Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 15 Favorite Albums of 2011

There is only a few more days left in 2011 and its about time I share my favorite albums released this year. In no particular order (except maybe the first one...):

The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow

Ben Rector - Something Like This 

Chris Thile, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer & Stuart Duncan - The Goat Rodeo Sessions 

Gotye - Making Mirrors 

Boy & Bear - Moonfire 

Adele - 21 

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues 

Mutemath - Odd Soul 

James Vincent McMorrow - Early In The Morning 

Katie Herzig - The Waking Sleep 

Bon Iver - Bon Iver 

City & Colour - Little Hell 

The Head and the Heart - The Head and the Heart 

The Cave Singers - No Witch 

Tapes N' Tapes - Outside 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ingrid Michaelson Covers "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye

I've always loved Ingrid Michaelson but watching this video of her covering one of my current favorite songs takes my admiration of her to another level. She plays all the instruments and keeps the integrity and purity of the song. Love it!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Red Letter Agent - New Christmas EP

Its only 4 days until Christmas and if you are anything like me you've been listening to Christmas music non-stop. You may be tiring of your current Christmas music library and needing something new. Of course if you are listening to my playlist I'm sure you can't get enough... right? Well I have for you a new release from Red Letter Agent! These guys have recording some great Christmas classics for your listening pleasure. Add something a little rockin' to your holidays and support some good Nashville boys with fabulous hair.

Buy the album on iTunes!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Christmas Time Again!

Here I am sitting on the couch freezing my booty off in southern California watching the Michael Bublé Christmas Special on NBC. Growing up in Los Angeles I remember quite a few Christmases where it was too warm outside to light a fire in our fireplace or wear the new flannel pajamas I received Christmas eve. Now it feels a little more like Christmas all bundled up watching Christmas specials and creating my Christmas music playlist.

If your schedule is anything like mine every weekend is already packed with holiday parties but I hope you can take the time to snuggle up on the couch with some hot chocolate or someone special (or if you are really lucky, both) and listen to some new Christmas music. There are so many great new Christmas albums out this year like Michael Bublé, She & Him, and Mindy Gledhill as well as endless free Christmas and holiday tracks on

This year I tried to choose songs and artists that probably aren't in your regular Christmas music collection. The purpose of this blog is to bring you artists you've never heard of so I hope your find some new favorites. Of course you all probably know Michael Bublé but since I'm watching his program I figured I should add it in to solidify this Christmas feeling I have right now.
Merry Christmas everyone!

For even more music listen to the old playlists too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Its A Video Kind of Day

I have so many things to post about. Concert reviews galore, my trip to Nashville, Christmas playlists and many many new artists I'm loving. The time to do all that is the only thing lacking. So until I can get to all those posts here are some of my favorite music videos I keep re-watching on Youtube. Mutemath performing "In No Time" in Paul Meany's garage: I saw City and Colour last week and it was probably the best concert I've ever been to. He is amazing. When I saw The Swell Season at the Hollywood Bowl they opened with this and I will never forget it: How could I not include a video from The Civil Wars?? I'm missing their next L.A. show and I'm a bit devastated about it... You may not have heard of Gary Clark Jr. yet but trust me... you will soon... Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Black Keys New Single - Lonely Boy!

The Black Keys are releasing a new album, El Camino, December 6th and considering how much I loved the first one I know that I will love this one. They released their first single today titled "Lonely Boy." Watch the video and witness some sweet dance moves.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Anticipation

Its only a few more days until Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco and in anticipation of my first time going I've been knee deep in live Punch Brothers videos as well as created a Spotify playlist of all the artist performing this weekend. Enjoy!

My Spotify playlist! Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Punch Brothers Youtube Playlist: Click Here

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Katie Herzig - New Music Video and New Album Out Today!

Katie Herzig, who has been featured here before, has a new album out today titled The Waking Sleep. She also released the new video for her first single on the album "Free My Mind" which you can watch below. Katie has a wonderful folk but also quirky pop sound that makes her music unique and a joy to listen to. You can't help but tap your toes to her songs. If you like artist like Sia or Ingrid Michaelson you will love Katie Herzig! You can buy the album on iTunesAmazon or her website.

Katie Herzig - Free My Mind from Katie Herzig on Vimeo.

Apparently for this video 2000 post-its, 300 Q-tips, and 3,000 glue dots were used in the making of this video.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mutemath's new single Odd Soul!

Mutemath is one of my top 5 favorite bands. I also think they are one of the top 5 underrated bands as well. Finally a few weeks ago I was able to see them live for the first time and I was thoroughly impressed. They played almost all new songs and put on a great show. The drummer has to tape his headphones to his head so they don't fly off while he is playing. That's when you know you are doing it right.

I got the courage to go up to Paul Meany, the lead singer, and tell him how much I loved their music. I always feel like a music nerd doing that but it had to be done. They needed to know. Paul was so nice. I actually forgot to say my name when I introduced myself and so he asked me and asked us all questions about ourselves. They have a new album coming out titled Odd Soul in the next month or two and I can tell you that its going to be one of their best. So far the two singles included the title track Odd Soul have been released and I am loving them. Check out the music video below!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Kimbra - Good Intent (New Official Video)

If its not already obvious I'm a huge fan of New Zealand singer Kimbra. She's only 21 but her voice and talent goes well beyond her age. This new music video is just fabulous. Eagerly awaiting the album's release in the U.S.! Check out the video for Settle Down as well!

New Video From Andrew Belle - Ladder

Absolutely loving this new video that just came out from Andrew Belle. I particularly love the part when he uses his vest as a parachute. Vests are more then just stylish these days...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Charlie Hardin's Kickstarter Campaign- Be A Part Of Making An Album!

We stream it. We steal it. We "borrow" it from friends. We buy it. How about actually being a part of making it? Well with Kickstarter you have that chance. Artist from all over the country are using Kickstarter to raise money to record albums while allowing their fans and supporters to be a part of the process. The best part is that you are not just donating. You get something in return and you can tell people you helped make that album happen. Charlie Hardin out of Nashville is in the middle of his Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record his first album. If you remember Charlie was featured here way back and was actually my first ever artist interview. Its been a joy to watch how his music career is unfolding and I've also had the pleasure of hearing a few of the new song demos and let me tell you that so far they are amazing. I got back with Charlie to hear more about the new album and Kickstarter. Check out our convo and make sure to visit the Kickstarter page and if you want to support the arts support Charlie!

1. So Charlie, your Kickstarter is off and running for the new album. Can you tell us a little about what Kickstarter is and how it works?

It is indeed off and running! Kickstarter is a sweet platform for artists such as myself to fund projects. A person can choose to pledge any amount of money, and in return they will be given a reward if the goal is reached (if it's not reached, then you don't get the rewards and you are not charged for your pledge). I was recently discussing the whole thing with my friend Will - at first he was under the impression that is was like running a donations-based fundraiser. I don't care for that description because it seems to infer that people are involved in a one-sided transaction. With Kickstarter, nobody gets nothing in return for something. Every person who pledges not only will receive a cool Thank-You for their support (like a signed copy of the album, or their name in the liner notes or their initials tattooed on my body), but more importantly, by backing this project, they become part of it's history. When you choose to back this record, you are literally becoming a valuable part of it getting made. I'm going to love delivering every one of my supporters their rewards, but the best part will be giving them the completed record, because we have all been a part of making it.

2. How long have you been waiting to make this album?

It's been about 2 and a half years since my last release, but it really feels like I've been building up to this record my entire life, frankly. I will have a great deal more creative control with this record, and will be recording material spanning about 4 or 5 years. I have been very fortunate to make many kinds of recordings in the last decade or so, but I am most excited to really express what I've been given with this go-round. There are some very important family stories that I wasn't able to tell last time, which I'm really excited about. One that has been with me for a while is "John David", about my late identical twin brother, which has been a favorite for several years. I've recorded it before, but never officially released it. That's a song that has apparently touched a lot of folks for a while, so letting it fully come to life is going to be a priority. Another favorite (at least of mine) is called "Invention". I've done demos of it a few times, but the most recent one was possibly the closest I've ever come to putting on tape what I actually wanted in my impressionistic brain! I've listened to it a ton of times. How vain! It's based on a dream I had a while back where I had built a time machine involving a 2" reel-to-reel tape deck in this basement, and I traveled back in to a time before my mother suffered from the mental illness that plagued her during her later years. It was such a vivid dream, and the recording, even in demo form, has this amazing dreamlike quality. I just can't wait for everyone to hear it.

3. How has the recording process gone for you so far?

At this moment, we've mostly been doing demos and deciding which songs to use - pretty early on in the actual recording process, but it's already surprising me. The success we experienced with "Invention" has really got my blood moving. I can't wait to see what we come up with when we really dig in to the process.

4. Has your music changed since your previous released recordings? Do you feel like your style has changed or developed over the last year?

Sure, I absolutely do. It's taken me a long time to feel comfortable with the rock and roll side of what we play, and the last record was not taken in that direction. Of course, I listen to stuff I've been recording since college or high school or before that, and it always has this feeling of "did I know what that sounded like when I did it?" In a sense, I feel more like myself as a writer and a performer than I've ever felt. I have always had a weakness for epic sounds and melancholy themes, I feel the way that sounds differently than I have before. Still big, but not too glossy. Still personal, but not unnecessary.

5. Once the album is out do you plan on hitting the road and touring?

I do! Most of the touring will likely be in the spring, but I will start circling the wagons in the fall. Part of the Kickstarter is the option for people to buy a personal concert, so those will be my first priority.

Hope you enjoyed Charlie and all his plaid glory. Check out the campaign and help an artist bring a dream into reality. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)

If you enjoyed the Kimbra video from last week I think you'll enjoy this video as well. Continuing on my Aussie kick here is Gotye (pronounced 'gore-ti-yeah') featuring Kimbra. I can't seem to stop watching this video. Its so mesmerizing.

Gotye just released his new album titled Making Mirrors. Make sure to check it out!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Andrew Belle Concert Review at The Mint

This post is about a week and a half late but better late then never right? I've been wanting to start reviewing shows on this blog since I go to so many and what better way to start reviewing then with a show that provoked my post on concert etiquette (see previous post).

Andrew Belle is one of my favorite new artists out of Nashville and I have been eager to see him live ever since I got sick and missed the Ten Out Of Tenn show in Hollywood. I bought tickets right away for his show at The Mint and I'll preface with saying that he did not disappoint. The venue however did. This was my first time at The Mint and I'm not sure I'll ever go back. I don't think I've ever been so irritated at a concert before and I'm a pretty easy going person.

Schuyler Fisk opened accompanied by Ryan Lerman on guitar. Schuyler is also the daughter of Sissy Spacek, who was in attendance, and an actress herself (Any fans of The Baby Sitter's Club?). It was our first experience with her music and we were all really impressed. Unfortunately the sound guy was having some issues with levels and feed back. Its a lesson all musicians have had to learn, you are only as good as your sound guy. Despite the technical issues Schuyler and company were really refreshing. My favorite songs from her set were, What If I Leave, You Hung The Moon, and a cover of You Belong To Me that was absolutely fantastic.

Next up was the headliner of the night Andrew Belle. He played solo on acoustic guitar and played all my favorites. It would have been a perfect set except the fact that the whole crew of people who came for Schuyler were off to the side talking loudly during Andrew's set. Imagine like 15-20 people trying to talk over the music. That accompanied with two very tall girls working their way right before the start of the show through the crowd only to stop front and center video taping the whole set just put me on edge. Andrew handled it all well and the crowd there for Andrew tried to shush the talking people the best we could but they were totally oblivious.

Andrew Belle was great interacting with the crowd sharing funny stories and even allowing two girls who politely asked to come sit on stage for one of his songs. Even without a full band behind him his performance had depth and emotion and captivated all those who were there to see him. After the show I waited for quite a while to go up and meet him. Being that he is tall and pretty easy on the eyes the girls at the show swarmed up to meet him and take pictures. I hate being considered one of those girls so I waited my turn until they had all gone. I'm a music industry professional after all not a groupie. Yet for some reason when I finally got up to talk to him I freaked out! I got really nervous and shaky. I work at a major record label and deal with big acts all the time and I never get nervous. What was wrong with me?? Maybe it was that the band playing at that point was so loud that all the things I had to say to him became too difficult with the noise. Sometimes my old nerves hit me out of no where. In any case I left feeling like an idiot. Sorry Andrew, I'm normally more composed. Thanks for putting on a great show despite the obnoxious L.A. crowd. Comeback again soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kimbra - Plain Gold Ring (Nina Simone Cover) video

Ever since my roommate showed me this video of Australian artist Kimbra covering a Nina Simone track I have not been able to stop watching it. The vocal loops she creates are so fabulous. I think big things are coming for Kimbra and she is going to blow up any second. Her new album comes out in Australia only on August 30th (lame). Hopefully her U.S. release will follow shortly! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Concert Etiquette by Mary

After attending a concert at The Mint in Los Angeles I feel the need to write out a list of concert etiquette because apparently most people aren't aware of how to behave at a show. Los Angeles... for shame...

#1 Being Tall at a Standing Show - If you are more then 5'10" with or without heels its definitely not OK to push your way through the crowd acting like you are just trying to get to bathroom only to stop front row center to watch the show. You have now blocked everyone who have been standing there for the last hour and your giant heads will be in everyone's picture.

#2 Flash Photography - Is it necessary to blind the artist with your red eye flash while they are tuning their guitar in the dark?? Eventually the lights will go on and you can take photos till your hearts content without a flash.

#3 Talking - When the artist starts playing it doesn't mean continue talking but louder so you can be heard over the music. Why did you pay for a concert ticket only to talk through the whole thing?? Take it outside chatty Cathy and have some respect for the artist.

#4 Participation - I don't know what it is about people in Los Angeles who think they are too cool to act like they are enjoying a concert. Everyone stands there with arms crossed with this attitude like, "What you got for me? Play some music and see if you can impress me." Try clapping, dancing, swaying or even just a head bob. I promise that you'll have more fun and the artist will appreciate people participating and enjoying the music.

#5 Videotaping - If you want to videotape your favorite song during the show so you can watch it back later to relive the moment I get that. Carry on. However, if you are going to video every song with your arm up in the air while you are standing in the front row you suck. Your arm is in all my pictures...

On a recent trip to Ireland I learned the proper way to participate at concert. Let's watch and learn a lesson from the Irish shall we? Look how much fun they are having. Maybe its the fact that they all have a pint in hand...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Boy & Bear

There is something about Australians I just love. Maybe its the accent, maybe its their cheeky laid back humor and attitude. Or maybe its in my blood since my dad is Australian. In any case I am loving some great artists from down under like Angus & Julia Stone and Ellen Kibble both featured here. Now I'm all about Boy & Bear. After hearing their song Mexican Mavis I couldn't wait for the whole album to be released in the U.S. As of Tuesday it is!! Take a listen to their first two songs and you can stream their album on Spotify and buy it on iTunes.

Members: Dave Hosking - Killian Gavin - Tim Hart - Jake Tarasenko - Jon Hart

Boy & Bear Website
Buy the album on iTunes here
Download Mexican Mavis single here
Stream new album on Spotify here

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Last year was the first year I heard about the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Fransisco's Golden Gate Park. Sadly it was a little too last minute and I couldn't find any hotels to stay at that weren't already fully booked and wouldn't have weird stains on the bed spread...

This year I've planned ahead and will be making the drive up to San Fransisco with three friends with accomodations already lined up. So far this years line up DOES NOT disappoint. Check out these medleys of who is confirmed so far and see if you can guess the artists. #3 has my favorite selection. See if you can guess why ;)

For more info on this FREE festival click here. 

HSB 2011 Sneak-Peak Medley Round 1 by Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

HSB 2011 Sneak-Peak Medley Round 2 by Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

HSB 2011 Sneak-Peek Medley Round 3 by Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Sneak-Peek Medley Round 4 by Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

The Civil Wars AND The Punch Brothers?!!! Can life get any better? I submit that it cannot!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Just loving this Fleet Foxes song. The message of this song is hitting me right where my heart is right now.  Enjoy!

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues by subpop

I was raised up believing I was somehow unique
Like a snowflake distinct among snowflakes, unique in each way you can see
And now after some thinking, I'd say I'd rather be
A functioning cog in some great machinery serving something beyond me

But I don't, I don't know what that will be
I'll get back to you someday soon you will see

What's my name, what's my station, oh, just tell me what I should do
I don't need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you
Or bow down and be grateful and say "sure, take all that you see"
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me

And I don't, I don't know who to believe
I'll get back to you someday soon you will see

If I know only one thing, it's that everything that I see
Of the world outside is so inconceivable often I barely can speak
Yeah I'm tongue-tied and dizzy and I can't keep it to myself
What good is it to sing helplessness blues, why should I wait for anyone else?

And I know, I know you will keep me on the shelf
I'll come back to you someday soon myself

If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm raw
If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm sore
And you would wait tables and soon run the store

Gold hair in the sunlight, my light in the dawn
If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm sore
If I had an orchard, I'd work till I'm sore
Someday I'll be like the man on the screen

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gary Clark Jr.

Last Friday I had the pleasure of seeing Gary Clark Jr. live for the first time. Before he started my coworker warned me that I would swoon and to get myself ready. When I saw that he would be playing guitar as well as kick drum and hi-hat all at once I knew my coworker was right. Gary played for 45 minutes and I only wish it could have gone on longer. Gary Clark Jr. is an Austin, TX native raised on blues and soul. He's an incredibly talented musicians who has great things ahead of him. Can't wait for his album to be released!

Gary Clark Jr by GaryClarkJr

Here is the live stream of his performance. Skip to 3:00 in.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

City And Colour's New Album!

Yesterday City and Colour (aka Dallas Green) released his new album Little Hell and much to my chagrin I have not had time to buy it yet. Its my first on my to do list when I get home tonight from work even before exercise and laundry (those are not hard for me to reprioritize...). In the meantime I've been listening to his new single Fragile Bird with its intriguing and racy music video about a girl having nightmares about her days working in a brothel. So for those of you who have been awaiting its release or maybe have never heard City and Colour (now is the time people!) here are two tracks from the new album that are holding me over until tonight.

Fragile Bird by cityandcolour

Northern Wind by cityandcolour

Monday, May 23, 2011

Justin Timberlake - SNL

As you may know or have noticed, I am not a huge pop music fan. I may know the words to a few Katy Perry songs that you can't help but get stuck in your head but if you check my music library you will find it void of any Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas or Ke$ha. However I make a huge exception for Justin Timberlake as I feel he is truly a talented artist with a great voice. I remember watching him on some music awards ceremony a few years ago where he played the piano and guitar incredibly well along with his usual dancing and singing and I was blown away. So when I heard he was giving up music to pursue acting until further notice I was pretty upset. I thought, well if he's going to stick to really good movies like The Social Network then maybe I can get behind it, but Bad Teacher and Friends With Benefits?? Really Justin? Watching his monologue on Saturday Night Live this weekend just made me even more upset. My roommate and I just sat through the whole thing yelling at him through the TV. He's just so good. Can't you do both Justin? Please?

Image source here

Friday, May 20, 2011

Andrew Belle - Static Waves Video and Ten Out Of Tenn Anticipation

Next Wednesday Ten out of Tenn is playing a show at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, CA and you can bet that I bought my tickets weeks ago. I've always wanted to see a Ten out of Tenn show especially Andrew Belle. He along with Matthew Perryman Jones, Amy Stroup, Tent Dabbs and Katie Herzig should make for an amazing show.

And, since Katie will be there I can bet they'll play this in the set. Ooohh! I can't wait!

** UPDATE: I got sick and never made this show. Sad story.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Johnny Cash Project - Ain't No Grave Video

There is something spectacular about an artist who impacts people with their art all over the world. People from all walks of life all united in a common love. One of those spectacular artists is Johnny Cash. The Johnny Cash Project as you will see in this video gave people all over the world a chance to contribute to the making of Cash's final music video. Hear their stories and watch the finished product as of a few months ago. You can still contribute to the project which I attempted to do but my artistry skills are lacking and I quickly got intimidated. I think I'll keep to drawing stick figures for now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Brooke Fraser - Something In The Water (Official Video)

Brooke Fraser is easily one of my favorite artists. She is an artist who has branched out of her genre and is getting better at what she does with every album release. My favorite album by far is the most recent release titled Flags. Well worth purchasing the whole album! Here is the official video for my favorite track off the album, "Something In The Water"

and my other favorite from the album, "Betty"

Monday, May 2, 2011

Josh Garrels - Words Remain

I stumbled across this video last month and I keep going back to my Youtube favorites to watch it every few weeks. So it seems expected that I should share it with all of you. Something about this is so haunting and beautiful.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Music And Travel - The NYC/Ireland Edition

If I were to describe one of my ideal jobs it would be to be a travel show host or author who journeys around the world looking for good music and good food. I mean how amazing would that be? So whenever I do travel for my own pleasure I make sure to find where to hear great local artists. Just a week ago I got back from a 10 day trip to New York City and Ireland and have finally recovered from the jet lag...oh the jet lag...

Before I left on m trip I reached out to the Twitter community and asked for recommendation to hear local New York artists. A guy in Nashville who follows me recommended me to his friend and local NYC artist Aaron Zimmer to either hear him play or to get some recommendations from. Aaron immediately responded and said he would be glad to get me the low down for the weekend I'd be there. OK, how cool is Twitter that a girl in Los Angeles would get a recommendation from a guy in Nashville for a guy in New York for music tips? Twitter haters step back!

After a red eye flight to New York (brutal) I connected with Aaron over email and he not only recommended a good place to hear local artists but also recommended food places with amazing cheesecake and a booze cruise. This guy apparently knows the way to my heart, cheesecake and good music. Aaron pointed us to Rockwood Music Hall which is a venue that takes up two store fronts and has a stage in each with new artists and bands playing each hour on both stages. We went to check it out Saturday night after a delicious meal in Little Italy (Sicilian meatloaf is gooood) and discovered a venue that is much needed in L.A. What I've always wanted here is a venue where artists can perform without having to bring all there own people or they don't get paid and where you can hear multiple artists without getting kicked out because you only paid for the first act. Rockwood seems to be a place where people go because they want to hear good, new music. There is no cover and occasionally they pass around a basket where you can pitch in to help pay the band supporting the artist.

That evening we were lucky enough to catch Philadelphia artist Nicky Egan. At first glance you'd think she sang country or was a folksy singer/song writer type but oh no. Girl has some serious soul! Nicky Egan has an incredible voice and makes singing R&B and Soul look easy. I purchased her album Good People as soon as I got home and haven't regretted that decision one bit! Nicky played the piano and was supported with a guitarist and bass. Along with her original songs she covered The Black Keys and Janis Joplin giving them her own personal twist. Rockwood and Nicky was a win. Thank you Aaron!

After catching Memphis on Broadway, lunch with our New York boss and a great conversation with the bartender at Joseph Leonard in the West Village about music in New York and the music industry we headed off to Ireland. Another red eye flight and we arrived bright and early in Dublin ready to tour the city delusional from the lack of sleep. We stood out like sore thumbs the entire trip but we didn't mind. We were just happy to be there. The hipster movement has obviously not made its way to Ireland and the Irish were not to sure what to do with my hot pink Ray Ban knock offs and love of mustard yellow clothing. They don't do much color there...

Every pub in Ireland has music but we had an especially great time at Folley's Pub in Kenmare where we stayed all night listening to a local Irishmen sing Irish folk songs with everyone in the pub singing along. I was just sitting there harmonizing and having fun minding my own business when he asked where we were from and asked if I would sing a song for everyone. This would not be my first time to sing in a pub in Ireland. Two years ago the same thing happened in Galway. I need to just stop singing along... Next thing I know I'm up there playing his guitar and singing "I'll Fly Away" and forgetting all the words. I blame the cider. A few days later we were listening to the singer at our castle (yes, our castle. you read right) during a sing-a-long in the lounge. She noticed three new young women sitting and asked us where we were from. "Los Angeles" "Oh really?! Do you sing? Will you sing a song for us?" What in the world?! I wasn't even singing along this time! Apparently if you are from Los Angeles you must be talented. I didn't realize I needed to prepare music for my trip to Ireland...

While in Galway we stopped into the King's Head pub as they were having a live band that night. We waited for the band Frantic Jack not knowing what to expect and quickly realizing that Galway is a college town and the drinking age is 18... We also noticed that we were severely under dressed. Trying to blend in, with no success as we must have "American" stamped somewhere on our bodies, wearing jeans and t-shirts, we saw the crowd of women and girls flooding in dressed as if they were going out in Hollywood. The three of us who actually do go out in Hollywood were not dressed appropriately for the Galway night scene. Nonetheless Frantic Jack took the stage as people gathered closer and they riled up the crowd opening with Mumford and Sons "Little Lion Man." They sang about 80% cover songs that everyone knew and the rest their original songs. Everyone in the pub was singing along, dancing, drinking and having a jolly good time. The whole time I was thinking what it would like if these guys played in Los Angeles. People in L.A. don't dance at shows. They usually stand there with their arms crossed with the look on their face that says, "What you got? Impress me." We thoroughly enjoyed Frantic Jack and were even more surprised to find out after researching their music online that their original songs are mostly songs about God including one that made the top 10 in Ireland. There is no mention anywhere of them being a Christian band and I wouldn't have guessed from the show but several of their songs are obviously inspirational in nature. The show was full of energy not only from the band but from the crowd and the energy was contagious. Its been a while since I've been to a show like that.

Our trip was a huge success and we had a wonderful and exhausting time. We kissed the Blarney Stone, I conquered driving on the left side of the road and enjoyed some pretty good music. Until the next adventure! Sláinte!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Civil Wars - "Disarm" (Smashing Pumpkins Cover)

Another year has gone by and I still have not made it out to SXSW in Austin. It is something that I have always wanted to do but never have been able to. Since I work at a record label the building was pretty much a ghost town last week with everyone in Austin. Those of us left were pretty much here to make sure no one stole the furniture. Stories are flooding in of the week and what it had to offer. My boss nearly made me cry in jealousy when he explained that Jack White had done a spontaneous street performance. I just keep reminding myself that I'm going to Ireland in a few weeks and then I don't feel soooo bad.

ITunes offered a free SXSW sampler which you can download here so if you didn't get to go either we can get a little sampling of what the week had to offer. This includes The Civil Wars. Can I just say how proud I am of them? I remember when I found them they had just started and all they had was a youtube video of their first track "Falling" and they actually responded to my @ mention Tweets. Now I have to share them with Taylor Swift and thousands of others. Its bittersweet really but absolutely incredible how they have exploded in the last year. Selfishly I want to keep them to myself but I can't help but tell everyone I know how amazing their music is. You can download their live SXSW performance on iTunes here. So here again I share a new video from The Civil Wars doing a Smashing Pumpkins cover. Enjoy! Also if you went to SXSW please comment with your favorite moment of the week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Its A Video Kind Of Day

Thought I'd share some of my favorite music related videos on Youtube right now.

I am a huge animal person, especially dogs. All throughout elementary, middle and high school I wanted to be a veterinarian until I realized I hated science... kind of important. So this OK Go music video with all these cute pups just melts my heart.

Punch Brothers. Enough said. (fyi the mandolin may beat out the cello now that I really think about it)

This is probably one of the greatest moments of this kids life. Unfortunately he may look back and wonder, "What the heck was I wearing??"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The New John Mayer Trio?? Yes Please!!

In case you missed the 2011 Grammy Awards this year there is just one performance you must see. Sure Lady Gaga did her usual craziness, and Cee Lo Green wore a bird suit... however it wasn't an official performance that made me jump up with glee and squeal like a little girl. It was actually John Mayer, Norah Jones and Keith Urban presenting the award for Song of the Year with a little improv performance of one of my favorite songs of all time, Jolene by Dolly Parton. The combination of all their voices with John and Keith's crazy guitar skills filled my roommates and I with absolute delight and we quickly rewound and rewatched it. The only bad part was how short it was. Someone please tell these three to do a project together! Pretty please!

(Sadly due to copyright infringement this video was taken down. I'll re-post with a legal one as soon as I find it!)