by (@zaragolden)

Jim Shearer Scopes VH1 And SCOPE Art Show’s Artists On The Rise

Anybody who is anybody in the art world, and also Rick Ross and Diddy, shipped down to Florida last week to celebrate the latest and greatest in visual arts at Miami’s Art Week. This year, VH1 teamed up with Fiat and SCOPE Art Show to present the work of our three up-and-coming Artists on the Rise and for a raging party that included a Fiat Instagram sharing station and DJ remix bar and a performance from December’s You Oughta Know band, Metric. Because we couldn’t all be there, we send our own Jim Shearer down to scout the scene and report back.

What did he find? One half of DJ duo The Dolls’ Mia Moretti suggesting that emerging artists are important and interesting because “no one’s really judged them yet, the world hasn’t made their decision,”  SCOPE Artist On The Rise artist Patrick Martinez explaining that he approached the show as an opportunity “step-up and shine,” and “Not Over You” star Gavin DeGraw putting aside his guitar to make his debut as a visual artist. “This is ‘The Love Beast of Gavin Degraw,’” he said, titling his sketch before explaining that, “This is how I feel on the inside.” It doesn’t get much more emerging than that.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Live In The Vineyard: A Stripped Down Gavin DeGraw Dials Up His Storytelling Prowess, While Delta Rae Earns Raves

Gavin DeGraw and Delta Rae At Live In The Vineyard

The weather in California’s Napa Valley has been spectacular during the first two days of Live In The Vineyard, but the terrifying conditions that Hurricane Sandy ravaged upon New York City have been at the forefront of every performer’s mind, perhaps none more so than Gavin DeGraw‘s. “Don’t know if you’ve heard, but this bitch Sandy came through and f***ed up my city,” the New York City native announced to the lively crowd in attendance at the Uptown Theater last night, where he was headlining the evening’s stellar lineup that also included Martin Harley, Casey Abrams, A Rocket To The Moon, and Hedley. NYC was never far from DeGraw’s mind during his eight-song, 50 minute performance, during which he also dropped General George Patton’s famous quote “If you’re going through hell, keep going” before performing his new single “Soldier,” in an attempt to deliver some psychic inspiration to the city’s incredibly determined and resilient populus.

NAPA, CA - NOVEMBER 02: Gavin DeGraw performs at the Uptown Theatre at Live In The Vineyard on November 2, 2012 in Napa, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)

DeGraw is one of the more affable and charming performers on the circuit these days, so despite the heavy thoughts on his mind, his concert was far from a funereal affair. Leading the set off with “Sweeter,” his ditty about a Lothario who can’t help but cave-in to his darkest romantic desires, the crowd —all of whom were a few glasses deep in vino— immediately rose to their feet. Staying consistent with all of the performances at Live In The Vineyard, DeGraw stayed perched behind his piano for the entire set, accompanied only by a gentleman wielding an acoustic guitar. This arrangement meant we didn’t get to see any of the fancy footwork he perfected during his “fake dance career” on Dancing With The Stars earlier this year, but this stripped down set gave DeGraw an opportunity to flex his considerable storytelling muscle. He delighted the audience by giving some clues as to the origins of songs like “Chariot” and “I Don’t Wanna Be” (the song that “payed [his] college debts”), before closing his outstanding set with his smash hit, “Not Over You.”

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by (@unclegrambo)

Live In The Vineyard: LP’s Haunting Voice And Otherwordly Whistling Skills Get The Weekend Started Off On The Right Note

LP Performs At Live In The Vineyard 2012

Twice a year, the not-so-disparate worlds of music and wine are paired together during the weekend-long Live In The Vineyard event, held in the incredibly picturesque environs of Northern California’s Napa Valley. Co-founded by music industry veterans Claire Parr and Bobbii Hach-Jacobs, the event is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend by bringing high wattage talent like Alanis Morrissette, Gavin DeGraw, Adam Lambert, VH1 You Oughta Know artists Delta Rae and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, and more into the grape-growing capital of the United States to perform.

The weekend’s festivities kicked off in earnest last night at Bottega, the restaurant founded by celebrity chef Michael Chiarello (Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, the Food Network’s Easy Entertaining). Chiarello was celebrating the upcoming release of his new cookbook, Live Fire, and put on a cooking demonstration —pasta and clams on the grill!— with the spritely musician LP. The Brooklyn-born, ukelele-wielding LP (Laura Pergolizzi) looks a little bit like Don’t Look Back-era Bob Dylan, but sings like Tegan Quin if Tegan had a more expansive vocal range.

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by (@unclegrambo)

EXCLUSIVE: Gavin DeGraw Talks His “Fake Dance Career” On DWTS, How He Avoided Leotards, And Holograms

When it was announced that Gavin DeGraw was going to appear on Dancing With The Stars this season, many critics initially pegged him for early elimination. After all, even he would admit that he’s not exactly known as being the next Michael Jackson or anything. However, we here at VH1 thought that he was a real dark horse in the race for the prize, and Gavin ended up shocking most of the pundits by making it all the way to Week 5 before being eliminated.

Well, we were able to grab a few minutes on the phone with our buddy Gavin last night, and we asked him about a number of topics: what his experience was like on the show, how he managed to avoid wearing a leotard, and what his reaction was to seeing Tupac in hologram form.

VH1: First of all, congrats on making it all the way to the fifth week of competition on Dancing With The Stars! What can you tell us about the experience as a whole, as well as the samba routine that led to your eventual ouster?
Gavin DeGraw: It was an awesome time. It was a lot of work, a lot more work than anyone would ever expect it to be to get the routine down the way you want it to be before you do go up in front of 20 or 25 million people and have ‘em watch.

No pressure!
Haha, exactly. The samba was kind of our “Go For It” dance, we knew it was ambitious, but I didn’t join the show just to win a show, you know? I went on to have a great time and take on a challenge. You don’t necessarily go on to win a trophy, you go on to challenge yourself and do it in the most sportsmanlike way by avoiding easy routines.

Well, it seems like all of our VH1 readers were really impressed with the way that you improved from week to week.
The fans have been AWESOME, man. I definitely would not have made it this far with all their support, I was really, really lucky to have such a strong core group of fans, people who were really supportive of an artist that they knew was trying to do something different, something outside of my comfort zone.

Speaking of being outside your comfort zone, did you ever envision a scenario in which you would be on live TV doing a dance-off with Urkel?
Never in a million years! (Laughs) First of all, I never expected to be on a dance show to begin with, the next thing you know, I’m on a dance show with a guy who was on TV all through my youth, you know? It was really trippy. That was one of the real fascinating things about the show and the real “pinch myself” element of the show that you’d end up on stage with somebody who you grew up watching on TV, whether that was Martina Navratilova, Jack Wagner, or Jaleel White. It was something nobody saw coming, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Train Does A Dancing With The Stars “Drive By,” While We Say A Fond Goodbye To Gavin DeGraw

Well, as some slightly pessimistic fellow once pointed out, all good things must come to an end. After a stellar five-week run on Dancing With The Stars, VH1 BFF Gavin DeGraw and his dance partner Karina Smirnoff got sent home on last night’s Dancing With The Stars elimination episode. Gavin and Karina’s samba routine on Tuesday night’s episode was not well-received by the judges, but the two made a valiant effort to win the audience and the judges over last night by performing the Cha Cha during the Dance Duel portion of the evening, which saw them squaring off against Urkel and Kym Johnson. Unfortunately for Gavin and Karina, the judges chose in favor of Urkel, sending Gavin packing. It was a great run for Gavin, and with a slew of concert dates supporting his new album Sweeter on the docket, we’re pretty sure he’ll get over this temporary disappointment in no time.

It wasn’t all sad news on DWTS last night, though. Train, whose new album California 37 is in stores now, performed their new hit single “Drive By” on the show last night. The video for “Drive By” is currently #2 on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, so maybe this will give the song the boost it needs to top Katy Perry on the charts. Watch Train perform “Drive By” below, and be sure to tune-in to VH1 this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. to see where Train places this week!

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by (@unclegrambo)

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Will Gavin DeGraw Live To Dance Another Day On DWTS?

We certainly hope so! Our favorite contestant on this season of Dancing With The Stars is, without a doubt, Mr. Twinkle Toes himself, Gavin DeGraw. He and his partner Karina Smirnoff danced an inspired version of the tango last night to the Rolling Stones‘ classic “Paint It Black”, channeling the episode’s Rock Week theme in an authentic way that few other contestants were able to pull off. (We’ve got the video for you below.)

Judging by the scores that the duo received from the judging panel, Gavin and Karina are in pretty decent shape; there are five other pairs that received lower scores last night. “I felt like I was watching Johnny Depp on stage, you were so in character,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba gushed. “Part of this is creating the magic on the ballroom floor and bringing us in … The movements were all grand and you had intention behind every move.”

Be sure to tune-in to ABC tonight to see if Gavin can make it through! And watch Gavin’s EXCLUSIVE video commentary above, too…

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by (@unclegrambo)

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Gavin DeGraw Rumbas Backstage At Dancing With The Stars

New York City resident Gavin DeGraw might currently be biding his time in Los Angeles, but he found himself in a “New York State Of Mind” on Dancing With The Stars last night. DeGraw and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, danced the rumba last night to the Billy Joel classic, earning their best marks of the season so far from the judging panel.

DeGraw started his performance in a familiar location —behind the piano, tickling the ivories— but quickly displayed his ever-improving chops on the dance floor, bringing a genuine, Swayze-like vibe of romantic heat to the proceedings. His dance earned a standing ovation from the crowd and reduced judge Carrie Ann Inaba to a puddle of gushiness. “My heart’s going all fluttery for you, Gavin!”, she proclaimed. “There is something so sexy and sensual about the way you move!”

Despite the praise, the scores indicate that Gavin and Karina aren’t totally out of the woods yet. They’re in a five-way tie heading into tonight’s elimination, and as long as we’re already working with a Billy Joel theme, let’s all make sure that Gavin doesn’t have to “Say Goodbye To Hollywood” this evening. Watch his special backstage video, shot just moments after he got off stage, and head over to to vote for Gavin before the polls close at 11 a.m. this morning!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Gavin DeGraw Turns The Tonight Show Into A “Sweeter” Place

Phew! Our buddy Gavin DeGraw survived another week on Dancing With The Stars, which means that we’ll be getting more backstage reports from one of our favorite singer-songwriters next week. And since he’ll be making his home on the West Coast for the time-being, it only made sense that he stopped by the Tonight Show set last night to perform a rollicking version of his hot new single, “Sweeter.”

The title track from his new album makes the case that Gavin, not Trey Songz, should be the one with the title of Mr. Steal Yo’ Girl. It’s rare that studio audiences on late night talk shows hoot and holler during the musical portion of show, but you can clearly hear a cadre of females squealing at various points while Gavin is up on stage. His ode to the carnal pleasures of creepin’ has clearly struck a vein with his audience, and combined with his exposure on DWTS, look for this song to make a big dent on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown chart soon!

Elsewhere in late night…
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by (@unclegrambo)

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Gavin DeGraw Talks Some Jive Behind The Scenes At Dancing With The Stars

Anybody who knows Gavin DeGraw knows he’s a real wild child, which is why his choice to dance the jive with his partner Karina Smirnoff to “Wild One” last night on Dancing With The Stars was an inspired choice. His outfit was an homage to Marlon Brando‘s from the 1953 film The Wild One, but his moves were way more footloose and fancy-free than Brando was ever able to pull off. The judges seem to concur as well, particularly Len Goodman, who told him “I liked your attitude, I liked the energy you came out with, and for me, this is an improvement on last week.” Gavin and Karina’s score of 21 tied the couple for 8th place out of the 12 remaining competitors, which would seemingly put them out of the woods. But, in order to make sure, be sure to vote for Gavin!

Above, we’ve got the second exclusive report that Gavin Degraw has filed from backstage at Dancing With The Stars. He doesn’t seem nearly as concerned with being eliminated as he does at having to go back home to New York City and cleaning his apartment, which is definitely something that we can identify with. Best of luck to Gavin and Karina, here’s hoping they advance to Week 3!

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by (@unclegrambo)

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Gavin DeGraw Files His First Report As VH1′s Backstage Dancing With The Stars Correspondent

We here at VH1 have been longtime supporters of Gavin DeGraw. So when we heard the news that he was going to be competing in Season 14 of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, we put in a call to our ole pal Gavin to see if he wouldn’t mind sending us some video commentary from backstage after the show wraps each week. He kindly agreed, and what you see above is his very first installment!

So, how did Gavin feel he performed on last night’s debut episode? “Well, I wish I could have rehearsed it a couple more times, to be honest, but I think we did a good job,” he explained while standing in his dressing room alongside his gorgeous dance partner, Karina Smirnoff, just moments after having performed on the show. The couple danced the foxtrot —if you missed the episode last night, you can view it on Hulu— and got some good feedback about their chemistry and moves from the judges. Will Gavin and Karina make it onto Week 2? We certainly hope so! Be sure to call and vote for Gavin, and tune into the DWTS results show tonight to find out if these two maniacs on the dancefloor will live to dance another day!

(PS: Have you seen Gavin’s new video for “Sweeter” yet? IT’S A DOOZY.)

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