“You ain’t got no Jodeci? What is a Radiohead anyway?” Last Thursday the six-time Grammy-nominatedFrank Ocean proved once and for all that he knows exactly what “A Radiohead” is, slipping an affecting but so-sweet cover of their 1995 classic “Fake Plastic Trees” into a short set he played for a Spotify event in New York. Ocean skipped straight to the song’s final verse — the bit about “I can’t help the feeling / I could blow through the ceiling” seeming resonant right about now — and only got about a minute and a half of the song in before getting back to his own “Voodoo,” but it was enough to get the crowd whoop-ing and us hoping that he might someday do more like this. This is sure to leave you with all sorts of feelings.
The 2012 Summer Olympics officially kicked off with an opening ceremony conceived by the Academy Award winning British film director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, 28 Days Later). One of the sections of tonight’s broadcast bore the unusual name Frankie And June Say Thanks Tim, a love story that contained what NBC’s Matt Lauer described as “a tribute to the best British musical acts of the last 40 years.” Well, although Boyle and his musical supervisors managed to include a decent selection of bands that could be considered canon-worthy, we’d like to call your attention to this (quite undefinitive!) list of 29 highly respected bands that got royally snubbed (in alpha order*):
Elton John (!!!) Read more…
Summer concert season is upon us, which means that a lot of people will be seeing shows by their favorite bands in unusual venues. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that stages are erected so quickly that there isn’t always a great deal of time to double- and triple-check to ensure that all safety regulations have been met. To wit, a massive section of the stage collapsed at Toronto’s Downsview Park Saturday afternoon ahead of Radiohead‘s sold-out show there, killing Radiohead’s drum tech, Scott Johnson, and injuring three other crew members. It’s not yet clear exactly what happened, but the Ontario Ministry of Labor will investigate the collapse to see that safety regulations and standards were followed and that staff were probably trained.
Radiohead drummer Philip Selway paid tribute to Johnson on the band’s website. “We have all been shattered by the loss of Scott Johnson, our friend and colleague,” he wrote. “He was a lovely man, always positive, supportive and funny; a highly skilled and valued member of our great road crew. We will miss him very much. Our thoughts and love are with Scott’s family and all those close to him.”
New dad Jay-Z hit the studio to record a dedication song to his new baby girl, Blue Ivy. Hearing the baby cry on the track made it all the more adorable. Over the years a number of daddy musicians have expressed heartfelt feelings about their kids on wax. Everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Eminem to most recently Nas. Here at VH1 we believe dads are worthy of appreciation every day of the year. However, this Sunday is the official day we celebrate the awesome dads in our lives. Hearing male artists gush over their children in a song makes our hearts melt. Enjoy the Spotify playlist of our all-time favorite songs by fathers dedicated to their children.
1. “Daughters”- Nas
Nas gets real about the difficulties of raising a teenage daughter in this soulful ode to his daughter Destiny who makes a cameo at the end of the video. Read more…
It’s no “Lotus Flower” — that is to say, Thom Yorke isn’t writhing around and pulling crazy shapes — but it’s an intimate and compelling video nonetheless. The clip for “Staircase” from Radiohead‘s The King Of Limbs sees the band performing in an enclosed setting, surrounded by a myriad array of instruments and technical equipment. And yes, Thom Yorke is moving in the way only Thom Yorke can move. “Staircase” is as close to a Radiohead renaissance as one could hope for, with Yorke’s chilling, heart palpitating vocals against a dynamic backdrop of broken beats, synthesisers and soaring orchestral compositions, and the video staying true to a music-centric credence, the visual taking nothing from the sound. Lighting appears to be the key here, with bright lights breaking through the dusty air to backlight the band and create an otherworldly presence that amplifies as Yorke’s falsetto croons towards the end.
If you’ve been in front of a computer with a working Internet connection today you’re probably aware that Bonnaroo has announced the line up for this year’s festival, and that everyone is getting a little breathy and excited about it. And why not — the lineup is absolutely out of this world, with huge names Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Phish, The Beach Boys, Grammy winners Bon Iver, The Avett Brothers and The Shins headlining the festival. While we’re a bit perplexed as to why the legendary Beach Boys are billed fourth (we can understand Radiohead as a firm first, but surely The Beach Boys have more clout on a lineup than Red Hot Chili Peppers or Phish, especially as they’ve reunited to tour this year?), it’s hard to maintain any kind of indignation with such a fun lineup.
Lana Del Rey‘s song “Video Games” got us thinking — what if some of our favorite songs were made into actual video games? We thought about some tracks we love, and quickly found that many of them lend themselves perfectly to the video game format. We’ve even taken the trouble to add an objective and plot to each of our selections, so we think that someone should take some of these hit songs and pixelate them so we can add them to our consoles. You have to admit, they do sound more appealing than that rumored Angry Birds / Kanye West collaboration…
Lana Del Rey – “Video Games”
In which you attempt to save Paz De La Huerta from herself.
Rihanna, Jay-Z & Kanye West – “Run This Town”
In which you are the mayor of a town, and must run it as such.
Drake – “Crew Love”
In which you attempt to build and sustain a “crew” with challenges including in-fighting, mutiny and rival crews.
Just moments ago, the official Coachella Twitter feed (@coachella) posted their 2012 lineup, which will feature headlining performances from The Black Keys, Radiohead, and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (!!!). Regarding the latter, this year marks the 20th anniversary of The Chronic‘s release, so we’re guessing that the pair might perform the classic album from front-to-back?
Also of note: It looks like Coachella organizer Paul Tollett is NOT a fan of indie chanteuse du jour, Lana Del Rey. At first glance, she seems to be the most obvious snub on this year’s lineup. More analysis to follow tomorrow!
Chris Martin Thinks Lady Gaga Writes Better Music Than Him Coldplay‘s Chris Martin things Lady Gaga is a better songwriter than him, revealing, “I just admire all of the hats and the dresses and the madness and everything because I know that underneath it all she can beat me at writing choruses.” We reckon she probably looks better in a dress, too. [Spin]
Grinderman Announce That They’re Splitting Up
Music legend Nick Cave has announced that his band, Grinderman, will be no more, but cryptically added, “See you all in another ten years when we’ll be even older and uglier.” [Prefix]
At this stage, it would be hard to argue that there was a better, more universally acclaimed and globally received album than Adele‘s 21, featuring consistently on “Best” and “Top” lists for 2011. Rolling Stone named the album #1 in their 50 Best Albums Of 2011 list that came out today, saying that the magic of 21 was all in the voice, both literally and figuratively; “More than any other album this year, 21 made you feel its pain – from the triple-hankie tear-jerker ‘Someone Like You’ to ripsnorting revenge songs like ‘Rumour Has It,’ where Adele rides a roiling groove and flattens everything in her path.”
Strangely enough, however, Rolling Stone gave the #2 spot to Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s Watch The Throne which, while possibly being the most hyped album of the year, wasn’t as well received as Kayne’s 2010 effort, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The Top 10 also features Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way at #6, which also failed to strike a chord with the critics this year, despite its epic release and subsequent run of artful, shock-value Gagaist videos. Predictably enough however, Rolling Stone fit Radiohead‘s King Of Limbs in at #5, controversial because it was considered a sub-par Radiohead offering, but believable enough given that despite criticism, the album has still found its way into an overwhelming number of Top 50 lists.