GILMORE GIRLS REVIVAL

OH. MY. GOSH. GILMORE GIRLS IS COMING BACK NOVEMBER 25TH.  I was literally talking with a coworker about the revival and wondering when it would be released this morning.  I then left work, went for a bike ride, and came home to see it trending on Facebook and Twitter.  And it looks so good!  I guess we all know what I’ll be doing November 25th.

Florence Foster Jenkins

I saw an interview with Meryl Streep a year or so ago where they kept going on how great of a singer she is.  She laughed and said she didn’t know how true that was because she was working on a film where she was playing a tone-deaf opera singer.  This intrigued me, but at the time I couldn’t find any more information, so naturally it fell out of my mind.  Then, today, I went to a movie (I went to see Ghostbusters, it was quite hilarious, I recommend) and up came the trailer for Florence Foster Jenkins, the movie starring Meryl Streep playing a tone-deaf opera singer.

Needless to say, I’m excited to see Florence Foster Jenkins.  I looks like an inspiring movie, kind of like Eddie the Eagle.  I like those underdog movies where the protagonist never gives up on their dreams.  Plus, Simon Helberg, who plays Howard Wolowitz in The Big Bang Theory, plays Meryl Streep’s pianist…it was crazy seeing Wolowitz in a movie with Meryl Streep.  I always thought he deserved an Emmy for his work on Big Bang, so hopefully he’ll get an Oscar nod for this!

The Reincarnations of “Torn”

I was driving around the other day, flipping through the radio stations.  It was an odd hour of the day where they play blasts from the past, so I wasn’t really finding anything particularly alluring.  I skipped to a channel that happened to be playing Natalie Imbruglia’s ’90s hit “Torn.”  The song is a little bit before my time, but I’ve heard it so I was slightly familiar.

Because I’m me, I decided to do some research behind the song and learn it’s history.  Basically, “Torn” has been Imbruglia’s only real hit in America (she was quite big in Australia), and it garnered her three Grammy nominations (Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance).  But what I found even more interesting is that the song that made her career was actually a cover.  The original English version of the song was recorded by Ednaswap, an alternative rock group.  I like Ednaswap’s version, it has a good edge to it – it’s less airy than Imbruglia’s.

But the funny thing is that Ednaswap technically covered the song too!  The song was originally recorded in 1993 by Danish singer Lis Sørensen with the title “Brændt,” meaning “Burned.”  The song was translated into English and recorded by Ednaswap.

It’s interesting the incarnations the song took, it reminds me of “Angel of the Morning” in that it appears many different people recorded it until it got a large audience appeal.

Eddie the Eagle

Are you in search of a good movie?  Boy, do I have one for you!  I just watched Eddie the Eagle and it was the perfect mixture of emotions that brought tears to my eyes and still made me laugh out loud.  It was so good I had to watch it again, and I can guarantee I’ll probably be watching it again soon.

The film is based of the true story of Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards.  It starts out with ten year old Eddie in a leg brace (he had bad knees) deciding he’s going to be an Olympian.  He packs his bags and tells his mom he’s off to the Olympics.  It was quite adorable, him walking determinately  to the bus stop, then his dad had to pick him up (apparently it was a usual occurrence).  The film continues to show Eddie growing up, trying to excel in sports but people telling him he would never succeed.  He is rejected again and again, until he realizes he could compete in the Olympics as a ski jumper – no one else was competing, so he’d just have to successful land during a qualifier and he would be off to the Olympics.  The movie goes through many ups and downs as the British Olympic Committee didn’t want to pay for him going to the Olympics, so they kept creating these obstacles the he kept overcoming.

Eddie the Eagle is such an inspiring and moving story.  It’s not so much a story of sports or the Olympics, but more of someone never giving up on his dream.  It makes you believe anything really is possible if you just got the right amount of nerve.  And Eddie Edwards had a ton of nerve.

Support Selina Meyer

Veep happens to be one of my favorite shows.  Not just because it has a spectacular cast and excellent writing, but because they always seem to have smart promotional strategies.  In fact, the team that launches their seasonal promotions have won awards for their cross-promotional strategies (who knew there were such award shows).

A copy of Some New Beginnings

A copy of Some New Beginnings

In season three, when Selina Meyer (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus)  was launching her presidential run, HBO literally started a presidential campaign to promote the show.  They sent copies of Selina’s biography Some New Beginnings: Our Next American Journey to bloggers and critics to create buzz around those outlets (my blog didn’t exist during that time…which was why I didn’t receive a press pack…probably).  This got other people besides HBO to talk and promote the show, commenting on the humor on the stunt: the books weren’t actually real, they were blank pages with the book jacket featured in the first episode.  HBO claimed that it was a representation of who Selina is: shiny and glossy on the outside but empty on the inside (insert laughing emoji).  They followed this up by doing a phone promotion where fans could call into Selina’s exclusive line and get a message from her Director of Communications, Mike McClintock (played by Matt Walsh).  It was all prerecorded but it made fans feel apart of the show.  A clever move.

For this current season, HBO has followed a similar tact.  Since Selina is running for reelection (spoiler alert), they allowed fans the opportunity to download free campaign posters.  They then encouraged Selina supporters to tweet out or share pictures of the campaign posters in fans’ offices/yards/homes.  Such stunts like these are clever because they bring a sense of reality to a fictional world.  They make us feel apart of it, like we could essentially vote for Selina.  This gets us talking about the show, which gets us excited about it and wanting to watch it.

This is all the tip of the iceberg of everything HBO has done to promote Veep, but the originality and ingenuity behind the promotions is something I marvel at.  It shows that they think outside the box, which is an application I personally espouse.  So keep on keeping on, HBO.  Selina may or may not win the presidency (I haven’t finished season 5 yet, please don’t spoil it for me), but in my book she’s won the best promotional campaign.

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Daya

For the past couple weeks I’ve been slightly obsessed with the song “Don’t Let Me Down” by the Chainsmokers featuring Daya.  It has such a great dance beat, and the synths/dubstep are perfect.  It’s the perfect song to blare and dance to (or, if you’re like me, bike to).

My favorite part is the bridge to the end of the song, particularly when Daya hits that note around 2:55.  The way she sings that part of the song has this heart-wrenching vulnerability to it and it really defines the song.  There’s a sense of urgency, a pleading for this person not to let down or hurt the narrator.  It’s magnificent, particularly because this is an EDM song brought to you by the guys who created “But first, let me take a #selfie” (remember that song?).  It’s almost a complete 180, emotionally.

Because I was so impressed by Daya’s vocals, I decided to check out her other hit song “Hide Away.”  I remembered it made some waves on radio, but I never gave it a full chance.  So I listened to it, and it’s been on repeat.  Damn, she’s hooked me.

I wouldn’t say “Hide Away” lives up vocally to “Don’t Let Me Down,” but Daya does have this old soul quality in her voice.  It’s intriguing to listen to, plus the chorus is incredibly catchy.

While I would overall give this song a thumbs up, I felt it had some minor problems structurally with it.  I actually ended up making my own edit of the song (for my own personal listening) to improve it as much as I could.  The main thing I did was I got rid of the bridge.  The drum beats were great, but I thought on the whole it was a bit awkward.  They could’ve gotten a way with doing some sort of instrumental with the drums and synths and then worked back into the chorus.  It would’ve flowed better.  They also should’ve left the outro out…I mean, it doesn’t really hurt the song, it’s just not really necessary.   But as I said, it’s great as it is…could’ve been better.

So keep your ears out for Daya, she seems to be making quite an impression and it appears her new single “Sit Still, Look Pretty” is starting it’s climb up the charts.