Feelin' the Glee

If you haven't noticed, I am big fan of the show Glee. Most people may see it as a teeny-bopper type of show about a Glee Club....but to me, I love the storyline, the characters, and of course, the music! (Whenever it comes on, I feel like I become 16 years old all over again and giggle just like a schoolgirl!) The music in itself is amazing....so much so that I am always wondering who arranges those show-stoppers. (For the record, it's Adam Anders.)

This show has reminded me of the importance of music and reaching for my goals in life, two things I am finally finding my way with right now. Having that constant reminder that being a part of something special makes you special, I take those words to heart when I encounter new goals and projects in my life. And so far, the ride has been spectacular!

But putting all of that aside, I decided as a treat with the season premiere coming up, this week's top ten are the songs that I think would be great to hear on the show Glee. And in addition to adding those songs, who I think should sing them and a little explanation as to why.

1) Cowboy by Kid Rock - I think it goes without saying that this just screams Puck! First off, he has that whole badass persona to keep up, as well as looking sexy with a guitar. We saw the more tender side last season with Beth and his affection towards Quinn....but I think I miss the rough and tumble side of Puck! Definitely need to stop showing all this affection and get back to what really makes his character so damn awesome to begin with. And who better to channel that badassness through this song but him?

2) Lucky by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat - Even though they have sang sooooo many of the duets, what's one more to add to Finn/Rachel list? This song. As they get older, there's going to be college searches and possible long-distance relationships. I don't necessarily see Finn in NYC with Rachel when they both go to college, but I do see a lot of working Therefore, this song is a perfect fit for the slightly mismatched, yet perfect pair. (On a side note, I did hear that this one is possibly being used in an upcoming episode....just not with Finn and Rachel singing it.)

3) She's Out Of My Life by Michael Jackson - Will seems to always have a pull to Emma in the show, but I wonder what he would sing if he didn't end up with Emma? Well, at least in the beginning of this season anyway. And this song popped into my head. Emma seems adamant about being in this new relationship with her dentist and instead of shying away from it, I see her moving towards it. I want to see Will regretting some of his previous decisions with women and really understanding what it means to have Emma gone. Not to mention, this song is absolutely amazing.

4) Picture by Kid Rock & Sheryl Crow - Tina & Artie are not given as much face time as the other big Glee couples, but their relationship is certainly an interesting one as well. It makes me a little sad that I will not see them together at the beginning of this season (due to Artie's lack of performing boyfriend duties), but I have hope for them yet. So in turn, when both of them are trying to be with different people to give one another space, I would love to see Tina & Artie have a moment of clarity that all they want is one another. And what better way for it to happen but when they come across a memory that makes them reconsider their feelings?

5) Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin - I love Mercedes and her powerhouse voice! And I wanna hear more "Chocolate Thunder" in this upcoming season, which is where this jewel comes from. Mercedes should find her way into a relationship and sing this song about said male suitor. I want to see her diva side come out in a subtler way....singing about a man who makes her feel like she can be exactly who she is. We see her pursue her fashionable male BFF and then be pursued by a womanizing smooth-talker. I would love to see the other characters on the show, like Mercedes, be in positive relationships.

6) I Wish The Best For You by Emerson Hart - Finn & Quinn's relationship should be addressed this season....gain the closure that it so desperately needs. Because when it comes to these two, we didn't really see them interact after everything happened with the Quinn/Puck betrayal. In Glee Club, they barely said two words to one another and even less outside of the club. With the previews that have shown Quinn trying to pursue Finn, it got me thinking about how there is still lots of tension between these two....and it should be resolved through song.

7) You've Got A Friend by James Taylor - Ah, yes! A cheesy, but amazing group number for the club....one that focuses on how no matter what happens, they are friends. And come on, it's James Taylor! Need I say more?

8) Piece of My Heart by Janis Joplin - Quinn is not featured in the songs nearly as much as she should, but I would really love to see her breakout and get a little more rockified with this number. And Janis couldn't say it any better! She seems to be going through a lot of transitions in this show, from Finn to Puck and having to deal with her feelings on the both of them. I'm sure she still has feelings for Finn, despite her cheating, and for Puck, despite his player ways. I feel like she should reach the point where enough is enough and she just sings about the guys in her life just breaking her heart....urging them to just go through with it and toughen her up even more. 

9) The Only Exception by Paramore - Santana always tends to come off as a bitch on the show, yet I would like to see a little more humanity from her. I'm sure the whole Quinn/Puck ordeal really bothers her, especially since she has had quite a few trysts with Puck throughout the season. Therefore, this song has caught my attention....yet maybe not for her to sing to Puck. There's so much talk about Santana and Brittany and their relationship, why not have this song as a way for Santana to express to Brittany how despite how much she refuses to let others in, Brittany is the only one who really sees her for who she is. 

10) I'm Not Okay (I Promise) by My Chemical Romance - This last one was really difficult to come up with, but still an important one all the same. I always see Kurt getting kicked down and frustrated with life, so I think he needs to break out of his shell and really speak out on how he feels! It would be a major deviation from his normal repertoire, but I really believe he could pull the song off with class and vigor!


Glee is an iconic show of our time. Here's to another two seasons of epic characters, storylines, and of course, music!

~Jenny Rockstar


what do you say to giving second chances....

Let's get one thing straight: when it's comes to music that sounds like it uses quite a bit of synthesizers and technology....it is a major turn-off. Frankly, I abhor it, because real music to me uses real instruments and has a more garage-like feel. Or at least that's how I feel when it comes to rock. It's probably why I am deeply attracted to the classic rock era of music....it's the closest to raw talent that I have listened to in a while.

So it surprised me when my fave fab NYC couple Team Stewart presented me with the album suggestion Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix. Definitely listening to my ideas of breaking out of my proverbial music shell, I diligently searched through YouTube archives to locate the suggested songs. Before the experience, I was super reluctant to give this album a try, as I would continually pass over it when I saw it on the racks at Target. Nothing about the album grabbed me....not even the rather plain album cover. Yes, in this instance, before even giving the band a chance, I automatically wrote them off as one of those emo bands with which they shared the shelf. 

But in an effort to keep up with my musical journey, I gave the band a listen while I caught up on my e-mails and Facebook updates. What surprised me the most while the faint strains of "Lisztomania" came through my computer speakers was an electronic/rock feel that the music seemed to embody. As I stated earlier, I don't really care for such an over-produced sound....yet I started to really enjoy the music. It has more than just that synthesized feel, more than just a bunch of produced sounds used to create something enjoyable....there is an element of actual instrumentation mixed in with all the technology. 

Kinda excited about the first selection, I promptly located the next selection they gave me, "1901," and clicked play. Even more interesting was that I thoroughly enjoyed the second selection as well....making me excited for finding "Fences" and playing that selection as well. Of course, I was just as surprised at that song as I was with the previous two....especially since all songs used an element of music that I never really considered "music" before! 

After giving the three selections a listen, I realized the importance of learning more about the different genres of music. It is imperative to give every type of music some sort of chance before you give up on it. A 'second chance,' if you will. Even though I found a more technologically produced sound to be not as aesthetically pleasing to the ear....adding in that element of actual instrumentation created a sound that surprised and intrigued me. In general, the music definitely reflected Team Stewart....a fashionista-type of garage rock. (So much so that I have purchased the album and it has been in heavy rotation in my car's cd player!) 

Music....can certainly surprise you. In ways that make you feel almost blind-sided and thrown. But I enjoy the feeling, because sometimes being pleasantly surprised makes you start to appreciate what you're listening to. Even contemplating giving a particular genre of music another chance, that's truly magical. 

~Jenny Rockstar


Sometimes sharing really means more than caring....

It has been said that journeys are often more enjoyable when you have someone to share it with....... 

Now, whether or not I agree with that statement is questionable. I think it really depends on what kind of journey one is taking. If it's one of self-reflection....maybe that's better left for just yourself. Sometimes, it's important to keep some experiences just for yourself, so you can remember just how hard you worked alone on that solo path to reach the destination. But not all journeys are better left for one person. When there are those moments that you watch a sunrise or see something mind-blowing occur, it's always nice to be there with another person who takes in that very moment with you. 

So far, my music experiences have been best shared with friends and loved ones. I can remember excursions in college to many live shows, being handed an album by a band that I had never heard of (and being told to listen to it), even educating those around me about new music for them to include in their own collection. 

As I continue down this musical journey that I started, what I've enjoyed is that even though I sometimes take the path alone, I have even more points along the way where I can share more than just my feelings on the music with everyone....I can share the experience itself.

While Matt has contributed a few suggestions of his own, he became interested in my project when he read a few of the suggestions that I had come across....especially one that he had given me on a whim. During the summer, while performing a solo show at a country club, one drunken bar patron had requested to hear the song Taxi by Harry Chapin. Not knowing the song and still in the middle of performing Cat's in the Cradle, Matt tried to appease the patron to the best of his ability, assuring he would learn it if there was time. 

Later on, as we drove home, that very request came up in conversation. I had never heard the song before. Hell, I knew next to nothing about Harry Chapin! His music has never made it onto my ipod, nor did I care enough to learn more about him. Then again, a lot of the music that has been given to me so far has been music that at one point or another, I didn't really care to know more about. So in an effort to continue expanding my musical education (as well as learn more about Harry Chapin), I added the song Taxi to my list. Hopefully, I'd get the chance to have a listen within the next few days or so. And then the funniest thing happened....

Matt offered to be there to listen to the song with me. I had spent so much time focusing on how I would react to the music that I forgot how others would interpret it. And so, on a day off from all shows and work, Matt and I sat in our apartment as I located the intended track and hit play. 

The song itself is about a cab driver who inadvertently runs into a past love as his last cab ride of the night. While at first she claims not to know who he is, when she sees his face, they reminisce and talk about their lives. As Chapin continues singing, he realizes that in going their separate ways both of them changed so much in the process that years down the line, there was no hope for any reconciliation....small price to pay for pursuit of their own disillusioned dreams. 

It was touching, realistic, and sad....the way most romantic relationships do end. There was no talk of closure, no epic moment. Just the idea that when you do see someone who used to know you so well, you may as well have been strangers for all the time that has passed. Because when it's all said and done, what else is there to share? 

I don't know if Matt truly looked into the song for deeper meaning, but I do know that both of us really enjoyed the song at face value. Chapin's storytelling ability is quite simple and moving, which is exactly how most songs that tell a story should go. Music should not always be complicated, but sometimes share a moment with us. It can be so hard to follow and appreciate a song that doesn't have real meaning, no structure, and no sense of connection to the audience. But a story....always goes a long way. 

~Jenny Rockstar


these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you....

I know I've been lax lately on the whole writing thing, but with lack of time on my hands, it's been a constant push to even have the time to write in the first place. Fortunately, with all moving done and a day to process everything that has happened in the past week, I decided to take a quick break from writing about music and talk about one of my other loves in life: New York City.

Ever since I could remember, my family would love taking trips into Manhattan and having the chance to do fun things. Whether it be a Broadway show, Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree, or celebrate an event with dinner, taking that 30-minute trek into the Big Apple always made me giddy with excitement and wonder. Even when I started working at Columbia Business School, I loved taking my time strolling down the streets, letting the familiar sounds of yellow cab car horns and random conversations fill me up with a sense of calm....as well as partaking in some of the most diverse cuisines one could ever find! It's like it has a personality of its very own....and when you've left it, it never leaves you.

Where else can you find Little Italy and Chinatown right next to one another? 
One day, you could venture Uptown and hang around the Columbia University scene while the next, you could head down to the Village for some great dive clubs and original artists.
Attending the Ballet or an Opera can be done on short notice with a student id. 
On certain days, front row tickets to a Broadway show could be trumped by eating pretzels in Central Park or walking the Brooklyn Bridge on a Sunday afternoon. 
Crossing the street and walking past a celebrity or two is not uncommon. 
It's a fashion mecca, a music scene, and a financial gateway all in one! 
Depending on your interest, New York has a little something for everyone. 

I once read somewhere that "When you leave New York, you ain't goin' nowhere." Now, for some it could mean the sense that you're leaving a place that can bring you further than any other place you've imagined, yet I take it as meaning that no matter how hard you try to walk away from it, New York tends to grow on you....always taking a piece of your heart in the process.

With that being said, last night, on kinda last minute notice, I visited a friend or two in the city for a night out. And as I boarded NJ Transit, I felt a sense of giddiness that I had not felt in a long time! It felt like I was returning to some familiar home, although that home is full of smelly garbage and people that will run you over on the sidewalk without so much as a backwards glance. But I didn't care. I felt like a kid on Christmas, surrounded by shimmering lights and the promise that maybe in my recent craziness of trying to make something of myself, I could accomplish anything that I dreamed of. 

Walking those city blocks, sharing some coffee talk in one of the many Starbucks around Manhattan, pushing my way through the crowds that clamor to reach the subway stairs....I felt at home. Sure, living at the beach has become my favorite home so far, but New York City will always hold that piece of my heart. Though it can be hard, cruel, and spit you out at the mere thought of kindness, I admire its tenacity and strength to keep going. One could argue that NYC has a personality of its very own, but it's up to the person who walks through it to figure out how they mesh with it.

As a new goal for this year, I want to start spending more time in my other home. As a way to further my progress on myself, I need that sense of home to re-connect with passion and drive on new levels. It was Dr. James Hillman who wrote "you come to New York to find the ambiance that will evoke your best." Whether or not that's true, I have yet to see. But I do know one thing: I need New York to bring Jenn the writer out of her shell even more. 

~Jenny Rockstar

****On a side note, I would also like to take this time to remember that today is September 11th, a day that will always ring strong with every New Yorker, American, and any individual who was affected by its impact. Even after nine years, I can still remember where I was, what I was doing, and every emotion that went through me as I struggled to deal with the repercussions of the actions. What it taught me is that no matter what people do to try and hurt us, standing up proudly against injustice and intolerance is important. 

While I know that as a nation, we still struggle with Islam and the ability to see past what Bin Laden did....showing tolerance and kindness to others is more important than pointing fingers at an entire culture of individuals because of a terrorist group and their crazy leader. I'm tired of all the fighting and backlashes that 9/11 produced in the process. Why can't we, as a nation, use our mind and exercise kindness and compassion to prove that in the end, Bin Laden did not win? Showing that despite his horrible, malicious actions, we still embrace and encourage freedom to all who desire it. That is how we truly win and stand as a nation.

But today is also a time to remember those who gave their lives today. All 2,977 victims. Their memories will live on, reminding us that the cost of our freedom isn't free, yet we cannot repair the damage with lashing out at others. For any American or individual who embraces the ability to be who you want to be, stand strong today (and every day). Enjoy life to the fullest and never forget what we sacrifice and the lessons we learn from it.****