Thursday, December 31, 2009
United States of Pop (Blame it on the Pop)
This is an incredible mashup of the Top 25 Hits of 2009, according to Billboard. I love it how he spliced the songs together and used the similar phrases to make it seem like a one continuous song.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Long before Lady Gaga's hit, many of us found ourselves in a bad romance. It's human nature. Men like a woman that has a spunk and sass about her and sexual prowess. Yet they want her to behave like a lady otherwise. Woman love a bad boy. They love the guy that drives their parents crazy and provides that good love that feels right but is wrong for them. Why do we always want the one that is wrong for us? Society sets us up to believe that nice guys finish last. If you have morals and are straight laced, you are deemed boring. However, isn't the good guy/girl the one that we should seek out?
Love. Profanity aside, there is no other four letter word that is more polarizing and complicated than the word love. It has been studied by psychologists, tried by generations, documented by poets, and denounced by those scorned.
Can love conquer all?
A friend and I have been involved in a discussion about love for some time now. The topic centers around love for life- marriage, civil unions, long term partners. Why do people get married? For love? Could it be possible that people marry only for stability, whether it's financial or social stability? Of course. The question lies in which is more important. Think about your love history. There is always that one person who makes your heart go wild. They stir up every shred of passion that you never even knew was there. They strike fire in your loins, they warm your heart, and they evoke the biggest smile possible. Yet, they are otherwise horrible for you. We all fall in love with what isn't best for us. I know from experience that the one person that had the most impact on me emotionally and physically is also the absolute worst person I could ever be involved with.
What about the other person who we encounter?
They are nice, dependable, and may be stable financially. They are everything that your mother wants for you. However, something is missing.
I asked a few friends and most claimed that they would not choose the one that they had lukewarm feelings for. They would rather give the one that they have strong feelings for a chance, even if it meant waiting on them to change.
Of course, most people that I asked are rather free in thinking and we all admitted that a more conservative person would choose someone based on stability rather than love.
Long term love may not be about love at all. It's about a decision.
Most people have to choose what they can live with. We rarely find someone who we are both passionate about and also have the utmost faith in to take care of us.
What is the correct way of thinking? Do you go for your heart or do you do the practical thing? There are instances in which both choices lead to the same person but that's rare. We reach an age when knowing you can count on someone begins to overshadow how much they drive you crazy. It can be compared to working for money or working for what you love to do. Some people spend their life preparing for that six figure job that they may hate but it allows them to achieve a certain comfort and standing in society. Others would rather take pay cuts to be able to do something that they love. With love, which do you choose? Would you rather be with someone that you could learn to love but doesn't fulfill your heart's desires? Or would you rather be with the person that you are passionate about and take the chance that they will change? I heard a woman recently say that marriage was not about who you love but who you could get used to. That may seem extreme but happens all of the time. No one is going to possess everything that you need in a mate. Some come close.
If most would choose the flaky lover, what does this mean? We all want someone who is dependable but we have instincts that lead us to someone who isn't good for us. I feel like I'm ultimately a good guy. I don't live recklessly but I fall for the wrong ones. Does this mean that good people are doomed and suffer from a fate inflicted upon them by their own logic?
I'm not in this dilemma now but it has always been something I thought about. Most issues with love center around this choice.
Who would you choose? And is there a correct choice?
Below is a video compilation to commemorate his honor as model of the year.
Friday, December 25, 2009
No one is shut out from the joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing."
-Pope St. Leo the Great, Nativity Sermon, 5th Century
During the holiday season, it can be easy for adults to be reminded of what they lack. Once the childhood luster wears off, we notice that we don't have as much money as we need, we don't have as much family around as we need, we may be single, and our friends may be far away. The holiday season is a time to rejoice. Whether we are rich in worldly possessions or not, we are rich in love. Someone somewhere loves you. If you feel alone, remember the ultimate gift was given those many years ago. That gift is the reason we celebrate. We all share that gift. We all share that love.
Merry Christmas to all!
George Arnett :-)
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Here are my favorite albums of the year. The list is not necessarily based on sales, but it's based on the actual cohesiveness of the albums, the vocal performances, and the artistic growth.
Coming in at number one is Chrisette Michele with Album of the Year.
1. Chrisette Michele, Epiphany
Breaking up never sounded as good as it does with Chrisette singing about it on her sophomore LP. Songs such as Notebook and Epiphany show a mature yet fresh take on life and love while the soulful Fragile shows her voice as anything but what the song's title implies. The Ne-Yo assisted What You Do is a call to action to lovers who don't practice what they preach and Playing Our Song takes it back to the 90s with its slick production and vocals. However, it was the gut wrenching Blame it On Me that best shows the album's pure emotion. When ending a relationship, Chrisette offers to take the blame and all of the responsibility as long as that means she can get out of the situation. An honest track that is even more powerful coming from a woman, it shows why Chrisette is the truth.
3. MIKA, The Boy Who Knew Too Much
4. Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster
5. Maxwell, BLACKsummers'night
6. Jay-Z, Blueprint 3
7. Trey Songz, Ready
8. John Mayer, Battle Studies
9. Rihanna, Rated R
10. The-Dream, Love VS Money
from So Far Gone
2. Jamie Foxx ft. T-Pain, Blame It
3. Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys, Empire State of Mind
from Blueprint 3
4. Wale ft. Lady Gaga, Chillin
from Attention Deficit
5. Black Eyed Peas, I Got a Feeling
from The E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies)
6. David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowland, When Love Takes Over
from One Love
7. Ciara ft. Missy Elliot, Work
from Fantasy Ride
8. Kid Cudi, Day N Nite
from Man on the Moon: The End of Day
9. Rihanna ft. Young Jeezy, Hard
from Rated R
10. The-Dream ft. Kanye West, Walking on the Moon
from Love VS Money
2. Chrisette Michele, Blame it On Me
3. India.Arie, Long Goodbye
from Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics
4. Trey Songz, Yo Side of the Bed
5. Beyoncé, Sweet Dreams Medley
from I Am...Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas
6. Alicia Keys, Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)
from The Element of Freedom
7. MIKA ft. Imogen Heap, By the Time
from The Boy Who Knew Too Much
8. John Mayer, Perfectly Lonely
from Battle Studies
9. Adam Lambert, Whataya Want From Me
from For Your Entertainment
10. Lady Gaga, Speechless
from The Fame Monster
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I have fun with my clothes onstage; it's not a concert you're seeing, it's a fashion show."
Born Farrokh Bulsara, Mercury was best known as the front man for the legendary band Queen. Responsible for writing many of the band's hits, Mercury was known for his brash and flamboyant performance styles. He later forged a solo career and remained successful although he was a misunderstood and mysterious figure. He claimed on different occasions to be gay and bisexual and died of complications of AIDS only one day after announcing that he even had the disease. The act of concealing his disease caused controversy. Many thought that he could have attracted more awareness and funds for researching the disease by admitting it sooner.
In April 1992, the remaining members of Queen founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust and organized The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness.
We Will Rock You
Interview with the Star
1. MICHAEL JACKSON
2. LADY GAGA
3. SUSAN BOYLE
4. CHRIS BROWN & RIHANNA
5. TV PARENTS
6. SONIA SOTOMAYOR
7. ADAM LAMBERT
8. E. LYNN HARRIS
9. THE CAST OF TWILIGHT
10. VOGUE EVOLUTION
So, the list was pretty queer this year. haha. It also included two people that were listed posthumously. I'm sure some will agree with a couple of the choices and disagree with others. These are the people that I most remembered from the year of 2009. The decade came with a big close. Gaga oo-la-laaaaa. Let's get ready for 2010.
[Check out Last Year's List HERE]
One Love [Video Premiere]
Trey Songz is has released his Up Close & Ready Live EP. The video for One Love is included with the new album which was released exclusively to iTunes. The EP includes live settings of One Love, Can't Help But Wait, Last Time, I Need A Girl, & Gotta Go.
In other Trey Songz news, his single I Invented Sex has surpassed Usher's Papers to give Trey his first #1 single.
Below are pics from the set of the One Love video.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Produced by Laura Dawn for MoveOn.org & Adam Pierce for Charged
The video pokes fun at the fact that Joe Lieberman is pretty much holding health care reform hostage, gutting it in the process. I think it's silly how he is seemingly able to dictate so much about the bill. His vote was important but I wish this administration had more guts.
The video was a good laugh.
"I'd like my name inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance." haha
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
It isn't news that Kid Cudi punched a fan in Vancouver while playing his set which opened for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball tour. The incident stemmed from a fan throwing a wallet on stage. The rising rap star thought that it was being thrown at him and eventually went into the crowd to punch the assailant. It has also been reported that the wrong fan was punched.
Kid Cudi has now been relieved of duty on Gaga's tour and will not be appearing on any further dates.
TMZ.com – Kid Cudi — the guy who sings that “Day ‘N Nite” song — has been officially dropped from the Lady Gaga tour in the wake of a brutal fan-punching incident.
Sources at Interscope Records confirm the rapper is “no longer” with the tour — but wouldn’t say if the decision had anything to do with YouTube footage showing Cudi punching fans in the front row of a concert in Vancouver this past weekend.
We’re told Jason Derulo — the guy who sings “Whatcha Say” — will move up from his spot as Gaga’s opening act to fill Cudi’s spot … no word on who will fill-in Derulo’s.
This pisses me off. Why can't these cats behave? First Kanye ruined the first prospective tour with his Taylor Swift outburst. Now Kid Cudi, his protegé, has been removed from this tour. When will rappers learn to chill out? Even if the guy was wrong for throwing something on stage, why couldn't bodyguards or security handle it? Was it necessary for Kid Cudi to interrupt his set to handle it and basically put his own career in jeopardy? I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the Kanye tree. Kid Cudi, step back and compose yourself.
Hard featuring Young Jeezy [Video Premiere]
Director: Melina Matsoukas
You know I'm hard on Rihanna but this is a spectacular clip to accompany the swagger heavy track. The styling is on point and her body is sick. I like the concept of the video. Upon reading the comments under this video posted on other blogs I was left wondering the same thing as when I read album reviews of Rihanna and Chris Brown. Is anyone paying attention to their music rather than their situation? A common theme in the comments was "if she were so hard, she could have stood up to Chris". That is way out of line. I guess I'm happy that Rihanna has stuck to her guns [no pun intended] when promoting this new material and image. She has consistently delivered when branding the new Rihanna. Similar to Madonna style reinvention, she has chosen a theme to go with and committed to it. She's a brown girl who has done r&b but she is not afraid to do different things that may alienate some people. For that alone, I respect her.
This video goes hard.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Aldous Huxley, from The Perennial Philosophy
Facing ourselves can be one of the most difficult tasks in life. It's easy to offer advice and examine others but how well are we at following that advice for ourselves? How well do we see ourselves for what we are rather than what we want to be or what we want to be perceived as?
People like to live in fantasies. To truly know yourself means facing your demons and coming to terms with things. What if what you think that you want isn't what you want at all? What if the morals that you project don't reflect your actions or your desires?
It's often said that to know oneself is the catalyst for truly understanding others.
We can't run from our present any more than we can run from our past.
Look in the mirror. Stare at it. Look deep into yourself and accept yourself. Be who you are meant to be rather than the mask you wish you show to the world. Duplicity has its place, but it rarely leads to pleasant outcomes. Lying to oneself is as bad as lying to others, if not worse.
Live on Royal Variety Performance 2009
I love this song. When many say that Gaga is all about theatrics and big beats to hide behind, I love how stripped down this song is. Just her and a piano with minimal strings. And well...a Victorian style red dress with a massive train and glittery eye ornamentation. haha
This song was inspired by her father and the sweeping late 70s style ballad is one of my favorites from her. The performance was haunting and beautiful.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Director: Francis Lawrence
The undisputed queen of pop for 2009 served up the hottest video of the year, topping even her best that could have easily filled this year. Coming in at number one Lady Gaga's Bad Romance drew references from Russian sex trafficking and delivered the strongest music video imagery in years. Bear skin rug coats, fiery bras, and monster claws may make you think she's out of this world. However, that's the intention. The world has entered into a whirlwind romance with this New York native.
Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake
Love, Sex, and Magic
Director: Diane Martel
Licking, groping, skimpy outfits, and tantalizing choreography...
Between Justin and Ciara, I'm not sure if there was any love but there was plenty of simulated sex resulting in one of the most magical videos of the year. Though bordering along the lines of misogyny, the duo grabbed our attention and created a hit in the process.
I Invented Sex
Director: Yolande Geralds
Once your video gets flagged on youtube for being too much for those under 18, you know that you've created something racy. The song's title lends itself to a typical run of the mill love video but Trey Songz took it to the next level with a little ice, very little clothing, and not much left to the imagination.
Director: Anthony Mandler
Dark? You bet it is. Underwater gunshots and toying with the idea of suicide, Rihanna's controversial video is a sure sign that she's no longer Little Miss Sunshine. With a video full of drama and void of choreography, she captured the tone of the song and looked stunning.
Chris Brown feat. Swizz Beatz & Lil Wayne
I Can Transform Ya
Director: Joseph Kahn
Chris Brown's Swizz Beatz and Wayne assisted leading track from his new album was accompanied by an exhilarating special effects heavy video. Open shirts, leather, martial arts, and shape shifting shows Chris transform into an artist far from the giddy feelings of Forever.
Jay-Z feat. Kanye West & Rihanna
Run This Town
Director: Anthony Mandler
Some say that Jay-Z dabbles with the occult. Deals with dark forces could offer an explanation for his record shattering chart topping albums. This dark clip evokes memories of Tupac's California Love and it's gritty images show that the self proclaimed god of rap indeed runs this town.
Kid Cudi featuring MGMT & Ratatat
Pursuit of Happiness
Director: Brody Baker
Along with Drake and Wale, Kid Cudi is breathing life into hip hop and returning to the roots of the genre. With less talk of firearms, Kid Cudi helps to bring a fresh take to rap. The video shows Kid Cudi moving in real time while the rest moves in slow motion. A former sales associate for BAPE clothing, this kid from Cleveland is an emerging star in rap.
Blame it on the Girls
Director: Nez Khammal
UK's most colorful boy toy, Mika brings a vibrant energy with his music. Not conforming to the constraints of many male artists, he has a creative flair that stands out among the others. This clip for Blame it on the Girls is quirky, fun, and imaginative. It represents everything which is the core of this brilliant artist.
Shakira feat. Lil Wayne
Give it Up to Me
Director: Sophie Muller
Ok, we know that her hips don't lie. Apparently, neither does the rest of her pelvis. The way she thrusts in her choreography keeps your eyes on her nether regions. This she wolf enlists the help of Lil Wayne for this strangely sexy clip.
Director: Anthony Mandler
After a long hiatus, Maxwell returned to show us why we loved him in the first place. This track is frank and honest while still managing to be smooth and alluring. The 2009 secret lovers song gives us enough reasoning to resist breaking the habit of keeping Maxwell's albums in heavy rotation.