Tag Archives: Pentatonix

The Sing-Off, or Why I Still Love Jewel

The Sing-Off premiered last night. I’m a fan of a capella music, so I’ve enjoyed every season thus far. You may be familiar with some of the past winners of the competition, including Pentatonix.

Naturally, when the fourth season was announced, I was excited, especially since I thought the show wouldn’t be renewed.  I appreciate Shawn Stockman and Ben Folds as judges, but I knew that former judge Sarah Bareilles was on tour. Who could replace her musical know-how and constant cheery cuteness? Only my favorite mononymed, snaggle-toothed musical superstar!

Jewel, Sean, BenIn the article I wrote the day before I turned 30,  I noted that there are no guilty pleasures. So, I’m just going to come out and say that I love Jewel. She captivated my young self in the 90s with “Foolish Games.” I like her weird “psuedo-country” stuff that she’s been putting out lately. I even take weird joy in her yodeling, and I sat in Barnes and Noble once and read quite a bit of her poetry book (I was ashamed of my fandom back then. I wasn’t even willing to buy a book for fear of looking uncool.).

So, how did she do as a judge on the Sing-Off? Pretty well!. She had some decent musical insights, was willing to challenge the boys on some of their criticisms… and was cute as a button! She wasn’t just the judge we deserved; she was the judge we needed.

Seriously, if you’re a fan of music, or Ben Folds, or Boyz II Men, or Jewel, you should be watching this show. It’s simply delightful. The mix of a capella groups this year is pretty varied, and it’ll be fun watching these groups battle for a recording contract.

But, can you keep a secret? I’ll be watching for Jewel (and maybe for the singing).

Jewel-Kilcher-HD-Wallpapers-1-3 jewel-kilcher-03 jewel

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Pop Shock: Radioactive


RAWR! Scary ape monster puppet! Image is a screen grab from the “Radioactive” video by Imagine Dragons.

As an adult individual who spends an embarrassing amount of time with our All-Father, the Internet, I must say that there’s not a whole lot that surprises me, anymore.

It’s rare that I don’t have music blaring through my ear buds, damaging my inner ears and making my day go just a bit faster. I’m always on the look out for an upbeat, peppy piece of fluff that I can drone out on. But, once in a while, a song will creep up on me, and I will become a wee bit obsessed with it.

Maybe I get into a groove, I dunno. But, I have to go look it up on YouTube and play it over, and over, and over, and over. It’s a habit that greatly amuses some and annoys others, because I’m constantly pestering folks with my awesome find. And, to be honest, my “finds” aren’t all that new, generally.

It’s probably because I kick it into neutral that I don’t pay the closest attention to the music I’m hearing on my Pandora station. Then, later, I’ll hear a song when I’m outside of work and think, “Huh, I wonder why that sounds familiar? I like it!” In reality, I’ve probably heard it lots of times and just never noticed.

The latest song the come on my radar in this manner was “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. Now, this is a special case, because while I became obsessed with the song, it wasn’t the ACTUAL song. Someone posted the cover by Pentatonix and Lindsey Stirling, and I fell in love.

(That’s a bit over-dramatic. I didn’t fall in love, so much as become intensely piqued. There. That sounds better.) A Capella music is awesome, and the “Radioactive” cover was pretty sweet. So, I listened to it until I was tired of it.

But, I still craved it.

Does that make sense? To crave a song? The musical progressions, the ebb and flow of emotion that makes me feel better.

So, I looked up the real song by Imagine Dragons, and I loved it, too! It was different, and in some ways much better. The lead singer is able to cultivate an intensity that Pentatonix strives for, but just misses, frankly. There’s only so much nifty harmony and beat-boxing can do for you, guys.

Okay, so where am I going with this? Why is this article called Pop Shock?

Well, first off, look for more articles under the heading of Pop Shock. I intend to call out things that I find shocking in one way or another for various reasons (AREN’T YOU EXCITED?!).

What’s shocking about “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons? Watch the video, and then, we’ll talk.


Lou Diamond Phillips is running illegal (I assume) stuffed animal cock fights!

This delights and shocks me at the same time. What a great video! (See, shock isn’t necessarily a BAD thing.) In my ritual obsession, I’d never taken the time to watch the real video. And when I finally got around to it, I was SHOCKED (And delighted. Don’t forget the delighted part.). And, yeah, I know it’s MONTHS old. I skillfully managed to avoid the video, though. Yes, it was skill!

There’s a teddy bear with laser eyes that slaughters people. An innocuous-looking, pinkish teddy bear gets pushed too far and BAM! So, long Lou (and others!)!

Sure, Lou and his minions, including a terrifying purple ape puppet monster, deserve it. I mean, Imagine Dragons is (are?) being held captive in the puppet/stuffed animal/cock fighting dungeon. That’s serious business.

And what’s the relationship between the teddy bear and the woman who brings him to the fight? Is she its trainer? Its master? It must like her, because if it didn’t, I’m sure she’d be extra tasty crispy by now.

One more thing: How about that ending? Despicable Lou is dropped into a drippy, dark hole with bits of dismembered animated stuffed creatures!

It’s the stuff of nightmares.

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