Friday, February 27, 2015

Albums will be released on Fridays starting in the Summer

Check this out: starting in "the Summer" (they don't give a specific date. Also as an upstate New Yorker, what is this Summer they speak of? I don't remember what that is...) albums are going to be released on Friday instead of Tuesday in the United States and Canada. This is an attempt to keep piracy at bay but let's be real, it's not going to. You thought I was going to tell a Pirate Bay joke, didn't you?

Nothing will until it's off the internet. Usually albums in Europe come out on Sunday or Monday, so they're thinking if it comes out in the United States before, it'll relieve piracy? When really, it'll just be the same problem, only Europe will be getting the sloppy seconds. More details here from the AV Club.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Drummers and Why I Love Them

So Sunday was the day I saw Sleater-Kinney in the flesh for the first and probably only time I will have the opportunity and they were amazing! I mean, I know every show review I've read about them says they're great live but I always like to reserve my opinions after I actually experience it. One of the thoughts I took away from the show was, "holy shit, Janet Weiss is on point!"

She is seriously the one beat (oh! Ya see what I did there?) of Sleater-Kinney. She's the glue that's keeping everything together. In fact, here's a video from the show so you can see what I mean (hopefully I won't get in trouble for uploading this onto the internet):
Weiss and her amazingness made me think of how impressed I usually am of a good drummer. You know why? It doesn't happen very often. I think a lot of times people who form bands focus too much on the guitar, the lyrics, the voice and kind of forget about the rhythm section. While all of those aspects of a band are also important, the drummer is what makes a band stand out from everyone else, especially live. A lot of bands can play guitar and make great songs but having a good drummer is becoming the exception these days.

So when you see a band live, notice how the beat is being kept. Look out for the good drummers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

New Sufjan Stevens Single

Sufjan Stevens released his first single off of Carrie & Lowell, his new album due out in March. It's called "No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross" and you can listen to it here via Pitchfork. This sounds very Michigan and Seven Swans to me. I am pleased. (Also, holy shit, Sufjan curses in this! I don't think that's ever happened in any of his music, has it??)

While pursuing the website, I found Pitchfork did an interview with him that was published today, check it out here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

K.Flay @ Upstate Concert Hall 2.12.2015

Last night I went to a free show sponsored by a local radio station. One of my favorite local talents, Bells Roar and another local band called Titanics opened with K.Flay as the headliner. I knew very little about K.Flay coming to the show except that she made music with MC Lars for a while and was on Girls in Season Two. My boyfriend really likes her and since Bells Roar was also playing, I tagged along to check it out...and it was totally awesome! Her flow is very distinct - it reminded me a lot of that band Chronic Future in the early aught's. I also really like her lyrics and style in general. Here are some pictures from the event and a youtube video of "Can't Sleep"!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Grammy Predictions

The Grammys are tomorrow night and honestly, I don't hold too much hope for these awards because it seems like they refuse to recognize, oh I don't know, 75% of music that's out there. But I'm going to predict who will win and who should win (sometimes those answers are different!) anyway because I'm a nerd like that.

Let's start with the Rock categories because they're my favorite:

Best Rock Performance:

-Ryan Adams "Gimme Something Good"
-Arctic Monkeys "Do I Wanna Know?"
-Beck "Blue Moon"
- The Black Keys "Fever"
-Jack White "Lazaretto"

Who will win: This will probably go to either Jack White or Beck. Ryan Adams could be the dark horse and that's not because I want him to win or anything. But seriously, his album has gotten amazing reviews and it's possible he could win.

Who should win: Ryan Adams. Duh. Arctic Monkeys also should be mentioned - AM was actually a really good album and "Do I Wanna Know?" is 100% them. I'm glad they got at least nominated; it's nominations like this where I remember why I actually still kind of care about this every year.

Best Rock Song:

-Paramore "Ain't It Fun"
-Beck "Blue Moon"
-The Black Keys "Fever"
 -Ryan Adams "Gimme Something Good"
-Jack White "Lazaretto"

Who will win: Okay, before I predict, this is why this award show is flawed. Between the two rock categories I just listed, there is only one difference. Again, probably either Jack White or Beck. They might give The Black Keys a pity Grammy but I hope not. "Fever" was a great song but they don't deserve it, as much as I love them. Maybe if they gave it to them again for Brothers or El Camino, I'd be okay with it. (lol)

Who should win: You know my answer! Also yay Paramore for getting nominated! Maybe if they were nominated for "Now" or "Still into You," I'd say they should win but "Ain't It Fun"? Not Grammy worthy, sorry guys.

Best Rock Album:

-Ryan Adams Self Titled
-Beck Morning Phase
-The Black Keys Turn Blue (REALLY?! I mean I love them but this was not a good album. So because they released an album this year, they're automatically nominated? Because they're The Black Keys? That's how it works, huh?)
-Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Hypnotic Eye
-U2 Songs of Innocence (Gag. Anyone with an Apple product was able to hear it this year so it must be good, RIGHT?!)

Who will win: Tom Petty could take this. Hypnotic Eye was a great album and Petty continues to produce consistent, great music, unlike a lot of older artists who need to give it up that also might be in this category as well. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Bono. Just go to Africa and never come back, please do me a favor. U2 could also win though because for some reason a lot of people deciding this stuff have a huge boner for them. Like, they aren't The Joshua Tree anymore, guys. They just aren't. Again, Beck also has a very good chance. He might even sweep the entire rock category. Ryan Adams again being the dark horse and having support from the music reviewing community, could win it too (I can only hope).

Who should win: Since my answer has been pretty consistent I will tell you who should not win under any circumstances EVER. U2. They've been horrible for a while. They're a joke hidden behind their legendary status. Stop nominating them. Maybe if we don't give them attention, they'll go away.

Best Alternative Music Album:

-Alt-J This Is All Yours (NO.)
-Arcade Fire Reflektor
-Cage the Elephant Melophobia (NO NO.)
-St. Vincent Self Titled
-Jack White Lazaretto

Who will win: Arcade Fire. 
Who should win: Arcade Fire is definitely well deserving but they had their moment with The Suburbs, let's give it to St. Vincent, shall we? She's had an amazing year and she really should be taking this.
Hey Grammys, where are Angel Olsen's nominations? She wouldn't win but I'm actually really surprised she wasn't at least nominated for Best Alternative Music Album. Also, I actually had to check to see if Bastille are eligible for being nominated this year - they are! They're only nominated for two awards and they have nothing to do with rock. Really? One of the biggest rock bands of the year are only nominated for two awards? Um, alright. They should probably be nominated for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Rock Song and/or Performance for "Bad Blood" or "Pompeii". Like, really? Did we just forget about them?

Moving on to pop...:

Best Pop Vocal Album:
-Coldplay Ghost Stories
-Miley Cyrus Bangerz (UGH.)
-Ariana Grande My Everything 
-Katy Perry Prism (UGH UGH.)
-Ed Sheeran X
-Sam Smith In the Lonely Hour

Who will win: Could be Ariana Grande, could be Katy Perry. I really could care less about either album but I would say they're the front runners.
Who should win: Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith! Both artists are way more talented and both albums had way more substance and creativity. It's kind of hard for me to choose between both of them but I'm kind of rooting for Sam Smith more, especially after the whole Tom Petty thing, he should get this. Regardless of the controversy, he's a great song writer and has staying power.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

-Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX "Fancy"
-Coldplay "A Sky Full of Stars"
-A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguleria "Say Something"
-Jessie J, Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande "Bang Bang"
-Katy Perry ft. Juicy J "Dark Horse"

Who will win: I would say it's between "Fancy" and "Bang Bang". I love Iggy Azalea, I think she's a smart and sassy Australian whipper snapper but "Bang Bang" was a really good collaboration. They'll probably give this to them and Iggy will get one of the bigger awards.
Who should win: For the first time writing this, who will win is who should win!

Best Pop Solo Performance:

-John Legend "All of Me"
-Sia "Chandelier"
-Sam Smith "Stay with Me"
-Taylor Swift "Shake it Off"
-Pharell Williams "Happy"

Who will win: It probably will be either Sam Smith or Pharell Williams. Taylor Swift MIGHT sneak in there and win it...not sure.
Who should win: "Happy" was a great song, even though it got annoying towards the end of its reign. But Pharell should win it. It would also be great to see Sia win it but I'm trying to be realistic here.

The "big" awards:
Best New Artist:

-Iggy Azalea
-Brandy Clark
-Sam Smith

Who will win: Ugh, this is a hard one. I don't know Brandy Clark too well because she's country and I don't follow new country because well, come on now, but all of these artists are powerhouses and have had an amazing introduction into the music world. Iggy, Bastille, Haim, Sam Smith?! It's really a toss up. Even Brandy Clark could win for all I know. I'm thinking it will be Iggy though.
Who should win: Probably Bastille or Sam Smith. I feel they're the two artists out of all of them, that have solidified their place in music and they're not going anywhere any time soon.

Song of the Year

-Meghan Trainor "All About that Bass"
-Sia "Chandelier"
-Taylor Swift "Shake it Off"
-Sam Smith "Stay With Me"
-Hozier "Take Me to Church"

Who will win: Sam Smith or Hozier
Who should win: Sam Smith or Hozier! I would like to see Hozier take this one though. Sia is the dark horse in this category. "Chandelier" is a catchy song and Sia has been in the game for a while, I wouldn't mind seeing her win it. If "All About that Bass" wins, I might try to start a twitter war with the Grammys official twitter, just sayin'. 

Also, it's funny that Beck has gotten nominated for almost everything else except the nomination he probably deserves the most out of all of them - this one! "Blue Moon" is an amazing song. It's chilling and hopeful and everything else you want it to be. This award is supposed to award the writers - why not give him at least a nomination for one of the best songs he's released in almost a decade?

Album of the Year:

-Beck Morning Phase
-Beyonce Self Titled
-Ed Sheeran X
-Sam Smith In the Lonely Hour
-Pharell Williams Girl

Who will win: A lot of music news is saying Beyonce, maybe they know something I don't. I'm thinking either her or Beck.
Who should win: Other than Sam Smith or Beyonce, there aren't any artists and/or albums that particularly deserve the "Album of the Year" status. Beyonce's music is consistently good and Queen Bae definitely has the career to back up this title. But like I said with Arcade Fire and St. Vincent before, give this to Sam Smith. Beyonce has had her shining moment(s).

Record of the Year:
-Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX "Fancy"
-Sia "Chandelier"
-Sam Smith "Stay with Me"
-Taylor Swift "Shake it Off"
-Meghan Trainor "All About that Bass"

Who will win: Iggy Azalea!
Who should win: Iggy Azalea! This is her award. Record of the Year is kind of like "hit of the year" in my mind. "Fancy" was THE song of 2014.   

As far as the R&B and Rap categories go, Beyonce's "Drunk in Love" will probably sweep the R&B awards and Iggy Azalea will win Best Rap Album for The New Classic (glad to see Childish Gambino nominated but Because The Internet just didn't cut it for a Grammy win). I would LOVE (and yes, I had to put it in caps,) to see Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings win for Best R&B album. Also, apparently Chris Brown is nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album...good thing Beyonce will probably win it. Seriously, why nominate him? He's disrespectful when he's at the award show to begin with and doesn't deserve it - it only boosts his ego even more and I would think that's what we want to try to avoid.

The Grammys are on CBS tomorrow night, starting at 8pm! Of course, I'll probably be live tweeting them because that's just what I do. It's pretty much the only instance I use Twitter anymore. I'll be using the same hashtag I used last year too, #steflivetweetsgrammys