BREAKING: Wine apocalypse looming

It appears the world is running out of wine.

sadwine

According to a Morgan Stanley Research report, the deficit is at a 50-year low, some 300 million cases. With shrinking reserves and an 8% increase in consumption since 2000, we find ourselves at the Great Grape Depression. I think this woman is to blame:

Clearly this depicts the tragedy that can strike while stomping grapes: you become a beached wale. The bellows forever ring in my ear and I think about how terrible grape stomping must be.

Yes, so blame her. Or you could always blame the three countries responsible for 60% of wine production that are now allotting less land to grapes: France, Spain and Italy. Choose your battle.

 

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Ready. Set. Music madness: 2013 holiday rush

elf_santaChristmas is coming.

How do I know this? No, it’s not the christmas décor popping up in retail stores. No, it’s not even new Christmas music releases by Mary J. Blige and Kelly Clarkson. It is, however, the absolutely chaotic album release schedule for the remainder of 2013.

It appears all of the music industry heavyweights were in on the same game plan: album releases appropriately timed for the holiday season. This late surge will hopefully be redeeming for the music industry: According to Billboard, album sales for this past week (ending Oct. 27), are down 28% from the same week in 2012. For the year, at this point, album sales are down 7%.

Here is just a snapshot of what’s to come:

November 5

  • Avril Lavigne, “Avril Lavigne”
  • Celine Dion, “Loved Me Back to Life”
  • Eminem, “The Marshall Mathers LP 2”
  • James Blunt, “Moon Landing”
  • M.I.A., “Matangi”

November 11

  • Kellie Pickler, “Woman I Am”
  • Lady Gaga, “ARTPOP”

November 19

  • Daughtry, “Baptized”

November 25

  • Norah Jones & Billie Joe Armstrong, “Foreverly”
  • One Direction, “Midnight Memories”

December 3

  • Britney Spears, “Britney Jean”
  • Chris Brown, “X”

December 10

  • R. Kelly, “Black Panties”

Get ready people! There’s a lot of good music heading our way. And will Beyoncé sneak her next LP in before the 2013 curtain falls? For the full list of 2013 album releases, click here.

Katy Perry’s “Prism” gleaming atop Billboard 200

katyperryroar“You’re gonna hear me roooaaarrrrr.”

We hear you, Katy–and so does the rest of the world. Katy Perry’s fourth album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 this week. The album posted the best sales week by any female act this year with 286,000 copies. “Prism’s” first-week tally surpasses the 192,000 copies sold by her 2010 hit-machine, “Teenage Dream.” “Dream” went on to achieve total sales of 2.7 million so things are looking oh, so sweet for the confectionary princess.

When the Billboard chart is released tomorrow, Pearl Jam’s “Lightning Bolt” will slide into the second spot while Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same,” pops up 4 to 3.

[Images via Rapup.com and Poponandon]

Album Review: Jessica Mauboy, “Beautiful”

jessmauboyMany of you might not know who Jessica Mauboy is so, here’s a brief intro:

Jess was the runner-up on “Australian Idol” in 2006. Shortly after, her career blew up with her 2008 debut album, “Been Waiting,” and its lead single, “Running Back,” which went double-platinum. She has enjoyed commercial success in Australia throughout her career and opened for Beyoncé on her Down Under leg of the “I Am…” tour. Jess is a hybrid version of Katy Perry and Beyonce; her sultry, edgy voice lends itself well to R&B, and her larger-than-life personality exudes sunny pop. “Beautiful,” is her third album, following 2010’s “Get ‘Em Girls.”

1. Beautiful: 6/10

Catchy, but the chorus is lacking when it hits its stride repeating “beautiful.” Generic. Man, the start was so promising.

2. Kiss Me Hello: 7/10

Ooh. Fun intro–like Britney’s “Touch of My Hand” opener. Better than “Beautiful,” but still not jumping at me. Cool production though.

3. Pop A Bottle: 9/10

Obvious catchy pop masterpiece. Feel good. Wish this would have been out during our summer. The second half of the song is magical starting with the : “Give me, give me more, let it pour, till it overflows…” bit to the break down of the chorus. Yay to senseless pop music that puts a smile on my face!

4. I Believe: 9/10

Wasn’t expecting this to be clubby. But ok. Mhmm. Liking it. I hate when clowns rain on me too. Such a pain. “You live and learn.” Amen sister. Self-empowering club music. Always a good combo. Wait…is anyone else hearing “Good Time” in the verses? The phrasing is very similar. I’m definitely going to be stupid dancing to this in my room or in the shower. Yup. Gonna happen. This needs a remix though. Good starting point.

5. Never Be the Same: 6/10

Here comes the inner-Beyoncé. The phrasing is very “Halo”-esque in the verses. Production reminds me of “Scariest Part” from “Get ‘Em Girls.” It’s all about growing up and moving away from home to do big things and forever being changed. It’s actually kind of depressing…and “Beautiful” takes a turn for the melancholic.

6. In Love Again: 7/10

And now back to the R&B Jess from “Been Waiting.” Her voice just sounds awesome on this. She almost has a Mariah-like tonality in her lower register…that rugged whisper. Beauteous.

7. Honest: 6/10

Like the ominous sound. This album is hella master produced. Who can’t relate to a liar? The arrangement reminds me of Riri’s “Cold Case Lover.” Decent track.

8. I’ll Be There: 10/10

Oh damn. Loving it. Yup. This is my fav track on the album. Sounds very Mike Will Made It. Chill cruising song. You know I love those. My jam. Lyrics are a tad corny but I don’t care. Vibing right now.

9. Go (I Don’t Need You): 6/10

Eerie and haunting. My head was moving. Not earth-shattering.

10. Heartbreak Party: 10/10

My second fav on the album. That bass. That chorus. “I got one thing on my mind and you need to know it isn’t you.” #burn. It’s a breakup anthem that is irresistibly addicting. I’m not going through a breakup but I feel like a badass bitch. Take that you non-existent betrayer!

11. Barriers: 8/10

I really like this one! At first I passed it up, but it’s growing. The melody is so good. Makes you wanna sing along and harmonize. It sounds very Jordin Sparks-y and I can’t really explain why.

12. To the End of the Earth: 8/10

OK I was so pumped when this came out: it signaled new J-Mally material! It starts so well. Love the ethereal, space-y vibe. I remember being disappointed with the chorus at first for being to restrained because you have that huge build up with the clapping–clapping is always good–and then it falls a little flat with some chanting and minimalist lyrics. Well, I still kind of that way but I’ve gotten over it. It’s interesting she chose this as the first release because it sounds nothing like the rest of the album, then again, Jess doesn’t really ever create “thematic” albums. I mean, what does “Beautiful,” mean?

13. Kick Up Your Heels: 4/10

No. No. No……No. It was kind of fun and peppy until the bridge and then I just couldn’t handle it anymore. Oh, and then the chorus hit! Stop the madness! It’s like Mr. Saxobeat had a baby with Pitbull’s “Back In Time.” Obvz that’s no cute child. I’m going to have nightmares of vigorous jazz hands.

***

Album Average: 7/10. I feel “Beautiful” is similar to “Get ‘Em Girls” in a lot of ways. There tends to be the same mix-matched selection of juicy pop creations and dramatic R&B tunes. It would be nice to see Jess maybe release a more personal album next. I’m thinking something more along the lines of Beyonce’s “4,” which stylistically would suit Jess’s voice very well! But this is overall a good set of fun-loving songs to keep you infected until the next release.

[Image via Josepvinaixa.com]

Just in time for Christmas: Another Justin Bieber movie

Canada’s Fresh Prince of Stratford is releasing yet another movie. Did anyone else know this was happening, or are you still as confused as I am?

The Believe Facebook page was created earlier this month and features a pair of Youtube teasers for the film. The actual teaser itself reads, “There’s more to his story.”

A lot has indeed happened since the 2011 release of his first documentary “Never Say Never,” which took in $73 million at the box office. This proved to be a successful venture for the Biebz, comparing the film’s success to other music artists’ attempt to crack the box office. One Direction’s “This Is Us,” has taken in $29 million this year. Katy Perry’s 2012 “Part of Me,” followed close behind with $25 million, while “Glee the 3D Concert Movie” managed a meager $12 million in 2011.

Guessing from the teasers released thus far, the film looks to be very similar to its prequel: concert footage plus P.R.– masterminded vignettes showcasing how inspirational and genuine Justin is. Hopefully the film will address my one burning question: WHERE did the MONKEY come from?

I guess I’ll have to wait and see until Christmas Day. Best present ever!

Kanye being–well, Kanye

kanye

The “Yeezus” tour stopped in L.A. this week. After rocking two nights at Staples Center, Kanye West visited “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest” to chat with the entertainment guru. And what he said was…you be the judge.

“There’s no way Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be on the cover of Vogue. She’s like the most intriguing woman right now. She’s got Barbara Walters calling her like everyday.”

“Like I went anti-hit song on the “Yeezus” album. I know how to write hit songs, but I’m not interested in that particularly. I’m interested in design and helping the world.”

“…but because of the perception I was under after the Taylor Swift incident, the only way for me to somehow buy my affection of the public back, was to deliver an absolutely perfected product. So if you listen to “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”, that’s the closest thing to a perfected album. So it’s like, I know how to make perfection, I just don’t want to.” He followed up on the Taylor incident with, “You know what? I would not want some crazy drunk rockstar cutting my daughter off also. But, my daughter would 100% also be like, ‘Yes, Beyoncé did have the best video.’ That’s what my daughter would do!”

“What if you’re Gaudí and you know you’re the best architect and everyone is saying that you’re saying you’re the best architect the wrong way. The problem isn’t whether or not you are the best – it’s the way you’re saying it. People get really hung up on the way I word things. But I am the best. That’s the bottom line.”

“I drink Grey Goose. And I’m not getting paid anything from them, but I’m going to tell you as a man – and they said Shakespeare was like a drunk and yes, I said that to blatantly compare myself to Shakespeare.”

“And collectively, we’re the most influential with clothing. No one is looking at what [President] Obama is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day.”

I’ll cap it at that. My only concern is that if he keeps name-dropping celebrated creative figures, he’s going to exhaust the list! I know he said fiancée Kim is the most intriguing personality right now, but I think he might be overlooking someone else, someone much…closer. I could listen to him talk all day. I really could.

P.S. I’d take Michelle Obama’s arms over Kim’s bottom asset any day. My point: say what you want, but don’t drag POTUS and FLOTUS into this. Untouchables.

[Images via hellobeautiful.com and L.A. Times]

New music claims to be from “Justin Bieber”

In early October, Justin Bieber announced “Music Mondays,” which would see the perpetually shirtless star releasing a new song every Monday for 10 weeks. Last night, the fourth release, “Recovery,” was released on iTunes. The song continues a new brand of Bieber that–well, doesn’t really sound like Bieber. The tracks reveal a more mature side to the Biebz and a departure from pop to more R&B undertones. We saw a glimpse of this in “Believe,” on the track “Love Me Like You Do,” and it appears there’s a lot more of that to come: slow beats, light guitar strumming, and swag for days. Who is this impostor?!

Releases so far included “Heartbreaker,” “All That Matters,” “Hold Tight,” and this week’s “Recovery.”

This has been my favorite release so far. Is it weird for anyone else, though? I understand everyone has to grow up at some point, but it’s going to be a long time before I can take JB seriously, saying things like, “I still wanna be your man.” It’s comparable to Miley Cyrus’ desire to shed her Hannah Montana image and become a sex-symbol, which I’m still having a tough time processing.

 

Top 10: Signs you’re a journalism student

10. When watching newscasts, you’re judging, hardcore.

9. The AP Stylebook lies on top of the Bible on your nightstand. Ouch.

8. You see some type of event going on and your mind starts racing: “Where’s my camera? OK, who am I going to interview? How’s the lighting? Wait, I’m not on assignment. Go home.

7. You can’t take a picture without audibly saying, “Rule of thirds!”

6. You want to give every solicitor on the sidewalk a hug. “I feel ya, bruh.”

5. It is not uncommon to find you sitting in your closet speaking into a microphone.

4. “Wait, so can I use the past tense? No, that’s for broadcast, right? Or print? Oh, the other way around? No? Whatever.

3. You spend more money on gas and parking then rent, food and other living vitals.

2. You look like an asshole wherever you go: tripod, camera, microphone, headphones, notebooks, pens and a demeanor of utter desperation, verging on suicidal: “Excuse me, do you min–OK, great. Have a nice day…fucker.”

1.  Hitler has a better standing in your book than uncooperative sources.

But it’s all worth it because we’re all going to be super rich journalists!

zaynlaughingno

Britney Spears gives fans new album art and handwritten letter

Brit Brit is definitely working, betch.

The pop goddess uploaded a handwritten letter to her fans on her website this morning. In the letter, she thanks her fans for staying with her through the troubling past few years and reiterates how personal this album is.

Yay Britney! We are all so happy for your transformation. I still have my fingers crossed there is a foil to Lady Gaga’s “Hair” on Britney Jean called “Bald,” but one can hope, right?

She also reveals there is still a fair amount of dance tracks, which is a huge relief. I was thinking we were heading toward a ballad train. But with Will.i.am onboard, dance is inevitable. I’m also a bit concerned the two have spent a little too much time together. She closes her letter with, “I am a performer. I am a mom. I am funny. I am your friend! I am Britney Jean.” Cool it with the “I am,” Brit. We already have enough “I am” feuding going on already. No need to get Pharrell all worked up even more.

As one last finishing touch, Britney also revealed the artwork to her eighth studio album, Britney Jean:

britneyjean

23, Male, Loves to color

The world can be overwhelming. We all get stressed out. It happens. All of us handle these pressures in our own, unique ways.

Some start to ugly white girl cry:

kim_uglycry

Some panic:

sheldon_breatingbag

Some cooly accept the fate of shortly turning into an utter psychopath:

leslieknope_nervousbreakdown

Some become alcoholics:

havingamargarita

And some become violent:

nunslap

I, however, handle it differently–for the most part. I have broken a stapler in a sheer fit of rage before. Not my best day.

I…COLOR!

photo (16)

Yes, those are MY colorings, MY coloring book that I bought at Target a month ago and MY 96 pack of mutha fucking Crayola crayons. I always have a coloring book and crayons wherever I am. It all started in the days when I was still watching “Barney” wrapped up in my Power Rangers sleeping bag sitting in a laundry basket. Those were the days…. My mom and step-aunt would always color with me. We would then sign, date, and give them to each other, well obvz they gave theirs to me and I gifted mine to myself as well. Anyway, it just stuck. I know I’m a grown-ass man, but let me see you try and pry these crayons from my cold, dead hands.

Go out and buy coloring supplies and let all your worries drift away like Kris Humphries’ fame.