“I tend to write songs about relationships, that tends to be a thing that happens,” said Taylor Swift, in a sit-down interview with VH1 before her Storytellers show. “Usually beginnings and endings,” she added with a laugh. “Because that’s what I know most.”
Taylor’s Storyteller’s show took place at Harvey Mudd College, after students won an online voting contest to bring her to the school. She spoke of the connection college students feel to the emotional journeys she details in her music. “For me being here at a college, these are kids that are my age,” said Taylor, “and so were all going through the constant up and down, twists and turns of who are you going to love, and who are you going to end up and who do you want to avoid because they just broke your heart. I really hope this crowd relates to the stories I tell because were all kind of going through the same stuff.”
It was reported yesterday that Taylor and boyfriend Conor Kennedy split in the past month (cue sad groans). We guess this means we can expect another song about the end of a relationship on her next album?
Taylor Swift‘s new album Red dropped on Monday, and since then we’ve been obsessed with figuring out who each song is about. After all, Taylor is known for writing deeply autobiographically tunes, some more obvious than others (“Dear John,” for example). We dissected “All Too Well” and concluded that it’s 100% about her ex Jake Gyllenhaal, and we’ve read all about her coded messages in the liner notes and assume ”Begin Again” is totally about Conor Kennedy. But according to Taylor herself, we could be way off. When we interviewed her last week, she said that us fans are often totally wrong when it comes to the Swiftie Song Guessing Game.
“There are songs that people play the guessing game with. It’s kind of the king that happens when I put out a record. Either blogs or fans will make guesses because I write really detailed songs. I always have and I just never wanted to change that aspect of writing. Because the magnifying glass is wider.
And so there are a lot of songs that people think is about this dude, but it’s really not, it’s actually about this guy you have no idea I even dated. Or you’ll sit there and go ‘that song was inspired by three different situations with three different people.’ And you don’t ever want to go out there and be like, ‘this song is about this guy, first name, last name,’ because it’s just the one piece of the puzzled I have just locked in. I never really talk about who my songs are about.”
Hmmmmm. So are we way off in our assumptions above? What songs are about three different dudes? And most importantly: who has Taylor dated that we have no idea about? Any guesses?
It’s T-minus two days until the U.S. premiere of Hard Rock Calling 2012 blasts off on Palladia and VH1! Sure that’s pretty soon, but we can’t wait to share the a few of the highlights from the multi-day music festival that rocked so hard that the cops showed up! So direct from us to you, here are some performance sneak peeks to show you what all the fuss is about, and get you even more pumped to see the full two hour feature this Saturday at 9 PM.
First off, we’ve got Iggy Pop, making you forget his age (and that insurance commercial) by tearing into his iconic track, “I Want To Be Your Dog.” The performance was so good, fellow rock legends Jimmy Page and Robert Plant came out to watch! If it’s good enough for those guys, it’s good enough for us. Backed by his old band the Stooges, the inventor of the stage dive does not disappoint.
Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave veteran Tom Morello took to the stage as his alter-ego the Nightwatchman, serving up some searing protest music that touched on everything from the financial crisis to striking firemen. This guy has a lot to say. His set at HRC happened to coincide with what would have been Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, so Tom payed his respects by doing a spine-tingling cover of the late singer’s “Ease My Revolutionary Mind.” With his shout outs to the Occupy movement and other current events, Tom made the song more relevant than ever.
Yesterday, we put Team StarKid through the pop culture paces with a 50 Shades of Grey quiz — and they failed, spectacularly. We had such high hopes for the Chicago-based theater company since their big YouTube hits like A Very Potter Musical and Holy Musical B@man are pop culture parodies! This should be in their blood! However, we’re kind and we decided to give them a second chance on a slightly less NC-17 piece of work and see if they could rise to the occasion.
Today’s challenge – Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy that’s soon to be a film. We had them guess the fake quote amidst 3 real quotes from the novel. They may not know much about BDSM romance novels, but we’re hoping they do a bit better on post-apocalyptic societies — their most recent tour was the Apocalyptour, after all.
Team StarKid — the Chicago-based theater company that boasts Glee’s Darren Criss among its primary collaborators – might be masters of pop culture parody with their Harry Potter and Batman-themed musicals blowing up on YouTube, but we wanted to see if they were really up-to-date on their pop culture references. When the troupe came through New York on their most recent Mayan-god themed Apocalyptour we sat them down for a little pop culture guessing game.
First up — 50 Shades of Grey. Do the StarKids know a thing or two about the most popular BDSM book series? We had them guess the fake quote amidst 3 real quotes from the novels. Let’s just say they weren’t as knowledgeable about kinky sex dungeons as they are about wizards and wands. (Warning: One swear word in this video, so it’s slightly NSFW!) Check back tomorrow when we quiz them on Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Fingers crossed, y’all! We make no bones about the fact that our favorite contestant on this season of Dancing With The Stars is Gavin DeGraw and, now more than ever, he needs your support. He and his partner Karina Smirnoff danced the samba on the show last night; however, unlike other weeks, the two didn’t seem to be in total sync. (We’ve got the video for you below.)
Judging by the scores that the duo received from the judging panel, tonight’s elimination ceremony proves to be a challenging one for Team Gavin DeGraw; he and Karina received the lowest scores of the evening. “Are you suffering from tropical fever?”, judge Bruno Tonioli asked Gavin. Hey buddy, lay off our guy!
Be sure to tune-in to ABC tonight —with your fingers crossed, natch!—to see if Gavin can make it through! And watch Gavin’s EXCLUSIVE video commentary above, too… GOOD LUCK, GAVIN!
We certainly hope so! Our favorite contestant on this season of Dancing With The Stars is, without a doubt, Mr. Twinkle Toes himself, Gavin DeGraw. He and his partner Karina Smirnoff danced an inspired version of the tango last night to the Rolling Stones‘ classic “Paint It Black”, channeling the episode’s Rock Week theme in an authentic way that few other contestants were able to pull off. (We’ve got the video for you below.)
Judging by the scores that the duo received from the judging panel, Gavin and Karina are in pretty decent shape; there are five other pairs that received lower scores last night. “I felt like I was watching Johnny Depp on stage, you were so in character,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba gushed. “Part of this is creating the magic on the ballroom floor and bringing us in … The movements were all grand and you had intention behind every move.”
Be sure to tune-in to ABC tonight to see if Gavin can make it through! And watch Gavin’s EXCLUSIVE video commentary above, too…
New York City resident Gavin DeGraw might currently be biding his time in Los Angeles, but he found himself in a “New York State Of Mind” on Dancing With The Stars last night. DeGraw and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, danced the rumba last night to the Billy Joel classic, earning their best marks of the season so far from the judging panel.
DeGraw started his performance in a familiar location —behind the piano, tickling the ivories— but quickly displayed his ever-improving chops on the dance floor, bringing a genuine, Swayze-like vibe of romantic heat to the proceedings. His dance earned a standing ovation from the crowd and reduced judge Carrie Ann Inaba to a puddle of gushiness. “My heart’s going all fluttery for you, Gavin!”, she proclaimed. “There is something so sexy and sensual about the way you move!”
Despite the praise, the scores indicate that Gavin and Karina aren’t totally out of the woods yet. They’re in a five-way tie heading into tonight’s elimination, and as long as we’re already working with a Billy Joel theme, let’s all make sure that Gavin doesn’t have to “Say Goodbye To Hollywood” this evening. Watch his special backstage video, shot just moments after he got off stage, and head over to ABC.com to vote for Gavin before the polls close at 11 a.m. this morning!
Anybody who knows Gavin DeGraw knows he’s a real wild child, which is why his choice to dance the jive with his partner Karina Smirnoff to “Wild One” last night on Dancing With The Stars was an inspired choice. His outfit was an homage to Marlon Brando‘s from the 1953 film The Wild One, but his moves were way more footloose and fancy-free than Brando was ever able to pull off. The judges seem to concur as well, particularly Len Goodman, who told him “I liked your attitude, I liked the energy you came out with, and for me, this is an improvement on last week.” Gavin and Karina’s score of 21 tied the couple for 8th place out of the 12 remaining competitors, which would seemingly put them out of the woods. But, in order to make sure, be sure to vote for Gavin!
Above, we’ve got the second exclusive report that Gavin Degraw has filed from backstage at Dancing With The Stars. He doesn’t seem nearly as concerned with being eliminated as he does at having to go back home to New York City and cleaning his apartment, which is definitely something that we can identify with. Best of luck to Gavin and Karina, here’s hoping they advance to Week 3!
VH1 spoke with Grammy-nominated singer Kelly Price on the Grammys red carpet last night, and chatted with her in depth about close friend Whitney Houston‘s final performance. Kelly was not only present when Whitney sang one final time on Thursday night, she performed alongside her. (Video is below).
The close friends sang “Jesus Loves Me” for a packed crowd at Price’s pre-Grammy celebration, with A-List onlookers like 2011 VH1 DIVA Ledisi, Anthony Hamilton, El Debarge and Ray-J watching from the audience. Kelly adamantly defended Whitney’s behavior that night, telling us “she came out to celebrate a friend…in doing nothing wrong, she’s being vilified.”
Hear more of Kelly’s passionate defense of Whitney, above. And be sure to tune into VH1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT tonight for our brand VH1 News Special, Whitney Houston: Death of a Diva (also repeating at 9:30 p.m. as well), which will feature interviews with celebrities on the 2012 Grammys Red Carpet last night, as well as previously unseen 2010 interview footage with Whitney Houston herself.