If there was an important musical moment in the 1970s and ’80s, chances are, Bob Gruen was there. You may not know his name, but you do know his photography. We insist. Picture John Lennon in your mind. Is he wearing a T-shirt that proudly proclaims the name of his American hometown: New York City? Is he staring down the lens on the roof of a Manhattan high-rise? So yeah… You have Bob Gruen to thank for that.
Posts By Jordan Runtagh
It’s rare to knowingly watch a human do exactly what the were put on this planet to do. But that’s the feeling you get while watching Sir Paul McCartney perform live in concert. Although he turns 71 next week, the icon is still treating fans to epic three-hour-long performances as part of his “Out There Tour.” For comparison, the Beatles’ set lasted just under 30 minutes the final time they played New York City in 1966. Slackers. Paul currently has no album to promote, and he likely doesn’t need the money. So why is he touring? Because he loves doing it. And it shows.
The 2013 CMT Music Awards took place last night, and country songbirds, southern belles and guitar slingers all showed up to strut along the red (well, purple) carpet. While some in attendance went gloriously glam, a few stars donned some duds that definitely rubbed us the wrong way.
The act of “sampling,” or looping beats from pre-existing recordings, can be pretty divisive. While some view it as essentially stealing, the skill that it takes to create something truly unique and new has elevated sampling into an incredibly precise (not to mention difficult) art-form, spanning genres from hip hop to electronica and everything in between. It’s not hard to simply take the hook from an already- popular song (*cough* Kanye *cough* Diddy), but the best DJs get their cred by digging through record crates to find the most awesomely obscure beats they can get their hands on. NOTHING is off limits when they head to their sonic laboratories, which is why some of the biggest hits of recent years actually got their start as a scratchy and forgotten vinyl from way back when.
A few weeks back wrote a post about the 15 greatest prom scenes in cinema history. Obviously, this got us thinking about our own prom…which never had a hope in hell of measuring up to these great movie moments. In fact, we spent most of the evening profusely apologizing to our date for our lack of dancing skills. The only time we could (sort of) redeem ourselves was when the DJ decided to take the energy down a bit and play us a slow song. Doing “The Worm” and “The Robot” was totally beyond us, but we could handle swaying a-rhythmically to Edwin McCain or Lifehouse. We may have looked dumb, but at least it gave us a socially acceptable excuse to get close to our dates.
We were eternally grateful for those rare moments where it looked like we knew what we were doing, before the DJ went back to playing “Gasolina,” and we went back to the punch bowl. So now we’d like to relive those awkward memories by counting down our favorite ’90s (and early 2000s) prom slow-jams!
The best chefs know that we eat with our eyes, and a similar rule goes for musicians. Presentation is always crucial, which is why many divas and rock stars decided to flaunt their flawless physique on the cover of their latest records. Hey, that’s one way to move units!
Happy birthday, Biggie! The Notorious B.I.G. (known to his mom as Christopher George Latore Wallace) would have turned 41 years old today, and even though he was tragically killed back in 1997, his music is more alive than ever! Not only have two albums (and a big screen biopic) hit the streets since his death, but dozens of homegrown MCs have taken to remixing his verses into new beats and classic tunes, creating a whole new batch fresh tracks. Some have him sharing the mic with rappers like Kanye West and Jay-Z, while others are unlikely duets with Miley Cyrus and Frank Sinatra! In honor of Biggie Smalls’ big day, we’re going to take a look at our 10 favorite (and mostly NSFW) Biggie mashups. Enjoy!
It’s a commonly held view that covers suck. They can be lame, unimaginative and tantamount to stealing someone else’s thoughts. Just ask Prince, who apparently wants to make covering songs illegal! Or at least his own songs…
“Why do we need to hear another cover of a song that someone else did?” he wondered aloud during an interview with Billboard. “Art is about building a new foundation, not just laying something on top of what’s already there.” But that’s not always the case. Every now and then you get a version that rethinks the tune from the ground up, and totally breathes new life into an old classic. Just check out these 10 amazing covers that came totally out of left field and shocked us with their awesomeness!
VH1 prides itself on being a mashup of pop culture, so it seems only fair that we turn our attention to mashups of the musical variety! Although sometimes frowned upon for teetering towards copyright infringement, blends done with exquisite skill create a track that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Done right, a mashup enhances both songs, allowing us to discover new sonic possibilities contained within sounds that had become stale and boring. If that ain’t art, we don’t know what is.
Since the advent of cheap audio editing software and websites like YouTube, it’s become much easier to create and share “revisions” of well-loved tunes. These DJs work hard on their tributes, and so we’d humbly like to offer a showcase for some of our favorites. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Remix Rewind!
To get us started, we tapped Jay-Z to head-up our inaugural post. Mr. Shawn Carter helped spark our love of mashups back in 2004, when his Black Album was expertly mixed with the Beatles‘ White Album by DJ extraordinaire Danger Mouse, creating (what else?) The Grey Album. The best of two (very different) worlds blew our 16-year-old mind at the time. So now we’d like to check out 10 other awesome uses of Hova’s verses and beats. Enjoy!
Kelly Rowland gave us a taste of her new album (out June 18th!) by dropping the new single “Dirty Laundry” this morning. But our delight turned to despair as we listened to the lyrics of the heavy track, and realized that it hints at a tenuous relationship, and jealousy towards “her sister,” Beyonce!