2019 Wrap – Up

As this year is coming to a close, I thought I’d look back on 2019. I did this last year and really enjoyed it, especially because I love reading these posts from other people.

Music:

This year, I decided to start this section off with what I listened to most (according to Apple Music). I listened to 575 hours of music, as of December 30th, which is around 23 days straight of listening to music. (Of course that doesn’t count everything, but still). That’s a lot.

Top 10 Songs of 2019:

  1. Freaks Like Us – Hands Off Gretel
  2. Be Yourself – Audioslave
  3. Misery Chain – Chris Cornell
  4. I Want the World – Hands Off Gretel
  5. Can’t Change Me – Chris Cornell
  6. Nightmare – Halsey
  7. Preaching the End of the World – Chris Cornell
  8. The Last Remaining Light – Audioslave
  9. Superpower – Adam Lambert
  10. S.A.S.S – Hands Off Gretel

This is not surprising…at all.

Top 10 Artists of 2019:

  1. Soundgarden – 67 hours
  2. Chris Cornell – 51 hours
  3. The Lumineers – 36 hours
  4. L7 – 34 hours
  5. Audioslave – 33 hours
  6. U2 – 22 hours
  7. Foo Fighters – 20 hours
  8. Hands Off Gretel – 19 hours
  9. Temple of the Dog – 18 hours
  10. Elton John – 17 hours

…That is a total of 169 hours (or 7 days) spent only listening to Chris Cornell’s voice. Sounds like a good time honestly

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

  1. Echoes of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path – Soundgarden
  2. The Lumineers (Deluxe Edition) – The Lumineers
  3. Euphoria Mourning – Chris Cornell
  4. III – The Lumineers
  5. Higher Truth – Chris Cornell
  6. I Want the World – Hands Off Gretel
  7. Six: The Musical (Studio Cast Recording)
  8. Cleopatra (Deluxe Edition) – The Lumineers
  9. Lungs (Deluxe Edition) – Florence + the Machine
  10. Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog

Additionally…

  • I saw L7 play at the Varsity
  • I saw Queen play at the Xcel
  • Hands Off Gretel released I Want the World and it is amazing
  • Adam Lambert released Velvet: Side A and it is amazing
  • I listened to more new music than I usually do…though I clearly still have some favorites…

I posted about what I listened to all of 2019, so check that out if you want!

Books:

Hopefully I’ll read even more good books in 2020!

Life:

  • I posted my own writing on this blog for the first time. (I hope to do more of this, but it’s really scaryyyy)
  • I started my English Major Overanalyzes Song Lyrics posts, which I hope to continue soon!
  • I finished my first year of college and started my second year
  • I saw Daniel Sloss live at the Cedar Cultural Center!
  • I made some new friends!
  • I took my last math class ever!
  • I took some classes I really loved
  • I watched: Queer Eye, Versailles, Mindhunter and finished The Tudors which are all great (and verrrrry different)
  • I saw Six at the Ordway

I hope you all had a great 2019 and good start to 2020! I really like these posts because it’s good to reflect and be proud of all you did in the year, so what are some things you are proud of/were fun in 2019?

Thanks for reading ❤

Book Review: The Ship of the Dead

Found on Google Images

Title: The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3)

Author: Rick Riordan

My Rating: ★★★★

Summary (Goodreads): “Magnus Chase, son of Frey, the god of summer and health, isn’t naturally inclined toward being a brave warrior. Still, with the help of his motley group of friends, he has achieved deeds he never would have thought possible. Now he faces his most dangerous trail yet. Loki is free from his chains. He’s readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It’s up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it’s ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. But Magnus’ biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god?”

My Thoughts:

Here are links to my reviews on the other books in the series:

  1. The Sword of Summer
  2. The Hammer of Thor

I’m sad to have finished this trilogy, because it was so much fun to read. No matter how old I get, I still find Riordan’s books so enjoyable. He creates such great characters in such beautiful worlds. But onto why this book specifically was so great! I say some of the same things every time, but he did such a good job with each book in the series.

A part of the book I really loved was the very beginning. Percy and Annabeth are there. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Magnus and Alex forming friendships with two beloved characters from Riordan’s other series made me so happy. (Even though Annabeth has been in this trilogy since the beginning, Percy hasn’t). Jack trying to talk to Riptide was also very entertaining.

As per usual with Riordan’s novels, The Ship of the Dead was funny. The dialogue is so true of each character and so natural, the chapter titles are funny and the way characters interact is funny and interesting. Especially in the Magnus Chase series, because in Valhalla, people come from all different periods of time. One line I liked that introduced the next chapter perfectly was:

“I like my rivers the way I like my enemies — slow, wide and lazy. I rarely get what I want.”

p.55

And I love this bit of dialogue:

“‘You want to come with me to a creepy mansion and look through a dead guy’s stuff?’

Alex beamed. ‘I thought you’d never ask.'”

p.20

One aspect I really loved was Mangus’ friends from floor nineteen in Hotel Valhalla being in this book more. They weren’t super involved in the plot of The Hammer of Thor, so it was fun to read about them more. Also, readers got to learn more about their backgrounds in this book. Magnus knew some information about how they all died, but not the specifics. I loved learning more about T.J, Mallory and Halfborn. They all have such different backgrounds from different time periods, which makes it so interesting to read about.

Overall, I loved this trilogy (even though I read the first one too many years ago to remember too many specifics), and I would highly recommend it!


Playlist:

I decided to make this playlist based on Mallory Keen, a character I love in The Ship of the Dead, and the trilogy as a whole.

  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
  2. Cherry Bomb – The Runaways
  3. Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill
  4. Ty Cobb – Soundgarden
  5. Set It Off – Audioslave
  6. Don’t Play – Halsey
  7. Heroes – David Bowie
  8. Come Together – The Beatles
  9. Nightmare – Halsey

You can listen to the playlist here ☘️


Thank you for reading! ❤️

Book Review: The Hammer of Thor

Found on Google Images

Title: The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2)

Author: Rick Riordan

My Rating: ★★★★

Summary: “‘Magnus Chase, you nearly started Ragnarok. What are you going to do next?’

It’s been six weeks since Magnus and his friends returned from defeating Fenris Wolf and the fire giants. Magnus has adjusted to life at the Hotel Valhalla — as much as a once-homeless and previously alive kid can. As a son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility and health, Magnus doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of Odin’s chosen warriors, but he has a few good peeps among his hallmates on floor nineteen, and he’s been dutifully training for Ragnarok along with everyone else. His days have settled into a new kind of normal.

But Magnus should have known there’s no such thing as normal in the Nine Worlds. His friends Hearthstone and Blitzen have disappeared. A new hallmate is creating chaos. According to a very nervous goat, a certain object belonging to Thor is still missing and the thunder god’s enemies will stop at nothing to gain control of it.

Time to summon Jack, the Sword of Summer and take action. Too bad the only action Jack seems to be interested in is dates with other magical weapons…”

My Thoughts:

If you want to see my review on the first book (The Sword of Summer), you can read it here.

Until reading The Hammer of Thor this year, I hadn’t read anything by Riordan in a few years, and it was fun to read something by him again. It was also a little hard because I had a little trouble remembering what happened in the first Magnus Chase book. But that’s what the internet is for! So quick shoutout to Wikipedia for having indepth plot summaries!

As is typical of Riordan’s novels, the action starts only shortly after the book begins, and continues at a fast pace through the rest of the book. His pacing is perfect, with never a dull moment, but not moving past scenes too quickly either. The Hammer of Thor also included lots of humor, again as is typical of Riordan. He is great at writing funny scenes and lines that are funny to anyone. Nearly every joke was really funny to me now, even though the novels are aimed at a younger audience. Here are some lines I enjoyed:

…teenage einherjar hung out playing board games or just chillaxing (which is like chilling, except with battle axes).

p. 32

Or just this title with a reference I greatly appreciated:

You Keep Using the Word Help. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

p. 341

I just always have such a fun time reading books by Riordan, which is why I will read anything he writes. I was also really happy while reading this because of the amount of diversity in this trilogy and his books in general. I’m happy knowing he is showing kids that people are all different and that’s normal. The Magnus Chase series has people of different religions, sexualities and gender identities. Though he isn’t anymore, Magnus was homeless and other characters are shown to have rough childhoods. This is so so so important for kids to see.

Overall, you should go read the first book right now 🙂 I can’t wait to read The Ship of the Dead!


Playlist:

I made this playlist based on Alex Fierro, by far one of my favorite characters in The Hammer of Thor. Also, I did not mean to have songs by the same artists, but those songs just fit the character the best, so…oops. Lots of Audioslave for you!

  1. Rebel Rebel – David Bowie
  2. Keep on Livin’ – Le Tigre
  3. Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
  4. Jewel of the Summertime – Audioslave
  5. Freaks Like Us – Hands Off Gretel
  6. What You Are – Audioslave
  7. Don’t Play – Halsey
  8. Live to Rise – Soundgarden
  9. Changes – David Bowie
  10. Be Yourself – Audioslave

You can listen to the playlist here 🙂


Thank you for reading this review! 📖 ❤

My Month in Music – May (2019)

I hope you all had a good May! I finished my first year of college and it’s been very nice not to have homework. I haven’t written down what I’ve been listening to as well since coming home, so I apologize if the playlist is a bit repetitive! Anyway, onto the music 🙂

You can listen to the playlist here 🙂


Special Mentions:

I saw L7 on the 19th and they were amazing! We were standing in the 3rd – ish row and it was a lot of fun!


Thank you for reading! I hope your summer is off to a great start 🙂

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 ❤

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 – 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! ❤ ⚡️

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!

2018 Wrap – Up

As 2019 starts, I wanted to reflect on my 2018 in the books I read, the music I listened to and things that happened in my life. I love reading posts like this, so I thought I’d make one myself

Music

  • I finally listened to and fell in love with hopeless fountain kingdom by Halsey, which along with Badlands is one of my favorite albums. (Seriously, she is amazing at making albums that are perfectly put together)
  • I fell in love with Soundgarden
  • I fell in love with Semler and loved Six Feet Under All the Same, which she released on Halloween
  • I listened to Harry Potter soundtracks as well as Reign‘s soundtrack constantly while studying
  • After seeing Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, I listened to a lot of ABBA
  • I listened to Shane Dawson’s music a lot
  • Troye Sivan released Bloom and I listened to it non-stop
  • Hands Off Gretel released both Kiss Me Girl and S.A.S.S which I listened to non-stop (though I felt weird about listening to Kiss Me Girl since it’s a little yikes. But such a bop :/).
  • Gabbie Hanna released Honestly and Monster, which I loved (and the second parts of both: Honestly (Encore) and Monster (Reborn))
  • I fell in love with Audioslave
  • I saw Bohemian Rhapsody and listened to a lot of Queen

All of the music I listened to this year is documented (mostly) in my Month in Music posts, if you’re curious about any of the music I talked about. I also will be continuing this in 2019, but editing the format somewhat.

Books:

  • I read 10 books this year
  • My favorite books I read were: Hit So Hard by Patty Schemel (review), I Hate Myselfie by Shane Dawson (review) and Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love by Courtney Love (review). (I also re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling, but I thought I should pick new books)
  • I also finished the Graceling trilogy, which I would highly recommend (Graceling and Fire are better than Bitterblue though. Fire is my personal favorite).
  • I finished The Merciless series, which isn’t super well written but is a really fun read. (Book 2 Review, Book 3 Review, Book 4 Review).
  • I didn’t finish the TBR list I put up in September…it was much too ambitious. My 2019 TBR will be up soon 🙂

Life:

  • I posted more random posts about issues I care about on this blog
  • I interacted on Instagram with Semler, which was really cool
  • I interacted more with Lauren Tate (of Hands Off Gretel) on Instagram and Facebook, which is always so cool
  • I got tickets to see Queen and Adam Lambert in August of 2019!
  • I graduated high school and started college
  • I survived my IB exams and the senior slide
  • I finished an essay on why Courtney Love didn’t kill Kurt Cobain and gave it to my teacher
  • I went on fun vacations with my family
  • I turned 18
  • I went to what felt like 5,000 grad parties
  • I watched Reign, which I loved despite how inaccurate it is (and reviewed it).
  • I started watching Sick Note and Big Mouth, both of which I love
  • I loved and obsessed over Shane Dawson’s series
  • I hung out with friends more during the summer
  • I voted
  • I took classes I loved my first semester in college
  • I survived midterms and finals for the first time in college

2018 was filled with change and new beginnings for me. I’m excited for a year where there is less of that, but I did enjoy the changes (mostly). How was your 2018?

Thank you for reading ❤

My Month in Music – September

Albums:

New:

Audioslave – Audioslave (2002)

Aaaaaaaand we’re back to me listening to old albums for the first time. Talking about Bloom last month was the first time I actually talked about a new album. Anyway, onto this excellent album. I loved it! After listening to all 3 Audioslave albums, I think this one is my favorite. I like the mix of songs like Cochise and Gasoline, which are really loud, with songs like I Am the Highway and Like A Stone. It shows the range of what they were able to do as a band as well as what Chris Cornell was able to do with his voice.

Some of my favorite songs (because listing around 8 songs is a bit much):

Out of Exile – Audioslave (2005)

I really like this one too! Not quite as much as Audioslave, but it also has many good songs on it. Again, I like the mix of louder and softer songs, because it showcases Cornell’s amazing vocal ability. Some of it’s great for dancing around to, while Be Yourself is a simple but good affirmation of self and Dandelion makes my heart melt. (Cornell wrote it for his daughter before she was born and it has the line “Little dandelion, let your heart keep time” I mean…)

Some of my favorite songs:

(I couldn’t find any more gifs :/)

Revelations – Audioslave (2006)

This album is great too! (This is getting repetitive…blame Audioslave for being so good). Basically, the same as I said with the other two: good mix of loud and softer songs (but Badmotorfinger by Soundgarden is one of my favorite albums, so this is in no way a requirement I have for rock albums). Overall, all 3 of these albums are great and what I spent most of September listening to.

Some of my favorite songs:

Old:

I talked about it last month but listened to it a lot at the beginning of September too.

  • Harry Potter soundtracks

A.K.A how I get all my reading done for class and can actually stay focused on it. (I love my classes, but Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is reallllly boring).


Songs:

New:


Thanks for reading! 🤘🏻🔥