Its been all about Watch(ing) The Throne for Kanye West for nearly the past year. Shortly following Kanye and Jay-Z’s Europe stint of the tour, Atlantic City’s Revel Resort and Casino announced that Kanye will perform for two nights for the opening of its HQ Nightclub. If Revel sounds familiar its because Memorial Day weekend at Revel was when the First Lady of the U.S. showed up to Beyonce’s big comeback performance since having baby Blue Ivy. And since everyone in the Carter’s friends-family circle does it way big, Kanye West is following in Bey’s footsteps with his first solo performance since Coachella 2011. Read more…
Fiona Apple dropped by Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night to talk with Fallon and to perform “Anything We Want” from her new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, which is out today. Afterwards, she paid tribute to Paul McCartney, who turned 70 yesterday, with a riled-up cover of the Wings’ “Let Me Roll It.”
The appearance marked her first television appearance in six years, and was also a surprisingly not-awkward reunion with Fallon, who had opened the night of her infamous Roseland Ballroom breakdown. “That’s part of the reason I thought it would be cool to do this show,” she tells him. “I’d finally have something to talk about.” Fallon tells her that, “I was worried about you, pal.” To which she tells him, “I was worried about me, pal, too.”
Before performing “Anything We Want,” probably as romantic a song as we’ve heard from her, Apple explained that, “There’s somebody that thinks the song I’m about to sing is about them.” Then, holding up a billiard ball, she corrects: “If you didn’t give me this, I am not thinking about you.”
Hard to believe, but it’s been two whole years since Katy Perry‘s video for “California Gurls” premiered. During that time, Perry has experienced a number of highs (see: her six #1 songs) and lows (see: her divorce from Russell Brand), so it only makes sense that her new music video for “Wide Awake” starts off where her whole Teenage Dream run began: The video shoot for “California Gurls.”
Our story begins at the end of the “California Gurls” video shoot with the director calling it a wrap, at which time Katy heads back to her dressing room to remove her pink cotton candy colored wig. As she briefly contemplates her own reflection in the mirror — we are to presume that this is one of the few moments in her life where she is truly alone, not flanked by PR flunkies/makeup artists/record label suits/various hangers-on, and therefore free to get a little introspective — she is whisked through the looking glass (so to speak) and transported into a magical realm that blends elements of Snow White, Zach Snyder‘s Sucker Punch, Jim Henson‘s Labyrinth and the Lord Of The Rings. You see, she’s on a quest to find true love, but as you can tell from an exceptionally dramatic crane shot, it’s not going to be easy.
Lil Wayne has finally broken his silence on pulling Nicki Minaj from the Summer Jam lineup just hours before she was scheduled to perform. And his succinct answer has us scratching our heads a bit. After Hot 97’s DJ Peter Rosenberg said Nicki’s “Starships” wasn’t real hip-hop, word got back to the YMCMB boss and he tweeted, “Young Money ain’t doing Summer Jam.” That tweet was the last we’ve heard from him on the incident. MTV caught up with Weezy and he addressed the debacle quite graciously. Unlike his “F*ck Pusha T and anybody that love em” tweet, there were no shots (not literally) fired or shade thrown. But his answer leaves us with more questions. Read more…
There are no maybes about it, Carly Rae Jepsen owned last night’s MuchMusic Video Awards. Performing early in Canadian music channel’s annual awards show, Jepsen sang her Billboard-topping “Call Me Maybe” from a giant, colorful telephone-shaped swing while wearing a too-cute TopShop dress. After picking up a hefty load of awards —the Video of the Year, the MuchMusic.com Most Watched Video, and the crowd-sourced UR Fave Video of the Year all for her “Call Me Maybe” video— she joined non-Canadian Flo Rida for “Wild Ones,” filling in for the absent You Oughta Know‘s Sia and proving herself more than “Maybe” capable.
Her “Wild Ones” cameo, though, was for many of us the first time hearing her do anything other than “Call Me Maybe.” If she hopes to be celebrated again in years to come, she will soon need to start harnessing some of the excitement around her into something new. Her EP Curiosity has yet to see release in the States, but has been well received in Canada — why not start not start with that, and in front of a hometown crowd?
Despite Drake’s recent involvement (or not) in a physical altercation with Chris Brown and camp, the show goes on. On Saturday Drake’s Club Paradise tour stopped at Jones Beach in NY where he performed in front of a crowd of 15,000 yelling fans. Earlier this week he promised them a second chance at Summer Jam. Unfortunately redoing Summer Jam didn’t mean YMCMB artists Nicki Minaj or Lil Wayne would come out as special guests. But Drake snagged the hottest upcoming rappers in the game–2 Chainz, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill and A$AP Rocky–to open his show. Cam’ron, Juelz Santana and Jim Jones of Dipset also reunited. “This is something that I gotta do for New York,” he said right before bringing out the “We Fly High” rapper who was later joined by his former Harlem group members. Even on stage Drake remained tight lipped about the now infamous Chris Brown brawl. But per PopDust.com, he was subliminally referencing the incident that we hope doesn’t spiral out of control. Read more…
It’s like the 90s R&B era all over again in Melanie Fiona’s “This Time,” and we’re loving it. For the traditional rhythm and bluesy record expressing how much better she’d be in the relationship if she had a do-over, she teamed up with Roc Nation rapper J. Cole for what feels like the nostalgic time when R&B and hip-hop collaborations saturated the airwaves. Not to compare Fiona to another artist as she’s rightfully owning her lane, but we couldn’t help but notice the Mary J. Blige “What’s the 411?” similarities. The baseball hat and oversized jacket? Totally a great nod to MJB. Read more…
Summer concert season is upon us, which means that a lot of people will be seeing shows by their favorite bands in unusual venues. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that stages are erected so quickly that there isn’t always a great deal of time to double- and triple-check to ensure that all safety regulations have been met. To wit, a massive section of the stage collapsed at Toronto’s Downsview Park Saturday afternoon ahead of Radiohead‘s sold-out show there, killing Radiohead’s drum tech, Scott Johnson, and injuring three other crew members. It’s not yet clear exactly what happened, but the Ontario Ministry of Labor will investigate the collapse to see that safety regulations and standards were followed and that staff were probably trained.
Radiohead drummer Philip Selway paid tribute to Johnson on the band’s website. “We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague,” he wrote. “He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew. We will miss him very much. Our thoughts and love are with Scott’s family and all those close to him.”
The past year has seen a series of similar tragedies, notably a collapse at a Sugarland performance at the Indiana State Fair that left six dead, another at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium, and a third at a Cheap Trick show at Ottawa’s Bluesfest.
[Photo: Getty Images]
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.
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.