Quarantine Interview, Part 1: Ren Marabou

I would be willing to be that Ren Marabou has watched every fictional television show about Vikings, plus a few historical documentaries. Marabou could probably get a part as an extra or as a bard. What are viking musicians called? We would know more if they had a notation system. If there was a time machine, we could send Marabou back to write down Viking music and preserve it in the name of history.

The metal statue is The Gaelic Chieftain. It’s located in an area overlooking the Curlew Mountains in Ireland. If you go to Ireland, you could take a picture with the statue. I don’t know if you’ll look as cool but you can try.

Anyway . . . check out this interview with Ren Marabou.

Where have you been staying?

At home in the North West of Ireland. 

What have you been doing during times of quarantine?

I kept busy writing and recording during my quarantine down time. I have a vault full of tracks awaiting release.  

Have you found or re-found any hobbies?

I actually re-discovered my love for skateboarding and basketball which was great. 

What have you been listening to lately?

I’ve been having a great time the last few months getting back into Amon Amarth, Tyr, Wintersun, Ensiferum, and Eluveitie. When I fancy chilling out I’ve been playing Wardruna records.   

Has your songwriting process changed this year?

My creative process has definitely flourished. Just having more time not being on the road. I get a chance to try out every crazy idea I get now. Experimenting with different instrumentation and vocal styles has become a daily routine. 

Is there any message that you would like to convey to fans or soon-to-be fans?

I guess I would like to promote appreciation of Norse Mythology and Norse Paganism.    

What is something positive that has happened to you during 2021? 

2021 has been great so far. I recently became and Endorsed Artist at Skull Strings and I signed to Misanthropik Records. I also just finished my new album ‘Valhalla Waits’ which is set for release on May 1st.  

Connect with Ren Marabou:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

The Fountains of Silence: #bookreview

The Fountains of Silence. Amazon affiliate link

Synopsis:

Madrid, 1957.

Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. 

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys is set in Madrid, Spain. I have never been to Spain but it sounds like a beautiful country. It is on my list of places to visit. Visiting La Tomatina is on my bucket list. It was banned by Franco because it didn’t have any religious significance. This book is not quite as messy as a tomato throwing festival in a literal sense. At the time that the book takes place, people still have to be cautious about what they do, who they talk to and what they discuss.

Daniel is an aspiring photographer but some people don’t want him to take pictures of everything in Spain. The government is watching Daniel so he can’t attract too much attention or they will confiscate his camera and photographs.

He makes a friend with Ana, the person in charge of taking care of his family at the hotel. By the end of the summer, they are in love. It’s a dangerous time to be in love. They can’t flaunt their flirtations. Ana could lose her job, which is very important for helping to care for her family. If she and her siblings don’t pay for her mother’s burial plot, the powers that be will unbury their mother and place her in a mass grave. There are a lot of terrible things that people do but that has to be in the top ten worst things that anyone ever thought of in the history of the world.

The matador, Fuga, is an interesting character. He is the strong, silent type. However, Fuga might have a heart of gold under all of that bravado and silence.

Daniel is trying to win a photography competition, which could help him in a career as a photographer. He wants to photograph the real Spain, which is somewhat difficult because he is seen as an outsider because he is American. Ana and her family help him to see parts of Spain that he couldn’t find on his own. Even Fuga, who doesn’t like Daniel, reveals a huge conspiracy in order to help Daniel and the young people in Spain.

Here are my suggestions for a cast list for a movie or series. If you have another other contenders, let the author or Netflix know.

Ana
Daniel
Fuga

If you enjoy historical fiction with a sense of adventure or books set in places on your bucket list, then you might enjoy “The Fountains of Silence.”

Fascist dictators will not enjoy this book as much as they could. Being a fascist cannot be that much fun if you can’t enjoy life.

  • I received this book from The Write Reads, NetGalley and Penguin as part of a very casual book blog tour. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Meet and Greet: Solstice Rey

Who: Solstice Rey

What: pop punk awesomeness

Why: She’s a talented singer, musician and songwriter. Fun fact: She also has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. I wonder if Solstice Rey loves historical documentaries as much as I do.

Where:

Instagram

Sunday, Someday links

Facebook

iTunes

CONNECT WITH GET BETTER RECORDS: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Flawless Friday Video: Moldy Roses

Moldy Roses on Amazon. Affiliate link

My dad was a teacher for many years. I guess you could say he’s old school. One year he had an especially bad class, which aged him about ten years. He didn’t let those little punks get under his skin or give him a wet willy.

So I appreciate video for “Millenial Falcons” by Moldy Roses quite a bit. I’m pretty sure my dad had that exact same blazer ensemble.

Moldy Roses made the following statement about the experience of shooting the music video for “Millenial Falcons” :

“Lucky for us, Quin’s landlord is a 6th and 7th grade art teacher who mentioned to us that he was moving classrooms and had an empty one to spare for a day. We knew the timing of the janitors, and had to film the entirety of the video in about 5 hours in between their shifts. Once the morning janitor left, we piled into the classroom with lights and cameras, and spent the next 5 hours shooting as much film as we could with whatever we had available. It was hot (laughs).”

Connect with Moldy Roses:

Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/album/6ixdFW0E4NLVevWkVLso3U?si=dKWpBuwcSpGSNMVYao3zaw

Bandcamp – https://moldyroses.bandcamp.com/releases

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/moldyrosesca

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/moldyrosesca

++++

Quin Manchester: Guitar/vocals

Kevan O’Connor: Guitar

Nick Viterelli: Bass

Nick Townsend: Drums

  • Amazon affiliate link included in this post.

Sleep Deprived Music Review: Elephant Micah

While listening to Elephant Michah’s album, Vague Tidings, I feel like I should be on my imaginary horse, Honeybelle, headed off to find whatever destiny awaits us. If I was a musician, I would learn all of the words to every song on this album and sing them to Honeybelle while traveling,camping and coming her hair. We’d be living our best life out on the road.

I would say that Elephant Micah is folk-rock with a bit of Americana. Everything on this album could probably also be played in the post-Apocalyptic pony express movie, “The Postman.” My favorite song on this album is “Occidental Blue.” “Vague Tidings” would be a good song to sing to your horse.

 
This album reminds me of how much I cannot wait to travel again. Last summer, we should have been going on a Route 66 tour. Unfortunately, like everyone else, we were stuck at home. We did not get our kicks on Route 66.

Elephant Micah is the project of songwriter, Joseph O’Connell. He was inspired by a 2006 DIY tour that he participated in while in Alaska. Thank goodness that the trip happened, otherwise we might not be listening to this album. By the way, the album is officially available tomorrow, April 9, so check out the usual places and also the links below.

LINKS

Facebook | Website | Twitter

10 Books on the #Alreadyread List: Part 20

Goodreads
  1. Shadowshaper.
  2. If You Tell.
  3. Crossing in Time
  4. Origins.
  5. Bridge of Terabithia. I loved this book when I was twelve. I still love it today. Real tears were shed while reading this book.
  6. Jane Austen Ruined My Life.
  7. In Your Hands.
  8. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
  9. The Cask of Amontillado. I love Edgar Allan Poe and pretty much everything he’s ever written. Also enjoy puns and memes using his name. There’s also a pretty funny episode of “Drunk History” about Edgar Allan Poe.
  10. The Tell-Tale Heart.

P.S. If you are interested in finding more book bloggers, my friend Sofii at A Book. A Thought has posted the most beautiful list of book bloggers. You can find it here: https://abookathoughtblog.wordpress.com/2021/03/25/the-definitive-book-blogger-list-%f0%9f%93%a2/

Origins: #bookreview

Origins on Amazon. Affiliate link

In Origins by Lyla Oweds, Bianca has led a very sheltered life. Her so-called best friend, Finn, has taken care of her for awhile, except that he is keeping her isolated from people and the real world. He even has settings on her phone for what she can Google. If it’s something that he doesn’t think is appropriate, then it won’t show up on her phone.

The person that she trusts the most in the world is gaslighting and abusing her on an extreme level. Bianca is finally starting to question things because he isn’t listening to her about a problem. I mean, thank goodness that the house she is watching for her professor is haunted. If it weren’t for this ghost trying to kill her she might stay under the spell of Finn forever.

Since Finn isn’t listening to her about the ghost, she finds a better listener in Finn’s brother, Damen. He says “baby girl” a lot. In my opinion, if you are not Shemar Moore then you should keep the “baby girlssss” under wraps. FYI: None of you are Shemar Moore.

Damen also has a group of friends that are willing to help Bianca with the haunting situation. On the plus side, they want to be her friend rather than her captor. The downside of living a sheltered life is that Bianca is in lust with everyone. EVERYONE. I think this should be downplayed in the book a little. I get it. She’s a young girl who has been sheltered and now all of the hormones are going crazy.

No one should not assume that any of the hot people are gay but I suspect that one of Damen’s friends is definitely not into Bianca, except as her friend. That would have been a good thing to know but if someone isn’t out then it’s not anyone’s job to out them.

I felt like I got hit over the head with how hot everyone is – to the extent that I wondered if I was having a hot flash or raging hormones. More time could have been spent on how revealing all of the hot people have special powers under all of the hotness and how all of those powers can help with the ghost problem. I felt like the story was finally getting somewhere with the supernatural stuff and then it ended abruptly. No one even knows if the ghost was hot yet. Maybe there are more answers in the sequel.

I still wanted to cast the movie. So I thought the following people would be good choices for Origins if it becomes a movie or a series.

Bianca
Damen
Finn

If you do not like abrupt endings and having to take cold showers because everyone is so hot, then wait until you have access to the sequel.

Author Information:

Author Name: Lyla Oweds

Author Bio: 

Lyla Oweds is an Amazon bestselling paranormal romance and urban fantasy author who resides in the beautiful Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. She grew up near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and has a deep appreciation for the paranormal, hauntings, and Edgar Allan Poe. As such, she loves all things fantasy, mystery, crime, and horror.

When not reading, writing, or working as a web programmer, Lyla can be found doing adult-y things such as being a mom to small children, cleaning, and gardening. She also frequently enjoys makeup videos, massages, wine, and coffee.

Author Links: 

Website:  https://lylaoweds.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lyla.oweds/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lylaoweds

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lyla-owedsGoodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18244784.Lyla_Oweds

Buy Links: 

Origins:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/31lMAV4

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/grimm-origins

GoodReads: https://bit.ly/2Pt2r1s

  • I received this book from Inkslinger PR as part of a book blog tour. All opinions are my own. Obviously.
  • Amazon affiliate link included in this post.

Quarantine Interview: Evereal

When I listen to Evereal, I am reminded that concert season is practically here. Hopefully, there will be actual concerts this year. If I get the chance to see Evereal, I am going to throw all of my money at the merch person. Literally but nicely of course.

Please welcome Evereal to the blog! Check out the links to find out how you can also throw your money at the band and merch person.

Evereal on Amazon. Affiliate link

Where have you been staying in 2020?

At home. Home being Canada. We all live in the Vancouver and Fraser Valley area of British Columbia.

What have you been doing during times of quarantine?

For the first three months of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, we couldn’t rehearse due to the pandemic restrictions. Everyone just put things on pause. But as the restrictions began to ease a bit, we decided to get back to rehearsing, and Steve started focusing on new material. He’s always writing anyway and had a lot of ideas that just needed lyrics. He and Alicja have done most of the work on the new material. So they have been working on several new songs. Then in the fall of 2020, we started working with a local studio, MNET Media, which has a big sound and video studio, with the idea of putting on a one-hour virtual concert. We recorded the show in late 2020 and then broadcast it in early 2021, with proceeds from ticket sales going to the ALS Society of BC.

Have you found or re-found any hobbies?

We all have our own hobbies. Gord, our bass player, is into ATVs, which is an outdoor activity so that’s one thing you can do during a pandemic. Nelson is into outdoor stuff too — backpacking and cycle touring, so he continued doing that. Steve’s hobby is music anyway, and producing, so he just buried himself in that. Alicja has found running outside and is really enjoying it. 

What have you been listening to lately?

Nelson: I’ve been watching a lot of concerts on Youtube — Nightwish, Rush, Metallica, all kinds of stuff.

Alicja: I’ve been listening to new pop and old 90’s. Also true crime podcasts haha. 

Has your songwriting process changed this year?

Not really, actually. Even before the pandemic, Steve tended to write in isolation. He’ll come up with the music, and send it to us. Alicja will come up with a melody and some lyrics. She has her own mini studio at home, so basically Steve will send her the music, and she’ll come up with a vocal melody and lyrics, record the vocals over the music, and send it back. Sometimes they will get together at Steve’s studio. But basically, we were already kind of used to working remotely anyway even before the pandemic.

Alicja: Yes, it has been super handy to have a set up at home to get ideas down and send to each other for sure. 

Is there any message that you would like to convey to fans or soon-to-be fans?

We can’t see you live, but we can talk to you on social media. We love interacting with fans. So don’t be shy — we’d love to hear from you on social media, and we are on pretty music every platform — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. 

What is something positive that has happened to you during 2020?

For the band, doing the virtual concert was a good experience. It gave us something to work towards at a time when playing live gigs just wasn’t an option. It allowed us to do a full show on stage. The cool thing about it is that, while people were watching, they were able to interact with us in a chat function. So we could actually chat with the fans while they were watching the show as it was being broadcast. So that was a unique experience.

Alicja: Yes, the live streaming show was a great experience and was another opportunity for us to get better and perfect our craft. 

Connect with Evereal:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

bandcamp

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