Getting Old… Er, Growing Up

Posted in church, music on November 9th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday November 9 is the 2011 Country Music Awards – an event once so important to me that I would put my schedule on hold so I could enjoy watching this annual awards show on tv.  For a few years now, I have committed my Wednesday nights to leading a small group for church’s student ministries.  The past 2 years, one of my kids happened to be sick on the same Wednesday nights as the awards show, so I volunteered to be the parent to stay home with the sick kid and I didn’t have to miss the show nor play hooky from youth group – I had a legitimate reason for calling in sick.  This year, there is again a virus circulating through our family, and I think I have a mild case…  but things have changed.  Even if one of my kids was ill tonight, I would be the one to go to youth group and let Hubby stay home with the sick kid(s).  Luckily, I think we’ll both be able to make it to youth group tonight, and I am so excited!  The new series we started last week is about demons, and it gave me a great connecting point with my girls – we had a great group time last week!  Now that I’m back from maternity leave and free from the distractions of pregnancy, I am stoked to build relationships with my youth group girls and help them build their spiritual relationships with Jesus Christ.  I am so excited about youth group tonight that the country awards show hardly matters to me – I might try to set up a recording device so I can watch it later, but watching it live doesn’t matter to me at all when once it was dire for my entertainment.

Maybe I’m getting old…  no, I think I’m growing up!  It’s so cool to me that God is teaching me about prioritizing and also about using my free time and leading me toward hobbies that glorify Him.  How amazing is it that I can be entertained, relaxed, refreshed, and feel fulfilled, not by doing something that only I enjoy but by doing something that affects others in a positive way as well?

CMA Time Already!!

Posted in music on November 10th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s that time of year again!  Dust off your cowboy hat, put it on, and get ready for a rootin’ tootin’ time watching the 44th annual Country Music Association Awards!!

I’m going to try something different this year – I’m not going to watch it.

Not that I don’t want to, because I really do, especially when I go to the website and see all the stuff about live streaming comments and things like that.  It wasn’t too many years ago when I made my own blog of live streaming comments, and I had fun doing it.  But I won’t be able to watch the CMAs this year because I have something much more important to do:  I lead a small group of 6th grade girls at our church’s youth group on Wednesday nights.  I’m not about to put a tv show above those girls, and I certainly wouldn’t be prepared to tell them the reason for my absence was because of the CMA awards – that would not be acceptable.  If one of my own kids was sick and I stayed home for that reason (as it happened last year on CMA night), that would be a different story, but it’s a great thing that everyone is healthy enough for me to have to miss one of my two most favorite tv events of the year (not including a year the Chicago Cubs would make it into MLB playoffs, but that hasn’t been anything I need to concern myself with in quite some time, Grrrr – my other favorite tv event is the other big country music awards show, the ACMs in the spring).

If you watch the CMA awards, HAVE FUN!!  I’m hoping that whatever recording device my husband has in mind to record these will work – we often have bad luck with recording devices.  Part of me will miss being a part of the event, reading the live commentary and providing my own, and part of me was ready to move on anyway – seems I’ve become increasingly disconnected with today’s country music scene (now I just sound old).  I’ll still give my picks, but they are guesses at best because I really haven’t been following the genre lately.  I didn’t even know until I looked last night to find out what time the awards came on that Gwyneth Paltrow, the movie star, has a hit song on country radio right now.  I’m actually more into Christian music than ever before; there is some pretty good stuff out there.  And listening to Christian music gives me a chance to practice my dances I have on Sunday mornings with the 1st graders 🙂  But all of that leaves less time to listen and keep up with country music.

But what the hey, I’ve had fun trying to pick the winners every year so here goes.  My picks are in green with random thoughts in itallics:

♦♦Entertainer of the YearBrad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band (What?!?  No Kenny Chesney??  That’s great news for those of us who aren’t big fans…  now, who to choose to take his place?)

Female Vocalist – Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood (So great to see 2 of my favorites (Martina and Reba) back in the game!  I don’t think Martina will win, but I SO WANTED to choose her!!  Carrie Underwood is great too – I’m not a big fan of Taylor Swift, but unfortunately, I think she will win this one)

♦♦Male Vocalist –  Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Keith Urban

New Artist – Luke Bryan, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Nieman, Chris Young, Zac Brown Band (Explain to me how Zac Brown Band is still considered “new”?  They have some great music and have proven themselves, as I would think being a nominee for Entertainer of the Year would prove!)

Vocal GroupLady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Rascall Flatts, The Band Perry, Zac Brown Band (Let’s be honest, I think Lady Antebellum will take it.  But I just love the music of Rascall Flatts, and can’t bear to vote against them. I’m not trying to get 2 votes in – officially, my pick is Rascall Flatts)

Vocal DuoBrooks and Dunn, Joey + Rory, Montgomery Gentry, Steel Magnolia, Sugarland (The last year for Brooks and Dunn, and I don’t think they’ll pull a GARTH Brooks and pull out of retirement, so this powerful duo gets my vote – they are so talented, so they deserve it anyway.  I was lucky enough to see them in concert 3 times, and they did not disappoint once!)

♦♦Single – A Little More Country Than That by Easton Corbin, Hillbilly Bone by Blake Shelton featuring Trace Adkins, Need You Now by Lady Antebellum, The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert, White Liar by Miranda Lambert

♦♦Song – A Little More Country Than That, Need You Now, The House That Built Me, Toes, White Liar

♦♦Musical Event – Bad Angel by Dierks Bentley feat. Miranda Lambert & Jamey Johnson, Can’t You See by Zac Brown Band feat. Kid Rock, Hillbilly Bone by Blake Shelton feat. Trace Adkins, I’m Alive by Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews, Till The End by Alan Jackson with Lee Ann Womack

Music Video – Hillbilly Bone by Blake Shelton feat. Trace Adkins, Need You Now Lady Antebellum, The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert, Water by Brad Paisley, White Liar by Miranda Lambert

Musician – Paul Franklin – Steel Guitar, Dann Huff – Guitar, Brent Mason – Guitar, Mac McAnally – Guitar, Randy Scruggs – Guitar

Hmm, 5 correct of the 11 I guessed…  not too great.  Oh well, it was a good show and fun to watch!

Country Music Award Time!!!

Posted in music on November 11th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s time for the CMAs, and I’m making just a quick little post to share my guesses –  we’ll see how I do at the end of the night.  I know, I know I whined and cried about missing the show this year, but my family came down with H1N1 and we’re under a self-imposed quarantine.  I think the kids need to get to bed early – for their health, of course 😉 –  and I get to watch the show live after all!  Believe me, I would so much rather be at youth group tonight, despite all my whining, I swear!  This is an awful sickness, and I would so much rather not have anyone in my family have to have it…  but I don’t want to dwell on that now –  we’ve been living this illness since Friday night, so it’s time to break from that now a little bit –  CMA time!!!!!

My picks – I’ll try to update throughout the night to see how I did.  Correct in green, wrong in red.

TOTAL:  4/11

Entertainer of the Year:
Taylor Swift
, winner
Kenny Chesney

Female Vocalist:
Taylor Swift
, winner
Carrie Underwood

Male Vocalist:
Brad Paisley

Vocal Duo:
Sugarland
, winner
Brooks and Dunn

Vocal Group:
Lady Antebellum, winner

Rascal Flatts

New Artist:
Darius Rucker, winner

Jake Owen

Album:
Taylor Swift’s Fearless

Single:
I Run To You – Lady Antebellum

Song:
In Color – Jamey Johnson, winner

I Told You So – Randy Travis

Event:
Start a Band

I Told You So

Music Video:
Taylor Swift

NOTES:  Awesome show so far –  great performances, and I love the hosting duo of Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.  Their little duets are entertaining, funny, and even pleasant music to listen to!  I especially  appreciate the ditty about the swine flu – priceless, and it really hits home right now!  Carrie Underwood has an amazing voice!  Thank you American Idol for gifting her to country music!
I love the infusion of the classic country: Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys and especially the Zac Brown Band’s rendition of Devil Went Down to Georgia (on speed!) was EXCELLENT!!
Brooks and Dunn’s final CMA performance (retiring) with ZZ Top is a highlight!
Still enjoying the show, but what the heck happened to the awesome hosting duo of Paisley and Underwood?  Seems like they haven’t been onstage together for a while.  And when they do reappear together, let’s can the jokes about Brad checking out Carrie’s looks behind the back of his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley – there’s just been too many of those jokes, and they’re stale.

What could be better than Martina McBride singing When Country Wasn’t Cool with Charlie McCoy on harmonica as a tribute to Barbara Mandrell to welcome her into the Country Music Hall of Fame?!?  That was GREAT!  That reminds me of an addition I must make to a fellow tangents.org blog about my favorite Christmas special – The Mandrell Sisters Christmas!
Oh man…  the show started out the best CMA awards show EVER!  But then it slowly went downhill…  until the final award – Taylor Swift?!?  You’ve got to be kidding.  She is very talented and has done a wonder for attracting teen and tween girls to the country music genre, but…  What about the rest of us!?!  Let’s face it, she did have a heck of a time hitting some of those high notes…  Well, I’m not going to act like Kanye West.  Taylor Swift deserves her time in the spotlight, even if it did ruin the entire flow of the CMAs…

Oh, and judging by my total guesses correct, it’s obvious how much I’m allowed to listen to country music radio these days…  For me, it’s mostly KidsSongs and videos from the library (lately Shelley Duvall’s Fairy Tale Theater) in the car.  Whatever – no one could have seen that Taylor Swift Entertainer of the Year coming no matter what you spend your day listening to.  I don’t care if she IS the youngest CMA nominee for Entertainer of the Year ever – in my opinion, she should have had a lot more ground to cover before she won an award like that!  The show started out great, but I have to say, I am left disappointed, and not only by my terrible score 🙁

The Drama…

Posted in church, Kids, music on November 5th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

I’m going on my third month as a youth group leader, and while I always enjoy myself at church on Wednesday nights, in recent weeks I’ve also felt a strange kind of dread.  I couldn’t put my finger on it until last night.  There was a huge drama in our small group of 7th grade girls involving a friendship between two of the girls.  The situation made for a lot of tension and was also a huge distraction from our lesson.  After group, I mentioned this to the other 7th grade girls leader and the youth pastor, and neither seemed surprised, especially given the dramatic nature of a specific girl in my group – their words, not mine.  I came home around 9 pm last night with 4 of my own little kids to put to bed while feeling entirely emotionally drained.  I realized that even though I enjoy being a youth group leader for the most part, that strange sense of dread that I feel in the beginning of the week has to do with bracing myself for the weekly Wednesday night drama.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the other 7th grade girls leader’s attitude has greatly improved since the beginning of the year.  Also, a few weeks ago, two students were transferred into my group because their friends were in my group – so now I have the entire clique in my group, and I get to oversee and facilitate all of their various factions.  Wonderful.  I have a theory that the other leader was very discouraged and emotionally drained by these girls and their drama by the end of last year, and so when I showed up, I was given the clique and their dramatics for my group.  Ah, the joys of being the newbie.  I’m happy to help, and I’m glad the other leader seems much happier, but I really need to find a way to encourage these girls to shift their priorities a little bit.

Complicating the matter is the fact that we meet in the youth pastor’s office, so it’s really hard to supervise everyone at once, especially when there is drama.  I have girls wanting to poke through his drawers, lie under his computer desk, read his post-it notes and memos, and to sit on his desk.  I’m starting to feel more like a babysitter than a small group leader, and the girls in my group are turning 13; it’s not like they’re little kids (which is what I’m dealing with all day and at night AFTER youth group).

Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy it; I’m just really frustrated right now.  I really like the fact that it’s something I get to do with my husband (the small group part is only about 40 minutes.  For the rest of the two hours, we get to do things together), and I like hanging out with the other leaders and the girls when they’re not acting crazy.  I’m just saying that those times are getting few and far between.  I need to find a way to focus the kids and also to get our group back to concentrating on the weekly lessons.  We can still have fun while we do  that, but step #1 will probably be to get us out of the pastor’s office – I don’t even know where to start if not there.

When I signed up for this gig, I failed to realize that aside from the long-shot of the Chicago Cubs making the World Series, my two favorite yearly live televised events – the Country Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards – air on Wednesday nights.  I cannot express how much I enjoy watching these shows, and it’s kind of like an athletic event – it’s not really the same to watch them after the fact.  One year, I even did a live blog while watching one of these awards shows, and it was hectic, but a lot of fun.  Tempted as I am to call in sick to youth group next week, I could not look seven 7th graders in the eyes and tell them that I missed our group to stay home and watch the Country Music Awards, especially after the major drama that was this week.  So next week, I will actually be avoiding cnn.com and the media from late Wednesday night until whenever I will get a chance to watch the recorded CMAs – which might not be until the weekend!!!  Yes, I’m pouting, but I’m going to put my best face forward and just do it.  But I reserve the right to complain about it all I want on my blog!!!!!

CMA Awards – LIVE Blogging!

Posted in music on November 12th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Many of you have read a live blog before; ie people posting comments while an awards show is airing on tv.  But have you ever read a live blog that is being composed within the vicinity of 4 crazy kids?  The following represents my best shot at attempting the previous description:

PRESHOW
7:30 pm – It’s Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban on the red carpet.  They’re a cute coupl…  wait a minute, they look weird together.  Well, actually, just Nicole Kidman looks strange.  Kinda like Janice from the Muppets meets the thin spaced-out version of Anna Nicole Smith.  It’s mean to be critical of people based on their appearances, but in this case, I suspect a nasty mistake in the plastic surgeon’s office.  Since she did it to herself (and spent thousand$ to do so), no holds barred – I can joke all I want!  And Nicole doesn’t seem very comfortable with playing second fiddle (it’s a country music awards show – appreciate the fiddle joke!) on the red carpet.  I give this marriage 3 years, 4 tops.

7:35pm – Jack Ingram?  Who IS that?  If you read my previous blog post about the awards, then you know that I don’t get to listen to that much radio lately, and I don’t have the slightest idea who this is!

7:37 – Fans overwhelmingly choose Carrie Underwood to take Female Vocalist – both hubby and I agree.  That reminds me, it will be a tight race in our household tonight – my husband and I only have 3 votes different from each other!  And a reader / fellow blogger asked in a comment what the winner gets…  we will have to choose our stakes before show time…

7:38 – So THAT’S the other half of Sugarland

7:38 – Julianne Hough from Dancing With The Stars?  Didn’t she just have her appendix out?  She’s hosting the pre-show with Craig Morgan?  Isn’t THIS the pre-show?

7:45 – Awww – Alan Jackson has a cute family.  One of his 3 girls is off at college this year though.  What is with male country superstars having 3 girls?  Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw all have 3 daughters each, to name a few…

7:46 – Every time I see her, Reba looks younger.  Glad to see she can afford a better plastic surgeon than Nicole Kidman.  Reba better watch out though – any more nose jobs and she’ll end up with a nose (or lack thereof) like Michael Jackson’s.

7:53 – Charlie Daniels – that’s my guess when Kid Rock (my new favorite artist – kidding) says he’s going to have a very special guest guitarist.

 7:56 – Taylor Swift is growing up…  after the things I’ve read about her since her breakup with the Jonas Brother, she might make a creepy adult.

 7:58 – Ew, I can’t stand Reese Witherspoon.  What’s she doing here?  Oh, she grew up in NAshville and is promoting a movie.

7:59 – My husband leans over and says, “Reese Witherspoon?  I can’t stand her.”

7:59 – Time to switch to the network for the real show!

2008 CMA AWARDS!
8:00 – We are off!  Brad Paisley and Keith open the show with their much hyped collaboration.  I like the blue glitter guitar.  The song is nothing special.  I dig the duel guitar solo at the end.

 8:06 – Our hosts for the night – Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood (from American Idol to HOSTING the CMAS?  Whatever…)  She looks like a Barbie.
8:07 – Brad makes a “boots to fill” joke involving Dolly Parton – he did say boots.  Hahaha – that’s the joke.  Country music stars are creative song-writers…  we never promised anything about their comedy skills.  But I liked the joke, because the country music awards show I saw live (it was an ACM awards show though) was hosted by Dolly Parton.

8:10 – What are Hollywood A-listers doing here to present the first award?  Oh wait, Nicole Kidman is married to a country music superstar.  So what is with the random Hugh Jackman appearance though?

 8:11 – Strait wins the first award of the evening for Single of the Year.  0/1 are we since we both guessed Sugarland.  But who was that man George Strait kissed before his acceptance speech?

 8:17 – Is it Kellie Pickler or a bad Madonna impersonator who sound like Belinda Carlisle?  I don’t like it.

8:18 – My husband leans over and says, ” This is like an American Idol performance.”  Ironic, because he relies on me for pop culture info and therefore did not know that this is Kellie Pickler who IS from American Idol!  Glad to see she got herself out of the dress she said it took her hours to get into before she had a bathroom emergency.

8:20 – Alan Jackson – probably my favorite country artist of all time, ever since Garth Brooks sold out.  Not sure what I think of his new song Good Time, though…  It seems like a run-of-the-mill Alan Jackson song, which isn’t a bad thing, just heard before.  My husband feels badly for Kellie Pickler whose awfulness had to be followed by Alan Jackson’s legendary stage presence.

8:23 – What the heck is with the college-age line dancers lining the aisles – that’s stupid.  Are they trying to make a new linedance?  This one looks just like the electric slide with a little wiggle thrown in…  dumb.  Alan Jackson squints into the camera – he’s getting old.

8:25 – the Cyruses, yuck.  Saw Billy Ray live in 2002 when he was still a has-been playing town festivals.  He ignored the legions  dozens of fans trying to slap him five on his way to the stage.  At least my daughter is a big fan of Miley’s – that makes this tolerable.

8:26 – Stay wins Song of the Year, and I’m 0/2, possibly my worst ever.  Husband is up and I have only 2 more chances to catch up…  mood turning sour…  at least it’s a good song.

 8:32 – Miranda Lambert performs.  I like her.  And I like these simple performances of songwriter sings simple song with guitar – songs like these are building blocks of country music.

 8:35 – Reese Witherspoon is crying about Miranda Lambert’s performance?  Really?  Or is she acting?  What is she doing here again?

8:36 – Oh good, Lady Antebellum.  I was wondering who they are and what they sing.  They sound just like a ’90’s band – I can’t think of who right now!  Any ideas, please comment – it’ll come to me!  Hubby says the lead singer looks like Lance Bass.  At any rate, they’re nothing to write home about.  Can’t see them having staying power – not country enough.  2/3 of the group too replaceable, remaining 1/3 not that noteworthy.

8:40 – getting a little greedy with the commercials – here’s yet another.

 8:43 – Martina McBride is introduced by Brad Paisley, who could use some acting lessons from his actress wife; his script-reading is terrible.  Martina is one of my favorite singers

8:44 – and she’s singing a VERY ordinary song.  See my plea in a previous post – Martina and Alan Jackson NEED to seriously come out with some good stuff and soon!

8:48 – Rodney Atkins – HELP!  This is the guy who sings about kids eating nuggets in the car and other mundane every day tasks…  He is the kind of singer country music bashers use to make fun of the genre!  AND HE:S OFF-KEY!

8:51 – Heidi who?  Someone should pass her a cover-up in case her dress finishes falling down.

8:53 – PUT ME ON THE BOARD WITH MY FIRST CORRECT PICK FOR RASCAL FLATTS – VOCAL DUO!   I really enjoy their music…  please tell me they’re performing later!  I hear that Kid Rock will be performing “the song we’ve been singing ‘All Summer Long'”.  I love that song, however upset I was to learn it was Kid Rock’s music I was enjoying…  Opening another window to download a sample of ‘Werewolves in London’.

8:59 – Taylor Swift performs.  I love the stage, the costumed dancers, the dancing…  the song sucks though.

903 – Is Taylor Swift lip-syncing?  Why are the dancers suddenly surrounding her, do they know she gets off sync in that part of the song?  Unless…  COSTUME CHANGE!  I was SO right!  Called it seconds before it happened!  Bool-yah!

9:04 – My new favorite song – All Summer Long – is cool as a live performance.  But where is the guest guitarist we were promised?  Was it someone I didn’t recognize?  And Kid Rock probably smokes too many cigarettes, judging by his singing voice.

9:13 – Carrie Underwood has found herself a sarapi.  Isn’t that what that type of dress is called?  I don’t know how to spell it, can’t find it on a search…

9:14 – I like George Strait’s new song more than I’ve liked most of the other live performances.  But why do country stars keep attempting to emulate Jimmy Buffett’s laid back beach style?  It’s been done, and done very well, I might add!  Let’s stick to country – especially you George Strait!

 9:17 – Jason Aldean – one of those newcomers I’m not quite familiar with.  Ah, I see he’s of the bad-a** variety style of country…  I’m familiar with it.  As a person who vents anger by performing 80’s and 90’s raps in the solitary confinement of my car, I appreciate the wailing guitars and the bad-a** attitudes that are breaking onto today’s country music scene.

9:21 – Best New Artist – goes to Lady Antebellum.  Darnit, I really thought we had a shot for this one.  We picked Kellie Pickler, and she is a good friend of presenter Taylor Swift and everything!  Dang nabbit – I didn’t even like the sound of Lady Antebellum.  Well, eat it up kids – you won’t last in Nashville.

9:28 – God bless the late great Jerry Reid – I’m sorry and ashamed to say that I’ve never heard of him.

9:30 – an enjoyable performance of “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” by Brooks and Dunn and Reba.  And I like what these entities do together.  We saw them perform in concert together twice – awesome both times.  Too bad Reba’s plastic surgery doesn’t look as good as Nicole Kidman’s under the stage lights.  They seem to have opposite effects – Reba’s new face looked great on the red carpet, Nicole’s was horrifying.  Reba’s was nothing short of freaky on stage, whereas Nicole’s looked almost humanesque.  You could have convinced me that Brooks and Dunn had a Reba animontronic made for this performance.  Anyway, enough about the obvious plastic surgery plaguing us tonight…  I should save that sort of commentary for the Oscars since there’s always plenty of fodder there…

9:35 – We both get another point since Sugarland wins Vocal Duo – BOOLYAH

9:40 – Darius Rucker – yes, he was in Hootie and the Blowfish and they were good.  So what brings him to country music?  I like him better as a blowfish.  Wait a minute… when I heard this song he’s performing on the radio, I always thought it was Daryl Worley, who sings these types of songs.  You mean to tell me the whole time that it was the work of a blowfish?  A fish out of water, I would say – HA.  He looks as out of place as he feels, and Alan Jackson squints up at the stage again – this time because he can’t believe there was actually an African-American on stage at the Country Music Association’s awards.

9:45 – Brad Paisley performs a mediocre tune

9:48 – LeeAnn Womack and Josh Turner show up to present the award for Album of the Year – one of the few categories where hubby and I differ.  Good to see that Ms. Womack has tamed her bee-hive hairdo.  YEE HAW!!!!  I am back in the saddle with my George Strait pick; we are tied!  Although it was announced that we both lost out on Video of the Year…  shucks.  I am not doing so well but still tied with hubby.

9:56 – A thought that crossed my mind as Brad Paisley introduced Keith Urban’s live performance – is it just me, or is Brad Paisley doing a lot more hosting than Barbie Carrie Underwood?  I wonder about the politics involved in the decision to let those two be the hosts…

9:58 – Keith Urban’s performance, like so many before him, is mediocre at best.  Thank goodness he’s an awesome guitarist.  And they still use his song, “Somebody Like You” in my favorite dinner show at Arabian Nights in Orlando Florida – that’s what sold me on the show in the first place!

10:00 – Is it just me or are they giving everyone a standing ovation, as seen after Keith Urban’s performance?

10:01 – A woman talks about her husband who was killed in battle.  She gets a standing ovation.  Sadly though, at the beginning of her speech, people didn’t know who she was or what she was doing, so they kind of chuckled, thinking she was joking because they didn’t know who she was.  A silent moment to reflect upon loved one’s lives lost and those who fight and fought for our country…

10:08 – I missed the second half of Carrie Underwood’s performance and whatever followed that because of a kid “emergency”.  But now I see Vince Gill hands an award to…

10:09 – Carrie Underwood.  As predicted by both of us in this house.  And conveniently, she was waiting in the stage wings after performing, seemingly in position to rush on stage to accept her award.  Curious… 
So far, my husband and I are tied at 5/8 – not bad.  Our personal tie-breaker will come down to Musical Event of the Year – a category that I joked existed only to flaunt the compromising of the big-name record labels.  We both guess Kenny Chesney.  But my guess is his collaboration with George Strait, and hubby’s guess is his Reba duet – Stay tuned to see the winner!

10:18 – Sugarland’s performance has been wailing on my tv in the backround while I typed some other stuff.  Not very impressive.  I’m beginning to wonder if it’s me or if all the performances tonight have been somewhat lackluster.  Not only that, but the songs being performed aren’t that great to begin with.

10:20 – Just Got Started Lovin You is one of my favorite new songs!  And James Otto is milking his big performance.  Otto’s range in the song reminds me of Josh Turner, but I don’t give him credit for staying power.  It’s a good song, but he doesn’t have the best stage presence.

10:29 – Whoa, my channel cut off Carrie Underwood.  Anyone else’s?  Kenny Chesney is performing his Jimmy Buffett knock-off routine with the beach combing sh*t.  Sorry for the language.  I need to see a really GOOD musical performance.  This sounds like a callypso version of an elementary school chorus concert.

10:32 – My husband leans over and says, “Does this guy have eyes?” – referring to Kenny’s accomplice.  I don’t think he likes the beachcomber crap any more than I do.

10:33 – Strangely, the intro to Trace Adkin’s performance sounds like a Carrie Underwood single, “Jesus Take the Wheel”.  Subliminal marketing maybe.  Conspiracy theories abound, the more tired I get…

10:37 – Another standing ovation?  This time for Trace Atkins…  ok, whatever.

10:37 – Reese Witherspoon – I can’t stand her.

10:38 – Reese Witherspoon gushes, “I am SOOOO glad to be here!”  My husband leans over and says, “I can’t stand her.”

10:39 – Brad Paisley wins Male Vocalist of the Year.  We are now tied at 5/9 since we had Keith Urban.

10:41 – Ooh – more hints about the surprise person.  Evidently, they are going to present the Entertainer of the Year award.  This marketing ploy has intrigued me, although you know that the astonished faces reacting to the surprise guest they show in the commercials have nothing to do with who it is – this is a live show!

10:44 – Ooh – Lost premiere January 21.  Wait, do I still watch that show?  It’s been so long, I forget.

 10:48 – mediocre Eagles performance.  What is with their new tidy look?  What is with me and thinking all the performances are mediocre?  Is it just me?  Not in this instance – the Eagles in their suts suck – they look old and tired.  Good music from a great group, they just need a smart manager – oh, big surprise, ANOTHER standing ovation.  Is that just what you do nowadays, the stand’n’clap?

10:54 – The best selling female country recording artist of all time is Shania Twain?  YUCK!  Another standing ovation!  And they haven’t even given out the award yet!

10:56 – And now they have…  Entertainer of the Year goes to Kenny Chesney, yuck!  But at least we both got it right!

10:59 – “The votes in tonight’s award show were cast by the six thousand members of the Country Music Association”…  kinda like our local theater group, the WCCT.

But what the heck?  Seems we are missing a category detrimental to our outcome?  Does anyone have the results for Musical Event of the Year?!?  That was our tie-breaker, and evidently we missed it, so break the tie for us!

Ok – Krauss and Plant won for Vocal Event – neither of us had them chosen.  So, it ended in a tie.  Overall, an entertaining show, as always.  I really could have used some more good musical performances, however…  Good night!

And as a final footnote – I got my sample of ‘Werewolves in London’.  The melody is obviously borrowed for ‘All Summer Long’, but I do like the new Kid Rock song much better.  Who knew that plagarizing two popular songs and then splicing them together would earn critical acclaim instead of a lawsuit?

CMA TIME!

Posted in music on November 12th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 It’s fall – time for the CMA Awards already!  If you don’t know that CMA is short for Country Music Association, then you have my permission to skip this blog post – it will only bore you anyway!

For other country music fans like me, this is one of our two biggest nights of the year – the Superbowl for country fans.  I get really excited, and unlike other awards shows like the Oscars, I don’t like to tape  (I am a child of the ’80’s) record country music awards, and I especially don’t like to miss anything – the live performances are some of the best parts!  I always play along and try to choose the winners, but I don’t think my picks are going to be that strong this year because I’m listening to country music radio less than ever – I enjoy talking to my kids in the car, or they’re watching dvd’s.  At home I’m usually listening to Dora, the DoodleBops or Noggin.  But the CMA Awards show will be a blast to watch, as always, and there are only two nights like this a year – cross your fingers for me that my kids decide to act like human beings tonight and let me watch the show.  My picks for the winners, however uneducated they may be, are made obvious by my comments in itallics:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Kenny Chesney – ok, so he doesn’t dominate this awards show like the ACMs, but I’m going with him anyway – just because he is not one of my favorite singers and I’m not expecting the show to go well for me
Brad Paisley
Sugarland
George Strait
Keith Urban
  Top Female Vocalist
Alison Krauss
Miranda Lambert
Martina McBride
Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood – I called her from one of her first appearances in American Idol.  I said – she’s going to win Idol, but she has a voice for country.  Now she’s established herself as one of the best female country singers out there today.
Top Male Vocalist
Kenny Chesney
Alan Jackson – my favorite of those nominated, but what’s he done lately?
Brad Paisley
George Strait
Keith Urban – my pick to win – tough call between Keith and Brad, but you gotta congratulate a guy for a successful stint in rehab
Vocal Duo of the Year
Big & Rich
Brooks & Dunn
Montgomery Gentry
Sugarland – their unique sound will win them many awards – just one question:  who else is in Sugarland besides Jennifer Nettles?
The Wreckers
Vocal Group of the Year
Eagles
Emerson Drive
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts – tried and true, these guys have talent.  So do Brooks and Dunn, but they haven’t come out with anything lately
New Artist Of The Year
Jason Aldean
Rodney Atkins
Lady Antebellum
James Otto
Kellie Pickler – another American Idol reject crossover
Album Of The Year [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]
Carrie Underwood’s Carnival Ride Produced by Mark Bright
Brooks & Dunn’s Cowboy Town Produced by Tony Brown, Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks
Alan Jackson’s Good Time Produced by Keith Stegall
Kenny Chesney’s Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates Produced by Buddy Cannon and Kenny Chesney
George Strait’s Troubadour Produced by Tony Brown and George Strait – gotta give him something
Single Of The Year [Awarded to artist and producer]
“Don’t Blink” Kenny Chesney Produced by Buddy Cannon & Kenny Chesney BNA Records
“Gunpowder & Lead” Miranda Lambert Produced by Frank Liddell & Mike Wrucke Columbia Nashville
“I Saw God Today” George Strait Produced by Tony Brown & George Strait MCA Nashville
“Stay” Sugarland Produced by Byron Gallimore, Kristian Bush and Jennifer NettlesMercury Nashville – not really sure of the difference between single and song of the year, but Stay has to win one of these.  I’m going with Single, I guess.
“You’re Gonna Miss This” Trace Adkins Produced by Frank Rogers Capitol Nashville
Song Of The Year [Awarded to songwriter and primary publisher]
“Good Time” Alan Jackson EMI-April Music/Tri-Angels Music
“I Saw God Today” Rodney Clawson/Monty Criswell/Wade Kirby Big Red Toe/Extremely Loud Music/Steel Wheels Music/Blind Mule Music – like I said, I don’t think Strait will walk away with nothing tonight – just hope I didn’t reverse the single and song of the year!
“Letter To Me” Brad Paisley EMI-April Music/New Sea Gayle Music
“Stay” Jennifer Nettles Jennifer Nettles Publishing
“You’re Gonna Miss This” Lee Thomas Miller/Ashley Gorley EMI Blackwood Music/New Songs of Sea Gayle/Noah’s Little Boat Music/Songs of Combustion Music
Musical Event Of The Year [Awarded to each Artist]
“Another Try” — Josh Turner featuring Trisha Yearwood MCA Nashville
“Every Other Weekend” — Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney MCA Nashville
“Gone Gone Gone” — Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Rounder Records
“Life In A Northern Town” — Sugarland featuring Little Big Town and Jake Owen Mercury Nashville
“Shiftwork” — Kenny Chesney (duet with George Strait) BNA Records – What does ‘vocal event’ mean anyway?  By the looks of how they wrote the nominees, I guess ‘vocal event’ means ‘when record labels lease their stars’.  Chesney always wins big at awards shows, but I personally prefer Jimmy Buffet’s beachcomber style over Kenny Chesney’s knock-off version.  I’m guessing the Country Music Association does not agree.
Music Video Of The Year [Awarded to artist and director]
Don’t Blink Kenny Chesney Directed by Shaun Silva
Good Time Alan Jackson Directed by Trey Fanjoy
Stay Sugarland Directed by Shaun Silva – everyone knows by now that Jennifer Nettles cried real tears during the filming of this video, is it enough to win her the award?  My vote is yes, but maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
Waitin’ On a Woman Brad Paisley Directed by Jim Shea
You’re Gonna Miss This Trace Adkins Directed by Peter Zavadil
Musician Of The Year
Jerry Douglas, Dobro — Drums
Paul Franklin — Steel Guitar
Dann Huff — Guitar – will win.  But then again, this is the blind lottery award for viewers.  Like I know who any of these people are, so I just picked the name that jumped out at me, and Dan Huff it was.
Brent Mason — Guitar
Mac McAnally — Guitar

For sure, a great time will be had by all.  I might update my blog with winners as I watch tonight.  And after reviewing my reasons for my picks for tonight’s awards, it needs to be said that it’s been way too long since some classic artists (and my personal favorites) came out with anything noteworthy!  Alan Jackson Garth Brooks and Martina McBride, you know who you are!

Spring Ahead… to Country Music Award Time!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Actually, it’s time for the Academy of Country Music awards (ACM’s), which are totally different than the Country Music Association’s awards (CMA’s), but somehow Spring Ahead to the Academy of Country Music Awards just didn’t make such a great blog title.  For you country music fans out there, you know that spring and fall are the awesome times of year for country music awards.  We get 2 great awards shows, and coming up in May are the ACM awards – the nominations were announced last week, that’s why I get to write about this now.  I was lucky enough to attend this show live one time in 2000.  It was TOTALLY AWESOME – I’d LOVE to go back…  something like that (and lots of liquor) just might get me on an airplane again…  yeah right.  Anyway, Dolly Parton hosted, and Dick Clark ran around the stage during the breaks fretting over this and that and everything in between.  Winners’ acceptance speeches got cut off, and there was the general glitz and glam of any L.A. awards show – only we were there!  And talk about a GREAT concert!  Getting to see like, 15 top country music performers LIVE, singing only their hits was unbeatable.  And I learned a lot too because I had never been to the taping of a live tv event before.  Did you know that they have “stand-ins” ready in case anyone who is seated down in front has to leave for the bathroom or anything else?  They pay models to dress up and get ready in case they need to sit in say, Wynonna Judd’s seat so it’s not empty when they show the audience on tv if Wy needs a potty break (that actually happened!).  So anyway, this year I will be watching the ACM’s from the comfort of my couch; hopefully without interuptions from kids (should change the name of this post to Yeah, Right).

I can’t remember if it’s the ACM’s or the CMA’s where they’ll have a live performer, and then that person will be nominated for the next award, so after their performance they’ll be waiting backstage, and every time they end up winning the award!  I wish they’d make it a little less obvious!  We like to fill out our own ballots and make a guessing game out of our picks for winners, and this type of format makes that too easy!  All you have to do is figure out the order of award presentations, figure out the schedule of performers, and Viola!  You’ve won the bet!  I’ll let you know come CMA awards time which awards show does this, unless they’ve (hopefully) changed things by now.

Here are the nominees this year, enjoy the show!

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Kenny Chesney

Brad Paisley

Rascal Flatts

George Strait Keith Urban

TOP MALE VOCALIST

Rodney Atkins

Kenny Chesney

Brad Paisley

George Strait

Keith Urban

TOP FEMALE VOCALIST

Miranda Lambert

Martina McBride

LeAnn Rimes

Taylor Swift

Carrie Underwood

TOP VOCAL GROUP

Diamond Rio

Eagles

Emerson Drive

Little Big Town

Rascal Flatts

TOP VOCAL DUO

Big & Rich

Brooks & Dunn

Halfway To Hazard

Montgomery Gentry

Sugarland

TOP NEW MALE VOCALIST

Luke Bryan

Jack Ingram

Jake Owen

TOP NEW FEMALE VOCALIST

Sarah Buxton

Kellie Pickler

Taylor Swift

TOP NEW DUO OR VOCAL GROUP

Carolina Rain

Lady Antebellum

The Wreckers

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

5th Gear – Brad Paisley (Arista Nashville) Produced by Frank Rogers

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Miranda Lambert (Columbia) Produced by Frank Liddell, Mike Wrucke

Just Who I Am: Poets & Pirates – Kenny Chesney (BNA) Produced by Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney

If You’re Going Through Hell – Rodney Atkins (Curb) Produced by Rodney Atkins, Ted Hewitt

Taylor Swift – Taylor Swift (Big Machine) Produced by Scott Borchetta, Nathan Chapman # 6 Produced by Robert Ellis Orrall

SINGLE RECORD OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney, Produced by Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney BNA

Famous In A Small Town – Miranda Lambert, Produced by Frank Liddell, Mike Wrucke Columbia

Lost In This Moment – Big & Rich, Produced by Big Kenny, John Rich – Warner Bros/WRN

Stay – Sugarland, Produced by Kristian Bush, Byron Gallimore, Jennifer Nettles Mercury

Watching Airplanes – Gary Allan, Produced by Gary Allan , Mark Wright MCA Nashville

SONG OF THE YEAR [Award to Composer(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]

Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney – Writers: Casey Beathard, Chris Wallin Publishers: Lavender Zoo Music (BMI), Mama’s Dream Music (ASCAP), Sony/ATV Acuff Rose (BMI), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)

Lost In This Moment – Big & Rich – Writers: Keith Anderson, Rodney Clawson, John Rich Publishers: EMI April Music, Inc. (ASCAP), Romeo Cowboy Music (ASCAP), WB MusicCorp. (ASCAP), Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI), Writer’s Extreme Music (BMI)

Moments – Emerson Drive – Writers: Dave Berg, Annie Tate, Sam Tate  Publishers: Gravitron (SESAC), WB Music Corp. (ASCAP)

Watching You – Rodney Atkins – Writers: Rodney Atkins, Steve Dean, Brian White Publishers: Bethar Music (BMI), Mike Curb Music (BMI), Multisongs (SESAC), Songs From The White House (SESAC)

Stay – Sugarland – Writer: Jennifer Nettles – Publishers: Jennifer Nettles Publishing (ASCAP)

VIDEO OF THE YEAR [Award to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)]

Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney – Producer: Tacklebox Films  Director: Shaun Silva

Lost In This Moment – Big & Rich  Producer: Big Kenny, Steve Lamar, Marc Oswald Director: Robert Deaton and George Flanigen

Online – Brad Paisley – Producer: Frames Per Second – Director: Jason Alexander

Stay – Sugarland – Producer: Kristian Bush, Byron Gallimore, Jennifer Nettles – Director: Shaun Silva

Watching You – Rodney Atkins – Producer: Broken Poet Production – Director: Eric Welch

VOCAL EVENT OF THE YEAR [Award to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company]

Because Of You – Reba McEntire Duet With Kelly Clarkson – Produced by Tony Brown, Reba McEntire MCA Nashville

Find Out Who Your Friends Are – Tracy Lawrence With Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney – Produced by Julian King, Tracy Lawrence – Rocky Comfort/CO5

Shiftwork – Kenny Chesney Duet With George Strait – Produced by Buddy Cannon, Kenny Chesney BNA

Till We Ain’t Strangers Anymore – Bon Jovi Featuring LeAnn Rimes – Produced by Dann Huff – Mecury

What You Give Away –Vince Gill With Sheryl Crow – Produced by Vince Gill, John Hobbs, Justin Niebank – MCA Nashville