Tag Archives: Lady gaga

Edgy Dance Pop – Marina and the Diamonds Releases Electra Heart

Marina and the Diamonds have just released “Electra Heart” in the U.S., which has previously been in the top of the charts in the U.K. Not sure why the U.K. gets these early releases and the U.S. is so cautious about upcoming new pop trends. This also happened with Ellie Goulding and her album which was popular in Europe and finally trickled into American radio here with “Lights”.

Marina and the Diamonds is a refresher from Lady Gaga. If you’re looking for edgy, dance pop, Marina is your girl. “Homewrecker” is on the top of my list, with Ace of Base beats and lyrics that are so true, it hurts. “Power & Control” is fun too, along with “Radioactive”. Her voice is full of soul, and I’d love to see a sing off with her and Lady Gaga. Although, I’ve heard rumors that her live performance is “forced”, which, with these pop personalities should be considered, her music is undeniably catchy and very popular in the indie scene. Will Marina and the Diamonds hit the mainstream American radio soon? Tough to tell when the edgy pop Queen, Lady Gaga retains the throne, but I’d love to see a face off between these two divas and who can be more shocking, lyrically and visually.

Marina and the Diamonds “Radioactive”

Marina and the Diamonds “Power & Control”

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Piano Mash-Up of Stereo Love, Just Dance and Don’t Stop Believing

Here’s a YouTube Video of a Mash-up I created with the piano part of Edward Maya’s “Stereo Love” with Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” and Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Enjoy! Like it on YouTube!

 

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Most Influential Albums

I haven’t written in this blog for a hot minute. Been busy starting my business and also performing around LA. I had a gig last night at the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood and I’m performing Friday, October 7th at El Cid, 9pm, near Silverlake. So, things are picking up, but still working on things.

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a couple of days, and I thought I should write this out. There are some albums that really had an impact on my life. I wanted to write about my favorite albums, but that was tough, because what I like keeps changing, so I thought some of these top albums are actually the most influential albums, the albums that came into my life at an important time in my life that I cannot forget.

So, here goes!

First off, Madonna’s Ray of Light album.

This album came out in 1998, over a decade ago. This album came after Evita and Madonna’s first child, Lola. Giving up her weights for yoga, Madonna changed her beliefs and this album is her most spiritual yet. The album won four Grammys and launched a comeback touring career in 2001 with the Drowned World Tour (in which I happily attended).

I remember when this album came out, on VH1 (when they actually showed music!) They had a massive, I mean massive video documentary on Madonna’s music career, hours of showing her music videos and chronicling her life. After that, I was a bonafied fan. I loved the Frozen music video, I loved the messages and this album also came out the year my mother passed away. This album means a lot to me, it launched my Madonna obsession, and it’s a beautiful, classic album that still holds up beautifully today, and still today, nothing really can compare or sounds similar to this album.

Next up for me is Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Album.

I know, I know, what about Thriller? Off the Wall? Bad? He had way better albums. Yes, but Dangerous came out in the 90s when I was growing up, and to me, it just blew me away with the timing, rhythm and production. Yes, I’m gonna be the cheese standing alone, but I liked this album. I wanted to sing and dance like Michael Jackson. It was like flying. I started twirling and I taught myself how to dance. “Who is It”, the syncopation and rhythm is ridiculous, one of my top MJ songs of all time. Also, the music video releases of “Black or White” and “Remember the Time” were huge. I remember waiting by the TV, watching MTV WAITING for the release of the music video. That JUST doesn’t happen anymore. Those were huge music videos. I wanted to create music like that, music that inspired people, that made people excited. I wanted to fly like Michael.

Aaliyah’s last studio album has a special place in my heart. That album is true soul and R&B and those songs talk about domestic abuse, being the other woman, and other topics that I still don’t hear about. A very soulful album, from the late Aaliyah, she proved that she had more soul crooning a note than a diva belting out her heart. It wasn’t about being a complicated singer, her voice was smooth and wiser beyond her years. I love this album and I pull it out from time to time. The production still holds up to today and her voice was one of a kind.

Alanis Morissette with Jagged Little Pill did things with lyrics that’s hard to say anyone else has done. Her syllables were all over the place and she made things work and broke the rules in song writing that not only was catchy, but started a mini-revolution of girl power. Her angst-ridden songs let women be pissed off at their exes, in a way that really doesn’t get talked about at all. Usually break up songs are sad, with a lonely feel, Morissette was like, dude, you screwed me over and you’re gonna hear about it! It was one of my first albums I ever bought and I remember lying in bed with my walkman waking up in the morning to this album, listening to it over and over. What a great first album to buy and get hooked into. I feel sorry for people that buy whatever pop fluff is out now.

Another album, I actually don’t really listen to much anymore, but has made an effect on me, was TLC’s Fanmail. I travelled to Paris and Spain and I remember listening to this album while driving around Europe. This was a great power group, and this album was awesome with “Scrubs” Yes! A song about these loser guys that we’re sick of! I gotta remind myself of that song more often. There were song great songs and productions on this album. Sometimes I’ll hear a female R&B singer copy what TLC has done with their sultry voices and melodies, but it’s not the same.

Please don’t shoot me for this next selection, but Ace of Base’s The Bridge was an awesome Pop album, and if you listen to it, you’ll definitely see where Lady Gaga has gotten a lot of her inspiration. The Bridge pushed the boundaries with Pop music and synths. The melodies and lyrics are great, they sing about different kinds of topics, and it would be awesome to hear a modern day version of this album. Ace of Base is bomb, and I always come back to this album. I heard “Beautiful Life” on an airplane and instantly loved it.

And I’m going to have to stop for now. I’m missing albums of course, there are so many albums that have influenced me, but this is a pretty good start. As you can see, I love 90s pop and rhythm.

What are your most influential albums? Please write a blog and post a link to your list in my comments section. 🙂

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Perform this Way – Weird Al’ Latest

Weird Al is still alive and kicking, apparently.

Weird Al released his latest music video parodying Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way”.

I enjoyed this crass display, a little hard to watch his face on a woman’s body, but as the music video moves along, it gets more funny, I like the Madonna reference.

I hope Weird Al keeps releasing music videos.

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Lady Gaga “Edge of Glory” and Katy Perry “Last Friday Night” and Julie Feeney’s “Impossibly Beautiful”

I have to admit, I didn’t like “The Edge of Glory” when I first heard it. It’s grown on me, I think I just like singing it more than listening to it, to be honest. I’m already planning on doing an acoustic cover of it.

What’s great about the music video, is that it’s just Lady Gaga, no back-up dancers, no other tricks. Just her make-up and clothes posing on a fire escape. I like the 80s/90s vibes. It reminds me of Janet Jackson in “The Pleasure Principle”. It works and has to be one of my favorite Lady Gaga videos. It feels stripped down and real.

Also, fighting in the next corner in this Pop battle, is Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”. A huge nod to the 80s. Kenny G, Hanson, one of the “Corys”, Debbie Gibson and several 80s references bring back this blast from the past. It’s like the movie, “She’s All That” and “Sixteen Candles”. It’s cute, entertaining and Katy Perry is charming.

I mostly just like the music video. I think like the audience for this song are teenagers, but the video can be enjoyed by anyone and should be watched. What’s funny is that in both of these videos, there are saxophone solos. Is the saxophone the new summer sound? Both of these videos have 80s elements, saxophone solos, and that’s where the comparison ends. Lady Gaga’s lyrics are more meaningful and Katy Perry’s is fun and light hearted. Can’t really compare the two videos, but they are both fun to watch.

I also had a chance to interview Julie Feeney, an Irish singer/songwriter/composer. Her album “Pages” just released in the U.S. and she just wrapped up a mini tour in the U.S. She was a pleasure to talk to and my interview with her will be up soon on my music Examiner page.

Check out her creative, “Impossibly Beautiful” music video.

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The Fall of Gaga

I have stated previously in this blog, that I wanted this blog to be about good music, and not to be like Perez Hilton and rip apart artists, condemn musicians and the like. I rather put out positive posts and instead of ripping apart a well-known artist, to use that time to talk about a lesser-known artist.

I don’t want to rip apart Lady Gaga, and I won’t, but I did want to comment on the reactions I’ve seen lately on her music. From personal Facebook fans to anonymous people on Vevo and Youtube, there is a backlash against Gaga that I’m wondering will garner steam and take down the eccentric Queen of the Pop Universe from her throne.

Lady Gaga’s latest songs seem like reincarnations of her previous hits, but not only that, the production doesn’t seem the same as the Fame Monster album. Lady Gaga’s first single, “Born this Way” was a disappointment. The lyrics were great, and amazing for the gay community. The song itself, not up to par as her previous hits. “Judas” came out, and just reminds me of a copy of “Bad Romance” and “Alejandro”. Then, “The Edge of Glory” came out, and it almost seems unrecognizable as the same artist that was so groundbreaking and poppy in the beginning of her career.

The fans have definitely noticed and are lashing out. What surprises me the most, is how quickly they turned on her. They loved her with a fervor, then they turn around and hate her, all over the internet. Denouncing her, saying they won’t be fans anymore. I can’t really say Lady Gaga sold out, she’s the most artistic she’s ever been in her career and her lyrics are more button-pushing than ever before. She is actually talking about issues in these songs, which is commendable, although the delivery isn’t coming across the same. With easier songs to stomach, dance songs can go straight into catchy dance hooks. With these issue-pushing songs, it’s not as catchy, and the songs are darker because the lyrics actually reflect the mood of the song.

I’m not a die-hard fan of Lady Gaga, my Queen of Pop will always be Madonna. Although, I respect Gaga’s artistic integrity and her messages she cultivates with her music videos. She’s the only “artist” as of this moment. Katy Perry and Rihanna are just regurgitating whatever images the major record labels want them to do, and we all know what happens if that goes on for too long (*coughs* Britney Spears). This is what I think, and I’m not sure what is really going on behind the scenes for all these artists, but sometimes it’s just plain noticeable when an artist is really relaying a message, or just playing dress up.

Those are my two cents on this Pop music battle, and as far as Lady Gaga’s future, hopefully she picks up with some original catchy songs, lest I fear the fans will bury her alive…

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The Girls are in Charge: Nicki Minaj “Super Bass” & JLo’s “I’m Into You”

I’m MIA a lot, I know, excuses. I was in the audience for the Conan show today. It was fun. Anyways, needless to say, sometimes I’m not great with juggling life and keeping up with writing… but I’ll come back.

So, on the back catalogue that I wanted to talk about, was Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” which is “super-catchy”. The video is cute… with the pink theme all over the music video. I kind of appreciate the gratuitous male bodies in the music video, because it’s a nice change from seeing naked girls EVERYWHERE. Let’s even up the odds a little bit, eh? It’s not really great to focus on body parts, no matter the gender, but the media is geared for the male eye, from female magazines to fashion runways, so it’s refreshing to have a female perspective.

I especially like the day-glow bridge in the song. I think music videos have already been playing with light and will continue to push visual limits with lights. I also heard a little bit of the remix Minaj has with David Guetta, “Where Dem Girls At”. I don’t like it. Guetta has the same sound for everything now. He used to be my favorite DJ, and I hate to say I think he sold out. Anyways, I am aware of that song, and yeah, I don’t think it’s that special. I am also aware of Lady Gaga’s latest with Judas and Edge of Glory. I really don’t know what I think of those songs just yet, so I’m sure I’ll get back on that topic in another post.

Jennifer Lopez already has a new music video when her song, “On the Floor” is still rotating on the radio. “I’m Into You” Feat. Lil’ Wayne, is a good song. I especially like the breakdown, and it’s such a tease, because that breakdown or sample of a new song coming out sounds better than the song itself.

And by the way, can you believe this woman is in her 40s??? I want that skin cream when I’m that age, I’m just saying…

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