20 Observations of the Year in Music 2015/Part 3

In Part 3 (we’re getting close, kids!) of Philly’s 20 observations of the year in music 2015…..Britney and Lady Gaga (almost) got back to being chart owning divas….OMI became this year’s Magic!…..Philly became the hottest music city in North America and finally owned a title….those “Hello” and “Hotline Bling” parodies just…didn’t….stop and Adele became musically immortal. 

1.Britney and Lady Gaga (almost) got back to being chart owning divas…..Where do we truly begin when it comes to spilling tea about Britney and Gaga? Pop divas in their own right, both gals have owned the spotlight since the minute they hit the scene, with a music ride that has included plenty of career highs…and 2007 lows, of course.

This year, both ladies have certainly returned to divadom, with Gaga owning the Oscars, Grammys and AHS Hotel, and Britney, well, seemed to be her old goofy self (and throwing all the shade at Ms. Azalea) and is currently working it out at her Las Vegas Piece of Me residency for the next hundred years. By the way, have you seen the “Toxic” diva’s dance moves lately? It’s 2003ney, bitch. 

However….while both ladies have proven to be unstoppable forces of pop culture this year, there’s just one thing missing from having them snatch all the competition’s wigs–their latest records. Gaga will be following up 2012’s messy ArtPop and Britney will be following up 2013’s even messier, Britney Jean, with both sets becoming the gals lowest selling ones and leaving bad tastes in many (okay, all of us) critics and fans mouths. As Billboard is reporting, both of our beloved pop goddesses will serve up their newest collections at some point next year, so it looks like we might getting closer to having it feel like 2008 and 1999 all over again. Because even if both pop princesses can muster up one more standout record, it will complete two journeys back to the top that will certainly feel well deserved for everyone.

See you in 2016, ladies. 

2.OMI became this year’s Magic!…..

Remember this time last year when Magic! found their number one smash, “Rude” in the top 20 of Billboard’s Year End Hot 100….and then in 2015 they were never heard from again? That’s not to say the Canadian based group didn’t have a few under-the-radar hits since then (they did), but can you name any of them? Exactly. 

Sadly, 2015 now has a new victim in the dreaded summer music memory category, Mr. OMI and his mega sun-kissed smash, “Cheerleader.” While the Jamaican pop star has released a follow-up single, “Hula Hoop,” the track has yet to take over the airwaves and land in the top spot like its predecessor. But hey, it’s all good, because both artists certainly made some dough with their respective blockbuster singles, plus they will both have a long life on VHI on any one of their One Hit Wonder specials. 

Thanks for the summer memories, gentlemen! 

3.Philly became the hottest music city in North America….and finally owned a title. 

Oh, Philly. The City of Brotherly Love tries really, really hard (harder than Jessie J!) to establish itself as one hell of a city. (no pun intended, of course).

While Philly certainly owned the map this year when Mr. Pope Francis’ breezed (lol) into town, but with all that backlash that stemmed from his visit, it actually seemed to overshadow the fact that it was, indeed, a life changing event. It also didn’t help that Ms. Tina Fey gave national viewers on SNL a glimpse into a city that the writers felt was some kind of “murder haven” during her portrayal as cousin Karen on the (somewhat) hilarious Bronx Beat sketch, where she implicated a murder at the Liberty Bell. (Ask yourself, did that line really help people see Philly in a new light? No). Oh…yes….and there is that current drama going on with our football team…does anyone know the details? 

However, all Philly truth, we must be proud of our great city because this year, Philly rightfully earned the title, Best Music City in North America, thanks to the tickets and entertainment website, Vivid Seats. Cooking up a list of the 20 best North American cities for live music, much to everyone’s delight, Philly was at the very top of that list. With factors that included the number of concerts that touched down here and the average ticket price for upcoming shows (except you, Adele)  to rank the cities, all of them being from the U.S. except for Toronto. They noted that Philly was particularly great for genres like alternative, blues, jazz, country and folk, as well as for its rich music history, which includes timeless music artists, Sister Sledge, McFadden & Whitehead, The Roots, Jill Scott, just to name an esteemed few.

Also, while this year we saw the unfortunate closures of the North Star Bar and the Legendary Dobbs (which, in its glory days, hosted then unknown bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Green Day), other venues soared like the brand spankin’ new Fillmore and The Foundry (Hall & Oates, Kaskade, Disclosure, Tove Lo, QuestLove, and that seemed to be just in one week), as well as Coda, who has recently hosted DJs Cedric Gervais, JoJo, Roger Sanchez, and Joe Jonas’ side music project, DNCE. And of course, The Roots, who perform in living rooms across the country every night as the house band on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. Local music truth doesn’t get any more realer than that. 

So, will Philly keep its dazzling title next year? It certainly looks that way with an upcoming concert roster that includes Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Adele, Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, Adele and Rihanna. And looking at just January alone, places like The Fillmore, The Foundry, Coda, and even as of late, World Cafe Live and The TLA are just getting started tossing their music hat into the live music ring in 2016. 

So, take a little time to revel in this rightfully owned title, because boy, do we deserve it. 

4.Those “Hello” and “Hotline Bling” parodies just…didn’t….stop…

Sigh. As much as we would prefer not to relive all the parodies that took place once 2015’s ode to telephones–Adele’s “Hello” and Drake’s “Hotline Bling”–took over our pop culture lives, we just have to spill because it’s a trend that just did..not…stop this year. Okay, Drake can’t dance (don’t you think he knows that?), we get it. It seemed as if everywhere you looked–oh, wait, it was–there was another parody or a SnapChat of your cousin, brother, sister, grandma, putting their best stank leg forward and giving Drake’s chart topping hit their own personal take. Just stop. 

Of course, there were ALL those “Hello” parodies, but we’ll just say this–since there’s truly no time to sort through them all, Saturday Night Live and Jimmy Fallon can stay and every other “Hello” parody can have all the seats in 2015. Yes, even you, Ms. Degeneres. Just stop. And enough with the flip phones. Adele knows it’s not 2007, do you? 

5.Adele became musically immortal….

Speaking of Ms. Adele….this bitch. Not only did the flip phone owning diva destroy every chart known to man (she was probably on your doctor’s chart), but her comeback was orchestrated to perfection (thank you, Lorne Michaels), as evident in the fact that 25 has sold a whopping 7 million copies since its release…five weeks ago. 

But the one thing that truly triumphs Adele’s exit from the nursery and into our lives once again is that her previous sets-19 & 25-have both found themselves with a recent sales resurgence, which all further proves that the singer has become some kind of immortal music being while she’s still walking on this earth. It’s kind of insane if you think about, because this truly only happens when a cherished music artist is no longer with us, music case in point, the sales chart clobbering that took place after Whitney and Michael passed away. 

There’s no denying that 25 will be with us well into next year (and will most likely be the best-selling album of ’16…watch), and you know that at least one time in 2015–even for five minutes–you had an Adele moment and loved every minute of it. 

Although…those concert ticket prices. See you in September singing “Hello” from the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center, boo. 


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