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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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by (@unclegrambo)

Video Evidence Of Madonna And Nicki Minaj’s Long-Rumored Kiss Finally Surfaces

The Internet nearly melted back on December 8th when Nicki Minaj tweeted “OH MY f’ingggg Gahhhh!!!!! MADONNA jus kissed me!!!!! On the lips!!!!!!! It felt sooooo good. Soooo soft!!!! *passes out* aaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!” (For those of you keeping score at home, that was 30 exclamation points.)

Immediately, horndogs the world over had visions of girl-on-girl kisses dancing in their head. Would Madge’s lip-lock with Nicki Minaj rival her Frenching of Britney Spears? Would it be a disappointment like her brief peck with Christina Aguilera? Or would it be something even, well, hotter?

Well, until yesterday, the kiss was the stuff of legends, like Sasquatch doing a tonguesploration of the Loch Ness Monster. However, in what we’re sure was simply coincidence, video of Madonna’s smooch of Minaj surfaced ON THE VERY SAME DAY that MDNA hit stores. So, dear reader, we ask of you:

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by (@unclegrambo)

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Gavin DeGraw Talks Some Jive Behind The Scenes At Dancing With The Stars

Anybody who knows Gavin DeGraw knows he’s a real wild child, which is why his choice to dance the jive with his partner Karina Smirnoff to “Wild One” last night on Dancing With The Stars was an inspired choice. His outfit was an homage to Marlon Brando‘s from the 1953 film The Wild One, but his moves were way more footloose and fancy-free than Brando was ever able to pull off. The judges seem to concur as well, particularly Len Goodman, who told him “I liked your attitude, I liked the energy you came out with, and for me, this is an improvement on last week.” Gavin and Karina’s score of 21 tied the couple for 8th place out of the 12 remaining competitors, which would seemingly put them out of the woods. But, in order to make sure, be sure to vote for Gavin!

Above, we’ve got the second exclusive report that Gavin Degraw has filed from backstage at Dancing With The Stars. He doesn’t seem nearly as concerned with being eliminated as he does at having to go back home to New York City and cleaning his apartment, which is definitely something that we can identify with. Best of luck to Gavin and Karina, here’s hoping they advance to Week 3!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Concert Review: Teeth & Tongue Beguiles A Small But Fervent Crowd In New York City

Have you ever seen a concert that’s been put on by a single person? No, by that we don’t mean a “solo artist,” someone who’s got a bassist, a drummer, and a roadie or two to get their guitars tuned for them in between songs while they preen behind the mic. We mean someone who, quite literally, stands up on stage all by their lonesome, setting up their instruments and pedals, then performing with nary another individual on stage, then tearing it all down at the end of a set. It’s an incredibly vulnerable position to be in, both as a performer and as an audience member, and a stark and intimate way to take in a performance.

We mention all this because we caught Teeth & Tongue‘s set at Piano’s in New York’s Lower East Side last night, one in which she performed all the duties mentioned above, PLUS playing the keyboard, drum machine and the guitar. Teeth & Tongue is the musical project of 31-year-old Jess Cornelius, who hails from Melbourne, Australia and is currently wrapping up her current North American tour. We caught a few minutes of her set at the 2012 SXSW Music Festival a few weeks back, which was intriguing enough to get us to brave the crisp chill in the air last night to see her showcase her talents.

Teeth & Tongue has a beguiling, sultry sound, one that to this listener lies somewhere between Cat Power and Bat For Lashes. She’s got a real knack for setting the scene in her songwriting, and has a novelist’s gift for conveying the kind of minute details in her lyrics that really put the listener in her head space. Take her confessional breakup song “Unfamiliar Skirts”, for example, a song that’s ostensibly about a couple that’s on one of those ill-fated “breaks.” It contains emotionally raw lyrics like “They all have long eyelashes that drink compliments like dew” and “You can seek forgiveness in their muscles and their thighs,” phrases that read like poetry and take on a heartbreaking quality when paired with her expressive voice and feedback-laden guitar accents. Check out what we mean in this video for the song, her first single off Tambourine (now available on Spotify), her second full-length album.

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