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Tag: Things We Love (51-60 of 96)

Maxwell and Jill Scott double the loving at New York's Madison Square Garden

maxwell-jill-scottImage Credit: Daniel Locke/PR Photos (2)On Friday night (June 26) true school R&B came to New York’s famed Madison Square Garden. For the latest stop on his Renaissance Hotel-sponsored tour, smooth crooner Maxwell shared the headlining bill with soul star Jill Scott. There was no opening act, but two main events. In a black shirt, skirt, sequined black tights, and a black heels, Scott kicked things off with hits like “The Way” and “I Love You,” a new track from her forthcoming album The Light of The Sun. “This song’s for the people that have loved someone real hard and f—– it all up,” she described before creeping into the funky mid-tempo cut that apologizes to an ex lover.

Songs like that are the reason Scott’s fans love her as much as they do. She’s a wonderful storyteller; her songs, descriptive and emotional, are simple and relateable, content-wise. When she set up “Cross My Mind,” a mostly spoken-word track about a not-so-good man who was great in the sack, she asked the women in the house, “You guys know what I’m talking about?” They did, screaming their “Yeah, girls” and “Uh huhs.”

Scott’s band—two drummers, a brass section, guitarist, and two keyboardists—was hipper than most, all dressed in black Adidas tracksuits. And only visible as silhouettes were two background dancers, sexily grooving to Scott’s music behind screens. As fast as she can sing about a trifling man, Scott can coo about one that treats her right. In an operatic fashion that would impress Pavarotti, she sang “He Loves Me,” and after showing her range in musical scales, she brushed herself off as if to say, “Yeah, I’m that good.”

The Grammy award-winning veteran has accomplished a lot for a person whose look isn’t that of a typical pop star. She’s not Beyoncé Knowles fit. She’s a curvy, full-figured lady. Her hair doesn’t fall to her shoulders and down her back. In fact, it was blown out in Afro fashion. Scott thanked to crowd for accepting her as she is, saying that music executives would prefer she change. “They want you to be skinny, hungry, and mad all the time,” she said. “I eat.”

Scott closed out strong with a trio a funky jams, starting with “Hate on Me,” then her Go-Go smash “A Long Walk,” and finally the uplifting, yet defiant “Golden.” Her half of the evening was an amazing showing of refined skill, making me wonder why she isn’t even more popular. She’s a complete woman, confident in her own skin and excellent at her chosen craft. There were no apologies and no topic was off limits. As she hinted at earlier, Scott’s a whole ‘lotta woman. And talent, too.

Waiting for Maxwell to hit the stage, I was scared Jill Scott’s impressive opening had blown Maxwell out of the building before he got to his dressing room. That was going to be a rough act to follow.

Find out how he did after the jump.


Happy Birthday, Cyndi Lauper! You are 57 years awesome

Cyndi-LauperImage Credit: Donna Ward/Getty ImagesShe talks like a cross between a drunk smurf and Tony Soprano. She once called Donald Trump a hypocritical fatty on network television. She is an outspoken, money-where-her-mouth-is supporter of gay and lesbian rights. She put out a pretty solid dance album just two years ago, and unleashes her eleventh, a collection of traditional blues songs, today. She was Gaga-looney before Gaga was even a twinkle. And of course: She bops.

Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper, we salute you. Happy 57th! Now tell us a story, while John Oates and his mustache look on: READ FULL STORY

Miley Cyrus and Bret Michaels on 'Good Morning America': A solid 'B+' (for the music... an 'A' for the hair)

Miley-Cyrus-Brett-MichaelsImage Credit: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagicYou know what makes a Friday morning pleasurable — besides thinking about the simple truth that in eight hours I’ll be enjoying a cocktail on a street-side table somewhere in NYC? The combination of Miley Cyrus and Bret Michaels! Singing his hit “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”!

Yeah that’s right, the teen queen showed up with the so-having-a-moment Michaels on Good Morning America to sing the song together. Cyrus, of course, has included a studio version of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” on her upcoming album, Can’t Be Tamed, which goes on sale this coming Tuesday. We’ve already been treated to gems like the title track “Can’t Be Tamed” and “Liberty Walk.” Michaels’ has got a new album, Custom Built, coming out on July 6, and the single he recorded with Cyrus, “Nothing to Lose,” has already been causing quite the stir.


Kanye West to perform at the BET Awards: Will this be his big comeback moment?

kanye-westImage Credit: Roger Kisby/Getty ImagesFor the first time since Taylorgate at MTV’s Video Music Awards last September, Kanye West will be hitting a major awards show stage. This morning BET announced that West will perform at the BET Awards on June 27. The last time West appeared on TV was the day after the VMAs to rap his verse on Jay-Z’s “Run This Town” alongside Rihanna and apologize for his gaffe on the premier episode of Jay Leno’s The Jay Leno Show. Since then he’s been pretty low key, working on his next album in Hawaii. Last week he released the as-yet-untitled LP’s first single “Power.” So far it has drawn critical acclaim and excitement.

West’s a dynamic performer, known for pulling out all the stops. But some are still iffy on whether or not he’s fit for the big stage yet. Are you ready to see him perform again? Think he’s going to do anything outlandish? Let us know.

Five reasons you should see Hall & Oates on tour

I’m not sure when it became ironic to dig Hall & Oates, but it bothers me deeply. Sure, I get that we’re all supposed to be so friggin’ cool by now that it’s impossible to love something without wrapping air quotes around it. But the blue-eyed soul duo’s awesomeness is so indisputable, it should be immune to winking snark. After all, these are the guys who wrote “Sara Smile”, “Maneater”, and one of the most perfect break-up tunes of all time, “She’s Gone”. There’s nothing guilty about the pleasure these songs bring the first, second, or hundredth time you hear them. And if you’ve never seen them performed live, do yourself a favor and check out the band’s current “Do What You Want, Be Who You Are” tour.

Still not convinced? Here’s five reasons you should see Hall & Oates live…

1. Because they’ll be wearing clothes a whole lot cooler than these:

2. Because Oates is…gasp!…going mustache-less these days.

3. Because there’s nothing comparable to the sound of a few thousand people trying to reproduce the hand-clap that comes 44 seconds into this song…

4. Because they’ll also be playing this…

5. Because when we recently saw them play the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut, Hall never once uttered the line, “Here’s one you may not know from our new album”.

New artist Christian TV's 'When She Turns 18': Could this be a summer smash?

christian-tvImage Credit: Bryan SheffieldNew Motown signee Christian TV (real name: Christian Berishaj) has a warning for fathers all over: Keeping your daughter cooped up in her room is only going to lead to her busting out and going nuts once birthday number 18 hits and the law allows.

The 24-year-old’s debut single, “When She Turns 18,” is like the aggressive synth-pop version of John Mayer’s 2003 tune, “Daughters.” Back then Mayer explained to dads that parenting the beautiful young ladies in your home poorly is going to make them damaged adults.

Seven years later, Christian’s “18” promises that restricted girls will pack their duffles and leave their prison homes.

“She just wants attention and you won’t give it to her,” Christian sings on the cut. “Living in detention, she’s gotta get away. She’s got her life in a bag and she’s on the run. Girls really do just wanna have fun.”

Christian recently shot a new video to support the first single from his forthcoming as-yet-untitled debut album. But before he earned his record deal, the Detroit native made his own. So while we wait on the new version, check out his raunchy slumber party (NSFW) clip after the jump.


Drake says his Kanye West-produced ‘Find Your Love’ is a 'huge risk'

DrakeImage Credit: George Pimentel/WireImageHip-hop’s new-school frontrunner Drake just released “Find Your Love,” the second single from his forthcoming debut album, Thank Me Later. This Kanye West-produced track finds the rapper singing about what he describes as “one of my worst character traits.” Apparently the 24-year-old has the worst luck picking the right woman. “I look for love in the wrong people,” he recently told us. “It just always seem like the women I find are poison for me. I love women that can just walk into a room and stop the whole area. And I think that those initial qualities always end up getting me hurt, which is a crazy thing for a guy to say.”

The beat’s hip-hop-meets-Phil Collins pop sound is similar to the dreary tunes found on West’s last album 808s & Heartbreak. But Drake, sans the Auto-Tune West used, sings well here. On “Love,” Drake, hurt by women many times before, hopes his next relationship doesn’t crash like the others. “I’ve been through this s— so many times that if I go through his again,” he says of the song’s concept, “I better find your love. You better be that one. Because if not, I don’t know what type of guy I’m going to turn into.”

Broken hearts aren’t typically the topic of hip-hop songs. Drake believes that his supporters, especially the guys, will be able to relate. But he knows he’s taking a chance. “Find Your Love” is an extremely vulnerable song,” he says. “And it’s actually a huge risk. It almost feels like the song should be performed by a woman. I’m just hoping that men really hear the song and they’re honest with themselves. I know a lot of men feel that way.”

Drake and director Anthony Mandler (who also handled the clip for his first single, “Over”) shot “Find Your Love” in Jamaica two weeks ago. “I took it to the very extreme. It’s incredible. I did it for a reason. I want to show how painful that process really is when you realize that you’ve been searching in the wrong place.”

What do you think? Are you a fan of Drake’s new single? Let us know.

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

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Regina Spektor covers Radiohead’s “No Surprises” for charity
Grizzly Bear gives a new song to Washington’s Lottery ad: Watch and hear it exclusively here!
Tokyo Police Club, ‘Boots of Danger (Wait Up)’: A Music Mix exclusive stream

Actor Alessandro Nivola: His Music Mix playlist

Alessandro-NivolaImage Credit: Walter McBride/RetnaAlessandro Nivola, the chameleon-like actor known for toggling nimbly between art-house hits (Junebug, Coco Before Chanel) and the popcorn multiplex (Face/Off, Jurassic Park III), has developed a bit of a mini-specialty: Movies about music, and the people that make it.

In 2002’s Laurel Canyon, he was the free-spirited frontman who seduced Frances McDormand and Kate Beckinsale with his British accent and rampant shirtlessness. In Janie Jones, due later this year, he plays the washed-up rocker dad of a young girl played by Abigail Breslin (Zombieland, Little Miss Sunshine). For both, Nivola recorded multiple songs, using his own vocals.

And in Who Do You Love, which opens in limited release today, he portrays Leonard Chess, the man whose namesake record label first fostered Chuck Berry, Etta James, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, and countless others. (The story was also told in 2008’s Cadillac Records, starring Beyonce and Adrien Brody).

With that in mind, Nivola picked a Chess-centric playlist for EW, featuring everyone from Howlin’ Wolf to the Rolling Stones, after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's 'Telephone' video: Beautiful cigarette sunglasses, Honey Buns, and sandwich-making

Gay Christmas arrived last night in the form of the latest Lady Gaga video for “Telephone,” which features Beyoncé. Before I pontificate on the video itself, why don’t you just take a gander at the infusion of Thelma & Louise, ridiculous fashions, sandwich making (hello, Miracle Whip!), and “Cell Block Tango” here:

First of all: What a beautiful mess. You can be assured that I spent the nine-plus minutes with my eyes bugging out, ferociously taking down ideas for potential Halloween costumes.

And second of all: Bravo Gaga! Say what you will about the diva and this video specifically (I’ve already been reading some less-than-enthusiastic reviews on the internets this morning, although I’m not gonna dignify them by linking), but “Telephone” is a masterpiece. And, it goes without saying that no one in the past decade has done more for the music video genre than this lady. Just look at the fact that the anticipation for this nine and a half minute clip warranted a week-long run-up, with promotions for its big reveal on E! last night beginning during the Oscars on Sunday. Is it as good as her epic “Bad Romance” video? Sadly, I don’t think so. But it’s better than anything else out there.


Vh1's 'Soul Train' documentary: don't miss it

I am not usually one to shill for Vh1 programming on this blog, unless it’s for the music Tom Sizemore hears in his head on Celebrity Rehab, but the channel’s Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America, which airs Saturday night at 9:30pm ET/PT, should not be missed.

Terrence Howard narrates the documentary, Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson scores it, and countless icons spanning the show’s 40-year run, including Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Sly Stone, Smokey Robinson and Snoop Dogg, appear as talking heads.

But the real star of Hippest Trip is the show itself: Archival clips from its early beginnings as a local program in Chicago in 1970 and on through its move—both geographical and cultural—to Los Angeles, where its social impact reached far beyond hair styles and hot-minute singles.

Soul Train‘s producer and host, Don Cornelius, is still the man with the best baritone this side of James Earl Jones (and his snazzy outfits leave Darth Jones in the dust). The guests, from Ike & Tina to Public Enemy, are amazing—not to mention some of the first musicians to appear live on TV in a time when lip-synching was considered de rigueur. And the dancers, future stars Rosie Perez and Jody Watley among them, are insanely fun to watch. If you can toot your caboose half as well this crew on the infamous Soul Train Line, while looking one-tenth as fashion bananas, you are a champion.

Or, you could just make love to a red rose, rock the bejesus out of a pair of yellow poly pants and a brown silk arm sling, and be Al Green:

Seriously, tune in tomorrow night. If you have ever loved R&B, soul, hip hop, music, television, or joy, it is worth your time.

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Frances Bean Cobain to make recording debut
Kelly Clarkson responds to Taylor Swift’s record-label defense: ‘Take a lesson’
U.K. twin sensation Jedward cover “Under Pressure”: The crazy video — with Vanilla Ice cameo! — you didn’t know you needed
Fall Out Boy: Done for good?
Lady Antebellum tops the albums chart

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