Music Monday! Week 38.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Music Monday, I hope everyone had a great start to the week, now it is time to end Monday with a catchy song from a new musician I discovered. I am talking about John Newman, the song I’ll be sharing is “Love Me Again”.

John Newman is an English singer and who became well known, thanks to his single “Love Me Again”. The song peaked number one on the UK Singles Chart in the summer of 2013, he is one the most praised new British singer. I can see why, his vocal work is so powerful and his is song is well…addictive. You’ve been warned!

Enjoy!

See you soon!

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56th Annual Grammy Awards Review!

“Music has the ability to bring people together like nothing else” LL Cool J at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

I couldn’t agree more with what LL Cool J said during his opening monologue. Music is a universal language and love how people are brought together.

Before I begin with the actual 56th Annual Grammy Awards review, I want to go over my Grammy winner predictions that I posted this weekend.
I chose 23 categories and out of these 22 categories I got 10 right. This year it was challenging for me to come up with my predictions because there were so many amazing artists that were nominated. For some of the categories I changed my initial choice, which I wish I didn’t do because my initial guesses were right! I guess I learned my lesson to trust my gut instinct and not second guess next years predictions.

Now on to the 56th Annual Grammy Awards highlights!

This years Grammys marked the second largest audience in 21 years. I was hoping this years show would be different and I wasn’t disappointed. The show had amazing legendary singers on stage and new legends in the making. The Grammys started on a great note, however the last half an hour of the show felt dull, there wasn’t much to look forward to. However, most of the show was exciting and it made smile, cry and say “What on Earth”.

So let’s go over the top moments of this years Grammys!

1. Mr and Mrs. Carter show the audience how it’s done! The married couple opened the Grammys together and let me tell you, those two are so “Drunk In Love”. This is not Beyonce’s typical dynamic performance, but I like the change and intimate performance. When Queen Bee and Jay Z were on stage, it was as if there was no one there but them. They a power couple for sure!

2. It was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s night, snatching 3 Grammy awards, this duo showed people that dreams do come true. The Seattle duo recorded their album, “The Heist” without the support of a record label, hats off to their amazing accomplishment.

3. Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons were a powerful performance of the night, a rapper and a rock band coming together was the best collaboration. Kedrick’s infectious energy on stage made me dance in my living room and rocking out to Imagine Dragons hit single “Radioactive”. This was definitely my favorite performance of the night!

4. Katy Perry ft. Juicy J brought to us a dark fantastical performance of her single “Dark Horse”, the stage effects and background visuals were eye catchy. This performance lands the number 2 spot as one of the most exciting performances of the night.

5. It wasn’t only Macklemore and Daft Punk’s night, newcomer Lorde took home two Grammy awards. This 17 year old New Zealand star, impressed everyone with her new hit single “Royals”, her dancing need a little bit of work though. Then again we need an artist that’s a little bit awkward, so we can relate to another interesting and unique musician.

6. Daft Punk or as Pharrell refers to them, “the robots”, made an epic comeback last year with their new album “Random Access Memories”. The electronic music duo performed a medley of their songs “Get Lucky”, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, along with the legendary Stevie Wonder, performing “Another Star”. Seeing Daft Punk, Pharrell and Stevie Wonder on stage was pretty cool.

7. Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr joined the stage performing “Queenie Eye”, it was such a great moment of the night to see them together again.

8. Hunter Hayes is given a spot on the highlights list because his performance moved me to tears. He debuted his new single “Invisible”, the lyrics are incredibly moving and recommend everyone to go and listen to the song.

9. Taylor Swift gave it her all in her head banging (literally) performance of her song “All Too Well”. Oh and let’s not forget her rocking out to different performances throughout the night, I think she had more fun than everyone else.

10. A cute moment of the night was when Jay Z when during his speech he said “I wanna tell [daughter] Blue [Ivy], ‘Look, Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you!’ Awww, best dad ever!

11. Pink delivers yet again another acrobatic performance of her song “Try”, the fit mom shows us how strong she is and showcases her amazing vocals. On the side note, it felt like a flashback of her 2010 Grammy performance, time for something different.

12. Saving the best for last is the moment that probably made Grammy history, forever! Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Madonna and Mary Lambert collaborated together performing “Same Love” as marriage equality anthem, while Queen Latifah officiated 33 wedding. It was an amazing sight, congratulations to all of the couples.

Overall, the show is very entertaining, despite the fact that it got a bit dull towards the end, but hey at least it wasn’t the whole show. Congratulations to all of the winners, I am already looking forward to next years Grammy Awards!

Stay tuned for my Music Monday post which is coming up next!

Happy Grammy Awards Day!

Hello everyone,

Happy Grammy Awards Day, it feels like today is a holiday, I always get that feeling when it is awards season. You may be wondering, “Who is hosting the show?”, “Who will be performing?”, “When is the show starting?” Not worry, I’ve got all the scoop and I am going share it with you today.

When: January 26, 2014.

Where: The show is held in the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

What time: The show will be broadcast on CBS at 8pm PST.

Who’s hosting: LL Cool J who hosted the Grammys last year is returning again as the host for this years show.

Who is performing: For me this is always the exciting part of the show, seeing the awesome performances. We always have one performance that makes headlines and becomes the iconic performance for each year’s show. I wonder who will make headlines this year or maybe we’ll have many awesome performances. Some of the performances for this year’s show are:

  1. Taylor Swift
  2. Madonna
  3. Beyonce ft. Jay Z
  4. Daft Punk ft. Stevie Wonder
  5. Katy Perry
  6. Billie Joe Armstrong and Miranda Lambert, singing a duet to honor the late singer Phil Everly.
  7. Bruno Mars
  8. Hunter Hayes
  9. Imagine Dragons
  10. John Legend
  11. Juicy J
  12. Keith Urban
  13. Kendrick Lamar
  14. Lorde
  15. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
  16. Robin Thicke and Chicago
  17. Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Blake Shelton
  18. Metallica and Lang Lang. This is Metallica’s first time performing at the Grammys in 23 years. Welcome back Metallica.
  19. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, this is another performance I am looking forward to.
  20. Pink and Nate Ruess
  21. Sara Bareilles and Carole King
  22. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue

Who is presenting: 

  1. Julia Roberts
  2. Steve Coogan
  3. Jeremy Renner
  4.  Charlie Wilson

There are 82 Grammy categories, please click on the link below to see who is nominated for a specific category. Also check out my previous blog post with my Grammy winner predictions!

http://www.grammy.com/nominees

Enjoy the show everyone and see you tomorrow for Music Monday and the 56th Annual Grammy Awards review posts.

56th Annual Grammy Awards Winner Predictions!

Hello everyone,

Award season is finally upon us, music and movie bloggers are getting ready to review the biggest award shows of the season. I am certainly very excited and I have a feeling this year’s Grammys will be outstanding. Two years ago I started a tradition to share my Grammy Awards winner predictions. I am proud to say that for the past two years, I managed to be 95% right about the winners. However, this year felt more challenging than the previous years, we have many outstanding musicians that are nominated. However, I had to take a deep breath, sit down, do my research, sip tea and make my decisions. My choices were based on the following factors: 1) Record/single sales 2) Billboard charts success 3)YouTube success.

Get ready because the list is long!

Enjoy and feel free to share any predictions you might have.

1. RECORD OF THE YEAR
 

Get Lucky

Daft Punk Featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers

Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, producers; Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta & Daniel Lerner, engineers/mixers; Antoine “Chab” Chabert & Bob Ludwig, mastering engineers
Track from: Random Access Memories
Label: Columbia Records
 
2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR
 

Good Kid, M.A.A.D City

Kendrick Lamar

Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Drake, Jay Rock, Jay Z, MC Eiht & Anna Wise, featured artists; DJ Dahi, Hit-Boy, Skhye Hutch, Just Blaze, Like, Terrace Martin, Dawaun Parker, Pharrell, Rahki, Scoop DeVille, Sounwave, Jack Splash, Tabu, Tha Bizness, THC & T-Minus, producers; Derek Ali, Dee Brown, Andrew Coleman, Dr. Dre, James Hunt, Mauricio ‘Veto”” Iragorri, Mike Larson, Jared Scott, Jack Splash & Andrew Wright, engineers/mixers; Mike Bozzi & Brian ‘Big Bass”” Gardner, mastering engineers
Label: TDE/Aftermath/Interscope Records
 
3. SONG OF THE YEAR
 

Royals

Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters (Lorde)
Track from: Pure Heroine
Label: Universal Music; Publishers: Copyright Control/Sony ATV
 
 
4. BEST NEW ARTIST

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

5. BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
 

Mirrors

6. BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

Blurred Lines

Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. & Pharrell

7. BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience

8. BEST DANCE RECORDING

Clarity

Zedd Featuring Foxes

 
9. BEST DANCE/ELECTRONICA ALBUM

Random Access Memories

Daft Punk

10. BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE

Radioactive

Imagine Dragons

11. BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

Modern Vampires Of The City

Vampire Weekend

 
12. BEST R&B PERFORMANCE

How Many Drinks?

Miguel Featuring Kendrick Lamar

13. BEST R&B SONG

Only One

PJ Morton, songwriter (PJ Morton Featuring Stevie Wonder)

 
14. BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM

Unapologetic

Rihanna

15. BEST R&B ALBUM

Love In The Future

16. BEST RAP PERFORMANCE

Tom Ford

17. BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION

Holy Grail

18. BEST RAP SONG

Thrift Shop

Ben Haggerty & Ryan Lewis, songwriters (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Featuring Wanz)
 
19. BEST RAP ALBUM

Magna Carta…Holy Grail

Jay Z

 
20. BEST COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE

Highway Don’t Care

Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban

21. BEST COUNTRY SONG

Begin Again

Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift)
Label: Big Machine Records; Publishers: Sony/ATV Tree Publishing/Taylor Swift Music
 

22. BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Red

Taylor Swift
Label: Big Machine Records

Music Monday! Week 37.

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to Music Monday, I know I have already shared this song with you all, but the song’s official music video was realized recently. I am talking about Christina Perri’s new single “Human”!

The simplicity of the music video makes a bold point that ties in nicely with the lyrics of the song. The music video begins with Christina sitting on a platform, as if she is under inspection. Slowly each body part is revealed to be bionic, however as Christina moves away from the platform tattoos begin to appear.

The music video approach to this video is very clever, it is artistic. The bionic parts represent us humans as people who try to be strong, but as her tattoos begin to appear, this represents that we still have our moments of weaknesses.

Let me know what you think about this music video 🙂
Enjoy!

See you soon with my Grammy nomination predictions!

Lifestyle Sunday! What’s the deal with thigh gaps?

Hello everyone,

We are starting to grow up in a society where anything you do or the way you look will be judged by one person or another. This is the sad reality of today and the media plays a large role in influencing the younger generation. Young people look up to people in the media and consider them role models. This can have a negative impact on youth because the media makes something look desirable which should not be. Today I want to take the time to discuss one crucial and sensitive subject that is gaining a lot of attention. The topic I will be discussing today is thigh gaps. The term itself is self-explanatory, it is the desire to achieve gaps between your thighs.

Thigh Gap vs No Gap!

Some of you have an idea of what I am talking about, this particular societal phenomena is popular throughout social media websites. Two years ago on the popular social networking website, Tumblr, I began noticing the thigh gaps craze. The demographic of my followers on my Tumblr blog are mainly teenage girls, majority of them were posting and reblogging pictures of models with thigh gaps. The captions underneath these photos were something along those lines: “Omg I wish I had a thigh gap”, “Ugh I’ll never have this” and “How can I get a thigh gap?” This societal trend is desired by many young girls and it is seen as something that should be achieved. It really boggled my mind when I read these captions because it makes me question, since when are thigh gaps a definition of physical beauty or beauty in general. This societal trend is not fairly new as some people think, the thigh gaps phenomena has always been a topic of conversation, even in the 90s and 70s.

The media plays a huge role in giving this trend a lot more attention than it needs to get. I may be giving it attention right now with this blog post, however I am trying to convey that thigh gaps is not something to be desired. I see videos on YouTube with the title “How to Get a Thigh Gap” and it makes me question the people making this and why they think it’s ok to fuel this topic even more. Eating disorders has become on the top 3 psychological disorders in this day and age, along with anxiety and depression. There are many teenage girls and boys who suffer from this psychological disorder. Introducing body images trends such as thigh gaps or bridge gaps (yes that sadly exists too), makes the situation even worse. It makes young people believe that this how they should look and if they do they will be accepted by society. Everyone has different body types and that is what makes us unique and beautiful. There is no such thing as an ugly body type! Some bodies are structured in a way where getting the thigh gap cannot be achieved, for other people it is possible. However, wanting to have a thigh gap is not something that you should strive to accomplish because endangering your health is not worth it. Engaging is harmful eating habits should not be done, be kind to your body and love it the way it is.

Growing up I never desired to have a thigh gap, I am skinny, but I still have curves and I am satisfied with not having a thigh gap. Not having a thigh gap does not make you any less of a person and if you are trying to get a thigh gap to fit in, don’t! The right group of people will accept you for who you are, those who try to change you are not your true friends. I have seen some horrific images of girls who are so skinny you can see their bones and all of this this was done to get a thigh gap. Trying to get a thigh gap can put your health in serious danger and eating disorders is not a laughing matter. Using this trend as a way to manipulate the minds of young people is disgusting, we want young people to grow up healthy and happy because they are our future. Achieving this is something that is genetically impossible, the truth is even the skinniest people do not have thigh gaps. Despite the fact that the media continuously tries to impose this “ideal” image in our heads, we now have celebrities who take a stance against this ideology.

Jennifer Lawrence an Academy Award winning actress has made it very clear how she feels about Hollywood trying to change her and about influencing how she thinks about her body:

“What are gonna do? Be hungry, every single day, to make other people happy? That’s dumb.”

In Hollywood, I’m obese. I’m considered a fat actress. I eat like a caveman. I’ll be the only actress that doesn’t have anorexia rumors! I’m never going to starve myself for a part. I’m invincable. I don’t want little girls to be like, “oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner!”

Jennifer is not the only actress going against Hollywood and the media about the body image subject. Here are a few celebrities who have something to say about this issue:

“Being a size zero is a career in itself so we shouldn’t try and be like them. It’s not realistic and it’s not healthy.” Rihanna

“I believe it is important to go on insisting that normality is not what we are exposed to. Honestly, among my acquaintances there is no woman wearing XS. No, sorry, there is one: my daughter. The point is that Mia is 11 years old.” Kate Winslet

“God made a very obvious choice when he made me voluptuous; why would I go against what he decided for me? My limbs work, so I’m not going to complain about the way my body is shaped.” Drew Barrymore

“Girls of all kinds can be beautiful—from the thin, plus-sized, short, very tall, ebony to porcelain-skinned; the quirky, clumsy, shy, outgoing and all in between. It’s not easy though because many people still put beauty into a confining, narrow box… think outside of the box… pledge that you will look in the mirror and find the unique beauty in you.” Tyra Banks

“I keep telling myself that I’m a human being, and imperfect human who’s not made to look like a doll, and that who I am as a person is more important than whether at that moment I have a nice figure.” Emma Watson

“My smile is my favorite part of my body. I think a smile can make your whole body. I want women to know that it’s ok. That you can be whatever size you are and be beautiful inside and out.” Serena Williams

There you have it, people in the entertainment industry who are not afraid to speak up and say “I love the way I am and I am not changing”. The first step to loving yourself is to stop trying to change who you are. If you are changing yourself based on the ideology that you have this idea imposed on you that you have to change your body, you will be defeated. Do not live for other people’s opinions and judgments, if you truly love yourself you will not let people’s word affect you. This is a difficult journey to not let people’s word hurt you, but if you start now, each day will become easier. So start today and write down one thing you love about yourself everyday and do not starve and change the body God created, so you can accomplish an absurd societal trend. Let’s make the thigh gap trend ancient history!

Let me know in the comments box below what you think about this subject, I’m curious to know.

See you soon!

Friday Funday! Hayao Miyazaki Tribute + Top 3 Ghibli Movies!

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to another Friday Friday, today I will be taking you to the world of animation, not just any animation, but the animation of the legendary Japanese film director, Hayao Miyazaki. As most of you know by now, I love other cultures and growing up I was infatuated with the Asian culture. I began watching anime when I was 5 years old and it is a huge part of my childhood, but Mr. Miyazaki’s movies hold a special place in my heart.

Hayao Miyazaki is an Academy Award winning film maker who is famous for movies like “Spirited Away”, “Princess Mononoke” and “My Neighbour Totoro.” His animation is one of a kind, he maintains his traditional animation by equally using hand drawing and digital animation and still be able to call it 2D. I love that Mr. Miyazaki is preserving the traditional animation style, which is my favorite. Hayao Miyazaki is also known for bringing in real life themes and issues in his movies such as anti-war, environmentalism and feminism. Howl’s Moving Castle presents the anti-war theme, Princess Mononoke presents feminism, the strong female heroine. In his movies, Miyazaki does not focus greatly on incorporating the traditional good vs evil concept. He introduces strong characters and introduces these themes that will bring depth to his story plots. It is very unique approach and this is what distinguishes Hayao Miyazaki from other animators. Before Miyazaki began his work in the film industry, his childhood dream was to be a manga artist. For those of you who do not know what is manga, manga is a Japanese comic book that’s read from left to right. Briefly, Miayazaki released some manga work, his first one was the manga interpretation of Puss In Boots. However, his popular manga work is Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which was released from 1981 to 1994.

File:Nausicaa2cover.jpg

Sadly, Mr. Miyazaki announced his retirement on September 1, 2013, his final movie is called “The Wind Rises”. This final movie is about a man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II, the movie has a deep and serious plot. “The Wind Rises” will be released in North America on February 21, 2014, the movie has a star packed voice actors group such as Emily Blunt, Stanly Tucci, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Elijah Wood.

If you haven’t fallen in love with the magical movies of Hayao Miyazaki, then it is never too late to start now. You are never too old to watch Disney and Ghibli movies.

File:Kaze Tachinu poster.jpg

Now it is time to share with you my top 3 favorite Ghibli movies! If you enjoy watching Ghibli movies name one or your top 3 favorites.

1. Howl’s Moving Castle.

This is magical story is about 18 year old Sophie who became cursed by witch that turned her into a old woman. Sophie goes to hide at Howl’s Castle to attempt to find a way to break the spell, Howl is a young flamboyant wizard. As soon as the Sophie enters Howl’s castle she embarks on a long and interesting journey.

2. Spirited Away.

This beautiful enchanting story will leave you thinking about it for days! The story begins with Chihiro who rides along with her parents who come across a dark tunnel. Despite Chihiro’s bad vibes, her father insists to go through the tunnel. After her parents discover a feast and have some of the food, they turn into pigs. Frightened Chihiro realizes she is in another world with monsters and gods. Chihiro meets Haku, who tells her she must do three things in order to leave this land: 1) She must work, 2) Laziness is not tolerated and 3) She must change her name. If she forgets her real name she cannot go back home and save her parents. This movie is a masterpiece and no wonder it won an Academy Award.

3. Princess Mononoke.

This is an action packed fantasy/adventure movie set in the 14th century about a boy named Ashitaka who receives a deadly arm infection after fighting a wild boar in his village. Ashitaka leaves the village in the hopes of finding a cure by locating the deer-like god Shishigami. Along his journey his comes across a mining village who are in the middle of a war with the forest gods. While on his quest he meets San, Princess Mononoke who is raised by a wolf god. This movie is quite an adventure, if you love adventure animated movies, this one is for you.

I hope you enjoyed this post, let me know which movie you think of checking out and let me know in the comments box below which Ghibli movie is your favorite 🙂

See you soon.