Thursday, November 29, 2012

All I want for Christmas is MUSIC!

Since the holidays are lurking around the corner. I decided to leave you all with some gift GIVING suggestions. I exaggerate on the GIVING because I know me and during the holidays, I always manage to shop for myself more than others. SO, I came up with a few (affordable) ways to surprise your musical friends this holiday.

First, the portable vinyl carrier is perfect for your friends or family who has records but no record player. So, this holiday is perfect for the Vinyl Killer. Vinyl Killer is a portable record player made in Japan. You no longer have to spin the record, nor do you even need a turntable.

This is a portable way to bring your favorite vinyl tunes everywhere! Although they do not project the best sound and might kill a vinyl if often used, they are still a fun gag gift. Most vinyl killers come in the form of cars: VW buses, Beatles, etc. They are perfect for the hippie at heart.
Second, if you have a little to spend, you can purchase an MP3 player  at various afforable prices. Then, after you score an amazing deal, you can download a personalized playlist that is specific to the one you are gifting. Maybe include a few new songs they wouldnt normally listen to. 
Burning CD's is also a good way to share music. It's cheap and you can find fun ways to package
the homemade inspiration discs. Just check out Pinterest for new ways to use materials you have at home to design pre-made quality.
Back to the vinyls. If you know someone who has a record collection that is being used only to collect dust, take the ones that are still visibly entact, and put them into frames. The vintage appeal of vinyl art will make a unique wall decoration. ( Below is a sweet example).
This is not my wall but I am hoping to get a few frames for my vinyls to do the same thing!
Whatever you choose for your musical friends, it's the thought that counts.

Fa, la,la,la,laaa

It seems to always sneak up on you. We all know the sound of Christmas when we hear “Silver Bells” harrassing you in the grocery store as you pick out your Thanksgiving Day turkey! The tree, shopping for presents, and spending time with your family all feels like the holidays, but the music resonating from the gas stations and your car radio sets the mood. Most of the time, I listen to a song to reflect my current mood and it’s the holidays so what the heck, lets "Jingle All the Way" into the New Year.

I bought a tree last night and it was the first in two years. The smell of that Fraser Pine was all the Christmas songs, hot chocolate and wrapping paper infused into the scent of this tree. I smelled Christmas, and since we know the classic songs sung by Perry Como and NatKing Cole (Grocery store Christmas tunes), I found some Christmas Ballads with as fresh of a sound as the tree.

We don’t have to let the oldies (but goodies) define the sound of Christmas. I got really excited when I found The Knife’s – ChristmasReindeer”.  I started listening to The Knife a few years ago when I heard this electro-pop brother and sister from Sweden. They have a dark, ambient sound that is exaggerated from their accents.

The next frost bitten indie artist who decided to inspire the needy is Passion Pit with the song, “All These Trees”.  They have a really great song (unrelated to Christmas) titled, Sleepyhead” that I have on my shuffle list. This American indie rock band incorporates synthesized beats for their electro-dance style music. The five members were schooled in rock while they all attended college for music allowing them to create greatness with a learned structure.
The band, LCD Soundsystem    produced the song “Christmas Blue”. The band broke up but not before they created this electronic Christmas song for the world to get jolly.

Whether you are having a holiday gathering or picking up friends and family from the airport, give their ears a break from the tired, old Yuletide Carols and throw in a new tune.
Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Atoms for Peace.

Sparks of lyrical madness create an aura around Thom York of Radiohead. I could write forever about the many ways he inspires me, but my focus today is to share his ongoing project, Atoms for Peace. The 2009 Experimental rock –electronic super group consists of some well-known names that many of us have experienced on their own.
“Put Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, drummer Joey Waronker, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea and percussionist Mauro Refosco( who has also recorded with the Chili Peppers)  into a studio for three days, and you know the sound coming out of that session is going to be otherworldly .” (CNN)

The nine-track album “AMOK” is set to be released in early 2013, according to the magazine, and has been in the works for a few years. (Rolling Stone Magazine)

I didn’t even know that the few songs I have "Eraser" and "Cymbal Rush" are from the first Atoms for Peace album. As I researched more from this band, I got a little history lesson. I discovered, "Atoms for Peace" was the title of a speech delivered by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the UN General Assembly in New York City on December 8, 1953.

“I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new – one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare.”—Eisenhower

  (Left: "Lotus Flower")
The first line to this speech spoke to me, “I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new.” I thought for a moment, that Thom York whisked up this name to his side project after paying homage to this titled speech. Sometimes, when I listen to Radiohead I feel like I am hearing the unexpected time signatures for the first time. Like, I have never heard "Lotus Flower" or "Gagging Order"? That would be a sad, sad world for me.  So, I’ve drawn a connection to our late President, and the great Thom York, innovator of speaking to his audience in a digital language that commands your nerves attention.


Although there are a lot of Radiohead songs that I am obsessed with, I wanted to share these two,because they are both different tones but can equally move you. Enjoy everyone!!!!!!!!!
Left: ("Gagging Order")