So it turns out there’s not much President Obama can’t do — adding singing to his repertoire last week, Obama belted out a line of Al Green‘s “Let’s Stay Together” and the Internet stood in ovation. Now, American Idol‘s Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe is reaching out to Obama and Green with the following Tweet:
An Obama / Green duet? On American Idol? Is this even vaguely a possibility? We all know how much Obama likes to be “down with the kids,” especially when it comes to music, but it hardly seems likely that a President would partake in such frivolity. But then, stranger things have happened. We’re also wondering about the state of reality talent shows — are they floundering for ratings? Following today’s firings at US The X Factor and now American Idol‘s reaching out to President Obama, it seems like everyone is grappling for an audience.
The X Factor has made some cuts — and it’s not the regular contestants. Causing quite the stir in the music world this morning, judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, and host Steve Jones were all FIRED from the US version of The X Factor last night. According to Rolling Stone, Simon Cowell and his creative team decided to axe Paula and Nicole during a meeting in which they weighed up what worked and what didn’t for the shows debut US season. Reports are saying that Paula was deemed “irrelevant to the mix,” while it remains unclear why Nicole and Steve were cut. While L.A. Reid is staying, it seems that Cowell is keen to bring in bigger names for the second season, and tongues are certainly wagging with speculation…
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.
A Q&A with “Politicizing Beyoncé” Professor Kevin Allred
The L Magazine spoke to Kevin Allred, the doctoral student responsible for that academic course in Beyoncé. He reveals that unfortunately, you can’t get extra credit for memorizing the “Single Ladies” dance. Dang — we’ve just wasted the past week then! [The L Magazine]
Jack White is going solo — after 2011 saw the official dissolution of The White Stripes, his divorce from Karen Elson and The Dead Weather‘s Alison Mosshart focusing on The Kills‘ 10 year anniversary album and tour, it only makes sense that the impresario should cut out on his own. Today sees the launch of White’s solo project online, with “Love Interruption,” the first single off White’s solo album, streaming now on White’s official site and sales beginning exclusively in digital retailers at 9 PM PT. The single will be available on vinyl from February 7th, while the album, Blunderbuss, has its release date set for April 24th.
“Love Interrupted,” has whispers of Jack White’s signature sound, both vocally and in the rock-led guitar riffs, but there’s something more personal at play here — an infusion of emotion and blues that hasn’t quite characterized White’s collaborative work the way it does in his first solo track. Simple and sparse yet powerful and moving, “Love Interruption” is our new favorite song, with its world weariness, nostalgically straight forward lyricism and weathered romanticism.
While it’s fair to say that the current incarnation of G’N’R can no longer fill stadiums they way they did in their early Nineties heyday, tickets for these six dates —three in NYC, one in Chicago, one in Silver Springs and one in Atlantic City— are sure to be some of the hottest tickets of what’s shaping up to be an outstanding year for live music. According to Rolling Stone, the last time that Guns N’ Roses played at Webster Hall was in 1988 (!), so old school headbangers and curious millenials alike will no doubt be ponying up big bucks to see the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductees in such an intimate environment. And who knows, maybe Axl will bring out some of his former band members for a tune-up before the RRHOF induction ceremony in April? We sincerely doubt that will happen, but if there’s one thing that we have learned about Axl after all these years, it’s to expect the unexpected!
Lana Del Rey‘s song “Video Games” got us thinking — what if some of our favorite songs were made into actual video games? We thought about some tracks we love, and quickly found that many of them lend themselves perfectly to the video game format. We’ve even taken the trouble to add an objective and plot to each of our selections, so we think that someone should take some of these hit songs and pixelate them so we can add them to our consoles. You have to admit, they do sound more appealing than that rumored Angry Birds / Kanye West collaboration…
Lana Del Rey – “Video Games”
In which you attempt to save Paz De La Huerta from herself.
Rihanna, Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Run This Town”
In which you are the mayor of a town, and must run it as such.
Drake – “Crew Love”
In which you attempt to build and sustain a “crew” with challenges including in-fighting, mutiny and rival crews.
Speaking exclusively to VH1, Adam Lambert candidly discusses the inspiration behind, “Outlaws Of Love”, from his forthcoming album, Trespassing. He says the song comes “from a very real place, and I think one of the things that’s been really exciting about doing this as a career, as a job, being who I am is that I’m able to give people strength and encouragement that feel like outsiders.”
In the video interview (above), Lambert sits with the lauded cover art of the new album, and discusses the challenges that face the LGBT community, and how “Outlaws Of Love” addresses these issues; “One of the things I haven’t gotten to really do is sing about how it sucks some times, and how it’s hard and how it hurts and the pain and the struggle that the LGBT community goes through on so many different levels, and that’s what the song is about… It’s not the sadness about being gay, its about the sadness about the adversity that we face.”
Put your best vogue-ing pants on because this week there’s cause to celebrate — it’s officially Madonna Week (by ‘officially’ we mean that this is what we’ve decided to dub the week)! Madonna Week centres around the official release of the first track, “Give Me All Your Luvin’” from Madonna’s forthcoming album, MDNA, and the additional fanfare that comes with The Queen Of Pop’s launch back into music and performing. If you’re feeling like a virgin to Madonna Week, we’ve put together a list of all the things you need to do to get involved and not miss a second of the festivities as Madonna Week rolls out:
Monday January 30th
- Madonna appears on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
Tuesday January 31st
- The soundtrack for W.E., a movie directed by Madonna, is released by digital retailers. The soundtrack features MDNA‘s Golden Globe winning track “Masterpiece”.
Wednesday February 1st
-Have a break from Madonna.
Thursday February 2nd
- The video for “Give Me All Your Luvin’” debuts exclusively on American Idol airing 8-9 PM ET/PT on FOX. The video is football and cheerleader themed ahead of the Super Bowl.
Friday February 3rd
- Madonna’s first single from MDNA, “Give Me All Your Luvin’” is officially released.
- The video for “Give Me All Your Luvin’” premieres online at Madonna’s YouTube channel at 9 AM EST/6 AM PST.
- You can pre-order an exclusive Deluxe Edition of MDNA for the bargain price of $9.99, from which the single “Give Me All Your Luvin’” will be available immediately. The 18 track Deluxe Edition includes one exclusive remix and will be available until Monday February 6th.
- W.E. opens in theatres.
But don’t worry, there’s still more to come post-Madonna week…
- On February 14th the Compact Disc version of the W.E. soundtrack is released exclusively by Amazon.com.
- On March 26th MDNA is officially released.
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.