Tag: music

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? 

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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: 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: The Long Haul

Welcome to another edition of Tunesday — three non-studio-version songs that’ve caught my eyes recently. I know it’s been a while (like, two months) since the last post, so I found a loophole to pack more music into this post.

KEXP is a radio station in Seattle, Wash. My favorite thing about this station is the sheer spread of names that come into the studio for live performances — Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Macklemore, alt-J, Ra Ra Riot, tUnE-yArDs, Band of Horses, plus dozens and dozens of bands I’ve never heard of before. I don’t necessarily love everything I come across, but the guests are always intentional, musical beings who care about what they’re putting out into the world.

The sets run around 30 minutes, with a smattering of songs, banter and thoughtful interviewing. They’re good for discovering artists you hadn’t heard of before, listening to while studying (or blogging) or sharing with friends who like an artist and want to hear a more unplugged style.

Here are three of my favorite full performances:

1. Noah Gundersen (and band)

Ugh. Noah. If you haven’t heard of this human, you’re missing out big time. I first got into him when my friend Jackson sent me “Garden” in a mix tape three years ago, and he’s been a constant source of thoughtful lyrics and a sort of worship that sounds like wrestling. I can’t say enough good things about him, and I hope you’ll give him a listen.

2. Mary Lambert (and band)

This is a powerhouse musician. You know her pipes from the hook of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” but she has more than just a background singer. Her song “Sarasavati” is jaw-dropping in the best way. The extended single of “She Keeps Me Warm” is one of my favorites simply for the line “I named both of her eyes/Forever and Please Don’t Go.” Plus she rocks red lipstick. My kind of woman.

3. alt-J

I have probably watched this complete set no less than five times. There is something about “Dissolve Me” live that I can’t shake. The band is so magnificent live it was hard for me to go back to the studio album. Also, when is this band coming out with new music? I need more of Joe Newman’s voice coming through my earbuds in techno-indie-sad-stuff form, please and thank you.

You can find all the full sessions and other performances on KEXP’s YouTube page.

Tunesday: This One’s For The Girls

Tunesday, part two! I hope to see some Tunesday posts from y’all as well. I want to listen to want makes your heart tick, and I want new tunes to listen to.

1. “Go Away My Lover” by Elizabeth and the Catapult as performed at Rockwood Music Hall

I saw EATC live a few years ago when she opened for Greg Laswell in Austin. She’s sassy and goofy and has an absolutely amazing voice. I really love this song because it’s a fem-anthem of sorts — an “I don’t need no man to make me a woman” sort of vibe. It’s not how I feel right now, but it’s how I want to feel.

2. “Love the Way you Lie” by Eminem ft. Rihanna as covered by Lisa Scinta

I found this cover floating around Tumblr years and years ago, and it hit me pretty instantly. Something about her voice singing both the male and female parts makes it that much more powerful of a song. This song has always been kind of painful: that fine, fine line between love and hatred. Without Eminem’s more aggressive rapping style, the tone and weight of the song truly come out.

3. “Woman” by The 1975 as performed on 96X Studio

This song, y’all. Matty wrote this about a prostitute he met (and didn’t sleep with) when he was very young in Belfast. He has said he fell in love with the way she used her femininity for her own gains, rather than solely for the service of others. It’s a heartbreaking song, but reminds us women that our bodies belong to us, not to those we let look at them. Here’s the extended EP version (that’s actually better but doesn’t fit the Tunesday rules).

Comment below with your own Tunesday songs or links to your Tunesday posts.
Remember: no studio versions.