Friday, January 31, 2014

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - Don't Tell Me - Madonna

Don't tell me to stop 
Tell the rain not to drop... 


All you have to do is look at last night's post to see why I chose this song.  It's still in my head!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Madonna Joins Miley for a Sweet Mash-Up

Did anyone catch the Miley Cyrus Unplugged on MTV last night?  Well, it's on my DVT, and although it is something I'll definitely watch I just had to catch Ms. M's appearance on the show.  While I was a little critical of her appearance on the Grammy's the other night, I did enjoy this one.


Madge joined Miley for a mash-up of their songs, We Can't Stop and Don't Tell Me.  Miley began with the opening lines to Madonna's song and by the third line Madge added her vocals into the mix from a seat in the audience before joining Miley on stage.  The duo, both decked out in cowboy regalia, put on a playful performance that was simply enjoyable from start to finish.

Check out the whole performance and more on  

Song of the Day - The Man - Aloe Blacc

Aloe Blacc!?!!!  Does anyone know that name?  Well, he's the guy who sang on Avicii's monster hit of summer 2013, Wake Me Up.  Well, guess what?  The "Man" with the Tracy Chapman-like voice on that now classic tune has made an album (Lift Your Spirit), and a single, for himself.  It's got a lil hint of Elton John in there and it's pretty catchy, too, though Blacc's vocals were more appealing on his first big foray into the music world.  Guest vocalist Donny Brocs adds some hip hop into the mix and altogether it's not a bad song!  Check it out...


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Song of the Day - Dark Horse - Katy Perry with Juicy J (Grammys)

Okay, so here is the last of three songs related to the Grammy Awards show the other night.  While the first two were big winners, this one s too new to have been nominated or anything, but it was my fvorite performance of the evening.  Check out Dark Horse:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Song of the Day - Get Lucky - Daft Punk, with Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder

Here is the Grammy Award winning Record of the Year by French electronic duo Daft Punk, with RB crooner Pharrell Williams, disco impresario Nile Rodgers, and a little help from the inimitable Stevie Wonder.  Oh, we did go back in time last year, didn't we?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Three Grammy Performances That Had Me Watching

Well, I am already getting mixed signals from people on whether or not they enjoyed the Grammy Awards last night.  I've heard complaints and praise from friends, and I'm going to put myself in the yay category.  I will say thank God for DVR's, though, because I got to watch the whole three and a half hour show in less than two hours, and I got to miss all of the stuff I wasn't really interested in, making the rest gravy.  What I did watch, I liked.  Well most of it anyway...


Oh, one of my favorite ladies of music was both a nominee and a performer last night, but I was just a little...a wee bit, disappointed, in the performance.  I had thought she was only going to be doing the Grammy nominated Just Give Me a Reason, but in a nicely surprising twist she did a mini, two-song set ending with that duet and beginning with Try.

Being given the opportunity to do two songs shows just how highly regarded P!nk has become, but in the years that I've followed her, I guess I was waiting for something a little newer and fresher.  Not that her performance wasn't great, but it was a little too reminiscent of her famed appearance in the 2010 show, especially the acrobatics during Try.  She sang the opener perched high on a trapeze above the stage, showing off her physical prowess, grace and vocal range all at the same time before hitting the actual stage to replicate the beautifully choreographed dance sequence from the video.

Nate Ruess then came onto the scene to begin his part of the duet as P!nk went off stage to change her costume.  This killed it a little for me, as the song is so beautifully written from beginning to end that missing that first verse left a void in the performance.  All in all, I would guess that a lot of people loved the performance, and it was good, but being the avid P!nk fan that I am, perhaps I'm being a little too critical. Anyway, check out P!nk's performance.

Macklemore, Lewis, Mary Lambert, and Madonna

One of the moments I looked forward to the most was Madonna's appearance with Macklemore and Lewis, who won four Grammy's (Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for Thrift Shop.)  The duo had performed the song at the MTV Awards in August, with Jennifer Hudson joining Lambert on vocals to the chorus, and I assumed that's what we were going to get with Madge last night, but oh no, we got something bigger...much bigger.

First of all, I was NOT crazy about Madonna's look.  It was a little ghetto, a little pimp, a little like her character from the Music video, only not nearly as good.  She carried a cane which, I dunno, was a little strange.  She came in towards the end of the performance and started out singing a much underrated universal love song, Open Your Heart, to the music of Same Love, which I did enjoy.  That's just about when all of the craziness happened.

Queen Latifah, who had introduced the segment, announced that 33 couples, both gay and straight, would be joining hands in holy matrimony right then and there.  As you can imagine, the scene was pandemonium and a spectacle, and the stunt also received lots of press, from both sides of the aisle.  Overall, I didn't enjoy the bulk of it, maybe again because I'm such a Madonna devotee and I can be overtly critical when it comes to her.  Check it out on Billboard if you haven't seen it already and decide for yourself.   

Dark Horse

By far my favorite performance of the evening was Katy Perry's Dark Horse.  Any of you who follow me know that I've loved, loved, loved this song since the very first time I heard it, and judging from its success, so have many other fans.  The unintentional smash was given a nicely choreographed (way better than her appearance under the Brooklyn Bridge, also at the MTV Awards, doing Roar) number that was very dark, very Covenish.  Check this one out right here.

Of course there were plenty of other performances that people may have enjoyed.  Beyonce and Jay Z opened up the show with a rousingly sexual performance of Drunk In Love and big winner Lorde delivered an intense version of her Grammy-winning Royals.  If other performances of the night, such as Nine Inch Nails or Ringo Starr or Paul McCartney are more your style, I highly suggest you check out Billboards Grammy page for a whole lot of coverage.

Rangers Rout Devils at Yankee Stadium

I said that yesterday was going to be a good day for TV, and I was right.  The Grammys, as predicted, ended up being a pretty memorable show, with several great performances, which I will discuss later on tonight, and yesterday's hockey game was pretty exciting too, especially for Rangers fans.

Believe it or not, yesterday's game at Yankee Stadium was delayed by the sun, which shed a glare onto the ice that would have interfered with play, but once the puck dropped it was on and the Devils quickly jumped out to a 3-1 lead.  The two-goal cushion wasn't enough though to last, as snow started to fall and so did the pucks into the net of the Devils, six straight times to be exact, and the Blueshirts ended up with a rout, 7-3.

Check out the full story at Sports Illustrated and USA Today, and stay tuned for Part 2 of this outdoor series at Yankee Stadium when the Rangers face off against the Islanders on Wednesday.

Song of the Day - Royals - Lorde

One of the big winners from last night's Grammys was New Zealand native Lorde, whose Royals garnered big wins as Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.  Her performance was memorable, to say the least.  You can check that out here if you like, or watch her perform live on the Jimmy Fallon Show right here...


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tonight's Grammys Is Gonna Be Good!

As I mentioned earlier, today is going to be a TV day for me, which is something I rarely ever say.  First, this afternoon is the big outdoor hockey game at Yankee Stadium featuring the NY Rangers and the New Jersey Devils, and then tonight is one of the biggest nights of the year in the music industry: The Grammys. This year's show is going to be extra exciting for me, as two of my favorite singers will be performing amidst all of the hoopla and craziness that usually accompanies these kinds of shows.

Who can forget this classic performance by 
Ms. P!nk during the 2010 Grammy Awards show?

The Performances

Among the many musical performances of the evening, which include Daft Punk, John Legend, Lorde, Katy Perry, and Robin Thicke, just to name a few, are two of my very favorite ladies of song: Madonna and P!nk.  First up, P!nk will be performing her Grammy-nominated duet with Nate Reuss, Just Give Me a Reason, and then Madonna comes out of her hiatus to perform with Macklemore and Lewis, with Mary Lambert, on Same Love.  This should be good!

And the nominees are...

Record of the Year
Get LuckyDaft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Royals - Lorde
Locked Out Of Heaven - Bruno Mars
Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke ft. T.I. & Pharrell
Radioactive -Imagine Dragons 

The biggest award of the night features some pretty stiff competition.  All are great tunes, and I'd love to see Lorde take it, though the winner is anyone's guess.

Album of the Year 
The Blessed UnrestSara Bareilles 
Random Access Memories - Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City - Kendrick Lamar
Red - Taylor Swift
The Heist - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Since I'm not too familiar with most of these albums (tsk, tsk!), I hesitate to make a prediction here, but somehow Taylor Swift always seems to win big, so....  I'm rooting for Macklemore and Lewis!

Song of the Year
Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk
Locked Out of Heaven - Bruno Mars
Roar - Katy Perry
Royals - Lorde
Same Love - Macklemore and Lewis

Ooh, lots of good choices here, and you probably already know who my favorite is!  (I also think this one's going to win.)

Best New Artist Nominees
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 
Kacey Musgraves 
Ed Sheeran

Macklemore & Lewis!  Rock on!

Best Dance Recording
Need U - Duke Dumont
Sweet Nothing - Calvin Harris, featuring Florence Welch
Atmosphere - Kaskade
This Is What It Feels Like - Armin Van Buuren
Clarity - Zedd

This one probably won't be shown on the telly, but since my focus is almost always on dance music, I felt I should include it here.  My pick in this category would be Calvin Harris, but since Clarity was played so much throughout the year, I'm predicting a Grammy for Zedd.

So yeah, tonight's Grammy show should be a good one to watch, even better than usual.  So tune in tonight at 8 on CBS, and stay tuned here for more commentary after the show.

Hockey, Where It Belongs

Oh, today is going to be one of those rare days where I watch a lot of television.  First of all, the Grammys will be on tonight and it looks like it's going to be a great show, but also today marks the first of two hockey games this week to be played in an outdoor venue, and both feature my team, the New York Rangers.

So far this year I have been neglectful of any kind of sport.  I remember a time when I used to watch all four of the major sports regularly: Yankees baseball, Jets football, Knicks basketball and Rangers hockey.  Hockey has always been my favorite sport.  To me it's the only sport that truly is non-stop action and very exciting to watch (most of the time), and the Rangers have given me plenty of excitement over the years.  

Well, a few years ago, the NHL started the annual Winter Classic, which has been held on or around every New Year's Day since 2008, and my Rangers played in it once, two years ago, beating the hated Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 at Citizens Bank Park in Philly.

This week, the Rangers will be playing not one, but two outdoor games at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and both games are against crosstown rivals.  Today's game, which starts in a little over an hour from now will be against the much-hated New Jersey Devils, and then on Wednesday the Blueshirts face off against the NY Islanders, another hated foe.  

Prepping Yankee Stadium for the big games

So today's and Wednesday's hockey games should be cool to watch, whether you're a big time hockey fan like me or not. The game is being carried on NBC, channel 4 at 12:30, and I will be watching, for sure! Hockey really began as an outdoor sport, so I think these events are awesome.  Stay tuned...

Oh, and 

Let's Go Rangers!  

Rangers' Dan Girardi, Ryan Callahan, and Devils' Andy Greene and Bryce Salvador

Song of the Day - Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles


Winter is in full swing and here's a perfect song, that I had almost forgotten even existed, to mark this dreary, cold, often miserable, and of course hazy season.  Enjoy your Sunday!
Bangles - Hazy Shade Of Winter by jpdc11

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Song of the Day - Can't Remember to Forget You - Shakira, featuring Rihanna

Here's Shakira's newest, with a little help from RiRi.  Here's what I wrote about the song when it was first released:

The song has Shakira all over it, with fast moving and snappy beats and equally rapid fire lyrics.  The song's even got a slight ska sound to it.  The ladies take turns on the verses, with the Colombian superstar taking the first one and leaving the listener to wonder how RiRi would handle her part.  It works!  


Shakira Feat. Rihanna - Can't Remember To... by f715447612

Friday, January 24, 2014

Flashback Friday Song of the Day - Ain't Nobody - Rufus and Chaka Khan


Here's a classic flashback from 1983.  I heard this one the other day and couldn't help but groove to it all the way through.  There was always something about Chaka Khan's voice!  And in this song, ooh, the sultry verses with that high pitched chorus used to give me goose bumps.  Awesome song for hopefully an awesome weekend!

Chaka Khan - Ain't Nobody by trashfan

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Song of the Day - F for You - Disclosure



I caught today's song just last night via Facebook. You see, there is a remix of this song with Mary J Blige, which was posted on her page (not featured here, unfortunately, but check out below for the link.).  The Queen of Hip Hop Soul added her own vocals to this very catchy and funky electronic song by Brit duo Disclosure, and she and the song are slammin!!!!


Unfortunately THAT video is only on YouTube, which I highly recommend you watch here...but only after you check out the original version here.  It's not even available on iTunes yet, but it is one hot song!  .

Disclosure - F For You from Tom Watson on Vimeo.