Last night’s episode of Bravo cooking show Top Chef: Just Desserts was Beastie Boys-themed, as contestants had to prepare concessions for a street art fair using ingredients mentioned in Beastie rhymes?two that they chose for themselves, and one each that was chosen for them by their competitors in the “Sabotage” round. (Get it?) The theme was occasioned by the appearance of guest judge Ad-Rock. While some of the desserts inspired by the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees looked potentially tasty, the real gem of the episode was the above web exclusive, in which Ad-Rock demonstrates his talents in the kitchen by revealing his top-secret sandwich recipe: peanut butter, jelly, Nutella, and a banana. What cooking brilliance! Also worth noting: he uses his hand to spread ingredients, and he thinks almond butter is kind of nasty.
VH1′s latest entry in The Greatest series is one that’s sure to stir up plenty of debate! Counting down The 100 Greatest Songs of the ’00s, host Pete Wentz (whose own “Sugar, We’re Going Down” comes in at #40 on the list!) and a murderer’s row of your favorite comedians and musicians provide their expert analysis (and a few jokes along the way) on songs that made the aughts such a memorable decade, musically speaking. Read more…
VH1 Classic Celebrates The Jewish New Year With 24-Hour Rush Marathon
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown tonight, and on VH1 Classic, that means one thing: the return of Rush Hashanah! Classic Albums: Rush 2112 & Moving Pictures kicks off the celebration at 7PM ET/PT, followed by the premiere of Rush: Time Machine, a brand-new concert film in which the band plays Moving Pictures in its entirety, at 8PM ET/PT. The Rush marathon continues with Beyond the Lighted Stage, R30, Rush In Rio, and more. [VH1 Classic]
Hold On For New Music From En Vogue
After being stunned by continuing fan support after their appearance at the 2008 BET Music Awards, En Vogue reunited in earnest, but after a successful tour, their appearances got more sporadic. But rumors of new recordings got a big corroboration when the quartet was named as one of the performers at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon next month. [Sound of the City]
We didn’t get a chance to see Rosanna Scotto’s interview with Jay-Z on Monday’s Good Day New York until this afternoon, but once we did, we knew we had to share it here. In the live interview, Jay-Z revealed, prior to the press conference, that the New Jersey Nets would be renamed the Brooklyn Nets when they relocated to the Atlantic Yards Arena, and that he would inaugurate the arena’s opening, scheduled for September 2012, with a series of concerts. News That much we knew. What MTV News didn’t mention is that, after pressing the rapper on the sex of his and Beyoncé’s child (they know but aren’t saying), and the new colors of the Brooklyn Nets (same answer), Scotto excitedly sang the hook of “Empire State of Mind,” changing “New York” to “Brooklyn.” (This happens three minutes into the interview.) “Alright, alright,” Jay-Z discouraged her good-naturedly. Scotto bounced right back, and by the end of the interview Jay-Z was complimenting her on her cellphone’s bunny-eared protective case.
When Tanning Goes Wrong: News Reporter Sings “Empire State of Mind” For Jay-Z [Tanning of America]
Everclear was one of those bands from the mid-nineties that were all over the radio for a couple of years, then promptly forgotten. They were signed by legendary A&R man Gary Gersh during the great “alternative music” explosion, and scored enough Top 40 hits (“Santa Monica,” “Everything To Everyone,” “I Will Buy You A New Life”) to earn themselves an exemption from being inducted in the dreaded one-hit wonder club. However, once the 2000s rolled around, mainstream audiences largely turned their back on the genre, choosing to spend their disposable income on hip hop and boy bands instead of the grungy bands that rose to prominence in the nineties.
For some reason, Everclear released a new record this week called Return To Santa Monica, which features re-recorded versions of their biggest hits and a handful of covers. This news would’ve entirely evaded me, had I not been poking around on Spotify earlier today and saw it featured in their “What’s New” section. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on the album and saw that one of their covers was “The Joker,” the 1973 classic rock staple by the Steve Miller Band (perhaps they were inspired by the chart success of Seal’s 1996 cover of “Fly Like An Eagle”?). I unapologetically love “The Joker,” so I decided to give it a listen. Not the best move I’ve ever made. Rather than putting an interesting musical spin on the pot smoking anthem, it instead features lead singer Art Alexakis speaking in free verse about atrocities he suffered in high school at the hands of jocks and cheerleaders and, in a bizarre turn, also makes reference to his cat tearing out his nipple ring. (!!!)
Now, I’m not saying that this is the worst cover song I’ve ever heard, but I’m also not saying it’s not NOT the worst cover song I’ve ever heard, either. Give it a listen, make up your mind, and let us know if you can think of any covers that are worse than this in the comments below.
The last time Frankie Lons crossed our radar was five months ago, when the Celebrity Rehab 4 cast member was booked by Atlanta police for a probation violation and “drug-related material.” Once her daughter, Keyshia Cole, posted bail, Lons fell off the radar for a bit, and we were a little concerned.
Apparently we needn’t have worried, because Lons attended her biological daughter’s vow-renewal “dream wedding”?and she’s preparing novelty hip-hop dance single “Do The Frankie Leg.” Two weeks ago, footage of Lons previewing the track for Shawty Lo of D4L appeared on WorldStar, and Monday a teaser for the song’s video was posted to YouTube by the song’s producer, T-Storm. In the clip, Lons leads a bunch of kids through her dance, which, in addition to the “Frankie Leg,” features steps such as the “tiptoe,” the “old folks,” and of course “Man down code 10.” Some of the video’s commenters are less than charitable, but we’re happy to see her doing her thing instead of showing up in TMZ’s celebri-blotter. Not to mention that it’s particularly inspired of Lons to riff lyrically on “Stanky Legg,” since her outsized personality is not far removed from that of GS Boyz’s members. (Need proof? Check out the results of a snake infestation at Prince Charming’s house.)
Young artists, it seems, love Lil Wayne. Hot on the heels of Demi Lovato’s killer rendition of “How To Love” for VH1′s Top 20 Live, Justin Bieber has recorded his own cover of the single, which he shared via Twitter as a “happy birthday” message for the rapper. Bieber’s cover is a studio track, complete with double-tracked and backing vocals and his own guitar and percussion. Even still, Lovato’s cover (which, if you haven’t already seen it, is below) is one heck of a live performance. So we leave it to you: who covered it better?
[Image (except Demi Lovato): Getty Images]
After touring the festival circuit, an acclaimed film starring Glen Hansard and Mark?ta Irglov? is set to open next month. Deja vu? Not quite. The big-screen return of the Once co-stars (and Academy Award winners) is in a black-and-white documentary named for their collaboration, The Swell Season. The trailer, embedded above, reveals The Swell Season to be a reflection-in-reverse of Once‘s love story: a no less honest portrayal of Hansard and Irglov? falling out of love. What must have started as a boilerplate pitch about how the duo struggled with their newfound fame and mainstream acceptance became a window into the true-life love story that blossomed from the fictional one in Once, and the couple’s inexorable drift apart. We know how the story ends?Hansard and Irglov? broke up, but remained musical collaborators?but not how they got there. For more, check the sneak peek at Vulture dating from the film’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
If, as George Herbert once wrote, “Living well is the best revenge,” we’d say Gavin DeGraw has paid back the unknown assailants who assaulted him last month many times over. We hate to use the assault as a narrative device, but it’s hard not to root especially hard for the singer in light of not only the attack he experienced, but also the extent to which he took it in stride, even as he was forced to drastically alter his promotional schedule for Sweeter, which came out last week.
Well, if August was a difficult month for the singer, September feel particularly vindicating, especially now that Sweeter has debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200. Such a strong first week is a nice feather in DeGraw’s cap as he prepares to kick off a co-headlining tour with David Cook next month. We wonder if he’ll incorporate his cover of “Grenade,” which he performed here at VH1, into his sets. Stay with us for the rest of that Top 20 Live set, coming soon!
[Image: Getty Images]
You’re forgiven if you’re feeling a little bit of Nirvana overkill of late, because we’ve been dealing with those same issues in the wake of Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary. However, Urge Overkill‘s Eddie “King” Roeser just shared an incredible story on the band’s official website about the handful of dates back in 1991 when his band opened for Nirvana just as they were beginning to break out in popularity, so we figured it was worth sharing with you. In his blog post, Roeser talks of how, over the course of one week, Kurt, Dave and Krist went from playing a “flat” show in Cleveland to “freaking out” because of the sudden onslaught of “meatheads” that started attending their shows. Roeser describes these gigs as being “easily among the greatest rock shows I have or will ever see,” but the bands ultimately split ways in Kansas. As Roeser tells it…
“Both bands drove through Stull, Kansas, as they wanted to partake of the legendary haunted crossroads celebrated by our song of the same name (we had just released the Stull EP). It was a warm autumn day and Cobain sat down against the huge oak tree by the church and joked ‘If there is a Satan, I want him to come and get me.’ No sh*t, that?s what he said.
Next time I saw him he had married Courtney Love.”
It’s tough to write a kicker that will top Roeser’s slam, so we’ll just leave well enough alone.