Tunes of the Week Edition No. 6

Published 6/7/15 by:

This is always the time of year where I feel like throwing on some Elton John style shades, rolling the windows down, and embracing my inner Penny Lane. And one simply cannot act or pretend to be as boss as Penny Lane* without a soundtrack. Whether you’re dragging yourself to work during this warm weather, heading to the beach with friends, or celebrating something really fantastic like graduating from high school, you should always have something rolling in the background to bring you back to this moment in time. So here are some ideas of what to listen to while the wind of the road takes care of the rest.

*Please view Almost Famous immediately if you’re unaware of this reference.

 

Babyshambles’ Nothing Comes to Nothing – Have you ever had a place to go, and you’ve tried on essentially everything you own? Put this song on, and you will be satisfied with the first outfit you throw on. I’m not kidding. This song makes everything feel good.

 

The Howls’ All – For those of you not in the know: I may be the biggest Friday Night Lights fan on the planet. I had a podcast where I interviewed the majority of the cast members, and I just want to hug Jason Katims with everything I have. If the show were still on, this haunting, yet triumphant song would absolutely make the soundtrack. Can’t you just see the Panther’s field lights in the distance as you listen? PS Watch this show if you haven’t. It’s on Netflix. PPS This song was featured on another great show: Kingdom. It stars one of my FNL favorites Mr. Matt Lauria.

 

Adam Ezra Group’s Takin Off – Do you like Pearl Jam? Probably listen to this immediately.

 

The Helio Sequence’s Can’t Say No – For those of us looking for more tunes to add to our Flaming Lips-esque playlists. This is the type of melody I like to listen to while cooking, doing laundry, or other mundane activities. Something about it just makes me want to sway my hips, and eases me out of the fact that I’m doing things that have to be done, rather than things I want to be doing.

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Winter Break Ideas: Vol. 1

Published 12/22/14 by:

In this week’s edition of Winter Break Ideas you will find things that you should lend your ears to while you’re on winter break. While some of these are best for rocking out in the car, others are for contemplation with a candle burning, or for some groove-filled cookie baking.

 

Listen:

Taylor Swift’s album 1989 – You’ve probably heard at least one track off of this album, but it’s best enjoyed with warm libations and comfortable dancing clothes, because you will want to sing and shout to these catchy tunes. So break out those footie pajamas and bust a move. (Note: my favorite track is Wildest Dreams, but Clean is climbing the ranks as well).

1989 Album Cover

 

Little Joy’s self-titled album – If you enjoy Elvis movies and the humor/talent of Zooey Deschanel then you’ll dig this band. They’ve got kind of a sixties beach party groove that makes me feel warm on wintery days.

 

 

 

Sarah Koenig’s Serial podcast – For those of you who enjoyed HBO’s “True Detective” or are still wondering who killed JonBenet Ramsey, this is going to be your new obsession. Koenig, an investigative reporter whose resume includes reporting for The Baltimore Sun, as well as NPR’s “This American Life”, delves into story behind Adnan Syed, a teenager, who in 1999 was (not convincingly) convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend. Your commute just got a lot more intriguing. You’re welcome. (PS if you ask me what a podcast is, I won’t be able to keep a straight face, even on the internet).

 

Serial Logo

 

The Turnpike Troubadour’s album Diamonds & Gasoline – A friend of mine turned me onto this band a few months ago, and I can’t get enough. They make me want to open my own Honky Tonk bar and quit this life of teaching.

 

 

What have y’all been listening to? I’m ready for some recommendations!

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Tunes of the Week Edition No. 5

Published 6/20/14 by:

Well folks, school is out for the summer! I now have free time to peruse music at my leisure, and bestow upon you the tunes that are piquing my interest! During the hot weather I definitely find myself gravitating towards country music; I can’t help it, there’s just something about a chorus that includes margaritas, jean shorts and goodnight kisses. However, since I’m exactly one day into my student/camper-free summer, the tunes this week aren’t deep fried yet. Watch out for that next week. For now, please enjoy my eclectic choices, which demonstrate how chaotic life has been the past two weeks as I entered grades, data and a sauna of a classroom.

 

 

Deptford Goth‘s Feel Real – If you’re into Bloc Party or The Postal Service, I think you’ll dig this song. It’s catchy, and reminds me of night time car rides, and goosebumps. Especially goosebumps inspired by night time car rides with crushes. What? TMI? Deal.

 

 

Sugar and the Hi-Lows‘ Two Day High – This is a super duper duo comprised of Amy Stroup and Trent Dabbs, both of whom you may know from the multitude of television shows that their songs have graced while they were solo artists. They recently opened up for Ingrid Michaelson, which is where I encountered them, and now I’m obsessed. Their whole album is like one long jazzy dinner party that you never want to end. So, yeah, buy it already.

 

 

 

 

Tom Odell‘s Long Way Down – Tom Odell is like the long lost friend you never knew you were missing. This song is stark, beautiful, and builds to one hell of a crescendo. The song is featured on the soundtrack for The Fault In Our Stars, and I’m never turning back.

 

 

 

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Tunes of the Week Edition No. 4

Published 5/14/14 by:

I love May for a lot of reasons. One reason is it means there’s about a month of teaching left for me. Another reason is that it’s bright enough to wear sunglasses when I leave my house at 6:45am. I can’t really explain how my disposition changes when wearing sunglasses en route to school, but my whole demeanor changes, and I just want to pump jams non-stop. Other than when the leaves change, it’s the only other time of year that I actually enjoy my commute. Here’s what I’ve been playing to start my day right.

 

Mikky Ekko’s Kids – This song was played in the season 3A finale of Teen Wolf. Yes, I’m endorsing Teen Wolf…look for a post on that later. This song is upbeat, and reminds me of Foster the People a tiny bit. This may only be applicable to me and my weird musical associations, but when I listen to this, it feels like a warm breeze no matter what the actual weather is.

 

 

 

The Lighthouse and the Whaler’s Pioneers – One of my most trustworthy musical advisors recommended this song to me after a co-worker saw this band open for Matt Pond PA. It definitely has a Vampire Weekend vibe, and makes me want to have a BBQ really badly.

 

 

 

 

Kurt Vile’s Wakin on A Pretty Day – I discovered this song last fall when I saw one of my favorite coming of age movies of the 2000s,
“The Spectacular Now”. This song is versatile in that I like to cook to it, drive to it, write to it, and grade to it. Also, it’s lengthiness lends itself to pretty lovely daydreaming. I’m so upset that I can’t see him perform with Jenny Lewis this summer. *Sighs audibly*

 

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Tunes of the Week Edition No. 3

Published 4/26/14 by:

When the weather starts to heat up, so does my hankering for new music to play loudly with the windows rolled down. While grading I’ve been perusing Pandora (only when I’m not obsessed with The Wallflowers station), and I’ve found a few new artists that piqued my interest. I also have had some good luck encountering sweet music on NBC’s “Parenthood” and The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries”, which is always an added bonus to watching TV.  So, without further ado, here are this week’s tunes.

 

 

Emily Wolfe’s “White Collar Whiskey” – This song is from Emily’s completely stellar EP called “Mechanical Hands”. I want to crawl inside this song and live in it. The crescendos in this song drive me crazy in the best possible way. Emily’s voice is reminiscent of Ingrid Michaelson, except she manipulates her soft sopranos into loud rock ‘n roll growls with much more intensity. The guitar riffs throughout the song remind me of one of my favorite bands – The Heartless Bastards. I hope Emily Wolfe takes off in a big, big way. She’s ultra talented. Hat tip to “The Vampire Diaries” music supervisors for introducing me to this fine musician.

 

 

JP Harris and the Tough Choices’ “I’m Staying Here” – One of my very good friends from high school lives on a farm in Maine, and she turned me on to this fantastic band. Talk about a throwback. Before I saw what these band members looked like, I figured they were saloon-loving gentlemen who had been playing together since the 60s. That is not the case. They are completely reviving a country music scene that hasn’t really been popular since the late, great man in black, Sir Johnny Cash. I’m totally on board with their sound, and their message: “if there ain’t no honky tonks up in heaven, I’m staying here.”

 

 

Mofro’s “Lochloosa” – This song is from Mofro’s second album sharing the same title. I discovered this song on Pandora because I listen to Ben Harper radio. Take of that what you will. I know nothing about him as an artist, except that he can croon with the best of them and he reminds me of the band Groove Armada in a major way. Maybe they have a connection? Who knows. Enjoy this fantastic song.

 

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