The Big Move To Cali: First Few Days

It has officially been over a month since my last blog post, but I am (hopefully) going to get back on track to posting regularly on my page again. The past month has been crazy- I finished my Marketing Capstone summer class, wrapped up my summer job as a camp counselor, moved out of my first-ever apartment, and packed up all my stuff to spend my last college semester in LA!

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This is only my 4th day here, but I’m really enjoying my time so far (even though I’m still very nervous about driving around here with all of the traffic). I have an internship in the fashion industry, which starts tomorrow, and my campus is smack in the middle of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard. Needless to say, I am a very lucky girl.

My dad and I got up at 3am (Eastern Time) on Saturday to fly out here, and landed at LAX at a little before 11am. Even though we were totally exhausted, we didn’t want to waste our day, so we pushed through the sleepiness to get some tourist-y activities in.

For lunch we, of course, had to go to In-N-Out. As East Coasters who always hear people brag about the burgers there, we knew it was something we had to try. We were also really hungry at this point and fast food seemed like a good idea.

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After we ate lunch and got settled into our hotel (which had incredible views of the Hollywood sign and the Capitol Records building), we set back out for our next adventure- a studio tour of the Paramount Pictures lot. Since it was a Saturday, things were pretty dead around there, so we didn’t see any celebrities, but it did give our tour guide more opportunity to let us into sound stages and see some behind the scenes stuff!

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On Sunday, my dad helped me move into my new dorm room, but we also had some time to walk around the Walk of Fame and find some cool stars. We had been looking for some of the Beatles’ stars and we couldn’t find them that day. Today, I went out exploring by myself and found all of them right in front of the Capitol Records building on Vine. Since I spent all of my spring semester doing a PR project on Capitol, it was so surreal to stand outside the building and see their musician’s stars on the sidewalk.

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I’m excited to see what this semester will bring with my internship and my time in this new city. I have never been to California before, and now I have 3 months to explore so much! From here on out, I’m going to try to post regularly about my adventures.

Sounds Live Feels Live Mansfield: 5SOS Concert Experience

Last night at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA, my sister and I had the best time seeing 5 Seconds of Summer! Between our special Soundcheck Experience tickets and the show itself, it was truly an incredible night.

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Because we had the soundcheck passes, we got to arrive to the venue early and watch the band play a few songs, as well as participate in a Q&A session. They told stories about pantsing Calum on the bus, revealed some info about their next music video, and talked about memes that they had seen of other bandmates on the internet. And, because our soundcheck crowd was so big (over 1,000 people) the band played 3 songs instead of their usual 2. One of the songs they played, If You Don’t Know, is one of my all time favorites and I had never heard it live before, so in my opinion the entire soundcheck was completely worth it.

After we got out of soundcheck, we wandered around the venue a bit before the gates opened for everyone else. We got some food, including some yummy cupcakes, and I got my first legal drink at a concert (woohoo!).

Pretty soon after the doors opened we found our seats, which were amazing, and the first opening act Hey Violet came onstage. I really enjoyed their set, and will probably purchase some of their music in the future! The second opening act, One OK Rock, wasn’t really my cup of tea but I could see that a lot of other concertgoers were loving them, so it was still good for the overall vibe.

When 5sos finally came onstage the venue was electric. I have seen them perform many times now, but it truly never gets old. The guys are so talented and bring such energy to the stage it’s impossible not to have a good time. Some of my favorite bits of the show were when they performed Castaway, Outerspace and Permanent Vacation, as well as when Ashton left his drums to do a headstand onstage (with a little help from Michael).

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However, the absolute best part of the night was during Vapor, which happens to be one of my favorite songs (I’ve previously written about it here). As we first walked into the venue that day, fans were handing out orange hearts that they had made and instructed everyone to hold them up during Vapor. As the first few chords of the song played out there was a pause around the venue and slowly I started to see the hearts go up. People turned on their phone flashlights and held them up behind the hearts, making the whole arena glow in orange.

It’s become somewhat of a tradition to hold up orange hearts in Boston. Last year at the same venue we did it, but it all started at a tiny acoustic show in 2013. Being present at all three of them has been magical and beautiful, and you can tell that the band always appreciates it.

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Even though it’s always a bit of a hike getting out to Mansfield, it was completely worth the long day. 5sos are one of my favorite live bands and the day will probably go down as one of my favorites from the summer.

 

 

The Wait Is Over: Avett Brothers “True Sadness” Album Release

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Surprise! Another Avett Brothers blog post is here! This one, however, will probably be the last for a while because I’m going to talk about the new album which comes out this week!

True Sadness is the Avett Brothers’ 9th full-length album, which will be officially released on the 24th of June. However, you can listen to the album right now on NPR for an exclusive first listen here.  I have been itching to sit down with this album through NPR for a couple of days now, but I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had much time. I decided I needed to wait until I had a free evening to take my time and really appreciate what I was listening to. Today was finally that day.

As expected and as stated by the band, this album is a little different that past albums sound-wise. I would say that a lot of the folk roots are still there on True Sadness, but a lot of the songs have a more modern, “pop” vibe to them musically. I’m not sure if this new sound will bother some of the hardcore fans or not, but it I will say it didn’t alter my enjoyment of the album at all. I’m all about the lyrics when it comes to the Avett Bros.

While all the songs are interesting and worth listening to, I had a few immediate favorites from my first listen. I’ll mention quickly chat through some of those new tracks, but the album’s lead single, “Aint’ No Man,” will always be my #1 pick of the album. I’ve already written about it, so I won’t get into it again.

“You Are Mine” is super upbeat sonically, and has weird little sound effects in it that initially sound strange but then become a lovable part of the track. The lyrics to this song are also some of my favorites from the whole album. It’s a love song that just makes me feel happy. And with another song on the album called “Divorce Separation Blues,” we can use a happy song.

“Satan Pulls The Strings,” on the other hand, is one of the coolest-sounding songs on True Sadness (in my opinion). It sounds very “rock” to me, and it’s a song that I’m dying to see live because I can totally picture the band jamming to this. It’s really hard to describe, but I feel like it’s the most “badass” song on the album.

So far, the music critics reviewing True Sadness are putting “I Wish I Was” at the top of the list as one of the best songs on the album. I have to say I agree, because I immediately loved this song. It’s very stripped-down compared to the other songs, and much more reminiscent of “old” Avett Brothers material. While I do appreciate the evolution the Avett Brothers had on this album, there’s something about the way they sound stripped-down that is completely magical. That will never change.

I’m not sure when I’ll get to see them live again, but I can’t wait to hear some of these new tracks when I do. A big thank you to my favorite band for another phenomenal piece of art. I’ve been a fan for nearly 8 of my 21 years, and it’s been quite a fun ride so far.

True Sadness is out everywhere on June 24th and can be streamed right now exclusively through NPR. 

Movie Review: Me Before You

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As promised in my Me Before You Book Review, I am back today to give my review of Me Before You: the film.

For some reason, a local theater was playing the film starting on Thursday, June 2, instead of the 3rd, so naturally I reserved tickets for the first showing that day. I needed to see it ASAP, and I did.

As you can probably guess, the movie (in my opinion) wasn’t as good as the book (it never is). BUT, I will say that the film adaptation was very accurate and true to the main themes of the book, probably one of the best adaptations I’ve seen in a long time. I think they did a fantastic job taking such deep and emotional content and turning into a 2 hour film, because I know it must have been incredibly difficult to choose what to keep and what to cut. I had been prepping myself for the possibility of disappointment, but I walked out of that theater last night feeling satisfied with the job they did.

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin were Lou and Will. The casting was excellent. Emilia had all the quirkiness down to a T and Sam delivered Will Traynor’s sarcasm perfectly. One of my favorite scenes was at the beginning of the film, during a montage of Lou coming into work at the Traynors every day. She would burst in, happy and cheerful, only to get a perfect side-eye from Will. The little judgemental side-eyes alone convinced me that they had cast the right actor. Maybe it sounds silly and trivial, but I knew I was going to love the film from that point on.

Also worth mentioning, the soundtrack to this movie is so good. I’m actually considering buying it. They played The 1975 during the wedding scene, which I loved, and the use of Ed Sheeran’sPhotograph” will probably change the way I listen to it for the rest of forever. And that’s really saying something for a huge Ed Sheeran fan. I also really liked the use of “Happy With Me” by HOLYCHILD and “Surprise Yourself” by Jack Garratt.

I also learned that even though I know everything that’s going to happen, I will still cry. I cried four separate times during the movie, and I don’t regret one second of it. Like I said in the book review, I tend to seek things out that are going to make me cry. I don’t know why I torture myself like this, but I do.

If you’ve read the book, I think you’ll love the movie. But if you’ve only seen the movie, I think you could still get something new out of reading the book. In summary: everyone needs to see it. I already want to go back and see it again. But, I’m not sure if it’s because of how much I love the story or Sam Claflin’s face (I think it’s probably both).

Book Review: Me Before You

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In only a week, I have just finished reading Me Before You  by Jojo Moyes. In that week, the book completely destroyed me emotionally. I’ve been walking around the apartment aimlessly because I don’t know what to do with myself after finishing it, so I figured writing this would be more productive.

I’m not going to give away any plot points to this story, as I know some people may just be reading this post for a book recommendation (and the film is being released soon), but I will say that while this is a beautiful story it is also a sad one. I don’t know why I always choose the sappy, sad romances when seeking out a new novel, but here I am, yet again.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Nicholas Sparks novels or The Fault In Our Stars. You will smile, laugh, and mostly likely, cry, while reading this story, but in my opinion, we all need a good cry every now and again. It actually is quite similar to The Fault In Our Stars- Will Traynor’s paralysis and his attitude about it are reminiscent of Augustus Waters’ cancer diagnosis in TFIOS. While each of these are different and horrible in their own right, it led to a similar feel between the two novels– the sadness that came along with every happy moment. But, Me Before You is still it’s own novel and has just as many differences from TFIOS as it does similarities. I think I liked it better. The characters are love able, the drama is intense, and the romance is all there, even though it is quite unconventional.

Originally, I picked out this book because I saw the trailers for the film. I typically like to have read the book if I’m going to see a movie, and since it comes out on June 3rd, I was determined to have it finished by then. It was very easy to do, as I couldn’t put it down!

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I will say that I’m worried the movie isn’t going to hold up, but when does it ever?

The novel looks at the storyline mainly from the point of view of Louisa Clark, the female protagonist of the novel, but there are also chapters in the point of view of Will’s parents, Lou’s sister, and the caregiver, Nathan. It gave the story a little more depth that I’m not sure a film can have. However, I will go see the movie when it comes out and report back with my official review!

In summary, if you like romance novels and you like crying, you’ll like this book. 10/10, 5 Stars, Jordyn’s seal of approval.

Here’s a trailer for the film below. If I haven’t convinced you that this is worth a read, maybe this will:

 

 

 

 

Jamie Lawson at Cafe 939’s Red Room

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We were at the very BACK of the room. The most intimate venue in Boston.

On Sunday night, I attended a Jamie Lawson concert at Berklee College of Music’s Red Room at Cafe 939. I’ve gone to one other concert at the Red Room, a Passenger concert in 2012 with my dad, and I have a lot of love for the venue for two reasons.

  1. It is incredibly small and intimate (200 capacity).
  2. When I went to the Passenger concert in 2012, Ed Sheeran made a surprise appearance and I quite literally cried (I could write an entire post about this event)– grainy iPhone 4 quality photos from that night are below.

So when I saw in March that Jamie Lawson was playing a show there, I knew it would be a great night and bought tickets within an hour of them being on sale. After serendipitously getting to see Jamie open for Vance Joy in April, I was even more excited for this concert.

I know that I wrote fairly extensively about Jamie Lawson in my Vance Joy concert post, but I can’t emphasize enough how talented this guy is. His voice is incredible. This probably is going to sound like I’m exaggerating, but his live voice is ten times better than the recorded version, and I feel like any video I ever took didn’t even reflect what I was hearing in that moment. Hands down one of my top 3 favorite voices.

Since the crowd was so small, and skewed more adult than teen, the show was very mellow, which was nice for a Sunday night. I’m a huge pop music fan (as I’ve stated many times), so often when I go to concerts I’m with all the teens. I have nothing against them, and I actually think that people need to cut the teens some slack in most cases, but I will admit it was nice to be at a show where people weren’t screaming at the artist on stage in between songs.

Jamie of course sang his radio hit “Wasn’t Expecting That,” along with other songs from his newest album, older songs that many people weren’t familiar with, and even some new unreleased songs. Since I’m only familiar with the most recent album, I appreciated getting a taste of more of the Jamie Lawson discography. Still, my two favorite songs of the night were “Ahead of Myself” and “Don’t Let Me Let You Go,” which are just my favorite songs by him in general.

Jamie very kindly stayed in the lobby after the show to meet/take pictures with the fans, but since we had already met/gotten a photo with Jamie at the Vance Joy show, we opted not to wait in line for round 2 (at risk of appearing like stalkers). Still, it was something that he didn’t have to do, and I think it speaks to his character.

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Post-show with Jamie after Vance Joy in April

Just last week, Jamie’s song “Someone For Everyone” got a music video, and I found it to be very charming. It’s available to watch below, and if you like acoustic singer-songwriter types I’d highly recommend checking him out. The music is available in all the usual places. 🙂

 

Song of the Week: Foy Vance, “She Burns”

Lucy Hale + a beautiful song = a music video that I will probably enjoy.

Foy Vance, not to be confused with Vance Joy, is the second person Ed Sheeran has signed to his record label, Gingerbread Man Records. “She Burns,” is a single off of his upcoming album, The Wild Swan, which is due May 13. And it’s really, really good.

Being a long-time Ed Sheeran fan, I’ve been familiar with Foy Vance for a while now, and have listened to his music before. I’ve always appreciated his style, as I have a soft spot for acoustic, folk-y singers, but I never felt the need to listen to a song by him more than once, never-mind purchase it for my library.

 

But after watching the “She Burns” music video one time, I immediately went into iTunes and bought the song.

I find this song really beautiful lyrically and soothing musically. I’ve been listening to it a lot in the mornings while I cook breakfast or take the T into campus, and I haven’t gotten sick of it in the past week of non-stop listening.

Not to mention, the video is gorgeous. I love the black and white, and I love that Lucy Hale is the leading lady. I’m a huge PLL fan and I think she’s stunning. Her hair and makeup in this video, along with her wardrobe, create such a pretty and retro vibe (I’ve shared of my favorite stills in this post). She just seems like the perfect person for the role. Getting Lucy involved was definitely a huge plus for an up-and-coming artist like Foy Vance, as she brought a significant number of her fans with her to the music video.

The entire thing was beautifully and delicately shot, and I think that it matches up with the song perfectly. I re-watched it three times just while writing this post!

If you haven’t already, check the music video out above and give it a listen. It’s definitely worth it.