Ahead of the Grammys this weekend, for which they’re nominated for Best New Artist, The Band Perry stopped by The Ellen Degeneres Show to play their song “All Your Life.” Melodic and sweet, The Band Perry played their soft, rolling country track to perfection, not putting a single note wrong. Their stirring harmonies and gently strumming guitar added dynamism to the romantic love song. The Band Perry will also be performing at the Grammys, with a whole host of new stars and old legends.
Pitbull was all about affection from abroad last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performing his track “International Love.” The high energy, thumping dance track was met with flashing lights and Pitbull’s signature sunglasses at night. There was even a Super Bowl theme which was pertinent given this week’s game, as Pitbull rapped, “I don’t play football but I touchdown everywhere.” We’re pretty sure there’s some dirty innuendo intended in that line — but what would a Pitbull song be without it? It also looked pretty warm up there on the stage, as Pitbull and his band glistened with sweat — but then we realized that was probably just Pitbull bringing the heat to the euro dance beat.
Madonna redefined the word ‘spectacular’ with her Super Bowl half time show over the weekend. In what we’re sure cost the debt of several small third world countries, Madonna’s show was a no-holds-barred exercise in precision choreography and aesthetic decadence. Ushered in on the shoulders of an army of Roman Empire soldiers on a giant, regal float complete with gold throne, Madonna vogued to open the set, and what better song to vogue to than “Vogue”? After the perfectly synchronized, slow pace of Madonna’s voguing, the veteran broke seamlessly into “Music,” showing off some serious athletic agility and surely making America forget that she’s a woman in her 50s.
“Music” got a cool mash-up from guests LMFAO, who mixed the classic Madonna track with their hit “Party Rock Anthem.” The LMFAO boys shared a fun synchronized shuffle and some awkward slap-stick visual narrative with Madonna for the remix, ripping off her gladiator style skirt to reveal a simple black dress just in time for her new single “Give Me All Your Luvin.’” Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. joined Madge on stage for a gold pom pom filled dance extravaganza which wasn’t entirely without controversy (and what would a Madonna show be without controversy?), courtesy of M.I.A. and an inconspicuous enough little bird (more on that later).
Blake Shelton played a gorgeous “Drink On It” on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. With something of the weariness of heartache, the song it still wistfully romantic, and even more so as Blake croons into the microphone, smiling every so often in a way that will have you literally swooning, a little weak at the knees. The luxuriously meandering song, coupled with Blake’s irresistible charm and the fact that he’s playing a guitar (give a man a guitar and you make him at least 6 times easier to fall in love with), will have you day dreaming of country bars and cowboys all day long.
We remember distinctly the edge of puberty — all awkward, disproportionate limbs, angsty scrawls in diaries emblazoned with pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tiffani Amber Thiessen, and Nada Surf‘s “Popular.” Somewhat of an anthem for the 90s, “Popular” is probably the first thing you’ll think of when you hear the name Nada Surf, despite the band’s impressively full 20 year catalog. For their 20th year as a band, Nada Surf are back with a new album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, and last night played “Hi-Speed Soul” (above) and “Waiting For Something” on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. With hints of the music you loved in the 90s, “Hi-Speed Soul” infuses power-pop with indie rock for a high energy, dynamic sound.
At the legendary Etta James‘ funeral, Christina Aguilera belted out a spine tingling rendition of “At Last,” which has been part of her live repertoire for a decade. It’s clear how much Aguilera reveres James, and her performance was perfect, both in the range of Christina’s vocal and the touching nature of her Etta James inspired career. Despite the wonderful performance, audiences have chosen instead to focus on a mystery liquid* dripping down Christina’s legs as she sung. We think that whatever it was, it couldn’t have been a comfortable moment for Christina, and that she held her own like the consummate performer that she is, not missing a beat and delivering an emotion filled tribute to her idol.
If it were your birthday, you had your own talk show, and you could pick any artist in the world to play for you, who would you chose? Superstar Ellen Degeneres chose Earth, Wind & Fire for her birthday, which she celebrated on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Ellen’s favorite band, Earth, Wind & Fire acted as house band throughout the entire show, and we especially loved this performance of “September.” Watching the energy and joy with which the band played the song on stage, it’s hard to imagine that they started making music in 1971 — they seem so fresh and new! The performance was fun, upbeat and infectious, and we recommend getting out of your chair and doing a little shuffle in front of your desk as a great way to start your work day.
If your disposition can deal with fast, loud music, frenetic light flashing and a whole lot of high energy movement, then Big Freedia is for you. Performing “Na Who Mad” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, Big Freedia gave a spectacular dance performance amidst flashing lights in lurid colors. Clad in zebra print and not resting for even a second, Big Freedia’s reggaeton style music made us want to throw our bodies around too. And with a beat similar to Nicki Minaj‘s “Stupid Hoe,” were sensing that the chaotic pace of “Na Who Mad” might be a trend for music going into 2012.
Was Seal sending out a not-so-subtle message to soon to be ex-wife Heidi Klum, or was it just a happy coincidence that he sang Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” on Ellen yesterday? Regardless, Seal gave a perfect vocal performance, staying true to Al Green’s style. Looking sharp as hell on his glittering stage, Seal’s rendition of the classic song was practically flawless, and he moved between the high and low notes with a naturalness that made the whole thing look criminally easy. So easy in fact, that we gave the song a go right here in the office — let’s just say that just because something looks easy, it doesn’t mean that it is.