Saturday, June 12, 2010

Jordin Sparks Headlines First New York Show

"This is my first time headlining in New York," says Jordin Sparks.

The twenty-year-old season six American Idol winner is talking to the thousands of teens at Nokia Theatre in Times Square Thursday night - the same venue she shared with Jesse McCartney to sell out less than two years ago.

"This is a very special night for me," she concludes.

Sparks performed a powerful hour-long set for the crowd, including singles "Battlefield," "No Air," "One Step at a Time," and "Tattoo," along with less familiar, equally catchy B-sides ("SOS," "Emergency 911," "Freeze").

"Do you guys know what you're worth?" she asked the shrieking teens, before singing power anthem "It Takes More."

Check out a glimpse of Sparks performing our new favorite jam, "Emergency 911," along with her rendition of "One Step at a Time," below.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tweet of the Day

"hi everyone today's show originally aired in March, we are NOT giving away a Kitchenaid Mixer today. Sorry to disappoint! Please RT thx!"

-Martha Stewart Tweets

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I SPY NY: Jennifer Lopez, La Roux and More

I spy in NY...

Jennifer Lopez unveiling her Boys and Girls Club "Be Extraordinary" billboard in Times Square Thursday (top photo), La Roux's Elly Jackson getting ready to rock Good Morning America Wednesday (middle photo), Christina Aguilera performing on the Today Show Tuesday (bottom photo), Erykah Badu tearing up Roseland Ballroom Monday night, and Des Roar performing at the John Varvatos store last Thursday.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tweet of the Day

"There is nothing not totally endearing about watching people playing kickball in the park after work. Maybe kickball should be in olympics."

-Moby Tweets

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tweet of the Night

"Sometimes while singing along to records in the car I try to sing harmonies on every single line. And its the most annoying thing ever."

-Hayley Williams Tweets

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tweet of the Day

"I will never, ever, watch a movie on my iPhone. Nor will I read a book on my thumbnail."

-Roger Ebert Tweets

New Details on Kanye West Record Emerge

Kanye West shocked guests at New York nightclub CV last weekend by playing four tracks from his unreleased record. Now, CV resident DJ/super-producer Scram Jones is opening up about those songs - calling West's forthcoming release a "refreshing, raw, hip-hop record."

"It sounded like real hip-hop... Not khaki," Jones told Poison Ivy in a phone interview last week. "There were a lot of raw, empty beats."

"Some of the best beats are empty cause it leaves room for you to listen to the emcee," said Jones, who blasted Kanye's disc at CV last Saturday and has mastered tracks for everyone from Mariah Carey to Wu-Tang Clan.

"Kanye's a nasty emcee."

West asked Jones to switch songs after about a minute of playing each - but allowed the DJ to play new single "Power" twice, which leaked a few days later.

"I spoke with [West's producer] Plain Pat after the leak, and he told me Kanye's not mad," Jones reports. "He got such a good response [to the song], and he's got so many [more] good songs coming out."
Jones also noted that West showed up at the Matthew Isaacs-owned CV for a home coming party.

"They just came back to New York after recording his album in Hawaii," Jones said, adding that his entourage included Consequence, Kid Cudi, and Plain Pat.

"Everybody sitting with Kanye went crazy when the songs came on," Jones admitted, recalling Cudi dancing atop a table and Kanye bobbing his head with a big smile on his face.

"There was no diva or arrogance. He looked proud to be with his boys and listening to his music. He felt safe in that small atmosphere."

As for the rest of the club?

"Half of the people [in the club] weren't aware. They didn't know what they were hearing," Jones says.


Justin Timberlake Protege Esmee Denters Grows Up

Three years ago, an eighteen-year-old Dutch singer named Esmee Denters started a YouTube channel where she smiled warmly into the camera and sang - brilliantly - to a few hundred strangers.

"I feel really silly," Denters says in an early vlog, where she speaks into the camera for the first time.

Today, the 21-year-old Denters is an unprecented YouTube star - ranking in as the seventeenth most subscribed-to YouTube musician of all time - and earning millions of views per music video.

A cover of Denters singing Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around Comes Around" in May 2007 earned Denters a staggering 22 million views - but arguably the most important one came from Timberlake himself,  who took note of Denters' powerful voice and charming persona - and signed her as the first artist to his Interscope imprint Tennman Records. Denters called Poison Ivy during a media trip to New York last week to tell us the story. 

You went from singing covers of Justin Timberlake on YouTube to opening for him on his international tour. What's that transformation like?
When I was eighteen, I uploaded some videos to YouTube. All I wanted to really know what was people thought of my voice. I never thought [millions of] people would actually be watching me. I was very very nervous when I [auditioned for Timberlake] because I think he's an amazing artist... I showed up to one of his concerts and auditioned for him in his dressing room. He had a piano in there, and I decided to go for it. I performed Prince's "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" I just thought: Justin Timberlake is standing in front of me right now. This is my one shot. A month later, I was signed as the first artist on Tennman Records.

In one of your first YouTube videos, you say you feel silly talking into a camera and feel uncomfortable. Do you still feel awkward on camera? 
I've grown up a lot. I'm 21 now... So I feel a lot more confident than I used to be. People liking my music gives me a lot of confidence. And I feel like I have a different personality onstage. You turn into another person a little bit... I come out of my shell.

Who did you grow up listening to? 
I listened to a lot of soul records: Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Jackson 5. Then there were The Beatles, Nirvana - a little bit of everything. (Laughs) Spice Girls, Destiny's Child, Janet Jackson. A lot of powerful women that inspired me.

Talk about your new song with Justin Timberlake, "Love Dealer." How did the idea for the song come up?

Justin and I wrote the song together with Stargate. We wanted to make a Prince-y kind of song but a lot more pop of course. It ended up being a funky, sexy song that showed a different side to me. Everyone on YouTube knows me as being a shy girl. But I've grown up in the last three years.

I SPY NY: Kylie Minogue, Chris Brown and More

I spy in NY...

Kylie Minogue performing unreleased songs from her forthcoming record Aphrodite at New York's Splash Friday night (top photo), Chris Brown hanging out with Lil Jon at Greenhouse Tuesday night (middle photo), Ricky Martin making his first post-announcement appearance at amfAR's Inspiration Gala at The New York Public Library Thursday (bottom photo), Cameron Diaz dancing with beau Alex Rodriguez at 1Oak last Sunday, and Cynthia Rowley celebrating the launch of her new bridesmaid dress collection in Soho Thursday.

Lady Gaga Returns to New York

She's baaack!

Lady Gaga touched down at New York's JFK airport Saturday, wrapping up a month-long European leg of her Monster Ball tour.

Shortly before her flight, Gagz Tweeted:

"I have dreamt a lifetime to get on this flight to NewYork. I don't care if its summer. Leather, high heels, and a bad attitude. Here I come."

We don't see any "heels," but amen!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quote of the Night

"I have a chandelier in my broom closet for no reason."

-Zach Galifianakis jokes? at the MTV Movie Awards

The Doors' Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger Remember Jim Morrison at New York Show

"This is the first song Jim Morrison sang to me on the beach in Venice Beach, California," legendary Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek told the crowd at Nokia Theatre Wednesday night.

"He knew I was a poet, I knew he was a musician."

Manzarek then led Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and singer Michael Matijevic into an epic version of "Moonlight Drive," not forgetting to riff to the crowd what was on his mind shortly after.

"Drop some LSD, get high, New York City, love this city," Manzarek sang.

The boys played "Break on Through," "Peace Frog," "Strange Days," and "When the Music's Over" (video above) - among many others - for the weed-stenched room, rarely forgetting to mention their fallen friend.

"Lets hear it for Jim Morrison, who's here in spirit," Manzarek said.

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