After we whet your appetite yesterday with special sneak clips of “Kingdom Come” and “Sour Times,” the full episode of VH1 Unplugged: The Civil Wars is now available for you to watch online! (You can do so by clicking play above.)
The Civil Wars made history with their Unplugged show, as singer Joy Williams became the first artist in the 22-year history of the program to perform while pregnant. Of course, this reminded us of when M.I.A. sang on The Grammys back in 2009 while she was 9 months pregnant. So, naturally, we asked Joy (who is due in June) about it.
“Dude! M.I.A. on the Grammys was so amazing with that bullseye awesomeness and spandex!,” she explained (video below). “Well, I was going to wear that, but she totally bogarted the awesome spandex idea.”
“So I’m going to,” John Paul White jumped in. “A strategic bullseye.”
Well, dear readers, we can all be thankful that didn’t happen.
As The Civil Wars joked during the taping of their VH1 Unplugged set a few weeks back, they’re a duo that already performs “unplugged” most of the time, generally using an acoustic guitar or piano to deliver their songs. Knowing that, you wouldn’t necessarily think that the duo would gravitate towards performing a cover of a 1993 trip-hop classic, but once you hear their take on “Sour Times” (as originally performed by Portishead), you immediately understand how this fits into the band’s repetoire of seemingly offbeat covers.
“We’re lovers of all kinds of different music,” Joy Williams told us when we sat down with her before the show taped a few weeks back. “If we’re able to pick something out of the lexicon where we both go, ‘You listened to that, too?’, it’s really fun for us to say ‘Ok, what can we do with it as a duo?’ The lyrics themselves, to Portishead, I sat down to read them and they’re so mysterious. I still don’t even quite know what we’re actually singing about, but I’m kind of into it. It’s such a moody song!” (VIDEO BELOW.)
The profile of The Civil Wars has been raised considerably over the course of the last year. In fact, it was one year ago when the band was named our You Oughta Know artist and performed an intimate set here in our lobby on the 20th floor of VH1 headquarters here in New York City. Since that fateful day, the band has exploded in popularity, taking home two Grammys and recording not one but TWO songs for the wildly popular soundtrack to The Hunger Games. Their full VH1 Unplugged set (brought to you by State Farm) will premiere here on VH1 Tuner tomorrow, but until then, we have this sneak peak of their song from said soundtrack, “Kingdom Come,” for you above.
When we attended the taping, we asked them about the refrain of the song, which goes “Don’t you fret, my dear / It’ll all be over soon / I’ll be waiting here for you.” Clearly, this line can be read a couple of different ways, from the very optimistic to the, well, sorta haunting. What was it that inspired this particular line?
“The first thing that came to mind was this overwhelming sense of ‘survival mode,’” John Paul White explained to us. “We knew that we wanted that to be the overlying theme of what we did. We didn’t want to be completely specific as to who we’re singing about, or who is singing to whom. And that’s the way we went about it.” (Video of this moment below.)
It’s been a little bit over a year since The Civil Wars were named VH1′s You Oughta Know artist, and what a year it’s been! The duo, made up of John Paul White and Joy Williams, went from being virtual unknowns to two-time Grammy winners thanks to the outstanding batch of songs that appears on their debut LP, Barton Hollow. Still riding high after their Grammy success back in February, they’re on a bit of a victory lap at the moment: They have not one but TWO songs on the super successful soundtrack for The Hunger Games, they’re in the early phases of writing for their follow-up, and they just taped a brand new episode of VH1 Unplugged, which is scheduled to make its online debut on May 1.
As a means of whetting your appetite in advance of next Tuesday’s Unplugged premiere, we’d like to present to you the latest installment of our exclusive photographic series here on VH1 Tuner, Music Seen. A lot has changed since Joy and John Paul shot their last Music Seen here at our VH1 headquarters in Times Square last May, and we’re not just talking about the critical and industry acclaim. Joy and her husband, Nate Yetton, are expecting their first child in June, which makes Joy the first person to perform an Unplugged set while pregnant in the show’s 22 year history. She definitely had the radiant glow that you always hear about, which you can see in our set of amazing photographs that Colin Gray shot in Harlem’s Metropolis Studios last week.
We’ve been hyping this insanely awesome episode of VH1 Unplugged for weeks, and now you can finally watch the whole thing! We’ve got the full five-song set for you above, which consists of Kelly Clarkson‘s stripped-down performances of “Mr. Know It All”, “Dark Side”, “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)”, “I Know You Won’t” and “Since U Been Gone.” You can watch it above, or head over to live viewing party on VH1.com to chat with fellow Kelly fans right now.
Don’t forget to tune-in to VH1 tomorrow night, Friday 11/18, at 11 p.m. ET/PT to watch the whole episode of VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson in glorious HD.
It’s finally here! We’re only 11 hours or so away until the online premiere of VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson, the full five-song set of which will arrive tonight at 7 p.m. ET. We’ve already shared sneak previews of Kelly’s emotionally-charged rendition of “Dark Side” and her killer cover of Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t”, but since we can barely contain our excitement about this amazing set, we thought we’d whet your appetite this morning with another exclusive reveal.
To that end, please enjoy Kelly’s take on “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger),” the second single off her new LP, Stronger. Even with “Mr. Know It All” sitting pretty at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, “What Doesn’t Kill You” is experiencing a great deal of chart success itself; it cracked the Top 20 on this week’s chart. Kelly has described this driving, upbeat empowerment anthem as “one of my favorite songs on the record, purely because it makes me want to work out … and I don’t like working out!” Well, whether she likes (or admits) to working out or not, we can confirm that Kelly looked stunning in the red bandage dress she wore to her Unplugged taping.
Be sure to come on back to VH1.com this evening at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT when we reveal the full VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson set. And don’t forget to set your DVRs to record VH1 at 11 p.m. ET/PT tomorrow night to see this truly amazing Unplugged performance in glorious high-definition.
Everyone’s got a dark side, even Kelly Clarkson, and she’s asking if you can love hers. So, can you? We know we can, especially after watching this exclusive sneak peek video of Kelly singing “Dark Side” on VH1 Unplugged, which will debut on VH1.com tomorrow night (Thursday, November 17) at 7 p.m., followed by the on-air premiere at 11 p.m. on Friday. In fact, this is what we love best about Kelly — that she’s just a regular girl. Acknowledging the pitfalls of her personality, Kelly invites us all to be imperfect without letting us (or herself) be any less perfectly loveable.
Along with Kelly’s moving performance of “Dark Side,” Unplugged will feature Kelly’s cover of fellow Idol Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” and yes, that gorgeous red dress Kelly wore on the day. If all this is starting to make you impatient, you can watch more sneak previews of Kelly talking about her ominous dreams and forgetting lyrics, as well as gushing over Mumford & Sons and Adele.
VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson makes its highly anticipated premiere exclusively on VH1.com this Thursday night, November 17, at 7 p.m. ET. We’ve already told you how stunning Kelly looked when this show taped back in late October, and if you caught her cover of Carrie Underwood’s “I Know You Won’t” when we premiered it last week, you have an idea yourself. However, VH1 photographer Colin Gray just sent us a bunch of the photos that he was able to take that afternoon and we couldn’t resist sharing his insanely awesome work with you (as well as a quick video of Kelly explaining why she didn’t perform barefoot, like she usually does, while taping VH1 Unplugged). Enjoy!
VH1 President Tom Calderone Reminisces About The History Of Unplugged
As the Internet gets hyped up over Kelly Clarkson‘s upcoming Unplugged set (premiering at VH1.com on November 17 and airing on VH1 the next day at 11 p.m. EST), VH1 President Tom Calderone tells Billboard that Kelly is a social media fiend, and shares some recollections about Unplugged episodes past.
Hans Zimmer Crowdsources For The Dark Night Rises Soundtrack
In an unorthodox project, composer Hans Zimmer is working on recording a crowdsourced chant for the new Christopher Nolan Batman film. You can even get involved! [Flavorwire]
We’re just one week and oh, say, six hours away from the premiere of VH1 Unplugged: Kelly Clarkson! Her five-song Unplugged set will debut exclusively on VH1.com at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, November 17, but we absolutely, positively couldn’t wait that long to share the above clip with you.
As part of her set, Kelly decided to cover “I Know You Won’t,” which was originally recorded by another American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood, on her 2007 LP Carnival Ride . Carrie’s version is gorgeous, no doubt, but whereas her version is languid to the point of being passive, Kelly infuses her take—which, we should add, is brought to you by our friends at Starburst—with her trademark combination of dignity, strength, and a touch of heartbreak. Try to listen to the whole thing and not get goosebumps, we dare you.