My Songs of the Week Friday, Oct 26 2012 

 

Gabrielle Aplin– Keep pushing Me

I related to this song the most this week. The lyrics of “Keep Pushing Me” by Gabrielle Aplin could have been written for me.  I specifically can relate to the lyrics “I won’t stay, but I can’t leave. Some twisted sense of loyalty, and you make me love the things I hate”. In addition to the relatable lyrics, Gabrielle Aplin’s voice is amazing and the music is impressive. At the moment, this song is the story of my life.

Tom Waits– Hold On

This song served as a sort of inspiration for me. “Hold On” is one of my favorite Tom Waits songs.  I can be content with listening to it over and over. The song is definitely worth checking out, whether you’re going through hard times or not.

The Avett Brothers– The Ballad of Love and Hate

“The Ballad of Love and Hate” by The Avett Brothers is an emotionally stripped down song about the process and feelings a person goes through when accepting  love. The song starts off with “Hate” resisting “Love’s”  charms and stating “”No one here cares if you go or you stay. I barely even noticed that you were away. I’ll see you or I won’t, whatever”. Throughout the song “Hate” is worn down by the appeal that “Love” has. Eventually, “Hate” changes his tune and begs “Love, I’m sorry, and she says, ‘What for? I’m your and that’s it, Whatever. I should not have been gone for so long. I’m yours and that’s it, forever”. This song is truly one of my favorites from The Avett Brothers.

Well….here is Musically Inspired’s  “My Songs of the Week” list. I hope that you check out these songs and enjoy them. Cheers!

Rachel

Take Cover Thursday No. 1 Thursday, Oct 25 2012 

Let’s take a second to talk about cover songs. I recently had a discussion with an individual who viewed bands/artists that performed cover songs as “weak writers and non-original”. I, on the other hand, tend to see the tribute aspect of performing cover songs. There are so many different songs that speak to so many different people in so many different ways.  It is presumptuous for one to believe that performing or recording cover songs equates to lack of originality or weak writing skills. I have heard some excellent artists (Sam Bradley, Johnny Cash, Mumford and Sons) perform some of the best renditions. In fact, some of these renditions are better than the original performances. This discussion, and my opinion on the subject, led me to the idea of ‘Take Cover Thursday’. Each Thursday I will select and write about an artist/band that has done cover songs. It should be a nice little adventure….

Take Cover Thursday: Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash has probably covered more songs than any other artist. He is also an artist whose songs have been covered many times. From Bob Dylan to Nine Inch Nails, the range of cover songs that Johnny Cash has done is vast. Because his list of cover songs is extensive, I will only review a few of my favorites.

Out of all of the songs that Johnny Cash has covered, “Hurt” is by far my favorite. “Hurt”, originally by Nine Inch Nails, is a song about an individual who causes and experiences hurt to the point of needing drugs to sooth the pain. The lyrics “What have I become, my sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away in the end”, are lyrics that anyone can relate to at some point or another in life. Johnny Cash’s ability to make a listener feel lyrics makes this song even more tragic. All in all, it is a beautiful version of an utterly tragic song.

Another Johnny Cash cover that I enjoy is “In My Life”, originally by The Beatles. I have heard some pretty pathetic covers of songs by The Beatles. This is not one of those covers. “In My Life” was an absolutely beautiful song when performed by The Beatles. The song, originally a poem, was written by John Lennon as a tribute to places and people throughout his life that he held dear to him. Because of this, it can be hard to imagine that listening to any other band/artist performing this song would be enjoyable. Listening to Johnny Cash’s voice sing “Though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before, I know I’ll often stop and think about them. In my life, I love you more”, can make even the hardest of hearts smile. It is a cover that I am truly impressed by.

The last favorite song that Johnny Cash covered is “Bird on a Wire”, originally by Leonard Cohen. I absolutely love the original version of this song, but there is something about Johnny Cash’s version that draws me in. When I first discovered that Johnny Cash covered this song, I listened to both versions repeatedly to try to decide which version I enjoyed the most. As it stands, I am unable to choose a favorite so I will call this a tie.

Regardless of your opinion on cover songs, one has to admit that Johnny Cash has done a fantastic job of taking already great songs, and making them great again.

Rachel

My Songs of the Week Sunday, Oct 21 2012 

So…..I decided that I am going to start doing a “My Songs of the Week” list. The plan is to post a list of songs that spoke the most to me during the week. These songs will not always be new, nor will they have any relation to any other “Song of the Week” lists that may be floating around on the Internet. These are simply songs that mean something to me. Savvy? OK, good……

 

Brynn Andre– Devil

The reason this song has made it onto this week’s list is because it is raw and relatable. Through this song, Brynn Andre tells a tale of a doomed relationship. The line “This is gonna hurt when it is over” spoke to me, mostly because I have been there before. You know that the relationship is doomed, but you refuse to let go of it. The concept of doomed love is captured beautifully in this song.

Mumford and Sons– Below My Feet

I have many reasons for including “Below My Feet” by Mumford and Sons on this weeks list. First, this song resonates with my so deeply that I almost cried when I watched Mumford and Sons play it live this past August. I am not one to get overly emotional, but this song moves and inspires me. The lyrics are beautiful, the music impressive, and the vocals are painfully filled with emotion. The lyrics “And now I sleep, sleep the hours that I can’t weep, When all I knew was steeped in blackened hopes, Well I was lost. Keep the earth below my feet. For all my sweat, my blood runs weak. Let me learn from where I have been. Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn”, are personal to me. There is comfort, yet sadness, in knowing that others have felt the same desperate emotions as I have.

Freelance Whales– Broken Horse

The song “Broken Horse” by Freelance Whales is strangely soothing to me. It could be the lyrics, it could be the beautiful vocals. Or it could be the nature sounds in the background. Either way, I enjoy it and feel that it deserves a place on this week’s list since I’ve played it quite a bit this week.

Bobby Long– Something’s Always Gonna Get You

This week I have had this song playing over and over. It’s one of my favorite “Get Over It” songs. Bobby Long’s ability to humorously remind the listener that things can always get worse, is charming and entertaining, With lyrics like “I could get an envelope filled with anthrax through my door, I could fall right through my neighbors floor”, the song reminds listeners to stop being so damned paranoid and to start living. At least, that is what I take away from the song when listening to it. On the other hand, the song could be used as an excuse for a paranoid person to never leave their house. After all, “Something’s Gonna Always Get You”.

This list was brought to you by the craziness that is my mind. Check out these artists listed so that, you too, can enjoy good music.

Rachel

 

My Night at The Roxy Thursday, Oct 18 2012 

On Saturday, October 13th, 2012 I was fortunate enough to be at The Roxy in Hollywood, CA. My main reason for being at The Roxy that night was to see Bobby Long, but I was also excited to check out some new music. In addition to that, I was taking my 10 year old nephew to his first concert. Being the “cool Aunt” and experiencing some great music? Yes, please!

Those familiar with The Roxy know that the theatre has a rich and diverse history. From Bruce Springsteen to Miles Davis, The Roxy has hosted some of the best performers in music history. However, The Roxy is a theater that many unsigned artists call home and is an excellent place to discover new music. I personally have been to The Roxy many times over the years, and have many memories of the area. It was, therefore, an absolute pleasure to have my nephews first show be at the Roxy.

At around 8:30 p.m. Anna Nelson was the first performer to take the stage. I had never heard of Anna Nelson before, but I was thoroughly impressed but her voice. My favorite song from her that night was “In My Dreams”. Her EP “Before You” can be found on iTunes. She is absolutely worth checking out.

The next artist to perform was Patrick Park. Patrick Park was definitely talented and I enjoyed his songs. However, Patrick Park seemed to lack that stage presence and overall connection with the audience that makes a good performance great. It could be that he was having an off night, or if that is just his personality as a performer. Regardless, he played his guitar beautifully and sang wonderfully. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for good music. His albums “Loneliness Knows My Name” and Come What Will” can both be found on iTunes.

At around 10 p.m. Bobby Long took the stage. This was my second time seeing him this year, and I was absolutely thrilled. Bobby Long is an impressive performer and possesses the wit and stage presence to keep the crowd engaged. He started off his set with “I Will Help You Mend”, a song that I hope is going to be on his next album. Much to my absolute pleasure, Bobby Long next performed “Two Years Old”. This song happens to be one of my favorite songs from him, so I was grateful to be able to see him play it live. His entire set was enjoyable and easily my favorite of the night. I could go on, and on about how much I enjoyed seeing him perform, but it is not something that can be understood unless you see him live. His album “A Winter Tale” can, and should, be checked out on iTunes.

The next performer of the night was Meiko. I was very much excited to check her out, as I had heard some great things about her as a live performer and I enjoyed her music. As fate would have it, however, my nephew’s tolerance for a standing room venue and two drunk women behind him had been reached. As much as I wanted to stay and watch Meiko, I had to change from “the cool aunt” into “the responsible aunt” and take my nephew home. With that said, I encourage anyone to check out Meiko and try to see her live. Her music can also be found on iTunes.

Even with having to leave early, my night at The Roxy was an enjoyable one. Great music and great company. What more could I possibly ask for?

Cheers,

Rachel

 

Review of the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Monterey, CA Tuesday, Oct 16 2012 

The following post is a show report that I wrote for the Soulful Sound Lounge (http://convozine.com/asoulfulsound). It was one of my favorite concerts of the year and just wanted to share it on my blog. Go visit the Soulful Sound Lounge for amazing coverage on some great artists. Proceed to the review:

The Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Monterey, California was an experience that many will remember for years to come. Upon hearing that the stopover would be held at the Monterey fairgrounds, I knew that the show would be memorable. The Monterey Fairgrounds is the home to a piece of musical history as it is the famous location where Jimi Hendrix lit his guitar on fire. Monterey is also well-known to those who are fans of author John Steinbeck. With the ability to boast of Steinbeck and Hendrix fame, it’s no wonder why Mumford and Sons chose Monterey, California as the last location for their GOTR tour.

When I learned of the location, I immediately knew that this would be a show that I could not miss. So with my best friend by my side, the voyage from Southern California to Monterey, California was made. When we were let into the fairgrounds, we made our way to the second stage. Slow Club was due to play, and I was extremely excited to see them. Before Slow Club took the stage, however, the boys of Mumford and Sons came on stage to officially start the stopover. It was a nice unexpected treat for the audience.

After Mumford and Sons left the stage, Slow Club took the stage. Unsurprisingly, the band did not disappoint. Slow club is a folk-rock duo made up of Rebecca Taylor (lead vocals, drums, guitar) and Charles Watson (guitar and vocals). Rebecca and Charles were very witty and enjoyable to listen to. The way Rebecca wailed on the drums and belted out the notes was extremely impressive. Charles’ smooth vocals, skills on the guitar, and charming wit complemented Rebecca. It was easy to see why Slow Club was chosen to open the show. Some of my favorite performances from Slow Club included “If We’re Still Alive”, “Beginners”, and “Giving up on Love”.

Once Slow Club finished their set, we made our way to the main stage to get a good spot for The Apache Relay. The Apache Relay had been on my “To See Live” list so it was exciting to finally get to see them play on such a historic stage.  The Apache Relay is an Indie/Folk rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. The Apache Relay set kicked off with “Achilles Heel”, followed by “American Nomad”, and “Lets Speak”. My favorite performance of the set was when Ben Lovett cam on stage during “Broken Eyes”. The band is definitely worth checking out, and I encourage anyone who has a chance to see them live, to take it.

After Apache Relay, it was time for the two member band Two Gallants. The Two Gallants played impressively. If you were to close your eyes, you would think that the band was made up of 4-5 members, not two. The highlight of the set was when they played “Las Cruces Jail”. The song is hands down my favorite from them, and did a great job of keeping the crowds excitement up.

After the Two Gallants, it was time for Gogol Bordello. The band got most of the crowd excited, and most seemed to enjoy the set. As for my personal opinion, I will leave it at saying that this band is just not my thing.

Once Gogol Bordello left the stage, it was FINALLY time for Mumford and Sons. The special lighting was turned on and the crowd was anxious for the band to come on. The band opened their set with “Lovers Eyes” and all was right in my little world. Marcus’ amazingly soulful voice and kick drum skills, Ben’s skills and excitement on the keyboard, Ted’s  unique sound on the upright bass, and Winston’s insane talent on the banjo were mesmerizing. I was squished like a sardine in an over-packed tin can, but it didn’t matter. The music being made in front of my eyes made all of the pain in my feet and the fifty different smells around me completely worth it. The second song was the well-known “Little Lion Man”. Experiencing and joining in with the crowd to shout out “I really fucked it up this time” along with Marcus was only one of the moments where the audience felt united. “Thistle and Weeds” was another performance that seemed to resonate deeply with the crowd. Maybe it was the pure talent of band, or maybe it was the fact that we were able to sing “Rain down on me” while it began to slightly rain. Either way, the experience was memorable.  Other favorite performances included “White Blank Page”, “Below My Feet”, and “Dustbowl Dance”.  Out of those three, “Below My Feet” seemed to move me the most. The entire set was positively beautiful and worth anything that had to be endured to get to that point. The fact that I was lucky enough to see Mumford and Sons in such a historic setting only added to the experience.

It was an absolute honor to be able to attend this stopover. It was a day filled with amazing music, great drinks, and a pretty awesome crowd. Choosing Monterey as the site for their last stopover site was definitely a wise choice. The only disappointing factor is that weekends like the one I experienced are few and far between.

Set Lists

Slow Club

If We’re Still Alive

Never Look Back

Beginners

Disco Way

Everything is new

Not Mine to Love

Giving up on Love

Once Slow Club finished their set.

Apache Relay-

Achilles Heel

American Nomad

Lets Speak

Watering Hole

Lost Kid

Untitled New Song (Hearts Desire)

Two Gallants-

Winters Youth

Despite What You’ve Been Told

My Love Won’t Wait

Steady Rollin

Las Cruces Jail

New Song

Halycon Days

Nothing to You

Broken Eyes

Mumford and Sons-

Lovers Eyes

Little Lion Man

Roll Away your Stone

White Blank Page

Below My Feet

Timshel

I Will Wait

Lover of the Light

Thistle and Weeds

Ghosts the We Knew

Awake My Soul

Dustbowl Dance

Winter Winds

The Cave

The Weight (with Two Gallants, Haim, Slow Club, Apache Relay, and Group Love”)

The beginning…. Tuesday, Oct 16 2012 

Hello World!

This is the first blog I have ever done, so I am a little nervous. Let me begin with explaining the reason for starting this blog. I LOVE music. Like, a Ican’tbreathewithoutit type of love. Music inspires me in ways that other forms of art cannot. Sure, I love to watch movies, observe paintings, reading , and  I am very impressed with live theater; but music is a completely different creature. With just a song a mood can be easily changed, and regardless if the mood changes from good to bad, that is a pretty impressive feat. Music can remind us of the people that we once were, and it can help to reveal to us the people that we want to become. Without music, my life would be very boring indeed.

In this blog, I want to write about the music that inspires me and has helped to mold me into the person that I am. I will write about shows that I have been and will go to, artists that I enjoy to listen to, and my personal opinions on what occurs within todays music scene. I hope that this journey through my musical inspirations and experiences will in turn inspire others.

Cheers,

Rachel