Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blogger Buzz: Fresh new perspectives for your blog

Blogger Buzz: Fresh new perspectives for your blog: "Today we’re previewing five new dynamic templates in Blogger that you’ll soon be able to customize and use for your blog."
To see these views on my blog, or any Blogger blog, simply add “/view” to the end of the blog URL—for example,

To try another view, just click on the blue drop down icon!
This menu is only for Google Chrome but it lists the 5 different views

Yeah, I know these views came out on March 31... heh, better late than never! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Random Epicness Part III: Sesame Street

Photo cred to
Ahhh, childhood...

Dear Sesame Street, how you educated and nourished my young mind... for that, I thank you. And now, how you entertain and bring laughter to my night... for that, I thank my friends LOLZ XD

I bring you, the Yip Yip Aliens... and RA-DI-O
This video makes me HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY YUP YUP YUP!

Cookie Monster Gaga

And just because I didn't know where else to put it, the most epic website possibly EVER:

Pink Martini

Photo cred to
Oh I've been meaning to do this one for a LONG time now...
The story of how I met this band is a great one, a classic even! One afternoon about 4 or 5 years ago, I was sitting in a Second Cup with my family when I realized that I had tuned out of the conversation (...cuz this never happens on other occasions? lol) and was transfixed by the background music. After the song, my mom turns to me and we both agreed that the song was brilliant. So, up I go, off to the counter where I badger the barrista's until they are able dig up the track list to their mixed CD. And what was that song, you may ask? Why, none other than "Let's Never Stop Falling In Love" by Pink Martini!

Listen for yourself!
Oooo... even though I must have listened to it over 100 times, this video still gave me shivers! 

So, who or what exactly is Pink Martini?
Well, here's where my good pal Wiki. P. Edia comes to the rescue:
Pink Martini is a 13-member "little orchestra" from Portland, Oregon, formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale. They draw inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop. Band leader Thomas Lauderdale describes the band's sound as "music of the world without being world music. If the United Nations had a house band in 1962 hopefully Pink Martini would be that band." "My hope is that we’re creating exquisite musical wallpaper which can be turned up or down, and played on almost any occasion, from background music to a love affair to vacuuming around the house." (Pink Martini. (2009). Discover the World. [DVD]. Heinz Records.)
And then from there, I more or less fell in love with their quirky sound and the dulcet tones of China Forbes's voice...

Hang On Little Tomato
(a personal favorite ^ ^)

Amado Mio
 Can a song be sexy? Cause this song... dayyyuuumm!

 Oh, Lilly... that poor guy :P

Ou Est Ma Tete?
MIMES! :DD I love miming!

Ninna Nanna
That guitarrr.... mmm!

Alright, whose the lucky dude that got to play the whistle? XD

I always like to showcase a band/singer's live talents whenever I can but I also highly recommend that you also give a listen to the album versions of these songs!

Photo cred to
Here is a great bio straight from the band's website
15 years ago in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, Thomas Lauderdale was working in politics, thinking that one day he would run for mayor. Like other eager beaver politicians-in-training, he went to every political fundraiser under the sun … but was dismayed to find the music at these events underwhelming, lackluster, loud and un-neighborly. Drawing inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop – and hoping to appeal to conservatives and liberals alike, he founded the “little orchestra”Pink Martini in 1994 to provide more beautiful and inclusive musical soundtracks for political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, affordable housing, the environment, libraries, public broadcasting, education and parks.
“Pink Martini draws inspiration from the romantic Hollywood musicals of the 1940s or ‘50s … with a more global perspective. We write a lot of songs … but we also champion songs like Ernesto Lecuona’s “Andalucia”or “Amado mio”from the Rita Hayworth film “Gilda”or “Kikuchiyo to mohshimasu (My name is Kikuchiyo)”made famous in the 1960s by the great Japanese group Hiroshi Wada & His Mahina Stars. In that sense we’re a bit like musical archeologists, digging through recordings and scores of years past and rediscovering beautiful songs.”
Lauderdale met China Forbes, Pink Martini’s “Diva Next Door” lead vocalist, at Harvard. He was studying history and literature while she was studying English literature and painting. Actually neither of them really studied, they socialized … and late at night, they would break into the lower common room in their college dormitory and sing arias by Puccini and Verdi – and the occasional campy Barbara Streisand cover –thus sealing their creative collaboration. Three years after graduating, Lauderdale called Forbes who was living in New York City, where she’d been writing songs and playing guitar in hew own folk-rock project, and asked her to join Pink Martini. They began to write songs together for the band. Their first song “Sympathique”– with the chorus “Je ne veux pas travailler”(”I don’t want to work”) – became an overnight sensation in France, and was even nominated for “Song of the Year”at France’s Victoires de la Musique Awards.
“Both China Forbes and I come from multicultural families,”says Lauderdale. “All of us in Pink Martini have studied different languages as well as different styles of music from different parts of the world. So inevitably, because everyone has participated at some point in the writing or arranging of songs, our repertoire is wildly diverse. At one moment, you feel like you’re in the middle of a samba parade in Rio de Janeiro, and in the next moment, you’re in a French music hall of the 1930s or a palazzo in Napoli. It’s a bit like an urban musical travelogue. We’re very much an American band, but we spend a lot of time abroad … and therefore have the incredible diplomatic opportunity to represent – through our repertoire and our concerts – a broader, more inclusive America … the America which remains the most heterogeneously populated country in the world … comprised of people of every country, every language, every religion.”
Pink Martini has twelve musicians (and sometimes travels with string sections), and performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia and New Zealand and North America. Pink Martini made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Since then, the band has gone on to play with over 25 orchestras around the world, including multiple engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center and the BBC Concert Orchestra in London. Other appearances include the grand opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, with return sold-out engagements for New Year’s Eve 2003, 2004 & 2008; two sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall; the opening party of the remodeled Museum of Modern Art in NYC; the Governor’s Ball at the 80th Annual Academy Awards in 2008; and the opening of the 2008 Sydney Festival in Australia.
“The overarching goal is to create a cohesive body of beautiful songs with beautiful melodies. And then it all just extends outward from there. Because the interests of the band are so diverse – two percussionists who spend a lot of time in Brasil; another percussionist who grew up in Peru; a German speaking trombone player who studied with all the brass section of the Chicago Symphony and likes Miles Davis; a singer who studied French and Italian and sings in 15 different languages; a cellist who speaks Mandarin – because of this diversity inside the band, there are endless ideas. On a bad day it can just seem all too dizzying. But hopefully in the larger picture, it is a more accurate representation of America in 2009.”


Photo cred to
Soooo, yeah apparently people these days aren't satisfied with the same ole - but really, why watch tele when you could be "planking"?

Sounds fun enough.... looks funnier XD 

If you try Google Imaging "planking" you're going to get pictures of ship hulls and wooden objects and then.... somebody lying face down on or across an object. 


Apparently, there is an "Official Planking" Facebook group (which I can't find >.<) but here is what it's supposed to say:
1/ You must always lay face down, ensuring your face remains expressionless for the duration of the Plank.

2/ Your legs must remain straight, and together with toes pointed.

3/ Your arms must be placed by your side, held straight and fingers pointed.

4/ You must make it known that you are Planking. Saying ‘I am Planking’ usually get this across. Sternly announcing it will ensure a good result.

5/ Your safety should always be considered. Properly thought through Planking procedures should always go to plan. Never put your self at undue risk.

6/ Every Plank that is captured must be named.
Check this out. 
All news, and I repeat, ALL NEWS broadcasts should be carried out in the exact same style as the this one:

I got the "Official Planking" instructions from this article but you also read more about planking on Sympatico

Remember kids, always be careful and safe when planking! 

Who is Bob Sinclar?

This looks like fun, now don't it?

Since a picture is "worth a thousand words", in short (or long, I guess?) he's this guy.

... I wonder... was the person who first made that comment about pictures ripping off of Homer's comment about Helen of Troy/Sparta's "face that launched a thousand ships"?

Anyhoo, what reminded me of dear ole Bob (whose real name, btw, is Christophe Le Friant... I dunno, I think I would have stuck with the original name) was the music video/ short film for Martin Solvieg ft. Dragonette's single, Hello. Just as a little info byte, Dragonette is a Canadian electropop group; I first heard them at a party in grade 10 I think and the song was called "Take It Like a Man". The lead singer, Martina Sorbara, is the daughter of a Canadian MP who was the former finance minister of Ontario... I bet he was real happy with her choice of career... XD   

This video made me smile a big grinny grin ^_^

If you already know Bob, then bear with me but for those who don't here's a little bit about him: he's a French record producer and house music DJ and ALL of you have heard Bob's stuff (seriously, why "Bob"???). Seen any Lotto 649 commercials in the last few years? Well, that upbeat whistling tune, you guessed it, that's one of Bob's (his fake name bothers me) biggest hits!

Love Generation 
It's "Grrrrrrreat!"

But there are a couple more that you've heard before too!

World Hold On

Rock This Party
Ha! He makes a cameo in this one too!

Soo, pretty much we've all been listening to him for ages! I remember when I first had this revelation a few years ago - it was like an ice cube dropped down the back of my shirt. THAT shocking, I know!


Aww, dammit! I'm getting hungry again... whywhywhy does the morning always seem to sneak up on me??

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spring Cleaning

 "Hello?...Is there anybody in there?.... Just nod if you can hear me. 
Is there anyone at home?..." - Pink Floyd

Has it really been a month already? It too easy to loose track of time - it slips through my fingers like the flow of a river... I can only watch as the constant stream passes all around me. I can't hold onto it and I can't stop it. If at anytime I stumble, the force of the water will wash me downstream...until I can regain my footing. IF I can...

That's what the last few weeks have felt like, completely out of control. From the stress of exams to the drug-induced dopiness of my wisdom teeth removal to the death of a childhood classmate. So much in such a short period of time...

I am pleased though, to assure you that I have a number of playlists created (and some tried and tested at events!) and ready to share as soon as I get my lazy ass back on track and get cracking on some new playlist sites.

I guess, if I had to describe or summarize myself I would say that I live my life through music. As a form of expression and for consolation. I am always listening even when there is no sound - a constant soundtrack in my head. I remember back even as long ago as junior high school, I'd blurt out song names and artists in the middle of conversations with friends whenever I'd hear a song in a restaurant or mall. Always listening...

They exist only on my iPod right now, but I would like to introduce to you my latest (and greatest?) creations: Ikaria and Medea II. Every playlist I create is either a reflection of a particular emotion (eg. Sheena P. Rocker was made exclusively for the purpose of creating a "happy" mood at a party a few months ago... and I promise it will be created here too... eventually) or a reflection of a mindset. Ikaria and Medea II are mindset playlists but I see them more as living entities now, because I've spent so much time thinking, editing and listening to each of them. I guess they are ( or were) stages of me at a certain point in my life. Let me tell you their story.

They aren't two different people, rather, they are the same person but two possible outcomes. Like an alternate scenario, if you will. When I first decided who each of them was, I originally thought that Medea was more haunted, more delicate and that Ikaria was more whole and complete. For quite a few months, Ikaria was who I was - the songs were lighter, more carefree and jovial. Then a couple months ago, Medea II (the older version, Medea, was created last year) was reborn and has kinda stuck with me. Don't misunderstand me, she's not "emo" just a bit more hardened and concerned with the realities of life. Ikaria was always more the dreamer than the pragmatic. But like I said, these last couple months have been tough for me, hence "spring cleaning". Time to clear out all the clutter in my mind and my life. Get rid of useless things and shed bad habits (of which there are quite a few, I am sorry to admit) and make room for new goals and aspirations (yay for spring, right?).

In addition to music there are always words bouncing around in my head. Old words, new words, words that I only read once and suddenly remember again. Like an inner thesaurus... and if I tipped my head to the side and smacked it like a ketchup bottle, the words would come spilling out of my ear, pooling onto the ground (and then I'd probably slip in it later...)


heh, WELL in other news, I'm SUPER stoked for Lady Gaga's Born This Way which comes out May 23!!! I'm definitely a "little monster" - even got the 'mickey mouse' glasses to boot!

(Except mine aren't darkened on the inside lens)

Anyhoo, I'd better go catch that sandman before I get too hungry... it's been so long since I ate dinner, it's almost time for breakfast now *facepalm* 
Bad habits die hard, right?

P.S. Oh, and I didn't forget the music - here's a nice little song to go with the post:
New Low by Middle Class Rut

I've been listening to this for a few months but I still love the lyrics:

I have no space
No room to move around
And this box is getting smaller
I'm trying to get out

How did I get so far
From where I was
When did I decide
To lose my way
Who have I become

I've got a new low
All 52 cards in a row
I see now that I won't let go
No I won't let go

Well who am I?
A cold shoulder left to cry
You feel bow-wow so do I
Yeah so do I

I've been right; I've been left
I've been wrong; I've been left behind
I've been up but mostly down
(dayyumm! Isn't this chorus line just pure gold?)

I've been right; I've been left
I've been wrong; I've been left behind
I've been up but mostly down

I can not help feeling like
I have so much at steak
So I lock myself inside my head
And I just run in place

So many directions I don't
Know which way to go
I'm so busy doing nothing
I got nothing to show

I've got a new low
All 52 cards in a row
I see now that I won't let go
No I won't let go

Well who am I?
A cold shoulder used to cry
You feel bow-wow so do I
Yeah so do I

I've been right; I've been left
I've been wrong; I've been left behind
I've been up but mostly down

I've been right; I've been left
I've been wrong; I've been left behind
I've been up but mostly down

I make mistakes
Just like everybody else
But instead I'm letting go of it
I can't forgive myself

Well I did my time
In the window of this box
Like it or not
All I got now is today
Tomorrow aint here
And yesterday is gone dead on me anyway

I've been right; I've been left
I've been wrong; I've been left behind
I've been up but mostly down

I've been right; I've been left
I've been wrong; I've been left behind
I've been up but mostly down