Judah & The Lion [Case Study]

If anyone knows me – they know I’m a lover of Mumford & Sons. They are able to write, adapt, expand, and bring comfort to anxious moments. One band that is currently emerging from the shadows, is Judah & the Lion. And, I can’t help but compare the likeness that have with Mumford & Sons. Their lyrical writing is of similarity, and the vibes coming off their tracks are both calming and inspiring. Add in some banjo sounds, mandolin here and there, as well as a powerful voice, and you’ve got a good thing going on.

Take It All Back 2.0

The first real break for Judah & the Lion has been “Take it all Back 2.0” A great song about the important things in life. Brian Macdonald (the mandolinist) says the song comes from a place of “saying that our successes do not define us as people. We would give up everything we do to have the things that matter most to us: love, friends, family, ice cream.”

Suit and Jacket

The next song that I’ve been playing nonstop has been “Suit and Jacket.” A song that most of us can relate to. It’s about wanting to live. ACTUALLY live. Stop the thinking, stop the rushing, stop the surviving. But actually collect experiences, have real conversations, and try not to just exist. Isn’t that scary? I know I have spent too much time overthinking, analyzing, and trying to let everything be perfect. You are in constant battle with yourself because you don’t want to say the wrong thing to someone, as it may jeopardize your current connection.

But if we were to take the moment in, and say what we are actually thinking? Wow. What a beautiful thing that would be to express genuine feelings. I strive for this. Little by little – but I’m getting there.

“So how am I supposed to slow it down so I can figure out who I really am?”
Our Love

The last song I share with you is a live version of “Our Love” which showcases the true talent lead singer Judah Akers has. That voice! The song resonates with me, because I feel like I am searching. You can fill in the gap as you please.

 

I leave you with that. Take a listen — it’ll make your day better. I promise!

Find this amazing band on Spotify and Facebook.

Playing at the Opera House (great venue!) on March 21st.

Amy Schumer “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo”

I was beginning to grow tired of Amy Schumer (ooo maybe not a way to open up a review?) But only because she was using the same material at each thing I saw her at. I saw her at the Oddball Festival Summer 2015, and when she was on SNL, it was the same material! I was pretty surprised about this decision on Schumer’s part, because, it’s SNL?

But — after reading her book, it was a nice break from her comedy, because she was actually real and open.  She is able to laugh at herself, accept herself as she is -flaws and all-, ignore the negative feedback and able to make a name of her own.

Kudos Schumer.

As for the title of the book? I think it’s a title that only makes sense once you get to the end of the book. When I initially started, the title was off-putting and made me think “oh so funny, ‘the girl with the dragon-tattoo'” .
But after reading the final chapter it made me change my opinion and realize, “right on! what a fitting title.”

Ya feel?

Follow my reading adventures over on goodreads.

JoJo Moyes “After You”

After You definitely took longer to read than I would have preferred; it’s chick lit so it doesn’t require much attention.

This is the follow-up novel to Me Before You, and despite taking too long to read the book, I actually enjoyed it more than the first book.

The novel follows the life of Louisa Clark after losing Will Traynor. She struggles to move on after a part of Will’s past shows up at her door one night, pulling her life into another direction she is fighting to avoid.

I enjoyed this book because it teaches you to live your life, which is definitely important. Questions I always have are, “Why is it that I feel obligated to post this photo on Instagram? Is it to prove I have an active social life? Why can’t I enjoy the moment without posting it?”

With another birthday coming up in my own life, I’m learning I need to do things for myself. Yes it’s okay to do things for others – but if it’s not being returned, you need to learn how to let go.

“You don’t ask, you don’t get.”

My review of JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You..

Follow my reading adventures over on Goodreads.

Wednesday Listens E31

Oooh I haven’t posted one in a few weeks my loves. Let’s get to it, shall we? Because my thoughts have been driving me crazy lately!

One of my all-time favourite tracks off of the VS. mixtape. Bastille pairs with HAIM to bring us listeners to a delight of a soundtrack.

You don’t have to look any further//I’ve been waiting here for you for time//You don’t have to look any further//You’re missing what is right before your eyes

Hits it right on the head? Doesn’t? Once you realize the lyrics basically describe your life, you also realize the beat is super sick, and gets ya grooving in time.

“falling for you somehow”

The latest single from Milky Chance brings up some stellar beats. Milky Chance want their newest album to show the development of the band. Instead of pure electronic sounds, we are hearing more of a rock tone.

I love this take on Ellie Goulding’s “On My Mind.” I like how it’s less “pop-y” and there is more percussion.

 

Realizing the direction of this playlist, oooops. C’est la vie. Sadly.

Sherlock Series 4 Ep 2: The Lying Detective

Hey my scruffy socially-inept love who has turned back to drugs. This was the darkest episode of Sherlock yet. Sherlock subdues himself with heroin to cope with the aftermath that was the opening. John is no longer talking to Sherlock, while Sherlock is having difficulty determining what is in fact reality. A mind-boggling case turns up after a woman visits Sherlock saying her father is planning on murdering someone.

That father figure is Mr. Culverton Smith. Sherlock is determined to expose Smith’s dark secret. Sherlock labels him as a serial killer, Smith uses this as a strategic marketing for a brand of cereal, he is indeed the “cereal killer.”

Brilliant writing, and the last few moments will have you on-edge. Brilliant!

Sherlock Series 4 Ep 1: The Six Thatchers

My socially inept love is back with series four. Sherlock “The Six Thatchers” premiered yesterday, and yes, you are quite right. It was a strong opening that provides a rollercoaster of emotions. In one moment you are smiling like a bloody idiot because your boys Cumberbatch and Freeman are back on screen together, and then you are crying as the writers rip any happiness away. Phew. No, not bitter at that ending of an episode.

“The Six Thatchers” presents us with the promise that in some way, Moriarty is back. Sherlock realizes that to draw Moriarty’s “game” to him, he must keep himself busy with other cases. Sherlock ensues in a frenzy of solving as many cases as he can, all while joining the hashtag world. #221bisback

Then brings us the case of the “Six Thatchers.” A pattern of smashed Margaret Thatcher head sculptures begins, which sparks the interest of Baker Street. Who is smashing these head busts, and what is the purpose? Is there any link to Moriarty? Well my dear, bring that episode online and get to watching.

Miss me?

Wednesday Listens E30

Exited to see where this Toronto band goes. They give off a Runaways or Heart vibe. I love the bad girl feel to the song, and the keyboard tune? Yeah can’t deny those excellent sounds.

Which leads us to The Runaways. An iconic group breaking traditional feminity stereotypes in rock n’ roll. Look at these badasses on stage.

Another strong all-female group is HAIM. Three sisters with some stellar bass face if you watch ’em live. They’ve got strong vocals and work great together.

Review of “La La Land”

Oh. What a lovely day to spend Christmas Day watching La La Land in theatres with the whole family. VIP of course.

La La Land is a refreshing break from most content that is currently available. Most content – it would seem – is heavily focused on sex, fight scenes, etc. Directors want to “wow” us, and think more money on big visual scenes will do the trick.

Instead, La La Land returns to an innocence of movie age where the writing plays a main role, and the on-screen chemistry will be the main feature. Both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have great on-screen chemistry, and are able to tell a beautiful story of two drawn to helping the other achieve their deepest dreams.

Honestly, there isn’t much more to write. It’s a musical that won’t disappoint you. It provides you with all the feels, and will have you smiling like a bloody idiot in the theatre.

“Here’s to the ones who dream / Foolish, as they may seem / Here’s to the hearts that ache / Here’s to the mess we make”

Wednesday Listens E29

Oh wow. I haven’t posted one of these in a few months. I do apologize. So to get things back on track, here are three tracks that have been on loop this week.

LÉON

I’m really excited for this Swedish artist. Her debut album will be legit fire. Her tracks bring out raw emotion that no one wants to say out loud. Her vocals are unique and are definitely strong. I have listened to this song on repeat, I love the beat during the chorus, and the piano is complimentary.

Be sure to check out her debut single, “Tired of Talking.”

“If it’s love, it is rough. Why am I, not enough?”

Jessie Reyez

A Canadian artist that is making her mark with this strong single. Again, another female with raw emotion. This song is about being in love with someone that treats you poorly. A feeling most can relate to.

The xx

Glad to see The xx back with this single “On Hold.” A song about a broken relationship. The title suggests that the relationship is “on hold” much like a person being “on hold” on the phone. Do they stay on the line to wait for the call to resume, or do they hang up?

Fun fact: Hall & Oats is sampled in this song during the chorus.

Interested in more of what I’m currently listening to? Follow me over on Spotify.

[2016] reflection

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Formal Introductions

Last year I wrote “[2015] reflection,” so in effort to make this a tradition, here’s my review of 2016. To add to the reading, play this in the background. It’s my top ten songs of 2016.

Now, by looking at all the memes of 2016 – it appears that 2016 was a crazy ride for everyone. We lost many iconic musicians, there were numerous questionable political events (notoriously Brexit & Trump), the scandals, etc. But let’s not focus on the scary portion of 2016. That’s not what a reflection is supposed to achieve. No. My reflection is to remind me the growth I have accomplished over the year and to bring positivity.

A Taste for Adventure
Ottawa

I started the year off right by overcoming my fear of driving, by deciding to make my first real long-distance drive to Ottawa. May not seem to be much, but for a first-time car owner, a long-distance drive is a huge accomplishment. So with ten+ hours of driving in the snow, this helped elevate my confidence with driving. Now the QEW & 427 commute is a piece of cake.

Ottawa was a great decision to ring in the New Year surrounded by the good ‘ol Marshall crew.

Yukon

From long-distance driving transitions to first-time-flying-by-yourself-all-the-way-up-North trip. I would like to thank AB for allowing me to visit her in The Yukon in May. I came back with a new sense of purpose and other clichés. But seriously, Yukon has given me that much-needed push to add more adventures to my life. The Yukon is so beautiful that I encourage all to visit this magnificent place at some point in your lifetime. I miss being surrounded by mountains. For my full telling of the Yukon, continue reading here.

Cuba

The next step? We go from flying within Canada to flying outside of Canada sans-parents for the first time. And to Cuba! Cuba was just the escape I needed in November. And it will forever be memorable, as of course I went when Fidel Castro passed away. It’s one thing to go for the all-inclusive, but it’s also important to leave your resort bubble. Havana is a beautiful city with so much culture imbedded. I am glad we were still able to visit Revolution Square the day before Castro’s ashes were brought for mourning. It’s one place I would definitely visit again.

Concerts & Festivals

Compared to last year, Miss Victoria Chiasson went to the most amount of concerts and festivals. Although Mumford & Sons did not make the list because TicketMaster did not come through, I still went to four other great musicians (and probably for the price of one Mumford & Sons ticket).

Experiences, my dear reader, is what you need to focus on. Here’s a sum of what added value to my 2016:

  • Winter BrewFest
  • TSwift Dance Party
  • Drake & Rihanna Dance Party
  • Bread n’ Honey Festival
  • KONGOS @ Velvet Underground
  • BeerFest
  • Cider Festival at Yonge-Dundas Square
  • Dan Mangan @ Union Station
  • TURF
  • Nuit Blanche (first time going!)
  • Adele Concert
  • July Talk Concert
  • Christmas Market at Distillery District (first time for this as well!)
Reading

Came short on my reading challenge this year, as I am still learning to balance work and life. I am still pleased that I managed to read 12 books. Also by looking at my stats, my books equaled 4043 pages, which I’m happy with. My top books of 2016 you should get around to are: Missing, Presumed and A Year of Marvelous Ways. Both well written with life lessons that stick around.

Follow my life of reading over on goodreads.

2016books

Conclusions & Other Rambles

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I did not set a resolution for 2016 when I wrote my first reflection. Rather, I went into the year with a general attitude. I hoped that 2016 would be a year of transformation. I think from this general reflection, that yes. I have grown as an individual by focusing on experiences and creating memories. I have gained confidence in some places, but I know that I still have work on gaining confidence in other areas.

2017 will be the year of no excuses. No excuses to making things happen, achieving dreams, and moving forward. No excuses for those around you and for yourself.

Dear 2017. I’m ready. Bring it on.