Category Archives: music monday

Music Monday: Gotye

Good morning, all!  Hope you enjoyed the weekend.  I did not- I was in a drug-induced stupor trying to fight off the terrible cold I came down with.  I feel way better today.  I’m getting there slowly but surely.  I’ve been rocking out to today’s MM artist for the past few weeks, and his music definitely kept me company this weekend.

He goes by the name Gotye (pronounced GORE-tee-yay, according to the interwebs), and he brings a fun, groovy mix of rock and pop that is highly listenable.

Born in Belgium, Gotye (Born Wouter De Backer) was raised in Australia and showed early signs of musical ability.  He had an affinity for the drums, but also studied piano, and guitar.  Gotye experimented throughout early adulthood with several bands, including The Basics, a duo with Kris Schroeder.  They’ve released several albums and often perform with Gotye.

It wasn’t until 2006, though, with the release of his album Like Drawing Blood, that Gotye got recognition as a solo act.  Now, with Making Mirrors, Gotye has branched out and upped the ante.  After being hyped on Twitter by celebs like Ashton Kutcher, Mirrors’ second single, “Somebody That I Used To Know,” has been an unexpected hit.  The swinging groove finds him (and guest Kimbra) reflecting on a bad breakup.  The video is a work of art.  Check it out:

Please notice in that vid how bombtastic Kimbra is.  She rocks my world on this track.

You can really hear Gotye’s influences on Making Mirrors.  Some tracks are completely futuristic (“State of the Art”), while others sound like they could have been recorded by Hall & Oates (“I Feel Better”).  I’ve definitely found a song to fit my moods.  I really love “Eyes Wide Open.”  The beat, the lyrics, and his melody are all gorgeous.  Also, whale sounds normally creep me out, but they’re perfect here.  Give it a listen:

Gotye’s Making Mirrors is out now.  Must- have tracks:

“Somebody That I Used To Know”

“Eyes Wide Open”

“In Your Light”

“Save Me”

I love this album so much.  I hope you’ll give it a try.  If you have new music you think I’d like, drop me a line (or a tweet) and I’ll give it a listen.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Have a great day! xx


Music Monday: Death Cab For Cutie

Way WAY in the back!

Howdy, all!  Now, normally I would use Music Mondays to bring you an artist that is new(er), or at least new to me, but today I’m taking a different track.  I saw Death Cab live on Saturday, and it was the balls.  So, I’m just gonna go ahead and talk about them.  ‘Cause I can.  Yay! Go me.

So, my friend Trevor and I braved the deluge we got here in Orlando on Saturday to catch their show at House of Blues.  This tour is to promote their newest album, Codes and Keys.  That album, which came out in May, is way different from anything I’ve heard from them before.  It’s very. . . happy.  I’m thinking that marriage agrees with lead singer Ben Gibbard (he’s hitched to super cutie Zooey Deschanel).  I’m still trying to gather my thoughts about it.  I like Codes for the most part, though.  Especially the lead single, “You Are A Tourist.” The video is funky and cute:

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to think to hard at the show.  They started off with a rocking 9-minute jam version of one of my favorites, “I Will Possess Your Heart” off their album Narrow Stairs.   They even played “Photobooth” off The Forbidden Love EP.  I think this might have been the first song of theirs I ever heard.  Hearing it live took me waaaay back.

That was probably the best thing about this show- remembering where I was when I heard those songs, or who I dedicated them to in my mind back then.  That and they sounded so great live.  Gifted musicians and well crafted songs are always a good time!

Death Cab for Cutie is on tour now- catch them if they’re in your town.  Click here for tour schedule.  And check out Codes and Keys.  Let me know what you think! Have a fantastic day.  Thanks so much for stopping by! xx


Music Monday: Frankmusik

Hi, peeps! OK, I realize that you must think I died or slipped into a cupcake-induced diabetic coma.  Never fear, I’m here.  I’ve been here.  Well, not here here.  Part of the reason I haven’t updated in a few weeks is because of my epic trip home to Hawaii (it ruled.  I might write about it in a couple of days), and also because I’ve been listening to really bad music and seeing bad movies.  Not on purpose.  I’ve been busting my booty trying to find something cool to bring you, but I hadn’t had much luck until this past week.  Honest.

Photo credit: coffeeandbars.com

Enough about me.  Let’s just get right into it, shall we?  This week’s MM artist has been featured by me already

(before there was a Music Monday to speak of), and he’s back with a hot new album.  I’m talking about the electropop yumminess that is Frankmusik.

Born Vincent James Turner, Vincent Frank (Wikipedia says the surname “Frank” is a tribute to his grandfather. A-dorable!) is a British solo artist with the uncanny ability to create a huge pop sound as Frankmusik.   Driven mostly by keys and synth, all of his songs have seriously dance-able beats.  Check out the first single and title track from his new album, “Do It in the AM:”

While he is signed to Cherry Tree Records, a dance-heavy label with party-rockers LMFAO and pop hip-hoppers Far East Movement, the party isn’t always raging underneath his catchy hooks and pounding drums. Listen closer and you’ll find songs about disintegrating relationships and longing.  Check out this acoustic version of ,”Cut Me Down” an extra track Frankmusik posted on Soundcloud last month:

If you like what you heard here, follow @Frankmusik on Twitter for more free tracks.

Must-have tracks:

“Do It in the AM (feat Far East Movement)”

“The Fear Inside”

“Running”

“Cut Me Down”

Frankmusik’s new album, “Do It in the AM,” comes out TODAY on iTunes.  Ch-ch-check on it! Also, catch him on tour with Erasure through 2012.   Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week! xx


Music Monday: AWOLNATION

Happy Monday!  Hope you’ve all enjoyed this week! I know I did- Harry Potter 7.2 let me have it at the theater.  More on that later. . .  Today is all about the music.  This week’s MM artist seamlessly joins rock angst and electronica.  It’s the fresh, alternative sound of AWOLNATION.

This alternative rock band is the solo project of Aaron Bruno (Under the Influence of Giants).  Bruno initially started AWOLNATION after Red Bull Records approached him in 2009.  After several false starts, their first full-length album, Megalithic Symphony, was released in March.

On the first single, “Sail,” Bruno’s moody wail screeches above a driving electrobeat. It’s the album opener, and sets a fierce tone for the rest of this funky album.  Check out the video for “Sail:”

Funkaaaaay!  I first heard “Sail” on an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” and was hooked.  Check out the rest of Megalithic Symphony.  It rocks.

Must have tracks:

“Sail”

“Guilty Filthy Soul”

“Burn It Down”

 

You can pick up AWOLNATION’s stuff on Amazon or iTunes.  Let me know what you think! Have a great week, folks! xx

 


Music Monday: A New National Anthem?

Grr. They always forget Hawaii and Alaska! Photo credit: bite-dose.com

Have you heard about this?  Goshen College, a small liberal-arts college in Indiana has banned the Star-Spangled Banner from sporting events held on campus.  Officials at the school told The Chronicle of Higher Education, they’d prefer a song “that fits with sports tradition, that honors country, and that resonates with Goshen College’s core values and respects the views of diverse constituencies.”

The Mennonite liberal-arts college, which has traditionally been strongly pacifist, had allowed an instrumental version of the National Anthem to be played at events, but decided to ban the song altogether after outcry from those who believe the Anthem glorifies war.

Now, before hearing this story, my only real problem with the Star-Spangled Banner is that it’s just one major run-on sentence.  Like, for serious, what gives?  No wonder kids today can’t spell or write anything.  Our National Anthem is a grammatical nightmare!  (OK, Grandma rant over.)

After reading this story, I don’t really have an opinion about Goshen’s reasons for banning the anthem, but it did get me thinking- what other song should be our National Anthem?  I mean, the Star -Spangled Banner is about a battle, and not our country as it is today- complete, and with tons of natural beauty.  So, just for funsies, I’m gonna suggest a couple new National Anthems!

My Country Tis of Thee

Because, you know, it’s about the country and stuff.  My one rule is that this hat must be worn when this song is sung:

America the Beautiful

I love this song!  It’s so pretty; it says “America” in it, like, 50 times; and it can be jazzed up or down.  Clear winner!

Independent Woman Pt. 1

If you think about it, what song better defines the US of A? in 1776, she fully gave Britain “the hand” and told those Redcoats to fall back! Plus, this song celebrates our spirit of entrepreneurship! (No?  Fine. . . it’s just a hot song and I wanted to hear it today, OK?)

What do you think our next National Anthem should be? Tell me your suggestions- and your thoughts on Goshen College- in the comments!  And, Happy Birthday, America!  You look pretty good for 235! xx


Music Monday: SAXOPHONE!

The Big Man and The Boss

With the death of Clarence Clemons, the saxophone has been on my mind a lot this week.  The iconic E Street Band member (AKA “The Big Man”) suffered a stroke last week and passed away at the age of 69.

This is especially sad because I feel like the sax is having a moment in music right now.  Seems like every time I turn on my radio, there’s a pop song with an epic sax solo.  It’s taking me straight back to the ’80s.  Is anyone else noticing this?

Take Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” video.  Aside from the general channeling of ’80s Madonna, there is this amazeboats saxophone solo that really brings it home.  Somebody bring me a street sprayer quick!  I need to recreate this video:

And, despite the many holes in the plot of this video (are they in the ’80s? If so, why are there laptops and DDR? If she got a makeover, why was she back in her nerd clothes?  Yes, I think about these things), Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (TGIF” video is a masterful homage to the ’80s.  Complete with a Kenny G cameo! Regard:

That video is real serious.  Last but not least, there is this prank featuring the sexy sax man, Sergio Flores which blew up this spring:

“He’s playing to a baby right now!”

So folks, tell me, is it just me? Is the saxophone everywhere this year?  RIP Clarence Clemons.  Make the most of your day, everyone! xx


Music Monday: Justin Nozuka

Hey everybody! Hope you’re enjoying your Monday morning. I’m nursing my MTV Movie Awards Hangover ( I overdosed on the internet last night after Robert Pattinson’s epic FAIL of a speech for Reese Witherspoon), but today’s MM artist is helping me get back to normal.

His name is Justin Nozuka, and he’s a Canadian singer-songwriter. You might remember his 2007 single “After Tonight” off his album Holly. That single had some success here and abroad, but Nozuka has sort of been kicking around the underground since then. He’s just released a new EP titled Blue Velvet Sea, which is a collection of live/ stripped versions of tracks from his 2010 album You I Wind Land and Sea.

Born to a Japanese father and American mother, Justin Nozuka is one of seven kids. He’d been writing songs since the age of twelve, but it wasn’t until some high school friends taught him guitar that he started writing songs that would eventually become Holly. Nozuka, who was just nineteen when Holly was released, has said that he is influenced by Soul legends like Marvin Gaye and Lauryn Hill.

That influence is obvious on Blue Velvet– from the ’70s groove of “You I Wind Land And Sea”, to the haunting, tribal drumbeat of “Gray.” This EP (and the LP its acoustic sessions were based on) coolly has a cool mix of earthy blues with folk sensibility. And Nozuka’s voice is raspy perfection. He’s like a more riff-tastic Jason Mraz. Check out this bananas live version of “My Heart is Yours” from Land and Sea:

My favorite YouTube comment on that vid:

Justin makes it seems so effortless. Singing, playing the guitar, walking, and looking cute all at the same time. How does he do it?!?!

I dunno, girl. I dunno.

In any case, I think you’ll be into this laid-back Canadian’s sweet tunes. They’re perfect for the summer. Give “Heartless” a listen and see if you agree:

Must have tracks:

“Carried You”

“Gray”

“Heartless”

Justin Nozuka’s EP, Blue Velvet Sea: The Sessions, is on iTunes now. Pick it up, along with his other two albums, and tell me what you think. I love comments! They are like little virtual high-fives! Have a great day! xx


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