Friday, March 29, 2013

Foto Friday: Cherry Lane Cherry Blossoms

New Themed-Blog Day: Foto Friday! Hopefully I can keep this up, cause I love photos as much (but differently) as I love Music!

So I live on a street called "Cherry Lane" but there seems to only be one cherry tree on the whole street.  Luckily it belongs to our next door neighbor. So I had my own mini-Cherry Blossom Festival, taking pictures on Sunday & Monday (post-spring-snowstorm). This is one of the first years in awhile that I've been home to take pictures of it, but you may remember this post  where I had a mini cherry blossom fest on the University of Richmond campus. Unfortunately, for some reason I only posted one of the pictures I took there (although I used another for my "blog button"), so this time I'm including all of them.

March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013
March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013

March 24, 2013
March 25, 2013 (edited w/ Instagram)
I took all the photos with my iPhone 4S, and edited all but the last one using the Camera+ app. Seriously, it's great. I've found it's definitely easier to navigate than Snapseed, especially for basic fixes like backlight or dark pictures (however, there is less creativity in selectively editing portions of the photo, which Snapseed allows). I think for the amateur photographer, the Camera+ app is the way to go, it's one of the few apps I've ever paid for & it was totally worth the dollar.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2013 Spring Songs Preview

Sorry for the brief hiatus. I had some posts planned but every now & then I just feel compelled to get off the interwebs, that combined with a bout of perfectionism meant posting just didn't happen the last 2 weeks. Well now that I'm back, here's my Spring 2013 Preview of Songs and artists I'm excited about.

f y f e: Solace
f y f e is the newest project of Paul Dixon, who used to perform under the name David's Lyre. I've highlighted some of his tracks before which you can find here. Solace is the first song he debuted (that looks funny for some reason but spell check is saying it's OK), under his new moniker and while it's definitely distinct stylistically from his previous work (with a heavier sound, more distinct beat and use of an electric instead of acoustic guitar), it still keeps the same introspective lyrics

He also just dropped a new single this week:
f y f e: Lies
While David's Lyre was a little lighter sounding with more introspective lyrics, these new songs show f y f e is evolving into a more-radio friendly artist, with some heavier hooks, some electro-pop experimentation, and in the case of lies a free download if you "like" it on Facebook. Hopefully this translates into success across the pond for him here in America. I'd love to hear more and am looking forward to the EP release.

Fall Out Boy: My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark
The teenager in me is superexcited for the FOB reunion (Chicago Is So Two Years Ago takes me back to early high school everytime I hear it) plus fire is just awesome to watch in slo-mo, so the video satisfies my inner-pyromaniac. This song is definitely a bit harder & heavier and darker sounding, more reminiscent of Infinity on High than Under the Cork Tree (which along with Foile A Deaux are my favorite albums of theirs)

Vampire Weekend: Step
This song had its debut at the recent SXSW festival in Austin & all the music bloggers basically exploded with how awesome Vampire Weekend is and how much their all anticipating the next album. After hearing the track, I too am pretty excited for the next sounds from this lyrically-confusing, creative, hipster-before-hipsters-were-a-thing band.

San Cisco: Fred Astaire
I saw this young Australian band in concert last weekend at the Rock & Roll Hotel. They were a really fun band to hear live, they have a great 60s-beach-pop vibe and you could see they were having fun which always makes a show better. My friend described them as a "poor man's Bombay Bicycle Club, who is in turn a poor man's Vampire Weekend."  While I definitely see similarity in the sounds of the lead singer's voices & some of the songs, I really don't think that comparison is quite appropriate, it's probably more like San Cisco is a high-schooler's Vampire Weekend (seriously I was a good 10 years older than about 80% of the audience & the lead singer even helped a boy ask a girl to prom,which was adorbs but highlighted the fact that I might've been too old to be there & maybe too old to use the word adorbs) with a sassy lady-drummer named Scarlett (if that's not a perfect Rock&Roll name, I don't know what is).

Hey Marseilles: Heart Beats
Another KEXP find, so I'm linking the video to the live performance recorded through KEXP . I can't even count how many songs I like are named Heartbeat or Heartbeats or something similar but add this to the list. Basically, gimme some existential/introspective thought on hearts beating, add an epic beat and in this case a violin/cello melody line and I'm all about it. I think this band is poised for a breakthrough, I've been hearing their name more and more lately and I can't wait to see what they do next.

Haim: Falling
I cannot say enough about how much I dig Haim's music. I also am calling them out as the next big thing in US music (although, as I said before, I'm not the first to say this: they received the BBC's Sound of 2013 award) Also, while I never officially made this claim for other artists, I recognized the same sort of of potential in the songs from Mumford & Sons, Gotye, Of Monsters & Men, the Lumineers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis after discovering them from Triple J, KEXP, You Me & Charlie) in some cases almost a year before they became popular in mainstream media. Although for every Mumford, there's a Laura Marling (an amazingly talented musician who the critics all agree is great, but who just hasn't found a much success or radio play in the US). Anyway, this is in no way to toot my own horn, just to say: START LISTENING TO THIS AWESOME BAND and maybe you can be cool like me ;)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Musical Monday: Women Who Rock!

Did you know March is Women's History Month?
Neither did I, until I needed a theme for my first Musical Monday in March.

I actually though of this post after Tina Fey and Amy Poehler ROCKED hosting the Golden Globes  (I mean seriously, I rarely bother with award shows except for the Red Carpet looks but was so thoroughly entertained by the hostesses that I watched the whole thing), thinking the celebration of women in film & television deserves a celebration of women in music, it has now worked out perfectly as the first post for March. In honor of Women's History Month, we're gonna get some great tunes from Women who Rock!

Metric: Breathing Underwater
Metric has always been wonderful, and their latest single is no exception. Singer Emily Haines is all that is cool in rock and roll, like an indie-new wave Gwen Stefani minus the Harajuku obsession. This was the one song that I somehow forgot when compiling my Best of 2012 post, so I had to find a way to get it into a post this year. I just wish the US radiowaves would finally give this band their due. I would love to hear them on the air A LOT more (DC101 is one of the first stations in the mid-atlantic to realize how awesome Metric is, so they get a shout out).

HAIM: Don't Save Me
I introduce to you (if you're not cool enough to know them already) the next generation of women rockers/ The winner of the BBC Sound of 2013 award, HAIM is poised to take over the charts worldwide. The trio of sisters from LA bring's back some 90s R&B sounds in a very millennial way. I got the chance to see them at the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Bristol, TN/VA and have been hooked on their sound since. I also like them cause I am one of three sisters and I can pretend they are our LA alter-egos

M.I.A.: Bad Girls
Basically one of the baddest music videos of 2012. Back in 2008 M.I.A.'s album Kala was a fixture in the locker room pre-game pump-up mix for my college soccer team and so I was so glad to hear her making more quality music in 2012. I'm also glad to hear the full length album she's been working on will get released sometime this year.

Dum Dum Girls: Bedroom Eyes
Again, not a brand new song, but I figured I'd mix it up with some 60's-sounding pop/rock. I like to think of them as the real life Josie and the Pussycats, only much cooler.

Spice Girls: Spice up your Life
You can't celebrate Girl Power without some Spice Girls. Sorry not sorry.

Shania Twain: Man I Feel Like a Woman
Shania owns my middle-school and early high-school days. She still can do no wrong.

Which female musicians rock your world? Tell me about it in the comments below!