Why “Four” by One Direction Deserved a Grammy

Well, well, well. It has come to my attention that a lot of people don’t know about the evolution of One Direction. Their most popular hit, “What Makes You Beautiful,” was a straight bop and an all around good mood song. Because of that, a lot of people decided to write them off as just another teen sensation that would end soon. Oh, how wrong they were. Now, I won’t write about the history of One Direction or their fandom or the records they broke or why they weren’t just another teen sensation. But, I will talk about why their fourth album, “Four,” deserved at least one Grammy, if not three.

Let’s start with the quality of the album. HIT AFTER HIT! “Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” “Ready to Run,” “Girl Almighty,” “Stockholm Syndrome,” “Fool’s Gold” –  I mean come on. And these were just a few of the hits from that album. The groups vocal performance was top notch too. Zayn was phenomenal as always, while Harry, Louis, Niall and Liam really came into their own on “Four.” Their vocal ranges were expanding and were really shown in this album (and were also really shown in their last album after Zayn’s departure).

Now, I don’t know the qualifications for a Grammy Nomination, but I do know that this album was the first of their albums to actually have a shot. I personally believe that One Direction was never nominated because they were still seen as the “bubblegum pop” teen sensation that they were back in 2012. But in two years time (2014), when “Four” was released, one could see and hear the growth the group went through. They wrote the majority of the songs on that album and they were impressive. It wasn’t what I was expecting, honestly.

Vocally and content wise, “Four” was the album that made a statement: One Direction demanded to be taken seriously. Even though many people still didn’t, their fans felt it. As they were growing up, so were we. Here’s to 1D! If the hiatus ever ends, may the industry take you guys as serious as a heart attack (oww!).

Stories of Rock ’N Roll: Groupies

The 1960’s and 1970’s were probably the biggest eras in rock and roll history. Rock and roll was the most popular music in the world, and its movement is still the biggest form of counterculture and rebellion to this day. With the wild and flashy lifestyle of rockstars, groupies followed closely behind.

During this era, these groupies put the “sex” in sex, drugs and rock and roll. Even though society saw them as girls who just slept with the band, the media popularized their identity. “Rolling Stone” magazine had an issue titled “Groupies and Other Girls.” There were even educational and eye-opening documentaries made. For example, the film “Let’s Spend the Night Together” focuses on the role of groupies from the songwriting perspective. Band members didn’t dehumanize them as objects but rather as muses for their work. Songs like “Plaster Caster” by Kiss or “Going to California” by Led Zeppelin wouldn’t have existed without groupies.

Some mannerisms that we love from our favorite rockstars stem from these girls that hung around them all the time. Places like the Hyatt house on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles, the Roxy or Whiskey A Go Go were all special spots for rockstars and their groupies. Back when Los Angeles was the center of the rock and roll culture, it was hard to not run into bands members from The Doors or Led Zeppelin and their groupies.

I took interest in rock and roll and the groupie culture after seeing the movie “Almost Famous.” When I watched “Let’s Spend the Night Together” I learned that these girls didn’t feel like they were being taken advantage of in any way (even though some of their stories were very suspicious). Therefore, the word “groupie” shouldn’t have the negative connotation it holds today. A groupie is simply another member of the band.

Featured image from: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/nov/15/groupies-revisited-baron-wolman-rolling-stone-pamela-des-barres

Not Another Show Recommendation: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

A show that is funny without being problematic. A show that is pure comedy while also talking about real-life situations. A show with characters of all different backgrounds and a cast that is diverse. Sounds like a show that doesn’t exist right? Well, think again. It’s the show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a comedy show about the 99th precinct in New York. Starring a familiar face, Andy Samberg, playing the main character Detective Jake Peralta. The cast of this show is truly amazing. Everyone is lovable and funny in their own way. One may look at this show and think “Oh it’s another ‘The Office’ or ‘Parks and Rec’” but that is not the case. Yes, it does have the workplace camaraderie feel that we love about “The Office” and “Parks and Rec” but there are a few differences: it’s a sitcom, it’s not filmed documentary style and there is no character left out of the audience’s main focus. In “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” every character gets a great amount of background and screen time.

The show even has reoccurring episode themes and characters that are fan favorites. The Halloween Heist episodes that first started in season one are my favorite episodes. They continue to elevate and give the audience the same fun and thrill for the past five seasons. The reoccurring character, Doug Judy, is also a fan favorite. Doug Judy, played by Craig Robinson, is Jake Peralta’s “nemesis” but is also his friend. Every time Doug Judy is featured on the show episode, it’s always a fantastic episode. The comedic chemistry between Doug and Jake is unmatched and undeniable.

All in all, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a show I think everyone should watch. Like “Silicon Valley,” it’s one of the few comedies that hasn’t fallen in quality after its third season. And I hope it will continue to be great and funny for a very long time. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” airs on Fox on Tuesdays at 9pm.

Featured Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Nine-Nine_Logo.png

A Movie For Your Inner Rockstar: Almost Famous

Back in 2000, a movie that captured the “on the road” vibe of an emerging band was released. “Almost Famous” is a movie about a young writer going on the road with an up and coming band, and his experiences on the journey.

This movie is honestly my favorite movie of all time. It is a feel good movie and leaves one longing for that exact experience, or maybe just me. The rock ‘n’ roll scene in the 1970s was what everyone used to want to be in, but only very few actually got it. Even in a world where bands were rock gods and groupies were all over them, nothing else mattered but the music.

The movie follows William Miller, a 15 year-old who wants to be a music writer, and his journey with the band Stillwater after he gets an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to write about them. Along the way, William experiences everything that was associated with rock ‘n’ roll at that time: sex, drugs and of course music.

It wouldn’t be a movie about ’70s rock n roll if there weren’t groupies. Miss Penny Lane and her group of “Band-Aids” were a huge staple in the movie. Penny Lane even had some of the best lines in the movie, such as “Groupies just sleep with rockstars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here for the music, we inspire the music, we are Band-Aids,” and, “I always tell the girls ‘Never take it seriously’. If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt. If you never get hurt, you always have fun.”

This movie is everything that one could want in a movie. It has great music, amazing fashion and gives me nostalgia for a time that I wasn’t even close to being alive for. All in all, I think everyone would enjoy this movie and I hope you all take the time to watch it. Before I end this, I will leave you with the most iconic line in this movie… “ Don’t Do Drugs!”

Featured Image: Retrieved from here.