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? 🙂 

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  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. People were talking about how great this new band was. I probed further, and found out that Joy Williams and John Paul White met kind of in a chance encounter in 2009. Now they are writing beautiful songs and touring together. Thank you, Fate! At the time I was learning all of this, they hadn’t even released an official full-length 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 to ‘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.

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 the audience suggested, hitting most of my favorites including Swim Until You Can’t See  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 the 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.  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 playing 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! 🙂 Stay tuned for the next installment of Song of the Moment: Concert Edition, for the main act!

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  it gives this hopeless romantic some faith in the real world. 🙂

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!! 🙂 Thanks for reading!!

TTFN

-T

Song of the Moment: Freelance Whales (Concert Edition)

A week ago tonight, I went to see the band Freelance Whales at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge.

They were even cuter in real life. Hard to believe, huh?

You may have seen that I had a bit of a crisis that night. I found out earlier in the afternoon that they weren’t going on until 11:30pm, which is pretty late on a work night and …. it was the a BIG Bones night. I toyed with the idea of not going, but in the end I obviously decided to go, and I couldn’t be happier with that decision.

I have to admit, I don’t think I had ever heard of this band before I was invited to the concert, but I rarely turn down the chance to see a live show. Luckily, it turns out Freelance Whales are pretty awesome and after listening to their album, Weathervanes, a few times I just couldn’t wait to see them perform.

Before the concert I listened to their music nonstop. I like to try and know my stuff when I go see a band live. After listening for a couple of days, I knew that they reminded me of something but I couldn’t quite figure it. Finally, it came to me. Freelance Whales are kind of like a mix between Sufjan Stevens and The Postal Service. For the record, I thought of that all by myself before I checked the wikipedia page…which would have been the smart thing to do in the first place. Haha. I also almost think what Freelance Whales has is what Owl City has been striving for. Their musical arrangements are interesting, multilayered, and unique. It’s fun stuff to listen to, but it also lingers with you for awhile. I found myself actually thinking about this music long after I turned it off.

The band played every song that included vocals off their album. Weathervanes may be their only album to date, but it’s a great one. It even came in at #29 on Paste Magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2010 (The entire list is great, by the way). It ranked better than Girl Talk’s ‘All Day’ and She & Him’s ‘Volume Two.’ Whoa (Horse)! It is easy for me to hear why.

My last concert recap was over the top, like the band I went to see, but this was more of a traditional ‘Tory concert’. It was in a small venue and featured nothing but the musicians and their instruments. (Well, that’s a tiny lie…there was a bubble maker roaming the crowd at one point. 🙂 ) It was also the type of show where you could enjoy the company you were with. It was an all around fun time hanging out with some great friends and listening to some awesome music. This was a much better representation of my usual concert going experience. Low on the theatrics, but still amazing performances.

I leave you with this. A great performance of one of my favorite songs on the album, Generator ^ Second Floor.

As always, thank you for reading. 🙂

TTFN

-T

Song of the Moment: ‘Steady Shock’

In celebration of the new Girl Talk album coming out, my Song of the Moment is called ‘Steady Shock’ off of All Day.

Never heard of Girl Talk? Let me enlighten you. Girl Talk is just some skinny white guy that takes songs from every genre imaginable (rap, R&B, classic rock, pop, etc.) and smooshes them all together into one EPIC mashup.

Gregg Michael Gillis AKA Girl Talk 'performing' at a concert.

Girl Talk is absolutely a departure from my usual taste in music. While there are definitely some exceptions, I don’t usually listen to rap or R&B. Also, I normally tend to steer clear of music with extensive profanity; I’m just not a swearer. However, when I turn on Girl Talk I just can’t seem to turn it off. It totally cheers me up. So, if you are feeling apprehensive about listening, just give it a chance. I don’t expect everyone to like it, because I know that not everyone will, but I think it is worth a shot. I never in a million years thought I would be jamming out to this, but here I am. 🙂

This new album blows my mind. He mixes rap, R&B, and pop with the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Electric Light Orchestra, Blue Oyster Cult, and…wait for it…BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. This is why ‘Steady Shock’ wins the title of Song of the Moment. Pretty much anything that involves The Boss is an A+ in my book. My love for the Bruce is deeply embedded, and I am sure he will make a debut on Song of the Moment, but right now, it’s Girl Talk I can’t turn off.

‘Steady Shock,’ and the rest of the songs on the album, are really meant to be listened to all as one, not as separate tracks. But ‘Steady Shock’ has The Boss! (Did I mention that yet? Haha). I love how Gillis manages to weave seamlessly between musical genres making it seem like they were meant to be mashed together. It really amazes me. So, without any further ado, have a listen to the crazy entertainment that is ‘Steady Shock by Girl Talk.

Want the new album all for yourself? Download for free here straight from the record label: http://illegal-art.net/allday/

TTFN

-T

Song of the Moment: ‘My Hands Are Shaking

So, something I think that I would like to do in this blog is have a little music segment. True confession: I am a music hoarder. I LOVE all of my music, but I have over 6,000 songs and hundreds that I haven’t even listened to yet…and I just keep getting more. The way I think of it though, is that of all of the crappy things out there that I could be addicted to, music is a pretty good choice. Don’t ya think?

Often times, end up obsessing over one artist or even one song and listen to it over and over again. I think this blog will be a good venue to share my current song obsessions. So, the plan is to have a “Song of the Moment” on a weekly basis at least, maybe more often depending on when the mood strikes.
The first song I am going to start with is the song from which this blog gets it’s name. That name being “My Love is So Articulate, but I Am Such A Mess.” The song itself is called ‘My Hands are Shaking’ by the fabulous Sondre Lerche. If you’ve never hear of him, look him up! (Have you ever seen ‘Dan in Real Life’? He did all of the music for that). He’s fantastic! My good friend and I have this term: Pocket Person. Sondre Lerche is a Pocket Person.

Such a Pocket Person!

He so little and cute that I just want to put him in my pocket and carry him around with me. Then I could pull him out and he could serenade me whenever I wanted. Fellow Pocket People include Tim Gunn, Neil Patrick Harris, and Clinton Kelly (even though he’s not so little). Oh, ahem, yeah, sorry– back to the actual music.
I love this song. I’ve had the lyrics up on my Faceboook page for as long as I can remember. Want some insight into my psyche? Listen to these verses:
“My head is where it’s always been, if only I knew where. My feet can’t stand the ground no more, it seems that I don’t care.”
and
“My heart is pounding yes, yes, yes. My mind just second guess. My love is so articulate, but I am such a mess.”
I don’t know that there’s anything better to describe me than that last line. I totally relate. I know what I love, and I love those things, people, and ideals with some serious gusto, but on the outside, I just seem like a crazy mess. My love is articulate, but by words and expression of that love isn’t always. Maybe blogging will help me get better at that?
I also love that it’s just Sondre and his acoustic guitar. I’m a sucker for a guy and an acoustic guitar.
Like that? Check out some more of his stuff I would recommend the following songs (in no particular order):
– Anything on the ‘Dan in Real Life’ Soundtrack
-Stupid Memory
– Two Way Monologue
– Heartbeat Radio
– The Tape
– Phantom Punch
– Sleep on Needles
(P.S. Sorry all of the paragraphs are smooshed together. I am working on figuring out how to not let that happen!)
TTFN.
-T