Taylor Swift 1989

Taylor Swift "1989" Album Cover

Taylor Swift “1989” Album Cover

Taylor Swift has taken the pop scene by storm with the release of her latest album “1989” after the highly successful “Red,” so far the album has become one of the fastest selling albums of the year, debuting at number 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Check this album review by Jem Aswad for Billboard.com and see if this album is worth a listen and what the fuzz is all about!

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Lana Del Rey is Back

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is back and with 2 new songs, both of these songs are part of the soundtrack of a new movie by Tim Burton called “Big Eyes.” The new songs are called “Big Eyes” and “I Can Fly,” you can listen to both songs and read what Bradley Stern has to say about them here.

It is great to have her back with a few new songs right before she goes on the “Endless Summer Tour,” she will be in Dallas along with Courtney Love on May 9th, tickets go on sale on December 6th!

Do not miss your chance to see Lana live.

Beyonce: The Platinum Edition

BEYONCE Album Cover

BEYONCE Album Cover

After releasing her self titled album in December 2013, Beyonce is now re-releasing “BEYONCE,” the platinum edition will include 2 new songs and 4 new remixes, featuring the outrageous “***Flawless” remix with Nicki Minaj. The new package will also include a DVD of “The Mrs. Carter Show” World Tour, with 10 performances taken from the HBO Special “Beyonce: X10.”

The album is available for pre ordering! Do not miss out on having it in your hands on November 24th, it would be a perfect Thanksgiving present for anyone who loves Mrs. Carter. Bow Down Beehive, Bow Down.

Connections, Connections

Identifying a reliable source is not an easy thing to do, but identifying a source that is reliable and that has the power to reach a considerable amount of people is even harder. In this particular topic that I explore in my blog, it is extremely easy to come across sources that either only talk about celebrity gossip or make up rumors about upcoming music and albums, which is never ideal.

One of my most reliable, well known and consistent in the quality of their posts and the credibility of them is idolator.com, which is an independent site for pop music fans that focuses on pop hits. It is one of my favorite sources to use because of the credibility of their writers, who also write for other prominent sites like billboard.com, and because of the layout of their articles and how organized they are.

Another great source that even has its own app in the Apple App Store is muumuse.com, written and created by Bradley Stern who also collaborates for idolator.com and even the New York Times. His blog is sometimes not as serious as idolator can be, but by putting his own twist and recognizable wit to his posts, he manages to deliver credible information in a way that is entertaining to read and easy to absorb.

Even though finding reliable and relevant sources is not easy, once you find them you can expand your circles and connect with other people that share the same passion for music, it all comes down to building connections that can improve the quality and quantity of knowledge that there is out there.

Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour and a Wikipedia editing experience

Madonna performing. Blond Ambition Tour 1990

Madonna performing. Blond Ambition Tour 1990

After being a wikipedia reader for many years and spending countless of hours on it reading article after article, it was a bit exciting to finally learn how to edit an article and go “behind the curtains” only to find out that it is really not that easy to use all those codes and combinations. This is how my adventure started:

I was browsing through Madonna’s wikipedia page like I usually do on a regular basis, just to see if there is any more information regarding the new album that will be coming out soon or if old tours will be released on DVD, which is what took me to the Blond Ambition Tour page and I noticed that a few words were not linked to songs or albums, so I decided to jump in an edit an article that I found very interesting and that could help others connect more articles to this one and understand the whole concept and background of the concert even better.

Opening the editing box and trying to find the words that I needed to link was a bit confusing and time consuming, it took me several tries to get the coding right and I’m not gonna lie, I was not happy about that. A light bulb went on inside my brain and I decided to look at how the other links had been done and thats when I was finally able to understand it and do it.

After that initial phase of not understanding and then overcoming it, I found it rather interesting and I realized how much  time and dedication it takes to write an article on Wikipedia, and if I had to do it it would take me hours or even days to create one that is properly formatted, coding is just something that I have never been good at. It was a small challenge but a good one, I took baby steps into what it is like to edit an article.

When my editing was done I felt rather good because I felt like I had contributed to make an article better and more detailed than how it was before, even if it was a couple of inner links, it still helps and makes it more clear in case the person who is reading it has no idea of Madonna’s touring history, how the Blond Ambition Tour became the best tour of the 1990s and how its iconic fashion is still relevant 24 years later.

From cone bras to coding, this was a pleasant experience overall and in the future I will not hesitate to edit another Wikipedia article if I have the chance to. It is all about contributing to the community, to make sure that everyone is well informed and can access information quickly and can enjoy doing so.

Now lets take a journey back in time to 1990 and enjoy a few clips of the Blond Ambition Tour. Happy watching and feel free to leave any comments regarding the videos, music, fashion or wikipedia editing tips!

“Express Yourself” was the opening song, suggestive choreography and costumes got Madonna much attention.

For this particular performance of “Like a Virgin,” Madonna almost got arrested and her show was close to being cancelled in Canada.

One of the most intense moments of the show, Madonna takes the audience to a whole different place with “Like a Prayer.” Because of the use of Catholic symbols, the Vatican urged people to not attend her shows and they managed to cancel one of the shows in Italy.

Iconic performance of “Vogue”

And finally “Keep it Together” was the closing song of the show, perfect way to end it.

On The Run Tour – Beyonce and Jay-Z

Beyonce and Jay-Z "On The Run" Tour.

Beyonce and Jay-Z “On The Run” Tour.

Written in collaboration with:

Leah Gilpatrick and Manny Garcia 

It’s important to explore different mediums of music and performance. Even if such performers are a different genre than usual, inspiration can still be drawn. Singer Beyonce and rapper/husband Jay-z took a tour together recently, which redefined what it means to throw a breathtaking concert. The opening of the show was nothing short of what can be expected of the two performers, starting with a video backdrop that showed them as a couple of criminals who are running away from the law and both of them very much in love. The video ends and the crowd goes insane when the giant screen in front of them splits in half and they come out. The opening song of the show is “03’ Bonnie and Clyde” the first song they recorded together more than 10 years ago and it is one of the highlights of the show, setting the tone of what there is to come.

Leila Cobo from billboard.com agrees that the songs seem to bleed into another, creating a seamless connection of music that works out perfectly for the duo, uniting their unique sound in a way that does not seem forced or overworked, the music just flows for itself. Joshua Alston from avclub.com mentions that the couple’s music seemed to work so well because they had been put in a stage together that allowed them to complement each other and bring out their own musical styles in a very enjoyable way.

After “03’ Bonnie and Clyde” the hits keep coming, “Upgrade U,” “Crazy in Love” and “Tom Ford” took the audience to a whole different energy level, getting them prepared for the next two and a half hours of non stoping mind blowing performances.

One of the most exciting moments of the concert was “Partition,” with a pole dancing routine, very small leotards, cheetah print projected onto Beyonce and her dancers, only to culminate with a chair dancing routine that defied gravity and set the venue on fire.

Jay-Z was never behind on surprising the audience either, with “Clique,” “N***as in Paris” and “Big Pimpin” he reminded the audience that he is one of the most successful rappers in music history and that he could deliver a great performance with just a mic and his words.

By the end of the show, The Carters had been seen dancing, singing and portraying their lives as two fugitives, running away from everyone and everything and taking whatever they wanted along the road, but instead of finishing the show with a song that could keep carrying that feeling, they decided to show their real side.Beyonce and Jay-Z moved to the middle stage to sing “Young Forever/Halo” and to show videos of them when they first started dating, when they got married and when Blue Ivy was born. It was no longer about the music and the costumes, it was about love, intimacy and letting the fans into their lives, their real lives.

Performers of such magnitude  have to have the best possible aesthetics to set the mood of the show.  Electronic music festivals have started amping up their values of production, but none have had the sense of fantastical showmanship as the On The Run Tour. Coordinating lighting schemes to match the dance choreography of a concert of this scale is essential. Event Designer Leroy Bennett who has an impressive resume of famous clients was called in to plan the lighting and stage setup. Pyrotechnics were also thrown in the mix for dramatic flair at choice moments throughout the 2 and a half hour concert. Intimate pictures of the personal life of the two performers were dispersed within the background, which gave fans a better sense of involvement. So were adorable videos of their baby, Blue Ivy. Personally this is a great approach at making them seem more accessible, and I think electronic music artists could take a page from their book and add a little personal heart into shows.

Beyonce’s outfits on this tour are nothing short of spectacular. Clothing Designer Versace made most of the sparkling and skintight bodysuits she sports throughout the show.  One outfit, sporting a 16. 4 foot long American flag trailing  train, took over 500 hours to hand craft. Beyonce changes costumes in accordance to the themes of the particular song she’s singing. She looks great for having recently had a baby, but the often skimpy outfits caused controversy. So did rumors of divorce prior to the concert, which only increased ticket sales when the tour was announced. No publicity is bad publicity, as they say. It certainly sold out when it came to Dallas!

Once in a while, huge megastars come to the DFW metroplex to put on a great show. The On The Run Tour featured Beyonce and Jay-Z as a collaboration concert that literally went worldwide. There are very few co-headlining tours that ever happen with such big stars like Beyonce and Jay Z, so the fact that they came to this area is an incredible feat for Dallas. Their final concert was in Paris, France and was televised on HBO. They stopped in Arlington, TX at the AT&T Stadium with two large screens and sold out all seats up to 80,000 screaming fans.

The AT&T Stadium is home to the Dallas Cowboys, so there is always something happening. For example, the Arizona Cardinals are playing against the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday. Tickets can be bought here and you can also look at the events calendar for another game or concert you may be interested in attending.

Livenation and Ticketmaster promote thousands of other concerts all over the country including the On the Run Tour and other very rare collaborations. Another collaboration that Jay Z has taken part in was with Justin Timberlake in the Legends of the Summer Tour last year. Currently, Justin Timberlake is on The 20/20 Experience World Tour and he is coming to Dallas on December 3rd at the American Airlines Center. This tour is over 2 hours long with over 30 songs including Suit and Tie, Holy Grail, What Goes Around… Comes Around, SexyBack, and Mirrors, to name a few. It is rumored that he even sneaks in N*Sync songs that brought him fame to begin with. It is definitely going to be an epic concert and a great way to spend your night. Click here to purchase tickets!

Let’s remove the idea that concerts have to be a certain way and continue pushing boundaries! Every music artist is not lets say, as famous as Beyonce and Jay-z, but adding amazing costumes, visuals, and personal flair to any event is going to make it much more memorable than otherwise. Regardless of controversy raging about their personal lives and wardrobe choices, they managed to create and unforgettable moment with all who got to share the experience.

Nicki Minaj “Anaconda”

"Anaconda" Single Cover

“Anaconda” Single Cover

Much controversy has been raised after the release of this song, but when the video came out it took a whole different level. Check out what teens, elders and myself have to say about this voluptuous lady and her anaconda by clicking here.