As you know, 2012 is still an infant — yes, just like Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s baby girl — so while January welcomes us with open arms, here is a list of things that need to happen in the next 12 months to help ensure a high-quality year of music:
1. Adele Needs To Sing
No word yet if Adele will be performing at the Grammys, but she will be singing at the Brit Awards in March. You can’t have an album as big as 21 and not tour. And because Adele’s sophomore album was so huge, she may have to play arenas, the type of venue she fears playing (ironically, her voice is made for such big places).
2. Buy A Ticket To See Madonna
Every young pop star needs to buy a ticket to see Madonna when she inevitably goes out on tour this year in support of her forthcoming album, MDNA. Yes, there are pop stars younger, sexier and more talented than Madonna, but this is a lesson in longevity and consistency. Madonna is 53 years old and is going to put on a high-energy, non-stop show that will humble the artists who drive on the pop-highway she paved.
The adorable Kina Grannis, VH1′s January Posted artist, performed a beautiful, acoustic version of “In Your Arms” for Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. It’s no secret that we love Kina, and it’s not hard to see why. The young performer is sincere, relatable and perfectly imperfect as she sings with true emotion. Promoting her album Stairwells, Kina took to the stage with the presence and easy charm of a veteran performer, despite her relative newness to the limelight. Her charming smile accompanying the heartfelt vocal made for a convincing performance that has stuck in our minds the same way as the passionate kind of love affair Kina sings about would. We were even lucky enough to go backstage at Jimmy Kimmel with Kina to find out all about her upcoming US and European tours. See our video after the jump!
Lil Wayne Will Release A Memoir About His Time In Prison
This November will see the publication of “Gone Till November,” a compilation of Lil Wayne‘s diaries from the eight months he spent in prison. We’re hoping for some Nicholas Sparks style emotion, and hopefully a movie option, but we also hope that the memoir doesn’t overly glamorize a life of crime. [Billboard]
Drake Gets Plenty Of Hometown Support From Toronto Drake‘s record sales double the average expected sales in Toronto (which is around 1.5% for artists of the same caliber), with his hometown making up a whopping 3% of his album sales globally, and 40% of his Canadian sales. Now that’s some loyalty right there. [Pop Dust]
Kelly Clarkson is all set to get patriotic for the Super Bowl on February 5th. While it hasn’t been officially announced, a source has confirmed that the “Mr. Know It All” singer will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and we can’t think of anyone better than the vibrant Kelly to sing the National Anthem. Joining Kelly in the festivities is Madonna, whose much anticipated half time show will include guest appearances from M.I.A and Nicki Minaj. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton will also perform a duet version of “America The Beautiful,” so really, what is there not to be excited about? Sports and stars — bring it on!
“We gon’ take it to the moon, take it to the stars. How many people you know can take it this far?” Apparently, Beyoncé‘s lyric on Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s “Lift Off” might be truer than you first thought, with the couple allegedly in talks to, “Take this whole thing to Mars.” The power pair are allegedly planning to film their next video, very literally, in outer space — aboard one of Virgin mogul Richard Branson‘s Virgin Galactic ships. It is being reported by UK tabloid The Sun, that “everything is being done to make it happen,” although we won’t be holding our breath. Not only is the report unfounded, it would be extremely impractical for new parents Jay and Beyoncé to blast off into outer space — and not just because of the baby. We’re not sure of the logistics of space travel, but we have an inkling that it’s not as simple as say, setting out to sea or flying overseas. And what song would they record a video for? Would it be “Bonnie & Clyde: Reloaded”? Or something new? Regardless, there’s a little part of our imaginations that would love to see something like this happen, and who better than the Knowles/Carter dream team?
After tumultuously splitting from and then reconciling with husband Barry Herridge recently, she seemed happy, despite struggling with depression in the past. But now it seems like media gossip about her relationship has gotten the better of her, and the star, known for her public discourse with mental illness, has reached out to fans in desperation. We’re pleased to report however that things seem to be turning around in camp O’Connor — since yesterday’s pleading Tweets, she seems to be back in good spirits Tweeting, “hey.. wanna thank all SO much for such great help today. have a number of numbers, contacts, etc now and appointments” and later, “no am not to be bothered if anyone gives hard time.. so guys… do reach out.. however u have to.. it works. thank u SO much.” We hope everything stays sunny for O’Connor and that she gets every help she needs!
The trailer for LCD Soundsystem‘s documentary, Shut Up And Play The Hits, opens with front man James Murphy waking up in his Manhattan apartment, presumably after the band’s last ever show at Madison Square Garden, which was held April 2011. Seminal in shaping electronic and “indie” music, and for pioneering the anti-hipster (all the while being painfully hip), LCD Soundsystem are one of the most important dance acts to emerge in the past 10 years. As we watch Murphy go about his morning’s mundanities — getting dressed, swigging a from a bottle of water, walking the dog — the voice of music journalist and author Chuck Klosterman poses a profound question that shapes the rest of the trailer (and the whole documentary), “This is the end of LCD Soundsystem; and it’s ending in a strangely controlled manner. It’s like there was a record, there was an announcement, there’s a last show, everyone’s aware that it’s ending… When you start a band, do you imagine how it will end?”
The documentary covers the final show, from the the lead up to it, the actual show, and aftermath of the epic performance. Shut Up And Play The Hits will premier at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, and if the trailer, set to the hit track “All My Friends,” is anything to go by, there wont be a dry seat in the house. Directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, and featuring footage by legendary director Spike Jonze, we predict there wont be a dry seat in the house by the end of the doco.
Indeed, even the trailer gave us a tingling sensation in the corners of our eyes — from the romantic footage of Murphy driving through New York, to the appearance of friends and special guests like Arcade Fire and The Roots, to the emotional hugs at the end of the show and an especially poignant shot of James Murphy looking to the ceiling of Madison Square Garden as hundreds of white balloons begin to fall from the roof, signifying the end of the LCD Soudsystem era, there’s plenty of intense, raw emotion to be felt here. The visual montage is peppered with the words, “If it’s a funeral… let’s have the best funeral ever,” and you’ll be sure to get a chill down your spine whether or not you were at Madison Square Garden for the last goodbye (we were, and it was just as emotional), especially as you watch fans in shocked disbelief, despite their knowing it’s the final show, fare-welling the iconic band.
These artists have been announced as the “first” performers on the Grammy’s website, which means that there’s still hope that big names like Adele (six nominations), Kanye West (who has the most nominations of all, with seven nods), and Lady Gaga (three nominations) will perform on the night. Even though there are rumors abounding that Adele will play, she’s still recovering from throat surgery, so we’ve got our money on Lady Gaga to be announced as a performer given her strong presence and dedication to the stage, evidenced by her complete saturation of 2011. We’d also like to see our You Oughta Know artist Foster The People (2 nominations) take to the stage, as they were the dark horse of the previous year, their tracks “Pumped Up Kicks,” and “Helena Beat” bringing up the rear to find an overwhelmingly positive critical reception.
Lana Del Rey is almost nothing like you’d expect her to be. Let us explain.
In just under six months, Del Rey has gone from being a virtual unknown to landing a highly coveted gig as the musical guest on this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, an opportunity that some artists work their entire careers for and never achieve. The booking of this artist, best known for her uniquely sexy voice and a cinematic style of music she describes as “Summertime sadness,” totally makes sense, though. While it’s true that she hasn’t even released her album yet —Born To Die streets on January 31— Lana has already experienced a career’s worth of buzz (and, subsequently, backlash) in indie blogosphere circles, mostly stemming from questions regarding her quote-unquote “authenticity.” This, in combination with the mysterious persona she projects in her videos and her somewhat defiant performance at the Bowery Ballroom back in December, led us to believe that she might come off as being cryptic and guarded during her interview here at VH1 HQ in New York City yesterday. The Lana Del Rey we met, though, was anything but: During the 45 minutes or so we spent with her, she was happy, effusive, relatable and totally forthcoming about the rocket ride that she’s been on for the last half of the year.
“You wanna hear a little story?” We’ve been talking to Del Rey for a few minutes about her self-made, self-edited, collage-style music videos for “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”, the treatments of which propelled the indie chanteuse from obscurity into the spotlight, but that were also initially met with puzzlement by clueless suits at record labels (“For a long time, nobody thought that anything fit together. I brought things into different labels and to different people and they all thought it was really f***ing weird. They thought that the videos didn’t have a strong narrative and that they were creepy.”). We raise the issue of Paz De La Huerta, an actress who, depending on your vantage point in life, is either a hot mess or your spirit animal. Footage of a clearly overserved Paz made its way into Del Rey’s cut of “Video Games,” an intriguing creative decision that lends a zeitgeist-y and almost Lynchian-circa-Mulholland Drive feel to the video, underscoring the overlap in the Venn diagram of Hollywood where glamour, darkness and tragedy meet. So, we posed, did Lana ever hear from Paz herself?
Last night at the People’s Choice Awards Demi Lovato bought the house down with a power performance of “Give your Heart A Break.” Appearing on a checkerboard stage atop a huge digital cube, Watch The Throne style, Lovato belted out her song to an adoring audience. Looking glamorous in a red gown, she owned the stage and ripped through the melody with her soulful voice. Not only did Lovato kill it on stage, she won the Favorite Pop Artist award over super stars Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. All we have to say to that is “Go, Demi, GO!”