Sep 30, 2013

Current Mood - Music

Every once in a while a specific song will play on the radio and grab my attention.   Like a moth attracted to the light I flutter back to it repeatedly, every time I hear it.   The previous fixation for me was Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke... and I played it on repeat even though I knew it was going to get over played and I would get sick of it (It did and I did).   I can't figure out what it is that makes these songs so engaging.   It can' just be that artist or the genre, because for me it can span many different kinds of sounds.

Currently I have two songs I am obsessing over.   The first is Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball.   Go ahead, judge me.   I can take it.   I was prepared to hate the song completely... and then I saw the video.   It blew me away.   Not the part where she sits naked on a wrecking ball or licks a hammer - but the intro where she cries is visually stunning.   Laugh if you want to but I love this song, and it has a comfortable place on my playlist.   Since I saw the video after her MTV performance I was ready to write it off (I don't like her party song at all) but I can admit when I am wrong- and there is something so raw about this song... yes, she is pushing the lines with the underwear and nudity, but it's ok, I forgive her, because I can't stop singing this song.

The second song is Avicii - feat Aloe Blacc "Wake me Up".   I don't really know where to begin with this song.   After Levels I was kind of really over Avicii, and then he goes and makes me fall in love all over again- I think full credit is due to Aloe Blacc.   Something about the lyrics and the positivity in the song just grabs me and makes me want to throw my hands to the sky and dance.   Every single time I play it in my car i turn up the volume and smile at everyone.   I can't help it.   I saw the video today for the first time and now I like it more- it's about finding the place you belong.  

I just felt like I needed to share two songs that I am loving right now, not trying to point the spotlight at anything new or undiscovered but showing something that makes me feel good.   Have a great week!

Sep 23, 2013

Melody Gardot

The wonders of Pandora.   I was minding my own business at work and a song came on over the sound system.   Having no clue who was singing, I looked it up - Melody Gardot - Your Heart is Black As Night.   I was so moved, so intrigued that I tweeted about it- how had I never discovered her before?   Who was she?   What was she all about?   Well, it turns out I was on to something- one of my twitter friends tweeted me this article about her and wow she has such an interesting story!   Not only is her voice stunning and the music hauntingly good- there's more behind the scenes... check it out.
By Shanon Cook
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Singer Melody Gardot made her first album lying in bed.
Melody Gardot took up music as therapy to recover from a near-fatal accident.
Melody Gardot took up music as therapy to recover from a near-fatal accident.
Not because she's incredibly lazy. Hardly. She was recovering from a near-fatal bicycle accident that at age 19 shattered her pelvis and left her with neurological damage. Her doctors suggested turning to music as therapy: So she took up guitar, learning to play on her back because it was too painful to sit up.
Now 23, Gardot's jazz-inflected major label debut album "Worrisome Heart" has critics and music fans sitting up all over the place. Some call her the new Norah Jones. Gardot prefers to call herself Superwoman.
"I can see everything, I can hear everything," she says referring to her post-accident hypersensitivity to light and sound.
She always wears shades. And her ears always ring. She sees the irony, too.
"I picked the most unusual path. I have a hard time with light and a hard time with sound and I sit on the stage almost every night with a lot of noise and a lot of light!"
Gardot talked to CNN about her unexpected career, discovering Buddha and learning the art of patience. Video Watch Gardot talk about her struggle »
CNN: Are you in pain?
Melody Gardot: It's a relative state. Pain is something I experience on a daily basis, yes. But to what degree depends upon what I'm asked to do, what the nature of the journey is and where my head's at.
CNN: As you're getting all this attention and your career is on the up and up, are you worried that people focus too much on the accident and less on the music?
Gardot: Not so much because I'm a musician in the first sense. And in the second sense I've come from a very unusual place. But it's a part of me. It's not like a tag that you wear. It's more something that flows through your veins.
I think of it like a bottle of wine. When I buy a bottle of wine I look at the label. I want to know about the vineyard, I want to know about the story behind it. And whether you're investing in a night at a concert, a CD, or half an hour of your life to listen to something, you want to know a bit about what you're getting into in advance. So I think that curiosity is just human nature and it doesn't really bother me.
Besides, I have short-term memory problems. I forget I've talked about [the accident] anyway, so it's all right!
CNN: You were 19 years old when you had the accident. So really you've only been a musician for a few years ...
Gardot: About two.
CNN: Do you feel like success happened too soon? Like maybe you need more time to hone your skills?
Gardot: No. I feel like I'm 80 on the inside! But it is a surprise. And it certainly is not something I expected. And success is a relative term to me. To me success is happiness. And I'm happy so therefore I'm successful.
CNN: What do you think you might be doing had you not had the accident?
Gardot: I have no idea.
CNN: Why jazz?
Gardot: Why not? It's just what I feel. There's no contrived nature to it. And I don't think what I do is just jazz. There are elements of jazz but it stems from a place that's more parallel to blues and lyrics and songs that just come from emotions.
CNN: I hear that you're into Buddhism. Is that something you got interested in before or after your accident?
Gardot: Afterwards. I was given a book by a friend and I opened it up and everything that was in there was what I was thinking. So I read a second book, and a third and I met some people who were Buddhists and I talked to some monks and I practiced and I evolved. Because let's face it ... spirituality is an evolution.
It has taught me the value of presence -- and I don't mean Christmas presents! Just being present in an everyday kind of way helped get me through a lot of the pain I had in the beginning. And it also helped me get through the mental blocks where you start to feel "Why did this happen?" or simple, small concerns. It taught me about greater concerns. So it was a very good thing for me.
CNN: So you've had to wrestle with feelings of anger and "why me" over the accident?
Gardot: No, not so much. I'm not someone who understands anger. It's just not an emotion that I get. To me it's senseless. It's sort of like a half-thought. You don't get all the way through to understanding [something] and you stop at anger. I didn't really go with that.
CNN: What would you say is the most valuable lesson that you've learned in your life so far?
Gardot: I think patience. Because true patience is compassion and grace. Someone once asked me: "What do you think the biggest difference is between you and Norah Jones?" And I said "Well, she shelves Grammys, and I live like one!" Because I go so slow ... walking with a cane. It taught me to surrender to what it is that I have been given and go with it. And that was patience, and thereby I was given the opportunity to understand grace. I'm sure I have much more to learn, but that was the biggest one.

Sep 16, 2013

Brave Native - Live at The Sayers Club (Yes, Again)

Ok, really now, this time you have to believe me- do you understand how difficult it is to get new unknown talent onto the Sayers stage?   Supremely- I should know, I try!   This past week Brave Native graced the Sayers stage AGAIN but this time... this time it was on a Tuesday night.   That's kind of epic.  I was also able to capture a few snippets of video for some of the songs (they had such a great set!)... so watch the videos below (all four please n thank you darlings) and then go tell Brave Native what you thought!  

and here is the link to the last time they performed at Sayers: Brave Native - Sayers Club

And their links:

Sep 9, 2013

Linney - Beyond Mix n 36

Le sigh.   Certain DJ's just sort of understand music and what to put together to make people happy.   Linney is one of those amazingly talented beings who can compile a long mix that will keep me listening from start to finish in one sitting.   Since that is what happened to me today as I was starting to sit down to write this week's post, I decided to shine some light on him and talk about his latest piece, the one I am listening to right now.

Let's start with the fact that he dropped Lorde - Royals in the first few seconds... then segued to Murder She Wrote!   It's just those cool random references of songs everyone knows and loves spliced with things that may be less well known... to me that is what makes it really enjoyable.   Bonus points to anyone who listens to the 16 minute mark and hear's one of the songs I always bump in my car- that I wrote about before it was a huge club hit!

Linney is super talented and has worked as producer on so many songs you know and love.   He's one of those DJ's that just genuinely loves music and it shows!

Take a listen:

Check out all of his stuff and let me know what you think...

Sep 2, 2013

DJ As-Is Musty Grooves

Time for some recognition.   You all know my penchant for the random, underground, unknown and usually throwback or classic stuff.   There's a reason why certain DJ's and certain artists consistently draw my attention- it's because they are damn good.    Case in point- DJ As-Is.   I chose him for this week's blog post purely based on the fact that I listened to his latest mix that he just dropped on soundcloud and remembered why I love when he spins so much.   This mix is called "Musty Grooves" and if you need a one hour break from everything top 40 and overplayed (you do, you just might not know it yet) then take a moment and click and listen.   For serious, you will find yourself nodding along and suddenly realize you are totally digging the entire jam. Bonus points if you listen long enough to hear my favorite song of the summer (that means you actually listened to more than a minute and gave it a real chance. LOVE that he threw that song in there!!!! Hey Hey Hey)

In his own words:
Musty is a way I define a certain type of sound. I can't properly explain it without making the applicable faces needed to describe it but if you listen to the mix it'll make sense. This mix contains funky, discoy, housey, musty, grooves. Enjoy.
You can find him spinning his own superb blend of mustiness on Sundays at The Dime, among other venues (check his website for calendar).   Go see him do his thing and let him know I sent you. You know I'd never steer you wrong.