The Inaugural American Country Countdown Awards Oh Balls 2014 – The Most Accurate Review of the Awards

This is probably the most accurate review of the Awards aka a hot mess and yet another reason to drink….

Wait, what? Is this a thing? Why are we here? What is going on? First things first: American Country Countdown is a radio show currently hosted by Kix Brooks, of Brooks Brothers menswear Brooks & Dunn. It has been on since 1973, and was co-created by Casey Kasem (who is still not buried). It is “The longest-running radio countdown show,” according to the opening credits. But this is the very first American Country Countdown Awards. Why? Because it is a re-branding of the American Country Awards, which has a rich history going all the way back to 2010 when it was invented by the Fox Network. This awards show is younger than Icon in the Gulch. It is younger than Glee. It is younger than British moppets Sophia Grace and Rosie, who stole America’s heart with their cover of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” It is also hosted by Florida-Georgia Line.

So, with all that in mind, tonight’s recap is brought to you by Beer, the official alcoholic beverage of my fridge. Beer: Drink It™. (Please drink beer responsibly.)

We kick it off with Carrie Underwood, a country music person I enjoy. She performs a medley of hits, because they make no bones about how she is here to promote a greatest hits album. I like “Before He Cheats,” one of the only contemporary country songs I know. It is about committing what likely amounts to a Class D Felony, a crime which, in the state of Tennessee, has a potential sentence of 2 to 12 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are the hosts. They are Florida Georgia Line, which is the musical equivalent of a herpes drip falling directly into your ear. They walk to the stage looking relatively nice in suits, but no, these are tear-away stripper suits, and the poor female attendees have been instructed to rip their clothes away as they ascend up the aisle. It is exactly as classy as it sounds.

“It’s the big year-end party for country music,” they say. Everyone in the audience they cut to is drinking, so points for accuracy. They highlight the bar that is on set, mentioned in this article on HuffPo that was no doubt written by the most frazzled publicist in town. Not mentioned so far but written in that article is that “bro” is a secret word for doing shots. It is why everyone will say “bro” all night long.

Sara Evans presents the award for Male Vocalist of the Year. Oh my god, they literally count them down! It is a ranking! It is a sorority hazing! Luke Bryan is the winner, announced not by the opening of a tacky old envelope, but via Sara Evans flipping around a smartphone. This show is now instantly dated. I love it. It’s like a ’70s avocado kitchen or everything you wore circa 1999.

Bryan immediately performs. So if you paid any attention to who the performers are tonight at the opening of the show, you can probably suss out who the winners are. I did not pay attention and don’t really care to rewind. I don’t know this song, I think it’s called “Amish Rollercoaster.” He brings out Cole Swindell (a name that, as I noted in my recent CMA Awards recap, sounds more like some kind of crime from the Middle Ages). Swindell wears a very nice sports-y fan-boy baseball cap and looks like he probably does a lot of crunches.

Maddie & Tae and Scotty McCreedy, three people who are more famous than I am, give out Group/Duo of the Year. It goes to Florida Georgia Line. They do a whistle song and one of them is wearing camo cargo shorts and red sneakers. You know how poor Scott Stapp has gone crazy? I’m pretty sure it’s because these two burst forth from his skull like Athena from Zeus (if Athena and Zeus were garbage monsters) and nobody bothered to put his head back together.

“Here to rock our world live from the Twitter bar,” oh Jesus Christ, it’s called the Twitter bar, “With a Brooks & Dunn classic, Kix Brooks and Jerrod Niemann.” This recap is also brought to you by Google, because I cannot spell anyone’s name correctly on the first try. Wait, is Ronnie Dunn dead? *searches* Nope. Thanks again, Google!

Emily Kinney (from The Walking Dead) and Chase Rice (from your grocer’s freezer) present Female Vocalist of the Year. The winner is Miranda Lambert. I am pretty sure I like Miranda Lambert and will not make fun of her. She sings her song and gives an appropriately dismissive thank you.

Chris Young and current Miss America Kira Kazantsev (Thanks again, Google!) present the next award: Breakthrough Artist of the Year Presented by Samsung GALAXY.

The Breakthrough Artist of the Year Presented by Samsung GALAXY (Samsung GALAXY: Drink It™) is Kip Moore. Fun fact: Kip Moore means “nap longer” in British English. He’s wearing a white shirt (doesn’t look like a tuxedo shirt though) and undone black tie which is a pretty good costume! It tells a story. The story is he is a fancy man who went to a fancy party and now he’s home and unwinding. What was that party like? Were there other fancy people there? The only better costume would be an undone white tie with top hat and tails on a stool next to him.

Reba! Everyone loves Reba, me included. And Kix Brooks. I am opinion-less on Brooks. She is given the first ever “Nash Icon” award. Nash Icon, as we all know, was a long-running CBS series starring Don Johnson and Cheech Marin.

Brooks says that there is no fooling country music fans when it comes to the sincerity, integrity, and talent of the artists they support, which is debatable (see: Florida Georgia Line), but I will allow it for Reba. Oh God, he brings up her dad’s funeral? Needlessly dark, dude! I mean, what basically just happened is the Fox Network needed one-off content on a Monday night in mid-December, so now Reba McEntire gets to relive her father’s death. Anyway! Here’s Miranda Lambert and (Reba stepdaughter-in-law) Kelly Clarkson! (Confidential to Kelly Clarkson: if you would like me to be your friend, which I’m sure you do, the Scene will give you my number. No pressure.) One of the songs they sing is of course “Fancy” and then Reba comes and does “Fancy” too and “Fancy” is a real good song. Love “Fancy.” This whole show should just be a two-hour rendition of “Fancy.” (Confidential to Fox Network: if you would like me to take over your mid-December programming, which I’m sure you do, the Scene will give you my number. No pressure.)

Star of Fox comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine Melissa Fumero and Thomas Rhett count down Song of the Year. The Song of the Year, the only song ever, the best of 2014, is “Beat of the Music” by Brett Eldredge. He only sings, like, 90 seconds of it, which is fine with me. He thanks the songwriters and also The Bahamas. Not a joke!

Elf on the Shelf Hunter Hayes makes an appearance to announce Album of the Year. It is The Outsiders by Eric Church. To accept the award, Ponyboy and Sodapop come up and recite “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” but then the Socs crash the stage and Bob is knifecrimed to death. Don’t worry, though, everyone stays gold in the end.

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Gone With the Wind, Lady Antebellum appears to sing a song (presumably) about the grace and beauty and lost world of how people used to own slaves. (I will never ever ever ever let go of this band’s name. It’s trash and should make everyone with a soul cringe. The word “antebellum” has a very specific meaning in America, and it is not a meaning to be lauded. Lady Third Reich. Lady Apartheid. It’s okay to be German. It’s okay to be South African. It’s okay to be Southern! But maybe, just maybe, give two seconds of consideration as to which era of a region’s history you want to evoke (see: Prussian Blue). As repulsive as I find Florida Georgia Line, at least they did not name themselves The Plantation Boyz, you know?)

Anyway. Speaking of FLG Line, they are now dressed as “bad Santas” and make testicle jokes and bring Lady Antebellum BACK after the commercial break and man, just everyone should be ashamed of themselves. Pretty soon after Eric Church talks about how albums rock and $0.99 singles suck, Big Machine CEO Scott Brochetta is there to give Digital Single of the Year to Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan for “This is How We Roll.” Nice knowing you, Church.

Vince Vaughn‘s questionable hairline is the big contractually obligated celebrity of the night, and he appears to name Kenny Chesney‘s even more questionable hairline as a Ground-breaker. Hey, look, 20th Century Fox is distributing Vaughn’s upcoming film, Unfinished Business! This, my friends, is what is known as “synergy.”

Sports people. “NASCAR legend Jimmy Johnson” and MLB “Cy Young Winner and MVP Clayton Kershaw.” But I thought it was going to be three people because I misheard “and MVP” as “Andy McPete.” Haha, I like how stiff the baseball guy is. He is so cute and bad at this! Here, I made a Vine. The Artist of the Year, they tell us, is Jason Aldean.

Hank Williams Jr. closes out the show. They call him “Brosephus” but I typo his name as “Jank Williams, Jr.” which seems more fitting. He sings “Da Yah Wannaah Paaahtay?”, the old theme song to old Monday Night Football, a program that does NOT air on Fox. Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder. Thanks for reading, you sick masochists. See you next year. (Especially you, Kelly, call me!)

Source: Nashville Scene

Help A Pup Out & Make A Difference! Donate – Donate – Donate!

Help a pup out and be entered in to win amazing prize packs! The fundraiser continues to move on to try and reach the Platinum status for Ran Fans at the Redemption Ranch! Have a few bucks? $5, $10, $15? Donate here! If you want to see the complete details regarding the fundraiser click here. You have until my birthday (November 30th) to donate in ordered to be entered in to win for the November Prize Pack!

Don’t feel comfortable paying online? That’s ok! Check or Money Order – make out a check or money order, payable to Pawsitively Famous, Inc. (not to any of its individual members).

****R.A.C.E. can provide you with a proof of donation for Tax purposes*****

Our mailing address is:
c/o Pawsitively Famous
PO Box 389
Columbia, MO 65205-0389


The November prize pack is now up for grabs if you donate (any amount will work!) See below for the prize pack.


The GRAND PRIZE at the end of the year will be a plaque! All donors will be entered for this prize!


Taylor Swift Pulls All Of Her Albums From Spotify

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has refused to put her new album “1989” on Spotify since its release last week, and now she has also pulled her old albums from the streaming service.It doesn’t appear that any of Swift’s songs are available on Spotify, and a Spotify spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that Swift removed all of her albums from the streaming service.

Artists don’t make nearly as much money putting their music on Spotify as they do selling digital albums and songs on services like iTunes.

Earlier this month, Jimmy Buffett asked Spotify CEO Daniel Ek for a raise, saying artists who stream their music on Spotify are “at the end of the pipeline” when it comes to the money Spotify pays labels for permission to stream albums.

Spotify says it pays 70% of its revenue to labels — which will amount to about $1 billion this year — but some artists feel they don’t get a big enough cut.

The streaming service revealed last year that it paid artists an average of less than a penny per play.

In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Swift wrote that “piracy, file sharing and streaming have shrunk the numbers of paid album sales drastically.”

Swift wrote the editorial to express confidence in the future of music, noting that she hoped artists didn’t “underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”

Spotify is working hard to change Swift’s mind. Here’s a statement that was just posted on the company’s website:

We love Taylor Swift, and our more than 40 million users love her even more — nearly 16 million of them have played her songs in the last 30 days, and she’s on over 19 million playlists.

We hope she’ll change her mind and join us in building a new music economy that works for everyone. We believe fans should be able to listen to music wherever and whenever they want, and that artists have an absolute right to be paid for their work and protected from piracy. That’s why we pay nearly 70% of our revenue back to the music community.

PS — Taylor, we were both young when we first saw you, but now there’s more than 40 million of us who want you to stay, stay, stay. It’s a love story, baby, just say, Yes.

Swift initially refused to release her 2012 album “Red” on Spotify, but she relented several months later.

Spotify is valued at $4 billion and reportedly wants to sell for more than $10 billion, according to The Journal.

This highlights one issue with Spotify’s business model — artists have quite a bit of power over the streaming service if they can yank their albums at any time.

Source: Business Insider

Calling All Animal Lovers!! We Need Your Help!

Ran Fans Redemption Ranch Sponsorship Campaign

We need YOUR help in order for this to happen! Donate any amount and you’ll be put in a raffle to win amazing prize packs each month! This fundraiser is only until December 31, 2014! Donate each month to be entered into the drawing for that month. A prize pack will be given away in October, November & December! Once you donate, you will automatically be put in the raffle for the grand prize at the end of the fundraiser! Read below for more details and how/where to donate!
PayPal (best way!)———> CLICK THIS LINK

Calling all Ran Fans!!!!! Renovations at Redemption Ranch (formerly the Tishomingo Shelter) are in full swing! In an effort to assist with the cost of this massive makeover, Ran and MuttNation Foundation are reaching out to us all!The R.A.C.E. team is calling on all Ran Fans, old and new, to lend support. Our goal is to purchase one of the “cage sponsorships” that MNF is currently offering in support of Redemption Ranch. As you have probably seen, there are different levels of sponsorship. The amount raised during this effort will dictate the level we as RAN FANS collectively can purchase. Once the level is determined, a plaque will be affixed to one of the cages at Redemption Ranch with RAN FANS listed as the sponsor. The majority of any residual monies over the sponsorship level we reach will go towards MuttNation’s Redemption Ranch Amazon wish list.

 The sponsorship levels are as follows:

* Puppy Suites: $1,000 (this is for an annual plaque at the facility)
* Pink Suites: $2,500
* Platinum Suites: $5,000 or more (this will be a permanent plaque at the facility)

We are sure many of you really want to be taking part in this sponsorship drive, so here’s your chance! Collectively we can make a difference. This campaign will run from now until December 31, 2014. Of course, as is our tradition, we have four raffles for some awesome prize packs! To keep things fair, each PERSON who donates will receive TEN (10) chances in each drawing. We’ll give away ONE prize pack per month:


Prize Pack #1 – October
1 black Pink Pistol key chain
4 Pawsitively Famous bottle koozies
4 Pink Pistol cups
1 XL (1st edition!) Pink Friday t-shirt
Autographed Tyler Today magazine (Spring 2008 edition)
*Not pictured: 1 silicone Pawsitively Famous bracelet


Prize Pack #2 – November
1 Cowboys and Indians magazine (April 2011 edition)
1 Autographed Live by Candlelight DVD
1 Light-up Pink Pistol shot glass
1 Pink Pistol koozie (pink)
1 Black paws bandana


Prize Pack #3 – December
1 Autographed Nashville Music Scene paper (January 2008 edition)
1 Vintage black Ran Fans koozie
1 Vintage camo Ran Fans koozie
1 Miranda Lambert music preview CD (collectors!) – includes “Me and Charlie Talking”, “Bring Me Down”, “Kerosene”, and “What About Georgia”

And wrapping everything up, EVERYONE who donates (yes, we throw ALL names back in!) has a total of TEN (10) chances to win a brand-spanking new Miranda Lambert 5x Platinum plaque!! Size is 16″ × 20″ and it features 3D artwork from all five of Miranda’s albums over the past decade.


We know you’re all thinking, “How in the world can I get in on this awesome campaign?!?!?!” Right?! Simple! Make your donation to R.A.C.E. by December 31!! Here’s how you can DONATE:

PayPal (best way!)———> CLICK THIS LINK

Check or Money Order – make out a check or money order, payable to Pawsitively Famous, Inc. (not to any of its individual members).

****R.A.C.E. can provide you with a proof of donation for Tax purposes*****

Our mailing address is:
c/o Pawsitively Famous
PO Box 389
Columbia, MO 65205-0389

As Ran says… don’t forget to love a shelter pet!! By participating, you’re doing just that. Thanks for all the support! Let’s get this rolling!!

* Required

Every tiny little bit can go a long way! $1, $5, $10 – whatever it is you can donate!

Click here for more details!

Not One Artist’s Album Has Gone Platinum In 2014

We are now nine and a half months into 2014, and the sales numbers for the music industry are looking particularly grim. While the fourth quarter is typically when the most sales occur, things have never been quite so bad.

In 2014, not a single artist’s album has gone platinum. Not one has managed to cross that million sales mark.

One album has managed to sell over a million copies so far this year, but it’s a soundtrack. The ever-popular Frozen soundtrack may slowly be working its way down the charts, but it is by far the best selling collection this year. Though it doesn’t have any marquee names on it—those that are usually expected to sell the best—the soundtrack has managed to move 3.2 million copies so far, and with winter coming, that number is sure to rise.

By this time last year, five different CDs had hit one million units sold or more, with Justin Timberlake’s comeback LP The 20/20 Experience in front. By the beginning of Q4 in 2013, that album had moved 2.3 million copies, which is still far behind the success of Frozen.

In fact, album sales this year are so bad, you have to look all the way down to number four on the list of best-sellers to even find something that was released in 2014. The number two and three sellers are Beyonce’s surprise self-titled album and newcomer Lorde’s Pure Heroine, respectively. Both of those have moved in the area of 750,000 so far this year. Both albums were released in 2013 and moved the bulk of their numbers then, but have continued to enjoy commercial success.

Number four on the list is country star Eric Church and his album Outsiders, which is only 20-something thousand behind Lorde. Immediately behind him is Coldplay, whose Ghost Stories isn’t trailing by much.

Comparatively, 60 songs have sold one million (or more) copies, something not unusual in a world where loving a single no longer means having to purchase an entire album. While 60 is surely better than…one…when it comes to million-plus sellers, it’s not all good news. Last year, 83 songs went platinum, so digital single sales are sliding as well, but not as quickly.

We are now in Q4, and the time for record sales to spike is upon us. As more and more shoppers look for the perfect gift for loved ones, the record industry is hoping that they turn to albums, as so many have in the past. Sadly, the rest of 2014 doesn’t have many huge chart toppers left. We are not expecting albums from Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars or the handful of others who still have the power to move millions of albums. While anything is possible—especially in a post-Beyonce, drop-an-album-at-anytime kind of world—it is unlikely that anyone is coming to save 2014’s lackluster record sales.

Source: Forbes

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