Forget Madonna Week for a second and take a moment to fawn all over Adam Lambert‘s new video for “Better Than I Know Myself.” But it’s not what you were expecting — instead of grappling with a lover, the video sees Adam’s personality split in two and confined to adjoining rooms, as if under observation, while he attempts to reconcile the dualling elements of his personality. The dichotomy is one that is as relateable to us as breathing — it’s the timeless battle of the little devil on one shoulder, and the little angel on the other. In one room, Adam is a Glampire, dark and brooding, restless and angsty, swigging liquor from the bottle and destroying his environment out of boredom and frustration. In the next room is a peaceful Adam, calm and happy, reading, relaxing, completely at ease in his solitude. With the two facets of Adam’s personality at such distinct odds, which one will rise to the top? We’ll let you watch the video to find out what happens, in the meantime, we’ve picked up on a few visual cues from popular culture that seem to have influenced the video. Do you agree?
It appears that the dual Glamberts are being watched — if only by each other. The imagery of the split room, the stark contrast between the aesthetic of the two rooms, and the voyeuristic wall of glass between them reminded us of the observational room in Pedro Almodóvar’s 2011 film The Skin I Live In, in which an unwitting prisoner is kept and tortured by her Peeping Tom. To an extent, it’s the same in “Better Than I Know Myself,” with each Lambert tormenting the other, simply by the fact of their existence.
Blake Shelton played a gorgeous “Drink On It” on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. With something of the weariness of heartache, the song it still wistfully romantic, and even more so as Blake croons into the microphone, smiling every so often in a way that will have you literally swooning, a little weak at the knees. The luxuriously meandering song, coupled with Blake’s irresistible charm and the fact that he’s playing a guitar (give a man a guitar and you make him at least 6 times easier to fall in love with), will have you day dreaming of country bars and cowboys all day long.
Black Sabbath Drummer Bill Ward Contemplates Dropping Out Of Reunion Tour And New Album Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has made the following statement regarding the band’s highly anticipated reunion tour and new album, “I would love nothing more than to be able to proceed with the Black Sabbath album and tour, however, I am unable to continue unless a ‘signable’ contract is drawn up; a contract that reflects some dignity and respect toward me as an original member of the band. Several days ago, after nearly a year of trying to negotiate, another ‘unsignable’ contract was handed to me. If I sign as-is, I stand to lose my rights, dignity and respectability as a rock musician.” Oh no — looks like there might be a spanner in the works! [A.V. Club]
Jessie J Says VH1 DIVAS Was A Career Defining Moment Jessie J has sung praise for her appearance on VH1’s DIVAS, Tweeting that it was, “An honour to be on stage with so many of the singers I have grown up listening to. Was defo one for the diary.” Of all the wonderful things Jessie J does in her career, we think it’s pretty neat that she picked DIVAS as a highlight. [Capital FM]
The All American Rejects new video for “The Beekeeper’s Daughter” is less of a fail than their moniker would have you expect. The video is an all singing, all dancing extravaganza; there’s impromptu synchronized dances in the street, explosions of color and a whole lot of sex appeal. The poppy beat will almost make you forget that the song is about an inability to commit to a relationship and have you dancing instead, much like the girls in the video. “The Beekeeper’s Daughter” is The All American Rejects’ first single off the album Kids In The Street, and while it’s not much of a romantic track, it’s definitely a fun one. We’re really loving the joy of the video — especially the final scenes where the band is playing on a parade float, a giant inflatable bee buzzing above the celebrations!
Nicki Minaj‘s “Stupid Hoe” isn’t exactly brand new, but if you found the original a tad offensive when it was released, try our slightly more friendly version (re-branded as “Stupid Stupid”), that is the same song and video, minus the eleventy-billion references to “hoes.” The frenetic pace of the song is matched with a schizophrenic video that is a bit creepy, a bit sexy, and a bit both at once, which is a bit confusing. And that confusion has been something of a controversy — that’s not even mentioning the alleged Lil Kim beef, in which “Stupid Hoe” is a not so subtle response to Kim’s not so subtle Black Friday mix tape (claws are out!) — but it hasn’t stopped legends like Madonna heaping praise on Nicki. So while we wait for Nicki’s Roman Reloaded to drop after the release date was pushed back to April 3rd, we’re just going to have to get our Nicki fix from “Stupid Stupid,” and from her Super Bowl appearance with Madonna this weekend.
It might be Madonna Week, but it seems like there’s a generous helping of Kelly Clarkson scooped on top of the Madonna madness. While Madge is taking care of half time entertainment at the Super Bowl, Kelly has been tasked with the honor of singing the national anthem, and we’re just as excited to see her belt it out as we are to see Madonna leaping across the stage in a sparkly catsuit. And it looks like it’s not only us jumping on the Clarkson band wagon — Kelly is shooting up the charts with some impressive steam.
Kelly’s track “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” (watch the video after the jump) has made it to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 today, and if we were in primary school we’d be singing something like “First is the worst, second is the best!” (although number one placeholder, Adele, is most certainly not the worst!). And speaking of Adele, will Kelly be able to topple her this week? We learned the power of an Adele number one last year; and as we’re learning this year, her reign is absolutely unassailable. Adele’s latest number one “Set Fire To The Rain” will be a tough one to beat, especially with Adele’s record at the top, and her forthcoming first post-surgery performance at the Grammys (where Kelly is also performing, albeit less momentously). But interest in Kelly has certainly been piqued this week — will she prove to be the stronger of the two?
You haven’t seen excitement until you’ve seen us talking about Madonna’s Super Bowl half time show. It’s palpable, electric, maybe a little bit Pointer Sisters — basically, we’re doing all that we can to stay calm for the next 72 hours or so. In order to curb our energy into something a bit more productive, we’ve spent the morning playing Madonna‘s Musical Director and coming up with both predicted and dream setlists for her roughly 12-15 minute show. See what you think and if you agree — let us know what your dream set is in the comments section!
PREDICTED SET LIST by Mark Graham (@unclegrambo):
“Ray Of Light” / “Give Me All Your Luvin’ (featuring Nicki Minaj & M.I.A.)” / “Express Yourself” / “Vogue” / “Music”
Billions of people will be watching Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime show, so there’s no doubt that she’ll be feeling the adrenaline and deliver a high energy, dance-y set for the fans. “Ray Of Light” is a very recognizable track that will get fans out of their seats and grooving from the get-go, at which point she can safely transition into the requisite “Go buy my new single!” part of the show. After she welcomes (and then quickly boots) Nicki Minaj and M.I.A to/from the stage, she’ll move into the portion of her set that, to paraphrase her backup dancer, “brings the gay.” Playing “Express Yourself” will be a subtle “In your face!” to Lady Gaga, and “Vogue” (maybe with Cee Lo?) would get both the fans in Indianapolis and on their couches all over the world going berserk. Closing with “Music” —featuring its anthemic chorus of “Music makes the people get together”— would be the most frenzied way to end her short set, and send everyone who’s watching off thinking “I LOVE MADONNA!”
So we’ve now reached a point where there is absolutely no reason for you not to be excited about the Grammys. This morning it was announced that Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band will be joining the already impressive performance line up, so even if the pop-stars billed to play at the awards show aren’t really your thing, now you have something that is — because Bruce Springsteen is everyone’s thing. With 20 of their own Grammys safely on the trophy shelf, we’re guessing that The Boss and Band will play “We Take Care Of Our Own,” the lead single off their new album, Wrecking Ball, but you never know, we could be in for a new surprise or even an old favorite.
If you’re looking for your daily dose of goosebumps then look no further than You Oughta Know artist Gotye performing “Somebody That I Used To Know” with Kimbra on Jimmy Kimmel Live. With both artists singing just as powerfully and flawlessly as they do on record, it’s no wonder the crowd in the theatre didn’t seem to know whether to cheer or watch in reverent silence. Now that we’ve addressed the massive talent that is undoubtedly about to take America by storm, let’s talk about Kimbra’s dress — where do we get one? The singer’s sparkling cocktail dress spoke to old Hollywood glamor with an avant garde edge, which resonated perfectly with “Somebody That I Used To Know,” a song that is bolstered by its references but propelled forward by small, nuanced innovations. We’re looking forward to having the spine tingling pair at VH1 headquarters this week, so stay tuned for all the Gotye and Kimbra action as it unfolds for You Oughta Know!
Madonna Announces Her Love And Admiration For Nicki Minaj And M.I.A. Madonna‘s new single, “Give Me All Your Luvin'” and forthcoming appearance at the Super Bowl both feature appearances by M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj, of whom Madonna has said “They’re not conventional pop stars and I really admire them both. I love both of them actually.” We’re guessing having the Queen Of Pop say things like that about you is going to be both humbling and ego boosting, so a big round of applause for the “non-conventional” gals! [NME]