Raphael Saadiq, Christina Perri, and the Cars all released records this week, but for many teenage music fans, only one new record is worth talking about: Goblin by Tyler, the Creator, the relatively unknown rapper who’s the best of a pack of SoCal skater kids (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) making deliberately confrontational music because they think it’s funny. The group’s famous fans include Adele and Mos Def. And they’ll happily call out those who aren’t paying attention: on his single “Yonkers,” Tyler claims he’ll “stab Bruno Mars in his g**damn esophagus,” prompting the You Oughta Know favorite to quip to Spin that he “has to wait in line if he wants to stab me.” All this attention has led some to question the shock value of the sometimes-violent rhymes, especially on the subjects of women and homosexuality.
Check out the whole set, including their single “Barton Hollow,”exclusively at VH1.com. And, don’t forget, one of the best ways to stay abreast of the latest bands that are emerging from the shadows and beginning to claim the spotlight is by frequently checking out the MTV Music Meter, where the Civil Wars currently occupy the #10 spot on the chart.
Lissie made a name for herself playing the Los Angeles club circuit, but she’s a small-town girl (Rock Island, Illinois) who looks like she could be from Anywhere, U.S.A. This isn’t a bad thing — it’s part of her girl-next-door charm. To state the obvious, Lady Gaga Lissie is not. While Lissie may have covered Gaga (nailing “Bad Romance”, in fact), the two singers couldn’t be more different in their music and fashion. Lissie is a roots-y folk-rock singer who has a down-to-earth style and a heavenly voice. She seems most comfortable in flannel or a T-shirt and apparently consumes large quantities of all-natural tea and plum extract. This Music Seen was shot by MTV/VH1 photographer Lauren Weissler as Lissie stopped by VH1 to perform a You Oughta Know Live set with her bandmates, including guitarist Eric Sullivan and Lewis Keller, who plays bass and simultaneously drums with his feet. — Matt Muro
The perfect man does not exist in reality, but if he did, he?d probably be a little sumthin? sumthin? like Maxwell. Harnessing the perfect concoction of modesty, confidence and unapologetic vulnerability (and did we mention the voice of an angel?), it?s no surprise that the soulful singer/songwriter maintains a fan base that is notorious for teeter-tottering into obsession. Last night, in a warm, packed room full of cooing and swooning in East Harlem, Maxwell brought the house down during a performance that, according to him, was literally ?fifteen years in the making.?
“We share a birthday,” announced VH1 Storytellers Executive Producer and show creator Bill Flanagan to the room of sweat-glistened super-fans during the taping?s introduction. And we do! Just as VH1 celebrates fifteen years of Storytellers, Maxwell celebrates the same milestone of time for surviving in the music industry- an achievement that started off when he was only a teenager. Making disclaimers about being nervous, scared, and reluctant to comfortably discuss his craft, the charismatic singer joked that he wished Oprah was there to help him verbalize his thoughts, openly confessing “this is not my forte” at the onset. But as he began knocking out a set list that was heavy with double-platinum, debut album Maxwell?s Urban Hang Suite tracks, ?Max? from Brooklyn, New York? loosened up quickly, comparing the experience to being on Twitter (but with real avatars), and began to discuss the moments in his career that birthed the baby-making music he?s heralded for.
Lady Gaga didn’t have to try to be the most interesting thing on last night’s American Idol, but she still gave her all while coaching the contestants through the Lieber and Stoller songbook. Her calculated weirdness collided forcefully with some contestants’ blandness and hesitance.
Sporting a monochromatic wig and wardrobe (including a fake birthmark), she forcibly Elvis-swiveled James Durbin‘s hips as he practiced “Love Potion No. 9,” used an extended tongue-kissing metaphor to describe how Scotty McCreery should relate to the microphone, and all but told Lauren Alaina to grow up. Haley Reinhart seemed the least uncomfortable with Gaga, discussing theatricality and breath control. But all the advice was good, if awkwardly transferred. Gaga herself did not sing.
Sadly, we’re disqualified from entering the Road to Slane Castle contest, but for all you fans who don’t work here, go enter! You could win a trip to Ireland to meet the band and see them play at Slane Castle, or a signed instrument from one of the band members plus free admission to Kings of Leon shows this year.
“Our background was the church,” Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon explains in this clip from their episode of VH1 Storytellers. So, if any of the lyrics of “Radioactive” sound familiar, it’s because the band borrowed them from gospel hymns they’ve known forever. Hear the whole story, and their performance, in the clip above, or tune in Friday, May 13 at 11 p.m. ET/PT for the VH1 Storytellers: Kings of Leon premiere.
If you’re a particularly devoted Kings of Leon fan, enter to win a trip to Slane Castle in Ireland (airfare included) to meet the band, or instruments signed by the band, or tickets to any Kings of Leon show in the United States. But be warned?you’ll have to prove your love in the face of your fellow fans. Good luck!
In honor of Bob Dylan‘s 70th birthday on May 24th, Rolling Stone has compiled a heap of birthday coverage today, including a feature in which ten artists reflect on their favorite Dylan songs. The one surprise in the set?and the only post-1975 Dylan song selected?is “Not Dark Yet,” from 1997′s Time Out of Mind, selected by none other than Marcus Mumford. Read more…