Soul Cities Gets Gritty in Memphis

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Nelson George says it right up front. “Country, gospel, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll all claim Memphis as home turf, but you know what? Memphis is a soul city.” There’s no question about that. While George tours the very funky town that borders the Mississippi, he highlights some very cool spots, like Beale Street, which Rufus Thomas called the “black man’s heaven.” He checks out W.C. Handy‘s house, hits a Baptist church to explain the impact of the black congregations, swings by the Gibson guitar factory to describe B.B. King‘s instrument and sits down at Ernestine & Hazels to have a soul burger and listen to the haunted jukebox.

Al Green‘s Green Is Blues disc, the Stax label museum, the 4-Way Grill (where Martin Luther King ate regularly), the Lorraine Motel (where King was assassinated), Isaac Hayes’ legacy, Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer – lots of important stuff in this episode. Watch the clip above, check the whole show on VH1 Soul this Tuesday at 9 pm.

Watch music videos by Memphis artists right here.

Facebook users can check pictures from the Memphis episode on Nelson George’s page.

Check extra clips and the list of the spots that Team George visited in Memphis after the jump.

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Go Behind the Scenes of The Fray’s “You Found Me” Video

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Last week we showed you how nicely The Fray‘s “You Found Me” worked as a theme to the mysterious hijinks on Lost. Seems like all that island angst connected with the song’s message. Fray fans who are into the tune can now get a bit more info about it in the clip above. It’s a behind-the-scenes portrait of the guys making their upcoming video for the song. Lots of interviews help explain how they see themselves as “angels” or “outside observers” in the lyrical tale. See what they have to say about the process and check out photos from the shoot.

Are you a Superfan? Enter our sweepstakes now for a chance to see The Fray live in New York City!

See Fall Out Boy Live, Meet the Guys

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If the arrival of the full-rocking “I Don’t Care” has got you psyched for Fall Out Boy‘s forthcoming Folie a Deux, you’re not alone. There’s some FOB fever in their air this holiday season.

Perhaps you’ll be doubly psyched to find out we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the band’s special NYC performance on December 16 – the day the new disc drops. If you’re chosen to attend, you’ll meet the guys backstage, have your photo taken with them, and perhaps see that picture uploaded onto their photo Website.

To get in the running, you must first sign-up for our weekly New Music newsletter. Then check your email box this Thursday, December 4 at 1:00pm for full details on how you can win. Our newsletter will contain all the info.

Watch Fall Out Boy’s Favorite Videos

Watch Fall Out Boy Unplugged

See a Fall Out Boy Photo Gallery

Pete Wentz: Blindfold Test – What Bands Does He Know?

Download “I Don’t Care” from Rhapsody

See What Britney’s “Circus” Will Be Like

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“I’m like a ringleader/I call the shots/I’m like a firecracker/I make it hot,” coos Britney Spears on her new song, “Circus.” As you can tell from the sneak peek of the video that accompanies the tune, she’s dressed to make sure things get quite hot. You can see the entire thing on VH1.com this Saturday evening at 9 pm.

Watch string of her videos and interviews right here.

Check out an extensive photo gallery of Britney through the years.

Download the entire album on Rhapsody

Soul Cities Heads South: Hello, New Orleans

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This week on Soul Cities Nelson George swings south to sing the praises of New Orleans, from the origins of jazz to the rise of Lil Wayne. Along the way he bounces through all the hippest spots, chatting with Irma Thomas and Raheem DeVaughn in the French Quarter and connecting with trumpeter-composer Terence Blanchard. He tips the hat to the city’s Essence Music Festival, calling it the “Black Lollapolooza,” and drops into Olivier’s restaurant for a Creole spin on a rabbit, crawfish, and gumbo dish. Oh yeah, when you see him building a po-boy at the Praline Connection, you might feel a bit hungry. Ditto for the way trumpeter Kermit Ruffins shakes up some street sausage.

Check the above clip for a sneak peek at the full show, which premieres Tuesday, December 4 at 9 pm on VH1Soul.

Here’s a playlist of New Orleans artists to put you in the mood.

A full list of all the places Soul Cities visited in New Orleans is after the jump. So is a clip of Kermit Ruffins in action.

Read more…

The Fray Get “Lost”

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Lots of bands have their music used in television shows these days, but sometimes the context and the impact are a little more on-target than others. The fact that Lost is threading its teaser commercial for the upcoming season with The Fray‘s “You Found Me” is pretty neat – the drama of the images moves with the drama of the song. We blogged about Lost last time around, and we’re big fans of the Fray – they’re one of our You Oughta Know artists. We thought those who feel the same might want to see the above clip.

Watch the Fray’s acoustic performance

Watch videos by the Fray

See pictures from the “You Found Me” video.

Connect With Katy Perry: See If She Thinks You’re Hot or Cold

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You know how frustrated Katy Perry gets on her latest hit, “Hot N Cold.” She can’t get a bead on her boyfriend’s emotional waffling, and it drives her bonkers. Katy’s coming in to visit VH1 in the near future, and she’s wondering what has made her audience hot and cold this year. We’re giving everyone a chance to fill us in on that subject, and when Katy gets here, she might take a look at some of the more entertaining posts and offer her own two cents on ‘em.

You don’t have to stick to the subject of romance. Just let the world know what you’re hot about (faves) or cold about (frustrations) on any topic you choose. Music, politics, movies, fashion, videos, school, etc. Check back around December 15 to see if Ms Perry makes a comment about your comments.

See Katy Perry Photos

See the “Hot N Cold” video with some behind-the-scenes footage.

See a photo gallery of 2008′s Best New Women Singers

Soul Cities: Bay Area Blackness

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In the last couple weeks Nelson George has taken us through Philly and Chicago. Tomorrow night, Tuesday, November 25, the host of Soul Cities heads out West for a stroll around Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco. Watch it on VH1 Soul at 9 pm ET.

Nelson drops into the Museum of the African Diaspora, waxes sentimental about his boyhood hero Willie Mays, gives shout outs to local author Ishmael Reed while visiting the black-owned literary center, Marcus Books. Don’t worry, he manages to hit some hip restaurants, too.

As with all episodes of Soul Cities, there’s plenty of music. We catch Raphael Saadiq (who says “music is my PlayStaion, my XBox”) during a rehearsal, and Robin Thicke explains his definition of soul backstage at local club. As usual, Nelson also rolls through some of his favorite albums when he hits the Groove Merchant shop on Haight Street. For a full list of all the places team George hit, and sneak peek clip of this week’s episode, make the jump.

Here’s a list of music videos from Bay Area artists

Robin Thicke’s Favorite Videos

Read more…

VH1 Metal Boys Punk Van Halen Fans

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We knew the hosts of That Metal Show were wiseasses, but we didn’t know they’d punk a bunch of poor old Van Halen fans. They did, though. And it’s rather hilarious, especially if you think innocent French tourists are decent targets for ridicule.

That Metal Show, starring Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine, and Don Jamieson, is a new item on the VH1 Classic roster. It airs every Saturday at 11 pm ET.