SONG OF THE DAY – “LIVE WHILE WE’RE YOUNG” by JOHNNYSWIM

April 29, 2014

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Today’s song is in celebration of my friend’s birthday. It is fitting that I am posting a song for her here as she is the one who, along with my daughter, convinced me to start this blog and is probably my biggest promoter and fan.

This is such a great song and I love the title. My friend lives her life wide open and full of joy. She is definitely living while she is young … and she will always be young. She knows the meaning of living life to the fullest and enjoying each moment. She is quick to laugh, always up for an adventure, full of energy, and is constantly serving others. I know that I am not the only friend of her’s who has benefited from the spark for life that she shares with everyone she meets. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my dear friend! I miss you and know that you are out living while you are young today, even though you are one day older. 🙂

“Live While We’re Young” is from JOHNNYSWIM, the husband-wife duo of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano. JOHNNYSWIM is one of my favorite newer musical groups and I previously shared a song by them on this website back in December (I give a little more history about them in that post). Their full length debut album, Diamonds, was just released today! I have been anxiously awaiting its release, so I wanted to share another song by them from the new album today. They are incredible and just have a remarkable sound.

I truly love this new song and there are so many on the album that are worth a listen. I am very impressed with this album – the song lyrics are fantastic, the sound of their two voices together is incredible, the music is raw and infectious, and their chemistry is just something that is not seen very often. Enjoy this new song and the new album today!

There is not currently a YouTube video out for this song, but click here to listen to the song. I will update the page as soon as a video is avaiable. In the meantime, the Album Trailer video below will give you a taste, and if you click here NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert will give you a fantastic view of this remarkable husband-wife duo.

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SONG OF THE DAY – “STRONG” by London Grammar

April 28, 2014

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Today I am posting a very different sound from the last post. This song is by London Grammar, a young trio out of (surprisingly) London.Their sound is very ethereal and atmospheric and I find it almost haunting. This song is both beautiful and mesmerizing, and the lyrics are gut wrenching.

London Grammar consists of Hannah Reid (vocalist), Dominic ‘Dot’ Major (keyboards & drums) and Dan Rothman (guitar). Hannah and Dan are both originally from London and they combined with Dot (a Northampton native) while the three were all students at the University of Nottingham. Hannah Reid has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard. Many have likened her voice to Florence Welch (Florence & The Machine) and I also made that comparison when I first listened to the trio. I am amazed at the range that Hannah has in her voice and how she can carry the entire song. Hannah also does the majority of the song writing (in particular, the lyrics), but the threesome is credited with writing the entirety of the music together.

London Grammar released their debut album – If You Wait – in September of 2013 after a long wait by their ever growing fan base. That fan base has expanded into the US, as earlier this year they performed at SXSW, performed on many popular late night shows, and did some touring across the States. I imagine they will just continue to grow in popularity and I think it will be interesting to see what they do next. The trio has received many accolades and, in fact, this song was nominated for the 59th Ivor Novello Awards for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. The Awards will take place on Thursday 22 May.

The Ivors are internationally respected for honouring excellence in British music

 

 

I hope you enjoy this song. I believe the music will just draw you in and you will find it to be the perfect song for those more mellow, reflective moments. Let me know what you think.

 

 

SONG OF THE DAY – “LOVE IN THE 21st CENTURY” by Neon Trees

April 26, 2014

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On Tuesday night, I was lucky enough to see Neon Trees live in concert in a very intimate setting at the iHeart Theatre in New York City. I won two tickets from iHeart Radio for the show and it was fabulous! I invited a friend of mine, who recently moved to the city, to join me and we had an incredible time. Neon Trees put on a fantastic live show and had the audience singing and dancing right from the minute they stepped on stage.

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I have always enjoyed the music of Neon Trees, but they have never been a favorite; however, I absolutely love this new album and I feel like a converted fan. I can honestly say that I like every single song on their new album – Pop Psychology. The album was released on the same day as the concert – April 22 – and I would highly recommend it. I have not been able to stop listening to the album all week and really struggled with which one song to post today.

The music on this new album has a very different feel and sound from their previous albums and I love the variety. There is great dance music, catchy pop verses, an 80s-style New Wave sound, a slower dramatic tune, some amazing guitar solos and incredible drumming, and even more appealing were the very personal, introspective lyrics. There were so many times that night that I truly felt like I was back in the 80s in high school, even Tyler Glenn’s dancing reminded me of the 80s. 🙂

Neon Trees are from Provo, Utah – not far from where I grew up in Salt Lake City. The band includes singer Tyler Glenn, drummer Elaine Brady, guitarist Chris Allen, and bassist Branden Campbell. I have really become a fan of both the band and the band members, they honestly seem like really good people with incredible talent. So, listen to this song and then check out the new album. Another favorite that you should definitely check out is “First Things First” which was almost the song I posted today.

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                              (Left) Blue fans at the show! 😉                      (Right) Amazingly, my friend ran into Elaine Brady on an airplane the day after the concert. Elaine was on the way home and my friend was on the way to see her daughter graduate from BYU in Provo, Utah.

SONG OF THE DAY – “WHO SAYS” by Selena Gomez & The Scene

April 24, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song was originally posted as my daughter’s Song of the Day on May 8, 2012.

I know that this song choice seems off beat for me, but I have to tell you that I just love this song. I find it totally empowering! It just makes me feel good.
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I find this to be a great running and workout song, or just a great song when I want to dance around the house and tell off the world. haha! Also a good song as a reminder for my daughter and other young girls who are finding their way. So, it is an old song by a teen pop star – not my typical song choice – but it is a great song and I think you will like it.  I can’t say that I follow Selena Gomez, but I can say that I sure like the girl in this video and hope that she is still that girl.
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SONG OF THE DAY – “THE WORLD AS I SEE IT” by Jason Mraz

April 22, 2014

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Happy Earth Day!

“The world as I see it is a remarkable place!” I love this song by Jason Mraz and it seems like the perfect song today for Earth Day.

Over the years, I have taken many steps to become greener and more responsible in caring for the earth. I grew up in a home that was very committed to recycling and that was long before it was a popular thing to do. I remember someone throwing a soda can into the trash once and my dad walked over and said, “Mother Earth thanks you!” as he pulled the can out of the trash. I am grateful that I inherited that trait from him. 😉

With each passing year, my concern for the earth and the human toll we put on it grows, and I find myself wanting to make a commitment to do more to protect it. I have one major goal this year and it is something that I have been thinking about for several years, but it always seemed like such a big project that I did not pursue it. This year on Earth Day, I am committing to get it done. THIS YEAR I will begin composting!

So many of us think that when we throw biodegradable materials into the trash that they will biodegrade; but, I learned that this is not correct. In landfills, the trash is so tight that there is not enough air to get to those items to help them biodegrade, and so they never do break down. Ever since I learned that little factoid, I have felt guilty when I put a banana peel or potato skins or other biodegradable scraps into the trash. I know that I can make the commitment to create a compositing pile and thereby start to eliminate a few more things from my trash can. We already recycle the majority of our trash, so this will help me take that percentage even higher.

What will you be doing to go green(er) this year?

In addition to this being a great Earth Day song, Jason Mraz is probably one of the “earthiest” artists I can think of. 😉 This song is from his fourth and most recent album, Love Is A Four Letter Word, which was released in 2012. The live performance of the song in the YouTube video below is performed with his oft musical companion – Toca Rivera. It is a great song with a beautiful message and I hope that you enjoy it.

SONG OF THE DAY – “WE COME RUNNING” by Youngblood Hawke

April 21, 2014

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Today was the Boston Marathon and I just had to post a song about running today because it inspired me. What an amazing race!

There is no other event quite like the Boston Marathon. Boston is still the only marathon in the world where you have to qualify in order to officially enter the race. In the late 1980s, they started allowing charity runners, but to be an official race entrant you still have to run a qualifying time … and the times are no joke. It is a fast race!

I have run six marathons, qualifying for Boston on three separate occasions, and missing qualifying once by less than 60 seconds. Running and qualifying can become one of those very addictive activities, particularly for those of us with addictive behaviors. haha! I watched my husband run the race in 2003 (when I just missed qualifying) and then I ran it in 2005. It is one of the highlights of my life. What an incredible experience! There just truly is nothing like the Boston!

My parents and my little sister came to support me and watch me run the race, along with my kids who were pretty young at the time. It was so fun to have my family there with me! My kids had their fold up chairs on their backs and their watches on their wrists so that they could track my time. They were expert spectators! I’m not sure either one of my kids are particularly interested in running a marathon right now, but they sure are more educated than most spectators and enjoy the thrill of the whole experience. My daughter is really putting on the pressure for me to qualify and run Boston at least one more time, so that I can run through the “Scream Tunnel” while she is still at Wellesley.  After watching the race today, I feel like I just might be sufficiently motivated! 🙂

Did you watch the race today? It was so exciting! The elite runners are just a thing of beauty! It is amazing to see the human body move so incredibly fast and effortlessly. The women were very speedy! In fact, a new course record was set with Rita Jeptoo of Kenya running a 2:18:57. The old course record was set in 2002 by Kenyan, Margaret Okoya, with a finishing time of 2:20:43. Today’s race was so fast that there were actually four women who ran faster than that old course record.

The men were actually amazingly fast as well, but they were still several minutes off the course record time of 2:03:02 set by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya in 2010. But, the men’s race was by far the most exciting to watch. An American man, Meb Keflezighi from San Diego, California won the race in a time of 2:08:37. He was the first American to win the race since 1983 and he set a PR at the age of 38! He took a lead fairly early in the race and held on to it for a long time, but in the last 2 miles of the race it was TENSE! He was being folllowed by Wilson Chebet of Kenya who was trailing by no more than 6 to 12 seconds for the entire last 2 miles of the race. I was jumping up and down in my kitchen while watching the race being streamed on my computer. It was incredibly exciting and so thrilling to see Meb pick it up at the end and win.

Today’s song is from Youngblood Hawke, an Indie Pop/Rock band from Los Angeles, California. The group was named after the 1961 Herman Wouk novel by the same name. Today’s song is off their full length debut album, Wake Up, released in 2013. The album did very well , landing in the Top 10 on the iTunes Albums chart after it’s release. They are definitely a group to keep your eye on and they just released a new single last month, called “Pressure.”

SONG OF THE DAY – “THE HEART” by NEEDTOBREATHE

April 18, 2014

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Happy Easter!

I hope that you are all enjoying this beautiful day. I love holidays and spending time together with family. I have so many memories of Easter with my family – both as a child and as a mom with my children. I am missing not having both my kids home today, and I am also feeling a little sad not to be “home” with my extended family for the Easter festivities.

It is a bummer to have outgrown so many of the traditional Easter activities with my kids. The Easter egg hunt is just not as fun for one kid without his sister companion to compete against. Last year we did the Easter egg hunt via Skype as my son carried his sister around on the iPad so that she could help him hunt for the eggs. We just got home yesterday evening and my daughter is working the pasta dinner for the Boston Marathon today so, needless to say, there was no egg hunt this year. 😦

There have been so many new albums released over the last few weeks and it has been exciting to listen to and explore all the new music. Today’s song is off the new NEEDTOBREATHE album, Rivers in the Wasteland, which was just released on April 15. I am a huge fan of NEEDTOBREATHE, introduced to them shortly after I moved to Dallas. I have seen them in concert live two times – once during The Outsiders tour and once on The Reckoning tour. They have an incredible presence on stage and truly know how to connect with the audience. I would have to say that The Reckoning concert was one of the best “rock” concerts I have ever seen. They were incredible! I am looking forward to seeing them again very soon at one of their upcoming tour dates.

NEEDTOBREATHE was formed in 1999 by two brothers from Possum Kingdom, South Caraolina – Bear and Bo (Bryant) Rinehart (named after famous University of Alabama football coach, Bear Bryant) – along with two childhood friends, Joe Stillwell (drummer) and Seth Bolt (bassist). They are a Christian rock band and have a huge fan base among Christian music fans, but they have certainly crossed over the lines to attract a larger mainstream audience as well. They have been classified as Southern Rock and their music absolutely has a classic southern feel, but the music they play crosses many genres. They have a remarkably raw sound and so many great songs that it would be difficult for me to direct you to just a few. This new album is fantastic and was certainly worth the three year wait! I hope you enjoy this song and I recommend that you check out the rest of their music library.

SONG OF THE DAY – “CUANDO ME ENAMORO” by Enrique Iglesias & Juan Luis Guerra

April 17, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song was originally posted as my daughter’s Song of the Day in the fall of 2010, although I have to admit that she was the one who introduced the song to me.

I love this song! Even if you don’t know Spanish at all, you can totally relate to what the song is saying. The harmony made by Enrique Iglesias and Juan Luis Guerra is fabulous and just wonderful to listen to. The music video is also pretty cute.

After spending some time in Puerto Rico over the last week, I realize how much I really love the Spanish language and how lame I am at speaking it. I wish that I had made it more of a priority to fully learn a foreign language when I was growing up. I speak a little of a few languages, but I am not fluent in anything other than English. I lived in Germany while I was in college and I was nearly fluent at that time, but I really never spoke it again after I returned home and I lost it pretty quickly. I am seriously considering doing an immersion program at some time in the near future.

Cuando Me Enamoro” is from Enrique Iglesias’ 2010 album, Euphoria. The album was his first bilingual album, with nearly an equal number of original English and Spanish language songs. Enrique Iglesias was born in Madrid, Spain and is the son of singer, Julio Iglesias. He has won a plethora of awards and has often been referred to as “The King of Latin Pop.” He is also one of the best-selling Spanish language artists of all time. Disfrutar de la musica. Tener un gran dia!

SONG OF THE DAY – “ONE NIGHT TOWN” by Ingrid Michaelson & Mat Kearney

April 15, 2015

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I am so excited for this new song! I love it!

I have been waiting for Ingrid Michaelson’s album to officially be released so that I could share this song with you. It was released at midnight … so here it is! As those of you who have been following my blog know, Mat Kearney is my absolute favorite! I have seen him live on four different occasions and would be willing to see him a hundred more times. He and Ingrid Michaelson co-wrote this song and it was just released on her new album, Lights Out, her fifth studio album. I have not yet seen Ingrid Michaelson live, but I am very fond of both her and her music, and I am definitely planning to see her on the upcoming tour. The two artists have toured together in the past and they make beautiful music together; I love how their voices mix. This is a great song by two amazing artists – enjoy!

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SONG OF THE DAY – “PARIS” by Magic Man

April 13, 2014

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Happy Sun Day! I am so excited to see the sun! It is amazing what a blue sky and some sunshine can do for your psyche.

It appears that spring is finally coming to the east coast. I have every window in my house open today spreading fresh air throughout the house. I love that! I also just carried a lounge chair outside to sit in the backyard, and we are planning to barbecue. I can’t wait until the flowers start blooming and the massive trees surrounding our house start breaking out their leaves. It looks like we may only get a few days of these temps and then dip back down into cooler weather again, but I am going to take advantage of every minute of this lovely weather.

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I was ready to bubble wrap my family. I should have acted upon that sentiment right at that moment! I got a text this morning from my daughter, who plays ultimate frisbee for her college team, and she got hit in the face with the frisbee at a tournament today. She is a fairly aggressive player (haha, if you know her, you will know that she is an intense being in general!) and somehow she got herself between the disk and a receiver. I guess she made a good block, but her lip, and the cut above it, are certainly showing the signs of that defensive move. Bubble wrap, baby! Send it to me in bulk!

Today’s song is from a young, New England-based band called Magic Man. The band originally started as a duo by two childhood friends (Alex Caplow and Sam Lee) who began writing music during their down time while traveling in France working on organic farms. They released their self-produced, debut album, titled Real Life Color, in 2010. In the short time since then, the band has grown to five members (adding Justine Bowe, Daniel Radin, and Joey Sulkowski) and released an EP (You Are Here) in September 2013, with a full length album expected this year.

Magic Man has a very cool sound – blending synth pop with rock, creating what they call “triumphant synth rock.” I really like singer, Alex Caplow’s, voice. This song is amazing and has such a cool sound. I also like the music video, which was just released in February. The video is very surreal and artsy – matching the sound of the song perfectly. I definitely see big things ahead for this very talented, young band. Hope you enjoy the song.

Also – as a side note – I now want to go to Paris. Tell me that listening to this song doesn’t make you want to go as well!