While VH1′s You Oughta Know In Concert is a chance to showcase the very best in hand-picked talent, it’s a known truth that everything is better with a little Britney. As in, it’s Britney, bitch. Amanda and Abner of Nashville-based duo JOHNNYSWIM took the stage at Roseland Ballroom to tear through this year’s Heart Beats EP, but not before paying tribute to the goddess of pop.
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Throughout October, we’re celebrating the sounds of Haim, this month’s You Oughta Know artist. The singing sisters are just one of the latest bands to make music the family business. What other groups include a bunch of talented siblings?
VH1′s You Oughta Know franchise is known for introducing you to artists on the cusp of hitting it big. We’re joining Whole Foods Market to highlight the untapped talent among their team, and giving you the opportunity catapult one lucky musician to stardom.
Youngblood Hawke brought the jubilant sounds of “We Come Running” to this morning’s episode of Big Morning Buzz Live. Scaled back a bit for the acoustic set–with no threat of approaching sharks, unlike the accompanying music video–the song is the lead single off their self-titled EP, and something you may have heard in an American Idol promo or two this winter. A stripped down version without the contributions from the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir (who recorded the studio version with the band) transforms the punching chorus into a more haunting refrain, backed by delicate percussion.
Scheduled in between sold-out shows at Radio City Music Hall, their stop by VH1 Headquarters was also a celebratory trip, as the L.A.-based band will be a featured VH1 You Oughta Know artists in the coming months. Stay tuned!
[Photo: Getty Images]
This month we will shine the You Oughta Know spotlight on Allen Stone, an emergent soul singer-songwriter from Washington state who has forgone sleep in an effort to earn your attention. Or at least so he sings in “Sleep,” and given his recent grind — complete with stops at Leno and VH1 Big Morning Buzz Live, as well as that new music video he cut — we’re inclined to believe him.
This morning Stone dropped by The Ellen Show for a mid-morning howling of his aforementioned hustlers anthem. In her introduction, Ellen accurately likened him to Stevie Wonder and to Amy Winehouse, and we might add that he showed up in a Whitney Houston tee that looked rather well loved, which may explain some of his gospel tendencies. There weren’t any stars up in the early hour, but that didn’t seem to stop him from aiming high with his performance. And as always, he nailed it.
The most-cute moment came at the end of what we can only assume was a rousing set (the only sort Delta Rae know how to play, as far as we’re concerned). Elizabeth Hopkins and Brittany Hölljes hopped into the crowd and pulled Ian Höllje‘s girlfriend of seven-years onto the stage, Ian serenaded her with a verse before getting down on one knee — and this is where she, the band and the entire audience really lost it — to propose. Obvs she said yes, and then there was a lot of grinning, some more singing and a very happy couple caught kissing:
Evidently, January’s You Oughta Know spotlight artist Allen Stone has already made himself right at home in VH1 headquarters! You see, today mtvU has premiered the new on-the-road video for his “Sleep” and it begins with footage of the funky troubadour cruising, guitar in hand and his trademark fedora atop his head, up a set of escalators that looked awfully familiar to us because we take them to work everyday. Very cool, because — Allen, feel free to drop by and play us a little diddy or whatever whenever, you know?
Really, though, this is a nice example of a video that’s perfectly set to a song and its star. Stone is a star hard at work on the come-up, and “Sleep” is more or less a song about his kindhearted hustle; or, as he puts it: “trying to change the world with his guitar/ And I know it’s a long shot, but it’s working so far/ So I spend my nights shooting at the stars.” The video gives us a glimpse at what all this “shooting at the stars” business is about, cutting together actual footage of him on the road, in dressing rooms, performing, signing autographs and — oh hey! — hanging out at VH1/MTV headquarters. Catch a quick glimpse of him dosed off in the van at around the :50 mark, but otherwise you’ll see that he really means it when he says he “never gets sleep.”
Video Premiere: Allen Stone, “Sleep” [MTVBuzzworthy]
A bit of sad news and a hopeful promise to begin your morning: You Oughta Know standouts, VH1 Unplugged veterans, Grammy winning and just generally beloved Americana duo, The Civil Wars, announced last night in a note posted to their Facebook page that they have called off the remainder of their tour. The duo cited “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” as the reason for the change of plans, but were sure to assure that whatever hiccup they’re suffering right now will not be their end: “Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013,” they write, giving us reason to believe that things are civil still. They plan on reimbursing tickets, and have generously promised to “do their best” to cover any non-refundable service charges or travel reservations fans have already made.
Below, their note. And then a video of the duo performing “Barton Hollow” Unplugged — some sugar to down the sad news.