Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Weekend with Haley Reinhart

It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de lovely, it’s Reinhart heaven! All Haliens in the metropolitan city of Jakarta, Indonesia were celebrating last weekend, as it was jam-packed with everything Haley Reinhart.

Not only the retrofabulous goddess had a special guest appearance on our local X Factor last Friday (April 26), but she also treated us to a double show, scrumptious dinner and an exclusive meet and greet session the following day (April 27) at the Gandaria City Mall, all for FREE. The Saturday event was sponsored by Indovision and Star World, the award-winning network where American Idol is regularly broadcasted. I, for one, am so lucky to have been one of those winners of the meet and greet contest, as it was limited to Indovision subscribers only.

Haley kicked off her afternoon concert at the Main Atrium section of the mall’s ground floor. She treated us to five spectacular tunes, including three from her Grammy-worthy Listen Up album:
  • "Wasted Tears"
  • "Hit the Ground Runnin’"
  • "The Way You Make Me Feel" (Michael Jackson cover)
  • "Oh My!"
  • "Call Me" (Blondie cover) – featuring Indonesian Idol 4 winner Rini

Once the show was over, Haley was immediately escorted out by her bodyguards as the Haliens shopped around before getting back together to prep up for the evening meet and greet at around 6 PM at the Beerdy! Golf and Bar. Though the session didn’t start ‘til 7.30 PM, the wait was so worth it, as Queen Haley came back with another short set to entertain us. This time, she went acoustic with just a guitar player. As soon as she was done with "Wasted Tears" and "Hit the Ground Runnin’", she finally wrapped the show up with a slowed down version of "Free" by popular demand. 

There was a fun singing game where five chosen fans got to sing along with Miss Haley herself to Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing", followed by a brief group photo session for all the fans. The night closed with a buffet-style dinner consisting of favorites like beef steak, mashed potatoes, tuna canapĂ© and pudding. 

I did get to chat with Haley herself, though we all got timed so everything felt so rushed. I'm sure I'll see her again one fine day, though, maybe when I'm back in the States soon. We waited for our cars together so we got to bid each other farewell (score!). Reinhart dreamin’ all weekend long, baby! Shindig! :) 

Haley - "Bennie and the Jets" (X Factor Indonesia)

Haley - "Wasted Tears"

Haley Greets Jakarta Fans, Talks The Beatles and Says "I Love You" in Indonesian

Haley and Rini - "Call Me" (Blondie cover)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Carrie Medley at the Grammys/Two Black Cadillacs

What's not to love about Carrie Underwood? Both fans and non-fans will agree there was grandeur in her performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards, where she delivered an out-of-this-world medley that features two of her hits from the Blown Away album - "Blown Away" and "Two Black Cadillacs". Very creative and innovative! Just like the category in which she won, Best Country Solo Performance, indeed!
 Even her electric dress helped establish her goddess-like persona.

Her cinematic, full-on mysterious and noir-ish video for "Two Black Cadillacs" is now out, so if you haven't already, this is definitely a must-see, especially if you appreciate artistic MVs.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fire is Catching: First Look at "Catching Fire"

Congrats to The Hunger Games for dominating the People's Choice Awards with its multiple wins, particularly in the Favorite Movie and Franchise categories! All the Tributes really pulled through in giving it an even larger "global voice".

Just recently, the first look images of its upcoming sequel Catching Fire have been released by Entertainment Weekly. Fans of the new heartthrob Finnick Odair (who made his first appearance on Book 2 of the trilogy) can now see actor Sam Claflin in character as he and our tough heroine Katniss Everdeen share a seductive scene, as shown on this shot:

Having followed his earlier acting works (including Snow White and the Huntsman and Pirates of the Caribbean 4), I definitely approve :) He's the type of actor who actually has that rare combination of magnetic charm and soul that largely defines Finnick.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fifth Harmony for the World: The Girlband Phenomenon is Back!

Simon Cowell is a total expert in managing groups. Now it's about time he brings back girl power with his recent signing - the all-girl band Fifth Harmony that placed 3rd on the new X Factor USA with whom he also mentored. Looks like the girlband phenomenon is ready to make another splash after the global success of Spice Girls and the Pussycat Dolls. I'm lovin' it. What about you?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Dinah Jane Hansen, Normani Kordei, Ally Brooke, Lauren Jauregui and Camila Cabello!


Relive their classic performances on the X Factor USA:

A Thousand Years

Anything Could Happen

Give Your Heart a Break  
(Duet with Demi Lovato)

It's a Carrie Bradshaw 2013!

A brand new year calls for a brand new Carrie Bradshaw. Tune in to the CW Network on January 14 as The Carrie Diaries make its debut.

With a retrofabulous cast of characters led by the multitalented AnnaSophia Robb as teenage Carrie and a dose of 80's flair, the show is bound to be unforgettable as it details Carrie's pre-Sex and the City life and her search for her own unique writer's voice long before she hits it big time in NYC.

If you haven't already, The Carrie Diaries books (also written by the original Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell) will make sumptuous reads and delight you as you await the show's premiere. Get a first taste of the Big Apple Carrie Bradshaw style :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas with Our Favorite Jazz Duo

Snowflakes, hot chocolate, delicious treats... The spirit of Christmas is officially back in town. It's also the perfect time for countless servings of jazz. One of the holiday tunes that will surely jazz up your winter is the latest rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by the hottest jazz duo around, Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams.

With their Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers charm and all-round merry personalities, this version sparkles like your finely decorated Christmas tree ;)

Happy holidays to you all! I will be away on a 2-week trip to France, Monaco and Spain, and I plan on catching up with my good friend and subscriber Carmina (on_the_ground) along the way. Jazz on the Rocks will reopen mid-January. Cheers! xo

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" (MUSIC VIDEO)
Haley Reinhart and Casey Abrams

Thursday, December 13, 2012

X Factor USA: Top 4 Recap (Closer to the $5 Million)

So we're down to the Top 4 on the X Factor USA, and the competition is drawing close to the grand finale. Each act really played to their strengths this time around, but this is a $5 million dollar recording contract, and X Factor is about international superstardom.

Regardless of what the judges have said, it's up to you the voters to decide which acts can break the *global* music market. Let's hope we've all voted right.

Category/Mentor: Teens/Britney Spears

Category/Mentor: The Over 25's/LA Reid

Category/Mentor: Groups/Simon Cowell

Category/Mentor: Groups/Simon Cowell

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Carrie's Music

Mysterious, twisty and noir-ish... That's the vibe you get the minute you witness Carrie Underwood's cinematic trailer for her January music video "Two Black Cadillacs".
Are you ready for a dark ride? :)

Also, congrats to her on winning the most important role of her life - Maria von Trapp on the upcoming NBC live broadcast of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music (no, it's not a movie remake, as you know it)!

For those who doubt her, no need to be. Carrie has been one of those music artists with a respectable acting resume, as demonstrated by her heartfelt, inspiring role on the critically acclaimed film Soul Surfer.

Given her down-to-earth persona and ability to sail in-between genres, I trust that she will bring her natural charisma to the iconic character that was popularized by the notable Dame Julie Andrews.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

X Factor USA: Top 6 Recap

With double performances from each of the Top 6 acts last night, we got to see them live unplugged and also hear the songs we've voted for them to sing on the X Factor USA website. Here are some highlights from the top contenders! It will be disheartening that one or two of them may probably leave tonight due to the votes, though they're bound to have a bright career after the competition is over. Who will make it to the semi-finals?

Category/Mentor: Groups/Simon Cowell

Category/Mentor: Teens/Britney Spears

Category/Mentor: Young Adults/Demi Lovato

Category/Mentor: Teens/Britney Spears

Thursday, November 29, 2012

X Factor USA: Top 8 Recap

Last night on major talent contest X Factor USA, fans were treated to Top 8 Hits-themed performances by the Final 8 and also the premiere of Britney Spear's new music video with will.i.am. After these all-out performances, these acts definitely proved they deserve to stay in tonight's results.

Category/Mentor: Groups/Simon Cowell

Finally, an upbeat song made these girls more on fire than they were in previous performances. There must be something wrong with the voting if they don't make it through to next week. They made me a believer in girlbands.

Category/Mentor: Young Adults/Demi Lovato

Poor girl always ends up in the Bottom Two just 'cause her seemingly edited audition footages portrayed her as a bitch? Give the girl a break. She really is a tryer, and in here, she's a star.

Category/Mentor: Teens/Britney Spears

While she could use a more unique song choice, she did infuse her own flavor into her performance, which started with an intense acoustic-driven version before moving on to the fast beats.

Category/Mentor: Teens/Britney Spears

She's right, an overly popular hit is not an easy thing to cover. But she slayed it like she has always done week after week. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

X Factor USA (Thanksgiving Edition): Top 10

In honor of Thanksgiving, the Top 10 acts of X Factor USA have been dedicating last night's performances to the people who matter in their lives. Still, the pressure is always on, as they must face another double elimination on tonight's results show. Who delivered the most impact? All in all, they have been very genuine. But here are the top contenders in my book. Their world-class performances have succeeded in capturing many audiences' hearts.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! :)

Category/Mentor: Teens/Britney Spears

Category/Mentor: Groups/Simon Cowell

Category/Mentor: Teens/Britney Spears

Category/Mentor: Teens/Britney Spears

Monday, November 19, 2012

Country Supergoddesses: Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift at the 2012 American Music Awards

It's amazing that two mainstream country sensations can take on the world by storm! Proof: this year's AMAs which took place just last night -November 18 - at the prestigious Nokia Theater in LA. Congrats to Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift for taking home AMAs in their respective Country Music categories (alongside Lady Antebellum as the Best Country Band, Duo and Group): Favorite Album for Carrie and Favorite Female Artist for Taylor (literally her ELEVENTH win)!

Come pick up their latest albums and be a part of the Carrie and Taylor phenomenon:
* Blown Away - Carrie Underwood
* Red - Taylor Swift

Now it's time to relive these multitalented artists' spectacular AMA performances! :)

Visit the AMA 2012 page on ABC.com to view the full winners list.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lana Del Rey: Blue Velvet

Vintage Hollywood is back with a glamorous yet surreal, dark twist in today's contemporary music scene. Who better to represent it than Lana Del Rey? No matter what adjective pops in everyone's head when they listen to her voice, it's undeniable that her vocal style is timeless and rich in texture like a slice of red velvet cake on an end-of-summer afternoon.

Congrats to Lana for her recent collaboration with popular fashion brand H&M! Watch her exquisite cover of "Blue Velvet", which is basically a homage to David Lynch's film works. Blue Velvet, anyone? :)

For those who are new to her, you may have heard her single Video Games from her sparkling debut album Born to Die, which you obviously can get on iTunes.

Friday, November 9, 2012

"Copper": Bringing You A Slice of Old New York

"In 1864, he was New York's finest."

And so this tagline marks the essence of BBC America's crime drama Copper. Those who are longing for quality period shows with award-winning production just can't skip this compelling hit.

Set in 1864 New York City, the gritty show follows Irish copper Kevin Corcoran (played by the charismatic Tom Weston-Jones of MI-5) as he chase dangerous criminals all over the rough neighborhood of Five Points with his sidekick detectives while attempting to solve the mystery behind his wife's disappearance and daughter's murder along the way. The plot explores various issues relevant to those times, such as crime, class and corruption, which constructs an image of the city's actual history in that specific era. 

These fine actors help build an unforgettable cast with their stunning performances:
  • Franka Potente (Run Lola RunThe Bourne films)
  • Kyle Schmid (Being Human, Smallville)
  • Tessa Thompson (Veronica Mars, Hidden Palms)
  • Anastasia Griffith (Once Upon a Time, Damages)
  • Ato Essandoh (Damages, White Collar)
  • Dylan Taylor (Covert Affairs, Rookie Blue)
Kudos to the young Kiara Glasco (Haven) for her amazingly fierce portrayal of Annie Reilly, a child prostitute with a mischievous personality who ends up sticking with Corcoran as he looks out for her like she's his own kid.

All in all, it's a show to savor along with your English Breakfast tea and butter biscuits :)
For more info on Copper, head to its official website

Watch the trailer here:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Two Black Cadillacs: Carrie Underwood's Next Single

Country superstar Carrie Underwood has finally announced her new single from her Blown Away album. After "Good Girl" and "Blown Away" have stormed their way into the music charts, it's only right that she lets her darker tune "Two Black Cadillacs" reign this Fall season.

I'm sure we all agree this song is too cool not to have its own music video :)

Get Blown Away at your nearest record store or on iTunes