“Welcome To New York” by Taylor Swift

November 3, 2014

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Well, I am sorry, but I am jumping on the Taylor Swift bandwagon with today’s song. I honestly have been singing this song since the first time I heard the sneak preview on October 20 from Ryan Seacrest. I love the sound (very 80s) and it just seemed like the perfect theme song for my current life adventure.

Almost a month ago we got an apartment in NYC. As you know, we had some major life changes over the past few months and quite unexpectedly my husband and I became empty-nesters a couple of years earlier than anticipated. (We keep saying that we are either doing something very right … or something very wrong. My daughter left home at 16 to attend college, and then my son left home at 15 to attend a golf boarding school. Holy cow!) Anyway, I realized that the sudden change was going to be more than I could stomach. I just could not imagine myself sitting out in our big, quiet home all by myself. Moving into the city seemed like the perfect plan for a new adventure.

The minute I saw our apartment, I knew it was where I wanted to be. I love the view and I love being in the thick of the action.

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I love New York City! I love the energy, I love the diversity, I love the chaos, I love the excitement, and, of course, I love the music. I guess that I would have to say I understand the thrill of the city that this song exudes.

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I went to visit my son for his 16th birthday a few days before we were scheduled to move into the apartment and his first comment to me was, “Well, it sure didn’t take you long to replace me!” Ouch! Obviously he understood my reason for heading into the city was in part due to the loss of having him at home. He wasn’t far off, but as it turns out, it has been much more than that. My husband and I have been having a fabulous time. We are certainly enjoying this new adventure together even more than we thought we would. We still have not exactly figured out the logistics of our life, but I am sure that will come. 😉

Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, was just released a week ago today and it was forecast to sell more than 1.3 million copies in that first week. Love her or hate her, I don’t think there is anyone who cannot admit that she is an amazing young lady – talented and a savvy business woman. I am a fan! Oh, but her song will not be on Not Your Mom’s Playlist Spotify playlist as she pulled all her music off Spotify today.

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“In Your Arms” by Nico & Vinz

October 19, 2014

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On Thursday night I attended a great concert at Beacon Theatre in NYC – Fresh 102.7 Fall Fest. This was the second Fresh Fall Fest and, after attending last year, I was not going to miss it. Last year they had an incredible lineup with Kodaline, American Authors, Daughtry (playing an acoustic set), and The Fray. It was a fabulous show!

This year when I heard the lineup announced, I knew that I was going to make it an annual event. First, let me say that Beacon Theatre is such an incredible venue – just a beautiful, iconic theatre. Second, who gets all those incredible acts together for one night? Fresh 102.7 did a great job of lining up some amazing performers who provided concert goers with a fabulous 3 hour show! We were entertained by Nico & Vinz, Bleachers, Matt Nathanson, Ingrid Michaelson, and Neon Trees.

Last year, both Kodaline and American Authors were the rising artists who got a huge introduction at the show, Daughtry was a big name who played an acoustic set which made it a unique experience, and then we had the big finale by The Fray. This year, it was hard to determine who was the main act. Obviously, Nico & Vinz are rising artists and fit that bill, as does Bleachers (even though Jack Antonoff is a member of the popular band, Fun.). Matt Nathanson played an incredible acoustic set, but there were still two acts left to follow – Ingrid Michaelson and Neon Trees. Really, both of them could have been considered the closing act and they both performed like they were. The performances were amazing and incredibly entertaining.

Today, I just wanted to quickly post a song by Nico & Vinz, one of the rising artists from the night. Nico & Vinz, (Nicolas “Nico” Sereba and Vincent Dery) from Oslo, Norway, have a great stage presence and a really fun sound. I found them thoroughly entertaining and adorable – I especially loved watching Vincent Dery dance. 🙂 I am certain that you are already familiar with their Song of the Summer, “Am I Wrong.” If not, click on the song to have a listen. The second single from their debut album, Black Star Elephant, which was just released this month, is today’s song of the day. It is a song that I just really love and the video is actually very powerful. Nico & Vinz have a sound that is very unexpected. The music combines pop, Afro beat, hip hop, R&B, and reggae; and their lyrics are very powerful with a message to share. They sound fantastic together! I hope that you like this song as much as I do … I just can’t seem to get it out of my head.

“CARRY ON” by Fun.

September 28, 2014

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I know this is an older song and it is not Throwback Thursday, but after an experience I had yesterday morning, I just had to post it as my Song of the Day today. One of my all time favorites!

Yesterday morning I went running in Central Park with my husband. We ran past the stage setup and security for the Global Citizen Festival on our way to the reservoir. The festival was last night and the stage was all set up ready for the show. After running around the reservoir we were headed back to the Columbus Circle area when we heard music playing. I stopped and said, “That is Fun.!.” We immediately turned around and ran back to the stage. They were doing sound checks for the concert and Fun. was on stage running through their set. We sat there and watched their entire set. They sounded amazing! We heard four songs, but they finished with this one and then we “carried on” and finished our run.

I have always loved this song and find it so inspirational. It truly is one of those songs that can help you through a difficult time. My favorite line – “May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground.” I have been singing it ever since yesterday morning. Funny how an older song gets a new spark. This song has been on my playlist for several years now, but it is now back at the top.

Just wanted to share this cool experience with you today. You gotta love NYC! Only there would I just happen upon Fun. playing in the park at 9:00 am on a Saturday morning!

“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 – “LOVE ME AGAIN” by John Newman

July 30, 2014

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I got home last night after a long, traffic-jammed drive home and had every intention of posting, but after I pulled out my computer and sat down on the sofa, I completely crashed. I was thoroughly exhausted! I am not sure if it was physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion, but I think it was probably a combination of all three.

After spending three full days with the entire family, my daughter went back to her internship in DC, my husband left at 5am Monday morning for a week of business travel, and yesterday I dropped my son off at the airport to fly to Singapore on a short exchange program with his high school. I went from full house to empty house in the space of about 48 hours! It is strange how empty a house seems when you have just been surrounded by the noise and love of the whole family … and then suddenly there is no one.

For me, last night was one of those moments when I realized, “Oh my gosh, it’s almost over; this time in my life is coming to an end.” It is such a strange feeling. My daughter left home much too early (in her mom’s eyes, haha!), leaving for college at age 16. My son is now 15 and I know his time  to leave the nest is approaching much too quickly. I love watching my kids grow up and I think they have become such cool, amazing “grown ups,” but it does not make the realization of it any easier to swallow.

I am currently sitting outside in my beautiful backyard on a gorgeous day and wishing that my children (big version or small version) were running around playing. When everyone is home these days, we are usually running around playing frisbee, but now it is just me and frisbee is a difficult solo game. My husband comes home at the end of the week, my daughter in a little over a week, and my son will be home in a couple of weeks. I won’t have this empty home for long, but (wow!) the taste of it is sobering. In life, CHANGE is the only constant! I have lived my life around that motto, but when this big change comes … I sure hope I am ready for it.

Today’s song doesn’t have much to do with my post today, but I really like this song and the emotional impact the music has on me. I showed the video to both of my kids this last week. Make sure you watch the video all the way to the end. It was a little shocking to me! I said that it was totally depressing, my son burst out laughing, and my daughter just said, “WHAT was that?!” I would love to know your reaction to the video.

John Newman is a young (23-year-old), breakout, English singer and musician that seemed to come out of nowhere in 2013. This song reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart in July 2013 and reached the top of the US charts in early 2014. He was one of the most successful English artists last year and was nominated for three Brit Awards in 2014 : British Male Solo Artist, British Single, and British Video. He has a very unique sound that seems to come from a bygone age and is described as soulful pop. He has often been compared as a male version of Adele or Amy Winehouse.

One of my favorite comments made by John Newman in an interview earlier this year:

“I couldn’t give a shit about fame … What felt good coming to America was walking down the street and no one knowing me. There are way too many celebrities in the world at the moment and not enough artists … People have forgotten about the music.”

SONG OF THE DAY – “CLASSIC” by MKTO

July 28, 2014

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I just returned from a family trip to the mountains. My mother-in-law turns 70 years old this year and we all decided to do a family trip where the entire family was under one roof together. We rented a large house and everyone made it – even my daughter was able to sneak away from her D.C. internship for a couple of days. We had 19 people together, ranging in age from 2 to 70. It was an adventure! It is the first time that all of my husband’s family were able to get together at one time and spend a few uninterrupted days together on a vacation. I think it made my mother-in-law happy to have her entire family together, and I hope that it makes her 70th birthday a special and memorable event.

I felt very lucky that my daughter was able to fly in for the trip. It is hard to break away from a summer internship and so we were happy that she could be there. She had two nightmare travel experiences on both ends of her journey, even getting stuck overnight in Phoenix because she missed her connection, but she was a trooper through all of it. I am posting a song today that she and I listened to while we were together this weekend. She shared this song with me and, although I had heard it before, listening to it with her and having her show me the video really sold me on the song. I decided that it was definitely one that needed to be shared. She will be coming home in two weeks and I can hardly wait!

This song is by musical duo, MKTO, a name which is derived from the initials of the two artists – Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller. The two say the name also stands for “Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts” which they say is “just like the kids we were in high school.” Both members of MKTO were previously actors who met while filming the Nickelodeon show, “Gigantic.” Malcolm Kelley is best known for his role as Walt on the cult television show, “Lost” and also his role as Lil Saint from the movie, You Got Served. Tony Oller is best known for his role on “Gigantic” and on The Disney Channel show,” As The Bell Rings.”

MKTO‘s sound is a fun combination of pop, rap, hip hop, and soul. This song was their second single and was released in July 2013. They released their self-titled debut album in the U.S. in April 2014. MKTO is in the middle of their first U.S. headlining tour, the “American Dream Tour,” which started at the end of June. Interestingly, following that tour, they will open for Tony Oller’s former “As The Bell Rings” co-star, Demi Lovato, on the US portion of her tour.

I really like how catchy this song is – it is one of those songs that just gets stuck in your head and it makes me feel happy. I love watching the dynamics between the two artists and I find the chemistry between the two of them fantastic. They look like they are having loads of fun and they each bring such a different sound and style to their music. It is a Classic and I hope that you enjoy it!

SONG OF THE DAY – “MONSTERS” by Timeflies, featuring Katie Sky

July 8, 2014

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Today I am posting a new song by Timeflies. I introduced you to Timeflies back on March 2, 2014 with their song “All The Way.” They released their new album, After Hours, on April 29, 2014. Today’s song has a different sound than the rest of their new album and is a little different from their typical sound, but it is amazing and hard to get out of my head. Katie Sky has a tremendous voice and really makes this song for me. I just love hearing it every time it comes around on the playlist.

Timeflies is a duo that was formed in 2010 by producer Rob Resnick (Rez) and vocalist Cal Shapiro (Cal). They both attended Tufts University in Boston and formed the musical duo while they were students there. Rez double majored in Music and Philosophy, and Cal majored in Music and Entrepreneurship. They have totally taken advantage of their education and their musical talents in their chosen life path. The two have since returned to their roots in the New York/New Jersey area and are based out of Manhattan now.

I hope that you enjoy this new song today.

SONG OF THE DAY – “BAD DAY” by Daniel Powter

June 26, 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 November 16, 2009.

This has been a very interesting week and I would have to say that this song just kept coming to mind.

Early Monday morning I took my son to Physical Therapy. He was scheduled to play a practice golf round after his appointment at a place in New York along the Hudson River. The course is located over an hour away so we had no time to waste. I dropped him off and ran to fill my car up with gas so that we would be right ready to go as soon as he finished. I filled the car up with gas, drove back over to the PT office, and went inside to wait for him. He finished and we ran outside to head off to the golf course. I pushed the start button in my car … nothing, just a weird click and all the electronics on the dashboard started flashing and spinning. I tried again. Then I got out the Owner’s Manual and tried a few more tricks. Still NOTHING!

Come on … this car is not even 3 years old! Finally I had to call Roadside Assistance to have them send someone over to jump the car for me. We had to wait over an hour for them to get there, but they got it to start. Needless to say, I was not comfortable driving the car over an hour away for a round of golf, so after I called the course and rescheduled the tee time for a few hours later, we drove home and dropped off the car, opting to take my daughter’s car instead.

We made it out to the golf course and my son played his practice round. The next morning, in my daughter’s car, I drove him back out to the same course for the golf tournament. No problems whatsoever. So, it sounds like the end of a bad story, but ….

The next morning – Wednesday – my son had another Physical Therapy appointment. This time I drove him over there in my daughter’s car. We had plans immediately after his appointment so, while he was in his appointment, I decided to run to the grocery store to get that out of the way. The grocery store is just down the road and so I zipped over there and did my grocery shopping. 35 minutes later I came out, loaded the groceries into the car, and climbed inside. I pushed the button to start the car … click, click, click … and nothing! YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME! The car would not start!

How in the world do two new cars – both are less than 3 years old! – have batteries that die in the same week. Not only the same week, but within 2 days of each other! Unbelievable! Anyway, I called Roadside Assistance and, at about that point, I started to sing “You had a bad day …”

Well, my son has another Physical Therapy appointment tomorrow morning … I am starting to wonder if we should just walk over there this time. 🙂

I absolutely love this song! It was one of my very favorites when it came out in 2006. I love his voice and I just connect to the lyrics. The video is amazing and so I hope you will take a minute to watch it; it always makes me smile. Daniel Powter is from British Columbia, Canada and is a pianist and singer-songwriter. The song, “Bad Day” was a huge worldwide hit when it came out and reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was also named Billboard Music Awards “Song of the Year” in 2006. Daniel Powter also won New Artist of the Year at the Juno Awards (Canadian music awards) in 2006 and was nominated for Best International Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards (losing to Jack Johnson). “Bad Day” was such a tremendous success and Powter has not been able to achieve that same level of success since then, but WOW!, what a song … and what a couple bad days! 🙂

SONG OF THE DAY – “CALIFORNIA SUNRISE” by Dirty Gold

June 23, 2014

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Well, I am missing California and this song just brings back the whole feel of California. I LOVE California! With all the moves we have made, the only one where I really cried about leaving was when we left Southern California. I think California is a difficult place to get out of your blood. It was the one place where my soul felt home.

We were lucky enough to get to spend time at Pebble Beach, California last week. My two boys were especially lucky to get to golf at Pebble Beach. For a golfer, I cannot think of anything more special.

“If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. I’ve loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s possibly the best in the world.”
– JACK NICKLAUS, 18-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION

Father & Son thrilled to be at Pebble Beach!
Father & Son thrilled to be at Pebble Beach!

While the boys golfed, I followed along to watch them play and enjoy the beautiful course. I have never seen anything quite so stunning! I have spent time in Carmel, California (which is the beach and town the course overlooks in some of these pictures) and I have even been running on 17-Mile Drive, but I have never before been on the 18 holes of Pebble Beach Golf Course … and that is just something truly unreal! Amazingly beautiful and, as they say, “the greatest meeting of land and water in the world.” How do you focus on golf when looking at those views?!

Just as proof that everyone wants to golf this course, while we were there we saw Michael Bolton and on Day One, the boys were paired with Carolina Panthers Head Coach (and NFL Coach of the Year in 2013), Ron Rivera and his wife. They were two of the nicest people we have ever met and, although it was not their first time playing the course, they were just as excited to be out playing the remarkable course as we were.

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Pebble Beach is more than just America’s greatest golf course, it’s a national treasure. The beauty is unsurpassed and so is the drama created by so many thrilling, famous holes. No golfing life is complete until you’ve experienced Pebble’s coastline, following in the footsteps of Nicklaus, Watson and Woods and an untold number of everyday dreamers.”
– ALAN SHIPNUCK, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

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Today’s song is by a group of young Californians from Carlsbad, called Dirty Gold. The band is comprised of brothers Lincoln (vocals/lead guitar) and John Ballif (keyboard/rhythm guitar), and friend Grant Nassif (drums). This song was released in 2011 (along with their album, Roar) while the boys were still in high school and it hit the blog world by storm. I hope you enjoy it and that it leaves you yearning for California like I am.

SONG OF THE DAY – “IT’S TOO LATE” by Carole King

June 12, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today we are going way back to 1971 for the #tbt song. 

Today I got to spend the day with a dear friend of mine who I don’t get to see nearly often enough. It was such a sweet day and I loved the time together. We spent the morning walking the entirety of Central Park, talking and catching up on life the entire time. During the conversation we both mentioned that the one show we were dying to see on Broadway is “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.” If you are not familiar with the show,” it is the story of Carole King’s life and it is currently one of the most popular shows on Broadway, with tickets that are nearly impossible to obtain. It just seemed to make it a fitting day to use one of her song’s as my TBT song.

Carole King is one of my all time favorite artists. She is literally one of the most talented songwriters and singers of this generation, and just an all-around classy lady. Plus, what about that piano! I would have to credit my parents with introducing me to Carole King back in my growing up days. We used to listen to her music around the house all the time.

One of my very favorite albums of all time is Tapestry. Today’s song is from that album, which was released in 1971. It was difficult for me to pick just one song! Once I got started playing the album, I kept saying “Oh, this is the one. No, I am going to do this one. Wait … maybe this one.” This went on for a solid hour as I just sat and enjoyed listening to this amazing album. I finally decided on this song because it was one of her biggest hits as a singer and it is a great example of what she is so well known for … honest, powerful, emotional music that just really connected with the listeners. It is still as powerful today as it was when it was released so many years ago.

Carole King started as a songwriter, penning songs for other artists. It was thanks to encouragement from her friend, James Taylor, that she began singing her own songs. What an incredible decision that was, as she has since become one of the most prolific singer-songwriters of all time. The album, Tapestry, has been listed by Rolling Stone Magazine as #36 in the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  This is really no surprise … is there anyone out there who can’t sing along with at least one of the songs on this album? My son was amazed that I could sing every single word to this album while we were listening to it tonight. It is a Masterpiece!

Enjoy this throwback today! I hope it inspires you to go back and listen to the entire Tapestry album.