R.I.P. Clarence Clemons (1942-2011)

by (@unclegrambo)

Sad news to pass along this evening: Clarence “Big Man” Clemons, the renowned saxophone player in Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band, passed away earlier this evening as a result of complications from the stroke he suffered earlier this week.

We’d like to pay our respects to The Big Man by programming 24 hours of Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band on VH1 Classic. Starting at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, we’ll be airing the concert films Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in New York City (2000) and Live In Barcelona (2002) back-to-back for 24 consecutive hours.

Clemons first rose to prominence in 1971 after agreeing to team up with fellow Asbury Park, NJ musician Bruce Springsteen. The Bruce Springsteen Band, as they were called back then, didn’t make it very far, but Bruce reconstituted the group a few years later under the moniker of the E Street Band and, as they say, the rest is history. Clemons became an instrumental part of Springsteen’s band, contributing some of the most famous sax solos in music history on songs like “Born To Run” and “Jungleland,” and was such an integral part of Springsteen’s creative process that The Boss wrote the song “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” and included their origin story as part of one of the verses.

Earlier this evening, Springsteen released the following statement about Clemons:
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Rumors Of On-Set Creative Clashes Mar The Release Of Lady Gaga’s Video For “The Edge Of Glory”

by (@unclegrambo)

When word first broke last month that Lady Gaga was prepping a video for her Song Of The Summer contender “The Edge Of Glory,” acclaimed music video director Joseph Kahn was attached to the project. However, before Gaga’s new Rent-tastic video debuted on So You Think You Can Dance last night, Kahn tweeted the following:

Which was followed up by this:

Naturally, this apparent Gaga diss by Kahn infuriated the Little Monsters, who barraged Kahn so relentlessly on Twitter that his name became a trending topic “for all the wrong reasons.” After Gaga refused to come to his aid on Twitter, anonymous insiders close to production talked to the New York Post’s PopWrap blog and detailed the “disagreements” that occured on set between Gaga and Kahn, disagreements that led to Kahn disavowing the project entirely (the finished video for “The Edge Of Glory” is now listed as being directed by Haus of Gaga).

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Lance Bass Wants To Bring His Boy Band Expertise To VH1

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Former *NSYNC-er Lance Bass mentioned to New York last night that he’s producing an amazing-sounding new boy-band reality competition show. Bass explained the concept, which he’s pitched to VH1, saying:

“It’s a really great music show, starring all your favorite boy bands. It’s going to be really fun. I got a member from Backstreet Boys, A.J. McLean. A member from *NSYNC, Joey Fatone. A member from New Kids on the Block, Joe McIntyre. And a member from New Edition, Bobby Brown. They’re all going to form a boy band, each, from the most talented guys in America that I’ve scouted, and then they’ll go head-to-head in a competition to see who the best band is, so it’s bragging rights for the guy in the group, for sure.”

Bass said later that Brown wasn’t totally confirmed for the show, but he’s working on that. “I think Bobby will do it,” he said.

UPDATE: VH1 could not confirm the show at this time, but a rep for the network explained “VH1 is talking to Lance Bass as well as a lot of other big names in the music and pop culture arenas about a lot of great ideas for new series.”

[Photo: Getty Images]

Sneak Peek: Weird Al Yankovic, “Perform This Way”

by (@Lacezilla)


 
With previous Weird Al YankoVICTIMS including Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Madonna, Nirvana, Coolio, Dire Straits, and the late, great, Michael Jackson, it would appear that Lady Gaga is in good company. On the heels of last night’s “The Edge of Glory” video premiere, we’re happy to present you with an exclusive 30-second sneak of Weird Al’s latest masterpiece, “Perform This Way.” If you’ve been living under a rock, the song is a parody of the pop matriarch’s hit, “Born This Way,” and like us, you should be mega-stoked that Gaga and Weird Al were able to squash their alleged beef and come to a mutual understanding to officially approve and greenlight the song.
 
While the lyrics were imagery-inspiring on their own, you’ll see in the sneak that Weird Al has delivered true-to-form visuals that manage to simultaneously mock and salute Mother Monster. Snatching Gaga’s signature looks and making them his own, Al transforms to perform, dancing around to her choreography (albeit with his head on a female body) and flaunting grossly exaggerated versions her outfits — a feat we didn’t think was possible! The full broadcast premiere of “Perform This Way” hits television airwaves Monday morning on VH1′s Big Morning Buzz Live, and will no doubt join the ranks of Weird Al classics like “Eat It,” “Like A Surgeon,” and “Amish Paradise.” The parody wizard himself will be a guest on the show, so tune-in and check back with us then; we’ll have the full scoop on all things Yankovic!

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Daddy Tally: A Big “Happy Father’s Day!” To Those Musicians Most Deserving

by (@Lacezilla)

It’s that time of year again! When we?honor thy father by running out to?the nearest department store?to get?the big guy?a tie that?he’ll accept with a smile and probably never, ever?wear. I kid, I kid! In all seriousness, this Sunday marks yet another Fathers’ Day, and it goes without saying that the job is a tough one that deserves recognition. Dirty diapers, puberty meltdowns, giving proper advice… the list of fatherly?duties is literally never-ending. And that, my friends, is exactly why we have to hand it to the gentlemen?who’ve made it on?our Top 20 Daddy Tally list.

Not only are these distinguished men highly successful in the ultra-competitive music industry, but they’ve managed to achieve their success while also fathering?HUGE tribes of children. That’s right, each papa bear on our Top 20 list has upwards of five children, and whether it’s serial philanderer Bob Marley, sperm donor extraordinaire David Crosby (hey Melissa Etheridge!) or rumored father of 75 bouncing babies (!!!), Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, they all have more than “earned” their spot.

Shearer’s Spotlight: When Father’s Day Turns Sour

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Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. This feature will include three things —sometimes related, sometimes not!— that Jim is obsessing over this week. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT tomorrow morning; this week?s special guests is none other than American Idol Season 7 winner David Cook!

Father?s Day weekend is almost upon us, and while popular music has given us goodies like ?Papa Was a Rolling Stone? and ?Papa Has a Brand New Bag??surely inspiring musical monikers like Big Daddy Kane, Daddy Yankee and even Kris Kross? Mack Daddy & Daddy Mack?Father?s Day can sometimes be a sore subject with musicians.

If you?re looking to put a smile on your dad?s face this weekend, please DO NOT include these tracks on your Father?s Day mix:


?Cat?s In The Cradle? by Harry Chapin

The mother?or, I guess the father?of deadbeat dad anthems. It?s a classic tale of what goes around comes around, teaching us all that if you don?t play catch with your young son, he won?t want to hang out with you when he gets older.

Ironically, most of your fathers probably enjoy this classic tune, so if you?re thinking of incorporating it into a playlist for him, just make sure you don?t accidentally download the cover version from Ugly Kid Joe.

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Lady Gaga Plays Rent‘s Mimi In “The Edge of Glory” Video

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Lady Gaga premiered the music video for “The Edge of Glory,” her third Born This Way single, tonight on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. “The Edge of Glory” is the not only one of the album’s standout tracks (and in the running for Song of the Summer) but also the first remotely organic single from the album, which is to say both that the song was not a planned single but enough of a hit with listeners that it was released to radio and that the video is low-concept, particularly compared to the “Born This Way” and “Judas” videos.

Gaga has said the song is a tribute to her late grandfather, but through director Joseph Kahn Haus Of Gaga‘s eye, “The Edge of Glory” is about Gaga’s early days in lower Manhattan. In the MTV documentary Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside, she discussed playing metal records onstage with Lady Starlight before she got her break, and her starry-eyed reminiscence of her Lower East Side experiences are translated visually, and through the lens of Gaga’s love of musical theater, into somewhat of a recreation of the choreography of “Out Tonight,” a number from the musical Rent. She dances and prances all over a fire escape and up and down a block, and her leathered-out getup reads as positively throwback (not in a bad way).

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

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Rebecca Black Pulls “Friday” Off Of YouTube
Sorry, kids, there be no getting down this Friday, for TMZ reports that teen superstar Rebecca Black —who, you’ll recall from our interview with her at the OMAs, “does not believe in getting nervous”— is engaged in a beef with her record label, Ark Entertainment. Until they get their issues settled, YouTube is “Friday” free. Some might argue that’s a good thing, but those people would be wrong. [TMZ]

Premieres: Matt & Kim Video, J. Cole Single, Lady Gaga Video (Imminent)
OMA favorites Matt & Kim premiered the video for “Block After Block” over at MTV.com; the first single from J. Cole’s forthcoming debut full-length went out to radio today (and can be heard below); the video for Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” will premiere during So You Think You Can Dance tonight.

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Robyn Dodges Attempts To Ignite Drama With Tourmate Katy Perry

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“Discreet; No drama,” Robyn advertises herself on Craigslist 2010 single “Fembot,” and she lives up to her reputation: Ever since the news broke in January that she’d be opening for Katy Perry‘s California Dreams Summer Tour (which began June 7 in Atlanta), those who see the two performers as opposite ends of a musical spectrum have tried to reconcile the pairing. Before Robyn played Radio City Music Hall in February, Sophie Harris at Time Out New York thought she’d found an angle: asking Robyn if she was a fan of Perry’s music. The Swedish singer wisely dodged, “You know what? I have to go now,” but her non-answer was printed?and thus read?as if it were a de facto no, and footage from an earlier interview with MTV implied confirmation.
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At Storytellers, Maxwell Pleads For The Troops To Come Home

by (@Lacezilla)

On the surface, Maxwell’s “Fistful of Tears” comes off as a song that’s urging a woman to shake her unnecessary insecurities and, in the process, perhaps save him some unnecessary grief. Lyrics like “all you got to do is raise up, face up, stay up, all things will heal” make sense under that context and resonate deeply, so when the sultry singer revealed to our VH1 Storytellers audience that the song’s inspiration was actually drawn from the war in the Middle East, we were taken aback. But as he explains in the above sneak, Maxwell’s song-writing is a “three-prong experience,” alllowing him to apply (1) what he’s going through personally, (2) what he sees going on in the world, and (3) what he hopes the listener will get out of it, and therefore, our previous interpretation may still stand.

Before performing the powerful ballad in this clip, Maxwell candidly opens up about his opinions on the “religious war” that has been waged by the US, advocating a peaceful coexistence for all. “I hate the fact that we’re fighting, I can’t wait for the troops to come back,” said the R&B veteran, adding, “If your God is name this, and my God is named that, I’m cool.” And despite the fact that Max hates to name drop, he delivered this information via a story about being in the studio with Mary J. Blige and Anthony Hamilton, taming his somewhat reclusive mystique and making the story all-the-more juicy. Just as we were nodding our heads in new-found understanding, however, the soul singer brought us back full circle, noting that the song is also about trying to show someone “how great they are, when they can’t see how great they are.” A-ha! Not only was our original theory right after all, but it seems Maxwell also stayed true to his trusty three prongs– touching on both his life and world observations, all while allowing us to decode and evaluate for ourselves.