All posts filed under: MUSIC

Paramore’s Mississippi connection

While reading Tweets this morning, I ran across an interesting Mississippi fact about the band, Paramore, whose song Decode was the lead single for the film Twilight. Lead vocalist Haley Williams was born in Meridian. Williams moved to Franklin, Tenn., when she was 13 and met brothers, Josh and Zac Farro, who became bandmates along with Jeremy Davis. Their second album Riot! went platinum in the U.S. and gold in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand in 2007. The third album, Brand New Eyes, is scheduled to be released tomorrow. In 2007, Rolling Stone called Paramore “Ones to Watch,” and the band was nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy earlier this year, but lost to Amy Winehouse. Another song called I Caught Myself is also featured on the Twilight soundtrack. Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

Translating the nations top songs

It’s time, once again, to translate the top five singles on The Billboard Hot 100 chart. Again, I don’t really intend to make a moral judgment about the lyrics. My interest stems from a desire to productively channel sarcasm and literary criticize. I Gotta Feeling, by The Black Eyed Peas: Because they are experiencing stress, the performers want to go out. They have a feeling it will be a good night, and they plan to spend all their money. Party in the USA, by Miley Cyrus: Miley sings that when she left Nashville and first arrived in Los Angeles, she worried she might not fit in because she prefers tennis shoes over stiletto heels. But after hearing a Jay-Z song in the taxi cab, she soon felt better. Later, she considers returning to her hometown, but the homesick feelings are cured by a Britney Spears song. Run This Town, featuring Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West: Rihanna explains that she and her friends plan to run the town, but there is no mention of a mayoral …

Translating the nation’s top singles

It’s time, once again, to translate the top five singles on The Billboard Hot 100 chart. Again, I don’t really intend to make a moral judgment about the lyrics, even though some I’ve analyzed undoubtedly warrant parental advisory stickers. My interest stems more from a desire to productively channel sarcasm and literary criticize.<br Lollipop, by Lil’ Wayne, featuring Static Major: There isn’t a lot I can say about the translation of this expletive-filled song and probably don’t have to. Once again, a guy meets a girl in a club, and the encounter leads to a rendezvous. I did find it interesting that, at one point, the rapper, Static Major, describes the woman he has passionately embraced (a very mild translation) as “Hillary Roddem. (sic)” I am sure Mrs. Clinton would be flattered by the comparison. Bleeding Love, by Leona Lewis: Lewis sings about giving up on love after failed relationships and protecting herself from future pain until she found someone she could trust to love. She equates love with bleeding, saying her new man helped …

‘La Vie en Rose’

After putting my Netflix account on hold for a while, I recently began renting movies the old fashioned way again and was soon reminded why I had stopped doing that in the first place – late fees. I forgot to return three movies for a week, so I’m pretty sure I’ll have to get a second job to pay off the charges. That’s why I made the decision to return to Netflix, where late fees are non-existent. And I like that you can watch movies online. I only wish they had a more extensive online selection. I was, however, surprised to find “La Vie en Rose” in the mix of movies available for immediate viewing this weekend. After watching Marion Cotillard accept the Academy Award for her role as French singer Edith Piaf, I thought it would be interesting, and the film didn’t disappoint. I initially thought Cotillard must have sang, warranting the Oscar, but I’ve learned she did not provide vocals. Her performance, however, is strong and allows the audience to connect with a …

Translating the nation’s top five singles

It’s time, once again, to translate the lyrics of the top five singles on The Billboard Hot 100 chart. Again, I don’t really intend to make a moral judgment about the lyrics, even though some I’ve analyzed before undoubtedly warrant parental advisory stickers. My interest stems more from a desire to productively channel sarcasm and literary criticize. As Valentine’s Day approaches, three of the top songs by Fergie, Alicia Keys and Chris Brown many help you feel romantic, while OneRepublic’s “Apologize” will likely have the opposite effect. The song has staying power though; it’s been on the chart the past 25 weeks, while Keys’ “No One” has hung in there the past 20. Low: Flo Rida, featuring T-Pain, sings about a woman dancing in a club. The song initially reads like a commercial for Apple Bottom Jeans and Reebok, two brand names used to describe the woman’s apparel. The rapper explains that he is quite taken with the woman, who easily persuaded him to spend a lot of cash during the course of the evening. …

Translating the nation’s top five singles

It’s time, once again, to translate the lyrics of the top five singles on The Billboard Hot 100 chart. Again, I don’t really intend to make a moral judgment about the lyrics, even though some I’ve analyzed before undoubtedly warrant parental advisory stickers. My interest stems more from a desire to productively channel sarcasm. I caught Chris Brown’s VMA performance while watching Britney’s MTV “comeback” in September, and he gave the most energetic of the night, earning an A for effort. In Kiss Kiss, featuring T-Pain, Brown raps about a shapely girl he finds attractive, and he believes she feels the same about him. Brown says he’s a Virginia country boy with money and an expensive car. T-Pain says he’s flirting with a woman because she’s attractive, but would not if he found her unappealing. Then he tells the girl he has money and invites her to join him at McDonald’s, a modest restaurant choice for T-Pain, who earlier described himself as “king of the town. “Apologize: The song performed by OneRepublic, featuring Timbaland, is …

Spears album is about the symbiotic relationship between exhibitionist and voyeur

Britney Spears reflects on lessons she’s learned from a failed relationship and her desire to move on with her life in “Blackout,” but the album is also a hyper-sexual celebration of exhibitionism and voyeurism. Only a few songs slightly reach beyond the desire-dominated tracks. With “Piece of Me,” the McComb native ironically asks, “You want a piece of me,” a challenging question conjuring up images of schoolyard fights. But near the end, the phrase is more of a declaration. “You want a piece of me” becomes a statement about the public’s obsession with Spears and how it wants to tear her apart, keeping pieces as souvenirs. It’s a defensive track in which she describes her place in pop culture as “Miss American Dream since she was 17.” She says she can’t see the harm in being a working mother, and argues that no matter what she does, she’s always going to be infamous. “Why Should I be Sad” is about her failed marriage. She thinks back on her fall from grace, talks about the money …

Film Review: ‘Marie Antoinette’ film – pretty, but dull

Sofia Coppola’s latest film “Marie Antoinette” is a lavish production that strives for genius and misses the mark, revealing weaknesses that Coppola should work to refine. The film is visually stunning with beautiful photography of costumes and French landscapes, but aside from being pretty, there isn’t much to brag about. It’s kind of like a trophy wife that could have been a doctor. It has the potential but misses opportunities and relies heavily on aesthetics. The story is, of course, about an Austrian teenager who becomes the queen of France. Coppola uses a modern rock soundtrack to tap into the idea of Marie’s teenage rebellion, which initially sounded like a hip and interesting thing to attempt. But after watching the film, it appears the music choice was more of a ploy to lure a younger audience like the Shakespeare-inspired films made in recent years that were set to modern soundtracks. I kept wondering if the film would have been more artful and admirable if the soundtrack and mannerisms of the American actors had been more …

Translating Billboard’s top five songs

Like last time, I have translated the lyrics of the top five singles. My interest in doing so is more about seeing if anyone lives up to the term “artist” that’s so loosely thrown around today, despite the frequent and unnecessary use of four-letter words and lack of poetic depth. The Top 5 songs currently on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart are pretty diverse. In December, rap and hip hop seemed to dominate the top spots, but now there’s a mix of pop, rock and hip hop at the top. The rapper Akon, who had two Top 5 songs in December, is back again performing with Gwen Stefani. He sang with Snoop Dogg and Eminem on the other two tracks and apparently performs with so many people I’m thinking he should plan a Frank Sinatra-style “Duets” album. Here are the top five songs Americans are currently listening to: 1. “Irreplaceable,” performed by Beyonce: This song has been on the Billboard chart 16 weeks, and is now number one. According to the lyrics, Beyonce believes the guy …

New feature: Translating Billboard’s top five songs

In my latest attempt to analyze pop culture, I have translated the lyrics of the top five singles on The Billboard Hot 100 chart so those out there, like myself, who think most pop music is mindless will feel reassured knowing they aren’t missing much by turning off their radio, (television, computer, etc.) By doing so, I don’t really intend on making a moral judgment about the lyrics, even though some I’ve read undoubtedly warrant a parental advisory sticker. My interest in analyzing lyrics stems more from a desire to productively channel sarcasm than a desire to censor poor grammar, expletives and egotism. I’m one of those people who believes if you don’t like what you’re hearing or seeing, turn it off, rather than ban it for others who do. A couple of the songs below by the rapper Akon, who apparently has two of the top five singles on the chart, were so explicit I wasn’t sure I could offer a diluted translation without being too graphic, but I have tried my best to …