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Behind The Scenes: The fourth “Shake It Off” outtakes video

September 17, 2014

Wow you’re still here, Taylor Nation :)

Welcome to the fourth outtakes clip titled “The Animators” from behind the scenes of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. The Sparkly Dressed (hey she’s actually sparkly in this one) adopts a distinct Gaga-esque vibe for this one. I have to confess I admire the break-dancing skills of the dancers in the background. Well, in my time (oh my god it’s Old-Man-Swift again!) they were call breakdancers. I guess now it’s animators. Now get off my lawn and go watch the clip.

Watch on YouTube

There’s yet another Rolling Stone article from Josh Eels’ interview, this time it’s Taylor Swift Reveals Five Things to Expect on ‘1989’. Most of it is expected: the album’s lead off track called ‘1989’ supposedly depicts Tay’s transition to New York City, almost half the tracks are produced by Max Martin, there’s a snare drum inspired (Jack Antonoff himself corrected the article) by Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” in the track “I Wish You Would”, the track “Out of the Woods” was taken straight (I’m going to add ‘almost’ here) from Taylor Swift’s journal, and the experimental vibe the album has. Essentially it’s leftovers from the interview, but I guess the magazine is realizing how tidbits like this will flock people to read more.

The X-Factor Australia’s official Twitter account confirmed that Taylor will be performing on the show’s grand finale in October. Taylor will probably do a lightning trip to Australia to promote her album 1989 out on October 27. The Sparkly Dressed is nominated for Best Female and Best Look at the 2014 MTV EMA on November 9. You can vote here.

In case you’ve been living under the rock, and boy it must be nice and quiet under there, the Shaker and Baker is right now obsessed with Tumblr. Yeap, she’s interacting with fans and everything. Even Olivia is getting into the act.

(Photo: Olivia via Taylor Swift's Tumblr)

(Photo: Olivia via Taylor Swift’s Tumblr)

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • September 19: Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • September 22: Taylor Swift will be one of the advisors on the new season of NBC’s The Voice according to US Weekly.
  • October 27: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is released.

(Sources: YouTube, Rolling Stone)

The Weekly Rant: Words like knives

September 15, 2014
(Source: Taylor Swift via Tumblr)

(Source: Taylor Swift via Tumblr)

I don’t say this often enough, Taylor Nation. Thanks for reading.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who believes this won’t be the last time I write about Taylor Swift, we also are aware that this might be the last time you want to read something I write. Or perhaps not. Depends how you take criticism – or more precisely how you’re going to take me criticizing Taylor. This is a risk, but like someone once said the only risk is the one you don’t take.

This has been bugging me a lot. After the rush I got from the Guardian’s article where Taylor finally accepted the label of feminism, I was happy. Then she had to give a little too many clues regarding the backstory of “Bad Blood”, a yet to be released track from her upcoming album 1989, on the latest interview with Rolling Stone:

She did something so horrible. I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’ And it wasn’t even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly non-confrontational – you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it.

- Taylor Swift via Rolling Stone.

Every update account who followed the Red Tour knows there were a few dancers that had at one time worked with another female artist and went back to her in the middle of Taylor’s Red Tour. That’s known. The thing is it’s not the song, I repeat, it’s NOT THE SONG, that will cause controversy. It’s THAT STATEMENT. The song might turn out to be amazing or not, but this statement stands alone in pointing to the other party and that’s why this is more bad blood than the song itself.

So this is me swallowing my pride as fan. She should’ve just let the song speak for itself and not give out that statement. It was business, but not really our business to know. Mature fans (realize the distinction, I’m not saying old nor young, I’m saying mature) will survive. We expect musical artists to be human and have flaws. Most of us come to love and expect some of those. I love a lot of songs from legendary artists, well-established over decades, but I know they’re flawed. So is Taylor. Making that statement is a mistake that will divide a lot of fans. It will specially be hard on impressionable fans whom are easily influenced.

I know this plea will fall, for the most part, on deaf ears. But just in case there’s one person out there listening, I still want to make it. If you like someone’s music, there is no reason to stop liking it because that artist are having a feud with another artist you like. I know for a lot of fans, artists are like idols and a lot of them feel like friends. Taylor specially has that closeness with her fans. If you can’t think of it differently, think of it the same way that when two of your friends are fighting. Stay friends with both, do not pick sides, do not become a hate troll, do not go over and taunt other fans for their choices. Artists can be brilliant at their craft but still say the wrong thing. We all do. That doesn’t mean people love you any less, and it doesn’t mean you have to love them less either.

If you want to take sides and enjoy spreading hostility, I won’t judge you. But just so we’re clear, not in my comment section. You want free speech, go make your own blog. I’ve done the hate thing way too many times to know it gets you nowhere fast. Feel free to unfollow me and feel free to unsubscribe. Thanks for reading and I hope the sun shines for you and you have a beautiful day.

As for the song itself… I’m kind of looking forward to hearing it. Is that strange?

The X-Factor Australia’s official Twitter account confirmed that Taylor will be performing on the show’s grand finale in October. Taylor will probably do a lightning trip to Australia to promote her album 1989 out on October 27. The Sparkly Dressed is nominated for Best Female and Best Look at the 2014 MTV EMA on November 9. You can vote here.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • September 19: Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • September 22: Taylor Swift will be one of the advisors on the new season of NBC’s The Voice according to US Weekly.
  • October 27: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is released.

(Sources:Rolling Stone)

Behind The Scenes: The third “Shake It Off” outtakes video

September 12, 2014

This is the serious part, Taylor Nation.

Ok, not so much.  The Shaker and Baker has used professionals for every one of the “Shake It Off” themes and when we get to interpretative dance, it’s clear that she’s going to stand out. Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who can dance if he wants to, we know she’s goofing off. However, we do think T-Swizzle can dance and even in this video there are small instances in which she does seem a much better dancer. She’s just playing up the goofyness to prove a point.

Watch on YouTube

As you might have noticed, I have more affection for the video than the song at this point. Although the song has grown on me a bit, it’s still not a favorite. I know SIO is pop candy for the radio. As an earworm it’s tolerable, but other than the horns (by the way, the guys in the horn section have been added to Profiles) it hardly breaks away from other pop songs out there.

(Source: Big Machine Records)

(Source: Big Machine Records)

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • September 19: Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • September 22: Taylor Swift will be one of the advisors on the new season of NBC’s The Voice according to US Weekly.
  • October 27: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is released.

(Sources: Taylor Swift via YouTube)

News Update: The Agency’s horns, Rolling Stone’s 22 and Deutscher Radiopreis interview

September 11, 2014
(Source: David Cook via Twitter)

(Source: David Cook via Twitter)

I’ve been keeping my head down, Taylor Nation.

Introduced by The Agency’s very own David Cook, we finally have the members of Taylor Swift’s very own horn section! Hopefully I get this right. From left to right, Wayne Tucker (trumpet), Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (saxophone), Sylvester Onyejiaka (saxophone) and Raymond James Mason (trombone). The dog is photobombing the picture, obviously. Since David is the musical director, I have a feeling these guys are here to stay but things can change.

Since the Rolling Stone article broke out, the backstory of Bad Blood has spread over the net. I’m forced to remind you that I don’t allow mean comments on anybody here. I’m also taking the rather uneasy stance of not posting the implied person’s name (because again, even if it seems clear as a bell we don’t know). I love music for music, not for who sings it. Bad Blood is not even out yet.

On a much happier note, Rolling Stone have outdone themselves with another article, 22 Things You Learn Hanging Out With Taylor Swift. You’d think that you know most of them but besides the familiar “Don’t expect to see her at the club anytime soon” we get the revealing (but expected) “She actually does curse from time to time.” However, we also learn how she feels about love right now. A bit sad.

I think the way I used to approach relationships was very idealistic. I used to go into them thinking, ‘Maybe this is the one — we’ll get married and have a family, this could be forever.’ Whereas now I go in thinking, ‘How long do we have on the clock — before something comes along and puts a wrench in it, or your publicist calls and says this isn’t a good idea?’

- Taylor Swift via Rolling Stone

Read the original story on Rolling Stone.

Here’s Taylor’s interview at the Deutscher Radiopreis 2014:

Watch on Vimeo

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • September 19: Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • September 22: Taylor Swift will be one of the advisors on the new season of NBC’s The Voice according to US Weekly.
  • October 27: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is released.

(Sources: Rolling Stone, TwitterVimeo)

Commentary: The Reinvention. Rolling Stone’s in depth interview

September 8, 2014
(Photo: Theo Wenner / Rolling Stone)

(Photo: Theo Wenner / Rolling Stone)

This one’s worth several reads, Taylor Nation.

Taylor Swift will appear in newsstands on the cover of Rolling Stone for September 2014, but the real goods are inside.  has managed to get an interview that reveals so much inside info into Taylor, her new album 1989 and even the names and the backstory on a ton of new songs that I’m forced to give you a gigantic SPOILER warning here. This is going to be extremely insightful.

By the way, from now on I’m going to start marking articles that comment on other people’s work as commentary to make it clear where the information comes from. This only applies when I’m alluding to a whole article, not to editorials that have one quote.

First of all, we learn every time that Taylor has a project that involves a location or people like fans showing up at a secret location there’s secrecy and logistics involved. And codenames. Project Sparrow was the code for “Shake It Off” (I would have gone for Black Swan). Project Cardinal was the code for the whole fans getting invited to participate in “Shake It Off”. We even learned what happened if you get one of those chances and decided to post the invitation online (No surprise here: you get uninvited).

There’s a very intimate description of the stuff around Taylor’s New York City apartment, including some insider details about at least two of the friends that use the guest rooms. Expect even some insider info about her adventures and misadventures on Rhode Island. I’m not here to reprint the whole article, but just to call your attention to the highlights. Which I’m getting to right now.

(Photo: Theo Wenner / Rolling Stone)

(Photo: Theo Wenner / Rolling Stone)

Here’s what we learned about 1989. It has influences from Phil Collins, Annie Lennox and Madonna’s late 80’s music discography. It’s not finished yet production-wise, but all 13 tracks are there. Max Martin may still be tinkering with the sound.

We already knew T-Swizzle eschews any Country music inclination for pure pop music. Now we get some inside into why with Taylor’s own words: “If you chase two rabbits, you lose them both.” A colorful allegory. The exchange between the star and her label president, Scott Borchetta, is golden. Scott praised the album but asked for three Country songs. Taylor didn’t budge. “Love you, mean it,” she told Scott, “but this is how it’s going to be.”

There’s a bit of a heart-breaker revelation too: she doesn’t plan on attending Country award shows, or promote her album in Country radio. I understand why. She’s dealing with too much hate and vitriol already. It’s time for focus. Like I said in a previous editorial, Pop might not be a bad thing.

Regarding dating, I’m just going to comment on one strong quote from Taylor here.  “I feel like watching my dating life has become a bit of a national pastime,” Taylor tells Rolling Stone. “And I’m just not comfortable providing that kind of entertainment anymore. I don’t like seeing slide shows of guys I’ve apparently dated. I don’t like giving comedians the opportunity to make jokes about me at awards shows. I don’t like it when headlines read ‘Careful, Bro, She’ll Write a Song About You,’ because it trivializes my work. And most of all, I don’t like how all these factors add up to build the pressure so high in a new relationship that it gets snuffed out before it even has a chance to start. And so,” she says, “I just don’t date.” For a moment you can almost feel the pressure and the intensity of the media glare she lives under. I know she’ll be alright, she has lots of friends now, but there’s some hurt there.

Believe it or not, I’m actually skipping over a lot of the article. There is, once again, a mention to her newly discovered stance on feminism. To quote the article from Rolling Stone, all feminism means is wanting women to have the same opportunities as men. Taylor also adds, “I don’t see how you could oppose that.” Dunham actually recaps the whole thing even better: “She runs her own company, she’s creating music that connects to other women instead of creating a sexual persona for the male gaze, and no one is in control of her. If that’s not feminism, what is?”

Another bomb is dropped once Taylor starts talking about specific tracks. Again, remember that spoiler warning? Well, you should’ve known. Here goes:

(Photo: Theo Wenner / Rolling Stone)

(Photo: Theo Wenner / Rolling Stone)

  • I Wish You Would: Apparently it’s about a past fling that bought a house close to hers. So, there are some heartbreak songs in the album after all.
  • All You Had to Do Was Stay: A boyfriend that couldn’t commit. The article makes the assumption it’s about the same person than the previous one.
  • Style: Gee, I wonder who this one is about (sarcasm, people!). The article describes this song as Miami Vice-sounding.
  • Out of the Woods: Another one that seems to be about the same person. There’s an intriguing lyric quote here: “Remember when you hit the brakes too soon/Twenty stitches in a hospital room.” The song was inspired by a snowmobile ride that ended up in the ER. Taylor was “not as hurt.” The incident was kept so top secret that we didn’t know about it until now.
  • Bad Blood: It’s described as Taylor’s angriest song in the album. It’s about another female artist.”She did something so horrible,” Swift says. “I was like, ‘Oh, we’re just straight-up enemies.’ And it wasn’t even about a guy! It had to do with business. She basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour. She tried to hire a bunch of people out from under me. And I’m surprisingly non-confrontational – you would not believe how much I hate conflict. So now I have to avoid her. It’s awkward, and I don’t like it.”

Anybody else think “Bad Blood” may become 1989’s new “Better Than Revenge”?

This subject alone almost merits a whole editorial. The circumstances are different, but still was it wise to go after a fellow artist here regardless of the crime? To tell you the truth, I would’ve have preferred if she didn’t. A lot of people have already made the connection to the singer (I’m not posting her name).

A huge warning here: I don’t allow mean statements about anybody in the comments. No exceptions.

Please go read the original article at Rolling Stone, because despite all my quotes there’s a lot more over there including the retelling of the story of the girl that approach her in a boat during the segment of the interview that happens on a gazebo in Central Park. Also don’t forget to watch Theo Wenner’s photoshoot for Rolling Stone. The official clip is right here:

Watch on YouTube

Here’s the back story from Contributing Editor  regarding his experience just following Taylor Swift throughout the day during her interview:

Watch on YouTube

And now I’m a bit torn here. Do we still report on Country music awards? I know I eventually have to touch on the line-up changes specially in what The Agency is concerned. I’m delaying that as much as I can. At least, I will wait until we see what happens at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. To use an old quote from Taylor, “It’s important that you know that I will never change, but I will never stay the same either.”

(Photo: Theo Wenner / Rolling Stone)

(Photo: Theo Wenner / Rolling Stone)

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • September 19: Taylor Swift performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • September 22: Taylor Swift will be one of the advisors on the new season of NBC’s The Voice according to US Weekly.
  • October 27: Taylor Swift’s 1989 is released.
  • November 5: The 48th CMA Awards.

(Sources: Rolling Stone)

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