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Iraklion, Crete

Another quick post…

What is Crete’s capital? The answer is letter C. Joke, joke, joke. :)

Irakleio is Creta’s capital. The largest city in Crete, and fifth in entire Greece. What you get is a bustling, urban city. Not very hard to notice. It is also hard to deny that this economic center has its both modern and historical importance, and has its full of wondrous discoveries within.

I first introduced you to Minoan Palace of Knossos. If you are to look up “first civilization in Europe” or “history of Europe”, you’d find that this, in Irakleio, is the site of Europe’s first civilization.

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Another place of interest is Archaeological Museum.

Me and a friend went to CretAquarium, a stop in Golden Bay, Venetian Fortress, and McDonalds (what!? Don’t judge. They have Greek Mac :D ). Crete was once in a Venetian Period, but more on that later. :)

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Last Calls…

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THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP RECOMMENDS

And since this is a quick post, I want to share you these very very cool music videos all created by OK GO.

One note: All music videos are impressively one-shot videos.

First is this massive, extreme domino effect “machine”… really really cool …

Second is a highly complex choreographed video. The matrix part close to the end is whoa-insane!

The matrix part is participated by 2300 people. During filming, this video was done in intentional slow-motion playing the song in half-time.

Next is playing “musical instruments” while driving a car … again under one take.

If you did watch it, the song was recorded during filming of the video.

This last one is creative, creative, creative. This truly is “some pleasure in the eyes”…

I really hope you got to see these whoa-some, fun, cool music videos.


Also … Madhu of The Urge to Wander is an excellent, one of the top bloggers in my book. I hope you vote for her entry for “Journeys of a Lifetime Story”. I assure your vote will be casted for the right person, or that you won’t be disappointed following her blog.

Next, a 2.0 of Death Valley, Downtown Chania, or a something-else post.

Epilogue 2.0 / Great Release

Back by popular demand 👏 (not really)😆, once again I created a video blog.

This vlog is part of Special Report.

I really hope you enjoy viewing this. It doesn’t take a long time. I promise. :D I made it so that there’s enough progression. And please don’t miss the fireworks. ;)

I can say that this is one of my proudest posts. It is obviously time-consuming. A lot of trial and errors. A lot of experiments. A lot of playbacks. It was a test on patience and will.

It isn’t perfect. A lot of flaws to it. But the flaws are easy to dismiss. I can tell you there’s some surprises. And I really went above and beyond with this video. Even more so that what I initially planned or envisioned to do.

It was a long time coming. Visualizing, planning, preparation, all the way to execution. I’m glad I finally get to share it.

Sit back, relax and enjoy…

Part 1 -> http://thesophomoreslump2.com/2014/06/20/epilogue-2/

Hopefully next time I do better. ;)

Survivor’s Famous Last Words

As much as I want to divert from travel posts, part of the reasons for blogging is to share your world. Another is for the memories. I don’t know how this is going to fare well with the readers that I have but I’ve contemplated loooong enough and I really want to share this. It was last year, 11-12 months ago, when I was thinking of posting this. Plus, I haven’t had any off-the-track posts in a very long time – no TV, movie, or even music.

Well, I happen to be a huge Survivor fan. I’ve been watching and re-watching all seasons since the beginning. If I were to describe why Survivor is great in one word, it’d be dynamic. There is just so many elements to it that I really enjoy and am very interested to watch it constantly.

I hope you watch even at least one of the videos. And I hope one video convinces you to watch another one. And another one…

Here are my top ten most intense, most emotional final tribal council speeches…

We’ll start with “Perception is not reality.” by Erik from Survivor Season: Samoa.

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Ozzy slaps his face. from Survivor Micronesia. The pauses the he makes even made it more dramatic.

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For Eliza’s defense, Twila really is a b!tch. :D There’s one episode that made me threw my food at the TV because of Twila’s nastiness. Eliza’s “You are a deceptive, lying b!tch.” from Survivor: Vanuatu.

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Corinne’s not nice, nasty comments. Survivor:Gabon

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Jonathan reveals Lisa’s past. from Surivor: Philippines. Basically, a well-spoken writer, Jonathan Penner, had to reveal Lisa Whelchel’s past that she had been hiding all along from everybody on her tribes. It was shocking because it seemed Jonathan Penner had a great relationship with Lisa on the show. Sadly at the end of the game, Jonathan Penner had to bash her.

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“Don’t be stupid, Stupid.” by Tom from Survivor: All-Stars. The one jury member to ever walk up to the final contestants seats. Here’s why…

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Next one is Kat. Kat is eccentric. She is a little cuckoo on the entire season. As her boyfriend Hayden Moss put it, “She doesn’t always know which way is up.” Kat was crying when she got voted out.But at this final tribal council, she surprised everyone when Kat suddenly talked about forgiveness. from Survivor: One World.

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Sue’s famous Rat and Snake speech from Survivor: Borneo. The most famous, most memorable one goes all the way back to Its very first season, first final tribal council. Every Survivor fan knows this one.

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Julie cries. Survivor:Vanuatu

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This last one is the one that made me do this listing. Brenda helped Dawn out of kindness but she received betrayal in return. When Brenda got voted out, she was balling. “I want you to take out your teeth, Dawn!” from Survivor: Caramoan.

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I hope you enjoyed. :D

No post without a picture. Here’s some of my images in one of Survivor’s locations, Caramoan, Philippines…

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Survivor Cagayan finale airs this Wednesday, May 21.

Test your TV Knowledge: TV Out of the Box

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One of the awesome things of being in California is the opportunity to experience stars and glamours. That’s it, the entertainment media. I have never really exploited it nor have shown much of it throughout this blog. Well now, I am enthusiastic to present to you a minute museum that showcases props and costumes seen from WB TV shows.

Here’s what we do. I won’t put any caption and just let you see if you recognize any of the paraphernalia and clothings they exbihit in Paley Center of Media.

This next one, I’m sure Jo Bryant of Chronicles of Illusions will be pleased to see …

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My favorite is their set pieces of the sitcom FRIENDS. WEEE!!! I get to see Central Perk!

If you’re a big fan of the show, see if you can remember which episodes these appeared in.

The outfits …

Paley Center for Media is located in Rodeo Dr. where you can also visit California’s version of Rome’s Spanish Footstep. Look for free one-hour parking around the area. The entrance to the museum is $10. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 12 to 5 pm.

How did you do at the TV knowledge? Did you get bamboozled?

Surprising Cover Songs (part deux)

They say “Don’t judge the book by its cover”. I say “Judge the song by its cover”. For when a certain song gets done by another artist, you can discover a lot more from it esp. when a different version is made. Sometimes, even the worst songs can turn into a good one when done by somebody else. Now, there’s lotsa good remakes or revivals out there but you can still handpick those that are genre-crossing, out-of-the-blue, surprising cover songs.

Here’s a long list of cover songs that will make you utter .. “How’d that go?”

Song (Originally Done By) Covered By

The Part I of this, I included a video of “Rolling in the Deep”, originally by Adele and covered by Linkin’ Park. Now, it’s only fitting that I start with it. Panic! At the Disco visited Ventura, my current county of residency. They had a poll asking the audience what they want the band to cover, being a popular song at the time, the poll reads “Rolling in the Deep” as most requested. Fun video, they looked like they really struggle. Ended pretty impressive considering it wasn’t rehearsed prior the performance. The vocalist blurted out at the end “Yey! We did it.” -referring to having the audience participation in getting through the cover.

  • Travis, Fountains of Wayne “Baby One More Time” (Britney Spears)
  • Lily Allen, All American Rejects, Franz Ferdinand“Womanizer” (Britney Spears)
  • Greenday“Why Doesn’t It Always Rain On Me?” (Travis)

Why “Womanizer”, it wasn’t because of its “deep political connotation”, they simply said “It’s because we can do it better than Britney”… A great accordion start, beer bottles for instruments and a lot of woohoo-ing from the guys of All American Rejects….

  • Umbrella (Rihanna) – Mandy Moore, Linkin’ Park, Train, Manic Street Preacher
  • Jamie Cullum “Please Don’t Stop The Music” (Rihanna), “Frontin” (NERD), “GoldDigger” (Kanye West), “Chasing Pavements” (Adele) segue to Thriller (Michael Jackson)
  • Ryan Adams – I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys), Like A Virgin (Madonna), Vampire Weekend entire first album
  • IncubusLike A Virign (Madonna), Bump ‘N Grind (R. Kelly), No Scrubs (TLC) Careless Whisper (George Michael), Milkshake (Kelis) and even Spongbob Squarepants (Theme Song)
  • My Humps (Black Eye Peas) – Alanis Morrissettes *PART I*
  • Michael BubleThis Love (Maroon 5)
  • Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) – Incubus, Amanda Palmer, Coldplay, Fall Out Boys and Civil Wars
  • Coldplay I Just Can’t You Out Of My Head (Kylie Minogue) *PART 1*
  • (Coldplay) – Lady Gaga, Weezer, Taylor Swift “Viva La Vida”, Robyn “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall”, Alicia Keys “Clocks”, Avril Lavigne, Aimee Mann “The Scientist”

Let’s go ahead and take a look Lady Gaga’s struggling attempt to cover Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”. Quite surprising, nonetheless, definitely not her alley and she did a good job giving it a different spin. Though, she did stop at the bridge to apologize for the mistakes. Here she is with piano…

  • Daughtry“Pokerface” Lady Gaga
  • Robyn“Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (Coldplay), “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” (Alicia Keys), “Since You’ve Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson), “When The Doves Cry”
  • (Beyonce) – “Crazy In Love” Switchfoot because it’s power-packed with energy and … bling! :D , Snow Patrol, Beck, “Single Ladies” The Fray, Wilco, Sarah Bareilles *PART I* “Halo” Florence + The Machine
  • Elbow “Independent Women” (Destiny’s Child)
  • Florence + The MachineTake Me Now” (Rihanna)
  • Beck – Medley of “Hot in Here” (Nelly), “Rock Your Body” (Justin Timberlake), “Beautiful” (NERD), “Not Gonna Get US” (t.a..t.u) “Ice Ice Baby” also, (Yanni’s) “Live At The Acropolis” album
  • Beyonce“Sex On Fire” Kings of Leon
  • (Kings of Leon) – “Use Somebody” Craig David, Matisyahu, Paramore and Pixie Lott, “Radioactive “ Cee-Lo
  • Ray Lamontagne, Paulo Nutini “Crazy” (Gnarls Barkley)

Kelly Clarkson is a fan of this outstanding troubadour singer-songwriter (Ray Lamontagne). Actually, it’s not surprising that a pop artist would actually claim to have one of his songs to be a favorite. Here is “Shelter”, please listen.

  • Kelly Clarkson (Black Keys) “Lies”, (The White Stripes) “Seven Nation Army” , (Kings of Leon) “Use Somebody” segue to (Alanis Morissettes) “That I Would Be Good”
  • Robyn, A Day To Remember “Since U Been Gone” (Kelly Clarkson)
  • The Fray Hip Don’t Lie (Shakira), Single Ladies (Beyonce) with the bending of the wrist and the shaking of the hips :D, Heartless (Kanye West)
  • NOT A COVER: But, did anybody know about Thom Yorke of Radiohead dancing to the tune of Beyonce’s “Sexy Ladies”? Very surprising, he was so into the tune of it.
  • Shakira “Islands”, “Crystallized” (The xx) *PART I*
  • (Justin Timberlake) – “Cry Me A River” Paolo Nutini, Glen Hansard, Michel Buble

Corinne Bailey Rae jazzing up Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack”. Whoa factor to the fullest scale.

  • Paolo Nutini – “Rehab” (Amy Winehouse)
  • KT Tunstall – “Get Your Freak On” (Missy Elliot) Who’s that bleep! :D Also. Eels
  • Postal Service“Against All Odds” (Phil Collins)
  • Lana Del Rey“Goodbye Kiss” (Kasabian)
  • Ben Howard“Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jespen)

Since this song is quite popular this year, I go ahead and post the video of this UK singer-songwriter Ben Howard. Highly Impressive! He turned this bubbly song into something of a troubadour-type, with layers and layers of sound.

  • Mumford & Son“Cousin” (Vampire Weekend)
  • Feist “November Rain” Guns & Roses
  • James Blake“Limit To Your Love” Feist

  • Prince“The Best of You” Foo Fighters
  • Aretha Franklin“Touch My Body” Mariah Carey
  • Weezer“Pump Up Kids” Foster The People (more above from Weezer)
  • Fall Out Boy – Medley of “Beat It”, “Don’t Matter”, “American Boy”
  • Tori Amos“We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Bonnie And Clyde” (Eminem), “Whoops! There It is”
  • Dreamtheater “Winter” (Fiona Apple)
  • Katy Perry “Electril Feel” (MGMT)
  • John Legend“Umbrella” (Rihanna), “Wake Up” (Arcade Fire)
  • Joss Stone – “Fell in Love with a Boy” – feminized version of “Fell in Love with a Girl” (The White Stripes)

I’m not familiar with the artist, she is most likely a filipina. It’s a great thrown-out cover of a very popular song. Here is an acoustic version from a sweet-looking lad,y named Julie Anne, scatting and boom-boorooming to the tune of “Superbass” from Nicki Minaj.


WOOO Boy, that’s a lot of covers. Anything you want to add? Remember these are genre-crossing cover songs. “Covers” are basically remakes/revivals that are performed live and/or on stage.

SURPRISING COVER SONGS [PART I]

Ow, do let me know which of these that surprised or made you interested.

#100

Hi, my name is Rommel.

I named this blog The Sophomore Slump mainly because I had a wordpress blog before it. The first blog gotten into a point where it wasn’t as wrapped into myself as I wanted it to be. I just wanted to a more established blog that I can call my own. I also had Multiply, and I liquidated it as well because it was too self-indulgent. And so I created this blog, something in the middle. I didn’t want it to be so overwhelming so I started slow, doing a picture-lyrics style. I also transferred some of my old entries that I (and my girl) managed to salvage from my old blogs.

Even though the blog was receiving zero to less-than 10 views in a day (or week), I continued on. Blogging is basically our outlet. Other than an outlet for creative growth and sharpening writing skills, it really is a great medium to chronicle life experiences, and share it. The stats really is supposedly just something extra. Well like you and I, who are only human, are reeled in to the stats’ addictive nature.   Still, I think bloggers at least should not forget that core reason why we blog.

(more…)

Philippine Music Scene

Allow me to take a blog moment to visit my motherland, Philippines. There’s no time that I visit my homeland without checking out music gigs.

The best one for me is Up Dharma Down. I remember how I Indian-sat in front of the stage looking up and just being in awe on how eargasmic they are. Up Dharma Down is THE Philippine band with the most definitive quality of being globally recognized.

Coincidentally, I came across a nicely uploaded video of an online buddy of mine, purpleheadd. She’s on my blogroll. Here’s  a song with minimal lyrics but grand in delivery, “Blessed”.

Moving on, I love the energy that Bamboo exerts in concert. He  moves like a bee in flight jumping and hopping around the whole stage.  His battery didn’t run down ’til the end. The closing suprise fireworks was explosive, and was fun to see.

Sadly, Bamboo took on a solo flight and the group is now disbanded.

Speaking of which, I had the chance to see Sugarfree perform live before they got disbanded.

I was really sadden when I heard the news. To me, it felt like a death of the whole OPM (Original Pilipino Music), which is also unfortunate to say that it is what likely is currently happening. I’m optimistic though. I believe that Sugarfree was the band initiated the second band break-out of our music history. I think that there will be another band like Sugarfree who will rise up and make the scene lively again.

On the same token, Sugarfree shared the stage that night in SaGuijo Cafe with Itchyworms. 

They are not disbanded. Band member, Jugs [middle in the picture], however, is now hosting a dance contest show called “Showtime”. Itchyworm is an all-member vocals/instruments ensemble.

On lighter notes, these are two more of comedic bands of the Philippines. Parokya ni Edgar and Kamikazee …

What I love about Parokya ni Edgar is they really are THE  people’s band. They are just cool. They make it feel like they’re just hanging out, playing song and the audience are invited to listen or join in.

This band is sprightly energetic as well. The vocalist, Jay Contreras, is such a character. He does all kinds of thing onstage. More so than any other bands I must note. He dances, does comedic skits, sprinkles water all over his body,  flirts, acts, fixes his hair, and all at the same, perform their songs.

I should say, I caught them the first month I moved here in Oxnard. The event was unexpectedly just more or so 5 mintues away from where I lived. They shared the concert with the lovely, gorgeous, sexy, intelligent singer-songwriter Kitchie Nadal.

 She’s so tiny. She’s sweet too. She invited a little girl in front of the stage to sing with her.

I’ll leave you with this song by our poet musician, Dong Abay. Note: It’s in Tagalog.

Jazz-Pop Band Sinosikat?

 Also seen: Paramita, Jeepney Joyride, Matilda, Join The Club, Spongecola (I hate their gig!!!), Featured Photo is Pupil with Ely Buendia as the vocalist

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So, who are your favorite pinoy musicians? Who are the active bands/artists in the Philippine music scene of today?

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