Album Review: Matthew Henry’s ‘To the Haunting Northern Winds’

ImageMy best friend told me a couple of weeks ago about one of her classmates who has an album. I clicked the link to this digital album immediately after she sent it to me over Facebook, and I was not too disappointed. Matthew Henry’s ‘To the Haunting Northern Winds’ is not the kind of album I’m used to listening to, but some of these tracks are actually quite good.

Right off the back I realized that 20 year old Matthew Henry sounds a lot like Andrew Belle. Any mention of Andrew Belle gets me excited, so those of you familiar with his music might like this album a lot. The genre of ‘To the Haunting Northern Winds’ is mostly folk, with a lot of guitar and banjo chords throughout. Even though some of the songs aren’t as interesting as others, I really love the lyrics for each one. I must say, Mr. Henry, that you write some of the most beautiful verses I have ever read.

Matthew Henry’s got the entire package: the slow, somber voice, the deep lyrics, and the plucking skills that put that banjo and guitar to some serious use!

“Old Hickory”, “Books”, “April and May”, “A Coastal Reminder”, “North Lot Blues” and “Of Grass and Soul” are very heavy on the banjo, making them sound very folk and country-like. The way he strums the banjo in these tracks are sure to get your feet tapping!

“Under the River” is an interesting track. It features the constant beat of a piano chord throughout the song, adding to the haunting lyrics. The drums come in as he sings,

There’s never a better day to remember
Than the minute you first fell in love
The tracks grew
The train was so lovely.

At this point there is a harmony between the one piano pulsing chord and a new melody that sounds like a “lovely” train is indeed approaching. The lyrics in this song are full of imagery, making it all the more haunting.

“Down the Barrel” is unlike most of the other tracks on this album. It’s very slow in the intro, and focuses more on the guitar, giving it a ballad quality.

My favorite two songs on this album are “Juniper” and “South Farm Road”. The lyrics in these two songs are just perfection. The best part of “Juniper” is where he sings,

“Can I have the courage to do what I want to do? Will the junipers remember who I am? Sat down by a river, it gave me everything I need. Can I dance with the white pines in the white light?
Winters a lonely saint.”

The melancholy banjo in this song compliment the lyrics so well.

From “South Road Farm” I really like the part that goes,

“Rusted eyes hold together the oak and caving boards. Turning time into nothing more than fear for the uninformed. Face the door, face the door, there’s a whole life beyond this sunken porch.”

The light piano in “South Road Farm” is so beautiful. I think this song should play during the end credits of an old Western film.

Actually, this whole album could score a Western!

Listen to the full album here: http://matthewhenry.bandcamp.com/

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Spring 2013 Playlist

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Spring is finally here! Time for some spring cleaning, and what better thing to do while cleaning? Blast some music! Here are 10 songs you can clean-up, or embellish, your playlist with, just in time for spring:

1. Hummingbird Heartbeat, Katy Perry: What’s spring without the birds? Katy Perry gives us the birds, the bees, and a little bit of romance in this track from her album Teenage Dream. It’ll make you feel rejuvenated, I assure you!

2. Climbing Walls, Strange Talk: This Australian band will get you in the swing of spring with this danceable tune. The music video is amazing as well. I urge you to check it out. The bright colors and energetic dancers are sure to get you in the mood for the good weather!

3. Birds, Emiliana Torrini: I heard this song for the first time in the commercial for Azzaro Chrome. Her voice is amazing! She’ll capture you with the first line “Let’s stay awake/ And listen to the dark”. Perfect for those spring nights when you can’t seem to fall asleep.

4. The Suburbs, Mr. Little Jeans: This song is originally by Arcade Fire, but Mr. Little Jean’s version of it is so much better for it’s spring-like, fluttering vibe. The lyrics are a bit dark, though, if you’re into that kind of thing.

5. Maldita Primavera, Yuridia: This Hispanic song is about falling in love in the spring, with a twist. It happens every spring, making it a “Damned Spring”, as the title would translate to in English.

6. Sweater Weather, The Neighbourhood: Sweater weather indeed! This song is a bit sensual, adding to the coziness of spring weather.

7. Big Jet Plane, Angus and Julia Stone: This song by Australian sibling duo Angus and Julia Stone will get you in the mood for some long car rides with the top down, wind in your hair and all.

8. Burn, Madi Diaz: I heard this song in the Pretty Little Liars episode “Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Inferno”. This heartfelt ballad is full of longing and passion. Madi’s voice is just perfect.

9. All Eyes on You, St. Lucia: This song hit my ear for the first time when I saw the Victoria’s Secret commercial it was featured in. The beat of this song is an amazing combination of sweet guitar chords and subtle drums.

10. Walking on a Dream, Empire of the Sun: Saving the best for last, this song is just amazing beyond words. If you have a convertible, please blast this song with the top down as you cruise down the road. It’ll change your life, I swear!

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I hope you have a Happy First Day of Spring! Enjoy the wonderful weather in the weeks to come!

Leniency for LiLo

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Honestly, I’ve had it with this girl.

Every time Lindsay Lohan gets into trouble with the law, she always escapes punishment by the skin of her teeth. It just isn’t fair. Listen to me rant about this here.

Clearly Lohan is on a downward spiral. According to Celebuzz, she has spent 86% of her life since her 18th birthday on probation. That’s more than half of her adult life, and she’s only 26! From DUI’s to car crashes, Lindsay Lohan has found herself caught up in various misdemeanors, each time managing to obtain a light court sentence.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Drinking and Driving Cases:

– In February 2005, a couple (Eddie Pamilton and Ilex Harris) filed a personal injury suit against Lohan for a car accident. She also crashed her car into a van later that year due to high levels of intoxication.

– In July 2007 Lohan was arrested for driving under the influence. She was charged with not one but seven misdemeanor counts from two DUI arrests. She faced a day in prison, rehab and three years of probation.

– Lohan was arrested in September 2012 for a suspected hit and run in while trying to park her Porsche Cayenne near the Dream Hotel. The man who claimed she hit his knee dropped the charges.

– In November 2012 Lohan slammed her Porsche into the back of an 18-wheeler while driving on the Pacific Coast Highway. She was charged for lying to the police about who was behind the wheel during the accident. Adding to this drama, her lawyer, Mark Heller, might lose his license for convincing Gavin Doyle to lie about being the driver during this incident.

Drugs:

– Lohan was also arrested for drug possession the day she was arrested for the DUI in July 2007.

Probation Violations:

– After violating her probation and missing a court hearing in July 2010, Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 90 days in rehab. However, she was released from rehab after 21 days.

– Her probation was revoked in September 2010 after failing a court-ordered drug test. She was issued a bench warrant for arrest.

– After failing to complete community service in 2011, Lohan was sentenced to 30 days in community jail.

Theft:

– Lohan was charged for stealing a necklace from a store in Venice, California back in February 2011. She was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Assault:

– In November 2012 she was arrested for assault at a Chelsea night-club.

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If the average Joe had committed just one of the above felonies, he’d probably be in jail, with no hope of getting out anytime soon.

But not Lindsay. If Lady Justice is so blind, then why does she keep seeing her as a celebrity who should be given lenient court sentences?

It’s hard to even feel sorry for this girl, because she doesn’t seem to care about the fact that she’s been breaking the law constantly for the past six years. For her recent car crash misdemeanor, she arrived at her court hearing on Monday 45 minutes late because she blew off her flight from New York to Los Angeles to party with her friends.

If I were the judge, I’d send her AND her little party friends into the slammer. Why? Because clearly she doesn’t care about going to court to sort everything out and her friends don’t seem to be a good influence on her either!

To top it off, Lilo decides to go clubbing just hours after her court sentence of 90 days in residential treatment. She escapes jail yet again,  so she goes to celebrate. Aren’t her celebrations the reason for half of her court sentences?

I don’t know if Lindsay will ever learn her lesson, but if the courts keep letting her off the hook with just a little relaxation time in the pool at whatever lavish rehab center, she will continue to find herself face to face with the judge. The court needs to stop being so lenient with Lilo. If the original decision was to send her to jail, then behind bars she should go. No pleas or bargains accepted.

Check out this hilarious article from Starcrush on Lindsay’s Trial in GIF format: http://starcrush.com/lindsay-lohan-trial-gifs/

Episode Review: “Glee” 4×16: “Feud”

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SPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen this episode yet, you might want to hold off on reading this.

Last night’s episode of Glee was pretty intense. Between holding grudges, male prostitution, and an unofficial marriage proposal, it was hard for me to sit still on the couch while watching it all unfold!

First off, let’s talk about Brody. Ever since the wedding episode, “I Do”, I knew Brody was not dealing drugs to make that money. Santana was definitely on to something when she found his stash of cash though, and I hope Rachel and Kurt think about things differently when they finally learn the truth. Check out my in depth commentary on this aspect of the episode here.

Will Schuester is not letting go of the grudge he is holding against Finn for kissing is fiance, Emma Pillsbury. This leaves Finn no choice but to leave McKinley High. Hopefully he does decide to go to college for a degree in Education.

During the fight scene of this episode (which was by far the craziest!) Finn shouts to Brody, “Stay away from my future wife!” Does this mean he plans to propose to Rachel, and moreover, marry her?!

I seriously cannot wait for next weeks episode!

As always, the song selection from this episode was great. I especially loved the “How to be a Heartbreaker” dance routine, originally sung by Marina and the Diamonds. My mom and I were concerned about the dancers falling down the stairs during that one though! The end song,”Closer”, originally by Tegan and Sara, was also great. The most unexpected was Sue Sylvester’s “Superbass” routine, originally by Nicki Minaj. In my opinion, her performance topped her “Vogue” routine in season one. That glow in the dark lipstick was icing on the cake!

I’ve Been Nominated for a Liebster Award!

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The very kind Eleanor Croy nominated me for a Liebster Award. She’s pretty cool. Check out her blog: http://randomdorkness.wordpress.com/

So apparently I have to answer these questions. I’m not sure how creative my answers are supposed to be but here we go!

1.  What is the answer to the great question of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

GOD. Really, though. Without Him I would be nothing.

2.  In your opinion, is the climbing hydrangea or the bougainvillea more evil?

The bougainvillea for sure. That thing has thorns! Imagine walking through a very narrow passageway and having to brush against those vines. Scrapes and cuts everywhere!

3.  Can you hula-hoop?

Yes, I can. Haven’t hula-hooped in a while, though.

4.  Even if you could hula-hoop, why the heck would you want to?

It’s great exercise and its a lot of fun!

5.  What’s the magic word?

Whisper.

6.  Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, or Spock?

Scissors. I like to cut things into cool shapes.

7.  What sort of punishment should a blogger be subjected to, who recycles his or her old ideas and just hopes against hope that no one will notice?

Hmm. This is a tough one. Spam, maybe?

8.  If I gave you a bucket of water balloons and let you loose, who would you splosh first, and why?

Mike D, only because I know he’d go along with it!

9.  What is the first thing that pops into your head when you cross your eyes, stick out your tongue, and hop up and down on one foot?

Embarrassment and insanity.

10.  What is your superpower?

Ability to perceive things about people, even people that I’ve only known for a couple of hours. One time I ran into an old friend on the bus and she introduced me to one of her classmates. I realized immediately that he wanted to be more than just her friend by watching them and listening to the things he said to her. Some of my friends actually hate that about me.

11.  Do you have a secret identity?

If by secret identity you mean nom de plume then yes. I have two of them actually. I’ve told a few people about one of them but it was a long time ago. I’m sure they’ve already forgotten it.

And now, for the passing on of this Liebster Award, here are my 11 nominations: (in no particular order)

Emi Feldman: http://emifeldman.wordpress.com/

Samantha: http://samlovesmakeup.wordpress.com/

Amber Qalagari Ugi: http://adayinthenews.wordpress.com/

John Patrick Byrne: http://extreamvalor.wordpress.com/

Dancinmoma: http://dancinmoma.wordpress.com/

Mai Harris: http://livingtheartfullife.wordpress.com/

Lola: http://accordingtolola.wordpress.com/

Amanda Lynn: http://thatmiserychick.wordpress.com/

Gabbi Goon: http://gabbigoon.com/

Poshpolish: http://poshpolish.wordpress.com/

Maaher Sayeed: http://paradoxicalwisdom.wordpress.com/

I’d love to see your answers to these questions! Thanks again Eleanor Croy!