Set it All Free via Sing

We really loveΒ the Movie Sing. The story itself is simple, but since my two girls really love animals they get really excited to see them sing. The plot is so relevant since there are so many so talent competition on TV right now. There are also a lot of lovable characters. Buster the Panda that own a teather, Gunter the over-excited Pig, Rosita the over-worked Mom of 25 piglets (this itself get them giggles), Meena the shy elephant, Ash the punk rocker porcupine, Johnny the Gorrila, Ms. Crawley the devoted chameleon and many more.

For me the most interesting thing is the brilliant song choice! We can immediately recognize “Firework” by Katy Perry…but some of the songs are from a different year and even different era. I learned about Beatles’ Golden Slumber because Nana Noodleman sings it in the opening scene. Then there is Elton John’s I’m still standing, Stevie Wonder’s Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing. Not to mention the songs from the audition. While I wont introduce the entire Crazy Town’s Butterfly to my girls, the movie cut to the perfect part. The fishes singing Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and the Red Panda girls that sing Kira Kira Killer are spot on. I think the writers really did a good job scouring and picking the songs and matching them with the characters of the movie.

The icing on the cake for us is the only original song in the movie. Yup, Set it All Free by Ash. My girls see her as a really cool girl. So, we really love to watch her sing it. After watching the movie we resort to youtube to watch Ash’s part. But, we came across the cover of Set it All Free by Sam Tsui & Madilyn Bailey. While Scarlett Johansson’s vocal is perfect to capture Ash’s strong and feisty character, we really enjoy the softer take of Sam and Madilyn πŸ™‚

 

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Terima Kasih Pierre Coffin!

Its school holiday and I must think of many many activities to keep my two angels busy!

Since they watch youtube regularly, I came across the trailers of MINIONS over a month a go. But, I thought that the release date is mid of JULY! So I was really really excited to know that it premier in our nearest theaters today!

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I immediately took them to see it…and we started laughing even when the Universal logo appeared on screen ^^ Unlike Descpicable Me and Despicable Me 2 that did not pay particular attention on individual minions. In Minion, we follow three special minions: Kevin – the aspiring leader of the pack, Stuart – the musician and finally the adorable and sweet BOB.

It is difficult for us to understand exactly what the minions are saying, since they have their own language, but we can guess from their behaviors. Don’t try to over analyze the plots as adults or as movie critics, just roll along and let your self go..then you will totally immerse in the minions antics….there are plenty of it too :))

So, Terima Kasih Pierre Coffin, for inventing and voicing the hundreds minions. My girls love them!

Melody of my life :)

One of my best friend told me that I am an auditory person. I work best through “audio”. That translates into listening, talking…I even write according to how I talk. No wonder that if I listen to something it stuck in my memory. Not just the voice but all the atmosphere.

Just today, I happened to listen to U2 With or Without You and my mind goes straight to Ross and Rachel’s moment of breakup in “Friends”..aren’t we all? πŸ˜‰

Then I started to test my memory with a few other songs…I came up with a very interesting walk of memory lane πŸ™‚

1981 – 1983

My earliest memory is an Indonesian song called Symphony Yang Indah by one of Indonesia’s Great Singer, Bob Tutupoly. This song was my dad’s favorite song. I still remembered the cover of its cassette. It has a corn like shape. Amazingly, I Googled it and…voila…found it! Listening again to this song now, I still vividly remembered the tape that we used to play it with in the living room from our first house πŸ™‚

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1984 – 1985

Another song that will also bring me back to the early eighties is You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi…One of my neighbor used to sing this song loudly…even in a rather jumbled words πŸ™‚

1984 – 1987

Then during my primary school I listened mostly Indonesian songs. The only means to get to know popular songs were radio and TV. But, Michael Jackson, Madonna were huge that even without MTV and we only had a few channels on TV we still know their songs.

1988 – 1989

As I enrolled to Junior High Schools, I started to buy cassettes with my pocket money. One of the first cassettes that I bought was Repeat Offender from Richard Marx. I love that album so much. I think it was in 1990. That same year like most girls in Indonesia, I came to know Tommy Page. Yes, him haha…bought all his cassettes too πŸ˜‰

1990

Come 1990 I became NKOTB fan. I remembered watching the video with my little sister. We were crazy about NKOTB! Pin, posters, T-shirts you name it. Too bad I did not put them properly…

The 90’s was also the glam rock era, when my brother started to influence me with Bon Jovi, Guns n Roses, even Metallica :)) What a range rite, from squeaky clean boy band to Rock Metal.

1991

Mane Attraction – White Lion especially You’re All I Need. It was a really special song for me as it was played in my Junior High School Farewell Party.

The song Whenever You Close Your Eyes from Tommy Page reminded me of the time when I went Camping as part of High school freshmen inauguration

1992

Definitely the year of Guns n’ Roses with Twin Album Use your Illusion I and Use your Illusion I. One rainy day sometimes in 1992, my classroom got leaky roof and the guys started singing November Rain :))

1993 Belong to Bryan Adams So Far So Good Album.

1995 –

Big Ones Album – AerosmithΒ  and What’s the Story Morning Glory – Oasis!

1996 – You and I – Scorpion

1997 – 1998 – Savage Garden’s self entitled first album with songs like Truly Madly Deeply and To the Moon and Back –

In this period I also bought Come on Over Album from Shania Twain. I remember every song by heart πŸ˜‰

1998 – Postcards from Heaven – Lighthouse Family

High is my favorite song from this album. And it was played when I was cruising the highway in Jakarta to the Airport as I about to depart to the UK on 5th October 1999! The driver played the song in the car. It was such a moment. I was torn between the excitement of embarking into a new life but also apprehension of leaving everything behind.

1999 – definitely belong to Backstreet Boys Millenium and Celine Dion’s All the Way…a Decade of Song!

2000 –Β  2004

One of only a few album that I bought while I was studying in the UK was Affirmation Album from Savage Garden. Listening to the song Crash and Burn reminded me of my friends Yatti, Julien and Vincent. We were having lunch at Yatti’s place when the music video of Crash and Burn played on TV.

2002 – Pure Shores – All Saint…watched The Beach with special someone

During this period I also listened a lot of British Music. Ranging from boyband such as Westlife and Blue, to Coldplay, to Dido.

Justin Timberlake’s Like I love You was my polyphonic ringtone for my first handphone

There were also period when I got really holed up in my flat just trying to finish up my Ph.D. The songs that really get my going was: Train – Drops Over Jupiter, 3 Doors Down – Here Without You, The Calling – Wherever you Will Go.

2004 – 2008

Lots of Beyonce, Leona Lewis, Ne-Yo, Katy Perry etc

2009

Had a chance to go for a 2 weeks training in Japan. During this time I get to watch Mama Mia – the Movie. It really made me fell in love with ABBA πŸ˜€ Most importantly, I fell in love with Daniel Powter Album Under the Radar. The songs from this album such as Next Plane Home, Love You Lately, Best of Me accompanied me during those days in Kumamoto Japan.

2010

I lost my dad suddenly in March 2010. During this time I listened songs from Michael Jackson’s – Gone Too Soon and Owl City’s – Vanilla Twilight, Daughtry’s – Life after You.

2012

In 2012 I went for International Visitor Leadership Program, and Jessie J’s song Domino really dominated the airwaves. I heard it many times during the trip

Well, thats my list, what are yours? Perhaps not too different from mine πŸ™‚

How I get to the music that I love

I have always loved Music but I don’t always have the time to really follow the latest one.

Thankfully, music is delivered to various media these days, so eventually good ones will come around πŸ™‚ The keywords is “eventually” because it may not be the current hit song. In fact it might be 1 to 4 years late πŸ˜€

For me, the best chance to get to know the latest music is in the 15 or so minutes I drove my car back and forth from my home to the office or when I drove to do some errands, which is really not that long. But, during that short period, sometimes I got lucky to hear some music that would be my favorite. Just like love at first sight, the best music to me is those that I can really get the moment I heard it.

Back in 2002 I heard the song Drops over Jupiter from Train on the radio. I actually have to called the radio station to know the artist and the title πŸ˜€

Nowadays, it was really easy now to catch just a few phrase of the song and then Googled it to find out who sings it and search on Youtube to watch the music video.

Just like the other day, I suddenly heard this song…

Tell them all I know now
Shout it from the roof tops
Write it on the skyline
all we had is gone now

It was sung wholeheartedly by a guy with a very deep and unique voice. The songs it self was quite easy to catch. I just googled some of the lyrics that I remember and found out that it was originally sung by Shontelle, a female artist around 2010! While her original version was great, I wanted to know the guy who recycled the song. So, I browse through the google search and voila!

Found that it was sung by James Arthur on the final of UK X Factor in 2012. As I watched his performance I was really really moved. The song really blend with his voice. SO It came to my playlist really late πŸ˜€

If not through the radio, sometimes I got to know good music through other media. Top of the list would be Movies! Yes, good movies typically comes with good music. For example, watching Frozen really get me (and my girls) singing “Let it Go” and “Do you wanna build a Snowman”.

Another mean would be award ceremonies. During the Oscar ceremonies I watched Pharrell Williams got everyone dancing with his song “Happy” from Despicable Me. Actually, I have watched Despicable Me 2 with my girls so many time, but I did not noticed the song….so, at that time, I was rooting for Idina Menzel’s Let it Go for “Original Score from the Movie” and it did. But now I really cant get the song out of my head πŸ˜€

Clap Along if You Feel Like a Room without a Roof!!

Finally, I get introduced to the latest hit through entertainment news! I for example get to know Sara Barailles “Brave” because it was compared to Katy Perry’s “Roar”. I also get intrigued to listen to Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” because it was heavily cited in the news.

How do you get your music??

32.5 Celcius in Surabaya, Yet Completely “Frozen”

LOVE can Melt a Frozen Heart

Ever since we went to watch Disney’s latest movie Frozen at the cinema, my girls and I have really gotten Frozen-Frenzy πŸ˜€

Completely Frozen by it
Completely Frozen by it

Tangled set the bar really high even for Disney. But Frozen certainly more than live up to the expectation. The movie was really entertaining. It has all the good elements of a Disney classics. At the center is of course a royal princess. Wait, not just one but two princesses. To me, what I can relate most from the movie and sets it apart from the rest of the Disney’s franchise is the relationships between the two princesses. I have a sister and we were really close. So, imagining that as sisters we have to be kept apart for years was really really sad. Call me sentimental but without knowing, I shed a few tears during the movie.

But, its not all sad…Just like Tangled has Pascal and Maximus to provide all the laughs, Frozen has the hug-worthy Olaf the Snowman, Svenn the Reindeer and the trolls to create the funny moments. The Princess love interests are a little extraordinary too…if Rapunzel end up with a thief turn hero, Flynn a.k.a. Eugene Fitzherbert then we saw a twist in Frozen from the typical prince (Prince Hans) to the awkward yet noble Kristoff. As if to teach us that nobility are not always inherited in your genes..

The animation were really beautiful. I especially love the scenes when Elsa build the Ice Castle πŸ˜€

Then the icing of the cake must be the wonderful soundtrack. There’s the powerful anthem of Let It Go. It’s full of energy and completely blend with Elsa’s transformation. Both Ratih and Hita loves the song so much. Ratih can even sing and imitate the entire Elsa’s action while singing the song. From the running part when she sang “Let it Goo..let it gooo…” and started building staircases…up to the closing “The Cold never bothered me anyway”. Even Hita, my younger girl who is just 3 year and 7 months, also sings it with her lovely toddler voice.

Apparently my girls are not alone…Check this video on how a 9-year old sings the song beautifully πŸ˜€

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20777883,00.html

The other tunes such as “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” also got my two girls singing πŸ™‚ They will take turn to sing Elsa’s and Anna’s part.

Thoroughly, enjoyable piece of Disney! Cant wait for another Disney outing πŸ˜€

Two Princesses and a Snowman
Two Princesses and a Snowman

The Fate of a Perfectly Grey Character on TV

Growing up I watched so many TV series where there are clear cut portrayals of the Good and Bad. I have seen how Michael Landon played the best father in The Little House on the Prairie. Then, there were the feisty yet totally good Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. But those days have long gone…

Nowadays, I watched so many TV series that revolved around a greyish characters. They are sometimes portrayed as a good characters, but also have the tendency to do bad things. The top three on my lists are: Homeland, Scandal and Revenge.

(Yes, it was all American TV Series. Not that I am anti-local. I used to watch Indonesian TV too…some of the series really stuck in my mind are ACI (Aku Cinta Indonesia), Rumah Masa Depan, Losmen, Si Doel Anak Sekolahan, Bajaj Bajuri. But, recently I dont have the luxury to schedule a time to watch TV. Plus, I have not heard of good Indonesian series T.T)

I usually just scramble around the TV listings randomly. I got hooked with Revenge because it was heavily publicized on one of the cable TV that I regularly watched when I have a time. The lead character is a beautiful young woman whose life was turned upside down by a rich and powerful couple. She then vows to take them down, hence the title, Revenge. Truthfully, I don’t like the general idea of Revenge. But, having watched a couple of episodes I felt so touched with the Father-Daughter relationships and got intrigued with how the daughter will avenge her father. I also like the chemistry between Emily and Nolan Ross. Yet, none of these characters is good nor bad. Some are clearly worst than another. But nobody is a clear-cut Good Guy. Owh, another thing that I love from the series is Emily’s beach house. It looked really cozy πŸ˜€

During my IVLP trip in Washington, America around April 2012, I have the chance to watch Scandal. It was heavily publicized at that time because it was actually set in Washington D.C. The first time I watched it, I thought Kerri Washington’s acting as Olivia Pope was so Over the Top. But, her “Gladiator in a Suit” team were quite intriguing. The storyline were quite shocking too. So, I got hooked and continue to watch the entire season 1 upon my return. When the season picked up for the second season, I watch half way through when the stories became even more shocking. All the characters are involved in some kind of a scheme so it is hard to tell, which one is the good side T.T

And finally, Homeland. I picked up the series rather late. I first read the news of Claire Danes and her new series took home a lot of Awards at the Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and many others. Then one night, out of pure coincidence I watched one of the episode of season 1. It was totally gripping! I was so intrigued with the characters that I waited and watched the re-run of the entire season 1. To me, this series has the most intriguing and morally grey character in the form of the two main leads: CIA Agent Carrie Mathison and U.S. Marine Officer-turned Terrorist-turned CIA, Nicholas Brody.

Carrie Mathison played by Claire Danes, in my opinion is far from the usual female lead character. She is not the classic beauty (my opinion). She is highly intelligent in her line of work, but also very troubled in her personal life. Then, there is Nicholas Brody. Again, to me, he is not the typical lead character. At first, I hate Nicholas Brody’s character. He is scheming and appeared to do anything for his advantage. All in all, he is not likeable.

So, I find it hard to believe how Carrie fell for him. But, I guess this is what is the main conflict that kept the audience tuned in. But as the series progress, my judgement gradually change. I actually felt sorry for him and even want Brody and Carrie to have a chance to be together. Even, after another male character, Peter Quinn enter. I remembered one of my friend used to say. A sign of a good character in a movie is when you actually care what happened to the character. She said, that when she watched Mission Impossible, she does not really care if Tom Cruise’s character leave or die. Ouchh, harsh right?

This is I think how Homeland succeed. The writers, can introduce a character that the audience feel strongly. I read that some fans are really split for Brody’s character: some want him gone, some want to keep him.

*spoiler alert*

I was totally shocked when I watched the final episode of Season 3. I cant believe that Brody must go, and in such a way. I even felt sad for him. So, bravo for the series creator. To be able to create such a strong grey character.

My question now is, what will be the faith of Olivia Pope and Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne?