Music

by (@kat_george)

Be Relevant This Halloween: How To Dress As 2011′s Biggest Music Moments And Memes

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…

PREGONCÉ

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!

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Kelly Rowland Lays Two New Videos On Us (And Will Cameo In Beyoncé’s Next Week)

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]

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Shearer’s Spotlight: The Top Five Music Videos Set Inside A Restaurant

Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Jim Shearer

To provide a decent and affordable dine-in meal experience for his home peeps of New Jersey, this week Jon Bon Jovi opened up The Soul Kitchen: A ?pay-what-you-can? restaurant that also doubles as a volunteer-based community project.

In celebration of its grand opening, here are my favorite music videos set inside a restaurant:

5) Cee Lo, “F*** You”
Usually when a man screams ?F? YOU!? inside a diner, he is asked to leave; Cee Lo was asked to play the Grammys.

4) Radiohead, “High And Dry”
Back in the day when Radiohead made music for the masses, they also crafted some really good music videos. This classic includes a brief case, a time bomb, a key hidden inside a cup of mayonnaise, and Thom Yorke impatiently shuffling around the restaurant because he couldn?t fit into a booth with the rest of his band mates.

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The-Dream Announces Plans To Release Another Pre-Love IV Album

For the second time in less than three months, Terius Nash has announced, via Twitter, the release of a new album prior to his fourth (and possibly final) Def Jam album as The-Dream. “I am personally pushing Love IV back to drop a [sic] international album this winter,” he tweeted. According to follow-up tweets, the album, to be released under his given name, will be called 1984: Persona Of Love and will contain ten tracks, three of which Nash claims to have written today while in Paris. Normally we’d be skeptical of this sort of announcement-via-Twitter, but this is exactly how Nash announced 1977. As for the Love IV delay, he had hinted as much in a Rolling Stone interview, but there’s been no word yet from Def Jam (not that he’s given them time to respond). We look forward to any kind of new music from Nash, but we would like to hear a new The-Dream record, and we suspect Def Jam would too. Until then, we’re going to revisit one of his under-heralded tracks, a single he co-wrote with Yung Joc for the rapper’s second album Hustlenomics. Listen to “Coffee Shop” after the jump.
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MTV Hive Hosts Four-Band CMJ Saturday Live-Stream

MTV Hive’s Live in NYC series, which has hosted You Oughta Know alums Two Door Cinema Club and others over the past few months, is graduating to the big leagues: a CMJ Music Marathon showcase. This Saturday night, a four-band show will be streaming live at MTV Hive: Walk The Moon at 7:30pm ET, Memoryhouse at 8:15, The Stepkids at 9pm and Mr. Dream at 9:50. The whole shindig will be hosted by Matt Pinfield, and attendees will also receive free tacos. (We think that last bit is just to make those of us watching from home that much more jealous.)

After the jump, watch the Stepkids’ video for “Legend In My Own Mind,” directed by Tom Scharpling and featuring Kurt Braunohler as a guy whose acceptance of a Stepkids CD-R from Wyatt Cenac sends him into a Kangol-hat dream world.
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You Oughta Know Live: MUTEMATH Reimagines Alicia Keys’s “Fallin’”

MUTEMATH had already come through New York City on their fall tour when we selected them as the latest You Oughta Know artist, so we felt a bit guilty making them go out of their way to come to our offices, thrilled though we may have been. The band didn’t seem to mind in the slightest, though, laying down a killer You Oughta Know Live set for us, including an Alicia Keys cover that surprised us with its unique interpretation. After playing the two singles from their new album?”Odd Soul” and “Blood Pressure”?they launched into a Southern blues-rock version of “Fallin’” that sizzled. Maybe it was the Hammond B3 organ Todd Gummerman played, or perhaps Darren King’s substitution of snare for hi-hat on the double-time beat, but this cover worked in every way that “Southern blues rock” covers almost always don’t. This was “Whipping Post,” not Blues Hammer. Even the band was visibly pleased with how they sounded; frontman Paul Meany let out a deserved “Alright” when they finished.

Check out the whole four-song set, also featuring a rendition of their 2009 single “Spotlight,” which has a great rhythm-guitar line on the bridge thanks to Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas. And for more on MUTEMATH go to YouOughtaKnow.vh1.com.
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Self-Effacing Chris Martin Leads Coldplay Through “Paradise” On Colbert

Coldplay visited The Colbert Report yesterday before returning to the UK before their album release next week. After Chris Martin subjected himself to a one-on-one interview, in which he claimed that Thom Yorke’s wriggling performance on a previous episode was actually the Radiohead frontman’s mastery of a style of dance taught in all British schools, the band performed their new single “Paradise,” though not in costume as elephants. Only one song aired during last night’s half-hour episode (as Martin quipped of Coldplay, in comparison to Radiohead, whose episode extended to a full hour, “We’re not as good musically, but we’re much more attractive”) but the band did perform another track from Mylo Xyloto?“Up In Flames”?as a web exclusive.
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MUTEMATH Is VH1′s Latest You Oughta Know Artist

VH1 announced earlier this week that MUTEMATH is the latest You Oughta Know artist. We weren’t deeply familiar?though we were impressed with the video for “Blood Pressure”?so we did a little investigating. Their latest record Odd Soul came out on October 4, and it’s got a definite New Orleans funk feel at points?unsurprisingly, the band cites the Meters as an influence?but the overwhelming feel is of a band whose members are deeply in tune with one other.
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Beyoncé Dresses Up New Edition’s Moves (Literally) In “Love On Top”

Hot on the heels of “Countdown”?which we’re still watching plenty?Beyoncé premiered a video for “Love On Top” earlier this week. As teased, the video begins with an homage to Brook Payne’s iconic New Edition choreography, but that’s only the half of it (literally). The video edit drops a verse from the song so that the video’s back end is devoted to the four key-change chorus repetitions. For these, she and her back-up dancers doll up in a series of era-evoking costumes, though the costumer must have made some sort of mistake, because they always end up short one dress shirt. Not to worry, though: Beyoncé takes one for the team every time. “Love On Top” may be miles apart from “Countdown,” but it’s no less the jam, and we’ve got no complaints about the video either.