by (@zaragolden)

Behind The Song: “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast In America,” The Song That Made Gym Class Heroes A Household Name

Are you on a mobile device? Click here to watch Behind The Song: Gym Class Heroes, “Cupid’s Chokehold.”

Last Sunday, VH1’s Behind The Music put a spotlight on alternative/hip hop group Gym Class Heroes and their rapid rise to fame, their troubles with drugs and Travie McCoy‘s relationship with pop superstar Katy Perry all included; if you missed it, the full episode is now streaming here. For those of you who (like us!) who can’t get enough GCH in your lives, check out Behind The Song: “Cupid’s Chokehold/Breakfast In America,” the song that began the group on their ascent.

Gym Class Heroes’ breakout hit was inspired by a sample of 1979 Supertramp classic “Breakfast in America,” which was written by Roger Hodgson at the tender age of 18 as he dreamt of the California coast while living in his native home, England. As drummer Matt McGinley remembers it, “We were listening to ‘Breakfast in America’ and just sort of playing along to the chorus, and then when the chorus would finish, we would just jam. And that’s where we wrote our own verses.” Then, wanting to make sure it was good, Travie McCoy took the demo into the tattoo shop where he was working at the time and played it for the girls that came in. “I wanted to be that song that, upon first listen, every girl that hears it goes, ‘Aww, I wish my boyfriend would have done something like this for me.'” Needless to say, it worked. They called Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump in to re-record the hook, and then they sat back and watched as the song — and then their career — took off.

Behind The Music: Gym Class Heroes is now streaming online here. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

What’s So Unorthodox About Unorthodox Jukebox? Bruno Mars Explains On Big Morning Buzz Live

Earlier this month, Bruno Mars dropped “Locked Out Of Heaven” and gave us just a little taste of what might be so unorthodox about his much-anticipated sophomore album Unorthodox Jukebox. The catchy first single just oozed Police, something we haven’t exactly come to expect from the former Elvis impersonator and “Grenade” thrower, but Mars’ Sting turned out to be so good that we listened to the song for days straight. Will the rest of the album be so surprising and sweet?

Speaking with VH1’s Carrie Keagan this morning on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, the ever charming Mars more or less promised as much. He assured that there will “definitely” be something to jam to in “every scenario,” because the album was born from his broad experience working as a producer. “As a producer,” he explains, “I’ve written a lot of songs for a lot of different artists and all different kinds of styles — R&B, hip hop, rock — and I feel like when it’s time for me to do my own personal stuff, everything I’ve ever learned trickles down into my music. Which makes me a little unorthodox.” Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Taylor Swift Sweeps Us Into Her “State Of Grace” With Her New Red Single

Did you ever wonder what “falling in love in an epic way” really sounds like to Taylor Swift? You might think that something like “Enchanted” sounds pretty close, but Taylor assures us that Red‘s dreamy opener, “State of Grace,” is actually it. Previewing the song yesterday on Good Morning America, she explained that, “I wrote this song about when you first fall in love with someone — the possibilities, kind of thinking about the different ways that it could go. It’s a really big sound. To me, this sounds like the feeling of falling in love in an epic way.” But not a story about falling in love just to breakup like all the rest of her love songs, rather this song lavishes the feelings that come with all that with sweeping guitars and a hopeful chorus. And her “State of Grace” and be yours, as well.

“State of Grace” splits the difference between her poppy “Never Ever” and the guitar-plucked “Begin Again.” She keeps the uptempo drum from the former, but layers on reverb-drenched guitars to make it gauzy like a melodramatic nineties rock hit. And like the effort might actually slow down time, she carefully draws out her vowels when the chorus hits and she sings: “I never saw you coming, and I’ll never be the same.” She admits during the song’s breakdown that it wasn’t all so perfect — “You were never a saint, and I love the shades of wrong” — before coming to the sweeping conclusion at the song’s end that: “Love is a ruthless game, unless you are playing good and right.” And so opens the album. Seven days, and the game is on!

Have a listen here, and let us know: what do you think?

Taylor Swift Reaches “State of Grace” on Feedback-Streaked Rock Anthem [Spin]



We Are “Crazy In Love” With Rumors Of Beyonce Performing At The Super Bowl

Beyonce to Perform at Super Bowl Sunday

It’s going to be a “Bootylicious” Super Bowl Sunday this year in New Orleans if the exciting, shout-at-the-top-of-your-lungs rumors are true. According to the AP, Beyoncé is scheduled to perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Grab your onesies leotards in preparation for the epic “Single Ladies” choreography that has to happen. We can picture it now. Justin Timberlake joins Bey on stage for a drop it low session– even lower than they did on Saturday Night Live–for over 100 million viewers. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

President Obama Calls For Peace At The American Idol Judges’ Table, Gets An Endorsement From Jay-Z

Should a pop culture question be thrown into the pit during tonight’s town-hall style debate, Barack Obama will be well prepared. In a week spent on the trail and with all his presidential duties, the President found time to mediate the ongoing Idol feud and to woo Jay-Z. And here we are, still trying to find time to catch up on Homeland!

On air with Miami radio host Michael Yo this week, the president broke from his usual refrains — “the economy, we’ll fix that,” and so on — to take a question about the current state of American Idol affairs. “I think that they are going to be able to sort it out, I am confident,” he said when asked if he might repair Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey‘s tempestuous relationship in his second term. “I’m all about bringing people together, working for the same cause. I think both outstanding artists are going to be able to make sure that they’re moving forward and not backwards.” Read more…


ACL 2012 Final Day: Rock Is Never Going Out Of Style As Long As Red Hot Chili Peppers And Iggy & The Stooges Are Around

At ACL Red Hot Chili Peppers and Iggy & The Stooges Prove Rock Will Never Die

Ultimately how a music festival closes on the last day for its 70,000 connoisseurs of music is how its success will be judged. Friday is perhaps a bit blurry, the rain possibly overshadowed Saturday’s performances, and then there’s Sunday—the final day of Austin City Limits, potentially the most memorable for fans. Ending the three day music extravaganza with the Red Hot Chili Peppers is how one properly concludes a festival.

Trekking across the park to Gary Clark Jr.’s show was much easier without the muddy grass Saturday’s rain created. After he blew us away with an incredible performance it’s easy to understand why he’s a rising star in the making. For “When My Train Pulls In” he worked the guitar like he was playing for his life. It didn’t matter that he didn’t start singing until nearly four minutes as long as he didn’t stop stringing that guitar. He’s so skilled he barely looked at the instrument during “Ain’t Messin ‘Round,” which impressed pretty much everyone. His sound was a mix between rock, country and blues with a dose of GCJ flavor. With the help of his awesome band, “Don’t Owe You A Thang” inspired the crowd to clap along to the rhythm, shouting whenever they saw fit. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Leona Lewis Thinks Her Version Of “We Found Love” Is Better Than Rihanna’s, But Won’t Share It!

Pop songs don’t always end up being what they began. Written with one star in mind, a song may then be passed from artist to artist until the right fit is found. This process gets a spotlight in this month’s Vogue profile of Rihanna, which finds the star in the studio in the very early days of working on her album, shuffling through demos sung by someone else and imagining what she might make of them. “They sound like decent pop songs to me, but there’s no way to judge until Rihanna herself is on the cut, adding that secret ingredient,” writes Vogue‘s Jason Gay of the process. And so eventually “Diamonds” becomes Rihanna’s “Diamonds” and so on, but what about the demos that get left behind?

In an interview with the U.K.’s Daily Star, X-Factor champ Leona Lewis let slip that Calvin Harris‘ Rihanna vehicle “We Found Love” was originally meant for her. “I worked with Calvin and we recorded ‘We Found Love.’ But he went touring with Rihanna and she ended up releasing it,” she says. And though the song ended up being a smash for Rihanna, Lewis is certain that she could have done one better: “It was the same version and production but mine’s better,” she says. Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

4 Fun Ways To Celebrate Taylor Swift’s Album Release

10 fingers, 9 vintage shoe forms, 8 seashells … the countdown to Red release Tuesday is on, and Taylor Swift is not the only one who excited. Here at VH1, we have already learned all the words to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Red,” “Begin Again” and “I Knew You Were Trouble,” dumped our boyfriends, and have gathered all our furry woodland creatures friends in anticipation of the ensuing dance party; but the celebrating won’t end there. Taylor has worked hard to make sure that Red‘s release is an event on-par with, say, a Kardashian Wedding, and we plan on partaking in every last part of it. Here’s our plan.

Four fun ways to celebrate Red‘s release: Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Getting Chris Brown For The “Birthday Cake (Remix)” Was Rihanna’s Idea, And 5 Other Revelations From The Vogue Cover Story

Rihanna has a new album slated for release this November, and so Vogue has gone long on the Bajan star in anticipation. Vogue’s Jason Gay tagged along with Rihanna at MTV Video Music Awards — a night she pretty much owned, between her awards won and her jaw-dropping performance with A$AP Rocky — and got her to talk dating, drugs and drama, of course. Unapologetic like she wont be, she let it all spill.

It’s impossible to skirt the Chris Brown issue and so Gay asked straightly about her decision to still keep him so close, specifically her decision to work with him again. Rihanna admits without any sign of hesitation that the controversial “Birthday Cake (Remix),” which includes an illicit verse from Brown, was her idea. “I didn’t think it could be anything detrimental to my career,” she says. “I thought, We haven’t made a song in so long together . . . it could be a little shocking.” Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Snoop Dogg Drops It like It’s Hot For Hot Pockets

Yo munchies got an attitude? Why not try a Hot Pocket like it’s hot, suggests Hot Pockets’ unlikely new spokesman Snoop Lion (nee Dogg). It would seem that Snoop has never met a product he won’t endorse, but this latest effort smacks of genius: Snoop has reworked his 2004 hit “Drop It Like It’s Hot” as [drumroll, please!] “Pocket Like It’s Hot.” You can call him the Big Sauce Boss now.

Snoop and his collaborators, YouTube star DeStorm and comedian and one-third of the rap group Three Loco Andy Milonakis, use the remix to spit high praise for the freezer section delight. They swap lines like “I got the Rolly on my arm and I’m pouring Chandon” for freezer pastry big-ups like “I’ve got the pockets in my arms, settin’ off smoke alarms” while they dance with a life-sized Hot Pocket, laying it all out like this was just one hit of the bong away all along. Which it may well have been, given Snoop’s dedication to the high life. Snoop has certainly indulged in a Hot Pocket or two in his life, and so when he says “when da cheese hits your tongue it’ll scream ‘fo sizzle,'” you know he means it. Lean Cuisine, what’s your move?

Snoop’s Hot Pockets come complete with a leopard print fur casing: Read more…