Lana Del Rey Brought the Fandom to Grand Prairie, Texas [Review]

Lana Del Rey - West Coast Single

Disclaimer 1: I am a Lana Del Rey fan

Disclaimer 2: I am a singer

When I first heard Lana Del Rey’s breakout single “Video Games” I have to admit…I wasn’t completely sold, but I was definitely intrigued. Her seductive tone and alto range was different and refreshing next to the powerhouse vocal stylings we’ve seemingly come to expect from female pop vocalists. She’s no Beyonce or Ariana Grande, she’s Lana. And the throng of screeching teenage girls at Wednesday night’s show proved that Lana doesn’t need to prove herself to anyone.

Lana Del Rey - Dallas Review

From the time she sauntered onstage in a simple, off the shoulder red dress with no shoes to the first line out of her mouth, “My pussy tastes like pepsi-cola”, the 6,000 sold-out theater erupted as if Harry Styles had taken his shirt off and pledged to make out with one lucky fan in attendance. I don’t even remember Justin Timberlake receiving this kind of response when I saw him in Houston a few months back. One thing is for sure, Lana’s fans could care less about her lackluster SNL performance that sent critics in a frenzy claiming the luscious lipped songstress was done, or that every news outlet in North Texas is criticizing her simplistic, haunting (and yes, somewhat pitchy) vocal abilities. So back to disclaimer 1. Yes, I am a fan, maybe not the shaking-until-I-lose-my-mind-rush-out-and-get-lip-injections type of fan, but a fan nonetheless. I was enthralled. She did what she does best. She drew the audience in with her hypnotic voice and dark songs of love, drugs and freedom.

Lana Del Rey - Dallas Review

The reasoning for disclaimer 2, I have a big voice, and I love big voices. I grew up on the likes of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and had a choir director mother who sang her guts out on stage from the moment I was conceived. It’s easy to criticize a singer like Lana for not being “big enough” and for not delivering the show stopping performance we’ve come to expect from over the top performers like Lady Gaga and most of her pop predecessors. Yes, Lana comes across as incredibly shy onstage. Almost to the point of awkwardness, but her songs resonate, and to me, there’s nothing more important.

Lana Del Rey - Dallas Review

Getting down into the pit of fans, taking selfies and signing autographs mid-show, it’s obvious Lana loves her supporters, in fact, I would say she feeds off of it. Some would call it self-indulgent, and maybe it is, but it added to Lana’s Old-Hollywood persona that she has so perfectly crafted. From images of Marilyn Monroe to the celebrity images from her “Video Games” video, there’s a charm and mystery to Lana that eludes most artists in today’s celebrity culture.

“I feel really lucky to be singing in front of you,” she said to the thousands of screaming fans, “because there’s a connection, and you get it.”

And a connection there was…more than most shows I see. Lana fans relate and Lana loves to connect with her fans. So in my opinion, she did exactly what she set out to do Wednesday night. Put on an amazing show for her fans.

Dallas Set List:

Cola
Body Electric
Blue Jeans
West Coast
Born to Die
Young and Beautiful
Carmin
Gods & Monsters
Summertime Sadness
Video Games
Millions Dollar Man
Radio
National Anthem

Little Girl of Mine

Originally posted on Saturday Soul:

my girl sarah

Life happens and sometimes it happens rough.  It’s like being out on the sea when a storm blows up and there is no where you can go or hide.  You simply have to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm.  Life is like that.  Many years ago I went through a terrible divorce that tore my family apart.  And like any divorce where children are involved, my beautiful babies suffered for the mistakes of their grownup parents.  My daughter was only 10 at the time and my son was a young 13 year old.  We were ripped apart.  The pain was nearly unbearable for all of us, but we made it through the storm.  We endured and grew closer together and more intimate than we ever could have imagined.  Sometimes those wounds surface though, and bring to each of us reminders of the pain, and that hurt can…

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New video! The Way You Love Me – Acoustic Performance!

Sarah Sellers - The Way You Love Me (Acoustic)

I am soooo excited to share my new single with you guys on Valentine’s Day. I am absolutely in love with this track and since the origins of the song started with an acoustic guitar and vocals, I thought I’d put together an acoustic version for you guys.

I had a blast shooting this at the beautiful Majestic Theater in Dallas with the amazing Justin Goode, Steven Reeves and of course, Josh Goode on guitar. Check it out, let me know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to download the single on Valentine’s Day!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Shrimp Potstickers

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart On tonight’s episode of American Idol the judges are headed to my favorite city, San Francisco. The food in San Fran is absolutely to die for, especially the asian cuisine. So for tonight’s recipe I decided to make one of my favorite dumpling recipes.

Head over to Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks blog for more recipes and Idol updates.


Shrimp PotstickersMartha Stewart

Ingredients

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chile oil, or 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil mixed with a pinch of cayenne
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped (about 2 ounces) Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 small scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced (about 1 small) shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package 3-inch round Chinese dumpling wrappers
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice-wine vinegar
  • 1 scallion, sliced

Finely chop 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves. Set aside. Coarsely chop half of the shrimp by hand, and set aside.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

In the bowl of a food processor, combine remaining shrimp, egg white, chile oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Puree into a smooth paste.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

Transfer to a medium bowl, add chopped cilantro, reserved chopped shrimp, carrot, cabbage, ginger, scallions, shallots, salt, and pepper.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

Mix well.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

Place 1 teaspoon of filling toward the front of a dumpling wrapper. There are two methods of sealing dumplings. Pleating one edge of the wrapper gives the dumpling its distinctive curved shape and allows it to stand upright in the pan. Do this by moistening edges with water using your finger. Bring the edges together, forming a taco shape, and pinch them together only in the top center to seal. Pinch 6 small pleats (3 on either side of the sealed center point) along one thickness only of the wrapper. Seal dumpling by pressing pleated and unpleated edges tightly together, enclosing filling. Alternatively, moisten wrapper edges with water, fold in half into a crescent shape around the filling, and pinch edges tightly closed. While forming dumplings, keep remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap. Place filled dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

In a small serving bowl, whisk together ingredients for dipping sauce.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a well-seasoned 11-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Arrange half of the dumplings tightly together in heated skillet, and cook until deep golden brown, shaking the pan one or two times, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

Add 1 cup hot water, partially cover, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until the bottoms of the dumplings are very crisp and all the water has evaporated, about 4 to 5 more minutes. Slide a spatula under dumplings to loosen them from the pan. Serve this batch of dumplings immediately or place them on a baking sheet, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in a low oven.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

Wash skillet, and repeat process with remaining dumplings. Transfer to a plate, garnish with remaining cilantro leaves, and serve with dipping sauce.

Shrimp Potstickers - Martha Stewart

Bon Appétit!

Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers: Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Southwest Mac and Cheese Bites

I’m happy to be back as a guest blogger for Lyndsey Parker’s Reality Rocks blog during Season 13 of American Idol. For tonight’s cities I’m combining Boston’s love for Italian food with the spice of the southwest in Austin, TX.

Thanks for all the love for my Mac & Cheese Bites recipe last year. You inspired me to try another one. Make sure you let these cool before you remove them or you’ll have a pile of macaroni.


Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Ingredients

  • 8oz large elbow macaroni
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used 2% but whole milk works just as well)
  • 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp panko
  • 2 chopped scallions
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain well. Spray a nonstick mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a medium sized skillet and sauté onion and bell pepper until softened. Set aside.

Mac and Cheese Bites

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute.

Mac and Cheese Bites

Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking occasionally, for about 2 -3 minutes until thickened.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Add cheddar, pepper jack and Parmesan cheeses. Stir to melt.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Add the onion mixture, salt and next 4 ingredients through the chiles.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Stir until well combined and remove from heat.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Stir in the egg yolk.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Fill each tin with the macaroni mixture and sprinkle with the panko and scallions.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Bake for 10-15 minutes until bubbling and golden.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Remove from the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a teaspoon, carefully loosen the mac and cheese bites and transfer to a platter to serve. Top with the avocado and cilantro.

Southwest Mac & Cheese Bites

Bon Appétit!

New Single Release & Snackin’ 2014

Sarah Sellers "The Way You Love Me"“THE WAY YOU LOVE ME” – COMING 2-14-14

Happy 2014 everyone! I’ve been a bit absent on my blog lately but for good reason. Music has been so good to me over the last year and I can’t wait to finally share my new single, The Way You Love Me, on Valentine’s Day.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting an acoustic version of The Way You Love Me, followed by the official music video in February.

It’s also that time of year again for Snackin’ with Sarah Sellers. Yahoo’s Lyndsey Parker has asked me to join her again during Season 13 of American Idol. So make sure you follow my blog so you don’t miss out on this year’s recipes!

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s been going on with me:

New YouTube Video! Jessie J’s Wild – Remix!

Jessie J's Wild - Covered by Sarah Sellers

When I first started doing covers on YouTube a few years ago it was a pretty simple process. Sit down in front of my webcam, sing to a track, save and publish. Then I started incorporating piano, a better camera and my OCD. When the hallow room sound wasn’t working for me I switched to GarageBand then eventually upgraded my camera to a Canon Rebel T3i.

As the “upgrading” continued so did my OCD and need to perfect every video. When Jessie J released her newest single Wild off her upcoming album Alive in May I instantly knew I wanted to cover it. I sat down with my producer Josh and said I wanted to do a quick, in the studio, acoustic video that week. I didn’t want to miss out on capitalizing on the current buzz. When he listened to the track he heard more than an acoustic version and came up with an entirely new remix of the song. I fell in love with the track and wanted to do more with the video than just singing in front of a mic….and then the shooting and shooting and reshooting began.

The moral of this story is 6 months later and a serious check on my OCD I eventually went back to my original idea of shooting in the studio. It’s so easy to get caught up in the cover world of competing with the slew of YouTubers for the best video that you can lose sight of how blissful simplicity really can be. So after months of experimenting I’m excited to put this out there and move on to the next thing….which I’m excited to announce will be the release of my first single. I’ve been working with the super talented Josh Goode and Bradley Prakope for over a year on my original material and I’m so excited to release my first single in the next few months.

Check out my new video and get ready for some original music SOON! XOXO

Imagine Dragons Ticket Giveaway – South Side Ballroom

Imagine Dragons

A year after their major label release, Night Visions,  Imagine Dragons show no signs of slowing down. With a world tour booked through December the Las Vegas based quartet is having the best year of their career. Coming off the heels of mega hits like “It’s Time”, “Radioactive” and “Demons”, Imagine Dragons is in no hurry to rush into the studio to record their sophomore album.

“I think ‘Night Visions” has a lot of breath and life left in it,” frontman Dan Reynolds tells billboard.com. “I think it’s going to go on for a little while more. And we’re having a problem where we keep saying, ‘Alright, we’re going to take, like, a month off’ and then we get an offer to play throughout South America and wherever else. We know we have all these fans waiting for us to play there, so we can either take that month off or go play for those people, and we just keep saying ‘yes,’ for better or for worse. And it’s probably for better because we get to take our music to more places. There’s no rest, but we’ll save the rest for when we’re old and gray and try to do everything while we’re still young and have the means to be able to do it. We know this is a gift, and we really, really do appreciate it.”

With over 148 million YouTube views and a slew of covers, Imagine Dragons fans are definitely feeling the love. From playing 6-hour sets in casinos on the Las Vegas strip to sold out venues all over the world, Dan Reynolds, D. Wayne Sermon, Daniel “Z” Platzman, and Ben McKee are enjoying their success on the road.

“This is what we live for as a band, playing to an audience that’s never seen us before,” Reynolds says.

The boys will be playing two sold out shows at the South Side Ballroom in Dallas this weekend and I have two tickets to give away for Friday’s show.  All you have to do is leave a comment below with the name of  your favorite Imagine Dragons song. For two additional entries head over to Facebook and follow the band and tweet this post with the hashtag #nightvisionstour. The winner will be announced on Thursday. Good luck!

New Video & Music Update! Katy Perry’s Roar Covered by Sarah Sellers

Sarah Sellers Well hello my lovely readers, it’s been too long. The world of music has officially sucked me in and it’s not giving me back! I’ve been busy singing until I literally can’t sing anymore and trying to keep up with all the amazing pop music coming out this summer.

Since I gave up the desk job in April I’ve had the pleasure of performing with some of Dallas’ best musicians on a weekly basis. It’s been such a growing and amazing experience to share the stage with such exceptional talent and have the opportunity to tune my own skills. To say it’s been a challenge at times is definitely an understatement. The voice is a finicky mistress and she just flat out tells me when she’s done, at times right in the middle of a performance.  I’m definitely learning a massive amount of control and endurance during my performances that will hopefully make me a better and long lasting performer.

Aside from performing every week I’m still chipping away at the writing machine. Growing up as a singer I always dabbled in writing but never considered myself a strong lyricist. This last year working with my production team has taught me so much about the art of a good song. It continues to push me and I’m excited to put some quality work out to the world.

So while I continue to write, record and perform I’ll keep having some fun behind the camera making videos for you guys. This video by far was the most fun I’ve had. What started as a Sarah Sellers “typical” cover idea – video, mic, guitar and singer – turned into a new track and a new series I’m starting called the Backyard Sessions. Why not right? So check out my latest cover of Katy Perry’s Roar and check back for my cover of Jessie J’s Wild VERY soon!

Happy listening!

 

New YouTube Video! Jay Z & Justin Timberlake – Holy Grail & Mirrors Mashup!

Jay Z just released his new album, Magna Carta, and I am loving his collab with JT on the track Holy Grail! When I heard it I instantly thought it would be cool and different to mash it up with JT’s Mirrors. So check it out, share it with your friends and let me know what you think!

Arrangement and piano by Josh Goode.

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