New Hollow


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Left to Right: Chad Blashford (drums), Evan West (vocals, guitar), and Mookie Clouse (vocals, guitar).

It’s about time I introduced you all to my favorite band.

New Hollow performed wonderfully when I saw them a few weeks ago. Even though I knew very few of the songs they played, as many are yet unreleased,the concert enthralled me the whole time. They are very talented and very enthusiastic on stage. Their live performance was just as good as any studio recording, a feat not many bands can attest to.

After the show, I had the unique privilege of meeting them. I brought all of my CD’s, and Mookie, Evan, and Chad obliged me by signing them. They were very friendly and willing to talk, a pleasant surprise.

This was definitely among the best nights of my life. Meeting them was on my bucket list, but I never thought that dream would ever come true. And now there are pictures to prove that it did.

Signed shirt and 5 CD's.

Signed shirt and 5 CD’s (one was signed years ago, but I felt like it needed to be included).

They play a sort of classic-rock-inspired pop rock––hard enough that it made my whole body move with the bass line, but soft enough that it didn’t give my (very) faint head an ache.

Three of their singles have peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales Chart, and they’ve beat out artists such as Lady Gaga, Passenger, American Authors, and A Great Big World. They have a contract with Epic Records, and with any luck they’ll have an album out soon.

Give them your ears for just a few minutes. I can assure you, you won’t regret it.

Ciao for now,

Mikki

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Why You Should Drop Everything and See Frozen


Yes, it’s a musical. Yes, the main characters are princesses. Yes, there is romance. But no, it is not just another romantic princess musical.

Unlike Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, and the rest of the crew, who exist solely to pine for a prince, these ladies have their own agendas. Elsa and Anna are here to discover themselves and everything that’s waiting for them in the world.

If the Oscars didn’t convince you to drop everything and see Frozen, maybe this post will.

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Elsa has powers she can’t control, and her struggle is learning to win the mental game, as in the song “Let It Go.” Her character is empowering to watch. She goes through this tremendous evolution once her secret is out, and that alone is fantastic. Despite seeming secondary to Anna’s character, she is my favorite.

I personally connected to her because she never had a romantic relationship throughout the entirety of the movie. In fact, she spends most of her life caged up inside her room in order to protect her sister. Despite not having a man, she can rise up to defeat her challenges. This is a message we never see enough of in the media, and it’s a liberating experience to watch that happen––not just for single ladies like me, but also for younger girls, and older girls, too, who need a reminder.

anna_in_frozen-wideAnna, the more featured of the two, learns what love really means. Disney seems to critique itself as she gets engaged to someone the night she meets him. Besides her fiancé, Hans, and herself, no one  is in support of this decision, although the couple-to-be do share an amazing love song. Elsa and another character both chew her out and are openly appalled by her engagement.

Like her sister, Anna goes through a metamorphosis, although it is more subtle. To go more in depth would give away some major plot points, but it is, assuredly, very satisfying.

Frozen is empowering, beautiful, and fun all at the same time. It’s got a great score and a great meaning, and it’s one of Disney’s steps into a new age of princesses. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, go see it now.

Ciao for now,

Mikki

Book Review: The Witch Collector


15842190In the evening, I picked up a kindle, excited to read The Witch Collector Part One by Loretta Nyhan. My fingers flew by the screen and time passed, and eventually it was three in the morning. I finished the book first thing the next day.

The book drew me in from the first page, which set up the desire to learn more about the characters and their situation. Nyhan describes a witch’s funeral and mentions several of the story’s key players, making the reader ask questions like “Why?” and “How?” about the workings of the witch coven and the mysterious death. And this was just the prologue.

Before long, I was tied up in the story of teenage witch Breeda and her bizarre relocation to Chicago. An unexpected disappearance, the new coven she meets, and a strange family history give the story a set of characters and motives to keep your eyes glued to the words.

The only thing that disappoints me about the book is that I have to wait for Part Two to come out!

Ciao for now,

Mikki

P.S. the Witch Collector Part Two comes out in May, so the disappointment isn’t going to last very long!

The Most Depressing Movie I’ve Ever Seen


eragon_ver4I am a huge fan of the Inheritance Cycle. And, I’ll be very straightforawrd here, there simply is no accurate description of how disappointed I was in this movie.Joss-angela

Christopher Paolini wrote Eragon when he was still a teenager, and for this he is my personal hero. I have read the series twice (except for the Inheritance, which I have yet to reread) and they are not light. Reading the book, I imagined myself playing Angela, my favorite character, who is essentially a ninja in a dress, with the same hair type as me (dark and curly!) At your right you will find an image of how she is depicted in the film.

I wish to directly address the director, Stefen Fangmeier, and the screenplay writer, Peter Buchman. Clearly, when you read this book, you weren’t considering any of the fans and what they might want from the movie. You didn’t think about the major characters you decied to downgrade or eliminate entirely, i.e. Angela the herbalist (not to mention Solembum). You neglected the Ra’zac, who were not the offspring of the bogeyman and the mummy, but were ghastly beaked assassins. You forgot that Saphira is snarky and fun-loving, that Arya doesn’t have romantic feelings for Eragon (and also would never wear a skirt), and that there is potentially some reason that half of the dialogue spoken by Brom in the movie is spoken by someone else later on in the series. It’s obvious you never considered why fans of the Harry Potter books actually like the movies too. Your movie was corny and cliché, not to mention unsuccessful, everything that should never have come from an excellent book.

I wonder if Christopher Paolini cried in any way when he saw the butchered version of his masterpiece. I know I did.

Ciao for now,

Mikki

P.S.

Fix-It Felix


I have watched the movie Wreck-It Ralph twice in the past few days. Both times, eagerly and willingly. Wreck-It himself is pretty cool, with his giant hands and generally older-brother attitude towards sweet little Vanellope. And his sarcasm was pretty great. Most of the time he was Sully and at the end he was the Iron Giant.

But the real hero of the movie is Fix-It Felix.

Let’s consider the archetype of the classic hero:

fix-it-felix1. The Call to Adventure

Felix’s pull from his fabulous life in the video game wasn’t as glamorous but just as noble as Ralph’s, if not more so. He goes out in search of his coworker who put their entire existence in jeopardy.

2. The Rough Road

Felix comes into encounter with the challenges yet to come the minute he leaves: he’s shot at by the cast of Hero’s Duty. Other challenges include the Nesquik-Sand, being slapped across the face to appease the Laffy Taffy, and being thrown into the dungeon.

3. The Supernatural Aid

Felix’s supernatural aid comes in the form of none other than Wreck-It Ralph himself, who breaks our hero out of the dungeon with his brute strength.

4. The Homecoming/Master of Two Worlds

Although there is not a display of Felix’s welcome home, it can be assumed by the viewer that his return was met with happiness, pies, and fireworks. And maybe a medal.

5. The Prize

Like any good hero, Felix got the girl. It was the best movie romance in a long time; they should all be like that!

Ciao for now,

Mikki