Monday, December 31, 2012

Musical Monday: Best of 2012

I tried to pick my top 10 songs of 2012, I really did. But I have such trouble picking favorites, the only way that made sense to showcase the songs I loved this year was not to make a numerically ordered list (how could I rank & measure Macklemore against Julia Stone in any way that could truly compare their music fairly. So instead I decided to share the top 3 songs that got me through each month. The only restriction I gave myself in this list is that since it is a "best of 2012" list they either had to be released in 2012 or late 2011.

*a quick explanation on lack of Gotye in the top songs of 2012:  I discovered his music in February 2011 & bought Making Mirrors when it was released in Australia in August 2011 and subsequently rocked out on repeat until the end of the year. For me, 2011 was the year of Gotye, even though I went to 2 concerts of his in 2012 which were awesome, the magic and obsession of discovery has given way to a comfortable, less prominent but still ever-present appreciation.

Without further ado, here are my Top 36 of 2012


The 2011 Triple J Hottest 100 gave me a lot of great music to start off the new year. And KEXP's Iceland Airwaves gave me Of Monsters and Men and their super-catchy "Little Talks"
Matt Corby: Brother 

Of Monsters and Men: Little Talks

Bombay Bicycle Club: Shuffle


February was all about escaping the madness through music, and Marathon Runner became my Spring-time anthem, I even used the lyrics as headers in a law school paper.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Make the Money

Yellow Ostrich: Marathon Runner

The Lumineers: Ho Hey


Lushlife: Teenage Dream

Ramona Falls: Spore

Kimbra: Come Into My Head


April Showers brought some sad nostalgia but also comforting reflection.
David's Lyre: Hearbeat

Gossling: Love Fall Foul

Dana Buoy: So Lucky


Happy songs were fitting for all the celebrations of May
Ramona Falls: Archimedes Plutonium

Gossling: Wild Love

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Can't Hold Us Feat. Ray Dalton


Songs that got me through Bar Review, either epic soundtracks, positive messages, of complex beats to fall into to pause from studying. I credit "When It Builds" especially for helping me get through certain sections of Bar Review *cough* Wills & Trusts and therefore helping me pass the VA Bar)
Shadows on Stars: When It Builds

Alt-J: Fitzpleasure

Alt-J: Taro


More happy/upbeat songs, I'm still waiting for Yuna to blow up, she's great and Stereogum voted Japandroids The House That Heaven Built  the Song of the Summer. Also, a zen Matt Corby track he released for free which I listen to almost every yoga practice, it puts me in such a lovely place.
Yuna: Live Your Life

Japandroids: The House that Heaven Built

Matt Corby: Coloured Stones and Walls


August was about rekindling the love for old favorite musicians. I went to the Gentlemen of the Road festival and it renewed my love for Mumford, I also rediscovered Stars with their new album North and Ingrid Michaelson on YouTube made me realize how great she still is.

Mumford & Sons: Below My Feet

Stars: Hold on When You Get Love and Let Go When You Get It

Ingrid Michaelson: Fire


No theme in Septermber, just good music.
Imagine Dragons: Tiptoe

Hot Chip: Let Me Be Him

Julia Stone: Let's Forget All The Things That We Say (Feat. Benjamin Biolay)


Again, no theme here, just songs I kept replaying.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: BomBom Feat. The Teaching

Stars: Walls

NO: What's Your Name


This was an angsty month for me, evidenced by the girl-tastic jams with lyrics like "if you're still breathing, you're the lucky one" and "don't tell me our youth is running out"
Daughter: Youth

HAIM: Go Slow

Foxes: Youth


Christmas, nostalgia, and the years end meant these were the tracks of my December.
Sufjan Stevens: Christmas Unicorn

Kishi Bashi: Manchester

Husky: History's Door

I'm excited for what 2013 will hold. Were any of these your favorites from 2012? What songs define your past year? I'd love to hear in the comments section below or find me on twitter: @itzbizr

Monday, December 24, 2012

Blue Christmas: Thank God for Kids

Because it's Christmas. Because there are 27 people whose murders shocked the world.  Because many were beautiful innocent children.  Because they are near to my heart right now and should not be forgotten. Because, the darkness threatened to overshadow the light, but the Light has and will always conquer the darkness.

Because in the midst of asking how this could happen, we can all thank God for the gift of children everywhere, and for the joy and laughter and smiles of those kids in Newtown, Connecticut shared on this earth before they were taken from it.

Oak Ridge Boys: Thank God for Kids
If it weren't for kids have you ever thought
There wouldn't be no Santa Claus
Or look what the stork just brought
Thank God for kids

And we'd all live in a quiet house
With out Big Bird or Mickey Mouse
And kool aid on the couch
Thank God for kids

Thank God for kids, there's magic for a while
A special kind of sunshine in a smile
Do you ever stop to think or wonder why
The nearest thing to heaven is a child

Daddy, how does this thing fly?
And a hundred other where's and whys
I really don't know but I try
Thank God for kids

And when I look down in those trusting eyes
That look to me, I realize
There's a love that I can't buy
Thank God for kids

Thank God for kids, there's magic for a while
A special kind of sunshine in a smile
Do you ever stop to think or wonder why
The nearest thing to heaven is a child

And when you get down on your knees tonight
Thank the Lord for His guiding light
And pray they turn out right
Thank God for kids

Thank God for kids.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Musical Monday: Christmas Unicorns!

So today's blog is brought to you by Christmas non-human entities =). We have Christmas Unicorns, Christmas Ghosts, Christmas Hippos, and of course that magical snowman who lives on the edge!

Sufjan Stevens: Christmas Unicorn
A song about how we're all uniquely outcasts, and don't quite feel we deserve Christmas in our own ways, but that's why Christmas happened and happens every year! Even if you're wary of artsy, indie, angsty music, it is totally worth getting through the first 5-6 minutes to the slow build to a dance-tastic, "It's alright, I love you" filled joyful groove (the beat finally drops about 6:30). I love how Sufjan is constantly changing and experimenting with his sounds and so evolves as an artist with each song. I would've LOVED to have seen his latest tour but he was in DC over Thanksgiving & I couldn't convince Grandma to go =)

A Muppet Christmas Carol: It Feels Like Christmas

So i pretended to be a celebrity and totally live-tweeted my first (of many) viewing of the movie this year, that's how much I love it! The message of this song is so wonderful to: "in all the ways that you show love it feels like Christmas... the message if you hear it, is make it last all year!"

Gayla Peevey: I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas

I LOVED this song growing up because imagining a Hippo standing next to a Christmas tree is just too hilarious! Just picture it: a real live, aggressively irate (hippos are not Chill Charlies, like they want you to believe) hippo standing with a giant bow on its head or around it's stomach, too funny!

Bing Crosby: Frosty the Snowman
And it's just not Christmas without good old Frosty the snowman. A reminder that life is short so why not enjoy it and have fun (although I'd draw the line before provoking a traffic cop, but then again I'm not quite as bold as an animated snowman)

What are some of your favorite songs of the season? I'd love to know in the comments section!

Follow me on Twitter: @itzbizr

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Musical Monday, err Thursday: Oppa GOTR style

Forgive me for the bandwagony style title, but I just had to find a way to nod to one of the most interesting pop music hits of the year, Gangnam style. I also need to apologize b/c whoops, it's already the 13th and I've not posted yet this month... That's 2 Musical Mondays I've missed. APOLOGIES! 

Now that that's over with the real theme behind today's post is the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Tour. Basically this summer, Mumford & Sons coordinated 4 awesome music festivals nationwide, highlighting the musical history of the four cities. I went with friend to the Bristol, TN/VA Stopover, heard great music, went antiquing, saw more mustaches than I could count, and had a great time!

They even had lovely little photo-shoot opportunities set up, and a mustache on a helicopter!

I'm also doing something new and using only live versions of the song, since that's how I experienced them-slash-now have them on the compilation CD.

HAIM: Go Slow

I was able to see part of their performance at Bristol, but unfortunately not this song. So I'm super stoked to have the live-recording version from the compilation CD. I actually like the live version better than the recorded one, there's a much more 80s synth-tastic vibe and the vocals intertwine into an awesome tapestry of awesomicity =)

Dawes: A Little Bit of Everything
I was also lucky enough to see Dawes play at Bristol and they were great! This is a nice mellow jam about an attempted suicide, regret-fueled binge-eating, & the power of love, you can close your eyes and sway to.

The Very Best: Kondaine
Now after that downer, it's Super-party-dance-time! They look like they're having so much fun and its hard not to catch their infectious smiles and let the beat carry you to at least a bit of shoulder dancing.

Gogol Bordello: Start Wearing Purple
An oldie but goodie. They weren't at Bristol so I can only imagine what this was like live. Seeing the footage from this 2007 concert I'm sure it was pretty crazy!

Mumford & Sons-Below My Feet
One of their newer tracks. I can't get enough of the lyrics "keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn." While their chord progression remains predictable by now (you can say that about most any rock/pop artist though), it is predictably wonderful and one of my favorite things is shout-singing along to the "Ahhhs," creating and weaving in my own version of harmonies, so it's different every time. Their music also makes me happy in a way few other artists can. Also, this has a brief intro by Joseph Gordon Levitt so if it's not your type of music you can  just watch the first 3 seconds on repeat for awhile =)

Did you go to any great live shows or music festivals in 2012? Or is there any concert that stuck with you for awhile, I'd love to hear about it in the comments, or follow me on twitter for more music updates: @itzbizr