Monday, December 20, 2010

The Sing-Off Season 2 Finale

So, everyone, did you vote last week?  If not, then it's your own fault if your group doesn't win.  Or it's everybody else's fault for not knowing to vote for your group in the first place.  Whatevs.

Let's start the Finale!  (Tonight, my friend Linda is watching with me, so I may have some comments from her, marked "L").

Group Opening Number:  "Put A Little Love In Your Heart" by Jackie DeShannon
I like Jerry Lawson's cane.  

Committed with Boyz II Men:  "Motown Philly" by Boyz II Men
I like how they fit in the spelling of "Committed"!  I sang along with the Dm Dm Dm Da Das.  :)  I like that B2M now has a bass with the addition of Committed.  Nice job!

Whiffenpoofs played through the break with "I Just Haven't Met You Yet". 

The Backbeats with Sara Bareilles:  "King of Anything" by Sara Bareilles
Sara actually sang with Awaken ACappella at UCLA, which is cool that she's back to her roots with them.  I'm hearing dissonance.  Is anyone else?  Yes, Linda does.  L:  "It sounds like they're singing two different songs."  PellaPusher:  "It's Charles Ives."

Talk of the Town with Nicole Scherzinger:  "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Linda got her wish and they're singing Motown.  Nicole is channeling her inner Diana Ross.  I just didn't like this arrangement, or the blend, or something.  L says it's because it wasn't the right key for the guys.  It was the right key for Nicole, though.

Eleventh Hour took us through the break with their "Baby Baby".

Street Corner Symphony with Ben Folds:  "Gone"
Ben doesn't have the greatest singing voice, but he gets by, I guess.  He blends in OK with SCS, but I think that he should have sung his part better since it's, you know, HIS SONG.  I liked Nick's Ben-ish review, though.  

Talk of the Town and The Backbeats with Sheryl Crow:  "Long Road Home" by Sheryl Crow
I feel like they're cheating when there are instruments.  I like the song, though.  Take it over, Jerry!  He's just such a star.  

Committed and Street Corner Symphony with Neil Diamond:  "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers
I liked that they all sang their own favorite ND songs prior to this.  "TODAY!"  Sorry, I can't not do that when I hear that song.  I liked SCS singing "Sweet Caroline".  Back to this song.  "I know, I know..." = NICE!  I really like the chords in this arrangement.  They need to all record this together. I want this new album now.  

All Finalists with Nick Lachey: "That's What Christmas Means To Me"  originally performed by Stevie Wonder
Ooh, Courtney from The Backbeats sings, and I like her voice!  It's like when JT sings: surprising, and nice to hear.  That was fun.

The groups will now sing on their own some Songs of Hope.

The Backbeats:  "Firework" by Katy Perry
L:  "They need a new choreographer".  She's sick of the emo moves.  They sing the song better than KP, though.  Nice falsetto, Kenton!  Oh, Nicole, and your analogies:  Kenton is the bananas in the sundae.  That's "deeper", Nicole?  Okayyyyy....

Men of Note played us through the break with "For The Longest Time".

Committed:  "Hold My Hand" by Michael Jackson and Akon
I didn't really like the opening chords, but it gelled a bit later.  Whenever the guy with the braids sings, I smile involuntarily.  Aw, Nicole is crying and making them cry.  Shawn, showing the love again.  

Talk of the Town:  "Love Train" by the Ojays
Before they started, L had to set me straight on why this was a song of hope because I forgot how the song went.  Jerry must have, like, 50 canes.  I liked Ben's comment about forgetting its competition every time TotT sings, because they put the song ahead of everything else.

Pitch Slapped played us through the break with "I've Got the Music In Me".

Street Corner Symphony:  "Fix You" by Coldplay
I didn't like those opening chords.  Wait.  I thought they were singing by themselves.  L:  "Looks like they needed a little help from their friends."  L and I are, APPARENTLY, heartless.  

First group of the finalists to leave:  Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town

Talk of the Town's Swan Song:  "Hit The Road, Jack" by Percy Mayfield

Second group to leave:  The Backbeats
The Backbeats' Swan Song:  "Goodbye to You" by Roxette

On The Rocks sings through the break with "The Final Countdown"

Final Results:
Winners:  COMMITTED!!!  YAY!!!

Street Corner Symphony's Swan Song: "Drift Away" by Mentor Williams

Championship Performance by Committed:  "We Are the Champions" by Queen

Linda and I were happy that one of our faves won.  Yay!

Congratulations, Committed, and to The Sing-Off, thank you for a great couple of weeks.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Caught Knapping, Get Ready for the PELLA!!!


As if I didn't already want to buy my own Rock Band kit for the PS3, we get this news.

They're not ready yet, but I will be!  YAY!

No, I don't know how they're going to get 5 parts onto the system.  But it will be fun to do drum beats to JT's VP, and to try to wail along with CSL4.  I am excited, can't you tell?!

DLR LotD 12/17/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Friday, December 17, 2010

"They *made* these?!" -- Veronica, staring at the chicharrones, at Catal

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Sing-Off 2.4

Catching up on The Sing-Off tonight.  I've gone crazy, right?

Group Performance:  "With A Little Help From My Friends" by The Beatles
How much do I love that Jerry Lawson opened the night?  LOVE!!!  Especially with this song.  And now I'm adding "Persuasions sing The Beatles" to my wish list on Amazon because I've meaning to do that anyway.  That was a great performance.

First Challenge: Superstar Medleys from Iconic Artists

On The Rocks:  Elton John
I don't really like that guy's falsetto on "Benny and the Jets".  I really like the other lead's voice, on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me".  It's just so pretty.  

Committed: Usher
They were at the Americana?  I'm jealous of whomever got to see them.  I like that they're getting down with the Usher songs!  I also like that they're doing them so well.  This is what those songs might sound like if they weren't overproduced, right?  Or maybe better.  ;)  They just blow me away.  I agree with Ben about taking their music seriously, but not themselves.  

Street Corner Symphony: The Beatles
The low notes in "Eleanor Rigby" are too low for him.  Otherwise, they did a good job.  I wish they could have been more challenged, though.  Even though the Beatles were melody-driven, they are an a cappella band, so I look for more than what was there tonight.  I think that I'm spoiled by Scott Leonard's arrangements.  

The Backbeats: Lady Gaga
Interesting that this isn't being done by OtR, but this could be cool.  That was fun, although "Just Dance" wasn't strong enough for me.  I'm thinking, though, that the song itself isn't really strong anyway.  

Talk of the Town -- Otis Redding
I never liked "Dock of the Bay" until Rockapella sang it, mostly because the dude is just sitting there on the dock (it's some comedian's fault for pointing that out).  Anyway, I did like this version of it, too.  R-E-S-P-E-C-T is all I have for this group.  My goodness with that scream, Jerry!  I agree with Ben about the pitch in "Try A Little Tenderness", but they did recover well.  

Moving forward to the next challenge:  Committed, The Backbeats, Talk of the Town, and Street Corner Symphony

On The Rocks' Swan Song: (OK, I like the way they said goodbye to the judges -- cute).  "The Final Countdown" by Europe.  OK, what's with the triangles that the other groups were holding up?  I'm out of it.

Second Challenge: Judges' Request

Committed:  "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green
Nice.  I like that they're showing off each voice throughout the song.  Then you add those lush harmonies, and aaaahhhh.

Um, SCS -- you missed a couple of words in "Auld Lang Syne".

Street Corner Symphony:  "Down On The Corner" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
So the judges have also been waiting for something Southern.  I like this.  A lot.  Heh.  Arenapella.  That's kinda, I don't know, kidney-sounding.

The Backbeats:  "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac
I hate this song, mainly because it was overplayed when it came out and I never got over that feeling of being sick of it.  I thought they sang it well, although it was too low for the lead.

Talk of the Town: "House of the Rising Sun" by The Animals
All of a sudden, I miss Kevin Wright and Elliott Kermann again, and want to hear that done by Rockapella again.  That was done very much in TotT's style, though, which I appreciate.  I'm just going through some withdrawals right now.  I agree with Shawn: very soulful, and I liked it.

Moving onward to the finals:  Committed, Street Corner Symphony, The Backbeats, and Talk of the Town

America, you get to decide now! You can vote until Sunday, December 19.  I'm going to go text some numbers now. :)

Good night, everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Sing-Off 2.3

I'm finally watching Monday night's episode.  Can I do two in one night?  Hmmm....

We now are at the point in the competition where the groups have 2 opportunities to perform for the judges.

Group Performance: "21 Guns" by  Green Day
That was kinda cool.  I think that I want to see that musical, "American Idiot".

First Challenge:  Rock Hits

The Backbeats -- "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi
I like the sounds they make like loading up a gun.  Well done!  That was quite rockin'.  I like the mixture of the rhinestones and leather.  I might want to rock that look someday.

Street Corner Symphony -- "Creep" by Radiohead
I love this song.  I love singing it while playing Rock Band with Caught Knapping.  I enjoyed this performance, too, showing off the lead's strong vocals.  You see?  When a song's in Jeremy's range, he can sing it quite well.  Ben seems to agree with me.

Talk of the Town -- "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones
Ooh, ooooh....I like that opening.  I love when Jerry yells "Listen!"  OK!  Swivel those hips, Jer!  Oh, YEAH!  I just love this group.  Ben, we now know that you like to have your butt shaken by sitting on a stereo speaker.  Thanks for that. ;) 

BTW, Angela has an awesome memory.  She tweeted me tonight, asking if TotT was an opening group for Rockapella when we saw them in San Francisco.  I had to look it up on our PellaPusher site, and she's way right:  May 7, 2000, Talk of the Town opened for Rockapella at the Great American Music Hall.  I enjoyed them 10 years ago, even without JL.  Wow, 10 years. We've come so far since then.  Ah, but that's for another post!

On The Rocks -- "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard
I like that chord on "your man". Love the stage crawl!  That was fun.  I would have liked to hear some deeper harmonies, though, since it seemed like so many were singing on each part.  Of course, Nicole liked the choreography, since it was kinda PCD-ish.  

Groove For Thought -- "Changes" by David Bowie
I don't like the lead singer's tights with that outfit.  Did she mess up the lyrics, or was that a mic thing?  A little bit of chord trouble at the end of that.  I don't know, it wasn't "rock" enough for me.  

Committed -- "Every Breath You Take" by The Police
I did not like that transition/key change.  I don't think they mean for it to sound like that, but that's why it's so difficult to sing harmony in so many parts.  That's also why I wish that OtR would challenge themselves more with their harmonies.  

Second Challenge:  Guilty Pleasures

The Backbeats -- "Love Shack" by The B-52s
I like to see them having fun.  I also like the ritardando on "get together" with the cool harmony.  I'm not sure that the lead guy pulled off the craziness enough for me, but he brought it.

Street Corner Symphony -- "Come On Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners
I like that opening.  I had fun with this one, too, although I think that they were thrown off just a tad when they did their choreography.  

Talk of the Town -- "Easy" by The Commodores
NICE Falsetto!!!  I'm just amazed by how simple they make this look.  It's not, people!  Mmmmm....

Just noting that Nick's fave guilty pleasure is Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting"

Groove for Thought -- "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates
I like that opening bass line.  I really like that lead guy's voice.  Bring it down, boys!  Love that outgoing scat and high note, too.  

On The Rocks -- "Kyrie" by Mister Mister
Nice opening, strong voice.  I also like all of the different rhythmic sounds going on.  I liked that performance, especially the harmonies.  Thanks, guys.  I agree with Ben:  it's funny that they waited until the Guilty Pleasure challenge to show their artistry.  Shawn has officially lost it.  

Committed -- "I Want It That Way" by Backstreet Boys
I really enjoyed that!  Am I the only one that thinks there needs to be a "Boy Band" challenge on this show?  Then they could have a 98 Degrees song to make Nick happy, another BSB song, and, of course, the NKOTB would just put me over the edge if done well.  Where did those boys learn to grind like that?  My goodness!  I like the build up of "You Are".  

Moving forward to the next show:  Talk of the Town, Street Corner Symphony, Committed, The Backbeats, and On The Rocks

Aw, no more jazzy arrangements and smooth-voiced guy.  Thanks for being music teachers, y'all!
Groove For Thought's Swan Song: "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra -- I'm going to miss the variety that they bring to the show.  

Aw, the other contestants are sad to see them go, too.

Tonight's episode up next.  Yes, tonight!  I am insane.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let Down Your Hair

Trying to catch up on the posts about non-Sing-Off stuff, because I have 3 Pella Posts to write!

After getting a bite to eat at the English pub called London near the movie theater, Linda, Cindy, Glenn and I saw "Tangled" on opening weekend.  

  • I need to get more frying pans to beef up security around my house.
  • I couldn't figure out the voice for Rapunzel and had to wait until the credits.  Although she doesn't have a very strong musical theater voice, it is still pretty.  Now I'm picturing her singing in "The Princess Diaries" on the beach.
  • I want magical hair, because all I need to do is sing to keep it magical.  I can do that!
  • As soon as I saw the guy say "I had a dream", I knew we were in for a "Gaston"-like treat.  I was not disappointed.
  • Everyone should have a horsedog like Maximus.
  • That Mother Gothel sure is selfish, but a fun villain nonetheless.
  • Loved the mood swings that Rapunzel goes through when she leaves the tower.  So. Totally. True.
  • That girl can paint!  I love how much the annual magical luminaries influenced her soul and her art.
  • Oh, Flynn.  You handsome rogue.  All it took was a gal that wouldn't fall for your smolder to win you over.  Who knew?
  • Was I the only person that thought of "Kiss the Girl" when they were watching the flying luminaries from the boat?  I half-expected singing frogs to show up on the oar.
I really enjoyed the movie.  I just love those old-fashioned Disney fairy tales.  Thanks for another great outing everyone, and to Disney: thank you for another Happily Ever After.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Sing-Off 2.2

My house is never going to get cleaned with this "The Sing-Off" business.  Let's hear that second show!  I'm excited to see what the groups have in store for us tonight.

BTW, while waiting for today's show to start, I watched some of Monday's show again, and liked "Pitch Slapped" better upon the second viewing.  I still agree with last week's judge's decision, though.  I also got irritated again by the non-Rockapella Folger's commercial.  

It's showtime!

Group Performance:  "Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon
OK,  I think they all sound better than the original, because the soloists are on pitch, and not flat.  Ooh, I liked that solo by the girl from The Backbeats that sang with absolutely no background.  Can you say "naked"?  Wow.  

I like that "Hold that note" phrase, Nick!  I'm stealing that.  I don't know where I'll use it, but I will.

Tonight's challenge:  Monster Hits (I don't think that they mean stuff like "Monster Mash", but that would have been fun).

On The Rocks -- "Live Your Life" by T.I. and Rihanna
That was fun, and the rap was fine.  I don't know what they were so worried about with that.  I enjoy hearing people sing those vocals in harmony well.  Heh, Ben:  "Can you do that again, but with more energy?"  I would also like to know what "Spittin' on the low time" means.  Yeah, I just Googled it.  No, nothing.

The promo for special guest is last year's winner, Nota.  Color me Unexcited.  What color would that be?  Discuss.

Street Corner Symphony -- "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train
OK, I just heard this again on "Glee" and loved it, so I'm scared.  OK, that is really high for the lead, even for Pat Monahan sometimes, but I liked the breakdown beat.  I don't love Jeremy's voice as much as Shawn does.  Ben's usage of "percolation" makes me think of the non-Pella Folger's again because he pronounces it like "perk-u-lation".  I'm not obsessed or anything.  

Eleventh Hour -- "Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars
Is this like an "all-songs-done-on-Glee-already" episode?  Weird.  A couple of the soprano notes are a little off, as well as the lead vocalist's pitch.  Maybe the others are throwing her off?  They don't sound as full as they did earlier this week.  Must be the arrangement.  OK, so "Monster Hits" are just whatever is current?  Or stuff from the "Monster Hits" compilations?  I like when Shawn and Ben speak with musical terms, because I actually know what they're talking about (except for "percolation"), unlike when I watch other competitions.  I'm such a music geek.

Banana!!!!  I heart those minions.

Ahem....back to the show.

Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town -- "Mercy" by Duffy
Make it funky, Douglas!  ;)  I like their classy outfits.  They remind me of The Temptations.  What a pretty boutineer, Jerry!  Oh, I like this arrangement!  Do it up old style!  Like the "Please release me" bit.  Nicole is cracking me up with the dancing.  Love it, guys!  Jerry, er Mr. Lawson IS cool!  I'm not excited a BIT about this group, am I? ;)

Moving forward to the next show:  Talk of the Town, Street Corner Symphony and On The Rocks.

Aw, the young 'uns are going home, but I agree with this decision. 
Eleventh Hour's Swan Song:  "Leaving" by Jesse McCartney
I like this song, and I like the way they sing it.  I've never heard it before.

I'm glad that Nota is doing well. Yes, I am.  Shut up!  
Guest star performance by Nota: "I've Got a Feelin'!" by The Black-Eyed Peas
OK, maybe I'm not that glad.  I still don't really like their sound.  I tried, people.

The Backbeats -- "Breakeven" by The Script
I like this song, even though it's depressing.  Why is the title not two words?  That's not a real word.  Oh, there I go with the grammar.  Hmmm...a little bit flat on the high note.  I like the "breathing" chords.  Go, Courtney, with that VP!  I join NIcole in applauding you.

Committed -- "Apologize" by One Republic
They sing this song WAY better than O.R.  I love how Shawn is just LOSING it over those chords!    NICE!  Is it just me, or were the green outfits a little Trekkish?  The color, not the styles.  Back to Shawn: "Come on, man, stop it."  Ooh, they give Nicole a musical climax, too.  She's not the only one that had that.  I just yelled at the TV when Nick said that we'd soon find out if that's enough to go to the next round.  "YEAH!"  Stupid writers.

Groove For Thought  -- "Cooler Than Me" by Mike Posner
I think that this is a good song for their jazz style, like most of the songs that the groups picked for themselves today.  The lead singer's voice is nice and smooth.  I like it.  I agree with Shawn about them doing the song justice.  Shawn about lead Peter's coolness: "Your hat is to the side, like, Bro."  Nicole, find something to say that's your own and not just wacko!  

The Whiffenpoofs -- "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble
Oh, OK: "Monster Hits from the last 5 years".  There have GOT to be some zombie songs, right?  Ooh, I'd want to sing "Zombie Jamboree".   On to reality.  I can totally tell that they've been classically trained, from their vibrato.  I love that about them.  I also love that they spread out the lead parts, instead of just relying on one singer's melody.  I enjoyed this arrangement.  Who does the arranging for everyone, anyway?  

Moving forward to the next show: Committed, Groove For Thought and The Backbeats

I'm not surprised, but I'm sorry to see The Whiffenpoofs go home, because I did like them more than the Backbeats tonight.
Swan Song:  "I'm On My Way" by Motley Crue
I really liked that.  I want to hear more of their stuff (Whiffenpoofs, not MC).

Next week will have Guilty Pleasure songs.  

My posts will be delayed as I cannot watch Monday's show live.  Have a great rest of the week, everyone, and Rockapella Fans: See you on Saturday!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Sing-Off, Season 2 Episode 1

What am I supposed to be doing?  Decorating my house.  What am I doing instead?  Watching "The Sing-Off".  Here we go, folks!

Opening number:  all of the groups singing snippets of "I've Got The Music In Me".
I applauded when I saw Jerry Lawson.  Great voices all around!  What a great start to the new season.  I'm looking forward to this, because the audition pool was a lot bigger this year, so the quality should be better this time around.

Nick introduces the judges as I roll my eyes at the first two.  Nicole's hair is very high.   

We then meet the singers of Eleventh Hour, from Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio.  They're so cute!  Are they supposed to be singing in the library like that?  Don't they get in trouble?  I like the cute "The Breakfast Club" references.  I love how they're fearless.  I wonder if they even know the name Jerry Lawson, not to mention that he and The Persuasions heavily influenced the founders of Rockapella.  

"Baby" by Justin Bieber
How cute that the teenyboppers are singing a teenybopper song!  I don't think that Jerry should sing that. ;)  They did a great job.  I like Kirk's hat.  OMG, Nicole, please stop talking.  

What?!  A Folger's commercial during an a cappella show, and it's not Rockapella?  Augh!

Next group: On The Rocks, from Eugene, OR (University of Oregon)
(Oh, I get it -- their assignment is to sing a signature song that captures their own style).  APPARENTLY, they became popular on YouTube singing "Bad Romance".  I'm out of it.  So, of course, this is their signature song.  

"Bad Romance" -- Lady Gaga
I like their choreography, because it makes me giggle.  The others kind of overwhelm their soloists, though.  Well, Ben, I disagree with you: if you are not on pitch, that cannot be overlooked by everyone.  Do you know what happens when one person is off pitch?  It can make the chord sound totally wrong and make the group sound bad.  I didn't totally notice it this time, probably because I was giggling.  But now I'm going to be listen more for the basses.

Groove For Thought -- Seattle, Washington
A lot of them are music teachers, so I'm having high hopes for them.

"I Wish" -- Stevie Wonder
I like that lead singer's voice.  That bass part sounds difficult, but he does it quite well.  I agree with Shawn about their likeness to Take 6.  Hey, that's one of my favorite groups, too, Shawn!  

Pitch Slapped -- Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA
Guess who went to school there?  Besides Steve Tyler.  Yup!  Jeff Thacher of Rockapella!  They have won 1st runner up in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

"Good Girls Go Bad" -- Cobra Starship
Pitch was a  little bit off, especially in the beginning.  Nicole thinks the girls are hot.  Shawn thinks they need more middle, and Ben is looking forward to their ensemble work.  So, umm.....they weren't an ensemble tonight?  I saw and heard many voices up there.  I just didn't think that they were cohesive enough to have a Wall of Sound quality.

Jerry Lawson and Talk of the Town -- Oakland, CA
I love that they're showing Jerry's old group, The Persuasions!  Yay, a comeback!  Take it, Godfather!  

"Save The Last Dance" by Doc Pomus, recorded by Ben E King and The Drifters
I just love Jerry's voice.  I wonder if the other guys will ever sing lead, even though they're not in the group's name.  Shawn, showing some love!  Ben, showing some hidden goosebumps and love!  Nicole only knows how to show love.  Seriously, though, I almost cried while hearing Shawn talk about how Jerry's such an inspiration to everyone there.  I love that the producers didn't just pick young groups for this show.  I didn't know about the story behind the song, and that almost made me cry, too.  Thanks for the history lesson, Ben.

Moving forward to the next show:  Talk of the Town, Eleventh Hour, On The Rocks, and Groove for Thought.

Sorry, Pitch Slapped, but I agree with this decision.

Swan Song:  "Na Na Hey Hey, Kiss (us) Goodbye" by Gary DeCarlo
OK, they sang this one a lot better than their competition song.  I guess they just needed to relax.

On to the next 5 groups.

The Whiffenpoofs  -- Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
They've been featured on lots of TV shows, including "The West Wing".  I like all of the tradition, including the tuxes.  

"Grace Kelly"  by Mika
LIKE!  Their balance is beautiful, the harmonies are great, the song is fun, and they're clearly enjoying this.  I agree with Ben: the arrangement is fantastic.  Shawn is funny.  

Men of Note -- Cherry Hill, New Jersey
OK, I would love it if an a cappella group of guys followed me around the mall and serenaded me.  Can someone please arrange that for me?  They've won the International Championship of High School A Cappella.

"For the Longest Time" by Billy Joel
Well done, guys.  Their voices are quite strong though a little bit off-pitch at the beginning, so I disagree with Nicole on her comment about them sounding thin.  I'm wondering what a certain someone would do if Boyz II Men would have followed her around the mall in high school. ;)  I'd swoon.  

Street Corner Symphony -- Nashville, Tennessee
Ooh, I want to hear some southern music a cappella!  I like that word: "Unpractice".  I don't think they use it correctly, because that would be practicing then forgetting everything you practiced.  At least that's what it would mean to me.  Oh, that's right: I'm supposed to be reviewing the groups, not their grammar.

"Everybody Wants to Rule The World" by Tears for Fears
Uh-oh, the lead singer couldn't get down to the lowest note in the title phrase.  It's also not a southern song.  Dude, I wanted to hear some bluegrass.  Why is their signature song not something southern?  Why is it British?  

The Backbeats -- Los Angeles, California
I like that they're made up of people from competitive collegiate ensembles, and am curious as to their blend since they don't usually sing together.

"If I Were A Boy" by Beyonce
Go, girl!  Way to put the emotion into it, and sing it strong!  Now Nicole has goosebumps, but she's not wearing a sweater.  Shawn's a sucker for altos.  I'm now a sucker for Shawn. (Oh, wait. That doesn't sound right.)  Shawn's love for Altos makes me love him even more.  (Better?)

Committed -- Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama
Hmmm...I'm already enjoying the background vocals as they do the bio.  

"This Love" by Maroon 5
Ooh, they have a Take 6 sound.  Nicole is rocking out!  A couple of chords were off, but not jarringly so.  I think Shawn likes them, what do you think? ;)  I agree with him about the raw talent that you get to hear on the a cappella stage.  A cappella music is just the ultimate display of musical talent to my ears, so anyone that can sing it well brings a smile to my face, and yes, sometimes, a musical orgasm. ;)  I wonder who would do that for me?  FIVE DAYS!!!


Moving forward to the next show:  Committed, The Backbeats, The Whiffenpoofs, Street Corner Symphony

Men of Note goes home.  I would have been fine with either them or SCS leaving, but I do want to hear some country.

Swan Song: "Take A Bow" by Rihanna
That was pretty. 

Ooh, previews from the boxes!  Wait.  If these songs are what they're singing next week, SCS is still not singing southern music.  Whatevs.

For CASA's bios of the groups, go here:

Oh my gosh, they're already going to be back on Wednesday.  I'm not going to get anything done!  

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Gearing Up for The Sing-Off

So here I am, back on the 'net, reading an article posted by the New York Times about The Sing-Off, and I'm taken aback.  

Just to prove to you that the producers really didn't know how to choose talent, I bring you this new factoid:  Rockapella Founder Sean Altman auditioned for the show in the first season with his current group The GrooveBarbers, and they were NOT chosen.  Idiots.  I know I'm biased, but still...

I'm happy that they mentioned Rockapella, though.  :)

Here is the article for your reading pleasure.  I found Sean's statements quite interesting, and agreed with all of them, not because he's Sean, but because I'm Sherry. :)  Seriously, though, it would be cool to see him as a judge, or at least in a guest spot on the show.  Any of Pella (former, current, all of them) on that show would make me ecstatic.

Here's some GrooveBarbers for you, as I go pick up my jaw from the floor.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

HP7.1 X 2 = No 3D, Thankyouverymuch!

Linda and I saw "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" on opening night last Friday, and again this Thanksgiving Friday to accompany Bro and V.  I guess we liked it. :)

  • We were really glad that we didn't see this movie in 3D.  I'm OK with snakes, and I deliberately didn't watch a couple of parts in regular D.
  • I want Hermione's bag.  It's like Mary Poppins' carpet bag. Or a clown car, except it's not a car, and I didn't see any clowns.
  • People have been raving about Hermione's red dress.  I shall join them in my rave.  It's gorgeous, and I want it.  It was custom-made, though.
  • Having read the books, I'm trying to refrain from naming all of the 7 horcruxes for those that don't know.  But then I can't remember if the movies are going to show all of them, since I thought I had read that they weren't going to show all of them.  I'm all confused.
  • That polyjuice potion is some fun stuff.  I'm thinking that if I could make some of that for myself, I'd probably abuse it to satisfy my curiosity.  Note to self:  beware of people who don't talk when you try to converse with them.  They might have taken some polyjuice potion and don't want you to hear their real voice.  
  • I liked hearing the fans in the audience whisper with affection, "DOBBY!"
  • Harry and Hermione have great chemistry.  It's no wonder that Ron was jealous.
  • "Keep saying that thing with the ball of light.  She'll come around."
  • "I'm always mad at him."
  • I really liked the animation while Hermione told the story of the Deathly Hallows.    
  • I like the end of the credits where it shows the Deathly Hallows symbol and the Elder Wand.
I am eagerly awaiting Part 2 of this movie, albeit with a bit of hesitancy.  I wept when I finished the HP series, partly from the story, and partly because such a great series was over.  I know that the next movie, being the last, will give me the same fulfilled yet empty feeling.

If you haven't seen the other movies, I recommend that you see them before this one.  The series really does build on the prior books anyway, but this one, more than the others, relies on you knowing a couple of things that have happened in prior installments.

One of my friends will be doing a marathon prior to the viewing of the last film.  I'm seriously thinking of doing the same.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HT 2010

Ah, Thanksgiving: a time-honored tradition of family gathering around a table, eating lots of turkey, and falling asleep earlier than usual on a holiday so that they can get to those crazy Black Friday sales.  I love this holiday, not because of the sales, but because of the family and friends.  

Things I'm thankful for today:

  • Being able to still sing at my church.
  • Having even just a few months of my regular salary so that I could raise the money needed for the awesome vacation I have planned for next year.
  • Bananaman has been found!  (Seriously, this made my day).
  • The craziness in Starbuck's today, which enabled me to somehow get a free pumpkin spiced latte.
  • My friends, especially Linda, whom has joined our family today for our turkey feast.
  • FINALLY, a new Rockapella CD!  We listened to it today on our drive to my parents' house, and were happily bopping in the car.
  • June's prolific and yummy pie-making abilities, saving me from spending about $35.00 at Marie Callendar's. 
  • My family: the aunt whom is leaving right now to hit the sales; the dad whom decorated the house in Christmas stuff so that his grandchildren could enjoy it; the mom whom cooked so much that we had wayyyy to much food, the brother whom makes me laugh on a regular basis; the sister-in-law whom I just plain adore for her ability to keep her husband and children happy and comfortable; the dogs whom can somehow deal with long trips and crazy households; the nephew whom just absolutely l-o-v-e-s his new state quarters collectors book; and the niece whom gives us all the great pleasure of watching her dance.  "Momma says I was a dancer before I could walk."  (Name that ABBA song.  Hint: it's my favorite).
  • Moments like this one:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

DLR LotD 11/19/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Can you bring me a bucket of limes?" -- Linda, to Albert, at Catal

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Teenage Dream by ... the Beelzebubs!

I found this article tonight, and wanted to share it.  

Yup, it's the Beelzebubs singing "Teenage Dream" on Glee!  I thought I recognized a couple of those guys.  If you recall my posts about the a cappella competition "The Sing-Off", you may remember that I liked the 'Bubs.  It turns out that they'll be doing a few more songs as the Warblers on Glee, so I'm excited about that.

Guess what will be back in December?  That's right, folks:  "The Sing-Off" returns on December 6.  Are you looking forward to my Simon/Nigel-ness?  Oh, wait.  Simon isn't there anymore.  I wonder who will be the new mean person on AI.  Someone tell me when it happens, because I don't watch that show.  I do plan on blogging about it as I watch again, because that was fun, even when I hated whatever was happening at times.

Until then, lets watch that video again, because I like it. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pella on WITWICS

I had forgotten that Scott gave many of the clues on "Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego". It now makes sense to me that he's always telling us about the town in which they're performing.

So, for your viewing pleasure, some old school Rockapella on "Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego?"


Saturday, November 13, 2010

DLR LotD 10/31/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"But then you can't lift it up to see his thing." -- Sherry, at DCA

Friday, November 12, 2010

DLR LotD 10/29/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day
Friday, October 29, 2010

"Awww....[coo]" -- Albert, to Vamplet Lily Rose Shadowlyn, at Catal

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oldies But Goodies

Linda and I spent a Friday evening at the Monrovia Family Festival, which occurs every Friday night, except for during the winter.  I bought a Plumeria tree, which I had been wanting for quite some time, and we also discovered a new, fun store, Friends of Dorothy.

After our shopping was done, we saw RED.

  • John Malkovich, 2 for 2 for me in the month of October!  
  • Hee hee!  PIG!
  • Is there any role that Helen Mirren can't do well?  She kicked some serious butt in this movie.  
  • While we're on the subject of kicking butt, I do like seeing Bruce Willis kick ass in his movies.
  • Usually I don't think of Morgan Freeman's Electric Company role, but for some reason during this movie, I did.  Weird.  
  • I want Helen Mirren's white dress.  I also want to be able to fit into it.
  • Linda and I both laughed at the plush dog in Marvin's home, which was wearing a foil pyramid hat.
  • When I retire, I'd also like to be known as Extremely Dangerous, but in a good way, like these folks.
That was a fun movie.  You see?  You don't have to be only 25 to do a good action movie. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Several weeks ago,  I saw "Secretariat" with a few friends at the AMC Santa Anita.  What better place to watch a horse racing movie than at a mall adjacent to a famous racetrack?  OK, so AT the racetrack would have been better, but this is the closest I could get.

  • I want a racehorse.
  • I loved the way Miss Ham would give Lucien's clothing a look because he was always uniquely dressed.
  • John Malkovich cracked me up as Lucien in pretty much every scene in which he appeared.
  • It was interesting to see Scott Glenn so vulnerable.  I'm used to seeing him as a tough guy.
  • I half-expected James Cromwell to trade Secretariat for a shepherding pig.
  • OK, so I didn't really get why I was not really liking Dylan Walsh's character until I checked IMDB for his previous roles.  He played the other guy in "The Lake House". I didn't like his character in that movie.
  • I loved how Red would pose for the cameras.  He's a star, and he knows it!  I mean, look!  He has his own website!
  • I loved Diane Lane's outfits, especially the navy blue one that she wore to the Belmont Stakes.  They had that on display at the El Capitan.
  • Nobody stands still in the wind like Diane Lane.  She's as beautiful as she was when she played Cherry Valance in "The Outsiders".
  • That's an amazing record that Secretariat has:  his record at the Belmont, which won him the Triple Crown, has not yet been beat, and it's been 37 years since then.
Great, emotional movie, even when you know how well he's going to do.  I definitely recommend it to anyone that likes horses or drama or horse dramas or watching Diane Lane stand still in the wind

Saturday, October 30, 2010

DLR LotD 09/26/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day
Sunday, September 26, 2010

"You don't want to be a waffle, or you'll get stabbed in the eye." -- Sherry, to Meeko, at Storyteller's Cafe

Thank you to everyone who donated to CHOCWalk!

Friday, October 15, 2010

DLR LotD 09/17/10

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Can I interest anyone in dessert this evening?" -- Sherry, at Catal, to her table mates and server

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's a Teacher!

Last weekend, I went to the Arclight in Pasadena to watch "Waiting for 'Superman'".  I had been looking forward to the movie ever since one of the schools in the film was featured in a "60 Minutes" piece.  I had been advised that to watch the piece because I have a friend who has a business association with the school, which is the first urban public boarding school.  The movie, though, focuses primarily on public education itself.  

In order that you know where I'm coming from, I'm mostly a product of public schools, albeit a highly regarded school district in California.  My first elementary school was a parochial school, but I went into the public schools starting in 4th grade.  As a child, I grew up protesting Prop 13 and rightfully so, as I saw many extra-curricular programs get cut by a lot of districts.  My own district, however, still hasn't given up its music and sports programs.  Of course, as a taxpayer, there are positive traits from Prop 13, but as a kid, I didn't care about that.  I wanted to still be able to play my music, which I did.  My grandparents were both teachers back in the Philippines.  I feel like I have their teaching blood inside me whenever I train people at work, and I did consider being a teacher when I was growing up.  I went to a University of California school, which draws from public funds.  My Master's Degree, however, was obtained at a private university.  

My thoughts on the film:

  • The theater was full.  One of the ladies wondered how many teachers were in the audience, and about two-thirds of the attendees raised their hands.  Then her friend asked how many of them were good teachers, and the same people raised their hands, then applauded.  Hooray for the good teachers of the world!
  • The film's focus is on the plight of the public schools, and the families that attempt to get their kids into better schools, ones that give their children a better chance at getting into college.  The parents look to the lottery system for the better charter schools to achieve that goal.  It also focuses on the reasons that the filmmakers believe are to blame for the failing public school system.
  • Anthony had me from his first word to his last scene in the film.  I loved hearing what that kid had to say, and I rooted for him to win the lottery the most.
  • I learned a lot about charter schools, since I didn't really understand what those were until now.  The film is really good at explaining how the schools systems have evolved (or dissolved), mixing animated explanations with film of different people involved in the education system (and Bill Gates).
  • I was astounded to learn about the high dropout right here in the County of Los Angeles, and the chances that a child has of staying in school.  I really, really hope that little Daisy gets to her goal of becoming a doctor or veterinarian.  She seems to have a lot of promise, and she loves school.
  • Oh, those blasted teachers' unions.  The film explains why the unions were formed, and also talks about how the unions have influenced not only the teachers and the schools, but the shape of our nation. 
  • I think that unions are important to keep teachers' rights protected, but I do think that they go way too far in keeping teachers around when they're not really helping kids.  For instance, when Washington, DC Superintendent Michelle Rhee tried to make a deal with the union, they wouldn't even let their members vote before turning it down.  The deal?  Get rid of tenure, but each teacher makes a 6-figure salary.  Are you frickin' kidding me?  One of the reasons I didn't become a teacher is that they are woefully underpaid for the importance of their jobs.  My friends that are teachers are heroes to me.  They love the kids that they teach, and they're dedicated to them to the point of exhaustion.  But they keep going.  Every one of them deserves that six-figure salary, and just because they'd rather have tenure and never be fired for being incompetent, they don't let them vote?  So y'all would rather keep the incompetent teachers around and have a lower salary for everyone?  WHAT?!?  Ergo my using the word "blasted" above.  I remember talking to one of my co-workers, who was raised in Taiwan.  He said that the teachers there were the highest-paid people in the nation, because education was such an important focus for them.  This conversation was over a decade ago, but it still amazes me.  (I actually don't think that people who become teachers start off by thinking "I'll just make it to tenure and I'm free!" I think that they started off with the best intentions and something jaded them.  But those same people should then just leave education and do something else).
  • I didn't know about the "tracking" system in public schools, but when I think about it, I realize that I was tracked for the advanced classes.  Perhaps that's why I thought that my education was so successful: I wasn't one of the people that fell through the cracks by being in the middle.  I consider myself lucky.  One of the charter schools, located in Northern California, has a no-tracking philosophy: all of the students attend the same classes, and their success rate is amazing (I can't remember the exact figures, but I think that it's at 96%).  
  • My education was also successful because my parents were focused on it being the most important part of my life.  They immigrated to the USA to give their kids a better life, and we have made the most of it by getting our educations and still getting the time to practice our music and spend time with our friends.  But school ALWAYS came first.  It's difficult for me to relate to the people that don't emphasize school to their kids, but they are in different life situations, where many of them need their kids to help them support the family with jobs, so there is no time for school.  In the long run, though, those same kids could support the family with the better jobs they can obtain after college graduation.  I understand, though: necessities are immediate.  My heart goes out to the mother who was behind on her daughter's tuition payments, so her daughter couldn't go to her own graduation ceremony (even though she qualified to graduate).  That mother was willing to work as many jobs as she humanly could in order that her daughter could get the education she needed.
  • A great point of those innovative educators that were featured: they all have high expectations for all of their students.  Our nation has become so complacent about everyone just having high self-esteem by giving awards for just showing up that we forget to expect the best out of everyone.  No, we can't all be the best, but we can expect our kids to do their best, and try everything we can to help them achieve it.  Falling on excuses like learning disabilities is not the answer: working with those disabilities is the answer.  Sure, I'm as guilty as the next person for thinking that training certain people is hopeless at times, but deep down, I want to teach them because I don't like to see anyone fail.  Remember the movie "Stand and Deliver"?  Jaime Escalante's students excelled because he expected them to do so.
  • The final scenes were snippets of George Reeves as Superman.  If only someone could save the day just like my favorite superhero.
My final soapbox here:
The public education system needs major reform, and that change needs to be embraced instead of stifled by selfish interests.  Education not only involves book smarts, but life skills (like those taught at the Seed School), and a way to express creativity like with music or visual arts, as well as giving time to develop kids' growing bodies in a healthy way.  It wasn't too much to ask for when I was a kid, so it shouldn't be too much to ask for now, when those kids from back then now have the power to make a difference.