Mixtape #1

mixtape #1

It’s a new season. which means many new songs are out there waiting to be heard. I decided that I wanted to make a bi-monthly mixtape and post it here in my blog. So here’s my first mixtape ever! Enjoy listening.

Songs:

  • Driver – Perfect Pussy
  • Mecca – Wild Beasts
  • Red Eyes – The War On Drugs
  • Team – Lorde
  • Finger Back – Vampire Weekend
  • Dye – Tycho
  • Ben’s My Friend – Sun Kil Moon
  • Digital Witness – St. Vincent
  • XO – Beyoncé
  • Never Wanna Know – MØ
  • Mess On a Mission – Liars
  • Ejecta – Death Vessel
  • Gouge – Eternal Summers
  • So You Know – The Horrors
  • If I Could Change Your Mind – Haim
  • Sun in the Morning – Future Islands
  • New York Morning – Elbow
  • I’m Not Part of Me – Cloud Nothings
  • Hi-Five – Angel Olsen
  • The Tower – Wye Oak
  • Kenworth – Cheatahs
  • Blue Moon – Beck
  • Breakfast – Kelis
  • Passing Out Pieces – Mac Demarco
  • Tears of Joy – Slow Club

 

Here’s the Spotify playlist

 

And here are the songs that aren’t available on Spotify

My Favorite iOS 7 Apps

Last year, I made a post about my favorite iOS apps. So now, I decided it’s time for me to update it.

iOS 7 was a complete facelift for iOS. That’s why many apps were forced to be redesigned from the ground up. Some of the apps in this post were already mentioned in last year’s post and some of them weren’t. Here we go.

 

My iPhone

 

Tweetbot: My favorite Twitter client. Tweetbot was and will always be the only way I use Twitter. I got it on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. The iOS 7 update was a complete overhaul for the app. It became faster and a lot of great features were added, alongside the existing features of course. Now I’m just waiting for the iOS 7 redesign of the iPad app. Get Tweetbot here.

Reeder: I was a bit worried when Google announced that it was shutting down Google Reader, but when Silvio Rizzi announced that Reeder will add support for Feedly, Feedbin, Feed Wrangler, and local RSS reading, I was worried no more. Reeder for iOS 7 is a remake of the same good old Reeder, but with new gestures and features, plus it’s now a universal app. Get Reeder here.

Pocket Casts / Instacast: Before iOS 7, Instacast was my favorite podcast client, and Pocket Casts was just an app that I regretted buying. But after both of these apps were updated for iOS 7, Pocket Casts became my favorite, although Instacast is still as great as it ever was. Both of these apps are rich with features, and they both look great. As for which one to use, it’s just a matter of personal opinions. Get Pocket Casts here, and Instacast here.

Vesper: An elegant, simple note taking app. Vesper allows you to create notes quickly. You can add photos to your notes, sort your notes by tags, share your notes, and archive them. Vesper is a must for every iOS user. The app is missing two key features though. The first one is iPad support and the second one is the ability to sync notes between devices. Both of these missing features are coming in future updates. Get Vesper from here.

iShows: The best TV shows tracking app for iOS. A simple app with a beautiful UI and a lot of features. You can track all your favorite shows, mark the episodes that you’ve seen, and even discover new trending shows. You can customize the app with different themes and colors, and you can also change shows’ posters. Get the app here.

Fantastical: Ever since I got Fantastical 2, I started to use it daily. I also stopped using Clear (a great todo lists app) because of the built in reminders feature in Fantastical. It’s hands down the best calendar app I’ve ever used. The only missing thing is the iPad app (which is coming btw). Get it here.

Weather Line: An extremely useful, yet simple, weather app. Weather Line is full of many useful weather information all presented in a great, smart way. You can get hourly, daily, and monthly forecasts for everyday and for up to 8 locations. The app uses Forecast.io, which means that you’ll get the most accurate weather forecasts and predictions. Get Weather Line here.

Instapaper / Pocket: Both of these apps are great for reading articles later. I didn’t choose one because they’re both great, and I honestly don’t care which one I use. I have both of them in all my iOS devices. I also use this IFTTT recipe to save articles automatically between them, which means I have all the articles in both of them. Get Pocket here, or Instapaper from here.

Day One: A great journaling app with a lot of features. Day One allows you to write about everything you want on any device. It provides you with weather and location data for all of your entries. You can also attach photos to your entries and enable password protection for the app. The app is universal and also available for OS X. It also supports sync. Get Day One from here.

1Password: This app is a life saver! It keeps all of your passwords safe and in one place. It also generates passwords for you and it has a built in safe browser. 1Password supports sync using iCloud and Dropbox. It is available for iOS and OS X. Get it here.

Wikipanion: My favorite Wikipedia app, before and after iOS 7. Wikipanion gives you the full Wikipedia experience in all of your iOS devices. Get Wikipanion for iPhone from here, and Wikipanion for iPad from here.

Instashare: A great app with a simple purpose. Instashare allows you to transfer photos video, and files between all your devices in no time! You can use it on iOS, OS X, and Android. Get it from here.

Top Ten films of 2013

I already did post about my favorite movies of 2013, but in this post, I thought it would be great to list my top 10 movies. So, the movies are:

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Before Midnight
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Frances Ha
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • This Is the End

Best of 2013 – Music

music

This year was one of the best years for music. Many great albums and singles were released and we were introduced to a lot of wonderful bands and artists. In this list, you’ll find my favorite albums, songs, and artists/bands. So, here we go.

Music

Best New Artists/Bands:

  • Chance the Rapper
  • CHVRCHES
  • Disclosure
  • Haim
  • Kacey Musgraves

Best Comebacks:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Daft Punk
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Vampire Weekend

Favorite Albums:

  • Modern Vampires of the City – Vampire Weekend
  • Days Are Gone – HAIM
  • Settle – Disclosure
  • The Bones of What You Believe – CHVRCHES
  • Night Time, My Time – Sky Ferriera
  • Trouble Will Find Me – The National
  • Reflektor – Arcade Fire
  • Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
  • Pure Heroine – Lorde
  • Overgrown – James Blake
  • AM – Arcitc Monkeys
  • Yeezus – Kanye West
  • Acid Rap – Chance the Rapper
  • Nothing Was the Same – Drake
  • Same Trailer Different Park – Kacey Musgraves
  • The 20/20 Expirience Part 1 – Justin Timberlake
  • Entertainment – Phoenix
  • mbv – My Bloody Valentine
  • The North Borders – Bonobo
  • Sunbather – Deafheaven
  • The Next Day – David Bowie
  • Woman – Rhye
  • Cerluean Salt – Waxahatchee
  • The 1975 – The 1975
  • Silence Yourself – Savages
  • True Romance – Charli XCX
  • Muchacho – Phosphorescent
  • Terror – The Flaming Lips
  • Psychic – Darkside
  • We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic – Foxygen
  • I Have Lost All Desire for Feeling – Perfect Pussy

Favorite Songs (in no particular order):

I’ve been listening to many songs in 2013, below, you’ll find a list of my favorite songs with a Spotify playlist and Soundcloud links for the songs.

  • The Mother We Share – CHVRCHES
  • Bound 2 – Kanye West
  • Merry Go ‘Round – Kacey Musgraves
  • Little Numbers – BOY
  • I Should Live In Salt – The National
  • White Lies – Max Frost
  • Sacrilege – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Retrograde – James Blake
  • She Will – Savages
  • Bowery – Local Natives
  • Song for Zula – Phosphorescent
  • How Come You Don’t Want Me – Tegan and Sara
  • Trying to Be Cool – Phoenix
  • Doin’ It Right (feat. Panda Bear) – Daft Punk
  • Afterlife – Arcade Fire
  • I Blame Myself – Sky Ferreira
  • Step – Vampire Weekend
  • Hold On, We’re Going Home (feat. Majid Jordan) – Drake
  • Latch (feat. Sam Smith) – Disclosure
  • Royals – Lorde
  • The Wire – HAIM
  • Hannah Hunt – Vampire Weekend
  • Reflektor – Arcade Fire
  • What I Like – Charli XCX
  • Do I Wanna Know? – Arctic Monkeys
  • Q.U.E.E.N. (feat. Erykah Badu) – Janelle Monáe
  • Chocolate – The 1975
  • Unbelievers – Vampire Weekend
  • Falling – HAIM
  • Open – Rhye
  • Youth – Daughter
  • Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams) – Daft Punk
  • Recover – CHVRCHES
  • Work – Iggy Azalea
  • Innocence Is Kinky – Jenny Hval
  • À tout à l’heure - Bibio
  • No Destruction – Foxygen
  • Look… the Sun Is Rising – The Flaming Lips
  • Changing of the Seasons – Two Door Cinema Club
  • Pompeii – Bastille
  • We the Common (For Valerie Bolden) – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
  • It All Feels Right – Washed Out
  • New Slaves – Kanye West
  • So Good to Me – Chris Malinchak
  • Shout It Out – Mikal Cronin
  • River – The Belle Game
  • That’s Alright – Laura Mvula
  • Water Me – FKA twigs
  • Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay) – Sky Ferreira
  • Counting – Autre Ne Veut
  • Mirrors – Justin Timberlake
  • Outta My Head – Tommy & The High Pilots
  • Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell) – Robin Thicke
  • Where Can I Go? – Laura Marling
  • Byegone – Volcano Choir
  • Juice – Chance the Rapper
  • Str8 Outta Mumbai – Jai Paul
  • Swan Dive – Waxahatchee
  • Come Walk With Me – M.I.A.
  • Sunday (feat. Frank Ocean) – Earl Sweatshirt

Best of 2013 – Movies

movies

 2013 was a great year for movies. A year with many hilarious apocalyptic moments, beautiful love stories, dramatic struggle stories, and moving documentaries. It was hard for me to pick 10 favorite movies. Not to mention that I didn’t watch many of the movies of the year’s highest rated movies (mentioned at the end of the post), but I will update this list once I’ve seen all of them. So here’s the list.

My top 20 in alphabetical order:

MV13

The Act of Killing: My favorite documentary of the year. The Act of Killing is about the lives of some of the many men responsible of the Indonesian killings of 1965. It documents Anwar Congo, and others, as they try to recreate scenes from the killings. The movie is terrifyingly scary at some scenes, and extremely emotional at some other. Anwar’s last scenes of redemption and regret were my favorites.

American Hustle: David O. Russell scores again with his latest work of art. American Hustle features the best ensemble cast of the year. Starring Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and many other great actors. The movie tells the story of the Abscam scandal and how an FBI agent, with the help of two con artists, was able to take down a group of corrupt politicians. American Hustle is a hilarious movie that truly deserves all the buzz.

Before Midnight: The last entry in Richard Linklater’s magnificent ‘Before’ series. Starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, and I think that both them need to be (at least) nominated in the Oscars for their iconic roles as Céline and Jesse. In the final movie, set in Greece nine years after ‘Sunset’. The couple are now together happily with two daughter’s plus Jesse’s son from his previous marriage. The chemistry between the two is as strong as ever. Before Midnight is one of the best romances I’ve seen in a while.

Behind the Candelabra: One of my early favorites of the year. A made-for-TV movie created by HBO about the famous pianist Liberace and his secret affair with Scott Thorson, played by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, respectively. The movie is full of beautiful scenes that show the luxurious life of Liberace. Not to mention some scary scenes too, like the surgeries, and Rob Lowe’s emotionless face. The movie’s highlight is the wonderful performances by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

Blue Is the Warmest Color: A beautiful French movie about a love story. The movie follows the life of Adèle, a high school student, who falls in love with Emma, an artist. Their relationship evolves and eventually, after a few years, they live together, but in the end, they break up, Adèle doesn’t give up at first, but she ultimately accepts her loss and moves on. The movie’s raw and tender storytelling is captivating. It’s one of the best coming-of-age movies I’ve seen in while. Actress Adèle Exarchopoulos was definitely the movie’s highlight.

Blue Jasmine: A wonderful movie by the one and only Woody Allen. Starring Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Alec Baldwin and Louis C.K.. Blue Jasmine is a great movie that shines with its talented cast. Cate Blanchett is the gem of the movie and she is the one I’m rooting for in the Oscars.

Dallas Buyers Club: Another great movie in Matthew McConaughey’s McConaissance. Matthew Conaughey plays the role of Ron Woodroof, a man who finds out that he has AIDS and that he only has a month to live. McConaughey, alongside Jared Leto, deliver one of the best moving performances of the year.

Frances Ha: A black-and-white comedy co-written by and starring the beautiful Greta Gerwig. Set in New York City. The movie tells the story of Frances (Gerwig), an ambitious twenty-something dancer struggling in her life. Between losing her best friend, having different jobs, failing relationships, and the constant changing of apartments among many other awkward situations. Greta Gerwig was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her role.

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza): A masterpiece directed by Paolo Sorrentino and stars Toni Servillo . Th Great Beauty follows the the story of a famous writer as he takes us into the lives of the elite in Italy. Everything in this movie is beautiful, the cinematography, the music, the acting, the story and the costumes. The movie is my choice for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

Her: Set in the not so distant future, Her is about Theodore, a simple guy who just got divorced and is living his life in the same daily routine until one day, he buys a computer, and falls in love with the OS. Her is a simple, beautifully directed movie that surely deserves all the love.

Inside Llewyn Davis: The latest movie by the Coen Brothers. It follows a week in the life of Llewyn Davis, a folk singer who is trying to succeed as a musician. The cinematography and music in this movie are both beautifully done. Inside Lllewyn Davis may not be perfect, but it certainly is one of the best movies of the year.

It’s a Disaster: My favorite, and probably the most realistic, apocalyptic movie of the year. A comedy about a group of friends gathering for a brunch, which later turns out to be the last brunch they’ll ever have after learning that the US was hit by dirty bombs and they have a only few hours to live. An entertaining movie starring David Cross and Julia Stiles.

Nebraska: A black-and-white dramedy about an old man who receives a letter that says he won one million dollars and that he should come and get the money before he loses it. So he travels with his son (later joined by his wife and other son) to go and get the money. Nebraska is a simple, funny movie. Beautifully directed by Alexander Payne, and starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb and Bob Odenkirk. Bruce Dern’s performance is the highlight of this movie.

The Selfish Giant: A modern-day retelling of Oscar Wilde’s short story of the same name. Starring newcomers Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas as Arbor and Swifty. It’s a story of two friends who are both excluded from school and started to work for a scrapdealer in their city to collect money. The Selfish Giant is powerful and beautiful, with wonderful performances by the talented young actors.

Short Term 12: A movie that is centered on the life of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something who is a supervisor at a foster-care facility for troubled teenagers and how she deals with problems in her personal life and in her work. The movie is authentic and beautiful with great performances. Brie Larson shines brightly in the movie.

This Is the End: A great apocalyptic comedy. With a great ensemble cast including: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, and many other talented actors, all who play themselves. When Apocalypse occurs, most of the population is taken to heaven, and a few unlucky people, including the cast, are left to die. The movie is Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directorial début. It will keep you laughing for hours.

Wadjda: One of my favorite movies of the year. It tells the story of Wadjda, a young girl who wants to buy a bicycle, so she enters her school’s Quran recital competition to win the money and buy the bicycle. The movie’s story might sound simple, but it really isn’t. Wadjda is a great movie for many reasons. A great story, great acting, great production, but the greatest thing about this movie is not only that it was shot here in Saudi Arabia (a place where movie theaters are banned), but it was also the first movie to be directed in Saudi Arabia by a woman (Haifa Al-Mansour). A great triumph for the Saudi Arabian film industry.

The Wolf of Wall Street: Directed by the genius Martin Scorsese, starring the talented Leonardo DiCaprio. ‘Wolf’ tells the (true) story of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who defrauds his clients and lives a luxurious life with his beautiful wife. He wastes his money on drugs, cars, a yacht, and girls. The movie is uproariously hilarious. Not to mention Leonardo DiCaprio’s best performance to date. The Wolf of Wall Street is a must see.

The World’s End: The final piece in Edgar Wright’s hilarious ‘Three Flavors Cornetto’ trilogy. Starring the dynamic duo (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost). The World’s End tells the story of a group of friends who are on a pub crawl 20 years after their failed attempt at doing so. The movie contains, as always, hilarious fight scenes and great moments.

12 Years a Slave: Undoubtedly one of the best movies of the year. The movie tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The movie stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and Sarah Paulson. The movie’s story and performances are powerful and moving. Chiwetel Ejiofor is the highlight of the movie and I’m sure we’ll see him among the Oscars nominees.

Last 5:
Gravity: Thought provoking and visually stunning.
Side Effects: Surprising, thrilling and entertaining.
The Past (Le Passé): A great follow-up to ‘A Separation’.
Fruitvale Station: A movie about injustice based on a true story.
Captain Phillips: Well acted and thoroughly thrilling.

The Rest: The Bling Ring, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunt, Monsters University, Mud, The Place Beyond the Pines, Prisoners, Saving Mr. Banks, The Spectacular Now, Spring Breakers, Stories We Tell, What Maisie Knew, The Wind Rises.

On my watchlist:  Short Term 12, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Saving Mr. Banks12 Years a SlaveThe Wolf of Wall StreetAmerican HustleThe Spectacular NowBlue JasmineDallas Buyers ClubHerFruitvale Station, The Wind Rises, Don JonThe Hobbit – The Desolation of Smaug, In a World… All Is LostEnough Said.