Playlist

Summer Daze

It occurred to me when I was shamelessly plugging my bomb playlists before 4th of July weekend that I didn’t have the most ESSENTIAL summer playlist, a country one. I’m not sure how this has slipped through the cracks since I’ve spent the last 10+ years cranking up country at the first whisper of warm weather with the windows down. My sister finally put her foot down after we tried countless country playlists on Spotify and were annoyed at the selection. So here we are–better late than never– bringing a little life back into 2020 with a banging summer playlist. It’s no summer palooza but it’ll be a pretty hawt substitute for it. Bump this for the variety of summer adventures you’ll embark on–pool day, lake day, BBQ, bonfire, WHAT HAVE YOU. It’s time to honor the genre of music that sings about farming, shooting, drinking & babes. And if you crave a longer version that you can leave on for a full day–look no further than my Spotify (username: julia.giantomasi) where you’ll find the Uncut edition of this playlist that is 13 hours long…along with every other playlist I’ve made so don’t say I never gave you anything.

1. Long Hot Summer – Keith Urban. Obviously I’m going to kick off the playlist with my favorite musician to lovingly razz about his middle-age female sense of style. No one quite pulls off capris, chunky boots and a sensible haircut like Keith. And at the same time he delivers the tastiest guitar licks and has given us endless bangers through the years. This is on the more recent end of his catalogue and was the first song I knew needed to be included in this playlist as it captures everything that is magical about summer…except bare feet on the dash.

2. 99.9% Sure (I’ve Never Been Here Before) – Brian McComas. This one might be a headscratcher as to why it’s included and I’ll tell you why. My older sisters were the trendsetters for everything in my life growing up and when they started getting into country music, it was no different that I would immediately copy them. This was the very first song that they became so obsessed with, it was on repeat in our house and since it’s catchy as hell I was like YUP, I’m all in on country. My parents (not country fans) were less than pleased with this, but realized they were outnumbered and resorted to making fun of lyrics but tolerating the constant country being played. I felt it was necessary to include this song because without it, this playlist doesn’t exist.

3. Drink A Little Beer – Thomas Rhett Ft. Rhett Akins. Ah, a little cross between old country and new country on this one. TR probably wouldn’t be a country singer without his dad so he invited dear ole dad to feature on his album and then took him out on tour as well. This is a deep cut but I’ve always loved the father/son combo and it’s just an all around back country hitting the overturned pot for a beat drinkin song. Plus I love that they razz each other at the end. Rhett’s like hey kid I gave you your career and your stage name, and Thomas is like HAHA you’re old though. GM’s.

4. Beat of the Music – Brett Eldredge. Brett’s about to drop new music for the first time in two years and boy have I missed him. This is a tossback to one of his first hits where he sings about an island fling. Wouldn’t it be cool to be rich enough to have island flings? I’m jelly. I did a girls trip to Nashville a few years back and one of my friends met a guy, held hands with him all night from bar to bar, stayed at his place and used his toothbrush the next morning as if they were married for 10 years and hadn’t just met 12 hours prior. That was her vacation fling. Doesn’t quite sound as romantic as dancing on the beach to live music. Brett’s got a real way with words and obviously the ladies.

5. Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band. Listen, I know how cliche it is to include this song and yet THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT THIS PLAYLIST IS. So accept it. Chicken Fried puts asses in the seats. My favorite Saratoga band used to cover this song and every single time they did, people scream-sang the chorus and then brought it down real low for the salute to the ones who’ve died. It’s got something for everyone. Passion for KFC and also a tribute to our military. It is ‘MERICA in song form.

6. Summer Nights – Rascal Flatts. Any song that starts with a shout is always going to be a real good time. Holler if you’re ready for some summer nights? HOLLLERRRRRRRRRR. Seriously, can’t get enough of the summer nights…well that’s not entirely true. I have already had enough of the skeeters. If summer nights didn’t have skeeters looking to chomp on every inch of my skin (do you know they also BITE THROUGH CLOTHES?!) it would really be GAME ON. Sorry bout it that my skin is the sweetest of delicacies. Also, this song features one of my favorite musical treats–a clap break.

7. Drink in My Hand – Eric Church. I’ve always seen Eric as suuuuch a badass. Probably because he never takes those shades off and sings almost exclusively about drinking. He’s just got that bad boy edge to him. I love this song not only because he really hits it home with how much work sucks and everyone is just trying to get through to the weekend beers, but also the part when he says: “My head Monday morning that alarm clock sings/It goes bang, bang, bang, while it ring, ring, rings.” No clue why that’s my favorite part of the song. Probably because I’ve taken to singing it with a country twang and shouting RANG RANG RANNNGGG. I have a real knack for making something 10x more annoying. Try to unhear that, I dare you.

8. When the Sun Goes Down – Kenny Chesney Ft. Uncle Kracker. Hey guys, remember Uncle Kracker? This one isn’t an all-time favorite of mine but I felt like it needed to be included to add to the all around vibes we’re trying to throw here. Also I distinctly remember changing my AIM profile to it’s summer version and including “Everything gets hotter when the sun goes down” with a Sun emoji (the kind that you had to look up a code to create because emojis didn’t exist yet.) Obviously I was a pre-teen at the time and absolutely nothing was getting hotter for me when the sun went down. But it was fun to pretend I had a scandalous life and wasn’t just going to bed at 10 pm after roasting mallows with my parents in our firepit.

9. Pontoon – Little Big Town. What a drinking anthem this was. And then Little Big Town was like oh shit, all we need to do is sing about boozing in the sun during the day? And BAM, they released Day Drinkin’. This crew really found what people want and it’s a whistle tune with lyrics about doing nothing but drinking near a body of water. AKA the only thing you should really be doing with your summer if you’re doing it right.

10. Night’s on Fire – David Nail. I’ve always loved David Nail even though he’s not the most prolific country artist but he was one of the early ones I got hooked on. This song really kicks it up and is all about spicy summer nights with a babe soda, so I’m all in.

11. Parking Lot Party – Lee Brice. This is kind of a hard one to hear this year. There are no parking lot parties happening in 2020. So we’ll just have to reminisce back on the years when concerts were allowed and you’d go on a sweaty summer night to an amphitheater in your town, guzzle brewskis in the parking lot, get to your seat, pay a small loan for a tall boy that will get warm as hell in about 20 minutes of gripping it and grooving to your favorite band. Nothing compares to a summer concert and the tomfoolery that takes place in the parking lot beforehand. This year I was supposed to see both Old Dominion and Thomas Rhett live in June to kick off my summer and obviously that didn’t happen. I considered buying a Thomas Rhett tee at Target the other day to pretend like I saw him live and bought merch. Obviously I’m not taking the news well. Hopefully by next summer we’ll be tearing up a few parking lot parties again.

12. Somethin’ Bout A Truck – Kip Moore. I’ve had fantasies about my other half being a southern gent who drives a truck for quite some time. Stephen on Laguna Beach further made me hornier for a pick up truck when he whipped that white one around town between Kristin and LC’s houses. Tim Riggins sealed the deal when he not only had a truck, but opened up Riggins Riggs with Billy to work on trucks. Obviously, I’m super into a man who trucks, which is why Kip Moore has really painted a nice picture here. Trucks are sexy and will 100% of the time lead to skinny dippin. Thank you for your service, Kip.

13. Red Dirt Road – Brooks & Dunn. Another nostalgic add. This is such a classic country song. Dirt roads, beer, truck, Jesus, a wholesome chick named Mary. It doesn’t get anymore country than that, yo. I’m so glad he got Mary back again. I would’ve been crushed if he didn’t. This song is like driving through your hometown all wrapped up neatly with a guitar groove and I love it.

14. Feels Like A Party – LOCASH. This is the portion of the playlist where we dabble in what h8ers like to call “bro country.” These two sound like they probably fratted out HOARD in college and they’re singing about a rager. Don’t get me wrong, I love turning up for a good time and that’s exactly why this song is on here. Cause “it’s only 8 and the speakers are banging” is the SIGN of a good partaaayyyy.

15. Something Like That – Tim McGraw.  Remember how I told you the tall tale of how my parents hate country music and would chirp us for the silly lyrics when we refused to turn it off?! I distinctly remember my mom coming at us hot over this one. She’d go oooOoOhh “BBQ STAIN ON A WHITE T-SHIRT?!” in a mocking voice. Like the Spongebob meme 15 years before it existed. They also weren’t too fond of she thinks my tractor’s sexy–a classic in it’s own right–although let me be perfectly clear a farmers tan will NEVER be sexy. Tim McGraw hitting the NEW in New Orleans, will on the other hand, always be sexy. What a DILF.

16. Barefoot Blue Jean Night – Jake Owen. Ahhh this song will forever remind me of high school. Not because I was popular and cruised to the riverside every night to drink with the cool kids, but because I was super into waxing poetic about wanting to be young forever, as everyone is in their youth. It felt like being a grownup was SUPER far away. Those were the golden days.

17. Runnin’ Outta Moonlight – Randy Houser. Have you ever met a more romantic stud than Randy just wanting to take his boo out on a clear summer night for some truck bed star gazing?! What a dreamboat he is. Don’t keep him waiting! After listening to this song I might need to add star-gazing in a pickup to my bucket list.

18. Anything Goes – Florida Georgia Line.  These two bozos have gotten a lot of flack since they hopped on the country scene and brought in hip hop influences and features on their tracks. They were told they weren’t real country. Now everyone collabs with house beats and rappers and popstars so it’s a moo point, but fist bump to them for sticking it through because I don’t know what I’d do without them. Mostly because they always wear disgusting outfits at awards shows that I can make fun of. Also because they strictly made party country songs for the first few years and I bumped them non-stop, including this one.

19. American Style – Old Dominion. Would’ve been cool as hell to see OD live this year but WuTeVeR. Not bitter or anything. This is a nice post-4th of July reminder that this country is full of a bunch of cool things like ferris wheels and leather jackets. I mean, they have them in other countries too but are they really AS COOL? Nah, son.

20. Country Girl (Shake It For Me) – Luke Bryan. There has never once been a time where this song has come on and I haven’t given it my all on the dance floor. I realize that there’s also almost NEVER a dance floor when it comes on. One time I got up on the ottoman in my living room and broke it down. When I saw him perform it live, I scooted out into the aisle so I had more space to really break it down. It is my number one, all-time, favorite country song. It helps a LOT that Luke Bryan is a backwards hat wearin, hips shakin babe and watching him shake that money-maker only inspired me to do the same every time I hear the starting beat of this song. This may be my boldest statement yet, but I know I out-perform Luke on this number. I encourage him to invite me onstage to put my hips where my mouth is and prove it once he can start touring again. I became a country girl when this song came out, shaking it for the catfish swimming down deep in the creek and I will never stop. Play it at my funeral and I betcha my corpse will shimmy out of the coffin for one last country girl shake.

Back in February (our last pre-corona bangarang weekend on the town) my sister captured my most recent performance, or so I thought–turns out she captured me slowing down and turning to tell her I was out of breathe. If I’m struggling that hard to breathe, IMAGINE HOW HARD I WAS DANCING when she wasn’t filming! Also, peep that guy next to me wondering why the hell I ran to the dance floor to dance by myself.

No seriously…never not talking about how hard in the paint I go for Country Girl Shake it For Me…Try to stop me. YOU CAN’T.

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JUice

Weekly JUice

1. Zayn is going solo, 1D fans mourn him as if he’s dead, Harry cries, Zayn cries, everyone hates Simon Cowell.

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So I reported last week that Zayn peaced out on the tour and there was speculation that he was taking a quick vacay to rehab, but this week he released a statement that he was officially leaving 1D to live a normal life as a 22 year old out of the spotlight. Obviously tweens around the world were on suicide watch, the remaining 1D members had to be like hey we’re still doing this thing so everyone CTFD and then today Zayn basically told everyone he’s going solo. Hey bruh, be more of a doucher. He’s obviously pulling the “I was doing something and my heart wasn’t in it, I hope you all want me to be happy” card but like going to the studio the very next day? Harsh. It wasn’t too long ago that he was telling me over a spaghetti dinner “But there’s nothing to be afraid of, Even when the night changes, It will never change me and you.” Well guess what, Zayn? IT DID CHANGE.

2. Entourage full trailer dropped and it has a bazillion celebs in it. I never watched Entourage really, I’ve seen a few episodes here and there but I’ll probably go see this movie because I like celebs and they’re all in it.

3. Super Troopers 2 comin atcha. Someone started a crowd funding page for the sequel of Super Troopers because here in America we don’t pay for stuff, we set up a website for other people to pay for our stuff and guess what?! It raised $2 Mill in like a day. All original troopers will be back which obviously means more Farva, who could probably have his own sequel. Whose excited for this? Say Car RamRod.

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4. The Yankees do a scene from The Sandlot, and leave ARod out of it. Even though Jeets isn’t in this I can always appreciate a nice Sandlot reference, because it quite literally never gets old. Yanks are clearly trying to drum up some positive press since all they probably hear about is how they let ARod come back and everyone on earth hates him. I can’t embed the video, so click below for the link.

Yankees Re-Create Sandlot

Brian McCann CRUSHED it as Hamilton Porter. Brett Gardner has a REAL weird head.

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Also this just made me want to watch The Sandlot again. Benny the Jet ❤

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5.Taylor Swift goes to a Kenny Chesney concert in Nashville, gets invited onstage for a duet and looks like this:

Kenny Chesney Kicks Off "The Big Revival" Tour Kenny Chesney Kicks Off "The Big Revival" Tour

I’m probably going to look just like this when I run to the grocery store this weekend, so whateva.

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Country, Television

American Country Countdown Awards Recap

Hey didn’t you guys know that if you’re a country fan you get 100 awards show per year? Well gr8 news, they just added this one into the mix. In it’s first year, broadcast on Fox, it’s an awards show based off of the country countdown that airs weekly via Kix Brooks. (I’m guessing this is a southern thing because I’ve honestly never heard this countdown once in my life). Anyway there’s no better time to air a trial-run awards show than when all the network shows are on break. The format of these awards is that they’re all fan-voted and have been solicited via the artists on twitter for weeks now asking for votes. Each award is announced with 5 “nominees” ranked by how many votes they got and the number one or the winner then performs and accepts the award post-performance. I tuned in (full disclosure: all to see Brett Eldredge perform and win) and decided to recap it because there were some great outfits and great performances…and of course some real bombs. As per usual, let’s take a peek at the highs and lows…but first, a few words about our hosts.

There’s no quicker way to make an awards show a train wreck than to have two country bros who strictly sing about getting high and drunk, host it all. Admittedly, I have been against FGL showing up at awards shows for as long as they’ve been disgracing fashion, country and men all over the world with their bedazzled vests that they consistently don’t wear shirts under. Don’t get me wrong, I love their music and it’s catchy AF but it’s a real struggle to watch these two live in action without cringing a whole lot. Exhibit A, BK and Ty enter the show and immediately strip off layers so that they’re just wearing wife beaters, setting the tone for a real fashionable hosting gig. Then they each proceed to use the word “brother” after every thing that they read from the prompter. (Sort of like the Hulk but a little less rapey.) Don’t worry though, they mention the open bar twice in their intro comments and with that they’ve welcomed you to what will henceforth be known as the White Trash Bash, official name change pending.

Highlights:

-Carrie Underwood starts the show off performing a medley of her greatest hits in a big blue ball gown. She’s wearing a power ring and belting out the high notes as the true hit-maker of country. Also they make sure to pan a camera to her hubby for any lyric that could be emotionally related to their baby.

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-Maddie & Tae present for the FGL win/performance and they crush the sparkly mini look and make the creepster Scotty McCreery wish he could get with them. Put that tongue away, Scotty, nice try.

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-Reba McEntire wins the very first Nash Icon award, Miranda Lambert & Kelly Clarkson perform a tribute for her but since she ain’t dead, Reba hops right in on the action and the three of them perform “Fancy”. Although I’m not a Reba fan at all, the entire crowd was real into this performance, it was well done and fun to watch the joint bumpin. Miranda looked like a smoke for this performance (she had to make up for her earlier outfit…see “nightmares” list below)

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-Brett “Sex” Eldredge wins Song of the Year with “Beat of the Music” and performs it wearing an eggplant colored polka dot button down, top buttons undone much like myself when he took the stage. He is literally perfect. So it’s whatevs.

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-Speaking of hot men…Chase Rice–where have you been all my life?

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-Although Kip Moore won the Breakthrough Artist of the Year despite the fact that he’s broken through and has been an established country singer for about 3 years now…I let it slide because he played “Hey Pretty Girl” (also an old song..but I digress) and they showed Carrie’s other half singing along real passionately and it was pretty adorbs. Even Carrie looked at him and was like aw that’s cute. (I’m assuming.)

-Lady A performs “Freestyle” plus a little bit of “Bartender” in front of the OPEN BAR, BROTHER. I digged it. These three always deliver the goods.

Nightmares:

-Luke Bryan wins Male Vocalist and performs “Roller Coaster.” I’ve had ENOUGH. The next time Luke performs a slow song at an awards show without a backwards hat and suggestive gyrating dance moves I’m going to be forced to turn the TV off. I will not support this for one more second. Get it together, Luke. On a more serious side, (and this belongs on the highlights list) after he accepted the award he gave a heartfelt thank you to the fans and all of his fellow country music stars for supporting him through another family loss a week or so ago and it got teary in here for a moment.

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-FGL takes the stage to perform “Sun Daze” and Mullet is wearing a full camo outfit (cutoff obviously & cargo shorts), a camoutfit if you will, paired with red kicks. BK is wearing SWEATPANTS and a wife beater. SWEAT. PANTS. Thanks for dressing up for the occasion, boys.

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-And along the same lines as super yucky outfits, Miranda performs a new song “Platinum” wearing a tacky sparkle slouch neck and knee length, acid washed, jean skirt. The song doesn’t do it for me but also I sincerely hope that no one expected me to focus on anything other than that abomination of a skirt. (She got the memo and pulled that shit together real quick for Reba’s performance.)

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-Miss America or as we all know her, the girl that won a pageant by stealing the “Cups” scene from a movie that’s two years old, presented an award. Also FGL couldn’t pronounce her name. Shocking turn of events.

-Hunter Hayes is out past his curfew to present Album of the Year (Eric Church wins). Side Note: I’ve officially never seen Erich Church’s eyes because they’re always secured behind a pair of aviators because the sun never sets on cool?

-FGL swiftly ruins Christmas, or turns it into a holiday that Eddie from Christmas Vacation would attend, when they each turn Santa’s suit into cutoffs and make creepy sexual innuendos about his “sack”(camo of course). I wanted to set myself on fire.

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-Vince Vaughn fulfills the quota of person who absolutely doesn’t belong at this awards show. He’s apparently bros with Kenny Chesney & presents the Groundbreaker award to Ken-dawgs.

-There is no music to cut off the “thank you” speeches and it is sorely missed. Ramble city, population: everyone.

And there you have it. I would call it an all around successful awards show with equal parts highlights and nightmares. Until next time…I leave you with this.

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