Category Archives: Music

Getting Real about getting over Rebecca Black (and her new video)

We fell in love with her on a Friday (Friday). This Monday – after the roller coaster of video removals and reinstatements – we’re still smitten with Rebecca Black. Or strangely obsessed – we can’t decide.

So imagine my delight when I discovered that her follow-up smash single dropped today on YouTube (two hours ago to be exact).

I felt like singing “I’m So Excited” while wearing purple leggings and a cropped sweatshirt, and then having a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately, Black’s second attempt is wildly underwhelming. Here’s why:

  • There are about four lyrics in the song – this.is.my.moment. Becky, where is the lyrical prose that first stole our hearts, like “gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal“? I just don’t understand.
  • The video is less colorful and by that I mean R.B. isn’t wearing blue eyeshadow and strawberry lipstick. And I’m sad. I liked that garish monster. Nude lipstick is so Monday (and I don’t mean that in a good way).
  • Her friends are trying way too hard. I guess Rebecca got all cool and shit and traded in her friends with the braces for new, hot friends. The fame has apparently gone straight to the bitch’s head. And this is after her friend hauled her around in a convertible for, like, a whole Friday. BITCH.

Basically, Rebecca, I think I’m through with you. You sold out. You’re all made up and shit. You’re on red carpets. You wear dresses that are red.  And I heard a rumor that you only upload your shit to Vevo now.

Currently, the video has 4000 likes and 4000 dislikes. This shiz is more controversial than the debt ceiling. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in our overflowing comments section.

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Getting Real about the Railroad Revival Tour

The Railroad Revival Tour kicked off last Thursday right here in Oakland, and I was lucky enough to score a ticket: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show, traveling exclusively in vintage rail cars, playing concerts at six unique outdoor locations along the route.

The scene: Middle Harbor Shoreline park in West Oakland. The patches of grass brimming with hipsters and hippies. I stood in a sea of cowboy boots, feathers, and frayed  suede. Behind the stage, the famous Oakland cranes towered in the distance. To my right the the San Francisco bay, the water shimmering as the sun descended, the Golden Gate Bridge aglow in the distance.

Old Crow Medicine Show kicked off the show with a high energy set which had me two-steppin’ up a storm. Out of the three bands, I’m least familiar with their music but boys can break it down. Their energy is contagious and their musicianship undeniable. I also was surprised to learn that there are in fact no women vocalist in that band. Listen to the harmonies in Wagon Wheel and you will know what I mean.

Next to take the stage was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, which was the band I was most looking forward to seeing. They eased from sound check right into Up From Below, and so the magical journey began. Maybe they didn’t really have a set list in mind when they began and that’s why they kept asking the audience what they wanted to hear. Maybe lead singer Alex Ebert wasn’t sufficiently warmed up and 40 Day Dream literally came to a halt as he tried to reach for the high note. And maybe he stumbled on stage disoriented as if a large lily pad had unfurled and he had just dropped down from it. His hair was barely contained in a messy high ponytail and it threatened to topple down every time his lanky body swayed from side to side. He was dressed like a cross between a guru and cult leader. But none of that mattered. It was impossible to take your eyes off of him. I was ready to follow. And so he led me through all of my favorite Edward Sharpe songs, he slowed them down, he sped them up, he changed the words, he tweaked the melodies. And I followed willingly singing and dancing my little heart out.  It all ended with Home. They knew the audience was waiting for it and they delivered. The backdrop to that famous whistle intro happened to be the sunset on the water so yeah only mildly epic.

Mumford and Sons closed the show. Their harmonies were pitch-perfect. The lead singer’s voice is sultry and scratchy and smooth all at once. Like buttah. My only complaint with this band is their songs start to sound the same after a while. There is the slow start, then we speed it up, crank up the banjo, crescendo and then back down then up again. It’s a bit predictable and formulaic, having said that, they have absolutely perfected the formula. The lead singer asked us several times if it would be alright if they played us some new songs. The British, they are so polite. The new songs were actually a highlight for me, demonstrating that they are in fact beginning to stray from the formula and it’s fantastic. The best part of their performance however, was the banjo player’s hip thrust. I’ve never seen such suggestive dancing from a man with a banjo.

you have no idea what I can do with this banjo

The show ended with all three bands on stage singing “This Train”. You could tell they were having such a fun time with each other, and it was so fun to watch I didn’t want it to end. I was ready to jump on that train and follow them across the country. Best concert of the year thus far.

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Getting Real about the hottest covers P. Diddy didn’t do

 

On any given day, YouTube is chock full of covers of your favorite songs, but in the past week, covers have been taking the world by storm.

 

Exhibit A: The cutest video I’ve seen that doesn’t involve an animal. A father-daughter team takes on “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. If you don’t love this video, your heart is made of stone.

Exhibit B: “Firework” set to violins…will wonders never cease? It’s kind of “Fray-ish” but I still enjoyed seeing actual emotion in a Katy Perry song.

Exhibit C: Ke$ha just got sassier. The banana microphone is an old gimmick, but I will give this young sir points for some awesome moves, specifically the “tearing it apart” gesture and the fist pumping (Vinny, watch your back).

Exhibit D: This one is more of a parody than a cover, but I’ll throw this one in there because I know we have a large Badger readership. We do it for the fans, here at GRR.

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Getting Real about your Christmas playlist

 

possibly the greatest Christmas album ever

Top Christmas songs to include at your holiday party this year.

1.  Mariah Carey – All I Want for Christmas is You

2.  N’Sync – Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

3.  98 degrees – This Gift

4.  The Drifters – I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

5.  Harry Connick Jr. – (It Must Have Been Ol’) Santa Claus

6.  Brenda Lee – Rockin Around the Christmas Tree

7.  Wham! – Last Christmas (Greatest Christmas music video EVER!)

8.  Hootie & the Blowfish – Christmas Song

9.  Madonna – Santa Baby

10.  Leighton Meester (BLAIR!) – Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)

11.  Zooey Deschanel & Will Farrell – Baby It’s Cold Outside

“Hi this is Buddy the Elf what’s your favorite color?”

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Getting Real about new music from Hacienda

 

Sometimes a Wednesday doesn’t have a lot going for it.  It is usually a mediocre day at best.  You are kinda excited to have made it half way through the week but 2 more days still lie ahead of you.  You could do something productive like cleaning the bathroom, the laundry or finally getting to the grocery store because you are tired of PB&J for dinner.  But then you think …. what about PB&R for dinner?

You remember a hero of yours playing a pretty amazing set on Morning Becomes Eclectic.  You check the Independent’s schedule.  Yes the Greenhornes, studio friends of Jack White of the White Stripes will be playing in approx 1 hour.

You check the 24 on nextmuni and with 4 minutes to spare pull on your rainboots and sprint to divisidero.

Slightly upset by the fact that you are out of breath after running down 1 city block you know that everything will be fine as soon as you are drinking $3 pints at bean bag.

At the venue you are amazed at how empty it is (Of course it is empty!  It is pouring rain on a Wednesday night and everyone else is at home under a blanket watching Modern Family)

The opening band sets up, Hacienda, they are young, all possess really good hair and man scarves.  BUT THEY ARE EFFING AWESOME!

AWESOME LIKE JIM JAMES AND DAN AUERBACH!  AWESOME LIKE THE BEACH BOYS AND THE BEATLES!  AWESOME LIKE OLD SCHOOL ROCK N ROLL!  AWESOME LIKE THE BASS PLAYER IS AMAZINGLY SEXY AND YOU TOTALLY JUST MADE EYE CONTACT!

You swig a passed flask and smoke a passed joint cuz you couldn’t be happier about taking a chance on these guys.

You feel incredible.

You feel inspired.

You totally won on a Wednesday.

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Getting Real about the longest day of my life

This song /video has been the only thing keeping me going to today

So ready for a drink… and to dance to Katy Perry

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Getting Real about saying goodbye

RIP, Old Friend

I loved him.  I really did.  Sure, I haven’t heard from him in over ten years.  And, sure, we may have had our differences:  He was having trouble adjusting to the changing of the times and was set in his ways.  But, I loved him.  I loved the soft humming of his motorized heart.  I loved the way he used to mimic Alvin and the Chipmunks.  I loved it all.

I can’t believe he’s gone.  And they way he had to go… it makes me shudder.  Sure, he may have felt neglected and marginalized, but it didn’t mean I didn’t have a place for him in my heart.  Even though I would probably never hear from him again.  And even when I did hear from him, it would be muted and garbled.  Regardless, he was a part of my childhood and made me feel so much cooler than anyone else.

On October 25, 2010, Walkman was murdered by his father, Sony.  He was 31 years old, was survived by his equally obsolete brother, Discman, and no one could give two shits.

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Getting Real about releasing songs that can easily be recorded by the cast of Glee

"Yo this song is for Glee"

A while ago Getting Real posted about a collaboration between Kanye and Bon Iver.

Kanye’s “Dark Twisted Fantasy” is about to drop at the end of the month.  Check out the song here with Bon Iver’s chorus.

The first thing I thought about while listening to this song…  GLEE

Basically the only way to stay relevant as a musician these days is to get Rachel Barry or Artie to sing your songs with Mike Chang doing sweet breakdance moves.

so you think you can dance?

Why else would Paul McCartney write a letter to the show’s creator Ryan Murphy granting him full access to the entire Beatles catalog?

‘Hi Ryan, I hope you will consider some of these songs for Glee‘.”

Still paying off his divorce lawyer?

Most likely, yes, for the rest of his life.

Or trying to stay hyper relevant with tweensomething’s show choirs?

The correct answer is BOTH.

Obvi Kanye is an intelligent recording artist who doesn’t really have any street cred with his fellow African Americans so why not switch gears and play to the hipster crowd and fly Bon Iver to Hawaii to record a sick chorus that every Gleek will want to download the second the episode airs.

If you have been paying attention this season, regionals are being held in NYC this year.  And since Glee has already used up their Jay-Z card, Kanye’s “Lost in the City” seems like the perfect opening number to steal the trophy away from Vocal Adrenaline.

p.s.  Last week’s “Toxic” featuring Britney S. Pierce is currently one of iTunes top 20 song downloads.

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Getting Real about Lady Gaga’s burgeoning political power

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) has been a source of anger and confusion for the LGBT community and their allies for about 20 years. Who knew that all it would take to get a vote on repealing the act was a sprinkling of rainbow-colored Gaga glitter?

Apparently, Gaga herself.  Earlier today, on Twitter, she asked her followers to call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and tell him to schedule a vote. So Reid responded, via his campaign’s Twitter account, that he already had. He said that the vote would be next week and that anyone in the United States should have the right to serve.

Move over, Madonna. There’s a new flame diva in the house. Here’s hoping that within the week gays can enjoy their bad romances AND stay on active duty.

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Getting Real about acid trips

flying wook!

i’ve struggled with being a phish fan for the past year.  its tough to justify to your employer that you’re missing work to see this band; its even tougher to justify to yourself that you’re missing work to see this band.  i’m 26 years old, i hold a steady job.  it’s no longer socially acceptable to know the smell of dmt in a crowd of degenerates or the sound of a nitrous tank in the woods behind the berkeley law school.  but i’m fine with it.  this is phish 2.0 – the sober tour.  and then this shit happens…

the flying wook of jones beach – http://mobile.gothamist.com/2010/08/19/phish_fan_in_icu_after_plunge_from.php#gallery

i’ve seen a lot of things in my life. a meatstick with japanese translation (rosement ’02), the leo treo (alpine ’03), a lizards encore (first since ’94), several glowstick wars that combined couldn’t live up to the fireworks during the loving cup at indio ’09, but i have NEVER seen a man hurl himself from an amphitheater balcony with a head full of acid.

quote from a bro in the balcony:

“he was completely spun. he jumped between me and my buddy. we were in the 2 seats at the front corner of the mezz in that picture. he came down the backs of the seats stepped on the back of our seats, put his hands on our shoulders and a foot on the railing and jumped…dove. he belly flopped onto the seats”

ponderable situations:

– if you were a bro tripping balls, what would you dive into?
– ever wonder how scrooge mcduck dove into all that gold and avoided massive duck-head trauma?
– how good was that antelope?

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