Silly as it may be to have Louis C.K. introduce them as such, fun. really are exactly that: fun. They’re sound is always tight and their performances heartfelt, and frontman Nate Ruess inevitably winds up bouncing around the stage like it’s electrified. Their performance on Saturday Night Live over the weekend proved no exception, as it was necessarily spirited for a city still wringing itself out after a week of scary weather.
His trench coat on (can’t knock the preparedness) and his hair a tad unkempt (but who are we to judge, we only peeled-off our hurricane leggings this morning), Ruess belted out the indie-pop trio’s latest and buzzy chart entry “Some Nights,” playing with auto-tune at the end for longer than usual, before signing off with their appropriately resilient “Carry On.”
Tomorrow’s the big day and after a loooooong year of campaigning, the 2012 Presidential race will be decided. You’ve by now heard a plethora of musicians telling you to get out there and vote, but quite a few of them are also telling you who to vote for. Barack Obama has been a longtime favorite for many performers, but it has yet to be decide (See: tomorrow) whether or not that actually matters. All we know is that there are a ton of artists putting their chips (and their money, time, etc.) in the political playing field.
With endorsements happening left and right, we’ve concocted this megalist of musicians and who they’ve promised their vote to. Will it help you choose your side? Who knows. Will it at least put to bed the rumors that Ludacris has joined the Green Party? (There are no rumors.)
Nicki Minaj has taken a lot of gruff for the choices she’s made — Too much rapping! Why so weird? Is she singing again? Another commercial, really? — but she’s not sorry for any of her successes. And so she’s making no apologies with “Freedom,” the latest tease from Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded – The Re-Up, slated for release November 19. The song, which sounds like it might have been a b-side from Pink Friday, finds the Queen Barbie out on a wrecking no-apologies tour, because — you know how famous she is, don’t you?
A few things she’s not-sorry-she’s-not-sorry for in “Freedom”:
Katy Perry isn’t done repping for President Obama just yet; and she takes her support for the reelection of the president seriously. How serious? Well, she wore a ballot dress for Obama’s campaign rally in Nevada. And like her wardrobe selection in Nevada, Perry showed up with a rather tight fitting (not that we’re complaining) Obama inspired blue dress for her performance at a free show in Milwaukee. Guess it’s safe to say we know who Katy Perry will not be voting for. Read more…
Adam Lambert has long been one of our favorite artists and, quite frankly, one of the main reasons that we were so psyched about attending the Live In The Vineyard festival in Napa, California this weekend. Adam sat down with our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer for an interview that you’ll see on next week’s episode of the show (premiering on Saturday, November 10), but we wanted to get this clip up of Adam talking about his recent appearance on Pretty Little Liars up for the Glambert Nation as quickly as possible (hence, the low quality video; we sacrificed a bit of quality for speed!).
As you’ll see in the video clip above, Adam admits that he’s not entirely sure how he ended up on the set of Pretty Little Liars, but he did have a clear idea of what he wanted to do when he got there. “[The producers] told me it was a Halloween episode and they suggested kind of a costume thing,” Adam explained to us just a few short hours ago. “They said, ‘Oh, you know, we want to do like a steampunk band,’ and I said, ‘Vampire.’ They were trying to backpedal, and I said ‘No, I’m going to be a vampire.’ And they said, ‘Well, maybe you should…’ and I [said] ‘I’m going to come in the teeth, you’re not gonna get ‘em off me.’ Sometimes you just gotta put your foot down. Or your teeth down. Or something!”
You see, Adam wanted to make sure he was completely comfortable for what amounted to one of his biggest acting gigs to date. “When I got on set, I was really nervous ’cause I’ve never done a sitcom/TV drama thing before,” he bravely admitted. “Thank God I had my vampire teeth in because that was my shield, my armor.”
We’ll have more about Adam Lambert’s appearance at Live In The Vineyard here on VH1 Tuner tomorrow, and don’t forget to watch the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown on Saturday for more of Jim Shearer’s interview with Glambie!
A cavalcade of stars, including Sting, Aerosmith, and Jersey’s prodigal sons Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, appeared on a live television special on NBC last night to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. The show was, as you might guess, a mostly somber affair, but Long Island native Billy Joel delivered the evening’s most memorable and emotionally resonant performance by going against the grain and rocking out.
Joel belted out “Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway),” which originally appeared on his 1976 album Turnstiles, an allegorical song in which an imagined natural disaster stood in for the very real (at the time) financial crisis that was affecting the city. In a strange twist of fate, the song now carries more emotional heft than ever, as New York City indeed saw the lights go down on Broadway over the course of the last week. Joel even amended the lyrics to the introductory verses of the song to fit the events of the last few days. “The storm went on beyond the Palisades, out in the Rockaways, the oceans overflowed,” Joel sang. “They shut our power down, Staten Island drowned, but we went right on with the show.”
The song, which Billy Joel described during a 9/11 benefit concert just over 10 years ago as a “science fiction song,” has always been about the unwavering resiliency of New Yorkers during crises, but most would agree that its words ring truer than ever today. Our hearty congratulations go out to Joel, a man who is not often seen performing in public these days, for giving the citizens of NYC an anthem around which everyone in the city can rally behind during a time of true need.
The weather in California’s Napa Valley has been spectacular during the first two days of Live In The Vineyard, but the terrifying conditions that Hurricane Sandy ravaged upon New York City have been at the forefront of every performer’s mind, perhaps none more so than Gavin DeGraw‘s. “Don’t know if you’ve heard, but this bitch Sandy came through and f***ed up my city,” the New York City native announced to the lively crowd in attendance at the Uptown Theater last night, where he was headlining the evening’s stellar lineup that also included Martin Harley, Casey Abrams, A Rocket To The Moon, and Hedley. NYC was never far from DeGraw’s mind during his eight-song, 50 minute performance, during which he also dropped General George Patton’s famous quote “If you’re going through hell, keep going” before performing his new single “Soldier,” in an attempt to deliver some psychic inspiration to the city’s incredibly determined and resilient populus.
DeGraw is one of the more affable and charming performers on the circuit these days, so despite the heavy thoughts on his mind, his concert was far from a funereal affair. Leading the set off with “Sweeter,” his ditty about a Lothario who can’t help but cave-in to his darkest romantic desires, the crowd —all of whom were a few glasses deep in vino— immediately rose to their feet. Staying consistent with all of the performances at Live In The Vineyard, DeGraw stayed perched behind his piano for the entire set, accompanied only by a gentleman wielding an acoustic guitar. This arrangement meant we didn’t get to see any of the fancy footwork he perfected during his “fake dance career” on Dancing With The Stars earlier this year, but this stripped down set gave DeGraw an opportunity to flex his considerable storytelling muscle. He delighted the audience by giving some clues as to the origins of songs like “Chariot” and “I Don’t Wanna Be” (the song that “payed [his] college debts”), before closing his outstanding set with his smash hit, “Not Over You.”
We dug this new Unorthodox Jukebox cut as Bruno Marsperformed it onSaturday Night Live. He stripped the band down to not much more than keys and a few back-up singers, and then he sang so hard that sweat began to bead on his forehead. It was languid and emotional and convincing — Bruno Mars, so teased and tormented by those titular “Young Girls” that his neck muscles flex just singing about them. It was a great performance, but because he can’t press that sweat and blood into the actual album, he had to mix things up a bit for this newly released studio version. And to no one’s surprise, we like this version just as much.
It’s much more lively, backed by a thumping 808 drum and a twinkle of snyth, probably because it’s meant to open the album. And in that same vein, it makes for an interesting declaration of intent for Mars. A few beats before the chorus hits, he’s joined by a Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers-style doo-wop harmony, but only for those few beats before they get zapped away by a coil of synth so that the chorus can really soar. It’s where his obsession with all things retro meets his perfectly contemporary sound, and it’s probably the part that will make those bright-eyed honeys go wild, too. Read more…
Can’t knock the hustle. Yes, this girl’s hustle speaks for itself. When Nicki Minaj announced on MTV News the release of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded The Re-Up there were a few major side-eyes. PFRR wasn’t exactly well received by critics. But the Barbz were excited for the re-release with eight new songs including her two recent singles “The Boys” featuring Cassie and “Va Va Voom.” With a little over two weeks until the November 19th release Nicki gave the Barbz a special treat by releasing the tracklist for the forthcoming project. And there’s no verse from Drake. Bummer. Read more…
Oh, poor Britney Spears still seems to be working out some of the rust after a few years out of the public eye. She’s done The X Factor pretty solid as a judge so far, but last night while attempting to lay praise on contestant CeCe Frey by comparing her to certain glittery pop star, she slipped: “Last night, I thought you had, like, an identity crisis, I felt like you were trying to be” — and then, at the third “like” it happened — “like Key-sha or something.” Ke$ha you mean? Oops!
Of course, it was an honest mistake. Dollar sign laden or otherwise, Kesha is not exactly a common name, and that Britney is probably not trying to live like she’s going to die young now that she has kids and all. But don’t these two know each other? Ke$ha proudly teamed up with pop savants Dr. Luke and Max Martin to write “Till the World Ends,” a song that really helped shake new life into Brit’s career, before taking her own turn on the remix. Should her fellow judges Simon (Simone?) and Demi (Deh-me) be concerned that — oops! — she might do it again? Or should we all just sit back and chuckle because, really, Ke$ha’s a famously good sport and Brit’s mispronunciation is kind of cute?