The party’s over, the circus has left town, the finale of the 2012 Hard Rock Calling music festival is over and done, and we’re getting so misty-eyed that we can barely see the keyboard. Luckily the powers that be gave us one hell of a parting gift: Paul Simon performing all of Graceland with the original Ladysmith Black Mambazo backing group! It’s hard to feel too bad with music like that swirling in our ears. Rest assured folks, he’s still crazy after all these years.
But we’re getting way too ahead of ourselves. Today was something of a gentler day for the HRC lineup. If yesterday was a competition to see who could rock out the hardest (and loudest), today was more of an exploration of the many different possibilities within music, from country to gospel to african rhythm to reggae and beyond. It was truly a grab-bag in the finest sense: every set was an unexpected winner, full of songs you never knew you loved. There was something of a late sixties NorCal festival vibe in their air when we arrived. The English summer sun was shining, and we saw young women brandishing tambourines wandering the muddy grounds in lacy shirts with daisy chains in their hair (really). Plus we saw some seriously outstanding mustaches, which were definitely worth the price of admission.
We got there just in time to hear Robert Randolph ripping it up on a pedal steel guitar with his Family Band. Part blues, part funk and all awesome, their break-neck jams gave us as badly needed wakeup jolt. “We only got two hours sleep last night!” Robert yelled from the stage in between numbers. So did we Bob, and right now we barely have enough energy to lift a can of Red Bull to our lips! How does he do it?!
Hard Rock called and we answered! The 7th annual Hard Rock Calling music festival is almost upon us, and VH1′s got your front row ticket and backstage pass. The big event will take place this Friday through Sunday in London’s Hyde Park, and we’ll be there rockin’ out with some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll history! Hard Rock always treats us music fans right, but this year they’ve really spoiled us with some once-in-a-lifetime performances.
Grunge gods Soundgarden will be there playing cuts from their upcoming album, a first in 16 years!Paul Simon is going to celebrate the 25h anniversary of his landmark Graceland album by performing it start to finish, backed by the incredible Ladysmith Black Mambazo group who gave the original recording its timeless sound. Bruce Springsteen will no doubt turn rock ‘n’ roll into an athletic event during his marathon set with the E Street Band, and punk prince Iggy Pop will tear up the stage (and hopefully not himself). Lady Antebellum, Alison Krauss, John Fogerty and Robert Randolph…they’ll all be there to move it and groove it across the pond.
And get this, guys: That’s just the main stage. We’ve got three others to choose from, so get ready for more music than your ears can handle. We’re pleased to report some success stories, as one-time VH1 You Oughta Know artists Dawes and Christina Perri both take the stage. We’ll be sure to catch up with them and see how they like performing along side their idols. There will be tons of surprises along the way, so keep checking back for updates to see what went down in London Town! And also be sure to follow us on twitter (VH1Music) and instagram for up to the minute updates. See ya there!
You Oughta Know artist Christina Perri first let us on to this wistful duet last January when, while speaking with our own Jim Shearer, she mentioned that she was rerecording the melancholy lovestrong cut, “Distance,” with an artist that is as many parts Justin Bieber as he is Tony Bennett. Well, that someone turned out to be the ever-likeable Jason Mraz, and their reworking? Even more vulnerable and beautiful than the original. And now she shares with us again, this time the music video for “Distance,” which is ours exclusively to share with you over the next 24-hours.
“Distance” is the story of love kept at bay. “I will make sure to keep my distance, say I love you when you’re not listening,” she sings on the chorus, where she is met by Mraz, vocals in harmony. But then the wrench is thrown and she wonders, “How long can we keep this up?”
In the video, director Elliott Sellers captures this tension by drawing the two apart, hiding Mraz the farthest corner of the beautiful mansion through which Perri wanders. Drawing the sunlight in behind her, she checks room after room. Is he in the library? The garden? At the top of the staircase? Well, you will have to watch to find out.
All next week, VH1 will be counting down a list of the 100 Greatest Women In Music. Each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning on Monday, February 13, a new hour-long episode of The Greatest will air on VH1, each show focusing in on the merits of the best female artists of the last 20 years and change.
As a precursor to the next week’s reveal, we thought that we’d kick off the discussion by revealing this list of 14 women who ALMOST made the list. They’re all terrific artists in their own right, which just goes to show how amazing the full list is going to be next week. This list of the Almost Greatest goes, as follows (in alphabetical order, natch):
Following the tragic death of legendary artist Etta James today, the music world has expressed profound condolences, many coming in the form of heartfelt Tweets. You can see some of them below, a testament to Etta James’ pervasive influence, her inspirational impact on the music world, and the great loss that is felt by her passing.
Our You Oughta Know artist, Christina Perri, had a big year in 2011 with her song “A Thousand Years,” which was featured on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 soundtrack. Perri, while on the promotional tour for the movie, chatted with VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer for the second installment of our VH1 Tuner podcast, which you can listen to in full here. In it, Perri says “A Thousand Years” was written specifically for Edward and Bella, and that she’s a self-proclaimed “Twi-hard”, getting “Bitten” tattooed to herself “[after] having read the books, and I felt as though I’d been bitten with the series, with the obsession of the love story.”
Aside from her love for Twilight and obvious excitement about being on the soundtrack, Perri revealed that she’ll be releasing one more single from her album lovestrong. According to Perri, the song will be an existing track from the album, re-recorded to include a duet with a male singer/songwriter. While she wont reveal who she’ll be pairing up with for the release, she says the artist is somewhere in the spectrum between Tony Bennett and Justin Bieber. But it doesn’t end there — Perri says she’s ready to start work on a new album and with 32 song ideas already in the vault, she says she just wants to come up with more: “I’m always writing… Writers should never stop writing.” Now 100% recovered from vocal surgery (fun fact: Perri’s doctor is the same doctor Adele used when she also underwent surgery last year), we’re excited to see what 2012 holds for Perri, and who the mystery duet will be with!
What a year, right? As we get ready to put the finishing touches on the year that was, it’s time to look back at the music videos that define the year 2011. Tonight, we’ll be airing a supersized edition of the VH1 Top 20 Music Video Countdown that takes a look back at the Top 40 music videos of the year. Be sure to tune-in to VH1 tonight at 7 p.m. ET/PT to see your favorite videos of the year in all of their widescreen, HD glory, but we couldn’t resist giving you guys a sneak peek at the list here on VH1 Tuner this morning.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the Top 40 Videos of 2011…
Soundtracks may not be the music blockbusters they once were (think the nine-times-platinum Top Gun soundtrack), but in some cases, they can still pack a punch?not only in terms of sales, but also in terms of singles and other original songs. One of the few holdovers is the much-loved (particularly over at The Fab Life) Twilight Saga, and last night the first single from the Breaking Dawn: Part 1 soundtrack, Bruno Mars‘s “It Will Rain,” hit YouTube and iTunes, following the announcement earlier in the day of the full tracklisting. His string-laden heartbreak ballad is perfectly suited for the series’s melodrama
Mars isn’t the only You Oughta Know alum making an appearance?Twilight Saga superfan Christina Perri contributed a song, a fact she excitedly blogged about yesterday (under the title “My Dream Came True!”). The two artists are among the notable inclusions on the tracklisting (which we’ve reprinted after the jump). Read more…