Thursday, December 16, 2010

Riu Chiu

In case you haven't noticed, I don't listen to much Christmas music. Not voluntarily, at least. Between the girl's ensemble I sing in, the radios that play in stores and my piano playing of various carols {and Charlie Brown Christmas songs!}, I don't feel much need to listen to Christmas music on my own time. One of the few exceptions is 'Riu Chiu' by The Monkees.

Surely The Monkees need no introduction. Or perhaps they do since I seem to be living in the wrong generation. Just look them up or ask your parents if you don't know who they are... OR if you're one of those people who think they were just Beatle rip-offs who couldn't even sing.

'Riu Chiu' is an old Spanish carol that dates from around the 16th century or earlier. {A translation for the lyrics can be found here.} The Monkees performed this song at the end of Episode 15 in Season 2, "The Christmas Show". They sing it a capella and in harmony with Micky taking most of the solos.
I heard a different version of this song in a friend's car the other day. It was by one of those artists-of-whom-we-do-not-speak and its overproduced sound made me long for this beautiful, and entirely too short version. Definitely one of my absolute favourite Christmas songs.


Well, this is my last song for my week of posting {week = 7 days, not Friday to Friday}. This will probably be my last post for December, too. So, Merry Christmas everyone!!

{P.S. - It snowed. No Library for me. :(
But don't worry, I'll get over it. ;)}

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't Know Why (You Stay)

I vacillated for a while what my second to last song this week would be. I knew for certain what my last song was going to be and I was pretty sure I knew what today's song was going to be... But then, all these other worthy advocates I've been listening to kept coming to mind. I'm not the best at making last minute decisions, because then I usually end up making the wrong choice. But finally I picked a song, and I certainly hope you won't think it was the wrong choice: 'Don't Know Why (You Stay)' by The Essex Green.

The Essex Green is Jeff Baron, Sasha Bell and Chris Ziter. They have been a band since 1997 but are on an indefinite hiatus at the moment. They haven't released an album since 2006's Cannibal Sea which I have been listening to a lot, as of late. They write catchy, 60's inspired indie pop/rock. 'Don't Know Why (You Stay)' is especially catchy; I can never resist harmonizing along with it. This song has been included on all of the playlists I've made to bake Christmas cookies to. {Christmas music? What's that?} So, I decided this really was the best song to post today. :)


On another note, they are calling for more snow here. Confession, though: I don't want it to snow because tomorrow is a Library day. Don't look at me like that! It really is a highlight in my minuscule existence. :P

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Poison & Wine

My computer and I are lodged in a battle. I am afraid my computer is going to win in the most vengeful way possible... he is going to die. Quite a spiteful fellow he is.
Since I have been struggling with my computer for a couple hours or so, I'm keeping it simple today. {Though at the moment we seem to have reached some sort of truce. *crosses fingers*}

I am posting one of my most favoritest songs ever: 'Poison & Wine' by the Civil Wars!
I've posted about The Civil Wars before, back in July when I first discovered them. But at that point, I had never heard this amazing song. Since then it has become a favourite and is a constant inclusion on playlists I make for everyday listening... And I have fallen asleep to it countless times. {It's a good thing, heh.}


{YouTube Link. Stupid cut-off edge...)

That's all for today. I hope by tomorrow my computer will have learned better manners or at least a less drastic way of doing warfare. :P

Monday, December 13, 2010

Deep Blue You

This morning I awoke to cinnamon rolls and a snow covered yard. Quel bonheur! Sadly, the snow is melting. But surely it will come back before these cold months are done!
These cold days seem to fit perfectly with the music of 8mm which I have been listening to lately.

I've known about 8mm for ages it seems and I remember a week where I listened to them a lot. But somehow I lost touch with their music. Until recently, that is, when I was looking to use the last of my month's downloads on emusic. There were some 8mm songs on one of my "music-to-buy-eventually" lists so I decided I'd download their song 'Deep Blue You'. Which turned out to be an excellent decision, though I do say so myself. ;)

8mm is composed of husband and wife Sean & Juliette Beaven and Jon Nicolson.
They are a pop/rock band with a similar dreaminess like bands such as Trespassers William except with more electronic elements. I suppose the proper term for that would be "trip hop" or "trip rock" but really, who the heck know what those genres are off the top of their head?
'Deep Blue You' was released as a single in 2009 and was also included on the EP they released this year, Love and the Apocalypse.


{Again, the skipping time duration should not affect the song. :)}

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let Me Go

Here's a noteworthy song I came across the other day while flitting around the internet. 'Let Me Go' by The Chapin Sisters.

The Chapin Sisters consist of real-life sisters Abigail and Lily Chapin. Their half-sister Jessica Craven is also a member but as of 2010 has taken a leave of absence. Apparently their father/stepfather is Tom Chapin. {A fact which might impress me more if I had known who he was. :P} Actually, many of their family members are musicians, so it must run in their blood.

The Chapin Sisters' sound is a mixture of folk, blues, and pop. Their lyrics are somber and full of heartbreak, most of which they caused themselves. And of course, what good is a sister act without gorgeous harmonies? Well, check! They have them.

Ever since I heard this song, I have not been able to stop listening to it... {Ok, well, that might be a slight exaggeration.}

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Piano Man

Today I am going to do something radical and post a song that everyone has heard of! {Okay, maybe I am overestimating my and other recent generations...} The song is 'Piano Man' by Billy Joel! {If you've never heard of this song, your parents have, undoubtedly.}

I've liked Billy Joel for a couple years now. My first introduction to him was the inclusion of 'Still Rock and Roll to Me' on a mix CD my father made for my mother. But it wasn't until recently that I have come to really love his music.
It started one night about a month ago. I was riding in my sister's car and I had just heard a piece of news that depressed me. {A piece of news that meant a dream of mine was going to have to die.} We were listening to the radio and the song 'Piano Man' by Billy Joel came on. I knew the song, I even had it on my ipod. But I hadn't really listened to it in a while. As I sat there in the dark, sad and listening to Billy Joel singing about unfulfilled dreams... I don't know. I just fell in love with the song. When I got home, I listened to it again. Since then, we have been inseparable. :P
Ever since, I have been on a major Billy Joel kick. I've pulled out the copies I made from the Billy Joel records of a friend and am learning how to play 'She's Always a Woman' on the piano.
Also I'm driving my little brother crazy by constantly singing 'Piano Man'!

'Piano Man' became Billy Joel's first major hit in 1973 and is considered to be his "signature song". Which makes sense since Billy Joel is the piano man. Before he was a successful musician and after his first album had failed, he spent some time as a piano-lounge singer. This song is about that. The characters mentioned in the lyrics are all based off of real people.

Listen to 'Piano Man':
{Full version too. No radio edits for this girl!}

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Just Realized

You know what I thought would be fun? If I posted a song every day for a week! I know, you're probably thinking "Tell me why that is fun, exactly?" And well, it's not. But I want to do it and this is the perfect time of year for it, so paste a smile on your face and let's go!

Basically I shall be posting the songs that have been "rocking out to" lately. {Well, if I rocked out, which I don't. And if the music I listened to induced rocking out, which it doesn't.}
So, let me phrase this differently... I shall be posting the songs I have been listening to constantly as of late.

The other day I saw the music video for this song, 'I Just Realized'. It is by an artist named Matt Wertz. I had never heard of him before but this video made me an instant fan! ;)
I think it is so sweet! I love the video's lighting and summery aura. It makes me feel nostalgic for some reason. The song and lyrics are marvelous as well... Oh, I just love the whole thing!

Well, that's all for now! I'll see you all tomorrow. :P

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chère Françoise

I cannot comprehend how it is December already! Not only did November speed by... the whole year did! And guess what? I have now been selecting artists of the month for a year!
{If you'll see, I have taken the past artists off my sidebar and have given them their own little page! The reason they are arranged in such a *coughcough* "artistic, varied manner" is because the page editor is really difficult to work with. Or maybe I'm just stupid. Either way, I'm just not going to mess with it too much cause I finally got them in the right, chronological order!}

And speaking of artists of the month, this December's "chosen one" is Chère Françoise!

Chère Françoise is Franziska Beeler {as well as Shawn Jurek and Graydon James}. Originally from Switzerland, she sings in English, French, and German!
So far, she only has an EP entitled Departures. In my experience, I've found that EPs tend to have one amazing song and the rest are good but seem to weaken in light of the best song. Well, that is not the case with Departures. Each song is excellent! Indeed, I have trouble picking a favourite.
It is a pretty straightforward folk/french pop album, mostly it's just guitar with Franziska's charming vocals. {Though, if her new songs on myspace are any indication, she is leaning towards a more Electronica sound.} Half the songs on the EP are in French and the other half are in English.
As I mentioned before, I have trouble picking a favourite. Which turned out to be a problem when trying to decide what song to post. I got it narrowed down to three songs: 'Milupa, the Cat' {a song about her cat who was "named after an infant nutrition brand"}, 'Les Démons' {I'm not sure what this song is about since I can only catch every third sentence or so, but it is just lovely}, and 'I am Chère Françoise' which is the song I ended up picking. But I would definitely recommend checking out the rest of the EP!

Listen to 'I am Chère Françoise':

{You may have noticed the time durations skipping around on some songs. Files off emusic do that for some reason... I used to fix them in this long, tedious way but it was too time-consuming and messed with the quality of the song. Overall, the numbers changing around shouldn't affect the song. But let me know if it does.}