The end of the year is upon us, which means: List Season! Many of our favorite publications and websites are rounding-up their favorite albums and songs and comebacks and etc. from throughout the year and putting them in one place for our revealing. These lists are always interesting because they make space to celebrate artists whose names maybe weren’t atop the Billboard/iTunes/YouTube charts all year, or whose music is less amendable to constant radio play than, say, Maroon 5‘s “Payphone,” and they are a fun way to look back at what you loved from the year past and to discover what you might of missed (that’s what 2013′s list is for). Of course we’ve got all sorts of lists of our own coming down the pipe, but before then we thought we would share what some of our fellow music loving sites are saying.
This should settle any questions you have as to Rihanna’s ability to command an evening, because she sure didn’t let her lack of wings keep her from being “Phresh Out The Runway” at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Performing the eardrum-alteringUnapologetic cut in a sheer pink slip and white sweater wrapped around her waist, and sassing the girls as they passed her by — “I see you walk!” — before taking a turn of her own playing model, stomping down to the end where she sealed her performance with a kiss.
But the best part of the whole video is when the camera cuts to backstage where the Angels and Justin Bieber were looking on, mouths agape because, boy — what’s swaggy when you can be so phresh like this? Seriously, forget the models and miniscule outfits they were fitted in, Rihanna stole the show. And it seems safe to assume she’s not sorry.
In “Gimme Sympathy,”Emily Haines asks: “Who would you rather be, The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?” A fine question, sure, but we have always known that the answer is actually Metric, who happen to be our December You Oughta Know artist. Having come out of New York in the 90s, Metric’s Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott Key are about as cool as they come. Their music pulses with synths that will keep you shimmying through the night, and oozes the glamor (or, in honor of their Canadian roots: “glamour”) with which they carry themselves. Just hit play on their latest single, “Breathing Underwater,” and have a look at them and you’ll see what we mean.
Our intrepid photographer Lauren Weissler tagged along with the band as they unloaded for and rocked through their You Oughta Know Live session, all along the way capturing that special glow they’ve got.
And last but not least comes ¡Tré!, the final installment of Green Day‘s ambitious three-album run that’s already given us greats like the big-bikes-and-fake-blood fueled video for “Kill The DJ” and this vintage Green Day-y MTV VMA performance. These last twelve songs — now streaming in full thanks to iHeartRadio — are, by Billie Joe Armstrong‘s own description, “epic” and meant for “cleaning up the mess.” But “cleaning up the mess” in the most punk-y fun manner, of course, because nothing here is a drag.
It’s not due to hit shelves until next week, but Bruno Mars can’t bear to make you wait another day, and so he has made his much-anticipated sophomore effort, Unorthodox Jukebox, available for stream. In full, and right now! And on a nifty virtual jukebox, no less. No quarters necessary, just turn up the volume.
Canadian grunge rockers Nickelback are an easy target, maybe because of all the records they’ve sold or because Chad Kroegeris engaged to be married to Avril Lavigne; because they cast George Costanza in their last video, or maybe because they’ve been the butt of every rock joke for more than a decade now and we’re all just used to it by now? Whatever the reason, College Humor has turned their “Photograph” into a too-good parody song called “Look at this Instagram.”
The video takes digs at frequent Instagram subjects, like nail art, cats, garden gnomes and “coincidental boob,” and maybe is making fun of Kroeger’s warbly rasp of a voice, too. But that’s okay, it’s pretty on point and if the guys wanted to work this song into their sets we definitely wouldn’t mind. Alternatively, if Chavril felt so compelled to Instagram their breakfasts, we would probably “Like” that, too!
If you were somewhere near midtown Manhattan and felt your ears ringing with the sound of thousands of teenage girls screaming, worry not that something terrible was going down. We have answers for you.
At some point during their headlining gig at Madison Square Garden. The dashing boys of One Direction hunkered down at the edge of the stage and plucked their way through their heart-swollen single, “Little Things.” And then, around 2:03, VH1 You Oughta Know artist Ed Sheeran — the song’s co-writer and 1D’s BFF (also, the one most likely to have hooked Harry Styles up with his new GF, Taylor Swift) — walks out and the arena’s already insistent shrieking dials up (the girl with or near the camera, for one: “There’s Ed! That’s Ed! NO WAY!”) as he helps the boys out with one last round of the chorus. “Can we just give a massive cheer to Ed for writing that?” someone asked when it was done, as if the cheer he had already received wasn’t downright rapturous.
The only thing that might have been better? If Swift and Styles had taken their late night Backstreet Boys karaoke session to the big stage. We’re fairly certain that human ears aren’t prepared for the shrieks the fledgling lovebird’s “I Want It That Way” duet might have elicited, but can you just imagine?
“It’s the perfect time to go back out. 2013 is going to be the year of Fleetwood Mac,” said Stevie Nicks yesterday, confirming rumors from earlier this year that the iconic band will head out on tour in 2013. They’re packing up their greatest hits and shipping out on a three month tour that will take them all over North America, and eventually Europe and Australia.
“We always have to play ‘Dreams,’ ‘Rhiannon,’ ‘Don’t Stop,’ ‘Tusk,’ ‘Big Love,’ ‘Landslide’ and all our most famous songs,” Lindsey BuckinghamtoldRolling Stone, figuring that about 75 percent of each set will be made up of hits, leaving a quarter of each night for the “under-explored,” “more songs from Tusk,” or “an extended middle portion of the show that’s just me and Stevie.”
Nicks had an even better idea for that remainder of time: “We actually have two new Fleetwood Mac songs that I cut with Lindsey two weeks ago we might play.” Crystal visions, we sure hope.
New teaser for Beyoncé‘s self-directed HBO documentary begins with Beyoncé saying “I always battle with how much I reveal about myself” and ends with her pretty much revealing it all — assuming that we are all on the same page, understanding “it all” to mean “Bey’s bare Baby Blue filled belly.” Because everything else that flashes by in the 30-seconds — a sleepy-eyed and make-up free Beyoncé, Beyoncé in nothing but a towel, Beyoncé on stage, Beyoncé in the studio, Beyoncé hugging Jay-Z — will feel familiar to even the most casual of the Bey-hive observers. But this, this is as far as we can tell something new and actually revealing for fans to feast their eyes on: