Gavin DeGraw’s Sweeter Hits A Sweet #8 On Billboard 200

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If, as George Herbert once wrote, “Living well is the best revenge,” we’d say Gavin DeGraw has paid back the unknown assailants who assaulted him last month many times over. We hate to use the assault as a narrative device, but it’s hard not to root especially hard for the singer in light of not only the attack he experienced, but also the extent to which he took it in stride, even as he was forced to drastically alter his promotional schedule for Sweeter, which came out last week.

Well, if August was a difficult month for the singer, September feel particularly vindicating, especially now that Sweeter has debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200. Such a strong first week is a nice feather in DeGraw’s cap as he prepares to kick off a co-headlining tour with David Cook next month. We wonder if he’ll incorporate his cover of “Grenade,” which he performed here at VH1, into his sets. Stay with us for the rest of that Top 20 Live set, coming soon!

[Image: Getty Images]

Is Courtney Love The Devil? Urge Overkill’s Eddie “King” Roeser Thinks So

by (@unclegrambo)

You’re forgiven if you’re feeling a little bit of Nirvana overkill of late, because we’ve been dealing with those same issues in the wake of Nevermind‘s 20th anniversary. However, Urge Overkill‘s Eddie “King” Roeser just shared an incredible story on the band’s official website about the handful of dates back in 1991 when his band opened for Nirvana just as they were beginning to break out in popularity, so we figured it was worth sharing with you. In his blog post, Roeser talks of how, over the course of one week, Kurt, Dave and Krist went from playing a “flat” show in Cleveland to “freaking out” because of the sudden onslaught of “meatheads” that started attending their shows. Roeser describes these gigs as being “easily among the greatest rock shows I have or will ever see,” but the bands ultimately split ways in Kansas. As Roeser tells it…

“Both bands drove through Stull, Kansas, as they wanted to partake of the legendary haunted crossroads celebrated by our song of the same name (we had just released the Stull EP). It was a warm autumn day and Cobain sat down against the huge oak tree by the church and joked ‘If there is a Satan, I want him to come and get me.’ No sh*t, that?s what he said.

Next time I saw him he had married Courtney Love.”

It’s tough to write a kicker that will top Roeser’s slam, so we’ll just leave well enough alone.

It Was 20 Years Ago Today?. [UrgeOverkill.com via Todd Wicks]

Tuned In: Foo Fighters Team With Roger Waters—Plus Pop Karaoke With Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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Dave Grohl has been all over music news lately for his contributions to Nevermind, the Nirvana album that was released twenty years ago this week. So we took a certain bizarre delight in seeing his Foo Fighters on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon yesterday, backing Roger Waters of Pink Floyd for a rendition of “In The Flesh.” We’re not sure whether the collaboration is simply a useful reminder of Grohl’s self-proclaimed rock stalwart status?indicating that despite the generational shift that Nirvana seemed to indicate, the band fits quite snugly in the rock canon?or a nose-thumbing at that very idea, but intentionally or otherwise, the performance was a total riff on nostalgia. And it sounded great! Plus it’s always nice to see that we and Questlove agree that Pat Smear is the best.

If that wasn’t enough riffing, the episode also featured a “karaoke” segment, in which Jimmy Fallon and guest Joseph Gordon-Levitt showcased their impressions of David Bowie and Axl Rose, respectively. Check out their takes on Foster The People, Kelly Clarkson, and Lady Gaga after the jump.
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Shocking Audio Reveals That Michael Jackson Was So Drugged Out During His Final Days That He Could Barely Speak

by (@unclegrambo)

People still haven’t quite gotten over the tragic passing of Michael Jackson a little over two years ago, but now that Dr. Conrad Murray‘s manslaughter trial is underway in California, expect things to get worse before they get better. Prosecuting attorneys are currently in the midst of outlining their case to the jury against Dr. Murray, who was Jackson’s personal physician at the time of his death and had prescribed him the Propofol that he overdosed on. Earlier tonight, we pointed you in the direction of the gruesome MJ autopsy photos that were shown in court today, but now some new evidence that’s just as disturbing, if not as visually graphic, has emerged.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the “emotional high point” of the trial’s first day was the audio recording that we have for you above. The recording, which was captured on May 10, 2009—just six weeks before his death—highlights a Michael Jackson that the public has never been privy to. Gone is the boyish, enthusiastic voice that we all knew and loved; in this audio, it has been replaced by a drug-addled, slurred speech that is wholly unrecognizable as Jackson’s voice. Yet beneath this tragically sad exterior, the passionate heart and competitive spirit of Michael Jackson was still fully alive. “When people leave my [This Is It tour],” he explains, “I want them to say, ‘I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life…He’s the greatest entertainer in the world.” Sadly, he never got the chance to prove that to audiences one last time, but even still, his legacy as the King of Pop will always remain in tact.

Conrad Murray trial off to an emotional start [LAT]

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Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

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Conrad Murray Trial For Manslaughter Of Michael Jackson Begins
The doctor, Michael Jackson‘s personal physician, stands accused of administering a fatal dose of propofol to the singer. Prosecutor David Walgren opened his case by showing the jury a postmortem image of Jackson‘s body on a hospital gurney, which The Smoking Gun already has. The proceeds are being televised and webcast, so expect a lot more rubber-necking coverage like this on gossip sites, especially when Murray’s attorney calls Jackson’s eldest son, 14-year-old Prince, to the stand.

Lil Wayne’s VMAs Stretch-Denim Inspires An AP Trendpiece
The attention-grabbing headline Latest Trend in Hip-Hop: Women’s Clothes disguises a lengthy meditation on the performance of masculinity by none other than celebrity stylist June Ambrose, who’s got a show premiering this winter on VH1. And yes, the piece may refer to Kanye West as “hip-hop’s ultimate metrosexual,” but at least it didn’t misidentify Lil Wayne’s bottoms as “jeggings.” [AP]
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Death Cab For Cutie Salute Long-Lasting Love In “Stay Young, Go Dancing”

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Nearly half a year since the band’s highly ambitious single-take “You Are A Tourist” (and four months since their appearance on Storytellers), Death Cab For Cutie are back with another single?Codes and Keys closer “Stay Young, Go Dancing.” When the band performed the song on Storytellers, frontman Ben Gibbard quipped, “I think as a relatively recently married [to Zooey Deschanel, no less] man, I’m allowed one love song.” The Claire Carre-directed, Rob Reiner-meets-Benjamin Button clip that premiered yesterday certainly fits the bill, as an older couple dances barefoot in the grass and reminisces on a life of love and dancing together.

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Which Of The 2012 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominees Is Most Deserving Of Induction?

by (@unclegrambo)

The nominees for the 2012 Class of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were announced earlier today. The group is, as it has been for the last few years, an eclectic bunch made up of artists from a wide variety of musical genres: New nominees this year include The Cure, Eric B. & Rakim, Guns N’ Roses, Heart, Freddie King, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rufus and Chaka Khan, the Small Faces, the Spinners, and War, while holdovers that failed to get inducted last year are Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, Donovan, and Laura Nyro.

The RRHOF’s induction process is mysterious and secretive, so you don’t see the same kind of public campaigning by nominees for induction that you see in, say, the sports world. However, that doesn’t mean that the committee who makes the decisions of who gets honored and who gets snubbed isn’t reading this blog post. So, with that in mind, vote for the act that you feel is most deserving of the honor in our poll below, and maybe, just maybe, Jann Wenner and his band of choosy cronies will pay heed!

Rock Hall of Fame Nominates Guns ‘N Roses, Joan Jett, Beastie Boys [FoxNews]

Sneak Preview: Adele Walks A Long Paris Road In “Someone Like You”

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Adele doesn’t need a music video to hit #1?she accomplished it with a single VMA performance?but that’s not to say she didn’t want a video. In fact, “Someone Like You” has a Jake Nava-directed clip set to premiere Thursday at 7:56PM ET/PT on MTV. The sneak peak, above, is a fairly straightforward affair?a slightly distressed black-and-white clip of a slightly distressed Adele, walking on a road alongside the Seine. The clip doesn’t quite reach the song’s bridge, so where the video will go from here is a bit of a mystery, but the sneak certainly suits the song. Tune in on Thursday for the rest of “Someone Like You.”
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Bruno Mars Premieres “It Will Rain” From Breaking Dawn: Part 1 Soundtrack

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Soundtracks may not be the music blockbusters they once were (think the nine-times-platinum Top Gun soundtrack), but in some cases, they can still pack a punch?not only in terms of sales, but also in terms of singles and other original songs. One of the few holdovers is the much-loved (particularly over at The Fab Life) Twilight Saga, and last night the first single from the Breaking Dawn: Part 1 soundtrack, Bruno Mars‘s “It Will Rain,” hit YouTube and iTunes, following the announcement earlier in the day of the full tracklisting. His string-laden heartbreak ballad is perfectly suited for the series’s melodrama

Mars isn’t the only You Oughta Know alum making an appearance?Twilight Saga superfan Christina Perri contributed a song, a fact she excitedly blogged about yesterday (under the title “My Dream Came True!”). The two artists are among the notable inclusions on the tracklisting (which we’ve reprinted after the jump).
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Rihanna’s “We Found Love” Video Shoot Gets “Inappropriate”

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In advance of three shows this weekend at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Rihanna came to nearby Bangor to film a video for her new single “We Found Love”?and ended up running afoul of the farmer and local politician on whose land she was filming. The Sunday shoot for the single, produced by her Belfast opener Calvin Harris, drew hundreds of fans, and not a few paparazzi. Apparently, most of the filming was on public land, but a brief sequence was filmed on land owned by Alan Graham. In an interview with Nuala McCann of BBC News, Graham explained that while he didn’t object to Rihanna’s outfit, as seen in candid photographs of the more public part of the shoot, the sequence filmed on his land got “inappropriate”?so he requested that the shoot relocate. Billboard cites unnamed Irish and British news reports in stating that at one point the singer was topless, though it’s unclear whether Graham witnessed a bit of the video or a between-scenes costume change when he happened to be fetching his tractor near the shoot. Whatever he saw, we’re betting paparazzi wish they’d seen too?which is probably why the shoot moved away from the road in the first place.

Topless Rihanna Scolded By Modest Farmer [Billboard]

[Image: TheFABLife]