Category Archives: music

RECORD STORE DAY

hello internet!!! the business bitch is back again with another super cool (mostly lame) update of her life! as you may or may not know, today was record store day–an annual event where a shit ton of awesome limited edition records are released today in local, independent record shops across the country. i’ve only recently gotten into record collecting, and i bought my first turntable two years ago. (if you must know, it’s a crosley cruiser one and it’s shit i know i regret buying it all the time) it’s something i’ve found i enjoy a lot, and record store day/its black friday continuation have become really exciting events for me.

last year was actually my first record store day, and i spent it at hogwild records in san antonio, texas, where i was spending my spring break with my family. (BEAUTIFUL city, by the way. if you ever get the chance to visit, definitely do so!!!) since we were on vacation, i knew it would be impossible to get up early and get there on time, so i was expecting to not get all the releases that i was interested in buying. we probably arrived there two or three hours after they opened, but i still managed to score some RSD releases as well as two other ones! i got four in total:

clockwise from left: "Holy Fire" 12" LP by Foals, "Apollo" 12" single by Disclosure, "Sunbathing Animal" 7" single by Parquet Courts, and "11th Dimension Live from Electric Lady Studios" 7" single by Julian Casablancas

clockwise from left: “Holy Fire” 12″ LP by Foals, “Apollo” 12″ single by Disclosure, “Sunbathing Animal” 7″ single by Parquet Courts, and “11th Dimension Live from Electric Lady Studios” 7″ single by Julian Casablancas

i was pretty happy with what i got to purchase, and even happier because of the awesome environment i got to spend record store day in (although i could have done without the huge-ass line to check out, but that wasn’t even that bad).

then, on black friday last year, i happened to be home for thanksgiving, and i was excited to go spend the smaller-scale version of RSD in what is so far one of my favorite, favorite record shops, vintage vinyl in fords, new jersey! the shop is actually kind of a long drive from where i live, so i was worried that we wouldn’t get there in time, but thankfully we did; maybe a couple of hours after they opened. i was also worried that it would be a similar situation to what i had experienced in san antonio, with super long lines and limited selection, etc. but i was totally wrong! black friday (at least at this record shop) was apparently not a huge, huge deal so i got exactly what i wanted, and very efficiently! there were no lines or crowds whatsoever, and i especially liked the set-up they had, where they set up a wall displaying all the releases. there was a counter where employees stood behind, and instead of a free-for-all situation, you would tell them or give them a list of what you wanted (they had a handy printable PDF of the releases on their website, which was cool) and they’d kindly get it for you. i thought that was really smart on their behalf. even though there weren’t that many people to, i guess, square off against, there was still some sort of order, and it ensured that you could get exactly what you wanted and wouldn’t have to scramble all around to find what you were looking for. i got three releases this time, and like i said, they were exactly the ones that i wanted:

clockwise from left: "Last Christmas" 12" single by Wham!, "1981-1982" 12" clear EP by New Order, and "Pieta b/w Sparrow" 10" pink EP by St. Vincent

clockwise from left: “Last Christmas” 12″ single by Wham!, “1981-1982″ 12” clear EP by New Order, and “Pieta” pink 10″ EP by St. Vincent

so that brings us today’s RSD experience, which i got to spend here in boston. this year’s releases were actually pretty nice, i would say, so i was really excited to be spending it in the home of the famed newbury comics shop. i told myself that this was a serious matter this year, and that i was going to, no matter what, get there as early as possible to get all the releases i was looking for. so i woke up this morning around 6:30, and planned to get to newbury comics’ newbury street store (which is a very short walking distance from where i live on campus!!! yaaaas!!) at around 8. i thought this would be a fairly decent time to arrive there, but i was a little concerned that maybe that time might even be too late; i didn’t know how seriously people here take RSD, if at all! turns out i was kind of right. i arrived around 7:50 at the newbury street location, and there were already about 30-35 people lined up already. it was supposed to be around 65/66 degrees outside today, but in the two hours we ended up waiting, it felt absolutely freezing. all the shade happened to fall on our side of the sidewalk, and the sun didn’t hit probably until i got out of the actual store. so that was less than ideal.

waiting was actually not all that bad, most of the people in front of me and behind me seemed really interesting and not douchey or pretentious or annoying at all. i didn’t talk to anyone lol i found it much more enjoyable to eavesdrop (even though they were speaking loudly like they wanted anyone to join in, you know in that friendly, casual kind of way). ALSO it turns out that one of the two guys that were standing behind me in line actually played the guitar (i guess on occasion, not always) with a massachusetts band (* i don’t want to write out their full name because i don’t want them to read this????? lmao i’m an idiot but whatever you can probably figure it out if you try) that i just started listening to a couple of months ago and really enjoy so that was really, really cool and surreal somehow but yeah time didn’t pass too slowly. AND oh my god they also just really nonchalantly cut me in line at one point????? like they just slipped right in front of me because they were talking almost the entire time with the guy who was standing in front of me whom they had just met? like i didn’t say anything at all but i gave them some major side-eye and i hope that guy fucking noticed like it wasn’t that big a deal but i mean, come on man, literally what the fuck??

also, since the marathon is this monday, a whole bunch of runners and tourists that are in town for the event were walking/running up and down newbury street and every ten minutes asking everybody in line what we were all waiting for. i already knew that it was kind of a big deal for the people that live here in the area, but today i learned that the marathon is a much, much bigger deal than i thought. many, many tourists come to boston for the marathon and bostonians, as with every event, have their usual turn up and get drunk. and rightly so, i believe, especially with what happened with the bombing two years ago, the marathon is another opportunity to show city-wide solidarity and pride. which is honestly really beautiful to me. i’m excited to spend monday downtown and witness it!

ANYWAY back to the music. at around 9 a guy, i’m guessing the owner of the shop(?), came out and informed us about how this shit was going to go down and how the store really appreciated our enthusiasm and patronage and encouraged us to have fun etc. he told us that there was a 1 per customer limit to each release, and that the RSD releases were going to be in the middle section of the store, in alphabetical order or in size order and whatnot. once we FINALLY went in, they made us go through the store to the ramp that’s in the back and around to the middle section of the store. they essentially dedicated an entire corner of the store to RSD merchandise, and closed it off so there were “””only””” like 40 people in that section at a time which i suppose is good but totally illogical because everyone was packed in there, scrambling to find/actually get what they wanted. luckily, i was one of the first 40 people in line, so i thankfully by the grace of the based god got virtually everything that i wanted.

clockwise from left: "Step" white 12" single by Vampire Weekend, "What Kind of Man" blue 12" single by Florence + The Machine, "I Loved You Honeybee" red, heart-shaped 7" single by Father John Misty, "The Charade" 7" single by D'Angelo and The Vanguard, "The Front Bottoms/GDP split single" 7" by The Front Bottoms/GDP, "Everything is Wrong" 7" single by Interpol, and "Bust No Moves" clear 12" EP by Run the Jewels

clockwise from left: “Step” white 12″ single by Vampire Weekend, “What Kind of Man” blue 12″ single by Florence + The Machine, “I Loved You Honeybee” red, heart-shaped 7″ single by Father John Misty, “The Charade” 7″ single by D’Angelo and The Vanguard, “The Front Bottoms/GDP split single” 7″ by The Front Bottoms/GDP, “Everything is Wrong” 7″ single by Interpol, and “Bust No Moves” clear 12″ EP by Run the Jewels

i must have gone around that one small corner around 10 times, scouring for releases that i wanted, but i didn’t find absolutely everything. and i suppose that was a good thing, because i spent so much money that i feel unbelievably guilty for some reason and i’m probably not going to buy any new vinyl at all for, like, at least a year. like i said, i got pretty much everything i was looking forward to buying, but i was kinda bummed that i couldn’t score the wu-tang protect ya neck 12″ and the hundred waters cavity 7″; and honestly the only reason i didn’t get them was because i don’t think the store even had them. i didn’t ask, but then again you would think that i wouldn’t miss it after like going around the place 10 times. but i’m not extremely upset about it, i’ll be okay. this was the best and most memorable record store day i’ve had so far, and i’d like to give a shout-out to newbury comics for being so supportive of this event and making it all possible!! i’m legit broke as fuck for the next like 20349230 months, but i still love y’all. i’m looking forward to doing it all again next year!

2015 grammys: likes, dislikes, and everything in between

bey grammys 15   beck grammys 15   grammys 15 logo  57th Annual Grammy Awards   annie grammys 15

ah, the grammys. “music’s biggest night.” over the past couple of years, the grammys have unfortunately become one of the most boring telecasts of awards season and pretty much during the year as a whole. as someone who absolutely shamelessly LOVES awards season and red carpet interviews/arrivals, though, i can never not watch, no matter how much i expect it to suck and severely disappoint me. another reason i find myself compelled to watch the grammys in particular is that it’s about music–the one thing that i am most passionate about in the world, the one thing i am always eager to spend my time listening to, watching live, and discussing afterwards.

as i said before, the grammys in recent years have become more famous for their (sometimes) bizarre nominations, and doubly surprising choices for winners than for most of the performances that fall in between and waste far too much time. last night was no different, and as much as i liked many of the artists that sang, the whole thing seemed endless and felt like they only gave out a couple of awards even though they probably awarded, like, twelve.

instead of describing all the performances i thought were boring or (just strange) completely on here, i think i’ll just list them and briefly explain why:

  • ariana grande – dude. we get it. tatiana latte has a good voice, but if you wanted to showcase that even better, at least make it a little more exciting! this just put me to sleep.
  • tom jones and jessie j – sleep, pt. 2
  • gwen stefani and adam levine – i didn’t understand this at all, honestly. it was okay, but it didn’t blow me away. i know that the ballads were basically the theme of the night, but if your mission is to get more viewers to watch your show (which it sure as hell is), you have to make it entertaining. and please stop with the weird mash-ups/boring artist pairings.
  • madonna – now this was definitely much more exciting, but since it was new music, not everyone at home and at the ceremony could sing along to it, even though the message was pretty broad and accessible. i’m not saying she cater to her fans and should do a greatest hits medley at all, but how many times is madonna going to try to make a comeback with nothing more than a mediocre dance song? i think what i’m saying is i basically want music, pt. 2 because that shit still goes OFF.
  • ed sheeran (with john mayer and herbie hancock) – i could dedicate an entire post to how much i dislike ed and how completely uninteresting his music is. i really could. but i’m not going to give him the satisfaction. this was also pretty boring. i hear a lot of people saying that he’s like the john mayer of this generation, and although i know john mayer hasn’t exactly revolutionized music or anything, he’s an incredible guitar player/musician. and in that sense, far better than ed sheeran.
  • katy perry – the message that the domestic abuse survivor relayed was incredibly moving and important, but i didn’t get how it tied to the song at all. i’ve read that the song katy performed was written at the “lowest point of her life” while she was going through her divorce, but i couldn’t tell exactly what message she was trying to send with the whole intro. other than that, i already saw katy perry last week. por favor.
  • in a similar vein, what the fuck, grammys? getting the president to also speak on the huge, crucial issue of domestic abuse was entirely contradictory to your decision to award best rap album to eminem, whose MMLP2 is RAMPANT with OVERT violence and misogyny. say what you will about “rap god”, but that entire record was shit. i know you did a service to the entire galaxy by not recognizing iggy azalea and the new classic, but you did no better by giving it to eminem. and not to mention ROBBING schoolboy q and oxymoron. lol bye.
  • eric church, brandy clark, etc. – honestly…… you should have just brought out miranda lambert out again. at least she was exciting.
  • imagine dragons – Literally What The Fuck?
  • pharrell – Literally What The Fuck, Part 2? this was the most bizarre performance at the grammys i’ve ever seen, let alone one of the most bizarre performances of anything ever. i don’t even know what to make of it. nonetheless, at least it wasn’t the “happy” we all know and now loathe.
  • beck (with chris martin) – heart is a drum is one of the most beautiful songs on morning phase, as well as probably this entire year. but y’all fucked up with this one. i have nothing against chris martin as a person, but why was he even there? he didn’t really add anything to the performance, and if anything he made it even more boring. on top of that, this song was performed after beck won fucking album of the year? perhaps blue moon would have been a better choice to prove this album’s worth.
  • juanes – i think juanes is great, and being latin@, his music is inescapable, but i think this was just a filler performance. out of probably twenty filler performances.

performances i loved:

  • AC/DC: they kicked off the show, and i’ll admit i didn’t know who they were at first (i’ve never listened to their music? i know, i’m a bad person, blah blah blah) and then didn’t understand why they were there in the first place, oops. compared to some of the other performances throughout the night, this was by far one of the most electrifying. (PUN INTENDED)
  • hozier and annie lennox – took my ass to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! incredible!!!!
  • kanye west – raw, emotive, simply beautiful.
  • ELO –  literally had everyone singing along and dancing, loved it
  • tony bennett and lady gaga – this was just so cute. also lady gaga can really, really sing and people don’t give her enough credit for it.
  • rihanna, kanye west, and paul mccartney – best performance of the night!!!! had everyone singing/moving
  • sam smith and mary j. blige – a match made in soul/R&B heaven.
  • sia – maddie ziegler was flawless as always, and kristen wiig was surprisingly excellent, but i kind of wish that this rendition of chandelier was more like the one she did on SNL because sia has an INCREDIBLE voice, and here i think people were obviously paying more attention to the dancing/visuals
  • beyonce- TOOK MY ASS TO CHURCH AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! tied for best performance of the night; bey was absolutely angelic.
  • common and john legend – this was actually the first time i listened to glory in its entirety, and it had me in tears. it was an excellent way to end the night, and thankfully the grammys (or cbs, i don’t know) learned from last year’s NIN/QoTSA/etc. fiasco and didn’t cut off anyone this time.

now for the winners……… just so you don’t have to open up another page to find out who won last night i’m going to insert a list right here (and by who won, i mean the most relevant categories to every one else, and the categories i cared about that i’m going to elaborate on)

  • Song of the Year: Sam Smith, Stay With Me 
  • Record of the Year: Sam Smith, Stay With Me (Darkchild Version) 
  • Album of the Year: Beck, Morning Phase 
  • Best New Artist: Sam Smith
  • Best Rap Album: Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 
  • Best Alternative Music Album: St. Vincent, St. Vincent 

Song of the Year – out of all the nominees, sam smith DEFINITELY deserved this one, and i’m glad the academy got something right. if all about that bass had have won, i am positive the world would have imploded. bury meghan trainor with 2014.

Record of the Year – i would have loved for sia to have won this, one because “chandelier” was around for the year in its entirety, so it was truly “of the year”, and because it is a fucking. incredible. song. vocals, lyrics, composition, and everything. i expected sam to go home with this one and i’m extremely extremely happy for him, so i’m not entirely disappointed, but a win for sia would have been phenomenal.

Album of the Year – i think i’m going to dedicate an entire, separate post to this because shit was just too wild.

Best New Artist – this was the first award of the night; in all honesty, it would have been awesome if it had gone to the haim sisters, but i definitely expected sam smith to walk away with this one. and he did, and i was happy for him! his talent is massive and undeniable, and this was undoubtedly his year.

Best Rap Album – i talked about this a couple of paragraphs before, but to recap, schoolboy q should have gotten this one.

Best Alternative Music Album – HELL.YEAH. FUCKING. RIGHT. i’m so happy for annie clark’s win in this category, even though it is a minor one. she’s been one of my absolute favorite, favorite artists for a really long time now, and i just feel so proud of her for getting this kind of recognition. i would have been equally happy if reflektor had won instead, but st. vincent was a brilliant album.

and that was pretty much it. all in all, it wasn’t a spectacular event that you had to tune in to watch, but i must say, experiencing it as it’s happening is always really fun. there were a lot of good performances and DEFINITELY some unexpected moments, but i don’t necessarily think that aside from beyonce losing to beck for album of the year, it won’t be considered a very memorable ceremony.