Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘singing’

Concerts I Am Looking Forward to in 2017

As a life-long live music fan, I always look forward to which of my favorite music stars will be coming in concert soon. Have I seen them a few times before, or are they someone I will be seeing for the first time? Do they have a long catalog of hits, or are they just starting out? Here’s who I look forward to seeing on stage in 2017:

Ariana Grande
She’s had a few successful years with “My Everything” and “Dangerous Woman.” She has the vocal chops for sure, and her personality is starting to show more. Plus she kills it every time I see her perform on TV.

Lady GaGa
It’s time to get back to her day job. After a few detours (Cheek to Cheek with Tony Bennett and American Horror Story: Hotel), she is back with her new album “Joanne.” I have seen her first 2 tours, it will be fun to see her again. She is definitely one talented, multi-faceted woman. Plus she is headlining the Super Bowl half-time show this year.

Bruno Mars
After a break of a few years, Bruno is back with “24 K Magic.” So far the single is just OK to me, but he always kills it with his live performances. And he has a decent amount of hits too, so even if the new songs suck, we’ll get “Uptown Funk.”

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
Mr. and Mrs. McGraw head back out for a big arena tour in 2017. Tim has continued to record and tour regularly. Faith hasn’t done much since her album “Fireflies” in 2005. Not sure the reason why, but I welcome her back. I saw them on an earlier version of the “Soul to Soul” tour and it was a great show.

Alicia Keys
She will be touring in support of her new album “Here.” I previously saw her on the “Diary of Alicia Keys” and “As I Am” tours. I started to watch “The Voice” again because of her and Miley. She has such a wonderful spirit and I love her energy. And she gives her all to the performance. The album is just OK, but I still love her.

Sting
The veteran artist is back with his first rock album (“57th & 9th”) in a long time. He’s been making the rounds with appearances on everything from “The Voice” to the “American Music Awards.” With more and more singers dying young these days, I say catch him while you can.

Justin Beiber
He is still riding high off his album “Purpose” and it’s string of hit singles. Plus he got some big love in the form of some Grammy nominations this year in major categories. Plus from what I have seen he really puts himself out there in his shows. Catch him on his stadium tour this summer.

New Kids on the Block
Their chart-topping days are long behind them, but they can still fill arenas. They have found a successful formula and are sticking to it. They put themselves as the headliners on a bill with a couple of other retro acts, and the tickets keep selling. This year’s The Total Package Tour includes Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men.

Ed Sheeran
No tour has been announced yet for him, but if there is one I am sure it is going to be huge. He just released two new singles from his upcoming album “Divide” and they both debuted into the Top Ten (one even went to #1). I have seen clips of his concerts online, and he is an amazing performer. I would definitely go to see him.

Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey
The two superstars are teaming up for Lionel’s “All the Hits” Tour. This show is playing on my birthday at the Hollywood Bowl, so I already have my ticket. Mariah needs to redeem herself after the New Year’s Eve fiasco. I haven’t seen Lionel since he opened for Tina Turner on her farewell tour. It should be fun.

So that’s my concert wish list for 2017. Did I mention your favorite? Who do you want to see live and in person at your local concert venue? Sound off in the comments below.

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 Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Who Will Win American Idol 2015?

I have watched American Idol since season one. It is the best singing competition show on TV. Their ad campaign has said it all: we make superstars. With all the platinum records, online downloads, concert tickets sold, and major industry awards like the Grammys — this is the only show can boast about their track record. Even “The X Factor” has produced bigger stars than “The Voice” ever has. So who has what it takes to win it all this season? Read on for my list — from least likely to most likely — to win and be crowned the next American Idol.American Idol Season 14

7. Rayvon Owens (Richmond, VA; 23) — He is very soulful and reminds me of John Legend or Ne-Yo. Negative is his reliance on his falsetto, which he isn’t always good with. He’s been in the bottom a few times, so he is not connecting with the audience.

6. Joey Cook
(Woodbridge, VA; 23) — The kooky girl with the retro looks and little instruments (squeeze box or ukelele) is a bit too quirky for her own good if you ask me. Her interpretations have been interesting at times, but can’t see how she fits in today’s music scene.

5. Tyanna Jones (Jacksonville, FL; 17) — This young lady is definitely a powerhouse vocalist, with one of the strongest and biggest voices in the competition. She seems comfortable on stage. Hopefully she picks good songs for herself, and has self confidence too.

4. Jax (East Brunswick, NJ; 18) — This smoky voiced single named young lady definitely has star appeal. How far she can go with it, I am not sure. Her take on “Poker Face” by Lady GaGa was horrible, so she’s still finding her sound.

3. Clark Beckham (White House, TN; 22) — Clark is going for the white boy soul of a Darryl Hall, but reality is he is a bit overrated for me. He can be a bit over the top for me with his vocals. He thinks he’s better than he actually is.

2. Quentin Alexander (New Orleans, LA; 20) — This guy is a refreshing change from a lot of the singers in the competition. This guy is a real artiste— with his love of fashion and unconventional looks (afro, African jewelry), plus his unique interpretations of his song choices. He reminds me of Prince or Terence Trent D’Arby.

1. Nick Fradiani (Gulford, CT; 29) — This handsome singer/songwriter is a working musician whose stage presence shows all of his experience playing gigs. He looks like a lost cousin of the “Jersey Shore” gang, and has a voice that has echoes of Chris Daughtry. Plus he’s been consistent throughout the competition.

So those are my predictions. I predicted the last 2 winners, but missed it with Phillip Phillips. Do you think I got it right? 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 Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Terrific Trios Part 1

What’s better than a duo, why a trio of course! Here are some of the best trios that have dominated the music scene.

 

Bee GeesBee Gees
The Brothers Gibb (Robin, Maurice and Barry) had incredible success during the 70’s and 80’s with hits like “Staying Alive,” “To Love Somebody” and “How Deep is Your Love.” Sadly, Barry is the only one left, but their music will live on. Let’s hope they get the Mamma Mia treatment and have a musical made from their songs.

 

The Supremes
Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard (and later Cindy Birdsong) were the jewel of the Motown label during their heyday. Stylish, sophisticated and classy, these ladies sang some of the most memorable songs of the 60’s and 70’s. “Love Child,” “Stop! In the Name of Love,” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” were some of their biggest hits.

 

Dixie Chicks
Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison only recorded 4 albums during their career together. They have won 13 Grammy Awards and have been on an extended hiatus since 2008. Let’s hope they get together to record some new music soon. I listened to their debut album again recently, and I really miss their vocal blend. “Goodbye Earl,” “Sin Wagon” and “Ready to Run” are all great songs.

 

Exposé
Fans of 80–90’s dance music remember this trio from Miami. The brainchild of producer Lewis Martineé, they recorded only 3 albums, before being let go from their label and breaking up. Ann Curless, Jeanette Jurado and Gioia Bruno were the ladies who sang such favorites as “Point of No Return,” “What You Don’t Know,” and “Seasons Change.” They are now back together and performing occasionally.

 

Rascal Flatts
Country pop trio Rascal Flatts (Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney) have been one of the most successful country bands of the last decade on stage and the radio. Their hits include “Bless the Broken Road,” “Prayin’ for Daylight” and “What Hurts the Most.”

 

Lady Antebellum
Another country pop trio, but with a guy and girl trading leads. Hilary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood have come up with a winning combination. This has brought them legions of fans and few Grammys along the way. They have a new album coming out in 2013. “Love’s Looking Good on You,” “Need You Now” and “We Own the Night” are just a few of their hits.

 

Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
Lisa Velez, Alex “Spanador” Mosely and Mike Hughes formed this trio. Created and produced by Full Force, they were responsible for such club and dance hits as “I Wonder If I Take You Home,” “Head to Toe” and “Let the Beat Hit ‘Em.”

 

The Human League
The ground-breaking group from Sheffield, England wasn’t always a trio, but since 1987, they pretty much have been. Phil Oakey, Joanne Catherall, and Susan Ann Sulley are the group these days. I have seen them a couple of times in concert in recent years and they still put on a great live show.

 

Pointer Sisters
This real-life sister act (Ruth, June and Anita) conquered the world with their strong vocals and fun dance-pop songs. Sadly, June died of cancer in 2004. But songs like “I’m So Excited,” “Slow Hand” and “Neutron Dance” still sound great today.

 

More trios to come in Part 2 of this posting coming soon.

 

Spice69man 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.

Who Will Win American Idol Season 11?

The reality institution has shown some wear after 10 seasons. It has seen ratings decline and new shows like “The Voice” and “The X Factor” have come on challenging their formula of taking unknowns and turning them into household names overnight.American Idol Season 11

“America, you’re on fire, because this is an amazing top 10 brewing,” said judge Randy Jackson. We know some will rise to the occasion, others will crash and burn — and don’t forget a surprise elimination or 2. This year’s finalists are a diverse crop of individuals, but who’s going to win? Here are my predictions:

10. Soulful 28-year-old teacher Elise Testone of SC. Reminds me some of the girl from Season 10, Hailey Reinhart. Needs to find her groove, or she is a goner too. Despite the fact that she was good on “Let’s Stay Together,” I think her age is a factor. This is a young person’s game.

9. 17-year-old student Deandre Brackensick of CA. Otherwise known as the pretty boy with the hair he likes to flip. I liked him more with his hair pulled back.

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