Category Archives: Music

What I’m here for in 2013

I’ve been gone for a while. Life has been tough. The media has been uninspiring. Music has been blah. But three weeks in to 2013, it looks like things will change.

Here’s what I’m here for in 2013.

New Justin Timberlake and Beyonce albums – Being a 90’s child, these are the idols. Both of them are releasing albums this year and what makes me the most excited about it is they’re keeping true to themselves and not hopping on the dance music bandwagon.

Beyonce said to GQ magazine:

“I’ve been working with Pharrell and Timbaland and Justin Timberlake and Dream. We all started in the ’90s, when R&B was the most important genre, and we all kind of want that back: the feeling that music gave us.”

Hearing that made me love her even more. I loved Beyonce’s last album, more than any of her other albums. It wasn’t as successful as her previous albums because it was strictly R&B. There are rumors her first single is called “Ratchet” with Lady Gaga. If that’s true, all I hope for is an amazing dance video like “Telephone.” With the Super Bowl performance, the album and the HBO documentary, Beyonce is about to take over 2013 and I’m ready.
Justin Timberlake hasn’t released an album in seven years. I was starting to give up on him and hate him for focusing on crappy movies instead of music. Then I heard the single and now I’m a JT stan again. Suit and Tie picks up right where FutureSex/LoveSounds left off. Screw the trends in pop music, JT kept it R&B and did what he does best. The reviews of the single were mixed, but according to Rolling Stone, Suit and Tie is projected to sell more copies then SexyBack. I can’t wait until his album, until he starts releasing videos. I’m excited for two of my favourite artists to come back hard this year.
Washington Heights on MTV – I’m a sucker for shows about young people of colour in New York City trying to achieve their artistic dreams. It’s like the books I write. As soon as I heard this show was in production. I knew I was going to watch it. I just didn’t think I’d love it so much.
It follows a group of friends living in the Heights following their drama with relationships and friendships. With reality shows, there’s always the question of if it’s real or not, but with this show, I don’t care. The boys are good looking, the girls are smart and I absolutely love the New York accents.
Whenever I watch it, all I want to do is write, which is a good thing.
Scandal – Best show on TV, hands down. It has been ages since I’ve been so addicted to a scripted television drama. Did I originally tune in because the lead was a black female? Yes. But the acting is incredible and the writing? Mind blowing. I didn’t realize how the stellar writing sets this show apart until I watched Megan Good’s show Deception last week. It was predictable with corny dialogue and an unoriginal story. Scandal takes twists and turns you’d never see coming, with smart, witty dialogue. Every Thursday night, Scandal fans take over Twitter. This show owes a lot of its popularity to social media and it actually lives up to the hype.
New adventures – 2013 is a year where I really have to make things happen for myself. I want that job, I want my books to be published, I want to travel more and I want that relationship. Anything can happen and I hope it will.

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Childish Gambino Concert Review

I almost didn’t go see Childish Gambino last night.

I’ve been feeling down lately. I had two tickets to the show and could not find anyone who wanted to come with me. This is always a problem I have. I buy two tickets for shows, thinking I can find someone to come with and I never do. Since I was feeling so low, I thought why am I going to go to this show, that’s in an outdoor venue on a beach, alone? I could curl up on the couch and write my book.

Literally at the last minute, I decided what the hell? If I didn’t go, not only would I be throwing $100 bucks down the drain, I’d probably regret it later because I’m a huge Gambino fan.

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BET Awards 2012 Review

Another BET Awards has passed. It was fun to live tweet, but the show didn’t blow me away this year. It had its moments that will be remembered, but besides that it was pretty forgettable. Here are some highs and lows.

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Bring It On: The Musical – Review

I’m the kind of person who isn’t afraid to do things on my own. Especially when it comes to going to musicals. I’ve seen “In The Heights” twice alone, “Fela” alone and last night I went to see “Bring It On: The Musical” solo dolo. I didn’t really have a huge interest in this show. I got an email with a code for discounted tickets, I had heard good things and decided to give it a shot. I went to the show with absolutely no expectations. It was one of the best musicals I’ve seen in a long time.

Hearing the title “Bring It On: The Musical”, you’d think it wouldn’t be that great. I had a friend who burst out laughing when I told her that was the show I was going to see. What drew me to this show (besides the cheap ticket price) was the involvement of Lin-Manuel Miranda. He’s the genius behind one of my favourite musicals of all time, “In The Heights.” He worked on the music to the show and since I know every single word to every song on the “In The Heights” soundtrack, I figured the music would be pretty good.

The first thing to point out is it’s not the same story from the movie. At intermission I heard some guys beside me say, “Where’s Torrance?” There were brand new characters and a new story line. Campbell Brown, the captain of her cheerleading squad, is transferred to an inner city school and creates a new squad to take down her old one.

The show was full of singing and dancing. There were real cheerleaders in the show, doing tricks, flinging girls so high in the air it seemed like they were going to hit the lights. At lot of times it reminded me of “In The Heights”, the way the characters would rap and even some of the choreography and formations because the same choreographer who worked on that show worked on this one as well. The show was funny too. It was modern with references to Twitter, Facebook, texting and video chats and it was a little racy with a few swear words thrown in.

I was laughing, nodding my head to the music and loving the dancing. It was a show that reminded me of how much I love musicals. There are theatre moments I’ve had in my life that I’ll always remember. Watching “In The Heights” for the first time in New York City, seeing “The Lion King” in the front row, seeing Fantasia in “The Color Purple” on Broadway and I’m adding last night to the list. There’s nothing better than going to a show with an open mind and being pleasantly surprised.

Bring It On: The Musical runs until June 3 in Toronto and will be on Broadway this summer.

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The Importance of Headphones

You never realize what you have, or how much you take something for granted until it’s taken away from you.

I’m going through that right now… with my headphones.

Rewind a few years. I used to work the morning shift at my job and we were allowed to listen to music until the store opened. So everyday, for about four hours, I’d have my headphones in, either listening to music or a learn Spanish podcast. Then after work, I’d come home and write and put my headphones back in, cause I like to write with music.

All that headphone use turned out to be too much for my ears. After visiting the doctor this week for the second time, I was told that I have to give the headphones a rest for at least a month.

“But doc, are you saying I can never wear headphones again?” I asked frantically.

The doctor looked at me like it wasn’t a big deal at all.

But it’s a HUGE deal.

There is something so sacred about having your headphones in. The commute to school or work isn’t that bad, doing homework goes faster, that walk to your car becomes a dance, you walk with your back a bit straighter because a hardcore hip hop song is blasting in your ears and you feel like you’re the shit. It’s everything. It kept me alive working that morning shift.

There’s something satisfying about listening to music no one else can hear. A nod of your head becomes a dance, standing on the subway platform lipsycing your favorite song becomes the music video in your head, a slow jam can hit you a certain way on the subway and you burst in to tears. There’s that feeling that your iPod knows exactly the kind of songs you need to hear. You play all your jams when your happy, that make you smile super wide out in public, or the songs that match the shitty mood you’re in.

You put your headphones in so you don’t have to listen to the stupid teen conversations on the bus, hear the babies cry, tune out the crazy lady on the subway preaching about Jesus, when you’re bored in class, when you want to watch a show on your laptop late at night in bed.

Headphones are life. Music is life.

I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going to have to learn to tune people out, find books that I can completely lose myself in so I can forget where I am and what my life is like. Walks will feel longer, the subway rides louder, the day a whole lot lonelier.

I’m already counting down the days. The first week of April, I will be the girl on the subway with big, ear muff like headphones in, grinning like an idiot because I have my music back.

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Bits

Time hasn’t been an issue for me in a while. It always felt like there was too much time and I didn’t know how to fill my day. That has changed completely. School is literally kicking my ass. There are so many assignments due, quizzes to study for, an event to plan and of course a novel to write. Unfortunately, this blog has been put on the back burner. Thanks to the people who’ve asked me what’s going on, telling me they check the blog for new posts. I appreciate you and I’ll work harder to post more. But honestly, not much has been happening. There are no dance shows on to complain about, TV has been dry and boring, the music out right now is terrible. So I’ll just write about a few things I feel like discussing.

Rihanna and Breezy – Probably 20% of this entire blog is about Chris Brown. I’m known at school as the ultimate Breezy stan (and I’m proud of it). The two songs that he did with Rihanna hit the Internet and people are outraged. I’m not, cause the songs are good, well “Birthday Cake” is good, not really feeling the “Turn Up the Music” remix.  I knew this would happen eventually. These two have this bond that I’m not even going to try to understand, it was only a matter of time before they became friends again. I’m at the point now where I really don’t care. It’s been three years, obviously Rihanna had to forgive him in order to move on and allowing him back in her life is her choice. I can’t say that I would never do that if I were in her shoes cause thankfully I’ve never had a guy beat the crap out of me. I’ve also never fallen in love with my best friend. They’re grown, I’m grown and if they want to make music together I’ll listen to it. Of course there’s the argument that Rihanna is a role model and all these young girls are going to think it’s okay to let your abuser back in your life. If I had a daughter, I’d definitely talk to her about this and say this is Rihanna’s choice, it doesn’t have to be yours if this happened to you. It’s not up to Rihanna to raise the children of the world. If it was, she would have done a lot more to help girls dealing with domestic violence then she has. It’s all about the music. Haters, come for me.

Romeo Santos – The only kind of music that is giving me any kind of enjoyment right now is Spanish music. My iPod is so incredibly boring. So many mornings I feel like I have nothing to listen to with over 1,600 songs on my iPod. Whenever I feel like that, I go to my Latin playlist and enjoy every song. The majority of songs I’ve added this year so far have been in Spanish and my favorite artist right now would have to be Romeo Santos. His songs are really good, he has a beautiful voice and he’s not that bad to look at. I watched the “All Aboard” video in class on my iPod and almost had a heart attack. It’s amazing to hear him sing in English and to see him in a video with Lil’ Wayne. I had an urge to start a Twitter campaign to get 106 and Park to play the video and then I realized that I’m not 17. I have better things to do with my time. But now with techno pop, weird British boy bands and the decline of R&B, I have to turn to music in a language I barely understand.

Q’Viva The Chosen – Speaking of Latin culture, this weekend I watched Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s new show Q’Viva. It’s a talent show where the former couple travel all over South and Central America looking for the best Latin talent. They went to so many countries, looking for singers, dancers and musicians. It was honestly so entertaining and amazing to watch. For JLO and Marc Anthony to do a show like this is amazing in itself. For them to go to these countries to find these talented people who maybe would never get the chance to leave their countries and come to the U.S is so incredible. I love artists who are able to reach such high levels of fame and then give back to their communities. This show represents Latin culture in a way not many people have seen before. I love it.

That’s about it. Spring and summer are coming, which means the return of SYTYCD and hopefully Dance Crew. Then I’ll have something to write about.

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Watch The Throne Concert Review

I’ve been to a lot of amazing concerts this year, I got to see Chris Brown, Janet Jackson and Miguel. But by far the best show I’ve seen this year, and maybe the best concert I’ve ever seen, is Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch The Throne Tour.

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