6 Reasons You Must Know Gotye Right This Instant

by (@kat_george)

Wally De Backer, better known by his stage name, Gotye, is already set up to be one of 2012′s biggest names. His 2011 album Making Mirrors found critical success in his home country of Australia, and the artist is preparing to spread his wings to hit America like Adele. With his intoxicatingly soothing voice, sudden hooks and high notes that shove you out of the comfortable reverie his verses induce, Goyte’s music is both thrilling and challenging, speaking to shared experiences with its honest lyricism.

1. “Somebody That I Used To Know”
“Somebody That I Used To Know” was a runway hit in Australia and its ripples have reached American shores with noticeable force. Dueting with another Australian up-and-coming superstar, Kimbra, Gotye taps into the messiness a breaking up — and the unexpectedly painful mundanities, like the simple act of returning each others belongings, that go with it. The sentiment of the song and Gotye’s cutting hook, coupled with the beautiful video and trickling graphics that match the melody, will have you stuck to your screen hitting repeat.

2. Creative Covers Of “Somebody That I Used To Know”
Walk Off The Earth covered “Somebody That I Used To Know” using five people and one guitar and if possible, it’s just as compelling as the original. We love that Gotye’s music inspires such creative responses from such talented musicians, as opposed to the stock standard same-same style cover. The Roots affiliated STS also got creative with the song, using the melody and chorus to tell his own story (which at times is very humorous) of a break up (after the jump).

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Bon Iver, Zooey Deschanel And Karmin All Set For Upcoming SNL Appearances

by (@kat_george)

What do Bon Iver, Zooey Deschanel and Karmin all have in common (aside from being amazing musical artists)? They’re all appearing on Saturday Night Live in February! Grammy nominated Bon Iver will be performing with a full nine-piece band, on a Channing Tatum hosted SNL on the 4th of February. While it’s unclear exactly what Bon Iver will be playing, the band will stick to tracks off their critically acclaimed 2011 album, Bon Iver (sorry to For Emma fans!). We wonder if Bon Iver will mix it up and snub their hit track “Holocene” in favor of something more left-of-center; but given the popularity of the song and its Grammy nomination nod for Song Of The Year, we’re guessing it’s a safe bet for the live performance.

The following week on February 11, She & Him‘s Zooey Deschanel will host the show, and we’re hoping she’ll put her slashie skills to work (being the wonderfully adorable actor slash musician that she is) and give her vocal cords a workout in a sketch or two, the way Katy Perry did when she hosted SNL. While Zooey is busy hosting, Karmin will be the musical guest — we were lucky enough to spend some candid time with the vibrant pair recently so we can tell you that it’s going to be a performance to remember!

Bon Iver To Make SNL Debut; What Should They Play? [Stereogum]
Channing Tatum, Zooey Deschanel to Host ‘Saturday Night Live’ in February [TV By The Numbers]

[Photos: Getty Images]

Madonna’s Forthcoming Album Now Has A Name: M.D.N.A

by (@kat_george)

The first thing we thought of when we heard the title of Madonna‘s forthcoming album, M.D.N.A, was the party drug MDMA, so if it’s edgy and “down with the kids” Mads is going for with the title, then we guess she succeeded. More likely it’s just a play on “Madonna” (sound out the letters and it sort of sounds like you’re saying “Madonna” with a mouthful of food), but Pop Dust have laid out some pretty good speculation as to the inspiration behind the moniker. It feels like the hype around Madonna’s triumphant return is gaining momentum with every passing day, and we’re thinking when the album drops next month it will go off with a massive bang. Here’s to leaked tracks, Nicki Minaj collaborations and Super Bowl half time shows — the year of M.D.N.A!

Madonna To Sorta-Kinda Release A Self-Titled Album With “M.D.N.A” [Pop Dust]

[Photo: Getty Images]

Beef Alert! 50 Cent Lashes Out At Jay-Z Over Twitter With A Joke About Blue Ivy

by (@kat_george)

We’re not really sure celebrities these days are aware that Twitter is public. This year we’ve already seen Kanye West go on an epic Twitter rant, and it seems like 50 Cent has picked up a case of the Twitter crazies too, after he morbidly Tweeted about his own death following a not-no-subtle tirade against his record label. Now 50 seems to be lashing out against long time partner-in-beef, Jay-Z, by posting some truly bizarre Photoshopped images of faux baby Blue Ivy. The creepy images feature Jay-Z’s face on a baby’s body, accompanied by what we can only assume to be a sarcastic comment calling the baby “gorgeous”.

In the past 50 Cent has been credited with saying that no one knew who Jay-Z was before he was romantically tied to Beyoncé, and that he was going to steal Beyoncé away. As far as we’re concerned, all’s fair in love and beef, but using a new born baby as the butt of a joke is just… cheap. Come on, 50! You can do better than this — pick on someone your own size! After his initial pot stirring, it seems like 50 back tracked somewhat, making it clear that he didn’t make the images himself, and that he was sure Jay-Z was very happy. However, we think the effort might have been mere tokenism, considering the strange pictures are still up on 50′s Twitter.

50 Cent stirs controversy by posting bizarre pictures of Blue Ivy Carter [NME]

[Photos: Getty Images]

Tuned In: Augustana “Just Stay Here Tonight” On Leno

by (@kat_george)

We have to admit we got a little bit of a chill on the backs of our necks watching Augustana perform “Just Stay Here Tonight” on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno last night. Sweeping and evocative, and led with a gravelly vocal with echoes of Bruce Springsteen, there’s something of the romantic runaway in Augustana’s performance. There’s also a nostalgic simplicity to the song, in it’s bare emotions and uncomplicated melody. We think we just found our new anthem for falling in love in 2012.

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Last Lap: There’s Speculation That The Spice Girls Will Reunite For The 2012 Olympics

by (@kat_george)

There’s Speculation That The Spice Girls Will Reunite For The 2012 Olympics
Rumors are flying that the Spice Girls might reunite (again) for the 2012 Olympics. This is what we want, what we really, really want! [Idolator]

Famous Fashion Photographer Cancels On Lady Gaga
Famous fashion photographer David Bailey cancelled a recent shoot with Lady Gaga saying, “There were too many rumors about her storming out and being silly. And I can’t be bothered. If she can sing, why wear funny clothes? Ella Fitzgerald never wore funny clothes.” SNAP! [The Cut]

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Did Black Sabbath Cancel Coachella Due To Tony Iommi’s Illness?

by (@kat_george)

It’s Coachella madness! Latest on the rumor mill comes from reports that the recently reunited Black Sabbath were planned to headline the festival, but that they cancelled last minute because of Tony Iommi’s sudden illness. Following the announcement of Iommi’s lymphoma, it seemed like the band would continue with their promised 2012 reunion tour and album — but if it is true that they cancelled Coachella it might throw all of Black Sabbath’s plans for 2012 into question. Iommi’s recovery is the clear priority, and our best wishes are with him and the band no matter what they decide for their 2012 tour.

Meanwhile, the rumor also casts speculation as to who filled the headlining spot in the wake of the last minute cancellation. Our money is on The Black Keys, who seemed like a less obvious choice for the top billing spot before we heard the rumor. We figure The Black Keys filled the hole reportedly left by Black Sabbath because the other headliners — Dr. Dre, Snopp Dogg and Radiohead — are such huge acts it’s incredibly unlikely any of them would have started off any lower on the bill.

Was Black Sabbath Confirmed For Coachella? [Billboard]

A Reunited Van Halen Debuts Their New Single, “Tattoo”

by (@unclegrambo)

After last week’s blistering Van Halen reunion show at Cafe Wha?, the band confirmed a number of details about their 2012 plans that had, up to that point, simply been rumors: The band would release their new album, A Different Kind Of Truth, on February 7; the band would be embarking on a four-month, 45 date North American tour; and, amazingly, Kool & The Gang would be their opening act (!!!). Cellll-ebrate good times, C’MON!

Thanks to last week’s uniformly praised comeback set, anticipation levels for Van Halen‘s first tour with David Lee Roth since 2007 are off the charts. However, as we all know, when a “classic” band decides it’s that time of the concert for them to play their “new” material, a lot of fans decide that’s the time to visit the, um, facilities. Grantland’s Chuck Klosterman wrote about this dilemna last week, stating “I will never understand why classic rock bands feel a moral obligation to write new songs that nobody wants. That’s like working at McDonald’s when you’re 80 instead of cashing in your war bonds. Van Halen has nothing to prove to anyone. Just blow us away.”

It remains to be seen how fans will react to Van Halen’s first studio album with David Lee Roth singing lead vox since 1984, but today the group released their first single off A Different Kind Of Truth, a song called “Tattoo” (which also comes with an accompanying music video). And you know what? It’s a real grower! Not only does it feature a blistering, 35-second guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen, but David Lee Roth scatting and squealing his way through some non-sequitur come-ons (“Best believe that needle hurt you”) to characters like Swap Meet Sally and the Tramp Stamp Cat, as well as a hilarious description of MILF-y groupies who get inked late in life (“Mousewife to Momshell”). And thanks to Dave’s repeated screams of “Sexy dragon magic!”, we have a feeling that this is the kind of song that both Van Halen fans AND the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will surely approve of.

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Rumor Has It: Adele Might Be Performing At The Grammys Next Month

by (@kat_george)

It’s being reported that superstar Adele is getting her larynx ready for a return to the stage following her vocal cord surgery late last year. Now, Radar Online is reporting that Adele will not only be attending next month’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles — for which she has 6 nominations — but also that there’s a chance that she will perform for the first time since the surgery that forced her to cancel her remaining 2011 commitments. According to the report, Adele won’t confirm the performance until the beginning of February, until which point we’ll be eagerly biting our nails. Either way, it’s great to see the young star making a speedy recovery, and we’ve got an inkling that performance or not, she’s going to clean up at the Grammys.

Adele Planning To Attend & Perform At The Grammys Next Month [Radar Online]

Who Deserves The Headliner Spot At Coachella More, The Black Keys or Pulp?

by (@kat_george)

Everyone is talking about this year’s Coachella line up, and we’ve had our own share of thoughts and questions about the highly anticipated festival and its diverse set of chosen artists. We’re rapt with the headliners, with veterans Radiohead and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg taking to the stage for what are sure to be momentous performances. And while we’re excited about first night headliner The Black Keys, we can’t help but be a little bit skeptical about the choice, given that super Britpop band Pulp were snubbed for the top spot.

In some respects, The Black Keys make an obvious choice for a headlining act. For starters, their number one album from 2011, El Camino, propelled them to the top of the pack and made them arguably the biggest rock band in America today. Their singles “Lonely Boy” and “Gold On The Ceiling” have seen a healthy run on the airwaves, Internet and television, not to mention their viral video for “Lonely Boy” being the talk of fans and industry alike in late 2011. But while The Black Keys have enjoyed a huge cult following for many years, it was only between the release of Brothers and El Camino that The Keys found mainstream fame, making them fledglings to the spotlight. Moreover, being a two piece band might not make for the exciting set that a full band could bring at prime time Coachella, rendering their music possibly more suited to a festival like Lollapalooza.

Pulp on the other hand, are a timeless, legendary UK band. Vanguards of Britpop, Pulp, alongside their contemporaries like Oasis, were seminal in shaping the genre and have enjoyed an ongoing popularity as such. Pulp reformed last year after a 9 year hiatus to hit the European tour circuit and played a roaring special guest set at Glastonbury. With allusions that this might be their last tour as a full band, it seems like somewhat of a misstep to not have them headlining Coachella given their veteran status and the importance of their reunion. However, it’s arguable that because they aren’t as well known in America as The Black Keys, or as “of the moment,” their second tier billing is justified.

We’re not exactly sure how we feel (as you can probably tell by our mixed emotions and adoration of both bands), so tell us what you think in our poll below and in the comments section.

[Photos: Getty Images]