Primadonna

Have you heard of Marina and the Diamonds? Maybe not. Well, to start Marina is a famous Welsh singer who sings music that varies from keyboard ballads to newer-sounding New Wave songs. So are the “Diamonds” her band or something? No. It’s just her. It’s a common misconception. As Marina has said herself,Β “I’m Marina. You are the diamonds.”

So how did I stumble upon Marina? I give credit to one of my favorite YouTube vloggers, Joey Graceffa. He recently did a video where he talked about his “favorite things” for the month, and this song was his pick for the past month.

I took a listen. The first time, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t crazy about it, but something made me hit repeat. Soon I realized that it was the only song I had listened to for the past 10 minutes or so.

Then I bought it on iTunes and added it to my playlists.

Take a listen for yourself! It sounds classy yet new. Definitely catchy.

What do you think of Marina and the Diamonds? Leave me a comment!

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Zero Gravity

I actually discovered this song somewhat unintentionally. I think I was watching the ‘Starships’ music video when I saw this in the related videos bar, or something like that.

So I clicked and watched the video, and what a pleasant surprise, another decent pop song! A less mainstream one nonetheless.

The singer, Kerli, isn’t exactly from around here. Well, she now resides in Los Angeles, but she’s originally from Estonia (which is in Europe). According to the all-mighty Wikipedia, she was discovered and signed-on by L.A. Reid. I really like her voice and her style. A lot of people keep comparing her to Gaga, but I don’t see the exact resemblance at all. I think her style more-so reflects Alice in Wonderland, at least in this music video.

This song is danceable, but the beat doesn’t not overshadow her vocals one bit. She can sing, quite well.

So what do you think of Kerli? Leave me a comment!

The Hunger Games… Yes, I’m Posting About It.

SUPER SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read the book and/or haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now.Β Happy Hunger Games!

So as my previous vlogs and blogs have noted, I rushed through finishing the Steve Jobs bio so I could finally get started on Suzanne Collins’ book. I started it at midnight, but was so tired that I fell asleep by 3:00 am. When I got a hold of it the next night, I was awake enough to finish it. Finished at 4:42 am. Slept for about 4 hours. Woke up and saw the movie.

Now, I could write paragraphs and paragraphs about how great both experiences were (books and film) and my thoughts and stuff, but I’ll lay it out to you in bite-sized chunks… πŸ™‚

Once again, if you didn’t read the book, there will be many spoilers below. I warned you.

A Supplement to those who read the first book:

  • I went into this knowing there was a lot of hype around it. Background: loved Harry Potter and will forever. Never touching them vampires. I had a feeling I was going to like it, so my expectations were moderately high.
  • When I started reading the first night, I immediately enjoyed it but stopped only because I fell asleep from exhaustion of the day.
  • This was surprising, because even with good books, I’m usually aware of the page number I’m on and my pacing. This book seemed to flow quickly, and I paid little to no attention to this aspect. It was as good as people hyped it up to be! *gasp*
  • Ever since reading The Giver in 8th grade, novels that feature dystopian societies have always been my favorites.
    Global warming will turn the US to Panem. Canada simply gets demoted to “Wilds.” Well now.

    That may seem a little messed up, but they are interesting. I’m always thinking about the future, and new trends, technologies, and fears are always thought provoking.

  • Today we have reality shows on about every TV channel and violent video games and movies in excess, could our future be approaching a Hunger Games reality…? Scary thought.
  • Katniss can shoot an arrow though the eye of her prey. She’s such a boss.
  • Peeta. Have you ever heard that name before? It sounds like Peter without the -er. LOL.
  • “The boy with the bread.” Whenever Katniss said that I always laughed in my head. I dunno why.
  • Need super-medicine. YAY! A parachute! What is this? Soup, sponsors?? Really? CURSE YOU HAYMITCH.
  • So what exactly did Thresh do? It’s such a mystery in the book. And he gained weight according to Katniss! Hmmmm…
  • Haha, Foxface. Her strategies were good, in my opinion. Could have used better berry-knowledge, though.
  • Collins should write a spin-off that tells the tale of how Haymitch won the 50th Hunger Games. That would be interesting.
  • And the finale! Whew! The adrenaline of reading them pages! And these genetically-altered creatures with human eyes?? Creepy yo.
  • “We’ve looked over the rulebook, and there can only be one victor…” OHHHH HELLL NOO!
  • If I were in the Hunger Games, I would have died immediately… probably by being stupid and stepping off of the tube before the countdown ended and being blown to bits. Hahaha. πŸ˜€

Katniss: “Oh Petta! I wuv youu! Mwah mwah mwah!” Peeta: “Oh Katniss! What would I do without youu… I actually luv youu. Like, legit.” Katniss: “WHOA. BACK UP. I’m just doing this for the sponsors and stuff. I have my Gale at home even though we’re not dating and I’m just gonna be confusing like that.” Peeta: “Well, at least I have mah bread. Imma talk to mah dad, and youu gonna starve.” Katniss: “Well, your life be in mah handz nao, and yo leg look redikoolus!” … I could go on with this for hours!Β  Hahaha! πŸ˜€

The movie adaption:

  • Acting was superb. Couldn’t have asked for a better cast or better acting.
What lovely Tributes… now you have to kill each other. And Gale, why you here? Stop trolling. You’re still alive, so go away.
  • The movie actually followed the book’s plot details very well… with a few minor changes that were allowed by us bookreaders. Glad to see the gold eyeliner on the movie-version of Cinna. They got a lot of stuff right.
  • This was because Collins was a screenwriter for the film. All book adaptions should do this; look at the result!
  • But I wanted to see Prim’s goat. There was no goat! Pffffft! πŸ˜‰
  • Okay, so they changed the whole mockingjay pin thing. In the book, the mayor’s daughter gives it to Katniss. In the movie, Katniss sees it in the Hob and a traders tells her to keep it, and then she gives it to Prim, and then Prim gives it back to her. It worked. No complaints.
  • They nailed it with Effie Trinket. But she got pretty much no screentime after the Games! 😦
  • “PRIMROSE EVERDEEN!” That still echoes in my head.
  • According to Twitter, some people didn’t like the actor choice/performance of Haymitch. He looked and acted exactly how I thought of him.
  • Cinna. He’s the awesome stylist. He has golden eyeliner. Who doesn’t like him??

    Cinna should have gotten more screen time, too.

  • The four notes they chose for the mockingjays were a good choice.
  • Didn’t the book say that watching the start of the Games was required by law? So why is Gale sittin’ in some random hill??
  • As messed up as the population of the Capitol is, I found them very interesting and maybe more shots of life as a painted clown person would have been entertaining. (Make-up awards maybe?)
  • Changed the roof scene in the book to a peer-out-the-window scene. It worked too.
  • As I was watching the movie, I knew most of what would happen since I read the entire book hours before, but I was literally shaking and nervous during key points of the film.
  • A lot of people and critics are complaining about the whole “shaky camera” approach in the movie. I think it adds to it. It also covers up some of the gore and all of the blood that, honestly, I didn’t want to see to much of.
  • Caesar. Liked him in the book. Loved him in the movie. He’s so funny! Especially when he does that thing when he reclines in the chair with his mouth open and goes “ahhh haha!”
Caesar Flickerman: The only person who lives in the Capitol that’s likeable. And he rocks that blue hair!
  • Since the movie isn’t a narrative told by Katniss in first-person, we got to see a little “behind the scenes” of the Capitol. The TV editors. The people who set the wild fire and project the Panem seal in the sky. Yay future technology.
  • And this “pointy-beard dude” as my friend Derrel calls him. He wasn’t in the book, right? Interesting character nonetheless. Death by berries too. Sucks for him.
  • When I read the book, I got very sad when Rue died. When it happened in the movie, that was it. I cried. There, I said it. Now I’ve gotten teary-eyed with movies before, but she was so young and it was SO SAD. I blame the lack of sleep and *insert lame excuses here* …
  • The “creatures” in the finale looked more cat-like than wolf-like as the book portrayed them to be. No human-like eyes shown either. Hmmm…
  • President Snow: this actor always plays the bad guy because he’s good at it. And here’s another thing, the ending went a little into the second book (spoiler: rebellion) and I didn’t even start it yet. Oh well…

That seems like all of the thoughts I can think of for now. If you have ANYTHING to share, leave me a comment!

And may the odds be ever in your favor! <– I will be overusing this quote for the remainder of the semester.

*cue the mockingjays*

Wild Ones

Flo Rida is looking a little funky on this album art… O_o

As you know, Sia is one of my favorite artists. She’s both mainstream and famous without being mainstream and famous. Not many artists can do that nowadays. Lately, Sia’s been in two mainstream singles so to speak: David Guetta’s ‘Titanium’ and now Flo Rida’s ‘Wild Ones.’ But the thing is, she’s in neither of their music videos. Yes, she is what they call ‘featured’ on these tracks, but she sings all of ‘Titanium’ and the chorus of ‘Wild One,’ so she should be in their videos as Sia fans argue.

However, Sia herself is the reason why she’s not in the videos. She simply isn’t in a rush to be famous.

Sia is so admirable. Her voice is one-of-a-kind, and her style and image is fun and different in a way that doesn’t mimic Gaga or Minaj in any way.

But back to this song…

What Sia Furler looks like in person, in case you didn’t already know.

The last time I actually listened to a Flo Rida song was back to the summer of ‘Low,’ and now I can’t even listen to it in its entirety. But the fact that Sia is on this single, and the fact that I still blast ‘Clap Your Hands’ in the car, this track is replayable on my playlists. Definitely a good spring track, especially since today’s officially the first day of spring!

Starships

Ever since “Super Bass,” I’ve been a Nicki Minaj fan. I know that some people find her annoying, but I think she is a talent in her own unique way. Her recent David Guetta collaboration of “Turn Me On” is a great tune, but I’ve been interested about what’s in store on her new upcoming album called “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.”

Now that promotional single “Stupid H**” may have been hated by most of her fan base (I actually thought it was catchy), and her Grammy Awards performance of “Roman’s Holiday” was kooky and controversial, but her official first single of “Starships” is something entirely different. Take a listen by checking out the video below. And about this video: it’s not an official lyric video, but it’s quite well-done! I’ve always been one for typography πŸ˜€

Advisory: Video contains language that may be offensive.

Now everyone agrees that it’s not original at all; I’m feeling a little “California Gurls” inspiration here. However, it’s very well produced and obviously appeals to the masses. Minaj is as bubbly as ever in her lyrics and performance, and I love the dance breakdown after the “starships” chorus. This song makes me want to get up and dance, just like Katy Perry’s latest contender “Part of Me,” which was my song pick last week.

Good job Nicki. I’m still a fan. See you on April 3rd.

Part of Me

I kind of took a little hiatus from doing the song picks of the week. I’ve gotta get back into the groove! πŸ™‚

There’s always an artist that benefits from singing a new single on the Grammy Awards. Last year, it was Gaga with Born This Way; this year it’s Katy Perry with Part of Me.

For me, her Grammy performance was my first exposure to the new song from the re-release of her album Teenage Dream: The Complete Confection.

Katy Perry's new singleNow I’ll place a little disclaimer: I’m not really much of a Katy Perry fan. I honestly don’t know why, I mean, I love pop music. I love Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, but Ms. Perry never stuck a tune for me.

For example, I downloaded her single E.T. a while ago, and then I got bored of it very quickly. Her songs are catchy, but they don’t have much replay value for me.

This song, however, is what will change my opinion.

Besides her wacky-colored, wavy hair in her Grammy performance, I was hooked to the song (in a good way!) Listen for yourself…

It’s a song with a good beat that pretty much blasts Russel Brand (her ex-husband). Maybe songs about breakups are just what’s best for artists, I mean, look at Adele…

Good song, Ms. Perry. If your next album is composed of Russell-inspired songs, you may have another hit… even with me!

The Madonna Super Bowl Halftime Show: Recap & Thoughts

I actually didn’t watch the Super Bowl last night; I was in my dorm doing homework like a loser. But there were TWO things I did see (and actually cared about): Kelly Clarkson opening with the Star-Spangled Banner and Madonna’s hyped half-time show.

(By the way, Kelly nailed it and flubbed no lyrics, but let’s focus on Madge…)

Madonna is special to me and my family because my mom grew up with her. My mom and Madonna are both the same age, so she holds a special place in my mom’s music tastes. She got me to like Madonna’s work, and once her recent album ‘Hard Candy’ came out, I was sold. A new generation of Madonna fans were brought into her ‘Sticky & Sweet’ world.

So, if you didn’t see the show, check it out below courtesy of Perez Hilton.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH MADONNA’S PERFORMANCE

We open with ‘Vogue,’ which is Spartan themed. Interesting take of the song and what an entrance! Madonna definitely wanted to make it clear that she is the Queen of Pop.

Then we have her last number one hit ‘Music.’ It reminded me of how much I missed listening to this song. She’s like doing assisted flip-things at age 54! Like, wow!

This was a bit remixed too, and featured LMFAO seamlessly with ‘Party Rock Anthem’ and ‘Sexy and I Know It.’ The three-song mash up remix actually worked! And it was great to see Madonna shuffle with the new generation of pop hit-makers.

And then, the new single, “Give Me All Your Luvin'” which serves as the lead single off of her upcoming new album, ‘MDNA.’ To be honest, I’m not crazy about the song because it sounds dated and there’s nothing really spectacular about it, but Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. are welcomed as featured rappers.

When Nicki started her little rap, the audience was like “RAAAAAAAA!” *cheer*

And the first time I watched it, I totally DID NOT NOTICE M.I.A.’s little NMA gesture there! Put that finger away! This is supposed to be family-friendly entertainment. Better than a wardrobe-malfunction though…

And to close, we’ve got Cee-Lo Green and Madge singing ‘Like a Prayer,’ and with the choir and all, it seemed quite moving.

So, my conclusion was that it was a good show, but I’m a Madonna fan. I think for everyone else, they were either disappointed or didn’t really remember it by the end of the night. I think Madge kept it conservative, which was good, but she could have been a little more creative in making it a conversation topic of the Monday after. And I felt no audience connection at all: just Madge strutting around with her a-list featured artists. The singing was good though! πŸ™‚

But now I can’t stop thinking what a Lady Gaga halftime show would be like.

Let me know what you thought of the halftime show in a comment!