Posts By Zara Golden

by (@zaragolden)

It’s Official: Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey And Keith Urban Sign On To Judge American Idol, But Are Already Fighting

After many months, the high pitch of speculation has been quieted with one Ryan Seacrest tweet confirming that this season’s American Idol judges panel will be filled by Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson (still hanging!), all as pictured above. Apologies to those who didn’t make the cut, Aretha Franklin, Alanis Morisette, Kanye West and a Jo-bro included. (Assuming this season’s chosen four do well enough to boost lagging ratings,) There is always next season! Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

BRACKET MADNESS: Which Justin Does It Better, Timberlake Or Bieber?

This new bout of Bracket Madness finds your favorite male artists going head to head — or maybe hit to hit — for the Greatest title, and this first round pits two of pop’s best against one another. When it comes to pop, none have done it — the singing, the dancing, the heart breaking — better than the Justins. Justin Timberlake came first, and Justin Bieber is growing as fast as he can to fill the shadow Timberlake left when he shifted gears to acting and also to create a mark of his own. Surely, both these men are great male artists, but if only one Justin can be the Greatest Male Artist, which should it be?

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by (@zaragolden)

BRACKET MADNESS: In Battle Of The American Idol Alumni, Do You Prefer Lambert’s Glam Or Daughtry’s Brawn?

One thing that’s for sure is that it takes more than just a little bit of talent or luck to make it to the Top Ten on American Idol. Year in and year out, the show has churned big stars who have been super successful in the music industry, whether or not they actually won the show. No worse for their early exits, Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert are two such Idol alumni who have proven themselves winners beyond the competition, racking up album sales and Grammy nods galore. Daughtry and Lambert have already proven themselves worthy competitors on Idol, but how will they fare in the battle for VH1′s Greatest Male Artist? This first round of voting pits the two Idol alums against each other, but only one can move on to the next round. Who should it be? Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

BRACKET MADNESS: Vote For VH1′s Greatest Male Artist!

This round of Bracket Madness calls forth the music’s men for a battle to the Greatest. Of all who have done it and are doing it, who do you think deserves the The Greatest Male Artist crown? The decision won’t be easy, but like with Greatest Artist of the 90s and Greatest Artist of 00s brackets before, with your votes and rallying we hope to whittle down a strong field of eight to but one. Who should it be?

Round One faces off American Idol stars Adam Lambert and Chris Daughtry; rap giants Lil Wayne and Kanye West; sweet singers Usher and Michael Jackson; and pop gods Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber. Do you prefer the Idol stylings of Daughtry or Glambert? The way Lil Wayne twists his tongue or the ever innovative Kanye West? Justin Timberlake’s “Girlfriending”-ing or Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”-ing? The way MJ hits the high notes or Usher’s smooth moves?

Which of these fellas does it for you? It’s no easy choice, but with your votes it can be done. Voting for this first round closes Wednesday, September 19th at 11 a.m. Polls will then open for the second round at that time, and then close Friday, September 21 at 4 PM. The third and final round of voting opens Friday, September 21 at 4 PM and closes Monday, September 24th at 4 PM, at which point we will crown the Greatest Male Artist! Vote often and check back daily to see who’s in the lead!

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by (@zaragolden)

Frank Ocean Plays “Pyramids” With John Mayer And Vintage Video Games On Saturday Night Live

Frank Ocean kicked off Saturday Night Live‘s 15th season with two stellar showings. As predicted, he performed a stripped down and extra-soulful “Thinkin Bout You” and then the second half of his stripper anthem “Pyramids,” his “bro” John Mayer accompanying on the guitar for both and a full vintage arcade set up behind him. Ocean still seems a little timid when he performs, and sort of like he did in that oddly straight-faced promo, he fidgeted nervously through the first verse of “Thinkin Bout You.” He’s good, though, and so as soon as he loosened up he was able to turn song’s difficult high notes sweet.

Already warmed up, he showed off a little more swag during “Pyramids,” showing some teeth and pulling a few dance moves. And when Mayer went in on his loopy solo (extra guitar face so you know it’s real), Ocean made use of the time to fiddle with some of those vintage arcade games before giving the crowd one last smile and calling it a night.

Watch “Thinkin Bout You” above, and “Pyramids” and the video game playing below.

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by (@zaragolden)

The Weeknd Finally Goes Major, Releases A New Version Of “Wicked Games,” Teases New Album

To say that The Weeknd, the shadowy and affected R&B project of Toronto’s Abel Tesfaye, has “buzz” would be to significantly undercut his last two years. Bolstered by a major cosign from Drake, who posted about him on his OVO blog and then featured him prominently on Take Care, and the success of his Florence + The Machine and Lady Gaga remixes, he’s gone from a specter on the Internet to an “Must See” act at all the summer’s big festivals and “must sign” on every record exec’s list. Well, three chillingly good self-released mixtapes and a seat saved next to Diddy later, he’s finally been got.

Earlier this week, Tesfaye announced that he will be re-releasing his trio of 2011 Weeknd mixtapes (House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence), mixed and mastered, as Trilogy with the backing of Universal Republic on November 13th. Additionally, he says he’s back in the studio working on bonus tracks — “New music for my fans” — for his major label debut. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Two Door Cinema Club Earn Their Credentials With A Swelling Cover Of The Jurassic Park Theme Song

You Oughta Know Artists past Two Door Cinema Club dug deep into their musical pasts this week during a session with BBC Radio 1′s Zane Lowe for two unexpected covers: Metallica‘s “Enter Sandman” and the epic Jurassic Park theme song. “I spent my teenage years learning all of Metallica’s songs,” Alex Trimble said, realizing only after admitting that his “guitar skills came from Metallica” what he had gotten himself into. At the urging of Lowe, Trimble recalls the shredding “Enter Sandman” guitar riff and the rest of the band joins him in a little heavy metal jam. Eventually Lowe jumps in on the vocals, but because he sounds not bad but also not exactly like James Hatfield, they opt to cut things short and cover the Jurassic Park theme song instead.



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by (@zaragolden)

Frank Ocean Saves It All For The Show In New Saturday Night Live Promo

You might say that Frank Ocean is playing it extra-cool in the promo video for his upcoming appearance on Saturday Night Life. Fred Armisen and host Seth MacFarlane play nice together in the video, dueling their various funny voices and making small talk. As for Ocean, he whiles away the short promo, scratching his chin, nodding his head a few times — in agreement or to keep awake? — and rolling his eyes at the Family Guy creator. His only line? “Not cool, Seth.” Arriving on the scene as the sweet singing elder (though hardly old) member of the wily rap crew Odd Future, Ocean has always struck us as a many of few but poignant words, and so we have to assume that he really meant something by each of those three words. We’ll just have to tune in to Ocean’s “bro”-ified SNL debut tomorrow to find out what.

Watch Frank Ocean Keep His Mouth Shut in New SNL Promos [Vulture]

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by (@zaragolden)

Green Day Rock Kick Things Into High Gear On Good Morning America

¡Uno!‘s arrival is just two weeks out, and Green Day have kicked things into high gear, dropping videos and performing new material in order to build anticipation before then. Bright and early this morning they played on the roof of Good Morning America, high above Times Square, for a crowd that began gathering late last night. Their four song set included some new (“Oh Love” and “Stay The Night”), some classic (“Holiday” and “Basket Case”), at least one “FREE PUSSY RIOT” cry and a lovely moment during the last act of “Oh Love” where Billie Joe Armstrong’s yell-singing turned sing-songy for a few notes. Check out their performances below, and look for ¡Uno! on September 25th.

“Oh Love”

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by (@zaragolden)

Behind The Song: Train Say “Drops Of Jupiter” Was “The Spark That Got Us Global”

VH1′s Behind The Music kicks off a new season of storytelling this Sunday with Behind The Music: Train, and for this 15th Anniversary round we hope to do you even better by taking you Behind The Song, as well. Posted as an online exclusive ahead of each full episode, Behind The Song will dig deep into the story behind the celebrated artist’s biggest hit or most monumental song. First up, we have Behind The Song: Train’s “Drops of Jupiter,” the song that “was the spark that got us global.”

Deep into recording their sophomore album and still without a single, Train’s lead singer Pat Monahan was struck by a dream about his late mother. “She was swimming through the planets and came to me with drops of Jupiter in her hair,” says Monahan, who woke up with the “back in the atmosphere” line running through his head and the single that would launch Train to multi-platinum status well in the works. From his bed to the studio, the song picked up that “bounce, more of a potentially pop radio sound,” Monahan says, and before they knew it, Train was picking up Grammys (“We were nominated for a Grammy. A few Grammys. Like, five.”) and performing in front of the likes of Bono. “’Drops of Jupiter’ was definitely a gift,” Monahan says.

Be sure to tune-in when Behind The Music: Train premieres on Sunday, September 16 at 9/8c on VH1. Read more…