Then I Remember My Favorite Bands…

Hey y’all I’M BACK IN THE USA! So it’s back to school season (well it is at least for me) and I know that all the teenagers out there in the world are really depressed right now. I also happen to know that the majority of you teenagers out there neglected your summer HW and you’ve probably done absolutely nothing to boost your intelligence or maintain your knowledge this summer. I say probably because there are those exceptions amongst us that we must strive to be. Anyhow, luckily I have a post right HERE that gives you some nice YouTube channels that you can procrastinate-watch which also (gasp) help you learn stuff so you’re not as screwed.

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Now that that self advertising is done, I have literally nothing to write. Since I’ve been in China, the only thing I’ve done is read my summer reading books and I’m not ready to bore you all with my deep and completely wrong thoughts about Frankenstein just yet. There was also no YouTube there. And the best movie in theaters was this kids movie called Return of the Monkey King which, BTW, looks fantastically stupid. There were airplane movies but I only watched Age of Ultron because there was nothing else really worth watching… but even that wasn’t as amazing because it was censored (thanks China) and cropped weirdly.

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So… yeah. First world problems rant done. LET’S MOVE ON.

Since basically the only thing I could do in China was buy and listen to music, I’ll review that. I KNOW THESE MUSIC REVIEWS ARE BORING SHUSH – I’ll have a book review coming sometime in the next two weeks… probably.

Anyways, recently (meaning in the past year) I’ve gotten into bands. I’m kind of sad that I haven’t before, but then again I didn’t really listen to music before. So now, without further ado, HERE ARE MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BANDS. In reverse order. BECAUSE I HAVE AN ORDER!

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5) Plain White T’s. Apparently they’re a pop punk band but I listen to most of their… chiller songs. But anyways even their songs with more intense or quicker beats sound innocent and happy. They’re number 5 on my list because I wish they’d write more songs like Rhythm of Love. I need more songs in my “Sleep” playlist…

Favorite songs: Giving Tree, Rhythm of Love

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4) Imagine Dragons. They were probably one of the first bands I ever listened to obsessively (partially because in 7th grade everyone in my camp was obsessed with them. And who could forget how popular Radioactive got.) Anyways, I started really liking rock because of them; their beat was just amazing and listening to them with headphones for the first time was like OH MY GOD. Unfortunately I think that I listened to them too much – now a lot of my favorite songs by them don’t have the same magic they used to. LESSON LEARNED: DON’T LISTEN TO SONGS TOO MANY TIMES. Who am I kidding I still listen to the same song 100 times a day.

Favorite songs: On Top of the World, Radioactive, Demons, Battle Cry, Warriors

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3) Of Monsters and Men. This band has a super unique sound (probably because of the lead singer). OMAM is an indie folk and pop band, so as expected there’s acoustic guitars instead of electric guitars (which makes it 100x better and their sound is a lot friendlier). I can’t imagine the band using an electric guitar… that would suck so much. Back in the days when I used to buy entire albums (don’t worry it was only a week before I came to my senses), I bought their entire My Head Is an Animal album. It was probably a good thing I liked all their songs because if I didn’t I might’ve cried in a hole.

Favorite songs: Little Talks, Lakehouse, Yellow Light, Mountain Sound, Dirty Paws

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2) Fall Out Boy. I know like half of tumblr and most of nerd culture is totally obsessed with them. I went to a nerd camp this summer and if you played Uma Thurman everyone started jamming out to it. But that’s just because everyone WANTS TO DANCE LIKE UMA THURMAN. The beat to every song is insane and doing anything while listening to those songs becomes the most epic thing of your life. Riding a plane? EPIC METAL TUBE OF JUSTICE! Jogging? YOU’RE JOGGING TO SAVE THE WORLD! Doing HW? Never mind nothing can make HW epic.

Favorite songs: My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark, Immortals, Uma Thurman

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1) OneRepublic. MY ALL TIME FAVORITE BAND. OneRepublic is probably the reason why I started buying music in the first place. My friend suggested I Lived and Life in Color, and then I just bought the entire Native album. Even though OneRepublic is primarily an alternative rock / pop rock band, their songs seem to vary a lot. Just listen to Au Revoir and then Counting Stars and then I Lived: they sound vastly different. But don’t worry about the album being incongruous or something because every song sounds hella good together. Somehow. I don’t know guys it’s just OneRepublic magic.

Favorite songs: Au Revoir, I Lived, Life in Color, Good Life, Marching On

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The Weekly Suggestion #5

I haven’t done this in ages! As usual. Let’s begin.

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Movie: The Dark Knight Trilogy. I have been mostly or slightly biased towards Marvel until I watched this trilogy. Now I love DC and Marvel equally. The movie was dark, action-packed, and overall fulfilling to the max. I just don’t understand why they decided to recast Batman. Especially with Ben Affleck! Of all people! Also DC’s record of who is in the main DC Cinematic Universe is (dare I say it) way more complicated than Marvel’s. None of the TV shows are in the Cinematic Universe (apparently they have a universe of their own), and The Dark Knight Trilogy isn’t either, so DC has to recast the Flash and Batman… and possibly Oliver Queen at some future time. Sounds fun.

TV Show: Orange is the New Black. I’ve only gotten through something like the first seven episodes, but I can already tell you that this show has the most diverse group of characters I’ve ever seen (in a live-action show, because The Legend of Korra does a fantastic job as well), featuring different races (I’d like to see more Asian people), sexualities, genders, religions, etc. If only Piper would admit that she’s bisexual.

Book: All the Light We Cannot See. As per usual, Grace has only gotten through the first 50 or so pages of this book. Nevertheless, I can already tell you that this book is gorgeously written. It’s a story set in WWII and told through the eyes of two children (I mean, at the end they’re young adults). It may sound like the Book Thief but they’re pretty much nothing alike.

Song: Mr. Brightside. A 2000s-but-definitely-already classic song. I’ve gotten obsessed with it recently. It’s definitely worth your time to listen to it about 1000000 times on repeat. Like I have. Because I’ve been indoors for 72 hours straight doing nothing.

So next week I’m off to China to visit the fam. If you’ve never been to China, then you’re probably jealous of me. If you’ve been to China then you probably feel sorry for me. I’d be excited except I have this horrible cold so I’m not particularly excited for this trip. Anyways, I won’t be blogging next week but I’ll see you the week after!

Bye y’all!

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Civil War: PICK A SIDE

NOTE: this post was written by a person who hasn’t seen Ant-Man yet so I swear to god if you people know some Civil War stuff because of the movie you better not say it and save us Ant-Man deprived humans from spoilers.

If you aren’t a hard core Marvel fan or maybe just internet deprived then you might not have heard the news: CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR TEAMS ARE OUT!

And now for you guys who are actually REALLY Internet and nerd culture deprived. Captain America: Civil War is a movie that’s coming out in 2016, where Captain America and Iron Man acquire teams and battle it out against each other because of some stuff relating to superhero registration (Iron Man is pro-registration, Cap is anti-registration). It’s basically the opposite of Batman v Superman. Cuz Batman v Superman is bringing the Justice League together whereas Civil War is tearing the Avengers apart.

For months people have been speculating the teams of Civil War. Well, at least I have. But the movie gods have answered our prayers, and thus begins Marvel’s torturous teasing of Civil War.

I WILL NOW REVIEW THE TEAMS and you can decide for yourself whose team you want to be on. Be warned: there is one double agent (and I’ll write my speculations about who this person is)

TEAM CAPTAIN AMERICA

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Captain America (duh): the first Avenger, all around super nice guy. Also Chris Evans. Also really hot. But that’s not a deciding factor right. Right?

Hawkeye: He gained lots love after Age of Ultron. Who doesn’t love a guy who has a really adorable family? He’ll be sure to join Cap’s side with his family’s wishes. Just think about that.

Falcon: How shocking! Cap’s sidekick (and current Cap in the comics) is on his side! Falcon’s pretty badass and while most of the people on this team fight on the ground, it’ll be fun watching Falcon take on essentially everyone from Team Iron Man in the air.

Scarlet Witch: After what Hawkeye did for her, I’m not surprised she’s on this team. Being one of the most powerful Avengers so far, she’ll definitely be a plus to this team.

The Winter Soldier: surprise, surprise. Cap’s best friend is on his side. Well, actually we’ll have to see how his crazy Hydra assassin alter ego gets resolved first.

Ant-Man: I guess reasons why Ant-Man is on Team Cap will become apparent to me after I watch the movie. He’ll definitely be an advantage to Team Cap. He also has a family that he needs to protect, so more righteousness I suppose.

Overall, Cap’s team is strong. However, most of the characters fight on the ground (with the exception of Falcon), which Team Iron Man, which is mainly air-based, can easily exploit. In terms of justification, both Hawkeye and Ant-Man have families they need to protect, so maybe they chose this side because it’s safer for them and for everyone.

TEAM IRON MAN

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Iron Man (duh): Genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist. What if you remove all that? He’s just a poor guy who’s getting over PTSD and who wants to keep his team together at any cost. He wants to go home and end all the fighting. Maybe he’s really the good guy. Or maybe he’ll do anything to stop the fighting for good.

The Vision: This dude has a flipping INFINITY STONE in his forehead. How can Cap’s team win against him? I mean honestly, if it were Vision vs. everyone else, the Vision would win.

Spider-Man: Well he’s finally in the comic universe! If the movie turns out anything like the comics, (SPOILERS!) Spider-Man will switch sides. We’ll see.

Black Widow: This is my WTF. Why the hell is Black Widow on Tony’s side? After everything that happened in Winter Soldier, I’d think that she would be on Steve’s side. Which is why she’s probably the double agent. She owes a lot of loyalty to Steve, and she also has a lot of familial love with Hawkeye. (Then again, if Bruce is in Civil War, then he’d be on Tony’s side, and then Black Widow would be on Bruce’s side… speculation, man)

War Machine: Like Falcon is to Cap, War Machine is to Tony. Marvel’s desperate reach for diversity by making all the sidekicks black. But not making Spider-Man black like in the comics. Hopefully War Machine will get better “moments” in Civil War.

Overall, Iron Man’s team is essentially, how to put it, FREAKING UNBEATABLE. With the Vision holding an infinity stone, and the combined genius of Iron Man and Spider-Man, along with the amount of aerial attacks they can perform, Team Iron Man is sure to win. Unless, of course, someone on Team Iron Man spills all the secrets to Team Cap. In terms of justification, no one has as big a family as Ant-Man or Hawkeye, so they’re obviously fighting for different reasons.

YOU HAVE THE FACTS (AKA MY OPINIONS). NOW CHOOSE A TEAM!

Serial… Killer?

Grade: A+

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From this American Life it’s Serial, a story told week by week. Serial is a podcast (if y’all didn’t know). Podcasts are like audiobooks except not really. I don’t know the exact definition. I mean, according to Apple Dictionary, a podcast is a multimedia digital file made available on the Internet for downloading to a portable media player, computer, etc, but if you’re like me that means absolutely nothing.

So let’s go with this definition: a podcast is an audio blog. It can be structured, it can be rant-y, etc. Serial, as I mentioned, is a structured story. It’s a true story about the trial of Adnan Syed, a man who was convicted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, and sentenced to life in jail 15 years earlier. The story, while originally quite a minor murder case, has risen into insane popularity because of the podcast (I mean, bruh, it’s been downloaded over 65 million times). It’s full of intriguing characters, questionable choices, loads of evidence, and ultimately NO CONCLUSION: it’s up to the listener to decide whether to Adnan is guilty or not.

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The podcast is 12 episodes long, but each episode seems to have something new, whether it’s a new witness or new evidence or new speculation over old evidence. You’ll hear evidence from Adnan himself, Adnan’s friends, Adnan’s accuser Jay, Jay’s friends, members of Adnan’s mosque, lawyers who have chosen to look over Adnan’s case, detectives, and more. You’ll hear recordings from the case in 1999. You’ll look into evidence about the case, Adnan’s character, and even the reliability of Adnan’s lawyer.

Throughout each episode you will definitely have conflicting opinions on whether Adnan is guilty or not. I’ve literally gone through an episode with my opinion changing about 10 times. It doesn’t help that the narrator, Sara Koenig, keeps changing her opinion as well. I swear to god, if Sara Koenig changes her opinion one more time my brain might explode.

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And then there are those moments when it suddenly hits you: like, this is a true story. Some girl named Hae Min Lee actually did die. Her family and friends did mourn. And if Adnan Syed isn’t guilty, then a person who loved Hae Min Lee is stuck in jail for not murdering her. And her death seems so terrible and scary and horrible. And it’s so strange to think that it happened so long ago that people are talking casually about it. IT’S JUST SCARY MAN.

Personally, I don’t think Adnan Syed is innocent. Or, if he is guilty, there’s not enough proof yet to convict him. But you’ll have to listen to the podcast yourself if you want to form an opinion of your own. And listen to the entire podcast before you form an opinion, because your opinion will most certainly change in some way from the beginning.

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Good lord this post sounds incredibly serious. Okay. This podcast is absolutely amazing. Nothing’s better than a true story, It’s amazing. SO HAVE FUN STRESSING OUT OVER IF YOU THINK ADNAN IS GUILTY OR NOT!

HAPPY LISTENINGS!