by (@zaragolden)

The 9 Most Unexpectedly Delightful Musical Collaborations Of 2012

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:

9. Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars, “Safe & Sound”


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.

8. Ke$ha and Iggy Pop, “Dirty Pop”


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.

Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Jack White Calls Lady Gaga An “Artifice,” Then Takes It Back (Sort Of)

Unlike Kendrick Lamar and fern fanatics, Jack White is not really feeling Lady Gaga these days. In an interview with Esquire UK, the banjo-wielding rock star went in on Pop Stars These Days and their eagerness to cater to fans, calling only the Mother Monster our by name:

“I don’t think she lives it because it’s all artifice,” says White of Gaga. “It’s all image with no meaning behind it. You can’t sink your teeth into it. It’s a sound bite. It’s very of this age, because that’s what people want.”

Color us not-exactly-surprised. This is pretty standard Rock Star-on-Pop Star complaint. White is a rock star who plays guitar and wears a lot of black and grits his teeth when he performs, and Lady Gaga gets carried around in giant eggs and wears meat dresses and, well, is really just something else. But alas, because the quote has been picked up and spun by news outlets far and wide, and because now we are all listening, White has decided he’s got more to say.

Read more…

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Michael Jackson’s Thriller Turns 30: How The Video To “Thriller” Changed The Game

 

There will never be another musical genius like Michael Jackson. Now that that’s out of the way, today marks the 30th anniversary of MJ’s classic sixth studio album, Thriller. One album produced greats like “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Thriller,” “Beat It,” “Billie Jean” and “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).” As usual he outdid himself with a project draped in smooth vocals, feel-good lyrics and melodic instrumentation. But aside from the album’s greatness, Thriller is etched in history books for one reason: the video to “Thriller.” Read more…

by (@zaragolden)

Is “People Like Us” Kelly Clarkson’s “Born This Way”?

At last, the third of Kelly Clarkson‘s three new songs from her forthcoming Greatest Hits–Chapter One, out November 19th, has leaked. First came the gripping “Catch My Breath,” then “No Rush,” a slow burning duet with country OG Vince Gill; and today “People Like Us,” a throbbing outsiders anthem, makes three. Clarkson’s catalog is not short this sort of inspiro-pop songs — “Stronger,” “Breakaway,” and we thought “Catch My Breath” was pretty inspiring, for three — but “People Like Us” finds Clarkson cuing her inner Lady Gaga and belting “Born This Way” levels of encouragement.

Let’s listen:

by (@zaragolden)

Lady Gaga Hijacks The Vibe On Her Version Of Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”

Though far from a disappointing whole, Kendrick Lamar‘s good kid, m.A.A.d. city is short the unlikely Lady Gaga collaboration that had everyone buzzing all summer. Then, rumors had it that Gaga might appear uncredited on the chorus of “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe;” those rumors turned out to be false, but not entirely unmerited. Apparently Lady Gaga was supposed to be on the song, but was too late turning in her part and so the job went instead to a singer named Anna Wise, and the album dropped without any sort of Gaga-experiment. Never one to leave her Little Monsters hanging, Lady Gaga released her version of “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” last night on Twitter. Read more…

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All Your Favorite Musicians Have Voted, Have You?

The big day is upon us: Happy Election Day! After many months of endorsements and rallying, even the most famous and busy musicians are taking some time to hit the polls or submit their absentee ballots. And because it’s such a special day, many are snapping (sometimes illegal) photos and sharing the experience. Below, because we sincerely hope you’ll follow their example and exercise your right to vote today, we’re rounding-up all their Tweets and Instagrams as they share them. Until the polls close… Read more…

by (@lindseyweber)

Lady Gaga Vs. Rihanna: Who Did Halloween Ganja Queen Better?

Apparently, these two pop divas forgot to coordinate their Halloween costumes—or DID THEY? I hope they got together for some celebratory “hangouts” before going out, because both women went dressed as each of their favorite past time: Marijuana. But because this is a blog and I a mere human, I had to pit these two Ganja Queens against each other in a BATTLE FOR THE THRONE.

Who deserves the very strong smelling grand prize?

There are categories! This is serious.

by (@fdot415)

Friday Face-Off: Lady Gaga vs. Lady Marmalade

We’re getting freaky with our Friday Face-Off Music Video poll this week, because Halloween is here and we know at least half of you will be barely dressed as sexy-somethings, tricking for adult treats this weekend. Don’t lie. It’s okay, because Lady Gaga‘s “Judas” and Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mýa and P!nk‘s collaboration “Lady Marmalade” feature costumes worse than yours. Nothing tops pop stars posed as prostitutes: Gaga as Mary Magdalene and X-tina’s crew (un)dressed as Moulin Rouge’s best. So, who has the freakier video?

Team Lady Gaga: Felicia Daniels, Associate Producer, VH1.com Music  (@fdot415)

You don’t have to be a Little Monster to freak over this racy clip. It has everything you want in a Lady Gaga spectacle. Religious imagery ala Madonna? Check. Sassy dance moves courtesy of Miss “Boom Boom KatLaurieann Gibson? Check. Dramatic, skin-baring, Haute couture costumes? Take it to the bank and cash that check, because “Judas” has all of the aforementioned and then some. Take the poll and read our case for

by (@zaragolden)

Scientists Named A New Fern Species After Lady Gaga, And 4 More Organisms Named For Musicians

Fronds up! A group of scientists from Duke University announced this week that they have named a newly discovered genus of ferns after Lady Gaga. The scientists say “Gaga” was an obvious choice, as the ferns have a “somewhat fluid definitions of gender” and because the sequence GAGA shows up in each varieties’ DNA sequencing. Perhaps less scientific, Kathleen Pryer, director of the school’s herbarium, cops to being a fan of the Mother Monster: “We think that her second album, Born This Way, is enormously empowering, especially for disenfranchised people and communities like LGBT, ethnic groups, women — and scientists who study odd ferns!” Black, white beige or fern greenCause, baby, you were born/spawned/germinated this way.

As it turns out, scientists aren’t just eyeball to the microscope all the time’ if these pop star organisms are any indication, they tend to have good taste in music, too. Read more…