Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Birthday Rambles

Today is my birthday! Hip hip hooray for me! 

I love my birthday, not because I get presents or eat lots of cake - that doesn't really happen anymore - but because I make it an amazing day. I love filling it with things I love doing in a chilled and relaxed way. 

This year I took the day off from work so I didn't have to get up in the morning, I'm not a huge morning person - not that I'm grumpy, I just don't like getting out of bed. I spent the day listening to Home Free and books while cuddling my kitties. They know how to wish their mum a happy birthday! In the afternoon I took a long walk along the beach walk (Paseo) before I laid down on the sand and listened to the waves for a long time, just letting go of all the thoughts. I felt the wind touch my skin and the sun warm it. It was amazingly loving and soothing for my soul. On my way home I walked with bare feet and let the waves wash over them while picking some beautiful sea shells. Life quality at it's best! 

When I was a kid I had this book for the year of 1970, my birth year, and I started thinking about that book today. It listed things that happened during that year. It made me think about what happened on my birthday, other than me being born, so here are some things that occurred on March 21. 

Some birthdays and events from this day over the years;
- 1685 composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born
- 1958 actor Gary Oldman was born
- 1962 actor Matthew Broderick was born
- 1963 the prison island Alcatraz was closed
- 1970 (on my birthday) the first Earth Day proclamation was issued
- 2006 Twitter was founded

Also, I am now 17,168 days old now. 

Today's video is one of my favourite Home Free covers, of course. It is a cover of Maren Morris' song My Church. I not only love the melody - it is very catchy - but I love the sentiment of it. Some people mistake this song for a christian or religious song, but it is really a spiritual song and spirituality has nothing to do with religion, it is all about your heart. And this song speaks to my heart. My church is that place within where I get peace and ease, and I find that place when I listen to Home Free, walk along the beach, meditate, write, paint or do anything else that makes my heart sings. This song makes my heart sings. 

I hope you like it!


Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Sound of Silence

A couple of days ago Peter Hollens released his latest video featuring Home Free's bass singer Tim Foust. This song is the most requested song, of all times, by Peter Hollens' fans. The song is The Sound of Silence, a song I am sure you have heard on more than one occasion in your life.

The song was written by a young Paul Simon, of Simon & Garfunkel, and was part of their first album Wednesday Morning, 3 am released in October of 1964. The song - a soft duet accompanied by a guitar - was a failure, as was the album, and the duo split up. Less than a year later, after the song had started to grow some airplay, the song's producer decided to add some electronic instruments to it without running it by either Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel first and even released it before they had heard it. This new version hit The Billboard Top 100's No 1 spot just as 1966 arrived.

That version is the most popular and most famous still, but in late 2015 until Disturbed covered and released a video for it, a video that has more than 196 Million views on YouTube and it's widely shared on social media.

Now, enter Peter Hollens and Tim Foust.

This new version has everything that makes all the mentioned versions great, except for instruments. True to their roots this new and exciting rendition is all a cappella, Peter Hollens style. We have heard the combination of the two voices before, when they collaborated on Misty Mountain (read my blog post for that video here), and we love them together. This song shows us we have not been wrong.

So, what's so special about this cover?

- The words are important - and you can hear every single of them clearly here. The combination of the words and melody of this song makes it easy to hear anyway, but you hear it not only with your ears, but with your heart as well.
- The feeling - honestly, this songs melody is gripping and haunting on it's own, Peter and Tim adds to it with perfection, highlights in the right places and drops back when suitable all adding to the feeling that we need to see each other's hearts more.
- The harmonies - seriously, a cappella is all about harmonies and this is no exception. These two guys complement each other no matter if they sing tenor, baritone or bass - together, when harmonizing or separately. Yes, they both do a bit of both - although Tim's bass is unbeatable.
- The power build up - building up a song at the right time and in the right place is crucial for some songs and this is such a song. It's fair to say that it's easier to do using instruments - which is what happened when S&G re-released it in 1965, the song was overdubbed using instruments to help build up the power. Disturbed uses a combination of orchestra instruments and the singer David's strong and low voice to build it up - but it's a more required taste with that kind of metal. P&T use the song itself, and their voices, to emphasize the power.
- The intensity - how they look, how they sing, how the video is made - intense in just the right amount and way.
- The dark sides - both Peter and Tim brings out a dark side that I really like, Tim especially. We are so used to seeing these two guys as loving, caring and funny guys with big hearts, and it's nice to see the (obviously innocent) darkness shine through this way.
- The end - spot on in every single way - the looks, the lighter expressions, the colour leaving, the pose - mirroring the cover picture from Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends album.

In short - this song and video has a true potential to become one of the top 3 versions of this song - to me it is already No 1. Well done, Peter and Tim! Well done!

What are your thoughts? Which rendition is your all-time favourite? Comment below.

S&G original version 1964
S&G overdubbed version 1965
Disturbed version 2015


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Can't Stop the Feeling (For the Joys of My Life)

8 years ago today I did something that changed my life completely. March 1st 2009 was the day I took 3 bags with me and moved to Spain. (You can read the story behind it in this old blog post.)

My life today is simply amazing and I am so in love with it and everything in it and the best thing is that it keeps getting better and better by the day. Honestly! Sure, I have days that are not great, but most days are and those that aren't are still good days because I have so many things and people in my life that are amazing.

One of the most fun and amazing things I have done lately was to be able to make two people happy by giving away one regular Home Free ticket and selling a Home Free VIP ticket to a reduced price as Fry It Forwards (Read the story behind it here.). Those tickets now have new and happy homes and I can't wait for them to experience Home Free live. Congratulations to Rae Ellen and Sherry! It gives me so much joy to make other people happy.

Another thing a do to make people happy is my job. I am lucky enough to spend my days calling people to let them know that the company I work for cares. I absolutely love hearing the happiness in our customers' voices when they realize that's why I call them. Amazing!

On Monday I did something new and fun when I attended a choir practice for the first time since I was a teenager. I have been thinking about it on and off for a few years, but never done anything about it because - you know - I'm lazy and comfortable. But back in early January I decided that this was the year to find a fun choir to join. Of course it only took one day for someone to ask me, seemingly out of the blue, if I wanted to join one. I have been busy with other things since then, but on Monday I was finally able to go and I absolutely loved it and will try to go every week from now on! Of course it seems like the perfect choir for me where the joy and the heart is the most important thing and the choir leader believes that everybody has a good singing voice inside that is waiting to be discovered and let loose. I can't wait to hear it! Hehe

Today I went to see an apartment that I loved, loved, loved. I have wanted one of those apartments for years, but they don't get available very often. Well, this is my chance! It's got a big roof terrace and partial views to both the Sea and the mountains and it's in a perfect location and has a perfect layout. It is my right-now-dream-house (because I keep growing, evolving and expanding so eventually I will want something even better). Keep your fingers crossed that I will get it! Send me lots of love and positive vibes!

This blog is something else I love about my life. It fills my heart with joy to write and it fills my heart with joy, love and pride when someone reads and likes what I write. Thank you to all who do!

Today's video is one of my favourite Home Free covers lately. OK, I say that about all of them, I know, but seriously, they all are! Anyway, this is a cover of Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop The Feeling and it's a happy, fun, good feeling song. Perfect for how I feel about my life!

Oh, and one more thing! My life didn't get this amazing just by chance and by me waiting for it to become it - it is this fantastic because whenever something in my life isn't as good as I want it to be I change it to something closer to what I want than it was, one step at a time, and I make sure to enjoy every single step on the way. If something in your life isn't what you want change it - if you can't change it find a way to love it - and even if you do change it find a way to love, or at least like, it before it changes. That's the only way to do it, that's the most joyful way to live your life.
Now, go sing and dance and look at the good things in your life!