Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session Vol. 19

I love music. My taste is very diverse — continually being shaped by an unique combination of people, places and experiences. I never try to pawn myself off as someone who “knows music,” because I have too much respect for those who do. I did dance and took piano lessons growing up, but trust me, you do NOT want to hear me sing. But music is a topic that I never tire of and I love swapping recommendations. Please join in and share your own picks! View past posts HERE.
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Friday Jam Session

1.Favorite New(ish) Album
1989 (Cover Album) – Ryan Adams


The internet about had a heart attack last week when T-Swift herself started promoting the release of Ryan Adams’ full cover album of 1989. I’ve listened to the guy a few times before and I like his sound, but with the craze this cover album started, I found myself just as anxious to hear it.

It’s weird and wonderful all at once, and I think regardless if you are a Taylor Swift fan or not, I’d say that is a testament to her writing. Most of the upbeat songs were slowed down and the slow ones sound more haunting. I was somewhat surprised that my favorites were the exact opposite from my favorites on the original album. His cover of “Style” above was probably my overall pick followed closely by “This Love.” I also really enjoyed “All You Had to Do Was Stay” “Bad Blood” and “Clean.”

2.Favorite New (new-to-me) Artist/Band
Hideaway – Daya
Listen HERE

If you had told me the first few time I heard this song that this girl is only 16, I wouldn’t have believed. Her voice definitely sounds more mature. This is her first single off of her upcoming debut album. I actually haven’t had a chance to really check out any of her other music, but I fear it might be that I just like this particular song. We’ll have to see.

3.Jam I Have on Repeat
T-Shirt – Thomas Rhett


 I kept telling myself that I was going to wait to feature Thomas Rhett again until his full new album came out today. But I CAN’T stopping putting this song on repeat. It’s becoming unhealthy. That said, don’t be surprised when I feature the album next weekend…

4.Favorite Collaboration, Cover, Remix or Mashup
XO – John Mayer
Listen HERE

I love Queen Bey, but I definitely like John Mayer’s version better.

5.Favorite Spotify List
“All Out 90’s” by Spotify

My early childhood was pretty awesome.

6.#SoulMusic I’m Obsessing Over
Burning House – Cam
Listen HERE

This song has such a sad and haunting, but beautiful sound. It actually reminds me a bit of the Dixie Chicks.

7.”Oldie, But a Goodie” I Heard This Week
Holiday in the Sun – Weezer
Listen HERE

So this is where I admit that the straight-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley movie “Holiday in the Sun” is one of my most watched movies… EVER. Yepp, I am from the Olsen twins generation and for some reason my friend Kari and I were obsessed with that movie. This song always reminds me of our friendship, and of course, how ridiculous that movie is.

8.Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down
Tear in My Heart – Twenty One Pilots


I’m warning you, this band is weird, and what’s even stranger is how oddly addictive their music is. When they opened for a Imagine Dragons concert I went to a few years ago, that’s all took for me to become a fan. Sure they’re weird but they’re talented and have an energy that is contagious. I’m loving this song off of their new album, but my favorite will always be “Holding Onto You.”

9.Taking Me Down Memory Lane
Vogue – Madonna
 

This week is another trip down memory lane to my dance days. This was the competition performance song the first year I was a competitive team in 5th grade and after dozens of routines since then, this is the one that I still remember the most of.

10.Work, Work it Out
Move Along – All-American Rejects

Ahh the band of my high school days, I miss you guys. This song still gets played at least once every run I go on.

11.Making Me Want to Fall in Love
Fire and The Flood – Vance Joy
 

You know, if I’m just going to feature Vance Joy every single week anyway, maybe he should just get his own category?

Seriously though, this song… swoon.

12.Guilty Listen of the Week
Same Old Love – Selena Gomez
Listen HERE

Don’t know about the rest of the song, but I’m a sucker for a catchy and quirky chorus.

13.Song That I Originally Loved, But Is Now Overplayed
Jason Derulo

This week I’m talking about an artist, not a song. I really liked Jason Derulo when he first came out when I was in college. The song above was probably one of the most played songs on my iPod for a few months straight. I even saw him in concert when he came to K-State. But lately I just find myself annoyed by his music. Sure a lot of it is catchy, and he’s obviously talented, but it just seems all the same and too much. And don’t get me started on his #bromance with Florida Georgia Line…. Just no. I need a break from his music.

14.Popular Song That Is Making My Ears Bleed
Tulips – Christopher
Listen HERE

I have so many mean comments, but lets just talk about what’s really bothering me…Christopher?? Man, have a single stage name is supposed to be cool like Beyoncé, Lorde, Bono, Madonna or heck even Kanye. But Christopher? I just don’t get it.

15.Country Pick of the Week
Before You Drive Me Crazy – Wes Mack

Really loving this song from another new country kid on the block that look’s like the Weasley’s had yet another son that we didn’t know about. The music video is a bit overdramatic but its a solid debut song.

BONUS: My Voice Picks, Week 1

I missed The Voice last season because of my move to DC. By the time I was settled in I was just too behind to even attempt to catch up. I am glad to see that they have Gwen back instead Christina, she’s by far my favorite female coach they’ve had. I’m currently still trying to decide if I am going to stay committed. Let’s be honest, the main reason I watch is for the banter between Adam and Blake. And why do they show SO MANY of the no-turn performances? I felt like that was most of what Tuesday night’s show featured. With that said these are few that really stood out to me during the first week of blind auditions. Seems like a lot of country right now, which is my favorite genre, but I’m hoping and assuming that will eventually balance out. These were my top 5 favorite performances from Week 1. There were a few others who could see myself potentially liking more later on but this is my picks for this week.

Angel Eyes – Barrett Baber


Chandelier – Jordan Smith


Typical – Evan McKeel


Let Her Cry – James Dupré

We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off – Ellie Lawrence

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So, what have you been listening to this week?

(Linkup images)

Linking up with these blogs today!

Here, Here, Here and HERE.

Cheers!

Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session Vol. 15

I love music. My taste is very diverse — continually being shaped by an unique combination of people, places and experiences. I never try to pawn myself off as someone who “knows music,” because I have too much respect for those who do. I did dance and took piano lessons growing up, but trust me, you do NOT want to hear me sing. But music is a topic that I never tire of and I love swapping recommendations. Please join in and share your own picks! View past posts HERE.
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Friday Jam Session

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1.Favorite New(ish) Album
Wild Ones – Kip Moore

When I read that this was only his sophomore full album, I had to remind myself that Kip Moore hasn’t actually been around that long. He has a lot of my favorite songs from college and is one of the artists that I have been listening to since the very start of his career. He’s a songwriter, which I respect even more, with a gritty blue-collar country rock sound. Right now “Lipstick” above is my favorite off of the new album, but the title track, “Wild Ones,” is close second. I am also really like “Comeback Kid”, “I’m to Blame”, “Backseat” and “Girl of the Summer.”

2.Favorite New(ish) Collaboration
Where It All Begins – Hunter Hayes ft, Lady Antebellum
Listen HERE

You know, I didn’t start out a bit Hunter Hayes fan, but he’s really grown on me with his new album. And the vocals from Lady Antebellum in this song blend well with his voice. New band member for Lady A?

3.Favorite New (new-to-me) Artist/Band
James Bay


I’m loving this guy’s voice, which you will probably recognize most from “Hold Back the River.” I kept trying to put different songs of his in other categories before I decided it made more sense for this one. “Let It Go” featured above is practically the definition of #SoulMusic to me, but then again so is “Move Together” and “Need the Sun to Break,” which I’ve also had on repeat lately. Then just this week I discovered his 2015 Spotify Session where he covered Alicia Key’s “If I Ain’t Got You.” Ummm… #swoon

4. Jam I Have on Repeat
Elastic Heart – Sia (Piano Version)
Listen HERE

This sound first became popular from being featuring on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, where Sia was accompanied on vocals by The Weeknd and Diplo. I was pretty obsessed with that version for a long time, preferring it over Sia’s solo version (the one with the really weird video ft. Shia Leouf.) But I stumbled across this piano version this week and fell in love with the song all over again. It might be a strange on to have on repeat, but I can’t get enough.

5. Favorite Cover, Remix or Mashup
Smelly Cat – Lisa Kudrow with Taylor Swift


I know I referenced Friends last week, but seriously though, this might be one of the best things EVER. Taylor Swift has been inviting celebrity guests to all of the stops on her 1989 tour, so I mean, why not? Personally I think it was brilliant and hilarious. If you have NEVER watched Friends, then just skip this one because you won’t get it. (If this is true then we also need to chat about your priorities in life.)

6. Favorite Spotify List
“Piano Ballads” by Spotify

Friends is was a bit of a long and trying week, and I kept returning to this playlist for just a bit of a break from all of the chaos. The playlist’s description says it all: “Pop unplugged. Only the best piano ballads – vocals and keys front and center.”

7. #SoulMusic I’m Obsessing Over
Smile – Mikky Ekko

I first heard this song in the trailer for the movie “Paper Towns,” and it’s continued to stick with me. It’s a simple, light hearted song, providing lots of room for nostalgia and memories, much like the book and movie did for me. I thought it fit really well so I was surprised not to see it on the final soundtrack.

8.”Oldie, But a Goodie” I Heard This Week
Her Life’s A Song – Alan Jackson
Listen HERE

This throwback came up on my Timehop this week and made me smile. There are a lot of different definitions of what country is, but for me it starts with guys like Alan Jackson.
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9. Current Beat That Makes Me Want to Dance…in the Car…Jamming With the Windows Down
Freedom – Pharrell Williams


I haven’t completely decided if I actually like this song, I just really like singing it in my car and screaming the “freedom” part.

10.Taking Me Down Memory Lane
Get This Party Started – Pink
Listen HERE

So I may or may not have done a jazz dance duet to this song with my best friend Kayla, when we where 5th graders (?) one summer at the county fair. I swear I would share a picture, but I don’t have one. I do remember we wore matching tie-dye pink tank tops and our black Nike basketball shorts. I also distinctly remember that is how I got my left split down because we had to be opposite and Kay called dibs. LOL, if only I could still do that at all!

11. Work, Work it Out
The Walker – Fitz and The Tantrums

This is great to workout to but this is also my FAVORITE song to walk to work to in the morning, it always puts me in a good mood. I promise though, I really do walk like normal person.

12.Making Me Want to Fall in Love
Say You Do – Dierks Bentley

Basically everything Dierks sings makes me want to fall in love.

13. Guilty Listen of the Week
Dirrty – Christina Aguilera
Listen HERE
So my co-worker definitely caught me jamming to this on a Throwback Thursday playlist. Oops. #sorryimnotsorry
However I will say about the music video… I had forgotten how well, “dirty” it was LOL. My question is, did she let her parents watch that?! #coveryoureyes

14.Song That I Originally Loved, But Is Now Overplayed
Honey, I’m Good – Andy Grammer

I love this song, I just need a break. Anyone agree?

15.Popular Song That Is Making My Ears Bleed
I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen


Just make it stop, ok?
However, listen just ONCE while watching the video because two words: TOM HANKS.

16.Country Pick of the Week
That Don’t Sound Like You – Lee Brice

Lee Brice was my first college concert and the first of countless concerts that I have been to with my best friend Megan. We weren’t 21 yet so when we got to Longhorns (the country dance hall in Manhattan, KS at the time) we camped out front and center. It was AMAZING and still one of my favorite college memories. His first single “Love Like Crazy” had just peaked on the country music charts, eventually to become the longest-charting song in the chart’s history. He was another new guy that I had followed since the beginning so I knew a lot of his songs, but he also sang a lot of songs that he had written for other people (ahem, remember Garth Brooks’ “More Than A Memory”?) Four years later he was back in Manhattan on a bigger stage, with a much bigger audience and a LOT more hit songs. Last night, Megan saw Lee Brice again in Wichita and every Snapchat she sent made me super nostalgic. I wish I could have been there again!

lee brice
Can’t believe this was 5 years ago!! (2010)

BONUS: My Top 7 Favorite Lee Brice Songs (sorry I couldn’t pick 5)

Hard to Love
Beautiful Every Time
Drinking Class
She Ain’t Right
Sumter County Friday Nights
I Don’t Dance
Happy Endings (acoustic version)

So, what are you listening to this week?

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Linking up with these blogs today!
Here, Here, Here, Here and HERE.

 

Music - What I'm Listening To

Friday Jam Session: The Voice S7: Part 1

I’m a tad bit late to The Voice craze. I’ve always known what it was, mostly because my sister is an avid fan, but I didn’t have TV (or even Netflix for that matter) in college so my screen time was extremely limited. But I knew I could be a fan because I usually found myself binge watching YouTube video of highlights and performances. So this season I have joined the club. Up until the “Live Playoffs” I’ve been recording it on my DVR and watching it throughout the rest of the week. Two hours is a little too much time to dedicate to sitting and watching one show.

 A few of my early favorites have been cut, but for the most part I can follow the coaches’ train of thought. Lots of great voices come through this show, but there seems to be a specific formula and checklist to be a good fit for this particular environment. Speaking of the coaches, Blake and Adam are both artists that I have been a longtime fan of, and their bromance is just plain hysterical. As for the other two, from what little I’ve seen of past coaches and now of Pharrell and Gwen, I think they’ve got a really strong group. Gwen is the pennant bearer for girl power for all who grew up in the time of No Doubt’s reign. And while Pharrell is an artist that I’ve only become familiar with in the last couple of years, this guy is a master at giving pep talks. Seriously, I kind of wish he could be my life coach.

This week was #TheVoiceTop12 Playoffs where all twelve artists performed live and America chose the Top 10 to move on to next week.
For this post I split the Top 10 down to my Top 5 artists, which was really difficult because I could see myself being a fan of quite a few of them. Now if I was just doing the Top 5 performances, my list might look a little different because that would be heavily influenced by what were already some of my favorite songs. But I chose my Top 5 artists based on their overall appeal, including voice, style and personality, and whether or not I think I would go out and buy their music. This list is not in any particular order.

Disclaimer: I am well aware that 3 out of the 5 are guys with long hair. Despite to my extreme dislike for guys with long hair, they all still made the cut. They should feel honored…

1. Matt McAndrew

So I kind of lied, because I know that Matt’s song choices have definitely influenced his spot on this list. “Yellow” and “Drops of Jupiter” are two of my all-time favorite songs, and I think he did them justice. With that said, I’m oddly fascinated by this guy. I like him now, and I think I could like him in 40 years – even with that ridiculous hair. Then the morning of the playoffs this week I was listening to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” (one of my favorite songs of 2014) and thought it would be a great fit for this guy…and what happened? BOOM. I’m a psychic. And while it probably wouldn’t have as much star power with America, I’m dying for him to sing some Mat Kearney…

2. Taylor John Williams

This guy was my early favorites, and no, not just because he’s a fellow Oregonian. Like Matt McAndrew, I’m oddly fascinated by Taylor and his voice. He might not be singing all my favorite songs like Matt is, but each time his performance end, I want to hear more. His blind audition of “Heartless” could have been his own song, “Stuck in the Middle With You” took me back in time and I thought his battle round duet of “Jolene” was endearing. And while I think that he has improved with each week (as they should) my favorite performance of his so far was in the Knockouts with “Mad World.” Guys, the 1:45 mark says it all. Give me this on repeat.

3. Danica Shirey

This girl has some soul pipes. I’d definitely say that this season is male dominated, but homegirl is holding her own. It seems like those who are successful on The Voice are the ones who are really able to sell the big note moments. Danica does that in every performance. Plus it helps that she comes across as extremely down to earth, and even a little shy from too much attention. She makes you want to know what her story is. I’d buy her music AND feel like I could grab a cup of coffee with her. “Creep” and “Help Me” were great performances, but “Saving All My Love for You” was my favorite.

4. Chris Jamison

I like Chris because at first glance he doesn’t seem as unique as Matt and Taylor do, but he quickly makes you forget the pretty boy stereotype you were putting him in and instead creates his own niche. When it comes to his voice think Adam Levine’s sexy falsetto meets Michael Buble’s warm and smooth croons. Just watch Pharrell’s face at 00:45 of his blind audition of “Gravity.” And there’s versatility. He nailed Nick Jonas’ new beat above and threw it back with Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” I wasn’t a big of fan of “Don’t”, but I definitely want to hear more from this kid.

5. Craig Wayne Boyd

I’ll admit I was weary of Craig at first. My taste in music ranges far and wide, but at the core is country music. And well, the definition of “country” has been thrown around like a rag doll lately. Bro country, nashville, outlaw, red dirt…it all has a place, but it is all making my head hurt. But kind of like his journey on the show, where Craig keeps fighting his way through, he won me over. His voice is most comparable to Travis Tritt’s and he’s got the southern vibe like Confederate Railroad, Shenandoah and maybe even Sawyer Brown that sometimes walks the line between country and rock. To me his turning point “statement moment” was his performance of Marshall Tucker Band’s cover above. He also took on “Some Kind of Wonderful” and the King’s “You Look So Good in Love”.

Favorite Team Performance So Far…

I haven’t really enjoyed that many of the team performances, but I did really like Team Gwen’s performance of “Riptide.”

The Artists I’d Like To Bring Back…

Despite my comments about country music above, I really do wish that James David Carter was still on the show. He had my overall favorite blind audition with “Nobody Knows”, I enjoyed his very laid back persona and his voice was just about as pure, stripped down country as they come. His performances of “Two of a Kind Workin’ on a Full House”  and “You’ve Got a Friend” were good too.

I was really disappointed that Pharrell didn’t save Taylor Phelan when he had the chance. His blind audition of “Sweater Weather” was my next favorite, and considering I really don’t like that song originally, thats impressive. One of the coaches made the comment during his audition that he reminded them of Ryan Tedder (of OneRepublic) by the way he became apart of the music. I agree. He was someone who I wanted to hear more from. He also performed “Rather Be”  and “Cool Kids.”

Other favorite performances

Ryan Sill – “Ordinary World
Luke Wade – “Rich Girl”

Reagan James – “Try”
Taylor Breshears – “Landslide”
Damien – “How Do I Live”
Ricky Manning – “Lay Me Down”
Troy Ritchie – “Hey Ya!”
Jessie Pitts vs. Ryan Sill – “I Need Your Love”
Troy Ritchie vs. Menlik Zergabachew – “Maneater”
Elyjuh Rene vs. Maiya Sykes – “If I Ain’t Got You”
Griffin vs. Luke Wade – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
Jonathan Wyndham – “Say Something”
Anita Antoinette – “Turn Your Lights Down Low”
Menlik Zergabachew – “Santeria”