Of Tuesday Tunes – Two Weeks by FKA twigs

My song of the week is Two Weeks by FKA twigs.

This song is dirty, the lyrics are explicitly about desiring sex, and how she’s so good that he’ll forget all about his lover, presumably his girlfriend.

What makes this song interesting is the unconventional melody, meaning that sometimes there isn’t really much of one. During the verses, there’s a part where she sings only one note in quick, sharp staccatos that lead into a breathy high note. There’s no doubt that she was aiming to sound orgasmic – and she succeeded.

The orchestration is made of heavy synthesizers and a strong kick in the percussion, matching the sexiness of the lyrics and vocal styling.

The music video is … odd. I’m not really sure of what to make of it, though my favorite part is when she starts pouring gold dust on one of her subjects for no apparent reason.

Favorite lyric: “Flying like a stream of thunder, only way to do each other (High), Pull out the insides and give me two weeks, you won’t recognize her.”

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Of Tuesday Tunes – Run by Nicole Scherzinger

My song of the week is Run by Nicole Scherzinger.

This song is quite different from the club pop anthems that most associate with the former Pussycat Doll.

Run is simple, slow, raw, and powerful. But most of all – it’s sad. The first time I heard the song, I had chills before she even started singing. Her quick exhale sent shivers throughout my body and I thought, “This is going to be depressing, but in the best possible way,” and I was right.

I’ve come across people who think that if a song, movie, book, or tv show is sad then it’s not good. I’ve never understood that, to me if it makes you feel something, even if only slightly, then it’s worth paying attention to. This song pulls at my heartstrings and I love it for that.

I decided not to post the music video because it’s essentially her writhing around on the floor the whole time, which takes away from the emotion of the song. So please enjoy the audio:

Favorite lyric: “But you’ll get lost in the challenge, of trying not to get hurt, here’s advice for the next one, run”

Of Tunesday Tunes – Nothing Would be Better by Nick Jonas

My song of the week is Nothing Would be Better by Nick Jonas.

Nick Jonas’ solo debut is fantastic! If you’re hesitant because of his Disney/boy band background, just remember that the now beloved Justin Timberlake has a similar history #JimmyFallonsBFF #Hilarious #WhoKnew? #SexyBack #CryMeaRiver #Classic

Honestly, it was difficult choosing only one song off this album. I can’t recommend fiercely enough that you listen to the whole thing, if you have a soul you won’t be disappointed. Almost every song falls into one of my two favorite categories: fun or sexy.

Few songs make me hit the repeat button as often as Nothing Would be Better has. The song is beautiful with a rich build to a mostly instrumental chorus – he uses the wordless chorus quite a lot actually. The words are poetic yet simple as Nick’s voice balances perfectly with the stunning orchestration in the background.

Plus as an added bonus for danceland, it’s the perfect song to DJ in the middle of a blues/fusion set.

Favorite lyric: “We don’t turn around unless we’re throwing stones. And we’re crawling like there’s cracks all in our bones. You’re the broken part of me that makes me whole. But so unsure”

Of Tuesday Tunes – Can’t Save Her by Chantal Claret

My song of the week is Can’t Save Her by Chantal Claret.

This song oozes sex, with her seductive voice soaring over a simple but captivating background.

As a dancer/DJ, finding a song that has a solid kick (when the song goes up – usually through the addition of new instruments or a change of key) is magic. What makes the kick in Can’t Save Her perfect is the brief moment wear they strip down the song to minimal instruments and vocals. Then once the anticipation is too much they build up the song and grab your attention in a different and exciting way – kinda like sex.

Favorite lyric: “Another noch on her bed, she forgets the time she said that when sex becomes a habit it’s no fun.”

Of Tuesday Tunes – Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars

Before my work schedule cut into my social life I used to DJ for the blues/fusion social dance scene on a regular basis. And I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty awesome. So while I not-so-patiently await my return to dance land, I figured I’d begin sharing my musical wisdom with a song of the week.

This week I’m obsessed with Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars. It’s so catchy I can hardly stand it – I want to listen to it all the time. Think The Blues Brothers meets early Michael Jackson with a modern twist.

In short, it makes me want to dance in the most energetic theatrical way possible.

Favorite lyric: “Gotta kiss myself I’m so pretty.”

Of How to Start the Party

Me Dancing

Time to get my dance on.

I’ve been going out dancing since I was eighteen. At first I was awkward (as many are), unsure of how to move my body to music (had no personal style), and didn’t feel confident dancing alone (finding a grinding buddy was a must).

Quickly I learned how to shimmy my ass off and move around the floor. My greatest discovery being that I don’t have much of a butt, thus trying to shake it like the other girls made me look plain weird. Isolating the torso to this day is my strength. Through the basic motion of moving my ribs from side to side I am able to create the illusion of having hips like Shakira. People say I appear sexy and creative when I dance, in reality I’m doing six moves on repeat.

Thanks to my five-year background maneuvering around the club scene, I am highly practiced at starting the party. With the exception of my dancing buddies, most my friends have only ever heard me go on and on about my extreme dance obsession: Blues, swing, Scottish Country, square, clubbing, etc. It’s a wonder they even put up with my jabber. So when we I went out with my non-dance friends for a farewell bash, they were all shocked and amazed by how quickly I can fill a dance floor (two different clubs, both nearly empty, it was crowded within five minutes – not that I’m bragging…).

And right now, I’m gonna tell you the secret.

The key to starting the party is patience. I don’t just mean waiting for people to start moving. I mean waiting for the right song. A song that is popular and everybody seems to love, aka something from the Top 40’s list. Also, 90s hits are always safe choice, especially if the song is hip hop, I cannot stress that enough. Clubrats love 90s night.

Next is confidence. Whether you are a good dancer or not, you have to own it. If you’re shy you probably don’t believe me, but there is something equally attractive about someone who throws themselves into their moves (even if they are far from stellar) as the person who is wickedly talented in the dance department. The reason is because of confidence, people don’t care if you are good, they care if you look like fun to hang out with.

The last part takes practice – come across as appealing. Balance being sexy with dorky. Seductive with quirky. Vixen with wacky. You want people to feel gravitated towards you and yet comfortable to dance near you. If you’re too good, too sexy, then people will tend to shy away in fear of your talent – except for a few creepers that may try to hit on you. Mixing the playful side of your personality might mean busting out the sprinkler or pulling a friend who is an average dancer onto the floor with you.  My go to is hopping. Yup, hopping. In between torso twirls I’ll bop about on my toes with my arms above my head.

If all else fails do the macarena – I’m serious, you can do the macarena to any pop/hip-hop song ever made. Just wait for the bridge or chorus with an 8-count beat.

Let’s recap: remember patience, remain confident (they can sense fear), and balance your sexy self with your playfulness.

Oh, I almost forgot, it also helps to use the space around you. Try not to stand in one spot the whole time.

End of lesson. You are now educated with the basic rules for adequately starting the party. After a little practice you won’t even realize you’re doing these things, until that fateful day when a less skilled friend points out your talent.

Me Dancing With Arms Up

Put your hands in the air, wave them like you just don’t care! Hey! Ho! Hey! Ho!

Of Baking Adventures With Friends

Girls Cooking

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Today I got off work and the sun was actually out! A true rarity in the Pacific North West, a land of gray clouds for miles with little spats of sunshine that tease all of the locals on a daily basis. The only clouds I could see were little white ones hovering over the mountains, and unless the wind changed they wouldn’t reach my doorstep for a couple of days. I mustn’t let this day go to waste, I thought. I’d been spending far too much time inside, and despite my whole four hours of sleep the night before I denied myself the act of hiding in my room and taking a nap. So I called Lainie, one of my dearest friends, and inquired about baking a pie – she eagerly accepted. I smiled, I can always count on her for kitchen adventures.

Yes, on a bright and sunny day, I chose an indoor activity involving a hot stove – who says I don’t make great life choices? In my defense, at least I was inside with another person instead of the usual sitting on my bed watching Netflix.  I’m inherently an indoor person, I’m happy looking at a pretty day through a window while I drink coffee and attempting a task of some kind. In this case the task at hand was baking a pie, ideally a fruit pie – let’s go with an apple pie. It’s classic and American.

I arrived at Lainie’s front door with one of my cookbooks. But here’s the funny thing about baking with friends, you almost never do what you set out to do. It seems once you’re in the presence of your fellow baker something clicks in both your brains and a different recipe sounds way better than the one you initially agreed on. This also means that you’ll probably have to go to the store for ingredients. And it’s guaranteed you’ll make something extra awesome, if for no other reason the sheer spontaneity of it all. So we went to the store and got our ingredients for apple crisp.

I’d nearly forgotten about the crisp until I opened the book, but it certainly is way better than pie. I’d never made it before but I’d watched my mom sit peeling apples at least a hundred times as a kid. Apple crisp was always my favorite dessert. In the way that muffins are like cake you can eat for breakfast, crisp is like pie – only better, with a crumbly topping.

There is no doubt in my mind that the key to a successful baking adventure with friends is to select good music. I suggest something upbeat. The music drives the mood, and in turn the tone of conversation. Without music baking turns into a silent endeavor with the only sound in the room being that of wooden stirring sticks and knives against a cutting board. This is dangerous territory that could bring about serious or negative conversations that may ruin the beautiful day. No one wants that, especially when people are holding knives. 

And so Lainie and I began our baking. She peeled the apples, since I suck tremendously at the task, and I chopped them up into smaller pieces. I marveled at the texture of the apple. It’s so similar to potatoes in everything from the color to how it felt in my hand, and yet it tastes so much better. Gosh I love fruit. Eventually we moved on to the crumbly topping, we tossed in an assortment of cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar (among other ingredients). Lainie, in her bakery genius, was able to figure out how to make our own Allspice as well as a means to make the recipe fit the dish we were using. And lastly, we popped it in the oven.

And that was it.

Thirty-five minutes later we pulled out our delicious dessert but we didn’t eat any. It’s been six hours and we still haven’t cut it up into slices. We just wanted to bake, not necessarily eat the damn thing. That’s the quirky thing about baking with buddies, after all is said and done eating the desert is not the point. It’s cheesy, silly, and a whole mess of shit you’d see a housewife do on a 1950s sitcom. But sometimes, even on an incredibly warm sunny day, we want to grab a cookbook, turn on some music, dance, and make sugary treats that eventually we’ll share with our close friends.

I gotta say, I’m psyched to try our apple crisp.

Of PTX, Vol. 1 by Pentatonix (Music Review)

Pentatonix

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The first EP entitled PTX, Vol. 1 by the a capella group Pentatonix is officially out. Go buy it! All of you, its sheer genius.

WARNING: these singers will make you feel extremely untalented (but in a good way).

I pre-ordered this album weeks ago and was incredibly thrilled to see it had automatically downloaded into my iTunes (no waiting, excellent). When I watched this group on NBC’s The Sing Off last season they stood out in a way that no a capella group ever has, and trust me I’m an a capella nerd. They were modern, attractive, seemed genuinely nice, and have every possibility of creating a buzz that will make them well-known in the mainstream market.

Here’s what makes them so special, they break the boundaries. They come up with unique arrangements, can pull of vocal dub-step/techno as well as pop, r&b, hip-hop, and virtually whatever genre they feel like singing, but most of all each of their band mates has equal importance. Most the time when watching an a capella group perform there is the clear star, everyone else seems to fade into the background while they get all the attention and praise. With Pentatonix everyone shines at all times, they are a team that works together. Plus their bass and beatboxer (who also gets props for knowing how to play the cello) are crazy awesome.

When I started listening to the EP I thought, this is so epic! Followed shortly by, how do they get their voices to do that? And from that point on this album is all I’ve listened to. To give you a taste of this brilliant group I’ve posted their first music video below, which also happens to be the first track on PTX, Vol. 1:

The rest of the EP is up to the same caliber of technical quality regarding their arrangement as well as entertainment. My only complaint is that it’s only seven songs long. When they release a full length album I’ll be giddy as hell, like a kid at Christmas, unable to sleep the night before from the excitement.

Trust me, you need this album in your life.

Of the Meaning Behind “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

The song, Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, is currently a massive hit. Turn on any pop radio station, and within thirty minutes odds are you’ll hear it. Go to any night club, and at some point during the night the DJ will work the tune into the mix. Go on a road trip with me, and I guarantee you I’ll play the song because it’s damn catchy. If by some miracle you’ve yet to hear Call Me Maybe I put the music video below, it’s kind of adorable, just saying.

The songs popularity or the fact that I walked around downtown Bellingham with my friends belting this song at the top of my lungs last Sunday night is not my point. Seriously folks, this song is hella deep. So now, an in-depth look at Call Me Maybe:

“I threw a wish in the well, don’t ask me I’ll never tell,” okay, noted, I will not ask you what you’re wish was Carly. I can respect that.

“I looked to you as it fell, and now your in my way,” what this tells me is that Carly was trying to make her wish, that it was important pertaining to her future, maybe her career or grandparents health was dependent on it. I don’t know, I promised I wouldn’t ask. But this guy was in her way, forcing her to sidestep the purpose of why she was at this magical well.

“I trade my soul for a wish,” that’s just a bad idea.

“Pennies and dimes for a kiss,” come on, surely your kiss must be worth at least a dollar!

“I wasn’t looking for this,” people do always say that love finds you when you’re not looking for it.

“But now you’re in my way,” again with the in her way, clearly she needs to take a step back and figure out how to get passed this male obstacle that just showed up in her life.

“Your stare was holdin’, ripped jeans, skin was showin’, hot night, wind was blowin’, where you think you’re going baby?” Here she finally says why this guy has such a hold on her, but from what I gather it’s all quite superficial, there’s absolutely nothing about his personality mentioned. Plus he tries to walk away, meaning, he either understood that he was in her way, as she mentioned twice already, or he simply is not interested. Maybe he’s taken, she’s not his type, or he’s gay, regardless he tried to walk away. Red flag Carly, red flag.

And now for the chorus, she starts to get repetitive here:
“Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?” This isn’t so bad, how are you supposed to get to know someone without sharing contact information.
“It’s hard to look right at you baby, but here’s my number, so call me , maybe?” Apparently he’s so pretty he’s blinding her. I also think it’s a little soon to call some baby when you’re just now giving them your phone number. Even if this is the second attempt at sharing digits.
“… And all the other boys try to chase me, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe?” This just seem shady, bragging about how everybody wants you is not the way to win a guy over. And seriously, you only have to ask them to call you once, multiple inquiries is not going to help your cause.

“You took your time with the call, I took no time with the fall, you gave me nothing at all, but still you’re in my way,” it seems quite obvious to me that he’s not interested. Perhaps he’s just playing hard to get but that seems unlikely, he’s showing you no attention. The key word here is still, he’s still in your way. This implies that some time has passed by, enough time to make his presence blocking her switch terms from now to still. What we don’t know is how long has it been: a day? a week? a year?

“I beg and borrow and steal,” woah woah woah! Carly, now you sound crazy. No wonder he’s not paying you any attention, he’s terrified of your and your stealing antics. My guess is that you borrow without asking and that your begging is profoundly annoying.

“At first sight and it’s real, I didn’t know I would feel it, but it’s in my way,” now I’m a little confused, is she talking about the first sight of him or of the stuff that she’s stealing? And what is it exactly? She doesn’t seem to want to clarify.

So now she repeats what she likes about this guy, nothing changed he’s still pretty and trying to walk away. At this point she’s delusional in her endeavors. He doesn’t seem to care about her, and I don’t blame him, she straight up admitted to stealing. Then she uses the chorus to once again try to give him her number. He’s not calling you! He doesn’t want to call you! He doesn’t want your number! Take a hint, right now you’re inches away from a restraining order.

“Before you came into my life I missed you so bad, I missed you so bad I missed you so, so, bad … and you should know that. So call me, maybe?” You can’t miss something you never had. However, that day at the well, when he was in her way, she realized that maybe her wish wasn’t exactly what she wanted. She wanted the pretty boy, that’s fine, love is supposed to sneak up on you (that’s half the fun). But she never progressed beyond that. When he didn’t show interest she didn’t return to the well, walk around her obstacle, and toss her coin in. An action that might have granted her wish that may have stopped her from turning into a begging, stealing, crazy lady that chased a boy who wasn’t interested instead of following her goals.

Message of the story: yes, he may be cute, but if he’s in your way he’s not worth the effort. He’s going to drive you to a point where you’re not your best self and honestly you’ll probably lose all your friends who get fed up with your childish ways. You have to find somebody who will work with you and support you instead of block you. Someone who has more than just physical beauty. Someone who doesn’t need you to give them your phone number over and over again. Someone who actually wants to call you. Aka, someone who wants you.

See? I told you this was a deep song. So … call me, maybe?

Of Pop Culture Favorites

I’m not afraid to admit it, I love Pop Culture. I find it fascinating. I’m picky. I’m open-minded to things that people hate mostly because that’s the cool thing to do. I get defensive when someone declares my opinion as wrong, not different in taste – just flat-out wrong. Or won’t even consider listening or watching something that has amazing reviews because they are harboring ill feelings towards one of the people involved.

I’ve decided to make lists.

Five celebrity crushes:

Britney Spears Headshot

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  1. Britney Spears
  2. Jimmy Fallon
  3. Gene Kelly
  4. Mila Kunis
  5. Zoey Deschanel

Five movies that I’m not the biggest fan of and everyone else seems to adore:

The Goonies Movie Poster

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  1. The Goonies
  2. The Princess Bride
  3. 90% of action movies (they often lack a compelling plot and rely on pointless fighting)
  4. 300
  5. Happy Feet

Five movies that I can watch 50 times in a row:

Singin' in the Rain Movie Poster

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  1. Singin’ in the Rain
  2. Mean Girls
  3. Matilda
  4. Keeping Mum
  5. Hello Dolly!

Five TV Guilty Pleasures:

Joss Whedon

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  1. Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse)
  2. Bad Girls Club
  3. How I Met Your Mother
  4. Gilmore Girls
  5. One Tree Hill

Five Favorite TV Characters:

Wesley Wyndam Pryce

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  1. Wesley Wyndam Pryce (Angel, Buffy)
  2. Giles (Ripper) (Buffy)
  3. Barney Stinson (How I Met Your Mother)
  4. Lorleli Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
  5. Willow Rosenburg (Buffy)

So there’s my five lists of five pop culture things sans a music category. Anyone want to make their own? Have at it!

Now it’s back to a sleepless existence of work and homework.