Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Well…Well…Well.

M(ha!)TV’s annual VMA awards show is finally upon us this year and I can BARELY contain my excitement…

Yeah…my “excitement”.

This year’s line-up has SOME star-power but what does it all mean ? I mean : Green Day, Alicia Keys and  Pink. They are all great and all…but where are the current crop of Pop’s “Tops”? Plus, if you are going to pull some of the “new old-guard” out for this type of thing…can’t you do better MTV? Sorry, It had to be said. These artist are all very good but they are kinda irrelevant nowadays.

Yeah, I said it.

Maybe their new albums (the real reason they are even going to be performing in the first place) will justify this line-up? Maybe not.

Either way, It leads me to the same spot/thought that I find myself in every year the VMAs roll around : do I watch it and be disappointed again ? Or do I watch it and be bored (but expected to be bored in the first place)?

Decisions…Decisions.

It is no secret that the VMAs  have been regularly crappy (on and off)  for nearly the last 10 years . The last really good VMAs that I can remember was the 2006 VMAs . The one where Britney Spears choked and nearly ruined her career and Rihanna took the “Pop Princess” crown away from her. Britney has since bounced back in a VERY big way (even though some damage was done) but the VMAs themselves have been in a rut. Besides some great individual  moments scattered over the last few years (Lady Gaga’s superstar-making performance is the most obvious…along with Pink’s high-wire act when she was a little more “relevant”) the VMAs have been a SNOOZE-fest.

Am I getting too old? Is this why the VMAs don’t have the same magic anymore. I would like to think that this is not the case. I still LOVE and OBSESS over music (always will) so I seriously doubt that my passion for the IDEA of the VMAs is the cause of my lackluster reaction to the yearly event. I think the real culprit is MTV’s general lack of interest in music nowadays (and they focus on reality television which is SOOOOO profitable now). MTV isn’t invested in music anymore and it shows.

Where is Nicky Minaj? Lady Gaga? Adel? M.I.A (who is LONG overdue to be given her chance to ROCK the VMA stage)? Hell even Madonna and Kylie Minogue are more relevant that Pink and Keys (no disrespect to either one)…Where are the cool new rockers ? I know and listen to them .

Bring in some Brits dammit.

I know that I am going to watch the show tonight. Call me a hopeless devotee to the idea that music and MTV still matter.

I might be wrong .

Well, Elton John’s mouth is finally good for something…errr, I mean something ELSE. Sorry David Furnish, I almost forgot :)!

Elton’s Recent comments about Madonna…

saying that she looks like a “fairground stripper” and that compared to his ‘baby’s (god) mama (the increasingly banal and irrelevant Lady Gaga), Madonna’s “career is over“.

…made me push all of the other albums that I have been listening to aside and slip back into bed with Madonna. Thank you Elton 🙂 !

Let me explain.

I have such a backed up  queue of albums, movies, books, television shows and artists etc.  that I’ve been meaning to give my full attention to. I pushed Madonna’s album back originally,  because I usually don’t like getting caught up in the moment and thinking better or worse of an album due to the hype.

Well, I finally Heard Madge’s MDNA album and it is veeeeery good! I mean veeeeery good!

If this album was the album made by Lady Gaga , instead of “Born this Way”,  she wouldn’t have been so disappointing ! And Gaga would have been GIVEN the whole “new queen of pop” crown that Madonna stubbornly refuses to give up (through hard work that’s still relevant and creative).

MDNA is sleek and modern (without being a lazy follower of trends. looking at you “Hard Candy”) with her most hook filled songs in at least a couple of albums (probably since “Ray of Light” …but “Confessions on a dancefloor” gives it a run for it’s money in that department).

On the MDNA album:  Madonna snaps,  she crackles and she pops again.

She incorporates the violent streak that she helped initiate in mainstream pop (waaaay back in the early 2000’s with “Die Another Day” , “What it feels like for a girl” and “American Life”) to a more direct and devastatingly tuneful effect on club-bangers like “Bang Bang” and “Beautiful Killer”.

Her dance music brings back the European influence that (let’s face it) all good dance music needs to be relevant and creative…They just do it better over there because they respect it more and their audiences know their stuff. “Girl Gone Wild”, “I’m addicted” and “Give Me all your love” are  party starters with clever hooks and cool driving sounds…perfect for Saturday night fun!! Thank You Benny Benassi for assisting Madge on this one  !! Madonna still knows how to get the best out of her (willing) collaborators and elevate herself and the “hired guns” who help produce.

Martin Sloveig Brings his bouncy brand of clever pop-rock influenced techno/house to “Give me all your luvin”, “I don’t give A” and “Turn up the Radio” and Madonna and crew hit a couple of home runs (The LMFAO remix on “Give me all your luvin” makes me actually believe that they have a life outside “Party Rock” ! And Nicki Minaj delivers again in a guest-starring role).

Klas Ahlund brings some fire to his collaboration. The choice to pair him with William Orbit was a genius move by Madonna. His electro grooves and squelchy synths go great with Orbit’s ambient atmospheres and 60s-influenced melodies on “Some Girls”

AND WILLIAM ORBIT IS BACK ! The Excellent William Orbit is back to help his girl pull off another great album (and to show that sometimes the genius producer needs the genius artist just as badly). Orbit gives the album a unified and cohesive sound that most albums with this many creative influences lack…Which make them sound “all over the place” at worst and “like a compilation album” at best. But Orbit is having none of that on this album. His atmospheric flourishes and programming genius is still strong and really helps create a sound world for Madonna to live out her violent fantasies , her still kicking “party animal” Id and her slightly sad “divorcee” yearning.

And For good measure, she puts two excellent (and well sung) straight-ahead pop songs at the end of the album to show that she can still do THAT in her SLEEP (and she is still brilliant at it). Those songs are “Masterpiece” and “Falling Free” .

It makes me imagine Madonna saying: “Here, you want pop ballads? I am still THE BEST at that too…and don’t forget it!”

Even Elton had to admit that in the middle of his Madonna diss/defense of his little ingenue  Lady Gaga.  He said :

“If Madonna had any common sense she would have made a record like Ray Of Light and stayed away from the dance stuff and just been a great pop singer and make great pop records, which she does brilliantly.”

Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/4472727/Elton-John-Madonna-looks-like-a-stripper-her-career-is-over.html#ixzz230NSQX4r

Even Her haters have to give it to her…

And “no, Elton” she will simply take it a step beyond “Ray of Light” and modernize the concept (using vocal collaborators (which everyone does nowadays) and dance music meant to move your feet sitting next to the sounds that move your mind)  without repeating herself .

If you want the album that Madonna should have made after “Confessions on a Dance floor” or the album that Lady Gaga is incapable of making at this point in her career…Check out MDNA!

I am sure Gaga did and became “inspired” to write her follow-up/apology for “Born this Way”.

I’ve heard verses from Peril P since he was a VERY young kid and it is a definite pleasure to see his progression into a very LEGIT rhyme-slinger and upcoming artist. The Florida-born Rapper (Orlando) has certainly been doing some serious growing and could easily break nationally with the right team…

He has always had raw talent (even at the pre-teen level) . Now he has definitely pulled it all together and matured into a full-fledged artist.

Recently on Soundcloud (an online Social/Artist’s network community ) I listened to a snippet of one of Peril P’s songs titled “I ain’t got the time” and a full-length song titled “Yeen know”.  Both of these songs flow with a down-south swagger and self-confidence that leaves most also-rans in the dust. Peril is on full-display here with clever punchlines and twisty metaphors that shows true promise on a larger scale (think early Lil-Wayne meets a bit of Big Boi from Outkast meets…Peril P). The backing tracks are solid (if standard) down south boom-bap…but with his clever rhymes and abundance of confidence, I personally feel that Peril can branch-out from this and tackle different topics and sounds. All in all, a good introduction to a very solid talent. I am absolutely sure this won’t be the last piece I write on this guy…

[Catch Peril P performing in Orlando, Florida  (@ the Central Florida Fairgrounds) at the 7th Annual Zoe Flag Day Bash on 5/19/2012]

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***A little slice of what goes on on my familyFB***

Marvin Gaye is the MAN! Major musical genius and not only his love songs! My favorite albums : “What’s going on?” his epic take on the world he saw aroud him…from politics, the environment and social problems….And I also LOVE “Here My Dear” a painfully confessional album about his rocky (major understatement) relationship…that album is the real “confessions” (sorry Usher)…and he spared no one , including himself….check these albums out fam!! Very cool upload, Auntie. #joeisawalkingalbumreview (lol)

The MASTERS/Innovators of modern Electronic music as we know it….set to return with a new album soon (2003’s Tour de france was NICE!—Micro House was featured on that album ! electronic/dance music sub-genres suck sometimes but Kraftwerk always brings the goods). I’ll be getting the album! Here is a video showing off their new app!

Facebook got a little heated on one of my good controversy-baiting friend’s (that’s probably why we are friends btw. 🙂 ) page… The discussion started over his buddy’s offense to Jay-Z’s song Niggas In Paris. My friend and his buddy are white (or caucasian…whatever floats your particular boat). My buddy Austin asked me to weigh in on this comment from his buddy:
(from 1/1/2012)
“I never said to censor speech. I simply voiced my displeasure that the 7th most popular song in the world has the n word in it yet there are people like Kanye West and Jay z who would get offended and probably shoot someone should they use …it towards them. Also it’d kind of hypocritical to be making money off of a word that suppressed so many lives for so long and that insults your own race. I’m not asking free speech to be taken away. Read my entire post before you accuse something like that.”
That was copied directly from the  facebook page (with the quotation marks added…and the buddy’s name left out). Here was my response…
“@[censored]   okay, really?…do you think for one minute that these millionaires are going to “shoot someone” for calling them a “nigger”? that’s funny and btw. a couple of descendants of slaves making “millions of dollars” on a word/concept that was/is used to keep them and their ancestors POOR and OPPRESSED isn’t hypocritical to me….I think them getting those millions on that word is the very definition of “payback” (get it, pay back… lol). and no not some payback to “all white people”  blah blah b.s. either.
It’s so funny that others can use and profit from the nigger concept for centuries…but when these guys start making money off of it, the word gets AUDITED to see how much revenue it’s bringing…BTW I HATE NEW YEARS HANGOVERS :)”
I stand by what I said :  I really hate New Years Hangovers! 🙂
Oh, and that other thing too . I’m with “Jigga” on that one.

I saw the uncensored version of Madonna’s “Erotica” video for the first time today…

OMG! I can’t believe this didn’t take her down forever back in 1992.

It has been 20 years since Madonna unleashed the “erotica” concept  on an unsuspecting public back in 1992. Following a socially/politically sanitized 1980’s (a period she fought against her whole career, up to that point) , Madonna unleashed a monster onto the world. That year (1992), Madonna simultaneously released a “coffee table book” titled “SEX” , The “Erotica” album, and a series of…I don’t even want to say “steamy” videos on the world…I will just call them SICK videos. They were the 90s definition of “sick“, in that they challenged the public’s “delicate” taste for open sexuality and upset many. While the videos are also 2011 “sick“, in that they are incredibly bold artistic declarations and an uncompromising dive into sexual fantasy and fetish. Her artistic output during this time was awesome. The incredible “Erotica” video being one of the fruits of her labor.

And by the way, the material still “holds up” and is still controversial. Ain’t no swiveling hips quaintness here, Elvis!

“What provoked her”?

It all started as a reaction to what was being thrown at this pop-music rebel at the time. Madonna had already made her name in the music biz and was (already) arguably the biggest star in the world. But, she wasn’t respected quite as much as she would have liked . She was being called a talentless “sexpot” by some short-sighted hack critics. So, what does Madonna do in response? What any talented rebel would do: She cranks her so-called “sex-pot” character from 10 to 1,000  and shows america what’s really going on in her mind (not her bedroom…mind you). Her point being : a.) “this stuff is real and okay”  and b.) “you hypocrites know that you think about this stuff too…so stop being so judgemental.”

Along the way,  she made incredible videos and great music…because let’s face it, as an entertainer,  you can’t bring the message to the party without the (performance) goods. No one eats a meal of condiments…catch my drift?

And in doing so, Madonna effectively and finally silenced the last of her lingering critics. Everything after the “erotica” trial-by-fire has been a “victory lap” and adds to her legend! Which is amzaing, considering her victory lap trumps most artists whole careers.

This is why all of the “imitators” and “influenced” pop-starlets can’t live up to Madonna. This is why everyone from teen-pop queens (who throw on leather to be “edgy”) to inde-credit card carrying members of the underground admire the hell out of her!  She lives and breathes her artistic statements. She doesn’t simply wear them because they are already “in fashion”…The “Erotica” period in her career could have (and nearly) ruined Madonna. True ARTISTS take risks! No disrespect to her acolytes…definite “diss” to her shameless copycats. This is why Madonna is and  always will be THE REAL DEAL.

Although,  as someone who was a pre-teen during this period,  I can say that she probably owes me therapy sessions. 🙂

To see what I mean (click the link below for “Erotica Uncensored”)[Madonna+-+With+Love,+Dita+[Erotica+Remixed].jpg]

http://youtu.be/W1Tkllyuf3E