About Music (SXSW) and ‘Non-Music’ (Rihanna)

Norah JonesHello Music-Lovers,

The SXSW Music Festival closed out with a bang on Saturday, when festivities included a documentary, “Big Easy Express.”  One of the performers covered by the documentary nearly stole the show on the final day – The Austin High Band!  Their live performance at an outdoor venue was very well received and prompted Marcus Mumford, fresh from his gig at the White House lawn, to fete the high school children’s music as being “real music from real people.”  Well done to the high school musicians but where does that leave the other performances and performers – fake music from fake people?

Other performers like Norah Jones, who debuted her upcoming album, ‘Little Broken Hearts’ live.  The intimate and highly personal set was quite a change from her jazz and blues sounds and image.  Paradoxically, one thing that hasn’t changed is Norah’s, ah, ‘image’ – if you know what I mean!  I’m sure her live concerts are worth attending for more than one reason.

Those ‘other performers’ also included ‘gangsta rappers’ and hip hop types 50 Cent and Eminem.  The twosome apparently did a duet that sent their masochistic audience into raptures.  Aha!— I’ve figured it out: when Mumford came up with his “real music from real people” line, he was drawing a comparison with the likes of 50 Cent and Eminem . . .

We’ll close with a singer who makes more news (if you want to call it ‘news’) that’s not about singing than it is about singing.  Even an international news agency like Reuters is now acting like a tabloid rag where Rihanna’s antics are concerned.  It is solemnly reporting on fans’ and critics’ reactions to her going back to the abusive arms of her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown.  On the one hand, it is said that the relationship is strictly business.  On the other, it said that is a little more than merely business.  Some are voting for Rihanna to give him another chance.  Many are voting for her to permanently boot him out of her life.  Is there a vote for “Who gives two hoots?” or “Let’s boot this nonsense off the news pages”?



Ladies Night at the Lyrster!

Hello out there,

It’s ladies night at the Lyrster!

A news item has it that Rihanna suffered a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in New York.  The poor chump who wrote the item is totally out of it.  You see, when Rihanna suffers a so-called ‘wardrobe malfunction’, then her wardrobe is functioning properly!  It’s when she does not have what one would consider a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ that her wardrobe is . . . malfunctioning!  Don’t forget just who we’re talking about.

On the other coast, Miley Cyrus reported on duty at The Hunger Games in what is said to be a “midriff-baring outfit.”  Her two-piece black lace outfit is kinda confusing.  Is that a dress or is that lingerie?  It’s an in-between sarong-and-bodice combo, that’s what it is!  Let’s be honest: Miley has a peaches-and-cream complexion and that girl next door look so to see her vamp it up is like, is like . . . well, like seeing Rihanna in a nun’s habit!  What time does the belly-dancing show begin, Miley?

Is Katy Perry going the way of Madonna?  The pre-release sample of “Dressin’ Up” gives a clue.  The oversynthesized generic dance club track just doesn’t deliver.  Isn’t Perry supposed to be a country singer or rock singer?  If so, she should be commended to her 50s Capitol label-mate, Wanda Jackson.  Now that was a true blue rock ‘n’ roll singer and country singer, and, boy, did she have some pipes!  Katy, forget Madonna and let’s see if you can sing like Wanda.

Let’s close with a female singer who’s just unreal.  Meet Japanese pop sensation Hatsune Miku.  Her concerts in Japan are not only packed to the rafters, they’re shown in cinemas out in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and fans even fly to Japan from other countries to attend her concerts.  Problem is that Miku is really ‘unreal’ – she doesn’t exist!  It’s a computer-generated singing programme whose songs and singing are controlled by her ‘fans’.  It’s a Brave New World in Japan.

So, to wrap up, we have Rihanna and Miley having adventures with wardrobes, the former upto her usual, the latter, something unusual.  And we have Katy Perry as Madonna, and Hatsune Miku as . . . well, nothing!  Which one’s to your taste, fellows?



Of Yin and Yang – i.e. of Rihanna and Taylor Swift!

Hello out there!

On this Tuesday the music news whiplashes back to Whitney – and wouldn’t you know, Rihanna is in the mix – again!  Whitney Houston’s mentor and producer Clive Davis is getting a biopic project off the ground and among the ladies who’re favourites to play the lead is – as one might expect – Jennifer Hudson.  But, somehow, Rihanna is seen as the frontrunner to land the role and she sure is angling for it.  I ain’t so sure – it sounds to me like yin wants to play yang . . .

On to the real ‘yang’, sweet and demure Miss Taylor Swift.  This news item is about Taylor’s voice and it’s also about the movies – yet it’s not about her singing nor her acting!  Fact is that Taylor Swift is doing the voice-over for a character in the animated movie The Lorax (based on the children’s book by Dr. Seuss).  Swift does the voice for Audrey in Lorax, set for release on Friday.  MTV’s take: “the character of Audrey is fun, bubbly, curious and a big fan of trees.”  If that is so, then – exactly unlike Raunchy Rihanna playing Whitney – Taylor voicing Audrey is true-to-life casting!

At last!— Madonna has broken into lyrster’s music news blog – yipee!  She has just released a single, Girl Gone Wild.  Not much to say about just another ho-hum synthesized dance track but some psychology seems to be in order:–  Seems to me like our dowager is suffering from a female Peter Pan Complex, eh?  I mean – notwithstanding the plastic and botox – at her age shouldn’t she be singing a song titled “Grandma Gone Wild”?

Only a few days back I blogged about my fellow Merseysiders, The Beatles.  Shall we update one of their songs to . . . “Granny Madonna”?

Ta ta!

Shane I. (for ‘Insightful’) Kendall


One ‘Made’ Bad Girl, Another ‘in the Making’?

Hallo out there,

It’s a happening Wednesday so let’s jump straight into the news puddle.

Bad Girl Rihanna has paid no heed to my matchmaking advice of yesterday; she has not tried to entice Austin Powers into proposing to her.  Rather, she seems to be getting back together with her convicted abuser, Chris Brown.  Over the weekend Rihanna and Brown tweeted about their musical collaboration.  Each has been the beneficiary of the other singer’s voice ‘over-laid’ on an original song that was subsequently released as a new remixed version.  Confused by my phrasing?  Don’t worry – just focus on the word ‘Remix’ . . . yeah, baby, yeah!

The music has ceased but Michael Jackson still continues to make waves.  Only a few days back we reported on a fresh lawsuit filed by his estate against a former manager.  Now, a Los Angeles County judge has struck AEG Live as defendants from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the singer’s father, Joe Jackson.  AEG are already defendants in another lawsuit filed by the singer’s mother, prior to the new one filed by his estate.  To streamline matters, California is designating one court as ‘Court Number MJ’; it will be dedicated solely to Michael Jackson lawsuits.

At last night’s Brit Awards in London Adele bagged British female singer and British album awards – no surprise.  But what made the news is that, somewhat out of character, Adele showed the middle finger – but, in all honesty, there were extenuating circumstances.  Within moments of beginning her acceptance speech for her second award, Adele was brusquely cut off, leading to her spontaneous act of frustration.  As she put it, “I . . . flung the middle finger . . . . to the suits at the Brit Awards, not to my fans.”  In a funny sequel, the Brit Awards’ organizers issued an apology to Adele, as did the emcee!

And hot off the (word)press, the next track to be issued as a single from the multi-platinum, multi-award album 21 will be Rumour Has It.

Go, Engerr-land!



Titillating Tuesday with Lady Gaga ‘n’ Rihanna!

Hi you goss hounds!

On Friday the 17th I made a heartfelt plea: “Looking ahead to next week, Britney, Gaga, and Madamadonna, where are you? We need your antics to fill these blog posts! Puh-leez run out to your car in your undies (or knickers, as we call ‘em back in jolly old England), say something wacko or otherwise spice things up.”   Thankyou-thankyou-thankyou Lady Gaga ‘n’ Rihanna for answering our prayers!

Gaga has lived up to her name! (So what’s new?) —She has claimed demoniacal possession!

“A devil force was trying to take hold of me,” Gaga enlightens us.  “The Devil is trying to take me . . . . I’m a good girl!”  OK now – the part about the Devil getting a crush on Gaga is quite probable – we agree.  But that part about her being a “good girl,” hmm, now that’s debatable . . . .

Now instead of hiring a Catholic priest, Gaga has gone rather a different route.  Enter The Exorcist in the form of none other than that all-purpose huckster – er, servitor – to the stars, the inimitable Deepak Chopra.  Does all this mean that Gaga’s head will do a 180-degree turn, she’ll spit green goo, and that Chopra will eventually leap out of a window?  Stay tuned to this blog . . .

OMG reports on that evergreen topic of Rihanna and her pins, saying that she “showed off some serious leg” in a gown that was slit to the hip.  That report seems faulty to us on two major points.  (1) Rihanna wasn’t showing just “some” leg, it was more like all of one leg.  (2)  Nothing about the leg seems “serious” or sober to me; rather, it seemed inviting, if anything.  This sort of inaccuracy in news reporting is deplorable.  In any event it’s only a matter of time before the girl gets arrested somewhere or the other (on charges of public indecency).

OMG also implied that Rihanna is again involved with Chris Brown.  Bad match.  Matchmaker Shane Kendall’s ideal couple: Rihanna and Austin Powers . . . .

Tit-illatingly Yours,