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The Taylor Swift Experience at the State Fair of Texas opens today!

September 30, 2016

Welcome to Texas, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who wakes up, checks the budget and realizes he’s not taking any trips anytime soon, we’re still glad we get to blog about the Sparkly Dressed even if it’s at a distance. If you can make it to Texas this month, you might want to stop by the State Fair of Texas. The Taylor Swift Experience opens today, September 30 to October 30. Costumes and memorabilia from Taylor Swift’s most iconic tours, videos and performances is on display. Imagine the exposition at the Country Hall of Fame and Museum, but blown up to Texas-sized proportions. Should be worth your time, specially if you’re in Texas later this month for another eventūüėČ

(Photo: Louis DeLuca/Guidelive.com)

(Photo: Louis DeLuca/Guidelive.com)

On other news, Taylor will perform on Saturday, October 22 at¬†the Formula 1 US Grand Prix¬†at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. It’s supposed to be a full concert and she has the stage to herself. No word on whether this means concertgoers get the rising catwalk or a dance crew. I think it’s safe to say expect a crowd. It’s general attendance, although there’s a VIP seating section and a concert upgrade right up to the stage (think the “pit”).

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(Sources: The State Fair of Texas, Guidelive.com)

News Update: Taylor Swift supports Gigi Hadid at New York Fashion Week

September 10, 2016

Sometimes you take what you can get, Taylor Nation.

Here’s the lowdown. I was a bit conflicted about reporting this and looking like I’m endorsing Tommy Hilfiger. He has Gigi Hadid at his show, so naturally Taylor Swift was going to be on the front row for support. The thing is, clothes are clothes and although I’d rather wear something that doesn’t turn me into a giant ad, I’m also not going to start a row with¬†somebody just because they wear a particular brand. In conclusion, wear what you like. That being said, I try to mostly catch Taylor on non-promotional (or at least less promotional) activity, but we don’t get to choose where we see her now.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Tommy Hilfiger)

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Tommy Hilfiger)

The Blonde With The Sparkly 1989 Microphone was in the front row along with Martha Hunt, Lewis Hamilton and Gigi’s family as they cheered the models walking past. A savvier person than me will remark that¬†Taylor Swift has to remain in the public eye and therefore all her activity is promotional, but I’d rather always report with an opinion. Yes, Taylor looked like a million bucks. However, you don’t need to wear a particular brand or look like you belong in a runway to be beautiful. Beauty has more to do with your self confidence and your health than it has to do with wearing a certain size or brand. I would love to see more body diversity on runways.

Watch on YouTube

Watch on Instagram

You can watch the show streamed in its entirety at Tommy Hilfiger.

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(Sources: LA Times, Associated Press via YouTube, Tommy Hilfiger, Taylor Swift via Instagram)

Review Corner: Ingrid Michaelson’s It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense

September 10, 2016
(Source: Cabin 24 Records via ingridmichaelson.com)

(Source: Cabin 24 Records via ingridmichaelson.com)

Hello music lovers,

Ingrid Michaelson released a new album back in August 26. I’ve been taking my own sweet time to review It Doesn’t Have To Make Sense, and I make no apologies for that. It feels very much like two currents flowing into one, an anthemic one that almost branches from the same place where Lights Out came from and a more beat-like alternative one that comes around stronger past the middle. If you want to be blunt, you could say “Hell No” branches out of the rest of the tracks, but I’m actually catching different vibes on other tracks as well.

This time let’s start with what caught my ear. My favorites so far, if you will. It’s a strong start with “Light Me Up” which is unmistakably Ingrid, anthemic, rousing and feels connected to her past work. Next notable listen for me is “Another Life”. With a chorus dominated by very high notes, it’s symphonic, breaks off the mainstream and feels more experimental. “Hell No” is the strongest sound in the album. It’s the only one that amps the power of a power ballad really loud. This song will unavoidably cause a singalong to break out. “Celebrate” is a very beat heavy, making it the only other power song in the album. It’s also so rhythmical that feels like a bit of a hip hop has been added to its alternative vibe.

Also notable is “I Remember Her” is a low key slow song that has something beautiful in it that wants to make you play it in a dark room.¬†It’s a slow start but “Drink You Gone” has a great chorus, although it’s rather quiet in its verses. “Whole Lot of Heart” sounds more like a hymn, a gospel as does “Miss America”, which is an inspirational tune. These two are quite easy to listen after the opening “Light Me Up” until the more experimental “Another Life” breaks the pattern.

Watch on YouTube

I found the entire album a great listen as a whole. Available now on iTunes.

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News Update. Yes, for real, it’s a news update! Taylor Swift shows up for jury duty in Nashville.

August 31, 2016
(Photo: Bryan Merville via AP)

(Photo: Bryan Merville via AP)

Only Taylor flies in to show up for jury duty, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a Canadian guy that doesn’t have to do jury duty, we know how much our neighbours downstairs (the US of A) hate having to show up at one of these things. So it was much of a shock to the other people dragged into it to find Taylor Swift, who identified her profession as songwriter before the judge, also showing up for this not-much-loved civic duty. That’s potential juror Bryan Merville on the right, who managed to get a picture with the Sparkly Dressed.

The case itself was an aggravated rape and kidnapping case (yes, people can be horrible, I’m not going to hide that from you). Taylor, who has an ongoing counterclaim against former radio host David Mueller who allegedly groped her during a meet an greet, was excused from participating in the jury for that very reason. For all the people who hate jury duty, Taylor preferred showing up personally. All kidding aside, I don’t think it was an excuse for not going to the MTV VMAs – let’s face it, it wasn’t really a night for her to show up. At least with jury duty, she was excused and could go take a plane back to New York early.

According to Ken Whitehouse, a spokesman for the Davidson County district attorney general’s office, Swift told the Nashville judge she would be more than willing to serve on a jury in any other type of case.

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(Sources: The Guardian, Time, AP via the Canadian Press)

Review Corner: John Paul White’s Beulah

August 23, 2016
(Source: Single Lock Records via iTunes)

(Source: Single Lock Records via iTunes)

Once there was the Civil Wars…

It’s been four years since the band stopped touring (November 2012) and stopped altogether. It’s been a while for¬†John Paul White, but he has been working on a new solo album, something he hasn’t done in eight years. Now he’s finally in a place where he can put out new music and the result is the new Beulah. I picked it up on a whim and recognized the voice and the guitar.

It’s hard not to make “What’s So” into an instant favourite. Dark overtones, upbeat tempo, lashing vocals, it wouldn’t be out of place in a western film. Then there’s subtle but insidious “Black Leaf”, feisty “Fight For You” and another folk anthem with “The Martyr”. On a different tone, there’s “The Once and Future Queen” and “I’ve Been Over This” for more Americana folk. The tug at the heartstrings come via “Make You Cry” and “Hope I Die”. You will definitely find some flavour reminiscent of the Wars’¬†Barton Hollow, but this one’s all John Paul White and the deep South Americana in bloom.

Here’s the video for “What’s So” which I can’t seem to stop listening to at the moment.

Watch on YouTube

You can pick up the album on iTunes. You might not be into folk music or the Americana genre, but then again you might. I’d suggest you try listening a little. It’s good to listen to a little of everything.

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