Monday, August 31, 2009

Song of the Day


Lydia - A Fine Evening For a Rogue

---------Quite the rainy, chilly day. When you're living amongst the clouds that drag themselves lazily across mountaintops, a snuggly hoodie and some great music (and coffee from BeansTalk) is sublime. Today, we'll take a listen to Lydia, the indie rock darlings of Phoenix, Arizona who have touched the hearts of those who seek the instrumentally precise, the clean and beautifully somber vocals of Leighton Antelman, and the introspective. "A Fine Evening For a Rogue" exemplifies all of these fragile yet certain characteristics of the sextet. Get "A Fine Evening For a Rogue" from Lydia's album, Illuminate, illustrated by Becky Filip with some of the most captivating artwork I've seen in quite some time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Song of the Day

DJ AM - AM Live at Banana Split
-------------Just as Adam Goldstein was preparing to embark on a two-month tour of the hottest venues in Hollywood, New York, Vegas, and Boston, the 36-year old was found dead in his New York City apartment last night. A DJ to the stars, Goldstein spun with Madonna, Will Smith, Papa Roach, and Travis Barker of Blink-182. Goldstein was also a member of the band Crazytown, which produced the hip hop hit "Butterfly." Fans who remember the September crash that nearly took the lives of Barker and Goldstein were thrilled to see the two collaborate for a New Year's Eve performance in full health.
To celebrate the DJ's work, "AM Live at Banana Split" is a mere two-minute sample of the talent we were so fortunate to hear from Adam Goldstein.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Song of the Day

Bon Iver - Blood Bank
--------------On his myspace page he tells you to be patient, and in his music, there's no need to say anything - the haunting melody of a first encounter that halts time. Folk-songwriter Justin Vernon's latest project, Bon Iver, is a corruption of the French term, "bon hiver" meaning "good winter." Vernon's resonant, eerie, and even melancholic sound was so well recieved in the United Kingdom, that the release of Blood Bank EP reached Number One on the U.K. Indie Chart. Get "Blood Bank" from Bon Iver EP, Blood Bank.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Song of the Day


Evan Rachel Wood - Blackbird

------------------Looking forward to my seminar class, Rock Lyrics: Society and Culture, tomorrow morning. It's one of those classes that I'm willing to get up in the morning for, regardless of the death march across campus to make it by 8 a.m. Since a portion of our journey will set sail on the British Invasion, I dug around my library for a nice blend of old and new. Hence, "Blackbird," a Beatles song we've all heard before, but probably didn't hear the meaning behind the lyrics.

"Blackbird," penned by Paul McCartney on The White Album, was a reaction to the racial tensions growing in the U.S. during the riots and civil movements of the late sixties. The British slang term for "woman" is "bird." Taken flight through Evan Rachel Wood in the magical mystery movie, Across the Universe, "Blackbird" is softened with mandolins and a slower tempo, yet the message remains the same. Get today's song from Across the Universe: Original Movie Soundtrack, or the Beatles' 1968 album, The White Album.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Song of the Day


The Arctic Monkeys - Only Ones Who Know

--------------Let's face it: if every single encounter we had with the opposite sex was meant to be, then even the most instrumentally beautiful ballads that cope with a tough loss or a broken heart would simply fall out of place. Luckily (shall we say), there is never a shortage of a somber connection, and "Only Ones Who Know" offers a tale of commiseration that even the most stoic of hearts can beat to. Take a look at the lyrics to this Arctic Monkeys song from the album, Favourite Worst Nightmare.

"Only Ones Who Know"

In a foreign place, the saving grace was the feeling,
That it was a heart that he was stealing,
Oh he was ready to impress and the fierce excitement,
The eyes are bright he couldnt wait to get away,
I bet the juliet was just the icing on the cake,
Make no mistake no,

And even if somehow we could have shown you the place you wanted,
Well I'm sure you could have made it that bit better on your own,
And I bet she told a million people that she'd stay in touch,
Well all the little promises they dont mean much,
When theres memories to be made,
And I hope you're holding hands by new years eve,
They made it far too easy to believe,
That true romance cant be acheived these days,
And even if somebody could have shown you the place you wanted,
Well I sure you could have made it that bit better on your own,
You are the only ones who know

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Song of the Day


Deas Vail - Shoreline

--------------What's more dank than meeting great people? Great people with equally great tastes in music. I aprehended Deas Vail (a Latin/French combo translating to "Humble Servant of God") in the throes of a music swap, and I became transfixed by the Arkansas quintet's patient instrumentals and hushed vocals. However, if your ears aren't yearning for a smoothie, give it a little stronger punch with songs such as "Surface" and "Rewind" - still mellow, but attention given to more intricate breakdowns. "Shoreline" can be found on the band's third full-length album, All the Houses Look the Same.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Song of the Day


Owl City - Fireflies

------------"Fireflies" is the soundtrack to NASA space shuttles rocketing out of earth's atmosphere into the next galaxy. If you like to think that our world turns slowly and time is a ghostly afterthought, "Fireflies" is your stargazing techno-tangle. Adam Young's arrangements navigate towards a visual symphony of "keyboard smoothies," and posess a thoughtful, wandering ambiance. Get "Fireflies" from Owl City's album, Ocean Eyes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Song of the Day


Hall and Oates - You Make My Dreams

---------------It's the cloud-nine doo-wop beat that turns frowns upside-down, cloudy days to sunshine, and Central Park into a broadway stage (at least in movies, that is). "You Make My Dreams" celebrates the flames that new love sparks and rock and roll soul of the act's 1980 hit. The Billboard charts brought this dandy number in at number five in 1981, and while it's been over 25 years since the song was released, a new generation can enjoy the song in perfect context in the movie, 500 Days of Summer. Get "You Make My Dreams" from either (oh, choices!) the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack or the Hall and Oates album, Voices.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Song of the Day

Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA
------------------Even though Miley's got a couple of girl-rocker butterflies in her stomach upon touchdown in LAX, she's hops on a taxi towards Dreams Come True Boulevard. She'll have you nodding your head "like yeah" and screaming out the sunroof of your limo to Junior Homecoming or while shopping for her new clothing collaboration with Max Azria in Wal-Mart. Cyrus feels a little homesick until the radio plays Jay Z and Britney Spears - two artists that (apparently) make her feel right at home. Street cred from Cyrus/ Hannah Montana? - zomg! Get "Party in the USA" from Miley Cyrus' album, The Time of Our Lives.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Song of the Day

Dang We're On Fire - Keep Your Head Up
---------------From the pop punk success of New Found Glory to the ska-stylings of Less Than Jake, it's apparent that the Florida music scene has become a breeding ground for the guitar laden vocal-dubbed anthemic leaders of tomorrow. Dang We're On Fire may just be following the footsteps of their Florida forefathers, with dance-inducing beats and perky melodies heard in songs like the pat-on-the-shoulder "Keep Your Head Up." Dang We're On Fire are playing shows all over Orlando, but many of their 71,075 fans are hoping the band will rock out on a tour in the future. Get "Keep Your Head Up" from their upcoming album, Heart Stopped Beating.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Allman Brothers Band - Jessica
---------------Sure, when the Allman Brothers penned this seven-minute salute to southern rock instrumentals, they probably didn't think the song would win a Grammy in 1996 for Best Rock Instrumental twenty-three years after it's release. But "Jessica" gave the Allman Brothers even more fame as the theme song to the British car show, Top Gear, back in 1978. "Jessica" to this day is the theme song of Top Gear, which was revived in 2002 for a new audience that could appreciate the classic cars and classic songs. Tonight, Top Gear is back for yet another season, and you can be sure that "Jessica" will welcome the new season with open arms. Get "Jessica" from the Allman Brothers 1973 album Brothers and Sisters.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Song of the Day

Goot - Love to Hate Myself
-----------Andrew McMahon recalls catching a train to Poughkeepsie, where time stood still. Well, the clocks are certainly running fast for Alex Goot, a native to the small New York town who's made the minutes on his earnest, sunny, and piano-ridden tunes all worth the while. A fan of Phil Collins and a piano player since five, Alex Goot has been working hard on his Read My Mind EP, now available on iTunes.
So why is this ferociously fro-ed soloer worth a few minutes of your time or 99 cents on itunes? Well, any fan of the fluid poetry of Jack's Mannequin, the joyous and bouncing candor of The Rocket Summer, and even John Mayer's "Neon" would enjoy Alex Goot's work. "Love to Hate Myself" is the semi-loathing, semi-loving paino rock single to cap off a well penned and well played EP.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Song of the Day


Jonezetta - Paint & Picture

---------"Everything is gonna change" - such a confident and assured chorus from Jonezetta's "Paint & Picture," right? Whether you are totally comfortable with the Cleveland indie band's statement or not, you can't deny that Jonezetta's Death Cab stylings and Robert Chisolom sounds like Chris Martin mellowed out on chai lattes and obscure vintage LPs. The direction of this seemingly woebeggon song takes a positive turn, for even in the wake of change, signs point to a brighter tomorrow. Get "Paint & Picture" from Jonezetta's second full-length album, Cruel to Be Young.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Song of the Day


Tupac Shakur - Keep Ya Head Up

-------------Even one of the most hardened, rough rappers of the nineties still had a soft side when it came to encouraging women to overcome struggle and hold on to hope. "Keep Ya Head Up" is Tupac's way of opening his heart up to all mothers, sisters, and daughters, swaying with gratitude and with a hint of apology for all the men who have given them hard times. This song marked the late Shakur as a conscious and influential rapper of his time, and was covered by Nas at the MTV Rap Memorial in 2005. Get "Keep Ya Head Up" from Shakur's 1993 album, Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Photos from Incubus and The Duke Spirit

-----Had a great time at Incubus and The Duke Spirit. Confession: I am not one of the devout Incubus followers. This isn't to say there music is any less impressive, spellbinding, electric, and memorable, but until recently I didn't pay much attention to their work. After last night's show, however, I've been scouring the world wide web for set lists, catalogues, and acoustic versions to get a better taste of this band's Soco flavor.

The pictures featured in today's post were taken with a Canon Powershot SD1100 from the depths of the lawn. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Incubus and Duke Spirit Tonight


-----Just thought I'd dash off a quick post about Incubus tonight. They're currently on tour with Duke Spirit and are promoting their latest greatest hits album, Monuments and Melodies released in June. Take a listen to tracks such as "Megalomaniac," "Warning," "Dig," and "Black Heart Inertia." If you're within 127 miles of Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre in Charlotte, then get to the show!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Pearly Whites - Soundtrack to the Dentist Chair

------Scrape, floss, scrape, brush, spit, swish, scrape - all words associated with one of the most obnoxiously necessary appointments for human hygiene - a dentist appointment. As I tasted blood seeping from my gums, I immediately regretted eating the popcorn and Milky Way now glued to the crevices of my chompers.

As I lay avoiding awkward eye contact with the woman who was wrist deep in my molars, I listened to the music playing from Lite 102.9 - the "Cool songs" station. Frankly, that slogan is a matter of opinion. But since I was told that my lifelong membership in the No Cavity Club was extended, I decided to make a list of the top seven songs you're bound to hear while swishing and spitting, regardless of the radio station. Buckle up under that Novacaine and drilling!

The Seven Pearly Whites of Dentistry

1. Five For Fighting - Superman
---------How about a little inner reflection while drooling down a clip-on napkin? Five for Fighting are notorious for dramatic, symphonic pop hits. "Superman" began it all for the band's radio syndication, and yet most of us only know the lyrics "I'm more than a bird."

2. Aerosmith - Don't Wanna Miss A Thing
---------If your dental hygenist is making your mouth water in more than one way, I can see why this eternal profession of love can make the dentist chair seem like a silk sheet bed. But c'mon - who wants to hear Steven Tyler tumble over voice cracks and lyrics like "I just wanna hold you close/I feel your heart so close to mine/And I will stay here in this moment for all the rest of time."? Indeed, your allowing a stranger's hands into a personal area, but save it for a sweetheart.

3. John Mayer - Waiting On the World to Change
-----------Open your eyes, man! You've got the power, just believe in yourself and your generation! Not something you'd be particularly keen to hear while gagging on the flouride that just won't dry on your teeth. You've been told to floss more and spend more time on your bottom teeth, now I have to change the world? Wait until I stop spitting flouride into my sink.

4. The Eagles - Take It to the Limit
------------My limit is that scratchy claw thing that jabs and prods and scrapes my teeth bone-dry. Please, PLEASE don't take my teeth to the limit. "Take It to the Limit" does have a soothing, easy-going feeling that may quell the nerves while on the chair, but not everyone may experience a smooth, calming sensation while a dentist is stabbing your gums with a needle to fill in that cavity.

5. The Manhattans - Shining Star
------------Another ballad to the betrothed in the most awkward setting. While this soulful sweet talking may seem tempting and provocative in a romantic setting, the flourescent lights and whirring of drills aren't so sexy. "Shining Star" - cute, endearing, but not for a dentist's office.
6. Kelly Clarkson - Because Of You
------------There is nothing wrong with a heartfelt, emotionally triumphant song about overcoming an abusive relationship. But maybe it's a little heavy, especially when you're trying to overcome the aches and pains of flossing.

7. Dido - Thank You
-----------It's very unlikely that the best day of your life is spent sitting in the dentist's office, especially if you have either:
a). A root canal
b). An anulled membership in the No Cavity Club
c). A tooth that needs a crown
d). Flouride stuck in your teeth for hours

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rocking Retail - The Essential Shopping Classics

Was everyone excited for another tax-free weekend?! I definitely was, and while I experienced sensory overload from aisles and aisles of clothes, shoes, and bags, I couldn't get the songs played in Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and other stores out of my head. To honor the recycled retail classics, I have the top six songs to hear in department stores. Download if you please, but if these songs just remind you of failing to find your size in jeans or spending this month's paycheck, I would save these for the next shopping trip.

Rocking Retail - The Essential Shopping Classics

1. Faith Hill - This Kiss
------basically a pop country favorite of consignment stores around the nation. And as many times as I've heard it, I still only know the lines "it's centrivical motion...this kiss/this kiss."

2. No Doubt - Don't Speak
------Gwen Stefani's fashion label L.A.M.B. was just another incentive to play this heartbreaking punk tear jerker throughout stores carrying her merchandise. This retail therapy booster is for the shopper who wants to remember a breakup whilst searching for slingbacks. Say hello to the only motivation to buy, buy, buy because of bye, bye, byes.

3. Santana feat. Steven Tyler - Just Feel Better
------Yet another proponent of retail therapy, this wailing guitar sob story may as well have the lyrics "I'm gonna buy anything to just feel better." Once again, I have trouble understanding the need to play woe-is-me music while wandering through stores. A little word of advice to retailers - negativity repels customers!

4. Sheryl Crowe - All I Wanna Do
-------Now this is a bit better! With its reggae inspired beat and sunshine disposition, "All I Wanna Do" puts a smile on the faces of buyers all over. It's true - all I wanna do is have some fun, and that's what shopping should be all about.

5. The Goo Goo Dolls - Slide
-------Even if you don't have a beau to love, at least you can find some clothes that'll never talk back or leave you! "Slide" is full of spontaneity and uninhibited devotion, a feeling you can relate to a splurge buy or becoming soul mates with the clearance rack. It's widely recognized riff and happy-dappy lyrics will have you dancing while browsing, too.

6. Natasha Beddingfeild - Unwritten
--------Power to the funky and fabulous! Ever since "Unwritten" hit mainstream radio and welcomed LC to "The Hills," every store from L.A. to New York has snatched up this self-esteem booster to wrap their customers in warm, fuzzy confidence. Expressing individuality and a better tomorrow, "Unwritten" is a friendly face in the world of consumerism.

7. Jason Mraz - The Remedy (I Won't Worry)
---------Once again, retailers coerce us into throwing our troubles away and imersing ourselves in the moment (long enough to take a second look at cute handbag, anyways). Perhaps it's Mraz's fun and quirky wordplay and chorus stamped with a gigantic smiley face that makes stores scramble for this song. In any case, "The Remedy" gives us all a healing sensation to keep on shopping until we drop.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Song of the Day


Kansas - Carry On My Wayward Son

------------Classic rock music wouldn't be the same without Kansas. Granted, they may not have the worldwide, legendary success of Zeppelin or the Stones, but Kansas' radio and stadium friendly anthems gave the band the status of a red-blooded American band. "Carry On My Wayward Son" begins with a hallelujah chorus, then soars with rolling rock guitars and swoons with pretty piano. Get "Carry On My Wayward Son" from the 1976 album, Leftoverture.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Song of the Day


Nappy Roots - Good Day

-----------It's been said once or twice that the road your life takes depends on the attitude you're driving. For Nappy Roots, today is no exception. "Good Day" yells this gospel truth through a candy-colored children's chorus and an optimistic, seamless flow. The southern quintet brought in DJ Gregg Street to perform on the track, and the genesis lyrics "let's begin today" instantly shines a light on the feel-great vibe. Get "Good Day" from Nappy Roots 2008 album, The Humdinger.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Song of the Day


Joshua Radin - Everything'll Be Alright

---------------Even when you're a Northwestern graduate who tries a hand at pitching screenwriting, art galleries, and teaching, life is always capable of throwing some curveballs. One that Joshua Radin struck a grand slam with was songwriting, and eventually the Cleveland native began making a name for himself and his elegant, warm music. "Everything'll Be Alright," also known as "Will's Lullaby" carries a heart and a memory in gentle piano and fragile guitar chords. The reassuring and comforting lyrics are tangible to any listener, whether distressed or content with whatever life throws at them. A little songwriting can go a long way, and Joshua Radin's "Everything'll Be Alright" goes for miles. Feel better with this song from Radin's 2006 album, We Were Here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Song of the Day


John Williams - Jaws Theme

---------------Just when you thought summer was getting a little boring, ocean geeks and thrill nerds alike can rejoice the resurrection of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. To get my feet wet, I need legendary composer John Williams to frighten me into the depths of paranoia and fear. The original theme to the 1975 thriller Jaws is one of the most recognizable themes in music history, beginning with a dreadful and foreboding chromatic step from E to F. At a first listen, director Steven Speilberg criticized the theme as not being scary enough. But Williams credits this simple yet dangerous score as the jumpstart of his career, and moviegoers credit the score with never stepping into open water ever again. Get the theme to Jaws from the original movie soundtrack.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Song of the Day


Mumm'ra - She's Got You High

------------------What would you do with 500 days of summer? Most of our lists include reaching the shores of our favorite beach, lazing around blissfully doing nothing, and even falling in love. Featured in this summer's most endearing romantic comedy, 500 Days of Summer, "She's Got You High" smiles with crashing percussion and angelic vocals from Mumm'ra, an English indie band that released their debut album, These Things Move in Trees. Find "She's Got You High" on Mumm'ra's debut or the 500 Days of Summer original soundtrack.