SONG OF THE DAY – “BOOM CLAP” by Charli XCX

August 29, 2014

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With just a few minutes to post tonight, I wanted to give you a great song to help start off your weekend. This is a playful, cool song with a really fun beat.

This song is by Charli XCX (Charlotte Emma Aitchison), an English singer-songwriter who started writing songs at the age of 14. This song is on The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack – which, by the way, is an amazing soundtrack with an incredible list of songs and artists. (I have not yet seen the movie, but I absolutely loved the book.)

My son was playing the soundtrack earlier this week while we were driving in the car and this song just became one of my very favorites. I’m sure this “Boom Clap” will be the sound in my ears when my alarm goes off at 4am tomorrow morning! Yikes!

Have a great weekend!

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SONG OF THE DAY – “DON’T CHANGE” by INXS

August 28, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song is from the 1982 album Shabooh Shoobah by INXS.

I am posting a song today which brings back many memories from the 1980s.

I was inspired to post a song by INXS today because I just watched the Australian television mini-series called “Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS.” It was an incredibly well done show and I found it mesmerizing. It reminded me of so many things that happened during that time. I was also struck again at how many great songs the band put out during their run and how very talented they were. Their album, Kick, has to be one of the best albums of its time.

INXS was a tremendously popular band in the mid 80s to early 90s and at one point was even hailed to be the next U2. Michael Hutchence, lead singer, frontman, and lyricist, was absolutely a rock star and a heart-throb. They had a very unique sound to the time, bordering on New Wave, but certainly with a more edgy rock sound. This has always been one of my favorite songs from INXS, but there are certainly plenty to choose from. For those of you who grew up in the 80s, I hope you enjoy the throwback.

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SONG OF THE DAY – “WHEN I’M WITH YOU” by Ben Rector

August 25, 2014

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I am finally getting around to posting again. It has been a very spotty summer for me with this blog. This is another one of those crazy weeks, but I really feel that it will be good for me to get back on track.

My daughter left for China yesterday. She is doing a semester abroad in Shanghai and it was so weird to ship her off until Christmas. Although she has been away from home for two years in college, it just feels so far away now! Life changes too quickly. This has been the first year where it has really hit me that my little girl is growing up. I already miss her and am so grateful for wifi and international texting because I am not sure I could bear not being able to chat with her.

On top of that, my son was offered a spot at a Golf Academy for high school. We visited the school this summer thinking that we were looking at it as a potential post-graduate year after high school and then, within a two-week time-frame, he decided to go away to school THIS year. I went from thinking I was going to have my son home with me for two more years, to having my son home with me for three short weeks. I can’t even begin to express how much I am going to miss my buddy.

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So, talk about a busy summer – my emotions have been all over the place! Lots of big life changes. Who knew that by the ages of 15 and 18, both of my kids would be moving out of our home and changing my life so completely. Although life will be different for me, I am happy that both of my children are pursuing their dreams and experiencing so many exciting life adventures. Time for new adventures for me as well.

I am posting a song today by one of my favorite artists. I love Ben Rector! This song is from his 2013 album, The Walking In Between. Ben Rector writes incredible songs and totally captures “the moment.” This song makes me think of my family and this particular moment of ours. On Monday, we were all home together – a family of 4. By Tuesday morning, we had become 3, and in just a few more days … we will be 2. I love my family and being with them brings a purpose to my life that I never expected. Enjoy this fabulous song.

“When I’m with you, I’m who I want to be!”

 

SONG OF THE DAY – “DIAMONDS” by JOHNNYSWIM

August 20, 2014

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It is amazing to believe that summer is almost over. It has been one of the quickest summers in my recent memory. Where has August gone? It was just August 16 – my anniversary – when I posted last … and it is already August 20. I think I lost a few days.

Yesterday was my dad’s 80th birthday! Where did the years go? Not only does he not look or act like he is 80 years old, but it is hard to believe that he is actually 80! He is the youngest, sharpest 80-year old you will ever meet. I am so lucky to be his daughter! He is a wonderful man and I am blessed to have him as my dad. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Last night I went into the city to see the fabulous musical duo, JOHNNYSWIM, at the Bowery Ballroom. They were amazing! I have been following them for some time and have really been looking forward to the opportunity to see them live. It was worth the wait! They were funny, the music was fabulous, and the chemistry and connection between the two is absolutely electric.

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JOHNNYSWIM is composed of a pair of singer-songwriters – Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano (daughter of Disco Queen, Donna Summers) – who just happen to now be husband and wife. The couple met in Nashville, Tennessee in 2005 and began writing music together shortly afterward, forming JOHNNYSWIM in 2006. They released their first LP in 2008 and were married in 2009. They just released their full-length debut album (Diamonds) in April of this year (2014). It sounds like the past nine years have been an action-packed and adventurous time for the couple.

Abner and Amanda make beautiful music together – both the music and the lyrics are incredible. They blend folk, soul, and rock in a perfect combination and their voices mix together magically. Amanda Sudano even commented on this in an interview with NPR in April 2014, saying that it is sometimes difficult for the two of them to determine who is singing “because our voices are so similar.”

In addition to the incredible music, the electricity between the two of them is palpable. They have an easy banter on stage and their performance and timing are flawless. The stories that they told to the crowd, everything from Abner’s parents to their engagement, kept the audience mesmerized. They truly are the whole package … not only do they create fantastic music, but they are literally the cutest musical group out there – real, joyful, connected, and visibly enjoying the adventure.

 

 

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Today’s song is a favorite, but I honestly love all of their music. I have previously posted two JOHNNYSWIM songs as Song of the Day on this blog already: “Home” on December 1, 2013 and “Live While  We’re Young,” on April 29, 2014. I hope you enjoy this song, which they playfully refer to as their “SUCK IT” song. 🙂

 

 


SONG OF THE DAY – “LIFE IS BETTER WITH YOU” by Michael Franti & Spearhead

August 16, 2014

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24 years!

Today is my anniversary. 24 years ago today I married my best friend! That is a long time and I feel very lucky that we found each other so many years ago. We have known each other since he was 15 and I was 16 years old and we have literally grown up together. We realized some time ago that we have been together longer than we were ever without each other. It is amazing how fast the time flies. I find that this is the perfect song today because life really is better with him.

Happy Anniversary to my missing piece. ❤

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SONG OF THE DAY – “CAN YOU HEAR ME” by Dan Croll

August 11, 2014

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Can you hear me? What a question! I often find myself asking that same question. In fact, I have found myself asking that a lot over the last few weeks as I have been texting my son in Singapore and only getting one word answers in reply. I may send a text that says something like:

Did you get your laundry done? When do you leave this weekend and will you have wifi?

And the response is pretty typically something like:

No.

NO?! No to which question? And, I think I asked a question that actually needed an answer … not a yes or no. So, then I tried to resend the question and it just would go unanswered, mostly because he thinks he has already responded to me. So I often find myself yelling at the phone, “Can you hear me?!!”

I wish I could say that this only happens with my teens, but alas … my husband is typically just as bad. In fact, this last week while he was traveling, I texted him several times and never got a reply. It often happens when he is busy, so I thought nothing of it. Finally, he called and said, “Have you disappeared or what?” Needless to say, my texts were not going through to him due to a problem with iMessage and both of us had been having one-sided conversations without getting a reply. Obviously, it was more unusual for me not to respond, so he tracked me down. I just figured he couldn’t hear me. 😉

Okay, I am just sitting here cracking myself up with these stories. Let me move on to today’s song …

I actually really like this song by Dan Croll. Dan Croll is another one of those young British singer-songwriters that I seem to like so much. 🙂 Dan is also a very talented musician and plays multiple instruments, including the piano, trumpet, guitar, bass, drums, and organ. He was born in England on July 18, 1990 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, but moved to Liverpool when he was 18 to attend a music school founded by Paul McCartney – Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts.

Croll signed a record deal in 2012 and released his first full length album, Sweet Disarray, in March of this year. He supported Imagine Dragons on their European tour late last year (which is how I discovered him) and Bastille prior to that. I thoroughly enjoy his very distinctive musical sound – I love the folk sound that he incorporates along with the electronic beats, great melodies and harmonies, and lots of different sounds. He cites Paul Simon as one of his greatest influences. If you don’t yet know Dan Croll, I really think you will like his music. If you already know him, here is another opportunity to listen to a great song.

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SONG OF THE DAY – “I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE” by Sam Smith

August 9, 2014

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It is the end of a great Saturday and I wanted to quickly post a song before the day was over and I fall asleep.

My daughter and I got up early this morning and headed off to an Adventure Park to do a ropes course. We had a fabulous time! We were the first ones there and we zipped through all of the courses with ease. We finally finished up on the hardest route – the dreaded Double Black Diamond – and we were finally humbled. We were feeling so confident and very strong. In fact, we kept teasing each other that we were ready for American Ninja Warrior and then we hit the disk ropes and we both went down. It was so hard! The guy who was working there told us that the next two obstacles were even more difficult and if we couldn’t get through the swinging disks, we might want to take the escape route and so down we went. We were both a little disappointed that we failed and we have vowed to return and master that Double Black Diamond!

Today’s song is by the 22-year-old, British singer-songwriter, Sam Smith. Sam’s music sounds much older and more mature than his age would lead me to believe. His music has so much soul. He broke out in 2012 when he was featured in Disclosure’s single, “Latch.” He was nominated this year for the 2014 BRIT Critic’s Choice Award, and won. His recent song, “Stay With Me” was a huge international success and he released his debut album, In The Lonely Hour, on May 26 in the UK and June 17 in the US. Today’s song is his newest single and it is a very soulful song. The music video had over 2.5 million views in just one week.

“Superheroes” by The Script

August 8, 2014

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How did this week fly by so quickly? It was just Monday … and then all of the sudden today is Friday. Where is the summer going?

It has been a happy week. On Monday, I drove to Washington D.C. to pick up my daughter who was just finishing her internship. We packed her up and drove home the next day. It has been fabulous to wake up in the morning knowing that she is here under our roof … at least for a little while. She will be leaving for China for a study abroad semester in just a couple of weeks, but I will enjoy every minute that she is here at home.

I absolutely love this song today. I am a huge fan of The Script and have been for many years (see Song of the Day – January 28, 2014), since I first discovered them while living in London. This song just tells such an amazing story, particularly when you watch the video. I love songs and stories about people who rise above their struggles and sorrows.

The Script always tells a good story and this song is no exception. I am not at all surprised that this is the first single off their upcoming album. It very much reminds me of their song, “Hall of Fame,” which pretty much became the theme song for the 2012 London Olympics. Both songs are passionate, motivating songs for the masses that tell a story and capture an audience. I hope that you will watch the video as you listen to this song – I found it very moving.

“Superheroes” was just released in July and The Script’s new album, No Sound Without Silence, is out on September 15 in the UK and September 30 here in the US. Although they are just finishing up a huge tour with OneRepublic, they will be performing at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC just one day after the album release here in the US on October 1. I have seen them live in concert three times already and I am quite certain that I will be there for this show as well. I really just love these three Irish guys!

SONG OF THE DAY – “RIPTIDE” by Vance Joy

August 2, 2014

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Just wanted to post a quick song today. I really like this song and have been looking for a day to share it. No riptides in sight, but we went for a big long walk down along the beach today and the tide was so far out it was incredible. So .. low tide, riptide …. sometimes the connections are weak. 🙂

This song is by Vance Joy (real name, James Keogh), a young Australian singer-songwriter from Melbourne. Keogh picked the name, “Vance Joy” from the Australian author, Peter Carey’s novel, Bliss. The song was his breakthrough and was not only on his first EP, God Loves You When You’re Dancing, in 2013, but led to his 5-Album Atlantic Records deal and will be on his debut studio album, Dream Your Life Away, in September of this year. The song has been a huge hit across the globe and I think we will see much more of Vance Joy in the days to come. He is incredibly talented and just a nice, down-to earth guy. He has been touring constantly this year and just finished performing at Lollapalooza. He will be opening his own US headliner tour in Dallas in October.

Have a great weekend!

SONG OF THE DAY – “POEMS, PRAYERS & PROMISES” by John Denver

July 31, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song is from John Denver’s 1971 album by the same name.

Okay, I have to admit it, I have always been a John Denver fan. I know nearly all of his songs and can pretty much sing along to every one. I grew up on his music at home, loved going to his concerts, and was sad when he passed away much too early. It is hard to imagine a music blog without at least one song by him.

I am sure after reading my post yesterday, you know that I am feeling a little sentimental and maybe even a touch sad this week and there is nothing quite like a John Denver song to bring out the melancholy. He certainly has plenty of music that is knee-slapping and jovial, but he had an incredible  way of capturing everyday emotions in his poetry and music. I truly believe that there is a John Denver song for almost every emotional moment in life. This song certainly captures my moment now.

How many of you have listened to “Annie’s Song” (my personal favorite), “Leaving On a Jet Plane,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “or “Take Me Home Country Roads” when there was absolutely nothing else that could capture the moment quite like the lyrics of a John Denver song. I have a hard time believing that I am the only one who has done that at some point. Even to this day when I am in the mountains, there is no song that I love to hear more than “Rocky Mountain High!” In fact, I am sitting here listening to it now and it just makes me feel the freedom of that space even though I am sitting here in my house far from the mountains I love. Factoid: Did you know that the Colorado legislature adopted that song as the second official song of Colorado in 2007? It certainly seems like a natural fit.

Although I don’t listen to his music very often, I would probably have to list John Denver‘s music among my very favorites – so many great songs and even more years of memories that it awakens.

John Denver was born Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. in Roswell, New Mexico on December 31, 1943. He was hugely popular throughout the 1970s and early 80s. He was well-known not only for his music, but also for his activism – a humanitarian and an environmentalist. He died shortly before his 54th birthday, in October 1997, when the plane he was piloting went down over Monterey Bay, California. Oddly, as I was thinking about posting this song today, I saw that John Denver’s former Aspen (Rocky Mountain) home went on the market and was listed in the Wall Street Journal today. Weird coincidence. Anyone in the market? 🙂