A lot of people who love music are really saddened by the passing of Lou Reed. I have to admit, I'd never listened to Lou before meeting Dan Zielske back in 1989 in Grapevine, Texas.
Lou's music seemed weird. And that was saying something, considering at that time, Bauhaus and Peter Gabriel were my two favorite bands.
But Dan and weird music went hand in hand and I found his quirky taste utterly charming. He expanded my musical views to be sure, even if I never really did come around on Orchestral Manuevers in the Dark.
It's been really cool to read all of the tributes to Lou's music and his infuence but I couldn't help but think, "Did he know he was that influential and that revered?" I'm guessing he did. Duh. He's Lou Reed. But it got me thinking about a book I recently read, Tuesdays with Morrie, wherein Morrie held a living funeral for himself so he could hear all the loving and tender and funny things people had to say about him.
Maybe that was a little self-serving, but heck he was dying, so why not?
Today, tell someone how much you appreciate them. Keep it simple. Spread it around.
As we are getting ready to enter a month where gratitude is the focus, why not?
I'll leave you with my favorite Lou Reed song. RIP Lou.
Last week, a friend posted a spoken-word video on Facebook by an artist named Mary Lambert and I was moved to tears by it. After I'd seen it, I wondered if it was the same woman who is the featured singer on the Macklemore song, Same Love, another song that seems to move me to tears everytime I hear it. Indeed, it was the same artist.
So I watched a few clips on YouTube and was just mesmerized. It's funny, I don't listen to many female singers. Most of my favorite artists are male. It's always sort of been that way. But every now and then, someone's voice and music really captures me and moves me. Mary Lambert is such an artist.
Here is her song that is part of the Macklemore song.
There is just something magical about her voice. I'm completely in love with this artist.
Her spoken-word piece, which appears on her EP, is starting to get a lot of views on YouTube. I found myself a little teary after watching it. I share it here, but if you are offended by the f-word, then don't watch this. It's incredibly powerful.
Love your body the way your mother loved your baby feet.
I want my daughter to see this.
I feel like this woman is special. I hope she gets a much wider audience. Her Letters Don't Talk EP is amazing. Check it out if you can.
Plus, she is a girl from my hometown, Everett, Washington.
This is my favorite song right now. I hadn't heard it until I was in Slovenia, even though I hear it's been all over the radio state side. Our friend who got married made us a mix for our day trips in Slovenia and Get Lucky kicked off the mix and an extendid remix showed up at the end. At first, I was thinking, "Nice. I guess they want to 'get lucky'," and then after a few listens I fell in love with it.
Now, lucky me, I have a video guide for how to dance to it as well. Enjoy!
I know. He's not all that new. But considering he's 22 years old, he still qualifies as fresh in my book.
I was familiar with his song "The a Team"—it's been heavy in radio play for the past year—and I finally decided to check out the rest of his album.
I kind of love it. Like, love it.
Then I saw this clip of him performing live. It's this kind of thing that just makes me marvel. When someone has such a pure and effortless voice. This kid can sing and play. Like, for reals. In fact, I would go as far as saying if there has been a better song written in the past year, I haven't heard it. Haunting. Gorgeous. Insanely good.
Plus, he looks a bit like a muppet. What's not to love about that?
And I love his video featuring Rupert Grint as an Ed Sheeran wanna be. It makes me wonder if Ed is not a fan of lip syncing to his own videos.
If you haven't checked him out, it's worth it. Plus, he sings with a slight accent at times. You know how we Americans love that. At least this one does.
And if you like that song, check out his acoustic version. Simple and stripped down. So good.
This will be in heavy rotation on my summer play list.
I love talented people. This guy? He's the real deal.
My kids' school does this thing twice a year called Coffee House. It's an evening of music and entertainment and any student can sign up and perform.
Aidan has participated in this several times, and Cole has joined in for 2013. I wanted to share a video clip of one of Cole's performances in a band called The Tickle Bros.
They do a cover of Weezer's Say It Ain't So and they pretty much rock the thing out. But what is so crazy is that I didn't know Cole could play drums. He's got a bass and a guitar, but there is no drum set in our basement. And I guess my main question is: when did he learn to go all Dave Grohl?
I seriously got tears in my eyes watching him up there.
Even Aidan said she had no idea her little brother could do this.
At 1:35 he kicks it into high gear.
The kid plays big. That's all I'm saying.
And at 4:05, he adds a nice little rock 'n roll, devil may care touch.
Plus, the other kids he's playing with are super cool kids.
I'm not sure how many of you out there watched Dave Grohl's keynote address at the South by Southwest Conference. I was glued to it and couldn't help but think, all young aspiring musicians should watch his talk.
You never know when the next Dave Grohl is living right under your roof.
They're a band from Minneapolis whose last album, Light Chasers, became one of my favorite albums of the past few years. What's funny to me now is that whenever Dan would listen to it, it would annoy me. Then I actually decided to listen to it myself and it kind of blew me away.
They have a new album out and I cannot stop playing it. Something about Craig Minowa's voice, and the cello that peppers so many of their songs… their music just gets me in the gut.
Here is there first single and video, Good Friend.
Life is a playground, but it takes a lot of work So you better learn to love, or it will tear you apart 'Cause in the end we are measured by the size of our heart So we can’t do this alone Some of us are laughing, And some of us are choking Some of us can't change 'till every bone’s been broken All the while The Maker just sits there joking You never really were alone
I was running some errands this past weekend, listening to A Prairie Home Companion (yes, I'm officially middle aged and it's my right to do so…that, and I could listen to Garrison Keillor read the phone book), and I heard a band that made me pull over and figure out who they were and what they were all about.
The band is Johnnyswim, and they are a folk, soul, blues, pop duo hailing from Nashville, Tennesee.
They are insanely talented, extremely pleasant on the eyes, and get this: they're married. Oh for cute.
I just bought their Home EP and am loving it. Hey Johnnyswim, release more songs! You guys are the real deal.
This is the song I heard them do on the radio show and I loved it.
While I work to try and knock out my Project Life post for this week, I thought I'd share a video from an album that's been in non-stop rotatation at my house. The album is Light Chasers by Cloud Cult.
Cloud Cult are a Minnesota band who've been around since 1995. I've been vaguely familiar with them, but never really claimed myself to be a fan until Light Chasers came out. It came out in 2010, and Dan got hooked on it much sooner than I did. In fact, when he'd play it, I'd conveniently leave the room because I'll be honest with you: I didn't get it.
You know how sometimes a vocalist's style doesn't hit you right? Or the music just doesn't suck you in at first listen? That's been my story with this band.
Until about two months ago when I finally heard it.
I'm quite certain it's due in part to the therapy I've been involved in for the past few years. I've been working on changing so many parts of what makes me me. This process isn't easy and it's definitely not fun. If there is one thing I am learning, anyone who says they love to grow and change but isn't simulataneously experiencing a great deal of pain… well, maybe they aren't growing and changing as much as they'd like to. That's definitely been my experience.
But this process for me is definitely needed.
Light Chasers feels like a therapy session. Some of the song lyrics have ripped my heart right out of my chest, and then tossed it back in there, haphazardly and ill-placed, but they've given yet another perspective on my own inadequacies. Songs like this one:
I am a wrecking ball / I've run the guillotine / I blame everything just to keep my hands clean.
But there are moments of such beauty and joy on the record as well.
This song represents one of the epic, joyous moments.
And we were running / for a reason / left our cubicles in little flaming piles We were running / for a reason / I need to feel something different for just a little while.
And this one:
Love your mother / yeah she's a good one / She'll build you armor; keep you warm as a hen / The stars may fall and the rains may pour / but I will love you evermore / cuz you were born.
Just wanted to share some music that's moving me right now.
Sigur Rós, a band that I've really come to love over the years, has a new album out, Valtari. Last week, I watched a video from the new record which was part of a mystery film project. The band gave a dozen different film makers a modest budget and asked them to come up with videos. The video below has created a buzz, initially because it features Shia LaBeouf in the, well, buff.
I've watched it a handful of times and while yes, it's trippy and weird in spots, it's also incredibly moving and beautiful.
I love what director Alma Har'el had to say about it: "For me, it's about not knowing how to get out of something without causing pain to somebody else. For other people it might be about candy and fish. I'm down with that."
I have been listening to this album every morning and soaking it in. Pure aural bliss.