Let’s Talk About The Fray’s Rendition Of The National Anthem At The Final Four Championship

by (@unclegrambo)

UPDATE (10:48 p.m.): See below for The Fray’s response to this controversy from their official Twitter page!

If you’re a “Grammy-nominated and internationally acclaimed world touring band,” the decision whether or not to accept an offer to perform the National Anthem is fraught with landmines. On one hand, the decision would seemingly be a no-brainer: Who wouldn’t want to honor their country AND perform for tens of millions of fans at once? On the other hand, though, even if you turn in a great performance, people will almost certainly compare your version unfavorably to the likes of Whitney Houston and Marvin Gaye. But if you should perform it, say, less than awesomely, people will never forgive you (see: Cyndi Lauper at this year’s U.S. Open).

Now that we have set the table, it’s time to share with you the following (low quality) video of The Fray‘s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” at tonight’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship game (if we find better video, we’ll swap this version out). Their take on the National Anthem is perhaps most fairly described as an untraditional one, one that featured some boldly unique instrumentation (in the form of a tambourine, possibly a snare drum, and a couple of acoustic guitars) and a new, rhythmic way of delivering Francis Scott Key‘s lyrics. A quick check of Twitter shows the negative responses outweighing the positive, but we want to hear what it is that YOU think about The Fray’s version of “The Star-Spangled Banner”:

UPDATE (10:48 P.M.): See below for The Fray’s Twitter response to the brewing controversy!
Read more…

Mary J. Blige Don’t Need No Hateration, Just Some Crispy Chicken Snack Wraps From Burger King

by (@unclegrambo)

Real talk? This new Burger King commercial starring Mary J. Blige might be our favorite commercial since the “You guys know how to post videos to FACEBOOK?” commercials that ran last fall. In it, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul trades the drama-filled dancerie for the friendly confines of the local BK, where she regales the sales force with the following bit of lyrical awesomeness (guaranteed to be a big hit on your next karaoke excursion):

“Crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses / Fresh dressing wrapped up in a / Tasty flour tortilla / Crispy chicken, wrapped up in a / Flour tortilla!”

Harry Crane, you crazy for this one!

Read more…

K’Naan Is VH1′s April You Oughta Know Artist

by (@unclegrambo)

As we bid adieu to our talented March You Oughta Know artist Graffiti6, it’s time to give a great big welcome to K’Naan, the latest member of the YOK Family!

K’Naan is a 34 year-old, Somalian-born hip hop artist, one that currently calls Canada home. He was raised in the war-torn town of Mogadishu, but at the age of 13, he and his family were able to make their way to North America, first arriving in New York City before settling down in Toronto. K’Naan released a few albums in the latter half of the Aughts to critical acclaim, but it wasn’t until his anthemic 2009 song “Wavin’ Flag” (which was produced by a then-unknown Bruno Mars) was selected to appear in a Coca-Cola advertisement in 2010 that he really began getting noticed. This just wasn’t any ordinary commercial, either; Coca-Cola selected his song to be the company’s promotional anthem for the 2010 World Cup, which exposed K’Naan’s particularly soulful blend of hip hop to an international audience that numbered in the hundreds of millions.

Understanding that he had a golden opportunity to take his career to the next level, K’Naan took the next few years to work on his follow-up to Troubador, the 2009 album that “Wavin’ Flag” first appeared on. In January, he released his 5-song More Beautiful Than Silence EP, which is a pre-cursor to May 1 release of his full-length God, Country Or The Girl. His EP contains the single “Is Anybody Out There?”, which is steadily climbing the Billboard charts, thanks in no small part to its hook being sung by his fellow Canadian, Nelly Furtado. He performed the single sans Furtado a few weeks ago at New York City’s Le Poisson Rouge as part of his You Oughta Know Live set, a video that we have for you above. (In the video above, aMina accompanies K’Naan in place of Furtado.)

Read more…

Slash On Why The Guns N’ Roses Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Reunion Probably Won’t Happen: “Axl Hates My Guts”

by (@unclegrambo)

The Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame is set to induct heavyweight acts like Guns N’ Roses, the Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers on April 14, but there’s one open question that’s overshadowing the whole affair: Will Axl Rose bury twenty-plus years of beef and reunite with Slash, Duff, Steven Adler, Izzy Stradlin and the rest of the original lineup of GNR for a one-night only performance? As much as we’d like to report otherwise, we would strongly advise you against holding your breath.

When Axl turned up on That Metal Show last year, he was diplomatic about the prospects of the reunion, intimating that he had recently broken bread with Izzy and Duff. Then last month, former GNR drummer Matt Sorum didn’t slam the door on reunion rumors, but also confessed that “I’m not the guy to ask, I just hope it works out.” However, in an interview with Rolling Stone that was just published, Slash all but crushed GNR fans’ hopes for a reunion.

“This is a subject I’m dead sick of talking about,” he told RS. “Everyone has been asking me what’s going to happen, and they know as much as I do. I feel you’re totally obligated to be present and I would love to f***ing play, but it’s just something that’s not gonna happen for whatever reason.” When pressed for further explanation, he added “[Axl] hates my guts. It’s over a lot of different stuff; I don’t even know. There’s just no communication between us. I talk to Duff and Steven, but when it comes to old Guns N’ Roses, there really isn’t anybody that makes decisions [besides Axl].”

We really wish this was a late April Fool’s Day joke, but sadly, it appears as if this is one reunion that’s never going to happen.

Slash: ‘Axl Rose Hates My Guts’ [Rolling Stone]

[Photo: Getty Images]

Tuned In: Katy Perry Goes Medieval On The Kids Choice Awards

by (@unclegrambo)

Katy Perry Goes Medieval At The Kids Choice Awards

Unless you have a couple of children running around your household, we’re betting there’s a very good chance that you missed the Kids Choice Awards that aired on Nickelodeon on Saturday night. We’ve got all of the coverage of who got slimed (hint: The Biebs!) over at our sister site TheFABLife, but we’re here to focus on the musicians that strutted their stuff for the kid set.

The show got off to a rip-roaring start with host Will Smith sliming everyone in the pit to the party rockin’ strains of LMFAO, and boy band sensation du jour One Direction made all the girls go CA-RAY-ZEE, but the performance of the night belonged to Katy Perry. She performed her most recent #1 hit, “Part Of Me”, but wisely refrained from turning in a performance that the likes of Naomi Wolf could label as military propaganda. Instead, Katy took an old school —a REALLY old school— approach by donning Dungeons & Dragons-style gear and directing the ire of the song towards a king who presumably did her wrong. Talk about a performer who’s maxed out her HP in the Constitution and Charisma fields!

View Photo Gallery

We’ve got the video for you below!

Read more…

Madonna’s Top 11 Controversies (And How They Helped Her Succeed Commercially)

by

Madonna‘s MDNA is set to take the top spot on Billboard next week by selling an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 copies. This will be her fifth consecutive album to debut at No. 1 and her eighth overall. According to Billboard, MDNA‘s sales have been bolstered by a promotion tied to her world tour — fans who buy concert tickets in the U.S. may also buy the album as part of their purchase. But we wonder whether controversies tied to MDNA — albeit, relatively small on the Madonna Controversy Scale — have helped with the sales spike.

If anything is in Madonna’s “DNA” (the stated inspiration for her album title), it’s stoking controversy and using the press as a marketing machine. This time around, the pop provocateur had her “Girls Gone Wild” video, featuring shirtless men grinding in mantyhose, age restricted by YouTube for nudity and implied masturbation.

Read more…

Season 10 Of That Metal Show Premieres Tomorrow Night, Saturday March 31

by (@_bobina)

WE’RE BACK! Season 10 of That Metal Show premieres THIS Saturday and we are bringing you nothing but the best of all things hard rock and heavy metal.

We have so much to look forward this season, including appearances from the likes of Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), The Cult, Warrant, Michael Schenker (Eddie nearly passed out during this interview), and so many more. We also have some surprise guests helping the guys figure out their Top 5 AND you will never guess the rockstars that stop by to try to Stump The Trunk!!

We are kicking off season 10 the only way we know how; by bringing you THE Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Robb Flynn (Machine Head) and of course, the one and only Mike Portnoy. Lars and Robb share stories from the road and the hosts get a lesson in “skull biting.” Just trust us when we say, you do NOT want to miss this!

Season 10 of That Metal Show premieres tomorrow night, Saturday, March 31, at 11pm ET/10 CT, only on VH1 Classic.
Read more…

Shearer’s Spotlight: Inspired By Melanie Fiona, Jim Rocks Around The Booty Call Clock

by (@unclegrambo)

Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Melanie Fiona, who is currently supporting her new album The MF LIFE, recently visited VH1 and performed her latest single “4AM,” a track that questions the whereabouts of her boyfriend.

While she was singing, other early morning/late night songs came to mind.

Taking a cue from Melanie, here is a soundtrack for the night—where monogamous relationships go to die and booty calls blossom:

12:00AM
“Midnight City,” M83
Apparently M83 likes to party deep into the night, because at midnight, a time when many of us are sleeping, he’s still waiting: in a car, for the right time, for a roar, and a ride in the dark.

1:15AM
“Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum
The alcohol buzz and drunken dialing commence as Lady Antebellum harmonize over the following chorus: “It’s a quarter after one, I’m a little drunk, and I need you now.”

Read more…

Tuned In: Nicki Minaj Performs “Starships” On American Idol, J. Lo Gives Her The Side Eye

by (@unclegrambo)

With American Idol and The Voice running concurrently, we’re finding it increasingly difficult to find enough hours in the week to watch both programs. However, when we heard that Nicki Minaj was going to be performing* on American Idol last night, we made sure to flip the dial to catch her first live TV appearance since the controversial “Exorcism Of Roman” number on the Grammys.

Well, nobody got exorcised last night, but it did appear to us like Idol judge J. Lo was throwing some shade in Minaj’s general direction after Nicki suggested that she’d like to join the judging panel. [pic via Mr. Worldwide]

J. Lo Throws Shade At Nicki Minaj

Do we have a brewing beef on our hands?

View Photo Gallery

Elsewhere in late night…
Read more…

Last Lap: Bruce Springsteen Pounds A Fan’s Beer During The Middle Of A Concert

by (@unclegrambo)

Bruce Springsteen Chugs Beer

TO HELL WITH WINE, SOMEBODY GIVE THE BOSS A BEER!
Proving for the bazillionth time that he is a true man of the people, Bruce Springsteen downed a cup of beer that a fan handed him during a concert in Philadelphia last night. True Springsteen disciples will recognize that this very moment was prophesized nearly 30 years ago in his song “Sherry Darling,” when he sang “Well I got some beer and the highway’s free / And I got you, and baby you’ve got me.” [Spinner]

RARE FOOTAGE OF NINE INCH NAILS PERFORMING ON DANCE PARTY U.S.A. SURFACES
Skrillex, you have some explaining to do! It seems that Trent Reznor had your haircut 20 years before you did. [Gawker]

Read more…