2013 Grammy Awards

The Grammys awarded some the industry’s best musicians with music’s most prestigious awards last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Gotye, Fun, and The Black Keys were among the nights biggest winners.

The show opened with Taylor Swift performing her hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” featuring an elaborate staging production reflecting “Alice In Wonderland.” It included everything from a rabbit and magicians to a man pinned on a wheel.

The bridge of Swift’s song contains Swift talking to a friend about how her ex called her up telling her he still loved her and her replying that the relationship was “exhausting.” Swift made some lyric changes for the Grammy performance, which included a fake British Accent and stating that she was “busy opening up the Grammy’s.” Speculation has it that the fake British accent symbolized Swift’s recent breakup with One Direction singer Harry Styles, but Swift has not spoken about performance.

Last year’s host, LL Cool J, returned this year and his opening monologue was one of the rappers most memorable highlights of the night. It’s message showcased the symbolism of the Grammy’s. He took the stage after Swift’s performance and stated, “Here at the Grammys, we always get back together and that is what make’s it music’s greatest night.”

LL Cool J then when on to talk about how music brings people together as he highlighted the many places today’s stars come from, stating the an appearance at the Grammy’s was a blessing for all of them by saying, “A Grammy isn’t just a shiny trophy, it’s a dream come true.”

While the Grammys is about honoring the past year’s best music makers, the show is also known for it’s performances and collaborations. This year was no different, as we saw some unlikely artists come together, some memorable tributes and some show stopping solo performances.

“I just love getting to see all the various artists perform together on one stage,” Meek said. “There were many great performances.”

The first collaboration of the night came in form of a British “A Team,” which included new comer Ed Sheeran and hit maker Sir. Elton John. The two turned Sheeran’s Grammy nominated song, “The A Team,” into a duet.

Meek enjoyed the performance.

“Ed and Sir Elton were fantastic,” Meek said. “It must be a sheer honor to have a legend such as Elton John be such a fan of Ed’s to perform together on the Grammys.”

Arizona State University student Kyle Payne, found the performance to be a “nice complement,” stating that it was mix of the old and new sound.

Arguably the most talked about performance comes with the return of Justin Timberlake, who took to the stage to perform part of his new single “Suit & Tie” and a new song, “Pusher Lover Girl.”

“I really did like Justin Timberlake,” Payne said. “He is such a talented performer and getting Jay Z on stage was more that his own wife could get him to do a week ago.”

Timberlake’s performance was filmed to look like an old black and white movie for his first song, giving it a classic throwback feel. The staging and props behind him complimented the look.

Carrie Underwood lit up the stage with her performance and brought a special effect with her. Underwood’s vocals were flawless as she performed an acoustic version of her two time Grammy winning song “Blown Away.” She then jumped into her current single “Two Black Cadiallacs,” in which her beautiful, floor length, silver gown becomes animated.

Underwood’s tour mate and three time grammy nominee Hunter Hayes performed a snippet of his number one single “Wanted” and then passed the stage to Underwood.

The Grammys also honored Bob Marley with a tribute performed by Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Sting as well as Marley’s sons Ziggy and Damien Marley. The powerful performance has the Staples Center audience on its feet and clapping along.

“Bob Marley’s tribute was appreciated,” Meek said. “He would have been 68 this past January and he is well missed.”

Judging by this years winners we are seeing a new trend into alternative/indie music. Last year’s grammy was a pop music sweep as British songstress Adele won 6 awards. While, Adele’s music is pop, her power lyrics could have alluded to the strong sweep of alternative artists who won big this year.

Many of the Grammy’s most popular awards were handed to alternative artists.

Gotye was a three time winner Sunday night. His hit song with Kimbra, “Somebody That I Used To Know” won for Record of the Year and Best Pop Dup/Group Performance. Gotye’s album, “Making Mirrors,” won for Best Alternative Music Album.

Fun. took home Grammy’s for New Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for their hit “We Are Young.”

Mumford and Sons won the night’s biggest award, Album of the Year for “Babel.”

A full list of winners can be found on the Grammy website.


10 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

With a new year, comes new music and 2013 has started off with some big music news such as the announcement of a new David Bowie album and Justin Timberlake’s return to his music career. From the likes of those two announcements alone, 2013 is likely to be a good year for music. However it’s more than just Timberlake and Bowie releasing new music, it’s only January and there is already a slew of artists announcing new albums.

10) The Wanted: “Third Strike” – March

The British/Irish boy band behind the smash hit “Glad You Came” will return this year with their first full length album here in the States and third elsewhere in world. The release date was originally set for December of 2012, but the band announced late last year that they pushed it back to March, stating they didn’t want to rush the process. The album will contain the band’s current single “I Found You.” Last April, the band put out “The Wanted EP” as their debut release in the U.S. and Canada. The EP debuted at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. Recently, American Top 40 named their song “Glad You Came” the number 1 song of 2012. 

While The Wanted haven’t released an exact release date for the album, they say it will be released in March of this year. Until then you can purchase the band’s current single “I Found You” on iTunes.

*Note: The Parental Advisory is due to a fighting scene. There is no blood or gore involved.

9) Backstreet Boys: “Untitled 7th Studio Album” – TBA

This past summer on “Good Morning America,” the Backstreet Boys announced  that Kevin Richardson, who left the band in 2006, was rejoining the band. On top of that, they would also be releasing an album this year on. It has been four years since the Backstreet Boy’s last release “This Is Us,” and 8 years since Kevin’s last album with the group.

8) Vampire Weekend: “Untitled 3rd Studio Album” – May 7

This album is the follow up to the 2010 Grammy nominated “Cobra.” In interviews, the band has called their new album “dark” and “organic.”  Coachella released this years line up on Jan. 24 and Vampire Weekend will hit the stage on Sunday April, 14.

7) Lady Antebellum: “Untitled 4th Studio Album” – Spring

On Jan. 22, “Entertainment Weekly” premiered Lady Antebellum’s new single “Downtown,” from their new album due sometime this spring. The track shows off the band’s fun side as Hillary Scott reminisces about the times her and her partner used to go downtown on Saturday nights and questions why he doesn’t take her anymore. It contains fun, playful lyrics such as, “I got a dress that’ll show a little uh uh/ but you ain’t getting uh uh if you don’t come pick me up.” Lady Antebellum will perform the song for the first time on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” Jan. 28 and again on “The View” on Feb. 6. The track will be available for download on Feb. 5.

6) New Kids On The Block: “10” – April 2

The New Kids On The Block made multiple announcements Jan. 22 on “The View.” They finished their album “10,” which will hit shelves April 2, their new single will be available to purchase on Jan. 28 and this summer they will hit the road for The Package Tour, with opening acts 98 Degrees and Boys II Men. Their single “Remix (I Like The) premiere Thursday night on “On Air With Ryan Seacrest.” So many of their fans flocked to the page that it caused the site to crash. If that’s any indication their new album may fly off the shelves in April.

5) Brad Paisley: “Wheelhouse” – April 9

Paisley announced the title and release date of  his upcoming 9th studio album Jan. 9 on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The album entitled “Wheelhouse” marks the first album Paisley has solely produced and he did so in his own home. “Wheelhouse” will include Paisley’s current single “Southern Comfort Zone,” which peaked at number 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. While on Kimmel’s show, Paisley explained the album is all about stepping out of his comfort zone and try many new things with the record. 

4) A Rocket To The Moon: “Wild & Free” – March 26

A Rocket To The Moon’s fan base has been waiting for new music since the band’s 2009 debut album “On Your Side.” The band released a new single, “Whole Lotta You,” last summer. The single displayed the band’s new sound, which strayed away from the pop rock sound of their debut album and added a laid back, southern twang element. The band then released a 4 track EP entitled “That Old Feeling,” in August, which contain 3 more songs with the similar laid back style. The band’s lead singer Nick Santino did an interview with “Pure Volume” where he discusses the new sound and the new album, stating the sound just evolved on its own. The band continued to add more hype to their new album when they released another single “Ever Enough” in November,  which shows a softer side to the group and a song that Santino said was the deepest he had ever written.

3) Tim McGraw: “Two Lanes of Freedom” – Feb. 5

“Two Lanes of Freedom” will mark McGraw’s first album with Big Machine Records. McGraw left his previous label, Curb Records, this summer. The accelerated deluxe version of the album is avaliable for preorder on iTunes. It shows the album’s 15 song track list, including a song entitled “Highway Don’t Care,” which features fellow country super stars Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. On Jan. 26 Billboard premiered the album’s title track and talked with McGraw about the album. McGraw’s current single “One Of Those Nights” currently sits at number 9 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

2) David Bowie: “The Next Day” – March 12

Earlier this month David Bowie released a new single, “Where Are We Now” and announced his new album “The Next Day,” which is scheduled for release in March. It’s been a decade since Bowie has put out new music. The two year process of making the album was kept heavily under wraps leaving many people in awe when news of a new album for the once very prominent rock star. “The Guardian” released a feature piece about the making of Bowie’s new album and how he managed to keep it a secret. The deluxe version of the album is available for preorder on iTunes and showcases the 17 song track list.

1) Justin Timberlake: “The 20/20 Experience” – March 19

Justin Timberlake started off the new year by teasing his fans with a countdown clock and a video explaining that he was ready to release new music. On Jan. 14 Timberlake released a single, “Suit and Tie,” for the first time since the release of his sophomore album in 2006. The single featuring Jay Z sold 314,000 copies in its first week. The latest news reveals that rapper T.I. will make an appearance on the album. Timberlake has recently been filming a video for his new single and the “L.A. Times” describes it as Timberlake cruising around L.A. The sound of the new single seems to fall not far from where Timberlake left off on his sophomore album but time will tell whether new material will display a different side to the singer.