Tag Archive | taylor swift

GRAMMY Does It Again

It’s that time of year again, my friends. The 56th GRAMMY Awards were tonight, hosted by GRAMMY winner (as we’re constantly reminded for God-knows-what reason) LL Cool J.

Oh, that’s right. He listed some of his own songs and panned to Taylor Swift’s privileged white-girl angst. He also seems to miss the concept that, with a microphone, you don’t have to YELL.

But enough babbling — LL took care of that — let’s get to the important stuff:

Image Courtesy of HuffingtonPost.com

THE FASHIONS
Another year, another ho-hum red carpet. Here’s what I found notable:

  • Daft Punk, because, well … I just got a kick out of any audience shot involving this helmeted duo. Extra points for Pharrell having to speak on their behalf.
  • I’m not entirely sure what was on Lorde’s nails — thimbles, spray paint or otherwise — but it was certainly noticeable.
  • Thin mustaches and otherwise terrible facial hair were in full effect for some reason. From Robin Thicke to Nate Ruess, I am severely disturbed by the prevalence.
  • The dear, sweet Kacey Musgraves: Honey needs a new stylist, stat … unless tassled skirts are making a comeback and I missed the memo.

Image Courtesy of VH1.com

THE PERFORMANCES
Legendary concerts and collaborations like these happen but once a year:

  • Queen B opened the show with a dramatic performance of “Drunk in Love,” a song I personally don’t enjoy. I mean no disrespect to her talent, but I was most mesmerized by her beautiful bob haircut. Of course, Jay-Z joined her and made it rain.
  • Captivating and understated, Lorde absolutely killed it with “Royals.” I cannot say enough how much I love this songstress’s success.
  • I still don’t really know who Hunter Hayes is and get him confused with every other fresh-faced singer, but his shaky-sweet reveal of “Invisible” just might make me remember him.
  • Actor Steve Coogan joked, among other things, that the GRAMMYs chose to reunite two of the Beatles over all of the Jonas Brothers. He then introduced Katy Perry and Juicy J’s performance of the slutty, Hocus-Pocusy “Dark Horse.”
  • Next up were Chicago & Robin Thicke, performing a medley of their respective hits. Naturally, my fave is the group’s “Saturday in the Park” — hello, birthday shout-out. And thanks be to God, there were no foam fingers at this show.
  • Country and blues music came together onstage with Keith Urban and Gary Clark, Jr.’s soulful duet “Cop Car.” Mr. Kidman was looking mighty fine, and Clark is undeniably talented.
  • My fave piano man John Legend melted my ovaries with “All of Me.” A memo to Chrissy Teigen: You better not ever, ever, ever let that man get away from you. Speaking of …
  • And then there was Taylor Swift and “All Too Well.” This girl … I just can’t. She’s been in the biz for almost a decade and yet she STILL always looks surprised and awkward. Own it, woman. You know you’ve got eleventy billion tweens looking up to you! I didn’t even realize her painful “dancing” could be done while seated.
  • Smooth-mover Bruno Mars welcomed Pink for a gravity-defying performance of “Try.” Nate Ruess then joined her onstage for the always emotional “Give Me Just One Reason.”
  • Always incomprehensible Ozzy Osbourne and the rest of Black Sabbath introduced Ringo Starr for “Photograph.” I can’t say anything negative about the legendary Starr, so let’s just chalk that dancing up to him usually being seated at the drums.
  • Rapper Kendrick Lamar & rockers Imagine Dragons did a huge number with a mash-up of their respective smash hits. I wonder if, while watching the playback, they’ll collectively shit themselves seeing legends like Steven Tyler sing along.
  • The electric (no, really … lit-up boots and jackets were involved) Kacey Musgraves dazzled with “Follow Your Arrow.” Love her and the song, but as mentioned earlier, that outfit should have been burned.
  • Julia Roberts explained an upcoming CBS special for the 50th anniversary of The Beatles performing on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and then introduced Sir Paul and Ringo for “Give the People a Shout.”
  • Jeremy Renner welcomed the two remaining Highway Men, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, to kick things off. They were then joined by Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton to croon a handful of classics and make me seriously consider a move back to the South.
  • Suited up Neil Patrick Harris entertained with his intro of Daft Punk for their first televised performance in six years (and only second-ever). Perhaps if MTV hadn’t stuck their noses in for the VMA/Colbert debacle, that stat would have been smashed in August. Pharrell and Stevie Wonder were incredible bandmates, though.
  • Cyndi Lauper rocked red locks to announce Carole King and Sara Bareilles for their rendition of the latter’s “Brave.” Dueling pianos are always a win in my book.
  • The most perfect specimen who ever lived, Jared Leto, honored the legendary Lou Reed before bringing Metallica onstage with Lang Lang for a chilling performance of “One.”
  • Queen Latifah shared a heartfelt welcome to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, along with Mary Lambert and Trombone Shorty for the inspirational ballad “Same Love.” Oh, and then Queen Latifah came back to officiate 33 simultaneous marriages. Madonna showed up, too, and belted a few bars (with a full choir) of “Open Your Heart.” As expected and deserved, a standing ovation erupted from the crowd.
  • Lang Lang returned to the stage to begin the annual In Memoriam piece. It’s OK if you cried like a baby (too). Then, Miranda Lambert and Billie Joe Armstrong closed it with a duet of “When Will I Be Loved?” to honor Phil Everly.

Image Courtesy of KROQ-CBSLocal.com

THE WINNERS
10 gramaphones were televised out of 82 awards, so this is all you get:

  • Funnygirl Anna Kendrick and super-hottie Pharrell presented Best New Artist to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. I was personally pulling for country crooner Kacey Musgraves, but I wasn’t surprised to see this duo win.
  • Global sensations Juanes and Ana Faris were pleased to present Best Pop Duo/Group Performance to Daft Punk and Pharrell for “Get Lucky.” In a field of strong contenders, I thought it was anyone’s game.
  • Kevin Hart and Charlie Wilson announced Best Rock Song to multitalented winners Sir Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear for “Cut Me Some Slack.” It took them two hours to create pure magic … imagine what they could do in 24.
  • Teeny-tiny powerhouse Ariana Grande and singer Miguel gave Best Pop Solo Performance to the humble and nervous Lorde for “Royals” — guess Sara Bareilles and Katy Perry really didn’t need to fight over that melody after all.
  • Total nutjob and silly guy Jamie Foxx presented Best Rap/Sung Collaboration to power couple Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake for “Holy Grail.” HOVA accepted and earned Hubby of the Century for acknowledging Beyoncé and Blue Ivy.
  • Gloria Estefan and Marc Anthony announced that Pharrell was previously awarded Producer of the Year, Non-Classical; and then handed out the gramaphone for Best Pop Vocal Album to Bruno Mars for “Unorthodox Jukebox.” I knew my Pandora was right about something!
  • Country crooners Martina McBride and Zac Brown honored George Jones and Ray Price in memoriam before handing Best Country Album to Kacey Musgraves for “Same Trailer, Different Park.” Her shock was genuine and endearing, and the award so well-deserved.
  • After their performance, Carole King and Sara Bareilles announced Song of the Year winner to Joe Little and Ella Yelich O’Connor (AKA Lorde) for writing her smash “Royals.”
  • The iconic Steven Tyler and Smokey Robinson were up next to sing and scream (guess which one?), and present Record of the Year to Pharrell, Nile Rogers and le French, Daft Punk, for “Get Lucky.”
  • Neil Portnow, Ryan Seacrest and John Legend honored Kent Knappenberger with the first-ever Music Educator Award. Real talk: He deserved to win for his beard alone.

My DVR decided to crap out at this point, so I know I missed some things. Album of the Year went to Daft Punk, I’m sure, but let me know if there was anything else of note.

Somewhere in there (probably halfway through) was the Pepsi Halftime Show, a first for this event. Just another reminder that the Super Bowl is next Sunday and will OWN YOUR LIFE till then. Oh, and that Pepsi must be richer than God to afford all the celebs involved. #ditkaonawreckingball

I also would really like to buy a Chevy if John Legend is selling them. And a MasterCard from JT.

So that’s my take on the night —  did I get something dead wrong in your opinion? Let me know in the comments!

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WO: Weekly Obsessions

In case you’re not FB friends with Magz and haven’t seen her weeklong countdown … it’s my birthday tomorrow! It kind of snuck up on me, probably because I’ve been packing every weekend with funtivities and nearly forgot to pay rent this month. Adulthood.

Image Credits Listed Below

    1. 27 Ways to Be as American as Ron Swanson: Because, ‘Merica. And though I can’t grow a moustache like his, my mere existence is defined by #22. I’d say that’s a fair trade.
    2. Pie Face: My cubemate introduced me to this sweet and savory shop yesterday and I’m already hooked. I can’t wait to indulge in an all-American apple pie & caramel smasher tomorrow!
    3. Macy’s 37th Annual 4th of July Fireworks: Shameless plug? Sure, why not. Hosted by Nick Cannon, this year’s show features his wifey, plus Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. Like, OMG.
    4. “The Remedy” – Jason Mraz: OK, I totally admit to loving this song simply because it opens with “ … fireworks from the freeway … ‘cause you were born on the 4th of July, freedom ring.” So sue me!

Hope you all have a safe and happy 4th!

Images courtesy of: BuzzFeedPie FaceChristian Today, ManiaDB

55th GRAMMY Awards: Red Carpet + Recap

Returning host LL Cool J tucked his ears into a Kangol hat and shared a handful of awful puns to bring music superstars together tonight.

His personal stories were long-winded and confusing, though not quite on par with Jodie Foster’s now infamous Emmy speech.

The red carpet coverage was entertaining, but can we all back off from pushing the social media stuff? Hashtag: It’s overkill.

 Courtesy of FabSugar.com

The Fashions: Some snoozes, some surprises

  • Finally dressing her age, Taylor Swift’s flowing gown was stunning. And that’s the only nice thing I’ll say about her tonight.
  • Jennifer Lopez clearly missed the restricted dress-code memo (and later joked about it). Honey, your cooch is loose. Oh also? You’re FORTY-THREE.
  • Usually adventurous Beyonce donned a bland pantsuit, but she’s Queen B and looked gorgeous anyway. Former DC3 band mate Kelly Rowland wowed in my fave dress of the night.
  • Katy Perry said she channeled Priscilla Presley, and I think The King himself would be pleased with her tribute. Va-va-voooom — but where were notoriously wacky Lady Gaga and Nicki Manaj?
  • Katy’s BFF Rihanna looked far more glamorous than I’ve seen her in a while, and first-timer Carly Rae Jepsen slinked and sparkled in a gorgeous gown.
  • No idea what Adele was thinking, but I’ll allow post-pregnancy brain as her excuse.

Courtesy of NecoleBitchie.com

The Performances: Where actors prove their relevance for attending

  • Taylor Swift opened with that awful never, ever song — in a surprising departure from her sickly sweet scenery. Still no rhythm, Tay Tay. Like, ever.
  • Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran collaborated to perform a dazzling rendition of the latter’s hit single “The A Team.”
  • Neil Patrick Harris included Barney Stinson trademark “legendary” in his introduction of fun. for their sweet ballad, “Carry On.”
  • Quintessential douche John Mayer stood with icon Bonnie Raitt. They announced Miranda Lambert and tour mate Dierks Bentley’s too-loud dual duets. Say that five times fast!
  • Is Johnny Depp homeless now? He sure looks it. Mumford & Sons strummed and sung an electric “I Will Wait” to shift our focus away from Depp’s derelict designs.
  • Beyonce and Ellen DeGeneres paired up perfectly to introduce OMG JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. His “Suit and Tie” world premiere was simply fantastical, even better in, you guessed it: black and white. Jay Z joined in because he can and we loved him for it.
  • Maroon 5 led with “Daylight” before Alicia Keys brought it home with “Girl on Fire.” Adam Levine is better speaking, not singing. Alicia’s crooning (and drumming!) saved my ears yet again.
  • Rihanna and Mickey Echo belted “Stay” to a silenced crowd. Finally, a Ri Ri song I don’t hate!
  • 1 Broke Girl Kat Dennings announced The Black Keys, performing alongside Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Doctor John. Hipster magic was made and they lived happily ever after.
  • Kelly Clarkson paid homage to Patti Page and Bonnie Tyler with respective renditions of “The Tennessee Waltz” and “A Natural Woman.” Get it, girl.
  • The much-anticipated Bob Marley tribute kicked off with Bruno Mars and his lovable backup dancers, followed by powerhouse performers Sting, Rihanna and Damian and Ziggy Marley. Shout-out to everyone singing along, especially NPH and that one white guy with his arms crossed.
  • The Lumineers nailed “Ho Hey” before introducing Jack White. The former was an entertaining escape; the latter was reminiscent of old jams to The White Stripes. Even Nicole Kidman said it was awesome.
  • Newcomer Hunter Hayes warbled through “Wanted,” but I’m told that’s how it should sound. Carrie Underwood appeared with “Blown Away.” Yet another example of sound techs needing to check before they wreck!
  • An acoustic and bilingual “Your Song” by Latin GRAMMY winner Juanes was soft and sweet before introducing Frank Ocean for “Forrest Gump.” Lieutenant Dan, ICE CREAM?!
  • LL Cool J teamed up with Travis Barker and others to close the show. “WHADDUP” felt out of place, but I always enjoy a “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” nod.

Courtesy of Mimo.RecordingConnection.com

The Winners: 3.5 hours of coverage, and only 11 televised gramaphones

  • Spicy songsters Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull presented Best Pop Solo Performance to Adele for her live version of “Set Fire to the Rain.” In a 15ish-second speech, she held the award awkwardly and called J. Lo her good luck charm. Adorbs all around.
  • Hot-this-moment Miguel and Wiz Khalifa worked the crowd in patterned suits before presenting Best Country Solo Performance to American (Idol) sweetheart Carrie Underwood for “Blown Away.” Her heartfelt speech was also short and sweet.
  • Country’s favorite couple (right, guys?) Tim McGraw and Faith Hill awarded fun. with coveted Song of the Year honor for “We Are Young,” as performed with Janelle Monae. Many thanks were given to their fellow musicians, with Jay Z shouting back “You’re welcome!” Classic HOVA.
  • Proud presenters Kelly Rowland and Nas announced first-ever Best Urban Contemporary Album winner Frank Ocean for Channel Orange. You mad, Chris Brown?
  • Producer of the Year Dan Auerbach was announced by Pauly Perrette and my future first husband, Dave Grohl. They then honored Auerbach’s band mates, The Black Keys, with Best Rock Performance for “Lonely Boy.”
  • Kaley Cuoco shouted alongside American Idol judge Keith Urban to present first AI winner Kelly Clarkson with Best Pop Vocal Album. She rambled and ran around like a crazy person. Perfection.
  • Carly Rae Jepsen and Ne-Yo presented Jay Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and The Dream with Best Rap Song Collaboration. Mr. West was absent, but Jay Z killed again.
  • Best Country Album went to The Zac Brown Band for Uncaged, and their thanks to the fans brought roars from the crowd.
  • Eyelash line creator Katy Perry joked and presented Best New Artist to fun., who should definitely change that period to an exclamation point (NPH)! Their pee jokes were great too.
  • The man, the legend, the symbol, the cane: Prince! He handed over the GRAMMY for Record of the Year to Gotye and Kimbra for “Somebody That I Used to Know.” No surprise there.
  • 2012’s GRAMMY cleaner-upper, Adele, presented Album of the Year to Mumford & Sons for “Babel.” Their flirtation with the crowd (and Adele) was both humble and humorous.

Before its In Memoriam segment, The GRAMMY Foundation announced a brand-new category, set to begin in 2014: The Music Educator Award.

And speaking of education, the touching Sandy Hook tribute brought a wealth of performers together — and the crowd to its feet.

Did you watch? How do you think it compared to last year’s event?

WO: Weekly Obsessions

Our furniture will arrive any minute now, and I’m looking forward to a night’s sleep on a pillow-top mattress for the first time in almost a month. Praise it! Oh, and because it’s Wednesday — praise these:

 Image Credits Listed Below
  1. Taylor Swift Ex-Boyfriends Prayer Candle: Serial dater that she is, Miss Swift has acquired quite the batch of leading men. Say a little prayer for her, won’t you?
  2. The Beauty Department: I loved Lauren “LC” Conrad from OG “Laguna Beach” fame, so imagine my excitement when she announced her co-founded blog. I’ve read it for a while but just officially became a follower of this “daily dose of pretty.” Gorgeous!
  3. The Obama Girls: Much as I love Michelle’s bangs, I adore Sasha and Malia more. To sum up the inauguration: The photobombing, the dance moves, the dresses … it’s one of the rare times I wish I was younger. (We’d obviously be friends.)
  4. “Barbie Girl” – Aqua: There’s no greater song to define this week’s nostalgic, preteen feel than this little gem. I barely understand the lyrics now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t sing it as loud as I can.

Come on, Barbie. Let’s go party.
Images courtesy of: etsyThe Beauty DepartmentBuzzFeedPop Screen

Wittyburg Elections 2012

Did you guys know it’s an election year? I hadn’t heard until recently — and even then, I thought it was an election for the next Olympic Master of Ceremonies. (McCartney 2016, anyone?) Sarcasm-laden sentences aside, I am suuuper ready for the presidential election to be dunzo.

And since the results will only mean more complaining and political posts, I’ve got my own nominations for Wittyburg Elections 2012. Get your ballots in now!

Voting Key: (I) = Incumbent, (C) = Challenger

Best Campaign Gaffe

  • (I) Biden’s Awkward Biker Pic – Nothing says “Vote!” like an old white guy hanging with Hell’s Angels.
  • (C) Romney’s “Binders Full of Women” Comment – Inspiring thousands of Halloween costumes.

Worst Song of 2012

Best Arnett Kid

  • (I) Abel – As my brother will tell you, first-born is always the favorite.
  • (C) Archie – His ginger death stare is terrifying.

Worst Natural Disaster

  • (I) Lindsay Lohan – There’s no saving this Hollywood train wreck.
  • (C) Hurricane Sandy* – 8 million without power and landmarks destroyed.

Best Cast of “The Real Housewives”

  • (I) New Jersey – Flipping tables was just the beginning.
  • (C) Atlanta – Former Miss USA joins the cast … let the drama unfold.

Make sure you vote in the presidential election too, of course, and check out the Honey Boo Boo costume contest I’m seriously part of. Real life.

*Regarding the horrific Hurricane Sandy, take two minutes and donate to The Red Cross to support relief efforts.

Bands I Love: The Civil Wars

I used to pride myself on knowing the artist behind every song to cross my eardrums, but I totally slacked when I first heard “Poison & Wine” on a TV promo. I found its source (much later) to be The Civil Wars: a duo of singer-songwriters, Joy Williams and John Paul White.

The pair met in Nashville at a songwriters’ camp and ended up in the same room as random partners — what can only be described as country-music kismet. Their songs are genuine and complicated, with little acoustic backup, while the music and lyrics stand on their own.

It’s completely refreshing in a world of digitized music, and mega-celebs like Taylor Swift took notice quickly. Swift announced her appreciation for their sound — inspiring millions to tune in — and she collaborated with the duo for “The Hunger Games” soundtrack to create “Safe & Sound.”

Nominated for various awards last year, The Civil Wars finally struck gold at the 54th GRAMMY Awards, with Best Folk Album and Best Country Duo/Group Performance (neither televised). They also introduced Taylor before she performed there.

Other songs to check out from The Civil Wars:

The Civil Wars are wrapping up the American leg of their current tour, with the remainder of the year being spent in Europe.

Smooth and sultry, like a good whiskey.