Storytellers: Cee Lo Green airs this Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/PT, but we’ve got the perfect sneak peek: Cee Lo‘s rocking performance of his “working-class hero” party single, “Bright Lights, Bigger City,” from 2010′s The Lady Killer. (Don’t worry, the story is in there?he tells it after the performance.) Rolling Stone is also excited for the Friday premiere. Read more…
The Lonely Island‘s Turtleneck and Chain came closest, at #3, but none of this past week’s album releases posed a real challenge to the continued chart dominance of Adele. Her 21 is #1 for the eighth of its twelve weeks on the chart, thanks in part to the continued success of “Rolling in the Deep,” which itself finally hit #1 on the Hot 100 last week after 17 weeks climbing the chart. Not even Lady Gaga‘s “Edge of Glory” (in at #2) could topple it this week. In its second chart week, Now 38 also outsold Turtleneck and Chain. Christina Perri‘s and Tyler, the Creator‘s debut LPs round out the top five.
Aside from the one-two punch of Adele and Lady Gaga, the top of the singles chart is mostly full of songs that have peaked but remain popular (excepting Pitbull‘s “Give Me Everything” and the Black Eyed Peas‘ “Just Can’t Get Enough”). And the two women are likely to continue to battle for the top of the chart, especially once Born This Way is released. So the bump in digital sales that has temporarily boosted the industry is largely due to the success of female artists, as Chris Molanphy explained last week for the Village Voice‘s Sound of the City blog.
Welcome to the future: “Electric Chapel,” another new song from Lady Gaga‘s impending Born This Way is available?but only if you play the Gaga-themed FarmVille spinoff, GagaVille (or “find” it from someone who has). Meanwhile, if you play the word “CHAPEL” in a game of Words with Friends, you will be entered to win a Lady Gaga sweepstakes. It’s all part of a bizarre promotion that teams Gaga, Clear Channel, and Facebook- and smartphone-game developers Zynga:
Players who execute Gaga-themed quests in GagaVille will unlock the iHeartRadio player, enabling them to stream songs from ?Born This Way? exclusively in FarmVille, which they will hear before anyone else.
How did we get to this point? Born This Way will be released in five days, but it feels like we’ve been waiting FOREVER for it, thanks mainly to the relentless Gaga hype machine. Of course, some of the marketing of this project has been straightforward, or typical, or even accidental. But some of it has been completely bizarre! Here’s our look back at the ups and downs of the Born This Way promotional cycle —which kicked off way back on June 21, 2010— and our levels of annoyance with her promotional tactics, measured by our new creation, the Gaga-Mometer™.
Our friends over at Stereogum alerted us to the fact that Death Cab for Cutie appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon yesterday to promote the May 31st release of their seventh studio album, Codes and Keys. Their taped television performance of single “You Are a Tourist” probably felt like the easiest thing in the world after the live, one-take taping of the ambitious music video. Multi-instrumentalist Chris Walla is particularly assured in this performance?perhaps because over the fourteen years Death Cab for Cutie have been a band, he?s learned to become not just a player, but a performer, or perhaps just because his vocals were louder than usual in the mix. Either way, it was a treat.
For their online-only performance (streamable below) the band reached deep into their back catalog for “Title Track” from 2000′s We Have the Facts and We’re Voting Yes. Don’t forget to check out our preview of the band’s appearance on Storytellers, and tune in to VH1 for the entire performance on Friday, May 27 at 11pm ET/PT.
When we told you that You Oughta Know artist Lissie had come to VH1 to play a You Oughta Know Live set, we hinted that she included one of her reworked covers, like maybe Metallica‘s “Nothing Else Matters” or Kid Cudi‘s “Pursuit of Happiness,” into her set. However, it wasn’t either of those songs that she actually performed. Rather, it was her subdued yet emotional take on Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance” that made the cut. Backed by lead guitarist Eric Sullivan and bassist Lewis Keller (with a three-piece drumset he played with foot pedals), Lissie powered through a four-song set, led by her single “When I’m Alone.” Watch “Bad Romance” above, and check out the whole set exclusively on VH1.com.
Being different isn?t always a bad thing. In fact, it can sometimes serve to enhance the ordinary, making bland beautiful and transforming simple into sensational. Following in the footsteps of this season?s previous performers My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon, Cee Lo Green, Death Cab For Cutie, and Maxwell, folk singer/songwriter Ray LaMontagne took his honey-coated vocal chords to the VH1 Storytellers stage last Thursday night at Metropolis Studios in uptown Manhattan, delivering what can only be described as a bizarre-but-compelling performance. As an artist recognized for being deeply, deeply introverted, the very-serious LaMontagne was forced to come out of his shell before our very eyes, and although it admittedly took a minute for him to bust out of his comfort cocoon, the transition was well-worth the wait.
You Oughta Know artists The Civil Wars may not have been hand-selected by Adele to open her United States shows, but they’ve wasted no time winning her over. The chart-topping British singer gushed about the duo on her blog: “If you’re coming to any of the shows on this trip make sure you get there early to see them. I’ve never been so blown away.” She joins fellow superfan Taylor Swift, who has tweeted about the band, seen them live, and included “Poison and Wine” (also Adele’s favorite track) in a playlist for iTunes.
The often misogynistic, homophobic combativeness of rap collective Odd Future continues to vex critics and artists alike. On Friday afternoon, Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara harshly castigated those who would praise Tyler, the Creator and/or misogynistic/homophobic music in general. Her short manifesto hints at a breadth and depth of thought on the subject of problematic art, as well as her own history in the music industry, though she unpacks little of what she suggests. She is particularly (and not necessarily unfairly) critical of what she sees as hypocrisy in the indie rock community (which, as Dr. Wendy Fonarow has argued, esteems itself as particularly forward-thinking): “The more I think about it, the more I think people don?t actually want to go up against this particular bully because he?s popular. Who sticks up for women and gay people now? It seems entirely uncool to do so in the indie rock world, and I?ll argue that point with ANYONE.” She also touches on issues that often get elided in these communities?those of race and of class (although her essay’s oblique implications about Odd Future’s class standing are belied by their fairly suburban upbringing).
Sad news to pass along on this gloomy Monday morning. TMZ is reporting that M-Bone —one of the members of Cali Swag District— the band that taught us all how to Dougie, was killed in Los Angeles last night. According to law enforcement officials, M-Bone (real name: Montae Talbert) was standing in front of his car outside of a liquor store when he was gunned down during what appears to be a drive-by shooting. Cali Swag District leader C-Smoove tweeted a few hours ago, “Ma life changed drastically in the. Blink of an eye rip mbone.” He was 22 years old.
Throughout its eclectic fifteen-year run, the majority of VH1 Storytellers??episodes have been shot in sound stages in either New York City or Los Angeles. While we certainly are adept at capturing your favorite star-songwriters and musicians in their purest creative form, it?s almost unheard of that we do so on the artist?s home turf. That, my friends, is yet another reason why this season?s Storytellers premiere is SO exciting; taped in Nashville where the band actually lives, Kings Of Leon were able deliver a performance tailored for their adoring local fans. But rest assured: you don?t have to LIVE in Nashville to get a piece of the
pie action. During our journey down South to cover KOL?s regal Storytellers taping last month, we sat down with the band and decided to do a little recon of our own, all in hopes of serving up a few enticing slivers of information for all you KOL fans to sink your teeth into.
Curious as to why we’re using so much food-related imagery?! Well, we?ve already given you a behind the scenes glimpse at the band?s Storytellers shoot, and all week we’ve been releasing clips from the show that airs TONIGHT at 11 p.m. ET/PT. But what we haven?t sent your way yet is Kings Of Leon?s personal list of restaurants and bars that they themselves frequent in Music City. That?s right, we’re psyched to present to you Fare Fit For A King: The Ultimate Nashville City Guide.
Follow along for pictures and descriptions of the places where the Followill brothers ?Caleb, Nathan, Jared and Matthew? like to get their grub on when they’re not on the road.