Monday, March 30, 2015

The Voice S8: Two Hour Great Surprise

Tonight is a proper Knockout length episode (Because apparently we need from 8:00-9:00 on Tuesday for NBC to tell Chris D'Elia he's Undateable since doing Whitney and for some other awful mess.) and you know the rules by now:

- Voice-Over Carson will spoil that the last Knockout is when Xtina will use her steal (Side note to Carson: TRL wasn't responsible for the lack of subtext to you. Less telegraph/foreshadow and...well; better suspense.)

- Mr. and Mr. Shevine will pretend to hate each other even though they'll kiss and pork each other afterwards*

(*OK, not really since they're in lavender marriages to womyn they love dearly. -_- -_- -_-*)

- Pharrell will turn into a philosopher in the hopes that his poor decisions thus far will be forgiven.

and certain singers I like may get screwed this episode because the spoilers are forever rampant and sadly true. These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...


Let's play rough and get it on!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Voice S8: Where in the World is Anthony Riley? UPDATE #3

Another update and this time it involves Anthony Riley's legal representation.

Via philly.com [http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/trending/Philadelphia-street-performer-Anthony-Riley-left-The-Voice-over-medical-issues-claims-to-not-have-sent-Mumia-tweet.html]
In a statement made by Evan Shingles, "Anthony indicated to me that he has some medical issues that would make it impossible for him to continue on The Voice." but would go on to add "What those are, I don’t know."

Shingles also quells the previously debunked rumors swirling Riley that he had refused to be paired with Mia Z and that his political tweet getting him DQ'ed was not only falsified but not at the hands of Riley. The article asserts that a "disgruntled former manager" had taken Riley's Twitter account and tweeted support for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
At the end of the article it was revealed that Riley was in a studio recording music with a bandmate in Pittsburgh [which in turn seems to check out with a claim that Riley is performing sometime in May in Morgantown, West Virginia].

Overall, this is exactly the kind of statement we need to further debunk the forum claims.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Voice S8: Gimme that Title (of Knockout Winner) Part II: The Electric Sequeloo

[We're down to an hour for tonight and next Monday's remaining knockouts. Thank you programmers 'n such, I mean it -_-]

Tonight continues the unknown fates of the remaining favorites; Sonic of Team Xtina and Koryn of recent Team Pharrell allegiance remain as potential candidates to become the show's first Kelly Clarkson.
Deanna Johnson [Team Adam], Barry Minniefield [Team Adam], India Carney [Team Xtina], Hannah Kirby [Team Pharrell], Treeva Gibson [Team Xtina] and Caitlin Caporale [Team Pharrell] have yet to sing for their lives (Metaphorically; calm down.)

Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Xtina and Pharrell now have an hour tonight and next Monday night to build their Live Playoff teams. Xtina and Blake have steals left so expect one coach to use it tonight and the other coach to use it Monday (Last knockout of each episode. We know how this works now.)
These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...


Let's play rough and get it on!


The Voice S8: Where in the World is Anthony Riley? UPDATE #2

The plot has thickened on The Voice's 1st time withdrawal.

In posts to his Twitter account, a singer/songwriter and friend of Anthony Riley by the name of Jett Prescott has come to the defense of Riley and Pharrell's claims that personal issues are indeed the root of his withdrawal.

His quoted tweets are as follows:

"Praying for @iamanthonyriley. He is indeed working through very personal life matters affecting his ability to commit to #TheVoice"

"Just to quell the rumors, it has nothing to do with “his ego” or refusing to compete. You can expect BIG things from #AnthonyRiley next year"

He also shuts down other conspiracies that Riley had performed under contract while auditioning, had not disclosed previous experiences with a label or criminal charge and more importantly shuts down the theory he had refused a pairing with contestant Mia Z.

Well, that will suffice. As I said, we won't really know until Anthony is either interviewed in a timely manner or elects to speak out on the matter.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Voice S8: Where in the World is Anthony Riley? UPDATE

The March 23rd episode of The Voice had the fourth knockout fight AKA the first ever 3-way knockout between contestants Mia Z, Sawyer Fredericks and Paul Pfau.
Anthony Riley who had not been seen since his Battle Round victory against Travis Ewing, was not disqualified after all as previously speculated. Anthony had apparently quit the show for personal reasons as his coach Pharrell put it on the show.
Call me a skeptic, but I'm not buying that for a second.

Via MJSBIGBLOG and in turn Idol Forums, [http://www.mjsbigblog.com/the-voice-8-spoilers-knockout-songs-and-possible-pairings.htm] [http://idolforums.com/index.php?showtopic=720175&st=1860] the only piece of speculation that made waves was alleging that he had refused to be paired with Mia and in turn he was disqualified from the show.
I wasn't buying that either so at this point, no real developments have been made in figuring out what happened with him.

Reasons beyond the vague umbrella term "personal reasons" speculation is the name of the game. If he failed to disclose anything from a criminal charge to a record deal in the past or being under contract while auditioning, we won't know until someone snags an interview. Keep an ear to the ground for anything from Michael Slezak of TVLine, Lyndsey Parker of Yahoo! Music or any other entertainment service with a niche audience for The Voice.

The Voice S8: Gimme that Title (of Knockout Winner)

[Tonight's episode recap title is in reference to the Meghan Trainor debut effort and title track..."Title".]

With a potential disqualification on the horizon, the NBC Program with Ratings starts off on a slightly tenser note than previous seasons. Whether we find out what happened with Team Pharrell's Anthony Riley tonight, tomorrow or next Monday is up in the air (The sad thing we do know is that another fakakta clip show is next Tuesday.) but we do know that the attempt to find the much needed Kelly Clarkson of this show must go on.

Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Xtina and Pharrell continue this journey (And are expected to deliver piss poor decisions and maybe one good decision each.) and the following favorites and ones to watch survived so far:

Deanna Johnson [Team Adam], Sonic [Team Xtina], Barry Minniefield [Team Adam], India Carney [Team Xtina], Hannah Kirby [Team Pharrell], Treeva Gibson [Team Xtina], Ashley Morgan [Team Xtina], Koryn Hawthorne [Team Xtina] and Caitlin Caporale [Team Pharrell].

NOTE to Meghan Linsey: you were a favorite right until you picked Blake to be your new coach. Notsorryboutit, but don't say "soul" when you pick "cuntry" to advise you.

That aside, these are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCriuting that transpired...


Let's play rough and get it on!



Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Voice S8 SPECIAL REPORT: Where in the World is Anthony Riley?

Last week on the NBC Program with Ratings, a 3 way knockout was introduced with 2 advancing for the first time. Why this 3 way knockout? Well we don't exactly know, but Nancy Drew/Sleuth types noted that Team Pharrell's Anthony Riley was absent from the promo tool known as the Facing Off online exclusive videos.

The Voice could be facing only its second ever disqualification and its first ever male disqualification in franchise history. Only The Voice Australia has disqualified one contestant before this [Carmen Smith]. The show is honest enough to tell us that past contestants have been backup singers for famous acts, has-beens & never-beens (Slightly better than has-beens but not by much.) so expect something of an explanation as to what happened.
If the show doesn't explain anything/says vague shit about Anthony, get your Nancy Drew on internet.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

ALL MALE (Music) REVIEW: All-American Boy by Steve Grand

Thanks to the wonderful people at Billboard http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6502370/steve-grand-all-american-boy-album-debut-exclusive the debut album of Steve Grand can be heard through a SoundCloud link [though pre-order of physical copies can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and Google Play; signed copies can be found at his website.]

Pegged as a country singer, Grand is of the Pop genre by way of Singer/Songwriter types (Like a younger Bruce Springsteen what with a penchant for Americana and stuff). He came to prominence by way of the 2013 surprise viral sensation, "All American Boy". With other singles "Stay", "Back to California", "Time" and the freshly released "Whiskey Crime", Grand is on a momentum boost since All American Boy is the third most funded music project in the history of Kickstarter.

Here's how my review will work. All of the tracks will be judged individually; cohesion will determine the grade of the album later. Obvious factors like singing ability and the instrumental of the song will be included as well.


# of tracks- 13 (I happen to be using the aforementioned link as means of having the album.)

# of interludes- 0


Total time of album- 54:08


1. "Say You Love Me"- The singing on here is as consistent as any of the singles Grand has released so far. The instrumental/background music might give YA novel turned movie adaptation soundtrack realness, but the exuberance doesn't feel forced from Grand. Earnest and uptempo builds a decent opening track for this album.

2. "Red, White and Blue"- Despite some country adjacent instrumentals, the vibes emitted are still Grand's Americana/Pop blend. His lower registers have a nice subtle allure to them. While he possesses some of the best projection of a male singer of the last 10 years let alone of an up and coming act, something about this feel good track feels limited. Not bad, but his potential's bigger than this.

3. "We Are the Night"- An interesting start in sonic context, but the movie soundtrack vibes creep in again. Grand's lower registers once again showcase his talent just as much as his voice on full projected blast. Lyrically, this is his version of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way"; in terms of self-confidence anthem, its frankness actually does bigger justice.

4. "All American Boy"- The title track that started his unexpected but welcome rise to where he is. A song that captures the joy turned pain of gay dudes crushing on a straight guy...shit does it get the job done. In terms of singing, this still stands as the best showcasing of his range and his projection. It's one of the few songs I've heard from up and coming acts I can't clock for anything.

5. "Soaking Wet"- Mentions of a lake and a beer does have me concerned; he's been labeled country, he's been on CNN and MSNBC to where he explained his country labeling is a slight false cognate...uh...maybe he's trying to say he's not bro-country like Luke Bryan and the countless others.
As for the song itself, it's more obvious pop friendly [compared to the last 4 tracks] and it's just meant to be a fun time.

6. "Loving Again"- By now, Grand est. another strength of his; lyrical frankness. Although the arrangement bears some real strong similarities to the title track, "Loving Again" is Grand in perhaps his most vulnerable state and that works. Emotionally deep but not soul-sucking, this song adds another facet to an already layered singer.

7. "Whiskey Crime"- Barfly chic that's tasteful. Although the lyric "That fruity Appletini, that's a Whiskey Crime" is slightly femme shaming [a tar-baby in the Gay male community] and redundant in that an Appletini is already fruity, the song is liquid courage captured in 3 minutes plus goodness.
Out of the songs released as singles, "Whiskey Crime" is the most exuberant ["Stay" is the peppiest] and fun-loving.

8. "Stay"- The follow-up single to the title track, this stands as the peppiest/Colbie Caillat adjacent he's ever been. The video for the song [despite Towerload calling it a glorified Pepsi commercial] displays everything the song has going for it; Happy-Go-Lucky Steve offering beer to a guy that tickles his fancy...wait a minute; Steve...are you sure you're not country? O_-
For all the non-important gripes, "Stay" showcases more of Grand's skills and the listener is a fool if they don't stay with him.

9. "Next to Me"- A simple but not simplistic song in which Grand enjoys the sight of a guy dancing next to him (Which is code for "I want to screw you and maybe love you or stuff.") The "ooooooooooh" vocal riff in the chorus captures the knuckle biting joy of seeing a hot guy that makes you lose subtext and tell him you want him "down on your knees like you're dyin' to praise the good Lord..." [actual lyric from the song]

10. "Time"- The sweetest of the songs released by Grand thus far. Despite this song being subtle, the song does service his singing in some ways better than a lot of the songs on the album [though that's not a slam on Grand and production co. in any way for their work on the album]. Yet, this song has one of the better instrumentals of the album. It's just more obvious-pop friendly and not saying the other instrumentals suck. This one just has more signature to it.

11. "Better Off"- The vocal layering in the beginning is an interesting production choice, but it doesn't work here. Grand can actually sing and rather well; why use the Nate Ruess/fun. layering trick on someone whose voice is actually good? Story wise, the "we're not meant to be together" narrative doesn't exactly fit with his previous entries here, but it isn't like there was any prerequisite saying he only had to play the "Let's get married" type.
It's a seemingly radical shift in the narrative, but it isn't something he should be maligned for. It's another plus in this album.

12. "Run"- The start of this cut from the song has a palatable pop/rock vibe which finally gets across the point that Steve Grand isn't country, but fundamentally pop [his words, not just mine]. The rest of the song does have a self-confidence anthem feel to it though "We Are the Night" did that a little better. Though "Run" gets some credit for improving on what Lady Gaga tried to do on "Gypsy" [the whole "let's blow this pop stand because we're better than this shit" vibe.]

13. "Back to California"- The only song of his I admit to not totally gelling with...as a single. As an album cut it makes better sense as it has the other ingredients that made the rest of the album work; lyrical frankness, lower registers and full projection working in his favor and things that made the other songs...better than this. It's a 3.25 out of 5 while the other songs average between 4 and 5 out of 5 [by now "All American Boy" cemented its rep as the best song off this album] but still, Grand has a lot to be proud of on this album.


OVERALL Grade: A-/B+++
Steve Grand and his supporters with money so far should have a lot to be proud of as the album has really frank and earnest songs that more or less are delivered with vocal prowess. However, he does need to take some righteous hits for these things:

- Having suspiciously bro-country elements on "Soaking Wet", "Stay" and "Next to Me". Being on CNN and MSNBC essentially saying you're pop but sneaking in these things really doesn't help with justifying a place in the type of genre you claim to be in.

- The vocal layering on "Better Off". Cool in theory but shouldn't be used on one of the few good voices to emerge from an ever saturated music field.

- The unintentionally femme-bashing lyric on "Whiskey Crime" [also, we know anything with apple in it is bound to have a fruit-like taste : P]


These are the only gripes to have but they still don't detract from the overall goodness of this album. If he hasn't already, he needs to celebrate All American Boy as a significant achievement; especially one that sounds like the musical lovechild of Bruce Springsteen and Colbie Caillat.


[If you want a special bonus, check out Grand's cover of the Elton John song "Bennie and the Jets" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ArcGsUkUdw]

The Voice S8: Fresh as a Flower in Under an Hour

The NBC Program with Ratings is only an hour tonight (Presumably to pimp some GOD awful third tier sitcom) but that doesn't mean the coaches aren't capable of fucking things up in an hour. Pharrell is the only coach to have a steal left that will probably end up wasted on someone with no talent and the Carson-Voiceover Narrative Arc will probably spoil that it's the last again.

Apart from Sonic, Deanna, Barry and India surviving their battles [Meghan being demoted because picking Blake -_-] Hannah and Treeva Gibson rose in the ranks to become favorites while Ashley Morgan, Caitlin Caporale and Kimberly Nichole each became ones to watch and a budding HRFH -4.0 respectively.

The rest will be determined as Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Pharrell and Xtina continue their journey to find the much needed Kelly Clarkson this show needs (As opposed to a future laundromat owner whose vocal exercise would include "Fresh as a flower in under an hour!")

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...


Let's play rough and get it on!


Monday, March 16, 2015

The Voice S8: Battle Wounds

Tonight's episode of the NBC Program with Ratings refers to the fact that some of the battles from last night had horrible outcomes. Namely, Pharrell getting rid of Meghan Linsey for Paul Pfau -_- Even worse, Meghan has been demoted in terms of favorites to just there for picking Blake as her new coach. -_- -_- -_- -_- -_- -_- -_- 

Yet oddly enough, Hannah Kirby ascended into contender territory by earning the best career move ever; Blake being tone deaf and not believing in her (Thanks, Blake. I actually mean that even if Sarah Potenza is still around. -_-) and picking Pharrell as her new coach. The journey of Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Xtina and Apparent President of the Paul Pfau fanclub, Pharrell continues in the hopes that somebody from the show can do the impossible; at least sell more than the past 5 winners of American Idol become the Kelly Clarkson this show needs.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...


Let's play rough and get it on!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

This List is RANK: The Top 40 Beyoncé Songs of All Time

[***Note: this marks the 200th post for the blog.]


She's Destiny's Child, the Queen turned King Bey and is essentially the next Madonna...Beyoncé has had all 5 of her albums debut at #1, made 2013 her bitch (Though any year she gains traction in is her bitch.) and has had released some of the most infectious singles of any female act of the last ten years.

These are the 40 best offerings from the King Beysus in the name of *blessing the children [*this is reference to a fabulously tacky post to Vine in which a girl screams "BEYONCÉ! SHE'S BLESSING THE CHILDREN!"]

***For reference, I'm considering more than just her proper studio albums from Dangerously in Love to BEYONCÉ. As with the others, overrated shit isn't making this list.***


40. "Video Phone" [the extended version ft. Lady Gaga/music video edit]- Let's get this out of the way now; "Video Phone" by itself is one of the worst moves Bey made. The extended mix featuring Gaga added a bit of...well it reduced the sext-friendly bullshit "Video Phone" had in the song. The video however, is blaring colors and unexpectedly decadent.
What has this in the Top 40? Collaboration can save a life sometimes.

39. "Drunk in Love" ft. Jay-Z [from BEYONCÉ]- Yes, I'm aware that this song is the most successful of either the standard or platinum edition of Bey's latest album. However, in terms of Bey and Jay collaborations this is the weakest ("On the Run Part II" wins worst collaboration between them. Subtle difference, but it's there.)
The slinky instrumental added with a sexually impure iteration of Beyoncé was a welcome change but compared to the rest of Bey's catalog, this gets the job done but not particularly well for her singing or Jay's rapping ["Your breasteses my breakfast", "SERRFBOARRRT", "Wotturmelleh" and "Eat the cake Anna Mae"? Really queen? -_-]

38. "Irreplaceable" [from B'Day]- A song Chrisette Michele and countless other female singers shouldn't have turned down. Originally written by and meant for Ne-Yo, LA Reid pointed out that the song was catchy but something "a girl should say to a guy". After that, Beyoncé was able to get the vibe of the song and was able to make it a #1 hit.
Why the low ranking? Despite the ubiquity, the song simply doesn't hold much against the rest of the list let alone the catalog.

37. "Get Me Bodied" [from B'Day]- A surprisingly catchy cut from her sophomore effort, "Get Me Bodied" is like most of the bottom 4 of this list; proving that she's done a lot better in terms of singing but isn't above a cut that encourages the listener/s to "pat, pat, pat your weaves".

36. "Check on It" ft. Slim Thug [from the soundtrack to The Pink Panther/Destiny's Child compilation #1's]- A banging track from back in the mid 00s. In this song, Bey goes at the speed of light in some of her fastest vocal delivery. The video adds its subtle charms [even if it reminds people that acting and Bey rarely go together.] a collective of pink ensembles and a reminder that Slim Thug was once a thing.

35. "1+1" [from 4]- A track made famous from a dressing room rehearsal for American Idol. Granted "1+1" contains lyrical pyrite such as "I don't know much about Alge-buhh/but I know 1+1=2" the live versions of this cut showcases the earnest vocals of Bey. Even if balladry isn't her strong suit, "1+1" benefits from said earnest and heartfelt sentiments emoted by Bey.

34. "Suga Mama" [from B'Day]- One of the under-appreciated tracks from her second album, "Suga Mama" is one of her most deliciously bombastic and swagger laden cuts to date. Granted the music video outshines the song, it still earns a place on this list for simply allowing the cheeky and love-seeking sides of Bey co-exist [falling off of a mechanical bull is simply fabulous when she does so.]

33. "Poison" [bonus track on I AM...SASHA FIERCE]- A bonus track that was better than most of the flimsy and uneven third double disc album. "Poison" has Bey experiment with some semi-dated sounds [Justin Timberlake c. 2006-2008 much?] but it benefits from the mix of mid-tempo vocals and semi-dated dance/pop sounds.
Still, "Poison" is relatively deep especially considering the minor gripes about the production of the song.

32. "Heaven" [from BEYONCÉ]- The piano work does wonders for a cut that's actually "personal" from the alleged "personal album". One of her better ballads, "Heaven" is minimalist in terms of vocal firepower but still worth at least two more replays. As for its ranking? Better songs have been made in the long-run.

31. "Fever" [product tie-in single with her fragrance Heat]- A cover of the Peggy Lee song that was an impetus to a UK ban. Like any other celebrity figure that reaches "superstar" status, Beyoncé was almost required to release a fragrance. Heat was the fragrance and this song was packaged alongside the perfume for a limited time.
For all the slinky instrumentals, Bey's vocals feel almost forced into lower registers that she isn't exactly known for.
Still, ambition alone to cover a "classic" warrants a fairly high ranking but not into the Top 30 of this list.



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Voice S8: La Tortura de las Batallas de Anoche

[Tonight's Battle Recap title is in reference to the under-appreciated Shakira song "La Tortura" ft. Alejandro Sanz and the fact that last night's episode format was more or less, utter torture.]


Well, the Blind Auditions wrapped up with the Battles starting really early on last night's episode. Apart from five contestants getting screwed out of non-montage victim screen-time, the battles began with 2 steals [Ashley Morgan from Pharrell to Xtina and Joshua Davis from Blake to Adam] and Tonya Boyd-Cannon tiger-fucking her opponent, insert name here. *shaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaade*
Tonight, Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Xtina and Pharrell continue whittling their teams down to mostly people that really don't deserve to be there who they feel can go on to become the Kelly Clarkson this franchise needs.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...


Let's play rough and get it on!


Monday, March 9, 2015

The Voice S8: FourFiveSeconds from The Battle Rounds

[The episode title for tonight is in reference to the glorious Rihanna song "FourFiveSeconds" and the special type of programming that's happening tonight.]


Tonight is an economic 2 for 1 episode of The Voice, as in an effort to save money (Which they could easily slash Blake's paycheck for) is jumping right into the Battle Rounds right after the last 5 people get on the teams of Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Xtina and Pharrell.
So already, we're in a position of determining if the good ones I've scoped out [Meghan, Deanna, Sonic, Barry and India] are in danger of being tiger-fucked for mediocre or non-talented people on the show.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Voice S8: 4: Repeat Steps 1-3

[Tonight's episode recap title is in reference to the infamous lyric from the Brian McKnight song "Back at One"]

With Meghan, Deanna, Sonic, Barry and India as a GOOD set of contestants, Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Xtina and Pharrell are getting slightly better at scoping out the potential Kelly Clarkson of the show. Others could emerge, but I need a pure winner from the gate. I cannot be 0 for 8 in purity sake. Craig Wayne Boyd is forever the prettiest winner and the testament as to how much I hate overrated chodes like ALL of Team Adam of S7 were. ALL of them were horrible; sorry...I'm trying not to relive the worst season of the show.

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...


Let's play rough and get it on!



Monday, March 2, 2015

The Voice S8: 3, Peter, Paul & Mary

[Tonight's episode title is in reference to the Britney Spears song and lyric from her song "3".]

With Meghan Linsey and Deanna Johnson as the good contestants so far, Mr. and Mr. Shevine, Xtina and Pharrell better get to finding more contestants that don't suck (It's apparently a lot to ask from them, so rare finds will "have" to suffice.)
***Side note: I'm hoping a new social media correspondent debuts in the live shows. Carson Daly is cute and all, but somebody has to be fine with reading Twitter entries 'n such.***

These are the nouns, pronouns, gerunds, marklar, banter, fuckery and FlirtCruiting that transpired...

Let's play rough and get it on!