“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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SONG OF THE DAY – “TWENTY YEARS” by Augustana

February 11, 2014

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Music is amazing. There is nothing that stirs emotion like a song. This is totally one of those songs for me – I love the music and totally feel the lyrics.

I absolutely love Augustana! They are not a new band and, in fact, were formed in 2002 at Greenville College in Illinois. Hopefully, if you are not familiar with them, I am introducing you to something wonderful and, if you are already familiar with Augustana, here is another song you should add to your playlist.

I have been wanting to post a song from Augustana to this blog for some time, but just had not gotten to it yet. Today an announcement came out on Facebook that indicated to me it was the perfect day to share. Augustana just signed to Washington Square Music for a multi-album deal with a new album to be released in April. Along with this announcement, new tour dates beginning in April were also announced. Hooray!

I saw Augustana live just last year in January 2013 at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas. It was a unique show because it was just Dan Layus and his guitar. The “band” itself broke up in 2011, but Layus continued playing music and carried the band name forward; Dan Layus essentially became “Augustana.” On the night I saw him, he just came out onto the stage with his guitar, didn’t say much of anything to the crowd, and then proceeded to play music straight for the next 2 hours! He was incredible and the audience was not only mesmerized, but sang along to every song. I could not say that he was an “entertaining” live performer in the sense of chatting it up with the audience, but he did not disappoint on the musical front. I enjoyed every minute of that intimate performance and look forward to seeing him again.

Dan Layus is the lead singer and songwriter of Augustana and the original founder of the band. There have been many changes and challenges over the years, but the one thing that has stood the test of time is the amazing music that Augustana produces. The music is incredibly heartfelt with a rootsy-rock feel, and it just bleeds emotion. Seeing him live, I would have to say that he is probably the picture of the “tortured artist.” He is incredibly passionate and just seemed to feel every note and word of every song.

If you find that you love this song, you may realize that you know other music by Augustana. I took a friend with me to the concert and when I originally asked her to accompany me, she said that she did not know the band. I asked her if she knew the song “Boston” and had her look it up on Spotify. She said, “Oh … I know that song. Wasn’t that on Scrubs?” 🙂 She was able to attend the concert knowing one song, but she left a fan. “Boston” is my very favorite song by Augustana, but there are so many to love, including “Twenty Years.” Another day of great music!

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