by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Train Does A Dancing With The Stars “Drive By,” While We Say A Fond Goodbye To Gavin DeGraw

Well, as some slightly pessimistic fellow once pointed out, all good things must come to an end. After a stellar five-week run on Dancing With The Stars, VH1 BFF Gavin DeGraw and his dance partner Karina Smirnoff got sent home on last night’s Dancing With The Stars elimination episode. Gavin and Karina’s samba routine on Tuesday night’s episode was not well-received by the judges, but the two made a valiant effort to win the audience and the judges over last night by performing the Cha Cha during the Dance Duel portion of the evening, which saw them squaring off against Urkel and Kym Johnson. Unfortunately for Gavin and Karina, the judges chose in favor of Urkel, sending Gavin packing. It was a great run for Gavin, and with a slew of concert dates supporting his new album Sweeter on the docket, we’re pretty sure he’ll get over this temporary disappointment in no time.

It wasn’t all sad news on DWTS last night, though. Train, whose new album California 37 is in stores now, performed their new hit single “Drive By” on the show last night. The video for “Drive By” is currently #2 on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, so maybe this will give the song the boost it needs to top Katy Perry on the charts. Watch Train perform “Drive By” below, and be sure to tune-in to VH1 this Saturday morning at 9 a.m. to see where Train places this week!

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by (@unclegrambo)

Tuned In: Train Does A “Drive By” On Letterman

It seems like only yesterday that we were sitting alongside our friends from Train down in Austin, asking them whether or not “Hey Soul Sister” is really about BJs. My, how time flies! Last night, they performed just a few blocks up the street from our Times Square headquarters at the Ed Sullivan Theater, home to The Late Show With David Letterman. The band performed their new single, “Drive By”, off their forthcoming California 37 LP. It’s arguably the danciest number in Train’s repertoire, and the guys brought the requisite energy to the stage that you’ve come to expect from them. However, we didn’t see any 2-ply Hefty bags with them up there on stage, so we’re guessing that particular lyric from “Drive By” is largely metaphorical in nature.

Elsewhere in late night…
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by (@unclegrambo)

Train, The Shins, Fun. And Other Acts Come Out In Support Of Spotify (VIDEO)

While there seems to be near-universal consensus about the benefits of Spotify from a consumer-perspective, the same cannot be said for the artists whose work actually appears on streaming services. There are varied reports as to how much money musical acts actually make from services like Spotify, MOG and Rdio —one widely circulated report last summer claimed that Lady Gaga only made $167 after her song “Poker Face” was spun one million times on Spotify— and some acts like The Black Keys have been very vocal about the reasons they have NOT chosen to make their music available there (“For a band that makes a living selling music, it’s not at a point where it’s feasible for us.”)

This hot button issue was on the top of everyone’s mind at this year’s SXSW Festival, where the worlds of technology and music collided for a few days earlier this month. Spotify executive Sean Parker explained during a VH1 Rock Docs panel audience that “There’s definitely some sort of dissent brewing between record labels, publishing companies and artists [about the compensation they get from streaming services] … Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”

But what do the musicians themselves think? We sat down with a number of artists at varying stages of their careers —veteran acts like Train, The Shins, and Keane, as well as relative newcomers like Alabama Shakes, Best Coast, Fun. and Gary Clark Jr.— to get their perspectives on this controversial subject. Find out what they have to say in this exclusive VH1 Tuner video!

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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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