Friday, August 29, 2014

Symphonies



"and the loneliness get blown away, gimme, gimme symphonies, gimme more than the life I see... I lie down in the dust just under your eye. A scrap of paper, thin as vapor, filling my clothes like smoke, a couple of the wires in my heart are broke. I float, I miss something nothing but dreams, schemes, moments wasted, taste I tasted, fate I'm fated, re-edited again and copy pasted..."

 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Case Of Charli XCX

There were tons of up-and-coming artists at the MTV Music Awards this past weekend, but, the ONE artist to watch has got to be Charli XCX. Perhaps her name or even her voice sound familiar, and that is because she is the brains behind Icona Pop’s smash hit “I Love It.” And if you didn’t know that, then you have heard of her from her collaboration with Iggy Azalea on “Fancy.”

While most of you might think that Charli XCX is a new artist, this is most certainly not the case… Charlotte Emma Aitchison started her career doing gigs in underground rave clubs in London when she was barely 14 years old. Charli XCX also wrote her first album then, the album is called 14.

Charli released her second album True Romance in April of 2013, and while it was slightly successful in the UK, it did not break into the top US charts -  I do recommend the track “You – Ha Ha Ha.” Ms XCX has toured with the likes of Marina And The Diamonds, and Ellie Goulding.

Her “real” break was the International success of Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and the now infamous track “Fancy” with Iggy Azalea. But, don’t let these two songs be what you know Charli XCX by, her talent is raw and goes beyond being a mere featured artist. Her song “Boom Clap” is part of the soundtrack for the widely popular movie The Fault Is In Our Stars.

If you caught her VMA performance you probably noted that her outfits are highly influenced by the glorious 90s. Not only was her outfit reminisce of Clueless, but she also notes that some of her biggest influences include: Spice Girls and Queen Britney Spears.

Charli has a new album due to come out October 21st, and it will be titled Sucker – she has already released the first single called “Break The Rules.”

Keep an eye on Ms. XCX because this British gal is here to stay, and she is determined to take the music world by storm. She will be coming to Slim's in San Francisco on October 25th, and tickets are on sale NOW!



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

If You Are Going To The On The Run Tour At AT&T Park

Beyonce, Jay-Z
Photo Credit: Robin Harper / Life And Times

Expect quite a treat. I was lucky to be at the show for night one in San Francisco, and I am still mesmerized by what I saw.

Beyonce as a solo artist is powerful beyond words, so is Jay-Z, but together … well, together they are DYNAMITE on stage. One thing everyone noticed was that the rumors on their possible divorce could be palpable on how they delivered certain songs of the repertoire.


Bey got emotional when she performed “Why Don’t You Love Me,” oh and when she belted out JT’s part of “Holy Grail” – EMOTION GALORE! “It's amazing I'm in this maze with you; I just can't crack your code. One day you screaming you love me loud, the next day you're so cold. One day you're here, one day you're there, one day you care, you're so unfair…” Beyonce also delivered out of this world performances of "Ex-Factor" (by Lauren Hill), and when she performed “Resentment” everyone was glued to their seats, letting Queen Bey get sentimental.


Jay-Z was a bit less effusive, but when “Song Cry” came on, that’s when you knew he was letting it all out… “I can't see 'em comin down my eyes so I gotta make the song cry…” He even changed part of the lyrics to say “I can’t see ‘em coming down HER eyes so I gotta make the song cry…”


Photo Credit: Robin Harper / Life And Times
There were two key moments from the show, one was how throughout the time that they were on stage together you could sense the tension. But, the most heart-breaking moment was the encore-medley of “Forever Young” and “Halo." The giant screens on stage showed clips of their (private) wedding, as well as clips of Blue Ivy from where she was born to now that she is a toddler. Jay-Z embraced Bey as they were both singing, and looking at the screens. Their feelings were noticeable, Bey was teary-eyed, and Jay-Z looked slightly somber. 

Listen, I witnessed their 2010 Coachella performance of “Forever Young” and it was nothing like what I witnessed at the On The Run Tour. No lie, I started crying! You could tell what a beautiful family and marriage they used to have, and how it was crumbling right in front of our eyes – the rumor mill is most certainly true.

The music aspect and the production were incredibly impressive – both Beyonce and Jay-Z are quite the performers/business/money makers. As a friend said: “Beyonce gave Jay-Z class, and Jay-Z gave Beyonce the hustle and street cred that she needed.”


 

Monday, August 4, 2014

I’m Not The Only One – No, You Are Not Sam Smith

By now you all already know my downright obsession with Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour is quite possibly one of my favorite albums, say the BEST album of the year. The lyrics of every single song from the album are relatable, as we all have experienced unrequited love, being cheated, and heartbreaks.

The video for the song I’m Not The Only One is perfection! Not only are Dianna Agron and Chris Messina the subjects in the video (as husband and wife), but the story line behind the song is quite heart-breaking. Dianna as the devastated wife being cheated on by Messina, who seems careless as to how his actions are making the marriage crumble.

Sam Smith’s music truly speaks to every fiber of our hearts, this is a fantastic video! 


"You've been so unavailable, now sadly I know why. Your heart is unobtainable, even though Lord knows you have mine..."


Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Video That You Must Watch: Ojos Color Sol

Calle 13 can do no wrong, whether it is a song with a political message “Multi Viral," a collaboration with another band “No Hay Nadie Como Tu” (featuring Café Tacvba.) Or, giving us “the feels” with their powerful love songs like “La Vuelta Al Mundo.”

Well, they of course have done it again, with the simplistic yet enchanting video for “Ojos Color Sol.” And, with cameos from Gael Garcia Bernal & Maria Valverde, well, this is a bonafide smash hit!

I personally cannot wait to sing along to this song, and luckily for fans, Calle 13 will bring Gira Multiviral to San Francisco on October 10th – make sure to get your tickets, as this show will sell-out!

And now, go on and watch the video, because... a three minute long kiss that’s why.

"Abriste los ojos y el sol guardó su pincel, porque tu pintas el paisaje mejor que él..."



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yes Hilary Duff I Also Want To Be Chasing The Sun

I cannot even contain the excitement that Hilary Duff's new single brings to my life. It has been way, way too long since she released any catchy-essence-of-pop songs. While I consider myself to be a music lover, pop holds a special place in my muscle of blood.

I had listened to a leaked version of "Chasing The Sun" and I was mighty disappointed, but then, Hilary Duff mended her ways, and the official video was released. This first single, while not on the same ranks as a song by Adele or Mariah Carey, is definitely a catchy summer anthem. Listen, I sit behind a desk for eight hours a day, and since I watched the video the first time; I caught myself singing along to: "It's like the clock is always racing, but my time is not for wasting, someone else can do the chasing… Cause I'm chasing the sun…" I most definitely appreciate the message!

Here's what I love about Hilary Duff, while she might have been away from the music business for over six years, she did not forget the sound that made teenage and college girls fell in love with her. Because, let's face it, you used to watch Lizzie McGuire, "So Yesterday" was the break-up anthem that you dedicated to your high school sweetheart, and you most certainly knew the lyrics to "Come Clean" because Laguna Beach was your guilty pleasure. I cannot be the only one, right? RIGHT? 

Well, I KNOW that I am not the only chick excited on having Ms. Duff back in the music land -- the single is out now on iTunes and amazon

Monday, July 28, 2014

Peep At The Newest Oakland Resident

The city of Oakland has become a ‘prime' destination for foodies, art lovers and nightlife aficionados. It is not surprising that it was ranked one of the top five places to visit – as noted by the New York Times. VOGUE also mentioned Oakland in one of its ‘culture' articles as a city to visit.

With so much buzz surrounding what is flourishing around the city, savvy peeps are taking note, and in the blink of an eye there are new business ventures opening up. The downtown & uptown neighborhoods have especially been attractive to business owners – there is an abundance of restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries. With so many options, there truly is something for everyone's taste.

One of the newer businesses that graced Oakland is Pure, an apparel-rare-to-find-kicks store. The business is already causing a stir all throughout social media – with over a 1,000 ‘likes' on facebook, a growing following on both Instagram & Twitter, and glowing reviews; Pure is shaping to be a new favorite. A satisfied customer wrote on Facebook: "Dope people and customer service was immaculate."


Photo Courtesy Of: PURE

Pure is located in the heart of downtown, a few blocks away from the 19th Street BART station, right off 17th Street & Webster. The GRAND OPENING is happening this Friday August 1st – with such a busy location, the ‘First Fridays' festivities are the perfect opportunity to introduce the newest Oakland resident to Oaklanders and Pure's counterparts.

So, ‘sneaker heads' of the Bay REJOICE! This First Friday when you are out and about checking out the art shows, and walking around deciding where to eat and what to drink – stop by Pure and score yourselves some fly new kicks.

Check out Pure's facebook, Instagram & twitter.




Sponsored Post

Saturday, July 26, 2014

West Coast Night With The Neighbourhood


West Coast, Sweater Weather, Afraid
Photos Courtesy Of: Adrian Jusue
It never fails that the few occasions when I go to a show, as merely a fan, my writer instinct kicks in and I start itching to get home and write a review. And, that is exactly what happened after attending night one of The Neighbourhood's concert at the Fox Theater in Oakland.

The city of Oakland was lucky enough to be the last stop of El Blanco Tour (the United States part of it), and the band has had such success that the show sold out and they had to add a second night. The band brought along two fantastic opening bands, White Arrows and Bad Suns – both from LA, just like the guys from The Neighbourhood. 

Let's talk about Jesse Rutherford, and his unpredictable choice of outfit – basketball shorts, a band tee, and a leather jacket. While slightly odd, it worked, and two of the other guys follow suit with the ‘shorts' theme of the night.



The concert kicked off with "Female Robbery," Jesse's voice echoed throughout the Fox, and the young crowd of mostly female fans went wild! Shortly before "W.D.Y.W.F.M.?" Jesse addressed the crowd saying that this song was dedicated to all of the ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends – and the fans could not wait to sing along to the tunes of "Maybe you're right, maybe this is all that I can be, but what if it's you, and it wasn't me? What do you want from me? What do you want from me?"

The band also performed "Honest" which served as one of the songs from the Spiderman 2 soundtrack. One of the highlights of the night was when the band performed "West Coast." Jesse once more addressed the crowd, and talked about how, out of all of the tour stops California has been the best with Oakland being the third California city from the tour – the rendition of the song was an acoustic version, which let the lyrics of the song shine through… "I was the one who wasn't coming from where they're coming from. I speak poetically, and never pride my ignorance, but this California shit is rigorous, They say it's happy here, happiness is figurative. I'm happy 'cause of me, doesn't matter where I'm living."

Towards the end of the concert, the band introduced the first single off their new soon-to-be-released-album Black And White – the name of the single is "Dangerous."

The concert could not come to an end without the band's rendition of "Sweater Weather" and the encore being "Afraid." Because, let's face it, what's better than a sold out crowd singing along to "Keep on dreaming, don't stop breathing, fight those demons, sell your soul, not your whole self. If they see you when you're sleeping, make them leave it, and I can't even see if it's all there anymore so…You're too mean, I don't like you, fuck you anyway, you make me wanna scream at the top of my lungs. It hurts, but I won't fight you, you suck anyway, you make me wanna die…"

Seriously, if you don't know about The Neighbourhood, this review is the perfect opportunity for you to get to know them – while the concert was short, it was definitely sweet!



Friday, July 25, 2014

I Love You. The Love Collection

"I was the one who wasn't coming from where they're coming from. I speak poetically, and never pride my ignorance, but this California shit is rigorous. They say it's happy here, happiness is figurative; I'm happy 'cause of me, doesn't matter where I'm living..."





"What a mistake, saying the way; I felt I'd say my main influence is myself. And cause I started young, I learned a ton. I didn't run, la da da da da da. I was scared as fuck and out of touch, and I was still testing my luck, oh..."


Because If Yonce And HOVA Are Over…



Yonce, HOVA, Drunk In Love, Partition, Forever Young
Photo Credit: Rob Hoffman / Life And Times

Then there is really no hope left for us single mere mortals.

The universal consensus amongst most of my single friends is that we look to "successful" relationships or marriages as a typical guide as to what we want in our own personal lives. Yes, sometimes those come our way via famous people (possibly a terrible example), while others come via other friends or family members.

A friend and I will be going to the On The Run Tour in two weeks, and we could not be more excited – sadly a gray cloud dumped on us a few days ago as rumors surfaced on how Jay-Z is "allegedly" cheating on Queen Bey with designer Rachel Roy (reason behind Solange going cray-cray on him at the Met Gala), and how he is also "supposedly" keeping singer Mya as his side chick. 

"They are just rumors Azu," says my friend. But, as with all high-profile couples, there is always some truth to the rumor mill.

I have always been fascinated with Beyonce and Jay-Z, not only as artists (their music have influenced the younger generation of up-and-coming artists), but their private life has also been fascinating as well. From the moment they started dating, their romance has been on the limelight, and they somehow managed to be coy about it, and that in itself has brought a mystery as to how, when, why, where their romantic and financial empire was built.

I mean, how can Jay-Z cheat on Beyonce? This is a legitimate question people! Aside from physical beauty, she is a savvy business woman, a devoted mother, family oriented, and quite the talented singer as we all know. As another friend told me, there could be a million possibilities as to why he is "cheating." Obviously, if true, we the ordinary folks will never really know.

And so, that begs the question – if someone as beautiful, smart and talented as Beyonce gets cheated on, what hope is there for us single "girl next door" women of the world? A few weeks ago I was telling my friend how over the moon I was to be going to the show, to see them both live, to literally breathe Yonce's air. In an alternate universe, I honestly believed that her and her amazing love story could bring some good "dating juju" (if you would) to my ill-fated and often pathetic dating life. 

I remember when I saw them both at Coachella in 2010, their rendition of "Forever Young" was short of pure magic. You could see their love magically transpire through their harmonious voices, the love was felt in the way he looked at her, and she looked at him. For the duration of that performance, I got a glimpse of what a real and legit love looked like. I was there, front row, being crushed by the masses who wanted to make it to the front of the stage and experience what I was feeling.

If they do split after the tour is over, then what? Sure, there is a lot of money at stake. They both have managed to build a joint empire of unimaginable proportions. But, aside from the financial aspect, there is a baby girl who will have to grow up with her parents being divorced (as someone coming from divorced parents, IT SUCKS!) 

And, for us single ladies who semi looked up to their fantasy-perfect relationship – our idea of love will be forever crushed. If them being successful, and so in love couldn't keep their marriage together. Then, the common folks are doomed! Relationships and marriages take time, understanding, communication and trust. The lack of one, two or all of the mentioned most definitely break a twosome.

One thing I know, in order to protect my already disastrous dating karma, the day of the concert I will be carrying my invisible oxygen tank which will be the perfect accessory to the HOT outfit I already plan on wearing - lord only knows that I don't need the bad "dating juju." In the words of the great poet Jay-Z… all I need in this life of sin is me, my friends and my hot outfit. 


Photo Credit: Yosra El-Essawy / Life And Times

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