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Posts Tagged ‘m.i.a.’

It is that time of the decade where one stares at their music collection and promptly regrets buying 95% of the music they now own.  Everyone does it. Okay, maybe I do it.  I buy a lot of music, so much so my children are convinced that I actually buy milk at the local vinyl store and bread from iTunes. This small habit has created a massive music collection that can be somewhat unwieldy.  It doesn’t stop me from gathering up hundreds of albums from the past decade and asking myself a very simple question:

If I could only save fifty of these albums from the past ten years, what fifty would it be?

It would be easy for me to write-up a list in which only Green Day, and White Stripes albums are on it, simply because they produced amazing albums this decade. I could have simply gone with my kids suggestion and made the list all about Hannah Montana and the Wiggles. That was tempting, they could have written it for me.

My criteria was simple. First- I must have actually listened to it. I still have a couple of albums in the plastic. Most of these albums were gifts from well-meaning people who thought that I really needed Daniel Bedingfield’s album.

Second-  How often did I listen to this album? Having the most listens didn’t mean that it would be number one.  Music is very much my day between the hours of six a.m. and six p.m. There are albums on this list I only listened to once and found so compelling that I felt it needed to be on the list. Most I have listened to so often my CD player refuses to open to play them again and my iTunes has decided that they are the only artists I listen to.

Lastly- I must have had fun listening to it at some point. Dreary music is of no interest to me. That doesn’t mean sad music is ignored for the oeuvre of Britney Spears. On the contrary, I find Britney Spears to be enormously depressing. But her greatest hits album makes for a delightful coaster.

The list, in full, after the break.

(more…)

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What another craptastic year in music. That’s the point, I guess. But some happy things happened in the nominees this year. Yes, there is a token old timer, but that old timer is Robert ” I’m the lead singer of fucking Led Zeppelin” Plant with Alison Krauss, and that album is so freakin’ awesome. There’s a favored rapper, but it’s the twisted and gifted Lil Wayne.  There are the young chanteuses with golden voices, but they’re both British and one ( Adele) has barely made a dent on the charts.  And there are the giants- Radiohead and Coldplay. Overall, the list this year is better than most.

Now for the play by play…

Album of the Year
Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Radiohead, In Rainbows

All five of these are on my year end list ( guess where they are, you get a ” Lollipop”. Heh.) But despite it’s groundbreaking release, I think Radiohead is the underdog. They get nominated often, but the don’t win in the big one ( remember OK Computer?)  Lil Wayne- one of the best albums of the year, but seriously, do you see it winning with the panel form the Jurassic era running the show? Ne-Yo is a mere tot, and his album is the weakest of the five. It comes down to Coldplay and Plant and Krauss. I’m giving it to Plant and Krauss. Because they are freaking awesome! And T-Bone Burnett produced this gem of covers.

Best New Artist
Adele
Duffy
Jonas Brothers
Lady Antebellum
Jazmine Sullivan

Who will win? Don’t be surprised if the Jonas Brothers did, because despite myself, I give begrudging respect to fifteen year old Nick, who writes those songs, and his clear gift for melody. Who should win? Adele. That girl sings from her toes, and that voice is so freakin’ soulful, she makes Amy Winehouse sound like she’s the lead singer from Bread.

Record of the Year
Adele, “Chasing Pavements”
Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”
Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”
M.I.A., “Paper Planes”
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, “Please Read the Letter”

When you see my year end lists, three of these songs are in my top twenty five. Clearly this one is one of them.

Song of the Year
Estelle (featuring Kanye West), “American Boy”
Adele, “Chasing Pavements”
Jason Mraz, “I’m Yours”
Sara Bareilles, “Love Song”
Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”

Yeah, I know. Mraz is more interesting, Adele’s  is the best of the lot, Bareilles’ was everywhere, and Estelle’s should break her here ( seriously, she’s another Brit beauty with a voice like a sodding angel). But Coldplay’s anthemic piano pop is what Grammy voters eat up. And they’re Coldplay- the biggest band on the planet when U2 is on vaycay.

Best Alternative Music Album
Beck, Modern Guilt
Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple
My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Um… duh, yeah. Jeez. MMJ is a close second.

It’s a pretty safe bet that if they’re nominated in the big categories, they should win the subs- Coldplay in rock and pop, Lil Wayne in Rap, and so on.

Question- why is Beyonce nominated for ” Me Myself and I”? Wasn’t that on her first solo album back five years ago? Did I miss something?

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  • At least Bikini Girl left AI, but still- sucks is an understatement.
  • Apatow to make short film for Oscar show. Male frontal nudity on ABC, y’all.
  • James Franco wins Harvard’s prestigious Hasty Pudding Award. He’ll make a pretty drag queen, I must say.
  • Speaking of pretty girls, Jude Law to play transsexual model in Sally Potter’s upcoming film. Leaked pic has him looking like a more tragic early 90s Winona Ryder.
  • Big Love for Big Love at HBO, picked up for fourth season.
  • M.I.A., Goddess, has announced she will attempt to perform Sunday at the Grammys- her due date. Oscars- still up in the air.
  • Punk fans around the world mourn the loss of Lux Interior, the leader of The Cramps, who were the ultimate psychobilly purveyors of the 70s through the millennium. He was 62 ( or 60, depending on the source), and had died of a long time heart affliction. He will be missed.
  • This could get me in huge trouble with Twilight fans, but- I’m sorry, Stephen King is right, Stephanie Meyer’s is not a great writer. Where he’s wrong is that she is a perfectly adequate writer with an inability to build a story successfully, which plagues many writers of popular fiction ( as opposed to the heady lit elite types like a Cheever or an Irving or an Updike- although they can fall prey on occasion as well). I know this because it’s my own issue when I write, I just haven’t been lucky enough to catch an agent or a publisher willing to look the other way ( plus I don’t write about vampires or wizards). The fact is, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is much better written as it was meticulously planned out , every plot point, over years before she committed a word to paper, leaving a clear channel for her to tell a very complex story about good and evil. While I found Twilight an amusing diversion, each preceding novel of the Meyer’s series seemed to lose the plot a bit until Breaking Dawn, which was so bizarre and out of character as to make the whole series seem ridiculous. Her prose is clunky, her dialog cliched, her story fantastical even in the realm of fantasy fiction ( believe and stick to your own mythology- never waiver). So please keep the blood spatter to a minimum, Twilight fans. It’s innocuous enough as a series that I don’t hate it, but I really can’t call it great literature. Stephen King is fundamentally right ( all though, I admit, tact is not his strong suit).

I’ll await my death over by the water cooler. Have a wonderful day.

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Coldplay, Radiohead, U2, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Kid Rock, Rihanna, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Hudson, the Jonas Brothers, Lil’ Wayne, Paul McCartney ( with Dave Grohl on drums!), Katy Perry, T.I. with Justin Timberlake, and Carrie Underwood are all scheduled to play the big show, with a special performance by Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, T.I., and Kanye Wesy of ” Swagga Like Us”. Coolness.

Neil Diamond is receiving the MusiCares humanitarian honor.

The Grammys air on CBS Sunday, February 8th.

UPDATE:  Added On Tuesday/Wednesday were Adele, Estelle, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Chris Brown, Sugarland, and a Four Tops tribute with Jamie Foxx, Ne-Yo, and original Top Duke Fakir.

UPDATE # 2:  Added on Friday were Robin Thicke, Neil Diamond, M.I.A. ( unless labor interferes), Terence Blanchard, Smokey Robinson, Allen Toussaint, Stevie Wonder, and a Bo Diddley Tribute with Buddy Guy, BB King, John Mayer, and Keith Urban.

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  • NBC rejects a PETA ad set to air during the Superbowl. Because vegans can’t possibly be football fans, you know.
  • The couple in Once had a fairy tale year last year. They fell in love, were in the best movie of 207, and won an Oscar for writing one of my favorite songs. Sadly, they have ended their two year relationship.
  • A woman has octuplets in California. And the eighth one was a surprise. I’m just thinking she’s nuts to attempt to try and breastfeed them all ( note- lactation supporters do not gang up on me- I breast fed my own kids, but seriously, all eight? No.)
  • Matt Damon states the obvious, Bill Kristol is an idiot, James Bond is a misogynist sociopath. Wait, say what on that last one?
  • Three arrested in the Bahamas for extortion after they try to scam $25 million from the Travoltas to prevent pictures of Jett’s lifeless body from making rounds. I am never going to the Bahamas.
  • Wikipedia contemplates rule changes after obits appear for Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd.
  • Donny Osmond lets slip he’ll be on Dancing With The Stars. Expect a Foxtrot to ” One Bad Apple”, a waltz  to ” Puppy Love”, and a rhumba to ” Any Dream Will Do”.
  • Project Runway filming at Bryant Park despite having no airdate for season six.
  • Mike White ( writer, Chuck And Buck, actor, School Of Rock, famed apatow crowd reject) to appear on The Amazing Race with his gay activist dad. This will be interesting…
  • Natascha McElhone ( Californication, The Truman Show) lost her husband to a heart attack only a few months ago while pregnant with their third child. This weekend, she finally brought him out into public, and his name is Rex.
  • Government decides to postpone mandatory conversion to digital from analog till this summer, angering fans who have put off sweeps viewing till March, and PBS, who will lose $22 million dollars due to the delay.
  • Rick Warren’s magazine Purpose Driven Connection debuts with an interview with President Obama. I guess they both meant it when they talked about post-partisanism.
  • M.I.A. is thrilled with her Oscar nom, but the real question is- will she be able to perform? She’s due to give birth on February 8- Grammy night ( which will explain her absence), and the Oscars are only a mere two weeks later.
  • Geeks, rejoice! Red Dwarf is returning.
  • Daniel Radcliffe invites the Obama girls to visit Hogwarts with him.
  • ABC has approved pilots of V ( yes, based on the early 80s sci-fi mini series classic), Lost In The 80s ( The Wonder Years meets Fast times At Ridgemont High meets The Ice Storm– I so wanna see it now…)
  • Marvel is being sued for $750 million because they ain’t sharing the Spidey pie.

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25. Constatines ” Hard Feelings”

Canadian art-punks bring us a grinding, hard charging about the difficulty of emotions.

24. Ne-Yo ” Closer”

Usher’s heir apparent delivers on a R&B-hip hop jam that is smoother than creamy peanut butter.

23. T.I. ” Whatever You Like”

He’s such a generous guy, over trippy hio hop beats and a surprisingly warm chorus.

22. Jordin Sparks f. Chris Brown ” No Air”

Gorgeous, soaring vocal gymnastics by two teen sensations as they sing about the importance of oxygen, but the devastation of love.

21. Kings Of Leon ” Sex On Fire”

Southern gothic melodrama, with ringing guitars, as the Followills literally set things a flame.

20. Kid Rock ” All Summer Long”

Someone had the courage to do what I always thought about- put ” sweet Home Alabama” and ” Werewolves of London” together and see how similar they are. Add lyrics about partying and booze and sex, you have a classic summer jam.

19. Vampire Weekend ” Oxford Comma”

Bouncy African beats mixed with lyrics about sex and punctuation. I’m not joking.

18. Flo Rida ” Low”

Inescapable spring jam about Apple Bottom jeans and Reeboks with the straps.

17. Adele ” Chasing Pavements”

Soulful ruminations about being torn between love or happiness.

16. Kanye West ” Love Lockdown”

Autotune works for the master, and he creates a song about loss and love that is for the ages.

15. Rihanna ” Take A Bow”

“Disturbia” got the glory, but this song about kicking his ass to the curb remains her strongest single.

14. Sam Roberts ” Them Kids”

More folk country rock from the Canadian master of the guitar, with a charming SIMS inspired video mixed with 50s nostalgia.  A song about the fact kids don’t dance to rock and roll anymore.

13.  P!nk ” Sober”

” So What” maybe the typical hard rocking kiss off we expect from her, but Pink’s second single from her album is a more mature, honest song about divorce, alcohol, and love.

12. Katy Perry ” I Kissed A Girl”

Bouncy fun about same sex experiments and old fashioned button pushing. Not as jaw dropping as Jill Sobule’s track of the same name, but this grimy flirty track is a delight.

11. Estelle f. Kanye West ” American Boy”

Soulful British song stylist asking for a trip to NYC. Girl knows her shit. Discofied brilliance.

10.  Ting Tings ” Shut Up And Let Me Go”

Duo of punk inspired dance artists sing about how you are never gonna hit this again.

9. City And Colour ” Waiting…”

Quiet acoustic jam about waiting for the end of everything. Depression sounds almost peaceful.

8. David Cook ” Bar ba Sol”

Grinding punk guitar stylings mixed with lyrics about regretting the night before, where alcohol and possibly blonde skanks played a role in humiliation. Did I just say that?

7.  Billy Talent f. Rise Against ” Turn Your Back”

Two of the modern punk bands of note dress us down for ignoring the ecological disasters looming in the near future.

6. Duffy ” Mercy”

Sixties style pop soul with a Dusty vibe, and a girl with a voice grittier than gravel.

5. Hedley ” Old School”

Jacob Hoggard reminisces about setting tires on fire and the days where little mattered except getting wasted behind the old school.

4. Coldplay ” Violet Hill”

” Viva La Vida” has gotten all the glory, but this first single remains their grittiest, gungiest track. And the lyrics are mysteriously baroque and the vocals soar.

3. Metro Station ” Shake It”

Eighties inspired dance rock. God, how I’ve missed this stuff. Vaguely reminds me of Flock of Seagulls and Loverboy. Weird, but wonderful. And frickin’ catchy.

2. R.E.M. ” I’m Gonna D.J.”

Alt rock fore fathers come back to form with raging guitars and a plan for the end of days. I wanna be at that party.

1. M.I.A. ” Paper Planes”

I want to thank Seth Rogan and David Gordon Green for allowing this song to explode after the trailer for Pineapple Express introduced it to the world. Clash inspired guns and cash registers mixed with trip hop beats and the idea of exceeding what your borders permit. Stunning.

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What another craptastic year in music. That’s the point, I guess. But some happy things happened in the nominees this year. Yes, there is a token old timer, but that old timer is Robert ” I’m the lead singer of fucking Led Zeppelin” Plant with Alison Krauss, and that album is so freakin’ awesome. There’s a favored rapper, but it’s the twisted and gifted Lil Wayne.  There are the young chanteuses with golden voices, but they’re both British and one ( Adele) has barely made a dent on the charts.  And there are the giants- Radiohead and Coldplay. Overall, the list this year is better than most.

Now for the play by play…

Album of the Year
Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends
Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Raising Sand
Radiohead, In Rainbows

All five of these are on my year end list ( guess where they are, you get a ” Lollipop”. Heh.) But despite it’s groundbreaking release, I think Radiohead is the underdog. They get nominated often, but the don’t win in the big one ( remember OK Computer?)  Lil Wayne- one of the best albums of the year, but seriously, do you see it winning with the panel form the Jurassic era running the show? Ne-Yo is a mere tot, and his album is the weakest of the five. It comes down to Coldplay and Plant and Krauss. I’m giving it to Plant and Krauss. Because they are freaking awesome! And T-Bone Burnett produced this gem of covers.

Best New Artist
Adele
Duffy
Jonas Brothers
Lady Antebellum
Jazmine Sullivan

Who will win? Don’t be surprised if the Jonas Brothers did, because despite myself, I give begrudging respect to fifteen year old Nick, who writes those songs, and his clear gift for melody. Who should win? Adele. That girl sings from her toes, and that voice is so freakin’ soulful, she makes Amy Winehouse sound like she’s the lead singer from Bread.

Record of the Year
Adele, “Chasing Pavements”
Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”
Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”
M.I.A., “Paper Planes”
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, “Please Read the Letter”

When you see my year end lists, three of these songs are in my top twenty five. Clearly this one is one of them.

Song of the Year
Estelle (featuring Kanye West), “American Boy”
Adele, “Chasing Pavements”
Jason Mraz, “I’m Yours”
Sara Bareilles, “Love Song”
Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”

Yeah, I know. Mraz is more interesting, Adele’s  is the best of the lot, Bareilles’ was everywhere, and Estelle’s should break her here ( seriously, she’s another Brit beauty with a voice like a sodding angel). But Coldplay’s anthemic piano pop is what Grammy voters eat up. And they’re Coldplay- the biggest band on the planet when U2 is on vaycay.

Best Alternative Music Album
Beck, Modern Guilt
Death Cab for Cutie, Narrow Stairs
Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple
My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
Radiohead, In Rainbows

Um… duh, yeah. Jeez. MMJ is a close second.

It’s a pretty safe bet that if they’re nominated in the big categories, they should win the subs- Coldplay in rock and pop, Lil Wayne in Rap, and so on.

Question- why is Beyonce nominated for ” Me Myself and I”? Wasn’t that on her first solo album back five years ago? Did I miss something?

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