Happy Invasion Australia Day! For those of you who have never had the immense pleasure of visiting the land down under (where this particular music writer was both born and raised), you could be forgiven for thinking it’s all about koalas, surfing and barbeques (although you’re definitely not forgiven, please read a book or something). Not only do Australians play with koalas, surf, throw shrimps on barbies, and relish in promoting untrue cultural stereotypes overseas (it’s so easy), they also make some really good art from time to time, and music is no exception. This isn’t a boast, but: Men At Work, Crowded House, AC/DC, Olivia Newton John, Kylie Minogue, Cold Chisel, Daryl Braithwaite, Rick Springfield, INXS, Air Supply, Paul Kelly, Nick Cave, Natalie Imbruglia, Savage Garden, Silverchair… And that’s only a scratch! Australia is still turning out some amazing artists, with 2011 being a big year for the Aussies. Here are seven artists that rocked that great southern land last year, and that will soon be rocking the rest of the world (that means YOU!):
We’ve already introduced you to Gotye, whose track “Somebody I That Used To Know” is taking the world by storm. In the tradition of Australia Day, Australia’s premier radio station, Triple J, known for launching new talent, runs a Hottest 100 show, as voted by listeners. “Somebody I Used To Know” came in at number one, but it’s no surprise really; the track was the highest selling Australian song of the year, the video has 50 million views on YouTube and is sitting comfortably at 21 and 58 on the UK and US charts respectively. Gotye also won an ARIA (Australia’s answer to the Grammys) for Best Male Artist and Best Pop Release, as it soon to be VH1’s featured You Oughta Know artist (squee!) so watch this space… Read more…
Ah, Aspen. While not exactly known as a music mecca, it is by all accounts a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano! (Clearly, we’ve watched Dumb & Dumber one too many times.) It was also where J. Lo, Steven Tyler, Randy and Ryan Seacrest hunkered down to try out contestants on this week’s episode of American Idol.
We don’t know if it was a result of the altitude or what, but something in the mountain air inspired Steven this week. He was able to avoid falling prey to the charms of 19-year-old nose-ring enthusiast Tealana Hedgespeth (“I’m more of the outgoing person, I’m more of the person who would go up to you and be like, ‘Hey, i like your shirt'”), but our bescarfed host planted a giant smacker right on the lips of 24-year-old music teacher Jenny Schick right at the top of this week’s episode, scoring a perfect 5 out of 5 on the Dude Is Acting Shady Meter. We’ll cover this, as well as Tyler’s other flirtations, below:
WHO: Jenni Schick SET-UP: Jenni started off reminding us a bit of Week One contestant Erika Nowak, confessing that she’s got a hankerin’ for reality singing competition judges like Steven Tyler and The Voice‘s Adam Levine. However, her performance of Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” got Steven all hot and bothered, resulting in him clutching her face with his grubby fingers and kissing her mouth. (Can we talk about that kissing technique for a second? Face touching is one thing, but outright face grabbing? WEIRDZIES.) TYLER’S COMMENTS: “Holy shick! You better be able to sing, good girl … Whoa, I’m gonna get in trouble for that.” DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 5/5 – EWWWWWWWWW!
Simon Cowell’s Latest Talent Show Will Find The World’s Best DJ Simon Cowell (and Overbrook Entertainment, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith‘s company) is preparing to launch a new reality show to search for the world’s best DJ. Cowell says, “DJs are the new rock stars, it feels like the right time to make this show.” What with all the club led anthems of 2011, we’re thinking Cowell might be hitting the doof-doof nail on the turntable. [BBC]
Lana Del Rey Still Babysits Lana Del Rey is just a regular girl after all. Telling MTV that she still babysits when she’s at home, we can hear a resounding “naw!” echoing across the Internet. [MTV Buzz Worthy]
In the post-Nipplegate era of Super Bowl halftime shows, a majority of the performers have been stadium rock acts, carefully chosen by the NFL because they, to borrow a political expression, play to the base. Acts like Bruce Springsteen, The Who and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are all Rock And Roll Hall of Famers with undeniable chops and impressive catalogs, but also artists that are unquestionably “safe” (meaning, no one’s gonna get pissed and flip the channel when The Boss launches into “Born To Run”). However, this year’s selection of Madonna —one of the most controversial artists of the Eighties and Nineties— might very well push some of Joe Six-Pack’s buttons.
Because the world still needs more “Sh*t [Insert Noun Here] Says,” (sense the tone) someone went ahead and made a “Sh*t Drake Says” video. Poking innocent fun at Drake, the video parodies the rapper using his actual lyrics and imagined things he might say in conversation based on those. Portraying Drake as “soft,” which seems to be the go-to joke when ribbing Drake, the video has Drake talking about girls, talking to girls, generally being a romantic, and showing off a bit to his boys as well.
While we’re sure Ke$ha’s wild life will have plenty of juicy action to make for a thrilling documentary, we’ve got a few little fantasies of our own. Based on what we know of Ke$ha’s life, career, likes and dislikes and high powered friends, we’ve fictionalized 5 scenes we’d like to see in the final cut:
1. A 24 themed title sequence set to “Tik Tok”
“Hi, I’m Ke$ha, and this is the longest day of my life.” Cue frenetic, fit-inducing paced montage of images of Ke$ha, on stage, tongue out, crowd surfing, doing make up, in the studio, hugging Britney etc. Set it to the sound of “Tik Tok,” and finish with the word “Ke$ha” spelled out in the font style of a digital clock, and let the letters tick over into the time. Cut to a scene of Ke$ha waking up — obviously our imagined documentary revolves around a day in the life of Ke$ha.
Demi Lovato isn’t afraid of being vocal about her illnesses, and while she’s suffered eating disorders, cutting and drug addiction in the past, she’s always been an advocate of sharing and understanding in order to promote awareness. Recently, Demi Tweeted that she was “Angry” with God, prompting concern that she was back in dire straits.
Was Seal sending out a not-so-subtle message to soon to be ex-wife Heidi Klum, or was it just a happy coincidence that he sang Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” on Ellen yesterday? Regardless, Seal gave a perfect vocal performance, staying true to Al Green’s style. Looking sharp as hell on his glittering stage, Seal’s rendition of the classic song was practically flawless, and he moved between the high and low notes with a naturalness that made the whole thing look criminally easy. So easy in fact, that we gave the song a go right here in the office — let’s just say that just because something looks easy, it doesn’t mean that it is.
Man Goes To Jail For Killing His Mom Over Avril Lavigne
In a crime of passion, a now 39-year-old man killed his 61-year-old mom in 2008 when she failed to call in a favor to get him Avril Lavigne tickets, now he’s going away for 40 well deserved years. [Prefix]
Kelly Rowland Gushes Over Baby Blue Ivy Carter
We haven’t seen the baby yet, but Aunty Kelly Rowland is just crazy about baby Blue Ivy Carter. “She is just more precious than a diamond. She’s just so stunning,” Kelly raves in an interview. [Rap Up]
If you thought you’d seen an intense stare before, then you were wrong — no stare you could possibly have seen before compares to the intensity of Adam Lambert‘s stare on the cover of his new album, Trespassing. Dark and dramatic, the cover features Lambert’s gaze locked against yours, his perfectly coiffed hair spiking out to anime perfection. And there’s a sense of the animated to the whole portrait, but that’s not to suggest it’s cartoonish. Post production seems to have put the image somewhere in the spectrum of Sin City unreal-realism, and we’re just hoping the music inside is half as powerful as the imagery on the outside. If his live television performance of “Better Than I Know Myself,” and the descriptions he’s given of the new music are anything to go by, then we think we’re in for a real treat!