A Concert to Remember: Alejandra Guzman vs Gloria Trevi

On April 13, Mexican singers, Gloria Trevi and Alejandra Guzman, performed at their second to last concert of their tour together. Alejandra Guzman vs Gloria Trevi was a successful tour, and their concert in San Diego did not dissappoint. They came out with an enthusiastic vibe that had the audience screaming, laughing, dancing and singing along with them. Their outfits were stunning and would sparkle across the stage. They gave all they could at their performance and were amazing, but my experience at their concert wasn’t as great as it could have been.

First of the use of the big screens behind them were not used wisely. Gloria Trevi and Alejandra Guzman are obviously not to blame for this, since this was a fault of the technicians. The reason why I say the screens were not used effectively is because most of the time what spectators would see on screen were special effects, and not Trevi or Guzman. This made it difficult for the audience in the back high seats to enjoy the show at its full potential because all they could see was a human dancing on stage. Its no fun to pay to see a singer sing, when you can’t even distinguish if it is them. The goal of screens in concerts is not necessarily to create a fun background, but to better the experience of the audience by allowing them to see the performer. You need to make the audience feel connected, and up close to the performer, and the use of big screens plays a big part on this.

Another reason that diminished my experience at their concert was the behavior of some people in the audience. My friend and I, bought the tickets to the show knowing that we would be the youngest or if not part of the young people among their fans, since Trevi and Guzman began their careers during the late 80s. So, as we had predicted the day of the concert we were indeed some of the youngest people in the concert, which unfortunately became a conflict with our engagement in the concert. As a concert goer I have always been the person to stand up and dance and sing to the music, and I have never had any complains…. until now. As Guzman began to sing “Eternamente Bella”, my friends favorite song, we decided to get off our sits and start dancing and sing along. Well, apparently the older man behind us didn’t approve of our actions and thought it would be a great idea to softly scratch my friend in the back to tell him to sit down. I then intervened and told the man that it was concert and it was normal for people to stand up and dance. Apparently, the man had never been to a concert or was at a stage in his life where he didn’t care and had the guts to tell us to move seats. Obviously, we didn’t move because: 1) We paid for the seats we were at, 2) I was not going to go seat in someone else’s seats and then get in trouble for it. As we decided to ignore the man he continued to scratch my friends back. Finally, we sat down since my friend didn’t want to argue about the situation with the man. This left a sour taste to our mouths and killed our vibe for the night. And as much as we wanted to enjoy the show all we could do was wiggle in our chairs.

Due to my experience I will probably never go to a concert of theirs again, and not because of Trevi and Guzman because as I mentioned before they were amazing. But a third of their crowd are at an age where they think concerts are to go sit down at a stadium and look at a screen. I’m sorry, but If that is what your idea of going to a concert is, please do everyone a favor and stay at home and watch the concert through YouTube videos instead.

Tame Impala’s Dizzying Side Projects

For being an solo project, Tame Impala sure has a lot of members. Its live act currently consists of Kevin Parker, Jay Watson, Dominic Simper, Julien Barbagallo, and Cam Avery, who replaced Nick Allbrook in 2013. These talented members all play multiple instruments in the band and most have their own projects and collaborations outside of the band. This will serve as a look into the many other bands that Tame Impala’s members are apart of and the other work Kevin Parker has done outside of the band. Before diving into this longform, I’d advise listening to the tracks “It Is Not Meant To Be,” “Apocalypse Dreams,” and “Eventually” if you’d like to get into Tame Impala past their more popular singles.

 

Mink Mussel Creek

Kevin Parker, Nick Allbrook, and Joe Ryan were all founding members of Mink Mussel Creek in 2005. Parker’s drums became a strong feature of the band’s heavy psych sound. The band broke up in 2008 but a 2011 reunion led to the release of their singular album Mink Mussel Manticore. Recommended track: “They Dated Steadily”

 

Pond

Despite featuring a revolving line up that has featured most Tame members at one point or another, the three mainstays of Pond are Jay Watson, former Tame member Nick Allbrook, and Joe Ryan who now provides Tame Impala with live visuals. The band has steadily released albums since forming in 2008, with their pop and funk influences becoming more apparent over time. Recommended track: “Sitting Up On Our Crane”

 

Melody’s Echo Chamber

A solo project of French Melody Prochet, whose band My Bee’s Garden had toured with Tame Impala. Prochet and Parker were dating at the time they collaborated on the self-titled debut album in 2012. Parker’s influence is a key part of this album but what steals the show is Prochet’s beautiful vocals. The two have since broke up and a second album from Melody titled Cross My Heart is on the way. Recommended track: “Some Time Alone, Alone”

 

GUM

Jay Watson, currently playing keys and guitar for Tame, releases his solo work under the name GUM. Naturally similar sounding to Pond, GUM’s sounds are set apart with more electronic vibes. Recommended track: “Growin’ Up”

 

Allbrook/Avery

Long time friends and current (Avery) and past (Allbrook) members of Tame Impala teamed up as Allbrook/Avery in 2011 to record their currently only released album. The album is lo-fi, spacey, and pretty British sounding, fitting considering Allbrook/Avery have two unreleased albums made in collaboration with London shoegaze band The Horrors. Recommended track: “Empty”

 

Nicholas Allbrook

In 2014, between Pond albums and one year after leaving Tame Impala, Allbrook release his first solo album which was followed with another in 2016. His unique voice is accompanied by sparing psych elements on the first album and the second features some more avant garde elements. Recommended track: “Tramadol with Fear”

 

Cameron Avery

Recorded and released after Tame Impala’s most recent album, Cam Avery’s only album so far goes in a different direction than most mentioned here; he harks back to much older music and croons like Sinatra on tracks about love. Recommended track: “Wasted on Fidelity”


The Growl

Prior to replacing Nick Allbrook in Tame Impala, Cam Avery toured with the band as frontman of their supporting act The Growl. Avery splits time between the two bands but The Growl’s most recent releases are from 2013 and 2014. Recommended track: “Douse the Lamps”


Barbagallo

Finally we come to Tame’s  drummer’s eponymous solo project that has steadily produced three albums since 2015. Some of his efforts have been described as reminiscent of the late Elliott Smith. Recommended track: “Ça, tu me”

 

While there are a few other bands the current and past Tame Impala members have played in, I only chose to highlight the ones I felt are most representative of the efforts of Tame members themselves. Parker and some other members have also gone by different monikers and performed one-offs such as the project that began as Kevin Spacey, changed its name to The Golden Triangle Municipal Funk Band, and finally changed it again to AAA Aardvark Getdown Services.

 

Collabs

Kevin Parker has been in high demand for collaborations, especially with the success of Tame Impala’s album Currents in 2015. In 2013, Parker contributed vocals for the French duo Discodeine’s track “Aydin.” He also collabed with Mark Ronson for three songs off of Ronson’s 2015 album Uptown Special; “Daffodils” is my favorite of the trio. Parker and Ronson continued working together and co-wrote “Perfect Illusion” with Lady Gaga from her 2016 album Joanne. Parker remixed Miguel’s song “Waves” on the singer’s EP Rogue Wave in the same year. On Rihanna’s 2016 album ANTI, she covered Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” featuring Parker’s instrumental with Rihanna’s voice replacing his. Kevin Parker, Mark Ronson, and SZA have also been confirmed to be working on a new unreleased album by SZA herself. Parker has also been producing more and more albums for other bands, especially other Australian musicians and the many side projects of his Tame Impala bandmates.

 

You can find all of the songs mentioned above on my Spotify playlist below!

Taylor Swift’s Reputation is Not Getting Any Better

On March 11, Taylor Swift released her new music video of her song Delicate. As thrilled as people were to see it, the video was nothing new that we haven’t seen already. We’ve seen a corky girl dancing, we’ve heard people complain about being famous, and we’ve heard songs about boys. I was hoping her entire new album be about her, but I guess I was wrong.

The song itself wasn’t bad, but the elements in the video were. Taylor Swift is popular for her corky dance, but in this video she looked like a poor imitation of Maddie Ziegler, the popular dancer featured in Sia’s videos. Her dancing was made a mock off such that people made her into a meme. Some overriding Swift’s song with Spanish singer’s, Melody, song El Baile del Gorila, where it appears that she is dancing to that song instead of Delicate. This is not the only comparison that Swift’s video is being compared to. There is also a controversy relating to the similarities that Delicate has with Kenzo’s perfume ad, calling Swift’s video a “copy with worst dancing.”

If there is anything more annoying than her dancing is the autotune she has started to incorporate into her new songs. This robotic special effect is making her no good, and she should stay away from it. The girl sings good, and she should not try to fix what is not brocken. She along with her team need to understand that her fans would rather hear her voice than a machine. I had to watch the video with captions in order to understand what she was singing. The captions helped, and the more I listened to it the more I enjoyed it, but if I can’t understand the song without captions then there is no point in listening to it. The special effects used on her singing does not work for me.

Having a good beat, and a catchy phrase makes a good song, but not a good music video. And let’s leave the crazy emotional dancing to Ziegler.

Rock n Roll is Dead

For a long time now I have noticed that there isn’t many rock bands in this day and age. While listening to KROQ, a rock station in LA, I noticed that most of the music they were playing was classic rock or songs from the early to mid 2000s. Almost simultaneously, me and dad turned to each other and said “why are there no rock bands anymore?”. We went into a conversation that lasted about an hour reminiscing on the height of rock music (which I wasn’t even alive for) and the decline of it.
My dad said “name a band right now that is releasing music that you think is rock?” I personally couldn’t think of anything. Yea I thought of Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy and The Killers but their height was in the early 2000s when pop punk was it. For me, personally it takes a lot for me to get into a new artist so maybe there are some bands but how many of them will be held as rockstars.
I grew up taking after my dad’s and brothers’ music taste which is mostly classic rock. Names such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Animals, and Queen were always listened to. These bands are still my most listened to on Spotify (behind Harry Styles). I love watching documentaries on bands from the 60s-80s when Rock was the main event. People went crazy over these rockstars. And that is no longer around. Maybe I miss the counterculture of rock that I wasn’t around for.
This also isn’t just an opinion. As of now Hip-Hop/Rap is the most popular genre as opposed to rock which held the number one place for decades. Now, I do agree that times change and its time for something else to be on top I must admit that I miss Rock n Roll.

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