News Update: The Sparkly Dressed and the AT&T Deal

Hopefully in your not-so-wildest dreams, Taylor Nation.

(Source: ATT.com)
(Source: ATT.com)

The Blonde With The Sparkly 1989 Microphone is a little too quiet. Without a new album, new music and no tour coming up, we figure out that T-Swizzle needs to let Sparks Fly somewhere. She’s recently signed a deal with AT&T for several feature performances and content. Described only as multi-facet and multi-year, the first thing in the deal is Taylor Swift headlining the 12th annual DIRECTV Super Saturday Night concert in Houston on February 4th, 2017. The event precedes the Super Bowl the very next day.

According to the press release, “Fans will have access to tickets through a series of exclusive AT&T promotions and campaigns.” Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who might just be a little too paranoid and judgemental about the way people write things, we are quite cautious about the way the word exclusive feels in that sentence. You can’t buy tickets to that event. they will be offered only through promotions, contests and so forth. I’m counting on the Taylor Nation getting some fan offers/codes to get access.

I am glad she will still be able to perform for a crowd, but with limited access to this event getting to be part of that audience is not going to be a walk in the park. Of course, I expect AT&T to film the performance but it would nicer if they could stream it (although chances are that stream will also be exclusive). Okey, sorry to be a negative Old-Man-Swift. I’m cautiously happy about the deal. I’ll call off the ninjas for now.

Coming up next in the Calendar:

(Sources: AT&T)

Out of the Woods: The monsters turn out to be just trees. A video review and commentary.

Happy 2016, Taylor Nation!

We got a pretty sweet present on New Year’s Eve. Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy that was visiting some family down south (wayyy down south in South America, actually), we had to wait after the fireworks display was over to have a look. It’s Out of the Woods in video form, as directed by Joseph Kahn and starring the Enchantress herself:

Watch on YouTube

And yes, it was beautiful and meaningful. It should not escape nobody that this video was about heartbreak- but this time, the solution was not getting the guy. If you’ve heard the song, you probably have sensed the spirit of the chase. The video embodies this as Taylor is chased by wolves, trees, nature in distinct environments. Earth, wind, water and fire are present. In the end, she doesn’t really lose her captors. She stops running. Spoiler alert. She finds herself.

It’s a very specific imagery she’s using. Personally I think wolves get a bad rap. Here once again they are the pursuers. Vines tangle and snare. Mud soils and stain. Tabloid media is well represented BUT here’s the trick – Taylor makes songs to represent the feeling rather than the actual situation. This allows YOU the viewer to make this relatable to your life. Intentionally, you can apply this hunting allegory to a bad situation you’re working through. And yes, it might be a little too corny to say the solution is to find yourself but we need to hear it. Favorite moment: Taylor’s face-of-fury as she goes through the mud.

Update: On other news, the People’s Choice Awards were happening a moment ago. Taylor Swift won for Favorite Pop Artist and Favorite Female Artist.

(Source: Big Machine Records)
(Source: Big Machine Records)

Coming up in the Calendar:

  • January 6: People’s Choice Awards.
  • February 15: It’s the 58th Annual Grammy Awards! Taylor is nominated for Album of the Year for 1989, Record of the Year for “Blank Space”, Song of the Year for “Blank Space”, Best Pop Solo Performance for “Blank Space”, Best Pop Duo Group/Performance for “Bad Blood”, Best Pop Vocal Album for 1989 and Best Music Video for “Bad Blood”.

(Sources: YouTube)

Behind The Blog: Working on the imperfect time machine

Hold on to spinning around, dear readers.

Long Live
Long Live

I haven’t written one of these in a while. I wasn’t sure it this was going to end up being a Weekly Rant. To be honest, it might end up being exactly that. In case you’ve never read one of these, this is basically me ranting about what direction the blog is headed and why that looks like an iceberg up ahead and doesn’t anybody know how to drive this thing.

I was inspired to write this by Taylor saying two things to NME. Number two, she might take a break. Number one, she might just change everything.  Not many caught #1 but sure as hell a lot of people are coming up with all sorts of conclusions from the “taking a break” phrase (which was followed with “I don’t know” just to give it the right context).

A long time ago, I gave up on trying to deliver the news first. I would let the fast updaters in Twitter sound off. Then I’d wait for the mainstream media to pick up the breaking story and then wait until a reliable news hub posted the news with sources to follow. That being said, a lot of people have told me they don’t believe breaking news until I confirm them. To those few, I want to thank you very much for your trust. I will inevitably follow up with a post, unless the news are either a) untrue b) unconfirmed c) impossible to confirm (there’s a lot of these) and d) simply irrelevant (almost an infinite amount of “man names his boat after Taylor, blames singer when it capsizes” kind of filler).

But to try to get back to the topic, I’ve revised what the blog is/does through the years. I’ve already found that I tend to be selective with the news that I print (well, “print” figuratively). So, I’ve become more of a curator, filtering out non-news. After the NME interview, a lot of other sites have taken one or more of the answers to create an article of their own. Celebrity sites do this a lot. Taylor Swift is bound to give big name magazines like Rolling Stone a much more introspective interview. Each answer or quirky comment will turn into its own article on celebrity sites for weeks. Sometimes you will even see them talking about it a month later like it’s a new thing.

Let me get straight to the point (instead of going around in circles because I got to break the habit sometime), there’s a second time in which I hope this blog is useful to enduring Taylor Swift fans. That is, when it’s been a day, a week, even a year since something happened and Taylor said or did something and you can’t quite recall what the exact quote was, or who she told or you just want to relive it again. That’s when you browse back here and search through the site and probably I have something for you. For example, let’s say when you are the talented team of TaylorTalk (hey guys!) who just gave me a shoutout (thank you!) because you think I might have the number of the secret guests at the 1989 World Tour. I keep a full list. I haven’t counted them but they’re all in there.

That’s the end goal. I wanted you to be able to travel back in Taylor’s timeline and relive the moment. The blog is supposed to work as a time machine – or more accurately a memory machine of sorts – that has captured and remembered the moment for posterity. A nostalgia archive, albeit still an imperfect one.

I do understand the nature of social media is an ever-changing one. There’s a lot more accounts than there were several years ago. I did notice lately my follower count going down (it’s normal, I don’t actively pursue followers). I actually have always been hesitant to step away from the written format because, and this might be a shock, I like writing. That being said, I wouldn’t mind experimenting with other media just to see how I like it.

You always go back to what you need, though. That’s always been writing for me. Thank you for being part of my readership.

Coming up in the Calendar!

  • October 17: The 1989 World Tour – Dallas, TX – AT&T Stadium.
  • October 20: The 1989 World Tour – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena.
  • October 21: The 1989 World Tour – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
  • October 24: The 1989 World Tour – Atlanta, GA – Georgia Dome.
  • October 25: The MTV EMA 2015 take place in Milan, Italy. Taylor Swift is nominated for nine awards.

(Sources: TheSwiftAgency.com)

1989 World Tour Toronto: Taylor Swift brings out Keith Urban and Charli XCX

(Source: Keith Urban via Twitter)
(Source: Keith Urban via Twitter)

Boom. Clap. Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who’s trying to make every minute count, we’re down to the last hour of our weekend. We still want to make sure you get the latest from the Blonde With The Sparkly 1989 Microphone as she took the Rogers Centre for the two nights of October 2 and 3 with the fine folk in Toronto, Ontario, Canada plus a few international visitors. Let me send a shoutout to the Toronto Squad who were in attendance that night 🙂

The Sparkly Dressed kept it very classy. On October 2nd, the secret song was You Belong With Me. That night, Taylor brought out one of her own mentors, a Country music star that has had Taylor open for him before she was a headliner, Mr. Keith Urban. They sang John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 and Somebody Like You. For October 3rd, she sang and acoustic version of Fifteen. She also brought a surprise guest, Charli XCX, to perform Boom Clap.

(Source: Instagram)
(Source: Instagram)

Coming up in the Calendar!

(Sources: Taylor Swift via Twitter)

Audio Showcase: Elizabeth Huett, Disparition, The Dear Hunter

(Source: ElizabethHuett.com)
(Source: ElizabethHuett.com)

Hello listeners,

Every once in a while, it feels good to remind yourself to listen to a few other songs than Taylor’s. These are just a few things that have been playing in my head lately.

To start with, Elizabeth Huett‘s What You Do To Me. This song was already known to me from her CMA Fest performance back in June. This sounds like a possible audio version, more polished but I love how the guitars predominate in this mix. The production is not taking away from the organic instrumentation. The song is not a ready-for-radio country song, but that’s a good thing. Adding twang for the sake of twang is just catering to one genre. Instead it’s more of a subdued rock ballad. I’d love a more urban, acoustic version which is not to say that I love this version any less. Not yet available for sale anywhere.

Listen on YouTube

(Source: Bandcamp)
(Source: Bandcamp)

This might be a quite a depart from what I usually showcase, but since I’m a fan of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, I’m going to throw a little electronic / ambient / industrial at you with Disparition‘s The Ballad of Fieldler and Mundt. Yes, there is a bit of a lovecraftian feel to Jon Bernstein’s composition, which is how this piece ended up being chosen as the theme for Night Vale’s Community Radio. This is from the Neukrk album available on Bandcamp and on iTunes. As a strange coincidence, they also have an older album called 1989… No resemblance or relation whatsoever.

Listen on SoundCloud

(Source: Equal Vision Records, Inc.)
(Source: Equal Vision Records, Inc.)

I can’t quite tell you how I found The Dear Hunter. I mean, I can try. I was searching steampunk… gaming… video game reviews… then I heard the band mentioned on a youtube video from a cosplayer related to how it sounded like a video game soundtrack and logically I wanted to listen to it. Sometimes it’s just better to say you were browsing aimlessly and run into stuff. I don’t know, I like this track. Ominous, epic, definitely telling a bigger story but if you want to know everything this album is actually Act IV, now available on iTunes. Previous albums named Act III, Act II and Act I are also available.

Listen on SoundCloud

Coming up in the Calendar!

(Sources:Elizabeth HuettDisparitionThe Dear Hunter)