Music is something that plays an integral part in our lives 365 days a year, but there is something about the summertime that makes music seem a bit more omnipresent than at other times of the years. For most of the year, music consumption is largely a solitary pursuit; it’s something you experience in your house and in your car, and for big city dwellers and gym enthusiasts, it generally exists between you, your iPhone, and your earbuds. However, when summer rolls around, all of a sudden MUSIC IS EVERYWHERE — You hear it at family barbeques in the park, rooftop parties with your friends, blaring from car windows as you walk down the street. And more often than not, you tend to hear the same songs playing in an endless loop, returning us to the days when music was more of a communal experience and not so niche.
Yes, that’s right, we added a new wrinkle to this year’s countdown. Simply visit sots.vh1.com (SOTS = Song Of The Summer, get it?) and cast YOUR vote for your favorite song on either Twitter or Facebook (or both, if that’s how you roll). Do you love some Carly Rae Jepsen? Vote for her! Do you Directioners feel like One Direction‘s “One Thing” or “What Makes You Beautiful” should be higher on the chart? Vote for them! Are you a die-hard Yeezy fan and think that this summer is all about “Mercy”? Then you should definitely vote for it! Don’t see your favorite song on the list? Hit us up on our @vh1music Twitter feed and, if we see enough volume, we’ll add it to our list of over 50 songs that you can vote on.
The massive Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN hosted a mix (over 150) of musical acts spanning across genres from country to soul. The crowd was in for a treat with acts like Phish, fun., Bon Iver and Kenny Rogers blessing the stage for the four-day festival. Lionel Richie was on hand to join Rogers for “Lady” and “All Night Long (All Night).” And Richie wasn’t the only surprise.
Rumors quickly spread that The Roots would bring out a special guest. Low and behold in what turned out to be the crowd shocker of the night, D’Angelo, who hadn’t performed on a stage in 12 years (when his last album Voodoo was released), was The Roots surprise guest. According to Yahoo Music, ?uestlove announced, “I’ve been waiting 12 years to say this. Ladies and gentlemen…D’ANGELO!” Sounding as if he’d never stepped away from the music, D’Angelo played the piano and guitar doing a nine-piece set including oldies like Jimi Hendrix’s “Have You Ever Been To Electric Ladyland” and “Power Of Soul,” Funkadelic’s “Funky Dollar Bill,” and “Hit It And Quit It,” Sly & The Family Stone’s “Babies Makin’ Babies,” The Beatles‘ “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window,” Led Zeppelin’s “What Is And What Should Never Be,” and the Time’s “My Summertime Thang.” And we can’t think of any better way to do a comeback performance than with the legendary The Roots band. Check out our gallery of fun photos from Bonnaroo. Read more…
There’s a bloody war occurring in Fun.’s “Some Nights” video. Director Anthony Mandler recreates images of the Civil War, which could easily represent any war in history. The premise of the cinema-like video is that war tragically takes a toll on life and love. One minute life can be as pleasant as watching horses in the pasture or dancing with a girl, as the opening scene shows, and within a flash the boys and men are off for battle. Read more…
The MTV Movie Awards’ eclectic mix of performers every year is always a pleasant surprise. This Sunday the annual award show has pegged Martin Solveig to DJ the music for the evening. Expect to hear some mashed up remixes of iconic movies like Jaws, Pulp Fiction and Star Wars. DJ’ing won’t be the French producers only duty of the evening as he’ll also be joining Black Keys, fun. and Wiz Khalifa as performers. Hopefully his hit “Hello” will find its way into the list of songs (or performances!) that will make you want to boogie. Read more…
fun. is currently making the rounds of the European promotional circuit, where they’re pushing their excellent new album, Some Nights. Last week, during a BBC Radio 1 visit, they covered Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know,” a clip that unsurprisingly went viral. Proving they’re fully tapped into the cultural zeitgeist, the gents stopped by the Dutch radio station 3FM yesterday and decided to tackle Carly Rae Jepsen‘s irresistible “Call Me Maybe.” Just because the threesome are reading the lyrics off of a sheet of Xerox paper doesn’t mean that they don’t understand the song’s rhythmic structure innately; their faithful cover does an admirable job of trying to match the exuberance of Jepsen’s original. While we’re anxious for someone to give “Call Me Maybe” the kind of stalkerish flip that Travisfamously gave to the Britney Spears classic “Baby One More Time”, there’s little doubt in our minds that fun.’s cover will brighten up your Wednesday morning.
It’s been a long, long time since “alternative” songs have dominated the Billboard charts like they have this year. After Katy Perry, Adele and LMFAO locked down the uppermost reaches of the Hot 100 last year, this year has belonged to artists like fun. and Gotye, who have managed to fend off pop powerhouses like Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna from hitting that #1 spot.
Perhaps as a sign of solidarity with their alternative brethren, perhaps as a show of mutual admiration, fun. decided to cover “Somebody That I Used To Know” for BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge series. This British program is best known for their ability to get huge pop stars to do semi-unlikely covers —you might recall that Florence Welch covered Drake’s “Take Care” for the program late last year— and this proves no exception. fun. even recruited Paramore‘s Hayley Williams, herself a former VH1 Diva, to sing the Kimbra portion of the song. Let us know whose version you prefer in the comments below!
This hot button issue was on the top of everyone’s mind at this year’s SXSW Festival, where the worlds of technology and music collided for a few days earlier this month. Spotify executive Sean Parkerexplained during a VH1 Rock Docs panel audience that “There’s definitely some sort of dissent brewing between record labels, publishing companies and artists [about the compensation they get from streaming services] … Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”
But what do the musicians themselves think? We sat down with a number of artists at varying stages of their careers —veteran acts like Train, The Shins, and Keane, as well as relative newcomers like Alabama Shakes, Best Coast, Fun. and Gary Clark Jr.— to get their perspectives on this controversial subject. Find out what they have to say in this exclusive VH1 Tuner video!
Fun.‘s sophomore LP, Some Nights, just came out to strong reviews and even stronger sales, buoyed by the phenomenal success of the album’s first single, “We Are Young” (which recently hit #1 on the Billboard charts). The song’s subject matter is a bit mysterious in nature, so when we caught up with the three gents who make up the band in Austin during the 2012 South By Southwest Music Festival, the very first thing we asked them was to clear up the debate surrounding the meaning of the song’s line, “I know I gave it to you months ago.”
“[It's about] The Clap,” Fun. lead singer Nate Ruess deadpanned when we asked him. Admittedly, our jaws instantly hit the floor, but then the guys started laughing. “It’s not literal, having written it,” Nate confessed. “The whole song, also isn’t necessarily about something specific. I think it’s taking insecurities and nights out and combining them into one night. It’s not literal.” PHEW.
One of our favorite new bands, fun., has become the first rock outfit in more than a decade to send a debut single to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The band’s track “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae, which we were lucky enough to hear live when the boys stopped by Big Morning Buzz Live, has shot to the number one spot from number three, boasting 1.1 million downloads sold since its release, a spot at number 41 on Radio Songs with the Hot 100′s top Airplay Gainer award, and a spot at number two on the Alternative Songs radio airplay chart. Basically, all you need to take away from this is that fun. rules, in a completely literal sense. The last time a multi-member rock band ruled this hard and topped the charts with a debut single was in December 2001/January 2002 when Nickelback burst onto the charts with “How You Remind Me.” Pushing Kelly Clarkson‘s “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” to number two, and Adele‘s “Set Fire To The Rain” to number three, fun. are beginning to look like a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, their album, Some Nights, has sneaked up to number three on the Billboard 200 behind the dominating Queens, Adele and Whitney Houston? Should Adele be scared that her previously unshakable number one might be, well, shakable?
It’s been a slow yet steady climb for New York indie rock outfit fun.‘s first single, “We Are Young.” The single was first released back in September to little fanfare, but thanks to the song’s appearance in a December episode of Glee, the track gained new life and made its way all the way to the #1 spot on the iTunes alternative charts. The anthemic qualities of “We Are Young” are manna to the ears of music supervisors everywhere, and this song was featured prominently in a Chevy commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Enough people were curious about the song that it made its way all the way to #3 in the Billboard charts; it currently sits at #6 in the Hot 100 (but, we should also note that it’s currently #1 on the iTunes charts).
.fun’s latest album, Some Nights, just hit stores this past Tuesday, and the band stopped by our headquarters here in Times Square this morning to perform a live version of “We Are Young” on Big Morning Buzz Live. Check out the video of this performance above!