Listening to She & Him – Volume 3

One time during a family gathering my daddy and I hopped in my car to run an errand – typical.  Naturally, being my car I chose our tunes – also typical.  My dad made some comments like, “Why do you only listen to old music?”  To which I replied, “Is there a problem with that?”  Now the band in question wasn’t actually oldies, it was a little Black Keys but since then I have been contemplating the music I enjoy… it all does seem to have a bit of a retro-vibe to it.  In answer to my own question.. No, there is nothing wrong with that.

I have a few songs from She & Him‘s earlier albums but I’ve never listened to their latest one which was released last year.  If you’re not familiar with She & Him that’s them below.  You may recognize the she part of She & Him, Zooey Deschanel, as she’s on a top rated Fox Network Sitcom that I also adore… New Girl.  If you’re into the retro-vibe like me this is good feeling music that will have you toe-tapping and trying to sing along while you surf the web or in my case answer emails and grade papers… so many papers!!!!  Enjoy!

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Click to purchase Volume 3 on iTunes.

P.S. If you can’t use the Spotify link… sorry! 1) You should definitely find some youtube videos of She & Him like this one or this one…. and 2) You should most definitely download Spotify because it is the best!

Music Monday: Going to the Chapel

This weekend we met with and decided on our wedding officiate.  It is so ridiculously exciting to check things off our to-do list!  This week’s Music Monday is in honor of the latest task we’ve accomplished.  This is the quintessential marriage song, “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie Cups.  We’re not getting married in a chapel but the point is WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!  I know that there is TONS more to do but as each decision gets made it seems like my mental image of our wedding day begins to get a little less fuzzy.

The ceremony is the most important part of the day but until Sunday morning when we were walking to meet our officiate candidate we had never really discussed what we wanted to include.  Would we include prayers, bible verses, a unity ceremony?  Would we prefer traditional vows where we repeat after the officiate, or just say, “I Do” or would we like to do our own vows?  So many things that we’d never even thought about until those 30 minutes before we would be bombarded with these questions.  The good thing is we have plenty of time to really decide what we want and don’t want.  We’re excited about our choice, Donna Deen of Two Oaks Weddings.  She was so easy-going and eager to meet all our expectations and demands for the ceremony.  Not only that but she was well within our price range and had great backup plans.  (I’m positive that as many things as possible will try to fall through on our wedding day, it’s just my luck.  I’ve been checking and double checking that anyone we sign a contract with has an acceptable contingency plan for any unexpected occurrences.)  As we walked home following our meeting I kept humming this song to myself.

Julieta Veñegas

Hola!  It’s another Music Monday.  If you didn’t know me then you probably don’t know that I have diverse taste in music.  I like a little of EVERYTHING… E-V-E-R-Y-THING!  I use Spotify regularly to find new artists or just to catch up on some of my favorites.  Spotify is also great for something I call “previewing.”  Previewing is something you do when you know one or two songs by an artist but have never really listened to more.  I’m also muy pobrecita so I can’t afford to buy an album without knowing for sure that it’s worth it.  There’s nothing I hate more than buying an album and realizing the only good song is the one that is played on repeat over the airwaves where I can hear it for free until I can’t stand it.  Lately I’ve been previewing a lot of Spanish artists that I’ve been introduced or reintroduced to through an NPR program called Alt Latino.  I’d heard of Julieta Veñegas before but I rediscovered her recently through Spotify’s similar artists feature and I’m so glad that I did.  She’s a Mexican artist who blew up around 2003 when she adopted a pop-ish sound.  Not only is she a great singer but she writes most of her songs and can play several instruments including the accordian which I think is the coolest quirky instrument.   I like to describe her sound as Spanish Ingrid Michaelson.  I’m linking to one of my favorite songs  but she just came out with an AMAZING new album, Los Momentos, which may contain a new favorite song!

Shall We Dance

For a long time I thought I was 100% certain of what our first dance song, but that has changed.  I recently decided that “our” song is  much too slow.  I’m still using it but in a different way.  Now our first dance spot is wide open with a bajillion options.  Here are my top 6 (I just couldn’t whittle it down to 5) with a pro and con for each option.  Vote below for your favorite option!

1.  Jack Johnson – Better Together

Pro:  I made a mix-tape CD for Richard that very first summer we were apart after freshman year.  This song was the second track on the album.  Also we unexpectedly saw Jack Johnson in concert at Bonnaroo this past summer after he stepped in last-minute when Mumford and Sons cancelled.  It was such a wonderful surprise!

Con:  This is a pretty popular song so is it too cliché to play it as our first dance?

2.  The Temptations – My Girl

Pro:  I have loved this song my entire life!  My art teacher from elementary through high school, basically my idol, used to sing songs and walk around the classroom… this was one of his favorites and he’d always make me join in.  I was such a self-conscious little thing, I wish I could go back in time and belt it out.  Also my aunt’s thought I looked like the main character of My Girl and always made references to that.  In fact, thinking back, I’m pretty sure I thought this song was about me for a little while.

Con:  This song really focuses on the girl, me, and not the couple.  Also I REALLY wanted this to be the daddy daughter song but he said it sounded too much like a couple song and didn’t like it.  So is it weird to dance it with Richard when I thought it was more of a daddy daughter song?

3.  The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t it Be Nice

Pro:  We had the pleasure of seeing The Beach Boys in concert at Bonnaroo 2012.  It just about made my life!  I like to think I have an old soul… or at least the part of my soul that dictates taste in music is old because I have always loved The Beach Boys and so many other artists from the 50s through 70s. I love the lyrics to this song:

“Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do
We could be married
And then wed be happy”

I wish I was a more musical person because my preferred method of sharing my feelings is by finding corresponding song lyrics.  It is just such a moving and powerful way to communicate your thoughts and feelings

 Con:  Did the movie “50 First Dates” hijack this song and that’s all anyone thinks of now that they hear it?  My sister nayed this song because her mind went straight to that movie when she heard it.

4. Coldplay – Till Kingdom Come

Pro:  I own every Coldplay album and they are probably my favorite band.  Their isn’t a single song on any of their albums that I dislike.  Despite listening to each album about a million times, it wasn’t until recently that I decided this song was perfection… I mean just read these lyrics:

“Hold my head inside your hands
I need someone who understands
I need someone, someone who hears
For you I’ve waited all these years

For you, I’d wait ’till kingdom come
Until my day, my day is done…”

Con:  How would we dance to this?

5. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – Home

Pro:  One of the lyrics repeated in this song is:

“Home
Let me come Home
Home is wherever I’m with you”

For a long time even before hearing this song, I felt this way about what defines my home.  I’m not a very big fan of living in Oklahoma.  I miss my home state and my family too much but I realize that I really felt at home here for some reason.  Then it hit me that I felt at home here because this is where I’ve made my life with Richard.  So upon hearing this song it immediately became one of my favorites that I played on a loop for weeks maybe months.

Con:  How would we dance to this?  We saw them at Bonnaroo and of course we totally jammed out but will we feel to conspicuous to do our best music festival dancing in front of all our friends and family?  Our  music festival dancing involves a lot of jumping and twirling and swaying sort of rhythmically.

6. The Troggs – With a Girl Like You

Pro: This song is so much fun!  It was the first record I ever bought because I loved it so and the iTunes version sounded horrible.  After buying the record Richard’s mommy let us use one of her record players and Richard would try to start the song right on time to when I was walking through the front door from work.  Sometimes he is just so sweet and precious.

Con:  I would probably have to use the iTunes version of this song at the wedding because I think the speakers there may have a hard time connecting to the record player.  If we did use the record player we’d have to get someone to drop the needle, which is a little tricky.

Happy Song

Happy Monday… or maybe not.  I don’t know about you but Monday’s are never easy.  This post is being written Sunday evening.  Right now I am working on a freelance story that must be at least 800 words and so far only 100 have been written and they are all just notes.  I foresee a very tough Monday morning approaching.  Hopefully I can get all my writing done before midnight which coincidentally is my bedtime.  Also if I go to bed any later than midnight waking up for my morning run will not happen.

In anticipation of tomorrow’s rude awakening I’m going to share my tried and true happy song, “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.   This song is my very most favorite song to hear when I need a pick me up!  It fills my mind with peace and all I can think of are happy relaxing things.  I hope it makes you just as happy as it makes me!  Warning the video is uneventful so just hit play, turn it up and go on about your morning routine.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Monday!

Music Mondays: The Ceremonies

Since I’m renewing my vigor for blogging, I thought I’d come back with some new ideas and regular posts, themed of course.  Music Monday’s is mostly for my mom and dad… SHOUT OUT: LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!… who always marvel at the music I listen to.  Comments made include: “Where do you hear things like this?” “Why do you only like oldies?”  “This is weird.” Occasionally they’re super impressed with my knowledge of 60’s and 80’s bands and songs… and I must admit it makes  me feel super cool when I’m able to spit some musical knowledge.

A band I’m absolutely loving right now is The Ceremonies.   This band seems to have only two songs one I adore the other I also enjoy;  I can’t wait for a full length album due out this year!  I heard The Ceremonies on Sirius Alt Nation (the ONLY station I listened to while I had Sirius for a few months after getting Carlita).  That station, like most, had a few select songs that were played over and over and over and over…. and over again.  “Land of Gathering” was one of those songs but I never got tired of it.  I have ALWAYS wished that someone would make a soundtrack for my life to make every moment seem… more.  More exciting, more energetic, more romantic, more emotional, more angry… you get the picture… just more.  This song would definitely be featured  on my life soundtrack.  It feels like something absolutely wonderful should be happening when I hear this song.  I love it!  Just listening to it makes my life feel more meaningful… like despite the fact that I’m only driving to the grocery store my life feels epic.  Oh… I hate it when people use that term, “epic,” but it seems to be the only way to describe the way this song makes me feel.  Anyways enjoy the song and tell me what you think.  Also click here to head over to their Facebook page and enjoy more from the sibling singers also known as The Ceremonies.

The Best of Bonnaroo 2013

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Last week felt like I was constantly flying by the seat of my pants. We returned from Manchester, TN late Monday evening. The next day I started my new workout regimen, had a full schedule of tutoring and had to clean our old apartment and do the final walk through. Quite a busy day after an 11 hour drive with minimal rest in between. So that’s my excuse for just posting my Top 5 favorite things about Bonnaroo 2013.

5: Road Trippin’ with my besties!
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Anytime I get to spend with both my baby sis and my fiancé is time I absolutely love! They are both my twins when it comes to sense of humor and opinions. Often I will find myself saying or thinking the exact same thing at the exact same time as one or both of them. Our weekend was full of lots of laughter and fun… And obviously a few arguments between me and my sister but we were pretty quick to get over it. I think it’s impossible for us to spend more than 24 hrs together and not argue but we always get over it as soon as we find something mutually entertaining.
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Oh we also made a pit stop in Memphis for some barbecue, an adventure that was both delicious and fun!

4: Finding all the free stuff! Most things at Bonnaroo aren’t cheap but occasionally you will find some freebies. We started everyday with a free serving of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and followed it up by standing in line for a brightly colored handkerchief filled with ice. We also picked up a sandwich bag full of icky cigarette butts and exchanged it for a $6 jumbo corn dog. And the best freebies of all were the complimentary showers we finagled. I won’t give away exactly how we managed it but I will say it included a long hike and waiting until late in the evening.
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Thank goodness we only took sink baths the first day most people did that daily or skipped a shower all together

3: Finding out just how far my two best friends will go to protect me.
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Headed to Bonnaroo one of the bands I was most excited to see was Matt & Kim. We spent an hour and and a half scoring a spot up close to the stage for the performance.
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Little did I know that those primes seats would be more trouble than they were worth. The performance was so energetic and fun at first but then towards the end the artists encouraged those at the back to make their way up front. This lead to a river of crowd surfers rolling over us and eventually on top of me. Two tall and not very skinny men landed on top of me knocking the wind out of me and pinning me near the feet of a crowd that was indifferent to my safety. Both Richard and Steph went crazy in their efforts to get them off of me and after they succeeded we hightailed it out of the crowd and away from the still flowing crowd surfers.

2: Unexpected Surprises!
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Though Mumford and Sons was one of the biggest highlights on my schedule I was equally as excited for Jack Johnson but I didn’t realize just how excited until he was onstage. Jack Johnson had a major presence on the soundtrack of my college years. My favorite parts of his show included his funny song about the stresses of pulling the show together so quickly, the handful of mistakes he made which he covered charmingly with a made up lyric and a swear word, and singing along to “Better Together.” Maybe I’m getting more emotional in my old age but I got choked up during that song, it was one of the tracks on the CD I gave Richard before we spent our first summer apart after Freshman year.

1: Watching a living legend!
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Yes, Paul McCartney deserves the top spot!!! It was by far the best concert I’ve ever seen. It was the perfect mix of Beatles tunes, Wings tracks and stories from his long and colorful past! If you know me then you know I’ve known not only every member of The Beatles by name but also most of their song lyrics since about 6-years of age. I really tried to drink in every moment of this year’s Bonnaroo experience and during Macca’s performance several times I found myself nearly in tears when I realized just how long I’ve dreamed of seeing him perform and how amazing the experience was. I won’t lie… I did actually cry while singing along to “Black Bird”. And the tears kept rolling through “Here Today” a song McCartney wrote for his friend and colleague John Lennon after his death reminding us all to tell our loved ones just how much we care for them while we can. And the multiple finales including “Live and Let Die” and “Helter Skelter” all rocked!

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Guess where I am!

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If you’ve never heard of Bonnaroo then where have you been? It’s one of the many music festivals that fill the summer months with fun, dancing and, of course, music. This is Steph’s second year and Richard and my third. We LOVE it!

Here are my top 5 reasons why Bonnaroo rocks:

#5: The Bonnaroo weight loss plan! It’s not an official weight loss plan but let me tell you out diet out here works! Lots of snacks versus large meals, tons of water and plenty of walking means at the end of four days at least a couple pounds have been shed.

#4: The people watching is superb! You’ll find people dressed in their best boho fashions but you’ll also find people dressed in only a tiny bit more than their birthday suit (body paint).

#3: Food yummy Food as far as you can see! So many great vendors! We try to coordinate our meals so we can try as many different stands as possible!

#2: Stick to the Banaroovian Code! The code includes gems of wisdom like be in here (leave the rest of the world out there), play as a team and radiate positivity. These rules create a relaxed fun loving community where tent neighbors share their supplies and advice freely! Even though I’m normally an introvert, this is the one time of the year I try my best to put myself out there and make new friends!

#1: Listening to amazing artists you already know and discovering a few new ones. I always come to the festival with a list of artists I MUST see but there are usually hours where we walk around and listen to musicians we’ve never heard before. Neighbors are usually willing to share a few suggestions too.

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Giving Up on Gossip Girl

So the other day a fresh pressed blog really caught my attention.  The blog by Caffeinated and Random was entitled Dear HIMYM: It’s not me, it’s you.  I am a new fan of How I Met Your Mother, having recently powered through all episodes on Netflix, so I’m not ready to jump ship yet.  What I am ready to give up on is Gossip Girl.

I loved this show from the start but due to school, work and being too poor to afford cable I quickly gave up on being a devoted fan.  However, once I bought a membership with Netflix I was able to catch up on all the wonderful adolescent drama that the show entails.  I love watching mostly for the fashion and the great soundtrack but also for the couples that I root for – Dan and Serena, Chuck and Blair.  But now I feel like aside from a weekly fashion fix the show doesn’t hold much value to me.  The Dan/Blaire issue was a stretch to follow.  And the never ending stream of issues that separate Chuck and Blair are becoming quite ridiculous… a pact with God? Really???

I got a little behind on watching all the current season online and so this evening I watched three episodes, including the hyped up 100th episode.  Let me just say… not that great.  That opening sequence with Serena “singing” Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend, was it supposed to be humorous?  Did she even do her own singing?  So many questions as to why it was such a disappointment.

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The best part of the entire show for me was hearing a version of Young People by The Kooks, an ode to the first episode.  Young People by Peter Bjorn & John was the song that literally started off the first show.  It made me yearn for the olden’ days back when the show was juicy and captivating.  I’m not really sure where it lost it’s appeal to me.  I think maybe somewhere between the Dan & Blair love twist and the introduction of Charlie Rhodes.  The main characters seem to have gotten lost, especially Nate… Chace Crawford is too good looking to waste on the ridiculous plot line the writers have had him on lately.

Anyways, unfortunately, due to my Obsessive Compulsive tendencies I’m not capable of giving up on the show quite yet.  It’s so difficult to make myself give up on series whether it be television, books or movies (I mean, I’m suffering through the Twilight franchise and we all know that’s painful).  So here are a few of my favorite things about the earlier seasons… ahhh reminiscing.

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First off, I miss them being in high school.  It’s hard to believe their “grown up” characters would do some of the things they do.  Plus I really enjoyed the plethora of head bands that Blair Waldorf wore.  I also like how their “uniforms” were made to look so interesting yet unlike anything any private school would allow.

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Dan and Serena.  I know I mentioned it earlier but this was probably one of my favorite moments for them as a couple.  Things were finally working out for them.  Dan was still a nobody pining for what seemed like an unattainable love and Serena was a flake with excuses who was finally finding a reason to be more than that.

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I’m not sure what it is about Chuck and Blair but I liked them better when they knew they liked each other but hid it beneath a thin veneer of distaste.

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I kinda miss Jenny Humphrey.  She had interesting style and always amped up the drama.  I also miss the scheming Blaire.  Not the ghost of Blair’s past that is currently on the show… uuum plotting to get your best friend and her ex back together on valentine’s day? Blaire should have more important schemes to scheme.

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What happened to Lily & Rufus? Oh yes, they’re still in the show… sometimes but they’re appearances are so infrequent they probably shouldn’t be cast as regulars.  I really would still like to know more about both of their back stories.  And their love child? Is he ever coming back into the picture? Just give me answers!!!

Bonnaroo on the Brain!

I have been obsessing about Bonnaroo all day!  Once I get this obsessive about something it’s really hard to focus on anything else, so I’m just going to give in and obsess about it in my blog.  This year’s lineup came out yesterday!!! Hooty HOOOOO!!!

Via Bonnaroo.com Click the Image to Enlarge.

I love that there’s a channel on Spotify so I can continue to be obsessive until June 7.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  You might think I’m being a little exaggerative when I say obsessive but I’m not.  I’ve had people tell me my tendency to obsess over things is a beneficial idiosyncrasy that will help me be a better journalist… but I think it mostly makes me weird.  (It’s okay we’re all a little weird.)  So here’s a little look into what I mean by obsessive: Wikipedia-ing, Google-ing (when did those two become verbs?), Listening to a bands music daily, talking about it on the reg’ with anyone and everyone.  My latest obsession will take over Facebook, Pinterest, Blog, Twitter, Instagram etc.  I recognize it’s probably unhealthy to get that obsessed with something but, on the other hand, I am a treasure mind of random trivia.  Anyway, I apologize in advance for this characteristic and I will do my best to reign it in when blogging.

Back to the issues, I am definitely adventurous when it comes to music, but that doesn’t mean that I know even half of the artists featured on the list.  So I am making a concerted effort to really get familiar with this year’s lineup so I don’t end up missing someone and regretting it.  Last year, I missed Mumford & Sons and I’ve recently become obsessed with them so I’m pretty sad I didn’t get to see them.  This year I’m excited about Radiohead, The Beach Boys, The Shins, Foster the People, The Kooks, Bon Iver, Feist, Aziz Ansari, Ludacris, Skrillex, The Civil Wars, Major Lazer, Two Door Cinema and Ben Folds Five.  If there’s anyone else on the list that you think I need to obsess over, please just let me know!

I love music festivals.  My first real “concert” was actually Austin City Limits.  It was amazing!  Ever since then, I decided music festivals are definitely the way to go.  It’s the biggest bang for your buck.  While Bonnaroo tickets are a bit pricey, they’re totally worth it considering how many artists you get to see.  I also just love large scale events because of the shared experience factor.  I don’t know if that’s an actual term, but I love the idea that everyone came together to enjoy this event and you all have something in common.  I love when the crowd reacts altogether.  It’s just makes the experience so much more fun!

Anyways I’ve also been daydreaming about my wardrobe for this year’s festival.  Last year was my first time to attend so I wasn’t prepared for how hot Tennessee is in the middle of the summer.  It was miserably hot, dusty, muddy, and smelly.  The conditions made it difficult to look cute but some people pulled it off and I’m determined to be one of them next year.  I’m not all about the looks but it’s just nice to be prepared and I’m planning WAAAY in advance.  My style usually leans towards preppy vintage style but I also appreciate the bohemian look.  So what better place is there to experiment with that style than at Bonnaroo?  So I’ll wrap up this blog post with some of my favorite looks from year’s past.

Via Still the Lovely Blog. Click Image to visit blog.

Face Paint. Check. Minimum Cloth. Check.  Flowers. Check. Cute Sunglasses. Check.  I love how eclectic all their looks are and they are definitely cool enough to beat the heat.

Via Style.com Click image to visit site.

This is Grace Potter and Catherine Popper from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.  I love the flowery feminine looks.  They’re nice and weather and event appropriate but still super cute and classy.

Via Style.com Click image to visit site.

She looks like she stepped straight out of Almost Famous.  Isn’t that ultimate concert chic?

Via the Fashion Spot. Click image to visit site.

Love the worn boots.  Definitley necessary unless you want to not recognize your own feet that evening.