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’!

Old Favourites on DVD

homealone
For last nights edition of Coast2Coast Movie Nite my friend and I started our annual tradition of watching Christmas movies by watching Home Alone.

Home Alone is a movie that I watched many, many times with the oldest of my two J’s. He used to watch it all year round. I was surprised to realize that I had not actually seen Home Alone for several years now. Even when the boys gave me the Home Alone Collection for Christmas last year, I had not viewed the movie. It was every bit as fun as I remember it being. It was also interesting to me that the music in Home Alone sounded a lot like the music in Harry Potter. My curiosity led me to do a little Google research where I discovered that the reason for that is because both movies were directed by Chris Columbus and the musical director for both was John Williams.

In watching this old favourite again it started me thinking about how much fun it was when I was a kid to wait each year for favourite specials and movies to come on tv. How much more special they felt. I recall the treat it was for my sister and I to do the bed and bath routine and then settle on the couch with a snack waiting for Bass/Rankin Rudolph or Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Do you remember the joy of seeing the opening sequence for The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snowman or Charlie Brown’s Christmas? I do. I got that feeling again recently when I discovered a new Halloween Toy Story Special on ABC a few weeks ago.

Grinch

Rudolph

Part of the joy of movies on DVD is watching what you want when you want to. As I write this I am watching Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Peter Lawford in Easter Parade. EasterParade
I have been searching for a copy of this movie for a very long time and was extremely excited to see it available for order on the TCM website. http://www.shop.ca That is why I am watching it today but I have to say that after this it will sit on the shelf and I will not see it again until Easter. I love watching some things whenever the mood strikes me but I love even more the thrill of the once a year viewing, something specific to a season or moment in time. Like when they used to show Elvis movies for a week leading up to the anniversary of his death. Or the ritual I have of wrapping Christmas gifts while watching White Christmas, Little Women and Meet Me in St. Louis.

It makes me a little sad that my grand-nephews will never know the excitement and angst that comes from those moments of anticipation while waiting for that special to come on. The oldest of the two loves Nightmare Before Christmas. He watches it all the time, walks around the house singing songs from the movie. But what does he have to look forward to? What does all this instant gratification do to us? Maybe it isn’t that big a deal but it makes me feel as though it’s just one more thing that takes a little of the magic out of the season.

Whether you watch them on DVD or wait for them to come on Tv, I wish for you the joy of enjoying those treasured moments with those people most special to you.

Global.com no longer EnterTayns Me

As someone who refuses to pay the cable company for a recording device each month I watch a lot of missed shows online. For over a year now I have had Global and only Global on my iPad so I could watch the episodes I have missed. I refused to put the CTV app on as it was one you had to pay for.

Imagine my shock and disgust today when I attempted to show my niece the episode of Glee that was a tribute to Cory Monteith and was unable to because I am not a subscriber.

Correct me if I am wrong but I was under the impression that Canada had three FREE Tv channels to watch. It is a sad time we live in when these simple entertainments are becoming more and more expensive at the hands of the greedy.
Needless to say I will not be turning to Global.com or CTV.com for any episodes I miss of my favourite tv shows. From now on I to will use whatever other means available or I will just wait until the season becomes available on DVD.
Sorry Global but like CTV you have now lost one more viewer to air your commercials at.

Supernatural, The Charmed of Today

supernatural

A few months ago a friend lent me her 8 seasons of Supernatural on DVD. We had talked so often about shows we liked and she is always introducing me to new ones when she mentioned that if I liked Charmed I would like Supernatural. Boy was she right!

For those that don’t know Supernatural is about two brothers who come from a Demon Hunting family. The oldest brother Dean (played by Jensen Ackles)
jensen
has grown up always involved in the family business but the younger brother Sam (played by Jared Padalecki)
sam
left the family business to pursue a normal life. Only to be dragged back in after his girlfriend is gruesomely murdered in the same way as their mother had been.

I have been watching the different seasons on and off for a few months and am currently up to the seventh season. While the show is a constant battle of good versus evil and is far more than just demon hunting it is a lot like Charmed was and I often find myself thinking how amazing it would be if the Winchester boys ended up on a case that caused them to run into the Halliwell sisters. How much fun it would be to have those two groups working together to take down the bad guys!

My favourite episodes are the ones that aren’t so focused on the storyline of Angels vs Demons and more about the hunting of various supernatural beings. As much as I love Castiel (played by Misha Collins) I get tired real quickly with the fallen angels line.

The episodes with the prophet, in particular the Supernatural Convention, are a lot of tongue in cheek fun. As are the episodes where Dean and Sam are somehow transported into an alternate version of themselves, like the one where they find themselves to be actors portraying Dean and Sam in a tv show. These are the episodes that are chock-full of pop culture references often to other shows of this genre. These are the episodes that make you feel as though you are not only in on the joke but also along for the ride.

Another great aspect of the show (besides all the great looking guys) is the rocking music. Dean’s character is a Classic Rock lover and that means that every episode is filled with great songs. Often the music selected is as much a character in the episode is any other.

If you haven’t yet caught on to Supernatural I would highly recommend a viewing. The corny jokes that Dean spits out alone are worth it.

Commercials

Lately I’ve found myself being entertained by some commercials. This hasn’t happened in awhile. I really miss the days of jingles and catch phrases. You know the days when EVERYONE knew what went into a Big Mac because of the song,. Or they would start singing if you sang “I am stuck on….” or ” I wish I was an ….”, sadly those things don’t happen as often.

Sure there are still some examples left. Say zoom zoom and people know which car company you are talking about. And they still use the Juicy Fruit jingle in amusing ways. But unless it’s Super Bowl time commercials are often forgettable.

So when I found myself enjoying some new commercials I thought I should share.

Here’s the first one:

Clever and delicious.

I noticed that in Wendy’s new commercials  the red haired girl is often seen drinking from a Wendy’s glass but it’s always the guy(s) in the commercial actually seen eating the burger. What is up with that? Are women supposed to be so health conscious and worried about our weight that we can’t enjoy a burger once in awhile?  Must we always have a salad, which in a fast food place aren’t necessarily  a healthy choice.  I have to say when I noticed that it ticked me off a little. And yet I laugh at the guys shocked reaction to the competetions burger in his hand. Sadly the only Bacon Portabella Melt commercial I can find has cut out his funny reaction.

While watching MuchMusic one day I saw this fragrence commercial that amused me. I enjoy how it portrays a strong confident woman.

This post led me to thinking about when they over do a good thing. For instance the Old Spice commercials. When they started the “your man can smell like..” commercials they were different and amusing and aimed at the wives and girlfriends who do most of the shopping and that was a clever idea.

What happened to that? The newer ones in the Believe in Your Smellf campaign seem rather more lame to me. Maybe because they are aimed more at the male market and that’s a hmour I just don’t get.

or

It’s a shame really that in this day and age of DVR’d television and online watching that the commercials aren’t more memorable and share worthy.

Boarding The Love Boat

We all have our favourite tv shows from childhood and The Love Boat was one of mine.

Like Fantasy Island it was chock full of fabulous guest stars. All the people from all my other favourite shows boarded this ship.  Both serious and funny it addressed so many different issues in relationships with families, friends and yes the romantic ones too.

I recently picked up the first season on DVD to relive some of those great moments and I instantly whisked back several decades.  Although a  little saddened by the visual reminders of all the amazing actors and actresses we have lost since the show aired I was at the same time happy to see them doing what they did best. Entertain us.

Within the first few episodes I watched John Ritter follow the girl of his dreams on the ship only to find that the only cabin available is a shared one and could only be rented to a woman. Watching John in drag, the Captain flirting with him and him comforting/falling for his companion brought me back to Three’s Company. While Suzanne Sommer’s character ( a married three times rich woman) was nothing like her TC character Chrissy.

I saw Sherman Helmsley play The Sausage King. He and his wife resolved their marriage issues after getting stuck in the elevator. It cracked me up when he put her on his shoulders in an attempt to get out. She was twice his size!

One of my favourite episodes so far had Kristy McNichol and Scott Baio as 12 or 13 year old’s. Scott’s character is uncomfortable around girls as he attends an all boys school and continuously reverts to a character called The Claw. Despite this, they manage to share their first kiss and become boyfriend/girlfriend.

The Love Boat seems to be one of the few shows from that generation that is not as well known as say the Brady Bunch or Happy Days. Originally airing in 1977 it ran for 10 seasons (I think).  I was only 6 when it started but I remember watching and loving it in my early teens.

A charming and funny series that is surprisingly still relevant today.

I think I’ll lend my first season DVD’s to my 15 year old niece (she loves Laverne & Shirley) when I’m done and see what she thinks of it. I am looking forward to discovering another familiar face on the next episode as I cruise down memory lane (or ocean as the case may be).

 

Pretty Little Liars Makes My Head Hurt

A few weeks ago I started watching the third season of Pretty Little Liars basically because I don’t have cable and it’s on Much Music which is one of the channels I get by some weird chance.  It’s one that a couple of co-workers love and talk about often so I thought why not but honestly I wasn’t paying much attention. Couldn’t even name the main characters, I had to describe them, The Girl Who Swims, The Girl Who’s Mom was On Charmed, etc..

One of the girls lent me the first two seasons on DVD. I Love TV on DVD. No commercials, pause, rewind and the chance to catch everything you missed. It’s great. I am currently in a love/ hate relationship with PLL. I spent the long weekend just past watching season one and part of season two. My head hurts from trying to decipher who’s who, what’s what and what really is going on not to mention the long  hours of watching tv.

I love the music on this show. I love discovering new to me music and this show is introducing me to a lot of new songs.  I love that there are some favourite actors on the show,  the fashion, the pop culture references and some of the story line. I love how it can teach kids about treating everybody with honesty, integrity and the way you want to be treated just like the John Hughes movies I used to watch as a teen.

At the same time there is much I hate about it. Like so many books we read these days it is so repetitive. That is annoying and frustrating.  I Hate when the girls constantly let -A tell them what to do and it hurts their friends, then the friend gets mad forgetting they did the same thing themselves when A told them too. I hate that it seems like a clone of  Veronica Mars. I love Veronica Mars and the fact that so many of the same plot lines are being used drives me crazy. I hate the teacher dating a student line. And the constantly rotating love interests.

Having said all that I get why they do all the things I hate so, I grudgingly  admit that I love it and can’t wait to find out where it goes, providing they don’t drag it on to long, I may even read the books.