Video Playback Error

The Adobe Flash Player is required to watch videos on this page

Tag: "jared leto"

home buzz rock pop urban country

Oscars 2014 Music Recap: Jared Leto, U2, Karen O, Vampire Weekend

Jared letoThe Oscars may not have been as music-packed as January’s Grammy Awards, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t room for a couple stand-out performances, and even a little award action for 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto.

Just months after receiving a Golden Globe for best supporting actor, 30 Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto won an Oscar under the same category for his role in Dallas Buyers Club. In his acceptance speech, Leto not only thanked his mother, but “all the dreamers out there,” mentioning Ukraine and Venezuela, as he said “we are here and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible, we’re thinking of you tonight.”

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig performed a beautiful rendition of their track, “The Moon Song” from Her. The track was up against “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, ”Let It Go” from Frozen, and “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the film of the same name.

Also taking the stage was U2 with a performance of “Ordinary Love.” No strangers to being Oscar nominees (the band was nominated in 2003 for “The Hands That Built America”), the band gave a moving performance, playing against a backdrop of photos of the late Nelson Mandela.
You can view a full list of the evening’s winners here.
More like this:

Golden Globe 2014 Winners: Jared Leto, U2, Alex Ebert
30 Seconds To Mars Release “Up In The Air” Lyric Video
Vampire Weekend Perform On ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

Golden Globe 2014 Winners: Jared Leto, U2, Alex Ebert

Golden GlobesSunday night’s 71st annual Golden Globe awards saw quite a few winners from the music world, including Jared Leto, U2 and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Leto, well-known to music fans for his work in 30 Seconds To Mars, took home the award for Supporting Actor in Dallas Buyers Club, while Ebert received the Best Original Score award for his work with J.C. Chandor‘s All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford.

In one of the more moving speeches of the evening, U2′s Bono honored the late Nelson Mandela when awarded the Best Original Song trophy for their track “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.

In the band’s acceptance speech, Bono said, “This really is personal, very very personal. This man turned our life upside down, right side up. A man who refused to hate but he thought love would do a better job. We wrote a love song because its kind of what’s extraordinary about the film. It’s a dysfunctional love story.”

You can view the full list of winners below.

Continue reading ‘Golden Globe 2014 Winners: Jared Leto, U2, Alex Ebert’

30 Seconds To Mars Announce Documentary Release Date

Jared Leto may still be reveling in the buzz from his latest performance in Dallas Buyers Club, but the Thirty Seconds To Mars frontman is wasting no time in gearing up for the release of Artifact, a documentary that follows the band’s 2008 attempt to void their contract with music giants EMI after the label sued them for $30 million. You can see the trailer after the jump.

Speaking about the film, Leto said, “I hope that artists and audiences watch this film and get a greater understanding of how things really work in the record industry, because understanding is the beginning of change. And whether they like it or not, change is coming. We battled a massive record corporation, challenged an entire industry, fought for our creative lives, and it was worth every single second. We put everything we had worked so hard for on the line. It was life or death. It was war.”
Continue reading ’30 Seconds To Mars Announce Documentary Release Date’

30 Seconds To Mars Release “Do Or Die” Video

Jared Leto‘s 30 Seconds To Mars have debuted the official video for their latest single, “Do Or Die.”

The video for the latest single to surface off May’s Love Lust Faith + Dream finds the band pushing further their cinematic visuals. The clip opens with a young man describing the death of his father, and how listening to 30STM made him feel better during dark times. It sounds bleak, but in context is quite uplifting. From there, the footage moves to a montage of 30STM performances from around the globe, each seemingly bigger than the last. You can view the video below.

30 Seconds to Mars may not be atop the rock charts stateside, but it’s clear from watching this clip that their reign over music is going quite well globally. If you like what you hear in the video, please make sure you support 30STM whenever time and finances allow. Continue reading ’30 Seconds To Mars Release “Do Or Die” Video’

Thirty Seconds To Mars Stream ‘Love Lust Faith + Dreams’

Alternative rock act Thirty Seconds To Mars have released a stream of their forthcoming album, Love Lust Faith + Dreams.

A long-awaited release, the latest from Thirty Seconds To Mars finds the Jared Leto fronted band again pushing the boundaries of contemporary rock and roll. 30STM have never been a group to deliver something trendy, rather they prefer to set the trends, and with Love Lust Faith + Dreams they might just inspire a new wave a bands to arise from the grey of unsigned nothingness. You can stream the effort here (or at the end of this post).

Love Lust Faith + Dreams hits stores next week. Will you be picking it up? Continue reading ‘Thirty Seconds To Mars Stream ‘Love Lust Faith + Dreams’’

Sound And Vision: It’s the Same Old Song for Thespians Who Sing — and Chances Are It’s Not a Hit!

Though Susan Boyle helped make music’s mainstream safer for the mature crowd, her chart-life-begins-at-nearly fifty success story remains a rarity. But perhaps in the case of Jeff Bridges, who won an Oscar for playing an alcoholic country singer in Crazy Heart, a music star could have been born at the ripe old age of 61. Alas, it was not to be. His debut album, Jeff Bridges, entered Billboard’s Top 200 album chart at No. 25 the week after its August 16 release and then tumbled to No. 58.

Thankfully, Bridges is in no danger of losing his day job.

These are hard times for actors and actresses moonlighting as recording artists. Back in the ’80s, the biggest movie stars usually were guaranteed at least one big pop hit if they bothered to try. Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis, Don Johnson and Patrick Swayze all did, and each managed one trip to the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100. But that was then. By the ’90s, mega-stars like Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves and Russell Crowe were forming rock bands that went nowhere on the charts.

More recently, Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars has approached a level of heat commensurate with that of his acting career (which, considering his overall filmography, isn’t as impressive as it might sound), but there hasn’t been a movie star who’s been able to consistently score on the music charts since Jennifer Lopez made her seamless transition to pop diva in 1999 with the No. 1 hit “If You Had My Love.”

A handful of TV stars have done slightly better. Just in time for the September 18 Emmys, House star Hugh Laurie, an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series nominee, sees his debut album, Let Them Talk (produced by Joe Henry, Madonna’s talented brother-in-law, and released in the U.S. on September 6, months after its successful spring launch in Europe), enter the Billboard Top 200 album chart at No. 16. Meanwhile, the single “Police Dog Blues” debuts at No. 58 on the Hot 100 — respectable, if not spectacular. But does his chart career have long-term potential? At first, Hilary Duff‘s seemed to, but her music career stalled nearly a half-decade ago (her one-time nemesis Lindsay Lohan‘s never really took off), and Miley Cyrus, who had to make her initial cross-over to pop as her small-screen alter-ego Hannah Montana, is in flux after tanking last year with Can’t Be Tamed.

Continue reading ‘Sound And Vision: It’s the Same Old Song for Thespians Who Sing — and Chances Are It’s Not a Hit!’

Sound And Vision: Pop Songs On TV – Last Season’s MVPs (Most Valuable Programs)

If video killed the radio star in the 1980s, television is still hammering the nails into its coffin three decades later. Yes, radio still has its place in the selling of pop music, but nothing says, “Prepare to scale new chart heights,” like a plum spot on a popular TV show. I’m old enough to remember when General Hospital turned Christopher Cross‘s “Think of Laura” from just another song on a flop sophomore album into a Top 10 single in 1984 and Days of Our Lives made a 1986 hit out of Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson‘s “Friends and Lovers.” But recently, television has been sending singers and songs up the charts like never before.

Radio didn’t make Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert and Susan Boyle stars. Had it not been for their small-screen exposure on American Idol and Britain’s Got Talent, “Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Before He Cheats” and millions of Glamazons never may have been thrust onto the world, and Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland (Boyle’s hometown), certainly wouldn’t be on the map!

Which TV show is the most effective hit/star-maker? This past TV season, it would have been a toss up between Idol and Glee. Idol may have taken a season off (No. 9) from creating a new superstar, but it relaunched an old one while spawning and boosting a number of hits in its 10th round. Idol judge Jennifer Lopez probably owes her musical comeback to her gig and the airing of the “On the Floor” video on the March 3 results show. The following week, the single soared into the Top 10, becoming Lopez’s first hit in four years. And everybody loves wacky uncle Steven Tyler, but would “(It) Feels So Good,” his first-ever solo single, have debuted at No. 35 on Billboard’s Hot 100 had the video not premiered May 12 on Idol? (If only the show had had so much chart influence for non-contestants during the Paul Abdul years!)

Katy Perry, too, has benefited from Idol. Her “E.T.” single rebounded to No. 1 after she and Kanye West performed it in a pre-taped results show segment. And then there’s Adele, who may owe her US stardom to a lucky performing slot on the October 2008 Saturday Night Live episode in which Sarah Palin made an appearance and blasted the ratings into the stratosphere. “Rolling in the Deep” was doing just fine before Haley Reinhart took it on in Top 7 week. She landed in the bottom three, but Adele zoomed from No. 10 to No. 2 en route to No. 1.

Soon after, Jared Leto’s band 30 Second to Mars found itself on the Hot 100 at No. 99 the week after James Durbin performed its song “Closer to the Edge” (not to be confused with the Robert Palmer song by the same name!). In recent weeks, Beyoncé has taken to TV (Idol, the Billboard Music Awards) to turn her dead-on-arrival “Run the World (Girls)” single around (as a result, it jumped from No. 75 to No. 50), but by the time the Idol finale rolled around on May 25, she’d moved on to new material: a ballad called “1 + 1.”

Getting back to Adele, she got a further boost a few weeks after her Idol exposure when “Deep” was featured on Glee, and I’m pretty certain that Cee Lo Green‘s “F**k You” owes its second or third wind on the charts to Gwyneth Paltrow and her rendition of the song during her first appearance on Glee last November. Of course, Glee has done more for its own cast—who now have had more entries on the Hot 100 than any act ever and have produced eight Top 10 albums and three Top 10 EPs—than it has for any of the artists they’ve covered. But perhaps no after-shock of the Glee treatment was more unexpected this past TV season than the one following the May 3 episode devoted to Fleetwood Mac‘s landmark Rumours LP. The nearly 35-year-old album re-entered Billboard’s Top 200 album chart way up at No. 11, selling nearly 30,000 copies, 1,951 per cent more than it had the previous week. Matthew “Mr. Schuester” Morrison’s self-titled album debuted at No. 24 one week later, but he might have been better off making it a Glee soundtrack.

The Bevery Hills 90210 spin-off 90210 may not have the ratings to kickstart hits the way Idol and Glee do, but by blending the latest greatest hits (which last season included “Rolling in the Deep” before it was a big hit) with music from more obscure artists, it’s done more for buzz-bin bands (including Australia’s the Temper Trap, Angus & Julia Stone and Boy & Bear) than any TV entity since the days of MTV’s 120 Minutes.

Award shows, though not as dependable as all of the above, can occasionally be good for launching a chart success. Florence and the Machine‘s Lungs album and “Dog Days Are Over” single became hits after a performance on the MTV Video Music Awards last September, and major GRAMMY wins are always good for a one-week bump in sales. More recently, country hunk Blake Shelton became a pop star when his “Honey Bee” single landed on the Hot 100 at No. 13, after the singer debuted it on the April 3 Academy of Country Music Awards telecast, becoming the highest debut for a male country artist since the Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines 1999 song “Lost in You” (not to be confused with Rod Stewart‘s ’80s hit!) entered at No. 5. Shelton is now a judge on The Voice, so look for him to reap more benefits from TV, along with his fellow judges, Christina Aguilera (who could use a J. Lo-style comeback of her own), Maroon 5′s Adam Levine and Cee Lo Green, whose post-GRAMMYs chart momentum for “F**k You” lasted months.

Good Morning America also has gotten into the hit-making act this year. I’m not sure that morning news and talk shows influence album sales in any significant way, but Chris Brown‘s temper tantrum after his interview with Robin Roberts and the ensuing publicity surely had something to do with helping him earn his first No. 1 album with F.A.M.E., which was released the day of his GMA visit.

Will radio ever go out of style? Probably not completely. But these days, stars are born (and reborn) not there, but on TV.

End of the Revolution: Has Pop Lost Its Social Conscience?

“You say you want a revolution,” The Beatles taunted in 1968. Seventeen years later, the Cult declared, “There’s a revolution.” When Tracy Chapman started “talkin’ ’bout a revolution” in 1988, she left the battlefield with multi-platinum spoils and two GRAMMYs. Pop music may be entertainment first and foremost, but at its most powerful, it’s also been an agent of change, social change, political change, inner change.
“A change is gonna come,” Sam Cooke sang on his 1964 classic. Surely he didn’t envision it eventually going down quite like this. I think the turnaround began in the ’90s, when U2, one of the most popular and influential political groups of all time, discovered girls and disco balls. Nearly two decades later, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Stevie Wonder and George Michael are off the singles charts, John Lennon and Marvin Gaye are still dead, and musical activism is mostly the domain of artists on the sidelines of the mainstream.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the road… Billboard’s Top 10 for the week of January 15— led by “Firework,” an anthem for doomed youth with none of the eloquence of Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” from 2002—perfectly reflected the shallow mindset of 2011 pop. With its “boom boom boom, even brighter than the moon moon moon” refrain, “Firework” is more tiring than inspiring and ultimately comes across as a clunky excuse for Katy Perry to look gorgeous and set off explosives with her breasts in the video.
Further down the hit list, Bruno Mars is a fool in love—twice. Pink is getting another party started. Enrique Iglesias is flirting again. And the Black Eyed Peas—well, I gotta feeling that ripping off the Dirty Dancing theme was just a way to make more quick bucks. When it’s up to Ke$ha to bring the social commentary (with “We R What We R”), you know we’ve got a problem. Where’s the revolution, the signs of the time? There’s a grenade, yes, but it’s in the name of love, not war.
Every so often there’s a disaster—September 11th, Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti—that springs pop stars into action. For the most part, though, they’re all about gold diggers, teenage dreams and bad romance. There are still some iconoclastic talents out there, though they don’t frequent the Top 10. I’m still not sure how a call to action as powerful as Muse’s “Uprising” stalled at No. 37 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 2009. Maybe the band’s Twilight-obsessed fans prefer when Matthew Bellamy is singing love songs for vampires.
M.I.A. made an unlikely trip to the Top 5 in 2008 with “Paper Planes,” but when she tried to fight the system with last year’s brutal, honest and brutally honest “Born Free,” her video was banned almost everywhere, including on YouTube, for containing violent images that actually were no more disturbing than anything James Franco does in 127 Hours, or that crazed gunman did in last season’s Grey’s Anatomy finale. The same thing happened to Madonna in 2003, when she challenged George Bush with her “American Life” clip. She was strong-armed into filming a new version of the video, the single and CD flopped, and she retreated to the dancefloor for her next two albums.
Perhaps it’s the censors who are intimidating pop’s would-be revolutionaries into inaction. If you dare to clash with rigid, arbitrary standards of decency, as 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Hurricane” video recently did (the MPAA probably would have slapped frontman Jared Leto’s antics with a PG rating at worst), you can forget about airplay. Years ago, pioneering rap acts like Grandmaster Flash and Furious Five and Run-D.M.C. documented life on the mean streets without courting controversy. When Public Enemy came along, they raised the stakes and pissed people off, probably limiting their commercial potential. I can’t imagine any of today’s swag-obsessed rap acts offering oratory as scathing as Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” or Fear of a Black Planet.
These days, rap’s primary focus, mentally and musically, is boosting egos and making money. Wiz Khalifa’s Top 10 “Black and Yellow,” in particular, represents everything that’s gone wrong with the genre. Eminem occasionally shows flashes of a social conscience— dig deeper into the lyrics of “Love the Way You Lie,” and you’ll realize that it’s an indictment of domestic violence, not a celebration of it— but in hitmaking mode, he’s mostly looking inward, not outward.
Who’ll bring social and political awareness back to the mainstream? Dixie Chicks tried their last time out, and won the 2007 Record of the Year GRAMMY for “Not Ready to Make Nice.” Since then, Record of the Year GRAMMY contenders mostly have been about sex, love and rehab. Rhythm and romance, like sex and candy, will always have a place in pop music, but who wants to party all the time? May the state of nations (wars, terrorism, collapsing economies, earthquakes, public shootings) inspire more of our stars to dim the party lights, turn some of the lust to anger, and get pop’s revolution back on track.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Erykah Badu in "Window Seat"

Erykah Badu bares all for “Window Seat” video

Nudity and social commentary are familiar bedfellows — just ask John and Yoko. So what’s surprising about Erykah Badu’s video for “Window Seat” isn’t the fact that she slowly disrobes till she’s stark naked; it’s the fact that she does it while walking around the grassy knoll in downtown Dallas where JFK was assassinated. The video ends with a shot ringing out and Badu collapsing on the ground. It’s supposed to be a statement about “character assassination,” but you don’t care about that. We had you at “naked.” Check out the video here.

The Bad

Hayley Williams covers Gaga

Gaga has birthday, covers ensue

Happy 24th birthday, Lady Gaga. Here’s your present: Two covers of “Bad Romance,” one from Paramore singer Hayley Williams (on piano to boot!) and the other from Jared Leto. Earnest, emo, melancholy, Catalano-esque … listen to both versions to figure out which is which.

The Ugly

MGMT in "Flash Delirium"

MGMT’s “Flash Delirium” video is weird

First there’s this mansion full of old people. Then there’s dancing … and puppets. And THEN, there’s a talking neck wound, an eel, an iron lung and an earthquake. In that order. Check out the video on the band’s Web site. Oh yeah … spoiler alert.

 


Exclusive Interviews
Featured Artists
OurStage Updates
News
Features
Reviews and Playlists
Editors Pick

 

 




 

iAnEAqqqq