Song of the Day – “Rise Up” by Imagine Dragons

October 15, 2017

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I love Imagine Dragons! Their music is amazing and their songs are genuine. They are one of my favorite bands.

The first time I saw them live was in February of 2013 on the Night Visions tour after the release of their first full-album of the same name. At the time, they were much smaller than they are today and my son and I went to see them at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas. The concert still ranks up there as one of my favorites. They had this gigantic drum on the stage and it was just an incredible live performance.

2013 – Night Visions Tour        2017 – Evolve Tour

On Friday night, my son and I went to see them again on the Evolve tour in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was another amazing live performance, but the crowd was significantly larger! They have morphed into a hugely successful band and I am thrilled for them and still love their authentic music. (Even crazier to me is how grown up … and handsome! … my son has become!)

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The massive crowd at USANA Amphitheatre on Friday night giving some love to   Imagine Dragons during the song “Demons.” Dan Reynolds gave his personal account of the song being written based on his struggle with depression. 

Las Vegas-based Imagine Dragons consists of frontman Dan Reynolds, along with guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. The group got their start in Provo, Utah when Dan Reynolds was attending Brigham Young University (BYU). I think Dan Reynolds is the bomb!

Today’s song, “Rise Up,” is from their new album – Evolve. This is just an all around great song. The lyrics just sing to me and the music is anthemic! I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

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

September 3, 2014

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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.

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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.

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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 – “LOVE IN THE 21st CENTURY” by Neon Trees

April 26, 2014

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On Tuesday night, I was lucky enough to see Neon Trees live in concert in a very intimate setting at the iHeart Theatre in New York City. I won two tickets from iHeart Radio for the show and it was fabulous! I invited a friend of mine, who recently moved to the city, to join me and we had an incredible time. Neon Trees put on a fantastic live show and had the audience singing and dancing right from the minute they stepped on stage.

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I have always enjoyed the music of Neon Trees, but they have never been a favorite; however, I absolutely love this new album and I feel like a converted fan. I can honestly say that I like every single song on their new album – Pop Psychology. The album was released on the same day as the concert – April 22 – and I would highly recommend it. I have not been able to stop listening to the album all week and really struggled with which one song to post today.

The music on this new album has a very different feel and sound from their previous albums and I love the variety. There is great dance music, catchy pop verses, an 80s-style New Wave sound, a slower dramatic tune, some amazing guitar solos and incredible drumming, and even more appealing were the very personal, introspective lyrics. There were so many times that night that I truly felt like I was back in the 80s in high school, even Tyler Glenn’s dancing reminded me of the 80s. 🙂

Neon Trees are from Provo, Utah – not far from where I grew up in Salt Lake City. The band includes singer Tyler Glenn, drummer Elaine Brady, guitarist Chris Allen, and bassist Branden Campbell. I have really become a fan of both the band and the band members, they honestly seem like really good people with incredible talent. So, listen to this song and then check out the new album. Another favorite that you should definitely check out is “First Things First” which was almost the song I posted today.

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                              (Left) Blue fans at the show! 😉                      (Right) Amazingly, my friend ran into Elaine Brady on an airplane the day after the concert. Elaine was on the way home and my friend was on the way to see her daughter graduate from BYU in Provo, Utah.