her first win in seven months

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On this day in music history: March 13, 1999 - “Believe” by Cher hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks, also topping the Club Play chart for 4 weeks on December 12, 1998. Written by Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennen, Paul Barry, Steven Torch, Matthew Gray and Timothy Powell, it is the fourth solo chart topping single (fifth overall) for the pop music icon and Academy Award winning actress. After focusing on her film career for much of the 90’s, Cher turns her attention back music when she signs to the UK division of Warner Bros Records in 1998. Working with dance music producers including Junior Vasquez, Todd Terry, Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling, it will be the singer’s first dance oriented album in nearly twenty years since the release of her Casablanca albums “Take Me Home” and “Prisoner”. Rather than going for the retro-disco sounds of those works, the new material is cutting edge and in step with the current techno dance phenomenon dominating the club music scene. British songwriter and producers Taylor and Rawling (Gina G, Danni Minogue), presents Cher with the song “Believe”. She asks them to re-write the lyrics a number of times before agreeing to record the song. After recording Cher’s vocals, the producers hit upon the idea of processing some of the vocals with a Digitech Talker (aka “Autotune” processor). At first, they are nervous to play the track with the altered vocals, but once Cher hears what they’ve done, she immediately loves it. Warner Bros initially does not like the autotuned vocals and wants the effect removed, but the singer insists they remain as they are. “Believe” is an immediate smash in the UK, spending seven weeks at number one. Warner Bros in the US picks up the record for release on the back of its UK chart success. Entering the Hot 100 at #99 on December 20, 1998, it climbs to the top of the chart twelve weeks later. Cher makes history by having the longest time span between her first number one single (“I Got You Babe”) and “Believe”, which is thirty three years, seven months and three weeks. She also becomes the second oldest artist in Billboard chart history to top the Hot 100 (Louis Armstrong is the record holder at sixty two years, ten months and one week old at the time “Hello Dolly” is at number one), as she is fifty three years, nine months and three weeks old at the time “Believe” tops the chart. The single is also a massive worldwide hit, topping the charts in twenty three countries. “Believe”  wins Cher her first Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2000, also receiving a nomination for Record Of The Year. “Believe” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

the truth we both know (3/3)

emily au (season 9)

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warning for events of the truth.

They don’t win.

Scully visits Mulder’s cell right before the trial to see him in private for the first time in months. She tries to bring Emily, but they refuse to let a seven-year-old see a purported murderer so she goes on her own and holds him on the dirty floor and fills him in on the past eleven months (only the happy parts; she leaves out the kidnapping and the fear and the blood on the floor). She testifies at his trial and tries to stay for the rest of it, but they won’t let her.

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“It was wonderful. The atmosphere was really nice, and, to see how much people welcome me is really actually emotional for me. I’m very happy.”

Victoria Azarenka wins her first match at a Slam since the birth of her son seven months ago, with a 3-6 6-2 6-1 win over American Catherine Bellis in the first round of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.

Soul Singer Sharon Jones: ‘The Cancer Is Here, But I Want To Perform’

In 2013, Sharon Jones was forced to take a hiatus from performing after she was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer. A new documentary, Miss Sharon Jones!, by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, follows Jones in the first seven months following her diagnosis.

Jones says that while extensive surgery and chemotherapy took a lot out of her, her desire to make music never faltered. After finishing chemo, recovering from the surgery and getting clean scans, she returned to the stage with The Dap-Kings in 2014.

The cancer has since returned, but Jones wants to continue making music. “This cancer is here, and I have to take the chemo,” she says, “but I want to perform. I just want to be able to get onstage and move.”

Photo: Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings kick off their delayed 2014 tour at the Beacon Theater in New York. Jacob Blickenstaff/Starz Digital

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[[GROOVES N JAMS S.O.T.Y. 2015]]

[nO. 1/50]

Run Away With Me” by Carly Rae Jepsen

DV:

Despite a baffling attempt at a backlash (no, an album that doesn’t even land in the top ten on its release week isn’t “everywhere”; no, the critical consensus wasn’t overwhelming positive and infuriatingly often it was more about her collaborators than about her) Carly Rae Jepsen never really broke through to mainstream success in 2015 - never even got big enough that a backlash seemed inevitable. And while she’s doing better with critics as year end lists roll out, a #3 placing on a niche site isn’t going to mean shit for her commercial prospects: to most people she’s still the “Call Me Maybe” singer.

But for now, that feels fine. That feels right, even. Because if there’s one thing that Carly did do this year, it was sing for you. You that just found her, you that gave her another chance after the memes of 2012, you that’d stuck with her since the days of Curiosity (or Tug of War! some of you are truly ahead of the curve!) Last year we put Beyoncé at the top of our list, and it felt like a predetermined coronation for a woman who’d dominated and shaped the cultural discourse and works of 2014. This year, the title belongs to an artist who keeps herself a secret.

Which isn’t to say you can’t know Carly Rae Jepsen through her music: suggestions that Emotion sounded anonymous are spurious and blinkered, given the personality that shines in her songs. A Carly song sounds like something that could’ve come from no one else; as Katherine St. Asaph argues, she might be the only artist who can make a Sia co-write not sound like Sia. In Emotion she mixes angst and purity and desire and anger into every track, a subtle alchemy that’s complicated and fraught enough to live up to the album’s all-encompassing title. But what Carly does more than anyone else is make you feel like you’re a part of her song. Like she’s confiding in you, feeling with you. “When you need me/ I will be your candle in the dark”, she sings on the album’s thesis track (or one of them). It’s as near as an album full of songs that walk the line between commentary and execution gets to laying out her approach to creation.

“Run Away With Me” is the pinnacle of her work to date, a massive, overwhelming, powerfully universal song that feels intensely personal at the same time. Personal to Carly, and personal to me. And that’s her genius: I can listen to this now and I can relate to it completely; I could’ve listened to it 15 years ago and felt the same way. “Over the weekend we could turn the world to gold”, she sings: I mentioned this when we first covered the song, but it remains so, so key. “Run Away With Me” is a fantasy on one level, but it’s also a song that acknowledges the constraints of reality. Carly isn’t describing a relationship, a flight, that reshapes or escapes the world: she just wants a couple days for to spend alone together with her lover.

I focus on that now, but five years ago it might’ve been “I’ll find your lips in the streetlights,” and as a teen I would’ve focused on another detail, probably the smile in Carly’s vocal as she sings “Cause you make me feel like/ I could be driving you all night”. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, cars were where my relationships lived: always going somewhere, always feeling like the drive together was the reason we went. If there’s one thing Carly seems to have in a way almost no other artist even touches on, it’s an innate understanding of how important cars can be to relationships - it’s a pet subject at this point. In high school, driving in a car was the only time we could be truly alone, the only time we were actually together. Never mind that we talked nonsense; those were the most important conversations of my life to that point.

What we would/do both relate to is the chorus, which feels like it’s striving and trying in a way that Carly’s songs don’t often. But “Run Away With Me” is a song about trying, a song about longing. The way the drumbeat kicks the hook off like it’s hitting a “Launch” button, the way the backing vocals resound with clipped urgency, the throb of the synths beneath the sax hook: they’re all pushing toward some paradise that may never even arrive, that will end almost as soon as it starts. And so is Carly.

“Run Away With Me” was far from the hit it might’ve/could’ve/should’ve been. Maybe Carly will never get that smash - or even the decently sustained, groundwork-laying high charter - that she needs in order to sustain a career that isn’t talked about through the lens of “Call me Maybe.” In my more pessimistic moments, I wonder whether the prospect of a fourth album is even something worth wondering about. But then I think of the most exciting moment of the past few weeks, buying tickets to see Carly at a smallish venue in the Chicago spring after months of assuming she’d be skipping the Midwest altogether. I think of dancing at the front of the crowd, screaming along with hundreds of others whose heads and hearts and bodies she’s stuck in. I think of the pure joy “Run Away With Me” evokes, after seven months of listening to it daily, of the joy that’s still to come. So maybe Carly will win that success, maybe she won’t. In the meantime: she’ll be your hero; now and then and always, she’s here for you.

MG:

I remember vividly the first time I heard a Kate Bush, which song, where I was, the way the room just spun. It’s Kate Bush, how could I forget. It was freshman year of high school, I was fifteen years old, and my English teacher had finished her unit on The Chocolate War and because it was public school and towards the end of the year, we were watching the “film adaptation.” “You want to hear about the deal I’m making?” she asked. Her: Dr. Faust, me: loyal listener. We were the only two people in the room as dry ice steamed from under the door and glowing orbs, purple and blue, lit the room. The Chocolate War is a book that only applies to boys and it was a fucking drag to read it but what a payoff! I met Kate Bush!

And so did everyone about my age, about my background, about my intense and intertwining fear and love of life. She’s still Kate Bush but now she’s also “Kate Bush,” a very simple and direct synonym for “singular vocals.” Right now, Carly Rae Jepsen is herself and also internet slang for tempest in a teapot. I wasn’t even born when Kate Bush released her first single, the UK #1 hit “Wuthering Heights,” but in reading about her for, now, half my life I get the distinct impression that her indisputably successful career in her home country is more of a footnote for most critics. It’s important that she be mythical, mysterious, an outsider. Our introduction was in roll credits for a TV movie, hardly the stuff of secret handshakes and meaningful wisdom. It only felt that way because that’s how Kate Bush makes everything feel.

I’m not sure quite why the Mega Millions Lottery was understood as Emotion’s sales goal or why anyone thinks of Carly Rae Jepsen as a formidable pop star with an endless budget and a superior PR team. Was it something she said? Regardless, though her marketing decisions haven’t resonated with me, though she’s never taken me aside to tell me about the deal she made, nothing (not even her first date with Vice) smelled desperate, a last, final, pleading cry for an audience. To the contrary, she has a headlining US tour! To all who read this missive, she will live in the shadow of “Call Me Maybe,” a song that was more an accident than a calculation. Ask your parents about Kate Bush and I’m sure they won’t describe her as “influential.” 

Kate Bush allowed me to feel myself, for really the first time in my life, as the only thing that mattered. I could feel my body in sudden isolation, it was daunting and powerful, like her spirit surged inside me, straightening my spine and tilting my head. Carly Rae Jepsen provides a similarly intense response, but the way she makes me feel is understood. I know that a lot of people like Carly Rae Jepsen, a lot of people think she’s a great songwriter or very cute or Good for pop music. But I’m thinking of the girls who aren’t even born yet. Carly Rae Jepsen is waiting for those future girls, waiting to be their best friend, the woman who teaches them about love and desire and the paramount importance of fleeting feelings. What Carly Rae Jepsen does with her music, the thing that I think has the potential to endure for generations, is say “I felt that, too. You didn’t imagine it.” Right now she has rapt critics and a massive Japanese fanbase and the ever scummy Justin Bieber in her corner, but none of that matters until she commands those girls: “take me to the feeling!” and they know exactly what she means, just where that is. 

Wrong

Okay here is my first Maksyl fanfic! I hope you enjoy and that my writing makes sense to you all…


Meryl was seven months into the pregnancy when she felt that something was wrong. She didn’t know what it was exactly, she just knew that it was wrong.

It was during the time Maks was driving them to Val’s house to celebrate his Mirrorball Trophy win from the most recent season.

Meryl had gasped and instantly placed one hand over her bulging belly and the other on Maks’s arm.

“Meryl? Babe what’s wrong?” Maks asked almost frantically. His breath already getting uneven.

With a suppressed calmness, Meryl said, “Maks, I need you to stay calm and pull over.”

Maks did as she asked and quickly turned in his seat to look at her right in the eye and clutch her shaking hand.

“We have to go to the hospital.”

Maks’s heart was speeding more than the car was.

***

He sat next to her quietly while their hands were still clasped. They anxiously stroked small circles against the backs of each other’s hand as they waited for Dr. Dixon to finish setting up for the ultrasound.

Their hold tightened when the screen popped up to confirm their worst nightmare.

Their first baby wasn’t moving anymore.

The room was completely silently as all three of them watched the screen in horror. They didn’t hear the rhythmic sounds of tiny heartbeats this time. They didn’t watch the screen with the same joy and happiness.

They looked at the screen with broken hearts.

Maks felt the one hundred pound weight on chest grow heavier.

Meryl looked down and finally let out a whimper. Her head dropped into her hands, her shoulders and her back were shaking as she completely dissolved into tears.

Pain was all they felt. The heavy wails made it hard for them to breath. Their nails left scars into their skin as they desperately tried to find something to hold their sanity. Their head ached with the thought of losing a child that they never even got to raise.

Maks followed Meryl’s cries with a heaved sob and buried his face in the crook of her neck and tried to drown out everything Dr. Dixon was trying to explain by focusing solely on Meryl and how her hands clawed at his back and the back of his head while she let out her heart-wrenching tears.

But when Maks looked right at the state of his wife, he managed to shut down every selfish feeling of anguish and frustration because he’s never seen such a strong negative emotion from Meryl.

She’s been his rock. She’s the one who pulls him down to earth.

But now she’s the one floating.

And he has to be her anchor.

***

For a whole week, they were quiet. Of course, they talked but only minimally. The only person they’ve talked to other than each other and the doctor since the incident was Val and it was just to apologize for not making it to the dinner but they hadn’t explained.

They finally decided that they just had to do it now. They had to give birth.

They drove back to the hospital with the same eery quietness that had filled the hospital room when they looked at the ultrasound. Except this time, they were filled with an empty emotion that cannot be described with ease.

But Meryl let tears stream again at just the thought of having to give birth to her dead child. She thought back to all the many, women with blissful looks who told her that the pain of going into labor was completely forgotten once they had held their baby in their arms. They explained with an insurmountable amount joy that all the pain was gone when they just looked at their living, breathing, healthy baby.

‘But I’m not going to be joyful. My baby won’t be living,’ Meryl thought, grief-stricken.

'It’s not fair,’ Maks thought to himself.

***
More time passed and they were both in the delivery room. Again, Maks held onto one of Meryl’s hands with both of his.

“I love you,” he said softly into her ear.

He couldn’t watch her face as she cried so he kept his eyes closed while he pressed his lips to her forehead. Her screams and wails were agonizing to hear but he stayed in his position and kept whispering that he loves her.

Meryl didn’t know which hurt the most, the actual birth-giving or the fact that she can’t be a mother to this child.

Most women hear their baby crying after they give birth. But Meryl only heard herself crying after she gave birth.

They asked both of them if they’d like to see the baby or hold her. Maks let the tears spill at this question and slightly shook his head. Meryl closed her eyes and managed to say a no, thank you in between hiccups.

The doctors and nurses told them that they’ll give them a few moments alone and left.

Meryl wrapped her arms around Maks’s neck and pulled him closer to her.

“I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I love you. I’m so sorry,” Meryl cried into his chest.

He stroked her hair back from her forehead and pecked every inch of her face with kisses. “You have absolutely nothing to apologize for. Meryl, my Meryl, I love you so much. I will always love you with everything have. A stillbirth won’t stop me from loving you.”