Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 in Review: Monthly favorites

This might not be scientific, but I'm going to give it a shot. The plan hit me last night as I was crawling into bed: I'll sort my iTunes by "Date Added" then look at the entries month by month to see what floats to the top. I've got new neighbors moving in today (which means hours of footsteps running up and down the stairs) so this will work nicely to drown out the noise.

The skepticism about being scientific comes from the fact that, just because I add a track in a certain month, it doesn't mean the song was released then, so keep that in mind. Plus, sometimes I forget to turn off my iPod, so getting a lot of plays isn't always a sign of liking a song/band; it might be utter coincidence.

January:

Fun. - Some Nights

...from the EP, Before Shane Went to Bangkok: Fun. Live in the USA. You might check their site; it had been a free download. Not sure if it's still available.



February:

The Districts - Rocking Chair

They have a new album coming out in February 2015 and also are scheduled to be in Kansas City that same month. Mark your calendars!



March:

Water Liars - Tolling Bells

My copy is from a Daytrotter session. You know how I am addicted to Daytrotter. In fact, I just renewed my annual subscription and saved 50% (so that's $16) and now I can download all I want for another year. Daytrotter is a great source of music and I can't praise them enough. (In December 2014, subscribe and save 50%: Use promo code CHEER1YR and get half off a 1-yr membership. See their website for details.)



Tied for March is:

Kodaline - All I Want



April:

Manchester Orchestra - After the Scripture

I adore this song. I can't say anything more.



May:

Tim Fite - all of it.

In all honesty, the whole month of May should pretty much be dedicated to finding Tim Fite. The thing is, I now own about 4 bazillion Tim Fite songs, so the numbers get spread a little thin if I only look at plays, so it's hard to pick one song in particular.



June:

I definitely have days when I need something a little heavier in my life. I guess that's how I was feeling in June!

PUP - Reservoir

They have free downloads of this song available on Bandcamp.



The Menzingers - The Talk



July:

Bootstraps - Fourty five

In July, Daytrotter released a Bootstraps session, so although I did officially really like them before July and owned some of their music, I'm going to count them for July. We had company in town this month, so I didn't have much chance for music exploration this month!



August:

Vampire Weekend - M79

Vampire Weekend has been around for a while and I've been listening to them here and there, but this year they hit me a little harder with Step. I love the song. Consequently, I realized they had a Daytrotter session that I hadn't downloaded, which is why M 79 is one of this month's winner.




Thad Kopec - Albatross

Albatross doesn't have a video I can share, but here's a link so you can listen. I've told you -- probably more than once -- about how much I enjoy listening to his music.

The Griswolds - Red Tuxedo

What a fun song!



September:

Sara Swenson - Darling Dear

Sara Swenson came home this year after about a year in the UK; new husband in tow. I prefer Sara's music live, but since I can't really have her follow me around and sing me songs all day, I do have to resort to listening to her recorded music -- which I do frequently.

Darling Dear is from her new album, Runway Lights. It's a great chapter in her story. There's not a video for the song, so you can watch this one instead.



October:

The Paragraphs - Turns to Dust

I know, I know, I've already told you about Lost Ark Studio and The Paragraphs, but fair is fair, They won October. Check NoiseTrade and the band's Bandcamp page to get some cheap/free downloads of their music.



Bear's Den - Agape

This song is so emotional and beautiful and I have to just freeze in place when it comes on and listen to every single word.



November:

The Lonely Hunter - Lost and Found

I couldn't find a video for this song, but I really like it. You can get a sampler album from NoiseTrade that has the song and many others to help support The Orphan Care Network.

December:

Thrift - Mockingbird

December is easy, I didn't even have to look to know that it was Thrift. I'm crazy about Thrift lately and listen to their album every day. My thanks goes to Instagram for helping me cross paths with this music!



There were certainly many more great bands, songs, and live shows this year, so those who are not mentioned shouldn't feel slighted! Unless you suck, then yes, you should feel slighted. Very, very slighted.

Bye!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dinoscore: Joshua James, his new album, and a Rafflecopter giveaway!

I've been listening to Joshua James for a few years now. I love how his voice is haunting and soothing at the same time. If I'm struggling to get to sleep, or feeling anxious, I just put on his music and float away.

Recently, my mom and I had to take an emergency road trip from Kansas City to Florida for my grandma's funeral. We wanted to get there ASAP, so we drove straight through -- only stopping for brief gas/pit stops. I was letting her drive while I took a nap, but couldn't fall asleep. I dug out my iPod and was search through for something to listen to that would help me settle in and sleep for a bit. I was skipping through song by song, when finally, Joshua James popped up and I knew that was just what I needed to block out the traffic and distractions.

If I'm every trying to concentrate on something (which is often a struggle for me), I'll often switch over to Joshua James to help me keep that focus.

So, recently, his new album came out: Well, Then, I'll Go to Hell. I ordered it right away. Turns out, I've talked about him enough that one of my friends got the album for me too, so now I have two copies. Lucky for you, I'm not a hoarder (anymore), so I decided to try a Rafflecopter giveaway to share my extra copy. So, one of the copies I have is autographed, so I figured you might like to have that one. This will be my first Rafflecopter, so FINGERS CROSSED... I hope this goes smoothly.

I encourage you to check out Joshua James' music -- not just the new album!

From time to time, I end up getting extra CDs and other things from bands, so maybe this will be a good way to spread the wealth.

Dramamine is definitely one of my new favorites, but there are many other great songs!






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rambling Around Town: El Torreon

I'm going to start with a disclaimer: I haven't been to El Torreon yet; however, I want to tell you about the place because they need some support. Currently, they have a Kickstarter running that only has about a week left. Meeting their goal can help them add a music venue in Kansas City that, so far, has offered great names at great prices. I have high hopes for this place.

I have pledged my support and hope you will too. If you like live music, I urge you to support a venue that is looking to provide a chance to have intimate shows with great bands.


Recently Unearthed: Lost Ark Studio

I've told you many times about how much awesome music I find on Noisetrade. Lately, anywhere I go, my favorite thing is label samplers. So, the other day when I was digging around on Noisetrade I found 8 volumes of music from Lost Ark Studio in California.

I did a quick glance of the "sounds like section" and decided to go for it and download all 8 volumes. Because of this decision, this has been a great week! It's exciting to find some new, interesting music. I don't get a lot of time for stuff like this anymore, so it's a real treat when I find something special.

I thought the best way to share with you about these volumes, was to do a little mix tape of some of the songs I liked the best. I haven't even done any searching to see what kind of web content these bands have before sitting down to write this so, I'm not sure what this will look like when it's done, but if nothing else, you can (at least for now) download the music from Noisetrade.

Here we go. Please note this is not necessarily and all-inclusive list of music I liked out of the many volumes:

The Paragraphs - Turns to Dust



Republic of Letters - Help Me



Strange Vine - Kitchen Floor



Tan Sister Radio - Leap Year



The Absolute - I Had it Coming



That's a few to get you started. Jump in and take a look around.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Recently Unearthed: Grav3yardgirl

I have a Roku. I might have told you about it before, maybe not. Anyway, I had one of the kind of "original" Rokus, but it got stolen at Thanksgiving (see past posts for that fun story), so I bought a new one. The newer generation is kind of not my favorite thing in the world. It interferes with my laptop wifi and seems a little glitchy, but it's mine so I deal with it.

When I first got started with Roku I had hoped to use it for YouTube, but later found out that YouTube didn't really work with Roku; however, they've recently added a YouTube channel that I have been getting a lot of enjoyment out of. I don't check for "new" channels often and don't really keep up on Roku news, so maybe this has been available longer than I realize, but it's a recent addition for me.

The YouTube channel isn't dreamy, but it's tolerable. It works better if you go ahead and register/sync your device to your YouTube account. It works even better (most of the time) if you browse YouTube on your smartphone, then link to your Roku to play the video on your TV. (It's easier to search using smartphone than the Roku/YouTube search where you hunt & peck the alphabet.)

So, somehow in between my recent rekindled love of Morten Harket (formerly of a-ha) and the obsessive video watching that ensued, I happened upon Grav3yardgirl. You see, if you watch a video on the YouTube channel on Roku, when one video ends, it will start another after a few seconds and somehow it decided to play one of her "Does this thing really work?" videos.

I'm ever-so-skeptical of As Seen on TV products, so I let the video play. My first reaction to Bunny was that she was a little crazy. Then, before judgement set in, I realized that I TOO am a little crazy so maybe that isn't such a bad thing.

Long story still reasonably long, it's been a couple of weeks now and I'm thoroughly and completely 100% addicted to her YouTube channel. This weekend, I taught my mom (& attempted to teach the cat) the art of "Sippy Sippy". I must warn you, this art needs some practice as, even for Bunny, I've noticed that sometimes Sippy Sippy turns into Chokey Coughy.

Being a rather portly dinosaur, I'm not that much into fashion. My arms are too short to apply makeup, so I'm not into that either (a-la T-Rex trying); however, I even really like watching her videos about makeup and clothes and the death-machine shoes she likes to wear. 

It might not be your "thang" but I'd recommend you take a look at her channel and see if you like it. It's hard to pick a video to share, so I'll just post the last one I watched.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Recently Extinct: UUVVWWZ

I said I wasn't going to do anymore Recently Extinct blogs until I came across UUVVWWZ. I lied.

You see, when I'm working, I have my iPod on most of the time. If I find a song I don't like, I mark it 1 star, so later when I sync my iPod, I'll know to remove that song from my device. (If you have a better way of doing this... I'd be happy to hear your method!) If I like a song, I'll mark it a higher star rating and if I'm indifferent it gets no stars.

While I'm doing this, if something catches my attention enough, I'll write it down on a little list I keep so I can go back and listen to more later. These lists are what I keep with me to remember what to tell you about when I actually get around to blogging.

When I first started this blog, I was going to do some reviews of music I didn't like, but I stopped doing that because I don't want to be one of those people. You know the ones... they join Yelp just to do a horrible review for one business after one experience or even worse because they've heard something bad and haven't even gone there themselves.

I don't like when people say "Oh, I hate _____." and haven't even tried it...or even if they have tried it and still hate it, that doesn't mean other people have to hate it.

I hate miso soup, but there are bazillions of people out there that eat it. I don't understand it. I can't stand it. I don't even want to think about it.

Well, UUVVWWZ is my new miso soup. They are to music what Amy Schumer is to comedy...wait...now I've gone too far. No one is as bad as she is.

Anyway, when UUVVWWZ came up on my ipod, it impacted me so that I wrote it on my list of things to tell you about and next to it I wrote BAD BAD BAD.

You be your own judge. Remember that I tried to warn you.


UUVVWWZ and Amy Schumer on eBay

Dinomite Track: Anni Rossi - Land Majestic

I don't listen to a lot of Anni Rossi's music... well I haven't yet... I'm not saying I won't. I have her Daytrotter sessions and really love Land Majestic.

I'm not sure how "official" or "unofficial" this video is, but it's all I've got: