Musical Notes

22 Mar

Your Uplifting Music Playlist by Female Artists

Music speaks to the soul. It has the power to make you feel different emotions depending on the lyrics, rhythms, and beats. Each song on this list is sung by an inspiring woman in the music industry and they send an empowering message too. Anytime you need to take a step back from the daily grind, add these more-than-uplifting female artist tracks to your playlist and you’ll feel a wave of funk-fighting relief.

Female Artist Playlist collage with Sia, Katy Perry, Shakira, and Rachel Platten

14 Mar

Movie Soundtracks That Rock My World: Part Two

No matter how many years after their release, these soundtracks have found their way onto playlist after playlist. Some are newer but hit all the right notes. Some are nearing 20 years old and still have so much life in them that I can’t bear to take them out of my rotation. And why would I? In my last blog, I covered just half of my go-to movie soundtracks. Here are the rest of the soundtracks that put a smile on my face every single time I hear them.

09 Mar

Black Panther Movie and Music Review

Haven’t seen Black Panther yet? This isn’t a movie I’d wait to take a stroll to go see – I’d sprint if I were you. This movie has taken over not only the big screen, the internet, and, at least temporarily, pop culture! I don’t want to spoil my own review, but I have to say that the movie truly lives up to all the hype. There are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, turn back now. If you have, read on because there is so much to talk about!

Black Panther movie poster collage


25 Feb

Songs You Won’t Mind Getting Trapped In Your Head

Ever get a certain beat or anthem stuck in your head for hours? It’s pretty much an everyday thing for me. Often times around Bookmans, you can spot me singing to the catchy piece of music trapped in my head at the moment. These new tunes have been playing on a loop in my brain, and though sharing them might not get them out anytime soon, I’m happy to have them playing on repeat in my head. You might find yourself singing along in a minute too.

Fetty, Kyle, and Drake Album Covers

19 Feb

Movie Soundtracks That Rock My World: Part One

Movies are true works of art. Most of us use our inner critics to take in a movie’s acting performances and the director’s storytelling abilities.  Those who study film (or are just passionate movie watchers) will also pay attention to the world of the story created by the writers and the cinematographer’s eye for space and light as well. There are costumes, sets, edits – a million little things that can make a movie great or merely average. My favorite “little thing” is the movie soundtrack.

For me, music can make or break a movie. These are just some of the most outstanding movie soundtracks that make my world go ’round.

Movie still image graphic: The Life Aquatic, Drive, and Purple Rain

27 Jan

Add These Tracks Your 2018 Playlist

One of the advantages of working for a company like Bookmans is the ability to digest music, movies, games, and books effortlessly. As new material makes its way in our stores we eat it up and spit it out – in the form of reviews so that you, our avid reader and listener, can decide just what goes on your shopping list for your next trip to Bookmans. And here we are back at it again.

Album covers surrounding the title Favorite Tracks of 2018 so far

29 Dec

Bookmans Northwest: Best of 2017

Bookmans has always been your store to explore! As you know, we’re not your average bookstore or ordinary video game trade stop. Our orange shelves hold everything from movies to music to electronics to instruments, *BIG BREATH* jewelry, more books, magazines, toys, collectibles, and housewares… basically, we have a bit of just about everything! And just like our merchandise, our staff is as diverse as our store. To help Bookmans NW say goodbye to this year, we asked some of our employees to tell us their favorite books, video games, albums, movies, and instruments that came our way in 2017.

26 Dec

Lady Gaga: Top 3 Music Videos

Lady Gaga is one of those artists who always has people talking. She’s shown up in the media for her crazy costumes, insane music videos, and much more. It seems that Mother Monster herself has seemingly been keeping low on the radar. And when I say low, I mean not on the news every 5 minutes for her outrageous stunts but is still so famous that she performed at last year’s Super Bowl.

09 Nov

Above and Beyond

Lately, I have been getting the question “who your top favorite DJs in electronic music?” That’s a tough question, isn’t it? I’ve decided that the best way to answer this question (instead of just listing of countless DJs) by sharing a break down of one of my all-time favorite electronic group: Above and Beyond.

24 Oct

H.E.R. | Mariah’s Favorite Tracks from the Albums

Have you heard new R&B artist H.E.R.? This mystery artist who has bypassed exposing her real identity has the internet questioning “who is the female behind the shadow?”As always, I just came here for the music and there is no denying that enough was revealed to keep these ears lingering for more. Whoever H.E.R. may be, she guarantees mesmerizing soulful melodies.

So here is my highlight of my top 3 favorite tracks from H.E.R. – H.E.R. Vol. 1 & 2

Track 1: Losing

By far my #1 track off this album. It’s like getting lost in a relatable atmosphere carried by a serene tempo over clouds of emotion. I think we have all been caught up in that scene, yet she puts up her own unbreakable stamina.  The title may be “Losing” but I think with this one, H.E.R. may be winning.

Track 6: Facts

Apparently, facts aren’t the only thing she brought. She didn’t leave behind her fierce mindset for this one. “You make me wanna put my phone down” must be the complement of the year of 2017. Nonetheless, H.E.R.’s vocals blend smoothly with a nice rhythmic groove. Definitely worth adding to the playlist!

Track 11: Changes

“Changes” sounds like she is craving something more steady this time around, mixing vulnerability and willpower! She definitely puts out there what she wants in addition to pretty much leaving the ball in their court. Lesson took!

Intrigued and interested in taking a peek behind the curtain (as much as you can, anyway)? Check out H.E.R.’s official site to learn more about this talented young woman whose acronym H.E.R. – Having Everything Revealed – is just as killer as her music.

Excited about the mystery that is H.E.R.? Tell us about it! Loving the music? What are your favorite tracks and why? There’s so much to love and discuss about the Vols 1 &2 and it is clear that we’ll all be talking about H.E.R. for a long time.

Love Mariah’s taste in music? Check out her other reviews for Galantis’ The Aviary and Jhené Aiko’s Trip!

19 Oct

Frightful Fall | Classic Halloween Songs

Everyone celebrates Frightful Fall differently. Costumes, candy apples, trick-or-treating and fall festivals are all popular ways to show your autumn spirit. At Bookmans, we like to celebrate with the perfect Halloween playlist. With so many creepy songs to choose from, we recommend making a few different playlists in order to capture each specific spooky mood. Today, we are highlighting the classics. These songs are a must at any Frightful Fall party. Whether you will be watching horror movies or carving pumpkins this Halloween, here is a list of knock-your-socks off songs to get you in that scary spirit.

06 Oct

Bookmans Recommends | The Aviary by Galantis

If you know much about Electronic Dance Music then chances are, you’ve heard of Galantis. This Swedish duo consists of Christian Karlasson and Linus Eklöwn. The two have made their mark in sculpting House music. Galantis is best known for their 2014 hit single, Runaway (U & I) as well as individual accomplishments within the music industry. Their latest album, The Aviary infuses their unique sense of vitality into the songs while keeping their melodies groovy. Today, I’m highlighting my top three tracks on Galantis’ The Aviary to help break down the album.

04 Oct

Top Five Reasons to Learn a Musical Instrument

Johann Sebastian Bach once said, “It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.” Music has been around since the dawn of time. Its incredible diversity in the sounds, genres, instruments, and emotions makes music is a universal language. Well, maybe not technically a language, but people can connect in such a way that sometimes words cannot reach. So here are a list of the top five reasons why you should learn a musical instrument!

28 Sep

Bookmans Recommends | Trip by Jhené Aiko

Jhené Aiko’s new album, Trip is an inside perspective on her journey of healing. From love to heartache, she talks about growing as a mother, the overwhelming grief of losing her brother to cancer, and the thought that she might have actually found real love. This album is more than a surprise, it’s a revelation with light airy beats whirling around in a familiar atmosphere. Here to help unpack this newly released album, I will be highlighting my top three favorite tracks.

19 Sep

Rad Bands That Just Happen To Sing Other Languages

Music is grand isn’t it? From classic rock to punk rock, from hip hop to bubblegum pop, we love music of all genres. And we love music of all languages too! Sometimes, listening to sweet tunes in an unfamiliar language can be intimidating but there is a lot to be gained from being taken out your comfort zone. Sure, you might not know the actual lyrics but the music can still be enjoyable and it’s proven it actually helps you learn another language. Not to mention, you can still groove to a song regardless of whether or not you can understand the lyrics. So to help you get started introducing non-English singing bands and musicians, here are just three bands sure to make you move.

13 Sep

Bookmans Recommends | ODESZA’s A Moment Apart

ODESZA is an electronic duo featuring Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight. This group writes and produces their own individual style of electronic music while performing at music festivals full of fans from all over the world. Maybe you are one of their fans, maybe you have heard their music remixed by popular DJs or played at millions of night clubs. Whether directly or indirectly, ODESZA definitely has a following. As said in the intro of this album, “The only way to save sanity is to fall in love with the sound.” Today, I’m breaking down their newly released album, A Moment Apart and highlighting my top three favorite tracks.



07 Sep

Bookmans Recommends | Yours Truly Forever by Phora

Marco Archer, known as Phora, is a poetic singer and rapper from Anaheim, California. His music is a testimony to his talent in storytelling within the context of rap music. His style is almost like a mix between Logic and a young J. Cole. At 22 years old, Phora has crushed the many barriers that stood in his way of success. Though he grew up amidst violence that threatened his life, Phora never let his struggles or fears consume him. Instead, he looked to music as his fortitude. Today, we celebrate his top earning deal with Warner Bros. and newly released album, Yours Truly Forever. Here are my favorite tracks from Phora.


29 Aug

Bookmans Recommends | Kesha’s Rainbow

When I first listened to the song Rainbow from Kesha’s new album of the same name, I was stopped at a red light trying not to shed any tears. Let’s just say that I wasn’t able to hold any back. It’s been five years since Kesha has released an album and she claims that this one saved her life. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, “Rainbow is a cathartic album for Kesha…making the record helped her cope with depression. ‘I would roll out of bed, get in my car and show up to the studio,’ Kesha said. ‘And I would just keep making songs. That was my way to cope.'” Rainbow features appearances by the Dap-Kings Horns, Eagles of Death Metal and the one and only Dolly Parton. This album is different from anything that Kesha has ever done. Her single, Praying is already attracting attention as a powerful study in healing and redemption. Kesha’s Rainbow feels like the album that set her free.

16 Aug

Musical Notes | Car Karaoke

One of Bookmans’ core values is environmental awareness. A great way to take a step toward reducing your carbon footprint is to carpool. An environmentally better way is in a hybrid. A more entertaining way, and quite possibly the best way, is to have a car karaoke party! The idea ‘dance like no one is watching’ is an essential philosophy when doing this, seeing that most of us do not have tinted windows on our vehicles. Now that I think about it, I have seen some pretty great dance moves when people are rocking out. Regardless, someone else is bound to hear you belting it out if you’re sitting in traffic, so you might as well give it your all. Toss your worries aside and embrace the morning commute by singing your heart out! Every moment waiting in your car just became a moment to shine and party down. I’ve even recruited other drivers to join me in reinacting the Bohemian Rhapsody scene from Wayne’s World – complete with full air guitar with my windows rolled down! The driver next to me even used his dashboard like a drum kit. Had it been a contest, we totally would have won! Some carpoolers even bring instruments including drum sticks for air solos. Today, we are counting down our picks for best carpool karaoke musical instruments.

15 Aug

Bookmans Recommends | Majid Jordan

Majid Jordan isn’t to be confused with one person, it’s the production name of Canadian R&B duo, Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman. Both collaborated together in their hometown of Toronto. These two artists’ lives changed after their anonymous track “Good People” on SoundCloud made it’s way into the ears of Drake. This is where the “OVO Tents” come in, helping produce hit tracks like “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “Mine.” Both artists seem to have taken a lot away from the experience and are really making waves with music. Not only are they writing and producing for other artists, but they are generating their own groovy R&B exclusive soundscape melody. Today, I’m counting down my personal favorites from the Majid Jordan album.

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