Saturday, February 1, 2014

Grammys: Overrated But Delightful


Let's have a moment of honesty, shall we? I think the Grammys are a little to a lot overrated. It's kind of like someone put together the worlds most affluent, expensive playlist and we all are pretty sure who's going to win before it happens. Some of those songs happen to be soooo awesome, and some of them are sooooo...how shall I put this? Not. Not awesome at all. I don't even know how or why certain songs get nominated, let alone win. But nominated they are, and sometimes even WIN. What?! Ayn Rand would weep over this example of blind acceptance via Collectivism. For those of you who neither know of Ayn Rand or Collectivism, to the Google! Or better yet, to the book!

Some very popular bands that are particularly fabulous were overlooked, and this came as a surprise to everyone, including the bands themselves no doubt. Why, you might ask? I don't know. There is not a magic 8 ball in the world that can answer that perplexing question. But know who was nominated? The World's Most Unpleasant Rapper aka/i.e./e.g. hashtag Kanye West. Seriously. I'm totally over him and the whole Kardashian Klan. GO AWAY. First of all, his songs are racially offensive and ignorant. Reverse discrimination and promoting this concept of racism is stupid. Plus, his lyrics are out of control. "I keep it 300, like the Romans, 300 b****s, where are the Trojans?" The real question, where were you in a history class of any sort? OMG. I can hardly stand it. The Spartans weren't Romans. Um, hello? At very least, did he not ever watch the movie 300????! I know not everyone is a super nerd like me, but come on.


Some of my favorite songs:

1) Get Lucky by Daft Punk (oh Daft Punk, )
2) Around the Block by Pretty Lights, because it is sassy pants ON.
3) I also really like Jack White's "I'm Shakin'" because it's just the right amount of blues dancing up to punk rock. Although, can we talk about the pics he chose for his album? I'm all for the vampire look (what with being the exact same shade as one myself), but I think a dab of bronzer would have done wonders for his look (said the Libra, nevermore).
4) Stay: I'm not really a fan of Rihanna, but I love the song "Stay." Maybe it's because a love songs between my fiance and me, or maybe (probably really) it's because of the fab, simple piano arrangement that totally wins me over.
5) Young & Beautiful ,in which Lana Del Ray hauntingly asks whether or not love can last when youth and looks have faded. The answer, darlings, is if your heart remains youthful and lovely and you've done more to invest in the inward beauty than the outward, than yes...true love can go the distance. Think about it. Here's a gorgeous rendition:
6) Lego House by Ed Sheeran, which was the exact kind of breathy, guitar, mushy sentimentality that I was crazy about when Howie Day was Colliding into all of us.
7) ZEPPELIN> enough said

Want to hear the complete list of nominees and winners? Have it it! Some songs are definitely playlist keepers!

XOXO
Camie

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Album Review: Reflektro and Her by Arcade Fire


Arcade Fire was one of those bands that any music purist was crazy about before they became, well, Arcade Fire. They were the underground Indie group that everyone loved to love, and it was really no surprise hat they became a huge success in the mainstream world of music. Still, we music snobs like to point out frequently that we stumbled upon their music and adored them with a deep devotion before the rest of the world discovered them, handed them several Grammy awards, and therefore made concert tickets about four times more expensive.


Whenever my favorite off-the-beaten path bands produce a new album post-fame, I always get nervous for them. What if they cave in and sound mainstream? What if they lost their je ne sais quoi quality? What if they start buying $500 grudgy looking tops and skinny jeans to still look hispter but really aren't anymore? I held my breath for Arcade Fire with each album they release. Despite their success, this band refuses to lose their Indie appeal. Following their wildly successful album The Suburbs, the band just recently released their album Refelktor and Her. Good news, kids: the album is quite good. It has a bit more of a 70's flare with a dash of funk than former albums, but it's still the same great vibe that we've come to know know and love. It has a bit more sass as well, which I'm always a fan of as I'm sure any regular readers know. Be sure to check out their latest album. I've included their former albums so you can pull a marathon Arcade Fire music session if that's the way your day needs to play out. Enjoy!

XOXO
Camie

Monday, December 23, 2013

Direct Hits: Collection of The Killers' Best


Um, what? Sign me up for this album ASAP. I've loved The Killers since the dawn of time. I was on the original unknown and super cheap ticketed bandwagon way back in the day. I've loved the evolution of this truly talented band, and yes, I can rock "When You Were Young" on Guitar Hero. I can even do the authentic guitar slam. It's so awesome and legit looking that I temporarily forget that I'm not really even able to play electric guitar. So what could be better than a collection of their biggest hits? Answer: nothing, unless I finally get that baby cheetah I've always wanted for Christmas.


There are the obvious hits to listen to like "Mr. Brighteyes," "Somebody Told Me," "Smile Like You Mean It," and "All These Things That I've Done" but there are other songs like "Shot in the Dark" which I LOVE SO MUCH! I jam-blasted this in the car and air-drummed/air-guitared-air danced/etc etc etc to this awesome hit. If for some reason you've never heard The Killers, I will (try to) not judge you. But you must remedy it immediately by listening to their hits! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

XOXO
Camie

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Noteworthy Artist: Yeah Yeah Yeahs


They're a band with attitude to spare and songs that go the distance. Clever and well crafted tracks helped the Yeah Yeah Yeahs soar to success during the garage rock revival. The New York band carved a name for themselves as an art punk trio, and they know how to deliver. Each album is infused with a strong NYC vibe, and the eclectic sound is an urban triumph.


 If you haven't heard of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, listen to their albums here, and catch up on their latest and greatest album Mosquito,  which was released this year. Enjoy! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Album Review: Spreading Rumors by Grouplove


I randomly decided to listen to the album Spreading Rumors while cruising down the highway with the windows down as I soaked up a true-blue gorgeous November fall day here in Dallas. And guess what? Grouplove had me at their song "Ways to Go." Quirky, soulful, and brilliant back and forth between verses and chorus makes this song insta-loved in my book. The band has a truly unique sound that maintains a strong indie-rock feel while having a solid electronic foundation. The song "I'm with You" is absolutely fabulous and if I could Facebook like it, I would. I'm also loving the song "What I Know," which has an awesome dash of rebellious attitude.



You will adore Grouplove if you like: Young the Giant, Naked and Famous, Walk the Moon, Arcade Fire and Florence + the Machine, especially since they toured extensively with the latter. What's not to love about a lineup like that? You will not heart them if: you have terrible taste in music. Ok, that might be a little extreme. But I'm willing to bet you will enjoy this album. It's a great mix, and definitely worth adding to your playlist. If you're a doubter/curious, check it out here:


Friday, October 25, 2013

New Album Review: Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die by Panic! At The Disco



Ok, this is one of the most fabulously weird albums I've heard in a while. It was out there, but I loved it. It was a crazy mix of synth pop and electronica, and the result was an entirely unique and dramatically dark album. The beat is relentless and the tunes rocked my face off. The energy and passion level throughout the album is off the chain (my best friend just informed me that I cannot pull off saying "off the chain" to which I replied, "I know. And yet I feel compelled to say it. But the fact that I say words like 'compelled' instantly disqualifies me from saying any cool slang terms.") Even so, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die is at bare minimum off the chain. The only fault I have is that it's slightly wordy for a title and therefore rather consuming to type out. But other than that, the album is nearly flawless.


I put almost every song on insta-repeat and I'm pretty sure you will too. Unless you only listen to music like oh, say Celine Dion or something. In that case, you will most certainly not enjoy this album. For the rest of you, check out  Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die here:


Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Album Review: When the Night by St. Lucia




In the interest of saving time, let's get straight to the music! Sorry kids, my life has has been out of control! (But in the best way possible, so I neither have any complaints nor am I worried about getting in trouble with my mother.) Here's a new release from a band I've grown to love. St. Lucia has a great sound and a fresh take on music. Make sure you check out the entire album The Night Comes Again. I also included their past albums so you can love them as much as I do, and we can all be on the same page.

 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Noteworthy Artist: New Politcs


It's in indisputable fact that redheads are born with an insurmountable measure of sass. My friends and I call it the "saucy minx gene" and I have no problem disclosing that I possess said trait. It should come as no surprise that I adore a song that is can only be described as cheeky and fabulous, and not too long ago, I came across a great band called the New Politics.The punk-pop group from Denmark wrote songs together for three years before moving to the United States and setting up shop in my favorite city that never sleeps. It turned out to be a good move on their part, because NYC was good to them. In 2010 their self titled album The New Politics produced the hit song "Yeah Yeah Yeah."



A couple months ago, they released their album A Bad Girl in Harlem featuring the marvelous, slightly impudent hit "Harlem." Let me tell you, I love this song. I don't know if the bad girl in Harlem is a redhead, but I'm pretty sure she has the saucy minx gene and is a handful to deal with! When the radio is bogged down by overly produced, synthed out tracks, this single is lighthearted and flippant fun.

The whole album is worth listening to, so tune in and see what you think. You can listen to both their albums here.


And don't forget to find us on any of the follow sites: facebookinstagramor bloglovin to keep up with the latest! 

XOXO
Camie



Friday, August 30, 2013

Noteworthy Lo-fi Artists: Summer Heart and Washed Out


I remember the good old days when music genres consisted of simple terms, tunes, and time signatures, when a song was either just called rock, pop, country or rap. We probably also walked miles to school in bare feet and came home to do farm work, because those days are thing of the past. Easily defined genres---along with my high-school CD collection---are merely archaic things of the past. Now we have new wave, synth pop, lo-fi, hi-fi, trip hop, acid jazz, hipster and indie...on and on and on it goes. Confused yet? I actually enjoy this musical mash-up of genres and sounds, because some truly great bands have emerged under this kaleidoscope banner of music. And let's face it, music has always been a reflection of society. We ourselves are a kaleidoscope of so many ideas, philosophies, and dreams so why shouldn't our music be the same way?

I really love the hipster-esque music scene. While living in NYC, I spent a lot of time hitting underground music venues and trendy dives, but tragically, I really can't pull off either hipster, emo, or indie at all. I've never owned a pair of Converse shoes, but I have a vast display of lovely sky-high heels that I love as dearly as some people love their children or puppy dogs. My heart is that of a hipster-emo-indie kid though, so that should count for something, somewhere to someone. The lo-fi bands have really been singing to my alternatively tuned heart, and two bands I'm feeling extra amounts of love for are Summer Heart and Washed Out.


Summer Heart has a relaxing, dream pop vibe combined with lush, mellow vocals. I didn't really realize vocals could be lush/mellow until listening to this band, but they CAN, my friend! They can! I know. Get excited...in a mellow way, of course. Track after track is so chill it's cool (I was told by my student to include this phrase, and I responded I would, if he practiced an hour a day. Promised honored, now practice some more my little minion!) and is great easy listening music. It's been my go to playlist while I'm cooking up new recipes or relaxing with a book.

Washed Out also falls into the dream pop/chill wave category (who comes up with these genres, I ask of you?) and they do their genre well. Lead singer Ernest Greene, a native to Georgia, earned a masters in Library and Information Science (yes, it is a degree, and I'm sure you're all clambering to sign up for that major), but failed to get a job. So, he decided to start a lo-fi band, which seems both like a the logical alternative to being a librarian and a very Georgean if you know what I mean. That's called sarcasm, kids. But hooray that he did, because Washed Out is pretty fabulous! He released Within and Without in 2011 and has a new album Paracosm that was just released THIS MONTH and was featured as a give-away on our facebook page! Yes I am excited! No I don't know what a Paracosm is!  My dictionary says it's an imaginary world. Like Narnia---which is debatable fictional. I prefer to believe my walk-in closet might hold a magic world in addition to my mini-empire of clothes and shoes.

New to the lo-fi scene? Sample it here and don't forget to find us on facebookinstagramor bloglovin to keep up with the latest! 

XOXO
Camie

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

New Album Review: The Civil Wars


And they did it again! After releasing an amazing Americana album a couple years ago, The Civil Wars crafted yet another gorgeous set of beautiful tunes. This band is my not so guilty southern little secret and they need to be yours too! I'm on a mission...each one reach one! Chances are you've heard at least one of their songs. At the end of The Hunger Games ---a movie roughly everyone in the entire solar system has seen---the band pairs up with Taylor Swift to sing the end credit song "Safe & Sound." It is true I do not often enjoy Taylor Swift. I generally can't stand her, actually. I did like her song "We Are Never Getting Back Together" during the quick five-ish minutes my man and I broke up, but like my resolution to never again eat processed, chemically-ridden Craft Macaroni & "cheese" (which is irresistibly delicious and I will gladly fist fight someone over this truth), I simply was not able to be as resolute as Taylor Swift. So he and I got back together, thus ending my need for listening to her music. Fortunately, the song "Safe & Sound" lacks any of Swift's over the top cutesy, catchy nonsense that she often calls music and is a truly lovely song.


When the band was still relatively new on the scene, Noteworthy Music wrote a review about this indie-folk band, which you can read here. Truly, there are endless reasons to love The Civil Wars, and here are the top three in no particular order (which I am throwing together on the fly):

1. Their clever double entendre name. True, the band has a delicious, old Southern flare that hearkens back to a storybook time. I love our American era of fiddles and balls, of gowns and plantations, when the North fought against the South and both chivalry and corsets were in style. The band captures the feeling of these times with such authenticity, that I almost feel transported in time when I listen to their music. But even more than the band's tribute to our unique and fascinating American history, the songs are a rich tapestry of love stories, woven with lyrics so beautiful and sensitive that it's impossible to not relate to them. The true theme of The Civil Wars focuses on the interaction between lovers, and love isn't always civil. In the wise words of Pat Benetar, love is a battlefield and one that can leave us unrecognizable once the smoke clears.With great emotion and insight, The Civil Wars spin out one tale after the next about love lost, found, and redeemed. Nothing makes a little Libra happier than that!

2. The extraordinary vocal skills of singers Joy Williams and John Paul White. Oh.MY.WORD--->can these people sing or what?! Their vocals are simply stunning, and not in this over the top, all over the place kind of vocals like true music diva Maria Carey. The lack of audacious vocal craziness enhances the quality, tone, and message of the music. In addition to this, the harmony is pristine and near perfection. Seriously.

3. The unique sound of the album; it is SO not mainstream. Not even a little bit! Just when you feel like your ears are drowning in lame Miley Cyrus songs and the same top 10 overplayed hits of the summer, here comes a breath of fresh air! Do I love it or do I love it?! That should be an easy answer. I love it.

In their eponymous album The Civil Wars, the band continues their sumptuous blend of lyrics, melodies, and vocals. Listen to the entire album here. And don't forget to find us on facebook, instagram, or bloglovin. Now go do yourself a favor and walk away from the Bieber-fever tunes and indulge in some non-mainstream music. Your head and your heart will be so very glad you did.

XOXO
Camie



Monday, July 29, 2013

Concert Review: Twin Shadow


Listen here, kids: I heart the 80's and my love affair existed before you were even ALIVE. I mean, I was barely alive myself, but it doesn't matter. I have birth rights on that entire decade, and that means the big hair, the Cabbage Patch dolls (how semi-creepy and ugly are those things?!), and the ORIGINAL Transformers and GI Joe's. My lovely southern belle mother despaired that I could keep up with the boys so well, but I balanced it in in true Libra form by throwing a teaparty in the mix now and then. Since I love the 80's oh so much, I appreciate that alternative music is taking on a retro vibe and doing a throwback to some solid 80's sound---with a modern synth-pop twist of course. A band that is doing this in brilliant style is Twin Shadow. Recently, my man put together a surprise date and took me to the Grenada for a concert featuring Twin Shadow.

It was nothing short of a fabulous, entertaining night of great music. Twin Shadow has great energy and sounded even better live, which is always a nice surprise in today's overly processed tunes. Yes, they did retro with a flare, and they did it well. The Grenada is a great live venue, because what it lacks for in size, it makes up for in intimacy. It's easy to connect to the band on stage and really soak up the beats in full force. Lead singer George Lewis Junior connected effortlessly to the audience and filled the night with an excellent lineup of fabulous songs and amusing stories.

Twin Shadow pulled tunes from albums Forget (2010) and Confess (2012) and oscillated between high energy beats and sweet melancholy tunes with the greatest of ease. In short, it was a wonderful concert. If you're like me, and you're a music purist who loves the not-so-well-known band, check out Twin Shadow's music here. And don't forget to find us on bloglovin', facebook or instagram---because too much of a good thing can be fabulous.

XOXO
Camie
 
 
 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spotlight On: Daft Punk



Summer loving is in full force right now, and my life feels a little bit like a fun take on The Fast and the Furious. Any version of the movies 1-6, only I'd call it The Fast and the Fabulous, because life has been above and beyond amaaaaazing this summer. The only minor tragedy in this Utopian scenario is that I've been far, far too busy to throw together a music post or do anything remotely productive. Seriously, I have clean laundry that I've been intending to fold for two weeks now and I'm a mega neat freak, so therein is your proof of my too fast, too fabulous life. My current solution: just buy new clothes. I'll fold that stuff later.

There are some great albums out right now, but Daft Punk's might be one of the best so far. I've enjoyed the band oh so much since my lovah Samuel introduced me to them. They recently released a new album called Random Access Memories, and their solo track "Get Lucky" has appropriately scored big time on the charts. The album has a bit of a retro flare, but the elctronic music duo hasn't strayed too far from their traditional house/synthpop blend.


And if you're wondering about the mystery surrounding the band's gettup of disguises---most notably their robot masks---the Daft Punk duo claims they donned their robot masks "to merge the characteristics of humans and machines." Initially, the masks were to help the get get over a shy streak, but the band said seeing the masks "became exciting from the audiences' point of view. It's the idea of being an average guy with some kind of superpower." Who doesn't love an average Joe with superpowers? Am I right all you Marvel/Capcom/etc etc etc fans out there or amIright? Frankly, I've never listened to Daft Punk and thought their robot helmets or disguises made them seem like super heroes, but play on playah, play on.

If you haven't been swept up in the Daft Punk wave yet, check out their past albums and latest one here and don't forget to find us on Facebook :)


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spotlight on Artist: Macklemore



Hooray! Spring looks like it's finally going to stick around in the Big D! It's about time, really. I've recently felt like the weather and my closet have been engaged in a terribly bipolar relationship of hot and cold, on again off again. I pack up my sweaters, then have to pull them out as the weather plummets to freezing (at least, by Texan standards). While I really do secretly like being bundled up (I would probably wear a snuggie if I felt I could get away with it and feel no remorse), it's about time to say "see you later!" to the winter layers.


Since I've been doing a lot of closet rearranging due to the pyscho weather, I've had time to DJ up for myself some great music. Macklemore is topping every chart everywhere in the entire world apparently, and so I thought I'd give the music a bit of a try. First, it took me a while to figure out that he was neither the real Slim Shady nor Pitbull or whatever, but once I made this connection I liked him better. Second, if you think Macklemore is still buys N-E-THING at a thrift shop, you are probably absolutely wrong. I'm not taking bets, but I'd almost be willing to do so. Still, while the song "Thrift Shop" is quickly becoming overplayed, it's pretty catchy and clever probably has made your grandpa's coat so much cooler.

I run at least one 5 or 10K race a month (yes, you may be impressed, and yes I feel my right lower lung collapse each time), "Can't Hold Us" has been my pre-running get hyped up song. Honestly, try running to it. You will go at least 2% faster for 4 minutes and 19 seconds longer. I've tested this out. The real value of the album is that it's filled with really thoughtful, musing lyrics that leave room for pondering. I wasn't really expecting that, but I liked it quite a lot. In case you're wondering who the Ryan is in this Ryan Lewis partnership, he's Macklemore's producer. Thank you Ryan, you've done well and deserve to be noticed, too. So if you're familiar with Macklemore's hits, check out the rest of his top chart album here!

XOXO

Camie


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Album Review: OneRepublic


I will forever be indebted to OneRebublic for the song "Apologize." It's what I like to call "One of the Better/Possibly Best Breakup Songs of the Century. No, I must correct myself: of the millennium. I don't get to use that word often, so I'm pretty excited that it was so appropriĆ©. But enough with my semi-stunning vocabulary. So while OneRepublic definitely spun out my heartbreak song of 20-whatever that year was (very significant heartbreak obviously) with their song from the album Dreaming Out Loud, they also had some tracks that I still adore to this day. "Say (All You Need)" remains somehow simple and simply beautiful in its powerful message and I never get tired of listening to it.



Other great tunes followed on their next album Waking Up which produced hits like "All the Right Moves," "Secrets," "Good Life," and "Marchin On." Not too bad for a follow up album, I must say. So what can you expect in their latest album Native? More of the same for starts. The sound hasn't changed. The same kind of lovely, wishful lyrics come back and reach for us. The easy guitar strumming ballads make for great go to background tracks of young hearts everywhere. Is it genius? Well, not really, but not all really delightful things are sheer brilliance. I do appreciate the great combination of melodic tunes and meaningful lyrics, so I really have nothing negative to say about Native. For all you music lovers out there who adore Joshua Radin, Five for Fighting and other fabulous anthemic songwriting groups, you'll enjoy every track on this album, which you can listen to here. And, just because I can and just because I'm looking out for you, I've included all of OneRepublic's albums for your listening pleasure. You're welcome.

PS don't forget to like us on Facebook or follow on bloglovin.com! https://www.facebook.com/NoteworthyMusicBlog

XOXO

Camie

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New ALbum Review: 20/20 Experience



First things first: I freaking love boy bands. I'm not ashamed to admit it, and neither should you closet fans out there! You know there are tracks of Backstreet Boys and NKOTB hidden away on your playlists...just admit it! Boy band music is somehow really lame and seriously addictive all at the same time. Sure, it's all just a bunch of smoke and mirrors designed to fool females everywhere into falling in love via sappy, cheesy lyrics and great hair products, but who am I to reject this PR propaganda? I am, after all  female, and I happen to have a penchant for both excellent hair and musical people. Therefore, I love boy bands, even if they're the equivalent of the wizard of Oz hiding behind a curtain on stage and not so impressive in real life. Having said all that, I must add that Justin Timberlake is one band member who has managed to be successful on multi-circuits of the entertainment industry. The former NSYNC member has an incredibly success solo and movie career, as well as dabling in various other arenas. JT manages to keep up with the trends and stay true to himself at the same time.


Our boy band phenom took a musical haitis from '07 to '12 while he focused on a rather successful acting career, various philanthropic work, and other collaborative projects . His latest musical venture The 20/20 Experience ended his break as he began recording his two part album last year. The first part of the album was release just last month, while the second half is planned on being released in November. It's already a hit as it reaches top spots on many music charts and gets non-stop downloads from people like yours truly. The album is filled with a R&B/pop-esque sound that makes you forget he ever hip-hopped around during is boy band era. Smooth and a little jazzy, his tunes are easy listening done right. JT states that he wrote the music with no rules or end goal in mind, but songs like "Suite & Tie" and "Mirrors" are direct hits. Whether you're a loyal fan from back in the day or too young to remember the glory which was NSYNC (yes, I'm looking at you One Direction fans! Harry might, just might take you to prom now that he and Taylor Swift broke up. Keep those fingers crossed!) this is one album worth hearing!

PS don't forget to like us on facebook or follow on bloglovin.com:)
https://www.facebook.com/NoteworthyMusicBlog

XOXO

Camie