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Sara Bareilles Swings Through A Mexican Supermarket In “Gonna Get Over You”

Who hasn’t dreamed of living in a musical? We have. Jean-Luc Godard has (via his then-wife Anna Karina). Björk has. And now we know that Sara Bareilles has, thanks to her new video “Gonna Get Over You.” We had wondered how, exactly, the Grease inspiration would mesh with the Mexican supermarket setting, and now we know!

In the clip, directed by comic actor Jonah Hill, Bareilles is a greaser with a variation on the mythic power of King Midas (let’s call it “The Fonzie touch”): everyone she touches?a landscaper outside, and a number of shoppers inside, a Mexican supermarket?becomes a dancing greaser. The Michael Rooney-choreographed sequences play off the swing undercurrents of the single itself. The whole thing is a lot of fun, and just when we started to think about what the ethnic dynamics of the clip might be indicating, the twist ending flipped the script on the whole clip and indicated that, of course, Bareilles and company are way too smart (and good-natured) to get themselves in trouble like that.
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Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Eddie Trunk Of That Metal Show Named One Of The Best Characters On Television
Eddie Trunk, the enthusiastic host of That Metal Show, got a much-deserved nod from Rolling Stone in their list of this season’s Best Characters On Television. The VH1 Classic show is now powering through its eighth season, with no signs of stopping. Sammy Hagar stops by this week: tune in Saturday at 11PM ET. [Rolling Stone]

Facebook Launches Music Partnerships With Spotify And Others
During their F8 keynote today, Facebook announced a slew of music partnerships that will integrate its social elements with the streaming capabilities of Spotify, Soundcloud, Rhapsody, turntable.fm and others, so you can easily see what your friends are streaming and listen along (or be prompted to join whichever service, if you’re not already signed up). The auto-updating timeline/ticker setup inadvertently joins the fight against guilty pleasures, as there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism built in to prevent friends from seeing everything you’ve listened to. [Billboard]
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by (@unclegrambo)

Five Things That Make The X Factor Better Than American Idol

After months worth of hype and countless reports of behind-the-scenes drama, Fox finally debuted the American version of the hit international show The X Factor last night. Despite endless amounts of promotion of the debut, which featured the much anticipated reunion of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, the show started off modestly in the ratings. 12.1 million viewers tuned in last night, which is a far cry from American Idol‘s 2011 premiere numbers (21.6MM viewers). Simon has stated all along that his primary goal for the show is for it to beat American Idol and, well, it just might end up doing that over time. It certainly worked very hard last night to differentiate itself from the 800 lb. gorilla of the reality singing competition genre. Here are the Five Ways That Make X-Factor Better Than American Idol:

1) Simon Vs. L.A. Reid Is The New Simon Vs. Paula
With its original, three-person panel of judges, American Idol got a lot of mileage from—and won themselves a lot of fans by—focusing on the tense relationship between Simon and Paula. Like many great television couples of the past, the two bickered constantly, but over time, their relationship evolved from an antagonistic one into a more of a brother/sister dynamic. However, now that Simon has got a true titan of the music industry like L.A. Reid sitting opposite him at the judge’s table, there are bound to be some testosterone-laden, mano y mano flareups. Last night’s ep featured one such moment, where the two went toe-to-toe over a young black woman named Simone Battle who had the body of a Pussycat Doll and, well, the voice of a Pussycat Doll (which is to say, not much of a voice at all). Simon thought she had the talent (meaning: body) to become a “star,” while L.A. Reid—who famously told P!nk, “You’ll be a pop star, All you have to change is everything you are”—didn’t think she had the pipes to move along in the competition. Simon came out on top of that battle, but who will win the war?

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“We Found Love” Extends Pop’s Dance Party?And Rihanna’s Singles Run

Hardest-working and fan-friendliest pop-star Rihanna premiered the Calvin Harris produced “We Found Love,” the lead single off her upcoming album, this morning via Facebook and radio. (For the moment, the song is available for purchase exclusively on iTunes, where it’s been tearing up the singles chart all day.) It’s a major (or as the singer would say, MAJAH) house track?less trance-y than “Only Girl (In The World)” but certainly along the same Euro-dance lines. (More than one critic has made a reference to glow sticks, possibly unaware that the singer had beaten them to the punchline on Twitter.) That mentality resonates throughout, from the song’s refrain, “We found love in a hopeless place,” to the melodic line (not as punishingly Ibiza-esque as many recent hits but hardly airy either) to Rihanna’s perfectly-suited vocal delivery. Top 40 is going to keep on raving into the fall.

[Image: Getty Images]

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Usher Seeks To Avoid Trial By Jury For Copyright Lawsuit Over “Burn”

Lawyers for Usher, Jermaine Dupri, and Bryan-Michael Cox have filed a last-ditch motion in hopes of stopping the copyright lawsuit filed against them in California Central District Court from going before a jury. The suit, which was brought in April of 2008 by Ernest Lee Straughter, alleges that Usher’s 2004 #1 single “Burn” copies “No More Pain,” a 1999 album cut recorded by Reel Tight based on Straughter’s “The Reasons Why.” Last month Judge Christina A. Snyder ruled that Straughter’s case had sufficient grounds for a jury trial. Friday’s motion challenges that ruling.

Straughter’s case aims to prove that “The Reasons Why” is the basis for “Burn” based on both musical similarities and proof of exposure by the songwriters to “The Reasons Why.” A musicologist’s report indicates corresponding features of the two songs; you can listen to them both below. Friday’s motion mainly challenges the claim of exposure: “The fact that the song had virtually no radio airplay forecloses any inference that it was widely disseminated, let alone remotely popular.” Ouch! If Snyder rejects the motion, the case is headed before a jury. We suspect that the defendants still have pretty good odds of winning the case, but they are trying to avoid the sort of publicity a jury trial might invite.
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MUTEMATH’s New Video “Blood Pressure” Gets Our Blood Pumping

Usually a music video doesn’t say too much about the musicianship of the artist, but “Blood Pressure,” the new video from MUTEMATH, is a different story. The band has made playful videos before?see 2007′s “Typical”?but this all-night stop-motion fest, directed and edited by drummer Darren King, is a monument to timing. Stop-motion animation is a timeworn music-video tactic for bands with really patient members, but this clip stands beside similar clips helmed by Hammer & Tongs (Vampire Weekend‘s “A-Punk”) and Michel Gondry (The White Stripes‘ “The Hardest Button To Button”).

What does MUTEMATH’s clip bring to the table? For one, a keen eye for visual aesthetics: whether the clip includes intentional homages, or just coincidental similarities, to Kraftwerk album jackets and the midair portraiture Philippe Halsman, they’re a good look. For another, a pumping rhythm that allows the guitar to alternately serve as a second bassline and carve out its own melody?and which the title suits perfectly. MTV’s Buzzworthy premiered the video this morning, then sent it our way, and we can see why.
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Tuned In: Wilco Gets Love On Letterman



Wilco proved that a little Vox organ preset goes a long way when they played yesterday on The Late Show. After an introduction that only David Letterman could give (“Their new album is called Go Sit In The Truck!“?was he making a “dad-rock” joke?), the band launched into “Born Alone” from next week’s The Whole Love, a great Nuggets-influenced single. Though in retrospect it’s not that odd that Wilco looked to garage rock for a poppier sound on their new record, we would never have predicted it, but we’re into it. The band also played an hourlong set that’s now streaming at Live on Letterman, playing a bunch of new tracks intermingled with songs from as early as 1999, capping off a day of rock on the late night shows that also included The Kooks on The Tonight Show and Elbow on Late Night.

Elsewhere on late night…
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Top 20 Live: Gavin DeGraw Covers “Grenade” By Bruno Mars

Gavin DeGraw came by our offices this past Friday to record an exclusive Top 20 Live set for us, and we’ll have the whole set for you as soon as we can, but we were very excited about one particular song he performed, so we marked it “HIGH PRIORITY” before we put the master footage in the pneumatic tube (or, you know, however we sent it to the hardworking folks who digitize things around here).

“I’m a little nervous to perform this one,” DeGraw quipped, “as it’s very brand new. I wrote it this morning.” Then he pulled the pin on a killer cover of Bruno Mars‘s “Grenade.” He started with a lyric sheet just in case but quickly set it aside as, backed only by a guitarist, he put his own spin on You Oughta Know alum Mars’s single. We’ll have the rest of DeGraw’s Top 20 Live set as soon as we can, but we wanted to get this one out to you right away. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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by (@unclegrambo)

R.E.M.emories: VH1 Staffers Reflect Back On Their Favorite Songs From The R.E.M. Catalog

R.E.M.‘s announcement earlier today that they’re “calling it a day as a band” after 31 years together hit the VH1 offices even harder than that earthquake did a few weeks back. As a means of aiding everyone accelerate through their own personal Kübler-Ross grief cycle, we reached out to a number of VH1 staffers and asked them to share their favorite R.E.M. memories. We sincerely hope that this feature is as instrumental in helping you reach your own personal Acceptance stage as it was for us. And if you have your own memories, please share them below in our comments section; we’d love to hear them!

“BEGIN THE BEGIN” (LIFE’S RICH PAGEANT, 1986) by TOM CALDERONE, PRESIDENT (@tomcalderone)
I was the program director of my college radio station, Buffalo State College’s WBNY, when Murmur came out. “Radio Free Europe” was the single, and R.E.M. was opening for the English Beat and Squeeze; that’s kind of what the pecking order was for them at the time. One day, their label called and said, “Hey, we’re selling a lot of records in Buffalo, and you’re the only radio station playing them, we want to have them come play Buffalo.” We said “Great!” So they played this place called the Lackawanna Sky Room. They told us, “We don’t really have much to play, we could use an opening act.” So we offered to help. At the time, the Goo Goo Dolls were so metal that it wasn’t the right call, but there was this other little band from Jamestown called the 10,000 Maniacs. We suggested them, explaining to them that this Natalie Merchant girl, she’s great, and the band’s really cool, and you guys will get along. That’s how the friendship between the bands began, back at the Lackawanna Sky Room. They were the nicest guys, incredibly giving to the college radio stations all across the country.

My favorite song by R.E.M. is “Strange,” which is actually a Wire cover. Of their originals, “Begin The Begin” is my probably my fave. It had a really cool edge to it, and sounded a little bit different than what they normally had done. It recently came to life to me again, about a year and a half or so ago, when The Decemberists did it live with Peter Buck on stage. I thought to myself, ‘I forgot how good that song was!’, so I revisited it again. Of their later material, “Crush With Eyeliner” was my favorite.

“EVERYBODY HURTS” (AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE, 1992) by SANDY ALOUETE, SVP MUSIC & TALENT RELATIONS
One of my former boyfriends was hellbent on buying the identical neon star from the cover of Automatic For The People, and he finally tracked one down outside of an abandoned motel in upstate NY. I loaned him the money to have it professionally cut down, I housed it for him in my parents? garage until he could clear out enough space in his Greenpoint apartment/recording studio, and then not long after he got the star, we broke up. Did I ever get the money back? Nope. Shouldn?t I by rights take the neon star for my very own? Yep. EVERYBODY HURTS.

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Last Lap: Wednesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Happy Birthday, Leonard Cohen!
Leonard Cohen turns 77 today. To celebrate, read Mike Barthel‘s chronicle of Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” and how it became a television-montage staple, or listen to “Suzanne” or “Everybody Knows,” or pre-order the Complete Leonard Cohen box set that’s on the way. [Pitchfork]

Wilco, Coldplay Live on Letterman
This morning we mentioned that Coldplay had appeared on The Late Show to perform “Paradise.” They also recorded a full concert for Live on Letterman that streamed last night and is now available on demand. Tonight at 8PM ET, Wilco (featuring a newly jolly Jeff Tweedy) will do the same. [Live on Letterman]
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