Scene: Birthday, Take: 34


I am turning another year older.

Whether this involves turning another year wiser has yet to be determined.

Entering mid-thirtysomethingdom is a lot like arriving at a party wearing a T-shirt and jeans and stepping inside to see that everyone there is in business attire. As comfortable as it feels to think you're still "young," the truth is that you've become a full-fledged adult. You're not just "a big boy now"; you're a grown-ass man who has bills to pay, health insurance to grapple with, and a crapload of other responsibilities that would make your college-age self run and hide under a pile of ramen noodles.

I have arrived at the beginning of the end of that proverbial 18-34 category, the box you check off every time you fill out one of those forms that determines where you are in life, what group you're supposed to be lumped in with. I'm considered an elder of GenY but a baby in the eyes of GenX. I can remember life before the Internet and smartphones, but I have no clue what it was like to live in an era without cable TV.

If I were to see myself as another year wiser, it would be because, looking back, I have indeed accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the past 365 days...

1. I now know that settling a couple of student loans isn't what it's cracked up to be; the IRS currently has a chokehold on my finances. The reward for paying off a debt? Pay more. (Damn you, taxes!)

2. My life hasn't crumbled into oblivion without cable. Having gone this long (one year and two months) with my newfound streaming and downloading capabilities, I am confident that I will continue to survive. So what if I'm five episodes behind on The Walking Dead -- I can binge-watch like nobody's business.

3. Never settle for well vodka.

4. And in the words of one Miss Janet Jackson, love will never do without you -- all of the people who have passed through and come into my life thus far. Love is wonderful thing (yes, I also just quoted a Michael Bolton song).

Thank you, aging process, for strengthening my perspective on things, clarifying my priorities, and motivating me to do what I need to do.

Now let's have some cake.


@TheFirstEcho


RELEASE: The 2014 Spring Playlist, Vol. 1


Tis the season to unravel those winter layers, step into the sun...and decide what to get myself for my birthday (if you're feeling generous, my Amazon Wishlist is here to help).

As we bid farewell to one bitch of a winter, take these tunes into consideration. I guarantee they'll help you get through those upcoming April showers and welcome those inevitable May flowers. Enjoy...

1. "Heartbreak Dream" by Betty Who
2. "Crying for No Reason" by Katy B
3. "Rather Be" Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne:


4. "Calling All Hearts" by DJ Cassidy feat. Robin Thicke and Jessie J
5. "Let Go For Tonight" by Foxes
6. "Latch (Radio Edit)"by Disclosure feat. Sam Smith - Better late than never: This song's been around for some time, and thankfully American radio is finally placing it in rotation. Hear and see why:


7. "Aviation High" by Semi Precious Weapons
8. "Me and My Broken Heart" by Rixton
9. "Stompa" by Serena Ryder
10. "Afraid" by The Neighbourhood
11. "My Love" by Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne
12. "Artpop" by Lady Gaga
13. "Summer" by Calvin Harris
14. "Ten Feet Tall" by Afrojack feat. Wrabel:


15. "Lifeline" by BT feat. Dragon, Jontron & Senadee
16. "Every Breath You Take" by Lea Michele and Naya Rivera
17. "Kids Again" by Example
18. "Ready for Your Love" by Gorgon City feat. MNEK
19. "The Walker" by Fitz and the Tantrums
20. "Ways to Go" by Grouplove

@TheFirstEcho


The 'Jem and the Holograms' Movie: Should We Be Concerned?


Earlier today, the director of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, John M. Chu, announced that he is planning to make a big-screen adaptation of a cult cartoon classic that ran for three years in the 80s: Jem and the Holograms. He made the announcement via YouTube along with Jason Blum, hotshot producer of hits like The Purge and the Paranormal Activity franchise, and Scooter Braun...Justin Bieber's manager.

Let those last two sentences sink in for a moment. These three dudes are clearly (and admirably, if I might add) capitalizing on a property that carries a crapload of nostalgia...and fans. However, they're asking those fans to contribute to the development of the movie -- because crowdsourcing is soooo 2014. Thankfully they're not asking for financial support -- because that would come across as an extremely douchey move since the combined income of this trio could probably finance a small country. They're just asking for our advice. Free consultation services from the public.

Some die-hards are understandably concerned, me included. And Twitter has already opened a floodgate of comments.



Should we be concerned? The Hollywood Reporter has already mentioned that the adaptation will be a modern one, taking place in the present, even though a period piece set in 1987 would clearly be more fun (if you ask me). And why should we place our collective moviergoer trust in a couple of guys who probably never understood the meaning of "Showtime Synergy" until last week?

UPDATE 4/24/14: You can now get a visual of what this thing may look like now that they've announced the cast HERE.

Judge for yourself:


*Tidbit: If you haven't guessed by now, Jem was appointment morning television for me during my early elementary school years. And I own the first season on DVD. There.

@TheFirstEcho


Theme Song of the Month: March 2014


At first glance, the on-screen chemistry between Jessie J and Robin Thicke in DJ Cassidy's "Calling All Hearts" video (courtesy of Director X) seems a bit...off. Perhaps it's because Mr. Thicke knows he can't blur any lines with Ms. J since she probably shares the same desire for Paula Patton as he does.

Regardless, this throwback-feeling jam has been helping me get my groove back Stella-style, especially as I countdown the days to my birthday (March 31, for those of you who'd like to give a shout-out on the interwebs). And I'm kind of digging the network-TV-special-from-1979 vibe of the music video.

Open the sunroof, let the spring air in, and enjoy:


@TheFirstEcho