Monday, May 24, 2010

random fun stuff !

i have been WAITING FOR SUMMER since... LAST SUMMER ! during the year, i've been making a list of random things i want to do over the summer. and i'm pledging to do all of them.

1) learn the 'single ladies' dance

2) learn the 'thriller' dance

3) make music videos

4) make homemade chipwiches

5) make a ridiculously long slip n slide

6) see a midnight movie

7) make an amazing chalk art covering my whole driveway

8) throw parties. a lot.

9) drive

10) not crash

11) write a poem every day

12) get a full split

13) learn how to front flip

14) learn how to cartwheel (i know... haha. yeah, i'm challenged)

15) write a song

16) rap battle

17) put something on youtube

18) audition for a part in a movie

19) get a hot pink extension/dye a part of my hair hot pink

20) become more fluent in french

21) learn some japanese

22) put something on youtube
23) lots of concerts

24) find out exactly how many licks it gets to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop

25) learn 15 pieces on piano

yeah, i know.... i'm a bamf. but these things sound fun to me. and i bet there's a LOT of other random stuff that i'm going to think of after this post.

and, hey, you're not making any better suggestions, so...

happy (almost) summer!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Greyson Chance? A Coincidence?

unless you've been hiding in a bomb shelter or lost all internet access, you've probably heard of Greyson Chance by now. in case you aren't good with names, he's the 13-year-old singing phenom who covered Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi", and gained millions of hits in the process.

now, when i first heard his voice and saw his success i was stunned. i was so happy for the unknown kid, the kid with amazing talent that never had a 'chance' and suddenly gained international fame. yay, YouTube success stories!

but then i read an article that made me think this miracle was... too convenient. i know it sounds like i'm making an innocent occurence sound like a conspiracy, but just hear me out.

Greyson seems like the perfect storm. Justin Bieber-ish good looks, with a Lady GaGa powerful voice and style... sounds like the ideal pop star for today's market.

and the millions of hits and overnight explosion? this could be a ploy by his 'people' for publicity, to give him the broad appeal and likeability of an internet nobody...

so, crazy coincidence? or perfectly engineered pop perfection?

either way, i know for a fact we'll be seeing a lot of Greyson Chance.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

my shadow: a love story

sorry to be repetitive, but i'm keane crazy lately. this is the link for the music video for their song "my shadow". this is perhaps my favorite music video of all time; the story is beautiful, and so is the song. check it out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

bad days

besides being a monday, today was just one of those days. one of those simply bad days. everything that could possibly go wrong did, and everybody bothered me, whether they tried to or not, whether they talked to me or just looked at me. just a really bad day.

i think everybody has these days, and you'd probably agree with me. but even knowing this doesn't give me solace, and the expression "misery loves company" is just bs. when you're miserable, you're alone. period.

when these days happen, i tend to ask myself, "why? why did this happen to me? why today?". mostly after this i'd curse the heavens and fate, terrible fate for bringing me this day. but really, how much is left up to fate, and how much is left up to you?

as it turns out, at least in my case, a lot of today's suckiness was up to me. i'm not saying that when you have a bad day you should automatically blame yourself, hide under a blanket, and eat bonbons. what i've seen from my experiences is that you should take more responsibility for yourself.

a lot of my misery is due to procrastination. i have a massive research paper due tomorrow, and i didn't start it until yesterday. i keep telling myself "it's not your fault, ali! you had stuff to do!" and i've been listening to this voice (no schizo) since last month when the paper was assigned.

if i'd started it in little pieces a long time ago, there would be less pressure on me now. but instead of taking responsibility for myself, i took the childish and easy way out and listened to my sad brain excuses. it may be difficult to battle your impulses, especially when you're running on less than 6 hrs of sleep a day. but it's worth it and a part of growing up.

another aspect of my terrible day was disappointments and annoyances from other people. somebody made me a promise and didn't keep it, although i knew if our roles were switched i wouldn't break that promise.

also, some people didn't reach out to me even though i was obviously hurting today. although these two things sucked and seemed beyond unfair, i realize now that i perhaps was expecting too much from others. when you expect things from others, you're putting your heart and the fate of your day in their unknowing hands.

sometimes putting yourself in someone else's shoes isn't enough, becuase you're totally different from everybody else. what may seem obvious to you in a situation may seem like nothing to another. one of life's sad truths is that people will inevitably disappoint you once in a while. if you have too many expectations, chances are you will be disappointed.

yeah, today sucked. but the best thing for me to do is move forward. the present doesn't seem very peachy, but i have a lot of good things coming up that i shouldn't lose sight of.

and i need to remember that i create a lot of my own fate. the little things i didn't take responsibility for yesterday hurt me today. i'll pay more attention to those things now.

just got to keep on moving forward, but keep your mistakes in your back pocket. you never know when you'll need them.

but if i kept all of my mistakes in my back pocket, sir mix-a-lot would be stalking me right now.

oh, metaphors.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

the Night Train (song-by-song review)

the Night Train has finally arrived!

Keane, the musical magicians that brought us such beautiful songs as Everybody's Changing, Somewhere Only We Know, and Spiralling, (to name a few) has come out with a brand-spanking-new EP "The Night Train". The songs from this mini-album were inspired by long trips on the night trains the band took during the Perfect Symmetry tour.

first off, i have to mention that the album artwork for this EP is DIVINE. it ROCKS !!! i think it's the band's best album artwork yet, which is really saying something.

the overall vibe and style of this record is very different from their previous masterpieces, and this difference has met much controversy with diehard Keane fans. As opposed to deep piano-rock emotional ballads, the Night Train is composed of everything from japanese-pop covers, hip-hop fusion, and of course , killer melodies. personally, this album is a major part of the band's evolution, and shows that Keane is much more than a one-toned band.

0) Night Train- iTunes LP ---- if you buy the digital copy of NT, it comes with a digital booklet. instead of the digital version of the physical album booklet, this has an animated version of the album cover. this TOOK MY BREATH AWAY, and even as a jaded ipod-age teenager, this amazed me. this gorgeous piece of artwork that also contains a special band interview, the Stop for a Minute music video, and special tour images. this digibooklet alone is worth purchasing the whole album.

1) House Lights--- when i first heard this, i was honestly like "WTF?!". as it turns out, this is NOT an actual song, but an accompanying audio to the album artwork. once you understand this, it is actually a wicked awesome track to open the cd. it almost transports you into the world of The Night Train and is a great opening to the whole Night Train listening experience.

2) Back in Time---- a funky, dark, introspective song a la vintage Keane but with a modern twist.

3) Stop for a Minute---- an impossibly catchy and inspirational song. it has awesome piano undertones that sound like a cheerful train station. and don't be fooled by its poppy quality- the lyrics are meaningful. k'naan's rap and singing portions truly add to the song, except his entrance rap lyrics of "baby, you're just beatiful from your crown to your cuticles" is just plain ridiculous!

4)Clear Skies---- a very descriptive and low-key song. sounds like descriptions of scenes viewed out of a slow-moving train with insights of life. very sunny and heartfelt.

5) Inshin Denshin (You've Got to Help Yourself) --- ok, this song will NEVER GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD! a contagious, super-happy, sugar-coated, and still inspirational song featuring up-and-coming Japanese artist Tigarah. keane's vocals and the sparkly beat are the highlights, and Tigarah's portion is a little sleepy.

6)Your Love ---- this song is beautiful in its simplicity. a solid and creative take on the love song with a heart-fluttering hook.

7)Looking Back---- taking samples from the "Rocky Theme", which oddly works, this song is one of the album's highlights. unlike in Stop for a Minute, K'naan's rapping perfecly blends with Keane's vocals to create a delicious confection.

8) My Shadow---- AHHHH !!! lovelovelove. love. one of the best songs off their last album "Perfect Symmetry" has been revisited and finished into a full-length masterpiece. impeccable vocals, killer lyrics, simple, stripped-down piano ballad that comes to an intense climax. equivilant to coldplay's "fix you". but truly original.

9) Stop for a Minute (Remix) --- this is like K'naan featuring Keane as opposed to Keane featuring K'naan. it acts as a reprisal of the album's signature song, but i still like the original better.

this album as a whole is truly breathtaking and will possibly be one of the most underrated albums of the year. conceptual without being tacky, upbeat without being cheesy, catchy while being inspirational and thought-provoking, this album is crazy amazing. keane is one of a kind and one of the best bands out there today.

i can't wait to see them live this summer :-)

i promise, i'll tell you all about it.

i hugely recommend this album and any of Keane's albums in general.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

what is love?

i think a lot of people have the wrong idea about love.

i mean, i've never been in love myself, and you're probably thinking "what does SHE know about love?!" well, i think it's perfectly natural if you're asking that. although your family and friends will probably be concerned that you're talking to your computer again.

anyway, back to love. i've come into a time in my life when i've started thinking about this question a lot. and by that, i mean it's never left my mind.

for a long time, i thought i was in love. there was this boy that was in a lot of my classes, and i never really thought much of him. he wasn't extremely attractive, didn't have lautner abs, never talked to him. but then i think i fell in love with the idea of him.

for a whole year, whenever i thought of him, my heart would literally stop beating and he took over my mind. when i was in the same room as him, it was worse. i got dizzy, nervous, happy, ecstatic, self conscious, clumsy, breathless.

i convinced myself that i was in love, because i was in love not with his appearance, but with his soul. i never said more than two words to him, but i was in love with his personality, and i felt like he would understand me, because i thought i understood him.

i know now that it is impossible to love someone you've never really talked to, never have hung out with, never knew their day-to-day habits, seen their highs and lows. what i was feeling; that wasn't love, that was obsession. i loved everything that surrounded him, but when it came down to it, he was a complete stranger.

getting older, i've seen a lot of my friends and people i know get boyfriends, girlfriends, and i've been paying attention more to love in an effort to solve it like the DaVinci Code.

through what i've seen in my life so far, i think love is happiness. love is always wanting to be with the other person, cherishing every moment, although every moment may not be perfect. love us laughter, fun, understanding, everything you love about life.

but there's also something more: a connection that goes beyond all explanation, a code that will never be cracked, not even by Dan Brown himself. love is the eighth world wonder, it's invisible but everywhere, it's nothing but it's everything. love is everything.

and i hope i find it someday.

but i have my whole life ahead of me.

but right now, i have to fall back into reality, and realize my research paper isn't going to write itself. oh, how i love you, school.