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Tag: Things We Love (31-40 of 96)

Kelly Clarkson tears through a medley of hits on 'Ellen': Watch it here

Can you believe it’s been almost a decade since Kelly Clarkson beat out Justin Guarini to become the first American Idol? And can you believe there was a time when “Kelly or Justin?” was actually a valid question?

Still the all-time reigning Idol in terms of worldwide sales and vocal prowess, Clarkson performed a knockout medley of her hits yesterday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Although her upcoming fifth album has been held back until September, the Texas powerhouse wasn’t holding herself back when she ran through “Miss Independent,” “Walk Away,” and “Since U Been Gone” for a lucky Florida crowd. Watch it here: READ FULL STORY

SXSW: EW's take on the ten best new bands of the fest, and where you can hear more

Now that the dust has settled (literally; nobody returns from Austin without accidentally exporting a good handful of gold-toned Texas dirt) from this year’s SXSW Music Festival, we’re left with the headlines—Kanye! FoosTasers as indie-rock crowd control!—and the memories.

Of 2,000 bands, a mortal human can only conceivably see some small, smidgen-y percent. But even smidgens translate into dozens, and below, my L.A.-based colleague James Hibberd and I list our favorites outside the Kanye/Foos/taser axis.

(If you weren’t there but you want to fake it, iTunes also has its own dozens of digital-only live-performance EPs from this year’s festival, ranging from Ryan Bingham and Jessica Lea Mayfield to Glasser and Lucinda Williams, most for under $5; click here to view.)

Leah’s Picks

Odd Future (a.k.a. Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All)
I mean, I’m not exactly going out on a limb with this one; people talking about OF at this year’s fest was the new people talking about where the best free day-party booze is. And frankly, the L.A. hip-hop collective is not a remotely sure thing; an incendiary Thrasher party set (in which de facto leader Tyler the Creator broke a kid’s nose in a speaker-stack dive; kid subsequently seemed pretty stoked with his bloody badge of honor) and scene-stealing Woodies performance was just as likely as the 15-lackluster-minutes-and-a-walk-off they pulled in their headlining slot at the Billboard showcase.

Still, there’s something about their whole ethos—in a lot of ways, much closer to the ’90s hardcore/skate-punk scene than anything resembling modern commercial hip-hop—that felt fresh; little else in rap these days feels dangerous or spontaneous in the way Tyler and Co. do, even if all that swag stuff is just extremely smart guerrilla marketing. READ FULL STORY

Phil Collins' retirement from music: Five reasons we'll miss him

phil-collinsImage Credit: David M. Benett/Getty ImagesI suspect the news that Phil Collins is retiring—at least temporarily—from music will have been greeted in many quarters with the clink of champagne flutes and hearty cries of, “Thanks god we’ve gotten rid of that bald bastard at last.”

Certainly, the Genesis drummer and solo superstar has been responsible for some terrible music in his time, and I remain amazed that his hellacious 1989 single “Another Day In Paradise” never became the subject of some kind of war crimes commission. But, personally, I’ve always thought Phil Collins was fairly awesome. Here’s five reasons why:

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Ke$ha shoots co-star James Van Der Beek and countless unicorns in her 'Blow' video

KeshaHow did unicorns die out? According to Ke$ha’s “Blow” music video, it looks like she and James Van Der Beek gunned down most of them at a swank cocktail party (the last refuge of any endangered species).

The first two minutes of “Blow” are deceptively normal—well, as average as a video with bipedal unicorns in tuxedos can be. Deprived of her trademark Keith Richards-via-dumpster-diving look, this edition of Ke$ha is dressed to the nines, sipping champagne and dancing with the soiree’s only other non-mythical member, James Van Der Beek (Who refers to her as Ke-dollar sign-HA, just like Glee’s Principal Figgins).

Sparkling wine? Where’s the Jack D, girl? Has fame and fortune spoiled our pretension-free party girl? Considering her first words to Dawson Leery are, “Well, if it isn’t James Van Der Douche,” the answer is a resounding “no.” (Skip ahead to 2:20 for the funny stuff).

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Adele sings 'Natural Woman' beautifully on 'VH1 Unplugged' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

If British chanteuse Adele had been included in Sunday’s Grammys-opening tribute to Aretha Franklin (and honestly, why wasn’t she?), it’s worth considering: What ‘Retha song should/would/could she have contributed?

Well, any and all of course — there’s little this lady can’t do. But based on her explosive, emotive rendition of “Natural Woman” in this exclusive clip from an upcoming episode of VH1′s Unplugged, we here at EW would vote resoundingly for Carole King’s woman-empowered classic that Aretha popularized in 1967. As you might imagine, the rebooted Unplugged atmosphere is just perfect for Adele’s fiery singer-songwriter sensibility. Plus, it showcases the fact that this gal can sing. She don’t need no backup. No synthesizers. And no dancers. It’s all about her.

VH1 Unplugged: Adele premieres online Thursday, March 3, at 7 p.m. at Unplugged.VH1.com and will air on VH1 Friday, March 4, at 11 p.m. The online premiere on March 3 will be accompanied by a live viewing party where fans can watch and chat with one another. Watch the beautiful clip of Adele singing “Natural Woman” here:

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Rihanna and her leashed pet Perez Hilton get naughty in 'S&M' video: Watch here

rihanna“I may be bad/But I’m perfectly good at it,” Rihanna belts in her absolutely raunchy new single “S&M.” “Sticks and stones may break my bones/But chains and whips excite me.” With lyrics like those, we expected an equally risque video. And yes, she’s delivered. This morning the pop star debuted the visual, featuring just about every tool necessary to fulfill a slave and master fantasy. The aforementioned whips and chains are in play, as are mouth gags, saran wrap, and blowup dolls.

READ FULL STORY

Kid-music star Justin Roberts talks about his Grammy nomination and why children's music is more serious than you think

If you hear the name Justin in the same sentence as the word Grammys, chances are you’re thinking actor/producer/hilarious SNL-er Timberlake. But this year, another Justin — one even more popular to a certain diminutive set of music lovers — is poised to take home a Grammy on February 13th.  And chances are if you are a child, have a child, or live within earshot of a home where a child lives, you’ve heard and heard of Justin Roberts, a religious studies graduate student turned preschool teacher turned hilarious and heartfelt kid rocker whose album Jungle Gym is nominated alongside offerings from They Might Be Giants and Pete Seeger for “Best Album for Children” this year.

 

EW: Jungle Gym is your seventh album…each more beloved than the last by fans but never rewarded by the Grammy voters. What did it feel like to finally get a nod this year? READ FULL STORY

Thanksgiving's over, so let's talk Christmas music

Every year for the past decade-and-a-half or so, I’ve sent out a Christmas music compilation CD as my holiday card to friends and family. It’s typically about 20 tracks of “traditional” Christmas songs (so Weezer’s “Silent Night” could be on there, but not “Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto” by Snoop’s Dogg Pound), because those are the classics that get me all warm and fuzzy around the time the trees go bare and the gas bill goes up. For the first few years it was a piece of cake. Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas CD showed up every year, as did gems from collections by Frank Sinatra, Etta James, James Taylor, and Tony Bennett. But a CD greeting card that goes out each and every year, basically containing renditions of the same relatively small pool of songs, desperately needs variety to make it worthwhile year in and year out. As time went by, that became a real challenge. Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” is awesome, but those well-known one-off-type tracks will make your compilations seem gimmicky if they keep showing up every year. To keep it interesting, you gotta find the deep cuts – and keep finding them year in and year out, despite the limited number of new Christmas CDs entering the picture each year.

In this ongoing hunt over the years, I’ve found some really wonderful music, though, and figured this weekend, as we kick off the official holiday season, I’d share a few of my favorites (some albums, some individual songs). This is in hopes that you, EW.com readers, will share yours with me (more fodder for next year’s collection – the Holiday 2010 mix is already a wrap). So without further ado, in no particular order: READ FULL STORY

Pink's 'Raise Your Glass' video toasts to fat girls, gay dudes, and Rosie the Riveter

You know that awesome single “Raise Your Glass” that Pink released about a month ago for inclusion on her forthcoming greatest hits album? Well, she’s upped the ante for the song with a provocative, hilarious, winky new video for the rousing single, which debuted today. Pink has said before that she wrote the song for all the underdogs out there—hence inspiring lyrics like “so raise your glass if you are wrong—in all the right ways—all my underdogs”—so it’s no surprise that the clip features several very weird situations featuring people that you might call—how shall we say it?—less fortunate.

Anyway, there’s the fat girl eating lunch between two cardboard cutouts of skinny gals (don’t worry—fat girl gets her moment); Pink singing at a gay wedding (which features two dudes kissing—apparently the thing du jour in pop music videos these days, just see Katy Perry’s recent video for “Firework”); and a dairy farm that features blindfolded women being milked for a baby calf to drink (it’s a rather startling image).

Of course, the supposed-to-be empowering imagery doesn’t stop there! No, no. Pink shows up as a WWII-esque Rosie the Riveter, Pink jabs a bullfighter instead of a bull, and Pink appears possibly being scandalous with different religious figures. It’s a thoughtful, endlessly watchable video, just what we’d all expect from the always-on-her-toes Pink. Watch it for yourself here:

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Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy: Have we heard it all already?

Kanye-WestImage Credit: George Napolitano/FilmMagic.comEarlier this week, Kanye West‘s forthcoming fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, became available for iTunes presale. Along with that came the unveiling of the album’s track listing. Officially released singles like the defiant “Power” and self deprecating “Runaway” are there. And several songs released through West’s free weekly G.O.O.D. Friday series like the Nicki Minaj-assisted “Monster” and “So Apalled,” which features Jay-Z, also made the cut. Not to mention “Devil in a New Dress” and “See Me Now” with Beyoncé–which he dropped rough versions of this summer. And then on Saturday in his culture-clashing short movie, Runaway, Kanye debuted huge chunks of “Dark Fantasy,” “Gorgeous,” “All of the Lights,” “Hell of a Life,” “Blame Game,” and “Lost in the World.” Add all of those up and that’s the entire album.

Bummed out there won’t be any “new” tracks or surprises when you unwrap the packaging come November 22? You shouldn’t be. For one thing, Kanye’s only given us two whole finished tracks that we can probably expect to remain as they are on the album: “Power” and “Runaway.” The cuts featured on Runaway function more so as abbreviated songs to score the movie. We never even heard him rap on “Blame Game”–just John Legend’s crooning over keys. As for the G.O.O.D. Friday gems, Kanye laughed at the idea that those were finished when he leaked them in an interview with MTV after the movie’s premier. “Even though the track listing [is out],” he started, “People, they think that they’ve heard these songs. No, the have not heard these songs.”

And let’s not forget that Kanye is known for adding songs and creating new mixes of tracks at the 25th hour. When his debut album, The College Dropout, was almost entirely leaked by hackers early in 2004, he went back in the studio to best the bootleggers and thirsty bloggers, adding new instruments and drum patterns to it before it had to be submitted to his record label. And just as Graduation, his third album, was due in the summer of 2007 he cranked out “Flashing Lights.” So who’s to say that what we’ve heard is it?

As they do with all pre-ordered albums, iTunes warns on Kanye’s that “the pre-order contents listed here are subject to change without notice and the final product received may differ.” In this case, I expect exactly that.

Do you feel like Kanye spoiled the album for you? Or do expect a couple a new nuggets in your Fantasy meal? Let us know in the comments section.

(Follow The Music Mix on Twitter:@EWMusicMix.)

More on the Music Mix:
Kid Rock on Steven Tyler’s ‘American Idol’ judgeship: ‘I think it’s the stupidest thing he’s ever done’
Sugarland leads this week’s Billboard 200 albums chart
Taylor Swift’s ‘Speak Now’ on track for year’s biggest sales week
Kanye West and Jay-Z are making a full album together

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