Yesterday’s late night music lineup may as well have been a VH1 showcase. The only musical performer we haven’t explicitly championed at some point appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon?after an interview with this month’s Posted artist Demi Lovato. Such a jam-packed lineup does make it difficult to choose the best performance of the night, but we have to give the edge to Kelly Clarkson, who made her first appearance in support of Stronger yesterday on The Tonight Show, where she performed single “Mr. Know It All.”
Clarkson has always had a great voice and an even better sense of how to use it?a fact that makes her live performances thrilling (and certainly contributed to her Idol win). So we were excited to hear her breathing more life into “Mr. Know It All,” a song that we already like but that she opened up for us further with her performance last night. (If we don’t sound quite as enthusiastic as we could, that might be because we not-so-secretly think that, were the situation not so dire out there for rock bands, we think that Clarkson would be a killer frontwoman with serious riffs behind her. But we try not to let that affect our judgment too much.) We are definitely looking forward to Stronger (and to the “Mr. Know It All” video, which should arrive somewhat sooner).
After the jump, see Demi Lovato’s interview on Late Night (introduced by The Roots with a reworded Styx cover: “Domo Arigato, Demi Lovato”) and links to the other performances. Read more…
Rick Ross: Gentleman Rap Boss Devin Friedman admits that he’s “basically eating out of [Rick Ross‘s] hand” for the majority of his time with the rapper, but manages some good insights (e.g. “Rick Ross is always both inside and outside a joke he’s making about hip-hop music”) and many more entertaining observations about the kindly boss, whom he describes as “the fat black McConaughey,” in his profile for October’s GQ. [GQ]
Complex On Kreayshawn In Brief Ernest Baker‘s profile of Kreayshawn for Complex is less intriguing; luckily for us (and you), Katherine St. Asaph sums it up at Popdust. Key facts: she wants to slap The Game in the face, and she bought that Game Boy Color she always wanted after she got signed. [Popdust] Read more…
The video begins with a curious homage to Pulp Fiction (or maybe Repo Man?), as lead singer Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick stumbles onto a briefcase of indeterminate origins and opens it up, resulting in him being bathed in golden light. He then proceeds to walk/jog through a series of urban alleyways in search of vocalist Noelle Scaggs and the rest of the Tantrums, while lens flares invade the frame at a clip that would make even J.J. Abrams blush. Along the way, a slew of feathers begin floating down through the atmosphere, which makes us think that either Sully Sullenberg was in the vicinity exacting more revenge on the geese population or there was an explosion at a nearby down pillow factory. Just when we think we might have an idea where this video might be going, Fitz falls to his knees in an alleyway and gets drenched by a raincloud that only has eyes for him.
So, what does it all mean? Well, even after watching it a few times, we’d be hard pressed to explain the video treatment, but we are certain of one thing: This song is totally boss.
Unbroken, Demi Lovato‘s new album, is in stores today, and to celebrate and promote the record, this month’s Posted artist is back in New York City. She played the Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday night, and today she’ll be visiting our offices as today’s episode of The Ellen Show airs (featuring an interview and performance), before appearing on tonight’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. But thanks in part to an enthusiastic crowd of Lovatics outside the ABC studios, Lovato’s appearance on Good Morning America yesterday has made the biggest splash thus far. Nicole Jamesgushed about the appearance for MTV’s Buzzworthy blog this morning, and below the jump you can see the interview with Robin Roberts, and her performance of “Skyscraper,” for yourself. And don’t forget to stay tuned for our exclusive coverage of her visit to VH1 today, and her own missives via Posted. Read more…
Rihanna‘s work ethic of late is astonishing. The 23-year-old vocalist is currently preparing the release of her sixth studio album?her third in three years?and announced the title of its lead single, the Calvin Harris-produced “We Found Love,” yesterday evening on Twitter, prior to its radio premiere on Friday. Meanwhile she’s six singles deep into 2010′s eleven-track Loud?seven if you count “Raining Men,” released to radio in 2010 but lacking enough traction to even garner a music video?without the aid of a deluxe reissue (Beyonc?, we’re looking at you) nor a holdover EP (Lady Gaga‘s The Fame Monster, Ke$ha‘s Cannibal (which is actually better than Animal), both “halves” of Justin Bieber‘s debut “LP”). And she’s featured on Nicki Minaj‘s current single “Fly,” and “Princess of China” on Coldplay‘s upcoming Mylo Xyloto.
Certainly, this constant stream of productivity has allowed the Bajan singer to achieve the pop-cultural ubiquity that is apparently a competitive necessity of late without having to resort as often to the more annoying types of promotional tricks. (In this she can perhaps be matched only by her friend Katy Perry.) But her decision to release a full-fledged followup to Loud sets her apart in particular. Rihanna has used the stopgap approach before, reissuing 2007′s Good Girl Gone Bad after a year to extend its run of singles with “Take A Bow” and “Disturbia.” And 2009′s Rated R under-performed, so the decision to record a new LP (Loud) rather than a reissue was practically a foregone conclusion. Read more…
When was the last time you actually purchased a movie soundtrack? In the last five years, only three motion picture soundtrack albums have wiggled their way into the Billboard Top Ten: Hannah Montana: The Movie (which peaked at #1 in 2009), Walk The Line (#3 in 2006) and Crazy Heart (#6 in 2010). It’s not that there haven’t been any good soundtracks during this period of time, it’s more that the ease of purchasing singles through outlets like Amazon and iTunes have eliminated the need for consumers to purchase 11 tracks of filler just to get the one song they really want to hear. Enter Drive.
The soundtrack, which features an awesomely-curated mix of electro bands like Desire and Kavinsky (featuring Lovefoxx) as well as an original score by former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez, recalls the synth-heavy scores of eighties classics like Jan Hammer‘s score for Miami Vice, Wang Chung‘s for To Live And Die In L.A. and Tangerine Dream‘s for Thief. The standout single on the soundtrack, which serves as the film’s de facto “love theme,” is this collaboration between French electro outfit College and Canadian chillwavers Electric Youth, “A Real Hero.”
Selena Gomez and the Scene‘s second When The Sun Goes Down single “Love You Like a Love Song” may have been released over three months ago (appearing briefly on our Song Of The Summer charts in July), but Gomez and band proved it’s still got promotional legs yesterday on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. After the performed self-absorption that was Simon Cowell‘s guest interview (featuring a reiteration of his on-camera grievances with Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger for the benefit of the Tonight Show audience) the electro-pop throwback (a friend of mine likened it to a lost Olivia Newton-John single) was quite refreshing. Though the limitations of television make the song’s appeal feel more rooted in the talents of teenpop songwriters-of-the-moment Rock Mafia, Gomez nevertheless acquits herself well.
John Mayer Delays Album, Cancels Performances
This weekend John Mayer took to his Tumblr to announce that, as a result of a granuloma, he has been unable to sing, either to lay down the final vocal tracks for his upcoming album Born and Raised (thus delaying its release until 2012) or to perform at the iheartradio Music Festival in Las Vegas or with Tony Bennett in Los Angeles. We wish him a quick recovery. [Tumblr]
Best Coast: “Planet Rock is the best VH1 Rock Doc ever”
Straight from Best Coast‘s Twitter to your eyes. She’s not the only one raving, either. You’ve got at least one more chance to watch or DVR it: tomorrow at 11:00AM ET. And don’t miss the exclusive bonus interview clips. [Twitter] Read more…
If you thought the Foo Fighters didn’t hold onto the costumes they used for their goofy tour-launch video “Hot Buns,” you don’t know the Foo Fighters. The band discovered that the Westboro Baptist Church had added their St. Louis, MO show Friday night to the increasingly bizarre list of protest sites, and they reprised their gay-trucker roles in a flatbed performance of a song apparently called “Keep It Clean,” which after a brief (and tame) vignette about a homosexual encounter, broke into a chorus singing the praises of tolerance (and its inherent American-ness). Fred Phelps‘s church members didn’t exactly need the band’s help to look foolish and intolerant, but we’re always in favor of Pat Smear wearing a fake mustache.
As we all know, the Internet began as military research, spread to the academic world, and eventually reached hundreds of millions of users on its way to transcending technology and becoming an art form with its apotheosis, the animated gif. But what if one was to curate a series of animated gifs?not spacially, as with a gif wall, but temporally? Los Angeles-based house musician Magic Machines has answered this pressing question with the music video for “Hey Mister,” which features nearly four minutes of animated gifs, end to end, synchronized to the beat of his pounding, Deadmau5-y house single. We take exception to the claim that these are “the best GIFs ever” but that’s not going to stop this from totally blowing up the Coding Soundtrack room on turntable.fm.