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Posts from October 2012


‘Nashville’ Episode 2 – Recap

 

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‘Nashville’ episode 3 airs tonight, but if you missed last week’s episode or you’re just struggling to remember all the things that happened, here is my recap!

Juliette Barnes continued to pester Deacon to finish writing their song and to join her on tour – whilst refusing to tour with her they did continue their love affair, which was kicked into high gear by Juliette gifting Deacon a 1938 Martin guitar, worth $50,000. Rayna decides to do a small, intimate tour to cut costs, just her and Deacon out on the road like they used to. However, they were dating back then and Rayna has to come to terms with whether it’s a good idea, considering she seems to still have feelings for him.

Teddy continues his run for Mayor, and he and Rayna have to undergo an interview from people working for Lamar, to perhaps uncover anything unfavorable about their past that might be a hindrance to his image during the election. We discover that Coleman, Teddy’s opponent and previously working with Lamar, was dropped after the him and the latter disagreed on a political policy and it is left wide open for other drama to follow.

Meanwhile, Watty White, legendary producer, approaches Scarlett and Gunnar to record a demo under him. Scarlett struggles to make up her mind because of her boyfriend Avery’s jealousy, but eventually Gunnar convinces her to give it a try. It is clear that Gunnar is in love with Scarlett but she’s too wrapped up in Avery to notice, despite many people assuming they are a couple.

Juliette falls more and more in love with Deacon, whilst Deacon and Rayna’s feelings for each other begin to reignite after an emotional surprise performance together in the Bluebird Cafe. Under the influence of Deacon, Juliette also wants to record more serious music than the teenybop stuff her record label is keen on promoting and rejects her latest music video which encompasses that. I can see an interesting but complicated love triangle blooming!

Episode 3 of the hit show proves to be ever more dramatic and explosive, so watch it tonight on ABC at  10/9c.

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Miranda Lambert & Dierks Bentley. . .

 . . . Coming To A Town Near You

Today, 23rd October, Miranda Lambert posted a video to her YouTube entitled 'We've Got Something Up Our Sleeves...:)'.

I hoped it'd be something to do with a new Pistol Annies album (I can only dream!) but through a black-and-white role-play scene, Miranda and Dierks Bentley announce that they will go on the 'Locked & Reloaded' tour in January 2013.

There are no announced dates as of yet (cities below) although she will be performing a separate show at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall, NJ on Jan 26th, with Dierks and Thomas Rhett. These go on sale Saturday 27th October at 10am EST, with Ran Fan pre-sale tomorrow (Wednesday 24th), also at 10am EST. You can find details here.

Here is a list of cities they will be visiting:

Columbia, SC
Knoxville, TN
Roanoke, VA
Baltimore, MD
Reading, PA
Atlantic City, NJ
Dekalb, IL
Dayton, OH
Huntington, WV
Ames, IA
Champaign, IL
E Lansing, MI
Rochester, NY
Albany, NY
Portland, ME
Wichita Falls, TX
Oklahoma City, OK
Kansas City, MO
Macon, GA
Jacksonville, FL
Estero, FL
Bossier City, LA
Springfield, MO
Tulsa, OK
Syracuse, NY
Hershey, PA
Uniondale, NY
San Diego, CA
Irvine, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Phoenix, AZ
Albuquerque, NM
Denver, CO

Comment if they're coming to a city near you!

You can see the fun video here:

 

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Billboard’s Drastic Changes

Mean Country Music Will Change For Good?

Billboard
 

There’s currently a war raging between Billboard and a huge number of country fans. It has to do with the changes Billboard has made to the way their charts are calculated. Before these changes were implemented, the country charts were solely based on country radio airplay. Now, they’re based on country radio airplay, radio airplay on all other formats including pop, streams from sites such as Spotify and digital downloads. Now, I am all for the inclusion of downloads in today’s charts as I think they’re a hugely important part of the modern music marketplace, however an issue that many country fans are having is the impact that both that and the inclusion of plays on pop radio will have on the nature of the country charts.

For example, when the changes took place, a song that had been rejected by country radio, Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ went straight to number 1, with another song of hers that wasn’t even a single, merely an online promo release, ‘Red’, straight to number 2. No matter what you think of Taylor Swift and her music, I think it would be hard to argue that ‘WANEGBT’ is a country song, and I have spoken to many a Taylor Swift fan who agrees. I would not say that ‘Red’ is particularly country either but that is more a matter of opinion, the fact that it isn’t even a single and is part of Taylor Swift’s pop domination over the country charts is angering fans.

So what? You ask. She’s selling records and getting airplay over all formats, what’s the problem? Well, the problem is, that it lowers the commercial impact of a lot of other country music, that may be more true to its roots than songs doing well on other formats. Put it this way. Record labels only really care about sales and chart figures. If an artist isn’t doing well on the charts, then they may be more inclined not to promote them as well, not to spend as much money on their album, or even to drop them from the label altogether, as we’ve seen happen in the past. It therefore puts pressure on artists to conform to a more watered down ‘pop’ sound, in order to appeal to a mass market online and to get played on pop radio. Thus a couple of years down the line, to get a hit an artist must play  music that appeals to pop fans, just so they can stay signed and working. So in this way, what’s the point of having a country chart? What’s the point in having a separate country genre, with awards, festivals, press etc? If it’s only going to sound like pop or other genres in order to stay successful, what’s the point in having country as a concept? There is none.

So while I think downloads or at least some kind of sales should be taken into account to give more of indication of what fans actually want as opposed to what is mediated down to them through radio, this system is very flawed. Due to Taylor Swift’s promo strategy that she implements every album cycle, releasing a new song every week in the lead-up, all other artists around those couple of months will be completely eclipsed, as is happening now. This is nothing to do with how you feel about Taylor Swift, but more a reaction against an artist monopoly, and one that doesn’t really have country music’s best interests at heart. True, Carrie Underwood’s ‘Blown Away’ has just taken the number 1 spot, but might I remind people that although her album is a good one, this song is a rather pop release compared to some of her other material, and she has a history of crossover music that pop radio will be playing to death.

Personally, I think radio airplay on other formats should be taken out of the equation. If someone gets a lot of pop radio airplay, this should be shown through the Billboard Hot 100, which are the pop charts, after all. This is no point in diversity in music if that diversity is not celebrated and instead part of attempts to unify everything. Because really, that’s what this is.

There is a petition circulating to ask Billboard to reverse or revaluate the changes. If you would like, you can sign it here. The changes also apply to R&B, Rock and Rap music so if you know people who would be affected or upset by the changes in their specific genres, please pass this along.

If you’re unsure as to how the system used to work, Taste of Country have a handy guide.

For the sake of country music.

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Gary Allan releases lyric video

 for 'Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)'

Love this song.

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Lady A releases new lyric video for 'This Christmas'

 

Lady Antebellum's new 6-song Christmas album "On This Winter's Night" hit Target today and to celebrate, Lady A released a new lyric video for one of the songs on the album, This Christmas

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What Is Taylor Swift’s ‘State of Grace’ All About

. . .And Where Do We Stand For 'Red'?

Taylor-swift-state-of-grace

Why do I get the feeling that Taylor Swift is trying too hard to be quotable? Her latest promotional song ‘State of Grace’ sounds like a teenage girl’s Tumblr page, and no doubt it now is one thousand times over. It’s also sounds so much like something a band like U2 would produce, I suspect she’s listened to ‘Beautiful Day’ more than once.

So the genre is a pop version of stadium rock. As a song, with the heavy drums (heavier than she’s ever produced) and a ringing electric guitar riff that sounds a little familiar, and the catchy, soaring vocal melody line, mixed with your casual key change to keep people interested in this nearly 5-minute song, it’s not bad. It feels a little weird coming from Taylor Swift, however. Her voice doesn’t sound bad on the track (although she’s notorious for using some vocal enhancers in the studio). Having said that, it sounds like something she could sing pretty well live, as a lot of the vocals are sung slower than her other songs, and if you sing you know it’s easier to sing things slower. You can get a better production on each note as opposed to rushing it. It’s perfectly within in her range in most parts and it seems to be one of those shout-friendly songs so she’s safe there. Not being horrible about her, but we all know her vocals aren’t perfect, and perhaps that’s what attracts so many people to her, as she seems far more ordinary, I suppose.

It does drag on a bit, but it’s split up with different sections such as verse, pre-chorus etc which differ more than they would in an average pop song, and therefore it can sustain your interest. As it consists of a fairly unchanging musical base throughout, however, it can build an atmosphere that the length of it helps to sustain.

As for why this song? Well, I’m very interested in the choices they made as to what to release when. WANEGBT is a bouncy hit guaranteed to take over Call Me Maybe’s slot as cheesy-song-you-can’t-resist-of-the-year, Begin Again, well it was to gather the attention of the more country-orientated fans, who maybe weren’t so initially interested in the lead-up to her album, and thereby it makes them interested, and buy every promo song. Red, well it was a different sound, but closer to that pop/rock amalgamation that we’ve come to expect from Taylor in songs such as Story of Us, and tapped into her usual heartbreak lyrics that prove so popular, so it was a safe choice. I Knew You Were Trouble, to shock people but allow them time to get used to it before the album came out, or I don’t think as many people would have bought the album in the first week (seems to be the record that her label always try to break, for some reason). State of Grace, well it’s another sound entirely, but it’s been written as a live anthem clearly, is very catchy and positive-sounding, you could even say feel good. This gives a very positive view for purchasing the album on 22nd October. However, Taylor has stated that she wanted to leave some surprises for the album. At an extortionate SIXTEEN songs, and still 11 that we haven’t yet heard, I perfectly believe that there is much more to come from her.

The only issue I have been having is that the songs don’t really relate to each other musically, and it feels rather disjointed and disparate so far. Artists want to experiment in order to push their own musical boundaries, those of their fans, and to ensure that listeners to not get bored with the album and continue to listen all the way through again and again. But, it can mean that the album comes across as messy, with no real theme. A successful album needs to show variety and yet have a unity that is rather difficult to construct. When an album is long, it can lose its sense of unity because by the end you have forgotten what happened at the beginning. We shall see, though. This is a test of Taylor’s skill.

I have digressed slightly. ‘State of Grace’ is a good track that I haven’t minded having on repeat throughout the writing of this review, but I fear that she’s so desperate to explore multiple ideas and genres in her music with every new release that she’s losing sight of a unifying ‘Taylorness’ that every artist needs to display their identity. Perhaps it’s simply the lyrics. It’s love, it’s heartbreak, it’s really happy at a relationship or really distraught at a break-up, it’s increasingly quote-worthy and emotional and thoughtful and descriptive.

I have been hard on Taylor in the lead-up to this highly anticipated release, but in the wave of praise piled on her and her music, I feel like we’ve needed a sense of reality and critique to sift through the 14-year-olds declaring their undying love for her. A stereotype, maybe, but usually accurate. As they say, ‘the proof is in the pudding’, and I only have two days to wait until I can chow down.

Monday 22nd October.

Buy ‘State of Grace’ here.

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Kix Brooks debuts new video

 . . . for "Bring It On Home"

 
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Luke Bryan and Cabela's

. . . Form Multi-Year Partnership

Luke bryan

Two-time CMA and AMA Award nominee and platinum-selling artist Luke Bryan and Cabela's, the World's Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, are pleased to announce a multi-year partnership. The partnership centers around a series of cross-promotions and marketing collaborations across Cabela's and Luke Bryan's year round activities. Co-branded marketing campaigns will appear in Cabela's world famous stores, as well as in their catalog and e-commerce materials. Social media and content collaborations will offer fans an exclusive, behind the scenes look into Luke's off-stage activities as an avid outdoorsman.

"My love for the outdoors is something that has been a part of me ever since I can remember," says Luke. "It seems there was never a time when we weren't hunting, fishing, farming or playing outside since I was very young. Teaming with Cabela's is such a natural fit for me."

Continue reading "Luke Bryan and Cabela's Form Multi-Year Partnership (from the mailbag)" »

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Keith Urban GQ 2012 Man Of The Year???

Keith Urban nominated for Australian GQ 2012 Man of the Year...needs your vote now

Keith Urban GQ
Keith Urban recently appeared in the pages of Australia's GQ men's magazine, and now Keith is nominated for that same magazine's 2012 Man of the Year award.

Fans are encouraged to vote for Keith over on GQ here

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The Band Perry to join Rascal Flatts

 . . . for 2013 tour dates (from the mailbag)

Rascal Flatts
Super group Rascal Flatts announced today they will extend their Farmers Insurance Presents "Changed Tour" with a winter leg of 20 dates starting January 10 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Special guest The Band Perry will join Rascal Flatts for the 2013 leg of the tour.

Rascal Flatts is known for their highly energetic performances and state-of-the-art production. The

Minneapolis Star shared, "country music's best-selling trio of all time brought lots of harmonies, a little humor and imaginative video. They came across as committed, fun-loving, crowd-pleasing entertainers." And the Orange County Register claimed Rascal Flatts performance of "What Hurts The Most" in their encore at the mid-September show at Verizon Amphitheater "definitely helped put the show over the top as the best country performance of the fading summer season."

Remaining Farmers Insurance Presents "Changed Tour" 2012 dates:

  • 10-20 Atlanta, GA Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood 
  • 10-26 Tampa, FL 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
  • 10-27 W Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre

Farmers Insurance Presents "Changed Tour" 2013 dates:

  • 1-10 Green Bay, WI Resch Center 
  • 1-11 Moline, IL i wireless Center
  • 1-12 Springfield, MO JQH Arena
  • 1-17 Sioux City, IA Tyson Events Center
  • 1-18 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
  • 1-19 Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena
  • 1-24 Spokane, WA Spokane Arena
  • 1-25 Missoula, MT Adams Event Center 
  • 1-26 Billings, MT Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark
  • 2-7 Terre Haute, IN ISU Hulman Center
  • 2-8 Lexington, KY Rupp Arena
  • 2-9 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
  • 2-14 North Charleston, SC North Charleston Coliseum
  • 2-15 Greensboro, NC GreensboroColiseum
  • 2-16 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena
  • 2-23 Pikeville, KY Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center
  • 2-24 Youngstown, OH Covelli Centre
  • 2-28 Topeka, KS Landon Arena
  • 3-1 Jonesboro, AR ASU Convocation Center 
  • 3-2 Tupelo, MS BancorpSouth Arena

Dates subject to change

Live Nation is the national tour promoter. Log on to www.rascalflatts.com or www.livenation.com for tour dates and information.

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Taylor Swift pulls an Amanda Bynes

...hits two cars in one day

Taylor-Swift-Rolling-Stone
Okay, technically Taylor hit one car and the other car hit her car so we're not really bordering on Amanda Bynes territory here, but it was two minor fender benders in one day which is kind of funny. 

Recently Taylor was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and when the magazine sent a reporter to interview Taylor, they decided to go for a ride with Taylor driving. That's when Taylor's first accident happened.  According to Ace Showbiz, Taylor somehow managed to back into her bass player's car. 

The 22-year-old country music cutie accidentally hit a parked car and completely freaked out. "Oh my God!" she repeatedly said. 

It turned out the car belonged to her bass player. "I'm gonna pay for it, I promise! I'm good for it!" she added. "Amos, I'm so sorry. I freaked out 'cause I went the wrong way and he was gonna think I'm a bad driver and then I backed into another car. This is the worst interview he's ever had, already!" 

The girlfriend of Conor Kennedy continued, "I cannot believe there was a car behind me. I thought that- because I could only see the security car, and Amos' car was so low and I didn't look in the back camera and I was so sure no one was behind me." 

As if hitting a parked car wasn't bad enough, later in the day a Corvette sideswiped her car. 

"OK, that was my life flashing before my eyes," Taylor was quoted as saying. "What is this day? This is some strange alternate reality where things just go wrong a lot. That was the second time today! I'm going to have a nervous breakdown!" 

Wow, I bet that interviewer will rethink the whole interviewing-while-driving thing in the future. 

For Taylor's interview with the magazine, check out RollingStone.com

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The Cowboy Rides Away Tour. . .

 . . . is a "Strait" Away Sell-Out (from the mailbag)

St. Paul, Minn.  Xcel Energy Center
Fans lining up outside St. Paul, Minn.'s Xcel Energy Center Friday morning, Oct. 12, 2012.
George Strait’s The Cowboy Rides Away Tour featuring special guest Martina McBride was so popular when tickets went on sale this morning that six tour markets sold out within the first few hours—with Lubbock, Texas selling all 15,431 tickets within just 15 minutes.

“I never expected the fans would react like this. It’s just incredible,” shared an ecstatic Strait upon learning the news. “I really do have the best fans in the world, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all on the road very soon.”

In addition to Lubbock, sold out cities include Oklahoma City, Okla., St. Paul, Minn., Albuquerque, N.M., Las Vegas, Nev., and Las Cruces, N.M. In select markets, remaining single show tickets are still available for purchase.

The full list of tour dates is listed below with tickets available by visiting www.GeorgeStrait.com; ticket prices begin at $69.50 with V.I.P. packaging available for purchase.
 
THE COWBOY RIDES AWAY TOUR – 2013 DATES
JAN 18 | Lubbock, Texas | United Spirit Arena
JAN 19 | Oklahoma City, Okla. | Chesapeake Energy Arena
JAN 25 | Salt Lake City, Utah | Energy Solutions Arena
JAN 26 | Nampa, Idaho | Idaho Center
JAN 31 | Sacramento, Calif. | Power Balance Pavilion
FEB 1 | Fresno, Calif. | Save Mart Center
FEB 2 | Las Vegas, Nev. | MGM Grand Garden Arena
FEB 15 | St. Paul, Minn. | Xcel Energy Center
FEB 16 | Grand Forks, N.D. | The Alerus Center
FEB 22 | Buffalo, N.Y. | First Niagara Center
FEB 23 | Hartford, Conn. | XL Center
MAR 1 | Knoxville, Tenn. | Thompson-Boling Arena*
MAR 2 | Lexington, Ky. | Rupp Arena
MAR 17 | Houston, Texas | Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
MAR 22 | Greenville, S.C. | Bi-Lo Center**
MAR 23 | Greensboro, N.C. | Greensboro Coliseum Complex
APR 5 | Albuquerque, N.M. | The Pit
APR 6 | Las Cruces, N.M. | Pan American Center
APR 12 | N. Little Rock, Ark. | Verizon Arena+
APR 13 | New Orleans, La. | New Orleans Arena*
JUN 1 | San Antonio, Texas | Alamodome++
*On-Sale date Oct. 19, 2012
** On-Sale date Oct. 26, 2012
+ On-Sale date Dec. 14, 2012
++ On-Sale date March 9, 2013 
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I only laugh cause my dog has done it too!!!

Don't forget to jump...your giggle of the day (not country but funny)

Happy Monday!

{video via BuzzFeed}

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ACA nominees announced

 

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The third annual AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS will air live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas Monday, Dec. 10 on FOX. Luke Bryan leads the AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS nominees with seven nominations; Lady Antebellum and Zac Brown Band each earned six nods; and Eric Church and Taylor Swift garnered five nominations.

A "Song of the Year" category also has been added to this year's event, in an effort to pay tribute not only to country music's top performers, but to its top songwriters. The nominees are determined by the Professional Songwriting Division of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Starting today, fans can vote once each day for their favorite AMERICAN COUNTRY AWARDS nominees at www.theacas.com. Voting is open until Monday, Nov. 12 for all categories, except for Artist of the Year, which closes on Friday, Dec. 7. The nominees for each award category have been determined by four media measurement companies: BigChampagne (record sales and media consumption); Great American Country (video airplay); Mediabase (radio airplay); Pollstar (touring data); and Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Full list of nominees after the jump..... 

Continue reading "ACA nominees announced (from the mailbag) " »

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Tesla coils play 'Sweet Home Alabama'

Tesla coils play 'Sweet Home Alabama' because...why not?

Nothing like some good ol' fashioned Lynyrd Skynyrd played by something that could totally kill you with one touch to get you going on this crisp Fall morning. 

{via BuzzFeed}

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