When you think of rock and roll drummers, the first word that comes to mind generally isn’t “hot.” That’s a word reserved for singers, guitarists and (maybe) bassists. But no matter what anyone says about their looks, the drummer is definitely the most badass member of the band. They sit there looking smooth, keeping the beat, smashing the skins and throwing their sticks up in the air. When you think about it, the drummer is the coolest guy or gal in the band. The only problem is, you probably didn’t even notice.
Taylor Swift has been blazing across the country on her Speak Now tour, and in her warm, earnest way, she’s been welcoming city-specific guests to share the stage with her while she pays unique tributes to all the towns she visits. And now, on the final leg of her tour, Taylor is in that town, New York City, and the opportunities for tributes and guests are almost endless. For her first New York show last night at Madison Square Garden, Taylor played “one of the greatest songs ever written,” The Goo Goo Dolls‘ “Iris,” with the band’s frontman Johnny Rzeznik. With one last show set to light up the Garden tonight, we’re speculating who of the New York set will join Taylor on stage. Will it be a Strokes affair? Mother Monster? Or a spectral visitor from the afterlife?
Who did we miss? We want to hear your thoughts!
[Photos: Lauren Deiman/Getty Images]
Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, 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.
Next Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Big 4 Festival will descend upon Yankee Stadium in New York City. The participants will include the ?big four? bands (i.e., pillars, staples, torch bearers, etc.) of thrash metal music: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Here are some other acts that could pull off a Big 4 Festival of their own:
1) Big 4 of Millennial Pop: Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys
This past summer, the Backstreet Boys created some buzz when they toured with their boy-band predecessors, New Kids On The Block, as NKOTBSB; but could you imagine the pandemonium they could create by teaming up with late ?90s peer/rival, *NSYNC? The reunions alone would sell tickets on this tour: Justin and *NSYNC, Justin and Britney, Britney and Christina, and three old Mouseketeers back together again.
Last night, Dave Grohl used part of the Foo Fighters‘ Best Rock Video VMA speech as a call to “look a little harder” but “Never lose faith in real rock n’ roll music.” Just thirty-odd hours earlier, The Strokes, arguably one of the higher-profile recent standard-bearers for “real rock n’ roll,” were not exactly hiding?they headlined the main stage at the UK’s Reading Festival.
Apparently the band was a little abashed that they’d be playing after Pulp, because they invited that band’s lead singer Jarvis Cocker onstage to accompany them in a cover of The Cars‘ 1978 hit single “Just What I Needed.” Watch above as Cocker trades lines with Julian Casablancas (after the Strokes lead singer’s two false starts). This clip is just what we needed this afternoon.
Anniversaries: Nevermind Reissue To Contain Demos; Is This It Tribute
The 20th Anniversary reissue of Nevermind, due out September 27, will come in 1-CD, 2-CD, and 4-CD/1-DVD formats, the lattermost of which will contain all of producer Butch Vig‘s original mixes as well as boombox recordings. And here we thought there was no unheard Nirvana in the vault. [Spin]
Meanwhile, Stereogum celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Strokes’ Is This It (released July 30, 2001 in Britain) with Stroked, a front-to-back tribute to the album (in its original form; there’s no cover of “When It Started,” the song that replaced the critical “New York City Cops” when the album was released in the United States less than a month after the September 11 attacks). [Stereogum]
The Strokes premiered the video for “Taken For a Fool,” the second single from Angles, earlier today, and unlike the conceptual first video “Under Cover of Darkness,” which symbolically narrates the band’s reunion after their extended hiatus, the video is a relatively simple band-performance clip, with a rhythmically animated background setting.
Nearly a decade ago, another simple-looking (though extraordinary labor-intensive) animated rock video made lots of waves on its way to winning Breakthrough Video of the Year at the 2002 VMAs: The White Stripes‘ LEGO-block “Fell in Love with a Girl.” Sunday marked the tenth anniversary of that single’s album, White Blood Cells, and while we’ve been exploring the story of Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt for its (fifteenth) anniversary (Part I/Part II), Eric Been marks the White Blood Cells decade for The Atlantic by re-examining the “Return of Rock” narrative that accompanied the rise of bands like the Stripes and the Strokes.
Renee Graziano Styles Ghostface Killah
In case you missed yesterday’s Mob Wives and haven’t caught up with Liz Black‘s recap yet, make sure you do! Staten Island’s own Ghostface Killah met up with Staten Island’s own Renee Graziano in one of the episode’s few lighter moments for Graziano.
Jeremih Covers Adele‘s “Rumour Has It”
“Down On Me” songster Jeremih tried his hand at a cover of “Rumour Has It,” from Adele’s still-chart-topping 21, for Billboard today. He even dropped a bit of “Ice Ice Baby” and “Under Pressure” into a breakdown.
Festival season continues this weekend with Bonnaroo‘s 10th anniversary in Manchester, Tennessee, so we’re here again to help guide the 80,000 wristband holders through the tough choices of the weekend’s lineup. (Don’t have a ticket? You’re in luck! Some of the big-tent performances will be webcast at VEVO.) As always, we recommend checking out at least one band you haven?t heard before; might we recommend country-rocker Hayes Carll, (who plays one set each today and tomorrow)?
Jam-band and bluegrass aficionados have a plethora of options all weekend?perhaps too many tough choices. For the more pop-minded among us, here are five big intersection points to break down for you:
Choices: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (3:15 p.m., What Stage) and Matt & Kim (3:15 p.m., This Tent)
Decision: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Both groups are embarking on summer tours in midsize venues with reasonable ticket prices, but Matt & Kim, though they showed at the OMAs that they can play bigger, do have a certain energy that’s amplified when it’s contained in a club full of kids that are ridiculously hyped up. You Oughta Know artists Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, on the other hand, don’t lose any of their power from midday open-air big-tent staging.
It may seem surprising that hip-hop would dominate anything at Bonnaroo, the giant music festival (and party) that began in Tennessee a decade ago with hippie-ish jam bands and roots rock. But this is what we discovered when using Next Big Sound to gather social media stats on all 150 or so acts on the lineup. For our inaugural “Bonnaroo By the Numbers” feature, we’ve compared the top 20 acts on the lineup versus their total number of social media fans (Facebook, Twitter, LastFM, MySpace, YouTube, etc.).
While the top acts on the lineup are a solid mix of roots rock, hip-hop and indie rock, the hip-hop artists tear it up in the social space. Eminem, Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa would be the top three acts if Bonnaroo were to order its lineup based on which artists have the most social media fans. While Eminem tops both the bill and social media (nearly 50 million followers!), Lil Wayne is #7 on the lineup and Wiz is down at #44. Atmosphere would also be #10 on the lineup, not #39.
After the top three hip-hop acts, the next three would be a trio of indie luminaries: The Strokes, Arcade Fire and The Decemberists. It’s not too surprising that the roots rock or jam band contingents don’t register very high. To be fair, we didn’t break out the individual musicians of the reunited Buffalo Springfield — and Neil Young has more than a million Facebook followers alone. Then again, we can’t really imagine him sharing his knack for poetry on Twitter.
Before the plane lifted off for a flight back to NYC from Austin’s South By Southwest Music Festival, the airline attendant joked via loudspeaker: “You all look so hip and cool.” Some passengers laughed, but probably no one disagreed. How could a flight with members of TV on the Radio be anything else? In fact,the packed plane felt like a microcosm of the festival itself, where thousands of bands, industry executives, celebrities and music fans worked and played for five days at parties in clubs, bars and makeshift venues like parking garages.