Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Open Your Heart

I started going through my music the other day, trying to find a song that I had always wanted to post but never got around to. I knew there were a few... I just couldn't remember what they were... And then I found what I was looking for: 'Open Your Heart' by Lavender Diamond!

Lavender Diamond creates simple, happy music and 'Open Your Heart' is possibly their happiest song. For some reason my brothers can't stand it... :P {Ok, well maybe it's understandable...}

Sorry, this is a sidetrack, but, I am extremely jealous of Becky Stark's {Lavender Diamond's frontwoman} clothes! She always seems to be wearing the most darling dresses.

I've never been one to care much about clothes but vintage dresses do something to me, I don't know...

Anyhow, I'll quit burbling now and let you listen to 'Open Your Heart'. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Musical Plans

Sorry I've been so silent! I've had major trouble lately collecting my thoughts and putting them together in a coherent way.
I've also had a social life this past week and it will continue on for the rest of the week. This is rather abnormal for me... and you know what? I hate it. XD
Anyhow, I'm going to cease the "Favorite Albums" for now till I have more time/brain-power.

{Disclaimer: This post is possibly all worthless ramblings. I am not confirming or denying any rumours at this time.}

So, Summer is coming and I'm beginning to think about what I want to accomplish! Practically everything I've come up with is music related...

1. Perfect playing 'La Valse D'Amelie' on the piano. {Ok, maybe not perfect exactly... but polish it!} When I first decided I wanted to learn how to play 'La Valse D'Amelie' from the film "Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain" I forgot how hard it was. Needless to say I shortly realized it after trying to play it for the first time... I almost gave up. But I stuck with it. :P

2. Finish notating 'The Lady of the Lea' and learn how to play and sing it. In one of my favourite books, A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich, the main character sings the song 'The Lady of the Lea' several times throughout the book. Curious, I looked it up online and found sheet music for it but the resolution was very bad, making it unprintable. So, I am copying out the notes and such onto blank sheet music. Yes. The melody line AND the accompaniment. I've got 1 page down out of about 4 1/2. I don't know what has given me such dedication. Haha!

3. Record an album for my parents! I've made several albums for them before. A few with my brothers and I's "band" where we sang in high-pitched, humorous voices and one with just me playing the piano. {I use a sound recorder that came on my computer. It's not the best quality but it suffices!} And I'm thinking... I'm going to record an album for them with me singing and playing the piano but I haven't decided if I'm brave enough yet. I play the piano and sing only when I'm alone. But... maybe I need to get over that. *shrugs* We shall see!

4. Finish learning how to play the theme song from the TV show "All Creatures Great and Small". {AKA 'Piano Parchment' by Johnny Pearson}. "All Creatures Great and Small" chronicles the life of a British country vet and is one of my family's favourite shows! It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry! As will the books. {Which I happen to be re-reading at the moment!} :)

That's all I can think of. Not too much, I live a low-key life. :)

OH! I'll stop rambling soon, I promise, but guess what I got in the mail today?!?!
KaiserCartel's "Secret Transit" album and "Philanthropy" EP!!! =D
There is nothing better than packages in the mail! Especially something that sounds so fangreatastic! I am enjoying it immensely; three thumbs up!!!

Okay, that's all for now! :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Holiday in Rhode Island

Next for my favourite albums, is Holiday in Rhode Island by The Softies.

A family member or two laughed at their band name, "The Softies". That was only because they had not heard their music. Once you hear their music you never question why they would call themselves the "Softies". ;)

I got this album for Christmas last year. I was given it by my paternal grandparents when we were visiting their house. I didn't have my computer with me so I borrowed my littler brother's CD player. I went downstairs and lay across my sister and I's temporary bed and I listened to the album for the first time while reading the lyrics in the album insert. {By the way, I LOVE it when artists put their lyrics in their liner notes.}
And so that is always the memory I associate with this album, lying across the bed in my grandparent's basement, reading the lyrics, listening to the whole thing for the first time.

The Softies are two girls {Rose Melberg and Jen Sbragia} accompanied mostly by just their guitars. They write sad, sweet songs about love & heartache... mainly heartache.
One thing I love most about them is their harmonies. One of my favourite things to do is to play Holiday in Rhode Island out loud (whether on CD or my ipod) and sing along. I have trouble making up my mind whether I want to sing the melody or the harmony so I sing an odd mixture of both. :)

I also had trouble just picking one song. I went back in forth between so many combinations... oi! Finally I decided on these two...

'Sleep Away Your Troubles':

'Just a Day':

And I had a lovely birthday! I feel so much different now that I am 17!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Door into Summer

Next for {some of} my favourite albums, The Door into Summer by Ex Reverie.

I was fascinated by The Door into Summer the first time I heard it. Gillian Chadwick {aka Ex Reverie} describes her music as "glam rock from the year 1066". I would definitely agree she sounds like something out of the Medieval period. {Well, if they had the instruments then that we have now. :P} The lyrics and voice evoke mystic images of a distant era.
In my mind, I have trouble remembering that she actually is living now and this album is not something that we found buried in a ruined castle among rusty knight's armor & swords, ancient texts, and a forgotten king's bones.
Though that thought may somewhat be the fault of all the pictures I see of her....

{I'm pretty sure all these pictures were taken by a fantastic photographer named Courtney Brooke.}

And I made the mistake of, in the writing of this post, reading other's people's intelligent reviews of this album. Now I feel utterly incompetent of writing anything else about it. {I have chided my sorry self for doing this time and time again. Do I listen? Noooo.}
So, I leave you now with a song off this album, 'The Years'.


And my birthday is on the 7th... I shall be 17. I am really having trouble believing that. I think I still subconsciously consider myself 13. :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Colour Green

I have my computer back! And of course, all my music files!!!
So, I thought my next several posts would follow a theme. That theme being, "{Some of} My Favourite Albums".
Basically I'll just be posting about some of my absolute favourite albums along with a song or two from them. These aren't going to necessarily be my "most favourite albums ever" because I've already posted about quite a few of those.
First up, Colour Green by Sibylle Baier.

This album has a very interesting story behind it. At a certain point in her life, Sibylle Baier was very depressed. Her friend took her on a road trip and upon her return, Sibylle felt "her spirits renewed" and she wrote her first song, 'Remember the Day'.
From 1970-73 she secretly recorded these songs that she wrote and they became the album Colour Green. No one really heard her music except for her family and friends.
30 years later, her son Robbie (pictured left with Sibylle) made a CD of Colour Green and gave it to family and friends. A copy somehow got passed along to the Orange Twin label who then released it in 2006.

I admit it. I didn't like this album at first listen. I listened to the first two songs and I just wasn't sure....... Thankfully, I kept listening. Something about the third track made me keep listening. It began to grow on me. But, before I could form a further opinion, I ran out of free listens on last.fm. -_-
A few months later, I decided to just go ahead and buy it. But I wasn't sure yet if I honestly liked it or I just liked it because I thought I should.
Well, after buying it and listening to it more I decided I didn't like it.
I loved it.
It has such simple beauty. The whole album, except for some violin on the last track, is just Sibylle's fragile voice accompanied by her gentle guitar. Her melodies stay with you like old friends and the lyrics are like "looking at sepia snapshots of her everyday life". {I'm not sure if I thought that up or read it somewhere. So, I'm putting it in quotes to be on the safe side. ;)}
This is my album for when I'm sad. This is my album for when I'm happy. This is my album for every darn thing I do! I just love it!
Alright, I'll stop waxing eloquent now and post two tracks from Colour Green.

Listen to 'Tonight':

Listen to 'Remember the Day':

{Oh, and I'm making Sibylle Baier the artist of the month. :)}