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.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This List is RANK: The Top 25 Britney Spears Songs Ever

The Madonna of Las Vegas, the original "pop princess", Britney Spears has had 9. Top. 5. Albums. 6 of them being #1, the others being 2, 3 and 4.

However, let it be said that while I'm glad I'm finally getting to compiling a list of her best songs, I have to admit this much beforehand. I'm up against 8 albums with some hits and whatever the hell Britney Jean was. I try my best to get every era/album involved in the top lists that I do, this is not gonna be easy (Or include Britney Jean material for that matter.)

That aside, when Britney songs are right, they're absolutely right. These are the best offerings The Holy SPEARit hath provided for the Britney Army [and for my casual ass, deal.]

25. "Sometimes" [from ...Baby One More Time] - The most saccharine of pop songs to the Holy SPEARit's name, "Sometimes" has a special place in history as the last acceptable mawkish pop song to have some level of earnest authenticity behind it. Then, we wanted to act like strippers, the music and chart gods delivered before telling this song, "You've done well enough."

24. "Before the Goodbye" [from Britney] - A virtually unknown track from the Asian release of Britney's 3rd album, "Before the Goodbye" is actually kind of subtle and just as cute as the other songs to her name. It isn't going to be much higher on this list due to the fact it's relatively obscure as fuck, but at least an album cut like this gets its due.

23. "You Drive Me Crazy" [from ...Baby One More Time] - You know it's the STOP! remix/video mix, right? The one that invented Adrien Grenier's relevance; had Melissa Joan Hart in it as well? Had Britney in the green tube top and ugly waitress outfit? Although just as infectious as other tracks, this one is actually kind of annoying in the gamut of Britney songs but when carefree, this song is a cute little bop.

22. "Lucky" [from Oops! I Did it Again] - The first time Britney tried a conceptual video was for a thinly veiled song about her struggles as normal girl turned pop diva sensation. There is footage with her isolated vocals that haunt me to this day, but at least "Lucky" is her most glittery song to date.

21. "Do You Wanna Come Over" [from Glory] - Yes, a song from Glory placed higher than the likes of "Lucky"; deal. While the song is prevented from higher placement due to that fucking awful male voice shouting, "Do You Wanna Come Over" is a nice, coquettish pop number which is proof that even on a mediocre album, Britney can still deliver something of high quality.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Steve Grand Plays Producer

A nice surprise entry into singer/songwriter Steve Grand's vlog hustle is this nugget he has of playing producer with Jiji who was the woman that Steve lost his love to in the video for "All-American Boy". You know the drill...after the video, OBSERVATIONS will be made.

OBSERVATIONS: As to what she's doing here, Jiji is featured on a potential new single [in the not too distant future.] Steve in true gay best friend fashion...judges her fashion [while still wearing those suspenders]...

- OK he does tell her the hat could screw with the sound as it rubs against the material it's made out of. By the way Steve; what is that stuff that makes it soundproof?

- Before I forget, at least Steve admits some vocal shortcomings. His falsetto isn't where it needs to be, hence why Jiji was contacted.

- Oh great, a nod to that Zayn and Taylor Swift duet. At least it's in reference to the breathy quality needed from the brief. By the way Steve, projection could be your friend. Don't let Zayn or even The Weeknd's career fool you; falsettos are not always necessary.

- Bill, he's working right now. He can't exactly like your Instagram post or reply to your comment on his post right now. "Later, you Bill." Well isn't that special...

- Steve, how do we know if she's being rude if you won't even type out what she said? The chocolate quote is fine and dandy and all but...come on...

- "He says my pitch is perfect right after he fixes the pitch"...or whatever Jiji mumblesaid. If you don't bust each other's chops, are you really friends? Though relax Jiji, if the song ends up on the album, I won't rip it to shreds.

- The song title isn't being said yet and honestly, OK. The title could change tomorrow after the 15th take that hour after Jiji left.

TENTATIVE but EXISTING album tracklist for "#SG2":
- "Don't Let the Light In"
- "Good to See You"
- Untitled track at the moment with vocals from "Jiji"
- and about 10-12 songs Steve will work his cute ass off to get right. over. and over. and over. and over. again.