We had a great start to the year of Posted with January’s featured artist, Kina Grannis showing us an amazing time, hanging out with Danny Pudi, taking us backstage at Jimmy Kimmel Live, and making us adorable jelly bean messages. But now that February is here it’s time to wave goodbye to Kina and welcome our new featured artist — The Fray!
Exclusively for Posted, once a week each member of the band will be giving us a blog post, letting us know what’s up! Our first one is an intimate, poignant post about life on the road from lead guitarist, Dave Welsh, from January 31st, after the jump!
Sad news to pass along this morning. Don Cornelius, the creator and host of Soul Train, was found dead in his California home earlier today. TMZ is reporting that the 75-year-old died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after struggling with health issues and a messy divorce over the course of the last few years.
His longtime friend, Quincy Jones, just released the following statement to USA Today: “I am shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden passing of my friend, colleague, and business partner Don Cornelius. Don was a visionary pioneer and a giant in our business. Before MTV there was Soul Train, that will be the great legacy of Don Cornelius. His contributions to television, music and our culture as a whole will never be matched. My heart goes out to Don’s family and loved ones.”
Back in 2010, VH1 put a spotlight on Cornelius and the revolutionary program that he created with the VH1 Rock Doc, Soul Train: The Hippest Trip In America. To remember exactly how awesome Soul Train was, take a look at this incredible footage of the Soul Train audience doing a line-dance to “Respect Yourself” by the legendary Staple Singers.
When Björk takes to the stage you get to thinking that modern pop stars like Lady Gaga might not exist if it hadn’t been for the pioneering avant garde of pop. Suitably fruity in a voluminous orange hairstyle and futuristic electric blue dress, Björk intersects experimental fashion and art with pop music in a way that is now commonplace, but somehow the Icelandic beauty still manages to make it completely unique, without a hint of repetition or tiredness. Performing “Cosmogony” from her new album Biophilia on The Colbert Report, Björk was simply divine, her haunting vocal cruising along the wave of sweet harmonizing by an all-female choir.
After The Black Keys‘ break out year in 2011 and their amazing viral video for “Lonely Boy,” we’re going to forgive you if you squeal like a school girl over this sneak peek of the video for their second single off El Camino, “Gold On The Ceiling.” The video features footage of The Black Keys playing live on stage to a jumping audience, but is cinematic all the same, so chances are you’re going to find yourself with your hands in the air, moshing to the beat. The full video will premiere online at MTV.com on Monday the 6th of February, and will be followed up with a Top 20 premiere on Saturday the 11th of February.
Beef Alert! Elton John Gives Madonna Some Snarky Super Bowl Advice
It seems like Elton John might still harbor some bitterness over Madonna‘s Golden Globe win, offering her the following advice for her Super Bowl performance this weekend: “Make sure you lip-sync good.” Reow! [Billboard]
Lana Del Rey’s Career Summarized In A Taiwanese Animation
Lana Del Rey‘s controversial career has been summarized in a Taiwanese animation, so if you’ve ever wanted to see Lana as a virtual character, now’s your chance. It’s pretty accurate / funny, too. [Hipster Runoff]
Move over Drake, there’s a new emotional rapper in town, and it’s one you never would have expected — Lil Wayne! Weezy is showing us his softer side with his new track “Mirror” featuring Bruno Mars. The rapper, who has spent time behind bars and is better known for his aggressive hip hop, has teamed up with the pop-soul singer for a little bit of self reflection. The emotional video sees Wayne and Mars back lit in a cinematic setting, with pristine close ups of Wayne’s tattoos as he splashes red paint against an unseen canvas. Finally, the canvas is revealed in a dramatic moment, but we wont give it away — let’s just say it looks like Weezy is a deeper character than we first thought him to be.
It’s here — Lana Del Rey‘s Born To Die, the album that has been discussed almost as much as her “controversial” persona. While digital sales are telling one story — Born To Die took #1 and #2 positions on the US iTunes charts this morning and holds the #1 spot in 11 other countries (UK, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland) — the critical reception to the album has been less than warm. While a few have praised Lana Del Rey as the dichotomous ingenue / bad girl who is bringing desperately needed direction and ideas back to music, many have fortified attacks on her image by surmising that her music is even less challenging or interesting than her aesthetic portrayal. And the rest are just sort of a bit… “meh,” finding Born To Die neither offensive nor completely worthy of the attention it’s garnered. We’ve clipped together some quotes from the flood of Born To Die reviews that have littered the Internet this week…
“If you ask me, I reckon the girl doesn’t know whether she wants to be a classic Hollywood glamourpuss or a modern pop star, so she’s doing both at once. Nothing wrong with that here, songs all cinematic, like a warped Casablanca channeling the Rat Pack via Do The Right Thing. More interesting than a lot of starlets by far, and more confident. Whatever she ends up being, she seems fun, this Lana Del Rey. A lot more fun than you’d think to look at her.” [Drowned In Sound]
“I like the album better with each listen—the more time I spend in its company, the more I feel as though I’m approaching it on something like its own terms.” [Slate]
“For all of its coos about love and devotion, it’s the album equivalent of a faked orgasm– a collection of torch songs with no fire.” [Pitchfork]
Rumor mongers rejoice! You have been proven right, for once! It has been announced that Adele will be performing at the Grammys after almost a month of rampant speculation. The performance will mark Adele’s first live appearance since undergoing vocal cord surgery, and being nominated for 6 Grammys herself, the event will be somewhat of a momentous one for Adele. Joining Adele on stage will be fellow nominees Coldplay and Rihanna for a highly anticipated duet, as well as the Foo Fighters, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars and Jason Aldean, while LL Cool J will act as the first Grammys host in seven years.
Adele Will Return to Live Performance at the Grammys [Rolling Stone]
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.
‘American Idol’ Asks President Obama For A Duet With Al Green [Prefix]
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…
‘X Factor’ Dumps Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger [Rolling Stone]
[Photos: Getty Images]