Do you ever meet those music snobs who tsk-tsk your iPod and tell you that music’s only good when it’s on vinyl? (They are the same folks who tell you that the book was SO MUCH better than the movie.) Well, now the snobs have a new fetish to get all in love with again: cassette tapes. “A tiny but busy tape-based music culture is growing from roots in economic necessity, thrift-store crate-digging and, yes, a pride in being difficult for its own sake,” according to a story in the L.A. Times. Even though many of us hated cassettes when they were all we had, all that rewinding and fast forwarding and flipping over to the other side, there’s a little burst of nostalgia happening in hip music boutiques. Maybe that’s because tapes are tangible. Maybe it’s because they are as dirt cheap as the vintage boom boxes you can play them on. Or maybe we all just want to take a little trip back down memory lane to those mix tape days.
Is it possible to take one song and see it two completely different ways? After seeing a new video for Lady Antebellum’s “I Run to You,” I have to say, absolutely. I thought the first one was so neat, with its pay-it-forward theme playing out in the coffee shop. But this new one shifts gears to be more about the band’s performance and less about the story. That’s just how director Christopher Sims intended it. “It’s set on a rooftop in Nashville, like an artists’ loft might look, because I wanted the band to be observers. They’re looking down at the world from over the edge,” he told me.
Then there’s the backwards-running girl. “It’s like she’s running back to him. And as it gets closer to the end, she’s running past couples who are kissing, which is what she’s trying to get back to. It’s very heartfelt.” (Side note about the reverse motion: Because Sims was filming the girl running forward, the happy couples had to do their thing in reverse. See if you can tell that their kisses were really unkisses.)
And what about the pensive rooftop guy? “He’s up there, taking it all in, as if it’s the morning after a big fight,” Sims said. Once the girl makes it back to the guy, there’s no more backwards motion. That’s because she’s right where she wants to be.
When you think Wall Street Journal, you may not think Taylor Swift. But the bottom line is, reporters are people, too. And some of those reporters are people who have little kids and can’t help notice how much Swift’s music had embedded itself into every inch of pop culture. So this reporter took it upon himself to analyze the lyrics to Swift’s new song “Mine,” saying it’s “dotted with seemingly drawn-from-life details” and that “there’s a strong sense of almost-instant nostalgia.” And when he reflects on Swift’s power over very young kids like his own, he says that young listeners are “nostalgic in reverse.” I have to agree that reverse nostalgia works with so many country songs. I haven’t sent any kids off to college yet, but Trace Adkins’ “Then They Do” hit me hard anyway. And I may not know what it feels like to be married for 58 years, but when I get there, I’m sure I’ll be singing Lee Brice’s “Love Like Crazy.”
When Taylor Swift was interrupted by Kanye West at the MTV VMA Awards last year, someone joked about how it was like kicking a kitten. Swift is extremely likeable, so why would anyone want to do something so hateful to her? And I feel a little bit like that today since her first single off her next album was leaked to the Internet without her blessing. It’s like kicking the kitten all over again.
Swift was going to release the song “Mine” on Aug. 16 on her own terms. But yesterday (Aug. 4), a crappy-quality bootlegged version was spreading like wildfire online. So her record label decided to go ahead and release the song to country radio stations two weeks ahead of schedule. It shot to the top of the iTunes charts while Swift was on her way to Japan. Back on the ground, she tweeted: “I landed in Japan and got 20 texts and looked at iTunes and got tears in my eyes. And so, we begin again. :)” She even posted a picture of the actual chart to show how “Mine” was the top song on the top songs chart.
I guess what I don’t get about leaks is why someone would do this. They don’t get credit because who would want their name associated with something sneaky and cruel and illegal. Maybe they get a little thrill out of knowing they were behind all this buzz. Unfortunately, they also get karma. She can come back to haunt you. And she can be a real bitch.
Nashville Lifestyles magazine has just issued their Hot List for 2010 and it has a little bit of everything, from iPads and cars to art and celebs. But the one I agree with the most? Faith Hill. Because, well, duh. Look at her. She’s nice to look at, for sure, but she’s also on the list because of what she did this summer when she hosted the Nashville Rising benefit concert with her husband, Tim McGraw. But the magazine also cites her always-classy and never-trashy styles to prove that “some things really do get better with age.” Another hottie on the list? Heather Ann Heatherly, from Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge on Nashville’s lower Broadway. She’s apparently been behind that bar for 15 years and will be missed when she moves to California. But like Brooks & Dunn say, you can take the girl out of the honky-tonk but you can’t take the honky-tonk out of the girl.
Photo credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Say you’ve lined up Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Zac Brown Band, Kenny Chesney and a whole onslaught of talent from all kinds of music for an outdoor festival. Sounds like a moneymaker, doesn’t it? So how on earth did Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., lose $5 million in three days with HullabaLOU? I could see taking a bit of a loss, but come on. Five million? The president of Churchill Downs Entertainment said that he wanted to create the Kentucky Derby of music festivals (which is a nice goal, by the way) and noted, “When we started out with Derby, it didn’t start out with 155,000 people. And it’s grown for 135 years. Hopefully this thing will grow over the next five to ten years and become something that’s meaningful.” They had hoped to have 90,000 people but wound up with about 78,000. And the lost income from slow tickets, parking and concessions is partly what caused the big loss. They aren’t giving up just yet, though. Organizers say they will try again in 2011.
Photo Credit: Erika Goldring/Getty Images