Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Elephant In The Room

I try so, so hard not to be this girl. But I just can't help it. It's woven in my fabric; part of my being; a staple of my personality. And dare I say that it's just downright quirky and charming? I don't know about that.

Truth is, I'm fanatical.

My job doesn't allow me a ton of time to blog as I please, so I usually try to have something of substance on the rare occasion that I post. So my internal debate had convinced me that this shouldn't happen, that it is not a worthy topic. But, as I skim my various media outlets here in my cube, I just can't contain my absolute giddiness.

Ya'll, it's New Moon Premiere Week!

This isn't something to be ashamed of! It's a revolution! This is our generation's Beatle-Mania, and I will proudly join in. I never considered classifying myself under such a title, but this week I was reading an article about a woman who got to be an extra in the movie and it made a reference to something I completely understood. Apparently, urbandictionary.com has summed it all up for us:

Twihard: a serious and obsessive reader of 'The Twilight Saga' by Stephenie Meyer, one leap above Twilighters.

I rushed out the day Vanity Fair hit newsstands here in Dallas (which was, of course, a week later than New York...another perk to Manhattan life) because Rob Pattinson had an amazing photo spread in the December issue. He is, obviously, in my Top 5.

I've already committed to 2 showings of the movie within its opening week.

And reread the first two books in anticipation.

I scored "As Perfect As Edward" on the "Twilight Know-It-All" quiz.

Just this morning, my best friend admitted that all the New Moon buzz had converted her to Team Jacob. This also led to her saying, "I'm ashamed to admit that my morning has been spent looking at teenagers with their shirts off".

Hey, that's your prerogative. I just tend to lean towards the older, more sophisticated tween sci-fi hero.

So the proof is in the pudding. But I guess if the shoe fits, I'll wear it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Track Minded

It's the eve of a very big day for music lovers!

At midnight tonight, iTunes will automatically deploy my pre-ordered copy of John Mayer's Battle Studies. The Billboard.com review has already claimed it to be the "best and most adventurous of his four studio albums," and I'll cheerfully second that motion.

John Mayer is an interesting case study in the genre-segmented music industry. Guys love to hate him, girls scribble his lyrics in their diary, US Weekly is still talking about his love life and old-school players like Rolling Stone so desperately want to classify him as a pop sell-out. It's not really surprising that the Rolling Stone review gave Battle Studies 3 stars, but their average user rating was closer to a 4.5. But, even they had to admit that his new album "is a real study in craftmanship and understated guitar ninja-dom". At the end of the day, you can't deny what an incredible musician he is.

Thanks to a thoughtful friend in a high place, I got an early release of it a week ago so I've had some time to let it resonate in my headphones. If you're a devoted follower (like your's truly) you know that JM has a diverse repertoire that ranges from pop ballads and poetic love songs to full swing blues and hard rock. I think this fourth album is different because he's finally earned freedom from the record label and in turn has fused all those sounds into one coherent collection. He managed to reach the pop crowd with the "Half of My Heart" duo with Taylor Swift, the classic rock crowd with his interpretation of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads" and the US Weekly spectators with "Heartbreak Warfare". (Is he publicly jabbing Jennifer Aniston?!) And inevitably, girls will swoon as they deconstruct the other 50% of the album and try to interpret his quest to "find ways to keep the good alive" in romance. This is why I think it's brilliant, but I'll let you decide for yourself. My list of personal favorites is still evolving.

But consider yourself warned; this isn't his most upbeat and optimistic release. Once he set the album title Battle Studies, he took the theme to a new level and carried it out through other titles like "Heartbreak Warfare", "War Of My Life" and "Assassin". He said so himself, "(it's more) observations and a little bit of advice on relationships... kind of like a heartbreak handbook".

If you have better cable than I do, you should set your tivo to the Fuse Channel tomorrow night as they broadcast his first album performance live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

There are some other great things happening tomorrow as far as New Music Tuesdays go, but alas, I do have a day job...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chez Soi

I was challenged by some fellow blogging friends, to write a post about home. No guidelines, no rules. Too much freedom scares me, so I'll keep it simple.

Home is my family. Home is my friends. Home is that perfect song. Home is that favorite movie. Home is Texas. Home is New York City. Home is not defined by geography, and neither am I.

See I refuse to believe
That my life's gonna be
Just some string of incompletes...
Been holding out for a home life,
My whole life.
- JM

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Love Me Some Free

The Glee soundtrack came out this week! I'm sure it's the first of many volumes to come, but it's exactly what you expect...and maybe a little more. I would try to recap it and say something witty, but I'd probably fail in comparison to what's already out there. So, on that note, I'll just redirect you to NYMag's breakdown and ranking of the songs. It's extremely scientific with categories like "Meh", "Not Bad" and "Kinda Great" (which is where most songs fall, of course).

And try before you buy! Billboard has a Free For All page right now that lets you listen to newly released albums in their entirety, for free! You can listen to the whole Glee soundtrack, as well as new albums from Carrie Underwood, The Foo Fighters Greatest Hits, Weezer's Ratitude and a live Nirvana release.