Friday, September 16, 2011

Lady Antebellum Plays The Troubadour

Country superstars Lady Antebellum played a 12-song set at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on Sept. 15, treating fans to a rare intimate, acoustic show. With the venue holding about 400 or so people, you were pretty much guaranteed a good view of the group. Thanks to my concert partner-in-crime who got in line early, we were able to get a front row spot right in front of Charles Kelley. Yes, that was glorious. And so were there voices. They sound so great live. That's one thing that has always struck me about them whenever I saw them perform on TV ... I don't recall any times when they've sounded off. And they were the same live. Flawless.

They sang some songs from the new album, including ones they had only played once before, and one in the encore they had never done live (As You Turn Away). It was quite a treat to hear the new songs, and as much as I hated not being able to hear my favorite (All We'd Ever Need), hearing the gut-wrenching vocals by Hillary Scott on As You Turn Away made it more than ok.

Setlist:
We Owned The Night
Our Kind Of Love
Dancing Away With My Heart
American Honey
Cold As Stone
Looking For A Good Time
Singing Me Home
Just A Kiss
Love Don't Live Here
I Run To You
As You Turn Away (encore)
Need You Now (encore).

Four videos coming (apologies in advance for the sound; I was right next to the front stage speakers).

As You Turn Away:



Cold As Stone:



Dancing Away With My Heart:



Our Kind Of Love:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kris Allen Debuts New Song - You Got A Way

Kris Allen debuted a brand new song Monday night in an opening set for Lifehouse in Michigan. The song, "You Got A Way", was written by Kris and band member Cale Mills, and is reminiscent of Kris's cover of "Maybe" with the tempo and the guitar. It's really pretty, and his voice sounds great on it.



(Video by mskristen8108)

Also well worth watching is Kris's mashup of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" and "The Way You Make Me Feel", with an awesome call and response with guitarist Andrew DeRoberts at the end.



(Video by altrus01)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Video Of The Day: Keith Urban Long Hot Summer

Keith Urban released his music video for his latest single, "Long Hot Summer". The video is set on the beach, and lovely visuals during sunset almost make up for the fact that he is fully clothed. On the beach. :|



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Video Of The Day: Michael Johns Covers "Crying"

American Idol Season 7 finalist Michael Johns played an acoustic show at Molly Malone's in Los Angeles Saturday night. In his set, he performed an impressive cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying".



Video by livehead16

Friday, August 12, 2011

SYTYCD Front-Runner Actually Wins!

In a reality show rarity, a front-runner from the beginning of the season actually won. Pixie-haired dancer Melanie Moore captured the title of America's Favorite Dancer on So You Think You Can Dance Season 8, winning 47% of the vote in a decisive victory over runner-up Sasha Mallory, third-place finisher Marko Germar and fourth-place finisher Tadd Gadduan.

Melanie was featured in the first episode of the season, and she grabbed me from the second she started dancing. I called her one of my early favorites then, and she remained at the top for me throughout the entire show. I've seen people complaining about how she was never challenged, but I would like to point out that nearly the entire season was contemporary/jazz-based, and the only ones in the Top 10 who were really forced out of their box more often than not were Tadd, Jess and Ricky and Caitlynn to an extent. Whether or not Melanie was only given her style all the time is irrelevant. For the most part, the people on the show are judged on how well they do in their style most of the time anyway. Melanie is an EXQUISITE dancer. Besides, disco was the only style she flopped in. 

In addition to crowning the winner, Thursday's grand finale showcased some of the top dances from the season, including Marko and Melanie's "Turn to Stone" number, choreographed by Travis Wall, and their Nappy Tabs hip-hop to "I Got You"; Sasha and Twitch's awesome hip-hop (soggy Corn Flakes), choreographed by Christopher Scott; Sasha and Kent's wall dance; Melanie and Neil's "Total Eclipse of the Heart"; Marko and Allison Holker's contemporary; Tadd and Lauren Froderman's "Another One Bites the Dust" (with no hat fail!); Caitlynn and Pasha's Argentine tango; Robert and Melinda's hip-hop (which was FANTASTIC this time!); and Ashley and Chris's jail routine. A bunch of group routines were showcased as well, but I would have tossed a few of those in favor of Caitlynn and Mitchell's contemporary that Stacey Tookey choreographed and given Ricky a spotlight dance since he was one week shy of the finale. Jordan didn't get one either.

My favorite dance of the night, though, was the tap number done by Jess, gone-too-soon tapper Nick, and SYTYCD UK winner Matt Flint. It was thrilling and fun, and I watched it back like 3 times in a row. And I don't even like tap!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SYTYCD S8 Finale Falls Flat

After what was, prior to this week anyway, a well-danced season, the choreographers and dancers suffered a major let-down in the finale this week. No doubt exhausted with performing four dances each, there were few highlights and way more train wrecks than we should have seen this late in the game. I put most of the blame on whoever chose these styles of dances. Disco? Gumboot Stepping? Cha cha for two dancers who have no Latin experience? What even?!

Marko/Melanie - Disco, choreographed by Dorianna Sanchez
"I Feel Love (12" version)" by Donna Summer
Dorianna wanted to make this the "best disco ever". Her choreography made that impossible. That, and Melanie looked so awkward and unnatural doing this type of dance. Marko seemed to have a few issues with the lifts as well. This was easily the worst routine they've done this season.

Sasha, with Mark Kanemura - Jazz, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
"Raise Your Weapon" by Deadmau5
Sasha is such a Sonya-type of dancer. Pair her with Mark, and you've got Sonya's ultimate partnership.

Tadd, with Joshua Allen - Hip-Hop, choreographed by Lil' C
"Hustle Hard" by Ace Hood
JOSHUA. So much swag. God damn. Tadd's a little too pretty boy to match up with that. Although Joshua is adorably sweet and still managed to hit this so crazy hard. This routine would have been RIDICULOUS with Russell omg.

Melanie, with Robert Roldan - Contemporary, choreographed by Stacey Tookey
"Sacrifice" by Sinead O'Connor
Lovely routine by both of them. Like the judges were saying, she tells stories so well. And her dancing is just exquisite.

Sasha/Marko - Broadway, choreographed by Spencer Liff
"Whatever Lola Wants" by Ella Fitzgerald
I cannot ever buy Sasha as the sophisticated, elegant dancer she's supposed to be here. I don't care what the judges say. She is a powerful, strong dancer, yes, but elegant? No way. Her legs and feet are not pretty. Marko played his nerdy, timid waiter role very well. His facial expressions were hilarious.

Melanie solo -
"Song For Viola" by Peter Bradley Adams
I think she was going for the emotions here, but it was a big let-down after last week's solo stunner.

Marko solo -
"The Fear You Won't Fall" by Joshua Radin
I adore his music choices. It was lovely but not one I'd rank amongst the most memorable ones in the show's history.

Sasha/Tadd - Cha Cha, choreographed by Mark Ballas
"Raindrops" by Basement Jaxx
OOF. They were missing quite a few connections, the dance was clunky, and the chemistry was a big zero. They were both equally bad.

Marko, with Lauren Froderman - choreographed by Tessandra Chavez
"Shirk" by Me'Shell Ndegeocello
Holy crap. Lauren grabbed me the second they put the camera on her in the opening shot with her quivering lip. It was beautiful and emotional and easily the best routine of the night, and I'd put it up there with his dance with Alison.

Tadd solo - 
"Mamma Knows Best" by Jessie J
His solos always crack me up. And, boy, is he adorbs! This was the most enjoyable solo of the night for me.

Tadd/Melanie - choreographed by Ray Leeper
"Show Me What You're Working With" by Sista Monica
Shirtless Tadd? I approve! I also approve of the fun and playful routine. Tadd had a good back-to-back series of dances there. Unfortunately, his first and last routines were not so hot.

Sasha solo - 
"Be Be Your Love" by Rachael Yamagata
She has interesting movements and is so long-limbed. I just wish she had better flexibility in her feet. She'd be unbelievable if she didn't have such flexed feet. I think I'd rank her solo second on the night behind Tadd.

Sasha/Melanie - Contemporary, choreographed by Stacey Tookey
"Heart Asks Pleasure First" by Ahn Trio
I like how this routine let both dancers shine equally and also at their own style. The theme was a little odd, but it was well-crafted.

Marko/Tadd - Gumboot Stepping, choreographed by Chuck Maldonado
"B.O.B" by Outkast
Wow. That was a train wreck. They both looked sooooo tired.

I'm not sure that anyone seized the title, a la Jeanine Mason, with their dances tonight. Nigel made a point of saying on the show that a girl is going to win, which, if this were Idol, would totally backfire on him. But it's not implausible that Melanie and Sasha could split votes, opening the door for Marko. I'm still convinced that is what happened in Season 3 when Sabra beat Danny, Lacey and Neil.

Video Of The Day: Lady Antebellum Parodies Dirt Road Anthem

Lady Antebellum recorded a parody video of Jason Aldean's "Dirt Road Anthem", a golf-themed ditty titled "Country Club Anthem". It is HILARIOUS. Weird Al would be proud.