Mark Ronson came uptown to funk up VH1′s headquarters just a couple of days after his show-stealing SNL performance with Bruno Mars. Check out the photos as we tagged along for a whirlwind day of his press tour, and make sure to get a look at his pineapple skull kicks.
Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” feat. Bruno Mars is the electrifying jam that’s been inspiring musicians to make their own versions of the hit. Put on your shades, kick back, and groove to these five covers of “Uptown Funk.”
Mark Ronson is singularly responsible for funking up this fall, and we couldn’t be more grateful. “Uptown Funk,” his slinky groovetastic floor filler with Bruno Mars, has been blaring out of speakers worldwide, and that’s just the start of the story for the famed producer and DJ. He stole the show on an episode of Saturday Night Live with Mars and rapper Mystikal a few weeks back, and recently experienced a moment that he calls “the most amazing, surreal part of my musical journey.” For a man who has worked with everyone from Amy Winehouse, Paul McCartney, and Adele (just to name a very few), it must have been pretty damn incredible. From his new song and new album, to career highlights, Ronson revealed all to Jim Shearer On VH1′s Top 20 Countdown.
Billy Corgan Compares Modern Musicians To “Strippers”
Billy Corgan got all “grumpy old man” in an interview at SXSW and said things like, “I was part of a generation that changed the world — and it was taken over by poseurs.” Everyone has an opinion, right? [Spin]
Courtney Love Has Beef With The Muppets
Even though it was approved by surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love is furious with The Muppets’ cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Ah, Courtney, will there ever be an end to the Love vs Everyone Else beef? [Pigeons & Planes]
Erykah Badu is compelling on her own, charismatic and natural, with a voice that soaks into your skin and leaves you wanting more. Put Mark Ronson, The Dap Kings and Zigaboo Modeliste behind her, and you’ll be swooning for days. Performing their collaborative track, “A La Modeliste,” last night on The Late Show With David Letterman, Letterman himself summed it up to perfection at the end of the show, saying, “That’s it, that’s all you want, right there. That’s all we’re looking for!” And it really is. Start your day listening to the soul-filled song, from the joyful brass section, to Badu’s arresting voice and Ronson’s modest guitar and genius production skills. It’s all you need.
Woman Tattoos Kanye West On Her Butt
How would you prove your undying love to Kayne West? One fan not only legally changed her name to Kanyeresa West, but she has two tattoos: “Kanye” on her arm, and “Kanye West” where the sun don’t shine. You have to watch this video of her talking. [Complex]
Must Watch Video Of The Day Featuring Mark Ronson, Erykah Badu and Yasiin Bey
If you only watch one video today make it the clip for “A La Modeliste,” the Mark Ronson-led track featuring Erykah Badu, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Trombone Shorty and members of the Dap-Kings. [Prefix]
Soul music veterans Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are VH1′s latest You Oughta Know artist, just in time for the release of Soul Time!, the band’s forthcoming release of rare tracks and b-sides. Since 1996, Sharon and the Dap-Kings have been at the forefront of funk and soul revivalism, capturing the spirit of the genre as it blossomed in the ’60s and ’70s. Using traditional analog recording methods and equipment, SJDK have no use for modernity, and are loyal to the authenticity of their sound.
The band was originally formed by Philip Lehman and Gabriel Roth as the Soul Providers in the mid-nineties, and discovered Sharon Jones during early recording sessions for their first album, after she recorded back-up vocals for one of the Lee Fields tracks. So impressed were the Soul Providers with Jones’ vocals that the album, Soul Tequila, was released in 1996 featuring two solo Jones tracks (“Switchblade” and “The Landlord”). Shortly after, Roth and Lehman started a new label, Desco Records, in Brooklyn, New York, and reissued Soul Tequila as Gimme The Paw and began championing New York performers, creating an entire scene around Desco. As the reputation of Desco grew and more records were released, it eventually came time for Lehman and Roth to split in 2000 — and for Roth to start his own label, Daptone Records, with current Dap-King tenor saxophone player, Neal Sugarman. You can see where this is going, right?
Following the tragic death of singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse earlier this year, two of her closest collaborators, Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, have put together an album using Winehouse’s unfinished recordings that’s set to be released on December 5. Amy’s father, Mitch Winehouse, oversaw the production. Entitled Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, the album will include 12 tracks featuring Winehouse originals, unreleased tracks, alternative versions of her existing songs and covers of other artists’ songs.
Since Winehouse’s alcohol-related death back in July, there has been much speculation surrounding the volume of Amy’s unreleased recordings. The Guardian reported that up to a dozen songs were close to being finalized, but the tracklisting for this record shows that there’s only one track (“Between The Cheats”) that can be really be labeled as “new” (as opposed to outtakes from sessions on previously released albums).
All of which leads us to this: Will the record-buying public consider this record, with its mismash of demos, outtakes, and B-sides, as anything more than a “cashgrab”? In its defense, Mark Ronson’s pivotal role in the project— given his close friendship, ongoing creative partnership and overwhelming admiration for Amy—lends a great deal of credence to the project, and having yet to hear it, leads us to believe that the project was assembled with great affection. Additionally, the fact that Â£1 from each album sold will benefit the Amy Winehouse Foundation, an institution set up in Amy’s honor to support those dealing with substance abuse issues and addiction, seems to be a positive sign. However, there is a cynical part of us that can’t help but feeling like this record is being rushed to take advantage of the holiday buying season, and also that it won’t be the last posthumous album that Winehouse releases. We seriously doubt that her estate contains the same sort of treasure trove of unreleased studio sessions that 2Pac’s did, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Full tracklisting for Amy Winehouse Lionness: Hidden Treasures below:
Mark Ronson is, it would seem, a firm believer in the old saying, “the show must go on.” Less than thirty-six hours after he attended the funeral of his dear friend and musical collaborator Amy Winehouse, he and his band The Business Intl. were slated to play an open-air concert as part of the weeklong Greenwich Summer Sessions festival, and rather than cancel the engagement, he dedicated the show to his late friend and played several of her songs, including “Valerie”:
The song was already part of the band’s repertoire, but last night’s performance was particularly poignant. “Usually when we sing this song, Kyle [Falconer, previously of The View] sings it,” Ronson said, introducing the song, “But you know what? I think the only thing that would be right tonight is if you guys sing it.” He then introduced Winehouse’s two backup singers: “We’re gonna help you?I’m not gonna say that Zalon and Ade don’t have much better voices than all of you?but it’s not really about that. We want you to sing this s?t as loud as you can.” The crowd gladly obliged. The band?and crowd?were also joined on vocals by Dave McCabe, who’d originally written “Valerie” for his band The Zutons.
Ronson’s tributes spanned the entire evening; while DJing before his set, he played “Rehab,” and he later related a quotation from Tuesday’s service while speaking to the crowd: “There was a rabbi that spoke, and he said that somebody’s life is measured in deeds and not years, and that’s the best thing I heard yesterday.” Near the end of his performance he returned again to Winehouse’s catalog, performing “Back to Black,” which is viewable below.