Monday, December 31, 2012

Nerina Pallot - This Will Be Our Year

Hope your New Year's celebration is off to a great start!  I think 2013 will be our year, fiscal cliff not withstanding!  Nerina Pallot's song captures the optimism perfectly.

Happy New Year to everyone!!!! I hope that 2013 is a blessed year for you!!!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dido - Mary's in India

Born Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong, she grew up being called Dido by her family.  In The Guardian, when she was interviewed in 2001, she says this about her name:
To be called one thing and christened another is actually very confusing and annoying.  It's one of the most irritating things that my parents did to me. I'm still irritated by it. Florian is a German man's name. That's just mean. To give your child a whole lot of odd names. They were all so embarrassing.  I thought it was cruel to call me Dido and then expect me to just deal with it.
 You can read the rest of the interview by clicking here.

Mary's in India is a pretty interesting song.  I guess the object lesson from this song is that , if you go on a long trip, don't ask your friend to look after your boyfriend.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.




If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ke$ha - C'Mon

A song from Ke$ha's new album, Warrior.  It's a good album, though not quite as good as the first.  I miss the liberal use of Auto-tune that made the first one so memorable.  However, she does not disappoint with great lyrics that are light-hearted and filled with double entendres.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Keith Urban - Making Memories of Us

I like country music because the genre emphasizes lyrics over the accompanying music.  Each song is a story and Keith Urban's music certainly fits that criteria.  His songs are well-written and sung in a manner that allows for the song, rather than the personality, to play center stage.

He has had so many hit songs that it makes it difficult to just pick one.  I think Making Memories of Us is my favorite.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy his music!!!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tanita Tikaram - Light Up My World

Tanita Tikaram is one of those artists who have a cult following but never made it big for some reason or another.  She's had eight studio albums and one compilation album of her greatest hits as well.  I've never heard her on US radio but love her music and hope you do as well.

The Cappuccino Songs is an album from 1998 and arguably her best work.  Light Up My World is from that album and one of my favorites.  She's released a new album this year titled Can't Go Back.  I'll report back on what I think of the new songs!

In the mean time, the video below contains music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Phil Collins - Do You Remember?

I think it is easy to forget that Phil Collins was a serious artist with a string of hit songs and albums when all one ever hears is his Disney music.  I cannot get the Tarzan soundtrack out of my head when I see a picture of Phil Collins!!

Anyway, this song is just one of my favorites.  While I love his group, Genesis, I like the different style of the songs he performs as a solo artist as well.  Sometimes you want rock and other times you want pop music, with the horn section and other embellishments that he adds in his own music.  This one is a little quieter than most of his solo work but the simple arrangement goes well with mood.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy his music!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Lights - Pretend

Lights is a Canadian singer-songwriter.  According to Wikipedia, she was born Valerie Anne Poxleitner but legally changed her name to Lights when she turned eighteen.

Regardless of name choices, I think she's exceptionally talented.  I've not heard her once on a US radio station which is insane!!!  In any case, she has three albums, all of which are very listenable and have some great songs.  It was hard to pick just one but this is one of my favorites.  Hope you like it!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Imogen Heap - Hide & Seek

Interesting song from Imogen Heap, not that she does anything but interesting songs.  Hide & Seek's music drew me in but it's the lyrics that are most interesting.  Though I've not been able to confirm it anywhere, a blogger on Inspire The Grind stated that Imogen Heap told her that the "song was about her father getting a new wife and how she felt estranged from him because of that relationship."

Some of the lines are classic like "the dust has only just begun to form crop circles in the carpet" or "oily marks appear on walls where pleasure moments hung before."  But I wish I knew what she's referencing when she mentions "trains and sewing machines."

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Feist - Graveyard

Canadian sing-songwriter Feist has had a lot of albums and great songs over the last 13 years or so.  If you've not heard of Feist, you may have heard her most popular song, 1234, from The Reminder (2007).  I think it was featured on an Apple commercial which definitely means it was a great song!!

Graveyard is from her most recent album, Metals (2011).  It is a little dark and I'm not sure what it means but that's never stopped me from enjoying a song.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Vanbot - Lost Without You


I love this song from Vanbot (what a really cool name!!). I think she has some of the best synth pop music out there. Very catchy and easy on the ears.  She only has one album and is currently working on her next - cannot wait!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Brandi Carlile - Rise Again

Great song from Brandi Carlile's fifth album, Bear Creek (2012).  Falling "like rain only to rise again" is an uplifting sentiment and she has a powerful voice that delivers the song really well.  The majority of the songs on the album are excellent but this one is my personal favorite.  I think this album is her best work to date with the most consistent quality in songs.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Ross Copperman - All She Wrote

Good song by Ross Copperman. All She Wrote is from his second album, Welcome to Reality (2007).  He's had five albums in total, all fairly good with some great songs.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy his music!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Passenger - What You're Thinking (feat. Josh Pyke)

Passenger was originally a five-person group that released an album in 2007.  Unfortunately, the band dis-banded and Mike Rosenberg decided to continue a solo act using the group name.  It's fortunate that the band was not named Passengers, or he would have had to find some others to fit the plural!

In any case, he's released four separate albums as a solo artist, all of which are very good.  I have a hard time picking my favorite since it depends on my mood.  Hopefully, you like this one as much as I do!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy his music!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Radio Dept. - We Made the Team

A song for anyone who didn't make the team. I cannot tell you why I like this song but I just do, despite the scary album cover on their greatest hits!!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Band of Horses - I Go to the Barn Because I Like the

I like this song a lot for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the unusual title.  It's not a mistake...or at least it isn't mine.  This is the actual title of the song.  I wonder what the singer likes in the barn. It's a cliff-hanger!

In any case, I love when Ben Bridwell sings "I'd like to think I'm the mess you'd wear with pride." I think it's a love song that talks about being accepted for who you are.

Band of Horses has four full length studio albums and a single EP.  I Go to the Barn Because I Like the is from their first album titled Everything All the Time.  I would say it's their best album and also includes their best known song, The Funeral.  If you haven't heard it, listen to it!

The video below contains the music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lykke Li - Little Bit

This is a great song by Lykke Li from her first album, Youth Novels.  I really like the music - it's great to hear on headphones.  And the sentiment is not an unusual one.  After all, no one wants to admit to being in love first in a relationship!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lissie - Everywhere I Go

One of my favorites - a song by Lissie from her album, Catching a Tiger.  Great song that captures the feeling that no one is ever truly alone and someone is always there to help!  If you like this song, you'll love the entire album.

The video below  isn't mine but does such a good job of providing the lyrics that I thought it best to share it.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Youth Lagoon - Montana

I think this song is about the end of a relationship (aren't they all about the beginning or the end of a relationship?).  It doesn't sound like a particularly nice ending as described by the lyrics:
Your honesty was killing me...The monsters in the room were all dancing to the music all around us 
I don't understand the reference to the "spirit" in Montana but love the end of the song where he sings:
As I walked slowly down your driveway to my car, I looked back and turned into salt...a pillar with a hat.
Though he was commanded to leave, does he suffer the same punishment as Lot's wife, who turns into a pillar of salt when she turned around as she left Sodom because she expressly violates God's command?   At least he is still styling, since he is a pillar with a hat!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land

Great song - one of Frightened Rabbitt's best!  I think it's about moving on and letting go of the past, rather than getting mired in it and dwelling on old issues.

In any case, the video with music and lyrics are below.



If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ayo - Down On My Knees

Great song by Ayo!  Down On My Knees is from her debut album, Joyful (2006).  She has had two subsequent albums that have done fairly well.  

I think this song has one of the best lines ever:
I gave you even more than I had to give....I was willing for you to die
Giving something you don't have does not seem quite like a sacrifice!

The video below contains music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Santigold - The Riot's Gone

Santi White performed under the stage name Santogold until 2010, when she change her name to Santigold instead.  Apparently, an 1980's performer named Santo Gold was not thrilled with the use of the name and took legal action.

In any case, she's had two albums.  The Master of My Make-Believe is her most recent and was released this year.  It has several really good songs as well as a very interesting album cover.  Of the songs, I like The Riot's Gone the best.

The video below contains music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ellie Goulding - I Need Your Love (feat. Calvin Harris)

Ellie Goulding's first album, Lights, is one of my favorite albums and showcased a great voice coupled with excellent song-writing.  Naturally, I've been waiting for the follow-up album.

Halcyon is good but not great.  I don't think the songs are quite as good as the ones that comprise Lights.  There are so few artists who have been able to transcend a great debut album and get better with each work.  On the positive the production quality is excellent on every song.  However, there is a still a lot of coo-ing and vocal gymnastics that get in the way.  All of the songs are enjoyable but few are memorable.  I Need Your Love is one of my favorites off the album.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Joshua Radin - I'd Rather Be With You

I'd Rather Be With You is from Joshua Radin's 2008 album titled Simple Times, a most excellent collection of songs. I'm not sure where I read it but someone termed his music "whisper rock" and I think it fits.

I like most songs by Joshua Radin.  He's a very talented songwriter with a talent for writing songs that are in hot demand for television and movies.  Wikipedia says that his songs have been used at least 75 times in film and TV placements and Wikipedia is never wrong, right?

In any case, I really like the music a lot and cannot understand why all of the commercial use doesn't translate to greater popularity and more radio airplay.  It is a shame.  I'm a fan and I completely missed the fact that he released a new album over the summer (I will listen and report back!).

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy his music!!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cat Stevens - Don't Be Shy

I was listening to Cat Stevens the other day and was amazed at how well his music still sounds.  He has so many good songs and they truly are timeless.  It's all the more impressive when one considers all the songs that are playing currently on the radio - I wonder just how many will still be relevant twenty years from now.

Don't Be Shy is a song from the early 1970's, originally part of the movie soundtrack for Harold and Maude.  If you have not seen the movie, it may be well worth the time.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy his music!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Massive Attack - Paradise Circus

Great song by Massive Attack.  I think the song is about giving into one's desires regardless of the consequences and just saying, "Oh well, the devil makes us sin but we like it when we're spinning in his grip."

What a scary album cover!!  If you don't have clown phobias, the picture will definitely help you in developing an aversion to clowns.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kasabian - Days Are Forgotten

Interesting song - background vocals remind me of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song.    Days Are Forgotten is from their fourth album,  Velociraptor!  It was a good album that charted well in Europe but for some reason seemed to fizzle on the US charts.

Please see video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Milo Greene - Perfectly Aligned

This is a really simple and beautiful song by Milo Greene, a rock group from California.  None of the members of the group are named Milo Greene.  Instead, it sounds like Milo Greene was a fictitious character that the group created to promote their music.  Read more about that here at jambase.com.

I think the cover for their self-titled album is pretty cool - the stuff of nightmares!!

The video below contains music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Biffy Clyro - Many of Horror

Biffy Clyro is a Scottish band that's been around since the mid-nineties.  Many of Horror is from their fifth album, Only Revolutions.  It's quite good with intelligent songs that are dark in nature.  

I think Many of Horror speaks of an abusive relationship evidenced by the line "cause when my back is turned, my bruises shine."  At first, it sounded like a parent/child relationship but I think it's about man who is abused by his partner.  In any case, I'm not sure what "Gilligan's eyes" means - if there is any relationship to the old television show, Gilligan's Island, I cannot see it.

The video below contains the music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jónsi - Sinking Friendships

This song held my attention from the moment I first heard it - definitely interesting but I'm not sure that I have all the lyrics down correctly. Jónsi's vocalizations make it difficult to identify some of the words.  Searching on the Internet didn't help a lot either.  One line especially puzzles me: Nigh misfortune...unlively like a glue.  It's what almost every website that specializes in song lyrics state are the words but I'm not convinced.

I think the song is about the impermanence of friendships (not much deep thing required there when considering the song title).  More importantly, in his line, "Our sinking friendships...We drown them all," I think he's singing that relationships end through our own actions/inactions that drive people away.  It's sad but true - how many lifelong friendships ever exist or is it really just an oxymoron?  Maybe friendship is a transient thing that changes over a period of time and "we should wear two lifesaving layers...since no one knows you till it's over...you know no one true till it's over."  I'd like to think that's not the case!

I don't know much about Jónsi except that he is from Iceland.  I must have a soft spot for music coming out of there, given that I love Of Monsters and Men and The Sugarcubes so much!

Below is the video containing music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy his music!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi - Two Against One

Two Against One is a song from Rome, an album collaboration from Danger Mouse and Danielle Luppi.  The song features Jack White on vocals.  It's a great song, definitely one of the better ones on the album.   There are some great lines on there like "I keep my enemies closer than my mirror ever gets to me."  One can feel the complete self-hatred the person has for himself - it's rough when you lose arguments to yourself!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Little Dragon - Twice

I like this song by the group, Little Dragon, though I'm not completely sure what it means.  My best guess is that singer has fallen in love twice based on the line where she sings that she "thought [she] had an answer once but your random ways swept me along"  and is now confused by the turn of events.

I found the official video to be clever and entertaining but not all that useful in providing more clarity about the lyrics.  While it tells a story, I'm not convinced it's the story that the lyrics convey.  You can find that video here.

The video below contains the music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jason Walker - Midnight Starlight

It's hard to choose just one of Jason Walker's songs as a favorite.  I don't think there is a single song of his that I don't like.  He's only had two albums but both are excellent and I highly recommend them.

Midnight Starlight is representative of his music.  All the songs are filled with intelligent lyrics and great accompanying music - he's truly gifted!!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artist and buy his music!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Book - Life Of Pi (2003)

Life of Pi by Yann Martel was an interesting read.  I started reading it before I knew that a movie based on the novel was coming.  If I had known, I would have read it much earlier, since everyone knows that only really good books get made into movies (sarcasm intended).

The author’s introduction raises the reader’s expectations, at least indirectly, by having one of the characters state that this is “a story that will make you believe in God.”  I’m not sure that this story convinced me one way or the other but it kept my attention.  I tried hard to keep spoilers from being part of the summary – there are flashbacks and interludes to the present that make the story non-linear.  Even so, I will be sparing with the details.  The book is separated into three parts.


Part One was the most enjoyable section for me and takes place in India, mostly in the territory of Pondicherry (or now called Puducherry).  This was a former French territory that is now part of India and still retains some vestiges of French colonization.  The reader is introduced to Piscine (Pi) Patel and the narrative runs through zoo-keeping, religions, Indian history, regional cuisines and many other fascinating topics.  It was engaging and connects the unlikely dots through which Pi becomes a practicing Hindu, Christian and Muslim.  And, yes, we do get an explanation for why the main character is named Piscine.

Part Two was a study in survival techniques onboard a raft in the Pacific and can be quite gruesome in some parts.  The monotony of being a castaway adrift on the Pacific and surviving for seven months or so with one other companion (Richard Parker) is an unbelievable tale that is made possible through the vivid detail given by Martel.  While the monotony and repetition bled into the reading experience, it was a necessary device to ensure that the reader shared in the pain.

Part Three was the section least interesting to me.  The eventual landfall and investigation seemed like a bolt-on to allow Martel to envelop the story in symbolism and make this larger than itself  - a choice of stories that gives the atheist and the religious something to grasp and leaves the agnostic purposely without answers, as the author believes is deserved.  As Pi says, “It is not the atheists who get stuck in my craw but agnostics…to choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.”  However, I think the conclusion falls flat and is not as powerful as it should have been, for two reasons:
  • The criticism against agnostics is harsh.  Ask any woman who has been trapped with a man who will not stop to ask for directions when lost and she will tell you that movement for the sake of moving is worthless - far better to stop and get more information.  The agnostic may simply be waiting for more information.
  • Martel's allegory has Pi providing two separate stories which means one is patently false.  It's a poor representation of searching for truth from multiple sources, all of which may contain some part of the truth.
While I was drawn to the religious discourse through the book, I found the possibility of a Hindu who also became a practicing Christian and Muslim more difficult to believe than some of the other parts of this tale.  I do not believe that one can pick and choose parts of a religion and still be an adherent.  If idolatry is proscribed by both Christianity and Islam, how can one still be either of those and also be Hindu?  I once met an Indian physicist who claimed to be both Christian and Hindu - I walked away from the conversation thinking that he drew spiritual insights from both religions but could not honestly be called a follower of one or both.  I think adding in a third religion in the mix is beyond my ability to suspend disbelief. 

In any case, I truly enjoyed reading the Life of Pi.  I learned a lot from it and hope that I have it with me if I ever find myself floating on the Pacific in a raft or need to train a tiger for a circus.  I would strongly recommend the book.  It's very entertaining; however, I don't believe this is a book that will change your life, regardless of the hype you may hear based on the movie.

If you liked the review, please support the author and buy the book!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The xx - Chained

Chained is from The xx's second album, Coexist.  I really like this song a lot, especially the back and forth between Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim.

The entire album has a minimalist approach in terms of music that makes the lyrics all the more important.  A truly enjoyable experience!!

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like song, please support the artist and buy their music!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Oh Land - White Nights

Nanna Øland Fabricius is a Danish songwriter who goes by the stage name "Oh Land."  The song reminds me of dream-filled nights that seem so active that you hardly feel like you've slept when you awake in the morning.

In an interview on buzzine.com (click here to view), Oh Land says that the song is "specifically about New York, and that song is about those nights where you just don’t want to go to sleep because there’s just too much to take in, too much inspiration, and the police car sirens and the noise and the traffic almost get like a mythological meaning and a call, like the sailor and the sea."

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Guster - This Could All Be Yours

I'm not familiar with Guster's entire body of work and have only heard the latest, Easy Wonderful, which was released in 2010.  They have been around since the mid-90's and have six studio albums.

This is one of my favorites from Easy Wonderful, though there are several other very good songs on it as well.  Interesting lyrics on this one include "Opportunity, the Americany Dream...Its superstars are the arteries and veins that feed your heart."  It doesn't appear to make the statement that "this could all be yours" a positive one.  


The video below contains the music and lyrics.



If you like the song, please support the artists and buy their music!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stateless - Bloodstream

I love this song but it's addictive.  I cannot listen to it just once.  The song stays in my head for days, weeks and months on end.  I guess it literally gets into your bloodstream!

I think the disjointed music goes well with the lyrics, showing the singer is off balance as a result of this person who has ensorceled him.

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy their music!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Charlene Soraia - Bipolar

I like this song from Charlene Soraia.  It's quite funny until one considers the fact that there are some for whom this is the truth.  Then it's quite sad.  For some strange reason, the song reminds me of Madonna's Papa Don't Preach - maybe it's the "keeping my baby" chorus?

Please see the video below for music and lyrics.


If you like the song, please support the artist and buy her music!!