January 27, 2020

MTV VMAs Nominating Swift, Jonas Bros, Eilish

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | Aug. 17, 2019

The 2019 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) are coming up fast. Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande lead the nominations with 10 each, followed up by Billie Eilish, who has nine. Nominees for the big Video of the Year award are Swift (“You Need to Calm Down”), Jonas Brothers (“Sucker”), Ariana Grande (“Thank U, Next”), Billie Eilish (“Bad Guy”), 21 Savage (“A Lot”) and Lil Nas (“Old Town Road (Remix) feat. Billy Ray Cyrus”). Vote at mtv.com/vma/vote and watch who wins when the awards show airs on MTV on August 26…
Michigan singer Olivia Vargas (Conrad Shock/The Noise) has launched a new album project that’s “kind of” a solo effort; she’s got a full backing band, but it’s very much a Vargas showcase. The album, Bloom, includes tracks “Medusa,” “6 AM,” “Underlying Meanings,” and more, and also features the work of guitarist Michael Pierce. Vargas just wrapped a series of live shows throughout the Grand Rapids area at the end of last month, and more promotional shows and events are said to be on the way soon …

The Detroit premiere of Berry Gordy’s documentary on the Motown music scene is taking place this week, with a one-time showing on Aug. 24 at the Emagine Royal Oak theater. The film, titled Hitsville: The Making of Motown (as directed by brothers Ben and Gabe Turner), focuses on the Motown label’s Detroit era, from its founding in the late 1950s, and then followes its move to Los Angeles in the early ’70s, and highlights all of the Motown artists that passed through both sets of doors. The movie debuted Aug. 8 in Los Angeles, with Gordy and Motown star Smokey Robinson in attendance …
Twenty One Pilots has added another leg of North American dates to its Bandito tour, which launches Sept. 9 in Tampa, Florida, and continues onward until the Tulsa, Oklahoma, show Nov. 9, all in support of the band’s latest album, Trench. Along the way, the Pilots will also perform at a shortlist of festivals, including Outside Lands in San Francisco. Other stops on the tour will include Minneapolis on Oct. 24; Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 25; Los Angeles on Nov. 1; and Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 8. No additional Midwestern dates have been added yet …
Singer Luke Spiller is the featured performer on a new Dodge commercial that cranks out a new version of an old Motown favorite, Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street” (previously covered by David Bowieand Rolling Stone Mick Jagger). Check out the fun clip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K04zJotCOs
Holland, Michigan, outfit Daves at 7 has just held the release party for its debut album, Blue Collar Baby, a mix of bluegrass and ukulele music similar to Alison Krauss and Sheryl Crow

Jack White and The Raconteurs kicked off their North American tour at the Masonic Temple Theater in Detroit last week, with over 4,000 people in attendance, and White Stripes drummer Meg White on site as a guest …

Phantogram and Bob Moses will take the stage at The Fillmore in Detroit on Aug. 29 …

You can relive the ’90s with Lenny Kravitz this fall — he’ll be at the Fox Theater in Detroit on Sept. 5 … and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.

Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ’em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com.


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