See You At The CrossRoads: Fall Out Boy & The Band Perry

I was lucky enough to win a spot at the taping of a CMT Crossroads episode. Now, normally this wouldn’t be anything I’d really be interested in, but the featured artists were out of the norm. Stepping away from the usual bill of country “legends” this episode was set to showcase The Band Perry and Fall Out Boy. That is a far cry from the oh so popular Willie Nelson and Ray Charles special. There was no way I was passing this up.

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Fun fact: There were two bass players, so they had to take turns. A first for both FOB and TBP.

I’ve participated in a TV production one other time. Bonnaroo. Sat second row at the Key & Peele hosted Comedy Central special, and laughed and smiled on cue. A month later, I discovered that CC edited a light-skinned chick into all the scenes where Key & Peele were actually talking to me and my equally Hershey’s Kiss complected friend. Jerks. Needless to say, I don’t expect to see much of myself on TV. Once the practice applause (so awkward) was over, they started the show.

This was a full on concert, but better. Why? Because they had to perform most of the songs twice!! One might think that this would be annoying, but it was actually pretty dope. The production/sound team found some random thing wrong with the first go round, everyone got their make-up touched up and step back up to their mics and guitars. The second time for every song was always so much better.

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Touch-up Time! This happened after every song.

The match-up was perfect. The Band Perry is already pretty edgy for a country band. Fall Out Boy’s rock amazingness (not a word, I know) added so much to their songs, even the soft “If I Die Young”. It takes a special talent to add extra umph to such a sweet sentimental tune, and Patrick Stump sharing the lyrics with JJ was simply everything. The only downside for me, since there has to be one, was JJ on the Fall Out Boy songs. Her voice doesn’t project like Patrick’s. For example, I know “Sugar, We’re Going Down” and was ready to completely rock out and sing at the top of my lungs. JJ’s soft voice was kind of a buzz kill.

Seeing all of the employees, cameras, important people with headsets and everything that went int the set was amazing. Something that would end up being a 30 minute show probably took so much time and effort.

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Favorite Moments: “Better Dig Two” and “If I Die Young”

Takeaway: This experience solidified my need to update my phone so I could’ve taken better pictures to share!! November can’t get here fast enough!!

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JJ is beautiful, this picture just sucks. I’m getting a new phone.

Pete's stories (once he got a mic) were hilarious

Pete’s stories (once he got a mic) were hilarious

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Just Listen: Ryan Leslie’s Gibberish

I pride myself on having an amazing memory. I’m sad to admit that today it let me down and left me hanging. I can’t, for the life of me, remember when I realized that Ryan Leslie is a genius. All I know is that one day some years ago I heard this:

Every single piece of my life was handed to me on a silver platter.

Wait! I do remember that I was in college. I can see  myself sitting in a dorm room with this song on repeat. College is when I realized for me music wasn’t  just music. I’d like to say that this song helped to usher in that epiphany, but I can’t because my brain refuses to cooperate. Anyway.

*Stands on soap box*

THIS SONG CHANGED EVERYTHING!!!!

*Jumps down and sips tea*

Seriously. There are only like seven actual words, but so much is said and the emotion is conveyed through the mumbling. The coolest thing about this song is that no two pair of ears hear the same thing. And (yes, it gets better) no one person necessarily hears the same thing each time they press play. By not finishing what he started, Ryan delivers a new song to each listener.  Genius in Gibberish!! There are various “lyric” videos on the interents, but who really knows what he’s saying? I don’t, and that’s just fine.

Just Listen: Jamie Cullum Doesn’t Want The Music To Stop

I’d first like to say that Spotify is a gift from the heavens. Second, I need for my new (is it still new in week 5?) place of employment to unblock Spotify so that I can listen to full albums for free. In the meantime, my Iphone app has been treating me very well. The most recent gem was delivered on The 20/20 Experience radio.

 

I’ve never been a faithful listener of Jamie Cullum, but his dopeness has always been apparent. Now Riri…. I don’t like her voice. Nope. She sounds like a PMSing cat, however, she is given some pretty good songs. So I guess I’m a fan of the songwriters that she uses. I’ve never ever liked Please Don’t Stop The Music. Nah, it can end. This version is sooo dope. Keep going Jamie boo!

Just Listen (And Look): SYTYCD Season 10 Tappers

So You Think You Can Dance Season 10!!!

In the past (read: last season), I’ve posted pieces from my second favorite reality show because  of what I saw. Makes sense. This video is a little different.

Never has SYTYCD had three tap dancers make it into the top 20. There’s usually one lone tap dancer, if any, who gets placed in a group dance with the other outcast dancers for the introductory live show. In a way this was always good for the tapper, because there was always a moment in the piece where they had to spotlight. Not this season. Three extremely talented tap dancers + one amazing choreographer = the best intro piece on SYTYCD this season.

LISTEN. Close your eyes. Do you hear how their feet accompany every single beat of the music. Not only are there feet riding the beat, there are feet for All of the instruments within the song. The taps aren’t just sounds on top of the music. These guys are moving with the music. Their feet enhance the sound with every single tap.

LOOK. Wheeeew!! Do you SEE THEM!! LOOK! This piece is the perfect example of tap dancers being more that just tap dancers, but plain old great dancers. The wow factor of this piece for me is how much movement there was outside of the tapping. They Get Down. The passion is written on each one of their faces. These people are on Cloud Nine on that stage. Their happiness is radiating through the video. I’m happy just writing about it. Imagine that thing that makes you joyful beyond words. Press Play. This is what that joy looks like in tap dance form.

Just Listen: Jonny Lang

It’s amazing how many great musicians there are in the world  who’ve never been heard by so many people. I’ve been listening to Jonny Lang for a good two weeks now, and I’m still trying to figure out how this guy put out 5 albums without me ever knowing of his existence. I’m seriously still upset about this. This man has a voice that somehow conveys every emotion. All at once. And still, the feeling that he wants you the feel when you listen to a song, oh he makes you feel it alright.

Exhibit A:

Listen. I can be stubborn, cold, hardhearted and plenty of adjectives. When I’m fed up with someone, they know it; especially a man that I’m dating. I can say with complete confidence that if any man that I’m seriously dating plays this song after a major screw up/blowout fight….. I. AM. STAYING. RIGHT. THERE. Shucks, I wanted to pull lil Jonny into my arms and whisper my forgiveness and he didn’t do me any harm. And that guitar?!! It was crying. CRYING!!! My Gosh!! An instrument begging for forgiveness? I dare you to turn that down.

Exhibit B:

Imagine: Sitting in Greater Mt. House On The Hill Missionary Baptist AME Church on the hottest of summer Sundays. It’s homecoming and you have the serious itis from the dinner in the fellowship hall after the morning service. The visiting church’s choir is getting ready for their first selection. This is the perfect opportunity to catch a little snooze on the last pew, because they’re bound to sound terrible. Just as your eyes get the good droop to ’em, you hear This:

I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the picture. This guy is officially at the top of my “I must experience your voice in real life” list. Yes, I just made that up.