Posts By Mark Graham

by (@unclegrambo)

Demi Lovato, Foster The People And OneRepublic Will Be Performing At The 2011 Do Something! Awards

The 2011 Do Something! Awards are scheduled to air on Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. ET., and since we’ve already shared the list of outstanding nominees with you, we figured it was time to let you know the exciting list of performers that host Jane Lynch will be sharing the stage with. We are psyched to announce that Demi Lovato, You Oughta Know artist Foster The People, and OneRepublic featuring B.o.B will be dazzling viewers with their musical performances that night. We’ve got more info for you below, via a press release that just hit the wires…

DEMI LOVATO, FOSTER THE PEOPLE AND ONEREPUBLIC WITH B.O.B TO PERFORM AT THE 2011 DO SOMETHING AWARDS

Hosted by Jane Lynch the Awards will Air on VH1 Thursday, August 18th

NEW YORK, NY (July XX, 2011) ?DoSomething.org and VH1 announced today that Demi Lovato, OneRepublic with B.O.B. and Foster the People will perform as part of the star-studded 2011 Do Something Awards. Hosted by Glee star Jane Lynch, the ceremony will honor and celebrate the nation?s best young world-changers who represent the pivotal ?do-ers? in their field, cause or issue. Celebrities such as Lady GaGa, Justin Bieber, Prince William and Duchess Catherine, David Beckham, Scarlett Johansson, Russell Brand and Will Ferrell have been nominated in a variety of categories from ?Do Something Movie Star? to ?Do Something Couple? for all they have done to inspire young people. Many will be on hand to accept and present the awards at the show which will air Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 9 p.m. EST on VH1.

The show will mark the first time Demi Lovato will perform her hit single ?Skyscraper? live. Her fans played a big part in making this performance happen by enthusiastically tweeting the word ?Skyscraper? to @DoSomething multiple times over the last month. Lovato is also nominated for two awards in the Do Something Charity Song and Do Something TV Star categories.

“If you are expecting anything less than ‘wow,’ you’ve got the wrong award show. We are so psyched to have Demi’s first public performance, a hot break-out band like Foster the People, and expect OneRepublic with B.o.B to be very loud!” said Nancy Lublin, CEO and Chief Old Person of DoSomething.org.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Whatever The Twitter Equivalent Of “Open Mouth, Insert Foot” Is, Keri Hilson Did Just That (About Amy Winehouse, No Less!)

You know the old phrase “Watch what you eat?” While that’s just as important in 2011 as it has always been, it’s also important to watch what you tweet! Keri Hilson found that out the hard way yesterday, after sending out a tweet which said “*gasp* Amy Winehouse resurrected to party w/ me!!! (seriously, uncanny resemblance)” and included the above Twitpic. The tweet, while certainly not malicious by any stretch of the imagination, was definitely in bad taste, and a significant portion of @MissKeriBaby‘s 1.5 million followers let her know it, replying back with cries of “too soon,” “not funny” and other, much nastier sentiments that we cannot share with you here.

Hilson, to her credit, quickly recognized the error of her ways and tweeted out the following apologetic missives to her followers:

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by (@unclegrambo)

Guster To Debut New Songs Tonight Exclusively On Turntable.fm

Despite a career that’s now crossed the 20-year plateau, Guster remains one of the most criminally underrated pop acts working in the music industry these days. Unfairly lumped into the widely maligned “college rock” genre, their last two long players, 2006′s Ganging Up On The Sun and 2010′s Easy Wonderful, are, in fact, chock full of melodic pop gems that offer insight on topics as diverse as righting the wrongs of the past, frustration with the political system, and becoming a parent. But don’t get it twisted: “Dad rock,” this most certainly isn’t.

On August 2, Guster will release a new six song EP, On The Ocean. After 14 years in the major label system, this will be the band’s first self-released album since 1994′s Parachute. As a way of introducing their new material to the world, the band has decided to take the novel approach of debuting their new material by way of the wildly popular social media listening post, Turntable.fm. Why there? “Mostly because it feels organic,” Guster lead singer Ryan Miller told VH1 exclusively earlier today. “I’ve spent time on Turntable [under the moniker DJ Mitchell Spinach] and I use it. It doesn’t feel ‘market-y’ to me if it’s something I actually interact with and understand. These sites that are popping up are incredible, it’s so f***in easy to get turned onto new and old music.”

Miller will be debuting the group’s new material —”I’m at least gonna play the ‘Mitchell Spinach Remix’ of ‘This Is How It Feels To Have A Broken Heart,’ probably another one or two?”, he explained— in a Turntable.fm room entitled Guster’s Polka Party at 9 p.m. ET tonight, but don’t expect an all-accordion playlist. Expect to hear tracks from current Miller faves The Poison Tree, The Rosebuds, Cults and Washed Out (“Love this band”), too. And what about the folks at the Universal Music Group, the distributor that put out their last album (the sessions from which were the genesis of a few of these tracks)? Miller isn’t sweating it. “Well, this will be our first self-released record in almost 14 years, so, I don’t think they give a sh*t.”

by (@unclegrambo)

Stop The Presses! Ke$ha Photographed Looking, Well, Quite Glamorous

You would be forgiven if, at first, you don’t quite recognize the striking blonde above with the feathered hair. After all, we’re not accustomed to seeing pictures of Kesha Rose Sebert —better known as Ke$ha— sans copious amounts of eye shadow, glitter and day-glo face paint smeared all over her visage. However, famed celebrity photographer Terry Richardson was seemingly able to convince the garbage bag enthusiast to trade her patented Hefty Bag Chic style for something that more closely resembles Charlie’s Angels era Farrah Fawcett (if only temporarily) for an as-yet-unknown photoshoot. Nicely played, Terry!

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[Photo Credit: Terry Richardson's Diary]

by (@unclegrambo)

Song Of The Summer Countdown: Will Amy Winehouse Become This Year’s Michael Jackson?

When Michael Jackson tragically and unexpectedly passed away two summers ago after an overdose of Propofol (which may or may not have been administered by Dr. Conrad Murray), the primary coping mechanism that people utilized while dealing with their grief was rekindling their love of his extensive musical legacy. People who hadn’t visited record stores in years flocked to purchase his back catalog, radio stations worldwide spun his songs for months on end and, as a result, Michael Jackson became a bigger star in death than he had been during the last 15 years of his life.

Well, in terms of her cultural relevance, it’s safe to say that Amy Winehouse was no Michael Jackson. However, her untimely (if somewhat expected) death this weekend at the age of 27 has done a lot to rekindle people’s interest in her musical output, which consists of two studio albums (2003′s Frank and 2006′s Back To Black) and a handful of B-sides. Not surprisingly, she currently occupies three of the top six spots on the iTunes album charts (see below), and “Rehab” —sadly, the song that will now forever define her career— has sold enough and been spun enough in the past three days to land it at #15 on this week’s Song Of The Summer Countdown.

As for the rest of the chart, there’s not much to say this week. The top seven spots in this week’s countdown are identical to the top seven songs from last week’s countdown; Katy Perry is still holding court at the top of the charts, and Adele is still nipping at her heels, closely trailed by Pitbull, LMFAO and Lady Gaga.


[Click here for a larger image]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Playful Rihanna Is Not Above Groping (Or Getting Groped By) Her Fans [PHOTOS]

As we witnessed earlier today when they took to Twitter to complain about the VMA nominations, Rihanna has a very strong and incredibly vocal group of fans. How does one cultivate such a fan base, exactly? Of course, there’s no exact formula, but one such way is by hitting the road and playing live for the people that love you most. And on her Get Loud tour this summer, Rihanna has stepped her game up a notch.

Not only is she bringing the goods when it comes to her live performances, but she’s got her social media game on point. Witness Rihanna’s Facebook page, where she has posted close to 1,300 pictures (!) she’s taken with fans during Loud meet and greets. Unlike a lot of other superstars who begrudgingly perform these duties with a frown on their face, RiRi clearly seems to be having fun interacting with her friends, grabbing body parts and, shockingly, letting her own body parts be grabbed. Check out our gallery of a dozen Rihanna fans who will never forget the night that they got groped by (or copped a feel of) Rihanna!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Demi Lovato: “It’s Unfortunate That Pop Songs Have Become So Much About Partying And Clubs”

In November of 2010, Demi Lovato made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. After a violent altercation with one of her backup dancers while she was on tour with the Jonas Brothers, the Disney starlet checked herself into rehab to deal with “emotional and physical issues.” After spending a few months in treatment, she emerged in January of this year and proceeded to keep a fairly low profile. That is, until last week, when she released her brand new song, “Skyscraper,” which has jump-started her comeback.

The soaring ballad about standing strong in the face of emotional turmoil quickly shot to the top of the iTunes charts, making it the biggest hit of Demi Lovato‘s young career. Fans instantly connected to the powerful track and homemade covers of the song began flooding YouTube. We spoke to Demi late on Tuesday night about the creative evolution of “Skyscraper,” shooting the tear-strewn video with director Mark Pellington, and her dismay with the ubiquity of alcohol references currently in the Billboard Top Ten.

VH1: What can you tell us about the time when the song sort of first made its way to you, and what was it that originally drew you to the song ?Skyscraper??

Demi Lovato: I recorded it a year ago, and when I first heard it I was blown away. I was emotionally attached to the song and I really related to it, like a lot of other people. Like a lot of my fans. I think that?s kind of the beauty of the song, that it’s really relatable, but for me when I first recorded it, it was kind of a cry for help. It was before I went to treatment, before everything had kind of hit the fan. I went to treatment and I came out, then I tried to rerecord “Skyscraper” because my voice had changed and it just wasn?t the same. There was something in that first try, that first run through of the song that was kind of magical. It was so much emotion in it, and to this day, it?s still really special to me. I?ve never been so vulnerable or emotional while recording a song, to the point where I was almost doubled over in tears in the studio. I was crying when I recorded it, I was bawling my eyes out. I don?t know, it just felt really great to open up like that.

I know that you co-wrote the song with Toby Gad, whom you had collaborated with before on your previous records. Can you tell me a little about some of the lyrical contributions that you made to this particular song?

Actually, all I did was perform it. I sang it and poured my heart out into it. Working with Toby was amazing; he wrote the song with a artist named Kerli and she too is just an incredible vocalist, they did an amazing job and I just had the amazing opportunity to record it.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Is Katy Perry Bigger Than Lady Gaga? According To The 2011 VMA Nominations, The Answer Is Yes

Despite selling more than a million copies during its first week of release, Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way is being whispered about in many industry circles as both a creative and commercial disappointment. Some have even bandied around the theory that the record is suffering because the videos for the Born This Way singles thus far (“Born This Way,” “Judas” and “The Edge Of Glory”) haven’t scaled the same heights as her previous videos, like 2010′s Video Music Award winner for Video Of The year “Bad Romance.” And if the nominations for the 2011 VMAs are any indication, this theory may not be far off.

Four other artists (Katy Perry, Adele, Kanye West, and Bruno Mars) racked up more VMA nominations this year than the Mother Monster. Katy led the way with nine total nominations (including Video Of The Year and Best Female Video), followed by Adele with seven, Kanye with six and Bruno with four.

Gaga, too, must be feeling the pressure; how else to explain the recent media blitz of the last few days? As the summer progresses, no doubt more theories will emerge as to why Gaga didn’t (an idea that our own Nick Minichino touched on recently in his essay, “Ten Years Of The Strokes And The White Stripes, And The Question Of What’s Next”). But for now, we’ll leave the Gaga analysis alone, and instead share with you the complete list of nominations for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, which will air live on Sunday, August 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”
Katy Perry – “Firework”
Beastie Boys – “Make Some Noise”
Tyler the Creator – “Yonkers”
Bruno Mars – “Grenade”

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by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Wednesday’s Odds & Ends In Music News

NEW KE$HA SONG ABOUT THE IMPENDING APOCALYPSE LEAKS ON YOUTUBE
You’ve got to hand it to the Sleazy one. Between this and “Till The World Ends,” she sure knows how to write a pop song about the end of days. [Popdust]

WHAT DOES THE CLOSING OF BORDERS MEAN FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC FANS?
When the nation’s number two bookstore chain decided to liquidate earlier this week, most of the initial attention rightly focused on the fact that 10,000 hardworking Americans are now out of a job. However, as we all know, the news cycle moves fast, and today NPR took a look at what the closure of Borders means for classical music fans. Borders sold more music in the classical genre than any other store in the nation, and apparently, classical music fans are still more apt to discover new music to purchase by traditional retail “browsing” than anything the internet has been able to replicate so far. [NPR]

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by (@unclegrambo)

Music Seen: Foster The People Pay A Visit To NYC Right As Their Popularity Starts To Soar (PHOTOS)

Foster The People are on a roll. At this time last year, their catchy and distinctly unique sounding hit single “Pumped Up Kicks” had just started gaining some steam on the bleeding edge music discovery site, The Hype Machine. Flash-forward to present day, and that song is steadily climbing both the Billboard (#1 on Alternative) and iTunes (#21 in Singles) charts, propelling the Los Angeles-based indie pop act forward as they sell their club dates coast to coast.

We here at VH1 recognized the potential of the band early on, which is why we named them as our You Oughta Know artist earlier this month. Just prior to that announcement, Foster The People –which, if you’re keeping score at home, is made up of Mark Foster (lead vocals, keyboards, piano, synthesizers, guitar, programming, percussion), Mark Pontius (drums) and Cubbie Fink (bass) stopped by our offices here in the heart of Times Square and dazzled a particularly-enthused audience with a four song You Oughta Know Live set, just hours before performing a sold-out show at New York’s famed Bowery Ballroom. Our cameras followed them along all day long, and we’ve got the tantalizing results for you below in the latest installment of our recurring series, Music Seen. Enjoy!

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