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.
So the unlikely story that got the internet spinning yesterday, the one about how Paul McCartney as Dave Grohl to jam and inadvertently ended up getting Nirvana back together? It turns out there was some — well, a lot of — truth to it. Last night McCartney was charged with closing out the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief, a challenging task that meant following up nearly six-hours of performances by everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Kanye West and Billy Joel to the Rolling Stones, and a task that he handily dealt with by calling up his “mates” Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear for a “jam.”
Together they played “Cute Me Some Slack,” the new song teased in yesterday’s blodders. There can be no Nirvana without Kurt Cobain, but McVana ground it out their own way. They played a new song called “Cut Me Some Slack,” which was stomping and static with feedback like a Nirvana song wont be, and which got Macca wailing like his blood was running hot: “Mama, watch me run / Mama let me have some fun.”
That was only one of many wonderful moments from last night’s benefit, which . Here are five more you won’t want to miss:
Shoulda, coulda, woulda they say, and if we were heading up things at these labels, we might’ve done things a bit differently. But alas, we do not so we do what we do best and make a catchy end of year list that points out songs that deserved their run at the pop charts. Even if they never see the light of Billboard glory, they’re certainly some of the best songs of the year and should get your listen. Who knows! Did you know “Starships” wasn’t even on the original run of Nicki Minaj‘s Pink Friday? That’s right, and mostly why there was a “Pink Friday 2″ aka Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. So there’s always a chance for long-lost songs to see new glory. Here are the ones we think deserve it.
Ciara, “Livin’ It Up”
Talk about a missed opportunity, Ciara’s “Livin’ It Up”, a tropical romp across a Kid ‘N Play sample, isn’t even included on the final version of her album One Woman Army. Snatched from a Cosmopolitan Magazine sampler CD, blogs went nuts over the track after it leaked across the web in anticipation for the album. Too bad that when Ciara released her first single, the apty-named, and decidedly down-beat “Sorry”, turned out “Livin’ It Up” was more of what everyone wanted.
Frank Ocean, “Lost”
channel ORANGE received a whole bunch of attention this year, although it was Frank Ocean’s sexuality that managed to steal the spotlight most of the time. The album ended up being a gorgeous collection of songs that perfect flowed in and out of each other–even the 9+ minute “Pyramids” shined. But if any song had a chance at the pop charts, it would’ve been “Lost” a song that tells the tale of a drug-cooking girlfriend atop a catchy pop melody.
The time has come to end the speculation about who will sing the Whitney Houston tribute at VH1 Divas. Jordin Sparks, Ledisi and Melanie Fiona were tapped to do the honors and are offering up a medley of the legend’s biggest dance hits. The set list reads like the jukebox playlist of every bar I’ve been to on a Saturday night: “I’m Every Woman,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” and “How Will I Know.” Sounds like good times!
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. Miguel and A$AP Rocky have already done their thing, and if you check in at 5:15 PM ET you can catch the inimitable Grace Potter. Go check it out!
And be sure to stick around all-day for an amazing collection of performances from the likes of December 2012 You Oughta Know artist Metric, Bruno Mars and more., 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!
2012 was the year that Taylor Swift made her first (mostly) adult record, hosted a VH1 Storytellers, sold 1.2 million albums in a week, broke iTunes records, dated a Kennedy, covered all the magazines and pizza boxes, earned herself $57 million dollars, and — and well, you get the point: Taylor had a tremendous year. In order to properly celebrate her 2012, our pop blogging friends over at Popdust have declared Taylor to be their Artist of the Year. But before she was allowed to claim her crown, she had to answer a few questions about what made 2012 so special for her.
Here is how Taylor’s 2012 — which she says “was more like a two-year process, actually, culminating in a surprisingly pleasant reception for Red” — breaks down:
“All you [chicks] is my sons,” is what Britney Spears is somewhere rapping in a mirror after topping Forbes‘ top earning women in music list. Britney indeed made a comeback–a $58 million dollar one. The bulk of the pop singer’s $58 million earning can be attributed to her latest album, Femme Fatale, and its tour. Her fortune increased with endorsements and her fragrance line with Elizabeth Arden. After a rough patch of misfortunes it’s good to see Brit back on top. Read more…
Another day, some more Best Of 2012‘s! The enthusiasts over at Popdust keep close tabs on all of pop music’s going-on’s and their list is accordingly thorough, including all the big names as well as a handful of gems we hadn’t expected but are happy to see make the cut. have done a heroes job and turned their list into a YouTube playlist as well as a Spotify playlist so you really have no excuse not to enjoy it. Their top 10 looks like this:
Grab your inhalers Kelly Clarkson fans, because we have it on good authority that she will be throwing down a live version of her latest single “Catch My Breath” on VH1 Divas Sunday. Anyone who saw her perform the midtempo dance track on the American Music Awards, caught her brilliant VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul sets last year (ahem, she killed it wearing a cast on her foot) or watched her Unplugged gets why this is a BFD.
Ten years since “Miss Independent” won the American Idol crown and Kelly’s still delivering power vocals that leave us speechless. Her fierce penchant for keeping it real while being super endearing makes it almost feel like we’re totally estranged best friends. Get a little closer to Kelly with me on December 16 at 9PM/8C as we watch her smash another performance like only she can. Read more…
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!