Archive for the ‘Artist Profile’ Category

Decade of Different Concert – Artist Profile: Lady Gaga

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Lady Gaga, obviously, needs no introduction. Mother Monster is riding high on the fame right now, and she’s never been as popular as she is right now. She’s made a lot of new fans with her latest record, “Born This Way” and with her collaborations with such legendary artists as Sting and Tony Bennett.

She’s performed “Stand By Me” with Sting before, but her duet with Tony Bennett of the remake of Sinatra’s “The Lady is a Tramp” is particularly notable. We all know about the relationship between Bennett and Amy Winehouse, and what a great musical pair they made. It seems to be the opinion of some people that Gaga was taking advantage of Amy’s death by stealing the spotlight with that performance. I don’t see it that way at all. If anything, Lady proved that she is far more talented that many of her detractors seem to give her credit for, and she did a hell of a job with that song. I could envision that record being played back in the ’40s, although Gaga’s attire probably would met with a little curiosity (understatement of forever.)

But what I really want to discuss here is the fact that as famous as she’s become, with all of her crazy outfits and impromptu cameos and outrageous acts, she’s really the same New York girl she’s always been. She does what she does because she loves it. She can take all of her talents in music, dance, and drama and roll them up altogether into something wonderful (at least her fans think so, most people seem to just think she’s insane, but love her anyway). Above all, she works to use her fame for positive things. She’s always been looking out for the underdog, praising and glorifying the underdogs, as she herself was one just a few short years ago. This is a concert about Difference. Look at what a difference was made with her in just 4 short years. (Yahoo has a great profile of how she looked just a few years ago, and she was so cute!) It’s not like we’ve never seen a star rise like this before, but the difference here is, this Lady is going to be around for a long, long time.

What makes Gaga so unique is her raw talent and her ability to constantly reinvent herself (that is, the character of Lady Gaga). Yes, Madonna reinvented herself all the time, but she tended to follow trends, rather than be a trend-setter (perhaps not earlier in her career, but certainly later.) What Lady Gaga does is trend setting, but ignoring popular trends almost entirely. If anything, she pokes fun and parodies pop culture, rather than abide by it. But, what made me a fan in particular was not her outrageous costumes or dramatic live shows or her often very “exotic” dancing, but when it all comes down to just her and a piano. You truly realize what a true performer and musician she is, and how dedicated she is. In those moments, you see little Stefani showing through her Lady Gaga facade, sometimes with tears in her eyes, truly overwhelmed by all the love people show her. It’s when she shares a story, when she connects with her audience that she really shines. They are always her most emotional, most intimate, and most beautiful performances. Those are what make her so different. I can’t remember any star that could go from being so outrageous, to simple and wonderful.

Of all the performances there will be on Saturday night/Sunday morning, Gaga’s is obviously the most anticipated, because you just never know what she’ll do next.

Decade of Difference Concert – Artist Profile: The Edge & Bono

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

These two are no doubt among the greatest rock n’ roll legends of all time. Not only are they famous rock stars, though, but they’re both known for performing at many charity concerts, so this is just another in a long line for them. It’s sort of like, if there’s a charity concert, you can bet on at least Bono being there. Having the Edge there as well is always a bonus.

But why is it just the Edge & Bono, and not U2 the band?

Categories: Artist Profile

Decade of Difference Concert – Artist Profile: Usher

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

We all know Usher. He was a big star in the early 2000’s, with a whole bunch of hits. His “Confessions” in 2004, especially the title track parts one & two are no doubt among his most famous tracks. After Confessions, we didn’t hear much of him on the radio as he pursued many other things, and then about a year ago, “OMG” was released, and once again he’s headlining.

He’s always been pretty talented, and while he’s not one of my personal favorite artists, he’s a welcome addition to this lineup. It’ll be cool to hear some of his older hits; it’s sort of nostalgic for me.

Categories: Artist Profile

Decade of Difference Concert – Artist Profile: Kenny Chesney

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

As someone who had plenty of country music in the house growing up (my favorite musical group growing up was the legendary Alabama), I’m very familiar with Kenny Chesney. As country music has continued its rapid decline in relevancy, becoming more tired country-pop than actual country-western, there are a few artists that have still enjoyed plenty of mainstream success: the most obvious being Taylor Swift. But acts like Sugarland, The Band Perry, and Lady Antebellum have enjoyed plenty of mainstream pop success while still being fairly loyal to their country roots.

There are of course other acts who have been around for many years now, including Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, and Alan Jackson, who continue to enjoy great success, as well as the Zac Brown Band (probably the best musical group in country music today). However, you can’t forget Kenny Chesney. He was a huge star almost immediately, and while he hasn’t had as many hits in recent years, he still gets plenty of radio play, and his concerts are always well attended.

The last song I can remember by him was “The Boys of Fall,” which I believe was released this past year. It was decent enough. But as I’ve said before, I don’t really pay much attention to the goings-on in country music, since I can barely say many of the genre’s artists are true to their roots anymore. But he’s still a very good, relevant artist, and he’s a good inclusion to the Clinton Concert. He’s the country representative, Usher’s the hip-hop representative, The Edge & Bono are the rock n’ roll Representative, and Lady Gaga is… well, Gaga!

So I must say it’s a bit nostalgic to watch Kenny Chesney perform again. As long as he plays “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem,” I’ll be satisfied.

Categories: Artist Profile

Natalie Imbruglia: So Underrated! (At Least in America)

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Now I’m sure many people around the world know who Natalie Imbruglia is. If you’re in America, though, all you probably know of her is one song: “Torn” that was released as a single around 1999. It is because of this song that I learned of her, but unlike a lot of my peers (actually unlike all of them) I decided to learn more about her. I got “Left of the Middle”, and loved it. When White Lillies Island (actually an island on which she lived for awhile) came out, I loved that too!

I’ve never understood why Natalie never took off in America. Around the world, she’s a pop idol. She’s full of talent, and has written some really great lyrics. She actually writes a lot of them, and actually, the only record she didn’t write many of the song on was her 2005 record “Counting Down the Days” which did well commercially in Europe and the UK, but I feel was her weakest album overall. Her most recent album, “Come to Life” was terrific, and none of the songs even touched the Top 40 in America. I don’t get it. I think it’s because she has never really toured all that much. I don’t think she’s been to the US that many times, either, mostly because she just never really had much of a following in America.

I just wanted to say something about her because I think a lot of people have really missed out on her music. During a time when American pop music was so sexually charged and at times raunchy, her music was just I think a lot better than what was being offered on radio at the time. Apparently, the rest of the world knew about her. So I must say, worldwide, she may be well known, but in America, she’s really underrated. I suggest you check her out. She really brightened up a lot of days for me when I was younger, and if you’re tired of hearing the same ole, same old pop music, give her a shot.

Kelly Clarkson Answers All the Haters with “Mr. Know It All”

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

They said she was done. They said she was “too fat” or “all washed up.” Guess what? She’s neither. What a perfect comeback to answer all her haters.

I’ve loved Kelly since the very beginning, since she first appaered on American Idol. I knew she’d win from the very beginning. That was the last time I cared about Idol. As far as I was concerned, she WAS the American Idol. And for a little while, she really was. She’s beautiful and talented. This isn’t to say we haven’t gotten other good talents out of Idol; Jordin Sparks and Daughtry (even though he didn’t win). But Kelly to me is the greatest Idol ever. And I’m glad she’s gotten herself back in the game (that is, on the charts.)

A lot of people didn’t like her video. It wasn’t the greatest music video ever, no, but it was just great to see Kelly again. “My Life Would Suck Without You” was the last time we saw her, and hell, she had to cancel a tour because they couldn’t sell tickets! But it’s not all her fault. The fame wore her down, and it happens very, very often, to a lot of stars. People don’t seem to appreciate what it takes to be a star, and a lot of people said Kelly just didn’t have it.

Well, I can’t wait for her to claw her way back up there. As much as I love Katy and Gaga, I would love to see Kelly make a name for herself again. God bless you, Kelly!


Categories: Artist Profile

Alabama: Going to “Roll On” Once More?

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

When I heard that Alabama, my favorite country act of all time, is going to be returning to the road in 2012, I honestly couldn’t believe it. But even though Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry are in their 60’s, as evidenced by their appearance live with Brad Paisley for “Old Alabama,” they obviously still have it.

Brad Paisley, with Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry of Alabama in the song "Old Alabama"

Brad Paisley, with Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry of Alabama in the song "Old Alabama"

I don’t really listen to country music at all anymore, with the exception of Alabama, Brad Paisley, and a few others. I’m pretty disgusted with the state of popular music in general these days, which is why I haven’t really written much in this space at all, but for my first favorite musical act of all time, it’s great to see them have one last hurrah. I’m really thankful for anything they produce at this point, even if it’s just a re-hash of older tunes that they put together, it’s fine by me. I just hope I get to see them live one last time, although I highly doubt it. It’s just great to be able to look forward to a great act give it “One More Shot” (song title pun intended).

If you’re not really a country fan, I still urge you to listen to Alabama. They’re not typical country, and I can’t tell you how many people I know that can’t stand country love Alabama, so I really do suggest if you’re looking for something to relax to, they’re a great option.

Katy Perry Kissed a Girl and Liked It? So What?

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Katy just wants to have fun! Leave her alone!

People really need to stop hating on poor Katy Hudson, I mean, Perry. I’ll be the first to admit I have a super huge crush on Miss “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” and I guess much of the world does. Why is it that those that like her just seem to like her so much?

Honestly, she is actually fairly talented. She does have a very breathy voice. It’s certainly not the most powerful or most beautiful, but it’s unique, and it’s Katy. There are just certain notes she can’t hit, and half the time she sounds out of breath. But she’s Katy. She is who she is, and she’s unashamedly just out to have fun and remind each and every one of us has a special spark inside just waiting to be unleashed.

Sure, she’s very silly. Some people seem to think she’s trying to be a sort of Lady Gaga-lite. Most of her performances consist of just silly props and staging. She’s just throwing a party, not really performing seriously at a concert. I guess she just really can’t be serious, and honestly, I don’t really have a problem with it. It’s her life, and she’s being herself, so I can’t really be too hard on her. It does bother me that the majority of what people think is Katy singing on her records is actually a computer-generated conglomeration of her voice with her back-up singers (who I do admit are quite talented themselves). Her stuff is very over-produced for the most part. I will say this, though. There are live performances, like her “acoustic” performance of “Firework” on the Ellen show, that show that she is actually a pretty serious artist when she wants to be.

Is she among the most talented artists of our generation? Probably not. But she certainly writes catchy lyrics and melodies. People don’t give her the credit she deserves. She’s still quite young and pretty, and looks good with any hair colour (my favorite is still her natural blonde). Let Crazy Katy have her fun. So what if those pictures of last night ended up online? Is she screwed? Oh well!

Categories: Artist Profile