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  http://music-mix.ew.com/2011/08/28/mtv-2011-vma-winners/)

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?

My New Mission For Feet-Breaking High Heels!


I’ve got the power – I can sort through shoes online by designer, color, size, price and lifestyle. Sadly, I can’t sort by the height of the heels on the heel-splitting shoes I’m on an epic quest for. Ok, maybe I know in my heart that once I find said shoes that I will never be able to afford them, but a girl can dream, can’t she?

So, what do I consider feet-breaking? I immediatly reject anything under 5 inches, and the higher the better…..so basically if the shoes don’t scream “I will rip your feet in half!“, I steer away from them.

Lady Gaga was spotted wearing 22-inch platforms the other day, and I was in awe. Unfortuanetly, no such shoes are to be found on saksfifthavenue.com. The highest heels I could find were platforms with 6 inch heels by Christian Louboutin. At $895.00, the simple shoes just aren’t worth it. While the shoes are tan (and therefore will go with almost anything), they lack the odd pizazz that I am always searching for- no feathers, no lace, no odd patterns….no WOW factor. *Sigh*

 

So I guess that means I’ll have to settle for a lower heel with more flair. In this case, I believe that this pair Manolo’s will do the trick. They have a class retro style that stands out from other shoes- and while they don’t have the highest heels in the world, I’m not willing to sacrafice personlity for heel height. Ok, so maybe I can’t buy them because they cost $785.00, but I will surely dream about them tonight, along with Alexander McQueen dresses and Gucci handbags.

Much better!

Check out a fellow blogger’s 8-inch heels at http://heelsforall.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/quick-review/

“You and I” – Lady Gaga’s new video (and possibly her best yet!)


Maybe you can’t buy a house in Heaven, but you can sure take a 6 minute 22 second vacation there.

You may have been let down by the unabashed normality of Lady Gaga’s last video (“The Edge of Glory”), but her video for “You and I” has no lack of peculiar artistry. The music video for the song (which was written about her now ex-boyfriend Carl Luc) was filmed in Nebraska and opens as Gaga is walking down a deserted dirt road, picking grass from her bloodied feet laced up in high heels. She falls on her knees at the foot of an ice cream truck (which says “Follow the Crowd” on the side of it if you look carefully) and a woman drops a brunette doll down at Gaga….afterwards, the video flies from clip to clip – Gaga getting married, Gaga in a tank of water, Gaga tied to a vertical examination table at a labratory….and then the music starts.

The next 5 minutes are a flurry of symbols carefully scrambled together in one video. Remember that doll that the ice cream lady tossed at Gaga? It’s now next to her as her lover/husband/whatever ties her into that examination table and tries to make her resemble it so she can fit in. After half a video of cutting and shocking Gaga with electricity, his work finally yields a mermaid version of Gaga  (named Yuyi). Surprisingly, she and lover/husband/whatever seem overly happy by this unexpected result. “The more he tries to fix me, the more magical I become.” Gaga wrote on her Twitter this Monday. Her point? The guy she wrote this song about made her comfortable in her own, not-so-typical skin – he loved her the way she was when all she wanted to do was fit in.

However, what I find is the more interesting idea in the video is the strong concept of self-love. Gaga takes the idea to an extreme as she plays the piano innocently in a cornfield while her male alter-ego Jo Calderone sits atop the piano and smokes, rolls up his sleeves and drinks beer (yes, that guy is actually her – you can see the resemblance ion his face). To really hit home her point, Jo reaches down from the top of the piano and starts kissing Gaga. Okay, so maybe that’s  a bit much (and freaky) but you get her point – you have to love and embrace every side of yourself before you can love someone else. And because she loves herself in the end, she can love herself no matter how different she is (even as a mermaid) and other people can love her (and thus, she gets married at the end of the video). In short, self love yields love for others.

And, of course there are the typical Gaga video characteristics: new wigs,almost nudity, a plethora of back-up dancers, at least one revealing outfit, all that jazz…..but you were expecting that! You probably weren’t surprised when mermaid-Gaga was kissing her husband/lover/whatever….but Gaga kissing GAGA? Looks like she threw us for a loop – again!

See it and be amazed at http://www.youtube.com/user/LadyGagaVEVO

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!

We’re waiting, Gaga…..you really like the element of surprise, don’t you?


Come on, Lady Gaga! It’s been, like, months since you released your last music video. We’re losing our patience! Release the video for “YOU AND I” already!

Okay, so maybe it’s only been about 60 days since “The Edge of Glory” video came out…but still! When you write “The You and I video will be my 1000th tweet” on Twitter, you are asking for all of your fans to fall into extreme anxiety over  the new release. I can’t help but be reminded of your New Year’s Eve tweet that you were releasing Born This Way (the good news) and the end of MAY (the bad news). But enough of the bitterness… 

The song “You and I” will be her fourth single from her new album, Born This Way. The song was written about her now ex-boyfriend Luc Carl, whom she met when he was a bartender in New York.  However, because Luc was originally from Nebraska, the video was filmed right in Omaha (it also explains why she keeps referring to that “cool Nebraska guy” in the song).  Although she played the song on a piano last summer on “The Today Show”, the version she released on her album has an appropriate little twang of country. There she goes, pushing the boundaries of music. Again!

If the video release will be her 1000th tweet, then we are currently nine tweets away from the premiere.  While the release date may be pending one thing is for sure…she’s got the world wrapped around her gloved little fingers…

Cleveland is Better Than You Think….


Yeah, that’s right. I went to Cleveland for vacation this year. And yes, I went there on purpose.

The main attraction of my trip was to see the incredible ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME! Oh, the thrill of being inches away from shirts worn by Elvis, stage costumes worn by Mick Jagger, and hand-painted pictures created by a young Jimi Hendrix. I spent a good five hours pressing my face up against the glass that separated me from incredible remains of rock and roll history. However, they don’t allow pictures inside the Rock Hall! It was a tradgedy…here I am, inches away from Steven Tyler’s hand-written lyrics for “Walk This Way”, and you’re telling me I can’t take a picture, even without flash? The horror! So, in place of taking pictures, I had to buy a $30 book instead.

 

The Rock Hall

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from a Distance

 

Of course, about 15 minutes of those 5 hours was me standing in awe  in front of the stage outfits worn by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith. Just standing there…jumping in excitement occasionally…..but mostly me staring in amazement. But seeing Aerosmith memorabilia is nothing new to me. Why, I’ve gazed upon Steven Tyler’s gorgeous striped jumpsuit many times at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston, not to mention all the pictures I’ve taken next to it. I am, after all, one of the world’s biggest Aerosmith fans. Anyway, my point is that I’ve seen tons of Aerosmith stuff…so the real show-stopper was the section about Jim Morrison of the Doors.

If you know anything about the Doors, you know that their lead singer, Jim Morrison, was quite the dark person. Who else could come up with the morose lyrics and creepy tune to a song like “Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)?” He was a real, walking, work of art until he died at age 27 in 1971. The section of the Rock Hall about him had more than clothes he wore…it contained some pictures he drew as a child, his old report cards, and even cards he had written to his parents. One of the items was a Christmas card that said “Have a Cool Yule,” which I previously considered to be the lamest phrase ever (now I can’t wait to use it all December long).  It was incredible to see his work as young child…before he had turned into the dark, twisted person he was known as (RIP Jim, I love your work forever)….

Another cool part of the museum was the “Women Who Rock” exhibit. This temporary part of the museum had stage costumes from almost every famous woman in music history, from Janis Joplin to Lady Gaga. A few must-see parts of this exhibit were outfits worn by Grace Slick (of Jefferson Airplane),  Madonna, Nancy and Ann Williams (of Heart) and of course my favorite, Lady Gaga’s outfits from the 2010 Grammy Awards and a re-creation of her meat dress.

What can I say? I was an incredible five hours of rock and roll history. The next evening, I went to free concert outside the Rock Hall to see Fitz and the Tantrums…a band my mom and I love. I got there two hours early…and it paid off! I was at the very base of the stage, within touching distance of the band’s handsome lead singer Fitz. I spent the next two hours jamming to their unique retro-soul vibe, and afterwards I even got to meet all of the band members and take pictures with them (including gorgeous Fitz :-). The best part, however, was receiving one a set list for that evening’s show – and they only gave out two. I had every band member sign it…maybe it will hang in the Rock Hall someday!

Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and the Tantrums at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

More to come about Cleveland…..what do you say?

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