I know I’ve been a little absent on the blog at the start of this year but, some of us roar into the New Year and some of us recover from the flurry of activity at the end of the last year. Oh, and getting our books in order from 2012 was a bit of a deterrent to our brains feeling creative at all. It’s like a hurry scurry little mouse darting every which way on its path to discovery that finds itself in spilled molasses. That is when you have to crank some tunes, shake off the stick and get the blood flowing again.
I stumbled across George Maple late one night while driving home from a picking trip. Coming back into the Boston area around 1am, I switched over to our local college radio station, 88.9 WERS from Emerson College. Apparently ‘ERS has an Australian Radio Hour, who knew? Although she’s not Australian, I was introduced to her soulful British voice and immediately Shazamed the track and purchased it. When I got home I went on iTunes and was greatly disappointed to see this was the only track currently available but mark my words, this is an artist to watch.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE to dance so a fly DJ spinning great tunes gets my toes tappin’ and when you mix it up with a bluesy sound you get me at “Hello.” The French DJ group C2C, Disco Mix Club World Team DJ Champions four years in a row (2003–2006), puts down some hot tracks and the song “Down the Road” is right in my wheelhouse.
Most of you know my travel partner and vintage sniffer Rex, he’s always there and puts me in a great mood. He’s so patient with my wandering and using him as my personal dress up doll. This next song by the ’70s French pop artist Joe Dassin always fills my heart to the bursting point because I think about strolling down Les Champs-Élysées, me bopping my head cheerfully from side-to-side and he’s sniffing the air and wearing the outfit from the picture below.
Rex, ready to stroll Les Champs Elysées
Some catchy stuff I know. Hope you enjoy the tunage as much as I have lately.
This first video comes from the indie band “Walk Off the Earth” out of Ontario, Canada. I was just introduced to this the other day and I can’t get it out of my head. They have made a name for themselves doing covers on YouTube and this video has really thrust them into mainstream. Let’s face it, it’s pretty awesome–just a really cool idea. This is their cover of Goyte’s “Somebody I Used to Know” (also a cool video worth checking out).
I want to nominate this next one as my own personal “Record of the Year.” It’s just that good. I listen to this all the time. M83 is a musical act by Spanish-French musician Anthony Gonzalez. Their name comes from a spiral galaxy, Messier 83, and is as dreamy and galactic as this album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Here’s “Midnight City” from that album.
At this point you may have guessed that French musicians get me excited, and Mélanie Laurent is no exception. In fact, this sultry songstress just melts my ears. I have a real appreciation for music that has the ability to reach into me even though it’s in a languages I don’t understand. When I first heard her duet with another one of my favorites, Damien Rice, I was sitting in the backseat of my friend’s car. We were driving over the Mass Ave bridge into Boston at night with the windows down, it was beautiful and the perfect backdrop for “Everything You’re Not Supposed To Be”. This is the only English song on her debut album, En T’Attendant, that she co-wrote and produced with Damien Rice. This album is definitely worth the Francs, er, Euros.
I was first introduced to the Baltimore duo, Wye Oak about a year ago and their album Civilian. hasn’t left my playlist of go-to albums yet. This video is what did it for me and you’ll know why in the first 10 seconds–it’s just so visually stunning that it made me look deeper at this band and Ii’m so glad I did! Here’s their song, “Fish,”
I can’t remember how Nathaniel Rateliff’f came into my life, maybe it was through Emerson”s College radio, WERS here in Boston, but I was sold. I listened to Rateliff”s In the Memory of Loss over and over again while I painted an extra bedroom in my house over the course of several evenings. His music is all encompassing with an impressive emotional range mirrored by an equally vast tonal range. His voice captures everything from a sadness-soaked raw howl to a soothing timbre as comforting as sitting beside a warm fire. Obviously this is perfect music to do some house painting.
Finally, I give you my favorite Ampersand, “get ‘er done,”American indie folk band, Blind Pilot. I write, I do computer programming, photographing and road tripping to this Portland, Oregon, band. Their album 3 Rounds and a Sound, reached number 13 on the Billboard Top Digital Albums chart. I love these hipster cats, these boys went on tour on their bikes! Two dozen tour stops between Bellingham, Washington, and Santa Cruz, California, with all their instruments attached to custom-made bike trailers. Anyway, if you haven’t been lucky enough to be exposed to Blind Pilot, well here’s your chance.
Here are a few songs that have been in heavy rotation on my iPod lately:
Bon Iver. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, but I recently jumped onto the Bon Iver bandwagon. They’ve been around since 2007, but they were just nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy, and their second album has made numerous “Best of 2011” lists.
Rosie Thomas. I love Rosie. I’ve been a fan of hers for a while now, but listening to her Christmas album–with a mix of classic and original tunes–is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit!
LMFAO. I shouldn’t really have to comment on this one. It’s mindless, junk food for your ears. After one listen, just try and get it out of your head!