In the 38 years since I was born, the music industry has shifted through a number of different methods of delivering their product to their customers. Vinyl, of course, has been the one format that has maintained relevance throughout my lifetime, but as a consumer, I have purchased music in 8-track, cassette, compact disc and, of course, digital form. Each of these mediums have their inherent benefits and drawbacks, but the one constant that tied them altogether was this: I could only (legally) listen to music that I, myself, had purchased. That meant that the my music universe was limited to the library of music that I had acquired over the years (which, in my case, was something that I spent tens of thousands of dollars building), and if I wanted to sample something new, I had to be willing to commit $10-$15 to purchase it. That all changed for me when I signed up for Spotify about a year ago July.
Of course, music subscription services like Rhapsody and eMusic have been around since the late 90s, but it wasn’t until Spotify publicly launched in the United States in July of 2011 that I decided to take the plunge and convert from being a music owner to a renter. Suddenly, for the cost of $9.99 a month, I now had access to millions upon millions of albums, old and new, that I could sample on demand. If I read a good review of a current artist on a music site that I trust, I can immediately listen to the album and decide for myself. Albums that I have always wanted to listen to but have been hesitant to purchase are now available to me. And best of all, thanks to Spotify’s semi-controversial yet undeniably brilliant decision to partner with Facebook, I can see what music my friends are listening to in real time. In short, the process of music discovery has been radically simplified thanks to the previous barriers to entry being removed, and despite the occasional gripes from music creators about payment concerns, Spotify has made this an incredible time to be a fan of music of any era. And that, my friends, is what I am most thankful for, musically, this holiday season.
If you’re on Spotify, be sure to follow VH1 for our frequent playlist updates featuring songs from all of your favorite shows. And, if you’re interested, you can always follow me, too!
We’re in Thanksgiving recovery mode, so it’s time for a special Black Friday Face-Off! You may be nursing a raging feast belly after attempting to induce an L-Tryptophancoma to stave off squirm-worthy questions about “marrying that nice boy you’re living with” (rinse down turkey with wine and repeat). Or you just said no to traditional T-Day and are recovering from the hangover that accompanies watching ThanksKilling with friends and stuffing your face (more bacon, less familial judgment). Fall Out Boy‘s “Thnks fr th Mmrs” and Dido‘s “Thank You” respectively fit either scenario. Whose video reflects your Black Friday mood best?
While downing my fifth helping of mac and cheese with my sixth glass of wine, I realized how much I’m loving pop music this year. It could be too much turkey and carbs making me nostalgic, but despite many personal disappointments in 2012 – why, Amy Poehler and Will Arnette? why?! – the music scene has been steadily rocking my existence the past 11 months. All credit goes to YouTube and its community of awesome for constantly breathing new life into even the most overplayed hits by celebrating or ridiculing them just when I get bored. Give thanks with me to Google’s greatest acquisition by checking out my top three favorite, time-sucking viral music clips, covers and parodies. You’re welcome!
This Thanksgiving, we all have something to be thankful for. Just as you’re waking up from your post-meal nap to snag some second-plate leftovers from the fridge, Spike Lee’sBad 25 will hit ABC’s airwaves to make it’s nationally televised debut at 9:30/8:30c. Chronicaling Michael Jackson’s 45-million-copies-sold second album and corresponding tour, I can say with full conviction that the documentary is not to be missed. Trust me, I saw it twice. For those who may not be MJ fans or perhaps need some convincing, I present you with a list of 25 Reasons You Should Be Watching Spike Lee’s Bad 25. Not completely spoiler-free, however, I urge all the purists out there to tread lightly with this list if you’d prefer to see the film without advance info!
1. Mariah Carey makes an LOL-worthy joke about being a fuss-causing diva when she threatens to scold Clive Davis.
2. The film summons nostalgia for an era when music was successfully flourishing and record sales were at their peak. Ah, those were the days.
3. Viewers receive a non-verbal explanation of the infamous “Smooth Criminal” dance-lean.
4. Martin Scorsese watches his old footage and breaks down the making of the “Bad” video short film.
5. Quincy Jones’ wacky 80s sweater during an interview. You’ll see what I mean.
Happy Thanksgiving! While you’re savoring the day with friends and family and a big ole’ feast, we’re celebrating with a crew of our favorite artists at the table this year. Here’s what everyone’s bringing:
Bob Dylan knows where to begin: with a “Turkey Chase.” Once wrangled, the bird can be topped with George Benson‘s famous “Giblet Gravy.”
While that’s getting prepped, Snoop will set up the beverage station — “Gin and Juice,” anyone?
Rick Ross, the real star of this meal, will handle the hors devours: “More better, more cheddar” (“Here I Am”); “Air train and peanuts, it’s time to slide” (Yung Joc‘s “Brand New”); “Order crab legs with the heavy butter” (“New Bugatti”); some lobster bisque (“I Love My Bitches”); and let’s get an order of those lemon-pepper Wingstop chicken wings, because why not.
“I would do this again, but I’d want my seat to be right here so I can see the naked Australian guy,” said Rihanna, pointing to 33E as the plane made it’s final descent into New York City.
This was Rihanna’s second and last appearance on the Boeing 777. Dozens of cameras recorded the moment as RiRi graced us with her presence in the last 5 minutes to apologize for her week-long absence. Unfortunately, our excitement and curiosity for the Bajan star had slowly but surely diminished. It was too late. All we could genuinely cheer about was when the wheels of the plane touched the ground. Home, at last!
Once again, fall transitions into winter, and once again you’re in the house looking at your ex’s Facebook page. Not that you wouldn’t look at your ex’s Facebook page during other seasons, but it’s cold(er) and you’re more apt to have aimless web browsing nights where you just happen to end up there. Not your fault!
Friendly reminder, all you Drakes out there: being miserable is a choice, and if you want to take steps to cultivate some holiday cheer, you can start right now. In a baptism-by-fire sort of way, let’s begin by getting the remaining sad ickiness out of your system, and go full-throttle into the carefully crafted playlist below, shall we?
Alicia Keys and Maxwell on a record together sounds like pure joy. “Fire We Make” is the latest single to drop from Alicia’s forthcoming Girl On Fire, and it sounds exactly like its title. Alicia opens the track with breathy vocals. It’s airy almost to the point of a whisper, only her voice is anything but quiet. Maxwell takes over the second verse with his beautiful high pitched range–his signature. Read more…
‘Tis the season to be thankful and we want to know what you’re thankful for! Are you thankful for your family, friends, significant other? The new Aerosmith album? Maybe your favorite channel, @VH1Classic? All of the above? Awww, aren’t you the sweetest!
Curious as to what we are thankful for? We are thankful for YOU! Yes, you! And so we are giving away tickets and a VIP package to Aerosmith’s ‘Global Warming Tour’ to show you just how grateful for your follows and for all your kind tweets we are! Winning is easy, all you have to do is enter.
#Rihannaplane landed last night in New York, and while we wait on the final dispatches from our brave colleagues who were onboard, we thought we would take a moment to start looking at the album that has inspired the whole thing but been seemingly tucked a back seat pocket for the duration of the seven days. Who has time to talk dub-break downs when there’s Ace to be sipped and buses to catch! We get it.
But Unapologetic marks Rihanna’s seventh turn, and it brings to the table much to be reckoned with regarding quality and quantity and he-who-shall-not-be-named. There is also Rihanna’s confidence and swaggering deviance, and of course: “Diamonds.”