Jul 2007
21

While I am speaking in thirds…

There are three new albums I am totally loving lately. Girly albums. Because nothing makes me less stressed when I am trying to get a million (and one) things done at the office than listening to pretty girl pop music. I have all three of these albums pulled together into an iTunes playlist that has been on repeat all week.

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1. COLBIE CAILLAT – COCO
Her “Bubbly” is the free iTunes single of the week till Monday night if you hurry. I had downloaded it a while ago (non-free, dangit). Not sure where I heard of her, but when the full album was released last week I immediately downloaded it and fell in love. It’s as if Jack Johnson and India Arie had a baby. And while I have always liked Jack Johnson, Colbie’s voice is absolutely stellar addition to that summer-chill vibe Jack’s got going on. And India is one of my all-time faves, so anyone who reminds me of her pushes high on my list as well.
= Songs I love the mostest: Oxygen, One Fine Wire, The Little Things, Magic


2. MANDY MOORE – WILD HOPE
You read that right. Mandy. Moore. Bubblegum pop girl. But I have always kind of liked her, especially since she dated Zach Braff… and I heard she worked hard to break out of the Pop Princess mold with this album. Mission accomplished. This album sounds more like Tori Amos than Britney Spears. It’s not as strong overall as the other two ladies in this post, but obviously I loved enough of the songs to listen to it all week. Good job little Mandy.
= Songs I love the mostest: Few Days Down, Gardenia, Extraordinary, All Good Things


3. SARA BAREILLES – LITTLE VOICE
Another gorgeous vibrant voice, with surprising compositions that still just flow and make me chill out. The whole album is just amazing. Amazing. I need to go in search of her previous stuff because iTunes does not have it. And apparently she is opening for Maroon 5 on this tour, but not on the date we are seeing them – dammit!
= Songs I love the mostest: Love Song, Vegas, Morningside, Love On The Rocks

Trust me, if you haven’t already – check these albums out.

Let me know what you think!

Mar 2007
13

Bring Da Noize!

So, I covered movies (at least for a little while, below). I figured my obsession with music would feel left out if I didn’t give it some stroking too.

It all started over 20 years ago when I got my first job. At a record store. Talk about the coolest, most kick-ass first job ever. OK, it wasn’t at the indie music store like where Bryan worked. It was at the mall, but for a 16 year old girl – that is pretty damn cool too.

And since we were at the mall, where every walk of life came to shop – we played music that catered to, well, every walk of life. And I learned to appreciate all of it.

I FREAKING LOVE MUSIC.

I love alternative, rock, pop, jazz, folk, R&B, soul, rap, hip hop, dance, classical, reggae, punk, electronica, new age, country… I love it all. Sure, I have my faves – and hard core country and hard core rap do tend to get on my nerves… but if you look at my iTunes, it’s a total cross section of humanity in there. To quote the Byrds, there is a time for every purpose and for every one of Aimee’s moods there is a song. (Or something like that). Just like Tree needed SexyBack – I have, um, Wham cranking this very second. But, don’t worry. The next song after that is The Pixies.

I FREAKING LOVE IT ALL.

And since the birth of iTunes, I can have it all. Without ordering the whole album if I don’t like it. Yes, John Mayer and other purists believe in the power of a full album – but let’s face it. It’s rare that a whole album is that good.

So, I download like crazy here and there… as my tastes dictate.

And friends see it in the Mix CDs I make them. (Yes, I am that girl. The female version of John Cusack in High Fidelity – another great movie, by the way).

And since the birth of MySpace, I have found more and more unknown artists that are just amazing. The digital age is just so freaking cool. (And frankly, other than showcasing music, I sincerely cannot figure out what else MySpace is good for).

So. I figured I’d put all this kookiness to good use and start a “My Playlist” in my sidebar that I will update regularly. Hopefully every week at least. Given my download record, that won’t be too hard. Just stuff I am listening too. New stuff, old stuff, whatever.

Check it out. Let me know what you think of the stuff in the Playlist.

And what other music do you listen to and love? Who inspires you?

Or am I the only nutjob?

Mar 2007
09

Worth the Waking

It seems no one wants me to sleep past 5am this week.

Yesterday my adorable friend Christina, who is just getting a handle on the whole text messaging thing – sent me a text message at 5:09 and scared the poop out of me. She forgot that the phone actually rings instead of an email, which slithers silently into your inbox. Oops.

Then, this morning, Declan must have picked up on the vibe and started calling for me right around 5:00 am too. First, his eyes hurt. We have never had pink eye, nor do I even really know what to look for – but I made a big show of looking in his eyes and then telling him to go back to sleep. At 5:30 he called for me again and told me his neck hurts. Obviously the kid is just wide awake – or has spinal meningitis. Either way, I gave him some books and told him to read for a while. I figure if he does have spinal meningitis, I can deal with it better with a little more sleep.

Then at 6:30 my damn cell phone goes off again. I rush over thinking I am going to kick Christina’s ass! But it’s my sister – who can’t seem to remember Denver is 2 hours behind the East Coast even though I have lived here for 13 years.

But when I see her message, all is forgiven.

“Have you heard that Crowded House is back together and they are going on tour?”

I am freaking wide awake now! Crowded House is my all-time favorite band. And as you can tell, I have a a lot of all-time favorites – but Crowded House is king of the hill. My cat is named Finn after Neil Finn, the lead singer and the main songwriter.

I immediately jump in the Internet and see that she is correct. They are back together. They have hired a new drummer (Paul Hester committed suicide in 2004). And yes, they are on tour. In fact, they are playing at a big music festival in California over my birthday weekend.

Anyone want to go?

Jul 2006
12

Music Lover

Since we have the rule that no kiddie music is played in the car, Declan gets exposed to all sorts of tunes. I chuckle to myself though, because – much to his Dad’s chagrin, Declan seems to prefer my alterna-pop style of music. He is even getting to know the songs and sing along.

Here are some of his favorites right now:

Bad Day by Daniel Powter
Over My Head by The Fray
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley
Black Horse & The Cherry Tree by KT Tunstall (“Mommy, Mommy! It’s the Woo-Hoo song!”)

Ha ha, we’re 2-to-1 against Bryan now.

Feb 2006
16

Lyricists

I was driving into work this morning and the radio was playing “Miracle Drug” by U2. I have always loved that song, but I sat there and really listened to the lyrics for the first time. I was stuck yet again by how Bono is so damn good at making you feel every little thing he is thinking. I mean, come on! “Freedom has a scent, like the top of a new born baby’s head” – That is not your standard pop phrasing, but I knew exactly what he meant.

I have always hated overly simplified pop lyrics, which I like to call Wilson Phillips Disease (“Hold on, hold on, hold on for one more day”)… although I will admit to bopping along with silly pop songs sometimes. But I don’t respect myself for it. And I never liked Wilson Phillips.

Crowded House is by far my favorite band (hell, I named my cat after Neil Finn)… and I think it has a lot to do with the way they turn a phrase. They are surprising and evocative and rarely insipid. “Whispers and Moans” is my favorite Crowded House song, mainly because it takes me to a very specific place in my life, where those lyrics had me hanging on a doomed relationship for dear life. That relationship crashed and burned, but my love for Crowded House and Neil’s lyrics remains.

I felt that way about John Mayer too before he got all too good for the common people. “My Stupid Mouth” is a bit of a tongue-twisting piece of pop gold – and again – takes you right there with him. Too bad he has turned his back on his core audience for Blues highroad.

My latest lyrical fave is Jason Mraz. Unabashedly a pop singer, he still manages to make it interesting. And dirty. Apparently “in the pink” is a metaphor for “getting some.” (My husband had to explain that one to me). And… any pop star that can get sexual innuendo right under middle America’s nose is A-OK in my book.