Robyn Covers “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall” For BBC
Listen to Robyn‘s rendition of the Coldplay single, on BBC’s Radio 1 Live Lounge, on YouTube.
Anniversaries: Nevermind Reissue To Contain Demos; Is This It Tribute
The 20th Anniversary reissue of Nevermind, due out September 27, will come in 1-CD, 2-CD, and 4-CD/1-DVD formats, the lattermost of which will contain all of producer Butch Vig‘s original mixes as well as boombox recordings. And here we thought there was no unheard Nirvana in the vault. [Spin]
Meanwhile, Stereogum celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Strokes’ Is This It (released July 30, 2001 in Britain) with Stroked, a front-to-back tribute to the album (in its original form; there’s no cover of “When It Started,” the song that replaced the critical “New York City Cops” when the album was released in the United States less than a month after the September 11 attacks). [Stereogum] Read more…
Nevermind 20th Anniversary coverage dominates Spin‘s August 2011 issue, which hits newsstands in a week. Cover story “What Nevermind Means Now” is supplemented by Newermind, a track-by-track cover version of Nevermind. Cobain favorites Meat Puppets and The Vaselines share billing with new kids on the block like Surfer Blood, whose guitarist told the magazine, “Kurt Cobain was dead before I could tie my shoes,” and Jessica Lee Mayfield, who admits, “I found out about Nirvana through the Foo Fighters. I’m sure I’m not the only one who walked that discovery trail.”
The bands who have been most directly influenced by Nirvana are the most reverent in their takes, although Telekinesis, at least, has an excuse: their contribution was last-minute, “when one someone?no need to name names, so let’s just say it was Wavves?went AWOL.” On the other end of the spectrum, we’re rather fascinated by Foxy Shazam‘s transformation of “Drain You” into a glam epic complete with horn section.
The album is available for free download now in exchange for “liking” Spin on Facebook and giving an email address; non-Facebook users can get the tribute directly from Spin‘s site on July 26 when the issue streets.
KATY PERRY‘S NEXT RECORD, THE BALLAD OF BROOKSLEY BORN, SET TO BE A ROCK OPERA ABOUT OTC DERIVATIVES
We kid, we kid. However, in the new issue of Rolling Stone, which hit newsstands today, the California Gurl talks at length about her newfound awareness of what makes this great land of ours tick. “It just feels like the thing running our country is a bank, money,” she tells RS contributing editor Erik Hedegaard. “I know it sounds like an intense viewpoint, but I’m only slowly but surely getting the wool taken off my eyes. When I was a kid, I asked questions about my faith. Now I’m asking questions about the world.” Lest you think she’s totally lost her way and turned into a stuffy economics obsessive, she then goes on to talk about her boobs. [Rolling Stone]
BEYONCÉ RUMOR MILL CONTINUES TO CHURN
Hot on the heels of last week’s rumors that Beyoncé‘s new album, 4, was going to be pushed back to September, this morning’s New York Post contained a juicy item planted by someone who clearly isn’t on Team Bey. According to the snitch source, Columbia Records execs are “very nervous about Beyonc?’s new record” because “it doesn’t have the hit songs that her fans are used to. They asked her to make changes, but she said no.” The last time we remember this much behind-the-scenes drama playing out in the gossip rags before a record came out was when Kelly Clarkson and Clive Davis got into a very public beef before My December hit shelves. [Page Six]
While the lyrics were imagery-inspiring on their own, you’ll see in the sneak that Weird Al has delivered true-to-form visuals that manage to simultaneously mock and salute Mother Monster. Snatching Gaga’s signature looks and making them his own, Al transforms to perform, dancing around to her choreography (albeit with his head on a female body) and flaunting grossly exaggerated versions her outfits — a feat we didn’t think was possible! The full broadcast premiere of “Perform This Way” hits television airwaves Monday morning on VH1′s Big Morning Buzz Live, and will no doubt join the ranks of Weird Al classics like “Eat It,”“Like A Surgeon,” and “Amish Paradise.” The parody wizard himself will be a guest on the show, so tune-in and check back with us then; we’ll have the full scoop on all things Yankovic!
Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, ourVH1 Top 20 Video Countdownhost Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. This feature will include three things —sometimes related, sometimes not!— that Jim is obsessing over this week. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 countdown when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT tomorrow morning; this week?s special guests is none other than American Idol Season 7 winner David Cook!
Father?s Day weekend is almost upon us, and while popular music has given us goodies like ?Papa Was a Rolling Stone? and ?Papa Has a Brand New Bag??surely inspiring musical monikers like Big Daddy Kane, Daddy Yankee and even Kris Kross? Mack Daddy & Daddy Mack?Father?s Day can sometimes be a sore subject with musicians.
If you?re looking to put a smile on your dad?s face this weekend, please DO NOT include these tracks on your Father?s Day mix:
The mother?or, I guess the father?of deadbeat dad anthems. It?s a classic tale of what goes around comes around, teaching us all that if you don?t play catch with your young son, he won?t want to hang out with you when he gets older.
Ironically, most of your fathers probably enjoy this classic tune, so if you?re thinking of incorporating it into a playlist for him, just make sure you don?t accidentally download the cover version from Ugly Kid Joe.
Moby‘s comments last week about what types of pop are and aren’t music isn’t the first time he’s taken shots at other artists. At the 2001 Grammy Awards he calledEminem ”a racist, a homophobe, and a misogynist.” But he’s not the only artist who’s feuded over art (and, implicitly, integrity). Here are the five most notable feuds of the last 20 years.
FEUD:Nirvana vs. Guns N’ Roses HOW IT STARTED: Nirvana never liked the lyrical misogyny and homophobia of Guns N’ Roses, but the feud officially got underway when Nirvana turned down an offer to open for the band on tour. KEY NIRVANA PULLQUOTE:Kurt Cobain, interviewed by Kevin Allman in the February 1992 issue of The Advocate:
I can’t even waste my time on that band, because they’re so obviously pathetic and untalented. I used to think that everything in the mainstream pop world was crap, but now that some underground bands have been signed with majors, I take Guns N’ Roses as more of an offense. I have to look into it more: They’re really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they’re the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can’t believe it.
KEY GUNS ‘N’ ROSES PULLQUOTE:Axl Rose, on stage in Seattle: “Nirvana would rather stay home and shoot drugs with their bitch wives than tour with us.” WINNER: At the time, Nirvana by a mile, but as time has gone on and Cobain-as-icon has lost some of its political edge, it’s now closer to a draw. Read more…
Miley Cyrus has been catchingsomeflak for her cover of Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Friday night in Ecuador. But the criticisms aren’t really about her rendition?which was not great, but not terrible, and let’s remember that the audio quality is pretty low?but about the difference between what “Smells Like Teen Spirit” means to Miley Cyrus and what it means to those who were alive when the song was recorded. Miley has said that Kurt Cobain is her “dream boyfriend” but there’s no indication that she sees much of a difference between him and, say, Bret Michaels, with whom she recorded an unreleased rendition of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.”
And so what? News flash, Generation X: Kurt Cobain isn’t ours anymore. He entered the pop imagination almost twenty years ago. Learn to share. (At the same time, that doesn’t mean you have to like the covers.)
In that spirit, here are the ten most notable reimaginings of the classic Nirvana single, in chronological order. Classic? Misguided? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Yesterday Jared Leto joined those commemorating Kurt Cobain’s passing in a somewhat odd way: he shared a video he’d uploaded privately six weeks ago, in which he portrays the late singer.
Leto was among the many artists inspired by Cobain, who “gave us all permission to create no matter what our skill set and reminded me that dreams are possible,” and he’s never been particularly emotionally withholding (which is part of why we enjoyed having 30 Seconds to Mars as VH1′s Posted artist last October).
Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. The music he and his bandmates in Nirvana created helped to catapult the indie rock underground of the 1980s into the public spotlight and forge a new rock mainstream, inspiring and influencing millions of listeners.
But Cobain, who never found an effective way to cope with that spotlight, would likely prefer to be remembered as a person, not as an icon of sadness, forever moping over his guitar on the set of Unplugged:
The good news? The new line of Kurt Cobain-inspired Converse sneakers is the first time the late singer’s estate has ever collaborated with a brand. Considering Cobain’s choice of footwear, it’s an appropriate one. The bad news? It’s not in the best of taste. The Nirvana front man was — very famously, in case you’ve forgotten — discovered dead while wearing a pair of Converse sneakers. At the time, the image of Cobain’s splayed feet came to represent the end not only of the singer, but also an era in American music and culture. Now that we fetishize these momentos and totems of rock ‘n’ roll become increasingly untethered from their original contexts (have you been to a Hard Rock Cafe lately?), not to mention musicians who use their celebrity as an opportunity to diversify into different fields to both hedge against their inevitable irrelevance and maximize their media exposure (where are the Kanye West sneakers, we’d like to know), such partnerships are absolutely run-of-the-mill. Thing is, you’d have to be a pretty depressing kid to own a pair of these suckers, we think. And if you’re an adult, clearly there’s a problem. For reference, see Jason Bateman’s character in Juno.