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The Good

Decemberists debut at Number 1 on Billboard

For the first time in their career, Portland folk rockers The Decemberists debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 with their latest offering “The King Is Dead.” Hitting the top of the charts is always a big deal for an independent band, but their sales figure—94,000 copies—is underwhelming. Still, it was enough to keep “Kidz Bop 19” from nabbing the Number 1 spot. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

Jeff Buckley biopic in the works

It’s been almost fourteen years since singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley drowned in the Mississippi River. In the years since his tragic death, his mother, Mary Guibert, refused to release his music for any of the hundreds of screenplays she saw. Now it seems like the right treatment has finally arrived. A Buckley biopic is in the works, with Robert Pattinson, James Franco, Jared Leto and James Mardsen all competing to play the iconic crooner. Guibert’s a tough cookie—we can’t wait to see who wins her approval.

The Bad

Nicki Minaj’s fans get her kicked out of London hotel

Nicki Minaj returned from a long day of press in London to find out she had been kicked out of her room at the Dorchester Hotel. The reason? Her fans, or as Minaj calls them, her “barbz.” Apparently a gaggle of barbz clashed with the paps, fights broke out and an ambulance was called. Nicki took to Twitter to thank her tenacious fans for their support, saying, “It got a bit CRAZY … hopefully the next hotel will be nicer.” And maybe undisclosed?

Charlie Louvin dead at 83

Charlie Louvin, one half of the legendary Louvin Brothers duo, passed away in Nashville after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Louvin and his brother Ira are widely recognized as the originators of the pure, honest harmonies that permeate and define country music to this day. Ira Lovin died in an automobile accident in 1965. R.I.P. Charlie.

The Ugly

Cher pissed over Oscar snub

The sweet nectar of her Golden Globe win for “Best Song” turned to sour grapes as soon as Cher realized her song, “You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me” for the movie “Burlesque” was passed over for an Oscar. She tweeted thusly: “We didn’t get a nomination 4 best song! That sucks! Diane’s song is so beautiful! It’s hard to understand how u win the Golden Globe 4 BEST SONG & not even get nominated by the OSCARS?” Cher, Cher, Cher …. SNAP OUTTA IT!

Ryan Murphy pissed over KoL snub

Oy vey. Here’s another bitter tale of rejection. When Kings of Leon passed up the opportunity to have their songs featured on Glee, the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, reacted in a way that was less than age appropriate. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter he seethed, “F**** you, Kings of Leon. They’re self-centered a**holes, and they missed the big picture. They missed that a 7-year-old kid can see someone close to their age singing a Kings of Leon song, which will maybe make them want to join a glee club or pick up a musical instrument.” Chill, dude. A 7-year-old not hearing a rousing rendition of “Sex on Fire” is hardly the end of the world.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein debuts sketch comedy “Portlandia” with SNL’s Fred Armisen

Carrie Brownstein may have stepped away as singer/guitarist for seminal rock band Sleater-Kinney in 2006, but that doesn’t mean she’s through with entertaining. Brownstein’s comedic chops are on full display in IFC’s new sketch comedy series “Portlandia,” which also stars SNL’s Fred Armisen. The show uses the city’s socially conscious, granola-guzzling population as inspiration for hilarious skits on organic farming, adult hide-n-seek leagues, and public bathrooms laws. The series debuts tonight, but if you can’t wait that long you can see all 22 minutes below.

Cee Lo Green interviews Cee Lo Green

Taking makeup cues from the Wayan Brothers in White Chicks, psychedelic-soul singer/rapper Cee Lo Green transformed into James Lipton to interview himself for Spinner. Is he as creepy as the real James Lipton? We’ll let you decide.

The Bad

Broadcast’s Trish Keenan dies

This week brought sad news for fans of British electronic band Broadcast. Singer Trish Keenan passed away due to complications arising from pneumonia. She was 42. To see a collection of Broadcast videos, head over to Pitchfork.

Kanye makes joke, joke bombs, Kanye is saddened

You know when you tell a joke and you get stony silence, then someone else tells the same joke and the audience roars? Kanye West feels your pain. Despite the fact that everyone in the Twitterverse was plundering West’s infamous “Imma let you finish” sound bite, when the rapper tried to reclaim the quote for himself, tweeting “Yo Britney, I’m really happy for you and Imma let you be #1, but me and Jay-Z’s single is one of the best songs of all time! LOL,” some folks didn’t see the humor. Soon magazines like Us Weekly were accusing West of starting a war with Britney Spears. “I thought LOL signified a joke,” he grumbled in a long Twitter rant. Sorry, Yeezy. Forget trying to be funny and stick to writing the best songs of all time.

The Ugly

Vince Neil busted for drunk driving

Motley Crue singer Vince Neil was arrested at 11:15 p.m. on Sunday for drunk driving after being pulled over in his Lamborghini on the Las Vegas Strip. Sounds about right.

Christina Aguilera passes out in Jeremy Renner’s bed?

In an epic party foul, Christina Aguilera reportedly crashed Jeremy Renner’s 40th birthday party and then passed out drunk in his bed. This makes us feel infinitely better about anything we’ve ever done.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Bjork holds three-day karaoke protest


Everyone’s got their own way of protesting. Some people stage sit-ins, some people march, some people change their Facebook profile photo. Bjork—she sings. Along with tens of thousands of people. The Icelandic artist held a three-day karaoke contest in Reykjavik to protest a Canadian company’s planned takeover of Iceland’s HS Orka power plant. More than 45,000 people have signed a petition asking the government to reconsider its stance on the takeover. Which is really impressive, but we think sending the government a singing telegram, maybe wearing this, might be more fitting.

Black Keys want to take Tegan and Sara out


Indie cupid has plunged his arrow in none other than the Black Keys. In an interview with Spinner, drummer Patrick Carney says he and singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach want to take Canadian duo Tegan and Sara out on a date. The location? None other than Canadian donut franchise Tim Hortons. The problem? Oh, nothing. Except maybe the fact that their dates are lesbians. That’s all.

The Bad

Grown man gets Justin Bieber tattooed on his thigh


To repeat, a “Grown Man” got a tattoo of Justin Bieber on his thigh.

He’s … a grownup. With a tattoo of a 16-year-old hearthrob. On his thigh. Forever.

We have no words.

Kanye asks for a cover that would be outlawed


In an interview with The New Yorker, artist George Condo lets it slip that Kanye West asked him to create an album cover that would be banned for My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy. Which makes it especially poignant that no one banned it. West even tried to kindle some controversy by falsely accusing Walmart of banning his album. No dice. Guess My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy will go down in history as having the most banal cover of all time. Sorry Yeezy!

The Ugly

T.I. lands in hot water after getting frisky with his wife


T.I. and his wife didn’t keep their hands where guards could see them during a supervised visit at the big house this week. The overly amorous pair had their visit cut short after prison staff spotted them getting a little too feely. T.I. was moved to tighter security housing as punishment for the offense. Hopefully one with cold showers.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Kanye’s “Monster” gets the Muppets treatment

Watching the Muppets rap Kanye West’s “Monster” is both hilarious and distressing. Count Von Count opening with “Bitch I’m a monster / No good bloodsucker” is entirely apropos, but then when Beaker delivers the line about the you-know-what in a sarcophagus you can almost feel your entire childhood imploding. Watch at your own risk.

Josh Groban sings Kanye’s tweets

It’s a very Kanye Friday everyone. Before you cry “Enough!” be sure to watch this one last clip. GRAMMY-winning singer Josh Groban put all of Mr. West’s tweets to music for a bit on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. If you thought they sounded ridiculous in cyberspace, just wait. Our favorite aria has to be “I make awesome decisions in bike stores.” Find out what yours is by watching the clip below.

Love is in the air … so is anti-love

The celebrity musician zeitgeist got a workout this week with multiple hook-ups and break-ups. In one corner we have Kelly Pickler and Carlos Santana getting hitched (not to each other) and Selena Gomez getting with the Biebs. In the other corner, John Mellencamp announced his divorce from Elaine Irwin and Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal split. Love wins by a hair (a Bieber hair, the most powerful kind).

The Bad

Chuck Berry collapses onstage during Chicago concert

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry collapsed onstage in Chicago on New Year’s Day as his guitar was being tuned before the show started. After being rushed off stage, the 84-year-old legend returned 15 minutes later and tried to pick up his guitar to play. A man approached Berry and escorted him back offstage. Finally Berry returned to apologize to fans for being too weak to perform. “They’re afraid I’ll do my scoot,” he explained. Berry’s rep later reported that the singer was suffering from exhaustion.

The Ugly

Will Oldham attacks Bill and Melinda Gates Charity Foundation

Will Oldham

Bonnie Prince Billy wasn’t so bonny in an interview with Fogged Clarity this week. The man behind the alternative folk act, Will Oldham, had a lot to say about the ulterior motives behind Mr. and Mrs. Gates charity efforts. His take on Bill Gates thought process went thusly: “I want to eradicate cholera, so I can get another motherfucker to buy my computer.” We’re not sure that third-world kids will be rushing to the nearest Best Buy to buy a Dell, but what do we know?

Courtney Love’s tweets lead to defamation lawsuit

Courtney Love

After Courtney Love was asked to pay up for custom clothing made for her by designer Dawn Simorangkir, the singer reacted with her characteristic grace, calling the designer a “drug-pushing prostitute” on her Twitter page. Now Love is being sued for defamation of character. The trial is set for February. Hope one of those bespoke garments is proper courtroom attire.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Amy Winehouse wants live like the bombshell she is

Bad news for Amy Winehouse, but good news for those prone to schadenfreude, the singer’s diaries from when she was 17-years-old were found in a dumpster in London this week. On the teenager’s to do list: buy a flat in London, buy a car, get a gym membership, get teeth fixed, and (ahem) “live like the bombshell I really am.” Well, we’re pretty sure she has a flat.

The Bad

Teena Marie dies

Soul singer Teena Marie died this week in her home at the age of 54. The singer’s cause of death remains unknown, but her publicist stated that she had suffered a grand mal seizure a month ago. Teena Marie, born Mary Christine Brockert, was the protégée of funk legend Rick James, with whom she would go on to have a turbulent personal and professional relationship. In a scene dominated by African American artists, the singer rose to the top of the charts with R&B hits like “Lovergirl” and “Square Biz”—earning her the nickname “The Ivory Queen of Soul.” R.I.P.

Departing Paramore members spill the beans

If you were wondering why Paramore founding members and brothers Josh and Zac Farro left the band this month, wonder no more. In a blog post entitled “Tetelestai” Josh reveals all his reasons, from Hayley Williams’ overbearing dad to unruly bandmates. Some of his points seem valid, a lot seem preachy. Probably the biggest stretch is Farro’s complaint that William’s lyrics in “Careful” (“The truth never set me free so I did it myself”) are “negative” and contradict what it says in the Bible. Thou shalt not be negative, Hayley.

Bob Dylan prankster to pay for pizza prank

After a prankster phoned in an order for 178 pizzas, claiming they were for Bob Dylan, a New Jersey pizzeria found itself left in the lurch to the tune of $3,900. The man who placed the order promised employees a big tip if they stayed open late to make the pizzas—which were supposed to be for an after party for Dylan’s show at the Mullins Center—but never showed up to collect his order. This week the pizzeria reached a settlement with the jerkface. The moral of the story? Don’t mess with Dylan.

The Ugly

Talk about adding insult to injury. Two robbers were arrested in Connecticut this week after they broke into 50 Cent’s home. One of the perpetrators was found in a closet, drinking the rapper’s wine. So much for his theory that you can find them in the club with a bottle full of bub.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

New Muppets film to feature Lady Gaga, Jack Black, Dave Grohl

Last time we saw the Muppets, they were busy reuniting Gonzo with his alien family in Muppets From Space. Who knows what sort of crazy capers they’ll undertake in the new Muppets movie, currently in production. What we do know is that Jason Segel wrote the script and Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Lady Gaga and Ricky Gervais will all reportedly make an appearance. Grohl will step in for Animal behind the drum kit. No word on what role Gaga will be playing. Our guesses are either Janice’s long lost sister or a Kermit-obsessed version of Buffalo Bill from “Silence of the Lambs.”

Amy Winehouse nets $1.55 million for private concert

Amy Winehouse delivered a two-hour private performance to Russian businessmen—her first full singing gig in two years. The price tag? A cool $1.55 million. One member of the crowd called her performance “fantastic.” They drink a lot of vodka in Russia, right? Just asking.

The Bad

Captain Beefheart dies

Captain Beefheart, an influential icon of the ‘60s psychedelic scene, died from complications of multiple sclerosis this week. He was 69. Beefheart, born Don Van Vliet, garnered attention for the often eccentric, always innovative rock he created with his Magic Band, a rotating roster of musicians. Beefheart spent his later years as a reclusive painter in California. R.I.P.

Kings of Leon’s tour bus catches on fire

Kings of Leon had to cancel their concert at London’s O2 arena on Tuesday after two tour buses caught fire in the loading area of the venue and were burned out completely. Six people were treated for smoke inhalation. No word on the source of the inferno, but reportedly the band’s sex is on fire, so you do the math.

The Ugly

Lady Gaga bites head off Santa

Ozzy Osbourne will forever live in infamy for once biting the head off a bat in concert. Now Lady Gaga has her own tale of stage carnage to add to her legacy. At a show in London last Friday, a fan threw a stuffed Santa Claus doll onto the stage. Gaga responded by biting into its neck while shouting, “I hate the holidays. I’m alone and miserable you fucking stuffed little toy.” After beheading St. Nick with the heel of her shoe, the singer resumed her performance. And that, little children, is how Santa Claus died.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame winners announced

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its selection for 2011 inductees this week. Those who made the cut: Neil Diamond, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Dr. John and Darlene Love. Eligible nominees like Bon Jovi will have to live on a prayer for another year.

OK Go lead GPS parade around Los Angeles

For their latest video caper OK Go took to the streets with their fans, friend and total strangers for a parade along a 8.5-mile route in LA. But not just any route, a route that spelled out “OK Go” using the Range Rover’s “Pulse of the City App.” Check it out below.

The Bad

Remember when Miley Cyrus was busted smoking salvia out of bong?

Scandal erupted last week when a video emerged showing Miley Cyrus smoking the legal herb salvia out of a bong. Billy Ray Cyrus poured out his achy breaky heart on Twitter, and the blogosphere erupted in posts about Miley going bad. This week Miley was spotted partying on the town in New Orleans with Kelly Osbourne. See guys, nothing to worry about!

The Ugly

Fans outraged over documentary on Michael Jackson’s autopsy

A documentary called “Michael Jackson’s Autopsy: What Really Killed Michael Jackson” is scheduled to air next month in the United Kingdom on the Discovery Channel, enraging some of the King of Pop’s fans. Because the show’s medical examiners don’t have access to Jackson’s actual body, an “anatomically correct synthetic cadaver” will be used to demonstrate the autopsy instead. Fans cried foul, saying Jackson should be allowed a minimum of decency and respect. We cry foul for that reason, and cause face it, the thought of a naked Michael Jackson cadaver is kind of foul.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Michael Jackson video teaser released

Michael Jackson’s posthumous album, MICHAEL, is slated for release on Tuesday. The record features collaborations with artists like 50 Cent and Lenny Kravitz, but because many of the recordings were works in progress at the time of Jackson’s death, Sony’s release of MICHAEL has been fraught with controversy. However, watching the new video teaser for Jackson’s duet with Akon, “Hold My Hand,” makes it hard to be bummed about the record. Check it out below.

Rolling Stone’s top 30 albums & 50 singles of 2010

Rolling Stone has released their list of the top 30 albums and 50 singles of 2010. And now we have a million questions. Kid Rock beating Kings of Leon and Spoon—you sure about that Rolling Stone? Taylor Swift—sure, she can sell records, but does she really deserve the Number 13 position? And, Kanye West, your album is great and all, but seriously, Arcade Fire had one of the best albums of all time. Seriously.

The Bad

“Dead” celebrities back to life on Twitter

In support of the AIDS charity Keep A Child Alive, Alicia Keys, one of the organization’s founders, helped kick off the “Digital Death” campaign on Twitter last week. Keys, along with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake, swore off tweeting until a $1 million fundraising goal was met. The campaign got off to a slow start, with the public donating less half that sum after a week. Just when it looked like their silence would be permanent, frustrated celebs with itchy Twitter fingers recruited philanthropist Stewart Rahr, who swooped in to pony up the $500,000+ difference. Great news for Keep A Child Alive, bad news for those of us enjoying the Kim and Khloe Kardashian silent treatment.

LCD Soundsystem to stop touring in 2011

James Murphy told Spinner this week, during the Art Basel festival in Miami, that his band LCD Soundsystem will stop touring permanently after this year. “We’re done being just a pro rock ensemble,” Murphy says. From now on, “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House” will have to only play at your house.

The Ugly

Morrissey delivers the diss to Bryan Ferry

When Morrissey found out that Roxy Music frontman Bryan Ferry, whose album For Your Pleasure he listed as one of his top 13 favorite records, was an avid hunter, he did what any combative vegetarian would do and penned an open letter taking Ferry and a handful of other British celebs to task. Calling Ferry’s son Otis “Odious Ferry” and Ferry himself “Bryan Ferret,” The Smith’s singer apologized to fans for his support of Roxy Music in years past. Hunters, beware. To Morrissey, you are the quarry.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” becomes “Candlelight” for Hanukah

Besides Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah” song, there are few instantly recognizable odes that celebrate the Festival of Lights. Too few, if you ask Yeshiva University a capella group The Maccabeats. To commemorate this sacred religious holiday, the group opted to give a secular song a Semitic makeover, in this case Taio Cruz’s dance floor hit “Dynamite.” Check out “Candlelight below.”

Killers release charity single for World AIDS Day

Wednesday was World AIDS Day, and to support (RED), which raises AIDS awareness across the world, the Killers released a Christmas single called “Boots.” It’s a real tear-jerker that shows how a karaoke machine can ultimately bring redemption. And that’s what Christmas is all about.

The Bad

Snoop Dogg writes song for Prince William’s bachelor party

When Snoop Dogg heard that a member of the royal family wanted him to perform at Prince William’s upcoming nuptials, he wasted no time writing an original song to honor the momentous occasion. Uh, it’s called “Wet” and it’s about oral sex. As much as we’d like to report that the song will be played during the reception, it was actually commissioned by Prince Harry for his brother’s stag party. You can download it on Snoop’s site right now if you want to hear what the Windsors will be grinding to.

Willie Nelson and AC/DC drummer busted for marijuana

Willie Nelson was arrested for possession of six ounces of marijuana last Friday while attempting to cross the border in Texas—a charge that brings with it a minimum sentence of 180 days in jail. Across the globe, AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd plead guilty to marijuana possession in New Zealand, following a bust in October. He was fined roughly $187. Nelson’s fate, on the other hand, remains to be seen. Whatever happens, he’ll probably pack more carefully before he goes out … on the road again. Folks!

The Ugly

Michael Jackson’s father files wrongful death lawsuit … again

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Just ask Joe Jackson, who filed another wrongful death lawsuit against Micheal Jackson’s doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, on Tuesday. A judge rejected his first attempt, so to sweeten the deal this time around, the Jackson family patriarch added a Las Vegas pharmacy to his suit. We’ll see if his greed strategy pays off.

Motörhead fan beaten to death after Leeds concert

This is just terrible. Forty-four year old Andrew Crawford died after sustaining head injuries at the hands of two men after a Motörhead concert in Leeds last week. Crawford confronted the two men after they reportedly set his friend’s hair on fire during the concert. Motörhead posted news of the murder on their Web site under the headline “Sad Day.” The two men accused of the murder have been released on bail.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Thom Yorke building massive human statue to fight climate change

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is looking to recruit 2,000 volunteers to build a massive human statue to fight climate change this weekend. The statue will fight climate change by punching the clouds with its 4,000 fists. OK, not really. It’s more of a symbolic fight. Yorke’s human statue is one of 16 planned around the world to be photographed by a satellite from space. The event will raise awareness around the United Nations’ meeting in Cancun, Mexico, to discuss an international climate treaty.

Arcade Fire and Spike Jonze unite for “The Suburbs” video

Arcade Fire has released their video for “The Suburbs,” and it’s not a cheery tale of Bed, Bath & Beyond and Applebee’s. The video is directed by Spike Jonze, and, much like his work in Where The Wild Things Are, combines youth, nostalgia, and unexpected violence. Watch it below.

The Bad

Quincy Jones gives Kanye West the big diss

Don’t tell Quincy Jones that he has anything in common with Kanye West. Them’s fighting words. In an interview with Us Magazine, Jones responded to the observation that he and West are both hugely successful producers with total disdain. “No way. Did he write for a symphony orchestra? Does he write for a jazz orchestra? Come on man, he’s just a rapper.” West has yet to respond to this ego bruise publicly, but if Twitter suddenly explodes, you’ll know why.

The Ugly

Kings of Leon looking for ugly people

Calling all pockmarked, scarred and sundry busted people! Kings of Leon are looking for individuals with physical deformities for their next video shoot. Has anyone ever made a joke about your face breaking their camera? Do horses whinny when you pass by? Capitalize on your plainness—the band is paying $300 a day. Uh … are they sure this isn’t the video for “Use Somebody”?

Miscellany

 


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