Five for Friday: Random Spotify Shuffle

Since I’m out of town today for business and my normal lunch writing time is unavailable, I prepped a softball of a Five for Friday list in advance.  This should be an easy yet fun post  that provides everyone with a little insight into your musical tastes.  I actually did an iPod shuffle post for my very first Five for Friday post nearly a year ago!  Check it out here.

Here are my five with commentary.  Enjoy and then set your Starred Playlist to shuffle and link yours up using the Linky Tool at the end of the post.  Don’t use Spotify?  Then go ahead and give that iPod a shuffly spin!

Dead Sara- Lemon Scent

I just found this band a few weeks ago.  There is really nothing better than stumbling upon a band that you should have already been listening to ages ago and then devouring their entire discography song by song!

This puts me right back in the 90s when all my favorite music was on the airwaves.  These chicks rock the hell out.

 

Tears for Fears- Mad World

Any music listening platform in my possession will be heavy on the 80s.  Favorite 80s band?  Tears for Fears.  This is one of their best.

 

Lana Del Rey- Off to the Races

Though the hipsters damn near ruined liking her, I’ve never been shy about proclaiming my love for Lana.  I dig her voice.  I dig her bizarre lyrics.  She’s a weirdo, a talented weirdo.

 

Local Natives- Who Knows Who Cares

I’ve listened to this album too many times to count, I grinned like a fool watching their performance on Austin City Limits, and now I finally get to see them live at Shaky Knees next month!

 

Ima Robot- Scream

Another of Alex Ebert’s projects.  This one is quite different from Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros.  I’m a fan of anything this bizarre man releases.

 

Alright ladies and germs, your turn.  Shuffle it up and lay it on me!

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Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

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Twisted Mixtape Tuesday: Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Weather got you down?  Cold making you act like a baby?  Yeah, me too.  I prefer blue skies, sunshine, and the smell of fresh-cut grass.  Right now, however, I’m eating lunch in my office located in downtown Atlanta watching the snow fall outside.  From 32 stories up, safe in the confines of my office, it looks beautiful.  But I’m still dreaming of spring and summer.

This week, Jen over at My Skewed View asked for a playlist to cheer up a friend.  Mine seems to have some semi-unintentional weather related theme going on.  It can’t be helped.  Come on sunshine!  Here you are my interweb buddies,  5 songs (and a bonus) guaranteed to cheer you up even in the bitterest of cold!

Day by Day- The Dirty Heads

Love these lyrics:

Bright lights on
Coming off the hinge
Rambling on like a Led Zeppelin
I got my sword and my pen like mad mordagin
Outta the abyss starting to ascend
Top of the class peak of the summit
Throw your worries of a cliff watch them as they plummet

Shine on You- Matisyahu

Love these lyrics:

Oh my soul has been so low
Make them clouds fade to blue
So my love can shine on through
Shine on you

 

Mr. Blue Sky- ELO

Love these lyrics:

Runnin’ down the avenue,(Pant, Pant, Pant)
See how the sun shines brightly
In the city on the streets
Where once was pity,
Mr. Blue Sky is living here today.

 

Drivin’ on 9- The Breeders

This song isn’t really conventionally happy, but it makes me smile!  Maybe it makes me think of long drives with the stereo cranked and the windows down.

Love these lyrics:

Drivin’ on 9
I sure miss you
Pass a motel
Looking at the pines

Sun Hands- Local Natives

 

Love these lyrics:

The most beautiful colors chase the sun
They wrap her trail in a taunting gesture
That seems to sing out loud,
“this is what you’re missing”

 

Bonus:

Outside-311

A nice little, happy b-side-

 

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Four instant happy makers for me:  summertime, best friend, music festival, King of Pops!

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to:  Arctic Monkeys – Pretty Visitors

Eating:  Sesame Ch’kin, bok choy, veggies and rice.

Drinking:  H2O, but a Monster will be had soon.

Random fact:  Skiing is not on my list of “fun” vacation ideas.

 

Five for Friday: My 5 Favorite Albums of 2013

While I have an affinity for old music (most particularly the 80s and 90s), I must admit that there is still a ton of solid music coming out everyday!  Now, you’re not going to find this on your radio dial for the most part and don’t even try to look to MTV (do they even play videos at all now?).  Most of the stellar new artists and sounds are being birthed right here on the internet.  With the growing popularity of streaming services, the harnessing of social media’s power, and enough music related blogs to overwhelm even the biggest music fan, we have a virtually endless supply of new jams and talent at our fingertips 24 hours a day.  Yes, I do suffer to escape from the grip of nostalgia from time to time and I miss MTV for sure (sorry Youtube, you just don’t offer the same feel), but I must admit that the internet has done simply amazing things for music.  I love that I’m here at the end of 2013 giving you my favorites of the year via the interwebs and this blog!  Drop me a line and let me know what album rocked your world this year!

This year’s favorite list is a fairly solid representation of my musical listening habits.  On the top 5 we find:  2 bands that have been kicking ass since the 90s and would be classified as true alternative rock, 1 band that defies all attempts to be thrown into a category (and who I discovered through the handy, dandy internet), 1 poppy girl group with a indie edge, and 1 hipster necessity.  Let’s dive in shall we?

Number 5:  Local Natives- Hummingbird

Though not as magical as their debut album Gorilla Manor (2010), this sophomore effort lives up to my expectations.  I’m a sucker for vocal harmonies and bizarre instrumental sound.

Number 4:  Haim- Days are Gone

I’m not such a music snob that I can’t appreciate a good dose of candy coated pop every now and then.  But usually it all gets a bit too sickeningly sweet and ridiculous for me after a few minutes.  Enter Haim.  This sister act gives me the poppy lightness I sometimes craze without the cavities.  They were brought up listening to everything from Joni to Motown, and you can hear the diverse influences bleed through on each track.  One minute you hear something that could be at home in the Big 80s (full of synth awesomeness) and the next you’re jamming to something that could loosely be classified as rock.

Number 3:  Full Service- Carousel

I’ve written about these guys several times now, and I’m confident this won’t be the last. There is no other group touring today that sounds like them.  Not one.  They kill on vocal harmonies,  their guitar riffs shred, and their songs have the uncanny ability to get stuck in your head for months at a time.  Since I already was a big fan, I knew I would fall in love with their new album.  Well, even I was shocked and amazed at just how good Carousel is.  Every note on every song is a winner.  There are no throw away tracks here.

I have a challenge for you:  go to Spotify and listen to a few tracks off of each of their albums and then report back to me.  You won’t be sorry.

Number 2:  Pearl Jam- Lightning Bolt

This is quickly becoming a contender for favorite PJ album (I bounce between Ten and Vs. with Vs. usually winning).  So effing good.  It gives me all the best of the band that I’ve loved for so many years:  well-written songs, tight vocals, and killer guitar.  It reeks of the 90s and in a very good, very grungy sort of way.

Number 1:  Queens of the Stone Age- …Like Clockwork

I have listened to this album no less than 50 times since it’s release.  It gets better with every listen.  QOTSA are easily in my top 10 favorite bands of all time and so my opinion suffers from the standard fan bias, but I’m confident in saying that this is their best album yet.  It’s everything I love about rock and roll bundled into 47 minutes of perfection.  Listen and repeat ad infinitum.


 

Honorable Mentions:

Artic Monkeys- AM

Nine Inch Nails- Hesitation Marks

 

What were your favorites of 2013?

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

 

It’s the Weekend Baby and Here’s Your Playlist

I am finally starting to feel like myself again.  It is a good thing that I don’t get sick very often, because I certainly suck at it.  To recap, here is  the breakdown of my last 48 hours (aka the worst of this week-long bug):
Cough and blow my nose. Repeat, ad infinitum.
Get up on Wednesday in full zombie mode and somehow make it to work (despite Matt telling me 400x that I am sick and need to stay home).  Get to work, realize Matt is correct, call and have him drive into the city to pick me up.
Lie around the house looking like ass and eating stuff that is so not good for me under the guise of “but I’m sick”. 
Sleep for two hours.  Wake up and attempt to answer work emails.  Continue this throughout the day.
Stay home from work yesterday…still sick, with the addition of cabin fever and sheer boredom. 
Set the alarm for a 5:15 for a run because I’ve convinced myself I will be 100% cured by morning.

Wake up at 5:15 having some sort of deranged nightmare about a Texas Chainsaw Massacre house where the killer is Dwight from the Office.
Admit to myself that I’m still fairly sick and should get another hour or so of sleep.

Back at work.  Getting stuff done.  Feeling a wonderful sense of normalcy.  Eating a salad for lunch to atone for some of my food sins (and missing the gym all week). So aside from the fact that I have people coming over for a cookout tomorrow and that means I’m already stressing over the house, the yard and the menu etc. etc. all is well.

Now that I’ve sufficiently closed out my saga of sickness, I’d like to introduce the subject of today’s post, bands I just can’t get enough of.  I really wish I could come up with some sort of clever title that incorporates Friday, because I’d really like to make this a recurring post.  But Friday just doesn’t lend itself nicely to anything off the top of my head.  Music Mondays….see how easy that is?  Friday…?? Nope, nada.

I’m going with this for now:  It’s the Weekend Baby and Here’s Your Playlist.  Yeah, it sucks.  Maybe by the next post I will have a better name.

For the first week, I just want to introduce a few bands that have moved in and out of heavy rotation multiple times throughout the last year or so.  I’m constantly finding great new bands and tunes; so for something to keep coming back and seeing heavy play means it’s a band I think is pretty much the cat’s pajamas.

Silversun Pickups

This band has the odd ability to create songs that I just never get tired of hearing.  And I’ve played all of their albums over and over and over again.  They never get skipped on my iPod.  Ever.  I can’t even say that about my favorite band.

Brian Aubert’s voice is just so odd and unconventionally wonderful.

Local Natives

This outfit from California has easily worked its way into my top ten new favorites “I must see live”.  They are the perfect example of the brand of indie rock I tend to listen to these days. Their new album, Hummingbird, is wonderful.  But it was their debut album,  Gorilla Manor, that won me over.  It was added to my iPod one song at a time.  And the next thing I knew, I had bought the entire album.  Every song is a keeper.

And last but certainly not least this week is one of my very favorite bands:

Full Service

Found these guys through my love affair with 311.  They are an unsigned band out of Austin, TX that plays a genre of music that is totally their own.  I struggle to describe them.  And honestly, I think that’s how they like it.  They aren’t eager to fit into the industry mold of a reggae band or an alt rock band or a folk band; though at times they have all of these sounds.  Their stuff ranges from acoustic/chill to straight up guitar shredding.  The best way I’ve found to get their sound across is “they are heavily influenced by The Beach Boys and Mastodon”.  Oh, and that they rock!

Those that know me well have likely had me try to get you to listen to them 100x by now.  And if you haven’t been smart enough to listen to me prior to now, get to it.  Here’s a nice little compilation video.  They have a ton of stuff posted on You Tube and Spotify.

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Here they are playing in my living room.  No words to describe how rad this was!

Happy listening guys!  Who are your favorite bands in current heavy rotation?  Let me know so I can share in the musical love.

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Daft Punk – Give Life Back to Music

Eating:  A Salad

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  My Mom & Dad met in Pensacola (while in the Navy) and I met Matt in Pensacola (while in college).