Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘justin timberlake’

Guys I Want to See in a Kilt

Men just look good in kilts. It takes a strong, confident man to pull one off. Here’s my list of hot guys who would look great in tartan kilts as well as more casual ones like Utilikilts.

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Daniel Craig
The current James Bond could follow past Bonds Sean Connery and George Lazenby and done a kilt for some red carpet event, if not on screen in character.

Brad Pitt
OK, I am not counting his leather kilt from Troy, I still think Brad could pull off a kilt. Imagine both him and Angelina showing some leg on the red carpet. It would be very hot.

Channing Tatum
Mr. Magic Mike is one tasty piece of all-American beef. How awesome would it be if we had some pics of him going to the market in a kilt?

Taylor Lautner
I personally hated all the Twilight movies, but he was definitely some eye candy in those movies. He could definitely rock a modern kilt.

Chris Hemsworth
He plays a god in the movies (Thor, The Avengers), why not play up his strong, masculine, sexy energy and don a kilt, at least for some charity event or something.

Justin Timberlake
Trend setter Justin would definitely bring the sexy to a kilt. Maybe in a skit for Saturday Night Live, or better yet doing a hike in LA’s Runyon Canyon.

Stephen Amell
TV’s Arrow has a raw animal magnetism to him. And we know he loves to be shirtless a lot too. Imagine him playing in some sort of celebrity Scottish Games in a kilt, that would be awesome.

Keith Urban
Country hunk and current American Idol judge would be another great kilt candidate. He would look awesome escorting Nicole Kidman on the red carpet.

Jesse Williams
The biracial stud heating up “Grey’s Anatomy” definitely has a hot body. How about showing some leg and wearing a kilt?

Matthew Fox
Another ruggedly handsome man that would give people pause by dressing in a kilt.

Eric Dane
They didn’t call him “McSteamy” for nothing. He is a real man who is a devoted husband and father. He looks like he would be great in a Scottish war film leading the charge in full battle kilt.

And finally, the poll results… Daniel Craig got the most votes, followed by Channing Tatum, Chris Hemsworth, Stephen Amell and Justin Timberlake. Thanks to all that voted.

So that’s the list. Did I leave anyone out? I would love to know your thoughts.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Is the Album Dead?

Remember the good old days, when you would buy an album or CD and listen to it all the way through? Now with MP3s, it is easy for you to just purchase the song or songs you want, and leave the album alone. While I like this idea, I wonder if we are losing something by doing so. Do we really know an artist from 1 or 2 hit songs? Or do you have to listen to an artist’s whole album before you really get a sense for them? And what about those artists who don’t have hit singles anymore? Many artists are feeling trapped, they are selling singles, but not albums.

Just before Flo Rida released his third album, almost two million fans purchased the first single “Club Can’t Handle Me,” helping the rapper snag yet another Top 10 hit.

But in its first week out, only 11,000 people bought the 8-song EP – “Only One Flo Part 1” – making its debut measly at No. 107 on the Billboard charts. And in nearly two years, the album has only sold 62,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Flo Rida’s experience in 2010 is being repeated again and again in today’s pop scene. He’s just one of many acts who suffer from an imbalance: They have a multitude of hits, but anemic album sales.

Years ago, a hit song was usually accompanied by a gold or platinum album, and multiple hits meant multiplatinum albums. But times have changed.

“If you used to have a big single, you would sell a million albums, and if you sell a million albums and you’re a band, you can probably not have to work for a couple years. We don’t have that luxury,” said Cobra Starship’s lead singer Gaby Saporta.

Cobra Starship had a top 10 hit with the double platinum dance jam “You Make Me Feel …,” but their latest album debuted at No. 50 and has sold a mere 33,000 units.

Ne-Yo, the Grammy-winning hitmaker who has written smashes for the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna, blames the phenomenon on a lack of personality and originality from the artists.

“I feel like a lot of people are saying that the industry is moving to just being singles driven, and that’s kind of a cop out to me. So it’s like, basically that means that we sign a bunch of disposal artists, you know, as long as we get one hit that’s good? That’s B.S.,” continued Ne-Yo. Ne-Yo added that today’s music executives should be “taking the time and spending the money that it takes to make sure that you’re building icons, not fly-by-night, add water-and-stir artists.”

Tom Corson, the COO and president of RCA Records — the label home of Pitbull and Mike Posner — says that just because an artist doesn’t sell a lot of albums doesn’t make the act a failure. He said record companies determine an album’s success by an artist’s TEA, which stands for track-equivalent-albums. “You have certain artists that sell 300,000 albums, but sell 10 million tracks. That’s the equivalent of 1.3 million albums,” he explained.

Recent albums by Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake may be hits, but not because the album’s are good. There are good songs on both Mars’ “Unorthodox jukebox”  (Locked Out of Heaven, When I Was Your Man, Treasure) and Timberlake’s ‘The 20/20 Experience” (Suit & Tie, Mirrors). Both of these artists could have done better in my opinion. Mars has shown with his live appearances that he is a force to be reckoned with. Same for Timberlake. But at the end of the day, is anyone going to care about the album tracks, when they just wanted the single anyway?Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

The biggest album of the last 2 years has been Adele’s “21.” With an impressive 4 hit singles off it, it was one of those albums that harkened back to the glory days when Michael Jackson had 6 Top Ten singles off of “Bad.” Both are career artists — not just someone who has a hit single or 2. Is anyone going to care about Kesha or One Direction twenty years from now? I doubt it.

I miss having the record stores around. There was an excitement when you went to those places. Wandering around, looking at the album covers. That is something today’s youth is missing out on.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Best Dancers in Pop Music

Dancing allows an individual to express themselves with their body. Combine that with a competent singing voice, and you have an exciting entertainer — one who puts on a captivating live show and has some riveting music videos. Here’s my list of the best dancers in pop music (past and present), in no particular order:

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Prince
The Purple one is not one for elaborate choreography, but he sure knows how to move. And he usually does it in high heel boots too.

Madonna
Pop music’s queen didn’t get to where she is on her singing voice. She is a very athletic and limber dancer who puts on a high-energy live show.

Janet Jackson
Ever since she proclaimed her independence on “Control”, she has had a place in pop music history. Funky, fierce and in control, Janet is not one to mess with.

Justin Timberlake
He started out in boy band NSync, and went on to be a superstar in his solo career. He has shown how great a dancer he is in his concerts tours and videos.

Britney Spears
Sexy moves, along with suggestive lyrics, a hot body and catchy songs have all kept her career going strong. Definitely influenced by Madonna… she has learned well.

Lady GaGa
Mother monster has created some fantastic mini movies with her music videos. In concert, she put on a high-energy show (such that she injured herself this year, having to cancel the rest of the tour).

Paula Abdul
She started as a Laker Girl, and then did choreography for various film, TV and music videos projects. Not to mention her own chart topping singing career too.

Usher
He first opened for Janet Jackson as a teen, but has evolved into a one of the modern kings of R&B. He can have you banging in the club or wanting to make love.

Chris Brown
Say what you will about him as a person, but there is no denying this guy can move and entertain the crowds.

Beyonce
Destiny’s Child proved she could sing. But in her solo career, she has really proved she can move. And start a music video craze on YouTube too.

Jennifer Lopez
She started as a Fly Girl on “In Living Color,” and is now the triple threat (actor, dancer, singer) plus much more.

Ne-Yo
One of the smoothest movers out there, he makes it all seem so easy.

And let us not forget those who have died, and are now in the Dance Hall of Fame:

Michael Jackson
All of the male dancers on here have been influenced by him. He basically set the gold standard for being an entertainer. And he always gave the audience his all.

James Brown
Yes, he got easier to parody in his later years. But do yourself a  favor and check out his old performances. Another influential entertainer.

So did I leave anyone out? Who do you think is the best dancer in pop music? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Summer Entertainment Wrap-Up 2013

Here’s my capsule reviews for various movies and CDs that have come out in the last few months. I hope you find the time to seek out quality summer entertainment where ever you are. So for what I did like, and what I didn’t like, read on.Fast and Furious 6

Movies

Fast and Furious 6

Hard to believe this series is 6 movies in. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson lead the latest venture mostly centered in London, plus Spain too. You like the cast of characters and root for them. It has great car chases, fist fights and spectacular stunts. You will definitely be entertained by this over the top piece of movie fluff. Grade: B+

Frances Ha

What a pleasant surprise! I love a good independent movie. Greta Gerwig and Mickey Sumner star as 2 female friends in NYC. They are navigating careers, family, boyfriends and different living situations. Funny and very touching at times. I highly recommend it. Also cool was the use of pop music on the soundtrack. Grade: A-

The Great Gatsby

Baz Luhrmann was the draw for me with this. Great cast (Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire). And the movie looks great. This is my first exposure to this story, having never read the book or seen a previous movie version. But from what I saw on screen, I’m like — what’s the big fuss? And this book is a classic because? There is not much that happens in the movie compared to what happens in a night time soap. Then I wondered too if Tobey’s character is in love with Gatsby, what with the insane asylum backdrop. Overall, an interesting experiment, not sure it really works. Grade: C+

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Pop Hunks

Popular music is filled with good looking men. These guys not only sing (or rap) well, they have undeniable star power. They make us want to watch their videos, buy their albums and see them in concert. Here is my list of some of the hottest guys in pop music (in no particular order):

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Justin Timberlake
Finally back on the music scene after a long hiatus, it almost seems like he never left. He can act, sing, dance, play instruments and be funny on Saturday Night Live. He is a modern day Renaissance man. Essential songs: Suit and Tie, Rock Your Body

Adam Levine
One of the coaches on The Voice, as well as the lead singer for pop-funk group Maroon 5. He is very gay friendly and has been known to take off his shirt & more for videos and photo shoots. Essential songs: Moves Like Jagger, This Love

Usher
Like JT, he’s had a decently long career since his teens. Now also on The Voice, he is a consummate entertainer and wows us with his dance moves and sexy songs. Essential songs: DJ Got Us Falling in Love, Scream

Drake
Originally from Canada, he first got a taste of stardom as an actor on Degrassi: The Next Generation. But it’s his rapping skills that have taken him to the top of the charts.
Essential songs: Find Your Love, Take Care

Enrique Iglesias
Son of famous father Julio Iglesias, Enrique is a star in his own right. Whether he is singing in English, Spanish, or Spanglish, he sounds and looks good in any language. Essential songs: Rhythm Divine, I Like It

Jack Johnson
Hawaiian-born surfer Jack Johnson is a singer-songwriter, filmmaker and musician known for his work in the soft rock and acoustic genres. Essential songs: Sitting, Wishing, Waiting; Gone,

Ricky Martin
Another force to be reckoned with, he has done everything from boy bands (Menudo) to soap operas (General Hospital) to Broadway (Evita). Ever since he shook his bon-bons on the Grammy Awards, he has been making waves. And now he is a proud out gay man to boot. Essential songs: Cup of Life, Livin’ La Vida Loca

Bruno Mars
Inspired by the past, but definitely very contemporary, Bruno has made a big splash on the pop charts in the last few years. Plus he writes a lot of his own stuff. Essential songs: Locked Out of Heaven, Grenade

John Mayer
Having dated a who’s who of female celebrities (Jennifer Anniston, Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson, Katy Perry), Mr. soft-rock guitar guy comes across as a sensitive poet in his songs. Essential songs: Daughters, Waiting on the World to Change

The Wanted
Boy bands are back, and for me, this is the sexier of the 2 new groups on the scene (the other being One Direction). They have a new reality show on the E Network too. Essential songs: Glad You Came, I Found You

Pitbull
Chrome-dome ‘Mr. World Wide’ has found a successful formula for pop-rap dance hits. And don’t get me started on the bugle in his pants, he’s got some fans because of it. Essential songs: I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho), Give Me Everything

Daughtry
Lead singer of the hard rock band that bears his name, he is also an American Idol finalist. Plus he has gotten in great shape in the past year, if you follow him on Facebook. Essential songs: Home, Feels Like Tonight

Ne-Yo
A successful singer, composer, and dancer, plus he is getting into acting too. He can love you all night long. Essential songs:  So Sick, Let Me Love You

Miguel
Not very well known outside of R&B circles, but his appearance at the Grammy’s this year definitely raised his profile. Plus he is on Mariah Carey’s new single “#Beautiful.” Essential songs: Adorn, Sure Thing

98 Degrees
Reunited and it feels so good. They are part of The Package Tour this summer with Boyz II Men and New Kids on the Block. Hunky brothers (Drew and Nick Lachey) lead up this group that also features Jeff Timmons and Justin Jeffre. Essential songs: The Hardest Part, Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)

New Kids on the Block
They just released their new CD “10” and are headlining a big summer tour. Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight and Joey McIntyre lead up this group of grown men on the block. Essential songs: You Got It (The Right Stuff), Please Don’t Go Girl

Jon Bon Jovi
Also big on the tour circuit this spring and summer, Jon brings his namesake band out for a tour in support of their latest CD “What About Now”. Plus he fits in some acting when he can (New Year’s Eve). Essential songs: Blaze of Glory, Wanted Dead or Alive

So that’s my list. Did I leave anyone out? Let me know your thoughts.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Artists I Wish Would Tour More

I have gone to a lot of concerts over the years. Some years, I have gone to 20+ shows, others maybe 3. Some artists seem to tour almost every year — others once every five to seven years or so. Other favorites seem to have a lot going on, or they are at a different phase of their career where they don’t want to tour. So here goes, my list of artists I wish would tour more often:Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez
She has a lot on her plate: singer, actress, dancer, American Idol judge (now ex-judge), model, spokeswoman and mom. Plus she has time for a personal life too. Since she has been out, she has only toured twice, once with then husband Marc Anthony and once this year with Enrique Iglesias. I am sure it will be a great show.

Annie Lennox/Eurythmics
So Eurythmics did tour a decent amount in the 80’s. But now, not so much. To me, she has a one of the best live voices you will ever hear. So soulful, and powerful. Between her solo career and the work with the group, she has plenty of material. She has inspired artists such as Pink and Kelly Clarkson among others. It’s about time she reminded everyone why she is so excellent.

Adele
With how huge her 2nd album has been, you think she would want to capitalize on that success and plan a big giant concert tour. Hasn’t happened. First off she was sidetracked with vocal chord problems, and now she just doesn’t seem too interested to do so. I hear she is writing songs for her 3rd album already. But, she is pregnant… so it will be years before we see her on the road again.

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Winter Concerts

Here’s the sequel to my blog on Summer Concerts. Here are 10 favorites from past winters (December to February) in no particular order. Believe me, it was hard narrowing it down!

Michael Jackson, January 1989, LA Sport Arena
This was my 3rd time seeing Michael, but the first without his brothers. This was one of the hottest shows I have ever seen in my life. Michael was on FIRE. The concert itself was delayed for a few months because he was sick. It was so worth the wait! A high-energy, hit filled extravaganza. “Man in the Mirror” live was awesome! He would never tour the US again. So I was very lucky to see him in his prime.

Spice Girls, December 2007, Staples Center
Reunited and it feels so good. All 5 girls were back for the reunion tour (dare we say Farewell Tour?).  The US never got all five women in concert before, Ginger Spice had quit before their first US tour. They put an excellent show, dancing and singing their hearts out in a high-energy show. Girl power was alive and well!Spice Girls

Justin Timberlake, January 2007, Staples Center
After this show, it was apparent that Justin wasn’t ever going back to NSync. He danced, he sang, he played multiple instruments. He showed what a great entertainer and performer he had become. With Pink as the opening act, and support from Timbaland during the show, Justin became a superstar with this show. The show was in the round and had great staging and choreography.

The Colors of Christmas, December 2003, Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts
I have seen this seasonal show 12 times. Every year features 4 different performers. This year’s edition featured Peabo Bryson, Sheena Easton, Christopher Cross, and Natalie Cole. They sing their own hits, plus Christmas songs too in solos, duos and groups. It is always cool to see who they match up with whom. Natalie was a last minute replacement for Irene Cara. They have back-up from a small orchestra with band, as well as a local gospel choir. One of the best shows around for the money.

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Teen Pop (Where Are They Now?)

Long before Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, we had the teen pop boom of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This was the time of Backstreet Boys, NSync, Britney, Christina, etc. So let’s look back to our favorites from that era and see where they are today…

Backstreet Boys. They are the last of the remaining boy bands from that era. All of the others are gone: NSync, 98 Degrees, LFO. This past summer they teamed up with the New Kids on the Block for a sold-out arena headlining tour. Kevin Richardson, who left the band in 2006, even joined his fellow bandmates in the Los Angeles show. I hear the group will be working on a new CD soon.

NSync. The group was the launching pad for singing superstar turned actor Justin Timberlake. I always knew that Justin was a star. But JC Chasez was too. I am disappointed that his solo career never took off the way that Justin’s did. His first solo album was very nice, and he is not using his talents to the fullest on “America’s Best Dance Crew.” I always thought that the band should have carried on without Justin… I think they would have been fine. Joey and Lance have done acting, Chris has not done too much. (Sorry can’t count “The Man Band” show).

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