Tag Archives: Music

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour Drinks Heineken

30 Aug

If you’ve watched T.V. lately, you’ve had to have seen the latest Heineken commercial. While I’m not a beer drinker,–I’ll take a Stolli salad any day—I do admit they have the best commercials. Don’t believe me? Watch the Super Bowl. Doritos is really the only competition. This new Heineken commercial puts them all to shame though. For me, the star of the commercial isn’t the sexy man making the grand entrance, it’s that song. The Golden Age by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour is infectious. It’s light, fun, clinky vibe just puts a smile on your face. Color me addicted!

Down N’ Up

15 Aug

This past Tuesday, Virginia and I headed up to Hartford’s XL Center (formerly, and according to the city’s signs still, the Civic Center) for Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale Tour featuring Nicki Minaj and Jersey Shore’s Pauly D. Minus Pauly D–I’m still not sure why he was there–it was an awesome show! Britney and Nicki are both such performers that it was an entertaining stage show as well as a concert.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Nicki Minaj before the concert. In all honesty I only liked her most recent song Super Bass and her contribution to Lil Wayne’s Knock Out. However, after seeing the many faces of Nicki and hearing some of her stuff, I’d have to say it is quite good if you like crossover genre stuff because she is everything from pop to hip hop to R&B to techno. I think what I was most astonished by was that she was a very talented singer in addition to a rapper. Just by hearing stuff on the radio I assumed she had other women singing the choruses like most rappers.

This was my third time seeing Britney. I saw her in 2000 for the Oops… I Did it Again tour in Syracuse and 2009’s Circus at Mohegan Sun. This was by far the best show she has put on. Britney seemed to be really enjoying herself, unlike Circus where it looked like she was drugged up. Not to mention she did not lip sync this time which made me, a super Britney fan, really happy. She just seemed happy and healthy and having a great time on stage like the Britney I remembered from 11 years ago. Plus she had more songs to play with now than she did on the Oops tour. I loved how she remixed mega hits like Baby One More Time and Toxic so they sounded like new songs.

Britney opened the show with a song that was only on the deluxe editions of Femme Fatale, Down N’ Up. It is such a pump up song, and totally infectious. Before Tuesday, Virginia had never heard it, but I think it’s safe to say afterwards she loved it. How safe is that to say? Virginia and I were singing it two nights later as we were walking into the Rascal Flatts show. Not only were we at the wrong concert, we were in the totally wrong genre as we sang a techno-y pop song by the ultimate pop tart wearing cowboy hats and boots. Still don’t believe me? Take a listen. I promise you’ll be singing “down n’ up and down n’ up and down n’ up and down” all day tomorrow.

Auto-tuning

15 Jul

Back in the day, which was a Wednesday (hehe. Last Dane Cook joke I swear), there was no such thing as auto-tune. Bands actually consisted of people playing music and the lead singer sang with their own voice. I know, crazy idea. However, today it seems all you hear on the radio is auto-tuning. Even singers who once never thought of it are allowing producers to change their voice.

Clearly I am totally against auto-tuning. It is what makes me thing Lady Gaga is nothing more than an overly-elaborate gimmick (yes, I know she has a music degree from NYU. Why doesn’t someone tell her to use it and make real music?) and what has made me start listening to 99.1 WPLR more than KC101, my favorite station since I knew how to work a radio.

Today I was perusing PerezHilton.com (don’t judge me) and he posted what Britney Spears’ Hold It Against Me without auto-tune. I don’t hide the fact that she is one of my favorite celebrities and I will continue to buy her music as long as she makes it, so I understand if you think I’m biased, but I don’t think she sounds that terrible. Trust me, she hits her rough spots. I almost wish the producer just had her go back and redo them until they sounded good though because the song as a whole is not too bad. When I first clicked on the link, I was terrified to what it was going to sound like. Did her multi-year smoking stint affect her voice? Had she just lost it? I am happy to report that I was plesantly suprised.

Click here to check it out

Are Fireworks Meaningless Without Music?

4 Jul

 

 

In the town I grew up in, going to the fireworks on the green was like the social event of the year. Everyone in town was there. The parents and neighbors went a little earlier with their coolers. The little kids all had those buzzy light up things swirling around, while all the big kids walked around just “hanging out” before sitting with their family in time for the big show. There was a band playing background music in the gazebo up until the lights went out and the fireworks were about to start. As soon as the first bang lit up the sky, songs like God Bless the U.S.A.  and Born in the U.S.A. started pumping out of the speakers.

Since I moved to East Haven fireworks just haven’t been the same. I traded the bustle and charm of the Hamden fireworks to stand by the beach and watch multiple towns’ firework shows along the coastline. While I get to see more fireworks, I have found they lost part of their meaning. I always thought that it was the whole experience that made fireworks so important to the Fourth of July. The beauty of the fireworks paired up with the dramatic music filled with pride of our country and the sacrifices made to maintain our way of life were what the Fourth of July are all about, but without that music fireworks are just… well… pretty.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy looking at fireworks as much as the next person, but they just do not hold meaning on their own. I think that is why I enjoy the Disney firework shows so much. The music and story around them is captivating. And that is how I remember Fourth of July fireworks being, so every year seems to be a disappointment when that magic does not come through.

So for those of you watching fireworks from a distance and cannot hear the music, here are some of my favorite Fourth of July jams.




Feeling 10 yrs old Again

2 Jul

Flash back to July 18, 1998:
Six girls between the ages of 14 and 10, and their moms of course, walking into the New Haven Coliseum with butterflies because they are about to see the Backstreet Boys perform. Crushes on Nick, Howie, and Brian consumed them as they climbed the stairs to their seats.

13 years later I can still remember hearing Alissa squeal when a little Aaron Carter came out on stage to jump on trampolines with his shoulder length blond hair as an opening act. This would begin Alissa’s crush on Aaron, which I fully supported because I saw that as less competition for Nick.

We had started the night in the car talking about the newest boy band that had performed a concert on the Disney Channel the night before, NSYNC, and how we swooned for the blond one in the shiny blue pants, Mr. Justin Timberlake, but left with nothing but Backstreet Boys on our minds.

Flash forward to June 13, 2011:
The New Haven Coliseum is now a parking lot. Those six girls are all now twenty-somethings with individual lives. And the Backstreet Boys are a man down, but have formed the super boy band NKOTBSB. It’s every 90’s girl’s dream. This night Nick, Brian, Howie, A.J., Donnie, Joey, Danny, Jordan, and Jonathon would perform at the Izod Center in New Jersey, and, thanks to Jaime, I would be there again.

Since ’98 I have seen BSB three more times, but each time I get butterflies. Don’t ask what it is. Maybe it’s the return to when life was simple, when the hardest thing I had to do was learn the words to all the songs on the Millenium album, or maybe it’s that little girl inside of me Continue reading

Graduation in 15 Days?? What?

30 Apr

When did this happen?

With Salve graduation only days away, I think it is safe to say I am not the only one freaking out. With most of our futures up in the air–I really dislike those of you who already have jobs–what should be a happy rejoicing time is now becoming filled with panic attacks.

Last night at my workstudy job, my friend and I spent our night writing cover letters and sending out resumes. My friend and I both had panic attacks and were on the verge of tears within the first hour and a half of our shift, but not because of the pressure of picking the best way to word our should-barely-be-considered-work job at the computer labs to make it sound super important. It was because we spoke to our parents. While our phone calls we completely opposite, the outcome was the same. My friend’s father was pushing her and pushing her to contact this woman about a teaching job (she has already been in contact with the woman for a month, but of course that didn’t get through her father’s head), while my mom seemed like she couldn’t care less. All I got was “Stop worrying. Everything will work out.” MESSAGE TO ALL PARENTS: This line is never comforting.

After taking a good 20 minutes to recollect ourselves, it was time for some music. My friend and I are infamous for playing fun songs loudly and dancing around the office on Thursday nights–if you’ve walked through the library basement on a Thursday between 6-9 I’m sure you have noticed–so this whole murky ora that had settled was not acceptable. I opened up iTunes and as soon as I hit play all the worry was lifted out of the room.

Lesson of the night: Don’t waste time freaking out. Just turn on some good, bouncy, fun music instead.

Here are the first 2 songs that kicked off a 2 hour dance party in the UCL.

A Favorite Song

24 Apr

With over 8,000 songs on my iPod, it is hard to pick just one favorite song, but there comes a point when I catch myself liking a song no matter who is singing it that I know it is the one. This song is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

Whether in the deep voice of Leonard Cohen, the raspy voice of Jon Bon Jovi, or the soft voice of Kate Voegele as soon as I hear that first line “I’ve heard there was a sacred chord” come on it is like my mind is just at ease because the song is just so relaxing. However, it is almost ironic that I find it relaxing because the song is filled with so much emotion no matter who is singing it. Cohen just wrote so much emotion into the words it is hard no to empathize pain of heartbreak when listening to it.

I invite you to listen to a few different versions below to get a better grip on what I mean.

Buying a New CD… and I don’t mean on iTunes

29 Mar

It’s finally March 29th! Most of you are probably thinking “yeah… and?” For me and others who grew up in and still rock out to the music of the late 90’s and early 2000’s it has been an anticipated date because Britney Spears’ new CD Femme Fatale dropped today! (Can you tell I’m excited?)

I’ve been a Britney fan since …Baby One More Time came out in 1998. I’ve watched her climb the charts on TRL everyday after school and watched her crash in the tabloids, but I still love her even more because she can come back. Like Ellen said yesterday, “Britney’s back bitch!”

Needless to say I own every Britney CD (like the actual CDs with cases and everything). Since downloading music (legally and illegally) became so popular not many people buy actual CDs anymore. Billboard even has a special chart just for digital downloads. However, there are certain people, Britney being one, that I always buy the actual CD when it comes out. Typically these are people that I was buying CDs of before I started downloading music (Britney, Backstreet Boys, Justin Timberlake and the likes… Go ahead, call me a nerd, but I still love them). So buying Britney’s new CD was a no brainer.

 Despite never being able to leave home without my iPod, I would much rather pop a CD in when I’m driving around. I feel it’s a much more authentic listening experience because you’re listening to the tracks in the order that the artist or producer wanted them to be heard

Continue reading

Throwback Song… Thanks Pandora

27 Mar

When left in the hypothetical hands of the mastermind computer behind Pandora Internet Radio, my music preferences tend to pleasantly surprise me. Today, thanks to my *NSYNC and Britney Spears stations, Pandora gave me O-Town’s “All or Nothing.” Don’t remember O-Town? I doubt anyone who isn’t a twenty-something woman does. You know the show Making the Band on MTV? I know it was a few years ago, but really rack your brains. Diddy made two crappy “bands” that didn’t last more than a couple years? Ahh yea, now you’re with me. Well before Diddy took the show to MTV, Lou Pearlman (the man behind Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC) made a band on ABC. That boy band became O-Town, the not as successful competition to BSB and *NSYNC.

I had forgotten all about them! The fact that the song grabbed my attention instead of just being background noise to my thesis thought makes it today’s Song of the Day. When it came on, I found myself singing along and had to pause and go “wait a minute, what is this song I know all the words to?” (We all do that at some point) before clicking to the Pandora tab on my browser to see.

I didn’t choose it because it is this great song from the past or because it brings back these awsome memories for me to share with you, but simply because at one point or another I really appreciated this one. That one point or another was during my boy-band-crazed preteen/teenage years. So for your viewing and listening pleasure, I give you Ashley, Jacob, Trevor, Erik, and Dan’s “All or Nothing.” And just because it fits with the throwback idea, “These are the Days.”

Live Music

6 Mar

Maybe it is because I am a music fanatic, or maybe it is because I just love to dance and sing along, but there is nothing better than live music. Be it a cover band, karaoke, or the real thing live on tour, the atmosphere live music offers is always energizing and fun.
When I’ve had a bad day, walking into a bar and stumbling upon a band/person playing will always cheer me up. Since the people that play at bars aren’t typically very good they always welcome the audience to sing along. What is better than belting out a chorus of “Don’t Stop Believin'” with your best friends at your local bar? Sure you could do it when the DJ plays or when it comes on the radio, but there’s something so much more to it when it is live. Seeing the music being played right in front of you allows you to really feel it. You can see the emotion in the lead singer’s face (if they are any kind of showman that is).
So if you’re going out this weekend or next, consider ditching the same old for something a little more energizing and fun. As Dane Cook said just “dance it out” and sing it out too. Go find live music and just enjoy yourself.

Side note: If you are in the Connecticut area, I highly recommend going to Margaritaville at Mohegan Sun on Saturday night. Great live band playing all of your favorite 90’s music.