Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fun With My Car Radio

I drive a small-ish SUV that has a built-in GPS system, and within that computer screen thing (sorry, can't help but use the word "thing" when it comes to my car) I can access the audio controls.  A feature within the audio controls is the read-out of what songs are playing on each pre-programmed radio stations (I don't know the official name of this feature, but am under the impression that each radio station is responsible for sending out this information).

The "at a glance" feature only shows 1-2 words of the song title or artist, which sometimes makes for funny phrase combinations... so, with that, please humor me.

"Possess Somebody"

"Radio Boy"

"Rain Drugs"

"Think Music."  Okay, I will. :-)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Making The Mixtape: High School

Oh, mixtapes. I miss you.  You actually made the fine art of making a mix require effort.  Sitting by the boombox or stereo tapedeck, hovering over the pause and stop buttons... ah, those were the days.  I loved making mixtapes, whether they were for myself or for friends.  To get a mixtape from a friend always made my day - In this photo is one made by me, and the top one is made by a middle/high school friend, Jeff.  

Just a small sampling of Jeff's mix:
Bush - The Chemicals Between Us
Toadies - Possum Kingdom
The Verge Pipe - Photograph
Smash Mouth - All Star
Marvelous 3 - Freak of the Week
Lit - Zip-lock
Matchbox 20 - Real World

My Mix:
Edwin McCain - I'll Be
Need To Be Next To You - Leigh Nash
Hemorrhage (In My Hands) - Fuel
Pinch Me - Barenaked Ladies
Take a Picture - Filter
I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden

As I think I've written before, my musical tastes have expanded and changed since high school ;-)  I am impressed with myself that I even still had these tapes, and don't really know why I had them in my apartment... but alas, they must mean something to me, right?  

Do you have any mixes from high school, or remember making them? 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Spotlight: Mayer Hawthorne

Mayer Hawthorne hates Nickelback.

I would totally draw hearts around MH, too. #justsayin

In fact, he hates them so much, that he staged his own online halftime show from the basement of his parents' house during the Thanksgiving Detroit Lions game in protest of Nickelback's performance.  I don't even watch football, but that was one halftime show that I needed to check out (I definitely wasn't going to be watching the Nickelback one, that's for sure).  His halftime show did not disappoint, especially when he brought his father out as a guest guitarist.  My cousin Yael introduced me to Mayer Hawthorne's music a few months ago, and I've been loving his 2011 How Do You Do album.  

2 highlights on that album:
1: "The Walk" - the beat isn't necessarily what you'd expect with these lyrics, which is partly why I like it. 
"From the moment that I met you, I thought you were fine - so fine
                                                                                               But your shitty f*#@in' attitude has got me changing my mind"

2: "Can't Stop" - Mayer Hawthorne PLUS Snoop Dogg? Sign this girl up. 

To check out his great medley of tunes that he rocked out with Rolling Stone at his halftime show, click HERE.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.  If you are, Snoop Dogg will kizzle your dizzle... or something.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Concert: Brian Jarvis

 My friend Brian Jarvis (with drummer Jim Townsend) performed at Lasell College in Newton (Auburndale), MA last night, and I went to hang out/listen to some good tunes and get back in touch with my inner college freshman, hanging out in the Campus Center. Cozy place you guys have goin' on over there, Lasell.

The guys played an hourlong set and songs ranged from older Brian Jarvis Band songs to newly-written tunes and a Matchbox20 cover.  He told the crowd a little bit about "'Til I See You Again," which he wrote just after his father passed away two years ago.  His father taught him how to play the guitar, which pushed Brian further into pursuing his music career professionally.

"'Til I See You Again"

"Hardest Break"

Check out Brian Jarvis Band on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates on shows and the new album release!

#FunFact: Jim's cool drum box thing is called a cajone.  
#FunFact: Brian can't parallel park.  

Oops, how'd that get in there?  Anyhoo, I'm also now realizing that I didn't really get any photos of Jim where you can see his face, what with the cajone-playing and all. Sorry about that, Jim! I'll get ya next time. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Making The Mixtape: "Moving Across The Country"

So, I'm not going on a road trip any time soon, but my brother will soon be making a move across the country soon, and it made me think about road trip mixtapes (yes, mixtapes - sorry, I can't help but call them mixtapes!), or even just the music that we listen to when we drive, are stuck in traffic to get through the craziness, etc.

Here's what's in my car right now:

Gone By Daylight
Eric Hutchinson
Foo Fighters

I'm working on a "moving across the country" mix right now for my brother... here's just a sneak-peek:

What would YOU put on a mix for someone making a big move/going on an adventure?

ShaZAM! (Or, What I've Shazam-ed Lately)

I've been loving having Shazam on my Blackberry (having the Blackberry, not as much... still in a fight with Sprint/Blackberry, but that's another show) - definitely helpful to discover tunes that I'm not familiar with!

Here's some songs that I've Shazam-ed lately:

Luce - Good Day 

My Morning Jacket - I'm Amazed

The Postal Service - Nothing Better

Robbie Robertson - Fear of Falling (with Eric Clapton)

Brett Dennen - Sydney (I'll Come Running) 

Have YOU Shazam-ed today?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"The 10 Worst Make-Out Songs"... and Maybe Some Good Ones?

I've been checking out the new-ish dating website called HowAboutWe, and while they have a lot of interesting date ideas, they have some interesting articles as well. The most recent one that came in an email was this:

Yes, folks, true story. We've all been there.  The mood is right, you hit your iTunes DJ up for some tunes, not really thinking of it... chicka bow chicka bow wow. . . and THIS comes on:

No, really. That is a real possibility on my iTunes DJ. Sorry BNL, I'll always have feelings for you, but not when I'm, uh, having feelings for someone else.

So, what music do you listen to when you want to not be thinking about Cotton Eye Joe or Aretha Franklin and you want to definitely be thinking of whoever your lips are locked with?

There are some websites that help you put playlists together for this purpose exactly! How helpful, internet.  Some examples include:

8Tracks: 'Give Me Goosebumps'
8Tracks: 'Slow Dancing In A Burning Room' Recipe
StereoMood - Romantic

What about you? Music? No music? What kind?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spotlight: Kina Grannis

Kina Grannis loves snakes.
No, for serious. Check out this video on her VH1 'Posted' series.

What she also loves is creating music. 

Here's a little bit about her from her website:
 "In 2007, after four years at USC (where she recorded and self-released three EPs) and a brief move to Austin, TX, Kina joined YouTube, made a music video and entered herself into Doritos’ Crash The Super Bowl contest. In the months that followed, Kina began to accrue followers, lots of them, making herself right at home in front of her computer. Her Two Weeks For Kina site traded daily videos in exchange for votes, and while her votes piled up her following grew exponentially. A few months later, her video for “Message From Your Heart” aired during the Super Bowl and its 97-million viewers and Kina had a YouTube following, a Twitter following, a #1 video on Digg.com, a street team and, for a short time, a record deal... On April 5th, 2011 Kina released a remixed and remastered version of Stairwells, this time in stores and internationally, thanks to an independent label partner in One Haven Music. This new version of Stairwells includes fan-favorites “Valentine” and “Message From Your Heart” in addition to four brand new tracks..."

You can download Kina's free Daytrotter Session here, and check out her thoughtful, sweet lyrics and voice - I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Bonus: She was on Ellen (and a few other shows, recently), where she was able to introduce her AMAZING new music video to the world. 

22 months
1,357 hours
30 people
2 ladders
1 still camera
288,000 jelly beans. . .

you get the idea. 
Craziness. Awesomeness. All that good stuff.  Do your ears a favor and check Kina out if you can!

Whatcha Listening To? Wednesdays

Here's What I'm Listening To this week:

"I'm Deafer than Def Jam - I'm so so deaf" - I'm learning American Sign Language (ASL) and Sean is so much fun to watch, and he clearly has a fantastic sense of humor.  Check it!

So, now the question is, #WhatchaListeningTo?  (That's right, I'm starting a #hashtag. What!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Time I . . . Had Thanksgiving Dinner With The Airborne Toxic Event

I've been very lucky in the past few months to be invited by Radio 92.9 to experience some cool things, and I look forward to sharing them with you here.  Back in November, The Airborne Toxic Event  was in town, and the station had a "Thanksgiving Dinner"event with the band.  It was a small lunch meet-and-greet, and the band couldn't have been nicer.  Very down to earth and funny people.  

They had just been in NYC the night before for a show on their tour, and were sharing stories from their time in NYC.  Mikel told us about how he was climbing (literally, climbing) around Terminal 5.  His climbing skills were back in action at the Orpheum that night, when the band performed (with MONA - another cool rock band) - you can see his shadow climbing up into the mezzanine!  The crowd was going nuts, of course. 

They put on a really good show - their sound really filled the Orpheum. Thanks again to Radio 92.9 for this great day!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

#MusicMyBrotherGotMeInto: MuteMath

Yep, this post deserved its own #hashtag, solely because I never thought I'd never say those words.
Growing up, my brother and I didn't quite get along - I'm really glad that our relationship has changed for the better, and I'd like to think that music has had a lot to do with that.  We've talked about shows we've seen, what we're listening to, and even seen some local shows together.

A few months ago, while at my parents' house in CT, my brother was there and told me that he had an album he thought I'd like.  The band was MuteMath. This is the album:

I definitely have liked them since that day - very solid alt-rock music, and I would love to check them out live someday.  I love their energy, and it's great to listen to when I need an escape from the norm.

There's a MuteMath: Armistice Live concert on Palladia right now, which I was psyched to find randomly.  Just more reason why I am in love with that channel!  Also, more reason why I want to see this band live!  Anyone see them live and can tell me that I have something cool to look forward to?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Spotlight: Dion Roy

Dion Roy loves tacos.
It's true, he can't hide it.

What's also true is that he's a great singer / songwriter / all around musician and generally cool guy.

Here's his bio from NoiseTrade:
Dion Roy is a singer-songwriter known for fusing his songwriter roots with his knack for writing an unforgettable pop/rock hook. Born in South Africa, and now a New Yorker, Dion got his start playing as a bassist in several bands on the Lower East Side music scene, and recently emerged as a solo artist. Dion has toured with high-profile acts like Tyler Hilton, Josiah Leming, Eve 6, Ryan Cabrera, The Donnas, Bleu, and Ben Kweller, throughout the North-Eastern College circuit. His debut album Gallery was released in 2009, followed by The Nearest Light (EP, June 2010) and his latest EP Welcome Home, which was released in April 2011. On “Welcome Home,” Dion worked. The first single, “Leave Me Out of This” features Josiah Leming (American Idol) on piano. For fans of: Pete Yorn, Snow Patrol, Keane, Tyler Hilton, Jeff Buckley.
Just a little QT with his guitar, NBD. (Photo: Facebook)

To download his FREE NoiseTrade Sampler, click on the picture of the album above.  You won't be disappointed!   Dion is off to LA this weekend to finish off his next album, so keep an ear out for that one.  I'm working on convincing Dion to come back to Boston, if only to just go out for tacos... Mmm. Tacos.

Friday, January 13, 2012

In the Studio with Radio 92.9

I was invited into the Radio 92.9 studios today to record intros for "My Playlist" - it was my first time doing anything in a recording studio of any kind, and it was a pretty cool experience.  Plus, I left with an awesome 92.9 slap-bracelet-beer-koozie, so, overall, everyone won today ;-) Thanks again to Jason and Ken for inviting me in!

Here's my playlist! Check it.

Blues Traveler - But Anyway
Florence and the Machine - Shake It Out
Cake - Long Time
The Airborne Toxic Event - Changing
...and, rounding out my list: The Black Keys - Gold On the Ceiling

So, when can you hear my beautiful voice on the radio, you ask?  Jason will tell you:

Wanna make YOUR playlist and have it featured on the station?  Click on the image to find out how.

UPDATE!  Here's the playlist, as shown on the Radio 92.9 website: 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ShaZAM! (Or, What I've Shazam-ed Lately)

I have Shazam on my Blackberry (the phone and I are in a fight, but that's a whole different show), and I've been having fun with the app!  I've heard a few cool songs that I've identified using Shazam:

Matisyahu - Miracle 

John Butler Trio - Better Than

Van Morrison - Bright Side Of the Road

Bell X1 - Rocky Took A Lover 

Neon Trees - Everybody Talks 

Anyone else out there using Shazam?

Dear Palladia, I Love You.

It's true, I can't deny my feelings for you.  You always seem to come through for me, especially when I'm under the weather, like today!
Por ejemplo, you're rockin' the O.A.R. From Madison Square Garden '07 show right now. Not too shabby, Palladia, not one bit. Here's one of my favorite songs (not from that show - couldn't find a lot of good live quality stuff, oops):

'City On Down' - O.A.R. (PNC Bank Arts Center 07.22.2005, by YouTuber foots7)

        (SIDEBAR: A fun fact about O.A.R. is that Marc Roberge's brother is the drummer for Foxtrot Zulu, and they've toured together before.  If you don't know FZ, do your ears a favor and check 'em out, yo.)

I'm looking forward to checking out this one on Palladia - now is when having a DVR would definitely come in handy, but hey, I'll survive somehow :

"This Is A Concert By The Black Keys" premieres this coming Friday (1/13/12) - they're coming to Boston in March, which should be a cool show!

Oh, another cool thing about my love, Palladia?  It's a music channel that PLAYS MUSIC.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whatcha Listening To? Wednesdays

Here's What I'm Listening To this week:

And, a bonus: Buena Vista Social Club - Clocks

This is my 'dance party in the kitchen' jam.

So, now the question is, #WhatchaListeningTo?  (That's right, I'm starting a #hashtag. What!)

P.S.  Yep, that's me with Airborne Toxic Event. More on that soon...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

VH1's Top 20 Most Anticipated Albums of 2012

VH1's newest email included a link to their "Top 20 Most Anticipated Albums of 2012."  I was curious to see what VH1 is excited about for this new year.

1. "With the reign of Adele perhaps taking a brief hiatus..."  Oh, Adele.  I have nothin' but love for ya. However, anytime "Rolling In The Deep" comes on the radio, I switch to a different station.  It's just sadly become an instinctual behavior.  Sorry, girlfriend.

2. Lana Del Rey - she's scheduled to be on SNL on January 14, and I've seen her video for 'Video Games'  and am really digging the older style of her sound and the Super 8 style video.  I'm definitely interested to see how she performs live, and to hear more from her.

3. No Doubt is supposedly scheduled to release their first album 11 years?  Whoa. I didn't even know they were even still together.  I definitely played the hell out of the Tragic Kingdom album back in '95-'97ish.  I'm curious to hear what they have going on now.

4. Robbie Williams – for serious?  Where's he been?

... no, really?  Where's he been?

5. U2 is also working on some new material - but "sessions have reportedly not necessarily been going so well."  Come on, guys, let's see whatcha got.

6. The XX – "It’s can be said that it’s fairly rare for a band to follow through with their sophomore release after a cosmic debut, but we have high hopes for the XX and think that they just might deliver on our expectations."  I'm actually pretty psyched to hear that they've got something new coming out soonish.  "Heart Skipped a Beat" is a favorite of mine, check it out if you're not familiar with The xx.

P.S. VH1, the band spells it with lowercase x's.  You also spelled Kanye's name wrong. #justsayin

Anyone have thoughts about these or other anticipated 2012 releases?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye [Cover]

I came across this video by the band Walk Off The Earth on my new buddy Lauren's facebook page (Lauren, a la LaRockism) and had to share it.  I was introduced to Gotye's music a while back from my friend Brian (...A Moment in Time) and hadn't really given the song much thought, or truly listened to the lyrics... until recently.  A song I can relate to, in a lot of ways.  

Watching this video, however, just hits me even harder!  I mean, really? 5 people on a guitar? How awesome is that.  They're totally in sync (not J.Timberlate n*sync, but I'm not here to diss JT, I have some love for him... um, hi, tangent.) and do a beautiful job with 'Somebody That I Used To Know.

What do YOU think? 

P.S.  Here's the original/video: 

Thanks, Radio 92.9!

I was so excited to open my email on Friday and see this:

See that, over there, on the right?  That's me! Cool, right?

The nice people over at Radio 92.9 featured my new blog in their email blast - pretty sweet. I'm curious to see how many people who receive this email blast actually come check out the site!  If you're a Radio 92.9 listener and have happened to click over to this site from the email, please let me know!  I'm definitely interested to know.  Say hello! And, if you don't know what I'm talking about/you've never listened to Radio 92.9 before, do your ears a favor and click on the image above to go check them out.  Good music, good people, can't go wrong.

Friday, January 6, 2012



Student A: You guys know that 1-hit wonder, "Come On Eileen," by The Midnight Dixie Running Band?"

Me, overhearing the convo: Hmm, do you mean Dexy's Midnight Runners?
Student A: No, isn't it Midnight Dixie Running? Band? Something?

Me: Nope. Definitely Dexy's Midnight Runners.  You can Google it, but that's the name of the band.  

Student A: Are you sure? 

Student B: Dude, you got schooled. 

Student A: Okay, but what about that song, "Take On Me," by Ooh-Ha? And that band, Boston, they only had one hit...

"15 Seconds of Fame" - Brian Jarvis Band (via Mix 104.1)

I was so excited to see this today!  My friend Brian (of the Brian Jarvis Band) and his band were featured today on Boston's Mix 104.1's "15 Seconds of Fame".  The video featured is the band's original song and video written in support of the Special Olympics (specifically, the Dream Ride event in my and Brian's homestate of Connecticut).  This song hit me hard because I work with students with special needs who participate in the Special Olympics, and it's a huge part of their lives.  They live for the "Lympics," as one of my students calls it.
Something kinda cool about this video is that the live music shots are from The Paradise Rock Club here in Boston.  I hope you take a moment to listen to it - and I dare you to not be moved by it!

Congrats to Brian Jarvis, Jon Coates, Dan Fortin and Jim Townsend!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

SWF for iTunes DJ - 27, Boston Area

I can't hide it anymore... I have feelings for you.  I have for a while now.  I never really noticed you until a few months ago - you've been here all along, but only recently have I truly begun to appreciate your awesomeness.  I hope that doesn't scare you away...

I love hitting the refresh button and seeing what the iTunes DJ comes up with.  I am reminded of some crazy old songs and albums I have on my computer.  Talib Kweli!  Mika!  Max Lugavere!  I can't get enough.  The Talib/Mary J/Mos Def tune is on my "Brad's Mix 2005" - I am a sucker for a good mixtape.  Okay, mixtape, mix CD, whatever.  I'm still going to call it a mixtape, so deal with it.  Brad is an old pal/coworker from when I was a TA/Dorm Parent at a writing camp back home in CT, and he made a sweet mix for each of us.  Nice work, Brad. You're probably not reading, but nice work.

Anyone else out there using iTunes DJ?  Or, better yet, is anyone using another similar program to mix it up?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

#WhatchaListeningTo Wednesday

That's right, I'm making up a day, and it's "Whatcha Listening To? Wednesdays"... like it?  I hope that any and all of you who are reading this participate!  I'm always looking to find out what people are listening to, whether they're friends, friends-of-friends, whoever.

So, here's What I'm Listening To this week:


So, now the question is, #WhatchaListeningTo?  (That's right, I'm starting a #hashtag. What!)