Album of the Week: Folie A Deux by Fall Out Boy

The year was 2008. Fall Out boy was at their peak with their previous album release, “Infinity on High.” So, like any band that has had plenty of success, they decided to follow up with an album that goes in a different direction. “Folie A Deux” was released on Jan. 1, 2008.

This album is a masterpiece. It starts off with a beautiful song, “Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes.” The lyrics, “ So boycott love, detox just to retox. I’ll promise you anything for another shot at life,” are perfect and incredibly deep. I had the chance to hear this song live and screaming those lyrics brought tears to my eyes.

The track list for the album is impeccable. Hit after hit. This is one of the few albums that I can listen to in full without skipping a song.

Another thing that made this album stand out was it’s many collaborations with fellow label mates, including Panic! at the Disco on the songs “What a Catch, Donnie” and “20 Dollar Nose Bleed.” Both songs are the most memorable to fans who did not particularly like said album. “What a Catch, Donnie” is the necessary slow ballad on the album, with a sad and depressing vibe of something ending. But, it is still relatable to listeners.

Most fans of Fall Out Boy had mixed feelings about this album. They felt that the band was shying away from their roots and trying to be someone they were not. Some believe that the fan reviews led to the band’s 2009-2013 hiatus.

Personally, I find this album amazing is because of its powerful lyrics. Lyrics such as “I don’t just want to be a footnote in someone else’s happiness” and “ Hell or glory, I don’t want anything in between” really connected with me. Since Fall Out Boy’s recent album, “Mania” has been pushed back, hopefully we will get a lot of “Folie A Deux” songs on their setlist for their upcoming tour. Fall Out Boy is coming to San Diego’s Viejas Arena on Nov. 15, 2017.


Featured Image: retrieved from here.

A Show for the Nerd in your Heart: Silicon Valley

During the summer I spent my time watching “Silicon Valley” and I’ve been thinking, “Why don’t more people know about this show?” I am now making it my duty to spread the word about one of the funniest comedies on television today.

“Silicon Valley” is about Richard Hendricks and his group of friends who try to develop his app called Pied Piper. For four seasons the team has faced a number of difficult obstacles that hinder them from creating a successful app. The show is also full of characters that almost anyone can relate to. Richard Hendricks, the creator of Pied Piper, is the main character who’s nervous and awkward but insanely smart and strong-willed when it comes to his company. His friends and employees Dinesh, Gilfoyle, Jared and Erlich bring the fun, light-hearted comedy that gives the show its charm.

“Silicon Valley” possesses a type of comedy many may consider inappropriate, almost juvenile. However, it is always refreshing to watch a show whose jokes land 100% of the time and are improvised by the brilliant actors. Their most memorable joke (not appropriate to be repeated on this blog) was completely ad-libbed. While the scene ran for four minutes, no one broke character, no one laughed and it was astounding. In interviews the actors admitted they recorded this particular scene in one-take. They even considered it the funniest bit they had ever done.

My favorite character is Jared Dunn who is played by Zach Woods. Some may know his familiar face as Gabe Lewis from the popular tv show “The Office.” Jared Dunn doesn’t fulfill that “funny guy” trope. He’s awkward and introverted but his personality and sharp one-liners make him hilarious.

All in all, this show is one of the funniest shows on tv. “Silicon Valley” has won many awards including Critic’s Choice Awards and Emmy’s. Praised by critics and viewers alike since its premiere, it is one of the few shows that hasn’t fallen in quality after its third season. Be sure to tune in to HBO on February 17th to witness the comedy genius that is “Silicon Valley.”

Band To Watch: Super Whatevr

As the lead vocalist of the main band I Don’t Know How But They Found Me sang “No one likes the opening band,” it really got me thinking- does anyone really like or even pay attention to the openers? It takes a great and vibrant band to grab and hold the attention of an audience often restless and sometimes brutal to first acts.

On Sept. 27, 2017, the band I Don’t Know How But They Found Me played an intimate gig at the House of Blues in San Diego. The opening band Super Whatevr really captured the crowd’s attention. Walking out on stage, they introduced themselves like a high school band at a talent show. But once they started playing, their talent and energy flew off the charts. Super Whatevr took the stage and performed five songs with ease and passion. Despite playing in front of disinterested teenage girls, I was surprised at how comfortable they all seemed onstage. Like any promising band would, they grabbed the audience’s attention and made everyone, including myself, want to see more. The freshness of an up-and-coming band with new music is always exciting to me.

The lead singer, Skylar, posses a voice missed in the rock-n-roll scene. His raspy yet passionate and powerful voice made the songs fun and enjoyable to watch. The band even performed an emotional ballad called “Someone Somewhere Somehow”. The lyrics “Believe he actually was a corpse before his life had ended” really struck a cord in everyone at the venue. One could feel the sympathy radiating from the audience as the song began to build and the lead singer’s voice grew more in longing and emotion. Tears filled the eyes of many people in the room that night.

The guitarist, Dylan, also stood out to me. He seemed quiet and reserved but he seriously rocked on the guitar.

As I was watching them perform I knew the world needed to know about them. They are a must-watch band and I hope to see their name in lights on the Whiskey a Go Go marquee someday. Keep on rocking Super Whatevr!

The Evolution of Harry Styles

Sept. 19, 2017. Echoes of the song “Ever Since New York” play from the stage, which is covered by a pink banner. As the third echo plays, the spot light hits the banner revealing his shadow. The banner drops and Harry Styles is revealed to the Masonic Theater in San Francisco on his first show of his first tour. A rockstar was born.

Now, we all have heard of Harry Styles by now. Whether it be since the heyday of One Direction from 2010-2015, or since his first solo single “Sign of the Times” was released. But, there was always the nagging feeling that he could be a bigger star than he already was – and he proved us right.

For those who may not know, Styles auditioned for the X Factor UK in 2010 and was put into a group with four other boys to form what is presently known as One Direction. One Direction had many “bubblegum pop” songs, starting with the infamous “What Makes You Beautiful,” and going on to many others, such as “Kiss You” and “Best Song Ever.” With millions of young fans, Styles was undoubtably the most popular in the group. His personality shined on stage and his voice grew stronger with each passing album. As One Direction fans grew older, so did One Direction. The last two albums from the group contained many songs written by the members. While in the group, Styles wrote “Stockholm Syndrome,” “Olivia,” and several songs that were recorded by various artists (most notably Ariana Grande’s “Just a little Bit of Your Heart”). He was surely coming into his own as a singer, performer, and songwriter.

In 2015, when the group split up, many fans and even critics were interested in what Styles would release. What kind of music was he connected too? Does he have what it takes to be an actual solo artist? Who actually is “Harry Styles”? Would he flop? The answers to all these questions were provided when he released his debut, self-titled album on May 12 of this year.

His song “Sign of the Times” ruled the airwaves this past summer. And, his appearances on popular TV shows, such as “Saturday Night Live” and “The Late Late Show with James Cordon” (which Styles was a guest on for an entire week), showed the world how funny, carefree, and lovable the 23 year-old heartthrob actually is.

Styles’ album had many ’60s and ’70s rock-n-roll influences. His song “Woman” has a clear psychedelic, Bowie-like influence that wasn’t necessarily expected from someone with a track record like Styles’. In his harder rock songs, “Kiwi” and “Only Angel,” we can hear the influences of other legendary artists, such as The Kinks and The Rolling Stones. As for his slow ballads, “Meet Me in the Hallway,” “Sweet Creature” and “From the Dining Room Table,” we get hints of Lennon-McCartney sounds.

Since the album was released, many rock-n-roll legends have showed their support for young Styles. People such as Mick Jagger, Gene Simmons and Mick Fleetwood are noted fans. And, the legend Stevie Nicks even sang a duet of “Landslide” with Harry Styles during a secret show at the Troubadour.

This album proved to his fans and the people who doubted him that he was indeed unique and talented, and most importantly, here to stay.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Styles states that he wanted to be honest with this album. He wanted to tell his stories and be honest, which is “something he hadn’t done before.” If we look at the response from fans, critics and those in between, we could say that his honesty put him on the path to rock-n-roll stardom.

With Grammy nominations on the horizon, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see his name on the list. All in all, Harry Styles is THE rockstar we need in this day and age.

Featured image: All rights to Columbia Records. Retrieved from here.