Tag Archives: Taylor Swift

We Need To Talk About The Grammys

I feel like this post is obligatory, given the weight of the award show that took place last night. As always, I had some major problems with the award show, but if you kept up with my live tweeting (@notreallyindie — I know you didn’t), you know that overall I was actually very pleased with the show.

So let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Holy sh**: Kendrick Lamar. I will be the first to admit that I don’t listen to Kendrick Lamar on a regular basis. Hell, I don’t listen to rap on a regular basis. But Kendrick Lamar has unmistakeable talent that even someone who lives under a rock could recognize.

That’s why I was so happy when he took home the Grammy for Best Rap Album. It’s why I felt a new faith in the award itself when he won Best Rap Song for “Alright.” It’s why he definitely deserved to win for Best Rap Performance. And it’s why I was fully expecting him to take home Album of the Year. Especially after that performance.

For those of you who didn’t see it, it was FIRE. Literally, there was fire on the stage. But the fire wasn’t the most important part. Maybe it was the way he came out on stage — in chains — that made the biggest statement. Maybe it was the way his spoken-word-influenced track “The Blacker The Berry” flew from his lips. Maybe it was the bonfire that raged behind him. Maybe it was the word “COMPTON,” written in black text against the blank continent of Africa. His message wasn’t easily missed.

 

 

So. Can someone PLEASE explain to me why he lost to Taylor Swift? Nothing about The Grammys has pissed me off more. I thought I was mad when they cut off Queens of the Stone Age at the 56th Awards, but this takes the cake.

Those of you who know me know exactly how I feel about T-Swift. I don’t exactly try to hide my feelings about her. But I don’t think my opinion would be different if I loved her. 1989 just didn’t deserve Album of the Year. It wasn’t even close to being the best album in the category. Not against Chris Stapleton, not against Alabama Shakes, and definitely not against Kendrick Lamar.

And as much as I loved her dig against Kanye (though she seemed a little self-righteous when she accepted the award, in my opinion), I maintain my hope that one day just being Taylor Swift won’t be enough for Taylor Swift anymore.

Kendrick Lamar wasn’t the only one who got snubbed either. As far as Best New Artist, well — it was a loaded category to say the least. I really think Cmeghan-trainor-could-barely-get-through-her-best-new-artist-acceptance-speechourtney Barnett should have taken it, but I don’t feel as offended with Meghan Trainor’s win as I do Swift’s. Trainor does have talent, and her acceptance “speech” made me cry (I’m a sympathetic cryer, what can I say?).

Now, as far as the things The Grammys did right, well, even I’ll admit there were a few. Lady Gaga’s performance, for one. Between the Oscars last year, the national anthem last week, and now her David Bowie tribute, we know that we can expect something from Gaga. And it’s going to be big. No one can deny she’s talented anymore and she no longer needs to show up to award shows in an egg. The Bowie Medley was perfect for her, and her work ethic and dedication to the music really showed last night.

The 58th GRAMMY Awards - Show
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 15: Recording artist Lady Gaga performs onstage during The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 15, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/WireImage)

Brittany Howard also killed it when Alabama Shakes performed their Grammy-winning “Don’t Wanna Fight.” The category for best rock song was absolutely packed, but I can’t help get the warm fuzzies when I think of their win. I’ve been with them from the beginning, after all. And “Thunderbitch” proved that rock isn’t dead when she screeched into her microphone — something I’m sure gave the audience chills.

Christ Stapleton also had a successful night, picking up two Grammys. He deserved both, if not more. It’s nice to see a great artist like him emerge. I really think he’s bringing country back to where it should be.

Some other highlights? Well, Skrillex plays guitar like a badass and so does Johnny Depp, and Adele still made everyone cry despite the major sound issues during her performance. Also, she is so classy. I love how she took the moment after her performance to shoutout to Kendrick. I bet she thinks he got snubbed too.

So, what are your thoughts on The Grammys? What were your favorite moments? Share here, Facebook, or Twitter! I’d love to know everyone’s opinions on Album of the Year. I mean, I can’t be the only one who’s mad about this, right?

Advertisements

Let’s Talk In 20 Years

Wow. Am I late this week, or what? I don’t really have an excuse other than I didn’t decide what I wanted to do until literally today, and then I decided I wanted to spend more time on it, and then I had to go to work. So unfortunately, I’m not going to write about an album this week because it’s one in the morning and I just can’t do an album justice this last minute. Instead, I’m going to do something else. Now, this something that I’m about to do kind of goes against my internet morals: I’m about to write an unseen reply to a specific celebrity regarding the music industry. Feel free to stop reading right here.

If you chose to continue, here is the original article: Taylor Swift’s Op-Ed for the Wall Street Journal

Dear Miss Swift,

I’d like to start my letter by saying that I too am an optimist for the future of music. I’d also like to say that you, as a musician, probably are more informed than I ever will be/ever could be with my status: that of a fan.

However, I’d like to bring such a perspective to light: that of a fan.

In your written article, published in the Wall Street Journal, you mentioned the “value of an artist,” and your opinions on what is happening in the music industry regarding said value. I would like to say that I can see where you’re coming from with this opinion; I can’t.

When artists offer free music to their fans, it’s not just a promotional deal — at least not for us. You mentioned yourself the idea of artists and fans and the “relationship” they build. I fully agree with this. As a fan, I can list off countless musicians who have helped me personally through their music. Despite the fact that I have never met Dave Matthews, I can say (as a fan) that I feel as if I can relate to some of the feelings he has. It’s a connection, not just between the artist and the listener, but among followers of the same artist. Music is what brings people together. So to us (the fans), free music feels more than just a promotional deal; free music is a way that our artists — our friends — can reach out to us. To us (the fans), it feels like a “thank you,” and not just a money grab.

You see, I can’t agree that artists devalue or under appreciate themselves by releasing free music to the public. If anything, it’s a measure of their confidence. They certainly aren’t benefiting financially from releasing a free download or CD. But they have faith in themselves — in their music — to draw in an audience through their music. Music which might not have reached as many ears as it had with the pretty price of $1.29 attached to it.

I do, however, agree fully about the value of an album. We live in what I like to call the “singles” generation. The generation in which, instead of buying a full album and listening to it all the way through, buys radio single after single after single. This makes me sad (as a fan). An album is what showcases what the artist has to offer. You can’t simply judge an artist based on one radio single — there is so much more beyond that! But how does this tie in to the idea of free music?

Take The Neighbourhood, for example. Whether you love them or you hate them, you can’t deny what they’re doing is cool. They are the first band to release an entire, free mixtape (at least, that’s what they’re claiming; if you have evidence they aren’t the first, please inform me). And this is where it ties in with the idea of an album as a whole: I (as a fan) would be more likely to listen to the full mixtape if it’s free than just a single or two. My hope is that they’re starting something; something that will bring back the album instead of the single.

Signed: and optimist for the future of music.

So that’s this week’s post. If you read it, please leave a comment here, my Facebook, or twitter. I’d love to hear your opinions. I’ll say that I personally am not a fan of Taylor Swift, but no offense was meant to either her or any of her fans. I have the next three weeks lined up, so be prepared for more good music next week. And with that, I leave you. As always, keep listening.