Music Notes: Top 5 Of January

I’m always interested in the music people are listening to. Whenever I see someone walking around with their music players I always want to know what they are listening to. I think the type of music people listen to can say a lot about a person. My taste in music tends to change based on what’s going on currently in my life. So for all you people out there who are just as nosey as I am, here is the top 5 bands I’ve been listening to in January:

1) The 1975 – This is a British band that I stumbled upon about 3 months ago while perusing YouTube. They have really catchy songs that just put you into a good mood. [While the some of their song titles may put off people from giving their music a try, they are definitely worth giving a listen to.] I’d suggest checking out their songs Chocolate, Heart Out, or their EP song Sex.

2) Simple Plan – This Canadian band has been a favourite of mine since I was 12. My love for them was also solidified by their “guest appearance” on Scooby-Doo (because those things matter to a pre-teen). I actually got to see them live at their Get Your Heart On tour a few years ago (which was my first and favourite concert). Luckily, Simple Plan sounds just as good live as they do on their records. It’s really hard to pick from all their songs, but I’d suggest starting with Grow Up, Holding On, Gone Too Soon, and The Rest Of US (from their new album).

3) Boys Like Girls – Now this is a band I started listening to back when I was in high school. I don’t actually know anyone that listens to them other than my sister. They have a lot of high energy music which is great to listen to when trying to get work done, or working out. The songs Two is Better Than One, Real Thing, Contagious, and Heels Over Head are some good songs to start listening to.

4) Faber Drive- I started listening to this band because my sister decided I should expand my musical repertoire and moved some of her songs into my music library. When I first heard of this band I automatically dismissed it because my sister and I have very different tastes in music. However, I found myself slowly falling in love with their music over time. I suggest checking out their songs Tongue Tied, When I’m With You, and You And I Tonight.

5) Landon Austin – I found Landon on YouTube a few years ago. He isn’t a well known musician and he isn’t signed to a record label, but he is an amazing singer and guitarist. I actually got to meet/chat with him when he came here on tour. He is a very sweet and down-to-earth person. He writes his own songs and also plays some very good covers of other popular songs. His song Once In A Lifetime was actually the first dance song at my wedding. I suggest listening to his songs Once In A Lifetime, Ready For Anything, and Let’s Fly.

Book Nook: The Magicians

Though teen fiction is the first place I tend to go in the book stores, sometimes I want a book that is at a higher reading level and has a bit more substance. The book The Magicians by Lev Grossman was my first foray into adult fiction. I enjoy adult fiction books because they have a larger vocabulary and take longer than an hour or two to read through. The Magicians is good fantasy book to transition into more adult fiction. Though the content is definitely on the more mature side, Grossman has a more simplistic style of writing (by that I mean it doesn’t hurt your head to try to get through a chapter).

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The Magicians is the first book of a trilogy. The second book is The Magician King and the third book is The Magician’s Land (not yet released). The book combines the idea of Hogwarts (a school of magic in a castle) and the first story in the Chronicles of Narnia (The Magician’s Nephew). If you haven’t read The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis I would suggest reading it first because it gives you a lot of background knowledge and it will be easier to understand the references in Grossman’s book.

The Magicians follows a boy named Quentin through his acceptance into a college of magic and his journey to discover Fillory (a.k.a Narnia). Though it’s hard to say more about the story without giving parts away, I will say the story takes some unexpected dark turns. I have mixed feelings about The Magicians. Though it is very well written, it probably isn’t for everyone. I will, however, warn you that I did’t find the second book in the trilogy was at the same level (content wise) as the first. I suggest if you do read The Magicians to just stick with the first book. Though there is a slight cliffhanger, it is better as a stand-alone book.

 

Gaming: Pokemon X

The Pokemon games are very near and dear to my heart. They bring me back to my childhood when everything was just a lot simpler. When I was about 7 or 8 my parents had finally gave in to my ever present protests to get a gaming console. For Christmas that year I got a Gameboy Color and Pokemon Yellow. I played that game for years, and still have that game packed away somewhere with my Gameboy.

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Ever since I got that first Pokemon game I was hooked. I’ve played a few of the other games in the series, Pearl and Heart Gold, but none of them ever compared to the Yellow version that I first started with…until now. When I first started up Pokemon X, I was honestly a bit unsure of the game. There were a lot of new features that I hadn’t had in any of my previous games, and the controls on the 3DS took a bit of getting used to. I honestly spent about half an hour just trying to figure out what everything did. However, when I finally started playing it my opinions changed. This game is honestly everything I wished Pokemon would be. I love how the fight sequences are more interactive and how the whole world is just a lot more realistic (for a video game).

I also was able to battle with one of my friends on Friday. The options seemed a lot more straightforward than in some of the previous games I battled other people in. There was no lag in the battle for either handheld console and it was a great seamless experience. If you are a Pokemon fan I suggest checking out either X or Y. Though I am not a fan of some of the newer Pokemon, they still have all the old classics to capture.

A Very Potter Day

Since this week has been very busy with school starting and such, I thought I’d have a little chat about what I did last weekend. Since school started this week I thought it would be fun to do something a little different before getting back to classes. My husband, my sister, my friend Mike and I all went to the Telus World of Science to see Harry Potter: The Exhibition. It was honestly one of my favourite exhibits TWOS has had so far. I grew up with the Harry Potter books so to see all the props from the movies was completely unbelievable. It was kind of funny to see how tall the actors were in the movies based on their costumes (they are honestly shorter than I thought they were). I loved that you could get a picture of your group at the exhibit wearing house scarves and holding wands. Ours was absolutely hilarious (I would include it but I haven’t gotten permission from everyone to use it). If you’re in one of the cities the Harry Potter exhibition stops at, I would definitely suggest to check it out. It was a magical way to spend a few hours and I honestly can’t wait to go again before it leaves Telus World of Science.