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by (@kat_george)

An Open Letter To The Black Keys: I Would Like To Listen To El Camino On Spotify, Please

Dear The Black Keys,

You all right? How’s things? Getting pretty famous over there, I noticed. Congratulations! No seriously, you deserve it. I still remember the first time I heard “I’ll Be Your Man.” I was still a teenager and it was definitely one of those songs that changed me, especially after growing up in a rock-centric household with my parents breeding me on the likes of Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen as well as a constant serving of the blues. So yeah, you’re rock — classic rock, organic rock, non-pretentious, no bullsh*t rock.

Which is why I’m slightly confused about your decision not to release your new album, El Camino, on music sharing devices like Spotify, Rhapsody, MOG and Rdio because you believe it will eat into your album sales. I know you gotta eat, blah blah, but since when is a #1 record of more importance to The Black Keys than the music and the fans? Strategic chart climbing just isn’t very rock’n’roll now, is it? Why are you suddenly so concerned with being the biggest rock band in the world? Why are you no longer happy to simply be the best rock band in the world?

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by (@kat_george)

12 Days Of DIVAS: Whitney Houston Is Right, And Definitely OK

We’re creeping closer to VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, set to air on VH1 on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and the daily countdown continues as we prepare for performances by Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and other lovely ladies. It’s Day 4 on the DIVAS advent calendar, and we’ve bought you classic flashback performances from Jill Scott, Beyoncé and Gladys Knight.

Today, we have one of the world’s biggest divas, Whitney Houston, and we’ve even made up a jingle to go along with the performance: “On the 4th day of DIVAS, Whitney Houston is sublime — the way she’s singing back in ’99!” Her performance of “It’s Not Right But It’s OK” is dance floor anthem Whitney at her best. Whitney is fierce as she snarls into the microphone, reminding us of everything we loved about the soulful girl music of the nineties. She’s even got the moves to go with the track, busting out some hip shaking along with her backup dancers, and she does it with all the attitude we’ve come to expect from our Whits — yep, she’s partying like it’s 1999, alright!

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul will premiere exclusively on VH1 on Monday, December 19, 2011, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

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by (@kat_george)

The Black Keys Howl For You Live In New York City

The Black Keys performed live at Webster Hall in New York City this week in the wake of the release of their new album, El Camino, and we’re still pinching ourselves, as we bet The Keys are too. When did this happen? Since when did one of the most respected rock bands of this generation become international superstars?

It seems that after a long career, The Black Keys have skyrocketed from cult status to household name almost overnight. Playing songs from the new album including “Lonely Boy,” “Gold On The Ceiling” and “Sister,” The Black Keys also gave the crowd a healthy dose of classic tracks from their back catalog. MTV Hive streamed the whole show live, but in case you missed out, you can still watch the videos online. Our favorite song of the night, “Howlin’ For You,” from The Black Keys’ Brothers, was a slightly sped up version of the original, and brought an extra dose energy to an already raucous show. With the audience bouncing along to the beat and The Keys dripping sweat, this is rock music, the way rock music should be — raw, passionate and inclusive.

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by (@kat_george)

Tuned In: X Factor Contestant Chris Rene Sings His Original Song, “Where Do We Go From Here”

Last night, X Factor contestant Chris Rene sang a song he had written himself, “Where Do We Go From Here.” Chris gave an endearing performance, sitting mid-stage on a stool and strumming an acoustic guitar. Super sweet and beachy (a little bit Jack Johnson, maybe? Remember that guy?), the performance was received by the judges with an outpouring of praise, even from Simon Cowell who called the performance “a stroke of genius.” The audience agreed in a cacophony of applause, and Stevie Wonder even made a personal call to tell Chris “You are inspiring me right now. We’re thinking Chris might have taken the lead in the competition — who better to win a musical talent contest than one who is not only musically talented, but multi-talented?

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by (@kat_george)

Video Premiere: Foster The People, “Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls)”

Foster The People just released a video for their new single “Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls)”, and it’s just as fun filled and irreverent as we’d expect from one of our favorite You Oughta Know bands and the most talked about electro-pop act of the year. The video, which will make its television premiere oh our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown show this weekend, features actress Gabourey Sidibe as an unwitting student on a driving lesson, and Mark Foster dressing himself down via a dorky dad suit and suspicious 70s pornstache.

At first, it appears that Mark is Gabourey’s driving instructor but lo! Of course he’s not! This is a Foster The People video we’re talking about, and there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Gabrielle reveals Mark’s stache as an impostor and uncovers a bag filled with bank notes, just in time for a high energy police chase to ensue. And what would a Foster The People video be without explosions of colorful paint? “Nothing!”, you say, which is lucky because the video sees the getaway car careening though a construction site, simultaneously coloring life! We don’t want to give too much away before you watch the clip, but we will say this — there’s a climactic ending and a healthy dose of Stockholm Syndrome.

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by (@kat_george)

Hot Chelle Rae Love Karaoke And The Kazoo

Of the moment band Hot Chelle Rae dropped their second album, Whatever, last week, and spoke candidly to VH1 about serious things like the album title, writing music, singing karaoke and… playing the kazoo! If you like your pop stars relatable and irreverent, then Hot Chelle Rae are the guys for you, especially if you like an extra helping of super cute thrown into the mix. With sparkling smiles and an infectious energy, the guys told us that when it comes to making music, they’re just doing what they love. “We definitely want people to be humming it but it’s not like every time we sit down to write a song we’re like let’s make the catchiest thing known to mankind, we kind of just really write what we love,” offers HCR front man, Ryan Follese. Ryan also acknowledges that the band, even though their work is largely a labor of love, work incredibly hard and that it’s “ironic” that given their efforts, they decided to call the album Whatever on a whim.

But HCR know that all work and no play will make them dull boys — which is probably why they’re so charming! Of their leisure time, Ryan chuckles, “There is a good chance that you will find me at around 11.30 at night singing Bon Jovi at the top of my lungs,” to which Nash Overstreet replies, “Nashville is full of karaoke bars, and it’s full of us running crazy!” Becoming jovial, Ryan reveals that the only instrument he played on the entire album was the kazoo, “On “Downtown Girl” I am ripping that kazoo up.” We love that the boys have a kazoo on their album, if only because we love saying kazoo so much! Kazoo, kazoo, kazoo!

Check out their performance of their new hit single, “I Like It Like That,” from a recent episode of Big Morning Buzz Live below…

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by (@kat_george)

Lana Del Rey Takes Off Her Blue Jeans, Poses In A Swimsuit For V Magazine

Lana Del Rey, the most-hyped artist of 2011, takes off her “Blue Jeans” in a new spread for V Magazine. After taking her top off in the “Born To Die” video, she dons a swimsuit for some melancholic black and white photography for this photoshoot, while male fans everywhere give her a standing ovation.

We’re not going to deny that Lana looks hot, coyly looking away from the camera, her full lips pouting in that painfully seductive fashion that seems to come to naturally to her, and her exaggerated eyelashes fanning her high cheek bones. It’s a huge eye candy tick for Lana, whose aesthetic persona relies heavily on this kind of subtle, unassuming, yet also quite powerful sex appeal. But something is a little bit off to us since we saw her perform live in New York this week — and that’s that maybe none of this is as natural or organic as the Lana Del Rey machine would have us believe it is. Indeed, we (along with many other critics, fans and inquisitive spectators) witnessed the girl being extremely uncomfortable in her own skin, and it’s left us wondering if this intrinsic, commanding sexuality isn’t just completely manufactured, like the rest of her image seems to be. Is Lana Del Rey a natural, or is it all just an incredibly self-consciously pieced together persona that is imposed upon her in order to fulfill a crowd-pleasing visual companion to her music? And with all the talk about the Lana Del Rey persona, are simply/in danger of forgetting the music all together?

The Ballad Of Lana Del Rey [V Magazine]

[Photos: V Magazine]

by (@kat_george)

Rap Music’s Next Big Thing Is Only 2 Years Old And Probably The Cutest Thing Ever

If you wet your pants when you see cute things, then you probably shouldn’t watch this video. On the other hand, a little bit of wee in your pants never hurt anyone (it’s character building!), so definitely watch it. Possibly rap’s next big thing, this anonymous 2-year-old flows with his dad on YouTube, and he’s got some serious steez! Complete with adorable onsie and heart-melting smile, the little guy is about innocuous as super cute kids come — until he starts rapping, that is! Forget that it’s mostly gibberish, the kid has the beat down pat, and his tiny hand motions and head nod emulate those of rap stars to perfection. He seems to be completely aware as well, at one point deliberately pausing to wait for the beat on which he starts to flow. The way in which he’s got his hand on Dad’s shoulder reminds us of the pop-rap duo Jay-Z and Kanye West performing together, so we’re envisioning some pretty big things for this little dude — he’s a natural!

And speaking of Kayne West… The power house is known for picking up “The Next Big Thing,” so can we expect a sample of this 2-year-old rapper on Kayne’s next hit? We’ve even got some stage names worked out for him: Q.T or Kute KidZ! Squee!

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by (@kat_george)

12 Days Of DIVAS: Gladys Knight Gives The Sentimental “The Way We Were” A Soulful Turn

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul is set to air on VH1 on Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and as you already know we’re counting down the days until Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and other lovely ladies take to the stage for us. We’re now tearing off Day 3 of the DIVAS advent calendar, after bringing you Jill Scott covering “Natural Woman” on Monday and Beyoncé singing her classic “Dangerously In Love” yesterday.

One quarter of the way through the DIVAS countdown and now we’ve got a classic performance of Barbra Streisand‘s “The Way We Were” by the Empress of Soul herself, Gladys Knight. Bringing a new level of soul to the classic sentimental track, Gladys all but blows the stage away with this stirring vocal performance from VH1 DIVAS 2004. With a soaring vocal on the big notes and an infectious smile (you’ll smile too!) when she sings the lyrics “Would we? Could we?”, Gladys does the iconic number the justice it deserves.

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul will premiere exclusively on VH1 on Monday, December 19, 2011, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.

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by (@kat_george)

Katy Perry To Host SNL, Does A Cute Imitation Of Hubby Russell Brand In Promo Video

Katy Perry is set to host Saturday Night Live this weekend, which will be her first turn at hosting the iconic sketch comedy show, with Robyn performing as the musical guest. With Katy vying for “The One That Got Away” to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard charts, we wonder if the gig at SNL won’t help to boost her profile as position on the charts, especially considering how adorable the pop star is in the show’s promotional video with Kenan Thompson. Endearingly personable, Perry is sans pink wig and elaborate costuming, and instead is elegant wearing her new cropped blonde bob and a printed shift dress. She’s funny, too — just try not to smile when she does an impersonation of husband Russell Brand‘s acting advice to her which culminates with “be a bit cheeky!”

Live From New York, It’s Saturday Night! [Live From New York, It's Saturday Night!]

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