Tag Archives: the almost

Amy’s Favorite Things, Vol. 2

9 Dec

Since Oprah dropped the ball on her favorite things this year, it looks like I’m going to have to take up the slack (incidentally, I’ll also be taking over for Oprah when the daytime talk show queen turns in her microphone).  I’m sorry I won’t be able to send Backseat Writers a crap load of cool stuff to celebrate “Amy’s Favorite Things” (AFT) but you do have a chance to win an AFT Prize Pack, which includes an Oh Deer Super Dooper Pocket Pooper Keychain, a stuffed cow I got for free at Chick-Fil-A, an unopened package of Ice Breakers Ice Cube Gum I found on my desk, a beautiful star ornament created with my very own hands, and a personalized Christmas card with a holiday picture of my dogs inside (actually, anyone can get one of those, just e-mail me your mailing address).  Who needs fancy schmancy items like digital cameras and expensive make-up when you get can win stuff like this?

Without further ado, I present you with my favorite things of 2009.

AMAZON’S 50 ALBUMS FOR $5 (OR LESS)

Every month the world’s largest online retailer picks 50 albums that cost only $5 to download (but they picked 100 for December).  And every-so-often they slash prices even more—to a mere $2.99.  Over the year, I’ve been able to snag the latest from Sherwood, Owl City, Mat Kearny, and others.  Right now (12/09), you can get Green River Ordinance’s Out of My Hands (read interview), Switchfoot’s Hello Hurricane,  Relient K’s Let it Snow Baby…Let It Reindeer, The Almost’s Monster Monster, Beach Boys’ Pet SoundsThe Turtles’ Greatest Hits and The Elf Soundtrack –all for only $5.

TWITTER

Yes, people, I’ve joined the Twitter revolution!  It’s oh-so-fun to exchange silly banter—all in 140 characters or less. (Incidentally, that gushing statement about Twitter is only 119 characters!)

KRISTIN CHENOWETH

OK, while Kristin Chenoweth isn’t a thing; she’s a person and I’ve written about her before (“Snooked on Pushing Daisies“), but there’s more Cheno love to share.  Last spring, Kristin released her authobiography, A Little Bit Wicked, this fall she starred on one of my favorite shows, “Glee” (also performing a rousing duet of “Alone” with Matthew Morrison aka “Mr. Shue”) and she just made a Lifetime movie, The Twelve Men of Christmas.  Plus,  she’s the voice of Rosetta the fairy in the Tinkerbell movies.  There there’s Maddie’s Corner, an organization started by Kristin to help people and animals.  Yes, Kristin has a dog named Maddie and I have a dog named Maddy (Madalyne)!  Who knew? Suffice to say, Kristin Chenoweth is still smokin’ hot and undoubtedly one of my favorite things, er, people.

HOLIDAY ANIMAL CANDY POOPERS

I’ve known about these things for a while, but they never fail to crack me up.  Maybe I’m just immature, but a reindeer with a cranky face pooping brown candies out of his butt is really funny to me.  Plus, the candy-filled key chains and toys have all sorts of hilarious names like Poo-lar Bear (The Sub-Zero Poopin’ Hero), Baa Humbug Sheep (The Grumpy Party Pooper), and Oh Deer! (The Super Duper Reindeer Pooper). Because I love these things so much, I’m offering one of these little guys in my Prize Pack.  It’s a keychain version of Oh Deer for Pooper lovers on the go.

“GLEE”

Is this show great or what?  Singing, dancing, high school drama, a hot Spanish teacher—it’s all the stuff that I wish I had in high school (minus the drama—no one wants that!)  Plus, the cast on “Glee” can really sing.  I’m especially impressed with Lea Michele who plays young starlet Rachel Berry (my fave character) and Matthew Morrison’s vocals have really grown on me (especially during his “Alone” duet with Kristin Chenoweth as well as his mash-up of “Young Girl” and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”).  Jane Lynch is also notable as the gym teacher everyone loves to hate—Sue Slyvester.  And that’s how Amy sees it.  Hmm, sounds better when Sue says it.

TINYPIC.COM

What a storage site!  Not only can TinyPic be integrated into your social networks like Twitter and Facebook, but it also offers dandy photo editing tools to touch up digital photographs in a hurry.  No need to use Photoshop for minor edits and TinyPic offers a ton of storage, as well as printing options (which I have yet to use).

HOODED SCARVES WITH POCKETS

Hooded scarves with pockets (HSwP) are a fashion must (guys, feel free to tune out).  It’s a hat!  It’s a scarf!  And it’s got pockets for storage!  I’ve only seen two of these out in the great wide yonder—there was a beautiful cream-colored HSwP at Target for around $17, but the knitting was shabby and coming undone—pass!  I found another HSwP online at Bath & Body Works of all places—a pink, gray, and white patterned beauty that cost $20 on clearance; it has since disappeared.  Sadly, the HSwP pictured on the left is $200, and even though it has faux fur and button—that is still way too pricey.  Even this amazing brown Fair Isle knit is $50, but I can’t figure out how it looks when worn.  If any of you know of any hot deals on HSwP (buttons preferred), let me know!

Well, that wraps up another year of Amy’s Favorite Things !  Now I suppose you want to know how to win AFT Prize Pack.  It is *so* easy.  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me (and the world) about one of your favorite things!  If you Tweet or write a Facebook status note about the contest, you get an extra entry (one for Twitter, and one for Facebook for a grand total of three entries!)  Hint: if you follow @amysondova or @backseatwriter on Twitter, you can RT (reTweet) what I say.  I only wish I was eligible to win this contest.  The contest ends on 12/16 at 12 PM EST. Oh, and don’t forget to re-visit all my favorite things from last year!

News:: The Almost to Roll Into Croc Rock on 10/24 and The Electric Factory on 10/28

14 Oct

The Almost are back, and will be hitting the road supporting The Used. They are set to release their sophomore album Monster  Monster on Nov. 3 . They outdid themselves this time, expect different alterations of awesome rock (classic/garage etc) with a mix of Americana influences (recorded in Nashville).

They will be rolling into Allentown, PA on Oct. 24th at Crocodile Rock & Philadelphia, PA on Oct. 28th at The Electric Factory (partial tour dates below).

While on tour the fans will be able to purchase  a Limited Edition special five-track EP entitled the Monster EP, featuring three album cuts and two B-sides. The EP will be available on Oct. 6 exclusively at Hot Topic stores, the band’s website, as well as on the band’s upcoming tour. The Monster EP will come in a special two-disc digi-pack, with a choice of five different covers. In an unprecedented new model for music delivery, EMI and Hot Topic will offer this Limited Edition EP packaging, which includes one disc with the EP’s music and a second blank CD with Monster Monster’s full-length artwork, lyrics and printed track listing on the physical CD, but no music. Fans will be able to download every song through a special promotional code on the day of actual physical release, Nov. 3, from ShockHound.com the MP3, merch and editorial site, which is a division of Hot Topic, Inc. The version streeting on Nov. 3 will not include the special five-cover packaging or the Limited Edition EP.

Supporting The Used:

Oct 17 The Fillmore-Detroit Detroit, MI

Oct 18 Pageant St. Louis, MO

Oct 20 Kool Haus Toronto, ON

Oct 21 Metropolis Montreal, QC

Oct 23 House of Blues Boston, MA

Oct 24 Crocodile Rock Allentown, PA

Oct 25 Sonar Baltimore, MD

Oct 27 Roseland Ballroom New York, NY

Oct 28 Electric Factory Philadelphia, PA

Oct 30 House of Blues Myrtle Beach SC

Oct 31 (orl)House of Blues Lake Buena FL

Nov 1 The Tabernacle Atlanta, GA

Nov 3 House of Blues New Orleans, LA

Nov 5 House of Blues Dallas Dallas, TX

Nov 6 House of Blues Houston Houston, TX

Nov 7 La Zona Rosa Austin, TX

Nov 9 Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ

Nov 10 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA

Nov 11 Warfield Thatre San Francisco, CA

Nov 13 Showbox SoDo Seattle, WA

Who is hungry? Aaron Gillespie is cooking up some tasty recipe’s on his food blog. He is a true connoisseur of cuisine, which is reflected in his blog. Stop by http://aaronrgillespie.tumblr.com to learn how to win a chance to cook with Aaron!

-COURTESY OF EMI MUSIC

Review:: X: Christmas – Tooth and Nail Records

3 Dec

By Moriah Coxen Anytime you ask a rock ‘n’ roll band to cover a classic Christmas song, you’re going to get something interesting.  Tooth and Nail Records’ (T&N) X: Christmas compilation, a follow-up to Happy Christmas, is no exception.

Creativity:: 10 This album does not disappoint with The Almost (Aaron Gillespie) covering “The Little Drummer Boy” and Seventh Day Slumber reminding us to listen with “Do You Hear What I Hear?” August Burns Red brings joy to any hardcore fan with “Carol of the Bells” (an instrumental track), which includes the most kick-drum beats in Christmas music history. Hawk Nelson’s “Gloria” is a clever combination, using the classic chorus tune but in the verses tells the story the lead singer wanting “the girl of my dreams” for Christmas.

Original Songs:: 9 Switchfoot’s “Evergreen” appears in T&N’s Christmas compilation (originally recorded for the Happy Christmas album in 1998). KJ-52 forks over a Floridian’s view of winter-y things in “It’s Christmas Timewith talks of going to the beach on Christmas Eve—amusing. However, I found the chipmunks-on-helium-sounding background vocals a bit annoying. “His Favorite Christmas Storyis a touching tale of a man retelling the story of his favorite Christmas moment The album is complete with “Christmas Shoes,” the sappiest song on the record.

Classic Covers:: 8— Crunching guitars kicks off this musical adventure through the holidays with Thousand Foot Krutch’s “Jingle Bell Rock,” putting you in the right mood for what’s about to go down. Anberlin’s “Christmas, Baby Please Come Home” is filled with passion and yearning, while FM Static’s rendition of “Christmas Shoes brings a nice pop-punk feel to what could be the most tear-jerking Christmas song of all time. Jars of Clay does a beautiful rendition of “Love Came Down at Christmas,” and Sanctus Real delivers a softer, epic “Silent Night.” David Crowder Band’s “Feliz Navidad” provides an interesting switch that seems awkward at first but then warms you like a good bean burrito. Cameron Jaymes of The Jaymes Reunion’s smooth vocals confirm that “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” can be done in a “new old fashioned way”. Project 86 gives a memorable rendition of “This Time of the Year” with eerie sounds, while Corey Crowder’s “Angels We Have Heard On Highand Kutless’s “Mary Did You Know?” seem lackluster in the creativity department.

Musical Score:: 9— Anything with the Tooth and Nail logo will be edgy–no doubt. So along with Christmas albums of the past, X: Christmas brings shredding guitars merrily together with choir bells and double-kick drums with the occasional seasonal sounding harmony.

Overall Holly Jolliness:: 7 —The overall Holly Jolliness is a 7 because I was more interested in how the covers were delivered and how they were different than thinking about my family and stocking stuffers.

Total:: 44— Keep your eyes peeled for this album as the paper is flying Christmas morning—it’s probably going to be there.

Print copy of review.

To read our review guide lines, go here.

You can find X: Christmas and the rest of our great “12 Days of Christmas Music” reviewed albums in Backseat Writer’s online store, Drive-By Shopping, under the “12 Days of Christmas Music” category!

%d bloggers like this: