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Tag: Things That Make Us Go Hmm (61-70 of 154)

Nicki Minaj releases new song 'Starships': Hear it here

In case you forgot, today was the original intended release date for Nicki Minaj’s second proper album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. (Those of you wishing to get your Valentine some new music will have to settle for the new Band of Skulls record.) That full-length will now be out in April, but Minaj wouldn’t let the pinkest of days go by without some fresh tunes.

In addition to premiering the song “Roman Holiday” on Sunday night’s Grammy Awards (more on that super-polarizing six minutes in a bit), Minaj also unveiled a new tune called “Starships,” which happens to be produced by Lady Gaga hitmaker RedOne — a deeply disturbing trend, considering she also tapped former Gaga choreographer Lauriann Gibson to design her Grammy show.

It’s super clubby and contains almost no rapping, which continues Minaj’s push into the complete opposite direction she should be heading.

Give the song a listen below. READ FULL STORY

Bon Iver scores upset victory for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards

Unlike past years, the 2012 version of the Grammy Awards was not a particularly shock-filled show. Most of the awards went to Adele, so it’s telling that the one big left-field selection came in a category that did not feature the big-voiced Brit.

When it came time to announce the winner for Best New Artist (awarded by the charming tag team of Tony Bennett and Carrie Underwood), any one of the five names nominated could have walked away with the award. (Well, OK, everybody except J. Cole.)

But while many, including Las Vegas bookies, thought that Nicki Minaj would walk away with the gold, the name in the envelope ended up being Bon Iver.

It was clearly an uncomfortable moment for Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon, who had already won a prize earlier in the night for Best Alternative Album. In the weeks leading up to the Grammys, he had said dismissive things about the show, noting that he was not interested in winning awards nor did he want to perform unless he was allowed to play his own songs. Would his victory turn into a Fiona Apple moment?

When he finally stepped up to the microphone, Vernon did mention that the joy of making music was reward enough, but he was also gracious in thanking the voters, other nominees, and musicians who would never be nominated. He also gave a shout-out to his label Jagjaguwar, in what is almost certainly the first time that tiny indie shingle has been called out on the Grammy stage.

What did you think of Vernon’s victory and speech? Did you notice that Minaj looked super upset when they announced Bon Iver’s name? Drop your best new thoughts in the comments.

Read More on EW.com:
Grammys 2012: The Winners
Jennifer Hudson pays tribute to Whitney Houston
Grammys 2012: Complete Coverage
Adele makes triumphant post-surgery return at Grammys

Nicki Minaj levitates, lights fires, speaks in tongues for Grammys performance of new single 'Roman Holiday'

When the performance slate for the Grammy Awards came out, it was a little bit surprising that Lady Gaga was not included on the list. Who would pick up the over-the-top theatrical slack with Mother Monster sitting on the sidelines?

Nicki Minaj was happy to fill in. In the evening’s most complicated and elaborate performance, she began on stage with “The Pope” (really just a weird old man from central casting who walked the red carpet with her), and began “confessing” the lyrics to her new single “Roman Holiday.”

Things only got weirder, as the show cut to a pre-taped segment that featured the same holy-man character showing up at a house for an exorcism. Who needed a demon purged? Minaj herself, who haphazardly put on lipstick and sang the lyrics to “I Feel Pretty” to herself as she climbed up the wall.

Eventually, the action cut back to the Staples Center stage, featuring lots of stained glass and a small army of monks. Minaj was strapped to a Frankenstein-esque lab table, eventually set free to rap through the remainder of the song.

In short, it was a mess, featuring a whole lot of religious imagery, a smattering of pyro, and no real messages to be found. The one great moment was when Minaj levitated in what might have been an homage to The Craft.

It was certainly the night’s most bombastic stage production, but it’s unclear exactly how we’re supposed to feel about Nicki Minaj (or her alter ego Roman Zolanski) once it ended.

What did you think of Nicki Minaj? Use your wackiest fake British accent in the comments.

Read More on EW.com:
Grammys 2012: The Winners
Adele performs ‘Rolling in the Deep’ at Grammys
Grammys 2012: Complete Coverage

Rebecca Black's 'Friday' video turns one today. If only there was some sort of helpful reminder of what today is!

Rebecca-Black_320.jpg

If there hasn’t been a Friday over the last year in which, at some point, you didn’t sing “Gettin’ down on Friday” or “We, we, we so excited” to yourself, then celebrating today’s musical milestone should feel bittersweet.

To be fair, Rebecca Black‘s “Friday” didn’t actually take over our lives — and thus forever alter our knowledge of how the week works (“Yesterday it is Thursday, today it is Friday”) and major decisions like where to sit in our friends’ cars — until March 2011. But the video was actually released one year ago today, Feb. 10, 2011, courtesy of ARK Music Factory. That’s right, it took the Internet almost an entire month to stumble upon this gem.

Here’s some fun, fun, fun, fun facts about Rebecca Black’s “Friday” over the past year:
READ FULL STORY

Bon Iver says 'No, thank you' to performing at the Grammys, with expletives

Bon-Iver

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver had a pretty remarkable 2011, what with the attention for his self-titled album, his work with Kanye West, and his sudden demand as a collaborator and producer. He’s up for a handful of Grammys next Sunday, February 12, and may just walk away with some gold, but you will not see him onstage with a guitar.

The conversation certainly happened, though it broke down in apparently spectacular fashion. Billboard  spoke to Vernon last night (he’s in New York for a performance on Saturday Night Live this weekend), and he laid out the story in rather verbose terms.

“We wanted to play our music, but were told that we couldn’t play. We had to do a collaboration with someone else,” Vernon told the magazine. “And we just felt like it was such a large stage — we’re getting nominated for this record that we made. Me and Brian [Joseph] and a bunch of our f—ing friends and we were given accolades for it, and all of a sudden we were being asked to play music that had nothing to do with that. We kind of said ‘f— you’ a little bit, and they sort of acted like they wanted us to play, but I don’t think they wanted us to play.”

Vernon didn’t divulge who the Grammy producers wanted him to collaborate with, but he did not that they were “awesome people.” “But you know what? F—in’ rock n’ roll should not be decided by people that have that job,” Vernon added. “Rock n’ roll should be the f—ing people with guitars around their backs.”

So while Vernon will not be joining the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, and Nicki Minaj on the Grammys stage, who are the “awesome people” the producers wanted Vernon to tag-team with for a song or two? Leave your guesses, conspiracy theories, and wild accusations in the comments.

Read more on EW.com:
Best New Artist Grammy winners over the past 25 years: Did they live up to their title?
Grammy Nominations: Snubs and Surprises
Bon Iver releases ‘Holocene’ video, lets disillusioned little boy be great: Watch here
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon talks about his new album, Kanye, and why home is where the heart is: An EW Q&A

Lana Del Rey makes up for past sins on 'Letterman'

Sorry, backlash fans: Lana Del Rey wins this round.

After a certain disastrous late-night television performance (you know the one), ol’ LDR bounced back last night with an improved showing on The Late Show With David Letterman.

Once again singing her breakout hit “Video Games,” the once-wooden starlet looked to have been better oiled and more prepared for a national stage.

Also helping was the fact that the Late Show camera crew mercifully took some of the heat off of Del Rey by periodically focusing on other people, ones equipped with musical instruments and chairs.

Another possible factor for the controversial songstress’ relatively smooth outing? A confidence boost stemming from knowing that her debut effort Born to Die is in the lead for the highly coveted non-Adele top spot on the Billboard 200.

We could keep making guesses, or you could just watch the video below and rate her performance yourself:

READ FULL STORY

BET bans Nicki Minaj's 'Stupid Hoe' video

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Roman Zolanski’s really done it this time.

Like Ciara and the Game before her, Nicki Minaj is seeing her latest music video — the vibrant, Hype Williams-directed “Stupid Hoe” — banned from BET.

Though the network hasn’t officially cited specific reasons behind the move, a rep confirmed to TMZ that the clip would not be airing on the channel due to its general explicit nature. Sorry, delicate BET viewers!

The single, taken from the raptrix’s forthcoming Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (out April 3), prominently features the line “you a stupid hoe,” and the bonkers video is haunted by a floating, disembodied bare booty.

If you absolutely demand to see Minaj on television, however, she will be performing this weekend at what’s in theory one of the most family-friendly venues in America, the Super Bowl. Hopefully for NBC’s sake, all booties will be draped and attached to their rightful owners.

More on EW.com:
M.I.A. gears up for Super Bowl with a new(ish) single, ‘Bad Girls’
Madonna’s Super Bowl performance will feature LMFAO, says will.i.am
Nicki Minaj bumps second album, premieres ‘Stupid Hoe’ video: Watch it here!

Ringo Starr talks Beatles days with Russell Brand... but is there anything we don't already know?

A trim and tan Ringo Starr regaled a select group of fans yesterday in at a SiriusXM “Town Hall” held the Troubadour in Los Angeles, to promote the release of his new studio album Ringo 2012, out today. If you didn’t know the former Beatle was 71 years old, you would not have believed it — rarely has a septuagenarian rock star looked this good. He gamely bantered with host Russell Brand, who has held back on a sex joke. “The whole day is sort of designed to elicit relentless ejaculation,” Brand told the crowd at the Troubadour before the event began. (“If I talk about relentless ejaculation now,” Brand added, apparently talking to a SiriusXM producer, “it probably won’t be part of the broadcast.”)

Sex jokes aside, a great deal of the hour-long audience Q&A — the second half of which was moderated by music producer Don Was — was spent on Beatles nostalgia, from reminiscing about their final rooftop concert (yesterday was that event’s 43rd anniversary, a fact that took Starr by surprise), all the way back to when the drummer would watch the Beatles perform before he’d joined the band. READ FULL STORY

Lana Del Rey did fine on 'SNL,' says Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is certainly no “gangster Nancy Sinatra” (or gangster anything, really), but the lady does know how to brush that dirt off her shoulder.

Her album Born to Die finally dropped today, yet many people are still having trouble getting past her much-maligned showing on Saturday Night Live, which 22.53 percent of you thought was SNL‘s worst musical outing of all time. (Ashlee Simpson “won” the poll with 54.85 percent.)

Del Rey, however, has no idea what you’re talking about.

“I actually felt good about it. I thought I looked beautiful and sang fine,” she told Rolling Stone, presumably with a straight face. “It felt OK.”

“The cast and crew said they loved it,” she added. “I know some people didn’t like it, but that’s just the way I perform, and my fans know that.”

READ FULL STORY

Did Disney inadvertently spark a possible Joy Division reunion?

Getting members from defunct bands to reassemble can be a tricky business, but Disney may have found “A Means to an End.”

It began when the company riffed off of Joy Division’s 1979 classic Unknown Pleasures for a new t-shirt, altering the black-and-white pattern from the album’s iconic cover art to resemble Mickey Mouse’s distinctly shaped head.

After garnering much attention online, the shirt was discontinued by Disney, and now the ones in circulation fetch hundreds of dollars on eBay.

But the fracas may also inspire a 3/4ths reunion for the beloved post-punk band.

READ FULL STORY

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