Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Last week, Grantland featured a story on the art of the comeback explaining how to do it (Daft Punk) and what not to do (Guns N' Roses). Not surprisingly the writer suggests not letting the back-story overshadow your record, you know, like taking fourteen years and thirteen millions dollars to record it and certainly do not wait until Dr. Pepper guilt you into releasing it because it will turn out bad for the both of you (five years later I still have not bought a Dr. Pepper after getting stiffed on my free can that I was promised). But in the article, the writer suggested that Chinese Democracy is better that you probably remember which made me pop up Spotify to give it a first listen in five years (nope, still extremely disappointing). I bring this up because while on Spotify I had a big laugh at who was listed as Guns n’ Roses top “Related Artists” according to Spotify. I got such a good laugh out of it I decided to comb through the sight for the most absurb “Related Artists” according to Spotify and here are the top ten I found.
1. Guns n’ Roses – When I think Guns ‘n’ Roses I think eighties Sunset Strip and the hair bands of the era or possibly the other hard rock heavyweights of the time Metallica who they had an ill fated tour with back in the nineties. But nope, the most related artists to Guns n’ Roses is The Proclaimers. Yes the creepy twins one hit wonder from Scotland who sang I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).
2. Beastie Boys – Most people think of the Beastie Boys as rappers but they have released punk albums too back in the day, and this may very well lead to the most random top five related artists currently on Spotify: classic rock God the The Jimi Hendrix Experience, underground hip-hop group Jurassic 5, the industrial Nine Inch Nails, alternative rockers Smashing Pumpkins, and the indie group Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Pull up the full Related Artists page and it gets even more random: Justice (dance), The Heavy (funk), Soundgarden (grunge), The White Stripes (garage rock), Wu-Tang Clan (hardcore rap), and Blind Melon (one hit wonders).
3. The Chemical Brothers – Here is another group that is listed as a Related Artist of the Beastie Boys but just because their top Related Artist is another Related Artist of the Beastie Boys (though I have no idea how either group are related to the Beastie Boys) does not make it any less head-scratching because do not ask me how the electronic group from the nineties is at all related to punk forefathers The Clash.
4. Taylor Swift – Taylor is a country artist whose records get poppier and poppier as they are released and other female contry crossover artists Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry and Sugarland are all in her top five, but number one? The YouTube superstars and elecro-pop duo Karmin.
5. Rage Against the Machine – Sure Rage and Thin Lizzy are both technically rock artists that were featured on VH1 Classic’s Metal Evolution but it was two entirely different episodes, sub-genres, and eras. Granted if I were Rage Against the Machine, I would not want to be linked to the horrible nu-metal moment that came after them either.
6. Snow Patrol – Earlier this month when I posted my Greatest Eras in Rock and Roll History, Snow Patrol was featured in the Pop-Rock wave of the early 00’s and I would have figured other acts I had with them, Coldplay, David Gray, The Killers, would be among their top artists. Nope, instead it is the teenaged cover artists who takes every song and turns it into a mopey depressing ode, Birdy. Snow Patrol is not even one of the bands she covered. The rest of Snow Patrol’s top five which includes Lissie, Paloma Faith, and Counting Crows is almost as head scratching).
7. Lionel Richie – Lionel was one of the biggest acts of the eighties and I fully expected to see other RnB-pop acts of the time like Michael Jackson or Prince in his Related Artists or even his former group The Commodores. Instead his top five in order are new wave band Berlin number one followed by Cyndi Lauper, Phil Collins (who is also absurdly Jackson’s top Related Artist), Chicago, and Eric Carmen.
8. Robin Thicke –Considering he has the biggest song on the planet, Spotify would get this blue eyed soul man some artist of his ilk like contemporary Mayer Hawthorne or maybe the greatest blue-eyed soul man ever Daryl Hall, either solo or with Oates, but no, his top artist is Janet Jackson while other female nineties RnB acts TLC and Aaliyah also populate his top five.
9. Weezer – Sure Weezer and Stone Temple Pilots both are under the very large alternative rock of the nineties tent, but I would like think Spotify would be smart to have Weezer grouped together with other geek rockers Barenaked Ladies or Ben Folds Five instead of the second wave of grunge.
10. The Breeders - The Breeders were an alternative rock one hit wonder off shoot of The Pixies from the nineties, Robert Johnson was a blues singer who was born 102 years ago. Seriously Spotify, how does this even happen?
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Quote of the Week: Bobby may not be stupid but I’m a hellva lot smarter. (J.R. – Dallas)
Song of the Week: You Only Live Twice – Nancy Sinatra (Mad Men)
Scene of the Week:
Big News of the Week: George Bush’s Head on a Stake: I was not a big fan of George W. Bush as president to the point that I even deregistered from the Republican party because he was such a bad president (or at least I tried, leaving a political party turns out to be as hard as trying to leave the mafia). But I always respect the office of the presidency no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office or how bad of a job they are doing. So I was a bit offended when I learned that Game of Thrones featured a scene featuring the disembodied head of the former president sitting on a stake in one of their scenes. The producers said it was not a political statement; it was just a head they had lying around that they needed to fill a sea of heads on stakes (not to be confused with Pardon the Interruption’s less offensive Heads on Sticks). This begs the question why did they have the head of George W. Bush just lying around? Ironically this came to light the same week that HBO was airing a feature on George H.W. Bush.
Of course my outrage died down after I saw the picture of George’s head with looked about as much like the former president as of the bust of Lionel Richie looked like the singer in his Hello music video. There is probably a reason this did not come out until someone mentioned it on the DVD commentary.
Preview Picture of the Week:
|Falling Skies, Sunday at 9:00 on TNT|
Mad Men: Now that the season is over, I have come to the realization that I really did not like the year’s theme of getting old sucks then you die. Don felt threatened by the youth of his wife and Ginsburg. Pete was exiled to the suburbs. Peggy leaned she had to leave her father figure behind to get any further. Betty got fat. Sally literally became a woman. Joan’s marriage crumbled and became a prostitute. Megan followed her dream and failed. Harry set away his friend to follow his dream while Harry stayed stuck in his column filled cubicle. And of course there was Lane the most tragic of them all. Roger was the only one that came out unscaved but he stopped worrying about life after his heart scare early in the series. And it is off that with the getting old motif of the season that it did not end with a very picturesque Don walking off a bright set into a dark, lifeless studio but instead it ended with Don all but winking into the camera when asked at a bar if her were alone. Even the scene in the expanded office with the five partners would have made for a better ending. But at least more people beat the crap out of Pete.
You can download Mad Men on iTunes.
Pretty Little Liars: My favorite part of the episode was when one of the Liars asks, “Did Jenna become more blinder?” But a fairly uneventful episode. We already knew Janna was overcompensating from not actually being blind. Mona talked for the first time for month, but did not have anything interesting to say. Garrett literally kept his mouth shut. (and that begs the question why did Spencer go ahead and talk to Garrett after hearing her mother was going to come back the next day for a complete visitor list after just forbidding her from going to see Garrett again?) There was some weird storyline with earrings that Aria put in Allison’s casket, but that begs the question, why did she choose to put what she thought were her dad’s mistress’s earrings as a keepsake for Allison for all eternity? Did she not have something better to symbolize their friendship?
You can stream recent episodes on Hulu. You can also download Pretty Little Liars on iTunes.
Free Download of the Week: ATO Records Spring Sampler 2012: Get songs from Alabama Shakes, Dawes, Primus and more
Deal of the Week: Singers Who Act for $2.99: Amazon deeply discounted another set of albums including one of the greatest records ever made: Purple Rain. Other albums you can get for the low price include ones from Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore and Jennifer Love Hewitt (yes, she recorded an album).
New Album Release of the Week: The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do - Fiona Apple
New DVD Release of the Week: Wilfred
Video of the Week: I think we can all agree that Call Me Maybe is a horrible song that we cannot stop listening and singing along to and hating ourselves for it after it is over. But if there is any group that could make any song sound credible, it would be The Roots. And they did just that. With children’s instruments. So congratulations Call Me Maybe chick, for one shining moment you horribly cheesy song was credible. Now say hi to Skee-Lo on your way to one hit wonder obscurity.
Next Week Pick of the Week: Falling Skies, Sunday at 9:00 on TNT: TNT continues it slow summer roll out with the return of their sci-fi show Falling Skies. It had its moments but I was not that impress with the first season so hopefully that gets turned around with the second season which returns with back to back episodes. Look for a full review tomorrow.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
It is a shame that time has almost completely forgotten Lionel Richie. He was on the eighties music Mt. Rushmore with Michael Jackson, Prince, and Bruce Springsteen but is now put into categories with other cheesy eighties acts like Culture Club. Like most eighties acts, the nineties were not kind to Richie, it probably did not help he went ten years in-between releasing a new album after the smash hit Dancing on the Ceiling. Even worse, last decade he became known primarily as Nicole Richie’s dad even though he released an otherwise ignored solid Coming Home album.
Know like many pop acts of the past decade that saw their record sales go south, Lionel is going country. But unlike someone like Jessica Simpson, Richie has a history in country, writing Kenny Rogers’s number one country hit Lady. Also Lionel is taking baby steps into the genre rerecording thirteen songs from his catalogue for Tuskegee with a who’s who of country stars from Blake Shelton (Lionel has been mentoring Blake’s rivals currently on The Voice, so hopefully a performance will be soon coming on the show), Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles (who will be competing against Richie on the upcoming vocal competition Duets), recent country convert Darius Rucker, and of course Kenny Roger who shares his former song Lady with the songwriter.
Songs range from his Commodores days to the hit making eighties that everyone know and for those that have never heard Just for You, it comes from Lionel’s little heard 2004 album of the same name (sorry Billy Currington, you drew the short straw on that one). Not surprisingly the songs can be pretty much hit or miss, Shelton, with all the time hanging around Cee Lo Green, adapts himself well to You Are. But on Say You, Say Me, now with slide guitar, Jason Aldean and his very thick country accent really drags down the song which is probably why his voice does not pop up until the second verse. Hello gets creepier thanks to Nettles but she also overpowers the song more than what it needs.
Sail On which was the most country ready song in Richie repertoire works nicely with the added Tim McGraw vocals. And the harmonies of Little Big Town start Deep River Woman off nicely in one of the few songs where Lionel’s voice is not the first week here. The old guard of Richie and Willie Nelson suits Easy well and may even leave you disappointed that Willie has not tacked the classic sooner. Tuskegee ends with All Night Long with Jimmy Buffett and Corel Reefer Band bringing even more party to the song, along with some steel drums, with the song being as awesome as you would have expected when you saw it on the track listing. But most of Tuskegee, you are left wishing that Lionel Richie would have just recorded countrified versions of his songs by himself.
Song to Download – All Night Long
Tuskegee gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Quote of the Week: I’ll even watch one of those artsy foreign ones you like where all they do are stare at windows. (Hanna, Pretty Little Liars)
Song of the Week: Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long Long Time) – Elton John (The Big Bang Theory)
The Very Last Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week: (at least until she is cast in the next inevitable ill-fated Charlie’s Angels reboot)
Scene of the Week:
Big News of the Week: NBC Goes Pilot Shopping: We still have to wait about four month until we learn what new shows will be hitting the small screen next fall, but a bunch of shows have just gotten the green light to film a pilot. NBC has gotten out of the gate with three new shows including the Munsters reboot from Brian Fuller (who created three of the finest shows ever: Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls Pushing Daisies) and director Brian Singer (X-Men) but now has a new name: Mockingbird Lane. And with a 2 million dollar penalty, it is a good bet that Revolution about a world without energy from J.J. Abrams will be making it to air. Though the last time NBC bid that high from the master of high concept / low rewards, which did not turn out well (see Undercovers, or do not, it sucked massively). In other shows you could not pay me to watch news, NBC also gave a thumbs up to a Ryan Murphy sitcom The New Normal about a gay couple and their surrogate.
Free Download of the Week: These Days (Music Video) - Foo Fighters (iTunes)
Deal of the Week: 100 Albums for $5: Amazon MP3 has released a new batch of $5 album including ones from Blind Melon, Norah Jones, Keith Sweat and Madi Diaz.
New Album Release of the Week: A Different Kind of Truth - Van Halen
New DVD Release of the Week: Throw Momma From the Train [Blu-ray]
Video of the Week: Some football game got the coveted pre-The Voice premiere slot this year and I was not entirely sure I was going to watch this season until I saw Cee Lo Green’s bedazzled leather jacket. Considered me sold. Bonus points for wrangling Lionel Fracking Richie in as a mentor. And to tide you over until tomorrow, here is some white chick singing a smoky rendition of Trey Songz’ Say Aah for her blind audition.
Next Week Pick of the Week: The River: Tuesday at 9:00 on ABC: Considering last weekend I watched Paranormal Activity 3, a television show hyping the writer / director of the original film is not a big plus in my book right now. It became clear to me while watching the third installment that all the films could be fast forwarded during the first hour because nothing interesting happens until the last twenty minutes. In Oren Peli’s defense, the first one was the best and originally done and he did everything in the film, write, direct, cinematography, editing, and only wrote the second and nothing with the third, but has signed on to write the fourth (if we are stuck watching “found” reel to reel movies of grandma, I’m out on the franchise). Hopefully his new television show has a bit more action in the first two acts than his movies did because the ads do have me curious. Plus he has brought along the hot chick from the first movie in a recurring role. She might be able to get me through the boring parts.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
For the best live performances of the year, you can take the song title link to view the performance(aside from the first couple embedded ones) and the iTunes links will take you there where you can buy the performances (where available).
1. Friday – Stephan Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, Taylor Hicks, and the Knick City Dancers (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)
2. The Cave / Head Full of Doubt / Road Full of Promise / Maggie’s Farm – Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan (2011 Grammy Awards)
3. Someone Like You – Adele (2011 MTV Video Music Awards)
4. Heartless – Dia Frampton (The Voice)
5. Deep River Woman / Stuck on You / Dancing on the Ceiling – Lionel Richie, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, and Rascal Flatts (2011 American Country Music Awards)
6. The Song Otherwise Known as Forget You – Cee-Lo Green, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Muppets (2011 Grammy Awards)
7. Wake Up – The Sing-Off Contestants (The Sing-Off)
8. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love - Mick Jagger featuring Raphael Saadiq (2011 Grammy Awards)
9. You’re All I Need to Get By / Stand By Me – Usher / Valerie Simpson and Mike Stroller (2012 Grammy Nomination Special)
10. Love Is a Battlefield – Cee-Lo Green and Vicki Martinez (The Sing-Off)
11. Love the Way You Lie / I Need a Doctor – Rihanna, Eminem, and Dr. Dre featuring Adam Levine and Skylar Grey (2011 Grammy Awards)
12. Ignition (Remix) – The Dartmouth Aires (The Sing-Off)
13. Otis – The Throne (2011 MTV Video Music Awards)
14. Poison – Bell Biv DeVoe and The Roots (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon)
15. This Love – Blake Shelton, Patrick Thomas, Xenia, Jared Blake, and Dia Frampton (The Voice)
16. Grenade – Delilah (The Sing-Off)
17. Colder Weather / Sweet Baby James – Zac Brown Band and James Taylor (2011 American Country Music Awards)
18. Valerie – Bruno Mars (2011 MTV Video Music Awards)
19. Aretha Franklin Tribute – Christina Aguilera, Martina McBride, Yolanda Adams, Florence Welch and Jennifer Hudson (2011 Grammy Awards)
20. The Message – Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Scorpio, Common, Lupe Fiasco, and LL Cool J (2012 Grammy Nomination Special)
21. Put Your Records On – Afro Blue (The Sing-Off)
22. Mean – Taylor Swift (2011 American Country Music Awards)
23. My Body – Young the Giant (2011 MTV Video Music Awards)
24. Motownphilly – Boyz II Men and The Roots (VH1 Divas Live)
25. Tubthumping – The Yellowjackets (The Sing-Off)
Monday, January 25, 2010
When Michael Jackson passed away, like most people I went back and listened to the music of his on my iPod which included We Are the World. That got me to thinking it that there was still plenty of poverty in Africa and it may be time to remake the song for a newer generation (especially considering Do They Know it's Christmas? is already on it'd third version). While doing research, I realized the twenty-fifth anniversary was this year so I sat on the suggestions I made at the time so I could release it to coincide with the anniversary. Then new came out last week that the co-writers of the song Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones (along with Jackson) were planning on doing so after the Grammy’s next week to benefit Haitian relief (so I guess they will be renaming the group USA for Haiti). So here are my suggestions next to those that did the original part. And as a point of reference, here is the original song:
Lionel Richie – Ne-Yo
Stevie Wonder – Maxwell
Paul Simon – John Mayer
Kenny Rogers – Taylor Swift
James Ingram – John Legend
Tina Turner - Beyoncé
Billy Joel – Norah Jones
Michael Jackson – Michael Jackson
Diana Ross – Christina Aguilera
Dionne Warwick – Alicia Keys
Willie Nelson – Keith Urban
Al Jarreau – Justin Timberlake
Bruce Springsteen – dude from Green Day
Kenny Loggins – dude from Fall Out Boy
Steve Perry – dude from Maroon 5
Daryl Hall – Robin Thicke
Michael Jackson – Michael Jackson
Huey Lewis – dude from The Fray
Cyndi Lauper – Lady Gaga
Kim Carnes – Kelly Clarkson
Bob Dylan – Dave Matthews
Ray Charles – Jamie Foxx
Stevie Wonder – Stevie Wonder
Bruce Springsteen – Bruce Springsteen
Dan Akroyd – Adam Sandler
Jackson Family Chorus – Jonas Brothers and other Disney stars Chorus
Naturally the hardest singer to recast was Michael Jackson himself and came I up with three alternatives; Bono, who technically is not American; Prince, who was actually supposed to duet with Jackson in the original but didn’t show up the first time; or have a chorus do all his part. But maybe it would be best to just pipe in his original vocals. And even though I recast their earlier parts, I still have to bring back Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder to recreate their duet which was the highlight the orginal. Not bringing them back would have been like not asking Bono to sing "Tonight thank God it's them instead of you" for the new Do They Know it's Christmas? versions.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.
You may remember Peter, Bjorn and John from their whistling song, and if you don’t, what hole were you hiding in back in 2007? Naturally there new song isn’t as catchy but at least the video is classic, featuring choreographed, Japanese, Elvis bikers. Brilliant.
I have never seen Flight of the Conchords before on account that I am too cheap to order HBO. But this chorus of ex-girlfriends may get me to throw the DVD into my queue. Granted it may two to three year to get through it.
Why? Why Lionel Richie Why would you stoop so low to recruited Akon to make music? He has had his hand on some of the worst music of the 00’s. You need to just go back to writing and producing your own music. And if you need a duet partnet, just get the Commodores back together.
I really miss Hootie.
Monday, September 18, 2006
There is no bigger crime against humanity in years then Lionel Richie being relegated to being called “Nicole’s dad.” Here’s a guy who brought us Endless Love, Sail On, wrote Lady for Kenny Rogers, taught us how to dance on the ceiling and taught us the proper proportions of the fairer sex (36-24-36, although Sir Mix-A-Lot had to clarify that’s only if she’s 5’3’’ years later). If fact many of you reading this may have Lionel to thank for being conceived, hey even I may have Lionel to thank for that. Mmm, now I have to get that thought out of my mind. But anyways. Thankfully Madison Avenue still holds him in high esteem featuring Hello and All Night Long in commercials recently by Starburst and Mountain Dew, respectively.
In all fairness, it is somewhat easy to forget about Richie since it’s been twenty years since his last hit album, Dancing on the Ceiling. And maybe for most of the time in between he was fine with resting on his laurels as his records were album to rack in more money than even his spoiled brat of a daughter could spend. But maybe his daughters new found fame and being called “Nicole’s dad” lit a spark under him because Lionel’s back with songs that stands up with some of his best work that show up on his new album Coming Home.
Unfortunately, in a cheap attempt to connect to a younger audience Lionel Richie brought it some big name producers to help craft a few songs, and “big name” doesn’t necessarily mean good ones. First there’s Jermaine Dupri, best know for his work with thirteen year olds, who helped out on What You Are which is fairly boring. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a hand with Up All Night because it sounds exactly like ever Jagged Edge, a group that Dupri discovered, song I’ve ever heard. Then there’s Dallas Austin, most know with his work with TLC, who helmed the ill-conceived Stand Down, a politically charged reggae song. The one marquee producer that manages to properly catch the Richie vibe is Raphael Saadiq of Tony! Toni! Toné! fame on Sweet Vacation where he also provides Babyface style backing vocals. Well there is also the Swedish production team that crafted the first single, I Call it Love. What with the Swedes and their mastery of American pop music?
But where Richie shines is with his own material as there a bunch of songs that have that classic feel to them. The breezy I’m Coming Home could fit easily in Richie’s early catalogue and the same goes for Out of My Head. Both songs hearken back to the good old days of R&B when the singers didn’t need rappers to gain mass exposure. The soft beginning to Reason to Believe that conjures up thought of to Sail On. Then there’s I Love You with its haunting vocals is very reminiscent of Hello, but I doubt it will inspire anyone to make a bust of Lionel’s head. But not of Lionel’s own songs are comeback worthy, All Around the World sound like an update of All Night Long, but fall flat compared to the earlier song. Coming Home may not save Lionel from being called “Nicole’s dad,” but at least it reminds those of us who grew up with him in the eighties what made him great back then.
Song to Download - Reason to Believe
Coming Home gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void in art form. So here they are courtesy of YouTube. I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.
Ladies and gentleman, it’s the return of “Weird Al” Yankovic. Now, unfortunately the video for the song isn’t a direct parody, but I’m sure everyone out there should get a We Are the World vibe. I finally got a look at the track list and you can expect parodies of Chamillionaire’s Ridin’ (who apparently liked White and Nerdy so much he put it on his MySpace page), Green Day’s American Idiot (Canadian Idiot), Usher’s Confessions part II (Confessions part III), Taylor Hick’s Do I Make You Proad (Do I Creep You Out, in a word, yes, that’s Hicks not Weird Al), and R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet (Trapped in the Drive-Thru at ten plus minutes this should be great, hopefully Al will come out with more Chapters and a DVD like Kelly did). And of course there is the prerequisite polka featuring songs by Kanye West, Coldplay and many more. Oh, and even though the song says not to, check out Dontdownloadthissong.com to do just that.
Whoever decided to released Maneater as a single should be fired as it was easily the worst song off of Nelly Furtado’s latest album. But on the bright side the song did produced this extremely cheesy video with its pseudo-vampire theme. The best part is the inexplicable beginning with the dog as if they needed to set up the absurdity that followed because whenever I lose my dog I end up doing a dance off with the undead before I end up finding her.
We all know for as great Lionel Richie is as a singer, he’s as equally as bad a parent. And here those too aspects of his life collide with Nicole showing up in papa’s video. Feel free to insert your own “Nicole’s too skinny” joke here. Speaking of which, Nicole Richie’s first foray into music, Dandelion leaked to the net this week and, well, it’s better than anything by former BFF Paris Hilton. But that’s not saying much, click on her name to give it a listen (warning bad 7th grade poetry ahead). As for daddy dearest, check out for a review of his new album next week.
Speaking of chicks with no redeemable talent to go with their dramatic weight loss, Hilary Duff has a new video out. It’s nice to see she is as bad at dancing as she is at acting, singing, and choosing boyfriends. But to be honest, the song is actually kind of catchy. For those keeping track at home, that’s two songs the Duffster has conned me into liking (the Theme to Laguna Beach being the other). It may be time for an intervention.
I really don’t want to talk too much about the song itself as I will cover that in my album review of Beyonce’s B-Day coming up in the next couple days. But I wonder if the video, especially when she’s being interrogated in the white dress is homage to Basic Instinct, but without the best part. Then there is the hallway scene which is a blatant rip-off of No Doubt’s It’s My Life.
There are a couple of cool contests on the web that I’d like to point out. First I slipped this into my Fall Preview post a couple hours after I originally posted it, so I thought I give it another plug. The newest addition to my Blogs I Read list, Culture Bully, is giving away a free CD for every day in September. So head over to his site to see what three albums you have to choose from today and the complete rules.
Then there is A Yoga Coffee Outlook who is giving away a free iPod Nano. Yes a free iPod, and no you don’t have to buy something else to get it like all the other “get a free iPod” advertisings on their site. There is a bunch of different and easy ways to enter so check out her site to see how.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
One of the many reasons why the music industry is crumbling around itself is that all the record labels hold off the big name releases for the fall leaving the other nine months with albums that the labels have no faith in. To that point, the highest selling album of the year so far is the Soundtrack to High School Musical with a dismal just over two million copies (my data is a little old so it may not be totally accurate). Then when the labels get around to releasing all their big names over a three month span hoping to capitalize on the holiday season leading to a few big hits, but even more albums with disappointing sales because the consumer just can’t afford to buy them all. Then of course the record labels don’t blame the slump on their stupidity instead point to downloads as the problem. With that said here are a few albums that I am looking forward (or dreading) to this fall season, many of which you can look forward to me reviewing (click on band name to find music on iTunes, click on the album name to pre-order from Amazon and feel free to tell me what you are looking forward to in the comment section):
5th Audioslave - Revelations: I just review this album yesterday, scroll down to check that out.
Beyoncé - B-Day: Like I mentioned in my VMA post, it’s not a good sign when you have to rush out a second single before the album drops. Beyoncé and her group were always good for two or three great songs per album, but after the last Destiny’s Child tanked, and two poorly received singles the Beyoncé era may be over. At least her movie Dreamgirls is getting good buzz. Look for a review shortly.
12th John Mayer - Continuum: I’ve already heard the album and it features studio versions of a few songs from his live Trio album and a Hendrix cover. Where Heavier Things was his decent into the blues, Continuum is Mayer’s stab at soul music.
Justin Timberlake - FutureSex/LoveSounds: From the two songs he performed at the VMA’s, it look like this will suck like his previous work. Although Rick Rubin produced one track, the album closer Another Song and that has me intrigued a little bit. (Okay, just heard the album, it's not Paris Hilton bad, but one of the worst I've heard lately, look for a review next week.)
Lionel Richie - Coming Home: Richie has always been better at producing hits than child rearing, and from what I’ve heard from the album, he’s back to top form except when lesser producers bring down the album.
19th Clay Aiken (A Thousand Different Ways) and Fergie (Dutchess) both release album, place your bets now on which one will suck more.
26th “Weird Al” Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood: Look for a “Weird Al” themed Lyric Quiz this month in honor of the album.
3rd The Killers - Sam’s Town: Lofty expectation considering how lead singer Brandon Flowers brought out the Bruce Springsteen comparison. For the songs I’ve heard so far it sounds like more of the same.
Evanescence - The Open Door: Word has it that the departed Ben Moody was the driving force behind the band, so it will interesting where Amy Lee takes the band. By the sound of the new single, it doesn’t sound like the band will deviate from past success.
Jet - Shine On: yet another band trying to avoid the sophomore slump after their first disk delivered some of the best rock songs of 2004.
10th Robert Randolph - Colorblind: One of the best guitarists of the current generation looks for his breakout hit. Look for guest spot from Dave Matthews and a decent guitarist in his own right Eric Clapton.
17th Sarah McLachlan - Wintersong: One of the few Christmas albums that I’m aware of that will be released this season. Look for Christmas standards like Little Town of Bethlehem and The First Noel as well as John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over).
Diddy - Press Play: Diddy says he named the album because it is an album you can press play and never have to skip a song. But after hearing the first single with the chick from the Pussycat Dolls there will be at least one song I’d skip.
24th John Legend - Once Again: Legend put out on of the few R&B records of this decade worth listening to. But since then he won the dreaded Best New Artist Grammy. To prepare for the new album, Legend listened to a lot of The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Sufjan Stevens and brought back Kanye West to produce the album along with Will.i.am Raphael Saadiq.
Brooke Hogan - Undiscovered: I really hope this is a joke and won’t happen. This will essentially Paris Hilton take 2.
31st Meat Loaf - Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose: You know you’ll like it even if you won’t admit it.
TBA Natalie MacMaster - Yours Truely: I really don't know much about this artist, but it comes reccomended by Russ.
7th Nas - Hip-Hop Is Dead: Although a legend in the rap game, Nas rarely gets the commercial respect he deserves. This may be the album that gets him back on the radar with production by Kanye West Will.i.am and Dr. Dre.
Talib Kweli - Ear Drum: An hopefully an album that will prove that rap is actually not dead. Look for for production from Kanye West and Just Blaze as well as an appearence from Grammy winner Norah Jones.
21st Snoop Dogg - Red Carpet Treatment: Snoop is always good for a club banger or two so hopefully this album will have a few
TBA - Maroon 5: The band’s first album was top-heavy with a bunch of hits but the rest was basically filler, will have to wait to see if the band can make a whole album this time.
For all you karaoke fans, this is your season for crappy music as aside from the previously mentioned Aiken, you can expect bland albums from Rubin Studdard (The Return 9/26), Fantasia (TBA 11/7), Taylor Hicks (TBA 11/14), and Katharine McPhee (late November) and even though the band hasn’t even chosen a singer yet, Supernova has a release date of 11/21. And for my readers that have yet to go through puberty yet, there is not one, but two High School Musical alums (Vanessa Ann Hudgens - V 9/26; Ashley Tisdale - TBA) that will be releasing albums in time for Christmas. Start bugging your parents now.
Also for all you music fans out there, the latest edition to my "Blogs I Read" list, Culture Bully is hold a CD giveaway for everyday in September. For those keeping track at home, that thirty CD's up for grabs (but you can only win once), so hop over there to see what albums you can choose from today and the complete rules.
Some television shows have already started but my Fall TV season doesn’t start up until the 14th. Here’s a revised look at what I’ll tentatively be watching this year since some shows have since switched times or days since I last made my schedule, including their premiere date (feel free to tell me what you're watching in the comment section).
8:30 - How I Met Your Mother (9/18 CBS)
9:00 - Heroes (9/25 NBC)
10:00 - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (9/18 NBC)
9:00 - Veronica Mars (10/3 CW)
9:00 - Kings of Prosperity (10/17 ABC)
11:00 - Ice-T’s Rap School (10/17 VH1 - most likely will catch repeats)
8:00 - Jericho (9/20 CBS)
9:00 - Lost (10/4 ABC)
8:00 - Survivor:
8:00 - Smallville (9/28 CW)
8:00 - My Name Is Earl (9/22 NBC)
9:00 - Supernatual (9/28 CW)
7:00 - Everybody Hates Chris (10/1 CW)
9:00 - America’s Next Top Model (9/20 CW)