Roxanne Tellier – And a Happy New Year!

roxanne-dbawis1

This year it falls to me to be the last voice of DBAWIS 2014. Still decked out in my new holiday outfit, and digesting our early family Christmas dinner,

ugly xmas sweater suit

I’m parsing my memories of the events of the last 365 days. Some incidents filled me with joy, while others had all the appeal of an ugly, if ironic, Christmas sweater.

Life is a seesaw; for every up, there’ll be a down. Revelations and accusations of chronic sexual abuse of women were aimed at celebrities Woody Allen, Jian Ghomeshi, and Bill Cosby, as well as at pro footballers, politicians and university students. But in the music world, women took a strong lead, garnering awards for their abilities, and sadly, often attention for their willingness to literally expose themselves to the world.  (What is it with our obsession with big butts, she asked rhetorically?)

kims baboon butt

One of the biggest winners of the year is Taylor Swift, who transitioned from introspective and observational country songs to pop and fashion diva .  “She released a best-selling album, took on Spotify, performed at the Victoria’s Secret show and turned a tabloid reputation for man-trap desperation on its head, emerging as a single-and-loving-it cheerleader for girl power.”

“Ms. Swift’s latest album, “1989,” her first under the aegis of pop, arrived in October and in its first week sold 1.287 million copies, more than any of her competitors in first-week sales, and more than any album in that time period since 2002.”  (The New York Times, December 2014)

I’m still not convinced. And I like this parody of “Shake It Off” better than the original.

On the country scene, Maddie and Tae’s “Girl In A Country Song,” hit number one on the Country charts December 20, 2014 after 23 weeks of climbing said charts. The song is a satire of the contemporary “bro-country” trend, where the biggest male country stars objectify their downhome ladies.

Meghan TrainorMeghan Trainor’s another female with a Nashville background. Only 20 years old, she previously wrote and self-released two albums, and has had song writing cuts with Rascal Flatts, R5, Sabrina Carpenter and others before releasing the mega earworm “All About That Bass.” Unfortunately the follow up, “Lips Are Movin’ ” is pretty much a virtual remix of “Bass.”

Iggy Azalea has cornered the market on Australian white woman rap. Her song “Fancy” reached number one on the U.S. charts, with Azalea becoming only the fourth solo female rapper ever to top the Hot 100. Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj work the same street, and their joint effort, “Bang Bang,” debuted at number one in England, and reached the top 10 in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Bulgaria. The song now sits at number 3 on the U.S. charts, and has been nominated for 2015’s Grammy Awards for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

idina-menzel-600On the adult contemporary front slash latest Disney song to drive parents mental, both Idina Menzel and Demi Lovato  had hits with “Let It Go,” the first song from a Disney animated musical to reach the Billboard top ten. The song, from the smash hit Frozen, has sold 3.5 million copies as of this month. And still counting.

This adorable mother/daughter duo’s video went viral (4.5 million views) when they lip synched to another song from the movie, “Love Is An Open Door.”

SiaStill bubbling on the charts, Sia’s  electro-pop hit “Chandelier” video has enchanted viewers with the help of Maddie Ziegler, a young, fearless  and apparently boneless 12 year old dancer.  The track was certified quadruple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and platinum by the Recorded Music NZ (RMNZ) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It’s hard to take your eyes off young Maddie, as 397 million hits will attest.

Madonna had a hissy fit this week, when her new music hit the Internet prematurely. She posted this on Instagram on December 17, “This is artistic rape!! These are early leaked demos, half of which won’t even make it on my album. The other half have changed and evolved. This is a form of terrorism. Wtf!!!! Why do people want to destroy artistic process??? Why steal? Why not give me the opportunity to finish and give you my very best?”

I guess she had it explained to her, because two days later she released six songs from her upcoming album Rebel Heart. Genuine outrage or publicity stunt? Who knows. Or cares.

mama juneIt wasn’t all good for women this year. Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, and more were digitally hacked in August 2014 and their nude selfies were posted all over the Internet. Here Comes Honey Boo  Boo was cancelled after Mama June was found to be dating a sex offender – again.

Women were largely unrepresented at the 2014 Grammy Awards, although Lorde’s “Royals” won Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year. Alicia Keyes won Best R&B Album, and Rhianna picked up the Best Urban Contemporary Album.  But overall, it was a Grammy sausagefest, as Daft Punk, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Pharrell Williams cleaned up in the main categories.

Pharrell's Hat

Arby's HatSpeaking of Pharrell, his famous hat sold for $44,100 at an eBay auction to fast food chain Arbys The money is going to From One Hand to Another, a charity that helps children learn through technology and the arts. Unfortunately, he also seems to have sold his ability to generate a followup hit to “Happy” (Song of the Year at 2014 Soul Train Awards.) His new song, “Gust of Wind,” is pretty gustless.

We lost a lot of good people in 2014, including Joan Rivers, Shirley Temple, Lauren Bacall, Peaches Geldof, Jan Hooks and Maya Angelou. Although the voices of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mickey Rooney, , Richard Attenborough, Harold Ramis, Sid Caesar,  Casey Kasem, Tommy the last Ramone, Phil Everly, Pete Seeger, David Brenner, John Pinette, and others were silenced, it seemed that the loss of Robin Williams hit people the hardest. His last cinematic performance, in Night at the Museum; The Secret of the Tomb, debuted December 19th.

We also lost the services of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who withdrew from the race after being diagnosed with a rare tumour of the abdomen. Brother Doug Ford officially signed up to step into his place just minutes before the deadline for candidates to submit their registration papers. But it was John Tory who won the position. We’ll have to see how well Mayor Tory runs the city, but in the meantime, it’s been a refreshing and nondramatic breath of fresh air for the Big Smoke.

In the ‘States, a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. And an Ohio special grand jury decided that no officers would be charged in the death of 22-year-old John Crawford III, who was shot and killed inside a Wal-Mart while carrying an air rifle sold at the store. In New York, a special grand jury decided to not bring charges against the officers involved in the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who andrewhawkinstamirriceap1-638x488died in a chokehold during an arrest. This week, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins wore a shirt calling for justice for two black Ohioans (John Crawford and 12 year old Tamir Rice) recently killed by police, onto the field before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. With racial unrest and worldwide protests over the apparent lack of justice, all eyes will be on the grand jury called to decide if the police offers who shot Tamir Rice will be indicted.

Groot

At the cinemas, the monster hits primarily had the first initial “G”Guardians of The Galaxy, Gone Girl, Grand Budapest Hotel. Non-G movies included Ida, creepy 70’s cinema throwback Nightcrawler, Jon the interviewStewart’s Rosewater, and Snowpiercer, with a dramatic ending making the political statement that sometimes you’ve just got to blow it all up and start all over again. What we won’t see this holiday season is “The Interview,” pulled from it’s planned December 25th opening by Sony Pictures Entertainment, after hackers leaked several other then-upcoming Sony films and sensitive internal information. The hackers, whom the FBI believe have ties to North Korea, demanded that Sony pull the film, which it referred to as “the movie of terrorism,” and threatened terrorist 9/11 style attacks against cinemas that played it.

On December 19, Craig Ferguson’s final episode of the Late Late Show aired, but was largely overshadowed by the finale of Stephen Colbert’s Colbert Report. Both shows will be very much missed.

What will the new year bring? Here’s hoping for a lot less controversy, and a lot more quality entertainment. Will the ladies take their current success to the 2015 Grammy Awards or will Sam Smith’s album win Record of the Year?

I’m keeping an eye on several groups that I hope will break out this coming year, including Vintage Trouble, who knocked us dead at Lee’s Palace in September; St. Paul and The Bones, who just keep getting better and better, and alt-J, a group I first saw on British TV who are starting to get airplay in Canada, after scoring several high profile late night spots on American television.

And of course, I remain infatuated and enthralled by Bruno Mars, who’s latest outing with Mark Ronson is racing up the charts. With nods to Nile Rodgers, Nelly, James Brown and early Prince, it’s a more classic funk that can’t help but pull you out of your chair and on to the dance floor.

So that’s it … goodbye 2014. Wishing all Don’t Believe A Word I Say readers a happy holiday season, and a bright and shiny New Year! We’re on hiatus from now until Monday, January 5th, when the irrepressible Darrell Vickers will kick off another year of “Dissecting Pop Culture since 2011. Great Music. Great Stories. Great Googa Mooga.”

Happy Holidays to all! And to all a superior New Year!

happy 2015

=RT=

Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’.

The Bobcast

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: