Friday, June 9, 2017

Steve Grand Was Made for Walking (But He Can Sing Too)

[Admit it; I couldn't have been the only one thinking of the pun]

In addition to releasing "Walking" on Spotify, iTunes 'n such, singer/songwriter Steve Grand decides to release a lyric video/BTS video mashup.

In reality, the video serves as a reminder that Grand is approaching 4 years since "All American Boy" [or at least with me, 4 years since BuzzFeed covered it and have me not only spot his glorious ass {Nina Bo'nina Brown voice: SUE ME} but also have me take notice of someone whose music I would end up going nuts for in November 2014 onward.]

I could make observations throughout the video run, but I'd honestly have nothing to say about the video thus far. Well at least the lyric video considering there is a music video on the way. Below are updates RE: the status of #SG2.

CONFIRMED for SG2: "Walking", "Good to See You", "Don't Let the Light In"
TBD for SG2: the collaborative effort with "Jiji" and the collaborative effort in his "tasty summer songs" vlog.

Available on Spotify & iTunes

NEW MUSIC ALERT: "Walking" by Steve Grand

While other corners of the internet continue arguing over you know who and you know who else fighting, singer/songwriter Steve Grand released a new song, "Walking". *screams*

How it [still] works: everything about the song is up for tens or chops; vocals, lyrics and whether or not the song is worth any of my time. ("It's Steve Grand, of course YOU'D love it." Oh how you forget the few times I've been critical of him.)

"Walking" is a more blatant in sound pop effort from Grand but nothing that sounds out of place compared to All American Boy. Vocally, he sounds fantastic. Studio projection I hadn't heard since the last time I listened to his debut. The chorus...OK maybe hook, is good and perhaps his most melodic single release [Oddly enough, his other really melodic chorus/hook effort was "Run" from All American Boy.]
However, I can't quite tell what inspired the instrumental. Is it his natural style mixed with Trop-Pop [please tell me this is a good version of such] or is it a natural style mixed with what he thinks are the good parts of 1980s pop? Whatever it is, it does work for him [even if the worst thing about the instrumental is it being anything Trop-Pop adjacent. Maybe xylophones or xylophone sounding beats are kind of ruined for me.]

Lyrically, [at least to me] the song can read as ["asking how a guy can love him even though he isn't worth anything...we know"; BESIDES THAT] him singing to his diehard fans asking why they've stuck with him despite times he's messed up with "how can you love me"/"how could you love me" sort of being his version of "Paparazzi" [because it's his version of dealing with fame and such. "WOW, kind of reaching but do you." Whatever.]
However, I must clock him for "my youth is yours" in the background towards the beginning of the second verse. Maybe it's because I'd rather hear "gave to you my youth" in the background but referencing Troye Sivan's chorus? You're a good lyricist, Steve; especially for a new act. Don't slack off here by being "cutesy" in the delivery of/referencing of "Youth".

In terms of what this single release offers, it shows Grand is consistent with how he's presented himself as a singer/songwriter. Despite the "my youth is yours" line & not really Trop-Pop/maybe 80s sound, there's way more good than bad on this.
Another version of "Run" it might be, but his vocals are rather fantastic when given room to be melodic.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Steve Grand's Photo(shoot) Finish

In his latest vlog entry, singer/songwriter Steve Grand shares a little bit as to what happened with a promotional photoshoot with Allen Spiers. About the title...yeah, yeah it's a pun and it was either this or "Polaroid Rage" or anything with "poser" in the title. Any lesser blog enthusiast would have used those but that's not the important thing here.

You know the routine; after the video I will have some OBSERVATIONS to make.

OBSERVATIONS: Remember, *bad acting voice from Steve* good people of Earth *end voice* eating broccoli is bad for the soul.

- Dude, at least lay your clothes flat or use the little hanger apparatus on either side of the rear passenger seat. That's what a 4 door sedan is for, when in the possession of a musician; it doubles as the wardrobe rack before you get all famous and shit.

- Wait dude, is it Allan or Alan; you've got Allan in the thumbnail and the title of the video but Alan in the intro once the photoshoot starts...remember *bad acting voice from Steve* good people of Earth *This bit will die once you get better at acting 😜* spelling matters. It's the difference in sexting someone "I like your big clock" vs. that other thing.

- If you're wondering how storage can get full on a phone, one word; Instagram. I don't have it anymore and that's MY best guess. Well in this case it's music on his phone...wait a minute...all that trouble of building a recording booth and you still use your phone to...never mind, he's on the go.

- A snippet's worth of new music is played...I literally could not make any note of what he could be singing.

I mean, we could be happy with the apostrophe in "that's" but OK

- We could address the whole photo vs. music thing, but it's really media outlets that can make the narrative that you're a musician. You're culpable too since you can call them out and have them focus on your music. Two way street, honey.

- He probably doesn't realize, but his ass knocking over a drink is proof he has "ignorant booty"; an ass of a magnitude previously unheard of on white boys, but is an ass to where its owner is largely unaware of it [but mainly in things like knocking over drinks, pulling onlookers into its gravitational pull, etc.] 🍑

- The photoshoot presses on, blah blah he has to change on set, but apparently, he's reunited with his punk Marilyn t-shirt [as seen in the "PillowTalk" cover video]

Wait, I'm saying "as seen" when in reality I'm the one who's plugged it more than outlets and even Steve himself. Facebook views aren't YouTube views, honey.

- Who's the dumbfuck that asked a musician if they have money let alone if they're rich? I just want to know if they're the same person that ate sushi in front of Shamu at Sea World.

- So the photoshoot is done and chances are the photos used were mainly for new promo photos. At least we got to see him exude sex appeal without those fakakta suspenders.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A "Summery" of Steve Grand's Latest Vlog

Out and about in London for an Attitude Magazine photoshoot [as confirmed by himself on Twitter] singer/songwriter Steve Grand up and released a new vlog regarding a song that "might" not make the sophomore album.

You know the rules; after the video will come some OBSERVATIONS...

OBSERVATIONS: For those that don't remember the Hey Qween interview, First Impressions was the My Chemical Romance & Fall Out Boy inspired band Steve and some friends were in, during their formative high school years.

- Oh, a non-album single/promotional single status confirmed moment. I doubt any other singer would outright say a song of theirs would/wouldn't be on the album, so thanks again for the transparency, Steve.

- I'll be the one to say it...if his recording booth was a movie it would be Crouching Tiger, Hidden Talent.

- Steve, how in the fuck do you not at least tell this friend of yours from way back in the day to study Pro Tools? Unless it's some sneaky advertisement for them in trying to utilize its user-friendly approach...pretty sneaky, sis.

- FINALLY, THE SUSPENDERS ARE GONE. Praise Gaga on highest.

- To Mike, that's exactly how his process is; go in, record 200 takes minimum, obsess over the one that sounds the least offensive to him, re-record 150 takes minimum just to be safe and eventually settle on the one that sounds the least shitty to him.

- THIS JUST IN: Eyes aren't actually hungry; they're a metaphor for being horny. This and other news highlights at the top of the hour.

- Only 5 takes in that sped-up montage? WOW, you slacker. Either that or those were the last 5 out of 140 to which I apologize profusely.

- So this was recorded around the time of him being in Florida for a gig or 3. Tentative status confirmed; concert goers [not me...yet.] may or may not have heard a snippet or two from this collaboration.

As it stands, #SG2 has "Don't Let the Light In" and "Good to See You" as confirmed track titles and 2 yet to be announced title tracks featuring "Jiji" and the collaboration vlog BTS released today.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Responding to Accidental Bear: I Did It Better

Dear Accidental Bear: Here's at least one better picture of Steve Grand you could have and should have used for your article on him.

[Screen grab I took from his BTS vlog for his collaboration with Eli Lieb, "Look Away".]

Yesterday, I happened upon an article that singer/songwriter Steve Grand had retweeted from Accidental Bear. The article in question was intending to draw attention to Grand's music and call out how shallow outlets and most people on Twitter/social media were.

Intending is the operative word here because apparently, Accidental Bear forgot to adhere to an adage that should not have been ignored; "A picture is worth 1,000 words". Using a picture of Grand in his Speedo while saying "You bitches are so fucking thirsty" is the definition of trying to have it both ways in the bad way.
One way of reading this is as follows: Hey Accidental Bear, I did this "appreciate Steve Grand for his music" post way better than you 2. years. ago. []

Perception vs. reality is something Grand has struggled with against the shallow outlets like Queerty, Towleroad, Instinct, Out, Advocate, NewNowNext (even in both its slightly better but not by much AfterElton and The Backlot iterations) [] and BuzzFeed who is still the worst about this. []

Using the Speedo picture to draw people in is a misguided attempt at playing the shallow outlets at their own games. Here's an ugly truth about that in the age of the internet; reverse psychology does not work. Context is lost and in turn whatever sardonic tone you were intending and trying to relay to readers who had more than likely given Grand the cold shoulder, musically.

However, the caveat to using image against them plays into what you failed to understand. It's not about using the image they use against them. The shallow outlets already know which dated Speedo pictures to use [a dated Speedo picture being one of the reasons "Speedogate" happened with Grand anyway.] The way to counter these shallow images is to use a completely unrelated to the illusion of sex. Maybe one of him behind the scenes of a music video he vlogs about, or maybe one of his covers...let me save you the trouble yet again Accidental Bear.

Maybe this screen grab I took from his cameo in a Max Emerson vlog where he has to explain yet again that he isn't a country artist.

Maybe this still from a high note in his "PillowTalk" cover

Maybe this one from his special rendition of "Soakin' Wet"

Maybe this one from his cover of "Sorry"

If you were to focus on him doing his best to reach out and be "warm"/appreciative of his fans, maybe this moment from after his viral "All I Want For Christmas Is You" cover

If you wanted to show how much he really is trying his best to maintain a work ethic, maybe this still from his vlog about how the piano is recorded for his music

Before you counter with anything, I'm fully aware that you don't have these print screens and went with a completely ill-advised brief of "use their own image against them." If all the effort you went into curating the image was "visit his Instagram", my response is as follows:

If on a desktop/laptop, personal or work
- At least be willing to scroll down...and down...and down until there's a still from a vlog, music video, cover video that has nothing to do with Speedos until you find one you deem fit to upload.

- Then, you hit the print screen button on the actual post and not just the window with the "X" in previews. The actual post with say "7w ago" in it.

- Once you hit print screen, open up PowerPoint, go to a blank template, create a new slide after the title slide. Paste the print screen and save as...let's say "Grand-4-20-17" because that's your subject and it has the date in which you would need to click publish/write your story.

- Once the image is saved and PowerPoint is closed [no need to worry about saving the presentation], open up a photo editor and depending on the brand of computer you have, click edit; then click crop and rotate; clicking the aspect ratio option, click custom to ensure the photo turns out as you want.
Once finished and you're satisfied with the changes, click save and the photo can then be used in your article as you see fit.

If on a mobile device, make a mental note to go home and follow the above instructions.

Let this be the first and last time I have to respond like this. It's one thing for me to criticize an outlet because they don't even bother to give Steve Grand credit for his music and/or activism. It's another to present such a case but completely defeat the point you make by acting like the shallow outlets can be fooled by a pretty picture with a poignant message underneath it.

I emplore you to remember this adage the next time you want to give Steve Grand credit for his music and/or activism without using a Speedo picture: "Sex does not sell, it makes people forget what you're trying to sell."

Thursday, April 20, 2017

This List is STILL RANK: The New TOP 40 Lady Gaga Songs of All Time

In this special updated list, Lady Gaga will get 10 additional songs to make her a Top 40 member joining Madonna, Beyonce and Kelis.

As from the last list, for reference, her efforts The Fame, The Fame Monster, Born This Way, ARTPOP and now Joanne will be the source of most of the picks. In any scope, any Lady Gaga song released/or even unreleased or performed is eligible. Yes, Cheek to Cheek is not totally up for consideration (though a cut from that album might appear on the list) but is still an album worth your time.

40. "Fashion" [from the Confessions of a Shopaholic soundtrack]- Of the closest to "throwaway" tracks on the list, Gaga's contribution to the soundtrack isn't bad but rather boring. It gets the job done, swagger jacks Fergie's "My Humps" days and lists off fashion brands to a tune and...just exists for simple listening pleasure.

39. "Jewels N' Drugs" ft. T.I., Too $hort and Twista [from ARTPOP]- Ever wonder what a Lady Gaga cut can sound like when she outright says, "Fuck it; let's do this!"? This is the track from ARTPOP that does that and then some. Despite instances of vibe and soundclash, the rap sections just add an unexpected plus to the track. Gaga's vocals while not the focus still convey the deliciously tacky vibe of "Jewels N' Drugs".

38. "Perfect Illusion" [as used for the Robin Skouteris mashup "Perfect Discollusion (Gaga Don't Preach)"]- The lead single from Joanne in its original form is barely passable Gaga as it is ridiculously subtle in presentation. Don't let the promo for it [read as, having Little Monsters/Gaga fans suffer through a poorly written Ryan Murphy show...named Scream Queens, just to see the video at damn near the tail end.] fool you.
Without the mashup, it could've barely been honorable mentions but now it's lucky it has a place on the list. AT. ALL.

37. "The Cure" [new song she debuted at Coachella 2017]- In terms of experimentation and the artists that can pull it off, Gaga is usually considered one of the ones who can. "The Cure" while really good...let's face it, is not meant to sit among the greats. Stream it on Spotify [like I have] but know this; it's a subtle song that while not her worst attempt at subtlety, it's still not totally Gaga until she starts singing her ass off.
For live performances, this could live on for many concerts to come, but unless [like me] you've contributed to a listening party as commanded by the Little Monster corner of's not gonna sit with the other higher ranking Gaga material. Good, but she's done great things before.

36. "A-YO" [from Joanne]- The single turned promo single once people [at least looked like they] could embrace "Million Reasons". As for "A-YO", it was a notch up above PAHFECT EELUUZHAWN but still lacking in...not depth but...creativity. Catchy hook, maybe but considering this bitch's bench runs the deepest of the current/new pop divas, you know full damn well this is not Top 10 material.

35. "Black Jesus + Amen Fashion" [from the special edition of Born This Way]- Any song that has the lyric "Jesus is the new black" is by default the most decadent and most goddamn fabulously blasphemous Gaga song ever crafted. While it's clear it would've never lasted one second on the radio, it's the best album specific cut of BTW. The "Candy Shop" from Hard Candy principle works its magic for "Black Jesus + Amen Fashion".

34. "Diamond Heart" [from Joanne]- The opener for the latest release is rather pleasing...on that album. Among the oeuvre of Gaga, it falls way short. Yeah, it's got a rockin' beat but with the other songs from this era on the list and even the ones not up for consideration, they represent the bad side of Joanne; a creatively neutered era all because people decided ARTPOP/Gaga was "too weird".
Still, of the tracks from this era so far to make the list, it's worthy for Top 40 status but not a damn thing above it.

33. "Aura" [from ARTPOP]- While more famous for its lyric video in conjunction with Gaga's role in Machete Kills, its weird and trippy as fuck production services Gaga well. As an ARTPOP album cut, should this have led as the first single once play is pressed? No. While weird as hell, it's an entree compared to the amuse-bouche weirdness of say..."Gypsy". Still, "Aura" makes this list for being unapologetic weird-Gaga.

32. "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" [As performed for the PBS series, GREAT PERFORMANCES “Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek LIVE!”]- If not for another live performance on this list, this would easily cinch the crown as the best live singing she's ever done. Dressed in red leather, Gaga bitchslapped that song into submission. Theatrics once again serviced her musically [which can be said for any of the songs on the list.]

31. "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" [from The Fame]- Used as a promo song ABC show of the same name, the song lasted longer than the show obviously and with good reason. The song is catchy as fuck even though it's barely in at 3 minutes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Steve Grand on Interviews and His Wyoming Gig

In his latest BTS vlog, singer/songwriter Steve Grand dishes for only a little bit on interviews and "outrage culture" before focusing on his Wyoming gig where apart from performing, he and soft butch types will be watching an eclipse.

You know the rule, after the video will come some OBSERVATIONS...

OBSERVATIONS: Yeah, yeah that's from his Wyoming promo video where he will auction off that shirt to the fetishist with the biggest heart to go to Wyoming Equality. A practice known as "Feel-Upthropy"*

*Feel-Upthropy (n.) - a subset of corporate philanthropy, in which the fundraiser/charity event embraces the human form to ensure monetary contributions will come in.

Popular forms of this practice include Underwear Auctions emcee'd by drag queens and selling clothing that had been worn on either numerous or limited occasions; Grand context here is a presumably worn only once t-shirt.*

- The video starts off with a phone interview having concluded. I don't know if that OutClique interview was conducted over the phone or not but chances are this could have been filmed right the tail-end of that and as far as I remember, nothing "damning" had ever been said.

- I don't know what kind of Monster energy drink looking thing he's drinking but yeah...I'd rather tweet links to new music than drink what he is. Sorry Steve, I'm a weirdo who'd rather you pimp music and call out bad interviewers than try this DaveyWavey strategy of clickbait thumbnail...sorry, your vlog; your rules...

- He admits it; he feels as if he's gotten a bad rap from interviews and I agree. Not due to "outrage culture", but also to the fact that over the nearly 4 years he's been in this, he's been called country, BuzzFeed forgot about him after his debut year; Queerty, Towleroad, Instinct, Out, Advocate, NewNowNext, Sydney Gay Mardi Gras' Twitter account and even the minor level outlets all pinch from his Instagram and call that a story.

Again, Steve, you could call them out for this shit and demand they pay respect to your music and maybe counter them with links to your music. After all, you can quote tweets now. [fine, I'll stop being a "PR/A&R/Executive stan" for a little bit.]

- HOWEVER, he does admit that the thing WE know he's talking about came across rather sore. Although, his music still gets paid near dust and that's not cool.

- After that, the Wyoming gig promo video is filmed where he tries to remind the viewers that at Skynet...err Grand Nation, LLC., quality is the name of the game. The sound is lost for a little bit which could spun around to "I've still got a lot to learn" and in turn could be morphed into "relatable" content.

- Yes, Steve...your tits look perky and wonderful.

- YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS STEVE, WORK THOSE MOUTH MUSCLES...for vocal exercises. To improve his speech...the thing Ariana Grande shouldn't have skipped out on.

- Yeah yeah, shirtlessness who gives a fuck...OK some provincial, cutesy little story about Steve being a jock looking dude but interested in music...

The outro has Twitter first again. *screams internally* also, that arrangement of socials is probably the one he's sticking with.