New Tracks Tuesday - June 30, 2015

Wow, I wanted to review so many of this week's new releases! I originally had a short-list of 10, but pared it down a bit. Here are my thoughts for the week!

“Liquor” – Chris Brown
I initially felt like I was going to need a drink to get through this track. Unfortunately, I don’t think gin and juice is going to make this song sound any better to me. Is Chris Brown ill? Because in “Liquor”, he sounds like an under-the-weather adolescent whose vocal chords are coated with egg yolk. Though the unnatural and uncomfortable auto-tuned vibrato lends to the idea of being tipsy after a night out, we can’t blame the alcohol on this lame song. D+



“Simple Things” – Miguel
Though “Simple Things” popped up on the R&B radar last year, it appears as a bonus track on Miguel’s new album, Wildheart, and deserves some extra exposure. With its repetitious melody, this song is, as it says in the title, is simple. At the same time, though, it maintains a unique, subtle elegance through its timeless love-plea tone. Miguel’s smooth voice paired with the humming strums of electric guitar and swelling synths gives this song a dynamic pulse that positions itself as a standalone masterpiece. A



“Morning Sun” – Robin Thicke
Oh Lord. Help us. How do I describe this cookie cutter, reverse Barry White tune? Well, how’s this: You know those cheesy late-90’s romcoms, where the guy and the girl are on their third date at the guy’s apartment for dinner? And after they eat by candlelight, the girls tip toes to the guy’s study and curiously peruses his book selection, while the guy sneakily pours two glasses of red wine, and puts on a mood setter song and dims the lights, then starts approaching the girl seductively with his wine, all while trying to be suave by shoulder dancing to the tune? Yea. That sleazy guy would put on this song. It’s cheesy. Skip it. C-



By the way, here’s what I meant by shoulder dancing.  


“Weight in Gold” – Gallant
“Weight in Gold” is what Robin Thicke wishes “Morning Sun” sounded like. The falsetto verses juxtaposed with powerhouse choruses and dramatic vocal breaks will make you want to run to your secret crush’s house and profess your love on his lawn! This song is a perfect example of soulful, modern R&B. I hope to hear more from Gallant very soon! A- (Not on YouTube yet; Available on Spotify)

“Eyes Shut” – Years & Years
This British trio has been performing this song for a little while, but it will finally appear on their debut studio album, Communion, next month (July 10)! The pleasing harmonies and indie feel makes you feel like you’re watching the closing scene of a dramatic episode of Grey’s Anatomy (P.S. Whoever chooses the sound track for that show better be getting paid big bucks, because he/she have done a FANTASTIC job!). Earworm of the Week, A



Too Cute Beyond Words: “Los Angeles” – the bird and the bee (Not on YouTube yet; Available on Spotify)

My last post made a liar out of me (a.k.a How I ended up in NYC this weekend)

Snapped this fish eye of the view from our room
Last Friday, I posted a sweet little blog about my goals that I wanted to accomplish this weekend. Yea…..that was all a lie. Didn’t finish one thing. Instead, I took an impromptu trip to NYC to celebrate a friend Josh’s birthday/NYC pride. It was a fast and furious turn of events that has left me struggling to keep my eyes open and form coherent sentences at work this morning. To say I’m exhausted is an understatement.

Since I’ve moved into the District, sticking to a strict budget has been vital. As a result of all the moving expenses, money is tight. So when friends presented the idea a few weeks back for an NYC birthday bash, I was like:


I decided early on that I most likely wouldn’t be able to make it because I needed to save money. But they did plan on having a pre-NYC birthday dinner for him on Friday before everyone would leave the next day, so we made sure to make it there to celebrate. After the fun beach-themed party, I got home, and, immediately, booked a bus ticket to NYC. I couldn’t resist.
Saturday afternoon, I hopped on a bus, headed up to NYC, and partied! I don’t know if you heard, but a little thing happened last Friday at the Supreme Court. Marriage equality is the law of the land now. Needless to say, NYC was the epicenter of gayness: Pride/Marriage Equality/Birthday Celebration. And it was AWESOME. 

I only planned on staying one night. My friends split a hotel room between everyone, so it was tight, cozy, and fun. Since I had work today, I booked the return trip for yesterday afternoon, so I was only able to make it to one pride event on Saturday night, the “University” WE Party at the Hammerstein Ballroom. To explain WE Party would be difficult. So I’ll make bullet point descriptions:

-3,000 shirtless guys who all have the body of Channing Tatum
-Nerd, Jock, Cheerleader, Teacher, Coach-themed costumes
-6 thundering mega Masterbeat speakers surrounding the theatre blasting beats by Sagi Kariv and Mickey Friedmann
-Entering at night (midnight)/Leaving at daylight (6:30 a.m.)
-Insanity

The night was indescribable. I crashed around 7:30 a.m., and then woke up at 11:00 a.m. to head out and eat with friends before the 4:00 p.m. bus left for D.C. This made the weekend feel even more like a crazy whirlwind. Tight turnarounds like that knock me out for days. After eating incredible Thai, I had a cheesecake at The Bread Factory, then headed home. 


Right when I got to DC (around 10:00 p.m.), I ran over to Ben’s Chili Bowl, got some hot dogs, then ate and watched Big Brother. This morning was hell getting up at 6 a.m. All I’m dreaming about (almost literally dreaming about) is going to back to bed. I need it so bad!

My apologies for this frenetic and poorly written post, but I just wanted to share that I’m a liar and that NONE of my goals in my last post were met. My sincerest apologies. Happy Monday.

-Dayne

Dayne's Weekend Goals

Another week has come and gone! Time to relax for the weekend and enjoy myself. Recently I feel that if I don’t have weekend plans, but time will be spent sitting in front of the couch, both binge watching and binge eating. So to combat my innate laziness, I will set three goals for the weekend.

1. Finish Fifty Shades Freed: I have had this book in my bag for a couple months now. It’s been a slow and painful read to get through, but I promised myself I will finish it! Goal: Finish this awful book so I can start on All The Light We Cannot See

2. Start running again: Since I’ve made the jump over the Potomac into the District, I have been slacking in the gym/running area. Goal: Take a run from home to the Lincoln Memorial, and back

3. Take thoughtful pictures: I feel like my camera is full of unimpressive selfies, pictures of food (in bad lighting), and blurry drunken bar pics. Goal: On my run, stop a couple times along the way and take photos of some beautiful shots of the District

So, there are my goals for the weekend! Now I won’t feel so bad binge eating/watching, especially after taking a long run beforehand. Do you have any weekend goals/plans? Let me know down below.

Have a GREAT weekend!


-Dayne

New Tracks Tuesday

Welcome to the inaugural New Tracks Tuesday. I recap what you need to know about this week's new music releases!

“Good For You” – Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez is back! Not sure if that’s “good for you”, but she’s back! Despite what the title of her new single may say, “Good For You” is one to skip out on. Simply stated, it is a B-version knockoff of a Lana Del Rey song. Here’s how I can spot a faux-LDR tune from a mile away: 1.) Mention of a cute little dress, 2.) The use of the phrase “real nice” multiple times. LDR is the queen of “real nice.” Don’t rip her off. 3.) Last, but NOT least, pronouncing the word “good” as “geww-yuhd.” You can practically see SG trying to imitate LDR's famous duck lips when you hear her say “good.” C

“Vintage” – High Drive Heart
It is extremely difficult to make an original love song, nowadays. Despite this fact, I have the utmost admiration and respect for artists and groups who write a SIMPLE message but present it in an original way. They take a cookie cutter love song what we’ve heard before, but lay it out in an incredible arrangement. High Drive Heart’s “Vintage” is a mixture of the harmonies found in Pitch Perfect, Americana banjos, and a dash of rap. If you’re looking for a fun song for the summer, look no further. Earworm of the Week, A-

“E-MO-TION” – Carly Rae Jepson
“E-MO-TION” was selected as a promo single for Carly Rae Jepson’s upcoming album. Unfortunately, the song did bring a rise of any emotions out of me. Voice-filtering is a bit heavy-handed. With lackluster lyrics like, “In your fantasy, dream about me”, “You and me in the dark right now”, and “This emotion, you feel it”, I wasn’t feeling it. Skip out on this forgettable track. C-

“I Was Made For You” – Tori Kelly (feat. Ed Sheeran)
Tori Kelly is one of the hottest up-and-coming artists this year. Her following is growing exponentially, and the reason is because her music is great! This duet ballad with Ed Sheeran is soft and understated, but grows with its crescendoing background choir (I have a soft spot for chorals). Basically, I would walk down the aisle to this song. Check it out immediately. A

“No Sleeep” – Janet Jackson
Like SG, Janet is BACK! Where has she been???? So pumped and excited for her new album that’s coming out later this year. Anyways, “No Sleeep” is admittedly a sleepy song, but it’s not bad. I feel like if I was a bit buzzed off a nice cabernet sauvignon in a classy, half empty, U Street bar on a rainy Thursday evening after work…I’d be down to slowly sway to this song, with my eyes closed, looking like a fool with my head titled back to the side. THAT’S what this song is like. I give it this week’s Could Grow On Me award. B

Too Cute Beyond Words: “Biscuits” – Kacey Musgraves

“Ew! You’re gross!” (a.k.a. My first encounter with bigotry….)

I’m not one to publicly voice my opinions about social issues or throw my lifestyle and ideals in other peoples’ faces, but an incident occurred a couple days ago that has really been bothering me, and I have to release my feelings. I’m not sure how I feel exactly, but I know something is going on inside me and I need to talk this out.

Since I came out, back in 2011, I have not really experience any blatant instances of homophobia or have been in a situation where I felt uncomfortable or targeted because of my sexuality. I have been relatively blessed in that area of my life. While I have not gone through it, I am fully aware of the young kids, adults, and even elderly individuals who have to handle ignorance, threats, and even violence, on a daily basis because of who they are. This incident that I will recount is very VERY small when it involves the degree of its influence. Almost insignificant. But it has really affected me in a way that I never would have expected.

Last Monday, a friend gave me a shirt from DC Pride, which took place last weekend. It was one size too big for him, so he gave it to me. It was a super cute tee that read “I <3 Nice Jewish Boys.” Granted, neither my friend nor I practice Judaism, but it was an adorable shade of creamsicle (one of my FAV colors), so I couldn’t resist the gift! Later that afternoon, he asked if I wanted to go to the grocery store with him. Harris Teeter is just a couple blocks away, and it was a beautiful day outside, so I quickly changed out of my work clothes, threw on my new, cute tee, and tagged along for the walk.

We had only gotten as far as one block and had to stop and wait at a crosswalk until we had the signal to cross the street (DAMN DC TRAFFIC!). After a few seconds, the red-stop-hand turned into a walking-go-man, so we began to cross the street. About 15 feet ahead of us, I noticed an approaching bicyclist. He looked to be about mid-thirties, in khakis and a polo, probably biking home after work. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that his eyes were locked-in on my tee. I was a bit flattered at first! I can be narcissistic at times, so I automatically enjoyed the attention I was getting for my super adorable tee! After he passed us, he immediately turned around and yelled, “Ew! You’re gross!”

I. Was. Stunned. My narcissism immediately dissolved into embarrassment and mortification. Then I turned into “Defensive Dayne” and laughed it off as if it was nothing. Then I was “Angry Dayne” and wanted to teach him a lesson. Then I transitioned into “Sad Dayne” and wanted someone to comfort me. All of this was occurring within five seconds of the ignorant comment. To quote Ron Burgandy, I felt like I was in a glass case of emotion!

I have to admit, my exposure to real bigotry has been really limited so far in my life. Let me remind you that I’m aware this incident is extremely petty and small when compared to actual hate crimes that are committed against members of the LGBTQ and other minority communities. But still, for a brief moment, that coward on the bike made me feel lesser than. Out of nowhere he took control and power over my self-worth, my pride, my feelings, and my security, and he squashed them. I was outraged! This is going to sound so cliché and over simplistic, but how dare he feels that he has a right to make me feel lesser! What makes him think he’s better than me?

I’m still processing this.

This small act committed against me has so many huge and enormous implications. I’m sure I will continue to revisit my feelings about this encounter in future posts to come. I’m just scratching the surface, and I want to explore it further. For now, I guess all I can say is that as a society, we have our work cut out for us. Life is not all rainbows and roses. Just be aware and supportive. If you know someone who’s a part of the LGBTQ community, a minority, or ANYONE who is the target of bullying, bigotry, or hate, be as supportive as you can to them. Stick up for them. Let them know you are there for them and will fight for them no matter. If this small instance can affect me as much as it has, imagine how serious occasions of hatred can affect someone. Just keep that in mind. 

-Dayne

PS: On a HAPPIER note, I will be posting a pic of me in my SUPER CUTE shirt later this afternoon on my Twitter and Instagram! Make sure to check it when you get a chance. Did I mention that it’s CUTE?!?!

The blog to end all blogs (a.k.a. Just another blogger….)

For my introductory post, I wanted to clearly set out The Daily Dayne’s objectives and explain what will set my blog apart from the millions of other sites that exist out there today. I didn’t want to be cliché. I wanted to be unique. Unfortunately, by acknowledging that a blog can easily become cliché and claiming that I am going to stay away from imitating mainstream sites is, in itself, a blog cliché. My neurosis will never let me forget that. It’s such a meta feeling and I hate it! So, trying NOT to be a cliché blog is turning out to be a lose-lose situation. I’m getting anxious that my blog will be a failure from the very start!

Instead of trying to persuade readers that I will not be banal and common, I will just be honest and admit that I simply want to blog! Blog about everything! Blog about fashion, books, tv, movies, lifestyle, society, and most importantly…ME! As a result, I have officially joined the blogosphere and will contribute my unwarranted ideas, opinions, and commentary to the great wide web for everyone (or possibly no one) to see!

I also have to admit that I’ve attempted many times to start a blog; my most successful attempt being when I wanted to start a movie review site, hoping that I would be the next big online film critic! I had such BIG DREAMS! Ultimately, I wrote only one very insightful movie review of Up in the Air. I was so proud of that piece….I guess I was so proud that I felt like my blog was complete with that sole post, and my career as a movie reviewer ended there. So many of us have such big dreams. We have amazing ideas, innovations, and desires, but sadly we often place limits on ourselves that stop us from achieving our goals. I want to personally stop that vicious cycle and actually accomplish something! Who cares if my blog will be full of clichés? It probably will be, but I’m not going to let that stop me! I’m just going to be me.

Unlike my lame movie review site, I promise that The Daily Dayne will be much more robust and active. Thanks to my friend and blogger partner in crime, Mrs. Collier, I will be kept on my toes with deadlines and goals! Her blog is awesome, by the way. Make sure to check it out!

Anyways, even though I don’t really know what I’m doing, I hope you enjoy what’s to come from The Daily Dayne. I’m a fresh Washingtonian and am looking forward to documenting my discoveries and adventures in the nation’s capital! Thanks for reading, and I’ll talk to you soon!

-Dayne

PS: If you’re a blogger who has some advice on how to make a blog great and successful, leave a comment below! Also, make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I’ll make sure to follow back!