Archive for January, 2010

BLONDE BUBBLEGUM

BLONDE BUBBLEGUM
by Rob Brayl
Copyright © 2010 / All Rights Reserved

It’s a peroxide world
Where more plastic
Is found in humans
Than recycling bins
And last year’s faces
Can be found in suburban garages
In the bottom of garbage cans

It’s all relative
Everything ties to insecurity
Filling the void
With temporary fixation and condensation
We manipulate the situation
With scissors and knifeblades
Making it nearly impossible
To find the untouched

Cloning yet another stick
Of blonde bubblegum


Montag, before and after 10 plastic surgery procedures

HEIDI MONTAG: TIL KNIFE DO US PART
By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

She says her new album, appropriately titled Superficial, is as good as Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Her husband says she’s bigger than Beyonce. But the most ridiculous statement of all is that Montag says she’s all about inner beauty.

In the past, these delusional statements made me laugh. Knowing Heidi Montag as a reality-star joke was funny, harmless. But that was before she revealed her new plastic look. Now, I can no longer laugh. Nothing funny stared back at me as I looked at a 23-year-old girl bragging about her decision to undergo 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day, blaring from a magazine cover. I felt disgusted. And the trauma was written all over her eyes, as a lost and confused girl still remained, frozen behind the Halloween mask of Hollywood and one plastic surgeon’s chainsaw blade.

Even after my stomach had settled, one question still remained: How are young girls digesting Montag’s new found glory? They aren’t. They’re throwing it up. They’re pushing it aside. They’re not eating, not smiling, not feeling pretty because their face can actually move and their thighs have unwanted baby fat. That’s a dramatic overstatement because I know there are plenty of girls who are smart enough to realize that what Montag has done is wreckless and stupid, but the problem is that whether they realize it or not, the thought of vanity and plastic perfection seeps into their brainwaves. And as time ticks, and laugh lines appear, the cover of a magazine with a faked up Barbie wannabe makes these normal, beautiful, healthy girls question their own worth.

I feel that the only thing Montag is addicted to is fame. And it may take hitting rock bottom before she will realize that it will never make her whole. Attention is temporary, sweetheart. Magazine covers, paparazzi, and hit records on the radio will never love you back.

If you’re a girl (or guy) out there, who is considering doing something drastic like this in an attempt to feel better about yourself, think again. Besides the fact that plastic surgery can be deadly, the truth is, real beauty and real sex appeal isn’t found under a knife.

Be true to yourself because the world will always lie to your face, no matter how symmetrical.

J.D. SALINGER, YOU WILL BE MISSED

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“Among other things, you’ll find that you’re not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behaviour. You’re by no means alone on that score, you’ll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You’ll learn from them—if you want to. Just as some day, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It’s a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn’t education. It’s history. It’s poetry.”
-J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

OF MEN & BRYCE AVARY

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The Rocket Summer is NOT A BAND. I repeat — The Rocket Summer is NOT A BAND. Bryce Avary writes, produces, and plays every instrument featured on his alt rock/pop solo project known as The Rocket Summer. His music is drenched in soul, stained by faith, broken yet healed, and fully alive.

Check out the beautiful ballad, Walls, below. You can pre-order the new album here.

PANT$$$ ON THE GROUND

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

I think the 62-year-old dude, known as General Larry Platt, deserves some dough! Or a nice retirement home in Miami. Cheesecake on the lanai?! Something!

General Larry Platt, was shot in the eye as a child, attacked by K-9 dogs, suffered beatings, & calls himself a “general of the civil rights movement.” And he ain’t lyin. Check out this photograph of Platt at the age of 16 (on the left, looking directly into the camera) singing during a march in the 1960s.

Platt organized sit-ins in the South and worked with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was beaten during the Bloody Sunday march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery.

He, of all people, deserves 15 minutes of fame and definitely deserves some cheddar (isn’t that what kids are calling it these days?).

Check out The General’s plea, below.

HOPE FOR HAITI: THE PERFORMANCES

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Yo Starbucks brats! Here’s an idea–how about you kick the habit for a week and use that money to help save a life?! Yeah, you heard me.

Raising $57 million for Haiti relief efforts, George Clooney’s all-star ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ telethon left quite a mark. The total released includes money raised by phone, text and donations made via the internet. It does not include donations by corporations or iTunes, where people are able to buy the entire album for $7.99 or specific performances of the event for 99 cents each. Those funds also go to Haiti relief.

The ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ CD is the biggest one-day pre-order in the Itunes history.

People can donate via text, phone or through the ‘Hope for Haiti’ Web site for the next six months.

You can watch a few of my favorite performances, below. Which were your favorite performances?

<a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/" target="_blank">Justin Timberlake Performs Live! Hope For Haiti</a>

<a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/" target="_blank">Beyonce/Chris Martin Perform Live! Hope For Haiti</a>

<a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/" target="_blank">Madonna Performs Live! Hope For Haiti</a>

<a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/" target="_blank">Jay Z/Rihanna/Bono Perform Live! Hope For Haiti</a>

<a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/" target="_blank">Christina Aguilera Performs Live! Hope For Haiti</a>

DELPHIC: CLEARLY FROM EUROPE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This video is just too cool for school.

It’s also weird but the cinematography is hypnotic and fashion forward.

Coming from Manchester, UK, Delphic is an alternative dance band fusing an indie sound with electronica. The BBC has named the band as one of the top acts to look out for in 2010.

Check out the music video to DOUBT, by Delphic, below.

MONIQUE’S BEAUTIFUL ACCEPTANCE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

“I celebrate this award with all the Preciouses, with all the Marys — I celebrate this award with every person that’s ever been touched — it’s now time to tell. And it’s okay.”

-Mo’Nique

ADAM LAMBERT PREMIERE

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.

Adam Lambert has released his new music video and to my surprise he isn’t drowning in makeup. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still makeup, but it’s not overdone. This is the side of Adam’s sound (and image) that I like the best. The song was originally written for P!nk‘s Funhouse album and is one of the best songs on his record in my opinion. Besides the fact that I didn’t like the direction of the album cover, I still gave the album a chance. It’s a good album but I was expecting more rock and less disco. I am not a fan of the “campy” throwback feel on some of the more upbeat songs. I think Lambert shines best on rock n’ roll (the track SLEEPWALKER co-written by Ryan Tedder is my absolute favorite on the album), and he’s definitely shining here, in the just-released music video for Whataya Want For Me.

Check it out!

VAGINAS & BANJOS, THE DEBUT ALBUM

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

The Dixie Chicks have not split. But…

A while back I got into a Dixie Chicks fix and it made me ponder the girls whereabouts and now I know, thanks to Rolling Stone. Natalie Maines is on a hiatus and is apparently feeling uninspired to record music at the moment so the other two chicks have created a new side project, a duo they call The Court Yard Hounds. The name comes from a reference to the best-selling novel City of Thieves.

Banjo player Emily Robison and her sister, fiddler Martie Maguire — have recorded an album at Maguire’s home studio in Austin, Texas and the sound is said to be intimate pop-folk. The disc will feature Robison’s first-ever lead vocals and songs inspired by her recent divorce from Charlie Robison.

Sounds interesting but Court Yard Hounds? Not sure I’m feeling this name. Does it fit their image? I’m imagining punks in leather and studded belts, not two peeps from Texas with vaginas and banjos. A-ha! Vaginas & Banjos. It’s a perfect name! No?

GARY GO & DISNEY’S OCEANS

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Help save Nemo!

Nearly a year ago, I wrote about Gary Go, a UK based singer/songwriter who had caught my attention with his track WONDERFUL.

Now that same song can be found backing up Disney’s incredible film, OCEANS. Go see the film, which opens on Earth Day (Thursday, April 22nd), and Disney will make a donation to help save the coral reefs.

Check out the awesomeness, below.

JESUS CHRIST & JESUS LUZ

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Hey Jesus, your pubic hair is hanging out. Just thought you might wanna know. Oh, you know? Oh, ok.

Holy smoke!

“My father [gave me] my name because he always admired Jesus Christ as the most philosophical mind of all time. So, when he named me, in his heart and his head, he made a deal, like, I’m going to name you Jesus so everything good in life is going to come to you because they’re going to make the homage to Jesus. It’s a very special name. My name is “Luz,” too, which means “light.” So I feel like if I have this name that’s so special, I should attract good energy.”

Jesus Luz

Read the full interview of Jesus Luz in Interview Magazine here.

SQUEAK TOY BRINGS BOYS TO THE YARD

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

This made my day!


+


=

An explosion to the ears.

WYCLEF URGES HAITI RELIEF

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Haitian native Wyclef Jean is speaking out on the recent disaster in Haiti. Jean released an official statement last night urging everyone to reach out a helping hand to his homeland.


“I cannot stress enough what a human disaster this is, and idle hands will only make this tragedy worse. The over 2 million people in Port-au-Prince tonight face catastrophe alone. We must act now. President Obama has already said that the U.S. stands ‘ready to assist’ the Haitian people. The U.S. military is the only group trained and prepared to offer that assistance immediately. They must do so as soon as possible. The international community must also rise to the occasion and help the Haitian people in every way possible.”

-Wyclef Jean

To make a donation, contact Wyclef’s own Yele Foundation here.

You can also make a donation through the American Red Cross’ International Response Fund, and it will be allocated specifically for Haiti relief efforts.

The State Department has set up a toll-free number for Americans to call for information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747.

My prayers go out to all affected.

GASLIGHT ANTHEM COVERS K. CLARKSON

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Here’s a first: Boys singing about keepin’ it in their pants!

Jeff Vespa / Getty Images

I admire Kelly Clarkson for various reasons:

1. She’s real. There’s no pretense, no egocentric manners or ridiculous outfits begging for attention. She’s just Kelly.
2. She sings. With no lipsyncing involved (or needed), the girl sings about things that matter–from love and heartbreak to NOT hooking up, girls can look up to her.
3. She eats. Sure she’s put on a few pounds, but unlike many pop stars who are twigs, Kelly proves that girls with curves can be just as successful as those without.

Recently Kelly caught the attention of four cute & talented boys. The Gaslight Anthem has poured their punk rock sound on top of one of Clarkson’s most infectious tracks. The result is melancholy and beautiful.

The Gaslight Anthem is “your new favorite band”, says SPIN Magazine. And I couldn’t agree more.


Listen to The Gaslight Anthem’s cover of I DO NOT HOOK UP, here.

FUNKED UP: TREVOR HALL

By: Rob Brayl
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Meet Trevor Hall.
Reggae rock infused with a pop sensibility.

Trevor Hall has toured with Stevie Nicks, Ben Harper, & Colbie Callait (just to name a few). His music meshes hippie with hip hop rock.

Trevor’s got a rich voice with a FUNKed up sound and I’m totally diggin’ it!

Check out a live performance of Volume, below.

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