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#TBT: That Time Katy Perry Covered Sam Sparro's "Black and Gold"


So, this really happened?

My favorite song of 2008, "Black and Gold," was apparently given the acoustic treatment one year later by a pre-Teenage Dream Katy Perry. Before any Sam Sparro purists scream "WTF?" know that this came from her Australian tour EP in 2009. And know that Adele also covered the awesomely mesmerizing pop number.


For those not familiar with the original track, here's a refresher:


@TheFirstEcho


BLOG OF THE YEAR: The 2014 Rewind


While it's easy - and understandale - for some people to bitch and moan about 2014 being a crap year, ("I'm done! Bring on 2015!") I can honestly say I loved 2014. I can't remember the last time I was this fond of a year. Maybe 1997? But if you weren't a fan of these last 365 days, then I'm sorry. Trust me, I've been there. There were times I felt like my life was stuck in a cesspool of crap from which I'd never escape, and I would roll my eyes at every shiny-happy year-in-review letter I got from friends and relatives. That said, I don't blame some of you for doing the same when you read the next paragraph...

At the end of 2013 I had wanted 2014 to deliver. And, after looking back on the last 12 months, it certainly did. It began with a winter trip to Vancouver and Whistler. It surprised with a promotion at work. ("That's MR. Manager of Creative Planning, thankyouveddymuch.") It continued with a highly memorable road trip through Chicago, Columbus, Toronto, and Montreal. It delighted with a weekend getaway in Palm Beach with my mother. And then, it wrapped up with some literary representation and dreams of a book deal in the near future. (Three rejection letters from major publishers and happily counting...)

But enough about me.

Let's get to the good stuff, the highlights of the year this pop culture junkie absolutely loved...and highly recommends you check out if you haven't already. (*Click away to see what I enjoyed in 2014.)

                     MOVIE PICKS OF 2014

                         TV PICKS OF 2014

                        MUSIC PICKS OF 2014
  @TheFirstEcho


DREAMING: The 2014 Fall Playlist, Vol. 3


For the final playlist of the year I have gathered a number of tunes that should act as the perfect soundtrack to your holiday weekend. So before y'all succumb to your food comas, make sure to sample this cornucopia of goodness...

1. "Dear Future Husband" by Meghan Trainor
2. "Got Love" by Tove Lo
3. "Teacher" by Nick Jonas
4. "Just Like Me" by Betty Who
5. "Shut Up And Dance" by Walk The Moon
6. "Dead Air" by Chvrches
7. "Style" by Taylor Swift
8. "Gladiator" by Dami Im:


9. "I Won't Let You Down" by OK Go
10. "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
11. "Under Control" by Calvin Harris feat. Hurts
12. "When We Were Young" by Dillon Francis, Sultan & Ned Sheppard:


13. "Dreaming" by The Knocks
14. "Come Alive" by Chromeo feat. Toro Y Moi
15. "Ready To Run" by One Direction
16. "What Is Love" by Kiesza
17. "Torn Apart" Bastille vs. Grades
18. "Never Been Better" by Olly Murs
19. "The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez
20. "Capsized" by You+Me
21. "Medicine" by The 1975

Listen to it all (well, except for some - cough - Taylor Swift) here on Spotify:

@TheFirstEcho


Nerdgasm of the Month: Watching the 'Jurassic World' Trailer on Repeat


"The Park Is Open."

I know what I'll be doing all Thanksgiving weekend long...

Watching this trailer over and over and over and over...

[in my best John Hammond voice] Behold, and welcome to Jurassic World:


TLC's "Creep" Just Turned 20 Years Old


File this under: Holy Crap, I'm Old.

One of the songs that defined most of my high school experience turned 20 on Halloween last month (it was officially released as a single back on October 31, 1994). It was a track prominently featured during several school dances I attended during my freshman year at Iona Prep in the suburbs of New York.

I hear this song, and I can't help but flashback to baggy Tommy Hilfiger jeans, Timberland boots, and plaid flannel shirts on Friday nights.

And, to this day, I still can't get enough of it.


@TheFirstEcho


Call My Agent: The Age of Literary Representation


It feels like I have entered a new stage of my life here in Los Angeles.

The reason: I now have literary representation. I have an agent. I now have "people." People who can talk to your people. I'm one of the many many folks in this town who rely on individuals to pimp out their creative work and then wait by their iPhones to hear the latest developments and be on the receiving end of numerous rejections.

This was the day my 22-year-old self had been waiting for. It's the first step towards what I hope will be many more steps.

However, it wasn't quite the experience I had envisioned for myself.

The whole process wasn't as glamorous as one would expect. There was no glass-walled conference room with me seated at one end and a team of suits on the other with nothing but a fruit and muffin platter between us. No champagne corks were popped. No hands were shaken.

Everything all came together...over email. There were a few phone calls. And then, three days of trying to decipher the terms of my contract and one signature later, it became official.

Regardless of how it all went down, I'm happy that, after nearly a year of putting together the pieces of my book, I finally have someone who believes in me and wants to get my writing seen by every publisher possible. I like to think that my 26-page proposal will be enticing enough to throw a few offers my way (the dream of anyone working on their first book).

And the work shall continue. Only six of my twenty chapters are complete. I still got a ways to go, so if you don't see me out and about for the next two or three months, please know that I am probably holed up in some cafe or in the shadows of my bedroom, isolating myself in order to finish my non-fiction endeavor. (For those who have asked: it's part memoir, part satire on health and lifestyle guides. I'll let you know more the more I know it's closer to becoming a reality.)

Thank you, Garson & Wright.

Fingers crossed and reaching high,

@TheFirstEcho