I watched the Super Bowl last night as I lay dying on the couch with my husband. Both he and I came down with something, and our poor boy was upstairs throwing up everywhere, as the kid has no aim to speak of. So unfortunately, no Super Bowl beers were had, no amazingly fatty snacks were served, and paying full attention to the game was not happening. The halftime show featured Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz (for about 20 seconds), and surprise performer Missy Elliott. It was nice to see a halftime show with people who are still relevant and young, but I was not over the moon about it like everyone else seems to be. I simply lost my taste for Katy.
As I quickly learned via Twitter, saying anything except “OMG KATY WAS AMAZING” means that you are a hateful, soulless being who doesn’t appreciate art, music, and is simply jealous of the brilliant talent that Katy Perry is. It wasn’t as if I was saying she sucks or can’t sing. I own one of her CDs that I specifically went to Best Buy to purchase. I enjoy a couple songs. I’ve just moved on from her. That’s not to say she’s a bad musician, only to say that she isn’t for me anymore. Sorry.
As far as the performance itself, it was oddly entertaining, emphasis on the odd. I appreciate a good show but I’m not a fan of this new trend of being as weird as possible. I don’t get the dancing sharks and funny face beach balls and acting like a cartoon character. I feel the same when Miley Cyrus goes overboard. Good on her for daring to be different, but as an adult, I don’t long to feel as if I’m on Sesame Street when I see a musical performance. Was it a good show? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Not until Missy Elliott appeared.
This is my opinion, it’s not going to change, and no one sharing my opinion should be crucified for having it. It would be a very boring place to live if we all rallied around the same musical acts, watched the same movies, and read the same books. Differing opinions are what makes the world interesting. My husband opened me up to some amazing musical artists that I would not have listened to on my own, as well as suggested books I would never think to touch that turned out to be amazing. I have friends that have suggested places to go I’ve never heard of, things to do I wouldn’t have considered on my own, and I’m grateful for it. I have no desire to hang around clones of myself, so I appreciate the differences between myself and the people around me.
I don’t enjoy Katy Perry and that is perfectly fine. When it comes to musical preference, there is never a right or a wrong way to feel. Music can become something very intimate and personal; it’s very common to hear someone say a song or album changed or saved their life. Katy may be your entire world, but to me she’s just another artist. I’m not wrong. Neither are you. Let’s all just take a deep breath, embrace our different opinions, and move on to more important things, shall we?
I am a senior writer for FaceToHeel.com, a newly launched site that covers all things wrestling. Over the past couple months, we’ve covered some amazing topics, met some great people via Twitter at @facetoheel, and learned a hell of a lot along the way. We’ve live tweeted PPVs, posted instant feedback after matches, and have found new ways of looking at the business of wrestling entertainment. Little by little, we are growing and expanding in our efforts to cover and discuss more about what is going on currently, what’s happened in the past, and what the future might bring.
In an effort to get to know our readers better, I have a challenge for all of you. When a wrestler debuts, there are a couple of things that can immediately determine their success; what they are wearing and what music they walk out to. I’m not all that interested in fashion at the moment, but I have always been fascinated at how a song can influence the way the audience views a wrestler. Just like we tend to judge people based on the music they listen to, we judge a wrestler by the music they enter the arena to. WWE’s Dean Ambrose becomes even more unstable and manic, Jack Swagger turns into the ultimate patriot, Adam Rose is a wacky joke, and The Miz is a conceited prick. TNA’s Angelina Love and Velvet Sky are the ultimate drama queens, Mr. Anderson is a man on a mission, and Chris Melendez is an American hero.
Eventually, certain songs become iconic. The car crash before Mick Foley’s song hits, the breaking glass signaling the entrance of Stone Cold, the ringing of the bells welcoming Undertaker; we all instantly and almost uncontrollably react. When Real American starts to play, thousands of fans promise to take their vitamins as they cheer for Hulk Hogan. If CM Punk’s opening riff ever rings out again, half of the world will entirely lose their minds. We may not always realize it, but entrance music is vital to a wrestler’s success and their lasting power.
On that note, have you ever thought about what your entrance music would be? Imagine you’re about to debut on Impact Wrestling or on Monday Night Raw. You’re in your full gear and ready to go. You stretch a bit, staring ahead at the curtain, just waiting to break through into that massive arena filled with screaming fans. Finally, you hear your music hit. What song would it be?
If you have a great answer and you would like to be featured in a FaceToHeel.com article, please contact me immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @_CutePoison. Your answer will be used in an upcoming article and you will be credited by your Twitter handle, your Facebook page, or another social media outlet of your choosing. Depending on the response, there is an opportunity for the best answer to get their own feature article. Please reach out as soon as possible for details and questions. We at F2H have been doing a lot of talking lately; now it’s your turn to speak!
**This not my journey, but the journey of two musicians; Mandy and Kris. It is best said in their words, so a good part of this blog will be cut and paste from an external site. PLEASE click on the provided links for more info**
I first heard of Noctura through X103, our local rock station in Indy. I loved what I heard and decided to do what I always do when curious; go to Google. I began following Mandy and Kris on Twitter soon after, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that they’re both sweet, funny, and overall awesome people who love their fans and aren’t shy about letting them know. They’ve never been anything but nice to me, which makes me want to support their music even more.
Recently, the pair posted a link to a fundraising site that made me realize that these two have some serious balls. I’m pasting some of their own words below so you can get an idea, but PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK and visit the page for yourself so you can help out and read their story in its entirety!
“We’re a guy and a girl from Indiana and we like to make music. We’ve been lucky enough to accomplish some awesome things so far during our music endeavors, like crowdfunding our debut album in two days, selling out our debut show in 72 hours, snagging some killer opening slots for bigger acts, writing music for an independent feature film, and earning support from some major radio networks. How’d we do all that? Simple answer: OUR. FANS. FREAKING. RULE.
Our online fan community is amazing beyond words. You guys have flooded radio stations with requests for our music, voted us to the top spot in several contests, sold out our shows in record time – the list goes on and on. We cannot tell you enough how important you are to us. We owe any and all of our successes to you. YOU are the reason we make music, and you’re in our hearts with every new song we write or journey we embark upon.
Speaking of journeys, we’re about to set off on the scariest, most exciting one yet! We’ve maintained our “normal” lives throughout our musical adventures, creating new songs as time and mental capacity have allowed outside our normal day jobs and typical routines. The stability in all this has been nice, but it’s not what’s in our hearts. We both know we were born to create music. (We have the obligatory music-themed tattoos and everything.)
So one day we just decided.
To stop spending 40 hours per week at jobs that don’t fulfill our spirits.
To stop living in a geographic location simply because we were raised here.
To stop being scared to take a leap of faith.
To stop using the word “someday”.
We’re quitting our jobs, selling/donating virtually everything we own, saying goodbye to our friends and family – and on February 28th, we’ll load up the car and drive across the country to start a new life in LA.”
Like I said, these two have BALLS. The IndieGoGo website is where you all come in. Read their story, check out their website, listen to their music, and help them get to LA and make the most amazing EP ever! Their goal is $5,000, but it would be amazing if we could all help spread the word and help Noctura to surpass their goal and have enough to fund the perfect album, among other things that the pair have planned. There are also perks for donating, such as digital downloads, physical copies of the new EP, t-shirts, posters, and a ton more that I refuse to reveal; go check the site for details!
Even a dollar can make a difference, and every new person we can tell about this fundraising effort is a huge help. Please share, visit the site, and wish Kris and Mandy all the luck in the world!
Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna in 2009, causing physical damage and leaving her battered and weak; the photos of the aftermath were horrible. He pled guilty to the assault and proceeded to go on to fix his life and make countless improvements. Wait… no, he went on to have a hissy fit on Good Morning America and throw a chair into a window, fight with fellow musician Drake at a nightclub, and continuously act inappropriate on Twitter by posting horrible comments and starting feuds with people ranging from the girl with 10 followers to the guy with a million. His most recent offense took place a few days ago between him and comedian/writer Jenny Johnson.
Johnson’s comment on his tweet about looking old started a war. As a celebrity, one should be prepared for criticism, and Brown should be more prepared than most. Considering his laundry list of negative actions and his total lack of remorse, he is quite the easy target. Rather than ignore her or at least come up with a clever quip in response, he resorted to grotesque and childish retorts that Johnson easily countered and make him look even more foolish than before:
I’m not a Jenny Johnson fan. Nothing against her, I’m simply not into her tweets and I gave up on following her after only a couple weeks, back when Twitter was still new to me. That said, I have to commend her for not only coming out on top with these exchanges, but for shaking Brown up so badly that he either took it upon himself to delete his Twitter account or was advised to by his manager or another person on the management staff. The majority of men who beat women are cowards at heart, and Brown definitely fits into that category by fleeing Twitter.
What annoys me about Brown, other than what he did to Rihanna, is his “I don’t give a damn” attitude about that incident and about life in general. His fan base has remained loyal, resulting in his music career to continue to flourish, and I have to wonder if he interprets that as being completely forgiven for his actions and now able to do or say whatever he wants. Not once has Brown acted as though he knows he did something inappropriate and unacceptable, he simply continues down this dark road, doing and saying things we can’t help but cringe at.
The aforementioned fan base who keeps Brown on a pedestal is also very telling. Negativity attracts negativity, low class people tend to migrate towards other low class people, and ignorant people look up to other ignorant people. Brown’s fans made themselves look just as classy as the singer himself, which is to say they acted with no class at all. After the heated Twitter debate (massacre, really) between Johnson and Brown, many of the fans took to Twitter and began attacking Johnson:
After Brown deleted his Twitter account, the comments from his fans became much worse:
Johnson is a big girl and can take care of herself. She, like Brown, must expect a bit of negativity to come her way since she is a public figure. Although nowhere near Brown’s status, she puts herself out there on a daily basis and willingly engages in these type of exchanges with people. She knew full well that Brown and his fans would react the way they did and while she probably didn’t expect to have so many people want to kill her, she had to expect the rage. I don’t feel pity for her, as these threats are likely empty and said only in the heat of the moment, and I would expect she won’t be looking for pity herself.
What worries me with this incident is not the safety of Johnson or anyone else who chooses to speak ill of Brown publicly. What worries me is the amount of people defending a man that said he will shit and fart on a female because she insulted him. Brown sounded like a rejected script from Beavis and Butthead and as a result, dozens upon dozens of people rush to his defense by saying they will stab and murder those who don’t love him like they do. This mentality frightens me. Even if we forgive Brown for his actions in the past, how can anyone justify defending his grotesque insults and put all of the fault on the woman who actually has a strong grasp on the English language? Why are all of these people coming to his defense?
Someone who behaves and speaks like Chris Brown should not be idolized and should not be rewarded for bad behavior. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened. Rihanna has seemingly forgiven him for the attack and his fans rally behind him, showing Brown that only the “haters” continue to fault him for the assault. Those “haters” are the same ones who find his actions foolish (bar fights, social media wars, etc) and those “haters” are all wrong. This strange mentality has allowed this Twitter incident to happen and has bred these death threats. This mentality has put us in a place where we fault the strong and outspoken female rather than the woman beating, immature man-child with tendencies to have random violent outbursts.
If it was my husband who battered my face, threw a chair into a window because of the rage he felt over being judged because of it, started fights at bars, and told a stranger to suck his dick while he shit on her, how many people out there would declare themselves to be Team Baker? Who would rally behind him? His friends would likely take my side as the beaten woman, faulting him for his actions and possibly writing him off altogether. No one would be tolerant of the way he spoke to people, combining bathroom activities with sexual ones and using that as an insult. He would be shamed for his actions and forced to either change or to be alone.
Achieving fame shouldn’t be a get out of jail free card. Fans shouldn’t be so forgiving of a person simply because they enjoy that person’s art, be it musical or otherwise. It bothers me that Brown gets a pass simply because he’s made some catchy music, but it bothers me more that nobodies like me are jumping to his defense after the lewd things he said. It frightens me that people can be so ignorant and so incredibly stupid in their thoughts and actions. It saddens me that the focus is on Johnson when it should be on the sheep who attacked her and on the man who was the catalyst. It angers me that someone can say “I should fart while ur giving me top” and have people applaud it.
Celebrities are no better or worse than the rest of us normal people wandering the world. They aren’t changing the world the way certain doctors and scientists are, they aren’t giving their entire lives over to someone else the way nuns give their lives to God, and they aren’t above us in any way other than with their pay grade. With the exception of very few, celebrities are simply regular people who happen to have a skill that the masses enjoy or they happen to be interesting enough to warrant cameras following them around. We need to view celebrities the way we view any other person on the street or in the office, and we need to begin doing it now. If this incident with Brown and Johnson is an indicator of the new normal, where we applaud a person’s bad behavior and fling threats against those who disagree with our love of their smut, then society truly has failed.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012. The first half of my day is filled with feelings of anxiety that lead to the annoyance of a constantly upset stomach. Two tickets to Tool are in our car but all I can think of is that the guy I bought them from ripped me off and these reprints or fakes will leave my husband and I out in the cold. Since I turned 18 and began paying for the roof over my head, I had been trying to get Tool tickets. Elusive little things; I’d arrive early to a Ticketmaster location only to be told the tickets were gone in less than 60 seconds, or I’d hop online and be greeted with an apology message rather than the option to choose my seats. This time around, I paid more than double the face value of each ticket through a third-party ticket exchange service; there’s always the chance this is their last tour and I’m not leaving a Tool concert unchecked on my bucket list.
Two hundred and thirty-one miles lay between our home and the Huntington Center in Toledo. We embarked on what must have been the world’s most uneventful and least scenic road trip, arriving a couple of hours prior to the show to enjoy a couple beers and some great food with family. My initial worries proved to be highly unnecessary as we entered the venue without incident with our obviously valid tickets. After a bit of a wander, we walked onto the arena floor and found our seats; close to center and perhaps fifty feet from the stage. Finally, the only thing standing between me and Tool was a couple opening acts.
As tempting as it is to do the typical review, giving you the set list and describing the lighting, I feel that it wouldn’t do the show justice. I had always heard Tool concerts described as a religious experience, something unlike anything you’ve seen before and a phenomenon no other band can replicate. I was also aware that Maynard would most likely be hiding in the shadows while Danny, Adam, and Justin were shrouded to a lesser degree by the positioning of the lights. As much as I knew about their shows from my husband and various friends, I still felt as though I was walking into this show blind, the only thing I could be sure to expect was mind-blowing music.
I can describe to you what every band member wore and what they were doing at various points in the show; they were present without becoming the focal point for the audience. It’s incredible to me how much stage presence and power Maynard brings while placing himself behind his band mates for the entire show. If anyone can be given a pass on having an inflated ego, it’s Maynard, yet he casts aside the expectations of a front man and allows the music to take center stage. He could easily demand spotlights on him, riling the crowd up simply by allowing them a glimpse of greatness, but instead he chooses not to cheapen the music and experience and remains in place as nothing more than a piece of the machine that is Tool.
With a couple minor exceptions, that Tuesday night crowd moved as one. Voices were synchronized, gestures choreographed, it was as if the sound bellowing from the speakers instructed us on how to behave and react. At some points during the night, I was left motionless and nearly slack-jawed, unable to do much aside from absorbing the sound and allowing my eyes to feast on what was happening before me. Unlike the greasy-haired hippie who head-banged for the sake of whipping his filthy locks around, I was unable to tear my eyes and concentration from the stage and the screens. At other points, the music overtook me and I couldn’t help but move and be moved. Often, I forgot about the strangers surrounding me, reminded only when one would accidentally bump my elbow or move down our aisle. It was a strange combination of feeling like one among many and feeling like the only person in the room.
Eight hours combined in the car to get there and back, somewhere around 60 minutes of sleep to keep me going at work the next day, a neck that feels as if it has been subjected to rigorous torture, ears that won’t stop ringing, a very sore throat, and a zombie-like glaze over my face are all the obvious souvenirs I took from my Tuesday night concert with my husband. Not so obvious is the incredible happiness I have for finally being a part of the crowd at a Tool concert and for having my husband by my side the entire night. Also less visible is the satisfaction of being able to say I was there, to know I experienced it, and to know that I can without a doubt or second thought say that this concert will forever be in the #1 spot for musical events in my lifetime.
The stage collapsing at the Indiana State Fair left a tangled mess of metal not fit for any type of performance by any of the bands scheduled. A couple acts decided to cancel their show altogether and refund the ticket prices to their fans. Thankfully, Maroon 5 and Train didn’t choose this route. Through a lot of scrambling, the event was moved to Conseco Fieldhouse so 12,000 happy fans wouldn’t have to miss out on a show. The only downside was that seating became general admission, and since we chose to have dinner and drinks at Rock Bottom beforehand, we arrived well after the doors had opened so most of the seats were filled by the time we arrived.
We sat at the top of the club level row on the side of the stage. It was nice because we were close enough to see what was going on, we had no one behind us, had 4 seats together and we were able to see what was going on behind the scenes when the curtain was still down. I couldn’t tell you who the opening act was, but I did hear him do a couple of cover songs while we were standing at the giant Coors keg cart ordering a few beers. It’s important to get the proper beer-face going on for musical events.
After just a few minutes of waiting, the music started. Naturally, my first thought was that Train was about to take the stage, because as my husband says, “In NO universe should Maroon 5 open for Train.” Well, in this universe, Maroon 5 opens for Train. They absolutely killed it. Their live sound definitely has their CD beat, the music was amazing and they played nearly every song I was looking forward to hearing, the crowd was engaged, Adam played all sides of the arena, and the energy was fabulous! The 4 of us danced and sang along, with my husband making sure to get in a few “OMG ADAM!!” screams to match the row of teenage girls below us.
After too short of a set, Train took the stage. They began with an engine and whistle sound that was a pretty bad ass way to open, but that excitement was squashed when the music began. Nothing against Train, but to repeat what my husband said, in no universe should Maroon 5 open for Train! I know I would hate to follow an act that had me beat in sound and state presence, and I almost felt a bit bad for Train. They did end their show on a high note though, and overall the night was fantastic!
The proceeds for the concert, somewhere around $500,000, is being donated to the families of the victims of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. It’s a very nice gesture and I hope as well that some funds are also being donated to the fair itself to help fund the clean up, the rebuild, and the salary of everyone who is having to work extra hours to get all of that work completed quickly and safely. During the concert, it was announced that anyone may text to donate; text FAIR to 27722 to make a $10 donation. After texting you’ll get a reply back stating: “To confirm your $10 donation to FAIR FUND reply with the word YES.” After you reply, you’ll get a message back stating: “Thanks! $10 will be charged to your phone bill.”
Goes without saying (but I’m saying it anyway) that we had an absolute blast and were greatly impressed with Maroon 5’s show. I also have to highly recommend visiting Rock Bottom for drinks and dinner if you’re near Conseco or if you’re around one of their other locations. Absolutely delicious! Overall, I think I’m pretty glad that the venue was changed; while I was looking forward to the fair, I think Conseco provided a much better venue. All good things though must come to an end… now all that’s left for us to do is sit patiently and anticipate the next concert we’ll be attending. We can’t wait!