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This Week on VIBE.com

Check it! Every Friday on the OurStage Blog, we will be featuring exclusive content from the one-and-only VIBE.com. Stay tuned for weekly photos, music, news and reviews coming straight from the source that’s redefining hip hop.


7 Things Lil Wayne Will Miss While He’s In Prison

So, Lil Wayne is finally in jail. Not that we’ve been looking forward to it or anything, but after sitting through all the court appearances and sentencing delays and root canals and courthouse fires, we do have to agree that we’re glad Weezy F. Baby’s legal battle stemming from a 2007 gun charge is finally over. Continue reading on VIBE.com…

If You Don’t Like This New Christina Aguilera Song, Eff You…

…those are her words, folks! But honestly, we somewhat agree. Britney Spears’ old bubblegum rival has done quite some mutating over the years, both physically and aurally. But the “new” Christina (re-empowered, Gaga-era MILF?)—who rallies behind the comeback single, “Not Myself Tonight,” off her upcoming fourth album, Bionic—is quite the lady. Continue reading on VIBE.com…

Usher’s 5 Attempts At Recharging His Sexy… RATED

Sex appeal isn’t exactly an innate quality. It can be bought, taught, developed, found and… lost. In 2004, Usher was at the crest of his celebrity. Having sold over one million copies it’s first week, Confessions was an unchallenged smash and the man behind the album could easily have a crayola of panties thrown his way with just a half-smile. Continue reading on VIBE.com…


Discourse & Dischord

The Good

New MGMT song, gratis!

MGMT

For those who got MGMT fever listening to their vocals on Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” the wait is (almost) over. Today MGMT released the first track off their upcoming surfer pop album, Congratulations. This one is called “Flash Delirium” and it is available FREE FOR DOWNLOAD on the band’s Web site. Dance, little children, dance.

The Bad

Sparklehorse’s Mark Linkous takes own life

Mark Linkous

The music industry lost another world-weary hero this week. First Vic Chesnutt, and now Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse— a frequent Chesnutt collaborator. Linkous reportedly died from a self-inflicted stab wound outside a friend’s home in Tennessee. As Sparklehorse, Linkous released 4 studio albums (with a 5th on the way), toured with Radiohead and collaborated with the likes of Tom Waits, PJ Harvey and, most recently, Danger Mouse. The duo was entrenched in a legal dispute with Danger Mouse’s record label, EMI, for the rights to release their album Dark Night of the Soul, but had recently reached an agreement.

On a personal note, I interviewed Linkous after the release of his stunning 2001 album, It’s a Wonderful Life, at his farm in Virginia, and found the man behind the musical genius to be a quiet, gentle soul who entertained all my fumbling questions with grace and kindness. R.I.P., Mark.

The Ugly

Bieber rips off Raaaaaaaandy?

Justin Bieber

Could it be true? Through his alter ego, Raaaaaaaandy (yeah, that’s 8 A’s), comedian Aziz Ansari has accused Justin Bieber of ripping off his song “Baby, Baby” in the teen idol’s current hit, “Baby.” According to the re-enactment footage, Bieber stole the music and lyrics after pistol whipping poor Raaaaaaaandy in the studio. That’s so Bieber! Check out the Funny Or Die clip here.

Miscellany

Wayne Coyne wants Justin Timberlake for new Flaming Lips movie
D’Angelo goes to the clink for soliciting sex
T.I. back with new track, “I’m Back”
Lil Wayne gets sentenced (finally) to a year in jail
Eminem & Lil Wayne video for “Drop the World”
Jay Z documentary in the works
Mary J. Blige gets the led out with more Zeppelin covers

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

OK Go debut another expertly timed music video

OK Go

On Monday OK Go debuted their video for “This Too Shall Pass,” and reaffirmed their status as music’s most synchronized video stars. This time around, they joined forces with Synn Labs in Los Angeles to build a large-scale chain-reaction “machine” to serve as the focal point of the video. The results include lots of funny, bizarre and often poetic effects, not to mention some pretty badass paintball action. Check it out here.

The Bad

Kanye’s got a new blog

Kanye West

Well Kanye West is back at blogging, and his newly redesigned site has made his all-caps-stream-of-consciousness rants at least 10 font sizes larger. In this edition, Kanye laments the passing of Alexander McQueen and his mother, muses about the ancient Egyptians being robbed of their MTV awards and still finds space to remind us all that he is brilliant and sometimes his genius makes him cry. That and the booze. Read all about it here.

The Ugly

Mini Lady Gaga and mini Ke$ha prompt the question, “What’s wrong with kids these days?”

What makes you fear the future more – a small child pretending to brush her teeth with a bottle of Jack to Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok” or a small child crawling pants-less across the stage to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”? We’ll let you decide. We have to go lie down.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

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The Good

New MGMT album inspired by Lady Gaga, Kanye

MGMT

MGMT

After the wild success of their debut album, Oracular Spectacular, MGMT has turned to new sources of inspiration for their upcoming follow-up, Congratulations. In an interview with Spin.com, Andrew VanWyngarden cites Lady Gaga, Kanye West and surfing as influences for the duo’s new material. The fame that followed Oracular Spectacular turned Van Wyngarden and Ben Goldwasser into “the people we were making fun of.” With Gaga and Kanye serving as a double-headed muse, will MGMT now turn into the people the rest of us make fun of ?

Sade releases first album in 10 years

Sade: Soldier of Love

Sade: Soldier of Love

This week Sade released Soldier of Love, her first studio album since 2000’s Lover’s Rock. Already the LP has hit the Number 1 spot in the iTunes digital store. Has the singer’s soothing coo richened with age? Click here to find out.

The Bad

Michael Jackson’s doctor formally charged

Dr. Conrad Murray

Dr. Murray

Dr. Conrad Murray was charged on Monday with involuntary manslaughter in the June 25th death of Michael Jackson. Murray entered a plea of not guilty in a courtroom that included Joe, Katherine, Jermaine, LaToya, Tito, Randy and Jackie Jackson. Bail was set at $75,000 — three times the normal limit for such a charge but probably petty cash for the King of Pop’s doctor.

White Stripes seeing red over Super Bowl ad

The White Stripes

The White Stripes

After the US Air Force aired a commercial during the Super Bowl with a soundtrack that sounded suspiciously like “Fell in Love with a Girl,” the White Stripes took to their Web site to cry foul. “The White Stripes take strong insult and objection to the Air Force Reserve’s presenting this advertisement with the implication that we licensed one of our songs to encourage recruitment during a war that we do not support.” The Air Force has since put the brakes on the ad, saying they commissioned an original score from an outside agency and that any similarities were unintentional. In other words, “they don’t consider it cheating.”

The Ugly

John Mayer kisses and tells, again

John Mayer Jessica Simpson

Mayer and Simpson

The phrases “John Mayer interview” and “TMI” are eternally linked. In this case the victim of his loose lips isn’t Jennifer Aniston, but Jessica Simpson, African American women in general and David Duke. In his interview with Playboy, Mayer dishes on sex with Simpson, and his member’s distaste for women of color. It’s pretty awful, which means it’s a great read. Here’s a link to the highlights.

Miscellany

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Discourse & Dischord

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The Good

Entire music industry enlisted for remake of “We Are The World”

wearetheworld

We Are The World: Part Deux

Right, maybe not everyone. They didn’t invite Ke$ha, for example. (Possibly because she brushes her teeth with Jack Daniels.) But at least 100 of your favorite musicians took part in a remake of the famous 1984 musical collaboration, “We Are The World.” Quincy Jones, who produced the first version, and Lionel Richie, who co-wrote it, recruited stars ranging from Barbara Streisand to Lil Wayne to take part in a new rendition to benefit victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The event went down at Jim Henson Studio in Hollywood on Monday, and will be broadcast on February 12 on NBC prior to the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Check out the video here.

Simon Cowell leads charity recording of “Everybody Hurts”

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

Quincy and Lionel weren’t the only ones busy producing benefit singles for the victims of Haiti. Simon Cowell enlisted the help of star talent as well for a recording of the REM song “Everybody Hurts.” Susan Boyle, Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Michael Bublé and a dozen or so more performers lent their voices to the track, which is already playing on UK airwaves and will be available for download on February 7th. Take a listen here.

The Bad

Fall Out Boy = dunzo?

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy

Looks like it. In an interview with Spin, frontman Patrick Stump confirmed rumors pretty succinctly when he said, “I’m not in Fall Out Boy right now.” This statement echoes a similar one made by Pete Wentz on his Twitter page in which the bassist says, “I can’t imagine playing in FOB again.” R.I.P. until the reunion tour, fellas.

The Ugly

Courtney Love and Mariah Carey (almost) collaborate

Courtney Love

Courtney Love

In the Diva Clash of 2010 that never was, Courtney Love reveals that she came this close to collaborating with Mariah Carey on “Samantha,” the first track off the new Hole album “Nobody’s Daughter.” Also revealed in the interview: Mimi likes to take up a lot of room in the photobooth.

Miscellany

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Discourse & Dischord

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The Good

Van Morrison adds another to his brood (not a brown-eyed girl)

It’s true —Van Morrison is still alive and actually quite virile. This week the reclusive, 64-year-old singer became a father for the fourth time when his manager/partner Gigi Lee gave birth to a son, who the couple named George Ivan Morrison III.

New Missy Elliot Track leaked

missy-elliott

Missy Elliott

Speaking of reclusive, Missy Elliott has been keeping a low-profile of late, finishing up work on her long-anticipated album, Block Party. The hip-hoptrix joined forced with Lil Wayne on the track “All 4 U,” which leaked unfinished onto the interwebs this week.  Check out the rough mix here.

The Bad

Vic Chesnutt dies on Christmas Day

interview-vic-chesnutt

Vic Chesnutt

Athens, Georgia singer-songwriter Vic Chestnutt died on December 25th following an apparent overdose of prescription muscle relaxers. Confined to a wheelchair since his teens, Chestnutt struggled with depression for much of his life, but remained a prolific musician. In 2009 he released two albums, At The Cut and Skitter On Take Off and collaborated with several artists, from Widespread Panic to Sparklehorse.

Avenged Sevenfold drummer dies

Rev

The Rev

Not to crush your spirits even further, but the music world suffered another loss on Monday when Avenged Sevenfold drummer James Owen Sullivan, a.k.a. “The Rev,” passed away in his home in Southern California. Local authorities say Sullivan appears to have died of natural causes, but his death is still under investigation.

The Ugly

Lil Wayne heads to the clink with a bang

Lil Wayne (born Dwayne Carter) will likely be spending a year behind bars for his conviction on a weapons possession charge in October. But, he’s not going softly into that good night. This Monday the rapper performed in his hometown of New Orleans to a crowd of thousands as part of his self-described farewell tour. Lil Wayne’s next album, Rebirth, is due for release Feb. 1. After New Orleans, he is scheduled to perform in Lafayette, Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi before being sentenced in February. We bet “a milli” they won’t let him bring his auto-tuner to prison.

Miscellany

Discourse & Dischord

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Beam 'Em Up: The mysterious Broken Bells ad

The Good

Danger Mouse and James Mercer get “LOST” on fans

Danger Mouse and Shins frontman James Mercer are set to release their first collaboration in early 2010 under the moniker Broken Bells. If that doesn’t get your indie motor running, this will: To hype up the new record, the duo has launched a mysterious viral campaign. Here’s what’s gone down so far:

Those signed up to the Broken Bells mailing list received an email last week written entirely in binary code. Translated it reads, “The high road is hard to find,” which is an obvious reference to one of the album’s tracks, “The High Road.” This week ads started popping up on various Web sites, displaying an image of two shadowy figures. The ads link to several nonsensical Web sites — all anagrams of “Broken Bells.” There, listeners can hear brief snippets of streaming audio, presumably from the record.

I haven’t been this excited since finding out that Ethan Rom was an anagram for “Other Man”!

ABBA decks the hall

Gimme, gimme, gimme airbrushing

Gimme, gimme, gimme airbrushing

The Hall of Fame Foundation has announced that ABBA will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in March 2010. The Swedish pop group joins Brit rockers The Hollies and Genesis, Detroit rockers the Stooges and reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, who will all be inducted this year as well.

T-Pain and Andy Samberg: On a boat, with crabs

As we mentioned last week, comedy group The Lonely Island has been nominated for a GRAMMY for their duet with T-Pain, “I’m On A Boat.” This week Andy Samberg reunited with T-Pain for a “Funny or Die” sketch in which he uses the T-Pain Auto-Tune app on his iPhone to serenade a hermit crab. Funnies ensue.

For the video, click here.

The Bad

Courtney Love loses custody of Frances Bean

Why so serious, Frances Bean?

Why so serious, Frances Bean?

This week a judge appointed Wendy O’Connor and Kimberly Dawn Cobain — the mother and sister of the late Kurt Cobain — legal guardianship of 17-year-old Frances Bean Cobain. Proving the legal system right, Courtney Love took to the interwebs to voice her frustration, posting a long rant on Facebook which she quickly deleted but not before several Web sites picked it up. Highlights include Love calling Frances Bean “deluded” and “deceptive.” Kind of makes Alec Baldwin look like Father of the Year.

The Ugly

Chris Brown disses Walmart, quits Twitter

Tweeter no more: Chris Brown

Tweeter no more: Chris Brown

Chris Brown stopped by a Walmart in Wallingford, CT and was, um, dismayed to see that the store wasn’t carrying his new record, “Grafitti.” So, like fellow genius Courtney Love, he voiced his concerns on the Internet, tweeting “[Walmart] r blackballing my cd. Not stocking the shelves and lying to customers. What the f—k I gotta do.” [sic] Walmart responded that they were, in fact, selling his CD across the country, including the Wallingford location. Brown then deleted his Twitter account. Now if only Love would do the same …

Rihanna goes topless for GQ

More classiness for you. Begs the question, why is this a headline? A more newsworthy story would be “Rihanna keeps her shirt on for photo shoot.”

Miscellany


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FROM THE CMJ RELAY ARCHIVES: OURSTAGE PICKS VOL. 15

cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our fifteenth installment featuring CMJ’s OurStage Staff Picks from the CMJ Relay Blog. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio.

Sicarus

“Changing Faces”
Hard Rock
The strength of Sicarus’s “Changing Faces” lies not in its blistering guitar solos or insane bass pedal pumping, but in contrasting them with a powerful opening (and recurring) vocal riff.
RIYL: Mastodon, Rise Against, Saosin

Yung Papi

“Crown Me”
Hip-hop
Sampling the opening riff of Beethoven’s Edgemont Overture is an educated and compelling move that will go over most heads, but works brilliantly in this boisterous young rapper’s favor.
RIYL: Lil’ Wayne, Kanye West, Jay Electronica

Nicolay

“Grand Theft Auto (GTA)”
Hip-hop
The title says it all. This track is pulsing with a beat that generates enough adrenaline to take on the street racing, police helicopter evasion, gang wars, and girls described in the lyrics. Let’s see the 5.0 try and keep up with this!
RIYL: The Game, Young Jeezy, Lloyd Banks

EVERYBODY WANTS SOMETHING THEY’LL NEVER GIVE UP: DEGRASSI STARS MAKING IT IN THE MUSIC BIZ

Dowtown Sasquatch

Dowtown Sasquatch

For those of you not familiar with melodramatic Canadian teen TV shows, there’s no bigger name in the business than Degrassi. The first Degrassi series aired in 1979 with The Kids of Degrassi Street, but it wasn’t until the late 80′s with Degrassi Junior High that the brain child of TV writer Linda Schuyler developed a cult following. Today’s incarnation of Degrassi, Degrassi: The Next Generation, is currently nearing the end of its eighth season. Over the years, the series has covered just about every possible horrible thing that could ever happen to you as a teenager. Through all the trials and tribulations there was one thing Degrassi characters could always rely on to get them through the tough times —music! Degrassi bands like The Zit Remedy and Downtown Sasquatch provided much needed relief to all the endless drama. It’s no surprise then that some of the actors on the show have begun to forge careers in the music industry.

Cassie Steele
, known for playing the role of Manny Santos, recently released her sophomore album Destructo Doll. The single, “Mr. Colson” is a rock tune with a lot of heartache and soul.

Cast newcomer Ray Ablack, who plays heartthrob Sav Bhandari, spent three years studying Vocal Music at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts in Toronto. When he’s not taping Degrassi, he spends time singing in his band KIAI and working on his own material.

Drake

Drake

Currently, Aubrey Graham — the actor who played Jimmy Brooks—is taking the hip hop world by storm under the stage name Drake. Fresh from signing a lucrative $2 million dollar record deal with Aspire/Young Money/Cash Money Records, Drake is gearing up to release his first commercial album after generating a great deal of buzz with his popular So Far Gone mixtape. It also doesn’t hurt him to have Lil’ Wayne as his personal mentor.

The three avid Degrassi fans in the OurStage office were more than delighted to find out that one of the bands on OurStage featured a bona fide Degrassi actress in their music video. Actress Amanda Septo, who plays fan favorite “Spike,” did the guys in Toronto’s Pizzamind a favor by showing up to their video shoot for “My Baby’s Got it Going On.” Check it out!

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEK: BLACKLISTED INDIVIDUALS

Snyp and Da’Shade from Austin’s Blacklisted Individuals have been making insightful hip-hop since 1998. While many hail Lil’ Wayne as the ambassador of Southern Hip-Hop, Blacklisted Individuals forgo over-the-top production and egotistical antics by offering socially conscious lyrics and catchy beats to compliment their poetic flow. This week’s free track is a great slow jam called “Fist Full of Strife,” which topped the alternative hip hop rankings for June. The group’s community-centric values emanate through an infectious sing-a-long chorus that demands you to clap your hands from start to finish. The song perfectly illustrates the duo’s dedication to shedding light on “the triumphs and tragedies that surround the struggle of our everyday lives” through their music. Get Blacklisted and let yourself be enlightened.

 


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