YouTube and music have gone hand in hand for a while now, helping break new stars (Gotye), and giving music lovers one more place to stream poor quality versions of their favorite songs. But perhaps YouTube’s greatest contribution to the music industry all started with the Chinese Backstreet Boys and their hilarious rendition of “I Want It That Way,” the video that spawned a sensation.
Six and a half years later, YouTube is no longer just a teenager, but hilarious lip syncing videos can still win over the crowd. Another sports team has lip synced another top 40 gem and have become mini-superstars themselves.
We did a little round up of some of the best/funniest/most clever music-centric vids on the web, read on for the rest:
Reported earlier today and later confirmed by Billboard; Beastie Boys founder, Adam “MCA” Yauch has passed away at the age of 47. Yauch had been undergoing treatment for a cancerous tumor in his parotid gland since he announced his diagnosis in 2009.
Yauch and the Beastie Boys originally formed as a Brooklyn-based hardcore punk band in the late ’70s, but by the release of their 1986 debut album Licensed to Ill, the boys had followed their initial experimentations and become a full-fledged hip-hop group.
Writing rough-edged rap lyrics and layering them over hard rock riffs, MCA, Mike D, and Ad-Rock changed the culture of hip-hop forever. And although their sound matured and diversified drastically over the years, they remained a constant and formidable force in the world of hip-hop and popular music in general.
Yauch became increasingly interested in humanitarian efforts and spirituality as his career progressed. He co-organized the wildly popular Tibetan Freedom Concerts in the late ’90s, and became a vocal advocate for Buddhism. Other projects included his extensive music video direction for the Beastie Boys (Under the pseudonym ”Nathanial Hörnblowér”) and the creation of the film production company Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Yauch is survived by his wife and daughter, and will never be forgotten by the legion of Beastie Boys fans around the world.
Since you’re reading this post in a publication that is distributed through a music discovery Web site, there’s a good chance that you’re pretty familiar with the ins and out of the Internet. You’re on Facebook, maybe you’ve tweeted and there’s a good chance you’ve checked in on Foursquare. So, that’s it for social media, right?
Wrong. You can’t really think it’s OK to keep active with just the big players, the major social media platforms that everyone online is already familiar with. These days, you can’t just be on Facebook or Twitter or MySpace (even though your band hasn’t been logged into for years). The reason is that the game is changing every day. It seems every week there is some new social media or Web site that you need to get involved with. Since it can be daunting to peruse through all the different sites and understand both what they offer and what they can do for your band, we’re going to highlight some of the more useful blogging tools that musicians like you need now.
Tumblr has been around for a while now—founded on 2007, it’s a twentysomething in Internet years. But it really just began to come into its own in 2011, and now is as good a time as any to get into it. Why? There’s a few reasons. Tumblr’s simplified platform is easy enough for anyone to use and the various themes users allow anybody to make a clean, attractive blog. The ask and reply system allows for straightforward correspondence between users. But the most impressive aspect of the Tumblr experience? It’s personal. Facebook allows for mass communication, Twitter allows for mass broadcasts but Tumblr is far more intimate. The artists that do it right, like indie band Toro Y Moi or the Beastie Boys, combine little glimpses into who they are, from their interests to their lives. For more ideas and inspiration, check out the tumblrs for Tom Waits, Childish Gambino and OurStage’s own Bethesda.
Yes, you’ve heard of Google and chances are you’ve heard of (but maybe not used) Google+. Fair enough, you’re not alone if you’ve tried and not kept up with the search giant’s attempt to break into the social media game. However, it may just be the time to give it another look. A number of major name artists are beginning to make use of the burgeoning social media platform. Big names like Britney Spears, T-Pain, Mark Hoppus and Trent Reznor are all users. Google+ has already had it’s fair share of breakout stars, like OurStager Daria Musk. Daria has mastered the medium and became a sensation on Google+ overnight, with over 200,000 people tuning into her last livestreamed show. Check out footage from the Daria’s first Google Hangout concert below.
Finally, you would be forgiven if you’ve come across Pinterest and not thought anything about it with regards to your musical career. Pinterest is like an online cork board; users share images on their pinboards and can browse the pinboards of others for inspiration. At least at this early stage, Pinterest is like Tumblr but with a more human element, or Facebook without all the excess noise. While the number of musicians on Pinterest as of right now is limited—the Backstreet Boys appear to have the the biggest presence—the service is still very young and growing fast. In fact, the invitation-only site has seen explosive growth in the past six months, growing from 2 million to 11 million weekly visitors between September to December of 2011. So while there’s no obvious strategy for musicians on Pinterest—self-promotion is frowned upon and the service is image based for now—it would be good to get in on the ground floor of the wildly popular service.
It’s that time of year when stockings are hung, halls are decked, and sailors gather together to sing a little Mariah Carey. Enjoy the men of HMS Ocean lip synching to Mimi on the high seas.
“I love you man.”
“God, I love you, dude.”
“It’s like you’re my brother from another mother.”
“Totally! It’s totally like that!”
This is what you get when you mix Bieber with Bublé. (We’re still trying to decide between “Bieblé” and “Bubler” for this new couple.) Justin Bieber joined Michael Bublé on his Christmas special, and the two took their mutual adoration to an embarrassing place. And then Bieber sang a song called “Mistletoe.” So bromantic.
For whatever reason, TMZ decided to ask Gene Simmons to weigh in on Madonna’s upcoming performance at the Super Bowl this year. The KISS bassist was only too happy to offer his opinion, calling Madonna “inappropriate” for the halftime show. Remember, this is the guy who claims to have slept with 4,600 women. Pot, kettle, black?
In a sad coincidence, Roy Orbison’s widow and former manager, Barbara Orbison, died on the 23rd anniversary of her husband’s death. Orbison had managed her late husband’s estate since the 1980s before falling ill with pancreatic cancer. She was 60 years old. R.I.P.
After taking a lot of flack from Detroit fans for their halftime show during the Lions/Packers game on Thanksgiving, Nickelback wasn’t about to let anyone else throw shade. Enter Atlanta Braves pitcher Peter Moylan, who tweeted that Nickelback should take some cues from Foo Fighters. Then Nickelback asked Moylan how he liked warming the bench, and then the two made up. Another day of drama in the Twitterverse.
A while back, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon dissed the GRAMMYS, saying that most of the people in the room during the ceremony had compromised their art in some way. So the fact that Vernon recently allowed his music to be used in a whiskey ad rubbed artists like The Avalanches the wrong way. So they made like Moylan and griped about it on Twitter.
There have been so many live performances at the MTV Video Music Awards that I couldn’t possibly remember them all. But according to a quick sampling, most of them were mediocre, some offensively so. The best and worst, however, stand out in the cultural memory. There were certainly some good ones and some horrible ones not on this list, but here’s what made the biggest impression:
6. The Hives, 2002 – “Main Offender”
A pretty rocking performance, but what puts this one over the top is singer Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist announcing that they’re out of time, so everyone can turn their televisions off, knowing full well that The Vines were just about to start playing.
Last month when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its fifteen nominees for induction in 2012, the organization really outdid itself—and not in a good way! Donovan? Not again! Erik B. & Rakim? Not before LL Cool J! Joan Jett and the Blackhearts?
What? No “Weird Al” Yankovic? Hasn’t he been eligible for four years?
The Hall of Fame has been scraping from the B-list for a while now, but the voting body should take a closer look at the A-list. There’s still a lot of unheralded talent there, and that would not include Joan Jett. Yes, Jett’s former band, The Runaways, deserves credit for introducing girl power to hard rock, but did Joan Jett and the Blackhearts really earn a spot in the hallowed Hall based on the strength of one really awesome No. 1 smash, 1981′s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which the band didn’t even write? In the general scheme of things, aren’t they sort of a rock & roll footnote?
Not Linda Ronstadt. Perhaps the most influential female in ’70s rock, who spent the ’80s juggling genres from new wave to mariachi to the great American songbook, she’s the most deserving artist never to be nominated. And let’s talk about Pat Benatar and Stevie Nicks, who is already in the Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac but whose solo career is far more worthy of the honor than Jett’s post-Runaways. At least the nominating committee finally had the good sense to give props to Heart, though I’ll eat my copy of the “Alone” Cassingle if the Wilson sisters actually get in.