Posts Tagged ‘music’

Top 10 Favorite Artists of 2011

10. Fitz & The Tantrums

Favorite Song: Winds of Change
Favorite Album: Picking Up The Pieces
Source/Date of Most Interest: Lollapalooza/ December 11, 2011

I was never really into soul music. Ever. And so I was a little skeptical at first upon previewing the album since it just wasn’t really me. After getting a taste of several free downloads off of the album for songs like ‘Breakin’ The Chains of Love’ or their famous hit ‘MoneyGrabber’ I really felt like I had stumbled upon some great mood music to add into the soundtrack of my life. The music reminds me of what I used to listen to on the radio with my family when I was little. It sort of has a ‘funky’ feel to it that was great to sing along to (in my head) while doing homework or getting around on the bus. Fitz & The Tantrums was named ‘the band to watch’ by Rolling Stone in April, and I can definitely see why with this amazing album, without a single ‘filler’ song thrown in. I am pretty curious to see where this band goes in the future. Other great songs include the Austin Power’s groovyness of ‘L.O.V.’ or the slow, emotion-drenched ‘Tighter’.

9. Regina Spektor

Favorite Song: The Calculation
Favorite Album: Far
Source/ Date of Most Interest: 500 Days of Summer/ March 14, 2011

Ever since the soundtrack for the movie 500 Days of Summer came out in 2009, I was drawn into the two tracks that were sung by Regina, ‘Hero’ and ‘Us’ because of the innocence in her voice and the incredible piano playing. It wasn’t until this year that I decided to try her other music, after seeing Connor praise her over and over for months on end for her talents. Connor and I usually associated seasons to music, and I would definitely classify this album as winter, because I can just imagine coming in from the cold, bundling up with a mug of hot cocoa and having her music play in the background; its simply reviving, sweet and comforting, especially for songs such as ‘Eet’, ‘Samson’, or ‘Blue Lips’. At the same time, Regina adds such a quirky fun to some of her songs that really lightens up the mood, such as the playful imitation of an orca whale in ‘Folding Chair’ that makes me smile every time it plays.

8. Metric

Favorite Song: Gimme Sympathy
Favorite Album: Fantasies/ Plug-in, Plug Out EP
Source/ Date of Most Interest: Lollapalooza/ September 18, 2011

Connor and I were sort of scared away by the terrible review concerning the editing on the Fantasies album that we stuck originally to the acoustic EP with several songs from the album, which was absolutely incredible. Emily Haine’s voice is so soft and lighthearted when completely stripped of all of the unnecessary techno beats in the background and replaced with a guitar. ‘Gimme Sympathy’ reminds me of being little and sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, the movie ‘The Parent Trap’ and of course, The Beatles. Just like Regina Spektor, Emily has her own form of innocence on the EP that is so admirable. On the Fantasies album, the songs give off a completely different vibe, with a more in-your-face kind of electronic rock noise, yet still containing that sweet voice underneath, similar to how I view the inner voice behind all of the jumble of Sleigh Bells. There are still plenty of gems on Fantasies, such as the  delicate and lonely ‘Collect Call’ or the nocturnal pulsating beat of ‘Satellite Mind’.

7. Florence + The Machine

Favorite Song: Drumming Song
Favorite Album: Lungs
Source/ Date of Most Interest: Music Awards Show/ November 5, 2011

Florence + The Machine is a very unique artist that really captured my attention after I had gotten past the hit song ‘Dog Days Are Over’, which I now consider to be one of the lesser tracks on the album. Florence Welch has such a belting voice that isn’t afraid to scream out when the emotional context is right. The instrument choice for each song really complements her voice. On songs such as ‘Drumming Song’ the drums play a role as a sort of pounding heartbeat, which gives me the impression that I’m running off through a jungle and hearing this rather exotic, nature-driven beat in the background that is simply wild and free, just like the rest of the album. Of course, lungs are a major theme on the album, with many songs that although fast paced, really take your breath away. She also taps into several songs, such as ‘Between Two Lungs’ or ‘Cosmic Love’, relating to love on this album and creates such an effect such that you can imagine little birds tweeting and landing on your shoulder. You are lifted off your feet and transported away by a cupid Florence playing the harp. She can truly paint a scene through a set of songs.

6. Foster The People

Favorite Song: Helena Beat
Favorite Album: Torches
Source/ Date of Most Interest: Lollapalooza/ June 16, 2011

When I got this album, it was around the time that I got my first pair of wireless headphones. With music as catchy and cheerful as this, I couldn’t help but dance around my house and listen to these fresh, groovy, jazzy beats that Mark Foster, the lead singer, has concocted. After looking into music for Lollapalooza this year, I was taken aback by this incredible find. I originally thought it sounded somewhat similar to MGMT with its choice of synthesizers, but really, there is nothing truly like this. Although ‘Pumped Up Kicks’ has been the viral song off of this album raiding the charts for alternative music, I really don’t think it is the standout track. Songs such as ‘Call It What You Want’ or ‘Houdini’ will have you bobbing your heard to the beat. I had the pleasure of seeing this band up close live with Connor, and they were all the better and more entertaining. Despite the heat that day and the girls screaming, “take your shirt off!”, Foster kept his composure and delivered the public incredible music, all was good. Overall, if you let it take you away, this band’s music will quench the dancing spirit of your soul.

5. The Decemberists

Favorite Song: July, July!
Favorite Album: The Hazards of Love
Source/ Date of Most Interest: iTunes/ January 18, 2011

In 2010, I had originally looked into music by The Decemberists and was turned away by some of their songs. After their most recent album, ‘The King Is Dead’ was released, I really had a strong foothold to start exploring their music with more confidence. All of their albums are completely different from one another, and so it is difficult to judge the band in its entirety. What I enjoy about each song, whether country, rock, or folk, is how impressive the lyrics are for the music and how amazing Colin Meloy’s vocabulary is. Colin’s voice is interesting, I’ve found that it is almost exactly the same singing live as it is in recorded versions of his songs, which shows how real the music is. Out of the six albums, my favorite is The Hazards of Love because of its cohesiveness and how the album follows a sort of tale that is captivating and entwined with themes and recurring characters. I enjoy the very contrasting style of The Decemberists’ older albums, because they are in the style of sea shanties, such as on ‘Picaresque’ about people who may be weak and unimportant, but are brought into a new and intriguing light by Colin. The Decemberists are definitely an acquired taste for most people; some of my other favorite tracks are ‘O Valencia!’, ‘Rox In the Box’, and ‘Yankee Bayonet’.

4. The XX

Favorite Song: Islands
Favorite Album: XX
Source/ Date of Most Interest: iTunes/ January 1, 2011

The XX music is simple, calming, and smooth, but overall it works amazingly well. As Connor and I have found out, the XX album is effective music to listen to in order to help you get to sleep at night. I discovered this band over winter break 2010-2011 and  could not put this music aside. The two lead male and female “singers” have voices that form a perfect balance with each other. My favorite track is ‘Islands’ because of how Jamie’s, the female singer, voice is just so desperate, it makes you want to cuddle up with this music. This entire album is like an escape from daily life, it reminds me of sitting in a pool of comforting steam that is rising up and cleansing you from all around. I am really curious to hear the new album by this band that is scheduled to be released next year.

3. The Naked & Famous

Favorite Song: All of This
Favorite Album: Passive Me, Aggressive You
Source/ Date of Most Interest: iTunes/ June 24, 2011

The Naked & Famous were very fun to watch live, and that’s when I finally started to grasp onto their music. All the week before Connor was playing their music in the car when I went to North Carolina, and so I started to remember more and more each song by the time Lollapalooza came around. The Naked & Famous are pretty much the most Urban Outfitters style band that I’ve ever encountered, since their music is just the definition of Indie. I started to play their music more on my own time when I got into college, and it really became the mood for my experience during the first month and of school. The Naked & Famous are very summery and “chill” in their own way. I like how the lead singers build up the music in songs such as ‘The Sun’ or ‘Frayed’ getting louder and more tense. You expect an explosion of sound at any second, which is why it made me nervous the first time I played this in the car, but effects like these make this band so intriguing.

2. Freelance Whales

Favorite Song: Generator Second Floor
Favorite Album: Weathervanes
Source/ Date of Most Interest: Lollapalooza/ April 30, 2011

The Weathervanes album was one that after I looked into it, I thought, “why did it take this long  to discover this masterpiece?” Freelance Whales sets a mood similar to the nature theme of Florence + The Machine, minus the anger or strong emotion through voice. Instead, this album is mystical and eerie, sending shivers down my spine. The instruments are very unique; I can’t think of any other band that employs such elementary instruments such as a xylophone, banjo, triangle, and tambourine, and comes out with such beautiful music. What is most notable about this album are the Generator First and Second Floor songs that begin and end this album. The first: a chant of waking up, bringing rise to a rainbow of instruments. The latter: a cheerfully written song about death written in a positive light, painting an intimate afterlife with those who you care most about. The song ‘Broken Horse’ also stands out on this album as a sort of ghostly story that creeps up your back.

1. Bright Eyes/ Desaparecidos

Favorite Song: At The Bottom Of Everything
Favorite Album: Undecided
Source/ Date of Most Interest: Lollapalooza/ June 12, 2011

Conor Oberst is a musical genius: I don’t know of any other group capable of handling and mastering Americana, electronic, emo, folk, and rock music across a spread of several albums and still remain true to their own style. Just like The Decemberists, the band Bright Eyes such a long history that it is difficult to classify the style exactly. I’ve just been magnetized toward’s Conor’s music ever since discovering him when looking at bands for Lollapalooza. I am sad to say that The People’s Key album that came out in February was his last album with the band, which upsets me a great deal. Conor has a sort of weak, struggling voice that shines with raw emotion through music that no other performer can pull off. ‘At The Bottom Of Everything’ is my absolute favorite song by the band, because like straight from a Disney movie, it magically illuminates a comical and lively angle upon an up-and-coming death of passengers on an airplane. ‘Easy/Lucky/Free’ is another of my favorites; the song is like the light at the end of a dark and scary tunnel singing about hope and trying to warm your heart, despite the horrors of the hair-raising tunnel around you. ‘Four Winds’ is my most played by the band; the epic Americana violin starting the song reminds me of the western magic of Woody from Toy Story and every spaghetti western film I’ve ever seen. Bright Eyes may just as well be one of my favorite bands of all time, I have such a connection to this band’s amazing music.

Michael

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Top 10 Favorite Artists of 2010

Over the year of 2010, my interest in music has increased tenfold. I had first received an iPod at the beginning of the year, knowing close to nothing about where my music interest laid. Pop? Rock? Alternative? I had no idea how to even classify the music that I found appealing to my eardrums. It took gradual experimentation to figure out the music that was right for me. Here are my top 10 favorite artists:

10. 30 Seconds To Mars.
Favorite Song: Kings and Queens
Favorite Album: This Is War

Source of Discovery: Trailer for the movie, Legend of the Guardians.
One word: epic. Ever since hearing a censored fragment of the song Kings and Queens in a movie trailer, I knew that this band had something unique about their voice. This song, along the rest of their most recent album This Is War, reminded me of the action, suspense, and drama associated with movies. I love how all of the songs tie back to the main theme of the album. Although the screaming voice of the lead singer Jared Leto takes a while to get used to, the mood of the music and voice is so genuine that just about every song paints a picture in your mind as you listen.


9. Motion City Soundtrack
Favorite Song: Pulp Fiction
Favorite Album: My Dinosaur Life
Source of Discovery: Saw most recent album on the homepage of iTunes
Growing up, I had heard music from this band, but it wasn’t until my discovery of the iPod that I started to pay attention to the sound and message of their music. The sound of their most recent album, My Dinosaur Life, struck me as particularly captivating; not only that but the cover art is incredible! I had noticed that the vocalist of the group, Justin Pierre, had more of a matured voice and catchier melody in this most recent album, which lead me towards investigation. Although their songs are mainly explicit and the lyrics are somewhat odd, the emotions associated with each song packs a powerful punch to the listener. This upbeat music is great to listen to when caught in a bad mood.


8. Jonsi/ Sigur Ros
Favorite Song: Grow Till Tall
Favorite Album: Go
Source of Discovery: Trailer for the Disney movie, Earth
What drew me in to this music was the impressive instrumental noise and talented voice of the vocalist Jonsi Birgisson. After hearing nature-inspired sounds in the trailer for Earth, I was drawn into the beauty and peace of this incredible harmony of instruments and voice. Jonsi is Icelandic, and so part of the lyrics of his songs are in his native language. This particular music seems to stand out from every genre I’ve come to be familiar with, which is what drew me towards continuing to listen to it. Their music may take a while to grow accustomed to, but it definitely is worth checking out.


7. Matt & Kim
Favorite Song: Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare
Favorite Album: Grand

Source of Discovery: Earlier episode of the television series, Community
The duo Matt and Kim attracted me because their music reminds me of diversion and independence. Their rather stunning choice of instrumental backup may make their music sound raw and unappealing, but it definitely adds to their message of a carefree and nonjudgmental commotion. After hearing Matt & Kim play their most popular song Daylight at Lollapalooza in August, my belief was confirmed that these two artists and performers are wild and loose in not just their music, but their behavior, which makes them seem authentic by holding true to the sound of their music. Their new album comes out on November 2nd, so I’m definitely excited to hear their new material.


6. Owl City/ Sky Sailing
Favorite Song: A Little Opera Goes A Long Way
Favorite Album: An Airplane Carried Me To Bed

Source of Discovery: Word of mouth from sister
Owl City was the first -and only- artist under the genre of electronic music that appealed to me. I’ve found that this music eases the labor of doing homework and helps me brainstorm because the overall sound of each song leads at a miraculous opening of the mind.  The calm, passive voice of singer Adam Young adds a key element to why I enjoy this music. My favorite is his non-electronic album, An Airplane Carried Me to Bed, which is the most relaxing blend of instrument and voice I have ever heard. The cover artwork is absolutely stunning, creative, and beautiful. The music video for the song Brielle takes listeners on a peaceful, magical ride through Adam Young’s imagination.


5. Jukebox the Ghost
Favorite Song: The Stars
Favorite Album: Everything Under the Sun

Source of Discovery: Live at Lollapalooza 2010
This relatively unknown band definitely deserves some recognition. Jukebox the Ghost may not have the most powerful of lyrics, but the sound of their music is cheerful, catchy and playful. Every song on their most recent album, Everything Under the Sun, has a unique sound that is a result of the band members’ experimentation with different melodies. One of my friends has noted that their use of the piano is absolutely groundbreaking and shows the far extent of their talent. My encounter with this band live during Lollapalooza sparked something within me. Even without the use of voice enhancers and autotune, this band still creates amazing music unlike a large majority of popular artists.


4. Bruno Mars
Favorite Song: Count On Me
Favorite Album: It’s Better If You Don’t Understand EP

Source of Discovery: Heard on the radio with B.o.B. in Nothing on You
Although he is best known for the popular song, Just The Way You Are, there is another side to the music of this maestro. What I admire about Bruno Mars is that he uses his natural voice and his Hawaiian background in his music. He definitely has a wide range of sounds, from a slower Caribbean reggae to a swinging, fast-paced pop. I love how he approaches and executes genuine mainstream music from a unique angle and adds his own lifestyle to several of his songs, such as with The Lazy Song. Bruno Mars’ voice has reached long distances in only several months with the slow and steady gain of his popularity.


3. The Rocket Summer
Favorite Song: Brat Pack
Favorite Album: Do You Feel

Source of Discovery: Saw most recent album on the homepage of iTunes
After discovering this prized treasure of sounds in the cluttered mess of music on iTunes, I felt like I had hit a jackpot. Bryce Avary, the singer for The Rocket Summer adds a sort of jazz to his music with the smooth fluctuation of his high-range of pitch and usage of his smooth voice. The melody of each of these perfectly rendered songs overflows with soul and flair and made me beg for more. It was interesting hearing how the sounds of his albums changed over the years as he matured. Bryce Avary definitely deserves the success for his creation of such great music.


2. Arcade Fire
Favorite Song: Wake Up
Favorite Album: Neon Bible

Source of Discovery: Trailer for the movie, Where the Wild Things Are
The band has pretty dense and meaningful lyrics for many of their songs and the voice of Win Butler, the lead singer, suits it perfectly. I love how their albums are set to a variety of different themes and their respective songs reflect it. My personal favorite is the dark, depressing backdrop of the album Neon Bible because the emotions profoundly radiate from the overall sound; the realism of their music sends jitters through my body when I listen to it. I can definitely empathize with their most recent album, The Suburbs, since because of my location I can relate to several of the circumstances mentioned in the lyrics of certain songs.


1. The Shins/ Broken Bells
Favorite Song: Australia
Favorite Album: Wincing the Night Away
Source of Discovery: It was featured on the iTunes page for Arcade Fire’s Funeral
If there is any one artist who has one of the most exclusive styles of music, it is without a doubt The Shins. Their music sounds like a mash-up of Caribbean sounds, pirate shanties, and catchy beats. Whenever I turn on my iPod to listen, I’m lost in a sea of imagery. My all-time favorite album is Wincing the Night Away because of not only the awe-inspiring artwork, but because each song makes me feels as though I have transcended the distractions of my surroundings. The lyrics are surreal, just like the music. James Mercer’s voice blends well with this unique genre of music. He more recently began a project known as Broken Bells, which adds more of an electronic aspect to the music. All in all, I’ve been more than satisfied with Mercer’s music, and I can’t wait for the release of the next Shins album, which drops in 2011.

What’s The Point?

(January 25th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

This weekend was a tough one for the books. Luckily I didn’t have too much stress since the finals were over. I felt trapped inside the house all weekend because I couldn’t get out and do anything. Usually I pass the time by playing Dance Dance Revolution. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option this time since I had gotten a splinter from a small piece of glass… or something… that I stepped on. It was the tiniest thing, but I couldn’t walk afterwards since the bottom of my foot would start stinging with every step. On Sunday I did manage to get out with my family though. I stopped at Borders and picked out a new book. Gosh, I can just never get enough of books anymore. This whole weekend I just felt like browsing a bookstore and seeing what interesting stories I can find. I’ve started to look at the adult reading section… I know! How mature of me! I felt so warm inside when I was scanning through the shelf at that Borders in the literature section, thank you very much! I’m just not used to the reaction that my parents give me… ever since I started *reading*. Anyway, the book I picked out today, Breakfast With Buddha, is about a normal man out in the world who encounters a religious monk. His wife tells him that he should go on a trip with this spiritual being to the place of his childhood. I haven’t really gotten that far into it, but that is what I know of from the summary on the back. I don’t know why it appealed to me, I guess I’ve just been into religious readings recently ever since I took religions last year. I had a bad experience when I was trying to read it last night. I was in my bed with my night-light on when I heard my parents start arguing in the room on the other side of my bedroom wall. It felt like the arguing went on for hours… I just couldn’t concentrate on the book. My mom and dad have fought so often now and me and my sisters are upset to our stomachs having to listen to it. They just don’t love each other, and I can’t really do anything to change that. I wished I could just get up and out of the house, but I couldn’t walk on account of my splinter. I couldn’t drain out their noise with my iPod because my ear was bleeding like crazy last night. What could I have done?

With music still as a topic of thought, my life has grown a lot more musical ever since my sister handed me an iPod one day… for free! Recently I’ve written songs that I am familiar with to put on it. I still have to use my sister’s iTunes account since apparently it doesn’t work on my laptop (according to her). So I have to resort to bugging her every second of every day to put more music on. Any free moment I have is one spent listening. In fact, I’m listening to it now as I am typing this during my free period. I never knew what I was missing out on until now! Whenever the idea of music came to me, I would always just shoo it away, thinking that I didn’t need such a thing in my life. Especially with my music-adoring friend, Trevor. In the past I’ve been irritated with any reminder of music because of him. I am sick of his wild guitar and any other instrument he plays.

It has gotten warmer out lately??? I know! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that the snow outside was gone! I stepped outside on Sunday and the air actually tickled my face with its pleasantness instead of beating it up. Apparently, it started snowing again today. Gosh, these little heat waves are so short!

I’m just so glad that all of my stress from school is at a minimum level again.  Finals were… well… easy I guess. So far I am satisfied with my grade in Pre-Calculus and Physics. I realize now that I have the highest grade in my Physics class now, which makes me want to do a happy dance! I feel so honored. For my Pre-Calc final I only had one question wrong, which kind of bothers me because I was so close to a perfect score. Consumer Economics was a real painstaking class. I am just glad to have that over since it was a huge contributor to my stress. The day before the final I had some idea that I had to complete a final project for the next day. I spent at least two hours working on a goal statement as a consumer, thinking that it would have to be turned in the next day. Apparently, I hadn’t received the memo concerning the cancellation of the assignment. The minute I turned it in to the teacher she started laughing at me! I was so embarrassed, yet proud since I had gone above and beyond. I am praying to god that she gives me some sort of credit for my pointless work.

Second semester started today. I just walked into school with a smile on my face. I don’t know what it is, I just adore change to my normal routine. It might not even be as great as last semester, I just love that it is different. In Physics we started learning about impulse and momentum. I received my grade back from the roller coaster project. I got like 101% on it… somehow. I don’t even think that there was extra-credit on it. Spanish was a pain. I’m just not doing so well in that class as I used to. We started off class by talking about what we did over the weekend… and it basically grew worse from there. She announced that we had to start with Diarios again with the topic that we have to talk about someone else in our class. How exciting! Especially because I am somewhat anti-social. She then announced that we were starting a new short story, and lastly that we would be studying South America next. Gee, I really have to get back into the stream of things with that class. I was so excited when Computer Science came up in my day. I walked in, happy to get back into the swing of JavaScript and HTML when I realized that the entire format of the course was redesigned. Apparently, everything I had learned last year was pointless since we started off with a completely different markup language. I was baffled to find out that there were other people who were in the same class as me last year that were in the AP level now. I feel so behind now, gosh! Anyway, I hope I grow to get used to this whole new format.

Apparently my domain will be ending on February 19th, 2010. I hope to pay it again, I just wonder whether I should buy a new domain for my site rather that renew this one. Any ideas for website addresses?

Childhood I – Memories

A Collaborate Post
By Clonez and Connor

childhood

Waking up every day at six in the morning. Tired; just want to crawl back in bed.
Running to the bus-stop. Lazy; feeling half asleep.
Rushing that quarter mile to get to the other side of the school. Forgot one of my books.
Sitting in class drooling on desk. Seats as hard as cement. Third lecture today.
Watching cars zoom by out the window. Daydreaming away.

What was it like again to be a child? If you could be a kid for just another day, what would you do? Some people take being young for granted. When you’re young, you wanted to grow up to have the same privileges as an adult: to go to work just like daddy used to do or to go shopping just like mommy used to do, so you try to act older than you really are. Then there are some who live their childhood to its fullest. They go to the park, ride their bikes, play with friends, and eat lots and lots of ice cream. This is the type of person who usually ends up with plenty of memories to look back on when they are older.  Being in high school, I feel I am running out of those final days to live my life to it’s fullest. I am torn between the two worlds of childhood and adulthood. I can envision my friends tugging on my left arm and teachers and parents tugging at my right arm.

Making Friends

Being a child, I definitely remember how easy it was to make friends. Common interests are so easy to locate when you are little. Another thing is that there isn’t any judgment that takes place. You don’t have to be more popular or more pretty/handsome. I remember going to the beach by my old house.

I see a small boy playing in the sand with a shovel and bucket.
“Can I play with you?” I said.
The boy says, “Sure,” in such a kind way.

We both start digging in the sand together, having fun.
We watch the waves rush by and surround our castle we built out of shells, rocks and sand.

*>>Fast Forward 10 years>>*

I see a teenage guy playing beach volleyball with some friends.
“Can I play with you guys?” I said.
The guy says, “Who the f*ck are you? Get the h*ll out of here!”
I walk away with my head lowered, kicking sand.

Making friends is tough when you are older. Before, it took only about 2 seconds to become friends when you were five. It could take 2 months to become friends when you are fifteen. Being young, you aren’t judged by your personality or the way that you look or who you hang out with. Being older, those is the only things you are judged by.

Pooh and P’u

I decided to take Religions of the East last semester in High School. Probably the religion that spoke to me the most was Taoism. Taoism emphasizes acting like a child; going off on adventures to places in your wildest imagination. One thing I remember the most is the concept of Wu Wei, or effortless action. It doesn’t necessarily mean being lazy, but when you are a kid, you just go with the flow, you don’t try to have fun, like adults may try to do. Instead, you just have fun. You go and ride that bike and see where it takes you. Instead of riding a bike to a certain destination, you let that bike take you anywhere. When you want to dance, you just dance  anyway you want to. You don’t try hard to follow some choreographed dance routine. Adults try and push that circle peg into the square opening. They want everything to come out the way that they want it (the idea of being perfect) and go against the laws of nature. The final idea that Taoism taught me is the idea of P’u. If you have P’u, it means that your identity hasn’t been affected by anyone else. There isn’t any outside influence to make you act a certain way.  You don’t try and fit in with another group. Instead you just be yourself. As a kid, you are who you are in your natural state. Most adults say that children haven’t found out who they are yet and they need to try new things, but that is how you start to carve that uncarved block, forcing yourself to fit in with the wrong crowd.

Where does Pooh come into play, you may ask? Well, Winnie The Pooh is the perfect example of a fictional character who still has P’u. Winnie The Pooh is like the hero of childhood. I used to read all of the books about him when I was little and watch all of the movies. Growing up with classic Disney movies is something that I remember deeply from my own childhood. I’m not talking about any of the recent ones with twisted plotlines meant for older viewers. I’m talking about movies such as The Lion King, Toy Story, Alice In Wonderland, Aladdin, Lady and The Tramp or The Jungle Book: all stories that have messages behind them. I don’t think anyone is going to learn something from watching The Shaggy Dog, or something like that. Anyway, I hadn’t realized that Winnie The Pooh was closely connected with Taoism. Those classic Disney movies were something that you could remember for years to come and reflect back on.

Another classic Disney Storyline that reminds me of my childhood was Peter Pan. The whole idea of escaping from the adult run world really drew my attention when I was little. I would always fantasize about running away to a world where you could just be a child and get away from the stress of growing up. Then there was always Captain Hook who came in to ruin all of the diversion of being young, representing the message, “It’s time to grow up and face the real world now.”

Music

Psychic spies from China / Try to steal your mind’s elation / Little girls from Sweden / Dream of silver screen quotations / And if you want these kind of dreams / It’s Californication. The first verse of the ever-popular song, Californication by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not important, right? Wrong. This song has to have had the biggest impact on my childhood more than any other media whatsoever. This song came out in 1999. I was five years old at the time. Like 60% of my extended family lived in Arizona at the time. One crystal clear memory was driving home in the dark from my aunt’s house in Cave Creek (which then was in the middle of nowhere) with my mom, dad, and 2 or so year old sister. Californication played on the radio and I sung along with the *entire* song. Afterwards, my mom asked, “did you sing that entire song?” I replied with a single word. Yes. Nowadays, whenever I am in the car with my mom, A Red Hot Chili Peppers song plays on the radio. Whenever I hear their music, I am instantly zapped back to the early 2000’s and listening to them at family gatherings around my pool. It’s fantastic to feel so young again, even if I am in fact only fourteen.

Germs

I grew up in Chicago for the first  ten years of my life, and so the backyards are tiny and there isn’t a single blade of grass in the ground. Instead there was just a cramped up patio, an even more cramped up garden area, and a set of lawn chairs. In the summer, I remember every year my mom would bring out that kiddy pool that was propped up against the wall. I would watch my parents spend hours filling up this half  foot deep pool with a huge hose that ran from the heater in the front of the house all the way to the backyard. The only thing me and my sisters ever did in that backyard was go swimming in the summer. Other than that, it was not put to use. So here we are, sitting in this tiny “puddle” of a pool. My parents would bring out some Popsicles; the kind that changed color as you licked off a layer. I love it that you don’t have to be a clean freak when you are little. When I was young, I had no idea what a “germ” was. Now that I am fifteen, I just try to stay out of the way of anything I find to be dirty. Anyway, what we did was dip our popsicles in the water that we “swam” in and lick it. I do not remember the reason why, and I didn’t understand at the time why my parents always told us to stop, but now that I think about it, it was rather disgusting. We would also drink from the water that we swam in when we were thirsty. Also, I didn’t understand why my dad was so mad when we started crawling on the floor of public places until I was older. Growing up, I started to expand my fear of germs. When I was little, I would just ignore it, but now it’s like I can’t go around without a bottle of Purell with me. Sometimes it’s hard to learn things when you get older. There are lessons you don’t want or need to know about, such as the idea that there are foods that are bad for you. I know that there is a problem with obesity in America, but why can’t a kid just eat what he or she wants and enjoy it while you can? There is not reason why I should see someone eat a salad at age five. It’s just unheard of and rather sad, because the person is missing out on the greatest gift of youth: candy.

Nanny

I remember my parents spent quite a long time looking for a babysitter to watch us when they went out. There was this one babysitter I remember, she had a Russian accent and always wore some foul smelling perfume. I think her name was Olga, or something. Anyway, whenever she stopped over, she treated us in a strict manner. She made us eat our vegetables, clean up our dinner afterward and go to bed early if we disobeyed. I remember complaining to my parents when they came back home. I still don’t know where the heck they could be going at night. I never understand that late night “adult business” that goes on. It turns out that we got her fired, thankfully. She was such a nightmare. During the time in search for a babysitter, my cousin Jeff would come over and take care of us. He would always come with an arts and craft project for us to do. He was just loads of fun to be around, we would run up to him and hug him whenever he stopped by. My parents finally ended their search and found a nanny for us. She was a plump, African American lady named Reece. She would come over and do housework and take care of us. Me and my sisters all loved her when we were little. She knew all of the friends of our family and took us to the park by our house.  I always loved that park. Every time we went we would see one of my sisters friends or one of my friends there. Reece would say, “Hey there! Nice to see you again!” and this would happen a couple of times a week. The park was just so peaceful. We would play there for hours straight and get tired and come right back home. I remember the block party every year called “Sutton Fest.” There was a DJ that came and all of the smaller kids in the neighborhood would come over and dance. Reece knew them all; I still don’t know how she can know all these people. There was a hula hoop contest, a dunk tank, and even a fire truck that would come in. Reece would watch from the side laughing an clapping to the music. I still remember her laugh; you could tell it was her even if you heard it from across the room. Now that we are older and have moved, she stopped coming over every day and now comes once a year.
Reece would come over every once in a while and say, “My have you grown, boy!”
I would tell her, “Oh no, I stopped growing over a year ago.”
She would say, “No, you are gunna get taller like your Daddy.”
“I will?” I asked. Turns out I did.

I, Connor, have some babysitter stories as well. However, mine contrast greatly against Clonez’s memories. Before my younger sister (3-4 years depending on the time of year) was born, my mom hired a Ukranian babysitter who was 20 something named Rita. I LOVED Rita. She was really, really cool. She even let me eat raw hawt dawgs, something my mom never ever allowed. I am not sure why we fired Rita, but we did. Perhaps it was that she moved away or something. But whatever. That was 11 years ago. When my sister came around, my parents changed babysitters every couple of times. Sometimes they would hire one again and again, and othertimes I had a babysitter one Saturday night and that was it. Every single Saturday around six o’clock, my parents would go out on “date night.” I remember one night in particular telling my mom she looked pretty in her red dress and high heels. I also didn’t know what they did together or why. I just knew when they got home, they’d tip toe into my room and kiss me and tell me they were home, because I never used to be able to sleep well without them home. I can remember two other babysitters of mine. One was named Emily, and she was thirteen at the time. Gosh, she must be graduated from college by now… Anyway, Emily was my favorite. Sometimes, my mom would drop my sister and I off at Emily’s house to be babysitted, but other times, the three of us would hop in the car while my dad was getting ready, and go pick Emily up. One real memory I have is of going to pick her up and ringing her doorbell. She had on a green scarf with stripes on it. After we arrived at my home, I cooked myself a Kid’s Cuisine. Hahah, those were yum yum. Emily would stay up with me and read me books like “If you give a mouse a cookie,” etc. Like Clonez, I also had a babysitter that I DESPISED. Her name was McClain, however that weird name is spelled. I remember she was how should I say it…. voluptuous. One night, I got out of bed and walked through the living room to the kitchen because I was thirsty. And there McClain was, sitting on the floor eating the ranch flavored Doritos drinking out of the gallon jug of milk. Our family’s jug of milk. BUSTED. My sister and I didn’t have to put up with McClain much more after that. My family still makes fun of her on rare occasions. Har har. Although she did show me a really tasty Mexican restaurant.

There are many aspects of childhood that Clonez and myself haven’t touched on, but we will. Just you wait and see! Childhood isn’t just a word. It was an experience. Memories. Adventures. Discoveries. Time to be ourself and not be judged by others. Time to be honest. Time to be carefree. Time to wear pullups and learn to use that magical invention called a toilet. No… childhood isn’t just a word, it’s a major era of your life. See you next time.. (;

clonez_sig

Music Party!

Hello everyone! This is Clonez of skydays147 .wordpress .com. Sorry it took a while to post, I felt I needed a little break after Summer School had ended for me! On Friday, the new Music Party 2008 had started, and it is… not that bad! I begin my review with a little flashback. In the pizza parlor, there is a truck that had collided through the wall. At first, I had thought it was a television… but it would not turn on to any channels. It took a while to realize that this machine was the one in penguin chat 3! The name is the Snow Cat, and it has been part of the long history of Club Penguin. It’s really weird, Club Penguin is bringing back a ton of old icons into the game. Seriously, why is the Snow Cat in the wall? It doesn’t go with the music theme at all! I swear at the next party there is going to be a giant cruise ship rammed through some wall. I would love to see that happen, as would everyone else. Anyway, it was really nice to see it again, ever since Penguin Chat 3 closed down.

The different music selections at the party were amazing. There was a choice for every music lover around, including rock, pop, classical, country, oldies rock, plus extra rooms that included open microphone, music video studio, and the Club Penguin band.

At the Dock, there will be a different genre feature every day. This is the only party in which it is updated this frequently. Also at the Dock, there is finally another member party! I am sorry to all of the nonmembers out there that do not get to go in, especially my friends; but members deserve this. I mean, I pay 30 dollars every six months to play Club Penguin and they just thanking us for our continuation of membership. Member parties are usually not the big anyway and they only occur at least once a year. If you wanted to know what it looks like, click here for a photo of the VIP room.

Rock Music is playing at the Ice Rink; Club Penguin call it “Boulder”, which is supposed to mean that it is the next level of Rock. The icon is of an orange electric guitar on a black background. Gosh, it is very easy to forget about it because we don’t usually visit the rink. I mean, nothing is ever there for parties. Well, once you walk it, there is a pretty large stage. The music is quite good; penguins can rock out or cheer in the stands on the left and right of the stage. The ice has melted and you can see the remaining water in the rink, and it was the first genre that was featured at the dock on Friday July 25th, 2008 and featured again on Wednesday July 30th, 2008 . It was such a blast, there was smoke being shot up from all the sides and penguins had a really fun time.

Pop Music is playing at the Beach. Club Penguin made it seem that Pop music was only meant for girls, but that is totally untrue.The genre’s icon is a pink puffle on the drum set and a pink flower by the microphone. The music in the room is pretty good, but the stage is just small and unnoticeable compared to the ones in the other rooms. Thankfully, on Saturday July 26th, 2008, the genre was featured at the dock and it was appreciated greatly. It was later featured again on Thursday July 31st, 2008.

An orchestra, or should I say, “Orca Straw” is playing at the Ski Village. This stage is different from the rest because of its semicircle background. There are musical instruments and stands set up. This is one of the more popular genres for some reason. The music is… okay, I wouldn’t say that it is the best choice for the party. The tour guide booth was moved over so that it is next to the Ski Hill. This is already the third time it has moved ever since it started in the Plaza. The orchestra will most likely be playing at the Dock on Tuesday July 29th, 2008. I can tell because in the newspaper, it is going down the list that is given.

Light Rock: My favorite room at the party. It is located at the Lighthouse. I love the music! You can just boogie down all night long there. I remember the first day of the party I played Bingo there with a group of penguins. It is just one of those rooms that is “Bingo related” and it brings back the old times. I think it is a great place to have fun once you get a couple of penguins to jam with you. You can press a red button on the back wall and confetti sprays up. There is a new secret hiding place that opened when that room was decorated. There is a large net hanging from the wall by the stairs, you can walk behind it, it is so much fun seeing all of the penguins trying to cram into that tiny little spot! This music genre will probably be playing at the Dock on Monday July 28th, 2008.

At the forest, there is Country music playing… it’s okay. The song is a little too repetitive because it is the verse over and over again. There are lots of penguins there and the stage is huge! The forest is a pretty popular place now that the party started. The icon is of three cacti; pretty obvious. The windmill is probably the best decoration in the room which is upsetting. Hopefully there will be better decorations when the genre is played at the Dock on Sunday July 27th, 2008.

The newspaper had stated that there is Easy Island music playing at the cove. To me, it is probably the most Easy Island music I have ever heard. You can barely hear it compared to the other music rooms. You will need to turn your speakers up loud enough in order to hear it. In general, the music isn’t the best choice for the party. I mean, most of us have been to the summer party of 08 a month before. It was at least five times better than this music. The icon for the Island music is a palm tree and rising sun. I am wondering why this music has not been featured at the dock.

Wow, the penguin band is such a classic! No wonder they were featured at this party at the Iceberg. Their music has been a huge part of Club Penguin; they have composed all of the songs for the igloos. They have been at many different gatherings such as the Lighthouse opening or the Saint Patrick’s Day party every year. This is probably their biggest performance yet. I am not sure whether or not they will be playing at the Dock, but their music might be heard on Thursday July 31st, 2008.

Overall Party Rating: ***

The new game is quite pointless. You only earn 0.35 coins per second. The name has no meaning; when I first looked at it I thought they were trying to spell the word DUCK with DJ3K. The buttons are kind of fun to press, I mean, they make awesome noises. But, it could get tiring after a few plays. To earn coins, it is very simple, but it takes up a lot of your time. All you have to do is make your penguin wave its hands in the air. It looks funny when he does it; it is as if his hands are shriveled. Anyway, one good way to do this is to press the button that has the number “6” over it, along with one other button. If you really do not want to put effort into games on Club Penguin, this one is right for you. You can just sit around for hours watching your penguin wave its hands around like a crazy person. Just make sure that you move the mouse around a bit or else there will be an automatic log-off.

Clonez
Over and Out!

Face The Music!


Hello everyone! This is Clonez, administrator of skydays147 .wordpress .com. Ever since the beginning of the month-no– ever since April last year, we have been anticipating for a music party! Music has grown up to become a large part of the Club Penguin world. There have been tons of musical instruments introduced, new ones include the harp and the pink guitar. There are stages at the dance club, lighthouse, pizza parlor, and the theater. Most recently, there are music stands and notes for our igloos! It was about time Club Penguin released a party commemorating all of this. From what I know, the Penguin Band will be playing at the Iceberg, there will be western music at the forest and according to the picture at the top, the night club will be totally redecorated with high-tech gadgets and almost everything you can imagine. Everyone can join in this celebration. Hopefully there will be a nonmember musical instrument released so that they can join in, or they can just shake around the maracas. Who knows! Maybe this party will turn out to be better than the ones in the past!

In the middle of the week, there have been a ton of updates to Club Penguin. I remember when I first logged on after Club Penguin was redesigned. The screen jumped right to the start page like a gunshot going off. The loading bars just zoomed by! By the time I reached the server, I was thinking to myself, “this isn’t even Club Penguin anymore!” It’s okay, people. It just takes some time to get used to. All of those thoughts about how awful the updates are will vanish. In fact, I think these updates are very helpful, especially the organization of the clothing. It used to take me over a minute to change my outfit, now I can do it in about 15 seconds if I know what I want to wear. Speaking of clothing, many of the outfits were redesigned. For my example, the hula skirt. Ever since I started, I remember the hula skirt getting redesigned twice. the first time it redesigned was on June 1st, 2007 and it is represented by the middle picture. The hula skirt was redesigned once more on July 14th, 2008 along with the other clothing items. It is a lot darker and shorter than the before images. Why does Club Penguin redesign? I think they are just too bored sometimes so they just doodle up clothing items in their free time.

Updates:

1. Puffle In the Ice Rink. The puffle has moved from the Dance Club to the Ice Rink in Club Penguin. Penguins are furious because it won’t let them play the game because it’s hogging the puck. It isn’t such a big deal, I mean, nobody really plays ice hockey that often, but Club Penguin is fixing the bug in order to let penguins play.

2. Penguin Mail. The invitation card in the old Club Penguin has transformed into the Penguin Mail service. I thought you would actually be able to write letters, but Club Penguin “stretched the truth” and just made it postcards. Unfortunately, Club Penguin removed the invitation postcards… but, all penguins have access to a free item, the mail bag, which does not do any special dances. Penguin mail is very useful if you want to send a card to someone who is online or off line.

3. Igloo Map. What an update. A map inside a map! You can access the newly upgraded (or downgraded in my mind) igloo map in the same exact place as before, but instead of names, there’s pictures of everyones igloo. It is more realistic, but it is harder to find who you are looking for on the map. Club Penguin has stated that they will re-update it to make it easier for use.

4. Login screen. Wow, they just threw out the separation by flags idea. There goes future Fourth Of July Parties! The new servers are, well, the exact same servers but in alphabetical order and five pages long. But, the homepage server was a brilliant idea. It gets me where I want to go and fast. The smiley faces have turned into green dashes that looks like books to me.

5. More Buddies. Yes, Club Penguin has finally added the more buddies feature. It is rumored that a penguin can now have 300 buddies on their list at once. I am not sure if this is a mistake or not, because on the “edit my penguin account” area, it is always: (number of buddies)/100; this must be some kind of a mistake. Anyway, penguins are adding as many buddies as possible. I have found that it takes a long time to fill up the extra space. Well, more friends can now come in the big circle!

These are only a few; there are plenty more updates to Club Penguin! Try and find them all!

Club Penguin has deleted most of the “swf” files that they have created. Unfortunately from this, I might have to delete the icon section from the sidebar. Hopefully, a new “swf” type of file will be found so that the page can continue.

Clonez

Over and Out!

PS: Here is the card you receive when your membership is almost up (click to enlarge):

Here is the card you receive when a puffle is hungry (click to enlarge):

New Music Video!

I also have a new Music Video! Check it out! I hope you like it.

Please comment, Rate 5/5, and subscribe if you haven’t! Thanks and enjoy 😉