Watch The Livestream Of The Alabama Shakes Record Release Party Tonight At 9!

by (@unclegrambo)

UPDATE (7:45 p.m.): The Alabama Shakes livestream will be popping off right here at 9:00 p.m. ET/8 CT. Let us know what you think!

The word “authenticity” seems to be on everyone’s lips these days, as music critics and fans alike continue to debate over what’s really considered “music.” Well, when it comes to authenticity, you’d be hard pressed to find a band that’s got more of that particular trait than the Alabama Shakes, a group that until just a few months ago were all holding down day jobs to make ends meet.

We caught up with the Shakes a few weeks ago down at the 2012 SXSW Music Festival, where their performances earned rave reviews across the board. We asked them to describe their sound, and lead singer Brittany Howard told us, “Well, I’ll tell you a little bit about what we like. We like Lee Fields & The Expressions. We like Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. We like Otis Redding. We like AC/DC. We like Black Sabbath. We like My Morning Jacket. We like Kings of Leon. We kind of put all that together, plus more.”

The band’s first album, Boys & Girls, is available in stores (and on Spotify) today. And to celebrate its release, MTV Hive will be livestreaming the band’s performance at New York City’s Webster Hall TONIGHT from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. You’ll be able to watch the show right here on VH1 Tuner, but for now, you can read more about the show AND the Alabama Shakes on MTV Hive!

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Madonna Likely To Set A New Billboard Record, One That She’d Probably Rather Not Own Up To

by (@unclegrambo)

Madonna‘s new album, M.D.N.A., debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts last week, selling some 359,000 copies of her comeback LP. This sales figure was somewhat controversial, as Billboard editorial director Bill Werde reported her total included roughly 185,000 sales that were part of a bundle deal for people who bought a ticket to her upcoming world tour. Well, that bundle deal was enough to place her above Lionel Richie on last week’s charts, but is also coming back to haunt her this week (at least as far as “bad press” is concerned).

Radar is reporting that Madge’s M.D.N.A. sold only 46,000 copies during its second week of release, an 88 percent drop from her first week total. This, sadly, would set a new record for the steepest second week sales drop of any artist since the Soundscan era began in 1991. Billboard won’t be releasing their sales figures until tomorrow, so true blue Madonna fans, there’s still time to run out and buy the record tonight to save the Material Girl from some embarrassing headlines tomorrow!

Madonna’s New Album Bombs, Sets Record For Biggest Sales Drop [Radar Online]

[Photo: Getty Images]

Behind The Music Sneak Peek: Find Out How Akon Overcame A Difficult Childhood To Become A Global Phenomenon

by (@unclegrambo)

It’s been an incredible season of Behind The Music so far, with powerful episodes featuring the likes of Aaliyah, T-Pain, Game, Pitbull, and Nelly. This week, we put the spotlight on Akon, the multi-platinum recording artist who spent his formative years in Senegal.

In this exclusive preview of the show’s first act, we trace Akon’s roots growing up as the son of a famous musician, which led him to meet a teenage Michael Jackson when he was only 5 years-old. His world got turned upside down when he moved to America at the age of 7, where he was treated like an outcast and bullied because of his heritage, which ultimately led him down some dark paths as a youngster. However, he overcame the odds and turned his life around, eventually hooking up with Wyclef Jean and The Fugees. As Akon himself puts it in the clip above, “I love the fact that music is the vehicle to allow me to do what I’m doin’, because that’s all I’m in for: Changing the world.”

You can watch Behind The Music: Akon when it airs tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 11, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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Tuned In: Adam Lambert Performs “Trespassing” On The NewNowNext Awards

by (@unclegrambo)

Adam Lambert Performs "Trespassing" At The 2012 NewNowNext Awards

As we hold our breath in anxious anticipation for the May 15th release date of Trespassing, it’s good to know that Adam Lambert is right there with us. At last night’s 2012 NewNowNext Awards, which aired on our sister station Logo, Adam delighted the Glambert Nation by choosing to perform the title track from his new album instead of the first single, “Better Than I Know Myself.” Now, he has neither confirmed nor denied that “Trespassing” will be the next single from the record, but after the reception that this high energy rendition of the song got from the audience, we can certainly imagine that it’s definitely in the running.

Thematically, the song reminds us of a 2012 update of the song “Signs”, originally recorded in 1970 by the Canadian rock act Five Man Electrical Band, but popularized by the hair metal act Tesla in 1990. Both songs use the metaphor of signs to detail the way that an overly rigid and uptight society tries to get individuals to conform; with the song “Signs”, “long haired freaky people” are being oppressed, and in “Trespassing”, you could easily infer that Lambert is referring to the LGBT community. As Lambert sings in the song’s chorus:

“Well I was walkin’ for some time/When I came across this sign/Saying ‘Who are you?’ and ‘Where are you from?’/We don’t like when visitors come/’No Trespassing’, that’s what it said/At least that’s what I could read/’No Trespassing’, yeah my ass! Wait ’til they get a load of me.”

We love it when Adam Lambert speaks to issues of empowerment, and this awesome performance has got us even more psyched for the May 15 release date of Trespassing!

To watch the video, head over to

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[Photos: Getty Images]

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Will Gavin DeGraw Live To Dance Another Day On DWTS?

by (@unclegrambo)

We certainly hope so! Our favorite contestant on this season of Dancing With The Stars is, without a doubt, Mr. Twinkle Toes himself, Gavin DeGraw. He and his partner Karina Smirnoff danced an inspired version of the tango last night to the Rolling Stones‘ classic “Paint It Black”, channeling the episode’s Rock Week theme in an authentic way that few other contestants were able to pull off. (We’ve got the video for you below.)

Judging by the scores that the duo received from the judging panel, Gavin and Karina are in pretty decent shape; there are five other pairs that received lower scores last night. “I felt like I was watching Johnny Depp on stage, you were so in character,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba gushed. “Part of this is creating the magic on the ballroom floor and bringing us in … The movements were all grand and you had intention behind every move.”

Be sure to tune-in to ABC tonight to see if Gavin can make it through! And watch Gavin’s EXCLUSIVE video commentary above, too…

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Exclusive First Listen: Jason Mraz, Love Is A Four Letter Word

by (@unclegrambo)

Jason Mraz Love Is A Four-Letter Word

UPDATE (6:45 p.m., 4/12/12): Well, all good things must come to an end. We hope that you enjoyed our exclusive first listen of Jason Mraz’s forthcoming Love Is A Four Letter Word LP, and we hope that you go and pick it up when it comes out next Tuesday! You can also pre-order it RIGHT NOW from

Jason Mraz‘s new album, Love Is A Four Letter Word, won’t be available to purchase until Tuesday, April 17. Don’t fret, though! VH1 Tuner is super psyched to present to you this Exclusive First Listen to the highly anticipated LP from Mr. A-Z himself. That’s right — one full week before you’re able to purchase it, you can stream the whole album right here!

To give you some guidance on your listening adventure, here’s the complete tracklisting of Love Is A Four Letter Word. Be sure and let us know what you think about the album in the comments below, too!

1) The Freedom Song (04:00)
2) Living In The Moment (03:55)
3) The Woman I Love (03:10)
4) I Won’t Give Up (03:58)
5) 5/6 (05:57)
6) Everything Is Sound (04:45)
7) 93 Million Miles (03:36)
8) Frank D. Fixer (04:45)
9) Who’s Thinking About You Now? (04:47)
10) In Your Hands (04:51)
11) Be Honest (feat. Inara George) (03:25)
12) The World As I See It (04:02)

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An American Travelogue, As Inspired By Nicki Minaj’s New Song “Beez In The Trap”

by (@unclegrambo)

Nicki Minaj Beez In The Trap

Nicki Minaj‘s highly anticipated sophomore LP, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, dropped last week and is on track to sell 200,000+ copies in its first week on the shelves. Critics are giving Nicki a hard time for the scattershot approach to the album (meaning, the mix of radio-friendly pop songs and hardcore street songs), and we all know J. Lo isn’t exactly a fan, either.

That said, we’ve had the record on repeat virtually all weekend long; we have been pretty obsessed with the “street” songs on the record like “Come On A Cone”, “I Am Your Leader”, “Roman Reloaded” and “Champion”, all of which feature typically tight rhymes from Minaj and top notch production values. Another standout track is “Beez In The Trap”, her collaboration with red hot rising rap star 2 Chainz (see also: His standout verse on Kanye West’s “Mercy”), a song for which she dropped a brand new video on Friday night. We can’t show you the video yet, as it’s currently getting reviewed by our Standards & Practices department. We can, however, talk about the song!

First things first, if you’re wondering what “Beez In The Trap” means, you’re not alone. “Trap” is street slang for a drug house (see also: T.I.‘s Trap Muzik LP), but Nicki isn’t being literal with the reference. In the song’s first verse, there’s a line that goes “I spit crack, like I’m in that trap”; basically, what she’s saying is that her rhymes are highly addictive, and people are lining up to get more of them. In other words, the way she’s flowing is the equivalent to being the kingpin at a trap/drug house; she’s got the BEST stuff, and people just can’t get enough of it.

There’s also the matter of the song’s third verse, where Nicki shouts out more cities than even James Brown in “Living In America” or Huey Lewis did in “The Heart Of Rock N’ Roll.” This got us thinking — What if Nicki took a trip to each of these cities that she references, in the order that they’re mentioned. What we landed at was an EPIC road trip, one that would make Clark W. Griswold green with envy. Won’t you follow along to see what we mean?

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That Metal Debate: That Metal Show Top 5 Guitar Duos

by (@_bobina)

This week on That Metal Show, we had Alice Cooper, Jack Russell (Great White), and Brian Tichy rockin’ out on drums. We also asked Scott Ian (Anthrax) to stop by and be our first ever celebrity guest to participate in the “TMS Top 5,” and he helped us figure out the Top 5 Guitar duos of all-time. With all of the hard rock and heavy metal bands out there, it was pretty tough to come up with just five, but as you know, it’s called the “TMS Top 5,” so we’re keeping with tradition.

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Tuned In: One Direction Set Hearts Aflutter On SNL

by (@unclegrambo)

Today’s millenials are currently facing a rite of passage that every generation since the dawn of time has had to endure: Declaring their allegiance for the Boy Band Of The Moment. Boomers had it with The Beatles and The Monkees, Gen Xers were forced to choose between the NKOTB and New Edition, Gen Y still can’t decide between the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, and now, there’s a war brewing between the supporters of One Direction and The Wanted. While both acts currently have a song in the Billboard Top Ten (“What Makes You Beautiful” and “Glad You Came”, respectively), the boys in One Direction pulled ahead in the awareness game thanks to an appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend.

As is customary, the band performed two songs: Their current Top 10 hit, “What Makes You Beautiful” and their next thing, “One Thing” (the latter of which is a direct descendant of the BSB classic, “I Want It That Way”). The band impressed by singing their vocals live and not solely relying on backing tracks, but many a snarkster on Twitter gave them grief for their non-existent dance moves.

What say you? Are you impressed by the new generation of boy bands? Which one of the 1D boys is your fave? Are you forever loyal to [insert your generational boy band idols here]? Let us know in the comments below!

RELATED: 5 Reasons You Must Know One Direction Right This Instant

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Last Lap: G.O.O.D. Friday Comes Back Just In Time For Good Friday

by (@unclegrambo)

Swerve! Less than 24 hours after “Theraflu” found its way onto the Internet, Kanye’s back with another new track, “Mercy.” It features verses from Big Sean (tight), Pusha T (typically awesome), Yeezy (kinda weak, truth be told), and in a star-making turn, 2 Chainz (off the chains!). [Soundcloud]

Vulture writer (and old co-worker of mine!) Kyle Buchanan was curious how it would sound, so instead of just tweeting that out as a question, he went and WROTE ALL THE LYRICS. “Come on, put your Coke into a cup / Supersize your chicken nuggets up / Mary J. is in the spot tonight / As I’mma make you eat some fries (Make you eat some fries).” It’s so genius we’ve set our hearts on performing it at karaoke tonight. [Vulture]

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