live-blogging the grammys!

Greetings! Welcome to my first-ever live blog! Tonight I’ll be picking apart the Grammys, probably my favorite awards show because we get lots of great performances and very little filler. Just a warning: I may give up if this turns into a disaster, and there’s a very good chance I’ll go to bed before the show is over. Wow…if that’s not confidence in my abilities, I don’t know what is. Stay tuned!

8:00: Another crazy spectacle from Lady Gaga. Hopefully this turns into the piano duet with Elton I heard about…

8:02: I think I’m uncomfortable seeing this much of Gaga’s pelvis.

8:05: This is a Grammy performance for the history books, kids.

8:08: Jay-Z was VERY unamused by Stephen Colbert.

8:10: Colbert is killing it. Why doesn’t he host more award shows?

8:12: And song of the year goes to…Beyonce for “Single Ladies.” Great song, but I think it should have gone to Taylor or Gaga.

8:14: J Lo, you’ve come a long way since that infamous Grammy dress all those years ago…

8:16: This is weird…like Green Day meets “Rent.”

8:19: I actually like that song a lot better with the Broadway treatment.

8:24: Kristen Bell looks TERRIBLE. You are so much better than that dress and “When In Rome,” Kristen.

8:26: And Taylor Swift’s domination begins…now. Aww, Mama Swift is so happy.

8:27: Simon Baker is struggling with his TelePrompter. What’s up with the Groucho Marx glasses?

8:29: I really dislike Beyonce. She’s not as great of a singer as everyone claims her to be. This performance is terribly boring…”If I Were a Boy” is one of her weakest songs.

8:32: And now she’s covering Alanis Morrisette? This makes no sense.

8:42: Something tells me Pink won’t keep this demure white robe on for very long…

8:43: She’s taking pseudo-nudity to new heights. (Pun intended.)

8:44: Between Gaga and Pink, the Staples Center must have a team of bikini waxers on staff.

8:46: Oh Miranda Lambert, I love you and your real-woman figure, but honey, that dress is doing you absolutely no favors.

8:47: Best New Artist is always my favorite award…welcome to the club, Zac Brown Band! This is a surprising win; I thought MGMT had this one.

8:54: Go away, Miley. Your dress is ugly, too.

8:55: BEP is not sounding good live. I can’t look at Fergie without thinking of her peeing her pants.

8:57: “I Gotta Feeling” is such a sing-along song. Also, Fergie may or may not be wearing a futuristic poker visor. I’d like to describe this performance as a hot mess.

9:00: JoBros introducing Lady Antebellum? Yes please.

9:05: Joe Jonas, you look foolish.

9:07: Love me some Lady A. They’re one of the few country artists on my iPod.

9:08: Fun fact – Lady A singer Charles Kelley is Katherine Heigl’s brother-in-law. (She’s married to his brother Josh.)

9:09: Yes! Stephen Colbert is a Grammy winner.

9:11: Colbert’s daughter is an insta-celeb now…she’s going to be the coolest kid at her high school/college tomorrow.

9:17: Norah Jones is like the musical equivalent of wallpaper. She’s talented, but she puts me to sleep.

9:18: Wow…Kings of Leon came out of nowhere for song of the year. “Use Somebody” is a great, anthemic song and definitely deserved to win, although I’m quite shocked they beat out all those other pop hits.

9:20: Much like Miley missed the memo about stilettos, I apparently missed the memo about thick, black glasses. Robert Downey, Jr. is like the 5th person to sport Buddy Holly glasses tonight.

9:22: Why does this song merit a Grammy performance? I find Jamie Foxx unnecessary.

9:24: Seriously, what is going on? Everyone in the audience looks pained, especially Josh Duhamel, who looks like he’d rather be anywhere but watching this.

9:26: Ke$ha and Justin Bieber may be the most awkward pairing of the night. Nice recovery though, Bieber, although you might want to avoid Jay-Z for the rest of the night.

9:28: Also, Ke$ha (dollar sign totally ridiculous and difficult to type) looks like a less-cute version of Ashley Tisdale.

9:32: Alice Cooper is like Russell Brand in 40 years. Take it all in, Katy.

9:33: Kind of an underwhelming selection for Best Rock Album. “21st Century Breakdown” is like a watered-down version of “American Idiot.”

9:35: “Chicken Fried” is incredibly cliched, but it’s such a feel-good country song.

9:40: Just realized the telecast ends at 11:30…I’ll be wicked ired in the morning, but I’ll be blogging until the end credits roll. Have no fear.

9:46: Only Taylor Swift can sing the lyrics “I wore a dress/You wore a dark gray t-shirt” and not get laughed at.

9:47: My parents are not T. Swift fans…Mom thinks she sounds flat, and Dad think she “sings like a 10-year-old.” Clearly they aren’t Grammy voters.

9:49: I love Taylor Swift, Stevie Nicks and “Rhiannon,” but I don’t love them all together.

9:50: My family room has turned into a Taylor Swift-bashing festival. There is no love for Miss Swift among my parents.

9:52: I love Lionel Richie…he’s so comfortingly bland.

9:54: Dang, no 3-D glasses for the MJ tribute.

9:55: Carrie Underwood looks fabulous, as usual.

9:58: LOVE the shots of the celebs in the audience rocking their 3-D glasses.

10:00: Call me insensitive, but that was kind of a lackluster “tribute.” Maybe if it was a more familiar song?

10:01: Paris and Prince seem so well-adjusted and normal. They’re very cute kids.

10:08: Sheryl Crow still exists?

10:10: This may be the most formulaic and boring Bon Jovi song in their entire songbook.

10:12: Jennifer Nettles is a country goddess. I love Sugarland.

10:14: Bon Jovi are such seasoned pros that they can play “Livin’ On a Prayer” with one second’s warning.

10:16: Mos Def and Placido Domingo are totally failing at their witty banter.

10:17: PLEASE LET “I’M ON A BOAT” WIN.

10:19: Who is this cute child with Jay and Rihanna? Also, was Kanye not invited for fear of a VMA repeat?

10:26: Must. Stay. Awake.

10:28: I’m sure this is a lovely tribute, but I can’t stop yawning. We need some upbeat performances, stat.

10:31: Drake, Lil Wayne and Eminem will definitely inject some life into this dying telecast.

10:39: Mr. Grammy President, let’s wrap this up. You’re very eloquent and important, but it’s too late for long speeches.

10:41: Adam Sandler looks old and lost. Love that they played “The Hanukkah Song” as he walked onstage, though.

10:43: Maybe I should take up playing a stringed instrument so I can be featured on the Grammys…maybe the viola?

10:44: This is not a great DMB song. Also, Dave Matthews should never dance. Ever.

10:46: Lea Michele is GORGEOUS. I may prematurely name her best-dressed of the night.

10:48: Beyonce is in the running for worst dressed…that getup is a Lady Gaga reject, and her poor boobs look like they’re being cut in half.

10:53: I’m really hoping Gaga pulls of a win for Album of the Year…”The Fame” is a fantastic pop album.

10:55: Excuse me while I take a nap during Maxwell’s performance.

10:58: The first time I ever saw Roberta Flack in my life, she was on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” singing a spoof called “Killing Me Softly With This Thong.” It was a wonderful first impression.

11:03: The “In Memorium” segments are always so sobering. The music industry loses so much talent every year.

11:04: This lady singing with Jeff Beck has her hair shaped like a Cinnabon. I’m very hungry all of a sudden…

11:12: Quentin Tarantino scares me. A lot.

11:13: I think this is Lil Wayne’s last public appearance before he goes to jail. I love Travis Barker so much…he kills it on the drums.

11:16: I always think of “Degrassi” when I see Drake. I’m sure that does a lot for his rap credibility. Also: Jamie Foxx, you are one of those embarrassing people who sings along at concerts even though you don’t know the words.

11:20: I’m getting very anxious to see who’s going home with Album of the Year!

11:25: Here we go…TAYLOR SWIFT WON?? HOLY CRAP! I was hoping for a Gaga win, but Taylor totally deserves this award. To be that young and that talented – congrats, Taylor.

So there you have it…the 52nd Grammy Awards. Thank you to anyone who bothered to read this; I had fun writing and I hope you had fun reading. See you at the Oscars : )

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let’s get warped.

2009_0712WarpedTour0001The Warped Tour is celebrating its 15th birthday this summer, and yesterday I was lucky enough to see the tour for the first time in my life during its stop in Hartford. The Comcast Theatre (or the Dodge or the Meadows, depending on how old you are) was completely transformed into this crazy  rock and roll summer camp of sorts. The great thing about the Warped Tour is that its variety of acts attracts all kinds of people; yesterday’s crowd ranged from preteens decked out in their Hot Topic finery to see 3OH!3, to people in their late 20s/early 30s who braved the insanity to see solid sets from big d and the kids table and Streetlight Manifesto.

I could have spent all day simply people-watching. I mean, where else can you see a guy in Buddy Holly glasses holding a bong in one hand and a BlackBerry in the other? I saw many teens with as much decorative metal on their faces as orthodontic metal in their mouths. I wanted to ask the skinny redhead next to me during the Maine’s set if either of her two lip rings ever got caught in her braces. Kids of all ages ran around the dusty parking lot, their bodies covered in band merch and free stickers while their parents sipped $9 Bud Lights inside the amphitheater, waiting for the nine-hour day to end. Tattoos were just as prevalent as body piercings; between the artists, crew members and fans, there was easily over $10,000 worth of ink on display. Some notable tattoos included Snoopy looking up at a tree on a woman’s calf and a flaming puzzle piece on a woman’s neck.

Having never been to an all-day festival concert like this before, I was on sensory overload. There was so much to see and so much new music to hear that it was easy to get overwhelmed. It was difficult to pick which of the seven sets going on almost simultaneously you wanted to see, but what I did get to see yesterday was great. We started off the day with the end of Senses Fail’s set, then caught most of 3OH!3. I’ve already aired my grievances with 3OH!3 and their strange brand of electro-rap-rock, but you can’t deny that they have a huge following:

2009_0712WarpedTour0010 I took this picture at the back of the crowd, easily one of the largest I saw that day. I sat out during Brokencyde’s set,  because I literally could not stomach their music, which is labeled “screamo-crunk.” Aside from being audibly abrasive, the lyrics were more crude than some of the rap music I listen to. The crowd of mostly teenage girls didn’t seem to mind, singing along to lyrics that included “Will you be my booty call?” and other things that I’m too embarrassed to reprint. Fueled By Ramen’s A Rocket to the Moon played an enjoyable set inside away from the hot sun, and Meg and Dia gave what may have been the tamest set of the entire day, with Dia asking the crowd at one point if they liked to read because it was “great reading weather.”

The one band whose appeal I didn’t get was Breathe Carolina, an electro-screamo band made up of the strangest assemblage of people. The lead singer looked like a Daisy of Love reject, complete with a shirt that said “You can’t spell stud without STD.” Classy. The screamer/vocalist was a nerdy guy in a baseball tee, and the keytarist was a small guy with hipster hair and facial piercings. A chubby DJ/keyboardist in mesh shorts and a nondescript drummer rounded out the group. I found their music generally irritating, but their cover of Miley Cyrus’ “See You Again” was entertaining, if not laughable.

After that atrocity, I finally got to see the Maine, one of two bands I was looking forward to seeing that day. (We missed the White Tie Affair’s set since they went on 15 minutes after the doors opened.) It would be easy to dismiss them as just another pop-punk band, but their music is so undeniably catchy. I’ve been a fan of their music for a long time, but this was the first time I’d seen them live, due to an unfortunate concert experience last summer where I missed their opening set. Despite being almost suffocated by the people around me, I really enjoyed their set.

Up next was Saosin, a band I don’t have strong feelings about either way. My sister likes them, and she warned me that crowd surfing might get kind of intense during their set, having seen them before. I’ve never liked crowd surfing or really understood its appeal, but I figured if it got too intense, I could just leave and wait by the fence. It did get kind of crazy, but we were standing near the side of the stage and most of the surfing was going on near the middle. I could see most of the goings-on in my peripheral vision, and every once in a while I turned around to make sure no one was coming up behind me. However, there was one guy who came up right behind me and I did not see him coming at all. The next thing I knew, his foot hit the back of my neck really hard and I pitched forward. My vision immediately blurred and I just bolted out of the crowd. I ran to the safety of the fencing and realized that not only could I not see straight, but I was now dizzy and shaking uncontrollably. A concerned girl who I pushed by to get out and an equally concerned mother came up to me and while one checked to make sure I was okay, the other went to get the EMTs.

Long story short, I spent some QT with the EMTs while I waited for my vision to return to normal and to make sure my situation didn’t get worse. I ended up with whiplash of sorts and a pretty brutal headache, not to mention I got to walk around for the rest of the night holding an ice pack to my neck. (Aside from a stiff neck, I was fine this morning.) We spent the rest of the evening in the safety of the amphitheater, watching the end of  big d and the kids table’s set. We stayed for a few minutes of “Queen of the Internet” Jeffree Star’s set, which left most people openmouthed as he took the stage in a jeweled dress with his neon orange hair in a ponytail to a very crass version of the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow.” Star is clearly only there for shock value, which explains why he is relegated to the closing set on the Smartpunk Stage.

So we left after that, covered in dust, our backpacks full of free stuff (and stuff that was not-so-free), and I with an ice pack on my neck. Aside from my minor injury, I had a good time, and if the Warped Tour comes through Hartford again next summer, I’d consider going.

enough already.

I listen to the radio a lot now that I’m home: in the car, while I’m at work, and in my room. I never listened to it when I was at school because I had iTunes, and frankly, the station selection in Poughkeepsie left a lot to be desired. I now realize I was better off not listening to the radio because the selection is terrible and they play the same 10 songs over and over again. Here are songs I would like to ban from further radio rotation:

Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”: This is the number one song on the Billboard charts, so that explains why I hear it even on adult contemporary stations. I hated this song when it first came out, then I warmed up and enjoyed it on my Saturday night jaunts to the bar, but now I’ve come full circle and loathe its very existence. When Fergie starts to scream the bridge, (“People in the place/If you wanna get down,” etc.) my ears start to ring and just want to curl up in a ball until it’s over.

Shinedown, “Second Chance”: I hate everything about this song, from its stupid music video with the runaway ballerina to the insipid lyrics. No, you did not just see Halley’s Comet, so stop trying to tell me you did. I can already tell this song will soon be making it onto grocery store playlists, and once you’re heard in the frozen food aisle at Stop and Shop, you lose all credibility.

Beyonce, “Halo”: My qualm with this song isn’t so much the fact that it’s overplayed, but the repetition of the word ‘halo.’ Beyonce says it 69 times throughout the song’s duration, (yes, I counted) and after about the 20th ‘halo,’ I’m driving off the road because I can’t focus on anything else but Mrs. Jay-Z’s favorite two-syllable word.

3OH!3, “Don’t Trust Me”: This song was cute and quirky when it first came out, and even I was singing along to “Shoosh girl, shut your lips/Do the Hellen Keller and talk with your hips,” but the novelty wore off quickly. I understand the quirky appeal of both the band and the song, but quirk can only carry you so far in this music industry. Gimmicky music like this makes me crazy.

The Fray, “You Found Me”: I enjoy the Fray, I really do. I have their first CD and it’s gotten a lot of play on my iPod, but this song is just so treacly and melodramatic. It’s been used in every show from Lost to The Real World, so hearing it ad nauseum on the radio is just overkill. Not to mention it’s interchangeable with about 80% of the Fray’s other songs.

Britney Spears, “If You Seek Amy”: I’ve had . I love almost every track off Circus, except this one, so I was prepared to grit my teeth and suffer through the incessant replays of this song. The tongue-in-cheek hilarity of the song’s title is made even worse by radio edits, which change the titular lyric to “If you see Amy.” As unexcited as I am about Britney’s next single, the Blackout-recycled “Radar,” I’d much prefer 2007’s leftovers to this ridiculous hot mess of a song.