Taylor Swift‘s Red reign continues. Red sold more than 1.2 million copies in its debut week, and has now topped the charts again in its second week on shelves, notching another 340,000 in sales to bring Taylor’s total to 1.55 million records sold. In just two weeks, she has outsold 2012’s previous best selling album released in 2012, One Direction’s seven-month-old Up All Night (1.33 million records sold so far this year), and finds her quickly approaching the year’s biggest seller: Adele‘s 21. In it’s second year out, Adele’s album that just keeps selling has sold a staggering 4.1 million records. It seems unlikely that Taylor will be able to catchup before the year end, but — Target deluxe editions, Walgreens circular covers, and pizza boxes, oh my! — she’s certainly trying her darndest. Read more…
It’s your favorite floppy-haired DJ’s 45th birthday and we’re pretty sure we have the perfect GIF(t). You’re not reading that wrong, our friends over at Guetta GIFs have shared a few of their all-time favorite GIFs for G’s b’day — featuring David Guetta doing all his most signature moves. What are those moves, you might ask?
Green Day have not let Billy Joe Armstrong’s recovery be more than a tiny kink their ambitious year-end plans. Save for a few postponed tour dates, they have gone ahead with the release of ¡Uno! in September and ¡Dos! just yesterday, as well as a barrage of music videos. The boys have clocked lots and lots of studio hours for these mostly performance-centric clips, but this new one for ¡Dos!’s “Stray Heart” finally lets them catch a break by leaving them out altogether. Instead of Billy Joe or Mike Dirnt, we get a Green Day (and vinyl) fan whose heart has literally strayed, leaving behind a gaping hole and a distressed girlfriend. It’s pretty cute — the animated organ-gone-rogue, particularly so! — and befitting of the sort of whimsy-punk song, which is probably the album’s most playful. Read more…
Last night was a good night for Obama supporters, and a great night for music lovers. The president re-elect’s victory seems to have inspired, and the ‘net is bouncing along to a new crop of celebratory tunes this morning. Here’s what we’ve heard so far.
Allow us to introduce you to the guy Entertainment Weekly was referring to when the magazine wrote, “Every generation has its chosen one and right now, this is Clark’s time.” His name is Gary Clark Jr. You’ll soon understand why he’s November’s You Oughta Know artist. Labeling him as a soul mixed with jazz mixed with blues artist is the obvious choice. Truth is, the 28-year-old guitarist and singer reaches across the aisle touching the crevices of rock, country, R&B and hip-hop. The chill soul crooner grew up in Austin, TX where he first fondled with a guitar at the age of 12. He honed his craft, gaining local attention by playing in small pubs in his hometown. His journey has brought him far from the handful of fans he once played for. Blak and Blu, his first major label project with Warner Bros. debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 charts. And its all an upward climb from there. You oughta know Gary Clark Jr. for several reasons, but let’s start with five.
1. Already compared to the greatest Jimi Hendrix is the greatest guitarist of all time. Not just any artist can be mentioned in the same breath as him. Yet, Gary Clark Jr. has already been compared to the legend. His performance at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival blew us away with his ease, the comfort, the mastery over his cherry red Epiphone Casino guitar (which he named Cassie, by the way). He makes playing the guitar look as natural as breathing. Living up to the G.O.A.T. guitarist’s comparisons is certainly a daunting task. Something tells us GCJ has it in the bag.
2. Come on homie we major…as in ESPN major
It’s not every day ESPN calls to ask if they can feature an artist’s music for its three-day NFL draft telecast. GCJ along with one of hip-hop’s greatest emcees, Nas, received those calls. In April GCJ’s “Bright Lights,” with an added verse from Nas, was one of the upbeat bluesy tracks played during the channel’s commercial break package. “Bright lights, big city going to my head” was the perfect backdrop for a football themed commercial.
3. Paint the White House Blak and Blu
The ultimate swerve of the year is when you can (truthfully) say, “I’ve played for the President and First Lady, yo!” GCJ probably didn’t use those exact words, but he definitely performed at the White House for the Red, White and Blues event for Mr. and Mrs. Obama. Alongside legends like B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Jeff Beck he fit right in. His email signature should include: “I played at the White House. ‘Nough said.”
4. He “Ain’t Messin ‘Round” with showing you how to do this, son
GCJ told us he did “Ain’t Messin ‘Round” because no one would expect a fast, uptempo song from a blues artist. The country-rock mix is a testament to his versatility as an artist. It’s light, it’s fun. Directed by Noble Jones, the video has the same party-like-a-rockstar/soul-singer vibe. Not to mention his sexy cherry red guitar makes a cameo. The lead single sounds like something the popular doo-wop groups of the ’50s and ’60s would make, only with a modern twist. It glides through your eardrums as your body dances on cue. Just stop messin’ ’round and let loose to this song. You know you want to.
5. Never too big to be checked by mama
How does GCJ stay grounded with all the buzz surrounding him as this burgeoning artist? “My mom still calls me and keeps me in check,” he tells us in an interview (more from that soon). He’ll never be so huge of a star that his mom won’t give him a reality check that brings him back down to earth. “And then if she feels I’m tripping she’ll tell me that she’ll call my grandma.” The power of a “tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear” mom and grandma will keep this talented musician humble.
Stay tuned for more exclusive interviews and live performances from our newest YOK artist. Welcome to the family, Gary!
A bit of sad news and a hopeful promise to begin your morning: You Oughta Know standouts, VH1 Unpluggedveterans, Grammy winning and just generally beloved Americana duo, The Civil Wars, announced last night in a note posted to their Facebook page that they have called off the remainder of their tour. The duo cited “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” as the reason for the change of plans, but were sure to assure that whatever hiccup they’re suffering right now will not be their end: “Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013,” they write, giving us reason to believe that things are civil still. They plan on reimbursing tickets, and have generously promised to “do their best” to cover any non-refundable service charges or travel reservations fans have already made.
Below, their note. And then a video of the duo performing “Barton Hollow” Unplugged — some sugar to down the sad news.
Some diehard Wu-Tang Clan fans almost pooped their pants last night. We’re sure of it. At some point last night the legendary group made an announcement on their Facebook page that tens of thousands of hip-hop heads have been waiting to hear for years. “New WU TANG CLAN Album coming soon,” read the update. As of now, 22,924 people “liked” the status, which means a whole lot of people want some new Wu in their life. Wu-Tang forever. Read more…
Nine months later and this writer, on occasion, still gets a little misty eyed when hearing Whitney Houston‘s voice. Not to be dramatic as if any of us actually knew her, but through her music we felt like we did.
Time has passed since the unfortunate day in February when Whitney left the world with her angelic voice to hold onto. One thing time hasn’t changed is the unique marker that sets Whitney in a class of her own. Despite the rough patches, Whitney still had it. “Never Give Up” proves that. Produced by Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox, the unreleased song is the last track on the November 13th greatest hits album I Will Always Love You – The Best of Whitney Houston. Whitney delivers an inspiring message meant to encourage us all with lyrics like, “Never, never give up/Never, never give up/No matter how many times somebody tells you it ain’t working.” A message we’ve all needed to hear at some point. Read more…
When Beyonce isn’t sitting courtside at a Brooklyn Nets game, or gyrating on stage alongside her hubby she’s penning letters to the president. Bey’s support for President Obama dates back to 2008. As an avid supporter she campaigned for then Senator Obama and was later rewarded the opportunity of a lifetime to sing at the president’s inauguration while he and the First Lady slow danced. Never underestimate the power of a singer who creates a “Single Ladies” anthem. Read more…