Frank Ocean felt horribly about cancelling a string of European festival tour dates where he was scheduled to take the stage with Coldplay. Along the way Frank has picked up a couple of new gigs, including performing at this year’s 2012 VMAs where we secretly hope he gives us a visual to “Pyramids.” On September 15th, FO will serve as the musical guest for Saturday Night Live’s premiere episode for its 38th season. Wowzers. Can you believe SNL has been around for 38 seasons? The success of Frank’s Channel Orange is shaping up for one blast of a year for the R&B newbie. Read more…
It’s only fit that “I Will Wait,” the first single off of Mumford & Sons long-awaited Babel come accompanied by a video of the road, passing endlessly behind. The British bluegrass band have come a long way since their days as VH1 You Oughta Know artists, topping charts and rounding the world on seemingly endless tour. And instead of just logging the miles, they put them to work, mining the distance for inspiration and road-testing new material all along the way. As bassist Ted Dwane told Rolling Stone recently, “Being away so much for the last couple of years is inevitably a theme on the record;” and as frontman Ben Lovett explained to Spin, “touring so much and playing so many different kinds of places, especially big ones, affected how we hear ourselves as a band.” And so they return, all the better for the work and wait.
This heartbroken first taste of their new album, a swelling tale of love put on hold, just how worthwhile the wait was. Driven by banjos and punctuated by the the sort of stomping chorus they’re so famous for, “I Will Wait” grows and grows, and then grows and bigger still to fill the venues they regularly fill, before getting quiet so that Lovett can promise, “I will be home, as well as strong strong/And use my head alongside my heart.” The wait, it will be worth it.
Babel hits shelves September 25th.
Since their 2007 debut, Mumford & Sons have exploded from London porch-stomping, You Oughta Know artists past into the Grammy nominated, chart-topping, Unplugged playing, movie star marrying, scene-leaders they are today. And all this with just one album, Sigh No More, to their name. To be sure, all these years later we still have those twelve tracks in regular rotation on our iPods. But it’s time that the “Dust Bowl Dance” goes on. Thankfully, the Mumford & Sons have at long last confirmed that a sophomore album is on the way. Babel will hit shelves September 25th and will include twelve new songs to take us into the fall.
There’s no doubt that 2011 was the year of the “doof doof”. From the rise of David Guetta and LMFAO to the euro-club beats adopted in an overwhelming majority pop songs from Rihanna‘s “We Found Love” to Britney Spears‘ “I Wanna Go”, there was no avoiding the thudding sound of the sub woofer and all the manic, Ibiza-esque dance-party vibes that went with it. But if you abide by the laws of physics, you’ll know that for all actions, there is an equal and opposing reaction — and we can see the specter of antithesis looming for 2012. While last year saw an almost completely unblemished carpet of techno beats upholster the music landscape, 2012 looks set to tear that carpet up and replace it with raw wood.
We’re talking about the new guard, a genre of new artists we’ve dubbed “realwave” (thanks to Carles for giving us the ability to invent genres with the simple suffix “wave”), who have been lurking on the sidelines but still managing to make some noise despite the deafening reverberations around them. It began with the ascent of Adele, Mumford & Sons and Bon Iver — artists, who are, for all intents and purposes, artists. In 2011, these artists represented “authenticity,” or the ability to make music that was not only chart topping and relateable, but that also relied on the strength of songwriting, real instruments and organic talent. Yep, that means no auto-tuned voices, synthetic bass lines or garish costuming.
From Adele’s beautiful, heartfelt lyricism and emotive live vocal to Mumford & Sons’ rootsy instrumentals and Bon Iver’s gently experimental, dynamic sound, these artists have provided a much needed sanctuary from banging beats and flashing lights. And perhaps now, after we’ve worn the soles of our dancing shoes right into our heels, we’re actively seeking more realwave. We went to the party, sure, and we had the time of our lives, but it’s morning now, the sun is shining through the cracks in the curtains, our heads are splitting and we’re groping at the bedside table for Advil and Gatorade.
Last night at the 2012 Grammy Awards, Bon Iver won the prestigious award for Best New Artist, but there was still a question on everyone’s lips, or at least trending on their Twitter feed — Who is Bon Iver? While it seems strange to us that you could own a Twitter account and somehow have missed the Internet hype train that was “Holocene” last year, #whoisboniver was one of the top trending topics of conversation on the social networking device last night (a lot of people seemed to think his name was Bonny Bear).
We took to the red carpet before the ceremony to find out if anyone there knew who Bon Iver was, and we got some interesting results! Everyone we talked to, from 3-time Grammy winner Skrillex to Wilco and Mumford & Sons to Malin Ackerman, seemed to have two different pronunciations for the band’s name. The most interesting response, however, came from Snooki, who managed to throw in a penis reference and made this statement for the ages: “Well, I don’t know anybody if you’re not Rihanna.”
Ah, the Grammys! The conversation, the speculation, the anxiety! We’re gearing up to this Sunday’s awards ceremony the same way that we’re sure the rest of North America is — putting our tips on who we think will be a winner. Yesterday, we gave our opinion on who would take home the Best New Artist award, but today we’re wondering about Record Of The Year. With Adele nominated in the category, it would seem that no one is safe, but we know stranger things have happened, so let’s pretend for a second that the “Rolling In The Deep” singer isn’t a shoo in, and weigh up the odds on the other contenders.
Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”
Look, let’s just pretend Adele isn’t going to win everything at the Grammys — because the alternative is that we succumb to the fact that she’s going to win everything and that’s just no fun because it doesn’t give anyone else a fighting chance. Realistically though, “Rolling In The Deep” dominated the number one chart position last year and was a very clear favorite with critics and fans. Yeah, who are we kidding — it’s going to be really strange if “Rolling In The Deep” doesn’t win.
Bon Iver – “Holocene”
If Bon Iver front man Justin Vernon hadn’t stuck both his middle fingers up at the Grammys we would have said “Holocene” was the best bet for usurping the “Rolling In The Deep” throne. Like “Rolling In The Deep,” “Holocene” found its way to the top of almost everyone’s best of 2011 list, so who knows — maybe “Holocene” will be the song to strip Adele of her crown.
As you know, 2012 is still an infant — yes, just like Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s baby girl — so while January welcomes us with open arms, here is a list of things that need to happen in the next 12 months to help ensure a high-quality year of music:
1. Adele Needs To Sing
No word yet if Adele will be performing at the Grammys, but she will be singing at the Brit Awards in March. You can’t have an album as big as 21 and not tour. And because Adele’s sophomore album was so huge, she may have to play arenas, the type of venue she fears playing (ironically, her voice is made for such big places).
2. Buy A Ticket To See Madonna
Every young pop star needs to buy a ticket to see Madonna when she inevitably goes out on tour this year in support of her forthcoming album, MDNA. Yes, there are pop stars younger, sexier and more talented than Madonna, but this is a lesson in longevity and consistency. Madonna is 53 years old and is going to put on a high-energy, non-stop show that will humble the artists who drive on the pop-highway she paved.
What a year, right? As we get ready to put the finishing touches on the year that was, it’s time to look back at the music videos that define the year 2011. Tonight, we’ll be airing a supersized edition of the VH1 Top 20 Music Video Countdown that takes a look back at the Top 40 music videos of the year. Be sure to tune-in to VH1 tonight at 7 p.m. ET/PT to see your favorite videos of the year in all of their widescreen, HD glory, but we couldn’t resist giving you guys a sneak peek at the list here on VH1 Tuner this morning.
So, without further ado, here is our list of the Top 40 Videos of 2011…
40. Daughtry – “Crawling Back To You”
39. Jessie J – “Domino”
38. The Civil Wars – “Barton Hollow”
37. Demi Lovato – “Skyscraper”
36. Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – “Paris (Ooh La La)”
35. Britney Spears – “Criminal”
34. Nickelback – “When We Stand Together”
33. Colbie Caillat – “Brighter Than The Sun”
32. Nicki Minaj – “Super Bass”
31. David Guetta featuring Usher – “Without You”
Continue along for the Top 30 videos of 2011!
Each week here on VH1 Tuner, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer’s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
If you’re already sick of holiday music—especially since department stores have been holding Muzak systems hostage since Halloween—here is a list of non-Christmas songs that still give an essence of the holiday season. (Rest assured, this list was not complied by doing a quick Google search; all of the following tracks are quality tested and in rotation on my iPod.)
1.) “Starlight,” Muse
One of the best “big-rock” love songs of the 2000’s.
2.) “Fake Plastic Trees,” Radiohead
A tune that always comes to mind whenever I zigzag through a plastic tree display at a department store.
3.) “Toys Go Winding Down,” Primus
Behooves me that this song has yet to be exploited on various Christmas music compilations.
4.) “Walking With A Ghost,” Tegan & Sara
Ebenezer Scrooge can totally relate.
5.) “Snowflake,” Malachai
Malachai’s The Ugly Side of Love was my sleeper-hit album of last year, and this is my favorite track from it.
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 more than a few of our amazing You Oughta Know artists on the 2012 Grammy Nominees list. We made our predictions for nominees for Song of the Year and Record of the Year, Best New Artist, and Album of the Year yesterday, and now we’re pretty excited to see some of the artists that we’ve introduced to you succeeding so decisively in their different genres. Here’s a little recap of the members of the VH1 family that were awarded Grammy nominations last night:
As we predicted, Adele was a shoo-in for a fistful of nominations, given that her fandom is almost universal and that she’s widely regarded by the industry as seminal in the singer/songwriter field. “Rolling In The Deep” scored nominations for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video, while “Someone Like You” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. Adele’s album, 21, was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album. You can check out Adele exclusively answering 5 intimate questions for VH1′s You Oughta Know here.