Taylor Swift to play BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend

I will try not to cough on you, Taylor Nation.

bbc-biggest-weekend-may-27
(Source: BBC)

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who’s got a bad case of a cold/flu, we might be keeping our online activity to a minimum for the time being. I’ll still sneak in to Twitter now and then. Now I gotta go lie down again, sorry.

The Blonde With the Sparkly Snake Microphone will play BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend on Sunday May 27, 2018 in Swansea, Wales. Tickets go on sale February 12.

Coming soon on the Calendar:

  • May 8: The reputation Stadium Tour kicks off at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Glendale, AZ.

(Sources: BBC)

The 60th GRAMMY Swiftlist: Are you watching?

grammy-portraits
(Photo: Danny Clinch / GRAMMY)

I’d keep my expectations low, Taylor Nation.

I think nobody outside the fandom has noticed that Taylor is keeping her appearances down to a minimum. She did obliged to British Vogue’s January 2018 cover story. She also did appear in some festive holiday concerts but that’s it. She’s made really close to no interviews, no appearances in talk shows. Yes, she was Jimmy Fallon’s musical guest for his return show as a favour. And yes, she was the musical guest on SNL back in November 11, 2018. She’s mostly let the music do the talking.

And now… The 60th GRAMMYs happen tonight. Taylor Swift’s reputation is not eligible yet. The Blonde With The Sparkly Snake Microphone only has two nominations:

  • Best Song Written for Visual Media with Zayn for “I Don’t Want To Live Forever”.
  • Best Country Song as songwriter for “Better Man” as performed by Little Big Town.

Update: She didn’t win any of them. However, Little Big Town did get Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their performance of the song.

I really don’t count this as a snub. Look What You Made Me Do and …Ready For It? where the only tracks released as singles before the cutoff date of September 30, 2017. I don’t think they were strong enough offerings to be considered for GRAMMY nominations. Call It What You Want is what I would call (pun!) more of a contender but it was released in November.

Given that Taylor has only let the music do the talking, there’s very little chances we’ll see her tonight. Yes, I’d like to be proven wrong, but I think the odds of seeing Taylor randomly dancing in the first row are downright slim. Again, I’d love to be proven wrong here… Hint, hint.

Watching is completely voluntary, of course. According to Billboard, Jay-Z has the most nominations with eight: album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best rap album. He’s followed by Kendrick Lamar with seven and Bruno Mars with six. All three of them are nominated for album of the year. I love Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic although it would be really sweet for Lorde’s Melodrama to take it, albeit unlikely.

According to Variety, all the male nominees for album of the year were offered a solo spot to perform. Lorde was only offered a group performance of American Girl as a tribute to Tom Petty. That’s kind of awkward considering she’s from New Zealand. Of course, this is the typical unnamed source, so take this information with a grain of salt.

The 60th GRAMMYs happen tonight, January 28th live on CBS at 7:30pm Eastern / 4:30pm Pacific. James Corden is hosting.

(Sources: GRAMMY.comBillboard, Variety)

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!

liz-huett-you-dont-know-how-it-feels
(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.

end-game-still
(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.

Taylor-Swift-Official-20171212
(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.