January 31, 2011

Last Instalment of Workout Tunes, I Promise!

Vampire Weekend ~ Campus

I have yet to give this band enough credit for their GREAT workout tunes! This one, in particular, is a great warmup one.

Amy Winehouse ~ You Know I'm No Good

This is one of those songs that I listen to every workout. Yet, somehow, at Karaoke on Saturday, I still screwed up the words. Well, I suppose that, in preparation for the next karaoke times, I will just have to bite the bullet and start singing along at the gym!

Metric ~ Wet Blanket

This is a fun tune, I like the lyrics in the beginning, and the beat is good for keeping you all pumped during a thorough bout of activity!

Culture Club ~ Karma Chameleon

I think the 80s have been overlooked as fabulous workout music. This is just ONE example...

Vapor Kings ~ Turning Japanese

And here is another! I love the 80s!

January 30, 2011

Bonus Track! She & Him ~ Don't Look Back

This video just came out, like, ten days ago...and I think She and Him will be "The Band That Changed My Life," at least for 2011. So, I had to share this extra song today...also, 'cause I've put a lot of She and Him out this month, and a lot of Workout Mixes this week, so I feel like my readers and myself just need a BONUS!

Day 136: Jennifer O'Connor and my "Home Stretch" Song

Ok, I apologize for the live show aspect of this song, but I actually enjoy that in this video. There is some tuning and cutesie talking until about 0:51, and then she begins to introduce this song, which begins at about 1:31, and then it ends at about 4:30.

Remember my post about a week ago explaining how I used to not care too much for Jennifer O'Connor, but changed my mind about her this summer? Well, this is one of the songs that made me change my mind...

When I began running in the River Valley, I looked through the songs in my library for upbeat songs between two and three minutes long. This was one of them. As a beginner runner, I began training with intervals of walking 1 minute/running 2 minutes, working my way up slowly. (At my strongest point this summer, I was to run for a max of five minutes straight. Next summer, I hope to make it a full twenty minutes of running!) The plan was to change the music as I progressed, but I never did manage to do that. It became the routine, then, to hear this song always at the same point in the course of my run. I was always out of River Valley - at the very least - and either running west close to the Drive or south along the street my building is on. With this placement, this song has become my "home stretch" song. I can flip to it at any point when I need a second wind and get myself pumped for a good finish. I love it!

January 29, 2011

Suggested Workout Music

Today, I am following up on a few of YOUR suggestions for my new workout tunes! Thanks, everybody, for sharing! More to come tomorrow!!!

This one comes from a friend from high school. It's interesting how one's musical suggestion actually captures the memory I have of them. This song has Jacob written ALL over it!

And, from a non-class university friend, a little MGMT. Now, I've heard of these guys before Jenny reccommended them, but I wouldn't have been able to pick them out of songs playing at the club.

This has a good beat to it, little less upbeat than the above, but, once again, I could easily find myself on the eliptical, getting a good rhythm going with this tune in my head.

This last song comes from a friend of a friend of mine that I met only a month ago. I trust his taste in music, and his suggestion is a great example of why!

If you've followed this blog before, for any length of time, you know that I'm more of an appreciator of folk...but I'm willing to add a little more electronica/dance onto my iPod.

Keep sending me your suggestions! I plan on making THE BEST WORKOUT PLAYLIST EVER throughout the day tomorrow. I want a large pool to pull from!

January 28, 2011

More Music For My Workout

Despite having a morning free to do a little bit of resting, my routine - or that which involved water - had to be finished before nine this morning, and so I was out of bed at the normal way-too-early time. This was not all bad, however, as I was able to catch CBC Radio Two's Workout Playlist! Now, it just happens to be a coincidence that I was in need of a new workout mix for myself yesterday - I've been in need for the last ten days or so - and then CBC had theirs on the day after I posted some new songs I've added to my iPod...but today's list is def inspired by CBC! Click on the title above to check out CBC R2's playlist for yourself! It's definitely worth a listen of its own.

This is not the Wavin' Flag I jam to on my iPod while working up a sweat, but it's a pretty sweet version, nonetheless!

Who doesn't love the Stones?

Now, I'm sweating on the treadmill these days, but I can see this tune getting me pumped on the eliptical, or my favourite non-treadmill machine - the arc trainer. The arc trainer is a bit difficult to explain...some people also refer to it as the gazelle, I think. I like to think of it as the arm-less eliptical that gets my glutes in gear! This song maintains the momentum required for doing just that!

This one was the top requested song for the CBC Radio Two playlist! It may not have been my first time hearing it, but I've definitely not heard a lot of it before... I like it! Definitely worth adding to my list!

And then...well...I've been listening to some Sirius satellite radio lately. Specifically, I've been belting out tunes from the 80s and 90s! It's been a splendid trip down nostalgia alley.

How can you not break out into interpretitive dance while listening to this song? Or belt it out - maybe under your breathe at the gym - for everybody to hear? I always have, and always will love the Divinyls! Fabulous!

And what workout doesn't require a little bit of spice?

Hope you're enjoying the workout mixes...I'm still working on my PERFECT WORKOUT mix...probably have it working by Monday. Anything else I should add?

January 27, 2011

Some New Workout Songs I'm Testing Out...

I heard this song, not even on purpose, three times today. It was the first on my way to work...it shuffled onto my workout list...and then it randomly appeared on the 90s on 9 channel in my mom's truck. It's definitely a sign that I need to have just ONE more day of anger. However, of all the versions I heard today, none of them were as peaceful as this elegant performance by Alanis here.

That being said, feel free to crank it up, belt it out and sing along to EVERY word - even the ones the bleep out!

And then...well, who can't resist at least a little bopping to what will.i.am puts down, even as Moto Moto. I feel bad for the man watching me get off the lrt this morning, 'cause he couldn't hear the beat I was grooving so much to...Then, later that morning, it made an EXCELLENT warm-up song on the treadmill - I can get a good rhythm going with this at 4.6. Nice warm-up speed for me right now - highest it's been all month!

On the same album, who couldn't resist being "physically, physically, physically round..." and then "shake up the ground.... ants in my pants"
As goes my saying for the week, GEEZ, I can't sit still with a little will.i.am in my ear....even the chair-dancing while I write this is contagious.... Day-um, as my BFF would say...

And then, you're a bit tired...so you need a rest? Okay. Take the first thirty seconds of this song to do that...maybe walk at an incline at a lower speed (that's how I roll the treadmill, these days, anyways). Suddenly, though, you'll be unstoppable. You'll catch the beat. You'll need to let it out. Maybe you need to get up RIGHT NOW and have an amazing dance party in front of your computer...just you, me, and a little Vampire Weekend...wouldn't be the first time...

And, then, just because you haven't gotten all that ANGER out of your system - here's some heavy metal. That's right, folks...mayhaps the first and ONLY time you find some heavyness on this blog...and only 'cause it was recommended by a dear friend of mine, and I do find the beat good for a nice pace to keep. Thanks, DeeDee!

There you go - five new songs added to my iPod for the most bestest workout tunes EVER!

January 26, 2011

Katie Melua - Closest Thing To Crazy

I REALLY need to update my iPod...seriously, if I have any more of this gush LOVE crap coming my way for the rest of this week, I may puke, or burst into tears as I did this morning...

Alas, I love Katie Melua to ever cut HER out of my life, at least not completely...maybe I'll just put a moratorium on it for, say, the next three weeks.  That should get this single girl through Valentine's Day, no?

January 25, 2011

Day 131: The Spill Canvas ~ All Over You

There was a day last week when I had a crazy girl moment. Anybody who has feelings has those days (even  crazy boy episodes exist - and if you try to argue with me on this one, I'll cry!)...

In my insanity, I left a voice mail on my friend's phone, which she returned later that night, after finishing a terrible day herself. After a proper game of telephone tag, I went over to her place and spilled the beans on the cause of my crazy girl episode...

Halfway into my explanation, Spill Canvas shuffled onto her iPod. "Oh, this is not a good song for this conversation," she said, but neither of us were in any mood to move in order to change the song. So, we let it play out. I'm not sure if this is the same song or not, but it's a pretty good song for "crazy girl" days...

Something is happening this week, though. I'm finding my zen and losing my crazy girl. Halfway through Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love, I'm not at all confused by the fact that I am finding my center again. This is good. I like finding my center. I like providing myself with explanations for my crazy girl life, and then recovering, so I can start it all over again. Part of the whole crazy girl thing that we're never able to shake is that we all sort of like the drama of it all...so we just keep on coming back to it.

Click on the title to go to the Official music video for this song - it's pretty gnarly!

January 24, 2011

Martha Wainwright ~ You Cheated Me AND Jeremy Fisher ~ Goodbye Blue Monday

Martha's been on my mind for a few days now... Today, this was the first song I could settle on for my walk to work . I think it's her mother calling out to me, just a little bit...it's been a week and a year since her death, and so I'd like to give Kate McGarrigle some credit for today's selection. She is the reason we can claim Miss Wainwright here as our Canadian girl!

Martha began her musical career singing with her mother, appearing on the The McGarrigle Hour album with her mother and aunt, Anna McGarrigle in 1998. Then came her singing backup to brother Rufus Wainwright for a year or two before releasing her own six-song EP, Martha Wainwright.

This Montreal-born and -raised artist then fled to New York. Although she studied drama at Concordia in her home city, she made a name for herself as a singer and songwriter south of the border, and carried that fame back "home" to Canada. (Yes, sadly, because of her American folk-singer father, Loudon Wainwright III, we must share her with our American cousins...but that's okay. There's enough talent in that family to easily split our pride!)

This is a fairly melancholic song of Martha's and I did have to change it before it finished playing this morning.  I'm supposed to be stopping with the melancholy this week.  That is my goal!  So, I came across Jeremy Fisher's Blue Monday - now THAT's not a melancholic song either ;-)

I'll let you be the judge of which is sadder...

January 23, 2011

Matt Costa - Sunshine

Of all the indie artists out there right now, trying to make it big with their own marketting, setting up their tours and REALLY trying to break into the music scene (see: American Idol, etc.), this artist was truly discovered.  Ok, well, he was kind of a big skateboard star, suffered a broken leg and befriended the guitarist, Tom Dupont, from No Doubt.  But he didn't push it.  And that's the advice he was given by Dupont that stuck with him the most: "stop practicing so hard and let the feeling come out."  Costa, like so many other artists out there, is an artist that stands for going with the flow of life rather than poushing his way to the top.  Touring with Jack Johnson never hurt anybody etiher...

I like this artist, though.  And it's the energy that he has managed to capture that most attracts me to his music.  Yesterday, I found my zen, and re-discovered Matt Costa along the way.  There was just a little bit of sunshine guiding me to that place, too, so this song is that much more appropriate.  I hope it's sunny where you are, 'cause Edmonton's flooded with sunshine right now - and I love it! If not, I hope this little song of sunny can help you reach your daily Vitamin D requirements!

January 22, 2011

Jennifer O'Connor - Tonight We Ride

Yesterday, I brought you a song I loved when I was in Vancouver, and grew to no longer love.
(It's funny how time can allow our interest to wane in such a way.)
Today, I bring you an artist that I didn't care so much for while in Vancouver, but now I love!
(See how nicely I dodged a few negative words there. An example of a "negative word" I dodge well is "hate.")
How exactly did I come by Ms. Jennifer O'Connor's CD? I'm not quite positive about that. There are two possibilities, and both of them would mean I got the CD for free...which is something I always enjoy!
Option one is that I was given the CD from my work at the time - a large bookstore chain that shall from this day forward be named "The Book Store" - but this seems like the least likely possibility.
Option two is that the CD was handed to me by my editor at the Ubyssey, UBC's student newspaper, in hopes that I would, in turn, provide the newspaper with a review of it. Despite the lack of a review on this CD, written by me, appearing in the newspaper, this is the more plausible explanations of where the CD came from.
(The lack of review at that time stems comes from this fear I still have of saying something mean about somebody else. My mother taught me "if you don't have anything nice to say about somebody, don't say anything at all." While I have yet to overcome that fear, as previously mentioned, I am better at avoiding negative words now!)
Either way, O'Connor's CD has remained in my collection ever since. She has survived five moves for a reason. What that is, I'm not quite sure, but I do know that I now appreciate her music in a way that I was possibly not mature enough to appreciate at that time... It's nice to realize that there is a world of benefit in growing older...

January 21, 2011

Low Millions - Nikky don't stop!


First of all, I totally forgot about this band until a friend mentioned it on FB the other day. This song was mentioned, too...in regards to it being very naughty. And, yes, it is a naughty song. The other video to it is N-A-U-G-H-T-Y...and I want to keep this blog as free from adult content as possible...

Wow, Leonard Cohen - one of our greatest songwriters EVER - had a part in creating the man who wrote this song. I think that may be all the proof you need for the bastardization of culture by my generation. Although, every generation ruins what went before them just a little bit. And, I did love Low Millions album when they first came out...perhaps my shock and horror over the quality I now see lacking in this song comes from my maturation rather than an actualy lack of talent. I mean, it does show great courage to put out an album based entirely on failed relationships...or, well, aren't most albums filled with songs based on failed relationships. Perhaps it's just the blatant honesty that confuses me about this band. Just as this song cuts through the innuendos and gets straight to the point, their album title does the same. "Ex-Girlfriends," you are definitely an over-played cd in my collection...but now you'll be added to my workout mix. C'est la vie!

January 20, 2011

KaiserCartel - Season Song (HQ)

Like most folksters out there, I enjoy a good whistle.  Luckily for me, there's an AWESOME whistle in this song.  What another GREAT sunny day "feel good" song for this week.  Somebody's avoiding the oncoming prospect of SAD... :-D
Lately, I've come across artists fundraising for their art.  I think this is great!  In the world of free access to YouTube videos, easily copied downloads of songs, and file-sharing, artists deserve to be making money from the people who enjoy them - you and me.  KaiserCartel is among those artists - by pre-selling the album they are raising the funds to produce.  Check out their website (by clicking on the title of this post) for details on how you can help them fund-raise for their next album!

January 19, 2011

BONUS: Joy Valencia ~ Don't Wake the Lion

I came across this musician a little over a month ago, and she has been on my "Favs" list ever since.

Currently, she is raising money to produce a proper music video for this song. She has pretty sweet perks involved with your donation. But you have to act quickly! She plans to shoot the video this weekend, while the crew is still available for the shoot. At the time of publishing (with 51 hours to go) she is over a third of the way to her goal of $3000. I know she can make it there, and I hope you can help her get there. Minimum donation is $10 - what is that, two coffees? You can help her get this music video done...and be listed in the credits, or more! Click on the title of this blog post to be redirected to her website, where you can make the donation.

Thank you, everybody, for continuing to support the arts!

Day 125: The Hush Sound ~ Honey

Although I try to live life without any regrets, my lack of knowledge about bands in the past occasionally makes me sad. :-(  Alas, one should never wish away one's past because it makes one into the person of today. :-)  Say, for example, if I had known Hush Sound when they were still together, I may be sick of them now, and unable to appreciate them in the same way today.  Or, if I was one of the first fans to hear of Death Cab, I may not have this inferiority complex that forces me to pursue new music every day in the present.  Yes, of course, it would have been nice to see them live in concert once or twice, but I enjoy who I see in concert today, too.  And that's really how we have to live our lives - enjoying the present!

January 18, 2011

She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?

You know those days when you just need a good "pick me up"?  She & Him is that "pick me up!"  Not that I need a pick me up today, but in case you do, ENJOY!

Ok, well, it's not Ridin' In My Car, which is a happier tune, but this one is fairly light-hearted as well.  Especially considering it's subject matter!Only Zooey Deschanel and Matt Ward could make unrequited love sound so good.  It reminds me of those pop songs from the fifties and sixties...I love it!

January 17, 2011

The xx - Islands

When I was a young girl, I took dance lessons. Tap was always my favourite because you have to work with and create the rhythm.
This video immediately reminded me of all of the dance routines I did as a child. Every movement of the body had to be exact so that we could do the same routine over and over and over again and it would always be the same.
I still love to dance - I still love most the beat in music - but it's been quite a long time since I did routine. I would have to say high school, and that routine was for a drama performance.
Needless to say, I miss both art forms: dance and theatre.
I had a conversation about art that I mentioned in my other blog last night. All day yesterday, after the conversation the night before, I kept thinking about the forms of art that I enjoy. There's literature, which was my first - and will therefore be my forever - love. Then, theatre: I will always be melodramatic, if not a drama queen ;-). Third is music, although it consumes so much of my life right now. It is an educational journey that I am on right now. For now, I am a mere spectator, but maybe one day (and generally after an alcoholic beverage...or even just at home, alone...) I'll go back to dance as a creative expression as well...

One of my best friends told me about this band. We met when we were both lonely and craving friends our age (working with children has a way of bringing that out in young adults). Our situation forced us to be friends, but the similarities that we shared then, and even today, is what makes our friendship so strong.

Anyways, about the band:

They've been together for over five years now, forming in 2005, while studying together in London, England. The fourth (and now missing) member of the original group left in 2009, the same year they released their self-titled debut album. Despite the departure, the band has received quite a lot of attention via television. If you watch Grey's Anatomy, you might possibly recognize this song. Other songs of theirs have been featured 90210, Mercy, Cold Case, Lie To Me, Waterloo Road, NBC's broadcast of the 2010 Olympics and even an AT&T commercial featuring Apolo Ohno. What publicity, eh?

Personally, they remind me of Skins, which is brilliant! I haven't seen enough episodes of that show, but I loved catching it on tv while living in the UK. Have The xx played on there? Is that show still on the air? If so, they should get together...and then somebody oughta let me know about it! I love it when things I love get together...so, yeah, pretty stoked that they're on Waterloo Road, at the very least!

January 16, 2011

Day 122: Michael Bublé ~ Hollywood

It's official...I've joined the 21st century. Proof of this exists in the realization that I learned of Buble's new single, Hollywood, through YouTube, NOT the radio...and I'm a radio fiend! Turns out, I'm also a YouTube junkie.... :-D

Other signs that I am a member of the 21st century:
- when I wake up, I turn on my laptop to find out what's going on around Facebook rather than sitting down to a cup of coffee and opening up one those large flimsy, rustling things that turn your fingers grey
- my spelling is getting worse with righting, rather then better...and I didn't own a fiscal dictionary :-(
- I cook 95% of what I eat (which does NOT make me a 21st century citizen), but had a mental breakdown when my microwave bit the dust (which does make me a member of this society)!
- I have no idea what my neighbours' names are, but I'm kept well-informed of my favourite celebrities bowel movements thanks to social media... =(
- I use emoticons in my writing to denote tongue-in-cheek comments rather than trusting the intelligence of my audience to catch my wittiness...

January 15, 2011

Day 121: Mumford & Sons ~ White Blank Page

Can we ever escape our memories?

Last night, I watched Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, for probably the tenth time. It's a very real story about a daughter coming to understand her mother as a real person, and not just the role she played in her life. In order to love somebody, truly, we have to understand them on that level, whether we are loving a parent, a sibling, a friend or, the more conventional "lover"...

I thought about that all last night, and this morning. Perhaps I've never been "in love," but I have loved. Perhaps I'm just a girl in love with love, but aren't we all... Haven't we all fallen quickly, and loved too soon, only to have our hearts ripped open and exposed...

Yesterday morning, my heart broke. Don't worry, not the real one ;-) My white heart necklace - that I had only fixed up Thursday afternoon! - fell from my neck while I was working. I attempted, quickly, to fix it, but to no avail. There is no quick fix for a broken heart...

My love for Mumford & Sons is as real as my love for any past lovers! My heart swooned upon the first listen, my desire grew with each new song I heard, and before I even knew where they were from, I was proclaiming them my latest favourites! It was only last night that I realized how I could love them so quickly. They remind me of my last great adventure, London in the late 00's... Perhaps because they began in West London's folk scene around that time as well. Or perhaps because they sing about the emotions I was going through at exactly that time...

To be fair, I probably love them because they're rising in popularity these days (everybody loves to feel just a little mainstream...every once in a while, at least)! ;-D How many Grammy noms did they get this year? Two? There'll be more to come, for sure. And, well, they deserve everything they get! Their lyrics are literary, their music forces your body to sway, and the emotion they evoke flows from their souls to the souls of their listeners... THIS is what music is about!

January 14, 2011

Care Bears On Fire ~ Barbie Eat a Sandwich

Um, so these girls are literally still in high school. :-0 They formed their band in 2005, when they were in FIFTH grade...as if I didn't feel bad ENOUGH about not getting that novel done before I was 25...

Do you remember fifth grade (or "grade five" as we like to call it up here, outside of Brooklyn, New York)? I was hoping to win the Legion's annual Remembrance Day poem contest, not even close to imagining having a book deal in the ANYWHERE NEAR future! And I was considered a pretty ambitious child... But, well, there were only ten other children to compete with in my grade, not 10,000 other kids my age in the same city...

Is that it? Does a prodigy have to be surrounded by successful peers in order to be a prodigy? Or, is it something about the parenting? Really, how is Justin Beiber any different than my sixteen-year-old cousin? Is it because nobody has put her volleyball games on YouTube? Hmmm...I think the sport/art debate is a bit too much for me to bite off, debate and spit right back out tonight, which is apparently exactly what I'm doing...

It's always interesting, regardless, to see such talent in young people. I hope they do great things with it, and with a song like this, they seem pretty with it...I'm sure they have the power to move mountains!

January 13, 2011

Day 119: Shirley Eikhard ~ Something To Talk About

An oldie, but a goodie!

The early nineties saw Julia Roberts starring in a film of the same name, and this song always reminds me of that movie...or at least my mind's "movie trailer" version of it.

I never knew who sang the song, and Shirley Eikhard may only be doing a cover of it. Regardless, it's ALWAYS a good tune to belt out at the top of one's lungs....so, go on, do it... give your neighbours something to talk about...

January 12, 2011

Meiko - Boys With Girlfriends

Who is this artist?!? I LOVE HER!!!

Originally from Georgia - a state in the U.S. of A. - Meiko grabbed life by the balls at the age of eighteen and moved out west, to California... No, no, wait, she made a detour to Miami, which I think is more south than west of Georgia, but my geography of countries I've never been to is pretty terrible... Regardless of her path, within a few short years, she shot to fame via television publicity, Sundance Film festival and the South by Southwest Festival; however, she's a singer not an actress. Thank goodness for that!

What a delightful little tune! Cute teddy bear, too! :-D

January 11, 2011

Meaghan Smith - Heartbroken

I had a request to play "All the Saints" today...but, alas, Meaghan Smith grabbed my heart so much, that I had to chose this song instead...awn...another day for the Saints ;-)

From London, Ontario, Miss Smith is an absolute delight to listen to. This may shock you, dear reader, but I have to admit that I am self conscious about singing. I love music so much, though, that sometimes I blissfully forget about what I have been told is an off-key voice and just let it out! (That was one of the reasons "All the Saints" was requested for today ;-D) Luckily, I live alone and use my time around the home to sing along to the radio, like last night. This song by Miss Smith came on and I couldn't help myself: top of my lungs, I began singing along!

After reading the bio on her website, I am not surprised that I find myself able to sing along to her songs easily. She, too, is unable to read music (the sole reason I tell people I can play a cd player, but that's about it;-D). All sisters, another similarity, and an attempt at piano lesons, but that's where the similarities end. Oh, except for the Canada thing, but well, that nearly goes without saying ;-D. Alas, her parents were musicians, so it would be easy to blame her abilities on genetics. It doesn't really matter, though - she is phenomenal, regardless of how I can relate to her...

With two drops Jill Barber and a spoonful of Kate Nash, I nominate Meaghan Smith as one of my new fav artists! I just know she's make a great addition to the feast of music I'm gobbling up this year!

January 10, 2011

Day 116: Spirit of the West ~ Venice is Sinking

This band ALWAYS makes me think of parties. They're funny tunes, though, too. This one has an interesting meaning... What do you think it means? I like it.

January 9, 2011

Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Ah, Stars...

This video comes recommended from a friend who enjoyed my post on Sara Barielles yesterday. Like Barielles, Stars is one of those sleeper artists that you will randomly fall in love with. Um, but I have to admit something: I did not like Stars when I first heard them ... several years ago.

This song was their first song I knew as theirs. You know those songs you recognize in the first bar. Well, as this song begins with an attention-grabbing voice at the beginning, it was not very difficult to recognize it even before the first bar! It's come in and out of my favour several times since its release, but I think it's in my favour to stay now. Stars has also become one of my all-time favs!

It's interesting how a song can be both a memory and inspiration. When I hear this song, I am taken back to my time spent in Vancouver, the initial Edumusication summer and educators. This time, though, when I listened to it, I heard something else. The opening bar struck me as inspiring: "When there's nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire." Well, since this recommendation has come from a friend after reading yesterday's post, and several of my other posts over the last few months, my subconscious seemed to know that there was this not-so-hidden message in this song...

And now, for some personal reflection:

At times, this week, I've felt like I'm back EXACTLY where I started. But, ... I'm not. Situations may be similar; pay cheques may be the same; but this time is an entirely different level! So, perhaps I lack the opportunity I have so desperately relied upon in the past...and perhaps I've let that opportunity slip by me, but the most important thing that's keeping me alive - creative and ambitious - is knowing that I am my fuel, especially when all else fails...

I apologize if my self reflection is too vague. Perhaps its vagueness will help you on the path to your truth.

January 8, 2011

Sara Bareilles - Bottle It Up

I remember moving back to Canada almost three years ago, only to find this brilliant new artist sending ripples out across the airwaves. I heard this song and was immediately sold on her as an amazing artist! Then, last summer, she came out with another album of genius, and I remain in awe of her.

Check out my post from earlier this year:


January 7, 2011

Alanna Clarke - Fine Line

“Alanna has a voice that is a natural gift. But it’s the artist behind that voice that excites me. She writes with a depth and passion that reveal wisdom and an unmistakable style. You’ll be hearing this voice for a long time to come.” - Christopher Ward, Clarke's producer

Born and raised in Cochrane, Alberta, this 18-year-old songstress has been performing her music since the age of ten, and it shows. Her lyrics and her voice capture the emotion of mature music soul, and there is no second guessing that writing music is her calling.

Her talent for creating music was discovered by Christopher Ward, through her cousin's performance at a Songwriters Association of Canada panel in ottawa. Overly impressed and aware of talent when he heard it, Christopher Ward approached Clarke's cousin and her big break began to happen. This song, Fine Line, was featured on a movie produced by another Canadian classic, Degrassi, last summer, which will only add to her publicity. That same summer, she was a member of U22, an organization that promotes blooming musical talent under the age of 22. Through U22, she was able to perform at both Canmore and Edmonton's Folk Music Festival, where I was introduced to her sound, and subsequently bought her cd. It's been through my cd player a few times since then, and I am delighted to finally share her with you! As Ward said, "You’ll be hearing this voice for a long time to come.”

For more on Miss Clarke, check out her website:


January 6, 2011

Bon Iver - Skinny Love

Slowly, slowly, this quiet tune builds with emotion, just like love...

Unless you hide away from mainstream things, like David Letterman and Grey's Anatomy, you've probably heard this band before. This song, especially. It's Bon Iver's most famous single, and it deserves your recognition! It took about year to gain popularity, and a re-recording from the original, but it's in your head and on your radar - a pop hit without the notoriety...

Bon Iver began one wintry night in Wisconsin. Following the breakup of his previous band, an end to a relationship and a serious bout with mononucleosis, founding member, Justin Vernon sat down to watch a marathon of Northern Exposure. Sucked into a stupor of recuperation through other art forms, Vernon found his inspiration, in a line of the chilling programming. In one episode of Northern Exposure, there experience the first snowfall of the year. As the characters leave the indoors to embrace this new scene, they depart with the French phrase of "bonne hiver" (good winter). Luckily, Vernon missed the silent "ne" and "h," and had created his new musical alter-ego.

That winter, Vernon recorded Bon Iver's first album, For Emma,Forever Ago on his own in northern Wisconsin. Since then, he has added fellow artists: Michael Noyce, Sean Carey, and Matthew McCaughan. These musicians join him live, which leads to the (mis)understanding that the Bon Iver is merely one man...

January 5, 2011

Day 111: Melissa McClelland - Passenger 24

How did I ever come across Melissa McLelland? I can't really remember...it was at least eighteen months ago, I remember that. But I can't remember how I came to know of her...and that is strange.

Every time I listen to McClelland's fourth album, Victoria Day, I remember riding in my sister's Ford Ranger, riding out of the city for a mountain-bike-riding adventure. The dust from the sides of the road explodes behind us as the beat picks up between the first and second parts of my favourite tune, the title track. That transition - between Victoria Day (April Showers) and Victoria Day (May Flowers) - reaches into my psyche in a way that music is supposed to; in the way that I fell in love with the craft. It's not just about the lyrics, but so much more than that. As a writer, I understand the rhythm of words, and how to use them to create a certain affect on the reader. It is music like this that makes me wish I was a musician so that I could understand how to create so much more than words to have a greater affect on the listeners...

If this is your first time hearing McClelland, I hope it's not your last. Born in Chicago, but raised in Hamilton, Ontario, she made her big break in Toronto and will therefore forever be claimed by Canada. Her music is reminiscent of great American folk artists, though - reminding us all that it matters less where you're from than what artists have influenced you. In North American folk, it's pretty tough to not have been touched by numerous different cultures. That's what I love about living in this mosaic.

Passenger 24 is off of her third album, Thumbelina's One Night Stand, which I have yet to add to my collection....must put that on a 'To Do' list somewhere (it looks worthy of being on my shelf, not just playing in my ears). This single, apparently, made big waves for her south of the border, which never hurts an artist. For her fourth album, she did a few more collaborations (fellow Canadian Ron Sexsmith and her husband, Luke Doucet, who also produced the album), and apparently that's when she popped onto my radar: 2009. Well, I'm glad she did, because every once in awhile you need a good album to listen to while you sit back, relax, and go on a journey through the country roads of our past...

January 4, 2011

SHAD - Rose Garden (Official Video)

Born in Kenya, to Rwandan parents, and raised in London, Ontario, this hip hop artist is Canadian. Unlike most other hip hop artists, he is self-deprecating. He also values education, as he is currently working on his Masters in liberal studies at SFU, and holds a business degree form Wilfred Laurier University. And I love this song! It's so upbeat, and reminiscent of the Jackson Five...but in a twenty-first century sort of way...

Video From Day 23: John Lennon ~ Imagine

Day 23: If we're going to take one day to remember this man, it should be today. My fav John Lennon song...need I say more?

Update: On Sunday, I watch Earth 2100, an ABC production that aired in 2009. The movie goes through the life of a woman born in 2009 until the next turn of the century, 2100. Throughout her life, experts from today explain how what is being imagined is likely to happen. Basically, if we continue to harm the Earth at the same rate as we were in 2009, the next Dark Age will strike within the next century. Having studied the rise and fall of empires only briefly, I have understood for some time that the current empire should fall shortly. I'm not sure that everything they imagined for Earth 2100 will come true, but it's possible. Frankly, I prefer the Imagine described in this song....

January 3, 2011

Twangtown Paramours ~ The Ballad of Little Lula

Self-described as a combination between gospel, old country and blues, this duo makes a really good sound! They remind me of my roots - old country. The first time I heard their album in its entirety, I fell in love with their sound, and listen to it now when I need to hear a good old-fashioned country love tune. My favourite is "Simple and True."

From Nashville, these two met through a random acquaintance at a recording studio. They began dating, and eventually started to lend musical incite into each other's work. One thing led to another, and they've recorded a self-titled album together. Check out http://www.twangtownparamours.com/music/ for more information.

This song is a delight! Oh, Little Lula...

Video From Day Ten: Regina Spektor ~ Laughing With

The original video I posted does not transfer to blogspot. This one is okay, but not the official video. Check out the link below:


Nobody laughs at God...

Day Ten: I've recently stumbled upon Regina Spektor again. I love her...this is one of my new favourite singers!

Update: God can be funny...this song is so melancholic. But, yes, sometimes it's easy to forget how funny God is...don't take life too seriously, nobody gets out of it alive...which is one of the saddest things to deal with. The best way to do so has a lot to do with God, or however you look at spirituality...

January 2, 2011

Corb Lund ~ (Gonna) Shine Up My Boots

Get ready for 2011!

I know that New Year's has passed and all that jazz, but, well, you still have today before you go back to work/school/the real world. Well, that is, of course, if you're not like me and THIS is your real world. In any case, I hope the next twelve months are filled with fun, fabulous events like the one Corb Lund describes in this song...or however else you describe a good time!

Video From Day Five: Michael Bublé ~ Haven't Met You Yet With Lyrics

Ah....Buble...so good for a good love song...I LOVE you!

Day Five: I've had this song running through my head for the last few days. Love it! Love Mr. Buble! True Canadian Talent...

Update: Still love Mr. Buble...but kinda cynical about the whole "falling in love" thing. Well, no...not really... My old roommate is rolling her eyes now... Yeah, I will always be a romantic, no matter how many times my heart is broken on the way to not just dancing in a grocery store (already did that!) but to having confetti fall on me and people dance around me as I SING and dance in a grocery store...awn, makes my heart flip just thinking about it. I like falling in love... It's a nice concept...

January 1, 2011

Sara Bareilles - King Of Anything

I love the upbeat nature of this "$%#^ You" song. It's always better to kill them with kindness...

A new year, a new attitude!

I'm not big on New Year's Resolutions, yet every year I seemed to make one or five of them. This year is not alone. I have yet to write them down, which will make it more difficult to track them... so here goes, at least for one of them:

I resolve to chose a side of the fence to be on, and be happy with it!

I've been thinking about my fence-sitting a lot in the last few weeks, and I definitely think it's time to do something about it. I like that I can see both sides of many situations, but when it comes right down to it, a lot of the time I don't chose a side because I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings by not siding with them. Well, enough of that behaviour! I'm an intelligent individual with my own - VALID - opinions and I should be proud of them. So, inspired by this song, I am going to show my pride. I'm not gonna yell vulgarities to the neighbours who disagree with my opinions, 'cause that never works. Instead, I'll relax over here in my adirondack chair, sipping my agar-sweetened lemonade, smiling with the fact that I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be. If you want, you can come visit - there's plenty of agar-sweetened lemonade for any one who's interested ;-)

As for NY resolutions...well, I think this one will work because I've been thinking on it for a while. And, you see, I think resolutions are best to happen every day, not just January 1st. :-D This song has just become the mantra to gain the strength required for this one!

Video From Day 24: Feist ~ 1234

Day 24: Such a colourful video!
Can I be thankful for technocolour?

Update: I will always be thankful for Technocolour...and for Black and White too ;-) ... and for Feist!

Video From Day 19: Sarah Harmer ~ Captive

Day Nineteen: My greatest love of art stems from its ability to inspire us. Can you guess who inspired Miss Harmer in this song? I immediately felt it was a cover, and continued to believe that it was until I saw her perform it live at Edmonton's Folk Music Festival this summer, where she explained that they only inspired this song. If you love music, take a listen and tell me your guess. If you already love music, or Sarah Harmer, you probably already know who inspired this punk-beat love song. :-D

Update: Victorian-esque costumes in Venice...I love it! I think this is an appropriate song for the beginning of this year. Happy 2011! Oh, and btw, the answer is The Ramones, my favourite Punk Rockers!