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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)

Video Showcase: Home movies, finger dancing and Shake It Off on a budget

September 7, 2014

Hello, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy that knows he probably owes you some rumor control posts, we’re not ready to get into it yet. Let’s wait until the iHeartRadio Music Festival and see. For now, here’s some videos!

Rolling Stone had a photoshoot for a future cover featuring Taylor Swift and decided to use a style that mimics home movies. Here’s the clip:

Watch on YouTube

“Shake It Off” director Mark Romanek posted the following behind the scenes post regarding T-Swizzle’s finger-dancing rehearsal with PNut.

Watch on Vimeo

And finally, Made In Network decided to recreate “Shake It Off” on a budget… severely more frugal than the original. It’s surprisingly accurate!

Watch on YouTube

Ok, kinda sorta accurate. Still a triumph in my book.

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: YouTubeMark Romanek via VimeoMade In Network)

This Just In: Taylor Swift Shakes It Off at the Deutscher Radiopreis 2014!

September 4, 2014

Because timezones, Taylor Nation.

The Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar Although Sometimes She Uses A Sparkly Microphone instead, appeared at Deutscher Radiopreis 2014 and performed her new single “Shake It Off” for the audience in attendance. Yes, every audience is in attendance. I’m just weird today and don’t feel like editing what I just wrote.

Watch on YouTube

You should really enter the 1989 Swiftstakes to win stuff including meet and greets and concert tickets!

(Source: Deutscher Radiopreis 2014)

(Source: Deutscher Radiopreis 2014)

Coming up on the Calendar!

(Sources:Deutscher Radiopreis 2014)

Behind The Scenes: The second “Shake It Off” outtakes video!

September 4, 2014

She’s lightning on her feet, Taylor Nation.

You can see the adorkable Sparkly Dressed showing off her prowess in the second outtakes clip from the “Shake It Off” music video just released a few hours ago. Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who does miss a few beats but eventually catches up and I would do it sooner if you young kids were not always in such a hurry, we have no experience in dance training but we still think Taylor had a couple of moves right. Ok, perhaps not but we love her as a goof. Let’s stop talking and put the video on.

Watch on YouTube

And then there’s this anti-bullying message left by Taylor on ts.hannahw’s Instagram that has been making the rounds around the net.

Reading this made me so sad because I love seeing you in your videos and photos being so happy and wide eyed, like the world isn’t as harsh and unfair as it actually is. I hate thinking about your pretty face covered in tears, but I know why you’re crying because I’ve been in your place. This isn’t a high school thing or an age thing. It’s a people thing. A life thing. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t end or change. People cut other people down for entertainment, amusement, out of jealousy, because of something broken inside them. Or for no reason at all. It’s just what they do, and you’re a target because you live your life loudly and boldly. You’re bright and joyful and so many people are cynical. They won’t understand you and they won’t understand me. But the only way they win is if your tears turn to stone and make you bitter like them. It’s okay to ask why. It’s okay to wonder how you could try so hard and still get stomped all over. Just don’t let them change you or stop you from singing or dancing around to your favorite song. You’re going into high school this week and this is your chance to push the reset button on how much value you give the opinion of these kids, most of whom have NO idea who they are. I’m so proud of you and protective of you because you DO. If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more. Every time someone picks on me, I’ll think of you in the hopes that every time someone picks on you, you’ll think of me… and how we have this thread that connects us. Let them keep living in the darkness and we’ll keep walking in the sunlight.

Forever on your side, Taylor.

- Taylor Swift via Instagram

You should really enter the 1989 Swiftstakes to win stuff including meet and greets and concert tickets!

(Source: Big Machine Records)

(Source: Big Machine Records)

Coming up on the Calendar!

(Sources: Taylor Swift via YouTube)

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