After being together for almost fifteen years, indie rockers Death Cab For Cutie have seen their fair share of shows, festivals and venues. But until last night, frontman Ben Gibbard never felt it ?appropriate? to talk about their songs? inspiration, or more specifically, his intricate writing process. ?I?m still figuring it out for myself,? admitted the lead singer, figuratively scratching his head as he explained the varied characters and scenarios that have occupied Death Cab?s lyrics over the years. However, in front of our VH1 Storytellers production crew and a slew of psyched-up fans in a Los Angeles studio last night, Ben opened up and finally shared the band’s story in his own way, painting pictures with words, allowing us all to be transported back in time to shake hands with his vision.
Hailing from Bellingham, Washington, we learned that Death Cab For Cutie?s Ben, Nick, Chris and (then-drummer) Nathan moved to Seattle early in their career, and were initially frustrated by the hungry artist lifestyle. According to the stories he shared with us, eating humble pie was a ongoing fixture in Ben?s creative process: Being laughed at by a car full of girls on the highway for driving his 1992 ?couch on wheels? Buick Regal was part of Gibbard?s impetus for writing ?Title and Registration,? and the modesty the band faced in the Seattle transition — what they then considered to be ?the big city? — he found to be specifically trying. ?There are few things more demoralizing than groveling for a job that you don?t even want,? Ben stated plainly when articulating the origins for ?The Employment Pages,? a track off their second LP, We Have The Facts and We?re Voting Yes.
If you’re ever asked, “Hey, name me two great tastes that taste great together!”, chances are you’ll say something like “chocolate and peanut butter” or, if you’re a traditionalist, “peanut butter and jelly.” Well, it’s a little known fact that there’s another appropriate response to that line of questioning: headbangers and porn stars!
Both were on full display in Los Angeles last night, where hard rock’s elite and some of the finest denizens of the San Fernando Valley converged for the 3rd Annual Revolver Golden God Awards, which will air in the coming weeks on VH1 Classic. Host Chris Jericho, who you’ll recognize as a familiar talking head on VH1 (in addition to being a singer and wrestler), presided over the raucous affair, which hosted performances by recent RRHOF inductee Alice Cooper, Sebastian Bach, former Guns N’ Roses bassist (and Playboy’s current financial columnist!) Duff McKagan, and more. Meanwhile, the red carpet was a metalhead’s dream come true: Celebrity Rehab 2 alum Steven Adler, Motley Crue, Dave Navarro and more crossed paths with adult film stars like Jenna Haze and Sasha Grey. And yes, as promised in the headline, William Shatner made an appearance, too!
If you?re a fan of music, you know very well that the music industry can sometimes serve up one-dimensional talent. Vocalists. Songwriters. Producers. Entertainers. The ?flavor-of-the-week.? They excel at one thing very well, and God bless ‘em, they make an exceptional living doing so. However, as Cee Lo Green soared through his body of musical work during last night?s VH1 Storytellers taping at Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles, it became clear to us (as well as a room full of diehard fans) that his talents are much more multi-faceted than your run-of-the-mill chart-topper. Donning a white shirt covered in sparkles, and surrounded by a kick-ass, all-female band, the man of the hour actively did what he does best: connect with his audience.
Visibly excited, Cee Lo?s carefully-planned set allowed him to present his stories with true richness and delicate authenticity. And it makes sense; since the inception of his career, Green?s song-writing has been deeply rooted in his personal life, reflecting everything from his spiritual beliefs to whimsical sexual quips to torturous anguish. Starting his narrative somewhat chronologically, Cee Lo journeyed back to his Dungeon Family roots, bringing out Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo — fellow members of his early career group, Goodie Mob — to perform. Together, they disclosed detailed and passionate song inspirations, nodded at their career?s humble beginnings, and (ZOMG!) announced the group?s forthcoming reunion.
UPDATE #2 (5:48pm): Dave Itzkoff of the New York Timesreports on Twitter: “BREAKING! Weird @alyankovic’s manager tells me @ladygaga has now given permission for “Perform This Way” to be included on his album.” Score one for the nerds (like us)!
UPDATE (5:35pm): To quote The Dude (which is entirely appropriate on 4/20), “New s**t has come to light, man!” After the jump, we’ll explain how this whole situation might (or might not!) be one big misunderstanding…
The Soundscan numbers are in, and though sales of Adele‘s sophomore album 21 aren’t slowing, the Foo Fighters‘ new album Wasting Light sold stronger, taking the top spot on the Billboard 200 this week.
Does this mark a loss of interest in Adele’s record? Not necessarily. Read more…
Two weeks ago, our sister site, The Fab Life, counted down the Top 25 Fictional Stoners in Cinematic History. Of course, it’s a lot easier to be famous for using an illegal substance if you’re not real. So we thought for 4/20 we’d honor (or at least acknowledge) some of today’s most vocal pro-marijuana musicians.
Khalifa’s big hit may be “Black and Yellow,” but he’s been pretty busy using much of the money, attention, and goodwill he gained from that song to rap about weed (though not, surprisingly, on his newest single “Roll Up”). His newest album is even called Rolling Papers. When even “The Lonely Stoner,” Kid Cudi, has given up marijuana, Wiz is holding fast, even writing a sidebar for Rolling Stone‘s Best of Rock 2011 issue, feting OG Kush as “Best Weed.”
The Iggy Pop action figure spotted by MTV News at Toy Fair in February is finally available to pre-order (though Toys ‘R’ Us quicky pulled the item’s online listing after a number of fake “product reviews” featuring Stooges puns popped up). Unlike the other action figures in NECA’s “Music Icons” series, Iggy Pop’s figure is designed after his 2011 self, rather than a particularly “iconic” look from the past, like the circa-1975 Jimmy Page figure.
Then again, maybe Iggy Pop’s current look is his iconic look. In the first place, “jeans and shirtless” has been his standard for decades. And granted, he turns 64 on Thursday, but a long-kicked heroin addiction gave him his physique long before age ever had an opportunity. Remember the “Candy” video?
Of course, even at his age, the real Iggy Pop has a few more points of articulation than the scale replica.