Archive for June, 2009

Music Review: Aimee Mann

June 28, 2009

I always forget she exists. That sounds soo terrible but its true. The good news is, once I remember I have a smile on my face cuz shes such a talented songwriter.

In the 80s one of my favorite songs was Voices Carry from Til Tuesday. Aimee was the lead singer. The song was awesome. The video was even better. You see her with her punked out platinum blonde hair with this preppy yuppy boyfriend that takes advantage of her sexual and Im assuming beats the crap out of her. This guy is a douche, (hes also a bad actor) and then in the end he takes her to the opera, sees her punk rat tail coming out of her elegantly coiffed hair and then she snaps and starts singing the end riff of her song while the opera fans at the Met are all aghast and her boyfriend is humiliated and she stands up and just shows her true colors. Historical! Legendary! Iconic! Cheesey as Hell! Totally 80s!!!

Well Til Tuesday faded into obscurity but then Aimee Mann came out with solo work. It wasnt wanna be New Wave like her old band. It was singer songwriter at its best. Folkish, popish, alternative, it was beautiful.

The moment the world realized how mesmerizing her words were was when the movie Magnolia came out. That whole soundtrack is Aimee Mann at her best. Wise Up, Save Me, her cover of One from Three Dog Night were all amazing. Her albums in general have had some really great songs as well. That’s Just What You Are, Red Vines, Pavlov’s Bell, just to name a few of her amazing songs. She helped her husband, Michael Penn (yes Sean’s other bro) with the soundtrack to I Am Sam. They did a cover of Two of Us that I love singing along to.

Here is the video to Pavlov’s Bell. Its weird but I love this song!

The MJ Blog – Im getting it out now so I wont have to again.

June 27, 2009

Im gonna say this only here and that is that.

I am sorry Michael Jackson is dead. However I think people are going ape shit over someone they didnt know and need to get the fuck over it.

Yeah I loved him when I was younger and up until the 90s I liked his songs. Then the craziness was too much to contain and I lost interest as did most of the world.

Yes he was a legend. Yes he was an icon. Yes he was talent. And yes, he is in fact dead. And even further, yes, realllllly caught off guard by that one.

That being said Im tired of the news just scrambling over all this coverage of him. There are other things happening in the world people can we focus on that too???

I see on facebook two extremes that kinda tick me off:

1. The are truly troubled and forget that he did anything wrong or deny he did anything inappropriate in his lifetime

2. They hate his guts, call him a pedophile and sick human being who we should all be greatful is off this planet.

I, as some of my other friends tend to be in the gray.

Look, Michael Jackson was a great performer. He had some great songs, great talent and Im sorry haters, but he seemed like a genuinely peaceful and benevolent meaning person.

He was a little boy that wouldnt grow up and when his body did but his head didnt….. yeah he went a bit cuckoo.

I do think he was a sweet man, at least he showed no capabilities of being a horrible person HOWEVER……

Yes sorry deniers but he did do inappropriate things with childre, lost his mind, and was truly an eccentric. I dont think he was a bad man I just truly believe because of a bad childhood, odd rare lifestyle that most people dont get when they grow up, his heads wiring was all sorts of fucked up. He was not an ok person he was crazy. He should have been placed in mental care over 10 years ago. He may very well still be alive today.

So there is my two cents. That is all. I bid thee goodnight

Music Review: After the Fire

June 25, 2009

I really don’t have MUCH to say since they were in fact a one hit wonder from the 80’s. Sure, I review others but at least I know OTHER songs from them. After the Fire? Nope only their one hit and I got stuff to say about it so hmmph!

A Brit band so you would think I would like them more but nah. I honestly am not a HUGE fan of them The song is ok. Actually no I take it back. The song was AWESOME BUT their cover of it… eh, alright.

Oh yeah the song! Der Kommissar. Duh. Haha.

This band had been around for years before their hit came out. By the time the song came out the band was already eager to go their separate ways.

Der Kommissar is an English language cover of Falco’s (Rock Me Amadeus fame) original song. The whole song is in English except of course for the title.

I dunno much else about them, except they did eventually do a reunion in the 2000’s and with a different lineup (ever-changing really) they occassionally do shows in the UK.

I think whats awesome about them was in 1982 they sang a song by Falco. I honestly prefer Falco’s version even though his video was extremely bootleg in comparison. This was our introduction to the work of a pretty weird guy who I will eventually do a review about (but of course lol!).

The reason Im not a fan of their version is just cuz its a translation. Let me explain:

This is more than likely a personal thing but being someone who is bilingual I do listen to a lot of music in different languages. Through my lifetime I have heard a lot of covers of songs in different languages and I will say about 85% of the time the cover is never as good as the original version. Be it originally in spanish to english, vice versa, german to english, vice versa, italian to spanish, … you get my meaning. Sometimes, rarely, it works. Most of the time, however, its never that great.

This pretty much is what my issue was with this song. I prefer it the Falco way haha.

I WOULD do a comparison, you know, show the After the Fire Version against the Falco version but the Falco version has embedding disabled (of course) so here is the After the Fire version.

I know, all this review for one dinky song? Really, Natalia?

YES!

Music Review: Aerosmith

June 23, 2009

Aerosmith. Ok. I gotta say this one is a hard one to review. They arent a fave and yet ask me to say one bad thing about them and for the life of me I cant think of anything.

Started in the early 70s this band is prolific and has maintained a stronghold in music since then. Their popularity damn near fizzled out in the early 80s mainly due to the entire bands prolonged drug use. They did clean up but the damage was done at that point… UNTIL Run DMC collaborated with them on a remake of Walk This Way. The rest is history.

Now heres the thing. I think I know why they lucked out. It wasnt JUST the Run DMC thing. See when they started out, if you listen to their tunes they were a full on blues influenced band. I mean I get old school blues and influences from The Animals when I hear them. So when I listen to their early stuff… its alright but Ive never been a huge fan of blues music so I know if I was around then I more than likely wouldnt have listened. Honestly though if you want any proof of their blues influence please listen to their cover of Cry Me a River. I mean I seriously never thought I would hear that. The thing is as time went on their sound kinda became a bit obscure. Disco and Punk were making waves so they werent really winning any new fans.

I think they hit it big in the 80s because they really blended in well with the reputable metal bands. Now they were in my opinion nothing like many of the metal bands but they fused well with the genre cuz well, honestly, Metal has a tendency to just rip off blues chords so yeah fit in perfectly and I LOOVED them in the 80s and early 90s.

Yes yes they became mainstream. Yes yes they did a movie soundtrack. What fucking ever. Do NOT get me on a rant about bands that are labeled as “sell outs” I hate it, it ticks me off.

At this point in time, I can honestly say I have no idea what is in store for them. I honestly dont care haha. I just respect what theyve given and think they should all be proud of themselves…. which Im sure they are.

Heres a vid for you all. One of their weirdest, Pink:

Recipe time! Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich!

June 22, 2009

I know, not exactly the most elaborate recipe but hey, like Ive said before I have plenty of friends who cant cook for shit! So why not post the directions on here for a pretty nice tasting sandwich?

What you’ll need:
2 slices of bread (can be white, wheat, whatever. I use that thick dutch oven potato bread its good for this particular sandwich)
Peanut butter
honey
half a banana cut up or mashed
butter
a frying pan or grill

ok so first up turn on your stove and heat up the frying pan. dont put the butter on there.

spread butter on one side of one slice of bread.
one the other side spread the peanut butter
place that piece of bread butter side down on to the frying pan.
on top of the peanut butter drizzle a bit of honey. not too much. just enough to make it sweet.
then add the bananas
drizzle a bit more honey on top of the bananas
on the other slice of bread you will put peanut butter on one side and regular butter on the other
this time, place the peanut butter side down onto the rest of your a sandwich.

by this time the slice that has been on the pan should be a brown. flip it over and brown the other side.

*reminder* You dont want to make this too hot UNLESS you enjoy a gooey mess. Peanut butter gets insanely liquidy when heated so you want to avoid that. you just want to brown the bread a bit.

once its done, eat and enjoy!

Yeah I didnt take this pic, but I cant find my camera.

Yeah I didnt take this pic, but I cant find my camera.

Music Review: Adriana Calcanhotto

June 19, 2009

So for now, I shall leave all my posts in one spot. This one may throw many of you off but hey, I told you I love music. I listen to all kinds from all over the world. From Brazil I give you, Miss Adriana Calcanhotto.

Adriana Calcanhotto is a brazilian pop singer. However her music isnt truly pop. There is a traditional bossanova feel to her music and the songs are fairly emotionally driven. However they do classify her as a brazilian pop singer so, there ya go.

I love her voice. Very soothing, I feel like Im someplace else when I hear her songs. If you are a fan of world music and love listening to tropical influences in music I highly recommend listening to her. Shes been around since the early 90s and still makes albums but I gotta say my favorite believe it or not is her children’s album Adriana Partimpim. The songs are fun and in comparison to her normally sad (ish) songs its really fun to listen to and sing along to.

Yes! I do sing along to it! I may speak english and spanish, but I can figure out some portuguese and italian thanks to my 4 years of french in high school. Doesnt make sense? Who cares?? Am I singing the songs perfectly? Hells to the no! Whatever, its fun, I love it, I wish I could speak all these languages fluently and I have fun trying. Especially when the songs are as great as hers so there!

All her videos have embedding disabled. This has become such a chore! I guess this was youtube and other companies striking a compromise. Whatever its free advertising for them yet they dont see it that way. (ok sorry im ranting) At any rate I found a live one. This is her at Coliseu dos Recreios singing one of my favorite songs by her, Mais Feliz.

Decision has been made concerning music reviews!

June 19, 2009

So I have decided that if I really want people to get more into checking out my blog I should have more than just one. One blog for my own personal things like rants or shout outs or just ramblings. One blog for music reviews. One blog for recipes, etc. I think it would work out better that way. What do you guys think??

Music Review: Adam Ant

June 18, 2009

I know I know yet another “oldie”. Hey I’m 33 (34 in a month) …respect! I love reviewing and discussing bands and artists that were loved and still are or arent now. The fact of the matter is. I got stuff to say about the guy!

Adam Ant came out when punk was alive and kicking. It was a baby, mmmaybe a toddler by this point. Either way he already had an adult life when it came out and it WASNT in music. He had a regular 9 to 5 job that required wearing a dull 70s suit and was married. If you ever saw pics of him during that time it would be extremely shocking. Its not the same Adam we grew to love and be shocked by haha.

He came out and he was in the punk scene of the UK. Now I gotta admit. I didnt ever really think he belonged there. I mean the outlandish style, YES. The pirate look, the tribal paint on the face, the ripped shirts, sexual innuendo, that all worked. The voice though? I mean there was something that didnt match the other punk rockers out there… he could sing!!

Don’t get me wrong. Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Buzzcocks, The Ramones, The New York Dolls, they made great tunes but if you were asked who had a nice singing voice you wouldnt really say any of them did even if you loved listening to them. Adam Ant had a 50s vibe to his music a bit more of a pop flair to his songs and again could actually sing.

As far as his looks were concerned. He had a baby face but had a receding hairline yet still pulled off being hot. I remember thinking he looked like Billy Crystal… if Billy Crystal was good looking. His songs were so fun to listen to and the sexual references were a plenty. I picture a lot of panties being thrown at this guy. The 80’s loved Adam Ant. Goody Two Shoes, Stand and Deliver, Strip, Puss in Boots, Ant Music, all hits. All great songs. He was thriving from 80 to 85 then the luster began to dim. He was still famous but he became a poster child for “Look at Me!! Im a pop star!! type of music. No one really believed there was quality to his songs anymore. He was just a celebrity because he was who he was. (I hate when that happens… yes Alanis, I am talking about you!) Then something happened in the 90s….

Wonderful by Adam Ant. I hadnt heard from him in a year or two at this point (its probably like 1994 or something) and then there is a new Adam Ant song. Im ready to just dismiss this as just a song that sounds a lot like his other songs and will disappear into the batch but thankfully I was wrong.

This song is probably my all time favorite song by Adam Ant. Its sad. Its poignant. His heart is in this song. He wrote it about his girlfriend that he let go. He still loved her. You feel it. You watch the video, you SEE it. Hes actually crying. He tells you its all about that. Hes said it was about his relationship with a woman he STILL loved and screwed up and lost(rumor mills say its Heather Graham who he lost while he was dealing with a very persistent stalker but again, who knows). The video is cool but the song is cooler. I can hear that song daily and it wont stop being beautiful.

Since then Adam Ant has done some acting, he still sings but I honestly havent heard anything new, his look is different. Totally bald, wears a lot of hats, and glasses all the time… quite scary to be honest. Despite it, I really wish he would do more music. He has a talent, he may be older but creativity never dies. He needs to give it 110% and Im sure he will make a great song. Miss ya Adam!!

For you, I searched high and low for the video for Wonderful. The one I have had embedding disabled but I found one from someone who was slick enough to post the title as Adam Hormiga(spanish for Ant) – Maravillosa(spanish for Wonderful… well… Marvelous but you get it)

Honorable Mention…. Pablo Nieves

June 14, 2009

As some of you may know my grandpa passed away a few days ago. I miss him already however shockingly enough Im not really upset or distraught or anything. I mean I was a wreck the first day because I was stuck at home. Alone. Manning the phones. I really needed a hug or something and there was no one there. I felt really lonely.

HOWEVER!!!! LOL once my mom came home, my uncle came here. It felt A LOT better. We stopped feeling bad and started thinking about what a kick ass guy my grandpa was… IS. He will always be an awesome guy. All we did was laugh at all the craziness that my grandpa created.

Right now Im truly just overwhelmed by the drama of the arrangements of the funeral services. All the little family drama going on that logically ALWAYS happens during these things. Its actually quite normal, Im just soo exhausted. I truly just dont want to do ANYTHING.

But back to my grandpa. I wanted to let people know how funny, crazy, inappropriate, rude, gross, hysterical, loving, caring, sentimental my grandpa was. He fucked up his life at the beginning. The cool thing about him though is he made up for it. He knew he did and really always felt he should be held responsible. He was responsible and made up for it. I loved that. Most men have problems owning up to when they fuck up and he knows he did, was truly sorry, and expected nothing all the while making up for it however he could.

I posted this on my facebook notes section so I thought I would paste it here. Its the most outlandish things my grandpa ever said and did that made us all crack up:

1.) This was to a woman walking past the nursing home as we were dropping him off. Oh, and in spanish of course. (yeah all of this is in spanish btw) “Hey! You shouldnt dress like that in this cold and when its dark! People will think youre a prostitute and wheel their wheelchairs over to you and have their way with you, trust me I know how!!!”

2.)This evening when we picked him up, to one of the nurses who was making his bed “Yeah she says she comes here to fix my bed but she really wants to be in it with me, isnt that right mami?” (Did I mention he’s 90?)

3.)A few months ago talking about one of my cousins daughters “Yeah that one isnt that bright, I see a pole in her future!” (I cant make this shit up)

4.) During the summer to me after I ask him if he wanted me to get the chicken wing out of his mouth (theirs a pic of him with it just sticking out). He really didnt say anything he just spit out his dentures with the chicken in it into my hand… yeahhh ewww.

5.) After this old lady in a vegetative state was wheeled away from nurses. “she wants me” (woman had been in a coma since before my grandpa got there)

6.)About 5 months ago, this guy who shared the room with him had been fighting with him for a while. He was asleep when we went and since my grandpa cant move his arms too much he flung a plate at his head with his mouth.

7.) My favorite. About a year or so ago. He had just gotten his colon removed since he has colon cancer. We were driving him back to the nursing home in total dead silence cuz we are all generally sad and what not. We stop at a light. Again total silence: “Well, thank God Im not a homosexual what man would fuck me up the ass now?????”

8.)In the hospital under a lot of morphine “I am LAURA LEON! I am ALL woman! Except for my penis!…ugh my butt hurts” (he said ‘pinga’ but its the same thing)

9.) (this is a new one that last thing he said to me that was hysterical.) Natalia, I used to be worried that you were not married by now. Then I see all the problems that the women in this family have with men and think you are the smartest one. Just dont be a lesbian. Not because I dont want you to be gay but women are just as much a pain in the ass as men. I would be gay but I like boobies (tetas) and I dont like things up my butt. (keep in mind he has a colonostophy bag so yeah, I can see the no things up the butt thing being annoying for him.

My grandpa is insane. Yet he rocks so hard cuz no matter how shitty things are he still figures out a way to be funny and gross.

Will always think of you in the funniest and greatest moments Grandpa! I love you!

Music Review: Ace of Base

June 13, 2009

“Natalia, why do you review bands that no one really listen to or know anymore?”

Because, SOMEONE out there does and wants to hear someone’s opinion about them. Some of us need to know that its ok to STILL listen to Don’t Turn Around and love every minute of it. I figure I am that person.

Ace of Base. I have a couple of issues with this group but very minimal.

One: I detested how everytime they were compared to Abba they got insulted. Ummm ok I get it, you arent EXACTLY the same. Abba were two married couples. You are 2 sisters a brother and a hot ex Neo Nazi named Buddha. Whatever, you are from Sweden, there are 2 guys in the background and two girls who sing. One blonde one and one brunette that sing poppy dance tunes with a euro lilt in their voices. You even have a song called What’s The Name of The Game!! Sure, it doesnt sound the same as the song Abba had WITH THE SAME TITLE but still dont get all pissy cuz they compared you two be happy and proud! Abba was a big deal. Still is!

Two: I mentioned Buddha. Yeah he admitted in his youth he was a deviant who was a member of the neo nazis in his town. Thats pretty fucking messed up dude! HOWEVER your explanation was valid, I get it. I still think its wrong, but I get it. You had no friends, the only people that accepted you in your town were the neo nazi punk kids in the area and despite not really agreeing with their anti semitic and racist views you PRETENDED to agree just to feel like you belonged. Dude, really? Im sorry people give you shit about it. I know you even dated a woman of color at one point during the Ace of Base heydey and yeah we all make mistakes but dont get all pissy when people bring up your past. Its your bed lie in it. If you really want people to believe you have changed your ways you should join a bunch of charities or advocacy organizations against such things. Dont call people who bring it up names it doesnt make you look good. (although physically you are gorgeous! I admit it)

Ok thats all the negativity. Now for the positive stuff.

This was a band you were kinda ashamed to like. You wouldnt admit it to a lot of people that you played The Sign album over and over. I don’t care. I LOVED THEM. I have 4 of their cds!!! Thats right, I know more songs than just The Sign people!

There is this thing about Euro Pop that is just cooler. This respect and homage they pay to 60s pop music. The brass sections are respected and used and I love that. I know a lot of you are like “I didnt hear that in The Sign Album??” no you didnt, it was like 1994 or something so its very dancey and euro beat sounding. I actually like that too, Im a sucker for it.
The Bridge which was their next album actually had acoustic guitars in some of their songs and I thought that was clever.
Cruel Summer is the one I was incredibly impressed by Cecilia, Donnie, Dont Go Away, have great 60s influences I love those songs. (Though I admit, their cover of cruel summer…. laaaaame.)
Da Capo goes back to a techno sound but it still sounds awesome.

They have a new album either out already or coming out soon. The blonde is no longer involved in the band in fact towards the end she really wanted nothing to do with it, she was only in the background for the most part. She was never comfortable with the spotlight. (much like Agneta in Abba,…. coincidence???… yeah most likely)

Im not gonna lie, their lyrics arent exactly instense or insightful haha. (“everytime it rains…. i get wet…” yeeaaah ok then)but its just a feel good sound that I enjoy listening to.

Here’s one of my favorite videos of theirs: