Friday, December 6, 2013

It Takes Some Pluck

"Don't Try" - Everything EverythingEverything Everything started my November. They were my get-riled-up music on the way to a November 1st Halloween party where I knew hardly anyone. I knew the host, one of the first friends I made, and one other person. The rest were people I had no idea who they were, or people that I knew of, but did not know. I almost didn't go. I had to work late, therefore arrive late, and that combined with the lack of friends was... a bit daunting. But knowing that the only way to make friends was to force myself upon people, off I went. It was actually this song (which is on a previous mix) that got me bouncing and riled to begin with, but the whole album is pretty darn glorious. And I continued to listen to them throughout the month, with Don't Try really grabbing me with the lyrics this time. Some songs you don't notice 'til the 2nd or 3rd go-round, and this was one of them.

"Rafstraumur (Cyril Hahn Remix)" - Sigur Rós
Another band I listened to a lot of this month was Sigur Rós, mostly their album Kveikur. In the beginning when I was walking to work on the early mornings, it was enough to help me wake up, but in a gentler fashion. However it was thanks to Spotify that I found out there was a remix of this particular song. I learned of it maybe a month or two prior, but... things are forgotten. And then when I was going through and trying to figure out which particular song I wanted for this month's mix I re-found this and got all giddy on the inside.

"Knock You Out" - Tiësto feat. Emily Haines
This and the next three or four songs after can be attributed to the people I've met this month, some directly, some indirectly. One of my coworkers is very much into the EDM scene and she wrote me two pages worth of music to check out. That.... takes time. I've known about Tiësto but never really took the time to look into his stuff. So, she shoved me over the fence a little bit and then lo' and behold he's done songs with Emily Haines from Metric and Jónsi? Okay, you have my attention! I love Emily's voice in this, and not gonna lie, the lyrics are good too.

"Beam Me Up (Kill Mode) (Original Mix)" - Cazzette
This was another one on the list. I had seen ads for them when they first were on Spotify, but I never checked them out. Very catchy, and, I very much remember listening to them at a LAN party to drown out a fellow gamer who was playing what I believe was Miley Cyrus (or something similar) on his laptop speakers. Cazzette was very effective.

"Call On Me (Radio Edit)" - Eric Prydz
This artist was on the list from my coworker, but before I actually got around to looking into his stuff, a friend I made at the Halloween party  (that I thankfully went to) sent me this over Facebook in what has now become some sort of music video tag/war/epidemic? Regardless, I watched it on my break at work and then it was on repeat in my head for the rest of the way. Of course.

"Stay Awake" - Madeon feat. Ellie Goulding
This I actually found on my own, but because of my coworker and friend. I notice there was a fair amount of music on Soundcloud (Remixes of Everything Everything's Don't Try being one of those things) so I made an account and started exploring. I came across Madeon and saw not only had they remixed a Pendulum song, but also collaborated with Ellie Goulding. I fell in love a little bit.

"The City" - The 1975
Another artist I was introduced to by my friend via the Facebook game of video tag. I was actually sent this video which prompted me to look into the rest of their stuff and then I ended up listening to them for a whole week straight with nothing else. That voice though...

"Trojans" - Atlas Genius
This is one that seems to be popular on the radio around here, but I don't mind. The first time I was like, oh, hmm, not bad. But it grew on me every time I heard it until I needed it in my library, not just on the radio. And I mean, c'mon. Handclaps you guys. You can't resist handclaps. So many times I heard them while driving, and made a mental note to look them up when I got home. And, well. You know how mental notes go.... But I got around to it eventually!

Honourable mentions:

"Sweater Weather" - The Neighbourhood
The first time I heard this song, was via a friend on Twitter. Interestingly, this friend on Twitter is probably one of my longest running internet friends. I found him way back in the day of College, or possibly even late High School years. Back when AIM and ICQ and Xanga were all things you did. I met him once, in real life, many years later in Chicago, and I really don't remember much of it other than constantly laughing, and watching a plastic bag drift over the Chicago River. And honestly, those memories are enough to know that that was a good day. The other thing about this song, is the lyrics. When I heard the opening lines, I was disappointed because I wanted to love the song, but I love beaches and California, and it's not too cold here. However, I am finding out that California does indeed get cold enough to make me shiver. And despite my disagreement with parts of it, I still love the song.

"The Middle" - Jimmy Eat World
There are so many stories behind this song, and part of the reason I left this as honourable mention, is so I could make it the last story I tell in this installment. Although this song is more of a beginning than an end. First and foremost, I've heard this song on the radio here multiple times. But not only that, it's seemed to come on the radio during times that I needed to hear it. Ultimately, this song is why I'm where I am now. When it was first released, I heard it on the radio and fell in love. I bought the album immediately, and continued to fall in love with each and every song. I studied the lyrics. I brought the CD to an overnight at a friends house and listened to it while reading the lyrics. And then, I read the thanks. And I saw all these bands mentioned, and I went on a freaking music rampage. I looked up every band listed in the liner notes and listened to at least one song from each. And it was just a domino effect. This song opened my eyes to a whole new range of music that I never knew existed and I just dove straight into that rabbit hole and never came back. And I'm thankful for it every second of the day. I owe this song A LOT.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Planted Roots and Apt Comrades

"The Fox" - Ylvis
I am really truly sorry for this. I got social, I made friends in the area, and within days one of them brought this to my attention. So kind. But I hope you can at least give me credit for putting it first so you can skip it. Or, hey, if you haven't heard it yet, you're welcome! Regardless, it had to be included, because it was a milestone of this month. Unfortunately.

"Falling" - Haim
People talk, I investigate. I'm not entirely sold, but I do enjoy it. This is something I will have to give more listens to in the future.

"Purple Yellow Red and Blue" - Portugal. The Man
I can actually remember the moment I heard this song on the radio. Maybe not the exact day, but I know I was in the car while my brother was driving and I got excited that a song I liked was on a station he listened to. Not a lot of our music tastes overlap, but when they do I cherish it.

"In the In Between" - Saves the Day
So many things... I love Saves the Day as it were. But also, a friend of mine, well, perhaps just an acquaintance at this point, was the drummer on this album. We rarely talk anymore, but once upon a time he sprawled out on the floor of my Chicago apartment in all black clothes and rolled around because all the cats were doing it. And when he got up I'm pretty sure he had more cat hair on him than any of the actual cats did. I funded this album partially because I enjoy Saves the Day, but mostly because he is one of the most down-to-earth guys I know in music and I was happy for him.

"I Loved the Way She Said 'L.A.'" - Spitalfield
This. So much this. Spitalfield chose to do a reunion tour for Remember Right Now - the first album I ever heard from them. Freshman year in college my friend played a few songs for me. That night I went home, immediately ordered the CD from their online store, and because shipping took a few days, went ahead and torrented the album while I was waiting. This song in particular was the song I fell in love with, before I ever knew I would have dreams of California. And then for them to reunite for a show in San Diego, within a month of me moving there. A little bit of home away from home. I got to talk with them, and I met other local people as well, and it was just an overall marvelous night.

"The One That Got Away" - The Civil Wars
It took the news of them breaking up for me to finally get off my bum and acquire this album. The vocals are just as haunting and heartbreaking as they were on the first album. Gonna keep my fingers crossed that maybe some day they can reconcile and create more beauty.

"Waking Up" - M83 (with Joseph Trapanese)
As soon as I saw the preview for Oblivion, I searched out this soundtrack. And I loved it. Finally, upon browsing movie options, this choice came up and it was one both my brother and I could agree on. And it was amazing. The movie was great, but accompanied by the music it was epic. If you're later to the scene than I am, watch it.

"Overture" - Danny Elfman
This soundtrack was, well, the soundtrack to my solitary pumpkin carving the day of Halloween. I initially was hoping to carve a pumpkin of Jack, but ended up opting for the cat which you see on the mix. Partially because it was better fit for the pumpkin I had, and partially because I miss my Phoenix and am continuously rebelling against living with a dog.

Acclimating and Exploring

"River's Waltz" - Murray Gold
Honestly, any song from the Doctor Who soundtracks for Series 5 and 6 could've gone here. They were a major part of my trip across country to my new home. I love them all. This one is simple, calming, with a hint of more to come. Much of what I hope my trip has and will continue to be.

"Until the Last" - The Album Leaf
Another staple during the driving. The less words, the more likely my dad would become frustrated while driving. And no one wants a frustrated dad driving. This is off the album A Chorus of Storytellers, and it fit the initial foggy drive along the California coastline beautifully.

"Riddles" - Minus the Bear
Minus the Bear was the first show I attended after my move. Granted, the show was in Pomona, but while the show in Solana Beach was underway, I was just passing thru Nebraska.

"By the Way" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Scanning thru San Diego radio stations, and this was the first full song to greet me. A very fitting "Welcome to California" moment. Wasn't the last time I heard it, either. Some things about radio are the same everywhere.

"Panic Switch" - Silversun Pickups
Basically, the rest of these are all songs I've heard on the radio during my acclimation to California. Bands I love, and hearing them on the radio makes me feel like I belong. Like I fit in.

"Out of My League" - Fitz & the Tantrums
This one I hadn't heard prior to the radio, but I was familiar with the name. Annnnnd it caught me. And stuck. And stuck again. But I'm not complaining.

"Harlem" - New Politics
I have Kelly to thank for this song. She sent me the YouTube video for it ages ago and I made fun of the one kids hair. Hearing it on the radio reminded me just how much we traded songs and stories when we both had office jobs. If I were actually from New York maybe it would've even made me double-homesick. But nah. I'm cool. It's pretty spiffy here.

"Royals" - Lorde
Another friend of mine in Illinois posted this on Facebook and the very next day I heard it on the radio in Cali. The harmonies are captivating. And so young! Every day I'm more and more impressed with all the music I find around me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Eccentric Progress

"Sonic Armada" - Air
This song has a steady beat that just... sucks ya in. Or it did for me. Simple as that.

"Kemosabe" - Everything Everything
Sometimes I have dance parties by myself, and Everything Everything has been on top of the playlist recently. Which also gives you an idea of why I don't go to legit dance clubs.

"Answers" - Ou Est Le Swimming Pool
Found this band thank's to Mark Hoppus' Spotify playlist. So far I think they're pretty nifty!

"The Void" - Metric
Metric's new album... does not disappoint. I do need to give it another listen though, I haven't given it all my attention yet.

"Rusted Wheel" - Silversun Pickups
I might've said this before, but I don't think I'd be able to hold a conversation with the singer for long in person.... But as a singer, his voice paired with the style of music is wonderful!

"Demons" - The National
This was actually the first song I had heard off of their new album, accompanied by this video. It wasn't the first to linger in my brainpan, but so many of the lyrics separate of each other really captivate me.
"I can't fight it anymore, I am going through an awkward phase."
"I am secretly in love with everyone that I grew up with."
"When i walk into a room I do not light it up. Fuck" (This I love more for referencing an older song of theirs. And the casual way they sing "Fuck.")

"Animals" - Muse
I'm wary of going to see Muse in concert, for how large the shows are. Unless you spend exorbitant amounts to get up close, the quality is (almost) the same as watching YouTube videos. But the other parts of me just want to experience his panty-melting voice live. Some might consider that worth the money.

"Under a Killing Moon (Live)" - Thrice
I typically do not like live tracks on albums. If I wanted to hear the crowd, I'd go to the show. Or perhaps watch a YouTube video. But I love the acoustic and raw sound of ths, and although there might be a non-live acoustic version, I do not own it.

Honourable Mention:

"New Direction" - Sugar Ray
A stream of it can be found here, since I did not include it on the mix. (It's the last one, not the first one.)
I purposely did not put this on the actual mix, because I'm not that cruel. Okay, so it's not really that bad, but I see it as a joke. And I don't actually seek it out to listen to it. My iPod just thought it was funny to play multiple times.
The addition of this song.... well, via my personal opinion, baffled me. But ultimately I do understand why they included it. I just would not have.
But. It is Sugar Ray.... If you see the progression of their albums, well, this isn't the only questionable decision they've made. Again, in my opinion. But do I love them less? HELL NO.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Influx Au Courant

(Yes, I used thesaurus for the title, and yes the title and picture contradict themselves. But they are both accurate. This mix is almost a whole month late, but 90% of the music on here was new [to me] when I chose it.)

"Atomic Man" - Portugal. The Man
This was the first song I played, unintentionally, because my iTunes was still organizing by "Date Added" and not by Album or Artist. But it definitely caught my attention. I've been out of touch with Portugal. The Man for a while, it was nice to re-find them.

"Icarus" - Bastille
I actually listened to a suggestion from one of the emails I get from Spotify, and ya know what. Not half bad. Catchy, upbeat, and I like his voice.

"Instant Crush" - Daft Punk (feat. Julian Casablancas)
Because Daft Punk. I mean. Self explanatory, basically.

"Berlin" - Is Tropical
Ironically this is the first track on the album, but I caught it on shuffle. I need to be more well versed in actual music terms, and not things like it sounds like "summer" or "a rainy day." If you can mixed laid-back, yet up-beat, that might be what I want to say. Pain meds for wisdom teeth aren't helping my vocabulary, though.

"I Will Steal You Back" - Jimmy Eat World
New Jimmy Eat World. I am content. It's catchy... Their newer albums haven't grabbed me as much as Bleed American, or Futures (yeah, those two, I know,) but I still like it!

"Calling All Cops" - Motion City Soundtrack
Mostly the opening lyrics caught my attention and I used it when writing about my upcoming trip, whilst asking for participants. Sadly, no participants. Guess I'm not friends with any cops or autobots....

"Hooray" - Minus the Bear
This is from Minus the Bear's upcoming Acoustic album (you're welcome) that I'm a backer on. It made me so happy that they chose this song for the album, it is definitely one of my top 5, and most likely my overall favourite off of Menos El Oso.

"Main Menu" - Jesper Kyd
I never would have considered Borderlands 2, if my boyfriend at the time hadn't gushed about it from day one combined with it being free with the purchase of a vital piece for the computer I was building. I fell in love with it instantly. But the very first thing I said, at just the load screen, was "Is there a soundtrack for this? The music is really awesome."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stress. Relax. Repeat.

"Young and Beautiful (DH Orchestral Version)" - Lana Del Rey
There's really not much to say. This song is haunting. On it's own, and as part of The Great Gatsby. Especially as part of The Great Gatsby.

"Cleanse Song" - Bright Eyes
"Don't forget what you've learned all you give is returned
And if life seems absurd what you need is some laughter
And a season to sleep and a place to get clean
Maybe Los Angeles, somewhere no one's expecting."
This isn't the only song on this list that mentions California. And this month has begun the nervousness and stress of making sure I get all my eggs in the basket.

"Green Eyes" - ColdplayThis was a little bit of an escape from reality. After having a dream (either the end of June, or early July) that resonates with me still... Well. What sticks, is the eyes of one of the boys I met in it. Surprise, they were (an extraordinary shade of) green! It didn't help that this song managed to ignore the laws of shuffle, somehow. Or stacked the deck in its favour. But honestly. If that person from my dream were to exist in real life, I would recognize those eyes in an instant. It was that vivid.

"Out Numbering" - Maritime
"If you bend spoons, move things around, around you
They will discount you, until you don't believe you."
Struck a chord. It seems so much anymore that everyone's goal is to just prove everyone else wrong. Whether or not they care about the subject, they must convince you that you're wrong. I know I've been guilty of it too, unfortunately. But I recognize the signs and try to hold my tongue.

"Don't Swallow the Cap" - The National
The intro really gets me, but more than anything I love the alternating harmony about.... 2:30 in, combined with the female vocals accompanying. I think I have a full top ten of voices I'd marry, but only a top 3 of actual people. I have voice crushes.

"Save My Soul" - Eisley
Eisley's new album Currents is phenomenal. However, this did not surprise me. It was really hard to select only one song for this month's mix, and although this wasn't the first song that got stuck in my head, it's the one that lingered the most and I found myself searching here.

"Calling All Skeletons" - Alkaline Trio
Sometimes, you just need a song to blare and sing along with.
Alkaline Trio is great for exactly this purpose, and this month, Calling All Skeletons was the repeat offender. If you know the song, you know you can't not sing along with it.

"City of Angels" - 30 Seconds to Mars
I know I'm starting off in San Diego (and would love to keep myself there,) but most likely I will end up following my passion to Los Angeles...  so this would be the (obvious) other California-themed song.
"The silver of the lake at night
The hills of Hollywood on fire
A boulevard of hope and dreams
Streets made of desire"
Call me silly, but what really caught me was just one line, towards the end:
"I am home, home, home, home..."
I hope that becomes the truth for me!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Feelings Don't Forget

"Called Out In the Dark" - Snow Patrol
When I think about Snow Patrol, I like their songs but they tend to fade into the background quicker than others. Not out of dislike or blandness. They just seem to be good background music. You always know it's them, because of the distinct voice/style. But... they feel like they're just a part of it. A part of life, if that makes sense. And if it doesn't make sense, too bad.

"Reverse" - Now It's Overhead
For me, May seemed to be a very rainy month. I ultimately prefer the sunshine, but I love me some thunderstorms. But there's a particular type of rainy... During the day, where it's a little bit darker than dreary, but a little bit lighter than gloomy. It's raining, but just barely. Just enough to be called rain, rather than drizzle. And there are a fair few of Now It's Overhead songs that fit that type of rainy. This is probably second, only to Wait In A Line.

"Do You Believe Me?" - The Juliana Theory
A band I forget about, despite teaching myself bass to one of their songs. I missed this album when it came out, but once I found out about it made the effort to get it, and every once in a while it snags me from the shuffled playlists.

"Someday" - Cary Brothers
Zach Braff is the entire reason I know of Cary Brothers. First the Garden State soundtrack, then The Last Kiss, and now because of the Wish I Was Here Kickstarter. All of which you should check out, if you haven't yet. The Kickstarter is closed, but remember it when the movie comes out. I guarantee it'll be worth watching.

"Burying Luck" - Minus the Bear
To me, it's a very subtle song. But the lyrics that influenced the title are what make me love it most, the concept of someone burying your luck. And the acoustic version of it emphasizes the subtlety of it even more.

"Remains" - Matt Pond PA
"I can't remember which movie taught me purpose
I can't remember which movie taught me pain
I would've been the one baptized in all your water
I would've been the one submerged under your rain
This is not how I want to be forgotten
This is not how I want to leave remains"
Opening of the song, and it stuck with me. Just like the first song I ever heard by him.

"Oblivion" (feat. Susanne Sundfør) - M83
I saw the trailer for the movie Oblivion, and despite Tom Cruise, I wanted to see it. Then I found out that M83 was responsible for the soundtrack. That just intrigued me more. Sadly, I still haven't seen the movie. But I have at least listened to the soundtrack!

"Get Lucky" (feat Pharrell Williams) - Daft Punk
Well. It's Daft Punk. And the released an amazing album. And this was the amazing single. Pretty simple, right? And then, of course, there was this pretty awesome cover, and after that it was all over. Between the two, I couldn't get it out of my head.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Comics and Critters

Well, it seems that while I have mostly kept up with my music blogs, I have most definitely fallen behind on my charity resolution blogs.
Partly because I fell behind on donating in the month of March, but mostly because I am far from a professional writer and when my ideas come to me at work or in the shower, they don't do me much help. Especially when they make their escape before I ever navigate to a computer.

Because of this, and the fact that it is more than halfway thru May, I am combining my post about my charities for both March and April.

For March, I stayed local and donated to the Geneseo Animal Shelter, on behalf of them building a new shelter. Although the weather was a bit deceiving, spring was nonetheless on its way and with it many unintended baby critters. As much as I'd like to adopt a second (and third and fourth) kitty, in a few months I will be moving and unable to bring my Phoenix with me. At least initially. (I am beyond unhappy about it, but I keep reminding myself it is only temporary.) Because I can't offer my own place as a secondary shelter, I thought making my donation specifically for the new shelter would be a good idea.
HOWEVER, if you have a little extra room in your home and your heart, LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES! They currently have an overflow and any help would be welcome! LOVE THEM. LOVE THEM ALL!

For April, I chose the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) because basically, well, fuck censorship.
Lazy, I know, but to quote their F.A.Q., the CBLDF is "...dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians  and readers. The CBLDF provides legal referrals, representation, advice, assistance, and education in furtherance of these goals." Basically, the CBLDF helps protect and defend those from stupid people who take offense easily. Helping keep books & comics from being banned in schools, freeing authors/artists from uncalled-for arrests, etc. As an avid reader and purveyor of arts in general, I wholeheartedly support this. And I hope that if you are my friends, you do too.

For such a late post, I feel like I should have more to say, but being as the world "charity" alone tends to scare people away, I feel less is more.

And once again, if you have any suggestions as to what charities I should look into for upcoming months, please share!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lyrical Indulgence

"Live & Direct" - Sugar Ray
This came on shuffle a few times over the past month, and it would always make me chuckle, and then I'd forget about it. I listened to this album constantly during high school, but this song in particular... Well... Supposedly the lyrics are "Whata bye bye bye" but all I can hear is "What about my butt?" And now so will you, and because of that, this song needed to be first.

"Love Is Greed" - Passion Pit
When this first came on, I realized I had heard it, possibly a few times before. I can't remember when or where, but it was extremely familiar. So this time I actually paid attention to the lyrics. I think it depends on context, but I really fell for the line "If we really love ourselves, how do you love somebody else?"

"I Couldn't Be Your Friend" - Tegan And Sara
Forgot that I had gotten Tegan and Sara's new album, and this song came on shuffle to remind me. I like the whole album, and there will probably be more on mixes in the future, but I mainly picked this one because it was the first that caught my attention and brought me back to them. I love these girls.

"Be Here Now" - As Tall As Lions
As Tall As Lions... in my opinion they're great lyricists. Again, one line caught me the most: "It's been a good life, I'll be sad to see it go." And the way it's sung. It just gives me goosebumps. Seeing this trend, I've now realized how to titled my mix. I usually write these posts after I finish the mix, but now I'm thinking I should write these before I actually publish it. Titles are always so hard.

"Walk On Air" - Minus the Bear
Well, besides the obvious reason being it's Minus the Bear, I should state that it's a new song from Minus the Bear, and it's glorious, and it's on the soundtrack of Injustice: Gods Among Us. Wait, what? Yeah. It's awesome.

"Wooly Mammoth" - Local Natives
This one was less about lyrics, and more... chord progression? for me. The underlying music. It snagged me and wouldn't let go. (Not to play down the lyrics, of course. They just weren't what first caught my attention.)

"Cough Cough" - Everything Everything
So much about this song I love. The background keyboards. The drumming. The subtle "cough cough." And of course, "I'm coming alive. I'm happening now." Yes. Just yes.

"Brennisteinn" - Sigur Rós
I'm not sure how to translate all my Squees and jaw-dropped facial expressions into a proper explanation. So I'll just leave it at that.

Monday, April 8, 2013

If guessing isn't good enough, there's always Google.

The title is pretty self explanatory, and the main theme around why I picked a lot of the music I did. There are many times when I'm not able to look at my iPod while music is playing, and I do my best to track it with, but is not 100% fool-proof. So sometimes I have to resort to memory, digging through my library, and Google.

"Swift And Unforgiving" - Boys Night Out
This was the first offender. It took me two days from hearing it to finally figure out what it was. Mostly because I only was using my iPod and phone to investigate. I remembered a few lyrics, and I attempted to Google on my phone, but apparently "drown" and "tidal wave" are both pretty common in songs. At least in the form I originally searched. Then I scanned through all the artists in my iPod to see if any rang a bell... but even though there were a few I thought could fit, I couldn't place it by song title, so I took a break. The next day, I gave it one more go at Google, and somehow managed to re-arrange the words I remembered in a more searchable manner. Which is good. Because I HAD to find out. These things really exasperate me.

"Tribulations" - LCD Soundsystem
This is one I had heard multiple times, though I'm positive many of the times I heard it was NOT on my iPod. I wanted to know where I had heard it, and of course, what it was. I never found out where I heard it from first, but I did (obviously) find out who it was.

"Futuristic Casket" - Phantogram
This one, I was 83% sure it was Phantogram. I was able to check, and Bingo! High five, me!

"Help Is On Its Way" - Murray Gold
This one was on in the background, so some of the subtleties were lost to other noises. Because of that, when I first heard the crescendo-ing brass, I immediately wondered how I got a James Bond song on my iPod. But I knew better. And it didn't take me long to figure out it was Doctor Who.

"MY KZ, UR BF" - Everything Everything
Once again, Minus the Bear members turn me on to new music. I learned from the last time that I shouldn't delay as long as I had with Macklemore. This time, within a few days of Erin Tate posting about Everything Everything, I looked up one of the videos he had recommended. And immediately got it stuck in my head. Checked out more music, and bam! Hooked.

"Heavy Feet" - Local Natives
I found out through Spotify that Local Natives was coming out with a new album. (Or perhaps already had, but Spotify only had the single at the time I heard it.) There were actually four songs listed on Spotify, but this one was the only one available outside of the UK. So be it, because it's good.

"La Boulange" - Yann Tiersen
This one was merely figuring out the title. Yann's work is very distinctive, and this one kept randomly popping up throughout the month.

"Foxglove" - Murder By Death
Finally, this one was a similar situation to Phantogram, except I knew without a doubt it was Murder By Death. I just couldn't remember what album it was on. However, the intro and cello were very unmistakable  so it was hard to find just by skipping through the tracks. Goodness, how I love that cello.

Now, be honest kids... How many of you actually click the links I include?
Maybe not all of them, but I hope you investigate a few. Each one is something different (but related), and I even made sure they open up in new windows.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fleeting Days

"Going, Going, Gone" - Stars
This song I was first introduced to by Sierra If I remember correctly, it was the year that I graduated High School. Oi. I'm old. This song came on via shuffle a few times this month, and I just like it. Liked it the instant I heard it on the mix she made, way back when.

"Annan Water" - The Decemberists
I could be taking it completely out of context, but I love the line "You may have my precious bones on my return," and how they seem to be sung with just a little bit of contempt.

"Next Girl" - The Black Keys
For some reason I couldn't get away from this song during February. But, it's The Black Keys. So I'm not complaining.

"Wily Kataso" - Amadou & Mariam, ft Tunde & Kyp of TV On The Radio
When I first looked into the newest album, Folia, this caught my eye specifically because of TV On The Radio. And it did not disappoint.

"Kill" - Jimmy Eat World
The album Futures was released a year after I graduated High School, and for some reason this song made me nostalgic about my Junior and Senior years. And for some reason, it still does.

"Yet Again" - Grizzly Bear
This is a song I just can't shake. I don't know when I first took the time to listen thru Shields, but this song stuck out. I've listened to it multiple times throughout the last few months but when it comes time to make my mixes I always managed to forget or overlook it. But not this time!

"Madness" - Muse
I acquired Muse's recent album 2nd Law but never took the time to listen to it on its own. This song came on via shuffle, and instantly I knew it would get stuck in my head. And it did.

"Svefn-g-englar" - Sigur Rós
I love this band, I love this song. I feel there needs to be no other explanation. If you ever get an opportunity, watch Sigur Rós live.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Live Proud, So That Others May Live Free

At the very beginning of the February, heck, even the end of January, I was still gung-ho for my "A charity a month" idea. Not to say I'm not still enthused by it.
But February just snuck up on me. I didn't even mail/write out a single Valentine this year, if that gives you any indication.
(If it doesn't, I've been known to spend over $100 on postage to send candy, or spend the whole day writing [sometimes] witty Valentine messages to every single person I am friends with on Facebook.)

Initially, I found this video at the end of January and thought "Wow, found it already!"
Then February came and went and it's already a week and a half into March.
I was hoping for other people to chime in on charities they'd like to see me donate to (and I still am!)
However, that did not happen during February. So I went back to that video, and clicked the link they provided. There are a lot of great ideas on that page, however I had no info about any of them except Landfill Harmonic, and unfortunately the last mention of plans appears to be written in 2011, about what they hoped to accomplish in 2012. This does not give me great confidence in what my money will be doing. Because of that, I decided to find a different charity for February, though I plan to keep checking on Landfill Harmonic, because I truly hope it is still underway.

Now this left me scrambling, I had no suggestions and my one idea didn't seem optimal... So I resorted to a more well known charity, that I have known about for a while, but never delved into.
Welcome to the It Gets Better Project.
(I was going to provide a video from their site, but I teared up over every single one that I saw so I figured I'd spare you. However, their main pages has a few featured and the ability to browse the most popular [if you feel like bawling, I recommend Pixar's submission] but also if you just want to search the videos, you can do so here.)

I think this one might not need as much detail as my January charity, but I'm gonna play it safe.
The It Gets Better Project message is simple. It gets better. You are a wonderful human being, and your uniqueness should be a source of pride and strength  not insecurity and doubt. This message is for everyone, but the project focuses specifically on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and questioning youth who need to know that they are supported and that it does indeed get better.

Technically I was a victim of bullying, even throughout High School. But nowhere near the extremes that media reports today. Partially because I didn't (usually) let the hateful words have any power over me, but partially because there were other kids besides me to pick on. Don't worry, I'm not getting out my violin. I know that despite the trouble I had, I was lucky. Other kids had/have it much worse. But that's the point, everyone at some point in their life gets told that who they are is not okay, that it's something to be ashamed of. AND IT'S NOT.

So although I did not do my research this February, I have no qualms about donating to the It Gets Better project.

Be proud of oddities and uniqueness. It makes you a beautiful, beautiful human being.

And I know this wasn't a motivational essay and I didn't really tell a story, but whether you wandered here by accident or on purpose, if you or someone you know needs help/support they have a list of wonderful helplines
Also, I am always available for hugs. I may not check my blog on a daily basis, but that matters not. Whether I'm here or not, I love you all. <3

Friday, February 1, 2013

Hey, Who Turned Out The Lights?

"Silence In The Library" - Murray Gold (Doctor Who: Series 4)
I do not have triskaidekaphobia, however that doesn't mean I couldn't love The Bloggess's fix, In The Library.
"Everything that happens in the library is just preparation for the next year. That means if you fuck something up this year it's fine."
And after reading it, I knew what my first track would be with certainty.

"The Spicy McHaggis Jig" - Dropkick Murphys
This is just a song I could not get away from. Not that I was actively trying to. But I know I only have this one version, in all of my songs ever, and only this one version just once on my iPod, yes it came up on shuffle a numerous amount of times. And I smirked every single time.

"Secrets In Mirrors" - Spitalfield
This one just stuck. For some reason the chorus of "How long..." would keep ringing thru my head at odd hours. And I've always loved Mark Rose's voice.

"Ocean Avenue" - Yellowcard
A lot of Yellowcard came up throughout the month, but Ocean Avenue made the cut not only because of nostalgia from my late teen years, but longing for the future where Ocean Avenue won't require a plane.

"So So Cold" - Hot Hot Heat
I wish I had something more introspective, but what made this linger in my head was the chorus relating to current life. Winter weather, and a penchant for feeling cold even if it were 70.

"Imagineer" - The Imagineers
You can thank Craig Ferguson for this one. I didn't even have an antennae hooked up to the telly until New Years Eve, and it was some point after that, that a random Late Late Show episode came on from when they were in Scotland. And thus, I learned of The Imagineers.

"Lazarus" - David Byrne & St. Vincent
Despite everyone I (trusted and) knew raving about David Byrne in general, I always kept my distance. Not actively, I just didn't seek out his music. But then St. Vincent came along and changed that. I had to hear this new album, regardless of who else participated. And now I am plotting the owning of everything else from David Byrne's catalog.

"Thrift Shop" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Wanz)
I kept hearing bits and blurbs about this group called "Macklemore." Initially, I thought they were indie, in the misclassified sense of them sounding folky and mellow. Slowly, still without hearing them, I started to gather that they were hip-hop. Not a genre I'm against, but not one I seek out. However, some of the folks I was hearing about them from were from on of my favourite bands, Minus the Bear. So I got off my ass and did some research. Without knowing it was a hit of any sort, I randomly picked "Thrift Shop" to listen to on my way to work. It. Was. Glorious. When I got off work, I subsequently googled for a video, and found this. I don't care how many times you have or haven't heard it, if you haven't seen the video click that link. RIGHT NOW.

And this one is not on the mix, as I keep it strictly 8 tracks. But this was a (last-minute) runner up:

"Together We'll Ring In The New Year" - Motion City Soundtrack
I won't make it a habit of posting runner ups unless it was an agonizing decision. The only reason this one caught my attention (and with only days to go) was of the lyrics "I'm trying to find out if my words have any meaning. Lackluster and full of contempt when it always ends the same." It just felt appropriate, blogwise, especially for how this one started off. Maybe this year will tell me what meaning my words have.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Little Less Than a Flock of Chicks

Just a warning, this will be a tad be wordier than any following blogs regarding my monthly charity resolution.

More than anything, I'm blaming this endeavor on The Bloggess. My first encounter with her was linked to charities. It was this entry that I first read, accompanied by Amanda Palmer & Tristen Allen's four-handed piano composition "János vs. Wonderland" in my headphones. I subsequently laughed and bawled and fell in love with the world all over again.

It's taken a few years to get my self back on my own two feet. Well, maybe one and a half feet. I think my left foot still has a wobbly ankle. Nonetheless, that's better than before. I am no longer living with my parents, I have a steady albeit far from glorious job, that pays better than any previous job I've had, and I've already managed to build a desktop computer for myself while also officially paying the last chunk of a student loan in one lump sum. Granted, I still have two student loans to go, but a success is a success.

But I digress.
The Bloggess is constantly doing things to help better the world. Be it thru her humour and snark, or immense compassion. I don't have near the impact she does with others, but I can impact myself.
And while I can't force others to donate or even be aware of charities and causes, I can keep on posting, and I can jump that chasm on my own, from the side of "I'll do this when I have more money" to the side of "This video game can wait, I'm gonna donate almost a flock of chicks."

Which brings me to the donation I made for the month of January.
There were a few charities that I debated over, but I ultimately chose the Worldbuilders 2012 team from the charity thru Heifer International. I chose the Worldbuilders team because they are the ones that brought Team Heifer to my attenion, one, possibly two, years ago. It was thru my internet stalking twitter observations of Patrick Rothfuss and Neil Gaiman where I encountered the charity. As for choosing Heifer for this month's donation, the fundraiser actually ends on the 21st. Others that I considered are ongoing.
Now, Mister Rothfuss (and other contributing authors, etc) gives a little incentive for helping the fundraiser. And while I won't deny that there are a LOT of things there that I'd appreciate owning, what captivated me the most was this. Full Circle. I doubt that it'd come to me, but if it did I know I'd have to keep it going, as my donation certainly isn't worthy of that.
I didn't even donate a flock of chicks. Almost, though. Just a few dollars short. However, I have a thing with numbers. I greatly dislike multiples of five. I do not flee the scene when they appear. But if I can control the situation, then I do, and they go away.

Anyways, I highly recommend you check out Heifer and Worldbuilders (while the fundraiser is going.) And it's just the Worldbuilders fundraiser that ends on the 21st (but will also be back next year, and the next year, and so on and so forth.) You can investigate Heifer any time of the year. Give 'em a thought, a donation, a share - they're worth it.

Alright folks, actually not quite as wordy as I thought I'd be (yikes!), but enough, I'm sure.
I'm always accepting recommendations for charities to look into! Local, or global!
And by no means am I limiting myself to only one charity a month, if dollars allow it, I'll try and do more, or larger amounts. Or both?

Also, I wish technology was advanced enough that the blog could automatically link to the things I'm thinking about on the words I wanted without my having to google, copy, click, and paste. I think that took about as much time as the actually writing did. But I will have my links, gosh darnit!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ready for Adventure

Just a quick short post, as this is not just musings, but music.

This was my last monthly mix from 2012, finally rounded up.

For those of you unfamiliar, the past two years I have been making monthly mixes thru 8tracks.
This is the last one from 2012

Starting with this month's mix, for January, I'll be posting them here from now on.
I plan to go into some detail as to why I chose the songs that I did. I'm not promising great insight, as sometimes it's just a song that gets repeated multiple times despite shuffle, and then sticks in my head.
But nonetheless, I'd like to add a little more participation with my music choices and perhaps get some in return.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Life, greater than Resolutions

I don't even know where to begin. The title alone took me, oh, say, about eight minutes?

Let's state the obvious: This is another attempt at blogging.

No, this is not a resolution. The last few months made me realize that I need a place to speak my mind, and that place isn't Facebook. However, life got in the way. And it took me into the first week of January before I could spend some time getting this set up and gathering my thoughts.

Granted, I will still speak my mind and offend on Facebook. But it's not the place for more than a few sentences. And it's not a place meant for people to actually care. I'm not sure moving my words to a different location will make more people care. But I feel like I'll be able to at least single out the folks that do care, and have meaningful exchanges because of it. (Fingers cross'd.)

The biggest catalyst for this blog? Let me explain to you in picture form:

That's 12 likes.

That's 33 likes.

This? 5 likes.

Cat pictures, a joke my dad made. I'm glad it amuses other people. And it IS Facebook, so maybe I shouldn't expect much.

But it basically broke my heart to see how little acknowledgement the charity got. I know that majority of my Facebook "friends" don't have the budget to help out charities. I have plenty of things I am saving my money for, including  2 student loans, the inevitable replacing of my current vehicle, and my moving out of this midwestern hell hole. But if I can buy myself a video game while also taking care of these goals, then why the hell couldn't I donate a package for a homeless child? So I did.

And again, I understand everyone's priorities are different.
BUT no one even acknowledged that link.
Oh, but there was 5, you say. 
Yes. But 3 were family. And what is 5 compared to 12? To 33?

So here's a resolution. Instead of complaining about how no one cares that I gave to charity, I am going to just give to more charities. Try not caring about THAT, douchecanoes.
No but really. Instead of focusing on how this entire world could be better, I'm just going to do what little I can to try and help on my own.

I still need to watch my spending, and make sure I'm saving for both planned and unplanned things in the future.
But I resolve to donate a minimum of $5 to a different charity every month.

Happy January kiddos!