Legendary hip-hop groups reuniting is as exciting as the day animator and film director Mike Judge revealed in an interview he thought about bringing MTV’s Daria back. Both of these things, although totally unrelated, give us great joy. Hold on to your britches because rap pioneers Run-D.M.C. are set to headline this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, TX, per Rolling Stone. The possibilities of anticipated classics being performed like “Sucker MCs” or “My Adidas” are endless. For the first time in over a decade Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “D.M.C.” McDaniels will reunite on stage for what has the potential to be an epic performance. Let’s hope the Rev can take one day off from his pastoral duties and just be Run–straight 1984 style. Read more…
Earlier this afternoon we shared a sneak preview from Gym Class Heroes‘ VH1 Unplugged taping, where they were joined by their longtime collaborator and Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump for a stripped down version of their smash hit “Stereo Hearts.” Stump, although filling in on the song, felt right at home. “Gym Class is a band I am more directly involved with than any other band except for Fall Out Boy,” he told us before the show, laughing that “the shortest call in the world” was all it took to get him there.
As Stump tells it, Gym Class Heroes first caught his attention with a shout out on an early demo of the 2004 time-capsule “Taxi Driver.” “We were super tickled by it,” he explains. “Unfortunately, it is very rare that something makes you sit up and be like, ‘Wow, this is great!’ And I was in the van and I was like, Pete [Wentz], listen to this, this is really good. And so he took it and ran with it, and before we knew it they were singed.”
The honor, though, he insists is mutual. “You have no idea how much they made themselves and how awesome it is to watch them,” he told us, making sure to point out that this will be his first Unplugged appearance with be with them and not his own Fall Out Boy. “I get to be a fan that has the best seat in the house.”
Before the tapping, we caught up with Stump to get the scoop on his work with Gym Class Heroes, his impressions (musical and otherwise), and what comes next:
Was Nicki Minaj being a total diva this weekend at T In The Park festival? Diva isn’t exactly a word we’d be surprised to hear associated with Nickster, but British group Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls had a less endearing term for the international pop star. According to the group, Nicki and her entourage were completely rude to stage crew backstage of the Scottish festival after showing up nearly an hour late. Sleeping Souls tweeted, “You know what? Nicki Manaj can just f— right off.” Offering a little more insight behind their feelings they explained, “I know nothing about her music but backstage her security guy just pushed a crew person off the path into the mud so she could walk past.” Read more…
Last month, we announced that 21-year-old British troubadour Ed Sheeran was embarking on not just his very first U.S. headlining tour, but also on the very first VH1 You Oughta Know tour! The first batch of tour dates that our May You Oughta Know artist released sold out lickety-split, so we’re adding more. Sheeran’s debut album, +, made an impressive debut at #5 on the Billboard charts last month, and his lead single “The A-Team” (see our YOK Live video below!) has been steadily making a huge impact at radio stations nationwide. And don’t even get us started on his awesome live covers of songs like Ginuwine’s “Pony” and Lil Kim’s “Lighters Up”! Take a gander at the complete press release, which includes the new tour dates, below…
ED SHEERAN LIGHTING IT UP IN THE U.S.
NEW DATES AND LARGER VENUES ADDED TO BRITISH STAR’S FIRST-EVER HEADLINING NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
THANKS TO ENORMOUS POPULAR DEMAND
“VH1 YOU OUGHTA KNOW TOUR WITH ED SHEERAN” GETS UNDERWAY SEPTEMBER 8TH IN ORLANDO
INTIMATE NYC DATE SET FOR JULY 24TH AT IRVING PLAZA COMPLETELY SOLD OUT
“THE A TEAM” SCORES AT MULTI FORMAT RADIO NATIONWIDE AFTER“+” ENTERS SOUNDSCAN/BILLBOARD 200 AT #5
Elektra recording artist Ed Sheeran is proving to be as much a phenomenon here in the U.S. as he is in his native England. In response to his rapidly increasing popularity, the British troubadour has just added a number of new dates to his upcoming North American headline tour, much of which had already sold out within minutes of going on sale.
Performing for the Super Bowl halftime show is major, and an honor only bestowed on a select chosen few. The gossip mill was spinning with rumors that Van Halen was set to perform at next year’s Super Bowl. Despite the group’s mega success with over 56 million albums sold, people were apprehensive about the selection of a rock band doing the Super Bowl in 2013. According to Rolling Stone, lead singer David Roth addressed the rumor on the fan’s website. “That honor has not been bestowed upon us at this time though it is one we would accept in a NY minute,” Roth writes. But perhaps the loud chatter will put the group on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s radar. Read more…
It looks like The Wanted are headed out on tour with the Biebs! In an interview with Scotland’s Daily Record, they let slip that their new manager Scooter Braun has hooked them up with the ultimate gig for an act looking to break: opening for Justin Bieber when he kicks off his Believe tour this fall. You can bet that the next time you see them, their name will lead.
“Hopefully with Scooter now as our manager, things will really take off,” said a grateful sounding Jay McGuiness, before went on to make two other interesting points: 1. that they are working on some new, “Justin-worthy” stuff; and, 2. that they hope Scooter will help make them “presentable to America.” Bieber really expanded his musical horizons with Believe, singing sweetly on “Die In Your Arms,” courting groupies with “Out Of Town Girl,” and even rapping on “Boyfriend.” In many ways, it seems like he is working hard to keep his musical horizon as open as possible. The Wanted, meanwhile, lodged themselves comfortably into the club-pop circuit stateside with their synthy, Ibiza-after-dark anthem “Glad You Came.” It’s hard to say if, with this match, Braun is trying to highlight the dancier tracks from Bieber’s catalog or if he is hoping to draw The Wanted away from the smoke-and-lasers show and towards someplace a little more “swaggy.”
Team StarKid — the Chicago-based theater company that boasts Glee’s Darren Criss among its primary collaborators – might be masters of pop culture parody with their Harry Potter and Batman-themed musicals blowing up on YouTube, but we wanted to see if they were really up-to-date on their pop culture references. When the troupe came through New York on their most recent Mayan-god themed Apocalyptour we sat them down for a little pop culture guessing game.
First up — 50 Shades of Grey. Do the StarKids know a thing or two about the most popular BDSM book series? We had them guess the fake quote amidst 3 real quotes from the novels. Let’s just say they weren’t as knowledgeable about kinky sex dungeons as they are about wizards and wands. (Warning: One swear word in this video, so it’s slightly NSFW!) Check back tomorrow when we quiz them on Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
I was 5-years-old when The Wall came out in 1979. Of course, I was far too young to grasp any of the deeply adult themes of loneliness, alienation and distrust of institutional power that dominate Pink Floyd‘s masterwork, but that didn’t stop my fellow first graders and I from chanting “We don’t need no education!” and “Hey, teacher, leave us kids alone!” while we walked to elementary school in the mornings. Some musical statements are just universal in that regard, I suppose. Yet, for whatever reason, I was never much of a Floyd fan growing up. Sure, I was familiar with a great deal of their catalog —if you grew up in the 70s or 80s had access to a car and FM radio, how could you not be?— but for whatever reason, my musical attention during my formative years was drawn primarily towards hip-hop and more accessible, distinctly American classic rock staples (Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, Eddie Money).
I bring up this confession (of sorts) because I went into Saturday night’s Roger Waters presents The Wall: Live concert at Yankee Stadium without a deep level of knowledge about either the album or the production. I purchased The Wall on iTunes just last week, and only had time to give it one end-to-end listen (which just so happened to be my first time doing so) before hopping on the 4 Train from my home in Brooklyn and making the trek up to 161st Street in the heart of the Bronx. Aside from cursory glances at a few reviews of recent dates on the stadium leg of this particular tour, I went into the evening with an open mind, fully prepared to be blown away. Well, suffice to say, that mission was accomplished. Quite literally, in fact.
Is all well in the state of electronic dance music? In the past year, the electronic dance music — or EDM for short, and for those in the know — has burst through the seams of the genre festivals and rave basements that used to house it, and into the mainstream. The Swedish House Mafia is just one group that rode the scene to success, selling out Madison Square Garden last year with virtually no traditional “big media” support before announcing just recently that their current tour would be their last. The trio thanked their fans in a note posted to their website, and signed off by saying, “We came, we raved, we loved.” Their last few shows should be a victory lap, a celebration of how far they have come from their early days of dj-ing in pizza shop. What, then, went wrong this weekend at their show in Dublin?
According to reports, nine people were injured during the group’s headlining set at Phoenix Park in Dublin on Saturday night. A 23-year-old man has since been charged in connection with multiple stabbings — at least one victim was left if critical condition — and another young man died of a drug overdose. Many more concert goers were arrested for assault, drugs and public order offenses. Some of the violence was caught on video. And as for the group themselves, they responded to the melee on Facebook, writing that they were unaware of what was going on until after the fact, and promising to “deal with it in the best way we can.” Read more…
After an already action-packed weekend of Superlounge performances, empowerment panels, and headline-grabbing mainstage sets, Essence Music Festival came to a close last night in New Orleans. Like many other festivals, Essence is notorious for headlining sets extending late into the early morning of the next day, but when the artists performing are esteemed members of music’s nobility, you stay put!
Kirk Franklin kicked off the festival’s third and final night, handing the mic off to VH1 star Fantasia before soulful crooner Anthony Hamilton and his phenomenal back-up vocalists transformed the Mercedes Benz Superdome into a refreshing gospel experience. The big-ticket performers – Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and Queen of Funk Chaka Khan – would soon follow.
As the first woman inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Aretha Franklin has free reign to pretty much do whatever she wants on stage, and did just that. She’d open her mouth, and magic would pour out; graciously bestowing gifts like “(Your Love has Lifted me) Higher and Higher,” “Natural Woman,” “Think,” and “Something He Can Feel,” the 18-time Grammy winner who sang at President Obama’s inauguration was met with a respectful, hyper-attentive audience that contrasted the normal bustling-in-and-out-of-their-seats EMF crowd. Despite the fact that she would at times meander into telling stories and jokes, appropriating an audience-member’s fedora, complaining about the venue’s sound, and acknowledging friends of hers that were in the crowd by asking them to stand, Franklin’s lengthy 90-minute set was any music fan’s dream even that late in the evening.
While Franklin changed her wardrobe from an orange gown to a green and gold frock mid-performance, a presentation was held in her honor, giving Queen of Soul a key to the city of New Orleans by its mayor Mitch Landrieu, a state award by Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, and the Essence Power Award from Essence Communications President, Michelle Ebanks. Representing “entertainment, empowerment and elegance,” Franklin was clearly the ideal choice for this year’s awards, and once the Queen of Soul returned to the EMF stage, she performed crowd favorite “Chain of Fools,” sang from what she called “the book of Simon and Garfunkel,” performing a cover of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and even found time to pay tribute to the late and legendary Whitney Houston. “She was beautiful, she was warm, she was real,” recounted Franklin of her beloved “Christian sister” as she took to the piano to execute a rendition of Houston’s heart-wrenching “I Will Always Love You.”