Now Trending :Revenge of the “whatsherface” and Brass Instruments

When most people think of Ke$ha, many messed-up things come to mind: out of control parties, endless drinking, masses of glitter, some unicorns maybe…. But certainly nobody refers to her as that backup singer in Flo Rida’s old hit “Right Round” (which, yes, is a re-make of the similar song “You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record)” by the 80s’ band Dead or Alive because there really are no original ideas anymore).  She took a phenomenal jump to “superstar” from “that random girl.” And, if it could work for someone like Ke$ha, it can work for anyone, right?

That’s why Dev is breaking into the music industry. While the name Dev may mean nothing to you, perhaps the phrase “Like a G6” rings a bell. Yeah, that’s right, she’s “that chic” in singing the refrain for Far East Movement’s first hit.  I guess that anybody can break into the industry now with a few lines in a song and a pretty (though unknown) face. Anyway, Dev’s new song  “In the Dark” brings me to my next music trend – including brass instruments in songs.

Surely you’ve already heard the saxophone gods play in Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” and Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”, but could you hear all the brass in the background of Beyoncé newest hit “Love on Top” that she played at the VMAs? Dev’ song follows suit with a type of “saxophone-like-substitute” that probably came from a synthesizer.

 What do you know? Maybe real music will catch on again!


The 2011 VMAs: Just Another Awards Show

Hey, don’t get me wrong – if you like watching the cycle of a performance, an award presentation, and then five minutes of commercials for two and a half hours, you would have loved the VMAs last night. I, however, would like to see more awards and less…other crap. I mean, come on! The show went a good 25 minutes over the scheduled 2 hours, and they didn’t even show all of the awards!

And, while I adored Lady Gaga’s (er, I mean her alter ego Jo Calderone’s) performance of “You and I” with Queen’s Brian May, I could have lived without all the other ones. Not that everyone else who performed wasn’t talented (Adele,Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Beyonce, Jay Z and Kanye West) because they are. I’m just trying to say that they should have two performances – one to open the show and one to close it, so they can actually, oh, I don’t know……give out awards? 

Speaking of awards…..

While Katy Perry may have taken home 3 Moon Men, including one for “Video of the Year”, Adele was the real winner of the night, nabbing 4 Moon Men for her video “Rolling in the Deep” – and none of these awards were even shown on TV. Other big winners included Lady Gaga, who received 2 Moon Men for “Born This Way” and Justin Bieber, Nicki Menaj, Beyonce, The Foo Fighters, Britney Spears, and Tyler the Creator, who all were awarded one Moon Man each.

(For specifics on the awards, see

The only thing that could be considered really “special” about the whole night was Bruno Mars’ tribute to Amy Winehouse. He sang “Valerie” with his throwback charm (per usual) and won over the hearts of everyone in the crowd. Then everything was back to normal, and Lil Wayne closed the show with a song that was littered with gratuitous swearing. I guess some things never change, right?

The Morality of Remixes: The Rebirth of a Song or Shameless Greed?

It happened. Again.

Today, Katy Perry’s infamous fifth single “Last Friday Night” was released on Itunes, this time featuring rapper Missy Elliott. Not that I have any idea who Missy Elliott is. Regardless, it seems that a new trend in the music industry is to milk popular songs to death by releasing multiple remixes, as if the initial success of the song wasn’t enough. I suppose that one fair excuse for the countless versions of songs are the need for artistic expression through re-creating one’s own masterpiece. However, I do have the slightest suspicion that the greed of the music industry has something to do with it.

Not that I can really point a finger at anyone who really enjoys remixes. I, for one, have 3 CDs that only contain various Lady Gaga remixes, because I find that remixes breathe new life on songs that I’ve listened to so many times that I’ve gotten tired of them (not to mention that they are terribly fun to dance to).

Whether you like remixes or not, ponder this: is it wrong to warp a song so much that it is hardly recognizable? I’ve heard lots of remixes that cut out practically 90% of the vocals and fill in the rest of the song with some synth beats that are supposed to sound like the original song. Do you think that it’s too much to take a good song and make it a shell of what it used to be for the sake of some extra cash? Is that creativity or creative marketing?

Well, no matter how much remixes may reek of the avarice of capitalism, they’ll always have the sheer dance-ability that the original version lacked. Amen to that!