Monday, January 25, 2010

Lillian Ray Giveaway!

While this blog is solely a music site I am a strong supporter of anything artistic and creative. I have several friends who are incredibly talented musicians, photographers, artists and writers. Well today MMM is teaming up with Beth from Lillian Ray to do a special giveaway!

Beth has been one of my closest friends since junior high and has become incredibly talented at making jewelry. Beth started selling her hand-crafted pieces on one year ago and to celebrate her anniversary she has released a new line of high end jewelry in her Lillian Ray Luxe line.

Not only is she offering some great deals and giveaways on her blog (Click here to be directed) she has also created a great piece of jewelry for a special giveaway on MMM.

Isn’t it cute?! So pretty, simple and perfect for the music lover. Enter to win it for yourself, your wife, girlfriend, mom, etc. I just love it so much I wish I could win it!

Why am I doing this giveaway you ask? Well, my goal and vision for this blog is to promote new artists who are trying to gain a fan base and set their career in motion. The music industry is a tough place and I would love this blog to be a place where they can get noticed just like the band featured this week, Vampire Weekend, did when they were just getting started. So to give you a little incentive to spread the word to all your friends I'm having this giveaway as a thank you to all my supporters.

What you need to do to enter:

First you must be a public follower of MMM before you can enter to win.

* For one entry leave a comment with your favorite piece from Lillian Ray and/or Lillian Ray Luxe.

* For another entry mention Mary’s Monday Musicology on your blog or Twitter and leave a separate comment with the link to your blog or Twitter account.

* For a third entry leave another comment with your favorite artist featured on Mary's Monday Musicology and why they're your favorite.

Make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. Deadline is January 31st Midnight PST.  
I'll be using a random number generator to pick the winner so make sure to check back next Monday!

Vampire Weekend

You all would be so proud of me. For the second week in a row the featured artist/band is not from Nashville! I’m getting back to more variety and stretching not only myself but also all of you who check in each week for new artists. Over the past few years I’ve been expanding my music taste. Listening to music I wouldn’t normally enjoy and as a result I’ve fallen in love with some new bands such as The Raconteurs and Muse. My friend Taylor who is a musician pursuing a career as an artist told be once that he listens to some music as exercise to work out his musical muscles. Another friend, Valery, has been trying everything from Celtic to Gregorian chanting to expand her musical taste. So here at Mary’s Monday Musicology we are going to be doing that as well (maybe not with chant music). This week we are taking a baby step in that direction with Vampire Weekend.

Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Christopher Tomson, who all met while at Columbia University in New York, formed vampire weekend in 2006 after graduating. They then self produced their first album while all working full time jobs. I too graduated in 2006 but sadly was not that productive and was in the “What the heck am I doing with my life?/I just want to do music!” stage of life. The name Vampire Weekend comes from a film Koenig made during college. Their first self-titled album was released in 2008 and their new album Contra was just released two weeks ago and I’ve been listening to it non-stop.

It was actually the blog world that spread the word about Vampire Weekend as they were getting their start and working towards getting a record deal. They have had several of their tracks featured on the silver screen with the films Step-Brothers and Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Vampire Weekend is great music for friendly gatherings with its mellow but upbeat sound. Can’t you just picture yourself with some Sangria in one hand while you BBQ some carne asada and are doing a little dance? I know I can but that’s just me. The new album has quite a few African beats that just get me dancing in my car.

Hope you enjoyed this week’s featured band. Be sure to comment and let me know what you think.

Giveaway Alert!!!

Check back tonight for a very special giveaway as MMM joins with Lillian Ray Jewelry as she launches her new Luxe line and celebrates her one year anniversary! It will be worth your while I promise!

Photo #2 by Esther White
Photos #1 & 3 - Unknown

Monday, January 18, 2010

Audra Mae

One of the things I splurge on the most is buying music, more so than new cloths and I love new cloths. Thankfully I get a lot of free/discounted music from work and have discovered several great ways to get good music at a good price. Of course Brite Revolution is one DSP that gives you access to tons of amazing new artists where you can download everything you want for only $4.99 a month. Plus, part of it goes to charity! My other favorite place to get a good music deal is on Amazon. Everyday they have a whole album to download that is a part of their Daily Deals and is priced from $1.99 to $3.99. The albums available range from unknown to mainstream and I have discovered some great new music. Now for our featured artist, Audra Mae, who I found after Amazon had her track “The River” as their free song of the day. The first time I heard this track I knew right away that Audra was going to be a favorite and would make her way to a feature here.

Audra Mae is a native of Oklahoma who has music and performing in her blood being the grand niece of Judy Garland. She grew up with one grandmother teaching her about country and folk music and the other grandmother teaching her about Jazz music. As you listen to Audra’s music you can hear how much that early education in music affected her style and craft today. Her voice has that old sound to it and reminds me of several great female vocalists of the 50s and 60s. After flunking out of college, because she was focused on music and parties, Audra moved to California in 2004 and began to make her way around the Los Angeles music scene playing in clubs until she got a publishing deal and later signed with an independent record label best known for the Irish rock band, Flogging Molly.

After signing with her new label Audra released her second EP of 2009, titled Haunt, and will be releasing her full-length album later this month. Haunt is the perfect title for Audra’s new release since haunting is one of the first words I would use to describe her music. I’m a very happy, easy going person but for some reason I absolutely love music that is haunting and tragically beautiful. Her track, “Sullivan’s Letter” is a great example of that style. Audra is a songwriter and found inspiration for this track after reading a love letter written by a civil war soldier on the back of some music she received. The soldier wrote a love letter to his wife and soon after died in the first battle of Bull Run. It is a sad and beautiful song that truly showcases Audra’s songwriting talent.

I’m very excited to see what awaits with the release of her full length album and I hope you all are too after hearing her music and learning a little bit about her.

Let me know what you think of this artist and look into her links below if you want to learn more.

If you are as curious as I was to learn more about Sullivan and his letter to his wife you can read the full text here Sullivan Ballou Letter It could quite possibly be one of the most beautiful and tragic things I have ever read.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Perrin Lamb

I really enjoy being able to give you all a detailed bio of the artists or bands featured here. Though I’ve been discovering that with really new artists there isn’t much info out there. Some of them are so new that they don’t have a whole lot to tell yet. This week’s artist, Perrin Lamb, comes out of Nashville, TN and has released several EPs but no full-length album yet. I looked everywhere for information on Lamb and was only able to find a little something on Lamb has teamed up with them and has released his third EP Sometimes At Night exclusively on Brite. Which is one of many reason I would recommend for you all to join. The three tracks featured here are from the new EP. His first two EPs, Be This Way (2007) and Feels Like Home (2008) are available on iTunes and Amazon.

Lamb is a young husband and father to a beautiful wife and baby girl. His songs reflect the hard life of pursuing a career in music, supporting a family and living life. He was raised in Mississippi and is now setting up shop in Nashville joining the community of new artists and songwriters. Lamb has had his songs featured on several shows such as Army wives, Kyle XY, Grey’s Anatomy, the Real World, and The Hills.

I’m sure his new EP will be made available at some point on iTunes but in the mean time check out his previous two releases. Hope you enjoyed this week's new artist!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Madi Diaz

So this week I tried to pick an artist who was not from Nashville. I failed… Madi Diaz was a find one random day perusing through iTunes for new music. Once I started researching her for this feature not only did I discover that she is setting up shop in Nashville but she is currently touring with Ten Out Of Tenn. TOT has been mentioned here before and it just proves what a small world it really is. Everyone knows everyone it seems!

Madi is from Lancaster, PA and met her collaborator Kyle Ryan while at Berklee College of Music in Boston. The two have been working together ever since and now call Nashville home and have been doing very well for themselves in Music City. The pair released an album titled, Skin and Bone back in 2007 and an EP titled Ten Gun Salute in 2008. The EP has a much different sound then the album and I am liking the new direction much better. The new sound is entering the world of indie pop and I cannot wait to hear more.

Hope you enjoy this week’s feature! Happy New Year everyone! I’m so excited for 2010 and all the new things this year will bring. Including all the new music to come!!