Posts tagged ‘taylor swift’

May 7, 2011

Exclusive Interview: Tom Kolovos interviews Isaac Franco of KaufmanFranco

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April 7, 2011

On my Techincs Programmable Turntable in 1985: Lone Justice


I was mad about Lone Justice‘s debut album in 1985. Maria McKee had the voice and the band a sound that was often described as cowpunk. I went to see them live at The Park West in October of 1986. I still remember that as one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I didn’t quite remember that she was about the same age as I was at the time. She sounded so much wiser than her 21 years.

‘Ways to be wicked,”  “Don’t toss us away” and “East of Eden” were three of the album’s standout cuts, which were produced by current “American Idol” mentor Jimmy Iovine. I turn 47 on the 9th, and sometimes, late at night, I suspect that perhaps I still I know so many ways to be wicked but I don’t know a single thing about love. I definitely felt that way at 21.

They appeared on “SNL” on December of 1986. They opened for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and U2 and performed at Farm Aid.

Maria McKee was one of the most underrated talents to come out of the 80’s. “East of Eden” puts to shame anything by any woman on the charts in 2011. Listen to how pointedly offhanded she can invoke more sexual innuendo in one line in “Ways to be Wicked” than Rihanna can invoke in a whole CD. In 1989, Maria released her first solo album “Gotta Sin to Get Saved”, which contains one of my favorite song titles of all time: “I’ve forgotten what it was in you that put the need in me.” (It’s only rivaled by Dinah Washington’s “My new man is an undertaker and he’s got a coffin just your size,” which appears on one of my favorite albums of all time “The Late, Late Show.”)

Listen to the title track on “Gotta sin…” and hear how much Miranda Lambert, for instance, might owe to Maria McKee. The current crop of country tough love girls should be indebted to Maria’s songwriting–even when it’s been stripped of every ounce of authenticity by the likes of Carrie Underwood (Undo It, Last Name, Before He Cheats) and the unbearably cloying Taylor Swift (see recent ACM performance. Miss Swift, YOU TALKING TO ME? Why you got to be so meaningless?)


Lone Justice on iTunes

February 4, 2010

What could happen if gays were allowed to serve openly in the miltary

John Phillips could be heard from beyond the grave: “Dude, you’re completely crossing the line.” Middle schoolers  could collectively be heard muttering to themselves: “Dude, that’s so gay.”

The dude to whom they could justifiably be referring  is Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia who, despite the recommendation of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff  Admiral Mike Mullen that the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should be eliminated, opposes allowing gays to serve openly in the military.  Senator Chamblis  thinks that eliminating the military’s  restriction on homosexuality as a condition of service in the 21st century could put us but steps away from a brave new world of  “alcohol use, adultery, fraternization and body art.”

Really? This from a member of the party of Bush who spent 8 years with a guy named Dick on his ass.  Sure, you might expect a more sophisticated world view from a guy in the US Senate than from the guys on ” Jersey Shore” but the situation reveals that Saxby may know more about Snooky than he knows about nookie.

Not that the Senator needs my help, but here’s a more comprehensive but still incomplete list of social undoings that could result from repealing don’t ask, don’t tell:

Your Toyota could suddenly accelerate for no reason

A black man could become president

Taylor Swift could win a Grammy

John McCain could marry an heiress to an alcohol distribution fortune

John Edwards could make a sex tape of himself making love to his pregnant mistress before he repeatedly denies to his terminally ill cancer stricken wife that he was the father of the baby

Men who have posed naked as a centerfold for Cosmopolitan magazine could be elected to the US Senate

Sandra Bullock could win an acting award

Sarah Palin may become John McCain’s running mate after being found on You Tube and vetted on Google, all in the span of two weeks

Women who look like they didn’t make the cut to be onstage as The Pussycat Dolls  could find themselves in consort with Tiger Woods

John Edwards could take the word of a woman, who is unproblematically willing to have sex with a married millionaire, that he doesn’t have to use a condom because she’s incapable of getting pregnant

John Mayer could complain that he is not getting enough sex and extol the theraputic powers of masturbation while posing on various magazine covers showcasing his tattoos

Timothy Geithner , Larry Summers and Ben Bernake could actually be in bed with the financial institutions they are supposed to be regulating

Rihanna could suffer a brutal beating from Chris Brown, leave him, go back to him, leave him for good because she wants to be a role model for young girls, pose naked for the cover of GQ, get a few more tattoos  and then release the  single  “So Hard,” the video for which looks like a trailer to  Chi Chi La Rue high concept porn

The Northern Ireland brokered peace agreement, decades in the making, could be at peril because the 61 year old wife of of one of the political leaders may have a torrid seven month affair with a dead family friend’s 19 year old son and then fail to report that she and her husband funneled about $80,000 to the young man to open a coffee shop/internet cafe

ABC financial news correspondent Bianna Golodryga could become at least the third woman with poor judgment to jump into the bed of  Peter Orszag, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, who is being sued by his first wife for non payment of the divorce settlement as he simultaneously becomes engaged to Ms Golodryga before the pregnant ex girlfriend he promised to marry gives birth to his fourth child

Sarah Palin’s new  curly updo hairstyle could resemble that of Jethrine on “The Beverly Hillbilies”

Your Toyota could make other Toyota owners  very uncomfortable especially if you’re in such close proximity that they can see yours coming up the rear

US Senators who pretend to shower the masses with the naked truth could be more careful about bending over to pick up the soapbox they want to stand on

TomKolovos.com

February 2, 2010

Pink, Men in Grey and the True Colors of The Grammy Awards 2010

“Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself/ Will it ever get better than tonight?”

Despite what the beautifully dressed, off key and exuberantly delusional Taylor Swift would like you to believe, when you’re 80 and you think back to the 2010 Grammy Awards, you will think back, not to her tedious pubescent musing on the cynically titled CD “Fearless,”  but to that lyric  from the authentically fearless “Funhouse” CD and you will  definitely think Pink.

She tore the roof off of the place last night at the Grammys, singing “Glitter in the Air.”  It was a performance that will go down in Grammy history as iconic. Click here if you missed it.

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She appeared resplendently clad as if an all white Byzantine Madonna, later stripping down to a sheer glittery white catsuit and floated alternately angelically, aerobically and Busby Berkeley-like above the crowd, all the while throwing down the gauntlet to every singer and “performance artist” by excelling at both.

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She was a much needed  leave-you-breathless-breath-of-jaw-dropping-bravura in a  high stakes game of showmanship that favored the  histrionic (Earth Song Michael Jackson tribute) , mawkish ( Andrea Bocelli and Mary J Blige), soporific (Dave Mathews Band), gratuitous (Bon Jovi) , sophomoric (Taylor Swift, embarrassingly out of tune), profane (Eminem et al) and  the merely interesting on paper (Lady Gaga and Elton John). Only the muscular performance by the night’s big winner, Beyonce, and the sweetly rendered harmonies of Lady Antebellum, whose comparatively very low key performance has reportedly immediately spiked sales of “Need you Now,” came even remotely close to matching the thrill of Pink.

It was definitely ladies night  during the televised portion of the ceremony which may have left many of the guys singing the blues but also  of note  this year was the  surprising number of guys who rated  on the red carpet by trading the black tux for the grey suit or dinner jacket.  Among  those who favored the chic alternative of various shades, patterns and textures of grey instead of black included Dave Matthews, Mario Lopez, Lionel Richie,  Josh Dumel, Carlos Santana, Russel Brand and “Jersey Shore” caricature Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino.

Below is a gallery of the ones who really pulled it off.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=grammys+2010+red+carpet&iid=7773389″ src=”5/6/d/a/Grammy_Awards_2010_003b.jpg?adImageId=9809376&imageId=7773389″ width=”234″ height=”300″ /] [picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=grammys+2010+red+carpet&iid=7772772″ src=”2/d/0/4/Grammy_Awards_2010_a5fc.jpg?adImageId=9810222&imageId=7772772″ width=”234″ height=”300″ /]

John Legend wore his with a v-neck sweater and tie.

Keith Urban wore it showcasing his signature “heavage.”

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Rapper Common looked so dapper in plaid with a red pindot evening scarf and  country singer Billy Currington rocked the 3 piece charcoal number.

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=grammys+2010+david+guetta&iid=7775478″ src=”5/1/e/a/The_52nd_Annual_7543.jpg?adImageId=9811369&imageId=7775478″ width=”234″ height=”353″ /] [picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=grammys+2010+justin+guarini&iid=7769960″ src=”9/c/0/7/The_52nd_Annual_4182.jpg?adImageId=9811235&imageId=7769960″ width=”234″ height=”357″ /]

Grammy winner David Guetta went for an artful military vibe while Justin Guarini looked smashing in a grey tuxedo over a graphic t shirt.

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Critical darlings and  Grammy winners Kings of Leon split the difference.

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Gradually, so did the guys from Green Day.

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The Jonas Brothers looked better than ever  but it’s  Joe’s grey dinner jacket that nails the look.

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Linkin Park manged to navigate the fine line between corporate and cool.

To recap: Men in grey were rocking the red carpet and Pink was flying high while “Glitter was in the air.” Oh, and hey Taylor, sweetie, before you take yourself too seriously, do you happen to remember the 1983 Album of the Year? No? It was Toto IV by Toto.

Color me Barbara, but I think I’ve said enough, no?
.

TheBestDressedList.com

TomKolovos.com


February 2, 2010

The Best Dressed Women at the 2010 Grammy Awards

There were many costumes but few great dresses. These were my favorites.

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Carrie Ann Inaba of “Dancing with the Stars.”  The LBD of the night.

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Nominee for Best New Artist Keri Hilson.  Let’s face it, if Dolce and Gabbana comes around with something this elegant and pretty, it knocks you out.

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Pink. Only she can make this  Tony Ward Haute Couture a show stopper.

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Taylor Swift. Fearless and modern perfection in yet another Kaufmanfranco stunner.

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Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland looks better than ever in this Victoria Beckham gown.

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Sheryl Crow is pitch perfect in this  minimalist Bottega Veneta gown that looks simple head on but is amazing from the back and billows beautifully when in motion. Click here to see it on the runway.

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I hardly ever like what Heidi Klum wears. I love her in this Pucci beaded mini.

TheBestDressedList.com

TomKolovos.com

November 23, 2009

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN SING: Live Like You’re Dying at the American Music Awards

Last night’s American Music Awards was such a train wreck of unfulfilled expectations that you could hardly blame one for thinking that the Obama administration, not Dick Clark Productions, must have been responsible for it.

I say that (only partly) because I’m not exactly sure that Dick Clark is even still alive. But when dead people who released no music this year win 5 awards (Michael Jackson), being alive was kinda beside the point at this spectacle.

So, for the most part, was singing live.

Things got off to an ominous start when Paula Abdul welcomed the audience into a dead microphone.

Then out came Janet Jackson who is apparently so grief stricken over Michael’s  death that she was inspired/used it as an opportunity to revive her decade long moribund career by dropping 20 pounds and a new greatest hits CD so she could lip synch and show off dance moves so dated that they’re in clear danger of being eligible for a revival.

Later in the show Jeniffer Lopez took pretty much the same route considering her career has been on life support  since “Waiting for Tonight,” which in 1999 turned out to be the anthem for ushering in the new Millennium. Last night she sang about leaving an uncooperative lover as she puts on impossibly expensive and vertiginous red soled  killer heels (Louboutins). Only  problem: she fell flat on her fabled asset while attempting her Katie Holmes-like dance moves and this morning she’s suffering  from a bruised ego (if not also a hip).

The highly cloying Taylor Swift who won 4 awards last night was on hand only via satelite from London where she was rehearsing for a concert at Wembley Arena. Keeping her off stage was perhaps the smartest move the producers could have made, considering she undeservedly (again) won the evening’s biggest award. Now the smartest thing she should do is call Debbie Gibson for career advice. And swiftly, as she’s at about minute 13 on her fame trajectory.

In the battle of the country divas, Keith Urban won handily over Carrie Underwood because he’s prettier and he showed more cleavage.  But he also fared better because he  didn’t scream his trite lyrics  and his performance didn’t look as if someone had shaken a  snow globe so that the awkward  moving Ms Underwood could appear as if she was engaging/engaged in some sort of dance number.

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And herein lies the problem with much of last night’s telecast.  Most of the performers were overreaching for visual images instead of connecting to an audience– as if the overwrought visuals could possibly make up for  poorly written songs, the inability to carry a tune or just sheer lack of stage presence.

That’s what music videos are for.

The  performers who acquitted themselves with any dignity were the ones who actually sang.  By that I mean live and into their working microphones, most notably  Kelly Clarkson, Jay Z with Alicia Keys and Whitney Houston.
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Coincidentally these were the 3 performances which brought down the house before the kitchy  and already overexposed Adam Lambert failed and, let’s be very clear, failed miserably to blow the roof off the place, as had been hyped.

Ms Clarkson got a much deserved standing ovation for her performance of “Already Gone,” a song essentially about knowing when to cut your losses. And boy does she.  She came, she sang, she conquered. How a singer this good and this smart wasn’t the big winner last night is beyond me.  Although she didn’t sound as perfectly heartbreaking as she did on VH1 Divas 2009 , she performed early enough in the show that by the time Jay Z came on to imperially command the room with “Empire State of Mind,” an ode to New York City as much as to his own undeniable artistic empire, she had already set the standard for the evening.

And by the time Whitney Houston came out in a glorious Kaufman Franco white gown, with beatific white stage lighting and a bad wig, it was a good thing Ms Clarkson was already gone. There’s just no denying that Ms Houston has irreparably damaged her voice with years and years of drug abuse but last night  in a gut wrenching confessional that lasted  a few fleeting minutes she managed to  use the detritus to her advantage in “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” a song  about hard won lessons from your own resurrection.

That performance, at once delusional and pathetic but emotionally raw and brutally honest, brought to mind both Billie Holiday and Marianne Faithfull, women with drug ravaged voices which remain powerfully alive because they wear their heart on their sleeve and not because they wear us down with visual pyrotechnics.

TheBestDressedList.com

TomKolovos.com