Neon Hitch made her television debut as a solo artist on Jimmy Fallon, where she performed her new single, “Gold.” Co-written by Claude Kelly, Bruno Mars and Hitch herself, “Gold” is a equal parts club banger and lush pop anthem, aggressive beat and pretty vocals. Whomever she’s singing about may shine like gold, but last night Neon shined quite literally neon. In a glowing bra and with a set of glowing phoenix wings to match, she bounced around the stage while her neon-tibal painted back-up dancers pulsed around her. We find that artists generally keep things simple when they perform on late night, but no, not Hitch — she goes Lady Gaga-lite. The raunch may have been toned down a bit by her standards, but neon never fades and Hitch was as provocative as ever.
Performing in front of glowing climbing nets, the Gym Class Heroes looked and sounded great at their VH1 Unplugged taping here in New York City a few weeks back. Stripped down to acoustic guitars and a brush sticks, they got us going with a set that included new favorites like “The Fighter,” old favorites like “Clothes Off,” and special guests like the beautiful Neon Hitch and Fall Out Boy‘s Patrick Stump (with whom we spoke to exclusively before the show). The Heroes, Stump and Hitch go way back, and so in addition to the unplugging, there was also lots of catching up and goofing off. Our photographer Brendan Tobin was there to catch all. The warm up, the big show, the cool down — check his pictures out below!
VH1 Unplugged: Gym Class Heroes will make its online premiere tomorrow, Thursday, July 12, at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. You’ll be able to catch it on VH1 that night at 12 a.m. ET/PT.
At VH1, countless hours are spent determining what music best complements our shows. In fact, the team responsible for this task, known as the Creative Music Integration (CMI) group, listens to thousands of songs each month in an attempt to figure out how best to utilize musical cues to reinforce the emotion and drama on shows like Single Ladies and Basketball Wives. We thought it would be a cool idea to give you an inside glimpse into this world.
To this end, we’ve put together a list of all the songs featured on our network in May — from artists like Santigold, Estelle, Tank, Neon Hitch and up-and-comer Elle King. Additionally, we’ve included commentary from CMI team members as to why they selected songs for particular scenes as well as a Spotify playlist for you to sample. Enjoy, and stay tuned for our June playlist!
As we hold our breath in anxious anticipation for the May 15th release date of Trespassing, it’s good to know that Adam Lambert is right there with us. At last night’s 2012 NewNowNext Awards, which aired on our sister station Logo, Adam delighted the Glambert Nation by choosing to perform the title track from his new album instead of the first single, “Better Than I Know Myself.” Now, he has neither confirmed nor denied that “Trespassing” will be the next single from the record, but after the reception that this high energy rendition of the song got from the audience, we can certainly imagine that it’s definitely in the running.
Thematically, the song reminds us of a 2012 update of the song “Signs”, originally recorded in 1970 by the Canadian rock act Five Man Electrical Band, but popularized by the hair metal act Tesla in 1990. Both songs use the metaphor of signs to detail the way that an overly rigid and uptight society tries to get individuals to conform; with the song “Signs”, “long haired freaky people” are being oppressed, and in “Trespassing”, you could easily infer that Lambert is referring to the LGBT community. As Lambert sings in the song’s chorus:
“Well I was walkin’ for some time/When I came across this sign/Saying ‘Who are you?’ and ‘Where are you from?’/We don’t like when visitors come/’No Trespassing’, that’s what it said/At least that’s what I could read/’No Trespassing’, yeah my ass! Wait ’til they get a load of me.”
We love it when Adam Lambert speaks to issues of empowerment, and this awesome performance has got us even more psyched for the May 15 release date of Trespassing!
To watch the video, head over to LogoTV.com.
[Photos: Getty Images]
The 2012 SXSW Music Festival is in the books, y’all. Your friendly neighborhood VH1 Tuner team was down in Austin for five days, but it felt more like a month (in a good way!). By that, we mean that Austin is a very inviting place, the kind of city that is big enough that you don’t get bored by it, but small enough that you get familiar with the layout quickly. In short, by the time we left the city on Sunday afternoon, it sort of felt like home.
If you’ve never been down to Austin —this was actually the first time down there for both myself and our ace photographer, Jen Marigliano— we wanted to give you a vibe of what the city is like during the festival. So, in this special SXSW edition of our long-running Music Seen feature, you’ll get a sense of what we experienced during our short trip to the Lone Star state. You’ll see some of the artists that we spent time with (like B.o.B, T.I., Neon Hitch, Train, Kimbra and more!), the crowds of people who fly in from all over the world to see live music at intimate venues, and how music truly takes over this awesome college town for six days each and every March. Enjoy!
Neon Hitch might have only performed three songs during her whirlwind visit to the 2012 SXSW Music Festival, but there’s no denying that she made a big impact on the city of Austin. After Neon performed hits like “Love U Betta” and “Ass Back Home” on Tuesday night, we managed to corral some time with her on Wednesday morning before she left for the airport.
During that time, she told us a little bit about her new record (“Benny Blanco produced pretty much the whole album, I did some with Darkchild and Greg Kurstin, and I have a great song (‘Gold’) that’s one of the singles that I wrote with Bruno Mars“) and what factors play in her decision to perform her new single, “Love U Betta,” in its radio-friendly form or it’s raunchier, unedited style. “Usually it’s not my decision,” Neon explained. “Usually someone is going, ‘You have to keep this clean, Neon, or there’s gonna be trouble.’ And I’m like, ‘Okayyyyyy!'” She also spent some time wandering the streets of Austin with our ace photographer, Jen Marigliano, for this very special SXSW edition of Music Seen.
We landed at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport yesterday afternoon around 2 p.m. Central time or so, but the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Interstate 35 as we entered downtown Austin reminded us more than a little of rush hour in Los Angeles. It’s no surprise that the infrastructure of this college town is stretched to its limits during the annual South By Southwest Festival, as upwards of 50,000 people temporarily relocate to Austin from wherever they normally call home during this ten night extravaganza. After having their run of the town for the last few days, technology companies began ceding ground to the music industry yesterday as the Music portion of SXSW began in earnest.
When we finally got settled yesterday afternoon and picked up our badge from the cavernous Austin Convention Center, we made our way over to the Warner Sound Showcase at La Zona Rosa, located at the far east end of 4th Street. The showcase wasn’t set to start until 7:30, but when we strolled up at 7:00 or so, there were already hundreds of people lined up in the street hoping to see the likes of Neon Hitch, Theophilus London and Santigold.
After a dubstep-heavy DJ set from Alex English (Note: NOT the same Alex English that was the highest-scoring player in the NBA during the 1980s), Neon Hitch took the stage promptly at 8:30 p.m. Flanked by two shirtless dudes with tribal paint on their faces and drums around their waist, Neon Hitch opened her three-song set with “Bad Dog”, an electro stomper in which she declares “You know I’m yours so rip my clothes off.” Well, truth be told, she wasn’t exactly wearing a ton of clothes to begin with, but nonetheless, she succeeded to whip the crowd into an early frenzy with her provocative attire and compelling stage presence. She proceeded to belt out the hook to “Ass Back Home”, her hit with Gym Class Heroes, before closing her too-brief set with her current single, “Love U Betta.” She curiously refrained from dropping the f-bomb that appears in her unedited version of this song in front of the live audience, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind.
Neon Hitch’s new video for “Love U Betta” opens with the metaphorical blossoming of a flower, but for us the meaning is twofold — sure there’s an easy likeness to draw with female anatomy which is in keeping with the “Love U Betta” thematics, but there’s also the blooming of Neon Hitch as a performer who is coming into her own at this very moment. Then there’s the sugar/spice dichotomy which has Neon Hitch pulling some incredibly sexy, NSFW moves, on a chair in a bare room (reminiscent of Britney’s “Stronger”), in a dark cemetery and rubbing up against a lifelike mannequin. This video is definitely not for the faint of heart, as it sees Neon Hitch gyrating, bending and pulling some extremely provocative shapes, and dammit, she’s pretty sexy all the while. We’re also bopping along to the infectious clubby beat, and we’re sure we’ll be doing so even as we hum the tune this evening as we head home on the subway. Yeah, OK, we concede — Neon Hitch CAN love you better.
Adam Lambert fans, at the ready, on your marks, get set — jump up and down filled with glee! The NewNowNext Awards have announced that Lambert will be performing live at their next ceremony on April 5th, and we’ve got our little hearts set on hearing some tracks from his forthcoming album, Trespassing. Joining Adam on stage will be the inimitable Neon Hitch, whose star is quickly rising following her collaboration with Gym Class Heroes on “Ass Back Home”, and who is nominated for a Brink-of-Fame: Music Artist Award. The whole affair will be hosted by the progeny of rock royalty, Kelly Osbourne, so there’s more than enough to get excited about.
The NewNowNext Awards is essentially a showcase of pop culture, and it’s up to YOU to decide who will be deemed a winner for 2012. At NewNowNext’s website, you can vote for nominees in categories as diverse and crazy as “Cause You’re Hot” and “Beyond Style” or “TV You Betta Watch,” or if you’re as Twitter-head you can simply Tweet your vote and include the #NNNAwards hashtag — does it get any more interactive than that? More performers will be announced over the coming weeks, so keep your ear to the ground. This is the award show that hosted Lady Gaga‘s first televised performance, so you never know — you may get to witness the birth of the next big thing at the NewNowNext Awards!
The NewNowNext Awards Premiers on Monday, April 9th at 10/9C on Logo. Visit NewNowNext.com for more information or to vote for the winners!
[Photos: Getty Images]
It’s Friday, and more than any other week, we’re extra excited about the weekend — it’s the Super Bowl! While we’re looking forward to Kelly Clarkson singing the national anthem for us, and Madonna’s hyped half time show, we threw a little party of our own to get in the mood. In anticipation of this weeks Super Bowl, VH1 and Pepsi put on the annual Fan Jam concert last night, and it really was a night to remember! Gym Class Heroes and rising star Neon Hitch played their hit single “Ass Back Home,” to a roaring reception from the audience. Neon Hitch looked sexy in a sparkling gold leotard and flame red hair and she danced around the stage, while Travie McCoy was his usual laid back self. We can’t get the tune out of our heads, and feel that it’s pertinent for Sunday — get your ass back home in time to watch the big game! Check out our gallery of images from the performance after the jump.