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More by WOTE

30 Mar

My daughters have become slightly obsessed with the band Walk Off The Earth. They love “Somebody That I Used To Know” and have fun identifying which person is performing at different points during the song. “That is the first guy with the short hair.” … “This is the one with the long hair singing now.” … “This is the woman singing”. And they still can’t enough of the video. All of us are impressed and slightly amazed that they can all play one guitar together! 

So I did a little digging to see what other songs they have done. I came across their cover of “Party Rock” (originally done by LMFAO) which I bought for 49 cents on emusic.com. I thought the girls would love it, since this is a favorite song of theirs these days. No such luck. They were unimpressed and told me that they much prefer the cover done by Alvin & The Chipmunks. Which, thanks to my free month of Spotify “premium”, we get to listen to ALL the time. Joy.

I kept searching and found 2 more songs that I thought they’d enjoy. A cover of “Someone Like You” by Adele and “Little Boxes”, a Pete Seeger tune which my daughters were already familiar with. The Adele cover got mixed reviews (see the video below). Ilana and I gave it a ‘thumbs up’, and to be honest, I was pretty impressed! I especially enjoyed the musical instrument transitions as well as vocal change ups that they did. But Sasha is an Adele junkie and I don’t think anything will ever please her as much as the originals. The cover of “Little Boxes” had us hooked and we had to watch the video a few times before finally going to bed. “They made their guitars out of boxes!” … “She came out of the TV!” … “He was the one who sang first in the ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ video.”

On the ride to school this morning, the request was to listen to “Little Boxes” by WOTE. Thanks to that premium subscription of Spotify, I was able to find the song and play it! In addition to the cover by WOTE, I found many, many other versions. Anybody who has watched the Showtime series Weeds will recall that “Little Boxes” is the song that is played during the opening credits. So after WOTE sang it to us twice, we listened to the original version by Pete Seeger, then a version by Malvina Reynolds and then a cover sung in a spanish accent by Olivia Ruiz. (Can you tell that we have a long ride to school?) Ilana really liked Malvina’s version and Sasha preferred Olivia’s version. But the real hit was when the “Nancy Stoned Version” from the Weeds began to play. Boy, did those girls crack up and the giggling just couldn’t stop. Take a listen to WOTE’s cover as well as the “Nancy Stoned Version” below. I also included WOTE’s cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You”. Enjoy them all…

One parting thought with regard to Walk Off The Earth… I’m beginning to think that there may be more than 10 seconds of fame. I love the creativity that they bring to their videos. Perhaps some day we will get to hear some original work.






Somebody That I Used To Know

9 Mar

Have you seen this video yet?



Catchy, right? I first saw/heard this song a couple of weeks ago when my cousin posted the video to his facebook page. I was immediately drawn in by the artists’ ability to all play one guitar together. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like this. This group is called Walk Off The Earth and they are an indie cover band from Canada. This video (which is a cover of a Gotye song) was posted to youtube on January 9th and has gone viral, already raking in over 69 million views! Ellen Degeneres had WOTE (Walk off the Earth) on her talk show to perform this cover (yes, on one guitar) on January 23, and they have since covered songs by Adele, LMFAO, and The Beatles. The rapid rise in popularity has landed WOTE a record contract with Columbia. Is this just their ten seconds of fame or will we be hearing more from them in the future? Hard to say. And what about Gotye? I’m guessing that even though it is WOTE that made this song so popular, that Gotye is reaping some benefits as well. Right now his single is at number 3 on iTunes top songs chart. Not bad, right?

You can check out the original video here:

~~~~ Can’t Stop Moving: Sixty Minutes of Awesome Workout Music

27 Jan

In my never ending search to find quality/interesting music to workout to, I finally came across some tracks that I really, really like. I’ve been searching 8tracks for inspiring playlists to get me to the gym. Unfortunately, so many of the “workout” playlists are filled with lots of rap, hip-hop or mainstream pop that is typically not my favorite. That said, I must confess that I’ve been known to blast some Beyonce, P!nk, Taio Cruz or Black Eyed Peas (just to name a few) while on the treadmill. The upbeat tempos help me get through the workout, but they are not typically the type of artists that I gravitate towards.

My 8tracks hunt unearthed a half a dozen new tracks that I thought would be worth adding to my iTunes library.

Specifically, I found:
Came Out of a Lady by Rublebucket
How Deep Is Your Love? by The Rapture
Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
They by Jem
Black & Blue by Miike Snow
Blood Pressure by MuteMath.

I took these six tracks and added in a bunch of workout favorites that I was already listening to (and yes, a couple of them I’d categorize in the “crap”, I mean “pop”, genre) and put together an hour long playlist that I am psyched to play the next time I go to the gym. So without further ado, I present…

Can’t Stop Moving: Sixty Minutes of Awesome Workout Music
(which you can stream here on 8tracks.)

1. Can’t Stop Moving – Sonny J
2. They – Jem
3. Came Out of a Lady – Rubblebucket
4. Call It What You Want – Foster The People
5. How Deep Is Your Love – The Rapture
6. Black & Blue – Miike Snow
7. Mudhouse – Bob Schneider
8. Yes, Yes Y’All/Comin’ Home Baby – Sergio Mendes
9. Blood Pressure – MuteMath
10. Little Talks – Of Monsters And Men
11. Brother Lee – Citizen Cope
12. Paper PLanes DFA remix – M.I.A./DFA
13. Kids – MGMT
14. Hello – Martin Solveig & Dragonette

Often when I am writing about new music, I check out youtube to see if there is an official video that I can post. I won’t bother posting the videos I found for all six of the new songs that I found, as I doubt that people will want to take the time to watch them all. But, I did find a video for “How Deep Is Your Love?” to be particualrly entertaining. The video portion is taken from a 1984 movie called Beat Street as well as some footage from Saturday Night Fever. And man, does it all work well with this song!

ps. If you like this post/playlist, feel free to share it with your facebook friends!

But for now, sit back and enjoy the video…

The Best of 2011…Twenty Days Late

21 Jan

Everybody loves to finish up the year with some sort of “Best Of” list. So I decided to create my own list, which I discovered was easier in concept than in reality. This is only part of the reason why this post is so belated. My first challenge; should I limit my list to music that came out in 2011 or should I comprise my list of music that I just discovered and started listening to in 2011. And then I pondered whether it should be the top tracks or top albums? Clearly, my type A personality was getting the better of me and I was stalling before I even began! So without getting to hung up on the specifics, I started going through my iTunes library as well as the playlists that we created in 2011 and came up with the following lists:

Top 10 Albums:
10. The Beautiful Girls – Learn Yourself
9. Lissie – Catching A Tiger
8. Joshua Radin – Simple Times
7. Andrew Belle – The Ladder
6. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
5. This Is Reggae Music 1 Train To Skaville (1960-1968)
4. The Avett Brothers – I And Love and You
3. Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside – Dirty Radio
2. Adele – 21
1. The Muppet Show Soundtrack

Albums 6-10 were ones that I listened to more than others in my family. I’m pretty sure that I’ve written about each of these artists in posts this past year, so feel free to go back and check them out if you are interested.

Album #5, the reggae compilation cd, seems to have a permanent home in our cd changer and gets played often, especially when the iPod has been left in my car or is low on juice. I highly recommend this whole box set if you are a reggae fan: This Is Reggae Music: Golden Era 1960 – 1975.

Albums 1-4 were family favorites (the girls and I probably like Sallie Ford a bit more than Rob) and got lots of playtime this past year. The Muppet Show Soundtrack made a strong showing at the end of the year and is pretty much all we have been listening to the last month and half. Sasha’s wish is that the soundtrack had the whole movie (speaking parts and all) so she could replay every funny moment in her head. Hee hee!

And due to the fact that I am bit of a playlist junkie, there were lots of singles that we loved and listened to all year long. Here is a list of the top 36 in alphabetic order. I am sure that I missed quite a few, but oh well. I love the variety of music that we listen to. Just the other day Ilana told me that her new favorite songs were “Yes, Maria, Yes” by David Wax Museum and “Hot & Cold” by Katy Perry (discovered in the Wii “Just Dance” game). If you don’t already know these two songs, take a listen on iTunes and you will hear just how different they are from one another.

Singles:
1. 5 Years Time – Noah & The Whale
2. All Summer – Kid Cudi, Best Coast & Rostam
3. Call It What You Want – Foster The People
4. Comeback Kid – Brett Dennen
5. Do You Believe In Magic – Lovin’ Spoonful
6. Dog Days Are Over – Florence & The Machine
7. Down in the Valley – The Head & The Heart
8. Electric Feel – MGMT
9. Far and Away – Ingrid Michaelson
10. Forget You – Cee Lo Green
11. Hey, Hey, Hey – Michael Franti And Spearhead
12. Honeypot – Bob Schneider
13. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
14. I Want You Back (Z-Trip Remix) – Jackson 5
15. Ice, Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
16. I’m Yours & Lucky – Jason Mraz
17. Let’s Go Fly A Kite – Mary Poppins Soundtrack
18. Lost in My Mind – The Head & The Heart
19. Love Lockdown – Kanye West
20. Maculele – Nazare Pereira
21. Montego Bay – Amazulu
22. People Say – Portugal. The Man
23. Pretty Please – Estelle
24. Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People
25. Put Your Hands Up – Nerina Pallot
26. Rain – Anjulie
27. Raise Your Glass – P!nk
28. Shut Up and Let Me Go – The Ting Tings
29. So What – P!nk
30. Something, Somewhere, Sometime – Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore
31. Sydney (I’ll Come Running) – Brett Dennen
32. The Sound Of Sunshine – Michael Franti And Spearhead
33. Tragedy – Peter Wolf (With Shelby Lynne)
34. What The World Needs Now – Jackie DeShannon
35. You and I – Ingrid Michaelson
36. You’ve Got The Love – Florence & The Machine

So long 2011. It was a wonderful year of music. I’m looking forward to hearing what 2012 holds in store for us. I’ve already discovered some new tunes that I’m excited to write about. Stay tuned….

Happy Birthday Joni!

8 Nov

I’d like to thank my brother-in-law for pointing out (on facebook) that today is Joni Mitchell’s birthday. In honor of Joni, I thought I’d post a very early recording of her song “The Circle Game”.



I’ve listened to Joni Mitchell for longer than I can remember. Although, I have no distinct first memories of discovering her music, nor do I recall having one favorite song. It just feels like her music has always been a part of my life. And what amazing music she has made. I’m sure we must have listened to her when I was growing up in the 70s, but like I said, no particular song sticks out for me. Despite this fact, her music has made quite an impression on me over the years.

In 1980, the songs “Both Sides Now” and “The Circle Game” were fused indelibly into my mind as we sang them at the weekly campfire at my overnight camp. To this day, I can still recall sitting around the warm fire with our dark blue Wingate sweatshirts and jeans, singing Joni’s beautiful lyrics.

Flash forward to 1995, when I first met my husband. I was overjoyed to have found a guy that not only knew Joni Mitchell, but liked her as much as I did. Together, we listened to the album Blue over and over again. Amazing.

And then believe it or not, Joni’s voice and music have been forever linked to the births of my two daughters. “The Circle Game” was playing when my first daughter was born and “Morning Morgantown” started playing moments after my second daughter was born. Kinda cool if you ask me. So Joni, on this day I wish you a most wonderful birthday. Thanks for the amazing music and memories you’ve given to me over the years.

The Civil Wars Introduces Milo Greene

29 Oct

Hello and good-bye (almost) to October. I’m not sure how a month+ has passed since my last post, but I’m thrilled to have a quiet moment to write about a great performance that I saw last night at the Berklee Performance Center. Two friends of mine and I went to see The Civil Wars. I wrote about one of their songs back in a June post. And I also mentioned them in July; specifically about how sad I was to be missing them at the Newport Folk Festival. An acquaintance caught their Newport performance and raved about how fantastic they were. So, when I got the email about the upcoming show at Berklee, I was determined to get myself there. And I must say that last night’s performance was brilliant and they most certainly did not disappoint. Their voices were breathtaking, their stage presence was captivating and their banter was both witty and endearing. Most of the songs were accompanied by just Jean Paul White’s guitar (there were a few that also had Joy Williams at the piano) and their harmonies filled the theater with magnificence and an intensity that was palpabale. Sigh. Each musician has a voice that he/she uses like an instrument and the most awe-inspring piece is how their voices work so well together; creating enchanting harmonies that are woven together flawlessly. You may think that I am gushing a bit too much, but it was truly magical.

I couldn’t pick just one video to share, so here are two for you to enjoy. The first is “My Father’s Father” and the second is “20 Years”.

My Father’s Father:

20 Years:

In addition to the super performance by The Civil Wars, we also got to hear a new band that we had never heard of; Milo Greene. I liked their sound and was pleasantly surprised to enjoy an opening act as much as I did. One of my companions agreed and gave them two thumbs up, while my other friend was only luke warm. They don’t have many songs recorded yet (I think the only place you can purchase their music is on their website), but you can check out their song “1957” here:

Thanks Jean Paul & Joy for an entertaining night as well as for sharing Milo Greene with us. A most wonderful night of music.

Fabulous Fellas

25 Sep

The other day I asked a new blog subscriber what type of mixed CD she’d like me to make for her (as a token of my appreciation for her signing up) and she let me know that in lieu of a CD, she would really like some recommendations on “beautiful male vocals”. Currently she is enjoying listening to Breathe Owl Breathe, One Eskimo, Alexi Murdoch, Joshua Radin, Josh Rouse and Kings of Convenience. I have music by One Eskimo and Josh Rouse and I’ve heard Alexi Murdoch’s music on the WMVY, but am not yet familiar with the others. I’m very excited to explore some new music and have already added them to my “Music I Might Buy” list in eMusic.

I thought take this opportunity to write about some of the male vocalists that I’ve been listening to recently. The first is Andrew Belle. I discovered him back in June on eMusic and I absolutely love his album. It is the first time in quite awhile that an artist has grabbed me in a way that I long to listen to their album over and over again. He sings one of the songs with Katie Herzig, who I mentioned in a post back in June. Together they are magic. Below are two songs from his album called The Ladder. Try not to get to distracted by the videos (especially the second one) and just listen to the music. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to post audio files, so this is the only way to get the music to you.

The first song is the title track called The Ladder:

The second song, with Katie Herzig, is called Static Waves:

Another male artist that I think has a beautiful sound is Josh Ritter. A friend of mine turned me onto him when she posted his video for The Curse on Facebook. A haunting song and skillfully produced video. Impressive to say the least. Check it out here:


My parting thought is to direct you to a playlist that I put up on 8tracks back in March. It includes 14 tracks by some pretty fabulous fellas. I’m sure there were many others I could have included, but this is what was moving me at the time.

The tracks are as follows:
1. Black River Killer – Blitzen Trapper
2. Incomplete & Insecure – The Avett Brothers
3. On Judgement Day – The Beautiful Girls
4. On Up The Mountain – Jakob Dylan
5. Librarian – My Morning Jacket
6. How Come – Ray LaMontagne
7. What’cha Know About – Donavan Frankenreiter
8. Wild Wood – Paul Weller
9. 40 Day Dream – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
10. Holiday – Fran Healy
11. Tell Her What I Said – The Sadies
12. In The Middle – Joshua James
13. Romulus – Sufjan Stevens
14. Harvest – Neil Young

Click on the link below to take a listen. By the way…the photo on 8tracks for this playlist is a picture of Jakob Dylan (taken by my dad) playing at the Newport Folk Festival in 2008. He was fantastic!

http://8tracks.com/mixes/259426/player_v3

If you’d like to have a CD with this playlist, subscribe to my blog. If you’re already subscribed, encourage a friend to subscribe.

Oh and I’d love to hear about some of the fellas that you are enjoying listening to. As you know, I am always looking for new music.

Sun. Fun. Love.

18 Aug

You can’t help but and tap your toes and nod your head when you hear this song. I’m talking about Noah & The Whale’s “Five Years Time”. I first heard the song a couple of months ago on an 8tracks mix and liked it instantly. It has gotten some prime play-time this summer…in our house, the car, the beach, wherever. Although, parents be warned that they say the “s” word a couple of times. My girls block their ears (sort of), pretend to be shocked and then scream with delight “he said ‘stupid'”. Oh well, what are you going to do? Especially when the song makes us smile, laugh and feel good.

Take a listen here:

Today I saw the video for the first time and for any of you Wes Anderson fans, you can’t help but see the “Life Aquatic” inspiration for their video. Quirky for sure! Unfortunately, I could not embed the video in my post, so you will have to go here if you want to take a look: 5 Years Time Video.

Well, I’m keeping it short tonight. I’m up way too late and I must get some seriously needed sleep so that I can enjoy lots more Sun, Fun and Love in the days to come!

The 27 Club

26 Jul

I know it is old news by now, but this is the first free moment that I’ve had to sit down and write since finding out that Amy Winehouse died. It was not a huge shocker when I heard the news. I mean c’mon…when you write a song with the lyrics “they tried to make me go to rehab and I said ‘No, no, no'”, you’ve sort of sealed your fate, don’t ya think? Despite the circumstances of her death, it is still so tragic to hear about a young talented artist’s life (27 years old) ending so suddenly. A friend of mine posted to her facebook page “What an amazing talent she was. But all that extraordinary talent and amazing soul couldn’t overcome the power of the pain and power of the addiction.”

And it seems that 27 years old has been a tragic age for a number of other musicians. Most notably, Brian Jones (a founder of the Rolling Stones.), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain all died when they were 27. For a list of many others whose fate was sealed at age 27, you can check out the 27 Club on Wikepdia. Kind of crazy.

I thought I’d share Winehouse’s cover of Carole King’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”. This song was actually first recorded by the Shirelles in 1960 (written by Carole King & Gerry Goffin) and since then has been recorded by a number of other artists. But I grew up listening to Carole King’s version and will always think of it as her song. Winehouse recorded a cover for the 2004 film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. I always liked Winehouse’s unique combo of jazz, soul and R&B. It is really too bad that we won’t get to hear more from her in the future.

Check out Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside

18 Jul

Over the last couple of months I’ve had a little bit of buyer’s remorse over selecting the Saturday line-up for the Newport Folk Festival. Other than Gillian Welch, there is no performer that I am truly excited to see. Don’t get me wrong…I’m confident that there will be LOTS of good music. But it is always a bit more exciting when there are at least a few bands that you are just thrilled to get to see. That is how I would be feeling if we were going on Sunday and getting to see The Civil Wars and The Head & The Heart. I’ve listened to these two bands over the last few months and really enjoy their music. Sigh.

However, just the other day I heard a very cool song by a portland-based band on WMVY during their “what’s new for lunch” segment. It turns out that they will be at the Folk Festival and just my luck…they will be there on Saturday. Wahoo!!! I immediately went to emusic.com and purchased their album. The band is Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside and their album is called Dirty Radio. Their website describes their music as “intertwining elements of swinging roots rock, country, jazz, and blues with a contemporary lyrical stance and Ford’s instantly recognizable voice.” Both my daughter and my friend Anne-Marie commented that Sallie’s voice has a similar sound to Adele. My husband thought she was an old time blues singer. Whatever you think, you can’t help but be sucked in by their infectious beat and quirky style. It is a good thing that I checked the line-up as they are scheduled to go on first thing (11:35 am). I will be sure to get my whole family there nice and early as this is one performance I don’t want to miss.

For those who won’t get to see her in Newport…here are videos for two of their songs. I had to post both of these videos as the second one was filmed just minutes from where my sister and brother-in-law live in Portland. In fact, I think that my kids may have played in that park!

As always…enjoy the tunes and let me know what you think.