Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Music 119: Patrick Wolf

Its that time of year, again. Time to find those dark and beautiful Gothic songs. And nobody does it better than the talented Patrick Wolf.

He's actually Patrick Apps who was born in 1983 in London. Yet, he looks like he could be a cousin of Jamie Bell's or Tom Felton's. Depending on how he dyes his hair, red or blond. Oh, I can fantasize.

 By the time he was 11 he had built his own theremin, by 14 he was in a pop art collective, and at 20 he released his first album - Lycanthropy - that included material recorded in his bedroom as a 12 year-old. It was received well, but his follow-up, Wind In The Wires (2003), he earned more praise with his song writing and direction of music. In 2007, his third album The Magic Position won critics over. The Magic Position featured collaborations with Marianne Faithfull and Edward Larrikin of Larrikin Love. Some have said this CD worked so well because at the time he'd fallen in love. Then came the speculation to whom.
was beat up by police at a Madonna concert for kissing his boyfriend

"My sexuality is kind of liberal. I fall in love with men and women. I guess you would call me bisexual. I like to have sex and fall in love—I don't like giving terminology for my sexuality." He said at that time, he was involved in a long-term relationship with a man he has named only as William. But who knows now. His next CD The Bachelor was suppose to be entitled The Battle. He worked on it immediately after his Magic Position tour. There were some conflicts along with falling in love again with the next CD that came out in July of 2009. Later, The Conquer is due out this year. Patrick also enjoys making mixes of other people's music too.

Wolf has also done some modeling for The Paddingtons, Edward Larrikin, and The View. He was featured in a series of photographs by Mario Testino as a part of the Burberry campaign back in 2008. Wolf is a busy guy.

His music is original and he is his true orchestra, using all sorts of instruments. His violin is haunting and rich from long ago times, yet it makes one think of home, too. His songs are full of woe. If you listen carefully you will hear he sings a lot like a violin.  Each song carries its own history as if it were a Charles Dickens story, whether it be personal, or the justification of a reality that still exists. You can find his music a treasure to keep.

Some of his music is chillingly, creepy like Childcatcher, but there is the wonderful Magical Position that I hope makes it to musical status some day. One of my first favorite of his is the sad Pigeon Song and  of course, Bloodbeat. I admire him so much. He adds a certain beauty to his music that you can't find anywhere else. On tour he can be a down right punk, like making fun of Justin Timberlake. He certainly can make a show an epiphany to his followers. 

Thanks Tumblr.

Monday, October 25, 2010

TV 119: Glee

Oh. Its coming. You'll want to tune in. Start your Halloween early. Glee is living the dream. A practical remake of the Rocky Horror Picture show. I'm sure we'll want the tunes from this episode.

Diana Agron  plays Quinn. Quinn is playing Magenta. Magenta was originally played by Patricia QUINN! Madness, right? Anyway Magenta is a maid whose distinct costume makes her a perenniel favorite at Halloween parties for theater geeks.

Dianna isn't the only one in the previews wearing the Magenta outfit. Naya Rivera (Santana) is also dressed as the character, so it's unclear how this is all going to work out.

Chord Overstreet as Rocky Horror and Chris Colfer as Riff Raff, but Heather Morris plays Columbia. It should be a night to remember. Set your DVR. You'll want to play this episode again and again.

Movies 119: It's Kind of a Funny Story

Name: It's Kind of a Funny Story
Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic issues, sexual content, drug material and language.
Run-time: 1 hour and 41 minutes. 
Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianikis, and Emma Roberts. 
Released: October 8th, 2010 (limited release).
Directed By: Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden.
Synopsis: Set in New York, 16-year-old Craig (Gilchrist) stressed out from the demands of being a teenager, checks himself into a mental health clinic. There he learns that the youth ward is closed – and finds himself stuck in the adult ward. One of the patients, Bobby (Galifianakis), soon becomes both Craig’s mentor and protégé. Craig is also drawn to another 16-year-old, Noelle (Roberts). With a minimum five days’ stay imposed on him, Craig is sustained by friendships on both the inside and the outside as he learns more about life, love, and the pressures of growing up.

There's probably two ways you knew about this movie: you had read the book prior or you're lucky enough to have it in a theater by you. You could just be a film junkie like me though and track all the upcoming movies coming out. I actually think I found out about this movie in a commercial before Easy A. I don't know why but something drew me to this story, it might have been the uncanny psychical resemblance between the main character and one of my good friends but I think the latter part of it was the storyline.

It just sounded interesting. Some force drew me to want to see this movie so badly I took a 15 mile trip to the closest theater it was playing at. I was so excited to see it and it wasn't just because funny man Zach Galifianikis so happened to be in it. There was just something special about it, and watching in the theater I could tell. This coming-of-age dramedy struck a part of me I wasn't sure was there. It made me feel a roller coaster of emotions in a mere hour and 41 minutes. It's Kind of a Funny Story had me speechless walking out of that theater. I didn't have anything to say about it for a good 15 minutes, I didn't want to say anything about it though. It was like I wanted to keep the feeling I had while watching it, and talking about it would just ruin it.

I could say so much about how the film's cinematography was visually enthralling or how the acting seemed real and sincere, but I should probably get around to the book adaptation part. I am well aware that this film is based after the book of the same name (by Ned Vizzini) and I am hoping to pick up the book soon. I came into the theater with no prior judgement so I am not sure how readers of the books will feel about It's Kind of a Funny Story but I'd still suggest it since movies are never the same as the books anyway.

I will say this film is more of a teen-young adult go see more than anything else though. I can definitely tell you it's a better movie choice then most of the things out right now. How many movies have you seen in theaters and wished you just waited for it's dvd release? Now how many movies have you seen on dvd that you wished you saw in theaters? It's Kind of a Funny Story is one you should see in theaters because these days, American movie-goers are paying to see people get made fun of in 3-D and watch bombshells be assassins. With options like those, movies like these are thrust to the side. 

I'm not guaranteeing you'll love it like I did but you will most likely like it. It's at least a solid B on the grade scale. So if it's in a theater by you, see it. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Art 118: Digital Painting

Traditional artwork, the use of pencils and charcoals and paints on paper and canvas and things of that nature, is a very difficult skill to master. You need to know what you want before you even get started and you also don't have much room for error. Digital art, on the other hand, while it's good to know what you may want to start out with, you have so much room for experimentation with colors in different layers and effects that you could completely change your mind about what your final product may be if you want to. Plus, any slip ups you make can be easily remedied by Ctrl+Z.

Even if you really like the traditional effects of using watercolors and the sort of graininess you can get from charcoals or the smudges of pastels and paints, many of these effects can be mimicked in digital art programs like Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop, only you have the lovely convenience of being able to undo a bad stroke.

But of course, such programs can be really expensive, especially professional level Photoshops. Corel Painter 11's full package is $299, and the best Photoshop you can get to date, Photoshop CS5, is at a whopping $699. There are cheaper, smaller packages with plenty of tools you can use to achieve nearly the same effects, like with Photoshop Elements 9, which is mainly for editing photos.

Recently, however, DeviantART released a free online program called DA Muro for its members to use that has both basic and pro capabilities. If you ever wanted to try digital painting, now's the time. Membership with DeviantART is free, but you can subscribe with them for a fee if you don't want to see the advertisements and have a few extra features to display your profile page and gallery. Plus, you can share all of your artworks, whether they be traditional art, digital art, sculpture, textiles, photography, anything! And you can get feedback from fellow deviants about your works with comments and favorites. It's super fun, I promise.

If you are interested in digital painting at all, then I highly recommend purchasing a tablet. Wacom makes great tablets, and for those who are just starting out, you can get a Wacom Bamboo tablet with pen touch...

...for $69 and it even comes with Corel Painter Essentials 4, a sort of easier, watered-down version of Corel Painter 11 that still has plenty of features to do what you need to.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Poetry 118: Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Amidst brutal racial discrimination, her early life as a single mother working as a waitress to support her young son after dropping out of high school certainly required harrowing amounts of strength and perseverance. But her amazing passion for music, dance, performance, and poetry would soon help Maya Angelou to become the award-winning and world-renowned woman that she is today. *

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

A Poem By Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
and floats downstream till the current ends
and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
can seldom see through his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Food 118: October Treats (Caramel Puffs)

Going into the third week of October recipes and still going strong! You can probably tell by now I  have a sweet tooth but don't worry, November is more of a meal kind of month with less desserts. This week I have a super easy one that might not sound so great but trust me they are. The tastes of all the things put together makes a tasty explosion in your mouth that you wouldn't believe! Crunchy, soft, salty, sweet and much more this is something you have to try! The best part? It takes about five minutes!

Serves: As many as you want!
Cook Time: 5 Minutes

Pretzel sticks
Melting Chocolate

The Process:

Dip marshmallows halfway into the warm caramel. Let the excess drip off, then dip in crushed pretzels and place on a lightly oiled parchment-lined baking sheet until set. Drizzle with melted chocolate.

See? Easy enough. Enjoy! Any thoughts on recipes? I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Music 118: Grouplove

Every week I look through libraries of different artists of all different genres to find one I think is fit for a review (no joke). I do admit to doing collections of songs and such on here but being the Mix Tape musician of the week is a BIG deal. All the readers on here have such an eclectic and amazing taste in music it's hard to find an artist that fits everyones needs (it usually doesn't).  To find one artist almost every week that will hopefully please others is hard. This is exactly why I was lucky to find Grouplove (who will soon be touring with Two Door Cinema Club, Florence and the Machine, and The Joy Formidable. The upside to this? Tickets are CHEAP! Some nights it's only $10 dollars at the door, the most expensive I could find were $35. They will be touring from October 18th to November 16th (2010) so this review is just in time.

Grouplove, music echoes a faint reminder of The Shins surprised me one early morning when I found them online. I started listening and by the first song I was hooked. I was surprised to find out they only have an EP of five songs out (on Itunes) and they're aren't signed on any label yet. This came as a sort of bummer to me to know that they might never get the attention they deserve. The bright side to it all though is we get the perks of getting in on them early if they ever do become famous. Maybe I'm being too confident but I'm pretty sure someone will like them on here.

"We never could have dreamt this up" says Zucconi (band member), "but at the same time we're not at all surprised - Grouplove is meant to be. Our story a testament to fate, and our music is something we are ready to share."

Grouplove is: Christian Zucconi, Sean Gadd, Hannah Hooper, Ryan Rabin, and Andrew Wessen.

Grouplove Twitter.  (For band updates and shows.)

Grouplove Myspace. (For band updates, shows, music, how Grouplove met,  etc.)

So what did you think? Did I oversell them or are they as good as I said?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Movies 118 : Movie round up -the fun side of October

Why not start this off with a bang. I'm sure you've missed it. Even a show your grandpa can't help but laugh at (mine did). That infamous  Jackass in back. This time its coming at you in 3D. Is is worth the extra buck? Well, it pulled in $20 million on its first Friday. Stupidity is better than ever in 3D. Johnny Knoxville, Seann William Scott, Steve-O, Bam Magera and the list grows to all, who want to make a fool of themselves in this dangerous stunt marthon. FYI: The intro to the movie was supposed to feature all the stars being hit in the head while being filmed with a super slow-mo camera, but Bam Margera could not participate after a woman assaulted him in the back of the head with a bat which caused internal bleeding.

The movie delievers just what fans expect. No story. Definitely no plot. All sorts of pranks from midget bar fights to poop cocktails. Its crude with plenty of grotesque to keep you laughing, if this is your food for laughter. But expect to pay more if you see it in 3D or 2D.

Moving on to something your grandmother probably wouldn't mind watching with you. You Again. Once again, Betty White may have the best lines. Or is it the fact this woman can deliver a line that makes it funny? When Marni (Kristen Bell) realizes her brother is about to marry the girl who bullied her all of high school, she plans to expose the fiancée's (Odette Yustman) true colors.

Storyline: Marni and her brother Will (Jimmy Wolk) have always been close, and she's both devastated and furious when she discovers the bride-to-be is none other than her high school nemesis who now answers to the name Joanna. Marni's mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) is sympathetic, but tells Marni that high school is in the past and she needs to move on. That advice comes easily to Gail until she discovers Joanna's Aunt Ramona (Sigourney Weaver) is her own high school nemesis.

Of course, it is kind of hard to even imagine Bell as not pretty in high school. The movie is rated PG.  Its rather a predictable movie. A bit of silly moments which of course Betty White gets away with perfectly. Just remember, if you go, stay for after the credits.

Then we have that long awaited Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel movie. Life as We Know It. Its the story of two single adults who become caregivers to an orphaned girl when their mutual best friends die in an accident. You've got Holly (Heigl) so femine and up and coming in her career along with macho Messer (Duhamel) who don't exactly hit it off in the dating world, but they come together to raise Sophie in, of course, the perfect house. The real scene stealer in the movie is not quite a year old, Sophie played by triplets Alexis, Brynn and Brooke Clagett. Its definitely a pro-family movie. Predictable romance. The story is by Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson. You've got two of the hottest stars in this romantic comedy. There is bound to have something to make you laugh and pull at your heart, as well. If you are looking for a date night film, this might be it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Food 117: October Treats (Caramel Apples)

Okay, I'd be lying if I said it was easy finding the next recipe for this month. There are so many different levels of cooking and so many themed recipes to pick from. I couldn't pick something too hard or complicated but I didn't want to make something too easy. I finally found Caramel Apples though and they're perfect. They might  be a little easy but  I think it'd be the perfect thing to make with friends! You might think it sounds easy but the fun part is making the caramel!

Cook Time: 15 mins. 
Serves: 6

2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup of heavy cream  
cooking spray
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extra
pinch of salt
apples (6)
6 sticks (cooking ones)


Mix 2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Cook, swirling the pan (do not stir), until the mixture is light amber and a candy thermometer registers 320 degrees, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; slowly whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream, then 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Return to low heat and whisk until smooth. Let cool until the caramel is thick enough to coat a spoon. Insert sticks into the stem ends of 6 apples and dip the apples into the caramel, letting the excess drip off. Roll in toppings if desired, then let cool on a parchment-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Music 117: Ingrid Michaelson

At 30, Ingrid Michaelson has made a home in many people's Ipods. Though her name isn't too big, you've probably heard of her because of shows like Scrubs, Bones, Grey's Anatomy, and One Tree Hill. Still doesn't ring a bell? Maybe the song The Way I Am does.

You have to admit it's pretty catchy right? Well Ingrid Michaelson has a whole collection of gracefully quirky songs. Some of her best include these: 

1) You and I

2) Far Away 

3) Breakable

Ingrid Michaelson does what a lot of people can't do, be herself. She doesn't have to go all out to get attention, the simplicity of her music is what attracts her fans. Not too mention she has a very funny Twitter. You can follow her at @ingridmusic.

So any thoughts on this artist? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Hopefully though I've showed you someone you like. If you have any requests, ask away!

Monday, October 11, 2010

TV 117: Gigantic's Tony Oller

Last Friday, Teen Nick put on an orginal show. GIGANTIC. Just a 30 minute drama (we did get an hour pilot to get things started). Guess our attention spans aren't long enough for an hour on a regular basis. Even though once you are drawn in on the 30 minute drama stories of Degrassi, you are hooked and back to watch the same episodes, again and again. This is why TV marathons  are very important on Teen Nick.  So who knows, this just might be the show you've been craving.

What could this show possibly be about?

Storyline: A half-hour dramedy that takes a fictional look at the glitzy, chaotic and often hilarious life of being a Hollywood "it" kid. Set in the world of the Hollywood elite packed with A-list parties and privilege, it tells a coming-of-age story infused with pop culture fame. It's not easy being teenagers growing up in the shadow of their parents' superstar status, and "Gigantic" skewers the celebrity machine while exposing the humanity and comedy beneath the glamour of Tinseltown. With an insider look behind the tabloids and gossip blogs, it features an ensemble cast that includes: 17-year-old Anna (Grace Gummer) and her younger brother Walt (Tony Oller), both kids of a famous movie star couple; their best friends Piper (Jolene Purdy) and Finn (Malcolm Kelley); frenemy Vanessa (Gia Mantegna) and Anna's boy crush with a big secret Joey (Ryan Rottman).

This should be right down Tony Oller's alley. Groomed on Disney. Starred with many Disney starlettes, dated them and was on As the Bell Rings. He's definitely got the Justin Bieber look. Plus an irresistible smile and perfect nose. He might be all it takes to make Gigantic a hit. I won't say its another Gossip Girl. Although, its based on the A-List book series. However, the show is written by Dave Holstein who has written a couple of episodes of Weeds and University of Andy.

Anyway, make sure to have Tony on your radar. Get the latest on the show's pics at Gigantic spam.

Movies 117 : Movie round up -the dark side of October

He's no Justin Bieber, but I'm not sure Tony Oller could have helped this movie, either.

There are plenty October offerings for the horror fan. Wes Craven brings you My Soul to take in 3D, based on the childhood prayer. Sort of. Basically, its about a serial killer who comes back 16 years later. Its the scary tale of Bug (Max Theiroit) who was supposed to die on the bloody night his father went insane. Unaware of his dad's terrifying crimes, he has been plagued by nightmares since he was a baby. But if Bug hopes to save his friends from the monster that's returned, he must face an evil that won't rest...until it finishes the job it began the day he was born. Since its in 3D expect to spend more. I've heard its Craven's most disappointing film since A Vampire in Brooklyn.

Who doesn't love a good horror film with Rene Zelwegger and Bradley Cooper? Honestly, I was hoping for a comedy romance with these two. But they are two surprising actors. "Case 39" centers on an idealistic social worker who saves an abused 10-year-old girl from her parents only to discover that the girl is not as innocent as she thinks. This might be a rather predictable scenario, but some very competent performances from Zelwegger, Cooper and Callum Keith Rennie. Zellweger made her return to horror with "Case 39" after 15 years (since her unworthy appearance on the atrocious The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre). In recent years, she has created a very different image, but her performance in "Case 39" feels realistic and effective.

Now lets get to that Swedish remake that everyone still defends  the original as the best version. But is it? Let me in stars the up and coming Kick-Ass girl Chloe Moretz, who is showing she can hit the mark every time when given a role. She shows you exactly what the emotion a young vampire girl would go through on a daily basis. Add  Kodi Smit-McPhee to co-star, and you've got the bullied victim with such a wonderful sensitive side. One can wonder if he could be the next Nicholas Hoult if he keeps getting these intense and suspenseful roles. Honestly, its a very dark romance between Abby and Owen. Director, Matt Reeves from Cloverfield, does an amazing job with this movie.

Some movies to think about this October.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Food 116: October Treats (Pumpkin Parfaits)

Okay, maybe it's just me but when October comes around it's all about October foods.  I decided that because of that, I'll post a new October themed recipe each week. If you end up liking this month's posts, then when I write food posts for other months, I will also make seasonal food themes. This weeks is a sweet treat of pumpkin parfaits. 

Time: 25 minutes to make
Serves: 6


  • 13 gingersnaps, chocolate wafers or graham crackers
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups cold heavy cream

Put 7 cookies in a sealable plastic bag and crush into crumbs (with pans, hands, whatever you desire). Brush the bottoms and about 1 inch up the sides of 6 parfait glasses with butter. Add about a spoonful of crumbs to each and roll them around the insides of the glasses; pour out the extra crumbs and reserve for topping. Refrigerate the prepared glasses.
Put 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, the pumpkin, and the nutmeg in a food processor. Pulse until smooth, about 1 minute.
Put the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 50% power until melted, about 1 minute, stirring halfway. Add to the pumpkin mixture and process until combined. Put into to a large bowl.
Beat 1 /12 cups cream in a bowl with a mixer until soft peaks form; fold into the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Divide among the prepared glasses and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Beat the remaining 1/2 cup cream with a mixer until foamy. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Top the parfaits with the whipped cream, reserved cookie crumbs and the remaining 6 cookies.

Hopefully you will enjoy this fun October recipe on one of these cold nights! Something like this is always a good idea for parties too!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Movies 116 : The Social Network

Storyline : On a fall night in 2003, Harvard undergrad and computer programming genius Mark Zuckerberg sits down at his computer and heatedly begins working on a new idea. In a fury of blogging and programming, what begins in his dorm room soon becomes a global social network and a revolution in communication. A mere six years and 500 million friends later, Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire in history... but for this entrepreneur, success leads to both personal and legal complications. written by Columbia Pictures.

This is a mezmorizing movie from the very first conversation of the film between Jesse Esienberg (Mark Zuckerberg) and Rooney Mara (Erica AlBright). Yes, it all started because of a girl. Well, sort of. And the fact that Zuckerberg took an idea, that twin jocks (Armie Hammer) wanted him to only use as a Harvard social networking site, that he made bigger and better . Thus, most of the movie is told through Zuckerberg's trials and flashback of how Facebook came to be.

The real Mark, Sean and Eduardo

The movie has some outstanding performances. Especially by, Andrew Garfield as Zuckerberg's best friend (Eduardo). Naturally, Eisenberg is amazing as the genuis geek behind Facebook. And lets not forget Justin Timberlake as the wonderful Napster Sean Parker(referred to in the movie). Some very intense scenes in the movie -  how things multiple so quickly on the internet. Yet there are some beautiful cinematography in the rowing scenes, as well. There is word of an Oscar buzz about this movie.

This seems to be  a movie that a younger generation might appreciate more than an older one. Really, Zuckerberg  ran with an idea. He was unstopable and perhaps still is. 9/10