Posts By Lacey Seidman

by (@Lacezilla)

85-Year-Old Tony Bennett To Intro Amy Winehouse VMA Tribute

The 2011 VMAs are airing live from Los Angeles on Sunday night, and the latest addition to the evening’s already-stellar lineup is Tony Bennett. The 85 year-old (!) will captain what’s sure to be an emotional tribute to recently-deceased singer Amy Winehouse. Introducing a slew of performers who are currently being kept confidential by the folks in MTV’s ivory tower, we’re excited to see that Bennett, who had recently collaborated with Winehouse on a duet due this fall, “Body and Soul,” will make an appearance on the notoriously youthful VMA stage. While the majority of the MTV audience’s demographic was not yet even a twinkle in their parents’ eyes when Bennett took home his first Grammy in 1963, this certainly isn’t the first time an elder statesman has been booked on MTV’s annual celebration of the year’s best music videos. Want to see what we mean? Check out our list of the Top 5 Oldest People To Appear On-Camera at The VMAS!

5) George Clinton, 52 Years-Old (1993): George Clinton presented the Best R&B Video award alongside West Coasters Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre in ’93. Then 52 years-old, the funk innovator and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee must have been pretty psyched to hand Moonmen over to the lovely ladies of En Vogue. And the Funky Divas were most likely equally as pleased!

4) Lou Reed, 54 Years-Old (1996): Making a cameo with house band(leader) Jack White of Raconteurs, Lou Reed of The Velvet Underground was well into his fifth decade at the ’96 Video Music Awards. Hosted by Dennis Leary, big winners that night included Coolio, Alanis Morrisette, and Smashing Pumpkins.

3) Diana Ross, 55 Years-Old (1999): Who could forget the jiggle heard ’round the world? When Mary J. Blige accompanied Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Kim’s breast, and Motown sensation Diana Ross to present the award for Best Hip-Hop in ’99, all hell broke loose! The then-55-year-old Rosstook it upon herself to, on live television, cup and jiggle Kim’s pasty-covered, partially-exposed boobie.

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by (@Lacezilla)

The Muppets Recruit OK Go For Wacky “Theme Song” Video

By now, OK Go’s creative video aptitude has likely made its way to your world in one way or another. Be it through your TV screen via their 2006 VMA reinactment of the attention-grabbing treadmill dance from “Here It Goes Again,” or more recently, through your inbox via either of the one-shot versions of “This Too Shall Pass,” pooch-friendly “White Knuckles,”or kaleidoscope-esque “All Is Not Lost,” it’s becoming clear that the visuals they cook up seem to continuously out-do the last. So naturally, when we got word that they’d be collaborating with The Muppets, we didn’t know what kind of madness to expect.

Muppets: The Green Album hit stores today, and besides OK Go, also features artists like Weezer, The Fray and My Morning Jacket, all covering Muppet classics that we know and love. Batting first, OK Go kick-off the album with the “Muppet Show Theme Song” and synchronized with the album’s release, liberated a video for the lively collaboration earlier today. Piggy-backing on throwback visuals from the band’s previous viral hits, the colorful clip shows some (adorable) intermingling with the entire cast of characters, and reeks of childhood-awakening, make-you-smile potential. Go ahead: press play and don’t act like you forgot about the most sen-sational, in-spir-ational, celeb-rational, Muppet-ational show that life has to offer.

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by (@Lacezilla)

Linda Perry Calls Katy Perry’s Single-Focused Music “Microwave Popcorn”

During a recent interview, writer Heath Daniels asked Grammy-nominated veteran songwriter Linda Perry what she thought about changes in the music industry over the last twenty years. The 4 Non Blondes frontwoman and writer/producer for big-name artists like Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys had some biting words for pop star Katy Perry. “Who wants a f*cking Katy Perry record?” asked Linda, doubtful that fans of the other Perry actually purchase her full-length albums when they can just consume her singles piecemeal.

“Not saying that Katy is bad; she’s great for what she does, but she’s not reinventing the wheel, she’s not giving substance, she’s just giving microwave popcorn for you to feast on right at this moment.”

These comments could not have been made at a more interesting time. Earlier this week, Katy Perry tied Michael Jackson’s billboard chart record for having five #1?singles from one album. Katy Perry is only two (mainstream) albums into her career, and she’s certainly churning out fun-loving hit singles like wildfire.?But does her music have a shot at holding up like The King of Pop’s, whose albums, as full bodies of work, are often considered classics? Linda Perry thinks not. While she did concede that it’s fine Katy’s “not looking to change the world musically,” the interview concluded with her saying that music focused on the quick buck is?”part of the reason why the music business is in turmoil.” Touch?.

Linda Perry: ‘Katy Perry is why the music industry is in turmoil’ [NME]

by (@Lacezilla)

Readying His Nearly-Finished Album, J. Cole Waits Patiently For A Verse From “Coach Figure” Jay-Z

The Force is strong with J. Cole. I first witnessed this during a performance in a small auditorium at New York University?s Kimmel Center in August of ?09, when tangible sincerity radiated off of Jay-Z?s first Roc Nation signee and alleged prot?g?. I?d become familiar with his mixtapes prior to the show and, like the NYU students, curious industry onlookers, and countless others who weren?t present, had started to believe in the young Jedi?s potential to herd hip-hop into the next golden era.

Fast forward to last night at Roc The Mic Studios in Manhattan where a tiny group of music writers gathered in the very same room where Cole recorded his ?A Star Is Born? verse for Hov’s Blueprint 3, where Beyoncé and her husband (no pressure!) stood by watching. It was the second of two intimate listening sessions for the North Carolina-bred rapper/producer?s first full-length album, Cole World: The Sideline Story, and (Jermaine) Cole was present to walk us through the sixteen tracks and single skit on his highly-anticipated September 27th release. Less nervous than he was for the first group of critics because the ice had now been broken, he made the disclaimer that he wouldn?t play songs we?d already heard (including Drake-featured ?In The Morning,? the album’s first single ?Workout,? or the song that got him signed, ?Lights Please?), but we?d get to hear everything else. While song titles and the track order may still change before Cole turns-in the final product, Jay-Z has already dubbed Cole World a ?classic.?

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by (@Lacezilla)

Concert Review: Beyonce Delivers a Dynamic, If Somewhat Robotic, Second “Intimate” Night at Roseland

Beyonce Live 4 Intimate Nights

If you haven’t already caught the scoop, Beyonc? has an affinity for numbers; specifically, the number four. Front and center at last night?s second of “4 Intimate Nights with Beyonc?” at Roseland Ballroom (the first of which took place on Sunday, the FOURteenth), the lady of the hour took the stage to break down the numerological fondness and dazzle superfans and music industry elite alike. Because she usually performs for audiences ten times the size of the 2,500 capacity venue, tickets for this coveted concert series were a hot commodity, and with VIPs like Diddy, Russell Simmons, Ne-Yo, and The-Dream looking on the balcony, a ravenous crowd chanted the singer’s name repeatedly before the show?s 10 p.m. start time. Homegirl has unwavering disciples, and as we were soon reminded, she deserves each and every one of them.

The well-rehearsed, ninety-minute show —whose setlist was identical to Sunday night’s show—began with Beyonc? narrating the initial chapters of her career?s autobiography. From militaristic practice sessions at nine-years-old with the initial members of Destiny?s Child to securing their deal with Columbia Records in 1995, Bey? ran through the timeline of her passionate path, stitching performance snippets into the fabric of her tales. Cut-down, crowd-pleasing hits like ?Bills, Bills Bills,? ?Say My Name,? and ?Independent Women Part I? perpetuated a roar of approval that crescendoed when the introduction to ?Survivor? was liberated by the diva?s all-female band. ?With a lot of success comes a lot of negativity,? admitted the star as she launched into the female-empowerment anthem, graciously crediting her former cohorts Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams while also justifying the song?s endurance-focused sentiments.

There is often calm after a tumultuous storm, however, and once Beyonc? was finished discussing the uneven footing of her early days as an artist, she shared with the audience how powerful it was when she finally ?found love.? Right on cue, the opening notes to the then-new couple’s very public relationship confirmation, Jay-Z?s ??03 Bonnie and Clyde,? hit our nostalgic radars, and as you might imagine, the crowd lost their minds. Before transitioning into a quick Dreamgirls story, Bey? also performed her other Hov-centric hit, ?Crazy in Love,? graduating from a slower, re-worked, funk version of the song into the full, familiar rendition, showcasing the video?s stomping strut that we all know and love. By also revisiting other iconic choreography that fans relentlessly study and mimic throughout the show, Bey? managed to create a sea of ?Single Ladies? hand-twirling and, once she got to the material from 4, lots of attempts at her ?Run The World (Girls)? stankyleg-riverdancing.

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by (@Lacezilla)

Candid and Truthful or Crazy In Love? Jay-Z Calls Wife Beyonce The “Second Coming” of Michael Jackson

Back in June, the world mourned as the two-year anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death hit the calendar. If he was still alive today, he, like Madonna, would be celebrating his 53rd birthday in just two weeks. It’s a universal truth that MJ was one of the top entertainers to ever grace us with his talents, if not the best, so whether you’re a superfan or just casually appreciate his impact on the culture-at-large, it’s always a bit off-putting to hear people compare him to other artists (or, to be fair, compare other artists to him).

On Sunday afternoon, before partying the night away at Liv in Miami, Jay-Z called into Southern Florida’s urban radio station 99 Jamz to discuss new album Watch The Throne, and did just that. He didn’t have the audacity to compare himself or other half of The Throne to the King of Pop though; instead, he graciously compared MJ to his otherother half, wife and international superstar, Beyonc?. Making the disclaimer that the comparison could be construed as blasphemous “because Mike was such an innovator,” Hova took the time to carefully explain that what he’s learned from her is similar to what he’s learned from MJ, and that it’s his wife’s work ethic that makes him feel like she’s “the second coming” of the deceased entertainer. “You know, the hard work and dedication that she puts into her shows. It just makes you want to work harder at your own craft. She’s like a machine,” said Jay in the interview.

Like the King of Pop, Beyonc?’s career began as the lead singer of a group, Destiny’s Child. Now a solo artist for about eight years, the experienced and stunning star has achieved many successes, including 16 Grammys (13 solo, 3 with Destiny’s Child), the RIAA’s top certified artist nod for the decade between 2000 and 2010, and ranked #52 on our list of VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Those achievements noted, it’s no secret that Queen B is catching a tough break with the singles and sales for her latest album release, 4, so it’s absurdly sweet of her “Crazy In Love” hubby to speak about her so enthusiastically while she battles to reclaim the domination she’s seen on past projects. But Jay’s also been around the block too many times and rocked too many rhymes to not be aware of the power in his proclamation, and minimally, should know that his words would be press fodder during her week of intimate New York shows. Because of that reality, perspective is important to maintain here, so like Jay says on WTT track “Welcome To The Jungle,” rest in peace to the leader of The Jackson 5.

Jay-Z Calls Beyonc? ‘Second Coming’ Of Michael Jackson[RapFix]

by (@Lacezilla)

Jay-Z and Kanye West Smash iTunes Sales Record, Steal Throne From Coldplay

We won’t have the final numbers until Wednesday morning when physical album sales are also included in Soundscan’s calculations, but iTunes has released the first-week sales totals for Watch The Throne, and the figures are quite impressive. For over three years, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends held the record for first-week copies sold in the online music store with 155,000, but swooping in with nearly double that amount is Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative supergroup, The Throne, cashing in with a whopping 290,000 digital purchases. (For comparison’s sake, Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way sold 440,000 downloads in the MP3 store back in June, but that was also priced to move at only $0.99 for the entire album.)

Aside from the fact that Jay and ‘Ye are arguably two of the hottest rappers in the game right now, there are a few things to consider when digesting this news. First of all, Watch The Throne has been heavily promoted and buzzed about over the past few weeks and months, and the iTunes release was an exclusive one, which certainly spiked first week sales. Secondly, and perhaps even more shockingly, is the fact that the album didn’t leak beforehand. For a genre that falls victim to digital assaults via hackers on a regular basis, a feat such as this is almost unheard-of. In their forthcoming August 20th issue, Billboard takes a closer look at the Mission Impossible-like process of keeping one of the year’s most anticipated albums under digital-fingerprint-protected lock and key. Let’s just say that many precautionary strategies were agreed upon and executed, all in the name of safeguarding digital files as they were created; in-person meetings replaced email correspondence, wi-fi signals were disabled during recording sessions, and hard drives were protected 24-hours a day like homeland security secrets.

Despite this impressive sales figure, it remains to be seen whether or not this album will have the same sort of cultural impact that solo records from these two individuals tend to have. Reviews of Watch The Throne have so far been mixed, and lead single “Otis” hasn’t quite taken off in the way that many foresaw. Will this record mimic the arc of Lady Gaga’s latest release –huge first week sales, followed by sharp decline– or chart its own course? Tough to say at this point, but we’ll certainly be watching.

Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Watch The Throne” Breaks iTunes Sales Record [HipHopDX]

by (@Lacezilla)

Gary Clark Jr.’s Rousing NYC Concert Performance Puts Him On The Brink Of Stardom

On Tuesday night, the wildly talented musician and singer Gary Clark Jr. stood in with The Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, jamming on his guitar and singing “Bright Lights” from his newly released four-song EP of the same name. Earlier that night, a showcase for the Austin, Texas native was held in swanky Soho House in New York City, and a who’s who of music execs, critics and press were in attendance. Naturally, when we heard that Clark was performing at Rockwood Music Hall last night, we had to go check out his show; while he came to play a short acoustic set for VH1 staffers last month, you could tell he was holding back the some of the nastier funk that comes along with being backed by a rhythm section.

Sure enough (and much to our delight), last night’s 75-minute set was impressive to a staggering degree. At age 27, Gary has already been compared to some of classic rock’s greats, invoking the guitar chops of Clapton and Hendrix and, with a broad vocal range, he’ll purr an Eddie Kendricks falsetto one minute and growl a B. B. King guttural tone the next. The music he unveiled crossed blues and soul with elements of jazz, funk and hip hop, but was also laced with smacking drums and rousing guitar solos that had Clark in a very clear, introverted, eyes-closed zone.

With lyrics like “I don’t owe you a thing, I ain’t buying you no diamond ring” and “If you love me like you say, why you trippin’ like you do?,” it’s clear that Clark holds the blues near and dear to his being. However, his multi-dimensional sonic flavor was embraced by the models, frat boys, music snobs, and hipsters present, which allowed him to flaunt an effortless malleabilty that could be paired well with any of your favorite artists, regardless of genre or time period. ?uestlove was in the house as well, hanging with Zoe Kravitz (who is apparently a longtime friend of Clark’s). And now, on the heels of a glowing Rolling Stone review of his Bright Lights EP, we’re certain that Clark’s star is on the rise, and the young talent has many years and many full-length albums ahead of him.

by (@Lacezilla)

Gym Class Heroes Return To Warm Our “Stereo Hearts”

Get More: Gym Class Heroes, Top 20 Countdown, Stereo Hearts, Music Videos

Currently creeping its way up the iTunes and pop radio charts, Gym Class Heroes’ debut single off of The Papercut Chronicles II now has a video! After a three-year hiatus, Travie, Disashi, Eric and Matt are back at it with “Stereo Hearts,” attempting to tug at our heartstrings via the alternative hip-hop sound that first met our ears on “Cupid’s Chokehold” in 2006, a video which included a then-unknown Katy Perry. In this Top 20 Video Countdownpremiere video, the band’s shadows come alive and help bring to life their sonic palate, ever-present while the clip incorporates imagery that spans breakdancing and The BeatlesAbbey Road references.

Front man Travie McCoy’s verses on “Stereo Hearts” sort of remind us of a 2011 take on 50 Cent’s “21 Questions,” gauging a lover’s loyalty, but doing so while feeding the stereo/love analogy that’s sweetly woven into the song. And even though we’re talking about boomboxes here, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine is transmitted through television screens in the window of a pawn shop in the vid, singing the chorus that will most assuredly get stuck in your head. With the sun shining brightly and leaves on the ground, this visual is seasonally appropriate and perfect for the transition from summer to autumn, the latter of which is precisely when their fifth studio LP drops.

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by (@Lacezilla)

Shakira’s Magic Hips Help Enhance Her Golf Game While On Tour

Shakira’s so hot, she even looks great in sweatpants, s?? As part of her Tour Blog video series, the clip above aids in chronicling the Columbian cantante’s day-to-day activities during her “The Sun Comes Out” world tour. We already know that she’s got powerful pipes and hips that don’t lie, but while taking a break on a golf course in Mexico, Shakira puts those joints between the femur and acetabulum of the pelvis to good use!

“It’s all in the hips,” she says of her solid golf swing, breaking the mechanics to an on-camera pal. In between goofing off with the parrot club head cover, the fiery singer provides fundamentally sound instructions on driving the ball, and you if you watch the entire clip, you’ll see Shakira cruising around in a golf cart, practicing her short game, and most importantly, being stunning and adorable while demonstrating her proficiency in the sport. Quite a departure from belly dancing and performing in front of crowds in the tens of thousands, we’re quite fond of this stripped-down, girl next door presentation of Shakira, and you will too! Next order of business? Trying to get her in your scoring zone.

Watch Shakira?s Hip-Swiveling Golf Tutorial [Vulture]

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