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Songs for my dear mom

13 Jun

In honor and in memory of my mom, here are two songs that have a very special place in my heart and make me think of her each time I hear them.

The first, is a most beautiful cover of the Leonard Cohen song “Dance Me to the End of Love”. My mom was a huge Leonard Cohen fan and she also really, really loved Jennifer Warnes’ album entitled Famous Blue Raincoat. Let me just say that we listened to this album a lot! If you have not ever heard it before, it is worth checking out. A wonderful collection of Leonard Cohen covers. And of course, a collection that I hold dear to my heart since each song reminds me so much of my mom. Well, flash forward a number of years and I am most certain that we should have truly loved this sweet and sultry version of “Dance Me to the End of Love” performed by The Civil Wars. They are a duo comprised of California-to-Nashville transplant Joy Williams and her Alabaman partner, John Paul White. I also highly recommend checking out their album entitled Barton Hollow. You won’t be disappointed.

Here is a live version of “Dance Me to the End of Love”

Amazing, right?!! Leonard Cohen is a poetic genius and the combination of their two voices together just takes my breath away.

The second song that makes me think of my mom is a sad, but beautiful song entitled “Wish You Well” by Katie Herzig. This is a song that I first heard on WMVY awhile back and I instantly fell for Katie’s rich, melodic voice. I downloaded it from iTunes and it was not until after a couple of months of listening to it that the lyrics grabbed me with such an intensity that I can’t quite describe. The flood gates opened and the tears just started to pour out. It is both unbelievably sad and very uplifting at the same time. My mom was truly an amazing woman who really did show me how to find my way. I thank her for so many gifts that she left me and am grateful to have had such a strong and confident woman for a mom.

Here is “Wish You Well” by Katie Herzig:

Hello Summer!

29 May

It happened. I’m not sure when…but the season is truly upon us here on Martha’s Vineyard. It always seems to sneak up on me and I never really feel fully prepared for the increased amount of traffic, the clueless tourists walking backwards down the middle of the street, the frightening amount of people donning whale belts, nantucket reds and cable-knit sweaters, and the inability to find a parking space at the supermarket. Sigh. But on the upside, the arrival of summer means warmer weather, flip flops, fresh local veggies, outdoor showers, potluck dinners, beach days and lots of great music!

So enjoy this fun, summer playlist that I just made (songs/artists listed below). Hopefully you can blast it on the outdoor speakers or crank it loudly in your car. 8tracks now has an app for the iPhone so you can stream the playlist through your phone. Or you can sign up for my blog (click the “sign me up” button over on the right) and I’ll send you a CD. Already signed up? Get a friend to sign up and I’ll send you both a copy.

Happy Summer Everybody!

Summer Time Fun:

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People
Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys
You’ve Got The Love – Florence And The Machine
Mudhouse – Bob Schneider
Brother Lee – Citizen Cope
Railway – Dispatch
Little Lovin’ – Lissie
Kick Drum Heart – The Avett Brothers
Down in the Valley – The Head And The Heart
Music – The Beautiful Girls
Loving You – Paolo Nutini
Clementine – Sarah Jaffe
All Summer – Kid Cudi, Best Coast and Rostam of Vampire Weekend
Relator – Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
Be OK – Ingrid Michaelson
She Moves In Her Own Way – The Kooks
Pretty Please [Love Me] – Estelle
I Want You Back (Z-Trip Remix) – Jackson 5
Electric Feel – MGMT
Call It What You Want – Foster The People

Farewell Phoebe

26 Apr

I was saddened earlier today to hear that Phoebe Snow passed away. Her voice and her style remind me so much of the 70s. I don’t recall that Phoebe Snow was ever one of my favorites, but I feel like her voice was sort of always there to comfort and soothe. She was best known for her hit “Poetry Man” that came out in 1975. In the early 90s I got to enjoy her voice once again when she joined Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers), Boz Scaggs and others in the musical project “The New York Rock and Soul Revue”. A music CD from this project was released in 1991 (The New York Rock and Soul Revue: Live at the Beacon) and I remember having this tape while I was living in Israel in 1993. To this day, much of the music from that recording reminds me of my time on the kibbutz. Oh, the power of music to bring us back to a time and place….

Here is a video of Phoebe singing Poetry Man:

Where Are The Women?

15 Apr

My recent post (Who’s Going to Newport) got me thinking about women artists and their lack of presence at the festival this year. Perhaps that is why I was a bit underwhelmed with the line-up announcement. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Gillian Welch fan and am thrilled to get to see her perform this summer (especially since we went on the “other” day the last two times she graced the Fort Adams stage.) And I know that Mavis Staples is a “legend”, but she is not too folky….more gospel if you ask me. In addition, both of these women were just recently (2009) included the festival line-up. I had a wedding to go to on the day that they performed, so I saw Newport Folk Festival alums Judy Collins and Joan Baez. Last year, I got to see Sharon Jones (and the Dap Kings) and she was great, but again not much of a folk singer. So this got me pondering about women artists that I am fond of and wondering why they aren’t going to be at Newport this year.

I would have loved to see Lissie this summer. I think she would have been a great addition to the festival. There are lots of other fantastic female singers that I would have been thrilled to see perform at Fort Adams State Park. When I did a little digging, I discovered that many of these talented women have indeed performed at the festival in years past. In no particular order, here are twenty women singers (some are newer to the music scene than others) that I believe would be excellent additions to the festival….Tift Merrit (2009), Brandi Carlile (2010), Shawn Colvin (2000), Cowboy Junkies (2008), Lucinda Williams (2004), Bonnie Rait, Sarah McLachlan (1994), Neko Case (2009), Indigo Girls (1996/2006), Jonatha Brooke (2001), Rickie Lee Jones, Laura Viers, Lissie, Shelby Lynne, Sarah Jarosz (2010), Joni Mitchell (1969), Tracy Chapman, Yael Naim, Joan Armatrading (1996) and Sheryl Crow.

I did have the pleasure of seeing the Cowboy Junkies in 2008, Neko Case in 2009, the Indigo Girls in 2006 and Sarah McLachlan in 1994. I was either not there the day that Tift Merrit, Brandi Carlile and Sarah Jarosz performed or I was just unaware of their talent and didn’t go over to the smaller stage where they were most likely performing. I guess I should try to get ahead of the curve and start listening to Liz Queler and the Wailin’ Jennys so that I don’t miss out on a couple of up and coming female folksters.

For your listening enjoyment, I put together a 20 Wonderful Women playlist on 8tracks. Enjoy listening to it here:

And since I’m always on the look-out for new music, I’d love to hear about some of your favorite female artists. C’mon people…don’t be shy!

Last thing….don’t forget to sign up for an email subscription to my blog. A CD with these fabulous women (or music from a completely genre) could be yours just for signing up. Tell me the genre you are interested in (or a few favorite artists), and I’ll make you your very own CD. Already subscribed? Get a friend to subscribe and I’ll make you both CDs!

A Song for a Sunny Day

6 Apr

This past winter Rob unearthed the “Saturday Morning: Cartoon’s Greatest Hits” CD that one of us had purchased years ago (I’m guessing Rob bought it.) It has been the soundtrack that he and my daughters have enjoyed on their rides to/from Stratton Mountain when we are up in VT. For Rob, he gets to reminisce about all of his favorite cartoons from a long time ago. For the girls, they are living in the moment and have quickly glommed onto a few favorite tracks. Somehow the CD found its way into my car and for the last couple of weeks, we’ve been listening to their most loved songs over and over. Here is “Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sun Shine In” from the Flintstones. Most of the songs are covers of the cartoon’s theme song, but this one is a cover of a song that Pebbles and Bam-Bam sang. I had to search youtube to figure that one out as I never recalled hearing this song in the Flintstones. Enjoy both versions on this bright and sunny day!

Listening to New Music: Part 2

21 Mar

In my first Listening to New Music post, I talked about my tendency towards picking a few singles off an album and never really listening to the whole CD from start to finish. After writing that post, I got to thinking and decided to commit to picking an album every month that I would listen to in its entirety. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been listening to the album Furr by Blitzen Trapper. Some songs are really growing on me and others are a bit too loud for me and I find myself skipping them. I definitely find that I crave more of a variety (still addicted to those playlists) and I am not as patient as I used to be when it comes to listening to an album in its entirety. Although, I had an interesting observation the other day…if the album is an actual CD that we bought (as opposed to residing in my iTunes library on my computer) it tends to get some serious playtime in our CD player in the kitchen. Last spring I bought my husband 2 CDs as part of his father’s day present; She & Him: Volume 2 and Sarah McLachlan: Laws Of Illusion. We listened to them both LOTS and I love them!

Shortly after my first “Listening to New Music” post, my sister and I were chatting and she told me about a website called eMusic . eMusic is a digital music club that makes finding and buying music a total joy. All music purchased from their site is yours to own (not rented or streamed) and you decide which membership level you want to sign up for. The basic membership is $11.99/month which gives you $11.99 worth of music and all other membership levels give you bonus credit. For example, if you sign up for the eMusic Plus plan, you pay $15.99/month but get $16.99 worth of music credit. The higher the membership level, the more music credit you receive. You can buy singles or albums (typically for less than they cost on iTunes and Amazon). As a bonus, you get $20 of credit just for signing up! Those who know me, know that I cannot resist a deal…so I decided to join. BTW- if you are interested in checking eMusic out with a free $10.00 credit, let me know and I can forward you an invitation. There is no need to join if you don’t want to and you can keep all of the music that you downloaded.

So far, I’ve been very pleased with eMusic. I love the amount of information you can get for each album (critic’s review, user’s reviews, user’s star ratings, concert information if they happen to be on tour, as well as related artists and other album recommendations). It is super easy to create/save lists of albums that you might want to buy later. In the short time that I’ve been an eMusic member, I have already accumulated quite a list of music I might want to buy in the future as well as decided to buy an album from an artist that I had never heard of (An Australian band called The Beautiful Girls). The ratings and reviews for their US debut album, as well as listening to the short clips of the songs had me purchasing with great confidence. You can go to eMusic to check out the entire album Learn Yourself as well as enjoy listening/watching their track “Music” below. Quite apropos if you ask me!

All Summer

12 Mar

Check out this fun song. I discovered it when listening to a playlist on 8tracks. It is an interesting trio: Kid Cudi, Best Coast and Rostam of Vampire Weekend and the song was made exclusively for Converse. It is catchy and certainly gets me excited about the possibility of warm summer days. March is a rough month here on MV and we need every little bit of upbeat summer inspiration that we can get.

Check it out the video here (scroll down to the “video” link):

All Summer

You can also download the song for free (click on “download the track” on the same page with the video). And on another note…I’m looking forward to checking out some of Best Coast’s music. I had not heard of them before hearing this song.

Loving Lissie

27 Feb

A couple months back I heard a song on my local radio station (WMVY) that really caught my attention. I didn’t hear them say who the artist was, so I called up to find out and they told me her name was “Lissie”. I actually think they were highlighting her in their “What’s New For Lunch” segment. I have not had a chance to listen to the whole album in depth, but I love the few tracks that I chose for one of my recent playlists. She has an amazing sound and I hope that one day I get to see her live. Maybe she’ll be at the Newport Folk Festival or perhaps she’ll come and play at Nectar’s on Martha’s Vineyard. That would be cool…

In the meantime, enjoy listening/watching “When I’m Alone”. I get goose bumps every time I listen to this song. Definitely one to crank up super loud so that you can sing along. 

Sydney (I’ll Come Running)

21 Feb

My oldest daughter’s latest favorite song. Not sure where she heard it first, but when it was playing on our local radio station the other day she asked if we could buy it. I love it too! Take a few minutes to listen to Brett Dennen’s “Sydney (I’ll Come Running)”.


Kick Drum Heart

21 Feb

Here is another new favorite. We saw the Avett Brothers this past summer at the Newport Folk Festival and they were outstanding. Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise as well as I And Love And You were the 2 songs we knew going into the festival. Their performance of January Wedding had my girls hooked immediately and now our latest favorite (especially Rob’s) is Kick Drum Heart. Enjoy this live performance!