The year is running down, and like everyone else, we are bundling up our most memorable musical moments from the year into a slew of Best Of’s. Before we get to the more obvious lists — the best albums, the best songs — we thought we would have a little fun. First up: 9 delightful collaborations, made all the more so for their unexpectedness. We aren’t talking Watch The Throne-style of-course-they-would team-ups, we’re talking collaborations that we couldn’t in our wildest dreams have imagined or that we thought we would never see, like — well, these nine:
Barton Hollow is totally “an indie record much cooler than mine,” but more careful observer might have predicted this unlikely but delightful collaboration, as Swift began yammering about her fellow Nashville transplants The Civil Wars on twitter long before this was even a possibility. We, however, were left breathless upon learning that one of the day’s biggest pop stars had teamed-up with one of our favorite You Oughta Know acts — and for a song for such a pivotal moment in the Hunger Games movie, no less! Joy Williams harmonizing turns Taylor’s girlish coo haunting, and John Paul White‘s patient guitar plucking gets the whole thing swirling. See also:“The Last Time,” Taylor’s distressed duet with Gary Lightbody of Northern Ireland’s mostly absent as of late folk rock set Snow Patrol. Taylor is a slick machine when it comes to her music, and it was a surprise to see her reaching out of bounds for this one.
Hard to believe as it may be given the boom box beats and all the sing-rapping that resulted, Warrior is allegedly a tribute to the genre Ke$ha loves the most: rock and roll. If you really strain your ears, you may hear some of that “old hippie rock” in the breakdown of “Die Young.” You won’t have to try so hard with “Dirty Pop,” which features Iggy Pop, a true and blue rock star and someone Ke$ha has spent a lot of time talking about through the years. The joy she must have felt the first time she heard him call her “Wild Child” on her own song is evident. See also:“2012,” K$’s duet with fellow weirdos The Flaming Lips.
The nominees for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles tonight during a live special that aired on CBS. Hosted by LL Cool J and Taylor Swift, the show featured performances from the likes of fun., Maroon 5, Ne-Yo and more. The 2013 Grammys will be broadcast on CBS February 10th at 8/7c.
The fact that the American Idol judge allowed herself to be shot with anything other than a telescope covering in Vaseline is surprising enough, but the fact Carey just ran in instead of descending in a sleigh… well, it’s all very interesting. Makes you think. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time we’d enjoyed a slightly head-scratchy holiday video:
While downing my fifth helping of mac and cheese with my sixth glass of wine, I realized how much I’m loving pop music this year. It could be too much turkey and carbs making me nostalgic, but despite many personal disappointments in 2012 – why, Amy Poehler and Will Arnette? why?! – the music scene has been steadily rocking my existence the past 11 months. All credit goes to YouTube and its community of awesome for constantly breathing new life into even the most overplayed hits by celebrating or ridiculing them just when I get bored. Give thanks with me to Google’s greatest acquisition by checking out my top three favorite, time-sucking viral music clips, covers and parodies. You’re welcome!
This Thanksgiving, we all have something to be thankful for. Just as you’re waking up from your post-meal nap to snag some second-plate leftovers from the fridge, Spike Lee’sBad 25 will hit ABC’s airwaves to make it’s nationally televised debut at 9:30/8:30c. Chronicaling Michael Jackson’s 45-million-copies-sold second album and corresponding tour, I can say with full conviction that the documentary is not to be missed. Trust me, I saw it twice. For those who may not be MJ fans or perhaps need some convincing, I present you with a list of 25 Reasons You Should Be Watching Spike Lee’s Bad 25. Not completely spoiler-free, however, I urge all the purists out there to tread lightly with this list if you’d prefer to see the film without advance info!
1. Mariah Carey makes an LOL-worthy joke about being a fuss-causing diva when she threatens to scold Clive Davis.
2. The film summons nostalgia for an era when music was successfully flourishing and record sales were at their peak. Ah, those were the days.
3. Viewers receive a non-verbal explanation of the infamous “Smooth Criminal” dance-lean.
4. Martin Scorsese watches his old footage and breaks down the making of the “Bad” video short film.
5. Quincy Jones’ wacky 80s sweater during an interview. You’ll see what I mean.
#Rihannaplane landed last night in New York, and while we wait on the final dispatches from our brave colleagues who were onboard, we thought we would take a moment to start looking at the album that has inspired the whole thing but been seemingly tucked a back seat pocket for the duration of the seven days. Who has time to talk dub-break downs when there’s Ace to be sipped and buses to catch! We get it.
But Unapologetic marks Rihanna’s seventh turn, and it brings to the table much to be reckoned with regarding quality and quantity and he-who-shall-not-be-named. There is also Rihanna’s confidence and swaggering deviance, and of course: “Diamonds.”
Happy 41st birthday Snoop Dogg…er…Snoop Lion! It’s been a big year for you. One of name changes and breaking the big 4-0. There’s nothing more wonderful then spending your b’day with some of your closest friends, doing the things you love to do the most. That’s why we’ve collected a few of your most heartwarming friend hangs (we think) and imagined what you could do to celebrate your birthday. Think of these as merely suggestions, and ways to make sure you have the best birthday a Lion could ask for.
Frank Ocean is back on his blog grind. The last time the crooner used TextEdit was just ahead of his Channel Orange release, when he posted a moving account of his first love, who just happened to be a man. Last night the generous star returned to his Tumblr, this time with less of a mission in mind but still with ever so much to say. This note is more free-wheeling and less pointed than the last, touching quickly on his dreams, his diet and even death, before Ocean sweetly concludes: “Good night moon.”
Major revelations include confirmation that Ocean has been in the studio with Pharrell and Jay-Z, and that he’s always making new music. And all the rest read like a revelation — a bit about love, lots of new projects and one mention of Bill Murray. Like Ocean himself, it’s funny and smart, quirky and honest, and well worth the attention. Maybe Ocean should consider a career in blogging?
Well folks, you did it. Just under two weeks ago, VH1 Classic began releasing a series of viewer polls that would ultimately determine what songs would separate themselves from the pack in America’s Hard 100. Over one million (!!!) votes were cast by you, THE FANS, to determine which songs deserved to be at the top of our list of the best hard rock and heavy metal songs of all-time. We’ve sorted through the votes, analyzed the numbers, and now we need your help again in determining the FINAL RANKINGS of America’s Hard 100.
We have come up with a list of 15 songs here, 10 of which won their respective polls — a healthy round of applause for Dream Theater‘s “Pull Me Under,” Type O Negative‘s “Black No. 1,” Bon Jovi‘s “Living On A Prayer,” Cinderella‘s “Gypsy Road,” Dio‘s “Holy Diver,” Rush‘s “Limelight,” Poison‘s “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” Guns N’ Roses‘ “November Rain,” Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads’ “Crazy Train,” and Black Sabbath‘s “Paranoid”! — and 5 of which we’re deeming wildcards. Each of these wildcard songs — AC/DC‘s “Back In Black,” Accept‘s “Balls To The Wall,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” Megadeth‘s “Sweating Bullets,” and Poison’s “Talk Dirty To Me” — reaped more votes than all the other non-poll winning songs, and might have won their respective polls had they been placed among a different group of songs.
So, with that said, here are your final 15 songs. The same rules apply this time around; vote early and often for as many of these 15 as you think are deserving, and you can always click Return To Poll to vote again. The polls will close on Tuesday, October 2 at 4 p.m. ET, and you’ll be able to tune in to watch America’s Hard 100 on VH1 Classic in November to see the final results.
Christina Aguilera plays a real femme fatale in the new video for “Your Body,” drawing men in one by one and letting them get handsy with her before turning them back out as splatters of paint and piles of confetti. She struts around looking either like she’s just cleared out Claire’s at the local mall, her wrists loaded heavy with big jewels, or like she’s just lost a round of paintball, her hair streaked with bright colors. And we, like the men in the video, couldn’t stop staring because these aren’t just statement pieces, they are warnings like an exotic bird’s warning colors. She’s decked out, each adornment a lure and possibly too a warning.
Should you come across your very own femme fatale with potentially homicidal tendencies, here are 8 fashion signposts that can help you decide whether to stay or to bolt:
The Black Beanie: She’s wearing this at the bar where she takes the guy into the bathroom and makes a big and bright blue paint stain out of him. She looks cute and cozy in this black beanie, sure, but he should have known that black hats are always a sure sign of a bad guy.