SONG OF THE DAY – “SCREAM (FUNK MY LIFE UP)” by Paolo Nutini

September 23, 2014

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Last night I made a  very spontaneous decision to attend a concert. I love being spontaneous!

I just arrived home Sunday night from an incredible hiking trip in Colorado (more to come on that tomorrow) and my husband was going to be gone on Monday night, so I decided I did not want to just sit home alone. I knew that Scottish, Singer-Songwriter, Paolo Nutini, was coming in concert this week, but I had never planned to attend because I did not think I would be able to swing it after just getting home. Luckily, I was able to get a ticket yesterday afternoon for his show at Terminal 5 in NYC. The show sold out and his show tonight at the Apollo Theater has been sold out for quite some time.

The show was incredible. What an amazing voice! He opened up his show with 9 other people on stage with him, including a three-piece horn section, which was awesome. He thrilled his audience and after he opened with “Scream (Funk My Life Up)“, I think it was the most appreciative crowd I have heard in a very long time. There were a lot of very passionate fans at the show and they were certainly eclectic, from young drunk boys to couples in their 50s and 60s. His music obviously appeals to a wide range of people.

This is the second Song of the Day I have posted by Paolo Nutini – I posted “Better Man” on June 10, 2014. His music truly is reminiscent of another time. He referred to one of his guitarists, who was singing backup to “Someone Like You,” as “Frankie Valli” and the song definitely had a 50s vibe. Then when he sang “Cherry Blossom” I felt like I was right in the middle of the 60s or early 70s, complete with strobe lighting. The music on his new album is such a unique sound and different from most everything else out today. Paolo Nutini has a raspy, throaty voice at times, but he also has an incredibly smooth voice and hits those beautiful clear notes as well. I’m not sure that I have ever seen anyone with such passion and emotion in both voice and performance.

Paolo Nutini’s third album, Caustic Love, was just recently released in the USA, but it was released in the UK back in April to strong reviews, debuting at number one on the UK Album Charts and certified platinum in June 2014. I can’t imagine that this album won’t get that kind of attention here in the US, both from music lovers and critics. His fans have been waiting 5 years for this new album and he certainly did not disappoint. I totally recommend that you listen to the entire new album and if you get a chance to see him live, I would highly recommend it.

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.

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 – “BETTER MAN” by Paolo Nutini

June 10, 2014

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Today’s song is by an artist that is literally the hottest thing happening in the UK right now. I have heard more about him through other artists posts, tweets, and playlists than pretty much anyone else out there. I also had a friend (here in the US) who suggested that it was time that I dedicate a “Song of the Day” post to the great Paolo Nutini, so Chris this is for you today.

This song is from Paolo Giovani Nutini, a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician. I am guessing that when you heard his name you might have assumed he was from Italy, but, although his father is from Italian descent, his mother is Scottish and both parents are third generation Scots. This song is from Paolo Nutini’s third album, called Caustic Loveand it is being hailed as his best and most prolific album yet. After it’s release in April 2014, it became the fasting selling album in the UK this year (as a side note, the album has not yet been released in the US, but he has released the Iron Sky EP). It has been five years since his last (sophomore) album – Sunny Side Up – and he has really come into his own artistically on this album. One reviewer said that he has become “a fully realized musician.” The Independent said,

“Caustic Love may be the best UK R&B album since the 1970s blue-eyed-soul heyday of Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker.”

This new album has a lot of classic musical inspirations, but it still sounds very modern and timeless. His vocals are amazing! Surprisingly, Nutini has been a star in the UK since he released his debut album, These Streets, eight years ago at the age of 18. With this album, I believe he will reach that same status here in the US. He is touring now and will be performing here in NYC at Webster Hall this Thursday, June 12.

Paolo Nutini is a very soulful singer and certainly fits in the category of Jazz, Soul, and R&B, along with something uniquely his own. I love this song that I am posting today. It is such an incredibly emotion-packed song with an amazing combination of music, lyrics, and his voice. Awesome! Another song off his new album that is just absolutely fantastic, particularly when you watch him perform it live, is called “Iron Sky.” The song includes a segment from Charlie Chaplin’s famous speech in the 1940 film, The Great Dictator. I have attached the video of his live performance at Abbey Road Studios here; it is definitely worth a watch. I love watching his live performances because he is so passionate and soulful in his delivery, plus … he is a beautiful man. 😉