For a tribute to those who have been affected by gun violence, a massive line-up of Broadway stars assembled on stage at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night to sing “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” Gun-based violence and legislation has been a major topic on the third night of the DNC, with Gabby Giffords, Angela Bassett, Lee Daniels and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting all speaking during the broadcast. More than 40 performers — including Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald, Debra Messing, Rosie Perez, Darren Criss and Richard Kind — participated in the performance, and many in the crowd stood up and held hands as they sang along. Proceeds from sales of the song will go towards the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
Radiohead has always bucked trends, in business models, in politics, but mostly in music. The band never sounded like 1997 in 1997, or 2003 in 2003, and last night at Madison Square Garden, its first show there in a decade, the band’s rebel impulses danced with arch musicianship, providing much-needed respite from the month’s political electioneering.
The group's recent ninth album, A Moon Shaped Pool, was very much the evening’s focus; Radiohead played its first five songs in order to open the show, and returned to deeper cuts later on. Pool’s anguished acoustic expanse opened up a new avenue in the band’s careful balance between experimental electronics and downcast rock and roll. The Bends opener “Planet Telex” slid carefully into the new album’s stately “The Numbers,” and later, the slow-burning tropicalia-infused malaise of “Present Tense” fit perfectly between OK Computer classics “Let Down” (which hadn’t been played live in ten years) and Radiohead’s signature song, “Paranoid Android.”
Every week, Vulture highlights the best new music. If the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year's best music.
Last year, the MTV Video Music Awards catalyzed the pre-show Taylor Swift–Nicki Minaj Twitter dustup that resulted in some “Will they have beef at the show?!” drama. Then, during the ceremony, Nicki mixed it up again, this time with host Miley Cyrus, who did some mouthing off about her in the lead up to the telecast. And our lives were forever changed by “What’s good, Miley??” What celebrity scrapes, real and manufactured alike, will power this year’s VMAs? Check out the list of nominees below and start placing your bets.
However weird your Monday was, it probably wasn't as weird as Dr. Dre's: The Los Angeles Times reports that the music legend was placed under citizen's arrest by a man who had parked in front of Dre's Malibu home Monday morning. According to the man's 911 call, he was stopped in front of the driveway when Dre "ordered him to leave and produced a handgun"; when the police arrived, the former NWA member was handcuffed and issued a citation. Police say Dre denied pulling a gun and consented to a search, which found no firearms. The rapper reportedly claimed the man had parked in front of his driveway multiple times after following him home from a tense incident on the freeway. Basically, never move to L.A.
Did you wake up this morning with an urge to scratch your philanthropic itch? Here's an added incentive: Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Metallica, Selena Gomez, Major Lazer, and more are set to headline the fifth annual Global Citizen Festival in New York City's Central Park on September 24. This is the same festival that has previously brought you Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and all of your other woke faves for absolutely free. As always, all you have to do to win a ticket in the lottery is spam the hell out of your Twitter followers with information about global education (among other good deeds), and you could be one of those lucky 50,000 citizens of the globe seeing Rihanna for free. Also making special appearances: Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Usher, Ellie Goulding, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, and Yandel. This year, Chelsea Handler, Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, Salma Hayek, and Seth Meyers will host, and given the fest's history of trotting out politicians, we might just see some presidential hopefuls take the stage, too.
On its face, an empowerment anthem with a chorus that goes, "What's wrong with being confident?" being sung by a self-possessed young woman who came to the Democratic National Convention to speak on her struggle with mental illness should be a home run. But Lovato's performance of "Confident," with its upbeat pop hooks and lyrics like "I used to hold my freak back, now I'm letting go," hardly felt wild and carefree in front of a crowd of stuffy, buttoned-up politicos at the DNC:
Incapable of not giving back to his city, Chance the Rapper has announced his latest good deed: an entire music festival of his own. The inaugural Magnificent Coloring Day will go down on Chicago's South Side at U.S. Cellular Field (where the White Sox play) on September 24. In addition to Chance himself, Lil Wayne, Skrillex, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Young Thug, 2 Chainz, Tyler the Creator, and Lil Uzi Vert are all slated to perform. He's also teased a "very special guest" as host. President Obama, maybe?! It's Chance's first-ever festival, but far from his first heroics: In May, just after his latest free album was released, he hosted a secret event for people in Chicago called the Magnificent Coloring World that ended up being a carnival and interactive arts fair in a warehouse. (He also recently called out Chicago amusement center WhirlyBall for being racist.) Tickets for his latest magnificent event go on general sale Friday.
Like a heatwave after a rainstorm, Panorama Festival — the first New York City–based fest from the folks to blame for Coachella — rolled through Randall's Island this weekend for a scorcher of a debut just weeks after its rival held the 2016 Governors Ball at the same location. Headlined by Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar, LCD Soundsystem, and tons of sponsors (looking at you, HP), the festival kicked off on Friday afternoon with tons of sweat, long lines, and anticipation. In the battle of the NYC festival turf wars, how did Pano Fest size up? Below, we look back at the weekend's many highs and lows.
Even a higher power taking ahold couldn't keep Drake's "One Dance" at the top of the Hot 100 for a tenth consecutive week: Billboard reports that the rapper's West Indian–inflected hit has been unseated in the No. 1 spot by Sia and Sean Paul's "Cheap Thrills," which features heavy dancehall vibes of its own. "Cheap Thrills" is Sia's first No. 1 single as an artist; as a writer, the Australian musician hit No. 1 in 2012 with Rihanna's "Diamonds." It's also the first time a woman over 40 has occupied the top spot on the charts since Madonna's "Music" in 2000. Elsewhere in the top 10, "One Dance" drops to No. 2, while Calvin Harris's collaboration with the newly unmasked Taylor Swift, "This Is What You Came For," climbs to No. 3. Finally, a reason for Swift to leave the house!
To state that Gucci Mane is a man of many gifts seems almost beside the point. Over the past 11 years the Atlanta rapper born as Radric Davis has created more than a prodigious body of work. When a recording artist’s discography consists of nine solo studio albums, three albums in collaboration, three extended-plays, a smattering of loose singles, and a mind-stopping 49 mixtapes, it’s safe to say that he’s flowed over the limits of what even a word like prodigious can describe. If diving into other rappers’ catalogues can feel like voyaging into another star system, by now Gucci's discography seems like a galaxy unto itself. “Legend” only begins to describe what he means to hip-hop culture in the South and beyond: He’s an authentic folk hero, a poet whose experiences encompass those of his people and represent them on a grand scale.
As a rapper, he’s naturally fluent, boundlessly charismatic, and thematically versatile; when it comes to perceiving, seeking out, and nurturing the gifts of other rappers and producers, he’s unparalleled; as far as street credibility goes, he’s untouchable. (To cite just one story: The rapper Freddie Gibbs, on his 2014 album Piñata, describes a scene in Atlanta’s Magic City strip club where Gibbs, then a part of Atlanta rapper and longtime Gucci nemesis Young Jeezy’s entourage of 30, sees Gucci Mane unaccompanied; individually or collectively, none of the 30 dares approach him. The reluctance to engage derives from fear, if not respect — many years ago in 2005 Gucci, unarmed after being ambushed by a squad of Jeezy’s goons, somehow wrestled a gun away and killed one while driving off the rest.) To write about Gucci is to accept the fact that you can’t capture him in full: Pick what frame you will, some part of him — most of him — will exceed it.
Third Eye Blind is getting even more political. One week after trolling the GOP by speaking out against the party at a charity concert during the Republican National Convention, the band released a song that touches on social justice and police brutality. In "Cop vs. Phone Girl," lead singer Stephan Jenkins addresses Black Lives Matter and sings about a police officer assaulting a teenage girl: “I mean he flipped her just like a rag doll, and broke her arm / Tossed her across that room, face down on the deck / He put his hands around a 16-year-old girl’s neck." Four years ago, Jenkins wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post in which he called the GOP a “party dedicated to exclusion” and said it is “on the wrong side of Lilly Ledbetter, fiscal responsibility, unions, civil rights, climate change, evolution, the Big Bang theory, stem cells, Medicare, and me,” as an explanation for why the band turned down an invite to play a party at the 2012 RNC in Tampa, Florida. Third Eye Blind’s escalating social consciousness comes as they prepare to release their next album, We Are Drugs.
Donald Trump, a man of wealth and taste, has played the Rolling Stones' music for the last time. The band has issued a statement to Trump's presidential campaign, insisting that the Republican presidential nominee refrain from playing their music at his campaign rallies and to "cease all use immediately." Sad day! Trump played "Start Me Up" at an event on Tuesday, and frequently blasted "You Can't Always Get What You Want" on the trail — which is fitting, as those who go down to his demonstrations often get their fair share of abuse.
Eager concertgoers have been flocking to Randall's Island for New York City's inaugural Panorama Festival this weekend, and boy, did the festival sure start off with a bang: Friday night's headliners were none other than indie-rock darlings Arcade Fire, who, immediately following their set, threw an impromptu parade dedicated to David Bowie. (The band previously threw a raging tribute parade to the musician with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans, shortly after his death.) This time, Win Butler and Co. utilized the jazz band to perform "Heroes," "Suffragette City," and "Rebel Rebel," as they made their way through the crowd with various instruments. Viva la Bowie.
Twelve months ago, Ariana Grande blessed the country with a truly ballsy act of young-adult rebellion: She walked into a California donut shop with a friend, licked a bunch of donuts when the workers' backs were turned, and proclaimed, "I hate Americans, I hate America." (Three cheers for the red, white, and blue, folks.) She issued a statement and apologized for her "taken-out-of-context" actions, and the aftershock of #Donutgate slowly waned as the summer passed on. However, thanks to the recent Democratic National Committee hack, #Donutgate and Grande are unexpectedly back in the spotlight for one, last, tongue-lickin' hurrah.
Musician, social-media life coach, and all-around nice guy DJ Khaled has — if you weren't already aware — a penchant for passionately talking about keys. (What is a key, you may ask? Allow him to explain.) So on his Beats 1 “We the Best” radio show last night, it felt right that Khaled dropped the new key-centric track "Holy Key," featuring Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, and Betty Wright, as a follow-up to his other key-centric track, "I Got the Keys" with Jay Z and Future, from earlier this month. And to cap it all off, his forthcoming album, Major Key, will be out on July 29. Enjoy "Holy Key" below. Then go pick some locks.
According to Billboard, Brandy has refiled her lawsuit against record label Chameleon Entertainment, which claims that the company has been blocking the release of her new music. The singer originally launched the suit in California in March, only to see it thrown out on a technicality; her contract mandated that all disputes be settled in New York or federal court. (The new lawsuit has been filed in New York.) The lawsuit claims that Chameleon has "effectively drained the lifeblood from Plaintiff's recording career" by refusing to fund or release Brandy's new music until she signs an "onerous" contract with Epic Records, which coincidentally employs Chameleon CEO Breyon Prescott. Brandy is seeking an official release from her Chameleon contract, as well as more than $250,000 in damages. In a statement to Billboard, Chameleon calls Brandy's accusations "fictitious."
Gucci Mane is an Atlanta trap figurehead whose shiftless prolificacy and innovation are matched only by a propensity for trouble. Over the last decade, he balanced sleek major-label studio albums and memorable guest appearances alongside a fertile mixtape career with a deftness that, short of Lil Wayne, has seen few peers. His keen ear for emerging talent bolstered the careers of rappers from Waka Flocka and Young Thug to Nicki Minaj, and made heroes of Atlanta-based producers like Zaytoven and Mike WiLL Made It. Gucci’s career highs have always been undercut by life-threatening encounters and legal troubles, though, from a rap-related murder charge he miraculously beat in 2006 to a baffling string of 2013 assault and weapons-possession charges that culminated in a three-year stay at an Indiana state penitentiary.
"American Pie" singer Don McLean has pleaded guilty to domestic-violence assault, the Associated Press reports. McLean was arrested in January after an incident with his wife, Patrisha, in which she claims he "terrorized" her for four hours; he was charged with a misdemeanor and released on bail. According to his lawyer, McLean's plea deal includes a $3,000 fine and no jail time. Patrisha McLean filed for divorce in March, citing "adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences."
How long must we dream of a new Regina Spektor album until it lands from the moon? Just a couple more months now! Regina Spektor has announced her seventh album, Remember Us to Life – her first since 2012's What We Saw From the Cheap Seats – will arrive on September 30. And with it comes a new song to make you forget all about her divisive Orange Is the New Black theme (which, admit it, has grown on you). "Bleeding Heart" is classic Regina Spektor whimsy and a sonic roller coaster, hitting peaks of bubbly pop, cruising through a sudden burst of drum-heavy rock, until it eventually slows down for some effective piano balladry. According to a press release, this is Regina's first album of entirely new songs — her previous albums were assortments of old and new songs — written during and after she was pregnant with her first child in 2014, a life-changing event she says gave her renewed inspiration. Say it with us now: awwww!
- Culture Editor
- Lane Brown
- Editorial Director
- Neil Janowitz
- West Coast Editor
- Josef Adalian
- Hollywood Editor
- Stacey Wilson Hunt
- Senior Editor
- Kyle Buchanan
- Senior Editor
- Jesse David Fox
- Senior Editor
- Gazelle Emami
- News Editor
- Samantha Rollins
- TV Reporter
- Maria Elena Fernandez
- Movies Reporter
- Kevin Lincoln
- Associate Editor
- Nate Jones
- Associate Editor
- Dee Lockett
- Associate Editor
- E. Alex Jung
- Associate Editor
- Abraham Riesman
- Associate Editor
- Jackson McHenry