Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dance Pants

In my first post, I mentioned that I have an affinity for dance that coincides with my love of music. To help demonstrate that, I've decided to post two recent videos of me dancing. They are both from the intermediate Latin ballroom class that I'm taking at school right now.

First, the rumba. This is considered the dance of love. The slower rhythm of the music allows for the movement to really simmer.

video

Also, the paso doble. One of my favorite dances, this one resembles a bullfight. There are lots of accents and drum crashes in this music that help make the movement more dramatic.

video

-Jake

Friday, February 24, 2012

Grammy Whammy


Music's biggest night!

Alright, look- I fully realize that this is a bit late. But here's the thing: I didn't start this blog till after the Grammys were over. That, and I've been really busy. But I'll be damned if I have a music blog without posting about the Grammys. So here we go~

I get Grammy fever every year around this time. However, I forgot just how long the show is. Clocking in at around 3 hours, it is a commitment only a true music lover (like moi) can make. This was due to a ratio of about 6 musical performances to every 1 award, which I was totally down for.

The grand winner of the night was Adele. She won 6 awards, including the coveted album of the year. Now, don't get me wrong- I think Adele's very talented and I still want to listen to her full albums soon ("19" and "21"), but I really wish Lady Gaga would've won album of the year. "Born This Way" was amazing, but I'm not too heartbroken- I'm sure one of her future albums will be recognized as album of the year. Regarding her defeat, Lady Gaga said, "Adele deserved every award she won and perhaps an extra one for being such a kind and lovely woman." If that's not class, I don't know what is.

That's all I'm gonna say about the awards. Since much focus was on performances that night and that's what I mainly care about anyway, I'd rather focus on giving highlights of the night's performances.

First off, Bruno Mars in a 50's inspired performance. He sounded good as usual and he can dance. I didn't know that before, but then I saw him do the splits. Bravo.

Then Chris Brown performed a medley of "Turn Up the Music" and "Beautiful People" The set was some sort of modern white pyramid with changing colorful lights. He looked fine in all white, but his backup dancers looked a little weird- their costumes kinda made them look like flying squirrels. The dancing was amazing as always, with tight choreography, isolations, and tricks to boot. In fact, I'd say he's one of the best dancers in the business right now.

Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean sang "Don't You Wanna Stay" next. I'm not too much of a country fan normally, but I love this song- the harmonies are gorgeous. Both singers sounded pretty good and seemed to be having fun together on stage. Plus, Kelly looked amazing as always. :)

Another dynamic duo then took the stage: Coldplay and Rihanna. The lineup was pretty much what I expected it to be. Rihanna started off with "We Found Love," which started with just a piano in the background and actually sounded pretty good. As the song sped up though, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed in the choreography. It was a little too simple. Rihanna is a dancer, after all. Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, then appeared, playing an acoustic guitar. The pair sang "Princess of China," in which Rihanna sounded pretty tired. I thought she would've had a costume change at this point, but she kept her street grunge inspired look from the previous song. And I'm sorry, but could she not have freshened up her roots for the friggin Grammys? Coldplay then sang "Paradise" and it seemed Martin was a bit strained. The set was cool though- glow in the dark graffiti and the audience was given fun little glow sticks.

Later, Katy Perry performed. She started with "E.T.," which I was initially disappointed by. I've never liked the song too much. But in a surprise twist, the power "went out." When the power "came back on," Perry appeared in a glass box suspended over the stage. She sang the beginning of "Part of Me" a cappella (pretty well, I might add) and broke the glass to climb out of the box after it had been lowered onto the stage. KP then proceeded to sing the rest of the song, complete with strong male dancers, futuristic outfits, and plenty of pyrotechnics.

Adele then sang her signature song, "Rolling in the Deep." No hype, no theatrics. Just her beautiful, powerful voice. 'Nuff said.

And of course, a performance dedicated to our dear departed, Whitney Houston. Jennifer Hudson sang a stunning rendition of Whitney's classic hit, "I Will Always Love You." The audio and video of the performance has since been released to iTunes, to mixed reception. This is because the proceeds, rather than going toward some sort of charity, are going toward the record company The Recording Academy. This has led many to deem it distasteful and seemingly profiteering off of Houston's death.

Nicki Minaj performed shortly after this. This performance was highly controversial and has been widely discussed since its occurance. This is because it had strong religious overtones, coinciding with her guest who was dressed as the pope with her on the red carpet earlier in the evening. She began with a medley of "Roman's Revenge" and "I Feel Pretty" (with slightly altered lyrics) in a Catholic confessional-type setting. A video was then shown paying homage to the classic thriller "The Exorcist," in which a priest came into a house to exorcise Minaj's explosive alter ego, Roman Zolanski. Nicki then appeared on stage, strapped to a board and singing "Roman Holiday." She eventually broke free while monks danced suggestively and a choir sang "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" (again, with slightly altered lyrics). Minaj prayed and was then raised to float in the air. A blast of fire then erupted as the world's introduction to Roman was complete. My conclusion from all of this? She's crazy, but in the best possible way. lol

Once again, I was disappointed by the lack of Gaga. She did not perform, but I suppose that's because she already performed at the nominations concert several months ago. At said concert, she opened with "Marry the Night" and closed with "Yoü and I," alongside country/pop band Sugarland. It was phenomenal.
However, I will comment on Gaga's outfit of choice for the evening. She had a net over her face, which a lot of people are saying made her look like a ham. I disagree. This woman is all about the avant garde; so it's quite fitting that she take a classic look, such as a net on top of a hat in this case, and take it over the top.
But anyway, it's ok. There were lots of performances on this night-of-nights for the music industry and I enjoyed them, for the most part.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." -Sir Paul McCartney, in closing the 2012 Grammy Awards.
Well said, Paul.

-JK

Monday, February 20, 2012

Katy My Lady

Hey music munchkins~

"It was an incredible honor to tie the King of Pop's Billboard Hot 100 record, but I'm moving forward and had a few things left to get off my chest." -Katy Perry, regarding her recent career developments.

Katy Perry has a brand (of the non-Russell variety) new song, called "Part of Me." The demo leaked a long time ago, around when her album, "Teenage Dream," came out; but the studio version is pretty good. Some new lyrics, namely, "keep the diamond ring," are an obvious nod toward her ex-husband, Russell Brand. It's already been released digitally and hits radio tomorrow. All proceeds from the song's sales will go toward KP's favorite charity, MusiCares.


The song has already hit #1 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. That, combined with its projected sales of 400,000 make it a shoe-in to debut at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart next week. Here's the thing though- even though that would make it the 6th #1 single from the "Teenage Dream" era, it wouldn't be the 6th #1 single from the album itself. That's because it's being released as a single from "Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection," due on March 26th.

This presents a bit of a dilemma for all of the Katykats in the world. You see, Katy is currently tied with Michael Jackson for a pretty substantial record: the most #1 singles from a single album. Her last single from "Teenage Dream," "The One That Got Away," was the first single from the album to fail to chart at #1. Instead, it peaked at #3. This rendered it, well...literally, the one that got away.

Anyway, I'll post the music video as soon as it comes out; but for now, here's the lyric video, which is actually pretty cool. Let me know what you think!


-JK

*Update: Billboard just confirmed that "Part of Me" debuted at #1 on the U.S. Hot 100 chart, becoming the 20th song in history to do so. Totally called it. :P
This marks the 7th #1 for Katy Perry, and 6th in this decade alone.
This now presents Ms. Perry with another tie- most #1 hits in the U.S. in the 2010's. She currently shares said tie with fellow pop diva Rihanna. May the best woman win!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hello World!

Hello there, fellow music maniacs! My name is Jake Kelly, the one and only. I'm so excited about this blog! For as long as I can remember, I've always loved music. When I was little, I could sing all the words to songs on the radio, and not much has changed since. haha

For a long time, I've been wanting to share my passion for music with the world. It drives everything I do. The digital age has been great for me, because I can listen to music while I do everything: from walking around campus to even doing laundry. :P

I have an extensive background in performing and try my best to stay on top of what is going on in the music world, particularly in the vein of top 40. In fact, after I finish my undergraduate degree in psychology soon, I hope to go to law school and become an entertainment lawyer. This would entail working in the music industry with contracts, copyright, etc. I figure it's a good way to not have to be a starving artist, but at the same time, still be an instrumental (no pun intended) part of that world. I've auditioned in NYC and got a taste of how hard it is to be a struggling artist. Not that I don't have the utmost respect for such individuals, because I definitely do. I just figure that being a lawyer would be a pretty good "day job." ;)

I have other loves that coincide with my love of music as well. Namely, they are theater and dance. I plan to post about these too and how they correlate to music. Make no mistake, music will always be #1.

AH! I have so much I want to say. Stay tuned~

-Jake