Giddy for Glasto

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With Glastonbury so closethat I can almost feel my ears start ringing, I have not turned my lovely little iPod off in months. No, but really, the damn thing has been glued to my hands so that I can absorb as much new music before the festival as humanly possible. And with so many new bands currently occupying the space in my heart, I felt it  necessary to share what I have discovered:

Fleet Foxes – I cannot believe that it took Glastonbury for me to start listening to Fleet Foxes, but I am so very glad that I have because I have fallen in love. I’m usually on the lukewarm side when it comes to folksy music, but there is something about Fleet Foxes that stole my heart. Whether its lead singer Robin Pecknold’s vocals or their brilliant use of vocal harmonies, I’ve not been able to get their songs out of my head. Listen to one of my favorite’s below, but also check out ‘Batterie Kinzie’, ‘Lorelai’ and ‘Montezuma’. 

Cults – My good friend, Melissa, first introduced me this band last year after she heard them play in Austin, Texas. The song? ‘Go Outside’ – please check it out below. When I saw their name on the Glasto lineup, I had my confirmation that there must be more songs by them out there, and sure enough, their debut album was just released last Tuesday. It’s absolutely terrific and I cannot wait to both hear and learn more about this up and coming indie band. 

Elbow – Elbow is one of the bands that has been huge in the UK for decades, but that I had never heard of until I moved here. While they have a bit of an older sound to their music, their lyrics are pretty damn amazing and they have a sound that I am definitely warming up to with every listen. Plus, they make fantastic use of choirs (yay!) in their songs, as displayed below: 

The Wombats – Definitely a more pop-esque group and remind me slightly of a British version of Fall Out Boy. However, the catchiness of their songs is undeniable and I was instantly hooked. 

The Vaccines – I first heard The Vaccines’ ‘If You Wanna’ while watching an episode of Gossip Girl. No joke. I downloaded the song immediately and on repeat it went. A few days later I was skimming the line up for Glastonbury and became giddy with excitement when I noticed that they would be playing. An indie rock band hailing from right here in London, The Vaccines have a sound that sounds like something straight out of the 60’s…but in a good way. I’ve been listening to their debut album, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? non-stop. Check out the song I mentioned below, but also give ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’, ‘Post Break-Up Sex’ and ‘Under Your Thumb’ a shot.

Other bands that I have been listening to? Two Door Cinema Club, The Gaslight Anthem, The Low Anthem, Warpaint and Friendly Fires. Fingers crossed the schedules don’t clash I will get to see each of these bands at Glasto. Two weeks to go!

You Duet and I’ll Do It Too

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There was about a three year period where my friends legit wanted to kill me. Seriously. All because of a ringtone. You see, every time I got a text, ‘HEY OH MA MA MA’ would blast so loudly from the tiny speaker on my Blackberry that it would cause anyone within a ten foot radius to jump up in alarm. The song in question was Sugarland and Little Big Town’s absolutely amazing cover of  ‘Life in a Northern Town.’ If you haven’t heard it, watch below because it truly is the best cover of the song that I’ve ever heard.

So after three years of listening to this song on an hourly basis and thinking that the two country bands could never top this, I’ve been proven wrong. What song is the lucky victim? Mumford and Sons, ‘Sigh No More,’ a gorgeous song with absolutely amazing lyrics and an even better melody. I’d heard of Mumford and Sons prior to moving to London, but have been listening to them nonstop ever since I got here. So you can imagine my excitement when I found out Sugarland and Little Big Town were covering them.

I can’t even begin to describe how obsessed I am with the idea of two mega-country bands tackling an alternative slow song and completely blowing it out of the water. So what are your thoughts? Are you as impressed as I am? And how is it that Sugarland and Little Big Town pick the BEST songs to cover? Are you behind this, Jennifer Nettles?!  

Justin and Jimmy break it down

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Ladies and gentlemen, they’ve done it again. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake, a comedic duo to rival the ages, have struck us with a rap mashup that actually needs no introduction. Just watch. And enjoy. Because who doesn’t love when comedy’s kid brother and pop music’s hot next door neighbor get together and make sweet, beautiful music?

And we’re back!

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Ok. Brief update. I know I have been MIA for the past few months, but backpacking through Europe, followed by working at sleep-away camp, followed by a great, big giant move to London has kept me more busy that I have ever been before. But now I’m back (albeit on the other side of the pond) and ready to kick things into high gear as Big Grapes, Small Raisins comes out of hibernation and enters the fast-paced, exciting entertainment world of London, England!

So, the first point of business are tonight’s Emmy awards. For those faithful readers that have been with me from the beginning, you are no stranger to my complete obsession with awards shows- they make me feel like Christmas morning and warm cookies and milk and babies and rainbows and…Ok. I’ll stop. Sorry. <Insert deep breath here>

I’ve spent the past few weeks in an utter panic, trying to figure out if they would be televised over here and today, praise the entertainment gods that be, I discovered that they will be telecast tomorrow at 10pm. Upon learning this information, I screamed. Loudly. My new roommates don’t understand me quite yet and were alarmed, but don’t worry. I told them they would learn in time.

So enough of all this talk,  let’s cut to the chase and get into my predictions for tonights show. Bolded shows are what I want to win, italicized are what I think will win.

Outstanding Drama

Lost, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Mad Men, True Blood, The Good Wife

Outstanding Actress in a Drama

Juliana Marguiles, Mariska Hargitay, Glenn Close, Kyra Sedgwick, January Jones, Connie Britton

Outstanding Actor in a Drama

Jon Hamm, Kyle Chandler, Bryan Cranston, Hugh Laurie, Michael C. Hall, Matthew Fox

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

John Slattery, Aaron Paul, Martin Short, Terry O’Quinn, Michael Emerson, Andre Braugher

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

Sharon Gless, Christine Baranski, Rose Byrne, Archie Panjabi, Elisabeth Moss

Outstanding Comedy

Glee, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, The Office

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy

Lea Michele, Tina Fey, Tina Collette, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Edie Falco, Amy Poehler

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy

Larry David, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Morrison, Steve Carrell, Jim Parsons, Tony Shalhoub

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Chris Colfer, Neil Patrick Harris, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jon Cryer, Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Jane Lynch, Kristen Wiig, Jane Krakowsku, Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Holland Taylor

Am I on target? Am I way off base? We’ll find out soon enough!


American Duets?

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American Idol. Home of great performances, huge ratings and Simon Cowell’s chest hair. Next item added to the list? Killer duets. I don’t know what’s been in the American Idol water recently, but out of this world collaborations have been popping up like crazy. First, there was Kris Allen and Alison Iraheta’s chill-inducing rendition of ‘The Scientist’, which I blogged about a few weeks ago. Then, we get blown away by Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox’s version of ‘Falling Slowly’. And now, the latest duet to join the collaboration club is Kelly Clarkson and Chris Daughtry with ‘Fast Car’. What is it with American Idol and its killer duets?! Who is behind this madness?! And where can I buy them a drink!?

The only thing left to ponder is what outstanding duet will pop up next. Could a duet’s album be in the works? And what other past Idol contestants should join up? I’d love to see Constantine Maroulis and Carly Smithson…or Tamyra Gray and Michael Lynche…or Adam Lambert and Siobhan Magnus. The possibilities are endless! Check out the duet’s below. Which one is your favorite?!

All it was Jacked up to be?

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Americans had to say goodbye to their second Jack today. The one and only Jack Bauer, a name synonymous with fear,torture and ultimate badassery. As I am still emotionally drained from last night’s explosive LOST finale (see below), I’ll keep my thoughts on 24’s series end brief.

  1. Give Cherry Jones an Emmy. Now. If her struggle this season as the internally wrecked President Allison Taylor wasn’t a supreme work of acting, I don’t know what is.
  2. Gregory Itzin is the ultimate villain. How convenient for him to escape a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the throat. As if we don’t already know that a 24 movie is in the works. Do I smell a comeback?
  3. FOR THE LOVE OF DAVID PALMER, PLEASE BRING BACK AUDREY RAINES. Were we really supposed to buy this Renee Walker crap? I mean, I know her and Jack were friends and brief lovers, but they never came close to nearing the chemistry that Jack and Audrey had. As far we know, Audrey is still in a mental asylum somewhere, so if there is to be this so-called movie, let’s get the true love in Jack’s life back front and center. Besides, McSteamy didn’t even choose her.
  4. Honestly, I was a little disappointed by the last 10 minutes of the show. I think it was a bit of a cop-out. The final scene between Jack and Chloe was touching, of course, but as viewers we were left with Jack running through an alley? Come on! Give me some torture, give me a hijacked car, give me a bomb about to detonate! The Jack we all grew to know and love these past 8 seasons is at his best when he’s in a ‘will he, won’t he’ situation. Should have gone out with one of those, writers. Sorry.

So within 24 hours, that’s two huge shows knocked out of prime time. Syndication, perhaps? Doubtful. Thank goodness there’s Ali Fedotowsky to keep my brain activity at a minimum throughout the dry summer season.

Peace, Love, Palmer.

We’re all LOST in ‘The End’

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The moment I always knew would come but never wanted to is here. LOST is over. Let that sink in for a minute.

I could sit here and theorize away, but I would be doing the show a disservice. So I’ll leave the mythical analyses to the experts (ahem, Doc Jensen, I hope you’re writing right now) and rather just talk about the sole emotional factor of this unbelievable experience.

First of all, to call LOST a show would be to disgrace its name. LOST is more than an hour of television each week. It is a saga…an era…an epic, monumental piece of art that forever changed the way television works. It is of my personal opinion that LOST will never be able to be duplicated. Many will try, some will come close, but none will succeed. LOST was about myths and history; characters and flaws; humanity and love; fear and courage. There was nary a theme or emotion that LOST didn’t smash to pieces and leave us all clutching either our seats or a tissue.

When it comes to finales, I didn’t think I would ever cry more than I did during the series finale of Gilmore Girls. But no, then season two of Grey’s Anatomy delivered a whopper of a finale with the death of Denny and that scene with Meredith and Derek and the slow motion and the hospital table and the underwear and the…ok, sorry, where was I? Oh, right, the crying. Never have the waterworks been more explosive than in the two and a half hours of the LOST series finale. If you watched it and didn’t cry at least three times, than you are a cold-hearted, obdurate beast of a person. When I saw Sonya Walger and Elizabeth Mitchell’s names (they play Penny and Juliet, respectively) rolling during the opening credits, my eyes immediately started welling. And those damn ‘Enlightenment’ moments? Geez, it was like flipping a switch to let the tears come pouring out. Having said that, below are my three favorite moments from the finale. I have much more than three, but I’ll spare all of you that don’t watch the show. And yes, if you don’t, you are a disgrace and don’t deserve any happiness in life. Kidding. Kind of.

1. The enlightenments. All of them. Sun’s while she was in the hospital, Charlie and Kate’s, Locke’s…all of them seriously got to me. Genius move on Team Darlton to have so many in the finale as a way to flashback to the biggest moments of the series. But I think I speak for everyone when I say the best one by a landslide was Sawyer and Juliet’s. One, I have never liked Juliet. I have always found her irritating and condescending. Two, I was a HUGE Skater fan (Kate and Sawyer for you non-Losties). HOWEVER, watching the two of them in the hospital was completely mesmerizing. Who would have thought that a snack machine would be the most instrumental prop in entire episode? Not I.

2. The overhead scene with Locke and Jack sprinting towards each other on the rock. I mean, come on, that was like the Matrix meets Pocohontas meets Lord of the Rings meets any other epic showdown. It was a fundamental meeting of Good vs. Evil and the culmination of everything we had learned throughout the show. Bloody brilliant.

3. Jack passing the torch to Hurley. Of all the characters on the show, I believe Hurley was the most loved. Sure, we all had our favorites. I was a huge Ben fanatic. Like, the biggest. But Hurley never wronged anyone. He never lied. He never betrayed. He was always true to himself and always looked out for others. Doc Jensen had alluded to the fact that he thought that Island leadership would ultimately be given to Hurley, but watching Jack pass it to him – not to mention the look on Ben’s face when Hurley asked him to the second in command – was so touching. I’m always a huge sucker for the underdog and no one was ever more of one than Hurley.

So that’s it, Losties. I could create an entirely new blog solely based on more of my favorite parts of LOST (sigh, Sawyer with his shirt off) or countless questions that remain unanswered (was the gray hair a sign of Richard Alpert’s impending baldom?), but I’ll spare you all and leave you with this:

If you watch LOST, it was an incredible journey that I feel lucky to have taken while the show was live so I could relish in its glory with the other devotees. If you don’t, I implore you to find the time in your lifetime to watch this incredible show. I promise, your life will never be the same.

It was a great run, everyone. I miss it already.