Yesterday: Music Monday

You know when you hear a song, that has a classic sample in it, and it brings you back. I mean, way back?

Well, the Black Eyed Peas are back with some new music and this song does just that. Their new track Yesterday has more samples than I can count, including the likes of N.W.A’s. Straight Outta Compton, Beastie Boys’ Paul Revere, De La Soul’s 3 Feet and Rising) and that iconic beat from the opening of Black Sheep’s The Choice is Yours. Other names dropped in the song include Queen Latifah,  Run-D.M.C., Ice-T, Doug E. Fresh, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan and even L.L. Cool J and more.

It really is a great tribute to the classic rap songs of the past.

But to hear the song is one thing. I encourage you to watch the video, because BEP take a trip to an old school record shop. Every time they hold up a record, that sample appears in the song. And they do some great stuff with the album artwork also.

I’d love to know how many favours were pulled to get the rights to use all these songs and album covers. It’s a sight to see.

While Fergie is not there, it has yet to be determined if she is not returning to the group, or is just off working on her own thing. But not to worry, will.I.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo do a great job.

Time will tell, I guess.

In the meantime, enjoy this track, because it’s well done, smart and a really great throwback to some classic tracks.

Happy Monday!

Three weeks & three minutes

While summer is officially here, and school is out for the Little Bird; daycare is not yet quite done for the Little Mouse.

And she’s not too happy about that.

Every morning, as I’m getting ready, she walks into the bathroom and asks in this little hopeful voice, “where am I going today, mommy?” And every morning I tell her the same thing, “daycare, sweetheart.”

And then it starts.

The tears. The whining. The crying. The stomping of the foot. “I. Don’t. Want. To. Go. To. Daycare.”

I usually chalk it up to hunger and ignore her, trying to divert her attention to the calendar of activities they have planned for the day and what she can look forward to. Like if it’s one of her friends’ birthdays, there will definitely be cake. If it’s water play day, she’ll get wet. If it’s Tuesday, she gets to do yoga.

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This will be a regular occurrence very soon!

Sometimes the distraction works. Sometimes, not.

Now that school is over, it’s not working so well. And that’s because the Little Bird is going to spend the day with her cousins and the Little Mouse is pissed off that she’s left out.

She’ll get to go soon enough, but for now she has to finish going to daycare. She has three more weeks of daycare left. I even marked them on the calendar for her to see.

The other day when I went to pick her up, the teachers said she was sad. She talking about her sister and wanting to go somewhere with her, for almost the entire day. I explained the new summer schedule to the teachers, but it also doesn’t help that one of her closest little friends is also away for the summer.

That’s what happens when the parents work for the school board. But of course, my four-year old doesn’t get that.

My sister-in-law keeps telling us to just bring her, but we know it will be a lot. It’s too much with all of them together. GamerBoy is 11, Paxter is 6, the Little Bird is 7 and the Little Mouse is 4.

Do you know how much noise and trouble they get into when they are together?!

Do you know how much headache medication you would need to survive the day with them all together?!

Better her, than me, I guess!

For now, I’ll save her three more weeks of bliss. Well, as much bliss with only three versus four kids can be.

I know the Little Mouse will miss her friends at daycare when it’s over. And it’s good for her to be a little out of her comfort level a little and be forced to play with different kids. She’ll have to do that for school very soon. And her little friend, who is currently off for the summer, will be going to the same school, so she’ll see her again.

What this mommy is going to miss is the three minute drive to daycare.

You see, after dropping the Little Bird off at school in the morning, I would drop off the Little Mouse at daycare, and while it was only three minutes together, we used to talk about everything from the songs on the radio, to her friends and teachers, to what she wanted to play with at home when she was with her sister again.

These drives have come to an end, since the Little Bird gets dropped off last now at my sister-in-law’s house.

Don’t get me wrong, I get plenty of one-on-one time with each of my girls, but I loved this little drive. She always brought some toy with her in the car and when we got to the daycare, I would take a picture of it, posed in some funny way in my car. (It’s become my favourite type of Instagram post). And she found it hilarious too!

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So I’m going to miss those three minutes. And I hope she knows that I cherished each of them.

The summer is speeding by, and in what feels like three minutes she’ll be in school. Big school. With her big sister. I’ll only have one drop off and one pick-up, which will be glorious. Easier.

But sometimes easier comes at a price.

I can only hope that the Little Mouse enjoys her last three weeks at daycare and cherishes the friendships she made. I hope she enjoys her three weeks with the Brat Pack (her cousins) and my sister-in-law still wants to be my friend by the end of the summer!

The Main Event tour: Review

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View from my seats for The Main Event tour

It happened again.

A week and a half ago, I saw New Kids on the Block again in concert. I’m not ashamed to say that this will be my fifth time seeing them. This time, The Main Event Tour included Nelly and TLC.

And it didn’t disappoint.

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My concert mates: (from left to right) S, Tee, Nic, Me

It was at the Air Canada Centre, with a great centre stage. Those kids sure do know how to play to the crowd! Of course, the day of the concert was the same day as a Toronto Blue Jay game, the Pride Parade and I’m sure a myriad of other festivals in downtown, plus it was raining, so getting there was, as expected; very challenging.

And it started early!

Nelly was set to come on stage at 7:00, and was only fashionably late. I was initially excited to see him, I mean I liked Just a Dream, Country Grammar, Ride Wit Me and of course, Hot in Herre. The crowd went crazy when he sang Dilemma, where Nelly sang his parts, and we sang Kelly Rowland’s. However, I will fully admit that there were more than a few other songs when I had no idea what he was singing.

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Nelly

Even though I wasn’t fully engaged, the girls in front of me were going crazy. And he looks good for a 40 year old!

The stadium was full by the time TLC hit the stage. And we were ready for this reunion.

I was curious to see how they would handle the absence of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who passed away in 2002 in a car accident in Honduras. And was satisfied that they didn’t do anything gimmicky, but instead just played a track with her rapping.

It didn’t leave me feeling like something was missing, and that’s what I was afraid of.

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Chilli and T-Boz
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The ACC showed their love for Waterfalls

T-Boz and Chilli rocked it. And we showed them the love. Lots of it.

They gave us everything we wanted to hear, including No Scrubs, UnPretty, Creep, What about your Friends, Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg and of course Waterfalls. It was amazing.

I think the two of them found it hard to cover the vast stage, as T-Boz rarely made it over to my side of the stadium, however, they looked great, sounded great and have me counting down to the release of a new album that they say is in the works.

It was about 9:30 when New Kids on the Block hit the stage, and it was everything we paid the price of admission for. They pumped, grinded, flexed, smiled, pointed and danced for the crowd, to the crowd and at times, even in the crowd.

These guys look good.

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There’s always a moment when I’m sure all the females in attendance, feel 16 again, whether it was during Dirty Dancing, Remix, Games, Step by Step, or for me this time, it was during I’ll be Loving You (Forever). For some reason, it brought me right back to high school.

The usual hits were belted out, and the guys gave equal time to all 12 corners of that stage. And we got to hear all the beloved and newer hits, including Block Party, My Favourite Girl, You Got It (The Right Stuff), Cover Girl, as well as some solo time for Jordan, Donnie and Joey. It was during his solo, where Joey asked the crowd if he could continue singing Please Don’t Go Girl for another 27 years!

Of course we agreed he should.

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But my favourite part of the night was the time when they did a few covers, including Biz Markie’s Just a Friend, and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations. Donnie did what he does best, by playing the crowd and asked us to help them sing it. So we sang. Then he asked if somebody knew the words and handed the mic to a girl in the front row. The ACC when bananas, after she nailed the rap of the entire first verse. You could see Donnie was impressed too!

Canadian flags were worn and waved around, girls were kissed, abs were shown, wind machines added effect, pyro technics blasted and the confetti fell (lots of it). And don’t forget, the arms definitely waved back and forth for the Hangin’ Tough finale.

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This concert was worth the price of admission. It always is.

But to me the true test of a concert is if it drives me to listen to the music after it’s over. Or even the next day? I will be honest; I wanted to listen to TLC.

In fact I still do.

So in a few years, when they announce they’re coming back in concert, will I go? Time will tell, I guess.

It’s always a good time to hang out with 20,000 other 40-year old women, screaming and remembering the good ole’ days and admiring our childhood boy band crushes. I mean they’ve all aged very well, so while they can keep going, I probably will to.

Lost and Found

Years ago, when I worked in downtown Toronto for a large financial institution, I used to commute. Before I got married, that commute was about an hour by train, and after I got married and moved just north of the city, that commute was about cut in half. No matter how long I was on that GO Train, my saving grace was my iPod.

I could drown out the sounds of people talking; the sniffling and other gross bodily noises that I didn’t want to hear, and it helped me to relax. I put it away after having the Little Bird, as I certainly didn’t need an iPod on my maternity leave. And then we moved from my in-law’s house to our own, and well, I haven’t seen it since.

I lost my job as my first mat leave was coming to an end, and then found a job much closer to home, so I haven’t taken public transportation ever since.

Yesterday, I was going through a drawer in my hall credenza and guess what I found!?

My beloved iPod!

It made me so happy. After I charged it, I tried connecting it to my computer, but sadly, I had to restore it, which meant I would lose all my old music.

I decided to see if there was another way save the music, so I called iTunes support. I laughed when hearing the automated options and realized that my iPod wasn’t one of them. I spoke to a nice lady who needed my serial number in order to even know what device I was trying to call about. And then she told me that my device’s AppleCare warranty had expired some two-thousand-plus-days ago!

I laughed and told her I didn’t need repair, I just needed help to sync it. So she walked me through it, confirming I would probably lose my old stuff, since I didn’t have that account anymore. So sadly, I synced it, said goodbye to the collection I once had.

iPod

My new collection (if that’s what you want to call it) looked sad with six songs, so thought I’d buy a couple things that I know the kids liked, and maybe we could play it in the car. So I downloaded Omi’s Cheerleader, Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again and last week’s Music Monday song from Major Lazer. I also found a couple of full albums, including British boy band The Vamps (a band they play on Family Channel all the time, that the girls seem to like) and Taylor Swift’s 1989.

The only tunes for me so far, are a few of Ricky Martin’s newer English songs that weren’t on his latest album. But I’ll continue working on my collection, and get it back to what it once was.

Until then, happy Monday! Here’s Bad Blood, one of the latest songs the kids like to belt out from the back seat!

Welcome back to my life, iPod. It’s good to have you back.

Music Monday: Lean On

Summer is meant for rolling the car windows down, and pumping the tunes. My kids love it when we put the music up and drive, wind flowing through their hair. It’s cute to watch.

The Little Bird loves when a “mix” is on the radio, when the DJ does a set of songs that blend into each other, or are mixed together. I’ll admit, I love a good mix and mash-up, but the Little Mouse gets frustrated if she can’t hear the whole song.

Especially if it’s a song that she likes.

Lately, they all have an opinion of what they like, what we should like and what song gets the coveted “put it louder” request.

Lately, from the moment this is the song we’re all humming. Even the Little Mouse knows the words to Major Lazer & DJ Snake’s Lean On (Feat. MØ), and with its catchy beat and colourful video, it gets the “put it louder” treatment in my car.

Happy Monday!