Never Give The Game Away

Ladies and gents, today’s musical rediscovery is …

Yes, you know her! And if you don’t, check out her songs ASAP. All right, Sophie Ellis Bextor may not be everyone’s cup of tea with her pop/disco beats and punchy make-up… but hey, she gets me dancing every time! My theory is if any song gets you dancing, it’s a good song! Enough said. 🙂

I’ve finally managed to sync my iTunes with my Android music player (took me quite a while) and today I rediscovered songs I actually forgot about. Shame’s all on me. Let’s move on. Imagine me on my way back home, in a crowded tube and when this song blasted through my earphones – DING – crazy happy face (aka corgi face). This song reminds me of the sixteen-year-old me, who was becoming more open to other musical genres. Sophie Ellis Bextor actually managed to make me discover Gloria Gaynor and all that disco energy.

So hats off to the lady who made my commute a lot more fun and shorter today! Enjoy the song and put on those disco shoes! Don’t be shy! 😉

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Discovery of the day #1 – Travis

I realised that I often give too much thought to my blog posts. Of course, looking for the right words and editing my pictures is a hobby I enjoy, even if it takes quite a lot of time. Perfectionism often pays off but it might ruin me one day… The other day I thought I could create a new blog category called “Discovery of the day“. I often stumble upon random (but interesting) things so I thought why not share them with you guys? It might be more spontaneous and less “literary” but my blog is getting hungry and lonely. After all, as a blogging beginner, I learned a valuable lesson: you should never try to make your blog perfect. Nobody likes museum-like blogs where you can see the blogger struggling to make every tiny detail perfect. Flawless blogs can easily get boring… but if you show a little personality, with unique quirks here and there, this is what makes a blog interesting!

So, let’s get right to it, shall we? Today’s discovery was this Facebook status published a few days ago by Coldplay (I love them, if you still haven’t figured that out from my previous post). Chris Martin tells us about two songs he found, one of them being “Moving” by Travis. It’s definitely not the first time I hear of Travis: they’re often on my stuck-on-replay list. I remember the first time I heard “Sing” on the radio and saw the clip on MTV when I was a kid. I used to laugh my head off at that clip, particularly when the lobster lands on the host lady’s hat (1:43).

Oh, those were the good old days…

Moving on to today’s discovery:

Moving” is a song from their newest album called Where You Stand, for which you can find a review here. All right, Helen Brown might think it’s “a bit boring” (and I respect that) but in all fairness, all you need sometimes is predictable melodies and words you can remember easily. For me, Travis are far from being boring. Of course, if you compare them with other innovative bands that have shaken the musical world, you might think that. But I personally think that every artist should be respected and appreciated for his work. All artists bring something new in their own way and you can’t discuss taste, after all! J If you enjoy a “boring” song, why not listen to it? Life’s too short for not listening to songs that cheer you up! I’m getting a little off-track here…

In another review, Ryan Bray says:

“There’s a lot here that will sound familiar not just to Travis fans, but also to legions of listeners who have latched on to the scores of bands that have built booming resumes off of the band’s influential brit-pop blueprint. That sound has become so ubiquitous over the years that it’s easy to forget Travis was Coldplay before there was Coldplay (it’s okay, Chris Martin will tell you as much). But the Keane-reminiscent “Different Road” or the palatable, mid-tempo pop rock of “Moving” are effective reminders of just how far the band’s influence has reached over the years.”

It’s true that Travis remind me of Keane, especially for this song. Both bands have that same “clean” style, with simple lyrics, sometimes a bit too melancholic (lost or unacquainted loves) but anybody can relate to that. I haven’t listened to the whole album yet but I’m planning to do it soon. From what I can see from this song, Travis have grown and they managed to reach a certain level of “peace”, as Ryan Bray says.

I have a feeling this kind of post will mostly be about musical discoveries but I promise not to be exclusive about that! There are many other things worth rambling about, aren’t there? 😉

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Siena – Un anno dopo

I’m getting quite nostalgic these last couple of days. Nothing too dramatic, of course but I will always remember this time of year as my first real adventure (well, doesn’t that sound serious?). This time last year I was attending a summer school in Siena to improve my Italian skills and to get more and more familiar with the Italian culture and way of living. It was basically a dream come true. It was a way for me to compensate for not having an Erasmus experience. Three weeks don’t equal six months, for sure, but I couldn’t complain!

I’m still keeping in touch with two a-ma-zing girls I’ve met there and it’s always great to catch up and remember our time in Siena! I’m so proud and grateful to have met such great people! (Ulrike and Erin, I’m looking at you! :D)

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I’m also very curious about this year’s Palio, which is in two days! I can barely stay calm, I’m so anxious to see who’s going to win! I’m crossing fingers for the Selva contrada! No offence to the other ones but this contrada will always be my favourite as it’s the one that welcomed me with open arms! I really wish I could go there and see the Palio with my own eyes but London’s charm is keeping hypnotised for one more month and a half. One month and a half. Time, you seriously have got to stop rushing.

It’s really exciting for me to be in London this summer and I could never compare Siena to London because these two experiences are very different. But it’s funny how spending your summer in a productive way can feel very fulfilling!

And to finish on yet another nostalgic note, here is a song that will always bring back memories: Song for Sienna by Brian Crain.

A special thank you for my Dad who made me discover this song! 🙂

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Tags and tweets and hashtags, oh my!

I’m becoming quite a social media nut. No, honestly. When I look back in 2008, I laugh at that Facebook newbie I used to be. And quite frankly, at that time, I hesitated a lot to dive into this whole madness. I had heard many nasty stories about Facebook: people “tagging” you in embarrassing pictures, people “writing on your wall”, people sending invitations for quizzes with very creative titles (now it’s invitations for Candy Crush Saga), people spying what you do every minute of every day… YIKES, too creepy for my own social media virginity. But then – call me original – I ended up joining the herd. Purely for sociability’s sake. It was the end of high school and since everyone had Facebook, I figured it would be the only sensible way to keep in touch with everyone. Afterwards, it got useful for getting back in touch with long-lost friends.

After MSN and MySpace, Facebook was still a complete mystery to me. Sure, it was always a thrill to get notifications like “So-and-so posted on your wall”, to which I religiously replied. For sociability’s sake, remember? Facebook is fun and useful, for sure, but like all good things, you can’t have too much of it unless you want to become this nerd stripped off his social skills (and I mean social skills in real life). It’s all right, Facebook nerds, I’ve been there: endless boring nights, got nothing better to do but browsing through my news feed and trying to find myself some juicy gossip or playing *hides in shame* Farmville. Sometimes, I wonder how I’ve spent endless hours waiting for tomato crops to grow.

Eventually, after exploring different blogs, I got the idea of starting my own. It was my first pride and joy, hosted by Tumblr. Nothing too original but I liked the concept of reblogging articles, pictures or quotes that were still linked to their original source. It was my own inspiration board: I would browse through my reblogged posts like browsing through an old photo album. Now I realise it’s been ages since I visited my Tumblr and bothered to see what’s new… not very impressing for a “social media nut”, is it?

A few years later, I heard about this new thing called Twitter, which was around for a couple of years when I had discovered it. To be honest, I didn’t jump too enthusiastically on that bandwagon, simply because I didn’t get the concept. “What’s with the 140 characters?”. Twitter is not for writing a whole novel about your life. If you ever feel inspired to pour your heart out in a status, forget about Twitter. I created an account out of curiosity but it quickly got hacked so I gave up. But it wasn’t “Toodle-oo Twitter” just yet! I actually decided to give it another chance a couple of months ago. It turned out to be the best way for me to keep myself informed with the news! The advantage of those dreaded 140 characters is that you get the essential information in a few seconds. Fast-info-feeding, anyone?

Social Media

It was only a few weeks ago that I really managed to find the secret to understanding and enjoying Twitter. Well, who am I kidding? There is no secret, it’s basic common sense. With social media, you can’t afford to be shy. It’s about constantly engaging with others. If you’re afraid nobody is going to answer to your tweet or like your Instagram fabulous pic of your lunch, you’re going nowhere. How many tweets have I sent without getting any reply? But you see, the great thing is that the more you spend time engaging with people sharing the same interests as you, the more exciting it all gets! Social media might be bad for some things but when it comes to creating an online community and learning from each other, it is brilliant!

Instagram was next on my list. It’s not so much of a trend anymore but I figured I could give it a try. To be honest, I don’t use it that often and the only pictures I uploaded are… food pictures. That’s right. According to Mashable, I would be in the category “food porn”, while “ruining diets worldwide”: Sounds rather fancy and inviting, doesn’t it? Whoever came up with the term was trying too hard to make Instagram sound sexy.

The obsession continues with my Master thesis. I chose to target corporate communication and combine it with social media monitoring (more precisely, Twitter) and see whether the communication strategy is effective or not. More details after finishing my whole research! Let’s not jinx the whole thing, shall we? 😉

Becoming too obsessed with social media, do you think? No worries, I’m actually not a desperate case. Yet. Although I did add Mashable to my favourite bookmarks and shriek every time I get notified that my Klout score went up. Well, as long as I don’t add hashtags to each and every post, I’m ok I think…

I figured I wouldn’t mind being a social media consultant or account manager. It’s funny how many people don’t think of it as a real job. I happened to stumble upon this today and had a good laugh. “Social media guru” does sound presumptuous. Let’s be real. I can just imagine myself telling others about my future job, which would be like this:

Me: I run social media for [insert brand]
Friend: But what does that mean?
Me: I run the Facebook and Twitter pages for [insert brand]
Friend: So you basically tweet all day? I could do that.
Me: *Resisting the urge to punch friend in face*

(Quote found here… *sigh* It’s hard to be high-tech and all if people don’t take you seriously).

All right, so you get the idea. I could write about social media for ages. This clearly does not make me an expert. I still have a lot to learn! But hey, we all spend our lives learning. I still have to get into Pinterest and get more psyched about Google +. Baby steps but I’m getting there!

For everyone who’s too shy to jump on this bandwagon: social media doesn’t bite! 🙂 In fact, when used properly, it can *angelic music* change your life! More seriously, it can be an enriching experience! Recently on Twitter, I have followed many social media experts and travel bloggers who followed me back. In only a few days, I have learned so much from them and hopefully one day, I could also contribute with something. So, if any of you reads this, a major thank you! You have managed to turn me into a Twitter aficionada! But hey, it’s for sociability’s sake… 🙂

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