Posts By Mark Graham

by (@unclegrambo)

Ask Jordan Knight Anything!

In news that ought to set your nostalgic heart racing, Jordan Knight, lead singer of the New Kids On The Block, will be swinging by our Times Square offices next week. As you’ve no doubt heard, the NKOTB and the Backstreet Boys just embarked on a massive, North American tour they’ve dubbed NKOTBSB that will see them play to thousands of screaming fans this summer. Well, during a short break from this tour, Jordan has kindly agreed to take some time next Tuesday, May 31 —the same day that his new solo album, Unfinished, hits stores— to answer questions from submitted by his fans. Even better? He’s agreed to answer ANYTHING!

Yes, that’s right, you can Ask Jordan Knight Anything! Wondering if he eats his PB&J sandwiches with the crusts on or off? You should ask! Curious as to what he wears to sleep? You should ask! Intrigued by his thoughts on whether or not cutting government spending will resuscitate our country’s economy, thereby boosting our Gross Domestic Product? You can (and should) ask!

So, how do you ask? Well, there’s a few ways. You can leave a comment below, or you can tweet @vh1 with the hashtag #askmeanything. We’ll compile as many questions as we receive and do our best on Tuesday to get Jordan to answer them all. Remember, you can Ask Jordan Knight Anything, so make your questions as crazy or funny as you possible. The only limit is your imagination!

by (@unclegrambo)

Scotty McCreery Is YOUR American Idol

Well, that certainly was anti-climactic, wasn’t it? After Matt Drudge reported yesterday afternoon that Scotty McCreery annihilated Lauren Alaina in the popular vote by a nearly 2:1 margin and was going to be named this year’s American Idol, last night’s broadcast finale felt less like a victory lap and more like a really drawn out lead-up to a foregone conclusion. When Ryan Seacrest announced that the 17 year-old country singer from rural North Carolina had beaten the 16 year-old country singer from rural Georgia, both contestants momentarily winced, then looked at each other with the same kind of expression that you see on people who know that a surprise party is being thrown for them before they even walk in the door. Confetti shot in the air, J. Lo pranced around in a catsuit, and Scotty McCreery got kissed by more women on stage than he’s probably kissed in real life.

However, as former Idol champs like Taylor Hicks, Lee DeWyze, and Kris Allen will attest, winning American Idol is the easy part. Staying afloat in today’s highly competitive music industry is another story entirely, and it remains to be seen whether Scotty will be wholeheartedly embraced by the Nashville elite. While Idol has launched Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler into country stardom, it should be noted that during its ten season run, Idol has never produced a highly successful male country singer (unless you count Josh Gracin, which, sorry, we really don’t).

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by (@unclegrambo)

In Honor Of Bob Dylan’s 70th Birthday, A List Of Bob Dylan’s 70 Greatest Songs

Today is the 70th birthday of a true American legend, one Robert Allen Zimmerman. Or, as he’s more widely known, Bob Dylan. In order to celebrate this momentous occasion for the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who came in at #5 on our list of 100 Greatest Artists of All-Time, we’ve compiled a list (which, I should add, is the opinion of me and only me!) of Bob Dylan’s 70 Greatest Songs (the format of which, I should also add, was inspired by The Awl’s recurring “Listicles Without Commentary” feature).

So, what makes me equipped to rank the Dylan catalog? Well, I suppose the biggest reason is that I’ve been a fan of his for well over thirty years now. I used to spend a lot of time as a youth listening to Dylan’s Sixties era output with my father, whether it was while we were outside doing yardwork or blasting him on the car stereo while we were on road trips. Although a great deal of the subject matter was way above my head at the time, I remember pouring over his lyrics in an incredibly studious fashion well before I even finished elementary school. And as I grew older and spent more time exploring Dylan’s body of work during my college years (particularly his 1970s output) and beyond, I came to recognize all of the reasons that he’s touted as such a singular talent, one whose proflic output and cultural influence is likely never to be reproduced.

So, I’d love to hear from you guys. Did I get these right? Am I way off-base? Feel free to debate me on my choices in the comments section and I will reveal my justifications there. For now, though, it’s on with the show!

70) “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” (from the 1966 album, Blonde On Blonde)
69) “If Not For You” (from the 1970 album, New Morning)
68) “One Too Many Mornings” (from the 1964 album, The Times They Are A-Changin’)
67) “Highway 61 Revisited” (from the 1965 album, Highway 61 Revisited)
66) “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol” (from the 1964 album, The Times They Are A-Changin’)
65) “Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands” (from the 1966 album, Blonde On Blonde)
64) “Standing In The Doorway” (from the 1997 album, Time Out Of Mind)
63) “Every Grain Of Sand” (from the 1981 album, Shot Of Love)
62) “This Wheel’s On Fire” (from the 1975 album, The Basement Tapes)
61) “Most Of The Time” (from the 1989 album, Oh Mercy)

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by (@unclegrambo)

New Season of Behind The Music To Feature Adam Lambert, Ricky Martin, Missy Elliott And More

Behind The Music, one of the most beloved series in the history of our network, is celebrating its 14th anniversary this August. Next month, a brand new cycle of shows debuts, featuring intimate looks at the lives and careers of some of the biggest stars in the music industry: Adam Lambert, Ice Cube, Missy Elliott, Ricky Martin, Mary J. Blige, Enrique Iglesias, and Miranda Lambert. What you’re about to read is a press release that’s just hitting the wires … NOW!

VH1?S ICONIC MUSIC SERIES BEHIND THE MUSIC RETURNS WITH SEVEN ALL NEW EPISODES BEGINNING IN JUNE

FEATURED ARTISTS INCLUDE RICKY MARTIN, ADAM LAMBERT, MARY J. BLIGE, ENRIQUE IGLESIAS MIRANDA LAMBERT, MISSY ELLIOTT AND ICE CUBE

Behind The Music: Missy Elliott Kicks Off The Season on Wednesday, June 29 at 10 PM ET/PT

SANTA MONICA, CA ? May 23, 2011 – VH1?s most celebrated music documentary series Behind The Music returns with seven of today?s most successful and celebrated artists. The five-time Emmy? Award-nominated series gives viewers a front row seat to the most exclusive and intimate interviews with the artists as well as their families, friends and colleagues. Featured this season are Missy Elliott, Ice Cube, Miranda Lambert, Mary J. Blige, Enrique Iglesias, Adam Lambert and Ricky Martin. Beginning on Wednesday, June 29 at 9 PM ET/PT with Behind The Music: Missy Elliott, the series will bring viewers never-before-seen footage of these talented musicians and the people who know them best.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Taylor Swift Trades Twang For Crunchy Power Pop On “The Story Of Us” (Video Sneak Preview)

During her short (and wildly successful) career thus far, Taylor Swift has never been accused of being “too Nashville” to succeed with mainstream music fans. Rather, her songs seem to contain just enough torch and twang to appeal to country music aficionados (if not necessarily country “purists”) AND pop music fans alike. However, her latest single, “The Story Of Us,” is the furthest that Swift has dared to venture from the kind of sound that most would classify as “country music” to date.

In fact, the song would be more aptly classified as “power pop” than anything else, what with all those crunchy guitars and that propulsive drumbeat. It’s the closest that T-Swizzle has come to Kelly Clarkson territory, and represents as a very interesting career decision for her. However, it’s one that’s hardly without precedent. After all, Shania Twain wrote the crossover playbook back in the mid-90s, fusing country-based sound with radio-friendly rock production techniques, courtesy of superproducer Mutt Lange, and moving some 48 million albums in the United States alone. Still, “The Story Of Us” is the furthest that Taylor has dared stray from the Nashville hegemony, a choice that spells interesting things for the rest of her career as an artist who clearly wants to appeal to everyone.

And while we’re on the topic of Taylor, we’ll have the full video for “The Story Of Us” premiere for you at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. But that’s not all! For more exciting news on the Taylor Swift front, follow along…

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by (@unclegrambo)

50 Cent Explores His Slave-Era Ancestry In 50 Cent: The Origin of Me

On Monday night, May 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, VH1 will be proud to present the television premiere of a brand new documentary film, 50 Cent: The Origin of Me. In the film, 50 Cent and a team of filmmakers take a trek from his hometown of New York City all the way down to the rural, small town of Edgefield, South Carolina, to explore 50′s ancestral heritage. In a story published on VanityFair.com, writer David Kamp posed a question to 50 that, at its heart, is integral in helping all of us understand the culture of violence that permeates our society: “Could it be possible that Edgefield?s violent code of honor had hopped cultural and geographical boundaries?first from masters to slaves, and then from southern freedmen to northern gangstas?”

This question, it seems, infuriated 50 so much that he asked for the cameras to be turned off, but not before replying, “I don?t necessarily see a connection between stuff that happened 200 years ago in Edgefield and stuff that happened to me on the south side of Jamaica, Queens. Some people just choose to be bad.”

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by (@unclegrambo)

Christina Perri Weighs In On What She Thinks Will Be This Summer’s Biggest Jams

You Oughta Know artist Christina Perri stopped by our offices here at 1515 Broadway in the heart of New York City on Wednesday for a guest appearance on VH1′s Big Morning Buzz Live. We’ve been fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time with Christina over the last year and some change, ranging from her awesome Live At VH1 performance last October to the frequent missives she’s been shooting our way as this month’s Posted artist. This time around, though, we grabbed a few minutes with her to ask her about her humble, pre-SYTYCD beginnings, what she learned by going on tour with James Blunt, and what songs she thinks are going to be this summer’s monster jams. Enjoy!

by (@unclegrambo)

Matthew Morrison Aims To Avoid Becoming The Mr. Belding Of William McKinley High

We’re not even two weeks into the run of Big Morning Buzz Live and already we’ve talked to some amazing people: The Mortal Instruments star Lily Collins, Parks & Recreation’s Nick Offerman, and now, everyone’s favorite Glee club leader, Matthew Morrison! After he spoke to our own Carrie Keagan on-air, we managed to steal a few minutes of his time, during which we peppered him with questions about what’s going to happen when William McKinley High students like Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) and Quinn Fabray (Dianna Agron) start graduating (“The only thing I hope is that I don’t end up being like Mr. Belding on Saved By The Bell“) and his eponymous new album (“The best part of the experience for me was working with Sting, Gwyneth [Paltrow] and Elton [John]‘). Gleeks, these two interviews are for you!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Cali Swag District Member M-Bone Gunned Down In Los Angeles

Sad news to pass along on this gloomy Monday morning. TMZ is reporting that M-Bone —one of the members of Cali Swag District— the band that taught us all how to Dougie, was killed in Los Angeles last night. According to law enforcement officials, M-Bone (real name: Montae Talbert) was standing in front of his car outside of a liquor store when he was gunned down during what appears to be a drive-by shooting. Cali Swag District leader C-Smoove tweeted a few hours ago, “Ma life changed drastically in the. Blink of an eye rip mbone.” He was 22 years old.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Can The Cars Make A Comeback Simply By Sounding Exactly The Same As They Always Have?

Move Like This, the new record from The Cars (not the New Cars, but the Famous Original Cars), joins Raphael Saadiq‘s?Stone Rollin’ and Posted artist Christina Perri‘s lovestrong on record store shelves today. The band is a bit darker without bassist and co-lead singer Benjamin Orr, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2000, but otherwise they pretty much sound like the Cars circa their multi-platinum heyday. However, critics seem to be divided as to whether that’s enough.?

Watch their Philip K. Dick-via-Ren? Clair?video for?“Sad Song” below. Read more…