You know it seems like you’ve never heard of an act and then, in a flash, it seems like they’ve everywhere? So it is with A Great Big World.
The New York duo composed of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino first caught people’s attention with their viral hit “This Is the New Year,” which was covered on “Glee” earlier this year.
Then on Nov. 4, they performed their fragile, sad piano ballad, “Say Something,” with Christina Aguilera on “The Voice.” A studio version of the tune, also featuring Aguilera, was released that night on iTunes and sold enough copies for the song to soar to No. 2 on the ITunes Songs chart, according to Billboard.
And now the video of the song, released last night, takes its anguish to a new level. If you’re not reduced to tears by the elderly couple, your last name is clearly Grinch and your heart needs to grow three sizes immediately. While Aguilera over-emotes a little in the video, she shows admirable restraint vocally, beautifully pairing with Axel’s vocals. The tune, which is No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, could have the sustaining success of Pink’s “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring fun.’s Nate Ruess.
Following a self-released, Kickstarter-funded EP, A Great Big World has since signed with Black Magnetic/Epic Records, and will release its full-length debut album, "It There Anybody Out There," early next year.
As for Aguilera, she seems to be having more success as a featured artist right now than as the main attraction. She and Pitbull took “Feel This Moment” to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 earlier this year and it topped Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Songs.
A Great Big World and Aguilera will perform “Say Something” on the American Music Awards Sunday night (24).
What you need to know about the New York duo
You know it seems like you’ve never heard of an act and then, in a flash, it seems like they’ve everywhere? So it is with A Great Big World.
She has never looked more beautiful or vulnerable
Katy Perry is the fairest of them all in the beautiful video for new single, “Unconditionally.” She travels through time and different scenarios —outside in the snow, at a ball — as her love burns through her (literally).
With frozen scenes that look like lavishly photographed tableaux, the video is a sumptuous visual feast with looks inspired by films like “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Anna Karenina,” according to Perry.
Love is a serious matter and it can feel like you’ve gotten hit by a truck when the right one comes along. In a beautiful explosion of color, the outdoor Perry gets hit by a car and the hit causes another version of herself to be immersed in flower petals that flow around her until the two images meld into one stunning final image.
It’s an intense video that attempts to capture real love. Perry isn’t winking to the camera. She is at her most vulnerable and her most beautiful. We never see the object of her desire and we don't need to. We know her love for him is complete.
"Unconditionally" is the second single from her No. 1 album, "Prism."
What do you think of “Unconditionally?”
Stalking, or looking out for what's yours?
Don’t leave Britney Spears alone in your bedroom. That’s the takeaway from the lyric video from her new ballad, “Perfume.”
The clip features time-lapse Los Angeles traffic footage (see, we do have a skyline!), as the words to the song pop up on screen. “I’ll never tell, tell on myself, but I hope she smells my perfume,” Spears sings as she (or at least her hands) trawl through her lover’s things. She leaves her lip print on a book of matches, goes through his drawers, leaves love notes where they can easily be found, and even spritzes a sheet of paper with her perfume and hides it in her bow-tie-wearing beau’s shirt jacket. To her credit, the cologne she sprays doesn’t even look like it’s one of her signature scents. It’s rare these days for an artist to bypass a product placement, but it looks like Spears did...
There’s a fine line between stalker and just looking out for what’s yours and Spears comes a little close to stalking here, given that her boyfriend is nowhere in sight, but we’ll wait to see how the full video unfurls to decide whether he needs to take out a restraining order.
"Perfume" is the second single from "Britney Jean," Spears' eighth studio album out Dec. 3. Another track, the William Orbit-produced "Alien," leaked yesterday. Like "Perfume," it features Spears signing rather than her breathy talking vocals as as on "Work Bitch." She's questioning life beyond earth in the new tune. Hear "Alien" here.
In the meantime, MTV is offering you a chance to attend Spears' new Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino as part of a new contest. Fans can enter between now and Dec. 1 at Britney.MTV.com
We have 'High Hopes' for an early 2014 arrival.
Bruce Springsteen will release a new single, “High Hopes,” next Monday. The bigger question is how quickly will a new studio album, his 18th, follow?
Yesterday, the internet ran wild with rumors that Springsteen would put out “High Hopes” today, but last night his website, brucespringsteen.net, squelched that by putting up a single cover and news that the tune will come out next Monday, Nov. 25.
Now speculation is that a new Springsteen album, his first since 2012’s “Wrecking Ball,” could come out as early as January, according to Billboard.
Fans know that Springsteen has been in the studio, including while he was on the road in Australia, where it seems that “High Hopes” was recorded. “We’ve never had a recording session during a tour in our lives,” he told Rolling Stone. “We did a couple of things that I wanted to put down. So that was very exciting.”
Springsteen included a version of the tune in the 1996 documentary, “Blood Brothers,” but next Tuesday’s rendition was recorded this summer with Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello. The guitarist was filling in for Steven Van Zandt, who was filming “Lillehammer.”
Since 2002’s “The Rising,” Springsteen has released six studio albums and he told Rolling Stone that he’s feeling prolific. “I have a lot of material. I still feel like I’m in the middle of the well.”
Springsteen is on a little break from touring right now, and presumably in the studio. After coming off the road in late September, he said, “A week or two later, after stopping [touring], I’m in the studio working, making a demo.”
In January, Springsteen and the E Street Band will play South Africa for the first time, which makes it a little doubtful that we’ll see the new album before those Jan. 26-Feb. 1 shows, but it’s good to know it’s coming. His last two sets were both released in the first quarter. Given that he is playing in South Africa the night of the Grammy Awards (Jan. 26), he won't have that platform to kick off the new set like he did "Wrecking Ball," or the Super Bowl half-time, which he used to promote 2009's "Working On a Dream," which came out a few days before the game.
Below is a loose-limbed version of the song performed by Springsteen and the band in Australia earlier this year.Under that is the Havalinas' original version. Unlike Springsteen's take of Jimmy Cliff's "Trapped," he stays pretty faithful to the original here.
See Kim Kardashian's assets on display in new clip
Kanye West lets his wild horses run free in his new video for “Bound2,” while his fiance Kim Kardashian lets her breasts run free. It’s as cheesy a video as we’ve ever seen. So much so, I’m a little in awe of just how bad it is.
The Nick Knight-directed video, which premiered on “Ellen” yesterday, has some of the worst green screen work (perhaps intentionally?) I’ve ever seen as West rides his motorcycle through very scenic America, but only has eyes for a topless Kardashian who straddles the bike and him and reclines on his ride, seemingly not caring at all that she’s gliding past the Grand Tetons. She also looks sexily into the camera and hugs her man...because, really, no sight can compare to the sight of her man.
It’s an instantly iconic video but not for a good reason. Unlike the other famous video it has recalled for me and some other bloggers—Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again,” which featured lead singer David Coverdale’s then girlfriend, Tawny Kitaen, having her way with a car hood —this one isn’t the least bit sexy except maybe to Kimye. Their combined narcissism runs as rampant as the flowing rivers. And it’s a bad song to boot. And yet, I cant stop watching it...
What do you think?
It doesn't stand for what you may think it does
Lady Gaga isn’t the only one making music with R. Kelly. In his latest #musicmonday offering, Justin Bieber and the singer come together for “PYD.” No, that doesn’t stand for “Pretty Young Ding” (sorry, bad Michael Jackson joke). It stands for “Put You Down.”
However, “Put You Down” doesn’t refer to putting an animal to sleep or saying something bad about someone, in Bieber-speak it means laying some love on his lady...whether he’s “putting you down” in every room in the house or on a plane or train or roof or balcony. It’s Bieber meets R-rated Dr. Seuss.
Kelly comes in about midway through the slow jam. “I’ve been doing forensics on your body in this club and I can tell by how you’re walking your body ain’t been touched the right way,” Kelly sings.
It’s meant to be sexy, but it all felt a little too much like a The Lonely Island sketches with Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake as the badly-clothed douchbags from "Dick in a Box" and "Motherlover." Can’t you see it?
Sweeping ballad from 'Red' gets a live music clip. Which version do you like better?
“The Last Time,” a duet with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and Taylor Swift, is one of “Red’s” stand outs, in part because it sounds like it could come straight off a Snow Patrol album.
It doesn’t have quite the atmospherics of “Set the Fire to the Third Bar,” a tune from Snow Patrol’s “Eyes Open” album featuring Martha Wainwright, but it has the same moody build of any number of Snow Patrol tunes.
Instead of a conceptual clip, the Terry Richardson-directed video features Lightbody and Swift performing the song live in concert. They keep their backs to each other for much of the song keeping in tune with the feeling of alienation of the lovers in the song, but the payoff comes at 3:28 when Lightbody smiles at Swift so sweetly, it will melt your heart.
it doesn’t seem as though the song is being serviced as a single, so this is more likely a goodie for fans who weren’t able to see Swift in concert or weren’t the night this was filmed on a concert stop in Sacramento, Calif. in August. It was the one and only time that Swift has performed the song live.
Below the official video, which was released today, is a fan shot video from the concert which I actually like better, other than the fact it's missing the cute close up. Which do you like better?
And speaking of Swift, Jody Rosen wrote a love letter of an article to Swift in the current issue of New York" magazine. The well-written, fun piece doesn't tread much new ground for long-time fans, but Swift talks about the next album some more and how she'll work with Max Martin and Shellback first to get the structure of the album, before moving on to other producers.
Her humanity shines through during her 'SNL' stint
Is the joke on Lady Gaga? This weekend while hosting and performing on “Saturday Night Live,” she repeatedly poked fun at herself. And guess what? It made her likeable again.
She started the self-deprecation early. In her opening monologue (loved that flapper dress!), she shamelessly baited the audience for “cheap applause,” and then launched into a re-worked version of her hit “Applause” as a Broadway-style number. She went over the top, giving it up for teachers and first responders and even poked fun at her pants-eschewing self. Ending it with “New York, New York” was perfect.
The wink and nods continued throughout the show. As Karen, the nerdy Genius Bar employee and guest on “Waking Up with Kimye” she opined, “people who try too hard with their outfits are hiding something,” and then stared wide-eyed into the camera with the ever-so-slightest hint of a grin on her lips.
In “The Worst Cover Songs of All Time” sketch she performed “Born This Way” as her cover of Madonna’s “Express Yourself,” playfully referencing the similarities between the two songs, and in a slightly cringe-inducing sketch, she played an older version of herself who no one remembered as having been famous.
She narrowly tops Eminem's 'Marshal Mathers LP2'
Lady Gaga’s “Artpop” will top the Billboard 200 next week, but at a much lower sales figure than earlier predicted.
Only three weeks ago, Hits Daily Double’s prognosticators had “Artpop” bowing with first week sales of up to 450,000. Now it looks like the tally will be a respectable, but not barn-burning, 260,000. http://www.hitsdailydouble.com/news/rumormill.cgi.
Her last studio album, 2011’s “Born This Way,” sold 1.1 million in its first week, but those numbers were greatly inflated after Amazon offered album downloads for 99 cents (Billboard subsequently set a minimum price for an album sale to be counted by Nielsen SoundScan).
The 260,000 tally is still enough to keep Lady Gaga in the top stop, unless Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” surges. The title, which sold more than 750,000 this week to debut at No. 1, will likely sell up to 220,000 next week to slide to No. 2.
In addition to Lady Gaga, other debuts in the Top 10 are “Now That’s What I Call Music 48,” which comes in at No. 3 with sales of up to 105,000, The Beatles’ “On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2” at No. 7 (40,000) and singer/songwriter Jhene Aiko at No. 10 (35,000).
Duck Dynasty clan, The Robertsons, are at No. 4 with their holiday album, “Duck The Halls” (65,000), while Katy Perry’s “Roar” will be at No. 5 (50,000) and Kelly Clarkson’s holiday offering, “Wrapped In Red” at No. 6 (45,000).
Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same,” which has already surpassed the 1 million in sales mark, and Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” are in a dead heat for No. 8, which both projected to sell 30,000-35,000.
Dave Grohl, a Beatle, the Rolling Stones, Kanye and taking viewers behind the scenes of Superstorm Sandy benefit
Here’s a tip: if you’re planning a star-studded disaster benefit, get Paul McCartney to say yes and then the other acts will fall in line.
That’s one of the key tidbits viewers will take away from the “12-12-12,” a documentary directed by Amir Bar-Lev, that pulls back the curtain on the Madison Square Garden charity concert that took place Dec. 12, 20012 to raise money for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Joining McCartney were Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl, Roger Waters, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Who, Kanye West and many others.
The film, which opens today, is the tale of powerful people—Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein, Clear Channel’s John Sykes, and MSG’s James Dolan— using their vast network of connections to bring together an amazing array of talent on incredibly short notice and the behind-the-scenes story of what it takes to pull off such a staggering feat six weeks after the disaster. While there is some incredible performance footage, it is not so much a concert film, as a film about how the sausage gets made.
To be sure, most of us when we watch these benefits don’t think about how difficult it is to set up an infrastructure to handle the millions of phone calls and online donations for only a few hours. As the producers note, if someone gets a busy signal or can’t log on, that’s lost money. The booking of the talent is almost the easy part compared to the back end logistics.