Monday, January 27, 2014

Grammy Recap 2014-- Cause there's so much on my mind....

I just finished watching the Grammy's, and overall I wasn't as impressed with performances as I thought I would be. The show itself evoked so many thoughts and feelings that when all was said and done with the show that ran over by about 45 minutes, I decided I needed to get everything done on paper.

It all started with an intoxicating performance of Drunkin' Love by Beyonce and her love Jay Z (they've been dubbed Jayonce online by fans). What more can I say, the voice, the body, Beyonce was ridiculous and in a good way. I loved the chemistry onstage between the two of them... I loved this performance, one of my overall favorites of the night.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won for Best New Artist. This award is always a toss up and by no means does winning it secure your career. However they also won Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song. I can deal with them winning Best Rap Song and if I must, Best Rap Performance, but I cannot deal with them winning Best Rap Album. I strongly believe that award belonged to Drake's Nothing Was the Same. That album was aggressive and vulnerable from start to finish.

I thought Lorde's performance of Royals was anemic at best. I was looking forward to seeing her perform live and it was disappointing, the vocals just weren't there, and therefore every award she picked up tonight just annoyed me.

Hunter Haye's debuted his new single Invisible inspired by the fact that he was bullied as a child. The vocals were strong, the performance was strong, and so was the message.

Best Pop Duo Performance was an award that I wish could have been given to everyone in the category, what an amazing group of performances. Each of them perfectly details what 2013 was all about-- Just Give Me a Reason by Pink and Nate Ruess, Stay by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I., Suit & Tie by Justin Timberlake and Jay Z, and winners in this category Daft Punk and Pharrell for the song Get Lucky.

Katy Perry gave a bewitching performance of Dark Horse that was only enhanced with Juicy J from Three 6 Mafia. The song is a little bit frivolous but it's fun nonetheless.

Keith Urban performed his hit Cop Car with help from newcomer Gary Clark Jr.; this was an awesome performance.  The guitar parts were particularly well done. I think what highlighted it was that it was preceded by a rather boring performance by Chicago and Robin Thicke (he's just not as good live as he sounds on a recording).

John Legend gave a classy performance of the song All of Me which he says he wrote for his fiance. The performance received a standing ovation. I didn't see many of those over the course of the night. (standing ovations= Pink, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis... did I miss any?)

Best Rock Song-- Cut Me Some Slack (cut me some... cause I am moving on, never heard the song.....) Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl

Taylor Swift gave a strong performance of All Too Well off her Red album (which should have won for album of the year, we'll talk more about that later). I loved seeing her sit at the piano and commit so fully to the performance as she always does. She connected with the audience, loved it.

I love Pink, no lie, but I didn't get why she replayed the acrobats of flying above the crowd, she did this before and now doing it again, it just didn't seem special to me anymore. She should have just come out and sang Try and then Nate Ruess could have come out and joined her as he did for Just Give Me a Reason. Their vocals soared when they started singing together.

Then.... powerhouse Arianna Grande and soulful Miguel presented a shy Lorde with her Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance.

Ringo Starr gave a forgettable performance of Photograph. I enjoyed his performance with Paul McCartney more.

Jamie Foxx came onstage and talked about how amazing Beyonce was and told Jay Z how lucky he was before presenting him and Justin Timberlake (not present) with the award for Best Rap/ Sung Collaboration for Holy Grail.

Kendrick Lemar and Imagine Dragons did one of those famous Grammy mash-ups with their songs M.A.A.D. City and Radioactive. This was one of the most well like performances of the night and although I enjoy both of these artists individually, I did not enjoy them together. I like the idea, but I would have preferred for each artist to perform separately.

This was followed by two quick performances...

One by Kacey Musgraves who seems to be taking Country music by storm.....

And then Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr proved that age is nothing but a number, and that real talent never dies.

Following these two performances, something amazing happened! Gloria Estefan and Marc Anthony came out to present the award for Best Pop Vocal Album, and wouldn't you know it, the person who won actually did deserve it. Bruno Mars won for Unorthodox Jukebox.

One of the best performances of the night came from four men who sing country music and they brought down the house with a medley of songs-- Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, and Blake Shelton showed some of these other performers how it perform on Grammy night.

Remember how I just said Kacey Musgraves is taking country by storm? Well she won Best Country Album for Same Trailer Different Park.

Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, and Stevie Wonder gave a disappointing performance of Get Lucky. The vocals were shaky and it lacked the inspiration from the original, I was impressed, especially considering that they won several awards on Grammy night.

Also a disappointment to me was the duet between Carole King and Sara Bareilles of her song Brave. The two just didn't seem believe and therefore I didn't believe.

Song of the Year went to Royals by Lorde which should have been in this category, but I don't think it should have necessarily won. The real winner here should have been Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Thumbs down to Metallica for a lackluster performance; at this point, they're outdated.

Steven Tyler and Smokey Robinson presented a surprised Daft Punk and Pharrell with their Record of the Year Grammy for Get Lucky.

Perhaps the most thought evoking, inspirational, and emotional performance of the night went to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for Same Love. How beautiful it was to listen to the words and understand and feel through the lyrics what others go through. Their reality is not always great, but we can rise above as individuals and as a society if we so choose. By the time that the 30+ couples were married by Queen Latifah there was not a dry eye in the house, and people were holding hands believing all this could be a reality.

When Will I Be Loved by The Everly Brothers served as the "In Memoriam" song for this year and was sung by Billie Joe Armstrong and Miranda Lambert, an unlikely pairing.

Alicia Keys, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison present Album of the Year to Daft Punk for Random Access Memories. To me, this was an unjustified win though. Album of the Year indicates the whole body of work from start to finish and while Daft Punk had perhaps the song of  the year along with Blurred Lines, they did not produce a body of work that was equally as stunning. Taylor Swift should have won for reinventing herself in Red and producing track after track that displayed falling in love, the bad break up, having fun with friends, and imagining the future. An argument could have also been made for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' breakout album The Heist and Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City by rap genius Kendrick Lemar.

Closing with show with a performance I don't even remember anymore was Queens of the Stone Age, Nine Inch Nails, Lindsey Buckingham, and Dave Grohl. How good could it have been?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Golden Globe Fashions-- Who Sparkled on the Red Carpet?

And now, five days later than I wanted it to be, and without further ado, I present my best dressed list from the 2014 Golden Globe Awards. I will do it in no particular order, and as always, I will not discuss those whose dresses did not hit the mark, those who near missed, and those who missed all together. This will be a positive list--- seven strong and sexy women who sparkled at the Globes.

Now, those who read this blog know that I am not a big fan of Sofia Vergara. Unlike most, her accent is not cute to me. However, I must admit that her dress and accessories were amazing for the Globes. In a sophisticated full black Zac Posen princess style gown, Sofia dared to add a pop or color with an aqua colored Lorainne Schwartz necklace.

Not many people talked about Sofia's costar Julie Bowen, but I will. Julie made a daring choice and it paid off big time. I love the color blocking going on in this Carolina Herrera gown. It looks like two pieces, but it's really one, and it's done seamlessly. I especially love the detail at her waist and how it's a slightly different color than the top and bottom. Her hair is also effortlessly light looking, the style suits her.

Cate Blanchett was elegant in Armani Prive. The detail in the dress is exquisite, especially around the neck. What I like most about the dress is the sheer quality to it, there's also a sheen that makes her sparkle.

What pickle? I really want to know who called the beautiful Olivia Wilde a pickle. I loved her Gucci dress, and I always thinks it's a brave when a woman who is with child attends an event like this. I love this shade of green on her, and I love that the dress is still sexy. I love her curves and I love the simplicity of her hair, it works well with the dress, and did anyone see those heels?

Simple and classic, I could almost always describe Reese Witherspoon this way. She did not fair to impress this year with a light turquoise colored Calvin Klein Collection gown. What I liked even more than Reese's dress was her new hairdo. She looks normal, I think the average woman can look at Reese here and aspire to look like that.

Looking modern Ava Gardner-esque, Kate Beckinsale was flawless at 40 in a Zuhair Murad gown. I can't even believe she's 40; look at her beautiful skin, she is glowing! What do I love about this dress? The detail, the metallic quality of it, the color is gorgeouis (my word for gorgeous!) with her skin and hair color, I also love the way it flares at the bottom. To be honest, this dress and Julianna's dress (up next!) were my two favorite of the night.

Forever the epitome of true beauty defined, Julianna Margulies was a vision in a black Andrew Gn dress with metallic gold detail at the bottom and the shoulders. The gold detail in the dress, along with the earrings, and her side swept bangs really make the look complete. I feel like those are the parts of this look that made it come together. Julianna understands style, but more importantly, she understands well, what looks good on her. This was my other favorite look of the night.

On to the Grammy's and Oscar's! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Ultimate Playlist for 2013: All My Favorite Songs (I refuse to leave any out)

2013 was a year full of comebacks: Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry. It was a year for newcomers: Imagine Dragons and Lorde. Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Beyonce continued to dominate for the ladies. On the men's side, Bruno Mars and Drake ruled showing that vulnerability was charming. Country continued to climb as a results of artists like Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Hunter Hayes, and Blake Shelton (despite his absence from my playlist). Pink had such a breakout year, her single Just Give Me a Reason was proof to anyone who didn't think she was the real deal that she in fact is. Robin Thicke is someone that also enjoyed a break out year with that huge hit called Blurred Lines. Everything Pharrell touched in 2013 turned to gold and he had two monster hit, Blurred Lines and Get Lucky.  Miley Cyrus and Chris Brown both made the news for their talent as well as some negativity that surrounded them. Lady Gaga made a comeback, but it wasn't as big as many hoped. Hayley Williams made a comeback and it was bigger than she imagined; she had two hits one with breakout artist Zedd, Stay the Night, and one with her group Paramore, Still Into You. Selena Gomez bounced back after a breakup with Justin Bieber and declared her independence and single status with the single Come & Get It, and Kelly Clarkson was "stronger" than ever, personally and vocally after getting married and later announcing she was with child releasing a single that she says is her favorite called People Like Us. Later in the year, Clarkson also released a Holiday album, and it was beautiful. Christina Aguilera returned to The Voice in shape and back and better than ever with the song Say Something; she showed a different side of herself and I loved it. The end of the year saw Timberlake, Mars, and Imagine Dragons looking forward to music awards season. It also had Beyonce releasing a self titled album in the middle of the night to itunes; it became one of the biggest selling albums of 2013 in a matter of hours.

1. 22-- Taylor Swift
2. Blurred Lines-- Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell and T.I.
3. Body Party-- Ciara featuring Future
4. Closer-- Tegan and Sara
5. Come & Get It-- Selena Gomez
6. Counting Stars-- OneRepublic
7. Crash My Party-- Luke Bryan
8. Crooked Smile-- J. Cole featuring TLC
9. Cruise-- Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly
10. Do What You Want-- Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly
11. Fine China-- Chris Brown
12. Get Lucky-- Daft Punk featuring Pharrell
13. Heart Attack-- Demi Lovato
14. Hold On We're Going Home-- Drake
15. I Want Crazy-- Hunter Hayes
16. Just Give Me a Reason-- Pink! featuring Nate Ruess from fun.
17. Love Somebody-- Maroon 5
18. Mirrors-- Justin Timberlake
19. The Other Side-- Jason Derulo
20. People Like Us-- Kelly Clarkson
21. Radioactive-- Imagine Dragons
22. Roar-- Katy Perry
23. Royals-- Lorde
24. Say Something-- A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera
25. Stay-- Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko
26. Stay the Night-- Zedd featuring Hayley Williams from Paramore
27. Still Into You-- Paramore
28. Suit & Tie-- Justin Timberlake featuring Jay-Z
29. Treasure-- Bruno Mars
30. Unconditionally-- Katy Perry
31. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together-- Taylor Swift
32. Wrecking Ball-- Miley Cyrus
33. XO-- Beyonce

Sunday, January 12, 2014

So Much to Say.....

I've been out of commission for a while. The holidays working in retail will do that to you. I spent a little over a month sick. I count only two other times in my life that I have been that sick before. Even now, I am not 100%, won't be for a while I don't think. Last time I wrote, The Voice was done to the final five. Only one out of the three finalists really deserved to be there, and luckily, she won The Voice. It should have been Tessanne Chin, Cole Vosbury, and James Wolpert. I found the finale entertaining overall, but those three stood out throughout the finale despite the fact that two of them weren't even finalists.

I'm super excited to say that American Idol starts up again this Wednesday with Jennifer Lopez back on the judging panel after a season away, Keith Urban returning from last season, and Harry Connick Jr., who was a guest mentor on the show joining the judges panel. Season 13 should be without question, one of the best season's Idol has seen in a few years.

The Bachelor is back. Juan Pablo is kinda superficial and dumb which should make for an entertaining season.

The Winter Olympics start on February 6th in Sochi, Russia. I am going to be so busy writing, I won't know what to do with myself.

Tonight, the Golden Globes, yes, award season is back!

Here are my predictions (let's see how I do!)--

Best Picture Drama: Gravity
Best Actress Drama: Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Best Actor Drama: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Picture Comedy or Musical: American Hustle
Best Actress Comedy or Musical: Amy Adams, American Hustle
Best Actor Comedy or Musical: Christian Bale, American Hustle or Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Best Animated Feature: Frozen
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Supporting Actor: Bradley Cooper, American Hustle or Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Director: David O. Russell, American Hustle
Best Screenplay: Her
Best Original Score: Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave
Best TV Series, Drama: The Good Wife
Best Actress TV Drama: Julianna Murgulies, The Good Wife
Best Actor TV Drama: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Best TV Series, Comedy: Modern Family
Best Actress TV Comedy: Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Best Actor TV Comedy: Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Best TV Miniseries or Made for TV Movie: American Horror Story: Coven
Best Actress in a Miniseries or Made for TV Movie: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Best Actor in a Miniseries or Made for TV Movie: Anyone in the Category! (This category is almost like a "free space" in Bingo)
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Made for TV Movie: Monica Potter, Parenthood
Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Made for TV Movie: Josh Charles, The Good Wife or Jon Voight, Ray Donovan