Owl City only knew about as much about Carly Rae Jepsen as you probably did when he first hooked up with her for his Song Of The Summer bid, “Good Time.” Introduced by their managers, they recorded the song in separate cities and talked mostly over the internet until they finally met in real life for to shoot the video. Adam Young told Carrie Keagen this morning on VH1′s Good Morning Buzz that “it was cool,” but admitted that their IRL meeting was also “slightly creepy.” “After studying her voice, I knew how she enunciates words and says s‘s and stuff,” he laughed. “It was creepy, I felt like I knew her, and she didn’t know I knew her, but it was good.”
Afterwards, he performed a mostly acoustic (and Carly Rae-less) cover of “Good Time.” It was down-tempo and less effervescent than the original, sounding more like the warm memory of a good time than a party starter, and it was the perfect late-August rework of a Song of the Summer contender. Check it out above!
Ah, lucky day, Barbz, as Nicki Minaj is sending us into the weekend with not just one, but two eye-popping videos! This Colin Tilley directed clip for “I Am Your Leader” finds Nicki showing off her home sweet hyper-cartoonish home, fit only for a colorful rapper like she.
“I Am Your Leader” is cut from the hard-going opening salvo of Roman Reloaded wherein Nicki unhinges and raps, something she didn’t really get a chance to do on the album’s poppier first few singles. In the video, she raps in a room that’s slime green and pink and a little bit twisted — like Pee Wee’s Playhouse or a Dave La Chapelle set — peeks through crooked windows, and then raps some more from a bubble bath, her legs hung over the edge to show off her sparkly knee-high boots. Next up, Rick Ross serves his verse from the dinning room, siting like Rick Ross does, shirtless at the head of a never-ending gold gilded table. And last comes Cam, in a stairwell hung with portraits of the three, wearing a button-up that might be considered subdued for the pink mink rocking rapper were it not throbbing colors. The home is wacky, sure, but it’s Nicki, and like she says: “If you’re not a believer, suck a big d***.” Read more…
Did you catch this psychedelic new VH1 Music Spot that premiered during the Do Something! Awards — the one that features VH1 favorite’s like Gotye, Usher, and Grace Potter swimming in colorful goo — and wonder what that song is? The one that Nicki Minaj gyrates to while the colors melt around her? It’s called “Stare Into The Sun,” and it’s by VH1 You Oughta Know artist Graffiti6. We have had the song on loop since we featured the British duo back in March, and we are delighted now to have it incorporated into our everyday VH1 watching, too!
Graffiti6 performed an acoustic version of “Stare Into The Sun” for their You Oughta Know Live session. Check that out behind the jump!
During Grace Potter & the NocturnalsVH1 Storytellers session, Grace Potter recalled The Lion the Beast the Beat‘s “Stars” as being about a recently passed childhood idol, who was “really wild and really wonderful” but who “always did take it a little bit too far.” “It’s kind of like when you are a kid and you have a balloon that just sort of slips off your wrist,” she said, choked up and with tears in her eyes. “And I wrote this song, because I don’t like looking up when I think about this person. I don’t like anywhere that I used to know her, used to see her.”
In the song’s new video, though, Potter does look up. Wearing a sequined evening gown, she plays with her Nocturnals under a dark and starry sky, her eyes fixed on Heaven’s Boulevard above. It’s a contemplative affair, all black and white and quiet, Potter at once large against the stars and small underneath the sky. “It’s a form of grieving, really, writing songs like this,” Potter says.
Watch “Stars” above, and below, see her talk about the song on VH1 Storytellers.
Last night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Smashing Pumpkins stopping in to play “The Celestials,” a slow simmering cut off of Oceania. This is the first live glimpse of the Pumpkins most of us have had since Oceania‘s release last June, and they proved that it’s for good reason that they are still running the late night circuit and selling albums after all these years — they still know how to really rock.
Smashing Pumpkins also announced yesterday that they will head out on a North American tour this fall. Billy Corgan says that they’ll lead their set with Oceania, “sixty minutes, as it was written, front to back,” and then they’ll dip into the classics. “The fact of the matter is that I’ve written more hit songs than just about anybody in my generation. So if I feel like playing ‘em, I’ll f***ing play ‘em,” he’s said. But be warned, dear Pumpkin fans, when Corgan says he’ll “f***ing play ‘em,” he really means he’ll f***ing play ‘em: “My mentality has always been, ‘Okay, you want it? We’re going to shove it down your throat.’” So there’s that! Read more…
It’s been three years since Alicia Keys last album The Element of Freedom, but this fall she’ll returning with a fury, a new album, a VMA performance, a VH1 Storytellers and all! Bit by bit, she’s been dropping information and giving hints as to what we might expect from this return. Like, for example: although the title might suggest otherwise, her new album has nothing to do with a certain Miss Everdeen, and maybe because after giving birth to her son Egypt she feels like a “full-on f****ing grown up.” Here is what else we’ve got so far: Read more…
Grimes, who you may have caught last week on Jimmy Fallon, has got a new video and it’s weird but totally awesome and beautiful, too. The self-directed “Genesis” clip first lands the Canadian synth-pop star in the twilight-y desert, her hair deadlocked and dancing in the headlights of an Escalade SUV. From there, things only get stranger, as an army of heroines played mostly by Grimes/women who look like Grimes show up to play: she swinging swords on the beach, wearing scant but shiny body armor in the suburbs, swinging sparklers on a roof, and — notably! — hanging out with a giant yellow python that looks an awful lot like Britney Spears“Slave 4 U” co-star, Banana (apparently!). Probably it’s just a snake that looks like Britney’s play thing, but when Grimes first pulls the snake out, and she’s in the back of a limo wearing pigtails and a sexy/sweet sailor’s uniform (a la Brit’s “Hit Me Look”), it’s hard not to wonder if she’s got some sort of point to make about pop stars then and now. Because she may be left-of-center, and she sure is not from the Mickey Mouse Club mold that Britney grew, but she’s a burgeoning pop star all her own.
The world still buzzing about her Olympicshowings, last night You Oughta Know artist Emeli Sandé stopped in to lift the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno with a performance of her triumphant new single, “Wonder.” The stage was set with bubbles — maybe because of that “we ain’t falling under” line? — and she was joined by a full band and a snapping lineup of backup singers. Like this, the song feels almost like gospel, soaring and inspirational. “This song is for you, and you are full of wonder,” she insists at the songs climax, her hands held as a “W” over her head, and you really believe her. If only every night ended and each morning began with a performance like this, the world could probably be a better place.
Sandé takes the stage in the above video around 42 minutes — watch, feel the wonder!
It’s been a feet on the ground, head in the sky sort of summer for The Lumineers. And as the summer winds down and their ascent continues on and up, we have another treat to share from their You Oughta Know Live session. After stunning us with their own “Stubborn Love,” “Slow It Down” and, of course, “Ho Hey!,” the rising American folk rock trio looked back to 1983 with a crunchy-Americana cover of the Talking Heads‘ funky “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody).” Stripped down, with Wesley Schultz alone strumming at his guitar for almost two minutes before the drums kick in and Neyla‘s cello begins to bellow, their rendering is less playful but goes in extra on the yearning and the “And You’ll love me till my heart stops, love me till I’m dead”‘s.
“Naive Melody” is one of the few love songs that David Byrne ever wrote, and as they cover it, it could fall comfortably into their mix of mostly loving songs. So, cover up your blanks spot, hit us on the head — we are happy to know the The Lumineers, and even more so that they can do this so well!
Check out The Lumineer’s full You Oughta Know Live session here!
Like, ever? Taylor Swift has ranked her first ever No. 1 single, and she broke more than just hearts climbing to the top: in it’s first week out, “Never Ever” moved 623,000 digital downloads, just missing Flo Rida’s all-around high mark (“Right Round,” sold 636,000), but enough to take the record for for first week sales by a female artist. And with an album, a VMA performance, a VH1 Storytellers, and a crisp New England fall with the Kennedy’s still to look forward to? Taylor is set to have the best year ever ever. “I can’t stop smiling,” she tweeted with thanks.
It’s almost hard to believe that this is Taylor’s first number one on the Hot 100. “You Belong With Me” and “Today Was A Fairytale” came close, both topping out at No. 2; and “Mine” and her breakout “Love Story” both reached No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. But Grammys, CMA Awards, sold out tours, shiny boyfriends and quadruple-platinum albums already, she’s still got a long ways to go before she catches up to Mariah Carey and her 18 No. 1 singles. Will Red‘s 16 songs include another 10 hits, so that she might at least match Rihanna’s 11? This year seems so far to be Swift’s fairy tale — we’re just living it — so maybe? We do hope.