by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2012: Is Train’s Mammoth Smash Hit “Hey Soul Sister” Really About, Um, Oral Sex? We Asked!

Train‘s long-awaited follow-up to 2009′s Save Me San Francisco album will be coming out in less than a month. As a means of road testing their new material, and as a way to play live in significantly more intimate venues than this arena band is used to, the guys made their way down to the 2012 SXSW Music Festival last week for a handful of dates. We caught up with the three guys from Train —from left to right, Jimmy Stafford (guitar), Scott Underwood (drums) and Patrick Monahan (lead vocals)— down in Austin and asked them to tell us a bit about their new record, California 37 (which is due out on April 17, 2012).

“California 37 is a road that brought us to one another,” Pat Monahan explained. “This record is more of an expression than it is a ‘Can we come back?’ [kind of thing]. The songs and the stories are just better. They’re more refined. It’s a dance record, but it’s also singer-songwriter at the same time.” After hearing the propulsive and upbeat first single “Drive By”, we’re excited to see how the rest of the album incorporates the dance-y elements that Monahan referred to in our chat with him.

Now, this is where things got a bit awkward in our interview. You see, we’ve always thought that Train‘s gargantuan 2010 hit, “Hey Soul Sister,” is one of the most subversive songs to get mass airplay since “Summer of ’69.” A few years back, Bryan Adams admitted to a shocked Maggie Rodriguez on CBS’s The Early Show that his song was about a sexual position, NOT a year, so we thought we’d try to get Train to do the same thing about “Hey Soul Sister.” Our theory has always been that the song is about a particularly memorable blowjob, our evidence being the line in the song that goes “Your lipstick stains on the front lobe of my left side brains / I knew I wouldn’t forget you / And so I went and let you blow my mind.” So, is it? See how the band responded in our video below!
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by (@unclegrambo)

Music Seen: Experience What Five Days In Austin Felt Like During The 2012 SXSW Music Festival

SXSW 2012 Music Seen

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!

Welcome to SXSW 2012!
Crowd for Fiona Apple, Stubb's BBQ
Flyers Everywhere
Neon Hitch, La Rosa Zona
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by (@kat_george)

Train And Crush Management Will Be Honored At T.J. Martell Foundation’s 13th Annual Family Day

On April 22nd New York’s Roseland Ballroom will host The T.J. Martell Foundation’s 13th Annual Family Day in honor of Train. As well as performing an intimate acoustic set, multiple Grammy Award winning band Train will be acknowledged for their charity work. And there’s even more cause for a Train celebration, as their new album, California 37, will be released on April 17th, mere days before the iconic event. Train front man Pat Monahan said of the occasion, “Train is honored to be part of T.J. Martell’s Family Day. The T.J. Martell Foundation has been doing incredible work in the medical community and we are inspired by their dedication. We hope to make this the best Family Day ever.” Joining Train on the day will be a Cobra Starship, who will put on a special DJ set, and Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande who will also play live. And along with Train, Crush Management (who represent both Train and Cobra Starship) will also be honored. The event will raise money for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research and tickets can be purchased via TJMartellFoundation.org or by calling Foundation at (646) 841-1394. We suggest you try to get involved — it’s a great opportunity to contribute to a good cause while seeing your favorite musicians perform!

[Photo: Getty Images]

by (@unclegrambo)

VH1′s Top 40 Videos Of 2011 [COMPLETE LIST]

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!
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by (@unclegrambo)

Ideas That We Love: Pat Monahan From Train Should Team Up With Led Zeppelin Guitarist Jimmy Page

The frequent emails that irascible music industry veteran Bob Lefsetz sends to his list of well-connected music biz types are pretty hit or miss. Oftentimes, they present passionate, well-thoughted arguments about the past, present and future of the music business, but just as frequently, they seem to be repetitive and somewhat curmudgeonly in nature. Last night, however, he sent out an email that contained an idea we initially shrugged off as preposterous, but ultimately, one that we couldn’t get out of our head. He writes:

“Best piece of gossip I ever heard about Train? Pat Monahan was suggested as a replacement for Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin. The idea was dismissed out of hand, but it?s a brilliant one, one Jimmy Page should still act on.

Pat Monahan can sing those Zeppelin tunes, he?s got the pipes, he does them in the Train show. And he can write.

Everyone—even Howard Stern!—knows that Monahan is one of the strongest singers working these days. That said, it wasn’t until we watched this bootleg footage of Monahan belting out the Led Zep classic “Ramble On” that we thought this idea had legs.

Wow, right? Now it’s time for you to weigh in.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Last Lap: Tuesday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

DEAD JUGGALO FOUND IN OHIO RIVER AND OTHER LESS HARROWING GATHERING OF THE JUGGALOS UPDATES
The body of a 24 year-old Insane Clown Posse fan was found in a section of the Ohio River located in Western Kentucky on Sunday afternoon. He was wearing a Gathering Of The Juggalos wristband, which leads the Kentucky state police to surmise that he was attending the festival. Meanwhile, over at Deadspin, writer Emma Carmichael went undercover and transformed herself into a Juggalette and traveled to Cave-in-Rock, Illinois this weekend; she just published a hilarious and fascinating exposé of the festival largely comprised of “t*tties and drugs.” [Rolling Stone, Deadspin]

BLACK SABBATH PLANS REUNION TOUR, STUDIO ALBUM
Don’t call it a comeback! Original Black Sabbath members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward have reunited. Since the band’s split in 1979, Geezer has actually become a geezer, which is something we suppose is both ironic and inevitable. Nobody is talking about how much money they’re getting to do this, but we imagine it’s a lot. [Birmingham Mail via The Quietus]

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by (@Lacezilla)

VH1′s Top 100 Videos of 2011 … So Far, Part II: #50-11

Yesterday, we introduced you to the upper reaches of our Top 100 Videos of 2011 … So Far list, serving up the #100-51 videos that you’ve been clicking on most so far this year. Although a hefty portion, consider that first installment just an appetizer for today’s first course and tomorrow’s main entree. Going a bit deeper into the list, we now give you #50-11, inching closer and closer to #1.

50. Train, “Hey, Soul Sister”
49. Goo Goo Dolls, “Notbroken”
48. Jennifer Lopez, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing”
47. Jennifer Hudson, “Where You At”
46. Beyonce, “Run The World (Girls)”
45. My Chemical Romance, “SING”
44. Adam Lambert, “If I Had You”
43. Fitz and The Tantrums, “Money Grabber”
42. Kid Rock ft. Sheryl Crow, “Collide”
41. Bruno Mars, “Just The Way You Are”

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by (@Lacezilla)

VH1′s Top 100 Videos of 2011 … So Far

As we parallel park into July and officially hit the curb of this year’s halfway point, it’s time to take a quick look back at what the past six months have taught us. Not conventional life lessons, however; we’re talking about stuff that’s a little bit less intense and also involves YOU! That’s right, in the first installment of our Top 100 Videos of 2011… So Far, we’re spilling the beans on the #100-51 most clicked-and-viewed videos on VH1.com. You’ll see that this pi?ata-like list of content contains tasty treats and slippery surprises alike! We’ve got brand-new videos that just recently launched, some VH1 Classic leaning clips (hey there, Megadeth), repeat offenders, and of course, effervescent, essential vids from the music video cannon. So take a look at the first fifty videos below and don’t forget to come back later this week as we continue on our quest to discover what artist snags the #1 spot!

100. Jack Johnson, “From The Clouds”
99. Chris Brown, “Deuces”
98. Ke$ha, “Tik Tok”
97. Bruno Mars, “The Other Side”
96. Beyonc?, “Video Phone (Extended Remix)”
95. Usher, “OMG”
94. B.o.B, “Airplanes”
93. Taylor Swift, “Mine”
92. Sara Bareilles, “King Of Anything”
91. John Legend & The Roots, “Wake Up Everybody”

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Hard Rock Turns 40 with a Massive Celebration in London’s Hyde Park

The Hard Rock brand, which encompasses restaurants, hotels and casinos, turned 40 years young over the weekend. In honor of the momentous anniversary, tens of thousands of fans turned out for the three-day Hard Rock Calling festival, held in London’s famed Hyde Park. In addition to headliners Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi and The Killers (the latter of which was witnessed by none other than Prince Harry), VH1 faves Train and You Oughta Know artist Lissie also appeared on the bill. Our VH1 news team was on hand and got some backstage time with some of the artists on the bill; take a gander above to get Train, Lissie and Pete Wentz’s thoughts on the occasion.

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VH1 Top 20 Host Goes Behind-The-Scenes At VH1′s Best Cruise Ever

We invited VH1 Top 20 host Jim Shearer to share his observations from VH1′s Best Cruise Ever, which featured more than a dozen bands and sailed from Tampa to Cozumel.

I’m on land again, which means VH1′s second annual Best Cruise Ever is now over. The Script was wonderful (my favorite live show during our four days at sea), I met a bunch of cool people who keep me employed by waking up early every Saturday morning to watch the Top 20 Countdown, I got to eat warm chocolate cake every night for dessert (mmm), and my band even got to play a couple of sets on the boat. I forgot to bring my diary on the cruise, so a pocket cam had to do. Here’s my recap. Enjoy! — Jim Shearer