Song of the Moment: ‘Barton Hollow’

So…I’m back from a 5 month absence. Oops. Anyway, this post was written back in March, but I, for some reason, never got around to publishing it. This probably would have been much more impressive if I had published it when I meant to… before they did, indeed gain popularity, but prolific, no? šŸ™‚Ā 

This Song of the Moment, is long overdue. I don’t really know how I happened to discover this song and band, The Civil Wars. Songs often show up on my iPod that I don’t know- I’m not even sure where I Ā got them. ‘Barton Hollow’ is one of those songs. I was just on shuffle mode, skipping through things when it came on. When I first heard it, I was kind of speechless. I couldn’t skip past it, quite the contrary, I played it over and over again. I was blown away. I don’t think I had every really heard a song quite like it, I couldn’t even seem to place it into a genre.

The Civil Wars have a bit of a country flair, but I wouldn’t call them country. Folk maybe? I think that they are totally unique and something all their own in today’s music scene; it’s fantastic. ‘Barton Hollow’ is really a powerful and haunting kind of song. Even just the first 30 seconds could stop you dead in your tracks, just so you could hear more.

Once I discovered this song, I started seeing The Civil Wars all over the place.Ā People were talking about how great this new band was. I probed further, and found out thatĀ Joy Williams and John Paul White met kind of in a chanceĀ encounterĀ in 2009. Now they are writing beautiful songs and touring together. Thank you, Fate! At the time I was learning all of this,Ā they hadn’t even released an official full-lengthĀ album yet, but they were giving away (for free!) a live recording of an entire show at Eddie’s Attic in Georgia. I downloaded the free version and and then bought their album as soon as it was released on iTunes. I encourage you to do the same. It is well worth it.

Joy William and John Paul White are a powerful duo. As with many of my favorite musicians, they don’t need an entire backup band to flush out their music, just listen toĀ ‘Falling’ (below) . While their style of music is different, they kind of remind me of The Swell Season with their enthralling vocal duets and downright captivating songs.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think many people know about this amazing duo yet, but I have a strong good feeling that they are going to get huge fast. And I thought that before VH1 put them on the “You Ougtta Know” List. See I told ya! Get hooked on this band now and watch them catapult to music stardom.

My Favorite Bromances

Geez…I’m a slacker! Sorry for the lack of posts recently! So this is an idea I’ve been kicking around for quite a while and I thought I’d be a nice little departure from the music.

Yes, I am a strange person. I say this for a multitude of reasons, but this is particularly relevant right now because I am about to unveil my love for Bromances. I couldn’t really tell you why I am so, endlessly amused by bromances, but for some reason I am. Please tell me I’m not the only one. A bromance is basically aĀ really, really close friendship between two guys. You could describe them kind of as plutonic soul mates, if you will.

Hollywood, in fictional movies/tv shows and in real life, has given us plenty of Bromances to say “Oh how cute!” about. Brad Pitt and George Clooney; Jason Segel and Paul Rudd in “I Love You, Man;” Ā Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law; Riggs and Murtaugh; even Hans Solo and Chewy! Those are all great examples, but here are my favorites:

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

My first bromantic love! I think these two are awesome. Not only are they Cambridge boys who still love to come back home, they have also been friends since they were kids. IĀ rememberĀ reading not long ago, that their families even go on vacation together. CUTE. Also, they are both wicked talented. Major points on the bromance scale. Haha. šŸ™‚

House and Wilson (House)

So, these guys may be fictional, but they are a perfect example of a bromance. I haven’t been keeping up with House like I used to, but my favorite scenes were always those between House and Wilson. They know each other better than anyone else and they aren’t afraid to call each other out when need be. A lot of times it seems like they don’t even like each other! It’s just tough love, friends. The last episode I saw this season featured Wilson climbing through a window (and getting stuck) Ā to check on House…and I really don’t think that was the first time it had happened.

Joshua Radin and Zach Braff

I am pretty sure that Joshua Radin and Zach Braff went to college together, and were maybe even roommates at one point (?). Zach put’s Joshua’s music in his TV shows and movies, and Joshua does cameos in those movies. It’s great. Also, they are really funny together. Please see the tweet below. Haha!

I love that they are Twitter friends now. We get to see awesome videos like this. They were justĀ hangingĀ out one night. Joshua pulled out his guitar, and Zach pulled out his camera. THIS is what resulted. Beautiful.

Joey and Chandler

Friends is one of those shows that I would catch on TV, but have never watched straight through. But, it doesn’t matter if you have watched one episode or all of them, it’s impossible to miss this bromance. Chandler is constantly taking care of Joey, and Joey declares that it is the “end of an era!” when Chandler decides to move out. Then when Monica and Chandler try to find a house together ChandlerĀ envisionsĀ a place with an apartment over the garage for Joey to live in. Heehee.

Colin Firth and Geoffery Rush

I base this claim wholly on the GIF below. I really need no further evidence to back it up. That is all.

Wayne & Garth (Wayne’s World)

How could I not add Wayne and Garth into the mix? The span from TV to movies, and they are hysterical! They can banter back and forth in their own 90s Dude language and it’s fantastic. I love them.

BONUS Three Way Bromances!

Ted, Marshall, and Barney (How I Met Your Mother)

I think this was a bromance that started just between Ted and Marshall bonding in the Fiero listening to ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ , but they, somewhat reluctantly, adopted Barney into their Bromance. The dude, got hit by a bus trying to reach Ted when he was supposedly hurt, I think he proved himself.

The Lone Gunmen (The X-Files)

My favorite trio of paranoid conspiracy theorist! These three guys stick together in life and death. ( šŸ˜¦ ) Each is totally different: Byers always buttoned up in suitĀ and tie, Langly with his scraggly blond hair, and Frohike…Frohike is just awesome, but they always have each others’ backs. I think they also shared a serious man crush on Mulder. Heehee.

So, if you didn’t think I was crazy before, I bet you do now, huh!? What do you think? Did I miss any key bromances?

Song of the Moment: Joshua Radin (Concert Edition)

Sorry this one took me so long to get up. It was a combination of a busy week and being overwhelmed by how much I wanted to say in this post! Anywho, here it goes:

This past Saturday I was lucky enough to see Joshua Radin for the second time at the House of Blues in Boston. It was AMAZING. I have been waiting to write this post since I first started this blog in the fall. I had been wanting to write a Joshua Radin Song of the Moment because he is after all, my favorite, but I knew I should hold back because I would be going to this concert. What does that mean? That means I have A LOT of thoughts wandering around in my head, but I don’t know how to even get it all out. So, I hope you can bear with me and I hope you enjoy it!

Before I dive right in though, a little shout out to Joshua’s opening acts Andrew Allen and Justin Nozuka. Nozuka seemed to have his own rabid pack of squealing teenage girls following him (this show was clearly not 18+. Haha), but it was Andrew Allen that really caught my attention. This newcomer (to the U.S. at least) had a great stageĀ presenceĀ and some really fun tunes. Keep a look out for his single Loving You Tonight hitting radios later in the spring. He’s worth a listen!

Now, getting to business. Joshua Radin. I don’t think that any musician’s work speaks to me the way his does. When I listen to his music I feel it deep in my soul. It’s a combination of poignant, poetic lyrics, lovely guitar melodies and hisĀ gorgeous voice. This man owns my heart. Seriously.

Is it just me, or is there something very appealing about him having his guitar slung on his back with his hands on his pocket? *Sigh* He is so pretty.

 

Joshua first made a name for himself with what many called ‘whisper rock.’ His first album is made up of songs composed of him quietly serenading with theĀ accompanimentĀ of his acoustic guitar. I’m not an expert or anything, but from what I can gather Joshua didn’t even learn how to play the guitar until a number of years after he graduated from college. He wrote his first song, Winter, and passed it on to his good buddy Zach Braff to have a listen.

 

Oh, how I love me a good bromance.

Braff was so impressed that a mere 3 weeks later Winter was featured on his show Scrubs and the song’s popularity skyrocketed. If the rumors are true, the NBC site crashed because so many people were trying to find out what that song was after the show!

Joshua Radin has only been doing this as a career for about six years and he has come so far! As much as he has grown as a musician since he first started, I really love those early songs from his ‘whisper rock’ era. Luckily on Saturday he played a number quieter songs…just him and his guitar… *Sigh* He makes me melt. He first came out on stage in a simple gray T-Shirt and knit winter hat (pom-pom and all!) with his acoustic guitar.

He began with the wonderful acoustic No Envy No Fear. Remind you of Buck and Wanda, Bones fans? šŸ˜‰

Following his next song Everything’ll Be Alright (which I was pleasantly surprised to hear), he brought out the band to kick it up a notch and play the title track off of his new album, The Rock and The Tide . (Again, Bones fans, I’m looking at you!) He continued to rock out, taking songs such as You Got What I Need and putting a whole new spin on it by the end of the song. Ā One of the things I adore about seeing Joshua Radin live is that he loves to tell stories about the songs he writes. It’s like he’s talking right to you, having a an honest conversation. He told a cute story about giving his nephew love advice and vice versa. He played and explained One of Those Days and before he could even finish telling the story of his next song I was bouncing up and down. I knew what was coming and I could barely contain my excitement.

He described waking up one morning and noticing that the pain from his last break up was starting to ease, he saw the sun shining through the window and knew he need to write a song. The result was the song that holds the honor of top played in my iTunes (by a landslide), a song that has tremendous sentimental meaning for me, Brand New Day. (The video below has a bonus of I’d Rather Be with You, which he also played. ) šŸ™‚

Whenever I am feeling lost, hopeless, lonely or just having a terrible day I can just listen to this song and it makes things better. The lyrics, for me, are a great reminder: “It’s a brand new day, for the first time in such, a long long time, I know I’ll be ok.” I love the lyrics in so many of Joshua Radin’s songs, but these are lyrics that I repeat to myself on a daily basis.

Radin continued on to play a fantastic show with a great mix of songs off of all three of his full length albums. Each and every one of them was exceptional. I know I say this a lot, but it’s true of everyone I say it about: he puts so much emotion into his music when he sings.Ā I love this thing he does where it sometimes sounds like by singing these lyrics he’s letting out a sigh ofĀ relief. You can tell he is so honest in what he is singing,Ā trulyĀ just putting what he is feeling right out there for everyone to hear. Both times I’ve seen him he’s talked about wanting to find love, how he can’t find girls and needs to take advice from his 9-year-old nephew. Um, hey there, Josh, I’m available! *CharmSmile*

Before I knew it, Joshua was headed off stage, but only for a brief moment. I already knew what Radin was going to play for his encore because he is sort of known for doing so, but it didn’t make it any less exciting. He announced that he was going to play the first song he ever learned to play on his guitar. I may have squealed just a little bit. I have a serious soft spot for covers so I get really, really excited when I know one is coming (an entire post in and of itself). Anyway, I knew full well that the first song he learned to play was Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright by Bob Dylan. What makes this even better is that Joshua Radin sometimes has an aversion to being mic-ed up and plugged in. I love it. It’s like he doesn’t want any barriers to what he’s playing. He wants the experience to be as unadulteratedĀ as possible.

He stepped back from the mic and unplugged his guitar and started belting out Don’t Think Twice, acoustic in every sense of the word. For a musician who is known for practically whispering some of his songs, this man a seriously powerful voice. I was lucky enough to be almost as close to the stage as possible, so I was able to score the video below. It’s not perfect, the camera is a bit shaky and the woman in front of me decides to yell something out when he walks to the opposite side of the stage, but I really think you should check it out. He just blows me away.

“Long story short, (Too late)”, this Joshua Radin show was everything I could have hoped for in a concert I had been looking forward to for so many months. I only wish he had played longer. If I could, I would relive a Joshua Radin concert everyday of my life. Now I have to deal with the fact hat the concert I had been waiting months for is over. I already can’t wait for him to come back!

Sorry, I know I got a little long-winded there, but I just love him so much. Just in case you couldn’t tell by now. šŸ˜‰ Thanks for sticking with me and I really hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

-T

Song of the Moment: Josh Ritter (Concert Edition)

And now for the main act! Josh Ritter’s Valentines Day Brawl was a very impressive two-hour set at the House of Blues in Boston on Friday night. As I mentioned in my last post, I had very few of his songs in my iTunes library, but I loved each of those songs and knew that if I passed this concert up, I would regret it. This was exceedingly clear when all of the Best of 2010 lists were coming out and I was seeing praises for his new album everywhere.Ā In preparation for the show I was able to get a hold of two of his albums and they were both great. I highly recommend his latest record, So Runs the World Away.

After Scott Hutchison’s fantastic performance I was keyed up and ready for more! Before Josh Ritter and the band even came out on stage, you could tell that he was set for a Valentine’s themed show. The stage, instruments, and microphones were all adorned with fake red roses. Not in a tacky way…in a sweetly romantic kind of way.

Josh RitterĀ steppedĀ on stage alone (looking quite dapper in a red collared shirt and gray vest) and played his first two songs solo. They were lovely, as was he. He is the kind of musician that you can tell is really happy to be there performing. He had a huge, bright smile on his face and just looked so happy to be there. After the first two acoustic songs, he invited the Royal City Band on stage to play some favorites off of the new album includingĀ The Curse to which he whimsically waltzed around the stage with his eyes closed.

Upon completion of The Curse, the band continued a play the delightful little melody,Ā while a stage hand came out on stage with a top hat. Josh explained that his website gave people the opportunity to express to their loved ones what they couldn’t in person. He took those messages and read them out on stage. Ā There were some silly jokes, sweet declarations of love, and appreciation of long-lasting friendship, as well as a heartbreaking message to soldier in town for a short amount of time. The one that really caught everyone’s attention though, was the one Ritter purposely saved for last. It was a heartfelt message to a loved one with the titles of Josh Ritter songs woven in. The message ended with “Will you marry me?” A moment after Ritter said, “I hope to hear the answer to that,” a man shouted from the crowd, “She said yes!” It was very sweet. šŸ™‚

After the valentines, the band kicked it up a notch and really started rocking out for a while. They jammed out to Rattling Locks in which most of the musicians in the band abandoned their regular instruments for two drumsticks to whack together, so everyone was essentially on percussion. I was pleasantly surprised by how well Josh Ritter paced the set. Not only did he play for an entire two hours, which, with the exception of Bruce Springsteen, I have seen very few musicians do, but he was also able to go from quiet, folksy numbers that featured him picking at his guitar to full-blown rock numbers that involved the whole band, such as Real Long Distance as seen below in a fun little ‘homemade’ video. (You may have to open a new tab and watch it in YouTube. Sorry about that.)

Towards the end of the set, Josh played what I have decided is my favorite of his songs, The Temptation of Adam.Ā I love everything about this song. I love the guitar and the story woven into the lyrics. In general this is something I find very impressive about Josh Ritter’s music. He has a talent for telling intricate and interesting stories within his lyrics. For other prime examples, listen to To the Dogs or Whoever and his new, wry song Sir Galahad, both of which he played at this show. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I can tell you about what the Temptation of Adam is about exactly. I think there are many ways of interpreting it, but you can see the interesting the debate its sparked just from reading the comment on the videos YouTube page. Here’s a really great all acoustic version of The Temptation of Adam:

For his final performance he brought Scott Hutchison back out on stage to sing the Everly Brothers song, Stories We Could Tell. It was a fun way to end the show. You could really tell that each performer was having a great time, and it was awesome to see them share the stage (and the mic!) especially after I watched Scott rocking out to Ritter’s set back stage. šŸ™‚

I think one of the most important things I took from this concert is that IĀ definitelyĀ need more of Josh Ritter’s music! I thought I had the essentials, but he played a number of songs that were very obviously fan favorites that I’d never heard before. He’s a versatile and a talented performer, who you can tell loves what he’s doing. I am so glad I took the opportunity to see him live! Lesson learned: never pass up a concert because you don’t have a concert buddy!

Thanks for reading! My next post is going to be about one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE artists, Joshua Radin and his amazing show on Saturday night. Can’t wait!

-T

Song of the Moment: Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit (Concert Edition)

Wow. Where to even begin? My concert filled weekend began with the first of two shows at the House of Blues, Scott Hutchison of the band Frightened Rabbit and Josh Ritter. I was initially interested in this concert because I had a few of Josh Ritter’s tunes and loved them, and I kept reading about how amazing his newest album was. I was hesitant though. I didn’t have much of his music and I couldn’t find a concert buddy. Well, not long after tickets when I sale I learned that Scott Hutchison was going to open and my decision was made. I didn’t care that I was going to end up going alone. I was introduced to Frightened Rabbit not long ago by a Music Buddy, but I loved every single song of that this Scottish band had to offer. To think…I almost passed this concert up.

This could be a doozy, so I think I am going to spilt Friday night’s show up into two posts…it really was like two concerts in one. We will, of course, start with the opener. Scott Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit.

I know you don't really get to see them, but this is my favorite Frightened Rabbit pic!

First of all, I was pleasantly surprised when the show actually started on time! I don’t think I have ever been to a concert that has started on time. Bravo, House of Blues! Scott Hutchison came out on stage…just him and his acoustic guitar. As I’ve discussed in this blog before, seeing musicians sans back up band somehow makes it all ten times better for me. For me the music is more…pure. It almost feels more full of emotion and straight from the heart. I really enjoy when music is stripped to its most basic and beautiful form.

He opened with my very favorite Frightened Rabbit song, Old Old Fashioned.

After that song he announced that he didn’t have a set list, he would be taking all requests from the audience. How awesome is that!? He had a very laid back and casual attitude about it and that made his set feel so organic. He played a great line up of songs that theĀ audienceĀ suggested, hitting most of my favorites including Swim Until You Can’t See Ā Land, seen here in a very cool video of Frightened Rabbit on the beach.

At one point Scott briefly forgot the lyrics to Nothing Like You and elicited help from theĀ audience. One guy yelled out the lyrics that came next and Scott goes, “What’d you say?” and then proceeded to play again once he got the lyrics straight. Ā It just made him even more endearing for some reason. He was very humble about it all. He then he announced that he a cover song to play.

A little background on this: Scott had tweeted from the Frightened Rabbit account that he was going to be playing a cover at every show in the tour and he wanted suggestions. I tweeted back saying that any song by Springsteen would be AMAZING. I honestly didn’t think he’d pay any attention and I always go straight to Bruce when people want to know what covers I would want to hear. Well, I don’t know if someone else requested Springsteen as well, but when Scott started playingĀ I’m Goin’ Down, one of my favorite tunes by The Boss, I nearly hyperventilated…really. I seriously could not contain my happiness! It was such a great moment for me.

After the entire show was all said and done I bee-lined it for the merch table to see if I could talk to him. We shook hands and I thanked him for playing a great set and for playing the Springsteen song. I TALKED TO HIM. Guys, we already know I am easily excited by simple things. This was a musician that I LOVE and I got to talk to him and shake his hand. I was trembling!

That 45 minutes that Scott Hutchison played was worth the cost of the ticket right there, but he was just the support at this concert! What an awesome night! šŸ™‚ Stay tuned for the next installment of Song of the Moment: Concert Edition, for the main act!

Thanks for reading!

-T

Actors I’m Proud Of

Maybe this is just me being weird, but does anyone else ever growĀ attachedĀ to celebrities early in their careers, and then as they get more and more famous, start to feel proud of them? I find myself doing this a lot. I root for them and tell people they have to see this person and they once they skyrocket into fame I get all territorial over them. Part of me is really happy that they’ve gotten more popular and that the rest of the world understands my love for them, but another part of me is like, “No! I loved them first!” I’m not an idiot- I know other people probably appreciated their acting long before I did, but I just can’t help it!

Most recently, this has happened with Andrew Garfield.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the new Spider-Man!

With all of the buzz about The Social Network, Oscar snubs, and Spider-Man, I keep finding myself wanting to claim him as my own. “I loved him first!” Haha! (Now might be a good time to mention that I am not as crazy as this blog and Twitter make me sound. I promise!) I first discovered Andrew Garfield in Doctor Who, one of my very favorite shows. The episode he was in wasn’t great, but I couldn’t get that cute face out of my head. I grewĀ attachedĀ right then and there!

In Doctor Who

Part of the Doctor Who ensemble. David Tennant and Andrew Garfield standing next to each other? *Squeeee*

The Social Network

What other actors am I proud of, you ask?

Let’s continue the trend of Doctor Who alums with Carey Mulligan.

As Sally Sparrow in Doctor Who

Unlike Andrew Garfield’s Doctor Who debut, Carey Mulligan was the star of what is often recognized as one of the best episodes of the new series. The episode was soley focused on her character, and she carried it beautifully. She deserves all of the fame that has been coming to her, namely through the critically acclaimed, ‘An Education.’

In 'An Education'

Bonus! Andrew Garfield and Carey Mulligan were in 'Never Let Me Go' together. Can't wait to see it!

Next up, Ryan Gosling.

Little Ryan Gosling in 'Remember the Titans'

When ‘Remember the Titans’ came out when I was in middle school, and like any middle school girls, my friends and I all picked our favorites off of the football team. Right away, my favorite was the adorkable Alan played by the now swoon worthy Gosling. He has been making quite a name for him self with fan favorites like ‘The Notebook’ and other notable films such as ‘Half Nelson,’ ‘Fracture,’ ‘Lars And the Real Girl,’ and most recently, ‘Blue Valentine.’

Ryan Gosling in 2010

Ryan Gosling in 2010

We’ll finish up with a 2011 Oscar nominee, Mark Ruffalo.

'My Life Without Me'

I first saw Mark Ruffalo years ago in a film called ‘My Life Without Me.’ To be honest, I haven’t seen it since my firstĀ viewing, but I do remember being kind of blown away by it. It was one of those movies that just kind of stuck with me. Ā I obviously loved Mark Ruffalo in the movie, and was excited every time I saw him after that. I love him in everything from ’13 Going on Thirty’ and ‘Just Like Heaven’ to ‘Shutter Island.’ Even though I didn’t like the movie, he also did a fabulous acting job in ‘The Kids are Alright.’

'The Kids are Alright'

Well, that just about sums it up I think. It’s so great that all of these fantastic actors are getting the recognition they deserve!!! (But I loved them first!) Sorry, I had to sneak that in there one last time. šŸ˜‰

Thanks for reading!!

-T

Song of the Moment: ‘Comfort’

If you are reading this, you are undoubtedly aware of my current Dawson’s Creek endeavor. Don’t worry- it’s only temporary. I am almost finished with the series. Haha. Well, as I was excitedly watching Pacey and Joey’s first real kiss (I’m not counting that Season 1 debacle), I had just enough clarity of mind left to vaguely hear a familiar voice singing in the background. Upon a second viewing, and if we are being perfectly honest here…maybe a third, I confirmed that Deb Talan’s song ‘Comfort’ was playing during the Pacey/Joey kiss that I had been waiting 3 seasons to see. And it was perfect…in this episode at least.

Be still my shipper heart.

 

Just for the record, I know I am about 10 years behind the rest of the world, and I act like I’m 12. Ok, now that that is cleared up, moving on…

I love it when I rediscover songs that I already own and fall in love with them all over again. I have so much music, that it actually happens quite often. That is what happened with me and ‘Comfort’. I’ve always really love The Weepies despite only having a few of their songs, ‘World Spins Madly On’ being on my top played list in iTunes. The Weepies is Deb’s current band which is basically made up of her and her husband.

How adorable are they?!

To make it even better, they met because they were both playing gigs in Cambridge. Yeah, Boston!

It wasn’t until early in the fall of 2010 that I saw The Weepies live (fantastic show, by the way), and consequentially discovered Deb’s solo stuff. My concert buddy insisted that I listen to the music Deb came out with prior to The Weepies, and I’m glad I did. As Concert Buddy pointed out, Deb’s solo music was all about searching for love and trying to find the right guy, while songs by The Weepies are very often about having found that love. Say it with me, “Awwwww!” I think the progression of that is wonderful to listen to. Not to mention the fact that Ā it gives this hopelessĀ romanticĀ some faith in the real world. šŸ™‚

So, have a listen to my favorite of Deb Talan’s solo album, A Bird Flies Out; the song that Dawson’s Creek so kindly reintroduced me to: ‘Comfort’

“So cry, why not? We all do. And turn to one you love and a smile a smile that lights up all the room.”

Special thanks to @MaliBearsBuddy for editing that first picture!! šŸ™‚Ā Thanks for reading!!

TTFN

-T

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