Grammys in Your Jammies 2014

Another year, another night of me staying up past my bedtime and blogging about music’s biggest night in my jammies. I’ll be blogging live throughout the night… check back for updates! LL Cool J is hosting again this year… I love him! Mike noticed something very interesting about the direction of music – they don’t even televise the best rock album award anymore… sort of sad that we’re so focused on pop that we’re willing to completely marginalize other genres.

I love love love that they’re giving the Music Educator of the Year Grammy Award. This year the winner was Kent Knappenberger. I really wish they would have given it to him live on TV rather than just pointing him out to the audience! I know that my early music educators (along with my parents) were major influences in my life!

The Clothes

  • LL Cool J’s purple velvet suit. LOVE it.
  • Anna Kendrick’s white dress – I can’t decide if I like it or don’t. I love the sexy cutouts, but think that the top makes her look like she squished her boobs down.
  • Krist Novoselic’s 1860’s western inspired suit. Love it!
  • Julia Roberts’ little lacy black dress. What an amazing dress!
  • Zac Brown’s beanie. Just because it’s everywhere, even with a suit.
  • Mary Lambert’s red dress. I seriously love this dress. Modest coverage, beautiful sparkle, great shape!

The Performances

  • Beyoncé & Jay-Z: Wow… that was a very sexy performance of “Drunk in Love“. It was a bit of a strange song and strange performance, but she pulled it off without being trashy… Miley Cyrus, take note. I love me some Jay-Z… this was a great collaboration! Take note both Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke. Just sayin’.
  • Lorde: I love love love “Royals“. Her jerky performance was a little weird, but I’ll chalk it up to being moved by the music. Still can’t believe that voice comes out of a 17-year-old!
  • Hunter Hays: “Invisible” is his new song and is very moving. That said, every time I think I’m starting to really like him (I sing along with the radio) I see a live performance and it seems to just fall flat. It feels like he’s trying way too hard and that it’s really difficult for him to get some of those notes out.
  • Katy Perry: While I’m not the biggest fan of her music, I loved her performance of “Dark Horse“. I like the dark, magical aspect of the staging and loved the crystal ball part at the beginning. Very clever with the “burning at the stake” at the end. She might be someone I go see just to see the performance aspect of her show!
  • Robin Thicke & Chicago: This was a much better performance by Robin Thicke… he needs to get past all of this Miley Cyrus crap and get back to singing. They performed a medley of Chicago songs and then broke into “Blurred Lines” which sounded amazing with the Chicago horn line!
  • Keith Urban & Gary Clark Jr.: This was a great pairing on “Cop Car” – I haven’t heard of Gary Clark Jr before but love his bluesy, mellow voice and mad guitar skills. Keith Urban never fails to delight me with his kick ass guitar playing!
  • John Legend: I love his voice… he’s definitely on my list of people to see live. “All of Me” is such an amazing song… beyond the beautiful lyrics, the chord progressions and dissonance is stunning.
  • Taylor Swift: She’s still a pretty terrible live singer (I did love her acoustic version of “Red” at the ACMs) but her dress during “All Too Well” was amazing! I hated her awkward head banging while playing the piano… it always feels like she’s trying a bit too hard. Plus, I’m getting tired of her teenage angst songs… it’s time to grow up Taylor and move on to some adult content.
  • P!nk & Nate Ruess: Ever since seeing her live a few years back, I’ve absolutely loved P!nk… she is an amazing singer and her performances are always acrobatic and entertaining. I love “Just Give Me A Reason” and am blown away by Nate’s voice.
  • Ringo Starr: Ok, this will get me in a lot of trouble, but I just have such a hard time getting on board with the whole Beatles are the best thing ever thing. Ringo Starr even less so… he has a very limited vocal range and honestly I don’t get what all the hoopla around “Photograph” is.
  • Kendrick Lamar & Imagine Dragons: While it’s great that Taylor Swift loved their performance and rocked out in the front row, it’s kind of sad that those of us at home listened to a bit of silence because every other word had to be bleeped. I really like Imagine Dragons and “Radioactive“, but to me it was a strange pairing.
  • Kacey Musgraves: I love love love her voice and I love “Follow Your Arrow“. I love that her music has that distinct “country” sound to it, but is fresh and young.
  • Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr: Honestly, I’m not even sure what “Queenie Eye” refers to. Not my favorite song, and I’m talking about the man who sang my wedding song (“Maybe I’m Amazed”). Not a great song or performance in my book.
  • Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, & Blake Shelton: Let me start by saying that I cannot wait to see Willie in a few months. Was this their best performances ever? Not by far. But these men are legends, absolute legends and it’s awesome to see them still playing and singing! They sang “The Highwayman”, “Okie from Muskogee“, and “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys“. Freaking amazing.
  • Daft Punk, Pharell, & Stevie Wonder: WTF? I don’t get it. “Get Lucky” is a catchy tune, but I don’t understand the whole Daft Punk thing and it felt like they ran out of places to stick Stevie.
  • Sara Bareilles & Carole King: This was a great matchup. I love how excited to sing Sara Bareilles looked to sing and play with Carole King. I love the song “Brave” and thought they really complimented each other.
  • Metallica & Lang Lang: Let me state the obvious. Lang Lang can freaking play piano. What a cool way to intro “One“. And it just goes to show that excellent musicianship translates across genres – from classical to heavy metal. Very cool to see the interaction between them!
  • Macklemore, Queen Latifah, & Madonna: I think “Same Love” is such a wonderful song. Gay, straight, religious, not, fat, skinny, it’s all the same. Interesting choice to marry a bunch of folks on TV (gay and straight) and then have Madonna come out to sing. But whatever… point made, I guess.
  • Miranda Lambert & Billie Joe Armstrong: These two did a great little tribute to the Everly Brothers with “When Will I Be Loved”.
  • Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Lindsey Buckingham, & Dave Grohl: First things first – Lindsey Buckingham can PLAY guitar. This was a rockin’ little medley that was the perfect finish to the show. Or would have been. They cut the end of the performance with commercials. Terrible.

They Got Robbed!!!

  • Kacey Musgraves: Seriously. Way better music than any of the other folks in the best new artist category. Her album is absolutely amazing! However, her winning best country album, beating Taylor Swift, was awesome.
  • Everyone else in the best pop duo category. Serious, Daft Punk & Pharell over JT & Jay-Z? Or P!nk and Nate Ruess? Lame.
  • Macklemore: I love “Royals” but don’t think it should have won song of the year over “Same Love“.
  • Everyone else in the record of the year and album of the year – again, I don’t get the Daft Punk thing and I definitely don’t think that was the best recorded song of the year.

Legends of Summer

Last Friday I headed to Candlestick Park with Adam and Eva to see Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z on their “Legends of Summer Tour“. I’ve seen JT in the past and his show was amazing – even if you don’t like the music, he is a great performer. After reading Jay-Z’s book “Decoded” I became a fan, as he discussed in great detail the meaning of his songs and lyrics. I’m convinced he’s a really smart dude.

The sound was less than stellar, partly because Candlestick Park is such a huge, open venue. I didn’t realize until after, but this tour is strictly a stadium tour, which I think is an interesting choice. The show itself was awesome. I think the really neat part for me was how they wove the show together. Instead of the traditional opening act, they had a DJ for about an hour. He was not the best in the world, but came up with some good (and interesting) song combinations. “California Love” by Tupac followed by “All Night Long” by Lionel Ritchie, anyone? Then the show kicked off. The stage setup was great – it was this massive shiny red stage that they projected all sorts of things on depending on the song.

Stage Setup
Stage Setup

There was definitely some thought put into the flow of the show – rather than JT doing a set and then Jay-Z doing a set, they innerwove their music. This was really cool for me because the two styles of music, while different on the surface, actually flowed really well together. They also made it super easy for the guys to switch back and forth via a trap door/elevator on the stage. Most of the time, you never saw the guy leaving. It was a great show as evidenced by the following picture:

This Is What Fun Looks Like
This Is What Fun Looks Like

Finally, we had something really cool happen as we were leaving the show. We were walking through the parking lot when we heard sirens. Around the corner came roaring a couple of motorcycle cops, cars, and two black SUVs. We started trying to figure out who it was when Adam flashed the shaka (ie. hang loose sign) and none other than Jay-Z popped his head and arm out the window to give it back. Too cool!

Favorite Song Friday – “SexyBack”

Today’s favorite song Friday pick is a throwback to 2006 and a shout out to tonight’s upcoming concert. Yup, it’s “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake. I’m so so so excited about the show – it’s at Candlestick Park and features Jay-Z. Stay tuned in the next day or so for the concert review!

“SexyBack” was the ultimate summer jam… it came out in July of 2006 and was super catchy. Happy Friday!

The 20/20 Experience

FINALLY Justin Timberlake has come out with a new album, titled The 20/20 Experience. I was super excited to get tickets to see his show later this year (I’ve seen him in the past and he’s an amazing performer) and am now even more excited now that he has new material!

There are big chunks of this album that remind me of old school JT, and there are big chunks that are very Robin Thicke-esq. I love the mixture of the two. It definitely has a more R&B focused sound to it, which I think his voice fits perfectly into.

I don’t necessarily think that this album is as great as FutureSex/LoveSounds was, but it’s right up there. Can’t wait for the show!

The 20/20 Experience
The 20/20 Experience

Favorite Songs: “Let The Groove Get In”, “Mirrors“, and “Suit & Tie

2013 Concert Update

So super excited about the show that is just added to my concert list this year… Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z! I’m going with Adam and Eva… it’s going to be so much fun!!!

2013 Concert Calender

January 27: Rock of Ages

January 31: George Strait, The Cowboy Rides Away Tour

May 10: Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley with Randy Houser and Joanna Smith

June 2: Les Misérables

July 26: Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z

August 8: Luke Bryan with Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line

August 23: Brad Paisley with Chris Young and Lee Brice

September 22: Keith Urban with Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch

October 11: Jason Aldean with Jake Owen and Thomas Rhett