Death Cab For Cutie took to the stage at Jimmy Kimmel Live and it was a resounding “Awww, big cuddle!” from us to the newly single Ben Gibbard (give us a call, yeah?). From their latest album Codes And Keys, Death Cab played “You Are A Tourist” (above) and “Underneath the Sycamore” (after the jump). In the truest, most emotionally sentimental yet frank lyricism that Death Cab has adopted as their niche, “You Are A Tourist” has all the floating whimsy and grand cavernousness of “Expo 86″ and “Marching Bands Of Manhattan.” With a certain soaring hopefulness beset with often gnarly or despairing lyrics, Death Cab have the Robyn thing (happy sadness) down pat.
It’s all about You Oughta Know band Foster The People right now, and if you still don’t know who they are you’re even more clueless than these Jeopardy contestants. Just kidding, you’re only clueless if, in reading this, you don’t immediately go and listen to some FTP. The boys are hot business, after all, having been nominated for Grammys and whatnot. Last night, they performed their new single “Don’t Stop” live on Leno (we premiered the video for the single last week) and it was everything you’d expect from FTP: high energy, impeccable vocals and instrumentals, weird crap on the walls and lots of color and flashing lights. And also Mark Foster is a babe. Fin.
Chris Martin Thinks Lady Gaga Writes Better Music Than Him
Coldplay‘s Chris Martin things Lady Gaga is a better songwriter than him, revealing, “I just admire all of the hats and the dresses and the madness and everything because I know that underneath it all she can beat me at writing choruses.” We reckon she probably looks better in a dress, too. [Spin]
Grinderman Announce That They’re Splitting Up
Music legend Nick Cave has announced that his band, Grinderman, will be no more, but cryptically added, “See you all in another ten years when we’ll be even older and uglier.” [Prefix]
On a Katy Perry hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, Robyn gave an impeccable performance of her songs “Dancing On My Own” and “Call Your Girlfriend.” One of the few solo performers that can carry a live act alone, Robyn manages to captivate with high energy, perfect vocals and killer dance moves that require no extra fuss or frills. The best part is, while Robyn is a joy to watch, her lyrics are… well… a tad depressing! Despite that Robyn still makes toes tap, even when she’s be jilted by her lover and is left dancing on her own. Add an introduction by the adorable, newly blonde-bobbed Katy Perry, and you’ve got a recipe for pop deliciousness.
Remember your Blink-182 obsession in the ’90s and early Naughties? We remember ours, that’s why we were so excited to see our favorite pop-punk band take to the stage on Conan last night to perform “After Midnight” from their new LP Neighborhoods. “After Midnight” took us for a trip down memory lane, with the sentiment of “Going Away To College” and the dynamic, roof shaking sounds of “Feeling This.” While it doesn’t have the attitude of the kind of stuff Blink-182 gave us in Dude Ranch and Enema Of The State, “After Midnight” is what we’ve come to expect from a more mature, grown up Blink-182, and we love it (plus, there’s nothing we adore more than Travis Barker smashing a drum kit). “After Midnight” is draws on the tortured elements of the Blink-182 persona, retaining hints of teenage romanticism and the absurdist whimsy-realism dichotomy Blink-182 creates with their lyrics and layered beats. After all, how long can grown men sing about alien invasions and doing untoward things to dogs and pirates?
The Black Keys performed live at Webster Hall in New York City this week in the wake of the release of their new album, El Camino, and we’re still pinching ourselves, as we bet The Keys are too. When did this happen? Since when did one of the most respected rock bands of this generation become international superstars?
It seems that after a long career, The Black Keys have skyrocketed from cult status to household name almost overnight. Playing songs from the new album including “Lonely Boy,” “Gold On The Ceiling” and “Sister,” The Black Keys also gave the crowd a healthy dose of classic tracks from their back catalog. MTV Hive streamed the whole show live, but in case you missed out, you can still watch the videos online. Our favorite song of the night, “Howlin’ For You,” from The Black Keys’ Brothers, was a slightly sped up version of the original, and brought an extra dose energy to an already raucous show. With the audience bouncing along to the beat and The Keys dripping sweat, this is rock music, the way rock music should be — raw, passionate and inclusive.
Last night, X Factor contestant Chris Rene sang a song he had written himself, “Where Do We Go From Here.” Chris gave an endearing performance, sitting mid-stage on a stool and strumming an acoustic guitar. Super sweet and beachy (a little bit Jack Johnson, maybe? Remember that guy?), the performance was received by the judges with an outpouring of praise, even from Simon Cowell who called the performance “a stroke of genius.” The audience agreed in a cacophony of applause, and Stevie Wonder even made a personal call to tell Chris “You are inspiring me right now. We’re thinking Chris might have taken the lead in the competition — who better to win a musical talent contest than one who is not only musically talented, but multi-talented?
The great thing about hangovers is that almost everyone knows what they feel like — and now Taio Cruz‘s song “Hangover” adds music to the condition. Although, we’re not going to lie, the banging club-driven beat is probably the last thing we want to hear when we’re actually hungover, and would probably be a much better companion to the night before the day after. Performing the track live on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Cruz gave an upbeat performance of “Hangover,” inspired by the Euro-techno beats that have seemed to prevail this year in pop music. A speaker thumping anthem, if it were summer, we’re thinking “Hangover” would be the sort of beach-bar staple we’d be fist pumping along to while sipping cocktails — despite the inherent warning in the song’s lyrics!
Alone on stage with nothing but a guitar, a flop of hair and his angelic vocals, Ryan Adams gave what felt like quite a candid performance of “Lucky Now” on The Late Show With David Letterman last night. Indeed, watching the show, even from the comforts of our own living rooms, we felt like Adams was performing exclusively for us, so captivating and intimate was his gentle voice and guitar strumming. Adams’ performance was sweet and refined, while at the same time being somewhat soul revealing, as the singer let himself be vulnerable under the spotlight.
Die hard Black Keys fans the world over are wide-eyed in disbelief as the unassuming band is skyrocketing their way to rock superstardom, mainly because we’re just so used to their defiant, organic sound flying ever so slightly under the radar. But the attention is well deserved, as the Black Keys’ dedication to rock’n'roll is completely unwavering, their music consistently inspiring. Since they made meme status with the “Lonely Boy” dancer, it only makes sense that the next logical step is a second appearance on Saturday Night Live. Performing “Lonely Boy” and “Gold On The Ceiling,” the Keys shine, upping the ante for their contemporaries and giving rock authenticity a much needed renaissance. If you like what you saw on SNL, be sure to tune in tonight for MTV Hive’s‘s live stream of the Black Keys in concert from New York City, at 9 p.m ET/6 p.m. PT.