Tag Archives: the beatles

YouTube Wednesday: Dylan Gardner…the music industry’s newest triple threat

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘YouTube Wednesday’, we are going to discuss Dylan Gardner, an INCREDIBLE singer/songwriter/producer, who is on his way to taking the music industry by storm! Dylan is from San Tan Valley, Arizona, and according to his website’s bio, “…has spent the last 10 years of his life obsessed with the art of songwriting…”. The bio also says that Dylan is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, and Pro-Tools producer (doesn’t this guy make you feel like you’ve wasted your life on Netflix…yeah me too). In 2013, he was signed to Big Deal Music Publishing, and recorded his debut album ‘Adventures in Real Time’, which was co-produced with John Dragonetti of the indie rock band ‘The Submarines’. I first heard his music when he performed as a guest star on Shane Dawson’s podcast, and from the minute I heard Dylan sing, I was COMPLETELY obsessed with his music, and knew that I had to let you all know about him (if you were already a fan, then you know why we have to make sure EVERYONE knows about him). So please read on to see why Dylan Gardner’s music is what you should be thankful for this year.

 

Dylan uploaded the first video (a cover of the entire second side of The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ album, with each song performed in 15 second intervals) on his YouTube channel on April 9th, 2014 (you can check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIfb4BuTL1A&list=UUBRDzAp5-vMtxPz3ZlE8J4g). I really enjoyed this cover because it was creative (I mean who else would think to cover an entire side of an album), and it really showed what an incredible musician he is. In this video we got to not only see Dylan sing, but also play numerous instruments such as: the piano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and ukulele. The cover really flowed well, and felt like one big song of Beatles awesomeness. The next video we are going to discuss is Dylan’s cover of Vampire Weekend’s song ‘Diane Young’, which was uploaded on June 18th, 2014 (you can check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZrfTd_7p1s&list=UUBRDzAp5-vMtxPz3ZlE8J4g&index=6). This was a really cool cover because it kept the vibe of the original song, but also added a special energy that Dylan’s fans have come to love. Another thing that I really liked about this cover is that it was an acoustic cover that Dylan performed live in his bedroom. This felt really special, because it takes you back to when your favorite YouTube artists would make similar covers in their rooms. This cover definitely holds a nostalgic vibe because of this, which just adds another layer of cool to this video. Next up we have Dylan’s mash-up of alternative rock band Ben Folds Five songs, which was uploaded on June 25th, 2014 (you can check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EaUF95V2Hk&index=5&list=UUBRDzAp5-vMtxPz3ZlE8J4g). This is definitely one of my favorite covers that Dylan has done (even though that’s sort of hard to say because their all awesome). What makes this cover stand out a bit, is the fact that he performs a mash-up of snippets of Ben Folds Five songs, that start with different letters of the alphabet (by the end he’s covered songs that have titles ranging from A-Z). I just found this idea to be not only very creative and cool, but it also shows the type of meticulous dedication Dylan has in his work when it comes to his craft. I can’t imagine how long it took to find the songs, arrange them so they sound like one big song, learn to play the music on the piano, and then actually film it. This video should make us all really excited, because if Dylan puts this much hard work into a cover video, imagine how much hard work and creativity he puts into his own music! The last video that we are going to discuss is his ‘Let’s Get Started (through the Decades)’ video, which was uploaded on July 7th, 2014 (you can check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FL_6s6U0b4&list=UUBRDzAp5-vMtxPz3ZlE8J4g&index=4). I decided to add this as a bonus video on this blog post, because it was just too awesome to leave out. The video plays the first 1min 40sec of his debut single ‘Let’s Get Started’ (off of his debut album ‘Adventures In Real Time’, which we talk more about in the section below). The song is divided into 9 sections, and each section shows the sing performed in the style of a different decade of music, ranging from the 1930s-2014. I LOVE this idea so much I honestly can’t even tell you guys how much! I have never seen a video like this, and it’s definitely a really fun promo piece for the single, and shows that no matter what style of music it’s performed in, ‘Let’s Get Started’ is a great song. This video also cements the fact that Dylan is a very creative and talented musician, and makes me REALLY excited to see what he releases in the future.

 

The first song off of Dylan’s debut album that we’re gonna talk about is the lead single ‘Let Get Started’ (you can see the official music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-ZvVm2d5a8). I think that this was an excellent choice to kick off Dylan’s career, because the song is fun, upbeat, and incredibly infectious. It has a very indie rock vibe, and will definitely have you singing along and dancing. I am honestly so obsessed with this song that I have had it on repeat ever since I first heard it (I promise you’ll feel the same way once you hear it!). Honestly this song does everything a good lead single is suppose to do, it brings the audience in and leaves you excited to see what else is on the album. I definitely give this song 5 smiley faces (because smiley faces are more fun than stars). Next up we’re going to discuss another AMAZING song on this album called, ‘Heroes Tonight’. This song has a very Coldplay meets The Lumineers kind of feel, that I think will quickly become a fan favorite. The song has a very “young and free” vibe to it that makes it the perfect song to jam out to in the car, listen to while you’re working out, or have a hairbrush karaoke session to (release that inner rock star people of the Internet!). The final song that we’re going to talk about is the song ‘With a Kiss’. I really love the lyrics in this song, because they really show off Dylan’s talents as a storyteller. One of my fav lines has to be in the hook when he says, “Love’s just a life, we all start with a kiss”, this simple sentence perfectly sums up every love story we’ve ever heard, and is a really interesting take on the classic love song. Although I wish I could have reviewed all of the songs on this album (because they’re all awesome), I picked 3 that I felt really showed off Dylan abilities as a singer/songwriter & producer. I would definitely suggest that you all check out the entire album, because all of the songs will blow you away.

 

 

Keep up to date with Dylan
  •  All photos and information used in this blog belong to Dylan Gardner, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Website, Facebook, Warner Bros. Records, Shane Dawson, Shane and Friends, the city of San Tran Valley, the state of Arizona, Big Deal Music Publishing, Netflix, John Dragonetti, The Submarines, The Beatles, Abbey Road, Vampire Weekend, Ben Folds Five, Coldplay, The Lumineers, Apple Records, George Martin,  Michael Graham, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. If any people, corporations, businesses, companies, etc, were not previously given credit for their work, they are given credit now and their previous absence was unintentional. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

 

Monday Memos: My exclusive interview with Cameron Walker from the rising indie rock band Animal Fiction

Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, I have an exclusive interview with Cameron Walker from the PHENOMINAL indie rock band ‘Animal Fiction’. Last Monday (May 12th) I introduced y’all to the band and their newest amazing song ‘Walk In The Sunshine’. In this interview, Cameron and I spoke about how ‘Animal Fiction’ formed, the artists who have influenced the band’s sound, ‘Animal Fiction’s’ future plans,  ‘Walk In The Sunshine’, and so much more. So please read on to learn even more about ‘Animal Fiction’, I promise that you won’t regret it!

 

Celinda: First thing I noticed about your band is that you have a really cool name. How did you come up with ‘Animal Fiction’?

Cameron: It’s kinda of an interesting story. I came up with the idea of using something with the word animal in it. I wanted the band to just be called ‘Animal’, but there was already a band called that. Then Eben our guitar player came up with the name ‘Fictional Animal’, and then I thought “wow that’s really cool”. Then I thought about all of the great stories, in particular I thought of the book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, which is what our album art is loosely inspired by. From there somehow we arrived at the name ‘Animal Fiction’ which is what we went with, and I like the name a lot too, so thank you.

 

Celinda: Yeah, I found it really unique, and I love the story ‘Where the Wild Things Are’.

Cameron: Yeah that’s a great book. The movie came out a while ago, but I remember reading the book when I was a kid, and I always keep coming back to that. I think all of the ‘Animal Fiction’ art will in some way inspired by that book actually.

 

Celinda: How long have you guys in the band known each other?

Cameron: Well, I’ve known Julian (who plays Keyboard and Guitar), his whole life because he’s my younger brother. Eben, I’ve known, man I’ve known him for a long time.  I’m 25 now, and I met Eben when I was 19, I think. So I’ve known Eben for 6 years.

 

Celinda: That’s great that you guys have had so long to build your band chemistry. What inspired you guys to come up with this new band?  Because I know that you’ve had a few previous bands that you’ve been a part of.

Cameron: Yeah, I started out playing in a band called ‘WeatherStar’, back in the day when I was 19, 20. Then I joined a band called ‘The Ready Set’ for a while, and I did a lot of touring and it was cool because I played Bass in that band, and I got a lot of cool experiences through that. I started writing in a band called ‘1985’ with my buddy, and we still do that, but we don’t really play shows. So I think ‘Animal Fiction’ is almost a result of me getting antsy, and wanting to go back on the road, and wanted to do things that bands do. So I think it didn’t really make sense for me to continue, ’WeatherStar’ because the style of my music has evolved so much since then, so I think that this is just a natural evolution of everything I learned in ‘WeatherStar’, and ‘The Ready Set’, and ‘1985’, and kind of my new musical personality is now ‘Animal Fiction’ which is great.

 

Celinda: Yeah, I really like your sound, I find it really unique. Are y’all all from L.A.?

Cameron:  The 3 of us are actually originally from Connecticut, but I live in L.A. now, and Eben lives in L.A. now. My brother actually lives in New York City now, which can be interesting at times because he’s flying back and forth for stuff now when we’re recording and whatnot. I see Eben regularly in L.A., so we’re a bi-costal band technically.

 

Celinda: So growing up in Connecticut, what or who inspired you to become a musician?

Cameron: That’s an interesting question. I remember being a kid and my mom had these old Beatles records, and it sounds kind of cliché but its true, I grew up listening to bands like ‘The Beatles’ and ‘The Beach Boys’, which I think got me into Rock n’ Roll and Pop music at an early age. Really I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t playing in some capacity, I think I started playing drums when I was 10, and I just kept doing that, and when I got into high school I got really into pop punk and punk rock bands, and I started playing in band in high school. Really I can’t remember a time where I didn’t play music, it sounds crazy but it was definitely those early years where I got into ‘The Beatles’, ‘Elvis Presley’, ‘Elvis Costello’, and ‘The Beach Boys’, and  that kind of started me on the path to rock n’ roll.

 

Celinda: Did you always sing?

Cameron: Yeah I always sang. I actually did a lot of theater growing up, my mom ran a children’s theater company, so I would always participate in that, and I think that might be a big reason why I enjoy singing so much now.

 

Celinda: So it sounds like your mom was a really big influence in you becoming involved in music and staying in it?

Cameron: Oh absolutely, she’s my #1 supporter and my #1 fan. She’s been there the whole way and she’s still supporting me today, so I’m really grateful for her.

 

Celinda: Yeah I love it when the parents of artists and actors are supportive of their children, because it’s a hard business and it’s hard on the parents as well.

Cameron: Oh absolutely yeah. I think I had my entire band in ‘WeatherStar’ living with me at one point, so she puts up with a lot and I’m eternally grateful for it.

 

Celinda: So you mentioned in your last answer how ‘Elvis’, ‘The Beatles’, and ‘The Beach Boys’ influenced you as a child. Are there any other bands that you’ve picked up along the way that you feel have influenced your sound?

Cameron: Oh absolutely. Those were kind of my early introduction to Pop music and Rock n’ Roll, but I think as I grew up, I was really into bands like ‘Blink-182’, and I still love that band. I’m really into this band called ‘The Exploding Hearts’, which you should totally check out. ‘Animal Fiction’ is definitely influenced by ‘The Exploding Hearts’.

 

Celinda: What bands or artists’ have influenced you that would surprise your fans?

Cameron:  That’s a tough one. I don’t know if this will be that big of a surprise but there was kind of a surge of pop-punk boy bands in England. I was really into this band called ‘McFly’, and they’re still a band today, and at the same time there was a band called ‘Busted’, they’re both pretty much boy bands from the U.K. but they’re kinda pop-punk influenced so I don’t know if it would be that surprising, but yeah I’ve listened to some boy bands. I love the new ‘5 Seconds of Summer’ track, I think it’s awesome. I wouldn’t call it a guilty pleasure, but I love my Pop music for sure.

 

Celinda: So how do you prepare for a performance?

Cameron: It depends. I think there’s a certain pressure that comes with being a primary singer in a band. So like in ‘The Ready Set’ I sang quite a lot, so I wasn’t a concerned about vocal warm-ups and my voice as much, because I knew that I could handle it, I was really playing Bass and having fun. In ‘WeatherStar’ and ‘1985’, I was really conscious of my voice and drinking a lot of tea and water. Because if you don’t warm up, you’re going to sound bad, and you can also kind of hurt your voice like that too. I also do some jumping jacks, because it keeps your adrenalin up and it gets rid of the jitters.

 

Celinda: Do you listen to any type of music before you go on, or do you like it quiet?

Cameron: I don’t know. I guess if there’s music playing it doesn’t bother me, but I guess I prefer just a very chill, low-key atmosphere, but I’m not super picky about that stuff.

Celinda: I noticed on the band’s Facebook page, that your song ’Walk In The Sunshine’ [here’s a link to ‘Walk In The Sunshine’ Walk In The Sunshine] just got featured in a ‘Red Lobster ‘ commercial and on NBC’s ‘About A Boy’, so that’s really cool.

Cameron: Yeah it’s funny because those features happened a couple of weeks ago, I think the ‘Red Lobster’ commercial was a month ago, and that happened before we even put our record out. I didn’t really want to say what the song was for, and I really didn’t want to announce it anywhere, but once the song actually came out, I felt like it was ok to post about it, and we were really excited about it. We’re always open to getting our music out there in any way, whether it’s in a television commercial, or anywhere. We always welcome it, and we really appreciate.

 

Celinda: How were you approached to have your song on ‘About a Boy’, because you’ve written for NBC haven’t you?

Cameron: Yeah, to tell you the truth that stuff just kind of goes through our publisher. I actually wrote that song with a guy named Blake Healy, he was the Keyboard player for ‘Metro Station’, and we write stuff together on a regular basis now. I think ‘Walk In The Sunshine’ was placed on that show through his publisher. So to be honest I wasn’t even in communication with them.

 

Celinda: So did it take you by surprise?

Cameron: Yeah, that stuff always takes me by surprise. We did a lot of television commercials and stuff with ‘1985’ too, and sometimes someone at the publishing company will let you know, but other times you just turn on the TV and hear your song. It’s always a great feeling, but it’s really funny when you don’t even know about it. It’s almost better when you don’t know about it and you’re just like “oh wow!”.

 

Celinda: I know that you said that you hadn’t planned to have the song out yet when it was on the commercial and on the show, but was it still exciting?

Cameron: Absolutely! It was definitely really exciting, and it’s honestly a total blessing to have your music presented in that kind of way, and it always is. It’s very flattering, and it’s a good feeling to hear your music in a way that other people can hear it too.

 

Celinda: So you told me that you wrote ‘Walk In The Sunshine’ with Blake Healy, what’s the story behind that song?

Cameron: I think we were just trying to write a really fun, upbeat song about having a great day and rocking out. I don’t think that it’s one of those songs where there’s a really epic story behind it. I think it’s more like we were trying to create a vibe that we felt good about, and hopefully it would make other people feel good too when they heard it.

Celinda: So do you have release date yet for the music video?

Cameron: Well there’s a video for our song ’Everyday is New’ [here is the link to the ‘Everyday is New’ video Everyday is New] , which is out now. It’s up on YouTube, and I think a website called ‘Baeblemusic.com’ premiered it too. I think we’re going to shoot another video in the next couple of months but I’m not sure which song it’s for, but we’re excited. What’s cool about this project is that we can really do whatever we want, there’s no label or anything, it’s totally independent. So obviously we don’t have an enormous budget that comes with being on a major label, but what’s cool is that we can put music out whenever we feel like it. We can do a music video with our friends, and put that out. So it’s just kind of cool to have a really loose, flexible schedule, and too work around everyone’s schedule and do whatever we want, and make cool art. That’s really the goal of the project.

 

Celinda: So all of the songs that I’ve heard off of you EP and ‘Walk In The Sunshine’ are all really upbeat and fun. How do you stay so positive?

Cameron: I feel like I’ve always been a pretty positive person, I’m  a firm believer that if you try to have a positive mindset even through the worst of times, then that positivity is going to be all around you. I think positive music is rare. I think lots of people feel that they have to write about heartbreak, and I’ve absolutely written my fair share of music like that, but there’s something to be said about making music for the sole purpose of making people happy. That’s definitely a driving force behind the band, just trying to send a positive message. If I can make people happy with music, even if I can make one person happy, then I feel like it’s a success.

 

Celinda: This next one is going to be a bit of a tough question but I think you can handle it. What’s your favorite song to perform?

Cameron: Off of the EP, I really like playing ‘London, London’. That song actually is cool, because it does have a story behind it. It’s about being with the person that you love, and just wanting to run away, and just keep moving.

 

Celinda: So where do you see ‘Animal Fiction’ in the next few years?

Cameron: I don’t know, I hope that we’ll have some touring under our belt, I hope that we put out another EP really soon, and maybe a full record. I hope that our sound continues to change too, because I like when bands change with every album.

 

Celinda: Yeah, I really love the sound you have now. I feel that it’s really unique, and is a sound that’s missing on today’s radio circulation. I would definitely like to hear ‘Animal Fiction’ on the radio someday.

Cameron: Absolutely, that would be a dream come true. But ultimately even if we can just have a few people playing our songs, we’ll be happy.

 

Celinda: Yeah, and right now is really the time of the “unique bands”, because you have ‘Foster the People’ from a few years ago, who I know you’ve been compared too.

Cameron: Yeah somebody compared us to ‘Foster the People’ and ‘Vampire Weekend’, which is cool because I love both of those bands, so whoever started that comparison thank you. It’s crazy right now because there is so much different music on the radio. A couple of years ago, it was really dominated by dance music and urban music, and now some Rock n’ Roll is creeping back in there, and a lot of great folk bands.  I think that it’s a really exciting time to be a band right now, and I’m grateful for that

 

Celinda: So is there anything else you’d like to add?

Cameron: The biggest thing right now is our video. You can find it on YouTube, just search ‘Animal Fiction Everyday Is New’ and it will probably be the first thing to pop up. Please check that out, and thank you so much for reading and listening, and we’re going to make a lot more music so please keep an ear out.

 

Celinda: Thank you, it was really nice speaking to you.

Cameron: It was really nice speaking to you too, thanks a lot for writing about us.

 

 

Here are some links so you can keep in touch with ‘Animal Fiction’:

Animal Fiction’s Facebook: AnimalFictionOfficial

Cameron Walker’s Facebook: CameronWalkerOfficial

Cameron Walker’s Twitter: cameronwalker

Julian Walker Twitter: https://twitter.com/julian_walker

Julian Walker Instagram: julianwalker on Instagram

Eben Wares Twitter: https://twitter.com/ebenwares

Eben Wares Instagram: ebenwares on Instagram

 

 

 

 

  • All photos and information used in this blog belong to Animal Fiction, Cameron Walker, Julian Walker, Eben Wares, Foster The People, baeblemusic.com, Where The Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak, Red Lobster, NBC, About A Boy, Blake Healy, Metro Station, Vampire Weekend, Twitter, Facebook, The Ready Set, 1985, heyalex.buzznet.com, ITunes, Ben Watson, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.

Monday Memos: 2014 Grammy Awards Recap

Opening Monologue:

Hello people of the internet!!! The 56th annual Grammy Awards was hosted by multiple Grammy award winner LL Cool J. In his opening monologue, he spoke about the power of music, and allows us to be the person we really want to be. He used example such as Taylor Swift (who he said inspire a generation of girls to tell boys exactly what they’re doing wrong), and Bruno Mars (who was able to release his inner showman because of music). LL Cool J also spoke about how music connects the world and unites us all, he cited Keith Urban (who grew up in Australia),and Daft Punk (who formed their group in France) as examples.

 

The Winners!!!!!!!: (on a side note, I predicted that Zedd would win Best Dance Recording for ‘Clarity’ and Imagine Dragons would win Best Rock Performance for ‘Radioactive’ and they did win these Grammys ypou an check that blog post out here: 2014 Grammy Award Predictions, before the award show aired…good job guys! For a full list of winners, go to www.grammy.com)

 

Best New Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

2013 was definitely a HUGE year for this hip-hop power duo, and I anticipate 2014 to be no different. The duo’s independently recorded, produced, and released their album ‘The Heist’ in 2012, and the album became a huge, chart topping success without the promotion of a record label. The album has gone platinum and gold in 8 countries, and produced several hit singles, including ‘Thrift Shop’ and ‘Can’t Hold Us’. Personally I think that the fact that this album has done so well without the aid of a label, is a true testament to the insane talent that this duo posses. It seems like an extremely daunting task for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to top ‘The Heist’, but I am fully confident that they will find a way.

 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk

If you listened to the radio at all this year, then you are very familiar with this song. This disco/funk inspired track features the vocals of Pharrell Williams, and was an insanely big hit for the French duo. The single went multi platinum and gold in 13 countries, and lead to numerous covers by many notable artists such as Fall Out Boy and Pentatonix.

 

Best Rock Song: ‘Cut Me Some Slack’ by Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic, & Pat Smear

With such rock star power such as: Paul McCartney (legendary entertainer, and of course a member of the Beatles), Dave Grohl (drummer of grunge band Nirvana, and founder/lead vocalist and guitarist of The Foo Fighters), Kris Novoselic (bassist and co-founder of Nirvana), and Pat Smear (live guitarist of Nirvana/guitarist of the Foo Fighters….do you think Dave, Krist, and Pat ever thought about playing together before recording this song?) how could this track not win?!? I think the accomplishments and resumes attached to these men speak volumes as to why the song did so well this year.

 

Best Pop Solo Performance: ‘Royals’ by Lorde

Ok where did this amazingly unique vocalist come from? I mean seriously, it seems like this 17 year old New Zealand native just appeared out of nowhere and completely changed pop music. There is no denying that ‘Royals’ has become increasingly more popular ever since its’ release last year. The fact that her first single released in the U.S went #1, is definitely a good indication that this is just the beginning to a long career for Lorde.

 

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: ‘Holy Grail’ by Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake

I don’t believe that this win really needs an explanation, because Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s resume’s speak volumes. Each of these entertainers are incredible by themselves, but when they combine their talents, the result is musical gold. At this point it is evident that they both know the power that their collaborations have, so they definitely use this knowledge for the common good (they get more hits, and we get great music!).

 

Producer of the Year (non-classical): Pharrell Williams

Pharrell has certainly been a force for more than a decade, due to his work as a producer on several hits such as ‘Tonight’s the Night’ by Blackstreet, ‘I’m a Slave for You; by Britney Spears, and ‘Hot in Herre’ by Nelly, just to name a few. Although Pharrell has been linked to so many amazing projects, he really made a splash in 2013 for his work on, ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke and T.I., and of course ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk (which won 2 Grammys last night).

 

Best Pop Vocal Album: ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ by Bruno Mars

Although this was a tough category to compete in, I definitely think that Bruno Mars deserved this award. ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’ was an amazing album which produced a lot of huge radio singles, so it was no surprise that the album won. Bruno’s music certainly has a very different vibe than a lot of the other artists that are currently on Pop radio, which is exactly why his music is so infectious and popular.

 

Best Country Album: ‘Same Trailer, Different Park’ by Kacey Musgraves

This was certainly one of the biggest surprises of the night, due to the tough competition that this category contained. Although Kacey is a new artist to many, she is already a seasoned performer and writer, so the fact that he album took home the top prize for country music is completely understandable. The fact that Kacey was able to make such a huge splash with her first wide-released studio album, proves that she is at the beginning of an amazing career.

 

Song of the Year: ‘Royals’ by Lorde

Lorde strikes again! Yes, the 17 year old was the star of the show at the Grammys, due to her multiple wins on her debut album. If she won multiple Grammys on her debut album, I can’t wait to see what her sophomore album will produce. Good job Lorde!!!

 

Record of the Year: ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk

You can’t keep a good robot down! Daft Punk proved that you don’t have to be seen or say anything(they didn’t say a word when accepting any of their awards) in order to be heard at the Grammys. The French duo certainly made a impact, and I think that everyone will be waiting in anticipation of what they will do in the years to come.

 

The Music Educator Award: Kent Knappenberger

This music teacher from Westfield Academy and Central School in Westfield, NY was the first person to ever win this award. The Grammys have a long history of supporting music education, so I am glad that they now have a student nominated award, which honors those who dedicate their lives to inspiring the next generation of musicians.

 

Album of the Year: ‘Random Access Memories’ by Daft Punk

Robots! Robots! Robots! Yes between Daft Punk, Kacey Musgraves, and Lorde, new acts ruled the Grammys. Who knew that Robots would control music’s biggest night!? I repeat…Robots! Robots! Robots! Daft Punk is now officially added to the long list of why we must thank the French. Good job everyone!

 

Performances!!!!!!

 

Beyoncé:

Beyoncé certainly gave the Grammys an interesting opening, with her performance off ‘Drunk in Love’ off of her new album. The performance began with Beyoncé on a chair, with an extremely cool light show. The thing about the performance that I found to be the most interesting, was the fact that Beyoncé was dancing on her chair, as the chair was constantly ROTATING! I just found this to be so cool, because it’s not a common prop characteristic. I liked that Beyoncé didn’t have any back-up dancers but was still able to control the stage, it truly shows the kind of entertainer she is. Later on in the song, jay-Z appeared and danced with his wife. Everyone seems really excited to see the power couple together on the Grammy stage, and they did seem very much in love during their performance. There was quite a bit of controversy surrounding Beyoncé’s performance, regarding whether or not it was too racy. Whatever your opinion of the performance was, it was definitely memorable.

 

Lorde:

Next up was the big winner of the night Lorde, who definitely proved that she meant it when she said “you can call me Queen B”(yes I quoted ‘Royals’, no I’m not sorry). Lorde performed her hit ‘Royals’ for the crowd, and gave the hit a fresh sound by performing a completely different arrangement of the song. She had a very simple staging and a low-key outfit (a white blouse and black pants), which certainly match the artists’ very low-key demeanor. She proved that her voice can capture the attention of a large crowd without all of the added effects and stage distractions. I thought that it was a very interesting performance.

 

Hunter Hayes:

Hunter Hayes used his performance slot to debut his new song ‘Invisible’, which has quickly become a new favorite song for me. Hunter stated in interviews a few days before the Grammys, that the new song was inspired by his personal encounters with bullies and haters. I really love the message behind this song, and think that it is a very important topic to discuss. I love when music has a message, and Hunter definitely delivers this with this track. Hunter began his performance by playing the song on the piano, and then later on grabbed the mike, and walked around the stage for the rest of the number. My favorite part of the whole performance was the passion in which Hunter had while he was singing. A few times during the song, he looked like he was going to cry and I personally love when artists cry or look like they want to cry, because I feel that this really shows how connected they are with their song. Hunter also had very cool inspirational quotes on the back screen from celebrities and influential individuals such as John Lennon, Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp, and Steve Jobs. I loved that this visual aid added to the overall vibe of the performance and showed that Hunter is evolving as a showman.

 

Chicago and Robin Thicke:

They performed a medley of the Chicago hits ‘Does Anybody really know what time it is?’, ‘Beginnings’, ‘Saturday in the park’, and then transitioned into Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’. I am such a sucker for horns, and this performance had A LOT of amazing brass elements, so I loved it. I was also amazed that Chicago had such a great performance, and proved that they haven’t gotten rusty at all through the years. You go Chicago! Robin Thicke also proved that although he is loved for his looks, he also has the vocal talent to back up his fame.
Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr.

 

Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr.

Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr. (who’s from Austin, Texas originally…yay! Yeah I had to include that because I gotta support my fellow Texans), performed Keith’s newest hit ‘Cop Car’. In usual Keith Urban fashion, the performance was more about the music than having an elaborate stage. The two artists’ vocals simply blew me away, and I have I give Gary A LOT of credit, because he could keep up with Keith Urban on the guitar (which is not an easy task!). Towards the end of the song, Keith and Gary went head to head on guitar solos, and it was so epic! I’m seriously still recovering from how amazing their guitar skills are.

 

John Legend:

John Legend performed his hit song ‘All of Me’, which was made even more beautiful due to the fact that he looked at his wife during his entire performance (everybody say it with me “AWWWWW!”). John played the piano as he sang, and had a very simple staging that led to a very beautiful performance. The simplistic staging really went with the theme of the song, and left the audience in awe. John once again proved what a talented artist he is, and proved that his voice is all he needs to put on a spectacular performance.

 

Taylor Swift:

Now can you imagine an award show without a performance form Taylor Swift? Go ahead I’ll give you a moment. Ok time’s up! See what I mean, no award show is complete without a Taylor performance. Anyway, Taylor performed her hit song ‘All Too Well’ from her newest album ‘Red’(which was also up for a few Grammys but didn’t win). Taylor accompanied herself on the piano throughout the song, and really gave a fun performance with lots hair flipping. I am such a huge fan of this song because it is beautifully written, and the lyrics take the audience on such a rollercoaster of emotions, and I thought that Taylor did such a great song expressing these emotions through her performance.

 

P!nk:

Ok the next performance was definitely one of my favorites of the night! P!nk began her set with her hit song ‘Try’ off of her newest album ‘The Truth about Love’. Now this song is already amazing enough on its own, but when you add the fact that P!nk sang the song while doing really difficult acrobatics on wires above the audience, the result is nothing short of spectacular! After P!nk was done amazing everyone with her awesome acrobatics, she landed on the stage, and finished the song while stage fighting with one of her dancers. This part of the show was also amazing, because the P!nk never missed a beat ( or note) while performing this really difficult stage choreography. After  P!nk finished singing ‘Try’, the music transitioned directly into Nate Ruess’ part of ‘Just Give me a Reason’ ( the duet that he and P!nk sing on P!nk’s newest album). P!nk then joined him on the track, and completely killed her notes, the performance was simply amazing. All in all, Nate Ruess did great, but P!nk completely stole the show, and left us all with one question…who’s her personal trainer!?! I’m serious, she has to be in some seriously amazing shape in order to perform at the level she performs. Two thumbs up P!nk!!!
RIngo Starr:

RIngo Starr performed his song ‘Photograph’ next, and of course brought the audience to their feet (what else would you expect from a Beatle!?). As RIngo sang, photos from the Beatles’’ prime flashed on the back screen, and brought a sense of awe, due to how long it’s been since The Beatles changed music forever. This was definitely a performance that everyone was in great anticipation for, and RIngo did not disappoint. The only thing that I wished he had done differently, is play the drums. C’mon RIngo, why couldn’t you have given us a little drum solo…please? But this aside, the performance was great and proved that RIngo is definitely ready to embark on his latest tour (which he will kick off on June 6th in Ontario).

 

Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar:

I found this to be a very interesting performance, and I really enjoyed it. It began with Imagine Dragons playing a few lines of their hit son ‘Radioactive’, and then Kendrick Lamar joined in and performed his hit rap song ‘m.A.A.D City’. After Kendrick performed the majority of his song, imagine Dragons finished ‘Radioactive’ as Kendrick joined them on the drums. He then rapped a few more lines of his song, and the number ended. I loved the artists’ fusion of the best elements of both songs, and it made for a very interesting rock/rap combo. The staging of the performance was also amazing, due to the use of red and blue lights, as well as strobe lights.

 

Kacey Musgraves :

I really loved this performance, because it showed off Kacey Musgraves’ quirky and fun personality. Kacey preformed her newest hit single ‘Follow Your Arrow’, and she had a very cool country western bar theme going on as her staging. The set was complete with fake cactuses lined with different colored lights, and honestly I found the whole setting to be a very interesting change. I also found the staging to be very influenced by Kacey’s Texas roots, which I found very cool. I definitely have a lot of respect for artists who can play an instrument as they sing, and Kacey did a great job singing and playing the guitar at the Grammys. I also loved how comfortable and confident Kacey looked on stage, it spoke volumes about how seasoned Kacey already is as an entertainer, and I see her giving even better performances in the future.

 

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr:

Well the rumors rang true, a mini-Beatles reunion happened! Yes, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr shared the Grammy stage together, and sang Paul McCartney’s newest song ‘Queenie Eye’. Paul played the song on a very 60s style, multicolored piano, which was very reminiscent of the Beatles era. Ringo also accompanied the song on the drums, and this arrangement was definitely a flashback for all Beatles fans. Just like I previously said with the Chicago performance, I love when older entertainers prove that time has not made them rusty, and that they can still perform just as well as the young current artists. I certainly hope that this is just the beginning of a long line of performances by the two former band mates!

 

Blake Shelton, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard:

Ok I found this performance to be so unique because it was a perfect complement to the rest of the program. The men performed ‘The Highwaymen’, ‘Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys’, and ‘Okie From Muskogee’. I really loved that when Chicago, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr performed, that the Grammys paid tribute to some of the legends that made rock music what it is today. On that same note (see what I did there…you may now laugh J), the performance by Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard paid tribute to these men who helped carve country music into what it is today. I also loved the addition of Blake Shelton to this performance, because he is not only one of the current faces of country music, but is also on the road to become a country music legend. It was truly a night of not only showcasing the current and next generation of stats, but also honoring those who paved the way.

 

Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and Daft Punk:

This was certainly one performance that had everyone in the audience on their feet (everybody dance!). Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and everybody’s favorite robots Daft Punk joined together to perform an outstanding rendition of Chic’s ‘Le Freak’, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Another Star’, Daft Punk’s ‘Harder, Faster, Stronger’, and Daft Punk and Pharrell’s hit ‘Get Lucky’. Stevie Wonder was phenomenal as always, Pharrell did an amazing job, and proved why Daft Punk is here to stay. This was certainly a fun number, good job Robots!

 

Carole King and Sara Bareilles:

I thought that this was such a beautiful performance by two amazing vocalists/pianists. Carol and Sara did a medley of Carol’s song ‘Beautiful’, and Sara’s song ‘Brave’. I thought that this performance had a very cool vibe, and made for an interesting number. I also thought that it was very sweet that Sara has said before that Carol was an inspiration for her growing up, and you could certainly see this in Sara’s face as she performed ( don’t you just love when celebrities fan-girl over other celebrities!?). I definitely hope to see them perform together again, on TV or even in concert. C’mon people in charge of Sara and Carol’s careers, let’s make this happen!

 

Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Queen Latifah, and Madonna:

This was definitely the performance that had everyone talking for numerous reasons. The performance began with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performing their hit single ‘Same Love’, with vocals from Mary Lambert (the women on the original track). Later during the song, Queen Latifah came out and married 33 couples (gay and straight). Queen Latifah and Macklemore have stated that some of their friends/family members are among those who got married on the Grammys. After the precession Madonna came out and sang a part of her hit song ‘Open You Heart’, and then finished singing ‘Same Love’ with Mary Lambert. It was certainly a very emotional part of the show, due to the fact that it had many celebrities in tears.

 

Miranda Lambert & Billie Joe Armstrong:

Miranda and Billie honored the late Phil Everly, by performing The Everly Brothers’ track ‘When will I be loved’. As they were performing, the back screen had photos of the Everly Brothers. After the performance, all of the entertainers that were lost this year were shown. I really loved the performance that Miranda and Billie gave, because it was so unexpected yet still amazing. I also loved how well their voices blended together, and I definitely think that they should record a duet (you know that you want this too!). What really surprised me is that Billie Joe seemed to have a bit of a twang in his voice as he sang, and I thought that this was a really interesting surprise that actually really suited him. Two thumbs up Miranda and Billie Joe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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