Backbeat: Give Back Hollywood's VH1 Save the Music Benefit w/ Kelly Rowland, Far East Movement, Carolina Liar (Gallery)
Backbeat: Give Back Hollywood's VH1 Save the Music Benefit w/ Kelly Rowland, Far East Movement, Carolina Liar (Gallery)

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The Co-Hosts Looking the Mostest: Venessa Simmons of "Run's House" (left) and Tamar Braxton of "The Braxton Sisters" co-hosted the Hollywood Foundation's benefit for VH1 Save the Music Foundation at L.A.'s SLS hotel. (Photo: Brian Dowling)

With temperatures nearing 85 degrees in the city, VMA weekend festivities got off to a hot start--literally--on Friday morning (Aug. 26) at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles. The hotel's upper outside patio was the site of Give Back Hollywood Foundation's benefit for VH1 Save the Music Foundation. Tamar Braxton ("The Braxton Sisters") and Vanessa Simmons ("Run's House" and co-creator of Pastry Kicks shoes) co-hosted the four-hour event (11am-4pm), which featured a performance by New Age Rock Stars/ Mercury/Island Def Jam R&B singer/songwriter Luke James.

The benefit also featured products from a variety of companies, including Glam Rock Watches, Coca-Cola and Dead Cultoure clothing. Among the guests: Give Back Hollywood president/CEO Todd Krim, Streamline Records head (and Tamar's husband) Vincent Herbert, Kelly Rowland, Carolina Liar, Far*East Movement and rapper Glasses Malone.

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Destiny's Smiles: (From left:) Luke James who performed at the benfefit with Kelly Rowland. (Photo: Brian Dowling)

Heard off the red carpet:

Formerly with Atlantic, Carolina Liar is going the indie route for its next album, "Wild Blessed Freedom." Executive produced by Max Martin, the set arrives Sept. 27. Member Chad Wolf says the group took its cues for the album from lead single "Drown." Notes Wolf, "It's a big anthem about jumping in and then seeing what happens; about coming back renewed. I think people will relate to this because the country is in a crazy place right now." As for the rest of the album, Wolf says it moves from a "hard alternative, singer/songwriter vibe to a Max Martin extravaganza with four on the floor and kick drums." As for taking the indie route, Wolf adds, "We were on the big bus and now we're back out. It may seem like two steps back, but for us it's about the grassroots thing; getting down and dirty but making it work. The cool thing is every decision is ours."

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Getting Down, Dirty and Making it Work: The band Carolina Liar (above) worked with famed-producer Max Martin (Photo: Brian Dowling)

While on tour with Lil Wayne, Far*East Movement has taken out a second tour bus that they're using to work on its next album and other projects. The latter includes a video the group will be filming in downtown Los Angeles tomorrow (Aug. 27) that will mark their directorial debut. Said video revolves around remix of the "So What" track the group did in homage to the Beastie Boys. DJ Virman says the Beastie Boys represent what Far*East movement wants to embrace: music's ongoing importance within the changing framework of lifestyle and culture. He shared that the group has been collaborating with such producers as RedOne, David Guetta, Bangladesh and Benny Benassi. Other revelations: a track has been done with Pitbull and, adds DJ Virman, "we're talking to Lil Wayne. But there are other surprises we can't mention yet."

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Double Busing: Far East Movement (above) got a second tour bus to work on their next record. Collaborators include RedOne, David Guetta, Bangladesh, Benny Benassi, Pitbull and they're hoping Lil Wayne (Photo: Brian Dowling)
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Party (and Jump) Hard: Alleged Rocker Andrew W.K. (left) and Cherie Lily, a musician, fitness professional and so much more (above) get air. (Photo: Brian Dowling)
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To Those About to Rock, We Salute And Side-Peace You: Cali Swag District from just down the road in Inglewood, Calif. (Photo: Brian Dowling)
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What Saving the Music is really all about (except that guy in the back..) (Photo: Brian Dowling)
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Now Kick! Singer Luke James, Dancer Model Kimmie Gee, Give Back Hollywood's Todd Krim, Singer Kelly Rowland, Chris Grant (Photo: Brian Dowling)

Cuffed: Luke James breaking it down. (Photo: Brian Dowling)

Wonder How He Got the Name? Rapper Glasses Malone (Photo: Brian Dowling)