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Posts tagged ‘Taylor Swift’

Some thoughts on the 2014 Grammy Awards show

While there seems to be an ever-growing number of awards shows out there these days, when it comes to music, the Grammy Awards are still considered by many to be the elite in terms of this particular art form. Sure some might argue that the People’s Choice holds more meaning since it is directly from the fans or that other shows that base their winners primarily on sales figures are more relevant. However, the Grammy Awards are still essentially the Oscars of the music industry.

With all that being said, here are my personal thoughts on the awards show that took place this past Sunday.

On Live Performances:

As has been the case lately, there where a lot of unusual pairings for duet and group performances. A few worked, most didn’t. When it came to the older guys out there, such as the two former members of the Beatles, many of them have lost their vocal skills and really just need to ride off into the Sunset of musical history. Probably the best performances in my opinion were a few of the most subtle. The collaboration between Pink and Nate Ruess stuck out for sure. And the subdued piano playing Hunter Hayes with inspirational quotes on the screen in the background was quite memorable.

On the Nominees:

For the most part, the selection of nominees in each category was pretty good. Of course, the fact that Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift among a few others weren’t up for more was a bit surprising. Two examples of where they mostly went right where the categories for “Song of the Year” and Best Pop Solo Performance.”

On the Winners:

It is the tendency at the Grammys for one or more artists to dominate a few major categories in a given year. Those who decide the winners get hung up on a particular song or artist. Often times they fade away a bit after that. The first part of that equation did follow the typical pattern.  And I suspect the second will as well.

Overall, this year, it seemed as though those who decided the winners tended toward rewarding mediocrity. The bestowed coveted awards on acts with one or two OK songs and sort of left others out in the cold. Good examples of this include wins by newcomer LordeDaft Punk and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

What Should Have Been IMHO:

Of the available options:

Record of the Year should have went to Sara Bareilles for “Brave.”

Song of the Year should ahve been a given for “Just Give Me A Reason” by  Pink and Nate Ruess.

Best Pop Solo Performance should have went to either Sara Bareilles for “Brave” or Justin Timberlake for “Mirrors.”

I could go on but that would make for one long post.

Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles

Pink and Nate Ruess

Pink and Nate Ruess

Angry chick songs that this male blogger actually likes

In the world of music, there are no shortage of “angry chick” songs in which a woman rocks out some level of either rage of discontent regarding relationships with men. While many of these may annoy those of us with a with a “Y” chromosome, there are some occasions on which the song is so catchy or the rage comes across as so attractive that it’s hard not to like the song.

With that being said, here are a few such songs that I really do enjoy:

99 Times

By Kate Voegele

Crush, Crush, Crush

By Paramore

Everything Back But You

By  Avril Lavigne 

I knew You Were Trouble

By Taylor Swift 

Do you like “angry chick” music? What are some of your favorite songs that fit this vibe?

Taylor Swift live at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh

As many of the readers of this blog probably already know, I am a huge fan of country-pop artist Taylor Swift. And with that being the case, it should be no surprise that I took in her concert at the amazing Heinz Field in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

While watching the show I decided to create a few clips to share at least a bit of the experience with others as well as to relive the memories myself for years to come.

I hope you enjoy these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers and jeers and even more credibility lost for the Maxim Hot 100

So once again, the men’s magazine Maxim has released it’s special Hot 100 issue. And once again, it’s got some good, some bad and some rather unbelievable.

As a photographer in Pittsburgh, my native city, I often work with models and entertainers from around the region and enjoy the opportunity to see what the major national and international magazines choose to convey as the concept of beauty. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t. With that in mind, here’s my personal assessment of this year’s collection of what Maxim considers some of the most beautiful women on Earth.

hot 100

Cheers to the magazine for the inclusion of:

#96 Kellie Pickler

#95 Zoe Deschanel

#88 Elisabeth Harnois

#73 Katherine McPhee

#72 Jessica Chastain

#64 Candice Swanepoel

#60 Stana Katic

#56 Emmy Rossum

#45 Naya Rivera

#44 Sarah Highland

#40 Julianne Hough

#39 Lea Michele

#37 Amanda Seyfried

#29 Ronda Rousey

#21 Emma Stone

Jeers to the magazine for the inclusion of:

#83 Kat Dennings

#69 Manti Te’o’s Fake Girlfriend

#49 Sofia Vergara

And about 10-15 women I’ve never heard of.

Snubs and others who could have been included:

Carrie Underwood

Tracey Spiridakos

Melissa Benoist

Miranda Kerr

Lily Collins

Megan Massaacre

Any one of the female pros on Dancing With the Stars

Good and bad calls on positioning within the top 100:

While I applaud the selections of Killie Pickler and Zoe Deschanel, both should be in a higher spot. And although Taylor Swift (#13) moved up from last year, she really should be in the top 10. Speaking of the top 10, this year’s list is ripe with questionable calls. You can’t go wrong with Kate Upton (#7) on any top 10 list but the placement of Selena Gomez at #2 and incredibly shockingly Miley Cyrus at #1 – yeah, that’s not a typo, is more that a bit out of line. No doubt Selena deserves to be on the list, but probably outside the top 20. As far as Miley goes, I’d say it was OK to include her but she should certainly be in the bottom 50.

 

 

 

 

Five songs to make you happy

If has been well documented that music can effect the way people think and feel. With that in mind, I know that from time to time, we can all use a little pick me up. These five songs are a few of the many that do the trick for me, maybe they’ll be good for you as well.

Taylor Swift “22”

Skye Sweetnam “(Let’s Get Movin) Into Action”

Michael Franti & Spearhead “Say Hey (I Love You)”

Jessie J – “Domino”

Coblie Caillat “Brighter than the Sun”

Grammy predictions

Just for fun, I thought I’d try my hand at predicting the outcome on the 2013 Grammy Awards which will air this Sunday evening on CBS.

Of course, I’m only going to delve into a few of the dozens of categories that I feel like I know something about.

So without further ado, here goes.

And the Grammy goes to…

Best New Artist

Fun

Song Of The Year

We Are Young

Fun band

Best Pop Solo Performance 

Adele – “Set Fire To The Rain”

Adele

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

Maroon 5 – “Payphone”

Maroon 5

Best Alternative Music Album

Gotye – “Making Mirrors”

Gotye

Best Country Solo Performance 

Carrie Underwood – “Blown Away”

Carrie Underwood

Best Country Duo/Group Performance 

Little Big Town – “Pontoon”

Little Big Town

Record Of The Year

Taylor Swift – “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Taylor Swift

Completed Taylor Swift project

As mentioned in my earlier blog post “Taylor Swift Project” I have now completed my video message for Taylor. You can check it out on Youtube under the title “Taylor Swift – Would you please meet me?” or just by watching the video below.

In order to complete this project I:

1. Re-wrote the lyrics to one of Taylor’s favorite among her own songs – “Love Story.”

2. Got a karoke version of the music to use to go with the lyrics.

3. Hired an anwesome semi-professional singer through Fiverr.com.

4. Sought out public domain photos and art of Taylor.

All in all, I think it turned out pretty good.

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