Before we let her share her experiences, we’re excited to announce that next Tuesday, 9/20, Demi will be popping by the VH1 offices here in Times Square. She’s agreed to let you, her fans, “Ask Her Anything,” so fire away! Leave your questions in the comments and she’ll answer as many as she can get to when she gets in next week. Now take it away, Demi!
I am getting sooooo excited for my upcoming shows in NY (9/17) and LA (9/23)!!! ?I have been rehearsing all week and I think everyone is going to love it! I have been having so much fun performing “Skyscraper” on shows like America’s Got Talent and the Do Something Awards, but I am really excited for all my fans to hear some of the other songs on my album. The dance numbers are so awesome!!!
There’s more from Demi, including two exclusive photos from the set of her Unbroken cover shoot, below! Read more…
With the premiere of The X Factor less than two weeks away, the show’s promotional engine has pulled out all the stops, releasing an eight-minute extended promo?featuring two auditions?yesterday after FOX’s NFL coverage. After an oddly gendered set of judge introductions, in which Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid talk about how much they’ve given up in order to “gamble” on the new show, and Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul just talk about their excitement for the upcoming season, and lots of quick-cut visual glimpses at auditions, and some of the show’s ad libs, the promo gives us Rachel and Stacy, two contestants who wow the judges with their renditions of, respectively, “Mercy” (by Duffy) and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” That neither contestant would have been met American Idol‘s age requirement is, of course, not a coincidence, but both auditions are stellar nonetheless.
Lauper lost her way during the “O’er the ramparts we watched” section of Francis Scott Key‘s 1814 chart-topper, when instead of singing “were so gallantly streaming,” she belted out “as our flag was still streaming.” To her credit, though, she didn’t let the moment get to her, and she was able to finish the song without further incident. The blown lyric appeared to be a result of the gravity of the moment, as the native New Yorker was called on to deliver the national anthem just moments after a moment of silence for 9/11 victims had taken place. Lauper explained as much on Twitter in the moments following the incident, writing that “Whew, I just did the anthem for the US open. It was an awesome experience.I got choked up in the middle remembering 9/11.” Don’t sweat it, Cyndi, America will do doubt forgive you: after all, it’s pretty apparent that your true colors are red, white and blue.
Paul Simon‘s Newark and Queens upbringing doesn’t always seem as intrinsic to his musical identity as it is for other New York City-affiliated musicians, but the songwriter’s background came to the forefront yesterday at the site where the World Trade Center stood, as he played the 1964 Simon & Garfunkel single “The Sound of Silence” for the gathered crowd. His performance was reportedly one of the most powerful moments of the September 11 memorial service, and after watching the footage above, we believe it. Simon has performed in a similar capacity before, most notably his performance of “The Boxer” as part of the tribute that opened the September 29, 2001 episode of Saturday Night Live.
Interestingly, the official program for the tenth anniversary ceremony indicated that Simon would be performing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” the 1970 single that was originally sung by Art Garfunkel, and which would also have been appropriate. Nevertheless Simon’s decision to sing “The Sound of Silence” instead made the performance all the more moving and memorable.
Starting at 4 p.m. ET this afternoon, VH1 will be airing six uninterrupted hours of footage from The Concert For New York City, which was originally held in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on October 20, 2001. We’ll be streaming the entire show this one-time only on VH1.com, and you’ll also be able to tune-in on your television to watch, too. As a way to help you remember this epic event, we put together this gallery of images from that unforgettable evening. We’ve got snaps from the night’s biggest performances (Paul McCartney, The Who, Bon Jovi, etc.) and some awesome backstage photographs as well.
September 11: How Music Responded
Long Read of the Day: We wrote earlier today about the music that people listened to after the events of September 11 occurred, but before they had any effect on recordings. Over at MTV Hive, five pieces explore what those effects turned out to be for pop, country, indie rock, rap, and dance. [MTV Hive]
Coldplay Share Cover Art And Final Tracklisting For New Album Coldplay posted the details for Mylo Xyloto, due out October 25, on their website this afternoon. Also, each track has its own little pictogram. (The symbol for “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall”? A teardrop.) [Coldplay.com] Read more…
It’s easy to think about the months following September 11, 2001 as a rude awakening from an imagined bliss (doubly fictitious, in that the peace only ever appeared to exist, and that it wasn’t that blissful to begin with). Nevertheless, the events of that day had a dramatic?and traumatic?effect on Americans, not least through our consumption of popular culture. But before the slew of original compositions responding directly to the event (of which Sound of the City has compiled what, in their estimation, were the nine worst), many listeners were already looking to music for comfort, guidance, or other emotional needs, while rejecting other music that flew in the face of those needs. Here’s what people especially did?and did not?want to hear.
In the second full chart week after 9/11, Houston’s 1991 rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” re-entered the Hot 100 at #50, and Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” debuted at #16 (in 1984, the song had hit the country charts but never crossed over). In a pattern that would be reversed once digital sales became common, the songs had two chart peaks?the first when radio’s support was strongest, and the second when physical singles were re-released. Sales of “God Bless the USA” were strong enough to keep it on the chart, but not to match its debut. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” on the other hand, hit #6 on the strength of sales (and continuing radio support). Read more…
The Horrible Crowes are the new side project of Brian Fallon, the man best known as being the singer and songwriter of the Springsteen-revering New Jersey punk band The Gaslight Anthem. His new outfit played a sold-out show at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom last night, focusing mainly on the group’s new record, Elsie. However, The Horrible Crowes found the time to work an unexpected cover into their set: Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream.”
Indie acts have been cheekily covering Top 40 songs for as long as there have been Top 40 songs to mock—Travis‘ cover of “Baby One More Time” remains a high-water mark in this genre—but instead of following that pattern, The Horrible Crowes decided to flip the script. Rather than mocking the song’s inherently anthemic qualities with, say, insincere fist-pumping during the chorus, Fallon instead infused the song with a sense of lovelorn regret, totally transforming its entire nature. In Perry’s version, the song is a come-on; in Fallon’s haunting take, it seems as if the narrator is reminiscing about his better days and a love that’s long since faded away. Suffice to say, if the Horrible Crowes ever decided to put this song on wax, it could do for “Teenage Dream” what the Cowboy Junkies once did for the Velvet Underground‘s “Sweet Jane.”
Imagine: you’re a talented but struggling singer-songwriter with an ear for lush arrangements (not to mention a director’s eye for collage) who moves to Brooklyn from upstate New York but can’t get any traction at open mic nights, where you’re limited to your voice and a guitar, and even your name (Lizzy Grant) only brings to mind a character on Entourage. Do you throw in the towel?
If you’re lucky, you’ve got some resources you can draw on (in Grant’s case, her father’s shrewd investments in real estate domain names) and you can hire a top-line producer like David Kahne and PR team like Shore Fire Media. Then, if you’re smart, you work, and you wait. Grant, now Lana del Rey, (presumably after Lana Turner and, perhaps, Dolores del Rio?) is both lucky and smart, and now she’s poised to make a huge splash. On the strength of her first single “Video Games,” and its accompanying video, above, she’s sold out her first two shows as del Rey?one each in New York City and Los Angeles?and has just premiered another killer video for the B-side “Blue Jeans”: Read more…
Next Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Big 4 Festival will descend upon Yankee Stadium in New York City. The participants will include the ?big four? bands (i.e., pillars, staples, torch bearers, etc.) of thrash metal music: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Here are some other acts that could pull off a Big 4 Festival of their own:
1) Big 4 of Millennial Pop: Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys
This past summer, the Backstreet Boys created some buzz when they toured with their boy-band predecessors, New Kids On The Block, as NKOTBSB; but could you imagine the pandemonium they could create by teaming up with late ?90s peer/rival, *NSYNC? The reunions alone would sell tickets on this tour: Justin and *NSYNC, Justin and Britney, Britney and Christina, and three old Mouseketeers back together again.