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Friday night I saw the talented, Ricardo Arjona, a Guatemalan singer-songwriter, producer, and musician at the American Airlines Arena for his tour Viaje. Although I went in only knowing a couple of songs, I left a total fan. I knew him most for his love ballads but to my surprise his lyrics ranged from world peace to friendship. More than his lyrics, I was blown away by the musicality in all his songs. The drums and saxophone to be exact. I didn't catch a single empty seat in the audience. The arena was packed with elegant, hispanic middle aged couples and forty-year-old women holding signs that said, "Señora de las Cuatro Décadas", a love song about a woman in her forty's who doesn't need to show off her beauty to know she's beautiful. For this song, he chose a woman from the crowd and brought her on stage for a serenade. Overall, I was very impressed by the show. I mean, I probably should've expected it considering he has recorded fourteen studio albums, one live album, and forty-three singles.
If you couldn't make it to see the witty Jerome Allen "Jerry" Seinfeld this weekend, well, that sucks because he was great!!! (by the way, according to Jerry, "sucks" and "great" are the only adjectives Americans use *embarassed face*). I was sort of obligated by my boyfriend to attend this event even though I'm constantly called out for not laughing at supposedly "funny" things (again, *kinda embarassed face*). But this was good since Seinfeld's specialty is making fun of social obligation. To my surprise, I spent TWO HOURS laughing my a** off. Something I should've expected considering Jerry is one of the highest paid stand-up comedians and admits he's only doing it because he is bored with his life after his self-titled show, Seinfeld. I hardly know much about Jerry Seinfeld besides that his sitcom ended in the 90's. But I was surprised to find out Jerry actually got married at 45 and is now 60 with three kids. It was the best outing I had been to in a while. Definitely worth leaving the royalty of your bed for. If you are anything like me, oblivious to Seinfeld until this weekend, please do yourself a favor and watch EVERY stand-up video of his you can find. I promise you will not regret it.
It's the middle of the week, what are you listening to?
I know here in Miami it's been one of those productive, cloudy days and the sunset is flashing shades of pink through my window. It made me have a sudden urge to give James Blunt a quick play as I got ready for my yoga class. No, I didn't play the "You're Beautiful" soundtrack. I let his 2010 album, Some Kind of Trouble , blast through my speakers. The cool thing about this album is that you probably don't remember it clearly but once you start listening to the songs they all come back. Most of them sound like the background song to the credits of a RomCom. The others have classic James Blunt guitar. A very uplifting, positive indie album full of life's messages.
Favorite track: These Are the Words
I had to. I just had to dedicate an entire blog post to Maroon 5 at 1:00 a.m for absolutely making my Thursday night with their "Sugar" music video. I am currently melting at every single second of it. I'd say I'm somewhere between the hyperventilating blonde and the Asian groom with this video on replay.
While we are on the Maroon 5 topic, I'd figure I'd take time to highlight some of my favorite Maroon 5 moments. In more of a preferential rather than chronological order:
1. Songs About Jane
Maroon 5's official debut album is still my favorite album to this day. Anyone who asks me on a random day of the year will hear the same answer. There is something about this album that has never left the bottom pit of my heart and to my surprise I actually remember the reason very clearly. When this album came out, I must've been 14 or so and in the midst of suffering my first teenage heartbreak. I wondered who this Jane was and what she had done to be the muse to my absolute favorite album?! I'm sure you've pondered it once too. Well, the story actually goes like this: Jane Herman was Adam Levine's high school sweetheart of four years who later went on to become Vogue's editor. Both of them said there was no other reason for their breakup other than the classic, "life got in the way".. how sad. Nothing like letting something as adjustable as life get in the way of your happily ever after with Adam Levine. Although, I think we have to give Jane a big thanks for dumping Adam into a pile of love lyrics. P.S- "She Will Be Loved" is not my favorite song on this album, I'm not that basic. You can leave your guess in the comments (;
2. The addition of James Valentine
You'll be surprised to know that the original name of the band was actually Kara's Flowers. That is, of course, before mega dork and rhythmic guitarist James Valentine joined. There is something about him that just blends in so perfectly with the band. It must be the hair.
3. "Moves Like Jagger" on 2011 Victoria Secret Fashion Show
Ah, the 2011 VS Fashion Show. Yes, the one where Orlando Bloom gave Miranda Kerr a standing ovation. Jay-Z gave a guest performance with Kanye. Karlie Kloss nailed her VS Angel debut. And, of course, Adam Levine planted a sweet kiss on his two-year model girlfriend, Anne Vyalitsyna, as she strutted down the runway to "Moves Like Jagger".
Skip to 1:40 for the Adam-Anne kiss
5. Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo
Last but not least, Adam Levine has finally settled down and tied the knot with his new and permanent muse,Victoria Secret Angel, Behati Prinsloo. The couple got married July 2014 in Mexico. Behati even got three dots tattoo on her left hand ring finger in honor of their marriage. Talk about #relationshipgoals.
4. Adam Levine launches 222.
In February 2012, Adam achieved his long time dream of launching his own record label. His first signed artist was Matthew Morrison, which I had the pleasure of seeing on Broadway when I was younger.
I'm back! I was so driven by my newfound obsession for Mac Demarco that it made me give my blog some long overdue loving so I could properly show him off. Before I go straight into Mr. Demarco, I hope you noticed the blog's new look. I was going for a more edgy look but I left the original teal to represent my soft side. So, yeah I changed some stuff, have a look around, and enjoy!
Yes, I'm in love, and he's no Brad Pitt but I'm certain his music can woo just about anyone. Mac Demarco is a multi-instrumental artist from Canada. His birth name is Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV. He released his first album Ying Yang in 2010. His most recent album, Salad Days, was released on my birthday month (April) of this year. While most will label him between blue wave and psychedelic, I think he's pretty romantic. His lyrics are honest. His musicality is breezy. If you want to know more about him, Pitchfork did an amazing cover story on him here.
So I met someone the other day who introduced me to an amazing genre that I had never heard of in my life (and I listen to way too much music to say that). It's called Ska, which made me crack up because it sounds like a Scottish holiday or ritual or something. I was honestly worried to look it up and have to say I hated it; but I can't even begin to describe how taken I was when I found some good ones. It's supposed to be a mix of reggae and rock, which is exactly what it sounds like. Who knew you could mix two amazing genres so perfectly. I hope you take the time to listen to some of these amazing songs and who knows maybe you'll convert into a Ska listener like me:
Remember when I gave up coffee as my new years resolution? yeah, me either; but, I did. It's a miracle I even lasted so long without it. And it's disturbing that I can't remember how I did it. Until this week, I hadn't had a full cup of coffee since December of 2013 (I know, crazy). Yes, there were times when I sneaked a sip from a friend's coffee. But, I, myself, had not spent my money on coffee. Why? Last year, I had a terrible coffee experience, one I had never encountered with coffee before. It might have been the mix of caffeine and stress but let's just say I had a break down in the library the night before a huge pre cal midterm. To say the least, no studying was accomplished after that. Somehow, I convinced myself that coffee was unnecessary and that I didn't need it any more. I actually loved being caffeine free for a while. Coffee was always making me awkwardly shaky and digestively uncomfortable. I felt like I was hurting my body whenever I had it and the constant feeling was making me hate it until I eventually did. For a good 8 months I survived off tea and chocolate for study sessions. I'm not saying they didn't work, I mean, I graduated so they clearly did some magic.
Any way this isn't about weather coffee or tea is better. It's about habits. When Starbucks released their Pumpkin Spice Latte (my absolute favorite coffee) this month, I knew I had to get one... for old times sake? So I went against all the bad thoughts about coffee that I had spent 8 months drilling into my brain and bought one. It was so deliciously empowering it made me temporarily happy (the way most addictive things make us). So I got another one the next day and the day after that and then I ordered a skinny vanilla latte (which used to be my go to Starbucks drink when it wasn't fall). If you're thinking I overdosed on coffee... you're right. I had barely eaten all week because coffee and stress does that to me and after only a week it was starting to take a toll on me, the way it had before. Sounds like a lot like a drug, doesn't it? It probably is.
Let's just say my coffee relapse lead me to a weekend of "detoxing". It made me wonder how many times we pave our own road to failure. We know certain things don't work for us but we do them either way hoping there will be a different outcome; only to end up with the same, unsatisfying result. So why do we do it? Because it's become our habit. We need to be strong enough to change our habits, especially the ones that might affect our health because it is the most valuable gift we have. This weekend of bed rest made me realize how lucky I am to be able to wake up healthy every day and do the things I want to do (no matter how tiring they can be sometimes). I think any habit that treats you wrong at some point, is a bad one. Every time you feel the need to go back to those bad habits you need to remind yourself how low it made you feel at some point. Like the RHCP song says, "I don't ever want to feel like I did that day". Classic.
No one loves a coffee shop more than me but there is no rule that I need to drink coffee to be there. Just because every one in there is drinking it, doesn't mean I have to. I think sometimes we fall into the pressure of doing what every one else around us is doing because we want to fit in or connect with them. We need to remember to stay true to ourselves by doing the things that make us feel good (even if it's not what makes someone else feel good, it your life, not theirs).
PS- not bashing on coffee lovers or trying to convince them out of their coffee love (I feel you).
Here's a twenty-song Coffehouse playlist I made inspired by Coffehouse on Sirius xm:
Once again, the Cruzan Ampitheater brought one of my favorite (if not, favorite) bands to life. Last night I had the pleasure of watching Kings of Leon, Young the Giant, and Kongos perform with two music junkies, like myself. I have to say this is the concert I've enjoyed most because it is the only concert I've ever been fully on time for (as in, I was sitting before the first opening act started.. yay, progress). For once, I had the opportunity to tailgate for a concert. We opened the trunk, blasted Kings of Leon, talked about great topics for a good amount of time, and made some friends in line for the porta potty (because every one knows that's the best time to make friends). There was definitely a much older crowd than the last time I was there for Paramore and Fall Out Boy, which makes sense since Kings of Leon is a bit older and has six albums released to date. It's a bit overwhelming how many insanely good songs they have because you want to passionately love each of them but there just isn't enough memory in your brain for all. The band is actually from Nashville, Tennesse, which is why you might hear a southern mix in their alternative rock. Many of their lyrics and music videos reflect their childhood in the South. When first discovered by RCA Records, they were only given a month to come up with their first record, Holy Roller Novocaine EP.
So, after years of touring they finally paid me a visit with their Mechanical Bull tour. Unfortunately, this isn't one of my absolute favorite albums but it is still an amazing album with great songs and I think the album where they wrote most about their childhood. They opened up with "Supersoaker" and chose "Manhatten" for #songofthecity, which is basically a song from their first albums that they play specifically for that city and no other (you can request the songs via Twitter the day of the show). They closed with their most famous, "Use Somebody". After saying goodbye, they did three encores, "Crawl", "Black Thumbnail", and the great, "Sex On Fire" (which is my preferential karaoke song.. so you know I was jammin' in heaven).
Kongos and Young the Giant opened up for them. I really only knew one song of Kongos and it's because Jackie showed me it and I had heard it in a commercial; but, every one has to start somewhere. Young the Giant, who is signed with Fueled by Ramen (aka my favorite record label), was great for an opening act. They had great lighting and were just as good live as they are on my speakers.
I also need to add in that the food truck nearest to the lawn seats at the Cruzan had delicious tacos (in case you're ever there and want food). But, my appetite was gone when the couple next to us threw up and passed out on each other after one too many illegal substances. Moral of the story: do your things responsibly. Thankfully, they were escorted out but we were left with no concert neighbors, sad.
A big thank you to the awesomest Jackie and Marc for coming along for the long ride and good music, you guys were the absolute best company and I'm lucky to have people like you to experience such good times with.
I added a playlist with my favorite Kings of Leon and Young the Giant songs for you all to enjoy((:
Title once again inspired by: Klipsch Audio tattoos.
We did it! Today marks 1 month since I opened the blog and we ventured off on our awesome relationship! Congrats to us! I'm not sure why I'm so excited about it but I am. I think it's because I've been self diagnosed with commitment issues for a while and for once I actually feel committed to something (even if it's just a blog post a week.. it's a big commitment for me). I've had such a great time sharing my thoughts with you and hearing your feedback. It makes my day to receive comments and texts about my blog posts. I love the convos that break out between us. Thank you for being in my life and inspiring me everyday. It's been a blast and there is still so much fun to come. Thank you to everyone who has been reading! Hopefully I don't bore you any time soon (especially now that school is starting). Lastly, between you and me, I still hope you're liking it here. Much love!!
Last night I got to experience the Monumentour headlining Paramore and Fall Out boy at the Cruzan Ampitheater in West Palm Beach, Fl for FREE thanks to my recently graduated from high school. The perks of being the rockstar of the Royal Courier, not like in the sense that I was "the best writer" kinda rockstar lol, I wasn't, unfortunately. But in the sense that I would only play alternative rock as I wrote my pieces on the Courier allll the time. It's always been my go-to inspiration.
Basically, the story behind the free tickets goes like this: my ex-journalism teacher purposely didn't want to give me the free Monumentour tickets because she had already given me the free Paramore tickets, ugh. So she decided to have a school raffle to whomever would fill out a Royal Courier online quiz. Psh, I still won them! Well, actually I personally didn't but I gave multiple people in every grade all the correct answers to win them for me. Blame it on my selfish punk side.
I ended up taking a friend of mine who is the queen of pop punk/alternative rock music last minute, as in like I told her the day of. She knows every band that is signed with Fuel by Ramen Records (basically the best of the best). The record label was actually founded right here in Gainesville, Florida before relocating to New York. I honestly feel really blessed to have resided in the same state as Fuel by Ramen Records for a few years. Since I'd love the be in Entertainment Law some day if I don't make it in screenwriting. But mainly, because they have motivated some of my favorite artists: Sublime with Rome, Jimmy Eat World, Panic! At the Disco, and of course... Fall Out Boy, Paramore, and New Politics. Confession: I had NEVER heard of New Politics until this past Monday and I have to say they are so amazing for a recent come up band (2010) and definitely worth your time if you're into this kind of music, of course.
If you, like me, had Fall Out Boy as your Myspace song when you were 13, you were probably wishing you were at this concert last night. But the truth is, it's been five years since their last album and you either forget they were still band or can't find solace with the band's new mainstream sound. I completely get it. They're new album Save Rock and Roll (2013) is milestones apart from Folie a Deux (2008), which is French for "A Madness Shared By Two" by the way (Pete Wentz is such a romantic).
Any way, this was my first time watching Fall Out Boy live and they opened up with a song from their Save Rock and Roll album, "Phoenix". The first personal favorite song of mine they played was "A little less sixteen candles, a little more touch me". If you went to high school with me and saw my Name That Tune segment on LTV you know that this song was originally named "A little less Molly Ringwald, a little more Samantha Fox". Call me old school but my favorite songs of the night would have to battle between "Grand Theft Autumn/Where is Your Boy" and "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race". I was really really sad they didn't play "I'm Like A Lawyer (Me & You)" after I even requested it on Twitter but it's fine because I played it enough times on the long ride home to convince myself it was okay.
While I was really trying not fangirl over Pete Wentz, it got really hard when he got on the microphone and said, "remember when you were younger and you would play our songs when your parents drove you around and they said 'what is this garbage you listen to' and you were like 'moooommm, you don't understand me'". Wow, talk about story of my middle school life. I almost cried of relief that those days were over and I can freely jam to Fall Out Boy at full volume in my own car all day every day. The power of adulthood.
I'm sorry I keep talking about Fall Out Boy considering Paramore and New Politics played too. I know people will argue that Paramore AND Fall out Boy were both headliners of this tour but personally Fall Out Boy just touches the soul way deeper than Paramore ever will.
This was my second time seeing Paramore live and Hayley Williams still gave me goosebumps. She is SO AMAZING live. Her voice is indescribable on the mic. Seriously, she could probably be sick and still sing the highest note in "Still Into You" perfectly. She might even be better live than she is on radio edits. It's great to see her energy rise as Jeremy Davis and Taylor York kill it on the guitar next to her. Of course, I was late to the concert, because I can never be on time to anything!! I missed the tailgate. I missed New Politics. I missed Still Into You. I left my tickets at home 1/3 of the way to West Palm Beach, which is quite a distance from Doral during rush hour. So I walked in as Paramore was playing "Ignorance". My favorite Paramore song of the night was "Brick by Boring Brick", which I think is such a chick rock song, but I'd never heard it live. As always, they chose someone from the crowd to sing the chorus of "Misery Business". I have to admit, the first time I saw this live, at their We Are Paramore concert, I was nostalgic about it for about a week. The guy they chose looked like he had been practicing it his whole life. He ran around the entire stage and even rubbed backs with Taylor York as he belted out the song. It truly looked like a life changing experience. They finished off with "Ain't It Fun", which totally fit because there's nothing like hearing a crowd of rockies just like you say "ain't funnn being one of usss"... yes, yes it is fun. It's freakin' great.
Overall my Monumentour experience was great because I didn't miss Fall Out Boy, which was all I really wanted. It didn't rain, even though it was thundering all night. I got great general admission lawn seats next to three beautiful Venezuelan boys to my right and a beautiful rock couple to my left, whom actually inspired the title of this post because the girl had a tattoo on her bicep that read: Tonight, We Rock. Lastly, I got lost on the way home and ended up in Pompano Beach but it was all part of the adventure as we were caught up in reliving the whole concert through our iPod on the long way back.
Here are the Monumentour setlists, hope you enjoy as much as I did :
I had to write this movie review for my english class so sorry if it's a little long and polished, I tried to adapt it to my everyday voice as much as possible, but I figured I'd share it here for anyone that was hoping to catch this movie.. between you and me, it's great, really.
Begin Again feels like a New York, Central Park concert from beginning to end. With performances by Kiera Knightly, Adam Levine, and even CeeLo Green, it is bound to reach your musical soul in one way or another. It is no secret that the hectic, work-based city of New York City can be a bit overwhelming. It can be easy to lose your own, life long dreams in search of a new one. Kiera Knightly finds herself “tagging along” with her talented boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) when he hits a recording deal in the city. Just as she is about to direct her loneliness to a flight back home, she finds she is not the only one wandering lost when she meets Dan (Mark Ruffalo) at an open mic bar. In the midst of a blurred night with Bourbon, somehow, his vision for Grett’s (Kiera Knightly) future in the music industry is the only thing that is clear to him. As they share their love for music through a midnight, New York stroll you can’t help but think these two will connect on a level other than coworkers. But spoiler, this isn’t one of those typical Hollywood movies, which makes it absolutely unique. Kiera Knightly gives a hipster, independent performance as she struggles to find love for herself through her music, which she had set aside while with ex-boyfriend, Dave (Adam Levine). Tapping into her inner vocals, she gives a “Norah Jones worthy” performance, as said by Dan (Mark Ruffalo) when he is first encounters her talents. Giving us a whole new meaning to “take control of your own life” they venture around New York building a demo. In the meantime, Dan (Mark Ruffalo) makes an excellent recovering drunk as he rekindles the flames between his daughter and ex-wife. Both Kiera Knightly and Mark Ruffalo, whom have been away from the Hollywood industry for a while, give an uplifting performance as they search for a new path in New York City.
It is evident that a musical connection is important to writer-director John Carney. Also known for his 2006 indie film, Once, which was recently adapted into a broadway musical as well. It was given four stars by the Huffington Post and almost every single Yelp review. There is no denying, John Carney has a way of capturing his audience through authentic music. In both films, two strangers find themselves when they share their love for music with one another. Yet, Once has a quite a happily ever after ending while Begin Again leaves us hanging with hope. The Begin Again soundtrack is filled with contemporary lyrics and beautiful musicality.
The movie purposely wants you to capture every smile, every sorrow, every insignificant moment, and every musical note; which is mainly why it might feel so never ending compared to other Hollywood films. I suggest you take it all in before calling it “boring”. It’s way deeper than the usual romantic comedies we are used to. John Carney certainly wants you to feel enchanted by the scenery rather than the attractive actors. Carney has no intention of cramming dramatic events into the film, which is why I am giving it such a light-hearted review. It’s a feel good movie. Definitely one you might consider watching with a... musical soulmate. (;
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