Monday, November 26, 2012

Musical Monday: Cool Covers

So I find a lot of my covers on Like a Version, a feature on the Australian radio station Triple J where the musicians come and play one of their own songs and then add a twist to a song by someone else. Last week I highlighted Josh Pyke's cover of the Jezebel's Endless Summer. I felt inspired to create a list of some of my favorite covers. Here's what I came up with:

Matt Corby: Lonely Boy (the Black Keys cover)
This performance is so heart-achingly raw and wonderful. The slowed down tempo, stripped to acoustic guitar allows Matt to create such a dynamic vocal performance that gives a new twist to the song.

Missy Higgins: Heart's a Mess (Gotye cover)
This is already one of my favorite songs so it's safe to say not only will I love any version, but I will also never think any comes close to the original.  This cover is one of my favorites because Missy has such an emotive voice and stripping it down to just her and the piano adds more than it takes away. It's also interesting to hear the lyrics and imagine the original scenario flipped on its head to a woman's perspective. Another cool thing is that I saw Missy Higgins tour with Gotye in September so it's cool to see her play his stuff before the whole tour happened.

Jimmy Eat World: Last Christmas
Now I love T. Swift as much as the next guitar playing gal, but Jimmy Eat World has my heart when it comes to covering the song "Last Christmas." Something about this version captures the more hopeful side of the song, while still conveying the original hurt behind the lyrics.

Angus and Julia Stone: You're the One that I Want (Grease cover)
For some reason it seems most of the covers I like are slowed down, moody versions of songs, maybe I'm more emo than I'll admit but I do really like this cover sung by Julia Stone of the Grease hit. Also, one of my favorits SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance) contestants did one of her 30 second solos to this song so I always see that in my head when I hear "I got chiiiiiillls".

The Rocket Summer: Hey Ya (Outkast cover)

I can't yet find a good quality video that shows Bryce looping all the instruments and the full song but I'll update this post as soon as I do. What makes this cover cool is that I saw it performed live in the His Instruments Your Voices tour. The Rocket Summer is basically this really talented musician/composer/singer/performer named Bryce Avary who plays basically any instrument. It was really neat to see the whole song slowly built piece by piece, and finally figure out what it was.

There are other cover's out there that I like, for example Anya Marina's Whatever You Like (T.I. cover), or any Karmin Music cover but I needed to cut off the list at some point or else this post would never end.

Do you have any favorite covers? I'd love to hear about them in the comments section! I LOVE sharing music and I'd love to hear what you'd recommend!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Musical Monday (Tuesday Again): Summer Come Back!

In Which I Lament The Summer That Wasn't

Today's theme ignores the fact that Thanksgiving and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year are right around the corner & instead encapsulates my sentiments for most of late October-mid November: fall is great and wonderful but I missed my summer this year I want it back!

The Drums: Let's Go Surfing

A perfect summer boardwalk song. Not since Nelly have we had a better woven-in version of "Shimmy Shimmy Coco-Pop" (or "DownDown Baby," whatever it's called) to a radio friendly tune.

Surfaris: Wipeout

I can't have summer without this jam. And the cackling laugh just taunts me that its another 7 months until summer begins.

Dana Buoy: So Lucky

I know I've highlighted this song before but my blog my rules, I do what I want (plus last time it was just the EP cover not a music video).  Anyways, I can't hear this song without thinking of relaxing at the beach seeing a vast expanse of ocean across the horizon and that wonderfully full feeling you get realizing how amazing it it yo witness such grandeur.

The Jezabels: Endless Summer

Epic drumbeats, a ridiculous vocal range, passionately ambiguous but dark/nostalgic lyrics, must be the Jezabels. The video is just as epic w/ a cinematic Beauty & the Beast-esque storyline, horses, & Australian ranch.

Josh Pyke: Endless Summer (Jezebel Cover)

Then because today's selection is based on my own sad nostalgia for the summer that wasn't (2012 will always be the summer that wasn't just b/c it was filled with studying for the bar, which I don't want to remember anyway), here's Josh Pyke's acoustic - and therefore more raw & emotional by default - cover of Endless Summer for Triple J's Like a Version. Sidenote: Next week theme will be Cool Covers w/ a link to Triple J and some of my favorite "Like a Versions"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Musical Monday (Tuesday): Epic Youth Battle

So this post is late due mostly to the fact that I didn;t have internet for most of yesterday or the weekend in general as I took in the sights, sounds, and kickball feilds of New Orleans LA.  While my team wasn't the Circuit Cup National Champions, we did make it to the finals and take it to 5 extra innings, not too shabby.

Enough with the recap, let's get to today's music post. I have two current up-and-coming songs that are stuck in my head this week and they both happen to have the same name, which can only mean one thing for today's post:
Prepare your mind for two Youths duking it out in the battle for your ears and heart!

Daughter: Youth

In this corner, championed by KEXP Seattle is the British trio, lead by Elena Tonra.  With a quiet passion they creates a dark, brooding, atmospheric tale of "setting fire to our insides for fun to distract our hearts" and "lovers that went wrong." The subtle melody of the electric guitar weaves magic as it interplays with her contemplative, regretfully angry vocals and the dynamic drumbeat.

Foxes: Youth

In the other corner, championed by Dianna Agron and the crew at You Me & Charlie comes Louisa Rose Allen, also hailing from across the pond (Britain), who performs under the name Foxes. This "Youth" definitely has a bolder more danceable beat, while still maintaining meaningful lyrics: "a thousand dreams I'm holding heavy." The beat definitely take center stage alongside her voice, nostalgic and pleading as she cries "don't tell me our youth is running out," after a brief pseudo-climax, both the beat and her voice regain power & confidence as the song builds to a close.

So who won? It's like picking which child is your favorite, but I'm keeping my own bias to myself. I'd love to hear which one you prefer and why! Drop a  comment below!

Friday, November 9, 2012

(Super)Fun Friday: Kickball and Cooking

So tomorrow I jet off to New Orleans to play for the National Kickball Title (I know how absurd that sounds but there's actually a lot of strategy and athletic ability that goes into an adult kickball game, and I've really missed having a team to belong to and something to REALLY play for in a sport).  My team, OSC, is actually quite good, in fact we won the WAKA World (National) Championship tournament in Vegas last month.

(OSC at the Harrisburg, PA tournament in June 2012)

It's also SUPERFUN because my sisters and I all play for the same team and when we get together and get competitive, it's impossible not to have a fun time!
uuber presh-to-the-ish, no?

And what also makes this (Super)Fun Friday is that I took a break from job applications this week to splice together my very own audition for The Next Food Network Star! Well, not really, but the way the job search is going, I'm not ruling it out as an alternative.  Anyways, here's a video where I show you how to make Jerk Chicken Chili! The recipe is included in the info-doobly-doo beneath the video on YouTube if you want to make some yourself.  It's SUPER sencillo (easy), and RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS. 

 It's one of the first big dishes I discovered and made entirely on my own so it will always be a special recipe in the filing-cabinet of my heart.

Anyways, hope you have a Fabulously Fun Friday and see you for the next Musical Monday!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Musical Monday: Banjo-rific!

Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a very judgmental person... the one exception is that I totally judge people based on whether or not they like banjos.  I think banjos are the most interestingunder-appreciated, complex, AMERICAN, and awesome instrument out there. If I was a musical instrument, I would be a banjo (or maybe an accordion).

Josh Turner: Would You Go With Me?
Oh, that voice! When put with the banjo, I DIE of overexposure to awesome every time I listen to this song!

Dixie Chicks: Cowboy Take Me Away
Political agenda and drama aside, these ladies could ROCK! This was one of their slower jams but man did I sing this all the way through middle school!

Redemption Hill Music: Rock of Ages
When I lived in Richmond, I was blessed by Redemption Hill Church in so many ways, not least of all by the Ah-MAZING music every week.  The quality of music being played by so many diverse instruments was fantastic. Every Sunday I spied a banjo in the band setup made it that much better of a service =). The church just came out with a new EP, which you can get here!

Mumford and Sons: Roll Away Your Stone
I can't have a best-of banjo list and not mention Mumford & Sons, they helped bring banjo mainstream (outside of country music). Also, the banjo player has some sweet groove-tastic moves as he plays. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs and was splendidly done each time I saw them live.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Musical Thursday?!? Special Post

So listening to music while driving through a hurricane makes the entire experience more potent, the lyrics pop in your brain, the drumbeats pound in your heart, and the melodies echo through your ears. 

Basically, my adrenaline fueled 2-hour drive through Hurricane Sandy (when it was still technically a Hurricane) from Richmond back to NoVA while listening to KEXP's Music that Matters Podcast, made this already epic piece of "post-anthemic rock" (apparently that's a thing now, see here) even more EPIC! Like any tremendously happy news, I can no longer contain it, thus this special post.

Here's a preview of the lyrical phrases that caught my breath and continue to waft through my mind:
"I was in love with a heartbeat;
"I'm singing of a lonesome day;
"She wears a red dress out when it's grey; she's out there looking for love in the morning."
"I'll send doves to let you know"
"See the sun turn around and run away"

Without further ado, here's the song.

NO: What's Your Name?

You can get their EP on their Bandcamp page: