Posts Tagged ‘Nick Deyo’

A King with No Crown

Posted: May 1, 2011 by jerkmag in BLARE -- music
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By now we all know that Gaga is unstoppable. With 6 Grammy Awards, 9 Number-One singles, and a throng of “little monsters,” there is no questioning Gaga’s longevity as a pop icon.

With the release of “Judas,” the second single off her much-anticipated album Born This Way due out May 23, Gaga lays the framework for what is sure to be a different kind of pop album. In a recent interview, Gaga spoke to the critique that her new material is too heavy or dark for her mostly-pop roots. Her reply was simple: “I’m not going to put out music that people expect. I am not manufactured. And if you want me to be manufactured you can f**k off.” (more…)

Perched high above the road below, a billboard showcasing a young woman with a gentle smile blends in well with the roadside setting. This may be like any other billboard you’ve seen in your life, but a closer look reveals something a bit more unconventional. As motorists on S. McBride and E. Washington Streets in Syracuse approach the advertisement, the billboard’s text becomes immediately distinguishable: (more…)

Teenage girls and middle-aged mothers all over the country will find themselves in a state of elation this summer as New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys will embark on a joint summer tour spanning North America. Proving to naysayers everywhere that boy band fever is still alive and well, the NKOTBSB tour is a foray into a different realm of musical nostalgia. (more…)

As spring approaches and people begin to emerge from hibernation, the desire to go out and party all night seems to be at the forefront of every college student’s mind. After a night of dizzy dancing and several Long Islands, waking up several hours later may seem like one’s own personal version of hell. One thing I’ve found to combat even the nastiest of hangovers is a trip to a good old-fashioned breakfast joint. (more…)

Simon Cowell’s enormously successful competition show X-Factor is finally making the jump from across the pond to the United States. Auditions for the first season of the U.S. X-Factor began in Los Angeles on Monday, drawing nearly 15,000 hopefuls from all over the country.

The show differs from its American Idol counterpart in that it showcases group as well as individual talent, making it something of a rare breed in what many American’s expect from a singing competition. Instead of being judged by a panel of industry professionals, contestants on X-Factor are mentored one-on-one with the judges on the makings of pop stardom. This is the show that is responsible for launching the successful career of Leona Lewis.  This show is a refreshing change to the monotonous success of American Idol, and I think it will be around for years to come.

The show is the brainchild of Simon Cowell, and it is widely rumored that Cowell left American Idol to pursue the US version of X-Factor. The UK version of the show included Sharon Osbourne, Cheryl Cole, and Louis Walsh as judges, setting a brash and ultimately energetic tone for the show to continue its global dominance. As Cowell said in a March 14 interview, “The ‘X-Factor’ refers to that special spark that a performer uses to light up the stage. It’s the thing that is missing in many parts of the industry right now, so this show is about finding people who understand how to bring that back.”

-Nick Deyo

Groupon: penny pinching made easy

Posted: March 27, 2011 by jerkmag in ZONE -- syracuse
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If you’re like me, you like to get good things for cheap. Whether it’s in dollars or cents, discounts always make me feel extra special (it makes you appreciate the little things in life). That is why I have found a new friend in Groupon. Groupon.com is a national company that provides cities around the United States with area-specific discounts on everything from fondue to spa treatments. What makes it even better is that Groupon allows you to share the coupons with your friends and family, turning any outing into a group occasion. Now, I’m no sucker, my mother raised me to be very weary of “gotcha” deals. As she always said, “if it sounds too good to be true, it is!” So you’ll understand my hesitation when I purchased a case of wine valued at over $100 for only $25. But when it arrived in timely fashion, needless to say I was sold.

So for all you penny-pinchers out there, be sure to check out www.groupon.com to register for daily deals in the Syracuse area. With wine in hand, I have not been disappointed and I don’t think you will be either!

-Nick Deyo

Being a product of the 90s and coupled with my consumption of contemporary popular culture, I am not a person that gets shocked very easily. I am also not a person who gets tricked or hoodwinked with every passing fad. But then came Rebecca Black. By now I’m sure all of you have seen her teenage angst-ridden video for “Friday,” which has amassed nearly 30 million hits on YouTube since its release a week ago. Posing the age-old question, “which seat can I take,” Rebecca effectively dispels any myth that music must have meaning and voice in order to be popular.

I am significantly impressed by two things: the first is that people actually think she’s being serious. The second is that in her infinite wisdom Rebecca Black has shown us that it’s possible to be a household name for a week or so, all you need to do is release a song that people love to make fun of until it grows on them and actually becomes catchy. She’s tricked us all and we didn’t even know it. It’s the kind of comedy we need to see more often. When her time in the spotlight fades, she will be able to live the rest of her life with the accolade that she was the original “Friday” girl. She’s bound to score with a pickup line like that.

-Nick Deyo

Spring Break Do’s and Don’ts

Posted: March 12, 2011 by jerkmag in ZONE -- syracuse
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Do: Enjoy your spring break

Finally Spring Break is upon us once more. I like to think of this time as a natural rejuvenation of sorts for our usual winter blues – a time when the hearts of even the bitchiest of people begin to flutter with excitement. For me, this Spring Break is going to be a big one. I will trade in my iPhone and usual workload for a margarita and sunshine. In preparation for some R&R, I have devised a list of my personal DOs and DON’Ts for all Spring Break-related festivities:

DO meet new people – Nothing is better than meeting someone for a week, becoming Facebook friends, and then never see them again.

DON’T fall in love – We can all admit that there’s nothing more appealing than a quick fling on the beach but trust me, save the person next to you an awkward plane flight home while you sob uncontrollably.

DO try something new – This is the time to do it and do it to the extreme. Now, I’m not condoning anything crazy, but challenge yourself to something new…like a pottery class!

DON’T do a lick of work – Your break is all about you, whether you’re in Monterrey or Minnesota. Take a break from the stress of everyday life and treat yourself to something nice—you deserve it!

DO keep a blog/journal – Even for just the week, documenting your trip and all the wild encounters will make it worthwhile in the future.

DON’T try to impress the locals – If you’re traveling abroad, please do us all a favor and don’t do anything obnoxious or inherently American. That includes, but is not limited to: wearing fanny packs, complaining about the service, teaching people how to “Dougie,” and speaking any language different than the one spoken in the country you’re visiting.

DO use sunblock – Bronzed is hot. Being as red as hooker’s lipstick is not.

DON’T forget you only live once – As my mother always says, “Make good choices and don’t get arrested.”

– Nick Deyo

Meet Jessie J. She’s a sassy yet classy Brit rocker chick with pipes that make you want to slap a nun. She breaks the traditional “bad girl” mold of what it means to be rocker-chic in pop music, choosing instead to let her music speak for itself.

Jessie J is no stranger to the industry. A successful songwriter, this is the girl responsible for Miley’s monster smash, Party in the USA, as well as a host of other songs recorded by Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake. As she prepares to launch her own career, Jessie J seems poised to take on the big dogs of the pop music scene. Her debut album, Who You Are, was released in the UK on February 25 and debuted at the #2 spot (under Adele’s still-reigning 21).

She has already in her young career shown her versatility as an artist. With her girl power anthem debut Do it Like a Dude, Jessie J makes her grand entrance into the pop music scene with a vengeance. When contrasted to her Dr. Luke-produced second single, Price Tag featuring B.o.B, Jessie J offers her ever-growing fanbase a taste of something completely different. Price Tag is far more than just another everyone-should-love-everyone song; it is honest, simple, and extremely catchy. I dare you not to feel warm and fuzzy after a few spins.

–Nick Deyo

Over the last year, there has been much anticipation and speculation—much of it fueled by the Mother Monster herself—as to what fans can expect from Lady GaGa’s upcoming album Born This Way, slated for release on May 23. GaGa-loo has dubbed the new record her “greatest work to date,” tantalizing her fans into a frenzied excitement while also inviting the critical eye from the industry and press.
I must admit that I wasn’t sold after hearing “Born This Way” the single—I found it too literal and frankly not quite as catchy as some of her other monster hits a la “Bad Romance”, “Paparazzi”, and “Poker Face”. The track has grown on me though, and as the release of the album nears, I find myself excited for what’s still to come.
On Wednesday, March 2, GaGa made her runway-modeling debut at the Mugler fashion show in Paris, and accompanying the show was a preview track from her new album. The song, “Government Hooker”, is a brooding and exciting track with an infectious beat underscored by a deep bass structure. GaGa’s vocal style is more than moderately impressive; she attempts (and nails) a screeching vocal line that reminds one of her rock-infused roots. The track’s lyrics speak to the inherent political tones GaGa represents:
Government Hooker, heart to heart prayer,
She faked pulling the trigger, daddy mommy has made a crigger.
Put your hands on me, John F. Kennedy,
I’ll make you squeal baby.
In “Government Hooker”, GaGa does what she does best—marrying relevant political and cultural issues with her expertise in pop music production. While the Madonna influences are undeniable, the track does stand on its own as a GaGa creation. If “Government Hooker” is any indication of what we can expect from GaGa, Born This Way is shaping up to be the masterpiece it was promised to be.

–Nick Deyo