Listen With Me: Pearl Jam’s ‘Black’

Pearl Jam - Black

Pearl Jam – Black

I don’t even know where to begin – this song is AMAZING. I’m a bit frustrated to be perfectly honest though. It’s mostly due to the fact that I’m just now discovering this song. It’s also due to my jealously of Eddie Vedder’s intense emotion and the emotion he had to have gone through to create such a powerful song. Yeah, I sound ridiculous. I mean who wants to feel HEARTBREAK? Ya know, it’s like asking for pain. But think about this, you don’t feel pain from a breakup unless you really love that person and that love was true and transcendent. I want to feel that. I do get a taste of it when listening to this song, but I’m itching for the real deal. Guys, I know I sound like a crazy person, but if you listen to this song, you’ll hopefully get it. It takes me on this whirlwind of emotion. I’m honestly a bit dizzy. It’s so calm in the intro and all of a sudden, I’m listening to the lyrics and then Vedder’s voice hits me, BANG! He starts feeling the emotion and he throws it straight at me. It’s like a punch in the gut – but it feels good. I know, I know…what the heck? Guys, you just have to listen to this song. If you’ve heard it (and you SHOULD have because it’s indeed a classic – or you’re like me) then you know (or at least sort of know) what I’m talking about. I’m so mad that I found it so late. Thank you, Pandora by the way.

Anyway, I’m also just so angry that I am just LISTENING to this guy with a beautiful and powerful voice beg and plea about his lost love and his world being empty and turned to “black” when my world is empty, because I haven’t even attempted to FIND what he had. Get me. He’s heartbroken and so am I. My personal circumstance affects my reaction to this song and it may be different from anyone else’s, but I definitely love this song. It has pushed me to open up my eyes and see that loneliness can really make someone feel down right AWFUL. But at the same time, love also makes you feel awful, but it’s something worth feeling…I think. I don’t know. I’ll let y’all know if I am ever brave enough to put myself out there and risk being shattered like Vedder. But look what was the result of such heartbreak. A MASTERPIECE. A WORK OF BEAUTY. TRUE ART. I just love this song. Listen for yourselves!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ChbxMVgGV4

I’m not as pathetic as I make myself out to be. Seriously, I am on this journey of figuring out my career and how the real world works. I haven’t had the opportunity to be interested enough (read ‘brave enough’) to complicate matters more by worrying about or trying to understand that crazy thing called love. From what I’ve seen just from being on the outside, it looks messy. Vedder proves this. But I’ve also seen the beauty of it and of course, heard the beauty of it. It’ll happen when it’ll happen. At the perfect moment. I am a very idealistic-fairytale sort of person mixed with a dash of cynicism. So yeah, I’m screwed. No seriously, I strongly believe it’s one of those things that you can’t force or actively search for. It’s complicated like life itself. My eyes are just a little more open when/if it does sneak up on me.

’til next time!

P.S. The next song that I talk about will be more upbeat. I swear I’ve been in some mood lately. :)

Watch With Me: Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy, Season 6 Promo Poster

I spent the first half of my summer trying to catch up with shows that I already love and just lagged behind on due to my schedule at school. For some reason, after watching eleven seasons of 7th Heaven (actually seven seasons since I watched the first four seasons during my freshman, sophomore, and junior years of college, but I took a break from the lengthy series, because it’s ya know – lengthy), I decide to watch something new to me and something a bit more raw. Que, Sons of Anarchy. I’ve heard about the show and actually watched the first two episodes while at school this past spring, because I was curious after the whole Charlie Hunnam ‘Fifty Shades’ recast. I knew of Ron Perlman’s tough-guy/somewhat comedic acting style so I at least had some familiarity leading into the show. Of course, I was six seasons behind and there’s only one season left for THIS Fall, so I had to get in the loop and see what this show was all about. Outlaws on bikes…totally different from 7th Heaven. Also, *I’m going to review 7th Heaven* as well, because though the series has been over for a few years, it made an impact on me. Also, I’m impressed/annoyed when a show lasts for so many seasons. Usually the show jumps a few sharks in these cases. Trust me, every show that I watch lasting for an extended amount of seasons has jumped the shark. **I think I’ll actually rant about that in a post, because it’s a pet-peeve.**

Now, back to SOA…this show is AMAZING. Outlaws on bikes, yes. Family, friendship, and community values/ties…oh yes! I was pulled in from the gritty look of the show and the harsh language and other explicit content…murder, sex, drugs, ect. Normally I steer away from paid-cable shows due to the less-restricted content, but I had to see for myself what this show was about. Also, the show wasn’t one of the paid-cable shows that A TON of my peers were talking about: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, ect. So, I didn’t feel like I was jumping on the bandwagon.

The writing on this show is top-notch and there’s non-stop action. Kurt Sutter is a genius. Everything in this show happens for a reason and it’s sensible and smart at bringing back things that happen in earlier episodes. It’s like none of the characters really can get away with something that has a negative impact on the club and their family. This was refreshing to watch as I am the kind of person who will throw something at the TV/computer when a character gets away with something. The outlaw culture and club rules were/are fascinating. Being a ‘rat’ is the LAST thing that you want to be. I felt like I was learning so much about the percentage of America that I am less familiar with…criminals. These guys live by crime, but at least SAMCRO (the main guys) have boundaries and standards on which crimes they want to be involved with. They kill other outlaws like no one’s business though. Killing/abusing women is something they are not fund of doing though. Morals.

The characters of this show are undeniably SMART, DIFFERENT, and you will hate to love them or love to hate them. They are involved with some of the heaviest of crimes, but I could not help but love some of them. Mainly Chibs, Happy, Opie, and Piney. I think that Jax is sexy and intelligent, but sometimes, he lets things happen right under his nose and doesn’t find out until later which irks me. Also, his life seems to weigh more than the others. Sure, he inherited the club from his biological father and has the position of power, but sometimes I think he allows the title go to his head. He sometimes makes decisions without the club and that makes me question his loyalty. Now Gemma (Jax’s mother and the matriarch) is all about loyalty to her family, but she goes OVERBOARD. She has too many secrets and when they begin to spill out, she goes to drastic measures to keep her hands clean. These two characters take turns on and off my favorites list.

The music on this show is without a doubt exceptional. A lot of the songs are  covers of classic rock hits. During those moments on the show when stuff is really going down, some of the best songs are played. My favorites include ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘You Are My Sunshine’, ‘John the Revelator’, and ‘Tessellate’.

If a show makes me shed tears, I mean genuine tears for characters and situations and I am rooting for the characters, I know that it’s a great show and I have become a part of the family of the show. Scary to think considering the nature of SOA, but indeed I am a part of the show. I cannot wait to see the final season. It’s going to be a hell of a ride. Fear the Reaper!

The 7th and final season premieres September 9th on FX! Check it out!

’til next time!

This Is Totally Off Subject…

…and I hate to vent, but lately I’ve just been in a slump. I take that back, I’ve been in a slump for as long as I can remember and I’ve just been masking it to my best ability…everyday. Day by day…forcing a smile, forcing positive thoughts and pushing back how I really feel. I know right, sounds depressing and the best solution would be to figure out why I am unhappy and what I can do to become a happier person. It’s easier said than done guys, really. I wish I knew exactly why I felt so depressed and exactly what I could do to change it. The only thing that I can really come up with lately is that I miss school. I miss being a student and having an agenda and the drive to get good grades. I miss my teachers and professors telling me that I’m a good student and that I’m creative and structured. I miss being surrounded by people with the same or similar goals. I miss talking with these people about assignments and having intelligent conversation. I even miss complaining about having too much work and too little sleep. To be honest, those were the best times, because I always came up with the best results in my work. In sum, being a college graduate has taken away my drive and my well-being. I always took pride in being a good student and rated my self-worth by my grades. Thinking about it though… that wasn’t healthy, because I should have prepared myself for not being a student forever. I should have prepared myself to be more acceptable of the real world and the real rules. I have a lot of ‘I should of’s’ and ‘I could of’s’…and to be even more honest…I was unhappy even when I was a student, because I wasn’t prepared for the real world and I KNEW that I wasn’t prepared. I knew that I depended too much on academia. I wanted so bad to have other talents and experience in things outside of school. But nope…my GPA was everything, because I thought that that was the most important thing. I don’t blame the system and I don’t blame my parents. I blame myself, because I’m the pilot driving this ship. I am in charge of my own life and I made myself believe what was important.

Now that I have graduated and have been out here in the real world, I am in utter panic. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, because I feel like I can’t breathe or that I am chasing opportunities that I will never reach. I’m used to making plans and completing my tasks. I had so many check-lists in college and it always felt amazing to check something off of my list when I have completed an assignment. Now, I can make as many plans as I want, but the real world is so unpredictable. Once again, I know that I should stay positive. I am ALL ABOUT positivity, but sometimes I am just overloaded with hiding the negative that I feel like I am going to explode. That’s how I feel now. I figured that I should write all of this to relieve the pressure in hopes that I will come up with some sort of solution to my unhappiness in the midst of writing. So far…I got nothin’! I’ll stay positive, but I honestly don’t know how far that’s going to take me. It doesn’t help that it’s back to school season and my siblings are both in school. I’m grateful to be employed and not just sitting at home with my folks, but I need something bigger. I need something life changing in a good way. I don’t want my best days to be behind me, because honestly, I don’t have that many to begin with. Here’s to coming up with a plan to be happier.

To everyone having a better day than I am…you have my sincere congrats! To everyone in a further slump than I am and really going through the wire…you have my sincere apology for venting about something so superficial. I know that many would give it all to be where I am today. It’s not the outside that counts though. It’s how you feel inside. I wouldn’t wish for anyone to feel lost and out of air as I do.

…’til next time…and I’ll post something more upbeat or at least on subject. :)

What I’m Watching: Romance Films

Romance Films

Romance Films

I don’t know if the genre term ‘rom-drams’ has already been coined, but basically I’ve been watching ‘romantic-dramas’ all week. Get it? Like I said in the ‘Fault In Our Stars’ review/post, I love romance movies. I really enjoy seeing two people fall in love. It’s really a beautiful thing. In terms of rom-coms, it’s a funny thing. But in terms of the rom-drams, it’s a very passionate and somewhat unraveling and unnerving thing to watch. Which I love. The movies that I watched are ‘Mona Lisa Smile’ (which was more of a drama about being an educated and empowered woman in the 1950s than a romance), ‘City of Angels’, ‘Angel Eyes’, ‘Hope Floats’,’Notting Hill’ (rom-com), and ‘While You Were Sleeping’ (rom-com). Yes, I do love Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts. They are my favorite actresses. But in terms of romance movies, I love Jennifer Lopez and classic Meg Ryan as well.

What I really want to say about these films is that they made me feel GOOD. I loved how the men fell for the women. Most of the time in the films, the man was mesmerized by the woman’s beauty and her passion for her job or role or aloofness of him. Most of the time, the women were somewhat lost or there was an emptiness or longing for something more – love. Each of these movies were very different even though they were all about love or had romance linked with other themes. I’d already seen most of these movies when I was younger. However, watching them now, as a young adult looking for my next path (not to be too poetic), the films gave me a glimpse at what could happen if I journeyed through life with only my job in mind and if I was closed off to love for too long. I could find love too late or it could find me when I’m already dark and twisty (Grey’s Anatomy reference – review SOON). But you know, what if I’m too removed from the possibility of believing in love? I don’t know if I want to just hope that love will find me when it finds me. Later on. Eventually. That’s kind of risky isn’t it? But at the same time, isn’t it romantic to think so? The films were a reminder that I should keep love in mind. I don’t have to necessarily seek it, but I do need to keep an eye out for it.

Watch these movies if you haven’t already and if you have – watch them again! They’re great! Plus, Nicholas Cage’s eyes in ‘City of Angels’ are just beautiful!

Nicholas Cage in City of Angels

‘Til next time!

Listen With Me: Coldplay’s ‘Ghost Stories’ (album)

Ghost Stories

Alright, it has taken me longer than usual to listen to a newly released Coldplay album. I mean Coldplay is my #1 favorite band and I am usually frantically waiting for their new music to be released. However, after my disappointment of Mylo Xyloto (album #5) – I was a little more hesitant to listen to Ghost Stories. First off, I really had stopped following the band as a result of my little interest in Mylo. *I’ll do a review on Mylo itself to explain why my interest in the band lessened.* As I stopped following the band, I had little knowledge of their production of Ghost Stories, so when the album was announced, I was taken aback. It was odd not being in the know of what Coldplay was artistically up to. I mean, I have been a huge fan of them my entire adolescence and their music pretty much saved and changed my life. I still need to talk about their impact on my life in a separate blog. Basically, the band meant everything to me.

Anyway, today I decided that I should finally give the album a chance. I mean, it’s COLDPLAY. I have a huge poster of them in my room so I see them everyday.

The album is a lot more mellow than Mylo for sure. It reminded me of the ‘Parachutes’ and ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ days without the semi-sadness. Of course, the band is marketing toward a generation that’s more concerned with dancing and having something ‘catchy’ to listen to. Basically – they’ve become more mainstream than they previously were. Their audience is more so ‘the youth’. I mean, I’m only 22 so I’m considered ‘the youth’, but I never identified with my own generation. If that makes sense. I was listening to Coldplay’s first two albums when I was super young. These albums were so much more mature and abstract. I say ‘mature’ meaning the heaviness, sorrow, and metaphors of the loss of love, the lack of love, and the questioning of identification. *I’ll talk more about those things when I finally get around to discussing their previous albums.* I promise. Mylo was a bit too pop a CD in at the club and lets party with glow sticks. Nothing wrong with that of course, but it was not something I expected from Coldplay. They were getting close to that with Viva la Vida…but for the most part, the album was still very chill and mellow. In fact, it was chilling as in eerie. Which I LOVED!

Now, what this album, ‘Ghost Stories’ sounds like is very chill and there’s definitely an ambient tone to it. I can hear the Bon Iver influence for sure. My favorite tracks on the album are (the radio hit) Magic, Always in My Head, True Love, Midnight, and Ink. The album is basically a love letter. Or, better yet – it feels like a dream composed of mini dreams about falling in love or seeing your true love for the first time. Yes, this album is DEEP without being too jolting or obvious. Listening to it just made me smile and feel like ‘love’ actually does exist and I’ll find it – someday. The album reminded me of the simpler times when you could just tell someone you love them and it was true. Like black and white movies from the 30’s and 40’s. The album just sounds very genuine and with less fluff. It’s straight to the point – I love you.

Give it a listen if you’re into love songs and if you love classic Coldplay’s mellowness. I think the next time I jam this album, it’ll be me, laying under the stars with my head phones on. I don’t live by an ocean, but I’ll dream that one is near by.

‘Til next time…

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31 One Tree Hill Quotes That Will Warm The Heart Of Your Inner Tween

Ke'ara:

Words to live by.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

One Tree Hill was my generation’s Saved by the Bell, The Wonder Years, and Melrose Place all rolled into one. It was also the backdrop to my over-anxious, bookworm-ish, braces-filled adolescence. Tree Hill was the kind of place I wish I lived…everyone was beautiful, even the popular kids were super nice, the plot twists were salacious and wildly dramatic, and, DAMN, could they turn a phrase.

My name is Lucas Scott. I’m a senior at Tree Hill High School. I play basketball…at least I used to. I have a girlfriend…at least I used to. And I have a best friend. Tree Hill is just a place somewhere in the world. Maybe it’s a lot like your world, maybe it’s nothing like it. But if you look closer, you might see someone like you, or someone like you. Someone trying to find their way. Someone trying to find their…

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Films I’m Watching: The Fault In Our Stars

Fault-Our-Stars-Pictures

(photo taken from buzzsugar.com via Google)

You know the whole time watching this film, I told myself “Im not going to cry”, because of the subject matter and obvious ending of the film. If you’ve read the book beforehand, then you probably struggled with whether or not you would cry while watching the movie based on if you did or did not cry while reading the book. I tried to read the book, but I just had to to watch the film. I was about halfway in before I was like “ok, I want to see what this looks like cinematically”. Curiosity of sight got the best of me. So yeah, I didn’t know exactly how the film would end, but the story involved cancer and love, so I took a pretty good guess. But, the whole point of TFIOS isn’t about feeling sad for cancer victims though. It’s about love and what two people go through once they surprisingly find it.

I can only speak for myself, but I love romance and rom-coms. I’m a huge fan of films with Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, and Ashton Kutcher. I love watching TV shows with a really great couple and their moments always has a bad ass soundtrack. Lately though, I have had a hard time getting into modern romance films like The Vow. I really hated that movie. I don’t think it gave that couple’s story justice. Maybe it was chemistry of the actors. Or the script. I don’t know. I honestly just couldn’t ‘feel it’. Anyway, after several modern romance films, I gave up and decided that my generation was doomed in the romance department…at least on film.

Then comes The Fault In Our Stars…

I think the hook of the film (and the book) got me interested. The love story is from the perspective of two people dealing with something that I couldn’t imagine going through and I have nothing but love and respect for those having to go through it and go through it gracefully. Life’s a bitch sometimes and cancer is one of its hired henchmen. One of my aunts and one of my uncles passed away from cancer and it took a toll on my family. So right away into the book I was curious to read a personal perspective on living life with cancer.

What I enjoyed about Grace and Augustus was their appreciation for literature (Grace) and video games (Augustus). Even living life without an illness, I find that getting lost in some kind of story helps grasp your own perspective on life itself. I guess it was a meta-kind of way of looking at the story, because that was why I was reading it and soon to be watching it.

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort really brought a nice maturity on screen. I love my teen dramas, but I really wanted to see something that could be REAL and I think they were successful at bringing a realness to the story. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. And Laura Dern as Mrs. Lancaster…wow, she was amazing. She didn’t have to speak much for me to feel the emotion. Her facial expressions and overall demeanor contributed a lot to the story. She is one reasons why I loved Jurassic Park as a kid. She just has one of those faces. (Kind of like Jewel Staite in Firefly and Rosamund Pike in Pride and  Prejudice). A face that says sadness and kindness…

I’m sort of cynical about love in life and finding a soulmate. Personally for me, time would have to stop and some sort of weird flux in gravity would have to pull me toward a person for me to even insist that they were my soulmate (This is one reason why I love the film Big Fish). Yes, I know sounds very unrealistic, but I think it has to be for it to be real. I take love very seriously and a lot of movies and TV shows fail to make me believe it, but this movie made me believe it and in it. I really think it was the chemistry of the actors. Their acting wasn’t perfect, but I absolutely did not want to leave the theater and I did not roll my eyes once while watching. I was hooked and got butterflies when they were together.

Anyways, this post is becoming way too long and I just wanted to say in so many words that I liked the film. I need to finish the book now, because I’m sure there are moments that will reach out to me more and things will be more detailed and defined. Hollywood always leaves a huge chunk out, ya know. I say this as someone who loves movies and TV and has studied the art of filmmaking.

All in all, I say watch the movie if you love romance movies or just love movies.

‘Til next time…