It might not be officially “summer” until June 21, but that’s not stopping us from starting our 2011 Song of the Summer Countdown. All day today, we’ll be highlighting Song of the Summer contenders as chosen by people who not only work here, but those that live and breathe music. Up first, we’ve got three picks from Jim Shearer, host of the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, which airs each and every Saturday morning. Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!
NOMINATION:Beastie Boys feat. Santigold, “Don?t Play No Game That I Can?t Win? EXPLANATION: To the naked ear it sounds like a Santigold song featuring the Beastie Boys, but don?t be fooled. When MCA, Mike D, and Ad-Rock were crafting the instrumental for this beachside-reggae delight, they were having trouble piecing it into a proper song until they got on the bat-phone and rang Santigold. ?Don?t Play No Game? is pop enough for mainstream radio, but will Katy Perry, Beyoncé, and Ke$ha fans open their ears to listen?
According to the calendar, until the Summer Solstice occurs on June 21, we’re still firmly in the grasp of Spring. That said, pretty much everyone we know considers “summertime” to be the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. To wit, this past weekend millions of Americans broke out their barbeque grills, removed their sandals from storage, and spent the long weekend soaking up the sunshine with family and friends for the first time since last summer (and, if the temperatures here in NYC were any indication, it sure as hell felt like summer with temperatures hovering in the low 90s).
One of our favorite parts about the summertime is the way that music takes on an even more omnipresent role in all of our lives. Sure, we all listen to music year-round, but during the winter months, music is generally something you only experience either inside or through earbuds. Once the summertime rolls around, though, suddenly you start hearing music blasting EVERYWHERE: rattling out from car speakers, blaring from boomboxes while you’re lounging poolside, emanating from an iPod dock when you’re chilling in the park enjoying a picnic, and even crackling through old transistor radios while you’re camping in the woods.
And each year, one song emerges from the pack to stand out as that year’s Song of the Summer. It’s not generally a title that is officially anointed by any governing board, but we here at VH1 wanted to put a little science behind the emotion that these Songs of Summer convey.
Hence, we’re excited to announce that we here at VH1 will be tracking this year’s Song of the Summer from now until Labor Day. So, you’re no doubt wondering, what artist has the lead out of the gate: Lady Gaga? Adele? Bruno Mars? Continue along to find out…
T-Pain and Auto-Tune have become nearly synonymous over the past six years. If you’re T-Pain, that may once have been a distinguishing characteristic that helped you stand out, but now that you’re well-known, it’s a real problem. Now you’re an unpaid advertisement for Auto-Tune, instead of the other way around. So what do you do?
Ready kids? It’s time once again for the best kind of Foo Fighters video: the high concept comic Foo Fighters video!
“Walk” is very much in the vein of Airplane! parody “Learn to Fly,” but also features the recurring character of “mild-mannered Dave Grohl.” Here, he finds himself in the nightmare that opens 8?, only he can’t fly away, so he walks out of Fellini and into Falling Down.
If you haven’t already heard of Kreayshawn, the white, female rapper from Oakland, California has been snagging some serious buzz on the internets since she released her video for “Gucci Gucci” two weeks ago. Being chummy with Soulja Boy, “Based God” Lil B, and members of the hardcore L.A. rap collective Odd Future certainly hasn’t hurt the tiny, blunt-smoking lady-goon’s popularity, and rumors are swirling that she landed a million-dollar record deal with Sony over the weekend. Her quirky lyrics might make us giggle, but why should she be on your radar, and what does all the hoopla around her really stem from?
“Gucci Gucci” is an ode to Kreayshawn’s own flyness, but what makes us scratch our heads the most while watching this braggadocio-laden clip is the fact that the loudly-dressed, foul-mouthed rapper announces she’s openly into girls. Lots of girls. And she’ll even snatch up YOUR bitches — at her leisure. But is this bi-curious shtick organic? If it is, more power to her; we’re just a bit skeptical because, frankly, we’ve seen it before. Especially recently. It almost seems like becoming a successful female pop star these days means pseudo-lesbianism is baked into the artist’s marketing plan!
Just take a look at our list of five female artists below; they’re at the top of their game and crushing competitors, but at one point or another, they all allegedly dabbled in bisexual or gay experimentation. But was it Truth or Farce?
Mobycame under fire from The Guardian‘s Michael Cragg yesterday for his comments to AOL’s Spinner UK about the current pop world. “It’s fun, but I don’t think of it as music,” the artist told Shelley White. “It’s manufactured. I appreciate it as pop culture phenomenon and some of the songs I like if I hear them in a shopping mall or something, but it doesn’t function as music for me.”
The Civil Wars stopped by our offices a couple of weeks ago for a You Oughta Know Live performance in our lobby, and our co-workers were all struck by the Nashville-based duo’s on-stage chemistry. Not only do John Paul White and Joy Williams lock eyes while singing duets, the two have voices that sound like they were created to harmonize together. This “musical alchemy,” as Joy refers to it, may have helped the pop-folk act top charts on iTunes and Billboard and land an opening spot for Adele, who blogged that they are “the BEST live band i have EVER seen.” VH1 photographer Jen Marigliano spent time with The Civil Wars on their recent trip to NYC, documenting the duo’s style and how the two interact on and off the stage. More images after the jump. — Matt Muro
“Start of the day: Cooper Square Hotel, NYC” — Joy Williams
The Babyface-penned ballad is an ode of sorts to a bad ex-boyfriend from whose missteps Beyonc?’s narrator learned valuable lessons for her future. The Bruce Hornsby-esque piano line and Beyonc?’s delivery make up for lyrical missteps like “I bet it sucks to be you right now” (which is the right idea, certainly, but maybe not the best syntactical choice).
What do you think of the new song? Let us know in the comments!
The Big Morning Buzz Live train has been going full steam for a month now, so hopefully you’ve all settled into a rhythm and are watching (or DVRing) the show every morning at 9:30 a.m. We’ve got some great guests coming in this week, but if you’re the type of person who prefers something a little more interactive than simply watching an interview on television, we’ve got something you’ll be mighty interested in.
We have partnered with a new company called VYou to give YOU an opportunity to play interviewer to some of today’s biggest celebrities. All you have to do is to submit a question for either our lovely host Carrie Keagan or any of our upcoming guests through the widget above or by visiting our Big Morning Buzz Live page on VYou.com. Then, kick back and wait for them to respond via webcam when they stop by our offices. Technology!