Yesterday marked the release of Within and Without, the debut LP from Georgia’s Washed Out, and it’s gotten rave reviews from Brandon Soderberg at Pitchfork (who gave it their “Best New Music” moniker) and Andy Beta at Spin, who in their sub-headline called the album “Lush chillwave for people who can’t stand chillwave.” Washed Out is not about to top the charts with this album, but its release more or less marks the second anniversary of chillwave, a joke name that stuck for a genre that, for the moment, isn’t going anywhere. So, what do we talk about when we talk about chillwave?
Only Katy Perry could make planking controversial. At about 1:45AM ET she posted the twitpic above of herself dressed as a mermaid, ostensibly on some sort of set, in this tweet:
In less than an hour, the TwitPic’s comments were swarmed by angry Gaga fans. Remember Lady Gaga’s “Yuyi the Mermaid” character from
“Edge of Glory” her next single? How could Katy copy Gaga, these fans wonder, generally by tweeting the hashtag #KatyCopyGaga (and, not infrequently, referring to Perry as a b?ch). Pastiche is an essential part of pop iconography, and Gaga herself has been accused of much more specific and serious appropriation, but try telling that to her superfans.
Gaga is an expert at directing her fanbase, whether for self-promotion or the “Get Well” video for Clarence Clemons. This independent call to arms (call to paws?) among Little Monsters, ostensibly acting on Gaga’s behalf, is hardly different from, say, hacking Amy Winehouse’s website. Apparently, this is what happens when you (appear to) copy a singer on the Internet.
Either Beyonc?‘s father Mathew Knowles is getting sandbagged by Live Nation, or else he just made the most colossal publicity mistake of his life. According to legal papers obtained by TMZ, Live Nation claimed to Beyonc? that her father had, as her manager, stolen money from the artist. An audit conducted by Beyonc?’s legal team corroborated Live Nation’s claim. This resulted in Knowles’s dismissal (replaced by a Live Nation employee!) just prior to a potentially profitable tour. Knowles’s legal filing requests depositions from Live Nation employees to determine how the company concluded that he was claiming an unlawful share of Beyonc?’s income.
Lenny Kravitz flexes his acting muscles (perhaps in preparation for his role as Cinna in The Hunger Games) in the new video for “Stand,” which premieres Thursday at 12 p.m. ET on VH1. In the sneak peak above, he appears as the host of a Let’s Make a Deal homage called “Run for Your Money,” as well as both the drummer and the vocalist of the Run for Your Money Band. The clip recalls the eight Andr? 3000s of The Love Below in “Hey Ya”, but unlike that video, and other homages to the Beatles‘ American television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show (like Nirvana‘s “Lithium”), this clip’s aesthetic is gonzo-seventies, not mod-sixties. That’s enough to make us very excited to see the rest of the video.
While we wait for tomorrow’s premiere, we’re going to listen to the song thanks to the lyric video embedded below, and try to decide which costumed contestant is our favorite. (Right now we’re going with American flag-night sky motorcycle-helmet dude in the bottom right, but there are so many good options.)
TMZ is reporting that Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the famed Gen X television staples The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, passed away earlier today at the age of 94. It’s fair to say that those shows have two of the most recognizable and memorable theme songs in the history of television medium, and Schwartz (pictured above being kissed by Florence “Carol Brady” Henderson and Dawn “Mary-Ann” Wells) had songwriting credits on both of them! If there were a Hall of Fame for this sort of thing (and, frankly, it’s a shame that there isn’t), Schwartz would be a shoo-in to be inducted on the first ballot.
Of course, network television shows these days rarely utilize minute-long theme songs during their credit sequences as a way to ease viewers into the world that their characters occupy, mainly because that is time that the suits would rather sell to advertisers and the showrunners desperately need to develop their plotlines. However, at the time when Schwartz rose to prominence, the medium was still emerging from its primordial ooze stage, and theme songs were a handy narrative device carried over from the days of radio serials. To write just one of these legendary theme songs would surely place Schwartz in rare company, but to have TWO of them to his credit is just plain bonkers. Guess this means that Alan Thicke –yes, THAT Alan Thicke, the dad from Growing Pains, but also the same guy who is credited with writing the theme songs for The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes– is responsible for carrying the TV theme song torch from here on out. Rest in peace, Sherwood.
Here’s the theme song for the Brady Bunch; bet you know every word by heart!
And here’s Gilligan’s Island…
As we parallel park into July and officially hit the curb of this year’s halfway point, it’s time to take a quick look back at what the past six months have taught us. Not conventional life lessons, however; we’re talking about stuff that’s a little bit less intense and also involves YOU! That’s right, in the first installment of our Top 100 Videos of 2011… So Far, we’re spilling the beans on the #100-51 most clicked-and-viewed videos on VH1.com. You’ll see that this pi?ata-like list of content contains tasty treats and slippery surprises alike! We’ve got brand-new videos that just recently launched, some VH1 Classic leaning clips (hey there, Megadeth), repeat offenders, and of course, effervescent, essential vids from the music video cannon. So take a look at the first fifty videos below and don’t forget to come back later this week as we continue on our quest to discover what artist snags the #1 spot!
100. Jack Johnson, “From The Clouds”
99. Chris Brown, “Deuces”
98. Ke$ha, “Tik Tok”
97. Bruno Mars, “The Other Side”
96. Beyonc?, “Video Phone (Extended Remix)”
95. Usher, “OMG”
94. B.o.B, “Airplanes”
93. Taylor Swift, “Mine”
92. Sara Bareilles, “King Of Anything”
91. John Legend & The Roots, “Wake Up Everybody”
Joss Stone‘s website proclaims that her forthcoming LP1 is “the first album Joss has recorded with total creative freedom.” Her fans needn’t worry, though; Stone’s newfound freedom is directed into another album of blues-rock soul, if last night’s performance of “Karma” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is any indication. She was joined by Eurythmics cofounder Dave Stewart, who co-produced LP1 and who, with Stone, comprises 40% of Mick Jagger‘s supergroup SuperHeavy.
“Karma” is the latest entry in the long and proud tradition of female vocalists’ wronged-lover songs, though despite Stone’s soul chops, it’s guitar-heavy and horn-free. Perhaps it’s more inspired by country’s takes on the theme, albeit with much less anger than, say, Carrie Underwood‘s “Before He Cheats” or Miranda Lambert‘s “Gunpowder and Lead.” LP1 was, after all, recorded in Nashville. Stone’s narrator does wield a loaded gun, though, so who knows?
Elsewhere on late night?
Black Eyed Peas Turn Themselves Into Split Peas
During a concert performance in England, will.i.am, Fergie and the other two guys told the crowd that the show was going to be the “last time we’re going to be in England for a long time”; they later expanded on that statement by announcing that they are taking an “indefinite break” from making music together. Sadly, this probably means that you are likely to see will.i.am once again appearing as a hologram on a television near you imminently. [HuffPo]
“Big Baseball Player Back In High School” From Springsteen’s “Glory Days” Identified
His name’s Joe DePugh, and he tried out for the Dodgers. He would probably amend his assessment about his glory days passing him by if asked today. [New York Times]
When Matthew Morrison stopped by VH1 to appear on Big Morning Buzz Live to promote his eponymous debut album back in May, we knew the Glee actor and solo artist would be a perfect subject for our Music Seen feature. As it turned out, his day was too jam-packed for him to explicitly show off his style to VH1 photographer Jen Marigliano, but these photos give a pretty good look anyway, as Morrison travels from BMBL to a VH1 Save the Music press conference to an interview with The Insider to a soundcheck and performance at the Hard Rock Caf?. That’s a lot of work?and a lot of wardrobe changes?without leaving Times Square. Our thanks to Morrison for being such a great sport.