If you heard a muffled boom tonight around 9 PM, that was just the sound of our minds being blown while watching the U.S. television premiere of the 2012 Hard Rock Calling music festival. The 2-hour special was simulcast on both Palladia and VH1, and it brought out all of the hard hitters like Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney, Soundgarden, Lady Antebellum and more! Never has the phrase “all killer no filler” been more appropriate, and from the moment Bruce kicked things off with an slow-burning hymnal version of “Thunder Road” we knew we were in for something special.
Now full disclosure, we were actually there on the front lines to see HRC live in London last month, but seeing it in full HD on Palladia was a totally different animal all together. When we watched former VH1 You Oughta Know artist Christina Perri perform “Jar of Hearts” and “Arms” in front of 60 thousand people, it felt just as close and intimate as when we first saw her perform in our office! It’s the magic of technology, folks.
Lady Antebellum and the Punch Brothers turned the iconic London park into a down home Nashville ho-down, while John Fogerty burnt the place down with his serious guitar shredding that left dudes half his age in the dust. Tom Morello stepped out from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave to deliver some protest folk music aimed right at the heart of cooperate America with the Woody Guthrie song “Ease My Revolutionary Mind.” Soundgarden and Iggy & The Stooges went with the more punk tactic of assaulting the audience with bone-crushing volume.
Owl City only knew about as much about Carly Rae Jepsen as you probably did when he first hooked up with her for his Song Of The Summer bid, “Good Time.” Introduced by their managers, they recorded the song in separate cities and talked mostly over the internet until they finally met in real life for to shoot the video. Adam Young told Carrie Keagen this morning on VH1′s Good Morning Buzz that “it was cool,” but admitted that their IRL meeting was also “slightly creepy.” “After studying her voice, I knew how she enunciates words and says s‘s and stuff,” he laughed. “It was creepy, I felt like I knew her, and she didn’t know I knew her, but it was good.”
Afterwards, he performed a mostly acoustic (and Carly Rae-less) cover of “Good Time.” It was down-tempo and less effervescent than the original, sounding more like the warm memory of a good time than a party starter, and it was the perfect late-August rework of a Song of the Summer contender. Check it out above!
Ah, lucky day, Barbz, as Nicki Minaj is sending us into the weekend with not just one, but two eye-popping videos! This Colin Tilley directed clip for “I Am Your Leader” finds Nicki showing off her home sweet hyper-cartoonish home, fit only for a colorful rapper like she.
“I Am Your Leader” is cut from the hard-going opening salvo of Roman Reloaded wherein Nicki unhinges and raps, something she didn’t really get a chance to do on the album’s poppier first few singles. In the video, she raps in a room that’s slime green and pink and a little bit twisted — like Pee Wee’s Playhouse or a Dave La Chapelle set — peeks through crooked windows, and then raps some more from a bubble bath, her legs hung over the edge to show off her sparkly knee-high boots. Next up, Rick Ross serves his verse from the dinning room, siting like Rick Ross does, shirtless at the head of a never-ending gold gilded table. And last comes Cam, in a stairwell hung with portraits of the three, wearing a button-up that might be considered subdued for the pink mink rocking rapper were it not throbbing colors. The home is wacky, sure, but it’s Nicki, and like she says: “If you’re not a believer, suck a big d***.” Read more…
Straight jackets and padded rooms, oh my. B.O.B.‘s crazy act in “Out Of My Mind” is surprisingly naturally great. But if any rapper can play loony, and do it well, it’s Nicki Minaj. B.O.B. is trapped in a prison-like insane asylum that he desperately wants to escape. In the Benny Boom directed video he’s forced to have a Psych evaluation with Dr. Minaj after fighting from being restrained. Dr. Minaj is slightly nutty herself, so there encounter isn’t an ordinary patient/client visit. Minaj strips out of her white doctor’s coat casting no shadow of a doubt that she’s just as cookoo as him. The parole board (is this prison or an insane asylum? I’m just sayin’) hearing doesn’t go too well. The rest is, uh, madness. Any artist that does “crazy” after B.O.B. and Nicki have a hard act to follow. Everything about this video was bananas!
B.o.B & Nicki Minaj’s ‘Out of My Mind’ Video Premiere – Watch Now! [Just Jared]
It’s been three years since Alicia Keys last album The Element of Freedom, but this fall she’ll returning with a fury, a new album, a VMA performance, a VH1 Storytellers and all! Bit by bit, she’s been dropping information and giving hints as to what we might expect from this return. Like, for example: although the title might suggest otherwise, her new album has nothing to do with a certain Miss Everdeen, and maybe because after giving birth to her son Egypt she feels like a “full-on f****ing grown up.” Here is what else we’ve got so far: Read more…
The first verse of Lupe Fiasco’s “Bitch Bad” begins with a little boy listening to his mother rap along to lyrics where she refers to herself as a “bad bitch.” Lupe’s latest single and its accompanying video examines the dualities surrounding the word “bitch”; namely, it’s a word that can be viewed by some as damaging to women, yet also a word that is held up by some as a feminine ideal. In the video the video vixen has accepted the title of “bitch” as being something to be proud of, and an ideal that she attempts to live up to by rocking a pink wig, short shorts and removable breast enhancements. Little boys pack the theater seats to watch the faux gangster with his rolled blunt underneath a blue bandana accompanied by a gun to give credence to his street cred. The kids idolize him because he has a “bad bitch.” Only they are too adolescent to understand the way the entertainment they’re exposed to as kids may eventually shape their realities. Read more…
Adam Lambert is no reggae artist, but that didn’t keep him from doing justice to “Is This Love” by the legendary Bob Marley. Lambert stopped by Sydney, Australia’s Top 40 Live Lounge to promote his sophomore album Trespassing. On the bill was his rendition of “Is This Love” was enough to make it his own while still keeping the sound of the original in tact. This isn’t a song you’d expect a pop-rocker to cover, but Marley’s long list of classic songs inspire many. We also couldn’t help but notice the new blonde ‘do Lambert was sporting, which is quite the contrast from the dark hair he had on the set of Pretty Little Liars. Can his version hold a candle to the 1978 classic? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section. Read more…
It’s T-minus two days until the U.S. premiere of Hard Rock Calling 2012 blasts off on Palladia and VH1! Sure that’s pretty soon, but we can’t wait to share the a few of the highlights from the multi-day music festival that rocked so hard that the cops showed up! So direct from us to you, here are some performance sneak peeks to show you what all the fuss is about, and get you even more pumped to see the full two hour feature this Saturday at 9 PM.
First off, we’ve got Iggy Pop, making you forget his age (and that insurance commercial) by tearing into his iconic track, “I Want To Be Your Dog.” The performance was so good, fellow rock legends Jimmy Page and Robert Plant came out to watch! If it’s good enough for those guys, it’s good enough for us. Backed by his old band the Stooges, the inventor of the stage dive does not disappoint.
Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave veteran Tom Morello took to the stage as his alter-ego the Nightwatchman, serving up some searing protest music that touched on everything from the financial crisis to striking firemen. This guy has a lot to say. His set at HRC happened to coincide with what would have been Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, so Tom payed his respects by doing a spine-tingling cover of the late singer’s “Ease My Revolutionary Mind.” With his shout outs to the Occupy movement and other current events, Tom made the song more relevant than ever.
Boobs are flying everywhere! In Lady Gaga‘s latest NSFW “Monstervision” video Lady Gaga talks to her beloved monsters, fresh faced with wild blonde hair before sharing three personal home videos. Gaga’s maternal side made our uteri do a flip as she holds her godson Zachary (Elton John‘s son). Once she kissed his chubby cheeks, we melted. Following her glowing god-mommy moment Gaga showed a clip of herself dancing to “Shiza” on Christmas. As she dances/jumps around the living room she lifts her sweater exposing her bare breasts…over and over and over. Not that anyone is complaining. Her sister, who is recording the video, snickers at the silliness of it all. In a flash mom joins her daughter to dance along, handing Gaga a Christmas tree lamp to use as a microphone. Could this mother and daughter moment be more adorable? Read more…
Like, ever? Taylor Swift has ranked her first ever No. 1 single, and she broke more than just hearts climbing to the top: in it’s first week out, “Never Ever” moved 623,000 digital downloads, just missing Flo Rida’s all-around high mark (“Right Round,” sold 636,000), but enough to take the record for for first week sales by a female artist. And with an album, a VMA performance, a VH1 Storytellers, and a crisp New England fall with the Kennedy’s still to look forward to? Taylor is set to have the best year ever ever. “I can’t stop smiling,” she tweeted with thanks.
It’s almost hard to believe that this is Taylor’s first number one on the Hot 100. “You Belong With Me” and “Today Was A Fairytale” came close, both topping out at No. 2; and “Mine” and her breakout “Love Story” both reached No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. But Grammys, CMA Awards, sold out tours, shiny boyfriends and quadruple-platinum albums already, she’s still got a long ways to go before she catches up to Mariah Carey and her 18 No. 1 singles. Will Red‘s 16 songs include another 10 hits, so that she might at least match Rihanna’s 11? This year seems so far to be Swift’s fairy tale — we’re just living it — so maybe? We do hope.