Posts By Zara Golden

by (@zaragolden)

Alicia Keys Dropped Two Versions Of “Girl On Fire,” And There’s Still A Third To Come

It’s been three years since The Element of Freedom, and with the next on the burner, set for release November 27th, Alicia Keys is turning up the heat. “New Day,” the first single off of Girl On Fire, was a banging and inspiring thing. And now we get the title track, which is actually going to be a three song suite. As such, Keys dropped the suites first two segments yesterday: the chilled out “Girl on Fire (Blue Light)” mix and the Nicki Minaj assisted “Girl on Fire (Inferno)” remix. Still not about actually about Katniss Everdeen, “Girl on Fire” is instead a hot ode to females strong and mighty. “She got her head in the clouds and she’s not backing down,” goes the anthem, “This girl is on fire.”

The “Inferno” version features a booming, mid-tempo drum beat derived from rocker Billy Squire’s 1980 breakbeat classic “The Big Beat,” and two rapped Nicki verses. Theatrics turned down and focus turned up, Nicki opens the track with a meditation on Marilyn Monroe (“Spirit of Marilyn callin’ me, audibly/ Ballin’ she/ Said that she would never leave/ Continue to torture me”) and a Gabby Douglas name check (“But I got ‘em aggy, cause I win the gold like Gabby”). Keys, meanwhile, does her usual singing thing, sounding strong as ever when she lets the “this girl is on fire” refrain soar.


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by (@zaragolden)

Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne And A$AP Rocky Will Perform Tomorrow At The MTV VMAs

The countdown clock is ticking, and the MTV Video Music Awards bill of performers is still growing. We already knew that Rihanna would be there to perform, but good word now has it that she’ll be joined by her cocky collaborator and VMA nominee A$AP Rocky for the show’s opening act. What’s more, hip-hop heavyweights Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and YMCMB leading lady Nicki Minaj in the company of a secret guest — anybody seen Mitt’s schedule for the night? — have also been added to the lineup, which already includes previously announced performances from One Direction, Frank Ocean, Green Day, and VH1 Storytellers trio Taylor Swift, P!nk and Alicia Keys.

And, best news of all: the wait just got shorter yet. MTV has moved the Video Music Awards start time up one hour so as to avoid running up against President Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, and causing conflict for those equally engaged with pop as with politic. The show will now run from 8 PM to 10 PM, at which point you can switch over to your news channel of choice to watch Obama. Maybe you can have it all.

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by (@zaragolden)

“We Love You So Very Much:” Beyoncé Gets Lots Of Love From Family And Famous Friends On Her Birthday

Surprise! Today is Beyoncé’s 31st birthday, and to celebrate the occasion her loved ones snuck into the BeyHive and left it graffitied with the cutest, handwritten and heartfelt Bey-day messages. Included amongst the sneaky well-wishers were family members, team members, former Destiny’s Child members and famous friends, whose wishes include sweet recollections of the birthday girl as “one of the greatest gifts in my life” (from Mom Knowles) to a friendly “HEY” (from Pastor Rudy and Pastor Juanita) to the more formal but no less lovely “We love you so very much” (Gwenyth Paltrow-Chris Martin clan — young Apple and young Moses included!).

Of all the messages, our favorites are the ones that include inside jokes, like her mother-in-law Mama Carter‘s “You came into my life a sweet southern girl. (LOL),” Michelle Williams‘ post-scripted “Me and you will never part! Ma Te Ta Ta!!” and — most inexplicably — the “‘That’s a lot of paper!’” scribbled next to Gwyneth’s note. There’s a lot of stories to be untangled from these messages, if only we knew what Mama Carter thinks is so funny. Clearly, though, Beyoncé is well loved and admired.

What would you write on Bey’s birthday card, if given the chance? Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

There Will Be Blood In Green Day’s “Kill The DJ” Video

Green Day go full charge ahead in the video for ¡Uno!‘s kicky anthem “Kill the DJ.” Their pretty “Oh Love” ladies kept clearly aside, the clip finds the boys saddled up on big bikes and zipping through the desert, off to find a DJ to kill so that good punk fun can be had by all once more. The hit is only a symbolic one, though, and the only real violence to be had here is a slaying guitar riff. Rather, this is an assault against the dubbed-out sound that seems to be dominating today’s air waves, Green Day’s own and only pretend bloody dubstep demolition. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Music Seen: Walk The Moon Get Awesomely Sweaty For You Oughta Know Live

On repeat all the while, “Anna Sun” kept our summer synch-drenched and charged with Neverland-like fantasies of ghost towns rattled. And now with fall is upon us, we are excited to announce that two time Big Morning Buzz Live veterans Walk The Moon will represent as September’s You Oughta Know artist! And so alas, the fun does not ever have to stop. The Cincinati foursome dropped by VH1 headquarters last month to play an high energy and hard working — also, sweaty! — You Oughta Know Live set, which we’ll roll out throughout the month. And until then, our photographer Lauren Weissler tagged along, capturing their day, down time, perspiration, face paint and all, to give you a peak behind the scenes. Have a look!

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by (@zaragolden)

Ed Sheeran Wants To Take You On Tour As VH1′s September Posted Artist

Posted is back again, this time with Ed Sheeran, the young singer-songwriter from England we came to love when he was featured as our You Oughta Know artist last May. And we are excited to get to know even better yet this month, through photos and tweets and stories about his life on the road, as shared exclusively with us by Sheeran himself.

Sheeran has bucked the “doof doof” trend that has swept the music world as late, and instead found international success with his guitar and introspection. Blending heartfelt vocals and folk, and occasional a hip-hop inflected hook or two, he’s ranked a No. 1 album in the UK already and he’s also found time to help write cute British boy band du jour One Direction‘s much anticipated album, as well as with Taylor Swift for her new album — and as we know, Taylor won’t share credits with just anyone. Sheeran is about to embark on a headlining tour of North America, and we eagerly anticipate what he’ll have to show us from his time out! Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Will Rihanna And Chris Brown Perform Together At The VMAs? The Rumors Are Never True

Will Rihanna and Chris Brown perform together at the MTV Video Music Awards next week? According to Media Take Out, Rihanna has “demanded” that Chris Brown be allowed to join her onstage at the show as a surprise guest. As per their report:

Artists usually have to submit their performances FOR APPROVAL by producers within two weeks of the show. And we’re told that Rih demanded to have CHRIS BROWN perform with her.

A person working with the VMAs told MediaTakeOut.com, “[The producers] like the ratings that [a Chris-Rihanna duel] would bring, but there could be some backlash too . . . There isn’t much choice since Rihanna is insisting that he perform with her.”

Let’s take this with an ocean’s worth of salt, because sometimes MediaTakeOut’s sources get things wrong; and also, let’s note that there is no way of knowing from just this that said demands submitted for approval were actually approved. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Check Out The Haunting Cover Of Aaliyah’s Posthumous Album

The word on Aaliyah‘s posthumous album keeps changing. Drake‘s producing it — he’s got her face tatted on his back and everything, so you know it’s real. But shouldn’t Timbaland and Missy or someone who was there the first time have a say in it? But, oh wait, Drake’s got a new song and it features unheard Aaliyah vocals. No, not a Drake song, it’s a new Aaliyah song. The family won’t let that happen. Or maybe they will?

On Wednesday night, a man claiming to be Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah’s uncle and the CEO of Blackground records, tweeted a picture of what could be the album’s cover with a message that said: “Aaliyah 16 unreleased tracks 2013 stay tuned.” And then he kept tweeting it, to the attention of a slew of influential musicians and publications like Perez Hilton and Nicki Minaj and Complex, and with Drake and Noah ’40′ Shebib mentioned as producers. And so with the support of Aaliyah’s family (or, at least some of them, or someone claiming to be them) and Drake and 40 on board as producers, this album actually seems to be happening. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Taylor Swift’s “Never Ever” And The 5 Best One-Shot Music Videos Of All-Time

“Fun fact,” tweeted Taylor Swift before last night’s premiere of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” proud to have you know that the wheEEEE-msical new video — which includes five costume changes, multiple dance parties, and a boyfriend very dismissed — was shot in one continuous and unedited shot. And as she should be, as the latest to pull-off the one-shot feat.

A particular fixture of the 90s, this sort of one-shot music video was popularized by Michel Gondry, and includes classics like Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)” and Weezer’s “Undone (The Sweater Song).” But the one-shot seems to have fallen out of favor as late, computers generally being the video-director’s preferred trick. It’s nice to see reviving this old one. And so, in celebration of Taylor’s entry into the One-Shot Club, let’s take a look back at five other important one-shot videos:

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