Song Of The Summer Countdown: Foster The People Make A Late Run For The Crown

by (@unclegrambo)

With only three more weeks left in our 2011 Song Of The Summer Countdown, sadly, there’s little drama left as to who will take home the crown. For the eighth consecutive week, Katy Perry‘s saxoriffic “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” is sitting atop our charts, closely followed by LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” (which, as we wrote last week, could make its own claim for S.O.T.S.). However, don’t count out Foster The People quite yet!

The You Oughta Know artist’s single, “Pumped Up Kicks,” has been making an impressive late summer run at the top spot. It first entered our charts back on July 11, but buoyed by a standout set at this year’s Lollapalooza festival, the first single off the band’s Torches LP seems to have really captured the attention of the nation. Will they be able to unseat either Perry or LMFAO before Labor Day rolls around?


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Sneak Peek: Red Hot Chili Peppers Invoke The Beatles In “Rain Dance Maggie” Video

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Last month the Red Hot Chili Peppers premiered “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie,” the lead single from the forthcoming I’m With You. Later this week, they’ll be premiering the single’s video exclusively on our site and MTV.com, but we’ve got a thirty-second sneak peek for you right now!

The Peppers look to be pulling a reverse-Beatles in the clip, which, by the way, was directed by Marc Klasfeld. Like the Beatles’ iconic performance in London, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are performing from a rooftop, and the footage is shot in faux-documentary style, as though the set is impromptu. “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie” is hardly a public farewell from an adopted home, though; the Venice Beach setting is very much a part of the SoCal band’s identity, not simply the capitol city where the Beatles’ studio was located. Also, the video is the band’s reintroduction (sans John Frusciante) after a brief hiatus. The guitarist (Josh Klinghoffer) may be new, but the rest of the band is a familiar bunch: a shirtless Flea bobbing and mugging and a shirtless Anthony Kiedis sporting questionable facial hair, and Chad Smith keeping the beat while wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt.

While you puzzle over the questions raised by this clip (mainly: Is it going to rain in the video?) take a look at two exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the video shoot:

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Opener Sara Bareilles, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels Respond To Sugarland Stage Collapse Tragedy

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In the wake of the stage rigging collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed five and injured over forty others prior to a Sugarland performance, the Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has responded, calling the disaster both “an unthinkable tragedy” and “a fluke.”

Our thoughts and condolences are with the families of the five deceased: Glenn Goodrich, who was working security, and allegedly saved two others from the collapse; lighting operator Nathan Byrd; and three fans: Alina Bigjohny, Tammy Vandam, and Christina Santiago. Sugarland’s opening act Sara Bareilles also released a statement, calling the “horribly tragic” collapse an “accident,” and pledging that she and her staff would “do whatever we possibly can to help heal the hurt from this very sad day.”

As we noted when the story first broke, this is the third collapse that has occurred on a temporary stage due to high wind preceding a thunderstorm. The Indiana State Fair received notice of the National Weather Service’s storm warning five minutes before the collapse, which despite what is reported to have been an efficient response, was obviously simply not enough time.

We are not meteorologists, but three collapses within a month due to flash thunderstorms during the peak of the Atlantic’s tropical storm season seems like either a remarkable coincidence or a series of occurrences for which better preparations ought to have been made. We are not, mind you, suggesting negligence, but rather that safety standards for temporary stages may need an upgrade (and if so, we hope that happens soon, and we wish it had happened before anyone was killed).

[Image: Getty Images]

The Five Best Dressed Stars At The 2011 Do Something! Awards (And The Five Worst, Too) [PHOTOS]

by (@unclegrambo)

The 2011 VH1 Do Something! Awards air this Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. ET. We’ve already shown you what everyone was wearing on the blue carpet tonight, but we have yet to pass along any of our sartorial assessments of who wore what. So, if your name is Tyra Banks, Adam Lambert, Zach Levi, Demi Lovato, Victoria Justice, Kim Kardashian, Amy Poehler, Charity Shea, Dax Shephard or Olivia Wilde, take a deep breath: You’re either on our Best or Worst Dressed list for this year’s Do Something! Awards. With that in mind, we’d like to pass along our fond “Congratulations! or sincere “Better luck next time!” to all of our finalists.

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2011 Do Something! Awards: Who Wore What On The Red Carpet [PHOTOS]

by (@unclegrambo)

Dozens of celebrities, including Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Victoria Justice and Adam Lambert, gathered in Los Angeles on Sunday night for the annual Do Something! Awards, an event in which they were able to honor their peers and some of the most devoted young people in the country committed to social change.

The award show, hosted by Jane Lynch and featuring musical performances from Demi Lovato, Foster The People and OneRepublic featuring B.o.B, is taping tonight at the Hollywood Palladium, but will air on VH1 this Thursday, August 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. However, you don’t have to wait that long to catch a glimpse of all the celebs in attendance who walked the blue carpet tonight —and a few shots of rehearsals, too!— in our gallery below.

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Five Dead And Dozens Injured When Stage Collapses At Sugarland Concert (UPDATED)

by (@unclegrambo)

UPDATE (8/14/11 @ 1:00 p.m.): WTHR has reported that a fifth person has been confirmed dead. [WTHR]

UPDATE (11:43 p.m.): WTHR is now reporting that four people are confirmed deceased, and another 46 injured. [@breakingnews]

Tonight, Indianapolis’ NBC affiliate WTHR is reporting that four three people were killed and dozens more injured when the stage collapsed moments before country superstars Sugarland were scheduled to perform in concert at the Indiana State Fair. A wind shear is believed to have been the cause of collapse of the stage rigging, which fell onto concertgoers standing in the “Sugarpit,” an area filled with the band’s most rabid fans. Amateur video of the stage collapsing was posted to YouTube; we have the disturbing footage for you above.

The Grammy Award winning band, who performed at our 2010 VH1 Divas Salute The Troops, quickly responded to the tragedy on the official Sugarland website:

Your prayers needed.

We are all right after our stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair tonight. Many of our fans and friends in Indianapolis may not be. Please keep them in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever form of strength you are able to send. They need you. Thank you.

This is the third major stage collapse to occur at a concert in the last month. On July 18, a stage collapsed after a Cheap Trick performance at the Ottawa Bluesfest, resulting in a handful of hospitalizations. Then, just this past weekend, a Flaming Lips performance was canceled when their stage collapsed due to gusting winds.

Our condolences go out to all of the families who were affected by this horrible tragedy.

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R.I.P. Jani Lane (1964-2011)

by (@unclegrambo)

We’ve got terrible news to pass along to you this morning. TMZ is reporting that Jani Lane, ex-frontman of the glam metal band Warrant, was found dead in a Los Angeles area hotel last night at the age of 47. A cause of death has yet to be determined.

Lane, along with his band, rose to fame in the late eighties when the glam (some would say “hair”) metal scene of the Sunset Strip exploded in popularity. Warrant’s debut album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich, was released by Columbia Records and was somewhat of an unexpected hit. The LP, powered by the smash power ballad “Heaven” (video below), cracked the Billboard Top Ten and positioned the band for even bigger things with the release of 1990′s Cherry Pie. The title track of that record, thanks in large part to its innuendo-laden lyrics, is remembered as one of the raunchier songs and videos of the era, and launched star (and future wife of Lane’s) Bobbi Brown into pin-up status.

By most accounts, the last few years have been difficult for Lane. After struggling with alcohol issues, he appeared on VH1′s Celebrity Fit Club 2 in 2005 and seemed to get his life back on track. However, he fell back into old habits and served nearly four months in jail in 2010 after receiving his second DUI. His body was found in a hotel room of the Comfort Inn in Woodland Hills, California last night.

Ex-Warrant Singer Jani Lane DEAD AT 47 [TMZ]

[Photo: Getty Images]

For The Next 24 Hours Only, Check Out Jay-Z And Kanye’s New Music Video For “Otis”

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Get More: Jay-Z, Otis, Music Videos

“Otis” is huge. (As Funkmaster Flex put it, “This record might keep the summer warm till December.”) Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s Watch the Throne is almost omnipresent and all but guaranteed to hit #1 on the Billboard 200. How do you make a music video for the Otis Redding-sampling single off the record that drips with signifiers of wealth, without turning out some sort of baroque grotesquerie?

Hiring Spike Jonze is a good start. The acclaimed director is also quite the stylistic shapeshifter; the child-acted “Sky’s the Limit” was a clever way to make a Notorious B.I.G. video after the rapper’s untimely death, but it was also a spot-on homage to the Hype Williams videos of the mid-1990s (including a kid version of Busta Rhymes on a television showing a kid version of the Williams-directed “Woo-Hah! Got You All In Check”). Jonze’s “Otis” runs down a short checklist (using that Hype Williams fisheye, of course):

1. Best buddies Kanye and Jay-Z (don’t miss the part where Jay-Z’s right behind Kanye, mouthing along with Kanye’s lyrics about his Benzes. It’s freakin’ adorable);

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Behind The Music Sneak Preview: Ricky Martin’s Fight For Equality

by (@unclegrambo)

With specials focused on the lives and careers of music industry powerhouses like Adam Lambert, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, it’s been quite an outstanding season of Behind The Music thus far. That hot streak continues this weekend with the premiere of Behind The Music: Ricky Martin (which, sadly, is the last episode of this season).

In this special sneak preview from the show that debuts this Sunday, August 14, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, international superstar Ricky Martin finally seems to be at peace. After having to deal with gossipmongers trying to reveal secrets about his sexuality ever since he rose to fame as a member of Menudo, he’s now living his life openly and honestly. He’s been in a steady relationship with Puerto Rican financier Carlos Gonzalez, which has helped give him the strength to lead the fight for equality on both the sexual and cultural fronts. “Who wants to feel like a second class citizen?”, he explains. “That’s why I say about equality, ‘I don’t want more rights than you. I want the same. That’s all.’”

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Mel C The Latest Brit To Chide Rihanna’s Sexualization

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Funny?we just told you about a provocateur of a previous generation taking issue with one from the current generation, and here we are again, telling you about a provocateuse of a previous generation taking issue with…you get the idea. Mel C, formerly of the Spice Girls, told The Daily Mirror yesterday that “Women in music, very successful women, are extremely sexual and they have young fans. It is inappropriate.” She singles out Rihanna (whom she considers “a f–king brilliant artist, with great songs [and] a great record”), probably because of controversy in the UK about “S&M,” and particularly its video.

Even on this topic Mel C can’t seem to make up her mind. She’s not clear on what makes the current controversy any different than those that surrounded the Spice Girls a decade and change ago, saying only that “although culture?s always changing, it?s changed too much.” She also says both that “Rihanna has responsibility” and that “Rihanna?s free to do as she pleases.”

We do understand and share Mel C’s concern regarding “over-sexualisation of young children” (she cites her daughter Scarlet as the motivating factor of this criticism) but we don’t believe that the buck necessarily stops with the pop stars themselves. Rihanna, in particular, seems very thoughtful about these issues, as she demonstrated in her Glamour interview. Even still, no parent can protect against everything in a hegemonic patriarchy.

Rihanna Is ‘Inappropriately Sexual’ According to Former Spice Girl Mel C [AOL Music]

[Image: Getty Images]