You Oughta Know alums Foster The People will have another feather in their cap on October 8 when they appear on that night’s episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Ben Stiller. We doubt they will get quite the camp-out that the season premiere got, but considering the reception they’ve gotten at festivals all summer, who knows? NBC announced the booking yesterday, also confirming that the following week’s episode would be hosted by Anna Faris and feature music from Drake. We wonder whether Young Money’s sometime actor will make any sketch appearances. He doesn’t exactly seem the type, but then again, neither did Lady Gaga. Good luck to October’s Very Own and especially to Mark Foster and co.!
We weren’t entirely thrilled by Radiohead‘s weekend appearance on Saturday Night Live, but that didn’t stop us from tuning in to see them during last night’s hour-long episode of The Colbert Report?and we’re glad we did. Even before they performed, the band gave one of their best interviews in years, in no small part because Stephen Colbert was more interested in making the members laugh than hearing what they had to say. “Who’s better at saving the world, you guys or Bono?” he asked. “Bono, definitely,” frontman Thom Yorke gamely responded.
Then the band launched into The King of Limbs b-side “The Daily Mail,” followed by “Bloom” and “Little By Little.” Each of these songs sounded more invigorated here than either of the songs they performed this weekend, but we specifically want to highlight the Kid A track with which they closed the show: “The National Anthem,” embedded above. The cynical political song sounds as good as ever, and was a perfect fit for The Colbert Report (which may be why the band went into their back catalog at all). The full episode, including a web-exclusive performance of “Codex,” is available to stream.
Elsewhere on late night…
Remember the naked baby on the cover of Nirvana‘s Nevermind? You know, the one who was swimming in hot pursuit of the almighty dollar? Well, turns out that little baby isn’t a baby anymore. The Nirvana baby’s real name is Spencer Elden, and he’s a 20-year-old student at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California (and, if you haven’t put two and two together, he’s the guy in the picture above). He did an interview with CNN on the occasion of Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary, where he revealed a startling fact: Neither he nor his parents have ever received a single dime in royalties! C’mon Courtney Love, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, toss the kid a few sheckels and make it right. After all, he’s got student loans to pay off!
Twenty nine years ago today in New Orleans, a young boy named Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. was born. He appeared to be a normal baby, happy and healthy, with one major exception: He was born with a diamond grill in his mouth! Just kidding; it would still be a few years before Dwayne would fully transform himself into Lil Wayne, but not that many. He wrote his first rap song at age 8, was signed to Cash Money when he was just 9, and had his first platinum album (as part of the Hot Boys) at only 17. After Guerrilla Warfare debuted at #1 on the charts, Lil Wayne went solo. And, as they say, the rest is history.
Today, Weezy is one of the biggest music superstars in all the world. His latest LP, Tha Carter IV, sold more copies during its first week in stores than any other album released this year. He’s also a figure of immense controversy, one who has been arrested multiple times while in possession of both drugs and guns, the latter of which led him to an eight month, all-expenses paid stint on Rikers Island. However, he remains the most popular solo artist, both on the streets and in the suburbs, in the rap game these days.
We’re excited to wish Lil Wayne a happy 29th birthday. To celebrate, we rounded up 29 of our favorite pictures of Lil Wayne being awesome, and below the cut, we resurfaced a hilarious clip from our 2008 series, “Ask Weezy.” Enjoy!
The inaugural O Music Awards were held in Las Vegas back in April of this year, and we were there with behind-the-scenes coverage every step of the way (remember our punch drunk interview with Rebecca Black?). The show was such a resounding success that the powers-that-be have decided to hold another one this year. On Halloween, no less! We’ll have more details on location and timing of the event to follow in the coming days and weeks, but for now, check out the complete list of O Music Awards 2 nominees and begin voting TODAY.
EMERGING ARTISTS ODD FUTURE?S TYLER THE CREATOR AND THE WEEKND BATTLE POP ROYALTY LADY GAGA, KATY PERRY, JUSTIN BIEBER AND OTHERS TO LEAD NOMINATIONS FOR O MUSIC AWARDS 2
MULTIPLATFORM SHOW TO PREMIERE ON OCTOBER 31
VOTING AND OPEN NOMINATIONS BEGINS TODAY
FAN SELECTED CATEGORIES INCLUDE THE OOPS! I DID IT ONLINE AWARD, BEST ARTIST WITH A CAMERAPHONE, BEST WEB-BORN ARTIST, BEST VINTAGE VIRAL VIDEO, AND BEST LYRICS VIDEO
New York, NY, September 27, 2011 ? Following the success of the inaugural O Music Awards from April, MTV Music Group today announced that O Music Awards 2, the multiplatform event celebrating and honoring the artists, innovators and fans of digital music culture will return for this year?s second awards festivities live on October 31, 2011. The multiplatform experience will utilize MTV Music Groups multiple screens. Fans will be able to watch the entire show live on OMusicAwards.com, as well as select performances across MTV Music Group websites (MTV.com, VH1.com, CMT.com, LogoTV.com and MTVHive.com). In addition, there will be integration in television, mobile and tablets. This cycle?s nominees span multiple musical genres and decades and include a mix of established and up-and-coming artists.
Last week, when we first saw YouTube footage of Demi Lovato singing Lil Wayne‘s “How To Love” at her Hammerstein Ballroom show, we thought it was merely the latest in what’s increasingly become a trend among pop artists: the “curveball” live cover (more about that later). What we didn’t realize was that the rendition was actually a warm-up for the Top 20 Live set she recorded here at VH1 last Tuesday.
We’ll have the full set for you shortly (and it’s a doozy?including a two-song medley of one track from each of her previous albums and a killer rendition of “My Love Is Like A Star,” an Unbroken song James Morrison co-wrote for her) but we wanted to get this in your hands as quickly as possible. As with her dry run at the Hammerstein, this rendition transforms the song by largely switching the lyrics into a first-person perspective, which is a really great choice; by having the subject speak for herself rather than having Lil Wayne presume to speak for her, Lovato’s rendition sidesteps the original’s virgin/whore dichotomy. Naturally, we loved it.
When we first heard Kelly Clarkson‘s latest single, “Mr. Know It All,” we figured that, thematically, it was a fairly straightforward kiss off to an ex that did her dirty. This was backed up by Clarkson’s introduction to the song at the iHeartRadio festival over the weekend in which she dedicated the song thusly: “If you’ve ever dated anyone that’s a know it all, this one’s for you.” However, after watching the video for the song that debuted in the wee hours this morning, it’s apparent that there’s another target for her ire: The media.
The video opens with Clarkson sitting on top of a suitcase, all alone in a large room. Closer inspection of the walls reveals that it isn’t a hideous wallpaper pattern that Kelly is sitting in front of, but rather, a collection of nasty headlines and stories about Clarkson’s label drama and relationship woes, all culled from newspapers and tabloid magazines. And they say print media is dead!
Last week, we gave you a sneak peek at Gavin Degraw‘s Top 20 Live set, which features his cover of “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. The clip has, as they say, “gone viral,” so we thought this was a perfect time to share with you the reasons why Gavin chose to cover this particular song over all the others. “Stylistically, it was close enough to what I do to have a shot at doing it effectively,” Gavin told us just moments after wrapping his set (which we’ll have for you soon, promise!). “It’s a real stand-out, as far as quality goes. It’s an exciting song to sing. [Bruno Mars] a very talented writer and producer.”
We couldn’t agree more! If you missed the cover the first time around, we’ve got it for you below…
The MGM Grand played host to a plethora of pop stars this weekend for the Clear Channel-sponsored iHeartRadio Festival, two nights of genre-spanning, crowd-pleasing pop music. A mix of veterans and newcomers thrilled the (reportedly very drunk) crowd on both nights. The most successful performers were those who stuck to a setlist of hits, like Jay-Z, who may have performed “On To The Next One” but didn’t take its advice about his old songs, including favorites from The Blueprint and The Black Album alongside newer singles like “Empire State of Mind” (with a guest appearance by earlier performer Alicia Keys). Those whose songs were less well-known by the crowd, like Sublime with Rome, were less well-received.
Perhaps the big surprise of the weekend, according to reports, was Jennifer Lopez, who, in a set that spanned her musical career, proved supremely capable of standing among the pop titans of today (with a Pitbull feature on “On the Floor”). Saturday’s “special guest” Sting also more than pulled his weight, backing Steven Tyler on bass early in the evening, then joining Lady Gaga for performances of “Stand By Me” and his own “King of Pain.”
Saturday Night Live pulled out all the stops for its season premiere this weekend, booking sixteen-time host Alec Baldwin and musical guest Radiohead. While Baldwin mostly impressed (especially as Tony Bennett), we were left a little cold by Radiohead’s two songs (“Lotus Flower,” above, and “Staircase,” below). These are songs we’ve heard before, of course, but something about taking them out of the basement and putting them on the Saturday Night Live stage robbed them of no small amount of their power.
The King of Limbs songs (and b-side “Staircase”) can best be described as moody explorations over locked grooves. “Lotus Flower” does have the closest to a traditional song-form, but like the other tracks, it’s still designed for focused listeners. Nitsuh Abebe wrote at Vulture about how Radiohead have cultivated “serious listening” in their fanbase. It’s true, and in certain ways the band is to be admired for that. But when the band lacks complete control over the context and presentation of the songs, do they still hold up? We’re not so sure.