Pop Culture

Grammy “Predictions”

Each year I try to predict how the Academy will choose it’s winner, but the is year I’m 26 and have discovered that there is literally no predicting anything. Not the weather, and definitely not the Academy.

So this year I’m just going to to go with my heart and choose who I want to win the awards. (and you can pretty much assume if T. Swift is nominated, I want her to win.) I didn’t choose for the awards of music I didn’t listen to…obviously. Some of the awards I have attached reasons I want them to win…some of them I didn’t.

Record Of The Year
• Really Love — D’Angelo And The Vanguard
• Uptown Funk — Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
• Thinking Out Loud — Ed Sheeran
• Blank Space — Taylor Swift
• Can’t Feel My Face — The Weeknd

If we give them a Grammy will the song go away? I like it (not as much as I liked the bottom three nominees), and it was good the first 400 billion times I heard it, but now I find myself switching stations when it comes on. But, the fact that I’ve hear it upwards of 400 billion times has got to count for something. 

Album Of The Year
• Sound & Color —  Alabama Shakes
• To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar
• Traveller —  Chris Stapleton
• 1989 — Taylor Swift
• Beauty Behind The Madness — The Weeknd

The Academy is so random when they choose their winners. I can’t actually decide how they choose? Commercial success? Critical success? Relevancy? I’m actually convinced they just put all the names in a hat and draw from it. Yes, all of the albums are good, but none of them had the selling power of 1989, nor did any of the rest of them produce as many singles as 1989.

Song Of The Year
• Alright —  Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
• Blank Space — Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift, songwriters
(Taylor Swift)
• Girl Crush — Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters
(Little Big Town)
• See You Again — Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
• Thinking Out Loud — Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge, songwriters
(Ed Sheeran)

I love Ed Sheeran, and I loved See You Again…but Blank Space is one of the best written, most clever, and creative songs to be written in a long time.

Best New Artist
• Courtney Barnett
• James Bay
• Sam Hunt
• Tori Kelly
• Meghan Trainor

This one, for me, is kind of a toss up between Megan Trainer and Tori Kelly. Megan Trainer writes some pretty catchy songs, but Tori Kelly is a pretty much undiscovered powerhouse.

Best Pop Solo Performance
• Heartbeat Song — Kelly Clarkson
• Love Me Like You Do — Ellie Goulding
• Thinking Out Loud — Ed Sheeran
• Blank Space — Taylor Swift
• Can’t Feel My Face — The Weeknd

Be still my heart.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
• Ship To Wreck — Florence + The Machine
• Sugar — Maroon 5
• Uptown Funk — Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars
• Bad Blood — Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar
• See You Again — Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth

I actually like the Taylor Swift not featuring Kendrick Lamar version better. And this is my favorite Maroon 5 song since their Hands All Over album. 

Best Pop Vocal Album
• Piece By Piece — Kelly Clarkson
• How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful — Florence + The Machine
• Uptown Special — Mark Ronson
 • 1989 — Taylor Swift
• Before This World — James Taylor

Best Dance Recording
• We’re All We Need — Above & Beyond Featuring Zoë Johnston
• Go — The Chemical Brothers
• Never Catch Me —  Flying Lotus Featuring Kendrick Lamar
• Runaway (U & I) — Galantis
• Where Are Ü Now — Skrillex And Diplo With Justin Bieber

Give the Biebs a Grammy!

Best Rap Performance
• Apparently —  J. Cole
• Back To Back — Drake
• Trap Queen — Fetty Wap
• Alright — Kendrick Lamar
• Truffle Butter —  Nicki Minaj Featuring Drake & Lil Wayne
• All Day — Kanye West Featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney

Full disclosure: I only listen to Drake.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
• One Man Can Change The World — Big Sean Featuring Kanye West & John Legend
• Glory —  Common & John Legend
• Classic Man — Jidenna Featuring Roman GianArthur
• These Walls — Kendrick Lamar Featuring Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat
• Only —  Nicki Minaj Featuring Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown

This song made it onto my ultimate summer 2015 playlist

Best Rap Song
• All Day — Ernest Brown, Tyler Bryant, Sean Combs, Mike Dean, Rennard East, Noah Goldstein, Malik Yusef Jones, Karim Kharbouch, Allan Kyariga, Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Victor Mensah, Charles Njapa, Che Pope, Patrick Reynolds, Allen Ritter, Kanye West, Mario Winans & Cydel Young, songwriters
(Kanye West Featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom & Paul McCartney)
• Alright — Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
• Energy — Richard Dorfmeister, A. Graham, Markus Kienzl, M. O’Brien, M. Samuels & Phillip Thomas, songwriters
(Drake)
• Glory — Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith & John Stephens, songwriters
(Common & John Legend)
• Trap Queen — Tony Fadd & Willie J. Maxwell, songwriters
(Fetty Wap)

Side note: WHY DO YOU NEED NINETEEN SONGWRITERS FOR ONE SONG! If it takes that many people to make it work…you should just give it up!

Best Rap Album
• 2014 Forest Hills Drive —  J. Cole
• Compton —  Dr. Dre
• If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late — Drake
• To Pimp A Butterfly — Kendrick Lamar
• The Pinkprint — Nicki Minaj

Best Country Solo Performance
• Burning House — Cam
• Traveller — Chris Stapleton
• Little Toy Guns — Carrie Underwood
• John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 — Keith Urban
• Chances Are — Lee Ann Womack

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
• Stay A Little Longer — Brothers Osborne
• If I Needed You — Joey+Rory
• The Driver — Charles Kelley, Dierks Bentley & Eric Paslay
• Girl Crush — Little Big Town
• Lonely Tonight — Blake Shelton Featuring Ashley Monroe

Boy can Charles Kelly sing.

Best Country Song
• Chances Are — Hayes Carll, songwriter
(Lee Ann Womack)
• Diamond Rings And Old Barstools — Barry Dean, Luke Laird & Jonathan Singleton, songwriters (Tim McGraw)
• Girl Crush — Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters
(Little Big Town)
• Hold My Hand — Brandy Clark & Mark Stephen Jones, songwriters
(Brandy Clark)
• Traveller — Chris Stapleton, songwriter
(Chris Stapleton)

Pretty clever. 

Best Country Album
• Montevallo — Sam Hunt
• Pain Killer — Little Big Town
• The Blade — Ashley Monroe
• Pageant Material — Kacey Musgraves
• Traveller — Chris Stapleton

Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
• Empire: Season 1
• Fifty Shades Of Grey
• Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
• Pitch Perfect 2
• Selma

They incorporated Mmmbop, how can I not choose them?

Best Song Written For Visual Media
• Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey) — Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville & Abel Tesfaye, songwriters (The Weeknd)
• Glory — Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith & John Stephens, songwriters (Common & John Legend)
• Love Me Like You Do — Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Tove Nilsson, Ali Payami & Ilya Salmanzadeh, songwriters (Ellie Goulding)
• See You Again — Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
• Til It Happens To You — Lady Gaga & Diane Warren, songwriters (Lady Gaga)

I did not cry in the back of the theater of AN ACTION MOVIE or nothing.

Best Music Video
• LSD — ASAP Rocky
• I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) — The Dead Weather
• Alright — Kendrick Lamar
• Bad Blood — Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar
• Freedom — Pharrell Williams

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#BeachHouse2015

I woke at the beach this morning. With the waves crashing outside, and the smell of the sea breeze filling the room.

And it was good.

It’s my favorite week of the year.
No deadlines.
No alarm clocks.
No boyfriend drama.
Just me and my best friends hanging out in a seaside beach house.

1. The Saltwater Room — Owl City Ocean Eyes
“What will it take to make or break this hint of love? So tell me darling, do you wish we’d fall in love? All the time.”

2. I Want You To Know — Zedd Feat. Selena Gomez True Colors
“I’m better under your reflection. But did you know that’s anybody else that’s met ya. It’s all the same glow.”

3. Heartbeat — Mat Kearney Just Kids
“Ain’t bringing you no games. Ain’t leaning on no cliches. If you’re sharing my bed then baby you share my name.”

4. Feeling A Moment — Feeder Pushing the Senses
“Don’t fall apart, don’t let it go. Carry the notion, carry the notion back to me.”

5. Red Camaro —  Keith Urban Fuse
“Somewhere, somebody tonight is falling in love.”

6. Want to Want Me — Jason Derulo Everything is Four
“There’s nothing I wouldn’t do, just to get up next to you.”

7. Ghost — Ella Henderson (Single)
“I keep going to the river to pray ’cause I need something that can wash out the pain.”

8. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough — Marvin Gaye Guardians of The Galaxy
“Just call my name; I’ll be there in a hurry. You don’t have to worry.” 

9. Rewind Repeat — Martin Garrix Feat. Ed Sheeran (Single)
“Stay for the night. Call it what you want. And I’ll compromise to have you in my arms.”

10. Someday — Joe Brooks A Reason To Swim
“Someday, I’m gonna put a smile on that pretty face. Someway, we’ll still be dancing’ when we’re old & we’re gray.”

11. Imagine It Was Us — Jessie Ware Tough Love
“I don’t know if this is love, but I think it’s worth a try.”

12. Crave – Parachute (Single)
“G
onna find somebody, find somebody to love. I try but I’m always running. Can’t stop running. End up being alone.”

13. New Romantics — Taylor Swift 1989
“Cause baby, I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me.”

14. Sugar — Maroon 5 V
“I don’t wanna be needing your love. I just wanna be deep in your love. And it’s killing me when you’re away.”

15. Lost Without You — Hanson Anthem
“I can’t believe this moment. You’ve got your eyes locked on me. In my head I think it must be a mistake.                                  But my heart says, take your chances.”

16. Time After Time — Quietdrive When All That’s Left Is You
“If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me. Time after time. If you fall, I will catch you, I’ll be waiting. Time after time.”

17. Jealous — Nick Jonas Nick Jonas
“Protective or possessive, yeah. Call it passive or aggressive.”

18. Budapest — George Ezra Wanted On Voyage
“Give me one good reason why I should never make a change. And baby if you hold me then all of this will go away.”

19. F.N.T. — Semisonic Great Divide
“I’m surprised that you’ve never been told before that you’re lovely. And you’re perfect. And that somebody wants you.”

20. Shut Up And Dance — Walk the Moon Talking is Hard
“Oh don’t you dare look back. Just keep your eyes on me.”

21. Honey, I’m Good — Andy Grammer Magazines or Novels
“Gotta be like oh, baby, no, baby, you got me all wrong, baby. My baby’s already got all of my love.”

22. Sandcastles — Kate Voegele Gravity Happens
“I’d rather make sandcastles instead of these wide world decisions. I don’t have a plan at all, but I got this six string religion.”

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You are my fire, the one desire. Believe when I say, I want it that way.

The time has come for me to make a confession. This is a big one guys, so I need all of your support.

Okay…

Here it goes….

…theBackstreetBoysarebetterthanNSYNC

There. I said it. I feel so much better now.

I spent the majority of my adolescent life arguing the exact opposite. I was team NSYNC all the way (don’t get me wrong, I still liked the Backstreet Boys. I owned all of their CDs and, of course, had a favorite ‘boy’, and it was Brian Littrell!). But the time has come for me to admit the truth. The Backstreet Boys are the better band. Listen, NSYNC was good (and I would for sure sell a kidney to buy tickets if they were to ever go on a reunion tour. No questions asked). They were good at being a boy band. Their songs were fun and uptempo, and their concerts were crazy parties (speaking from a 2001 experience), and JT is arguably the most talented man in the biz right now…but the Backstreet Boys had better songs. Better love songs, better fun songs, just all around better songs. They are also more genuine, I feel. Not that NSYNC wasn’t, but it was more of a show for them. It was always about the show and the entrainment value for NSYNC, but BSB can saaaaanng.

I came to this realization while attending a Backstreet Boys concert two weeks ago, and it was possibly the most fun concert of my entire life. It was like I was 14 again, and it was awesome.

 

Me, Megan, Whitley and Warren!

Me, Megan, Whitley and Warren!

 

The Backstreet Boys are just better. And that’s all. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

Any way, below you will find some of my favorite Backstreet Boys songs spanning all 7 of their albums released in the US (plus that one Greatest Hits). I will even color-code them for you!

Backstreet Boys    Millennium    Black & Blue    The Hits: Chapter 1    Never Gone    Unbreakable

This Is Us    In A World Like This 

1. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) 

2. Helpless When She Smiles

3. The One

4. Bye Bye Love

5. Incomplete

6. Drowning

7. I Want It That Way

8. Soldier

9. Back to Your Heart

10. As Long As You Love Me

11. Something That I Already Know

12. More Than That

13. We’ve Got It Goin’ On

14. Shape of My Heart

15. I Still…

16. Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)

17. It’s Gotta Be You

18. What Makes You Different (Makes You Beautiful)

19. All I have To Give

20. Larger Than Life

21. Just Want You to Know

22. Madeleine

*BONUS*

21. That’s What She Said

22. Satellite

Listen to the complete playlist here.

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Every step brings you closer to the edge

Fruitvale Station. FVS

Does this sound familiar to anyone? No? It didn’t me either. To be honest when I rented the movie, all I knew about it was that it had Michael B. Jordan in it, and that it had won a bunch of awards at Sundance (not that I cared much about that, I was only interested in MBJ). That’s it. I literally had zero idea what the plot was, I didn’t know that Octavia Spencer was in it, or whether it was even in english. That is how little I knew about it.

And now, I can’t stop thinking about it.

This movie revealed two hard truths to me this weekend:

#1.) I am scarily unobservant.

#2.) Humanity is not as honorable as I like to think.

For those of you out of the loop, like I was, the movie is based on the true story of Oscar Grant. Grant was shot and killed by a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) officer on the platform in Fruitvale station in the early morning hours of January 1, 2009. He was 22-years-old, and had a four-year-old daughter. Grant was shot in front of dozens of BART passengers, many of which recorded the incident with their camera phones.

In the movie we see that Oscar Grant is flawed. He cheated on his serious, long-term girlfriend and the mother of his daughter. We see that he is into drugs. We see that he has done jail time. And we see that he has violent tendencies. But we also see that he is tender, charismatic, and trying to do better. He is painted as a young adult trying to figure out his troubled life.

In full disclosure, the movie is obviously biased. I’m not saying that the point of the movie is wrong or right, but they obviously had an agenda. Which is fine. It’s a dramatization, not a documentary, it’s allowed to interpret things however it wants.

After watching the movie (and crying like a little girl) I was curious to see the real parts of this story. So I did some research.  I watched all the direct evidence videos, and read all the court documents, and read lots of other articles on the subject matter, and my personal opinion is that Oscar Grant was executed.

And here’s why…

I think that it’s kind of ridiculous to think that said officer intended to taser Grant, but actually shot him. Aren’t guns generally a lot heavier than tasers? And, do they not have a safety feature that you would have to intentionally turn off to use? Also, I would assume that if you are an officer, you are trained to have your gun and your taser on separate sides of your utility belt? And to know which side is which? If we have officers out there who can make a mix-up of this magnitude, we are all in trouble.

Also, Grant was unarmed, and already restrained. And from eyewitness accounts seemed to be fairly cooperative, unless taunted into being otherwise.

And to pull the racism card, Grant was an African-American male, and they are generally treated unfairly (I would assume this is even more true in the Oakland area). It is a recurring theme if you look into police brutality; you will see African-American males being beating, singled out, and treated unfairly. Racism still exists, and I think it would be foolish to not let that play a part in this tragedy. Even if the officer wasn’t racist, I still think it was a racist act (does that make sense). Let me put it this way, if this was a group of Caucasian kids on a subway in Maryland do you think anyone would have ended up fatally shot?

I think the officer in question should have been punished to the full extent of the law. If the situation was reversed and the officer was African-American, and had fatally shot a Caucasian kid, do you think he would have received the same punishment? My guess is no. He would have most likely been severely punished, and not be made to serve just 11 months for involuntary manslaughter. If this was an isolated incident, my instincts might be to be a bit more lenient. But police brutality occurs on a weekly (if not daily) basis (do the research, the proof is there). And often goes unpunished. They are brutal because they can be. Because there are no repercussions. Where is the justice in that?

Now, back to how I learned how incredibly unobservant I am. This incident was presented and discussed in several media outlets. And I hadn’t heard a single thing about it. It was on the national news, on Youtube, and in magazines. Where was I? It just happened in 2009. I was old enough that I should have some recollection of it. But I can’t pull a single memory of it. And I am ashamed of that. What kind of Midwest bubble do I live in?

And people, though I want to believe they are inherently good, seem to prove just the opposite. I’m not even referring to the people involved in the incident (even though I obviously think there is some not goodness going on in them). I’m looking strictly at the people writing and commenting on this tragedy. People are hateful on both sides of the fence. Whether they believe that Oscar Grant brought this on himself, or whether they believe it was cold-blooded murder, they tend to get hateful about it. No matter which side you choose to take, the best way to win people over to your side is not to get ugly about it. In fact, when someone gets ugly in an attempt to prove their point, it often times backfires on them and it just solidifies the other persons view point. As I’ve said before, you can’t fight hate with hate.

But, don’t take my word on any of this. Watch the movie. Do some research and then make your own judgment.

(Totally trivial side note: I think this is the most shocking Oscar shut out of the year. All the leads deserve some Oscar love. I think it might have even been robbed a Best Picture nom.)

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2014 Grammy Predictions

Each year I struggle with whether I am more excited for the Grammys or for the Superbowl. This year there is not contest. I care very, very little about the Superbowl this year. [As a Chiefs fan, that is my prerogative. Current AFC West rivals Denver vs. former AFC West rivals Seattle (any ACF West team current or former is considered a rival, obviously). It’s lose-lose for me. For the record I’ll be cheering for Seattle, because there is nothing in this world that could bring me to cheer on Denver.] But I care very, very much about the Grammys (as much as someone who has no actual investment in the show or music industry can care).

I feel like this year, they might have done a fairly decent job with the nominations (minus the fact that JT wasn’t present on the list for Album of the Year). I think they manage to not choose the most obscure stuff possible, which is the norm for the Recording Academy. If you watch the show, and you keep up with music in any sense, you will most likely recognized 3/4 of the people, which is a fantastic concept!

I always like to make my picks prior to the actual give aways…because who doesn’t like to do that? Below you fill find the list of people I think will go home with the award, and people I want to/should take home the gramophone (of course you will notice I only choose winner for the awards I have interest in…because I don’t want to get involved in 0ver 80 awards). 

******I will be live-tweeting this event. You can follow me here: @mistydawnclay******

RECORD OF THE YEAR (goes to the performer)

  • Get Lucky -Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • Radioactive-Imagine Dragons
  • Royals-Lorde
  • Locked Out Of Heaven-Bruno Mars
  • Blurred LinesRobin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell

There is no way that “Blurred Lines” shouldn’t go home with this award. IT WAS THE MOST PLAYED SONG IN THE HISTORY OF EVER. And I’m hoping the academy recognizes this.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  • The Blessed Unrest -Sara Bareilles
  • Random Access Memories -Daft Punk
  • Good Kid, M.A.A.D City -Kendrick Lamar
  • The Heist -Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Red -Taylor Swift

I think that The Heist is a safe Grammy bet. I mean, it was independently released and has a “message.” It’s Grammy bait. But I think Taylor Swift should be the victor here. I mean, seriously. Did any of the rest of the nominees sell over ONE MILLION albums in a week? And did any of the other nominees have an album with more diversity? The answer is no.

SONG OF THE YEAR (goes to the writer)

  • Just Give Me A Reason -Jeff Bhasker, Pink & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Pink Featuring Nate Ruess)
  • Locked Out Of Heaven -Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine & Bruno Mars, songwriters (Bruno Mars)
  • Roar -Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin, Bonnie McKee, Katy Perry & Henry Walter, songwriters (Katy Perry)
  • Royals -Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
  • Same Love -Ben Haggerty, Mary Lambert & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

“Royals” should have this in the bag. It’s easily the most unique song and the cleverest. Which I’m pretty sure is what this award is about. I’m just fearful that the Academy will once again side with the message of “Same Love”.

BEST NEW ARTIST

  • James Blake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Ed Sheeran

I want Ed Sheeran to win. Because he is the bomb, and clearly the best artist out of this bunch, but I just don’t think it’s fair. He’s not really a new artist. Last year “A Team” was nominated for Song of the Year, and I feel like the fact that he’s been nominated before should disqualify him. With him out the running, I think Kacey Musgraves should win, but I think Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will sweep.

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE

  • Brave -Sara Bareilles
  • Royals -Lorde
  • When I Was Your Man -Bruno Mars
  • Roar -Katy Perry
  • Mirrors -Justin Timberlake

Quick fact: I want JT to win everything he’s ever nominated for.

BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

  • Get Lucky -Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • Just Give Me A Reason -Pink Featuring Nate Ruess
  • Stay -Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko
  • Blurred Lines -Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell
  • Suit & Tie -Justin Timberlake & Jay Z

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

  • Paradise -Lana Del Rey
  • Pure Heroine -Lorde
  • Unorthodox Jukebox -Bruno Mars
  • Blurred Lines -Robin Thicke
  • The 20/20 Experience The Complete Experience Justin Timberlake

This is the best they can do after snubbing him in for Album of the Year. Give JT’s comeback album some real love.

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONICA ALBUM

  • Random Access MemoriesDaft Punk
  • Settle -Disclosure
  • 18 Months -Calvin Harris
  • Atmosphere -Kaskade
  • A Color Map Of The Sun -Pretty Lights

To be totally honest, I only recognize Daft Punk and Calvin Harris. And out of those two I like Daft Punk more.

BEST ROCK ALBUM

  • 13 Black Sabbath
  • The Next Day -David Bowie
  • Mechanical Bull -Kings Of Leon
  • Celebration Day -Led Zeppelin
  • …Like Clockwork -Queens Of The Stone Age
  • Psychedelic Pill -Neil Young With Crazy Horse

So many old guys in one category. But I think no one is more true, real rock than Black Sabbath. The Kings of Leon don’t even deserve to be nominated with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

  • The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You -Neko Case
  • Trouble Will Find Me -The National
  • Hesitation Marks -Nine Inch Nails
  • Lonerism -Tame Impala
  • Modern Vampires Of The City -Vampire Weekend

I’m seeing a nostalgia win in this category. But I like Vampire Weekend more.

BEST R&B SONG

  • Best Of Me -Anthony Hamilton & Jairus Mozee, songwriters (Anthony Hamilton)
  • Love And War -Tamar Braxton, Darhyl Camper, Jr., LaShawn Daniels & Makeba Riddick, songwriters (Tamar Braxton)
  • Only One -PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton Featuring Stevie Wonder)
  • Pusher Love Girl -James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake)
  • Without Me -Fantasia Barrino, Missy Elliott, Al Sherrod Lambert, Harmony Samuels & Kyle Stewart, songwriters (Fantasia Featuring Kelly Rowland & Missy Elliot)

The truth is I have no idea who the Academy will choose, since I know none of these songs, but I do know who Stevie Wonder is, and I think his name will/should pull some votes. But once again, I ALWAYS want JT to win.

BEST R&B ALBUM

  • R&B Divas -Faith Evans
  • Girl On Fire -Alicia Keys
  • Love In The Future -John Legend
  • Better -Chrisette Michele
  • Three Kings -TGT

BEST RAP PERFORMANCE

  • Started From The Bottom -Drake
  • Berzerk -Eminem
  • Tom Ford -Jay Z
  • Swimming Pools (Drank) -Kendrick Lamar
  • Thrift Shop -Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz

Just so we are all clear, I know little to nothing about rap music. I know that I like Drake, because he seems to have feelings and in general is less offensive to me, not to mention he is incredibly attractive and also sings. But that is where my knowledge ends. I know who all of these people are, but I can’t tell you a single thing about what makes a rap song good. I do know that Jay-Z and Eminem seem to be crazy respected though…so there’s that. I’m calling it a toss up between them.

BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION

  • Power Trip -J. Cole Featuring Miguel
  • Part II (On The Run) -Jay Z Featuring Beyoncé
  • Holy Grail -Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake
  • Now Or Never -Kendrick Lamar Featuring Mary J. Blige
  • Remember You -Wiz Khalifa Featuring The Weeknd

Oh look, it’s Jay-Z vs. Jay-Z. Side note: Maybe it’s just me, but aren’t alllllll rap songs collaborations???

BEST RAP SONG

  • F***in’ Problems -Tauheed Epps, Aubrey Graham, Kendrick Lamar, Rakim Mayers & Noah Shebib, songwriters (ASAP Rocky Featuring Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar)
  • Holy Grail -Shawn Carter, Terius Nash, J. Harmon, Timothy Mosley, Justin Timberlake & Ernest Wilson, songwriters (Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl & Krist Novoselic, songwriters) (Jay Z Featuring Justin Timberlake)
  • New Slaves -Christopher Breaux, Ben Bronfman, Mike Dean, Louis Johnson, Malik Jones, Elon Rutberg, Sakiya Sandifer, Che Smith, Kanye West & Cydell Young, songwriters (Anna Adamis & Gabor Presser, songwriters)
    (Kanye West)
  • Started From The Bottom -W. Coleman, Aubrey Graham & Noah Shebib, songwriters (Bruno Sanfilippo, songwriter) (Drake)
  • Thrift Shop -Ben Haggerty & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz)

BEST RAP ALBUM

  • Nothing Was The Same -Drake
  • Magna Carta…Holy Grail -Jay Z
  • Good Kid, M.A.A.D City -Kendrick Lamar
  • The Heist -Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  • Yeezus -Kanye West

Personally I find Kanye West to be incredibly offensive. But I also recognize that everyone sees him as kind of a crazy genius. 

BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE

  • I Drive Your Truck -Lee Brice
  • I Want Crazy -Hunter Hayes
  • Mama’s Broken Heart -Miranda Lambert
  • Wagon Wheel -Darius Rucker
  • Mine Would Be You -Blake Shelton

“I Drive Your Truck” is the sentimental favorite. And I feel like “Wagon Wheel” shouldn’t be allowed because it’s not an original song. This year feel like all of the country nominees are pretty dead even this year. That’s the beauty of country music, it’s all good. These are the hardest categories for me to choose, because not only do I like them all, but I also see them all as equally likely to win.

BEST COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

  • From This Valley -The Civil Wars
  • Don’t Rush -Kelly Clarkson Featuring Vince Gill
  • Your Side Of The Bed -Little Big Town
  • Highway Don’t Care -Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
  • You Can’t Make Old Friends –Kenny Rogers With Dolly Parton

“Your Side of the Bed” is hands down the best song in this category. Buuuuut, Vince Gill has 20 Grammys, so they obviously like him.

BEST COUNTRY SONG

  • Begin AgainTaylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
  • I Drive Your Truck -Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Jimmy Yeary, songwriters (Lee Brice)
  • Mama’s Broken Heart -Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally & Kacey Musgraves, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
  • Merry Go ‘Round -Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves & Josh Osborne, songwriters (Kacey Musgraves)
  • Mine Would Be You -Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington & Deric Ruttan, songwriters (Blake Shelton)

The Academy likes Taylor, and for good reason. She embodies everything that they promote. Regardless of whether you like her or not, you can’t really deny her song writing ability (which is what this award recognizes). Also, she is the only one single writer nominated, so that should count for something. She is possibly the best writer of my generation. Also, I am partial to this song because it’s rumored to be about the love of my life, one Will Anderson.

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

  • Night Train –Jason Aldean
  • Two Lanes Of Freedom –Tim McGraw
  • Same Trailer Different Park –Kacey Musgraves
  • Based On A True Story –Blake Shelton
  • Red –Taylor Swift

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore Taylor Swift, but “Red” is not a country album. Yes, it has a few country songs on it, but in general, it’s a pretty pop album. The fact that my bffff Tara likes it is all the verification I need. Other than “Red” I think this is a solid batch of country albums, it could go to anyone, but I think the Academy is going to send Kacey Musgraves home with the award.

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A long time ago, we used to be friends

Where was Veronica Mars when I was in high school?

Okay, clearly the show existed but, why didn’t I know about it then?

I AM Veronica Mars. I would be hard-pressed to find a television character more like me. She’s incredibly witty and clever, a little bit snarky…and did I already mention that she is PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR CAPABLE OF FINDING OUT ANYTHING SHE WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT ANYTHING! Um, hello. That’s me.

I need this. I need this moment to talk about it and hope that someone is actually listening to me (because you and I both know that half the time when I’m babbling to my friends they are not really listening/don’t really understand my pain/joy). After binge-watching the whole series, I NEED THIS!

I think the first season was probably one of the best thought-out and planned seasons of television ever written. For real. Who could have predicted all of that. Not me, and I am good at predicting things. Like Veronica Mars good at predicting things (see what I did there?). Every time I thought I had it figured out, something else would happen. Same goes for season two. I thought I had it solved, and then…boom! New clue, new perpetrator. It was fantastic. On top the fantastic story lines, it also had some pretty clever dialogue. Like Gilmore Girls clever, and I appreciate that.

Then along comes season three.

So much word vomit is about to take place.

Like seriously. What?

Season three had a multitude of issues. Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it, but c’mon people. I’ve seen the fact that they had to transition from high school to college as one reason for the many flaws, but let’s not blame that. Smallville dealt with it just fine. I think the main viewing problem that season three had was that is had too many story lines. They should have kept to their already working structure of one major mystery throughout the whole season, with minor mysteries sprinkled in. This one just never felt like it had an over-arching storyline, and I didn’t like that. There were too many mediocre story arcs. I felt like none of them had the same detail as the previous seasons, and therefore didn’t have the satisfying resolution I’d grown accustom to with Veronica Mars. Stick to the murder of Dean O’Dell. Or the campus rapist. But don’t do both. That’s where they messed up.

But issue that bothers me the most is…what kind of show ends like that? It’s cruel. So unbearably cruel. I understand that a next season is not always guaranteed, so why don’t producers and writers? Unless you have a contract stating that you will, in fact, return in the fall, I feel like each season should have a nice little bow on it. For the viewers sake. Like, could we please not leave every single loose end not tied up? At least close a couple story lines. For my sake.

The election cliff-hanger (did Keith Mars go to jail? Did he win sheriff?). The Weevil cliff-hanger (like, I like him, but is he a good guy? What was he doing with the program box?). The Dick Casablancas transformation cliff-hanger (did he ever become a real human-being? He was showing remorse and emotion…he was on the right track). The “sex tape” cliff-hanger (we get to see this “resolved” in only one episode…is that a joke?) Wallace went to Africa (for real…to help the Invisible Children?). The Castle cliff-hanger (Jake Kane and all the others were surely meant to be a part of season four. Would Duncan have come back? Would the Castle have had some connection to Lilly’s murder?). The internship at the FBI (you know Veronica would have uncovered some pretty big Area 51 style secrets).

Most importantly the Logan and Veronica vs. Piz and Veronica cliff hanger.

WHY CAN’T LOGAN AND VERONICA BE TOGETHER! Seriously. Logan is so helplessly in love with Veronica. That playboy is crazy devoted to her. Why can’t she just appreciate that for what it is? Why does she feel the need to want him to be someone else. So what if he has bad-boyish tendencies? Logan is a reformed bad boy. He has anger issues, and he has promiscuity issues, but not with Veronica. Everything that Logan does is for Veronica, and she just never appreciates it. And it ticks me off. Like, makes me unreasonably mad.

Also, while we’re on the subject of Veronica’s love interests…Piz? Don’t get me wrong, I think Piz is a great guy. He’s a sweetheart, and he’s kind, and he’s adorable, but he is not Logan. And Veronica would get bored of him. The passion of Logan is just not present with Piz. And I don’t appreciate the writers tossing him in to the mix. Piz is sweet, but he does not love Veronica like Logan does. You know it, I know it, Parker knows it, Veronica and Logan know it, Piz knows it. For Heaven’s sake even, even dumb Dick Casablancas knows it. And If there had been a season four, you and I both know that Logan and Veronica would have ended up together once again. I mean, did you see the way she looked at him in the food court after he beat the crap out of that guy? Pure adoration. 

I guess I’m just going to have to wait until  March 14 to see the movie when it premieres ( it had better be showing someone in my region, or there will definitely be a road trip in my future. Dallas. Chicago. Wherever I must go, I will go). I’m already apprehensive of the movie. I mean, Veronica and  Piz are together? For 10 years? How? Veronica is a lawyer? Once again, how? But whatever. I don’t even care. I will just be pleased to see all of my favorite character back on my screen (including beloved Deputy Leo aka Schmidt!)

Also, I may or may not have heard (rumors, of course) that there is already a sequel in the works.

Que fangirl squealing!

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Duck, duck, duck, duck….goose

I am just as tired as you are about hearing about Phil Robertson. I’m not even sure why we are talking about him, to be honest. An individual’s beliefs should not even be a talking point these days. But yet, here we are in the end of 2013 STILL discussing how WE think WE are right. No matter what side you are on, you think you’re right. Which I guess is human nature…if you’re five-years old.

Here is the only problem with everything that is going on with Mr. Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty, and it has absolutely nothing to do with what he says, or the fact that he was banned from his very popular show. It has everything to do with our views on equality. Equality means that everyone has the right to do and say whatever they feel without fear of persecution. And the fact that this is a front page, top-tier news story proves just how skewed the public’s view of equality is these days.

For the record, before you judge me and stick me off to the side, and think I am some kind of hater or angry person, I just want to say that I am actually in support of same-sex relationships. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s not that I encourage it, but I think who an individual loves is none of my business. Who they love does not affect me in any way, shape, or form, so why should I try to dictate it or be offended by it? You know what offends me more than same-sex marriage? The fact that Kim Kardashian can get married for 72 days and nobody bats an eyelash at it. That is more offensive to my future marriage than Ellen and Portia being married.

If they love them, they love them and that is all there is to it. SIDE NOTE: Lots of homosexual people are actually a whole lot better at the love game than lots heterosexual people, because it’s so much more work for them than it is for heterosexuals. When you are homosexual, you have to fight to love who you love, which I think is probably a bonding factor. But when you are heterosexual, people become disposable because it’s just so darn easy.

The real problem here is that he is being criticized and condemned of hate because he expressed an opinion. It’s not that he was kicked off the show, because as a company A&E has every right to kick him off if he breached his contract or they don’t approve of something he says or does. Since A&E is not the government (I’m pretty sure), it has absolutely nothing to do with his First Amendment right. His job with A&E was an elected privilege, not a right. The problem is that having a belief or voicing a belief should not be something that is even written in a contract, or be something that can be approved or disapproved of, it should just exist.

Just as liberals are given the right to express their opinion that they agree with same-sex partnership, and they expect to be accepted, Phil Robertson has every right to disagree with them, and expect his opinion be accepted.

As a whole, the LGBT community preaches tolerance, which is a good thing. The issue that arises is that tolerance is preached, but not practiced. The LGBT community wants every one to be tolerant of their views on life and love, but they are often times intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them or has different views than them. (And I do’t mean to call them out specifically, but that is where the subject matter is at today.) Which is not okay. If you preach tolerance, you must also practice tolerance, which is putting up with stuff you don’t agree with and not crying hate every time someone says something that offends you.

Example: If you know me at all, you know that I am a little bit in love with Justin Timberlake. Okay, a “little bit” is probably a bit of a lie. I straight up adore JT. But, on his new album in the song Cabaret he has a line where he says “got you sayin’ Jesus so much it’s like we’re laying in a manger.” Um, as a Christian that is INCREDIBLY offensive to me. But do you hear me (or Christians everywhere) crying hate against JT because he is mocking Christianity? No. I either a.) ignore it, or b.) skip the song. (Just so we are all clear, this is NOT me hating on JT, I love him and I will probably never speak to you again if you try to pin JT hate on me.)

Just take a minute to think about it. Look at it from the point of, if someone on a really popular reality show revealed that they were homosexual and was then suspended indefinitely for that reason only, not because they went on a wild rant and for real slandered hate everywhere, or were caught executing heterosexual people, but they were suspended solely because they believed in homosexuality, that would be considered discrimination and people would be up-in-arms about it. Essentially this is the exact same situation, only opposite. Phil Robertson is being discriminated against because of his beliefs, and that is not okay. Discrimination is never okay, not matter the subject matter: race, sexual-orientation, religious beliefs. Doesn’t matter, not okay.

We’ve all come too far with equality to let these little things tear down everything that has been built up. I think as a whole the human race probably needs to develop some thicker skin. People are always going to say things that you find hurtful or offensive, just learn to roll with it. Also, while we’re at it, maybe we can also learn some compassion?

Here’s the big kicker,the thing that I can’t seem to wrap my head around…there are so many different channels to watch, magazines to read, and music to listen, that it just seems crazy to me that we can spend so much time arguing over something so easily avoided. If you don’t like what you see on TV, change the channel. If you don’t like what you’re reading in a magazine, put it down. If you don’t like what you’re hearing, skip the song. It sounds pretty basic and easy to me.

You cannot fight hate and discrimination with hate and discrimination.

If you want tolerance, then practice tolerance.

If you want equality, then practice equality. 

Categories: Entertainment, Everyday Happenings, Pop Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HANSON DAY 2013

Guess what I did last weekend?

Went to Tulsa with Tara! (Click here to see Tara’s blog.)

Why did Tara and I go to Tulsa last weekend, you ask?

IT WAS HANSON WEEKEND!

That’s right. Contrary to what everyone (and when I say everyone, I mean a lot of people) I’ve told this story to thinks, those Hanson boys are still around and making music. Good music. And they have a lot of crazy, cool, dedicated fans. And every year in their native land of Tulsa, Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping down the plains) they celebrate what is known as Hanson Day (May 6th, for those wondering)! Where they host lots of special events for their adoring public, all culminating with a special concert on Sunday.

This is the first year Tara and I have attended, but probably won’t be the last. Along with actually getting to see Hanson, we did a lot of other fun things. We ate a lot of food; fled from the snow in Springfield; spent a lot of money (okay, I spent a lot of money). We went to the Tulsa Zoo; interacted with the youngest Hanson brother (also known as Mac); got to be apart of the new Hanson EP (everyone be sure to listen for my lovely singing voice). We stared at some pretty chocolate; bought the pretty chocolate and then were unable to eat them because of their beauty (one week later and I have only eaten one). Oh yeah, we also saw Iron Man 3.

It was off the chain (okay, ignore that lame phrase of excitement). Here are a couple pictures (because, I mean, there was so much excitement..and then there was that sign.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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People throw rocks at things that shine

When you’re a big time celebrity people will hate on you for just about anything.  No matter what you do, you can never make people happy.

She’s too fat/she’s too skinny.

Her voice isn’t good enough/her voice is so good that it must be auto-tuned (which first off, is wrong, auto-tune isn’t what you use to make your voice better).

They never change their style of music, it all sounds the same/they’ve changed too much, they’re not the artist I liked.

She’s too pretty, must be photoshopped/gross, she’s so ugly.

Why does she always act so surprised win she wins/wow, she’s so ungrateful.

There’s just no way to win.

I’ve been hearing a lot of hate recently about Taylor Swift. Now, if you know me, you know that I basically put that girl on a pedestal. It’s not that I think she’s perfect or anything, it’s just that I adore her (I’m also fairly certain we are the same person). And I have a really hard time just standing idly by while people mock her. I probably have harder time dealing with haters than she does, but I mean, I’m not the one who’s cashing their million-dollar paychecks every week.

Now that you know I adore Taylor, you can probably guess that I am excited about her new album, RED, dropping in just a couple weeks. Like for real, I am so excited. And even though I hate it when artists release “lead-up” songs, I can’t deny that I eagerly search the internet every Monday at 9 pm (after the song releases on itunes East Coast time) to hear her new songs. I love them all. I loved “Begin Again,” and I loved “Red” and I even love this new, strange sounding song “I Knew You Were Trouble.” (yeah, the song title has a period in it). Truth be told, I will probably love every single song she releases from now until she decides she no longer wants to write songs.

But, I’ve been hearing some negative feedback. And I just get so frustrated with people. Why can’t you just LEAVE TAYLOR ALONE (yeah, that was me mocking that B-Spears video from years back). I know that Taylor doesn’t need anybody to come to her defense, but I’m going to anyway.

People are mad that she’s not country anymore. Okay, I can kind of understand this if you are a strictly country fan. If you must have your banjos and fiddles to be happy. I can understand being upset that not all of her new songs incorporate these instruments, but that is no reason to be mad at her. So she likes pop music now, big deal. When she started out she was 16-years-old, and now she’s almost 23, a lot of things can change in that time. That’s not a bad thing. She’s always been a little bit country-pop anyway (a lot contemporary country artists are these days). And honestly, I don’t think she will ever leave her country roots altogether. It’s not time to panic quite yet, country radio. We have yet to hear the whole album, and I’d be willing to bet my favorite turtle earrings that there are one or two country tracks on there. 

Another complaint I keep seeing is “she’s just changed too much.” Um, wait a second. All I ever read before was how people were tired of her because she never changed. How she was always the same, predictable and not exciting to listen to anymore. What do you want from the girl? You’re not happy when she changes, but you’re not happy when she does either? Now, that’s not really fair, is it? People have abandon artists that don’t change. The music industry abandons them and so their “fans.” In order to stay relevant she couldn’t just stay stagnant.

“Taylor Swift is not relatable anymore. All she ever sings about are her celebrity boyfriends,” –actual quote I overheard at Ralph’s yesterday. All Taylor Swift has ever sang about are her boyfriends, and now they just happen to be celebrities. She just sings about her life, it’s your probably for not being able to just listen to it without having to try to place a face to song. I relate just as well to “Enchanted” (a song written for Adam Young of Owl City) as I did to “Teardrops on my Guitar” (a songs written about a random boy named Drew) back in the day. I don’t think that’s her problem, I think it’s the fans and media’s problem with always being obsessed with who she is dating/has dated.

Okay, that’s it. I’m done with my little defensive rant. I just get so mad that people always seem to be trying to knock her down. I mean, why shouldn’t we be more endorsing of her? She’s a way better role model than Rihanna. Her songs are way better (you don’t ever hear Taylor Swift singing that “chains and whips excite” her). She’s actually wears clothing during her shows and performances (as opposed to coming out in some form of lingerie). And she’s just an all around kind person (when was that last time you heard about Rihanna giving $50,000 to a school for the deaf after a prank got out of hand? Taylor did.)  I just think there are already so many bad influences out in the world that maybe we should celebrate one of the better influences of this generation. Just an idea.

To have soooo many haters out there, she still seems to be doing alright in the world. I mean, her songs and albums still break records. And people still go to her shows. And read/watch her interviews. I guess it’s true that people throw rocks at things that shine.

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Day 29: You think you know, but you have no idea (what do you think people misunderstand most about you)

“This is the diary of Misty Clay…”

(For those of you who don’t get it, that’s from the old MTV show The Diary of… Below you will find The Diary of…Britney Spears, which happens to be one of my favorites.)

Misconception #1: that I’m stuck up or snobbish. Neither of those things are true, but I think I can sometimes come across that way because when I don’t know someone very well, I tend to be really quiet while I try to gage their personality. And usually people assume that means I think I’m better than them. Wrong.

Misconception #2: that I am unintelligent. I think this stems from the same problem, I’m just quiet. I don’t always feel the need to open my mouth during group conversations, and therefore people think I’m not very smart. Wrong. I think here in LA it also comes from the fact that I grew up in Missouri, and most of the people I’ve encountered seem to think that people from the midwest are dumb hillbillies. Wrong.

Misconception #3: that I am shy. This is not true. Any of my friends can confirm this for you. Being shy is different than being quiet. Shy people get nervous in unfamiliar situations, or when they’re with strangers. I’m don’t get nervous, I’m just observing. Or waiting until I’ve crafted the perfect words to say. I’m not shy, I just only speak when I have things to say, unlike most people who talk just for the sake of talking.

Misconception #4: because I’m a girl who likes to bake and wear dresses that I don’t know anything about sports. Wrong. It would also be wrong to assume that I’m not a teeny bit of a geek.M

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