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Tuned In: Gillian Welch Pulls No Punches On Conan With “That’s The Way It Goes”

Tuesday was apparently bluegrass night on the late-show circuit; two of the three new musical performances were Americana-inspired. While we were wowed by the finger-picking of Jonny Mizzone?at eight, the youngest of the three New Jersey brothers that comprise the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys?on the Late Show rendition of Earl Scruggs‘s “Flint Hill Special,” it’s no more or less charming than the YouTube performance of the same song that went viral a couple months ago.

Gillian Welch, then, was the highlight of the night, debuting “That’s the Way It Goes,” from her new album The Harrow and the Harvest, on Conan. Welch, who won two Contemporary Folk Grammys before contributing to 2002′s wildly successful O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, has gained a much wider audience in the intervening years despite no new studio recordings since 2003′s Soul Journey. (Among her fans: The Civil Wars. In a recent Posted update, Jon Paul White showed off two Gillian Welch CDs he’d purchased at Amoeba Records in Hollywood, and Joy Williams clapped approvingly.) If the rest of The Harrow and the Harvest is as strong as last night’s performance of “That’s the Way It Goes,” it will have been worth the weight.

Elsewhere on late night?
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by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds & Ends In Music News

LADY GAGA DRESSES UP LIKE A PANDA ON JAPANESE TELEVISION
Of course she did! The only controversy here seems to be whether or not she should be called Gagapanda or PandaGaga. [Buzzfeed via Natasha VC]

EVERY BEYONCÉ SINGLE EVER, COUNTED DOWN
In honor of today’s release of Beyoncé’s 4, our good friends over at Popdust put together this comprehensive countdown of every single that Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child. We won’t spoil their #1 pick for you, but we will tell you that neither of the singles that have been released from this album thus far (“Best Thing I Never Had,” “Run The World (Girls)”) cracked their Top Ten. [Popdust]

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Turntable.fm Adds Social Element To Pandora-Style Streaming … But Can It Last?

Looking for a Pandora-style music streaming service that’s curated by your friends instead of an algorithm? Or want to help DJ your own station? That’s the idea behind turntable.fm, a startup that went viral two weeks ago. The site is open to any user who has a Facebook friend who’s a member. Join a “room” (popular ones include Coding Soundtrack and Indie While You Work), and listen to songs uploaded to the site, or selected from its database, by one of up to five “DJs,” whose songs play one at a time, consecutively by DJ.

Users hoping to play more than one song in a row, like the curated playlists of Muxtape, are out of luck, as turntable.fm is trying to position its legality in terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (as Pandora does). This is also why a user, alone in a room, can only play a thirty-second preview of a song. These measures may not be enough to protect the site from litigation, though, especially if private rooms continue to be allowed.

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by (@unclegrambo)

It’s Time To Ask Lenny Kravitz Anything!

Last month, we brought Jordan Knight into our offices and invited you to Ask Him Anything. By all accounts, that experiment went extremely well, and most of you did not abuse the privilege. (Those of you that did, though –and you know who you are!– have been forgiven.)

Well, great news! We’re doing Ask Me Anything again now, but this time the subject will be the multi-talented musician/model/actor/raconteur Lenny Kravitz, whose new album, Black And White America, comes out on August 30. And, in case you didn’t play this game the first time around, we really mean it when we say you can Ask Lenny Kravitz Anything! Wondering if he kept the dreadlocks he shaved off (and if he can send them to you)? You should ask! Curious as to whether he’s a boxers, briefs or commando kind of guy? You should ask! Have you always been interested in learning how he divvys up his 401(k)? Now’s the time to ask, partner.

So, how do you ask? Well, there?s a few ways. You can leave a comment below, or you can tweet @vh1 with the hashtag #askmeanything. We?ll compile as many questions as we receive BY THIS THURSDAY MORNING (6/30/11) and do our best to get Lenny to answer them all. Remember, you can Ask Lenny Kravitz Anything, so make your questions as crazy or funny as you possible. The only limit is your imagination!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Rapper C.I.* Joe, AKA The Man On The Pole, Has A History Of Crazy Public Behavior

C.I. Joe from Greg S. on Vimeo.

Earlier today, Brooklyn rapper C.I.* Joe –real name Raymond Velasquez, AKA Coney Island Joe– caused a major scene in Times Square when he climbed atop a light pole and refused to come down. The stunt landed him a quick trip to Bellevue Mental Hospital, and will likely see him charged by the NYPD, but it also landed him an offer to work with Grammy winning producer Jim Jonsin.

However, it turns out that this morning’s Times Square stunt is not C.I.* Joe’s first run-in with authorities. According to some (*cough* extremely crappy *cough*) video posted to C.I.* Joe’s MySpace page, he interrupted BET’s 106 & Park in April of 2010, and also the CBS Early Show in December of 2010, both times as a way of trying to promote his rap career. Speaking of which, we’ve got his video, “Warriors,” for you above. We’ll let you judge for yourself as to whether his future as a rapper is strong enough that it will make his trip to Bellevue worthwhile.

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Christina Aguilera: The Voice “Inspired” Me


 
Last week on NBC’s The Voice, Maroon 5 premiered “Moves Like Jagger,” a new single featuring Christina Aguilera that creeped its way onto our Song Of The Summer chart this week. The collaboration may have seemed inorganic or (dare we say it) promotional on paper, but on record, the song is certainly on par with the rest of Maroon 5′s catalog. Aguilera now says, in the above interview with Rolling Stone, that she will take her experiences on The Voice into the studio with her when she records her latest album.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Grammy Winning Producer Jim Jonsin Offers To “Make A Beat” For Times Square’s Man On The Pole

For a short period of time this morning, the hashtag #manonthepole was a trending topic on Twitter. You see, some (currently unnamed) guy 34-year old Brooklyn rapper Raymond Velasquez (aka CI Joe) decided a good way to get some attention would be to climb a light pole in the heart of Times Square and refuse to come down. And you know what? His gambit worked!

Well, that man is currently in police custody, but that doesn’t mean that his fifteen minutes of fame are quite over yet. Sure, there will be the obligatory press conference when he’s released later today, and of course there will be some punny New York Post headline to come tomorrow (Pole Dancer, perhaps?), but if the Man On The Pole has any ambitions at pursuing a music career, he need only get in touch with Grammy winning producer Jim Jonsin.

Jonsin, who took home a Grammy for his work on Lil Wayne‘s “Lollipop” in 2009, happened to be in Times Square this morning and offered to “make [the Man On The Pole] a beat if he gets down [from the pole].” Apparently, the Man On The Pole had been freestyling while 20 feet above the ground in Times Square (paging Chiddy Bang!) and, at one point, handed the cops one of his CDs. So, assuming that the Man On The Pole can put up some bail money to spring himself from the pokey, his first order of business really should be to give Jonsin a call to see if he’ll make good on his word.

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Music Seen: Raphael Saadiq Takes On His Album Release Date In Style (PHOTOS)

Raphael Saadiq is one well-dressed gentleman?and a crucial part of the effortless cool he radiated when he appeared on Big Morning Buzz Live last month to promote his new album Stone Rollin’. VH1 Photographer Zev Schmitz followed Saadiq all day, and got some great pictures of the Bay Area multi-instrumentalist on BMBL, recording an VH1 Top 20 Live set, sound-checking (and later performing) at Webster Hall, showing off his look (and tattoos) a bit, and generally staring down release-date jitters. He needn’t have worried?the album would go on to chart better than any of his previous solo records.


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Tuned In: An Earnest Ke$ha Thrills Conan‘s Concert Crowd

Ke$ha and Conan are a perfect fit. For evidence, witness her off-the-wall interview last month. So it was only natural that the young pop star inaugurated Conan‘s Summer Concert Series with a three-song set (two of which made the air). After a march-to-war rendition of “Blow”, she performed the non-single title track of her debut album Animal. Ke$ha is always an extremely earnest performer, even when she’s doing cartwheels onstage (which, sadly, she didn’t on Conan). This particularly suited “Animal,” which probably would have been a single, except it couldn’t quite follow up the irreverent tone of “Tik Tok.”

The other problem with “Animal,” and the other songs Ke$ha really sings, as opposed to rapping, is that she can sometimes sound like an annoying Alanis Morissette impersonator. Last night, either she intentionally tried to avoid that, or else “Blow” left her voice just rough enough to prevent it anyway. Regardless, she sounded really great.

Also worth checking out from last night: Lloyd‘s performance of “Cupid” on Lopez Tonight. Maybe he was intentionally booked to match up to the music of Lopez’s lead-in; maybe it just happened to be a good night for music on TBS. Either way, he sounded fantastic, and his early-nineties-inflected R&B may, given 2011′s pop trends, finally get the moment it deserves.

Elsewhere on late night?
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by (@unclegrambo)

Exclusive: First Look At The New Pop Up Video Logo

A little over a month ago, we announced that Pop Up Video would be making its long awaited return to the VH1 airwaves this fall. While we’re still waiting on an official premiere date from our friends in programming, we thought that we would share this with you guys: It’s the updated Pop Up Video logo!

Since we just did you guys a solid, maybe now you can do us one in return? Check out our brand new Pop Up Video Facebook page and, if you like what you see, feel free to “Like” us! Also, we’ll be using our Facebook presence as a way to get valuable (and, hopefully, hilarious!) content from you guys, the viewers, that we may end up including in the show itself. Just yesterday, we began working on our treatment for Britney Spears’ “Till The World Ends” by asking our fans “If the world ended tomorrow, I would _________ [fill in the blank].” Leave a comment and your reply just might end up on TV!

To help get you in the spirit, check out our old Pop Up treatment of Madonna‘s “Vogue” below (if you want more, check out this playlist, which also includes George Michael‘s “I Want Your Sex,” Paula Abdul‘s “Straight Up” and more):