On the heels of this weekend's huge opening of The Hunger Games (it earned $214 million worldwide!), I have to stop and think: Is this our replacement for Harry Potter and the beloved Twilight series? Now that Harry Potter is over and Twilight will eventually end, at least the book-turned-movie fan population who's been coping with the loss of HP has something new to focus their attention on.
I've never been one for sorcery or glittering vampires, and I admit, I've only seen the first HP movie and somewhat boycotted Twilight, but The Hunger Games really caught my attention. Although the whole idea of America turning into Panem and the Capitol hosting a fight to the death seems somewhat far fetched, I think the idea of survival of the fittest speaks to all of us at a core level, myself included. Just like any good junkie, I read the book and was immediately sucked into the characters and the story line, staying up late and ditching friends to read, over going out for the night. My Amazon basket right now includes the next two books in the Suzanne Collins series: Catching Fire and Mockingjay, which will also be made into movies in the coming years.
You know how any time we read a book and then see the movie, we always walk away from the theatre somewhat disappointed that the film didn't meet our expectations? Or maybe that the writers and directors of the film left out pieces of the book that you felt were important? Well, I have to say, of all the movies I've seen as interpretations of a book, The Hunger Games stayed more true to the written version than most. Granted, little bits and pieces were removed, but overall, the folks behind the scenes made some right decisions. I will say, I did enjoy the book more, but I think that's for one very specific reason that we don't always consider. When a reader is following along in a novel, he or she is reading every thought, every feeling, every observation of the narrator. Whereas, in a film, it would be silly to vocalize all of those things. Instead, the actor has to emote all of those thoughts and feelings, leaving it up to the audience's interpretation. We don't become as connected to the individual narrating the story through a film as we do in a book. We simply have to be accepting of that and open our minds to the movie version.
Now, in order to keep up with the "Team Edward" t-shirts, I've gotta get to the screen printing store to have my jersey made. Number 12 with "Everdeen" across the shoulder blades. Oh yeah. The odds are ever in my favor.
Micah Dalton is a tried and true Atlanta favorite, known and respected by just about everyone involved in this southern music community. Not only is Dalton a fiercely talented writer, musician and vocalist, but he is also deeply involved with the community and making music with others. Micah started ATL Collective (co-founded with David Berkeley), an eclectic group of musicians in Atlanta who come together once a month at Eddie's Attic to perform a series of songs by one selected artist. This month, for example, they'll be covering Bruce Springsteen's album, Born in the USA, on March 18th. These aren't your typical cover shows, though, as they make each event of musical storytelling a unique experience, leaving you with the feeling that you've just listened to this classic album for the very first time. Another collaborative effort of Micah's is the annual Christmas show at Eddie's Attic, which he performs in with Ryan Horne and Nathan Angelo. I went this past year and had a blast-- so great to see a community of artists come together and create something as memorable as these guys do.
Though Micah has many other albums that precede this one, I'm especially excited about Blue Frontier. I've listened to the album at home, of course, as well as got a little live preview of a few songs at the Christmas show. I keep finding myself with the track, The Way Our Seasons Change, on repeat. Needless to say, Blue Frontier will undoubtedly be his best CD to date.
The official release date for Blue Frontier was on March 13, 2012. To kick off the release, Dalton hosted a CD release party last night at The Vinyl with live performances by the band, Shook Foil and singer-songwriter, Peter Groenwald. Another great collaboration that I was thrilled to be present for. Micah and his band took the stage at the end of the night, accompanied by The Shadowboxers and vocalist Molly Parden, performing some of his previous hits, as well as introducing us to the new musical stylings on his latest album. Funny, because even Micah said in his live performance that he's gotten a lot of positive feedback about The Way Our Seasons Change (the song I mentioned earlier), and that it seems to really resonate with people. I can relate. I couldn't help but notice the track, Bad Blood, off of Blue Frontier, was a crowd favorite-- myself included. I also loved how Micah, an Ohio native, threw in a little MoTown flair to some of his music (I'm a Detroit-born girl, so some MoTown flavor is always appreciated). After the performance, I bought the hard copy (because I still listen to CDs... I'm old school like that) of Peter Groenwald's EP, Sweet Science and of course, Micah's newest addition. You can purchase your own copy on iTunes, Amazon, or through his website listed below.
I have been a fan of Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers since the fall of 2010, when a friend of mine told me to listen to them. I obliged, and within a few minutes of YouTubing a few of their songs, I had gone to their website to order their newest album at the time, Glassjaw Boxer. Though this is a relatively new band in my repertoire (they started in 2003.. I'm behind the times, apparently), it was like a whirlwind romance, as my love grew quickly for the music of these Massachusetts natives. Glassjaw Boxer has insightful lyrics, many written by Stephen Kellogg, expressing his love for his family, and a clear American folk-rock influence.
Nicole's Top 10 SK6ERS Lyrics (Mostly from "Glassjaw Boxer" and "Gift Horse", in no particular order):
1. "She was on fire and wild and American"
2. "Brown-eyed actress" (I'm sure you can't guess why on Earth I'd like that one)
3. "Did you ever think that, maybe, if you're not happy, it's because of you?"
4. "And I'll wear your memory underneath my shirt like an Indian tattoo"
5. "It's okay in the clouds, but I love it, right here, with my feet on the ground"
6. "She's got a sun kissed smile that the winter won't go near. And her hips could shake a mountain and her lips could start a fire."
7. "Call it artistic or agnostic, altruistic, now I've lost it. This uncertainty just gets to me."
8. "I don't have the time for your nostalgia or your criticisms. You live and learn.. me, well, I learn to let go."
9. "With a fierce disposition like the beat of a drum, you get hurt more than others but you had more fun"
10. Umm and the entire song, "Noelle, Noelle"
A friend of mine who works for a local apartment complex was having issues with tenants not cleaning up after their pets... so what did she do? Being a filmmaker as well, she made a video... and I star in it, along with my "dog", Rover, played by the talented (and not so slobbery) Dominick Racano. It's pretty silly and ridiculous, but gets her point across with humor, which I think is always the best way. So take a look.
You can see other videos of mine HERE
I would simply like to share my love for life with you-- be it inspirational music, photography, written word, joyous works by local artists, theatre and independent films, travel, community outreach projects, silly musings and adventures, or little things I've learned along the way. All categories are open for discussion! If there's something you'd like to hear more about, just ask!