Bruce Springsteen‘s new single from his forthcoming album, Wrecking Ball, due for release on March 6th, is doing rounds of the Internet this morning. As a lead single, it’s not exactly bringing down the house — it ain’t no “Born To Run” — but by no means does that it mean that it’s terrible, either. Somewhat middling, the song doesn’t quite reach that expansive, soaring, transcendent plane that defines the Springsteen mythology. Yet there’s still something really charming about “We Take Care Of Our Own,” and it’s more than just Bruce’s impeccable husky vocal (which, at the beginning, hits us like a slap of warm nostalgia to the face, and reminds us, “oh yeah, there it is”).
There’s the spirited piano, the matter-of-fact yet obtusely dreamy lyricism, and undertones of escapism that remind us of Bruce in the 70s, and has us hankering for the rest of Wrecking Ball to hit. March can’t come soon enough for us, but what do you think? Is “We Take Care Of Our Own” what you were expecting? Or were you hoping for something more epic from Wrecking Ball‘s first release? Let us know in the poll below!
Ten years ago, a veteran British entertainment mogul named Simon Fuller had the very bright idea to adapt his smash hit UK television show Pop Idol for an American audience. The result was a program called American Idol, and its impact on the television landscape (as well as our culture-at-large) cannot be underestimated. It has spawned dozens of imitators, and withstood all challenges to remain the highest rated show on American television (not counting the NFL, natch).
At this time last year, the departure of Simon Cowell and the failed run of Ellen Degeneres had many industry observers prophesying that the show was dead in the water. However, in a semi-remarkable twist, the show actually gained new life thanks to the star power of Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Speaking of the latter, the Aerosmith lead singer brought something to the show that it had been lacking since Day One: A whiff of sex. Despite the fact that the 63-year-old Tyler is old enough to be the grandfather of most of the contestants, his naturally libidinous and undeniably charismatic persona added an exciting new element to the program.
Oh, and did we mention that Steven Tyler just might be the most lovable creep on television? His entendre-laden, heavily sexual metaphors arguably provide just as much entertainment to viewers at home as the actual performances themselves. Which is why we here at VH1 Tuner are excited to debut the Dude Is Acting Shady Meter*, which will keep track of Tyler’s come-ons and rank them on a scale of 1-5, one that ranges from Innocently Innocuous to EWWWWWWWW!. So, without further ado, let’s get into last night’s Season 11 premiere of American Idol.
WHO: Shannon Magraine SET-UP: When this six-foot tall 15-year-old was accompanied by her twenty-nine female siblings (only a slight exaggeration), her striking mom and her ex-MLB pitcher father (!) in the judge’s lair, Tyler’s boner just about knocked over the judge’s table. TYLER’S COMMENTS: “Hot, humid and happenin’ … just like your daughter.” DUDE IS ACTING SHADY METER SCORE: 5/5 – EWWWWWWWWW!
It seems like the perfect pairing, really — Kramer with his frantic, shaky neurosis and Skrillex with his noisy, disjointed dubstep — and this video just proves it. Pairing footage of Seinfeld‘s Kramer listening to music while driving and Skrillex’s mind-numbing sounds, what ensues is general hilarity. Watch as Kramer’s signature tick sees his head waggling manically back and forth, and his eyes widen as Skrillex drops the beat. The frenetic pairing is indeed a match made in giggle heaven.
Obama Looks To The Music Community For Support President Obama has a wishlist of musicians he wants to support his re-election campaign including Arcade Fire, Janelle Monae, John Legend and Alicia Keys. What can we say? The guy’s got serious style. [NME]
Lana Del Rey’s People Get Sassy
Gawker has been unable to retrieve a comment from Lana Del Rey about the backlash from the weekend’s SNL performance, and her publicist has given a coy middle finger to the request by asking if Brian Williams has commented yet. Sassy. [Gawker]
The Boss is back for 2012, and it seems as though everyone is waiting on tenterhooks for what is expected to be an earth shattering release from the legend. And tomorrow, “We Take Care of Our Own,” the first single off Bruce Springsteen’s new album, will be released on Amazon.com. We don’t know about you, but our excitement is palpable. Especially since Bruce’s manager, Jon Landau, told Rolling Stone the new record is a “big-picture piece of work. It’s a rock record that combines elements of both Bruce’s classic sound and his Seeger Sessions experience, with new textures and styles.”
He also says that the record has, “social overtones” and a “very pronounced spiritual dimension. It extends and deepens the vision that has animated all of Bruce’s work.” As Springsteen fans, we’re obviously elated to hear that The Boss is playing off the blue collar concerns that have characterized his music since the 70s. The album will also feature the E Street Band (for the first time without Clarence Clemons) and other musicians including Rage Against The Machine‘s Tom Morello, and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain.
An undisclosed source has allegedly told The Hollywood Reporter of The Boss and his new record, “He gets into economic justice quite a bit. It’s very rock ’n’ roll. He feels it’s the angriest album he’s ever made. Bear in mind, though, that [Springsteen] wrote and recorded the majority of the album before the Occupy movements started, so he’s not just setting headlines to music.” As if that weren’t enough to set you on fire, Bruce is also touring with The E Street Band this year, and will appear as keynote speaker at the SXSW festival.
Turns out Bruno Mars isn’t just good at catching grenades; he dodges them pretty well, too. Mars managed to avoid a conviction after being busted with a not insubstantial amount of cocaine — 2.6 grams, to be precise — after performing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas back in September of 2010, and he’s about to walk away from the ordeal conviction free after strictly adhering to the terms of his plea deal. At the time, he was apprehended after a toilet attendant informed security that someone might be taking drugs in the stall — doing it hard, just like a the rest of us.
Mars pleaded guilty to the possession charge (telling police he had never done drugs before), and was given a probationary sentence that included a $2,000 fine, 200 hours of community service for a non-profit organization and eight hours of drug counseling. And now that Mars has fulfilled all these “punishments,” and kept himself out of the powder room for an entire year, it looks like he’s going to walk off with a completely unmarred criminal record. So what have we learned here folks? We’d like to think the message is “Don’t do drugs,” but it seems more to the tune of “Don’t get caught doing drugs, and if you do, you better be rich enough that you can afford a lawyer who will get you off with little more than a slap on the wrist.” Although, we can’t quite imagine Mars spending 4 years in a state prison (which would have been his punishment if he were convicted), so the outcome is definitely lucky for both Mars and his fans.
Pazz + Jop, The Village Voice‘s annual music poll that aggregates the opinions of thousands of music critics based on their votes for single and album of the year, has just been released, and it’s very similar to all the other ‘Best Of 2011′ lists we’ve read. That is to say, there aren’t really any surprises, maybe just a slight reshuffling of the order. In that vein, Adele appears on both lists, with 21 ranking at number 6 for albums, and “Rolling In The Deep,” and “Someone Like You,” featuring at number one and nine respectively on the singles list.
Perhaps the most unexpected thing about the lists is the order itself — while Adele sits snugly where she’s always sat, several pop stars have found their way into Pazz + Jop’s top ten singles, where other end of year lists had them pulling up the ranks much further down the line. For instance, Beyoncé‘s “Countdown” makes it to number two on the singles list, with Nicki Minaj‘s “Super Bass” at number three and Britney Spears’ “Til The World Ends” at number seven. All in all, however, the top 10 singles featured the usual suspects, from Azealia Banks, Jay-Z and Kayne West, M83, Lana Del Rey, Tyler The Creator and Foster The People, there was nothing particularly shocking about the ballot-topping artists.
It was a similar story in the albums list, which, as already mentioned, saw Adele near the top, followed closely by Bon Iver‘s Bon Iver at number nine. Perhaps of a slightly “buzzier” lien than the singles, the albums list saw critically acclaimed tUnE-yArDs‘, w h o k i l l come in at number one, with PJ Harvey‘s fawned over artwork, Let England Shake at number two, and Wild Flag‘s unexpected success, Wild Flag, at number four. Jay-Z and Kayne West, Destroyer, Drake, Tom Waits and Shabazz Palaces also make the top ten albums but again, no surprises other than ranking — these are names we heard all through 2011 and that at the end of the year were plastered across the lists we saw online in both blogs and music industry and expert websites.
The Grammys is set to have a host for the first time in seven years, and performing the illustrious role at next month’s award show will be none other than rapper LL Cool J. LL Cool J has hosted the Grammy nominations show for the past four years, so is an obvious choice to take the role of master of ceremonies at the awards show itself. In a statement, LL Cool J said “I’m thrilled to be part of Music’s Biggest Night. I will always have fond memories of my first Grammys Awards and to now be hosting the Grammy show, in the company of so many other incredible artists, is a dream come true.” The last person to host the Grammys was Queen Latifah in 2005. Next month’s Grammys will also feature performances from nominees the Foo Fighters, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars and Jason Aldean, while rumors continue to circulate that Adele will also sing.
The 54th Grammy Awards airs on February 12 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Adam Lambert fans — this is what you’ve been waiting for. Performing his first single, “Better Than I Know Myself,” from his forthcoming album Trespassing, last night on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Lambert owned the stage with his compelling presence. Looking sharp as always in his signature glam-goth style and vertiginous hair, Lambert gave an emotional performance. With an 80s, synth-led sound shaping the song, Lambert’s voice soared through “Better Than I Know Myself” with confidence and ease, both chilling and uplifting, especially when he hit the high notes with his flawless rock-style vocal.