Posts By Mark Graham

by (@unclegrambo)

What Album Has Sold The Most Copies In The Last 10 Years? (Hint: It’s Not Adele)

Everyone knows that the years 2000-2010 were not very good for the music industry. Thanks to a perfect storm of rapid technological shifts, widespread piracy, consumer apathy, and executive ineptitude, the industry suffered through a slump that nearly killed off the entire business model. That is, until Adele came along!

We’re being slightly facetious, but Adele is credited by many as having (temporarily) saved the music business. Her landmark album, 21, just sold its 8 millionth copy here in the United States, making it the 4th most successful album to be released on these shores in the last 10 years. Care to venture any guesses as to the two artists who have sold more copies of their respective albums than her? If you find yourself either stumped or looking for validation, we’ve got the Top 10 Selling Albums of the Last 10 Years for you below.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Seriously Faded Bro Performs “Bohemian Rhapsody” In The Back Of A Police Cruiser

We’ve got good news and bad news for Queen fans. The bad? It appears that this summer’s Sonisphere Festival, where Queen was supposed to perform with Adam Lambert, has fallen apart. The good news? We may have found a full-time replacement singer for the band!

You have GOT to watch the video we have for you above. In it, some drunk Canuck is shown in the back of a cop cruiser, presumably on his way back to wherever Royal Mounties keep people that they’ve been arrested (we never really watched Dudley Do-Right, nor have we ever been arrested in Canada, so we’re not sure whether Canadian authorities keep their prisoners in jails or penalty boxes or what). But instead of going quietly, this inebriated fella decides to turn the back seat of the police car into his personal Rockford Studios, belting out Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” —IN ITS ENTIRETY(!!!)— only minutes after getting gaffled. He’s no Freddie Mercury, vocally, but then again, who is?

Arrested Drunk Man Sings “Bohemian Rhapsody” In Its Entirety In Back Of Police Car [Deadspin]
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by (@unclegrambo)

The-Dream Kills The Lights, Quite Literally, In His New Video

The-Dream‘s highly anticipated Love IV LP was originally scheduled to come out last fall, but thanks to some beef with his label Def Jam, the record’s release has been significantly delayed. The Radio Killa’s passionate (and exceedingly patient) fanbase was temporarily satiated when The-Dream released his 1977 mixtape last fall using his birthname, Terius Nash. And now, there’s seemingly more evidence to suggest that Love IV is on the way, as an official video for “Kill The Lights,” presumably the first single off the album, has just dropped.

In it, The-Dream teams up with his new(ish) protégé Casha (not to be confused with Ke$ha) for a video treatment that takes the song’s title quite literally. For the video’s four-minute-and-seven-second run time, we see dozens of light bulbs explode, filaments flying around the screen like shrapnel. However, when paired with The-Dream’s falsetto and luxurious synths, it certainly succeeds in its mission — By the end of the video, even the most Green-conscious eco-warriors won’t find that their panties are in a bunch; rather, they’ll be dropping to the floor.

The-Dream – “Kill The Lights” Video (Feat. Casha) [Stereogum]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Gavin DeGraw Turns The Tonight Show Into A “Sweeter” Place

Phew! Our buddy Gavin DeGraw survived another week on Dancing With The Stars, which means that we’ll be getting more backstage reports from one of our favorite singer-songwriters next week. And since he’ll be making his home on the West Coast for the time-being, it only made sense that he stopped by the Tonight Show set last night to perform a rollicking version of his hot new single, “Sweeter.”

The title track from his new album makes the case that Gavin, not Trey Songz, should be the one with the title of Mr. Steal Yo’ Girl. It’s rare that studio audiences on late night talk shows hoot and holler during the musical portion of show, but you can clearly hear a cadre of females squealing at various points while Gavin is up on stage. His ode to the carnal pleasures of creepin’ has clearly struck a vein with his audience, and combined with his exposure on DWTS, look for this song to make a big dent on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown chart soon!

Elsewhere in late night…
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by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Those Of You With Tenacious D Tattoos Can Rest Easy Once Again, Because Jables And Rage Kage Are Back!

TENACIOUS D HAS RISEN AGAIN (JUST LIKE THE FENIX)
The D has been silent since The Pick Of Destiny bombed at the box office back in 2006, but the band just released a brand new video that includes the most kickass training montage since Rocky IV. Oh, and btw, R.I.P. Val Kilmer; your sacrifice will never be forgotten. [TenaciousD.com]

PAUL SIMON CELEBRATING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF GRACELAND WITH DELUXE BOX SET
You’ll have to sell the diamonds on the soles of your shoes to be able to afford the $249.99 price point, but for that scratch, you’ll get 2 DVDs, 2 CDs, an copy of the vinyl LP, a deluxe book featuring unreleased photos, new liner notes, a replica of Paul Simon’s handwritten lyrics pad and a limited edition, numbered Graceland poster autographed by Rhymin’ Simon himself. [PaulSimon.com]

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by (@unclegrambo)

First Aid Kit’s “Emmylou” Is The Aural Equivalent Of Your Favorite Warm Blanket

Yesterday afternoon, The League star Katie Aselton (@duplaselton) tweeted that “the song ‘emmylou’ by first aid kit makes me all smushy and romantic. you know, in case u were wondering.” Being fans of Mrs. Aselton, we immediately sought out the song and, well, we owe her a debt of gratitude for calling our attention to this instant classic.

Somehow, we had missed the January release of First Aid Kit‘s new album, The Lion’s Roar. The Swedish folk duo made up of sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg (age 21 and 18, respectively) have scored great reviews for their sophomore LP, including a 7.6 from the notoriously persnickety folks at Pitchfork. That album’s lead single, “Emmylou”, is a bittersweet, slide-guitar driven slice of Americana, one that envelops you upon your first listen and feels instantly familiar. The song’s refrain of “I’ll be your Emmylou/And I’ll be your June/And you’ll be my Gram/And my Johnny, too” evokes a particularly warm sense of romance and nostalgia with its references to timeless American musical couples, and also features the most exquisite harmonizing that we’ve heard in some time. And the video, which was shot during magic hour conditions in California’s famed Joshua Tree national park and is steeped with Native American mysticism, is quite perfect, too. Try this song on for size and let us know if it doesn’t make you feel like you just curled up on the couch underneath your favorite warm blanket.

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by (@unclegrambo)

The Black Keys Escalate Their War Against Spotify, Label Sean Parker As An “A-Hole”

The Black Keys aren’t your boring, middle-of-the-road rock stars, not by a long stretch. Their new album, El Camino, debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts when it was released in December, making them arguably THE biggest rock band in the United States after 10 years of toiling in indie semi-obscurity and earning themselves a headlining spot at the 2012 Coachella Music Festival. They’ve also proven to be unafraid of courting controversy, whether by blaming Nickleback for the demise of rock music or by being the most vocal detractor of the game-changing music streaming service, Spotify. Regarding the latter, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney recently lit into Spotify board member Sean Parker for making his fortune on the backs of hard-working musicians during an online rant.

“Because [Spotify board member and Napster co-founder Sean Parker is] an asshole. That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that’s the bottom line. You can’t really trust anybody like that. The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I’m totally not against it. It’s just we won’t put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense.”

Harsh!

During a panel discussion at SXSW, Sean Parker —whose exploits will be profiled in the upcoming VH1 Rock Doc Downloaded— caused some waves when he told audience members that “There’s definitely some sort of dissent brewing between record labels, publishing companies and artists [about the compensation they get from streaming services] … Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”

So, who to believe? Are you on #TEAMKEYS because you feel that you should always purchase the music of bands that you support? Or are you on #TEAMPARKER because you feel that non-pirated music should be more easily accessible to everyone? To find out the opinions that bands like Train, The Shins, Fun. and more have on Spotify, watch the video we just shot of them answering this very question down at the 2012 SXSW Music Festival earlier this month!
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by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Lionel Richie Shares His Dream (His Awesome Dream) To Go Country On Letterman With “Say You, Say Me”

The true test of determining which songs will stand the test of time is their adaptability. If you were to change the arrangement —or even the genre— of a given song, does it still resonate with audiences? Lionel Richie took the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater last night with country music superstar Jason Aldean to prove that his 1985 smash, “Say You, Say Me” is one of the all-time greats by giving it a countryfied spin. The song went all the way to #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts when it was originally released, and even took home an Oscar for Best Original Song, and hasn’t aged a bit in 25 years.

This track, along with other Richie classics like “Stuck On You” and “Endless Love”, appear on Richie’s new jawn, Tuskegee. This is not a greatest hits record, though — Richie has gone back into the studio and put a twangy, country spin on the most beloved songs in his catalog. Thanks to the undeniably ace songwriting skills, this LP doesn’t feel like a shameless attempt to pander to Nashville audiences (who still buy albums in droves) like recent crossover attempts from the likes of Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi. Richie has experimented with many musical styles in his nearly 40-year career, from funk to pop to R&B, so this album feels more like a natural evolution and less like a calculated attempt to line his coiffers. Good on ya, LR!

Elsewhere in late night…
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by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Jet Runs Out Of Fuel

JET GROUNDS THEMSELVES
Australian rock revivalists Jet, whose 2004 song “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” came in at #72 on VH1′s list of the Greatest Songs Of The 2000s, have decided to part ways. Their breakup reminds us of their 2006 release of Shine On, which was the subject of one of the greatest album reviews of all-time. [Rolling Stone]

WASTED GIRL MAKES OUT WITH TREE AFTER DOING TOO MANY DRUGS AT ULTRA FESTIVAL
This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that Deadmau5 warned us about! [Crack Beetz]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Video Evidence Of Madonna And Nicki Minaj’s Long-Rumored Kiss Finally Surfaces

The Internet nearly melted back on December 8th when Nicki Minaj tweeted “OH MY f’ingggg Gahhhh!!!!! MADONNA jus kissed me!!!!! On the lips!!!!!!! It felt sooooo good. Soooo soft!!!! *passes out* aaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!” (For those of you keeping score at home, that was 30 exclamation points.)

Immediately, horndogs the world over had visions of girl-on-girl kisses dancing in their head. Would Madge’s lip-lock with Nicki Minaj rival her Frenching of Britney Spears? Would it be a disappointment like her brief peck with Christina Aguilera? Or would it be something even, well, hotter?

Well, until yesterday, the kiss was the stuff of legends, like Sasquatch doing a tonguesploration of the Loch Ness Monster. However, in what we’re sure was simply coincidence, video of Madonna’s smooch of Minaj surfaced ON THE VERY SAME DAY that MDNA hit stores. So, dear reader, we ask of you:

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