Minor Details

I know I already wrote about this song, but I noticed a tiny element in “Too Little Too Late” by JoJo that kind of made me like the song even more.

First, the main reason I like this song is that I think it has a really catchy chorus; a real ear worm.  So, if you listen to the first two choruses (starting at 0:46 and 1:44 (they’re the same, so you can just listen to one)), they’re pretty solid.  Then listen to the last chorus (2:43).  It’s almost identical as the first two, except at 2:50 she does this “WOOP” sound that echoes in the background for like two seconds…it almost sounds like a dog barking.

At first, I thought it was odd that they would add that tiny vocalization.  But then I thought it was almost like a cheer of triumph.  Like, she reached the realization that she was over this person, it was too late for them to come back to her and she was cheering herself for becoming stronger.  There was this sense of freedom in that tiny element.  Which just shows, no matter how minor a detail can be, it can still have an impact on a song.

On Iggy’s “Team”

Over a month ago, Iggy Azalea released her new single “Team” from her upcoming album Digital Distortion.  At first, I wasn’t chuffed.   I do enjoy some of Iggy’s songs (they tend to have good beats to bike/work out to), but I wouldn’t call myself an Azalean (a giant fan of Iggy Azalea).  When I heard the preview of “Team” on iTunes, it didn’t initially grab me.  But judging a song based on the forty second preview (or however long they are these days) is like judging a book by its cover, so I listened to the below YouTube clip.

After I heard the song in it’s entirety, I immediately bought it.  The thing I like about this song is that you can just blare it  on repeat and dance (or bike) and lose yourself (also, my biking playlist was getting kind of stale, so I needed new tracks).  It has a great beat and some interesting synth work.

This song also got me to think about a debate that started when Iggy Azalea was nominated last year for her Grammys: is she a true rap/hip-hop artist or is she more in the pop genre?   There were many debates whether “Fancy” was more of a pop song than a rap song (I was confused why “Fancy (featuring Charli XCX)” was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – I had thought it would fall under the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration).  Personally, I think she’s distinctly rapping in that song – Charli XCX is obviously singing a pop melody, but the verses are not sung. They’re clearly rapped.

But if I compare “Team” to “Fancy,” “Team” sounds more like a pop song.  I mean, she is rapping in the verses, but it’s more of a fierce sung rap (if that makes sense). They’re not like the traditional fast chant of a rap.

I bring this up not to discredit Iggy Azalea as an artist, but to point out that genre labels don’t really matter, especially in this current climate of music.  Genres are crossing over, styles and elements of each genres are fusing together and we’re getting new sounds.  I personally am all for this breaking down of musical rules and artists creating what’s true and honest to them.  I grew up taking music lessons since I was five, and it always bothered me that there were so many rules, that music had to be played a certain way.

If it sounds good, who cares if it’s done the right way?


The Ellie Show

I like Ellen Degeneres and her show, but I don’t religiously follow it.  I mean, I’ll catch clips on YouTube (or EllenTube, Ellen’s version of YouTube), but I don’t watch it live – I don’t really have the time.

I was surfing around YouTube and found clips where Ellie Kemper actually hosted The Ellen Show because Ellen was out sick.  It’s kind of interesting that they didn’t just play a rerun episode but got someone to fill in.

Anyway, I thought it was funny and that Kemper did a good job (she made it the Ellie Show), so I attached some clips below.  It’s kind of odd seeing someone else sit in Ellen’s chair.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

If you’re looking for a new show to watch, I’ve got one for you!  I just started watching the Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, co-created and produced by Tina Feyand I got to say it’s actually quite good. The show tells the story of Kimmy Schmidt who spent the previous fifteen years locked in a bunker – she was kidnapped by a guy and forced to take part in a cult.  The show starts with her released from the bunker and her rediscovering the world.

The first couple episodes are kind of weird.  Kimmy (played by Ellie Kemper) is a bit too perky (which eventually you settle in on towards the end of the season) and is like a fifteen year old living in a twenty-nine year old body.  But, the first season on the whole is actually adorkably funny and entertaining.  It’s also funny because she’s still living like it’s the late ’90s (when she was kidnapped), so she refers to an iPhone as a Macintosh (which I believe was what Apple called their products back then) and she uses slang from back then.  But the character has a good nature and is attempting (and failing) to be normal (although she ultimately discovers that being normal is overrated).  I also have to say Jane Krakowski, who plays Kimmy’s wealthy and spoiled boss, is almost reminiscent of Megan Mullally’s Karen Walker from Will & Grace.  Her comebacks aren’t as sharp and witty as Karen’s were, but she does play that humor quite well.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a great reminder that no matter whatever crap comes your way, you can figure it out and not break down.

Melissa McCarthy is the Boss

Ithe boss knew I wanted to see The Boss the second I saw the official movie poster.  It features Melissa McCarthy posed with her feet on her desk with a portrait of her in the exact same pose.  After watching the trailer, I had the slight feeling it would be one of those movies where the trailer is the only hilarious part.  I mean, McCarthy has this tendency to be slightly over the top (i.e. disgusting) in her comedy.  I mean, let us all remember the Bridesmaids scene where she essentially dropped heat in the sink of a bathroom.  But I didn’t care, I generally enjoy McCarthy’s work. And, I got to say, I really enjoyed the film.  I may actually see it again (although, I’ll probably just wait for the DVD…movie tickets are so expensive these days).

The Boss tells the story of Michelle Darnell (McCarthy), a wealthy and powerful business woman who gets arrested for insider trading.  Upon being released from prison, she learns that she has lost everything and must stay with her former assistant (Kristen Bell) until she can reclaim her wealth and stature.

I saw different interviews with McCarthy where she said she created Michelle Darnell almost fifteen years ago when she was doing improv at the Groundlings, and that this character just stayed with her.  She also said that because she kept thinking about the character, she decided to write a full outline of the character’s story eight years ago but no film studios were interested it back then.  She credited that to be the climate of the film industry then, but I think part of it has to do with the fact that eight years ago she just ended Gilmore Girls and was only landing small roles in rather obscure movies…her breakthrough in Bridesmaids hadn’t happened yet.  But still, it’s interesting that this film/character wasn’t an overnight idea – she spent fifteen years creating it/her.

I found The Boss to be entertaining throughout.  Some of the jokes were a bit dirty – which, frankly, is to be expected…it’s Rated R – but there’s a great sword fight between McCarthy and Peter Dinklage and a scene where McCarthy raps a whole verse from DJ Khaled’s song “All I Do is Win.”  I can honestly say that the movie wasn’t a let down and there are more hilarious bits than just what’s in the trailer.

Saoirse Ronan’s Accent Challenge

I saw an interview where Saorise Ronan explained that every film she makes, she does a different accent than her own, especially if she’s playing an Irish character like she did in Brooklyn.

This interested me and I wondered what her American accent would sound like…a lot of times when non-American actors do American accents you can tell they’re fake.  I found the below clip of her doing a wide range of accents (why the guy had her say “we are never ever getting back together” over and over again, I have no idea), but her American is particularly good/hilarious.

Saoirse Ronan Teachers YOU How to Make Tea

I found these series of videos Vanity Fair put on YouTube of different actresses showcasing secret talents.  There’s one where Jennifer Lawrence acted like a mime (she did this skit where she pretended to tie string to her lips and proceeded to pull her lips with the invisible string…cooler than it sounds).  Another showed Cate Blanchett doing the splits.

And Saoirse Roana made tea.  It’s actually quite funny and informative…I’ve been brewing tea wrong for so many years.


So Meghan Trainor is having a good year.  First she wins the Grammy for Best New Artist and then releases another hit song.  “No,” was released a couple weeks ago, and it almost instantly rose to the top of the charts.

The song itself is classic Trainor: great beats, catchy hooks, and full of sass.  “My name is no, my sign is no, my number is no,” she sings throughout the song, giving the empowering tone that one does not need a man (or woman…although, she does speak exclusively of “if I wanna man, then I’m gonna get a man”) to find happiness or strength.  The best parts of the song is the epic drum beats and attitude she gives.



I recently watched Brooklyn, and I’ve got to say it’s one of my favorite movies…probably of all times.  It’s such a sweet love story, and Saoirse Ronan is perfect in the film.  Her performance is full of innocence and wisdom – she definitely deserved her Oscar nomination (I would argue she deserved the Oscar).

Brooklyn tells the story of a young woman, Eilis Lacey (Ronan), who immigrates to America from Ireland to find work and a better life, and in doing so she finds herself and discovers a new world.  In the film (and book, but mostly the film), Eilis grows up so much – she starts out as a young, naive girl who blossoms into a woman who knows her path in life.  From the heartbreaking scenes where Eilis is homesick and dearly misses her family to uplifting scenes of her falling in love (with an Italian boy), Eilis must determine what kind of life she wants to live (and not the life others want her to have).

Ronan as Eilis walking out into America

Ronan as Eilis walking out into America

The thing that really hit home with me was the scene where she arrives in America and is making her way through immigration.  She gets her passport stamped and she walks through the doors to the outside world.  Ronan as Eilis looks like a nervous and slightly scared girl as she walks through the door into a white light with this beautiful Irish music playing.  To me, it was a haunting scene, as though she is a ghost from the 1950s.  My ancestors immigrated to America from Ireland and Italy when they were the same age as Eilis (or younger), and I could just see them being as nervous and scared as her.  It was symbolic for me of the journey my ancestors made to America for a better life (for them and their future family).  If it wasn’t for their courage and strength to live an a foreign world, I would not be here.

Brooklyn is such a timeless and beautifully told story.  I would seriously recommend it.