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Where have all the Dave Matthews fans gone?

There was a time not so long ago when Dave Matthews Band was the biggest group on the planet.

At least in some circles.

Definitely in my high school.

During my high school and college years, there wasn't a bigger act than Dave Matthews. Each summer, Dave Matthews Band (AKA DMB or just "Daaaavvveeeeeee!!!!") would invade the state for a three-day concert set that rivaled any other annual event in Connecticut.

Probably 50 percent of the cars in the high school parking lot were blasting some track from Under the Table and Dreaming. Keep in mind this wasn't too far removed from the grunge era, right in the middle of hip hop's heyday.

Dave was everywhere! MTV even created a new channel just to play "Crash into Me" on repeat 24/7.


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This week came with a very sad announcement: Jon Stewart will be leaving The Daily Show.

Rest assured, I'm sure he will find a more than adequate replacement. If you've never been a part of his live studio audience, then I highly recommend doing so before it's too late. It's free after all, and, if nothing else, is an excuse to take a sick day and romp around NYC. For more live comedy events, check out the following comedians who are touring the country soon:

  • Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen
  • Bill Maher
  • Gabriel Iglesias
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    Taylor Swift: Genius or Power Hungry?

    February 11, 2015

    Has Taylor Swift Gone Mad With Power?

    The “Shake It Off” sensation is getting serious about her lyrics. Taylor Swift’s most recent endeavor is copyrighting phrases from her songs, including “this sick beat,” “party like it’s 1989,” and even “Nice to meet you, where you been?” Has she gone too far? She’s already pulled her entire catalog from Spotify and secured enough profits from just her latest album alone to feed a small country.

    Swift claims these decisions were made as a stance against music piracy and streaming since they devalue an album’s worth. However, as Gawker says, “[It’s] hard to accept Taylor Swift as a martyr for the music industry, because this all comes off as a power play as opposed to a call to arms for her fellow beleaguered artists.” With an estimated worth of $195.8 million, clearly T. Swift does not need a pay raise.

    Has our beloved T. Swift turned into a greedy 1% money hoarder? Her “Blank Space” music video suggests, yes.


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    Valentine's Day Playlist

    For all those independent spirits out there who'd rather read about the St. Valentine's Day Massacre than partake in candy grams and love letters on February 14, here's an anti-relationship playlist to soundtrack your day.

    Valentine's Day Playlist
    1.) Die, Die My Darling – Misfits
    2.) Tainted Love – Marilyn Manson
    3.) Head Like a Hole – Nine Inch Nails
    4.) Wave of Mutilation – Pixies
    5.) Gold Guns Girls – Metric
    6.) Hate Love Songs – Gwar
    7.) Corduroy – Pearl Jam
    8.) Pretty Girls Make Graves – The Smiths
    9.) All Apologies – Nirvana
    10.) Dickhead – Kate Nash
    11.) The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be – The Magnetic Fields
    12.) 99 Problems – Hugo
    13.) Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
    14.) Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – Led Zeppelin

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    2015 Grammys

    Sam Smith swept the Grammys last night with four awards – Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and Best Pop Vocal Album – proving that one stolen melody can really go a long way. Although Smith and Tom Petty have decided to reconcile their dispute outside of court, given that Petty receives a cut of the “Stay with Me” profits and a Grammy certificate as co-writer, it doesn't change the fact that the song’s success was largely dependent upon someone else’s material.

    This isn’t the first time this has happened. A few years ago, Coldplay was accused of song-stealing from both Joe Satriani and Yusuf Isalm for their Grammy Award-winning hit “Viva La Vida,” and decades of artists from Led Zeppelin to One Direction have also undergone such investigations, which only supports the postmodern theory that originality is dying, if not already dead.

    Even when a truly talented, enduring, and creative multi-instrumentalist like Beck finally receives recognition for Best Album, he is criticized by Kanye West (naturally), first in a self-deprecating throwback to his Taylor Swift diss, then literally on the E! After Show where he said:

    “All I know is if the Grammys want real artists to keep coming back, they need to stop playing with us. We ain't gonna play with them no more. 'Flawless,' Beyoncé video. Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé, and at this point, we tired of it.”

    Not that Kanye is an authority on capital-A Art anyway, or politeness for that matter, but he does influence much of our culture, and this is unfortunate. We need more artists like Beck receiving awards because, contrary to Kanye's claim, Beck does encourage real art and musical progress. Not that I don’t love Bey, but Beck deserved that award, especially during a show that supported melodic theft a few too many times.

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    Sooooo, this happened last night. Amazing <3 Do they ever age?

    Speaking of throwbacks, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Pat Benetar, and Snoop Dogg all have concert dates going on sale this week, as well as the following artists:

  • Aerosmith
  • Andrea Bocelli
  • Billy Joel
  • Bob Seger
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Chris Botti
  • Country Megaticket
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • Def Leppard
  • Dierks Bentley
  • Eric Church
  • Florida Georgia Line
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    Dressed as a Pokemon, Katy Perry kicked off the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show riding atop a (Trojan?) lion and began singing "Roar," one of her bigger hits. While "Roar" was the obvious choice for Katy Perry to start her performance with, it was a little odd that she didn't either ride a gigantic tiger or horse in. After all, "Roar's" lyrics talk about the eye of the tiger, and if not a tiger, a horse is equally appropriate, as she segued into "Dark Horse," after somehow climbing down from the robotic beast quickly. Burning questions remain -- how did she get off the lion so quickly, and where did it go?

    "Dark Horse" showcased a stage lit up like a chess board, with Katy Perry's backup dancers dressed as chess pieces. As somebody who cares little about backup dancers, this part of the halftime show was surprisingly cool. Maybe it's because Patriots head coach Bill Belichick often plays chess while other coaches play checkers? Regardless, an abbreviated "Dark Horse" sounded good and worked well. And hey, chess pieces are cooler than random Illuminati signs ala the actual "Dark Horse" video.


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    Underrated Foo Fighters Songs

    Note: Although I'm sure many of you have in fact heard the following songs, this list is meant to be representative of the tracks that are rarely played in concert.

    1.) "Home," Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

    By far one of my all-time favorite Foos’ songs, “Home” is unfortunately not one you’ll hear live in concert. Grohl was overwhelmed after writing it, saying, “It made me feel quite vulnerable, so much so that it's hard to listen to. I get really choked up thinking about all the time I spend away from the things that are important to me. It's tough being away on tour; it's even tough just to be talking about how much I wish I was with my family. It's the kind of song I can't imagine singing live because it's going to be too much." In fact, he’s only performed “Home” three times to this date, all during 2007. The song is indeed emotional, and though it is quite literally about Grohl missing his home, the lyrics are relatable to anyone who’s lost something or someone:

    Wish I were with you
    I couldn't stay
    Every direction
    Leads me away
    Pray for tomorrow
    But for today

    All I want is to be home


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    Super Bowl

    Last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show caused a bit of an uproar when it was revealed that the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ instruments weren’t plugged in. It was somehow more scandalous because we associate lip syncing strictly with singers, so the confession that the musicians were now also faking their guitar parts was a pretty big letdown, especially for a band like the Chili Peppers who pride themselves on playing “our guts out live onstage for anyone who wants to get their brains blown out.”

    The NFL’s stance on this subject is staunch – the prospect of sound defects is near catastrophic to them, so they pre-record as much material as possible. I understand the sentiment; there’s a national audience watching, and you don’t want anything to go wrong. However, I think it’s a poor excuse for a sport that historically takes pride in their musical accompaniment. The Super Bowl should hold the same high standards for their performers, especially now that they want the artists to pay the NFL for exposure, as they do for the elite marching bands that rally teams throughout the country.

    The argument stems from the small amount of time they have to set up the stage during halftime. However, the extensive preparation that goes into the Super Bowl should account for this factor. You can’t tell me that the pyrotechnics, laser lights, massive video displays, and elaborate interactive moving sets the artists perform on are less difficult to pull off than successfully turning on a mic and amplifier.

    Our plastic-surgery-happy, auto-tuned culture puts such a high price on perfection that we have become terrified of the very nature of being human – making mistakes. But it’s not like these performers don’t know what they’re doing. With the exception of Britney Spears, they can all really sing and play their instruments. The likelihood that they’re going to mess up their own songs is slim to none, and if they did, it would still be far from the Super Bowl’s most controversial moments (e.g. Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, M.I.A.’s middle finger to the world).

    If the singers of the National Anthem are supposedly really singing, then why aren’t the Halftime Show performers? How is Diana Ross being lifted off the stage via helicopter less anxiety-inducing than a band forgetting their lyrics? The NFL needs to man up and let their star attractions do what they do best – perform live. Stop pretending the professional sound techs and stage crew can’t get it right. If I wanted to hear previously recorded music, I’d listen to their album, not pay hundreds of dollars to see something that is fundamentally fake.

    Ultimately, lip syncing is for hacks. Go big, or go home. Will you let me down this year Katy Perry? Probably. But the NFL is the true root of the problem – too concerned about tarnishing their image to stand for honesty. Oh, but we already knew that. As if the Ray Rice cover-up wasn’t disturbing enough.

    September 2014 © Comedy Central

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    Highlights of the week: Superbowl, Cabaret, and New Kids on the Block!


    We're getting pumped here in New England for this Sunday's big game! CNN has already released a montage of expected ads for those more interested in the commercials. But whether you're pulling your hair out over a replay, or simply enjoying your 20th hot wing, Super Bowl Sunday is a day to look forward to, as well as these other notable sports on-sales this week: