VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul On December 19 With Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson And More

by (@unclegrambo)

Hot off the presses, we’ve got some exciting news to share with you! We’ve been able to convince an outstanding array of wildly talented vocalists, including Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J, to participate in the latest entry in our long-running series, VH1 DIVAS. This year’s theme will be VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, which will enable each of our performers to pay their respects to the cities where soul music originated and ultimately flourished, places like Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia. We’ll have more details on this amazing show in the coming days and weeks, but for now, here’s the full press release that just hit the wires.

 

VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul with Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + the Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J

VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul Pays Tribute to the Great Cities of Soul Music Including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia

The Roots Confirmed to Perform as House Band

Special will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1

 

NEW YORK – October 27, 2011 – VH1’s beloved, popular franchise, VH1 Divas, returns and will pay tribute to the cities where soul gave birth to music’s most powerful classics and inspired today’s divas. Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J will pay homage to these cities and soul music’s timeless classics at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul premieres Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT on VH1.

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The full press release continues below…

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Sneak Peek: Nickelback, “When We Stand Together”

by (@unclegrambo)

Next month, the Canadian rock quartet Nickelback will be releasing their first new studio album in over three years, Here And Now. We’ll be debuting the complete video for the first single off the album, “When We Stand Together,” on Big Morning Buzz Live next Wednesday, November 2. However, to whet your appetite, we were able to get our hands on this special 30-second sneak of the video that’s filled with more lens flares than a J.J. Abrams fever dream. And, we might be way off base here, but the combination of the magic hour footage, swaying wheat grass and majestic views in this video reminds us more than a little of the location where Spike Jonze shot Weezer‘s iconic “Island In The Sun” video. We’ll be sure to ask them if that is indeed the case when they swing by our offices here in Times Square later this week!

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Last Lap: Fat Joe’s “Tales From The Darkside” Includes A Jaw-Dropping R. Kelly Story

by (@kat_george)

Fat Joe Tells A Story About R. Kelly Beating People Up
If you can grasp what actually happened as Fat Joe recounts R. Kelly beating someone up between all the expletives and sound effects, let us know. Otherwise, it’s still pretty funny, if not worryingly inappropriate. [The Awl]

Odd Future’s Syd Remixes Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”
As if you didn’t already love Lana Del Rey enough, Odd Future have remixed her haunting track, “Blue Jeans.” Keeping with her grand, emotive sounds, Odd Future’s remix is just as good as the remix. [Pitchfork]

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Be Relevant This Halloween: How To Dress As 2011′s Biggest Music Moments And Memes

by (@kat_george)

Halloween is coming up and it’s time to start getting serious about costumes if you don’t want to be a sexy [insert noun here] or a regular-person-but-just-covered-in-blood-because-that’s-all-you-had-time-to-buy. This Halloween dare to be a little bit braver, a little more irreverent, and a little more clever with your costumes. That’s right folks — no more Lady Gaga get ups, lest you be deemed “like, sah 2010!” There’s a wealth of cultural reference at your disposal this year, with 2011 being renamed the Chinese Year Of The Meme (it hasn’t really, I just said that to get your attention). We’ve picked out some of our favourite musical memes of the year in the hopes that you’ll be inspired to trick yourself out in the spirit of a wickedly self-aware Halloween…

PREGONCÉ

Why? Only the baby of hip-pop royalty Jay-Z and Beyoncé could become an Internet meme and every GIF aficionado’s wet dream before the little tyke is even born. Barely beyond conception, Baby Bey-Z hit the Internet harder than “Friday” (see below) and made “Pregoncé” a word faster than you can say, “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.” For Halloween, go as Pregoncé in the costume she wore at the VMAs earlier this year when she unleashed unveiled her newly rounded belly to the world.

How? We’ll start from the top down: first you need some crazy 70′s flicked blonde hair, wig it if you’re a brunette or a dude, and if you’re already blessed with the golden tresses, heat up those rollers, girl! Next you’ll need a white shirt (stuffed with a pillow, of course we don’t expect you to actually get pregnant) and black pants; easy. The sparkle blazer might be a bit harder. I suggest taking a cheap / second hand blazer, a can of spray on glue, a butt-load of glitter and having the absolute time of your life. Add some velcro to the inside of the blazer so it’s easy to rip open over the course of Halloween as you constantly re-enact the big reveal. Carry around a fake microphone so you can throw it down dramatically before you rub your belly emphatically and smile, smile, smile!

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The Black Keys “Lonely Boy” First Listen Comes With The Greatest Dance Act Ever (Or, At Least, Of The Last Few Months)

by (@kat_george)

Today the Black Keys announced the digital release of the first track from their forthcoming record El Camino, “Lonely Boy.” The new single is as raw and infectious as anything the Black Keys have ever produced, possessing that rare, uncanny quality that crawls under your skin, breathing life into otherwise inert parts of your body, making you move in ways that are both spectacular and completely organic. Which brings us to the video the Keys have offered along with the much anticipated first listen.

A meme-to-be from the moment it hit the Internet earlier this morning, this unofficial video features a single man against the banal, aesthetically dated background of what appears to be suburban office space not unlike the Dunder Mifflin mailroom. Dressed like your dad and bearing a passing resemblance to The Wire‘s Senator Clay Davis, the man becomes possessed by the beating drums and begins to move in a way that is completely matter-of-fact, like there could be no other possible way to react to the music pulsing around him. His movements are inspiring in their necessity, and we could watch him shake and pop all day long.

We’re thinking the Black Keys are about to go viral, and should hold onto this video and the mystery dancer because it’s high time Internet meme status was doled out based on quality rather than ridiculousness. “Lonely Boy” will be available on vinyl from November 25, and the full album will be out on all formats December 6.

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Amy Winehouse’s Official Cause Of Death? Alcohol Poisoning

by (@unclegrambo)

After months of speculation and gossip, a British coroner has today revealed that Amy Winehouse’s death was the result of alcohol poisoning. After the 27 year-old’s unexpected and sudden death back on July 23, many assumed that her passing was a result of an illegal drug overdose, and Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father, even went as far as to assert that her death was brought on by a drug and alcohol withdrawal-related seizure.

However, with this morning’s coroner’s report, we learn that Winehouse’s passing is being officially categorized in England as “death by misadventure.” (Interestingly enough, the 1969 death of original Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones—who, along with Winehouse, is a member of the infamous 27 Club—was also the result of “death by misadventure.”) Winehouse’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was an astronomical 0.416 (!), over five times the legal driving limit in London (0.08). Regardless of the manner in which she lost her life, the plain truth of the matter is that we lost Amy Winehouse far, far too soon. Rest in peace, Amy.

Amy Winehouse Died After Drinking Too Much Alcohol, Coroner Says [ArtsBeat/NYT]

[Photo: Getty Images]

At Katy Perry’s Birthday, She Let Them Have Cake

by (@kat_george)

Yesterday, Katy Perry turned 27. On stage in Belfast as part of her California Dreams tour, Katy was surprised by her cast and crew with a giant pink birthday cake. Never a wallflower, once the crowd had finished singing her “Happy Birthday” and she’d blown out the candles, Katy snatched the cake and with a dexterous run up the stage in heels, pitched the whole thing into the audience. All we can say is lucky she blew out the candles first!

Clad in a pom pom embellished onesie and signature blue wig, we’re wondering what the girl who has everything—from a crazy wardrobe to a booming career and a happy marriage—wished for when the candles went out. Whatever it was, we’re wishing the colorful Katy a happy birthday, and hoping that next time we’ll be there when the cake rains down!

by Kat George

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Christina Perri Sets Twi-Hard Hearts Aflutter With Her Video For “A Thousand Years”

by (@unclegrambo)

We’re less than a month away from the highly anticipated premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, and the talented musicians who appear on the Breaking Dawn soundtrack have been keeping us company all month long as part of our ongoing Posted series. Tonight, we’re super excited to premiere the video for Christina Perri‘s “A Thousand Years”which is chock full of footage that Twi-Hards are going to be obsessing over until the film’s November 18th debut.

Perri, who we introduced to you as one of our You Oughta Know artists one year ago this month, delivers romantic lines like “I have loved you for a thousand years, I’ll love you for a thousand more” and “All along, I believed I would find you/Time has brought your heart to me” with the kind of emotional resonance that will have those who have long been obsessing about seeing Edward and Bella’s wedding finally come to life on the silver screen reaching for their hankies. In fact, it’s the kind of soaring ballad that one could easily imagine high school seniors all over the country voting as their Prom Theme come next May. That is, unless you’re on Team Jacob, in which case you’ll probably just have to make do with this awful reimagining of Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as “Bella.”

(This video premiere is brought to you by Chronicle.)

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Last Lap: Is That Metallica/Lou Reed Collaboration Actually An “Album That No One Wants”?

by (@kat_george)

Chuck Klosterman Gives A Hilarious Opinion On Lulu, Metallica And Lou Reed’s Collaborative Album
Don’t pretend you weren’t confused when you heard Lou Reed and Metallica would be collaborating on a album. Well, that very strange collaboration is now available for listening, and Chuck Klosterman has some wicked but insightful things to say about the “album that no one wants.” [Grantland]

Kanye West + Saved By The Bell = Awesome
Our vote for the best single-serving Tumblr site of the day goes to Kanyed By The Bell, which combines Yeezy lyrics with still images from the iconic television series. It’s sort of NSFW, but then again, most of the best things are. [Kanyed By The Bell]

Go Behind The Scenes With VOYR at Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch The Throne Tour
Speaking of ‘Ye … Launching today, VOYR, for a small fee, offers to take you behind the scenes to see what your favorite artists and celebrities are up to. First up, they’re following Jay-Z and Kayne West‘s Watch The Throne tour to offer insidery exclusives, and it will be interesting to see what comes of the project. [Rolling Stone]

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Internet Sensation And Next Big Thing Lana Del Rey Wins Award And Speaks, Finally

by (@kat_george)

“It can speak!” has been the general reaction today of those familiar with overnight Internet sensation Lana Del Rey. The American singer, best known for her enthralling voice, ethereal beauty, emotive lyricism and self-made vintage montage videos (like “Video Games”), finally opened her mouth to converse rather than to sing backstage at the 2011 Q Awards. The rising star had just (aptly) won the Next Big Thing award, and the young performer seemed a bit like a deer in headlights as she was questioned about the award, her background, her critics and her forthcoming debut LP.

We love everything about Lana and her music, but the poor girl looked and sounded supremely nervous as she was questioned post-awards ceremony. We’re willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, as a newcomer to the industry and the spotlight, Lana probably hasn’t had much experience being interviewed on the spot. But still, the conversation was somewhat disappointing given her palpable discomfort. Lana’s musical persona has us imagining her as a powerful, brooding sort of character with plenty of awesome bad ass attitude, not as the delicate, unsure babe in the woods she appears to be here. Finally hearing her speak spoils her the artistic illusion she’s created, sort of like finding out Santa isn’t real; We’re admittedly a bit bummed, but it doesn’t mean we’re any less enthusiastic about Christmas!

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