The soundtrack to Frozen is No. 1 again this week, with 133,000 albums sold (presumably because all the children have already worn out their first copy). Meanwhile, it only took 29,000 albums — of Pharrell's eminently listenable G I R L — to land the second spot on this week's Billboard "200." That's the lowest No. 2 sales figure in the Soundscan era. So ... prepare for an album of "Let It Go" remixes, coming soon to minivans near you.
In case the whole "Pharrell is everywhere" cliché somehow rang untrue to you, here he is on the Amazing Spider-Man 2 soundtrack — singing what feels like a '70 power ballad alongside Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr. He conquered pop radio, now he's heading for the top of easy listening: "Was there a glitch in my method? / Isn’t it clear we’re here again? / Let’s get new GPSs." Yes, GPS can now be pluralized, and here's how.
No one really cared much about Young Money's Rise of an Empire LP, did they? No matter! We've got Nicki's next album, The Pink Print, to look forward to, and the video accompaniment to "Senile" — where Tyga hangs with the Jabbawockeez, Wayne hangs inside a creepy sitcom, and Nicki hangs on an old-school playground.
This past weekend, noted British singer-songwriter and FOTS (friend of Taylor Swift) Ed Sheeran performed on Saturday Night Live. It was a coming-out of sorts for Sheeran, a niche teen heartthrob who is attempting a crossover with his upcoming album, x (out June 23). It was also possibly confusing for the many adults who watched and thought, “this is what the teens are into?” To explain his appeal, resident teen-ologists Lindsey Weber and Amanda Dobbins held a Sheeran Symposium, complete with videos and real life Sheeran stories. Their findings, below.
Kelis has a new album out this week and it's streaming over at NPR. Food is not only where she's at musically, but it's where she's at professionally, too — she's got a sauce line called Feast and a show on the Cooking Channel. The New York Times Magazine recently asked her about how those things relate and it went a little like this:
A few weeks ago, we heard "Fever," the first single off the Black Keys upcoming new album, Turn Blue, which comes out on May 13. We remarked it sounded more like the moody Attack & Release than the rocking El Camino. The album's title track, which the band released today, doubles down on that. Listen below and just try not imagining it being played by a band of anthropomorphized lit cigarettes.
Mix some "Edge of Seventeen" ("Ooh baby, ooh baby) with an outtake from a Quentin Tarantino movie soundtrack, layer a signature lyrical style over that ("Their golden cars and rock-n-roll groupies"), and you've got Lana Del Rey's new single, "West Coast." Lana Del Rey's second album Ultraviolence is as long-awaited as spring this year, so it's good to know she's not veering too far away from that "Summertime Sadness." *cues up remix*
Every week, Vulture faces the big, important questions in entertainment and comes to some creative conclusions. This week, we discussed Stephen Colbert's ascension into prime-time late night, endlessly dissected the Game of Thrones premiere, and read Rob Lowe's second memoir. You may have read some of these stories below, but you certainly didn’t read them all. We forgive you.
Each week, through my Somewhere in Time column, I hop in my DeLorean GIF and travel back to a moment in our pop-culture past to reevaluate just what we as a nation thought was good. This time out, we use Kevin Costner’s Draft Day as an excuse to take a jaunt back to July 28, 1995 to survey the landscape circa the project that you and I both know was his creative peak. (Talk to me when you have your own stunt spectacular at Universal Studios Hollywood, Dances With Wolves.) Let's count down the top ten music videos of Waterworld premiere week, according to VH1. Why VH1? Because you just know Costner was a VH1 kind of guy.
To call Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello a fan of the arena-rock band Kiss is like referring to the Titanic as a ship. Tom Morello is the biggest fan of Kiss ever, something he made quite clear last night during his wonderful speech about the legendary face-painting, sex-obsessed band at last night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Commenting on the relentlessly dismissive coverage that Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, et al., have received from critics over the years and the group's long-overdue induction into the Valhalla of rock, despite having written one of the genre's de facto anthems with "Rock and Roll All Nite," Morello said, "What Elvis and the Beatles were to previous generations, Kiss were to us. They propelled millions of young people to pick up instruments.” After the ceremony, Vulture spoke with Morello about the speech and wearing his fandom on his sleeve — and read on to see the full transcript of his speech below.
This redheaded Brit will be someone you'll be hearing from more often, like it or not, especially thanks to his cover of Beyoncé's "Drunk in Love" on "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show." It's Ed Sheeran, and while hearing him sing Beyoncé's signature "surfbort" is cringe-worthy, you can't hate on that "1+1" add-in at the end, and the fact that he skips the Jay Z rap. Can't hate on that at all.
To cross-promote the ESPYs, which he'll be hosting this year, Drake showed up on The Jimmy Kimmel Show last night to prank innocent people for laughs. As Kimmel bits go, this one was pretty harmless: Drake put on a beard and a bad wig and went to interview people on the street about Drake. Lessons learned: People on Hollywood Boulevard (a) do not know when the ESPYs happen, and (b) are not generally impressed with Drake. (They also don't recognize his voice, since Drake sounded exactly like Drake for the entirety of this segment.) But Drake made it funny, because he is a people-pleasing child star and a gift to us all. God bless Drake.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Nas's seminal hip-hop album, Illmatic. A documentary about the legacy of that record — Time Is Illmatic — is this year's Tribeca Film Festival's opening-night movie. (It premieres Wednesday, April 16 at New York City's Beacon Theater.) Watch the trailer below:
At tonight’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Michael Stipe inducted Nirvana, and the surviving members of the band were joined by four female vocalists: Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, and Lorde. Jett sang “Smells like Teen Spirit,” Gordon performed “Aneurysm,” Clark took on “Lithium,” and the Queen Bee herself covered “All Apologies." While the 17-year-old songstress might seem like an odd choice to pay homage to a grunge band that broke up two years before she was born, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic did do an accordion cover of "Royals" earlier this year, so she's really just repaying the favor. Plus, who doesn't love Lorde? Check out some of the highlights below.
Emma Stone's Spice Girls–themed press tour chugs along. First, she cried over a message from Scary Spice. Then she displayed a freakish ability to forge all the Girls' signatures. Next stop: The British radio program "Capital Breakfast." Stone has a Spice Girl sing-off with one of the hosts, but that is just a preamble. The real fun happens when the show Face-Times with Sporty Spice, forcing Stone's eyes to bulge and a grin to consume her face. If that's not cute enough, add in Andrew Garfield adorably being super excited for her. We hope this tour never ends.
The Hold Steady released its first record in 2004, back when being a Brooklyn-based band meant something totally different. Ten years later, the group is still going strong and is touring in support of its sixth studio album, the acclaimed Teeth Dreams. To celebrate a decade of the Hold Steady, Vulture asked the band’s two principal songwriters, lead singer Craig Finn and guitarist Tad Kubler, to pick the best track from each album. Read on to see their selections, and then listen to the full list, below. (The two interviews were conducted separately.) We're going to start it with a positive jam, literally.
Warning: The video for Lykke Li's "No Rest for the Wicked" is as sad as the song itself. "I let my good one down. I let my true love die. I had his heart but I broke it every time." A wistful romp in tall grass with flash-forwards and flashbacks, the song echoes her upcoming album's title: I Never Learn. It's out May 5, and by the sound of this, you're going to want to hear it in full. While crying.
You’ll learn many things on most episodes of the weekly trivia radio program “Ask Me Another,” but the big takeaway from this weekend’s installment is that you shouldn’t boast about your “Rapper’s Delight” karaoke skills if Hannibal Buress is standing next to you.
In this exclusive clip from the NPR/WNYC show’s latest episode, available today via podcast download and airing over the weekend on NPR stations, the comedian and Broad City scene-stealer takes part in a $100,000 Pyramid–style quiz in which he must describe well-known rap songs to an audience member without quoting lyrics or name-checking the artists. It’s like the charades of rap!
When the audience member, an affable schoolteacher named Brent, says his go-to karaoke tune is “Rapper’s Delight” and busts out the opening lines, Buress jokes that the start of the Sugarhill Gang song is easy, but going deep into the track is where people tend to trail off. “Everybody knows the hippity,” he laughs. Too true! But then Brent goes on to dominate at the quiz, so it's all good.