Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 2013

Greetings Pups,

And now for the not good songs. At least, the ones that I found not good. I can full on guarantee that some or even many people will disagree with me. I mean, some of these were pretty high on the Hot 100 list, which means that a lot of people liked them. But, as we all know, quality and popularity do not always go hand in hand. These here are just the ones I didn't like for whatever reason.

Now, there were a TON of bad songs this year, and I listened to all of them. And the reasons they were bad were all over the place. Some were boring, some were pointless, some were downright offensive. This was hard. However, despite the fact that I'm not a fan of "inappropriate" language, I didn't put things on this list just because a song had it. Also, I didn't put any songs on here just because they were boring, especially since boring can range from being boring to the point of where I don't care to boring to the point where it angers me. The former did not make this list. Because I didn't care enough. These things may have played a part, but I did my best to balance things out. I hope I did a good job.

Again, I used Billboard's Year End List, and anything on that can qualify, despite when it might have been released. And if you think something is missing here that has already been released, it might be something that hasn't made enough of an impact on the charts yet to get on the list for the whole year. Not this year, anyway, but I'm sure they'll make it in 2014. If I do this again. So here we go. The worst hit songs of 2013. According to me.

#10. "Scream and Shout" Will I. Am featuring Britney Spears - I do not like Will I. Am. Never have. Let's start with that. Now, as for Britney Spears, I've never actually hated her like so many people have and probably still do. Was I ever a fan? Well, at best, I think there were moments when I could say, "Not bad". So take someone who is teetering on my scale of likability and combine her with, perhaps, the most overrated "artist" of the last ten years, and you get this mess. Yeah, this thing is not good. At all. Then again, I pretty much never like anything with which Will I. Am is involved. It's not my fault since so much of it sounds the same. Look, Britney, I'm glad your personal life has been improving. How about we let that spread over to your musical life?

#9. "Girl on Fire" Alicia Keys - Someone once told me that, whilst Alicia Keys is a very gifted musician, she can sometimes fail when it comes to lyrics. I may have to agree with that. Not that I'm judging, necessarily, considering that I'm the exact opposite of that many times. But this time, I just don't get it. And with that title, it's like she was telling the whole world, "I saw The Hunger Games and I liked it!" I can't be the first person to notice that. I just know that Alicia Keys can do better than this. I hope she does.

#8. "Feel the Moment" Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera - Well, the good news is that this is not worse than the Men in Black 3 song. However, this one does also have some inexplicable sampling added in there, not to mention Pitbull talking about how he's been all over the world and is rich. At least, he isn't talking about that in lieu of talking about aliens and whatnot, like "Back in Time". So, a little better. But still not good. And, if an artist would like to stay relevant, why would he pick someone who is completely irrelevant to accompany him? I'm talking Aguilera here. She just isn't that important anymore in the music industry. I know she's on The Voice, but she barely does that well either. And being on a show where you judge singers does not make your own music any good. Not saying she can't sing sometimes, but who cares anymore? Both of these guys need to reevaluate and make better music.

#7. "Try" Pink - Is she trying to make some kind of inspirational anthem here? Because it doesn't work with her. When I think of Pink, I don't think of someone who is going to inspire me to be the best person I can be or to keep going no matter what. I think of why I can't tolerate being around rude and arrogant people. Look, I try not to mix up how I feel about a person's, well, personality and their musical abilities, but with a song like this, it's hard not to do that. I just don't buy it.

#6. "Love Me" Lil Wayne featuring Drake and Future - I don't like this song because they tricked me with this title. I thought maybe Lil Wayne was going to pull an old school LL Cool J and make a nice, sweet love song. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN! I can't even go into detail, but this was just wrong. Maybe I was offended as a woman, or just a person, but I was offended.

#5. "We Can't Stop" Miley Cyrus - So this is supposed to be ... a party song? Okay, I guess, lyrically, this could be considered the anthem for a wild party (Hello, blatant cocaine and Ecstasy references!), but musically, this practically sounds like a perfect ditty for afternoon tea with grandmother. In other words, BORING! It's just depressing, and not only because it's meant to be a party song. Maybe it could work as an after party song, complete with hangovers and self-loathing. No, it's still being sung by Miley the Sharp. No deal. This song is awful. (P.S. Bright Side! Go to You Tube and search this song with the name Scott Bradlee. Just trust me!)

#4. "Boys 'Round Here" Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies and Friends/"Mama's Broken Heart" Miranda Lambert - For the sake of these two, I hope the couple that makes crap music together stays together. Though, all things considered, I doubt it. Let's start with Blake. So this is a country song about drinking, trucks, partying, hos and, oh, yeah, maybe we'll pray if it doesn't interfere. How riveting. And is he trying to rap on this thing? Like, legitimately? Look, buddy, you are no Eminem. You're not even Matthew Perry in The Ron Clark Story (Just watch the movie, and you'll get that!) And now for Miranda. Again, this title tricked me. I thought this might be a heartbreaking song about a girl whose mother goes through a very difficult time but somehow survives. No such luck! It's pretty much saying, "Mama didn't know how to get revenge on the man that done her wrong, but I sure do!" Hmm? A vicious breakup song from Miranda Lambert? Never heard that before. Tell me, will this revenge scenario involve kerosene? And, by the way, the videos that go along with these songs make them even more awful. Look, I don't like Blake Shelton anymore, and I never liked Miranda Lambert. And whilst their popularity seems to be rising with the public, to me, they are getting worse by the moment.

#3. "Started From the Bottom" Drake - I do believe that the Rap Critic from TGWTG did the best interpretation of the lyrics for this song by saying, "My friends and I were broke, but now we're not. My friends and I were broke, but now we're not. My friends and I..." You get the picture. And that's all the song is. A rapper talking about how he and his friends were poor, but now, thanks to him, they've got money and whatnot. Groundbreaking. And this tough life of which Drake speaks kind of doesn't seem that bad. Perfect, no, but when you mentioned getting stuck in traffic as one of your life problems, I find it difficult to sympathize. And the monotony of this alleged song is ridiculous. It could probably hypnotize you to sleep. The thing is that I don't Drake is untalented. It's just that this does not confirm that.

#2. "Wrecking Ball" Miley Cyrus - Oh, hey, welcome back, Miley. Some of you may be surprised that I hate this song more than "We Can't Stop", but there is a reason. If there is one thing I despise, it is people who are fake. Admittedly, when I first heard the song, I gave Miley some mild props. Not that I'm a fan of hers or that I think this song is any good, but because of the content. I thought, 'Okay, she's digging deep into her emotions and being brave enough to share her own story of heartache with the world'. Love a song or hate it, I tend to give people credit for doing that. Then, I found out that five people took part in writing this song - FIVE! - and Miley was NOT one of them! Well, you got me for a sec there. Cleverly played. So, the one thing I gave thing I gave her credit for wasn't even real. Sad thing about this song is that, in the hands of a better producer and a better singer, this could have been...better. Maybe not by all that much, but still. Also, it kind of rips off "Somebody That I Used to Know" by Gotye. So I guess it really would be much better in the hands of a better artist.

#1. "Blurred Lines" Robin Thicke featuring T.I and Pharrell- On the Billboard Year End Chart, this song came in at Number Two. That means that it was very popular. How? This thing is terrible. Forget all the controversy about the video or the fact that the music may or may not have been stolen. I, personally, have a tad bit of an issue with any song that has been described by multitudes of people as "rapey". No lie. If you would have gone on Twitter when this song first came out and searched the word "rapey", probably %99 of the posts would have been about it. Who wants to be known for that? And why are they, not only getting away with it, being praised for it? Is it because they are famous or (according to some) good looking? Is that why they can say these degrading things about women? I suppose so. So if you're poor and ugly and nobody, you probably shouldn't sing this in public or YOU will be in jail. Look, I'm sorry to get on a soapbox about this one, but I was severely offended by it. I know that most of us have issues with anything remotely reminding us of rape, but, for personal reasons, I am extremely angered about this. And the fact that I live in a world that would make this popular, makes me sad. Sorry.

Well, that was a downer. So there is my personal lists of song that were, at best, sucky and, at worst, I don't want to even talk about it anymore. Again, this is just my opinion. I'm sure some of my worst are the best for others and vice versa, but it was still fun and a good way to wrap up the year. Hope you all enjoyed it.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 2013

Greetings Pups,

So I've been thinking of doing some top ten lists featuring the best and worst hit songs of random years. It's tougher than it sounds, though not by that much. It's just when I look at that list of one hundred songs from whatever year, I realize how many I have forgotten or, perhaps, have never heard in the first place. So, to ease myself into doing that on a semi-regular basis, I decided to do what a lot of the pros will be doing around now. That is doing a best/worst list for THIS year. Now let me explain how I will be doing this.

If you'll notice, I said "hit" songs. I do not think I could fairly judge every single song that was made this year, so, in order to give myself a focus and a place to go for help, I am choosing these from Billboard's Hot 100 Year End List. Makes it easier. Keep in mind, you may see things here that you wouldn't expect for a couple of reasons, like say they came out actually last year. Well, there can always be a yearly overlap. But I decided that if THEY put it on, then I could put it on. Simple as that.

We're going to start with the best. And, as always, these are just my personal favorites. I am not an expert. I just know what I like, and for whatever reason, these are the songs that I found most enjoyable. So off we go.

#10. "Highway Don't Care" Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban - Oh, Tim McGraw. How are you still so successful despite being an actually talented artist and also a really nice guy? It's a wonder. Now this song is very much the kind we have come to expect and love from Tim McGraw. Just a very well-done, country love song that may or may not make you cry. And that's without the epic video. Also, we get Taylor Swift here. I know she has a ton of haters, but I actually like her a lot. And these two sound good together on this song, as well. And I include Keith Urban, though he does not sing, but he does give us a nice guitar part at the end. Good times.

#9. "I Will Wait" Mumford and Sons - There's a banjo in this song. I like banjos. And I like when they get played really fast. In general, I like when musicians can play their instruments fast and not have it sound like a mess. That's exactly what we get here. There's something I dig about the bluegrass sound in these modern times. Thanks to Mumford and Sons for helping to keep it alive.

#8. "Royals" Lorde - It seems there may have been another song written with poor people in mind that was more successful, but I like this one better. Say what you will about Lorde, and trust, I have yet to make up my mind where she is concerned, this song manages to stand out. It's different, and it's got such an interesting sound that drew me to it quite easily. I just hope that no one falls into the traps of being popular in lieu of being herself.

#7. "Mirrors" Justin Timberlake - So, Justin Timberlake and I have an interesting history. I was never a big fan of 'NSync, nor his solo career. I have actually been known to say that I like him as a comedian way better than I ever liked him as a musician, especially since he took over SNL (Bring it on in to Omeletteville, indeed!) However, I must be honest here, and honestly, I do like this song. With some people, I tend to go in with certain expectations, and I rarely expect to like his music. I do this time, though. I'm sure he's thrilled about that.

#6. "My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light 'Em Up)" Fall Out Boy - Another one I did not see coming. I mean, it's Fall Out Boy, another act about which I was never too crazy. But I heard this song, and it got to me for some reason. I don't know. It kind of sounds like old school mixed with new stuff. That's always a good thing for a band to do, and I think they did it really well here.

#5. "Next To Me" Emeli Sande - I love when artists come along, and you can just tell that they are going to be different. They're not cookie cutter at all. They are unique. Emeli Sande is one of those artists, and this song is great. It's so soulful and genuine, and despite the fact that I heard Glee butchered it, I think it will last a long time and be remembered.

#4. "Brave" Sara Bareilles - I've liked Sara Bareilles for quite a while, gravitating toward her because she reminds me of the singer/songwriters of yore. This song just shows, yet again, how great she is. And so many people like this song, especially Katy Perry. Yeah, she REALLY liked this song. To almost a plagiaristic degree. Sorry, I had to bring it up. But who cares about that? This is about Sara and her awesomeness, not to mention originality. What a gal!

#3. "Wake Me Up" Avicii - Another genre of music I have never been into all that much is the whole techno, dance, made by a DJ stuff. So this song, again, took me by surprise. I think it took a lot of people by surprise, what with the mix of that techno/DJ thing with some country sounding music. There's a fun combo. Now, technically, Avicii is the stage name of Swedish DJ and producer, Tim Bergling, and he put this all together. But I would be remiss to mention the great vocals done by Aloe Blacc, an American soul singer, and the acoustic guitar by Mike Einziger. See, collaboration is good.

#2. "Ho Hey" The Lumineers - Yes, I did not expect to see this song on this year's Billboard list either. But it was there, so I had to put it here. It's that good. I like this, again, because it's different, but it also has a nice simplicity to it. And that does not mean that it is simple. I hate when people confuse those two things. It is well-crafted to the point where I say, as a songwriter, "I don't think I could do anything like that", yet it is so straight forward in the storytelling that I feel like I can relate to it. And that's what makes a great song. Raising the bar whilst still holding out a hand that can reach the masses.

#1. "The Way" Ariana Grande featuring Mac Miller - That's right. This is my favorite hit song of the year. I'm kind of shocked. Not that it's not good. I just thought I, personally, would have picked something else, something a bit closer to what I usually hold in high regard. But I can't help it. I absolutely love this song. It just makes me so happy. It reminds me of music that was popular in the eighties or early nineties, but still done for today, all fun and "poppy" in it's purest form. And Ariana Grande is so cute and has such a great voice, better than a lot of these young singers out there. Then, you get Mac Miller who is super fun on this. So, yeah, this is the winner for the year. Not a ton of things I hear on the radio puts a nice smile on my face, but this did it the most.

And there are my favorites for the year. You can agree or disagree, that's always fine with me. But these are the ones I will most likely listen to often in the coming years, maybe even longer. As opposed to songs where hearing them one time was one time too many. We'll get to those next time.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Reindeer Games - Movie Review

Greetings Pups,

You know, even though I don't do the whole Christmas thing, I do enjoy a good Christmas movie every now and then. So let's talk about Reindeer Games. Okay, if you've heard of this movie, you may have also heard that it sucked. And if we're talking about the theatrical cut or a version you'd see on television, then you're probably not wrong. To enjoy this movie at its best and understand how good it is, seeing the director's cut is nothing short of a necessity. More on that later.

Let me get to a quick explanation of the plot. I say "quick" because that's all I can do without spoiling the whole thing, what with all the twists we get with this one. Basically, Ben Affleck plays this guy named Rudy who is in jail and has a cellmate named Nick. Nick has been writing letters to a chick named Ashley played by Charlize Theron. When Rudy gets out, he finds Ashley and convinces her that he's actually Nick, then they meet up with her brother, Gabriel, and a bunch of criminals. And hijinks ensue. That's about it. I know that plot seems a bit...whatever, but that's just the foundation. Add all the rest of it in, and you get something kind of great. Oh, and speaking of great, let me say a bit more about the cast.

Okay, I know that I mentioned the leads already, Ben Affleck and Charlize Theron, and, in my book, that takes major points off the film. Yeah, I'm not a fan of these two, and it's not good to have the two main characters played by two actors you can barely tolerate. However, we are redeemed when it comes to the rest of the cast. Starting at the top, as Gabriel, we have the wonder that is Gary Sinise. That's good enough, but even better, this is not nice, Detective Mac Taylor-type Gary Sinise who we've come to know and love. No, this is bad dude Gary Sinise, and it is fantastic! Yeah, he's got this long hair and whatnot and he's all "GRRRR!" the whole time. SWEET! But as great as that is, we also get Clarence Williams III, Danny Trejo, James Frain, Dennis Farina and the overwhelmingly entertaining and underrated Donal Logue. Now THAT is a cast.

So, you may be wondering what went wrong, despite having a stellar (for the most part) group of actors and a good premise. Well, sometimes a director and the studio can disagree on what the final product should be when it comes to a movie. Understandable. And sometimes, the disagreements can make way to negotiations which can possibly make a film better, what with everyone keeping each other in check and being objective. Not in this case. Holy Crap! Not in this case!

The director of Reindeer Games was John Frankenheimer, the guy behind such phenomenal films as The Manchurian Candidate (the original one, for crying out loud!), Birdman of Alcatraz, Ronin and George Wallace, which also starred Gary Sinise. So, yeah, this guy knows how to have a vision for a film and execute it masterfully. Of course, the studio thought that wasn't good enough, apparently. What they did was do test screenings, the jury duty of Hollywood. And it would seem that after test screenings, they only want to speak to the people who don't like the film, because talking to everyone would be too productive! What the complainers complained about was that it moved too slow due to some of the dialogue, so the studio basically told Frankenheimer, "Hey, take out all of the talking. Oh, and while you're at it, cut out a boat load of scenes that explain why characters are doing what they're doing." Genius! Because who needs something ridiculous like character development in a movie!

Let me explain something to you people who make films. If I don't know crap about the characters, I'm not going to care about what happens to them. How is someone's death going to cause any effect on the audience if we barely know anything about them or even why they are there in the first place? We can't, that's how! I get that I'm not expert, and I do know that editing in movies is a necessity. But it has to make sense. It has to make the film better, not worse. Unfortunately, all of the studio interference made this movie majorly flop. Still, there is hope, my friends.

When the film was released on DVD, Frankenheimer insisted that it be HIS cut that people would now be able to see, and thank God for that, because, when allowed to see the original vision of the director, you can see that this was actually a good movie. And the uncut version is barely twenty minutes longer than the theatrical one, bringing its length to a mere 124 minutes, credits included. So it's not that long, even with the added footage. I seriously do not know why they didn't just leave it be for the theatrical release. It would have done much better at the box office. Oh, yeah, and it also would have been able to be released at Christmas time, as the title suggests it should be, instead of February, an infamous dumping ground for the crap movies from the previous year. Oh, Hollywood. What the heck with you sometimes?

So, to conclude, despite what you may have heard, or even seen yourself by way of a television viewing, Reindeer Games is quite an entertaining movie. Is it perfect? No, of course not. Is it worth a watch? Hecks yeah! If for nothing else than Gary Sinise and the dart scene! (Just trust me on that one!) So, if you're sitting around this or any other holiday season, and you don't want to watch It's a Wonderful Life or 24 hours of A Christmas Story, I say check this one out.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top Ten Leonard Cohen Songs

Greetings Pups,

So Leonard Cohen. Yeah, I like him a lot. I think I've made that clear in the past. Still, one thing I have never done here is make a list of my favorite songs by this great man. Not that I haven't wanted to do this. In fact, I have been working on this for quite a while. But it is so hard to pick favorite songs where people like Leonard Cohen are concerned. He has so many amazing ones, more so than I think some people even realize. But I managed to make decisions, and now I am happy to share them with you all. Keep in mind, I thought I would add some of my own interpretations of these compositions. Why not? Leonard Cohen's work can be quite a conversation started and everyone always has their opinions on it. Gotta love an artist who can get people talking. Off we go.

#10. "Sisters of Mercy" - I have heard some interesting interpretations of what this song might mean, from the "sisters" being angels to them being hookers. Hey, whatever, right? I've always liked this one because of the melody. It's one of the simplest that Leonard has ever written, in my opinion anyway, and also I can sing it really well. Again, in my opinion.

#9. "Suzanne" - Look, I'm not saying that I bought a house near the river, or that I always have Constant Comment tea to give to some guy that might happen to stop by, or that I consider myself half-crazy sometimes, just so I can be Suzanne in my own way. I'm not going to say it, but, you know, stuff happens in life. Am I right?

#8. "Hallelujah" - Not as high on the list as you thought, is it? Look, I'm not judging this based on the countless sub par covers of this song, or the one good one (Thank you, Jeff Buckley!) No, I am looking at this as if Leonard's original is the only version. And it's really good. It shows how much he likes to put in some religious imagery and how great of a storyteller he is. It also, believe it or not, shows a bit of how well he can inject some humor into his work. Just read the long version of the lyrics, and you'll know what I mean.

#7. "In My Secret Life" - This was the opening track on the album Ten New Songs, the first one he had released in a decade. It was a great pick for that, kind of setting the tone. And, lyrically, it feels very real and true to life. But that's just Leonard being Leonard, I suppose.

#6. "The Traitor" - Okay, so this song just might be about betrayal of some kind. It's a guess of mine. Interestingly, I think it may be about someone betraying himself. And the way he is betraying himself is by settling for something less than true love. Something else I really like about this is all the images and mentions of war that he puts in here. I guess it was his way of saying that love is a ... battlefield? Oh, no!

#5. "A Thousand Kisses Deep" - In the documentary Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man, he says some fascinating things surrounding this song. What hit me the most was when he talked about how you never get to your masterpiece when you're looking for it. You always slip into it once you learn to let go. Once you stop trying to be the best, you become your best. I'm sorry, but this man is brilliant. And it is those words of which I think whenever I hear this song.

#4. "Famous Blue Raincoat" - "What a twist!" Yeah, that might be what some people say at the end of this song the first time they hear it. Of course, I'm taking about the framing here. Now this is actually a song about a love triangle, something that has been overdone by so many people. Nothing wrong with that, but it's all about finding a new way to present a type of story that we've all heard before. That is definitely what he did here.

#3. "Tonight Will Be Fine" - Admittedly, what made me fall in love with this song was when I heard Teddy Thompson sing it. Sorry. But listening to the original is amazing, too. Leonard has written about love from every angle that it can be done, but this has always seemed like one of, if not the most straight forward love song he has ever made. Sure, the lyrics are still classic Cohen, but in a simpler, easier to attain way.

#2. "Anthem" - "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." I think it's these words that bring everyone back to this song again and again. Of course, all the lyrics are amazing, some that hit extremely close to home for me, but these particular ones define the entire song for a lot of us. That idea that flaws can make you see how wonderful everything is when you didn't before is a very good one. Leonard has even described it as something of a credo. I agree.

#1. "If It Be Your Will" - I have actually heard people describe this song as a love letter to God. I can see why they might think that, since Leonard often speaks about spiritual things. My personal interpretation has always been close to that. To me, this song has always felt like something of a prayer, and I do love songs like that. And if it is a prayer, it sounds to me like a song of praise and mercy and hope. Hard to get any better than that.

Let me say this again, I love Leonard Cohen. I love the way that he and his work almost seem like one and the same. Just listen to the man speak. When he talks, just in conversation, so much of what he says is said in a way that practically sounds like a song all on its own. And that is how a true artist, a write in particular, should be. Our work should be a major part of who we are, enough so that others don't have to ask what we do. They'll just know. If I had a conversation with Leonard Cohen, not knowing who he was, I would know he was a writer, because of the way he speaks. It's how all of us writers should be, and he is a great inspiration for it.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Friday, December 6, 2013

Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind - Documentary Review

Greetings Pups,

Did I mention that I'm a writer? Because I am. And I love being one. As I may have said before, I began with poetry, then moved on to songwriting and short stories and novels, and finally, this blog. I'd say the most personal of all those is the poetry, which is usually directly connected to the songs. I love being able to tell my stories through them, and I love when people ask about the stories behind them, as well as about my own process. And if there is one thing in which I absolutely relish, it is hearing other people share their own stories with me and the world at large. Therefore, I gravitate toward things like documentaries wherein the subject is a great writer. Enter Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind.

This film was released in 2003, originally part of the PBS American Masters series. It is, easily, one of the most in depth and well-made documentaries I've ever seen. It takes us from her youth right on up to the present, as it should. And what it truly focuses on is her music, though, as I said, we do get all the wonderful stories that inspired the music. We hear from so many people who were right alongside her throughout her long career, like colleagues and friends, her contemporaries, who admittedly were always trying to keep up with her brilliance as a songwriter. And, of course, we hear from Joni, because who better to share all these tales than the woman herself.

Oh, and before I go on, let me say that all of you need not worry about one thing. This documentary is certainly not one of those cheap, unauthorized one. You know the kind. The ones where some narrator says, "And then Joni wrote a song called 'Both Sides Now'", but we don't actually get to hear "Both Sides Now". And then the narrator says, "And then Joni recorded a masterpiece album called 'Blue'", but we don't actually get to hear any songs from "Blue". You guys know what I'm talking about. You know about those "documentaries", and you probably hate them as much as I do. Well, calm down. THIS is not THAT. No, we get a ton of music in this, as well as clips of performances and whatnot, and it's great. I think it has to do with the fact that Joni was involved with the making of this. And thank God for that.

Speaking of Joni's involvement, she really did not back away from anything when it came to telling about the experiences of her life. She talked about her marriage at a very young age that kind of didn't work out so well, and her unexpected pregnancy, giving up her daughter and then finding her again, and about her relationships, mainly, the one with Graham Nash. She, indeed, shared the good, the bad and the ugly, and I so admire her for that. It is difficult to share things that are, most likely, still a bit painful, even years and decades later. But she never shied away from being open in her music, so it's no surprise that she was open in these interviews.

One thing about this documentary stuck out with me. Sure, everyone who has anything to say here says that Joni was and is a superb songwriter. No kidding. And I do love how Graham talks about watching her create her music, saying "It was a great thing to see somebody taken away by vision". But what they all specifically speak on is her lyrics, calling her one of the greatest poets. As someone who began in poetry and still considers that my strongest asset, I appreciate their saying that overwhelmingly. Someone even went so far as to tell us that, back then, being a great poet was even more revered than musicality. Times have changed, indeed. Still, it brings me such joy to know that, at some point in history, this was true. And it gives me hope that it may be true again someday. Actually, I personally have always gravitated towards Joni because of her words. Yes, she has this gorgeous voice and has created amazing melodies, but it's her words that have touched me the most. She has managed to come up with so many lyrics that can make a person stop and say, "Where did that come from?" And I think every writer hopes to be able to do that on their own. It's probably why Joni has inspired so many people.

So, if you are a fan of Joni Mitchell's, you will probably love this documentary. If you're someone who just knows about her because everyone does, or you've heard a few songs you like and always wanted to hear and know more, this is an excellent place to start. When it comes to documentaries, I'd say this is one of he best, especially when it comes to really telling the whole story.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer

Monday, December 2, 2013

Life is Fragile

Greetings Pups,

So I'll assume by now that everyone has heard about the passing of actor Paul Walker. I've said often that I've become a bit non-shockable when it comes to any stories from the Hollywood world, but this was something I didn't see coming. I don't think anyone did. You think when someone is young and healthy, they have a lot of time ahead of them, but if this tragic event teaches us anything, it's that you never know. There's a lesson we seem to have to re-learn quite a bit in our lives.

I'm not going to do some tribute to Paul Walker, since, honestly, I didn't know much about him. I don't even think I've seen any of the Fast and Furious movies. But, judging by what I did see him in, he was a really good actor, and he always seemed like a nice guy. Still, I think I'll leaver the tribute making to those who knew a lot more than I did. And my heart does break for those who knew and loved him.

But I guess I will say this. I don't believe in letting the fear of the unknown or what might happen next control your life, but I do believe in realizing how fragile your life can be. I think we're all only guaranteed the things that we've already gotten, so we should appreciate our future before it ever becomes the present. That way, we can be sure to give thanks for it. We all just have to be prepared for anything and make sure our hearts are right, but we should use that to remind us how precious life is. Say thank you for every breath and every moment and keep those you love close.

Love and full moons,

Becky the Writer