The 20 Best Things That Happened In 2014

BestThings2014
Feature Image Via Hulu

Last year, I summed up the most massive annoyances of the year. I decided to be a bit more chipper this year and look at the gifts we were given in 2014 instead. From French men dancing in heels to novelty, white-girl-approved Oreos, the treasures were overflowing. Personally, it was a great year for me as well. I began running, which lasted two months but proved to be the longest documented account of exercise in my life. I had my first full-time job since 17-year-old me was providing you outstanding customer service at every high school in America’s official fashion haus, Hollister. What else…Oh! I almost forgot the time I fell asleep in my running shower from 2am to roughly 4:30am. Such a great year. Here are some more milestones:

1. When Chris Schauble’s life flashed before his eyes.

When you think you’re watching SNL, but are actually watching a real, live news broadcast.

2. This Vine about the Christmas from Hell.
https://vine.co/v/OMh2DAYtmDr/embed/simple

Barbie never stood a chance. It was her time to go.

3. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

Unlike Piers Morgan, finally a British political commentator that isn’t a narcissistic asshole. Sure Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are great, but there is something about John Oliver that reigns supreme–and not just his likeness to that of Frozen‘s beloved Olaf.

4. Beyoncé’s “7/11” music video

Christmas came early for the folks at GoPro (basically the creators of the world’s best personal video camera) when Beyoncé decided to make her own video. Does Jay have the purse strings or what? Last year Bey spent $0 in advertisement for the release of her self-titled album, and it goes on to pass the now largely unattainable million-unit sales point. This year, she films a video for roughly $400, the cost of a GoPro Hero4. And guess what? It was still better than everyone else’s multi-million dollar videos. Cheap is the new luxe.

5. When POTUS’s tweets end all other tweets.

The first and, presumably, last president to both A) Know how to access the Internet and B) Figure out “the Twitter.”

6. When Taylor Swift thought she won a Grammy.
https://vine.co/v/Mu5BItuUZ1T/embed/simple

Uh, oh. The Grammy Committee might end up the subject of the next bitter T-Swift song.
“You can take me down with just one, single pronounced “R,”
But you don’t know, what you don’t know…”

7. Instagram enables comment editing.
InstaEdit

Game changer. Now there is no need for the humiliating follow-up comment to your comment that reads “*you’re”. Or if you mistakenly tag your picture in Las Vegas, NM instead of Las Vegas, NV, you are saved.

8. The best summertime ad ever created. You go Target!

If any of you have a backyard like this, and have yet to invite me, we are no longer friends.

9. Florida strikes again.

Holy mother of God. The state that seems to breed stupid like no other keeps finding ways to outdo last month’s crazy. Every time you say, “No” to bath salts, you save an unsuspecting McDonald’s franchise.

10. How To Get Away With Murder

Move over Olivia Pope, there is a new HBIC in town, and her name is Annalise Keating, played by the formiddable Viola Davis. But let’s be honest, I’m only here for Connor Walsh 😉 In all seriousness, this quickly became my go-to show for the year. Someone give Shonda Rhimes a TV MVP.

11. Yanis Marshall, and all his shades of fierce.

Who would’ve thought I’d be wishing for more French men dancing in heels this year? I mean…DAYUMMM. This little pocket rocket packs some serious punch. I’m both in love and terrified. If I didn’t think I would look absolutely ridiculous, I’d say #DanceGoals, but, like, no.

12. Her

Spike Jonze made me want to fall in love with my operating system this year when the innovative “Her” was released. Apart from the wi-fi sex with Scarlett Johanson’s voice, this film was a breath of fresh air. Funny, loving, artsy, beautifully acted and quippy–it did yield one of the best quotes ever: “[Love] it’s kind of like a form of socially acceptable insanity.”

13. The woman who couldn’t handle life after a hailstorm.

Grab your box of tissues. It’s like The Notebook–almost. “Do I just sweep it off? Do I need to put it in a separate receptacle?” I die. It’s so adorable though that she’s so worried about the environment in this darkest hour.

14. Sam Hunt

Country has never been as sexy until Sam Hunt entered the ring, regarding both his music and, obviously, his dreamy self. He looks like he could snap me in two with the flick of his wrist. Anyway, I love that he is pioneering the future of country music by incorporating R&B flavors. It’s exciting. He is, without a doubt, my favorite newcomer of the 2014 music scene.

15. Ariana Grande’s priceless face after dodging a Victoria’s Secret angel wing.
arianawing

You might be beautiful, but get yo’ damn wing out my face when I’m singing.

16. Pumpkin Spice Oreos
psoreos

White girls rejoice all across the land! The gods have gifted us another fall novelty. After last year’s gingerbread Oreos failed miserably, Nabisco redeemed themselves this year.

17. Kanye West’s style
kanye

I was super excited when I received this copy of GQ in the mail–Yes, I still order print magazines. There is one thing about Ye you can’t deny: this man has style. And I love everything about his style. Okay, so he’s low key my fashion inspiration of late. I have always been a fan of tonal combinations and loose-fitting tops over slim-legged pants, but Kanye just slays it to perfection. Even though he’s been sort-of-but-not-really ex-communicated within the fashion world, he’s doing quite a fine job on his own accord.

18. This stunning nighttime hyperlapse of Los Angeles.

LA Light from Colin Rich on Vimeo.

If you know me, you know my favorite thing in life is a panoramic view of a city by nightfall. This is perfection. And the music selection is genius. Bravo.

19. Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour

I never thought I’d ever go to a concert alone, until no one would go with me to see Katy Perry. Let me tell you this: best decision ever. I had a blast and I gave zero fucks. The most entertaining concert I have ever been to.

20. Bey and Jay’s On the Run Tour

Because, obviously.

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The Dark Horse that is…”Dark Horse”

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Perry performs “Dark Horse” at the Grammys

This week on the Billboard Hot 100, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” bumps up from two to one, marking the singer’s ninth number one. Perry has been no stranger to the summit of the music charts; eight of her last 11 singles have gone on to become number ones. Her string of five consecutive number ones, all from 2010’s Teenage Dream, tied Michael Jackson’s Bad album for the most number ones from a single album.

What makes “Dark Horse” exceptional is the fact that it was never intended to have been a single–just yet, according to this Billboard article. After the release of “Roar,” Capitol Records released “Unconditionally” as the official second single from Perry’s latest album Prism. The song had all of the record label’s promotional efforts behind it and Perry performed it (with a wee bit of controversy) at the American Music Awards in December.

After becoming a fan-voted “preview track” during the MTV VMAs, “Dark Horse” cracked the top 10 digital songs chart for a brief period and faded. But, it didn’t go away. While “Unconditionally,” was pushed on top 40 radio stations, fans were still calling in and requesting “Dark Horse.”

Brooke Taylor from WJFX Fort Wayne, Ind. told Billboard, “While we understand that it’s not the label priority, the fans of our brand are the ones we have to take into consideration when it comes to our title selection.”

It seems the dark and urban side of Katy Perry was winning fans over just as much as her cotton candy-wrapped pop. “Dark Horse” continued to slowly trot all over “Unconditionally” on the radio waves and you could almost feel the pressure weighing on Capitol.

Lo and behold, on Dec. 18, the label officially released “Dark Horse” as the third single from Prism. The trappy track topped the digital charts shortly after and has held the spot for three weeks–and is still going. The song also had a boost from her Medieval-witchy performance at last weekend’s Grammy Awards.

With just one more chart topper, this Cali girl will find herself tied at sixth place on the most number-one singles of all-time list with Janet Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Mariah Carey currently holds 18, the most for a female artist, while The Beatles are one spot above her with 20.

My prediction: I still stand firm on the fact that “Birthday” will be released sometime in May and be Perry’s tenth number one. It’s going to be the summer jam. But between then and now? I think it may be tough. Prism was not made to be the hit factory that Teenage Dream was, but I think “Walking on Air,” “This Is How We Do,” and to a lesser extent, “Legendary Lovers,” are the only singles I could maybe see climbing to number one. If that’s the case, roll “Walking On Air” out in March, “Birthday” in May, “This Is How We Do” in August and “Legendary Lovers” in October.

Closet Confessional: Grammy’s Red Carpet

“Music’s Biggest Night,” rocked the Staples Center in Los Angeles last night. The CBS telecast drew in the show’s second-largest audience in over two decades with 28.5 million views. Beyoncé’s sultry “Crazy in Love” performance, Taylor Swift’s thug transformation and a mass Queen Latifah-officiated gay wedding all helped give the show a boost. But before the stars came out to play, they graced the red carpet in a wild assortment of fashions. Here are some of the highlights and crash-and-burners:

Taylor Swift, Gucci

Although I gave her a lot of slack last night (it’s just so much fun) she absolutely nailed it. This glittery silver dress was age and event appropriate. It was the serene calm before the head-thrashing and gangster-leaning storm that unfolded indoors.

grammy_tswift

Beyoncé, Michael Costello

Bey skipped the red carpet to prepare for opening act, and probably for a good reason: She didn’t want to outshine everyone else–because she’s thoughtful that way. This white lace dress looks gorgeous on her and her new edgy blonde cut fits it well. I even love the little extra fabric on her forearm. On anyone else, I’d be saying, “Why are you wearing a doily?”

grammy_beyonce

Katy Perry, Valentino

You never know what you’re going to get with this rowdy one: cheese hat? blue hair? pink hair? octogenarian drab? Last night she elected for a whimsical, musically-inspired white gown. The haunting-glam look was swiftly abandoned indoors as she morphed into a witch hunter swinging around on broomstick stripper poles.

grammy_katy

Ciara, Pucci

Just weeks after Olivia Wilde proved that pregnancy can still be hot on the red carpet, Ciara came out to play in a beautiful, gold sequin stunner, which complements her skin tone so well. Pregnancy glow is real people. I need some of that these days.

grammy_ciara

Chrissy Teigen, Johanna Johnson

Although it should be a crime to outshine your partner that is nominated for a Grammy (in this case, John Legend), but when you look this good, we forgive. It should be no secret that this Sports Illustrated swimsuit model knows how to dazzle.

grammy_chrissyt

DJ Mark Ronson and wife Josephine de la Baume, Unknown

“We’re so excited to be here.” The only thing more excited are her nipples.

Josephine de La Baume, Mark Ronson

Shawn Crahan of Slipknot, Spirit Halloween Superstore

I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. Unfortunately, my mommy was not available to shield my eyes from It deciding to crash the red carpet. Thankfully I don’t have a red carpet hosting gig (yet) because I would have run away screaming.

grammy_slipknot

Cyndi Lauper, Alexander McQueen

A just birthed animal? Last night’s ragu? An unraveling ball of yarn? What exactly was the objective with your hair? But I do like the cape and slim-fit pants combo.

Cyndi Lauper

Zendaya Emanual, Ungaro

You are so beautiful, why? It’s so unflattering and homemade looking. “Quick! We have to go. Just grab the shower curtain and let’s go!”

Zendaya

Pharrell Williams, Only God knows

Pharrell Williams

That’s about it for me. I will be back with another closet confessional following the Academy Awards March 2.

2014 Grammy Nominations are IN

jayzgrammysMusic’s Biggest Night is just around the corner. The nominations for the 56th Annual Grammys were announced on Friday during a concert at L.A.’s Nokia Theater. Good news artists: Adele is NOT nominated (other than Best Song for Visual Media)! *music industry rejoices*

Jay-Z leads the field with nine nominations, but Hova will have stiff competition from newbies Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar, who are each nominated seven times and in most of the same categories. Also in the seven-nominations group is Justin Timberlake and Pharrell.

Eligibility for this year’s awards opened on Oct. 1, 2012 and closed Sept. 30, 2013, so some big releases like Katy Perry’s “PRISM,” Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP,” Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP2,” and Paul McCartney’s “New” were not considered this year.

Also making a strong showing is first-timer Lorde, who boasts four nominations including “Record” and “Song of the Year.”

And now for the nominations….The pop and rap, at least, since that is all I can speak for; I need to brush up on my regional Mexican (including Tejano) music.

Record of the Year

  • “Get Lucky” / Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • “Radioactive” / Imagine Dragons
  • “Royals” / Lorde
  • “Locked Out of Heaven” / Bruno Mars
  • “Blurred Lines” / Robin Thicke Ft. T.I. & Pharrell

My vote: “Royals.” Such a massive hit. Fresh. Cool.

Grammy vote: “Royals.” It’s very Adele-like and we all know the Grammy’s are OBSESSED with Adele.

Album of the Year

  • “The Blessed Unrest” / Sara Bareilles
  • “Random Access Memories” / Daft Punk
  • “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City / Kendrick Lamar
  • “The Heist” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • “Red” / Taylor Swift

My vote: “The Heist”

Grammy vote: “Random Access Memories” Something just tells me this is getting it.

Song of the Year

  • “Just Give Me A Reason”
  • “Locked Out of Heaven”
  • “Roar”
  • “Royals”
  • “Same Love”

My vote: “Same Love.” It’s our civil struggle in 2013, beautifully illuminated by a hip-hop artist?

Grammy vote: “Same Love.” It has to win. Point-blank.

Best New Artist

  • James Blake
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Ed Sheeran

My vote: Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis. They’re so unique and current. Love what they do.

Grammy vote: James Blake. Esperanza Spalding, anyone?

Best Pop Solo Performance

  • “Brave” / Sara Bareilles
  • “Royals” / Lorde
  • “When I Was Your Man” / Bruno Mars
  • “Roar” / Katy Perry
  • “Mirrors” / Justin Timberlake

My vote: “Roar” After the huge success of “Teenage Dream,” and getting snubbed, she deserves this. Since the award’s creation in 2012, Perry has been nominated each year for “Firework,” “Wide Awake,” and now “Roar.”

Grammy vote: “Royals”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

  • “Get Lucky” / Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams
  • “Just Give Me A Reason” / Pink Ft. Nate Ruess
  • “Stay” / Rihanna Ft. Mikky Ekko
  • “Blurred Lines” / Robin Thicke Ft. T.I. & Pharrell Williams
  • “Suit & Tie” / Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z

My vote: “Blurred Lines” Summer anthem and all around good fun.

Grammy vote: “Get Lucky” There seems to be a lot of love for Daft Punk this year and not so much for JT.

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • “Paradise” / Lana Del Rey
  • “Pure Heroine” / Lorde
  • “Unorthodox Jukebox” / Bruno Mars
  • “Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke
  • “The 20/20 Experience–The Complete Experience” / Justin Timberlake

My vote: “Paradise”

Grammy vote: “Paradise”

Best Rap Performance

  • “Started From the Bottom” / Drake
  • “Berzerk” / Eminem
  • “Tom Ford” / Jay-Z
  • “Swimming Pools (Drank)” / Kendrick Lamar
  • “Thrift Shop” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis

My vote: “Tom Ford” You cannot say Tom Ford without saying it like Hova. Try.

Grammy vote: “Thrift Shop” It’s an easier “rap” song for the old peoples’ ears, so I think this will find their vote.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • “Power Trip” / J.Cole Ft. Miguel
  • “Part II (On the Run) / Jay-Z Ft. Beyoncé
  • “Holy Grail” / Jay-Z Ft. Justin Timberlake
  • “Now or Never” / Kendrick Lamar Ft. Mary J. Blige
  • “Remember You” / Wiz Khalifa Ft. The Weeknd

My vote: “Power Trip” Love. Love.

Grammy vote: “Holy Grail”

Best Rap Song

  • “F***in’ Problems”
  • “Holy Grail”
  • “New Slaves”
  • “Started From the Bottom”
  • “Thrift Shop”

My vote: “Started From the Bottom”

Grammy vote: “Thrift Shop”

Best Rap Album

  • “Nothing Was the Same” / Drake
  • “Magna Carta…Holy Grail” / Jay-Z
  • “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” / Kendrick Lamar
  • “The Heist” / Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis
  • “Yeezus” / Kanye West

My vote: “Nothing Was the Same.” This album was just dope. End of discussion.

Grammy vote: “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.” It snagged an “Album of the Year” nom, so chances are pretty good for this one.

Last thought: I am NOT happy Britney did not get a Best Music Video nom for “Work Bitch.” That video is EVERYTHING.

You can catch the 56th Annual Grammys Jan. 26, 2014 on CBS.