Posts By Mark Graham

by (@unclegrambo)

Exclusive Do Something! Awards Sneak: Foster The People Add Some Sonic Muscle To “Helena Beat”

The 2011 Do Something! Awards don’t air until Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m., but we were able to convince the show’s producers to let us share this awesome clip of our You Oughta Know artist Foster The People with you guys before tomorrow night’s premiere. The band performed two songs during the ceremony, Song of the Summer contender “Pumped Up Kicks” and (my personal S.O.T.S. pick) “Helena Beat,” with the same sort of enthusiasm and energy levels that have been winning them thousands upon thousands of new fans at music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza.

In particular, their sound was significantly fuller than it was when they played the supremely catchy “Helena Beat” here at VH1 HQ a few months back during a stripped down You Oughta Know Live acoustic set. In their rambunctious Do Something! Awards performance, they employed not one, not two, but THREE guys to tackle the song’s whirring synth melodies, which certainly got the front rows of the Hollywood Palladium up, clapping and dancing.

In addition to being a dynamic young band, Foster The People are also committed to helping out in the community. This fall, they have agreed to partner up with Do Good Bus, which helps transports citizen volunteers to and from charity sites in cities all over the country.

To catch Foster The People’s rendition of “Pumped Up Kicks,” not to mention Demi Lovato‘s first-ever televised performance of her smash “Skyscraper,” be sure to tune into the Do Something! Awards, airing on VH1 this Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. (That’s tomorrow, folks!)

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by (@unclegrambo)

Black Sabbath Founding Member Quashes Black Sabbath Reunion Reports

Yesterday, metalheads and headbangers the world over rejoiced when news broke that the members of Black Sabbath had squashed their 30+ year beef and were already in the process of reuniting, news that made extra sense when coupled with recent reports that the band had just reached an out-of-court settlement regarding intra-band trademark issues. The Birmingham Mail reported that guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi revealed to them that he and original Sabbath singer Ozzy Osbourne were not only in communication once again after a longstanding feud, but that the original members of the band were planning on recording a new studio album and touring to support it. Devil horns were raised, heads were banged, and generals gathered in their masses because BLACK SABBATH WAS BACK!

Sadly, though, it seems that Tony Iommi was misquoted by an overzealous journalist. He corrected the misreported information in a statement posted on his official website, Iommi.com:

“I’m saddened that a Birmingham journalist whom I trusted has chosen this point in time to take a conversation we had back in June and make it sound like we spoke yesterday about a Black Sabbath reunion. At the time I was supporting the Home of Metal exhibition and was merely speculating, shooting the breeze, on something all of us get asked constantly, ‘Are you getting back together?’ he said. Thanks to the Internet, it’s gone round the world as some sort of ‘official’ statement on my part, absolute nonsense. To my old pals, Ozzy, Geezer and Bill, sorry about this, I should have known better.”

Bats of the world, you’re safe for now. We repeat, for now

Black Sabbath reunion? Tony Iommi dismisses report [OTRC]

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

DEAD JUGGALO FOUND IN OHIO RIVER AND OTHER LESS HARROWING GATHERING OF THE JUGGALOS UPDATES
The body of a 24 year-old Insane Clown Posse fan was found in a section of the Ohio River located in Western Kentucky on Sunday afternoon. He was wearing a Gathering Of The Juggalos wristband, which leads the Kentucky state police to surmise that he was attending the festival. Meanwhile, over at Deadspin, writer Emma Carmichael went undercover and transformed herself into a Juggalette and traveled to Cave-in-Rock, Illinois this weekend; she just published a hilarious and fascinating exposé of the festival largely comprised of “t*tties and drugs.” [Rolling Stone, Deadspin]

BLACK SABBATH PLANS REUNION TOUR, STUDIO ALBUM
Don’t call it a comeback! Original Black Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward have reunited. Since the band’s split in 1979, Geezer has actually become a geezer, which is something we suppose is both ironic and inevitable. Nobody is talking about how much money they’re getting to do this, but we imagine it’s a lot. [Birmingham Mail via The Quietus]

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by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 Exclusive: Gavin DeGraw Speaks Out For First Time After Leaving Hospital

Gavin DeGraw is currently recovering at home after being discharged from the hospital a little over a week ago, following a night which saw him get assaulted by a group of men AND subsequently hit by a taxi cab. He’s sent out a handful of tweets over the last week and some change, but we just got this exclusive update on his condition from our August Posted artist and wanted to pass it along to you guys as quickly as possible:

“Instead of checking in from the tour, I’m writing as I recover at home. I’m feeling much better, but it will take a little bit more time to be back to 100%! I’m overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from my fans, friends, and family. I can’t wait to get back out on tour and look forward to seeing you on the road sometime soon. I?ll keep you POSTED.?

Again, we’d like to extend our best wishes to Gavin as he recuperates from this senseless assault. We look forward to seeing him get back on the road as soon as he’s back to 100%. Get well soon, buddy!

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

My 53 Favorite Madonna Songs (In Honor Of Her 53rd Birthday)

We’d like to extend our fond birthday wishes to a true American icon, one Madonna Louise Ciccone, who was born 53 years ago today in the small town of Bay City, Michigan. In the space we have here, it would be impossible to adequately communicate the full extent of the impact that Madonna has had on popular culture, but suffice to say, there’s never been anyone quite like her before or since.

Just like I did for Bob Dylan on his 70th birthday, I put together the following list of my 53 favorite Madonna songs as a way for us all to celebrate the birthday of this music pioneer. These are not her “best” songs, or even her “most popular” songs, but simply, my favorites. Unlike the Song Of The Summer Countdown, this list is not pegged to any quantitative data; rather, it was generated based on conversations with my co-workers, an exhaustive deep dive into Madonna’s catalog over the past few weeks (both her songs and videos), and my own (sometimes hazy) recollection of each of these song’s influence on the culture-at-large.

We’ve got the full list for you below, but if you’re signed up for Spotify, you can also listen to the full compilation here:
My 53 Favorite Madonna Songs (On Her 53rd Birthday)

53) “Sorry” (Confessions On A Dance Floor, 2005)
52) “Everybody” (Madonna, 1983)
51) “Hanky Panky” (I’m Breathless, 1990)
50) “4 Minutes” (featuring Justin Timberlake & Timbaland)” (Hard Candy, 2008)
49) “Spotlight” (You Can Dance, 1987)

48) “Oh Father” (Like A Prayer, 1989)
47) “Amazing” ( Music, 2000)
46) “Hollywood” (American Life, 2003)
45) “Angel” (Like A Virgin, 1984)
44) “Bad Girl” (Erotica, 1992)
43) “Keep It Together” (Like A Prayer, 1989)
42) “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” (Evita, 1996)
41) “Fever” (Erotica, 1992)

For the Top 40 Madonna songs, follow along!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Foster The People Make A Late Run For The Crown

With only three more weeks left in our 2011 Song Of The Summer Countdown, sadly, there’s little drama left as to who will take home the crown. For the eighth consecutive week, Katy Perry‘s saxoriffic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is sitting atop our charts, closely followed by LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” (which, as we wrote last week, could make its own claim for S.O.T.S.). However, don’t count out Foster The People quite yet!

The You Oughta Know artist’s single, “Pumped Up Kicks,” has been making an impressive late summer run at the top spot. It first entered our charts back on July 11, but buoyed by a standout set at this year’s Lollapalooza festival, the first single off the band’s Torches LP seems to have really captured the attention of the nation. Will they be able to unseat either Perry or LMFAO before Labor Day rolls around?


[Click here for a larger image]

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by (@unclegrambo)

The Five Best Dressed Stars At The 2011 Do Something! Awards (And The Five Worst, Too) [PHOTOS]

The 2011 VH1 Do Something! Awards air this Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. ET. We’ve already shown you what everyone was wearing on the blue carpet tonight, but we have yet to pass along any of our sartorial assessments of who wore what. So, if your name is Tyra Banks, Adam Lambert, Zach Levi, Demi Lovato, Victoria Justice, Kim Kardashian, Amy Poehler, Charity Shea, Dax Shephard or Olivia Wilde, take a deep breath: You’re either on our Best or Worst Dressed list for this year’s Do Something! Awards. With that in mind, we’d like to pass along our fond “Congratulations! or sincere “Better luck next time!” to all of our finalists.

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by (@unclegrambo)

2011 Do Something! Awards: Who Wore What On The Red Carpet [PHOTOS]

Dozens of celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Victoria Justice and Adam Lambert, gathered in Los Angeles on Sunday night for the annual Do Something! Awards, an event in which they were able to honor their peers and some of the most devoted young people in the country committed to social change.

The award show, hosted by Jane Lynch and featuring musical performances from Demi Lovato, Foster The People and OneRepublic featuring B.o.B, is taping tonight at the Hollywood Palladium, but will air on VH1 this Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. However, you don’t have to wait that long to catch a glimpse of all the celebs in attendance who walked the blue carpet tonight —and a few shots of rehearsals, too!— in our gallery below.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Five Dead And Dozens Injured When Stage Collapses At Sugarland Concert (UPDATED)

UPDATE (8/14/11 @ 1:00 p.m.): WTHR has reported that a fifth person has been confirmed dead. [WTHR]

UPDATE (11:43 p.m.): WTHR is now reporting that four people are confirmed deceased, and another 46 injured. [@breakingnews]

Tonight, Indianapolis’ NBC affiliate WTHR is reporting that four three people were killed and dozens more injured when the stage collapsed moments before country superstars Sugarland were scheduled to perform in concert at the Indiana State Fair. A wind shear is believed to have been the cause of collapse of the stage rigging, which fell onto concertgoers standing in the “Sugarpit,” an area filled with the band’s most rabid fans. Amateur video of the stage collapsing was posted to YouTube; we have the disturbing footage for you above.

The Grammy Award winning band, who performed at our 2010 VH1 Divas Salute The Troops, quickly responded to the tragedy on the official Sugarland website:

Your prayers needed.

We are all right after our stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair tonight. Many of our fans and friends in Indianapolis may not be. Please keep them in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever form of strength you are able to send. They need you. Thank you.

This is the third major stage collapse to occur at a concert in the last month. On July 18, a stage collapsed after a Cheap Trick performance at the Ottawa Bluesfest, resulting in a handful of hospitalizations. Then, just this past weekend, a Flaming Lips performance was canceled when their stage collapsed due to gusting winds.

Our condolences go out to all of the families who were affected by this horrible tragedy.

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by (@unclegrambo)

R.I.P. Jani Lane (1964-2011)

We’ve got terrible news to pass along to you this morning. TMZ is reporting that Jani Lane, ex-frontman of the glam metal band Warrant, was found dead in a Los Angeles area hotel last night at the age of 47. A cause of death has yet to be determined.

Lane, along with his band, rose to fame in the late eighties when the glam (some would say “hair”) metal scene of the Sunset Strip exploded in popularity. Warrant’s debut album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, was released by Columbia Records and was somewhat of an unexpected hit. The LP, powered by the smash power ballad “Heaven” (video below), cracked the Billboard Top Ten and positioned the band for even bigger things with the release of 1990′s Cherry Pie. The title track of that record, thanks in large part to its innuendo-laden lyrics, is remembered as one of the raunchier songs and videos of the era, and launched star (and future wife of Lane’s) Bobbi Brown into pin-up status.

By most accounts, the last few years have been difficult for Lane. After struggling with alcohol issues, he appeared on VH1′s Celebrity Fit Club 2 in 2005 and seemed to get his life back on track. However, he fell back into old habits and served nearly four months in jail in 2010 after receiving his second DUI. His body was found in a hotel room of the Comfort Inn in Woodland Hills, California last night.

Ex-Warrant Singer Jani Lane DEAD AT 47 [TMZ]

[Photo: Getty Images]