Category: Re: Music

Tunesday: Festival Flashback

It’s been a month since I’ve blogged, so what better way to cop-out than a Tunesday post! (Real writing is on the way.)(Hopefully.)

This past weekend, I went to Weekend One of the Austin City Limits Music Festival… i.e. spent three days sweating, dancing, singing and generally living it up with some amazing people. I’m still in shock at it all. I saw 16 concerts in three days, including some of my all-time favorites and artists I never thought I would see live. It was an incredible, to say the least.

So what better way to relive one of the best weekends of my life than to attempt to wrangle some of my favorite performances? Wish me luck.

Disclaimer: I pulled these videos from YouTube, courtesy of people who recorded them at the sets. Sorry for shaky camera work and people yelling. It happens. 

  1. “Car Radio” by Twenty One Pilots

This band saved my life in a lot of ways. This song in particular means the absolute world. The knowledge that you are not alone in having intrusive thoughts, in using music to keep darkness at bay — it’s very comforting. Plus, Tyler risks his life at the end and it’s equal parts terrifying and awesome.

(TØP is one of those bands that you either really get or really don’t. I don’t care what you think about them, honestly. They mean so much to me, and that should be enough for you.)

2. “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake

This was one of the best shows OF MY LIFE. There is pre-Drake Hanna and post-Drake Hanna, and it’s a good life on the other side. I’ve been listening to Drake for ages and ages, so the mere concept that I got to see him life still hasn’t processed for me. Like…DRAKE. DRIZZY. AUBREY GRAHAM. WHEELCHAIR JIMMY. (Also, he brought Future out to do some songs from WATTBA and I actually lost my mind.)

Moral of the story: Drake loves Texas, loves Austin and loves what he does. It was incredible to witness.

3. “Jackie and Wilson” by Hozier

http://aclfest.redbull.tv/video/AP-1JYTGDY4D1W11/hozier-jackie-and-wilson

Hozier sounds better live than he does in the studio, which is a total treat. His stage presence is really great — all tall, noodle-y rock star. The whole crowd was dancing and singing along, making it one of the best atmospheres I was in the entire weekend. He also did a killer cover of Blackbird (my true weakness). 

***

Truthfully, there’s no way to narrow down the entire weekend into three songs. Each show was memorable and amazing in its own way, and I loved every second I spent in Zilker. If there’s one thing this weekend has confirmed for me, it’s the money is best spent on experiences (specifically musical ones). Also on tacos.

Shoutout to the wonderful people I got to spend the weekend with, and thanks for still being my friend even when I can’t find a way to shut up about Drake. Y’all rock.

***

If you’re wondering, this is who I saw:

  • Drake
  • The Weeknd
  • Disclosure
  • alt-j
  • Hozier
  • Tame Impala
  • A$AP Rocky
  • Chance the Rapper
  • Ben Howard
  • Twenty One Pilots
  • George Ezra
  • Flosstradamus
  • Glass Animals
  • Halsey
  • Ryn Weaver
  • Years & Years

There were a few sets that I couldn’t make for logistical reasons: I gave up Sylvan Esso for Halsey, picked Chance over Vance, missed Foo Fighters for Disclosure. There are so many more concert tickets left to buy in my life. I’ll catch them the next go ’round. (Foo Fighters, if you break up before I can see you, I’m going to be so mad.)

***

Can y’all believe I got to see Drake???!!!!

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Tunesday: Men in Hats

Oh, it’s been a minute since my last Tunesday post. Apologies. Life is sort of weird right now, and I haven’t been great about consistent blogging. Or eating at normal meal times. Or sleeping enough. Anyway…

I’ve seen each of these three artists live, and the vocals are just as amazing at a concert set. Check out these non-studio songs (and send me music to listen to).

1. Gregory Alan Isakov performing “The Universe” for a Fuel/Friends Music Blog Chapel Session in Colorado Springs, CO.

the Universe, she’s wounded
but she’s still got infinity ahead of her
she’s still got you and me
and everybody says that she’s beautiful

I love Gregory Alan Isakov so, so, so much. When I was driving through construction at night with a U-Haul trailer attached to my car after being in the car for more than 12 hours (read: on the edge of an anxiety attack), I put on his music to calm me down. The Universe is one of my favorite songs ever, and always makes me feel sad-sleepy-nostalgic-content. I saw him in Columbia when he opened for Iron & Wine. There was a truly awful crowd that nearly ruined it for me, but I’m sure I’ll catch another set in my life.

2. Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors performing “Tennessee” in a living room session

I am the second born of my mother and father
He’s a lion hearted man, she’s a Jesus lovin’ woman
And no matter how far I roam I always belong

I was in the front row to see these guys in Columbia. For this song, the rest of the band went backstage and Drew sang this alone and acoustic. I nearly didn’t make it because I was so overwhelmed (okay, that’s really dramatic, but you know me). They’re playing at ACL in October, so I’m hoping for round two.

3. Shakey Graves performing “Hardwired” for Stetson Center Stage

Well you bumbled like bees
And I’m boiled like the seas
While you led where no one would follow

This! Man! Shakey Graves (i.e. Alejandro Rose-Garcia) played Blues On The Green in Austin on my birthday last week, which was the best present I could have asked for. He’s a total goober with an incredible voice, and this song is so bittersweet. He’s also playing at ACL, so hopefully I get to dance to Roll The Bones again.

What’re you listening to these days, friends? 

Tunesday: Casual Heartache Edition

“These are the days that must happen to you.” — Walt Whitman, Song of the Open Road

I must have stumbled across that quote a million times in my life. It sits with me like a warm hug, a kind smile. It is comforting — that even Walt Whitman understands that life gets really hard sometimes.

Today just happens to be one of those days. Today, I made a really important decision, said some things and was turned down with unbelievable grace and love. Today, however many hours later, my heart is aching and I feel a little bit numb.

Heartbreak happens in three stages. First, you are clinging onto the hope that maybe that person will love you back like you love them. Then, you come to the painful realization that they just don’t love you in the same way you love them. Finally, you let love back in to save you.

1. James Bay performing “If You Ever Want To Be In Love” for The Sunday Sessions

If you ever want to be in love
I’ll come around

We were young
we were side by side
Don’t know when we started losing touch
If you want we could walk around
Maybe that would be enough

No, honestly. Everything is fine. Everything is totally fine.

2. Bon Iver performing “I Can’t Make You Love Me” at AIR Studios

here in the dark,
these final words
I will lay down my heart
and I feel the power
but you don’t,
no you don’t

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Everything hurts.

3. Bear’s Den performing “Bad Blood” at the Red Room at Cafe 939

All my life
I wasn’t honest enough
and I thought
I would never get over you

But I found love
but I found love
but I found love
but I found love

The world spins madly on, y’all. Everything will be okay.

Reading back over this, I sound dramatic and mopey. It’s fine. I know this aching will fade, and when I look back one day, I probably won’t remember too much about this particular Tuesday.  Today is simply one of the days that must happen to me. 

Tunesday: Finals Study Marathon/Panic/Meltdown Edition

Hi hello. So, if you’re anything like me, your semester is coming to a panicked, chaotic screaming end. God only knows I need endless music to make it though. I thought I’d share some of my favorite study playlists. This isn’t exactly a Tunesday post, but mostly a music dump because I have a LOT of emotions about these tracks. Seemed as good a day as any to make it. This thing is chockfull of hyperlinks and sleep-deprived babbling… enjoy!

1. “Adderallnighter” (from 8tracks)

This is one of my favorite study playlists, and one I’ve revisited often. It has an electronic vibe to it that really helps cut down on outside white noise and chatter. It’s also nearly seven hours long, which lets you zone out into your music rather than constantly changing songs. Also, no ads. 8tracks is your best best friend, in case you were unaware (if you don’t use 8tracks already, you need to seriously reevaluate your music listening avenues.).

Honorable mention: “For very late night revision.” Feel free to check out the other study playlists I’ve dogeared.

2. OMN’s music

Ollie McKendrick-Ness is a person I found through Vine, fell a little bit in love with, then wormhole-d myself to his Soundcloud page. OMN’s stuff is absolutely stunning ambient electronic vibes. Most are original, but there are a few remixes (“Towers,” anyone?). Some have minimal vocals, but it’s nothing too distracting.

(You should really listen to his singing Vines though. The man’s voice is stunning. Examples A, B, C)

3. In Return from ODESZA

That electronic ambient vibe, again, y’all. It’s great. The duo’s most recent album is superb, and I encourage you to check out their previous work as well. Also, they’re coming to Columbia in February so GET HYPED. “Say My Name” is the jam.

4. “Mid-Tempo Indie

Phantogram and London Grammar vibes. Enough said.

5. The Transformers score

Almost all movie scores are a solid bet for very intense study sessions. My favorites are Transformers (Steve Jablonsky), Inception (Hans Zimmer), The Dark Knight (Hans Zimmer), The Fountain (Clint Mansell)

6. “Hell Week Jamz

I think I made this playlist two years ago during finals, but it’s been a staple in my Spotify library ever since. It’s got Daughter, The National, Bon Iver and other favorites of mine. Probably best for essay writing — it has singing, but it’s nothing too in your face or dance-party-inducing. (Also, A List of Voices I Like is sort of a follow-up playlist, if you’re interested.)

7. “Good Things

This is a Spotify playlist of my three current favorite albums: “Islands” from Bear’s Den, “I Forget Where We Were” from Ben Howard and “Dream Your Life Away” from Vance Joy (yes, I’m still listening to them almost exclusively.) This music is obviously not instrumental or no-vocals, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you have to do any particularly deep or thought-consuming reading. But it’s incredibly good music, and can help ease the pain and stress of studying/finals if you just need a breather.

My top picks: Think of England and Elysium by Bear’s Den, Georgia and Mess is Mine by Vance Joy, In Dream and Time is Dancing by Ben Howard.

8. Other albums that deserve a mention because they’re great and you should listen to them during this time of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion:

finalz

Remember to drink lots of water with your undoubtedly increased caffeine intake, get some sleep, pet a dog and send your friends encouraging texts. You’re going to make it through and you’re doing a good job. Best of luck to everyone!

Also: comment with your favorite study playlists because sharing is caring.

Tunesday: From the Bottom of My Heart, I Love You

So I haven’t posted a Tunesday since … June 17. My bad, y’all. I’m a mess.

As you could probably tell from my last post, life has been a tad rough lately. I don’t exactly know why. I’m trying to roll with it and take things a day at a time. I’m okay, I promise — just a little overwhelmed.

Music has been getting me through more than ever recently, so I thought I’d share some jams for those who may be struggling with university/school/life as well. Feel free to drop me a line through my contact page if you want to talk about anything. I encourage anyone who feel like you’re drowning to seek out resources on campus or in your area; it is the bravest and best thing you can do for your own happiness.

Until then, here are some songs for people coming up for air.

1. Listener performing “You Were a House on Fire” for Cardinal Sessions

You’re burning alive with stress and life
Both hands in flames trying to hold the fire inside
Drop and roll, repeat line for emphasis
I’ll repeat it and repeat it until you believe it
You’re gonna be ok, say it to me

Listener is a lot like spoken word. It is screaming and shaking and powerful and hits you in the heart. I would recommend checking out their entire Wooden Heart record if you like this sort of thing, plus spoken word poet Buddy Wakefield (note to self: blog about spoken word).

2.  Gungor performing “Beautiful Things” for Relevant Studios

I am not a religious person, but this song moved me to near tears the first time I heard it. I can’t really explain it. It is comforting in a way that feels like a good, long, heartfelt hug right when you need it most.

Could all that is lost ever be found/
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

3. Vance Joy performing Mess Is Mine on KROQ

You’re the reason that I feel so strong
The reason that I’m hanging on
You know you gave me all the time
Oh, did I give enough of mine?

I love love love Vance Joy (Riptide, Snaggletooth, From Afar), so when his newest record came out, I was ecstatic. This song is the perfect pick-me-up: it reminds you that life is okay and people care about you and you’re okay the way you are without being aggressively in-your-face sunshine-y (which is the opposite of what I want when I’m in a funk.

Bonus round (because you need more hyperlinks):

(Also: I started a playlist called The Rut for when you feel down. Check it out on Spotify and let me know your recommendations for songs to add.)

(Also also: I’ve been getting better at updating JamsLikeJelly, so check that out if you’re wanting some random jams.)

Foudn on Tumblr. If anyone knows the source, please let me know so I can credit that person!
Foudn on Tumblr. If anyone knows the source, please let me know so I can credit that person!

Tunesday: Jams Like Jelly & Mahogany Sessions

Cool news, friends! I made a music blog called JamsLikeJelly because I am hip and also cool.

I started this in hopes of keeping all my favorite songs — from Spotify, from iTunes, from 8tracks, from Pandora, from mixtapes in my friends’ cars, from my dad’s vinyl collection — in one place.

If you know me at all, you know that I love nothing more than talking about music I love, sharing songs and learning about new bands. I hope to foster that through this new blog, but we’ll see how it goes. It’s more of a personal project, but I’d love to share it with y’all. If you have a Tumblr, feel free to give it a follow. If not, I’ve linked it at the top of my blog so you can easily check in.

As a result, I won’t really be writing a Tunesday post every week. I know I haven’t been doing that anyway, but I’m just letting y’all know that most of my music posts will be on JamsLikeJelly. I’ll make a Tunesday post when I truly see a theme running some songs together. For this week’s Tunesday, for example, I’ve picked my three current favorite Mahogany Sessions.

1. Leo Stannard and The Intermission Project covering alt-J’s “Tessellate”

The Intermission Project is a new band for me (see: “I’ve Been Waiting“) and we all know I’m a super big sucker for Tessellate covers (Mumford, Ellie Goulding, etc). There are some seriously talented humans in this group, and the harmonies are flawfree. Plus, there’s a mini xylophone, so that makes everything perfect. I truly hope this band makes it.

2. Frightened Rabbit performs “Holy”

This song is off the band’s most recent album and is one of my favorites (although the whole album is so, so, so worth a listen). This band has been one of the most genuine, reliable bands in my life, as weird as that sounds, since my beautiful friend Caroline had me listen to them two years ago. They have a sound I’ve loved for a long time, and it truly comes to life in these live sessions they do.

3. Gabrielle Aplin performs “Home”

I first heard Gabrielle when she and Bastille covered Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” (which is super worth looking up). Her song “Home” always makes me want to curl up in an armchair with hot tea and stare at the thunderstorm that would inevitably be falling outside. She has an amazing voice and range, and the clarity of her tone is what really draws me in.

Enjoy the jams, friends, and please comment with thoughts and recommendations!