Saturday, May 5, 2012

JLew Reschedules!

My view of Jenny at The Music Box last June.

Whew.  We can all breathe a sigh of relief now.  Jenny Lewis has rescheduled her "I Heart Cali" tour.  It's been a pretty rough week for me, so I was so thankful when she announced it.  I got my tickets for June 20th at the Largo.  (A great venue for intimate shows).  And it's the day after my birthday, so it'll be a nice little gift.  I've been going through serious JLew withdrawals.  I haven't seen her perform live in almost a year.  Can you imagine???  I'm proud to say that this will be my 14th time seeing her live.  Exciting stuff!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Top Ten Ani DiFranco Songs

This is from when I saw Ani at the House of Blues a couple years ago.

Really, does it get much more badass than Ani D?  After 20 years in the music biz and over 20 albums, she still knows how to tug at our heartstrings with each and every song she writes.   And she just keeps going.  Her most recent album, Which Side Are You On?, was just released in January.  What I love most about Ani is that it’s so hard to put her into any one category.  Is she blues?  Soul?  Jazz?  Folk?  Singer/songwriter?  Rock?  The answer is: yes, yes she is.  She is all of the above and more!  And her guitar prowess is simply mind-bottling.  You know...when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?  (Come on…what’s that from?) Seriously, though.  Whenever I try to learn an Ani song on the guitar, I’m like WTF is she doing?  How many hands does this woman have?!  And then I put my guitar down and go hover in the corner and cry.  Okay, not really, but it’s pretty frustrating.  

Since her style reaches across so many musical genres, her lyrics make you think “omg, she totally wrote that about my life,” her guitar-playing sends me into a tizzy, she writes songs that can speak anyone, anywhere, I’ve decided she will be our new “Essential Playlist.”  With the help of my bff (Ani is one of her favorite singers) I’ve narrowed down the top ten Ani DiFranco songs for you to add to your playlist (if you don’t have them already).  
1. Falling is Like This

Pretty much sums up what love feels like.  “We can’t fight gravity on a planet that insists that love is like falling and falling is like this.” 
2. Untouchable Face

The very first Ani song I had ever heard.  Needless to say, I was hooked.  Without a doubt, one of the best breakup songs of all time.  EVERYONE has felt this at one time or another.  “She’s not really my type, but I think you two are forever and I hate to say it, but you’re perfect together , so fuck you and your untouchable face.”

3. She Says

A hauntingly beautiful song that’s about a relationship not being able to work out simply due to the timing.  She’s got a beautiful girl in her bed and knows that it just can’t work no matter how much she wants it to.  “Like an idea, she came to me, but she came too late or maybe too soon.  I said please try not to love me…you know I have no vacancy and it’s awfully cold outside tonight.”  Gah!  It gets me every single time. 

4. Not a Pretty Girl

Female empowerment.  The lyrics say it all.

5. Both Hands

We witness the deterioration of a relationship.  Her words in this song are so deeply personal, it’s like peering into her life and the failed romance that she tried so hard to keep together.  The imagery in this song makes it one of Ani’s best.   You see every single moment as the breakup plays out.  “You’re bones have been my bed frame and your flesh has been my pillow, I’ve been waiting for sleep to offer up the deep with both hands.” 

6. Little Plastic Castle

This seems to be an Ani theme in a lot of her songs (and it’s a much welcomed theme!)  Don’t judge people by their appearances or make assumptions based on what they look like or what they’re wearing.  “Quick!  Someone call the girl police and file a report.”
7. Overlap

“I know there is strength in the differences between us and I know there is comfort where we overlap.”  And she said when I write songs about her, it reminds her of this line: “I build each one of my songs out of glass so you can see me inside of them…”

8. 32 Flavors

A song basically telling everyone not to take Ani (or anyone else, for that matter) at face value.  This song says so much in a matter of minutes.  Every line is my favorite line, so just give it a listen and let the words speak to you.  I promise there will be at least one line where you’ll think “Damn, now THAT’S a line.”
9. As Is 
Such an amazing song about accepting someone for who they are and what they are, flaws and all.  And don’t bother trying to lie or be someone you’re not, because you’re not fooling anyone.  “Just give up and admit you’re an asshole, you would be in some good company.”  I also love the line, “When I look down, I just miss all the good stuff and when I look up, I just trip over things.”  That pretty much sums up my life.  I’m so shy, I often look down when I walk and I know I’m missing out on so many great things and great people that I’m just too shy to experience.   And when I look up, I end up becoming disillusioned with things…or literally just tripping over them because I’m a klutz.

10. Fire Door
Ever been cheated on?  This is the song for you.

So...are you an Ani fan yet?  Then get on over to iTunes or Amazon or her website at to get everything she has ever written...ever. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Workout Songs

Okay, since I'm a regular at the gym, whether it's LA Fitness or Krav Maga or on the soccer pitch, I cannot stress enough the importance of having good, fun, upbeat and motivating music to listen to while you work out.  If my iPod runs out of battery while I'm at the gym, my day gets infinitely sadder and my workout suffers.  So I'm here to share with you my top ten workout songs right now:

1. Mr. Brightside - The Killers
2. Rumour Has It/Someone Like You mashup from Glee
3. Gimme Sympathy - Metric
4. How Far We've Come - Matchbox 20
5. Bodies by Drowning Pool
6. 'Til I Collapse by Eminem
7. Committed by Jenny and Johnny
8. Here It Goes Again - OK GO
9. My Body - Young the Giant
10. You Belong With Me - Taylor Swift

Are you pumped?  Then download these songs and get to it!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guilty Pleasure

I'm almost ashamed to admit this.  But I'm going to admit it.  Because I'm not a music snob.  I like what I like.  And it turns out, I like Selena Gomez's "Love You Like A Love Song."  There.  I said it.  And I'm not taking it back.  You can't make me.  It's kind of like when I went through my Miley Cyrus phase a few years ago.  I couldn't get enough of her song "7 Things."  And Ke$ha's album.  I may or may not have worn that album out.  It's just good fun.  And so it "Love You Like A Love Song."  Now the question is: do I download it?  Or will I soon get tired of hearing it on the radio?  Hmm...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Lyrics of the Day

"And the heart is hard to translate
It has a language of its own
It talks in tongues and quiet sighs
And prayers and proclimations
In the grand days of great men
And the smallest of gestures
And short, shallow gasps."

-Florence + the Machine, "All This and Heaven Too"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lyrics of the Day

 "Heartbeats" - (I love the Elllie Goulding version, but The Knife version is pretty awesome, too)

One night to be confused
One night to speed up truth
We had a promise made
Four hands and then away

Both under influence
We had divine scent
To know what to say
Mind is a razor blade

To call for hands of above
To lean on
Wouldn't be good enough
For me, no

One night of magic rush
The start, a simple touch
One night to push and scream
And then relief

Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors, red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dream Collaborations

 Okay, I'm gonna make this short and sweet.  These are the folks I would LOVE to see collaborate on any sort of musical project:

Me with Dallas Green of City and Colour.

City and Colour with Sade.  I know it sounds weird, but if you heard Dallas Green (the man behind City and Colour) sing the mashup of his song "Sometimes I Wish" and Sade's "Ordinary Love," you would want this collaboration, too!

Florence + the Machine with Adele.  Come on.  Two sultry Brits with killer voices?  Arrange a tour together, ladies.  Or record a song.  Anything!

Naya Rivera with Ne-Yo.  Yes, I'm a huge Gleek and Santana (Naya Rivera) is my favorite.  How cool would it be if she  not only released a solo album, but also collaborated with my favorite R&B artist.  Besides, Naya + Ne-Yo.  Come on!  The Naya/Ne-Yo tour. It just rolls off the tongue.

Jenny Lewis with Jenny Owen Youngs.  My two favorite Jennys.  East coast Jenny (Owen Youngs) and West Coast Jenny (Lewis).  The Biggie and Tupac of the girls with guitars world.  I'm salivating just thinking about it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ingrid Michaelson - Up Close and Personal


Ingrid is back!  And I'm one of the lucky few who was able to attend one of her intimate "pop-up" shows in support of the release of her new album, Human Again.  She played at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood - probably the venue I've been to the most.  I love the intimacy of Hotel Cafe.  The maximum occupancy is approximately 150, so you know you're gonna get a truly personal show. 

I can't even express how amazing this show was.  I had only downloaded her new album a couple days ago, so I didn't have too much time to learn the songs she was going to perform, but the one song I found myself listening to on repeat (and the song I almost teared up to when she played it live) is called "Ghost."  That is by far my favorite song on the album.  It's one of the most heart-wrenching breakup songs I've ever heard.  Sample lyrics:

"Do you remember when the walls fell
Do you remember the sound that the door made when you closed it on me
Do you know that I went down to the ground
Landed on both my broken-hearted knees
I didn’t even cry
'Cause pieces of me had already died"

Trust me.  It's a tear-jerker.

The most exciting part of her show?  She invited one lucky fan up on stage to sing with her.  The song is called "The Chain."  It's off one of her previous albums and I think it's safe to say that it's my favorite Ingrid song.  It's sung in a round and Ingrid only had bandmate Allie Moss with her on stage, so she needed another voice for that song.  She asked for a volunteer and only two people raised their hands.  I was one of those two people.  The thought of maybe being able to sing on stage with Ingrid Michaelson was enough to make my heart beat out of its chest.  It's always been my dream to be invited on stage to sing with one of my favorite singers.  And who did she choose to sing with her?  The other girl that raised her hand.  Yup.  Story of my life.  But that's okay.  The other girl did a great job and I was genuinely excited for her.  My day will come...sooner or later.

Ingrid played the majority of the songs on her new album, while sneaking in some old fan favorites.  She had the crowd in the palm of her hand.  (Which, incidentally, is the name of one of her new songs, "Palm of Your Hand," which was just featured in an episode of Grey's Anatomy).  I've seen Ingrid four times in concert and every time, I'm captivated.  Not only by her voice and her music, but by the stories she shares with her audience.  She's known to vamp a lot between songs, sharing funny and engaging stories and she constantly keeps the audience laughing.
Once the show was over (too soon, if you ask me), I met up with her back stage and had a really nice conversation with her.  It's actually my second time meeting her and I really love how genuine and sweet she is.  They always say "Don't meet your heroes" but with Ingrid, thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.  She was open and honest and funny and I'm so thankful that I had this opportunity to talk to her.  She's playing at the Wiltern in April and of course I already have my tickets.  After the first time I saw her in concert, I made a solemn vow to never miss Ingrid when she's in LA.  I'm sticking too that vow.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Coachella 2012

So here's the Coachella lineup.  I have to admit, I've never actually been to Coachella.  I always want to go every year because of how many incredible bands are there, but I usually can't afford it and the thought of being in the desert in the searing heat and bright sun probably isn't the best for my fair, Irish skin.  But this is an impressive lineup. And it's TWO weekends!

The acts I'm most pumped about?  The Black Keys, Florence + the Machine, La Roux, Bon Iver, Martin Solveig, Mazzy Star, Cat Power and of course Feist!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lyrics of the Day

Sometimes I wonder why
I'm so full of these endless rhymes
About the way I feel inside
I wish I could just get it right.

- City and Colour