In addition to packing stadiums and arenas around the world for teenage dream-like concerts featuring her own songs and a procession of big set pieces from a wedding march to snowfall and a balcony that flies out over the audience, Taylor Swift is turning heads on her current "Speak Now" tour by performing oddball covers.
Sometimes, they're keyed to whatever city she's in, such as her choice of Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Going Down" in Chicago this week. (FOB are from Chicago, BTW.) It added to a list that already included Pink's "Who Knew" (in Philadelphia), Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark" and Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" (New Jersey), Eminem's "Lose Yourself" (in Detroit), Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Alanis Morissette's "You Learn" (Toronto) and the Dixie Chicks' "Cowboy Take Me Away" (with Chicks member Martie Maguire in the house.)
So, we looked at Taylor's upcoming tour schedule and came up with a week's worth of suggestions of tunes she could take on, as well as a few that the good girl would probably shy away from: Read More...
They say you can never go back home again. Not unless you're former Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz. Not only is he coming back to his childhood home of Chicago this weekend, but he's gearing up to play the biggest gig so far with his new band, Black Cards, at the city's signature summer blowout, Lollapalooza. The dinnertime slot on Friday's opening day of the three-day fest is a coming-out party of sorts for Wentz, whose former band never made it onto the bill once Lolla set down roots on the Chicago waterfront and was reborn as a destination event in 2005.
We caught up with Wentz as he was making this way through Los Angeles International Airport for his Thursday afternoon flight and chatted about coming home, playing in front of his family and friends and how he feels about the inevitable whispers about a potential on-stage FOB reunion (former singer Patrick Stump is also on the bill, playing the same stage at around the same time on Saturday).
"I'm pretty excited about it because Lollapalooza is kind of a big summer event in Chicago and I've been going the past couple of years and it's hot and fun and [co-founder] Perry [Farrell] has done a really good job of having a wide range of bands," said Wentz. "For me it's really exciting. I've never played it before and to be able to play and hang out with my friends and family and have them see me play is really cool."
While Wentz is psyched for the Lolla audience to hear the electro pop sounds of his new band – who will also play an after party set at his downtown bar, Angels & Kings – he ran down his list of must-see sets. Read More...
So, after 72 hours and hundreds of submissions (and just as many conflicting emotions), it's come to this ... we have a winner in our Octo Drive Video Essay Contest.
It wasn't easy picking that winner. We got entries from all across the U.S., not to mention Australia, Spain, Italy and the UK. Entries from kids in school, the military and wheelchairs. We got entries from babies and dancing octopus puppets. There were kids who ate dog food, made cookies, threatened us with dog attacks, and had their children beg for the drive. There were rap songs and (many) acoustic numbers and even a marriage proposal or two. Seriously, you guys outdid yourselves and amazed us with your creativity and your passion to win this thing.
That said ... someone had to win this thing. So, after watching every single one of your entries -- and going back and forth about a bazillion times -- I've decided on the winning clip. For a while, it was gonna be the naked dude playing guitar. Then, Kaleigh, the singing baby surged into the lead. And for a minute, I was gonna give it to Chris B based on creativity alone.
But, at the end of the day, I picked something else entirely. So, who submitted the winning video? Find out after the jump. Read More...
So ... wow, yeah.
On Monday, I wrote a blog post announcing that Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz had sent me one of the 100 'Octopus' flash drives they had made, and that I intended to give that drive away to one lucky fan -- with a good old-fashioned video essay contest.
I expected to get a bunch of responses, but ... man, you guys really went above and beyond. And by "above and beyond," I mean "you're really starting to scare me."
I was bombarded with hundreds of video essays from Blink/FOB fans (you can view some of 'em here), each explaining why they should get the Octo Drive. Some of them were naked. Some were dressed as pirates. Other just shouted a lot.
All were impressive. And while the essay contest isn't over just yet (entries can be submitted via our You R Here blog until midnight EST Wednesday), I feel like it would be a shame if I didn't share some of my favorites with you right now.
So, after the jump, check out a few of the best/scariest Octo Drive video essays I've received so far ... watch 'em and weep.
... And they want us to give it away to one lucky fan.
It all started last month, when Wentz revealed to us that he and Hoppus were collaborating on a ultra-limited flash-drive that would contain remixes and other cool stuff. He said the drives would be distributed one at a time, in mysterious and creative ways. And, then on Friday, that flash drive arrived in my mailbox.
There are only 100 of these things made -- Hoppus and Wentz have distributed them to their favorite people across the world, with the instructions that they must be given away -- and so far, they've been handed out via Twitter scavenger hunts, won in raffles and, um, dug up from beneath lifeguard stands in Santa Monica.
(You can follow all the action over on the Friends Or Enemies "Octo-Drive" blog.)
And now, it's our turn to give one away. And while we're not going to make you follow a bunch of 140-character clues or break out the sand shovel, we are gonna do something that requires both smarts and strength (though no actual digging): We're having a video essay contest!
Here, watch me explain the details in this video:
By Daniela Capistrano
Lil Wayne's "Be Like Lil Wayne" app lets you customize your iPhone photos with grillz and other bling, then share with friends. On Fall Out Boy's app, you can follow them on tour via GPS. Pink wants you to challenge friends through multiplayer racing on "Fast and Furious: Pink Slip." And the Pussycat dolls want you to play their games on the go.
No longer a space reserved for the tech elite, artists are seeing the potential of iPhone apps and using them to develop an army of young fans who are increasingly mobile.
Nine Inch Nails, Snow Patrol, Justice, Moby and the Fray are just a few other artists who have jumped on the iPhone bandwagon, eager to maintain a connection with their tech-savvy audience. Despite the hefty price tags of iPhones and the iPod Touch (considering our bummer economy), more teens are rocking these slick mobile devices than ever before. Aware of this trend, artists are collaborating with iPhone developers to create branded apps with all the benefits of a MySpace page — without the restrictions of logging on to a computer.
With new apps in the works for Britney, Beyoncé and Akon, fans have the opportunity to connect with their favorite artists — and other fans — in a brand-new way, no matter where they are.
(Who else is releasing an iPhone app? Find out, after the jump!)
There's no end to the comparisons being made between President Barack Obama and various historical and political figures, from the statesmanship of Lincoln and Washington and the charisma of Kennedy to the youth and charm of Clinton.
But leave it to neophyte political columnist Pete Wentz to really nail the essence of Obama: his similarity to Fugees singer-gone-rogue Lauryn Hill.
Writing in his first column for the Huffington Post on Friday, Wentz offered the offbeat assessment as he tried to digest his feelings about attending the inauguration and performing at the Youth Ball, finding his angle by comparing the presidency to the rocket ride of going from being an unknown artist to a world-famous one. Sound familiar?
By Daniel Montalto
Fall Out Boy are one of those bands that I always enjoy talking to. They're all intelligent, well-informed and, most important, they're funny as hell. Whenever you're talking to them, the conversation can quickly turn from seriously intellectual to absurdly juvenile and back again. Interviewing them is basically like messing around with your friends, and getting paid for it.
Yesterday, I interviewed Fall Out Boy about the amazing honor of being here in D.C. to witness to Barack Obama's inauguration and about the fact that we're going to have the first African-American president in the country's 200-plus year history. As ardent supporters, the guys were in town to celebrate the inauguration by performing at both Sunday night's Mayor's Ball and Tuesday night's Youth Ball. Read More...
It's not every day that you get an e-mail from Pete Wentz. Actually, now that I think of it, it kind of is. Perhaps it'd be more correct to say that "it's not every day you get an e-mail from Pete Wentz ... and he's asking you for something."
So imagine my surprise last week when, in the midst of the Christmas madness, I checked my MTV inbox and discovered a note from Mr. Wentz himself, asking if I'd be interested in submitting a list of my favorite "people, albums, movies, books, arts or events" of 2008 that he could include on his blog. It seems he was growing bored with the endless stream of year-end "Best Of" lists (like, ahem, this one or this one), and wanted to create something a little bit different. It seemed like a pretty cool idea, and even though I had no idea who else he had sent the e-mail to, I decided to send a list anyway. (Also, there was a brief time over the summer when Pete and I were co-workers on "FNMTV," so I figured I owed it to him). Read More...
There was plenty that went on back in March, when MTV News — or, more specifically, me and an intrepid cameraman — headed down to Chile with Fall Out Boy to document their attempt to set a world record by playing a concert at a research base in Antarctica: Patrick Stump unveiled some serious acting chops, the band gave us a weather report from a Chilean hotel room, and I wrote a culturally insensitive "open letter" to Chilean Emo Kids that offended the entire nation.
And though FOB's attempt to set the world record came up short — they never made it to Antarctica due to some nasty weather — there was one other amazing thing that materialized from the trip: Apparently, Pete Wentz found out Ashlee Simpson was pregnant when we were down there. Read More...