Red Carpet City

Friday, December 02, 2005

My Blogging Experience

I have to be honest...I have not enjoyed keeping this blog in the way I had thought I would.

At first I had trouble because of my original topic choice. Celebrity gossip was definitely what interested me the most, but I had trouble keeping up with my posting because the information was not as accessible as I would have liked, and I found myself completely reliant on other peoples blogs.

After changing my topic to music, a topic that interested me just as much and seemed more accessible, I realized it had nothing to with the topics, but the fact that my blog needed to be so specific.

I found the most difficulty in finding inspiration in just one topic alone, which is probably why I did not post nearly as much as I was supposed to. Every day I find a new article or news piece that strikes my interest, but it changes day by day. The only days I could really be inspired to write were those days that just happened to fall in my topic.

I feel I would have written a lot more if I was able to just write about what news caught my eye today and my commentary on it. The days I did find something interesting to me in the music industry were the days that I really enjoyed writing, because instead of just talking about it to a friend, I was able to fully articulate my opinions and feelings on the issue. But unfortunately, those days were few and far between, and knowing how uninspiring my blog was, I did not share it with anyone. I don't think I will continue with this particular blog, however, now that I am not bound to a topic I would like to start a new blog based on everything that interests me.

Music Videos Back to the Basics

It seems certain bands have realized that they don't have to dish out the big bills to make a "bling blinging" video for MTV to air in between reality shows. Many musicians have started utilizing the internet to grab a video audience.

According to Rollingstone.com:

"For the first time since MTV went on the air in 1981, videos are no longer
free promotional tools for CDs -- they're the product."

This was proven after Itunes began offering video downloads. Apparently sales went well (in the market of 1 million downloads). I find this hard to conceive of. I love music videos just as much as the next music fan, but to pay for them? Granted, I gave up on MTV years ago...Somewhere around the time when they started playing reality shows and game shows before the 8pm time slot. Now when I turn it on I feel like a lost 50 year-old woman trying to understand what her teenager is so mesmerized by. But regardless, most videos (at least in my experience) can be found on the artists website. So why pay?

The Worst Record Covers Of All Time

This is worth checking out for anyone who's in the mood for a good laugh.

Pitchforkmedia.com made a list of the worst record covers ever.

Go here to check them out.

Rent

Although my blog has turned its focus towards music, I feel the need to comment on the movie Rent, which I saw opening day in theaters December 23. It's a musical, so I guess it has some relevance.

When I first heard the show was being made into a movie, I had my doubts and concerns. I was one of the few privileged people who had the opportunity to see Rent on Broadway with its original cast, pre-hype and "Rent-Head" hysteria. I loved the production so much I saw it again about 3 or 4 times. Unfortunately, the constant changing of cast seemed to lessen the impact it had on me the first time around. It seemed to me that the new cast members were not only playing the parts of the characters written, but playing the part of the original actors being these characters. So when the news of a movie was brought to my attention, all I could picture was some big name actors and actresses trying to emulate what the originals had done, all on the big screen. Not to mention the transformation of musical into movie form always runs the risk of a high "cheese-factor".

My worries were eased when I learned to majority of the original cast would be playing their parts in the movie. The only major changes were that of Joanne, which I could deal with, and Mimi (I never really cared to much for Daphne Rubin Vega anyway). The part of Mimi was played by Rosario Dawson, whom I love. So I was all set to see what I thought had the potential to be a great adaptation.

The movie blew me away. I had to opportunity to get a closer look into the characters I thought I knew so well.

As said by Reel.com:

"The deep emotions, intertwined relationships, and profound messages that
were sometimes overshadowed by the stage shows intense decibel level are
wonderfully rendered on screen. "

The music was fantastic as always, and the huge dance number during "Tango Maureen" was more than I could ever ask for. My one complaint was that a few of my favorite songs were cut from the production, but that's what happens when musicals are made into movies. Other than that the movie gets an A+ in my book!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sony's Anti-piracy system can ruin you

Sony music has discontinued the use of its anti-piracy software on its releases because it installs harmful software into your computer, leaving PC's vulnerable to viruses, slower and transmitting information through the network to Sony.

Sony has offered a download on its site to remove this program, removing it from the CD's themselves requires customers to offer even more personal information, and is extremely complicated.

Pitchfork Media reported that:

"In a statement released on Friday, the company said, 'We deeply regret any
possible inconvenience this may cause. We stand by content protection technology
as an important tool to protect our intellectual property rights and those of
our artists.'"

I still can't understand what artists are so afraid of with people sharing music. If you try to stop them, they're going to find a new, legal way to do it. (ie: even though Napster got in trouble for sharing, sites like Limewire are still in existence.) But regardless of the sites that share the music, I would think that these artists would be pleased that people are interested in their music. Because once people are hooked to the tunes, they go out and see the show, then buy the merchandise, etc. It's not like they aren't going to sell records. There are plenty of people in this world who see value in actually owning the physical record. I just think some people are spoiled...Can't get enough money.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Confessions on a Dance Floor

Previously I wrote about how Madonna's new album Confessions on a Dance Floor had offended rabbis with lyrics to the song "Issac". I had wondered how this would affect the sales of the album, or what kind of reviews might come of it upon its release.

Apparently, not so good.

Rollingstone.com gives the album 3 1/2 stars saying:

"Madonna's songwriting has always been her most underrated quality. But while
Confessions absolutely hits its mark for disco functionality, its greatest
strength is also its weakness. In the end, the songs blur together, relying on
Price's considerable production magic to create tension or distinctiveness."


I had pretty much expected this. Now, I'm not a huge Madonna fan, but I do respect her for the place she has made for herself in the music industry, and in history. But come on...there comes a time when you have to say "I'm getting to old for this".


Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Myspace Invasion

The growing popularity of the online social network Myspace has inspired many artists and bands to jump on the...well...band wagon.

RollingStone.com reported that big name bands like the Foo Fighters and Weezer have been using the network as a way to stream new music and promote themselves. The Foo Fighters have used the site to offer a podcast of the making of the more recent album, In Your Honor, while bands like Nine Inch Nails and Weezer offer sneak peaks at new unreleased music.

Quoted from the RollingStone.com article, Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional says:

"It's the world's most powerful marketing tool at the moment."


Its nice to see the use of a free network can have a "give and take" system for everyone. We can go on Myspace and find new music, new bands, or stay in touch with our favorite artists, and the musicians can use the site as a way of connecting with fans and getting new music out there.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Music Festival For New Orleans

After the destruction of hurricane Katrina, the city of New Orleans was forced to cancel its annual Voodoo Fest; a musical experience that not only pays tribute to the city's musical culture, but gives people the opportunity to dress up in Halloween costumes and have a great time.

But reactions to the festivals cancellations had the event organizers reconsidering. MTV.com reported:

"It was a crushing blow to a city that had already sustained too many crushing blows. Event organizers realized this and hustled to get the show going in some form. "

After considering changing the location of the show, organizers decided to let the festival go on in Riverview Park, which was still damp and muddy from Katrina.

Some acts included Queens of the Stone, Nine Inch Nails, and many local artists. As MTV.com reported, Trent Reznor closed out the Nine Inch Nails set by singing "Hurt" on stage alone with just an electric piano and a spot light shining down on him giving what MTV described as a "somber" performance "delivering each line with a pained, weary tone." I can only imagine the impact that must have had. I have seen Nine Inch Nails live and Trent Reznor closed out the show in the same way, and might I say that there have been very few times a live performance has brought me to tears...that being one of them.

I was really happy to read that this festival went on as originally planned. It has always amazed me how music can bring people together for a good cause, and especially in this case, to help them forget about their worries and just get lost in the performances.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Good Old Days

....He's back!!

Really not much needed to be said about this...But Marilyn Manson (yup, thats right the very same Marilyn Manson who claimed just a few months back that he was giving up music to focus on other aspects of his career) is releasing a new album.


Though I am doubtful this album will break any new ground (as if there was any more ground for Manson to break), it will be interesting the hear what the 'ol anti-christ himself is up to.

Check out the story at VH1.com

Friday, October 28, 2005

How?? Why??

RollingStone.com Reported that lip-syncing starlet Ashlee Simpson has topped the charts with her latest release I Am Me, selling 220,000 copies and beating out Rod Stewart and Stevie Wonder.

Says RollingStone.com:

"With no major releases this week, expect Simpson to stay on top next week."

I really can't understand how something like this works. How is it that a pop-star can now be clearly caught faking it through a performance, not to mention on Saturday Night Live, yet still be credited as an artist and still sell albums?

It has become very clear to me lately that one does not need any musical talent to become a star.