Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Music Break: Dead Man’s Bones

Because today is Halloween it only feels appropriate to confess my new found love of the weird and gothic music of the band, Dead Man’s Bones. Yes, this is actor Ryan Gosling’s (Noah from The Notebook, the most epic love story of our time :D) band…and no, I do not like them just for that reason (am not that shallow…though why deny the fact that Ryan is even hotter behind a piano..oh & gotta love the deep sexy vocal thing. Okay, sorry, back to the music…which I’m all about ;)).

Dead Man’s Bones is a collaboration of Ryan Gosling and his friend, Zach Shields. The two friends met back in 2005 when they were dating sisters and resented being forced to hang out. They claim to have wanted to hate each other but ended up bonding on a mutual love for music and a fascination with the paranormal. These shared interests grew into an idea to write a theatrical monster ghost love story set to music. But upon learning how much all this would cost, the duo decided to nix the theatrics and stick to the music.

Their sound is straight out of the 50’s & 60’s; somewhat reminiscent of artists such as The Shangri-Las, Bobby Vinton, and The Andrew Sisters. With eerie and haunting sounds (such as tin foil for rain, creaking doors, paper ripping for thunder, foot steps, screaming, crying, waves, werewolf howling, boat noises, crickets); Ryan’s deep sultry voice (did not know he could sing like that, so impressive); and L.A.’s Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir on background vocals; it creates a unique gothic inspired collaboration.

This song, “In A Room Where You Sleep”, is off their self-titled debut album which released in 2009. Even though this tune has been around for a couple years, I just discovered it a few weeks ago and became a little obsessed with it. The video is a live performance of the song. The kids choir all dressed up in their costumes is just too cute; (especially love kid at the end) and adds a really interesting dimension to the sound.

This is the perfect song to crank for your Halloween party tonight.. or while you’re at home pigging out on candy and ignoring trick or treaters! ;) For more info on Dead Man’s Bones, click Here.

Well I’m off to make some homemade peanut butter cups and red velvet cake pops with my sister! Hope you have a safe & happy Halloween! :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It Isn’t Goodbye…

“On the final day I die I want to hold my head up high. I want to tell You that I tried to live it like a song. And when I reach the other side I want to look You in the eye and know that I've arrived, in a world where I belong.” Where I Belong by Switchfoot


This past Thursday, October 27th, my sweet grandma went to be with Jesus. She was blessed with a long life of 91 years, almost making it to her 92nd birthday in January. She truly outlived everyone’s expectations; she was a strong woman. While we knew that she probably didn’t have much longer it still took us by surprise. I guess it’s just one of those things that you can never fully be prepared for.

In the last few years of her life she had developed dementia and pretty much lost most of her ability to remember and communicate. This was so hard for me, I was so used to being able to spend time with her and talk to her. In a lot of ways, I feel like I mourned the loss of her then. Even before she passed away, I already missed her. Especially when I would go through hard times I would always think how comforting it would be to go sit next to my grandma or my grandpa (who passed 6 years before her) and just give them a hug & talk to them. 

But I thank God that he blessed me with such an amazing grandma as Lupe Rodriguez. We were so blessed to have her with us for as long as we did. She was such a special woman, the kind where no one has anything but good memories of her. My sister & I were very close to her and have a wealth of great memories to cherish. She lived to serve God and her family. And she was such a rock to all of us.

My grandma was a praying woman. If you needed prayer for anything you could always call on her. She would write down all the prayer requests in her notebook and pray for them every morning. I really cherish that legacy of prayer that she left to our family and the example she was to all of us.

The photo I posted above is one of my favorites of her. It was taken a really long time ago but it shows her doing one of the things she loved to do most; cooking great food in her kitchen for her family. (In this photo she is also wearing a cute vintage looking apron that my sister & I now have.)  She was an amazing cook and made the most delicious homemade tortilla’s & Mexican food you’ve ever tasted! I hope to one day be able to make tortilla’s the way she did. Her Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners will probably always live in our family’s memories! Her dressing was a classic to us! And we all try to imitate it but can never seem to get it quite like hers.

She even had a tradition for Halloween that our whole family loved. Every Halloween we would all go to her house and pass out candy while enjoying sandwiches, chips, popcorn balls, and my dad’s “green punch”. This is a tradition that her mom started and she kept it up for all of us. So tomorrow, even though she can’t be with us, we will still enjoy this tradition.

I could probably go on and on about all the wonderful memories I have of her and how great she was. I truly feel honored to have been her granddaughter. I was so blessed to have been loved by her.

Today was her funeral and in her honor I wore the pearl necklace she gave me years ago. It was nice to wear something that she had worn many times before; a small piece of her memory close to my heart.

Even though I really miss her, I praise God that I have the hope of seeing her and my grandpa again one day. It makes my heart happy to think of the beautiful reunion her & my grandpa must have had. I know they are both finally home – whole, healed, free, and in the place they really belong. And because of this, I do not feel like I’m really saying goodbye at all, it’s just see you later.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” - Philippians 1:21

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things That Made Me Smile This Week

“This is the stuff that drives me crazy. This is the stuff that's getting to me lately. In the middle of my little mess I forget how big I'm blessed.” – This Is The Stuff by Francesca Battistelli

Do you ever have those days … or weeks … okay maybe even months where everything just seems to well .. suck? lol Where things just seem like a rollercoaster you can’t get off of? We all do. And it’s so easy in the midst of all of the craziness to forget how truly blessed we are and that, while things may be hard, God still gives us things to smile about along the way. I never want to forget that. I never want to lose sight of the many reasons there are to wake up and smile. Because God does bring beauty and hope in the midst of the ashes. So in honor of trying to keep all this in mind, to learn to value even the mundane details of life, I’m going to start making a weekly list of things that made me smile and things to be thankful for. So I hope you enjoy reading my first installment and feel free to post things that made you smile this week as well! :)


Things That Made Me Smile List ~

*Getting to see two of my very favorite bands, Switchfoot & Anberlin, in concert at Stubbs in Austin on Tuesday! This was my 5th time seeing Switchfoot and my 1st time seeing Anberlin, and neither bands disappointed. It felt so awesome to get lost in the music, singing & rocking out to all my favorite songs. It was a crazy awesome show and I seriously had a blast!


(photo of Switchfoot @ Stubbs from

*Getting a chance to hang out with friends that I haven’t seen in a while at the concert. Talking and laughing with them was something I so needed and put a huge smile on my face.

*Pretty fall weather! Cool, crisp fall days are few and far between here in TX. But we did have a couple really windy, cool days this past week that felt like heaven! My favorite kind of days are when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing through your hair. It makes me feel so light and happy. Fall is my favorite season so I take every chance I get to breathe that in.


(photo from

*Hanging out in downtown Austin with my family. Some of the places we stopped at were a dessert trailer called Holy Cacao, where I got a super delish peanut butter cake pop! Lunch at Kerbey Lane, our first time there, we loved it! Whole Foods, I’m one of those weird people that likes grocery shopping and this store is like the mother ship, no seriously – free samples of everything, and Salted Caramel Gelato…need I say more?! And we made a quick stop at Coco’s for bubble tea! So yeah, I have a major crush on you Austin… I think it could be love. ;)



(photos from Google images)

So there’s my first list! It actually made me feel a little better just seeing it all written out! Hope you guys have a very happy and blessed week with lots of reasons to smile! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Head On Collision

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I’ve tried and tried to pull you back from these coal laden dark tracks but you’ve fought back. I know now that even if I wrestled you to the floor, it wouldn’t matter, you’re hell bent on knocking on that trains door. And no one can save you now! And no one can save you now!

You’ve been walking on train tracks, blindfolded. You don’t hear the whistle, you don’t see the smoke. And I’m standing there, watching you, screaming my lungs out, oh I know without a doubt, it’s gonna be a head on collision. Head on collision.

Oh you and this train, baby, you’re one and the same. The stubborn freight you are, but unstoppably moving down a chaotic path won’t get you too far. You yell in an alarming whistle to all in your way to let them know you’re going to keep running and running down this dangerous path anyway. And no one can save you now! And no one can save you now!

If only you had vision to see, this trains headed towards you, baby. But you say, “shut up and let me go”, yeah you and this train, you’re ready to roll. Roll into a head on collision. Head on collision.

Sometimes you’ve gotta crash and burn. Sometimes you've gotta crash and burn just to learn, you can’t go your own way. And only one can save you now! And only one can save you now!

{Repeat Chorus 2x}
You’ve been walking on train tracks, blindfolded. You don’t hear the whistle, you don’t see the smoke. And I’m standing there, watching you, screaming my lungs out, oh I know without a doubt, it’s gonna be a head on collision. Head on collision. If only you had vision to see, this trains headed towards you, baby. But you say, “shut up and let me go”, yeah you and this train, you’re ready to roll. Roll into a head on collision. Head on collision.

© Krystal Celeste

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Dream…


I knew it in my heart. It was a cold sweat, wake up in tears kind of dream from the start. There was a big gaping hole, something was missing or something was stolen. All that was left was a dead dull ache; remnants of a death I could not fake. And the question I could not shake was, what was I grieving? Even when I awoke, heart-pounding, I felt as though it would still not end. I tried to dismiss it, but deep down inside, I knew, things would never be the same again.

© Krystal Celeste

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Album Review of “Vice Verses” by Switchfoot


To say that I was just a bit ecstatic when I received my copy of “Vice Verses”,  Switchfoot’s 8th studio album, in the mail a few days before its release might be an understatement. I could not wait to dive into it! We fans have been hearing about this album since before 2009’s Grammy Award winning, “Hello Hurricane”. I had only heard three songs from “Vice Verses” before its release as I was one of those fans that would not let myself listen to the free stream. Though it was so tempting, I’m a sucker for the element of surprise. And I’m glad that I didn’t give in because nothing could beat sitting there listening to the whole album beginning to end in one listen; lyrics in hand. Let me tell you, I haven’t been this moved by a record in a long time.

On Tuesday, September 27th, the wait was finally over and “Vice Verses” hit the market! If “Hello Hurricane” was about walking through the storm then “Vice Verses” feels like a big picture perspective of all the highs and lows of the storm. Lead singer, Jon Foreman, talked a little bit about this theme recently in CCM Magazine, “Hurricane is singing into the storm and this is almost that apocalyptic view of what happens in the aftermath of it all. It’s delving deeper into the darkness and the light.” 

You can feel that tension on the rocking first track, “Afterlife”. It’s a great opener as it starts in traditional Switchfoot fashion with crunchy guitars kicking it into high gear. Jon sings passionately in the chorus about not waiting till we get to heaven to really come alive, “And I wonder why would I wait till I die to come alive? I'm ready now I'm not waiting for the afterlife”. To me, “The Original” is the type of fun rock tune, with great guitar riffs and some pounding drums, that you blast in the car with the windows down. “The War Inside” instantly blew my mind! Seriously, I do not think I’ve ever heard Switchfoot sound like this before! The music and Jon’s vocal on this track has an edgy, rhythmic, almost electronic feel to it. This song, with its killer guitar riffs, speaks of the internal war we wage, “Ain't no killer like pride. No killer like I. No killer like what's inside./I am the war inside. I am the battle line.” The worshipful tune, “Restless” has got to be one of the best songs Jon’s ever written. The lyrics of longing and searching for our Savior are poetic, and the melody takes your breath away as Jon’s voice soars. It’s easy to close your eyes and get lost in worship with this tune. “Until the sea of glass we meet. At last completed and complete. Where tide and tear and pain subside. Laughter drinks them dry. I'll be waiting. Anticipating. All that I aim for. What I was made for./ I am restless, looking for you.” A masterpiece.

The biggest surprise on this album is no doubt the hip-hop (yes, hip-hop) infused track, “Selling The News”. This is definitely a side of Switchfoot we’ve never seen before! The guys once again enlisted the help of hip-hop producer, Mike Elizondo, and no where on the record do you hear his influence more than on this tune! Jon’s spoken word style singing really fits this brutally honest and outspoken song, about the corruption of the media, “I want to believe you. I want to believe But everything here's in between. The fact is fiction. Suspicion is the new religion.” I would really love to hear more songs like this from the guys! "Dark Horses" is the anthemic, guitar driven first single from the record. In this tune the guys rock it out for the homeless kids in San Diego they support through their annual Bro-Am surf competition. The soft and vulnerable “Thrive” in my opinion, gives us one of the best lines on the record, “No I'm not alright. I know that I'm not right. Feel like I travel but I never arrive. I wanna thrive not just survive.”

When title track, “Vice Verses” starts I feel like the world just stops, this song leaves me breathless. It’s a soft, delicate, acoustic guitar driven song with lyrics that are honest, questioning, and beautiful. “Where is God in the earthquake? Where is God in the genocide? Where are You in my broken heart? Everything seems to fall apart. Everything feels rusted over. Tell me that You're there.” The echo in the background adds a really lovely touch to this song.

The guys close out the album with a song that feels like a period to a beautifully told story, “Where I Belong”. This track instantly feels epic with pounding percussion, group hand claps and vocals. To me the lyrics speak of living with heaven in mind, knowing that this world is not our home. But while we’re here there is still work left to be done so let’s live it out now.“Until I die I'll sing these songs On the shores of Babylon. Still looking for a home. In a world where I belong.” I feel like this song is where we really see the theme of polarities come to life, as the first track had them “not waiting for the afterlife”, and this last track has them longing for it. I loved how they tied in the lyrics from both songs with the line, “I still believe we can live forever. You and I we begin forever now. Forever now.” It made the album feel complete and full circle.

Once again Switchfoot takes us on a journey through a story of highs and lows of the human experience. They make us see details that maybe we’d be apt to look over or maybe even things we do not want see. Feelings and fears we’re afraid to face and things we just don’t understand. They show us that while there is darkness, our story doesn’t have to end there, that there is hope, and that redemption can come in like a blinding light. I’m always on the edge of my seat to listen to the story these 5 guys from San Diego are telling with their songs and their lives; and hopefully “Vice Verses” is just one more of the many chapters still to be sung.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hey Stranger

{Wrote this lyric about a year ago and came across it again last night. For some reason it just never felt like the right time to post it; but now it seems appropriate for this season of life.}

You won't let me be there, won't tell me what's going on. Won't tell me where your head and heart are at. Oh it's been too long since we had an honest conversation, since you let me in. Since we were real and not pretending, oh where do we begin? So tell me, what's the song that you've singing? What's the dream that you've been dreaming? I really do want to know. Even though I fear what I'll find is a person I don't even know.

Hey stranger, how did things change so fast? Hey stranger, why can't some things last? Hey stranger, thought it would stand the test of time. Oh how I wish I didn't have to say goodbye to a person I once knew, now you're a stranger to me and I'm a stranger to you.

Why so secretive? You used to tell me everything. I'm not used to this silence and it's driving me crazy. Yeah I could try to say "I don't care" but in the end it would be a lie. But as time goes on I find myself losing the want to try. Trying to hold on to what I thought was real and tangible, but if we could let it go so quickly, then was it just disposable?

{Repeat Chorus}

I wasn't prepared for the split on this road. I wasn't prepared to have to let you go. Was hoping we could travel this journey together. But you can't travel with a person you don't even know. I looked at a photo of you today and quietly asked "Where did you go?" I'm left with a stranger who was once a friend of my soul.

{Repeat Chorus 2x}

© Krystal Celeste