Tricking Him into 1989

I have this friend who I think is the only person who is unaware of Taylor Swift’s record breaking album 1989, which officially spent a complete year in the top ten of the the Billboard 200.  He prefers more indie folk/jazz music, particularly if it’s rather unknown, so he doesn’t listen to pop radio or follow artists like Taylor Swift.  No judgement.  We all have different tastes in music.  I’m entitled to listen to T. Swift just like he’s entitled not to.  However, for years he would moan how she’s too “mainstream” and basically wouldn’t give her a chance.  I would tell him he might like one of her songs, but he never gave her a fair shot (in my opinion).

When Ryan Adams released his cover of 1989, naturally I listened to it and enjoyed it (I particularly like his cover of “All You Had to Do was Stay”).  Adams completely took Swift’s album and made it his own, but he made it a completely different genre and made it sound like something from the early nineties.  I knew my friend would like it.  So I sent it to him.

Yesterday we were talking about Ryan Adams and my friend was telling me all about how he listened to the album and actually liked it.  Turns out some of the songs were catchy to him and intrigued him.  Then I told him how Ryan Adams covered the whole album.  That in fact Taylor Swift created the original album  and had written the entire album.  Boy, was he shocked.

True, the performance styles between Taylor Swift and Ryan Adams are different and my friend probably responded to the more folksy sound of Ryan Adams than the bubbly pop of Taylor Swift, but the fact remains you cannot perform a song in any style without it being well written (or written at all).  And the fact Swift’s songs could stand up and still shine through Adams covers shows her incredible songwriting ability.  This is not to say Ryan Adams is not a quality musician – it takes great talent to do what he did.  My point is that instead of my friend writing off Taylor Swift as untalented or lackluster, he should have actually just listened to one of her albums before saying she was a waste of time.  Because whether or not he wants to admit, I know he liked an album Taylor Swift wrote.  And he can never take that away from me.

Hello, Adele is Back!!!

We heard rumblings and speculation over the past couple months (years, really), but it’s finally official: Adele is back.  Her album 25 is set to come out November 20th, and I CAN’T WAIT! Her last album 21 shattered records, won a ton of awards, and even was certified diamond in the U.S. (selling over ten million copies), which hasn’t happened before the advent of the internet and online downloading.  Adele has described 21 as a breakup album and has said that 25 is somewhat of the sequel as a make up album.

Yesterday Adele released her new single, “Hello,” and it was just another reminder of how beautiful her voice is (in case we forgot).  The song itself is warm and rings of tones of remorse.  Overall I enjoy the song and find it beautiful.  I’ve heard Adele say that 25 is going to be a bit rawer and not as depressing and angry as 21, but “Hello” reminds me a bit of “Someone Like You” with the soft piano and her phenomenal vocalizations.  When I first heard “Hello,” I felt those depressive notes, but the more I listened to it, the more I heard relief and acceptance.  It’s not the same shade as “Someone Like You,” it’s the next chapter.

Needless to say, I’m counting down the days until November 20th (which also happens to be the week of Thanksgiving…just saying).  With this announcement as the same week as the Gilmore Girls revival, I literally almost died from excitement.


This week has had so many huge announcements, it’s crazy.  It all started Monday night when I couldn’t get to sleep, so I started scrolling through Facebook to find that Netflix is REVIVING GILMORE GIRLS!!!  Really, that was the last thing I needed to hear at 11:00 p.m. because I was bouncing off the walls with excitement.

I read on many different sources that Netflix got the rights of Gilmore Girls from Warner Bros. and they signed a four episode deal with Amy Sherman-Palladino, the show creator and writer.  The episodes would be about ninety minutes, so we’d basically get like four mini movies (and I was just hoping for one!).  As far as I hear, they are currently in negotiations with the actors (notable Lauren Graham who was Lorelai and Alexis Bledel who played Rory), which if that goes well we will have a revival of the classic television show!

I believe those negotiations will go well because during their reunion in August, they all seemed like they really wanted to make a movie or have a revival.  My only concern is Melissa McCarthy, who was pivotal in the series playing Sookie St. James, Lorelai’s best friend and business partner.  Since the series’ end, McCarthy’s career seemed to explode with another hit tv show, Mike & Molly, for which she won an Emmy, and a list of blockbuster movies, which include Spy, The Heat, and Bridesmaids, which got her numerous awards and nominations including an Academy Award nomination.  I sincerely hope Melissa McCarthy returns to her roots and makes these four episodes, Gilmore Girls really couldn’t work without Sookie.  Granted, there will be about an eight year gap – they’re not writing it as though no time has passed, they’re going to write it in the present – so Sherman-Palladino could find a way to write Sookie out, but it won’t have the same spark.

On a more positive note, I realized the other night that in the end of the last season, Rory got a job as a journalist where she’d follow Obama for as long as he “did well.”  By the time the revival would probably be released, Obama will be leaving office so Rory would have been returning to Stars Hollow after finishing up her assignment…it was timed so well!

Anyway, I read that this revival is not set in stone so we shouldn’t get our hopes up, but still…something is happening, and hopefully we can go back to Stars Hollow just one more time.

Be Unstoppable.

Have you seen those annoying Ford commercials where the person is driving around the seemingly empty city (which never happens, by the way, cities are always packed with traffic) and then they play a snippet from “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten?  The other day I was trying to find it on Youtube (long story, don’t ask), and I found this video, which I seriously hope is a spoof.  I think it is, and it’s quite funny.  Just keep in mind, Ford’s tagline is “be unstoppable.”

Got Ellie Goulding “On My Mind”

Ellie Goulding’s new single “On My Mind” has grabbed my attention and doesn’t seem to be letting it go.  I first heard the song on the radio a couple weeks ago and I really liked the beat and synth work (I wish I could describe the instrumentation a bit better, but I’m not quite as familiar with synths as I am with stringed instruments – I can play the violin, cello, guitar, ukulele, piano, etc.)  But I really like how she sings the verses (or, I suppose, raps?) because it’s perfectly in time to drive the song.  I especially like how she harmonizes the lyric “Saying that I hurt you but I still don’t get it/ You didn’t love me, no, not really” in the second verse.  In any event, it’s a good song to bop to.

My favorite part of the song (and the reason why I’m sharing) is the lyric during the bridge: “You got yourself in a dangerous zone/ ‘Cause we both have the fear of being alone.”  I found this lyric quite powerful; one of the great things about music in my opinion is that you can take a song and interpret it in your own way or understand it any way you want.  For instance, I read online that that lyric was referring to an ex-boyfriend who had a problem with gambling (I don’t know if it was true, but I’m using it as an example), but it made me think of someone getting married (or getting into a serious relationship). I’m not saying this is what she meant or how you should take the song, I just thought the line could be used to describe a situation where one person is engaged and the narrator (in this case, the singer who is not engaged) is telling the person who is engaged that they both want to end up married, but one should not marry the wrong person (i.e. get in a “dangerous zone”) to avoid the fear of dying alone (which they both have in common).  If we try to make the lyric fit the internet’s suggested topic of gambling, I don’t think it would fit as well.  The first part of the lyric certainly would fit – gambling can be a bit dangerous if you don’t know when to stop – but how would that be related to having “the fear of being alone?”  I just saw the line referring to someone so desperate to be in a relationship that they get in a relationship with the wrong person just to say they have a partner.

Regardless of the fact whether my interpretation of a lyric is true, we still end up with having Ellie Goulding on our minds.

They Didn’t Think it Through

I recently decided to start rereading the Harry Potter novels.  I suppose the eleven year me is still waiting for his letter from Hogwarts, but the grown up me is fascinated by the way J.K. Rowling crafted these stories and each time I read them the more I learn.

I’m currently in the second book where Harry, Ron, and Hermione take the polyjuice potion to investigate if Malfoy is the heir of Slytherin.  As I was reading this part for the umpteenth time, it occurred to me that Harry, Ron, and Hermione really didn’t think their plan through.  Let’s say hypothetically Malfoy was the heir of Slytherin and confessed to the transformed Harry, Ron, and Hermione, there is nothing they could do with that information.  First, they would have no actual proof but Malfoy’s word, which considering his character traits would probably be inflated.  Also, Malfoy’s confession would’ve been, in his mind, to his friends, so they would have to confess to making a dark (and probably illegal) potion, blowing up a cauldron during Potions as a distraction, breaking into Snape’s office and stealing the ingredients, drugging Crabbe and Goyle, stealing Crabbe and Goyle’s clothes (and hair), and probably a ton other things.

On top of that, the three of them decided to split the potion three ways when they should have split it two ways.  Hermione was intending on transforming into Millicent Bulstrode, but given the fact she wasn’t in Malfoy’s inner gang – at least it wasn’t conveyed to us that Millicent and Malfoy were best of friends – it would have been perhaps a bit suspicious that she would be interrogating Malfoy.  From the book we know that Malfoy’s best friends were Crabbe and Goyle and that he told them everything.  If Hermione (as Millicent) strode in the Slytherin common room with Crabbe and Goyle and started asking Malfoy about the Chamber of Secrets it might of come across fishy.  If they then split the potion two ways and had two of them go in as Crabbe and Goyle, then they probably would have had more time with the potion – remember, they ran out of time when they were interrogating Malfoy.

This whole part of the story seems a bit of waste, but I realize why Rowling needed it for her story: it helps defining the characters’ arcs and it’s a twist and turn in the plot.  It’s just, when you think about it, it’s all rather unnecessary because they characters never consider the fact that they could never prove anything.  In the first Harry Potter book, they were in a similar circumstance when they found out about the sorcerer’s stone, but Harry told Ron and Hermione they couldn’t go to Dumbledore until they found enough proof.  But getting an oral confession from Malfoy while using polyjuice potion probably wouldn’t constitute as evidence.

I told all this to my local librarian whom I often discuss Harry Potter with. She listened to it, nodded, and simply said “And yet after how many times you read the books and saw the movie, you’re now starting to realize it?”  Which is quite a fair point.  I probably have read Harry Potter a thousand times and I’m just realizing this minor flaw.  But still, it’s interesting to wonder.

Bad Blood Orchestra!

I love when people take popular songs and turn them into orchestral arrangements.  Granted, the video below is probably all computer generate instruments, but who cares?  It’s awesome!  It blows my mind when people can take songs and transform them into something else but still keep the integrity of them.  Believe me, I’ve played in many orchestras where they tried to play “popular” songs, but the arrangements really ruined the songs.

Anyway, Taylor Swift tweeted out a link to this video of an arrangement of her song “Bad Blood” and it’s amazing.  You have to listen to it.

I probably shouldn’t have read the tweet to it because I could only think about pirates and Pirates of the Caribbean, but it was still pretty epic.  Listen/watch below.