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Discourse & Dischord

The Good

The xx win the Mercury Prize

In case you’re unfamiliar with the Mercury Prize, it’s an annual music award for the best album from the UK and Ireland. This year it went to The xx—and in case you’re unfamiliar with them, they are a trio of black-clad musicians who write muted, muffled songs about desire. The group beat out Paul Weller, Villagers, Mumford & Sons and a slew of other excellent Brit rockers for the top honors, winning $31,000 and all sorts of indie cred.

Eminem and Jay-Z rock Motor City with friends

Hip hop equations rarely get better than this: Slim Shady plus Hova, 50 Cent, Drake, B.o.B., Jeezy and Dr. Dre equals one explosive, expletive-riddled, concert. It all went down in Detroit last week at Comerica Park, where 40,000 ecstatic fans showed up to welcome Eminem back to his hometown. Part one of the two-city Home and Home Tour, Eminem and Jay-Z will next hit Yankee Stadium on September 13-14 to show Hova’s native city some love.

The Bad

T.I. and wife arrested on felony drug charges

Fresh out of jail, rapper T.I. wasted no time breaking the law. Last week he and his new wife, Tameka “Tiny” Cottle were arrested on the Sunset Strip in L.A. after officers found controlled substances, including ecstasy, in their car after a routine traffic stop. Still on probation from his felony weapons charge last year, T.I. could go back to prison if convicted of drug possession. The king is back … in trouble.

Kanye West makes lengthy Twitter apology

Kanye West proved this week that he’s just as verbose with his apologies as he is with his self-glorification. The rapper took to Twitter to say “sahhry” for shutting down Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV VMA’s last year. Quoth Kanye “I wish I could talk to every hater face to face and change there [sic] opinion of me one conversation at a time. I wish they could accept that I’ve grown and only want to do good for the world. I want to help as many people as I can.” The series of Tweets ended with “I’m sorry Taylor.” We think contrite suits him, don’t you?

The Ugly

Morrissey insults 1.3 billion people


In an interview with The Guardian, rock legend Morrissey tapped into his inner (or maybe outer) xenophobe when discussing animal rights in China, igniting a media frenzy. Here’s the quote:

“Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.”

Hmm, not sure why anyone would be offended by his statement. And yes, that was sarcasm.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

New Arcade Fire video brings it home … to your home

Remember when Arcade Fire came out with that incredible (and creepy) interactive video for “Neon Bible” and we all thought THERE’S NO WAY THEY CAN TOP THIS. Well, Montreal’s finest just topped that. Check out their interactive video for “We Used to Wait,” which uses Google Maps to incorporate your childhood home address into the footage. Customized nostalgia. There’s no way they can top that … right?

Kanye releases another track on his Web site

This one is called “Monster” and features an eclectic all-star lineup of Nicki Minaj, Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, Jay-Z and Rick Ross. What happens when indie-folk and hip hop collide? Find out here.

The Bad

John Lennon’s toilet sells for $15,000

That’s a lot of money for a porcelain throne, even if it once belonged to rock royalty. No butts about it.

The Ugly

Guns N’ Roses bomb at Leeds & Reading

Unless you’re easily shocked, the following will come as no surprise. Guns N’ Roses performance at England’s Leeds and Reading festivals left a lot to be desired. Like, for instance, punctuality. The band showed up an hour late to Reading and had to cut their performance short due to strict curfew laws. A few days later they repeated the tardiness at Leeds and were cut short again. Axl Rose took to Twitter to explain to fans, claiming there was “a deal in place” for the band to continue after curfew and “someone wasn’t informed, [someone] changed their mind … or [it] was a con.” By most reports, the performances were terrible, so thank goodness for cons and curfews.

Taylor Momsen is drinking the haterade

Taylor Momsen may have begun her career as the adorable Cindy Lou, but she’s become quite the Grinch in her off-camera life. Trying a little too hard to be tough and anti-establishment, the Pretty Reckless singer has spat the haterade out at Miley Cyrus, public toilets, Rihanna and her band name. We kind of hate that last one, too.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord


The Good

College Humor is afraid

Eminem isn’t afraid anymore. But unfortunately, his impersonator in CollegeHumor’s parody of “Not Afraid” is. Aliens, clowns, land sharks, ghost snakes—everything gives this guy the willies. Check out the super scary video below.

Kanye will release a song a week until Christmas

You heard it right. First up is “Power,” which you can download here. Merry Christmas!

The Bad

Songwriter George David Weiss dies

George David Weiss

George David Weiss, a songwriter best known for penning classics such as “What a Wonderful World” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” passed away on Monday. Weiss’ songs were recorded by artists ranging from Elvis to Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. Weiss was 89-years-old.

The Ugly

Jay-Z woulda robbed Chris Martin’s ass back in the day

Jay-Z

Jay-Z and Chris Martin are good buds now, but if the Coldplay frontman had wandered into the Marcy projects back in the day, dude would have gotten jacked. As Jay-Z told Q Magazine, “I was a different person then—I wasn’t open to the world and different cultures. I would have been, ‘Yo! Who are you? Give me your money.’” Not sure what Jigga would have done with 20 quid in the ghetto, but anywho …

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Coldplay signs huge recording contract with Universal

In fact, it’s so huge the figure can’t even fit on your computer monitor. Coldplay recently re-signed to Universal Music—the world’s largest music publishing company. Neither has released details about the contract, but it’s speculated to be one of the biggest in music history and worth millions to each of Coldplay’s four band members. Looks like Apple and Moses Martin will have a big Christmas this year.

Jenny and Johnny to release album on August 31st

Sure, we’re excited about this collaboration between Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis and her boyfriend, songwriter Jonathan Rice. The album is called “I’m Having Fun Now” and comes out on August 31st. (You can pre-order it on iTunes right now if you want.) But, if we’re being honest, the real reason why we’re writing about the new Jenny and Johnny record is so that we can share their awesome cassette tape music player with you. Listen to the songs and watch the tape move back and forth. Now we’re having fun.

The Bad

Jay-Z tops Forbes list

Jay-Z

Coming in at a cool $63 mill, Jay-Z makes the top of Forbes highest-paid rappers list for the second year in a row. According to Buzzfeed, it may have little to do with lyrical adroitness. Check out this list of the worst lyrics by the world’s richest rappers. It’s a hoot.

The Ugly

New Kids on the Block and Back Street Boys to tour together

New Kids On The Block

If you don’t know who these bands are, you’re a lot cooler than us and may want to skip ahead to the next section …

…OK, now that all the youngbloods are gone, OMG can you believe NKOTB and BSB are gonna tour!!! “Hanging Tough” AND “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”? Surely there is no arena on Earth that can handle a show this rad. In conclusion, JORDAN KNIGHT!!!

And we’re done.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Weezer chooses photo of Hurley as cover art for Hurley

In the ultimate show of fandom, Weezer has selected a photo of a smiling Jorge Garcia, who played the character of Hurley on Lost, as the album art for the band’s upcoming album, also titled Hurley. (Confused yet?) Garcia is rightfully stoked about getting the cover. “This is really close to the top, for sure.” One thing Garcia is less thrilled about is his ponytail in the shot, which looks like it’s “starting to come loose or something.” Look, Hurley, count your blessings. Some people can’t even grow ponytails (looking at you, John Locke).

Britney Spears to appear on Glee

Yup, it’s really happening. Ms. Spears is not only getting a whole episode dedicated to her music, she’s also getting an acting part. Squeal! Jazz hands! Theater kids!

The Bad

Idol winner Fantasia ODs

After scandal erupted over her affair with a married man and an alleged sex tape, American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino overdosed on aspirin and sleeping pills and was rushed to the hospital in Charlotte, NC. The singer was released two days later with no life-threatening injuries. Besides the shame, embarrassment and guilt, she’s fine now. Which leads us to the question—Has there ever been a happy ending involving a sex tape? (On second thought, don’t answer that.)

The Ugly

Bieber gets water-bottled

During a concert in Sacramento, California, an overly excited fan (or that fan’s jealy boyfriend) threw a water bottle at Justin Bieber that hit him right in the face. Luckily it was captured on video. Two questions: 1) Why are we just seeing this now and 2) Wouldn’t it be cool if someone made the footage into a sweet remix? Oh wait, they did. Check it out below.

Miscellany

Kanye West back to following nobody on Twitter
Erykah Badu goes blonde, gets ‘hawk
Lady Gaga stage dives into crowd at Lollapalooza
Julian Casablancas wants to write theme song for NY Mets
Arcade Fire debuts at Number 1 on Billboard
M.I.A. debuts extremely SFW video for “XXXO”
Broken Social Scene endorses fan slap video for “All to All”
Soundgarden release comeback single “Black Rain”
Alanis Morissette is pregnant

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Kanye provides pithy content for New Yorker cartoons

We’ve entered the New Yorker cartoon caption contest just under a bazillion times, and have never won. Then Kanye West joins Twitter, says something trite, and all of a sudden his inane observations are New Yorker captions. Rage! OK, in all of our defenses, it’s not real. Comedy writers Paul Sabourin and Josh Cagen have taken West’s tweets and turned them into ersatz New Yorker cartoons. It’s funny stuff. Follow @KanyeWest for fresh tweets, check out BuzzFeed to see them put to art, and chat about them with the hashtag #kanyenewyorkertweets.

Alicia Keys and producer Swizz Beatz get married

This is good news for everyone, except maybe Swizz Beatz’s ex wife Mashonda? Dunno, seems like it might bum her out a little, seeing as how the couple had a two-year affair on the sly while he was still married to her. OK, now we’re starting to sound judgmental. We’re happy for them, really, but mostly because of the whole “Keys and Beatz” thing. Make beautiful music together, guys! We’ll stop now.

The Bad

will.i.am not thrilled about Michael Jackson’s new album

When Michael Jackson’s posthumous album of unreleased material drops by the end of 2010, there will be one person who doesn’t immediately go stand in line at Best Buy or start downloading—Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am. The producer/MC collaborated with Jackson on the 2008 rerelease of Thriller, and discovered that the King of Pop was very particular about his music. “I don’t think that should ever come out. That’s bad,” he said, “He was a perfectionist and he wouldn’t have wanted it that way. How you gonna release Michael Jackson when Michael Jackson ain’t here to bless it?” The Black Eyed Pea went on to call the album project “disrespectful” and Jackson’s avid fans “parasites.” He seems displeased.

The Ugly

Aretha Franklin breaks two ribs

The iconic soul singer was scheduled to perform two concerts in Brooklyn, but had to cancel after falling at her home and breaking two ribs. This is the part where we don’t make a joke about that.

Get better soon, A-Frank!

Miscellany

Nicki Minaj announces debut album
M.I.A.’s “XXXO” video preview = WTF
Katy Perry gets uncovered for the cover of Rolling Stone
Nominees announced for VMAs
J-Lo and Steven Tyler to host American Idol?
Weird Al Yankovic to co-headline Fun Fun Fun Fest with Dirty Projectors and Devo
Kings of Leon announce fifth album, Come Sundown
Cursive’s Tim Kasher releases The Game of Monogamy

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Funny or Die sends M.I.A. to the suburbs

Watch your back, Funny or Die. After a New York Times article hinted that pop artist/politico M.I.A. may enjoy the finer things in life more than she would like known, the singer fired back by publishing the interviewer’s cell phone number on her Twitter page. Nerve=hit. Now Funny or Die is rubbing a little salt in the wound with this video parody of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes,” which depicts the singer living in the tony Brentwood neighborhood with an au pair and a predilection for Monet and fine wines. Can’t wait to see M.I.A.’s graceful response to this one . . .  keep an eye on her Twitter page.

The Bad

Justin Bieber tries to escape crazed groupies on a Segway

Run, Bieber, run! Or, stand on a machine that will run for you. That’s what the teen pop star did when frenzied fans caught sight of him in an Arizona parking lot. Apparently being seen on a Segway is less traumatizing than being attacked by rabid tweens. Check out the video below.

The Ugly

St. Louis birds poo-poo Kings of Leon concert

Kings of Leon had to cut their set short in what is now being referred to as “Pigeongate.” After opening acts the Postelles and the Stills endured a torrent of pigeon droppings during their sets at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Kings of Leon took the stage with a little trepidation. Three songs in, an unidentified feathered sharpshooter released a load that landed near bassist Jared Followill’s mouth, causing the band to halt the show. In the words of Stephanie Tanner, “How rude!”

LiveNation, the promoter of the event, promised fans a full refund.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Ryan Adams to release two new albums

Ryan Adams

What’s better than one new Ryan Adam’s album? Two—duh! This week Adam’s posted a message on his Facebook page to announce he’ll start recording part one of a new solo album, what he dubs “West Coast Sessions.” Fans can expect something like the “evil twin” of Cold Roses, minus all the noodling. And if that doesn’t set you adrift on memory bliss, remember that there’s a double album with his backing band, the Cardinals, called III/IV that’s coming down the pipe, too. How d’ya like them roses?

The Bad

Big Star bassist passes away

Big Star

What a rough year for Big Star. First singer Alex Chilton dies of a sudden heart attack in March. Now, four months after playing a tribute show to Chilton at SXSW, bassist Andy Hummel has succumbed to cancer. Chilton, Hummel and drummer Jody Stephens formed the band in Memphis in the ‘70s to modest renown. But bands like R.E.M. and Paul Westerberg, who cited Big Star as an influence, garnered the band a cult following in the ‘90s. Hummel, who was a longtime employee of Lockheed Martin, quit the band in 1974 before recording their most influential record, Third/Sister Lovers.

Pink suffers fall on stage in Germany

In what definitely left a mark, Pink fell into a barricade minutes into her concert in Nuremberg Germany and was immediately rushed to the hospital. After reassuring fans she was OK with Twitter updates, the singer explained that she had not been clipped into her harness correctly. Upside: “I made that barricade my bitch,” she cheerfully tweeted (cheeweeted?).

The Ugly

Gaga warns fans about Westboro Baptist Church protest

Lady Gaga

After the fundamentalist, and—ok let’s face it—batshit crazy Westboro Baptist Church members (the same class acts who protested soldier’s funerals with the signs that read “God hates fags”) announced they would be in attendance outside of Lady Gaga’s concert in St. Louis, Gaga headed to her Twitter page to warn her little monsters. “Pay these hate criminals no mind. Do not respond to their provocation,” she advised. “Feel gratitude in your heart that you are not burdened or addicted to hate, as they are.” Only a handful of Westboro church members ended up showing up.

Score: Love, 1, Hate, 0.

Enrique Iglesias uses fan’s camera to snap pic down his pants

Ew. And gross. And why? And … how did it turn out?

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Jewel performs undercover karaoke

So, just for kicks and because Funny Or Die told her to, Jewel dressed up as a sheepish business woman with glasses and a fake nose and hit up the Gas Light karaoke bar for some good old fashioned pranking. After being coaxed to the stage by her fake co-workers, Jewel belted out a bunch of her own material. Spoiler alert: She sounds just like herself. Check out the video below.

Carlos Santana proposes to girlfriend onstage

It’s not often that a rock legend pops the question to his drummer in the middle of a concert. This Monday at a concert in Chicago, Carlos Santana boldly went where few have gone before, and proposed to his girlfriend and band member, Cindy Blackman, after her drum solo on “Corazon Espinado.” Must have been some solo.

The Bad

Lady Gaga sullies John Lennon’s piano

Lady and the Piano

Oh no she di’int! Sean Lennon posted pics of Lady Gaga in her usual studs and fishnets uniform playing his father’s iconic Steinway piano. “With gaga at mom’s house, she’s belting on the white piano,” Lennon tweeted. Well, Beatles fans weren’t having that, and unleashed a torrent of protestations, e.g. “WHY WOULD YOU LET LADY GAGA PLAY ON JOHN’S PIANO?” Lennon responded with, “What should we do, lock it away in a dusty room? So judgmental…Come on, lighten up.” Yeah guys, lighten up. Remember, purple tear drops she cries … you don’t want that getting on a white piano.

The Ugly

Edward Cullen gives Courtney Love the what-for

Robert Pattinson

After rumors circulated that Twilight star Robert Pattinson might be cast as Kurt Cobain in a biopic, Courtney Love, of course, had to vent her spleen in a public way. And when you start talking smack about a vampire, the fangs come out. R-Patz lashed back in an interview with the Daily Mirror, calling Love “a dick,” which makes him sound less like Cobain and more like his Love-hating Nirvana bandmates David Grohl and Chris Novoselic. Isn’t Pattinson amazing?

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Prince and Smashing Pumpkins go pro-bono

Prince's 20TEN

Claiming “the internet is completely dead,” Prince announced he will release his new album, 20TEN, for free in the Saturday edition of the U.K.’s Daily Mirror. Two things: Does this mean he hasn’t been getting the e-cards we’ve been sending him? Also: WTF Europe?!? No fair! Luckily we who live stateside have another song from Smashing Pumpkins to soothe our ruffled feathers. This week the band released “Freak,” the fifth free download from their 44-song project Teargarden by Kaleidyscope. Download it on the band’s website. Yeah, that’s right Prince, on the INTERNET.

The Bad

Liz Phair + Rap + Bollywood = Exile in Blahville

Liz Phair

While the rest of us were eating burgers and watermelon, Liz Phair was busy debuting her first album in 5 years. It’s called FUNSTYLE and it was released on Saturday, meaning she must have created the album art late Friday night. The first track is called “Bollywood” and consists of Phair rapping about being signed to a major label over tablas. Considering that she released a wildly unpopular pop record, Somebody’s Miracle in 2005, FUNSTYLE seems like a desperate attempt to reclaim her long-lost edginess. Avant-garde or just plain dumb —you be the judge.

Justin Bieber not going to tour North Korea

This is pretty funny— apparently a spoof site called Faxo.com held a contest letting Bieber fans vote on where the teenage pop phenom should play. Mischievous imps got wind of it and gamed the site, voting North Korea into the Number 1 spot. Alas, our little Biebekins will not be headed over to the Communist nation for a concert. Sorry, Kim Jong-il. Maybe next tour.

The Ugly

George Michael crashes SUV into one-hour photo shop

George Michael

George Michael was arrested and released after he drove his Range Rover into a one-hour photo store in London on Sunday. British police say the 47-year-old singer was clearly under the influence at the time. Maybe he should go back to performing under the name WHAM! Folks.

 


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