Gender Swap “Blurred Lines” Parody

I ran into this video around the Interwebs this morning. It’s another parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” The original has been under fire because it is a not-so-slick celebration of rape culture. Just listen to it. But damn, it’s so catchy. I am very much guilty of liking the song. Now, the video, I can’t stand. The original, at least. I do enjoy all the parodies that have come out of it (like this one).

This new parody was put together by Mod Carousel, a Seattle-based boylesque troupe. The group’s comments behind the parody video are interesting,

“It’s our opinion that most attempts to show female objectification in the media by swapping the genders serve more to ridicule the male body than to highlight the extent to which women get objectified and do everyone a disservice. We made this video specifically to show a spectrum of sexuality as well as present both women and men in a positive light, one where objectifying men is more than alright and where women can be strong and sexy without negative repercussions.”

While I think the video doesn’t quite reach the objective of the group (Not all the guys are not ridiculous. I’m looking at you, long hair!), the highlight is really the ladies. DAMN, those voices! The song is performed by Caela Bailey and Dalisha Philips. Who is Miss Caela Bailey and why has her voice not been snatched by some label? Or at least made it to American Idol or something?

Doing a little bit of research I found two tracks by Peoples where she’s featured: “You’re All Welcome” and “Swing Low.”

And just in case you can’t get enough of her voice, I’m going to leave these other two videos I found:

Music Shhhtuff From The Interwebs

It’s Friday, and I’ve managed to run into a few awesome things around the web this week. Let me share them with you:

1. Jay-Z ‘Magna Carta . . . Holy Grail’ review: When fans are reduced to customers – I don’t care about Jay-Z, but I loved this review published by The Washington Post and how real it is. My favorite part of the review is this:

“Plus, all of this Samsung hullabaloo has only distracted listeners from the fact that, musically and lyrically, “Magna Carta” is one of Jay-Z’s blandest offerings. Over 16 joylessly professional tracks, our hero laces up his sneakers for his bazillion-thousandth victory lap around the hip-hop universe. There’s no mood, no verve, no vision to this music. It’s the sound of champagne being sprayed around an empty locker room.

2. 12 Years of DFA: Too Old To Be New, Too New To Be Classic – An awesome short film about DFA Records. I find the awesomeness not only in learning the history and structure of the record label, but also in the production of the film. It’s a beauty in itself.

3. The Medium Is The Message: A tribute to musical formats (Madrid 2011) – Another find from the Red Bull Music Academy Vimeo channel. Oh yeah.

4. 100 Riffs (A Brief History of Rock N’ Roll) – I found this one last Summer, but I wanted to share it here.

New Music: John Mayer – “Waiting on the Day”

I don’t remember the exact moment when I started loving John Mayer’s music, but it’s been a long time. The first time I saw him play live was in the winter of 2007 at the University of Arkansas. And, to me, that’s when he went from being a cute singer to being a musician. He had just released his album Continuum, his best to date, in my opinion. He’s so great on that guitar! I tell all the haters to go see him live, because I’m sure it would change their minds seeing him in concert.

Having said that, I don’t think all his music is amazing. His most recent album, Born And Raised, was specially weak compared to the rest of his discography. He didn’t even get a chance to redeem it on the road, because he had to cancel the whole tour due to medical issues.

He’s now back in business and didn’t waste any time getting new material ready. His new album, Paradise Valley, is set to release at the end of August. What I’ve heard of it so far has not been very impressive, until I heard this song, “Waiting on the Day.” This is the first Mayer song I’ve reaaaaaaally liked in a long time. Since Battle Studies, actually.

Now I’m finally looking forward to the whole album. Maybe there will be another gem in there.

Imagine Dragons (and more) @ Starlight Theater in KC

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Let me hurry up and tell you about this show, before it hits the two-week mark.

A few days after the weekend festival Kanrocksas was cancelled due to low ticket sales, a date was added to Imagine Dragons’ tour calendar. A sort of mini-festival was put together at the Starlight Theater in Kansas City, MO on June 28th.

I had never been to the Starlight Theater. And, buddy, it is nice. The prices at concession stands make you feel like you are, as my friend put it, at the Disneyland of Concert Venues; but it’s a beautiful venue nonetheless.

The bands that played that night, in order of appearance, were Churchill, Family of The Year, Twenty One Pilots, Capital Cities, and Imagine Dragons. I did some research in all bands before the show, because I was only familiar with ID, but after looking them up, I found a couple of songs I had heard somewhere before (Radio? Last.fm? Pandora? Spotify? Does anybody know where they hear songs for the first time anymore?)

My friend and I made a point to get on the road super early, just because I wanted to make sure to catch Churchill (remember?), and they were set to play first, right at 5:30pm. We were just getting into the gates when I heard one of the band members introducing the band. The second song they played was “Lock Your Heart Down,” which has been on heavy rotation in my Summer playlist. I recognized the song right away and sang along all the way until we reached our seats. Churchill formed around 2008/2009 in Denver, but they seem to be a young band on stage. I really enjoyed their set, it was a bummer that most of the people that got there early (I’d say about 1/3 of total attendance) didn’t seem to be listening to these guys. C’mon, son! Am I wrong to expect a lot of enthusiasm from people that paid to come hear music?

Next up came Family of The Year, which were great! I loved these guys. I don’t know why they didn’t stand out more when I was doing my research prior to the show, because I went back to check their albums and I really like them. Now, I’m really bad at nailing music genres, but I would describe these guys and gal as Indie Folk. They started playing and dancing around the stage, with their really sweet harmonies. It makes me think of a whole bunch of friends singing along during a road trip (I may have a whole music video with their song “The Stairs” playing in my head right now). You have to check them out. Specially you, @DocMurda. You will like them. They have two full albums out, Songbook and Loma Vista.

Twenty One Pilots was the act of the night that just took me by surprise. The Ohio duo started their set with a really heavy song that made me question the meaning of life. I really didn’t know what was happening. People were stoked, which told me they have a big of a big following. They mix electronic and hip-hop, in case you haven’t heard them before. I haven’t been able to figure out what that first song was. Revisiting their music, it sounds like it was “Ode To Sleep” and maybe it was just a lot more intense hearing it live. The set totally got better. These guys, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, have a lot of energy. A LOT of energy. The set included jumps, backflips, climbing giant speaker towers, and going up the balconies above the stage. These guys either have some gymnastics experience or had taken some redbull/5-hr-energy cocktail. My favorite part of the set was when Tyler got his ukulele and played “House Of Gold,” a song he wrote for his mom (Awww.) Their latest album is Vessel, released last year.

I didn’t enjoy Capital Cities as much as everyone else in the crowd. Their music just didn’t click with me. Their set was a bit longer than the rest. Churchill and Family of The Year both had 30-minute sets, while Capital Cities went on for about 1 hour. They were OK, I just wouldn’t have paid to see them on their own. I did enjoy their hit “Safe and Sound.” But overall, I was not impressed with the music or anything else. Not even with the silver matching jackets the whole band wore (They could have been white… Forgettable, as you can see).

The headliners of the night were Imagine Dragons. A band I’ve considered rockstar material since the first time I saw them live at a small auditorium at a casino outside the Las Vegas strip. I couldn’t believe a label hadn’t snatched them up, yet. But it happened a couple of months after that first time I saw them, to no one’s surprise. @DocMurda went to their first show of the Night Visions tour and sent me a text that fueled me to drive to KC for this show. That text said something along the lines of “Holy shit. Radioactive live!” So I couldn’t wait to experience it myself. “Radioactive” came towards the end of their set, and it was all I had imagined. @DocMurda was right!

As an introduction to “Demons,” Dan Reynolds, ID’s front man, noted that it is a song about his struggle with depression. It’s one of my favorite songs, maybe because it’s so haunting. But after the confession and the song, I needed something light and playful, so I’m glad they followed it with “Rocks.” The set also included “Tip Toe,” “Round and Round,” “Amsterdam,” “On Top Of The World,” “Hear Me” and “It’s Time.”

Dan got Missouri mixed up with Kansas at the beginning, but later apologized. I thought it was funny, and I bet it happens all the time.

I sported a sign for #OperationTokyo that I tried to flash only when any of the band members were looking my way. I didn’t want the people behind me to get too mad at me. I think new ID fans would so much appreciate their pre-Night Visions music. It would also help understand whey they come from. Too bad it’s no longer available anywhere. Why, Interscope Records, why?

The Dragons are still pretty much in awe of their success in the last year or so. In a way, it seemed like they were just a couple of steps ahead of Family of The Year and Churchill.

The almost 4 hours I drove to Kansas City, MO and back (I got back at 3:10am!) were worth it. Shout out to my friend Stephen for coming along! It appears I did a poor job of informing him of what was in store, because he look at bit surprised to see there were four “opening bands”… Can we even call them that? I don’t think so. Although I also don’t think it was a mini-music festival either. A festival is a musical smorgasbord, this was more of a musical banquet. All in all, it was so much fun. Check out the bands that played and if Imagine Dragons get close to you, go see them!

I made you a Spotify playlist. You are welcome!

And on a semi-related note, check out ID’s performance in Good Morning America:

Oh, Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson is one of my long-time favorite musicians. I discovered his music when Sleep Through The Static came out, and fell in love. I’ve gone great distances to see him play live and I’ve defended him many times when people hate on his mellow. I got super excited when I heard the news of his new album set to release this year. And when I read that he played at Bonnaroo, it was the first time in my life that I wished I had been sizzling in Tennessee, just so I could be at that show. And as soon as the link to the first single from the album, which will be called  From Here To Now To You, came up on my twitter feed, I clicked it.

This first single, “I Got You,” is very much why Johnson is so loved and so criticized by many. It’s a mellow love song. Which is what you can say about so much of his music. Do I like it? Yes. Will I buy the album? Yes. Will I try to catch him on his tour? Yes. Do I hope that the rest of the album offers something new? Heck yes. And I hope for different sounds, because while I enjoy this song and I can appreciate it, it’s also forgettable. Unless he were singing it to me, in which case I would probably faint.

I’m still excited about the new album and wish it were being released a lot sooner than September. It’s been too long since the last one. Three years is too long, man! Anyway, here’s the lyric video. But you can catch the music video here.