Tag Archives: The Civil Wars


3 Jul

There is something about the melding of two voices together in a duet that I absolutely love. In addition to the layered voices and harmonies, I love the complexity of the story telling between the two “story tellers”. You can feel the tensions and emotions build as they progress through the song. Last winter a friend of mine turned me onto a great song by a band called Shakey Graves. This song is “Dearly Departed” and it it features a woman named Esmé Patterson. Listen below. It is so good! And lucky me…I will see them this summer at the Newport Folk Festival.

I’ve always had a soft spot for duets featuring a man and a woman. Here are some of my favorites from years past…

1. Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty: Stop Dragging My Heart Around

2. Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes: Joan of Arc
If you like this song or are already a Leonard Cohen fan, you should be sure to check out the rest of the songs on Famous Blue Raincoat, an album that he did with Jennifer Warnes. Brilliant.

3. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

4. The Civil Wars: Poison & Wine

I’m certain that there are many, many more duets that I could share with you. But for now, I’ll call it a night. Happy listening my friends…

Six Months Later

7 Dec

Not sure how it happened, but six months have gone by since my last post. The summers are always filled to the brim here on MV and this one was no different. But the fall, which is usually a time for reconnecting with year-round friends, returning to a regular schedule, and generally having more down time, has felt more like a marathon. I keep running and running and wondering…when will I get to the end? I won’t bore you with the details of my personal life, as I know that is not what you came to read. Instead, I’ll jump right into the music. Since it has been six months since I took the proverbial pen to the paper, I thought I’d attempt to do a high level recap of some of my musical musings. Just because I’m not writing about music, doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about music. The music is what gets me through the marathon, also known as, life.

In no particular order, here we go…

1. The Lumineers is one of my new favorite bands. I’m really hoping that they will be at the Newport Folk Festival next year as I’d love to see them live. Although, they were recently mentioned in the new television show Nashville, so perhaps they are already too big and/or mainstream?

2. Pandora Radio and 8tracks are my preferred ways to stream music. Pandora is much improved from its early days. There is more variety than there used to be and I can stream music directly through DirectTV, which is handy if my phone is not around or it is low on juice. 8tracks allows you to mark songs as “favorites” which is helpful when I hear a song that I like, but don’t know the artist. I can then go back and look at my list of liked songs when I am purchasing music.

3. Speaking of buying music, eMusic is still my go to site for music purchases. Songs range from .49 to .89, which is far less than iTunes. And unlike iTunes, files are not locked which makes it easier to incorporate the songs into iMovie videos, etc.

4. Have you heard of Freegal? It is a music site is allows participating library patrons to download 5 songs a week. Their collection is somewhat limited, but hey it’s free! My daughters and I enjoy perusing the site and I let them pick out songs that I would not typically buy for myself. Recently, we got some songs from one of the Glee soundtracks.

5. Alabama Shakes was most definitely the highlight of the Newport Folk Festival this past summer. Although, I must mention that I was pleasantly surprised by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band . They are not your typical folk act (hello, the word “jazz” is in the name of the band), but they put on quite an enjoyable show.

6. I never thought that I’d be a fan of any American Idol winner but I must say that I really like Phillip Phillips’ song “Home”. I tried to resist the hooks, but he got me and I have to admit that I love playing it loudly and singing along.

7. Milo Greene, who opened up for The Civil Wars last fall at the Berklee Performance Center (see my post from last October), released their debut album in July. Check out their song 1957 if you haven’t already.

8. Speaking of The Civil Wars, I was disappointed to hear that they have split up. You can read more about their ‘internal discord’ in this Rolling Stone article. Perhaps these challenging times will lead to a successful follow-up album. One can only hope.

9. The David Wax Museum, Brandi Carlile, Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers are just a few of the artists that we’ve been listening to these last few months. Check out my latest playlist, “25 songs we like” to hear more of what we’ve been enjoying. Ilana loves Brandi Carlile’s “That Wasn’t Me” and Sasha frequently requests “Big Parade” by The Lumineers.

10. For those of you not within WMVY’s broadcast signal, I am sad to report that their FM signal was sold to WBUR by Aritaur Communications. In early 2013 you will no longer be able to hear MVY programming over the airwaves. It is hard to imagine that 92.7 will stop playing the music that has become synonymous with “island” life. I will truly miss listening to Laurel, PJ, Barbara and the many other DJs that have entertained us with their eclectic music and their own musings. I can recall falling in love with the music of MVY during the summer of ’90 when I lived here with a college friend. And even though I am hopeful that they will raise the money necessary to stream over the internet, it will be truly sad to have to reprogram my radio pre-sets. If you’d like to learn more about the sale of the station or how to contribute to their fundraising efforts, you can go here.

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed the music and the musings!

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.

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….

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.