Chris Cornell Songs You Need to Know

Two years ago today, we lost Chris Cornell, an irreplaceable musician. He wrote beautiful lyrics and had an even more amazing voice to sing them with. (I have a much more personal post on the strong connection I feel to Cornell’s music here if you want to read it). Over his long career he was in Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave and had a solo career. I’m going to showcase some of his lesser known songs and his wonderful performances today. (But I of course love Cochise and Outshined as much as the next person).

Playlist:

Here are some excellent songs in chronological order of when each album came out. I limited myself to two songs per album…but he had a lot of albums, so…it’s looooong…probably too long…oops.

You can listen to the playlist here

Additional Performances:

Here are some amazing performances I didn’t have linked above but felt needed to be included:


If you want to share, I would love to hear your favorite songs by him or how his music has impacted you.

Loud Love ❤

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For Chris

You sang in a way that demanded attention,

with a voice that could fill any room, no matter the size.

You, an acoustic guitar and a mic were made for each other,

your voice soft, comforting, yet raspy like a blanket caught in a thorn bush.

But you were equally made for pounding drums and guitar solos.

Your screams shattered glass and shook buildings,

knocking the wind out of everyone.

Your lyrics painted dark skies splashed with bright stars,

consoled many people, brought them joy.

If only you were still here to make the world a little easier to take, one song at a time.

But your darkness, your disease, your demons won in the end.

Thank you, Christopher John Cornell for all you gave us.

My Month in Music – April (2019)

In April I didn’t listen to much new music, but there are some good songs in this playlist either way, since I have impeccable music taste. Just kidding, but I hope you enjoy it!

You can listen to the playlist here!


Thanks for reading! I hope your May is going well!

My Month in Music – March (2019)

March was a great month for music. I didn’t listen to as much new music as in February, but Hands Off Gretel’s new album came out and it’s a masterpiece (as I expected). If you like a mix of grunge, punk and pop, you should definitely check it out! Now…onto the playlist!

You can listen to the playlist here 🙂

Special Mentions:

No other songs to share, but I did get tickets to see L7 in May!


Thanks for reading! Happy listening 🙂

Book Review: Our Own Private Universe

Title: Our Own Private Universe

Author: Robin Talley

My Rating: ★★★1/2

Summary: “Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it’s mostly about sex.

No, it isn’t that kind of theory. Aki already knows she’s bisexual — even if, until now, it’s mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki’s theory is that she’s only got one shot at living an interesting life — and that means she’s got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It’s time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa — slightly older, far more experienced — it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it’s not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you’re in love? It’s going to be a summer of testing theories — and the result may just be love.”

My Thoughts:

I wanted something easy and fun to read, so I decided to read a YA contemporary novel. (Also, I realized I hadn’t read any since 2015, so there’s that). I love Robin Talley (please read Lies We Tell Ourselves if you haven’t), so I decided to read this 🙂

One thing I liked about this novel was the friendships. There were interesting dynamics between each friendship, which made it interesting. Also, the relationship in this book is so cute! They’re both young, figuring out their sexuality and what their future holds for them. There’s a lot of unknown things, but that they like each other isn’t one of them.

Another thing Talley does really well is her dialogue is great. It’s very natural and differs with different characters well. Here’s a good example:

“The new guys are going to be incredible,” Lori had whispered to me as we walked to the party with the others.

“They’re going to be exactly the same as the guys we already know,” I whispered back.

“Not true. These guys are way cooler. Much less boring.”

“How could you possibly know that?”

“Look, I’m an optimist, okay?”

p.13

In addition to the same-sex relationship in Our Own Private Universe, Talley included other characters that made this a diverse novel. Aki and her family are black, and it takes place in Mexico, meaning many of the side characters are Mexican. Aki and at least one other character are bisexual, there is an out lesbian character, and one character who is pretty sure they’re pansexual. Very rarely are there books, especially contemporary YA novels this diverse.

There were also some things about this book that were less prominent that I still want to mention. For one, it’s very sex positive, specifically regarding LGBTQ+ people. Talley brings up topics about safe sex and the issues of sex education, which largely only teach about one kind of sex. On a completely different note, all of the sections of this book have Prince song titles as titles. Additionally, there are more references and mentions of Prince throughout, which was fun. There is also a small section with a long conversation about Harry Potter, which made me very happy.

There were some things I didn’t love about Our Own Private Universe, though. For one, while I liked Aki, Lori and Christa (and other characters), I didn’t love any of them. I liked some of the background characters a little better, but overall they were all just fine. There were traits in them all that really bothered me too much to really love them. (Saying exactly what things bother me would spoil a lot, so I can’t be specific). The other main issue I had was with the characters arguing over stupid things and lying to each other. It made some of the conflicts feel catty and unoriginal. (Again, putting specifics would spoil things so I can’t be more specific).

Overall, I think this books like this one are very important as LGBTQ+ relationships are very under represented in books and the YA genre. If you want a fast, cute romance novel this is a good one to choose!


Playlist:

For this playlist, I chose artists and bands that have members in the LGBTQ+ community.

  1. Keep on Livin’ – Le Tigre
  2. Sheer Heart Attack – Queen
  3. Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
  4. Plum – Troye Sivan
  5. Angel on Fire – Halsey
  6. Re: Anne – Charlie Raphael – Campbell
  7. Love You Old Fashioned – Semler
  8. The Original High – Adam Lambert
  9. Viz – Le Tigre
  10. She Walks on Me – Hole

You can listen to the playlist here 🙂


Thank you for reading!🌈📖

My Month in Music – February (2019)

I can’t believe it’s already March! February went by crazy fast, but I still found the time to listen to some great music! I hope you did too. Here’s what I listened to last month:

You can listen to the playlist here.


Every once in a while, I feel like looking at some Harry Potter stuff and so I go on Tumblr. It always starts with one tag, and I re-immerse myself in my love for Harry Potter. This time it was #remadora and I kid you not, I scrolled through e v e r y post under the Top section. But I mean just look at them!!!

Also sorry (but not really) to my few friends that follow me on Tumblr…oops.

Anyway…this led to me taking a trip down memory lane to my very short-lived obsession with wizard rock (wrock), where I found and rediscovered some great songs (full EP’s and albums, actually). So that’s why there’s a good number of Oliver Boyd and the Remebralls’ songs on this playlist. I felt like I needed to point it out, since it’s sort of different from everything else on the playlist. (You know because I usually listen to music that isn’t about Harry Potter).

Special Mentions:

Here are the wrock songs I remember from middle school the most clearly. Obviously, two of these are a bit more Sirius than the other one. (I tried so hard not to make that pun, but I just couldn’t resist the urge).

At the Oscar’s this year, Queen and Adam Lambert opened, and as per usual, they were amazing. I think everyone needs to see it, so…

One more thing! I know the Super Bowl was a while ago now, but I still wanted to show a few performances from the Foo Fighter’s Super Saturday Night concert. As per usual, they killed it. No surprises there. Here are two great performances by my favorite Dad Band™️:


Thanks for reading! ❤ ⚡️

Book Review: It Gets Worse

Found on Google Images

Title: It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays

Author: Shane Dawson

My Rating: ★★★★

Summary: “In this new collection of original personal essays, Shane goes even deeper, sharing never-before-revealed stories from his life, giving readers a no-holds-barred look at moments both bizarre and relatable, from cultlike Christian after-school activities, dressing in drag, and losing his virginity, to hiring a psychic, clashing with celebrities, and coming to terms with his bisexuality. Every step of the way, Shane maintains his signature brand of humor, proving that even the toughest breaks can be funny when you learn to laugh at yourself.

It Gets Worse is an inspiring, intelligent, and brutally honest collection of true stories by a YouTube sensation who has become one of the freshest new voices out there.”

My Thoughts:

I have said this in many a book review, but It Gets Worse is a fast read that took me a long time to finish because of school. But if you want a funny, quick memoir to read, this is the book for you. (Or I Hate Myselfie, Shane’s other book, which I reviewed last year. You can see that here).

Like I mentioned, It Gets Worse is funny. Really funny. I often don’t actually laugh out loud when I read, but I did reading this book. (And I Hate Myselfie). Just a few examples of how funny this book is:

“I’d watch my mom brutally kill my dad if it meant I could watch cartoons in HD.”

p.39

and…

“I’m the opposite of a party animal. I’m a funeral person.”

p.97

Part of the humor in Shane’s writing is exaggeration. The dialogue he writes was clearly enhanced to be as funny as it is. I think this may bother some people (I know it did in I Hate Myselfie), but for me it makes sense. He’s a comedian. Comedians exaggerate all the time, at least to some extent. For example: were these really conversations John Mulaney had with people who work at dEltA aIRliNeS? No, but it’s hilarious.

Did you understand what I meant without this excellent example? Yes. But will I include John Mulaney in any blog post I can? Also yes.

This review sounds pretty similar to my review of I Hate Myselfie. To be fair, they are written very similarly. So here is another thing I said in my other review: some of Shane’s jokes rubbed me the wrong way. But I still loved it. Much less with his current content, but Shane, like any good comedian, likes to push the boundaries. Sometimes he goes too far for me, but I find him hilarious. Having been a fan for a few years, I am used to this and love his content a lot (even his old, far more boundary-crossing content). I’m mostly putting this in so people are aware his humor often offends people. (This is entirely fair, he has definitely done things that were not okay that he has since apologized for). However, his sense of comedy did change some between the two books, and It Gets Worse features less shocking, offensive comedy than I Hate Myselfie.

In addition to the laugh-out-loud moments, this book features some sad, heartfelt moments too. Shane wrote some chapters that are very personal, like his struggle with bulimia and coming out as bi. Even the funnier chapters had real lessons or meaningful moments in them. (Often immediately followed by a joke). These moments are what makes both of his memoirs so impactful.

Lastly, reading this book made me feel so proud of Shane. He is fully himself here. When I Hate Myselfie was published, he was still closeted and came out as bi only months later. I remember watching his coming out video a few years ago, and now I get to watch videos of him and his boyfriend. Seeing Shane, someone who I have watched for a while now, live his life authentically is beautiful.


Thanks for reading!👑🐷

My Month in Music – January

I know we’re already really far into February as I’m posting this, so sorry for that! I still want to talk about the music I’m listening to, but I got sort of tired of the way I was doing it before, so now I’m just going to make a playlist of the songs I listened to each month. I might also mention some other music things like I do later in this post 🙂 Anyway…onto the playlist!

Listen to the playlist here.

I am aware of the…ummm…theme in the songs above, which I think will change as I remember to track more of what I listen to every month. For now…I guess too bad if you don’t like Chris Cornell??! (Also…how?? If you don’t).

Special Mentions:

I have started listening to The Tudors soundtrack while I study. I still use the Reign soundtrack and Harry Potter soundtracks. I love writing to Reign and use the other ones for other homework.

Also…on January 16, a five-hour tribute concert for Chris Cornell was held at the LA Forum. I thought I would share some of my favorite performances (that I saw, I definitely didn’t see all five hours). 


Thank you so much for reading! Happy listening!

Book Review: Heartless

Found on Google Images

Title: Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

My Rating: ★★1/2

Goodreads Summary: “Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants to do is open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.”

My Thoughts:

If only the book had lived up to what the description said it was…

I was excited to read Heartless, because I had never read a book by Meyer, but I’d heard great things about her series The Lunar Chronicles. (I might still read those, I’ve heard they were better than Heartless). I also wanted to read it because fairytale re-tellings are fun to read and it’s cool to see a story I already know written in a new way. I read The Looking Glass Wars last summer (review here), which was another Alice in Wonderland re-telling and it was disappointing, so I was hoping Heartless would be better. Unfortunately, it was not a huge improvement.

I should first clarify that while Heartless does take place in Lewis Carrol’s world, it tells the story of the Queen of Hearts, so it’s a prequel to Alice in Wonderland, rather than a re-telling. Onto the review…Meyer rarely did a good job of explaining the world she was working within. As a reader, I felt that she needed to explain what things were, not expect us all to remember details from the original story. For example, Cath’s dreams manifest in real life. She dreams of a lemon tree and when she wakes up, it’s growing in her bedroom. There was never an explanation given for why that happens or if it’s normal in the Kingdom of Hearts.

My main problem with this book, the real reason I gave it 2.5 stars is the plot isn’t strong. While it’s true that Cath feels pressure to do what she is supposed to do make her family happy and proud, there is no real threat posed if she refuses. She spends most of the book worried about what her family thinks, too scared of their disappointment to do what she wants. While in real life that happens, it makes for a weak plot for a book. The solution to a story cannot be a conversation. Cath often goes along with what her parents want without truly questioning them. This also doesn’t work to prove that she really wants what she says she does, because she assumes she can’t without trying.

The other problem I had was with the pacing of the story. At the beginning, I thought the pacing was good. But farther into the book, it felt like the romance aspect was either moving too fast or too slow. It made the later parts of the book seem unrealistic.

However, there were some good parts of the plot. Meyer wrote some good plot twists, which made the story intriguing. Additionally, the ending was very well done. It was dramatic and so satisfying.

One thing Meyer did very well was the dialogue. I loved it! It was creative, funny and felt very natural. Every character felt unique in how they spoke. For example:

“‘You’re worried the King might become shorter if he eats one?’

Cheshire snorted. ‘On the contrary, I’m worried that I will turn into a house should I eat one. I’ve been minding my figure, you know.'”

p.7

Another thing I liked about Heartless was the characters. Meyer helped bring the craziness of Alice in Wonderland to life by creating many different, interesting characters. Like Cheshire, who I loved for his funny lines and for being in the way all the time in an annoying yet loveable way. However, while these characters were all fun to read about, I didn’t feel super attached to them. Especially Cath. I didn’t care much for her, but she was our main character. I cared, but I think I would have been more affected by the characters had they been better written and had the book been better written as a whole.

Hopefully someday I’ll find a re-telling I love!


Thanks for reading!❤️📚🖤

3 Year Blogiversary!

Yay! I’ve had this blog for 3 years! On January 26, 2016, I made this blog and started to write about books and music. I love being able to show people great books and music as well as talk about anything I feel like. Thank you to everyone who follows me and reads what I write. I am excited to post more on this blog in 2019 and talk more about things I care about.