Music Monday {14}

music mondays

On a Music Monday, I will introduce a couple of new songs that I’m enjoying with you all and put the Youtube video in so you all can check out the song. You can find the playlist on Spotify with all of these songs here.

This week is a lot of new work by people I already love. Just as a heads up.

1. Two Weeks by FKA Twigs

A good friend of mine who has turned me onto so much good music lately texted me this music video, and I was immediately hooked. FKA Twigs is an incredible voice, and can WE TALK ABOUT THIS MUSIC VIDEO? SHE LITERALLY SITS IN A GOLDEN THRONE THE WHOLE TIME. THAT. IS. IT. And I love it. Her album I bought this past weekend on total impulse because I hadn’t even listened to the whole thing, and I’m in love with it. Go buy this album. Right. now.

2. Help Me Lose My Mind by Disclosure ft. London Grammar

I love love love love London Grammar, and this popped up on my Soundcloud stream the other day and somehow I had never heard it? I have no idea how. But either way, I love this totally switch for London Grammar, and Hannah Reid’s vocals on this track are killer. I’m continually amazed by this band.

3. Divided by Denetia and Sene

I’ve been waiting for more Denetia and Sene for AGES and I’ve finally got some! This is a new song out by this duo, and I love it. It keeps the same style from the album I adore, but brings out the vocals more. I’m loving this new song! Note: Since this song has just come out, I’m linking the soundcloud instead of a Youtube video.

If you want to keep up with my Soundcloud escapades, check out my profile here.

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Book Review: Jackaby

20312462Novel: Jackaby by William Ritter | Goodreads
Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Algoquin Young Readers
Format: ARC
Source: BookPeople Teen Reviewing

“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.

Abigail Rook and Jackaby are an interesting match in every way – he’s disorganized and a social outcast, she’s organized and daring. Both are searching for someone who understand them, and as Jackaby’s assistant, Abigail proves herself to be keen, willing to do anything, and happy to accompany crazy Jackaby about the town. Their case revolves around a nonhuman serial killer, and at first I was suspicious of the whole nonhuman element, but it quickly grew on me. Ritter doesn’t overly-explain the nonhuman world, but rather presents information as Abigail learns of this world, and allows the reader to follow along with her. This, in addition to some humor and good writing, made me adore this book.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the promotion that this book is similar to Doctor Who (it literally has no Doctor Who whatsoever) I do agree with the claim that it is similar to Sherlock. And, as a fan of Sherlock, that element of this book appealed to me on so many levels. Imagine Sherlock but instead of hunting criminals, he’s hunting magical creatures who commit crimes.

That’s right, Sherlock and magical creatures.

That’s Jackaby.

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Recent Music News on My Radar

About this time in September is always when about 8 BAZILLION albums come out, and this year is no different. I’ve included below some of the big music things that I’m excited about, some release, some album streams, some announcements – a bit of everything!

  • BANKS ALBUM “GODDESS” OUT NOW! I am a huge Banks fan (I refer to her as my own goddess… get it… goddess…) and her album is holyamazingiambreathless incredible. Review to come on that one! She’s also going on tour so check out those dates here and see is she’s gracing your town with her presence! You can listen to the album on Spotify here: spotify.
  • WHITE ARROWS ALBUM “IN BARDO” STREAM I first heard White Arrows at The Neighbourhood concert in July and jumped on the bandwagon, preordering their album (you can do it here) the minute I could. The album has just gone live for a stream from SPIN Magazine, and the album comes out on September 16th. They’ve also announced a tour, and I’ve included the dates below for ease!

September 20 – San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore
October 25 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
November 7 ­- Oakland, CA @ Leo’s
November 8 – San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar
November 10 – Seattle, WA @ Barboza ­
November 11 – Vancouver, BC @­ OWL ­
November 12 – Portland, OR @ Holocene ­
November 15 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst Atrium
January 18 – San Diego @ the Casbah ­
January 23 – LA @ the El Rey
January 27 ­- Phoenix @­ Valley Bar,
January 29 ­- Dallas @ Three Links,
January 30 ­- Austin @ Stubb’s JR ­
January 31 ­- Houston ­@ Fitzgerald’s Downstairs

  • SIR SLY ALBUM “YOU HAUNT ME” ALBUM STREAM Another album stream! Sir Sly opened up for The 1975 on their US tour and since then they’ve become increasingly popular. Their debut album “You Haunt Me” is also out September 16th. You can stream the album here on Pigeons and Planes. The album is phenomenal and really shows off their talents as a band – I’m so excited for it to be out! They’re also on tour right now and have some shows through the end of this month so check out their schedule and see if they’re coming to a venue near you!
  • CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN ALBUM “THE BALCONY” OUT SOON This UK band’s debut album will be out September 15th (see what I mean?!) and I am counting. down. I love Catfish and the Bottlemen and am seeing them at ACL as well. They’re got a rock, fun, melody driven sound that is fantastic for those “get stuff done” days. Preorder the album now, and get tickets to their US tour here!

There’s more, but these are my very top picks for new music right now. Get excited! This fall and winter is looking incredible for music.

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Book Review: Love and Chaos

17934395Novel: Love and Chaos (Brooklyn Girls, #2) by Gemma Burgess | Goodreads
Release Date: February 25th, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Wild child and secret romantic Angie wakes up in a hotel room with $3,000 and no memories of the night before. Her best friends aren’t talking to her, she can’t get a job in fashion, her parents are divorcing, and she’s about to turn twenty-three. And life is about to get much worse.

Brooklyn Girls: Love and Chaos continues the story of our five favorite grads sharing a brownstone and starting out in New York City through Angie’s eyes. On a journey from private jets and yacht parties to dirty subways and hipster bars via crazy storms, flash floods, and retail jobs from hell, Angie discovers who she is, what she wants, how she’s going to get it —and a crazy little thing called true love.

Meanwhile, her roommates lives are imploding, too. Coco’s self-medicating and self-loathing, Pia’s breaking up and cracking up, Madeleine’s finding her voice and Julia might—just might—have met someone she can actually date.

Brooklyn Girls is the hilarious, inspiring Gemma Burgess series every twenty-something has been waiting for that tells you that whatever you do, whatever mistakes you make, everything is going to be okay. All you need is a little luck, a little work, and your best friends. 

I was a massive fan of Gemma Burgess’s first book in this series, Brooklyn Girls and it ended up being one of my favorite new adult books of all time. Her books are hilarious, well written, and fun to read. (Maybe because I want to be a Brooklyn Girl….?)

In book two, Angie is our main character. In Brooklyn Girls we got to read about Pia and her rise to success, but Angie was always this mysterious best friend who hadn’t figured out what she was doing and seemed to be partying all the time. So, in Angie’s book we see her at her very lowest, and in true Angie fashion, she is picked up by a boat boy, hitches a ride on a private plane back to New York, and decides she needs a life change. And this could easily be one of my favorite parts of this book – the fact that Angie just decided, “You know what? It’s time to change. I’m going to get it together.”

And so we embark on Angie’s rollercoaster of a life, with crazy rich people, liars, creeps, and some of the best friends a girl could ask for. Burgess has succeeded with this funny, poignant, and thought-provoking novel that made me do a couple things I’ve been scared of doing for a while. Sometime we just need that little push, and this book might be your push. I absolutely adored this book, and wild child Angie has taken a firm hold in my heart as a character I adore.

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Book Review: Love is the Drug

20894021Novel: Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson | Goodreads
Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Publisher: Arthur A. Levin Books (Scholastic)
Format: ARC
Source: BookPeople Teen Reviewing

From the author of THE SUMMER PRINCE, a novel that’s John Grisham’s THE PELICAN BRIEF meets Michael Crichton’s THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN set at an elite Washington D.C. prep school.

Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-League future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC’s elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.

Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus–something about her parents’ top secret scientific work–something she shouldn’t know.

The only one Bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.

I’m a sucker for books like these. High stakes thrillers with some science and a mysterious male character? Yes, please. So I was excited to get going on this one, mainly because I wanted to see what the scandal was. (And also I’m a total nerd and wanted to see all the cool science stuff that was going on.)

The book started and I was very “ehh” about it. Love is the Drug definitely has a slow start, and it takes a bit to adjust to the style of narrative, but once you’re about halfway in, it really picks up. Suddenly I couldn’t put it down and I was flipping pages right and left. I became attached to Bird, and was invested in her search for the truth and justice. Coffee interested me on so many levels, mainly because he’s a character who you only get the chance to really skim the surface of, and just as you’re getting deeper, you don’t get to know any more. But, there wasn’t really much you could do about that (you’ll see what I mean).

I was very impressed with not only the character development, but also the way in which Johnson navigated the science/political world and the clashes that arose because of it. The investment that scientists make in helping society and the unfortunate times when they get results that are used for things they had never planned. The dynamic between Bird and her parents is a very complicated and stressful one, and for much of the book you see them in the same way Bird does – high-strung, uninterested in Bird’s aspirations, overly invested in work – but as the book goes on, you grow to understand them, and I love this in a novel. I love to understand a character’s motivation as the book progressed, and to dive into the whys of their character. It’s always a rewarding experience.

I was very impressed with Love is the Drug. It’s a high-stakes novel that takes you on a rollercoaster of political secrets, science mistakes, and the difficulties of having parents who don’t get you. Bird is one heck of a narrator too; fiery and tenacious, which are two qualities that make any book better.

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ARC Party Rewind: WHAT I WANT NOW

Image from EpicReads Blog – aren’t Margot and Aubrey the cutest? 

Yesterday was the latest ARC PARTY! AKA MY FAVORITE THING EVEERRR. Unfortunately I missed it because I was at work, but I watched it this morning while getting ready and the feels are real guys. Some incredible books are coming from HarperTeen this Fall/Winter season and I am hyped. If you want to check out the books featured in word form, head over the EpicReads blog here.

BOOKS I’M MASSIVELY HYPED FOR:

Beware of the Wild by Natalie C. Parker | Goodreads | October 21st, 2014

“It’s an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp — the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn’t return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance — and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.”

Swamps, a mystery, and a loner boy named HEATH?! I’m down. GIMME. NOW.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard | Goodreads | February 10th, 2015

“Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn’t know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.”

EEEEEKKKKKKK. We’ve got some betrayal, royalty, and a rebellion. And I’m also sensing some romance. And that COVER. LOOK AT IT. SO. PRETTY. I want this asap. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL FEBRUARY.

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray | Goodreads | November 4th, 2014

Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Timesbestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father’s killer through multiple dimensions. Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

A Thousand Pieces of You, the first book in the Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.” (synopsis from EpicReads)

ORPHAN BLACK ORPHAN BLACK AND MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS WHERHIOWEOGIBOIA. Also that cover is freaking insane. Applause for that designer. Lots of applause. *standing ovation*

The Fall by Bethany Griffin | Goodreads | October 7th, 2014

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.”

I haven’t read The Fall of the House of Usher but now I want to. I love a good creepy book, and not only is that cover AWESOME (although not a super-fan of the author typeface), but the synopsis sounds intense. I’m so so so excited about this one. AND it’s just in time for Halloween. High fives for Harper and their impeccable timing.


What are YOU excited for? Let me know in comments because this fall/winter is looking INCREDIBLE on the HarperTeen front.

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Album Review: Language and Perspective – Bad Suns

Language & Perspective by Sad SunB

I first heard about Bad Suns when The 1975’s tour support acts were announced. And, being the person I am, I looked up Bad Suns (and Sir Sly for that matter) and my thoughts were as follows:

ian

From the preview of the album on Billboard I was hooked. They had taken their EP Cardiac Arrest and upped the awesome. Language & Perspective opens with “Matthew James”, a fantastic introduction to Bad Sun’s sound, full of loops and a heavy drum emphasis, with some killer vocals from Christo (lead singer). The second song is “We Move Like the Ocean”, which came out as a single before the album. Seeing this song live was fantastic – it’s danceable and so easy to sing along to. My favorites on the album come towards the end, them being “Sleep Paralysis” and “Rearview” (literally the last two songs) which round out the album on a great note, and are just great songs. My only complaint (and it’s very small) is I wish they hadn’t included their EP tracks on here, but who am I to complain? It’s mainly just because I wanted more new songs. I’m being greedy.

Go give Bad Suns a listen! And if you’re into them, go see them live – they’re touring with New Politics this fall. I know I’ll be at the Austin show!

Spotify | iTunes | Amazon

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