My View of the Grammys

I love award shows. I especially love ones like the Grammys as they truly entertain without being overly provocative. I know if I am watching the MTV Awards there are going to be provocative performances, it’s why we watch it but the Grammys, ah the Grammys are just truly exceptional performances, often consisting of awesome teaming’s of older well seasoned artists with new or this generations hot stars.

This year the big opening number was Beyoncé with rumours of her husband Jay Z joining her. I am going to admit upfront I am not a Beyoncé fan. Sure she has some songs that I enjoy but I own none of the works from her solo career. I personally feel that Kelly Rowland is a better singer. Though I’ve been hearing a lot about this great new album of hers, I haven’t listened to it. I did see her new video on MuchMusic, wasn’t overly impressed. It didn’t move me, the song didn’t stick in my head, I can’t tell you the name of it.
Still she is a good performer and I expected to be blown away by her. She is opening the Grammys! Instead I kept wondering if Rihanna knew that Beyoncé was ripping of her style. From the vocals to the costume all I saw was Rihanna. Very disappointing. I was so bored I started reading my current book, I’ve never done that during the opening number .
Also it was not the hi-energy performance I would expect at the opening. The kind of song and performance that says, “Hey! This is a PARTY!! Let’s celebrate the best in music!”.

L.L.Cool J is the host. He is doing a good job. Very smooth as always.

Anna Kendrick and Pharrell Williams were the first presenters. Anna’s dress was beautiful and very rock and roll while still be suited to her image. I adore Pharrell and was amused by his outfit that reminded me of the Mountie uniforms.
anna kendrick

In fact a lot of what has happened up to this point makes me think of this Grammys as ” Ode to…..”. First Beyoncé’s Ode to Rihanna, Pharrell’s Ode to the Mounties and then Katy Perry’s performance of Dark House or her Ode to Lady Gaga.

The pairing of Chicago and Robin Thicke was a good fit in that their music was complimentary to each other but it wasn’t overly exciting.

Hunter Hayes, the up and coming young country and western star debuted a new song called “Invisible”. A new anthem for the young people who are being bullied or anyone who needs to be reminded that we are all unique and worthwhile.

Another reason I really enjoy the Grammys is because there are so many performances and not as many long drawn out acceptance speeches for a bunch of awards that the general public cares nothing about. Thank you Grammys for not making me sit through that and for the great performances you provide.

John Legend, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, to name a few did not disappoint, giving us exactly what we would expect to see from these consummate artists.

Pink was her usually stunningly breath-taking self. Whether showing off her aerial acrobatic strengths or her ability to vocally pull at our heart strings I couldn’t look away. Even if she does the aerial act at every single award show I can not not watch it. I much preferred this performance to her Blow Me One Last Kiss giant dancing legs one.

I enjoyed seeing Walk Off the Earth as the footage for Lorde’s nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance. See their version below.

Jay Z’s acceptance speech was funny and sweet and the dress Beyoncé was wearing was beautiful.

I am super excited to see the live action Maleficent movie so I was thrilled to see a trailer for it during the show. I have to say that I am not thrilled by the Lana del Ray version of Once Upon a Dream. That song is supposed to be light and beautiful and about young love not creepy dark and mournfully scary.

The Rap/Rock collaboration of Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons was a get up out of your seat and move performance. THIS is what I expect from the Grammys!! Taylor Swift dancing, Steven Tyler singing along now that’s a performance.

I enjoyed Kacey Musgraves song Follow Your Arrow, I’ll be purchasing that from iTunes tomorrow but I really, really enjoyed her light up cowboy boots. They made me smile and wish I had a pair.

Oh My Goodness! The Pepsi Football Half-Time show was unbelievably funny. It reminded me of the great Pepsi commercials that I loved in the 80’s that showcased all my favourite stars.

Julia Roberts talked of a Grammy special to air on February 9th on CBS at the same time that the Ed Sullivan show first aired the Beatles on American tv 50 years ago thus changing the music industry and the world. What followed was Sir Paul McCartney sitting at a Beatles inspired piano as he sang one of his new songs with, as Julia said, a little help from his friend Ringo Starr. I have to say Queenie Eye sounded a lot like one the Beatles would have sang as a group back in the day.

What a delightful treat to see Jeremy Renner at this show as a presenter. He introduced the Four Horsemen, or at least the two that are left, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. I really enjoyed this one more when Blake Shelton joined them. I can’t say I’m a fan of Willie’s voice, never have been.
Although I do enjoy the song Mama’s Don’t Let your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys and was thrilled to hear it done tonight. I was a little disappointed that there was no tribute to George Jones, a country legend we lost this past year.

The rare tv performance of Daft Punk was introduced by Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother and how much more exciting that they were joined by not only Pharrell but by Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder on Get Lucky, brilliant! They all looked like they were having so much fun performing together. Like they were rocking out in someone’s living room.

I realized while watching that usually during concert shows I don’t like when they pan the audience. I don’t care what the audience is doing, I want to see the action but during the Grammys it is so much fun to see these big celebrities on their feet dancing and singing along just like every other concert goer around the world. This was never more true then during Get Lucky.

It may not be a popular thought but I am disgusted that Royals beat Same Love for Best Song. I don’t think it is at all. Can’t believe this one!

While I don’t listen to Metallica their performance had my toes tapping. Probably not what they or their fans would want to hear. Toe tapping might be considered little wussy for such hard rock. 😉

Queen Latifah looked awesome in a black sparkly dress as she introduced Macklemore & Ryan Lewis who sang Same Love, a song the world needs to listen to more. Mary Lambert shined in a red sparkly dress. I was impressed that her only real adornment was her gorgeous tattoo on her shoulder. No glitz and glam of a fancy light show or costumes and yet I couldn’t take my eyes from the tv. Then when Queen Latifah came out and married 30 couples, just WOW what a beautiful moment. The whole spectacular moment was rounded out with the addition of Madonna singing her classic Open Your Heart to Me then finishing up Same Love with Mary Lambert.

This year the Grammys added a new award called The Music Educator Award. This award honours an exceptional music teacher who is nominated by someone they know. I love this award! they should have done it sooner. Teachers like these can and do make such a difference in some kids lives.

The memorial was touching as always. I love that they honour these talented people each year, even ones in the business that we may not know like producers, mixers or journalists. I always find it a bittersweet moment as there is always someone on the list that I hadn’t heard had passed away this year that person was Bebo Valdes, a Cuban born pianist and big band leader. Also a composer and arranger. The end of the tribute that had Billie Joel Armstrong and Miranda Lambert singing The Everly Brothers, When Will I Be Loved was sadly sweet.

The best acceptance speech was when Daft Punk won Record of the Year and the producer speaking for them said that they thought the wedding and Same Love were one of the best and most touching moments of the evening and that we need more of that kind of love for our fellow man around the world. Or something like that.

Nine Inch Nails with Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl and Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac is exactly the kind of powerhouse performance I expect from the Grammys and though it is not my type of music they certainly lived up to all expectations for a Grammy Finale. It was Rockin’!

Songs of Dusk

Last night I enjoyed a performance given by Jazz Singer Matt Dusk. I was lucky because I was unaware he was coming to town until I entered to win tickets about a week ago.

I first heard of him 6 or 7 years ago when he performed at one of the casinos in Las Vegas as part of a reality show. Shortly after that he had a concert here in town which I attended with a friend and we really enjoyed ourselves. I have to say though I have not given him much thought since then.

Matt Dusk sings what is known as the standards as well as some original songs and he has a nice voice. He is an excellent on stage performer making fun of himself and how cheesy the jokes are. There was Salsa dancing and even a few cartwheels. And yet, somehow it’s all too much without being enough. When I watch him I feel like I understand judges who say, “You don’t have IT”, to a participant. He’s fun to watch. Enjoyable to listen to but that’s all.
If you get the chance to see him perform live you should take it. It’s definitely a fun evening out.

Bloody Genius Marketing

Say what you want about Justin Bieber it isn’t going to change my mind. I am not his core demographic and I am not in love with him but I do really enjoy his music. Most of it anyway. It makes me feel young again. Despite what some may believe, he is a very talented as a musician. I love that he employs so many different styles of music in his songs.

But what struck me as a bit of bloody marvelous marketing is the ad for his perfume called Girlfriend that is being shown every other minute on MuchMusic. If I was 16 this commercial would have me begging to find this in my Christmas stocking.

This version is longer than the one I’ve seen but either one is genius. For the millions of teenage girls out there that want to be his girlfriend and can picture themselves doing all these things with him this commercial must be a little slice of Heaven.  As I said before, if I was younger I’d be asking for the perfume myself! These people know their core market and play to them unabashedly. And let’s face it, most girls that age (and older) are more than willing to buy what they are selling. Everyone wants to feel special, valued and loved. And he makes them feel exactly that!

To Justin and the amazing team he seems to have surrounded himself with I say keep up the good work and good luck. This Canadian Gal is proud to claim you as a fellow countryman.

I leave you with this, I hope the brains behind this campaign get a huge bonus from all the sales they’ve generated.

 

I Love Christmas Music

It’s true. Despite the fact that I work retail and am forced to listen to the same songs every day on a loop, often versions that I dislike, I still love Christmas music. In fact I am one of those people who will listen to Christmas music any time of the year.

Every year I go looking for something new to add to my collection. I scour iTunes and  HMV in anticipation of finding a new song or album to love, the one to top my Christmas playlist. In a world full of great song writers you would think it would be easy to find cd’s full of new songs about Christmas and the holidays. Sadly I find this to be untrue.

Every year I buy my Mom a new Christmas cd for her birthday in November.  This year it was Rod Stewart’s album Merry Christmas, Baby. A good album and it features Michael Buble (another favourite of Mom’s) on a duet of Winter Wonderland. Of the 13 songs available only one was unfamiliar to me, Red Suited Superman.

I love Rod Stewart’s voice. I love Michael Buble’s voice. There are a lot of artists out there that I love but must they all sing the same songs? On a cd of 12 or 13 songs must ony one of them be an original tune? One of my all time favourite Christmas albums is Nsync’s Home for Christmas partially because of the fact that out of 14 songs on this album only 2 of them are classics and partially because the songs are very pop and catchy!

Don’t get me wrong I love the classics too. I just don’t need 16 different version of Winter Wonderland or Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. Not to mention my horror of Barbara Streisand’s version of Jingle Bells. I appreciate that she tried to make it her own and add some flair but it’s just terrible.

I love iTunes for this reason. I can buy Rod Stewart’s Red Suited Superman or These Kids Wear Crowns Red White and You

or Cee Lo Green’s All I Need is Love featuring the Muppets without buying the whole cd.

If you haven’t heard All I Need is Love you should really check it out!

I was very excited to hear that this year Olivia Newton John and John Travolta were releasing a Christmas cd. As someone who grew up adoring Grease, how could I not be excited? Even though the cd is primarily classics I had to have it. The one song that I was new to me, I Think You Might Like It,  is a lot of fun and their playful version of  Baby, It’s Cold Outside made me smile. They have a lot of guest stars on this album which adds a nice bit of flair to the old classics but still it’s probably going to be those two songs that I listen to the most.

My search continues for new and fun Christmas songs. If you’ve got a new favourite please share it with me. And any singer/songwriters out there, please give us something new to enjoy!

 

 

Turn It UP!!!

 

I have recently discovered Songza! If you have already discovered it then you may understand my excitement and all of the exclamation marks used here. If not then get on over there and find out for yourself the Awesomeness that is Songza.

songza.com

Okay so maybe it’s not that exciting but I love different kinds of music and to find a site with so many varied playlists to share and listen to makes me a little exuberant.

I have only just started using Songza and have already discovered several  ‘New To Me’  artists. It’s great to choose a playlist, press play and either enter a whole new world -which for me is Hip Hop or Dance- or flow into old favourites like 60’s Doo Wop or Today’s Pop.

Even better is when a song I don’t know comes on while I’m blogging or on Facebook I can click over to songza where it will tell me the song title and artist. Then I can search the site for more songs by that artist or similar types of songs.

I think I’ll let some of my favourite authors know about Songza if they don’t already. It would be a great place to post their book playlists.

Bring on the new music and Turn It UP!!!!!

Strange and Unusual and Kind of Funny

At work the other day a colleague was telling me about this video someone had done of Michael Buble’s Just Haven’t Met You Yet where they take his video but change the words of the song to other words.

She posted the video on my wall and I found myself shaking my head in disbelief while laughing at the same time.  It’s silly and not very flattering but I enjoyed it anyway.

Have a look and if you have a favourite similar type video you think I should see, tell me about it!

Hodge Podge of Entretainment

I realized today that it has been awhile since I posted and I decided that I needed to write something immediately. The problem is that I don’t have anything that I felt I just had to share.

I was very excited to enter a contest to win fabulous prizes from Meagan Spooner.  To celebrate the release of her amazing story Skylark she is hosting The Sky’s The Limit Contest which you can enter here http://www.meaganspooner.com/the-skys-the-limit-contest-for-skylark/ but I’ve already blogged and tweeted about that and really the fewer of you who know about the better my chances of winning.

I read a long awaited book and was thrilled by it but as it’s still two weeks away from release date I’m not allowed to discuss it. Ah the joy and anguish of receiving advanced copies!

I didn’t go see any new movies this week al though I did watch St. Trinian’s during Coast2Coast Movie Night on Friday and that was a lot of fun. Rupert Everett and Colin Firth lead a star-studded cast in a delightful teen angst romp where the girls of St. Trinan’s are a wild but lovable bunch trying to save their school. Colin Firth is the minister trying to shut it down and Rupert Everett plays both the Head Mistress and her brother.

I haven’t seen the second one yet and apparently there is a third in development. This movie is one of those cult classics that I love and for $2.99 well worth the cost as I will watch it many times over.

I bought some new Kameleon pieces from their new line. These are more stone then silver therefore less expensive while still beautiful. Gotta love less expensive when you are addicted to this gorgeous line of jewellery.

 

This is the pendant I bought but not the pop.

This week brought the  new season of Big Brother with all it’s twist and turns but as we’re only two episodes in and their hasn’t been too much drama I don’t have much too say about it. Yeah Yeah Yeah Dude is Russell’s brother, big whoop. I’m torn about the coaches thing. I like most of the coaches they brought back but seriously can’t they just have new contestants.  The most exciting thing about last night’s show was finding out that next year we will have Big Brother Canada!

I also started watching The Glee Project. I came in on the third episode and there is a some great talent this year. The mash up’s  that they’ve done were so much fun and seeing Jane Lynch on the last episode (out of her Sue track suit) was very entertaining. The problem is that most of them feel or look like characters that are on the show. Charlie looks like Finn (especially in the video for Moves Like Jagger/Milkshake).

Abraham could be Mike Chang, Aylin could be Sugar (all be it with a better voice), Blake is another Sam, and so on. That’ s not to say that they aren’t good but it feels like been there done that. Nellie is great with a different look then characters we’ve already seen and Lily is fabulous. It will be interesting to see who wins and how they are integrated into the show. Sadly I found out today that Damian McGinty from last year’s Glee Project will not be back  next season.

The other thing that ‘enterTAYned’me this week was learning how to change chords during my guitar lesson. After some practice I am able to go from G to E Minor to C and then D. Not smoothly or even well but I can do it. Now the challenge of learning a different order.

And on that note maybe I should go practice.