100 Days Of Music: Day 4

Today I’m going to keep it short and sweet. It’s getting quite late here.

I’ll leave you with one beautiful track that I recently found on one of those “Indie May” playlists on 8tracks, called “The Other”. It’s by Lauv and to be honest, I haven’t heard anything about this artist before, but I’m very intrigued. Here it is.

Is that not amazing ? It reminds me a bit of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire”, but maybe that’s just me…

Anyway, hope you enjoyed that and I promise I will bring something special tomorrow.

Hope your night is as lovely as you are.

Advertisements

100 Days Of Music: Day 3

So here’s a fun story.

I started writing this post about ten minutes ago and had this great, witty introduction that was wonderfully formulated and just flowed so well, then disaster hit. My laptop has blue screened for honestly the fifth time this month. I can’t believe this… why is technology so unreliable.

I mean the fact that it’s four years old can’t have anything to do with it, right ?

Naw.

Whatever, moving right along. Let’s get down to the good stuff… Day 3 of this adventurous challenge.

For today’s pick I bring to you a relatively mysterious future pop band based out of Los Angeles, California called YNGCULT. I call them mysterious because there’s really not much information about them out there other than their hometown. All I know is their EP is glorious and you should all go buy it right now.

yngcult

Here is one of my favorites from their new EP, Capitoll.

I’m also a massive fan of Piano Songs on that EP as well, but it’s not anywhere on Youtube so I guess you’ll just have to go and buy it.

They also did this incredible cover of Lana Del Rey’s “West Coast”. Here it is.

That spiced up my day at the office a bit.

Well, I hate to cut it short, but after the day I had today, I need some rest. Never do legs at the gym and then go play slo pitch the next day. It sucks… a lot. Oh, my building also had a firedrill today too… so that means walking down twenty-two flights of stairs… in business clothes. Needless to say, I’m a bit tired.

Hope your night is as lovely as you are.

100 Days Of Music: Day 2

Proud, is the proper adjective to describe my current sentiments towards my blogging habits. I’ve made it to day 2… a small feat in itself, but hopefully this is a foreshadowing of posts to come… a.k.a. me not forgetting about this again.

Now, I’m not going to go easy on myself for this… I want this to be a solid 100 day streak or nothing at all. There’s no in between when it comes to these things… no grey area. No, just dedication. So let’s do this, people.

In light of my saucier attitude today, here is an equally saucey band that goes by the name of Royal Blood.

Comprised of two fine, young gentleman, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher (no relation to Margaret), Royal Blood has recently exploded onto the scene with screaming guitar riffs and songs that you would be proud to drive around with your windows down to.

Like a stick of dynamite as it ignites, Royal Blood’s self titled debut album will quite literally blow you away as you allow yourself to become engulfed in that edgy, yet rich, sound. Reminiscent of the days where rock was just about howling guitars and raging drums, Royal Blood has succeeded in stepping things up a notch and setting the bar a bit higher for rock musicians. In my opinion, they’ve got it right. I think a few bands should take note.

So when I found out that they were accompanying The Foo Fighters on their most recent tour I obviously freaked out (for good reason, if you don’t like The Foo Fighters, I question our friendship) and then proceeded to search for tickets. To be honest, I was already set on going to this concert, but the fact that these guys are going to be the opening act just made it ridiculously more fantastic.

Without further ado, here are my top tracks from Royal Blood.

Hope your night is as lovely as you are.

100 Days Of Music: Day 1

Alright, so I’ve been a little inactive.

Okay, a lot inactive.

This is mostly due to the fact that I am going through a lot of transitioning right now (school to work) and I’m the type of person that’s easily distracted by other projects I have on the go. I’ve split myself in so many different directions right now with how I want to utilize my spare time. Currently I’m working on a DIY Instax Mini photo project, teaching myself the acoustic guitar, getting back into art and mastering the art of make-up via YouTube videos. It’s not like I have time for any of this during the school year…

So to motivate myself to stay committed to this blog I’ve decided to embark on a bit of a challenge. Since I have all this extra time I will be dedicating a large part of it to searching for fabulous new music that is more than likely currently unheard by your little ears. The hope is to not pander to a specific audience as far as the genres go, but I am a bit focused on one type of music right now. As you might know if you’ve ever talked to me in real life, though, I’m extremely eclectic with my musical taste and I listen to anything from country, to classic rock, to future pop to EDM. So I will do my best to provide goodies for as broad of a demographic as possible without completely deviating from what I like.

Alright, so the challenge is 100 Days Of Music where I will post a track a day, possibly even an album if I’m feeling especially motivated. Here goes nothing…

To start things off I’d like to introduce you to my newest favorite Brit artist, James Bay.

Recently bursting into the spotlight, James has been one of my ones to watch ever since he came into my life through my incessant twitter stalking of new and upcoming musicians.

Why is he so good ? Well, listen to this first and then we’ll continue talking.

While you’re at it, you should probably take a look at this as well.

Obviously, I don’t need to explain much more because he’s clearly amazing. I would keep my eye on this one because I have a feeling he’s going far. With vocals like that it would be a shame to toss him aside.

Hope your day is as lovely as you are.

Songs Of The Day 0007

2015-02-13 15.23.55

Ahhh, guess who is finally basking in the sought-after, warm, fuzzy feeling of post-finals contentment. Yup, that would be me. If I have an extra sort of spring in my step and an excessively gleeful grin perpetually plastered onto my face, well, you know why. Yes, the chains have been lifted and I’m finally free to frolick in what I hope will be an infinitely delightful summer. This will be my last “between semesters” sort of summer as I will be graduating next year if all goes to plan.

That’s a bit of an odd thing for me to wrap my mind around… graduating. I haven’t done the graduating process since I clicked my heels and bounded out of my high school, eager to get on with it and enter the world of post-secondary. This will be odd.

It’ll be even more odd because for the first time in, oh what will it be then… nineteen years or so… I won’t be pondering what classes to enroll in next semester. Cue the apprehension and mildly sweaty palms induced by finally having to grow up.

ANYWAY, as of lately I seem to be starting off my blog posts by trailing off on these off-topic rants about school. So I apologize. Let’s get to the good stuff, the stuff you came here for.

So today I wanted to put a spotlight on a new musical artist that I found, or rather my mom found for me. A few weeks ago after having watched his performance on SNL, she told me to listen to this song without watching the music video. She had me conjure up in my mind what this musician looked like solely based off of his voice. So I listened, and the sweet baritone sound of his voice at first had me fooled in believing he was this older, rugged man who had worked out in the endless fields of some Alabama farm. As I continued to listen, though, I realized there was more to him than just that. It was a sort of quality that exuded youth and aged wisdom all at once. He was younger than I had thought. Then I glanced at the video and sure enough, he was just a boy. That’s how I found out about the wonder that is George Ezra.

With only his debut album out, Wanted On Voyage, George Ezra has already captivated a large fan base with his unique bluesy sound. Drawing on inspiration from some of his idols such as Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, among other American folk and blues artists, Ezra stirred up an array of wonderfully soulful tracks.

If you’ve listened to George Ezra before, you’ll know he has a bit of an iconic deep voice. He actually mentioned before that he didn’t always sing this way. It was something he enjoyed hearing in other artists. “I liked the idea of singing with a big voice, so I tried it, and I could,” said Ezra in a 2014 interview with USA TODAY. Well thank goodness he tried, because I know I love it.

For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of listening to his new album, here are a few of my favorites:

Amazing, right ? Definitely a new artist to watch. I have a feeling he has a successful future ahead of him.

Well, that’s all for today. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Also, if you feel so inclined, you can follow me on Instagram and Twitter by clicking the links below. I would love you forever.

Hope your day is as lovely as you are.

Songs Of The Day 0006

2015-02-13 15.23.55

Well, I made it.

Three finals later and somehow I’m still standing, albeit I am a bit twitchy-eyed and deranged looking at this point (sarcasm), but this hellish week is done. One more to go and then I’ll be completely done my fourth year of university.

Am I graduating ?

Heck no. I’m taking that sweet victory lap known as fifth year, where my schedule consists of three day weekends every week and drinks at the campus bar will be plentiful. I’m not ready to adult just yet… what’s the rush ?

Anyway, my deepest apologies for depriving you of my illustrious words via blog posts. There were textbooks to be studied, assignments to be finished and group projects to present. It’s been a wild past little while.

To celebrate, I’ve decided to go on a mass music downloading spree (my second favorite spree second only to ones of the shopping sort). The list of songs that I’ve Shazamed and not downloaded is growing way too long for my liking. It’s expanded exponentially as well since I rediscovered my cities modern rock radio station. It’s not that I forgot about that station or anything, but for awhile there they were just playing garbage. I decided to give them another chance a few months ago and I was delighted at what I heard. Not only are they incorporating a lot of awesome, new, underground artists into their daily music mix, but they’re also throwing it back every once and awhile to the glorious sound of alternative rock circa 2006. I would’ve been in junior high at this point, rocking pink extensions, army print cargo pants and a Green Day shirt. One could say I was truly the epitome of cool…

So today on the drive home from school, I was listening to said radio station and “The Pot” by Tool came on. My god, I used to belt out the lyrics to this one regularly when I was home alone. If this ones a little fuzzy for you, here’s a refresher:

That song is so lyrically profound, it gives me chills. Not to mention the combination of those deep, angered guitar howls mixed with that thundering bass makes this into one of those songs that you’re just expected to blast in your car. After hearing this, I started thinking about other bands I used to listen to back when I used to roam around the neighborhood with my crew of friends, feet clad in a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors. One of the first groups that came to mind was Breaking Benjamin. Here’s a few of my favorites by them:

Do those bring back some memories ? It’s like hopping in a time machine for me. I used to love these guys ! So you could say that I was quite pleased to find out that their new album, Dark Before Dawn, is expected to be released on June 23 ! Here’s one of the singles from that album:

It’s definitely not as impressive as their old stuff, but it’s great nonetheless and I’ll more than likely buy this album. Seeing Breaking Benjamin making music again is great, especially since they haven’t released anything new since 2009. Going back to Tool again, they’re also in the process of making some new music. With the release of their last album dating all the way back to 2006, they’ve been on an even longer break than Breaking Benjamin. This was mainly due to a lawsuit regarding album artwork from their 2006 album “10,000 Days”. Now they’re back in the studio cooking up something good for our starving little ears.

Well that’s all for today. Definitely give those two bands a listen and I hope they take you back to some awesome moment in your life where you were maybe headbanging to those stellar guitar riffs at their concert, or if you’re like me, doing all that, but in your room (a.k.a. center stage at your own show during your sold out tour).

Hope your day is as lovely as you are !

Tesserae

While sitting in one of my anthropology classes the other day, my professor began lecturing about this strange word that I had never heard before called tesserae. At first I thought she was referring to some sort of archaeological find that was named this, but I soon realized that it held a much deeper meaning than that.

Just for some background knowledge on this class, its focus is on the archaeological portion of anthropology. Now, anthropology is the study of humans in general, past and present. Archaeology is the study of human remains, which is also inclusive of animal remains as well (Zooarchaeology). There are many specific aspects of what exactly Archaeology covers, but I won’t get into that for the sake of making this post at least somewhat concise. Long story short, the class is bloody fascinating and has absolutely nothing to do with my degree, which is a fantastic change of pace.

So as my professor continued on, I began to understand what tesserae meant. When you look at the basic definition of it, it really doesn’t seem all that interesting.

The good old dictionary defines the singular form of it, tessera as:

Tessera

[tes-er-uh]
noun, plural tesserae
[tes-uh-ree]
1. one of the small pieces used in mosaic work.
2. a small square of bone, wood, or the like, used in ancient times as atoken, tally, ticket, etc.

So now I would imagine you’re thinking, so what ? It’s merely just an insignificant piece in a mosaic.

Now I want you to imagine something for me, and take this word on a more grand scale. Envision this mosaic as the world and we are the pieces… the tesserae. Together as a whole we create something more. Each one of us contributes to this cosmic mosaic in this vast universe. Together as a whole we create an image, a representation of our many differences and similarities.

Now does it still seem meaningless ? Hopefully not.

This was such an exciting discovery for me, coming across this word, in more ways than one. The deeper meaning spoke to me, and the fact that I found something so captivating in such an impetuous place was awesome. I love these types of unexpected discoveries. It’s a new way to view the world as a whole, and I feel that the more out-of-the-box ways we can find to describe our world, the better.

I guess I should pay attention in class more often. I’ve probably been missing little wonders like this all over the place (totally joking if my mom’s reading this, I pay perfect attention all the time).

Hope your night is as lovely as you are.

Songs Of The Day: 0005

So it’s officially happened.

The 90’s are back in all their grunge, jean-jacket clad glory.

This whole return of the decade I grew up in is so completely weird to me, because for the first time in my life things from my childhood are coming back into style. If that doesn’t make you feel old, then I don’t know what will.

I’m finding that it’s super apparent in the pre-teen generation right now. They’re walking around with scrunchies in their hair, choker necklaces on their necks and halter tops… this literally embodied my fashion sense as a kid. Anyone remember those tiny butterfly hair clips that you would excessively adorn your hair with ? I’m just waiting for those bad boys to come back.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining one bit. I’m absolutely in love, and fascinated, by this throwback. I have embraced it fully, wearing my hair in a spunky half-up, half-down, pony tail on top of my head hair style just the other day. I also bought myself a scrunchie, because let’s get real, scrunchies are the bomb. I’m fascinated, though, by this recycling of trends. I can’t help but sit here and muse about whether this will be the ongoing future of fashion. Have we exhausted our creativity and innovativeness, or are we simply drawing on inspiration while tweaking it to still have that very necessary modern edge. Whatever it is, it seems that the idea of throwing fashion back to a prior time is here to stay, and basically we should just never get rid of our clothes no matter how horrifically passe they are. They’ll be back again, give them a few years.

With this flashback has come the re-emergence of 90’s music as well. The emotional, heavy lyric-filled, alternative sound that I know I’ve missed dearly since the introduction of a lot of the meaningless pop garbage we deal with today (I still dance madly to this junk in the bar, whatever). There was a lot of absolute crap released in the 90’s as well, but a long with that, like a glistening diamond a midst a barren, rocky, cold mountainside, thrive a few tracks that have not only stood the test of time as being absolutely fantastic, but also exude raw talent and profound lyrical genius.

Awhile ago I made a playlist on 8tracks of some of my absolute favorites from back in the day. Not all of them are necessarily 90’s, some are definitely early 2000’s throwbacks, but I tend to just toss all those in one bin labelled “things I listened to in the back of my mom’s minivan”. Feel free to click on the picture below and have a listen.

wpid-2015-03-19-15.13.23.png.png

I’ve got mad love for that Friends cover photo right there.

Well, I have a paper calling my name, so I’d better go write that. Hopefully, for a few moments, I was able to whisk you back in time to a place you may have forgotten about, or for some of my younger readers, a place you never even knew existed.

Hope your night is as lovely as you are.

Ganbarimasu

My search for inspiration is endless. Looking to the sky and to the natural world around me, I strive to find things to be enamored by… to be awed by. Culture is simply breath-taking and whisks you into a new complex perspective on the world. It weaves through ones mind, the diversity of the planet. To think that we are all the same is a sign of complete ignorance. Embrace the differences and allow these differences to broaden your horizon. Let it encapsulate your soul and illuminate your mind. As a society we are trained to view differences with negative sentiments. That’s not right. As soon as you immerse yourself in diversity, you will find you are filled with a new kind of abundance… abundant empathy towards the other and a stronger sense of yourself.

This is why I love to explore new cultures. I don’t have the money to hop on a plane every month and immerse myself in a new country, so all I have right now is research. Words of others whose eyes have seen far more than mine, have taught me a fair bit about this world. Do you remember in grade school when the concept of reading as much as you can was instilled in your mind ? It’s so important. I try as best as I can to take a moment out of each day to learn something new, whether it be from books, the internet or just people around me. From new words to history to science, it’s a constant goal to fill my mind with what the world has to offer.

I recently stumbled upon the Japanese phrase Ganbarimasu and it has stuck with me over the course of these past few days. Essentially meaning “I will try my best” when translated to English, this phrase has deep-rooted cultural meaning to the Japanese people. It’s the way they look at life and their daily struggles. Ganbarimasu is said earnestly before a test at school. It’s spoken encouragingly when someone has had a terrible day at work. Children are taught it and reminded of it frequently as they grow up and learn that life is far from easy.

I think it’s so beautiful and so simple. It’s an uplifting mantra that I feel a vast portion of today’s society could benefit from. We all need that little reminder every day to keep muddling through and to not lose sight of our precious goals. Too often I see people, myself included, just give up. What if we had that extra push to get us through ? Maybe that’s all we need.

So Ganbarimasu to all of you ! I hope you enjoyed this and you take something away from it as well.

Hope your night is as lovely as you are.