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by (@unclegrambo)

Over-Analyzing Taylor Swift’s Decision To Cover “White Blank Page” By Mumford & Sons

Listening to Taylor Swift’s catalog is, as she has admitted on numerous occasions, akin to reading her diary. Considering her stance as a confessional songwriter and performer, we feel inclined to believe that her decision to cover “White Blank Page” by Mumford & Sons during a recent visit to (the quite comely) Fearne Cotton’s BBC Radio-1 program wasn’t made willy-nilly.

So, what was it about the song by the upcoming Unplugged artists that appealed to Swift? If you’ll allow us to (wildly) speculate for a minute, perhaps it had something to do with the song’s strong sexual and religious undertones? One potential reading of “White Blank Page” is that it’s written from the perspective of someone whose religious beliefs strongly encourage them not to have sex before marriage (“Can you kneel before the King and say I’m clean, I’m clean?”), which clearly amounted to be a dealbreaker between of the lady that the song addresses and the song’s narrator. Which, if you’ve ever heard Swift’s “Dear John,” seems like something Swift can readily identify with.

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STOMP Perform “Cecilia” on Fallon…but Wait! Here Comes Rhymin’ Simon

Paul Simon surprised viewers of last night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon when he joined percussive dance troupe STOMP for a striking rendition of his and Art Garfunkel’s 1970 single, “Cecilia.” In retrospect, the collaboration was obvious, as STOMP is perhaps uniquely suited to replicate the peculiar rhythmic charm of the original track. And the performance, to put it plainly, killed.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has emerged as the unlikely music leader in the late-night talk show game, hiring “the legendary Roots crew,” as Fallon puts it, as the show’s house band, and casting a net wide enough to include 90s DC indie-rock stalwarts Jawbox (reuniting only for the show), yacht-rocker extraordinaire Christopher Cross (with special guest Michael McDonald), teenage-riot horrorcore rappers Odd Future, and incomparable new jack swingers Bell Biv DeVoe, among others. Largely, this is thanks to the show’s music bookers (and their bosses, who give them lots of freedom).

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“Till the World Ends”—Or, At Least, The Party

Ray Kay’s video for the new Britney Spears single, “Till the World Ends,” can’t seem to decide whether it’s about the end of the world, or just a hyper-exclusive, (literally) underground New Year’s Eve party.

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Of course, today’s uncertain economic times have led to a resurgence of apocalyptic-fantasy dance party songs and videos unmatched since the AIDS crisis, nuclear-scare, Reagonomic-nightmare mid-1980s. The Mayans may have provided a handy day-and-date marker, but the fear is all-American. So it’s unsurprising that tonight, Britney’s gonna party like it’s 2012.

brit-world-flashgordonBejeweled Flash Gordon jumpsuit plus half-length flak jacket? Genius.

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“You Are a Tourist” Comes Alive

Death Cab for Cutie‘s highly ambitious single-take live shoot went off relatively smoothly last night?and the video itself turned out pretty great, too. Lead singer Ben Gibbard referenced Busby Berkeley in his interview with MTV News, but the legendary choreographer’s name has come to be associated with nearly any sort of complicated group dance sequence, so it was a delight to see direct references to the pop modernism of his Warner Brothers musicals.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Kings of Leon Take The Stage In Nashville For Storytellers

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As a group known for keeping their personal lives close to the vest, it was a true treat to have Kings of Leon open up to our VH1 cameras last night in Franklin, Tennessee. Privy to an intimate performance that revealed the band – ??s versatile character, the audience did NOT want to sit down, and trust us when we tell you that this taped show —which will kick off an incredible 15th season of Storytellers on May 13th— is one that we – ??re extremely proud to eventually share! Even if he was a smidge nervous at the onset, frontman Caleb Followill led the Kings – ?? charge, discussing topics that spanned their early days as a group, his often-intoxicated songwriting process, succumbing to wearing tight pants they once found foolish, and their … wait for it – ?? sexuality.

– ??This is our dream and we want to do this forever, – ?? remarked Caleb as he ventured down memory lane, literally quoting his own thoughts from years earlier. In the music business for over a decade now, the close-knit group (comprised of brothers Caleb, Nathan, and Jared, along with cousin Matthew) has achieved a level of success that they admit once daunted them. Forced to ignore fears of surrendering their cherished solitude to the masses, the Followills continued to make music that they felt defined them. Now on the other side of fame, the humble rockers actively nod at their beloved Southern roots, and during our Storytellers shoot, showed appreciation for fans that believed in them from the beginning, and for the Nashville community where they call home.

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Jared Leto Remembers Kurt Cobain by Playing Him

Yesterday Jared Leto joined those commemorating Kurt Cobain’s passing in a somewhat odd way: he shared a video he’d uploaded privately six weeks ago, in which he portrays the late singer.

Leto was among the many artists inspired by Cobain, who “gave us all permission to create no matter what our skill set and reminded me that dreams are possible,” and he’s never been particularly emotionally withholding (which is part of why we enjoyed having 30 Seconds to Mars as VH1′s Posted artist last October).

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Remembering Kurt Cobain

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Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. The music he and his bandmates in Nirvana created helped to catapult the indie rock underground of the 1980s into the public spotlight and forge a new rock mainstream, inspiring and influencing millions of listeners.

But Cobain, who never found an effective way to cope with that spotlight, would likely prefer to be remembered as a person, not as an icon of sadness, forever moping over his guitar on the set of Unplugged:

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Britney Will Dance “Till the World Ends”

After the forever-and-a-day slow-leak of the video for “Hold It Against Me,” Britney Spears has shown her fans mercy, releasing a full thirty-second sneak today from the “Till the World Ends” video (the full contents of which will debut this Thursday, April 7).

The new single’s clip is in the style of the “I’m a Slave 4 U” video, if it were set during the movie 2012 (though the comet may be a callback to “Hold It Against Me”). One thing’s for sure: even as the world is literally crumbling around her, Britney is having a ball – ??an attitude that matches the song, cowritten, as it is, by Ke$ha, the Road Warrior of  today’s pop.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Watch Death Cab For Cutie Shoot Their New, Single-Take Video Live On The Internet Tonight




Can't see the stream on your mobile device? Click here.

While many bands have successfully pulled off the “single-take” music video (think OK Go‘s “This Too Shall Pass,” think Feist‘s “1, 2, 3, 4″), no band has EVER attempted to complete a single-take video while also simultaneously broadcasting the events live on the web. Yet that’s exactly the challenge that Death Cab For Cutie has before them tonight.

As we let you know yesterday, the foursome will be streaming their “You Are A Tourist” video shoot live on Ustream at 7PM EDT/4PM PDT tonight as it happens. You can watch the exciting proceedings right here on VH1 via the video window we’ve got above. Let’s just hope that it goes better for them than it did for Kirstie Alley on Dancing With The Stars last night!

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