My Favorite Bromances

Geez…I’m a slacker! Sorry for the lack of posts recently! So this is an idea I’ve been kicking around for quite a while and I thought I’d be a nice little departure from the music.

Yes, I am a strange person. I say this for a multitude of reasons, but this is particularly relevant right now because I am about to unveil my love for Bromances. I couldn’t really tell you why I am so, endlessly amused by bromances, but for some reason I am. Please tell me I’m not the only one. A bromance is basically a really, really close friendship between two guys. You could describe them kind of as plutonic soul mates, if you will.

Hollywood, in fictional movies/tv shows and in real life, has given us plenty of Bromances to say “Oh how cute!” about. Brad Pitt and George Clooney; Jason Segel and Paul Rudd in “I Love You, Man;”  Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law; Riggs and Murtaugh; even Hans Solo and Chewy! Those are all great examples, but here are my favorites:

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

My first bromantic love! I think these two are awesome. Not only are they Cambridge boys who still love to come back home, they have also been friends since they were kids. I remember reading not long ago, that their families even go on vacation together. CUTE. Also, they are both wicked talented. Major points on the bromance scale. Haha. 🙂

House and Wilson (House)

So, these guys may be fictional, but they are a perfect example of a bromance. I haven’t been keeping up with House like I used to, but my favorite scenes were always those between House and Wilson. They know each other better than anyone else and they aren’t afraid to call each other out when need be. A lot of times it seems like they don’t even like each other! It’s just tough love, friends. The last episode I saw this season featured Wilson climbing through a window (and getting stuck)  to check on House…and I really don’t think that was the first time it had happened.

Joshua Radin and Zach Braff

I am pretty sure that Joshua Radin and Zach Braff went to college together, and were maybe even roommates at one point (?). Zach put’s Joshua’s music in his TV shows and movies, and Joshua does cameos in those movies. It’s great. Also, they are really funny together. Please see the tweet below. Haha!

I love that they are Twitter friends now. We get to see awesome videos like this. They were just hanging out one night. Joshua pulled out his guitar, and Zach pulled out his camera. THIS is what resulted. Beautiful.

Joey and Chandler

Friends is one of those shows that I would catch on TV, but have never watched straight through. But, it doesn’t matter if you have watched one episode or all of them, it’s impossible to miss this bromance. Chandler is constantly taking care of Joey, and Joey declares that it is the “end of an era!” when Chandler decides to move out. Then when Monica and Chandler try to find a house together Chandler envisions a place with an apartment over the garage for Joey to live in. Heehee.

Colin Firth and Geoffery Rush

I base this claim wholly on the GIF below. I really need no further evidence to back it up. That is all.

Wayne & Garth (Wayne’s World)

How could I not add Wayne and Garth into the mix? The span from TV to movies, and they are hysterical! They can banter back and forth in their own 90s Dude language and it’s fantastic. I love them.

BONUS Three Way Bromances!

Ted, Marshall, and Barney (How I Met Your Mother)

I think this was a bromance that started just between Ted and Marshall bonding in the Fiero listening to ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ , but they, somewhat reluctantly, adopted Barney into their Bromance. The dude, got hit by a bus trying to reach Ted when he was supposedly hurt, I think he proved himself.

The Lone Gunmen (The X-Files)

My favorite trio of paranoid conspiracy theorist! These three guys stick together in life and death. ( 😦 ) Each is totally different: Byers always buttoned up in suit and tie, Langly with his scraggly blond hair, and Frohike…Frohike is just awesome, but they always have each others’ backs. I think they also shared a serious man crush on Mulder. Heehee.

So, if you didn’t think I was crazy before, I bet you do now, huh!? What do you think? Did I miss any key bromances?

Song of the Moment: Joshua Radin (Concert Edition)

Sorry this one took me so long to get up. It was a combination of a busy week and being overwhelmed by how much I wanted to say in this post! Anywho, here it goes:

This past Saturday I was lucky enough to see Joshua Radin for the second time at the House of Blues in Boston. It was AMAZING. I have been waiting to write this post since I first started this blog in the fall. I had been wanting to write a Joshua Radin Song of the Moment because he is after all, my favorite, but I knew I should hold back because I would be going to this concert. What does that mean? That means I have A LOT of thoughts wandering around in my head, but I don’t know how to even get it all out. So, I hope you can bear with me and I hope you enjoy it!

Before I dive right in though, a little shout out to Joshua’s opening acts Andrew Allen and Justin Nozuka. Nozuka seemed to have his own rabid pack of squealing teenage girls following him (this show was clearly not 18+. Haha), but it was Andrew Allen that really caught my attention. This newcomer (to the U.S. at least) had a great stage presence and some really fun tunes. Keep a look out for his single Loving You Tonight hitting radios later in the spring. He’s worth a listen!

Now, getting to business. Joshua Radin. I don’t think that any musician’s work speaks to me the way his does. When I listen to his music I feel it deep in my soul. It’s a combination of poignant, poetic lyrics, lovely guitar melodies and his gorgeous voice. This man owns my heart. Seriously.

Is it just me, or is there something very appealing about him having his guitar slung on his back with his hands on his pocket? *Sigh* He is so pretty.

 

Joshua first made a name for himself with what many called ‘whisper rock.’ His first album is made up of songs composed of him quietly serenading with the accompaniment of his acoustic guitar. I’m not an expert or anything, but from what I can gather Joshua didn’t even learn how to play the guitar until a number of years after he graduated from college. He wrote his first song, Winter, and passed it on to his good buddy Zach Braff to have a listen.

 

Oh, how I love me a good bromance.

Braff was so impressed that a mere 3 weeks later Winter was featured on his show Scrubs and the song’s popularity skyrocketed. If the rumors are true, the NBC site crashed because so many people were trying to find out what that song was after the show!

Joshua Radin has only been doing this as a career for about six years and he has come so far! As much as he has grown as a musician since he first started, I really love those early songs from his ‘whisper rock’ era. Luckily on Saturday he played a number quieter songs…just him and his guitar… *Sigh* He makes me melt. He first came out on stage in a simple gray T-Shirt and knit winter hat (pom-pom and all!) with his acoustic guitar.

He began with the wonderful acoustic No Envy No Fear. Remind you of Buck and Wanda, Bones fans? 😉

Following his next song Everything’ll Be Alright (which I was pleasantly surprised to hear), he brought out the band to kick it up a notch and play the title track off of his new album, The Rock and The Tide . (Again, Bones fans, I’m looking at you!) He continued to rock out, taking songs such as You Got What I Need and putting a whole new spin on it by the end of the song.  One of the things I adore about seeing Joshua Radin live is that he loves to tell stories about the songs he writes. It’s like he’s talking right to you, having a an honest conversation. He told a cute story about giving his nephew love advice and vice versa. He played and explained One of Those Days and before he could even finish telling the story of his next song I was bouncing up and down. I knew what was coming and I could barely contain my excitement.

He described waking up one morning and noticing that the pain from his last break up was starting to ease, he saw the sun shining through the window and knew he need to write a song. The result was the song that holds the honor of top played in my iTunes (by a landslide), a song that has tremendous sentimental meaning for me, Brand New Day. (The video below has a bonus of I’d Rather Be with You, which he also played. ) 🙂

Whenever I am feeling lost, hopeless, lonely or just having a terrible day I can just listen to this song and it makes things better. The lyrics, for me, are a great reminder: “It’s a brand new day, for the first time in such, a long long time, I know I’ll be ok.” I love the lyrics in so many of Joshua Radin’s songs, but these are lyrics that I repeat to myself on a daily basis.

Radin continued on to play a fantastic show with a great mix of songs off of all three of his full length albums. Each and every one of them was exceptional. I know I say this a lot, but it’s true of everyone I say it about: he puts so much emotion into his music when he sings. I love this thing he does where it sometimes sounds like by singing these lyrics he’s letting out a sigh of relief. You can tell he is so honest in what he is singing, truly just putting what he is feeling right out there for everyone to hear. Both times I’ve seen him he’s talked about wanting to find love, how he can’t find girls and needs to take advice from his 9-year-old nephew. Um, hey there, Josh, I’m available! *CharmSmile*

Before I knew it, Joshua was headed off stage, but only for a brief moment. I already knew what Radin was going to play for his encore because he is sort of known for doing so, but it didn’t make it any less exciting. He announced that he was going to play the first song he ever learned to play on his guitar. I may have squealed just a little bit. I have a serious soft spot for covers so I get really, really excited when I know one is coming (an entire post in and of itself). Anyway, I knew full well that the first song he learned to play was Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright by Bob Dylan. What makes this even better is that Joshua Radin sometimes has an aversion to being mic-ed up and plugged in. I love it. It’s like he doesn’t want any barriers to what he’s playing. He wants the experience to be as unadulterated as possible.

He stepped back from the mic and unplugged his guitar and started belting out Don’t Think Twice, acoustic in every sense of the word. For a musician who is known for practically whispering some of his songs, this man a seriously powerful voice. I was lucky enough to be almost as close to the stage as possible, so I was able to score the video below. It’s not perfect, the camera is a bit shaky and the woman in front of me decides to yell something out when he walks to the opposite side of the stage, but I really think you should check it out. He just blows me away.

“Long story short, (Too late)”, this Joshua Radin show was everything I could have hoped for in a concert I had been looking forward to for so many months. I only wish he had played longer. If I could, I would relive a Joshua Radin concert everyday of my life. Now I have to deal with the fact hat the concert I had been waiting months for is over. I already can’t wait for him to come back!

Sorry, I know I got a little long-winded there, but I just love him so much. Just in case you couldn’t tell by now. 😉 Thanks for sticking with me and I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

-T

Song of the Moment: Josh Ritter (Concert Edition)

And now for the main act! Josh Ritter’s Valentines Day Brawl was a very impressive two-hour set at the House of Blues in Boston on Friday night. As I mentioned in my last post, I had very few of his songs in my iTunes library, but I loved each of those songs and knew that if I passed this concert up, I would regret it. This was exceedingly clear when all of the Best of 2010 lists were coming out and I was seeing praises for his new album everywhere. In preparation for the show I was able to get a hold of two of his albums and they were both great. I highly recommend his latest record, So Runs the World Away.

After Scott Hutchison’s fantastic performance I was keyed up and ready for more! Before Josh Ritter and the band even came out on stage, you could tell that he was set for a Valentine’s themed show. The stage, instruments, and microphones were all adorned with fake red roses. Not in a tacky way…in a sweetly romantic kind of way.

Josh Ritter stepped on stage alone (looking quite dapper in a red collared shirt and gray vest) and played his first two songs solo. They were lovely, as was he. He is the kind of musician that you can tell is really happy to be there performing. He had a huge, bright smile on his face and just looked so happy to be there. After the first two acoustic songs, he invited the Royal City Band on stage to play some favorites off of the new album including The Curse to which he whimsically waltzed around the stage with his eyes closed.

Upon completion of The Curse, the band continued a play the delightful little melody, while a stage hand came out on stage with a top hat. Josh explained that his website gave people the opportunity to express to their loved ones what they couldn’t in person. He took those messages and read them out on stage.  There were some silly jokes, sweet declarations of love, and appreciation of long-lasting friendship, as well as a heartbreaking message to soldier in town for a short amount of time. The one that really caught everyone’s attention though, was the one Ritter purposely saved for last. It was a heartfelt message to a loved one with the titles of Josh Ritter songs woven in. The message ended with “Will you marry me?” A moment after Ritter said, “I hope to hear the answer to that,” a man shouted from the crowd, “She said yes!” It was very sweet. 🙂

After the valentines, the band kicked it up a notch and really started rocking out for a while. They jammed out to Rattling Locks in which most of the musicians in the band abandoned their regular instruments for two drumsticks to whack together, so everyone was essentially on percussion. I was pleasantly surprised by how well Josh Ritter paced the set. Not only did he play for an entire two hours, which, with the exception of Bruce Springsteen, I have seen very few musicians do, but he was also able to go from quiet, folksy numbers that featured him picking at his guitar to full-blown rock numbers that involved the whole band, such as Real Long Distance as seen below in a fun little ‘homemade’ video. (You may have to open a new tab and watch it in YouTube. Sorry about that.)

Towards the end of the set, Josh played what I have decided is my favorite of his songs, The Temptation of Adam. I love everything about this song. I love the guitar and the story woven into the lyrics. In general this is something I find very impressive about Josh Ritter’s music. He has a talent for telling intricate and interesting stories within his lyrics. For other prime examples, listen to To the Dogs or Whoever and his new, wry song Sir Galahad, both of which he played at this show. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I can tell you about what the Temptation of Adam is about exactly. I think there are many ways of interpreting it, but you can see the interesting the debate its sparked just from reading the comment on the videos YouTube page. Here’s a really great all acoustic version of The Temptation of Adam:

For his final performance he brought Scott Hutchison back out on stage to sing the Everly Brothers song, Stories We Could Tell. It was a fun way to end the show. You could really tell that each performer was having a great time, and it was awesome to see them share the stage (and the mic!) especially after I watched Scott rocking out to Ritter’s set back stage. 🙂

I think one of the most important things I took from this concert is that I definitely need more of Josh Ritter’s music! I thought I had the essentials, but he played a number of songs that were very obviously fan favorites that I’d never heard before. He’s a versatile and a talented performer, who you can tell loves what he’s doing. I am so glad I took the opportunity to see him live! Lesson learned: never pass up a concert because you don’t have a concert buddy!

Thanks for reading! My next post is going to be about one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE artists, Joshua Radin and his amazing show on Saturday night. Can’t wait!

-T

Actors I’m Proud Of

Maybe this is just me being weird, but does anyone else ever grow attached to celebrities early in their careers, and then as they get more and more famous, start to feel proud of them? I find myself doing this a lot. I root for them and tell people they have to see this person and they once they skyrocket into fame I get all territorial over them. Part of me is really happy that they’ve gotten more popular and that the rest of the world understands my love for them, but another part of me is like, “No! I loved them first!” I’m not an idiot- I know other people probably appreciated their acting long before I did, but I just can’t help it!

Most recently, this has happened with Andrew Garfield.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the new Spider-Man!

With all of the buzz about The Social Network, Oscar snubs, and Spider-Man, I keep finding myself wanting to claim him as my own. “I loved him first!” Haha! (Now might be a good time to mention that I am not as crazy as this blog and Twitter make me sound. I promise!) I first discovered Andrew Garfield in Doctor Who, one of my very favorite shows. The episode he was in wasn’t great, but I couldn’t get that cute face out of my head. I grew attached right then and there!

In Doctor Who

Part of the Doctor Who ensemble. David Tennant and Andrew Garfield standing next to each other? *Squeeee*

The Social Network

What other actors am I proud of, you ask?

Let’s continue the trend of Doctor Who alums with Carey Mulligan.

As Sally Sparrow in Doctor Who

Unlike Andrew Garfield’s Doctor Who debut, Carey Mulligan was the star of what is often recognized as one of the best episodes of the new series. The episode was soley focused on her character, and she carried it beautifully. She deserves all of the fame that has been coming to her, namely through the critically acclaimed, ‘An Education.’

In 'An Education'

Bonus! Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan were in 'Never Let Me Go' together. Can't wait to see it!

Next up, Ryan Gosling.

Little Ryan Gosling in 'Remember the Titans'

When ‘Remember the Titans’ came out when I was in middle school, and like any middle school girls, my friends and I all picked our favorites off of the football team. Right away, my favorite was the adorkable Alan played by the now swoon worthy Gosling. He has been making quite a name for him self with fan favorites like ‘The Notebook’ and other notable films such as ‘Half Nelson,’ ‘Fracture,’ ‘Lars And the Real Girl,’ and most recently, ‘Blue Valentine.’

Ryan Gosling in 2010

Ryan Gosling in 2010

We’ll finish up with a 2011 Oscar nominee, Mark Ruffalo.

'My Life Without Me'

I first saw Mark Ruffalo years ago in a film called ‘My Life Without Me.’ To be honest, I haven’t seen it since my first viewing, but I do remember being kind of blown away by it. It was one of those movies that just kind of stuck with me.  I obviously loved Mark Ruffalo in the movie, and was excited every time I saw him after that. I love him in everything from ’13 Going on Thirty’ and ‘Just Like Heaven’ to ‘Shutter Island.’ Even though I didn’t like the movie, he also did a fabulous acting job in ‘The Kids are Alright.’

'The Kids are Alright'

Well, that just about sums it up I think. It’s so great that all of these fantastic actors are getting the recognition they deserve!!! (But I loved them first!) Sorry, I had to sneak that in there one last time. 😉

Thanks for reading!!

-T

Movie Love: ‘Once’

Hi there! It’s taken me a little while to get back into the swing of things for the new year, but here I am. After looking back at my posts of 2010 I realized that this blog was beginning to morph into a music blog, not the all around music, movies, tv that I had originally planned for. That’s ok I guess, I’m going with the flow. However, I would like to balance it out a little bit, so for my first post of 2011 I thought I’d write about ‘Once’. A movie…about music. Baby steps, right? (It worked so well for Bill Murray in “What About Bob?”)

‘Once’ is a lovely, small-scale indie film about two musicians finding their way. They are both in kind of transitional phases in their lives, and both lonely. After one or two scenes, the movie really gets started with ‘Guy’ standing on his own in the middle of a dark Dublin street singing his heart out. The camera slowly zooms in as the song he’s singing becomes more and more intense. One scene in and the emotion of Guy singing ‘Say It to Me Now‘ is enough to almost move you to tears. When he finishes his song the camera zooms back out, only to discover that he has gained an audience of one, ‘Girl’.

This random meeting on the street proves to be the beginning of a beautiful journey between two kindred spirits. These two people are able to develop such a deep and meaningful relationship through their musical endeavors. Not only is the music simply breathtaking, it also acts almost as a third main character in the film, bringing the two main characters closer to one another. One of my favorite scenes of the movie is when the Guy and Girl get together and play ‘Falling Slowly’ in a music shop. The placement of this song in the story is a an absolutely perfect way to express their budding relationship. It expresses so much. (See a wonderful performance of this song below.)

Another aspect that makes this movie so great is that the lead characters were not played by actors, but by real life musicians with no prior acting experience. I can see how this could have been disastrous, but instead of going terribly wrong, it catapulted the movie to a whole new level. Glen Hansard is the front man of his band, The Frames and Marketa Irglova is a singer/songwriter. The whole movie was shot almost documentary style, which was started to keep Glen and Marketa comfortable in front of the camera, but grew into the predominant style for the movie. To make it feel even more real, Marketa and Glen were actually falling in love while filming. (Awwww!) Everything about this movie just feels so truly authentic, and that is one of the reasons it is so wonderful.

The music in this movie, and Glen Hansard’s music in general, is so full of emotion. I love listening to him sing because he has a way of letting you feel exactly what’s he’s feeling and it gets me every time. Some of the songs in ‘Once’ had already been written for The Frames, but both lead actors/musicians wrote new songs for the film. What resulted was one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard and a new musical collaboration between Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova called, The Swell Season.

The Swell Season (By the way, I LOVE his guitar! Look how loved it is!)

I love everything about this movie. The entire thing gives me goosebumps. If you want a movie that is heartfelt and real please give ‘Once’ a shot. Keep an eye out for ‘Once’ the Broadway play, too! I can’t wait for that! Also, be sure to look into music by The Frames and Swell Season, including the Oscar-winning soundtrack to ‘Once.’

One last thing: You can see an entire 35 minute Swell Season NPR Tiny Desk Concert here. It is totally worth checking out.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

-T

Song of the Moment: Christmas Song

Yeah, I celebrate Christmas and love the holiday season, but I am not an especially religious person. I’m still figuring out my ‘spiritual path’ if you will. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to go all deep and emotional on you. I just mention it because it’s the reason why I find it almost interesting that my favorite song of the season isn’t about Santa, elves, or snow. It’s straight up about the life of Jesus.

‘Christmas Song’ by Dave Matthews is my all time favorite holiday tune; I love it so much that I listen to it all year round. As Dave says in one of this song’s live recordings, “This is a nondenominational tune here. But it may seem otherwise, but take it as you will. It’s just a song I wrote about an amazing man who got screwed. Not an uncommon story.” I don’t get uncomfortable listening to this like I sometimes do, listening to songs with religious themes. It’s just an honest, down to earth, no nonsense kind of song and I appreciate that.

I really, really love it, and I think it’s a song that is pretty approachable to all types. There’s a simplicity about it I really admire. Many Christmas songs have A LOT going on in them. Jingle bells, children singing in the background, etc, etc. Not this one though. This song is a very simple guitar piece and Dave singing. That’s usually it. Depending on the recording, he may have some back up assistance from the band or Tim Reylonds, but it’s minimal.

Dave Matthews proves himself a master story teller with is simple, yet poignant lyrics. He tells the story of Jesus’s life in such a way that it doesn’t feel like he is preaching. I don’t feel like I’m in church, I just feel like Dave and I are having a conversation almost.  My favorite lines in the song are “Gamblers and robbers; drinkers and jokers- all soul searchers, like you and me. Like you and me… searching for love, love, love. Love, love, love. Love, love is all around.” I think it’s the message of love that makes this song my favorite. People are people. We all want the same thing. We all just want love.

Here’s Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds performing ‘Christmas Song’ in Las Vegas in December ’09.

If your interested in buying this song for yourself, my favorite version is on the ‘Live at Luther College’ album. 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Song of the Moment: A Harmonic Celebration of Wintery Songs (Concert Edition)

Number of times I have cried during concerts? Two. That is, if you count getting teary-eyed as crying. The first time it happened, I was watching Coldplay’s lead singer, Chris Martin, sing “The Scientist”–acoustic–out in the crowd. The second time was when Joshua Radin played “Brand New Day,” a song with a lot of sentimental meaning for me. There aren’t many times I actually get teary during a concert.

Well, that changed on Sunday night thanks to a folksy troupe of local ladies performing at Club Passim in Cambridge. Maybe it was that I have been really over tired the past couple of weeks, or maybe it was just the holiday spirit of it all. Whatever it was, their performance nearly moved me to tears at least twice.

I wasn’t even planning on blogging about this show going in. I was thinking that it wasn’t really a concert. More like some live music at a restaurant. Well, that taught me to go in judging. It was just a tiny resteraunt bustling with energy in anticipation of the performance, but it exceeded any and all expectations I had.

The show was entitled, “A Harmonic Celebration of Wintery Songs” featuring Jennifer Kimball, Margaret Glaspy, Aoife O’Donovan, Rose Polenzani, and Catie Curtis. I had never heard of any of these women before except for Catie Curtis, and that was only hours before. The show consisted of these lovely ladies putting their own spin on some holiday favorites with acoustic guitars and 5 part harmonies. They sang ‘Silent Night’ acapella, and before long the entire room joined in singing. It was simply beautiful. I also really moved their covers of ‘White Winter Hymnal’ by Fleet Foxes and ‘Winter Winds’ by Mumford & Sons.

I walked out of that resteraunt having a new favorite versions of nearly every Christmas song they played. After the show I told the friend I was with that my Christmas wish to have a cd of that exact concert. Well, guess what? It was being recorded! Thanks, Santa! Here’s hoping they release it out to the populous!

To give you a taste, here is one song they sang. Catie Curtis and Jennifer Kimball’s  rendition of “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” which was also featured on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

As always, thanks for reading!

Also, special thanks to Caitlin (@cheshirecat512) for going all grammar nerd for me. 🙂

-T

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