Music Lists

by (@Lacezilla)

Daddy Tally: A Big “Happy Father’s Day!” To Those Musicians Most Deserving

It’s that time of year again! When we?honor thy father by running out to?the nearest department store?to get?the big guy?a tie that?he’ll accept with a smile and probably never, ever?wear. I kid, I kid! In all seriousness, this Sunday marks yet another Fathers’ Day, and it goes without saying that the job is a tough one that deserves recognition. Dirty diapers, puberty meltdowns, giving proper advice… the list of fatherly?duties is literally never-ending. And that, my friends, is exactly why we have to hand it to the gentlemen?who’ve made it on?our Top 20 Daddy Tally list.

Not only are these distinguished men highly successful in the ultra-competitive music industry, but they’ve managed to achieve their success while also fathering?HUGE tribes of children. That’s right, each papa bear on our Top 20 list has upwards of five children, and whether it’s serial philanderer Bob Marley, sperm donor extraordinaire David Crosby (hey Melissa Etheridge!) or rumored father of 75 bouncing babies (!!!), Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, they all have more than “earned” their spot.

by (@unclegrambo)

Dream On: The Top Ten Music Videos That Take Place In Dreams

Ever since the dawn of the eighties when the music video revolution took place, musicians and directors alike have used the medium to unleash ideas and visions that often start bubbling up from the subconscious. When you think about it, this strategy makes perfect sense; since songs rarely have linear plots and generally only run 3-4 minutes in length, it’s can be a challenge to cram an entire “traditional” story into a music video. So videos tend to work best when they use music and imagery to create a mood that’s dreamlike in nature, rather than telling a story that starts at point A and definitively ends at point B.

Despite the fact that a lot of videos rely on dreamlike imagery, very few, in fact, actually literally take place in dreams themselves. However, after taking in Bon Iver‘s lush video for “Calgary” yesterday, we found ourselves really wanting to explore what other videos also took place in dreams. We admittedly fell down a bit of a YouTube rabbit hole, in a good way, and we wanted to share our results with you. So, without further ado, here is our list of the Top Ten Music Videos That Take Place In Dreams.


10) The Chemical Brothers, “Let Forever Be”
A woman finds weird reflections of herself as she goes about her day, because it turns out she’s having that dream where she goes about her day?you know, the one where you try to trick your brain into thinking you’re already up. This video visualizes the brain’s process of figuring itself out. Also there are nods to Busby Berkeley. (NM)

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The Top 34 Moments That Shaped Kanye West (Also: Happy Birthday, Yeezy!)

Today is Kanye West‘s 34th birthday, and while we would be happy to praise our favorite controversial artist to high heaven, we’re sure no amount of laudation would be enough for the notoriously immodest West. So we decided to take a different approach: pinpointing the 34 moments that shaped Kanye. Some shaped his life; some shaped his persona; some shaped the way he’s seen. All of them either have found or will find their way into his highly personal music. Happy birthday, Yeezy!

DATE: June 8, 1977
EVENT: Kanye West is born
It wouldn’t be Kanye’s birthday if he hadn’t been born thirty-four years ago today, in Atlanta, where his parents settled after they both finished graduate school.

DATE: August 28, 1980
EVENT: Kanye’s parents, Ray And Donda, divorce
In her memoir Raising Kanye, Donda West recalls that, to her mind, her husband Ray was putting his new photography studio ahead of his own family, so she filed for divorce and full custody of young Kanye. Two weeks after the divorce was final, Kanye and his mother left Atlanta for Chicago. Imagine the life he might have led had he grown up in Atlanta!

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by (@unclegrambo)

2011 Song of the Summer Countdown: Adele Continues To Roll Deep


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Welcome to Week Two of VH1′s Song of the Summer countdown. Each and every Monday from now until Labor Day, we’ll be utilizing today’s most advanced data collection techniques Microsoft Excel to chart the competition of what will become THE song that people will think of when they remember the summer of 2011.

Last week, Adele‘s monster smash, “Rolling In The Deep,” captured the top spot, scoring 87 of a possible 100 points. (For a reminder on how the scoring system works, click here.) Somehow, the English songbird managed to increase her stranglehold on the #1 spot in this countdown this week, racking up 91 (!!!) points and proving that no matter what medium people use to consume music these days, they’re using it to listen to Adele.

However, lest you think that Adele has got this summer on lock only two weeks in, there are a number of new songs that cracked the charts this week for the first time: Jason Derulo‘s “Don’t Wanna Go Home,” DJ Khaled‘s superstar-laced hit “I’m On One” (which features Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne), Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” (which was just released on Friday) and Taylor Swift‘s bid for power pop domination, “The Story Of Us.” Oh yeah, and Adele’s powerful anthem of lost love, “Someone Like You,” managed to crack the Top 20, too.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Summer Jams: Mark Graham Picks Three Of His Fave “Song of the Summer” Candidates

What is going to be the 2011 Song of the Summer? I honestly have no idea! I’m neither a prognosticator nor a music critic, but rather, I’m simply a fan. My colleagues Nick Minichino, Lacey Seidman and Jim Shearer have already weighed in with their thoughts on which songs will reign supreme (Burrito Supreme!) this summer, but all that I can guarantee about my three picks is that I will be listening to these a lot this summer. Either way, enjoy!

NOMINATION: Foster The People, “Helena Beat”
EXPLANATION: At this time last year, Foster The People were an unsigned band in search of a record deal after a buzzy single (“Pumped Up Kicks”) took the 2010 SXSW audiences by storm. Their song took off in social media circles, thanks in large part to a push from NPR and The Hype Machine. Eventually, the gents signed to Columbia imprint Startime International, and their debut LP, Torches, hit stores in late May, just weeks after they became one of the surprise successes of this year’s Coachella festival.

“Helena Beat,” their second single off Torches, is a synthy indie pop pleaser that will appeal to fans of MGMT. I will confess that I’m not entirely sure what the song is about, and lead singer Mark Foster‘s distinctively high-pitched vocals are sometimes a smidge tricky to decipher, but each and every time I hear this song, I can’t help but to tap my toes. Maybe it’s the washes of sound that roll through the track, maybe it’s the way the progression of the synth line builds, I’m not sure, but this song just feels like summer to me.

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by (@Lacezilla)

Summer Jams: Lacey Seidman’s Top Three Contenders for “Song of the Summer”

After a miserable NYC winter, the weather is again warm, and we’re all about hitting these streets! But what will our summer-lovin’ soundtrack include? Since the pop music monster is one that defies taming, most of us can already venture to guess what we’ll likely hear blasting out of car windows while dining al fresco and laying poolside, but for me, it’s all about the songs that may or may not hit the mainstream radar. Specifically, songs that light your summer on fire and arouse flashbulb memory nostalgia for years thereafter. As a music head, I can’t wait to find out what will be this year’s perfect audio accompaniment during glorious, sweaty cocktail-glass pre-game rituals, or what I’ll have on repeat in my headphones as I dodge European tourists in Times Square. Until then, here’s hoping that the radio gods are listening, and (fingers crossed!) that they have good taste.

NOMINATION: Friendly Fires, “Live Those Days Tonight”
EXPLANATION: If mainstream radio could just bend some rules and make room for an indie-pop dance record, this next few months would certainly be a bit lovelier. Summoning nostalgia for the (allegedly) more-fun 80s past that he never had the chance to experience, Friendly Fires’ frontman Ed Macfarlane vows to one-up his predecessors on this uptempo, synth-happy slice of audio heaven. Heavy with drums and feel-good vibes, “Live Those Days Tonight” is the first single off of the band’s critically acclaimed sophomore release, Pala, and is also the perfect summer party accessory!

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Summer Jams: Nick Minichino’s Top Three Contenders for “Song of the Summer”

Memorial Day has come and gone, so the season of the summer jam has officially begun! We will be paying close attention to the competition for the 2011 Song of the Summer here on the VH1 Blog. Of course, the pop audience will decide who will win, but here are three of our favorites:

NOMINATION: Lady Gaga: “Edge of Glory”
EXPLANATION: “Edge of Glory” seizes on a combination of rock and Euro-house not heard since 2002 (when DJ Sammy’s cover of Bryan Adams’s “Heaven,” among others, hit huge). Gaga’s song provides something not only for fans of the dominant sound of dueling pop kings Doctor Luke and RedOne, but also for those who appreciate more of a classic rock sound.

On top of that, the Clarence Clemons solo happens to coincide with the return-of-sax zeitgeist. Willa Paskin pronounced 2011 the “Summer of Sax” at New York‘s Vulture blog, but her only other evidence was Katy Perry‘s upcoming single “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F),” so the claim is a bit overstated. But it’s true that sax is back in vogue?indie rockers like Destroyer, and to a lesser extent Gayngs (featuring Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), have returned to a smooth-sax sound, and other artists on the edge, like Gorillaz collaborators (and Raphael Saadiq favorites) Little Dragon, have revived that specific smoothness, though with different instrumentation.

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Summer Jams: Jim Shearer’s Top Three Contenders for “Song of the Summer”

It might not be officially “summer” until June 21, but that’s not stopping us from starting our 2011 Song of the Summer Countdown. All day today, we’ll be highlighting Song of the Summer contenders as chosen by people who not only work here, but those that live and breathe music. Up first, we’ve got three picks from Jim Shearer, host of the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, which airs each and every Saturday morning. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!

NOMINATION: Beastie Boys feat. Santigold, “Don?t Play No Game That I Can?t Win?
EXPLANATION: To the naked ear it sounds like a Santigold song featuring the Beastie Boys, but don?t be fooled. When MCA, Mike D, and Ad-Rock were crafting the instrumental for this beachside-reggae delight, they were having trouble piecing it into a proper song until they got on the bat-phone and rang Santigold. ?Don?t Play No Game? is pop enough for mainstream radio, but will Katy Perry, Beyoncé, and Ke$ha fans open their ears to listen?

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by (@unclegrambo)

Keep An Eye On This Summer’s Hottest Jams With VH1′s 2011 Song of the Summer Countdown

According to the calendar, until the Summer Solstice occurs on June 21, we’re still firmly in the grasp of Spring. That said, pretty much everyone we know considers “summertime” to be the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. To wit, this past weekend millions of Americans broke out their barbeque grills, removed their sandals from storage, and spent the long weekend soaking up the sunshine with family and friends for the first time since last summer (and, if the temperatures here in NYC were any indication, it sure as hell felt like summer with temperatures hovering in the low 90s).

One of our favorite parts about the summertime is the way that music takes on an even more omnipresent role in all of our lives. Sure, we all listen to music year-round, but during the winter months, music is generally something you only experience either inside or through earbuds. Once the summertime rolls around, though, suddenly you start hearing music blasting EVERYWHERE: rattling out from car speakers, blaring from boomboxes while you’re lounging poolside, emanating from an iPod dock when you’re chilling in the park enjoying a picnic, and even crackling through old transistor radios while you’re camping in the woods.

And each year, one song emerges from the pack to stand out as that year’s Song of the Summer. It’s not generally a title that is officially anointed by any governing board, but we here at VH1 wanted to put a little science behind the emotion that these Songs of Summer convey.

Hence, we’re excited to announce that we here at VH1 will be tracking this year’s Song of the Summer from now until Labor Day. So, you’re no doubt wondering, what artist has the lead out of the gate: Lady Gaga? Adele? Bruno Mars? Continue along to find out…

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by (@Lacezilla)

Playing The Lesbian Card: 5 of Music’s Top Stars Who Used Bisexual or Gay Antics To Gain Popularity

If you haven’t already heard of Kreayshawn, the white, female rapper from Oakland, California has been snagging some serious buzz on the internets since she released her video for “Gucci Gucci” two weeks ago. Being chummy with Soulja Boy, “Based God” Lil B, and members of the hardcore L.A. rap collective Odd Future certainly hasn’t hurt the tiny, blunt-smoking lady-goon’s popularity, and rumors are swirling that she landed a million-dollar record deal with Sony over the weekend. Her quirky lyrics might make us giggle, but why should she be on your radar, and what does all the hoopla around her really stem from?

“Gucci Gucci” is an ode to Kreayshawn’s own flyness, but what makes us scratch our heads the most while watching this braggadocio-laden clip is the fact that the loudly-dressed, foul-mouthed rapper announces she’s openly into girls. Lots of girls. And she’ll even snatch up YOUR bitches — at her leisure. But is this bi-curious shtick organic? If it is, more power to her; we’re just a bit skeptical because, frankly, we’ve seen it before. Especially recently. It almost seems like becoming a successful female pop star these days means pseudo-lesbianism is baked into the artist’s marketing plan!

Just take a look at our list of five female artists below; they’re at the top of their game and crushing competitors, but at one point or another, they all allegedly dabbled in bisexual or gay experimentation. But was it Truth or Farce?

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