Last week, Antipodean superstars Gotye (an Australian artist) and Kimbra (who hails from New Zealand) stopped by our offices in the heart of Times Square. Taking some time out from their US tour to chat with us, the pair were endearing and sweet, and this month’s You Oughta Know artist Gotye gave us a glimpse into the genius mind behind their hit track, “Somebody That I Used To Know.” Our photographer, Michele Crowe, followed the pair around the building to capture some intimate, candid moments for us, including the amazing performance they put on in our lobby! You can see all the fun we had when Gotye and Kimbra came to visit below (and after the jump!).
So how excited were you when you read that Fiona Apple is releasing a new album this year? How many times did you replay “Criminal”? And most importantly, did you dig out your 90s alterna-girl tie dye garb and dark eyeliner? OK, maybe we can live with you skipping the last one, some things are definitely best left in the past — but the woman herself, the inspiring Fiona Apple, is most definitely not one of those things.
In more Awesome Fiona Apple Related News, it’s just been announced that she’ll be opening Pitchfork’s official showcase at SXSW. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the festival, clear your schedule at 8 p.m. on March 15 and make for the Central Presbyterian Church like a fox, because the space only holds about 400 people (401 including Fiona). It’s also a rare occasion for a performer who has only graced the stage a handful of times since 2007.
Fiona Apple to Play Pitchfork SXSW Showcase [Pitchfork]
[Photos: Getty Images]
If you’ve been in front of a computer with a working Internet connection today you’re probably aware that Bonnaroo has announced the line up for this year’s festival, and that everyone is getting a little breathy and excited about it. And why not — the lineup is absolutely out of this world, with huge names Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Beach Boys, Grammy winners Bon Iver, The Avett Brothers and The Shins headlining the festival. While we’re a bit perplexed as to why the legendary Beach Boys are billed fourth (we can understand Radiohead as a firm first, but surely The Beach Boys have more clout on a lineup than Red Hot Chili Peppers or Phish, especially as they’ve reunited to tour this year?), it’s hard to maintain any kind of indignation with such a fun lineup.
The big names appear next to some pretty “of the moment” new comers, including our You Oughta Know artists Foster The People (could this be Grammys round 2, performing with The Beach Boys again perchance?), The Civil Wars, Dawes and Fitz & The Tantrums (we LOVE to say we told ya so!). There’s also the dub act that’s taken the USA by storm, Grammy winner Skrillex, oldies but goodies like The Roots, Alice Cooper, Ludacris and Ben Folds Five. And is anyone as excited about the Black Star comeback as we are?? Hype acts on the list include Childish Gambino, 2011′s lauded tUnE-yArDs, St. Vincent, SBTRKT, Kendrick Lamar, Kurt Vile, EMA and Das Racist to name but a few! Bonnaroo might just have the leg up on the other festivals — sure Coachella has a hype-led lineup with a smattering of superstar at the top of the bill and SXSW is ready to introduce us to the hottest new talent, but Bonnaroo seems to balance the classic and timeless with still relevant veterans and hyped new names across genres. Basically, Bonnaroo’s got something for everyone.
Bonnaroo tickets go on sale February 18th at 12 p.m. EST.
[Photos: Getty Images]
Well you didn’t actually expect Adele to be subtle, did you? The princess of the potty mouth told US Vogue this month that, “I am f***ing off for four or five years. If I am constantly working, my relationships fail.” And it’s going to be a well deserved break, after Adele’s historical year demolishing the charts, going through throat surgery and finally wiping the floor with her Grammys — all 6 of them! Moreover, Adele’s found love despite the heartbreaking subject matter of 21. Yep, the girl’s gone and done a Rihanna, finding love in a hopeless place, or a Swampy place, as we reported last month when it was revealed she was dating investment manager Simon “Swampy” Konecki.
And for all you Valentine’s Day cynics out there, Adele’s got a message of hope to go with her forthcoming hiatus — the lovelorn needn’t mope, there’s plenty of romance out there for us all! Adele said in the interview, “So at least now I can have enough time to write a happy record. And be in love and be happy. And then I don’t know what I’ll do. Get married. Have some kids. Plant a nice vegetable patch,” and that she’s tired of being a “bitter witch.” High fives for Adele! We’re looking forward to hearing the “Someone Like You” antithesis in 5 years time — instead of listening to it and immediately dissolving into a mess of tears and snot, it will be played and everyone will become suddenly, irrepressibly jubilant, for that is the immense power of Adele.
We’ve been listening to Jack White‘s “Love Interruption,” featuring Nashville singer Ruby Amanfu, on repeat since we first heard it last month. The track is the first release from White’s debut solo album, Blunderbuss, which is due for release on April 24th, a date which cannot come fast enough! So for Valentine’s Day we’re giving you a special Jack White treat — the official video for “Love Interruption,” so you can incorporate a visual into your new obsession.
The video itself is as simple as the song, with a sort of discordance that complements the impassioned lyrics. In a purple haze, White is joined by Amanfu and 2 other women playing instruments, each of which is dressed and coiffed to retro 60s perfection, while retaining a modernity in face and setting. White and Amanfu share a microphone as the shot blurs and refocuses, capturing the tone of the angsty love song. With an unassuming melody, “Love Interruption” is violent and worldly, lyrically at least, providing a jarring, passionate juxtaposition with White’s Bluesy guitar sound. The video plays off this perfectly, conjuring a sense of familiarity in tandem with a absurdity that is hard to place. And there’s the genius of Jack White all wrapped up and handed to you on a violet platter — he’s the master of contradictions, managing to turn chaotic emotion into the most practical, simple of things, without losing any of the romance.
Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars have teamed up for The Hunger Games Soundtrack: Songs from District 12 and Beyond, and their collaborative track, “Safe And Sound” features a haunting video to go with the romantic vocal. The video sees Taylor walking barefoot in a whimsical, diaphanous gown through a harsh winter forest landscape, while bare trees throw up obtuse, magical shapes as she wanders between them. The scene flicks to The Civil Wars in stark contrast, sitting before a crackling fire in a cosy, domestic setting as their voices harmonize with Taylor’s.
The waifish Taylor continues to haunt the barren landscape while fires rage in the distance, almost spectral in her aimless meandering. With the mystical appearance of an apperating deer, the song takes on a fantastical, otherworldly import as Taylor roams, hopelessly hopeful that the dawn will bring her safety. As night falls there’s a sense of desperation as the deer turns to dust before Taylor’s eyes, but the soft crooning melodies remain a constant reminder that everything will be alright.
The VH1 News special Whitney Houston: Death Of A Diva premieres on VH1 tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and will repeat again at 9:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. The 30-minute program will honor the life and times of Whitney Houston, and feature the latest updates on events surrounding her death, plus reactions from attendees at her mentor music mogul Clive Davis’s annual pre-Grammy Awards music industry party on Saturday night (like L.A. Reid). Additionally, there will be tributes from officials, her peers (like Kelly Price), record executives and fans, as well as some previously unseen interview footage with Whitney Houston herself.
In the clip we have for you above, which was shot back in 2010 as part of the Jennifer Hudson episode of Behind The Music, Whitney discusses how she almost didn’t record the song “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” because she “hated” it. Ultimately, her mentor Clive Davis was able to convince her of the song’s merits, a track that would go on to be her seventh consecutive #1 single, a record that still stands to this day.
VH1′s is debuting our list of the “100 Greatest Women in Music” this evening at 10 p.m. ET/PT. These five, one-hour specials are the latest in our on-going series, The Greatest, and are focused on the last twenty years of music history. Last Friday, we gave you a preview by way of our Almost Greatest list, but now VH1 Tuner is proud to exclusively reveal the entire list for you in advance of tonight’s first episode, which will cover #100 (the Pussycat Dolls) through #81 (the Spice Girls).
So, what artist ended up being named the Greatest Woman In Music for their career accomplisments over the last 20 years? Read along to find out!
You thought it was weird when Katy Perry‘s Grammys performance started with “E.T.” too, right? We certainly did. And being the Perryphiles that we are, it took us only moments to start pointing at the screen and indignantly yelling “That’s not Katy Perry!” as a strategically shrouded figure took to the stage. Cue a faux electrical glitch that had all those around us gasping, “But how could the Grammys mess up like that,” and we were rubbing our hands together in Mr. Burns style excellency — “This is it, here she comes! Excellent.”
And come she did! Appearing in a futuristic box descending from the ceiling, Perry wore blue hair and an ensemble that looked like a cheap version of Leeloo’s iconic Fifth Element get up — but we’re going to forgive her for the ill-chosen costuming because what followed was an impassioned performance of her fine new single (yes, we smell that 6th number one!), “Part Of Me” (one of the new tracks on the re-release of Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection). The opening lines of the song, “You chewed me and spit me out like I was poison in your mouth,” were poignantly at odds with “E.T.”‘s “Infect me with your poison,” and as Katy slowly rose to standing from her crouched feline perch, it became clear that she had something very important to say, and that we were all going to listen. And if there was any doubt about whether or not we’d be paying attention, Katy sang the emphatic, rage driven lyric “Now look at me!” before punching out the front of her cube, which shattered dramatically in cascading glass.
Yep, dancing in her cube, Katy made a very definitive statement, “This is the part of me that you’re never gonna ever take away from me.” We can only speculate that the track is a stiff middle finger in the face of ex-hubby Russell Brand, but marital politics aside, the performance showed us a part of Katy that we’ve never really seen before. Sure, we’ve seen a lot of flirty, sexy Katy, a bit of controversial Katy and some reflective, sad Katy, but when it comes to chart toppers, we haven’t ever seen angry Katy. There’s “Circle The Drain” from Teenage Dream, but the brutality of emotion of that song seems to wane in comparison to “Part Of Me,” which is driven, unwavering and anthemic. Watching Katy perform it live for the first time was almost chilling — the emotion she put into her spectacular, flame engulfed show was raw and powerful, showing the angsty side of a girl that is so much more than boob-shooting fireworks.