Posts Tagged ‘Snoop Dogg’

Day 2 began similarly to Day 1: crazy heat, masses of people and music everywhere. The grounds felt a little used, the air was full of a variety of fumes, a bottle of water was necessary at all times to prevent dehydrating and fainting.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I made it my mission on this day very clear: see Garbage play live. A great band from the 90s, back together again after almost a decade. They weren’t playing until later on in the day, so I opted to plant myself around the stage where they would be performing and watch all the bands that came on before them, whilst moving my way forward in the crowd to get as close as possible. Normally, this wouldn’t be an ordeal or very taxing; however, I’m not very tall and my back was already aching from all the standing on the previous day. Oh and did I mention the blistering sun?                                                                                                                                                                                                                          First band to go on was Dumas – a  Quebecois rock band. That’s the beauty of a music festival in Montreal: sure you have all the big names, but interspersed is a large number of Canadian bands as well as French speaking bands. It caters to more people and broadens the musical experience for all fans. Dumas put on a good show, the lead singer seemed to be riding the coattails of how cool he may have been say ten years ago, which was fun to watch. Next alt-rockers Brand New played a nice loud set to get the blood pumping, then it was Garbage’s turn.To my surprise I had worked my way up as close as possible with only one unnecessarily tall guy in front of me. Then lead singer Shirley Manson came on stage and everyone went bananas. For those of you unfamiliar with their music, it’s rock, it’s loud, it’s angry and it’s perfect when you just want to go nuts. Which is exactly what happened. They played new music and every time they played an old track, there was mass hysteria, giddiness and excitement amongst the crowd because we never thought we would hear it live. They destroyed it, they nailed it. Shirley put on a fantastic performance, moving around the stage, lying on the ground, standing on the speakers; not to mention drummer Butch Vig, aka man behind Nirvana’s Nevermind album. Being in his presence was like being surrounded by history – what a great feeling. It was hands down the best performance of the entire weekend.

Feist was up next to sort of mellow everyone out then it was the big headliner: Snoop Dogg. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of his, but I was already front row so I decided to check him out it out. My back was essentially on fire at this point, my legs were sore and my voice was gone courtesy of overextending myself during Garbage’s set. It was so humid out, and everyone was right up against each other, one girl behind me started to have a panic attack and almost passed out. Snoop finally graced us with his presence, 45 minutes late. He had a Jamaican vibe to his set and outfit, in honour of his alter ego Snoop Lion, but his performance was nothing special, despite his efforts including smoking a joint on stage. Admittedly I couldn’t stop giggling the entire time because he really looks like a dog, plus any attempts he made to “dance” were just out of control hilarious.

Getting to the subway took forever as everyone was going to the same station, but once on the train, an impromptu a cappella version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” began – people just didn’t want the music to stop. An incredible Day 2, now all that was left was to make it through Day 3.

For photos check out Me vs. the Music Blog Page
For video footage check out Osheaga 2012

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Anthems are songs that are meant to celebrate something, be it a country, a sports team, or even a state of mind. They can create a sense of pride, a sense of belonging, and even provide the soundtrack to one’s emotions. Everyone hears songs in different ways, so an anthem for one person, may not necessarily be an anthem for another person. But if you happen to be looking for anthems, songs that perfectly illustrate certain emotions, here’s a list of some of my favourites. Feel free to take note.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “Wonderwall”. Oasis. What’s the Story (Morning Glory)? 1995.
This is my comfort food song, mac and cheese in form of music. I’ve known it for so long that it feels like a childhood friend, like home and I immediately feel at ease any time I hear it. It’s an anthem for friendship, for harmony, and it always manages to bring people together (well done Gallagher brothers, well done). Case in point. A work trip to Quebec City with a couple of friends lead us to a very French pub where we were asked to mingle with a bunch of strangers. Without any alcohol in our systems this proved to be quite the daunting task. Everyone was a little uncomfortable and no one was making any progress. Luckily there was a live performance on the way: a solo act with an acoustic guitar. He was doing his sound check, testing out the mics and in pure rehearsal form, he starts strumming the first few chords of “Wonderwall”. As the intro is being played, people start paying attention, heads start nodding to the music, all eyes on the guitar. As soon as the lyrics start, in some sort of knee-jerk reaction more than half the pub starts singing along – like they all recognized their good old friend. By the time the chorus hits, the entire crowd is singing in unison and minutes later, conversations became easier, friends were made and memories created. And the performance hadn’t even started yet.

“Still D.R.E.”. Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg. The Chronic 2001. 2001.
This track since the first time I heard it has always been my party anthem. It brings me back to my undergrad days where I vaguely recall parading down the streets of Toronto behind a blue pick up truck blasting this song – minus the hydraulics of course. Those days were carefree, fun and all about having a good time. And so is this song. Whether I’m cruising in my car, out with friends or just hanging out at home, my mood always improves when I hear this song. It’s always in the background during the hair straightening or make-up applying stage of getting ready to go out, to set the vibe for the rest of the night. In its versatility, this song is also a classic underdog song – the guy everyone forgot about who’s back with a vengeance and ready to take on all the haters. After all, who doesn’t feel good after telling a whole bunch of people off? Guaranteed to get any party started.

“Scream”. Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. HIStory: Past, Present and Future. 1995.
The first feeling that comes to mind when hearing this song is frustration. Situations that are beyond your control, or that are influenced by other parties, or that you just can’t fix will take a toll on anyone and create such a high level of pressure and frustration because there’s nothing that you can do about it. You can’t change it, whether it’s a confusing relationship, a bad work day/week/month, or even an injustice you witnessed. The minute you realize that doesn’t it just make you want to scream? It’s the ultimate venting anthem because it vocalizes all of one’s pent up frustrations in 4:38. Janet’s presence on the track adds an element of conversation between her and Michael, almost like they’re screaming either at each other or in turn about the same issues that frustrate them. So if you’re ever feeling the heat, getting stressed out or flustered and you just don’t think you can handle it – throw this track on. And scream.

“Sunday Bloody Sunday”. U2. War. 1983.
This is my anger anthem. Sure anger and frustration are only separated by a fine line, but a line nonetheless. We all know this song refers to the infamous ‘ “Bloody Sunday” incident which occurred in Ireland when British troops killed unarmed civilians. It already stems from anger and outrage. When I’m completely livid about something (which happens more often than I’d like to admit), I need to hear this: it rallies all those feelings of anger and lets them out. Bono gets angry on the vocals, the Edge and Adam broadcast their anger on guitars and Larry displays it on his drums. They get angry, so you get angry. You can tell they’re pissed about something and since you are too, it’s like they just understand. I occasionally catch myself ‘drumming’ on my steering wheel after a bad day and it just makes me feel better. The steady beat throughout the song, almost like the sound of soldiers marching, is anthemic in itself and makes it impossible to sit still when it’s on. If you’re having trouble dealing with anger, try air-drumming to this song, it works wonders.

“Just A Girl”. No Doubt. Tragic Kingdom. 1995.
This is definitely a girl’s anthem. A combination of frustration, anger, confusion common amongst all females at one point in their lives or another. It perfectly describes everything I was feeling when I was a teenager. To a T. The song basically goes on about how society treats girls differently for the mere fact that they’re just girls and how us girls are just sick of it. We’re not these docile little dolls that need to be protected from the world and coddled and treated like children. At least I’m not. Growing up with two brothers I got to experience this double standard first hand and though most boys won’t admit it, I can guarantee you they still think girls can’t do half the things they do as well as they can. I’m sure some of you girls see it in the work place also – I sure do. It’s like people don’t take us as seriously, or don’t think we’re as capable, regardless of our qualifications just because we’re girls. Or when people assume a girl isn’t as good an athlete as a boy, and so the girl has to constantly prove herself. How is that fair?? It’s by far the worst feeling, feeling like you’re second rate compared to someone else, because of something you have no control over, because of who you are. And sure I have begrudgingly started to accept it as I get older, but that doesn’t mean this anthem still doesn’t resonate as strongly as it did back then.

Anthems have the ability to bring people from all walks of life together, get people feeling the same feeling, singing the same lyrics in unison. They evoke a certain sentiment in all of us, and when you feel it you’ll just want to sing along.

Radio: one of the most basic forms of sharing music with a whole lot of people. It used to be that when your single hit the radio waves, it meant you had made it, that you were on your way to becoming something big. But now it’s as though anyone, and I mean anyone, can have their single played on the radio (here’s looking at you, Nickelback): the vocals don’t have to be strong and the lyrics apparently don’t have to make any sense. This my friends, is what we call the seriously overrated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let’s start with “superstar” Katy Perry. Here’s a singer who caught the world’s attention with her first single “I Kissed a Girl”. Wow Ms. Perry, how risque of you to sing about two girls kissing – way to push the envelope. Except that, the whole lesbian theme was already explored back in 2000 by the likes of female pop duo T.A.T.U. and their racy video of two girls making out in “All the Things She Said”. Sorry Katy, you get no points for originality.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Her next chart-topping single was “Hot ‘N Cold”, a ridiculous song describing the ups and downs of relationships by using opposites (ie hot/cold, yes/no, in/out, up/down, etc). The lyrics lack so much creativity that I’m pretty sure my 2-year-old nephew could’ve written them, in 5 mins.Katy then disappeared for a while, though I have a vague recollection of a song called “Thinking of You”, which I think about 3 people heard. She then appeared on Timbaland’s “If We Ever Meet Again”, undoubtedly to increase her popularity, and let’s face it, Timbaland can do no wrong these days.
                                                                                                                                                                           Which leads me to her current hit single “California Gurls”: I don’t even know where to start (she can’t even spell “girls” properly!). Firstly, how the heck does Snoop Dogg fit into this song? Does K. Perry think this gets her street cred? Does she think it’s going to widen her audience to include fans of gangsta rap? Unlikely. Secondly, lyrically it’s a disaster – trying to suggest that no place in the world compares to the west coast (someone needs to get out more), and saying things like “So hot/We’ll melt your popsicle“. Seriously?!? Thirdly, if this song isn’t bad enough already, the video is absolutely ridiculous. She’s semi-naked, dancing on clouds with over-sized lollipops and candy. Snoop Dogg sits at a table with a gingerbread house in a massive suit with candy all over it. If he’s trying to lose his street cred, mission accomplished. Lastly, this horrible video ends with Katy spraying whipped cream out of cans attached to her bra – sorry Katy, I’m pretty sure Lady Gaga did that already, with fireworks. But the most confusing part is, what does any of this have to do with California??
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Moving along now to quite possibly one of the most overrated groups ever: The Black Eyed Peas. The group consists of lead singer Fergie, Will.i.am (with his inappropriate use of punctuation), Taboo and apl.de.ap (who seems to suffer from the same disorder as Will.i.am). Apparently the group didn’t feature the vocals of Fergie until their third album Elephunk in the early 2000s. This album spawned the singles, “Where is the Love? (feat. JT)”, “Hey Mama”, and “Shut Up” , which were actually tolerable (note: it also featured the incredibly politically incorrectly titled “Let’s Get Retarded”; later changed to “Let’s Get it Started” – maybe that was a sign.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The follow-up album was Monkey Business and this is where everything started going downhill. Fergie started sounding more like a man, and their music started becoming more and more mainstream and losing all originality. On “Pump It” they sample the music from a track called “Misirlou”, formerly from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, and originally a famous Greek song. The next single, “Don’t Phunk with my Heart” (really lame play on words), didn’t show much talent or originality either and finally, evidence of the obvious demise of the Black Eyed Peas: “My Humps”. Seriously, did Fergie really feel the need to sing a song justifying her weight gain? Was it her selfish attempt at  somehow convincing herself that she’s ok with “her lovely little humps”? And the lyrics, man are they stupid: “What you gonna do with all that junk?/All that junk inside that trunk?/I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk/Get you love drunk off my hump/What you gonna do with all that ass?/All that ass inside them jeans?/I’m a make, make, make, make you scream“.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their current album, The E.N.D. (what is up with their inappropriate placement of periods??) is proof that BEP have hit rock bottom. Yes I do realize that they are uber-famous and currently selling out on tour, but that doesn’t mean they’re any good.  The first single, “Boom Boom Pow” is a really dumb song where they essentially just throw out any word pertaining to sound and try to build sentences around it: “Y’all stuck on Super 8 shit/That low-fi stupid 8 bit/I’m on that HD flat/This beat go boom boom bap” – total fail.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Next single, “I Gotta Feeling”, is even worse. This song was clearly made to be played before a big night out, or at a club/bar/lounge, to get people going – but it’s so obviously done in that way, that it just makes it lame. I mean come on,  “I gotta feeling/Tonight’s gonna be a good night” – they must have really had to rack their brains to come up with that line. At one point in the song they start reciting the days of the week, and for a reason unbeknownst to me, Saturday is named twice. At random intervals in the song, they all yell out “Mazel Tov!” – I’m pretty sure none of them are Jewish, so how does this fit in the song??
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their most recent single, “Rock that Body” is the epitome of all things musical being thrown out the window. Not only do they have chipmunk-sounding vocals, but they even stooped as low as to auto-tune the chipmunk voice – how pathetic can u be?!?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I consider these “musicians” overrated because of all the acclaim they get for not being talented. They are completely unoriginal, lack all kinds of creativity, sing about pretty much nothing, and yet, they get nominated for Grammys. Sure they may be good performers and put on a good live show, with pyrotechnics, elaborate sets, and maybe even better vocals (right, Mo?). But at the end of the day, none of this means they’re any good. If they were true musicians, in any sense of the word, they would just make better music. Pe.ri.od.