SONG OF THE DAY – “PRINCESS OF CHINA” by Coldplay & Rihanna

November 6, 2014

Download_on_iTunes_Badge_US-UK_110x40_1004

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song is by one of my favorite groups and is the perfect song for today in China!

I am feeling very lucky to get to be with my Princess in China, and today we are off to see the jewel of China.

We are heading out to hike the Great Wall of China. We are not going to the refurbished, tourist section of the wall, but instead we have hired a guide to take us out climbing and hiking in a much more rugged area. I did a lot of research and our guide came highly recommended by many people who I spoke with from all over the world. (That, in itself, was fun! I reached out to people from all over the world regarding a shared experience and we instantly connected. Friends are everywhere!) Anyway, this sounds like the perfect adventure for me and my daughter. I am so excited and imagine I will have some great pictures to share.

Today’s song just resonated with me for an adventure day in China. I am so excited to be here and the video is an awesome look into the romance and allure of China. “Princess of China” is from Coldplay’s 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto. We saw Coldplay in concert following this album. It was the second time the entire family went to see Coldplay in concert – the first time was at Wembley Stadium in London in 2009 and the second time was in Dallas in 2012 – and so Coldplay is always at the top of my list as a family favorite.

Off to conquer the wall and marvel at a wonder of the world. I am feeling blessed today.

SONG OF THE DAY – “MISS SHANGHAI” by The Shanghai Restoration Project

September 3, 2014

Download_on_iTunes_Badge_US-UK_110x40_1004

It has been a crazy, busy week with so much happening, and so many life changing events occurring, that it has not even really hit me yet. I have so many things that I want to write about that I don’t even know where to begin. I think I will just start with Shanghai … and my Miss Shanghai.

My daughter arrived in Shanghai, China last week and, after a few days of orientation to her study abroad program, she started school on Monday.  I hate giving up the tradition of “The First Day of School” photos and, even though she is starting her Junior year in college, I always ask her to send me one. She is always so willing to send me a photo and it makes me smile that she will appease her sentimental mom.

These are her first day of school photos – one alone and one with her roommate. Her study abroad program is located at The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (上海财经大学) and these photos are just right outside of the campus.

 IMG_6457      IMG_6460

My daughter is truly an amazingly adventurous and brave person. Other than Singapore, our family has not ventured much into Asia yet, so she is forging the culture shock on her own. I think food has been the most challenging experience for her thus far. She has let me know that American Chinese food is NOTHING like the Chinese food that is actually in China. So, if you think you like Chinese food … don’t be fooled. 🙂 She is trying lots of new things, but trying to find familiar food as well.

photo-2

She found Doritos! Made her dad happy. 🙂

She said that flying into the city of Shanghai felt like it could be any large, modern world city. She, however, lives outside of the city and she has found it to be very different. She told me that I need to watch [the new] “Karate Kid” movie again because that reminds her of where she is living. I plan to re-watch the movie as soon as I get home.

I don’t think it has really sunk in for any of us that she is going to be in China for 4 more months. We were just talking about Thanksgiving plans and realized that she would not be home. So strange!

I was so excited when I found this song. I LOVE the sound! This song was released by The Shanghai Restoration Project in 2005. Their sound is very exotic. It is contemporary electronic music that combines traditional Chinese instruments and sounds with Western hip-hop and electronica. I absolutely love the video as well because I get the picture of China that my daughter is describing. The Shanghai Restoration Project was started by Emmy-winning Producer, and Chinese-American, Dave Liang. Liang was born in Kansas and grew up in upstate New York. He attended college at Harvard University where he majored in Applied Math and Economics. He has produced an amazing sound that is pretty timeless. They will be touring next year (2015) in China and two locations in the US: Provo, Utah (interestingly) and New York City. Check out their other music, it is really cool I really like Babylon of the Orient and Babylon of the Occident.

Missing you my Miss Shanghai!

SONG OF THE DAY – “THE BOY IN THE BUBBLE” by Paul Simon

March 6, 2013

Download_on_iTunes_Badge_US-UK_110x40_1004

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song is from Paul Simon’s 1986 album, Graceland.

I had a fabulous concert experience on Tuesday night and wanted to share that with you today. Paul Simon and Sting were incredible! The show brought back so many memories as these two musicians are legends, and absolute favorites of mine.

Paul Simon spoke first when he welcomed the crowd “to our little experiment.” The concert ran for nearly three hours, alternating between the two artists on stage performing together, and then each one alternately performing on their own. I could not believe how quickly the time passed and how flawlessly each transition segmented into the next. When they first took the stage, it was absolutely incredible to see the two of them standing up there together with 15 backup musicians behind them. It was quite a spectacle! What brought the two artists together? Well, I think they are two of the greatest singer-songwriters in history, they both have had extremely successful solo careers after breakups with their original bands, they both have a love of world music, and they both have a tremendous amount of mutual respect and admiration for each other. Of course the experiment worked!

So many amazing moments in those three hours, but here are a few favorites from the show:

  • Sting and Paul Simon performing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” together, alternating verses. Wow! One of my favorite songs made even better than the original. Sting hit the high notes and it was amazing … in fact, Paul Simon even applauded.
  • At one point during the show Sting sent Simon off the stage so that he could “have a private conversation about you” with the audience. He then told us that “Paul has been my teacher and mentor for many, many years” and then he recalled his first trip to America with The Police and said that this song reminded him of that time, at which point he broke into a stripped down version of the Simon & Garfunkel classic, “America.” Beautiful!
  • So many songs that Paul Simon performed just brought that feeling of nostalgia, reminding me of my childhood and my dad playing the album at home. One of these moments came when he sang “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.” While my friend and I were dancing and singing along, I looked down two rows at a group of older teenage girls and one of them was holding up her phone to Shazam the song. I laughed out loud! Not sure if that made me feel old or if I was just astounded she didn’t know the song.
  • I was commenting to my friend about how amazing Sting looked (And he really did!). He doesn’t appear to have aged a day and when he took off his jacket, his arms were “ripped!” Her reply, and the funniest line of the evening, … “He looks like Mr. Clean!”
  • Roxanne” … enough said. The song always reminds me of my husband as he used to sing it at the top of his lungs when we rode up the chairlift at Snowbird as teenagers.
  • I hate it when I find myself in the deadbeat section at a concert, but we found ourselves there on this particular evening. I loved having a friend there with me who was not afraid to get up and sing & dance along with me, even though we were the only two in our section. Lame! How do you sit down during a performance of “You Can Call Me Al,” Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” or “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard?” Answer: You don’t!

Today’s song was the first track off Paul Simon’s groundbreaking 1986 Graceland album. I loved the performance of this song on stage Tuesday night and thought that it needed to be shared. I love the rhythm and sounds of the music. Simon wrote the lyrics to the song in American after he returned home from South Africa where he immersed himself in the music and recorded this song with South African musicians whose original song he based it on. Simon gave songwriting credits to the two South African musicians – Simon and Forere Motloheloa. It is an amazing song with a unique and beautiful sound – I love the accordion. I have been listening to it on repeat since Tuesday night. I hope you enjoy it.