It’s the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere?officially the first day of summer?so even though the season’s lazy days are ahead of us, what better time to start looking back at the evergreen songs of summers past? This morning, the Village Voice‘s Sound of the City blog ran an extensive Q&A with DJ Jazzy Jeff about one of the most enduring summertime songs, his own (with the Fresh Prince) “Summertime,” which turns twenty this year. Will Smith channeled his own nostalgia for Philly summers past (while in Los Angeles shooting the first season of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air) into a timeless nostalgic anthem. Read more…
Yesterday was surprisingly strong for late night music on a Monday. Bon Iver kicked off “StePhest Colbchella ’011: Rock You Like a Thirst-icane” on The Colbert Report and Mint Condition slayed the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon crowd as Weird Al Yankovic, sitting in with the Roots, looked on. (Panic! at the Disco weren’t bad on Kimmel either.)
The best performance of the night, though, belonged to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, who burned up the Lopez Tonight stage. The whole crowd clapped along with the punchy throwback-soul number “Without a Heart,” thanks in no small part to the Dap-Kings’ sharp playing. Were Sharon Jones a James Brown-style bandleader, she wouldn’t have needed to fine any of the Dap-Kings a cent. As it is, Jones is a much less harsh figurehead than Brown ever was, though her gruff vocals hardly have less power for it (though she definitely leads the way?the band stops on a dime on the line “I could be cold as ice”). Of course, the band nods to their roots by ending the song with a mini-riff of Brown’s soul classic “I Don’t Mind.”
Renee Graziano Styles Ghostface Killah
In case you missed yesterday’s Mob Wives and haven’t caught up with Liz Black‘s recap yet, make sure you do! Staten Island’s own Ghostface Killah met up with Staten Island’s own Renee Graziano in one of the episode’s few lighter moments for Graziano.
Jeremih Covers Adele‘s “Rumour Has It”
“Down On Me” songster Jeremih tried his hand at a cover of “Rumour Has It,” from Adele’s still-chart-topping 21, for Billboard today. He even dropped a bit of “Ice Ice Baby” and “Under Pressure” into a breakdown. Read more…
Amid rumors that she nearly foughtNicki Minaj backstage, Britney Spears turns her microphone into a weapon?literally?in this interesting teaser for her new video “I Wanna Go,” which premieres Wednesday. Aside from the obvious allusion to Gogo Yubari, the schoolgirl character from Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (see below), (and the McTiernan joke on the theater marquee: CROSSROADS 2: CROSS HARDER) the most interesting visual aspect to this teaser is the appearance?on Britney’s shirt and on a wall?of a skull with Mickey Mouse ears.
2011 seems a strangely belated time for former Mouseketeer Britney to be making any sort of statement with this Shepard Fairey-style graffiti combination, but we’re curious where (if anywhere) the video goes with this, not to mention that the notoriously litigious Walt Disney Company could argue that the imagery doesn’t fall under fair use.
Still, seeing Britney as a rather believable warrior on the New York City streets (deadlier than even Adam Lazzara) speaks to the continuing rehabilitation of both her self-representation and her public image. At the very least, the video looks to be better than “Hold It Against Me.” We’re looking forward to Wednesday’s premiere.
The first two stops of Britney Spears‘s Femme Fatale Tour are in the can, and the reviews are in. Is the tour a success? It depends whom you ask (or maybe which night you attended).
Carla Meyerraved at the Sacramento Bee about Spears’s tour kickoff on Thursday night, a “relaxed” yet “excited” performance that was no less professional for the “fun” Spears had while “hitting all her marks.” Barry Walters, who attended the same show for Rolling Stone, reported the same: “She’s wisely focusing on the present…while offering possibly her flashiest, fastest moving, and most entertaining production yet.” He complimented her agility and showpersonship.
The two reports disagree on opener Nicki Minaj; Meyer praised her “magnetism” and “attention to detail” while Walters thought the set “lacked in commitment.” Both did find it (understandably) strange that Spears’s “Till the World Ends” performance featured an onscreen Minaj instead of an in-person one.
Now that we’re four weeks into this year’s race to determine the Song Of The Summer, the race is finally starting to heat up. Adele still has a firm grasp on the #1 spot, but closer analysis reveals that the gap between her and those who would gladly take her position is closing (thanks to minor slips in iTunes sales and the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown this week).
While Adele isn’t giving up her throne anytime soon, it looks pretty clear at this point that Miami rapper Pitbull is shaping up to have his Best Summer Ever. He’s currently got three songs resting comfortably in the S.O.T.S. Top 20: He contributes guest vocals to both Jennifer Lopez‘s “On The Floor” and Shakira‘s new chart entry, “Rabiosa,” and he’s also the lead artist on the club-friendly “Give Me Everything.” Not only that, his new single with Marc Anthony, “Rain Over Me,” is just starting to bubble up and could make a strong run itself after his new album, Planet Pit, drops tomorrow.
Also, while we’re talking about potential songs that could dethrone “Rolling In The Deep,” keep an eye on Lady Gaga’s “The Edge Of Glory” next week. The video just debuted on Thursday night, and even though it underwhelmed many upon its release, the song should benefit greatly from increased exposure in the wake of Clarence Clemons’ tragic passing this week.
Got any thoughts on the Song Of The Summer? Tweet us @vh1 or leave your comments below!
Amy, Amy, Amy. We thought you were getting better, not worse! Just two weeks ago, after a short stint in rehab and a clear-headed, successful performance at London’s 100 Club, it was reported that the British songbird’s sobriety was finally on the mend. But in Serbia on Saturday night, Winehouse kicked-off what was supposed to be her European tour, showing up visibly inebriated on stage. Not only could a stumbling Amy barely sing for her Belgrade audience of 20,000 ticket-holders, but her cringe-worthy “performance” was heavily booed in what local press is referring to as “the worst in the history of Belgrade.” An apologetic statement has been issued from her camp, speaking to the incident and canceling her next two shows in Turkey and Greece: Read more…
5. Ian Hunter, “All of the Good Ones Are Taken”
Clemons has a really great solo two-and-change minutes into the title track off Ian Hunter’s 1983 album All of the Good Ones Are Taken (though a stand-in appears in the music video). Without his performance, this Mott the Hoople member’s solo effort wouldn’t have had its single (especially since guitarist Mick Ronson only played on one song). This largely forgotten video used to get a lot of play on local and syndicated non-MTV video shows. Read more…
We’d like to pay our respects to The Big Man by programming 24 hours of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band on VH1 Classic. Starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, we’ll be airing the concert films Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in New York City (2000) and Live In Barcelona (2002) back-to-back for 24 consecutive hours.
Clemons first rose to prominence in 1971 after agreeing to team up with fellow Asbury Park, NJ musician Bruce Springsteen. The Bruce Springsteen Band, as they were called back then, didn’t make it very far, but Bruce reconstituted the group a few years later under the moniker of the E Street Band and, as they say, the rest is history. Clemons became an instrumental part of Springsteen’s band, contributing some of the most famous sax solos in music history on songs like “Born To Run” and “Jungleland,” and was such an integral part of Springsteen’s creative process that The Boss wrote the song “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and included their origin story as part of one of the verses.
Naturally, this apparent Gaga diss by Kahn infuriated the Little Monsters, who barraged Kahn so relentlessly on Twitter that his name became a trending topic “for all the wrong reasons.” After Gaga refused to come to his aid on Twitter, anonymous insiders close to production talked to the New York Post’s PopWrap blog and detailed the “disagreements” that occured on set between Gaga and Kahn, disagreements that led to Kahn disavowing the project entirely (the finished video for “The Edge Of Glory” is now listed as being directed by Haus of Gaga).