by (@unclegrambo)

Sneak Preview: Kelly Clarkson Gets Sassy On VH1 Unplugged

Kelly Clarkson VH1 Unplugged

“Did I just do that [song] Erin Brockovich style?”

It’s just seconds after Kelly Clarkson has wrapped the first track of her five song VH1 Unplugged set when she peers down at her chest, wondering if one of her breasts managed to sneak its way out of her red bandage dress during her performance, just like what happened to the titular heroine of the film that won Julia Roberts an Academy Award back in 2000. Well, spoiler alert, it didn’t, but this near wardrobe malfunction gave Kelly the inspiration for some of the most playful between-song banter that we’ve heard in quite some time during the show’s taping in New York City earlier this afternoon.

VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson will be debuting exclusively on at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 17, which will be followed up the next night with the show’s on-air premiere. We don’t want to give too much about the show away at this juncture, as we’d rather you be able to experience it fresh through your own eyes and ears. That said, we will say this — Kelly looked positively radiant throughout her set, thanks in no small part to her smoky eyes, make-you-melt-in-your-boots eyelashes, sun-kissed hair and, of course, that stunning red bandage dress. As for her songs, well, let’s put it this way: Her setlist was comprised of some songs from her new record, Stronger, some old faves and a surprising cover. And her voice? Sure, it sounds positively fantastic on her studio recordings, but we will attest that it’s another thing entirely to be in the same room as her when she drops the hammer and belts out one of her patented power choruses. We’re talking CHILLS, palpable chills, when she kicks her voice into fifth gear.

Find out for yourself when VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson premieres on exactly three weeks from today on Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. ET.

[Photo: Pegah Rashti for @VH1]

by (@unclegrambo)

Concert Review: There’s No Need For Smartphones While Listening To The Warm, Rollicking Sounds Of Dawes

At the risk of sounding like a codger, the experience of going to see a concert live and in the flesh has diminished over the last few years, a time during which smart phones and digital cameras have become ubiquitous. Sure, audiences have always been easy to distract mid-concert—be that for beer, conversation, what-have-you—but over the last five years or so, the live concert experience has suffered because many members of the audience are too busy either taking crappy digital pictures or tweeting about the show instead of enjoying the vibes, mannnn.

I bring this up because at last night’s Dawes/Blitzen Trapper show at New York City’s Webster Hall, there were a surprising few number of people who experienced the show through a 4-inch handheld screen because they were, *gasp*, actually present in the moment! This kind of warm attentiveness is something that bands tend to react really positively to, and four gents of Dawes were no exception: Their rollicking, 90-minute(ish) set of “classic indie” songs went over like gangbusters with the demographically diverse audience last night, one that was a pleasant mix of hipsters in tight fitting plaid shirts, recently-graduated-yet-quickly-aging frat stars, bearded bros looking to kill time before next year’s Bonnaroo, and Lefsetz-reading Boomers.

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by (@kat_george)

Beyonce Invites Solange, J. Cole and Kelly Rowland To Her “Party”

Last night, Beyoncé‘s video for “Party” featuring J. Cole was released and there’s no use pretending that we’ve done anything else but watch it on repeat ever since. Taking productivity to an all time low and desire to party with Beyoncé vibes to an all time high, we’re swooning, head nodding and finger clicking along with Bey’s delectable, candy-colored, bling-adorned party scene. The retro-ghetto fab outfits, bare skin and constant jumpin’ jumpin’ of background party goers is a last glance back at summer, and a welcome escape from the mundaneness of everyday life.

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by (@kat_george)

Tuned In: The Civil Wars Bring Romance To Letterman

Last night on Letterman, VH1 You Oughta Know artist The Civil Wars took their unique brand of heartfelt romance to the stage to perform “Poison & Wine”. Pared back and romantic, the live performance saw the duo crooning under whimsical, dappled light. With a piano, a guitar and voices and their only instruments, the performance was stirring, melancholic, and almost heart breaking for anyone relating to the ups and downs of being in love (read: everyone).

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by (@unclegrambo)

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul On December 19 With Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson And More

Hot off the presses, we’ve got some exciting news to share with you! We’ve been able to convince an outstanding array of wildly talented vocalists, including Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J, to participate in the latest entry in our long-running series, VH1 DIVAS. This year’s theme will be VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, which will enable each of our performers to pay their respects to the cities where soul music originated and ultimately flourished, places like Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia. We’ll have more details on this amazing show in the coming days and weeks, but for now, here’s the full press release that just hit the wires.


VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul with Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + the Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J

VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul Pays Tribute to the Great Cities of Soul Music Including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia

The Roots Confirmed to Perform as House Band

Special will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1


NEW YORK – October 27, 2011 – VH1’s beloved, popular franchise, VH1 Divas, returns and will pay tribute to the cities where soul gave birth to music’s most powerful classics and inspired today’s divas. Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J will pay homage to these cities and soul music’s timeless classics at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul premieres Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT on VH1.

View Photo Gallery

The full press release continues below…

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by (@unclegrambo)

Sneak Peek: Nickelback, “When We Stand Together”

Next month, the Canadian rock quartet Nickelback will be releasing their first new studio album in over three years, Here And Now. We’ll be debuting the complete video for the first single off the album, “When We Stand Together,” on Big Morning Buzz Live next Wednesday, November 2. However, to whet your appetite, we were able to get our hands on this special 30-second sneak of the video that’s filled with more lens flares than a J.J. Abrams fever dream. And, we might be way off base here, but the combination of the magic hour footage, swaying wheat grass and majestic views in this video reminds us more than a little of the location where Spike Jonze shot Weezer‘s iconic “Island In The Sun” video. We’ll be sure to ask them if that is indeed the case when they swing by our offices here in Times Square later this week!

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by (@kat_george)

Last Lap: Fat Joe’s “Tales From The Darkside” Includes A Jaw-Dropping R. Kelly Story

Fat Joe Tells A Story About R. Kelly Beating People Up
If you can grasp what actually happened as Fat Joe recounts R. Kelly beating someone up between all the expletives and sound effects, let us know. Otherwise, it’s still pretty funny, if not worryingly inappropriate. [The Awl]

Odd Future’s Syd Remixes Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”
As if you didn’t already love Lana Del Rey enough, Odd Future have remixed her haunting track, “Blue Jeans.” Keeping with her grand, emotive sounds, Odd Future’s remix is just as good as the remix. [Pitchfork]

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by (@kat_george)

Be Relevant This Halloween: How To Dress As 2011′s Biggest Music Moments And Memes

Halloween is coming up and it’s time to start getting serious about costumes if you don’t want to be a sexy [insert noun here] or a regular-person-but-just-covered-in-blood-because-that’s-all-you-had-time-to-buy. This Halloween dare to be a little bit braver, a little more irreverent, and a little more clever with your costumes. That’s right folks — no more Lady Gaga get ups, lest you be deemed “like, sah 2010!” There’s a wealth of cultural reference at your disposal this year, with 2011 being renamed the Chinese Year Of The Meme (it hasn’t really, I just said that to get your attention). We’ve picked out some of our favourite musical memes of the year in the hopes that you’ll be inspired to trick yourself out in the spirit of a wickedly self-aware Halloween…


Why? Only the baby of hip-pop royalty Jay-Z and Beyoncé could become an Internet meme and every GIF aficionado’s wet dream before the little tyke is even born. Barely beyond conception, Baby Bey-Z hit the Internet harder than “Friday” (see below) and made “Pregoncé” a word faster than you can say, “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.” For Halloween, go as Pregoncé in the costume she wore at the VMAs earlier this year when she unleashed unveiled her newly rounded belly to the world.

How? We’ll start from the top down: first you need some crazy 70′s flicked blonde hair, wig it if you’re a brunette or a dude, and if you’re already blessed with the golden tresses, heat up those rollers, girl! Next you’ll need a white shirt (stuffed with a pillow, of course we don’t expect you to actually get pregnant) and black pants; easy. The sparkle blazer might be a bit harder. I suggest taking a cheap / second hand blazer, a can of spray on glue, a butt-load of glitter and having the absolute time of your life. Add some velcro to the inside of the blazer so it’s easy to rip open over the course of Halloween as you constantly re-enact the big reveal. Carry around a fake microphone so you can throw it down dramatically before you rub your belly emphatically and smile, smile, smile!

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by (@kat_george)

The Black Keys “Lonely Boy” First Listen Comes With The Greatest Dance Act Ever (Or, At Least, Of The Last Few Months)

Today the Black Keys announced the digital release of the first track from their forthcoming record El Camino, “Lonely Boy.” The new single is as raw and infectious as anything the Black Keys have ever produced, possessing that rare, uncanny quality that crawls under your skin, breathing life into otherwise inert parts of your body, making you move in ways that are both spectacular and completely organic. Which brings us to the video the Keys have offered along with the much anticipated first listen.

A meme-to-be from the moment it hit the Internet earlier this morning, this unofficial video features a single man against the banal, aesthetically dated background of what appears to be suburban office space not unlike the Dunder Mifflin mailroom. Dressed like your dad and bearing a passing resemblance to The Wire‘s Senator Clay Davis, the man becomes possessed by the beating drums and begins to move in a way that is completely matter-of-fact, like there could be no other possible way to react to the music pulsing around him. His movements are inspiring in their necessity, and we could watch him shake and pop all day long.

We’re thinking the Black Keys are about to go viral, and should hold onto this video and the mystery dancer because it’s high time Internet meme status was doled out based on quality rather than ridiculousness. “Lonely Boy” will be available on vinyl from November 25, and the full album will be out on all formats December 6.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Amy Winehouse’s Official Cause Of Death? Alcohol Poisoning

After months of speculation and gossip, a British coroner has today revealed that Amy Winehouse’s death was the result of alcohol poisoning. After the 27 year-old’s unexpected and sudden death back on July 23, many assumed that her passing was a result of an illegal drug overdose, and Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father, even went as far as to assert that her death was brought on by a drug and alcohol withdrawal-related seizure.

However, with this morning’s coroner’s report, we learn that Winehouse’s passing is being officially categorized in England as “death by misadventure.” (Interestingly enough, the 1969 death of original Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones—who, along with Winehouse, is a member of the infamous 27 Club—was also the result of “death by misadventure.”) Winehouse’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was an astronomical 0.416 (!), over five times the legal driving limit in London (0.08). Regardless of the manner in which she lost her life, the plain truth of the matter is that we lost Amy Winehouse far, far too soon. Rest in peace, Amy.

Amy Winehouse Died After Drinking Too Much Alcohol, Coroner Says [ArtsBeat/NYT]

[Photo: Getty Images]