Taylor Swift Pulls Music from Spotify

Looks like some of us Spotify users will never get to hear 1989.

Taylor Swift made the decision to boycott Spotify, pulling every single song from her artist profile except Hunger Games track “Safe and Sound.”

Spotify issued a statement after the singer’s harsh move, saying,

We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.

PS – Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.

Too bad we’ll never hear the song that lyric is from.

Taylor Swift's Spotify

According to TIME, “Artists earn on average less than one cent per play, between $0.006 and $0.0084 to be exact.” It’s no wonder Swift took her music off the app.

As an avid Spotify user, I demand that artists be paid more per play. Spotify has many advertisers and premium users, and they should be able to pay artists their fare share.

As Swift said,

Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.

I hope Spotify will once again host Swift’s rare music gems sometime in the near future.

56th Grammy Award Show

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Last night’s Grammy award show was full of amazing performances. Our favorite artists came together to dance the night away as their fellow musicians performed the songs we love live. From Beyonce’s sexy opening all the way to Pharrell’s ridiculous idea of a hat accessory, some of the biggest award show moments happened last night at the Grammy’s.

Here is a list of the best, must-see performances:

“Drunk in Love,” Beyonce ft. Jay-Z: Beyonce worked that chair! The ending of the number was so cute as the couple stood back to back on stage.

“Royals,” Lorde: This girl ruled the stage last night! I loved the intro arrangement for the song. So amazing!

“Dark Horse,” Katy Perry ft. Juicy J: Very unexpected performance featuring Halloween themed get-up. I loved the way Katy Perry and the other two dancers swung on the poles in unison as Juicy J rapped his verse.

“All Too Well,” Taylor Swift: I love how she still managed to flip her hair back and forth while sitting at the piano. (She may have over done it, though). Such a beautiful song and performance.

“Radioactive” with “M.A.A.D. City,” Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar: No words. Can explain. The amount. Of awesome.

“Get Lucky,” Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder: Only Daft Punk could make so much magic happen in one night.

And I can’t tell which was more hilarious: Pharrell’s hat or Yoko’s dance moves.

Here is the winner’s list:

Record of the year
“Get Lucky” — Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers — WINNER
“Radioactive” — Imagine Dragons
“Royals” — Lorde
“Locked out of Heaven” — Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines” — Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell

Album of the year
“The Blessed Unrest” — Sara Bareilles
“Random Access Memories” — Daft Punk — WINNER
“Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” — Kendrick Lamar
“The Heist” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
“Red” — Taylor Swift

Song of the year
“Just Give Me a Reason” — P!nk featuring Nate Ruess
“Locked Out of Heaven” — Bruno Mars
“Roar” — Katy Perry
“Royals” — Lorde — WINNER
“Same Love” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Best new artist
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — WINNER
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Best pop solo performance
Sara Bareilles — “Brave”
Lorde — “Royals” — WINNER
Bruno Mars — “When I Was Your Man”
Katy Perry — “Roar”
Justin Timberlake — “Mirrors”

Best pop duo/group performance
Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers — “Get Lucky” — WINNER
P!nk featuring Nate Ruess — “Just Give Me a Reason”
Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko — “Stay”
Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell — “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake and Jay Z — “Suit & Tie”

Best pop instrumental album
Herb Alpert — “Steppin’ Out” — WINNER
Boney James — “The Beat”
Earl Klugh — “Handpicked”
Dave Koz, Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot — “Summer Horns”
Jeff Lorber Fusion — “Hacienda”

Best pop vocal album
Lana Del Rey — “Paradise”
Lorde — “Pure Heroine”
Bruno Mars — “Unorthodox Jukebox” — WINNER
Robin Thicke — “Blurred Lines”
Justin Timberlake — “The 20/20 Experience — The Complete Experience”

Best dance recording
“Need U (100%)” — Duke Dumont featuring A*M*E & MNEK
“Sweet Nothing” — Calvin Harris featuring Florence Welch
“Atmosphere” — Kaskade
“The is What it Feels Like” — Armin Van Buuren featuring Trevor Guthrie
“Clarity” — Zedd featuring Foxes — WINNER

Best dance/electronica album
“Random Access Memories” — Daft Punk — WINNER
“Settle” — Disclosure
“18 Months” — Calvin Harris
“Atmosphere” — Kaskade
“A Color Map of the Sun” — Pretty Lights

Best traditional pop vocal album
“Viva Duets” — Tony Bennett and various artists
“To Be Loved” — Michael Bublé — WINNER
“The Standards” — Gloria Estefan
“Cee Lo’s Magic Moment” — Cee Lo Green
“Now” — Dionne Warwick

Best rock performance
Alabama Shakes — “Always Alright”
David Bowie — “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
Imagine Dragons — “Radioactive” — WINNER
Led Zeppelin — “Kashmir”
Queens of the Stone Age — “My God is the Sun”
Jack White — “I’m Shakin’ ”

Best metal performances
Anthrax — “T.N.T.”
Black Sabbath — “God is Dead?” — WINNER
Dream Theater — “The Enemy Inside”
Killswitch Engage — “In Due Time”
Volbeat featuring King Diamond — “Room 24”

Best rock song
“Ain’t Messin’ ‘Round” — Gary Clark Jr.
“Cut Me Some Slack” — Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear — WINNER
“Doom and Gloom” — The Rolling Stones
“God Is Dead?” — Black Sabbath
“Panic Station” — Muse

Best rock album
Black Sabbath — “13”
David Bowie — “The Next Day”
Kings of Leon — “Mechanical Bull”
Led Zeppelin — “Celebration Day” — WINNER
Queens of the Stone Age — “… Like Clockwork”
Neil Young with Crazy Horse — “Psychedelic Pill”

Best alternative music album
Neko Case — “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You”
The National — “Trouble Will Find Me”
Nine Inch Nails — “Hesitation Marks”
Tame Impala — “Lonerism”
Vampire Weekend — “Modern Vampires of the City” — WINNER

Best R&B performance
Tamar Braxton — “Love and War”
Anthony Hamilton — “Best of Me”
Hiatus Kaiytoe featuring Q-Tip — “Nakamarra”
Miguel featuring Kendrick Lamar — “How Many Drinks?”
Snarky Puppy with Lala Hathaway — “Something” — WINNER

Best traditional R&B performance
Gary Clark Jr. — “Please Come Home” — WINNER
Fantasia — “Get It Right”
Maysa — “Quiet Fire”
Gregory Porter — “Hey Laura”
Ryan Shaw — “Yesterday”

Best R&B song
“Best of Me” — Anthony Hamilton
“Love and War” — Tamar Braxton
“Only One” — PJ Morton featuring Stevie Wonder
“Pusher Love Girl” — Justin Timberlake — WINNER
“Without Me” — Fantasia featuring Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliott

Best urban contemporary album
Tamar Braxton — “Love and War”
Fantasia — “Side Effects of You”
Salaam Remi — “One: In the Chamber”
Rihanna — “Unapologetic” — WINNER
Mack Wilds — “New York: A Love Story”

Best R&B album
Faith Evans — “R&B Divas”
Alicia Keys — “Girl on Fire” — WINNER
John Legend — “Love in the Future”
Chrisette Michele — “Better”
TGT — “Three Kings”

Best rap performance
Drake — “Started From the Bottom”
Eminem — “Berserk”
Jay Z — “Tom Ford”
Kendrick Lamar — “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz — “Thrift Shop” — WINNER

Best rap/sung collaboration
J. Cole featuring Miguel — “Power Trip”
Jay Z featuring Beyoncé — “Part II (On the Run)”
Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake — “Holy Grail” — WINNER
Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige — “Now or Never”
Wiz Khalifa featuring the Weeknd — “Remember You”

Best rap song
“F***in’ Problems” — A$AP Rocky featuring Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar
“Holy Grail” — Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
“New Slaves” — Kanye West
“Started From the Bottom” — Drake
“Thrift Shop” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — WINNER

Best rap album
Drake — “Nothing Was the Same”
Jay Z — “Magna Carta … Holy Grail”
Kendrick Lamar — “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis — “The Heist” — WINNER
Kanye West — “Yeezus”

Best country solo performance
Lee Brice — “I Drive Your Truck”
Hunter Hayes — “I Want Crazy”
Miranda Lambert — “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Darius Rucker — “Wagon Wheel” — WINNER
Blake Shelton — “Mine Would Be You”

Best country duo/group performance
The Civil Wars — “From This Valley” — WINNER
Kelly Clarkson featuring Vince Gill — “Don’t Rush”
Little Big Town — “Your Side of the Bed”
Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban — “Highway Don’t Care”
Kenny Rogers With Dolly Parton — “You Can’t Make Old Friends”

Best country song
“Begin Again” — Taylor Swift
“I Drive Your Truck” — Lee Brice
“Mama’s Broken Heart” — Miranda Lambert
“Merry Go ‘Round” — Kacey Musgraves — WINNER
“Mine Would Be You” — Blake Shelton

Best country album
Jason Aldean — “Night Train”
Tim McGraw — “Two Lanes of Freedom”
Kacey Musgraves — “Same Trailer Different Park” — WINNER
Blake Shelton — “Based on a True Story”
Taylor Swift — “Red”

Best Latin pop album
Frankie J — “Faith, Hope y Amor”
Ricardo Montaner — “Viajero Frecuente”
Draco Rosa — “Vida” — WINNER
Aleks Syntek — “Syntek”
Tommy Torres — “12 Historias”

Best Latin rock, urban or alternative album
Café Tacvba — “El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco”
El Tri — “Ojo Por Ojo”
Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas — “Chances”
La Santa Cecilia — “Treinta Dias” — WINNER
Los Amigos Invisibles — “Repeat After Me”

Producer of the year, nonclassical
Rob Cavallo
Dr. Luke
Ariel Rechtshaid
Jeff Tweedy
Pharrell Williams — WINNER

Best compilation soundtrack for visual media
“Django Unchained”
“The Great Gatsby” (deluxe edition)
“Les Miserables” (deluxe edition
“Muscle Shoals”
“Sound City: Real to Reel” — WINNER

Best score soundtrack for visual media
“Argo”
“The Great Gatsby”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall” — WINNER
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Best song written for visual media
Coldplay — “Atlas” — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Jessie J — “Silver Lining” — “Silver Linings Playbook”
Adele — “Skyfall” — “Skyfall” — WINNER
Colbie Caillat featuring Gavin DeGraw — “We Both Know” — “Safe Haven”
Lana Del Rey — “Young and Beautiful” — “The Great Gatsby” (deluxe edition)
Regina Spektor — “You’ve Got Time” — “Orange is the New Black”

Best music video
Captial Cities — “Safe and Sound”
Jay Z — “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton — “Can’t Hold Us”
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z — “Suit & Tie” — WINNER
Jack White — “I’m Shakin'”

Best music film
Coldplay — “Live 2012”
Green Day — “¡Cuatro!”
Ben Harper With Charlie Musselwhite — “I’m in I’m Out and I’m Gone: The Making of Get Up!”
Paul McCartney — “Live Kisses” — WINNER
Mumford & Sons — “The Road to Red Rocks”

2013’s Best in Music

music illustrationA lot of great art came to be in the entertainment world this year. The music industry especially saw some amazing projects across all genres. From pop/rock to indie, the albums that were produced in the year 2013 were spectacular, and have been on my Spotify playlist since the first week of their release. Here are 20 of the best albums created in 2013, along with my favorite song from each one:

1. Santa Fe,” Andrew Belle, Black Bear
Andrew Belle really blew me away with this album. His new dream pop sound is eargasmic, and I hope he sticks to it for a little while.

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2. International Smile,” Katy Perry, Prism
Prism was a mixture of sentimental Katy and fun Katy, her wild side tamed to a bare minimum. The upbeat tracks on the album are a blast to listen to.

3. Deja Vu,” Urban Cone, Our Youth
Thanks to the MTV VMAs, ever since “New York” played during the award show commercial break, Our Youth is one of my most played albums of the month. Their relaxed alternative vibe is definitely one to tune into.

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4. Fashion!,” Lady Gaga, ARTPOP
What would Lady Gaga be without  her fashion?! ARTPOP is a giant koons ball of a treat for the Little Monsters.

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5. Rooting for My Baby,” Miley Cyrus, Bangerz
The most talked about celebrity of the year managed to blow up during the second half of 2013 with her VMA performance and raunchy music videos. Had a bad day at work? There’s a Miley song for that!

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6. “Origami,” Capital Cities, In A Tidal Wave of Mystery
Capital Cities is one of 2014’s bands to watch. Their 80s electro-pop vibe is groovy like no other.
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7. Everlasting Arms,” Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
Vampire Weekend has done it again, coming in at number one on Rolling Stones “Best Albums of the Year,” and rightfully so. Each track on MVOTC has its own unique story.

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8. Trying To Be Cool,” Phoenix, Bankrupt!
The French invasion by band Phoenix proved to be a success with the fans in New York after an amazing night at Barclay’s Center this year. Wish I could have been there!

9. “Mountains,” Yuna, Nocturnal
Yuna’s combination of sweet songbird and vibrant melodic sass come together to create a beautiful array of island paradise on Nocturnal.

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10. “Confident,” Justin Bieber, Complete My Journals
I can’t even handle how grown up Justin Beiber’s voice is on this album. It’s unreal how the little kid that once upon a time had a song called “One Time” on Radio Disney turned out to sound like this!

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11. “Instant Crush,” Daft Punk feat. Julian Casablancas, Random Access Memories
Daft Punk + The Strokes = Perfection. Have you seen the amazing music video for their latest single?!

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12. “When It Was Now,” Atlas Genius, When It Was Now
The smooth alternative rock of Australia’s Atlas Genius is “almost too much to be enough.” It really is.

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13. “Save The Day,” Selena Gomez, Stars Dance
Even though Selena is planning to take a break from singing after this year, I have to admit, despite her inability to sing well live, Stars Dance is her best music project to date.

14. “Closer Than This,” St. Lucia, When The Night
How we all long to get closer to Jean-Phillippe Grobler. The old fashioned synth of St. Lucia is so addicting!

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15. “A World Alone,” Lorde, Pure Heroine
I sometimes forget that this girl is only 17. She’s got such a bright future ahead of her. Just keep it coming with the bedroom confessionals, Lorde.

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16. “DNA,” Empire of the Sun, Ice On The Dune
“Be mine, be my DNA,” Luke Steele. Trust me, you’ll want some of it too. Everyone does. (Except for the horrified woman whose house they invaded in the music video).

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17. “Dear Boy,” Avicii, True
You can always count on Avicii to be true to his fans. This entire album is about dedication to the EDM fandom.

18. “Thunder,” Gold Fields, Black Sun
Without Empire of the Sun, Black Sun would not be on this list, because I only know of them due to the fact that Gold Fields opened for them earlier this year. “Thunder” is literally the first song I play on Spotify whenever it’s pouring rain outside.

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19. “Great Escape,” Washed Out, Paracosm
Earnest Greene, can I live inside your head? Can I be in your paracosm, as a fairy perhaps?

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20. “Rose Quartz,” Toro Y Moi, Anything in Return
The sexual tension on this album is too much for words. “I feel weak. Uh huh.”


2013 music

Here’s to a great year of music, and another opportunity for loads more in 2014!

Hofstra Spring Music Fest 2013

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On Saturday, May 4th, 2013 students from Hofstra University treated themselves to the Spring Music Fest.

It was a blast!

There were rides, games, and music, all out on the Intramural Fields. And some crowd surfing. Check out some of the photos on the official Facebook page taken by Jared Cohen!

The lineup included Tune$, Persona, host Erin Willett, Twenty One Pilots, Joey Badass, and Third Eye Blind.

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Erin Willett

During the intermissions, students were encouraged to check out the bands at side stage. One of those bands happened to be my buddy Colin Scanlan’s band The Feel Good. The band also includes members Ian Terry, Trever Crist, and Paul Legerme. They did great job. I especially loved their song “LIFE FIGHT.” Check out their music on bandcamp!

My personal favorites were Erin Willett and Twenty One Pilots.

Erin Willett is a 2011 graduate of Hofstra University and semifinalist on season 2 of The Voice. She not only hosted the Music Fest, but she also sang for us. Her vocals are amazing. She literally blew me away with her cover of “Rolling on the River.” She looked stunning in her Festival Style tee.

Before the festival I did not know a thing about Twenty One Pilots.

I’m quite pleased that I now do know of them because they are so good!

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Twenty One Pilots drummer Josh Dun.

At first I was alarmed by their masks, but then they started to play. Their beats are so catchy, and band members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are the cutest (once they take off the masks that is)!

These guys performed some seriously catchy beats including, “Holding On To You”, “Migrane”, “Screen” and “Car Radio.” They even came down from the stage with their drums, assembled in the middle of the crowd, and then played for us! At one point, Tyler Joseph said to the audience, “We’re from Ohio, but today we’re from Hofstra.”

You can be a Hofstran any day, Tyler.

Twenty One Pilots won us all over with their mashup of covers, including Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Akon’s “Don’t Matter.”

In the days leading up to the concert, my fellow Hofstrans would not shut up about Third Eye Blind!

And they had reason to, because when they played their famous song “Jumper”, I began to realize something: music brings us together. Although everyone had their different motives for going to the festival, at the end of the day, we were all feeling that same bass guitar coursing through our bodies. We were all standing there, huddled up close at lead singer Stephan Jenkins’ command due to the chilly breeze, swaying to the same beat. Somehow in that moment, we were all connected.

Enjoy some footage from the festival!

This Week in Music: Jonas Brother’s “Pom Poms” and Matthew Koma’s “One Night”

The first week of April 2013 has brought to us the music of the Jonas Brothers and Matthew Koma.

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Truth is, I miss the Jonas Brothers. Back in 2007 I was one of those thirteen year old girls who fangirled about anything and everything Jonas. But then they died out. And now they’re trying to come back. I worry that this comeback will be unsuccessful.

Matthew Koma is slowly becoming one of my favorites. I loved his voice in Zedd’s “Spectrum” and his song “Parachute” is amazing. I was really happy to find out he was releasing a new track this week.

And now for the assessment.

JoBros!! What happened?! I used to love these guys so much, with their heartfelt lyrics, sexy vocals and hair raising guitar rifts. “Pom Poms” lacks all three of these qualities!


The video, on the other hand, was quite entertaining. I loved the choreography (this is the first Jonas Brothers video with dancers I believe). Those female dancers have some serious skills! The kid in the milkshake scene was humorous. I also thought the choir was very interesting to see popping up every now and then. I’m kind of confused though, as to why that band player at the end does the bridge, hitting his hat smack down on the grassy field as a result. Weird.

There might be hope for these guys. Might.

And, Nick, please, please let your sexy curls grow back. You’re really starting to creep me out with that shorter cut you’ve been sporting around. I used to drool over Nick’s curls, hoping that one day I’d marry him and watch them turn gray. Sigh. Those days are long gone.

Matthew Koma does some interesting things with the lyrics for “One Night.” I love how he sings the chorus. He makes the song so fun with his cool vibrato and calm vocals. The play on words in the line “In a white Mercedes that bends me to the grave” is just brilliant. The bubble gum metaphor is also genius. I can’t stop myself from singing along when it goes “Chew my love under your tongue like it’s your bubblegum. Just spit me out when it becomes more than fun.”

The music video was a bit odd though. I wish there were better visuals of the carnival, because the bell sounds in the intro of the song remind me of carnival scenes. The part where Matthew Koma touches that guy’s mustache was hilarious. Those crazy teens with the ginormous bubble and the firework were just awkward.

 

Maybe I’m being a bit to harsh, but I think “One Night” won me over. I’m sorry Jonas Bros, but I will not be putting my pom poms down for you guys. Get it together JoBros!