Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Face Off Season 5 Premiere Review

Hey, y'all!

Since I now only have one show that I'm reviewing on here, I figured that since another of my favorite shows has started coming on, I should start blogging about it! So, here I am.

I started watching Face Off last season, and really enjoyed it. (In case you were wondering, I was totally pulling for Eric Fox. Super cool dude.) So, here I am, reviewing an episode a week after it was on. Oh well. I'll be posting both this and the most recent episode's on Wednesday.

This season is veterans vs. newcomers. There are 8 of each. I was really glad to see last season's Eric Zapata, because he was another of my favorites... although it would have been way cooler to see Fox again.

All the competitors meet and mingle at a party. This actually serves as the departure for their first foundation challenge: they have to create a look inspired by one of the costumed people at the party. Tate, Roy and Laura are the top in the challenge. I was really rooting for Roy or Laura. I thought hers was really pretty, and his was a really cool caricature. However, Tate wins the challenge. They go check out the house they’ll be staying in, and it's really cool. All of the new people are in one bedroom with pictures of the returning contestants’ work up on the walls.

The next day, they go to the Dolby theater, home of the Academy Awards. McKenzie tells them that their spotlight challenge is to work in groups to create original stylized fantasy characters that all look like they exist in the same world. It's going to be newcomers vs. veterans. Each team has to create an ogre, pixie, faun, troll, and witch. 

The newcomers' concept is that their five creatures are from all over their land, and are members of a counsel. To pull every character together, they each have a stone/gem on their chest. 

The veterans' concept is that the witch is the leader, while the rest of the characters are her minions. I can't remember if any more was stated at this point, but at judging, the team also explained that the queen is blind, which is why all the other characters have extra eyes, because they are the eyes of the queen.

Overall, there isn't too much drama inside the lab. The newcomers are nervous because the vets are going really big, while the newcomers are going pretty. However, the newcomers seem to be just a bit ahead because they already have things ready to be molded. Only two problems really came up. The first was that the veterans were having problems with the back piece for the witch, which ended up being fixed by the end. The second was that Adolfo was having trouble opening his mold, and when he finally got it open, some stuff was ripped.

Application day went off without a hitch- at least for the veterans. The newcomers were having several problems. First, one pair can't agree on how to paint their piece, and they end up majorly clashing over it. Then, during last looks, one girl loses the gemstone that should be on her model’s chest. OOPS.

Time for the Faceoff reveal stage
My opinions...
Eric, RJ, and Frank: Ogre. The body looks weird and that face looks really cartoony and cheesy
Roy- Faun. When I saw it from far away, I thought it looked really silly and couldn't find the face. It looked better once we got a more zoomed in look at it.
Tate- Troll. I thought it looked really well done and cool. That bloody baby in its hand was a great touch.
Miranda and Alana- Pixie. Really pretty and really polished. Though honestly, this seems like the easiest character to take on.
Laura- Witch: really cool and demonic looking. While it didn't look bad by any means, it wasn't spectacular in my  opinion.

Tolin, Eddie: Ogre. Totally cheesy. Really cartoony and just bad.
Laney, Rick- Faun. I thought it looked realy cool and almost cat-like. 
Adolfo: Troll.  Not as bad as I thought it would be, but definitely not good.
Lyma- Pixie. It was really pretty but seemed like mostly paint rather than sculpture. And of course, she didn't have that stone. But the judges didn't seem to notice.
Sam, Scott- Witch. I liked what they did with the stone on her chest. It looked really pretty.  

The judges seem to be impressed with the vets when taking a close look, but give mixed reactions about the newcomers. They want to talk to some people about what they've made.

Alana and Miranda- The judges think they had a great design concept and that it's very cohesive and solid.

Tolin and Eddie- The judges think the proportions are all off. They say it's bad sculpting. Tolin defends it, and the fact that they didn’t realize it is bad is a problem. Glenn even goes as far to say that he wouldn't trust any of their judgments. 

Frank, RJ, and Eric: The legs and feet are disproportionate, but otherwise everything is good. It looks like the body is missing, and the mouth doesn't move which is a big no-no for Glenn.

Rick and Laney: They like it and think everything has been cleverly done.

Adolfo: They said that nothing about the face works, and that his bad paint job made it even worse.

Laura: All I really got out of this critique was just that they liked the witch. 

Glenn says that the vets won and that Miranda is the winner.

Adolfo, Eddie, and Tolin are told that they are the bottom 3, and the person going home is Tolin. 

So, there we go! First episode: done. I guess I can go ahead and give some first impressions of some of these people, but I don't dare predict anything like I do for Project Runway. NO WAY.

Frank Ippolito: Honestly, I couldn't even remember who he was. I had to google him just to figure out what he looks like. So clearly, he hasn't made much of an impact on me.
Tate Steinsiek: I'm not sure of what my opinion is of him, but he does seem to pull out consistently great work.
Miranda Jory: At first, I thought she seemed cool, but then she started getting on my nerves. Maybe it's that she's too uptight for my taste?
RJ Haddy: I'm still having trouble keeping him and Tate straight in my mind. Just give me a couple weeks and I'll have that all sorted out... hopefully.
Alana Schiro: She's another one who's turning out great work constantly. I'm impressed so far, and I think her hair is really cool.
Roy Wooley: I really liked that first foundation challenge look, but nothing has made that much of an impression on me since then.
Laura Tyler: Once again, another who is constantly pulling out great work! She's really impressed me, but I'm not sure how much I like her.
Eric Zapata: Finally, someone I know! I actually really like him. I just hopes he steps it up so he can do well!

Adolfo Rivera: I'm not sure how I feel about him just yet. Give me a week or two, and I'll let you know.
Eddie Holecko: My roommate and I were shocked to realize he's only a year older than us... and then we proceeded to realize that we'll be 20 in less than a year. Age aside, I haven't been impressed by him yet, and I'm not sure he's totally ready for this yet.
Laney Parkhurst: She's one of the few newcomers who has actually impressed me. She seems to be doing well, and I think she's pretty cool too.
Lyma Millot: I've got mixed emotions. I'm not sure if she can get by being mostly a body painter.
Rick Prince: First off, he's from Nashville so woot! He's also the only other newcomer who has made any sort of positive impact on me, so that's a big positive for him!
Sam Allen: At least she tried to stand up for herself, which is really great. But so far, I don't really care either way about her.
Scott Ramp: He seems rather controlling and stuck in his ways, even when those ways may not be the best thing. Not good.
Steve Tolin (goes by Tolin): I actually kinda liked him and am sad to see him go.

So there you go! Hopefully, the next review will be up later today. See you then!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Whodunnit? FINALE

Sorry this is a bit late. I didn't get to watch it Sunday night and since then, everything has been really crazy with move-in and such.

Click HERE to see all of my Whodunnit? reviews!

We get a little review of the season before the episode begins, as well as a recap of what happened at the end of last episode. They're in the limo, and suddenly turn around and head back to Rue Manor. Giles comes on the TV screen all tied up. He's hidden somewhere in the manor. Fog covers up everything and Melina disappears.

The tv then shows a creepy "dear mortals" message. It says welcome to last day,  and that the killer has vanished and two of them will die. It also says that when Sheri died, they got a three digit code. They have to remember or figure out that code. They go to the parlor, where the code was etched into the window sill, but it's no longer there. However, the killer set up different things with numbers (like the pool table has the 6,1, and 3 balls out, and the chess pieces are arranged to be 6,1, and 3. Kam figures it out first, and runs to where he saw some secret room, and Cris and Lindsey follow. They use the code to get into a secret room, and inside find all of the killer’s things. Kam called it an orgy of evidence, which I found kinda funny. They also find Melina on the floor with the Geno beads around her neck.

Kam starts questioning the two of them because he knows one is the killer. They start accusing each other and then we get little montages of each of their most shady moments. In Melina’s hand is a puzzle piece. The rhyme on it said to hang onto it.

They go back into the living room and find that their final challenge has been set up. There are 3 question mark shaped puzzles with video screens in front of them. The extra piece is Kam's advantage for winning last time. Giles pops up on the screen and talks to them. The killer voice comes on and says they had to dispose of Giles. They have to solve the puzzle as quickly as possible, and then they'll be told to go to a room which is basically going to serve as the finish line for the winner. Then, suddenly all of the dead people start coming down the stairs. Each of the dead people have puzzle pieces. They have to solve riddles at each station to get the pieces. They’re told where to go from the screen. The puzzles all have to do with how that person died. If they get it right, they get the correct piece. They get it wrong, they get the wrong piece. They don't know whether they got the right or wrong piece until they put all of their pieces in and then light up their puzzle. Any correct pieces turn white, incorrect stay black. Each riddle has to do with that person's death. For the final piece, they have to go up to the attic. Kam is the first to make it to this point.

In the attic, Kam finds Giles untied. He explains that the killer made him tie himself up. Giles says to go downstairs to the bar and get his contract. The contestants have to read the contract, bring him the last page, and tell Giles, based on the contract, whether or not Giles is the killer/ responsible for the murders. After a montage of everyone running around, Kam is the first to light his puzzle. He has only two incorrect pieces, so he runs back to the stations he got incorrect. Cris also ends up having 2 incorrect. Lindsey ends up with only one incorrect, but is very far behind the other two. Kam is the first to finish, and is told to go to a secret room upstairs. Cris finishes next and is told to go to the same room. Lindsey finishes last and is given a riddle which leads her to the room where they found Melina dead. When Kam gets to the room upstairs, he finds that it has tons of evidence. To me, it looks like the rooms you see in crime shows when a person gets overly obsessed with a case and keeps all the evidence they can find. 

When Cris gets to the room, he talks to Cris about what's going on. He's confused, because from what he understood, this was the finish line. Then a TV comes on and they see Lindsey opening the door to the room downstairs. She walks in and then a wall swings around and she almost immediately gets shot in the throat with an arrow by a knight statue. Kam is shocked, and looks at Cris and accuses Cris of being the killer, to which she admits. She then tells him that he's the winner. Giles enters and gives Kam a pair of golden handcuffs to handcuff Cris. Then Giles hands Kam the money and takes him out to a limo and asks him where he wants to go. His response? HOME.

I must say, I wasn't completely surprised that Cris was the killer, but she certainly wasn't my first suspect. I was convinced it was either Lindsey or Melina. I was sure Kam wasn't the killer, and was hoping he would win, so I'm really glad he did win!

So, there we are, mortals! We've reached the end of the season, and have discovered Whodunnit! Do you think we'll get another season of Whodunnit? Do you WANT another season of Whodunnit? I know I do! Hope you enjoyed reading my Whodunnit reviews, because I know I'll really miss watching the show and being able to review it. Hopefully, I'll see you for another season, mortals!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Project Runway Season 12 Episode 5: YOU Choose Your Materials

Well, that was a dramatic episode!

This is going to be a short review, because I've been on the road all day and my laptop was dead so I didn't get to edit until now... which is midnight. And I have to be at school moving in at 9 in the morning. Ugh.

Check out all of my Project Runway Season 12 review posts HERE.

The episode begins with the designers talking about Sandro leaving, and their various opinions.

They meet Tim and the corporate marketing manager of Lexus, who show them multiple lexus cars. They are told that they're going to be working in teams of 3. Each person creates a look, and the three looks need to be cohesive. The teams are:
Ken, Alexandria, Sue. (team crazy!)
Kate, Jeremy, Karen.
Justin, Dom, Helen.
Alexander, Bradon, Miranda. (which, for me, was the dream team!)

Tim then says that they don't have to take inspiration from cars. Huh? I really hate when Project Runway does this, and it's the second time they've done this so far this season. They have a perfectly good challenge, and then they make it more confusing for product placement. They totally didn't need to have anything to do with Lexus on this challenge. Really, they could have made ANY challenge the Lexus challenge at this rate. At least in the past, they've tried to incorporate the Lexus into the design.

They're then told that this is their 3rd unconventional challenge. Third? Really? This is unprecedented! As much as I like the unconventional challenges, I often find them rather pointless, and 3/5 episodes is simply ridiculous. I understand that doing the unconventional shows that they can think outside the box, but in the real world, when are they going to be FORCED to work with odd materials? Stick with one per season please, y'all!

As if the challenge wasn't already confusing enough, they are also told that each team can choose 2/3 places to go: a store with vintage wallpaper, a home goods/party store, and a specialty foods store.

Jeremy's team chooses the home goods/party store and the food store. 
Helen's team goes for the antique wallpaper store and the food store.
Team Sue/Ken/Alexandria chooses the home goods/party store and the antique wallpaper store.
The dream team went for the home goods/party store and the antique wallpaper store

Even when they were shopping, Ken, Alexandria, and Sue were already having problems. Going into this, Ken was easily my favorite member of this team, but I’m kinda siding with Sue right now. He was doing a really bad job communicating, regardless of how right he may be.

The designers get to the work room and begin to work, when suddenly, Tim and Sandro walk in. Sandro is very calm and says that he's here for closure, and to apologize, especially to Helen and Ken.  He seemed pretty genuine, which I really appreciated.

Back to work, and Tim's critiques! Tim gives Alexander, Miranda, and Bradon a great critique! He gets on to Ken’s team for using a curtain for unconventional challenge, which I think is a duh moment. I mean, when will we finally get an unconventional challenge where SOMEONE doesn't try to pass a fabric off as a fabric. Honestly, I'm not surprised that she did it, because her bio shows that she's not a big TV watcher. Did she know what she was getting into? I'm doubting it bigtime now, as her sewing skills are being questioned for about, oh, the FIFTH straight episode! I mean, I've liked some of the things she's made, and I like her as a person, but when you constantly can't use the machines, I don't get how you remain. After Tim leaves, surprise, surprise: Ken, Sue, and Alexandria get in another argument. I can't even remember what this one was about, because they were constantly fighting. Maybe Sue's lack of experience with machines? Or Ken being a diva? I don't even know.

Day of runway:
More chaos for team crazy! We see Ken duct tape his dress! Oh no! Sue is hand-sewing her dress even though it's getting down to the wire. Ut oh. Alexandria tries to take it to get sewn after Tim calls time and he refuses. Sue has to her model out undressed. Tim has to tell them to stop touching it, but at least it's on her, because last time I saw it, one whole side was open!

Runway comment time!
Alexander: I thought it was cool and sculptural
Miranda: much more simple than the rest of her team, but she had problems
Bradon: WHOA. That is just so cool and sculptural. My pick for winner. Holy crap.
Justin: Top, ok. Pants look ok now too. They got that whole mess sorted out.
Dom: the sculpture is cool but odd fabric to do it with. The antique pattern didn't fit the modern design.
Helen: way too over the top poofy!
Sue: nice colors, but kinda a disaster.
Ken: I think it looks kinda cool, but needs to fit better.
Alexandria: odd sound but the skirt really does look good.
Jeremy: The sides look really pretty. It looks cute!
Karen: Oh hey, baggy! But kinda cool pattern! I'm sorry, I'm never going to get over feeling that Karen makes baggy clothes.
Kate: Cool take on the little black dress.

Heidi announces that Jeremy, Karen, and Kate are the winning team, and Ken, Alexandria, and Sue are the losing team, BUT that my dreamteam (Bradon, Alexander, and Miranda) was a close second. Also, I feel that I really need to start spelling Bradon correctly. I always spell it Braden and then have to go back and fix it. Also, as another note, I really wish that the winning look didn't have to come from the winning team. I feel like Bradon's look would have been the winner if it was just based solely upon individual design. It was just so cool.

Winning team: The judges love how they mixed the conventional and unconventional, and really love how Jeremy's dress fits. 

Losing team: They don’t have any info to tell about their looks. Zac just hates everything. All the judges just hate everything. Alexandria and Ken throw Sue under the bus for not knowing how to sew. Ken also throws sue under the bus saying that her model finished the look. Ken and Alexandria argue again. HOT MESS.

Back in the lounge, Ken gets mad at Alexandria for what she said on the runway.
Tim brings out the models and said that he lost it. Sue’s model actually finished the garment so it didn’t fall off. Alexandria was the only one trying to get everything to work on that team.

Jeremy is the winner! YAY! I'm so glad he's finally won something!

Sue is declared OUT. Alexandria is in. Ken is….. IN.
Tim agrees with the judges and isn’t going to save Sue. All I can say is WOW. I mean, the last couple weeks, we've seen a gradual decline in Sue, and I did mention in one of my posts (not sure which one) that I didn't think she would last quite as long as I originally thought. I didn't expect her out this soon though! Also, from the looks of the preview, I'm thinking either Dom or Helen might be out, and it might be a double elimination. HOWEVER, for some reason, I also got the feeling that Tim might use his save next week, but we'll see!

So, there you go! Hope you enjoyed this week's Project Runway review. Did the judges make the right decision? Did you think it should have been someone else? Was Bradon TOTALLY robbed of a win? Who's YOUR choice for the winner of Project Runway? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading! If you haven't, you should definitely check out my "Ranking Past Project Runway Designers" series HERE! Also, click HERE if you'd like to see all of my Project Runway season 12 reviews! Hope to see you back here for my review next week! See you then, y'all!

Friday, August 16, 2013

My Favorite Youtubers!

Hey, y'all! I figured that since I've been doing this blogging thing for a while, and quite a few people have read my blog, it might be cool to let you know a bit more about me and stuff that I like. This is the second post in what I believe will probably be a Saturday series.

Edit (Feb. 2014): I now have an updated list! If you're interested, you'll want to go ahead and read this (I don't go into detail about returning favorites in the update) and then I'll link the update post at the bottom!

I, like many other people my age, spend quite a bit of time on Youtube. Ok, I probably spend more time than most people, but I just don't want to focus on a full movie or TV show. Plus, there are quite a few people on Youtube who I just LOVE to watch!

There are 23 people on this list. Yes, I know that's a weird number, but it's actually like that mostly because I didn't shoot for any specific number! I just scrolled down my subscriptions, and every one that popped up that I watch all the time, I wrote down. Once I got into my top 10, I couldn't really figure out which I liked best, because they're often in videos together!

First off, let's get this one out of the way:
Tom Fletcher

I count him as a Youtuber, but most people wouldn't, so I excluded him from the countdown. He's one of the lead singers of my favorite band (as well as my favorite member of the band) and he's my biggest celeb crush.... of pretty much all-time. And he makes lots of great and funny videos, including covering songs, singing McFly songs, and OF COURSE, the wedding speech, which had me sobbing solely because I'm not Giovanna. So... I say he counts, but he's not on the list because he's a legit musician.

My Top 23 Youtubers!

#23: MattG124

I just recently discovered Matt, and that's mostly why he's all the way down here. I haven't watched a ton of his videos, but the more I see, the more I love him. Plus I find him super attractive. Although I'm not sure the green was a good choice. Maybe red... or blue... green just looks like snot. Also, he knows Jack Barakat from All Time Low and makes videos with him. Which is kinda amazing. 

#22: ThatcherJoe

In case you didn't know, he's a British youtuber, and is sister is Zoey/ Zoella on Youtube. While I find Joe really funny, I actually don't always watch his videos. I always watch if he's doing a collab with another youtuber, but it's hit or miss with him.

#21: Caspar Lee

I like Caspar. He's from South Africa, but currently lives in England. He's just too much sometimes. I know a lot of the stupid, annoying, and rude stuff he does and says is usually just him playing a character, and he isn't really a moody little jerk, but sometimes the funny annoying turns into actual annoying and I'm like, OK Caspar. Chill pill time.

#20: Jenna Marbles

OK, we all know Jenna Marbles. You're probably surprised that I like her, but don't like her that much. I think she's funny, but once again, her videos are hit or miss for me. Just sometimes, they don't interest me! I actually usually like her older stuff better than newer. Although I did like What are this? 

#19: Pleated-Jeans

He isn't extremely well known, but I never miss a video! He's so funny! Even though he only uploads once a week and it's a 2 minute video, I really think that once more people discover him, he'll become big. But if you want to go check him out, make sure you go to Pleated-Jeans, NOT PleatedJeans. He had to move to a new channel for a lot of different reasons, and PleatedJeans is the old/original one.

#18: Quirkology

Richard Wiseman (in the picture above) is a psychologist who specializes in the more quirky, odd aspects of human thinking. He's the author of several books, including Quirkology, which is what his youtube channel is named after (or vice-versa. I'm not sure which came first). The channel is devoted to different videos about illusions and tricking the mind. It's like those videos where you'll be told to watch and see how many times a team passes a ball, but you'll miss the gorilla walking around in the background. He also lets you see the behind the scenes of how his "tricks" work. They're all really clever! The only thing I don't like is that he doesn't really upload much. I've watched all of his videos and haven't seen a new one fro a while. I actually have the book Quirkology and I've read a bit of it, and it's also pretty interesting!

#17: JacksGap

Although Jack and Finn are probably the most popular of the British youtubers on my list, they just aren't my favorite! There are many videos by them that I really love, but sometimes they just aren't as interesting. I have a feeling that girls only watch them because they're attractive. And while, yes, they're very attractive (Finn more so than Jack!) they aren't as funny as some other youtubers that I like. I really like Ask Jack 2, their challenges, and their collabs!

#16: Michael Buckley

I've watched Michael Buckley since before my freshman year of high school (5 years ago, just BTW). Back then, I watched What The Buck all the time. Now, however, I usually just watch him on the MyIsh channel doing the weekly IshList, where he has a 7 item long list like "7 most popular Draw my life videos" or "Top 7 summer songs of 2013" and he's just so funny and over the top. I love him.

#15: Connor Franta

Connor is a fairly well known youtuber, but not quite as well known as some of his more popular friends (Like Joey Graceffa). I really like his videos, though. He's really funny and I love how goofy and silly he is in all of his videos. He's also extremely random, and I especially love when he collabs with other youtubers. 

#14: Tyler Oakley

He's just too funny and such a fangirl. I love watching all his collabs with British youtubers. Plus just his normal videos. I also love seeing him fill in for Michael Buckley on the IshList!

#13: AmazingPhil

If you didn't know, Phil is another British youtuber. He's just so precious, and just seems so innocent and adorable. I really love him and his videos, especially when he's with Danisnotonfire. But even when it's just Phil, I love watching him and seeing how awkward he is and hearing all of his embarrassing and awkward childhood stories.

#12: Sawyer Hartman

Sawyer is one of my more recent discoveries, but I have fallen in love with him... and his adorable puppy Hitch!!! I mostly love watching his challenges/collabs, but he's a really talented film-maker! I also think it's really funny that even though he's such a prettyboy and has a girly dog, he thinks he's totally gangster. It's adorable.

#11: Sam Pepper

Sam is such a unique and shameless guy! He's insanely funny and his pranks are just so clever and hilarious! I also really love that he seems like this totally edgy dude and in reality, he's a total straight-edge who doesn't even drink at all. He makes really cool videos (Like the things we do... videos) and he's just absolutely precious!

#10: Smosh/ IanH/ Their other channels

I'm pretty sure that Smosh was the first channel I was subscribed to back in 2007 when I made my youtube account. And although I still really like their videos, the only main channel videos I really watch anymore are the old-school ones and Food Battle. I actually REEEEALLY like lunchtime with Smosh... I just haven't watched in a while. Last summer, I went CRAZY with Lunchtime with Smosh. I watched like 200 episodes and stayed up all night. It was bad. But I love them. They crack me up!

Before I go any further:

2-9 were literally the hardest thing to rank on this list. I almost just said "OK, I don't know how these youtubers rank because I love all 8 of them so much that I just couldn't decide, so here they are in alphabetical order." But I decided that was a cop-out. So I did rank them (SOMEHOW) but just keep in mind that these are the youtubers whose videos I never miss. I love them all almost equally.

#9: Nick Foti (SoundlyAwake, StillSoundlyAwake)

(Nick is in the striped shirt, btw) He and Ken (the one waving) do daily vlogs on StillSoundlyAwake, while Nick does comedy videos on SoundlyAwake. I like the SoundlyAwake videos, and watch almost all of them, but I watch the daily vlogs (or as they call them, the "DITLO"- Day In The Life Of) almost every day. Nick has a unique sense of humor, and I love it. I can't really even figure out how to explain it...Sometimes he says things in an odd way like one I just found: "The link is in the description, so you can click it with you finger... skins." and sometimes he'll be like "what words was I trying to say with my voice box?" and "You can check out the link below in the description box... in the below region of this video..." It's funnier when he actually says it, but seriously, he's just so hilarious.

#8: Shane Dawson

Fun fact, when I first subscribed to Shane Dawson's main channel back in 2008, he was just 20 and had about 15,000 subscribers. I think he had maybe... oh goodness... I wanna say 15 videos, but that doesn't sound like enough. I don't know. But, I've been there since practically the beginning, and I just love him. I don't watch main channel videos much anymore, because I love his daily videos way too much. But I have to have at least a little ShaneyShane in my day every day!

#7: The Fine Bros

Their react videos are just so great. I don't always love Kids React, but I absolutely love the other 3. Their spoilers are just awesome and they seem like genuinely great guys and they love what they do. Also, this gif is just precious. I don't know why, but it is. Also, I love the little pattycake game they play at the end of all their spoiler videos! I love that two brothers are so close... Also am I the only one that thinks they look nothing alike? It's not just me, right?

#6: JacksFilms

Jack has a series called Your Grammar Sucks, where he reads youtube/facebook/etc. comments with terrible grammar. When I discovered it, it was like a little hole in my heart was filled. I watched all (at the time) 30something in a single night.  My biggest pet peeve is bad grammar, so finding this was like discovering the meaning of life. And on top of all that, he also minored in music theory in college, which is one of my favorite subjects. So basically, Jack Douglass is my spirit animal. 

#5: Marcus Butler

Marcus is just hilarious. First of all, look at this, and then look up at the Tom Fletcher gif. They basically look like brothers. It's kinda weird. Anyway, I especially love the video that this gif is from, because all of his "bad habits" in the video are things that are my terrible habits as well! His girl voice is also really funny, and I of course love his collabs... and just literally every video he makes. I don't think I've found one where I'm like "hmmm, I'm not sure that one looks as interesting." Any time I see him pop up under subscriptions, I just click. Plus, even though it's a single word, he has, hands down, one of the best youtube intros... ever. Heeee-eeeelooooooo!

#4: Alfie Deyes (PointlessBlog)

Speaking of great intros, I also love Alfie's! And he just happens to be Marcus Butler's best friend! Marcus and Alfie (or Malfie, as fans love to call them) have the best collab videos! I love watching them together, but I also love Alfie just a touch more than Marcus. I think it's really cool to see someone who's my age doing this and having such success, and he just cracks me up! And the topics for his videos are always really cool and interesting as well. 

#3: Joey Graceffa

Joey got 2 gifs because it's not possible to contain his adorableness in just one. From his silliness to his old man voice to his "Oh my goodness gracionious!" he's just precious. Plus, the Joey and Shane videos are just the best. Seriously, I don't even know how to put into words why I love him... If you've seen his videos, you get it. He's just one of those people who's a total sweetheart and probably gives great hugs. Just... LOVE.

#2: Rhett And Link

First off, I love how perfectly this captures their personalities. Link is just all excited and Rhett is like "what is he doing?" but you can tell he's giggling inside. If you don't know who these two are, they're so, so awesome. They did a show called Good Mythical Morning, and I've seen SO many of those 12-13 minute long episodes, plus their new show, The Mythical Show. I can literally just turn them on and be entertained. And in case you were wondering, yes, Rhett is my favorite.

And now, for #1...

#1: Dan Howell (Danisnotonfire)

Dan is just the coolest. Plus, best intro. Hello, internet! He's absolutely hilarious. Literally, the best sense of humor. Irony, sarcasm, annoyance at the same things that annoy me... for example:

But at the same time, he's literally one of the most lovably awkward and clumsy people ever...

And seriously, how could you deny this?

And I won't even get into Dan and Phil's friendship, because that'll take even more gifs... 

Ok, Ok, no more. The fangirling is about to get hardcore, and no one wants to see that. Basically, besides being totally precious, Dan is just hilarious and awkward and his videos always make my day much better. Plus, when I watched his Draw My Life video, I realized that we had a lot of similarities as teenagers... pretending to like Hollister to get people to like us, had dogs who died at like the same time, had an existential crisis, etc. All the important things of life. I seriously can't explain my feels. Plus, his birthday is the day after mine. It's fate.

So, there you go, all of my favorite youtubers! I think I did a great job of maintaining my sanity up until that last one! Hope you enjoyed this! If you did, let me know in the comments, and subscribe to get updates when I post!

Click HERE to see my updated Favorite Youtubers list!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How To: Read Alto Clef

Hey, y'all! I've been thinking about doing a "How To" music theory series for a while, and figured I'd start it out with something that a lot of music people around me seem to need help with- reading alto clef.

The truth is, most musicians simply don't use alto clef, and many music theory beginners don't understand how to read it. I, however, am NOT most musicians, because I speak fluent alto clef. It's actually my native music tongue, because I play the viola, and music written in our normal range is written exclusively in alto clef. Some viola music does include sections in treble clef, but this is usually only when we have notes up in the A string stratosphere for an extended period of time.

Throughout this, I will be relating most things back to violas, and this is mostly because that's the instrument that uses Alto clef the most! A handful of other instruments will sometimes have music written in Alto clef, but as far as I know, the viola is the only mainstream instrument whose home clef is Alto.

So, here are some helpful tips to understanding alto clef!

Also, in case you didn't know, this is an Alto Clef.

It should also be mentioned at this point that if the bottom of the clef does not rest on the bottom line of the staff, it is NOT alto clef. There are many different clefs that use the same symbol, but in a different position. Here's an example of Alto vs. Tenor, which are the two most common clefs that share the symbol.

First off, it's called the C clef for a reason!

I like to say that the Alto clef looks like a deformed 3. With alto clef, the line that touches the middle "point" of the 3 is C. Even more conveniently, this C is actually C4, more commonly referred to as middle C. Everyone makes Alto Clef out to be so hard, but it really makes the most sense. Middle C is actually in the middle of the staff! For the other clefs that use this symbol, middle C is also located on the line that touches the middle point. 

Remembering the lines

Remember back in music classes in Elementary school where you learned treble clef, and how the spaces spelled out FACE? That same principle can be applied to the lines of alto clef, starting with the bottom line.

For me, alto clef makes quite a bit of sense, especially for playing as a violist, because when playing viola in first position, you use your odd fingers for notes on lines, and even fingers for notes in spaces. However, if you're trying simply to read the notes for a music theory class, you don't have the advantage of this physical application, so things such as remembering FACE might be more helpful. However, if you read treble clef, I have a much easier way for you to quickly learn to read alto clef. Are you ready?

The Step Rule

This is specifically for people who can already read Treble clef, Bass clef, or both! This is actually the method I used when trying to learn bass clef and re-learn treble clef... and I also might have made it up. BUT, it worked for me, and it could very well work for you too!

OK, on the left, you see C4 (middle C) in Alto clef, and on the right, you see C5 (an octave above middle C) in treble clef. If you notice, they're almost in the exact same places on their respective staves. The treble clef C5 is just on the space, and the alto clef C4 is on the line. I kid you not, this is the method I used to know where notes were in both bass and treble clef until I started actually remembering where they were, and this device helped me to put the notes into memory. As an example, let's use the E on the bottom line of treble clef. The E an octave down would be in the space right below the alto clef staff. So basically, take the note you know in treble clef. If it's on a space, move it down to the closest line. If it's on a line, move it down to the space below it. This is where that note (albeit, an octave lower) falls on the alto clef. And it's the same thing for Bass=>Alto, except you move the note up rather than down.  

You can also use this same method if you read tenor clef, but not alto. Although I'm not really sure what situation would call for only knowing how to read tenor clef. This is actually somewhat more simple than the transition between treble and alto or alto and bass. All you have to do is start with a note in tenor clef. 

I do want to note, this method is supposed to be used for learning purposes only. If you find yourself several months or years from now still using this, then you haven't been committing to memory where the notes are. 

The Range of the Alto Clef

This is the average range for music written in alto clef. Often, in viola music, if the note is above a high E, and multiple measures are in that high range, it will switch to treble clef until the notes return to the normal viola range. The low C, however, is a non-negotiable, at least for violas. Our notes can't get any lower, because that's our lowest open string. I do believe though, that regardless of instrument, that is the lowest note that exists in alto clef. One time, I had a director who wrote a note below low C into our part, and we had to tell him that we didn't have that note. Needless to say, he was a pretty clueless orchestra director. He was a trumpet player and although he was great at knowing how everything should sound, he really didn't know much about the technicalities of playing stringed instruments.

So, that's my basic how to about reading Alto clef! If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments, as I would love to answer any anything you want to know! I'm also (hopefully) going to be doing a how to on other music theory things, such as reading other clefs. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments. If you want, you could even request some high-level theory stuff, because I probably know how to do it! Not tooting any horns, just trying to be helpful, as I am a college theory student with several years of theory experience under my belt! Hope to see you again soon!