VH1 Storytellers: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals Has The “Medicine” We Want

by (@zaragolden)

Grace Potter of Grace Potter & The Nocturnals really does have the medicine that everyone wants; and this devastatingly good outtake of “Medicine” from their VH1 Storytellers session that aired tonight (PS: If you missed it, you can watch it online right now!) is everything that’s got us spinning. Over classic rock drum rolls and a come-hither guitar hook, Potter first weaves an alternative world wherein a gypsy woman with dark brown eyes and long black hair has put a spell on her man. “She’s crossing me with magnetic sand / She hypnotizes with her mojo hand,” she wails. Then, two-thirds of the way through, voice hushed, she shares her plan to take the other woman down “deep in the night, when no one’s around” and off we go!

The whole band comes together at the drums for an epic precision-jam break-down, from which Potter returns even more powerful than before. “I’ve got the medicine,” she shrieks as the song returns, even bigger and badder than before. How, really, could anyone compete with a vocalist and performer as riveting as Potter?

It’s eight-minutes long, but really, not long enough. And so it’s good that there is more where that came from.

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Jamie-Lynn Spears Sings A Song For Britney In Nashville

by (@zaragolden)

Jamie-Lynn Spears looks up to —and looks a whole lot like— her big sister in this video of her performing her a song, “I Look Up To You,” performed last night at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill. “You can imagine who I wrote it about,” she said, making no secret that it’s Britney she’s singing praise to. “I hope y’all like it a lot.”

“Scared little girl, sitting in a big old world,” she sings. “You’ve outgrown your room, it all happened way too soon. They took away your innocence, we forgot our strong defense.”

And so, for her history of breakdown and near demise, Jamie-Lynn sees a picture of — well, someone who very much needs a kind and nonjudgmental song like this. Jamie-Lynn doesn’t really get to the point of explaining what exactly she looks up to in Britney; rather, she mostly just sounds endlessly understanding, singing, “Whether you’re the sunlight shining down, or you hide behind a cloud, I look up to you.” It’s sweet gesture, even though it’s creepy that she looks so much like a pre-breakdown Britney while doing it. Not to mention, invoking her sister is also probably a helpful way to garner attention for her country singing career to-be.

Jamie-Lynn Spears’ First Country Song Is Probably About Her Sister [PopDust]
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In Honor Of Father’s Day We Present A Playlist Of Songs By Dads For Their Kids

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Father's Day Spotify Playlist

New dad Jay-Z hit the studio to record a dedication song to his new baby girl, Blue Ivy. Hearing the baby cry on the track made it all the more adorable. Over the years a number of daddy musicians have expressed heartfelt feelings about their kids on wax. Everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Eminem to most recently Nas. Here at VH1 we believe dads are worthy of appreciation every day of the year. However, this Sunday is the official day we celebrate the awesome dads in our lives. Hearing male artists gush over their children in a song makes our hearts melt. Enjoy the Spotify playlist of our all-time favorite songs by fathers dedicated to their children.

1. “Daughters”- Nas
Nas gets real about the difficulties of raising a teenage daughter in this soulful ode to his daughter Destiny who makes a cameo at the end of the video. Read more…

VH1 Storytellers Stars Grace Potter & The Nocturnals Will “Never Go Back”

by (@zaragolden)

Here at VH1, we are letting Grace Potter & The Nocturnals drive us into the weekend.

This morning, the band dropped in Big Morning Buzz Live. Performing “Never Go Back,” the first single off of their fantastic The Lion the Beast the Beat. The song, as Potter has explained, was written with The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach in 45 minutes and is “one of those great rock and roll moments that I’ll never forget.”And probably neither will we, thanks to Potter’s cooly powerful vocals and those almost dangerous sounding guitars. Alive with rock and roll and glamor, their performance has us amped for the weekend when we will never go back to work no more (until at least Monday).

And tonight, you’ll want not to miss VH1 Storytellers: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals when it premiers tonight at 11 p.m. ET/PT. Check out the sneak-peak of them playing “Never Go Back” below and you’ll see why.

Shearer’s Spotlight: Madonna’s Top 10 Titillating Moments

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Madonna's Top 10 Titillating Moments

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 Saturday morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Every time Madonna releases a new album and subsequently tours in support of it, the following is sure to happen:

Somewhere in the world, a Madonna video is banned; a political/religious statement made by Madonna is denounced by a political/religious organization; Madonna’s age and/or overly fit arms are critiqued by a blogger who was still in grade school when Ray Of Light was released; and Madonna’s breasts will cause some type of uproar.

In honor of the latter, here are the Top 10 moments when Madonna’s boobs made news:

10. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
Just because the film was tamed down to cater towards Madonna’s teenage fan-base doesn’t mean the kids weren’t given a glimpse of Madonna’s soon-to-be-headline-grabbing breasts. While eating cheese curls on the pool-deck, Madonna wears a see-through bra.

9. Body Of Evidence (1993)
Madonna’s breasts star in this erotic rip-off of Basic Instinct as fans uneasily watch their favorite pop-star pour candle wax on William Dafoe’s nether regions.

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Is Chris Brown Really A Snitch For Talking To Police About His Brawl With Drake? [POLL]

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Chris Brown Talks To NYPD About Fight With Drake

What’s a Twitter beef when you have the camps of two superstars like Chris Brown and Drake ready to go to battle for their boys? Wednesday night’s brawl in NYC that resulted in Brown’s chin gash, his security guard’s head cut, an innocent bystander hospitalized and a bunch of broken glass is turning out to be one huge messy headache. As details continue to unfold, Drake maintains his innocence claiming he was on his way out of the club when the fight broke loose. Meanwhile, TMZ reports Chris Brown is talking with New York Police Department detectives about the incident. Due to the physical evidence Brown has he very well may have a case against Drizzy Drake. Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, presented evidence to the NYPD Thursday night that Meek Mill and Drake were the aggressors. But Brown released Meek Mill of any wrongdoing with a tweet that has since been deleted from Brown’s timeline. According to TMZ, Brown spoke with detectives in an undisclosed location on Thursday. And now the snitching accusations have begun.

A quick search of “Chris Brown snitch” on Twitter yields a range of responses from “Chris Brown Is A Snitch: If I learned anything from The Wire it’s don’t be snitchin’” to “So not only is Chris Brown a woman beater, he’s a snitch too? Yo can we be done w this cat already?” Sigh freaking sigh. The “snitch” label is not surprising considering the “Stop Snitching” campaign that has been popularized by hip-hop. It’s street code ethics. But not really.

Although the media oftentimes inaccurately portrays the “stop snitching” mantra as a code in the black community that protects criminals, it’s a bit more complex. More than anything the anti-snitch notion hails from blacks long turbulent history and rightful mistrust of the police. It’s not that people simply want to protect criminals, it’s moreso that certain communities feel the police cannot protect them and aiding police may be their death sentence.

That begs the question: is Chris Brown a snitch? No, no and no again. Based on the facts—a bottle was thrown by someone in Drake’s entourage and Chris Brown was hit in the chin with said bottle— we can gather Brown was assaulted resulting in an injury. When normal, rationale people are assaulted they tend to call the police and file a police report. It’s really that simple. For those that believe he’s breaking some type of code, what would you have him do? Certainly people don’t believe two rich superstars should take matters in their own hands and perpetuate more violence, right? Right?

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Cowgirl Azealia Banks Rides Through The Wild Wild West In “Liquorice”

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Azealia Banks can now add equestrian to her list of skills. Her three day Twitter hiatus resulted in a cowgirl horseback riding Banks in the Rankin directed video for “Liquorice.” Banks is solo as she wanders through the desert with her beautiful horse. Wild Wild West meets Harlem in the scenic backdrop of mountains, grass and woods. Banks owns her inner cowgirl with her pistol, rapping in all black next to her black horse. She plays up just the right amount of sexy yet playfulness to make the guys go gaga over her liquorice. Read more…

Big Sean And 7,000 Screaming Girls Join Justin Bieber On Today Show

by (@zaragolden)

The screaming (and crying) fans who spent days camped out in Rockefeller Center were well rewarded this morning when Justin Bieber showed up on the Today Show stage to preform a new favorite, an old favorite, and a soon-to-be favorite. The audience loved it all.

Backed by a swarm of dancers and wearing a baseball tee, a hooded-vest (Bieber staple), and a nice looking pair of black and white high tops, Biebs hit the stage with his current single “Boyfriend.” Like he did at the BET Awards, it looks like he relied pretty heavily on the backing track for some of song’s the harder-to-hit notes. No bother, though, the Bielibing audience was thrilled enough to have their boyfriend there, and for a lucky few in the front row, within arm’s reach.

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CONCERT REVIEW: Michael Kiwanuka Brings His Timeless Sound To The Highline Ballroom

by (@unclegrambo)

Michael Kiwanuka Performs At The Highline Ballroom

Have you ever discovered a song that you’re certain you’ve never heard before but, at the same, feels like something that you have loved as long as you can remember? 24-year-old British troubadour Michael Kiwanuka‘s debut album, Home Again, is chock full of gems like this, numbers that are best defined by the word “timeless.” His sound lies somewhere between the mellow soulfulness of Bill Withers and the plaintive, slightly melancholic sound of Nick Drake, and he turned up at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom for a sold-out show last night, just days removed from a successful appearance at Bonnaroo.

As anyone who has ever attended a concert in the Big Apple will attest, New York City audiences can sometimes be rather standoffish and easily distracted, filled with people standing with their arms crossed and “impress me” expressions on their faces. However, from the very moment that the opening chords of “Always Waiting” played through the sound system last night, the Adele-approved Michael Kiwanuka — he opened for her on tour in the U.K. last year — held the audience’s rapt attention. His music never quite veers into a groove that one would describe as uptempo, but don’t misconstrue the lack of a high BPM for something that’s boring. His voice is the kind that envelops you in a warm embrace, and his skilled backing band often extended songs that hover between three and four minutes on wax into six to eight minute epics, replete with jazzy, jammy sonic flourishes. And to that the richness of his lyrical content, a great deal of which involves pleas directed simultaneously towards both himself and a higher power (“Lord, I need loving” on “Tell Me A Tale”, “Oh Lord, I’m getting ready to believe” on “I’m Getting Ready”), and you have yourself all the ingredients for a mesmerizing and memorable evening.

Michael Kiwanuka may indeed be a brand new artist, but if last night’s moving performance was any indication, his career has a strong chance at being as timeless as his sound.

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CONCERT REVIEW: 3,500 StarKid Superfans (And Our Reviewer) Pack A Sold-Out Roseland Ballroom

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Shortly after Charlene Kaye took the stage as the opening act of StarKid‘s performance at Roseland Ballroom on Sunday evening —the final date of their “Apocalyptour”— she addressed her audience of 3,500. “It’s the end of the world,” she told them. “And you get to experience it with us.” The crowd erupted as Kaye continued playing her 45-minute set, a loud and buoyant assortment of songs that showcased her powerful voice and magnetic stage presence. Apart from a poorly conceived request for her audience to kneel down and jump in unison (an act that seemed to cause more disgruntlement than enjoyment), she held a tight grip on the crowd. Her set ended with “Animal Love I,” an electrifying anthem (and the best song of the entire evening) that seemed fitting for a theater of people who had been told to expect end of the world.

But was it really the apocalypse? As someone who knew almost nothing about StarKid upon entering the venue that evening, I couldn’t be too sure. The thousands of screaming children, parents who weren’t sure how to deal with the noise, and stage filled with good-looking performers in complimentary costumes featuring varying levels of thigh exposure felt like some kind of terrifying trifecta that could only mean certain death.

Fortunately for the crowd (and to a lesser extent, me), the world did not end after Charlene left the stage, and the Apocalyptour continued as the remaining performers of StarKid began their show. The minimal and vaguely Incan set design was, like every other element of the show’s construction, merely a method of threading disconnected StarKid songs together. The show’s framing device featured them as archeologists who encounter an ancient god of “chaos, death and musical theater” hell-bent on destroying the world. To dissuade him, they perform selections from their repertoire, including pieces from A Very Potter Musical, Me and My Dick, and Starship. A set list that moves from songs about penises to ones about Hermione Granger is objectively weird, but the StarKids (all former students of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater & Dance) have an impressive grip on writing and, though lyrically all over the place, that persistent musical theater tone helped tie every dick and Potter song together.
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