Taylor Swift and Big Machine: The contract ends this November

It’s been thirteen years, Taylor Nation.

three-days-at-the-piano

Thirteen years ago, Big Machine Records was just starting when it signed on a very young fifteen year old country singer named Taylor Swift. The Sparkly Dressed is now 28 years old and the contract between her and the little label that could is up this November. Taylor Swift will become what is known as a free agent.

This means she will be able to choose between signing up again with Big Machine, signing up with a new label or go at it alone. She could make history and not sign with anybody or create her own label. I’ve learn that second-guessing the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar Which Must Be Back There Somewhere is an exercise in futility: she will often do what nobody expects.

Variety puts it in more business-oriented terms. The Enchantress could choose to do her own label work, or just pick a new label but choose whether to stay within the Universal Music Group umbrella. Although we can expect Scott Borchetta to make a huge offer to the Forever and Always Fearless One, so will everyone else. However, Scott has some huge aces up his sleeve: Big Machine holds the masters – the original recordings of all of Taylor’s back catalogs. Offering her ownership of those could get Taylor to sign with Big Machine again.

According to Billboard, Scott Borchetta was considering the idea of selling the label as recently as 2015. The label price offers could drop significantly if he relinquishes the masters of Taylor’s old music. Big Machine can stream Taylor’s music online but other possibilities require she signs on their usage because she’s the actual songwriter. She does retain some control but as all singer/songwriters, it’s a sure bet that Taylor would prefer to own the masters herself.

Both Variety and Billboard cite sources that say heavy negotiation has taken place but no deal has been struck yet. In the end, nobody knows until things become public. I’m dying to know, is it killing you like it’s killing me?

Taylor Swift is playing Ford Field in Detroit, MI tonight, August 28.

Coming up next in the Calendar:

  • August 28: Ford Field. Detroit, MI.
  • August 31: U.S. Bank Stadium. Minneapolis, MN.
  • September 1: U.S. Bank Stadium. Minneapolis, MN.
  • September 8: Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City, MO.
  • September 15: Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis, IN.

(Sources: Twitter, Instagram, Variety and Billboard)

Review Corner: Liz Huett’s Responsible

Sometimes it hurts living so rock n’roll, Lizettes and Lizards.

liz-huett-responsible
(Source: iTunes)

The beautiful and talented Liz Huett has brought us another tale of woe and an amazing song with her new song “Responsible“. It’s very close to the lyrical female equivalent to Tom Petty’s “Rebel Without A Clue” with a dash of “Free Fallin'”. Liz song choices may not be specifically country, but they are all tales – funny, sarcastic and full of satire and wit. It’s no wonder that I end up comparing her style to Petty, because that’s how most of his songs went.

“This is looking like a shit show,” sings Liz. She’s not apologizing or making excuses but she does give out one disclaimer: “In my defense it all looked so glamorous last night.” Guess that might sound like an excuse, but it’s so poor and ill-conceived that it just seems to doom the poor girl in the song even further.

I lost it at the “Where is my purse?” line and fell down laughing. That’s a whole night of bad decisions revealed in one question. Even when our would-be-responsible heroine seems to have a saviour by the name of Amy, she sinks herself further: “She’d probably come and get me, but I don’t know the address.”

With the song starting all about Bourbon and eyelashes, one could make the easy reference to early Kesha’s “Tik Tok” and a trainwreck-like persona. I may be biased but I don’t think that’s what Liz is going for. Instead, I’m noticing a whole brand of personas she’s been adopting. They’re all part of the modern day fairytale american girl: dangerous, carefree, jealous, passionate, spiteful, hopeful, careless… and certainly not responsible.

I think what we’re getting on each new track is a new aspect or personality of real young women. Imperfect, flawed, biased and with an agenda. Rather than a stereotype you could easily fit inside a box, each new character embodied by Liz has its charm and a personality full of quirks that gives them depth. It’s almost like Liz is taking on every girl role that has never been given its time in the spotlight.

The result is an anthem to young wild heart of a girl making huge mistakes all over the place. I don’t know who the person in her phone is, but I really hope she finds her purse.

Sooo Liz… Can we get an album yet?

Coming up next in the Calendar:

  • July 7: Ohio Stadium. Columbus, OH.
  • July 10 & 11: FedExField. Washington, DC.
  • July 13 & 14: Lincoln Financial Field. Philadelphia, PA.
  • July 17: FirstEnergy Stadium. Cleveland, OH.
  • July 20, 21 & 22: MetLife Stadium. East Rutherford, NJ.
  • July 26, 27 & 28: Gillette Stadium. Foxborough, MA.

(Sources: iTunes, lizhuett.com)

The rep tour Chicago: A moment of Pride

Love who you love, Taylor Nation.

The Sparkly Dressed had so many amazing moments performing at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL on Friday June 1st and Saturday June 2nd. Her surprise songs for each night were the classic “Our Song” and the party anthem “22”. She took a moment before her performance of “Delicate” for an intro and a dedication for Pride month.

It’s very brave to be vulnerable about your feelings in any sense, in any situation, but it’s even more brave to be honest about your feelings and who you love when you know that that might be met with adversity from society.

So this month and every month I want to send out my love and respect to everybody who has been brave enough to honest about the way they feel, to live their lives as they are, as they feel they should be, as they identify.

This is a month where I think we need to celebrate how far we’ve come. We also need to acknowledge how far we still have left to go. I want to send my love and respect out to everybody who in their journey, in their life, hasn’t yet felt comfortable enough to come out and may you do that in your own time. May we end up in a world where everyone can live and love equally and no one has to be afraid to be vulnerable and say how they feel.

When it comes to feelings and when it comes to love and searching for someone to spend your whole life with it’s all just really… really delicate, you know?

Taylor Swift at Soldier Field, Chicago IL
June 2nd, 2018

A little shoutout to music maestro David Cook. Yes, she near made me cry too. The Enchantress is often criticized for not speaking her mind (but curiously she’s also criticized for standing up for herself which I could write a book about). I am glad she put her thoughts into words for the world to quote.

I heard it rained during Long Live and New Year’s Day. Somehow that makes me very happy. Chicago was a wish that I had to skip over because sometimes I have to be an adult and prioritize other things in life, but I’d like to think I was there in spirit. Perhaps I’ll get to make another wish down the line, but if not I’d like to think it came true for someone else.

Coming up next in the Calendar!

  • June 1& 2: Soldier Field. Chicago, IL.
  • June 8: Etihad Stadium. Manchester, United Kingdom
  • June 15: Croke Park. Dublin, Ireland.
  • June 22: Wembley Stadium. London, United Kingdom.
  • June 30: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Louisville, KY.

(Sources: @TaylorNation13, @TSwiftNZ, @TSwiftLA and @LaineyC94 via Twitter. Feature Photo: John Shearer for Getty Images)

The rep tour in Denver, CO! A Commentary on the Rule.

She’s really bringing it on, Taylor Nation.

Here at the Swift Agency, just a guy who really thinks this adulting thing is overhyped, we’re glad to hear stories about all the fans who have met the Blonde With The Green Gui- Wait, the guitar is green now? Guess some things will change. Don’t worry, I’m sure the Sparkly Guitar is around somewhere.

The Sparkly Dressed took the stage at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to a roaring 58,000 voices for her first stadium show in Denver, Colorado on May 25th. The secret/surprise song was “Teardrops On My Guitar” which probably had the old school fans (that sorta includes me) shedding some tears of their own. Also, Camila is back on the rep tour and joining Taylor and Charli XCX for the “Shake It Off” performance.

Anyhow, I’d like to talk about the meeting Taylor thing. I know this will be the ultimate goal of every Taylor fan. I know that’s what most of you want. And I know that I can’t really tell you to chill about it since I myself are now in that short list of people who have met the Songstress. That being said, meeting T-Swizzle is a one in a million chance, even with concert tickets and the most imaginative costume you can imagine.

Even in the early days, everyone wanted a chance to meet the Enchantress. Back when she would do local county fairs, she would stay behind and meet everyone she could. This was probably annoying to the roadies that were trying to pack up. Once she hit headliner status, The Fearless Tour had the regular Meets & Greets before the show and a new backstage area called the T-Room. Taylor has tried to devise new ways to meeting you and being close to you (case and point, she has ridden all sorts of contraptions to be close to the crowd) but it’s literally an impossible battle. She has way too many fans.

And so, came The Rule To Rule Them All. It’s not a registry, it’s not a law, it’s just a question that you will get asked if you are a nominee for meeting Taylor: Have you met Taylor before? If you ever get asked this question, there’s a good chance you’re going to scream your head off. The idea of The Rule is simple: if you have met Taylor before, please be truthful so we can give the chance to other people.

It’s obviously not an airtight rule nor is it perfect even when it works. There’s cases of very young fans that met Taylor when they were battling a crippling disease. Some of them have come out the other side and survived. They should really have a chance to meet her again. But it’s really hard to make a system when the proportion of fans to one Taylor Swift is of 85 millions (last follower count on Twitter) to one (lemme check again… Yep only one Taylor). It’s an uphill battle as more and more join the ranks every day. Personally, I cut them some slack. Just the fact that they put up with us is a lot already.

Still, I admire the fans that go the distance to have a particular fan meet T. Let me be clear, meeting Taylor is not a commodity for sale – it’s a coincidence. I don’t believe meeting an artist is something you earn, but I get the fandom’s perception of merit. It does warm my heart to see a fan truly emotionally stirred knowing they are going to meet their favorite stars. By the same token, I do understand the heartbreak when they miss the opportunity. Fairness, however, is not in the picture. Opportunity, hopefully, is. May the odds be forever in your favor.

  • May 27: Taylor headlines BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend in Swansea, Wales.
  • June 1& 2: Soldier Field. Chicago, IL.
  • June 8: Etihad Stadium. Manchester, United Kingdom
  • June 15: Croke Park. Dublin, Ireland.
  • June 22: Wembley Stadium. London, United Kingdom.
  • June 30: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Louisville, KY.

(Sources: Taylor Swift via Instagram. Featured Image: Taylor Nation via Twitter)

Weekly News Update: A September cover. Sugarland’s upcoming single.

You can sing any song you want, Taylor Nation.

The Sparkly Dressed put out two acoustic performances on Spotify. One was her own song “Delicate” and the other was a cover of Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September”. By sheer coincidence I’ve been in a little of a disco/funk/classic r&b lately. “September” is at the top of my playlist. I’ll be honest here, I prefer the original version. I still appreciate that Taylor made her own cover of it, and even got some words of appreciation from one of the song’s writers.

“Taylor Swift is the absolute cherry on top of a very soulful and happy sundae,” commented Allee Willis in an interview for Billboard. Willis will be inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June.

The Blonde With The Sparkly 1989 Microphone (this nickname gets longer with every era…) has recently being stretching out her songwriting skills. She co-wrote a song with Pat Monahan from the group Train. The song “Babe” was picked up by recently reunited duo Sugarland for their new album Bigger. Taylor’s collaboration is not only as a songwriter. She also performs on the track. “Babe” comes out next week. You can read more about it on Rolling Stone.

Coming up on the Calendar!

  • May 8: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour begins in Glendale, AZ.

(Sources: Spotify, Billboard, Rolling Stone)