Lady Antebellum star Charles Kelley and Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn have formed a Christmas supergroup to spread a little holiday cheer. The stars make up part of Band of Merrymakers, which also features Fitz & the Tantrums star Michael 'Fitz' Fitzpatrick, Nick Hexum of 311 and Better Than Ezra's Kevin Griffin.
The group has recorded new charity track Must Be Christmas, with proceeds from downloads benefiting the MusiCares Foundation.
The track comes with a video featuring a gang of musical Santas enjoying the sights of Los Angeles and Nashville, Tennessee.
Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn has been overwhelmed with support by members of the Mormon church after he 'came out' as gay last month (Mar14). The 30 year old revealed he always knew he was homosexual and he told his family, friends and bandmates in October (13).
In doing so, he became one of a few gay Mormons to go public, as the religion is firmly opposed to homosexuality. However, Glenn was shocked by the reaction from church elders, saying, "I was surprised at how many Mormon church leaders wrote me messages saying, 'This is great that you're doing this.' That really was cool... On the level of being a role model for kids or LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) Mormon youth, I'm totally down (cool) because I come from that background and I would be able to speak to them honestly."
Neon Trees frontman Tyler Glenn is convinced very few of his fans were shocked when he opened up about his sexuality in a Rolling Stone article last month (Mar14) because he wasn't a great closeted gay man. The Everybody Talks hitmaker 'came out' in the interview, admitting he wanted to live his life as an open book for his fans.
He tells U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America, "I'm 30 and a part of my stage mantra has always been self-acceptance, and I figured it's never too late to self-accept yourself (sic), and, for me, it was about coming out and being open to the fans.
"I don't think it was that shocking; I don't think I was doing a very good job hiding it, so here I am."
Glenn hopes that his big reveal will inspire other closeted gay performers to come forward and open up about their sexuality, insisting the time has never been better after Macklemore & Ryan Lewis turned the spotlight on equal rights at the Grammy Awards in January (14), when they performed their hit song Same Love as 33 same-sex couples exchanged vows.
Glenn says, "It's powerful, it's good. I think we need more gay representation now. I think the world is ready for more gay musicians and I think there are some fantastic ones now and I think there's room for more."
Neon Trees singer Tyler Glenn has announced he's gay. The 30 year old reveals he always knew he was a homosexual and he 'came out' to his family, friends and bandmates in October (13).
He tells RollingStone.com, "I've always felt like I'm an open book, and yet obviously I haven't been, completely.
"I had my crushes on guys throughout high school, but it was never an overwhelming thing until my 20s. Then I'd be dating girls and in love with my straight friend and it was the worst feeling in the world."
Since coming out, Glenn has been inspired by all the U.S. professional athletes like college football player Michael Sam and NBA player Jason Collins who have chosen to do the same.
He continues, "I really love all of the sports figures that are coming out recently. I appreciated Michael Sam was like, 'I want to be able to go to the movies and hold hands with my boyfriend'. Even hearing him say boyfriend, I was just like, 'That's cool'."
Dance DJ/producer Kaskade has stepped into the recording booth for the first time to showcase his vocals on his forthcoming album. The EDM star, who has previously recruited artists like Neon Trees and Skylar Grey to perform on his tracks, admits his singing voice is far from "perfect", but he felt it was necessary to pick up the microphone to convey his own feelings on the album's title song, Atmosphere.
He tells MTV News, "This is the first time I've ever sung on one of my songs. I've written dozens, if not hundreds, of songs over the years... (but) I've never sung on any of my songs.
"When I wrote this, I knew it wasn't about my vocal performance and being a perfect singer. It was more about capturing the emotion of what I was writing about - it was a very personal song to me."
Maroon 5 have postponed their upcoming European tour due to "scheduling conflicts". The This Love hitmakers were due to perform six shows in the U.K. and Ireland next month (Jun13), with gigs in Paris, France and Amsterdam, Holland to follow in July (13), but the dates have been pushed back to next January (14).
Neon Trees were set to perform as special guests, but now Robin Thicke will take over for the rescheduled concerts.
A message on the band's website reads, "Due to unforeseen scheduling conflicts, Maroon 5 have been forced to postpone their forthcoming European arena tour."
Frontman Adam Levine adds, "We are truly sorry for any inconvenience we have caused our European fans and promise that when we come over in January we will put on a show to remember!"
Hello, America. Hurricane Sandy is no more, and your faithful Voice recapper has WiFi once again. My New Jersey town loses power whenever someone drives 10 miles over the speed limit, so any legitimately severe weather event results in a Revolution-style return to the Dark Ages (that’s right, free Revolution plug — send your girl some swag, NBC).
To recover from my week without electricity, I’ve spent the last 12 hours no more than three inches from my computer screen, consuming more cat videos and gamma radiation than any doctor would recommend — now I’m back, and more powerful than ever.
Last night’s episode of The Voice began the live playoffs, the first round in which viewers at home have a say as to who stays and who goes. I’ll be expecting my own miniature red button in the mail, thank you very much.
Audience votes will determine two winners from each five-person team, and each coach will choose an additional performer to save for the next round — with eight contestants to be sent home after the results show on Thursday. In this episode, Team Adam and Team Blake face off.
Team Adam opens the playoffs with Joselyn Rivera — Jesus, girlfriend sang “Love on Top” last week? I feel like a little kid who slept through Christmas morning.
It’s important to note that, since the bygone days of the blind auditions, The Voice has seemingly upgraded its production budget by a factor of 10. The contestants now find themselves performing before comparatively enormous audiences on an expanded stage.
Joselyn half-heartedly interacts with the crowd as the camera swoops hyperactively around the venue. It’s exhausting to watch. I’m impressed by the addition of a fuchsia streak in her hair that exactly matches her dress (which came first?), but Joselyn simply doesn’t know what to do with herself.
Christina offers characteristically cryptic praise: “Walking down the stairs,” she compliments Joselyn, “That’s hard to do in high heels.” The judges are also proud to learn that Joselyn brushed her teeth and zipped her coat up all by herself like a big girl, yes she did.
Only now do I realize that Joselyn’s lipstick is also perfectly coordinated with her hair and dress — but that’s still not enough to earn my vote.
Before he takes the stage, Team Blake’s Terry McDermott comments wryly on the importance of his performance in the playoffs. “There’s not much at stake: just my family’s future, and my pride,” he says, marking the first time a Voice contestant has said something intentionally funny.
Terry, King of Scots, performs Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” automatically guaranteeing him 90 percent of all votes cast for tonight’s episode. This isn’t his best performance, but even so, Terry’s confidence and competence on stage vastly outshines Joselyn’s.
Melanie Martinez, Team Adam’s Great Indie Hope, unexpectedly covers “Hit the Road Jack.” There’s something to be said for her “subtle,” “jazzy” take on the song, but Melanie overplays her voice’s girlish, whispery quality — it’s like she’s doing a weak impression of Marilyn Monroe’s infamous “Happy Birthday” to JFK.
I’ve been a fan of Melanie’s all season, and this is the first time we’ve seen her falter. Here’s hoping she’ll have a chance to redeem herself.
As Blake’s only remaining country artist, Liz Davis — who, may I remind you, has already won a reality TV singing competition — is under a lot of pressure to perform.
She rises to the challenge with a rousing version of Martina McBride’s “Independence Day.” “Perfect timing for that song,” Christina notes, because in her world, this is apparently July.
I have waited until now to bring up the fact that Cee Lo is costumed as a heavier incarnation of Prince — wearing eyeliner and an impressive Jheri curl — because it took me this long to convince myself that it wasn’t a hallucination brought on by all the generator fumes coming from the neighbors’ backyard.
Former Hey Monday frontwoman Cassadee Pope is up next, singing “My Happy Ending” for Team Blake. My inner angry 15-year-old prefers the Avril Lavigne version, but Cassadee is clearly a pro — unconstrained by nerves, she capably delivers the dynamic energy this song requires.
Annoyed as I am by Bryan Keith’s ever-present fedora, his coach may have actually outdone him — in rehearsals, Adam wears something that is more holes than shirt.
Bryan performs the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris,” and he’s good — but his voice lacks the sweetness that made the original track so heart-breaking. Instead, he’s all smirking, raspy attitude. Adam raves about Keith’s “spirit and soulfulness,” but I’m not feeling it.
Michaela Paige, the mohawked teenage Internet radio host, sounds like a fictional voter I made up to frighten Mitt Romney. She takes on Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks” for Team Blake, igniting the crowd with her preternaturally strong voice.
In my estimation, life-size troll doll Michaela is far and away one of the best singers on the show, but I find her a little off-putting — if only because she’s far more self-assured than a high school senior has any right to be (acne? prom? the Common App?).
My suspicions are confirmed when I visit her Facebook fan page and discover Michaela’s (apparently unironic) description of herself: “Singer/Songwriter. Radio Show Host. Visionary. Philanthropist.”
Julio Cesar Castillo returns to his Mexican folk roots with “El Rey,” in the traditional mariachi costume of a leather jacket, tie, and sweatpants.
Though I like Julio a lot — and I appreciate that Spanish-language selections offer the added bonus of preventing most audience members from singing along — I don’t particularly love this performance. The audience clearly disagrees, rewarding Julio (and coach Blake) with the first standing ovation of the night.
Adam readily acknowledges that Loren Allred has proved to be Team Levine’s sleeper hit. It’s clear that the producers didn’t see her coming either — she’s been featured by far the least of any of the remaining competitors.
Loren brings the sass on a solid but ultimately unexceptional cover of Lisa Stansfield’s “All Around the World.”
In Amanda Brown’s pre-taped intro footage, Adam excitedly touts her choice of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” as “probably the most iconic classic rock song of the night” — guess Blake hadn’t warned him about the Journey.
But no matter, because Amanda’s is easily my favorite performance of the night. She’s powerful, sexy, and capable of some amazingly kick-ass lady-falsetto.
I exercise my right to vote for Amanda not once, but two times, because The Voice is twice the democracy that America will ever be.
The Voice returns Wednesday night at 8 p.m., and so will I, if I survive the impending nor’easter — and maybe even if I don’t. (Ghosts?!)
Follow Molly on Twitter @mollyfitz.
[Image Credit: Tyler Golden/NBC (2)]
The Voice Recap: I’m Going to Knock You Out
The Voice Recap: I Hate Myself For Watching You
The Voice Recap: Rosa-Biden 2012
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S2E15: Are you ready for another after school special? Well, it doesn’t really matter, because Glee is determined to give it to you. At least this time around they figured out how to crank up the fun parts to help mask the message a bit, but it’s still like that time my dad taught me to take vitamins by hiding them in a spoonful of peanut butter – the peanut butter is delicious and all, but not enough to completely hide that distinct metallic vitamin taste that makes me want to gag a little bit.
“My sex-tape with J.D. Salinger was a disaster.” –Holly Holiday
Well, Gwyneth Paltrow is back and while I actually kind of liked her presence in the episode, that contrived line about J.D. Salinger was just upsetting – for shame, Glee writers – and somehow she forgot to act. Then again, maybe it was just the cardboard lines the writers fed her. Either way it fell a little flat. You guys do know this woman has an Oscar, right?
Anyway, the kids at McKinley High are sorely uneducated when it comes to sex – I’m talking cartoonishly uneducated. Brittany actually thinks that because a stork is building a nest by her house that she’s pregnant. Come on. I appreciated the reference back to Finn’s stupidity when he believed that he got Quinn pregnant because they made out in a hot tub and the temperature “helps the sperm swim faster.” That’s something a dumb teenage guy might fall for, but the others were just embarrassing. Schue enlists Holly, who’s subbing for the health teacher to educate the kids about sex and Emma, WHO STILL HASN’T DONE THE NASTY with Uncle Jesse even though they’ve been married for four months is up in arms about explicitly talking to the kids about sex. Cue the episode’s debate: schools don’t teach kids enough about safe sex so they screw up, but parents get upset when their kids learn about safe sex, so hey, let’s get that changed so we’re all super educated about safe sex, RIGHT? Yes, thank you. We get it. Moving on.
Holly sings Joan Jett’s “Do You Wanna Touch Me” and gets the kids all riled up and sexually charged, throwing in some two bit advice about safe sex at the end after a ton of hairography and sexy dancing. Yeah, real effective. It was fun though and she called Quinn and Rachel frigid which was hilarious, so I’ll give her that.
“Porcelain, you just made a powerful enema.” –Sue
Coach Sylvester’s only purpose in this episode was to deliver that questionable but still slightly funny line and to spread the intel about the New Directions’ new sexy approach to their competitors at Dalton. While Kurt refuses to play along, Blaine grabs onto the idea that they need to sex up their routine so naturally, they put together a routine for Neon Trees’ “Animal” and perform it for Catholic school girls in an abandoned barn with a Jonas Brothers-style foam cannon while Kurt hops around like a constipated baby tiger? What is going on here?
It turns out that Kurt can’t make sexy faces because he knows nothing about sex – I don’t know if that direct correlation works, but I’ll allow it. Blaine tries to help and it turns into a discussion about sex, with Blaine offering to answer any questions Kurt might have. Kurt is extremely uncomfortable, admits that he’s looked at “those videos” to learn but they disturb him and he angrily kicks Blaine out. Being the way better friend than anyone has ever been as a teenager, Blaine actually talks to Kurt’s dad and convinces him that their close relationship means he should explain sex to Kurt. Being the great dad he is, Burt does his best though Kurt is still resistant (didn’t he just ask for this LAST WEEK?) but he eventually realizes he needs to learn and thanks his dad for helping. It was a little much, but it does serve a purpose and the moments between Burt and Kurt are always touching.
“It’s better when it doesn’t involve feelings. In my opinion it’s better without eye contact.” –Santana
Well, it’s time for the Santana bubble to burst. She’s trying to get Brittany to hook up with her again “for fun” but it turns out there’s a lot more to that suggestion. Brittany asks that they talk about their feelings and since Holly is the go-to sexpert for the episode for some reason, they ask her advice and she tells them to sing a song about it. She “helps” them – or sings the lead for the entire song – and by the end, Santana is crying because she realizes she is in love with Brittany. Yes, in love. Santana is a lesbian.
Brittany says she loves her too, but she’s with Artie and she loves him. Cue Santana rage. This was quite the flip of the switch, but it gives us a reason for her anger and promiscuity so it at least makes a little sense. It’s just a little strange because Glee can’t make up its mind about whether it’s serious or complete camp. The writers seem to change their minds every week and the result is a bit disjointed.
“Afternoon delight is a dessert. It’s made with coconut and pinapple and marshmallow fluff.” –Emma
Emma’s been heading up the celibacy club with Rachel and Quinn – the only members – because she’s afraid of sex with her husband and Rachel and Quinn are both aching over Finn (though it turns out a telltale hickie tells us that Quinn is back with Finn and guess what? She’s not so celibate). When Holly comes through on her wave of sex education, Emma thinks that the celibacy club needs to combat all the sexy with a delightful, wholesome song. Clearly, “Afternoon Delight” is the right choice. Puck has joined up at the last minute because he’s seen the error of his ways and Emma enlists Carl’s help on the drums for the song while they sing in outfits fit for a Partridge Family reunion. Emma thinks it’s about dessert, but Karl knows better. He sneakily sets up a therapy session with Holly “I’m not a doctor” Holiday where the truth comes out: Emma is still in love with Schue. Cue marriage counseling. I like that they’re finally acknowledging that there is something mentally wrong with Emma and that she needs help, but they dealt with it in a sweet, funny way.
“That’s a waste of some fine man-butt.” –Holly
First of all: Yuck. Second of all, this is the part we knew would happen. They’d been flirting all episode, first with an out of place aerobics class that I hope was a comedic homage to this scene from Perfect, and second with the tango version of Prince’s “Kiss” that we’ve all been anticipating. “Kiss” was actually the best performance of the episode and Gwyneth was the best part. It was sexy and fun and hearkened back to those old Glee numbers that were actually, dare I say it: FUN. The first time around Holly says she can’t date Will because she’s “damaged goods” – really, writers? You couldn’t write your own version of this interaction? You just had to take it from every Lifetime Sunday afternoon movie? That’s what we call being lazy. Step up your game.
Of course, by the end of the episode, Holly is on her way out because of parent complaints (oh hi, reality) but she’s had a change of heart. She’s ready to let Will teach her about romance and with that she ties the whole sex versus love debate up with a nice little bow.
This wasn’t my favorite Glee episode, but I actually think it’s back on track. They’re still a little all over the place, but they always have been. I didn’t really enjoy the vitamin bits, but the rest of it really was like the spoonful of peanut butter around the vitamin: a little tacky, but delicious and worth the time it takes to get the stuff off the spoon.