Grammy Rant

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Some have already moved on from last Sunday's Grammy Awards but looking at the length of this post, I clearly haven't...

Beck & Kanye

When Prince announced Beck as the Album of the Year winner, I was both shocked and excited. I honestly didn't expect that at all, as most people didn't; I was even surprised to see that he was nominated. But I wasn't only excited that Beck won (really like Morning Phase but not sure I would call it MY fave of the year), I was mostly excited that they're moving past picking the most popular artists and actually looking at who's the most talented. The Grammys, and most award shows in general, have a history of picking the same people over and over for their awards, aka the most popular. I was pleasantly surprised with last year's picks (Daft Punk, Lorde, etc.) and this year's, it looks as if they are actually considering talent when picking winners now. I knew other viewers were probably shocked as well, but the reaction it got was unexpected, even besides Kanye's.

People on my social media news feeds complained about how other artists (Ed Sheeran, Beyonce..) got jipped but like, DID YOU LISTEN TO BECK'S ALBUM? That's really all I want to know. Don't judge before you listen, people.

I'm usually one to defend Kanye but he's bein' stupid!!! You're not the king of awards, you don't get to decide if someone should give their (well deserved) award to someone else. His comments right after the show, his comments after that.. ugh, you're making it really hard to like you, Kanye. Also, hearing Kim and Khloe Kardashian's "you should have done it" comments talking about how Kanye should have gone on stage...  

Beck made Kanye look even worse with his humble and gracious response.

Kanye's post-Grammy comments...

"I don't know what he said, all I know is if the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain't gonna play with them no more. 'Flawless,' Beyoncé video. Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it," 'Ye began to say with his usual intensity."
"By the way, I got my wife, my daughter and my clothing line, so I'm not going to do nothing to put my daughter at risk but I am here to fight for creativity. That's the reason why I didn't say anything tonight."

...his clothing line? smh

Kanye West Goes Off on Beck's Grammy Win: "He Should Have Given His Award To Beyonce" 

I obviously don't agree with Kanye's comment but this is interesting to read/watch...

All The Times Kanye West Gave His Own Awards To Someone Else 

And then Beck's comments...

"I was just so excited he was coming up. He deserves to be on stage as much as anybody.. How many great records has he put out in the last five years right?"
On Kanye saying he should respect true artistry.. "You can't please everybody, man.. I still love him and think he's genius. I aspire to do what he does."

Beck Responds to Kanye West's Shade, Still Thinks "He's a Genius" Despite Diss

Beck handled that PERFECTLY. Kill 'em with kindness, that's what I always say..

I'm happy for Beck and happy for music. This is a stretch, but maybe the same 10 artists won't make all of the money in the music industry one day, maybe there will be a spread of wealth, especially to the most talented?

P.S. I guess after realizing how ridiculous and rude he was, Kanye recently went back on his comments towards Beck. I still haven't forgotten his initial reaction, though. 

Kanye West: 'Voices in My Head' Told Me To Stage-Crash Beck at the Grammys

Side Notes

Besides Album of the Year drama, Sam Smith was the real focus of the night - he won 4 Grammys and performed probably the best performance of the night. He was amazing and I am obsessed. Although, the fact that he won awards for a song that caused some controversy (he possibly plagiarized Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down") took away a little from the moment, I still love Sam Smith and can't seem to hold that against him.

The show was jam packed with performances, has it always been that way? Loads of performances and very few awards? Don't remember that being the case.. but it was a little overwhelming. 

Well, that's I'll I got. What did you think about this year's Grammys? Comment below!

Oh, and listen to the Album of the Year below..

RJD2 @ Brooklyn Bowl

IMAGE VIA ME

IMAGE VIA ME

Bowling, booze, food and concerts - what else could ya need? Brooklyn Bowl became my new favorite venue last week when I saw RJD2. I've been meaning to hit this place up for a while now but the stars never aligned until recently when I got tickets as a Christmas present. No offense to RJD2, but I was equally excited to finally see the venue as I was to see the show. Brooklyn Bowl was everything I ever imagined and more - you could literally hear/see the show from anywhere in the venue. Even right up to the point where I stepped into the bathroom stall, I could see RJD2 doing his thing on a screen through a window leading to the concert area, that's my kinda place.

Besides discovering that Brooklyn Bowl is the best place on the planet, RJD2 was pretty cool too. I saw him briefly at Governor's Ball last year when I caught the end of his set and was really digging it, which lead to this show. I don't really listen to him on the norm (I really only recognized one of his songs), but he's just one of those performers that you need to see live. The set was a straight up dance party. Just a really, really fun show overall. You don't need to have listened to RJD2 previously to have enjoyed it, it was not one of those kind of concerts.

The opener, D.V.S*, was pretty good as well, kind of like a mini RJD2 (like I couldn't tell the difference at first). It was mostly him, his guitar and his computer for most of the hour long set but he had a violin, saxophone and piano player accompany him for some songs. Only one negative, the hat he was wearing has GOT to go.

All in all the night was hella fun. So two things: if you have a chance to see RJD2 live, I highly recommend it, and DEFINITELY check out Brooklyn Bowl as soon as you can.

Review: Echosmith + Fall Concerts Roundup

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IMAGE VIA ME

So a few weeks ago (I’m so late on this!) I saw Echosmith, the last show of the bundle of tickets I bought back in the beginning of the fall. As excepted they were super fun and talented, but what really blew me away and stuck out to me well after the show, was the opening performer- Madi Diaz.

She was soo good and although I tried to recreate the set by listening to her at home, it wasn’t quite the same. Her voice live was so raw and unique and although I can listen to her on Spotify for hours, it doesn't compare to her live performance. DEF check her out!

Echosmith was great. They're age and lack of touring experience showed but that didn't stop them from putting on a fun set. In between songs lead singer, Sydney, would make little speeches sometimes becoming emotional, showing that their recent fame hasn't kept them from staying humble. I can see them (especially Sydney) becoming really good performers in the future. Good show, but the highlight of the night for me was fur sure Madi Diaz.

As you may already know from previous posts, this past fall I saw a bunch of amazing artists- HOLYCHILD, MØ, Linus Young, Tove Lo, Elliphant, Charli XCX, Madi Diaz, Echosmith and others. It was really exciting seeing so many powerful, up and coming female artists that I've pretty much been obsessed with this past year. Looking back, all were great shows, but I have to say my favorite was most definitely MØ. Her show will probably go down as one of my all time favorite live performances EVA. All-in-all, these girls kicked ass! Definitely my faves in music currently. 

Now I'm ready for some winter concerts... Check back soon for a list of MUST see shows coming this winter in the NYC metropolitan area. 

In the meantime, listen to the mix of the songs I remember most vividly from each night. 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay PT. 1 Soundtrack

IMAGE VIA  WWW.SPIN.COM

IMAGE VIA WWW.SPIN.COM

I knew I was going to love the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1  soundtrack well before I even heard it. Learning that Lorde curated the collection was all I needed to know I would dig it… then I saw the track list and I was more than in love. Tove Lo, Charli XCX, Tinashe, Haim, Stromae, CHVRCHES… it's like it was made for me. I then saw the movie (wish the songs from the actual soundtrack were in the movie but whateva) and then finally, I listened to Mockingjay Pt. 1. To be honest it took a little getting used to at first, but in the end like always, Lorde blew me away. The songs flow really well together and have a hint of similarity, and the mood encompasses the feel of the film. In short, it’s flawless. Listen below to find out what I’m talking about: 

Review: Charli XCX

IMAGE VIA ME

IMAGE VIA ME

Last week Chali XCX brought prom to Webster Hall’s Grand Ballroom. Balloons, prom signs, drink specials such as “Spiked Prom Punch,” and Charli dressed in a cheerleading uniform- all the high school prom necessities. With signs reading “It’s Prom Suckers” (Suckers is also the name of Charli’s upcoming album, set to release in December) and “Pussy Power," it wasn't your typical prom... it was so much better. 

Charli and her band- bassist, guitarist, drummer- all females dressed in matching cheerleading uniforms and one with cat ears, reminded me of Josie and The Pussy Cats (you know, the movie where an all female band delivers subliminal messages to their listeners through music…). At one point she had us chanting "Pussy Power," which also had me thinking back to the movie.

As expected, Charli was a great performer. Her voice was pawsome and dance moves were tight (she had this awesome move that was kind of like punk krumping). She performed a few new songs such as "London Queen" and "Break The Rules" but also some older ones like "Nuclear Season" and "Black Roses." She closed the night with "Boom Clap" and performed “Fancy,” but instead of just having a back track for Iggy’s rap parts, she rapped herself and it was 1000x better than the real thing. Also like her krumping, it was like a punk version of the song. 

Charli shouting, "It's prom bitches!" and falling balloons and confetti shooting over the audience during the last songs, topped off the night. It was a magical prom. 

Wine and Indian food made us miss Femme but we did make it just in time for Elliphant. Her performance was kind of like being in an episode of Skins and what I imagine my life would be like if I were part of the UK rave scene. Meaning her set was soo much fun. Straight up dance party. She and her weird British accent (and also her DJ) slayed the stage. And the best part? She closed with “One More.” So perfect. 

Charli XCX is as cool as they get. Cooler than cool and she is going to be big. I mean, really big… just wait for it.

Review: Tove Lo

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IMAGE VIA ME

Last Wednesday Tove Lo took over Webster Hall and killed it. She performed almost all of her songs from her recently released debut album, Queen of The Clouds. You may have heard Tove Lo on the radio either from her single “Habits (Stay High)” or her feature on Alesso’s “Heroes (We Could Be).” If that’s all you know of Tove Lo I strongly suggest you listen to her full-length, as it is full of catchy as hell songs and I literally can’t stop singing them. It’s actually getting out of control, since last Wednesday I’ve been singing in the car, the shower, around the house, the store… basically everywhere. Apologies to those around me.

Queen of The Clouds is a pop album but edgy with shameless lyrics. She sings about sex, porn, drugs, throwing up, etc. - “I eat my dinner in the bathtub then I go to sex clubs watching freaky people gettin’ it on.”

Throughout the night she called her audience “babes” and threw out condoms and rolling papers into the crowd. Queen of The Clouds has a short intro and two interludes, and throughout the show extended versions of these, accompanied with Tove Lo’s lips, played on a screen. The interludes revealed an intense romance story and thoughts on love and passion. These breaks went really well with the performance and the crowd went wild for them. She kind of reminds me of an edgier Katy Perry and regular Robyn (maybe only the Robyn part because she’s Swedish).

The opening band for Tove Lo was Linus Young (girl and guy duo), a really good band but also a really weird opener for a pop artist. Their sound was super different from Tove Lo’s, a lot slower for one thing. They sounded great but it was way too chill and it didn’t set the right mood for the headliner. Linus Young vaguely reminds me of the Once soundtrack but with a sexier sound. I wasn't in the right frame of mind when seeing them live but I’ve been listening to them since on heavy rotation. Their album, Category 5, comes out tomorrow! Be sure to check it out.

Listen to both Tove Lo’s Queen of The Clouds and Linus Young’s singles below.

Review: MØ

IMAGE VIA ME

IMAGE VIA ME

Last Thursday I saw Holychild and MØ perform at Webster Hall in NYC and it was incredible to say the least. Holychild was good but MØ was so, so amazing. Definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while. Let’s start with Holychild… 

First off, I didn’t know to much about the band besides knowing a few of their more popular songs, but I always assumed it was a group of girls. I was wrong. There were 4 musicians on stage (though the band is a duo), only one of them being a girl. After seeing them perform I now know what tricked me into thinking there were multiple female singers in the band- voice loops (which were used throughout the set). Lead singer Liz Nistico, sported a unique look while jumping around stage accompanied with some seductive dance moves. She rocked 3 French braids tied with pink fluffy hair ties and a tracksuit that she unzipped half way through the set, revealing a super sparkly bikini top. The band describes their genre of music as “brat pop,” which after seeing them live, now makes sense.  

Nistico’s voice wasn’t quite the same live but the set was still fun and energetic. Towards the end of the set they covered Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody?” and although I liked the electronic instrumentation, I wasn’t crazy about her vocals. Especially after seeing Banks cover the same song at Governor’s Ball, it just didn’t compare. They also played a few new songs that I was totally into and that were super dance-y, watch out for their (hopefully soon) releases!

As for MØ, I still can’t get over her performance. She was just way too cool, way to talented and I just want to be her/her new best friend (close enough). She, along with 6 other musicians, including a small horn section, rocked the stage. Behind the musicians was a screen displaying movie scenes from The Breakfast Club to Pocahontas, etc. MØ was all over the place- walking through the crowd, dancing on the bar at the back of the venue, climbing on the balcony and crowd surfing over the audience. Her energy and unique-coolness filled the venue. Even though I was feeling a bit ill that night (ate too much at dinner and puked on the streets of NYC… guys, overeating is a real thing), while MØ performed, nothing else mattered.  

Tip- if you ever get a chance to see MØ live, DO IT. I am usually satisfied after seeing an artist live but I would see her 100 time over again. 

I’ll leave you with the closing songs of the night.

Side Note- 

Tracksuits are in.

On the left, Liz Nistico of HOLYCHILD, performing at Webster Hall. On the right, snapshot from Elliphant and MØ's music video "One More."  IMAGES VIA  WWW.FDRMX.COM  AND  WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/MOMOMOYOUTH

On the left, Liz Nistico of HOLYCHILD, performing at Webster Hall. On the right, snapshot from Elliphant and MØ's music video "One More."

IMAGES VIA WWW.FDRMX.COM AND WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/MOMOMOYOUTH

And also, buns...

MØ performing at Webster Hall.   IMAGE VIA  WWW.FDRMX.COM

MØ performing at Webster Hall. 

IMAGE VIA WWW.FDRMX.COM

Wish I Was Here

So a few weeks ago I saw Wish I Was Here because 1) Garden State is my fav movie, 2) The Garden State Soundtrack is the best soundtrack there ever was and 3) I really like the title. Some were hating on this movie saying it was just another typical Zach Braff movie, but like EXCUSE ME Zach Braff only made one other movie, so that can't be a thing yet. Don't hate on ZB. 

Wish I Was Here made me feel a LOT. Like I cried a ton which I did not expect to happen at all (I guess I didn't really pay attention to the trailer). What you can expect from ZB always- good music, quirkiness and some cool quotes. 

When you make something as great as Garden State, I'm sure it's hard to follow up, and trust me he was really trying. I think a bit too hard. The humor and quirkiness was forced at times. While it did have similar elements to Garden State, it was definitely different, especially the feel of it. A lot more goofy and a little more mainstream. It was lacking in a way that I couldn't pinpoint but I did really enjoy it regardless. 

The soundtrack is pretty legit (mostly because The Shins). If I haven't convinced you to see the movie at least listen to the soundtrack. While it's no Garden State, it's still pretty damn good. 

VMAs 2014 Recap

IMAGE VIA  WWW.MTV.CO.UK

IMAGE VIA WWW.MTV.CO.UK

So last night was MTV's Video Music Awards and I must say, I really enjoyed it. Like a lot more than usual. The night included 9 performances plus 2 in the pre-show (Fifth Harmony and Charli XCX) and 20 awards (not all given out throughout the show). Here were the highlights-

Performances (listed from best to worst)-

  1. Beyonce - Samples from Beyonce (the entire album) Beyonce's performance was pretty much a mini concert and I loved every minute of it. She had me forgetting everyone else's performance and the rest of the show. Absolute perfect way to end the night. Beyonce, Jay Z and Blue Ivy looked like the most perfect family (minus the divorce rumors). 
  2. Sam Smith - "Stay With Me" Loveddddddd this performance. He was just perfect. I know in the past I said that I didn't understand the hype around Sam Smith but soon after I realized I was wrong. SO wrong. 
  3. Ariana Grande ("Break Free"), Nicki Minaj ("Anaconda") and Jessie J ("Bang Bang") Loved Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" performance, it was risque and a little slutty but I was digging it. Honesty, anything looked innocent compared to last year's Miley Cyrus performance. As for Ariana Grande's performance and the end of this section where all three artists came together for "Bang Bang" - I wasn't a huge fan.
  4. Taylor Swift - "Shake It Off" - This was a fun and entertaining performance, just as you would expect from Tay Swift. As always though, she did little things that annoyed me. I'm just not into the purposefully bad dance moves.  
  5. Maroon 5 - "Maps" - Adam Levine sounded great live as did the rest of the band but there wasn't anything too special about this performance.
  6. Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora - "Black Widow" - I'm not crazy about the song or these two artists so I might be biased, but I wasn't into this performance.
  7. 5 Seconds Of Summer - "Amnesia" 5 Seconds of Summer sucked. I wish they played a more upbeat song like "She Looks So Perfect," that would have definitely held my attention a little more. 
  8. Usher ft. Nicki Minaj - "She Came To Give It To You" Sooooooooooooo boring. But I did like the weird butt and head dance moves.

Winners-

  • Video of the Year- Miley Cyrus "Wrecking Ball"
  • Best Female Video- Katy Perry, Juicy J "Dark Horse"
  • Best Male Video- Ed Sheeran "Sing"
  • Best Pop Video- Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea "Problem"
  • Best Hip-Hop Video- Drake, Majid Jordan "Hold On (We're Going Home)"
  • Best Rock Video- Lorde "Royals"
  • Artist to Watch Award-Fifth Harmony
  • Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award- Beyonce

Side Notes-

  • Themes- wearing almost nothing (but I guess that's a theme every year). Participants of the "wearing revealing clothing" theme- Rita Ora, J Lo, Amber Rose, Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, Nicki Minaj ("Bang Bang" dress malfunction) and Jessie J's (during her "Bang Bang" performance). The other theme of the night was loads of booty shaking, like A LOT. Even with all the almost nakedness and booty popping though, this year's VMAs was definitely a lot more tame than last years Miley Cyrus' performance. 
  • Break music was bomb. Heard some Bleachers, Charli "Boom Clap" remix, RAC's "Cheap Sunglasses," Robyn, etc.
  • Jay Pharoah as the host/non-host (according to MTV there wasn't a host, but he kinda seemed a little host-y) was the best thing that ever happened to the VMAs. His little appearances were hilarious, on point and I looked forward to them throughout the show.
  • One of my favorite parts of the night is when Miley Cyrus won "Video of the Year." Upon winning she sent up her date for the night instead of accepting the award herself. Jessie, a former homeless teen, accepted the award and made a short speech about youth homelessness in LA. I though it was way cool of her (even though I could have done away with the water works, MILEY). Miley sure likes to do things differently, and this year it was for a great cause. Not sure if this was for attention or if she genuinely cares but either way she did a good thing. 
  • Also, Twitter thought I was a robot and wouldn't allow me to tweet on KJ's account. If you want to see what I was thinking while the show was unfolding, head over to my personal account (twitter.com/melissacolangel). 

Governors Ball 2014 Recap

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IMAGE VIA WWW.SIMPLYQ.COM

Governors Ball was rough to say the least. 3 days of 10 hours of music was amazing but painful. It took me a WHILE to recover from the weekend. I can’t place complete blame on the recovery process for this post delay but…

This was my second Gov Ball experience, my first being 2 years ago but this year I decided to go all out and get the 3 day pass (all the days were so good, I couldn’t choose!). This year was a million times more crowded which proves how popular this east coast fest is getting. Governors Ball has come along way from its start in 2011 on actual Governors Island with this year’s headliners- Outkast, Jack White, Skrillex, Vampire Weekend and other big names on the ticket such as Disclosure, Phoenix and The Strokes. 

I had my Gov Ball playlist on repeat weeks before the big weekend because I was psyched; now I have it on repeat to reminisce. Only 12 months until next year’s fest ☹ 

Here are the highlights of the best, the worst, what I’ve learned from the weekend and when/where you can catch a similar experience. 

BEST- The Strokes, Banks (Duhh), Tanlines, Lucious, Vampire Weekend

WORST- Julian Casablancas (doesn’t make much sense considering The Stokes were one of the best, but Casablanca’s voice sounded muffled for some reason and he didn’t play his solo hits! WTH!), The Naked and Famous (muffled again, problems with mics maybe?)

What I’ve Learned- Survival Tips that Can Apply to Any Music Festival
•    LOTS of sunscreen 
•    LOTS of mola for those $13 beers or LOTS of courage- sneak stuff in (I’ve snuck in multiple sandwiches several times, can’t be too difficult to sneak in a few nips. Don’t let those festivals rob you of your $!)
•    Toilet paper- comes in handy at the end of the night when port-o-pottys are out. 
•    Sweater- because although I was dying from the heat during the day, I was freezing as soon as the sun set 
•    The Perfect Outfit = Loose, minimal clothing + comfy shoes. Minimal clothing goes along with the music festival general attire (lots of concertgoers take this to the extreme) but comfy shoes and loose clothing doesn’t quite make the cut. Tip: I know you want to look cool but is it worth it? (I saw multiple please wearing wedges/heels umm…what?) It’s a long ass day, jamming out at the front of the strokes beats sitting in the grass cause your feet hurt, any day. 
•    Earplugs- I ended up at the side of stages quite a few times because I wanted to be close but didn’t want to wait an hour before each artist to be close AND in the center. Side of stage = speakers. While this wasn’t often an issue, at Tanlines, it got really intense. Those beats were cray, literally vibrating in my chest and throat. Plus side- many couldn’t take it and the side front cleared pretty fast making it easier to get even closer.
•    Agua, lots and lots of it. You know why.
•    Rest- like I said, it’s a long day. Make sure you are well rested so you can enjoy every minute of the festival and see every artist possible. You don’t want to waste the day (or your money) sleeping in the grass as many people did. 
•    Back Pain Prevention/Relief Exercises- if you’re like me, standing for hours KILLS. It’s actually the only thing I dread about going to shows, it sucks. Follow this link www.Fitsugar.com, for exercises that offer some relief. Try them out after a long day at a show or throughout. In between sets you could most likely find me in the grass in child’s pose. 
•    A good attitude, it’s the funnest day of the year! HAVE FUN!!

Still Haven’t Made it To a Festival This Year? You Still Got Time. Check Out These- 
Pitchfork, Chicago (July 18-20)
Van’s Warped Tour, USA (June 11-August 3)
Bunbury, Cincinnati, OH (July 11-13)
Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport, CT (July 31-August 3)
Newport Folk Festival, Rhode Island (July 25-27)
Lollapalooza, Chicago (August 1-3)
North Coast, Chicago (August 29-31)
Bubershoot, Seattle (August 30-September 1)
Burning Man, Nevada (August 25-September 1)
Outside Lands, San Francisco (August 8-10)
Made In America, Philadelphia (August 30-31)
Riot Fest, Chicago (September 12-14)