Love You Like a Love Song: 8 of the Most Romantic Ballads Ever


Cover of "Wicked Game"

If there was something I definitely could not live without, it would be music (also, lotion — really neurotic about this, but I’ll save it for another post…) — it keeps me going for almost every minute of everyday: getting ready in the mornings, on my way to work, at work, shopping, on the way home from work — and even as I write this post. Music is the spark that keeps my embers burning. For me, it’s more than a distraction from the incessant buzz of the outside world; its words, a hypnotic beat — a mantra, even, (if it’s that type of day) pulsating through my body, creating an unbroken connection between the music and me. The song doesn’t have to be deep for the connection to happen, but this is what music is for me.

Given that deep down I’m just a hopeless romantic like any starry-eyed girl out there, there are a handful of love songs that I’ve come to really love over the years. You know, the type of songs that when you hear, you can’t help but just melt a little because they make your heart flutter a bit?

I should warn you, they’re not all happy love songs — but no less, they’re pretty romantic — I promise! Here are my picks for the most heart-clenching, romantic love songs:

1. “Push” — Sarah McLachlan

Okay, I know Sarah McLachlan gets a lot of bad rep for being the woman who makes people think of homeless and sick animals, but forget (the also beautiful song) “Angel” if you can for a moment, and listen to this song. It’s probably my favorite on the list, and the lyrics paired with Sarah McLachlan’s soulful vocals makes for a simply beautiful ballad that couldn’t be more romantic — and happy, for that matter, aka completely opposite of “Angel.”

2. “Back at One” — Brian McKnight

Oh, whatever happened to men like Brian McKnight? This guy was a staple in the 90’s and early 2000’s, and his smooth voice and sweet lyrics make me melt every time. (I’m a sap — told you.) Plus, who can resist a man playing the piano? I’d have to argue that R&B music of this era was the best, and Brian McKnight was in the throne, leading the realm with this sweet melody…

3. “Wicked Game” — Chris Isaak

I’d probably seen the episode of Friends when Ross and Rachel have their first date and get frisky in the planetarium about a million time before I finally got hold of this song. (Yes, that’s where you’ve heard it.) More than this song is romantic, it’s incredibly sensual — can you honestly resist that voice?! But once you listen to the song, you’ll be hooked to the music, lyrics — everything! It’s a one for the books, I promise. This is a song that rarely, if ever, gets skipped on my iPod/iTunes when it’s on shuffle.

4.  “Forever and For Always” — Shania Twain

There’s got to be something said about a country gal singin’ a love song — there’s nothing like it (unless you’re a country fella). Shania Twain is not only beautiful, but her music is timeless country-pop music, and just like this song — it always makes you feel good — and that impresses me much!

5. “Broken” — Lifehouse

Ah, here is one of those sad love songs I was talking about, but I couldn’t resist because it’s a great song, and the lead singer’s voice is irresistible. The song is relatable to a lot of people in one way or another, and you don’t have to be in a million pieces to think it’s a great tune!

6. “Halo” — Beyonce´

You didn’t honestly expect a list of the most romantic love songs and this song not be on there, right? Beyonce´ singing OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder’s lyrics would have made for one helluva amazing love song by itself, but the music production behind this composition was also ingenious. Who expected the piano, drums and synths combo? The song was a little over-played for a while, but you have to admit — it is one. great. love song.

7. “A Thousand Years” — Christina Perri

Yes, it was Edward and Bella’s wedding song, but I promise that had nothing to do with its place on the list. I don’t even remember the song in the movie (yes, I’ve read and watched all the books/movie — guilty, as charged!), and heard this beautiful ballad for the first time when Christina Perri performed it live on Ellen. Forget the Twilight mumbo-jumbo, and take a chance — her voice, the lyrics, the piano — it’s all very sweet!

8. “Ancient Love” — Anoushka Sharma

To round out the list, I picked a song most of you have probably have never heard of and by an artist that is a favorite of mine. This one also has no words — surprise! There is something very sensual and romantic about the snaky flutes, slow sitar picks and tabla beats that I absolutely love about this piece. If you’ve never heard of Anoushka Sharma’s music, today might be the day. Maybe you’ve heard of her famous family: dad and famous Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar, or her well-known half-sister and blues singer Norah Jones?

What did you think of my picks? Leave me a comment and let me know, and tell me what your favorite love songs are!

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Anne Hathaway: Lil’ Wayne Style


The world fell in love with her as the awkward, girl-next-door/happens-to-be-princess Mia Thermompolis in “Princess Diaries.” Anne Hathaway has since delivered a few surprises to her performing talents – most recently by  her role as the new Catwoman in the latest installment of the Batman franchise, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Little did anyone know, though, that the actress was so multi-faceted. Did you know, for instance, that she was a bonafide lyricist, looking to the likes of rapper Lil’ Wayne for inspiration? Quirky and bubbly she’ll always be, but Anne proved that she’s not afraid to step into another realm of entertainment when she spit out some rhymes to Conan O’ Brien’s audience on August 16.

Watch below for her performance. The world may need to prepare itself for the next hip-hop queen. Move over Nicki Minaj, it’s Lil’ Annie…Hm, she’ll have to work on that name, but I have to say this was impressive!

Jay Sean & Joe Jonas Upcoming Tour


Hey you crazy cats,  those dreams of joining a British-Indian bad boy and approximately 1/3 of the Jonas clan weren’t farfetched at all. Two men who fit this bizarre criteria almost exactly (imagine that) have announced plans to launch a nationwide tour this fall.

Jay Sean, best known for radio hits as “Down” and “Do You Remember?” and Joe Jonas of the tween heartthrob boy band, The Jonas Brothers, announced to EW.com that they would be performing together in 19 cities beginning Sept. 6. First stop: House of Blues in Boston, Massachusetts.

Jonas will be performing music off of his debut album, FastLife, which hits stores Oct. 11, while Jay belts out some new tunes from his fourth album, Freeze Time.

Tickets go on sale August 19 and can be purchased on both artists’ websites and TicketMaster.com.

Tour Dates & Cities

6-Sep Boston, MA // House Of Blues

7-Sep Philadelphia, PA // Theatre of Living Arts

10-Sep Toronto, ON // The Sound Academy

11-Sep Cleveland, OH // House of Blues

12-Sep Chicago, IL // House Of Blues

15-Sep Minneapolis, MN // First Avenue

17-Sep Denver, CO // Fillmore

19-Sep San Francisco, CA // Warfield

20-Sep Los Angeles, CA // The Wiltern

26-Sep Houston, TX // House Of Blues

28-Sep Austin, TX // ACL Live

29-Sep Dallas, TX // House Of Blues

1-Oct Tampa, FL // TBD

2-Oct Lake Buena Vista, FL // House Of Blues

3-Oct Atlanta, GA // Tabernacle

5-Oct Silver Spring, MD (DC) // Fillmore Silver Spring

6-Oct New York, NY // Best Buy Theater

 

Happy 100th Lucy!


As early as I can remember — maybe since I was a tiny tot of four years, I have been hooked on the zany antics of a woman so unafraid of just being herself, that the world is still madly in love with her 100 years later: Lucille Ball.

In a time when women were often oppressed, especially in the professional world, Lucille Ball was determined to show men that women were not to be underestimated. She pioneered an age for women as business moguls, comediennes and simply as equal beings. But forget the women empowerment mumbo-jumbo, and most importantly lovable Lucy has always been an unforgettable and irreplaceable imprint on the world as a human who ignited 60 years of laughter.

When I wasn’t even fluent in English, I was rolling in laughter at the slapstick comedy always showcased in Lucille Ball’s iconic show, I Love Lucy. A show that has never been off the air since it debuted in October of 1951, I Love Lucy will always be my #1 comedy show. I rarely make such superlative claims, but this statement I firmly stand behind because never has there been a show, nor will there ever be a show that is so purely comedic and classic in its plots ever again; most often Lucy was getting herself involved in hairy situations because of her insatiable curiosity and hunger for a little mischief, and there was something very endearing about her silly antics.

Comedic television shows today often tread the line of offensive and funny because their success usually come from a dynamic combination of talented actors and ingenius writers. Lucille Ball was an actress who outshone anyone on set or behind the camera simply because of her talent of timing and delivery. One minute she was cowering under her hot-blooded, Latin husband’s temper, and the next she was putting her foot down standing her ground. Sometimes she stomped that foot figuratively, and sometimes she stomped it right into a pail of cement. With Lucy, you just never knew which one of her 100 characters you’d see. She always kept audiences guessing, hungry for more, and most importantly — happy. And these are only a few reasons why I will always love Lucy: my idol, my favorite actress, and my personal laugh factory.

Had she been alive, Lucille Ball would have been celebrating her 100th birthday today, August 6. While she can’t be here to celebrate her life, the world is doing it for her. Google even introduced a special logo on their homepage resembling the vintage black and white heart that is signature to the I Love Lucy intro — even giving you the option to listen to the theme music. Too cool, Google!

Here are some interesting things you may have not known about America’s favorite red-headed bombshell:

  • She died on my exact birthdate: April 26, 1989. Not really something to be excited about because it’s actually kind of sad, but I’ve always felt like this bonded my connection to Lucy in a strange way!
  • She was six years senior to her on-screen and real life, first husband, Desi Arnaz. Whew — talk about a cougar for the ’40s!
  • I Love Lucy started as a radio show called My Favorite Husband for which Lucy played the lead role of a nutty housewife for four years. When CBS asked her to help develop it for TV, she insisted Desi be her on-screen husband, but they refused. Feisty as ever (not to mention endearingly loyal), she packed up and left. CBS eventually caved, not Lucy.
  • She was the first woman to be the head of a major television production company when she bought out Desi’s ownership in their venture, Desilu Productions, after their divorce. What did I tell you —a true pioneer, this woman was!
  • Lucy began her career as a model and was never very successful in movies (earning the unofficial title as “Queen of the B’s”). At one point she was told to leave the business because she would never make it. I love when people say this and are proven so horribly wrong. It makes for great Wikipedia pages.
  • She was once registered as a communist as a favor to her grandfather. When it was discovered, her career was almost jeopardized, but in true Lucy-manner she was able to smooth things over. Desi even joked after that the only thing “red” about Lucy was her hair and even that wasn’t real. Laughter commenced from the audience before she was given an honorable standing ovation, and all was well.

To celebrate my leading lady’s birthday, I will whip out my complete set of I Love Lucy on DVD, kick back, and remember why, still, I love lucy so much…

My ‘Early Start’ on TV


I’ve had dreams to be on TV for over 10 years – maybe longer! I spoke once on a blog post about how I learned best by example, and before I was even trained in broadcast, I would always try to mimic the style of reporting I would see from various reporters on TV.

I have always told people that being on a public stage or talking in front of a camera really is nerve racking  – just like people would assume it was. So, the only way to get over it for me is to fake confidence and draw inspiration from actors who have to pretend to be someone they’re not. Similarly, I pretend I am a confident news reporter and VOILA – I instantly become one! The forced gusto somehow gives me real courage and eventually, it just feels natural.

Back in 2008 – before I even started my broadcast training at school – I came across this contest hosted by People.com to be a red carpet reporter at the Grammy’s that year. I recruited my partner-in-crime BFF to be my celebrity while I interviewed her (conveniently, her carpet at home was some shade of red). I believe I broke the rules and was disqualified from the contest because one of the criteria was not to include any real names, organizations, or brands. While we made everything else up, I distinctly announced that I was reporting at the GRAMMY’S. What a dud.

Either way, it was ridiculously fun and the video was viewed thousands of times on YouTube. Somehow, I have the entire speech memorized still and can’t help but laugh mercilessly at both myself and Maria (who by the way, walks back the same direction she comes from in the video) because of how truly entertaining and RIDICULOUS this video really is. Good times captured on video!

Take a look yourself and you’ll see why it’s so hilarious!

Where Were Harry Potter’s Famous Green Eyes?


Anyone who has been within a five mile radius of a TV, book store or movie theater in the last 10 years (at least) knows who Harry Potter is. Ironically, the boy wizard became just as infamous in the real “muggle” world as he was in his own magical world created by Mummy Rowling.

Knowing Harry Potter even in the slightest means you should be aware of these basic facts:

  1. He has a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead
  2. He looks like his father.
  3. He has green eyes — like his mother’s.

These were the physical attributes that made Harry famous, and were — even to his great annoyance — repeatedly noted in the books. This is what made him instantly recognizable as “The Boy Who Lived.”

The moviemakers recreated almost every detail in J.K. Rowling’s famous world, from tricky spells and fantasy creatures to live paintings and moving staircases. Therefore, it was no question that the three most important characteristics about Harry would be on point – so basic, yet so very integral to the books.

The lighting scar made it, and they even found a man to play Harry’s dad, James, who actually looked like Daniel Radcliffe for the memory scenes. And yet Harry’s famously green eyes were always unmistakably blue. This was the mistake they could’ve made when they had to magically (no pun intended) create an entire fantasy world — they couldn’t get the main character’s eye color right?

Not one director thought it was important enough to buy a pair of green contacts for Daniel Radcliffe to wear – even in the scenes when the topic irrevocably focused on the fact that “Harry looked just like James but had Lily’s eyes.” Never were his eyes green! Never! Was I the only one who noticed this and found myself infuriated at such a magnanimous discrepancy between the book and movie? A pair of contacts, people — or hello, CGI?!

Do any of these pictures look like Harry has his mother’s green eyes? No.

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Golden Years of Nickelodeon Are Back


If there is one Universal truth, it is that good wholesome television truly existed with the hairy antics of Kenan, Kel and orange soda, and the ups and downs in the love saga between a boy named Mr. Funnie and his girl Miss Mayonnaise.

Ahh, these were shows that the kids of the ’90s grew up with, and it’s no argument that television programming for youth has ever been the same since. Alas, the original Nicksters have been waiting for years for the chance to revisit the golden years of television. Patience, patience…

Well, the wait is over for groupies of ’90s Nickelodeon because the good times are back! In a live Q&A session with WashingtonPost.com on July 25, Senior VP and General Manager of Nicktoons and TeenNick, Keith Hawkins, confirmed for readers that Nickelodeon would finally begin the syndication of many old shows – starting immediately. True to promise – Clarissa, Doug, Rocko, Arnold, and the many of 90s gang made their reappearances on Nick after the Q&A at midnight EST, which will be the regular airing time for the shows.

While the late-night time slots are less than ideal, especially since one participant pointed out, “…the individuals who would truly appreciate the programming are adults who have working schedules,” Hawkins said the shows will also be available to view on Nick’s site and would be  “packaged in a whole new way.”

“Go online to watch episode[s] from the 90s when you want and how you want, ” he said. “Also…voice your opinion on Facebook, Twitter, and 90sareallthat.com. We want to hear from you.”

Nick lovers don’t need to be told twice, though, to utilize the social media powerhouses. Hawkins credits the hoards of requests that came via Facebook messages and Tweets to be the final deciding factor to bring back the shows.

“The ground swell of fans giving voice…on places like Facebook and Twitter really moved mountains,”  he explained. “To hear millions of people saying that they want the Nickelodeon of their childhood back is a powerful statement. It’s one that we just had to react to.”

Well, Mr. Hawkins – you definitely gave the people what they want. I couldn’t be MORE thrilled about this, and am slightly embarrassed (but not really) to say that a passerby will probably catch me watching my old favorites with glistening eyes. There is something so special and bittersweet about revisiting your childhood, and it will an outer-worldly experience for sure to relive adolescence this way!

The full roster of Nickelodeon shows you can watch again are: 

  1. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters
  2. The Adventures of Pete & Pete
  3. All That
  4. The Amanda Show
  5. Are You Afraid of the Dark?
  6. Catdog
  7. Clarissa Explains it All
  8. Double Dare
  9. Doug
  10. Hey Arnold!
  11. Kenan & Kel
  12. Legends of the Hidden Temple
  13. Nickelodeon GUTS
  14. The Ren & Stimpy Show
  15. Rocket Power
  16. Rocko’s Modern Life
  17. Rugrats
  18. Salute Your Shorts
  19. The Secret World Of Alex Mack