Frank Ocean felt horribly about cancelling a string of European festival tour dates where he was scheduled to take the stage with Coldplay. Along the way Frank has picked up a couple of new gigs, including performing at this year’s 2012 VMAs where we secretly hope he gives us a visual to “Pyramids.” On September 15th, FO will serve as the musical guest for Saturday Night Live’s premiere episode for its 38th season. Wowzers. Can you believe SNL has been around for 38 seasons? The success of Frank’s Channel Orange is shaping up for one blast of a year for the R&B newbie. Read more…
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Usher‘s new album, Looking For Myself, isn’t set to be released until June 12, but he’s already pulling out all the stops to make sure his fans know that he’s got a new collection of his patented sexytime jams on the way. Two weeks ago, he collaborated with the cast of Fuerza Bruta for a special, one-night only multimedia spectacle, and this weekend, he appeared on Saturday Night Live to perform the first two singles from the record, “Scream” (video above) and “Climax.”
“Got no drink in my hand but I’m wasted/Getting drunk on the thought of you naked,” Usher declares early on his newest club banger, “Scream.” This energetic track seems poised to join the likes of Usher’s previous smash singles like “Yeah!” and “OMG” as huge summer radio hits, while his slow-burning, Diplo-collab “Climax” —which has been out for a few months now— is currently sitting at #1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Is this going to be the Summer of Usher? We have yet to hit Memorial Day, but at this point, it sure looks like it. Read more…
Rihanna rocks to the beat of her own drum, and, well, everyone else must fall in line. According to TMZ, the Bajan beauty’s third appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend got off to a rocky start when she called in sick to dress rehearsal. The show’s producers were not happy about the no-show, including the head honcho Lorne Michaels. The singer claimed to be too sick to sing or dance in the final rehearsal (done before a live audience), but she was well enough to walk around between songs eating an apple. Hey, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Her apple eating (the nerve of her!) didn’t sit well with producers, as they apparently can’t recall the last time someone skipped dress rehearsal. In other words, it’s taken very seriously, and missing it is a cardinal sin. Rihanna’s rep told TMZ, “Rihanna was sick and needed to save her voice for the live show.”
2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Sir Mick Jagger! The knight of the turntable celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones with a new documentary and coffee table book out this September, and rumors of a full on album and tour with the old guys have been circulating for months. And now the 68-year-old rocker has another reason to flash his famous grin: he’s been asked to host the season finale of Saturday Night Live!
Mick’s been a musical guest twice before on the late night institution, but the May 19 epsiode will mark that first time he’s taken over hosting duties. Of course it’s impossible to have Mick freakin’ Jagger on the show and not have him sing, so he’ll be doing a little of that too. The real question is: will he be joined by his fellow Glimmer Twin Keith Richards? The two had a multi-year falling out over some comments Keith made in his autobiography concerning the size of Mick’s “manhood,” but last month they reportedly buried the hatchet. Will SNL be the scene of their big reunion? Tune in with us on the 19th and find out!
[Photo: Getty Images]
Our You Oughta Know artist Gotye has taken America completely by storm on the strength of one song — “Somebody That I Used To Know” — so as you can imagine we are excited to see what will happen as more of his singles start dropping in the States (we can only imagine more Gotye songs will equal more Gotye dominance). And now it appears Gotye is the latest buzz artist to be invited to perform on Saturday Night Live after Lana Del Rey and Sleigh Bells both graced the hallowed stage earlier this year. The SNL episode will air on April 14th and marks Gotye’s SNL debut. We wonder if he’ll take Kimbra along to perform “Somebody That I Used To Know,” or if he’ll play something entirely different. And if he does play “Somebody,” what will be the second track he’ll chose to play off his critically acclaimed album, Making Mirrors.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Maybe Jack White always looks this uncomfortable, or maybe not, we don’t know the man personally. All we know is that regardless of his regular stance, the charismatic musician seems somewhat perturbed in this new promo for this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live. White, who is set to appear on the show as a musical guest, spends almost the entire promo next to host Lindsay Lohan and funny man Andy Samberg with his arms folded in front of his body. Add to that a few sideways glances, the hint of an eye roll and the unenthusiastic exasperation with which he delivers his lines and it seems like he’d prefer to be anywhere but there. And let’s not mention that he seems to lean nervously away every time Lindsay gets close to him — or is that just our over active imaginations? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Maya Rudolph and Sleigh Bells were the host and musical guest, respectively, on last night’s episode of Saturday Night Live. The standout sketch of the evening involved the world’s most famous new parents, Jay-Z (played by Jay Pharoah) and Beyoncé (Rudolph) welcoming a slew of famous musicians to their crib to welcome the newest member of the Carter family, Blue Ivy Carter (see: Photos of Blue Ivy Carter). Their guests at their Scarsdale, NY home included the mystery wrapped inside of a riddle wrapped inside of an enigma that is Prince (played to perfection by Fred Armisen), 2012 Grammys host LL Cool J (played by Kenan Thompson, a comedian whose many strengths do not include the ability to do a spot-on impression), a rambunctious Nicki Minaj (played more than adequately by Nasim Pedrad), Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Taran Killam and Abby Elliott, respectively), and a VERY surprised Taylor Swift (Kristen Wiig).
There was one other surprise visitor to see the Notorious B.I.C. — the 2012 winner of the Best New Artist Grammy, Bon Iver! Frequent SNL cameo actor and former musician Justin Timberlake turned in a hilarious impression of the notoriously shy indie frontman, which included singing a parody version of “Holocene” that served as a lullaby that put both Blue Ivy AND Bon Iver himself to sleep. Justin (unnecessarily) went out of his way at the end of the show to make peace with the bearded Wisconsin native, holding up a sign that read “I (Heart) Bon Iver” as the show credits rolled, but we’re pretty sure that the recent SNL musical guest didn’t care. After all, unlike Snooki and Skrillex, everyone managed to pronounce his name correctly.
Mere moments after Lana Del Rey completed her now infamous appearance on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago, we saw dozens of tweets in our feed comparing her performance to something that a weird Kristen Wiig character would do. Well, the rabid imagination of the Twitter community came to life on last night’s episode of SNL, when Wiig showed up unannounced during Weekend Update as Lana Del Rey.
Wiig’s impression, which was a very slight variation of her classic character in the series of Two A-Holes sketches, straddled the line between mocking and defending the 25-year-old singer. Wiig’s Del Rey described herself as “stiff, distant and weird,” but also addressed the “authenticity” argument by sarcastically (and sagely) noting that “No serious musician would ever change their name, except maybe for Sting, Cher, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, everyone else in hip hop, and of course Bob Dylan.” The segment was fairly meh, mainly because head writer Seth Meyers avoided the opportunity to poke fun at NBC News anchor Brian Williams. As you’ll recall, Williams went out of his way to criticize SNL and bash Del Rey in a controversial email to Gawker, and Weekend Update’s refusal to jab back at Williams demonstrated for the umpteenth time that this era of the show places a greater emphasis on playing nice in the corporate sandbox than it does on biting the hand that feeds.
Many, many moons ago, cultural critic Adam Sternbergh outlined his theory about the Undulating Curve Of Shifting Expectations in the pages of New York Magazine. Basically, what the UCoSE does is provide us a way of analyzing the trajectory of entertainment products as they metamorphize their way through his theorized seven-stage growth chart: Pre-Buzz, Buzz, Rave Reviews, Saturation Point, Overhyped, Backlash, and finally, Backlash To The Backlash. When this chart was conceived back in March of 2006, the Internet was clearly already an important medium; however, sites like Facebook and Twitter had yet to reach the masses in the way that they do today, so it generally took “entertainment products” a decent amount of time to fully mature and run through the full cycle of the UCoSE. However, that is not the case today — thanks to omnipresence of social media, the cycle of culture consumption has clearly accelerated.
(ED. NOTE—Admittedly, this is a somewhat roundabout intro to what you’re about to read, but if you bear with us, we promise that it will all pay off.)
Now, it may seem slightly weird to classify a real, live human being like Lana Del Rey as an “entertainment product,” but it’s pretty clear to us that she’s already rocketed through six of the first seven stages of Sternbergh’s UCoSE, albeit in an extremely abbreviated fashion. However, it now appears that after Del Rey’s widely-maligned SNL performance, she’s reaching the Backlash to the Backlash stage. In a poll that we published on Tuesday, over 48% of the poll participants indicated that they’re fully on-board Team LDR, and earlier today, Whitney Cummings —star of NBC’s Whitney and herself a widely-maligned figure— wrote a blog post coming to Del Rey’s defense.