Today marks the release of The Civil Wars: Unplugged On VH1, a 7-song album that was recorded last spring when the band performed a knockout VH1 Unplugged set (while, we might add, Joy was pregnant). For the low low price of just five American dollars and 99 American cents, you can get your hands on a copy of the video AND audio of this truly memorable entry in the famed Unplugged canon. In addition to originals like “Barton Hollow” and “I’ve Got This Friend,” the set includes remarkable covers of Portishead‘s “Sour Times” and Michael Jackson‘s “Billie Jean” (the latter of which did not air in the original special!). Read more…
A bit of sad news and a hopeful promise to begin your morning: You Oughta Know standouts, VH1 Unpluggedveterans, Grammy winning and just generally beloved Americana duo, The Civil Wars, announced last night in a note posted to their Facebook page that they have called off the remainder of their tour. The duo cited “internal discord and irreconcilable differences of ambition” as the reason for the change of plans, but were sure to assure that whatever hiccup they’re suffering right now will not be their end: “Our sincere hope is to have new music for you in 2013,” they write, giving us reason to believe that things are civil still. They plan on reimbursing tickets, and have generously promised to “do their best” to cover any non-refundable service charges or travel reservations fans have already made.
Below, their note. And then a video of the duo performing “Barton Hollow” Unplugged — some sugar to down the sad news.
Our ace photographer Lauren Weissler trailed Carrie as she prepared for and performed her five-song Unplugged set here in New York City back in August. Carrie’s radiant beauty and majestic voice was on full display all day, and we hope these pics help satiate your appetite for VH1 Unplugged: Carrie Underwood until tomorrow!
We’ve been struck by a bad case of Underwood fever over here at VH1, with her Behind The Music set to air this Sunday and her Unplugged ready to go live the week following, and the only thing that can fix us is this cool cover Carrie did of Coldplay‘s “Fix You.” Carrie and her crew learned the song while in London so that they could “pay tribute,” she said, becasue “they were so nice to welcome us there, and they have so much talent right there.” Carrie’s usual country twanging is as sonically distant to Coldplay’s arena rock balladry as Oklahoma is to London, but here she has managed to turn the song so that it sounds straight from her wheelhouse. Buoyed by strings and with her ever strong vocals promising to “guide us home and ignite our bones” left us chilled.
Carrie Underwood really blew 12-year-old Chase away this past weekend when, while performing in Louisville, Kentucky over the weekend, she caught sight of handmade “Will You Be My First Kiss?” sign and called him on stage. “How do you want to do this?” she asked, sure to warn him that, “Just so you know, my husband is somewhere in this building and he might be looking for you later.” Ready to have his world rocked (and apparently ignorant to Carrie’s husband’s pecs), Chase requested without even a hit of hesitation that the kiss be “lip to lip.” And so in the country queen leans, granting the lucky puckered-up kid a very memorable first kiss on the lips. Aww!
We love that big voice and bold attitude of hers and we are eager to see her shine when it’s stripped down on Unplugged. “It’s really cool to have it really be all about the songs and the music and to just get and go and sing,” she says. “It doesn’t need all the extra stuff sometimes.”
And as for sharing her story with Behind The Music, she’s laughed that, “I hope mine’s not seriously boring, because I’ve had such a wonderful life, and it just seems like everything has really happened … and now I get to do the most wonderful job ever.” Which is exactly how we know it won’t be boring! The run from American Idol winner to chart-topper and Grammy winner and everything before and beyond sounds exactly the opposite. We can’t wait!
Carrie tapes her stripped down set later this week in New York, and both Unplugged and Behind The Music will air sometime this fall. And if you check back here, we will keep you up to date with info and sneak peaks until then! Read more…
It’s probably only natural that a song about stripping down be stripped down. This VH1 Unplugged cover of the As Cruel as School Children cut finds the Gym Class Heroes getting “Clothes Off!” and having as good a time as ever. Travis McCoy goes hard into Travie mode as he raps his verses over the dancing strings, and Patrick Stump’s wailing at the chorus has us up out of our seats. When we spoke to Patrick Stump ahead of the tapping, he told us that “Clothes Off” is his favorite Heroes song because “it just happened” and that “when art happens by accident and you were just along for the ride? It’s way more fun.” We couldn’t agree more.
You can watch VH1 Unplugged: Gym Class Heroes in full online here now! You’ll be able to catch it on VH1 tonight at 12 a.m. ET/PT.
Performing in front of glowing climbing nets, the Gym Class Heroes looked and sounded great at their VH1 Unplugged taping here in New York City a few weeks back. Stripped down to acoustic guitars and a brush sticks, they got us going with a set that included new favorites like “The Fighter,” old favorites like “Clothes Off,” and special guests like the beautiful Neon Hitch and Fall Out Boy‘s Patrick Stump (with whom we spoke to exclusively before the show). The Heroes, Stump and Hitch go way back, and so in addition to the unplugging, there was also lots of catching up and goofing off. Our photographer Brendan Tobin was there to catch all. The warm up, the big show, the cool down — check his pictures out below!
VH1 Unplugged: Gym Class Heroes will make its online premiere tomorrow, Thursday, July 12, at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT. You’ll be able to catch it on VH1 that night at 12 a.m. ET/PT.
Earlier this afternoon we shared a sneak preview from Gym Class Heroes‘ VH1 Unplugged taping, where they were joined by their longtime collaborator and Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump for a stripped down version of their smash hit “Stereo Hearts.” Stump, although filling in on the song, felt right at home. “Gym Class is a band I am more directly involved with than any other band except for Fall Out Boy,” he told us before the show, laughing that “the shortest call in the world” was all it took to get him there.
As Stump tells it, Gym Class Heroes first caught his attention with a shout out on an early demo of the 2004 time-capsule “Taxi Driver.” “We were super tickled by it,” he explains. “Unfortunately, it is very rare that something makes you sit up and be like, ‘Wow, this is great!’ And I was in the van and I was like, Pete [Wentz], listen to this, this is really good. And so he took it and ran with it, and before we knew it they were singed.”
The honor, though, he insists is mutual. “You have no idea how much they made themselves and how awesome it is to watch them,” he told us, making sure to point out that this will be his first Unplugged appearance with be with them and not his own Fall Out Boy. “I get to be a fan that has the best seat in the house.”
Before the tapping, we caught up with Stump to get the scoop on his work with Gym Class Heroes, his impressions (musical and otherwise), and what comes next:
“I’ve actually been dying for this day,” Travie McCoy admitted before the Gym Class Heroes‘ Unplugged taping in New York City last month. “It gives us a chance to breathe new life into these songs as we strip them down, it’s very cool.” So down to acoustic guitars and brush sticks and strings they stripped for a catalog spanning set. And for their boombox-as-love anthem, “Stereo Hearts,” they stripped also Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, replacing his smooth crooning with — surprise! — Fall Out Boy lead singer Patrick Stump‘s singular, sweet wail. Read more…