My current obsession: Pentatonix.

TL;DR: Favorite videos below, new Pentatonix album October 16th.

I’ve known of Pentatonix (an a cappella group who takes a cappella to a whole new level) for a few years now, ever since I came across their cover of “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye (video below). I loved their cover and thought all of them were exceptionally talented but didn’t really look into them at the time. A few days ago I heard their new song “Can’t Sleep Love” (video below) and found out they have a new album coming out on October 16th that I believe is going to be predominately originals. My understanding is the regular version of the new album is all originals but the deluxe version has a few covers added to it. Most of their other albums have been covers with a few originals here and there. So, over the last few days I have been checking out their videos on YouTube and I have bought a ton of their stuff from iTunes. I. am. addicted. I am so impressed with their talent and drive. It astounds me that Avi and Kevin can do the entire rhythm section with just their voices. I think they all have amazing voices that mesh so well together that I think they could sing just about anything. With each of their individual talents I think they are the perfect five people to be doing what they are doing. The more I look into their stuff the more impressed I am. Here are some of my favorite videos I have come across so far.

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This is one of my absolute favorites. It’s an original of theirs from their album PTX, Vol II. I can’t believe there are no instruments except for their voices. I would never have guessed this was all done a cappella if I had just heard it on the radio. I love Mitch’s vocals. I keep giving myself a headache trying to sing his high parts.

Here is an original from their new album, Pentatonix,  that will be out on October 16th. I can’t stop listening to both of these songs.

Here is “Hey Momma/Hit The Road Jack” from their performance on The Queen Latifah Show from 2013. This song is on PTX, Vol. II. “Hey Momma” is an original song mashed up with “Hit The Road Jack”. I love Scott’s vocals on this song. I am just totally in love with this performance. This is one you definitely want to listen to with good headphones.

Here is another one from the new album that I can’t stop listening to. This is a cover song that is only on the deluxe version of the new album.

Here is another cover song from the deluxe version of the new album. I cannot wait for this to come out so I can hear all the rest of the original songs. I’m so excited!!!

Here is a live version of “Aha!” (an Imogen Heap cover that’s on PTX, Vol. 1) with Christus Factus Est. as an intro. There is an original video (which I posted at the end of the blog) for this but I like the live video better. Mitch kills it. I may have to do a blog dedicated to just the live versions of this song because Mitch leaves me speechless. There are two more live versions I’ve added to the end of this blog because I couldn’t decide which to post. I think I forgot to breathe while I was watching this one.

Here is them doing a Michael Jackson medley.

Here is the Gotye cover from PTX, Vol. 1.

They won a Grammy for this Daft Punk Medley from PTX, Vol. II.

Here is a cover of Ariana Grande’s song “Problem” that’s on PTX, Vol. III.

Here is their cover of “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis from PTX, Vol. II.

Here is “La La Latch” a Sam Smith/Disclosure/Naughty Boy Mashup from PTX, Vol. III.

Here is “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Carol Of The Bells”. I have always loved both of these songs and they did an awesome job covering them. “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” is on their platinum selling album That’s Christmas To Me and “Carol Of The Bells” is on PTXmas.

Here is Mitch and Scott, who have their own YouTube channel called Superfruit, doing a medley of hip-hop songs sung as if it were a Broadway musical. This cracks me up. I love it. NSFW.

Here is Mitch and Scott covering a Nicki Minaj/Beyoncé song. I love how versatile they are in what they sing.

Here is them doing a Beyoncé medley. I absolutely love both of their voices. I wish I could buy this somewhere.

Here is the whole group doing a medley for the evolution of music.

Here is their cover of “Gangnam Style” by PSY.

Here is a cover of a french song (originally done by Stromae) they did with Lindsey Stirling. This is one of the few songs that isn’t completely a cappella. It features Lindsey on violin and Kevin on cello. If you want to see more of Kevin playing cello while beatboxing check out his YouTube Channel. If you aren’t familiar with Lindsey Stirling you should definitely check her out too. This song is on PTX, Vol. III.

Here they are doing a cover of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.

Here is their cover of “Starships” by Nicki Minaj that is on PTX, Vol. 1.

Here is a short video showcasing Avi’s ridiculously low bass notes on their original song “Natural Disaster”. He has hit bass notes so low that he has blown out speakers with just his voice. This shows a comparison of the studio version from PTX, Vol. II and the live version that was a half step down. It is best to listen with headphones. This is not the show where he blows out the speakers but it sounds like he might have come close.

More live versions of “Aha!”.

The original video for “Aha!”.

That’s all for now. I’m sure there will be more videos I’ll post later.

-Amber

Stef Sanjati, gender identity and Waardenburg Syndrome.

I just came across this YouTuber and I really liked these videos and wanted to share them here. The first one is sort of a performance art piece. She is reading a poem she wrote about a bad break up while doing a make up transformation. It’s amazing. Explaining it is not going to do it justice, just watch it. The second video is her explaining Waardenburg Syndrome. The rest of the videos deal more with gender identity and show how her views have changed over time. There are more videos but I’m not going to post them all here. She is a professional make up artist and has a lot of make up tutorial videos on her channel as well. She is only 19 but I am thoroughly impressed with her intelligence, her outlook on life and how well she expresses herself. Check her out.

Here is an extra video I’m adding because it’s really cute and funny.

I’m adding these next two videos because I love how great her parents are. I wish everyone had such understanding parents. I’m used to hearing such horror stories about how people’s families react when someone comes out that this is really inspirational to see.

-Amber

Meeting Tokio Hotel Cleveland, Ohio House of Blues August 9, 2015.

Check out the photos and the videos I took at the show. Click on the photos to make them larger. I am aware that they are only slightly different but I wanted to post all three. Let me know if any of them show up upside down. I had that problem earlier on mobile devices. It looked fine on my computer but when I pulled it up on my phone the photos were upside down. Not sure why. I think I fixed it but I’m not sure what the problem was in the first place so I’m not sure. It works fine on my phone now.

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Me and Tokio Hotel (before the show) August 9, 2015 House of Blues Cleveland, OH L to R: Georg Listing, Tom Kaulitz, Me, Bill Kaulitz, Gustav Schäfer
Me and Tokio Hotel
Me and Tokio Hotel (after the show, Tom took the photo with my cell phone) August 9, 2015 House of Blues Cleveland, OH L to R: Georg Listing, Tom Kaulitz, Me, Bill Kaulitz, Gustav Schäfer
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Me and Tokio Hotel (after the show) August 9, 2015 House of Blues Cleveland, OH L to R: Georg Listing, Tom Kaulitz, Me, Bill Kaulitz, Gustav Schäfer

I had such an awesome time at the Tokio Hotel show. The show was great, the fans were great, and Tokio Hotel was just awesome. They are the sweetest guys. I got to meet them before and after the show. The first picture was taken before the show and the other two were taken after the show. I wish I had been allowed to bring in my actual video camera to film the show but I got a few videos with my phone that didn’t turn out too bad. Enjoy. :-)

If you go subscribe to my YouTube Channel I will love you forever. :-)

Here and here are other blog posts about Tokio Hotel.

-Amber

My Guest Post on DGC-Adam Lambert and Tommy Joe Ratliff “Adommy” moments.

I have mentioned Cecilia Tan and Daron’s Guitar Chronicles before. Here is the blog about it. Because Cecilia is contracted to write two novels at the same time she hasn’t had enough time to post twice a week to DGC. The solution she came up with was that she would post on Tuesdays and she would let fans post something related on Thursdays. It’s been really fun to see what the fans have come up with to post over the last 4 months. We are just about done with the fan posts and will be going back to ctan posting twice a week again. I decided to do a post about Adam Lambert and Tommy Joe Ratliff. Check out my fan post by clicking the link below.

My fan post on Daron’s Guitar Chronicles.

If you are interested in reading DGC the link below is where to  start.

Daron’s Guitar Chronicles-Start Here.

Thank you for checking it out.

-Amber

Learning German and free college.

Due to my obsession with Tokio Hotel, I have been learning German. I have been using Duolingo, Pimsleur, and Rosetta Stone, as well as song lyrics (of course) and watching videos on YouTube.

If you want to learn a new language I highly recommend Duolingo, which is free. They have a website and an app you can use. I recommend using the website for learning new skills and the app for practice. You can use just the app (or just the website) but the website has more detailed information to help you learn that the app doesn’t have. Duolingo has gamified the learning process which makes it fun and helps you to stay motivated. Duolingo has really helped with my reading comprehension. Pimsleur, which is all audio based, has helped with my listening and speaking skills. I haven’t used Rosetta Stone enough to have formed an opinion on it (I have only spent about 5 hours on RS so far) but I can say Rosetta Stone doesn’t really have anything going to keep you motivated to do it. I would say start off with Duolingo and add Pimsleur after you have learned a bit of the vocabulary. Pimsleur recommends you use their software without knowing how to read anything in the language you are trying to learn but for the way I learn I’m happy my reading comprehension was pretty good, at least for the basic vocabulary, before I started Pimsleur. I plan on doing a review comparing all three of these when I finish them. Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone let you try out their software on their websites to see if you like it before you buy it and Duolingo is completely free to use.

Now on to free college. Germany now offers free college to everyone, including international students. And there are some degrees taught completely in English. Check out these videos.

The video below is by one of the YouTubers I watch to help me learn German. The video is in English.

And here is the link he talks about for looking up classes in English. DAAD

Here is another YouTuber I like for learning German. In the next two videos she describes how to make some of the sounds that the German language has that English doesn’t. I’m still working on my pronunciation for the R sounds.

-Amber