Monday, April 30, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)

So, I believe this brings our count up to five from the BBC's list of one hundred...and to be honest, I wasn't looking forward to reviewing this either.

The Golden Compass

Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.

The Subtle Knife

   Here is the highly anticipated second installment of Philip Pullman's epic fantasy trilogy, begun with the critically acclaimed The Golden Compass. Lyra and Will, her newfound friend, tumble separately into the strange tropical otherworld of Cittàgazze, "the city of magpies," where adults are curiously absent and children run wild. Here their lives become inextricably entwined when Lyra's alethiometer gives her a simple command: find Will's father. Their search is plagued with obstacles--some familiar and some horribly new and unfathomable--but it eventually brings them closer to Will's father and to the Subtle Knife, a deadly, magical, ancient tool that cuts windows between worlds. Through it all, Will and Lyra find themselves hurtling toward the center of a fierce battle against a force so awesome that leagues of mortals, witches, beasts, and spirits from every world are uniting in fear and anger against it. This breathtaking sequel will leave readers eager for the third and final volume of His Dark Materials.

The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heartstopping close, marking the third and final volume as the most powerful of the trilogy. Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, The Amber Spyglass introduces a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spy-master to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. And this final volume brings startling revelations, too: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live—and who will die—for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that—in its shocking outcome—will reveal the secret of Dust.

Let me start by saying that I came to this series with an earful of praise, calling it fantastically awesome, and a bit of skepticism considering I'd heard it was a bit anti-Christian. I kept an open mind and remained aware of any and all possibilities.

I was let down on all counts.

Mr. Pullman recreated Milton's Paradise Lost with his trilogy, and...well...he could have done better. There's nothing worse than a writer with an agenda, after all, and while he was so busy downing Christianity he let his story go down the drain. Compass started slow, but I made allowances for that. It seemed like a complex plot at the time, and he was trying to establish it. I won't excuse his sequence of events, however. He left off on a helluva cliff hanger, but the showdown at Svalbard occurring after the battle at Bolvangar was anti-climatic and ridiculous--and between all that, we had to sit through I don't know how many pages of Lord Asriel's monologue about how the Church is bad and medieval and holds back progress and we should revolt! Revolt, he says! Lyra remains a tough one for me to sort out. Don't misunderstand me, she's a liar and a sneaky little chit that needs a time-out, but I cycled back and forth between disliking her and being completely indifferent to her. Iorek Byrnison was pretty cool, if a bit "meh" and Lee Scoresby was downright awesome (and points for scoring the even more awesome Sam Elliot for the role in the movie!). I didn't like Mrs. Coulter at all, but I don't think I was supposed to. She worked for the church, and the church is supposed to be bad, remember?

Onto Knife...New character Will had some promise, but he too got on my nerves after a time. The plot starts spinning every which way but loose and there's even more mind-boggling and brain-scrambling twists and betrayals and alliances and destinies and fights and oh my God! My favorite character is dropped like a hot potato! Oh, it's on, now. The last book is sure to be a train wreck.

Spyglass...oh dear. If the first book took for-ev-ah to gain any momentum, then this one barely made it off the ground. Sheer tenacity kept me reading, and a strange desire to see how much worse the series could get. What the Gallifrey was going on here? How much hogwash can we jam into five-hundred-some pages? I thought this was supposed to be a well-written, expertly-created rebooting of a classic! What happened to all of that? Did Mr. Pullman just let it all go? I don't agree with his theology and I was disappointed in his first installment, but it was better than this! It was certainly well-written, but as I said, the plot went to heck in a hand basket. I've read better. Much better.

Dare I utter such heresy?...the movie was better.

Your humble book nerd,

Friday, April 27, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (The Devil's Galley - Michelle Rodriguez)

Not to worry, my chickadees, His Dark Materials is scheduled for tomorrow. I promised someone I'd do this for them...

Captained by one of God’s fallen angels, the Devil’s Galley collects souls lost at sea and brings them to their eternal damnation. Since childhood, Maggie Sloane has been the only one able to see its ghostly image upon the sea, drawn to it as if it is her destiny. Haunted by visions of sin and damnation, one night, she leaps off a cliff and unwittingly ends up saved and a passenger on the ship of the damned on a journey to hell.

The fallen angel Rafe is a reaper for Satan. He cannot explain his unacceptable attraction to a mortal girl, rescuing her from treacherous death and damnation with an uncommon hope to save her soul. As they travel to hell and back with the devil after Maggie's pure soul, Rafe must choose between his loyalty to a necessary task and the girl he was never supposed to love. Will his love be the very key to her eternal damnation?


My review as posted on GoodReads:

What emoticon am I looking for? Oh yeah! 8O

Wow! And another wow! I'm even more ashamed I didn't read this faster than I did! I even...liked it better...than...Opera Macabre! (There, I said it!)

Where to start? From the very first, I was hooked. I've often noticed how easily darkness pulls us in--a theme that's incidentally addressed here--and the first chapter held that allure. And it didn't let up from there. Maggie Sloane is cursed with visions of the damned, forced to witness the acts that condemned them to hell. She also sees the ship that ferries them there, the Devil's Galley. And these details are enough to incite the interest of Rafe, a fallen angel and captain of the Galley. Unfortunately, it also attracts Rafe's fallen angel brother Azrael and Lucifer himself.

As is typical with Ms. Rodriguez's work, I found myself laughing, crying, pondering, hopping up and down where I sat, and shouting four-letter words on occasion. I need to find a new analogy, as I use this one every time: It was a roller coaster ride! I can't rave enough about it, but I feel I'll give it away if I say too much!

One scene in particular that stands out for me is Maggie and Rafe aboard the Galley, playing chess and talking about hell and damnation and free will. Apart from the idea of playing chess with an honest-to-goodness angel (fallen or otherwise), Ms. Rodriguez sparks some food for interesting conversation with her observations. Yet the topic of damnation is countered by the focus on redemption and salvation, and the book fairly shines with it. The image of the lighthouse as an object and a symbol adds resonance, and the idea of guiding lost souls home--be it to heaven or hell--gives it another dimension.

You'd never be able to tell by my raving, but I'm speechless at it all.

And what's this? Volume one of the Angel and Demon Chronicles? As in more to come? Egads, I can't wait!

Your humble book nerd,

More Funnies for the Phans

Seen Love Never Dies, yet? It's made a big stink in the phandom, what with people hating on it and people loving it to pieces, but either way, it's more food for parody writers. Again, I can't take credit for this.

Devil Take the Hindmost : Cliff Notes Version

Raoul: If you think you're going to force my trophy wife into another creepy tryst with you, then you've got another thing coming, buddy.

Erik: Your wife is an airhead and so I may manipulate her however I please. Also, you are drunk.

Raoul: Yeah? Well, you're ugly.

Erik: You're broke.

Raoul: You're REALLY ugly.

Erik: You have no testicles.

Raoul: Every time I look at you, I throw up in my mouth a little.

Erik: Yes, but YOU are broke. I on the other hand, am conveniently and mysteriously wealthy despite the fact that a masked criminal showcasing his madness in such a flamboyantly French way would, under any other circumstances, attract the attention of the NYPD, who would, in turn, seize his assets and toss him in the loony bin. But alas, I am wealthy, and you are not. This puts me in a convenient position to further this turd of a plot by making a bet with you that could potentially resolve your debts.

Raoul: Hmm...well, I do like making bets. Because I have no testicles.

Erik: Here goes: How about we both diminish the emotional profundity of one of the greatest love stories ever told by using your wife as a bargaining chip in order to determine who gets prime Christine-banging privileges? If I lose, I will pay your debts. If I win, my Christine-banging privileges will commence immediately.

Raoul: Psh, eff that, man, I've already got prime Christine-banging privileges. We've got a KID. So I pretty much win already.

Erik: Yeah, no. No, you don't. Because I did the diddly with her first.

Raoul: What's that supposed to mean?

Erik: It means the Music of the Night was a little more musical than you thought.

Raoul: WHAT?!

Erik: Let's just think about this for a moment: Your son is intelligent. You cannot tell a rock from a turtle. Your son is a musical prodigy. You carry a tune as well as Ke$ha during Mardi Gras. Your son is persistently creepy not unlike a certain freakish yet inexplicably alluring misanthrope who may or may not be standing in front of you at this very moment. You, on the other hand, are about as alluring as Wonder Bread.

Raoul: What the hell are you TALKING about?

Erik: The kid's mine.

Raoul: Is not!

Erik: Is, too.

Raoul: Is not!

Erik: Is, too.

Raoul: Fine! Rather than acknowledge the painfully obvious fact that the fruit of Christine's loins is actually your ten-year-old possibly homosexual doppelganger, I'm going to take your bet and once again reduce Christine to the status of a bauble.

Erik: And I will reduce my legendary, redeeming love for Christine to nothing but raw, funky libido. Of which you know nothing.
Because you have no testicles.

Written by muirin007 on tumblr

Your pal,

P.S. I should be getting up a review for His Dark Materials sometime soon, if the powers that be will allow it. Cross your fingers!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Let's Talk About Hope

Like the gif? Yeah, me too.

Anyway, I for one have been having a hard time of it lately. What with one thing and another, it's seemed like nothing was ever going to get better, and I'd be better off in a pine box (no, that's a Doug Stone song, isn't it?). Hope was the only thing that kept me in place, and it felt more and more like a chain that had me tied down when I just wanted to let go and fly somehow.

It's amazing what a tour of your local homeless shelter will do for you  when you think you've got it bad. We took a trip downtown to the mission, and it was a real eye-opener for me. We were surrounded by plenty of fellow humans down on their luck. Some were there because life just dealt them a rough hand, some were there because of past mistakes, and some were there because they just had nowhere else to go. They were happy just to get inside and get a place to sleep for the night. They've had it hard, too, and they make it work. A good number of them there are trying to turn their lives around and make a change for the better, and thousands before them have already made that change. If they could do it, why not anyone else? If the ones still in that mission are happy to have a safe place off the street, why can't anyone else with even more blessings to their name be happy with what they have?

I saw a picture on the wall of a dove in flight, and beneath it was this verse: "Find rest, O soul of mine, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. (Psalm 62:5)." There was no wondrous flash of light or a rush of understanding, just a gentle, calm realization that I've had it wrong the whole time. Hope isn't what's been holding me down when something in me longs for flight. Hope is what's been keeping me going and helping me believe that someday I could fly, if I'm only brave enough to stick it out.

My experiences have given me the worldview of a much older person. Mankind is beautiful, but people will always let you down. You can't put your faith in anyone. They'll be there when they need something from you, then leave you high and dry when you need them in return. Pretty grim for a 2* year old. And at the same time, my upbringing has given me the ability to move around in the world like a child: lost, bewildered, afraid to talk to strangers, and wanting nothing more than to sit in a corner and cry because there's nothing else I can do. Pretty sad for a 2* year old. I've had the jaded sensibilities of an old-timer, and the total incompetence of a school-age tot, which makes for a very bad combination. I won't go into those stories.

Now let me cycle back to hope. It's one of the three greatest forces on earth. Can you name the other two? My faith has been shaken aplenty, though it's always sprung back. My love of self has slipped quite a bit, not to say anything of my love of people, but it's slowly reviving. The one thing that has always--always--been constant was my hope. It's stayed my hand when I've meant to harm myself. It's given me peace when I could only see misery around the corner. It's been what restores me when I'm just that close to giving up. I can't get rid of it; it's a gift that's saved my life more than once, even when it felt like the biggest curse of all. And after reaching that conclusion, I wouldn't want to get rid of it. Sure, things are going to get rough every now and then because that's how life works, but they'll get better again. And again. And again.

Do you hear that? That's hope talking.

Thanks for putting up with my babble, friends. I just needed to get that out there.

Your pal,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Just Shoot Me

You know those times when you just want to

A. rip out your own hair
B. bash your head against a wall
C. bash someone else's head against a wall
D. jump off a cliff
E. push someone else off a cliff
F. all of the above

Yeah. I'm there. And I'm about to lose my marbles. Fetch me musket!

No, wait...fetch my pick-me-up!

Alvin and the Chipmunks - Bad Day

Ah, works every time. :)

Your (frustrated/anxious/half-bonkers) pal,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Had to Share This 12

It seems I've got a good thing going in getting posts up...let's keep it up at least another day, shall we?

And by the way...this one rocks hard.

Styx - Renegade

Your pal,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Which Cliche?

Here's a little conundrum that's been bugging me for awhile.

Starts like this: Naive, clueless little ten-year-old me was flipping through the channels one day and came across a movie...I'd heard of Stephen King before and knew just enough about the story to recognize said movie as It. I knew I should probably change the channel fast, but as the first cliche goes, curiosity killed the cat. I left the TV where it was and watched about thirty minutes of a scary-as-heck clown wreaking havoc and all sorts of nasty stuff before Mom came in and took the remote.

Thirty minutes was plenty.

I had nightmares for a week and still have the occasional flashback. To this day, I'm uneasy whenever I see a picture of dear Pennywise the clown. Why do I bring this up? Well, let me circle back to my conundrum and two more cliches. Do I get back on the horse that threw me, or do I let sleeping dogs lie? I could read--and finish--the book and possibly put an old fear to bed, or I could avoid stirring up a hornet's nest (look! Another cliche!) and forget about the whole thing. What to do? What to do?

Is a puzzlement!

Your pal,

Friday, April 20, 2012

Something Funny For the Phans

Saw this on another website and had to share. I only wish I could take credit for it!

How the Angel of Music Got His Wings

Christine: Oh! I'm so lonely and despondent because my lone parental unit has died, rendering me yet another pitiable example of Victorian orphan-dom. I am going to sit here in my dressing room scantily clad in the flickering candlelight whilst my bosom heaves with my sobs of despair.

Erik: Hush, young woman!

Christine: *gasp* What was that? Who are you?

Erik: It is I, a conveniently disembodied, ethereal voice coming from the general vicinity of your mirror. I noticed you are sitting in your dressing room scantily clad in the flickering candlelight whilst your bosom heaves with your sobs of despair. I wish to--

Christine: *gasp: Oh! It's you!

Erik: ......I beg your pardon?

Christine: Oh, I knew you'd come! I knew you would! Father promised you would!

Erik: .....Forgive me, have we met?

Christine: Well, no, not yet, but we were destined to! Father said, "When I am in heaven child, I will send you the Angel of Music!" Well, Father is dead, and now I am being visited by the Angel of Music!

Erik: I....ah....I am afraid you are mistaken. I am not the Angel of Music. I am merely a severely antisocial mad genius with a perilous grip on reality. Also, I live in the cellars here because my face makes King Tut's mummy look like Brad Pitt.

Christine: Oh, I can't believe that! That is far too ludicrous. What sort of loser would live in the opera cellars? That's entirely impossible! No, no, it is far more likely that you are a heavenly being sent by God to personally tutor a relatively insignificant Parisian chorus girl.

Erik: I assure you, I am not an angel. In fact, I am actually just a glorified Peeping Tom.

Christine: Fooey! Angels aren't Peeping Toms! Oh, Angel, I am so excited to finally hear you that I am going to close my thickly-lashed eyes in reverent ecstasy and commence breathing heavily while my waterfall of chocolate curls frames my gloriously beautiful face.

Erik: *watches Christine begin to breathe heavily while her waterfall of chocolate curls frames her gloriously beautiful face*

Christine: Tell me again, Angel! For though I know the truth, I must hear it from your lips! Are you the Angel of Music sent from heaven under the veil of teaching me to sing while actually subversively intending to herald my long-suppressed sexual awakening?

Erik: *watches Christine breathe heavily while her waterfall of chocolate curls frames her gloriously beautiful face* *Considers that this is probably the only chance he'll get to interact with another human being without said human being vomiting violently at the sight of him* *Also considers that tutoring beautiful, dumb soprano might actually lead to long-awaited getting laid*

Erik: Sure, what the hell?

Your pal,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Had to Share This 11

Why do I always end up humming this one at the most inappropriate times?

Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar On Me

Your pal,

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (the Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling)

All right, time to just suck it up and write this thing.

No summaries from me, as just about everyone aboveground has heard of the boy wizard already. So straight to the big huge collective review of the whole she-bang.

I first got into this series when I was in third grade. I talked Mom into getting a copy of the second book and we would read it aloud before bed. I don't remember why we stopped, but I picked it back up a few months later (I still remember the exact page!) and finished where we left off. I had very little idea of what was supposed to be going on and absolutely no idea who was who, but that didn't stop me. I finished that book in two days and raved about it to anyone who would listen, and even a few who wouldn't. I was so excited about it that my grandmother got me the first book...or rather, my first copy of the first book...and I read that one in about a week. I could tell you so many stories about where I've read which books, when I got particular installments, and how many times I've read them all aloud with my brother. I'll just tell you that I was furious when my discount copy of Order of the Phoenix had a humongous misprint and I had to wait six months before I could get a new one to finish reading, and that I swore up and down that I wouldn't read a single one of the other six until I got number seven for myself--and ended up going a whole eighteen months without any of it!

This series was such a huge part of my childhood it's not even funny. Short of actually being in one of the movies (and don't think I didn't fantasize about that!), I don't see how it could have been a bigger part. The first thing that drew me in was how readable it was, and how exciting and funny and all sorts of wonderful stuff. It was pure entertainment. Now that I'm older, I can appreciate it even more. Ms. Rowling is far and away one of my heroes and biggest idols, and she'll always have my respect for letting me grow up with Harry, however corny that sounds. No shame in my game, friends!

And since I feel stupid when I think of how this review stacks up when I remember what Stephen freaking King wrote about these books, I'm just going to stop now. My heart was in the right place, and that's what counts.

Your humble book nerd,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Know Your Characters!

How about some more writerly advice?

It sounds obvious, but before you ever set pen to paper, you have to know EXACTLY who it is you're writing about. You can't chain yourself to your desk for an extended period of time all for the sake of a stranger, albeit an imaginary one, now can you? You have to know every last one of the people waltzing around in your world like you know yourself, if not better.

How, you might ask? Well, I'll tell you: interviews. Pretend you're sitting down on the couch with these guys in front of you, and you're all just having the time of your lives getting acquainted with one another. Grab a notepad and start jotting down everything. Everything. Even if you don't use half the material, write it down. There's the obvious questions, like what they look like and what their objective in the story is, but you need more than that. This isn't so much about coming up with something to use in your work, but making the character come to life in your mind. If he/she is real to you, he/she will be real to your audience as well.

Generally, I spend at least two weeks before working on a major project in fleshing out every main player that I'll be working with for the next several months. I try to understand them so I can better understand why they'll end up doing the things they do later on down the road. It also helps me decide just what they'll do in any given situation if I already know who they are and what they stand for. Make sense?

I don't remember where exactly I found this, but this should help you out.

Character Interview
Place of birth:
What was important to the people who raised him:
Economic/social status growing up:
Ethnic background:
Places lived:
Current address and phone number:
Favorite subject in school:
Special training:
How do people view this character:
Lives with:
Fights with:
Spends time with:
Wishes to spend time with:
Who depends on him and why:
What people does he most admire:
Dating, marriage:
Relationship with God:
Overall outlook on life:
Does this character like himself:
What, if anything, would he like to change about his life:
What personal demons haunt him:
Is he lying to himself about something:
Morality level:
Confidence level:
How is he viewed by others:
Typical day:
Physical appearance:
Body type:
Head shape:
What people notice first:
How would he describe himself:
Personality type (choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholy):
Strongest/weakest character traits:
How can the flip side of his strong point be a weakness:
How much self-control and self-discipline does he have:
What makes him irrationally angry:
What makes him cry:
What people like best about him:
Interests and favorites:
Political leaning:
Food, drink:
Sports, recreation:
Did he play in school:
Best way to spend a weekend:
A great gift for this person:
What large possessions does he own (car, home, furnishings, boat, etc.)
and which does he like best:
Typical expressions:
When happy:
When angry:
When frustrated:
When sad:
Laughs or jeers at:
Ways to cheer up this person:
Ways to annoy this person:
Hopes and dreams:
How does he see himself accomplishing these dreams:
What’s the worst thing he’s ever done to someone and why:
Greatest success:
Biggest trauma:
Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to him:
What does he care about most in the world:
Does he have a secret:
If he could do one thing and succeed at it, what would it be:
He is the kind of person who:
What do you love most about this character:
Why will the reader sympathize with this person right away:
How is the character ordinary or extraordinary:
How is his situation ordinary or extraordinary:
Core Need:
Corresponding psychological maneuver (delusions, obsessions,
compulsions, addictions, denials, hysterical ailments, hypochondria, illnesses,
behaviors harming the self, behavior harming others, manias, and phobias):
Anecdote (defining moment):

This little list of questions has helped me avoid many a tight spot in the past. I just wish I'd had it when I wrote the first drafts of my first novels!

Your pal,

Monday, April 16, 2012


Crud, gotta post something... All right, how about a few jokes? Yes? No?

What the heck, let's do it.

A knight returns after a day of plundering the countryside and reports to the king. "How are we doing?" the king asks. The knight replies, "I've done as you commanded and burned the villages of your enemies to the east." "What?" the king yells. "I don't have any enemies to the east!" "Oh," says the knight. "Well, now you do."


Where does the Navy put its boats?

In the water.


Bob and Tom stumble out of a bar after having one too many. Bob tries to hail a cab while Tom heads for the subway entrance. Five minutes later, he comes back out. "Where have you been?" Bob asks. "I don't know," Tom replies, "but you should see the train set that guy has in his basement."


A woman has twins that swear like sailors, and nothing she does breaks them of the habit. One night, she says to her husband, "The next time those kids say a dirty word, I'm going to punch them in the mouth." Her husband says "Go ahead, dear, if you think you have to." The next morning, the kids come downstairs and she asks the first one, "What do you want for breakfast?" He thinks about it and says, "I want some f***ing pancakes." POW! She punches him right in the mouth, knocks out his front tooth, and he falls to the floor. She turns to the next twin and asks, "And what do you want for breakfast?" The second one looks at his brother bleeding on the floor, then back at his mom and says, "Well, I sure as hell don't want any f***ing pancakes!"

Yes, I'm grasping at straws here. Sorry.

Your pal,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Who Did It Better? (the POTO edition)

It's been awhile since I did one of these...

OK, so you could probably see this particular post coming eventually after I covered Sweeney Todd; I just had to narrow down which song. I'm going with "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" as my Artist of the Month post presented one of the contenders. It's an epic final four, peeps, with all my favorites!

Emmy Rossum

I get that Emmy isn't exactly the most popular Christine to date, but this is far from shabby. Is she as operatic as others in the role? Heck no, but there's still a lightness and purity in her voice that just moved me to tears the first time I heard this. I say it's a keeper!

Gina Beck

I don't even have words for this. I really don't. No, wait! Do "heart-wrenching" and "painfully beautiful" count? And you should hear her rendition of "Think Of Me!"

Rebecca Caine

Holy Punjabs, I get goosebumps just thinking about that one. Ms. Caine has one of those voices that haunt you, and when she gets to "Why can't the past just die" I have to brace myself every time. And that final note! She starts out soft then turns it loose, and I love it!

Sierra Boggess


Had to settle with a link here, and it's only audio, but still...WOW! This one's from the 25th anniversary concert, and it was without a doubt one of the best dang parts of the show! The accent is a little...iffy, but there's not a single flippin' thing wrong with the singing! I was bawling at this one! I'm taking sides on this one and saying that this is my favorite, hands down and no questions asked!

Where do you stand?

Your pal,

Friday, April 6, 2012

Artist of the Month - Apr 2012

Sorry I'm late...I'm here and accounted for...

So, onto the announcing. Drum roll please!

*drum roll*

Emmy Rossum

Some of you who might happen to read this might already know that Ms. Rossum not only acts, but sings. I first came across her as Christine in the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. She was surprising for being so young and untrained, but I'll probably talk more about that in a later post. Her debut album was released back in 2007 (and she co-wrote nearly every song on it, which is rather impressive), and I'm about to lose my cool waiting for this second album I've heard rumors about for so long. She's a bit like Annie Lennox and Madonna thrown into a blender, classified as ambient and bordering on techno-pop. Here, have a listen!


For starters, ain't she pretty? For another, this has got to be my favorite song off her album and again, one of my faves, period.

 Inside Out
Don't Stop Now
Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again

Happy listening!

Your pal,