Monday, July 16, 2018

Summer Hype Music /// Music Monday #28

It's summer, which means it's time for fun, upbeat tunes that you can crank while cruising around town. Are you ready for this? You're about to get your socks knocked off! . . . And if you're wearing socks and sandals, then you deserve to have them knocked off. Because that's just bad fashion sense.


"Phoenix" from the album Rise
Composed by MDK


I'd have to say this is one of my favorite MDK songs, Maybe it's because it has a cool orchestral-ish intro that always brings to mind the image of a desert. Maybe it's the hardcore electric guitar and dubstep that follows. Heck, it could even be the build-up! (It's probably all of the above and more.)

A lot of the time, I don't care for electronic or dubstep music, because it can be annoying or repetitive or just really uncreative. MDK is an exception for me. When I listen to his music while I'm driving, I turn it up loud and roll the windows down. To do otherwise almost feels like a crime.

He's got a lot of cool, finger-tapping beats. I wouldn't necessarily recommend all of his songs, due to the fact that some of them have random harsh swear words, such as the f-bomb. You get rest assured that anything I share on my blog will be safe, and if there would for some reason ever be any swear word in any song I feature, I'd let you know. Also, if you want to listen to his music on your own, feel free to ask me about which ones are clean and which aren't.

Changing gears a bit, I need to fill you guys in on something. Whenever I sit down to write one of these, I always think to myself, "Oh, I should pick that song! But there's that one too. I can't forget about that one either." Truth be told, I could probably do a Music Monday post every week and wouldn't run out of ideas. Ever.

So I want you to answer this question: what kind of music do you want to hear more of? Do you want more movie soundtracks? More video game music? More lyrical songs? I'd like to mention that I've always considered the point of these posts to be exposing you to music you may not listen to normally, or know of at all. Feel free to give any suggestions in the comments.

What'd you think of the song? Did it fill you with summer hype? You feel like a phoenix now, ready to take on the world? If not, listen to the music on repeat until you do.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sophie Quire and Half Moon Investigations /// A Double Book Review

A little over a year ago, I reviewed the whimsical tale of Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. Since then, I haven't done another book review. But today is the day that I remedy the situation. I'll be showcasing not one, but two stories. I shall try to avoid spoilers, and any that I must give will have a disclaimer. Let's do this!

Also, I apologize for the lateness of this post. It just took longer than I thought it would, which is kind why I slightly rushed the second review. Sorry about that.


We shall start with the review for Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard!

Plot

Twelve-year-old Sophie Quire is at odds with the people in her town. Bustleburgh has decided they shall be rid of all nonsense--and that includes all fiction. They are rounding up all novels and creating the Pyre of Progress, which shall be lit in a short while. Sophie is having none of that. Her father is the owner of a bookstore, and as the bookmender of said store, she understands the magic of stories.

Her talents don't go unnoticed, and the blind thief, Peter Nimble, and his companion--the man-cat-horse known as Sir Tode--show up on her doorstep. They've brought a book with them that needs to be repaired, and it is anything but ordinary. The Book of Who is a thing of magic and nonsense, one that answers to your "who" questions by flipping to the correct entry.

Caught up in something bigger than herself, Sophie must join forces with Peter and Tode as they search for the other three books, which are What, Where, and When. Villainous folk lurk, and they would love to get their hands on the power contained within the books' pages. To save the world, Sophie will have to become . . .

The last Storyguard.

Pros

Oh, where do I start? I think the beginning is a very good place, because with the first paragraph, I was reminded just how much I loved Jonathan Auxier's writing style. Allow me to share it with you:

It has often been said that one should never judge a book by its cover. As any serious reader can tell you, this is terrible advice. Serious readers know the singular pleasure of handling a well-made book--the heft and texture of the case, the rasp of the spine as you lift the cover, the sweet, dusty aroma of yellowed pages as they pass between your fingers. A book is more than a vessel for ideas: It is a living thing in need of love, warmth, and protection.

In fact, I firmly believe that Auxier's voice is one of the reasons both Peter Nimble and Sophie Quire were so enjoyable. Take away his whimsical way of writing, and you take away one of the stories' key ingredients. A writing style is like the wheels of a car: if they're flat, no matter how good that car looks, it isn't going anywhere. I think he definitely nailed his own unique approach to a novel.

Something he's also succeeded at is his worldbuilding. While the setting of Peter Nimble was the mixture of clockwork machinery and fairy tale castles, this one has a very different flair to it. I wouldn't know how to describe it, but I very much enjoyed the backdrop he created. It fit the overall story quite nicely. One might say it resembled that of a classic fantasy adventure, but not in a bad way.

I'd like to point out--and appreciate--the fact that some of my cons from the previous book are now pros. A big issue for me was that some characters had felt a little flat and could've used some rounding out. If they had been given more oomph, the story would've come alive that much more. This time around, that was a non-issue. The main characters were teeming with more life than they had in the first book, and no side character was uninteresting. Considering that Auxier has only written one novel between the two Peter Nimble books, he's come a long way.

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I also mentioned that there were times when Peter suddenly felt something, liked tiredness or hunger, with no build-up to be found. Not a trace of that problem remained in Sophie Quire. It seems Auxier has learned from his mistakes, a much-needed quality in a writer.

I loved the plot. Just as the first book turned the orphan saga trope on its head, this title did the same for the chosen one trope. I was never once bored by the story, nor felt that any part of it was shoddy. I couldn't put it down for long; it got me hooked and didn't lose me at any point in the story. But what I really want to touch on is the theme of the story, which is both strangely profound and vastly different from anything I'd ever read. So, just in case . . . POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT!

Auxier's message is that books are magic. When we lose that magic--that "nonsense"--our world becomes bleaker. There's one scene where Sophie peers into another world, where children are doing school. They'd lost their stories of wonderment and imagination, and now they're dreary from all the boring information they have to read.

That's what Auxier hits so perfectly. He inspires you to go read other books and renew that sense of awe. For a writer like myself, by the end of the story, I felt a strong desire to go out and contribute to that magic as well. I can't recall the last novel I've read that has ever had this effect on me.

He also disabuses the notion of escapism, which I've never appreciated or cared for. He demonstrates this perfectly in one conversation:

"I don't understand," Peter said. "How can burning a bunch of books hurt things in the real world?"
"The real world," Professor Cake repeated with a tone of notable contempt. "The very notion is absurd. Worlds and everything in them are made real by the stories that inhabit them."

I totally agree. Books can give us hope for brighter days, help us to see something from a different perspective, or just find some simple enjoyment. It's interesting to note that Auxier also proves this in the story's finale (ACTUAL SPOILER ALERT!): when a monster is unleashed to destroy all nonsense, the first thing it does is to gobble up the villain who brought it forth, then head right for Bustleburgh, as if they're the ones who are full of nonsense. ALL SPOILER ALERTS OVER!

I could go on and on about this story, but I still have to do the cons and another novel, so I better get in gear.

Cons

As is often the case with middle grade stories, twelve-year-olds do far more than they technically would. Both Peter and Sophie are this age, and they put their lives on the line a lot. However, because I enjoyed this book so much, it's something I can easily overlook.

Now, I have to ask, how much have middle grade books evolved since I was last part of the target audience? There are things I wouldn't have imagined back in the day. For starters, there's one use of "d--n," though said character is reprimanded. (I can't recall if there were a couple uses of "bloody" or not.)

Violence-wise, it happened less often than it did in Peter Nimble, though it was still the same level. Again, I don't remember all the instances of violence, but here are a few that stuck out to me: a character is gobbled up by a monster and suffers a most painful death; someone is shot in the throat; someone's hand gets chopped (off-screen); a man is eaten by wild animals; stuff like that.

But the biggest concern of this story is more of a . . . sensual matter. A woman gives Sophie a dress that bares her neck and shoulders (because her original clothes were torn in a "disadvantageous" way), but Sophie isn't comfortable with that. The woman tells her:

"A walled garden must have a lattice gate. Before a woman can be desired, she must reveal a bit of what makes her desirable."

Said female character later does things like slit her dress up to her thigh to garner pity and . . . male attention, I suppose. Now, if this was a YA novel, I would say it's a very clean one; I wouldn't really bothered by it. But because it's in the juvenile section of my library, then I feel weird about it being in here.

Conclusion

If someone were to ask me what my favorite book of the year was, it'd be a toss-up between Moonblood and this one. Sophie Quire was an immensely enjoyable read. Aside from my opinion that it should be labelled a YA story, I enjoyed everything this book had to offer.

Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard is one of those rare books that refuses to be pushed back by those who claim we read only to escape reality. Auxier believes stories are magical things that need to be loved and cared for, and he weaves a gripping tale that makes you want to go out and just read as many novels as possible. Too often, we abandon childlike wonder and hope when we age, but this story is a call for us to come back to that.

To conclude, Auxier included a quote at the beginning by Scottish author Kenneth Grahame, who said, "The most priceless possession of the human race is the wonder of the world. Yet, latterly, the utmost endeavours of mankind have been directed towards the dissipation of that wonder . . . Nobody, any longer, may hope to entertain an angel unawares, or to meet Sir Lancelot in shining armour on a moonlit road. But what is the use of living in a world devoid of wonderment?" Auxier absolutely nails this message, tucked away in a delightful, imaginative read.

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I give it five out of five stars!

Now, here's the review for Half Moon Investigations!

Plot

Twelve-year-old Fletcher Moon is a detective who's seen it all. That's what he thought, anyway, until he gets a new case that is unlike anything he's dealt with in the past.

It all started with him proving that Herod Sharkey stole an organizer at school, and when Fletcher reveals that Herod is indeed the culprit, Red Sharkey doesn't like it. Fletcher's prized badge disappears, and he knows that the Sharkeys--the town's biggest criminal family--are behind it.

But in trying to get it back, he becomes involved in a new case . . . one in which he is framed for the crime. He has to clear his name, but time is running out fast.

And the criminal is still out there, waiting for another opportunity to strike.

Pros

As I mentioned in my last Monthly HapPENings post, I love me a funny detective story. My love for this sub-genre started when I read Sherlock Johny's Case Files on the MBs. Here, I even got the author's permission to share an excerpt. I wanted to include the whole scene, but it'd probably end up being longer than the actual review.


As soon as we entered the first floor, we were met with AP's voice.  "What will the Moderators do next? NOTHING! As usual. I'm AwesomePythor for MBN. We'll be back! Right after these commercial messages." The TV above MKM's desk cut to commercials.

"AP's so annoying," Darthy said. "And weird. He's like, addicted to chocolate milk."

"Addicted?" I asked.

"Yeah," Darthy said.  He lowered his voice.  "I heard he can't go without a bottle of chocolate milk a day."

"That's crazy talk," I said, turning for the door.

"No it's not, look," Darthy said, grabbing my shoulder and pointing at the TV.  A giant glass bottle full of brown liquid had just appeared.

"What's that?" I asked.  5 seconds later, I wished I hadn't.  Out of the screen belted the most obnoxious voice I've ever heard.

"Coco Sippies taste so good!

You should drink them, yes you should!"

On the screen a user suddenly grabbed the bottle and started chugging it.  It took me a moment to realize the user was AwesomePythor.

"When you're grumpy, when you're sad!

Coco Sippies make you glad!"

That story is where my love for comical mystery began, and if you enjoy that too, this is the perfect story for you. I really appreciate Eoin Colfer's sense of humor, and he succeeded at it in this story. But it's not all fun and games. The plot has some very interesting twists and turns, and even had a reveal in the end that I didn't see coming (but is apparently a trope used in old detective shows).

No one can ever say that Colfer creates boring characters. Well, The Supernaturalist might be an exception, but for the most part, they are all unique, and very much so. While there isn't necessarily a lot of emotional connection to the characters, by no means does that entail a disinterest in them. I very much wanted to find how whodunnit (see what I did there?). What's very clever is how Colfer made things seem really grand and conspiratorial, when in reality the whole thing was on a lower scale than Fletcher might be willing to admit.

I think those are probably the biggest pros of the whole thing: the spot-on humor, the intriguing plot, and the characters who tie them both together.

Cons

Very few. There's the occasional use of "oh my God." Fletcher finds himself in perilous situations, but there really isn't any strong violence (the one thing that really sticks out to me is Fletcher being struck forcefully by a bat). He also has to escape the police and break into one place, but that kinda comes part and parcel with the genre. Someone uses his computer to illegally download music. It's just little stuff that I mention just so people are aware, not because I'm actually offended by it.

Conclusion

After reading The Supernaturalist, I was hesitant to read another one of Colfer's stand-alone books. Half Moon Investigations seemed the most promising, but would it hold up to the awesomeness that is the Artemis Fowl series?

In short: yes. It was very different from that series, but it was very good. Would I say it was as good as Sophie Quire? No, because that book left me inspired and gave me food for thought. This was just a fun, fast-passed read, and it's most certainly worth your time. (I don't want to give the impression that I don't like the story. I just have less to say about it, and I want to get this post up.) I really hope it gets a sequel, seeing as it even got a small TV show.

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I also hope that other authors pick up on the whole comedy mystery idea. We could use some more of those types of tales.

I give it four out of five stars!

So what're your thoughts on my double review? Would you read either one of these books? Which looks more appealing, and why? Should I do more book reviews in the future?

Friday, July 06, 2018

Monthly HapPENings: June

Guess what, everybody? We're halfway through the year! I'd dance with happiness, except I'm not happy that 2018 is half over. It felt like it just started! (I know, I say that all the time, but it doesn't make it any less true.) I've discovered that the older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. Kinda weird how it works, right?


June was a busy, busy month for me. For starters, Chloe graduated high school, and I had the privilege of being her emcee. While I personally felt that I was a little rough in my public speaking skills, I was only complimented by others for a job well-done. So perhaps I was my own worst critic. Preparing my notes and just the thought of the grad made me feel busier than it should've.

I also filmed my blogoversary vlog, answering all 71 questions that were submitted, which took a couple hours to shoot. When I tried uploading the videos onto my computer, I was worried for a while, because I encountered some issues. Thankfully, I was able to work my way around the finicky relationship between my phone and my laptop. Then I had to edit and upload those suckers before writing posts for all of them (believe it or not, penning those ten posts took around two hours). That ate up two weeks of June.

Finally, in the last week, my family took a vacation together. You probably didn't even notice that I was gone, considering how I had posts scheduled for every day. It was a much-needed breather, and I really enjoyed it. It differed from our previous vacations in the fact that we did a minimum amount of shopping, and also only a little swimming at the beach. It was more of a relaxing time to watch movies, read books, play games (electronic and Phase 10, to be precise) . . . stuff like that. We just hung out.

One of my highlights in every vacation is when we have a campfire on one evening and say something we appreciate about each family member. We've never had a time where no tears were shed, and it's moments like those where you really grasp the value of a strong family. This tradition is definitely one I'm going to pass on to my own family in the future.

Bookish HapPENings

Wonder of wonders, I actually read four books this month! All of which were on my holiday, because I didn't have (or make) much time for reading before that, since the vlog was my priority. Even better was the fact that the three of the four were really good! So which stories did I read?

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I'd picked this book up at a local book fair a while back, because it seemed interesting enough. But it was only a decent story. The plot is that the main character, eleven-year-old Alex has a life-threatening sickness (one that doctors conveniently can't figure out so that it can do whatever the author needs it to). In fact, he dies from it. But his mother, an Egyptologist, uses the Lost Spells from the Book of the Dead to bring her son back from the afterlife--and in doing so, she unleashes five Death Walkers and mysteriously vanishes, along with the spells. Now Alex and his best friend, Ren, need to find her and stop the Walkers at all costs.

I'll probably continue the series to see how it ends, but there's no other reason for me to finish. No emotional connection, witty dialogue, or captivating voice. Just a storyline that's barely interesting enough to keep me hooked. I'm also one of those readers who, once they've started a series that's only okay, needs to finish just for closure's sake.

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I'm gonna wait to give my full thoughts on this book until next week, when I properly review it. Suffice it to say that if someone were to ask me what the best book I've read this year was, I'd say it's a toss-up between Moonblood and this one. I loved it to bits, and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you guys!

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I'm getting close to finishing this series, and it's been an interesting one. I enjoyed the new stakes and challenges the book added to the overall plot; it also finished very differently from any of the other installments. I'll definitely be picking up the final book very soon.

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This another novel where I want to share my full thoughts in a review. Suffice it to say I wholeheartedly enjoyed this book. I've got a hankering for more comical detective stories, and this one fit the bill. I adored it from the first sentence. It's one of my favorite Eoin Colfer books to date.

HapPENings on the Screen



My sisters and I have been progressing through S4 of Once at a very slow pace, but it's pretty good so far. I am, however, finding the villainess extremely annoying, as much as the one in the last half of S3. One big reason for that is because the costume designers thought her dress should be very low-cut. So that's both frustrating and disappointing . . . but the show has never been the epitome of modesty.


I'm also taking a while to rewatch S1 with Chloe and Kaitlyn, but it's been fun to see how far the show has come since then. We're definitely getting close to the midway point of the season, where things are really kicked up a notch. If you somehow haven't watched this show yet, I won't spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that your mind will probably be blown.


Even though I now notice the occasional flaw or plot hole, I still absolutely love this show. To think that it's on the ninth season is kind of mind-blowing, especially when they were originally going to stop at two seasons. The episode I watched last month had some really funny moments, one of which I have to include in my next quotes post.

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This movie was just as "ugh"-inducing as the last two. While I do think it's the best of the trilogy, by no means does that mean it was a great film. Everything was so laughable; mocking these movies is not hard. (One of the worst scenes was when two police were going after Sandman, who had hidden a truck. It was one continuous shot with a shaky cameraman. It went on so long my head started hurting just by looking at the screen.) I'll never figure out why some people think Tobey Maguire is the best Spider-Man. His lack of facial expression, or any emotion at all . . . Kirsten Dunst was also one of the whiniest, unlikable girlfriend characters I've ever seen. The fact that she hated on both Garfield's and Holland's movies makes me like her even less. Just don't bother watching this trilogy, unless you want something you and your friends or siblings can mock.

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So, uh . . . I watched this movie. And it was a . . . hyped one. A hyped musical, to be precise. *clears throat*

Okay, I won't beat around the bush: I didn't like The Greatest Showman. I didn't dislike it, either. It was simply "meh" to me. One of those movies where you watch it once and you're perfectly content with never seeing it again. First off, I'm not a big musical fan to begin with. I've seen a number of them, but most don't ring with me. Some exceptions are Disney's most recent princess ventures (Tangled, Frozen, and Moana). The reason I love them so much more is because they don't focus on the singing aspect; that's just a side dish. They've got interesting plots and well-developed characters. Heck, Moana has a scene that pays homage to Fury Road! You can't really go wrong with that.

And even if The Greatest Showman has the same amount of time between songs as the abovementioned princess films, it feels shorter. Like, they're singing every five minutes (not literally, but you get my drift). As for the songs themselves, they're decent enough. But you won't find me looking them up to listen to on my own accord.

I even predicted some of the plot at the very beginning. SPOILER ALERT! I thought to myself, "I bet Barnum and his wife are gonna have marital problems, but everything will be fixed with a song." And what do you know, that's what happened. I get that different genres have their tropes, but I just can't get behind those in the musical genre.

One thing I did appreciate was the theme. It starts off as a whole "follow your dreams" thing, but then it twists and says that sometimes you have to give up on those dreams because family is more important. I thought that was a good message to give, but other than that, the movie didn't have much appeal for me. Oh yeah, and I never picked up on the regular soundtrack, so it's struck me as (potentially) bland. I feel like composers for a musical are overshadowed by the songs, generally speaking.


This is my fifth or sixth rewatch of Cap's debut, and I still love it. Do I think Marvel movies have improved since then? Of course; if they weren't improving, they'd be stagnant. And no one likes a stagnant franchise. But I was picking up on things that are either referenced or built upon in the future, and it was just cool to see Steve's origin again.

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Another rewatch for me, and it was still very emotional for me. One of those films where it feels disrespectful to get up before the credits are over. If you haven't seen this yet, you need to. It's hard to watch because of its brutal honesty, but it's a good reminder for all of us. Don't forget to have several tissues on hand.

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I came into it with no expectations, and thus, I wasn't disappointed. I don't have any desire to read the Harry Potter novels, but I decided to watch the movie series. The first one was . . . all right. My biggest complaint was the lack of an overarching plot. It did hint at stuff, but not much actually happened until the end. I might be hypocritical for complaining, though, because I absolutely adore Knightley Academy and The Secret Prince. Those books, however often they may be compared to Harry Potter, were much more enjoyable and charming for me. My favorite things about the movie were the humor, Hagrid, and Snape (whose voice I can imitate very accurately).

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I've got say, Coco is now one of my top favorite Pixar movies of all time. Not only does it have an intriguing plot, dynamic characters, an unique score, and surprising twists, but I also was just appreciating the high quality animation. Seriously, pay attention to the details, like the peach fuzz on Miguel's face or the close-up intricacy of Hector's hands, and you'll be wowed. While this movie had some songs, there weren't enough to classify it as a musical (but I liked them more than The Greatest Showman's).

I also wasn't expecting it, but this movie got emotional. I suppose I should've seen it coming, because Pixar's really good at that stuff. But I had tears running down my face at one point; the movie's theme just struck a chord with me (pun intended). SPOILER ALERT! The theme is very similar to TGS's, but I just loved how it was portrayed in Coco more.

Watch this movie. You won't regret it.

Gaming HapPENings


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I did it. I finally beat Ganondorf and saved Hyrule from eternal darkness. Now I'd rather not visit the bland world of Twilight Princess for a long, long time. I just . . . I can't even with this game. You wouldn't believe how eager I was to finish. And while the final confrontation with the Demon Lord was one of my favorite parts of the game (it doesn't take much), the tension was undercut by me using the fishing rod to distract him. It was like he'd never seen one before!

Ganondorf: "I'm big and scary, and I'm gonna kill you!"

Link: *silently whips out fishing rod and whips it past Ganondorf's head*

Ganondorf: "Ooh, would ya look at that? It's so shiny." *gets distracted and is instantly attacked by Link* "Ouchie! Foul play!"

*repeat sequence*

I won't rant more, since this post is becoming monstrous as it is. You'll just have to wait to hear my thoughts until my "Skyward Sword Versus Twilight Princess HD" post.


I've mentioned before how this game turns fantasy tropes on their head, and it continues to do so. When the princess (who, in my game, was Toon Zelda) gets captured, you expect that saving her is the end goal. Nope! You save her at the end of the first world. In fact, I'm in the fourth world right now, and I suspect I'll be having a showdown with the Dark Lord (who's Gaster from Undertale for my playthrough) to prevent him from stealing any more faces. But I also have a feeling that the game is gonna surprise me again. (Unfortunately, I might know a twist, which would've genuinely caught me off-guard. Now I'm just waiting for it to happen.)

Writerly HapPENings

I was completely occupied with working on my vlog last month, so I didn't make any progress in The Tournament of Convicts. July shall be a different story!

And I'm done! I apologize for the late and absolutely massive post. What did you guys do in June? Have you read, watched, or played any of the titles that I did? Got any goals for July?

Monday, July 02, 2018

Another Favorite Soundtrack /// Music Monday #27

Is it really that time again? It feels like I just did one of these, and yet it somehow also seems like a long time ago. Kinda weird how that works.


So I've mentioned that I have three favorite soundtracks. I have shared an Undertale song, and two tracks from Ori and the Blind Forest. But I still haven't posted anything from the Mad Max: Fury Road soundtrack. Today, that changes.

"Brothers In Arms (Extended Version)" from Mad Max: Fury Road
Composed by Junkie XL


This is one of my favorite tracks from the soundtrack. (A little aside: I got the deluxe version on iTunes when it was on sale for $7.99. That means I got over 2 hours of mind-blowing awesomeness for just 8 bucks. It's worth so much more than that.) Maybe I really enjoy it because of the two separate tones in it. You first have the growling destruction, the gritty mayhem . . . and then those heroic strings rise out of the dust. It's just perfection.

I have yet to see the movie, but I think this scene in particular might end up being one of my favorites simply because of this song in the background. It's somehow both epic and almost . . . awe-inspiring? It's just good music. So good, in fact, that Hans Zimmer--the legend himself--said that the score was "absolutely phenomenal and mind-blowingly brilliant." I don't take that kind of comment lightly, and I think it was part of the reason that I actually listened to the soundtrack in the first place.

If you haven't heard this score yet, go right now and listen to the whole deluxe soundtrack. You won't regret it. While you may think that it's all action drums and intense pieces, it's not. There are a number of emotional tracks that almost have a classical tone to them, especially in the latter half of the album.

Before I conclude the post, I will mention this: when I write stories, oftentimes music I listen to inspires the scenes before I've even written them. The songs I pick shape the story, and those songs end up on a playlist. "Brothers In Arms" is going to be the conclusion to the final battle in my revamped Portal Chronicles trilogy.

You've probably thought of my cringy old story as an automatic response, but the new version is going to be far better, as well as quite different. This final battle is going to span across two worlds, with the heroes and villains bouncing between them. The stakes will be high, the threat large . . . it'll be a (hopefully) very unique showdown.

All that aside, what'd you think of the song? Have you watched the movie or listened to the soundtrack before? Do you make playlists for your stories? Does the music I showcased today inspire you to write something?

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Blogoversary Vlog, Part 10

And here we are, folks. It's been a crazy ride, but we've finally reached the end. I just want to thank all of you for not only watching my goofy little vlog, but also for sticking around for a whole year. Really, it means so much to me. I can only hope that I make it up to you somehow, someway.

With all that said, I shall utter these words one last time: I recommend wearing headphones, and here are the links to all the songs I used in this video:






I know I keep saying it, but thanks again for submitting questions, watching, and just sticking by my side. This next year's gonna be even better!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Blogoversary Vlog, Part 9

It's the second-last part! And what does that mean? Like, what does it mean emotionally? Physically? Mentally? Spiritually? I'll leave that one for you to figure out. Hey, you know what you should do? You should wear headphones so you can hear everything better! I'm also leaving the links to the songs I used in the video. But first: DO NOT SCROLL DOWN PAST THE VIDEO. I'm serious. Watch the video first. If you don't listen to me, you'll ruin one of my best jokes. I can't say why. Just trust me in this. Click play on the video, then finish reading the post. You got all that? Good.




I hope the vlog isn't getting boring at this point. Did any particular answer stick out to you in this video? I hope everything has turned out all right so far.











Also, in case you didn't know . . .



. . . the last song was:




That's right. I just rickrolled you.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Blogoversary Vlog, Part 8

We're in the stretch! "Aren't you excited?" "Aren't you happy?" "You're going to be free." (Mad respect from me if you got the reference.) But let's not stand around on ceremony. Headphones and music used! And before you ask, yes, there is a song at the beginning, like always. It's just very subtle. You may have to strain a little in order to hear it.







Are you looking forward to finally not getting more notifications about these posts? I'll bet you are  . . . not! You know you love me. Admit it. (Or don't . . . that's okay, too.)