Les Miz can finally lighten up, even as overall sales suffer a chill. Here’s a look at this week’s Nielsen SoundScan sales:
GOOD NEWS, FANTINE!: The Gloomy Gus movie of the year finally has something to cheer about: The Les Miserables soundtrack hits No. 1 on this week’s sales chart, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures released Wednesday. The album sold 92,000 copies this week, narrowly edging out Mumford & Sons‘ Babel for the chart’s top spot (only 1,439 sales separated the two albums). Babel benefited from a big iTunes sales push, but it wasn’t enough to edge out Jean Valjean and company. For Les Mis, bad times never seemed so good.
In addition to being the first soundtrack to hit No. 1 on the chart since The Hunger Games companion album did so in April 2012, the Les Mis soundtrack —last week’s chart runner-up— gives Russell Crowe his first-ever appearance on a No. 1 album. It’s a feat he could never achieve with his outfits 30 Odd Foot of Grunts or Russell Crowe & the Ordinary Fear of God —which despite sounding made-up were both actual Russell Crowe-fronted bands (!)— although the Oscar winner was name-checked on Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s 2011 chart-topper Watch the Throne.
With the 55th Annual Grammy Awards about a month away, the Recording Academy announced the show’s crop of performers on Wednesday morning. Among those taking the stage on February 10: The Black Keys, fun., Mumford and Sons, Rihanna and Taylor Swift. There aren’t many head-scratchers here, as the confirmed acts are among the most highly nominated artists this year– fun. and Mumford and Sons lead all eligible names with six nods each–and personalities like Taylor and RiRi are highly coveted in prime-time events given the amount of pre-show buzz they can stir up with a single tweet or sad photo opp.
On this week’s episode of the VH1 Top 20 Countdown, we’re rolling out the Top 20 videos of the year from Herald Square, New York City. That’s right, all the videos that have led the countdown throughout the different seasons of the year will now battle it out for Top 20 supremacy. But before the show airs on Saturday at 9am EST, you can still cast your vote for the video you think should take the crown for 2012. Who will it be? You’ll have to tune-in and check back with us on Saturday to find out!
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 Read more…
Scotland’s largest music festival, T In The Park, is planning an unforgettable weekend. Our favorite bad girl is set to headline the 20th anniversary of the festival along with Mumford & Sons. The pop princess and rock band couldn’t be more different as artists, but the versatility in performers is what makes for a unique show. Read more…
Two years ago Mumford & Sons made their network television debut on the Late Show With David Letterman, giving a rousing performance of Sigh No More‘s “Little Lion Man,” and notably swapping the “f***ed it up” line for a more FCC friendly “messed it up.” Last night the fire and brimstone boys returned to New York, this time to perform “I Will Wait,” from their new album Babel, with all the same banjos and vests and close knit vocal harmonizing, but also with a horn section and — Marcus Mumford‘s toe tapping dialed up to Earth Rattling Stomp — even more bombast than their sprightly first go.
For nostalgia sake, check out Mumford & Sons’ network television debut below.
Watch with the sound off, and you might think that Mumford & Sons‘ new video for “Lover of the Light” is the prequel to Prometheus. The 6-minute video is directed by and starring the Alien franchise and Hackney’s own Idris Elba‘s, though this time he’s blind and basking in a world so beautiful as to be almost unearthly rather then captaining a misguided mission to Mars for whatever sort of extraterrestrial immortality may be buried there.
We admit that we hadn’t imagined this Elba/Mumford & Sons collaboration possible (as Vulture points out, even Marcus Mumford‘s wife, Carey Mulligan, is several degrees removed from Elba), but the video is well acted, really pretty and totally befitting of the song’s sort of somber reflectiveness, and we’re totally into the meeting of their minds! Maybe the video for “Broken Crown” could be The Wire-themed? Read more…
Mumford & Sons are of course talented, charming and let’s not forget stylish in those suspenders, but their quick and steady rise to fame was due in large part to their hard work. Once just a few banjo toting boys in London, they’ve since put in more than many miles touring, selling out small venues and large arenas everywhere they went because their stomps and howls really are that good live.
As they wont do, the band spent this past summer Stateside trekking back and forth the country wide on their “The Gentlemen of the Road” tour, but this time they invited documentary directors Fred&Nick to tag along. They tapped interviews and captured behind-the-scenes footage of the band’s life on the road, as well as the tour’s boisterous finale at Colorado’s beautiful Red Rocks amphitheater (as previewed in the “I Will Wait” video), and they have cut it all into a film called The Road to Red Rocks, out November 26th. From the looks of this first trailer (above), it will spend plenty of time showcasing Mumford & Sons good side — their epic onstage side. Our toe’s already tapping in anticipation.
PSY is slowly but surely becoming the next big phenomenon in music with the growing popularity of “Gangnam Style,” which climbed the charts due to its viral YouTube hit. Despite the song’s success it couldn’t ease its way pass Maroon 5‘s “One More Night” to take the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. In the closest race between Nos. 1 and 2 since February, “One More Night” kept its No. 1 spot for the third week in a row. “Gangnam Style” was nearly 500 overall chart points away from the coveted head position. Considering how close it was we think PSY should still honor his promise to perform “topless in a place where everyone can watch.” Read more…
For years now, the fine folks at Daytrotter have been doing a great thing where they open their studio doors to bands, big or breaking, for an extra-stripped down set. Over the years, they’ve featured offbeat and intimate sessions with everyone from Bon Iver to the Avett Brothers, Kid Sister to Dawes (threetimesover). This week, Mumford & Sons get the Daytrotter treatment. Recorded on their tour bus during a stop-over in Illinois, the eight-song session counts Babel closer “Not With Haste” and a slew of covers, two of which are particularly noteworthy: Bruce Springsteen‘s “Atlantic City” and Bob Dylan‘s “Nine Hundred Miles.”
Dylan and Springsteen are giants in the American music landscape, but British Marcus makes for a worthy Dylan and their signature banjo makes for a dark and stormy “Atlantic City.” And we probably should have expected as much, they being the gang of Brits who sparked an Americana revival. Their first new album Babel had a killer first week out, they deserve this flexing victory lap.
Head over to Daytrotter and have a listen for yourself. What songs would you like to hear them cover?