Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jack and White "Gemini" Ep

Season 7 American Idol finalist Brooke White has teamed up with talented singer/songwriter Jack Martranga for her latest project. A wise choice, and a beautiful collaboration that turned into the duo now known as "Jack and White".

I've always been a big fan of Brooke and have been anxiously waiting for new music from her since her 2008 album "high hopes and heartbreak" This ep does not dissapoint. Brooke fans, and music fans in general, will dig this ep. It's some of the best music I've heard in a long time. The first word that comes to my mind when I think of this ep? Smoky. What does that mean? I don't really know. A combination of soulful, sweet, rich, and filling.

The title track, Gemini, was bouncing around the internet for a while before released. I have to say, I wasn't a fan of it when I first heard it. I got bored while listening...but it sounds much better now. I like the use of instruments here. It actually caught my attention right away because I feel the same way as Brooke when she sings "been walking a fine line between darkness and fixed but I'm broken, guarded but open". Ah Brooke! You get me. Thank you for this song.

Double Trouble is a fun song. Great sound and harmonies (And by harmonies I mean Brooke singing over Brooke-makes a really interesting sound). I can totally picture a crowded room clapping along to the beat of this song. "Love to stay, tons of fun, thanks for nothing, gotta run".

Inside Outside. There's so many great things about this song. Instrumentally perfect. The lyrics are incredible, Brooke really pours her whole heart out here. Also, I know Brooke is a big fan of the Kings of Leon song "Use Somebody", and I like to think that the oooooh's in Inside Outside match the OOOOOh's in Use Somebody. :) "I'm scared of heights but I'm not afraid to fly."

Telephone Games is one of those songs all of us can relate too. A girl in love, but the guy is just stringing her along. Another amazing song lyric wise. Every line is like a little gift for my ears. Brooke's voice is flawless, especially in this song. "are you loving someone new? has a change of heart changed you? maybe I'm going insane...but when the summer turns to fall, I won't be waiting for your call".

Smoke and Mirrors is different than the other songs, in a good way. The beats make it a jammin song. I instantly go into rockstar mode when I hear this song. Love the sass in the lyrics and vocals, even in the instruments- especially love when Brooke sings the line "guess what, I know all your secrets". I think this is my favorite song. I've listened to it 17 times already, in 24 hours.

Feathers reminds me why I liked Brooke in the first place- sweet, simple, but passionate and soulful. The chorus sums up Brooke's love for music "writing a song, make it up as we go along do do do do do, free as the birds as they hum along do do do do do". It's so...Brooke White. And I love that. I love that she is true to herself while growing as an artist.

Brooke has truly outdone herself. I was hesitant to purchase this EP, and then I listened to it for three hours straight. I was thinking about it all day today at work, how I wanted to go home and listen again. Because every time I do I discover something new that I love- and I think that is one of the best gifts and artist can give listeners. So thank you, Jack and White. Keep making music. Smoky music :)

PS- Last night I tweeted about Brooke's ep, and she reponded to me with this "well hey Megan, nice to see your face! So glad that you are diggin' the record!". Brooke has never tweeted me before. HOW DID SHE KNOW WHO I WAS? This seriously boggles my mind. Does she really remember me from 2008? Is that possible? Or did she look at my profile on twitter and put it together from there? I am intrigued by this.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

song writing contest

I'm gonna do a real blog soon, but in the mean time, I need your thoughts.

I'm entering a song writing contest. I never do, and I don't expect anything, but one of my goals is to get my writing "out there". I've picked a few things that I like the best. The contest is for country music, so that led to my decision. I'm copying/pasting the lyrics here. Pick your favorite. Thanks.

"You And Your Guitar"
Written May 2009

They say nothing’s impossible
Well babe, I’m starting to think
That getting to you is the exception

For you I’m just another girl
Who fell in love with you and your guitar
I’ll never be the one you want so I’ll keep trying to quit you
How can I quit when you keep coming around again?
You with your guitar…

You know I’ll always be here
So you can get away with forgetting me for a while
I really shouldn’t care this much
But every time I see you and your guitar, my heart goes into overdrive
The distance between us is too much to take
You’re living the life you’ve always dreamed of, the life I’ll never be a part of
I can’t blame you, but I wish that I could make you see

I’m not just another girl
I’m the one with everything you need
You know part of this is on you
You spoke those words and made me fall in love
with you and your guitar

I want to believe you’re worth all of this,
That the dream of you and I is not too far off
I’m afraid I’ll never know that truth
Because for you I’m just another girl
Who fell in love with you and your guitar.

"silently suffering"
written feb 2010
I’ve been through enough heartbreak
To think that love is just a lie
But then you came along with your guitar
Somehow you tricked me into believing
you were different from the rest

It could have been the looks you gave me
Or the simple way you changed my life
Truth’s out and here’s a surprise…
it was never me
I was just the one you could

string along, string along
then just let me fall
You led me on and then let me sit here
silently suffering

I can’t get those words out of my head
The words that broke my heart
The ones that told me about her
When All along **whisper 6 months** I thought it was me
But I was just there for you to

Here I am, watching her hold you
We both know that should be me
But clearly my feelings have no say in the matter
Because she’s there with you,
I’m just the one that you were happy to

string along, string along
then just let me fall
You led me on and then let me sit here
silently suffering

forget anything I’ve said to you
about you giving me hope and life
you can’t be my heroic love if you’ve left me
silently suffering

"it could be me"
written october 2010
You flash that bright, sweet smile
Trick them to believe you’re doing fine
But we both know there’s more to you
Than what you’re willing to show the world
let somebody see what’s behind that wall
oh please let that somebody be me
This may seem like a desperate call for your attention
But I’ve been silent for much too long now
And I think it’s time you knew
I could be the one for you
Chorus: Oh I pinky promise I really do care
I’m not like the rest, how can I make you believe
Your secrets are safe with me
I want to know every word to your story
What breaks your heart, who was your first love
Tell me your dreams, what moves your heart
Whenever I see you I can’t help but wish
For more time to be with you, let you break down right infront of me
I smile to myself as you walk past
Hold back from following you and taking your hand
Stop myself from screaming that I love you
And I, I must confesss, I wonder about you all the time
I can sense the trouble in your bright green eyes
Together we will be just fine
Chorus: Oh I pinky promise I really do care
I’m not like the rest, how can I make you believe
Your secrets are safe with me
I want to know every word to your story
What breaks your heart, who was your first love
Tell me your dreams, what moves your heart
I can’t take you away from your own little world
Just believe that I’ll be here waiting
When you’re ready to let someone in
Oh please let that someone be me

"never alone"
dec 2010
As the tears crash down from your tired eyes
And fall like weights into your hands
Take a deep breath, look to the sky
Find peace knowing your fears
Won’t last forever
Someone is coming to save you
You are never alone

Your story is not over yet
Keep writing with the words inside your heart
Don’t let anyone take that away

You say you need a rescue
Look inside your self
Find that strength deep inside
Force fear to escape your mind

Say a prayer, sing outloud, write it all out
Whatever brings you peace
We’re waiting for you to shine
Because you are never alone

"wait, I think"
jan 2011
I think I like you
Starting to think I’d like to keep you around
Wait, that’s a lie, who am I kidding
Let’s not get too attached
We both know I have issues letting go
If you don’t mind I want to just have this moment
I know this sounds crazy, we’ve only just met
But there’s something about you
That’s got me hooked
You really get me
And I’d really like to get to you
You must be a miracle worker
Cuz With you I’m myself
That doesn’t happen very often
You won me over when we were driving
You knew my favorite song
And that I don’t like my music too loud
But wait, stop the music
Let’s not get too attached
We both know I have issues letting go
If you don’t mind I want to just have this moment
And we can go back to just friends
Wait, that’s a lie, who am I kidding
I think I like you
I know I’d like to keep you around.

june 2011
My friends are waiting
Not so patiently
For me to get over you
They don’t know me very well
Because I’m never going to
Give up all of this
It’s not that I haven’t tried
I make a wish that you’ll disappear
So I can stop chasing you
But as long as you stick around
Honey I’m stuck on you
Call me crazy and desperate
But I’ll take those over lonely
And dear when you’re around
The lonely goes away
My friends, they wonder what I see in you
It’s your sweet soul that
Has had me captured since that very first day
It’s the hope you gave me
To sum it all up, you’re perfect
So to my so call friends
I know this is hard for you
You call me crazy and desperate
But I’d take those over lonely
And dears, when he’s around,
The lonely goes away
So let me love him
As long as he’s around
I’m so stuck on him

late night sadness
july 2011

I should be sleeping but I’m too busy
Listening to sad songs
And wondering where you are tonight
And if you ever found yourself
Like you always said you needed to do
Love can be so close to hate
And can empty you out
Now we barely even speak
And I miss you more than you know
Keeping our lives so
Loosely braided together
It just isn’t enough for me
I’m wondering what if
I hadn’t left that night
I shouldn’t have been so careful
Should have just taken that risk
But I held back instead of holding you
And I see now it was love, at least for me
But love can be so close to hate
And can empty you out
Now we barely even speak
And I miss you more than you know
I shouldv’e told you how I felt
Should’ve kissed you on that mountain
Should’ve done anything to keep you close
And wherever you are tonight
I hope life’s been good to you
Goodnight, my long lost love.

I need need need everyone's input! thank you! xoxo

Sunday, August 14, 2011

class of 2012

First of all- hi. I'm alive. August has been a pretty insane month.

So, one of my students messaged me on facebook and asked if I had any advice for her senior year of high school. That got me thinking, and voila- a blog.

Side note- I cannot believe my babies are going to be seniors. We're really about to send them off into the world? Anyways...

How To Have A Rockin Senior Year, By Miss Kurolin

Don't Slack Off.
Believe it or not, colleges WILL look at your senior year. If they saw a big dip in your grades, probably not a good sign. Plus, it makes it 10x harder to get into gear when you start your college classes if you spent a whole year slacking off.

Find A Part Time Job
ONLY if you can manage it with keeping up good grades. You guys already work as part of the school program, but finding a part time job outside of that will help you gain even more experience- plus it will help you save money for college expenses.

Mentor A Younger Student
Find a younger student who reminds you of yourself and be a role model for them. Help them in their classes, help them make smart choices.

Keep College Options Open
There are several factors that go into choosing a college. Money, distance, and programs being the most popular. Keep your options open. Don't just apply to one school, have several backups. Visit schools of interest to get a feel for the campus and what they offer. Make realistic goals. Not ready for a university? Go to community college. Keep pushing, working harder and harder for your goals.

Say Thank You
You may not realize it at this moment, but your teachers, employers, and classmates have had an influence on you. Thank them for it. Thank the janitors who clean up after you every day. THANK THE PEOPLE WHO SERVED YOU LUNCH EVERY DAY (COUGH COUGH HING HINT). :) Seriously, though. Make sure they know you appreciate them. Write them letters, verbalize it, give hugs. They'll love it, and remember it.

Volunteering helps you network and meet people, and helps you to find your passion. Tutor other students, clean up the city- do something to help out.

Decrease Drama
Your senior year is not a time to be fighting with your classmates. Be kind and generous, calm and patient. Remember everyone is under stress, and transition can change people. Stay true to yourself. Don't worry about others behavior. Worry about your future.

Have Fun
Not too much fun :) Make the right choices, but build memories. Take pictures. Write things down. Enjoy.

Participate in School Events
You only have a short time left. Make the most of it! Make a name for yourself- a positive one. Don't be known as the kid who was always in trouble. Be known as the sweetheart, or the one who was always helping others, or the amazing writer/artist/singer. Take your talent and make it known. Use it to do good.

I'm very proud to know all of you and I'm extremely excited for you as you begin your senior year. I know you are all capable of succeeding. I just hope you realize that, and do something about it- it's in your hands. You have control over your life. If you need advice, you know I'm always here for you. Hope to see you all soon. Be nice to the new mercy volunteers. :-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

look at me now

I thought it was about time to do one of my "life update" posts. These ones are more for me than anyone else, but if you are intrigued by my life, then I hope you enjoy :)

First of all, I'm another year older. As most of you know, I was quite excited to not be 23 anymore. I had a rough year. I was grieving the loss of an entire year with MVC-I lost an amazing job with great kids, I lost my all happened fast and I did not adapt well. I struggled to find a job, had a really horrible part time job experience, etc. I'm glad that's over. Here's to a new year, and here's to my wonderful family, friends, and co workers who made by birthday special.

What I'm Up To: A lot. :)

Work. July was kind of a quiet month. August will be rather busy. I have at least three new volunteers starting, hopefully two more. That takes a lot- training, introducing to patients, managing their files, etc. Also have a few senior health fairs planned and perhaps a volunteer coordinator weekend retreat. A lot going on!

Becoming a Mercy Associate. No, that's a not a nun. An associate is " women and men who hear and respond to a call from God, an invitation to Gospel holiness lived through sharing in the mission of Mercy". I made the decision to become an associate based on my desire to take a closer, more serious walk with the Sisters of Mercy. I absolutely adore their mission and support each of their programs. Becoming an associate will just take me a step deeper into that Circle of Mercy. I'm very excited about this process and have a meeting this Saturday to discuss the next steps.

Helping to strengthen St. Hugo's Youth Group
. The youth group at my church is not as active as some of us would like. I am teaming up with our pastor and two other young adults- one the campus minister at Marian, the other UofD. We've had one meeting so far and another tomorrow evening. I'm excited about our ideas, and excited to be working with youth again and doing something I'm passionate about, which is helping kids find their purpose.

Writing a book. The book on Laurence is a huge task. I've only been able to do a handful of interviews, due to timing. I think I'll be able to get more done once summer is over and people have gone back to regular schedules that don't include vacations and summer camps. I write when I can, and expect it to take about a year or so before I can say I'm finished. But, I am very happy with the interviews I've had so far. People have been very open and honest with me, eager to help and share their story of Laurence. I'm really excited for my next interview, which is with a little girl who continues to live Laurence's mission in big ways.

Dieting. I haven't been so good about journaling my food, but the difference I see in my energy level and choices is incredible. I'm full quicker, I can talk myself out of fast food cravings, I just feel better overall. I know this is going to take a long time, but I'm happy, and very proud of myself.

What I'm Looking Forward Too:
Idol Concert. Can't believe it's Sunday. I don't feel prepared. I'm only going to one show this year with no "ins" this time, so I have no idea if I'll be going to an after party. I'm just excited because I hear it's a great show, one of the best Idol concerts ever because of the performers and music. I don't even have my tickets yet. Hoping they release awesome seats right before the show :) I know no matter what happens Sam and I are going to have a wonderful time. No drama, no high hopes, just fun.

Visit to Gem/Melinda concert. It has been a little over TWO years since I've been able to hear Melinda sing live. That's just not right! On August 19th I'll leave work and head to Gem's house, Saturday morning she and I will drive to Lexington. We'll meet up with Maria and Des and then go to the show. Cannot wait to hear Melinda sing again and to spend a weekend with my backups!

Dave and Katie's wedding! Two of my lovely community members/friends for life are getting married in September. I'm super excited to be there and to see them, as well as spend the weekend with my two friends Jason and Meghan. I've never been to Orlando and can't think of a better reason to go than to celebrate the love of two wonderful people.

What I'm Reading:
Skipping A Beat by Sarah Pekkanen. It's really good- great story, interesting, creative. I should be finished with it by the end of the week and then I'll start These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf.

What I'm Watching:I don't watch much TV in the summer, but I especially don't watch TV in the summer when I'm working and getting involved in other projects. My guilty pleasures include the Glee Project (#teamsamuel) and the Challenge Rivals...other than that, not watching a lot of TV.

What I'm Listening Too:
A list of my current favorite tunes....

-Valerie, Amy Winehouse
-Skyscraper, Demi Lovato
-Lonely, Christina Perri
-Remind Me, Brad Paisley/Carrie Underwood
-Party Rock Anthem, LMFAO
-If I Die Young, The Band Perry
-Best Thing I Never Had, Beyonce
-Look At Me Now, Chris Brown ft Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes

What's new with you? :-)