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by (@unclegrambo)

Let’s Talk About The Fray’s Rendition Of The National Anthem At The Final Four Championship

UPDATE (10:48 p.m.): See below for The Fray’s response to this controversy from their official Twitter page!

If you’re a “Grammy-nominated and internationally acclaimed world touring band,” the decision whether or not to accept an offer to perform the National Anthem is fraught with landmines. On one hand, the decision would seemingly be a no-brainer: Who wouldn’t want to honor their country AND perform for tens of millions of fans at once? On the other hand, though, even if you turn in a great performance, people will almost certainly compare your version unfavorably to the likes of Whitney Houston and Marvin Gaye. But if you should perform it, say, less than awesomely, people will never forgive you (see: Cyndi Lauper at this year’s U.S. Open).

Now that we have set the table, it’s time to share with you the following (low quality) video of The Fray‘s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” at tonight’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship game (if we find better video, we’ll swap this version out). Their take on the National Anthem is perhaps most fairly described as an untraditional one, one that featured some boldly unique instrumentation (in the form of a tambourine, possibly a snare drum, and a couple of acoustic guitars) and a new, rhythmic way of delivering Francis Scott Key‘s lyrics. A quick check of Twitter shows the negative responses outweighing the positive, but we want to hear what it is that YOU think about The Fray’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”:

UPDATE (10:48 P.M.): See below for The Fray’s Twitter response to the brewing controversy!
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by (@unclegrambo)

Mary J. Blige Don’t Need No Hateration, Just Some Crispy Chicken Snack Wraps From Burger King

Real talk? This new Burger King commercial starring Mary J. Blige might be our favorite commercial since the “You guys know how to post videos to FACEBOOK?” commercials that ran last fall. In it, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul trades the drama-filled dancerie for the friendly confines of the local BK, where she regales the sales force with the following bit of lyrical awesomeness (guaranteed to be a big hit on your next karaoke excursion):

“Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses / Fresh dressing wrapped up in a / Tasty flour tortilla / Crispy chicken, wrapped up in a / Flour tortilla!”

Harry Crane, you crazy for this one!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Slash On Why The Guns N’ Roses Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Reunion Probably Won’t Happen: “Axl Hates My Guts”

The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame is set to induct heavyweight acts like Guns N’ Roses, the Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers on April 14, but there’s one open question that’s overshadowing the whole affair: Will Axl Rose bury twenty-plus years of beef and reunite with Slash, Duff, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin and the rest of the original lineup of GNR for a one-night only performance? As much as we’d like to report otherwise, we would strongly advise you against holding your breath.

When Axl turned up on That Metal Show last year, he was diplomatic about the prospects of the reunion, intimating that he had recently broken bread with Izzy and Duff. Then last month, former GNR drummer Matt Sorum didn’t slam the door on reunion rumors, but also confessed that “I’m not the guy to ask, I just hope it works out.” However, in an interview with Rolling Stone that was just published, Slash all but crushed GNR fans’ hopes for a reunion.

“This is a subject I’m dead sick of talking about,” he told RS. “Everyone has been asking me what’s going to happen, and they know as much as I do. I feel you’re totally obligated to be present and I would love to f***ing play, but it’s just something that’s not gonna happen for whatever reason.” When pressed for further explanation, he added “[Axl] hates my guts. It’s over a lot of different stuff; I don’t even know. There’s just no communication between us. I talk to Duff and Steven, but when it comes to old Guns N’ Roses, there really isn’t anybody that makes decisions [besides Axl].”

We really wish this was a late April Fool’s Day joke, but sadly, it appears as if this is one reunion that’s never going to happen.

Slash: ‘Axl Rose Hates My Guts’ [Rolling Stone]

[Photo: Getty Images]

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Madonna’s Top 11 Controversies (And How They Helped Her Succeed Commercially)

Madonna‘s MDNA is set to take the top spot on Billboard next week by selling an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 copies. This will be her fifth consecutive album to debut at No. 1 and her eighth overall. According to Billboard, MDNA‘s sales have been bolstered by a promotion tied to her world tour — fans who buy concert tickets in the U.S. may also buy the album as part of their purchase. But we wonder whether controversies tied to MDNA — albeit, relatively small on the Madonna Controversy Scale — have helped with the sales spike.

If anything is in Madonna’s “DNA” (the stated inspiration for her album title), it’s stoking controversy and using the press as a marketing machine. This time around, the pop provocateur had her “Girls Gone Wild” video, featuring shirtless men grinding in mantyhose, age restricted by YouTube for nudity and implied masturbation.

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by (@_bobina)

Season 10 Of That Metal Show Premieres Tomorrow Night, Saturday March 31

WE’RE BACK! Season 10 of That Metal Show premieres THIS Saturday and we are bringing you nothing but the best of all things hard rock and heavy metal.

We have so much to look forward this season, including appearances from the likes of Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), The Cult, Warrant, Michael Schenker (Eddie nearly passed out during this interview), and so many more. We also have some surprise guests helping the guys figure out their Top 5 AND you will never guess the rockstars that stop by to try to Stump The Trunk!!

We are kicking off season 10 the only way we know how; by bringing you THE Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Robb Flynn (Machine Head) and of course, the one and only Mike Portnoy. Lars and Robb share stories from the road and the hosts get a lesson in “skull biting.” Just trust us when we say, you do NOT want to miss this!

Season 10 of That Metal Show premieres tomorrow night, Saturday, March 31, at 11pm ET/10 CT, only on VH1 Classic.
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by (@unclegrambo)

What Album Has Sold The Most Copies In The Last 10 Years? (Hint: It’s Not Adele)

Everyone knows that the years 2000-2010 were not very good for the music industry. Thanks to a perfect storm of rapid technological shifts, widespread piracy, consumer apathy, and executive ineptitude, the industry suffered through a slump that nearly killed off the entire business model. That is, until Adele came along!

We’re being slightly facetious, but Adele is credited by many as having (temporarily) saved the music business. Her landmark album, 21, just sold its 8 millionth copy here in the United States, making it the 4th most successful album to be released on these shores in the last 10 years. Care to venture any guesses as to the two artists who have sold more copies of their respective albums than her? If you find yourself either stumped or looking for validation, we’ve got the Top 10 Selling Albums of the Last 10 Years for you below.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Seriously Faded Bro Performs “Bohemian Rhapsody” In The Back Of A Police Cruiser

We’ve got good news and bad news for Queen fans. The bad? It appears that this summer’s Sonisphere Festival, where Queen was supposed to perform with Adam Lambert, has fallen apart. The good news? We may have found a full-time replacement singer for the band!

You have GOT to watch the video we have for you above. In it, some drunk Canuck is shown in the back of a cop cruiser, presumably on his way back to wherever Royal Mounties keep people that they’ve been arrested (we never really watched Dudley Do-Right, nor have we ever been arrested in Canada, so we’re not sure whether Canadian authorities keep their prisoners in jails or penalty boxes or what). But instead of going quietly, this inebriated fella decides to turn the back seat of the police car into his personal Rockford Studios, belting out Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” —IN ITS ENTIRETY(!!!)— only minutes after getting gaffled. He’s no Freddie Mercury, vocally, but then again, who is?

Arrested Drunk Man Sings “Bohemian Rhapsody” In Its Entirety In Back Of Police Car [Deadspin]
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by (@_bobina)

Aerosmith Plans To Release A New Album Of Original Material This Fall, Their First In 10 Years

Aerosmith Announces Their "The Global Warming" Tour

Between announcing a new summer tour earlier this week and Steven Tyler turning 64 on Monday, it’s already been a busy week for the guys in Aerosmith. However, it seems like they saved the best news for last. All that time they spent in the studio recording on Tyler’s days off from American Idol looks like it paid off, as the band announced last night that they’re finishing up a brand-new album, one that they hope to release this summer!

The new album does not have a name yet, but we have reason to believe it will be a classic return-to-form for the band. (By the way, can you believe that this is the band’s first album of original material since 2001′s Just Push Play?) Word on the street is that the band teamed up with an old friend to help produce their new album. Just how old is this friend, you ask? Well, producer Jack Douglas, the man that the band themselves dubbed as “The Sixth Member,” has been friends with the band since the ’70s and produced many of Aerosmith’s classic albums like Get Your Wings, Toys in the Attic, and Draw the Line. It seems like the guys have taken a page out of the Van Halen playbook and are building at least a portion of this new album around guitar riffs that the band wrote many years ago, but never formally released.

“We have a lot of songs that are very dear to us that we’ve written over the years,” Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton told the AP. “And we can feel it when it’s the perfect time to whip them out. And we’re having that kind of experience now.”

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by (@unclegrambo)

The Black Keys Escalate Their War Against Spotify, Label Sean Parker As An “A-Hole”

The Black Keys aren’t your boring, middle-of-the-road rock stars, not by a long stretch. Their new album, El Camino, debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts when it was released in December, making them arguably THE biggest rock band in the United States after 10 years of toiling in indie semi-obscurity and earning themselves a headlining spot at the 2012 Coachella Music Festival. They’ve also proven to be unafraid of courting controversy, whether by blaming Nickleback for the demise of rock music or by being the most vocal detractor of the game-changing music streaming service, Spotify. Regarding the latter, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney recently lit into Spotify board member Sean Parker for making his fortune on the backs of hard-working musicians during an online rant.

“Because [Spotify board member and Napster co-founder Sean Parker is] an asshole. That guy has $2 billion that he made from figuring out ways to steal royalties from artists, and that’s the bottom line. You can’t really trust anybody like that. The idea of a streaming service, like Netflix for music, I’m totally not against it. It’s just we won’t put all of our music on it until there are enough subscribers for it to make sense.”

Harsh!

During a panel discussion at SXSW, Sean Parker —whose exploits will be profiled in the upcoming VH1 Rock Doc Downloaded— caused some waves when he told audience members that “There’s definitely some sort of dissent brewing between record labels, publishing companies and artists [about the compensation they get from streaming services] … Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”

So, who to believe? Are you on #TEAMKEYS because you feel that you should always purchase the music of bands that you support? Or are you on #TEAMPARKER because you feel that non-pirated music should be more easily accessible to everyone? To find out the opinions that bands like Train, The Shins, Fun. and more have on Spotify, watch the video we just shot of them answering this very question down at the 2012 SXSW Music Festival earlier this month!
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by (@_bobina)

Black Sabbath Guitarist Tony Iommi Completes His Chemotherapy Treatment

Tony Iommi Has Completed His Chemotherapy

Tony Iommi should no longer be “Paranoid.” As of yesterday, the Black Sabbath guitarist released a statement on his website stating he was done with this chemotherapy. Since December, the 64 year-old rocker has been battling lymphoma, a cancer that affects your immune system cells; now, according to his statement, he has started his road to recovery.

Tony wrote, “Hopefully my body will start to get back to normal soon. The steroids were the [worst]. I’ve now got three weeks of radiotherapy coming up which I’m told can be very tiring.”

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