Sunday, December 29, 2013

A2: The Burgundy Boogaloo

I wasn't able to watch "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" on opening weekend due to my very busy Christmas schedule, so Linda and I watched it today.  (We had watched the first movie together, so it would seem weird not to see it together this time, too).  

  • Steve Carrell stole this show.  Brick is such a lovable idiot.  I mean, the man thought he was dead and eulogized himself at his own funeral.
  • I love how James Marsden was described as a prince.  He IS a prince!  I just saw "Enchanted" again this weekend, so I know.
  • That's not Baxter.  That dog is bigger.  They should have called him Baxter 2 or something else.
  • The battle scene was cameo after cameo, and I still missed Ben Stiller.
  • Sex Panther strikes again!  YES!
  • Will Ferrell on the ice again!  Had Jon Heder showed up, I would have lost my mind.
  • "Chicken of the Cave"
  • The score!  I sang quietly during a lot of this movie, especially during "Xanadu".
  • "By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John"
  • Loved that Brick was eating an ice cream cone during the slow-mo RV crash.
  • Walter wearing the burgundy suit for his Science Fair:  Priceless.
  • Yeah, that wasn't a riff on Richard Branson at all.  ;)
  • "Blaaaaaack."
  • "Who the hell is Julius Caesar?  You know I don't follow the NBA!"
I had many giggle fits during the movie today. Thanks, News Team!

My Favorite Clip from this year's "The Sing-Off"


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Practically Perfect in Every Way

I was fortunate enough to go to a sneak preview screening of "Saving Mr. Banks", thanks to Mox getting into the Disneyland Today shindig.  They had a nice reception with food (had they told us ahead of time, I wouldn't have chowed down on tacos before the event).  They also had photo ops with Mary and Bert, as well as the chimney sweeps.  Suffragettes walked around with "Votes for Women" signs.  Stacia Martin told us about the making of the music for "Mary Poppins", sang a song, and had a print of her own Mary Poppins artwork for everyone in attendance.  There was also a costume contest, and my choice, the guy that dressed as a chimney sweep, won the grand prize. 

I had an issue with the length of time it took to get into the theater, but that was due to security and turning in cameras, even though they said at the reception that the smaller cameras were OK as long as we didn't use them.  Then they told us that we could only keep our cell phones.  It was irritating.   We were treated to some inside info from one of the film's producers (sorry, I can't remember his name).  We saw trailers that people were excited to see, but I had already seen them.  So, whatevs.  On to the movie itself.

  • Tom Hanks is awesome.  I'm glad he was cast in this part, because I don't know who else I would have respected enough to be our beloved Walt.
  • Emma Thompson is a shoe-in for an Academy Award nomination.  She was hilarious, she had me crying, she pissed me off some times.  She did everything she was supposed to do.
  • I think that this is the most impressed I've ever been with Colin Farrell's work.  Great job.
  • BJ Novak and Jason Schwartzman were hilarious as the Sherman Brothers, especially Novak's portrayal of sheer frustration with Travers.  Bradley Whitford, too.  
  • I loved how they made Disneyland look like it had back when Disney brought Travers to the Park.  Also loved the job they with the studio (which still looks a lot like that), and LAX was WOW.
  • OMG, all of the merchandise in Traver's hotel room when she arrived.  That huge Mickey Mouse was perfect.
  • Loved the scene with Paul Giammatti and Thompson sittng on the grass at the studio.
  • "Well, un-make it up."
  • "Get on the horse, Pam!"
  • Lots of applause at the credit dedicating the film to Diane Disney Miller.  I love that I watched this movie with a room filled with true Disney fans.
  • "That'll do." -- Walt, upon hearing "Feed the Birds"
I did cry, although not as much as someone predicted that I would.  Excellent movie, and I don't think that it only applies to us Disneyphiles.  :)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I like this better than my FB Year in Review, because it actually has Rockapella in it.  

From Google+:

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Sing-Off 4.7 -- Finale

It's finale night, I'm baking cookies, I'm wrapping gifts, I'm trying to clean the's a crazy time!  But I didn't want to wait to watch tonight's finale.

Here we go!

Group Performance: "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson
That sounded nice.  I'm glad that the eliminated groups still got to chime in.

Nick Lachey, Jewel and the groups: "It Had to Be You"

The Acoustikats: "Jingle Bell Rock"
That's cute that they're letting the eliminated groups do Christmas songs for the bumpers.  I would expect something more rockin' from this song, especially with the AcoustiKats.  I guess Rockapella's version is just the best version to me, so I want everyone's to be less boring.

Ten with Shawn Stockman: "Joyful Joyful" from Sister Act 2
Anyone that gets to have Shawn sing their solo has an unfair advantage.  I mean, it's Shawn!  This is one of my favorite songs from that movie.  (My favorite is "His Eye is on the Sparrow").  Nice energy, but not as much as in the movie.  Actually, I think that Shawn has the most energy of all of them, so that doesn't really work for me when it's the group that's competing, not Shawn.

Street Corner Renaissance: "White Christmas"
I've always liked this doo-wop version.  They always look so sharp!

The Filharmonic: "We Wish You A Merry Christmas"
That was great!  It was upbeat and in tune, and I miss them even though they were only eliminated 4 days ago.

So then all the groups get to talk to Pentatonix, and they give them some advice.

Pentatonix: "I Need Your Love" by Ellie Goulding
They rock.  Seirously.  Why don't I have any of their CDs yet?  That needs to be remedied soon.

Calle Sol: "Feliz Navidad"
Well, no other group up there should sing this song tonight.

Home Free: "I Want Crazy" by Hunter Hayes
So they don't need a judge to sing with them...unless they're getting one later.  I've never heard this song before, but  like it, especially the way they sing it.  Yes, please include that awesome bass voice solo when you're in the finale!  Thanks!  I applauded.  Oh, the judges are talking after this one, so I guess the "Joyful Joyful" thing wasn't judged.  My bad.

98 Degrees: "I'll Be Home For Christmas"
Nick gets to sing a lot tonight!  They sound really nice.  Nick asked to be judged.  Cute.  Almosr as cute as Nick's dimples.  How has she not seen them live before?  Has she been strapped for cash?

Princeton Footnotes: "Deck The Hall"
i liked that rendition!  I also like the plaid.  

Secret Santa time with the judges and Nick.  Why isn't Nick giving that gift to everyone watching the show?  :)

Vocal Rush with Ben Folds: "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth"
That sounded nice.  I don't think I've ever heard the lyrics that clearly before.  Maybe I was just always freaked out by the Bowie/Bing combination.

Element: "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"
I like her voice in that range.  

Voice Play:; "Jingle Bells"
I like that last "Jingle Bell Jingle Bell Jingle".  Been waiting to hear that since I heard the promos, and it wasn't sung nearly enough in the song tonight.

Ten: "Love On Top" by Beyonce
I don't know this song.  Nice key change!  That blonde-haired woman can wail, man!    Haha,  "a box of assorted chocolates".  Shawn demonstrated his Stank Face, and Ten is happy.

Home Free with Jewel: "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"
Pretty.  But why is she now sounding like some other singer?  Like some old-time crooning singer?  It's kinda strange.  

So, are people actually learning any musical terms from this show?

Pate Benatar, Neal Giraldo and a bunch of groups: "We Belong"
I so totally love this song, and it lends so well to hearing that multitude of voices.  Also, Pat Benatar has still got a great, powerful voice.

Vocal Rush: "Roar" by Katy Perry
Great performance.  They really are a great group.  

My pick:  Home Free


3rd Place: Vocal Rush
2nd Place:   Ten
1st Place: H O M E   F R E E !!!!!!!!

YES!  I'm so very happy for them.  They were, indeed, solid from the start, and I wish them the best with their newfound fame.  Congratulations, guys!  (I told you that 5 guys is the best ensemble, didn't I?).  

Rub the beard!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Sing-Off 4.6

It's Semi-Finals night!

Group Performance: "Shake It Out" by Florence + the Machine

Challenge:  "Judges' Choice"
Judges picked songs that bring out the best in each group.  Nick is the mentor.

The Filharmonic: "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'" by The Four Tops
Thank you for mentioning NKOTB, Shawn!  Cool that Nick is singing a little with them: "98 Degrees of Filharmonic!"  I like the suits, guys!  VJ's voice is so pretty.  I like that pelvic thrusty move during "Got to have all your lovin'".  Yes, Shawn, the choreography was slick.  Shawn wanted more than just the one level, but their harmonies were right on point.  And then Jewel talks about being frustrated when she can't reach the climax.  Oops!  

Ten: "Proud Mary" by Ike & Tina Turner
I Zumba to this song.  I like that intro!  They did not Zumba to the song.

Home Free: "Colder Weather" by Zac Brown Band
Hmmmm...I heard a little bit of dissonance in the intro chords.  But the song is pretty, and I like that tenor voice.  Ben heard the pitch problem at the beginning, too, owing it to nervousness.

Vocal Rush: "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark" by Fall Out Boy
I do not know this song.  I am old.  OK, I don't like that opening, where they just sounded like they were yelling at me, you know, like trying to out-sing each other.  It got much better, and then I recognized the song and didn't feel that old.  

My pick:  The Filharmonic


Safe for next show
Home Free
Vocal Rush

Ultimate Sing-Off: "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash
The Filharmonic vs. Ten
Cute choreography by Fil with "time".  I like the male solo from Ten.  Ooh, that's a tough one.  Represent us, Joe!  

Winner: Ten

Aw, so sorry, Filharmonic.  I'll miss you.  I think that they already have a big fan base, though, so they'll likely get a contract from someone somewhere.

Finale is on Monday!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Sing-Off 4.5

Yay!  They opened with Tim's voice!

Group Performance:  "I've Had the Time of My Life" by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

Jewel is the mentor tonight.  

Challenge:  "Movie Night" -- Songs made famous by a movie

Judges will send 2 teams home, after 3 Ultimate Sing-Offs.

Home Free: "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison
Well, I'm glad that the 5-guy group is singing the song that I  associate with my beloved Rockapella.  Nice opening VP!  I like the tempo change in the middle when he sang to Jewel.  I thought that it was a little bit too straight-laced, though.  And now I'm having Rockapella-Fangirl-on-Stage memories.  

Vocal Rush: "Against All Odds" by Phil Collins
Ooh, the VP gal is going to sing solo!  That's like Pella's JT singing, making us all listen intently.  Nice transition into her VP role, too.  Ooh, modulate!  Nice.  

The AcoUstiKats: "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seeger
The morning-after bachelor party thing was cute!  I like all of the different musical styles they inserted into the song.  Of COURSE they did a costume change into the boxer shorts!  They really are entertaining.

The Filharmonic: "Don't Want To Miss A Thing" by Aerosmith
I like those chords at the intro, especially when Joe came in.  They're so calm with this song, and I really like how it's working for them.  That was great, guys!  Nick: "The ladies are swooning yet again."  Joe's so cute, being overwhelmed by his emotions.  Interesting tip from Ben about not using cymbals in beatboxing.  Does he understand that it's not just beatbox?  Oh, wait.  I've said that in a previous season.  The high hat can be useful if your VP is acting as a drum kit.  I prefer that, like with JT, instead of trying to sound like some kind of boom box.  But then again, I prefer drums over synthesizers most days, unless I'm dancing in a club.

"The Sing-Off!  Keep it tuned!" -- Has Nick been saying this on every show, and I've missed it until now?

Voice Play: "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds
I now think of this song as part of my favorite arrangement/mash-up in "Pitch Perfect", so this is now an a cappella-ready song for me.  Not sure I like the chords during the "la la" part, but I was OK with the rest of it.  Be vulnerable, folks!   That is the message of the day.  

Ten: "Skyfall" by Adele
They get better with every performance, and you can tell that they're really starting to gel with each other.  That was great!  I agree that it was great to hearDee's solo be reserved.  See?  Shawn agrees with me that they're getting better and better.

My pick: The Filharmonic

Ultimate Sing-Off

AcoUstikats vs. Voice Play: "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor
That was fun.  I agree with Ben: it was more like a collaboration than a battle.  But that's because a cappella peeps are used to working *together* instead of against each other.  

Vocal Rush vs. Ten: "Fame" by Irene Cara
OK, they've decided to team up with each other so that the judges can't decide and they're both safe.  I like that they're practicing some stepping.  I love when Shawn talks about his high school days at the performing arts high school.  :)

Home Free vs. The Filharmonic: "I'm All Right" by Kenny Loggins
"You're kind of coming out of the ocean like a mermaid." I enjoyed that choreography.  Make it sexy now, VJ!!!  Sexy like a mermaid.  I love it:  A VP battle!  Love the stuff going on behind them, too.   Easily my favorite battle of the night, maybe because it's my two favorite bands in this competition.  Nick, please stop with the golf puns.  Oy.  Shawn doing the gopher move is also awesome.  I love that Jewel has trouble focusing because she's giggling so much.  I have no idea what that's like.  :)  I prefer my "VP Battle" title over "Beatbox Off".  


Going to next show:
Vocal Rush
Home Free

Saved by the judges:  The Filharmonic

Thank you, judges!!!!  Phew!  I would have been upset if they went home after that amazing battle.

Tomorrow night:  The Final Four

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Sing-Off 4.4

It's a new week of The Sing-Off!  

Group Performance: Medley "My Generation/We Will Rock You/(I Don't Know the Title)"
I love that bass voice from the Home Free guy.  Really, Sher, you need to learn his name already.

tonight's Challenge: "My Generation: Chart Toppers that Span the Decades"
Ben is the coach for this group of voices.

Home Free: "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash
I've been looking forward to this song since seeing the commercials for the show.  Seriously, that BASS!!!!  YES.  I love that the judges were totally taken aback by that last note.  Nick: "People in Pasadena just called and reported a seismic event."  "The singing refrigerator guy", Ben?  What?!  His description of their beginning/middle/end was priceless, though..   Apparently, the bass' name is "Country Boy".  That doesn't help me!  So I looked it up.  His name is Tim.  Hi, Tim!  Wow.  Your voice is amazing.

VoicePlay: "Don't Speak" by No Doubt
They were in high school when this song was released.  I had graduated from college already.  I'm old.  I'm not really fond of that arrangement.  Maybe I love the original too much.  

Element: "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes
I like that they work out and sing together at the same time.  They did a good job with it, not screechy, just right with the balance.  Shawn likes to tell the ladies that they look lovely.  Such a smooth talker.

Vocal Rush: "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler
The only high school ever to reach this point in the competition.  They deserve to.  They really are great.  Yeah, they weren't even born when this song was released.  Remember how I'm old?  I love how they're talking all Valley Girl.  Their voices have some old kind of souls in them or something, because they sound so mature and cohesive!  Well done, young 'uns.  

My pick:  Home Free


Staying in the Competition
Home Free (Yeah, I typed that before Nick even announced it)
Voice Play

Ultimate Sing-Off: "I'm a Survivor" by Destiny's Child
Element s. Vocal Rush
Element was a little too squealy for me.  Vocal Rush kept it much more in control with their voices..and that rap!  They so totally won that battle for me.  

Winner: Vocal Rush
OK, I still have faith in the judges.  Phew!

Next episode: Wednesday, with a 6-team battle and a double elimination.  Yikes!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

DLR LotD 12/15/13

Disneyland Resort
Line of the Day

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"When in doubt, lasso." -- Cindy, demonstratively, at Uva Bar

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Sing-Off 4.3

It's the 3rd night of the Sing-Off!  I'm in Rockapella withdrawal while they're singing in Connecticut, so having some a cappella to watch is a good thing for me.

Group Performance: "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel
Hi, VJ!  Shawn is doing some singing along.  That was pretty cool.

4 of the top 8 perform tonight.  Taking a tip from The Voice, Shawn is playing mentor to this week's groups.  Charles of Street Corner Renaissance: "I've watched them GROW from Boyz to Men!"

Tonight's Challenge:  "Favorite No. 1 Hits" 

Ten: "Chain of Fools" by Aretha Franklin
I don't like their opening chords. They were in tune, but I didn't like them.  Actually, I'm not liking most of their chords.  I feel like they're missing something in the middle.  The judges liked it, though, so maybe I just don't get it on that song.  

The AcoUstiKats:  "Amazed" by Lone Star
Wow, that was supposed to be Boyz II Men's?!  Sing to me!  I'll give you something to be confident about.  Oh, yeah, I typed that out loud.  I like how lush their chords were, and they showed that they're not just a bunch of fun college kids, but they've got great vocals, too.  Aaaaannnd, I"m crying.  Congratulations, Mike and Maggie!

Street Corner Renaissance: "Forget You" by Cee-Lo Green
I really like these guys, and they're not afraid to wear bright pink.  They're just so much fun, and they are smoooooth.  "Don't say that, brother."  

The Filharmonic: "One More Night" by Maroon 5
I didn't know that VJ was the Filipino Adam Levine!  It works, because he's a cutie.  Dance!  Modulate!  Do it!  I liked that.  I disagree with Ben, and agree with Shawn.  They sounded much tighter tonight to me than on other nights.  Yeah, VJ was too smiley for the lyics, but have you SEEN those dimples?!  

My pick: The Filharmonic


Staying in the Competition:

Oh, great.  2 of my top 3 are vying against each other.  I'll be sad for either one of them.

Ultimate Sing-Off:: "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Good Bye" by 
Street Corner Renaissance vs. The Filharmonic
Great battle.  I'm upset that it had to come down to these two.  

Winner:  The Filharmonic

Mabuhay,Pinoy!!!  I'm really sorry to see SCR go, though.

Looking forward to next week.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Sing-Off 4.2

Made it in home with just a few minutes to spare for tonight's Sing-Off!

Group Performance:  Medley of party anthems
Looks like everybody's ready to get down!  Nick:  "Tonight is B.Y.O. Pitch Pipe".

Top 9 here tonight.

Tonight's Challenge:  "Party Anthems"
So the vocal percussion will be the focus tonight, I'm guessing.  Bring it, mouth drummers!

Vocal Rush: "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory
Aw, the parents.  I zumba to this song.  I wonder if I'll be typing that more than once tonight.  It's fun to do your own echo!  Right on pitch, they did a great job.  See?  Ben's already focusing on the beat, or, in this case, the back beat.  I'll try to listen for that for the other groups, although I'm not much of a drumming expert.

Home Free: "Life Is A Highway" by Rascal Flatts
Uh-oh, they're going to try dancing.  I'm OK if a group doesn't dance, if it means that their vocals are still as spot-on as Home Free's.  Gosh, I love that bass.  "Jump back in the box" -- Shawn.  Funny.  "It has a beginning, a middle and an end....That's how you do a cappella music."  Yes, Shawn, YES.

Voice Play: "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry
I didn't know that they were all DJs.  Did I miss that the first time?  I thought that they were amusement park performers.  Nice rap, girl!  I thought that there was a phasing problem with the rhythm section, like one of them was slightly behind the other on the offbeat or something.  

Street Corner Renaissance: "Do You Love Me" by The Contours
Yay, classic doo-wop! I love that they learn the beat box stuff from the young'uns.  Those red shoes remind of Geo's Christmas Red shoes that he doesn't wear anymore.  Ooh, he's got moves!  

Element: "Raise Your Glass" by Pink
I could use more beat.  Actually, I could use more vocals, too, what with the number of people in the group.  

AcoUstiKats: "Hey Ya!" by Outcast
Ooh, I like the little pause.  Nice touch with the "Shake It".  That was a weird ending to such a party song, though.  I forgot to pay attention to the rhythm, but Ben found fault with it.

Calle Sol: "Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin
They're professional dancers.  So are they professional singers, too?  Should our Voice people go on "So You Think You Can Dance"?  I'm still missing that middle sound when the guy stops singing lead.  Yes, Shawn, arrangement is, indeed, EVERYTHING.  I completely agree.  That's why I'm such a fan of the genius Scott Leonard.  :)

Ten: "Hot in Here" by Nelly
I like that opening.  I like this whole arrangement, actually.  That rocked.  Ben: "Nick, you know I can't even begin to defrock until it's...98 degrees."  

The Filharmonic: "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan
Aw, Niko, my heart is with you, dude.  They are so much fun!  Those yellow shoes are cool.  I like their sound.  

My pick tonight: Ten

Heading to Next Show
The Filharmonic
Voice Play
Home Free
Street Corner Renaissance
Vocal Rush

Ultimate Sing-Off: "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson
Calle Sol vs. The AcoUstiKats

Honestly, if it's a battle of voices, I couldn't care less about your sexy dance moves, ladies. Their voices just aren't as strong as the guys', numbers aside.  

Winner: The AcoUstiKats
Phew!  I don't have to worry about the alto-less dancing winning over the alto-inclusive vocals.

Next up: Top 8, tomorrow.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Sing Off 4.1

The Sing-Off is back!  And here we all thought that maybe it had been canceled forever.  But, you know, the show that shot Pentatonix to stardom just can't be denied now, and 2 years later, here it is!

Tonight is the first night of the 4th season, and here we go!  I'll try to post the same night as the actual airing, but I already foresee a couple of conflicting dates, so those will have to wait.  This also means that my Rockapella Holiday show posts will be delayed.  I'm a mess!  On to tonight's show...

Group Performance:  fun. medley
We got introduced to all of the groups, and there's choreography and awkward neck bopping.  I'm just sayin'.  But I love the band fun., so I'll stop with my teasing now.  Actually, I liked the harmonies so much that I listened to it twice, and now I"m behind.  ACK!

Our judges this year:  Shawn Stockman and Ben Folds are back, and replacing Sara is Jewel.  I'm going to confess to y'all right here that I'm not that crazy about Jewel.  I bought her CD back when she debuted, thinking that I'd like her songs, and the recording just didn't please me at all, and I got rid of it somehow.  I guess I felt like whatever I was hearing on the radio just didn't match my CD.  Maybe it was a bad CD.  I don't know, but now I don't like hearing her sing.  I hope she judges better than how I think she sings.

Vocal Rush: "Bottom of the River" by Delta Rae
They are from Oakland, CA, and they are out to prove that Oakland is not a place made up of scary people.  For much better bios of the groups, see the CASA website.  They have a great sound, and I like their energy.  How would they not have energy?  They're in high school!  Very nice solo, too.  I like this song.  Why haven't I heard it before tonight?  I'm old.  Choreography was fun, too. 

Home Free: "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line
Ooh, Country A Cappella!  Why is this such a novelty, when so many country songs are so great with their harmonies?  Ooh, I like that bass voice!  Seriously, how can I not love these guys?  There are 5 of them, and they have a great sound.  I really liked that a lot.  Ben feels bass in his butt.  Perhaps he needs to have that checked by a doctor.  The bass went up to a Tenor I?  Whoa, that's awesome.  

Princeton Footnotes: "I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift
Well, that was fun, and the lights added a lot to their performance.  The sound was good, especially on the low end.  Aw, they love Ben.  I don't really agree with Jewel that the bass part needed to be stronger, but I appreciate her musical knowledge.

Calle Sol: "Pon de Replay" by Rihanna
Their name means "sun street", and they're from Puerto Rico.  And now I have "America" from West Side Story in my head.  I do not remember the original song having Spanish in it, but I like that they made the song their own.   I could have used some more alto, but maybe the gal singing lead is the alto, and the other 3 are sopranos.  Or maybe they meant it to be like that, like Supremes-like.

Street Corner Renaissance: "What Makes You Beautiful" by One Direction
Yay, Doo-Wop!  How much do I love that they doo-wopped a pop song?  I LOVE IT!!!  Can you tell that I have a soft spot for groups with only 5 voices?  Hmmm....wonder what that's about.  That's so cute that Shawn felt the need to hug them right after they sang.  "Children, take notes.  Y'all talk about swag, this is swag."

My pick for this group is Home Free.

Heading to next show:
Street Corner Renaissance
Vocal Rush
Home Free
Calle Sol

Going to the Ultimate Sing-Off:
Princeton Footnotes

Ten:  "Tell Me Something Good" by Rufus and Chaka Khan
Nice lead!  I wonder if they actually need all of those voices, though, since their arrangement isn't full of different notes in the chords.  I mean, the chords aren't lush 6-part harmonies or anything like that.

Element: "Burn" by Ellie Goulding
This song suits them, because it's not too high, which is what usually turns me off from all-female a cappella.  I like that they have a good balance in the lower register.  Nice and strong.

Voice Play: "Feel This Moment" by Cristina Aguilera
I Zumba to this song, so I immediately wanted to dance.  I did a little from my chair.  I like the vocal percussion break.  

The Filharmonic: "Treasure" by Bruno Mars
They're cute, they can sing, they can dance, and they are first generation Pinoy.  YES!  That's the way to play to the judges.  :)  Her name IS "Jewel", after all.  Oh, those are called "love notes"?  I may use that.  "Motown Manila back again!" -- Nick.  Aura later told me that VJ from Down 4 The Count is in this group, which explains why one of them looked so familiar to me.  He's a cutie, and according to Au, a nice guy.  Awwww.

Nick's wife is half-Filipino?  That's cool.

AcoUstiKats: "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke
One of the guys was in Phantom Regiment, one of my favorite drum corps.  I do enjoy how the college guy groups have so much fun on stage.  Also, they sounded good.  "Acousticatastrophe", "Acoustishower", "Acousticommercial" -- what is going on here?  :)  

My pick:  The Filharmonic

Heading to next show:
The Filharmonic

Going to the Ultimate Sing-Off:
Voice Play

Ultimate Sing-Off: "Bye Bye Bye" by N'Sync
Princeton Footnotes vs. Voice Play

Ooh, BATTLE TIME!  That's some fun stuff.  I have no favorite.  Is it going to be the same song every week?  They all seemed really prepared for it.

Winner:  Voice Play

Oh, no Swan Song anymore.  

Next show is on Wednesday.  Good night, A cappella Fans!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


My friends belong to D23, and they invited me and a couple of other friends to see a sneak peek of "Frozen" at the El Capitan Theatre yesterday.  Here's what the box seat area looked like before the show:

As with all new movies at the El Cap, we got a special show, by "Images in Ice".  I thought that it was kind of lame because the sculptures were clearly partially pre-made, as we could see the form that would come out of the ice even before they started carving.  I know that they didn't have time to make the intricate designs that they showed on the slides, but I really wasn't whelmed by the whole thing.  Yay, they're pretty girls with chainsaws who dance around and carve ice.  Whatevs.

Elsa and Anna

I was hoping that we'd get a trailer for "Maleficent", because I know that Dodie would have liked to see the one that I saw the night before, but I guess they're saving that for another time.  

The short was "Get A Horse", which we thought was going to just be a classic MIckey cartoon, but it ended up being a whole lot more, using 3D so that the characters popped out of the movie screen.  It was a lot of fun, and very clever.  Nice one, Disney!

On to the main event:

  • Kristen Bell has a lovely singing voice.  I really liked her character of Anna.
  • I couldn't make out Idina Menzel's voice...until Elsa started to sing.  Then, I thought, "If that's not Idina, then I haven't listened to 'Wicked' enough."  Turns out that I have, and it was interesting that she was playing someone with magical powers again.
  • "The cold never bothered me anyway."  Love it!
  • Sven reminded me of the reindeer that dance in the Very Merry Christmas parade at Disneyland.
  • So is the white streak in Anna's hair from when she got hit by the magic when she was a kid
  • "Oh, look, I'm impaled."
  • Love the disclaimer about boogers at the end.  Also, someone gets credit for "caffienation"?
  • The icicles hanging from the trees were amazingly beautiful.
  • "You're gorgeous." -- That's so me when I'm being an idiot in front of Pella.
  • "Watch out for my butt!"
Well, that was enjoyable! The theatre lobby was themed really well with the snowflakes everywhere.  I hope that everyone enjoys this movie as much as my friends and I did.


Photo Op with Olaf

In the display case

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Quarter Quell

After I saw the first "Hunger Games" movie, I read the trilogy.  Then I couldn't wait for the next movie installment, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire".  I told myself that this would be the one movie I'd watch at midnight on opening day.  So there I went, to the Arclight Pasadena, to sit in a crowd of Katniss fans.  Here is the display in the lobby:

The preview I was most excited about was "Malificent", but "Divergent" looks good, too.  There's another series that I need to read.  But on to the Mockingjay.

  • The story was pretty true to the book, and as usual, it didn't have enough of the details that I remember, but then the movie would be about 4 hours long.  
  • Hello, Finnick!  Sam Claflin is a cutie.
  • Oh, Effie.  It's so touching to see her get all emotional when she says that they're a team.
  • "She has her mockingjay, I have my hair..."
  • "Attitude."
  • OMG, I love Stanley Tucci.
  • My goodness, Lenny Kravitz is hella sexy.
  • I cried along with Katniss when she is in District 11.  Not as much as when I read the book, but still...Jennifer Lawrence can just wreck me sometimes.
  • How is it fair that the Hemsworth brothers can both look so ruggedly handsome?  No ugly genes in that family.
  • I think I'm Team Peeta, though.  
  • The wedding dress/mockingjay dress was very, very cool.  So were the fire outfits.  
  • Loved the scene in the elevator.
  • "Remember who the real enemy is."
That was fun.  I'm thinking that I need to take the day off when "Mockingjay" comes out, to make it a triple feature.

The Book of John

Rockapella in Santa Clarrrrrita
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons
Santa Clarita, CA

Another night of giggling myself to sleep, then giggling myself awake.  I really am impossible to live with these days.  Wendy, Jeff, Ntick and Cindy arrived at my house and I made sure to get their signatures in the goodbye book that I made for John.  Nick followed in his car and we drove to Santa Clarita.  KP was already there with Wanda before we even left the house, so by the time we arrived at the college, the two of them had already spotted 5 of the guys we were there to see.  It was chilly outside, so we hung out in the lobby while I waited for Liz, June, and Dene to arrive so that I could give them their tickets.  One of the ushers kept asking everyone who entered, "Do you like Rockapella?"  Um, no, I'm only here for the cookies, like the Snickerdoodle that I bought.  I think the appropriate question would be, "Have you seen Rockapella before?"  But anyway, someone heard KP saying that this was her 118th show, and talked to her about that a little bit.  Jeff walked into the lobby to take care of some business with the CDs, and he gave us a brief "hi" before going backstage.
Poster in Lobby

Our seats were house left, very left, like past the speaker monitors on stage.  I wondered if the guys would even see us out there.  A woman walked on to the stage, and I said to Cindy, "That's not Jeff."  She asked, "Where are the fan club members?"  I whoo-hooed very loudly, enough for all of my friends.  Sometimes my lung capacity amazes even me.  She then said that someone was there for her 118th show, and her name was Cynthia Medina.  Wait.  That's the same number as KP!  Who the heck is this Cynthia person, and how have we not met her before?  She then told us that we were allowed to take pictures as long as we didn't use flash.  Yay!  Or not.  It was quite dark in there, so most of my pictures sucked.  Sorry, peeps.  

JT took the stage and announced that he had eaten at In-N-Out twice this weekend.  

Sun Brothers

I already started tearing up. thinking of John leaving.

CSL4:  "We don't have any canyons in Tampa Bay.  Y'all got canyons....or sinkholes.  We like to keep things happy, mellow, and canyon-y.


Those sunglasses that Steve wears on stage are the same ones he had in his pocket at breakfast the day before.


I like this arrangement more every time I hear it.  Got a smile from CSL4 as I took his picture, which, of course, didn't turn out.  But yay!  They can see us!  He is still "Miss California" -- wait!  We didn't give him a sash!

CSL4:  "I didn't know there was a College of the Canyons.  Do the canyons go here?  Are there any canyons in the audience?  Dyan?  Nick?"  Oh, Scott, those are CANNONs.  JT's mic is used "to rumble the canyons".


SD and I smiled at each other as he sang "Every single day of my life".  Hi!

CSL4 talked about discovering John.  Geo said that he knew a guy from the Holy Land Experience.  So CSL4 went to a show, which was a "generic kind of antiseptic Caucasian Gospel.  Out comes this guy who's just tearing it up.  It was a revelation.  I knew then and there that he belonged with us."  I had never heard this story before.  I learn new things every day.

When SD looked at me during this song, I thought he was mad at me for um, something.  I saw a spot on his pants, which he told us had happened when he spilled soup, and didn't have time to get it dry cleaned.  He was self-conscious about it and would try to cover it up with his hand.  

While CSL4 was talking, the screen behind them showed a post-it note that read, "BLANK".

Steve was a baseball star in college at UMASS, and he was in "The Lion King".

SD talked to a guy in the audience named Nick (not Nick of the PellaPosse).  He was a teenager, and SD said, "Hey, you don't know this song, do you?"  He asked the rest of the audience to sing along, then said, "Nick, I'm going to ask you to sing it back after the show, word for word."

CSL4 said that John said that they should do the next song.  "9 years later....then when I did it, he said he was leaving."

Nice:  John on his "la la" riffing.  This is now Liz's favorite song.  Brought another tear to my eye, partly because I wonder if they'll keep it in the show after JKB leaves.  I wonder that about several songs, actually, and the thought makes me kinda anxious.

As some people arrived, CSL4 said to them, "You are LATE!  Just in time for the second half."  He talked about JT:  "...our vocal percussionist for over 20 years.  We found him when he was 8 years old.  Jeff does this for 2 hours every night.  He must have the jaws that can crack NUTS!  (Liz:  "He did NOT just say that!") ...has many talents, including the multimedia going on here tonight."  (Giggles from the audience).  "It's off.  So....less is more."

John regarding Scott: "Unfortunately, this is the last time I get to say this.  I'm very proud to work with this man, under his wings.  A cappella really started with this man.  A lot of what you see, 'Glee', 'Pitch Perfect', people lose where it started.  I believe Scott Leonard planted that seed through his arrangements and pitching certain voices."  

CSL4 described records as "black frisbees with a hole".

Secrets.  Twice.  Even though we were sitting at a strange angle from what was going on staging-wise, which made certain gestures deliberate and obvious.  So I blew a kiss at someone in thanks.  :)

"I just can't control his feet." -- CSL4, pointing at SD's shoes.  At the end of the song, they point at JT, as he is the Boogie that they are Blaming.

Scott, screaming from the crash

I guess it takes up way too much energy to sing "Bang" after the other two songs when there is no intermission.  I loved seeing this done again, though.  "Milk chocolate".
Preparation H

Raoul had the correct answer in the audience, and JKB chose his wife, Teresa, to join them on stage.  

Sung very softly, and just a little bit, by Teresa. Scott still mouthed "Darlin' Darlin" as if she was belting it out.

Teresa pats John's head

Geo:  "I got the worst vocabulary.  Doing all these dmm dmmms, I don't know what's going on with these songs.  Then afterward, I have to be really articulate, like with songs like this."

Big cheers.  Geo:  "Let's keep this going!"

Geo:  "It's a cool thing, watching you guys enjoy what we do...  A man like me, he gets an opportunity once in a while to sing a song with words."

I'm really going to miss JKB doing that jam.  I could see that Geo was feeling the same way as he and JKB riffed together.  I just kinda didn't want it to end.
Does JT have a spot on his pants, too?

CSL4: "We did this song every day for 59 years."

"DO IT ROCKAPELLA!"  Got a smile from Steve.

JT interrupted his solo: "Must have In-N-Out."  Then again with "There goes the last fry."


I'm also going to miss hearing JKB's vocal percussion style during this one.  Geo looked at him before the VP drumline and said something inaudible, but it looked like he said, "Let's do this one more time."  
One of my favorite views

Off mic

Got a thumbs up, a smile, and wave from SD.  See you later!

Meet and Greet/Post Show

Wendy had to get another CD because her "Motown & More" got eaten by the CD player in their car, and this was her last chance to get John's signature. 
Last Meet and Greet Table with JKB

Scott asked Cindy for her Chinese name, and presumed that she was not Cynthia Medina.  He told me that they'd be flying out on a red eye that night out of LAX.  Ick.

While in line, I told John that I had something special for him later.  He gave me a copy of his new Christmas CD.  

Steve asked Cindy if she was Cynthia Medina, and she told him that she was nowhere near being at 118 shows.  I said, "More like 18.  Or 8."  She told John that her first show was the first time he was in So Cal, so her Rockapella timeline starts with him.  

I thanked Steve for whatever, and he thanked me for being there, as he held my hands.  Let's just say that I'm now allowed to write down a certain song in a certain way now, because he gave me permission.  Except that I think it's still a secret.  Maybe.  I'm confused!  He said that they had BBQ to eat backstage, and asked if there was a Lucille's nearby because the menu looked familiar.  He told Nick that he was going to have trip tip that night.  Before he went backstage, I made sure to hug him and thank him for a fantastic weekend.

I asked Jeff which In-N-Out they went to today went George posted on Facebook.  They said, "On Foothill, right over there."  I told JT that I saw that his bro, Andrew, was there, and he said, "Yeah, I'd love to hang out with him, but we have to leave."  
JT: "Will I see you in Pas-A-de-NA?
S:  "Of course, it's my town!  Well, close to my town."  
JT:  "Have you seen 'LA Story'?
S:  "Yes."
JT: "That what he reference is from.  I've heard people say it like that, but I don't think they know the reference and they think that's how to say it."

I laughed.  Really?  After over 100 years of showing the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl game on TV at New Year, people still don't know how to say "PASaDEna"?  Idiots.

While this was happening, there was also some video recording happening for the college.  I make a little cameo appearance at 1:00.  :)

George told me that today's meal was his first time having In-N-Out.  I asked him how it compares to Five Guys, and he said that he's only had that a couple of times.  Later, he said that what he really liked about his burger was the toasted bun.  I told him about Liz's mom calling it "Five Brothers and Sisters" and he laughed.  After the line diminished, he got up and talked to Liz, saying that she was thinking, "You're going to come to me anyway, so I'm not getting in line."   He talked to the posse about feeling bad for the guy replacing him because there is so much music to learn.  Crickets.  We said that we're too upset to even joke about him leaving, too.  I said that he shouldn't say stuff that makes people hysterical and worry that the band is breaking up.  He said that the band's not breaking up.  Just that there is "stuff happening.  A lot of stuff."  Thanks for the vague trauma, George.  If anything, maybe he just means that someone will need to sub for him during the busy holiday performance season, but I don't know.  Let's just say that I've been irritated by something that others (not him) have posted lately on Facebook, and I just can't go there when I'm already upset about the change due to John's leaving.
The Book

Speaking of which....I gave John his photo book, and asked him to sign my copy of it, as well as the CD he gave me.  I totally love that he said, "How CUTE!" about the hippo on the back of the book.  :)  We wished him many blessings on his full-time ministry career, and took one last PellaPosse picture with him.  WE LOVE YOU, JOHN!
JKB and the Posse
Seriously, that guy in the background photo-bombed half my pictures!

I didn't full-on cry.  I was OK.  But yes, it was difficult to leave.  We walked to our cars, talking about Geo pissing us off.  Sorry, Geo, but it's true.  That night was not the time to even hint about leaving Rockapella, even in jest, even for a moment.

We picked up some dinner from the Jack In The Box drive-through, and focused on the positive stuff that happened that night.  Like, "the flirty flirty guys with their flirty flirty eyes".  :)

I'm really glad that we'll see the new incarnation of Rockapella very soon.  Very.  I hope that it will help the sadness about John's leaving go away quickly.  The guys have already raved about Calvin, but to me, JKB will always be our Dancing Rockapella Man.
John and Sherry...and JT...and SD...and that guy again