Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

My new favorite app: Songza

Monday, June 17th, 2013

I totally love this app.  Just the other day I was saying that I wish I had an app that would just play music mixes without me having to think of a theme or artist.  Welp … wish granted.  This app is so cool.  It takes into consideration the day and the hour and offers a list of activities you might be doing.  Then it will suggest playlists based on those activities.   Say it is a Wednesday morning at 7 am.  Well, the app will assume that you are waking up, or working out, or driving to the office, and will provide awesome mixes for each of those things.  Say it is Friday at 9 pm.  The app will figure that you are getting ready for a party, or grilling outdoors, or curling up with a book, and it will offer totally new playlists for those things.  Perfect!  I have no idea how the algorithm or licensing works, but I hope it is all solid because this is totally my new favorite app.  Oh, did I mention it is FREE?!  Yeah.

Lollapalooza 2012!

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

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I’m not sure how to sum up Lollapalooza 2012. First, the music was awesome! Some of our favorite shows included Miike Snow, Bloc Party, Childish Gambino, Fun., and Jack White. I learned a lot from my first three-day music festival, and there are definitely things I will do to be more prepared next time around.

Things I learned from Lollapalooza 2012:

  1. Jorts are a thing. Seriously. Probably two thirds of the girls at the festival were rocking high-waisted jean cutoffs. I am not sure how prevalent this look is in the real world, but it definitely has not hit DC … yet.
  2. Grant park is amazing. It was such a perfect venue for this sort of event. The grounds were beautiful and easy to navigate. There are plenty of quiet, shady spots, which were so perfect for escaping the summer heat between shows.
  3. I am turning into a mom. Turns out there is something about rowdy twenty-year-olds making ill considered decisions that really brings out a maternal instinct in me. So many times I had to refrain from pleading “You’re too young!” The weekend was an exercise in chillaxing.
  4. I have an obsession with logistics. I was so impressed that everything was so seamless: the scheduling, stage layouts, restroom areas, water refill stations. I couldn’t stop talking about it. Suj could not have been more bored by these conversations.
  5. Most people do not attend Lollapalooza for the music. The mood was friendly and relaxed … but so much chatter!
  6. I love Chicago. I only got a small taste of the city, but I love it. The downtown architecture and the skyline are beautiful. The “L” was quick and easy. I had great food at local restaurants. The city felt huge and intimate and surprisingly walkable. I can’t wait to visit again.

 

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Tips for next time:

What to wear: Next time my philosophy would be 70% comfort, 30% style. There was definitely a festival look—something of a hippie/hipster/feather-wearing/retro/free-spirit vibe—but the most important dress factor for me was comfort. It was so hot! Everything I wore was ruined by the end of the day from hours in the sun. Next time I would just wear a bikini top under a short cotton dress and a hat. I wore a pair of comfortable leather sandals and would do the same next time. Easy, cute, and comfortable.

What to eat: We were less than impressed with the food at Lollapalooza. Everything was pretty expensive and Suj described his burger as “tasteless and overcooked,” which made me laugh (apparently the food at ACL is awesome so he had high expectations). On Sunday, we had a big breakfast before catching a few shows, and then we left the park during a break around 1:30 to meet up with friends for brunch. I thought this was the best way to approach the meal situation. We grabbed some food, on the way home, at McDonalds (the only open place we found). I think I horrified Suj by ordering “all” from the value menu. (I haven’t eaten McDonalds in years and I wanted to try everything!)

What to pack: We brought a backpack with only a few items and it worked great. We packed sunscreen and two refillable water bottles (they have refill stations in the park). We also brought a lightweight sheet to sit on. On the last day, we brought a small hand towel that we soaked with water to cool off our necks. Finally, hand sanitizer and travel sized wet-wipes were a must for the port-o-potties. The website said no professional cameras were allowed, so I left my DSLR at home, but we saw plenty of people with big cameras and no one really seemed to be regulating it, so next time I’d probably try to sneak mine in. Also, next time I would bring some kind of ice pack or neck cooler as well as a spray bottle to cool off in the heat.

Overall I had a great time watching some of my favorite bands with my favorite person. Can’t wait till next time!

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Thursday Music: Beach House “Bloom”

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

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Bloom, the new album from Beach House is streaming at NPR’s First Listen. The album sounds like a broody dream, and I love it. Two of my favorite tracks are New Year and Lazuli. Awesome mid-week goodie for your ears!

Thursday Music: Youth Lagoon

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Youth Lagoon is the brilliant musical project of 22 year old Trevor Powers. His debut album, The Year of Hibernation, was released last fall and the band is currently touring the US. The song above is one of my favorites, so I had to share the beautifully shot video. Enjoy.

Thursday Music: Bright Moments

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

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Bright Moments is the name under which Kelly Pratt released his debut album, Natives. Though this is his first solo album, Pratt has an impressive resume as a member of Beirut and a touring member of Arcade Fire. I recently came across a few songs from Native and instantly loved the sound. Some of the songs (like Milwaukee) are reminiscent of Beirut’s sound, rich with horns and accordion, while others (like Tourist) incorporate more piano melodies. Listen to a few tracks here or check out the band website.

Thursday Music: First Aid Kit

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

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I am really excited about the release of the new First Aid Kit album, The Lion’s Roar. I loved their last album (The Big Black and the Blue) and was not disappointed with their new work. The band is comprised of two young, Swedish sisters, and their sound reminds me of a mix of Fleet Foxes and Rilo Kiley. The vocals on the album are raw but perfectly harmonious and their lyric possess a story-telling focus, reminiscent of old country songs. Check out a stream of the entire album here.

Music Thursday: The Dodos

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

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Putting together a “best of” list this year seemed a little overwhelming. (Not to mention I am getting a bit of a late start. Wow, January snuck up on me!) Instead, I’ve opted to share my favorite album of the year: The Dodo’s No Color. I love every song on this record. This album spent more time on my record player than it did in the sleeve and I still can’t get enough. The songs are generally upbeat, with interesting rhythms and guitar work. It’s the perfect background music for my morning routine (or as I cook, or clean, or paint my nails, or thumb through a magazine … you get the idea). Stream music, watch videos, and even snag a free song download at their website.

While we are on the topic of favorites, I might as well share my new favorite accessories: 


{pretty christmas gift}

Oh, how I love me some dainty jewelry.

Thursday Music: Patrick Wolf

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

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Man, am I a sucker for a brooding male singer-songwriter, and Patrick Wolf definitely falls into that category. This talented English-Irish musician plays multiple instruments and showcased his versatility over four albums. Wolf’s latest album is Lupercalia, but I have been jamming out to his electro-pop-y 2005 record, Wind in the Wires, all morning. Wolf’s rainy, solo-artist sound reminds me of Radical Face with a hint of Brandon Flowers. Just what I need to help settle back into my post-vacation workday. Check out some of his stuff here.

Music Thursday: Department of Eagles

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

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Department of Eagles’ No One Does It Like You is one of those song that I will never be able to shake from my head. I mean that in the best possible way because the song is “objectively awesome” (that one’s for you, Taylor). Department of Eagles is made up of Fred Nicolaus and Daniel Rossen, who met as roommates at NYU (Rossen is also a member of Grizzly Bear). You can download No One Does It Like You and watch the video on their website. I am less fond of the music video, but I must admit that I dig the inclusion of a little corps de ballet.

 

Music Thursday: William Fitzsimmons

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

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My music savvy friend, Nike, turned me onto William Fitzsimmons about a year ago, and ever since, I have experienced a marked increase in emotional highs and lows. Not really. But listening to Fitzsimmons’s music definitely makes you feel like you are living a scene from Grey’s Anatomy or The Hills. Although his music feels rich and dramatic, Fitzsimmons sings softly and his lyrics are frank and introspective. Perhaps some of that stems from his previous life as a mental health therapist or from growing up the youngest child of two blind parents. In any case, Fitzsimmons is an interesting artist making awesome music for the soundtrack of my life. Listen to some of his tracks here (So This Is Goodbye is one of my favorites). Check him out!

*Image via Italian Vogue