Hide & Seek

It’s been a while since I posted a playlist, and I’m not entirely sure anyone has actually listened to any of them besides myself, but I thought it be fun to post what kind of stuff I’ve been listening to lately.  When I started tweeting out #PhillipsSongOfTheDay with a song title (it’s been a while, forgive me), I started keeping keeping a list of those songs (which you can peruse here).  It’s been interesting to see how my taste in music/listening patterns have changed over time; it seemed to reflect what I was going through in life.  Recently, I’ve been getting into alternative and some indie rock music (which is something I never thought I’d get into).  I mean, the playlist below doesn’t really portray that because there are still some big pop numbers in there, but I think it does show my slow transition into the alternative taste.

Kimbra’s Vows

I’m slightly obsessed with Kimbra’s debut studio album Vows.  Ever since Gotye and Kimbra’s hit song “Somebody I Used to Know” (which won two Grammys, including Record of the Year), I’ve heard that Vows was an incredible album.  But I really didn’t listen to it much because, well, I was being lazy.  But then I decided to skip around through it and I got to say she’s talented.

The first thought I had to describe her song “Good Intent” was that it is “funky” and “weirdly good.”  Now, I don’t use the word “weird” in a negative way, it’s just her music is different from what I’m used to or what I expected from her.  She uses different syncopations and rhythms and plays with different vocalizations to create a new experience for listeners.  In the case of “Good Intent,” the beats the acoustic bass plays on, plus the horn sound gives the song it’s “funk.”  I also admire the way Kimbra hits those really low notes; she has an incredible vocal range.

Further, right from the first second of the first song “Settle Down,” we hear the different beats she creates vocally, which grabs the listener in (and makes you sing along to the beat).  Also, her song “Warrior” literally sounds like it came from the 1980s.  The drum beats and synths give you this retro feel, which is a cool way to end the album (although the song does end rather abruptly).  I must admit that I needed to give Vows multiple chances, and after a couple of listens, the music started to sink in.  But think about it as a glass of wine, you can’t just gulp it down, it takes delicate sips.  I think this is a new level of music, and Vows is definitely worth a listen.

The Way You Lie

I’ve been a fan of the Band Perry since they released their single “If I Die Young” free on iTunes as the Free Single of the Week.  This was, of course, before it became a huge country crossover hit.  They just won their first Grammy last week for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their performance on the song “Gentle On My Mind.”    One of my favorite songs of theirs, however, is their song “You Lie” from their debut self-titled album.

Right from the first second of the song, I’m hooked from the epic and dramatic tone of the music.  The song has some rather strong lyrics with lines like  “You lie like the man with the slick back hair who sold me that Ford/ You lie like the pine tree in the back yard after last month’s storm,” and “You lie like a penny in the parking lot at the grocery store/It just comes way too natural to you.”

For me the part that really shines and sticks out happens around the bridge.  It’s right after she sings “Then I’m gonna slip off the ring that you put on my finger/ Give it a big ol’ fling and watch it sink/Down, down, down/ And there it’s gonna lie/ Until the Lord comes back around”  (it starts around 2:35 in the video above). The whole song is a saga about someone (presumably an ex-boyfriend) lying and doing her wrong, then we get to this portion of the song where the song slows down and grabs at the heartstrings.  For me it’s the one moment of sadness, then it builds back up to another angry chorus.  That moment is her showing us that she’s truly hurt and upset deep down even though she’s angry and pissed off.

Plus, Kimberly Perry’s vocals on this song (and pretty much any song she sings) is flawless and incredible.

90s Ellen

I found this DVD collection at work for the five seasons of Ellen, Ellen Degeneres’ sitcom from the early 90s.  Now, I was just a young baby at that time, so I had no idea Ellen had a sitcom.  I generally think Ellen is funny and has good intentions and I happen to love sitcoms, so I was excited to watch the show.  And as great as Ellen currently is, I think 90s Ellen was perfection.

I haven’t gotten that fair in the series, but there’s an episode where Ellen (her character has the same first name) and her friends decide to watch a boxing match.  While her friends are enthusiastic about watching the match, Ellen doesn’t really seem interested (which is basically me during sports events).  So, she goes out and gets a “descrambler box” (I have no idea what that is, ’twas before my time) and basically goes through a whole ordeal to actually watch the match.  Finally, the match begins and it lasts like fifteen seconds.  All of her friends are excited and are like “that was a great match!” and Ellen’s just like “is that it?”  She then goes on about how since she paid so much to see the match they should provide further entertainment.  She ends the whole thing by saying “even if they shaved a poodle on stage, do you know what I’m saying?”  The way she delivered the line is hysterical.

So far, I got to say that Ellen couldn’t be funnier.  Although it is a bit different seeing her with long hair and dating men (although, I read that her character comes out towards the end of the series, which was about the same time Ellen personally came out).  It’s also a bit weird because Maggie Wheeler stars in the first season, and she was also the actress who played Janice from Friends; I’m just waiting for her to shout “OH MY GOD!”

You Are Beyoncé

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I saw someone tweet this video out with the caption “When you recognize your own name as a compliment.”  Naturally I was intrigued and watched the very short clip of Whoopi Goldberg saying “You are Beyoncé” and Beyoncé simply nodding her head and saying “Thank you.”

I thought the clip was hysterical, but I wasn’t quite sure Beyoncé really is that self-absorbed.  I know a lot of people who claim Beyoncé is Queen of the World and put her on a high pedestal, but anytime I see an interview with Beyoncé she just doesn’t seem that much of a diva.

So I went looking for the entirety of the interview, and it’s hilarious how way out of context the clip above was taken.  What we don’t see is Whoopi commending Beyoncé for being confident in her body and letting people know it’s okay to be who they are and accepting their different body types (starts around 5:58 in clip below):

I guess the lesson for today is not to judge something until you know the full story.  It’s a shame, though, that the media today can take clips and warp them to tell a completely different story.

The Misunderstood Life of Severus Snape

I saw this video where someone put all of Snape’s scenes from the eight Harry Potter films in chronological order of Snape’s life, so it starts off with him as a young child to his death.  And it’s actually pretty clever and shows Snape in a different light.  Instead of seeing him as a bully or arrogant man as we usually do from Harry’s perspective, we see him fall in love with Lily, Harry’s mom, and lose her to Harry’s dad and then death.  Then you see him risk his life trying to protect Harry and his friends.  Tie a rather moving soundtrack that this person added into all of that and the movie is rather moving.  All this perspective is in the books and films, but it’s split across the entire series, so I would overlooked Snape’s actual intentions and believe that he was not truly protecting Harry.

Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee is publishing her second book, Go Set a Watchman, almost fifty-five years after she published her critically acclaimed novel To Kill a Mockingbird, and I must admit I’m rather excited.  Lee is now eighty-eight and is releasing her new novel in July.  It’s supposed to feature an adult Scout with flashbacks to her childhood. Apparently Lee had written it before To Kill a Mockingbird, but her editor at the time was fascinated by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood and encourage Lee to write from that perspective.

Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for To Kill a Mockingbird, could she go two for two?

To be honest, I think I’m excited because I remember having a conversation with the librarians at work (I work at a library) about To Kill a Mockingbird and how that was Harper Lee’s one and only novel and how they were sad about it, but now I get to go into work today and tell them all the good news (assuming they don’t already know).

It’s Been One Year!!!

Hey, so I just realized that today is the one year anniversary of the start of my blog, and a lot has happened.  I mean, I still hate snow (and I’m sitting through the second blizzard in a week), I still love music, and I still have no idea what I’m doing with my life.  Yeah, a lot has changed.  But I did want to take this time and thank anyone who is reading this and for following my random thoughts and opinions.  I really do appreciate it!  So here’s to another great year: