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A Night With Dolly – September 9, 2016

Best of 2016, Live Events, Music, Random Musings

Seeing Dolly Parton perform live at the Molson Amphitheatre was like a dream coming a true. No, I didn’t grow up dreaming of seeing that blonde country singer with the big boobs who sings sad songs, but Dolly’s music always seemed to be playing somewhere in the background. What made seeing the country legend perform live for nearly two hours ethereal was the collectively warm ethos of the audience. With their hybrid, modern takes on country garb, everyone was just so…happy. It was a nice environment to be part of.

When the pint-sized singer took to the stage, it was like a queen sitting at her throne. There was a definitive feel of reverence for the woman who has endured fame for over 50 years. From her infectious giggle to her sometimes salty anecdotes, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

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Her setlist perfectly captured her multi-decade songwriting successes. There was some bluegrass, a few early hits, and even some gospel, but it was when the opening notes of Islands in the Stream and the ubiquotous 9 to 5 filled the theatre did it begin to feel like church on a sunday…in a good way.

This woman is a knockout, true talent. Her vocals were beyond crisp, and her penchant for rhinestones and glitter was not hidden in any way. I’m very grateful I got to see her.

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Favorite performance? Hmm, tough one. Obviously I want to say Nine to Five, but if I had to choose, Coat of Many Colors really hit home (as it usually always does). I wish she did sing “Hard Candy Christmas”, but hey, she couldn’t sing everything.

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Just Another Pop Discourse: Britney Spears

Mixed Feelings, Music, Random Musings

So much to talk about, so little time.

Let’s get the biggies out-of-the-way. This is going to be a series of posts, so I’m starting with the closest to my pop-cultured heart.

Britney

Ok, girl. I’m going to break it down right now for you. Anyone who knows me knows I have nothing but unwavering, unadulterated love for Britney Spears. A long-time fan, I’ve followed her through her highest highs and lowest lows. I empathized with her maternal and mental health issues, and celebrated her when she reclaimed the pole position on music charts around the world.  Her dancing is once again on point, and the lavish praises for her Vegas show are unanimous. I believed in the ‘Holy Spear-It” through and through.

But things have changed. For starters, her team seems to have decided to move into a more urban, hip-hop feel for her newest album “Glory”. Now, I don’t know how to make this more abundantly clear, but I will try. Britney rose to fame because of her fun, cheesy, and catchy pop songs. Her growls when enunciating the words “baby” and “me” were catchy and endearing, and sort of funny. People liked it. So when the corny “Make Me” was released, I thought to myself, why are these label execs trying to make Britney compete with the vapid Justin Bieber’s and bland Selena Gomez’s of the world? People don’t look to Britney to keep up with the current musical trends of the time. They just want a hard, sing-along-y, entertaining pop song. Why is this so hard to understand? Why can’t people just be allowed to keep doing what they’re good at? I sincerely doubt that Britney is holding business meetings to veer into different facets of the music industry. The woman is singing her greatest hits night after night, for Pete’s sake. If she wanted to re-invent herself, wouldn’t she be playing more new music in her set?

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Secondly…and I know this is a hard one to reconcile, but Britney has got to start singing. I mean, I know her vocals aren’t the strongest, but they’re certainly unique, and people like them. So why does she still lip sync to the high heavens? It was acceptable for a time because who could refute  the “I can’t sing live when I’m dancing so hard” argument, but come on, her dancing isn’t even that intense these days. Throw them vocals in is what I say.

Lastly, I’ve read this whole “Britney gets really anxious and nervous before a show” notion. Ok, I could totally appreciate that performing for the crowds of ‘famous’ people that consist of silicone and stupidity could indeed be nerve-wracking. But here’s an idea…don’t do it. Don’t put yourself into a situation that is uncomfortable, but also don’t say you get really anxious and nervous when you’re performing with reckless abandon night after night in Las Vegas. It’s insulting to your fans, Ms. Spears.

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I like the “Glory” album. It’s fun, if not a bit incoherent. She’s singing again. I don’t know though if Britney is lazy, tired, or mentally unwell. It’s really none of my business. I do know that she’s capable, but not producing. If she’s tired, then take some time off. Money’s not an issue.

I may sound like a bitter, old crone, but I expect more. Yes, she’s sweet, and kind, and innocent. Yes she’s just a mom who loves her kids. But, girl, if you love your fans so much (and the Britney Army is certainly loyal), give them what they want, even if it’s just one really good video. It’s the least you could do.

 

 

 

 

 

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Now Offering Editing Services

Random Musings

Reading Other People has now branched off into the world of editing. We have edited:

  • Newsletters, training manuals, presentations,  social media posts
  • Résumés, cover letters, blog posts, letters
  • Reports, research papers, essays, journal articles
  • Novels, short stories, one-pagers, and many others1

Please see below for our list of services and prices. To contact us, please shoot us an email at readingotherpeople@gmail.com

We offer the following services:

  • Substantive/structural editing: Clarifying or reorganizing a manuscript for content and structure
  • Stylistic editing: Clarifying meaning, eliminating jargon, polishing language, and other non-mechanical line-by-line editing
  • Copy editing: Editing for grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style; checking for consistency of mechanics and for internal consistency of facts; inserting head levels and approximate placement of art; editing tables, figures, and lists; notifying the designer of any unusual production requirements
  • Proofreading: Checking proofs of formatted, edited material for adherence to design and for minor, mechanical errors in copy (such as spelling mistakes or small deviations from the style sheet)

Rates and Billing

  • Substantive, structural, or stylistic editing of a difficult text: 1 to 2 pages/hour – $5 per page
    Substantive, structural, or stylistic editing of a standard text: 2 to 3 pages/hour, $3 per page
  • Copy editing a difficult text: 2 to 4 pages/hour – $4 per page
  • Copy editing a standard text: 4 to 7 pages/hour – $3 per page
  • Proofreading a difficult text: 4 to 6 pages/hour – $4 per page
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Depending on your need, we will charge by the page or by the project. Please inquire within for more details.

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Booming Business

Random Musings

Well, well, well…it looks like business is booming. Reading Other People is receiving a multitude of book review, guest blog, and local arts coverage requests. Thus, this post is a big, all-around thank you for all of those parties reaching out to us for opportunities to post on our site. We are very grateful.

If you’re looking to hook up with us, fire us off an email @ readingotherpeople@gmail.com and we’ll get back to you. We promise.

Read on.

Nick

Fifth Avenue’s most insane Gilded Age mansion — Ephemeral New York

Random Musings

On the avenue dubbed the “Millionaire’s Colony” in the late 19th century thanks to its unbroken line of ornate mansions, one house stood out as the most insanely overdone: William A. Clark’s 7-story Beaux Arts house at 77th Street. Finished in 1907 after eight years in the making, “Clark’s Folly,” as it was called, broke […]

via Fifth Avenue’s most insane Gilded Age mansion — Ephemeral New York