Yesterday was a winner for late-night music, no matter which show you were watching: the performances were great across the board, and Jimmy Fallon augmented Pink Floyd Week with an appearance by famed rock photographer Mick Rock. Our favorite music moment last night was probably David Letterman’s teasing introduction of Death Cab for Cutie before their Late Show performance of “Stay Young, Go Dancing”: “They’ve got a guy [Chris Walla] back there at the piano?beautiful piano?and he’s also got a guitar. I’ve never seen that before. And I’m thinking, ‘Oh, get another guy!’”
Our pick for the best performance, though, goes to Portugal. The Man’s television debut on Conan, by a hair. Confession time: we haven’t really paid much attention to the band since they released 2009′s much-hyped?in certain circles?The Satanic Satanist, which didn’t do much for us. As it happens, the song they performed, “So American,” comes from July’s In The Mountain In The Cloud, which is the second LP they’ve released since The Satanic Satanist?and they’ve apparently improved significantly as songwriters during this moderately prolific period, because they sounded way better yesterday than we remember them being. We definitely have to check up on what we’ve missed.
Sylvia Robinson Dies At 75
In 1979, R&B singer Sylvia Robinson avoided bankruptcy and made history by recruiting and recording the Sugarhill Gang, thus releasing the first ever rap record, “Rapper’s Delight.” [NY Times]
Courtney Love To “Set The Record Straight” With Memoir Courtney Love has signed a deal with William Morrow, a HarperCollins imprint, to write a memoir. Celebrity memoirs aren’t usually up our alley, but if this book’s editors can preserve Love’s, er, unique writing style without sacrificing intelligibility, this as-yet-untitled tell-all will be a 2012 must-read. [AP] Read more…
When Demi Lovato came to our offices last week to record a Top 20 Live set, she not only surprised us with a Lil Wayne cover, but also proved extremely genial. “Hey guys, thanks for having me! I’m Demi. What’s your name?” she introduced herself, before kicking her set off with the medley, above, of “Catch Me,” a deep cut from 2009′s Here We Go Again, and “Don’t Forget,” the title track from her 2008 debut. That same temperament shines through in the series of photographs our own Jen Marigliano snapped for our Music Seen feature, as she followed Lovato during her day in New York City. After the jump, look behind the scenes at VH1′s Top 20 and check out the elements of Lovato’s bohemian-chic style, and be sure to check back for the rest of her Top 20 Live set.
“Moves Like Jagger” is big right now. The Maroon 5/Christina Aguilera collaboration may not have hit #1 quickly enough to prevent Katy Perry from tying the once-untouchable record set by Michael Jackson, but the song has since been topping the charts (not to mention placing well in VH1′s Top 20) for a month?except for the week after the VMAs, when “Someone Like You” briefly unseated it. With the video for that Adele single set to premiere tonight on MTV, the Los Angeles quintet has recruited a guest rapper for an official remix?either in an attempt to hold off Adele on the charts, or maybe just for the heck of it. The guest? Mac Miller. (Hey, Maroon 5 and VH1′s Single Ladies have something in common!) The band premiered the remix via Twitter; it’s available to stream at HipHopDX before it officially hits radio (and iTunes) next week.
If we ever become wealthy enough to have a personal physician, the #1 thing we would least want the doctor to say might just be “Does anyone know CPR?” And yet this is exactly what Michael Jackson’s head of security Faheem Muhammad testifies that Dr. Conrad Murray asked on the day of Jackson’s death. Muhammad took the stand yesterday in the manslaughter trial against Murray, and provided his recollections of that day for the prosecutors. The real emotional gut-punch is his description of Jackson’s children, in the room at the time. “Paris [was] on the ground, balled up, crying. And Prince was just standing there, and he was just, he had a real shock, just slowly crying.”
The prosecution’s eyewitnesses are, in essence, testifying that Murray consistently failed to take necessary decisive action, except when it pertained to protecting himself from being held responsible. Today, Jackson bodyguard Alberto Alvarez took the stand and repeated his recollection, first shared at a preliminary hearing, that Murray told him to hide vials of propofol before calling 911. These staff members were not generally permitted into Jackson’s bedroom, so their immediate observations comprise the majority of prosecutors’ eyewitness evidence.
Kings Of Leon defied rumors and returned to the road as planned last night, kicking off the Canadian leg of their 2011 tour in Vancouver. The band had cancelled the remainder of their American tour after lead singer Caleb Followill, complaining of heat and dehydration, abandoned the stage in Dallas on July 29. Last night’s show reportedly went off without a hitch. Bassist Jared Followill, who’d remarked in July (via Twitter), “There are problems in our band bigger than not drinking enough Gatorade,” was much more enthusiastic this time around, tweeting afterward, “The Kings are back in business. Business is good. Really good.” The Kings have eight more dates scheduled in Canada before heading to South Africa and Australia in November. They have not announced plans to reschedule their United States shows.
Last night’s episode of Bravo cooking show Top Chef: Just Desserts was Beastie Boys-themed, as contestants had to prepare concessions for a street art fair using ingredients mentioned in Beastie rhymes?two that they chose for themselves, and one each that was chosen for them by their competitors in the “Sabotage” round. (Get it?) The theme was occasioned by the appearance of guest judge Ad-Rock. While some of the desserts inspired by the two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees looked potentially tasty, the real gem of the episode was the above web exclusive, in which Ad-Rock demonstrates his talents in the kitchen by revealing his top-secret sandwich recipe: peanut butter, jelly, Nutella, and a banana. What cooking brilliance! Also worth noting: he uses his hand to spread ingredients, and he thinks almond butter is kind of nasty. Read more…
VH1′s latest entry in The Greatest series is one that’s sure to stir up plenty of debate! Counting down The 100 Greatest Songs of the ’00s, host Pete Wentz (whose own “Sugar, We’re Going Down” comes in at #40 on the list!) and a murderer’s row of your favorite comedians and musicians provide their expert analysis (and a few jokes along the way) on songs that made the aughts such a memorable decade, musically speaking. Read more…
VH1 Classic Celebrates The Jewish New Year With 24-Hour Rush Marathon
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown tonight, and on VH1 Classic, that means one thing: the return of Rush Hashanah! Classic Albums: Rush 2112 & Moving Pictures kicks off the celebration at 7PM ET/PT, followed by the premiere of Rush: Time Machine, a brand-new concert film in which the band plays Moving Pictures in its entirety, at 8PM ET/PT. The Rush marathon continues with Beyond the Lighted Stage, R30, Rush In Rio, and more. [VH1 Classic]
Hold On For New Music From En Vogue
After being stunned by continuing fan support after their appearance at the 2008 BET Music Awards, En Vogue reunited in earnest, but after a successful tour, their appearances got more sporadic. But rumors of new recordings got a big corroboration when the quartet was named as one of the performers at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon next month. [Sound of the City] Read more…
We didn’t get a chance to see Rosanna Scotto’s interview with Jay-Zon Monday’s Good Day New York until this afternoon, but once we did, we knew we had to share it here. In the live interview, Jay-Z revealed, prior to the press conference, that the New Jersey Nets would be renamed the Brooklyn Nets when they relocated to the Atlantic Yards Arena, and that he would inaugurate the arena’s opening, scheduled for September 2012, with a series of concerts. News That much we knew. What MTV News didn’t mention is that, after pressing the rapper on the sex of his and Beyoncé’s child (they know but aren’t saying), and the new colors of the Brooklyn Nets (same answer), Scotto excitedly sang the hook of “Empire State of Mind,” changing “New York” to “Brooklyn.” (This happens three minutes into the interview.) “Alright, alright,” Jay-Z discouraged her good-naturedly. Scotto bounced right back, and by the end of the interview Jay-Z was complimenting her on her cellphone’s bunny-eared protective case.