Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Stars I Love: Taylor Swift

If you had told me a year ago, let alone five years ago, that I'd be doing a whole post on Taylor Swift I wouldn't believe you. It's not that I was a certified hater. Her music was the inadvertent soundtrack of my adolescence, but bopping along in the car to her latest hits wasn't nearly enough to make me a bonafide Swiftie.

Other than being aware of her music growing up, one of the first memories I have was attending a sold-out showing to Valentine's Day. The theater was filled with lots of couples on dates, but it was also filled with teenagers my age. While I was convinced at the time it was the star-studded cast that might've attracted young adults to the movie, or the fact that it was a holiday, I look back and think now that it was all about Taylor. For a few reasons: that theater has never been that packed since (excluding superhero movies), and every time Taylor showed up on-screen, those different groups of girls were in full-fangirl mode - not just when her characters' boyfriend (Taylor Lautner) was on-screen but also when she had a few small individual moments of her own.  I was in the middle of Taylor's influence and didn't even quite realize it.

And, that's how the next several years of my life went: Taylor could be heard in every retail store, on the drives to and from school, seen on award shows and in movies or tv shows, but I didn't become hardcore about it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Katy's Fauxchella with TickPick

Summer has officially arrived! 'Tis the season to go to music festivals! With the sun shining and blue skies above, it's an awesome time to jam to our favorite bands or new performers. Perhaps one of the most famous music festivals is Coachella. It's notorious for it's appearances by celebrities as regular music fans like us. Though this year's concert has already passed, there's always next year to think about not only what the concert will have in store, but also my dream concert. Gina at TickPick teamed up with me on a collaboration of my dream music Faux-chella festival.

Tickpick's designers customized this awesome poster with my imagined headliners. My music tastes vary all over the place from swing and the 1940s to classic rock. Having attended an amazing concert by Florence and the Machine last month, she was certainly at the top of my list. A solid rock vibe are taking over my playlists these days.

These are the bands I picked: Alabama Shakes, Elle King, B├śRNS, Florence and the Machine, The Lumineers, Fitz and The Tantrums. I've included each band and my favorite tracks that would be awesome to hear.

Alabama Shakes - Don't Wanna Fight

Lead singer Brittany Howard's sound and her band first blew me away as apart of the Silver Lining's Playbook soundtrack back in 2012. Their style and especially her vocals are ridiculously soulful. Don't Wanna Fight is just one of several tracks of of their most recent album Sound and Color that I love listening to over and over again. Check them out - don't fight me on this. They're awesome.

Elle King - Ex's and Ohs

King's Ex's and Oh's has become a big radio hit as well as her other song America's Sweetheart. What can I say? Her voice just freaking kills it. Though Alabama Shakes' ruminations about relationships and life are a bit more soulful but nevertheless honest, I love how King is bringing back exciting, bad-ass (female) anthems to rock again.

Borns - Electric Love

I don't really remember how or when I first came across Borns, but it's been one of my favorite discoveries as of recently. This band isn't like the first two on this list, which might add some spunk to a concert of my dreams. Like King, Borns has a very cool eighties-esque sound and one of the coolest songs around right now.

Florence and the Machine - Ship to Wreck

This selection was a bit of a cheat since I just saw her live and can't get over her concerts. Her ability to perform is like mixing Janis Joplin and Queen - she is that good. Smaller stages really do her a disservice because at full voice and barefooted, Florence can't be tamed. She runs around the stage and unleashes an amazing energy. She gives an unbelievable concert, so she would no doubt be a good addition to my dream Fauxchella.

The Lumineers - Ophelia

Similar to Alabama Shakes, The Lumineers caught some big air play with their hit song from Silver Linings Playbook called Ho Hey. It's no doubt a great song and very catchy. Some of their more recent songs like Ophelia are great follow-ups to the shout-along feel that initially made them such a big hit.

Fitz and the Tantrums - The Walker

Fitz and the Tantrums is just such a groovy band. I love how they sound very rockish but also have a pop vibe to them. As the lyrics goes, The Walker just makes me want to break out and dance. One of their other best songs is definitely the totally groovy Moneygrabber. The music video has a very old-fashioned sixties feel while also remaining hip and modern rock. Basically, I would give them (and every artist on this list) all of money to see them in person!

A big thanks to TickPick for reaching out to me for this project. It was a lot of fun and definitely got me letting loose to some awesome beats for the summer. If you're going to pick up tickets, check out TickPick's official website information about concerts and the NFL.

What about you guys - who would you love to rock out to?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

♫ Florence and the Machine Concert ♫

Florence and the Machine Concert Orlando 2016
I don't really know how to talk about music. It's not really my thing to geek about here. Mostly because it's a little bit more personal than movies or books. I can't really express how a song canmake an impact, physically and emotionally. A little less than the mental commitment it takes to engage my imagination towards books, or immerse myself in a movie, a song can wash away stress, make me blissfully happy and on top of the world, or just take me to another place.

But after attending a concert by Florence and the Machine recently, there was just no stopping me from gabbing about it everywhere. 'Cause it was AMAZING.

Florence and the Machine Concert Orlando 2016
Amazing probably isn't even the only word I can think to describe it. If you know her music, she's very ethereal, bohemian rock. With a visual album How Big, How Bold, How Beautiful (similar to Beyonce's recent HBO hit Lemonade), she doubles-down on what her life has been like since becoming a chart-topper in 2010. Alcoholism and a near mental breakdown inspired her latest work. She rocks on about destructive hangovers, keeping a solid foundation among chaos, and finding her way back.

Having attended Lady Gaga's Fame Monster/Monster tour way back when, there was a slight anticipation of seeing a persona more than a band. Not that Lady Gaga can't sing or perform, but sometimes the image, the squad, the branded lifestyle can outdo the music for a lot of mainstream artists (for me, at least). Not that Florence is mainstream, but she's a little off the radar than what typically produces a commercial radio hit. My sister and I thought Florence might re-create her Odyssey album verbatim with visual effects of the sky, dancers, and a story playing out on megatron screens. I didn't know what to expect, but I guessed it would be like a bohemian-rock version of Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life.
The second she hit the stage, it was just a concert but not just any concert. She moved through a line-up of her most recent tracks like Third Eye and some of her earlier hits (Dog Days Are Over) with ease - no brand or studio enforced persona. Just a kick-ass girl in a pink and white suit with flaming ginger hair rocking out.

Thankfully, my Elastigirl-like arms weren't mistaken for selfie sticks and banned, so I captured what I could. Super tall people surrounded me, so I tried to avoid the mysterious shadows of hands popping up. I apologize for the shakiness. Most of the time I was shooting way over my head. My little point-and-shoot does the best it can.

Ship to Wreck is only about a minute long (above). (Here's a link to the full song!) It's my very personal favorite song from her string of tracks, so I only recorded a little breaking out into a dance.

My sister absolutely loves What Kind of Man (below). There was no way I could pass up trying to record. This is much more of a fuller video, so I didn't disappoint.

Her whole album comes from someplace so organic, I can't even really imagine where its source is. The way she arranges words to music, and then music to videos, is edgy but not grabbing for attention; ethereal and light but also honest. She wrestles against lovers and herself, wanting love but also struggling to not let it tear her down, or understanding what motivates her to wreck parts of her life.

Watching Florence was like a mix of Janis Joplin and Freddy Mercury coming to life. Like Joplin, her genuine love of her music shows through every note. She does these gentle movements with her hands, like she's grabbing insane high notes and roars out of thin air. Like Mercury, she knows how to command attention. Everyone is just pulled into every song bellowing with her. Like them both, she has an insane amount of energy running all over the stage - not in a bid to just run all over the stage like a maniac, but just like the music can't be contained.

Florence and the Machine Concert Orlando 2016Funnily enough between songs, the softest British voice would emerge, anxious with adrenaline and also a timid kindness. She questioned if we were enjoying ourselves and if it was okay to share a story of what inspired her to write. One second we'd have this amazing BOOMING voice, and the next she shyly thanked us for allowing her to share what she created.

Part of me feels like you have to be there, in the moment when it comes to any kind of music - especially with a concert. The energy is just so hard to explain but seeing Florence was electric. It was the kind of concert, like a lot of music, that just changes you and creates an everlasting memory. This concert was the second stop on her U.S. tour, I can't imagine if she was feeling trepidation after such a long break. She was very surprised and grateful by how many of us were following her lead. I'd really gladly do it again any day.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

10 Favorite Songs From The Walking Dead

One of the things I love most about The Walking Dead is the music. Originally composed scores by Bear McCreary, and songs by musicians like Sharon Von Etten, compliment some of the most gruesome scenes.  With intensity and pure suspense, his scores let us know when dangerous enemies are ready to attack, anti-heroes are holding onto their sanity, and the group is facing adversities ahead.

Sometimes it's difficult to listen to the songs on their own and not think of some of the more painful instances we lost a beloved character or an obstacle changed the course for the group's survival. The music itself is a character of the show, and I thought it was time to highlight ten of my favorite songs from The Walking Dead. (Spoilers ahead)