Contest time!

Haven’t done a contest in a while, so let’s bust one out with a pretty quick turnaround.

I grew up on late 80s-early 90s rap. I ate it all up because I thought it was the only form of music doing anything different. Yo! MTV Raps was required daily viewing for me, and that’s where I discovered that Ed Lover was one of the funniest guys of his age. He never got the comedic respect he probably deserved, but he used to crack me up.

no dr dre, apparently.

And now he’s coming here! I didn’t get the chance to interview him pre-show, but he’s playing two shows in the Poconos on Feb. 16, and I’ve got a pair of tickets to each show to give away. The first show is at The Lounge in the Comfort Inn in Bartonsville at 8 p.m., and the other at Fernwood Hotel in Bushkill at 11 p.m.

Wanna win them? Normal PopRox contest rules apply, but since I haven’t done a contest in about eight months, here they are:

–Entries are accepted electronically only, so you’ll have to email your entry in to me, Facebook message me or DM me on Twitter. Just include your name, town, age and your daytime contact information. Umm, make sure you read that part twice: “Include your name, town, age and your daytime contact information.” You’d be amazed at how many people just send me an e-mail with “pick me!!!!” in the subject line and nothing in the rest of the email. They believe it constitutes an entry. It does not.

–Deadline to enter is Tuesday at 2 p.m.

–Feel free to share this or the Facebook link with your friends. The more entries I get, the better.

–One entry per person, per e-mail address. If I get two entries from the same e-mail, I’m deleting them both.

–If you enter by messaging the PopRox account on Facebook or DM-ing on Twitter, it counts twice. Almost all of the recent winners have randomly come from Facebook entries, fyi.

–Whichever message method you choose is the only way you can enter. If you email your entry in, you cannot Facebook it in too. If I get an email entry and a Facebook entry, I’ll be deleting the Facebook entry. That means instead of getting two entries through Facebook, you’ll only get one entry through email.

–Please know that you can go if you enter. I’ll get in touch with the winners Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday, and you’ll have to come down to the Record office in South Stroudsburg to pick them up.

Maybe you’ll get to see this:

Good luck! On to blog business:

(This is a preview of the PopRox column in the Sunday Pocono Record.)

When it comes to music awards shows, you’re in one of two camps: Team Grammy or Team VMA.

For years, I was firmly entrenched in Team VMA. The Grammys were basically white noise I was able to tune out as the show trotted out people older than my grandparents to sing songs I’d never heard of.

But as the VMAs have stumbled to near-incoherence to anyone over the age of 25, the Grammys has picked up the slack and cast a wider net to reach out to those people like me that have been aged out of the VMAs.

The categories are still outrageously confusing and far too inclusive, but we’ve definitely seen a shift lately where the Grammys have gone back to being more relevant than the VMAs for a few reasons:

It doesn’t matter what kind of mainstream music you like — the Grammys has it. Rap, rock, country, hip-hop, pop, alt-rock, it’s all in there. Where else could you have Elton John, Frank Ocean and Justin Bieber on the same list of performers? Lovers of opera are kind of up the creek, but they’re used to it by now. If you’re even a casual observer of music, you know who every performer is. And even better? You don’t have to see Jack White’s butt crack this year. Which I say is a relief.

get your fill, it might be the last time she sings it. like, ever.

It’s the one place you can guarantee it. Go to a concert in the summer, and the band is there to play the new songs off its new album it coincidentally released two weeks before and is available to buy for $9.99 on iTunes through a QR code you were just handed as you walked in the ticket gate. So instead of going to see the Rolling Stones and hearing some of the greatest songs ever made, Mick and the boys will do a medley of 10 greatest hits that might last 15 minutes, then everything else pre-encore is new material that no doubt will pale in comparison to Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’. So even though the guys in fun. would rather tear their own ears off than have to play We are Young one more time, they’re going to have to since it’s nominated for record of the year. Seeing as that’s what most fans actually want to hear, everybody wins. Except for fun., which may end up with ear-less heads. Then again, if you’re sick of hearing We Are Young, Ho Hey by the Lumineers and We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift, then you might want to flip over to The Walking Dead.

The MTV Video Music Awards passed out the Grammys as the best music awards show at least 20 years ago because the Grammys took themselves way too seriously, and the VMAs were all about having fun. But for the last few years, the VMAs have just been a direction-less hot mess that you can’t watch or understand unless you’re not old enough to drink legally. While the Grammys have obviously taken at least a cue from the VMAs, they’ve haven’t gone ridiculously overboard trying to top themselves year after year like another Moonman-based awards show that shall remain nameless.

no respect until he dumped his buds.

It’s not a complete no-boy-band zone the way I dream about. Backstreet Boys gave a performance in 2000 and there have been random nominees here and there over these last 20 years of what I like to call, “The Annoying Boy Band Blitz.” Through that wretched blitz, the Grammys have done a genuinely exemplary job of ignoring boy bands as much as it possibly can. New Kids on the Block (one nomination, no wins), Backstreet Boys (seven nominations, zero wins) and ‘N Sync (eight nominations, zero wins) have gotten about as much respect as they deserve. The latest mind-numbing sensation One Direction received no nominations this year — despite winning three VMAs in September. If that’s not a point in the favor of the Grammys, what is?

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