Fanboyism - Lily Allen

Maybe I'm out of the musical loop lately, maybe I've always been, or maybe I'm just tired, but about 2 hours ago I discovered a jewel in the U.K.-music-scene rough named Lily Allen. Of course, upon further inspection, her album is available here in the States (which I've already purchased, and am presently listening to). Not only that, but she has two music videos that are currently in the run on Mtv. Having viewed the one for "Smile" I realized I saw that video a few times before. You can imagine my disappointment after this chain of realization that if only I "waited 10 seconds" she would've been burning up the... hard drive on my iPod for the nearly six months her album has been available. Alas, life can be cruel sometimes and I have only just now "synched" her album to my little device.

Again, maybe it's the lack of sleep (Harry Potter's last hurrah has been causing me to miss my bedtime...) but I couldn't resist, I couldn't keep this in; so to the blog I went... go... am? Not only that, but this is a Fanboyism entry, my first, and I've only known about her for a few hours. Oh well...

I'm not quite sure what the appeal is. I usually don't go for these U.K. types; the kind of singers that retain their British accent in-song, and have that London Thug attitude. What may seem like a judgement to some, just her look gave me that feeling, especially her eyes. They scream mischeviousity and a flood of confidence that spills out as arrogance. Misunderstood? Meh... From her personal biography on her official site:

Born in Hammersmith, Lily grew up fast. "I listened to punk, ska and reggae when I grew up, courtesy of my parents' record collections. We moved around London... Shepherds Bush, Bloomsbury, Islington... and I absorbed all the music around me. I got expelled from various schools and was sent to boarding school as they thought it would be a restraining influence, but I ran away to Glastonbury and other places when I was 14. I was into jungle and drum and bass. It was obvious I didn't like authority. I guess I knew from an early age that I could never do a job where I'd have to sit in an office all day long."

Lily finally left school at 15 when it became obvious her creative needs were not being met. "I always read a lot. It was frustrating moving schools so much because I always felt I couldn't articulate my feelings as much as I wanted to. Books and music helped me do that. I became obsessed by quite arcane subjects, like second world war evacuation stories and books about 18th century aristocracy. I started to feel like I could have a voice. But I wanted to write about my own world in an entertaining way. So I did."

She quit school at 15, lied to her parents, and worked at a record store (as well as dabbling in ecstasy sales, although she says she wasn't any good at it). Check out her Wiki Entry, specifically the Public Persona section for some of the "controversial highlights". She speaks her mind. If you haven't gathered that yet, check out this interview. Again, this would normally turn me off, but it only serves to pique my interest. Nowadays, all the singers in the pop-star scene fit a cookie-cutter mold fabricated by their record label. They avoid speaking their mind and giving their honest opinion, favoring an, "I love everyone" approach to questions about their peers. This girl, though, just doesn't care what others think and that's pure awesomeness.

Her music is a perfect fit to her personality. It's full of what she enjoyed growing up, and you can tell she's lovin' every minute of it. Overall the album has a ska/reggae/pop feel, but it's hard to pin a single genre (I wouldn't do that anyway. Music isn't "this" or "that"; at least, it shouldn't be.). While her vocals aren't impressive, in a Mariah Carey sense of the word, the melodies sound wonderful. My favorite aspect of the songs, though, are the lyrics. They're playful and opinionated, slightly cynical yet they remain positive. If someone went around talking like she sings, there would be that cheerleader/prep clique in the corner whispering, "Ugh, she's so full of herself. I wish she'd just shut up." I love that. If someone were to count her lyrics at face value, they'd end up disliking her. Wonderful! I'm giggling as I write this. Smile, her first American single (maybe in the U.K. too, but who knows?) is on repeat. Hey, I have an idea, why don't I stick the 'ol video here for you to watch?

Brilliant. Even lip-synching her song, it's so obvious she's lovin' it. The YouTube page has comments like, "She deserves a strong kick in the uterus." See? I personally find the video hilarious. It's so playful, the video and song. Everyone has had "dark" thoughts like that. Jilted, betrayed, rejected; it's only natural to get angry. It's a joy to hear lyrics that are so open, yet playful and sort-of making fun of herself at the same time. Sorry, more accurate words escape me.

I'm gonna take a risk here, and further expose my fanboyish insta-obsession. She's always wearing those dresses with sneakers, so much so that she has her own line of clothing (called "Lily Loves"), reflecting that particular style. The dresses are feminine, like the epitome of "girl", but the sneakers and lack of your run-of-the-mill "glamorous pop star" makeup echo her "I do what I like" attitude. More video!

Another winner. The... intro?... to the video is especially awesome. Anyway, check out her official site to listen to some more tunes, and hit up YouTube to grab some interviews and junk. Meh, maybe I'm the only one fascinated by her, but I had to get it out. I'll stop now, mainly because of the tiredness. Maybe I'll clean this up tomorrow.

Oh, one more thing, she's totally cute. (Teh Wallpaperz) ;)

Nights... Into Dreams (Do Come True!)

As usual, I've been very busy lately. There have been a few new developments in life but this isn't the entry for that. No, my friends. This entry is so much better. If you've been reading my little 360 page here for a while, then you'd know I have been a big supporter and fan of all of Sega's consoles and games (if you haven't; now you do). Anyway, I got the Sega Saturn years ago for my birthday and along with it came the wonderful game NiGHTS: Into Dreams. This was a sort of "beginning" to the now-long list of interesting out-of-the-box games Sega's released. The game was essentially about two children that traveled to a dream world called Nightopia when they slept. Nightmares were invading and the two kid-o's, along with the most awesome jester I've ever played as were the only ones that could save the denizens of Nightopia. You flew through the sky collecting orbs, avoiding enemies, and twisting and turning to get a high score at the end of the "course"... hard to explain, so I'll just show you!

Suffice to say, it was one of the most original and fun games I've ever played (and still do from time to time). To the point, ever since the game reached the masses, fans have been longing for a sequel. Throughout the years there have been many rumors, all of which have resulted in letdowns. Some have given up hope, thinking it was one of those one-shot deals; a kind of test to see if non-traditional games would be successful. Others just gave up because they were losers. But I, I never gave up. And my undying hope has finally paid off. What's more, the Wii is involved.

That's right, folks, it's has been officially confirmed by Sega that a BRAND SPANKIN' NEW Nights game is in development, and even has a (tentative) release window in the fourth quarter of this year! They even have a "webpage" for it! So far I've only seen 5 screenshots of the game, but the news alone is enough to get me excited. It's called NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams. Once again you have to save Nightopia from the Nightmarens. Here's the text from the site (if you're too lazy to go there yourself).

The critically-acclaimed franchise that gave gamers the freedom to fly in a world of dreams is coming to the Wii™! As a fantasy jester called NiGHTS, you will experience a heightened sense of gliding, spiraling, and looping through seven extraordinary worlds of Nightopia where the ocean resides in the sky and glass-formed cliffs overlook a castle of mirrors. When the "Nightmarens" from the neighboring dark world of Nightmare infiltrate the idyllic Nightopia, NiGHTS must defend the dream world to keep it safe for all dreamers. This holiday, NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams will take you in a voyage filled with courage, hope and inspiration.

Awesome. Awesome to the max. Nights with the amazing Wiimote control setup? Yes, please. So yeah, I'll be keeping up with the news on this one. For now, I'll leave you with the few images I could find...