Monday, January 21, 2008

Poor Amy...

So pictures have emerged from the British press showing Amy Winehouse smoking crack and snorting ecstacy and cocaine at a party over the weekend. I'm not gonna post the pictures because's just sad. This is one of a few artists that have truly inspired me in a profound way. Listening and connecting with music is a very spiritual thing for me, and to see an artist with whom I've had a genuine connection musically wasting away like this is so very sad. The following is a performance Amy Winehouse did at last year's SXSW festival. It is considered by many to be her star-making performance; it was one of the first times the American press had gotten a chance to see her perform live. This is easily her most powerful performance of Back to Black, before marrying her shithead husband, and probably before the heavy drugs. She blew them away.

Get Well Amy!

Partial Coachella Lineup Announced!

God, I hate the fucking West Coast. The current lineup for Coachella was announced today and, courtesy of, I have the list for ya. Looks like a pretty sweet show...

The Verve
Jack Johnson
Death Cab for Cutie
My Morning Jacket
Love and Rockets
The Breeders
Rilo Kiley
Sasha & Digweed
Café Tacuba
Fatboy Slim
Tegan and Sara
The National
Animal Collective
Sharon Jones
Aesop Rock
Midnight Juggernauts
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Spank Rock
Minus the Bear
Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
Adam Freeland
Vampire Weekend
Dan Deacon
Hot Chip
Cold War Kids
Stephen Malkmus
Gogol Bordello
Danny Tenaglia
Booka Shade
Cool Kids
Les Savy Fav
Holy Fuck
Black Kids
Black Mountain
Man Man
I'm from Barcelona
Kid Sister
The Horrors
Austin TV
Shout Out Louds
The Bees
Professor Murder
Cut Copy
Busy P
VHS or Beta

Once again, I hate the West Coast!

Hot Video: M.I.A.

What is the deal with M.I.A.? She takes crazy risks with her music, and yet pulls it all off effortlessly. Who else has the balls to make a video for a song where the chorus hinges on the sound of gunshots(knowing MTV won't play it), and where the entire video centers around working at a hot dog cart in Brooklyn? Brilliance.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2008 Grammy Awards: Predictions

So the Grammys are in less than a month, and astonishingly, they didn't do too bad of a job this time. Some categories are even, dare I say it, hard to predict(which is crazy, considering how predictable and annoying the Grammys are every year). So here's my two cents on some of the more contentious categories...

Rap Album of the Year:

Common "Finding Forever"
Jay-Z "Kingdom Come"
Nas "Hip Hop Is Dead"
T.I. "T.I vs. TIP"
Kanye West "Graduation"

~Who will win: Kanye
Now this one is just obvious. How can he not win?

~Who should win: Kanye
Love him or hate him, Kanye made one of the best albums of the year, let alone rap albums.

Best Rock Album:

Daughtry "Daughtry"
John Fogerty "Revival"
Foo Fighters "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace"
Bruce Springsteen "Magic"
Wilco "Sky Blue Sky"

~Who will win: Bruce Springsteen
Unfortunately, the Grammys have a habit of giving big awards to veteran artists, simply because they're veterans. If you ask me, Magic ain't all that good. But to the Grammy committee, everything The Boss does is award-worthy...

~Who should win: Foo Fighters
This band is ridiculously consistent, and has won this category before. They may or may not do it again, but they certainly should.

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance:

Christina Aguilera "Candyman"
Feist "1,2,3,4"
Fergie "Big Girls Don't Cry"
Nelly Furtado "Say It Right"
Amy Winehouse "Rehab"

~Who will win: Amy Winehouse
I mean she did get 6 nominations.

~Who should win: Amy Winehouse
Sorry guys, but I fuckin hate that Feist song. And while Fergie is the best-selling female artist around right now, she has absolutely no depth whatsoever, so that's a no go. Ummm...I'm going with Winehouse on this one. The song, and the album, was everywhere this year. Oh yeah, and it's better than the other songs in the category too.

Pop Album of the Year:

Bon Jovi "Lost Highway"
Feist "The Reminder"
Maroon 5 "It Won't Be Soon Before Long"
Paul McCartney "Memory Almost Full"
Amy Winehouse "Back To Black"

~Who will win: Amy Winehouse
I promise you...Amy Winehouse is going to dominate the Grammys this year.

~Who should win: Amy Winehouse
Bon Jovi is an obvious no, of course. And you already know how I feel about Feist. McCartney's latest was a bit disappointing. And as for Maroon not a very good album. The singles, the album tracks; all of it is just very bland and forced. Back to Black, on the other hand, is unique and solid all the way through. It's a shoe-in.

Best New Artist:

Taylor Swift
Amy Winehouse

~Who will win: Amy Winehouse
C' you really think they're gonna pick Paramore over Amy Winehouse? This isn't TRL people.

~Who should win: Amy Winehouse
No one's debut album made as big of an impact this year as Winehouse's did. She's the obvious choice here.

Song of the Year

Plain White T's "Hey There Delilah"
Corinne Bailey Rae "Like A Star"
Rihanna f. Jay-Z "Umbrella"
Carrie Underwood "Before He Cheats"
Amy Winehouse "Rehab"

~Who will win: Carrie Underwood
The Grammy's have this weird affinity for country. If you come out with a really good country song, it tends to have a leg up over the rest for some reason. Whatever, the song is pretty good.

~Who should win: Winehouse or Rihanna
Now keep in mind that this is a songwriter's award. Since Umbrella wasn't written by Rihanna, I'm more inclined to give this award to Amy just out of respect since she actually wrote the song. At the same time though, Umbrella is a perfect record, and my favorite of the year. I guess I can't really decide.

Record of the Year:

Beyonce "Irreplaceable"
Foo Fighters "The Pretender"
Rihanna f. Jay-Z "Umbrella"
Justin Timberlake "What Goes Around...Comes Around"
Amy Winehouse "Rehab"

Who will win: Rihanna
Umbrella was the monster single of the year. It was everywhere, and an extremely well-written pop song. She'll easily take this one.

~Who should win: Rihanna
I have to give this one to her.

Album of the Year:

Foo Fighters "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Vince Gill "These Days"
Herbie Hancock "River: The Joni Letters"
Kanye West "Graduation"
Amy Winehouse "Back To Black"

~Who will win: Amy Winehouse
This is a hard one. On one hand you have Kanye, who has deserved this award for either of his last two albums, but was snubbed. Graduation isn't as good as his earlier work, but it still deserves this award. However, aside from a great album, what Winehouse has going for her is being the type of artist the Grammys like. Think about Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, and Norah Jones. Three female artists who had beautiful singing voices, amazing songwriting ability, and an original sound. All three of them won big at the Grammys, with Jones and Hill both beating out stiff competition for Album of the Year. Amy more than fits into this group, and that could work to her advantage. So I have to go with Amy Winehouse here.

~Who should win: Kanye
I'll say this about Kanye; he's the most talented guy in music today. Period. He deserved it the last two times, and he basically deserves it this time. He worked hard, and I think he deserves to finally get that kind of recognition. Plus, he won't shut until he wins Album of the Year, so it would do us all a favor.

That's it guys. Tell me what you think...

New Artist: Adele

Hey guys. Meet Adele. You may have seen her at This girl has a beautiful voice.

Now initially, when you hear this you'll think "Eh...sounds like Amy Winehouse", but hold your horses people. Her voice might have that Winehouse vibe, but the music is quite different. More of a stripped down, piano-driven sound. Really interesting stuff here. This is called "Chasing Pavements". Check it out...

Spotlight: Alice In Chains

This is one of my all-time favorite bands, Alice In Chains. Besides the kick ass name, AIC was one of the most original and successful bands to come out of the so-called "grunge" era. There sound was very dark and bottom-heavy, The lyrical content centered around autobiographical sketches of depression and drug abuse, and the vocal harmonies are haunting. AIC was blessed with one of the greatest lead singers of all time, Layne Staley, who would later succumb to a drug overdose in the early 2000's. Check it out....