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Bon Voyage Voyager 1

Voyager 1

Voyager 1

In honor of NASA’s Voyager I leaving our local little region of the Milky Way, you may know it as our solar system, I thought it would be apropos to lend our Earthbound ears to the Earthly sounds chosen to be placed on the real, and actual gold record(s) (designed by astrophysicist Carl Sagan) which Voyager(s) carries with it, now into interstellar space. I vaguely remember when the Voyager crafts (there are two) were launched in 1977 – an interesting little tid bit, Voyager I was launched after Voyager II – and their primary mission was to conduct close flybys of the gas giants that lay at the outer bounds of our solar system, and both of these spacecraft provided a veritable, and venerable, wealth of information on these ginormous planets that are still full of mystery to scientists. Following the completion of the primary mission(s), it was then off to the even greater unknown – interstellar space – and then each of these spacecraft will continue to broadcast their findings back to Earth, until their plutonium fuel is finally diminished (in about 10-15 years) at which point they will simply become drifting pieces of Earthly information; thus the gold records and the recordings on them. Without further ado, here are the recordings that are on board the Voyager spacecraft, may whoever finds either, or both, come in peace.

Voyager Golden Record

Voyager Golden Record

Scenes From Earth

Greetings From Earth

Sounds of Earth

»  Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F. First Movement, Munich Bach Orchestra, Karl Richter, conductor. 4:40
»  Java, court gamelan, “Kinds of Flowers,” recorded by Robert Brown. 4:43
»  Senegal, percussion, recorded by Charles Duvelle. 2:08
»  Zaire, Pygmy girls’ initiation song, recorded by Colin Turnbull. 0:56
»  Australia, Aborigine songs, “Morning Star” and “Devil Bird,” recorded by Sandra LeBrun Holmes. 1:26
»  Mexico, “El Cascabel,” performed by Lorenzo Barcelata and the Mariachi México. 3:14
»  “Johnny B. Goode,” written and performed by Chuck Berry. 2:38
»  New Guinea, men’s house song, recorded by Robert MacLennan. 1:20
»  Japan, shakuhachi, “Tsuru No Sugomori” (“Crane’s Nest,”) performed by Goro Yamaguchi. 4:51
»  Bach, “Gavotte en rondeaux” from the Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin, performed by Arthur Grumiaux. 2:55
»  Mozart, The Magic Flute, Queen of the Night aria, no. 14. Edda Moser, soprano. Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor. 2:55
»  Georgian S.S.R., chorus, “Tchakrulo,” collected by Radio Moscow. 2:18
»  Peru, panpipes and drum, collected by Casa de la Cultura, Lima. 0:52
»  “Melancholy Blues,” performed by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. 3:05
»  Azerbaijan S.S.R., bagpipes, recorded by Radio Moscow. 2:30
»  Stravinsky, Rite of Spring, Sacrificial Dance, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Igor Stravinsky, conductor. 4:35
»  Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, Prelude and Fugue in C, No.1. Glenn Gould, piano. 4:48
»  Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, First Movement, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer, conductor. 7:20
»  Bulgaria, “Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin,” sung by Valya Balkanska. 4:59
»  Navajo Indians, Night Chant, recorded by Willard Rhodes. 0:57
»  Holborne, Paueans, Galliards, Almains and Other Short Aeirs, “The Fairie Round,” performed by David Munrow and the Early        Music Consort of London. 1:17
»  Solomon Islands, panpipes, collected by the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service. 1:12
»  Peru, wedding song, recorded by John Cohen. 0:38
»  China, ch’in, “Flowing Streams,” performed by Kuan P’ing-hu. 7:37
»  India, raga, “Jaat Kahan Ho,” sung by Surshri Kesar Bai Kerkar. 3:30
»  “Dark Was the Night,” written and performed by Blind Willie Johnson. 3:15
»  Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat, Opus 130, Cavatina, performed by Budapest String Quartet. 6:37

Okay, just as I was getting ready to click the publish button I find out that NASA’s Voyager Science Team has declared that Voyager I has not yet left the solar system, but it is still the farthest man made object from Earth, and is hurdling farther away at an approximate speed of over 38,000 MPH, so it is just a matter of time and distance before it crosses wherever that arbitrary and ambiguous demarcation line between interstellar space, and our solar system.  Bon Voyage Voyager I…

Kiss

KissKiss, one of the biggest band’s of the 1970’s, and arguably one of the biggest bands ever, has always been a bit of an enigma to me.  I bring this up because I heard a Kiss song on Ozzy’s Boneyard, an XM radio station, last night on my way home from a night class that I am taking, and it just got me thinking a bit about these monsters of rock.

Like I said, Kiss was absolutely huge in the 1970’s, I mean think about this for a second, this band had their own lunchboxes, dolls, pinball machines, and countless other knick-knacks, and no other huge band of that era appeared to have such strong merchandising – not Led Zeppelin, not the Beatles (though the Beatles weren’t exactly of that era), not Black Sabbath, not AC/DC, none of them.  In fact, it could be argued, that such a strong merchandising blitz wasn’t seen of a similar magnitude until the advent of the whole New Kids on the Block, and the subsequent ad nauseam, mass produced, Disney, Pop acts that continue to this day.  I’m not saying that the merchandising is a bad thing, quite the contrary, however the merchandising is a part of what has made Kiss kind of enigmatic to me; which I will now try and explain.

It was the late 1970’s, and I was in first grade, this is when I saw my first Kiss lunchbox.  So, here’s this 6-7 years old little boy, with his plastic Peanuts lunchbox, and across the lunchroom is a kid sitting there with a metal lunchbox covered with these guys with their faces painted in kind of a sinister (for the era) like fashion, dressed in a kind of sinister (for the era) fashion, and, when I was told that they were a rock band, I thought something to the effect that they must be pretty dangerous.  That thought stuck with me for years.  As my familiarity of music grew, there was one constant that stuck with me, Kiss must be dangerous, hard, heavy; as such, I thought there would be no way I would like their music (remember this was back in the day when many rock and roll bands [including Kiss] were considered to be satanic) so I never actively sought to hear anything by them.  I mean if you simply based Kiss upon their appearance, they looked like the 1970’s version of what Slipknot looks like today; but that’s the end of the similarities between those two bands.

Fast forward to the 6th grade, I am now 12/13 years old, it is now the mid 1980’s, and I am a fan of Van Halen, Quiet Riot, Billy Idol, with a burgeoning interest in the now disbanded Led Zeppelin, somewhat heavier music for sure, it was also the era when MTV actually played music videos, and Kiss premiered their new look, sans face paint, also sans original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss, with the titular track of their new look/new line-up album, Lick it Up:

With some anticipation, I watched that video, not quite knowing what to expect – again because I thought Kiss must be some hard rock band, based simply upon that very early impression their look made on me – and when I heard “Lick it Up,” I thought, “What, that’s it?  What the hell have I been thinking all these years?”

As I got older, and heard more and more Kiss songs, particularly the songs from their 1970’s hey day, songs like “Detroit Rock City,” “I Love it Loud, “I Was Made For Loving You,” and of course “I Wanna Rock & Roll All Night,” I simply found that their sound belies their look, which is where my enigmatic view of this hugely successful band took root.  Here’s a band that, I thought, looked like they must be the hardest, heaviest, and most dangerous band of their day, and well, quite honestly they weren’t even close to being that.      In a bit of irony though, as I deliberately steered clear of Kiss because of my mistaken impression of them, I became a fan in some fashion or another of bands that were/are decidedly heavier, harder, and maybe even more dangerous than Kiss.  Bands like Motley Crue (particularly their album “Shout at the Devil”), AC/DC (contemporaries of Kiss), Black Sabbath, Metallica, Guns ‘N Roses, Korn, Pantera, Anthrax, and of course, one of my all time favorites, Led Zeppelin (whose sound is tame by today’s standards too).

There is no real point here, other than (I suppose) don’t judge a book by its cover.  I am not saying Kiss isn’t/wasn’t good; their record sales, concert sell-outs, and massive merchandising sales would show that, if I were to dare make such an argument (which I am not), I would definitely be in the minority of such an opinion.  To me, and this is just my opinion here, Kiss’ music is feel good, party rock, plain and simple; which definitely isn’t a bad thing whatsoever.  There’s no pretense in their music, no attempt to make some deep and profound statement, Kiss just wants us to “rock and roll all night, and party everyday;” they just looked like they might have wanted more.

 

Meanwhile, In the Rest of the World…

Okay, yeah, I am an American; and, like many Americans I, at times, suffer from an Amerocentric view of – well, just about everything.  This isn’t to say that I am completely oblivious to the rest of the world; nor is it to say that I feel that the entire world should be “Americanized.”  No, it is instead, a recognition that I am a product of my environment, which can, at times, lead to a bubble like view of things.  In all actuality I am cursed with both an acute case of wanderlust, and a dearth of dinero.  I would absolutely love visiting other countries, and experiencing their own particular je ne sais quoi.  Perhaps one day I will make that happen.  Anyway, as a resident, in a predominantly English speaking country, I am basically exposed to predominantly English speaking music – along with some Latin American music too.  So, today I decided to explore some of what the predominantly non-English speaking world is listening too.  Now, I will apologize that what follows are mostly European, and I know that they may be dated too, but what follows are songs that I thought sounded good, even though I might have only the smallest inkling of an idea what they may be about – in most cases I don’t even have that; and yes, I know that these are not exactly what one can, or would call “traditional” music from the countries from where they hail, but that isn’t really my point here.  My point is/was simply to hear what may, or may not be popular music from outside Los Estados Unidos:

From Sweden:  MOVITS!

This band kind of reminds me of a much more tame, Quarashi, who are from Iceland, but I also feel a bit of a Black Keys vibe too…  maybe it’s just the hipster look though.

From Germany:  Peter Fox

I also like his Haus am See too.

Italy:  Adriano Celentano

C’mon, I dare you not to move to that song!

France:  Yelle

Um, my understanding is that the lyrics are a tad risque…but it is catchy.

India: Dalar Mehndi

The next Gangnam Style…maybe????

Korea:  Witches

Is that really Korean?  Well, according to the ol’ interweb that is where they are from…

I’ll end with some 1970’s French Pop-Punk:  Plastic Bertrand

Not filled with as much angst as British punk, but there is a bit of a Ramones feel to it – no?

There are oh so many more though, like Portuguese singer Ana Moura, who does a Portuguese flavored cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” (in English), and is currently on tour in America; and the artists not only span the globe, but their music spans multiple genres too.  It’s nice to go exploring new things from time to time, even if it is just from sitting on your sofa, using your laptop, and wondering, “what else is out there?”

 

What Does Fills the Gap? Maybe a Little Thelonious Crunk?

I found this while purusing Reddit today, it is a video by Will Cady, and I thought it was cleverly edited, in the music, images, and the voice over, which is of British philosopher Alan Watts:

Maybe that’s not exactly what you were looking for on Noise Made Me Do It; but upon a little deeper digging I found that Will Cady is also the bassist for a band called Thelonious Crunk, and I think this maybe more of the reason why you stopped by…

www.ourstage.com

Yeah, now that definitely fills the gap – doesn’t it?

Armando Trovaioli passes at 95

You probably have no idea who Armando Trovaioli is, or was, as the case may be. Well he was an Italian film composer, who worked with the likes of jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Miles Davis. He is most commonly known as the “voice of Rome,” for his most popular work, “Roma Nun Fa’ La Stupida StaSera,” (typically translated to Rome, Don’t Be Stupid Tonight) which sort of became the unofficial theme song of Rome:

Mr. Trovaioli was so much more than that song though, and scored several Italian films dating back to 1949, such as scoring Giuseppe De Santis 1949 film Arroz Amargo (Bitter Rice in English), and the internationally acclaimed “El Negro Zumbon:”

I think though that this may be my favorite score by Armando Trovaioli:

Though this this isn’t too bad a song either:

FM Gem is Seeking Beta Testers

FM Gem claims to be a new and a fast and easy way to create & share commercial interruption free YouTube music playlists.  You simply search for music, and then drag and drop the videos you want to see in the bar at the bottom of the screen, or simply select play all and enjoy:

FM Gem

 

Dolphins Give Each Other Names?

dolphins

I think it is a pretty safe assumption that the vast majority of us humans recognize that dolphins are extremely intelligent animals.  Some believe dolphins are the second most intelligent creatures on Earth, behind us humans (The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy ranks humans as the third most intelligent, with the dolphin still being second); so yeah, the dolphin gets some pretty mad props for their brain power.

Okay, so we can train a dolphin to jump through hoops, and all sort of other tricks, but you know what?  You can, by and large, train a tiger to do similar things; does that mean a tiger is as smart as a dolphin?  Well, since I am no intelligence measuring scientist I don’t really have an answer to that question, but my intuition tells me no, tigers are not as smart as dolphins.  So, what makes many people believe that dolphins are the 2nd most intelligent animal on Earth?  To put it in the most elementary of terms it is language.

Scientists have been studying all of those squeaks, clicks, and whistles that dolphins make for sometime now, and they believe that all of those sounds equate to words used for one dolphin to communicate to another.  The studies have even led scientists to discover that dolphins in different locales even have different dialects, just as people do.  Well, scientists continue to study and analyze all of those clicks, whistles and squeaks, and they have come to an interesting new discovery.  That discovery is that it appears that dolphins have “dolphin language” given names.

According to a recent study published in the Royal Society of Biological Sciences, researchers found that dolphins have the ability to call out for lost loved ones, when separated, using a specific whistle.  This whistle seems to be the dolphin equivalent of a name, as it only ever refers to that one individual.  Let’s see (or rather hear) a tiger do that.

Okay, so most researchers and scientists agree that all of those sounds made by dolphins equate to some sort of language, and now they believe that dolphins have their own dolphin given names, but sadly they don’t know what those names are, nor do we know the “words” that they are saying.  Hopefully, before all of them leave as in Hitchhiker’s Guide, we will one day find out what all of the dolphins are saying, and of course we will then know their given names:

I think this one said there are some who call him…Flipper?

Sound Tourism

Bell Caves In Israel

Bell Caves In Israel

I know what many of you might be thinking right now, “What in the heck is sound tourism?”  If not, I can tell you that is exactly what I was thinking when I first heard (no pun intended) about such a thing, but I can assure you that it is an actual tourism niche.

Most of us like to go on vacations where we get to see things, whether those things be places that we have never seen with our own eyes before, or whether it be because of a brochure, or some other advertisement that we saw tells us of how beautiful the views, and sights are at a particular destination.  I’m guilty of being more partial to what my eyes want, than my ears when it comes to selecting a vacation destination, and I think the vast majority of people are the same.  Nonetheless, and I guess it really shouldn’t come as any surprise, but there are actual tourist destinations that are meant to appeal more to our sense of hearing, than our sense of sight.

Again, when I first heard (still no pun intended) of sound tourism, I had to believe that there must only be a handful of places to which one can go for the sound.  In short, my belief was wrong.  As it turns out there are sound tourist destinations in several countries, all over the world.  To find out more about many of these sound destinations you can visit a website that is devoted to sound tourism, called Sonic Wonders.  What kind of destinations are there you might ask?  Well, Sonic Wonders does a good job of ranking the sites on a scale of, Worth a Journey, Worth a Detour, Interesting, and Unrated, so you can plan you next trip accordingly.  The ratings aside though, when I did a cursory browse through some of the countries listed in Sonic Wonders database, many of those destinations are in some definitely travel worthy countries and locales, so I can assure you that your eyes won’t be feeling neglected on you vacation.  Take for example that you could visit the Singing Dunes in Chile’, or how about one of the most acoustically precise music halls in the world for classical music, The Vienna Musikverein in Austria?  Not exotic enough for you?  Then take a trip to India, and visit the ancient city of Golkonda, where you can see/hear the “clapping telephone” which was used to make an auditory signal over long distances – long, long before anyone even knew what a telephone was.  How about traveling to Croatia and listen to the Sea Organ, which is an actual organ that is powered by the waves of the sea?

Regardless of what sonic destination you may choose, I am pretty confident that once there, and after you have pleased your ears, that there will be plenty of other things there to both see, and hear.

 

You Can Call Me Nostradamus…

2991218905Okay, maybe not Nostradamus, maybe Carnac the Magnificent?  Anyway, last night (Feb. 10th) was the 55th Grammy Awards, and on Friday (Feb. 8th) I made some predictions as to who I thought should win, and who I thought would win in some of the bigger, more popular categories.  So, how did I do?  Well, you can see the results below.  All in all, I think I did pretty damn good.   Here’s how I graded my predictive abilities:

    • Nailed it! = I got both who I thought should and who would win the award correct.
    • Spot on. = I missed who should win, but I got who would win.
    • Close. = My who should win pick won, but I missed on who would win.
    • Swing and a miss. = I missed both who should win and who would win.

Record of the Year

I think the winner should be – Lonely Boy by The Black Keys

The winner will probably be – Lonely Boy by The Black Keys

Actual winner was – Somebody that I Used to Know, by Gotye feat. Kimbra.

My predictive abilities – A swing and a miss.  I should have known it would have won, because “Somebody that I Used to Know” was a massive hit, spawning several covers, including Walk Off the Earth’s viral video cover, which; dare I say; is better than the original.

Song of the Year

I think the winner should be – We are Young, by Fun.

The winner will probably be – Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepsen

Actual winner was – We are Young, by Fun., feat. Janelle Monae.

My predictive abilities – Close.  I am actually a little pleasantly surprised here.  Even though I thought “We are Young” should win, I was fairly certain that “Call Me Maybe” would win, because it seemed like you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing that song, or something about it – though “We are Young” was pretty huge too.

Best New Artist

I think the winner should be – Alabama Shakes

The winner will probably be – Fun.

Actual winner was – Fun.

My predictive abilities – Spot on.  Not too terribly surprising here, Fun. is definitely worthy of winning the New Artist category, and they did release several songs from their “Some Nights” album which received plenty of air play.  Alabama Shakes really only had the one song, “Hold On,” that was played on the radio, and even then it never really got as much air play as any of Fun.’s songs, but I do think Alabama Shakes are awesome.

Album of the Year

I think the winner should be – El Camino, by The Black Keys

The winner will probably be  – El Camino, by The Black Keys

Actual winner was – Babel, by Mumford & Sons.

My predictive abilities – A swing and a miss.  This kind of surprised me, not to take anything away from Mumford & Sons, who I do enjoy listening to, but I really thought “El Camino,” by The Black Keys was a much better album; obviously the Grammy voters felt differently.

Best Pop Solo Performance

I think the winner should be – Set Fire to the Rain [Live], by Adele

The winner will probably be – Set Fire to the Rain [Live], by Adele

Actual winner was – Set Fire to the Rain [Live], byt Adele.

My predictive abilities – Nailed it!  Great song and great performance; If “Set Fire to the Rain” didn’t win this category I would begin to think that the something was amiss with the Grammy voters – not corrupt, but maybe a bit of lunacy.

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

I think the winner should be – Somebody that I Used to Know, by Gotye, Featuring Kimbra

The winner will probably be – We are Young, by Fun., Featuring Janelle Monae

Actual winner was – Somebody that I Used to Know, by Gotye, feat. Janelle Monae.

My predictive abilities – Close.  Again, Gotye’s song was a huge hit, bigger than “We are Young,” but I kind of figured the voters would’ve been more partial to “We are Young.”  Apparently the voters and I were on the same wave length, but I didn’t have enough faith that the voters would make the “right” choice, but they did.

Best Pop Vocal Album

I think the winner should be – Some Nights, by Fun.

The winner will probably be – The Truth About Love, by Pink

Actual winner was – Stronger, by Kelly Clarkson.

My predictive abilities – Swing and a Miss.  That was a big swing and a miss by me; as is evident by the voters’ selection and my apparently weak predictions.  Nothing against Kelly Clarkson, but I figured that the voters would have been more partial to Pink’s album in this category – I was obviously wrong.

Best Dance Recording

I think the winner should be – Don’t Worry Child, by Swedish House Mafia, featuring John Martin

The winner will probably be – Bangarang, by Skrillex, featuring Sirah

Actual winner was – Bangarang, by Skrillex, feat. Sirah.

My predictive abilities – Spot on.  No real surprise here, while I thought “Don’t Worry Child” was a tad better, “Bangarang” is definitely damn good too, and Skrillex is a more recognizable name.

Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance

I think the winner should be – No Reflection, by Marilyn Manson

The winner will probably be – Love Bites (So Do I), by Halestorm

Actual winner was – Love Bites (So Do I), by Halestorm.

My predictive abilities – Spot on.  Of the nominees, Halestorm seemed to be the more accessible to a wider audience (and there is nothing wrong with that), which is why I thought “Love Bites” would be the winner.  That being said, of the nominees, I thought “No Reflection” is a better Hard Rock/Metal piece, and I say that as one who doesn’t particularly like Marilyn Manson.

 Best Rock Performance

I think the winner should be – Hold On, by Alabama Shakes

The winner will probably be – Lonely Boy, by The Black Keys

Actual winner was – Lonely Boy, by The Black Keys.

My predictive abilities – Spot on.  Despite the difference between who I thought should win, and who would win, I knew that “Lonely Boy” had to win this category.  I chose “Hold On,” by Alabama Shakes as the “should win” because I really want this band to get more critical acclaim.  That being said, there really isn’t a Black Keys song that I’ve heard that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, and “Lonely Boy” is definitely an awesome song.

Best Rock Song

I think the winner should be – Lonely Boy, by The Black Keys

The winner will probably be – Freedom at 21, by Jack White

The actual winner was – Lonely Boy, by The Black Keys.

My predictive abilities – Close.  Again, I love this song, but I just kind of figured that the Grammy voters would throw Jack White some love here – apparently I was wrong.  To be perfectly honest though, “Lonely Boy” is a better song than “Freedom at 21,” and I mean no disrespect to Jack White in saying that.

Best Rock Album

I think the winner should be – El Camino, by The Black Keys

The winner will probably be – El Camino, by The Black Keys

The actual winner was – El Camino, by The Black Keys.

My predictive abilities – Nailed it!  Of the nominees, I really couldn’t see how there could be any other winner than “El Camino.”  It had far more commercial success, and more air played/released singles than the other nominees, and again, I really haven’t heard a track on that album that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed listening to.

Best Alternative Music Album

    • • The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of The Screw And Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do – Fiona Apple
    • • Biophilia – Björk
    • • Making Mirrors – Gotye
    • • Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. – M83
    • • Bad As Me – Tom Waits

I think the winner should be – Biophilia, by Bjork

I think the winner will be – Making Mirrors, by Gotye

Actual winner was – Making Mirrors, by Gotye.

My predictive abilities – Spot On.  I think it is pretty safe to say that Gotye’s “Somebody that I Used to Know” is what won this category for him.  However, when I think alternative, I think Björk, but maybe that is just me.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

I think the winner should be – No Church in the Wild, by Jay-Z & Kanye West, featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream

I think the winner will be – No Church in the Wild, by Jay-Z & Kanye West, featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream

Actual winner was – No Church in the Wild, by Jay-Z & Kanye West, feat. Frank Ocean & The-Dream.

My predictive abilities – Nailed it!  Of the nominees I really didn’t how “No Church” could lose this category.  It frankly just sounds the best, is better produced, better lyrically, and seems the most original piece of all of the other nominees.

Best Rap Song

I think the winner should be – Mercy, by Kanye West, featuring Big Sean, Pusha T, & 2 Chainz

The winner will probably be – N*****s in Paris, by Jay-Z & Kanye West

The actual winner was – “N*****s in Paris, by Jay-Z & Kanye West.

My predictive abilities – Spot on.  Again, of the nominees I really couldn’t see how this song could not win this category.  Like the previous category, this song simply sounds the best, seems better produced, though I think “Mercy,” by Kanye West sounds a bit more original; and I say that as one who isn’t a particular fan of Kanye.

Best Rap Album

    • • Take Care – Drake
    • • Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1 – Lupe Fiasco
    • • Life Is Good – Nas
    • • Undun – The Roots
    • • God Forgives, I Don’t – Rick Ross
    • • Based On A T.R.U. Story – 2 Chainz

I think the winner should be – Undun, by The Roots

The winner will probably be – Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1, by Lupe Fiasco

The actual winner was – Take Care, by Drake.

My predictive abilities – Swing and a miss.  This was another swing and a miss on my part.  I thought The Roots should win simply because I personally prefer them.  I thought Lupe Fiasco would win simply because I thought the voters would be more partial to him and his music.  Apparently I should quit thinking, because I was obviously way off.

Best R&B Performance

I think the winner should be – Adorn, by Miguel

The winner will probably be – Climax, by Usher

The actual winner was – Climax, by Usher.

My predictive abilities – Spot on.  This really doesn’t surprise me, but I thought “Adorn,” by Miguel was better, just a personal preference though; “Climax” is definitely a good song.

Best Country Solo Performance

I think the winner should be – Blown Away, by Carrie Underwood

The winner will probably be – Wanted, by Hunter Hayes

The actual winner was – Blown Away, by Carrie Underwood.

My predictive abilities – Close.  I honestly thought that the voters would go with Hunter Hayes.  Glad to see that the voters and I knew that Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away” should (and did) win this category.

Best Country/Duo Group Performance

I think the winner should be – Pontoon, by Little Big Town

The winner will probably be – Safe & Sound, by Taylor Swift, featuring The Civil Wars

The actual winner was – Pontoon, by Little Big Town.

My predictive abilities – Close.  Again, it seems that the voters and I were on the same page, as far as which song should (and did) win this category.  That being said though, “Safe & Sound,” by Taylor Swift, feat. The Civil Wars is a pretty damn good song, and I really don’t particularly care for Taylor Swift’s music.

Best Country Song

I think the winner should be – Blown Away, by Carrie Underwood

The winner will probably be – Blown Away, by Carrie Underwood

The actual winner was – Blown Away, by Carrie Underwood.

My predictive abilities – Nailed it!  I think it is safe to say that I hit this one out of the park.  That being said though, I couldn’t really see any of the other nominees possibly winning this category.  Not to sound too critical of the other nominees, and not to take anything away from “Blown Away,” but the competition seemed pretty weak in this category – but that is just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Best Country Album

I think the winner should be – Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran, by Jamey Johnson

The winner will probably be – Hunter Hayes, by Hunter Hayes

The actual winner was – Uncaged, by the Zac Brown Band.

My predictive abilities – Swing and a miss.  Well, here is another giant wiff on my part.  Again, I really thought that the voters would’ve gone for Hunter Hayes, and I thought “Living for a Song,” by Jamey Johnson was/is a good listen; shows you what I know.  This is not to take away from the Zac Brown Band and them winning this category though, because I thought the competition in this category was pretty strong.

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