Sunday, January 25, 2015

Annoyingly Catchy Songs and Their History Featuring Call Me Maybe and Barbie Girl

Annoyingly Catchy Songs and Their History


By Cynthia Duke


We’ve all heard ‘em. Some of them we’ve liked in secret and some we were blatant about it. Those annoying songs that play endlessly on the radio over and over and over. Some of them you know all the lyrics. Some, you only know the chorus. Sometimes they make sense; sometimes they have nonsensical made up words. They come out of nowhere. Here are some fun facts about four of these little buggers.



Hanson - Mmmbop: In 1997 three very young brothers released this song and swept the world off its feet with its chorus. Off there debut album of the same name released the previous year, this infectious tune rose to #1 in 27 countries.

Most people don’t know the verses, just the chorus, “mmmbop”.

According to Zac Hanson, “What that song talks about is, you've got to hold on to the things that really matter. MMMBop represents a frame of time or the futility of life. Things are going to be gone, whether it's your age and your youth, or maybe the money you have, and all that's going to be left are the people you've nurtured and have really built to be your backbone and your support system"

Because Hanson wrote this song entirely, record companies desired young singers that could write their own songs.

Mmmbop was used in many TV shows including, House, Lizzie McGuire, Daria, Futurama, About a Boy, a skit with Hanson, Helen Hunt and Will Ferrell on SNL and live performances on shows such as Letterman and Leno. It was also used in the movie The Hangover Part III and more.

Because Hanson got older and voices changed they now sing the song in a lower key.

Kourtney Kardashian admitted it was a favorite song of hers.

While growing up Hanson listened to a lot of 50’s and 60’s music and credit the song to Doo-Wop vocal groups.

The song started out as a background part of another song but became it’s own over years of crafting it.

The song was originally a ballad but was reworked by hit producers, The Dust Brothers as an upbeat pop track.
For more information on Hanson, visit their profiles on
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Aqua – Barbie Girl: This song released in May of 1997, was Danish-Norwegian dance/pop group’s third single overall. It is off their, “Aquarium” album and was a #1 hit in the U.K. and Australia for three weeks. On the U.S. Billboard Top 100 it debuted and peaked at #7.

The video features Lene Nystrøm as Barbie and René Dif as Ken.

The song was voted the fourth, ‘Best Number One of All Time” on a VH-1 poll. Was #32 on VH-1’s, “Most Annoyingly Bad Songs…Ever” and was featured as #88 on, “VH-1’s Greatest One-Hit Wonders”.

Aqua was originally a small group of DJs and musicians formed under the name Joyspeed. They started over, after becoming disillusioned, with the name Aqua.

“Barbie Girl” has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide.

It is the U.K.’s 13th best-selling single.

The group saw an exhibit on, “Kitsch Culture” and wrote this song.

Mattel, the manufacturer of the “Barbie Doll” sued MCA Records, Aqua’s label, in May of 2000, claiming the song violated their trademark and turned her into a sex object. MCA counter-sued for defamation. Mattel’s suit was dismissed by lower courts. Mattel took an appeal to the Supreme Court and was rejected. A court of Appeals ruled it as protected by a parody under the trademark doctrine of nominative use and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Wham!

On a side note, Barbie was created and named after Ruth and Elliot Handler’s daughter, Barbara, whom they saw cutting out dolls from magazines and carefully picking out clothes and accessories for them.

They founded the toy company, Mattel, in 1945 with a close friend of theirs, Harold Mattson.

“Barbie Girl” was released in English, Polish, German, Japanese and more. 
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Eiffel 65 – Blue (Da Ba Dee): Eiffel 65 are an Italian group with members Jeffrey Jey, Maurizio Lobina and DJ Gary Ponte. They got their name from a computer named, “Eiffel”. After a note with the number 65 accidentally written in, they thought it was fate and added it to their name.

The piano hook, written by Lobina was playing when Jeffrey Jey was writing. Jey says he was thinking of a character he created, called, “Zoroti” and about the characters lifestyle and came up with a color of how he saw things. Lobina came up with the “da ba dee” hook and told Jey to write nonsensical lyrics.

The single, released October of 1998, was the leading single to their 1999 album, “Europop” and reached #1 in multiple countries.

The vocals were distorted using a device called a vocoder. A similar sound to Cher’s, “Believe” but the technique she used was with Auto-Tune.

It was thought by many that the songs lyrics in the chorus were, “I’m blue and I’m in need of a guy” when in actuality it’s, “I’m blue, da ba dee da ba di”.

Rolling Stone’s review was, "blends Cher-esque vocoder vocals, trance-like synth riffs, unabashed Eurodisco beats and a baby-babble chorus so infantile it makes the Teletubbies sound like Shakespeare".

The music video was released in 1999 and featured computer graphics with Ponte and Lobina trying to save Jey from the aliens Zoroti and Sayok6.
For more information on Eiffel 65, visit their profiles on
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Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe: This track is from a more recent time. Carly Rae Jepsen is a Canadian singer/songwriter who placed third in the fifth season of, “Canadian Idol”. The song, originally on her EP, “Curiosity” and on her international debut album, “Kiss” was originally written as a folk track but was popped-up following the production of Josh Ramsay.

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez raved about it in their tweets which helped her to gain instant international attention.

This was the number one purchased song on iTunes in 2012.

Also in 2012 the song’s video was the most viewed clip on Vevo.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry says that globally this was the best-selling single of 2012 with 12.5 million units sold that year.

It won song of the year in the 2013 Juno Awards.

This was the first Hot 100 #1 in over five years by a Canadian artist, the previous being Avril Lavigne.

In closing, when that next hit pops out of nowhere, enjoy it while you can because soon it will be overplayed and most annoying.
For more information on Carly Rae Jepsen, visit her profiles on
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- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cynthia Duke Video Reviews for Week of January 18, 2015 Featuring Sia, Calvin Harris and Pitbull

Video Reviews for Week of January 18, 2015

By Cynthia Duke



Sia - Elastic Heart feat. Shia LaBeouf & Maddie Ziegler (Official Video): This video was published to YouTube, January 7, 2015 and is the follow-up to May 2014’s, “Chandelier”, which also featured Maddie Ziegler as a mini Sia. Maddie, an American child dancer, actress and model, is best known for her appearance on Lifetime’s, “Dance Moms”.

This video also features American actor and director Shia LaBeouf, who plays opposite Maddie.

The song is taken from Australian singer/songwriter, Sia’s album, “1000 Forms of Fear” out now and regarding her choices in actors, Sia, says this on her website “I anticipated some ‘pedophelia!!!’ Cries for this video. All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play these two warring ‘sia’ self states. I apologize to those who feel triggered by Elastic Heart My intention was to create some emotional content, not to upset anybody”.

The video itself is pretty simplistic. A giant bird like cage with a bearded Shia and Maddie fighting in a choreographed way. Tugging and pulling and so forth. Maddie in the same nude leotard as the “Chandelier” video and Shia in nude shorts. At one point, Maddie steps through the bars of the cage and Shia is very upset at this. But, alas she comes back in only to leave another time this time trying to pull him through the bars. The music stops and we continue to see Maddie fighting to pull Shia through and him giving up. This struggle continues in silence for 45 seconds.

Sia’s lyrics reflect on another relationship “biting the dust” and wondering why she “can’t conquer love”. Set to a relaxed beat Sia sings that “you did not break me…but you won’t see me fall apart/’Cause I’ve got an elastic heart”.

For more information on Sia, visit her profiles
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For more information on Shia Labeouf, visit his profiles
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For more information on Maddie Ziegler, visit her profiles.
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Pitbull, Ne-Yo - Time Of Our Lives: American rapper Pitbull (Miami, Florida) got his start in 2002 on a solo track for Lil Jon’s album, “Kings of Crunk” and went on to make seven albums and an EP. The newest one, “Globalization”, has garnered this track in which he teams up with R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer and actor, Ne-Yo, hailing from Las Vegas by way of Arkansas.

This video was published to YouTube Christmas Day of 2014. Just in time for New Year’s celebration as is the theme in the video which stars out with a family fretting over unpaid bills and rent and not being able to party for New Year’s Eve. Then an old lady says that they used to throw a big party to raise the rent money back in the day. Pitbull and Ne-Yo are discussing their money woes outside by the car when he gets a text about a party and they head out.

At 0:41 the music starts with Ne-Yo singing the pre-chorus, “I knew my rent was gon' be late about a week ago/I worked my ass off, but I still can't pay it though/But I got just enough/To get up in this club/Have me a good time, before my time is up/Hey, let's get it now”. Then he goes on to say he wants, “The time of my life” in the chorus.

Pitbull and Ne-Yo are seen singing in between scenes of a house party dressed in tuxedos, and at the house party. At one point we see a man hovering over a porcelain bowl just before the song kicks into half time. It ramps into gear again then the music stops and the people at the party count down to the New Year in Spanish.

In Pitbull’s last rap of the song he says, “This for anybody going through tough times/Believe me, been there, done that/But everyday above ground is a great day, remember that”.

For more information on Pitbull, visit his profiles on Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter.
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Vevo

For more information on Ne-Yo, visit his profiles on Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter.
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Spotify



Demi Lovato - Nightingale (Official Video): From her 2013 and fourth album, “Demi” comes this track, not published on YouTube until Christmas Eve, 2014.

LBGT activist, Demi got her start on the “Barney & Friends” show and is an American actress and singer/songwriter. She’s been on the Disney Channel, Glee and had her own TV Series, “Sunny with a Chance”.

This video starts out with a piano playing repetitive chords that move downward in scale while Demi sings. At 0:47 the other instruments come in dramatically as her voice rises. Scenes of her sound checking for a concert and people coming into the concert play across the screen.

At one point, as Demi sings she wipes a tear away from her eye. The video is made up of more of Demi getting ready for the show, fans going to the show or meeting her and that ilk until she is at the show performing. She has a powerful three octave voice and uses it well in this beautiful tune.

The song is about needing someone to be there for her. Demi sings in the chorus, “Can you be my nightingale?/Sing to me/I know you're there/You could be my sanity/Bring me peace/Sing me to sleep/Say you'll be my nightingale”.

For more on Demi Lovato, visit her profiles
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Axwell /\ Ingrosso - Something New (Lyric Video): Axwell /\ Ingrosso are a Swedish group formed in 2014. The two members, Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso were previously in another Swedish group together called, “House Mafia” with Steve Angello, a threesome of DJs and producers and were a progressive house music band.

This video is a lyric video so not much going on except lyrics and a black background with computer generated “stuff”. But, wait! At 1:55 a hand forms, then legs, another hand, a torso, chest, then a head. Then we see computer generated faces of Axwell /\ Ingrosso.

Over all this house music they sing of, “we belong to something new”. New start new band, I guess.

For more information on Axwell /\ Ingrosso, visit their profiles
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Calvin Harris - Outside ft. Ellie Goulding: From Scottish record producer, DJ, singer/songwriter, Calvin Harris’s 2014 and fourth album, “Motion” this song features English singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Ellie Goulding singing on this track. Their second collaboration, this video was published to YouTube November 12, 2014 and is the fourth single from the album.

This dance tune starts out with Ellie, singing on her knees outside a mobile home. Trying to hold on to a relationship that is burned out is what I gather from this tune. Fighting and then being on the “outside” looking in. I could be wrong.

Featuring two couples, Ellie and her drinking, dirt bike riding man and Calvin and his girl, the two couples begin to fight with their mates and have a big blowout. Ellie’s man takes off on his dirt bike riding in a standing position as he pops wheelies and jumps off of things. Calvin’s girl starts throwing things around the house.

At this point Ellie is still outside singing but now there’s a mirror in front of her. Calvin’s dodging objects left and right and Ellie’s mirror shatters. Then Calvin’s girl throws a plate at him and it freezes in mid air at the same time Ellie’s guy jumps his bike and it freezes in mid air above Ellie.

Ending the video we see Ellie and Calvin in a room facing each other with glasses frozen in mid air.

For more information on Calvin Harris, visit his profiles
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Videos

For more information on Ellie Goulding, visit her profiles
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- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cindy Alcuizar Video Review of the week A Filipino Perspective Featuring Charli XCX, Taylor Swift and One Direction






Blank Space

By: Taylor Swift

Blank Space is an electropop and a minimal song.

Taylor’s Blank Space music video was about a stereotype girlfriend who easily gets jealous and act reckless like what the media thought about her. The lyrics state the media's perception of Swift and her relationships. Swift get tired about the jokes she heard about her ex-boyfriends so she included it to her writings. The video was directed by Joseph Kahn and Swift's love interest in the video was portrayed by a model named Sean O'Pry. Joseph Kahn has the idea of turning Swift to a crazy villain to make it in a fun way.

Taylor’s Blank Space music video was released last November 10, 2014 by Vevo. It was written by Taylor Swift, Max Martin and Shellback. It is also the second single from “1989” and was immediately singled out as one of the album's best tracks.




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Night Changes
By: One Direction

The English-Irish Boy Band named One Direction released Night Changes as their album’s second single last November 14, 2014. Viva published their music video last November 21, 2014 from their fourth and new studio album entitled “Four”. The Music video was directed by Ben Winston. The lyrics of the Night Changes was written by  Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, along with Jamie Scott, Julian Bunetta and John Ryan with the genre of Pop and Rock. The production was handled by Julian Bunetta and John Ryan.

The story of the music video were Zayn Malik was having a dinner date in an Italian Restaurant and his date’s ex-boyfriend came and pours water and food to Zayn, which cause him to leave disappointedly; Harry Styles was ice skating and saw two couple doing tricks and she attempt to do it with his date but they ended up being injured; Liam Payne dating at the carnival and tries a ride but Liam became nauseated and vomits to his date’s hat; Niall Horan playing Jenga and Monopoly near a fireplace with his date, while Niall attempting to light up the fireplace his sweater catches on fire and goes grabbing the towel to put it out and the jug of juice was thrown and stains his date’s dress; and lastly Louis Tomlinson drives his date to a country and gets pulled over by the police and attempts to joke with the policeman, but the policeman was annoyed and displeased so he under arrest Louis leaving his date. Even though their dates were messed up lyrics states that nothing will change and will never change so there is nothing to be afraid of. 

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Ugly Heart
By: G.R.L.

Ugly Heart was written by Ryan Baharloo, Ester Dean, Lukasz Gottwald, John Charles Monds, and Henry Walter and produced by Dr. Luke and Cirkut. It is the debut single of an American, British and Canadian girls group named G.R.L. from their self-titled EP. The song was released last June 3, 2014 and Vevo published the music video last July 1, 2014. It has a genre of pop. The video was directed by Chris Marrs Piliero and shot in downtown Los Angeles.

The lyric was about those people who have a beautiful appearance outside but have bad characteristics inside. The group wants to inspire women to not stay longer and move on to someone who has an ugly heart. They also want people to find someone who would treat them well. The music video was they were arrested after the tattoo Ugly into a man’s face. As the video ends, Battle says "Now your face is like your heart. Ugly."



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Boom Clap
By: Charli XCX

Vevo published Boom Clap music video last June 2, 2014. It was written by Charlotte Aitchison, Fredrik Berger, Patrik Berger and Stefan Graslund and produced by Patrik Berger and Stefan Graslund. Boom clap was a song by a British recording artist Charli XCX released as the first single from the soundtrack album of The Fault in Our Stars and is also featured on XCX's second studio album entitled “Sucker”. XCX decided to use the song as her contribution to The Fault in Our Stars motion picture soundtrack. The music video for "Boom Clap" was directed by Sing J. Lee.
The music video has scenes from the movie entitled The Fault in our Stars which was authored by John Green. That was filmed in Amsterdam. Almost the scenes that were taken from TFIOS were the scenes Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster having their time to fall in love to each other more. The lyrics states how heart reacts and feels to someone and to conclude that “this must be love”.
 


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 - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Video Reviews for Week of January 11, 2015 Featuring George Ezra and Ash K

By C. Duke



George Ezra – Budapest (Official Video): English singer/songwriter George Ezra sites Bob Dylan and Wood Guthrie as his main musical influences. He released two EP’s, one in October, 2013, “Did You Hear the Rain” and the other in 2014, “Cassy O’ ”. From the first EP comes this song, “Budapest”. A top ten hit in many countries around the world, it reached number one in Austria, New Zealand and the Czech Republic. After the EPs Ezra came out with his debut studio album, “Wanted on Voyage” released June of 2014 and will be released in the U.S. January 27, 2015, which also has the single, “Budapest”.

The video opens to an above shot of a group of people standing still as Ezra sings about his beautiful house in Budapest and all the artifacts in it. The camera zooms in on him in the crowd as he sings that he would leave it all for, “you”.

From there we see different shots of Ezra from above, straight on, playing guitar, etc. Gradually some people start to stir in the crowd. A man sneezes and everyone turns to look. Then everybody starts moving. They put on 3D glasses and look up.

Ezra crowd surfs as two men cajole another to eat a hot pepper. After the man eats the pepper the crowd starts passing around their “artifacts”.

Three minutes into the video the music stops and Ezra sings acapella for the remainder of the song.

For more info on George Ezra, visit his profiles

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Basement Jaxx - Rock This Road feat. Shakka: From their 7th studio album, “Junto” out now. Basement Jaxx are a British electronic dance music duo, who have been around since the early 90’s. This video features Shakka, a singer/songwriter and producer from the U.K. as well.

The first thing we see on the screen is a symbol, sort of like three circles in a cluster with a triangle in the middle. This is against a moonlit sky. Words start scrolling upward on the screen, “Lord Marqod, interstellar God of dance, approaches a lonely planet to harvest the dance energy of it’s denizens. With it he will finally be able to re-awaken the Queens of Mind, Body and Heart from their cosmic slumber”.

The camera scrolls down to a blue planet with a pyramid ship in its orbit, giving way to a shot of the ship’s inhabitants. Shakka sits on a throne with a guard on either side of him. He starts singing and after a few seconds the guards disappear into thin air.

They are now on the planet, which looks like Earth. They steal the inhabitants dance energy which shoots up to the ship into the queens in their tubular capsules. They start to awaken and sing background with their eyes shut. When they have more dance energy their eyes open and they dance.

Suddenly, they are out of their capsules and dancing around Shakka in his throne as he sings. The video continues in this manner until Shakka’s viewer shows, “dance overload” to which he retrieves his guards/dance energy collectors back to the ship and into their capsules.

For more info on Basement Jaxx, visit their profiles on

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For more info on Shakka, visit his profiles on
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NEW Christian Rap - Harmini - If I Go Away (Official Music Video) (@HARMINI731 @ChristianRapz): There’s not a whole lot of information on this artist, Harmini, which I can tell you. His website doesn’t have a bio and there was no Wikipedia page to find. What I can tell you is that Harmini is a Christian rapper and used Dallas County employees and officers in this video. There was an investigation opened but no violation was found in using the employees and officers.

The video, published on YouTube, December 31, 2014, opens up with a statement about government records showing more than 1.57 inmates are in federal, state and county prisons and that the U.S. has the largest prison population worldwide and it’s growing.

This gives way to a black and white shot of a criminal running through the woods away from the police and police dogs. Then there is another statement that for every decision, there is a consequence.

Now in color we hear comments from his family members and girlfriend or wife, such as, “Look what you’ve done”, “So, why did you do it”, “You’ve torn this family apart”, “Baby, I’m gonna wait for you”, “I love him because he’s my grandson” and, “There’s nothing else I can do. Ma’am, what’s done is done and I cannot change it”.

As the man in prison lays there thinking about what he did, Harmini starts rapping about not wanting to be there and just wanting to come home. Another man sings on the chorus, “If I go away/Then you will never see me again”.

As Harmini raps, we flip back and forth between scenes of Harmini and the prisoner’s previous life. Also we see the scenes that led up to the prisoner’s imprisonment. Doing coke and drinking, putting on a ski mask and going up to a rival gang’s porch and shooting at them to his getting arrested and going through court and the toll it takes on his family.

The video ends with Harmini rapping about not wanting to be there anymore and wanting to come home as in the beginning of the song.

For more information on Harmini, visit his  profiles

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Redfoo - New Thang (Official Video): Redfoo is an American singer/songwriter, record producer, DJ and rapper. Better know as one half of the duo from LMFAO. He is also the youngest son of Motown Record label legend and founder Barry Gordy, Jr.

This song is the fourth single from his debut solo album, “I Look Good Naked” out since August 6, 2014 and the video was published to YouTube, August 24, 2014.

This song drew me in as soon as that 808 or 909 boom boom started. I’ll never tire of that sound. There are plenty of scantily clad women in bright colors in this humorous vid. Redfoo starts it off driving up in a pink DeLorean DMC-12 with its doors up. Getting out in cheetah patterned long
shorts he moves up to a girl playing a game on her smart phone and sings that she could be his new thing. Nice, women are just a thing to him.

Redfoo, goes on to tell them to, “Clap clap, make it clap/lights on, lights off/Make it clap” referring to them flapping their asses in the bedroom or the dance floor.

Redfoo is seen with various girls in the video and there is a shirtless saxophone player that pumps his hips as he plays. More sexual innuendo.

Overall I like the music but not the lyrics. Just another horny man objectifying women in music and video.

For more information on Redfoo, visit his profiles
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Ash K- Bonnie & Clyde (Official Music Video): Ash K started out as Ash Kardash singing rap songs into her camera phone. She is a singer/songwriter/rapper who considers herself to be continually evolving and wants to inspire the world with her music. Again this is another artist with little information and no Wikipedia page.

Ash K has previously released three free mixtapes since 2012, “Beauty and the Barz, Relationships 101 (2013) and Relationships 102 (February 2014)”, before releasing the EP, “AK the EP” in September of 2014 in which this song is on. The video for this song was published to YouTube, December 31, 2014.

The music has a slow tempo with just high hats, an electronic snare and dreamy keyboards in the beginning before Ash K starts singing. She and her boyfriend are holed up in a motel and he’s counting money while she sings about how great their love for each other is.

Meanwhile you have two cops in the car staking out the place. Toward the end the fat donut eating cop sees Ash K peep out of the motel window. Him and his partner run up to the door and open it to which no one is there. End.

For more information on Ash K, visit her website iamashk.com and her profiler.
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Google+ 

Bio of Ash K. Who is ASH K?

Honestly, I’m still trying to answer that myself. I’m building her, repairing her, and reconstructing her everyday with every piece of inspiration I find. I chose to let my fans build me into their own dream, live through me, and through my music. I listen to you. I respond to you. I deeply consider your comments and you are my inspiration.

I started as “Ash Kardash” just a plain, simple girl, sitting in front of a camera phone on a couch singing rap songs, but you all pushed me and made me more than that. You made me want to be more than that. So eventually I evolved into “Ash K” the singer, songwriter & rapper. But then one day, I spent a whole day reading comments, tweets, emails, and listening to music that had been sent to me by my fans and it finally came to me, my true purpose.

My purpose is not to sing, rap, entertain, write songs or create music, but to inspire the world by doing all those things as YOU inspired me to become AK. I want my music and myself as an artist to inspire people to follow their dreams. One day I’m sure that I’ll know the exact answer to “Who is AK?” but as for right now, I’m not sure. My fans and I are still building her. YOU are still building me. I’m still being inspired every day, and though I may notfully understand who I am, I know I am an inspirer.

Sincerely,
AK

 - Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Friday, January 09, 2015

Red Carpet arrivals in #Chicago with Kevin Costner, Anthony Mackie & director Mike Bender for the film Black or White

Anthony Mackie

Kevin Costner
Actor/producer Kevin Costner attends seeing of ‘Black or White’ film at Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON Theatre on January 8, 2015 in Chicago, IL, USA. In addition, co-star Anthony Mackie and director Mike Binder were in Chicago with Costner in support of the film on the red carpet.

Black Or White is the story of a grandfather (Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter.  When her paternal grandmother (Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer) seeks custody with the help of her brother (Anthony Mackie), the little girl is torn between two families who love her deeply.  With the best intentions at heart, both families fight for what they feel is right and are soon forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness, and understanding. Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds, in which nothing is as simple as black or white.




Black Or White opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, January 30, 2015

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#LoveHasNoColor

Kerasotes ShowPlace ICON
Chicago, IL, USA
January 8, 2015
Photos by Adam Bielawski

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Chevelle Rocks Peoria From The Expo Gardens

Chevelle
December 19, 2014
Peoria, Illinois
By:  Jenafur Schlangen Story and Photos)




Let's face it, there are just some live music experiences that will have been well worth the wait while others are simply a complete and utter fail.  You know exactly what I'm talking about:  It's that band you just heard on the radio for the first time and loved, the one who you have been raving about to all of your friends, the one you convince those same friends to buy concert tix for a show that is miles away, and yes...the one that, in the end, thoroughly sucks ass live.  Yes, that one.  Well, you can rest assured knowing that Chevelle is NOT that band.

One thing I admire about Chevelle is the level of longevity and consistency they have displayed within their career span and there is no sense of them stopping anytime soon.  Truly, this 3-piece powerhouse has been shoving millions of their albums in the faces of their fans for the past 12 years and on at a steady pace at that.  Yet, although they
tend to tour all over the world, they seem to rarely make an appearance in their hometown area of Chicago.  In terms of their sound, their style is simply gut rattling, chalk full of drums and bass, accompanied by vocals that are a mix of innocence and 1-million percent frustration.  Throughout the years, they have toured with Staind, Papa Roach, Sevendust, Rob Zombie, and several others.

Setting the stage for the show in Peoria, Illinois, dubbed “Nutcracker 2014,” a production by local rock radio, the show was held at the Expo Gardens.  This “music venue” is like a metal barn-like structure complete with a cattle corral out back for the smoking folk and those who choose not to wait in the long lines to use the pisser.  Ugh.  However, it was this enormous tin can of a venue that provided the almost sold-out crowd a surprising and an amazingly rich sound.   The band played like their lives depended on it for more than two hours, including two encore performances (see full set list below).  Simply put, the show was amazing and went way beyond my expectations.  Even my friend (a Dave Matthews fan, if that tells you anything) who travelled with me way down yonder for this event was thoroughly impressed, even asking me the next day if he could borrow some of my personal Chevelle stash for his own listening pleasure.

In answering the question of whether it was worth it, I can personally say that after having experienced the nightmare of dealing with bad-mooded PR folk and some of the most extreme forms of douche-baggery from
the venue's stage security that I have ever encountered, the moment Chevelle took the stage and exploded into, "The Clincher," it became all too apparent to me that this was indeed a live music experience well worth not only the wait but every single ounce of bullshit that preceded it.


Set List:

1. The Clincher
2. Grab Thy Hand
3. Send the Pain Below
4. Sleep Apnea
5. Take Out the Gunman
6. An Island
7. Forfeit
8. Jars
9. Vitamin R (Leading Us Along)
10. Twinge
11. Hunter Eats Hunter
12. Hats Off to the Bull
13. I Get It
14. Encore:
14. The Red
15. Comfortable Liar
16. Face to the Floor

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- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Video Reviews for the Week of January 4, 2015 featuring: Jennifer Hudson and One Direction





Video Reviews for the Week of January 4, 2015
By C. Duke 





One Direction – Steal My Girl: Steal My Girl was published to YouTube in October of 2014 and is the leading single of British boy band, One Direction‘s (1D) 2014 fourth studio album, “Four”, out since September of 2014.

With the chorus stating, “Everybody wanna steal my girl/Everybody wanna take her heart away/Couple billion in the whole wide world/Find another one ‘cause she belongs to me” One Direction worry over losing their girlfriends to rivals and they should go find someone else because, “She belongs to me”.

The band starts out in the desert coming out of a silver trailer, wondering where the director is. As they are talking among themselves you see two people carrying a lips couch, hmmm, is that the same couch that was in Meghan Trainor’s, “Lips Are Moving” video? Suddenly, he drives up and it’s none other than Danny DeVito. He tells them they are there in the name of art, they’re bringing life to the baron dessert and proceeds to name them, Love, Light, Power, Danger and Mystery. Danny further tells them they have to destroy their inhibitions, destroy then create. And the music kicks in here.

An 80’s feel keyboard dominates in between the verses and goes silent on the verse creating a stop and go effect.

There’s much going on in the video so, I’m just going to name what to look out for in it as best as I can. Ready? Begin: Sumo wrestlers, Africans dancing, a chimpanzee with sunglasses, ribbon dancers, a man hula hooping, ballerinas, a marching band, a lion, flamingos, a mime, a man on an old timey bicycle, balloons, giant hand sculptures, a silver mannequin, a piano and an 1800’s diver. Have fun looking for them all.

As all these people and the band are gathered together, it starts to rain and Danny DeVito yells cut after they stop singing, turns to the camera and says, “That was all right”.

For more info on One Direction, visit there profiles
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Gorgon City – Go All Night ft. Jennifer Hudson: “Here in your arms/I could go all night/Here in your arms/I can spend my whole life/…Give me your love and I might keep on dancing” confesses Jennifer Hudson in the chorus. She wants another’s heart and devotion.

Jennifer Hudson, one of 2004’s finalists on American Idol, teams up with Gorgon City, an electronic music production duo, to bring you this dance tune with oscillation synthesizers, keyboards and long play strings features a barely recognizable Hudson, very slim and sporting short hair.

Published on YouTube, November 6, 2014, we open with a bird’s eye view of a record on a D.J.’s spin table. Someone puts the needle on the record to which we hear record static before the song starts. With just high pitched strings and hand claps, Hudson sings as she gets ready for a show along with a group of men in drag and shots of Gorgon City picking out their records.

Gorgon City and Hudson arrive at the club and G.C. begins spinning and Hudson performs. From there it’s traversing shots of party goers dancing, the D.J.’s and Hudson. Bonus shot to look for is the guy using his shoe as a phone.

At the end of the song everybody comes filtering out of the club and departing their separate ways.

If you want to know more about Gorgon City, visit their profiles
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If you want to know more about Jennifer Hudson, visit her profiles
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INDICA – In Passing Official Video: INDICA is an all female Finnish band from Helsinki founded in 2001 and signed to Sony Music in 2003. This review is a single from their 2010 album, “A Way Away”. Their fifth studio album, with two released since then.

Published on YouTube, April 30, 2010, this soft edge video/song is about a sister who has passed and is telling her little sister, “It's okay to feel
down/And just remember/That nothing's made to last/I know you're sad/That too will pass”.

Johanna Salomaa (lead singer and violinist) opens the video on a swing set up high in front of the moon. You see her and her bandmates throughout most of the video. They are: Heini Säisä (bass), Sirkku Karvonen (keyboards), Jenny Julia (guitar) and Laura Häkkänen (drums). Except for the beginning which shows her “little sister” playing hide and seek in the house alone.

The little girl is shown again at the end of the video painting a vertical line above and below her eye like her “big sister” had.

For more information on INDICA, visit their profile pages
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Olly Murs – Wrapped Up (Official Video) ft. Travie McCoy: Olly Murs (Oliver Stanley Murs) is an English singer/songwriter, musician and television presenter who rose to fame on the sixth series of The X Factor (2009) as a runner-up. He has four albums released, the fourth being the album this video/song is from titled, “Never Ben Better”.

Travie McCoy is an American singer and rapper who is the lead vocalist in, “Gym Class Heroes”, a rap/rock band. McCoy also co-wrote the song with Murs and raps toward the latter part of the song.

Published on YouTube, October 28, 2014, this tune with disco bass and chewy rhythm guitar, is an upbeat dance tune that will have you “wrapped up” in a groove on the dance floor. Olly Murs reminds me a little of Justin Timberlake, the U.K. version, in his dance and musical style.

This is set inside a studio. Olly opens up walking on and against a people mover. A clever idea. He is soon joined by a team of female dancers. The rest of the video weaves in and out of different studio shots of Olly and the dancers…dancing and Olly, under the spell of a girl sings, “You got the lock/I got the key/You know the rest/You know just where I wanna be/Don't ever stop controlling me/I kinda like it when you bring me to my knees”.

If you would like to know more about Olly Mur, visit his profiles
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For more on Travie McCoy visit his profiles on
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The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale Of New York (Official Video): Here’s an oldie Irish folk-style ballad and Christmas song. The U.K. and Ireland considers it their number one Christmas song of all time. This video was published on YouTube, December 7, 2011, but is actually a video from 1987.

The Pogues, a Celtic punk band out of London, first formed in 1982 and was fronted by Shane MacGowen who left in 1991 and was replaced by Joe Strummer of The Clash and then replaced with Spider Stacey before their break up in 1996.

Kirsty MacColl was an English singer/songwriter who had some pop hits during the 80’s. Unfortunately she has since passed as she was killed by a speedboat while swimming in Cozumel, Mexico.

This video/song is humorous as it starts out with MacGowen in the male character role singing almost out of tune and sounding half asleep of a hopeful Christmas and a better time when all their dreams come true while the piano plays and we see black and white footage of MacGowen brought in to the precinct (the cop looks like Matt Dillon) and being thrown with the other drunks into the drunk tank. A few scenes of the various drunks nodding off and talking to themselves brings us back to MacGowen singing at a piano with the band waiting patiently.

Kirsty now comes in as the female character role as the music kicks into some Irish folk at 1:25 singing of being in New York City and their budding relationship. She is standing at a piano at a bar. We move to shots of the couple walking together arm in arm around N.Y.C. and then the two in the bar at the piano with MacGowen playing.

Then they lash out on each other, alternating the verses, “You're a bum/You're a punk/You're an old slut on junk/Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed/You scumbag, you maggot/You cheap lousy faggot/Happy Christmas your arse/I pray God it's our last”. Of course we now have scenes of them arguing and fighting.

We end with the couple dancing together into a fade out.

For more information on The Pogues, visit their profiles on
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For more information on Kirsty MacColl, visit her profiles on
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- Read the full story at UnRatedMagazine.com