Fitz And The Tantrums are a seven-piece pop machine that sound like acombination of Motown and Kick-era INXS, minus guitar. Fronted by the charismaticMichael Fitzpatrick, who rightly shares a big chunk of the spotlight with singerNoelle Scaggs, you may have recently caught the band making the rounds oflate-night talk shows (Jimmy Kimmel, Conan) to support its new album, Pickin’ Upthe Pieces. We haven’t seen the band live (TheFoo Fighters hijacked their SXSW stage last night), but we hear they put on anamazing show. Here’s the video for “MoneyGrabber,” Fitz’ new single:
After the jump, Fitz himself gives his SXSW picks.
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth premieres on VH1 April 8.
Foo Fighters: Back and Forth,which premiered to a cheering audience last night at SXSW in Austin, opens with Dave Grohl looking back at his time as Nirvana’s drummer. He says the trioknew something was “weird” when jocks started showing up for shows, but “we never thought we’d sell a million albums.” Of course, this was before Nevermind sold more than 26 million copies and permanently altered rock’s DNA. The most enjoyable aspect of this rock doc, directed by Oscar-winner James Moll, is watching the very likable Grohl strike rock gold twice — no small feat for a teen who grew up touring under miserly conditions in the ’80s hardcore scene. In this clip, Dave, one of rock’s greatest drummers, explains how he came to create the Foos in the wake of Kurt Cobain‘s suicide:
Papercranes, a rock/folk act fronted by Rain Phoenix (yes, Joaquin‘s sis), features a rotating crew of periodic collaborators and guests including Rain’s sisters Summer and Liberty, Vic Chesnutt and Flea. Papercranes opened for R.E.M. at SXSW in 2008, and return this year with Let’s Make Babies In the Woods, a sophomore album that shifts in tone from dark and angry to bittersweet. It was created in the wake of Rain’s divorce.
Crystal Bowersox has joined Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert as American Idol alumns who failed to take the show’s top spot but ended up faring at least as well as its winners in becoming artists with independent careers and identities. Thanks to Idol, Crystal’s identity is more than a little familiar to most: Scrappy folk/roots singer and songwriter with golden dreads and, more importantly, a knockout voice. Below is the video for “Farmer’s Daughter,” the autobiographical single from her debut album of the same name.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are no strangers to SXSW. In 2009, they were one of the most buzzed-about bands in the lineup, thanks in part to a debut album that generated a home run in the press. The indie-pop act, including keyboardist/singer Peggy Wang, is releasing their sophomore album, Belong, on March 29. Early word on the street: It’s as catchy as the debut. Here’s the video for Belong‘s first single, “Say No To Love.”
Like Lady Gaga, SXSW artistNeon Hitch is an eccentric-looking singer and songwriter who makes danceable pop. Unlike Lady Gaga, she has a legitimately eccentric background. Neon Hitch (real name, not made up by a producer) grew up traveling in a Gypsy caravan with hippie British parents and performed as a trapeze artist in circuses and freak shows. At 16 she ran away to India without ever having gone to school, but not before her dad gave her CDs by Michael Jackson, Madonna and the Spice Girls — three of her biggest influences. How Neon went from circus act to co-writing Ke$ha‘s “Blah Blah Blah” to signing with a major label for a solo debut (no release date yet) is beyond us. But it’s a good thing she’s excelling as a pop star. Her resume would be a mess without it.
We’ve been rolling out exclusive bits and pieces of our VH1 Unplugged with Adele in anticipation of its online premiere. Today we have a one-minute teaser of Adele singing “Turning Tables,” another heartache ballad from21, which soared to the #1 position on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart this week. Fans may appreciate the crystal-clear production value of this stripped-down performance. Every crackle in Adele’s voice, which is accompanied only by piano, is pristine. Definitely not your average YouTube concert clip! Join our live viewing party tomorrow at 7/6c for the full premiere.
Because MTV Networks and Lady Gaga‘s record label are like separated parents who are trying to work things out, the video for “Born This Way” can’t be viewed at the moment on VH1.com. (It’s the media equivalent of a custody battle!) Still, we want to hear what you think about Lady Gaga’s latest cultural behemoth. So bear with us as we briefly describe the video in text. Or watch it here first.
Adele‘s 21 had its official release in the U.S. last week. If you’re a fan you already know the album is about a guy that broke her heart. Adele talked about this relationship while taping VH1 Unplugged. Oddly, we were almost as captivated by hearing her speak as we were by watching her sing, and that’s saying a lot. In an age when many pop stars are private and often censored by their own management, Adele comes across as unguarded and spontaneous. She also happens to be animated, witty and self-deprecating — all qualities that make for a great interview.
For this reason, we compiled Adele’s Top 10 VH1 Unplugged Love Quips. They’re presented here without any context. Not all of these quotes pertain to her ex-boyfriend, or even love. To better understand what Adele’s saying, watch the full Adele Unplugged premiere online Thu., March 3 at 7/6c and on air March 4 at 11/10c.
As previously announced, VH1 is airing the Do Something Awards again this summer. For those under 25 who are taking on a problem in the world, there’s still time to submit your application before the March 15 deadline. You may remember the grand prize winner gets 100k towards their cause. Last year’s winner was the amazing Jessica Posner, who co-founded a community center and school for girls in Kibera (Africa’s largest slum). Sad fact: 66% of girls in Kibera trade sex for food as early as age six and only 8% of women ever attend school. Happy fact: Jessica has helped more than 5,700 of Kibera’s residents gain education and employment.
We’ve invited Jessica to share her experiences since winning the award (after the jump). If reading her note doesn’t make you cry and want to change the world, try looking at her pics.