Music from Film & TV shows

I thought I’d share some old and new (to me) music I’ve discovered through movies and TV shows I have been watching lately. This isn’t really a “if you like this, you’ll like this…” kind of recommendation since as with my taste in music it can be pretty eclectic and changes with my mood.


Silicon Valley:

I had heard much acclaim about this show for a while and put it on my “To Watch” list but only within this year got around to it because I honestly didn’t see the appeal at first. I had ran out of new things to watch so I finally saw it and then wondered why it took me so long to, because I pretty much binged all 4 seasons within a couple of weeks and watched the latest one as it came out. It is one of the funniest shows I’ve watched in a long time, where I actually laughed out loud. Not only is the show hilarious, but they also have great ending credits songs that juxtaposes their meek, nerdy dispositions with hardcore rock/rap signifying their usual predicament at the end of the show.

This one is an oldie to me since I bought this CD when it originally came out, but still great nonetheless.

Green Day - Minority

This show did introduce me to Run The Jewels and they have featured a couple of their songs already.

Run the Jewels - Blockbuster Night Part 1

DJ Shadow feat. Run the Jewels - Nobody Speak

Another great song/artist I was introduced to:

Clearside - Cop Drama


The Mindy Project:

This was another show I had heard great things about but always put off watching until last year. Again, it was another show I binged instantly and actually laughed out loud while watching, the first few seasons are the best but I still love the show overall. I’ve never watched The Office (both UK and US versions) so this was my first introduction to Mindy and can see why she was a successful writer on the US one. On her show, she also had a great music supervisor, and I believe Mindy chose some of the songs herself.

This is not new to me but is one of my favorite bands and songs so why not share it.

M83 - Midnight City

I liked this nice, toned down Beyoncé song:

Beyoncé - XO

Another not new to me song as it’s been on my workout playlist for a while (hah!) but still great.

M.I.A. - Bad Girls

I had heard this song before but it’s always a great, upbeat tune to pick you up.

Jai Wolf - Indian Summer

I first heard of the Chromatics from the Drive Soundtrack (another highly recommended movie and soundtrack), but hadn’t heard their version of Bruce Springsteen's, I’m on Fire.

Chromatics - I’m on Fire


Friday Night Lights:

This is an oldie, but Hulu just recently added the entire Friday Night Lights series and I have been re-watching it again. You don’t have to like football to enjoy the show - everything from the storytelling, to the characters, to its cinematography and music is why this is probably one of my favorite series ever made. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

It introduced me to one of my favorite bands, Explosions in the Sky. Here is the song used in the opening credits.

Explosions in the Sky - Your Hand in Mine


Now onto movies, this has more of a Sci-Fi theme than I was anticipating but maybe it’s what I’ve been drawn to lately.

Blade Runner 2049:

I had only recently watched the first Blade Runner in anticipation of the sequel coming out but also because it was on my “To Watch” list for a while. Despite mixed reviews, I actually enjoyed the first one and I thought the soundtrack helped to tell the story.

I was looking forward to the sequel as I thought the combination of some of my favorite creatives, like the director Denis Villeneuve, cinematographer Roger Deakins (who rightfully won the Oscar for this because it’s visually gorgeous), and actor Ryan Gosling would be a hit. I know some people felt it was a little slow but I think Blade Runner has always been more about the psychological aspect rather than the action.

The soundtrack also helped story tell as with the first and though this track is more the movie’s score and sound effects, the motorcycle (?) sound alone effectively creates a futuristic atmosphere.

Blade Runner 2049 OST - Flight to LAPD


Ex Machina & Annihilation

I am combining these two movies together because they are both by Alex Garland, with similar eerie yet ethereal soundtracks that have been on repeat for me. I saw Ex Machina a while back and even though there was nothing inherently physically terrifying about it, the psychological aspect is what kept me thinking about it for days after I saw it. The soundtrack was composed by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury. Geoff Barrow is part of Portishead (another of my all time favorite bands), so no wonder he was able to help compose such a haunting and riveting instrumental soundtrack.

A couple of my favorite from the soundtrack:

Ex Machina OST - The Turing Test

Ex Machina OST - Bunsen Burner

When I heard that Alex Garland was behind Annihilation I knew I had to see it. Again, when I was watching it, there was nothing inherently terrifying about it at first (although this movie was a bit more gruesome than Ex Machina). Afterwards when I sat with it a bit, I was so disturbed by it that I couldn’t sleep that night. I can’t really explain why or what but certain scenes coupled with the sounds and soundtrack composed again by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury, had created an eeriness that I haven’t seen in a long time in movies. Maybe it was the use of “off” sounding elements that helped create this atmosphere.

Here is my favorite song off the soundtrack and possibly the creepiest:


Hope you enjoyed this long winded piece about movies and music and let me know if you want to see more of these kinds of posts in the future and also any movie/music recommendations?

Weekend Playlist 🎧 🎶

My job has been non-stop busy lately. The upside to that is I get to listen to a lot of music while I work. So I thought I’d share some things that have been in my playlist rotation recently. I discovered a new-to-me artist, Sevdaliza through those random YouTube recommendations. I’m glad I clicked through because, wow - just love everything about her vibe, aesthetics and of course, sound. Her music has a kind of haunting quality to it with certain beats that gave me tingles when I listened to it through my headphones. Below, are some of my favorites so far. If you like her style, I suggest FKA Twigs as she was burning up my playlist for the past couple years and am so glad to have found similar music.

Now for a TV and music recommendation in one - 3 words, Big Little Lies. At first, I was apprehensive about watching as I heard about some of the grim and difficult to watch storylines but I kept hearing so many great things so I gave in. I binge watched this show in a couple days, I was riveted to say the least. The acting, storylines, and cinematography were outstanding. The characters showed human elements in their flaws, which allowed you to connect with them. This is definitely not light fair, but it left a significant impact and will have you thinking about it after it’s over.

Here is the trailer, but don’t base it off of that as it is so much more.

While watching the show, I fell in love with how a lot of the music was so carefully crafted to help tell the story in the most poignant scenes. It was a fantastic mix of classic and modern, I immediately had to go on Spotify and find the soundtrack.

Here’s some of my personal highlights from it:

What are some of your favorites to listen to at the moment? Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Five Holiday Gifts Under $50: Artsy Fartsy Edition

Here is another round-up of holiday gift ideas under US$50.00 - this time it’s for the artsy people in your lives. Whether they are creators themselves or appreciate a great artist, I think it would please them greatly to receive something on this list and all without breaking the bank.

First up, something I think that your artsy compadre would like are these graphic printed, art socks. It would be a great way to express their favorite artist while adding a little uniqueness to their wardrobe.


When I traveled to Japan earlier this year, I discovered colored brush pens that seem to be all the rage this year. How perfect - the ability to simulate painting without all the mess, while being portable so you can “paint” on the go. These particular ones have a watercolor effect to them.


Now that they have a set of pens, they need something to draw on, enter this mini pocket sized sketchbook. Great for any artist to keep with them at all times and whip out when inspiration hits. What’s even better is it’s under $10.00!!!


I first spotted this next idea in a museum gift shop and it tickled my pun loving heart, the Dali Llama Mug. It actually made me chuckle aloud and I appreciated it even more that it linked to one of my favorite artists and animals.


To take your creative connoisseur to the next level, get them a drawing tablet - it’s a game changer for any artist. Ever since getting one, creating digital art has become so much easier as it mimics the freedom of drawing with a pen. This one is a rare find for being comparable to the makers of the professional tablets and it’s under $50!


Bonus: A shameless plug, but a chance to get something that’s not mass produced at a big box store is shopping one of the many home decor and household items with Society6. You can find anything from wall art to shower curtains and you’ll be supporting a great community of artists.

Here is one of my most popular items available in my shop and something that every artist needs to hear every so often, when you’re putting your vulnerability out for the world to see.

Creativity Takes Courage Print by Megan Matsuoka - $15.00


[Disclaimer: Megan Matsuoka is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. All opinions and selected items are my own choosing.]

Five Holiday Gifts Under $50: Traveler Edition

It's that time of year again, what do I get family and friends for the holidays?! To help with this quandary, I've put together a little list of gifts for a type of person that I'd think would not only get enjoyment and practical use out of it, but also be kind to your wallet in the process. Today's gift list is for the traveler, whether they are seasoned or newbies I think there's at least one thing on here that they would be grateful to receive, and all under US$50.00!  

The following items are things that I either have used or something similar that has helped me in my travels.

Atlas Obscura (Hardcover) by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, & Ella Morton - $17.50

I've enjoyed Atlas Obscura's website for many years, it is a great planning tool for places to visit that's off the beaten path and not on many normal travel guides. I think this book would be perfect for the seasoned traveler who's probably seen a lot, but wants new places to visit.

Fire Tablet (7" Display, Black) - $49.99

Where else can you get a tablet for under $50.00! This is a great companion for those long haul flights where maybe the movie selection isn't that great and you're looking for other things to occupy your time. It's compact enough to fit in your carry on and now Netflix has decided to allow downloadable content, they can watch it on the go without wi-fi connection. 

If you've got the budget for a little more or this is a gift for someone special, I'd opt for a package deal and give them a gift of an Amazon Prime Membership so they can watch movies on the go, or visit the Kindle Lending Library, where you can borrow pretty much any book for free. Ever since I switched over many of my books to eBooks (I have a Kindle Paperwhite), it changed my life - no more clutter around the house, and you get to take all your books with you wherever you go with just the weight and size of the e-Reader.

eBags Large Packing Cubes (3pc Set) - $31.49

Packing cubes are an essential for any traveler, it keeps luggage organized and compact. Also for all those security inspections that are rampant nowadays, at least your underwear won't fly out as easily and be a little more discreet. I recommend getting down to the extra small sizes for electronic cables, stationery and those little odds and ends that somehow always end up at the bottom of your bag when you need it most. 

Map (23"x17" Art Print) by Mark Ashkenazi - $43.68

When your nomadic loved one is at home, give them something to remind them of their travels with a little decorative wall art map. This gallery quality giclee print, would be a great gift to those travelers that seem to have everything and also support an artist's work directly.

Anker PowerCore 10000 - $23.99

As I mentioned in my Solo Travel post, a battery bank for your phone is a life saver when traveling. Especially when going to an unknown place, whether it was finding locations, seeing when the next bus was coming, translating things, or taking quick pictures I couldn't get my big camera out fast enough for, my phone was my everything. My phone being my everything meant the battery was nothing within a few hours, and sometimes you are caught in an area where there aren't many places with an available outlet. The battery bank will help you not get stuck out in the middle of nowhere. This particular one has 10,000mAh and small enough to fit in your pocket which means it charges fast and it won't take up too much space.

 

[Disclaimer: Megan Matsuoka is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com or society6.com. All opinions and selected items are my own choosing.]

Link Roundup

Here's an assortment of awesome discoveries around the in-nernet!

Toothpick genius Steven J. Backman creates amazing mini sculptures out of the wooden food remover. Exhibit A above made out of one toothpick! via NotCot

Cubicle whiteboard art via Quipsologies

LOVE this Touch of Evil: Cinematic Villains via NY Times

If you are a Valentino fan, download this virtual museum of his work for FREE via W Mag

And a great article on Negative vs Positive People via David Airey