Category Archives: music

Sunday Song : Riptide – Vance Joy

The video for this song is endlessly amusing to me. I swore Wes Anderson had to have directed it. (It’s not.)

I am pretty sure it is a regular guitar but in my mind it’s a ukulele. It could be the tambourine that is underpinning this song that highlights the plucky sound of the song. It has a very steady rhythm that gives it an upbeat feel and

The singer (who is not actually named Vance Joy according to the Internet) has a very old timey sound to me. I feel like I am listening to the song through a transistor radio.



I am supposing that is an intention sound based on the video which has an old school feel (Pan Am tickets!!!)

The sound is simple but I love it. I find myself listening to it once a day and then realizing I am singing it to myself as I go about the rest of the day.  A great summer song, while you’re cruising off to the beach (though hopefully you don’t run into actual riptides.)

Official Video for Riptide

Sunday Song: I Got U – Duke Dumont ft Jax Jones

Though I have dabbled in down beat electronica thanks to my husband’s influences, I can count on one hand true house music/DJ mixes I like. So I have no idea why when I was doing my mindless review of Buzzfeed articles, I decided I needed to listen to this song which was discussed in an article.

This song IS summer.

It has beautiful steel drums underpinning it which just scream tropical island. The beat is perfectly paced; fast and lively without being exhausting, there is still a laid back beach feel. The female singer’s voice is smooth and warm.

And while I don’t think most people pay attention to lyrics in house music, I love the lyrics “Ask me what I did with my life? I spent it with you. If I lose my fame and fortune, it really don’t matter as long as I got you baby.” It just reminds me of what is truly important in life…LOVE.

I listened to this at my desk at work and bopped along like an idiot without a care. It was also perfect while I was poolside in Vegas. Really this song should just be on repeat for the rest of the summer  no matter where you are and probably as the months turn cold again.

The video is pretty awesome too. The premise is a guy using a virtual reality hood to experience being on a tropic getaway.

Video for I Got U

On Thirteen Years

I don’t usually like to mark anniversaries of sad events, especially deaths because it is better to celebrate a person’s life than remember their exit. But today, on my way home from work I had a sudden need to listen to Pearl Jam’s Release. Since my marriage into the Jamily, this song has been one that really touched me and reminded me of my dad’s passing. As Eddie started toward the crescendo of the song, my thoughts went to the date. Was it December 4th? Yes, it had to be because I dated a letter today with the 4th. And as Eddie’s voice ached with “Oh dear dad/Can you see me now/I am myself/Like you somehow.” I ugly cried in my car because I realized it had been 13 years since my father left this world.

I don’t really recall December 4, 2000 well. It started sometime in the middle of the night when the hospital called to tell us my father had passed away. I did not want to go into his room and “say good bye” because I had a belief that if I saw my father’s body, it would erase all my memories of his life. I don’t believe I cried that night. We returned home in the early morning hours and my uncle who had been staying with us instructed us all to try and get some sleep. Honestly, most of the following days are a blur with brief snippets of remembrance of consoling hugs, gentle reminders to “eat something” and comments about how loved my father was.

I only remember the date now as a marker. My life changed after December 4, 2000. There is the life I had when my father was alive and there is the life that has happened since my father passed. After December 4, 2000, I moved to Los Angeles. I graduated from law school. I married my husband. I had my son, who is named after my dad. I would have loved to see how my dad would have been as a grandparent. I imagine he would have handled my son much as he talked to me as child, which was the same amount of respect he spoke to adults. Taking seriously my son’s concerns even if they involve concerns about volcanos in the middle of Los Angeles.

I think I am most sad that we never got to have a chance to know each other as adults. I was only 21 when he passed away; too young to see him as anything but my dad. Too young for him to see me as a grown woman. In the last 13 years my relationship with my mom has grown and matured. We talk about parenthood now and the issues with getting anything done with a toddler under foot. I would love to compare parenthood tales with my dad and get his thoughts on my work life as an attorney. It is his fault after all that I went to law school (“What’s the worst that can happen?” he said).

Though today I feel sadness. I also feel my dad watching over me and it was him tugging at me to listen to Release (even though I am pretty sure my dad didn’t know who Pearl Jam was) letting me know he is there if I need to talk to him. “Meet me on the other side

Love you, Dad.

Sunday Songs (2 for 1): Stubborn Love – The Lumineers & Elephant – Tame Impala

Stubborn Love – The Lumineers

This is one of those songs I classify as auditory crack. When I downloaded it from iTunes, I listened it on loop a few thousand times. And still a month or so later, I find myself putting it on at least once a day to help myself through the day. I just need my hit of it.

I love the bouncy flavor, its one of those songs that I can listen to when I am having  a hard day and it reminds me to keep going both lyrically (“Keep your head up….looooove”) and also with the great guitar and rhythm.

My favorite line is “The opposite of love is indifference.” I never really thought about it before but it is such an absolute truth. If you are made or angry with something it means you care what they did. If you don’t care anymore the love and caring are gone.

Official Video for Stubborn Love

Elephant – Tame Impala

My husband’s car has this amazing function called RDS (Radio Data System) that tells you the name of a song on the radio (assuming the station has the encoding available.) One night I was out on my own driving his car and this song came on. I thought for sure it was some Beatles song I had managed to never hear on Breakfast with the Beatles. The RDS informed me it was not the Beatles (the way it scrolled I wasn’t sure if the song was Tame Elephant or Impala or…)

I love the strut in this song. It makes me feel like I should be walking with great purpose down a runway (or just down the street).

I played the song for my husband who is a huge Beatles fan and he seemed so confused. Even he thought it was the Beatles at first. Apparently John has been reincarnated as a Aussie named Kevin. My husband pointed out there is a bit of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, which I definitely hear too.

My next experiment will be to play this song for my mom and see what she thinks.

Official Video for Elephant

Sunday Song – Take A Walk – Passion Pit

For a few months I had been head down in work and I wasn’t hearing much new music unless you qualify songs on cartoons my son watches. I had started to think I was moving into that stage in life where all “new music” sounds like noise and I would be saying things like “they just don’t make music like they used to.” I admit, I have said that actually. But recently, I have been craving new music. Take a Walk is one of the new songs that I am always hoping to catch on the radio. I know I am a little late to the Passion Pit love in. A year or so ago, friends were raving about Passion Pit and I just never felt compelled to take a listen. Sometimes I just have to discover things for myself, I’m stubborn like that.

This song caught my attention because of the chorus. When I am really upset or frazzled, taking a walk has been my go to head clearer. I can’t always do it but when I can, I find taking a walk can really help with working out an a tough issue.

The cadence of the song is very powerful. It has a determined sound that reminds me of marching. I think it is the bass drum that thumps in the back of the song that adds. Its almost subconscious but it definitely drives the song forward.

The concept behind the song is very interesting. According to the lead singer, its a patch work of stories of the men in his family. I can see how most people would see it as a political song especially with its references to drained bank accounts and socialists. Either, way you look at it the lyrics are very well laid out forming a story.

Video for Take a Walk [Official]


Sick Day Song – Little Talks – Of Monsters and Men

I have been listening to this song whenever possible and when it comes on the radio, I turn it all the way up.

Somehow I feel the instrumental aspect of this song in my chest, especially the horns and drum at the beginning.  It catches me off guard every time it comes on suddenly on the radio.

I love the two singers in this song. It seems to be a rarity anymore that a song has both a male and female singer and the contrasting and complementing of their voices really plays up the emotion of the song. Sure, two women or men could sing this song but it seems more powerful the way it is.

I have never made a secret of my love of songs that change their speed. This is yet another that slows down and goes very quiet only to pick up both in speed and sound. To me the quieter moments enhance the loud parts. It makes me feel surrounded by the sound when it gets loud.

I often find myself making up stories to go with the lyrics of songs. And these lyrics are particularly ripe for story.

Listen and turn it up loud!

Video for Little Talks



5 Things of Interest

Eat: Parmesan Celery Salad – It has been HOT. When it is hot, I don’t want to cook or bake. I barely want to walk in our kitchen which seems to be hotter than the rest of the apartment regardless of the lack of cooking and baking. I end up eating a lot of salads in the heat and this one sounds particularly refreshing and filling since it includes beans.

Want: Copenhagen Carafe from Curiosity Shoppe – I adore simple elegant design. This carafe is amazing in how unadorned and yet beautiful it is. Wouldn’t be a bad splurge either at 36 bucks. Too bad my home is already overflowing with glassware.

Think: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – An excellent article on finding clarity in life through the pursuit of less. This means instead of always looking for the next step UP, looking for the next step that leads to happiness.

Look: Les Coquelicots a Agenteuil by Monet – I remember a over 20 years ago now, peering over the wall into Monet’s garden (we were going to take a tour but the line in was impossibly long). Being so young, I half expected everything in his garden to appear as it does in his paintings, smudged and out of focus. It amazes me how he could use blotches to make such amazing scenes. This picture reminds me the last gasps of summer, print flowers hanging on, as the weather turns cooler.

Laugh: 23 Easy Ways to Instantly Make Your Day Better – Yes, is cheesy but some of the pictures are hilarious. It will cheer you up a little after a bad day, I promise. I particularly like the overflowing bubble bath.

Sunday Song – Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye

Driving on a Sunday morning, it is rare that anything new catches my ear on the radio. Usually I am listening to NPR’s Weekend Edition or Breakfast with the Beatles. This morning weekend had wrapped up and KLOS decided to play some John & Yoko song that wasn’t doing it for me. I switch over to one of my other radio presets expecting to hear something I recognized or something I would tune out. Instead I heard a song that sounded like Genesis. Except it didn’t quite sound 80’s enough for the Genesis I was familiar. It was Gotye.

The lead singer of Gotye is some sort of Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel hybrid. When he sings slow and low he has a cadence that conjures Phil Collins (think In the Air Tonight). Later in the song, he goes high and processed which definitely sounds like Peter Gabriel (think In Your Eyes or possibly Steam). I credit my husband for helping me figure this out because all I only got as far as “Why do I keep thinking of Genesis when I listen to this song?!” Gotye also seems to channel Peter in his video.

I really like the lyrics of this song. It reminds me of a few of my break ups in my life. At the time the break up seemed  harsh and later the person just becomes someone I used to know.

Video for Somebody That I Used to Know

Sunday Song: Sail – AWOLNATION

The best way I can sum up this song is “sound collage.” According to wikipedia, I am using that term incorrectly. The reason I use collage is this song has so many kinds of sounds in it. Though I initially wanted to classify it was electronica, there is natural human voice, and actual musical instrument sounds mixed with altered voice sounds and totally unnatural computer sounds that don’t even sound like typical electronica.

The contrasts in this song are what make it an amazing song. The musical instruments contrasted with the electronic distorted sound and the softer voices compared to what main singing which is essentially yelling. All the contrast adds to the emotion of the song which seems kind of desperate and dire.

The first time I heard this song, I was driving at night and the lights of the city mixed with the emotion of the song came together in a perfect emotional picture. Its definitely a unique song that I wouldn’t always be in the mood for, but fits a kind of displaced loneliness that we all feel from time to time.

Official Video for Sail


Sunday Song: Georgia – Band of Horses (cover)

I went into the office early one morning to try and catch up on some work and needed something to get me going so I queued up this song. Little did I know a few of my coworkers were also in the office early…and that I unconsciously started belting out along with the song. As the song started into the final chorus, one of my coworkers leaned into my doorway with a quizzical look on his face and I quickly tried to act professional after getting caught in the act. “I thought I was the only one in the office,” I said weakly.

I love this song, it is a great get up and go kind of song. Its not particularly fast but it is extremely upbeat both in sound and lyrics. Of course how can you be backed by a marching band and NOT sound upbeat?

And these lyrics:

You’ll always be home to me
I belong to you
and yes you belong to me
When they ask me where I’m from
I’m proud to say that I’m your son.

How can it not sound like a song that will pick you up on an early morning or anytime you need some get up and go?

While Cee-Lo may be the credit for the lyrics, I feel that Band of Horses does a better job with this song than he does. The song doesn’t fit Cee-Lo’s sound in my mind. Its too triumphant and he tends to have a bit of snark in his sound. I doubt I would have paid much attention to this song if only his version existed. Band of Horses does it up right with much emotion that makes you feel like you are  (and as I said adding an entire marching band probably doesn’t hurt.)

Listen to this song and I dare say you’ll have a hard time not singing along too.

User Video – Georgia by Band of Horses

For contrast: User Video – Georgia by Cee-Lo