When I was a child, my dad and I used to decorate the Christmas tree together and sing “The Little Drummer Boy,” so my nostalgic recollections have me a little bit miffed at Justin Bieber‘s new take of the classic Christmas carol. The Biebs teamed up with rapper Busta Rhymes for the tune—now simply titled “Drummer Boy”—for a remix of that’s fat-beated, bass-lined and rapped-over. A very strange incarnation indeed.
With Coldplay‘s cover of Rihanna‘s “We Found Love” currently going viral online, we’ve taken the spirit of the song to heart and revisited our favorite covers of RiRi’s songs. And yes, we’ve found love in hopeless places, falling head over heels for renditions of songs we didn’t think we could possibly love coming from anyone’s mouth but hers.
COLDPLAY – “We Found Love”
Coldplay covered Rihanna’s latest release “We Found Love” for BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge series and we’re afraid to say this but… it might just be as good, or better than, the original! Earning Coldplay some serious points in the wake of their new album Mylo Xyloto‘s growing momentum, the cover replaces the Calvin Harris club banging beats with a more chilled out vibe. As such, the sentiment in Coldplay’s version is far more pervasive than in RiRi’s self-conscious original, in which the accompanying adds elements of superficiality to (what Coldplay has proved to be) the wonderful lyricism of the track.
“Did I just do that [song] Erin Brockovich style?”
It’s just seconds after Kelly Clarkson has wrapped the first track of her five song VH1 Unplugged set when she peers down at her chest, wondering if one of her breasts managed to sneak its way out of her red bandage dress during her performance, just like what happened to the titular heroine of the film that won Julia Roberts an Academy Award back in 2000. Well, spoiler alert, it didn’t, but this near wardrobe malfunction gave Kelly the inspiration for some of the most playful between-song banter that we’ve heard in quite some time during the show’s taping in New York City earlier this afternoon.
VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson will be debuting exclusively on VH1.com at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 17, which will be followed up the next night with the show’s on-air premiere. We don’t want to give too much about the show away at this juncture, as we’d rather you be able to experience it fresh through your own eyes and ears. That said, we will say this — Kelly looked positively radiant throughout her set, thanks in no small part to her smoky eyes, make-you-melt-in-your-boots eyelashes, sun-kissed hair and, of course, that stunning red bandage dress. As for her songs, well, let’s put it this way: Her setlist was comprised of some songs from her new record, Stronger, some old faves and a surprising cover. And her voice? Sure, it sounds positively fantastic on her studio recordings, but we will attest that it’s another thing entirely to be in the same room as her when she drops the hammer and belts out one of her patented power choruses. We’re talking CHILLS, palpable chills, when she kicks her voice into fifth gear.
Find out for yourself when VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson premieres on VH1.com exactly three weeks from today on Thursday, November 17 at 7 p.m. ET.
[Photo: Pegah Rashti for @VH1]
At the risk of sounding like a codger, the experience of going to see a concert live and in the flesh has diminished over the last few years, a time during which smart phones and digital cameras have become ubiquitous. Sure, audiences have always been easy to distract mid-concert—be that for beer, conversation, what-have-you—but over the last five years or so, the live concert experience has suffered because many members of the audience are too busy either taking crappy digital pictures or tweeting about the show instead of enjoying the vibes, mannnn.
I bring this up because at last night’s Dawes/Blitzen Trapper show at New York City’s Webster Hall, there were a surprising few number of people who experienced the show through a 4-inch handheld screen because they were, *gasp*, actually present in the moment! This kind of warm attentiveness is something that bands tend to react really positively to, and four gents of Dawes were no exception: Their rollicking, 90-minute(ish) set of “classic indie” songs went over like gangbusters with the demographically diverse audience last night, one that was a pleasant mix of hipsters in tight fitting plaid shirts, recently-graduated-yet-quickly-aging frat stars, bearded bros looking to kill time before next year’s Bonnaroo, and Lefsetz-reading Boomers.
Hot off the presses, we’ve got some exciting news to share with you! We’ve been able to convince an outstanding array of wildly talented vocalists, including Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J, to participate in the latest entry in our long-running series, VH1 DIVAS. This year’s theme will be VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, which will enable each of our performers to pay their respects to the cities where soul music originated and ultimately flourished, places like Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia. We’ll have more details on this amazing show in the coming days and weeks, but for now, here’s the full press release that just hit the wires.
VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul with Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + the Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J
VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul Pays Tribute to the Great Cities of Soul Music Including Chicago, Detroit, London, Memphis and Philadelphia
The Roots Confirmed to Perform as House Band
Special will air Monday, December 19 at 9 PM/8c on VH1
NEW YORK â€“ October 27, 2011 â€“ VH1â€™s beloved, popular franchise, VH1 Divas, returns and will pay tribute to the cities where soul gave birth to musicâ€™s most powerful classics and inspired todayâ€™s divas. Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Florence + The Machine, Kelly Clarkson and Jessie J will pay homage to these cities and soul musicâ€™s timeless classics at New York Cityâ€™s Hammerstein Ballroom. VH1 Divas Celebrates Soul premieres Monday, December 19 at 9 p.m. ET/8 CT on VH1.
The full press release continues below…
Next month, the Canadian rock quartet Nickelback will be releasing their first new studio album in over three years, Here And Now. We’ll be debuting the complete video for the first single off the album, “When We Stand Together,” on Big Morning Buzz Live next Wednesday, November 2. However, to whet your appetite, we were able to get our hands on this special 30-second sneak of the video that’s filled with more lens flares than a J.J. Abrams fever dream. And, we might be way off base here, but the combination of the magic hour footage, swaying wheat grass and majestic views in this video reminds us more than a little of the location where Spike Jonze shot Weezer‘s iconic “Island In The Sun” video. We’ll be sure to ask them if that is indeed the case when they swing by our offices here in Times Square later this week!
Fat Joe Tells A Story About R. Kelly Beating People Up
If you can grasp what actually happened as Fat Joe recounts R. Kelly beating someone up between all the expletives and sound effects, let us know. Otherwise, it’s still pretty funny, if not worryingly inappropriate. [The Awl]
Odd Future’s Syd Remixes Lana Del Rey’s “Blue Jeans”
As if you didn’t already love Lana Del Rey enough, Odd Future have remixed her haunting track, “Blue Jeans.” Keeping with her grand, emotive sounds, Odd Future’s remix is just as good as the remix. [Pitchfork]
Halloween is coming up and it’s time to start getting serious about costumes if you don’t want to be a sexy [insert noun here] or a regular-person-but-just-covered-in-blood-because-that’s-all-you-had-time-to-buy. This Halloween dare to be a little bit braver, a little more irreverent, and a little more clever with your costumes. That’s right folks — no more Lady Gaga get ups, lest you be deemed “like, sah 2010!” There’s a wealth of cultural reference at your disposal this year, with 2011 being renamed the Chinese Year Of The Meme (it hasn’t really, I just said that to get your attention). We’ve picked out some of our favourite musical memes of the year in the hopes that you’ll be inspired to trick yourself out in the spirit of a wickedly self-aware Halloween…
Why? Only the baby of hip-pop royalty Jay-Z and Beyoncé could become an Internet meme and every GIF aficionado’s wet dream before the little tyke is even born. Barely beyond conception, Baby Bey-Z hit the Internet harder than “Friday” (see below) and made “Pregoncé” a word faster than you can say, “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.” For Halloween, go as Pregoncé in the costume she wore at the VMAs earlier this year when she
unleashed unveiled her newly rounded belly to the world.
How? We’ll start from the top down: first you need some crazy 70′s flicked blonde hair, wig it if you’re a brunette or a dude, and if you’re already blessed with the golden tresses, heat up those rollers, girl! Next you’ll need a white shirt (stuffed with a pillow, of course we don’t expect you to actually get pregnant) and black pants; easy. The sparkle blazer might be a bit harder. I suggest taking a cheap / second hand blazer, a can of spray on glue, a butt-load of glitter and having the absolute time of your life. Add some velcro to the inside of the blazer so it’s easy to rip open over the course of Halloween as you constantly re-enact the big reveal. Carry around a fake microphone so you can throw it down dramatically before you rub your belly emphatically and smile, smile, smile!
We’ve been slightly (if justifiably) Beyoncé-crazy here lately, but don’t think it’s escaped our notice that her friend Kelly Rowland is keeping at least as busy promoting Here I Am. In the last week Rowland released two videos: “Lay It On Me,” featuring Big Sean, and “Down For Whatever.” The collaboration is the bigger-budget affair, not least because it’s already been a somewhat successful single already. In addition to Big Sean, the video features a Slinky, a chaise lounge made up of shirtless men, and an elephant. “Down For Whatever” is darker and much clubbier, with visual and electronic strobes and back-up dancers. Rowland will also be appearing in a video next week: she has a cameo in Beyoncé’s “Party,” which premieres on BET’s 106 and Park on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 6PM ET. Also in the video: J. Cole, who replaces André 3000 on the single remix.
[Image: Getty Images]