Tune Tuesday | Italy 2016

tunetues2016

Howdy!

So we’re back with another week and I am bringing back a country from the first year I did these posts! Italy is a place that I rarely find music from anymore, which really sucks because at one point they (and probably still do) had a good opera scene!

Speaking of opera, the best way to start out this post is by talking about a power symphonic metal band called Sipario. They’ve been together since 2007 by vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Daniele Tari. He shares the reins with fellow vocalist Maeg Reheena. They’re most recent album release is a concept album called “Eclipse Of Sorrow” which came out last May of this year!

The last one I have to talk about is Benny Benassi. Yeah, you’re probably heard of him. Fellow artist Skrillex put his song “Cinema” featuring Gary Go on the map four or five years ago, which in a way doesn’t seem that long ago! It’s basically the song that made me fall in love with Skrillex, well it was one of them! Anyways, Benny has recently had a new hit on his hands featuring Chris Brown with the song “Paradise” another party/summer anthem? Who knows!

Do you know any other Italian acts that you think I should check out? Let me know!

Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling

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Hey guys!

So I am back with my third book review, but second book of the Harry Potter series! I was super proud of myself when I completed this book, as that meant I’d only have one more that my cousin brought down with him last month. It kind of shocks me on how fast I’m going with these books and no, I’m not skimming through pages either! I’m actually reading every word because I really want to know what happens in the books.

I have to say that out of all 8 films, I haven’t seen Chamber Of Secrets, Globet Of Fire, Half Blood Prince, and Deathly Hollows Part 1 as much as the rest. So I felt as though I would kind of enjoy reading these installments! And I guess I was right. I did love the book more than I have everytime I turn on the movie on my DVR.

I think one of the biggest reasons why I seemed to love the book was the fact there were more information about certain characters and how Harry felt about them. My favorite chapter was The Burrow. When Harry arrives at the Weasley manor after Ron, Fred, and George rescue him. The whole chapter made me as happy as it made Harry just being there.

Now let’s talk about Gilderoy Lockhart. He was almost annoying as Umbridge (and no, I am not looking forward to reading about that bitch when I get to Order Of The Phoenix!) but there are very interesting characters that seem to be talked about more in the book than they were in the films. Colin Creevey is the photographer, Muggle-born first year with Ginny Weasley who is also obsessed with Harry; he seems to take a backseat in the films whereas he’s in the first four or five chapters a lot! Same goes to Justin Finch-Fletchley, in the movies he’s only a part of two scenes and that’s it!

One chapter that I just fell in love with was The Deathday Party, where Nearly Headless Nick invited Harry, Ron, and Heromine to the party of the day Sir Nicholas was killed. From the first book, we learn a small amount of details of Sir Nicholas and Peeves the Poltergeist. As for this book, we learn about Moaning Myrtle and I have to confess that Myrtle has always been my favorite ghost, even if she is like one of three ghosts introduced in the film series. In the Chamber Of Secrets, we also learn more about Angus Flich and why he’s such a bitter man in the stories. I thought this was also an interesting mention to throw in because I never knew that about him… To the ones who don’t what I’m talking about, read the book and you’ll understand!

The last three chapters were a bit of a let down though. As much as I wanted to know what happened when Harry, Ron, and Ginny got back to Hogwarts and talked to Dumbledore about what had happened down in the chamber and what happened to Professor Lockhart. I felt as though cheated. I thought the chapter of Aragog was more action packed than when Harry met the serpent in the chamber.

To end this review, I actually liked two quotes from the book. The first one rolled out of Ron’s mouth, “when in doubt, go to the library” and I’m not joking you when I say after I finished that chapter, that quote came up twice in the same day! It was very weird! The second made me fall in love with Heromine even more, but this time in the books. It represents her so well and makes her a badass, even at 12 years old! It was said as Ron and Harry were worrying about the Polyjuice Potion.

Heromine shut the book with a snap. “Well, if you two are going to chicken out, fine,” she said. There were bright pink patches on their cheeks and her eyes were brighter than usual. “I don’t want to break rules, you know. I think threatening Muggle-borns is far worse than brewing up a difficult potion. But if you don’t want to find out if it’s Malfoy, I’ll go straight to Madam Pince now and hand the book back in.”

Who has read the Chamber Of Secrets? Which chapter and/or characters are your favorites in this book?

snowflake

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Album Review: “Unleashed” by Skillet

13495086_1159293417468320_4387011683613647231_nThis is happening!! A new album review thanks to YouTube! I honestly didn’t expect to be able to listen to Skillet’s new album Unleashed, I figured I’d have to wait until my own sister caved and purchased the album, but now at least neither one of us would have to wait!

I was going to do a song review of their first single, “Feel Invincible” back in June, but I had a lot on my plate and decided against it. Parts of me wished I had done it. It’s the first track off the album, and I am in love with it! The band is sort of known for their more symphonic rock sound, using a violin and cello in a good amount of their songs, but this one has more of an electronic vibe. It seems Korey has double duty again, as she plays rhythm guitar and keyboard. Despite having a slight electronica feel to it, it’s still very heavy! Great song to listen to as you work or get ready for the day!

I heard the second track a couple of weeks ago, maybe the actual day it was released! I was in between of deciding if I liked it or not. It’s called “Back From The Dead” and I have to say, I am still undecided. It’s good, it has some interesting parts to it. I like how John does the “ba-ba-ba-ba” saying in rhythm of the chorus. This one isn’t as heavy as I thought it would be, but still. Third song is  “Stars” and from the first time I saw the title I knew it would be slower… I’m not going to lie, I am a little hesitant when it comes to the band’s ballads. However, I knew if I wanted to complete this review I would have to listen to it. The track has an electronic introduction. This time you can clearly hear both John and Jen’s voices throughout the song. I do like the message and surprisingly the sound as it goes on the tempo increases. It’s pretty good too!

Next is what I like to call, “a Skillet song.” I know, that’s so clever Meghan! “I Want To Live” sounds like their older songs, like the ones we replay in our iPods and phones everytime we are in the car. It starts out with the nice and easy orchestra sound, Jen has more than just backing vocals on this track. I really love Jen’s soft but fierce voice on the band’s songs! Anyways, I sent this one to my sister and she seemed to like it a lot considering she liked and retweeted it on her Twitter account! Next up is “Undefeated” and oh my gosh! This one is powerful! It doesn’t sound like their others but it is heavy, which is a plus! After “Undefeated,” is a track called “Famous” and is it weird to say that John sounds like he is rapping in the beginning? This one is okay, but I don’t like it, at least not right now!

Now is time for “Lions”.  This has more of an airy, almost gives out a serene kind of feeling. In a way, it sounds like “Stars” and what’s weird is that it sort of sounds like it in parts too, mostly in the choruses and at the end of the verses, where Jen joins in with John. Other than that, the actual song is pretty good! The eighth track is called “Out Of Hell” and of course my brain went, please be heavy! With that kind of title, you’re hoping it is! Thankfully, this one is glorious! I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but this reminds me of a Five Finger Death Punch song! And I mean that in the nicest way possible! It still has the essence of Skillet, but it is extremely heavy and so good!

Next up is a song called “Burn It Down” and yes, I immediately thought of Linkin Park. Sorry, but it happens everytime I see these three words together! This is another heavy track, but there’s nothing about it that makes it special. It just sounds like a regular rock song. So that’s bit of a let down! This next one, I heard it and I kind of got happy. It’s “Waiting For Comets” and again, like “Stars” and “Lions” it has a calming vibe to it. It’s not at all heavy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not good. I can see this one becoming a favorite, as I am starting to like more and more tracks that are meaningful in both lyrics and sound. Perfect harmony.  After is a song called “Saviors Of The World,” and when I heard it and was completely caught off guard. It has a strong electronica beginning, but it almost has like a whimsical vibe too! It was strange, but in a good way! The only thing I really have a problem with is the fact it has so many elements to it, that while you listen to the choruses, you can barely hear what John is saying. I can only properly hear one line out of that section before that part goes blurry. Maybe it’s my ears who knows!

Last but not least, is “The Resistance” and again, I hoped for another heavy as I always love a banger to start the album and finish it out. And this did not disappoint. We even have John doing a little screaming and if I’m not mistaken, he hasn’t done that since “Monster” from Awake right?  This is another “Skillet” song, but as I’ve seen through listening to this album, maybe I don’t know what a “Skillet” song sounds like anymore? Is it the lyrics or the sounds that creates that label? I’ve always thought it was a mixture honestly.

So what do we think? Do you like Skillet’s new album? Yay or nay? Leave me some comments!

snowflake

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Tune Tuesday | Israel 2016

tunetues2016

Hey guys!

I don’t usually get requests to listen to an artist or band on my personal Facebook a lot, and I actually like it that way but every once in a while I get a rebel or two!

Back in January, I got a special request to check a band called Spaceship Underground from their lead vocalist Grace. It took me about two days to actually see that email, but I finally did listen to their first album and I really enjoyed it! I went on their Facebook a little later and found out they were from Israel and I was a bit shocked but pleased too. I don’t get a lot of middle eastern musicians. I remember telling Grace that I would do an album review of it but as like everything else, I never got to it. So I figured putting them on my Tune Tuesday worldwide posts to make up for it! 🙂

Have you heard of Spaceship Underground? 

Book Review: “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

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Hey guys!

So you’re probably thinking in your head I’ve lost my mind about doing a book review on the very first Harry Potter book, but I have an explanation I swear!

I would say about 10 years ago – holy shit! It was during my last year in middle school, my English teacher wanted us to read Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone and then watch the film to compare what was kept and what was left out from the book. For many years, this was the reason why I had never read the books after watching the other movies. I had even tried reading Twilight but I couldn’t get past page 7 because I was doing so many comparisons in my head between the the characters!

Despite this, I have always wanted to read the rest of the Harry Potter series. And I knew that it has been several years since I last read the book, so I figured I should reread it, which is another thing that I rarely do! I never reread a book. I really surprised myself in what I’ve been doing as far as reading goes!

Before I go on talking about the changes in the book, I wanted to say that I know a lot of things about England; especially in the way they talk. The words that we use are different from the British. So as I was reading this book, I was very sad at the fact that I was reading it in the American way, but they still kept certain words the same as they do. For example, “holidays” is mentioned at the last. For us Americans, this means actual holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. For the British, it means that as well but also “vacation” so couldn’t that have been changed too? I realize that not everybody is going to know that because we are the only ones that call “soccer”, when the rest of the world calls it “football”.

For a lot of people like myself, another thing that tends to hold a person back from reading a book after they’ve already watched the film based off of it, is that your outlook of the character is different. You’ll most likely see the actor who played them than anyone else. I did try my hardest to not see the actors and actresses that are now famous for playing these characters, but nobody can play a better Ron, Mrs. Weasley, Hagrid, Snape, and Professor McGongall. However, I was actually picturing different people for Heromine, Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, and even Harry himself! And I adore Daniel Radcliffe! So I think I can say I have officially thrown that theory out of the window!

Besides that, I do remember some things from the first time I read the book. I knew about the time when Harry’s letters start to arrive and when Mr. Dursley decides to move them away, they go to another place just before arriving on the island where Harry first meets Hagrid, but sadly this was all that I managed to remember. Recently I have seen this little meme on Facebook about if fans of the series would watch the movies if they were word for word, but as I was reading along I noticed that a lot of the dialogue was still the same between the two, it was just backwards! Yes, certain things in the chapters were cut out of the movies but it wasn’t a lot of material as I thought it was! Not everything can make it into the movies unfortunately!

Everything was mostly matching with the film as it was playing in my head! Once I got to Chapter 14 things started to really switch. It was a lot more than a couple of things that were changed from the book, by the time I hit the last two chapters I was a bit upset by the fact that they took certain things out. One in particular was the fact in the last chapter, you finally find out who gives Harry the invisibility cloak whereas in the films, you don’t know who gives it to him! I have never known who gave it to him until the day I finished the book.

Now that I have finished this, I am onto the one film that I hardly ever watch because of the whole spiders and serpents… And you might even get that review sooner than you think!

Have you read Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone? Or have you done what I did and just skipped ahead by watching the films? What are your thoughts about them?

snowflake

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