Category Archives: Music

Weenie Roasts of yore

The line-up for KROQ’s summer concert, Weenie Roast, was announced earlier this month. I’ve wanted to go to Weenie Roast before, and even managed to watch it once.

But this year… This year I actually have a source of income (small as it may be), and yet I don’t want to go. First of all it’s because I’m only interested in The Strokes of all the twelve bands, and only somewhat interested. (I’ve never heard of over half those bands, which probably goes to show how little I listen to KROQ nowadays.)

Secondly, I realized… I’m just different. There is a palpable change in my personality, oh my gosh! I’m getting old, I change less and less every year, compared to the years in my childhood, so it’s fascinating to me when I notice a change.

From the 2004 line-up, the bands I wanted to see and my current opinion: The Strokes – meh; Bad Religion – nope; Yeah Yeah Yeahs – maybe; Velvet Revolver – ew no; Yellowcard – nope; New Found Glory – nope; Modest Mouse – maybe; and The Killers – yeah right.

2005: Hot Hot Heat – nope; Interpol – nope; Jimmy Eat World – I only really liked Bleed American their self-titled album; The Killers!! – (exclamation points from original entry, hahaha!) nope; My Chemical Romance – no way in hell; MXPX – I don’t even remember who this band is; Queens otSA – maybe, but I haven’t listened to anything but Songs for the Deaf; Alkaline Trio – nope; The Bravery – nope.

Anyway. I didn’t say much in this entry. My music tastes have changed, big woop. But a slight change from 2004, I might be willing now to go see a live musical performance. I’ve seen Celtic Woman a number of times, “dragged” there by my brother, and if I got a seat far back enough from the stage maybe the volume won’t hurt my ears.

The only rock band I have any interest in seeing perform live though is Muse. I think they’re in L.A. this summer? I keep seeing ads on Facebook for tickets. But no one else I know is into Muse, so I’d be going alone, which would never happen.

accepting Born This Way

My first exposure to Lady Gaga’s song, Born This Way, was on the Grammy’s this year. Back then it bored me and I completely tuned it out. I’m not a “little monster” or a big Gaga fan. I plan on buying a couple of her songs, but for the most part I don’t follow her. I’m pretty neutral about her, so my not liking the song wasn’t a big deal.

But last week Al Yankovic released a parody, Perform This Way. I read his account of the whole ordeal, jumping through hoops to end up getting turned down. (And ultimately okayed.) I gave his song a listen and actually ended up liking it!

Weird Al’s explanation that he planned to donate all sales to the Human Rights Campaign because the original “was such an earnest human rights anthem” also got me more intrigued in Lady Gaga’s song. ‘An anthem?’ I thought. ‘I don’t remember hearing that in the lyrics.’ (That I totally didn’t listen to.)

In a weird coincidence, this week on Glee they performed Born This Way. I really enjoyed their rendition of it too. (It was such a fun episode! And yay, Kurt’s back!!)

I couldn’t figure out where the disconnect came for me. Usually I don’t like songs on first hearing them (Selena Gomez? *grin*) (mostly because I have to be in the right mood to listen to different types of music, but that’s not important) but I never completely write them off and consider them a waste of my time.

Today I went back to view the performance at the Grammy’s, the only time I had ever heard Gaga singing the song. I have to say, I don’t know if it was done on purpose, but the sound mixing was horrible. I could barely hear Gaga’s voice. The times I did hear her though, she didn’t sound all that great. I have seen other live performances of hers, and she’d never sounded that bad to me. But then that might be because she wasn’t dancing around the stage so much like at the Grammy’s. She had more energy to devote to singing.

Finally, finally, I watched her music video with her studio recording, and it sounded like Lady Gaga to me. Yay! Don’t know that I’ll buy the song though. But Weird Al’s and Glee’s versions are definitely on my to-buy list!

old music versus modern music

All my life—or at least since I was a teen—my mom has oft repeated, “Music these days has no tune.” I agreed with her up until recently, when I had to change my views on music, or toss out most of my music collection!

My mom grew up during the 60s and 70s, seemingly the golden age of musical creativity. Motown, The Beatles, you name it, practically every musical act was or had a hit. I don’t remember who were her favorites as a kid, but now she’s a fan of Janis Ian (first and foremost!) and other female folk artists. She also enjoys doo-wop and jazz, and my brother has turned her on to Celtic Woman.

My journey through music is chronicled on my personal site, and although it hasn’t been updated for over a year, and I’ll likely add to it after this entry is done, there isn’t much that’s new. Right now the top five musical artists on my Last.fm profile are The Cardigans, Maria Mena, The Divine Comedy, Lisa Loeb, and the Submarines. Lately I’ve also been listening to Muse (thanks to a certain artist) and to movie soundtracks (yay, Neil Gaiman!).

Mum once told me that she rarely ever likes every single song on an album. No matter how much she likes the artist, there is always at least one song that she won’t listen to. (So when she says that she thinks Vanessa Carlton’s Be Not Nobody album is the best she’s ever heard, and there is not one bad song on it, this is very high praise, coming from her.) Basically, she is picky with her music.

When I told her that I usually like all the music I buy, she thought I was lucky. I thought, although I didn’t tell her, that maybe it just meant my standards weren’t as high. Normally it takes me a couple listens to actually hear the music, and not just a wall of mindless sound. I didn’t know whether I was readjusting my brain to accept the music, lowering my standards, or what. (When I hear a tune I like, I immediately know I like it, no adjustment period or subsequent listens required.)

By this point I began to think that either my taste in music really sucked compared to my mom’s and that I had a tin ear, or that my tastes differed from hers.
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all that jazz?

I decided to start a new entry [from the “exactly relative sizes” one], since the last one went longer than I expected. (Why do I always do that?!)

Next up … I can’t remember the order. ._. I’ll just go with Burt’s Bees Beeswax lip balm.

I saw this ad in a Vanity Fair issue (I bought it for a class, but I can’t recall which one) decrying lip balms for using petroleum-based ingredients, and to make sure what you put on your lips is all-natural and not refined rotted dinosaur remains. I don’t remember what product the ad was for. But it definitely hit a mark.

I decided, since I needed more lip balm, to try a natural one, i.e. Burt’s Bees Beeswax. I saw it at Target, right next to Chapstick. The Burt’s was about a quarter more than the Chapstick, so I was questioning the au naturale ideas in my head, especially since there were three Chapsticks in one package, and only one of the Burt’s — pay less for triple the product? Very tempting. But I decided to not be cheap and try the Burt’s at least once.

I have to say I’m disappointed. The Burt’s gives my lips this cold tingly feeling , which I do not want. (Apparently other customers like it though…)

Hmm … it appears that it was a good thing I waited to write this up, because the info on the Skin Deep: Cosmetics Safety Database changed since I last looked at it. Chapstick lip balm now looks more harmful than Burt’s Bees Beeswax lip balm. Huh. (And oh hay look, white petrolatum in the Chapstick!!1)

Well, natural lip balms at places like Lush cost too much for me (and I never like having to touch lip balm to apply it — don’t they advise not touching your face because of the bacteria on your hands?), and Chapstick seems out (unless I can find this Chapstick all natural version), so I don’t know what to go for next. But that won’t be for a while. I can count all the lip balms I’ve had in my life on one hand; most of them were freebies.

Next item, 3Musketeers Mint. I saw commercials for this starting Christmas of last year? 3Musketeers is probably my favorite candy bar. It doesn’t mean I absolutely love it, but most of the time I’d accept eating one, which is better than what I can say about other bars. So when I saw the mint, I wanted to try it.

I found it in the checkout line at Albertson’s here, so of course I grabbed it. When I got home, I realized it’s smaller than the normal 3Musketeers bar, and it’s packaged with two bars, half the size of a regular one. Slight disappointment there, but maybe mint costs more or something, I’d forgive them for that.

When I bit into it though, it wasn’t that great. Maybe my expectations were too high. I think I expected something like a York Peppermint Patty. But the 3Musketeers Mint isn’t as sweet. It’s okay. I probably won’t buy it again. But I’d accept it if someone offered it to me. *grin*

The really rad thing about it though, the main reason why I’m talking about it at all, is the packaging. XD First, 3Musketeers Mint wrapping in normal lighting. It’s got that normal metallic look that the 3Musketeers bar has, right? Then, 3Musketeers Mint wrapping while backlit. Whoa! Transparent wrapper! XD It’s not a good quality photo, because in real life the nutrition facts can be read while backlit. mreh.

Now, I read Wil Wheaton’s post about Scarlett Johansson’s album a while ago … whenever it was first posted. I had no idea what type of music she’d done, but I know generally I don’t share Wil’s taste in music. (I’m more pop and mainstream, although I enjoy rock and a bit of indie music.)

Her album really surprised me though. I thought she’d be doing the normal pop album. I never expected the music that I heard. (I’m no music guru, so I have no idea what style or genre it is or anything.) There are a few songs on there I don’t enjoy, but for the most part, I would buy the album if it cost me $10 or so. (Hm, maybe I should buy the mp3s on Amazon.)

It’s got a nice atmosphere to the music. Not something I’d want to listen to every day like The Cardigans, but in the right mood it would be the best music. Like Lily Chou-Chou! *grins*

So I finished reading Garth Nix’s Across the Wall … a long while ago. I loved it! I read someone’s comment that it’s not as good as the Old Kingdom Trilogy. Well of course. The Old Kingdom spans over three books, you really get to get into the world and into the characters and into the stories.

Across the Wall is a collection of short stories. Short stories are, well short. There’s no time for development and evolution. It’s just a quick event that introduces a new idea and makes you (well, me at least) think about the world differently. I thought Garth Nix was incredibly imaginative with these stories. (I love short stories, by the way. Got introduced to them properly by Neil Gaiman. Read some of Roald Dahl’s adult short stories. I need to own them!)

Garth Nix was so good that I want to read The Once and Future King. I never thought I’d pick that up. Daddy owns a copy (an ooold copy). I never was interested in King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. But Garth Nix has piqued my interest … as any good author should do.

Those are my reviews. The first two were written June 6th; I’m finishing this June 17th.

The remark I made earlier about gas … well the Monday before I saw gas was $4.33. I thought of filling up, but meh I was lazy and as I always do when I’m lazy, I thought I’d wait to see if the price would go down. The next day, Tuesday, I drove by the station again and the price was $4.44. I was so gobsmacked that I didn’t even consider buying gas.

I guess I should have though. I ended up buying four gallons on the 13th to make it home to L.A. where gas is guaranteed to be at least five cents cheaper (oh big whoop, five cents…) and had to pay $4.69 per gallon. Augh.

That ends my collection of little reviews and thoughts.

Gypsy, Aly & AJ

Yesterday Mum and I watched Gypsy ’cause Mum was looking for a movie for me to watch. I feel like, even though I couldn’t really watch the movie (VCR is getting old, and the VHS cassette is old), I really saw the movie this time. Rose’s manipulation, June’s frustration, Louise wanting to please Rose, and then the scene where Louise had to go on stage as Gypsy Rose Lee for the first time. Man, what an actor Natalie Wood is. XD I really need to see her other movies. (I’ve seen The Great Race, Gypsy of course, Splendor in the Grass, and Rebel Without a Cause.)

Mum told me that Gypsy Rose Lee came to the filming of the movie and cried when she saw Natalie Wood on stage, because she had the walk down perfect.

In other news, N bought Aly & AJ’s album Insomniatic. (From Wal-Mart. Hulk smash!!) Wheee! It’s a great album. :D Whenever I listen to Potential Breakup Song today I get weepy. It’s just … so good. *wipes away tear*