Sunday, August 18, 2013


I have found out that on the 23rd of September, Jessie J's second album will be released in Britain, and then released worldwide the next day.  It has been revealed that the title of her new album is "Alive".

Jessie J
As of late, a few songs from her next album have been released, including "It's My Party", "Excuse My Rude", and "Square One", as well as "Wild", which was released in May.  I shared my thoughts on "Wild" here.

I like "It's My Party".  For me, it doesn't rank as high as "Who You Are", "Nobody's Perfect", or "Big White Room", but I like it.  It's catchy and it has an energetic beat that makes me feel like dancing.

"Excuse My Rude" is the second album's "Do It Like a Dude".  Like "Do It Like a Dude", it has an intimidating and empowering feeling.  And unlike "Wild", it has rap that goes well with the rest of the song.  Becky G's rapping is energetic and flows rhythmically.  Jessie J and Becky G's style go well together in this song.  As a result, this is a very catchy and addictive song.

Of course, I can't know for certain, since I have yet to hear all of her new songs, but "Square One" may quite possibly be my favorite from her second album, "Alive".  My favorite part of the lyrics is:  "I don't want to hold hands with a stranger, I don't want to walk when I just learnt how to run."

"Magnetic" is beautiful, haunting, and addictive.  I can't decide which I love more, "Square One" or "Magnetic".  I've heard rumors of "Magnetic" not being on the second album.  I hope this isn't true.  It now ranks among my favorite songs by Jessie J.  "Magnetic" is featured in The Mortal Instruments:  City of Bones, which will be in theaters August 21st.

There's also "Hero", which is a really great song.  "Hero" is featured in the sequel to the superhero movie Kick-Ass, which is now in theaters.  I like "Hero" more than "It's My Party", "Excuse My Rude", and even "Wild".

I prefer the acoustic version of "Wild" to the version that will be on her album.  Jessie J is one of the few musicians I know who sounds better live.  I actually prefer the live acoustic versions of most of her songs.  It shows off her voice, and it just suits some of her songs better.

An acoustic version of "Wild" (not the whole song):

In an interview, Jessie shared that there will be an emotional song on her next album that she will not perform live, as it would be too emotional for her.  I think this song will be the "Who You Are" of her next album.  I was wondering if there would be a more emotional and personal song like "Who You Are", and this song seems to be what I have been hoping for.  It will only feature Jessie's voice and a piano.

Well, for now, until the release of "Alive", I will content myself with listening to her earlier songs as I wait:

"My Shadow":

An amazing live performance of "Who You Are":

A heart-felt live performance of "Who You Are" at a concert in 2012.  She is a musician who sings with her heart and soul, and she gives every performance her all.

And an awesome performance of "Nobody's Perfect" at the same concert:

The hair style Jessie has in this performance is my favorite of her hair styles - it's very 1970's-like.  She reminds me of Julie Christie with this hair style.  I like how Jessie interacts with her audience - she's very down-to-earth and personal with her fans, and a natural at performing.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Doctor Who Tag - Day Six

Favorite Doctors

I listed who my favorite Doctors are in this post, although truthfully I love every one of the eleven Doctors (soon to be twelve).  The Doctors I listed were the ones I knew most about.  The reason I did not include Two, Three, Six, Seven, and Eight as my favorite Doctors, was not because I didn't like them, but because I was less familiar with them.  Every actor who has played the Doctor has contributed to Doctor Who in their own way, and has made their role as the Doctor their own.  They all deserve recognition.

Even so, I will admit that I do in fact have a favorite Doctor.  And that is Matt Smith's Doctor, Eleven.  Matt Smith is my Doctor.  His episodes weren't the first I watched, but in a way he is the reason I am a Doctor Who fan now.  I became interested in Doctor Who through his popularity.  Matt Smith's era was what made Doctor Who as popular as it is today.  Of course, David Tennant's era helped the show gain popularity as well, but Matt Smith made the show unavoidable; he drew attention to it.  At least, that is what I have observed.

The fact that Matt Smith is the youngest actor to play the Doctor is very interesting, because his Doctor is the oldest so far.  He is playing an old man in a young man's body, and that concept has always fascinated me.  He presents a profound performance, that allows us to see the ancient soul within the childlike exterior.  He is both innocent and light-hearted, yet burdened with memories of a "dark and dangerous past".  It's as though Ten regenerated into Eleven because he wanted to lighten his burden by turning into someone childish and light-hearted, although in the end, loneliness and heart-break were inescapable.  He may have realized this when he lost Amy and Rory.  That's how I view it.

I love when he twirls around in his TARDIS and when he makes humorous remarks, like when he said, "You swallowed a planet!", to Amy in the episode, "Amy's Choice".  Matt's such an emotional, heart-felt, and funny Doctor, and his bright personality clearly shows.  Not to mention that his connection with young Doctor Who fans and his understanding of children are irreplaceable.

I love 11 and Amy's friendship.
I also love that he's a very modern Doctor, yet old-fashioned at the same time, which is reflected in his clothing.  Sometimes he seems like a grandpa deep inside (well, he is a grandpa, actually - Susan Foreman's grandpa to be precise).  He especially reminds me of a grandpa in the episode, "The Angels Take Manhattan", in which he wears very old-fashioned glasses (that is, they seem old-fashioned to me).

What is so cool about Matt Smith's Doctor is that he is the most modern and young of all the Doctors, yet he maintains many characteristics of the Doctors from the Classic Who era.  For example, Matt Smith's favorite Doctor is Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor, and I can see how he has influenced him.  For one thing, Patrick Troughton wore bow ties, and now Matt has brought them back, cooler than ever.

So, thank you Matt for being my Doctor.  I love all of the Doctors, but Matt will always be my absolute favorite.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Some Annoyances I Must Address

"I wonder what's up today?" is a phrase my three-year-old cousin likes to remark to himself.  Well, I have a similar question to ask, except it has to do with books.  What's up with book titles these days?

I feel like every single modern teen book out there has a one-word (and sometimes two-word) title.  Whatever happened to putting "The" in front of something?  Does it really have to be one word?  What's so cool-sounding or edgy about a title being one word?  I wouldn't have a problem with it, but it seems like every single author is doing this now, and I'm getting tired of it.  Let's vary our titles a bit more, please?

Something else has been grating on my nerves lately.  It's been going on for a while.  And that is the use of "I" vs. the use of "me".  Look, I'm used to people not knowing when to use "I".  I'm used to hearing "It was Bob and me at the park" or "You and me are going to the mall" when it should be "you and I".  It's incorrect grammar, but I actually prefer it to when someone does the other thing.  The other thing drives me crazy.  I can't stand when someone incorrectly uses "I" when they should use "me".  For example, "Would you like to go to the park with Bob and I?".  This is incorrect.  Would you say "Would you like to go to the park with I?".  No, you wouldn't.  You would say "Would you like to go to the park with me?".  "Me" does not change to "I" when you group yourself with another person in your question.  But the worst part is that people who say things like "Would you like to go to the park with Bob and I?" think they're being grammatically correct.  And other people think they're being grammatically correct, too.  However, they are not being grammatically correct.  They are wrong.  Let's clear that up here and now.  "I" is used for the subject of the sentence, and "me" is used for the object of the sentence.  That is all there is to it!

Another thing that bothers me are incredibly fake and over-the-top Scottish accents.  You have no idea how many times I internally wince while listening to a terrible Scottish accent.  Even Emma Thompson, who voiced Merida's mum in Brave, irritated me to no end with her fake Scottish accent.  Her Scottish accent is certainly not the worst I've heard, but it still annoyed me quite a lot.  Perhaps the very fact the accent is fake irritates me.  I love Emma Thompson very much, but why is an English woman voicing a Scottish queen?  By the way, despite Emma Thompson's fake Scottish accent, I loved Brave and I will be reviewing it on this blog some time soon.

And lastly, I am annoyed with some people's ignorance of Irish and Scottish skin.  Stop telling us to tan, and stop telling us that we "should go in the sun more".  Irish skin, like mine, can easily burn.  I can't tan; if I were to go out in the sun unprotected I would get freckles, which is my body's way of saying it's getting too much sunlight and can't cope.  I can get sunburn within just a few minutes, and eventually even skin cancer.  Our skin is sensitive to intense sunlight.  Ireland is a temperate land where it rains often, and even on relatively sunny days the sky there offers natural protection to the skin.  The quality of the sunlight is not so intense or as bright as it is in other places like North America.  Our bodies are not made for hot, sunny, and/or dry weather.  Light eyes and light skin are sensitive to that amount of light.  My grandmother, for instance, is Scottish through her father, and she has very light-colored eyes.  She moved to a very sunny place, and she now has damaged eyes because of it.  And my mom, for instance, has very Scottish curly hair that needs moisture.  Therefore, a dry climate is not healthy for it.  There are other effects too, from living in a climate one is not adapted to, such as headaches and sunstroke.  My mother and brother have clear blue eyes and their eyes get "burned" by bright light.

So stop expecting us to tan.  And stop saying we are too pale.  It is our natural skin color, and it is beautiful the way it is.

Whew, glad I got all of those things off my chest.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wild by Jessie J

I can't wait for Jessie J's second album to be released.  There is a music video for her new song, "Wild".  I love Wild.  It has a beat one could dance to and it's very catchy, especially the part where Jessie sings "Wild, wild, wi - ohohohohohohoh wild, wild, wi - ohohohohohohoh"!  One day in June my family drove to a beach, and Wild happened to be stuck in my head.  I had memorized the lyrics nearly from beginning to end, so I sang it during the entire car ride.  It drove my brother nuts.

Anyway, here is the music video.  I like the sharp contrasts created by the use of black and white.

Some like the song with the exception of the rapping parts.  I would like the rapping far better if the lyrics were less lazy and actually made sense.  They also don't really seem to have anything to do with the rest of the song, which makes me wonder why they were included.  I prefer Dizzee's lines to Big Sean's.  I actually kind of like Dizzee's part.  Big Sean's lines make absolutely no sense at all.  Jessie's lyrics are fine.  I suppose overall, it would have been better to have left out Big Sean and Dizzee.

Here's a section of Big Sean's lyrics (the lyrics are highlighted in orange and my comments are highlighted in green), as an example of how irrelevant they are:

Today I woke up feeling like the mayor Random.
I spent 'bout an hour looking in the mirroVain.
As I should, as much as I've been throug Feeling sorry for himself.
It's a wonder I look this d**n good  Vain again.
I'll probably make it out [of] any situation that you try to put me into  This is actually one of the main themes in Jessie's music.
If I swim with the piranhas it's guaranteed that Imma probably have a fish dinner Random, vain, and irrelevant.

So those are pretty much my thoughts on one of Jessie J's more recent songs.  Once again, I can't wait for her second album to come out!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Doctor Who Tag - Day Five

Least favorite episodes

Series six had some strange episodes, like "Night Terrors" and "The God Complex".  I didn't exactly dislike them, but they seemed unnecessary to me.

"Night Terrors", for one, had an interesting premise, but the mystery didn't lead up to very much.  The climax left me feeling unimpressed.  It was meant to be creepy, and I did find it to be creepy sometimes.  The dolls had a very frightening design, with their large ghost-white heads and sunken, black, empty eyes.  But Amy being turned into one verged on ridiculous, and I couldn't help but laugh.

"The God Complex" was also a creepy and strange episode.  It felt a bit out-of-place to me.  Each writer of Doctor Who has their own style, so I understand that not every episode will feel the same.  That's one of the cool things about Doctor Who, that it experiments and is willing to take risks.  I still thought this episode was a bit too weird.  I also felt like it may have been some sort of commentary on religion or faith, or maybe just faith in general, which I don't have a problem with at all.  I was just not expecting it; it caught me off guard.  Overall, I thought "The God Complex" was an incredibly interesting and complex episode, but it was too strange, even for Doctor Who.  So strange that I think I actually liked it.  Yeah, I've changed my mind!  I like this episode.  But it was very strange.

The only episode of Doctor Who that I actually disliked was "Love and Monsters", the tenth episode of series two.  I believe "Love and Monsters" was Doctor Who's lowest point.  I also felt like it didn't belong with Doctor Who.  I try to pretend it doesn't exist.