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


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”


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


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]

Steve Albini To Odd Future: Sit Down And Be Quiet When You’re On The Shuttle Bus


On Monday night, Tyler, the Creator of Odd Future took a break from live-tweeting his attempts “to take a photo of [his] fart” to lash out at cook and poker enthusiast Steve Albini. The rapper was defending himself against Albini’s claims that, on a shuttle bus leaving the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona in May, Odd Future used the word “n—a” frequently, cursed the bus driver, and bragged about how much they’d been paid at the festival.

Albini is also a noted musician and record producer (which is why Tyler felt the “need” to respond) whose recording studio Electrical Audio has a vibrant web forum (its members have even gathered for festivals). Albini’s beef with Odd Future, which in sum has more to do with them being punk kids (or as he put it, “little self-satisfied a—–e scrubs”) than anything else, was actually a series of posts in a thread on the Electrical Audio subforum “Crap/Not Crap,” in which its members give up-or-down votes on a given topic and then give reasons why.

A number of the gear-minded rock fans in the forum’s community dismiss rap outright, which is why Albini makes pains not to characterize the collective as stupid or untalented, and given Albini’s recording and production history it’s unsurprising that he defends their right to make “ugly art” even as he decries their behavior.

That said, here are Albini’s charges:
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Gary Clark Jr.’s Rousing NYC Concert Performance Puts Him On The Brink Of Stardom

by (@Lacezilla)

On Tuesday night, the wildly talented musician and singer Gary Clark Jr. stood in with The Roots on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, jamming on his guitar and singing “Bright Lights” from his newly released four-song EP of the same name. Earlier that night, a showcase for the Austin, Texas native was held in swanky Soho House in New York City, and a who’s who of music execs, critics and press were in attendance. Naturally, when we heard that Clark was performing at Rockwood Music Hall last night, we had to go check out his show; while he came to play a short acoustic set for VH1 staffers last month, you could tell he was holding back the some of the nastier funk that comes along with being backed by a rhythm section.

Sure enough (and much to our delight), last night’s 75-minute set was impressive to a staggering degree. At age 27, Gary has already been compared to some of classic rock’s greats, invoking the guitar chops of Clapton and Hendrix and, with a broad vocal range, he’ll purr an Eddie Kendricks falsetto one minute and growl a B. B. King guttural tone the next. The music he unveiled crossed blues and soul with elements of jazz, funk and hip hop, but was also laced with smacking drums and rousing guitar solos that had Clark in a very clear, introverted, eyes-closed zone.

With lyrics like “I don’t owe you a thing, I ain’t buying you no diamond ring” and “If you love me like you say, why you trippin’ like you do?,” it’s clear that Clark holds the blues near and dear to his being. However, his multi-dimensional sonic flavor was embraced by the models, frat boys, music snobs, and hipsters present, which allowed him to flaunt an effortless malleabilty that could be paired well with any of your favorite artists, regardless of genre or time period. ?uestlove was in the house as well, hanging with Zoe Kravitz (who is apparently a longtime friend of Clark’s). And now, on the heels of a glowing Rolling Stone review of his Bright Lights EP, we’re certain that Clark’s star is on the rise, and the young talent has many years and many full-length albums ahead of him.