Review Corner: Liz Huett covers You Don’t Know How It Feels

Liz actually knows how it feels.

Hello Lizettes and Lizards! Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who’s got some delayed posts still being written, we’ve been made aware that ninjas don’t write. They’re still good at disappearing when there’s work to do and eating up all the cake, but as it turns out these are not things that are particularly useful to maintaining a blog.

But let’s get to why we’re all here, shall we? Take it away, Liz!

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(Source: LizHuett.com)

The inimitable Liz Huett has just released a new song, a cover version of “You Don’t Know How It Feels” made famous by Tom Petty. The song is recognizable, albeit the lyrics of the first verse have differences, but there’s something about the way it sounds that gives it a different edge, a compromise with the song that makes it personal. This could be just Liz’s talented voice but the I also believe it’s a shift in tone. You truly believe both lyrics and melody as intentional and as driven as it she had written them herself.

Liz Huett’s version of “You Don’t Know How It Feels” is available here.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • January 28: The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” and Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

End Game: The music video drops

I have my buried hatchets bookmarked in Google Maps, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who gets up in the middle of the night to write rants and music video releases apparently, we think Taylor could’ve included more cities. Then again, Montreal is expecting heavy snow this weekend so perhaps it’s better Tay kept to the big city names.

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(Source: Taylor Swift via VEVO)

“End Game” features appearances and talent by Future and Ed Sheeran. The video is directed by Joseph Kahn. It’s really nice to see her and Ed collaborate again and based on the interaction between them you could tell some friendly banter was going on. The video has scenes filmed in Miami, Tokyo and London and feels the need to announce all those cities because… I’m not sure. It’s basically Taylor partying it up yet keeping it cozy with a group of friends. New York City is not included.

Watch on YouTube

Did you notice all the snake references on the video? The straws on the glasses are snake straws. She rides a motorcycle at some point dressed in a bodysuit that has a snakeskin print. At around the 3 minute mark she’s on top of a bar playing the old snake video game.

Does it look good? Yes. Does it tell a story? No, but let’s be honest neither did the song. It’s literally about big reputation – or simply put, fame. I will say this, she seems to be having fun and it never seems like she’s trying to stand out. She’s always just part of a group of friends, and I hope that mirrors her real life (although my big theory for this album is she’s no longer trying to share her life with the public).

Coming soon! The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever”. She also gets a nod for writing the Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • January 28: The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” and Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

(Source: Taylor Swift VEVO via YouTube)

The Weekly Rant: Why I dread the album’s first singles

This wasn’t the post that I was writing, Taylor Nation.

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(Source: TaylorSwift.com)

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who always have his mind a little too busy with thoughts, I often will start writing something and get stuck. The solution usually ends up being writing something else which hopefully I can write all the way to a conclusion. In case this was not evident, this one’s the latter.

I have a complicated relationship with Taylor’s singles. More often than not the first singles released from her albums didn’t turn into favourites. I wasn’t a big fan of “You Belong With Me” from Fearless (*). I didn’t like “Mine” from Speak Now. I could barely stand “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”. I first hated “Shake It Off” from 1989. I still cringe when I hear “Look What You Made Me Do” from reputation.

(*) Update: My mistake. “You Belong With Me” wasn’t the first single from Fearless. “Love Story” and “White Horse” came out first.

Now for the casual listener, that sounds like I don’t really like Taylor Swift’s music, doesn’t it? Those are not the songs that make a fan out of me, though. Some have grown on me, some I’d rather skip.

All those are the first singles that came out from each album. The only exception remains “Tim McGraw” from her self-titled album (that song is a timeless favourite). Every other first released single was made for radio play, and more than likely has a bit of an earworm quality to it. That doesn’t necessarily make them the best that Taylor has to offer.

And that’s for me the unfortunate truth. Casual listeners will listen to the first single and tune off. How many casual listeners have listened to Fearless’ excellent “White Horse” winner of two of Taylor’s first Grammies? What about Speak Now with amazing tracks like “Dear John”, “Last Kiss” and the anthem of anthems “Long Live”? What hardcore fan doesn’t know Red‘s fan favourite “All Too Well”? 1989 literally is full of hits.

Thankfully, nothing else in reputation sounds like “Look What You Made Me Do”. Sorry, I do know that sounds harsh! But for me it was a welcome relief when I started to listen to the album and the tracks kept getting better and better.

So, why I’m not a fan of her first singles? Is it the earworm quality? Is it the radio-friendly pop melodies? I’m not sure. It’s very frustrating to me since I can empathize with the casual listener who believes they have a firm grip on what Taylor “sounds like” but have never heard a deep cut like “All Too Well”. I really hope one day you’ll give them a listen.

Coming up next year! The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift has two nominations. No, no, no, chill! Taylor’s reputation is not eligible yet. It will be eligible for 2019’s (wow that is a long time to wait). She is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever”. She also gets a nod for writing the Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • January 28: The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” and Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

 

Tour Talk: New dates for reputation! A commentary on ticket sales.

Hello from Winterfell, Taylor Nation. I mean, Canada.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who’s been known to obtain tickets at the last minute, we’re glad there’s a few more concert dates. I was just hoping more spots would open in Canada (we don’t all live in Toronto, believe or not) and perhaps a few other nations around the world. Tickets for the new dates will go on sale January 31st at 10am local time (local time of the venue, of course).

  • May 11: Levi’s Stadium. Santa Clara, CA.
  • July 11: FedExField. Washington, DC.
  • July 13: Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia, PA.
  • July 22: MetLife Stadium. East Rutherford, NJ.
  • July 26: Gillette Stadium. Foxborough, MA.
  • August 31: U.S. Bank Stadium. Minneapolis, MN.
  • October 5: AT&T Stadium. Arlington, TX.

There will be a Taylor Swift Presale for fans. If you already have signed up for the Taylor Swift Tix (aka Ticketmaster Verified Fan), you are already in with higher priority. If you haven’t you’ll get a chance this Friday, January 5th when new registrations will open at 10am EST. The presale starts on January 23.

Now can we talk turkey? In case you haven’t realized, Taylor’s instant sold out concerts from previous tours had a unintentional assist. Scalpers and ticket resellers will grab as much as they could for resale. That means a lot of fans couldn’t get tickets and would try to grab them from resellers later. This means a sold-out concert wasn’t really packed until those tickets got resold.

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(Source: TaylorSwift.com)

The two new factors are the Ticketmaster Verified Fan system and the higher ticket prices. This has two consequences:

  1. It locks out non-fans from the presale period, meaning there’s no scalper/reseller buying large quantities of tickets through multiple accounts. Obviously, spots are more likely to be left behind.
  2. On general sale, the scalpers/resellers are not as keen to invest on buying lots of tickets with the higher price tag. Their investment would have to be higher and they can’t count on a high return unless they jack the price further up effectively turning away concert-goers.

This has an unwanted side effect. It’s harder to sell out a full concert – much harder. Fans that must deal with the high prices (this time from the official sites instead of the reseller sites) will usually wait to see what other options they have or to come up with the money.

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(Source: TaylorSwift.com)

Will it work? I can’t really say, but both Taylor Swift’s reputation stadium tour and Ticketmaster are banking on it.

My take? I don’t like this strategy too much. Before, there was a chance to grab a ticket for much less with the previous system, although it was hectic to accomplish. To top it off, the reputation STADIUM Tour is only doing the large stadium venues and major cities. Smaller cities and towns will have fans that can’t reach both the higher prices AND budget travel expenses. The chances of opening up a leg for smaller venues are now close to nonexistent.

I also can’t say I have a better solution though. The bigger the venue, the most effective the tour concerts become. They are seen by a lot more people at once and more than likely production values will be much more impressive. I won’t deny that the price might be worth it, specially since this time the chunk taken by the scalper/reseller margin should be much less. A lot of fans might cave and take the plunge. Some might just have to rely on what online video leaks out.

Coming up next year! The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift has two nominations. No, no, no, chill! Taylor’s reputation is not eligible yet. It will be eligible for 2019’s (wow that is a long time to wait). She is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever”. She also gets a nod for writing the Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • January 28: The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” and Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

(Sources: TaylorSwift.com)

Happy 28th Birthday, Taylor Swift!

She’s 28, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who’s getting too old to use the same excuse, we were no spring chicken when we started. The fandom has grown older with the Sparkly Dressed. Or perhaps we have stayed young because of her.

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(Source: Lily Aldridge via Instagram)

I can’t resist posting this picture of Taylor, Lily Aldridge’s daughter Dixie and… Meredith?? That cat can be very temperamental. Sometimes not even Tay can hold her. Guess Mer makes exceptions.

Back in the day, she was a young role model for young girls and they knew it. Nowadays, she’s still an artist followed by the young and not-so-young. Some of those fans have graduated, some have gotten married, a few have kids. Even the ones of us that started older have had our lives changed in one way or another. Now after some health issues and a mortgage, we’re not that lively or that financially free to follow along but we’re still there in some shape or form.

I have to say one of the best realizations that I’ve had is that you’re never a fan alone, and you shouldn’t. It takes one event, one concert, one coincidence for you to meet another fan and connect. It happens a lot faster if you go into social media.

And then there’s the lot of us who use her for inspiration. Mine is writing. Hence, exhibit A… Err… You’re looking at it. It’s this blog.

Keep reading. I’ll keep writing.

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Coming up next year! The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift has two nominations. No, no, no, chill! Taylor’s reputation is not eligible yet. It will be eligible for 2019’s (wow that is a long time to wait). She is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever”. She also gets a nod for writing the Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

Z100 Jingle Ball, Capital FM Jingle Bell BallComing up in the Calendar:

  • December 13: Jumping to the pool from the balcony…
  • January 28: The 60th Annual Grammy Awards. Taylor Swift is nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever” and Best Country Song for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

(Sources: Instagram)