Weekly News Update: November 19, 2017

Is it cool that I said all that, Taylor Nation?

Here at the Swift Agency, just another guy who lives in the North Pole Canada, we’re still reeling from the begging of the Rep Era. So, what did we get this week?

  • Update! Taylor’s sixth studio album, reputation (which all promos keep in lowercase) sold 1.216 million copies in the first week! Debuting at the top stop of the Billboard 200, it’s the best selling album of 2017 according to Billboard.
  • The album came out on November 10, 2017 meaning it’s not going to be eligible for the award season just starting right now. Perhaps some nominations might befall the first singles of the album, but we’ll have to wait a year for the album to be eligible.
  • The tour has been announced. It’s officially called Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour. I’ve already ranted about the possibility this might be a stadium-only tour.
  • If you are interested in pre-sales, you should make an account on Taylor Swift Tix if you haven’t already. You have until November 28. If you do, your pre-sale dates are scheduled between December 5 and December 8. Remember all this information is subject to change, so keep checking TaylorSwift.com and Ticketmaster.
  • The American Music Awards are happening right now. Taylor didn’t have any nominations, but she made a brief video appearance as part of a salute to Diana Ross.
  • Our favorite Partner in Crime, the inimitable Liz Huett, has a released a new music video for h8u. I promise you’ll love it.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • November 28: The account creation for Taylor Swift Tix closes at 12pm Eastern Time.

(Sources: Billboard, TaylorSwift.com, Ticketmaster, YouTube, Vevo)

The Weekly Rant: Is this a stadium-only tour?

I see how this is gon’ go, Taylor Nation.

Or rather I don’t. Are we just going to get stadiums in this tour? Exhibit A:

reputation-stadium-tour

Looks like it. Even on Ticketmaster, the name of the tour includes the word “stadium” and that is a bit concerning to me… If the Queen of Your Heart is willing, I’m hoping for a first round of full stadium concerts and later on smaller venues, just like the previous tours.

But T. S. has already broken old patterns. This is the first album in which there are no secret messages. All bets are off.

She might just go for stadiums only this time. One thing that I feel inclined to remind you about is that Taylor Swift is also a very savvy business woman. In past tours, the stadiums have always gone out first. It’s taken a while to get the arenas and smaller venues right after.

Like I’ve been discussing with a lot of people, I will push for the idea of a second leg but odds are Taylor is not going to cover the same region again. The trucks rarely go back to the same area where they’ve already been (some exceptions stand, where she has had to cancel and reschedule, of course).

Myself, I can’t pile on costs and travel to another city. So when I say that I’m willing to risk it and wait, I really mean that I can’t really afford it unless she’s playing a local venue. The decision is really taken for me.

A lot of people grew up with Taylor. They’re now pursuing higher education, have gotten married, have a kid, lease a car, have a mortgage or whatever. Simply put, life happened. Things can’t happen at the drop of a hat. There’s a lot of things to balance and… Sorry, “Mine”, you’re literally the only song that says this accurately so I have to use you again: We got bills to pay. Sacrifices and compromises have to be made, but we’ll manage something. We hope.

Taylor Swift is not only the person and the artist. The name also represents a very lucrative business and a big machine (pun intented) of sorts. It’s an entertainment company as well. As such, it also seeks financial gain to keep running and maintain its people. That includes not only T-Swizzle herself but her management, PR, agents, representatives and various employees. A tour also requires a lot more people seasonally hired like The Agency.

Note: The Agency is Taylor’s touring band. She often uses them for other engagements but contrary to what you might think, they are not the ones that play in the studio albums (although they have in a few). Some of the fans (including yours truly) have been lucky to meet them over the years. As Taylor’s fame has grown, meeting them also happens less often. Now back to your regularly scheduled rant.

Let me state this: When you go to see Taylor in concert, you are on your free time. She’s at work. She will have more fun if you’re having fun, so she makes sure you will be entertained. It’s still an investment that must have a high ratio of revenue. For that reason, you must also be wise and not necessarily go for complete broke. For you, it must be enjoyable without breaking the bank.

So, smaller venues…? We can only hope. But don’t expect her to cover as much international locales as she did in previous tours. I don’t dare to hope she will consider visiting new countries this tour (a visit to South America would be nice, but seems to never be in the cards).

Ok, rant over. Best of luck to everyone hoping to grab some tickets in your neighborhood.

Remember all this information is subject to change, so keep checking TaylorSwift.com and Ticketmaster.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • November 28: The account creation for Taylor Swift Tix closes at 12pm Eastern Time.
  • December 2, 2017: Taylor Swift is one of the acts for 997NOW’s POPTOPIA 2017 at the SAP Center in San Jose, California.
  • December 5-8: The pre-sale starts for the first stadium tours from Ticketmaster.
  • December 7, 2017: Taylor Swift plays at B96’s Jingle Bash at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois.

(Sources: Ticketmaster, TaylorSwift.com)

Tour Talk: The reputation Stadium Tour dates are out

The stadium dates are out, Taylor Nation.

reputation-1500x500

I’ve got a few things to say, but to spare you from having to read my commentary alongside actually useful information, let’s not do it all on the same post. Here’s the current stadium and dates as posted by Ticketmaster:

May 8 University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, AZ
May 12 Levi’s Stadium Santa Clara, CA
May 19 Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA
May 22 CenturyLink Field Seattle, WA
May 25 Sports Authority Field at Mile High Denver, CO
June 2 Soldier Field Chicago, IL
June 30 Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium Louisville, KY
July 7 Ohio Stadium Columbus, OH
July 10 FedExField Washington, DC
July 14 Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, PA
July 17 FirstEnergy Stadium Cleveland, OH
July 21 MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, NJ
July 28 Gillette Stadium Foxborough, MA
August 4 Rogers Centre Toronto, ON
August 7 Heinz Field Pittsburgh, PA
August 11 Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta, GA
August 14 Raymond James Stadium Tampa, FL
August 18 Hard Rock Stadium Miami, FL
August 25 Nissan Stadium Nashville, TN
August 28 Ford Field Detroit, MI
September 1 U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis, MN
September 8 Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City, MO
September 15 Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, IN
September 18 The Dome at America’s Center St. Louis, MO
September 22 Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, LA
September 29 NRG Stadium Houston, TX
October 6 AT&T Stadium Arlington, TX

Now, keep in mind that even on Ticketmaster it is stated this is the first round of dates, probably alluding to more coming soon. Dates for the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand will be announced later. I sincerely hope these are not all the ones for North America and I hope she will play smaller venues.

Again, you should make an account on Taylor Swift Tix if you haven’t already. You have until November 28. If you do, your pre-sale dates are scheduled between December 5 and December 8.

Comments coming up later. Remember all this information is subject to change, so keep checking TaylorSwift.com and Ticketmaster.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • November 28: The account creation for Taylor Swift Tix closes at 12pm Eastern Time.

(Sources: Ticketmaster, TaylorSwift.com)

Live From New York: Taylor performs on SNL

At least I did one thing right, Taylor Nation.

snl-ready-for-it
(Photo: Will Heath / NBC)

And if someone can help me figure out what that is, we’ll move this along. Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy like any other fan that is willing to sit through a late show just to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift, we know that not all live skits work. Nevertheless, Tiffany Haddish was wonderful and we did get to see two performances from Taylor.

“…Ready For It” felt a little underwhelming in my opinion. It’s a big booming track and SNL is a very small stage. I think that backing track is better suited for a larger venue. However, we got our first look at what could be the choreography for a future tour, and chances are it will built on what we saw tonight.

The following clip only plays on the US (region locks why do you exist?):

Watch on YouTube

“Call It What You Want” worked a lot better on such an intimate setting. She also broke out the guitar, which we’re so glad to see again. It was full on acoustic with Paul Sidoti on second guitar and Mike Meadows on cello. This was an amazing performance, more quieted and yet it felt like it filled the room. For a small venue, this style fits so much better.

Again, we got a region-locked clip, hopefully you can play it:

Watch on YouTube

I do hope Taylor comes back one day to play a part in a skit. However, I also understand how important it was for Tiffany Haddish to shine as the first female african-american comic to host Saturday Night Live. Tiffany did great.

As a bonus, here’s @TaylorNation13 with a Snake mic appreciation tweet:

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • November 10: reputation, the new album by Taylor Swift is out now.
  • November 11: Taylor Swift will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
  • November 12: Taylor’s nominated for the MTV EMA 2017. You can vote for Taylor Swift for Best Artist, Best Look, Best Pop, Biggest Fans, Best Video, and Best US Act.

(Sources: NBC’s Saturday Night Live)

iHeartRadio shares Taylor’s Reputation song quotes

I am not cleaning all this glitter by myself, Taylor Nation.

The Queen of Your Heart (new nickname, do you like?) played nine of her songs for iHeartRadio last night. Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who didn’t get to listen, we still think regional locks suck.

taylorswift-rep-rainbow
(Source: Taylor Swift via Instagram)

But at least iHeartRadio did compile all the quotes from our favorite Getaway Car Driver (ohh another one) giving us some very much needed context and insight into these tracks. I’m going to leave some out because otherwise it’s a full copy but since they’re quotes I can’t rewrite them. I do like to keep most of what she says for posterity after all.

…Ready For It?

“Basically, ‘…Ready For it’ is, it kind of introduces a metaphor you may hear more of throughout the rest album, which is like this kind of Crime and Punishment metaphor, where it talks about robbers, and thieves, and heists, and all that. And I found that to be a really interesting metaphor, but twisted in different ways throughout the album. The way that’s presented in ‘…Ready For It’ is basically, finding your partner in crime, and it’s like ‘Oh my god we’re the same, we’re the same, oh my god! Let’s rob banks together, this is great!’ And we’ll hear that theme carried on throughout the rest of the record, but not exactly in the same way as you heard it in ‘…Ready For It.'”

I Did Something Bad

“I wrote this song on piano … it’s not going to sound like it, though. You’re not gonna say that after you hear it, it’s not that kind of song. So, I brought it into them, and I was trying to explain the production. I had had a weird dream, and I had woken up with this. I had woken up with this sound in my head. It was a sound that was so hooky and so catchy, that I knew it had to be in a song, because it was that annoying, it wouldn’t stop going around in my head. Like after the chorus, that’s what I wanna hear, but I don’t want it to be my voice, I want it to be an instrument. What instrument is that? So I was playing the voice memo to Max, and he’s like ‘Oh, no, there’s not an instrument that can do that. But what we can do is, we can take your voice doing it, and pitch it down, so that it sounds like an enchantress/a dude.’ So, that’s what you’re hearing after the chorus.”

Delicate

“There’s an effect that you may hear on the vocals throughout the vocals on the rest of the album that is recurring, and it’s a vocoder. It’s a vocal effect where you sing, and the vocoder splits your voice into chords, and you can play your voice on a keyboard, in chords. So basically, if you’re singing the notes of a piano, and you could play your own voice. So that’s what you’ll hear in the beginning, and throughout the song, and then you’ll hear it several times. We tried it in the studio, and I thought it sounded really emotional, and really vulnerable, and really kind of, like, sad but beautiful. The idea of your reputation is definitely something that I play on for the entire album, but when the album starts off it’s much more bombastic. It’s more like, ‘Oh, I don’t care what you say about me, I don’t care what you say about my reputation, it doesn’t matter.’ But then it hits this point, on track five, where it’s like, oh god, what happens when you meet somebody that you really want in your life and then you start worrying about what they’ve heard before they met you. And you start to wonder, could something fake, like your reputation, affect something real, like somebody getting to know you? And you start to wonder, how much does all that matter? And this is the first point of vulnerability in the record where you’re like, oh maybe this does actually matter a little bit. And how does that factor in, kind of questioning the reality and the perception of a reputation, and how much weight it actually has.”

King of My Heart

“I think it’s really interesting when people talk about their love stories. Like when you guys blog about like, ‘me and my husband, me and my boyfriend,’ or just anybody talking about how they fell in love. There seems to be these definitive phases, and it doesn’t matter how long that phase lasts, there seems to be a moment when you knew it transitioned into the next phase. People will be like, ‘Oh my god, we were friends for six years, and there was this moment, and we knew, and then it changed. Then there was a moment and it got deeper, and then there was a moment and we knew. Or, like, I saw this person and there was this moment, and we knew. Everybody has a different story with how they connect with someone else. And what I find interesting are the moments where it switches, because you always hope that that switch is going to move you forward and not backward. Because, it can happen both ways. It can happen either way.”

I’ve always wanted to structure a song where each individual section of the song sounded like a move forward in the relationship, but still be listenable. So, I wanted the verse to seem like its own phase of a relationship, the pre-chorus to sound like its own phase of a relationship, and the chorus to sound like its own phase of a relationship. And I wanted them to have their own identity, but seem like they were getting deeper and more fast-paced as the song went on. So finally, I was able to achieve that in a song.”

Dress

“This song was one of those things where almost every line is something that I came up with like a year before, and then when I was writing the song, I just cherry picked, and I was like, ‘Like that, like that, like that, like that.’ And I was really proud of the hook of this because it sounds like a pickup line, and yet it is a love song about deep and tender feelings.”

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

“It’s about when people take nice things for granted. Like friendship, or trusting people, or being open or whatever. Letting people in on your life, trusting people, respect — those are all really nice things.” And so this is a song called ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.'”

Call It What You Want

“The way I feel the album is, as far as a storyline, is I feel like it starts with just getting out any kind of rebellion, or anger, or angst, or whatever. And then, like, falling in love, and realizing that you kind of settle into what your priorities are, and your life changes, but you welcome it because it’s something that matters to you. And this last part of the album feels like settling into where I am now. So it started with where I was when I started making the album, and ends with kind of my emotional state now. And this song, I think, really reflects that probably the best on the album, and it’s called ‘Call It What You Want.'”

New Year’s Day

“We threw a big New Year’s Eve party in London this year, and I was thinking about how everybody talks and thinks about who you kiss at midnight. Like it’s this big romantic idea of like, ‘Who are you gonna kiss at midnight, like ring in the New Year.’ And I think that is very romantic. But I think there’s something even more romantic about who’s gonna deal with you on New Year’s Day. Who’s willing to give you Advil and clean up the house. I think that states more of a permanence. So I was thinking about that, and I wrote this song called ‘New Year’s Day.'”

There are two lines in this song that I had been saving for a long time, for the right moment, and I had picked them for this song, and I’m really excited about them. The first one is, ‘Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere.’ And the other one is, ‘Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you.'”

Yes, I left “Look What You Made Me Do” out… I’m not really crazy about that song. I can listen to it if I’m playing the full album, but it’s really not in my favorites list. Go get reputation, now in stores everywhere.

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • November 11: Taylor Swift will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.
  • November 12: Taylor’s nominated for the MTV EMA 2017. You can vote for Taylor Swift for Best Artist, Best Look, Best Pop, Biggest Fans, Best Video, and Best US Act.

(Sources: iHeartRadio)