The Civil Wars are, sadly, still broken up. Nary a day goes by when we don’t find ourselves wishing that John Paul White and Joy Williams could find a way to bury the proverbial hatchet (or even a literal one, if that would help!) and return to making music together. All is not lost, though, as evidenced by their latest video from their eponymous second album, “Dust To Dust.”
The Civil Wars may be in a civil war of their own, but that didn’t stop them from topping this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales charts. Meanwhile, those unstoppable Now collections continue to sell, as does “Blurred Lines.” #SoundScanner’s look at the week in sales:
The Civil Wars have been living up to their namesake during these last few months. In November the duo announced an indefinite hiatus from touring due to “irreconcilable differences of ambition,” and now Joy Williams is facing some inner turmoil of her own.
It’s been nearly eight months since The Civil Wars announced their “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” and, quite frankly, we’re still gutted by the news. Even though Joy Williams and John Paul White are no longer on speaking terms, there is a small silver lining for fans of the Grammy-winning duo: August 6 will see the release of The Civil Wars, the follow-up to the duo’s much beloved 2011 debut. VH1 and CMT are excited to exclusively premiere the first video from this project, which is for the album’s single, “Same Old, Same Old.”
You know how you always hear attendees at awards shows say that it’s just nice to be nominated? While that sentiment certainly holds true for our pack of amazing VH1 You Oughta Know alumni who earned themselves 17 nominations at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, the reality of the situation is that it feels even better to win. That’s why we here at VH1 are bursting at the seams with pride tonight that our You Oughta Know family took home SEVEN GRAMMYS (!!!) at tonight’s ceremonies, including honors in two of the Big Four Categories: Record Of The Year (Gotye‘s “Somebody I Used To Know”) and Album of the Year (Mumford And Sons‘ Babel).
Now that the BeyBowl is safely in the rearview mirror, we now turn our attention towards the 2013 Grammys, which will be airing live from Los Angeles this Sunday night, February 10. Just today, we learned that our You Oughta Know alumnus Bruno Mars is set to perform alongside Sting (which makes PERFECT sense when you consider that “Locked Out Of Heaven” sounds exactly like an old Police song), which is yet another in a long line of performances that we’re looking forward to on Sunday. And while we’re on the topic of You Oughta Know artists…
Our You Oughta Know alumni scored an impressive 17 nominations when the 2013 Grammy nominations were announced back in December, including four nominations in the big four categories. Our February 2012 YOK artist Gotye picked up a nomination for Record Of The Year for his song “Somebody I Used To Know,” a song that he performed for a standing room only crowd in our 20th floor lobby earlier this year; our May 2012 You Oughta Know artist Ed Sheeran scored a nomination for Song Of The Year for his haunting ballad “The A Team”; our July pick, The Lumineers, were nominated for Best New Artist; and our YOK friends from way back in 2010, Mumford & Sons, picked up a nod in the Album Of The Year category for their massive new LP, Babel.
Here’s a complete list of the 2013 Grammy awards that our awesome YOK alums are nominated for this weekend:
As we go to press tonight, the future of The Civil Wars is still very much up in the air. Back in November, the Grammy winning duo and You Oughta Know alumni abruptly canceled their planned slate of tour dates citing “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition.” However, December brought a shimmer of good news when the band’s manager posted a photo to Instagram of the band in the studio working on new material. Our fingers and toes are beginning to cramp after having them crossed for the last few months in hopes that we haven’t heard the last of John Paul White and Joy Williams, and today brought The Civil Wars faithful some more good news.
Today marks the release of The Civil Wars: Unplugged On VH1, a 7-song album that was recorded last spring when the band performed a knockout VH1 Unplugged set (while, we might add, Joy was pregnant). For the low low price of just five American dollars and 99 American cents, you can get your hands on a copy of the video AND audio of this truly memorable entry in the famed Unplugged canon. In addition to originals like “Barton Hollow” and “I’ve Got This Friend,” the set includes remarkable covers of Portishead‘s “Sour Times” and Michael Jackson‘s “Billie Jean” (the latter of which did not air in the original special!).
Last month The Civil Wars left their growing cadre of fans brokenhearted when they cut their North American tour short over “internal discord and irreconcilable difference of ambition.” However, we were touched by their generous return policy, and we were able to take solace in the fact that the announcement didn’t disqualify new Civil Wars music in the future. And so it seems a little time off the road was all it took to reconcile ambitions, because as Rolling Stone points out, the duo seem to be back at work on new music!
It’s not exactly an official announcement or anything, but last night Joy Williams let slip during a Twitter interview with Alison Sudol of A Fine Frenzy that she was in the studio and — better yet! — listening to new Civil Wars songs. Then later on in the evening, Williams’ husband and the band’s manager, Nate Yetton, posted a photo of a studio (above) with the caption that read “Today.” Good thing that Mayan Apocalypse was a bust, because 2013 is shaping up quite nicely.
The year is running down, and like everyone else, we are bundling up our most memorable musical moments from the year into a slew of Best Of’s. Before we get to the more obvious lists — the best albums, the best songs — we thought we would have a little fun. First up: 9 delightful collaborations, made all the more so for their unexpectedness. We aren’t talking Watch The Throne-style of-course-they-would team-ups, we’re talking collaborations that we couldn’t in our wildest dreams have imagined or that we thought we would never see, like — well, these nine:
Barton Hollow is totally “an indie record much cooler than mine,” but more careful observer might have predicted this unlikely but delightful collaboration, as Swift began yammering about her fellow Nashville transplants The Civil Wars on twitter long before this was even a possibility. We, however, were left breathless upon learning that one of the day’s biggest pop stars had teamed-up with one of our favorite You Oughta Know acts — and for a song for such a pivotal moment in the Hunger Games movie, no less! Joy Williams harmonizing turns Taylor’s girlish coo haunting, and John Paul White‘s patient guitar plucking gets the whole thing swirling. See also: “The Last Time,” Taylor’s distressed duet with Gary Lightbody of Northern Ireland’s mostly absent as of late folk rock set Snow Patrol. Taylor is a slick machine when it comes to her music, and it was a surprise to see her reaching out of bounds for this one.
Hard to believe as it may be given the boom box beats and all the sing-rapping that resulted, Warrior is allegedly a tribute to the genre Ke$ha loves the most: rock and roll. If you really strain your ears, you may hear some of that “old hippie rock” in the breakdown of “Die Young.” You won’t have to try so hard with “Dirty Pop,” which features Iggy Pop, a true and blue rock star and someone Ke$ha has spent a lot of time talking about through the years. The joy she must have felt the first time she heard him call her “Wild Child” on her own song is evident. See also: “2012,” K$’s duet with fellow weirdos The Flaming Lips.
We hate to say we told you so, but… we told you so! All year we’ve been bringing you the best new music so you can stay aurally informed, and if you’ve been doing your homework and keeping abreast of the hottest new acts with us, you’ll notice that more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists, both past and present, scored well-deserved props when the 2013 Grammy Nominees were announced tonight.
Our You Oughta Know alumni scored an impressive 17 nominations in total, including four nominations in the big four categories. Our February 2012 YOK artist Gotye picked up a nomination for Record Of The Year for his song “Somebody I Used To Know,” a song that he performed for a standing room only crowd in our 20th floor lobby earlier this year; our May 2012 You Oughta Know artist Ed Sheeran scored a nomination for Song Of The Year for his haunting ballad “The A Team”; our July pick, The Lumineers, were nominated for Best New Artist; and our YOK friends from way back in 2010, Mumford & Sons, picked up a nod in the Album Of The Year category for their massive new LP, Babel.
Here’s a complete list of the 2013 Grammy nominations that our awesome YOK alums took home tonight. #proud