Down to Nawlins, up to Chi-Town – for the last several weeks Nelson George has zig-zagged around the country, celebrating the impact of African American culture on certain metropolises. Tomorrow night, Tuesday, December 16 at 9 pm, Soul Cities comes to a conclusion on the West Coast, examining historic and modern aspects of L.A.
He begins with explaining the importance of Berry Gordy‘s decision to move his Motown headquarters from Detroit to the Sunset Strip, and he gets his hair cut at the High Line Barbershop, a place where Magic Johnson or Andre 3000 might walk in for a trim.? The show spills forward from there: a chat with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds about 80s groove music and 00′s business logic, a plate of fried chicken at? Aunt Kizzy?s Back Porch and Roscoe?s Chicken n Waffles, a tete a tete with Angie Stone where the singer discusses the spirits residing in in Marvin Gaye?s studios, and a connection with Al B. Sure, New Jack Swing hero and current radio jock, talking about the city’s R&B lineage.
And as he does in ever episode of Soul Cities, George goes crate-digging, this time at Amoeba Records where he declares Gaye’s I Want You to be the “best in-the-basement record ever.”
Facebook members can see photos from all the Soul Cities shoots on Nelson George’s page.
Watch a playlist of videos from soul artists associated with Las Angeles.
Check the full list of Team George’s L.A. stops, and see extra clips (Angie Stone and Amoeba Records) after the jump.
A couple of weeks ago Katy Perry asked you to tell her what was hot n cold this year. We knew she’d be swinging by VH 1, and we thought she might have something to say about the responses that we received. We were right. You guys hit the post with comments regarding 2008′s cool stuff (the Obama victory, and rocking out to your iPod while people gawk at you) and bad stuff (people who don’t use common sense, people who never smile).
Well, Katy did swing by, and yep, she commented on your comments. Check the clip above to see which ones impressed her most.
See the ?Hot N Cold? video with some behind-the-scenes footage.
See a photo gallery of 2008?s Best New Women Singers
See Katy Perry photos
Nelson George says it right up front. “Country, gospel, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll all claim Memphis as home turf, but you know what? Memphis is a soul city.” There’s no question about that. While George tours the very funky town that borders the Mississippi, he highlights some very cool spots, like Beale Street, which Rufus Thomas called the “black man’s heaven.” He checks out W.C. Handy‘s house, hits a Baptist church to explain the impact of the black congregations, swings by the Gibson guitar factory to describe B.B. King‘s instrument and sits down at Ernestine & Hazels to have a soul burger and listen to the haunted jukebox.
Al Green‘s Green Is Blues disc, the Stax label museum, the 4-Way Grill (where Martin Luther King ate regularly), the Lorraine Motel (where King was assassinated), Isaac Hayes’ legacy, Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer – lots of important stuff in this episode. Watch the clip above, check the whole show on VH1 Soul this Tuesday at 9 pm.
Watch music videos by Memphis artists right here.
Facebook users can check pictures from the Memphis episode on Nelson George’s page.
Check extra clips and the list of the spots that Team George visited in Memphis after the jump.
Last week we showed you how nicely The Fray‘s “You Found Me” worked as a theme to the mysterious hijinks on Lost. Seems like all that island angst connected with the song’s message. Fray fans who are into the tune can now get a bit more info about it in the clip above. It’s a behind-the-scenes portrait of the guys making their upcoming video for the song. Lots of interviews help explain how they see themselves as “angels” or “outside observers” in the lyrical tale. See what they have to say about the process and check out photos from the shoot.
Are you a Superfan? Enter our sweepstakes now for a chance to see The Fray live in New York City!
If the arrival of the full-rocking “I Don’t Care” has got you psyched for Fall Out Boy‘s forthcoming Folie a Deux, you’re not alone. There’s some FOB fever in their air this holiday season.
Perhaps you’ll be doubly psyched to find out we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the band’s special NYC performance on December 16 – the day the new disc drops. If you’re chosen to attend, you’ll meet the guys backstage, have your photo taken with them, and perhaps see that picture uploaded onto their photo Website.
To get in the running, you must first sign-up for our weekly New Music newsletter. Then check your email box this Thursday, December 4 at 1:00pm for full details on how you can win. Our newsletter will contain all the info.
Watch Fall Out Boy’s Favorite Videos
Watch Fall Out Boy Unplugged
See a Fall Out Boy Photo Gallery
Pete Wentz: Blindfold Test – What Bands Does He Know?
Download “I Don’t Care” from Rhapsody
This week, the girls have to work with children. Of course, they’re used to that by now, since they’re living with the biggest kid of all.
“I’m like a ringleader/I call the shots/I’m like a firecracker/I make it hot,” coos Britney Spears on her new song, “Circus.” As you can tell from the sneak peek of the video that accompanies the tune, she’s dressed to make sure things get quite hot. You can see the entire thing on VH1.com this Saturday evening at 9 pm.
Watch string of her videos and interviews right here.
Check out an extensive photo gallery of Britney through the years.
Download the entire album on Rhapsody
This week on Soul Cities Nelson George swings south to sing the praises of New Orleans, from the origins of jazz to the rise of Lil Wayne. Along the way he bounces through all the hippest spots, chatting with Irma Thomas and Raheem DeVaughn in the French Quarter and connecting with trumpeter-composer Terence Blanchard. He tips the hat to the city’s Essence Music Festival, calling it the “Black Lollapolooza,” and drops into Olivier’s restaurant for a Creole spin on a rabbit, crawfish, and gumbo dish. Oh yeah, when you see him building a po-boy at the Praline Connection, you might feel a bit hungry. Ditto for the way trumpeter Kermit Ruffins shakes up some street sausage.
Check the above clip for a sneak peek at the full show, which premieres Tuesday, December 4 at 9 pm on VH1Soul.
Here’s a playlist of New Orleans artists to put you in the mood.
A full list of all the places Soul Cities visited in New Orleans is after the jump. So is a clip of Kermit Ruffins in action.
Lots of bands have their music used in television shows these days, but sometimes the context and the impact are a little more on-target than others. The fact that Lost is threading its teaser commercial for the upcoming season with The Fray‘s “You Found Me” is pretty neat – the drama of the images moves with the drama of the song. We blogged about Lost last time around, and we’re big fans of the Fray – they’re one of our You Oughta Know artists. We thought those who feel the same might want to see the above clip.
Watch the Fray’s acoustic performance
Watch videos by the Fray
See pictures from the “You Found Me” video.
You know how frustrated Katy Perry gets on her latest hit, “Hot N Cold.” She can’t get a bead on her boyfriend’s emotional waffling, and it drives her bonkers. Katy’s coming in to visit VH1 in the near future, and she’s wondering what has made her audience hot and cold this year. We’re giving everyone a chance to fill us in on that subject, and when Katy gets here, she might take a look at some of the more entertaining posts and offer her own two cents on ‘em.
You don’t have to stick to the subject of romance. Just let the world know what you’re hot about (faves) or cold about (frustrations) on any topic you choose. Music, politics, movies, fashion, videos, school, etc. Check back around December 15 to see if Ms Perry makes a comment about your comments.
See Katy Perry Photos
See the “Hot N Cold” video with some behind-the-scenes footage.
See a photo gallery of 2008′s Best New Women Singers