Your Week in Music: Musicians add creativity to the Ice Bucket C

Your Week in Music: Musicians add creativity to the Ice Bucket Challenge

Just leave it to celebrities to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to a whole new level. (Source: Zac Brown Band/YouTube) Just leave it to celebrities to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to a whole new level. (Source: Zac Brown Band/YouTube)

(RNN) - By now, you’re probably a little too familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge - people from all over the nation pouring cold water over their heads to raise money for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. But just when you thought you had seen it all, leave it to Hollywood to break out of the box.

A few musicians deserve credit for adding some creativity to the steady stream of videos showing a splash of water followed by “So cold!”

Five of the best are below:

Zac Brown Band – This video wins the most epic award for the band’s usage of heavy machinery. Fire trucks and front-end loaders are way better than a measly bucket.

Foo Fighters - A parody of Carrie, featuring Dave Grohl as Carrie, is really all that needs to be said. This one may well be the best.

Weird Al Yankovic – A peaceful afternoon with his wife is made better by one simple request. Of course it involves ice-cold water. Weird Al gets bonus points for nominating the Dalai Lama and the Pope.

Lady Gaga – There aren’t any words for this one other than, it’s Lady Gaga - what did you expect?

Dr. Dre – Simply picking up a bucket was a little too dull for Dre - he created an entire pulley system. But then again, we wouldn't expect anything less from the creator of Beats. 

Taylor Swift claims ‘musical rebirth’ with new album

Taylor Swift announced her newest album during an ABC and Yahoo live stream on Monday, but the genre she’s labeling the album is almost bigger news than the album itself.

Swift’s new album, 1989, will be her first non-country album. Drawing inspiration from ‘80s music, this album will be pop. Swift told ABC News that the album is “sort of an almost musical rebirth.” 

She also used the webcast to release the first single from her upcoming album, titled Shake It Off.

“I think that for me, writing this song was partly about my life, but it’s mostly about the things that I hear from my fans and comments on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and things like that ... but I think that you have to not only live your life in spite of people who don’t understand you, you have to have more fun than they do,” she said while laughing.

1989, which took Swift two years to create, drops on Oct. 27. To listen to Shake It Off, click here.

Bob Seger announces first album in 8 years; potentially his last

Bob Seger will break an eight-year long hiatus on Oct. 14 with the release of his new studio album, Ride Out.

“I feel really good about this record,” Seger said in a release. "This album touches on how I think a lot of us feel about finding our place in a more complicated world - from how we appreciate things as simple and pure as love, to navigating through the corruption and violence that permeates the news. It sums up a lot of feelings I have about a variety of subjects.”

Rumor has it that this could be the 69-year-old’s last effort as a musician.

In a 2013 interview with Billboard, Seger admitted that he’s had a satisfying career and that he doesn't know how much more he could prove as a musician.

“I wouldn't mind putting out one more record, one last swan song. That's all I'm concerned with right now is trying to make that as good as it can be, and then we'll look at everything else and play it by ear,” Seger said in the interview. “I've had a great career. It's been a great run. I don't want to overstay my welcome."

Whether it’s his last or not, Bob Seger will forever remain a legend in both the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. There’s no doubt that Ride Out will be well worth the wait.

This year’s VMAs will honor Beyonce, see a slew of big performers

It’s time once again for one of the most unpredictable, sometimes controversial but undeniably entertaining award shows - the MTV Video Music Awards.

The VMAs have seen quite a few notable moments over the years - from Madonna performing with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilara, to Lady Gaga’s meat dress to a full N’Sync reunion. Needless to say, this year’s show will probably include quite a few shocking moments of its own.

The Michael Jackson Video Vanguard recipient, on the other hand, is not shocking at all. In a long overdue recognition, Beyonce is nominated for the prestigious award this year. Bey joins recipients such as The Beatles, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Justin Timberlake. There will undoubtedly be an epic Beyonce performance as well.

The 2014 VMAs will also see performances by Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, Iggy Azalea, Rita Ora, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Maroon 5, Usher, and 5 Seconds of Summer.

The show airs Sunday, Aug. 24 at 9 p.m. ET. For a full list of nominees, click here.

Brad Paisley helps launch new digital channel

Brad Paisley has teamed up with Taillight, ARC Entertainment and WME to create a brand-new digital channel designed specifically for country fans.

The platform, called My Country Nation, will feature exclusive content from Paisley along with other big names in country music. It will also feature original series including concert road trips, comedy, Vine and YouTube stars and outdoor activities, according to a release.

Walmart is the channel’s first major sponsor.

For more information, visit

The rollout of My Country Nation coincides with Paisley’s latest single, Country Nation, off of his upcoming album Moonshine in The Trunk.

Moonshine in The Trunk drops Aug. 25.

Stream Shovels and Rope’s entire new album

Thanks to NPR First Listen, you can now stream Shovels and Rope’s new album, Swimmin’ Time.

Shovels and Rope is comprised of folk duo and husband and wife, Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst. One thing is for certain, you feel the couple’s chemistry through their music and some lovely music it is.

Swimmin Time is Shovels and Rope’s third album, and each song draws you into its very own story line – whether it’s the life of a fisherman, a historical ghost or a happy, loving couple. The sound is a rugged harmony, comprised of a combination of blues, folk and even a little soul.

Swimmin’ Time is only available to stream for a limited time. Click here to dive in.

Rapper releases ‘Be Free’ in memory of Michael Brown, visits Ferguson

Rapper J. Cole was so moved by the Michael Brown tragedy that he wrote and released Be Free in response.

Cole cut out the rapping, and took to the piano to sing the heartfelt song. You can hear the pain in his cracking voice as he sings the chorus “All we want to do is take the chains off/ all we want to do is take the chains off/ all we want to do is be free.” The song also includes audio from Michael Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson, who was with him at the time of the shooting.

However, singing Be Free wasn’t enough for the hip-hop artist. He traveled to Ferguson on Sunday evening, visiting the street where Brown was shot as well as the gas station that protestors recently looted. He took the time to listen to protesters and visit with members of the community who were affected by the shooting.

You can hear Be Free via Soundcloud by clicking here.

What we’re listening to

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