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From Washington, Pa to the Grammy Awards: Meet Organist, Paul Jacobs

15 Feb

We’re used to hearing about Pittsburgh native Christina Aguilera’s Grammy win, but this year, Washington, PA native Paul Jacobs clinched a Grammy of his own.

Joining the likes of Muse, Lady Gaga, Lady Antebellum, and more, Paul Jacobs, age 34, won a Grammy. His was for his work as a pipe organist, and he won in the Classical category as ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance Without Orchesta’ with his album, Olivier Messiaens’ “Livre du Saint Sacrement”.

Chair of the renowned Julliard School’s organ department, it is Jacobs’ first Grammy win, and, just as notably, the first time an organist someone has won in this category.

Way to represent Pittsburgh, Mr. Jacobs!

Stop! Grammy-time!

13 Feb

Tonight marks the 53rd annual Grammy Awards show!

I, for one, am excited. I’m anxious to see all of the fashions, performances, and, of course, to find out who won what.

There’s rumors of a Britney cameo, and the ever-present question: What Will Gaga Wear?

Who will “clean house” this year? Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, and Lady Gaga are all up for many awards. Justin Bieber is nominated for Best New Artist – will he take home the coveted award? And what will joan Rivers have to say about all of the fashion choices?

Let’s hope that the night provides lots of entertainment and, as always, maybe a couple of surprises.

Who are you rooting for?

 

Gaga’s New Song – A Little Too “Madonna?”

12 Feb

On Friday, Lady Gaga released her much-anticipated single, “Born This Way,” to surprisingly mixed reviews.

While it broke records for first-day airplay on radio stations across the country, some “Little Monsters” expressed disappointment for it not being Gaga’s best, and also for it sounding “too much like Madonna.”

What are your thoughts on the song? You can listen HERE.

Runway: Clearing for Takeoff, Destination Fashion Oz – and Zang Toi International Designer Fashion Show Reviews – Some Thoughts on Pittsburgh Fashion Week

29 Sep

Pittsburgh’s Fashion Week is consuming my life this week, and, I’m 110% okay with that!

Monday’s inaugural Pittsburgh Fashion Week event, “Runway: Clearing for Takeoff, Destination Fashion Oz” delighted me… and slightly disappointed me.

Most (and I do say “most” and certainly not “all”) of the fashions rocked. However, the event had a little bit of…dare I say it…cheesiness going on. Cardboard gold party stars dangling like dollar-store decorations and actual park benches for media to sit on were one thing: but the confusing, trite, and just….BAD…opening monologue and overkill of the “Oz” theme were quite another.

That being said, it WAS the first-ever Fashion Week event held in Pittsburgh, and so things like a cheap-looking banner and slight feel of disorganization have to be overlooked.

Even despite these relatively small missteps, I give the overall event a B-grade!

I personally was intrigued by the costume-couture designs of MJ Whalen. The outfits were unique, beautifully made, and reminiscent of the late, GREAT Alexander McQueen. They were artsy and interesting, and brought to mind an idea of deconstructed Victorian Goth. From the lace, to the blinged-out gas masks, and candelabra ensemble, Lady Gaga would have been in fashion-heaven!  (WHAT raw-meat dress? THIS is Gaga-chic.)

Every designer had some definite hits, though. There were so many pieces coming down that runway that I wanted to own, including items from Jupe Boutique, Sugar, e.b. pepper, Kari Kramer’s iroNiece, and more! The dancers and musical performances were a nice added touch to the night’s event, and, despite my disdain for SOME of the “Oz” overkill, the ruby red shoes on the Jupe girls were, in my mind, a “hit!” 🙂

Overall, I’d say it was a success. It’s hard to have cohesion and harmony when featuring different lines by different designers at one event, which may have led to some of the feelings of “what’s going on” – especially when you’re trying to tie it all in to a not-so-relevant Oz theme. For the first night, at the first ever event, I say “good job” to all involved!

Tuesday’s event, which was held at the John Heinz History Center and featured the works of internationally-renowned designer Zang Toi, who is the so-called “headliner” of Pittsburgh Fashion Week, seemed much more organized, cohesive, and upscale. It’s no wonder – the guy’s a pro, and he killed it last night in Pittsburgh. His clothing is featured in the couture department at Nordstrom, he’s been around for 20 years, and all of his clothing is hand-made and unique. He’s dressed the likes of Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas, Sharon Stone, Eva Longoria, Ivana Trump, Heather Graham, Patti LaBelle, and more.

In addition to attending the esteemed Parsons School of Design, he’s won multiple awards and boasts a long list of personal and professional achievements and has put on fashion shows all over the world. Of course, I was excited to see his collection.

It didn’t disappoint. The looks were inspired by the Oscar-winning movie, Giant, and most had a fashion-forward Western/cowboy feel. Others were very fashion-forward takes of 1950’s housewife meets 1950’s glamour. His more casual ensembles were chic and elegant while still looking comfortable and wearable; and his skirts and gowns were luxe, well-made, with lots of billowy, flowing skirts and beautiful accents. Many had a floral motif, none disappointed. There were many surprises including a sexy backless black dress adorned with a pink bow, and an all-white take on menswear-for-the-ladies featuring a sheer top under a long white coat.

His collection, though not “shocking” by any means, was elegant and refined, showing a high level of taste. At first, I thought that the “cowboy” theme would be hokey. At first, it was. (But the male models WORKED those outfits and those abs, and the ladies ROCKED the “BIG” hair!)

However, after the show got going, each look transitioned perfectly into the next, resulting in different looks that somehow meshed together without being totally matchy-matchy….and isn’t that what a “good” collection should do?

I give last night’s event a solid A! Kudos to the Pittsburgh Fashion Week to really stepping it up with the House of Toi show. I’m glad that we left Oz and stepped into a more “grown up” era of fashion fun.

Please check out all of my Pgh Fashion Week photos on the Glitzburgh Facebook page by clicking here! Please note that my camera is NOT of the best quality  by ANY means – so, my apologies in advance! Approximately 7 of the shots are not mine – and I do give credit where credit is due!

Last but not least, I met a fan of Glitzburgh last night, who also happens to have a really cool name (also Ashley) and who has her OWN Pittsburgh Fashion blog called, “Where We Hang Our Pretty Things” – so check it out at http://a-dom.tumblr.com!

I won’t be attending tonight’s show (The PINK! Fashion Show at the John Heinz History Center) – but I should be at the rest of the events on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday – so look for more “Fashion Week” reports soon to come!

Photos of the Day: Better STEELERS pics – Taylor Lautner or Lady Gaga?

10 Sep

So, I thought the Taylor Lautner + Steelers pics rocked …

But… Lady Gaga with a Terrible Towel? THAT is badass.

Which photos are better?

PS:  Here we go Steelers! Home opener at Heinz Field on Sunday! Who will be there for the game? Glitzburgh will! 🙂

Quickie Randomosity: Earthquake Aftershock in Pittsburgh, Pirates Pierogi Gets Rehired, USA Loses World Cup, Britney, Gaga, Eclipse, and PHOTO OF THE DAY: Let’s GO!

27 Jun

This blog is a quickie mash-up of some local and national randomosities of the week…. ready, set, go…

1)   There was a 5.5 magnitude earthquake along the Canadian Ontario-Quebec border that was felt all the way down here in, yes, Pittsburgh! Aftershocks were reported in the South Side, Oakland, Aspinwall, Swissvale, Homestead, and Newscastle, and also in West Virginia, New York, and Ohio! Some buildings in the South Side. Oakland, and downtown Pittsburgh were evacuated as a safety precaution.

  2) I wrote a Glitzburgh blog about the Pittsburgh Pirates organization firing one of the racing Pierogi mascots for blasting the team’s managment (and less-than-stellar record) on his personal Facebook page. (I also had a commentor inform me that a “pierogi did not get fired.  One of the 20 people who dress up as a pierogi got fired.” So thank you, to whoever wrote that, for clearing that one up!)  Well, get this. Not only was this fella offered a job as a Washington Wild Things HOT DOG (score!) but, the Pirates organization also had to re-hire the Pierogi (also known as Andrew Kurtz)  According to the Associated Press, “Pirates communications director Brian Warecki says team management learned of the firing on Friday and promptly offered Kurtz his job back because he shouldn’t have been terminated in the first place. He added that bad publicity played no part in the decision.”  (Riiight! You know my blog did it. Admit it! Hehehe.) The best part of the story is that ESPN basically reported that the Pirates “had to rehire him” because they “didn’t fire him properly.”   Turns out that the Buccos hit a whole new level of pathetic with that one. But, if Kurtz did accept the offer, WELCOME BACK to the PIEROGI TEAM, ol’ fella!

3) Sadly, the United States lost their FIFA World Cup match against Ghana yesterday. Also sadly, I won’t pretend that I am a diehard “futbol” fan, or a fan at all, really. I never was in to soccer, o I didn’t want to be a “faker” and just jump on the proverbial bandwagon, sbut, I did mosy on home from the pool yesterday to watch about half of the game. I did feel actual emotion that we lost, surprisingly, as it was a true disappointment. I was hoping for another miraculous down-to-the-wire comeback like Donovan pulled off on Wednesday, but, I guess asking for a 3rd comeback would hae been just TOO much. Well, good job, boys, nonetheless! You made it pretty darn far and did pretty darn well. Gotta hand it to Ghana for their incredible STALLING and ACTING abilities at the end of yesterday’s game….I’ll give them that.  But in all sincerety, United States, you played your butts off (from what I actually watched) in the World Cup and deserve a big congratulations and a big hug. Kudos. I won’t be watching any more of the World Cup games now that the USA is out of it, will you? If so, who are you all rooting for?   I’m just praying that I’ll never have to hear a vuvuzela again. Please.

4)  Reports are swirling that Britney Spears is going behind Jason Trawick’s back and reaching out to Adnan Ghalib again. I don’t have much more to say on this topic except PLEASE GOD NO. No!  If this true, we can expect to see the pink wig and no-panties shots coming out soon, and it’s all we can do but to hope to not see her strapped to a gurney within a year. I’m really hoping that Daddy’s conservatorship hasn’t made her come to this. (And I say this with all sincerity, I’m really pulling for her, because, yes, I happen to be a huge Britney fan!)

5)  Did you all hear Jerry Seinfeld’s comments about Lady Gaga? He called her a “jerk” and said that he “hates” her.  First off, very mature, Mr. Seinfeld. Secondly….um, earth to Jerry Seinfeld: you SO are not relevant anymore…and, in all sincerity…your show really WAS about nothing…and NOT that funny.

6) Twilight: Eclipse premieres June 30th! Yay!  Critics are calling it not only the BEST of the Twilight Saga but also one of the best movies of the summer! (I sure hope so, because, I love the Twilight books, but, the movies never do them justice!)   What do you think, Twihards? Will it top the other two? And what are you doing for the premiere?

Pssst…speaking of the Twilight Saga….Pittsburghers, Taylor Lautner is set to start filming his new movie right here in Da’ Burgh, soon! Word is that it will likely begin filming in the neighborhoods of Squirrel Hill and Shadyside within the next month AND they are now casting for extras! Don’t forget that Glitzburgh broke the news of this movie, Abduction, right away, back in  MAY!

FOR FUN:
Below is a video of the Racing Pierogis at a Pirates Game. To welcome back Andrew Lutz to the team:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQuk5szea5U&feature=related

 

PHOTO OF THE DAY:

Gaga & Elton John over the weekend:

(Iconic, if you ask me!)

Thoughts on a Hometown Girl : Christina Aguilera – Copycat, Sell-Out, or Neither? And the Gaga vs. XTina Battle

10 Jun

I’m kind of growing tired of Perez Hilton’s endless tirades about Christina Aguilera copying Lady Gaga.

But, the truth is, in many instances, he’s correct, and has a lot of “evidence” in his corner.

That being said, though, let’s not forget that our “Dirrty” girl Christina rocked the pantless look (assless chaps, anyone?) back in the day way before Gaga was, well, Gaga.

Additionally, have you seen Lady Gaga’s latest video, Alejandro? If we’re going to talk about copying, well, it REEKS of early Madonna.

I’m a HUGE Lady GaGa fan (even a bigger GaGa fan than XTina!), and, a Christina Aguilera fan, too – so I’m not calling anyone out on anything – I’m just saying….everyone gets inspiration from somewhere, so people like Perez Hilton need to stop pointing fingers. (After all, he’s going to make people turn on his “wifey” GaGa if he continues going on badgering other celebrities on her behalf.)

However, if we ARE going to critique Christina Aguilera’s latest efforts with her new release “Bionic” and surrounding performances, let’s do so constructively.

I’ll give my two cents.

Christina Aguilera is a true talent. Her raw vocal prowess is just about unmatched amongst her peers; her natural musical abilities are astounding.

That being said, she sure doesn’t show it with songs like “Not Myself Tonight” and “Woo Hoo.” While catchy, I miss her “Stripped” days. That album was and is one of my all-time favorites. She should show off her beautiful voice.

And her performance on the MTV Movie Awards?

Gag me.

Gross.

Borderline embarrassing.

Tacky, cheap. She SO did not need the childish and tacky gimmicks. It probably even made Britney Spears’ stomach churn. The flashing LED heart over her lady parts? (see left) Oh, come ON, Christina.

You SO were NOT doing Pittsburgh proud with THAT one.

See, Lady GaGa does weird and it is ART. True art. Not just someone “saying” something is art, but actual, meaningful, cultural, art. Christina Aguilera does weird and it was … THAT. Tasteless. Vulgar. Trash. (When she actually HAS the talent to back it up, and shouldn’t HAVE to rely on cheap tricks and gimmicks….so frustrating!)

Do you guys think Xtina’s just trying REALLY hard (too hard?) to stay relevant?

I think she should take her own hints, get “stripped” (vocally) and go “back to basics.”  (Corny puns, I know!) When she lets her raw talent shine, she’s right on point.

She needs to chill with trying to out-Gaga GaGa …. she is SO talented…and can still be a little bit dirrty while, I don’t know … maybe growing up and “not” selling out?

Why give Perez Hilton any more ammo?

Just some thoughts. I want to hear yours… I’m not trying to bash Christina because she’s good, in fact, what I’m saying, is that she’s TOO good for what she’s resorted to….

:: Sidenote ::   I’ve yet to listen to ALL of Bionic. So, when I do, maybe I’ll give you a more thorough review of the album 😉

PS: Christina if you’re out there – I’m definitely willing to hear your side of things! Glitzburgh loves hometown stories, so, if you’re ever willing to give a small Pittsburgh blog a shot, here’s your forum, we’d love to have you!