Taylor Swift’s Video For “Begin Again” Explores Parisian Amour

by (@lindseyweber)

While “Begin Again” is rumored to be about Taylor Swift‘s newest beau, Conor Kennedy, the video gives nothing away. Alas, there are no Cape Cod anchors or Kennedy clan references for us to pore over. Instead, Taylor explores the cobblestone streets of Paris — sipping espresso in a café and doodling pictures of architecture before being approached by a very handsome (Parisian?) beau. A Kennedy he is not, but it seems like he wants to take her photo and she naturally obliges. Ooh la la, c’est romantique!

If you’re looking for inspiration on throwing a French-style wedding, look no further. “Begin Again” is ripped straight from an Anthropologie catalog: complete with flowy violet silk and Taylor’s signature red lipstick. Will “Begin Again” send a slew of teens on a tour of Paris? Probably. Along with her newly-purchased Cape Cod mansion, this Taylor Swift Teen Tour we’re planning seems like it’ll be a lot of fun.

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Ciara Sizzles On The Set Of Her New Video “Got Me Good”

by (@unclegrambo)

Ciara fans still have to a minute before her highly anticipated One Woman Army streets on December 4, but thankfully, the sultry R&B chanteuse understands the importance of whetting the her fanbase’s appetite. Although the video for “Got Me Good,” the third single off the new album (following “Sorry” and “Sweat”), won’t drop until Thursday, our pals over at VH1 News were lucky enough to score access to the set while the video was being shot in the scorching California desert last month.

“I was burning hot,” Ciara admitted after the day’s shooting wrapped, which is also an apt description for the finished video from the woman who “very well may be the sexiest woman in the world” according to Global Grind. (Suffice to say, we’re not gonna argue with that statement.) Ciara was able to power through the extreme heat on the set that day without missing a beat, thanks in large part to the work of her trainer. “Thank god for my trainer, Gunnar [Peterson], we trained so much together when we get ready for stuff like this,” Ciara explained. “You just have to really work on good cardio movement, cardiovascular excercises, to really keep your wind up. And we just stayed really consistent with it.” Words to live by, folks.

Ciara’s new video for “Got Me Good” will debut here on VH1 Tuner on Thursday, October 25.

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Scientists Named A New Fern Species After Lady Gaga, And 4 More Organisms Named For Musicians

by (@zaragolden)

Fronds up! A group of scientists from Duke University announced this week that they have named a newly discovered genus of ferns after Lady Gaga. The scientists say “Gaga” was an obvious choice, as the ferns have a “somewhat fluid definitions of gender” and because the sequence GAGA shows up in each varieties’ DNA sequencing. Perhaps less scientific, Kathleen Pryer, director of the school’s herbarium, cops to being a fan of the Mother Monster: “We think that her second album, Born This Way, is enormously empowering, especially for disenfranchised people and communities like LGBT, ethnic groups, women — and scientists who study odd ferns!” Black, white beige or fern greenCause, baby, you were born/spawned/germinated this way.

As it turns out, scientists aren’t just eyeball to the microscope all the time’ if these pop star organisms are any indication, they tend to have good taste in music, too. Read more…

“Fifteen” Vs. “22”: Has Taylor Swift Grown Up?

by (@lindseyweber)

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been listening to the newest Taylor Swift album, Red, non-stop. It’s officially out as of yesterday, but Swifties (That’s code name for Taylor Swift fans) and music critics alike have been passing around .mp3s like they were contraband. One song that didn’t hit the web before it hit stores? “22”. An ode to being an adult yet NOT being an adult. An ode to friends (Taylor’s got Ashley Greene, Dianna Agron, Claire Callaway and Selena Gomez, apparently). An ode to spending too much time getting ready to go out. And ode to the effortless rhyming of practically anything to “twenty-two”. Meanwhile, Taylor herself was born in 1989, which makes her actually 22. And for obvious reasons, this makes the song even more potent.

Taylor is “22”, but once she was “Fifteen” — also the title of a popular song off her first album, Fearless. “Fifteen” spoke of high school drama, first love and was so personal to Taylor that it “gets her every time” (thanks Wikipedia). It’s about her freshman year of high school, where she and her BFF Abigail Anderson encountered heartbreak. “Fifteen” is, in fact, written in retrospect — Fearless came out in 2008, and Taylor’s advice to her younger self encapsulated her own high school experience.

So how do the two compare? Has Taylor actually grown up from “Fifteen” to “22”? Does it mean anything that “Fifteen” is written out and “22” isn’t? Would Selena Gomez have hung out with Taylor in high school?

All Kendrick Lamar Needs Is One Mic During “Swimming Pools (Drank)” Performance On Conan O’Brien

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Kendrick Lamar‘s highly anticipated debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city hit shelves yesterday and it’s already being crowned the best album of the year. Words like “classic” and comparisons to Nas‘ groundbreaking Illmatic are being tossed around far too soon for my taste, but that doesn’t discredit the ‘something special’ factor of this LP. On a promotional run for the Compton rapper’s debut, he stopped by the Conan O’Brien show to perform the celebratory “Swimming Pools (Drank).” In a red hoodie with red sneakers to match Kendrick performed without a band, no hype man, just himself and the DJ. Other props are unnecessary when you have the lyrical skills of Lamar. All he needs is one mic. Word to Nas.

Kendrick Lamar on Conan

[Photo: Getty Images]

Tuned In: Taylor Swift Paints Times Square “Red” On Good Morning America

by (@zaragolden)

It’s only Tuesday, but already Taylor Swift has had the best week ever. Her brand new album, Red, hit record stores yesterday and a sizable portion of those record buyers put on something red and swarmed to Times Square to celebrate with Taylor on Good Morning America early this morning.

For her part, Taylor wore all black and her hair down so that her her celebratory red lipstick and matching red mic really popped. After warming up with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” — cute dance moves and goofy asides and all, to really start the day right — she slung a red guitar over her shoulder and performed “Red” for the first time live. Mostly gone are Taylor’s cute and ponytail swinging country princess days, and the way she pretended to played some of the guitar solos during this performance was a good reminder of that. Read more…

T.I. And Lil Wayne “Ball” Hard, But Not In The Club

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T.I. made good on his promise that his forthcoming Trouble Man would be reminiscent of the Trap Muzik days. “Trap Back Bumpin” proved this to be true. Now, the visual for “Ball” featuring Lil Wayne is further evidence that one thing T.I. knows best– the trap. “Ball” is unarguably a club record. The sped up drums are bound to make someone drop down and get their eagle on, girl. In appealing to the audience that has been with T.I.P. since I’m Serious–before the commercial success, before the movies, before the hit reality show–he takes it back to the ‘hood. Read more…

Guns N’ Roses Play “Welcome To The Jungle” Acoustic At 26th Annual Bridge School Benefit

by (@zaragolden)

Neil Young‘s 26th annual Bridge School Benefit concert went down over the weekend, with Jack White, Eddie Vedder, k.d. lang, the Flaming Lips and Gary Clark Jr. and more all joining forces to rock and roll and raise funds for children with speech and physical impairments. One of the more remarkable moments of the evening came when the notoriously tardy Axl Rose did what many thought he couldn’t and showed up on time and ready to rock, and Guns N’ Roses took to the stage for an all-acoustic (per Bridge School Benefit concert dictates) GNR set. The unlikely set spanned GNR’s career, including material from their 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction and 2008’s Chinese Democracy and everything in between, and was strewn with F-bombs, Rolling Stone reports. Charged rock classics like “Welcome To The Jungle” aren’t exactly meant to be played unplugged like this, but the boys did a good job turning the song into a real guitar jam, Rose seemed to be having fun and — most importantly! — a good cause was served. Pretty cool, eh?

Eddie Vedder Joins Guns N’ Roses and Jack White at Bridge School Benefit [RS]

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Waka Flocka Flame, Kanye West And Kim Kardashian Turn Out For Nicki Minaj’s “Come On A Cone” Video

by (@zaragolden)

Unlike last weeks’ bubble gum and torch-fuel powered production “The Boys” production, the Nicki Minaj‘s new video for “Come On A Cone” is all business. “Come On A Cone” comes from the rap-heavy front-end of Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, and finds Nicki at her most unhinged and wonderfully weird. And, save for the bit at the end where she sings “d*** in my face, I’ll put my d*** in your face” real pretty and pop star like, the entire song is spent with Nicki rapping like the phenomenal rap star she is when she wants to be. Accordingly, the video that accompanies the song seems to serve two purposes: 1. To promote Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up, which is out on November 19th; and, 2. To once again remind Hot 97’s DJ Rosenberg and all the rest of her detractors that she can sing songs “Starship” and still  hang with hip hop, too.

In order to do so, Nicki made sure that everyone who is everyone (who is not named Lil Wayne or Drake, for some reason) in hip hop turned out to join her in the otherwise low-budget looking new video. Let’s have a look at all the hip hop heavyweights who will stand behind Nicki, even at her most unconventional… Read more…

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Brandy On Stepping Away From Her Reality TV Show

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Brandy‘s back” as a phrase has been overused to the point of redundancy, but it’s true. Two Eleven, her first album in four years is the type of R&B that fans of the genre have desperately desired. The LP is filled with relatable breathy love ballads that evoke emotions. During that four year hiatus–or simply living–Brandy embarked on other projects, including Brandy & Ray J: A Family Business. No stranger to TV (Moesha, Thea, Cinderella), the glimpse into Brandy and her family’s life as they navigated the music industry was intriguing, making it a popular show. For Brandy though, doing the show was about staying relevant. Read more…