Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Merry Christmas everyone! In the spirit of the holidays, I would like to share my personal Christmas playlist. It ranges from classics like Sinatra to more contemporary versions of classics like "Happy X-Mas - War is Over" by The Polyphonic Spree. My new favorite this year is Cat Power's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" that was featured on the Apple commercial

Take a listen on my Spotify Playlist or check out the list below! Merry Christmas! 

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown! Another Christmas favorite of mine! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

St. Vincent | "Birth in Reverse"

St. Vincent's Annie Clark recently released the single from her forthcoming self-titled solo album "Birth in Reverse". "Birth" is quickly becoming a top hit of 2013!

Clark said she wanted to create "a party record you could play at a funeral". And while the lyrics may seem strange, the song is quite catchy! The song starts with the line "Oh what an ordinary day / Take out the garbage, masturbate."

You can download the song for free in exchange for an email address (which I took advantage of, of course!).

Listen to the track below.

St. Vincent:
01. Rattlesnake
02. Birth In Reverse
03. Prince Johnny
04. Huey Newton
05. Digital Witness
06. I Prefer Your Love
07. Regret
08. Bring Me Your Loves
09. Psychopath
10. Every Tear Disappears
11. Severed Crossed Fingers

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top 40 Songs of 2013

This is one of my favorite times of the year -- when we look back and decide what music was the most memorable (or possibly just over-played) to develop a "Best of" list. I've looked at what some of the other sites have had to say, simply serving as a reminder because I disagree with most sites.

I've based my list of my personal taste in music, purposefully leaving "Blurred Lines" and "Royals" off of my best of 2013 list. While those songs are memorable, and they will probably be played on Classic Pop stations in 20+ years, I don't like them, and they're not on my list. Simple as that.

I hope you enjoy the music! I "narrowed" it down to a Top 40 and tried to place them in order but they're all wonderful. See the list below or listen on my Spotify Playlist.

  1. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams - "Get Lucky" -- SONG OF THE YEAR
  2. Haim - "The Wire"  -- pretty much the entire "Days Are Gone" album was amazing and deserves to be on my list. BREAK OUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR
  3. Arcade Fire - "Reflektor" and "Afterlife" -- I was really happy with this entire album
  4. The National - "Sea of Love" -- I am still obsessed with this album
  5. CHVRCHES - "We Sink" 
  6. Phoenix - "Trying to Be Cool" - Another great album
  7. Palma Violets - "Best of Friends" and "We Found Love"
  8. Local Natives - "Heavy Feet"  -- Great album
  9. Phosphorescent - "Song for Zula"
  10. Pure Bathing Culture - "Pendulum" -- My favorite new artist I learned about this year
  11. Charli XCX - "Nuclear Season" 
  12. Haerts - "Wings"
  13. Young Galaxy - "New Summer"
  14. Small Black - "Sophie"
  15. St. Lucia - "Elevate" and "Closer Than This"
  16. Terraplane Sun - "Gets Me Golden"
  17. TV On The Radio - "Mercy"
  18. Kopecky Family Band - "Heartbeat"
  19. Deerhunter - "Back to the Middle"
  20. Kurt Vile - "Wakin on a Pretty Day"
  21. White Denim - "Pretty Green"
  22. Arctic Monkeys - "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?"
  23. Cut Copy - "Free Your Mind"
  24. The Oh Sees - "Toe Cutter - Thumb Buster"
  25. NONONO - "Pumpin Blood"
  26. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - "If You Didn't See Me [Then You Weren't On The Dancefloor]"
  27. Washed Out - "It Feels All Right"
  28. Robert DeLong - "Just Movement"
  29. Portugal. The Man - "Purple Yellow Red and Blue"
  30. I Break Horse - "Denial"
  31. The Naked and Famous - "Hearts Like Ours"
  32. The Head and the Heart - "Shake"
  33. Toro y Moi - "Say That"
  34. Fitz and the Tantrums - "The Walker"
  35. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Sacrilege"
  36. Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks - "Lariat"
  37. Max Frost - "White Lies"
  38. Best Coast - "I Don't Know How"
  39. Cults - "High Road"
  40. Rhye - "Open"

Honorable Mention:

Parquet Courts - "Stoned and Starving"
Eleanor Friedberger - "Stare at the Sun"
Justin Timberlake - "Mirrors" -- let's face it, he's amazing
Mikal Cronin - "Weight"
Chromatics - "Cherry"
Classixx - "All You're Waiting For - feat. Nancy Whang"
Volcano Choir - "Byegone"
Sleigh Bells - "Bitter Rivals"
The Knife - "Full of Fire"
Kings of Leon - "Wait for Me"
San Fermin - "Sonsick"

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

ACL 2013 Schedule Release!!

Today is a big day for ACL-festival-goers; the official schedule for both weekends was released! I'm pretty excited because while there are some conflicts (always unavoidable), so many of these bands have played ACL in the recent past that it makes it a little bit easier to choose. 

My problem is with the bands playing at 11:15 a.m. that I really want to see. It is almost impossible to make it to their shows unless you don't have any alcohol at the festival and have the energy of a cheetah, or you get your fair share of caffeine. So it looks like I will be missing Wild Nothing, Parquet Courts, and Bear Mountain for sure. 

Looking at the Friday schedule really makes me want to take that whole day off of work! But that's probably not an option....I'm looking forward mostly to Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, their song "Holy Roller" is pretty great, Smith Westerns, and maybe Local Natives (saw them in 2011). In the fight over Wild Belle vs. Vampire Weekend, I would have to go with Wild Belle because I saw Vampire Weekend a few years ago and also I'm already sick of their new album being overplayed. There's also Arctic Monkeys whom I have never seen live but I'm still a little more pumped for Wild Belle.

Purity Ring vs. Kaskade?? The winner is Purity Ring. I'm sorry, but I'm not missing Purity Ring playing "Fireshrine" for another "cool lights show." 

Then I will be ending the night with MUSE. They have come to ACL year after year and I have missed them every time and have regretted it almost every time. I won't make that mistake again. I hear they put on one hell of a show.

This brings us to Saturday, bright and early right??? Getting there to see Parquet Courts at 11:15, right? Hear them play "Stoned and Starving," right??? Wrong. I know myself, and sleep is more important. I will probably miss MONA at 12:15 as well, but I will be kicking myself if I miss Autre Ne Veut!!! I am obsessed with their album "Anxiety" and they have a new one on the way! 

Next door to Autre Ne Veut is HAIM playing at 2. I am STOKED for this awesome girl band! I've been playing "Falling" on repeat pretty much and I would love to hear them play their cover of the Strokes song "I'll Try Anything Once". It's amazing. Then back over to the Honda stage is Junip. This is going to be show you can't miss! I'm really excited to see them. 

Emily and I with Portugal. The Man

I saw Portugal. The Man last year at Free Press Summer Fest (even got to meet some of the band members after) and it was a good show! I'm definitely down to see this one again!

Grimes vs. The Joy Formidable?? GRIMES all the way!!! She looks like she's about 12 but she is very talented! Can't skip out on that one! After that I have two conflicts: Passion Pit vs. Wilco and The Cure vs. Kings of Leon. 

I saw Passion Pit back in 2010 and they were really good but I heard that they were really messed up and blew their set at ACL the previous year.... might need to see Wilco instead? I'm willing to let my friends decided where to go on that. And The Cure?? I love The Cure! How could I skip this show??? I will tell you why. Stevie Wonder. Trying to see Stevie Wonder two years ago was the most ridiculous experience. I could not get anywhere near listening distance with all the people staked out in their lawn chairs. So, Kings of Leon might be the winner. I still have never seen this band, and I do still love their older albums! We shall see.

Sunday Funday. Bear Mountain at 11:15? Meh, probably not. Foxygen at noon? Oh heck yes! I will not let myself miss this band! Seriously. The Mowgli's at 1 is a good filler to Dawes at 2. Then I will probably hit up some Grouplove after Dawes at 3 (luckily all of these are right next to each other). 

In the dilemma of Franz Ferdinand vs. Divine Fits, Divine Fits wins it every time! I am loving this collaboration!! And, Britt Daniel of Spoon is from Austin! C'mon, gotta support! 

via The National Facebook

Next, drum-roll please, THE NATIONAL AT 5:30!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!! This is whom I am the most excited to see. I will do every thing possible to make it to this show. Sorry Toro y Moi, but I am going to have to miss your show again.

After The National's amazingness is Tame Impala whom I will probably check out over Phosphorescent. Not that I don't love Phosphorescent, but I love every song by Tame Impala. 

Last but not least, Atoms for Peace or Phoenix?? PHOENIX. Still haven't made it to a Phoenix show and I will make it to this one and catch the end of Atoms for Peace (or probably go home, let's be real). 

So that's it! I hope my personal schedule has pumped you up for ACL Twenty-Thirteen! I will say, I was a little disappointed with the lineup at first, but I think every day has a lot of great bands to offer! 

See you there!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Soundtrack (as of July 2013)

There have been a lot of great songs released during the summer months and so I'm taking the time to give you my summer playlist. There are a few songs that aren't quite as new (i.e. James Taylor's "Mexico") but! you have to mix in some oldies too sometimes! ;)

I chose a lot of these because I have been hearing them over and over again on the radio; therefore, they now remind me of summer. Others, like "14th of July" are just a given. So, grab your swimsuit and shades, don't forget your sunscreen, and put on this playlist for the ultimate soundtrack to your summer outings!

  1. John Mayer - "Paper Doll"
  2. St. Lucia - "Elevate"
  3. Haim - "Don't Save Me"
  4. Beck - "I Won't Be Long"
  5. Palma Violets - "We Found Love"
  6. Pure Bathing Culture - "Pendulum"
  7. CHVRCHES - "Gun"
  8. James Taylor - "Mexico"
  9. Washed Out - "It All Feels Right"
  10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - "If You Didn't See Me [Then You Weren't On The Dancefloor]"
  11. Stars - "Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It"
  12. Terraplane Sun - "Get Me Golden"
  13. Mona - "Goons (Baby, I Need It All)"
  14. Alpine - "Gasoline"
  15. Small Black - "Sophie"
  16. Cayucas - "East Coast Girl"
  17. Phoenix - "Trying To Be Cool"
  18. Daft Punk - "Get Lucky"
  19. Shout Out Louds - "14th of July"
  20. The National - "Sea of Love"
  21. Man Man - "Head On"
  22. Houses - "Soak It Up"
  23. Delorean - "Spirit"
  24. Beach House - "Lazuli"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

St. Lucia "Elevate"

Yes! Yes! Yes! I'm so happy to hear that St. Lucia has released their single "Elevate" for their upcoming album "When the Night" that is set to release on October 8th! I guess I have been a little out of the loop because this was the first I had heard of their upcoming album!

Check out the song on Spotify or SoundCloud.

I first saw this band back in March during SXSW here in Austin and they did not disappoint!

St. Lucia at Hype Hotel during SXSW 2013

 Check out their other songs on Spotify. "Closer Than This" is probably my favorite but all are great songs, especially for summer!

I'm so excited!!! Be on the lookout for the album in October!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pure Bathing Culture

I just wanted to get in a quick post about a new band everyone should be paying attention to -- Pure Bathing Culture.

I first heard their song "Pendulum" on Sirius XMU (you can listen here on Soundcloud) but unfortunately I can't listen to it on Spotify. So I checked out their singles that are available and I am liking this new band!

Of the singles available, I think "Lucky One" is my favorite but all are worthy of your music-listening-time. Their sound is smooth and mellow, like Wild Nothing or Beach House.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. I can't wait for their album "Moon Tides" release on August 20th!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

These past two weeks in new album releases

Wow, it has been an amazing May for new albums! Let's just say, my iTunes bill is not going to be pretty! I'm talking about the new albums from Vampire Weekend, The National, and Daft Punk!!!! All are very different from each other but all are amazing in their own way.

Let's start with "Modern Vampires of the City," Vampire Weekend's new album. I read somewhere that the album touches on the subjects of aging, faith and companionship. There's no way I could come up with that myself, I was never great at understanding poetry... Anyway, I definitely hear the topic of aging a lot in their songs like "Diane Young" and "Don't Lie" because Diane Young is really saying "dying young" and the Don't Lie lyrics say "Don't lie, I want 'em to know, God's love die young, are you ready to go?" But other than that, I'm going with the experts when they say it's about companionship! Other songs from the album to check out from the preppy indie rock band are: "Step," "Ya Hey," and "Unbelievers."

Out this past Monday was The National's "Trouble Will Find Me," which proves to be another fantastic album from the Brooklyn band. I love this band because I will hear a song, on TV or the radio, and know that this is a song from The National. Frontman, Matt Berninger, has such a distinctive voice. The guys were on Sirius XMU this past week, discussing the new album. One story I wanted to share is how on the first day they sat down to start writing this album, the hurricane struck New York City and all of the power went out for days. The first song they wrote, under those circumstances, was "Fireproof," one of my favorites from this album. I don't know if I just enjoy their sadder, dark songs or something but I love it! It sounds like a song you would listen to on a dark, rainy day. If you don't enjoy the dark songs as much as I do, definitely check out "Don't Swallow the Cap". This was the first single they released from the album. It's probably my favorite. Also listen to: "Sea of Love," "I Need My Girl," "Graceless."

Lastly, we have "Random Access Memories" from Daft Punk. The French duo has done it again with their electronic disco sound. I think my favorite songs are the ones collaborated with other artists like Pharrell Williams, Panda Bear and Julian Casablancas. Thomas and Guy-Manuel hooked up with Giorgio Moroder in the song "Giorgio by Moroder" bringing Giorgio's music career back to life! Giorgio was huge in the 70's and 80's. He worked with Donna Summer, Blondie, and David Bowie. Some call him the father of disco, which is obviously why a group like Daft Punk would want to work with him. He was out of the game for a while, but this new track has his phone ringing nonstop. You can read more about his history here.

By far my favorite was the single that was previously released, "Get Lucky (Feat. Pharrell Williams)." I could dance to that song ALL DAY. The end of the album is interesting, it has the voice of what sounds like an astronaut, looking out into space saying "there's something out there." I was wondering if this was on the TRON Album too... but it has a cool sound, like a Ghostland Observatory song. More songs from the album to check out are: "Give Life Back to Music," "Doin' Right (feat. Panda Bear)," "Instant Crush (feat. Julian Casablancas)."

I'm sure you already knew about these albums, but they ARE "What I'm Listening To" right now ;).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Favorite music of 2013 thus far

There have been a lot of great albums released this year and so many more I am looking forward to hearing! I also got to check out some great bands during SXSW two weeks ago that I hadn't heard of previously.

CHVRCHES is a band I have known about for some time, they released "The Mother We Share" last year, which you used to be able to listen to on Spotify but no longer can. Their Recover EP is now available on Spotify and iTunes. I love their song "Recover," it's one that will be stuck in your head all day, but in a good way! I was able to catch their show at The Hype Hotel during SXSW, it was a pretty good show, there's definitely room for growth for this new indie band!

Sir Sly is a band I first heard during their SXSW set at Sonos Studio. You can listen to three of their songs on Spotify right now, I hope they release more soon! They played a great show and I was happy to be front and center for it! They're playing at Mohawk in Austin on 4/27, I would definitely go if you're in the area!

Something I'm looking forward to is Cayucas' first album "Bigfoot" that will be available next month. Their single "Cayucos" will definitely be on a summer playlist because of its "beachy" sound. Sadly I missed them at SXSW but hopefully I will get to see them live soon!

I was very impressed with the new Shout Out Louds album, "Optica."  I can listen through the album in its entirety and it never gets old. My favorite tracks are: "Blue Ice," "Illusions," and "14th of July." And if you're just now hearing about this band, definitely go back 8 years and listen to "Please Please Please" and "Very Loud," the songs that made me love this band.

I can't write about new albums in 2013 and NOT mention Tegan & Sara! They were amazing at ACL 2012!! Cheers to Girl Power music haha if that's what you call it. Heartthrob sounds like their previous albums which some may think is a negative thing but I love their oldies so I therefore love this new album! If you like girl bands, dance music, and shamelessly singing along, go listen to Heartthrob!! My favorites: "Goodbye, Goodbye," "Closer," "I'm Not Your Hero," "Drove Me Wild," "Love They Say"

In the words of GOB Bluth, "I've made a huge mistake." I don't know how I could possibly write in here EVERY new album I like thus far for 2013. So here is an abbreviated version of other albums/singles/artists to check out if you have the time.

Ra Ra Riot's new album "Beta Love" is great! They were fun at Fader Fort during SXSW as well. Check out "Dance With Me," "Beta Love," and "When I Dream"

Atlas Genius' 1st album "When It Was Now" is great — "If So" "Trojans" & "Symptoms" are my favorites

Local Natives' new album "Hummingbird" — check out "Heavy Feet" "Breakers" & "Wooly Mammoth"

Junip (Jose Gonzalez's band) has a great new single "Line of Fire"

Palma Violets is a new band to the scene, I'm loving their song "Best of Friends" right now

Autre Ne Veut has great Pitchfork ratings for their new album "Anxiety." My favorite and one you HAVE to listen to is "Play by Play," it will also be in your head all day!

Listen to the entire STRFKR album "Miracle Mile." It will definitely get you pumped. This band was AMAZING at Fun Fun Fun Fest last year.

The Strokes new album just came out!!! I was so excited for this one. Listen to "Comedown Machine" on Spotify!

Obviously I can't wait for The Postal Service 10th Anniversary Edition of "Give Up"! That album just takes me back to a summer on the lake in high school. Oh the good old days ;)

VIDEO: The Postal Service "A Tattered Line of String"

VIDEO" Ra Ra Riot "Beta Love"


Friday, March 1, 2013

My current favorite song

My current favorite song comes from Foals' new album, "Holy Fire," called "My Number." The album came out on February 12th, and Pitchfork gave it 7.6 which is promising! If you like bands like Yeasayer, Villagers, or the Editors, I think you will enjoy what Foals has to offer!

"My number" is super catchy, I listen to it over and over and it never seems to get old. Other tracks from the album to check out are "Inhaler" which was the first single the released from the album. "Bad Habit" is great upbeat song while "Late Night" will give you your chill slow song fix.

The album is on Spotify if you want to take a listen! Enjoy!

*Lyric video for "My Number"