The Best of Early 2000’s Celebrity Break-Up Songs

“Cry Me a River” (Image Credit: Zomba Recording LLC)

Taylor Swift might be the reigning Queen of the break-up song when it all goes sour but she ain’t the only one to pen a song about a nasty break-up. Celebs have been airing their dirty laundry for all to hear via their music for a long time! Sometimes it even ends in a war, just ask Eminem and Mariah… Continue reading

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5 Times Max Martin Made Me Love a Song By an Artist I Don’t

Max Martin is not really a household name, but if you’re a fan of pop music, you’re probably familiar with him. The Swedish songwriter & producer has crafted a gigantic amount of hit songs for an eclectic variety of artists, from the Backstreet Boys early in his career to The Weeknd more recently.

What’s fascinating is that the guy can write such a great hook, it really doesn’t matter who’s singing it. As a result, I frequently find myself in a situation where I hear a new song by an artist I normally don’t like, but am surprised to find I really enjoy the song. Then, if I look the song up online, about 99% of the time I find out it was written and/or produced by Max Martin. I am not even exaggerating here.

Let’s take a look at 5 times Max Martin managed to win me over with songs by artists I never liked before:

Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift

This was the first Taylor Swift song I heard and thought, “Yeah, I’m really into this!” It’s the song that encouraged me to research 1989, which led me to the realization that Max Martin’s fingerprints were all over it, which led to me actually buying and loving 1989. So, not that Taylor cares, but she’d be down at least one fan had she not had the good sense to jump on the Max Martin train.

Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande

Mr. Martin has worked with Grande before (the catchiest songs on her last album were all touched by his magic), but Dangerous Woman immediately caught my attention and stuck with me. Since it’s a bit different than Martin’s usual fare, it was a pleasant surprise to learn he co-wrote and produced the tune.

Can’t Stop the Feeling! By Justin Timberlake

I could get into NSYNC and early JT, but his latest albums have been a bit of a snoozefest for me. Maybe Justin was getting a bit bored himself, because this infectious song, co-written by Martin, is an upbeat departure.

Dark Horse by Katy Perry

Martin has actually worked with Katy Perry quite a bit, which is why her songs are so catchy and popular despite her mediocre-at-best voice. But it’s Dark Horse that finally managed to get me to admit I liked a Katy Perry song, and I’m giving Max Martin complete credit for that.

One More Night by Maroon 5

As a general rule, my opinion of Maroon 5 is marred by Adam Levine’s smarmy face and the fact that their songs, which all sound alike to me, get played incessantly on the radio. But then there was One More Night. It’s so darn catchy. And why is that? Because Maroon 5 didn’t write it – Max Martin did!
In some cases Martin’s collaborations have led me to albums and artists I grow to love, and other times I’m just salty about feeling compelled to sing along with a Maroon 5 song, but I am always awed by Max Martin’s talent and the fact that this brilliant Swedish dude has such an impact on American pop music.

Justin Timberlake doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (Image Credit: Justin Timberlake/Instagram)

The ALS ice bucket challenge has taken over Facebook newsfeeds, but is it doing anything productive?

Justin Timberlake doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (Image Credit: Justin Timberlake/Instagram)

Justin Timberlake doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (Image Credit: Justin Timberlake/Instagram)

The ALS ice bucket challenge has taken over Facebook newsfeeds, but is it doing anything productive?

The challenge asks participants to either dump a bucket of icy water on their heads or donate $100 to an ALS foundation within 24 hours of being nominated and then nominate a few people to do the same.

According to Elle, it’s “actually a big deal” because the challenge is raising awareness and increasing donations to ALS research.

“As of Friday, August 15, 2014, The ALS Association has received $9.5 million in donations compared to $1.6 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 15). These donations have come from existing donors and 184,812 new donors to The Association,” the ALS Association reported in a release Friday.

Donations are good, but what about the people who stand under a bucket and don’t make a donation? The idea is that they, and those who see the videos in their newsfeeds, will look ALS up and learn more about it. They will see that, yes, the cause does need donations and hope their video and nominations encourages others to give money.

The online magazine Slate alleges that the ice bucket challenge didn’t really start with Pete Frates, who has ALS, but rather as a silly ploy for social media attention. The Slate story also points out that people may be buying bagged ice to complete the challenge, which should make one wonder why that $3 is not being given directly to ALS research.

I have to agree with Slate editor Will Oremus that “it’s hard to shake the feeling that, for most of the people posting ice bucket videos of themselves on Facebook, Vine, and Instagram, the charity part remains a postscript.”

One person claims that the ice bucket challenge is a symptom of a societal problem in which people “opt out” of sacrifice instead of facing up to the challenge of helping those in need.

“It hurts me to see a generation opting out of charitable donation,” James Weir said on an IndieGoGo page he created to raise money for ALS without any ice dumping.

Jimmy-Fallon-GIFNevertheless, the challenge has increased donations dramatically. Presumably, the challenge has also raised awareness by increasing traffic to relevant websites. If the end result is good, does that make the means to get there irrelevant or unimportant? As long as the ALS fund is growing, does it matter whether people are using the challenge as a way to get likes on their Facebook videos?

Some might say that the videos are raising awareness,  but are people really learning more about ALS? Is reading the first few paragraphs on Wikipedia or ALS Association Website good enough?

I decided to put together a list of ten facts about the disease to raise awareness in a way that I know how — through a article — to help us all learn a little more about ALS. 

  1. ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease in memory of baseball player Lou Gehrig, who was diagnosed in 1939.
  2. ALS is a progressive disease that causes neurons to degenerate, which prevents muscle control and eventually causes paralysis and death. Even though it generally limits only voluntary muscles, ALS can cause breathing problems as well.
  3. The cause of ALS is unknown. The disease is very rarely passed genetically.
  4. In the United States, about 15 new cases of ALS are reported every day.
  5. The life expectancy for individuals diagnosed with ALS is short: about 50 percent live three years or more; 20 percent live five years or more; and up to 10 percent live more than ten years. The average is two to five years.
  6. There are three types of ALS:
  7. sporadic: the most common in the US; accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases
  8. familial: rare; occurs when ALS is in a family’s genes; believed to account for five to 10 percent of cases
  9. Guamanian: describes cases found in Guam and the Trust territories in the Pacific in the 1950s; there was an unusually high number of cases there at that time
  10. While muscle weakness and paralysis are defining characteristics of ALS, early symptoms vary and can include dropping things, tripping, unusual arm and leg fatigue, slurred speech, muscle cramps and uncontrollable laughing or crying. Hands and feet are often the first problem areas.
  11. Riluzole is the only drug that has been shown to prolong the lives of ALS patients by slowing the disease’s progress, and it was approved by the FDA in 1995. Other drugs are being tested through clinical trials.
  12. There is no way to definitively test for ALS, so diagnosis depends on ruling out other causes of a patient’s symptoms. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “To be diagnosed with ALS, people must have signs and symptoms of both upper and lower motor neuron damage that cannot be attributed to other causes.”
  13. According to its website, “The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS,” and the organization has given more than $67 million to research for ALS cures and treatments.

 All information has come from the ALS Association except where otherwise noted with links.

TDQ Tags TDQblogger053

This Week’s Quirky Playlist 12/22/2013

This Week's Quirky Playlist 12/22/2013

Wondering what we’ve been listening to? Check out This Week’s Quirky Playlist for music recommendations from The Daily Quirk Bloggers. Listen to the Entire Playlist on the  Daily Quirk Spotify Channel or check out individual songs via the links below. Happy Listening! Continue reading

Justine Timberlake performing at Rock in Rio (Image Credit: Rafael Arruda / ESTçCIO)

An Open Letter to Justin Timberlake

Justine Timberlake performing at Rock in Rio (Image Credit: Rafael Arruda / ESTçCIO)

Justine Timberlake performing at Rock in Rio (Image Credit: Rafael Arruda / ESTçCIO)

Dear Justin Timberlake,

Can I call you JT? I ask you this only because I feel like I’ve known you for so long now. As a fan of your musical talent very early on, since back when you were a lead singer of N’Sync with curly blonde hair and interesting fashion taste, it saddened me when you took a leave of absence from the music scene. While I might have enjoyed your work in movies and television, I longed for new tunes from you, giving us that typical JT style, matching hard beats with soft lyrics. It had been a while and although they never got old, my iPod only had hits like “Summer Love” and “Bringing Sexy Back.” And let’s face it, I was in middle school then.

But then, almost out of thin air you popped back on the scene and I must say, it was about time! JT, if you could see me right now, I am standing up at my desk – laptop in front of me – giving you a round of applause for your work on 20/20 Experience. My goodness, it must’ve been like you were reading my mind, as well of the minds of your others fans, and in that instant the heavens opened up and rained magic notes of “Pusher Love Girl” and “Mirrors.” I admit, I was a little worried when I heard the songs were over 3 minutes long, but don’t worry, I fell in love with every second. The thing that we all admire, is that regardless of time, you’ve stuck to your same style. I can always count on your go-to guy, Timbaland being right behind you. And I know I’m going to get a variety of hits that make me want to get up and dance or ones that make me want to put cell phone light on and wave it back and forth.

It’s been a hell of a ride JT. And with the release of the second part to 20/20 and the unbelievable performance at the VMA’s you have definitely made 2013 a year to remember.

This letter sort of turned into fan mail, which I know you probably get a significant amount of. But in the off chance you ever stumble upon this, I just wanted to let you know to keep up the good work. Besides Beyoncé, there aren’t too many people who can make it this far coming from a background in the Mickey Mouse Club and boy bands. I’m not sure what’s next for you, but I know that I’ll have to buckle up because what ever happens next will definitely be crazy.

Sincerely,

Jessica

P.S. Tell Jessica Biel she is one lucky lady

The Top 5 Boy Bands of All Time

The Backstreet Boys (Image Credit: S Buckley)

The Backstreet Boys (Image Credit: S Buckley)

No matter what trends are popular in music at a given time, one thing is usually constant: the boy band. Of course what constitutes a boy band is debatable, and boy bands evolve to meet the needs of their audience at a given time. But because there are always 13-year-old girls, there is always a market for a group of cute guys with good voices singing pop songs.

Because boy bands tend to inspire such passionate dedication from their fans, they also tend to be the subject of a heated debate: which boy band is the best? Everyone’s opinion is different, but here are my top 5: Continue reading

Haylery Williams

Albums Your Ears Should be Eager to Hear this Year

Haylery Williams

Haylery Williams (Image Credit: Francisco Castro Navarrete)

Music is a huge part of my life.  I cannot go a day without listening to my iPod and  I’m sure I am not alone in this!  As much as I love the music I listen to, my ears are always eager for new songs to listen to.  Here is a list of albums I am looking forward to hearing in 2013 and your ears should be eager to hear as too… Continue reading

The Best (and the worst) of Celebrity Break-Up Songs

“Cry Me a River” (Image Credit: Zomba Recording LLC)

Taylor Swift might be the reigning Queen of the break-up song when it all goes sour but she ain’t the only one to pen a song about a nasty break-up. Celebs have been airing their dirty laundry for all to hear via their music for a long time! Sometimes it even ends in a war, just ask Eminem and Mariah… Continue reading