Songs for the End of the World

Here’s a Pentatonix mash-up of “Save the World” and “Don’t You Worry Child” by the Swedish House Mafia. Perfect timing for the END OF THE WORLD. Can’t stop listening to it.

Can someone please bring this group to Manila???

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the IT list #8

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #8

#ONE
Pentatonix, the recent champions of The Sing-Off, has finally released an EP. Entitled Pentatonix Volume 1, this EP has six tracks, two of which are original songs. Let me remind you, all of the songs were arranged with just their voices (aka a cappella). I’ve been listening to it for the past couple of days, and I never lose the thrill of hearing their voices blend into varied and beautiful arrangements. Whether it’s Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye or Starships by Nicki Minaj… These guys are the real deal.

Here’s a sampling and you may purchase their EP via www.ptxofficial.com:



#TWO
In addition to the recently opened Mall of Asia Arena, which hosted the phenomenal concerts of Lady Gaga and NKOTBSB (both of which I witnessed, and they were AWESOME!), the first Philippine branch of Uniqlo just opened in MOA a few weeks ago and Forever 21 is about to open by the end of July. With cinemas, a department store, a bowling alley, an ice skating rink, a convention center (SMX) and an IMAX cinema, not to mention the other shops and restaurants it has to offer, SM Mall of Asia is pretty much the most complete shopping mall and entertainment complex in Metro Manila. It certainly has got it all, and there might not be a need to go anywhere else. Wonderful.


#THREE
My favorite new show last year is definitely Awkward. It is a smart and witty series that never ran out of funny stories to tell with great characters that you can’t help but love. The show is back for a second year; and from the first two episodes, I’m feeling good about this season. My favorite part so far? The introduction of Becca, the scary (and hella funny) Asian. I can’t wait to see what Ming will get involved in with that crowd. Of course, there’s also the major love triangle between Jake, Jenna and Matty… That’s not going to end well. Lastly, there is the family conflict that will ensue because of the revelation of Jenna’s mother as the one who wrote the letter. I can’t wait to see what happens next. This is going to be interesting…


#FOUR
I missed all their previous shows here in the Philippines, so it’s absolutely vital that I not miss this one. Maroon 5 has just released their latest album, Overexposed, and with it comes a tour that is the hottest concert this year. Their September 18, 2012 show at the Smart Araneta Coliseum is currently sold out except for the General Admission section… And that’s less than three weeks since they started selling tickets. As an added bonus, they’re touring with The Cab, the breakthrough group behind the beautiful song “Endlessly.” I only bought my tickets last week, so I had to settle for Upper Box B. Still, I’m watching and that’s what matters!

#FIVE
It hasn’t exactly reached the Philippine shores and I just had someone buy it for me from Japan. To put it simply, I love this bag. I can’t explain what it’s made of; but almost everyone who’s seen it is fascinated by it. Bao Bao Issey Miyake is a line of bags that are both stylish and functional. I love using it. I love putting stuff in it. I am especially mesmerized by the smart and simple design. Currently the “it” bag in Thailand… It will only be a matter of time before it makes its way here in the country.

pretty bags in different colors

the IT list #4

“the IT list” A series of posts that highlight the various stuff, old or new, that I’ve been doing… reading, watching, eating or simply obsessing over recently. It’s my personal countdown.

the IT list #4
I haven’t had the chance to post any list for the month of November; so consider this as a “blanket” countdown for the past 30 days:

#ONE
This book had a title that I seem to be familiar with but haven’t really heard anything about. Whatever drew me toward it, I’m simply glad to have bought The Perks of Being A Wallflower; because it turned out to be SO GOOD. It’s one of those books that struck me as a genuine coming-of-age story. The protagonist’s narration is in the form of letters to a friend… much like a journal. You are then brought into his world where he’s mainly an observer; but somehow through his friends, family and teachers, he slowly gets pushed in the experience of living. I LOVE it so much, it made me cry. I felt like such a dork for it; but it’s proof how much I got into it. Definitely a must-read.

#TWO
I went through a documentary phase the past month, where I got hold of as many critically-acclaimed documentaries as possible and watched them one after the other. Some of them may be controversial as to its truth (Catfish); but there wasn’t a film that I didn’t love watching. Some may have simply entertained (My Date With Drew), others made me feel repulsed with its revelations (Food Inc.); but all of them made me learn certain things about the world. I highly recommend taking a break from Hollywood magic and exposing yourself to some real quality stories.

Other documentary films you should check out not listed here: The Wire, The King of Kong, The September Issue.

#THREE
They just won The Sing-Off; but I’ve been rooting for them since they broke out of the competition with “E.T.”… I think most of us were. Pentatonix is futuristic a cappella in a small package made up of only five people. Scott, Mitch, Kirstie, Kevin and Avi are my new idols. They are fantastic at arranging any song by putting in a signature “surprise” with every performance. It could be a cool breakdown in the middle, a remix with their voices, an abrupt silence… No matter what, what they do is AWESOME. The group remained consistently great with every episode; and I love them for it. I’m so happy they won. I’m looking forward to what their recording contract allows them to produce. I hope it’s as good or even better than their performances on the show.

Just so you get exposed to their talent (if you haven’t already), here’s one of my many favorites, Video Killed the Radio Star:

#FOUR
With the release of the complete film collection on DVD, I was brought back to my love for J.K. Rowling’s beloved series about a young wizard named Harry Potter. I re-watched all 8 films, including special features, in the span of a few days. I was reminded of how special the stories and the films have been not just for me, but for the world. I will forever be a fan.

#FIVE
Brilliant comedic chops paired with a beautiful face? It was quite disorienting but turned out to be even more effective in making me laugh. Petra Mahalimuyak is Ashley Rivera’s alter ego, a fast-talking woman with a terrible “p” and “f” defect, who gives you instructions on how to apply make-up, even how to dougie. Her biggest hit? How to Dance in a Club, which is funny and helpful at the same time.

The Sing-Off Is Back!

Two episodes have come and gone; and I am so thrilled with the new season. My favorite reality singing competition is back with a lot more competitors (16 groups), a new judge (Sara Bareilles replaces Nicole Scherzinger) and loads of raw talent waiting to be discovered.

Last year, I raved about The Sing-Off and enumerated the reasons why this is one of the most refreshing reality shows on television. I was hooked. I am a HUGE fan.

Judges Ben Folds, Sara Bareilles and Shawn Stockman

This year, the show will have more episodes than usual. With sixteen groups competing, they’ve had to divide them into two brackets, each composed of 8 groups. This means more performances, more eliminations and more episodes. In two weeks, however, they’ve already eliminated four groups; so I’m thinking it won’t be dragged out too long compared to other singing competitions.

Of course, with more competitors being featured in the show, there is a danger of not having as many good performers. I was worried for nothing. The talent this year is unbelievable. I can’t imagine eliminating over half of these amazing groups in the next couple of weeks. The bar is set even higher; and it shows. I couldn’t stop thinking, “Damn, they’re good.” or “That’s so cool.” or “What the…” It’s too bad this show is only on once a week. I could not get enough of the a cappella goodness.

The current panel still proves to be the most effective judges ever. Shawn Stockman, Ben Folds and Sara Bereilles make a good team. I liked Nicole; but she was probably the weakest judge last year. Sara B is a wonderful replacement. As usual, all of their input are valuable to the contestants. They continue to give constructive criticism. No theatrics involved. We’re all about the singing, people!

It’s still too early to tell who are the strongest teams based on one performance each. However, I do have my favorites from the past two episodes. Watch and weep.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkdlny_qkzI]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEuOyU1_jkA]