Toastless is Back

So it's been a little while... both since I've written on here or updated my Etsy shop, but I'm here to show you some of the new items I've recently added and talk about them a little bit.

I've been busy trying to launch my Etsy shop again after a few years of inactivity, and it's been tough. Etsy - as well as the internet is general - has changed a lot since I launched my shop in 2014. I've been learning a LOT about marketing and the importance of SEO. It's been slow process, but I'm finally starting to get my shop up and running again.

I wanted to revamp my shop a little and make it better than ever now that I'm out of school and have time to focus on it. My ultimate goal is to eventually make a little bit of a steady side income from my shop, a little bit of extra money to set aside for emergencies, unexpected bills, or maybe even a little shopping money.

I still wanted the same weird kind of art I had been creating when I started my Etsy shop in 2014, but I wanted it to look more polished. With that, I decided to keep a lot of my subjects similar, but to outline them in thick black lines to add a bit more of a cartoon feel. I've also been inspired by artists such as Keith Haring, and Nickelodeon is a huge influence of my art and style. I took that into consideration with my color palettes and the patterns I used in my works.

I'm excited to continue to add and grow with my shop and I hope to continue to expand my line of products. I have a few things I have planned and I hope I can announce them soon!

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Review: M A N I A

I remember when I first listened to Fall Out Boy's album, From Under the Cork Tree (2005). As cheesy as it sounds, that album made an impact on my life - my entire fall semester of 9th grade was spent sitting in my room updating my MySpace bio and listening to that album on repeat.

Fall Out Boy never makes the same album twice. I listened to Take This To Your Grave (2003) after From Under the Cork Tree and was surpised by how different they sounded. When Infinity on High (2007) and Folie a Deux (2008) came out, I was once again surprised at how the band had managed to change it's sound once again, yet stay the same.

 My MANIA bundle finally arrived!

My MANIA bundle finally arrived!

Fall Out Boy again surprised me after their hiatus. Save Rock and Roll (2013) was a totally different direction again, with dramatic songs as well as softer pop songs. Though I was disappointed by American Beauty/American Psycho (2015), there again was something new with this album. There was definitely a retro-sound to it.

MANIA (2018) is no different from Fall Out Boy's albums in that it's totally different. In MANIA, you can hear pre-hiatus Fall Out Boy through the lyrics, such as the famous 'I'll stop wearing black when they make a darker color' in "Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)" or in" The Last of the Real Ones" where Patrick sings 'I wonder if your therapist knows everything about me'.

But the album follows through with it's title, MANIA, by throwing it's sound all over the place. From the rock-infused sounds of The Last of the Real Ones to the soulful sounds in "Church" and "Heaven's Gate", the reggae-inspired "Sunshine Riptide", and of course, the most shocking song on the album "Young and Menace", which plays with glitchy, electronic sounds that the band has never experimented with before.

Besides singer Patrick Stump's vocals that shine throughout this album (as always), this may be bassist Pete Wentz strongest album as well, branching out with strong and different sounds. Though many think that it's electronic instruments used throughout this album, according to the band it's almost all actual instruments.

I like that Fall Out Boy has been able to change their sound without changing their entire band. I know there are some fans that will be upset that they're no longer the emo pop-punk band they were in 2004, but I don't mind. It's nice when I want to listen to something a little more electronic and I can pop in a Fall Out Boy album. I don't think the band themselves has changed much, and I'd rather have my favorite band grow and challenge themselves with growing their music to adapt to modern sounds.

This album may be my second favorite album by the band. Nothing can replace From Under the Cork Tree for me, but this album branches pre-hiatus emo Fall Out Boy with post-hiatus risk-taking Fall Out Boy. I'd say this album is a solid 8/10. I wish there were more songs, but that's about it.

Mania bundle

Artist: Fall Out Boy
Album: MANIA
Release date: January 19, 2018
Label: Island Records and DCD2
Singles (in release order):
1. Young and Menace (April 27, 2017)
2. Champion (June 22, 2017)
3. The Last of the Real Ones (September 14, 2017)
4. HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON'T (November 15, 2017)
5. Wilson (Expensive Mistakes) (January 11, 2018)
6. Church (January 19, 2018)

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Music Minute: A Mathematical Mind.

It's a new year and the holidays are over. It's always weird adjusting to a less chaotic life after all the family, traveling, and food that happens during the holidays but usually by New Year's, I'm looking forward to it.

I try to look at the new year as a way to refresh my focus and get stuff done. I've learned that a good playlist goes a long way to sitting down and getting to work. One of my favorite playlists I've created is perfect for that. With 40 hours of music and a variety of the latest and greatest alternative and indie tracks, it's impossible to not get stuff done.

This playlist features classics such as The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, and Spoon, but also some newer soon-to-be classics as well, such as Vacationer, Hippo Campus, and Jagwar Ma. 

So here's a playlist for going into the new year. Hope it helps you acheive all your new year's resolutions.

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