What you should listen to if you adore the “A Star is Born” Soundtrack

The truth is that I often hate remakes, but I had to get over that fact because “A Star is Born” is on its fourth remake. Plus, Judy Garland was not the original female protagonist. I know I’m probably going to love this version the most because of the soundtrack. I knew I was going to love it because of the artists involved.

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While getting my hair done, my stylist, Lisa Wolfe, encouraged me to blog about music. She stated how it is evident that I love bands and I have an in-depth knowledge of trivia.  I introduced her to Lukas Nelson last week when she was working her magic on my hair.

My hope is that at some point and time, the songwriters will perform the songs together. I would like to hear it with their emotions. Although Gaga had involvement in writing the songs, there were two female songwriters involved in the soundtrack. Natalie Hemby, who wrote “Pontoon” for Little Big Town. Also, Lorri McKenna, who wrote the hit Tim McGraw song “Humble and Kind.” I adore their voices and work. Like me, Hemby has roots in Southeast Missouri. Also, Lorri McKenna was just a mom who wrote bedtime songs for her five children. Although these women are not fairly known, they should be recognized.

However, some artists that I adore and I have proudly seen live, had involvement in this. “Maybe It’s Time” was written by Jason Isbell. He has a band called the 400 Unit. Their song “If we were Vampires” was featured on This is Us. His wife, Amanda Shires, is the band’s fiddle player. They have amazing chemistry on stage, but I live for their Instagram Stories. My personal favorite shenanigan of them was when Jason read Amanda US Weekly.

Bradley Cooper hired Lukas Nelson as his character guide for the film. Nelson happens to be the son of everyone’s favorite musician from Austin, Willie Nelson. In my opinion, Lukas Nelson’s music is much more soulful than his dad’s music. In fact, Lady Gaga collaborated with on “Find Yourself” on Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real’s self-titled album in 2017. The soundtrack has a merge of songs with an indie feel and pop music. Toward the end of the soundtrack, the guitars were replaced with beats.

I feel as though all female protagonists in the latest 3 movies had established careers. Barbara had already starred in “Funny Girl,” it had been 18 years since Judy Garland starred in ‘The Wizard of Oz,” and Lady Gaga hit the scene with “Just Dance” during Christmas break of my junior year of high school.  I thought it was fitting how Gaga played ode to Judy with “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

The guitar solo in “Out of Time” had Lukas Nelson vibes. My personal favorite song on the soundtrack for Gaga’s abilities was “Always Remember Us This Way.” “Look What I found” had more pop songwriters on board. The feel was different from “Shallows.” I’ve come a long way from hating Lady Gaga with her weird outfits to recognizing her talents.

My friend Johnathan Pushkar actually saw the film two weeks ago at an early viewing in Franklin, TN. His face just expresses enthusiasm when talking about. I believe him that this soundtrack will win awards. Plus, he has the envy of every girl because he was in the same room as Bradley Cooper. I cannot wait to see the film. However, I will have to view the film after my sister’s wedding weekend. Great moments are ahead this weekend. I will definitely sing this soundtrack on my way to Memphis.

Influencers should never memorialize nor profit from tragedies

Every September 11th, I will hear a new story from a survivor that makes tears instantly fall from my face. Also, I expect a brand to make an inappropriate post. Now, this year it wasn’t a mattress store offering a twin mattress sale. It was two lifestyle bloggers, Dani Austin and Collins Tuohy-Smith.

IMG_4117.jpegAustin is the founder of The Sassy Club and was in New York for Fashion Week. Collins Tuohy-Smith’s family was portrayed in the 2009 film, The Blindside, and owns the up and coming cookie franchise, Whimsy. On September 12, I pitched an op-ed piece to several publications and I have not heard back. In this case, I feel as though urgency is needed due to the fact no one is talking about this. This topic about influencers needs discussion.

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Each blogger had a similar pose wearing a cute outfit in front of the skyline that is absent of the One World Trade Center. Tuohy-Smith was on a rooftop looking down in pose commonly used by influencers. While Dani was posing by a viewer on top of the Empire State Building. The photos were tasteless and poor judgment for memorializing those who lost their lives.

Their prompts mentioned: do you remember 9/11?,  it’s so sad we went through this, and I love NYC. Every American has the right to post about how this day should never be forgotten. That includes everyone in rural America who have never seen the New York Skyline. However, the influencers’ prompt seemed insincere when matched up with the photo.

Brands from mattresses, pregnancy tests, and boutiques will pay bloggers to promote items on their social media feed. Austin has partnered with Southwest Airlines and made a post within the past week about flying with them to New York. Initially, I didn’t think she had partnered with a brand, but instead, she had another trick up her sleeve.

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While leaving the Americana Awards, I thought I had found a hat. I’ve been on the search for a budget-friendly hat that looks like buffalo roamed on my family’s farm. @southernglamourblog wore a hat, which I thought would be linked in the app, LikeToKnow.it. I had to explain to my friend how the app worked and why I was mad when I saw this. Sadly, I was not as disappointed that I could not find the hat because my hard work of that op-ed changed. Instead, Dani Austin’s 9/11 post showed up where she could monetize through her blog. Initially, I took that screenshot to show a mentor in public relations.

Here’s how LikeToKnow.it by RewardStyle works, you download the app, which notices the screenshot of a photo that an affiliated blogger posts on Instagram. That photo will have similar items or the exact item in that photo to help the consumer. Plus, the influencers can make money when items get purchased through the links directed to the app.

In 2013, Spaghetti O’s came under fire for having a social media post that memorialized Pearl Harbor with the logo holding an American flag. It was inappropriate for another day that was meant to be reverent. If I made a post of me on December 8 holding a Mai Tai on a Hawaiian beach with a prompt that said “Today’s why World War Two began,” that would be just as bad as the bloggers’ 9/11 post.

I’m still moved by my visit to Pearl Harbor so I do not appreciate Spaghetti O’s post. In 2009, I visited Ground Zero and just like Pearl Harbor, you cannot help but think of the hell that happened at those locations. My Facebook page was flooded with pictures of my friends at the 9/11 memorial. Once again, they have the right to say how they feel. However, none of them had a pose where they looked down all cutesy.

My hope is that LikeToKnow.it has the guts to take down the links to the photo and create a new policy for posts relating to a tragedy. Macy’s clearly does not have a 9/11 sale. Many Americans are still going through they own PSTD from 9/11 and no one should be making a dime off selling clothes on anything related to this date.

Now I know I have a small percentage of the followers that these bloggers have. I have blogged as a writer since 2010 before you had to learn how to take a cute photo, own a Gucci belt, and have brands back you. I don’t care about my following, because I love writing. I am prepared to be attacked by the influencer community where I will be viewed as not hip, mean, critical, rough, being upset by anything, or taking things seriously.

The best lesson that I learned is social media was from my former boss, Tim Nicholson. With his strategy, we were not going to post stuff in reference to memorial holidays unless we had a story that reflected on it. His thoughts were that we often were just saying “Never Forget” like everyone else then it did nothing to our mission.

This September 11th, I was working as a freelance runner for ESPN for the USA vs. Mexico soccer game. The make-up artist was from the New York area. After asking her what events she normally worked on, she insisted that I watch the ESPN special on 9/11 that she worked on the set. Then I told her that I saw the story of Welles Crowther, a former lacrosse player and firefighter turned equity trader, that saved many lives that day. Yet, his courage and bravery cost him his own life. She stated how she watched the towers fall from her suburban home. Then I was in awe when she said, “I could name 14 more people I knew personally that perished that day.”

I know I’m just a girl who grew up in rural Missouri, who lives in Nashville, but these stories still need to be repeated. However, let’s reserve social media to hear the stories similar to Welles Crowther and Lt. Heather Penney, who was essentially given orders for a suicide mission to bring down United Flight 93. I’m grateful Lt. Penney did not have to sacrifice her life that day. As Americans, we need to help each other out if it is through criticizing this poor choice by a person and a brand or by saying a simple thank you.

You do not have to be sponsored by Uber or any brand to thank your servicemen. A lot of people in the service from Clarksville, TN come to Nashville to drive for Uber. I immediately tell them “thank you for your service” because I don’t know if they were given orders to the extent of Lt. Penney.

On 9/11, it should not be associated with sales, the blogger pose where you peer down, and clothes. We can express our love for our country and the sadness of 9/11, but let’s be cautious when we post. If you are visiting a memorial in your state or in a different country, please do not pose at that place. While I will admit, Whimsy makes good cookies and these girls have good clothes, but the posts should have never been made. I do not want the day my nation was attacked to be glammed up with an advertisement.

 

 

A Night at the Americana Honors and Awards

How I got to go

My luck for winning random things, I guess you could say began when I won a VHS of Hook in 4th Grade. I want to lie and say I shouted “RUFIO!” when I won. However, I was speechless when my request for Margo Price’s song “A Little Pain,” was the winning request for tickets to the Americana Honors and Awards. Thank you Lightning 100’s Noon Request Lunch Hour. Trust me this station has introduced me to many new artists. Before moving to Nashville, I heard Sheryl Crow endorse the station.

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What I wore

My first thought was “what do I even wear to an award show?” I had never been to one at all. So I Googled photos from the past AHAs. The search results were: Margo Price had on an awesome dress, my girl Emmylou Harris was wearing a blouse and slacks (okay she can do whatever), and Alynda of Hurray for the Riff Raff well she had on a suit that looked like it was designed by Manuel. I know that most artists wear clothes you would be surprised by the price tags even if it looks simple. I didn’t want to spend money so I decided to go through my closet. If you do happen to go and you have a pair of jeans with a top that looks like Free People, you are good. After all, Don Was wore flip-flops with a cowboy hat and a suit.

When I found a cream Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock dress in the back of my mom’s bedroom closet at my grandparent’s house in middle school, I wanted it. It was what Emmylou Harris would wear in the 70s. My mom wore it to a dance. Personally, I wanted to wear it to a dance or have it in senior pictures. It was obvious it wouldn’t look right. However, Americana Fest, yes it could work. With the thrift stores in East Nashville, the dress had to work. IMG_4138.JPG

I paired it with a pair of Madden Girl heels, tassel black earrings by Valerie Blanche, a Kendra Scott bracelet, a barrette my mom had in the 80s, and my mother’s Onyx ring, which has an awesome story for another day. Also because the dress would show everything, I had to get a slip. I ordered a Kate Kasin cami dress on Amazon. It is the same one I wore to the art crawl this weekend. It did make me feel like Carrie Bradshaw on the Sex and The City Intro.

Trust me I enjoyed getting ready. I used this night as training for awesome make-up on myself for my sister’s wedding next week. However, I rarely wear red lipstick on top of winged eyeliner, which that will be absent at her wedding. I freaked out when the queen, Margo Price had her hair up in a half updo like me. IMG_4129.jpeg

The Show

Now let’s talk about the event. If you ever go to AHA, try to attend the event early. There were people still going through security when we were seated and the show started. When I walked in, I noticed Alejandro Escovedo. I was in shock and I politely introduced myself to him. I then took a picture with him. It wasn’t the greatest with the lighting, but you cannot be picky when running into an artist.

IMG_4141.jpeg My seats were on the main floor. Even though the Ryman is an impressive venue for the 1800s, you have to remember the engineering back then. There are posts that support the balcony, which can obstruct the view at times at the bottom when the artists move around. The one thing I was shocked by was the constant movement. The announcers are on the left side of the stage, then the stagehands are moving equipment around for the next performers. Also, the artists were leaving their seats and coming back constantly to present or perform.

It was really awesome to see how the awards were tailored to each artist. Buddy Guy’s award had polka dots. I really wish I could have seen the awards up close since I love looking at art to inspire me when drawing.

However, for all of these years, I did not appreciate the Milk Carton Kids, the hosts, enough. They created a comedic environment while presenting. It truly showed when the PA system went bonkers and they had to tell the audience that they would reboot the system so an honoree, Irma Todd could sing again.

Everyone knows that I love going to shows. This may not be Dave Ramsey approved, but I told myself while moving here, just try to go to one show a month, it can be free or you can pay it. My one show a month trick has helped me contain myself. I went from living in a small town to Music City. My list of artist that I want to see is crazy. Last night I can say that I finally got to see Anderson East, Don Was, Brandi Carlile, Lukas Nelson & the Promise of Real, John Prine, and Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Night Sweats. Plus, the Ryman amplifies a good artist’s abilities. The show was truly like getting a buffet for all of the artists. I have missed Lukas Nelson everytime he has been in town so I was just gracious to hear only “Forget about Georgia.”

I saw a cute little girl in a green striped dress with pink earmuffs on when I realized this cutie was Mercy Isbell. I have so many expectations for that little girl since she is the child of Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires. I nudged my friend, Margaret, and said there’s Mercy. We were both in awe because we frequently share Jason and Amanda’s IG stories to each other. Yes, I expect kids to be curious, but that girl seemed to be fairly well behaved from a distance. It was precious seeing her point to her mom’s nose.

I felt conflicted cheering for all of the artists. I mean when you have Jason Isbell, Margo, and Brandi up for an award, who would you cheer for? However, it helped me enjoy the event more. Jason Isbell won 3 out of 4 awards, but lost to John Prine for Artist of the Year. Now I feel as though I’m great about finding great artists. However, I feel like I have missed a hidden gem. Courtney Marie Andrews is like a mixture of Joni Mitchell with Jenny Lewis. She sang back up for a few songs on Jimmy Eat World’s album Invented. She had a pretty awesome jumpsuit.

I’m still floored by my experience from last night. Also, let’s say I might have danced like Elaine on Seinfeld in my seat. The ending number was an Aretha Franklin Tribute with “Chain of Fools,” which was appropriate to end the night. This will be a night that I certainly will not forget. Americana Fest is still ongoing so

Americana Fest is still ongoing so there are more events everywhere. Margo Price will have a Meet and Greet at Third Man on 9/13 at 6 pm. Also, Emmylou is hosting Woofstock on 9/16, which has a pretty awesome lineup.

Right now I have to tell you about the most fabulous, groovy bell bottoms

 

I will not lie. I think of the beginning of “Baby Driver” where we are introduced to a good kid with a huge knowledge of music and he has to pay a huge debt to his boss, who is a monster (on screen and off screen) when I wear these jeans. The song is a great setting for the movie even though bell bottoms were not present in the movie. However, it is a perfect song that makes me happy about what I’m wearing.

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But for real let me tell you about bell bottoms. I have had these in my closet since my birthday. Sadly, I was afraid to wear these jeans because I thought they were too daring for me. Of course, a few things happened since I bought them. I moved to Nashville where the range of style is different from the armies of bachelorette parties in matching Cricut shirts and boots, 90s style Guess shirts, designer everything, and girls wearing Molly the American Girl doll glasses. Bell bottoms might not be as daring as some of these options, but I feel as though it’s a classic style that is stigmatized as a trend. However, the secret is you have to style them right.

I have had bell bottoms when was another trend many years ago. In 4th grade, I remember having a pair of baby blue bell bottoms with a glittery sheen. It was something Lizzie McGuire would have worn. In high school, I remember getting a pair a silk lined Miss Me bell bottom jeans after Katie Holmes wore them. Of course, those trends are distant.

I think they should stay. Mine are high waisted which gives a retro feel. Plus it works great with your shirt tucked in. There’s just something awesome about the way it pulls off with a solid top. Now I do need to find an awesome belt to wear with this. However, I just know this is something I will wear more often. I paired it with Diane Von Furstenburg cat-eyed sunglasses I found at Nordstrom Rack and a Cloth and Stone shirt from TJ Maxx.

 

Now I ordered these jeans from J. Crew and they were on clearance for $34. I will admit I was scared when I saw all sales were final. I would like to provide some alternative options. Now J. Crew does have a lighter wash available in the Ashbury flare jeanGap has a pair for $70. If you want to go for an extremely edgy look I would recommend these frayed bottom bell bottoms from Free People. The bell bottoms are very wide.

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My sister came to town and we did get touristy.

 

I feel as though the only way shoe that works with a pair of bell bottoms is one with a heel that provides height and structure. Plus, this prevents the hems from being stepped on and really looking like a tattered mess. My favorite platform sandal is Bushnell by OTBT. However, I opted for the Vionic Rory Bootie in Taupe. These boots are comfortable however I was an idiot and I didn’t wear socks because it showed through. Well, after a day of roaming around in Nashville in these shoes my toes hurt the next day. However, what I did for work the following week is fold an ankle sock over where it only covers half my foot. My heels were fine, which is a miracle considering I have worn flat boots and my heels have been in pain. At work, I have had no problems wearing the Vionics because they provide orthotic support. Plus, the taupe goes with everything.

 

If you don’t feel like wearing bell bottoms yet, let me show you a safe option for everyone, Women’s Textured Skinny Ankle Pants by A New Day. These might be worn weekly like the bell bottoms I had as a kid from Target. I have fallen in love with the A New Day line from Target for my work attire. There was no question that I had to get these textured pants. These are guaranteed to make you dance like Audrey Hepburn in “Funny Face” when she is in the skinny pants and black turtleneck. They are edgy for going out, yet great for the office.  I wore them twice within one week of purchasing these pants because I love them so much. Plus, it is great for upcoming holidays parties. Also, I must add they are stretchy, which is great for being around holiday food.

Bell bottoms will be a permanent addition to my closet. However, my advice for the world is this just wear the bell bottoms because you can rock it and you will not look weird. Just say “Lord can’t help it baby got her blue jeans on” to motivate you to wear these things. Plus, you will feel awesome and may you have this Jon Spencer Explosion song stuck in your head if you opt to purchase a pair.