the same way. Williams reflects on the bands success: “If John Paul and I had met at a different time I think we would’ve had an afternoon of a co-write and maybe missed something that could have been special… It set the tone surprisingly at an early stage. We said, ‘Let’s just do what we love and write music that we’re proud of and throw everything else to the wind.” White shares a similar sentiment, “I don’t want to paint us as so forward-thinking in this… There was a bit of naivety on our part. We didn’t have a label so we didn’t have anyone stopping us. It was just us following our noses.” The interview is intriguing, as are The Civil Wars; you can read more at Billboard.com.
If you thought the day of the boy band was dead and buried then you, gentle reader, have been severely misinformed. Rising from a third place position in UK The X Factor, British-Irish boy band One Direction signed with Sony subsidiary Syco Records and are now set to be the next big thing in pop. The boys have had huge chart success in the UK, and with their new single, “One Thing,” their catchy, fairy-floss sound is starting to infiltrate our airwaves. So here are five reasons why you must know One Direction right this instant:
1. “One Thing”
Their new single from their debut album, Up All Night, “One Thing,” is a cute-as-pie pop song about pop’s favorite subject, love. As the boys romp around London in the video, there’s an infectious cheekiness to the clip, and it’s definitely a tune you’ll find yourself replaying over and over in your head.
2. They’re going to be on Saturday Night Live
Now, we know how much an SNL appearance means after Lana Del Rey’s controversial appearance earlier this year, so this is a pretty big deal for One Direction, as in, make or break. We’re rooting for “make,” and think it’s pretty cool that the boys have been booked for the iconic show so early in their career. The episode airs on April 7th, 2012.
Billboard have released their Music’s Top 40 Money Makers list based on 2011′s earnings. And the biggest music earner of the past year is none other than country babe Taylor Swift, who made a whopping $35.7 million. Her financial success can largely be attributed to her smash hit album Speak Now and subsequent tour, which made $88.5 million in the US alone, $29.8 million of which went into Taylor’s pocket. Billboard also named Taylor Woman Of The Year in 2011 after she racked up 1.8 million album sales and 7.8 million digital single sales from Speak Now. Swift wrote 14 songs from the album, royalties from which contributing in no small way to her earning capacity.
Billboard states that, “As the concert business rebounded in 2011, touring remained the biggest source of income for the top earners in the U.S. music business… But not all of the 40 artists on the Money Makers list relied heavily, if at all, on touring income.” Indeed, there seems to be little to no consistency in tours as related to earning capacity (some top earners toured, others didn’t), nor does there seem to be much of a correlation between chart success and earning, as Adele, who still dominates the charts, came in at number 10 (where we would have expected her at number one given her phenomenal, history making sales), and Katy Perry, who broke records with five number ones from the same album, came in at 14. Surprisingly, Beyoncé and Jay-Z don’t even make the Top 40 — shocking because in 2011 we came to think of Bey as one of the most powerful, and therefore lucrative, personalities in music. Check out the top 10 music earners after the jump, and the full list at Billboard.com.