Sia is ALIVE

Sia just dropped her new single “Alive” off her upcoming album, and it’s phenomenal!  It rings of freedom and determination, and has such a great beat to blare and play on repeat.  I also need to note that Sia’s vocals are top notch and showcase her incredible voice.

She must have lungs of steel or something, because the way she hits the notes when she sings the lyric “I’m alive” during the chorus is amazing.  Especially with the emotion.  The cracks in her voice she adds during her vocalizations emits the pain and rawness.  It’s Sia at her best.

An interesting thing about this song is that it is cowritten by Adele.  I read online (and I don’t know how true it is, so bear with me) that Sia wrote it with Adele for Adele’s album, but then they decided Sia should record it.  Personally, I think the song fits Sia’s voice better, but I’d love to hear Adele sing it.  Can you imagine?  Adele should release a version…then we can compare and contrast and have our minds blown by both these incredible artists.

Fifteen Minutes to Kill?

Do you have fifteen minutes to kill?  Or your down in the dumps and need a mood fixer.  Well, watch the video below.  Sometimes when I’m bored I like to Youtube “stupid game show answers.”  It’s a quick way to have  a laugh and take your mind off of other depressing things.  I always like when a contestant on Family Feud says something ridiculous and the other family members still resolutely clap and chant “good answer, good answer!”

My favorite one is around 2:38; he answers every questions with the “turkey.”

Continuity With Change

So we’re heading back into that season of political debates and campaigns until the big day next November where we elect the next President of the United States.  I always get a kick out of what the candidates use as their slogans .

After the last debate, I stated thinking about the show Veep, especially seasons three and four where Selina is running for president (or re-election, depending on how you look at it), and her slogan: Continuity with Change.  I realize the show is fictional, but I think it’s funny because her slogan makes no sense.  Basically, she’s pledging to keep things the same to change them.

With tonight being the Emmys, Veep is up for a couple awards, including the acting awards for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, and Tony Hale, and I think they all three have a shot for winning.  While I’d love to see Amy Schumer win, Louis-Dreyfus (who’s in the same category as Schumer) has won the Emmy the past three years for every season of Veep, so why would they break that streak?  I mean, Louis-Dreyfus had another solid year on Veep.  

Tony Hale is a definite shoo-in after his performance in  “East Wing,” the episode where Selina (Louis-Dreyfus) tells him he’s unimportant and Hale (as Gary) has this impeccable moment where he yells “I am fucking everything to you!”  I once heard a director (I think it may have been David O. Russell, but don’t quote me) say that you can tell when an actor has a great performance by their eyes.  In that scene, there was this almost electric shock from Hale’s eyes, so I’d be really surprised (and quite pissed) if he didn’t win his second Emmy (he won his first a couple years ago for that episode where Gary and Selina run the 10K).

As for Anna Chlumsky, I sure hope she wins.  I read predictions from other blogs that all say that she definitely deserves it, but that she won’t win.  I think she has a great chance.  She’s been nominated before for Veep, but this time it was for that episode (“Convention”) where she has the fantastic meltdown.

I mean, in this season of Veep, Chlumsky took her character Amy from the president’s campaign manager to having a meltdown and  falling apart to then rebuilding herself as a top lobbyist.

Anyway, I don’t really put that much stock in the Emmys because I just think they, like all others, are slightly political.  Perhaps they just want to keep things continuous…with change.

Biking/Work Out Playlist

I may have mentioned a couple times this past summer, like every summer, that I’ve been biking a lot.  There’s a great bike path right down the street from me, so it’s great to blare the music and peddle my problems away.  Usually I create a playlist each year, and then add or remove songs throughout the year.

I created a Spotify Playlist of some of the music I listen to while biking/working out in case you’re looking for some new beats or a song to change up your playlist.

NOTE: There’s no particular order because I just hit “shuffle” before I start biking.


Here’s other songs that I usually listen to, but couldn’t find on Spotify:

Stand By Rachel Platten

Rachel Platten has finally released “Stand By You,” her follow up single to her smash hit “Fight Song,” and I got to say it’s pretty darn catchy.  The song itself deals with the nature of loving someone unconditionally and standing by them through thick and thin, which has caused some critics to deem it “Fight Song – Part Two.”  It’s really nothing like “Fight Song” other than it’s positive messaging.  Take a listen:

From the first second of the song, I was hooked.  When I bought it, I hadn’t heard the song in it’s entirety, which is a very rare thing for me.  I’m very frugal when it comes to spending my money on iTunes and I don’t usually make purchases without being absolutely sure I’ll like the song (i.e. I hear it on the radio a couple times, etc.).  In fact, I thought I’d regret the $1.29 on this purchase, feeling Platten was a one hit wonder with “Fight Song,” but I was in love with “Stand By You” from the first note and willing to eat my words about her being a one hit wonder.  The soft piano and fading into the first verse is perfect and ingenious.  And when she reaches that full chorus – which makes you want to dance around and sing along – I was sold.  Add in snappy lyrics like “If your wings are broken, borrow mine so yours can open too,” and “Even if we can’t find Heaven, I’ll walk through Hell with you,” and you got a hit.  It’s such a positive, upbeat song that will brighten your day…we need more songs like that.

I saw a criticism of the song on iTunes where the person said they loved the song, but thought it should be entitled “Can’t Find Heaven.”  In fact, I found a clip where Platten performed the song during the pre-“Fight Song” era and it was referred to as “Can’t Find Heaven.”  Initially, I thought that song title was catchier than “Stand By You.”  And given the fact the first lyric that appears in the song is “Even if we can’t find Heaven” and it’s part of the major hook of the song, it’s a pretty prominent string of words.  I was especially on board for a name change particularly because “Stand By You” made me think of Stand By Me, which I really only know of from The Big Bang Theory, whereas a title of “Can’t Find Heaven” seems unique to me and doesn’t remind me of Wil Wheaton (which I’m not saying is a bad thing, it’s just when you hear a Rachel Platten song you should probably think of Rachel Platten).

But then I started thinking about why they probably chose “Stand By You” over “Can’t Find Heaven,” and realized that “Stand By You” is probably the better choice.  At first thought, “Stand By You” seems the better title in regards to the message of the song: she’s going to stand by her love no matter what happens.  But the same could be argued for a title of “Can’t Find Heaven:” their relationship has imperfections and they are not in a bliss that is Heaven.  Overall, though, “Can’t Find Heaven” has a negative connotation of not being able to do something whereas “Stand By You” has the positive message of never giving up on someone.  And, really, “Stand By You” expresses the sentiment of not giving up a little bit better than “Can’t Find Heaven.”

But, really, if the only argument/complaint I’m going to have about a song is it’s title, then I think you know it’s pretty good.

A Different Kind of Turtle

Growing up, my mom would take me to the library a lot.  She had this huge bag and would bring us into the Children’s room and let my siblings and I fill up the bag with any books we wanted.  Needless to say, growing up in libraries has made me a man who frequents his local library…a lot.

A couple years ago, my library got a pet turtle for their Children’s room.  When they originally got him, they read that his type of turtle prefers to eat lettuce, snails, and little fish, which they added to the tank.  Except our turtle won’t eat the snails or the fish, just the lettuce.  In fact, the fish got so big, the librarians had to give it away as a pet to someone because it was getting too big for the tank (I learned that they eventually released the fish back into the wild).

On top of that, he’s grown accustom to rearranging his tank.  At first, we weren’t sure what was happening.  The books said to put a dock in the corner of  the tank for him to climb up on and bask under a lamp.  Over time, we’d notice the dock would slightly drift away from the corner.  Each time the dock moved, the librarians would put it back right under the lamp because it was “supposed to be” that way.  One time, I thought he went missing, but I found him squished in between the glass and the dock, pushing it away.

Then, the other day, they had a new lamp which seemed to have a lower wattage, and I saw the turtle laying on his dock with the expression that just said “everything is finally right in the world.”

They’re Finding Nemo (Literally)

I was out the other night, running a simple errand, when I drove past a big sign that caught my attention.  It was announcing that a family had lost their cat and they were looking for him.  I then noticed his name is Nemo.

I took notice of the picture of the cat in case I saw him, and went on my way.  Then it occurred to me that the family was looking for Nemo.  They were, quite literally, finding Nemo (like the 2003 animated movie Finding Nemo).

Hopefully the find him soon!

Alessia Cara is Here

The other day I was scrolling through iTunes, as I occasionally do to see what music is out there, and I stumbled onto the New Artist section and found Alessia Cara.  I previewed her song “Seventeen” (it was the featured song), and I liked her unique style and sound.  She kind of reminded me of Xenia from the first season of The Voice in that her voice had this rasp and warmth to it.  Then I was driving home from work hours later and the radio DJ said something along the lines of “We’ve got this new artist Alessia Cara, whose song  ‘Here’ everybody’s talking about,” and then they proceeded to play it.  And I was hooked.

One of the many things I find intriguing about the song is that it seems like one of the few pop songs (if any other of them exist) that actually speaks against heavy partying.  Instead, she’s spreading the message to just be yourself and define the way you have fun and hang with your friends your own way, which I like.  Another great thing about the song is the beat, especially how she sings the lyrics in triplets: it makes it pretty catchy.

When I got home after hearing “Here” on the radio, I immediately purchased her EP, Four Pink Wallswhich says a lot.  I tend not to buy EPs because I fear that I’ll spend the money on it, then a couple months later the full length album will drop that will include all the songs from the EP plus like five additional songs; I would have paid for the same music twice, which I prefer not to do.  I will, however, break this rule if I’m a big fan of the artist’s work and simply cannot wait for the forthcoming album.  In any event, you should definitely check out Alessia Cara, and let’s hope her album comes out soon (especially with more than just “five additional songs”).