Saturday, July 31, 2010

Soundtracks: The Twilight Saga

As obsessed as I am with music - finding new and enjoying old - I have come up with a list of my all-time favorite soundtrack albums. For me, it was impossible to narrow it down to 5 or even 10. I'm pretty sure my list of faves includes more than 30. Lame? way! Amazing mixes, scores and featured artists.. And what's a movie (or TV show) without the music?

I want to share each of my top picks - complete albums that I adore from beginning to end. So without overwhelming myself or anyone else, I plan to spread them out (in no particular order) over the next several months.

To begin this lil' journey of albums I heart, I had to start with Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. If you've been following this, you know I'm not an obsessive/screaming/ball-my-eyes-out Twilight fan, but I do enjoy the books and the movies. I seriously cannot get enough of these compilations! SO GOOD!

The Twilight Saga: Twilight
Featuring: MUSE, The Black Ghosts, Linkin Park, MuteMath, Perry Farrell, Collective Soul, Paramore, Blue Foundation, Rob Pattinson, Iron & Wine, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The APM Orchestra

The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Featuring: Death Cab for Cutie, Band of Skulls, Thom Yorke, Lykke Li, The Killers, Anya Marina, MUSE, Bon Iver & St. Vincent, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Hurricane Bells, Sea Wolf, OK Go, Grizzly Bear, Editors, Alexandre Desplat, Lupe Fiasco, The Magic Numbers & Amadou & Mariam, and The APM Orchestra

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Featuring: Metric, MUSE, The Bravery, Florence + The Machine, Sia, Fanfarlo, The Black Keys, The Dead Weather, Beck & Bat for Lashes, Vampire Weekend, UNKLE, Eastern Conference Champions, Band of Horses, Cee Lo Green, Howard Shore, Mimi, Battles and Bombay Bicycle Club

I can't post this without giving a shoutout to my mum! She started reading the Saga before I even did, and when the first soundtrack came out, I'd like to say it transformed my little mom into a music machine! I think she'd give her left arm to meet MUSE in person, and I can admit I probably would too! Oh momma, I love you and your newfound, amazing taste in music!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Life's a Beach!

I would move to the beach tomorrow if I could. Every time we go, it never seems like we were able to stay long enough. It's funny, Justin and I realized that just about every time we've gone for an overnight trip, we are with other people. We have only had 2 overnight trips alone, and they don't really count:

1. The time we spontaneously drove to Folly in the middle of the night so we could catch the sunrise. Obviously, this doesn't count because we were exhausted once the next day began, and it was too uncomfortable to sleep in the car. Plus, Romeo was with us, and he was practically an infant.

2. The time we went for our anniversary, and Justin got food poisoning. I suppose we could count that, but he was pretty miserable the whole time.

Finally, our chance came. We found a last-minute sitter for Romeo, got the oil changed on my car (plus new tires!) and packed up. Early the next morning, we hit the road after getting our Liquid Highway coffee - our roadtrip tradition. We managed to hit some construction traffic, but it wasn't so bad. I remember telling Justin, "Ohh man, I wonder what's gonna happen on this trip! I have a feeling there will be a long list of shocking blog-worthy incidents.."

Beach, here we come!

We made it to Folly in pretty good time.. We were starving and totally craving one of our favorite Folly Beach places - The Drop In. I know I've blogged about this place before, and I'm pretty sure I raved about how the have the BEST loaded baked potato salad in the whole wide world - and I'm not even a huge potato-salad-eater.


After lunch, we headed down by the pier to find a nice spot to relax.. It was SO hot!! I rarely swim.. I really only choose to swim if it's ridiculously hot out - which it was - so we ran in and swam out to jump with the waves, laughing and being silly.

Nothing Like Folly.

After hours of beachtime, we headed to our hotel to get cleaned up for dinner. So far the day had been pretty amazing.. no ridiculous moments or "did that just happen" moments..

Headed Downtown

We headed to King Street to walk around and do a little shopping.. Of course, we spent most of our time in Urban Outfitters. Found some sweet stuff.. an incredible vase on clearance for $3, the cutest fedora and some other fun stuff. Justin found a Stylophone (he's wanted one forever!). We hiked through the heat before deciding to have dinner at good ol' T-Bonz on Market. Dinner was de-LISH.. Texas cheese fries, fried shrimp and plenty of Woodchucks. Talk about healthy.

I Want Everything!!!

After a comfortable hotel stay, I began wondering when in the world something was going to go wrong - as it usually does. Justin just kept saying, "don't jinx it!" Ha!

The next day, we headed back to the beach. We stopped to get a couple lawn chairs (can't believe we haven't owned any until now!).We had a little trouble finding a parking spot, so we decided to head past the Swell, to the beach area we were married at. It was perfect! Less people and sentimental too. We parked right next to the beach house (where we had our wedding) and saw that there was a wedding there the night before!! Ohh, it made me so happy! Some men were taking stuff down and cleaning up, and I was able to talk to them and tell them we had our wedding there too. It was pretty special.

Our Beach House!

We relaxed in our chairs, reading and rotting in the sun. Another beautiful day. And the weatherman even said it was supposed to rain all weekend! In your FACE, weatherman!

After packing up and already feeling the sunburn we inherited, we headed back down toward Center St. to have find some food before we headed home. We found a place we had been wanting to try, Loggerheads, and it was pretty good!

After Inhaling Crabcake And Shrimp Sandwiches

Finally, we headed back to Greenville.. and without one crazy story! I'm not complaining either! Although those ridiculous stories make for a great blog post, it was such a great, carefree weekend. So relaxing, great food and a wonderful time with my hubby!


What I'm Listening To: Vampire Weekend

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Myyy Sandwich?!

Thanks to my dear friend, Marta.. I LOVE FRIENDS. She is the biggest, true Friends superfan I have ever known. I swear she's seen every episode 50 times and could act each one out in a summarized play if her life depended on it. I was an occasional Friends-watcher throughout the years it was aired, but as of a couple years ago, Justin and I finally own all 10 seasons. The show is flippin' hilarious.

I didn't plan to write a post all about my passion for Friends, but an episode came to mind the other day when I was at work. Man, it is so interesting to bring food to work and share a refrigerator with possibly 50 other people - most of whom are practical strangers. How can you trust them not to steal your lunch? How can they trust that I'm not going to steal theirs? Yeah, we're all adults, but c'mon. It's pretty tempting to envy that glorious, ice cold diet coke with Janet's name on it, when I only brought a measley ol' bottle-o-water for myself. No, I didn't steal from the fridge, but I've had things of mine stolen before, and it stinks.

Anyway, the episode that came to mind was 'The One With Ross' Sandwich". Ross is my all-time favorite, so all the more this episode has me rolling on the floor every time.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rooney and the Too-Friendly Hippie

When my friend, Jennie told me Rooney was coming to Greenville, seeing them was a MUST. I have loved Rooney since they first appeared/performed on The OC, back in 2004 (Season 1, episode "The Third Wheel"). How ironic, that I just wrote a post about how much I've been missing The OC - especially all of the good music that came with it.

So Monday night, Jennie and I went to the show together, and had a great time!! Opening for Rooney, was Black Gold and The Young Veins. If you know me at all, you might call me a show-junkie, in the fact that when I have general admission tickets to a show, I try to do anything I can to be front and center, even if it means waiting for the doors to open hours before showtime. Anyway, Jennie and I met there with good time, and even though we weren't first-in-line, we enjoyed the show leaning on the stage in prime spots at the front.

I had never heard of Black Gold before the show, and they were way more impressive than I thought it would be! The guys were super-entertaining and fun to watch.. They had great energy and they seemed super friendly and personal. I can easily say it was an awesome show. Apparently, the lead singer (Eric Ronick) used to be a part of Panic! at the Disco.

I especially loved the song "Shine".

The bassist (Kerry Wayne-James) was probably the most entertaining, fun guy I think I have ever seen perform during a show.. He had Jennie and I laughing from beginning to end with his dancing and funny facial expressions. I would definitely love to see them again!

After Black Gold performed, we (as usual) had to wait for the next band to set up. Jennie and I were just chatting and hanging out when I felt a hand touch me on the arm in an extra-friendly way.. I turned around and standing there was some tall, hippie-ish looking girl who was looking at me really close, asking if I remembered her. I tried to place it, but nothin'. I had never seen her in my life. I said, "Auhhmm, sorry! I don't think we've met!" And she continued to say that we had met, and that we had hung out at a Widespread Panic show (never heard of them until that moment). I just told her again that she might have me mixed up with someone else. Hippie-chick kinda lingered there for a minute, before Jennie tried to make her feel a little better by saying, "Hey, it never hurts to ask!" After the girl left, I asked Jennie what "Panic somethin-somethin" was, that Hippie-chick said she knew me from.. Jennie told me it was a band that often drew in hippie-ish kinda people and lots of pot-smoking. We had a laugh, after it made a little more sense.. Hippie-chick definitely looked the part, and was talking all chill and "heyyy maan" to me, so we just assumed she was 'high' and just confused me with someone else.

Soon after that, The Young Veins performed.. I had looked them up after I found they were touring with Rooney, and really loved their sound.

Their look and sound was really similar to a 60's band.. They honestly looked like they could've been best buddies with The Beatles. They were really talented, but definitely not very entertaining. They just kinda sang their songs, rarely smiled, and barely interacted with the crowd. I really did like the song "Cape Town" though! I guess the two lead singers (Ryan Ross & Jon Walker) were also ex-members of Panic! at the Disco. Hmm, inter-eshting!!

Finally Rooney came out and it was pretty great. They looked totally different than I expected (I kept picturing 2004 Rooney on The OC). They played alot of songs from their first and second albums, which made me super happy!

[Rooney's Setlist]

Some more fun facts: Lead singer, Robert Schwartzman, is a cousin to Nicholas Cage (actor, duh) and Sophia Coppola (who directed Marie Antoinette and The Virgin Suicides). Plus, his brother is Jason Schwartzman (former lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Phantom Planet).

Rooney's lead guitarist, Taylor Locke dated Mischa Barton (Marta and I call her, Mooshy-Meeshoo), and that's all I got.. HA!

[Rockin' to Rooney!]

["Not In My House"]

["Daisy Duke" - My FAVE!]

["I'm Shakin'"]

Anyway, Rooney was pretty rad. They were a little more entertaining than The Young Veins, and the guitarist (Locke) was incredible.

After the show, Jennie and I were debating whether or not to say 'hey' to some of the guys walking around signing autographs, when it happened. I felt someone walk behind me - a little too close for comfort - and all of a sudden.. Hand. On my rear. With a hefty squeeeeeze. Ooooohmigosh. Startled, I quickly turned to see who just violated me, and.. Sick rick McCreeper. It was hippie-chick. Augh! Did that just happen?! WHY!! Thank goodness Jennie and I walked out together and she drove me to my car to avoid any more run-ins with hippie-chick.

Needless to say, I won't forget that night.. Great music with a great friend and an uncomfortable feelski from a hippie.

Peace & Love, dudes.


Listen to Black Gold
Listen to The Young Veins
Listen to Rooney

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vampires and Werewolves and Twilight, Oh My!

Thanks to my friend, Ali, I had an opportunity to work with Belle Magazine again! I was asked to write an article about the Twilight Craze for July's issue.
If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited to have anything I've written actually published in a magazine (even if it is just a local one!), especially since I've never considered myself an actual "writer". Obviously I love blogging and rambling, but my "first article" just seems so official! Ali writes for Belle on a regular basis, so I felt pretty honored to be asked to share my thoughts.

If you wanted to check it out, but don't have access to the latest issue of Belle, you can read the article here:

Just wanted to share my excitement!

Listen to music featured on the soundtracks..


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bottle Rockets, Belchers and a Bonfire

This year for the 4th of July, Justin and I planned to go to Charleston for the weekend. We had never been there for the 4th so we were pretty excited! Unfortunately, plans changed (as they often do) and we ended up staying in Greenville. Justin had talked about how fun it would be to head up Paris Mountain to a "secret spot" that overlooks the city.

I love my Lil' Firecracker!
Paris, Here We Come!
We assumed there was a chance that other people knew about the spot, and it might not be totally quiet and secluded. After figuring out how to get to the "secret spot", we stopped for some Jimmy John's and began our little adventure.

So.. Turns out we were right. There were a bunch of people crammed up at the perfect overlook. Most were obnixious, older, drunk people who would not stop shooting off the world's loudest bottle rockets. Eugh. Justin and I kissed our quiet, romantic evening 'goodbye' and ate our Jimmy John's on the hood of the car while trying to enjoy the view that was constantly interrupted by idiots. Typ-i-cal.

Sweet view of Downtown Greenville..
Out of control Rocket-Launchers
Not only did these people scream and do jumping-jacks during every single rocket they shot off, but this one woman almost killed us all after lighting a rocket and throwing it - ?! What was she thinking?? The rocket could've exploded on her, her idiot posse, on us, or even on a different group - the belching men, who stood just a few feet away. Augh. I felt like I was being punk'd. What is wrong with these people?! Justin and I tried to ignore all of the ridiculous things going on, but it was too much. Between the half-wit bottle-rocket-shooters who probably should not have access to the use of fireworks, the akward, overly-decked out people who had just come from night church and shuffled around amongts all of the danger or the belchers who would rip 'em for 20 seconds at a time and then compare who's was longer.. Drunks, alcohol, fireworks and a cliff -- We were outtie.

Thank goodness we had some other plans to look forward to.. Justin's brothers (Caleb & Micah) were having a few people over for a bonfire. Yes! We agreed to go back up to the spot another night when idiots were not running loose. We made it back down the mountain a while before sunset and ended up having a blast at the bonfire. It was sucha fun night.. One of the best 4th's I've ever had!

Valerie & Micah
We Roasted Hot Dogs and S'mores!
Mel, Handing Out Sparklers!


I'm listening to: Rooney - I Don't Wanna Lose You

[Last 2 photos by Micah!]

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Phantom of the Opera & the Big Head

Yesterday.. my friend, Beth, called to see if I was interested in taking a spontaneous trip to Atlanta to see Phantom of the Opera. Uh, YEAH!

I had never been to a broadway show before, and I have always enjoyed plays and theater. Plus, I really enjoy all of the music from Phantom.. There's no way I could have said 'no'. The only catch: We had to leave for Anderson in 2.5 hours to pick up her Parents-in-law (who were also going). I rushed around to finish everything I needed to for the day and made it to her place just in time. Apparently the tickets for the show were for her mom-in-law's birthday, and Beth invited me to go along in place of her sister-in-law who was super sick, and couldn't go. We made good time, had dinner at Cracker Barrel (haven't been there since I was little!). We made pretty good time for the show, which was at the Fox Theater, in downtown Atlanta


Once we settled into our seats (which were really good!), I began to await the person who would be planted right in front of me. Oh my, who could it be? Why yes! 1991 Sandi Patty's hair twin (I totally had Sandi Patty & The Friendship Company on tape when I was little - It was my favorite!!). Apparently, Afro-Sandi was on a date, and felt the need to flip and fluff her afro as frequently as possible throughout the entire show. Her head literally looked 3 times the size of everyone elses heads. How could that be a goal for anyone?? She continued to friz it out as big as it would go and would turn her head left and right as sharp as she could, so she could feel the wispy tails of her curl-mullet as it whipped back and forth. It was quite a site to see, as the top of her 'fro was as solid as a helmet from her over-usage of hairspray. By the time I realized who her head reminded me of -- Sandi Patty, I whispered to Beth and we had a good time trying not to giggle and wheeze. Poor Beth had a guy's head in her way during most of the show too.

Thank goodness Afro-Sandi and her date decided to move a couple seats down to some empties, which cleared my view completely. Thanks 'fro, for the uncontrollably good laugh you provided!

The show was incredible. The set.. the costumes.. the singing.. It was pretty cool. On our way back to Greenville, Beth and I got the giggles, which made the 3-hour drive fly by! What a fun, spontaneous little trip, I'm so glad she asked me to go!

Listen to music from: Phantom of the Opera

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