ACM Awards – 2011 Edition

Posted in music, TV Shows on April 4th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Was it really 11 years ago already that we got to attend the 2000 Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Angeles?  Newcomer Brad Paisley won that year for Best New Male Vocalist, and he’s now a country music veteran who took the Top Male Vocalist prize in 2011.  Someday, I’d like to attend the recording of another live awards show.  Nothing beats the excitement in the air and participating in a live tv show taping where anything goes.  And never in one place will you see so many super performances by a variety of outstanding performers – both from country music and also outside the genre.  But my 4.5 kids keep me grounded, and I don’t travel as much as I would or as much as I used to.  So until the day when I can get back to a live country music awards show taping (and I will be in no hurry to go to the ACMs until they move it out of Vegas!), I will enjoy watching and voting along at home.

This year was a super show; I had a nice time watching it last night.  And a surprise awaited me at the end…

Some highlights:

– Brad Paisley opens with a performance, and then he’s joined by none other than –  ALABAMA!!  They were so awesome; this number really got my country blood pumping!

– Some unlikely duos performing this year:
Unlikely duet #1 – Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland and pop star Rihanna.   Their duet made for an interesting performance.  Not my favorite kind of music, but they sounded good.
Unlikely duet #2 – Country music sweetheart Carrie Underwood screaming alongside Aerosmith frontman turned American Idol judge Steven Tyler.  The first song wasn’t great; it was more for Tyler than Underwood, in fact, I thought it a waste of her lovely voice.  But their “Walk This Way” duet was toe-tappin’ fun!
Unlikely duet #3 – Zac Brown Band and James Taylor.  I’m really starting to enjoy the harmonies of the Zac Brown Band, and their performance with James Taylor tonight was thoroughly enjoyable!

– Probably the first time I’ve cried while watching the ACM awards – Darius Rucker’s song backed by a chorus from the Lifting Lives music camp was incredibly uplifting and awe-inspiring!  I loved every minute of it!

Overall, a wonderful show!  Except one thing – where the heck was Rascall Flatts?!?

And oh yeah, that surprise at the end – Taylor Swift won Entertainer of the Year.  No surprise there; if I had paid attention when I filled out my fan ballot and realized that the Entertainer award was fan-chosen, I would have picked Swift in a heartbeat.  But I spaced and chose Miranda Lambert (still beat Hubby on the ballot 7-3, just sayin’) for some reason.  The real surprise came when they announced the nominees for Entertainer of the Year, and I actually found myself rooting for Taylor Swift – what was going on?  I’ve never been a fan of Swift’s music, and I hadn’t voted for her, so what gives?  My 6-year-old daughter was enjoying the show with me, and every time Taylor Swift came on or her name was mentioned, Sammie got SO excited.  So I told her I would let her know when “the big award” was coming on, and you should have seen her face when Taylor Swift won – she cheered!  It was adorable, and I cried.  I cried at the ACM awards twice last night, what is wrong with me?  Oh yeah – pregnancy will do that to you.  Probably a good thing that I was watching from the safety of my own home.

Busiest Weekend EVER! Part Two

Posted in Everyday Life on April 19th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(continued from a previous blog post)

So here’s a recap of Sunday – church, brunch, Hannah Montana movie – and that is where I left off.

So we get to the Hannah Montana movie, and of course our 9-month-old son wakes up from his nap just in time for the movie (couldn’t be awake to play at church, couldn’t be awake to indulge in brunch, alas – that’s always the way when you have kids – they sleep thru everything good, and I swear it’s a rule – they always wake when the irony is thick!)  But, because the Hannah Montana movie is a musical, our 3 youngest were kept too busy to perform their usual awful antics at the movie theater.  It was a girly movie, especially with a double love story plot, but our little boy is only 9-months-old, so he didn’t notice the girlishness.  Instead he loved the musical interludes, and he clapped to each one enthusiastically.  For some reason, and I’ve written about this before, the movie theater turns our normally sweet 2-year-old into a little stripper.  Luckily, by the time the idea to take her clothes off occurred to her today, it was near the end of the movie, so she only got as far as taking off her socks and shoes – although she did make sure to note (yell) while doing so, “Don’t look at me – I take clothes off!”  Ok, Disney, if you don’t want people looking, why are you taking your clothes off?  Such is the logic of a 2-year-old, I guess.
We had no major spills this time ( I’m referring to our last experience when we saw Monsters Vs. Aliens and we somehow dumped an entire soft drink into the lady’s purse who was sitting behind us – major oops!), and today our baby was on his best behavior as well because of all the music in the movie – something that I think saved us as far as our 3 youngest kids’ behavior at the movies today.  As for the movie itself, I enjoyed it more than I did Monsters Vs. Aliens, probably because I actually got to watch this one.  But an extra nice surprise for me was the country music add-ins – surprise performances from Taylor Swift and my favorite group, Rascall Flatts.  They sang one of their best songs acoustically as if they were relatives just sitting around jamming at a family get-together (can this be MY family get-together?), and it was thoroughly enjoyable.  Miley Cyrus even  showed her country roots in a song which attempts to revive line-dancing; I guess kids these days (now I sound like I’m 80 – GREAT, when did THAT happen?!?) have a dance they do to this song, but whatever, I kind of liked the song.  Overall, I truly enjoyed the country theme that was abundant in this movie – groovin’ country music, gorgeous farm fields, cowboys ropin’ horses…  what’s not to like?  There was also a surprise (for me) appearance by Jan Levinson Gould from the tv show, The Office.  Of course in this movie, she wasn’t Jan – she was some southern belle who played Miley’s dad’s love interest – almost as far away from Jan as one could be, but I still enjoyed the Office reference.  Also, keep in mind that this is a Disney film, so there are LOTS of prat-fallish types of humor, as well as recurring movie themes.  For example, ‘lobster trouble’ (ala Splash, circa 1984), ‘switching identities for different dinner dates’ (ala Mrs. Doubtfire, circa 1993), ‘major celebrity comes in to save a town’ (ala Wayne’s World 2, circa 1993 or ala Mystery, Alaska circa 1999), it’s always best to be yourself’ (ala…  wow, WAY TOO MANY TO MENTION – take your pick…)

So anyway, I have to (reluctantly) admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the Hannah Montana movie – plenty of stuff in this one for the parents as well as the tweens and even the stripping two-year-olds.  But the movie wasn’t as plot-less as I had hoped –  in other words, we didn’t get home until 2:55 – just 20 short minutes before we had to leave for a class we had signed up for through church.  So for the next 20 minutes we scrambled around – letting dogs out, repacking diaper bags, changing diapers, etc.  We arrived at our class pretty much on time, though a bit exhausted, thank you very much!

The class was great!  We learned a lot about our church – their beliefs, their history, as well as their foundations for building a relationship with Christ – a very well-spent 3 hours.  And we got to meet other couples at our table too – which is memorable for me because they were surprised to learn we had 4 kids – and I quote, “You don’t look old enough to have 4 kids!”  NICE!

Following the class was a great dinner of homemade pasta provided by a local chef.  Following the delicious dinner was a tour of the north campus of our church – we worship in the south campus, so it was nice to learn the ins and outs of the north campus – so awesome!  Our oldest daughter was so excited to show us where her Sunday school was held, and their rooms for youth were VERY impressive!  There was a room with a stage for youth productions, and it even  had backstage areas, which is almost more than I can say for one of our community theater’s stages, haha!  Also, there was a game room with multiple foosball tables and ‘carpet ball’ – something new to me, but a game I’d definitely like to try!  One of the youth rooms had state-of-the-art stage lights and restaurant-style booths for kids to ‘hang out’ in…  Overall, it was a fun evening, and I learned a lot.  But, as became common for today, we had to rush from the church class in order to be home in time for the community theater’s play reading committee meeting and my much anticipated Cubs game.  I was looking forward to this game for days.  It was a long series (most are 3 game, some are 2 game, this one was 4 game) against the Cubs rival – the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom the Cubs are vying for first place.  The game was at night, which is rare for a Sunday, so I was VERY excited about rounding out my weekend with such a game.  But alas, the darn rain had its way, and the game was postponed.  So only play reading meeting to look forward to for me – at least I didn’t have to rush the meeting and kick people too hard to leave my house since there was no Cub’s game!  And for once, I think we actually achieved a lot at the play reading committee meeting.  Probably because of the fact that there were only 4 of us in attendance – but hey, maybe that ‘s what needs to be done in order to achieve something…  too many people get in each others way, I guess.  It will be interesting to see what the absent members think of the decisions the four of us made while they were absent – I hope the decisions stick!

In summary, a great, if extremely exhausting weekend.  Come on now, would I have it any other way?

Country’s Biggest Night!

Posted in music on April 6th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

After my extremely busy weekend (more about that in my next post!), I’m just not up to the task of doing a live blog about the Academy of Country Music Awards like I did last year.  I had a lot of fun doing it at that time, but this year we were lucky enough to share our awards experience with friends at our house, and I want to be a good host (well, as good as I can be with both eyes and ears on the awards show!).  It’s bad enough that I had to practically kick out people who were here for our voluntary monthly organizational meetings so I could watch the awards show when it started at 8 –  hehe.  I was accused of “chomping at the bit”, to get to the awards show –  but then again, I did sacrifice and miss the entire red carpet coverage…  so I guess a point was made – I WAS chomping at the bit, so to speak!

Watch the show we did, and it was great – although I didn’t win the tally for the most awards guessed ahead of time.  My picks for winners of the most popular categories are following in blue with the winners in bold (the ones I got right are in bold blue and my commentary is in italics. I’ll let you know how our guests and I did at the end:

Entertainer of the Year
Kenny Chesney
• Brad Paisley
• George Strait
Carrie Underwood
• Keith Urban

Big shocker here, for real.  Kenny has won this one for the past 4 years straight, so you can’t blame me for voting the way I did – SHOCKER he didn’t win tonight!

Top Male Vocalist
• Kenny Chesney
• Toby Keith
Brad Paisley
• George Strait
• Keith Urban

Top Female Vocalist
• Miranda Lambert
• Heidi Newfield
• Taylor Swift
Carrie Underwood
• Lee Ann Womack

Top Vocal Group
• Lady Antebellum
• Little Big Town
Rascal Flatts
• Randy Rogers Band
• The Lost Trailers
A given – Rascal Flatts has a ton of talent and are one of my favorite bands!

Top Vocal Duo
• Big & Rich
• Brooks & Dunn
• Joey + Rory
• Montgomery Gentry
Sugarland

Album of the Year
• Carnival Ride – Carrie Underwood
• Back When I Knew It All – Montgomery Gentry
Fearless – Taylor Swift
• That Lonesome Song – Jamey Johnson
• Troubadour – George Straight

So there you have it.  I didn’t do so well, compared to past my past performances guessing on country music awards shows – I got 4/10 correct.  But we had a great time watching…  some highlights include Trace Adkins’ performance with the West Point Glee Club, very moving, especially because the performance was introduced by a young veteran in a wheelchair.  Another highlight, Carrie Underwood’s humongous dress during her resurrection of Randy Travis’ “I Told You So”.  (notice they didn’t show her getting on or off stage in that dress – think she was “snapped” into it?  That thing was HUGE!!!)…  But I guess I’m a country fan-child of the 80’s and 90’s, sigh.  The awards shows during that time period were so much more exciting to me because of the awesome music that was performed, unlike tonight.  Just another sign that I’m getting old, I guess, since I much preferred our friends’ conversation tonight to the live performances…  just nothing special on the modern country artists’ part, I guess…

But congrats to those who won, and it was a great show to watch  and predict, even  if I didn’t do so well.  Until the CMA’s in the fall – maybe I will do a LIVE blogcast for that one – we’ll see!