The first-ever YouTube Awards took place in New York on Sunday, filling our award season void in eccentric fashion. Featuring an eclectic roundup of today’s biggest performers with awards determined by their fans, the show paid tribute to the power of the internet in moments concocted solely for their viral potential. Prior to Lady Gaga‘s performance, she walked the red carpet sans pants but with an interesting set of false teeth, suggesting she had had her fair share of Halloween candy and then some.
Arcade Fire took 30 Rock (and NBC) by storm last night. They performed two new songs on Saturday Night Live and then after the show was over, NBC let them air an original special that featured trippy visuals, celebrity guests like James Franco and Ben Stiller, and three additional new tracks. Oh, and the band cropped up in a sketch. All in all, it was quite a night for the Canadian band.
The lead track from the forthcoming Hunger Games film soundtrack, Arcade Fire‘s “Abraham’s Daughter” has been released, and it’s as cinematic as you would expect from the Grammy winning band. You can listen to the track here. There’s a certain sense of foreboding in the darkly whimsical tribal beating of the song, and Arcade Fire seems largely predisposed to this sort of grandiose film score. Of the track, front man Win Butler said, “I tried to put myself in the headspace of how excited I’d be if this film was coming out when I was 15. I still remember hearing Radiohead’s “Exit Music (for a Film)” in [Baz Luhrmann’s] Romeo + Juliet when I was that age.. Our whole approach was to get into the world and try to create something that serves the story and the film… There’s something in the story of Abraham and Isaac that I think resonates with the themes in the film, like sacrificing children. So we made a weird, alternate-universe version of that, where it’s as if Abraham had a daughter — kind of a metaphor for Katniss.” The climactic track is apparently set to play as the end credits of the film roll.
[Photos: Getty Images]
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.
Drake – “Crew Love”
In which you attempt to build and sustain a “crew” with challenges including in-fighting, mutiny and rival crews.
Obama Looks To The Music Community For Support
President Obama has a wishlist of musicians he wants to support his re-election campaign including Arcade Fire, Janelle Monae, John Legend and Alicia Keys. What can we say? The guy’s got serious style. [NME]
Lana Del Rey’s People Get Sassy
Gawker has been unable to retrieve a comment from Lana Del Rey about the backlash from the weekend’s SNL performance, and her publicist has given a coy middle finger to the request by asking if Brian Williams has commented yet. Sassy. [Gawker]
Now that we’re done with reflecting on 2011, it’s time to start projecting into 2012. With the reign of Adele perhaps taking a brief hiatus, and buzz building around several newcomers, some legendary reunions and highly anticipated sophomore albums, 2012 is already shaping up to be a year filled with some pretty amazing music. We’ve put together a list of 20 of our most anticipated albums for 2012 — what are you looking forward to in 2012?
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die (Expected Release Date: 01/27): Possibly the most hyped artist of 2011, we’re excited for the record to finally come out so we can stop judging the hype and start judging the material! She landed a highly coveted spot as the musical guest on the January 14th episode of Saturday Night Live, so expect the clamor to grow.
Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth (Expected Release Date: 02/07): Aside from a couple of songs that made it onto the band’s 1996 Best Of set, the band hasn’t cut any new material in the studio with original lead singer David Lee Roth since 1984, so anticipation for this project is through the roof. After a blistering reunion set at Cafe Wha? in New York City last night, there’s a good chance the boys still have it in ‘em.
Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror (Expected Release Date: 02/14): After Sleigh Bells’ killer debut with Treats, we’re biting our nails to find out whether their sophomore effort will be just as good. If the release of the first single off the new album, “Born To Lose”, is anything to go by, we won’t be disappointed.
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (Expected Release Date: 02/14): Since Nicki Minaj Tweeted that the new album will feature all new material (as opposed to a re-release), we’ve been painting everything pink in anticipation. Barbz at the ready!
2011 has been a big year in music, and between the Grammys, new babies, viral artists and some great losses, the music world has been rocked over and over again. With only a few days left until we wave goodbye to 2011, we’re reflecting on the 10 biggest stories of the year…
1. Beyoncé’s Pregnancy
Forget actual music — who cares about music when the Queen Of Everything is pregnant? It seemed like all anyone was talking about in 2011 was Beyoncé‘s pregnancy, from the initial, dramatic reveal during her VMAs performance of “Love On Top,” to the controversy surrounding the realness of her baby bump. And now the world waits with baited breath for the chosen one to emerge from the most revered womb on earth.
Brian Wilson Is Back With The Beach Boys And They’re Going On Tour
Yep, you heard right. Brian Wilson is reuniting with The Beach Boys and they’re going to tour in 2012. We know it’s exciting, but try not to wet yourself. [Flavorwire]
Etta James Is Tragically Terminally Ill
The voice that launched a thousand ships (we just made that up then, but it makes sense), Etta James, is facing terminal leukemia and dementia at age 73. Our best wishes go out to Etta and her family. [Rolling Stone]