I was listening to Kelsea Ballerini song “Love Me Like You Mean It,” and I thought the line in the middle of the chorus was “baby if you’re not into biscuits, then leave it.” All day I’ve been listening to this song, and I kept hearing the word “biscuit.” Finally, I got home and remembered to google it, and the lyric is actually “baby if you’re not your best, get leaving.” So, I was close…
Overall, the song is a sweet little ditty, perfect for these forthcoming sunshine summer days [insert sunglasses emoji]. It has a great, catchy chorus, making you want to sing along to “if you’re gonna love me, boy, you got to love me like you mean it.” She’s a new artist, so you should totally check her out. Her debut album, The First Time, came out this past Monday.
The problem I have with Throwback Thursdays (#tbt) is that I can never think of anything on Thursday to share. My mind goes blank. Then, on Friday, I’m walking down memory lane and have a bajillion stories and pictures to share. But, you can’t have a Throwback Thursday on Friday, it wouldn’t make sense (although, you could try to do a “Flashback Friday,” but that’s not a thing, is it?).
But, today I finally thought of a story, and there are two and a half hours left of this Thursday, so technically I can squeeze it in.
So, I used to work for this place where at the end of the semester we would have a “reading party,” where we would come together and each read something to the group. We all were into reading and writing, so this wasn’t as boring as it might sound. Usually people read a poem, story, songs lyrics, or anything that meant something to them or inspired them as writers. It was a great notion of coming together and enjoying good writing.
At the last reading party I attended, we had a wide variety of things read. Someone read How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the party happened to be the week before Christmas), another person read an original story they wrote, another read a short story a teacher wrote about his students’ bad grammar, etc. So we’re going around, and it was one of my friends’ turn to go. She opens her book, looks flustered, and blushes. She had intended to bring an old book of poetry her grandparents gave her and read her favorite poem, but somehow she grabbed an identical-looking book that did not have poems in it. Instead, it was a technical manual on sailing. So, she opened the book to Chapter Fifteen, and spent ten minutes reading random nautical terms and techniques. I’m telling you, it was the most hysterical thing to witness. There we were trying to not laugh as she struggled through reading this jargon none of us understood. This may not be funny to you, but I like the fact that instead of just skipping her turn (which was a totally viable thing to do), she continued to read utter nonsense. It was great.
Taylor Swift’s music video for “Bad Blood” is finally here! All week long, she has been tweeting out posters of the video’s stars, and because there were so many people in the video, I couldn’t help but thinking “this is either going to be awesome or awful.” And I think it’s beyond awesome.
What’s great about the video is that it perfectly chronicles the narrative Swift gave us about the inspiration about the song. She said that it was about how a fellow female musician who she once thought of as a friend tried to sabotage her Red Tour by buying out her crew and performers. In the video we see Selena Gomez as “Arsyn” fighting with Taylor Swift as “Catastrophe.” They seem to be fighting together to save the world, and then Gomez goes in and sabotages the mission by defenestrating Swift. Then Swift is rebuilt and trained by her strong female friends (another parallel to Swift’s life, as she has said in multiple interviews that she spent the year leading up to 1989 befriending and spending time with “inspiring” and “powerful” women). And then they stand together to take down the enemy. Even if you don’t care about the match up between the video and Swift’s narrative, I still think it’s empowering message of people coming together and supporting/training one another.
This video is perhaps one of Swift’s best (although, I thoroughly enjoyed the one for “Shake it Off”), and I like that it’s so epic and badass. I also think it’s kind of funny/cool that Selena Gomez was the villain. The other “cool” thing about this video is that it features Kendrick Lamar. I’ve always kind of hoped that one day T. Swift would put out a song that featured a rapper, so now that kind of happened.
I saw Into the Woods about a week ago and I’m still rather obsessed with it. I originally saw the musical at my brother’s college a couple years ago. Back then, I throughly enjoyed the story and the songs, and I’m not really a big musical lover (which is odd because I love music and I love movies, but apparently not together). When Disney turned it into a movie, I was excited to see it, especially because it stars Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick.
Into the Woods basically combines many of those childhood stories we grew up hearing, like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, Cinderella, etc. Each of them have a reason to go to the woods – Little Red Riding Hood is visiting her grandmother, Cinderella is going to the Prince’s festival, Jack is selling his cow – and they run into each other. The plot is driven because a Baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) are sent into the woods to get items for the Witch (Meryl Streep) so she’ll remove a curse off them.
The whole cast did a fantastic job. I was especially impressed by Anna Kendrick (Cinderella) who hit incredibly high notes and sang this difficult rhythm in the opening number. I knew Anna Kendrick had a great voice from Pitch Perfect, but seeing and hearing her in Into the Woods blew my mind and proved that she really can do anything.
I also liked how they chronicled each character and showed how they interacted with each other. In the beginning, the characters seemed to be in separate stories, like we’re familiar with. We watch Cinderella with her evil stepmother, Red Riding Hood skipping through the woods to visit her grandmother, Jack and his mother, and they don’t intersect with each other. Then, they end up running into each other and having to come together and save the whole village. It was a well developed story.
I do warn you that if you watch this film you will get the music stuck in your head, especially the theme song. This whole week I’ve been going around singing in my head “into the woods, into the woods, into woods” (if you know the song, you know what I’m talking about). I also felt the movie ran rather long. I saw an interview with Meryl Streep where she said most productions of Into the Woods only perform half of the story, and the film did the entirety of it. I totally got that because I was familiar with the first half from seeing the musical live, but the end was very different than what I thought or expected. And because of I that, I was just waiting for the movie to end about half way through, but it kept going. I think if you’re unfamiliar with the abridged production, the movie won’t have that effect. Regardless, if you’re looking for an entertaining, musical, funny, adventurous, family-friendly film, Into the Woods is definitely worth the watch.
Here’s a clip from the film that showcases just how catchy the music is:
Do you ever just get a random thought? Like, you’ll be going about your day, and then you remember something really random and strange. I was just sitting here, when I recalled an watching an episode of Mike & Molly where I realized Billy Gardell’s character Mike kept referring to the bathroom as a “crapper.” This is such an odd thought to have, but while they’re supposed to live in Chicago (I think), I was wondering if that was a midwest thing. You know, like how some parts of the US refer to soda as pop or tonic.
On a whim, I decided to google “crapper.” I’m not really sure what I was expecting to find, I was just bored. Apparently there was a plumber in England in the late 1800s named Thomas Crapper who pioneered the use of indoor plumbing.
So do we call the bathroom “crapper” after Mr. Crapper who was one of the key people in engineering the bathroom? Because I thought it was because it was the place where we, um, crap.
So, this is a very weird and random post. But I thought it was funny and strangely thought provoking. Or a waste of time.
I became a fan of Andy Grammer quite quickly when his self-titled debut album came out and I got his single “Miss Me” free as the iTunes Free Single of the Week. There’s something so sublime and real about that song to me. His latest single, “Honey, I’m Good” is doing pretty well for him as it currently sits at number three on the iTunes Top 100 songs, and it’s his highest charting song on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has a pretty catchy beat and positive spirit. However, it just reminds me of that song “Cotton Eyed Joe.” There’s just a similarity between the two songs. I found this mashup (below) that I think really emphasizes this point.
I’m not suggesting that it’s bad that “Honey, I’m Good” sounds like “Cotton Eyed Joe,” I just heard a similarity and I wanted to share; it intrigued me. I know there are music snobs out there (believe me, I’ve met them) who will look down at Andy Grammer for daring to create a song that sounds like another song and not being “original.” While I think it’s wonderful when artists are original and present a never before heard song or beat, I think collaborations/sampling/mashup/covers are what keeps music going. Listening to other artists, learning from them, and incorporating their style into your own music is how you grow as an artist. Plus being 100% original is rather difficult given the august history of music.
“Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes is such a great song. It has such a catchy melody and intriguing lyrics. Back in 1981, way before I was born, it was a huge hit, topping charts and winning the Grammys for Song and Record of the Year. I knew Kim Carnes didn’t write the song, but I always thought she was the original performer. However, today I found a book at work that lists out all these popular songs that have been covered and explains the lesser known original, and “Bette Davis Eyes” was actually covered by Kim Carnes! Hers is not that original!
Kim Carnes’ version:
The song is cowritten by Jackie DeShannon, who actually was the original performer, recording it for her 1974 album New Arrangement. The original sounds nothing like Kim Carnes’ version. In the book I found, they described the original as more like a show tune/broadway musical, which I sort of get. DeShannon never released “Bette Davis Eyes” as a single and went relatively unnoticed, which somewhat explains why her version is rather unknown. Somehow Carnes heard it and apparently thought there was something “special” about the song (which there is), but felt DeShannon’s arrangement was off. So she made the chords minor and sang the song in her own way. And I got to say, she deserved those Grammys because she really elevated the song and made it pop.
The original, Jackie DeShannon version:
Now, this may not be news, but I just thought it was so fascinating that years later we remember such a great cover and not the original. On a random note, the book also mentioned that “Big Yellow Taxi” was not originally performed by Joni Mitchell, but I don’t know how that’s at all true because she wrote the song…I mean, how could she write the song and release it on her album Ladies of the Canyon and it not be the original? Unless she sold it to another group and then decided that it fit better on her album. I don’t know…the world of music was so different back in the day, it’s almost hard to imagine.
Taylor Swift finally kicked off her 1989 World Tour in Tokyo last night…or is it this morning? It’s weird, I was reading tweets from T. Swift and her fans this morning around 9 a.m. and they were discussing how the show just ended and how the “night” was awesome…time change, what are you gonna do… Anyway, I saw an article that caught my eye about how Taylor Swift was “badass.” It explained that she turned her 2012 hit “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” into a rock song. Check it out:
This has made me more excited to see the show (I’m going at the end of July), but also made me hope she releases a studio version of this. My guess is she won’t, but I like the aggressive grunts she adds in and the heavy guitar. She really is badass.
I just finished watching Big Eyes, and I got to say it was one of the best movies I’ve recently seen. First of all, let’s establish that Amy Adams is an incredible actor (she won the Golden Globe for this role), and how she hasn’t won an Oscar yet is beyond me, but she’s fantastic in this film. Her performance is so powerful and moving.
She plays Margaret Keane, the woman who painted the “big eye” paintings and whose husband, Walter (played by Christoph Waltz), took credit for them. For the majority of the movie you see this woman painting these pictures of children with big eyes day after day so her husband can gain fame and fortune, and see her get frustrated and upset that he so blatantly lies.
She was rather forced into this situation, being threatened by her husband if she didn’t produce the paintings for him or if she told anyone the truth. She was even forced to lie to her daughter. Eventually, though (spoiler alert), she stands up and tells the world she was the creator of the paintings and sues him, and wins when the judge requires both Walter and Margaret to create a painting in an hour. Margaret does so with ease while Walter fakes a shoulder injury. I thought the film was so great to see a woman go through such a struggle and come out stronger and the winner. It also had some great parts that made me a laugh…it was mostly how Amy Adams said her lines to Waltz that made it humorous.
The thing I perhaps enjoyed the most was how well done the music was. Lana Del Rey wrote and performed songs for the soundtrack, including the theme “Big Eyes,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe. This song so eloquently retails the story of Keane, it’s amazing. The lyric “To my surprise, my loves demise, was his own greed and lullaby,” is sung during the film at the most perfect time and literally emphasizes the plot: her love fell apart because of her husband’s greed. I think the song is so beautiful and ethereal and it matches the movie so well, especially the line “It’s amazing what women in love will do.”
If you’re on the fence about seeing Big Eyes, I would highly recommend it. It has a great ending, you feel uplifted and happy, and it even features a cameo of Margaret Keane herself.
"Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve." – JK Rowling