Tuned In: Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings Wow Lopez Tonight Crowd

Yesterday was surprisingly strong for late night music on a Monday. Bon Iver kicked off “StePhest Colbchella ‘011: Rock You Like a Thirst-icane” on The Colbert Report and Mint Condition slayed the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon crowd as Weird Al Yankovic, sitting in with the Roots, looked on. (Panic! at the Disco weren’t bad on Kimmel either.)

The best performance of the night, though, belonged to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, who burned up the Lopez Tonight stage. The whole crowd clapped along with the punchy throwback-soul number “Without a Heart,” thanks in no small part to the Dap-Kings’ sharp playing. Were Sharon Jones a James Brown-style bandleader, she wouldn’t have needed to fine any of the Dap-Kings a cent. As it is, Jones is a much less harsh figurehead than Brown ever was, though her gruff vocals hardly have less power for it (though she definitely leads the way?the band stops on a dime on the line “I could be cold as ice”). Of course, the band nods to their roots by ending the song with a mini-riff of Brown’s soul classic “I Don’t Mind.”

Elsewhere on late night?
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Last Lap: Monday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Renee Graziano Styles Ghostface Killah
In case you missed yesterday’s Mob Wives and haven’t caught up with Liz Black‘s recap yet, make sure you do! Staten Island’s own Ghostface Killah met up with Staten Island’s own Renee Graziano in one of the episode’s few lighter moments for Graziano.

Jeremih Covers Adele‘s “Rumour Has It”
“Down On Me” songster Jeremih tried his hand at a cover of “Rumour Has It,” from Adele’s still-chart-topping 21, for Billboard today. He even dropped a bit of “Ice Ice Baby” and “Under Pressure” into a breakdown.
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Britney Spears’s Mic Is For Swinging And Singing In “I Wanna Go” Teaser

Amid rumors that she nearly fought Nicki Minaj backstage, Britney Spears turns her microphone into a weapon?literally?in this interesting teaser for her new video “I Wanna Go,” which premieres Wednesday. Aside from the obvious allusion to Gogo Yubari, the schoolgirl character from Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (see below), (and the McTiernan joke on the theater marquee: CROSSROADS 2: CROSS HARDER) the most interesting visual aspect to this teaser is the appearance?on Britney’s shirt and on a wall?of a skull with Mickey Mouse ears.

2011 seems a strangely belated time for former Mouseketeer Britney to be making any sort of statement with this Shepard Fairey-style graffiti combination, but we’re curious where (if anywhere) the video goes with this, not to mention that the notoriously litigious Walt Disney Company could argue that the imagery doesn’t fall under fair use.

Still, seeing Britney as a rather believable warrior on the New York City streets (deadlier than even Adam Lazzara) speaks to the continuing rehabilitation of both her self-representation and her public image. At the very least, the video looks to be better than “Hold It Against Me.” We’re looking forward to Wednesday’s premiere.

Britney as Gogo Yubari:


Are Britney Spears And Nicki Minaj Already Beefing On The Femme Fatale Tour?

The first two stops of Britney Spears‘s Femme Fatale Tour are in the can, and the reviews are in. Is the tour a success? It depends whom you ask (or maybe which night you attended).

Carla Meyer raved at the Sacramento Bee about Spears’s tour kickoff on Thursday night, a “relaxed” yet “excited” performance that was no less professional for the “fun” Spears had while “hitting all her marks.” Barry Walters, who attended the same show for Rolling Stone, reported the same: “She’s wisely focusing on the present…while offering possibly her flashiest, fastest moving, and most entertaining production yet.” He complimented her agility and showpersonship.

The two reports disagree on opener Nicki Minaj; Meyer praised her “magnetism” and “attention to detail” while Walters thought the set “lacked in commitment.” Both did find it (understandably) strange that Spears’s “Till the World Ends” performance featured an onscreen Minaj instead of an in-person one.

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by (@Lacezilla)

Tipsy Amy Winehouse Booed Off Stage in Belgrade, Cancels European Tour Dates

Amy, Amy, Amy. We thought you were getting better, not worse! Just two weeks ago, after a short stint in rehab and a clear-headed, successful performance at London’s 100 Club, it was reported that the British songbird’s sobriety was finally on the mend. But in Serbia on Saturday night, Winehouse kicked-off what was supposed to be her European tour, showing up visibly inebriated on stage. Not only could a stumbling Amy barely sing for her Belgrade audience of 20,000 ticket-holders, but her cringe-worthy “performance” was heavily booed in what local press is referring to as “the worst in the history of Belgrade.” An apologetic statement has been issued from her camp, speaking to the incident and canceling her next two shows in Turkey and Greece:
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Big Man R.I.P.: The Top Five Non-E Street Band Performances By The Late Clarence Clemons

The Big Man, Clarence Clemons, passed on Saturday due to complications from his recent stroke. He was 69. Saxophonist Clemons was perhaps the most essential member of the E Street Band, but his appearance on Lady Gaga’s latest single “Edge of Glory” is a potent reminder of the range of his body of work outside Bruce Springsteen collaborations. Here are his five best:

5. Ian Hunter, “All of the Good Ones Are Taken”
Clemons has a really great solo two-and-change minutes into the title track off Ian Hunter’s 1983 album All of the Good Ones Are Taken (though a stand-in appears in the music video). Without his performance, this Mott the Hoople member’s solo effort wouldn’t have had its single (especially since guitarist Mick Ronson only played on one song). This largely forgotten video used to get a lot of play on local and syndicated non-MTV video shows.
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by (@unclegrambo)

R.I.P. Clarence Clemons (1942-2011)

Sad news to pass along this evening: Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, the renowned saxophone player in Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, passed away earlier this evening as a result of complications from the stroke he suffered earlier this week.

We’d like to pay our respects to The Big Man by programming 24 hours of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band on VH1 Classic. Starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, we’ll be airing the concert films Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in New York City (2000) and Live In Barcelona (2002) back-to-back for 24 consecutive hours.

Clemons first rose to prominence in 1971 after agreeing to team up with fellow Asbury Park, NJ musician Bruce Springsteen. The Bruce Springsteen Band, as they were called back then, didn’t make it very far, but Bruce reconstituted the group a few years later under the moniker of the E Street Band and, as they say, the rest is history. Clemons became an instrumental part of Springsteen’s band, contributing some of the most famous sax solos in music history on songs like “Born To Run” and “Jungleland,” and was such an integral part of Springsteen’s creative process that The Boss wrote the song “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and included their origin story as part of one of the verses.

Earlier this evening, Springsteen released the following statement about Clemons:
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by (@unclegrambo)

Rumors Of On-Set Creative Clashes Mar The Release Of Lady Gaga’s Video For “The Edge Of Glory”

When word first broke last month that Lady Gaga was prepping a video for her Song Of The Summer contender “The Edge Of Glory,” acclaimed music video director Joseph Kahn was attached to the project. However, before Gaga’s new Rent-tastic video debuted on So You Think You Can Dance last night, Kahn tweeted the following:

Which was followed up by this:

Naturally, this apparent Gaga diss by Kahn infuriated the Little Monsters, who barraged Kahn so relentlessly on Twitter that his name became a trending topic “for all the wrong reasons.” After Gaga refused to come to his aid on Twitter, anonymous insiders close to production talked to the New York Post’s PopWrap blog and detailed the “disagreements” that occured on set between Gaga and Kahn, disagreements that led to Kahn disavowing the project entirely (the finished video for “The Edge Of Glory” is now listed as being directed by Haus of Gaga).

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Lance Bass Wants To Bring His Boy Band Expertise To VH1

Former *NSYNC-er Lance Bass mentioned to New York last night that he’s producing an amazing-sounding new boy-band reality competition show. Bass explained the concept, which he’s pitched to VH1, saying:

“It’s a really great music show, starring all your favorite boy bands. It’s going to be really fun. I got a member from Backstreet Boys, A.J. McLean. A member from *NSYNC, Joey Fatone. A member from New Kids on the Block, Joe McIntyre. And a member from New Edition, Bobby Brown. They’re all going to form a boy band, each, from the most talented guys in America that I’ve scouted, and then they’ll go head-to-head in a competition to see who the best band is, so it’s bragging rights for the guy in the group, for sure.”

Bass said later that Brown wasn’t totally confirmed for the show, but he’s working on that. “I think Bobby will do it,” he said.

UPDATE: VH1 could not confirm the show at this time, but a rep for the network explained “VH1 is talking to Lance Bass as well as a lot of other big names in the music and pop culture arenas about a lot of great ideas for new series.”

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@Lacezilla)

Sneak Peek: Weird Al Yankovic, “Perform This Way”

With previous Weird Al YankoVICTIMS including Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Madonna, Nirvana, Coolio, Dire Straits, and the late, great, Michael Jackson, it would appear that Lady Gaga is in good company. On the heels of last night’s “The Edge of Glory” video premiere, we’re happy to present you with an exclusive 30-second sneak of Weird Al’s latest masterpiece, “Perform This Way.” If you’ve been living under a rock, the song is a parody of the pop matriarch’s hit, “Born This Way,” and like us, you should be mega-stoked that Gaga and Weird Al were able to squash their alleged beef and come to a mutual understanding to officially approve and greenlight the song.
While the lyrics were imagery-inspiring on their own, you’ll see in the sneak that Weird Al has delivered true-to-form visuals that manage to simultaneously mock and salute Mother Monster. Snatching Gaga’s signature looks and making them his own, Al transforms to perform, dancing around to her choreography (albeit with his head on a female body) and flaunting grossly exaggerated versions her outfits — a feat we didn’t think was possible! The full broadcast premiere of “Perform This Way” hits television airwaves Monday morning on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, and will no doubt join the ranks of Weird Al classics like “Eat It,” “Like A Surgeon,” and “Amish Paradise.” The parody wizard himself will be a guest on the show, so tune-in and check back with us then; we’ll have the full scoop on all things Yankovic!

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