December’s You Oughta Know selection, Metric, hit the studio last month for a You Oughta Know Live session that included “Synthetica,” “Gimme Sympathy,” their latest Synthetica single “Breathing Underwater,” and a cover of Morrissey‘s “Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself.” Although they are usually four, James Shaw and Emily Haines held it down, paring their feathery and glamorous indie-rock down to just the bones. They made due with just a guitar and piano, and of course Haines’ voice, at once pitchy and girlish and worn and wizened by years of indie rock and rolling. The songs were stripped of their trademark glimmer but nice in their new delicacy, because beneath all that synth was always a aching skeleton, and this is exactly what they beautifully put on show for us.
You Oughta Know Live
Have you tuned in to watch the Big & Best of 2012 livestream yet? Thanks to our friends at T-Mobile, you can watch a steady stream of stars appear all day long over at bigandbestof2012.com. For instance, if you head over there at 5:30 p.m. ET, you can catch our December 2012 You Oughta Know artist Metric performing their very special You Oughta Know Live set. Their set will include a few tracks (“Breathing Underwater”, “Gimme Sympathy”, “Synthetica”) off of their new LP, Synthetica, as well as a cover of Morrissey‘s “Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself.” Go check it out!
And be sure to stick around all-day for an amazing collection of performances from the likes of Grace Potter, Bruno Mars and more. We’ve also got a fantastic VH1 Reality Roundtable on the docket for 6:00 p.m. ET/5C, featuring appearances from Mob Wives‘ Renee Graziano, Love & Hip Hop‘s Yandy Smith and Basketball Wives LA‘s star Jackie Christie. This extravaganza will run through 8 p.m. tonight over at bigandbestof2012.com!
We hate to say we told you so, but… we told you so! All year we’ve been bringing you the best new music so you can stay aurally informed, and if you’ve been doing your homework and keeping abreast of the hottest new acts with us, you’ll notice that more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists, both past and present, scored well-deserved props when the 2013 Grammy Nominees were announced tonight.
Our You Oughta Know alumni scored an impressive 17 nominations in total, including four nominations in the big four categories. Our February 2012 YOK artist Gotye picked up a nomination for Record Of The Year for his song “Somebody I Used To Know,” a song that he performed for a standing room only crowd in our 20th floor lobby earlier this year; our May 2012 You Oughta Know artist Ed Sheeran scored a nomination for Song Of The Year for his haunting ballad “The A Team”; our July pick, The Lumineers, were nominated for Best New Artist; and our YOK friends from way back in 2010, Mumford & Sons, picked up a nod in the Album Of The Year category for their massive new LP, Babel.
Here’s a complete list of the 2013 Grammy nominations that our awesome YOK alums took home tonight. #proud
In “Gimme Sympathy,” Emily Haines asks: “Who would you rather be, The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?” A fine question, sure, but we have always known that the answer is actually Metric, who happen to be our December You Oughta Know artist. Having come out of New York in the 90s, Metric’s Haines, Jimmy Shaw, Joshua Winstead and Joules Scott Key are about as cool as they come. Their music pulses with synths that will keep you shimmying through the night, and oozes the glamor (or, in honor of their Canadian roots: “glamour”) with which they carry themselves. Just hit play on their latest single, “Breathing Underwater,” and have a look at them and you’ll see what we mean.
Our intrepid photographer Lauren Weissler tagged along with the band as they unloaded for and rocked through their You Oughta Know Live session, all along the way capturing that special glow they’ve got.
We’re ushering in the winter with some blues from our November You Oughta Know artist, Gary Clark Jr. The sweet sounds of his mellow voice from his You Oughta Know live session and Big Morning Buzz Live performance have seriously assisted in fighting the blues the cold weather brings about. But “Ain’t Messin ‘Round” won’t leave you with feelings of melancholy. In fact, the speedy guitar riffs are likely to inspire you to grab a dance partner and allow the two-stepping and swing to ensue. And you’ll certainly feel uber confident with lyrics like, “I don’t believe in competition/Ain’t nobody else like me around.” So, “play cool” as you lose yourself in the intoxicating guitar strings.
You can download an MP3 of this incredible Gary Clark Jr. performance of “Ain’t Messin’ Round” here on VH1 Tuner for free! But be quick — the link expires at midnight on Monday, December 3 and you don’t want to miss out.
Gary Clark Jr – “Ain’t Messin’ Round” (MP3) (UPDATE: Sorry, this link expired!)
It’s definitely Gary Clark Jr.’s time to shine. Our November You Oughta Know artist is the 28-year-old guitarist you’d find on stage singing the blues peppered with a bit of rock, a bit of R&B and a touch of country. His major label release Blak and Blu has been praised for its showcase of his “well-rounded tool kit.” Now we get to show you a behind-the-scenes look of Gary’s musical style.
Our fantastic photographer Jennifer Marigliano spent the day with Gary Clark Jr. trekking around New York City before the blues singer prepped for and rocked his You Oughta Know live session. Gary’s a no fuss kind of guy. It’s through his guitar all of his energy flows like a river. Read more…
A one man show. All our newest You Oughta Know artist, Gary Clark Jr., needs is his guitar. During his live set for VH1, GCJ performs “Things Are Changin’” on a stool with one mic, one guitar. There’s no band or gimmicks, just Gary. Add this to the five reasons You Oughta Know Gary. Read more…
We’ve been rocking out to Delta Rae‘s You Oughta Know Live session all month, and we still can’t get enough! And “Bottom Of The River” feels especially appropriate today, as the sky’s are a fall grey and the sidewalks littered with leaves because Halloween is just around the corner, and this song is certain to get you in the mood. But not in the kitschy and purely seasonal way a song like “Monster Mash” might. Rather, Delta Rae will draw you in with their vocal harmonies and then chill you to the bones with their creeping stomps and the clanking of chains in a trashcan. And by the time they get around to offering, “Hold my hand, oh baby it’s a long way down,” you might just want to!
You can download an MP3 of Delta Rae’s chilling “Bottom Of The River” performance here on VH1 Tuner for free! But be quick — the link expires at midnight on November 1st and you don’t want to miss out.
UPDATE (11/1/12): Sorry, this download has expired!
Though you might think otherwise after watching this powerful performance, the members of October’s You Oughta Know artist Delta Rae were all smiles at their You Oughta Know Live. The family-and-friend folk-rock — or gospel, or show tunes, or whatever else might move them! — crew seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company. But as you’ll see, when the count runs down and it’s time to play, the music takes a hold of them in a way that’s almost spiritual.
This stripped down rendition of “Bottom of the River,” from their outstanding debut album Carry The Fire, is the perfect example of the power these six can wield. Instruments left aside, the song builds around their vocal harmonies and is dragged forward by the clanking of chains in a trashcan. When they perform it, the group stomp the song out like an evil in need of exorcising. Delta Rae boasts four vocalists and six members total, and when they all get going they really get going. The end result is a performance so chilling that you’ll be left actually looking for a hand to hold.
Delta Rae also performed their inspiring “Morning Comes” and their heart-tugging “If I Loved You,” or check out their full You Oughta Know Live session here. And then check back for more Delta Rae treats throughout the month!