The sun was still bearing down hard on the beach, but the fans still filled the beach area in front of the Chevrolet Stage to capacity to watch The Roots tear it up for an hour of non-stop dance-worthy tracks on Day Two of Hangout Fest.
This Thanksgiving, we all have something to be thankful for. Just as you’re waking up from your post-meal nap to snag some second-plate leftovers from the fridge, Spike Lee’s Bad 25 will hit ABC’s airwaves to make it’s nationally televised debut at 9:30/8:30c. Chronicaling Michael Jackson’s 45-million-copies-sold second album and corresponding tour, I can say with full conviction that the documentary is not to be missed. Trust me, I saw it twice. For those who may not be MJ fans or perhaps need some convincing, I present you with a list of 25 Reasons You Should Be Watching Spike Lee’s Bad 25. Not completely spoiler-free, however, I urge all the purists out there to tread lightly with this list if you’d prefer to see the film without advance info!
- 1. Mariah Carey makes an LOL-worthy joke about being a fuss-causing diva when she threatens to scold Clive Davis.
- 2. The film summons nostalgia for an era when music was successfully flourishing and record sales were at their peak. Ah, those were the days.
- 3. Viewers receive a non-verbal explanation of the infamous “Smooth Criminal” dance-lean.
- 4. Martin Scorsese watches his old footage and breaks down the making of the “Bad”
- 5. Quincy Jones’ wacky 80s sweater during an interview. You’ll see what I mean.
Questlove loves his social media. If you follow him on Twitter (@questlove) you know he tweets about everything from politics to personal photos of weddings in the woods. Quest appeared to be naturally chatty after The Roots‘ ACL performance when he revealed Jay-Z’s theory on success. He also told us that he live tweets during his shows. Yes, while playing the drums. “I’m a social network prince.” Read more…
KELLY CLARKSON WANTS TO BE A COWBOY
Kelly Clarkson took a break from all her touring and cover song singing to rep her team, the Dallas Cowboys, with a new anthem called “Get Up.” Silver, blue, white, away or home — you don’t have to be a Cowboys fan or even a football fan to get into this one. [Mix965Houston]
CROCS CO-FOUNDER CRASHES HIS PORSCHE, BLAMES HIS “GIRLFRIEND” TAYLOR SWIFT
Despite his drunk rantings, we are confident that this foam clog king is definitely not the guy Taylor wrote “Never Ever Get Back Together.” [NYDN]
Each year in early July, the city of New Orleans welcomes fans of R and B, soul, and gospel music to flood its streets and enjoy three days of empowerment panels and concerts at Essence Music Festival. Listeners of all ages can take to the Mercedes Benz Superdome and find something they like, be it budding stars like yesterday’s blues-infused Gary Clark Jr. performing at one of the festival’s Superlounges, 70s and 80s family-trio The Pointer Sisters kicking off the main stage headliners, or Trey Songz, a radio-friendly artist who makes young girls and their mothers scream uncontrollably as he slowly disrobes on stage with each passing song in his set.
After The Pointer Sisters, last night’s main stage headliners shifted to Keyshia Cole and Trey, the former of which was likely booked to help promote her new BET reality show and upcoming album since she’s been on hiatus from making music while starting her family with husband, NBA player Daniel Gibson. Woman To Woman, Cole’s fifth studio record, is expected to be released in the Fall. Trey too has an upcoming album to promote; also his fifth LP, the August 21st release is aptly titled Chapter V. The highlight of the evening, however, was a set from neo-soul crooner D’Angelo.
“We gon’ step on all those lines that separate us tonight; you’re about to witness music at a very high level.”
Jay-Z made this characteristically bravado-laden declaration three songs into his set at New York City’s Carnegie Hall last night, the second of two charity shows benefiting the United Way and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation that he performed this week. Much has been said about cultural ramifications of a night like this, a triumphant chapter in a rags to riches story so improbable that Horatio Alger himself would never have envisioned penning it. It was clear from the outset of the show that Jay-Z had every intention of delivering on that ambitious bill of goods —when was the last time anyone attempted to put on a hip hop show featuring a 20-plus piece symphony orchestra for an audience filled with (primarily rich white) people in suits?—but by the end of the show, I couldn’t help but feel like he wasn’t quite able to achieve both of those audacious goals equally.
First, the scene. Carnegie Hall is one of our country’s most legendary musical venues, and also one of our most exclusive. Not just anyone is allowed to perform here, nor is just anyone necessarily allowed to attend a gig there. As a means of showing respect to the 121-year-old venue and all that it symbolizes, attendees of this two-night stand were encouraged to dress formally for the occasion; like a good general, Hov made sure to follow his own directive. Taking the stage a few minutes after 10 p.m. in white tuxedo jacket, black tux pants, a dapper black bow-tie and stylish shades, J-Hova looked like the long lost sixth member of the Rat Pack as he performed “Public Service Announcement” off his 2003 LP, The Black Album. The audience ate it up, leaping to their feet and waving their well-manicured hands in the air like they just didn’t care, perhaps no one more so than his wife Beyoncé. The new mom snuck into her box seat (stage right, closest to the stage) just as the house lights dimmed and proceeded to emphatically dance in a standing position for most of the show’s nearly two-hour runtime.
Following the tragic death of legendary artist Etta James today, the music world has expressed profound condolences, many coming in the form of heartfelt Tweets. You can see some of them below, a testament to Etta James’ pervasive influence, her inspirational impact on the music world, and the great loss that is felt by her passing.
Last night on VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul, Erykah Badu, Marsha Ambrosius and Estelle, along with Questlove, performed an upbeat rendition of “Back To Life.” The performance, sponsored by Samsung, saw the lovely ladies clad in gold — Estelle was all out in a gold jumpsuit, Erykah with a gold shawl and Marsha with some sparkling bling. With some refined synchronized dance moves (backed up by nimble male dancers), and their killer voices, the three women had the crowd out of their seats and dancing for the entirety of the joyful performance.
After you watch this Soul II Soul classic, be sure to check out the full Samsung performance playlist.
[Photos: Getty Images]
We spent most of this weekend hanging around New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom, checking out the rehearsals for VH1 DIVAS Celebrates Soul (which, if you haven’t heard yet, is airing TONIGHT on VH1 at 9 p.m. ET). We were lucky enough to grab some time with some of this year’s featured performers as they prepared for the show, and one of the questions we were most curious about was what gave the cities that they hail from so much soul.
First up, we asked Philly natives Jill Scott, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Adam Blackstone their thoughts on why the City of Brotherly Love (the latter two of whom served as the Musical Directors of the show) was the most soulful city in the world. Jill Scott reckoned it has something to do with “dirty water” of the Schuylkill River, while Questlove and Adam explained that the city’s proximity to New York City forced the musical community to diversify their sound to establish their own unique identity.