Tuned In: Ximena Sariñana Brings Something “Different” To Leno

by

A disclaimer: yes, Ximena Sariñana is our latest You Oughta Know artist (and Jay Leno even said as much before her Tonight Show performance yesterday). That said, we swear it’s not favoritism when we say she had the best musical performance of the night. Sariñana, now scaled way up from her You Oughta Know Live backing band (that is to say, her brother Sebastian), remains the focal point without losing any of the elements of the song. Kudos, for example, to whomever put the drums behind plexiglass so the drummer could really pound out the rhythm without bleeding into everyone else’s microphones.

That commitment to power and clarity is key to why Sariñana has our ears. In all honesty, we’ve developed a bit of an allergy to quirk of late, and while she sometimes toes that line, she the requisite rock sensibility to keep that from overwhelming her sound. Does she use a variety of sonic elements? Sure. But is it precious? Hardly.

Sariñana’s closest competition for best performance of the night was not Ellie Goulding (whose performance of “Lights”—a good song—was capable but uninspired) nor Incubus (who sounded much better on Jimmy Kimmel Live! than they did recently on Letterman, but whose new single isn’t doing much for us), but Questlove and “Captain” Kirk Douglas of The Roots, performing part of Song Of The Summer contender “Party Rock Anthem” as Black Simon and Garfunkel for a brief “Suggestion Box” sketch on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:
Read more…

Michelle Branch Makes “Loud Music” With Her Band, Her Beau

by

Back in June, Michelle Branch was in the building to perform her single “Loud Music” on Big Morning Buzz Live, and it was certainly a good performance. Even still, the song’s called “Loud Music” and Branch played it acoustically (she herself quipped afterward, “It’s not right”). With that in mind, we’re glad to premiere the video for the plugged-in single.

The clip tells two simultaneous stories: the literal one, in which Branch and her band goof off on tour, listening to?and performing?loud music, and the figurative one, told out of chronological order, in which Michelle Branch meets-cute in a record store and she and the dude (who, it should be noted, has some wicked sideburns) “make loud music” together. Branch is too cool and composed for anything so gauche as a Katy Perry stage wink, so you just have to put it together yourself.

“Loud Music” is premiering on air during this week’s VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown Saturday at 9 a.m. ET/PT (after which point it will be eligible for next week’s countdown). Does the clip pass muster? Your vote will help decide.
Read more…

Gym Class Heroes Return To Warm Our “Stereo Hearts”

by (@Lacezilla)

Get More: Gym Class Heroes, Top 20 Countdown, Stereo Hearts, Music Videos

Currently creeping its way up the iTunes and pop radio charts, Gym Class Heroes’ debut single off of The Papercut Chronicles II now has a video! After a three-year hiatus, Travie, Disashi, Eric and Matt are back at it with “Stereo Hearts,” attempting to tug at our heartstrings via the alternative hip-hop sound that first met our ears on “Cupid’s Chokehold” in 2006, a video which included a then-unknown Katy Perry. In this Top 20 Video Countdownpremiere video, the band’s shadows come alive and help bring to life their sonic palate, ever-present while the clip incorporates imagery that spans breakdancing and The BeatlesAbbey Road references.

Front man Travie McCoy’s verses on “Stereo Hearts” sort of remind us of a 2011 take on 50 Cent’s “21 Questions,” gauging a lover’s loyalty, but doing so while feeding the stereo/love analogy that’s sweetly woven into the song. And even though we’re talking about boomboxes here, Maroon 5′s Adam Levine is transmitted through television screens in the window of a pawn shop in the vid, singing the chorus that will most assuredly get stuck in your head. With the sun shining brightly and leaves on the ground, this visual is seasonally appropriate and perfect for the transition from summer to autumn, the latter of which is precisely when their fifth studio LP drops.

Read more…

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

by

Jennifer Lopez Will Return To American Idol
So said Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, in so many words, this morning on Ryan Seacrest‘s morning show: “I believe we?re still waiting for the official announcements but I am delighted to say that all three judges, along with the brilliant host of American Idol, [are] back for the next season.” [EW Inside TV]

Taylor Swift Premieres Fifth Speak Now Video
“Sparks Fly” is a pretty straightforward tour-advertisement video, but it’s a good advertisement, and anyway, what do you want? She’s already released four high-concept clips in the last year! Sidenote: we’re curious what Sara Marcus would say about Swift’s penchant for writing on her body. Is that in dialogue with riot grrrl? [Vimeo]
Read more…

Lollapalooza 2011: The Performers In Profile (And Other Onstage Poses) [PHOTOS]

by

We may not have been able to attend Lollapalooza 2011 ourselves, but the photographers we sent in our stead got some great shots. Yesterday, we shared their fashion roundup of attendees, but of course we wanted lenses be pointed at the stage at least some of the time, and this gallery definitely delivers. Click through for shots of performances all weekend, including shots from must-see sets like Eminem‘s, as well as some great snaps of You Oughta Know alums like Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Lissie, and more!

View Photo Gallery

And our trusty VH1 News team was also on hand, scoring some awesome interviews with the likes of Tinie Tempah, My Morning Jacket, Foster The People, Christina Perri and Ok Go. We’ve got some exclusive video to share with you below.

Read more…

You Oughta Know Alums Grace Potter, Two Door Cinema Club, And Fitz And The Tantrums Perform Together At Lollapalooza Afterparty [PHOTOS]

by (@unclegrambo)

If you attended the 2011 Lollapalooza Festival this weekend, you had to battle the elements AND a throng of 270,000 people in order to see your favorite acts. However, on Friday night at the W Hotel in Chicago, some of our most famous You Oughta Know alumni gathered for a very special VH1 You Oughta Know Night at the Belve Music Lounge. Retro soul powerhouses Fitz And The Tantrums and electro power poppers Two Door Cinema Club each performed for the fans lucky enough to score an invite (which included celebs like Twilight’s Kellan Lutz, Christopher “McLovin” Mintz-Plasse), and the one and only Grace Potter hopped on the ones and twos for an inspired DJ set. Our photogs were on hand to catch all the action, and we’d love to share the results with you!

View Photo Gallery

Read more…

Gavin DeGraw Takes To Twitter After Being Discharged From Hospital

by (@unclegrambo)

After reportedly suffering a late night (early morning?) beatdown from a group of hooligans and THEN getting struck by a taxi cab, singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw was discharged from New York City’s Bellevue Hospital yesterday afternoon. Although he suffered a broken nose and is recovering from a concussion, his thumbs apparently escaped the incident unharmed; he presumably used them to tweet the message you see above from his Blackberry yesterday afternoon.

While police are still investigating the mysterious incident, a few more details about the evening have emerged. Initial reports pegged DeGraw as being quite inebriated when the incident occurred around 4 a.m. on Sunday night, but Gavin’s brother Joseph told Fox News that Gavin “had nothing but cranberry juice to drink” on the night in question (a night, mind you, that was spent at National Underground, a bar that the brothers co-own). Additionally, People is reporting that Gavin’s assault took place after “some kind of argument” broke out between himself and a group of people he didn’t know. DeGraw also told police that he “can’t clearly recall” how the disagreement got started or any events of the night in question. To help piece the events of the evening together, police are attempting to collect security camera footage from the neighborhood in question.

We continue to wish Gavin a speedy recovery from his injuries, and we’ll bring you more information about this scary incident as it emerges.

Gavin DeGraw Can’t Remember Much From Attack, Cancels Shows, Report Says [Fox News]
Gavin DeGraw Beating Mystery Deepens [People]

Shakira’s Magic Hips Help Enhance Her Golf Game While On Tour

by (@Lacezilla)

Shakira’s so hot, she even looks great in sweatpants, s?? As part of her Tour Blog video series, the clip above aids in chronicling the Columbian cantante’s day-to-day activities during her “The Sun Comes Out” world tour. We already know that she’s got powerful pipes and hips that don’t lie, but while taking a break on a golf course in Mexico, Shakira puts those joints between the femur and acetabulum of the pelvis to good use!

“It’s all in the hips,” she says of her solid golf swing, breaking the mechanics to an on-camera pal. In between goofing off with the parrot club head cover, the fiery singer provides fundamentally sound instructions on driving the ball, and you if you watch the entire clip, you’ll see Shakira cruising around in a golf cart, practicing her short game, and most importantly, being stunning and adorable while demonstrating her proficiency in the sport. Quite a departure from belly dancing and performing in front of crowds in the tens of thousands, we’re quite fond of this stripped-down, girl next door presentation of Shakira, and you will too! Next order of business? Trying to get her in your scoring zone.

Watch Shakira?s Hip-Swiveling Golf Tutorial [Vulture]

Read more…

The Horrors Celebrate The Release Of Skying With MTV Hive

by

The Horrors may have burst onto the UK scene in 2006 with their noisy distortion-punk single “Sheena Is A Parasite” (with a Chris Cunningham video to boot) but they’ve evolved and settled quite a bit in the intervening years. The excited fans packed into the Studio at Webster Hall for the band’s United States album release show, filmed for MTV Hive’s Live in NYC series, were expecting shambolic grooves, not frenetic yelps, and that’s what they got for eleven songs spanning just over an hour last night. The band alternated between songs from their brand-new Skying and 2009′s Primary Colours, sounding somewhere between the Psychedelic Furs and the Chameleons, but with the guitar wash (and at one point, “Be My Baby”-aping drumbeat) of Jesus and Mary Chain.

The inexactitude of live performance erased the boundaries of time that can be heard on the records; there, the band is influenced by the sometimes dour proto-shoegazers, but live, the Horrors could actually be their lost peers. When they closed their set with new song “Moving Further Away,” the appreciative audience applauded in vain for an encore until the house music came on. The whole set is streaming above and at MTVHive. Set list below:
Read more…

Tuned In: Cage The Elephant Showcase Alt-Rock On The Tonight Show

by

Ever heard of Cage the Elephant? They’re a young rock band from Kentucky whose second album Thank You Happy Birthday was critically acclaimed but popularly ignored earlier this year. There’s no home for the band on the radio, and yet there the band was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno yesterday.?

This isn’t a story of “indie band makes good,” though?at least, not exactly. See, Cage the Elephant is signed to Jive, which may be why the American indie-rock world remains inexplicably uninterested in what otherwise fits the bill perfectly: nineties-inspired, thoughtful alt-rock. Sardonic pop critic Chris Weingarten recently started a Twitter list of “major label bands no one listens to” that included the band, along with their tourmates Manchester Orchestra.

We’re not sure how much the Leno billing did for Cage the Elephant?the band’s (mostly young) fans aren’t necessarily the Tonight Show‘s audience, nor vice versa?but we’d like to hope otherwise. As weird as it still feels to be pulling for a young band on a major label, we know that there are few things a major label can do for a young guitar-rock band these days. One is to write the check for an eye-catching music video (see Manchester Orchestra‘s VMA-nominated “Simple Math”); another is to shoot for exposure via, say, a prime late-night booking. (Another is to get a good tour opening slot, but Foo Fighters are pretty picky about whom they’ll bring on tour, so we suspect that booking had little to do with the label.) We’re crossing our fingers that the Tonight Show audience liked their performance as much as we did. ?

Elsewhere on late night…
Read more…