Showing posts with label Taylor Swift. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taylor Swift. Show all posts

Monday, March 26, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 3/26/2018

Delicate - Taylor Swift

Now Taylor Swift is making videos complaining about fame and singing songs with a vo-corder. I still miss the oldTaylor.

Make Me Feel - Janelle Monáe

Django Jane - Janelle Monáe

My first impression of Make Me Feel was that it sounded like something Prince would have written for Sheena Easton in the eighties. I am not sure I could come up with a higher compliment. And Janelle Monáe is certainly giving off an eighties feel in the video. I think Prince even wore that see threw mask at some point in his career. I like that song much better than the other song he released at the same time, Django Jane.

Over My Head - Echosmith

Echosmith’s debut album was cheesy fun but since then they seem to be chaseing a new mortre “serious” sound, but someone should really tell them there is nothing wrong with a little cheese. This video is fun; it is time to go back to making fun music too.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I Want My Music Television: 1/16/2018

End Game - Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran and Future

I have said it before, but let me say it again: I miss the old Taylor Swift. Seriously, why is she making a nineties rap video? Now that I think of it, is Reputation Swift’s attempt at a hip-hop album? She needs to go back to making folk pop.

Reasons - Jillian Jacqueline

Taylor may not be doing the country pop thing anymore, but newcomer Jillian Jacqueline is filling that void very nicely with a stellar EP she released last year, the best to combine country and old school pop music since Swift's heyday at the start of this decade. Bonus points for the Wes Anderson inspired music video.

Fireworks - First Aid Kit

Oh my, eighties hair on the ladies of First Aid Kit. Though the Farrah Fawcett wave is kind of a cheat. If you are doing eighties hair, you have to go full bad perm. Although this begs the question, did they have bad Jersey mall hair in the eighties in Sweden?

Finesse (Remix) - Bruno Mars featuring Cardi B

Okay let’s move up one decade with the new Bruno Mars video. Unfortunately he brought Cardi B with him. Goodness those vertical color stripe shirts are horrible. I had about five. But it did get me to go down an In Living Color YouTube rabbit hole.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The 40 Worst Songs of 2017

1. 10,000 Miles - Cam'Ron

2. Uh Huh - Julia Michaels

3. Mo Bounce - Iggy Azalea

4. Bon Appétit - Katy Perry featuring Migos

5. Body Like a Back Road - Sam Hunt

6. No Promises\ - Cheat Codes featuring Demi Lovato

7. Swalla - Jason Derulo featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign

8. Swish Swish - Katy Perry featuring Nicki Minaj

9. II'm the One - DJ Khaled featuring Justin Beiber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo, and Lil Wayne

10. Mask Off - Future

11. Strip That Down - Liam Payne featuring Quavo

12. Million Reasons - Lady Gaga

13. All Time Low - Jon Bellion

14. Congratulations - Post Malone featuring Quavo

15. Down - Fifth Harmony featuring Gucci Mane

16. Bodak Yellow - Cardi B

17. Don't Wanna Know - Maroon 5 featuring Kendrick Lamar

18. Havana\ - Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug

19. Cold - Maroon 5 featuring Future

20. Wild Thoughts - DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller

21. Stay Together - Noah Cyrus

22. 2U - David Guetta and Justin Beiber

23. Attention - Charlie Puth

24. Bad and Boujee – Migos featuring Lil Uzi Vert

25. Light My Body Up - David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne

26. Issues - Julia Michaels

27. Slumber Party - Britney Spears featuring Tinashe

28. Sign of the Times - Harry Styles

29. Friends - Justin Beiber and BloodPop®

30. Back to You - Louis Tomlinson featuring Bebe Rexha

31. There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back - Shawn Mendes

32. Slow Hands - Niall Horan

33. Paris - The Chainsmokers

34. Make Me (Cry) - Noah Cyrus featuring Labrinth

35. What Lovers Do - Maroon 5 featuring SZA

36. Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift

37. Mercy - Shawn Mendes

38. No Frauds - Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Lil Wayne

39. ...Ready For It? - Taylor Swift

40. Crying in the Club - Camila Cabello

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 11/1/2017

...Ready For It? - Taylor Swift

No, I am not ready for this crap. I still miss the old Taylor Swift.

Come Together - Gary Clark Jr.

I am all for Come Together - Gary Clark Jr. getting more shine, but isn’t a cover of Come Together for the Justice League team up a little too on the nose for the soundtrack? Well at least they did not get Victoria Justice to be a part of it.

One Foot - Walk the Moon

Recently I published a list of The 100 Greatest Two Hit Wonders of All Time and I was weary of putting newer artists on the list for fear I might be premature. Based on this, Walk the Moon has is not going o prove me wrong.

I Feel Everything - Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne was a great model, but she was the second worst part of Suicide Squad and when your antagonist is not good, the movie just fall apart (some bad editing choices also hurt). But apparently not only was she still able to find work, her new movie also lets her be on the soundtrack. I kind of like the vibe of the song but she is mostly bland as a singer.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 8/29/2017

Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift

At first listen of the song you knew the video would be built around the old Taylor is dead line. Still I spent most of the video missing the Our Song era of Taylor. People have been making a lot out how this is “dark Taylor Swift” but it does not sound much different than her last two albums. To me, dark Taylor would sound more like Safe and Sound. Unfortunately the Civil Wars no longer exist; instead she is making another record with the dude from Bleachers who is getting kind of stale (he recently did the underwhelming Lorde sophomore album). If there is a silver lining is that Taylor’s first singles are the worst song off the album, hopefully that is the case here.

The Sky Is a Neighborhood - Foo Fighters

I think like many people around the eclipse, I watched Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart video, apparently so did the Foo Fighters who weirdly are using the same eye-light effect.

Every Little Thing - Carly Pearce

I am a long proponent of sad bastard songs and this one by Carly Pearce is the saddest of 2017 so far.

Batdance - Prince

I cannot count the number of times I went to YouTube searching for Batdance only to remember, oh yeah, Prince hates the internet. A month or two his estate has slowly putting his music videos on the site and last week, we finally got an offiial version of Batdance. I am so happy.

Monday, January 30, 2017

I Want My Music Television: 1/30/17

I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (From "Fifty Shades Darker") - ZAYN and Taylor Swift

50 Shades of Grey started as a joke, it was fan fic of Twilight turned into an SnM story. Everyone who read it claimed to only doing so to see if it was really as bad as everyone said. Eyebrows were raised when it was announced to be made into a movie with big names attached. Except it ended up being Don Johnson’s kid and the dude from Sons of Anarchy. The latter of which dropped out because of embarrassment (or as he told it, scheduling conflict). But bizarrely when no one wanted to be associated with the film, somehow they managed to amass some big names for the soundtrack, most notably Beyoncé but it also spawned two hit songs and pretty muh launched The Weeknd as a pop star. The film was routinely mock upon the release and again everyone who saw it claim to do it ironically. Bizarrely they are actually doing another one and again recruited another major pop star for the soundtrack. But where Beyoncé exudes sex, Taylor Swift is very open about how she does not want to be a sex symbol. And really beside the Bad Blood video, she has succeeded at it. So it is really weird to she her parade around in her underwear in an ad for a crappy SnM movie. Meh. I am ready for her to go back to making cheesy county pop songs.

Castle on the Hill - Ed Sheeran

I always roll my eyes when conservative firebrands rail against the “mainstream media” and its anti-conservative bias (and roll even harder when normal citizens spot these same absurdities). Although I may be warming up to that bias when I recently read a headline that said (and I am paraphrasing) “Ed Sheeran fans, blame Donald Trump for having to wait until the New Year for his new album. Despite the obvious click bait headline, I still clicked on it and it turned out Sheeran’s record label had planned to release the album the week of the election but decide to delay until later because that news sucked all the air out of the room, because, you know, Sheeran fans across the world were so focused on the American election. And then since Bruno Mars already had a release date the next week and The Weeknd after that the label decided to postpone the release until after the start of the year because the crossover with these two artists and no one could possibly buy two albums the same week. No wonder the music industry is dying.

But Sheeran should have taken those extra months to try some new some new songs because the first single sounds like a cheap Coldplay rip off, complete with Sheeran walking with purpose like Chris Martin in the music video (maybe Ed should have stuck to not appearing in his videos except maybe a small cameo). But I do like him sticking to the math themed albums. I cannot wait until his eighth album differential.

Party Monster - The Weeknd

The Weeknd had one of the weirder assents to the top of the pop music. He made moody shoe gazing RnB and then out of nowhere he decided he wanted to be Michael Jackson. Now he is getting weird again hooking up with Daft Punk on his new album. But I am beginning to wonder if all his power was in his hair because I am ambivalent to his latest songs as I was towards his shoe gazing phase.

Trainwreck - Banks

I wonder if the kind of faceless men in the new Banks video were inspired by the faceless men in The Wall because that was the impression that I got.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 4/16/16

Nutshell – Phife Dog

We lost the great Phife Dog recently but there is one last solo album coming soon. I kind of wish the part where they sample great Tribe classics was a bit longer.

New Romantics – Taylor Swift

In what seems to be a trend with Taylor Swift, her last music video off an album is just a tour retrospective. But that really should have come about two or three singles ago because she ran out of good songs a while ago.

Boy Problems – Carly Rae Jepsen

When Call Me Maybe was released, you could have told me Carly Rae Jepsen was as young as fourteen and I would have believed you (she turned out to be in her mid-twenties). With her new album it looks like she is aging five years with every passing video. Whoever told her that mullet was a good look should be fired. But at least she can no longer be confused with a teenager.

Moving Mountains – Skylar Grey

At the end of the end of the last big singer-songwriter era last decade there was a new artist named Holly Brook who put out a decent album. Then singer-songwriters went out of vogue, Brooke changed her name to Skylar Grey, hooked up with producers more known hip-hop music and started to make darker music. It is interesting that her new single sounds more like something that would have been on that single Holly Brooke album than anything under her new moniker.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I Want My Music Television: 1/12/16

Wildest Dreams - Taylor Swift

I remember a couple years ago Jay-Z tried to make a big deal about being the first new music video of the decade. Except no one really cared because no one ever bothered to watch Carson Daly's New Years Eve show. Taylor Swift is trying the same thing with the second half of the decade. Granted it was technically the last music video to premiere in 2015, but whatever. The song itself it pretty meh, but what would you expect sixth single from an album that only had two great songs. But this is the second mediocre song in a row that Swift spent late nineties type money on for a music video (somebody better be making some money for making me sitting through that horrible Natalie Dormor horror movie before every video I watch). I wonder if people are starting to make money on music video or is it basically only Taylor and Adele that are making any money. I just wished she had gone full Evil Dead during the muddy forest scene.

Irresistible - Fall Out Boy featuring Demi Lovato

Speaking of overpriced music video from the late nineties, Fall Out Boy pay, um, homage(?) to *NSYNC in their music video (which begs the question whatever happened to Kim Smith?) and boy you can tell just how less money they spent on it compared to the original with really bad doll make up. They were able to even recruited on N'Sync member who was already referred to as Fat Spice back in their heyday and looked to have not stopped eating since. But was there a second member at the beginning, my goodness, Adele smashing their single week record is not treating these guy very well. Do not expect a N'Sync Cochella reunion anytime soon. And those she only has one song that does not suck massively, Demi Lovato actually kind of works as a backup singer.

Flip and Rewind - Boss Selection featuring Rashida Jones

One more nineties throwback. Rashida Jones has recreated some of her favorite RnB music video from the decade. I am old enough to recognize them but am too old to actually remember what half of them are. TLC's Baby Baby Baby is obvious, and Mary J. Blige's Real Love in also fairly easy but I am hard pressed to place the other. Xscape? All-4-One maybe? Are the mustard suits from Heavy D and the Boyz? And for those scratching their head as to why Rashida Jones is getting into music, just remember she got her last name from father Quincy as in the guy who produced all the great Michael Jackson records. Boss Selection is actually the stage name for Sunny Levine, Quincy's grandson and Rashida's nephew.

Lazerus - David Bowie

I actually wrote most of this post last week but did not finish it in time to post it before the weekend. Originally I started off by making a poor attempt to tie this into nineties nostalgia before mentioning how this video reminded me of Metallica's One. But David Bowie ended up passing away before I did post it. So instead of the poor jokes I originally made, let me take this time to celebrate his life. As a child of the eighties, I first learned of Bowie due to his cheesy Let's Dance phase (Modern Love being my favorite), which of course every five year old loved, so I did not realize until much latter how embarrassing that video with Mick Jagger was (or the rumors surrounding them). I did not get into his older stuff until high school when he hooked up with Trent Resnor on an album and realized just how weird he was and was much closer to what he was like in the seventies than what I grew up with. But maybe the most lasting memory I have of Bowie is when he opened The Concert for New York with a sparce cover of Simon and Garfunkel's America before launching appropriately enough into Heroes in front of the brave men and women who risked their lives on 9/11. Friday, Bowie released what turned out to be his last proper album Blackstar on his birthday which will will go down as one of the haunting final album like Johnny Cash's American albums.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The 100 Best Songs of 2015

1. First - Cold War Kids

2. Here - Alessia Cara

3. Leave a Trace - Chvrches

4. S.O.B. - Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

5. Magnets - Disclosure featuring Lorde

6. Lonely Town - Brandon Flowers

7. Big Decisions - My Morning Jacket

8. Girl Crush - Little Big Town

9. Cocoon - Catfish and the Bottlemen

10. Coffee - Miguel

11. She Used to Be Mine - Sara Bareilles

12. Fool for Love - Lord Huron

13. Close Your Eyes (And Count to (Expletive Deleted)) - Run the Jewels featuring Zach De La Rocha

14. Work Song - Hozier

15. Lampshades On Fire - Modest Mouse

16. Photograph - Ed Sheeran

17. Feel Right - Mark Ronson featuring Mystikal

18. Hold Back the River - James Bay

19. Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) - Father John Misty

20. Your Type - Carly Rae Jepsen

21. Empty Heart - Grace Potter

22. Fight Song - Rachel Platten

23. Bright - Echosmith

24. Doing It - Charli XCX

25. Style - Taylor Swift

26. FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna and Kanye West and Paul McCartney

27. Let It Go - James Bay

28. Roll Up Your Sleeves - Meg Mac

29. Renegades - X Ambassadors

30. Nobody Love - Tori Kelly

31. Untouchable - Pusha T

32. One Time - Marian Hill

33. Electric Indigo - The Paper Kites

34. Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart - Chris Cornell

35. Hello - Adele

36. Sagres - The Tallest Man on Earth

37. Weight of Love - The Black Keys

38. Same Old Love - Selena Gomez

39. Brother - Needtobreathe featuring Gavin DeGraw

40. OctaHate - Ryn Weaver

41. Walk the Wire - Boy and Bear

42. Coming Home - Leon Bridges

43. Freedom - Pharrell Williams

44. The Wolf - Mumford and Sons

45. Outta My Mind - The Arcs

46. Love 3X - ZZ Ward

47. Bad Blood - Ryan Adams

48. Forever Mine - Andra Day

49. Dreams - Beck

50. Bad Blood - Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar

51. Smoke Break - Carrie Underwood

52. First Kiss - Kid Rock

53. Stand By You - Rachel Platten

54. Heavy Is the Head - Zac Brown Band featuring Chris Cornell

55. What Kind of Man - Florence + the Machine

56. John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 - Keith Urban

57. Empty Threat - Chvrches

58. The Next Storm - Frank Turner

59. 1,2 1,2 - Raekwon featuring Snoop Dogg

60. Can't Feel My Face - The Weeknd

61. Hold On Tight - Greg Holden

62. The Healing - Gary Clark Jr.

63. All Day - Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney

64. Still Want You - Brandon Flowers

65. One Last Time - Ariande Grande

66. Easy Rider - Action Bronson

67. Bloodstream (Arty Remix) - Ed Sheeran and Rudimental

68. Famous - Charlie XCX

69. The Wrong Year - The Decmberists

70. Take My Love - The Lone Bellow

71. Future People - Alabama Shakes

72. Strangers - Langhorne Slim and the Law

73. Things Happen - Dawes

74. Loving You Easy - Zac Brown Band

75. NWA - Miguel featuring Kurupt

76. Sound and Color - Alabama Shakes

77. How Could You Babe - Tobias Jesso Jr.

78. On To Something Good - Ashley Monroe

79. My Type - Saint Motel

80. Our Own House - MisterWives

81. Fell in the Sun - Big Grams

82. California Roll - Snoop Dogg featuring Stevie Wonder

83. Could Have Been Me - The Struts

84. Don't Wanna Fight - Alabama Shakes

85. Eyes Wide Open - Sabrina Carpenter

86. St Jude - Florence + the Machine

87. Mine - Phoebe Ryan

88. Delilah - Florence + the Machine

89. Focus - Ariana Grande

90. Good For You - Selena Gomez featuring A$AP Rocky

91. Adventure of a Lifetime - Coldplay

92. Put a Flower in Your Pocket - The Arcs

93. The Eye - Brandi Carlile

94. Biscuits - Kacey Musgraves

95. Numbers - Daughter

96. Inside Out - Spoon

97. Black Sun - Death Cab for Cutie

98. Sugar - Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

99. If You Ever Want To Be In Love - James Bay

100. Fatal Flaw - Titus Andronicus

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The 50 Best Music Videos of 2015

1. Anna - Will Butler

2. Good for You - Selena Gomez

3. Feel Right - Mark Ronson featuring Mystikal

4. She's Not Me - Jenny Lewis

5. Actin Crazy - Action Bronson

6. Bad Blood - Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar

7. Time Machine - Ingrid Michaelson

8. That Black Bat Licorice - Jack White

9. For Free? (Interlude) - Kendrick Lamar

10. Here - Alessia Cara

11. Dearly Departed - Shakey Graves featuring Esme Paterson

12. Empty Threat - Chvrches

13. Biscuits - Kacey Musgraves

14. Style - Taylor Swift

15. I'm in Love with My Life - Phases

16. Magnets - Disclosure featuring Lorde

17. Adventures of a Lifetime - Coldplay

18. Shut up and Fish - Maddie and Tae

19. Pedestrian at Best - Courtney Barnett

20. I Can Be Somebody - Erin McCarley

21. Hands to Myself - Selena Gomez

22. I Love You, Honeybear - Father John Misty

23. Close Your Eyes (and Count to (Expletive Deleted)) - Run the Jewels featuring Zach de la Rocha

24. Renegades - X Ambassadors

25. Same Old Love - Selena Gomez

26. S.O.B. - Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

27. Doing It! - Charli XCX

28. Lonely Town - Brandon Flowers

29. One Last Time - Ariana Grande

30. Love 3X - ZZ Ward

31. I Really Like You - Carly Rae Jepsen

32. Heartbeat - Mat Kearney

33. Lampshades on Fire - Modest Mouse

34. King Kuta - Kendrick Lamar

35. Focus - Arianda Grande

36. Bittersweet - Archis

37. Bloosdstream - Ed Sheeran and Rudimental

38. California Roll - Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder

39. Bulletproof Picasso - Train

40. St. Jude - Florence and the Machine

41. Song for Someone - U2

42. Weight of Love - The Black Keys

43. Too Many Rapper - Beastie Boys featuring Nas

44. Work Song - Hozier

45. We Are Giants - Lindsey Sterling featuring Dia Frampton

46. Flesh without Blood / Life in Vivid Dream - Grimes

47. Delilah - Florence and the Machine

48. coffee - Miguel

49. Famous - Charlie XCX

50. First - Cold War Kids

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 5/20/15

Bad Blood - Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar

The build up to the new Taylor Swift music video ended up being more entertaining than the video itself. It ended up looking like a movie trailer with an endless cast who only gets three seconds of screen time each. And I feel bad for Selena Gomez, Taylor gets backed by all her friends while Selena just gets faceless drones. Of all the cameos, couldn't Taylor throw Selena one or two friends?

Feel Right - Mark Ronson featuring Mystikal

I have said this before, but casting children for your stand in for a music video always works. Thank you Mark Ronson, and an extra thank you to mini-Mystikal.

Crystals - Of Monsters and Men

In this week's installment of Adventures in One Hit Wonderdom, Of Monsters and Men had a surprised hit three years ago with the ultra-catchy Little Talks. Everything else off the album failed to stick tin public consciousness and now is back with its sophomore album soon. The first single is kind of sleepy (I can see it in a bunch of winter trailers) but I do like the freaky music video.

Sparks - Hilary Duff

I am not sure I just watched a Hilary Duff music video or a Tinder commercial nor am I sure which would be worse. I do kind of want to like the song because it has been too long since there has been a great whistle breakdown in a song, but unfortunately this just is not a good song either

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Want My Music Television: 2/17/15

Style - Taylor Swift

When you listen to Taylor Swift, her lyrics are so direct and to the point, you can see the music video play out in front of you, and when she finally puts her own visuals to her music, it is pretty much what you expect it to be as they are usually acted out versions of her lyrics. This is the first time that I can think of that Taylor went very abstract with her music video which look like something you would expect to have seem on 120 Minutes (well if she would have wore less stylish clothes and pick a less attractive co-star) instead of TRL.

Black Son - Death Cab for Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie announced their new album along with the departure of guitarist Chris Walla, usually credited with creating the sound of the band though he still contributed to most of the album. Their first song since comes off as a little more menacing than anything the band has done before. If Codes and Keys was about Ben Gibbard's dissolving marriage, is this another album of something breaking up? I am not optimistic it will be better just from the first single.

Pray to God - Calvin Harris featuring Haim`

I was a big fan of Haim's first album, but I really do not need a crappy EDM / Calvin Harris version of their music. Much like I was hoping (and got) an acoustic Aloe Blacc version of Wake Me Up, I do kind of want to hear Haim play this song by themselves. And maybe they can do it without the coven outfits and random animals.

Champagne Kisses - Jessie Ware

I wanted to like Jessie Ware's first album more than I actually did but her sophomore outing was a vast improvement (Say You Love Me cracked the top ten of my 100 Greatest Songs of 2014), the latest single is alright but the video is messing with my mind. I really want whatever that director was taking.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Want My Music Television: 1/28/14

There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I thought I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.

Sleeping with a Friend – Neon Trees

I always Neon Trees would have fit in well during the pop-rock band of the late ninties (as signified by having a McG directed music video), but the band went full eighties with their latest video and I am not sure if it make me nostalgic or is giving me bad flashbacks.

Hold On - Colbie Caillat

Who would have guessed the Lilest Lilith Fair music video would be made by Colbie Caillat in 2014. How did Paula Cole not make this video seventeen years ago?

You Sound Good to Me - Lucy Hale

Late last year a video circulated the internets claiming to be every country song of 2013 which features every song which sang about trucks driving down dirt roads, chicks in blue jeans named “Girl,” cold ones and about ten other country clichés. Really the video could have been every country radio hit of the past thirty years. And even though every country song that gets played on the radio sounds the same, Pretty Little LiarsLucy Hale somehow managed to come out with the most bland country song possibly ever. Even the music video looked recycled from some Carrie Underwood outtake. It somehow managed to be the most bland country song possibly ever.

M.A.A.D. City / Radioactive – Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar

I am not the biggest fan of Imagine Dragons or Kendrick Lamar and was weary when it was announced they were going to perform together at the Grammy’s but not only was it was the best performance of the night it also gave up the most GIF-able moments with many cutaways to Taylor Swift dancing and what may have been the first public appearance of Lorde smiling. I got excited when I saw a Kendrick Lamar Remix of Radioactive hit iTunes after the performance. Unfortunately the studio version just sounding like someone cut and pasted a random Kendrick rant that sort of had some time signature and put it in the middle of Radioactive. I never understand why artists do not put their award show performances on iTunes. I would have spent about ten dollars on this year’s Grammy’s alone. Instead I have to debate on whether to hunt down crappy version that someone ripped from their television. It certainly would have been nice to buy a high quality version of this performance without the lengthy bleeps or the Copy of A / My God Is the Sun closer without getting cut off (hey Grammy’s seriously just start at 7:00 and go four hours because that is how long the show overruns every year anyway).

Monday, January 27, 2014

We on Award Tour: 2014 Grammy Awards

After a lackluster 2013, this year's Grammy's was surprisingly not horrible. Only two performances had me reaching to switch to the Pro Bowl. Of course the no defense game had me back on CBS quickly. Here are some quick thought on the show.

- Beyoncé gave me a serious seizure. Not a very good way to start a show. Plus I do not really like the Grammy trend of opening up the show with someone who is not nominated but just promoting an album.

- LL Cool J has to be the most boring host ever. Seriously, can you get a host next year that will make at least one Justin Bieber joke. Why did they not have Anna Kendrick host? She was more more entertaining in two minutes than he was all night. Or at least have her present with Kendrick Lamar?

- Um, Lorde already did Royals at the nomination special. How about let her do something else. At least they did not force her to perform with Madonna.

- Remember how Best New Artist was a joke but last decade they managed to get it right ever year for almost ten straight year from Alicia Keys to Adele? Well it looks to being back to being a joke.

- Should I know who Hunter Hayes is, that performance was not very good. If that was The Voice, no one would have turned their chairs.

- Oscar winner Juicy J should be brought up at every award show. Katy Perry, not so much.

- Was Pharrell Williams the first interpreter at the Grammy's? I guess it should not be a surprise they did not speak, they are French.  He certainly was the first real life human to wear an oversized Dudley Do Right hat.

- Kevin Hart was in the house and still they had LL Cool J hosted?

- So Robin Thicke sings blurred Lines with Earth, Wind & Fire on the nomination special and with Chicago on the big show. Hey Grammy's how about stop double dipping. At least they were both an upgrade over Miley Cyrus.

- Having YouTube performances during the Pop categories was stupid.

- After Steve Hyden of Grantland suggested that a potential Lorde acceptance speech could be a mix between Pearl Jam circa 1996 and Fiona Apple on MTV, her acceptance speeches were a bit disappointing. But she definitely deserved it.

- I have a feeling one day we are going to learn the last twenty years or so of Ozzy Osbourne's life was a Weekend at Bernie's situation.

- Jamie Fox was only a little bit awkward focusing on Beyonce.

- I feel bad for Kacey Musgraves for having to follow the Imagine Dragons / Kendrick Lamar song. Whoever sequenced that did a really bad job. I still would have had Kendrick perform a mash up with Anna Kendrick instead. But I did love how Imagine Dragons did not bother to clean up after their performance. And Kacey's boots were awesome.

- Why does Taylor Swift not have her own dedicated dance cam stream? It is 2014 people.

- Mike Ditka on a wrecking ball during the "halftime show": something I will not be able to unsee.

- Where was Taylor Swift during the massive Daft Punk dance party? She could not have been pouting over losing the Best Country Album. Not only was Kacey Musgraves' better, it was an actual country album.

- Does Lars Ulrich really have a mullet?

- Same Love needed more Trombone Shorty and less Madonna.

- It is interesting that Miranda Lambert performed The Everly Brothers song with Billie Joe Armstrong instead of Norah Jones considering they just recorded an Everly's cover album together. Come to think of it I do not even remember them performing together to promote the album.

- Get Lucky is a great song but not great enough to get an otherwise underwhelming rest of the album worthy of Album of the Year. But then again it was a weak category this year.

- A solid closing performance, I really enjoy the Lindsey Buckingham enhanced version of Copy of A better than the original. Get that version on iTunes soon before I have to get a copy through nefarious means.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Feed Your iPod LXXVI: Breathless

Last week I went down the rabbit hole that is Spotify’s 90’s radio station which was quite addicting as it kept playing great songs from my formative years. Sure I wish it played more rap than it did (it probably did not help that I kept down-voting the “amended” versions; of course they probably played the amended versions instead of the explicit versions already on my computer so Spotify could play more ads because they are shady like that). One song that really stood out from the rest during this time was Desperately Wanting by Better Than Ezra. They were one of my favorite groups from that era and I own all of their albums except the most recent (it was kind of eh) but have not dusted them off in a couple year and had to take the weekend revisiting them. Sadly the group has not had a hit since the nineties; they did have a couple pop culture moments over the past decade. Juicy, which never was one of my favorites, was used in ads for the second season of Desperate Housewives.

Then in 2010, in lieu of playing one of her own songs, Taylor Swift chose to perform an obscure track by the band Breathless for the Hope for Haiti telethon, a song that closed out their Before the Robots album. I remember prior to the telethon wonder what she would would perform before none of her songs have the emotional weight that songs on these specials tend to have. I did not recognize it at first, thinking it may have been one of hers I had not heard before, but it started to spark a memory by the time she hit the chorus that it was the Better Than Erza song that probably no one knew of unless they owned their album. It was a perfect choice by Taylor, it is a simple song in her wheelhouse with an uplifting message that fit the occasion very well. Unfortunately the song is no longer available on iTunes so you are stuck with a crappy YouTube version if you did not buy it earlier, but you should definitely pick up the original. As for Better than Erza, my sources tell me the group is working on their seventh album would could see the light by the end of this year. Now if you excuse me, I need to dust off my Blues Traveler CD’s.

Breathless – Better Than Erza

Breathless Taylor Swift

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Ten Most Absurd "Related Artists" on Spotify

Last week, Grantland featured a story on the art of the comeback explaining how to do it (Daft Punk) and what not to do (Guns N' Roses). Not surprisingly the writer suggests not letting the back-story overshadow your record, you know, like taking fourteen years and thirteen millions dollars to record it and certainly do not wait until Dr. Pepper guilt you into releasing it because it will turn out bad for the both of you (five years later I still have not bought a Dr. Pepper after getting stiffed on my free can that I was promised). But in the article, the writer suggested that Chinese Democracy is better that you probably remember which made me pop up Spotify to give it a first listen in five years (nope, still extremely disappointing). I bring this up because while on Spotify I had a big laugh at who was listed as Guns n’ Roses top “Related Artists” according to Spotify. I got such a good laugh out of it I decided to comb through the sight for the most absurb “Related Artists” according to Spotify and here are the top ten I found.

1. Guns n’ Roses – When I think Guns ‘n’ Roses I think eighties Sunset Strip and the hair bands of the era or possibly the other hard rock heavyweights of the time Metallica who they had an ill fated tour with back in the nineties. But nope, the most related artists to Guns n’ Roses is The Proclaimers. Yes the creepy twins one hit wonder from Scotland who sang I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).

2. Beastie Boys – Most people think of the Beastie Boys as rappers but they have released punk albums too back in the day, and this may very well lead to the most random top five related artists currently on Spotify: classic rock God the The Jimi Hendrix Experience, underground hip-hop group Jurassic 5, the industrial Nine Inch Nails, alternative rockers Smashing Pumpkins, and the indie group Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Pull up the full Related Artists page and it gets even more random: Justice (dance), The Heavy (funk), Soundgarden (grunge), The White Stripes (garage rock), Wu-Tang Clan (hardcore rap), and Blind Melon (one hit wonders).

3. The Chemical Brothers – Here is another group that is listed as a Related Artist of the Beastie Boys but just because their top Related Artist is another Related Artist of the Beastie Boys (though I have no idea how either group are related to the Beastie Boys) does not make it any less head-scratching because do not ask me how the electronic group from the nineties is at all related to punk forefathers The Clash.

4. Taylor Swift – Taylor is a country artist whose records get poppier and poppier as they are released and other female contry crossover artists Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry and Sugarland are all in her top five, but number one? The YouTube superstars and elecro-pop duo Karmin.

5. Rage Against the Machine – Sure Rage and Thin Lizzy are both technically rock artists that were featured on VH1 Classic’s Metal Evolution but it was two entirely different episodes, sub-genres, and eras. Granted if I were Rage Against the Machine, I would not want to be linked to the horrible nu-metal moment that came after them either.

6. Snow Patrol – Earlier this month when I posted my Greatest Eras in Rock and Roll History, Snow Patrol was featured in the Pop-Rock wave of the early 00’s and I would have figured other acts I had with them, Coldplay, David Gray, The Killers, would be among their top artists. Nope, instead it is the teenaged cover artists who takes every song and turns it into a mopey depressing ode, Birdy. Snow Patrol is not even one of the bands she covered. The rest of Snow Patrol’s top five which includes Lissie, Paloma Faith, and Counting Crows is almost as head scratching).

7. Lionel Richie – Lionel was one of the biggest acts of the eighties and I fully expected to see other RnB-pop acts of the time like Michael Jackson or Prince in his Related Artists or even his former group The Commodores. Instead his top five in order are new wave band Berlin number one followed by Cyndi Lauper, Phil Collins (who is also absurdly Jackson’s top Related Artist), Chicago, and Eric Carmen.

8. Robin Thicke –Considering he has the biggest song on the planet, Spotify would get this blue eyed soul man some artist of his ilk like contemporary Mayer Hawthorne or maybe the greatest blue-eyed soul man ever Daryl Hall, either solo or with Oates, but no, his top artist is Janet Jackson while other female nineties RnB acts TLC and Aaliyah also populate his top five.

9. Weezer – Sure Weezer and Stone Temple Pilots both are under the very large alternative rock of the nineties tent, but I would like think Spotify would be smart to have Weezer grouped together with other geek rockers Barenaked Ladies or Ben Folds Five instead of the second wave of grunge.

10. The Breeders - The Breeders were an alternative rock one hit wonder off shoot of The Pixies from the nineties, Robert Johnson was a blues singer who was born 102 years ago. Seriously Spotify, how does this even happen?